Who Is A Dissident?


 

The current political climate in the U.S., as well as many other countries throughout the world, has had the gringa interested in what exactly is a political dissident. Considering how some of the gringa’s ideologies, beliefs and personal life missions are diametrically opposed to all things Trump, as well as the gringa’s big, fat mouth, is it plausible to think that the gringa is a dissident? What happens to dissidents? Will I end up in a Trumpian gulag? Well, the gringa is not a fortune-teller. So, lacking the skill to predict the future, the next best thing is to form a conclusion based on what has happened in the past. Let’s take a stroll down memory lane of dissident history:


Definition of a dissident: A person who opposes official policy, especially if within an authoritarian state.


Yep, sounds like the gringa is a dissident. And who are my most illustrious partners in crime?


Ancient Dissidents: Apparently, dissidents are nothing new under the sun for the civilized world. Ancient world history is rife with famous dissidents. For these well-known names, no explanation is necessary for the work they did to turn the world upside down and inside out.

  • Jesus 
  • Socrates
  • Buddha
  • Confucious
  • Leonardo da Vinci

Modern Era Dissidents: Regardless of where you live on this magnificent planet we all call home, you probably have a native-born dissident that will make you proud.

  • Argentina: Jacobo Timerman, although born in Soviet era Russia, was actually an Argentinian of Jewish descent. As an author, journalist and publisher he was a thorn in the side of the regime in Argentina of the 1970s responsible for what is known as the Dirty War. He was arrested, tossed in the clink and tortured by the government of Argentina who didn’t appreciate Timerman exposing their dirty, little secrets. 

  • Azerbaijan: Elnur Majidli is an Internet activist promoting the principals of democracy. He blogs and organizes from self-imposed exile in France. Considering that his native government has accused him of attempting a violent overthrow of the powers that be during the Arab Spring of 2011, seems he won’t be going home anytime soon. Although criminal charges against him were dropped in the summer of 2011, the gringa thinks he should play it safe and remain in France!
  • Bulgaria: The 70s were turbulent times in many places. In Bulgaria, communism held sway with a regime known for its oppression and brutality. So brutal, in fact, that writer Georgi Ivanov Markov was assassinated by one of the favorite methods of Communist Eastern Europe despots, poison. Markov was an active journalist known for outspoken diatribes against Bulgaria’s communist regime. Defecting to the UK would not protect him from Bulgaria’s retribution. An assassin fired a micro-sized pellet of ricin into his leg from an umbrella as they both strolled down London’s streets.
  • South Africa: The gringa feels no need to elaborate on this nation’s most famous dissident, Nelson Mandela. Although he eventually liberated his country, it came at the cost of decades of imprisonment and years of torture and deprivation.

The gringa watches as what can only become terrible history for her nation unfold around her. Certainly she joins the ranks of dissidents. There is no doubt that authoritarianism is an apt descriptor for the current administration. Should resistance prove unsuccessful at changing the mad course embarked upon by the US government, the slide into brutal oppression will most likely be rapid. 


For those who remain outspoken and open about their resistance, there may be prisons especially erected, just for us. Guards will probably be trained in unique methods of enforcement and information extraction, just for us. New rules will be created to manage those who remain on the outside, special social governance, just for us. Although the US has historically divided the population into groups of “others” defined by gender, sexual preferences, ethnicity and religion, those divisional lines will become blurred as a new citizen class is created, just for us. So, if the gringa suddenly disappears, check out the new dissident prisons I expect will be springing up. Maybe you can get on the visitor’s list!

Sources:  The New York Times

PBS

Image Credit: Art Of The State

Video Credits: NoteworthyNews’ Channel

BIO

The Modern Day U.S. Slave


While most Americans spent this past weekend focused on memorials of the tragedy of 9/11, the gringa found herself getting educated at a prison protest Saturday on the anniversary of the Attica Uprising 45 years ago.  I’ll give you a rundown of a bit of history and then share some details of today’s U.S. prisons that shocked the gringa when she came to a fuller understanding.

Attica Maximum Security Correctional Facility, New York, September 9, 1975

  • 1,281 prisoners take over D yard, an exercise field.
  • 39 prison employees & guards are held hostage.
  • 13 state police & prison officers launch a raid.
  • During the raid 10 hostages & 29 prisoners are killed, 89 seriously injured

Why did this happen? Frustration over deplorable living conditions:

  • Overcrowding
  • Censorship of mail
  • 1 weekly shower
  • 1 single roll of toilet paper for an entire month (the gringa goes through a single roll PER DAY)

Personal perspective of the prisoners began to change in the radicalized climate of the late 60’s and early 70’s. They began to see themselves as political prisoners rather than just convicted criminals. After all, isn’t our nation’s law enforcement, judicial and prison systems highly politicized? Aren’t convicted criminals often used as political pawns? Of course they are. And Attica’s inmates decided it was time to participate in the political system the only way a disenfranchised citizen can, through radical, attention getting protest.

Once the more than 2,000 inmates mobilized, a riot quickly ensued that included beating guards, acquiring weapons of any sort, and torching the chapel. One guard was thrown out a second-story window after a beating and died from his injuries days later. As state police struggled to regain control of the prison, D yard became the final scene of the showdown with a hostage situation that lasted four long days.

The prisoners requested U.S. Representative Herman Badillo to lead negotiations and offered their list of demands:

  • Improved living conditions.
  • Religious freedom.
  • No more censorship of personal mail.
  • More phone privileges.
  • Amnesty for prisoners in D Yard.
  • Safe passage to a non-imperialist country for any who desired to go.

Although negotiations were on-going and none of the hostages were being harmed, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller mobilized hundreds of state troopers and the National Guard which all soon descended upon the prison. Civilian observers who were present were dismayed by the Governor’s overt show of force and asked for him to personally appear as a sign of good faith. Rockefeller refused. Instead he gave the order for an act of force that resulted in a massive and tragic loss of life. The gringa thinks this was totally unnecessary and quite typical of the cowboy mentality that seems to take hold of the wrong kind of people who come into positions of power over other people.

Many would argue that strong leadership means being forceful and making a powerful display of strength and authority when challenged. The gringa disagrees. When in a role of managing the care of fellow human beings, even if they are convicted criminals, a strong leader must be a wise and humble benefactor. Human beings are complicated creatures with complex needs. Rockefeller was wrong to do what he did. Going in with guns blazing is absolutely the wrong approach to solve any crisis where human lives are at stake.

Rather than continue negotiations Rockefeller demanded the inmates’ surrender. They responded to his challenge by holding knives to the throats of their hostages. In short order 3,000 rounds of bullets tore through clouds of tear gas and killed not only inmates, but one fourth of the hostages. Emergency medical responders testified that some of the prisoners were shot and killed as they lie on the ground after surrendering or being wounded.

In light of this disastrous plan implemented by New York’s governor, Rockefeller tried to deflect blame with false stories fed to the press that the inmates had slit the throats of the hostages and even castrated one. Rockefeller was either extremely ignorant or extremely arrogant if he thought autopsy reports would not expose his lies. There was an eventual Congressional investigation into this cover-up and frame job of the inmates as brutal executioners.

The final aftermath of the Attica riot has reserved its place in history as the worst prison riot the United States has ever seen:

  • 43 people killed.
  • Weeks of reprisals against prisoners with torturous treatment involving nightsticks, broken glass and other measures.
  • Substandard medical treatment if it was administered at all.
  • $2.8 billion class-action lawsuit filed by 1,281 prisoners against Attica & state officials.
  • $8 million awarded to prisoners in 2000 & divided among 500 inmates.
  • By accepting death benefit checks or paychecks, prison officers & their survivors unknowingly forfeited their right to sue the state for its debacle of a rescue plan.

Today’s Prisons

The gringa can’t speak on behalf of prisons in every state, but will share two distinct and troubling characteristics of prisons in her home state of Texas:

  • Prisoners are expected to work for zero pay & can expect retribution if they refuse, often being placed in solitary confinement.
  • Prisoners must pay a $100 co-pay in order to receive medical treatment.

The gringa is struck by many shocking conclusions upon becoming aware of these facts:

  • A for-profit prison system benefitting from productivity from enslaved Americans creates a society where there are incentives in place for the justice system to generate as many arrests and convictions as possible.
  • The common thread among prisoners is financial status. Whereas the slaves of America’s past were defined by race, today’s slaves are defined by lacking the funds to launch an aggressive legal defense, which still results in minorities being over-represented in U.S. prison populations.
  • By targeting the poor as easy to imprison & profit from, a capitalist society is further growing the impoverished slave class by fracturing families and extracting breadwinners. The fractured family is further burdened by creating a single parent who needs to provide for herself, her children and her imprisoned loved one who, because enslaved and performing prison labor without pay, cannot provide for his commissary needs. The loved one on the outside must also pay for their imprisoned loved one’s toothpaste, socks, toilet paper, medical care, etc.
  • The ugly laws of the 1920s, designed by America’s elite class to rid public streets of the unsightliness of undesirables by criminalizing behaviors typical to impoverished people, have simply been reinstated through various other laws that target the poor American.

The gringa has no solutions. I have only just now had my eyes opened to the complexity of this disturbing issue. Like a good, little patriot I have been conditioned by my society to believe it is acceptable that prisoners should have, at the very least, an uncomfortable time of it. I have also been conditioned to believe that complaints by prisoners are always a con job, they are simply not to be trusted. However, by conditioning Americans to ignore the plight of prisoners, capitalists have been empowered to pursue policies that have targeted the weakest among us in order to create a slave class they can profit from.

The gringa heard the story of one mother who was visiting her 19 year-old son on the one day weekly he is able to see his loved ones. I listened in horror as she told me a tale that could have happened to my own son. A tale of a teenager arranging to purchase some expensive sneakers he had seen online. However, when he met the individuals to exchange his money for the shoes, they took his money and basically ran. It was a scam. Incensed, he tracked down the individuals and gave them a beat down to get the shoes he had paid for. He was charged not just with assault, but also with robbery. Being high end sneakers, the sale price constituted a felony. This young man was facing 8-25 years of hard time and having to place his trust in a court appointed attorney. Unlike many others like her son, this mother was very fortunate to work out a deal with a youth program yet he will still serve 6 months in prison that will certainly be a harrowing experience that will change him forever. Because he beat up a con artist and took back his shoes.

Might an affluent teenager with a hotshot lawyer have gotten off with a fine and probation or perhaps even an aquittal? It’s highly likely. However,  a low-income, minority teen is advised by a court appointed attorney to work out a plea deal, securing, at the very least, 6 months of free labor for a capitalist prison system model to profit from. And the young and strong are who the for-profit systems want for slave labor. Even a minimal sentence is a good thing for prison profiteers. It increases the chances that a 6 month slave will return for a longer stint of labor in the future. The system is ensuring that as much of the poverty rabble as possible is kept off of America’s streets and enslaved for the profit of corporations. This is outrageous.

What is the interest of a court appointed attorney who takes on a case for free? His interest is to get the case over with as soon as possible so he can get back to jobs that pay. This is not justice. Consider just a few very telling statistics and see if the gringa is right when she says that the United States should be very ashamed:

  • U.S. population of nearly 320 million.
  • In 2014 more than 2 million Americans were in prison & nearly 5 million were on probation or parole.
  • 1 in 5 prisoners are convicted of a drug related offense.
  • The underprivileged are disproportionately imprisoned, marked by the following factors: income status, race, & level of education.

The gringa does not believe any of this is an accident. Re-designing prisons as modern day plantations is purposeful. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed. This had an incredible economic impact for bad or good depending on where a person stood. For minorities it was an economic boon, finally having their right to equal job opportunity and equal pay protected. For businesses that had enjoyed the freedom to pay as little as they pleased to minorities, they suffered. Imbittered, it did not take long for American businesses to devise a work around.

Within 7 years President Nixon announced the U.S. War on Drugs. Within another 7 years America’s prison systems were privatized to deal with exploding prison populations as a result of the War on Drugs. A war that has been effectively proven to disproportionately incarcerate poor, non-violent, drug offenders that are more of a threat to themselves than society, and most are capable of complete rehabilitation. American business preserved their slave class despite the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. And it continues today.

Although the average citizen is conditioned to point the finger at inmates for their less than humane living conditions, what of the creators and enforcers who have the power and resources to implement change that would be decidedly better? What about other first world countries who are successful with humane, rehabilitative prison systems that are minimally populated and experience extremely low rates of returning inmates?

The gringa believes this is all by design as well. By creating and enforcing conditions that dehumanize even a non-violent drug offender who originally was no real threat to the public at large, for-profit prisons can damage a human so badly that person is incapable of living successfully and independently as a free man or woman. They ensure their slave workforce by intentionally designing living conditions that psychologically ruin a human being’s ability to ever have healthy emotional and working relationships. In the gringa’s opinion, this places every prison official in the category of guilt of crimes against humanity. And it seems that the United Nations agrees with the gringa, making it very clear that the United States is not living up to UN standards of humane treatment of incarcerated peoples.

I urge my dear readers who are as alarmed and as concerned as the gringa to use whatever is your gift or talent to help bring about awareness and change. The U.S. model of how criminals are dealt with is barbaric. No other civilized, first world nation operates in such a way. Human beings that are poor, or of the wrong ethnicity, are considered disposable in the United States. You only get one chance and if you make a mistake and end up in the prison system, there is no rehabilitation, only living conditions that reduce human beings to their basest instincts for survival. U.S. imprisonment is modern day slavery that creates a social stigma that prevents any success once free, only recidivism just to survive, where a person is then guaranteed a return to the plantation.

The gringa has provided below some video and photos from the rally.

Chants of the protestors:

Judy Kotun who told me the story of her 19 year-old son:

Samsung
Samsung

 

Sources:

www.history.com

www.prisonpolicy.org

Incarceration on Wikipedia

www.bloomberg.com

stanford.edu

www.un.org

Image Credit: tse1.mm.bing.net

 

 

 

Good Guy/Bad Guy – Who Needs ’em?


The good guy/bad guy narrative is a literary classic. It seems rooted in religious beliefs of good and evil and non-religious esoteric beliefs of Yin & Yang. For every good guy there seems to be a universal need for a counterbalancing bad guy. Is this realistic? Is this necessary? The gringa would like to believe that bad guys and evil are simply obsolete. I mean, haven’t we reached that point yet in the evolution of humanity that we don’t need the contrast of the bad in order to recognize and appreciate what is good? And if we are basing our good guy/bad guy theory on ancient teachings that use real world examples of good and evil, what if those past histories are incorrect? After all, aren’t historical records always skewed according to the perspective of the author, whether they be the victor or the vanquished?

Take, for example, one of the earliest examples of good guy/bad guy: Egypt and the ancient Israelites. According to the religious teachings of Judaism and Christianity, it is widely accepted that the Egyptians were the “bad guys”, enslaving the Hebrew people who were eventually chosen by God to be the “good guys”. However, historians and archaeologists who specialize in Egyptian history, not to mention Egyptians themselves, argue that this is an unfair depiction of the relationship between the ancient Egyptian empires and the surrounding less powerful nations and peoples. Can science and historians reveal the truth?

David Wolpe is a rabbinical scholar who argues that archaeological evidence simply does not support the biblical notion that ancient Egypt practiced widespread enslavement of the Hebrew people, or any people for that matter. But just because evidence hasn’t been found doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist. So let’s look at the historical facts that are known and the science of archaeology to understand these facts.

1700 B.C.

Before their enslavement, the Hebrew people migrated to Egypt to survive a famine. The biblical record maintains that they were there for several generations. There is basically a 300 year gap between the appearance of the Joseph story and Moses.

1400 B.C.

The earliest possible date suggested by the Jewish and Christian religious texts for the enslavement of the Hebrew people by Egypt would have been 1400 B.C., in other words, about 300 years after the era of the pyramids.

So what was going on in Egypt from 1700 B.C. to 1400 B.C.? Why would Egypt need widespread enslavement if the grand monuments had already been constructed?

14th Dynasty

Egypt’s 14th Dynasty ruled anywhere from 1725-1650 B.C. or 1805-1650 B.C. depending on which historian you talk to. Regardless, this would have been the dynasty in power when Jewish and Christian texts claim that Joseph took his family to Egypt in order to survive the region’s famine. His family would grow to become the Hebrew people. Does the known history and archaeological science support that a famine occurred in the region during this time? What kind of science might be used to find out?

Interestingly enough, an examination of pollen buried deeply in Egyptian soil around the Nile reveals that a devastating drought occurred at this time in history. This region was dependent upon the annual floods of the Nile Delta to enrich their agricultural lands. A drought would have, indeed, resulted in a famine.

So what would life have been like as an immigrant in an ancient Egyptian kingdom?

Archaeology reveals that rulers during the 14th dynasty had names that indicated Canaanite or Western Semitic origins, with one king and queen with Nubian names. So, it seems that at this time Egypt was an ethnically mixed bag. These kings and queens would be involved in conflicts with neighboring rivals to control the strategic area of the fertile Nile Delta. Control the agriculture, control the food. Eventually a prolonged period of famine and disease weakened the kingdom which then fell to a takeover by the Hyksos. The Hyksos takeover would have occurred after the suggested time of the Hebrew Exodus story.

So, pre-Hyksos Egypt was noted by industrious multi-ethnic rulers who jealously defended the Nile Delta with military might and concentrated on building extravagant monuments to demonstrate their success as rulers. Rulers during the time period 1800 B.C. to 1650 B.C. contain a series of non-contested figures as well as controversial names:

  • Yakbim Sekhaenre (contested): 1805 B.C. – 1780 B.C.
  • Ya’ammu Nubwoserre (contested): 1780 B.C. – 1770 B.C.
  • Qareh Khawoserre (contested): 1770 B.C. – 1760 B.C.
  • Ammu Ahotepre (contested): 1760 B.C. – 1745 B.C.
  • Sheshi Maaibre (contested): 1745 B.C. – 1705 B.C.
  • Nehesy Aasehre (uncontested): 1705 B.C., name means “The Nubian” inscribed on 2 known monuments.
  • Khakherewre (uncontested): 1705 B.C.
  • Nebefawre (uncontested): 1704 B.C.
  • Sehebre (uncontested): 1702-1699 B.C.
  • Merdjefare (uncontested): 1699 B.C.
  • Sewadjkare III (uncontested): 1698 B.C.
  • Nebdjefare (uncontested): 1697-1694 B.C.
  • After this there is a list of names established as Egyptian kings of the 14th Dynasty but without designated dates for their reigns.

What do we know about these kings and the conditions of their kingdoms that might have any affect on the good guy/bad guy designations in the Jewish and Christian religious texts?

  • Majority of the cartouches excavated refer to each reigning king as “son of Ra” in addition to whatever the king’s individual name was.
  • During Sheshi’s reign 1745-1705 B.C., seals with his provenance have been discovered in archaeological digs in Egypt, Nubia and Canaan suggesting that his kingdom enjoyed widespread trade and relations outside the immediate borders of Egypt. Some scholars believe this to be the Sheshai mentioned in Jewish and Christian religious texts as being of the Anakim of Hebron when the Hebrews conquered the land of Canaan.
  • If Sheshi had good trade relations with the people of Canaan and was the ruler of Egypt when the Hebrew people conquered Canaan, it would only be natural that Egypt might then take a posture of hostility toward the Hebrew people.

It is then possible that the ancient Hebrew people were not victims of the ancient Egyptians. They may have been viewed as nomadic invaders who disrupted trade with allies. It reminds the gringa of European history and stories of Viking raiders. The Hebrew people also practiced a foreign religion that was monotheistic. It is easy to see even today how religion can play a big part in hostilities between cultures that can lead up to oppression and even war.

I mean, think about it. The Hebrew people first show up needing a place to survive a famine. Egypt graciously takes them in. Then, after weathering the storm, growing fat and happy as well as increasing in population and herds who need grazing land, the Hebrews, within one generation, rise up and attack a trade ally, Canaan, a rich land for Hebrew herds of sheep and goats. The Hebrew people take over the nation by slaughtering, according to the biblical account, every man, woman and child because God “told them so”. The gringa can imagine the horror of Egypt at these actions. I can also understand how the polytheistic Egyptians would decide that the single God of the Hebrews was a backstabbing baby-killer. No suprise then, that there would be no love loss between Egyptians and Hebrews that continued to live together in Egypt. Hebrews were probably eyed suspiciously and discriminated against, though probably not enslaved.

These resentments, deep in the heart of the Egyptians who saw their trade allies vanquished by people they considered to be dangerous heretics, would have most likely been an attitude that would have been passed down for generations. Just as politicians have used such emotions and history to stir up support for their cause throughout my own country’s history, the gringa thinks it is very possible the same type of politics were at play when it came time for the Hebrew people to rise up, claim oppression, revolt and march out of town. They just seemed to forget that they started it all.

The natural result would be for the Hebrew people to villainize Egypt, victimize themselves, then paint a heroic picture of their escape to inspire their own people and motivate them for noble purposes. On the other hand, the ancient Egyptians would have historians creating records for the pleasure of their rulers. They would depict their nation as benevolent and tolerant. Factions such as the immigrant, nomadic, heretical Hebrews would be painted as radical rebels stirring up unrest and not wanting to work.

So, in the end, the gringa does believe that, much as I would like to think that humanity has evolved to the point where we no longer need the good guy/bad guy narrative because people know better now, that’s simply not the case. As long as we have politicians who have something to gain by exploiting the differences in groups of people, we will always have the good guy/bad guy narrative. But it is a human creation, not a spiritual reality. And for kids who adore science as much as they adore truth, the science involved in archaeology can help resolve many divisive differences that exist today because of politicized religious teachings of yesterday. Become an archaeologist and change the world.

Sources:

www.biblicalarchaeology.org

www.ancientegypt.co.uk

wikipedia.org

Image Credit:  flashtrafficblog.files.wordpress.com

 

Trump – Connect The Dots


The gringa likes to steer clear of controversial politics. However, after researching Donald Trump’s candidacy for almost 12 months now, I feel compelled to share. Although all the candidates for the US presidency have their fair share of baggage and issues, I sincerely believe Donald is the only one who threatens to cause irreparable damage to my nation as well as to other countries around the world. So, while some candidates may be troublesome, Donald is downright dangerous.

This election season is historical and a struggle for the heart of our nation. Donald’s bigotry is dangerous. Those who deny this are: A. Right wing extremists who are trained in the art of subversion and misinformation; or B. Average folk who really don’t want to destroy their country but are caught up in the celebrity of Donald and doing nothing more than believing everything he says. This post is for those people in the hopes that it will open their eyes. To see the outline of Donald the white supremacist in chief, one only has to connect the dots.

Over the past year I have been going toe-to-toe with Donald supporters, dispelling and exposing their concerted efforts to recruit through misinformation campaigns. I have been threatened with rape, beheading, bombing, dismemberment and any other imaginable form of torture and murder, along with my loved ones. Although the gringa finds this disturbing, it only confirms my belief in the truth I will share, truth Donald supporters either don’t want to admit or don’t want to see the light of day. So, get comfortable. You are in for a long read, almost 4,000 words.

If you are a Donald supporter and become incensed by what I publish and feel the need to insult or threaten me, it’s no big deal to this gal. I’ve heard it all before. Besides, I am a direct descendant of a Mississippi Klansmen, my maternal great-grandfather, and have dealt with just about any insult you could throw my way. I will ignore your insults just as I have ignored that side of my family for years. Truth matters more.

Begin At The Beginning – Donald’s Early Years

Donald’s father, Frederick Christ Trump, was arrested in May, 1927. He was a KKK Klansmen participating in a “Fascisti” riot targeting Catholic New York City Police officers. Trump was arrested for assaulting New York City police officers. Arrested with him were fellow KKK Klansmen: John E. Kapp, John Marcy, Fred Lyons, Thomas Caroll, Thomas Erwin, and Harry J. Free. The arrest was reported in the June 1, 1927 edition of the New York Times as well as many other newspapers. Trump got off with a not guilty plea which is not surprising. One strategy of the hoods Klansmen hide behind is so that legally they can offer up a defense of no proper identification available as to their involvement in the crime.

Donald’s father enjoyed the power and benefits of KKK membership in an America that had not yet passed the Civil Rights Act (passage in 1964). This is the era where a young Donald, born in 1946, was raised and conditioned, being prepped to one day take over his father’s empire. A teenage Donald would have witnessed his KKK father’s reactions to Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Park’s famous bus ride, marches, protests and the riots and unrest associated with desegregation. The gringa does not believe that a KKK father would have left a multi-million dollar legacy to a son who was not with the ideological “program”. (Sources: boingboing.net/2015/09/09/1927,  www.ibtimes.co.uk/frederick-christ-trump,  www.scmp.com/news/world/article/1918462/1927,  www.vice.com/read/all-the-evidence,   www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3229542/).

Donald’s father needed effective legal counsel to help manage his real estate empire. Donald spoke of the family attorney as his personal mentor, perhaps even more influential than his own father to shaping Trump’s business style and persona as we see him today. This man was none other than Roy Cohn, aide to Joe McCarthy, and known for his anti-Semitism, hatred of Communists and brutal hatred of homosexuals. After service to McCarthy, Cohn became counsel to some of the most notorious mafia figures in US history: Tony Salerno, Carmine Galante, and John Gotti, just to name a few. In essence, Donald “mobbed up” with a vicious attorney who believed what our country calls “McCarthyism”. (Source:  www.politico.com/magazine/story/2016/04/, www.thenation.comwww.salon.com/2015/09/26/ ).

As Donald continued managing the helm of his father’s empire, his true racist colors can be seen in the transcripts of the Department of Justice case against a young Donald and his father’s empire for racial discrimination. Their racism is DOCUMENTED in court records. They were once again defended in court aggressively by their “McCarthy-ist” attorney. This occurred in the 1970s, less than a decade after the passage of the Civil Rights Act but it seems Donald and his father believed they did not have to change with the times.  (Source:  www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/12/15/, www.washingtonpost.com).

In 1991 a biography on Donald was published, “Trumped!”. Within the covers are quotes of Donald’s words to biographer O’Donnel about a black man working at Trump Plaza as an accountant. Donald’s words are very telling that, as of 1991, “grown man” Donald, no longer dependent on the approval of a KKK father, was still a well-conditioned racist: “… laziness is a trait in blacks… Black guys counting my money! I hate it. The only kind of people I want counting my money are short guys that wear yarmulkes every day.”  Donald said that. You can buy the book yourself or Google it.

Donald & His Special Interest Groups – Now

What about now? Has Donald changed? Is he still a racist, xenophobe Klansman in Republican disguise? The gringa believes he is based on the fact that his strongest support comes from special interest groups that are identified by the FBI, Southern Poverty Law Center and Anti-Defamation League as domestic terror groups, right wing extremists, white supremacists, white nationalists, radicalized Christians, radicalized Constitutionalists and conspiracy theorists and Donald has never denounced them publicly or vehemently. In fact he has allowed them to flourish and recruit at his rallies. His campaign’s success is greatly in part because of the effective recruitment campaigns of these domestic terror organizations. Let’s examine a few of these groups connected to Donald and see who they are, what they represent and what they believe Donald’s political ideology represents.

Donald’s first public endorsement by a white supremacist domestic terror group was Tweeted September, 2015:

@realDonaldTrump You Sir are the only hope we have of getting WHITE AMERICA BACK! WE all will be voting for you! CHURCH OF INVISIBLE EMPIRE  – Wm. Quigg (@GrandDragonCa) September 17, 2015

After this endorsement Donald came under media scrutiny. The KKK moved into damage control and attempted a public endorsement of Hillary Clinton. This move is very typical of the political strategies exercised by groups like this in order to propagate misinformation campaigns. The media and Clinton’s other political opponents ignored this ruse for what it was, but white supremacists still use this as a deflect argument when the truth of Donald’s white supremacy connections begins to hit too close to home in debate and argument. More on misinformation strategies of organizations like this will follow later in the post. For now the gringa is trying to stay on point about some of the domestic terror organizations linked to Donald.

Opening line quote from open letter to Donald from the national KKK chapter, published March, 2016 on their website, www.kkk.com, which he has never denounced:  “They hate you for the same reason they hate us.”

Most recent public endorsement of Donald by the KKK national chapter published May, 2, 2016 that Donald has not denounced:  “The reason a lot of Klan members like Donald Trump is because a lot of what he believes in, we believe in,” KKK Imperial Wizard. The KKK video can be viewed at www.thewrap.com  (Source:  www.sfgate.com, www.washingtonpost.com/news ).

Recent interview with former KKK Grand Wizard David Duke expressing his belief that Donald will enact a white supremacist agenda that Donald has not refuted:  freakoutnation.com/2016/05/.

Stormfront is a white nationalist domestic terror group that proudly supports Donald and has actively recruited at his rallies. Although this organization officially lists its membership at 30,000, it has the largest white supremacist web forum in the entire WORLD according to the FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center.  Its founder and leader, Don Black, was investigated, along with other white supremacist domestic terror groups, by the FBI in connection with the radicalization of Dylan Roof who murdered a church full of people in North Carolina last year. In Black’s appeals to fellow white supremacists he railed against the investigation as a violation of his Second Amendment right to freedom of speech. He believes speech is protected even if that right is exploited in the propagation of radicalizing propaganda designed to incite mass murder. (Sources:   www.postandcourier.com   and  www.splcenter.org/hatewatch).

Stormfront makes no effort to hide their faith in Donald to enact their white supremacist ideology as his political agenda should he become president. Title of article written by one of their members supporting Donald with this message as a byline: “Donald Trump is just the opening act. Yes, we will live to see a Fourth Reich”. (Source:  www.dailykos.com/story/2015/8/28/1416143/).

Southern Poverty Law Center has classified Stormfront as a white nationalist/white supremacist domestic terror group of radicalized right-wing extremists. This domestic terror group is connected with Donald Trump. A quote from their website states that they have actively recruited at Donald’s rallies: “Trump’s presidential campaign has received support from numerous white nationalist groups and leaders who have used his campaign to recruit followers, fundraise, and spread their message. Trump has retweeted white nationalists, repeatedly declined to denounce former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke in an interview, and gave press credentials to a white nationalist figure who also interviewed Donald Trump Jr.” Stormfront also announced recently that they had to upgrade their servers due to a 40% increase in website traffic since Donald’s sail to the top and Donald has NEVER denounced their support. (Sources:  www.stormfront.org/forum/t1149220/, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/04/17/).

A third white supremacist domestic terror group supporting Donald due to their belief that his political ideology aligns with their own is the Council of Conservative Citizens that boasts over 1 million members and growing. Dylan Roof, who murdered nine Americans having a prayer meeting in their North Carolina church last year, credited this domestic terror group’s website as one source of radicalizing propaganda. Introduction to an article on the CofCC website  expresses their belief in Donald’s white supremacist agenda and that he will “make America great again” by returning the nation to pre-Reconstruction Era policies. Donald has never denounced the support of this domestic terror group. (Source: www.amren.com/news/2016/03/).

The Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center and the FBI have all identified Council of Conservative Citizens as a domestic terror organization of radicalized extremists and this is yet one of many such organizations tied to Donald’s rise to the top as the Republican candidate. CofCC has also stated that it actively recruited at Trump’s rallies.  (Sources:  www.adl.org/combating-hate/).

Now, the dear reader may be asking themselves, “Are these fringe groups really that dangerous? I mean, isn’t it the radicalized ISIS style terrorists we should be worried about?” The gringa assures you that the domestic terror threat from Trump’s most fervent supporters is the REAL and PRESENT danger the US is dealing with. Consider the following data and information…

Since 9/11 only 45 Americans have lost their lives on American soil at the hands of radicalized extremists using the Muslim label. Those extremists were radicalized HERE, in America. Our vetting process of immigrants is working the way it is designed to work to protect Americans from imported terrorists.

However, since 9/11 right wing extremists, such as white supremacists, white nationalists, radicalized Christians, radicalized Constitutionalists, and conspiracy theorists, have murdered, injured and terrorized thousands of Americans. According to collated data from the FBI, on average, 337 events of domestic terror occur every year. These terrorist activities are performed by some of the very groups supporting Donald, not Muslims. To break it down easier, the average American is 7 times more likely to be injured or killed by a right wing extremist than by a radicalized Muslim. A few examples of the terrorist activities perpetrated by the types of domestic terror groups and individual domestic terrorists supporting Donald:

  • SC church massacre, 2015, by Dylan Roof, radicalized by white nationalist groups Stormfront & Council of Conservative Citizens, 9 AMERICANS KILLED
  • 1/8/2011 Gabrielle Gifford shot, 6 killed by Jared Loughner who was radicalized by the propaganda of anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant, white supremacist hate group American Renaissance according to DHS report.
  • Wisconsin Sikh Temple massacre, Aug. 5, 2012 Wade Michael Page, neo-Nazi, fatally shot six worshippers and wounded four others.
  • George Tiller murdered May 31, 2009 by radicalized Christian Scott Roeder. This occurred after he had already had his clinic firebombed by right wing extremists and had survived a previous assassination attempt, shot 5 times by radicalized Christian Shelly Shannon in 1993.
  • Knoxville Unitarian Universalist Church massacre July 27, 2008 by radicalized Christian Jim David Adkisson murdering 2 and injuring others while a children’s play was being performed. His manifesto stated that he hated “liberals, Democrats and gays”.
  • January 17, 2011 white supremacist/white separatist Kevin William Harpham was arrested after attempting to bomb a Martin Luther King Jr. Day Unity March in Spokane, Washington.
  • January 2012, Jason Barnwell, Jake Murphy, Dustin Hammond, and Gary Dodson, white supremacists, committed a racial hate crime of fire bombing the home of an inter-racial couple in Evening Shade, Arkansas.

Over a period of 86 years the KKK alone was responsible for lynching over 3,446 AMERICANS. That does not include unreported crimes, rapes, and assaults by the KKK or crimes committed by any number of white supremacist groups spawned since the KKKs inception.

Donald lies about Muslims being the REAL domestic terror threat. The FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center’s data and public reports both agree that the very organizations that support Donald, the domestic terror groups he is connected to and has never denounced, are the very REAL and present domestic terror threat. FBI quote published on their website regarding domestic terror:  “Today’s extremists are more challenging than ever. They’re affiliated with a variety of white supremacy groups, and they can be motivated by any number of religious or political ideologies… White supremacy extremists specifically target racial, ethnic, and religious minorities; the federal government;… Their tactics include assault, murder, threats and intimidation, and bombings. They also commit other kinds of crimes—like drug trafficking, bank and armored car robberies, and counterfeiting—to fund their hate-filled activities…”

White nationalists, radicalized Christians and white supremacist domestic terror groups and their terrorist in chief, Donald, are a greater threat to freedom in America today than radicalized Muslims have ever been. Anyone who says otherwise is either a white supremacist sympathizer attempting to misinform or a person who is simply ignorant of the truth.

Sources:  www.rawstory.com/2015/06/, securitydata.newamerica.net/extremists, www.fbi.gov/news/stories/2012/may/extremism,    thinkprogress.org/justice/, usuncut.com/news/, www.FBI.gov, Southern Poverty Law Center
Despite the official data from the FBI, Donald still insists on promoting anti-Muslim hate propaganda. Donald has re-stated recently that he will indeed require Muslim ID badges. This is an absolute unconstitutional position, requiring dismantling the fundamental principle of the Constitution, separation of church and state. NO federal, state, county or municipal ID requires religious identity. A person can change their religious identity whenever they please. It is not a permanent identifier such as physical identifiers.

But Donald goes even further than badges, dangerously further. He proposes to create a database on all activities of Muslim AMERICANS. He also wants to legalize warrantless searches of Muslim AMERICANS. Do you understand that? Because he is proposing an absolute ban of Muslim immigrants, his ID, database and warrantless searches agenda is aimed at AMERICANS.  (Source:  www.washingtonpost.com/news/,  thehill.com)

Political Strategies of Domestic Terror Groups

The dear reader may be wondering why the media doesn’t expose Donald. The dear reader may also be wondering why political opponents have not used this information as well to expose Donald. The gringa will tell you why. Every media outlet has their own political bias and agenda. They do not want to tank the careers of the politicians they support. And the racist domestic terror groups have perpetrated a very clever strategy to protect themselves from ever being exposed by either political party. This strategy is just as effective as the cloaks and hoods the KKK Klansmen use to hide their identities.

Radicalized racist domestic terror groups are neither Republican nor Democrat, although members have their own political affiliation. Throughout history they have aligned with either party depending on which was most expedient at any given time to further the white supremacist/nationalist cause. And at THIS PRESENT TIME they do not necessarily identify as Republican, but as Donald’s supporters. White supremacists/nationalists only exploit the advantages of power within each party. A white supremacist/nationalist is neither a Republican nor Democrat, even if it is actively supporting one of the parties. The political party identity is really only a means to an end, furthering a white supremacist/nationalist agenda. The loyalty of a white supremacist/nationalist is only to their racist agenda and white nationalist identity.

What this strategy effectively does, then, is muddy the political waters.  The effective political strategy of moving between both parties has created a dirty political history with skeletons in both party’s closet. This strategy results in NEITHER party ever going after an opponent hard about any white supremacist/nationalist support they may be receiving. It is another way white supremacists/nationalists are able to hide under the shrouds of political party shame, knowing full well one party cannot call out the other party on the connection because they both have history. By infiltrating BOTH parties at different times in history white supremacist/nationalist organizations have ensured they can wear this cloak of shame and remain hidden as they push through their political agendas.

The leaders of these domestic terror groups supporting Donald are not uneducated hillbillies living in bunkers in the deep woods (although many of their minions are). The leaders of these organizations are highly educated, many of them have law degrees, specializing in Constitutional law, medical degrees in psychology that enable them to develop effective recruitment propaganda. And ever since the first day that they have been forced to submit to a black man’s presidency, they have been fervently strategizing and infiltrating powerful political parties for this very moment in time.

These infiltrators are in America’s state legislatures, governors’ mansions, city councils, sheriff’s departments, school boards, city police departments and, most importantly, the Republican party. They have already staged a successful coup of one of the nation’s most powerful political parties and they are staged to next take the White House. And the discriminatory “bathroom” legislation going on the deep South now comes as no surprise once people understand what is going on.

Transgender Americans have been using public bathrooms associated with their gender identity for decades without any outcry. There is absolutely no criminal data to suggest it has ever been a problem. Yet now the transgender community and the LGBT community at large are the targets of discriminatory laws in southern states in the control of right wing extremists. It is a test. These domestic terror groups are determining what kind of resistance they should expect from the public once Donald takes office and rewards the special interest groups that helped him get there by giving them exactly what they want, free reign to oppress and discriminate against non-whites and non-Christians. And the LGBT community is the “safe” group to target right now without fully exposing themselves and their full race/religious based agenda.

White supremacists/nationalist domestic terror groups have become highly active with recruitment and their ranks have been growing with Donald’s supporters. Recruitment propaganda uses key emotional trigger words such as “patriot” and “conservative”. Not all political groups that use these labels are white supremacist, but many are and you have to be careful. White supremacist recruiters are highly trained to be subversive. These are not rednecks from the backwoods. A white supremacist/nationalist recruiter is not going to approach you and say, “Hey, I’m with a racist organization. Wanna join?” No, they tap into a person’s Christian or politically conservative outrage at having to live politically correct and gradually condition them to a white supremacist ideology.

And don’t be surprised to see a few acceptable minorities mixed in to a “public” face for these organizations. Much like how Donald exploits Ben Carson and other minorities, placing them in the limelight. This strategy is so when white supremacist connections are pointed out Donald and his supporters can point to their “cover” and say, “Look! Donald’s even working close with minorities. He loves them and they love him.”

And if a person gets too close to exposing the truth about Donald’s white supremacist/nationalist domestic terror group connections, the favorite strategy these groups use is to deflect with the accusation of the Democrat party’s connection with the KKK. In particular they like to point the finger at Hillary’s relationship with Robert Byrd. The gringa has already explained the inter-party relationships white supremacists historically have with both political parties as a strategy to protect them from exposure. However, to move beyond that neutralizing argument, let’s examine Democrat Senator Byrd’s history and put that argument to bed once and for all as well:

The REAL story on Byrd and why it’s a non-issue with the media & other candidates who see it as NON-relevant: A young adult 20-something Robert Byrd was a KKK recruiter in the 1930s-1940s. He remained a Klansman during the early years of his 51 year career serving as Senator of West Virginia. Byrd later renounced his KKK past and called it “the worst mistake” of his life in his last autobiography in 1997. When interviewed, he warned all young people to steer clear of the Klan. He also publicly expressed deep regret at voting against Civil Rights legislation in the 1960s. Born in 1917, Byrd’s early life was conditioned in a heavily racist South (much like Donald’s dad) but he grew and socially evolved and recognized the error of such beliefs and became a changed man (unlike Donald’s dad).

I find it amusing when subversive white supremacists defending Donald’s white supremacist connections with misinformation use the Byrd argument. Their own argument defeats them. Their logic is that they reject and demonize the Democrat party/Hillary/Byrd because of historical connections with white supremacists. By their own logic, then, they must reject Donald whose white supremacist connections are very real, out in the open, active right now and obvious to everyone which is why white supremacists are working so hard on spreading misinformation on social media and any venue of open debate. And if misinformation doesn’t work to shut up a person they then resort to personal insults, attacks and, ultimately, intimidation. And that is exactly why every single non-racist, non-xenophobic, non-religious bigot must work even harder to defeat them despite the fact that they are well armed, well organized and have a history of intimidation, murder, arson and bombing as their methods of dealing with those who oppose them.

Sources: cited within the body of the article

Image Credit:  www.pbskids.org

 

 

Today’s America, Just a Civilization Rerun


If man is really an intelligent animal it would stand to reason that he would learn from his own mistakes. If he is an extremely intelligent animal he would also learn from the mistakes of others and the mistakes demonstrated in the annals of history. So, how smart are we, really? The gringa’s thinkin’, um, maybe not so smart.

As NASA and other space agencies throughout the world use their technologies to create models of what to expect from climate change, they have continued to share their knowledge with the world. Some folks are listening, others are not. Some folks are taking action, others are not. Of those taking action, it just doesn’t seem like their efforts are enough on their own. And considering what the world’s top scientists are warning everyone about, the gringa’s only conclusion is that, as a whole, man’s just not the sharpest pencil in the box.

Climate change scientists are concerned that the world’s current usage level of raw materials and natural resources is unsustainable, period. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. We have just got to stop using up all of this stuff! Just stop it, I tell ya! If we don’t, eventually the industries that depend on these resources will simply collapse because there will not be enough materials to support their production. But what exactly are we talking about? We are talking about the basic raw materials that end up being a necessary component in just about everything we use in everyday life:

  • Trees (lumber, paper, building materials, shipping containers, etc.)
  • Petroleum
  • Fresh water
  • Raw ores and metals (not vital for jewelry but vital for technology)

And that’s just a few, not to mention basic food crops like grains that the entire world is dependent on and requires vast amounts of fresh water for cultivation.

So what happens when vital industries collapse? How can the effect upon society be known? Won’t some very clever entrepreneur simply come up with a suitable alternative to replace what collapsed, using a completely novel material? Well, that’s not what history teaches us.

Throughout history many great nations and empires have collapsed due to some significant event that led to the decline of the population and their economy. The pattern reflects that such collapses of empires is usually preceded by a culture that becomes obsessed with accumulating wealth at the price of oppressing the poorer working classes. Once this becomes the societal norm the culture has become a predator vs. prey culture.

It seems pretty obvious to the gringa that, at least in her own country, the United States, this is the current state of things. So, if my nation has evolved into the cultural stage that precedes a collapse of the state system, is there anything that can be done to prevent the collapse or are we too far gone?

Experts say that the condition is possibly reversible if the culture will do one very important thing:  Reduce consumption to a sustainable level and distribute resources more equitably. This solution sounds pretty simple for a highly complex problem and civilization.

How in the heck do these experts expect Americans to change their consumer culture? Their consumer culture is EXACTLY what defines them. Americans are not proud of a heritage of literature or fine art or musical progenies who produce operas. Americans are proud inventors and innovators and entrepreneurs who sell lots of goods and services in order to make lots of money so they can turn around and buy lots of goods and services to serve as the evidence that they were successful to begin with by their own selling of goods and services. The gringa believes the United States is doomed because the very actions they believe has made the country great is the very behavior that is going to bring it down. Gross consumerism.

So, if America is doomed to collapse, then what will happen? Well, when the Roman Empire bit the dust centuries followed where the population declined. Sick folks couldn’t afford medical treatment so death rates were higher. Young people had uncertain futures so there were fewer pregnancies. What pregnancies there were experienced higher infant mortality because diets were poorer and medical treatment less accessible. The Romans also became dumber because education takes a back seat as a priority when a person is trying to eke out an existence in a collapsed empire. In fact, the population of Rome became widely illiterate.

Amazing how such an advanced civilization spoiled itself to the point that it collapsed and regressed and de-volved. But it happened. And it happened to more empires than just Rome. For example, these are other nations that made it to the pinnacle of existence and then fell to their deaths:

  • Minoa
  • Mycenaea
  • Mesopotamia
  • Sumera
  • Akkadia
  • Babylon
  • Abbasid Empire
  • Umayyad Empire
  • Sassanid Empire
  • Egypt
  • Hittite civilization
  • Mauryan Empire
  • Gupta Empire
  • Zhou Empire
  • Han Empire
  • Tang Empire
  • Song Empire
  • Maya civilization

Let’s stop there and note that the Mayans had reached a point in their society where they were ruled by kings. Their science and astronomy was highly advanced. Metallurgists and craftsmen created magnificent art and jewelry. And then this highly ordered civilization with their kings and calendars and sophisticated political system and complex culture lost well over 90% of their population.

This cycle of rise to power, period of indulgence then collapse into dissolution is worldwide. It has occurred in virtually every major civilization on every continent in the world. No people has been immune. And each civilization was arrogant enough to believe that they would be the exception to the historical rule. Much like my own nation.

So, the gringa watches and waits, considering the checklist of the many events that can trigger the collapse of a civilization:

  • Natural disasters
  • Environmental changes/catastrophes
  • War, civil war or foreign invasion
  • Technology development
  • Weapons development
  • Changes in trade
  • Depletion of natural resources
  • Cultural revolution and unrest

Well, pretty much everything on the list has either happened or seems rather imminent. So now what happens in the predator vs. prey model of America? Well, as the predator becomes more and more enriched, they begin to outgrow the available prey population. The population of the prey will continue to decline. The predator will then have to turn elsewhere to have their needs met. That can be done by creating wars for profit in other countries, assisting in regime changes to place in power a leader who is friendly and will allow exploitation of their people and natural resources, and trade agreements with friendly nations that openly exploit their natural resources and population. Yes, that is America.

But the bad news is that when a predator population begins to rage out of control and threatens the natural order of things, it also begins to decline with disease from growing fat with overfeeding. It then declines even more as it becomes malnourished due to a decline in available prey caused by its gross overfeeding. And then, finally, the predator weakens to the point that it can no longer regain its strength and former glory and a greater and stronger predator swoops in and takes out the competition. And this little rabbit is watching and seeing everything that the wolves are doing.

 

Sources:  www.nasa.gov

www.space.com

 

Image credit:  www.newsgrist.typepad.com

 

 

 

 

Moonports, Caves & Bubble Pads


With all the worry of climate change transforming the Earth into an uninhabitable wasteland, kazillions of dollars are being spent to develop technology to colonize the Moon and various other stellar locales. But, if climate change results in a rise in sea levels that wipes out much of our habitable geography, what about living under the water? Wouldn’t it be more practical and economical to develop under the sea rather than colonize outer space?

These are just the sort of questions Samsung Corporation hoped to answer in their newly released “SmartThings Future Living Report” featured on their Samsung Newsroom website. The report is really a cleverly crafted marketing scheme to promote their latest gadgets and devices available in 2016. They want to reassure everyone that their products are keeping up with the times and will not be obsolete when the day comes that we are all surviving masterfully under the waves.

The report was researched and authored by a team of qualified “futurists”:

  • Maggie Aderin-Pocock – Space Scientist who believes in a future of sub-aquatic cities
  • James Monighan, MD – Commissioned the report and believes that smart technology will make everyone’s life better
  • Arthur Mamou-Mani – Award winning architect specializing on futuristic design, lecturer at University of Westminster
  • Toby Burgess – Award winning architect specializing in futuristic design, lecturer at University of Westminster
  • Linda Aitken – Urban planner specializing in innovative design
  • Els Leclerq – Urban planner specializing in innovative design

The future this team of brilliant minds envisions is one with skyscrapers in the depths of the sea, transportation via sophisticated smart-drones, all encased in a self-sustaining bubble. What kind of technology will make all of this possible?

Skyscrapers – Megalithic structures that will dwarf the average skyscraper of today will be constructed of nano-tubes made of carbon and nano-threads made of diamonds. Yum, diamonds.

Earth-scrapers – In order to escape the ravages of life above ground, humans will also burrow into the Earth, surrounding themselves with insulating soil. Delving twenty-five levels deep, the mole people of the future will live cool as cucumbers.

Underwater Urban – Self-contained biospheres will house urban areas under water. The water will provide the oxygen and hydrogen fuel to run the cities.

Drone Taxis – No more wheels. Everyone will be trading in their cars for personal drone transport.

Bye-Bye Ikea – No more shopping at a local furniture retailer. Instead, folks will equip themselves with a quality 3D printer and create their own furniture themselves out of recyclable and renewable materials.

Smart Décor – Paint and wallpaper will become a thing of the past. Heck, you won’t even need a hammer and packet of nails for hanging pictures. Walls will actually be LED screens and you can download and install and photoshop to your heart’s content until you are surrounded with the décor of your dreams.

Holograms – If you think Skype is cool, wait until you can talk to a loved one three dimensionally via hologram technology.

Medi –Pod – Who needs to bemoan the good ol’ days when doctors made house calls when your home is installed with its very own medi-pod. Step in, turn on and find out what that nasty cough is all about. A handy dispenser will supply you with the appropriate medication and, if things look really bad, a surgeon can even operate remotely.

Samsung believes that the space race to colonize the Moon and maybe even Mars will continue but those colonies will probably be reserved for elite scientific explorers, courageous entrepreneurs and wealthy adventurers. Regular folk will stay here on Earth, surviving underground or underwater. As for me, I’m thinking the underground route looks interesting but I’m not ruling out a sub-aquatic chalet.

However, despite all of the social evolution and revolutions that have taken place and are still on-going, the gringa just sees more of the same ol’, same ol’. I see the wealthy living in their master-planned communities on Mars and the Moon. The upper and middle classes submerged in style, living as one with the dolphins. Working class folks like myself and the caveman will be in the deep-Earth barrio. And, the truly impoverished will be eking out a minimal existence in the ghetto wasteland of above-ground planet Earth.

However, despite the gringa’s cynicism, she has great faith and hope for humanity. Throughout history humans have always managed to innovate and practice incredible ingenuity to survive. Despite all the fears that trouble folk about how we will survive the catastrophe of climate change, the gringa believes folks aren’t really worried about whether or not they will survive. I think most folks are worried about “how” they will survive. As in:

  • “How will I survive with air conditioning?”
  • “How will I survive without a grocery store?”
  • “How will I survive without my car?”
  • “How will I survive without a light switch that works?”
  • “How will I survive without soft toilet paper?”
  • “How will I survive without a flushing toilet?”
  • And the big one… “How will I survive without the Internet, my laptop, smartphone and social media?”

But the gringa promises everyone that we will, indeed, survive. And probably become a better people for it.

 

Source: http://www.samsung.com

Image Credit: http://www.coilycafe.blogspot.com

 

Who Are The Real Entitlement Whinebags?


The gringa has been distracted with concerns about current war migrations and the possibility of future climate change migrants that I haven’t even noticed that my own countrymen are migrating as well. It seems to have been going on rather significantly for about three years now. A little over 4,000 did so in 2015. When I look back to the year 2006 the gringa discovers only 300 people bailed on the country. Why are so many more Americans renouncing their citizenship now?

Apparently, it all comes down to taxes. Now, the gringa hasn’t been on a political crusade and ranted and raged for a cause in some time so, perhaps now is the time. Especially since it’s an election cycle and the you-know-what is getting thick. So, be prepared for a clarifying earful about subjects such as “entitlement whinebags” and “propaganda hounds” aka, the GOP, aka, “compassionate” conservatives, aka, the Republican party. And get comfy because, clocking in at over 3,000 words, you, dear reader, are in for a long read of a long rant.

So, back to the original question… what kind of Americans are giving up their American citizenship and why… Many Americans expatriate to live in other countries. Many of these are Americans who are still working and earning. It is not just retired folk who expatriate. However, even though they live in another country, in the past, they retained their American citizenship because of all the benefits and security the nationality afforded them. Now, it’s just one big tax hassle to be an American in another country. So, they renounce their citizenship. Rather than work to change what’s wrong with their country, they take their ball and go home. Boo hoo.

You see, it doesn’t matter where an American lives. They still have to pay their income tax so that money can be used by the nation to maintain the country’s infrastructure, protect its citizens, and care for its less fortunate at home as well as vulnerable populations around the world. Apparently, these turncoats don’t want to contribute to the well-being of the nation, they only want to reap the benefits. I think that’s the description of an “entitlement whinebag”, someone who expects that they deserve something for nothing.

I mean, the gringa pays her taxes. The caveman pays his taxes. We don’t complain. For our contribution we enjoy lots of good stuff.

I can drive across the highway to the grocery store without the freeway bridge collapsing and killing me because the highway funds keep that bridge in good operating condition.

I can sleep peacefully in my bed at night, without a loaded pistol within reach, because taxes pay for an adequate police presence of law enforcement in my neighborhood.

I enjoy the luxury and safety of clean water running right out of my tap at a dirt cheap price (and so should the people of Michigan).

I don’t have to worry about airplanes falling out of the sky and squishing me flat because my country can afford to have proper safety management controls where air travel is concerned.

And the gringa can go on and on but I’m sure the dear reader has sufficiently gotten my point.

So, what about these renouncers. Who are they? Who are the most likely people to move to another country for work or retirement? Um, they are the people who can afford to. They are not the poor, working class, or even the middle class, American. They are the very people who live a life of comfort and luxury and point their fingers at the indigent and poor and berate them for having an “entitlement” attitude because they are asking their nation to provide such things as living wage protection, affordable healthcare, and affordable housing. Hmmm.

So, the privileged of the country want to enjoy more bang for their abundant bucks by living in another country where their dollar stretches farther. Bully for them but the poor, working folk are stuck back here in the States still eating beans. And, since the corporatists and wealthy are not pitching in their fair share to the household budget, the middle and working classes are the only ones supporting the household.

That is why our economy is suffering. That is why there is not enough money in the budget to do what should be done. If the corporatists and wealthy actually paid their legitimate taxes rather than hide their money in offshore accounts and enjoy the tax loopholes they are rewarded with for big dollar campaign contributions, there would be much more money in America’s household fund. We could easily afford to adequately fund our schools, care for our veterans, provide affordable healthcare for everyone, etc., etc., etc.

But the corporatists and wealthy continue to rob their country of what it is due. And, they use their “propaganda hounds” to convince others that expecting them to pay their fair share of taxes is something very evil called “socialism”. Um, that’s a lie. It’s actually called “obeying a taxation law that is fair, just and undiscriminatory”. You earn, you pay your fair share of taxes, EVERYONE, no matter how much you earn, even if you are a corporation. Period. That is not socialism. That is taxation is a capitalist democracy.

These privileged people are fully aware that they will still be taxed by their homeland even if they live outside its borders. But, they make the decision to do it anyway. Then they complain about the consequences when tax payment time rolls around. They bewail their condition of being double taxed, by the land of their birth as well as their new host country. The gringa doesn’t want to hear their crybabiness. They knew it going into it and made their bed. Now they need to lie in it and suck it up like big kids. Nobody made them move to another country.

So, for all the big money “entitlement whinebags” in and outside of my country, this rant is for you:

With regard to a nation as great as the United States providing healthcare for all of its citizens, let me ‘splain something to the selfish critics who have “got theirs” and don’t care about the working class people who have, for years, been employed by companies that did not offer health insurance and did not make enough money to afford their own health insurance but made too much money to receive Medicaid:

For the first time in over forty years, thanks to Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the gringa has coverage for my pre-existing condition that usually lands me in the emergency room 2-3 times a year. This epileptic also doesn’t qualify for disability because I WORK. Which means I had a revolving door of uninsured healthcare debt averaging about $10-20 grand every year except for now. Because of convulsions and recovery periods, my work cycle was usually work about three months, recover for a month, so I RARELY even made $10,000 annually. I was often out of a job after a health crisis. How in the heck could I possibly afford my medical bills?

In 2015 my medical bills were less than $2000. Thank you Obama and kiss my patootie those who have never walked a mile in those shoes yet want to deny those who have and offer no alternative. That is the GOP’s solution – no solution, simply ignore the need of Americans like me.

So, the real “entitlement whinebags” are those people who are simply too stingy to let a tax dollar be spent for a neighbor in need. “Entitlement whinebags” who resist any effort of the government to create a public benefit attempt to use “propaganda hounds” to protect their dollars by telling lies in an effort to convince everyone else that the benefits are only for undeserving people who don’t want to work and want something for free. That is a big fat lie.

The greed of the wealthy and corporatists, and their arrogant belief that the working poor are undeserving of any public benefit, are the biggest “entitlement whinebags” the United States supports. They live a life of indulgence that has divorced them from empathy and compassion.

Their selfishness leads them also to an argument of erroneous ignorance. All those past years of outrageously high medical bills, the gringa, being conscientious and responsible, always desired to be able to pay them. When you have people who are unable to pay for the medical services they receive, the doctors and clinics and hospitals have to absorb that loss. They do it by spreading the money owed them around, which basically means the cost of services go up. So, one way or another, the bill is paid whether it comes out of a tax funded benefit or an individual’s pocket paying for something at an inflated price to cover a loss. And, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but at least it’s a step in the right direction which is something that the Republican party has never done or even offered to do.

Many corporatists and wealthy Americans commit another error of ignorance. They believe that all the poor receive free healthcare. And, I might add, they resent that fact. They actually resent that they have to pay taxes that provide any benefit for the poor. They would rather keep their money and let every single poor American never have medical access. But, I digress, their error in believing that all the poor receives free healthcare is proof of how divorced from reality they are. Most of the poor in the U.S. are the working poor. The working poor make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

If they would take the time to educate themselves, rather than believe the “propaganda hounds”, they would learn that during the Clinton Administration the threshold for qualifying for government benefits was lowered. That created a situation where many poor people who were receiving public benefits were thrust off the dole and into the working arena.

You see, there was a big business boom during the Clinton years and he was scratching the backs of the corporatists who helped him get into office by creating a huge pool of low paid workers available. The ranks of the working poor swelled with an on-slought of unskilled, untrained labor which meant wages stayed low. Most of these were single mothers and the elderly.

We now have people that are pushing eighty-years-old in America working low wage jobs, barely able to feed themselves because corporatists and the wealthy do not believe a nation has any obligation to care for those unable to care for themselves. That is not “compassionate” Conservatism. Whether Conservatives want to admit it or not there are certain people who simply should not and cannot work and they are the Americans the other Americans should be caring for. That would be our old folks and medically disabled (however, I will share a dirty little secret – most Republicans do not believe that anyone is really medically disabled. They believe that every chronically ill person should be doing some sort of job and accepting their lot in life even if that means they can barely afford to feed themselves. Better they live a miserable quality of life than receive a taxpayer provided benefit).

As for single mom’s, don’t even get me started. Not only are they needing to feed, clothe, house and provide medical care for their children, if they work they also have to pay for childcare. How in the world can a mom do it on a forty-hour work week even if she makes $10 hourly much less the average $8 hourly that many actually work at? Huh? Please, answer me that?

Where are they going to find the money and time to manage the needs of their household and get a college education in order to better their conditions? Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. Is it likely? We all know that many of the mom’s are absolutely exhausted simply by caring for their children. A full-time job on top of that often takes what little bit they’ve got left to give. So, the reality is that most of these moms devote themselves to their children, placing all their hopes and dreams in their future, determined that their children will become college educated and they lay their own dreams aside.

Does that thinking really work for single moms? Take a look at the statistics. It doesn’t. The high school drop out rate in the United States is shameful. The majority of these children are being raised by single parents. The college enrollment rate for children of single parent households is equally shameful. Every single mental health professional tells the truth. Children of single parent households are simply not getting the attention they need. It’s not necessarily the divorce factor that is the problem. The problem is that when only one parent is bearing the burden of financial and time responsibility, they simply can’t provide enough of either.

If we want to preserve the greatness of our country’s future, it begins with securing a future for all of our nation’s children. Giving them the best opportunity to receive the nurture and attention they need to thrive and meet their potential. Children of single parent households need a country who recognizes that need and is willing to invest in assisting that household so that parent is not robbed of critical time with their child because they have to work a 50-60 hour workweek just to put food on the table.

And, you know what, if we would spend more money on our kids here at home rather than spending money to prepare them to go overseas with weapons, our country might just become a better nation. If this political party that is so resistant to caring for its own citizens in need would consider their hypocrisy of calling themselves “pro-life” when, in actuality, they are really only “pro-birth” because they don’t actually give a hoot about that “life” until it becomes old enough to join the military. Then, once that “life” has been exploited by the war for profit greed hounds of the Republican party and comes home damaged and in need of care and unable to work and care for itself, the party that exploited them is no longer so “pro” about their “life”. It makes me sick. But, I digress. Back to Clinton and his changing of the poverty qualification dynamics.

So, after Clinton’s revamping of welfare, many working class people became underemployed, thus underpaid, unable to even get a full 40 hour work week at times because the working class job market was swarmed with more people looking for jobs than jobs were to be had. Bad news for the working class, good news for the pro-Clinton companies who were getting paid back for their support with an opportunity to exploit the working class for their labor at dirt cheap wages.

And, because there were more working class people than their were jobs, the fierce competition created a desperation where anyone was just glad to have a job no matter how crummy the pay, few the hours and absolute lack of benefits. And, because the poverty line had been lowered, people who would once receive medical, housing and food benefits, now received nothing, despite the fact their earnings had not increased and may have very well decreased. And, poof, like magic, with the stroke of a pen, overnight, the poverty class in America seemed to almost disappear. It was only an illusion. In fact, the quality of life of these people was worse than it was before.

It didn’t matter what numbers a government official scratched on an official document, claiming that’s the minimum income to qualify as poverty class and entitled to a benefit. The reality was that the actual poverty level of real life stayed the same. So, more and more Americans showed up and work and toiled 40, 50, even 60 hours a week but still lived with a poverty income and absolutely no help from the government who had betrayed them and lied about their wage and living conditions. And many working class people couldn’t even find a 40 hour work week job. They settled for whatever they could find. Sometimes that meant two or three part-time jobs. And this problem has never even been admitted openly much less addressed and solved.

There have been a few years when I was unable to work at all. The caveman was the sole supporter of our family. He is a truck driver. Our income tax returns for those years was, well, I won’t say the number but most of you probably know that a truck driver does not make much money. For a family of four, he made too much to qualify for any benefit the government had to offer to “the poor”. We had to pay for housing, food, utilities, keep cars on the road, and, because the company he worked for did not provide health insurance, we also had to pay every single dime of medical expenses we incurred. And the epileptic gringa is expensive.

Now, a corporatist or wealthy person would be arrogant enough to feel entitled to criticize and say, “Why didn’t the caveman get another job with a different company that offered insurance?” Well, actually, he did get laid off once and got a job with a company with full benefits. But, my pre-existing condition wasn’t covered. So, alas, it really did us absolutely no good.

So, “entitlement whinebag” corporatists and wealthy who want to enjoy all of your wealth and not contribute to the upkeep of this great nation and be a good steward with your overabundance by helping those less fortunate, here’s some food for thought for your hateful, selfish, arrogant minds:

I am the working poor. And we are legion. Let me introduce you to us. We’re the people who press your suit and shirts at the dry cleaners. We are the ones who scrub the floor of the salon where you get your nails done. We wipe snotty noses in daycare centers and nursing homes. We pick the veggies and truck them to your supermarkets. We’re the folks who trim your lawn and give your dog a haircut. We change the trash bin liners in the hospital where you were born and dig the grave where you will be buried.

We live in barrio apartments surrounded by other working poor families who are all doing their best to feed their families. There are usually two parents here, working together to raise their children and find a way to take unpaid leave from work to see their programs and games while still managing to pay the bills.

We usually have only one very old car that is paid for. We can barely afford the liability insurance. Forget about a warranty and full coverage. If the alternator goes out or there is a minor accident, the repair cost comes out of our pocket. It may be way too much that a working class Joe can afford. Looking under the hood, a working class Joe scratches his head wondering how he is going to pay for the parts to get the car back on the road because he has to be at work at 6am in the morning.

Fortunately for working class Joe, his neighbors know exactly what’s up. We’ve all been there. Soon, all working class Joe’s neighbors have pooled some money together, driven him to the auto parts store, and several are working by his side with flashlights well after midnight until the car is finally fixed.

You see, “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy”, the poor working class enjoy something you don’t understand. We enjoy freedom. We are not slaves to the latest fashion trends. We have learned to live without them because we cannot afford them. We have learned to live without the manis and pedis. We have learned to live without the brand name can of green beans. We have learned to live without the vacations at the resorts. We have learned to live without the mall and high-end supermarket. We have learned to live without beef or chicken or any kind of real meat on our dinner tables every night. That is how we are able to pull out the last twenty bucks from our pockets and give it to our neighbor in need without complaining and resign ourselves to beans and rice for a week.

You see, the working poor understand and accept that we are our brother’s keeper. We don’t feel entitled to that last $20 even though we earned it. We see our neighbor’s need and understand it and can meet it so we do, even if it means personal sacrifice.

The working poor have a humble dignity the “entitlement whinebag corporatist and wealthy” will never understand. We do not have an “entitlement” attitude. We only ask that our opportunity to send our kids to college not be ruined by a broken arm, appendectomy or serious bout with the flu (or recurrent episodes of seizures).

And if the “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy” want to continue to turn their backs on this nation so they can keep all their wealth rather than contribute their fair share to the nation’s needs, easing their consciences with the delusion that the poor are not worthy of help, the gringa’s okay with that. Because, we don’t need them. We’ll do just fine without them. In fact, we’re better off without that kind of attitude. So, please do say “Bye, bye” to America and let the true, hardworking patriots have their damn country back, because we can fix it.