SUNDAY SMACK: TREASON OR SLAVERY?

This week’s Sunday Smack inspiration comes from reading Eric Foner’s Gateway to Freedom: The Hidden History of the Underground Railroad, where I was reminded of how the British promised Africans enslaved in America their freedom in return for fighting against George Washington’s patriots during America’s war for independence.

That would mean any slave who fought against America — regardless of the slave’s distaste for bondage — would be guilty of treason, correct?

Probably not, if you buy the argument that African slaves in America were viewed more more like expensive working pets than human beings, let alone American citizens. But that line of reasoning didn’t stop patriots from charging and even executing slaves suspected of being Tories.

So, here’s my Sunday Smack:

If you were a slave during the Revolutionary War, would you fight for American freedom, or would you commit treason?

song currently stuck in my head: “juba dance” Bobby Hutcherson

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THIS STUDY PROVES BIG MONEY WINS DAMN-NEAR ALL ELECTIONS

US is a banana republic in the way it deals with money and politics

Image presented without explanation.

Wu-Tang is Right: “C.R.E.A.M.” Same goes for you and your neighbors.

The Institute of New Economic Thinking’s recent and somber research (PDF) proves that money spent on political campaigns b***h-stomps the people’s will almost all the time.

INET director Thomas Ferguson, along with researchers Paul Jorgensen and Jie Chen, examined more than three decades of congressional campaign spending — by political candidates as well as their dark money supporters — and found a strong and direct relationship between the money spent on these campaigns and subsequent election victories.

As an example, the research looked at the 2012 US House of Representatives elections and the associated Democratic candidates’ share of two-party campaign spending. After comparing spend share with percentage of votes won, the research produced this eye-opening chart:

Each point in the chart represents the intersection of a 2012 democratic candidate’s campaign spend share (horizontal axis) share and the percent of votes won (vertical axis). The cluster of points veer upward as you follow the spend percentage from zero to 100. The resulting trend line drawn in the chart is crystal clear: more money spent meant more votes.

The same correlation exists for every election year analyzed in the study.

“Dolla-dolla bill, y’all … ”

Here’s one for you algebra geeks – the relationship between loot and votes is so strong that the trend line isn’t the least bit complex, nuanced or curvy. We’re talking about a line that’s boldly linear like an arrow.

“So, what if the will of the rich is the same as the will of the poor and middle class, or that the three groups could at least dig the same candidate?”

Please …

Corporate taxes as a share of America’s Gross Domestic Product are among their lowest levels in 70 years. You and your not-so-wealthy friends have been paying a larger share of US taxes while corporations are paying the lowest share in decades. Campaign donations undoubtedly ensured that outcome.

And what have lower corporate taxes done for most of you? Jobs continue their migration away from America, infrastructure remains embarrassingly shabby and getting worse, plus wages are lower than they were a decade ago.

Did your will include the passage of NAFTA, TPP, the preservation of too-big-to-fail banks or the approval of the National Security Agency peeking into your Snapchat stories? The INET paper also deals with all that silly common will stuff, by the way.

While politicians sell you on the idea of “shared sacrifice” just as the income of the wealthiest Americans continues its flight away from everyone else, domestic propaganda attempts to richsplain the rebellious episodes you see on the streets,

Occupy Wall Street was painted as a movement bunch of spoiled and bored Hipsters.

Bernie Sanders was depicted as Quixotic and his followers delusioned by the luxury of White privilege.

Yes, Donald Trump’s core supporters1 have a big problem with race and just about everything else, but their economic experiences are vividly real.

For many who feel like “Living in the world, no different from a cell,” the INET study should send a clear message: big money must leave American politics if folks ever want to see freedom while living

song currently stuck in my head: “aquarela do brasil” egberto gismonti &nanà vasconcelos

1When you get to “Muslim is not a religion part,” let me know what you think.

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WE STAND WITH KORRYN GAINES TODAY BY LOGGING OFF FACEBOOK

korryn gaines

There are fewer of us liking and sharing Facebook posts today in recognition of how the social media giant shut off Korryn Gaines’ access to her Facebook and Instagram accounts — at the Baltimore County police department’s request — just before a SWAT team ended an hours-long standoff with Gaines by kicking in her apartment door and shooting her dead. The police also shot and wounded Gaines’ five-year old son.

Gaines was streaming the standoff on Facebook Live just before her accounts were deactivated.

While I’m tempted to dig into the thought processes involved with a local police department calling someone in a multi-billion dollar global corporation — presumably at a very senior level — to help them suppress live video evidence of an armed standoff that stemmed from vehicular fines, I’ll stick to one main point: I’m off Facebook and Instagram today.

We may have to do more of these logouts …

song currently stuck in my head: “on sonho (moon dreams)” airto moreira feat. flora purim

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THE GAME OF ‘OPERATION GET TRUMP’

donald trump under fire

This past week has presented a compelling case for even presidential candidate Donald Trump to turn down his ego for a moment to acknowledge that he’s having a rough time.

Aside from his dramatically sliding poll numbers against opponent Hillary Clinton that warrant a separate discussion, the mainstream media has now replaced their “His damn quotes are sweeter than effin’ BuzzFeed clickbait!” primaries strategy with an all-out web, print and airwaves assault to topple his candidacy.

For example, CNN.com’s home page featured so many anti-Donald Trump stories one day that you would think they were hosting a Trump writers’ slam.

Sounds crazy for a media organization to devote so much energy against a single topic, right?

Well, not really

Anyway, take a look at this mobile-friendly screen grab, if you don’t believe me:

cnn donald trump

The headlines centered around a pretty obvious theme:

Another GOP vote for Clinton

Ex Christie aide is the latest in party driven away by Trump

Top Jeb Bush advisor leaves GOP over Trump

Obama calls out GOP over Trump

Trump: Get crying baby outta here

Why Trump’s Facebook page says ‘Shop Now’

We also have the growing defection wave of high-profile Conservative government officials and advisors — including Richard Armitage, Henry Paulson and Brent Scowcroft — who plan to vote for opponent Hillary Clinton while exclaiming that the racial hatred Trump seems to galvanize is not what America, or their party, stands for.

Kumbaya, y’all. Bigotry is finally at the end of its lifecycle, right?

Not really.

Unfortunately, you can’t even offer the rudimentary argument that CNN, Armitage, Paulson and Scowcroft are merely attempting to scrape off the diseased patient’s pallid, dead tissue surface with the hope that vitality and color will return. A strategy, regardless of intent, that will fail.

But do you see what’s at work here?

Look at it this way — what would happen to public opinion if CNN provided the Home Page Treatment to the fact that infant mortality among African Americans is twice that of White Americans?

If a home page was filled with cases of racial profiling and police brutality from around the country?

Or a home page stuffed with stories which prove the US is supporting the same brand of Islamic Jihad to overthrow the Syrian government as the one that’s sworn to destroy the West, America included?

Can you imagine how fully informed the conscience of American citizens would be?

Do you see what’s happening here?

As an example, Maria Comella, a longtime communications advisor for Conservative New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and one of the advisors responsible for feeding Christie talking points to use in his failed presidential campaign — like the one that questioned the integrity of White House hopeful Hillary Clinton — has announced that she will vote for Clinton in November.

Do you see the game taking shape here?

I’m not talking about the nut job radio host who wanted to shoot Hillary in her coochie. His lunacy is really-real. No games there.

But don’t you think it’s a game when elites from the political party with a four-decade record of racial hang-ups, and has derided the other side of the aisle as Socialists who want to anesthetize poor folks with free government services, now thinks the so-called socialist nominee is better bet for America, and has turned on their own presidential nominee for having racial hang-ups?

The real game has no color — except for the one they want you to play during news broadcasts and on social media.

The real game is focused on themes Trump has not yet wrapped his brain around: trade deals, wars, financialization  and perfectly legal gunrunning in support of more wars. Middle class be damned.

Hillary? At the top of the class. She totally gets the real game.

Otherwise, Trump would be branded by party elites — even with his fixations on Great Walls and Muslim bans — as an excellent candidate, but with a few flaws he needs could work on.

You know by now I’m not a Trump cheerleader, but I also know that the world is nowhere close to a binary Blue-or-Red one.

Lesson? The hater of your hater may still came heavy to your doorstep …

song currently stuck in my head: “cecil b” – amina claudine myers

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LET’S TALK ABOUT TRUMP’S EMOTIONAL INSTABILITY

Trump yelling

I was going to publish a post on Presidential candidate Donald Trump’s impressive campaign moat which prevents opponent Hillary Clinton from putting him away this summer, but I think it’s more important to discuss his emotional instability first.

(Laughing) Before you Conservatives start groaning, let me remind you that Liberals take plenty of lumps from me as well

I keep having a recurring visual of Trump driving his urgently pregnant wife to a hospital when another driver flipped him off for driving too slow.

Trump is the kind of guy who would immediately abort the hospital mission — despite Melania shooting amniotic fluid all over the windshield, almost like that Lou Reed song except she’s neither black or a man — to chase the car and its offending driver for disrespecting him.

Thus, the hospital exit is now in the rear view mirror, and Melania can now see the head …

But I’m sure Melania is sufficiently intelligent to know that her husband chases nearly any form of stimulus placed near him, so she’ll make other transportation arrangements.

If I can figure out Trump’s weakness as a layperson, I’m sure that elite intelligence agencies across the world have already created a psychological playbook for suckering “The Donald.”

Trump is correct for opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership, but German Chancellor Angela Merkel can change his mind by calling him a “B**ch-azz” for not supporting it.

Trump could be provoked into starting a war with China — and that conflict is a real possibility, mind you — by calling him a “Pussy” for avoiding a throwdown.

The Kahn family incident supports the case for how Trump’s emotional instability makes everything worse. As Ezra Klein pointed out, Trump couldn’t take the idea of his reputation being “savagely attacked” on television, so he launched some culturally ignorant responses toward the parents of a fallen US soldier that inflated the original story’s news cycle by at least 300 percent — with the vast majority of the new stories attacking him some more.

(Laughing) Vote for Trump if you want, but you’d better hope that he stays medicated for four years …

song currently stuck in my head: “time and space” – eddie henderson

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MATTY’S ROCKET COMIC CREATOR TAKES ON POLITICAL PARTY CONVENTIONS 

tim fielder political cartoons for democratic and republican national convention dieselfunk glog

Image source: NY Times Race/Related.

Not sure how this didn’t hit my radar earlier but Tim Fielder, creator of Matty’s Rocket and a prominent cartoonist of Afrofuturism imagery, teamed up with his twin brother Jim to visit Cleveland and Philadelphia to ink and shoot their observations of the respective Republican and Democratic conventions — as told by everyday people.

The Republican portion of the project was coordinated by cartoon journalist Joyce Brabner and featured on her comixcast site.

Tim and Jim subsequently moved on to the DNC with a similar editorial mission: to find the people and stories you’ll likely never see in most mainstream media channels, and then create a graphic digital story (or “Glog”) in as near real-time as possible. It looks like we’ll see more of this unique approach to content creation in the brothers’ Dieselfunk glog.

The equally cool news is that the New York Times blew up Tim’s convention work today in its Race/Related newsletter.

Check out the Brothers Fielder’s process for capturing stories and images in this video:

Well done, guys …

song currently stuck in my head: “freaks” – cuttlefish & asparagus

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WIKILEAKS SHOWS HOW DNC ISN’T ONE BIT DEMOCRATIC

Wikileaks’ Friday dump of nearly 20,000 Democratic National Committee emails — courtesy of non-Russian hacker Guccifer 2.0 — shows more than a shamelessly corrupt political organization who erected an unscalable partition to block Bernie Sanders’ nomination bid in favor of Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

The leak also shows how the DNC controls media content in a blatant lack of respect, if not fear, of registered Democrats’ freedom of choice.

The DNC’s strategy worked. Clinton is expected to receive her coronation crown this week, and Sanders will watch the event from the sidelines while some of you still think there was nothing wrong with those DNC-scheduled Saturday night primary debates.

For you “Saturday nights are perfect for political debates!” people, allow me to add that the DNC’S role during primaries is to maintain a neutral position with regard to its own primary candidates. DNC communications director Luis Miranda says as much  in an email he wrote on April 24 of this year.

Unfortunately, Miranda didn’t practice that neutrality gospel.

Here’s a Miranda email from May where he advises against using an MSNBC video segment because it has a heavy Bernie piece in it:

The DNC was apparently brainstorming ways to sabotage Sanders’ campaign when a suggestion about his religious beliefs came up:

By late April, the Democratic primaries were far from over and Sanders’ campaign picked up a few key state victories as the arguably decisive California primary stood in the June horizon — a contest that polled at the time as a statistical dead heat with Sanders monopolizing the momentum. Why in the hell would DNC email director Eric Reiff circulate general election messaging templates on April 26 which assumed that Clinton was the nominee?

dnc eric reiff email about bernie sanders

DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz didn’t practice neutrality either — but had the nerve to lose her sugar-honey-iced-tea after MSNBC’s Mika Brzenzki called out the Chair’s behavior and demanded that she step down.

dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz email about msnbc

This Miranda email shows how the DNC had a direct role in revising an article by New York Times reporter Nicholas Confessore:

I can’t tell if the DNC’S motivation in the following instance was offensive, defensive or offensively defensive, but some of the staffers were cooking up negative stories to publish about Sanders.

In the backdrop of the inherently rigged Democrat super delegate nomination process, the Maine state Democratic convention passed a resolution to do away with superdelegates — and DNC CEO Amy Dacey didn’t like it one bit.

These are just a handful of transgressions. The smartest thing for the DNC to do at this point is to apologize for the rigged primary process and perform a mass firing of staffers. Pretending that a scandal doesn’t exist will not help them win elections.

I wonder if another round of leaks will surface during the Democratic National Convention this week …

song currently stuck in my head: “hush” – nostalgia 77

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QUICK THOUGHTS ON TRUMP’S DRAFT RNC SPEECH TONIGHT

trump rnc speech nomination

About 30 minutes ago, I had a chance to read a draft of Donald Trump’s speech he’s supposed to make tonight when he accepts the Party of No Brains’ nomination for President. If you felt comfortable with saying Melania Trump Rock and Rolled Michelle Obama’s speech earlier this week, you’ll likely think that Donald Trump Blues’d talking points from Progressives who think Hillary Clinton has passed the Too Triflin’mark to lead this country.

In credit to Trump, he correctly brought up the problems and buckets of blood President Barack Obama has created in the Middle East — issues arguably larger than the problems he inherited nearly eight years ago.

The speech also hit on the Starbucks waiters’ recovery that Team Obama disingenuously describes as a low-unemployment win.

And you have to give the speech props for effectively framing presumptive opponent Hillary Clinton as a serial trade deal lover who seems oblivious to the destruction of jobs and the economy with each pen stroke. On the subject of destruction, Clinton’s works in Libya and Syria speak for themselves.

Lastly, the speech puts the oligarchs on blast!

But it’s just a speech from an aspiring politician, right?

The more disturbing parts of Trump’s speech are his views on American society.

Calling himself the “Law and Order” candidate seems to mix up the distinction between a cause and an effect.

For example, are the unfortunate deaths of police officers in Dallas and Baton Rouge the result of a breakdown in law and order as Trump claims, or a misguided but deadly blowback from the economic and social marginalization of African descendants?

Failing to deal with the crisis of race in America will only lead to more deaths.

There was a point in the speech where Trump links law and order with improved intelligence. This compromise of sorts with the NSA’s massive spying program may soon show how much less Black lives will matter in the future. Pay close attention to this point …

The “immigrants are criminals” lines are tired. And untrue.

The revitalization of America’s industrial capability is not impossible, but will not be easy. Nonetheless, The speech provides no detail on how the revitalization will happen.

Before tonight, Trump came across as less of a war hawk than Clinton, but the speech is so light on foreign policy specifics that you have to become suspicious.

And that’s his speech — cherry-picking eminent domain rights over hardcore Progressive principles and spinning them to woo economically disenfranchised right-wingers.

Lastly, Trump dropped a sufficient hint about who his Supreme Court Justice choice.

I predict his speech will play well to his party and some Independents, assuming he’ll stick to it …

song currently stuck in my head: “pleasure control” – on the house

Update: it looks like I was right. David Duke loved the speech …

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DEVELOPING: 3 COPS DEAD IN BATON ROUGE, LA

3 baton rouge cops shot dead

Update (23:15): Ideological Ho, Anyone?

The scramble to piece together Gavin Long’s beliefs are important in the way they can form a picture of motivation, intent and networks.

While not confirmed, I’m now hearing that Gavin Long claimed to be down with the Nation of Islam in the past.

I’m sure we’ll hear plenty of stories — true and otherwise — in the coming hours about who or what Long attached himself to, but the collection of stories so far sounds like Long lived through various schools of thought that smacked of anti-government and anti-oppression themes on his way to crafting a more personalized brand of worldview.

I generally call these types ideological hos.

And some of them can be deadly, regardless of their arranged beliefs …

Update (22:57):The “Cosmo” We’re Just Beginning to Know …

The protesting — next month, they’ll be gone Brah. What we going to do after that? We going to have to educate ourselves after that. See, that s**t is just emotional s***. We Men. We gotta get off of that. We gotta think logical. [Protesting] is for the women …

Those are the words of radio host, life coach, freedom strategist, author and real estate businessperson, Cosmo. He’s also known as Gavin Long — the slain Baton Rouge gunman.

I grabbed the above quote from this video, found on hhs YouTube channel.

Here are a few more twists to Long’s ideological viewpoints, via Twitter:

Update (20:03): Statements About Baton Rouge Shootings

Predictably, no statement yet from the NRA.

I expected DeRay McKesson to speak first and he did — somewhat directly and otherwise. In addition to condemning the Baton Rouge shootings, He retweeted this:

You can read a roundup of statements from politicians, celebrities and President Obama on Deadline’s site.

6 Officers Shot; 3 Dead

As you’re already aware, Three officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana — reportedly by 29-year old Gavin Long, a black man. Three other officers have been injured in The same incident. Long has been shot dead.

The natural first instinct of many — given the current tensions between law enforcement and the African descendent community,and particularly given the shooting deaths of Philando Castile, Alton Sterling and five Dallas cops is that the shooting is linked to the controversial Black Lives Matter movement, but the story has taken an interesting ideological twist since Long’s reported affiliation with a right-wing extremist group.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Long has been linked to the New Freedom Group, a reactionary anti-government organization.

Which side of the political spectrum your political views may lie should be an irrelevant point since were talking about three tragic deaths. I’m sure the victims were beloved family members, as well as close friends to many.

But I’m sure these points will crumble in the face of political agendas, especially during an election year.

I’m awfully curious about how the NRA and Black Lives Matter leaders like DeRay McKesson will respond to to this. I plan to keep this lost open for updates. I may even turn your comments into post content. Stay tuned …

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