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Sunday, May 31, 2015

The Legal Bribery That Is Campaign Contributions in America


Campaign contributions = legalized bribery



And we know it.

Get the Big, Ugly Money Out of Our Election System and Government


It's the only way anything will ever change for the better. It's the only way we'll get the government back for the people.

And it has to come from us.


Some Kansas City History in The New York Times Today




Associated Press
Walter Byers, the first executive director of the N.C.A.A, at his desk in Kansas City in 1961.  
Associated Press


Now if we could just get them back, eh?


An American History Anniversary (guest post)


The American history we don't know.

The American history we're not taught.

The American history we don't want to know.


Zinn Education Project's photo.

BLACK WALL STREET - Today is the 94th anniversary of the Race Riot and Bombing of Black Wall Street in Tulsa Oklahoma, May 31st, 1921.Read The Article: You do know that Black Wall Street was rebuilt by the Black residents after the bombing took place in 1921. They rebuilt it with their own money and got no government support.

"After the riot, black Tulsans, who were living in tents and forced to wear green identification tags in order to work downtown, still managed to turn the tragedy into triumph. Without state help, they rebuilt Greenwood, and by 1942 the community had more than 240 black-owned businesses.

"If we did it once we can do it again.

http://www.theroot.com/…/greenwood_oklahoma_from_the_black_…
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If you want to learn more about African History and African-American History to counteract the negative images we see of ourselves on the TEL-LIE-VISION (TV), please visit www.AfricanHistoryNetwork.com. We have information to Educate, Empower and Inspire people of African Descent throughout the Diaspora and around the world.
Listen to “The African History Network Show” with host Michael Imhotep, every Thurs, 8pm-11pm EST and “The Per Ankh Hour Q & A Show” with Prof. Kaba Kamene (aka Booker T. Coleman) of “Hidden Colors 1 & 2” and Michael Imhotep of The African History Network every Wednesday 10:00pm-11:30pm EST athttp://www.blogtalkradio.com/theafricanhistorynetworkshow orwww.AfricanHistoryNetwork.com by phone, when we are LIVE at (914) 338-1375. Call in with your questions and comments. Archived episodes are available for you to listen and are also archived on www.Itunes.com.
And in our national history, it's not that isolated an incident, either, this Tulsa, Oklahoma killing and murder. Don't think for a moment that it is.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Quote of the Day -- On Institutionalized Wrong(s)



ATTN:'s photo.

Dear Future Generations




Link:  Stand for Trees


What We're Dealing With From the Right Wing and Republican Party



Occupy Democrats's photo.

How To Be A Good Repubican



Gorilla Pig's photo.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Kansas' Republican Ugliness is Getting a Lot of Coverage


Seems there's just no good news coming out of Kansas lately--or in the last few years, at least.

And the fact is, because of it all, the state and people are getting bad press, at least on social media--none more so than on Facebook. An example:


Kansas' infamous tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, while putting the state's tax burden on the lower-, middle- and working-classes and making it easier for the already-wealthy, just keeps having bigger and bigger and uglier ramifications, as so many of us know. Now, the latest breakthrough is that these same, again, working-, middle- and lower-class students and parents and families take a hit at and on their schools. The rich? You can bet they don't.

Then, there's this, on Kansas' wacko gun culture and how out of control and totally unnecessary it all is. It's gotten bad and it's getting worse. These "Brownback years" have been tough.


Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's photo.

Republican Hypocrites of the Week



Occupy Democrats's photo.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

America's Right Wing Religious Caliphate


Mrs. Betty Bowers does it again, calling them out for what and who they are.




Quote of the Day -- On the Coming Election


Senator Bernie Sanders from his announcement yesterday, declaring for the presidency in next year's election.



Link: End Citizens United‎


Quote of the Day -- On War, and Preventing It


As a soldier who has spent a quarter of his life in the study of the science of arms, let me tell you I went into the British Army believing that if you want peace you must prepare for war. I believe now that if you prepare thoroughly and efficiently for war, you get war.  - Frederick B. Maurice

1919

Link:  Frederick Barton Maurice - Wikipedia

Quote of the Day -- On Poverty...and Empathy



Progressive America's photo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Weapons Supporters: If You Really Believe in America...



Coalition to Stop Gun Violence's photo.

One More Thing Congress Needs to Act On


Sure, Congress needs to act and is doing precious little besides legislating to get the wealthy and corporations yet more money or curb women's reproductive rights instead of, say, writing, proposing and passing a jobs/infrastructure bill.

Here's one more thing they haven't yet acted on but need to:

Social Security disability payments 

will be cut by a fifth 

Not only do they need to act on this or risk Americans' payments being cut, they also, this year, made 

On the first day of the new Congress, Republicans symbolically bound themselves to what is certain to be a controversial reform of the federal disability insurance program, which would probably occur near the height of the 2016 presidential campaign.

Social Security has two components, the disability insurance program and the much larger Old Age and Survivors Insurance program, for which almost all Americans become fully eligible
when they reach retirement age. Congress has historically treated them as one system, moving money between one pot and the other if one is running short on funds and the other has plenty of money.
That's the situation now, as the disability pot is expected to be empty late next year. There is enough money in the larger pot to last until 2034, or to keep both programs solvent through 2033, according to the Social Security Administration.
Here's where they made the/our situation worse, and recently:
On Tuesday, however, the House adopted a parliamentary rule that adds a procedural obstacle to reallocating the money.

If Republicans do decide that a transfer is necessary, they can change the rules again easily enough. Still, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-Tex.) said that a reallocation would be only a temporary solution that would avoid making real changes to "the fraud-plagued disability program."

"It will actually make the retirement program worse off, and it does nothing to fix the disability program," he said
in a statement.


Fraud appears limited to relatively few cases in the disability program, although it is difficult to know precisely how many beneficiaries could be working.
So not only are they doing very little but one of the few things they recently did has made their work possibly even more difficult, more complicated. Terrific.

Meanwhile, check out this information on the elderly in America lately:

Number of seniors facing hunger has doubled 

since 2001


And then, on the heels of Memorial Day when we otherwise honor our nation's Veteran's, there's this:

Bernie Sanders Rips Republicans For Cutting 

Social Security Benefits for 1 Million Disabled 

Veterans


Republicans' nerve and even hypocrisy seem to know no bounds.

So on this, as with so many things, this Congress needs to act.

And they need to do what's right for America and Americans. They need to make certain these cuts in Social Security payments don't occur, at least, and as soon as possible.

Congress Needs to Undo "Offshoring" Profits


For anyone who's paid attention, we know companies can make profits here in the US, in their home country, and then legally "offshore" that profit, those profits and end up not paying taxes on them.

It's disgusting.

It's certainly unpatriotic. And deeply ungrateful, for that matter.

Sure, the leaders of the corporations give great, wide and long lip service to ours being "the greatest nation on Earth" and then they do this, offshore profits.

It's the lowest of the low.

Unfortunately, again, because of "campaign contributions", the leaders of these corporations slipped their Congressional representatives--you know, OUR representatives--a little money, sometimes as low as, say, $5000, and voila! They got this as law, making it legal.

It's insane and stupid and certainly fiscally irresponsible on everyone's part.

The subject came up again Sunday in the New York Times in a short article in the business section:

Piles of Overseas Profits Investors Can See 

but Not Touch


It has become a $2 trillion question. Why don’t companies have to make clear exactly how much of their profits are generated offshore each year and not taxed in this country? Why must investors engage in jujitsu to estimate these figures and the risks associated with them?

Companies, like individuals, do everything they can to minimize their tax bills. And as long as it is legal to do so, companies that book profits in overseas jurisdictions with beneficial tax treatments are perfectly within their rights to keep those earnings out of Uncle Sam’s clutches as long as they can.

The problem is, accounting rules don’t require a company to record a deferred income tax liability on these profits, as long as it says it intends to reinvest earnings in the foreign jurisdiction where they were generated. So the money piles up, contributing mightily to reported corporate profits.

Untaxed foreign earnings disclosed by companies in the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index last year climbed to more than $2.1 trillion, according to Jack Ciesielski, president of R.G. Associates and editor of The Analyst’s Accounting Observer.

Last year, Mr. Ciesielski said, 322 of these companies generated $182.4 billion offshore, an estimated 19 percent of their total net income.

We need to push our representatives in Congress, for starters, to take these laws off the books. It should no longer be legal to offshore profits.

It's not as though this would be a true increase in their taxes paid. This offshoring is just a big, ugly shell game and it cheats America, it cheats Americans.

How else do they have access to what are supposed to be the world's biggest and best markets if they don't help pay for the infrastructure we all need for it to function?

Yes, it's long since time we need to undo these offshoring tax laws. 

It can't be undone soon enough.

Please contact your members of Congress. Tell them to make offshoring corporate profits illegal:



Never Forget


No, never, ever forget.


Daily Kos's photo.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Best Way to Celebrate Memorial Day



Capitalism's photo.

Memorial Day, a reminder




Val: Why do you go out there?
Sandra:  Because dead people give such good advice.
Val: What advice do they give?
Sandra: Just one word- live!” 



On This Memorial Day


A story with links to photos from NPR:



Army Spc. Jerral Hancock sits for a portrait with his son Julius. It is believed that Hancock was trapped under the wreckage of his Army tank in Iraq for half an hour before he was rescued.

It's as George McGovern said so rightly and well, all that long ago:

“I'm fed up to the ears with old men dreaming up wars for young men to die in.” 


Memorial Day, 2015



Together We Served's photo.

Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day? (Guest Post)


Because no one has said it better than Howard Zinn :

Whom Will We Honor Memorial Day?


Published on June 2, 1976 in the Boston Globe and republished in The Zinn Reader with the brief introduction below.
Memorial Day will be celebrated … by the usual betrayal of the dead, by the hypocritical patriotism of the politicians and contractors preparing for more wars, more graves to receive more flowers on future Memorial Days. The memory of the dead deserves a different dedication. To peace, to defiance of governments.
In 1974, I was invited by Tom Winship, the editor of the Boston Globe, who had been bold enough in 1971 to print part of the top secret Pentagon Papers on the history of the Vietnam War, to write a bi-weekly column for the op-ed page of the newspaper. I did that for about a year and a half. The column below appeared June 2, 1976, in connection with that year’s Memorial Day. After it appeared, my column was canceled.
* * * * *
Memorial Day will be celebrated as usual, by high-speed collisions of automobiles and bodies strewn on highways and the sound of ambulance sirens throughout the land.
It will also be celebrated by the display of flags, the sound of bugles and drums, by parades and speeches and unthinking applause.
It will be celebrated by giant corporations, which make guns, bombs, fighter planes, aircraft carriers and an endless assortment of military junk and which await the $100 billion in contracts to be approved soon by Congress and the President.
There was a young woman in New Hampshire who refused to allow her husband, killed in Vietnam, to be given a military burial. She rejected the hollow ceremony ordered by those who sent him and 50,000 others to their deaths. Her courage should be cherished on Memorial Day. There were the B52 pilots who refused to fly those last vicious raids of Nixon’s and Kissinger’s war. Have any of the great universities, so quick to give honorary degrees to God-knows-whom, thought to honor those men at this Commencement time, on this Memorial Day?
No politician who voted funds for war, no business contractor for the military, no general who ordered young men into battle, no FBI man who spied on anti-war activities, should be invited to public ceremonies on this sacred day. Let the dead of past wars he honored. Let those who live pledge themselves never to embark on mass slaughter again.
“The shell had his number on it. The blood ran into the ground…Where his chest ought to have been they pinned the Congressional Medal, the DSC, the Medaille Militaire, the Belgian Croix de Guerre, the Italian gold medal, The Vitutea Militara sent by Queen Marie of Rumania. All the Washingtonians brought flowers .. Woodrow Wilson brought a bouquet of poppies.”
Those are the concluding lines of John Dos Passos angry novel 1919. Let us honor him on Memorial Day.
And also Thoreau, who went to jail to protest the Mexican War.
And Mark Twain, who denounced our war against the Filipinos at the turn of the century.
And I.F. Stone, who virtually alone among newspaper editors exposed the fraud and brutality of the Korean War.
Let us honor Martin Luther King, who refused the enticements of the White House, and the cautions of associates, and thundered against the war in Vietnam.
Memorial Day should be a day for putting flowers on graves and planting trees. Also, for destroying the weapons of death that endanger us more than they protect us, that waste our resources and threaten our children and grandchildren.
On Memorial Day we should take note that, in the name of “defense,” our taxes have been used to spend a quarter of a billion dollars on a helicopter assault ship called “the biggest floating lemon,” which was accepted by the Navy although it had over 2,000 major defects at the time of its trial cruise.
Meanwhile, there is such a shortage of housing that millions live in dilapidated sections of our cities and millions more are forced to pay high rents or high interest rates on their mortgages. There’s 90 billion for the B1 bomber, but people don’t have money to pay hospital bills.
We must be practical, say those whose practicality has consisted of a war every generation. We mustn’t deplete our defenses. Say those who have depleted our youth, stolen our resources. In the end, it is living people, not corpses, creative energy, not destructive rage, which are our only real defense, not just against other governments trying to kill us, but against our own, also trying to kill us.
Let us not set out, this Memorial Day, on the same old drunken ride to death.

--Howard Zinn in the Memorial Day article that led the Boston Globe to cancel his column in 1976.


Some Memorial Day/American History


US Uncut's photo.

Memorial Day 2015





"next to of course god america i
love you land of the pilgrims' and so forth oh
say can you see by the dawn's early my
country 'tis of centuries come and go
and are no more what of it we should worry
in every language even deafanddumb
thy sons acclaim your glorious name by gorry
by jingo by gee by gosh by gum
why talk of beauty what could be more beaut-
iful than these heroic happy dead
who rushed like lions to the roaring slaughter
they did not stop to think they died instead
then shall the voice of liberty be mute?"

He spoke. And drank rapidly a glass of water


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Flashback


You cook so well, all nice and French
You do your brain surgery too, mama, with yer monkey wrench




Getting Back to "Biblical Principles"


With thanks to Dr. Bob Minor for the link. (click on picture for easier viewing).

Only One Candidate for President is Talking Issues and Solutions


That's right. Only one candidate for President right now for our 2016 election is talking America's issues and problems---and solutions.

The Republicans have all these candidates:


And of all of them, all they can talk about is something they want to complain about Hillary Clinton or something they want us to believe about her. Or they want to talk about how gays and/or same sex marriage is going to undo American civilization. Or they want to make yet one more piece of legislation curbing women's otherwise very private and personal reproductive choices, all in the hopes of reducing the number of abortions in the nation. Forget that they're for "small government." They want Uncle Sam to reach into the most private decisions and areas of a woman's and couple's life.

And then there's Hillary Clinton who isn't answering many questions lately. She did reach out and answer some, finally, this week, God bless her. Not much but we'll take it. Because we have to.

So in the meantime? Of all the current candidates for president of the United States of America in the 2016 race, who's the one candidate bringing up America's problems---and offering solutions?? 

The one person?

Look no further than one Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders.jpg

A possible new ground war with Iraq?

Senator Sanders has made statements on it--public statements.

Taxes, tax issues and fairness?

Senator Sanders has covered it.

Tax breaks for billionaires?

Covered.

Wealth inequality?

Health care in America?

The Patriot Acts and the NSA spying?

Pollution in our environment?

Our colleges and higher education?

All covered by Senator Sanders, Bernie as he's known.

That and a lot more.

So if you--we--really want a candidate who's serious about America's problems and the solutions for them, maybe go to the person who's asking the questions and offering solutions to the REAL issues of the day.

Yes, that would be one Senator Bernie Sanders, candidate for US president, 2016.


Bernie Sanders - Wikipedia









Saturday, May 23, 2015

Entertainment Overnight -- Timely Flashback


A longtime favorite:




Senator Blunt Gives Lip Service to Our Infrastructure and the Work It Needs


I saw this, earlier this week, on our own Missouri Senator Roy Blunt's official page:

              Stop right there! There will be no jobs bill.

Senators BluntCasey Continue Working To Support Bridges, in Need of Repair in MIssouri and Nationwide

I almost choked.

Not once in the last 7 years has ANY Republican in Congress, in either house, written, proposed or attempted to pass a true, good, strong, helpful jobs/infrastructure bill. Not once. Not one. 

Not one Republican representative, not one bill.

Now, Senator Blunt is trying to rewrite short-term history by saying something different--the opposite, in fact.

Senator Blunt supports infrastructure work like he and his political party show support for our nation's Veterans. Proof? This is from February, last year, 2014:


And this is from just this last December:


The thing is, they don't.

Here's the truth on the infrastructure/jobs bill they could be writing and proposing and that should already, long ago, have been done:

Republicans Have Passed 0 Jobs Bills During Their First 138 Days Running Congress


In their first 138 days in control of Congress, Mitch McConnell and John Boehner have passed zero jobs bills. Instead, Republicans passed budgets that would give big tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires.

All the while, our infrastructure is famously/infamously, it's known, is crumbling and needs updating and improving.

On top of that, as if that weren't enough, Americans need the jobs.

On top of that, all that, the economy needs the boost. We all know all this.

But Republicans?

They'll be damned if they'll have this nation have a successful, thriving economy while they're not in the White House. Nation be damned.

Meanwhile, there's this, not coincidentally:

Senator Harry Reid's photo.

And who can blame us?

But screw you, America, the Republicans are clearly saying. They're going to do their damnedest to make sure there's no such jobs or infrastructure bill--or good economy--unless or until a Republican is back in the White House.

God and heaven forbid.

I would love to have them prove me and this wrong--and as soon as possible.

Don't bet on it.


On This Day--National and Missouri State History


Zinn Education Project's photo.

From the Zinn Education Project

On May 23, 1838--the forced removal of the Cherokee, Muscogee (Creek) Nation, Seminole, Chickasaw, Choctaw and other Native American nations officiallybegan--a land theft, massacre, and attempted genocide known as the Trail of Tears. A petition was signed by close to every member of the Cherokee nation (16,000) in protest of the planned removal. This resounding, democratic voice was ignored.  

See the film segment of We Shall Remain (http://bit.ly/13Mu8RG) and use the Cherokee/Seminole Removal Role Play from the Zinn Education Project (http://bit.ly/13Mt8wM) to introduce students to the history outside of the textbook about the organized efforts to resist relocation and the horror of the internment and subsequent death marches. 

Photo: Elizabeth "Betsy" Brown Stephens, a Cherokee woman who walked the Trail of Tears. [Wikimedia Commons]


Keeping in mind that this Trail of Tears also went through Missouri--which they don't teach in our schools. It went through Southern Missouri and straight through what is now Springfield, Missouri.

Links:   Trail of Tears

Discover A Hidden History- Cherokee Trail of Tears Encampment Waynesville, Missouri



Trail of Tears State Park | Missouri State Parks

Gain a better understanding of one of the saddest chapters in American history at Trail of Tears State Park, where nine of the 13 Cherokee Indian groups being relocated to Oklahoma crossed the Mississippi River during harsh winter conditions in 1838 and 1839.