Sunday Smack: Wonder Woman and Images of Power

This tweet by @megsauce about the new Wonder Woman movie is destroying the Internet right now:

“No wonder white men are obscenely confident all the time. I saw one woman hero movie and I’m ready to fight a thousand dudes barehanded.’

There are people on Twitter who are disagreeing with every bit of that statement.

What are your thoughts?

song currently stuck in my head: “trouble in mind” big bill broonzy

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Trump’s Yuge European Failure Part 2: The Paris Climate Agreement Chapter

trump coal

Now that we’ve covered the pitfalls of putting your trust in deal chasers to craft America’s military strategy and NATO relationship, what do you say about tackling climate change and the inner workings of President Trump’s brain?

Let’s first deal with what the media calls a “shocking” reversal: Trump’s acknowledgment that climate change is real, despite his earlier dismissal of the phenomenon as a hoax and Chinese conspiracy.

trump global warming hoax

I’m sure Trump knew all the time that climate change is real!

Some of his oil peeps have known for at least 40 years that climate change is real — even while they denied its existence.

And if oil companies wish to remain in denial about climate change, shareholder activism is working hard to keep everyone honest.

For example, here’s the most recent acknowledgement of climate change by ExxonMobil. I took a long screenshot because you never know these days. I’ll continue my thoughts after the graphic …

exxonmobil climate change

Let me repeat what I’ve shared with friends: climate change is real but the media outrage over President Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accords, the compliance strength of those Accords and even Trump’s decision are simply symbolic.

Trump had a choice between telling coal miners and unemployed Rust Belt workers before his trip to Europe that he sees no future in carbon-based energy sources, or saving a crucial component of his support base by giving that “Coal is our future” meme a longer life.

This decision was a no-brainer in Trumpland. He plans to run for reelection in 2020.

Meanwhile, Team Trump aims to use this new outsider position to negotiate a more favorable — here comes that word again — “deal” for American companies in exchange for participation in the agreement.

And once again, deal-think is preventing Trump from reimagining a problem and discovering its insightful solutions.

The Paris agreement has no teeth to ensure compliance and participation in the agreement is voluntary.

In theory, this means a country can sign the agreement and do absolutely nothing to help save the planet, or do the complete opposite.

The media and public outcry over Trump’s Paris agreement decision misses a larger point: Trump could have used renewable energy as a way to inject new life into America’s tired economy.

The two questions Trump should be asking right now are:

  • If climate change is real, What is a realistic, target sunset date for fossil fuel?
  • If renewable energy is the future, how can America own this industry?

I rapped about this a few years ago on another channel: America needs a NASA-like program which will create the next wave of jobs, as well as drive new and innovative investments in education and training.

Renewables could be that industry.

This is why I’m scratching my head. It appears that Trump is leading from behind. Ironic, isn’t it?

Sure, American cities like New York can continue to drive local investments in renewables.

But the bigger win happens when the US President drives an industry’s national agenda through targeted tax incentives, education policy initiatives and meaningful public-private partnerships.

Such an agenda shifts America further away from its “consumer” status and closer to that of a “producer.”

Who could argue with that kind of national transformation?

Trump, apparently.

By leading from behind, Trump will have allowed other countries to take the lead in renewables and shape this industry.

As a result, Trump will not only maintain America’s consumer status, but he will also miss a rare opportunity two create a future for America that both political parties could support.

Trump’s major miss on climate change brings up a question I raised in the last post: are we witnessing some kind of game to keep the two parties at war?

song currently stuck in my head: “after the moon“ real estate

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Trump’s Yuge European Failure — The NATO Chapter

trump-nato

President Donald Trump’s recent trip to Europe reminds me of an episode from that Blind Date TV show: Trump returns home after the date thinking he’s slayed like no other president before him — (laughing) the best Europe’s ever had — while EU leaders feel resigned to look for another lover.

Therefore, it’s no surprise that Trump’s self confidence makes make him believe he’s earned the right to grab Europe by its puss (couldn’t resist) when he chastised them about those sub-two percent of GDP contributions to NATO over the years, and continued his climate change games when he pulled America out of the Paris agreements.

When I warned you many months ago about placing America’s energy, national security and economic future with a mercurial and hopeless dealmaker, you probably thought I was simply crafting prose for points.

Well, you now have evidence that [1] I wasn’t; and [2] a “deal” appears to be a permanent spot on Trump’s lens — making him too narrowly focused to comprehend, let alone address, the complex and strategic problems of geopolitics.

Take the drama Trump caused when he beefed about NATO nations’ relatively low financial contributions.

If Trump was the least bit intellectually curious, he wouldn’t spend so much time focusing on the two percent target as much as he should have asked “What does two percent mean?”

Does a 1.9% spend mean NATO countries have assured their destruction by future enemies, and 2.1% spells certain economic ruin by excessive government spending?

in other words, I would be more concerned with the components and outcomes NATO spending than hitting a benchmark for the sake of budgetary target practice.

Answering the questions I raised would call for a study to understand what should be those strategic investments, as well as the US’s role in them.

Trump could have weaved those thoughts into a thought-provoking speech to his NATO partners without causing much alarm.

But what kind of strategic depth can you expect from someone chasing after a two percent deal?

Before Trump closes this deal, he should understand the two big reasons — its armed forces and position as NATO’s largest funder — for why the US has earned the right to call most of the shots in that organization.

Let’s say Europe fulfills Trump’s desires and begins to carry its own budgetary weight in NATO, wouldn’t that mean the US should call fewer shots?

That’s a mind-blowing point Trump may soon regret the next time America wants to recruit NATO’s help in taking on overseas regime change adventures (e.g., Obama-Clinton’s Libya disaster) that are far beyond the alliance’s traditional scope.

More on that last point in a moment.

And if other NATO nations began to boost their financial commitments, could the US begin to lower its own? And would the US actually do it?

My back-of-envelope estimate says the US would see a nearly $300 billion windfall by decreasing its NATO commitment to two percent of GDP.

$300 billion is a helluva lot of Make America Great Again job skills training programs.

Don’t get your hopes up. Those training programs came from my wishful imagination.

Besides — and dare I bring this up — shouldn’t we have a talk about NATO’s serious case of scope creep?

How did this military alliance transition from serving as a barrier to the big, bad Soviet Union to overthrowing African countries and continuing to expand eastward to Russia’s borderEVEN AFTER the Soviet Union collapsed?

Nope, Trump’s not thinking about any of those things. He’s running after his two percent deal.

The Paris accord has become a similar deal-chasing mess. I’ll address that in my next post …

song currently stuck in my head: “loving you the way i do” – the voices of east harlem

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Thank You, Gregg Allman. You’re Bigger Than Southern Rock.

Gregg Allman Dead

I’m saddened to hear that Rock luminary, elder and Allman Brothers Band co-founder, Gregg Allman, has passed on.

It’s not hard to say that at 69 years of age — with a willingness and skill to create music that matters — Allman’s earthly departure is a life cut short of inspiring additional thousands of future musicians, as well as forging deeper explorations into Rock and Roll.

My last point about Rock and Roll is important. People shortchange their musical experiences by lazily slapping the “Southern Rock” label on the Allman Brothers Band. As we music headz always say, folks need to “dig deeper.”

Allman is one of a vanishing breed of musicians who chased the flavor of good music, regardless of genre.

In the performance world of the Allman Brothers band, there was a clear understanding of how the “Roll” fits into Rock.

Gospel turned into foot-tapping Jam Rock. Soulful Country leanings transformed into Jazz Fusion chords. Banjos and African percussion shared same stage.

And Blues remained the mother of all of the band’s creations.

I think about ABB Blues and “Not My Cross to Bear” starts playing in my head:

So, I now want to start sharing Allman Brothers songs. “Midnight Rider” is one of those have-a-beer-chill-with-your-peeps-and-listen songs:

The Fusion Jazz-flavored “In Memory of Elizabeth Reed” has to be one of the most memorable tunes in music history:

I love the twin-guitar charm of “Blue Sky.” I’m equally in love with the song’s chord progressions …

And there’s the Funky Blues mix slathered across “Southbound”:

Rest in Love, Gregg. And thank you …

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A Bomb and $350 Billion Proved Trump is FOS About Fighting Terrorism

trump in riyadh

It took Islamic State follower Salman Abedi and a bomb to kill 22 people just outside a Manchester Ariana Grande concert to prove a point a few of you already suspected: President Donald Trump is completely FOS about fighting terrorism.

 

And yet, the Right seems confused, and the Left acts as if Trump is the first to discover banana republics.

 

With every US President since Richard Nixon supporting what looks to me like a “Saudi first” policy, what part of President Donald Trump’s USD 350 billion arms deal with Saudi Arabia surprises you?

 

I have a message for shocked readers: take a break from digesting this piece and consider two things.

 

One — every OPEC nation, with the exception of Iran and Venezuela, sells oil in US dollars.

 

Two — read this dirty secret about how America can consistently run deficits to fund overseas wars and maintain tax cuts for the rich …

 

Welcome back, formerly shocked readers …

 

Nevertheless, the arms deal is disappointing.

 

It means the war on civilians in Yemen — which started with the Obama administration’s support through missiles, refueling planes, intelligence and Special Forces operators — will continue.

 

It also means the jihadist-led war on Syria will continue.

 

That’s right — the same terrorist groups currently in Syria fighting Bashar al-Assad’s government forces and wishing to destroy America, have Saudi Arabia’s support.

 

And America supports Saudi Arabia with arms deals.

 

The news is even worse — America supports Saudi Arabia with full knowledge of the Kingdom’s support for jihadists.

 

Even the mainstream media doesn’t hide this fact. In 2010, the New York Times reported on what then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton knew about Saudi Arabia’s support for jihadists:

 

A classified memo sent by Mrs. Clinton last December made it clear that residents of Saudi Arabia and its neighbors, all allies of the United States, are the chief financial supporters of many extremist activities. “It has been an ongoing challenge to persuade Saudi officials to treat terrorist financing emanating from Saudi Arabia as a strategic priority,” the cable said, concluding that “donors in Saudi Arabia constitute the most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

 

Nearly five years later, Clinton once again acknowledged the Saudis role in supporting jihadists in Syria’s so-called civil war. Via Wikileaks:

 

… [W]e need to use our diplomatic and more traditional intelligence assets to bring pressure on the governments of Qatar and Saudi Arabia, which are providing clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region.

 

Hmph. The US has not and will not “bring pressure” — especially when the the Saudis have grabbed the US by the petrodollar.

 

Hell, Vice President Joe Biden tried to tell y’all about the Saudis’ love for terrorists  — before he was shut down.

 

And let’s not forget the September 11 attacks (Via NY Times):

in sworn statements that seem likely to reignite the debate, two former senators who were privy to top secret information on the Saudis’ activities say they believe that the Saudi government might have played a direct role in the terrorist attacks.

I’ll also throw in the turmoil created by releasing those 28 pages from the 9/11 Commission’s report.

And like other Presidents, Trump amazingly ignores Saudi Arabia’s role in sponsoring terrorism to blame Iran for Middle East terrorism, thus adding to the FOS quotient. Here’s an excerpt of the President’s speech in Riyadh three days ago (emphasis mine):

 

But no discussion of stamping out this [terrorist] threat would be complete without mentioning the government that gives terrorists all three — safe harbor, financial backing, and the social standing needed for recruitment. It is a regime that is responsible for so much instability in the region. I am speaking of course of Iran.

From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations in this room.

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime—launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

 

And less than a day later, Manchester gets bombed by the follower of a terror group that has received cash and arms from Saudi Arabia. Trump became predictably silent about that point.

I get the sense that $350 billion in arms will help Trump prepare the Middle East for yet another regime change adventure. Take a good guess where …

 

But at least you’ll now get to see those jobs Trump promised during his 2016 campaign! Bloodshed is just collateral damage …

 

song currently stuck in my head: “tallulah feels good (feat. james brown, gorillaz & jamiroquai)” – tamar mashup

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Cracking the Donald

donald-trump-speech

You will freak out over this piece of US-Russia news — US officials gave Russian arms negotiators Britain’s nuclear arms secrets, which included the serial numbers of every Trident Missile the US provides to the country. Nope, Britain never gave America permission to share this information. But I assume Russia was quite grateful.

Before you start handing out pitchforks and reserving bar space for those President Donald Trump impeachment parties, it’s important to know that he was not responsible for these leaks — it was President Barack Obama. In 2010.

An embarrassing, leaked cable dropped all the backstabbing info.

Former CIA intelligence briefer and author David Priess points out that President George W. Bush shared intel with his counterparts, including Russia President Vladimir Putin.

In fact, you’ll find well-documented instances where American Presidents have shared intelligence of all kinds with friends and enemies throughout history.

So …  Trump bragging about his shiny-new toy fire truck called “great intel” with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak — along with the resulting media crapstorm — is puzzling given the precedent set by other US Presidents; not surprising because we should know how Trump bounces by now; puzzling because the info Trump shared isn’t new, even if he thinks it is; unsurprising how the media has turned on the coverage intensity where the home pages of several mainstream new sites have nothing but Trump stories in them; but still puzzling why and how Trump serially walks into bear traps.

For those of you who are color trippin’, I’ll insert my usual qualifiers before moving on …

… Like, I still think Trump lacks the emotional stability to serve as President …

… He lacks the intellectual curiosity to become a good President …

… Plus he routinely exploits the fears and hatred among people to pursue much of his domestic political agenda.

… and these are a few of many reasons why I didn’t endorse him for the job through my blog. No, Hillary Clinton didn’t get my nod. Yes, I voted in the 2016 elections.

With qualifiers out the way, I’ll share my initial reactions after hearing about Trump’s diarrhea of the shaky-ground braggadocio sort when he showed Lavrov his toy fire truck.

(Laughing) Looks like I just did …

For new readers, my natural writing style is stream of consciousness, so you’re reading my thoughts at close to real time.

And then came my next reaction: “Stupid.”

Sure, US Presidents can declassify anything they want. But while I’ve never been a President, I expect that a set of protocols are in place for Commanders in Chief to follow when they want to start sharing sensitive stuff.

This is the part where I start laughing again — who still expects Trump to follow a protocol?

As if you’re new to Trump’s diarrhea problem. You must not follow him when he has a case of the late-night runs on Twitter.

But some of you also ignored how other actors in this episode suffered from diarrhea.

No one — save for a handful of US government executives, intelligence officials and their sources — knew details about an Islamic State plot to blow up airplanes with laptops before Wednesday, May 10. Well, something like that. It’s not like we’re strangers to this activity.

Whatever specific intel was shared on that day, it seems Lavrov didn’t have the same case of diarrhea since he didn’t share the plot with the Washington Post — but someone from Trump’s team did!

In Obama’s day, whistle-blowers would’ve been called leakers and then placed in jail — assuming they didn’t flee the U.S. first to avoid arrest.

Still, this a self-inflicted controversy and feeds into two reasons why I think Trump’s days as President are limited in either tenure or impact.

Not necessarily because the Justice Department appointed special counsel to investigate what role THE RUSSIANS played in the 2016 election — although some of my opinion has been spawned from this news.

Not necessarily because of Lieutenant General Michael Flynn’s contacts with Russia. “Contact,” “Collusion” and “Trump complicity” are large jumps in reasoning and no one’s yet publicly presented evidence to prove the latter two charges.

Not necessarily because waves of press disclosures point to members of Team Trump having circumstantial contacts with THE RUSSIANS. Like I said a while ago, I expect political advisers to have conversations with foreign officials. That’s how policies are formed in the real world. It’s been that way for centuries. Also, go back to what I said earlier about contact, collusion and complicity.

Not necessarily because Trump leaked terrorist plot intelligence.

Trump firing James Comey after leaning on the FBI Director to drop the Flynn investigation doesn’t look good, but a proper investigation will sort out intent and complicity.

Trump is done because [1] he lacks the common sense to realize that running the country is not like calling the shots at his family business; [2] the appointment of special counsel to investigate Trump can lead to a messy result.

This order [PDF], signed by acting Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, empowers special counsel and former FBI director Robert Mueller to investigate:

[A]ny links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump …

And here’s the part that should worry Trump:

[A]ny matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation …

“Any matters that arose or may arise” is how independent counsel Kenneth Starr went from investigating a bad real estate deal in 1994 that involved the Clintons to placing a magnifying glass on Monica Lewinsky waxing Bill Clinton’s knob in 1998.

On a (hopefully) more substantial note, Mueller’s investigation would HAVE to involve research into Trump’s business dealings.

For Trump haters, this is a more insightful gift than any tax return could bring.

At the same time, Trump had better make sure all 500+ entities connected with his corporation across the globe are more perfect than Jesus.

For example, Trump should hope he doesn’t own an apartment building in Brighton Beach, Brooklyn where one of his landlords uses it for a ho’ house and employs a neighborhood bank to launder money.

Mob connections, unusual political gifts, wacky immigration hiring practices and much more are fair game in what will likely become a lengthy inquiry.

Even if Trump isn’t pushed out for “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors,” an embarrassing investigation could leave him in a paper tiger state. A presidency in name only.

And this assumes the President doesn’t trip from the pressure and trigger the 25th

song currently stuck in my head: “higher skies (k-scope mix)” – alessandro oliviero feat. heidi vogel

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Sheriff Clarke for FBI Director?

sheriff david clarke

While considering the backgrounds of possible replacements for FBI Director James Comey, who was just fired by President Donald Trump in one of the most embarrassing ways you can imagine, I realized that a few of you may not know the depth of evil attached to one of the dismal options Trump may consider: Milwaukee County Sheriff David A. Clarke.

Sure, you may already know about how inmate Terrill Thomas died from dehydration in one of Clarke’s prisons after being denied access to water for a week and then Clarke subsequently claimed to know nothing about the deceased but could recall in vivid detail the crime that landed Thomas in jail.

But there’s more evil waiting to be discovered — the death of baby Laliah Swayzer is a start.

On July 6, 2016, Shadé Swayzer was arrested by Milwaukee police after she refused to leave a Motel 6 room. Police quickly discovered that Swayzer was eight and a half months pregnant with baby Laliah.

According to the Lawsuit [PDF] filed by Swayzer’s attorney, she was moved from the jail’s special care unit to maximum security the following day without medical authorization to do so.

For the next six days, no medical professional visited Swayzer, nor was she permitted to leave her cell for medical office visits.

Swayzer’s water broke on July 14 while in maximum security. She informed a jail guard on duty of her condition, who responded by laughing and walking away.

Despite Swayzer’s labor contractions, pain and resulting screams, no jail guard would check on her. Okay, there was the guard who mocked Swayzer during the ordeal.

About five hours later and without assistance from any medical professional or jail guard, baby Laliah was born in an unsanitary maximum security jail cell, where she constantly cried and attempted to breastfeed.

No guard would acknowledge baby Laliah’s birth until two hours after her birth or four subsequent to Sade’s initial contractions. Even after the discovery, there was a delay on the jail guards’ part in calling for medical assistance.

And then baby Laliah stopped breathing.

Instead of rushing baby Laliah and Shadé to a nearby hospital, the guards further exhibited their collectively twisted sense of compassion by attempting to treat the newborn’s condition on an unsanitary table in a common area of the prison. Resuscitation equipment wasn’t even considered as a life-saving option until precious minutes later.

Baby Laliah died that morning.

A Milwaukee County autopsy report attributes baby Laliah’s death to natural causes.

Immediately prior to Shadé Swayzer’s July 6 admittance to the Milwaukee County Justice Facility, she received medical clearance by doctors from  Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, who found her pregnancy during that time to be normal.

And unless I haven’t seen the latest news report, Sheriff Clarke has made no statement of regret regarding baby Laliah’s death or Shadé’s loss.

This is the person on Trump’s short list to be your next FBI Director.

Let’s take for a fact — until proven otherwise — the Milwaukee County Coroner’s findings that baby Lailah’s death was due to natural causes, she was stillborn, and not crying or attempting to breastfeed during her short time on Earth.

What’s left for you to envision is the jail — run by Sheriff David Clarke — where his guards ignored a pregnant woman’s cries for help while she was in labor, allowed a baby to be born in a dirty maximum security cell and attempted to treat the baby on a dirty table.

Still, this is the person on Trump’s short list to be your next FBI Director.

Here’s more distressing news: Trump’s other FBI Director options aren’t much better …

no song stuck on my head right now …

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Healthcare Debate: Your Crazy Uncle’s Huge Theater Production

Uncle

Yep. Crazy.

America’s partisan debate about healthcare reform is like a couple who lives together and has a recurring argument about what to do with a crazy uncle who lives with them.

Crazy Uncle has a habit of robbing — and sometimes harming — people in the couple’s neighborhood.

One of the partners suggests addressing the problem by moving to a different neighborhood. Crazy Uncle has a problem with that idea since he doesn’t want to move.

The other partner thinks the best solution is to make the neighbors move. Or give them helmets. Or perhaps give them no protection and let a few more robberies and beatdowns convince them to move.

The ideas make no sense.

Moving Crazy Uncle to another neighborhood only displaces the problem, but never solves it.

Making neighbors move is a ridiculous idea.

The helmet idea isn’t much better.

And the couple continues to argue while Crazy (and greedy) Uncle continues to rob neighbors.

The problem is Crazy Uncle. Any solution that doesn’t directly deal with Crazy Uncle isn’t really a solution.

Crazy Uncle is also rich — obviously from all the strong-arming he’s done — and pays the couple large sums of money to stay with them. You could say Crazy Uncle takes good care of the couple. This explains why the couple will argue for days about what to do about “the problem” but never point a finger at Crazy Uncle.

Democrats and Republicans have done an incredibly agile job of presenting their arguments for or against Obamacare without mentioning Crazy Uncle: the health insurance companies.

Other industrialized nations don’t experience this sort of robbery — known to Americans as excessive healthcare costs — because these countries didn’t allow Crazy Uncle to serve as the middleman between patients and doctors.

But directly dealing with the problem of Crazy Uncle would mean disintermediation: implementing single-payer, universal healthcare for all Americans. The public option would be a compromise.

Instead, we keep hearing solutions like health exchanges, interstate competition and elimination of coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.

And we have Crazy Uncle to thank for this. He paid more than half a billion dollars in 2016 amongst the two major political parties so that neither side discusses disintermediation.

This means the current Congressional debate you’ve been witnessing is nothing but theater.

I think it’s time to show Crazy Uncle the door. And while we’re at it, let’s have a public talk with Congress about the top-shelf healthcare plan they receive …

song currently stuck in my head: “brotherhood” – kamal abdul alim

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The Decision to Murder Jordan Edwards

 

roy oliver arrested

Former Texas police officer Roy Oliver’s mug shot. (Source: Parker County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

As the car carrying then-alive teenager Jordan Edwards departed a house party where everyone in the vehicle collectively felt was no longer safe to remain, Balch Springs, Texas police officer Roy Oliver’s calculations went from zero to I-need-to-kill-somebody within sub-seconds.

Or perhaps Oliver was able to arrive at his deadly conclusion so quickly because he was already traveling at a sufficient cruising speed to use deadly force … ?

Let’s keep this conversation real. Police officers are not trained to draw and fire weapons to injure someone — they are trained to kill. Except the decision to use deadly force is typically driven by the officer’s judgement of whether his life or the lives of others are in danger.

Therefore, a trained-to-kill Oliver’s real-time calculus allowed him to accept the idea that death can be an outcome when he raised his AR-15 rifle to shoot several rounds into a car filled with teenagers — moving away from him — who presented no threat to anyone. One of Oliver’s bullets split open Edwards’ skull.

This means Edwards’ death at the hands of a trained killer, in the absence of a threat, is nothing less than murder.

But what was behind Oliver’s motivation to murder Edwards?

jordan edwards shooting

15-year old Jordan Edwards — shot and killed by Roy Oliver.

Likely the same reason that Oliver initially used to justify the murder when he said the car he shot at moved aggressively toward him: the perception that African descendants are dangerous animals — worthy of fear and the occasional bullet to the skull.

I rapped about this last July in “Police Reform Alone Won’t Save Black Lives”:

In other words, there’s no amount of police reform or legislation which can erase generations of social programming that depicts African descendants as crime-prone, bottom-dwellers of the world’s social ladder.

What policy can you introduce that will immediately erase hundreds of years of negative media imagery, distorted history, the Curse of Ham and crazy-azz thoughts about super powers?

Given that perception, Oliver likely thought he found his get-out-of-jail-free card. I covered this a couple of years ago:

If a person of African descent has been shot dead, all the shooter needs to do — which works well when the victim is no longer on the planet to refute testimony — is tell a judge or jury that “I feared for my life.”

Oliver has been rightfully fired, arrested and charged with murder. In addition, I also think every officer at the scene of this murder who enabled the release of the initial false police report to their chief should be fired and arrested.

But none of this changes the reality that we have people with badges and guns patrolling our society who are ruled by prejudice and fear.

Or as Toni Morrison tells us:

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song currently stuck in my head: “long black limousine” – o.c. smith

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94 Percent — The Sad Truth About Democrats and the Obama Economic Recovery

hillary clinton

Hillary Clinton blaming the calendar for why she’s not your President today elucidates my earlier points about the Democratic Party running from salvation — as if they’ve discovered a shortcut to redemption.

The calendar fails to adequately explain one of several reasons why traditionally-Democratic voters either switched parties or stayed home last November: the economic “recovery” under President Barack Obama.

There was no recovery. Or at least not the kind of recovery that kept Democrats in a safe position on Election Day.

I know — few of you will push back with the same talking points used by Team Obama like “ecord jobs growth,” “72 consecutive quarters of jobs growth,” “near full employment” and “better than President George W. Bush’s record.”

But even President Obama’s former Council of Economic Advisers chairperson, Alan Krueger, dismantled the “recovery” story in a report [PDF] last year.

The Princeton economist, in collaboration with Harvard’s Lawrence Katz, found that 94 percent of the new jobs created by the US economy between 2005 and 2015 were in the “involuntary part-time” category. These jobs generally fall under the “alternative work” category.

We’re talking about millions of people who want full-time jobs, but can’t find them. Instead, they entered the lower-paying “gig economy” of contract work, accepted temporary jobs or spent a few hours a week working below their earnings potential in a restaurant, coffee shop or retail store.

Nope, the Affordable Care Act did not drive people to ditch their full-time jobs to pursue their passion for making cappuccino art, or prompt employers to create part-time jobs as a response to the ACA employer mandate. The Economic Policy Institute explains:

The [ACA] provision requires that certain employers pay a fee if they don’t offer a minimum level of health insurance to employees working 30 or more weekly hours. Had these health care–related labor costs prompted employers to reduce more positions to part-time hours, there would be a number of trends in the data that suggest a structural change in involuntary part-time working or hours worked, and these trends do not appear.

With 11 years of fewer work hours, along with lower wages and annual earnings — not to mention the large number of people who involuntarily left the workforce — how happy do you expect these people to be about the political party in power on election day?

The Democratic vanguard has been aware of this jobs problem well before Krueger and Katz’s report. Remember what former DNC interim head Donna Brazile wrote in a February 13, 2016 email, now made famous by Wikileaks, to Clinton’s Presidential campaign chair John Podesta:

I think people are more in despair about how things are—yes new jobs but they are low wage jobs. HOUSING is a huge issue. Most people pay half of what they make to rent…

In addition, the Democratic Party leaders played themselves by tethering their campaign messaging on a recovery that’s been absent in many parts of the country.

This invisible recovery is not confined to Appalachia or the Rust Belt. For example, cities like New York saw income inequality rise during the Obama years.

History shows that poverty and desolation can draw out people’s worst fears and prejudices. Donald Trump’s rise in relevance was inevitable because a part-time jobs recovery did not translate into a substantive change in the fortunes of many Americans.

So, what is the Democratic Party doing to confess their sins of forsaking their poor and working class followers for the allure of Wall Street and drones?

Not much.

Except blame the calendar. Despite facts to the contrary.

Or blame THE RUSSIANS.

Or Wisconsin.

Or James Comey.

Or blame the poverty and working classes Democrats claim to represent.

Okay — let’s include the “Resist” movement that Clinton just joined as something Democrats are doing. I tackle that topic later.

Meanwhile, an increasing number of  people who voted Democrat last November have regrets today, despite Trump’s Presidency.

The most astonishing part is that Democrats — having learned absolutely nothing from November’s election meltdown and blindly clinging to all beef against anything or anyone who didn’t enable Hillary Clinton’s presumably inevitable crowning — have neither a resonating campaign message nor a pragmatic set of policies which will convince a wider circle of voters that the party, once a sinner, is now born again …

song currently stuck in my head: “i can’t help it (original demo)” – michael jackson

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