Barr Protects Trumps Latest Election Ploy

William Barr at his hearing:

“I’m a respected judge and I have been here for several administrations. You should be thanking me for my service. Just listen to how judicious I sound. I don’t raise my voice but I lie through whatever kind of teeth I still have in my mouth. Who me, are you accusing me of breaking laws, of undemocratic acts? I am so innocent. Just listen to how incredulous I sound. How could anyone say such awful things about me. (These liberals have me tied to the railroad tracks. There is a train coming. Who will rescue me?)

And then along came Gym Jordan and Mr. Collins to the rescue. They tried conspiracy theories – back to Obama and Hillary in cahoots with the Russians. They tried ranting and raving. Words never untie any helpless victims from the railroad tracks though.

So, they showed a five-minute video of dastardly citizens committing acts of violence against buildings, defending themselves against rubber bullets and police batons and tear gas. The movie shows the graffiti. (It’s the tear gas everywhere that really makes the scene look violent, but the demonstrators, even the rioters, don’t have tear gas.)

Then in that same calm, judicious voice Barr says we cannot allow citizens to go after the police and the use of federal troops is justified.

But we know that his position is actually indefensible. We know he has come to back the Trump.

But the truth is that this whole issue of bad policing and racism in America does not have to be handled by deploying Trump’s Troops. This is an issue for Congress to look into. This is an issue Congress would normally investigate and offer solutions for. We could deescalate violence by treating this very real matter with the seriousness it deserves. 

Without a new leader who has the gravitas of an MLK, and with the one who remembers and speaks out and holds America’s feet to the fire, John Lewis, lying in state in the Capitol, there is no one powerful enough to speak against the madman in the Oval Office who only wishes to get reelected. There is no bicameral legislature to look at America’s problems and tackle them. There is the House which tries and the Senate which has turned itself into a black hole where law and order and tradition go to die.

As if that were not enough, America is in the midst of a raging coronavirus pandemic or perhaps we would have some funds available to help find good solutions, which would involve spending government money wisely. (an oxymoron perhaps). There are financial ways to attack massive unemployment and a need for medical attention; both needs that could be fueling demonstrations at an unconscious level. Minority communities deserve the same relief as white communities; in fact, since they are harder hit, they deserve more relief.

What if this is all part of Trump’s reelection campaign? Offer no redress. Outfit policemen in riot gear. Hype up the bad actors and down play the citizens with a real cause. Scare the white suburban voters that you were losing into coming back under the protective wing of the government. Look at all the troops I can conjure out of thin air (albeit sinister troops with no insignia and unmarked cars, with weapons of war as if this is a citizen’s revolution). These are demonstrations; this is not a revolution. 

Escalate, escalate, whip up the violence. Talk nonstop about the gang shootings that seem to be sliding in at the fringes of this movement. Make graffiti look like an antifa (antifascist) organization is tagging all federal buildings (it’s not).

I, Trump, seated on an eagle, wrapped in an American flag, will come to the rescue of all you scared white suburbanites. I am your superhero. I’m not a fascist. I’m your savior. I didn’t use a capital “s “(yet).

If the coronavirus won’t get you then the violent protesters will. Only I (and my zombie army) can save you.

Could this ploy win an election? It worked once under much less chaotic circumstances. How do you fight someone with unlimited powers (back to William Barr) and unlimited resources? 

You keep protesting. You keep exposing the cynicism of these political acts. You keep showing how deeply depraved these people are.

These BLM demonstrations; this very real cry for justice from our own neighbors, did not have to arrive at this violent moment. Just keep remembering that there are nonviolent, cultural adjustments we could make to help wipe out racism forever. This is divide and conquer and it will work unless we stay aware, cut through the rhetoric and the law and order double speak, and keep speaking the truth. This Trump is not rescuing you. He is playing you so he can keep robbing from you. He’s a con artist at the peak of his game and he could not handle one single issue that America faces with any authenticity or empathy or cultural skill. Look how he handled the pandemic. 

The William Barr show is on TV today if you can stomach it. The Democrats can’t get a word in edgewise. But we know who you are behind that wizard curtain, Bill Barr. You are a fake and a fraud and you are no patriot.

“He Ain’t Gonna Be President Now”

From a Google Image Search – The Daily Wire – Getty Images – Portland, Oregon

A young black man is walking down a street somewhere between his home and a convenient store. He has purchased a bottle of iced tea and it dangles from his hand in a plastic grocery bag. He is doing one unusual thing. He is wearing a mask. If it had been a few weeks later this would not have been at all unusual. Someone calls 911 and says that there is a man acting suspiciously walking down their street. Except he was really just walking, walking with a mask on. 

The police pull up and he asks what he has done. They reply that he is acting suspiciously, obviously just taking the word of the 911 caller. This young man is not a criminal, he gives massages and plays a violin. He is shy, he explains that he is not bad, just different. He is an introvert. He pleads with the police not to do this. He tells them he has no weapons. He does it all peacefully and politely. They inject him with ketamine and later he dies. 

This is not an isolated incident. It happens over and over. Black people are being apprehended for the simplest of infractions or no infractions at all, simply walking while black, or having a broken taillight while black and they, inexplicably, end up dead. This should not happen in America or anywhere.

Finally there is one incident too many. It happens to come at a time when news is just breaking that Black folks are more likely to die from the coronavirus, when Black unemployment is high. What would you do? How would you get the police to solve this problem they have in their ranks? Finally there is a protest, a protest that sticks, that plans to continue until the police promise to stop letting this particular pattern play out over and over again; until the police promise to police their own when their racism becomes obvious, before they can kill someone. The police are the ones with the problem. The solution must come from our police.

On Facebook white people are freaking out. There’s rioting they say, judgmentally, fearfully. These Black people are out of control they say. They agree that the authorities should clamp down on these people right now. They want this stopped right now. But they are wrong again. 

Yes, there are three groups of people on America’s streets right now. There are peaceful protestors. Should peaceful protestors be met with police or troops in riot gear, shooting rubber bullets and throwing tear gas. It is legal to protest in America. There are reasons to protest right now in America. Racism is real. There really are police who seem to target minorities, most often Black people. No one should have to die for possessing a BB gun while 12-years-old (Tamir Rice). No one should get stopped for a broken taillight and end up dead when they have committed no other crime. No one who resists arrest very mildly and has no weapon, or admits they have a permitted weapon but it is shut away, should end up in a choke hold and then dead, or get tazed to death. There is a long list of these incidents – too long. It’s documented. We’ve seen the video.

Finally, during a pandemic, without jobs, people have been pushed too far and they exercise their right to protest peacefully. What should bother white people is that this happens most often to Black people. Why isn’t that what bothers us? Perhaps because segregation is still built into American culture, so they don’t know any Black people and all the stereotypes they believe about Black people seem to justify their xenophobia.

Then we have other people who use the distraction of legal protests to create chaos, to break glass, burn down cars and buildings, steal and harm police. They are violent and scary. Perhaps even the police are scared. There may even be crossover people who belong to both groups, protestors and rioters. But criminal behavior by some does not make peaceful protests by others any less legal. 

The third group we have in our streets is the drug dealers and the gangs who, sadly, feel they must defend small areas of “turf” that belong to them, that other gangs must not invade. These lines may be lines of “entrepreneurship” – “I do business here, you do not.” They may be lines of ownership. Gangs are as old as time and they do tend to crop up in groups that feel sidelined, that are consistently excluded from the “goodies” others possess and who decide ‘to get them some of that.’

There are cultural reasons for all of these behaviors from peaceful protesting, to rioting, to gangs and gang warfare. We have robbed Black communities of opportunity by keeping them on the lowest levels of our budgets, by not making sure that people, even in our poorest neighborhoods, receive lots of positive attention and plenty of funding. There are people in every community who give and give and give, but they never have access to enough resources to actually turn things around. So when people riot I just see it as our stinginess coming back to bite us. Given greater equality there might even be no need for gangs and drug dealers.

How do those tasked with keeping law and order tell one group from the other, people ask? We have respect for law enforcement in the abstract and don’t like to see police officers placed in danger. But when one group of citizens has needs that are pitted against the needs of others, people get hurt. 

Curfews help, most violence seems to happen at night, but protestors are tempted to defy curfews. These matters are usually handled locally by cities and counties and states. Local authorities know the people in their community, or they should. They know better than strangers who is likely to be in which group on the streets at any given time. 

If we had a real President and he saw the sorrows of some of the people he  would work with Congress to come up with suggestions for ways we might tackle the patterns of senseless death at the hands of “bad” police; we might get some gangs off the streets if police weren’t worried that everyone has a gun; and we might come up with some ways to tackle stubborn poverty that seems related to the color of one’s skin.

But instead we have this president, who sees citizens as lawbreakers who must be beaten into submission, intimidated and threatened by faceless men in army camo, in unmarked SUVs, who grab them off the streets and even put hoods over some of their heads. These authority figures do not identify themselves. No one was read their rights and the mayor was not even aware that this lawless President, who believes he has the power to do whatever he wants, had sent these “troops” into their city. And then that President says (not in these exact words), yes I did it and I plan to go into other cities in the same way because the mayors are not doing a good job. The states are on their own to handle the pandemic, but I will invade cities with my bully boys and I will show these law breakers what terror really is and show these mayors how to handle thugs.

That’s fascism, that tramples all over laws protecting the rights of citizens, and it will never, ever solve our racism. But it seems to be making some white people very happy – and that is, after all, the point. What it should make us all say is that line from Hamilton, “he ain’t never gonna be President now.”

Politics from the Cheap Seats

Omnibus Edition 1 covers 2010-2016

These essays were all written in the administration of Barrack Obama. They show a Republic Party that had been radicalized by the Tea Party movement, the Federalists, the NRA, and a web of Conservative think tanks and policy groups. Fundamentalists had their own influential groups that also worked with the Conservative web. It became clear that there was a concerted effort to put forth an firm agenda for the way Conservatives planned to steer government into the future. We came to know these agenda items as ‘talking points’. It also became clear that Republicans were looking for members who would lead aggressively and who would not put too fine a point on civility. The groundwork for this agenda was laid out before Obama won, but the obstructionism and the racism, the voter suppression, and the reactionary attitudes towards women and immigrants became Republican strategy and this strategy is still in use today. Conservatives seem dedicated to winning a final battle with liberalism, once and for all. As you read these essays you can watch this campaign unfold.

Omnibus Edition 2 with bonus material covers 2017-2020

Donald J. Trump was elected to be America’s 45 th President in 2016. He was inaugurated in 2017 and joined an elite club of men who have led American through good times and bad. From the beginning he seemed to deliberately govern America as if he were a king or a mafia don. He does not ever worry about representing all Americans. He is, clearly, the “Red State” President with his own supporters, his own media and his own agenda, which also includes helping the Republicans and the Fundamentalists accomplish their agenda when doing so suits his purposes. 

What ensues in the first term of Trump is the subject of this book, which covers the essays I wrote during Trump’s first term in office. Since I would like to get these thoughts out in time to convince voters of how important it will be to replace the Republicans and Donald Trump with Democrats if we want our republic to survive, I had to publish before the end of 2020.

We are in the midst of trying to emerge from a pandemic and whether this virus is done with us or not remains to be seen. If there is a second wave of the virus we are unsure what will happen to the American economy. This administration does not value workers except as cogs in a Capitalist machine that drives the stock market. This is not an argument against Capitalism. It is an argument against a misguided ideology that divides people into winners and losers and plans to give the winners dominion over the losers.

I have an author page on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/author/nlbrisson

Changing Dominance

From the Hollywood Reporter

Interesting times. Hair-raising times. But there are great trends at work under all the mess. There is the ‘about time’ movement of overturning privilege. This deep desire for change may have found its moment. Why do white people assume they are better than people with pigmented skin? Why do white men dominate the world? Why has wealth been allowed to accumulate in so few hands? Why do we tolerate sexual abuse and why is the perpetrator so often male? These are issues that run at the core of our current events. And they are thorny issues. Humans who have found ways to accrue privilege to their group do not give it up easily or voluntarily. We don’t necessarily want the scales to tip too far in the opposite direction either.

The issues get muddy. When Black folks decide to say ‘enough’ and most of us agree that we cannot watch this horror show anymore, someone always has to muddy the issues by saying ‘all lives matter.’ All lives matter is a given, but it includes those who already have more privilege than they know what to do with. White people don’t get to pile on. Many say but I am poor and white so no privilege, but that is because you are privileged in so many small ways that it never strikes you as privilege. You never need to worry if someone will object to you walking down a street unless you look too obviously poor; and then you can solve that by simply changing your outfit. If you win the lottery while white you can live anywhere you wish without having to think about the repercussion on your family’s well-being and acceptance. We are confusing economics with racism. 

One issue at a time. Latinos are also included in discrimination against skin color, but they have other issues too such as language and recency. Black issues are old and we have overlooked hate that has been steeping for too long. Solving racism will lift all minority boats, but right now we are solving racism against people who were once owned by white Americas who resent that they were forced to free them, who held them down so they could look down on them, because they knew in their hearts that slavery was wrong. Slavery was such a twisted system which made a point of the economic and cultural differences between Black folks and white folks and tried to make them biological differences, cognitive differences. 

Let’s stick to the racism that never ended when slavery ended and then we can deal with how we will live peacefully and productively with other minority groups. Focus, concentrate, and stop being threatened by things like a bunch of statues that mean little or nothing to most of us, or changes to policing which we can see has too many burdens – too much militaristic equipment and too many citizens with guns to deal with. What will change the way our culture is structured to keep darker-skinned people separate and not equal? Get used to the term ‘reparation’ or any synonym because economic poverty helps perpetuate racism and only economic remedies will make inroads on white supremacy. In the end white supremacy is about money and power. 

This is also about history. We believe that the complex history of white nations, which is European history and American history, with its giant leaps in progress and innovation is all the proof we need that whites are superior to other races. But what our DNA mania is telling us is that there are no separate human races. We are all one race which simply wandered all over the globe and adapted to conditions in various places. The history of white nations came after other nations made astounding leaps in cultural ‘progress.’ Perhaps climate and access to fresh water had more to do with which cultures grew bigger and lasted longer. 

And older cultures seem to look at all our wasteful exuberance and at what it is doing to the planet as too much progress, an obsession with progress, a hamster-wheel of progress with no point and no soul. Did we get addicted to progress just for the sake of showing off our big egos? Is there a way to edit progress, to keep what is useful and tone done what is harmful? Here we are in the midst of a pandemic and some Americans are ready to start a war unless they can belly up at their favorite bar this weekend. Will instant gratification end our Grand Experiment in governance and culture? 

People also get religion all mixed up in this. Which religion developed last seems to suggest that this is the last word of God and since Christianity became the possession of white people that means that white people are God’s newest and best creation. This attempt on behalf of white people to own God and Jesus is so patently outrageous that it makes Thomas Paine’s The Age of Reason, with its argument on behalf of Deism sound positively rational and right. So many bad things have their roots in Christianity in Europe and probably in most religions; it almost makes you want to abandon the entire realm of the spirit which has also been tainted by money and power.

Let’s hope this time white folks can get over themselves and do the work that needs to be done, open our arms and our hearts and our pocketbooks and get this one argument over domination, power, superiority, and money over with once and for all. With the sharks in charge this does not seem like the best hour for this fight. We know the dangers of swimming with sharks, especially hungry sharks. Will there be casualties or can we do this by winning one extremely consequential election? It could actually be that simple if that administration makes the laws that offer the change and then builds in the protections that make the laws stick. 

No one should get killed coming home from a convenient store with a bottle of iced tea. That young man, Elijah McClain (say his name)  did not need a ketamine injection. Solve racism to the best of our abilities, and then move on. Because we also have to solve #metoo with women asking for protection from men and men claiming that they also need protection. No wonder our brains feel ready to explode. Trying to be fair to everyone may not be possible when you are trying to change old patterns of domination.