Black History Is Everyone’s History

Black History Is Everyone’s History

The contribution of black Americans to this country is huge, and undeniable and deserves to be taught in American schools, north or south.

Black History Is Everyone’s History

Editor: As 2022 Black History Month ends it is important to acknowledge the contribution of black Americans to the arts, sports, science, technology, and innovation. Let’s celebrate their amazing contribution to our country and support the rights of all citizens to participate in the American Dream in all its promised dimensions.

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 A Black Mark Not On Our History

As Black History Month comes to a close, let us acknowledge those African Americans that have made a positive impact on the United States and the world.  We all recall as children eating peanut butter spread on crackers as we learned about George Washington Carver, but little other significant Black history has been taught in our schools.  African-American contributions to our society remain mostly hidden; not celebrated, or taught in schools.  Black history has little representation in curriculums, what a shame; it should be an integral part of  our education, just as it has been an integral part of life and history. History and culture of African-Americans needs to be taught, alongside other cultures, including the typical Western European WASP and Greco-Roman past. Nothing is done in isolation, certainly not improving the world.

Black History Is More Than A Month…

Founded by historian Carter G. Woodson to honor the attainments of black men and women, it originally began as a week-long celebration known as “Negro History Week” in February of 1926, a week in which the birthdays of both Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass occurred.  Dr. Woodson was himself the son of a slave and although he did not begin his high school education until the age of 20, delayed by his need to earn a living in West Virginia coal mines, he went on to study at Berea College, the Sorbonne, and the University of Chicago.  He eventually earned his PhD at Harvard, only  the second African American to achieve this, his predecessor being none other than W. E. B. Du Bois.

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David Shadrick “First They Came-2022”

First They Came-2022

Martin Niemoller's poem "First They Came" is a comment on personal cowardice

“First They Came-2022” 

By David Shadrick

(A re-write of the Martin Niemöller poem)

First they came for the Muslims

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Muslim

Then they came for the Mexicans

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Mexican

Then they came for the Blacks

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Black

Then they came for the Native Americans

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Native American

Then they came for the queer guy

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a queer guy

Then they came for the Jews

And I did not speak out

Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me

And there was no one left

To speak for me.

 

 

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

Dr. MLK had powerful words for our society

The Powerful Words Of Dr. King

By Wes & Anna Hessel

 

The Great Doctor

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stands as the paramount leader of the civil rights movement.  There were many more alongside him, most notably the other members of the “Big Six”.  They were James Farmer, A. Philip Randolph, Roy Wilkins, Whitney Young, and John Lewis.  But Dr. King, or MLK, as many refer to him, was the most visible light and lightning rod.

He Still Speaks To Us

His words continue to speak volumes today, calling us to continue the fight for what is right. Most particularly right now is the need to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act and the Freedom to Vote Act.  That is the legacy that should be made to honor both these men who worked staunchly for what they believed.  Dr. King’s own family is calling for a hold on celebrating his day until these voting rights bills are made law.  In the meantime, we hear the echoes of MLK’s quotable phrases and speeches.

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Violence Erupts In Kazakhstan

Violence Erupts In Kazakhstan

Violence erupts in former Soviet state

Editor Update: *Kazakhstan is a Central Asian country and former Soviet Union state. It extends from the Caspian Sea in the west to the Altai Mountains where it borders both China and Russia. Almaty is its largest city, and a long-standing trading hub between east and west.

Things have quieted down in Kazakhstan after more than a week of protests across the country. The 2,500 troops (part of the Collective Security Treaty Organization) sent by Russia at the request of Kazakhstani President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev have announced their intent to withdraw.

Over 8,000 people have been arrested and at least 164 people have been killed. 

Violence Erupts In Kazakhstan

 

By MAHINROOP PM

Shortages Trigger Unrest

Dozens of people were killed in clashes between protesters and security forces in the central Asian country of Kazakhstan. Police have killed dozens of rioters as violence escalated across the country. According to state television, 13 security forces personnel have so far been killed in the riots. The Presidential residence and the Mayor’s office in Almaty were set ablaze. It has been reported that the city’s airport is under military control. In turn, cars were set on fire by the protestors and blocked and littered the streets of Almaty.

Russian Paratroopers Deployed

The riots in Kazakhstan started as a protest against fuel shortages and sharp price hikes and it was later transformed into anti-government protest. In response, a state of emergency was declared January 5th, and an appeal for help to the  Collective Security Treaty Organization(CSTO) was issued. The CSTO is a military alliance of former Soviet Union states. Russia sent in paratroopers to restore order. Several armed personnel and a number of troops entered the main square of Almaty on Thursday and a clash with rioters ensued for a third consecutive day.

Terror Returns With A Bang

The square appeared peaceful later with hundreds of protestors still gathered, but there was no troop presence. Unverified videos on social media platforms showed troops patrolling Almaty’s streets overnight and firing weapons. The government has since shut down the internet across Kazakhstan.  At least for now it is impossible to confirm the full extent of violence. The riots were unprecedented for the former Soviet Union territory. The President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev has reinstated a fuel price cap for six months.  In addition, he has announced actions against Nursultan Nazarbayev who has ruled for the last 30 years. and other top officials and family members of Nazarbayev. 

 

Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Unrest in Hong Kong has the world watching

Hong Kong Freedoms Under Attack

Continuing anti-democratic crackdowns in Hong Kong are alarming many in the west.

 

By Nicholas Waithaka and D. S. Mitchell

A Little History

On July 1, 1997 the UK transferred sovereignty over Hong Kong to the People’s Republic of China. Hong Kong is now a Special Administrative Region of the PRC.  At the time of the transfer, Chinese officials promised to preserve as much of Hong Kong’s unique attributes as possible. In fact, a 50-year autonomous stretch was declared. During the autonomous period Hong Kong was to keep its capitalist structures and its western freedoms. The plan was to integrate Hong Kong with motherland China while preserving the political and economic systems that had developed under the British.

The 1984 Declaration

The Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 outlined the territory’s “one country, two systems” future. That principle is enshrined in a document called the Basic Law – in effect, Hong Kong’s mini constitution. Although the Chinese central government does not have power over Hong Kong per say; the central government does have the authority to interpret the basic laws. According to the terms of Hong Kong’s constitution (it’s basic law), the autonomous period is to last until 2047. From recent events 50 years is apparently longer than Beijing intends to wait.

National Security Law

In recent years, Beijing has begun interfering in Hong Kong’s political governance, notably cracking down on any form of dissent; peaceful or not.  Such central government actions fueled massive protests in Hong Kong between 2019-2021. In 2020, Beijing passed a controversial national security law and arrested dozens of pro-democracy activists and lawmakers. It is becoming clear that Beijing is intent on eroding the long-held freedoms of Hong Kong citizens.

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After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

The 1/6 insurrection aftermath is heating up

OPINION: After Trump, Can Love Break Through?

Editor: One year ago thousands of Trump supporters assaulted the U.S. Capitol. January 6, 2021 was one of the most horrific events in U.S. history. There is increasing evidence of behind the scenes maneuvering by Trump and his inner circle to thwart the law and overturn the 2020 election. The work of the 1/6 Select Committee is plowing forward, closing in on the instigators of the insurrection. Donald Trump’s role in the plot to end democracy in the United States is becoming more clear as emails and texts are made public. In the light of the current division in the country Anna Hessel believes it is time to be honest with ourselves, face the truth of what happened on 1/6/2021, bring the culprits to justice, and then move toward healing.

By Anna Hessel

The Crush Of Charlottesville

Back in 2017, I took one of the DNA tests that are so very popular.  Since I was adopted as an infant, my curiosity about my heritage peaked with regularity – I was giddy with surprise to learn that I am multi-racial.  Thrilled that the Lord has chosen to bless me with an interesting rainbow of cultures in a world where racial tensions dolorously abound.  On August 12, I looked on in horror at a group who call themselves ‘nationalists,’ terrorize Charlottesville, VA. One of them drove through a crowd in his Dodge Challenger, injuring 19 individuals and killing Heather Heyer.  Heather was a beautiful young woman, who was a local paralegal.  Little did I know, at the time, this was a foreshadowing of worse things to come.  This hideous act prompted then-former Vice-President  Joe Biden to run for president in 2020. In my opinion, his election is the only good that has come out of this.

Worse Is Yet To Come

On January 6, 2021, a similar, yet even more heinous act of violence occurred at our nation’s Capitol Building.  I find only small comfort in the fact that James Alex Fields, the man responsible for the horrific Charlottesville attack, was sentenced in 2019 to life plus 419 years. The sentence though appropriate does not bring back Heather Heyer.  Nor does it heal the scars, both physical and emotional,  of those who were injured, or who witnessed her murder. This callous disregard for life, an act of cowardice and pure evil, a precursor to the insurrectionists actions one year ago.

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EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

EDITORIAL: Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

The dark days of the Nazi control of Europe led to the death of millions.

EDITORIAL:

Flirting With Nazis Is Dangerous

A Neighbor’s Nazi Experience

D. S. Mitchell

Martin Hartman is a tall slender man. His thinning white hair is brushed back, his jacket zipped against the winter wind, as he leans against his cane for support. There is a deep sadness in his eyes and a soberness in his demeanor. You can tell he has a story, and he wants to share it. Martin Hartman is my neighbor.

Martin was born in Holland in 1924. Prior to the Depression of the 1930’s, his family had owned a prosperous construction business. His family like many others had suffered during those economically depressed times, but by 1940, the 97-year-old said, the economy “had begun to turn around,” things were looking up he confirmed. The future looked promising.

There had been rumblings of war, but few took them seriously, after all WWI was a mere twenty two years in the past. No one could imagine the world once again plunging into conflict. The next few days would change his life and those of his friends and family forever. “I was 16. It was May 10, 1940. We heard bombing and saw planes. It was the German invasion, and the blitz was over in three days.” The squashing of Holland’s defenses was quick, but far from painless.

After the German invasion, they began barricading city blocks and then sweeping the apartments for young men to fill the military ranks due to troop loss. Hartman describes it, “Gradually Nazism crawled into Holland. Good people were killed, or sent to prison . . . Jews and ministers.”

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OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Shows His Political Ass

OPINION: Joe Manchin Show His Political Ass

I think it is time to remove the obstructionists from the Democratic Party

D. S. Mitchell

Joe’s Talking on Fox

12/19/2021. Joe Manchin (D.W.V.) is on FoxNews (sic) telling Bret Baier he “cannot vote” for the Build Back Better bill. Finally after months of dancing about, throwing up one road block after another Manchin, playing with the press and his colleagues has finally come clean and said it out loud. He, the lone Democrat,  was now going to squash the bill, that would have given assistance to 70% of his constituents.

Out of Touch

I am dumbfounded. How could this rich, fat, white, yacht sunning, coal mine owning, entitled man be so cruel, and corrupt? How can he shut his eyes to the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in his state? West Virginia is one of the poorest states in this country, it seems Joe wants to keep it that way. By standing against the BBB act Manchin is not only denying West Virginians food on the table, affordable prescriptions for life saving medicines, and dentures in their mouths, but every other person in the country. Without remorse, apparently.  Enraged, I switched to CNN where Jake Tapper was interviewing Bernie Sanders (I.Vt).

Unrestrained Passion

Bernie Sanders went after the failed senator from West Virginia with unrestrained passion. Bernie called Manchin a “coward” for not standing up to the lobbyists and special interest groups (which Manchin is part of). Bernie, is also a wealthy man, just like Joe Manchin. But, Bernie seems to have a deep well of human empathy, decency, and compassion, which apparently, Manchin cannot understand or emulate. Is Manchin capable of embarrassment?  Being the only Democratic senator that is willing to let kids go hungry, not only in West Virginia, but across the nation, should make him red faced with shame and embarrassment.

Purge the Party 

It is time to purge the Democratic party of obstructionists, like Manchin, that are willing to stop a president and his policies by their single vote. Joe Manchin you were not elected president of the United States. Get in line and support President Biden and the Democratic platform. Support voting rights. If you are a Republican, Mr. Manchin, run as one, don’t pretend to be a Democrat. Be brave. Be courageous. As I see it Mr. Manchin, is intent on his legacy being nothing more than the dark smear left by a wet fart.

Quotes on Courage

Here’s a brief collection of some pretty smart comments by some pretty smart people on the topic of courage in life and politics.

1.) “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen,” Winston Churchill

3.) “Courage conquers all things,”  Ovid

4.) “The strongest, most generous and proudest of all virtues is courage,” Michel De Montaigne

Conclusion

It is time to fight the obstructionists in the Democratic party. Joe Manchin cannot be allowed to stand in the way of progress much longer. He has ‘shown his ass.’ as they say in Texas, and a few other places; time for Mr. Manchin to vote with his party or leave the party.

*uck The Tuck

*uck The Tuck

Tucker Carlson started out as a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN

*uck The Tuck

By D. S. Mitchell

Remember When

I remember when Tucker Carlson was a bowtie preppie pundit on CNN and then later on MSNBC. This was when he was at least a semi-accurate, semi-reputable, semi-serious, semi-cautious journalist, that appeared to crave authenticity and most of all respectability. Truthfully since his move to Fox News(sic) I feel as though I have been watching the making of the Republican Darth Vader.  Anakin Skywalker, lured to the dark side, is now in his full power bending the minds of Americans and directing the guns of his Death Star at the foundations of American democratic thought every night at 8 pm.

Outrage-Driven Commentary

The Tuckster has turned deranged populism, hate spewing madness, irreverent contempt for decency, white outrage, racial grievance, and aggressive nastiness, into a combustive cocktail for his audience of over 3 million devoted followers. Whatever the topic may be-crime, ‘defund the police’, BLM, immigration, race, vaccines, education, health care, or the Democrats, Carlson uses it as fuel for his outrage-driven commentary. Red meat to the masses. Fox News is the Roman Coliseum of today.

Red Meat Culture

Carlson is a product of wealth and privilege. Some might call him a boarding school elitist. His racism and homophobia near legendary. He has always been a bomb thrower and a pompous ass, but over the last decade at Fox he has given up any pretense of journalism and his schtick has devolved into open senseless cruelty. After a visit to Iraq Carlson is reputed to have said, “it’s a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you known, semi-illiterate monkeys.” He has famously called women both “whores” and “pigs.”

A Change Overcomes Him

Tucker Carlson is now approaching five years as host of his hugely popular nightly political talk show, ‘Tucker Carlson, Tonight.’  His stint of peddling bullshit on Fox seems to have self-radicalized the man.  Whatever the topic he offers, he’s pissed off about it, and so should you be, he tells his audience.

Strongman Support

Whether it is vaccine skepticism, white nationalism, or his increased support of anti-democratic right-wing regimes around the world, Carlson is all about being an entitled white man. He recently wasted a week embracing and promoting Hungarian strongman, Viktor Orban. Even I have been amazed at Tuck’s open love affair with authoritarianism.  Of course it is white male authoritarianism he likes and supports, certainly not black,  brown, or female (ha, ha) dictators.

Are Tuck’s Questions Really Legitimate?

Carlson uses his platform to portray his bad faith attacks as honest, good faith inquiries. He sounds alarm bells over issues of fact under the guise of asking legitimate questions. There are answers to his questions, but Carlson suggests there are not. Conspiracy theories fill the ether as well as outright lies. Tucker, like Hannity has grown fat and bloated, continually sneering at liberal democracy as the seed of our destruction. He focuses on culture war stories that fuel the Republican base. Tucker Carlson is certainly the best the extremist right has to fan the fires of Trumpism and righteous Americana outrage.

Carlson’s Message

Tucker Carlson’s message is simple and he does not hesitate to play it over and over. The existential future of America is at stake. At the heart of the matter is the doomsday scenario painted by the right wing media.  Tucker Carlson believes America is on the verge of being lost, because old white men might lose political power in the United States. I’d say to Tucker, “about time.”

https://www.calamitypolitics.com/2021/08/21/opinion-fox-news-and-its-shameless-bias/

Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Cori Bush: The Face of Perseverance

Tenacity, Perseverance and Determination, all in one woman, Cori Bush

On Friday 7/30/2021  First term Congresswoman Cori Bush sat down on the steps of the U.S. House of Representatives with a camping chair, a sleeping bag, and a commitment to stop the potential eviction of millions of Americans from their homes.

By William Jones and D. S. Mitchell

Those At Risk

When it became clear that neither Congress nor the White House was going to act to stop a pandemic-era federal eviction moratorium from expiring, leaving hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of low-income Americans at risk for eviction from their homes Cori Bush stepped up.  Ms. Bush — now 45 and a first-term Democratic congresswoman from St. Louis — felt a familiar flood of anxiety and a flash of purpose in the face of the pending crisis.

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