Archive for the ‘Politics’ Tag

Will Trump’s giant middle finger to the U.S. Intelligence Community be enough? [Updated 7/17/2018]   Leave a comment

Image result for donald trump and vladimir putin together

A few days after federal officials moved to prosecute 12 Russian Hackers for their role in influencing the 2016 Election, Trump came out of a closed-door meeting with his Russian counterpart. No one but translators were allowed in the room with them. No media, no aides, no one. One of the first things Trump said after the pair emerged from their “longer than planned” meeting: “Russia had no role in the outcome of the 2016 Election.”

Back home, The GOP and Intelligence Officials alike were going apeshit at what they were hearing. Not just what he said but how unbelievable it was when he said it. Watch the video. Does it not sound rehearsed to you? Worse than that, he made an enemy of the absolute last organization you want as an enemy: The U.S. Intelligence Community.

There is a damned good reason Trump has been directly obstructing the Russian Hacking Investigation at every turn: He has to. The common theory that has only grown hotter since the summit is Putin has something on Trump. That’s the only possible explaination. I don’t think the condemnation sent his way by many of his strongest supporters in the GOP all day was lip service.

Not this time.

Remember this article I wrote? Well, Pence has been quiet as usual and with good reason. He can’t say anything because corporate media likes to spin things either way.

The line Trump was expected to cross sooner or later…Is this it? That’s the question the GOP is probably secretly asking each other about now. Do they want to keep holding back and see where this goes? Or do they move to remove Trump now and push hard for Pence to run in 2020? We will likely know in the new few weeks and if they do decide to Impeach, it won’t happen until after the midterms. They’ll keep giving token support until then since they were able to get alot of what they wanted in just the last 16 months.

Why would the GOP wait until after the Midterms? Here’s why:

 

  • If they pull the trigger before the midterms, the party will split and they will want to avoid that at all costs. It will also guarantee they lose both Houses of Congress and the SJC Confirmation Meetings will obviously need to be postponed.
  • Unlike Trump, they rightfully fear and respect the FBI and the CIA. In general, the last thing they want is the FBI or CIA asking questions before the Midterms.
  • Should the GOP lose control of the House or the Senate–and they are expecting to lose control of at least one–they can spin it to say the people have lost faith in their government because of Trump.
  • Should the GOP keep control of both Houses–and they are expecting to lose control of at least one–they can spin it to say despite the divisive rhetoric from Trump, the people are putting their trust in the party.
  • Those last two weren’t contradictory. The GOP is gonna start to pivot regardless of the outcome of the Midterms away from Trump.
  • Pence needs to be able to claim plausible deniability in regards to Trump and it will be far easier to do that if he doesn’t make any unnecessary moves. He will let the GOP handle everything before, during and immediately after the Midterms.

…As much as the GOP felt Obama wasn’t tough enough with Putin (Crimea and Syria), I seriously doubt they were prepared for Trump prettymuch admitting to the world he is Putin’s puppet. LOL.

Pence having so few media appearances shouldn’t surprise anyone: One of the few things he and Trump have in common is he hates Corporate Media but fortunately for him, Trump is an attention whore. He’s not being followed around by the media like Biden, Cheaney and Gore were. It is more than a little unusual for the VP to be so…out of the loop, so to speak. Trump obviously not trusting him enough to tell him anything in advance aside, Pence is no fool. He knows it’s a matter of WHEN. In other words: He is preparing for when the GOP pulls the trigger.

To the Dems, ex-Republicans and Anti-Trump Republicans wondering “Ok cool. So when the fuck are they gonna do it and why haven’t they?”: We just need to be patient. You don’t need to be a Washington insider to see that SOMETHING is brewing. Some of the damage Trump’s done will be reversed as a token but not all. Too much is irreparable anyway so…yeah.

To the die hard Trump Supporters thinking by now “You don’t know shit. LOL the GOP impeach Trump? WTF are you smoking?”: Don’t take my word for it. You will see for yourself. You’re hoping–no, NEED–what happened to be part of a larger plan. And you’re half-right. The half you’re right about is Trump knows eactly what he’s doing.

At the end of the day, Trump and the GOP were in an alliance of convenience. Trump has nothing in common with the GOP and vice versa. They were just using each other up to now. We will find out for sure after the midterms if said alliance will continue or not. While the denouncements from the GOP today was…”restrained”, don’t mistake that for a lack of outrage.

They knew what they were getting themselves into when they backed him two years ago and they also know they need to be careful of how they dispose of him. First things first, they will need to turn enough of his base on him. Not those giving him lip service but those who legit like him no matter what. That includes Trump’s mouthpiece at Fox News: Sean Hannity. Trump himself just gave the GOP the right kind of ammo yesterday, too: Collusion with the leader of an enemy nation. No one likes traitors, after all.

CNN summed it up with this (unsprisingly) scathing article: Helinski was a Surrender Summit where Trump made it clear he is NOT The Leader of the Free World. That is a title that is earned, not given. All Trump has shown is he has no interest whatsoever on Democracy. That doesn’t bother me at all though. What does bother me and should concern everyone in America are those who bought into his beliefs and even worse, those who have taken it as a green light to promote Xenophobia.

Update 7/17/2018:

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Trump held a press conference Tuesday afternoon where he walked back some of his comments from Sunday (and clearly failed at it), insisting he misspoke when he said U.S. intelligence got it wrong and there was no “colusion”. As you can see above he misspelled “COLLUSION”, which was clearly hand-written and even worse allowed a camera to catch it. The remarks were obviously prepared by his aides, who by the way he doesn’t even trust. It’s no secret he always goes off script and never reads the teleprompter when making public appearances. Much to the chagrin of White House Staff and the GOP obviously.

The Dems have been calling on the GOP to stand up to Trump knowing they can’t. Not yet, anyway. What’s sad is this poor excuse for a backtrack will be enough to satisfy Trump’s base and further alienate Anti-Trump Republicans. Unlike ex-Republicans who have been leaving the party in droves, they hold out hope establishment Republicans in Washington will pull the trigger before they lose all faith in the party. Not the billionaires who have been benefiting but the lifetime loyal Republicans who are ashamed and disgusted by the man their party put in the White House.

Yesterday, I said Step One would be to turn Trump’s fanboys against him. Step Two is open defiance against Trump by the GOP. Step Three is dealing with the dangerous extremists who’ve promised violence against anyone who tries to remove Trump from power. Step Four is the actual Impeachment Process. The first two must be done and the third is to keep the party together.

Like I said before though, the GOP will likely wait until after the Midterms to do anything significant.

…I’m gonna ask those who are able to and willing to please click the link below and donate if you are able. I am in need of emergency funds for a motel room for a few days. $350 will cover my needs. Thanks in advance.

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Dissent is Patriotic (except when it isn’t)   Leave a comment

Image result for Dissent is Patriotic

…It really is something.

I realize I’ve used the phrase “Dissent is Patriotic” alot on Social Media recently and mainly because of efforts by Republican Lawmakers to take away the right to protest at the federal, state and local levels. Not just because of who they have in the White House either. They’ve been like that for decades. Earlier this year, they got a major victory with Net Neutrality being repealed. Trump got greenlit from the Supreme Court to ban people from certain countries from entering the country last month as well. Last year, a Federal Judge ruled recording Police Brutality is unconstitutional.

Before I continue, I want to repeat something I’ve been saying for two years now: I am neither a Democrat or a Republican. So, to those of you on the Right saying “Get over it, you lost!”, I didn’t vote for Hillary. For those of you on the Left saying “Wait so now you’re gonna tell me you’re a Trump supporter?”, just look at the blog post I made before this one. I am an equal opportunity destroyer.

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It started during Obama’s second term but there are increased efforts to criminalize Protesting the government right now. Folks need to understand something before I wrap up: How governments REALLY take Civil Liberties from the people is by convincing enough of them that it’s the best thing ever and/or for the sake of National Security. That’s how it happens.

Now more than ever, folks need to exercise their right to protest before it’s taken from them. Here in Massachusetts–a traditionally Democratic Stronghold–Protesters and Demonstrators are mailed an invoice for Emergency Services. Police, Ambulances and so on. ALL of it. Much it has to do with the Occupy Wall St. movement 10 years ago, which took over the Rose Kennedy Greenway. The recently opened park  was trashed by the demonstrators so…yeah.

My point is state and local governments are moving to criminalize protesting as a whole. When someone has they voice taken away, everyone does.

I have to assume the media is ignoring the clear pattern by Trump and the GOP   Leave a comment

Image result for 3 branches of government checks and balances chart

There is a clear and disturbing pattern that has been going on ever since Trump took office and the media is clearly ignoring it: Trump says something outrageous or inflamatory, the media focuses on that. We get it, he’s the POTUS and you can’t just ignore him. That much larger problem is the timing always coincides with the GOP pushing cuts to Safety Nets for the poor and most at-risk through Congress.

All of the following programs have had their funding cut since Trump took office:

 

  • Americorps
  • Meals on Wheels
  • SNAP/EBT (just Cleared the House, now in the Senate)
  • Medicare and Medicaid (no surprise)
  • Social Security (Not actually federally funded)
  • Various Refugee Programs
  • FEMA
  • American Red Cross
  • Hunting Restrictions on Certain WIldlife
  • Housing and Urban Development
  • Affordable Care Act (Dead at the Federal Level)
  • Net Neutrality (Internet Providers are biding their time for now)

 

Feel free to Google this. Do not take my word for it. These are just the ones I know of.

…I want to say this on the SNAP Program. As some of you folks know, I have been on Food Stamps for 24 months now. I get $192.00 in Food Stamps every month on the 7th. On average, I use up the whole balance in 10 days. I only use my SNAP Balance to buy actual groceries, which is the only thing they can actually be used for.

Let me explain something for those who have never applied for SNAP Benefits and hopefully never will: There is a strict work requirement to get SNAP Benefits. 85% of those who are receiving SNAP Benefits are in fact employed. They would have a very hard time eating healthy and/or feeding their families without the SNAP Benefits. the rely on just to survive. Anyways at the time I applied for Food Stamps, I was still Employed by BPS but I was on an unpaid leave of absence. I resigned 2 months later and have been job hunting ever since. There is a 6-month check-in you are required to do or you WILL lose your SNAP benefits. At that time, you need to be able to prove you are at least trying to find work or are in the process of getting enrolled in a University/College if you want your benefits to continue for another year.

They don’t mess around because of people who abused the system in the past. So, the repeatedly said myth from so-called Conservatives and many Republicans “Only Lazy people are on Food Stamps” line doesn’t fly. In fact, if you are even suspected of abusing the system they will stop your benefits first and ask questions later. Some food for thought, pun intended. Those who can’t work due to injury or illness need the appropriate documentation as well obviously. Aside from losing your benefits if you’re busted for fraud, you WILL be required to pay back ever cent of those fraudulent benefits as well. Again, they don’t play around and the penality is not worth pissing them off.

Moving on to Net Neutrality being repealed. The Internet Service Providers (ISPs) are biding their time right now. Net Neutrality ended last month but they are in no hurry to start charging you extra as will happen unless Congress can be lobbied to bring it back. This is part of their plan: They likely won’t do anything for the first few months for PR reasons. Their mindset is “We won’t do anything for now since everyone’s watching us. Once most folks have moved on to other things, we’ll make our move.” The one thing coming up that’s sure to do just that are the November midterms. More on that in a separate blog post.

When Trump appointed Dr. Ben Carson as the new head of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), everyone thought it strange. More so given his only experience with HUD was when he went through the housing system himself growing up. This being one of many examples of Trump appointing people to departments with no experience or interest in expanding or improving them aside, the first major proposal Dr. Carson announced is yet another fine example of punishing the working poor and at risk just for existing: He proposed tripling how much rent tenants enrolled in Affordable Housing Programs and Section 8 would be required to pay out of pocket, effectively ending Income-Based Housing programs.

…I could go on.

Again, the reason all these cuts are happening in plain sight is BECAUSE Trump is keeping corporate media distracted. That’s how the GOP are using him more or less:

 

  1. Draw up plans to punish the working poor and those in poverty
  2. Wait for Trump to say or do something that will get the media’s attention
  3. Introduce budget cuts or restrictions of civil liberties they know Trump will rubber stamp while the media is distracted
  4. Put the proposal to a vote before Social Media spreads word of it
  5. Hope there is enough votes to make it happen the first time
  6. Repeat as needed

To what end, you might ask? To satisfy their corporate sponsors that’s why.

 

The new EPA Secretary is Fossil Fuel Lobbyist just like the one who just resigned. Folks need to understand that Capitalism’s biggest enemy is a Democratic Government of, for and by the people. Of course they want a rigged system that works for, by and of them and them alone. They control all three branches of government now and they are doing everything they can before the midterms later this year when massive turnover in both houses of Congress is anticipated.

This is no conspiracy theory. It’s conspiracy fact.

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I’m glad I didn’t comment on the Separated Immigrants Situation until now   Leave a comment

…It’s always something when I have to do the media’s job for them. LOL.

Time Magazine released this cover ahead of their July issue last week:

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The girl on the left comes from this photo:

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The picture was taken by a Washington Post photographer on assignment last week. It is worth pointing out it was never said then or since if the girl was taken from her parents. The reason I am saying this is because this picture went viral online as many assumed she was being taken from her parents. In an ironic yet unsurprising development, it was revealed by NBC News shortly after the picture’s release that the girl in the picture was NOT taken from her parents. I mention this because this picture was used to help raise millions of dollars online for detained migrant families.

I stopped talking about Politics for a few months not just because it’s exhausting and American Politics is as toxic as ever. I also stopped because  I wanted to wait for Snopes.com, Fairness And Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to give me what I knew corporate media wasn’t: Unbiased facts and the truth.

Now, it IS true that the current immigration policy was enacted while President Obama was in office. That actually IS true. In fact, part of the 14th Amendment–the one that grants citizenship to anyone born on US Soil or a U.S. Territory such as Puerto Rico and Guam–was amended as part of a deal Obama cut with Republicans to end the Government Shutdown at the time. The GOP was “satisfied enough” with the deal to end the shutdown they forced though the full scope of what it allowed wasn’t made clear until recently. I’m referring to the Immigration Detention controversy.

What’s also true is the new immigration policy was never enforced until recently because let’s face it, Obama wasn’t about to piss off his base so much he wouldn’t have been elected to a second term. He was smart enough to understand that and went out of his way to avoid enforcing it during both of his terms. The GOP’s top brass were clearly waiting for Trump to take office so they could enforce it unchallenged.

To those of you who keep parroting the fiction “Illegals come here and get government assistence”, this part’s for you: It’s actually impossible for anyone who is either not a citizen or doesn’t have a Green Card/Legal Status to get ANY kind of government assistence. This is fact. It’s really not worth jail time and a fine trying either.

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“Ever heard of anchor babies?”, you might be asking? Remember the deal Obama made with the GOP I mentioned before in which the 14th Amendment was amended? The term “Achor Baby” became obsolete at that time. We’re talking 8 years now. I find it strange the GOP didn’t make this fact they fought to make reality widely known. The only possible reason I can think of is it makes them look good to make people think that’s still possible.

The irony is though it was clearly meant to target Latin American immigrants, it was quickly pushed through because Chinese Human Traffickers had built an industry to bring pregnant women to the West Coast to give birth where they would give up their babies, become U.S. Citizens and then take their benefits from them. It was becoming a really big problem and needed to be address since the Human Trafficking alone was a million-dollar industry and suspected to be funded or condoned by the Chinese government.

Anywho, the loophole was closed. How the 14th Amendment now works is if a pregnant foreign national gives birth on U.S. soil or while in U.S. custody, they are born a citizen of the mother’s country of origin UNLESS the father is an U.S. Citizen (Born or Naturalized) AND they sign the birth certificate. In such a case the child will be born a U.S. Citizen and/or a citizen of the mother’s country (Dual Citizenship). Further, the mother would not automatically become a U.S. Citizen just because their child is born to an American father. She would still need to go through the legal process to become a U.S. Citizen herself.

Again, no more Anchor Babies. It’s no longer possible.

Since that costs at least $1000 USD in fees and visas…you see where I’m going here? Her only hope would then be to marry someone willing to sponsor her. Further, the laws about becoming a citizen by Marriage were tightened to crack down hard on fraud. You now need a marriage license first before you apply for a Green Card by Marriage. This plus the high cost in fees and visas make it unviable for fraud: The U.S. Citizen needs to prove they are committed to marrying the foreign national. Should the Engagement be called off after the paperwork is filed–feelings can change and are allowed to after all–the marriage visa is nullified.

Why am I saying all this?

Because folks are convinced what they believe to be true is fact or take what they hear at face value and never question it just because whoever told them said so. Dissent is Patroitic.

In closing, I got some more posts on recent events in the U.S. that I want to get into.  I wanted to do this one first because too many people are focusing on this distraction. “WTF are you talking about?”, you may ask? See the post after the next post. Why the one after the next? Because in the next post I will comment on the Lebron James Sweepstakes and NBA Free Agency. LOL.

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New Jersey joins Massachusetts as the second state to have Health Insurance Mandate   Leave a comment

Image result for Massachusetts and New Jersey

In 2006, Massachusetts made U.S. history as the first state in the nation to Mandate Health Insurance for all. It also made Healthcare in Massachusetts a right. it was signed into law by former governor and former Presidental candidate Mitt Romney. Four years later, Former president Obama used Massachusetts as a model to pass the Affordable Care Act (The ACA, also known as Obamacare) for the whole country. Republicans spent the next 7 years weakening the ACA until they finally killed it in 2017. This left Massachusetts, which has had had Romney Care since 2006 as the only state in the U.S. with Free Universal Healthcare for all.

That will change on January 1, 2019.

New Jersey Lawmakers passed legislation using the ACA as a model earlier today. Governor Phil Murphy signed the bill restoring the Obamacare health insurance mandate for the state of New Jersey. The move was made because as everyone outside Massachusetts quickly discovered, Republicans in Congress offered no alternative to the ACA and simply wanted to get rid of it for 100% political reasons. New Jersey is also the first state to defy the ACA repeal by restoring what had been rolled back at the state level. They decision was made in reaction to fears of a mass exodus from the state and also to ironically stabilize the state’s healthcare system. Yes, the ACA brought stability as advertised.

Connecticuit, Maryland, California and New Mexico are just a handful of other states that are working to restore and expand on the parts of ACA that were repealed at the state level. Massachusetts passed legislation earlier this year to improve Romneycare in reaction to the ACA repeal as well.

…This is something many of you who follow me on Facebook have seen me talk about alot but it always bothered me that after the ACA repeal, there was no news of states adopting their own version of it until now. New Jersey is the first to step up when it counts big time. Given the circumstances, they were forced to go this route though it was the right move. More states with college.

Now, let’s see if we can get some action in Education: As of 2017, you can go to a 2-year school in Boston for Free.

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The Korean War to officially end 65 years later   Leave a comment

Image result for Korean War Ends

 

The Korean War (1950-1953) will always be remembered as the first modern proxy war. Although a ceasefire was signed in 1953, no peace treaty had ever been signed so technically the war never officially ended. The outcome of the war had lasting consequences not just for the region but the balance of power over the last 65 years. North Korea would have 3 leaders–Kim il Sung, Kim Jong Il and Kim Jong Un–all from the same family since the Korean War ended in 1953. South Korea would have 8 presidents in the same span of time.

Think about that.

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History will record the 2018 Winter Olympics as the watershed moment that led the formal signing of the Peace Treaty on Thursday, officially ending the Korean War. In December, South Korea invited North Korean athletes to compete with them as one unified Korean Team in the 2018 Winter Olympics in Peong Chang, South Korea. After the Olympics ended, the door was opened for dialogue between the leaders of North and South Korea.

That was the opportunity for common ground former NBA Superstar Dennie Rodman, who is a friend of North Korea’s Kim Jong Un said would one day come a few years ago. Rodman was vilified in the media for not using his friendship with North Korea’s dictator to advocate for the release of westerners being held prisoner in North Korea. He made it clear he was no diplomat and was no negotiator. These were not the purpose of his visits to North Korea, which can only be entered via China and only with written permission from the North Korean government. It’s no fair to say he has been vindicated for what he said at the time.

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…This is history.

This is North Korea’s Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s Moon Jae-In. This is the first time the leaders of both countries have met ever and they have only been talking for a few months now. The two leaders met at the DMZ Boarder where Kim Jong Un crossed into South Korea to a throng of excited international journalists and soldiers from both countries. The two formally signed a peace treaty as the world watched in amazement. In the span of about 8 months, what was long considered the most hostile country in the world had taken its first steps to lasting peace in the region.

Contrary to what #45’s fans said at an event Saturday afternoon–they chanted “Nobel!” at him–#45 and the U.S. had NOTHING to do with the peace talks between North and South Korea. In fact, he said he plans to walk out of a planned summit that will involve all three leaders (Trump, Moon and Un) “If he feels like it.” So, yeah. Let’s not give credit to a person or country that not only doesn’t deserve it but had a hand in the war that split the Korean Penninsula in two in the first place. Plus it will be a very bad look for the U.S. should #45 walk out as he has threatened to do.

South Korea became Democratic and like Japan after World War II, fell under the military protection of the U.S. Unlike Japan, South Korea was not only allowed to keep their military but they received a blank check from the U.S. to bolster their military along the boarder with North Korea. On that note. Every year since the end of the Korean War, the U.S. would do joint military exercises with South Korea as a “show of force” to North Korea (and by extension China). South Korea requested the planned exercise for this year be postponed as formal talks between the North and South began.

North Korea became Communist with the guidance of the Soviet Union and later China. It would come to be known as the most secretive country on the planet and hasn’t changed much since the end of the Korean War. Foreigm Journalists who are allowed into the country from time to time are followed by “Government Minders”, government officials who “escort” them from within the country. Not only does one need permission to enter North Korea but one also needs permission to leave the country. It’s death to those who are caught trying to illegally cross into South Korea, China or Russia (which all boarder North Korea) as well as their families in many cases. Foreign nationals arrested at the boarder are usually given harsh sentences for the purposes of propaganda.

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…This picture of the Korean Peninsula highlights the disparaties between the two countries. The South is modern while the North has little to no infratructure to speak of. Such is to be expected of a country that has closed its boarders to the world and is wary of who or what it lets in or out.

This is to speak nothing of the recent problems that have started to trickle out of North and is likely why Kim Jong Un has taken steps to shut down the country’s Nuclear Weapons research:

 

  • There has been a sharp increase in North Korean soldiers deserting and crossing into South Korea from North Korea in the last year.
  • There have been increased instances of North Korean soldiers allowing North Korean nationals to cross into South Korea. North Korean soldiers have orders to shoot on sight anyone trying to cross into South Korea.
  • Reports of famines and food shortages in North Korea are nothing new but things have reached crisis-level that even North Korean officials are not immune from.
  • Medical examinations and autopsies performed North Korean defectors and the bodies of those who died shortly after crossing into South Korea have revealed digestive diseases and illnesses are rampant. Cholera, Dysentery and tapeworms to name a few.
  • Rumors have been rampant for years that North Korea’s First Lady Ri Sol-Ju–formerly a government cheerleader–may be sterile and has failed multiple times to produce an heir since their marriage. Her sudden disappearance from the public eye until recently fueled speculation she had join the members of the Kim family who were executed. She joined her husband for the Inter-Korean Summit held in South Korea.

Things have reached the point it where would be fair to now say North Korea is a failed state. Unlike Afghanistan at the end of 2001 however, the transition will obviously be different. Other dictatorships would dig in deeper in this kind of situation but Kim Jong Un has instead begun moving to open the country to the world. These are interesting times not just for the region but the world and most importantly, the Korean Peninsula.

My guess is North Korea will likely go the same as Cuba in some regards and China in others in regards to human rights. Kim Jong Un is clearly preparing the country for life without him running it. Of the 3 possible successors after his father passed away, he was chosen simply because he was still in the country and was of age. He was the youngest of Kim Jong Il’s three sons and one of who who was in North Korea when their father passed away about 10 years ago. One brother, who was living in Malaysia had little interest in politics while the other, who was in the country was deemed unfit for rule.

So, the youngest son became the new leader of North Korea by default. It seemed he would continue where his father left off but Kim Jong Un has made many efforts to counter and even conflict with those who supported his father’s regime. A few years back, he personally executed his uncle, who was his top advisor along with other senior staff to head off a rumored coup being planned.

Having secured absolute power, the Nuclear Weapons program he developed deep underground appears to have been his way of heading off further dissent within the military. It would seem he never actually intended to make a nuke as his father did even though he did progress much further than the world thought he would. And now he’s shutting down said Nuclear Weapons program. More than likely Kim Jong Un is preparing to open North Korea to the world for the first time since the end of the Korean War.

The needs of the North Korean people are many to say the least. We’re talking about a whole nation that was isolated from the outside world for 65 years. If and only if the world comes together, the current generation of North Koreans might be able to chart their own desitinies.

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Marvel’s Black Panther (2018) masterfully tells several stories at once   Leave a comment

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The Black Panther (Played by Chadwick Bosewin) was first introduced in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) during the events of Captain America: Civil War. Then crown prince T’Challa accompanied his father the late King T’Chaka on a diplomatic trip, who was killed when the building they were in was bombed. T’Challa sided with Team Iron Man because The Winter Soldier Bucky Barnes was implicated as his father’s killer. In the aftermath of the fight between Team Iron Man and Team Captain America, T’Challa arranged for both Steve Rogers and Bucky Barnes to be hidden in Wakanda, the latter man crygenically frozen until the mind control he was under could be safely removed.

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Unlike Thor, The Black Panther is not based on a specific mythological being. This gave the director–who also happens to be African American–a TON of freedom to bring Wakanda and its Superhero King to the big screen for the first time. For those who are unfamiliar with the character, the Black Panther is not only a Superhero but is also an actual King of a sovereign nation. T’Challa is not only the Black Panther but is also the King of Wakanda. Above is the main cast of the film and as you can see, all but two of them are Black American or African. I’ll pause for a moment there and say this: Only in the U.S. is the term “African American” used to describe people of African descent who were born and raised in the U.S. Africans refer to them as Black Americans for reference. They only apply the term “African American” if an African immigrates to the U.S.

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…Getting back to Wakanda. Although it projects itself as a third-world country,  in truth it is the most technologically advanced nation on earth. This is because Wakanda controls 90% of the world’s supply of Vibranium, a rare mineral that is also the hardest in the universe. Concerned they could be targeted by other nations, Wakanda elected to hide in plain sight. They present themselves as a third world country while using cloaking technology to hide their vast technology from the world. They rarely allow outsiders entry into their boarders and the rest of the world is none the wiser. At the same time, Wakanda has spies and operatives in every other country on the planet to keep tabs on the rest of the world.

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By the time of the events of the movie, the newly crowed King T’Challa considers Wakanda’s centuries-old isolationist policy. On the one hand, keeping Vibranium from getting into the hands of those who would misuse it is priority #1. On the other hand, Wakanda’s vast resources could be used to help those in need outside their boarders. T’Challa is forced to deal with the matter head-on with the arrival of his cousin Erik Killmonger (played by Michael B. Jordan), whose father was killed by T’Chaka 34 years earlier.

Having grown up in the U.S., Killmonger and his father had a viewpoint and a worldview T’Challa and T’Chaka didn’t have. Clearly much was cut for time in the theatrical version but it would be fair to say Killmonger represented the modern Black American: A people whose ancestors were taken from their homelands (Slave Trade), enslaved (American Slavery), Segregated (Jim Crow), Marginalized (Mass Incarceration) and Suppressed (The Present). Too much didn’t need to be said for most who paid attention to understand who and what Killmonger portrayed. The restorative justice he sought wasn’t for himself but for the over 2 billion people of African descent worldwide who as a people had been exploited and victimized for centuries while Wakanda did nothing. That brings to mind this old saying: Evil prevails when good people do nothing.

Even though Killmonger was T’Challa’s main nemesis, you can’t help but feel for him on so many levels. Like many African American youth of the 80s and 90s, he lost his father at a young age. He grew up right when Clinton’s Mass Incarceration Policy would see Blacks imprisoned at a disproportionately higher rate than whites who committed the same or worse crimes. He would see attempts by black community activists undermined and outplayed by the establishment and others. He would see America’s first Black American president deadlocked by a Congress that would rather see him fail than do what they were elected to do. Let’s not also forget it’s stated he fought in the middle east first as a soldier and then around the world as a mercenary. He’s seen more than most so…yeah.

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Killmonger’s story was the deciding factor in T’Challa’s decision to open Wakanda’s boarders to the world for the first time in its history. As he said, one can’t help but wonder how Killmonger would have turned out if T’Chaka had taken him with him back to Wakanda. The sins of the father had been passed on to the son. Killmonger rejected the Wakandan way of life so thoroughly, he hid his face from T’Challa during their first encounter with a mask. He identifies with the masses worldwide who live in an oppressed society. A world T’Challa and Wakanda have never known.

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Moving on, T’Challa being surrounded by and supported by several strong, independent black women in positions of power sends a powerful message not just for black youth but women and girls in general. We live in a time where “Old Values” and “Traditions” feel under threat by the modern Women’s Revolution and the #MeToo Movement. Ideologies and beliefs that see women and girls as good for nothing but sex, having kids and minding the home and that’s how things should always be. They view displays of equality between the sexes as nothing more than “Make Believe” and calls for Women’s Rights worldwide “A good joke”.

…My point is the world is changing. It is all the more important that how things should be is represented in movies and tv. Regardless of one’s race or gender, everyone should decide on their own to be who and what they want to be. Not who or what others think or want them to be. Unlike most who have seen this movie regardless of weather they like it or not, that’s my thought on the matter. You will have those who will just see The Black Panther as nothing more than “The Black Superhero”. No one calls Captain America the White Superhero, no one calls Wonder Woman the female superhero and no one calls Daredevil the Blind Superhero. Captain America is a Superhero who happens to be white. Wonder Woman is a Superhero who happens to be a woman. Daredevil is a Superhero who happens to be blind.

Never mind the overt and subtle politics people see in the Black Panther. The fact of the matter is the premise is no less “offensive” than Superman, Batman, The Hulk/Bruce Banner or Thor. Yet is bothers some people none the less. The question I would ask those persons is why?

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Anyone who knows their history probably noticed this striking similarity and yes, it was intentional. On the left is the founder of The Black Panther Part, Huey P. Newton. He sits with a rifle in his right hand and a spear in his left. The tagline “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised” is in referenced to this song:

Gill Scott-Heron was an musician and poet who wrote and performed a variety of songs that scared that crap out of The Establishment in the 60s and 70s. Why? Because he spoke truth and encouraged people to think for themselves and be self-empowered. The song was used by The Black Panther Party to promote their movement–not that he minded–and that’s how it became both famous and imfamous.

He explains why he did this song in an interview 30 years later:

…He died in 2011 in case you’re wondering.

Getting back to this movie, the very idea of Black Power terrifies the world. I’ll just put it like that. I don’t mean military power but REAL power. The power to realize your full potential. Equality. Respect. Prosperity. There is a reason The Slave Trade is still referred to as America’s Original Sin and it’s because Reparations haven’t happened. Despite the UN again saying the U.S. owes Black Americans Reparations for the Slave Trade, Jim Crow and everything that’s happened since. Still, nothing.  As the saying goes, the longest rope has an end.

Those who dare to watch this movie may learn something from it. There are no hidden messages calling for Black Americans to arm themselves and kill white people. That’s just some paraoid foolishness White Supremacists are telling people. There are a ton of both suble and obvious references to what’s going on in the world today in the movie. This much is true.

…It’s also true that a Black Panther 2 WILL happen and has been confirmed.

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