Egberto Willies

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Updated: 6 hours 37 min ago

Black protester hugs white supremacist & he doesn’t know what to do (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-10-21 12:02

Call me a mush, but I loved watching the black activist hugging the white supremacist in a nonconfrontational manner even if he invaded his space. People hate the caricature of others but it is hard to hate just flesh & blood of a different hued facade.

Someone has to break the cycle. Actions like that of this brave protester are more powerful than one can imagine because it is personal. I wrote the article "Why I give racists 2nd, 3rd, and more chances and it's about sexism" that is congruous to this story that is worth a read.

Black protestor hugs white supremacist

A nazi and a black man.....America 2017 #SpencerAtUF pic.twitter.com/sSaG36EuOr

— Politics 4 Dummies (@Politics4dum) October 19, 2017

WGN 9 reported the following.

GAINSVILLE, Fla. — A video shows the moment a black man hugged a Nazi outside white supremacist leader Richard Spencer’s speech Thursday afternoon at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

In the video, which was posted on Twitter by user Politics for Dummies, 31-year-old Aaron Alex Courtney is seen hugging the man and asking, “Why don’t you like me, dog?”

Courtney told the New York Daily News that he could have hurt the man or started a fight but instead wanted to show love.

“I asked him, ‘Why do you hate me? What is it about me? Is it my skin color? My history? My dreadlocks?”

When the Nazi looked away and avoided his questions, he gave him a hug.

“I reached over and the third time, he wrapped his arms around me, and I heard God whisper in my ear, ‘You changed his life,'” Courtney said.

When he asked again, “Why do you hate me?” the man replied, “I don’t know.”

The white supremacist said he did not know why he hated the other. We cannot allow instigators to create divisions between groups. The biggest fear of those in power is for Americans to realize they have a common enemy and it isn't each other. Activists must cross lines to get that reality cauterized in the brains of our citizens. Then we can work together to fight that which pilfers us, the plutocracy.

 

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If Progressives perform the country will respond. Its values are with us (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-10-20 21:25

America is not a Center-Right country. It is governed by a Right Wing sect and run by Center-Right ideologues. America is a Progressive country based on the value set people by large majorities or pluralities. So why is it that we do not see a government that reflects the people?

The following is a snippet from my Politics Done Right Show. Please listen and answer the poll question in the video at around 2-minutes-thirty-second in the video.

Progressives, the country is with us

Check out the entire show here.

I attend the Netroots Nation conference every year. At the 2015 conference, Elizabeth Warren enumerated all the reasons why Progressives need to boldly promote our values.

Elizabeth Warren proved with fact-based data that most of the American population are in fact Progressives/Liberals. She used the examples of the passage of minimum wage increases in four states even in a year that was devastating for Democrats. Warren went on to enumerate progressive issue after progressive issue including student debt, election reform, Wall Street reform, and many other issues where irrespective of self-identification, Americans are progressive.

The Right was effective in demonizing the word Liberal and now the word Progressive. They needed to demonize the label because they knew what Americans' real values were. If they could disassociate values from the proper moniker, they could win with deception. They have been successful in most instances  thus far. After-all, it has given them a near lock on the U.S. House of Representatives.

It is for this reason that real Liberals and Progressives must self-identify as such and articulate the values as Elizabeth Warren is doing. That will 'rehabilitate' the words under which real progress was attained in this country. It will initially be slow and painful.

Here is the video.

Of course many in America have been indoctrinated to believe that policies expressed in "liberal terms" as bad even as they want and need them. It is incumbent on us to connect. (e.g., Pay-It-Forward Tuition instead of "Tuition Free," and so on.

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America in trouble, Trump’s Chief of Staff John Kelly has become Donald Trump (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-10-20 16:24

Working with good, compassionate and honest people tend to infect. It makes one work towards becoming better. Unfortunately, the converse is true. It is clear that while most hoped that John Kelly could temper Trump, his false attack on Congresswoman Frederica Wilson prove the opposite has occurred. Moreover, he lied just like his boss did and Lawrence O'Donnell made him pay for it.

Lawrence O'Donnell excoriates John Kelly

"White House Chief of Staff John Kelly had a job to do today," Lawrence O'Donnell said. "Take the heat off the president for getting into trouble for something that no president before him has gotten into trouble for. Donald Trump made a mess with the condolence phone call to the widow of Sgt. La David Johnson who was killed two weeks ago.in Niger. Today John Kelly made just as much as a mess in his attempt to clean up Donald Trump's mess."

In his attempt to defend the president John Kelly attacked the congresswoman with what ultimately turned out to be a lie. He falsely accused her of grandstanding and tried to demean her by calling her an empty barrel.

Rawstory reported the following.

New York Times writer and MSNBC political analyst Nick Confessore took exception to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders’ contention at Friday’s press briefing that reporters shouldn’t question White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s word because he is a “former four-star general.”

On Thursday, after giving a moving account of losing his son, Kelly launched a vicious personal attack against Rep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL). The retired general called Wilson an “empty barrel” that “makes the most noise” even as he seemed to corroborate her version of events with regard to Trump’s call to the widow of fallen U.S. Army Green Beret La David Johnson.

Confessore pointed out that the video from the 2015 eventdescribed by Kelly does not remotely resemble Kelly’s account. Kelly accused Wilson of grandstanding and interrupting the solemn occasion of an FBI building’s dedication to two fallen agents to boast about her fundraising prowess.

“He is a former four-star general but he’s a current chief of staff at the White House,” said Confessore. “He led a press briefing yesterday” — meaning Kelly set aside the mantle of nonpartisan general when he became a political operative and did the president’s bidding by carrying out a political hit on Wilson.

In other words, John Kelly has become Donald Trump.

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President Obama all but said the Trump administration is doomed to failure (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-10-20 12:00

President Obama has always been a smooth operator. He chooses his words carefully for maximum impact. He can a whole lot with very few words. And that is just what he did here.

Some may wonder what took the former President that long to be as specific as he was in describing Trump's win and his inability to govern going forward.

President Obama: Implies Trump administration doomed

"I mean, you notice I haven't been commenting a lot on politics lately," President Obama said. "But here's one thing I know. If you have to win a campaign by dividing people. You're not going to be able to govern them.You won't be able to unite them later if that's how you start."

That very short and concise statement packs a lot and describes exactly what is occurring within the Trump administration. President Obama also pointed out in his speech that Americans are not feeling very good in their public lives because of a politics that is instigating divisions instead of a politics that lift people up. Ironically on the same day, former President Bush called out Donald Trump as well.

Trump lost the popular vote. He got 3 million fewer votes than Hillary Clinton. But he got the necessary votes in the right areas to win the Electoral College using techniques to divide Americans by reigniting friction between groups.

Trump was a wake up call. It is time for Progressives to regroup and it seems they are doing just that. This week I featured two Progressive candidate on Politics Done Right who are vying for seats held by Conservatives in Texas. They are running under the Justice Democrat Platform and were part of the Brand New Congress movement. They intend to present citizens in their district with a choice, inclusion and an economy that works for all versus hate and an economy that pilfers the middle-class.

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Kingwood mom who caused a stir biking her kids to school featured on KHOU (VIDEO)

Fri, 2017-10-20 02:39

The Houston local television station KHOU picked up the story of a Kingwood mom who was attacked online for taking her kids to school by pulling them in a carriage behind her bike.

KHOU's Brett Buffington visited Jennifer at her home in Kingwood to get the story directly from the source. She explained why she pulled her kids to school. She also showed her disgust for those attempting to shame her online.

Kingwood Mom interviewed by KHOU about the reaction biking kids to school

Kingwood mom who caused a stir biking her kids to school featured on KHOU (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/y1LV6fmrDE

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 20, 2017

The reality is Jennifer owed no one any explanation. But it is clear the reaction to her pulling her kids with her bike created a story worth telling. According to KHOU,

KINGWOOD, Texas – Twice a day, five days a week, parents line up at Bear Branch Elementary. The line is long as students are picked up and dropped off. Since school started this year, almost everyday, Jennifer Ackerman has peddled past other parents, right to the school’s front door.

Her twin boys are in first grade but aren't going to the same elementary school that backs up to the family's backyard. One of Ackerman’s sons is autistic and the Kingwood school district offered the child a spot in a program that is designed for gifted children, including those with special needs. For the Ackerman family, that meant both boys had to be in two separate places, at the same time.

The KHOU interview and subsequent article were fair but I think they missed an opportunity to go more in depth with many issues that are readily apparent. Should there be recourse from HISD for parents that must be at multiple schools at the same time? How does one explain the psychology of those attacking the mom?

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“We are at war with Russia?” Oh, Really? Here are some questions.

Fri, 2017-10-20 01:34

by Ernest Partridge

As the American media pumps up its Russophobic rhretoric, escalating the status of the Vladimir Putin and the Russian Federation from "rival" to "adversary" to "enemy, " and the crisis from "rivalry" to "The equivalent of war," finally to (unqualified) "war," numerous urgent questions arise. These questions are, for the most part, ignored by our "mainstream media" (MSM) by which I mean I mean the90% of all American media that is owned by just six mega-corporations, together with the portion of the remaining 10% following the party line.

Absent a serious discussion of these questions by the MSM, I will pose some of these questions and suggest a few answers.

Are we really "at war" with Russia, due to Russia’s alleged election interference?

When Russia tries to interfere with the American elections, our media calls it "the equivalent of war." When the United States does the same thing to Iran, Chile, Ukraine, Russia, etc. (it’s a long list), we call it "regime change."

"At war with Russia?" Where are the missile launches, the air combat, the marines on the beaches, the armies in deadly combat, the bombed cities? And where are the casualties – the young men killed in battle? None of the above? Then in what realistic sense are we "at war?"

Even so, we are told that this is "the equivalent of war!" If so, then so too was Iran (1952), Chile (1973), Ukraine (2014), when we overthrew legally elected governments, and in Russia (1996) when we successfully prevented Yeltsin’s defeat.  Did we then hear hyperventilating media rhetoric about "the equivalent of war?"

Our media have made it clear to the Russians that we regard them as are our enemies. Why then should we be surprised if they then apply the same "election tampering" tricks on us that we have inflicted upon other nations, including Russia?

If the American public is convinced that "we are at war" (albeit "metaphorically"), might not that public be eager to retaliate with a "real war" – with missiles, tanks, aircraft, bombs and casualties."

No, we are not "at war" with Russia in any meaningful sense of that word. "War talk" is inflammatory, irresponsible and very dangerous. Let’s stifle it. Are you listening, Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner, Keith Olbermann, Rachel Maddow, Malcolm Nance, (and many more)? Not likely. And so the beat goes on, as we march confidently toward unspeakable disaster.

Do the Russians and the Americans have different attitudes toward war?

American and Russian attitudes toward war are vastly different, and for very good reasons.

For Americans, war is an adventure, glamorized by Hollywood and video games, and always fought on foreign soil "over there." In World War II, not one Nazi bomb or artillery shell fell on the American continent.

For the Russians, war is an unmitigated catastrophe. Russia has been invaded countless times in its history, most horribly in World War II (which the Russians call "The Great Patriotic War"). In that war, twenty-five million Soviet citizens perished, including ninety percent of all males born in 1920.

Recently, NATO conducted "war games" in Estonia, within artillery range of St. Petersburg, where, in the 900 day siege of Leningrad (1941-1944), a million Russians starved to death. NATO exercises were also conducted in Poland, across which the Wehrmacht marched on its way toward the slaughter of those twenty-five million Soviets

Perhaps these NATO maneuvers are, as the NATO officials insist, not intended to threaten the Russians. But surely we must understand why the Russians might not agree.

The Russian attitude toward war was eloquently stated by Foreign Ministry spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova:

There's nothing worse in this world than war, because war renders everything else irrelevant. When there is war there is neither good nor bad, there is only war. So when they make documentaries in the West about Russia mounting offensives and launching missile strikes, there's one thing they fail to understand. The mere mention of war to a Russian makes our skin crawl. It gives is a sense of the world coming to an end -- a sense of panic. Once they realize [this], (if they ever do), they will be able to understand everything about us. We have lived through real war so many times -- not the movies or video games, the way they experience war. It is not even the kind of war where they dispatch their troops elsewhere, not knowing what it is like to fight a war at home. If they ever realized that, which I hope they will, they are bound to feel guilty and ashamed of what they are doing right now. (February, 2016)

Are the Russians capable of waging war against the US and its allies?

The Russian military capabilities are paradoxical. Offensively, the Russian military is weak. Defensively, it is very strong. Surely the Russians know this. And if they can put propaganda and group-think aside, American strategic planners must also know this.

The Russian military budget is one tenth of that of the United States.  Moreover, while the Trump administration is proposing an increase of $80 billion, Putin’s government has announced a 25% reduction.  Few Americans know this, because the MSM has not seen fit to report it. The Russian navy has one obsolete, oil burning aircraft carrier, the United States has twelve nuclear powered super carriers, the latest, the USS Gerald R Ford, costing $13 billion. Russia has one military base outside of Russian and former Soviet territory (in Syria).   The United States has nearly 800 foreign military bases in ninety countries.  Clearly the Russians are not preparing to launch invasions outside their territory. Furthermore, there is no compelling evidence that they intend to do so.

Defensively, the Russians are on much more secure ground – specifically, the "ground" of the largest nation in the world. The United States military – boasted as "the mightiest military force in history" – has failed to win a war since 1945, and cannot prevail over peasant armies in Viet Nam and Afghanistan. Claims that this military can succeed on Russian soil, where Napoleon and Hitler failed, is pure fantasy.

What about Ukraine and Crimea?

I truly wish that Putin had not annexed Crimea, and perhaps by now Putin agrees, given the damage to the Russian economy from the resulting sanctions. But I also doubt that he would have taken Crimea if we had not invested five billion in the effort to get Ukraine into NATO, and if we had not assisted in the ouster of Russia-friendly President Viktor Yanukovitch. That coup was followed by the revolt of the ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. Granted, Yanukovich was a corrupt scoundrel. But he was also legally elected to his office.

Crimea is a bell that can not easily be unrung. Apparently up to ninety percent of Crimeans prefer to be Russians than Ukrainians. Should they not have a say regarding their future? My suggestion: another plebiscite, this time supervised by the United Nations. If, as is likely, the Crimeans vote for independence from Ukraine, the Russian government should pay reparations to Ukraine, which would cost Russia far less than the cost of the western sanctions following the Maidan uprising (2014).  In order to allow a "cooling-off period," following the plebiscite Crimea might agree to be an independent republic for twenty to thirty years, following which, most likely, the Crimean people would choose union with Russia.

Russia has not "invaded" eastern Ukraine, although to be sure, many Russians have crossed to border to fight with the ethnic Russian rebels. They have done so to protect their Russian-speaking cousins from Kievan "irregulars" some of whom wear swastikas on their helmets and uniforms. Yes, there is fault to be found on both sides, but there are no regular organized Russian army troops in eastern Ukraine, and no tanks, personnel carriers, artillery or Russian air strikes in Ukraine. The eastern regions of Donetsk and Donbas have not been annexed by Russia. Solution? A federated Ukraine, with the eastern, Russian-speaking regions semi-autonomous from the Kiev government.

American critics of Russian "interference" are typically ignorant of the historically close ties between Ukraine and Russia. Kiev is the "cradle" of the Russian nation where, a thousand years ago, Prince Vladimir converted to Christianity and "urged" (under duress) the entire city to do likewise.

Is the new "Committee to Investigate Russia" likely to shed light on the so-called "war" against Russia?

Why should this "Committee" even bother to "investigate," since they clearly have answered the question to their satisfaction. "We are at war!" Morgan Freeman proclaims. And CIR founder, Rob Reiner: we will endeavor to "understand the gravity of Russia’s invasion of our democracy." "Invasion"? "Our democracy"? Shouldn’t these tacit assumptions be subjected to critical analysis? Apparently Rob Reiner and the CIR do not think so.

"Verdict first, trial later, said the Red Queen."

There are numerous informed experts on Russia – former diplomats (e.g., Jack Matlock), scholars (e.g. Stephen F. Cohen), historians (e.g. John Mearsheimer), journalists (e.g. Robert Parry) among them, all loyal American patriots – who have strikingly contrary opinions about Russia and the current conflict. If the CIS agrees to examine these opinions respectfully and objectively, then I will take their pronouncements more seriously.

Likewise the commercial news media. Unfortunately, these moderates (aka "Russian dupes") are totally absent from the mainstream media. If they are allowed on panels with "the usual suspects," and treated with respect and not as targets; if, that is to say, they are allowed to complete their sentences, and even string a few sentences together uninterrupted, then I might begin to pay more attention to the MSM.

I find little reason to expect such responsible behavior on the part of the Committee to Investigate Russia, or the mainstream commercial media.

Some of the pro-Trump ads on Facebook were paid for in rubles. Doesn’t that prove that the Russians were involved?

Pause for a moment and take a critical look at this charge. The Russians allegedly mounted a covert campaign to influence the election by purchasing pro-Trump ads on Facebook, some of which were paid for in rubles. "Covert"? "Rubles"?

Say what you will about the Russians. But surely we can agree that they are not stupid. If they truly wanted to keep the source of these ads secret, would they pay for them in rubles? However, if someone wanted to steer suspicion toward the Russians, then they would connive to pay for those ads in rubles. In short, this has all the earmarks of a "false flag" operation. And the Russophobes have fallen for it totally. For example in an MSNBC interview on September 25, Hillary Clinton cited those Rubles as "evidence" of Russian "interference." It is a charge heard repeatedly in the MSM, in the apparently successful belief that the public will not see the absurdity of it.

And now, the media is obsessed with Russian infiltration of "social media" – Twitter, Facebook, etc. The Russian investment in this mischief has been estimated at $100,000, elsewhere at $250,000. These princely sums, we are told, may have significantly affected the election. Oh, really? That "investment" of $250,000 amounts to .0005 percent of the five billion cost of the election.

Just what is this "Russian threat?"

There are several alleged "threats." Among them:

1. Russia aims to undermine our "leadership of the free world," and in particular, the NATO alliance. Well, what should we expect? We have expanded a military alliance (NATO), in violation of an agreement with Gorbachev not to do so, in exchange with Russia allowing the reunification of Germany as a NATO member. Do we now expect Russia not to respond to NATO troops along its western border by not attempting to weaken that alliance? As for our "leadership of the free world," our buffoonish President has done far more to undermine that leadership than Putin could have imagined that Russia could accomplish.

2. Russia resists the American "global hegemony" proclaimed by the neo-cons. When we believed that "the international communist conspiracy" intended to establish a "global hegemony," the West responded vigorously with NATO and with expanding military budgets. When our neo-cons openly advocate American global "hegemomy," and when our Congress and our media boldly announce American "exceptionalism" to international norms and to the United Nations Charter in particular, why should we be surprised if the Russian resist?

3. Russia aspires ("threatens"?) to become a strong, prosperous, and independent nation among the "community of nations. Of course it does! What nation does not? What nation does not have a "right" to such aspirations. Apparently Russia is succeeding in this aim, despite American sanctions (as I elaborate below).

4. Russia threatens nuclear attack. And the United States does not? In fact, in 2014 President Obama announced an expansion of our nuclear deterrent that will cost a trillion dollars over the next thirty years.  And so Russia responds by announcing a modernization of its nuclear forces.   Who’da thunk it?

So we are back to the old Cold War, zero-sum, nuclear arms race. When will we ever learn that the threat of nuclear war cannot be rationally regarded as an "us vs. them" contest. It is, instead, a common problem, requiring a plus-sum solution. Now and then, both sides come to that realization: the resolution of the Cuban Missile Crisis, nuclear test bans, non-proliferation treaties, and the Reagan/Gorbachev accords. But then, somehow, we slip back into our bad habits. I am reminded of the closing comment by the computer in the first "War Games" movie: "a strange game. The only winning move is not to play ."

5. Russia is undermining our democracy by meddling with our elections. This accusation dominates the anti-Russia, anti-Putin media barrage. Although the accusation escalates day by day – "We are at War!!" we are told – many responsible observers reply that the charge is either unproven or enormously exaggerated.  See, in particular, Robert Parry here  and here.   But don't expect to encounter dissenters such as Parry anywhere in the mainstream "Ministry of Truth."

Count me among these dissenters. I need not burden the reader here with criticism of the "Russian meddling" hysteria, since I have done so elsewhere at some lengthhere and here.

If, as I suspect, all five of these alleged "threats," are either groundless or vastly exaggerated, will someone please explain to me why or how "Putin is threatening our democracy?"

I have much more to say about "the Russian threat" in my essay, "Unwrapping the Russia Enigma." 

What is the point, and the likely result, of economic sanctions against Russia?

What do we expect? An urgent plea from the Kremlin, ""We give up, you win! Please send over your Viceroy to come and rule us."

History affirms that Russians do not respond like this. Instead, they respond with defiance and resolve. If challenged, they will look elsewhere for an alliance against the American’s self- proclaimed "global hegemony" And where? China of course. Or the BRIC economic union (Brazil, Russia, India, China). And you might be astonished to find defections from some of our European and Pacific Rim "allies," even now getting restless in the face of American bluster, arrogance, and bullying. After all, as few media pundits have bothered to note, economic sanctions cut two ways. Forbid sales of agricultural products to Russia, and European farmers will suffer. Same for consumer goods and much more.

Even so, won’t these sanctions devastate the Russian economy?

Don’t count on it. If the West refuses to deal with Russia, then Russia will turn to the East. The Russian prospects for such a "turn" are remarkable to say the least. They might totally transform the global economic system, with the United States left behind. In fact, such a transformation is already in progress. Consider:

The United States is separated from its European and Pacific Rim allies by broad oceans. In contrast, Russia and China share a 2316 mile border. Today, a slow train can travel from eastern China to Madrid in three weeks. When a projected hyper speed train is installed, that time will be reduced to two days. Today a train ride from Moscow to Beijing takes six and a half days. With high speed rail, that time will be reduced to 33 hours.

That rail system is projected to extend from Beijing to Portugal, with branches to the south to Islamic nations, and transecting the territories of our "steadfast European allies," who will surely utilize it to establish firm commercial ties to Russia and China and other nations to the East.

And what investments and technological wizardry do we American have to match all that? Have you taken a ride on Amtrak recently? We could surely have a high speed rail network in the United States to rival anything in China, Japan or Europe. However, our Congress has decreed that tax breaks and tax shelters for our billionaires are more urgent.

"But surely, the Russian economy, broken by US and Western sanctions, cannot finance such expensive projects?" Really? Have you seen "Moscow City," a massive new business center two and a half miles from the Kremlin? Take a look.Visit Moscow today and you will see cranes everywhere, as dozens of new high-rise building are being constructed. Is this evidence of an economy in ruins?

The United States will not establish its cherished "Global Hegemony" simply because it cannot. It lacks the political institutions, the economic foundations, the infrastructure, and the human resources, to do so. A bold claim, that I will argue in my next essay.

If we go to war with Russia, will it be like World War II? Will it "go nuclear?"

"World War III" would be nothing like its predecessors. Armies that prepare to fight the "next war" with the weapons and tactics of the previous, tend to lose. Strange to say, the Japanese did us a favor by sinking our WWI battleships at Pearl Harbor. We responded, not with a vast fleet of new battleships, but with numerous aircraft carriers – the kind of ships that launched the Pearl Harbor attack.

Clearly the Russians, with their minuscule investment in conventional weapons and their projected reduction of their defense budget, are not preparing to fight a repeat of WWII. The next war would be a cyber war, and it would be brutal.

The 1940s infrastructure was connected with roads, rails, wires, vacuum tubes and radio ("RF") transmission. Today’s commercial infrastructure is digitally connected with semiconductors and microprocessors, and it is much more vulnerable. For example, a high-altitude nuclear blast, while it might not cause extensive property or personal damage, would create an electro-magnetic pulse (EMT) that would "fry" (i.e. destroy) all microcircuits within a wide radius.  And a well-designed computer virus or "worm" could infect and disable essential military and industrial computers.  Indeed, the "Stuxnet" virus, did just that in 2010 when it sabotaged the Iranian nuclear industry.

The Russians know this, and they are showing considerable skill in cyber warfare. The US military’s response is more $13 billion aircraft carriers (twelve and counting), super sonic aircraft and drones, each of these advances of WWII weapons and technology.

An all out cyber war would massively attack our communications system, in a shutdown of the internet and emails. Also, the disruption of business and financial communications and utility grids. Imagine returning home to no electric power, phone service or access to the internet. Add to that, no restocking of the local supermarket or gas stations. And no capability of the government to make prompt repairs. The result: Total economic collapse, and widespread starvation and disease.  Doubtlessly, if this happens, we would attempt to do the same to Russia. A few autonomous micro systems would survive, most ominously the strategic nuclear attack forces. They would be the only remaining mode of retaliation from the cyber attack.

If both sides recognize these implications of cyber-warfare -- nothing less than a cyber version of Mutually Assured Destruction -- they might be restrained.  But don't count on it.  There is nothing "gradual" about a nuclear first strike: it would surely trigger a retaliation..  Cyber warfare is different -- it can escalate from trivial beginnings.  In fact, the Russophobes are telling us, even without compelling evidence,  that Russia has already launched such a "war" with its "meddling" in the 2016 election.  A year ago on "Meet the Press," Vice Presidet Joe Biden indicated that the United States is fully prepared to embark upon that escalation when he said: "We're sending a message [to Putin]. We have the capacity to [retaliate] .. It will be at the time of our choosing, and under the circumstances that have the greatest impact."  One must wonder if Biden had any idea of the dreadful import of that warning. Did he somehow believe that Russia would not then retaliate in kind? Where does it end?

Why is the media Russophobic? What are the Putin-demonizers trying to accomplish?

That the MSM is russophobic is beyond dispute. Just watch or read it. You might find Russia-friendly and peace-oriented media "at the fringes," in the dissenting internet and publications such as The Nation. But you have to look for it, and the audience is minuscule.

Why the MSM is russophobic is more difficult to understand. One question-begging answer is "group think." If you are a TV news "personality" and have kind words for Vladimir Putin and his government, and if you invite a real-live Russian on your program to defend Russian policy, you will soon be unemployed. Just ask Phil Donahue. If you are a politician and express similar views, you have forfeited your career and will likely lose your next election.

Do I exaggerate? Then please identify just one dissenting russophile in the MSM.  (To repeat, by "the mainstream media" I mean the six corporations that control 90% of the US media). As noted earlier, there are numerous scholars, retired diplomats, historians and journalists who sharply dissent from the russophobic MSM "group think." Their views may be found at the websites of The Center for Citizen InitiativesThe American Committee for East-West Accord,  American University in Moscow,  Consortium News.    But how many of these dissenters have appeared on Face the Nation, Meet the Press, MSNBC panels, and such?

So what are the media russophobes trying to accomplish? In two words: "job security." To accomplish this without embarrassment, they must persuade themselves to actually believe this propaganda.

We’ve seen this before: early in the Viet Nam war, in the run-up to the Iraq war.

Now to that begged question: why the group-think? First of all, "Russia-gate" is seen by the "never Trumpers" of both parties as a crowbar with which to pry the Moron-in-Chief from his office.

But more fundamentally, the russophobic group-think is nurtured by careerism, the profit motive, and audience size – by senior military officers who want to add more stars to their shoulders, by military contractors who want to glom on to still more of the federal budget, and by media moguls who have discovered that peace is a bore and that war-talk is boffo box office.

This is the "military-industrial complex" about which President Eisenhower warned us in 1961, now metastasized into the "military-industrial-congressional-intelligence-media complex," aka "the deep state."

In a 1987 letter to The New York Times, Soviet scholar Georgi Arbatov asked; "We have a secret weapon ... we will deprive America of The Enemy. And how [then will] you justify ... the military expenditures that bleed America white?"

Perhaps we have an answer: if we don’t have an enemy, then we may have to invent one.

Goals aside, where is this russophobia leading us?

The lesson of history is clear: escalating war-talk, unchallenged, often leads to war.

One might assess the state of "Russia-fever" today with a present-time snap-shot. Far better to assess it as a "moving picture" – a trend-line. If so, we find that Vladimir Putin has evolved from "rival" to "adversary" to "enemy" to "demon." What’s ahead? "A new Hitler?" "Another Stalin?" "Devil incarnate?" Uncontested propaganda is like a narcotic: the addict needs more and more of it to get the same "kick.

Congressional and media group-think have put us on a one-way road to catastrophe – a road with no recognized exits and no prospect of a reversal of direction. But there are exits: Negotiation and de-escalation, following a mutual acknowledgment of the common nuclear peril. If not these, then what?

That’s a question that you are unlikely to hear from the pundits and politicians.

I hasten to add that I am no admirer of Vladimir Putin   If I were a Russian, I would not vote for him, as more than a third of the Russians in the 2012 election did not.  But he is the legally elected President of the Russian Federation, and he is supported by a large majority of Russians.  So, like him or not, we must deal with him.

What goals, what "trends" are remotely worth the perils of Cold War II?

In a word: none!

Even so, this is another existential question rarely if ever posed in Congress or the mainstream Ministry of Truth.

Is there an escape from this march to oblivion?

There is. Most urgently: negotiation and de-escalation, as noted above.

Beyond that, we might acknowledge, without necessarily agreeing with, the Russians’ perceived grievances against us.

We might attempt, however painfully, to accept the idea that we Americans are not perfect, or even "exceptional." We might then make a sincere and determined attempt to correct these errors. As a wise man once observed: "the greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none."

We might, through our news media and our schools, learn more about Russian history and culture, and apply this knowledge to our foreign policy. Russia has bestowed upon the world a vast legacy of literature, art and science.  Following the fall of the Soviet Union, cable TV networks such as The Discovery and The History Channel featured an impressive array of programs celebrating this legacy and portraying Russian history. They are absent today.

We might insist that the media welcome dissenting views. That media entertains "both sides" of the evolution and climate change debates. Why not the Russian "threat"?

Then there is "the peace dividend:" if we cut the $824 billion military budget in half, the United States would still have the largest military in the world – not including the military of its allies. Those $400 plus billions could then be applied directly to the physical and human infrastructure – roads, rail, water and sewage, electrical grids, internet access, schools, scientific research and development. The neglect of these essential institutions and services poses a far greater threat to American security and world leadership, than any Russian threat imagined by the media-hawks.

All these positive moves are possible. But sadly, they are unlikely while we are captivated by this deadly anti-Russian "group-think."

And so I must urgently ask the neo-cons and the mainstream media: What do you see as a way out of this deadly trap? What else other than negotiations and mutual concessions?  Do you ever ask these questions?  Do you even care?

What common interest could, and should, unite the United States and Russia?

We begin with the mutual acknowledgment that we Americans and the Russians are fated to live on the same planet. There is no "Planet B." Then we acknowledge common threats and plan together in good faith efforts to deal with them. We know these threats: Non-state terrorism, climate change, nuclear war.

There is no need to posit, as Ronald Reagan suggested, an alien invasion from outer space to unite us.

When I visited Russia seven times in the nineties, Americans were very popular. Some polls showed that Russians approved of Americans four to one. Now, I am told, those numbers have been reversed. No doubt, many Russians are just pissed-off at us yanks. Still more, I suspect, are simply bewildered as they wonder, "why are the Americans treating us this way?"

I confess that I do not have an answer that does us Americans much credit.

 

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Do you want a Progressive America? Vote for Progressives in the primaries.

Thu, 2017-10-19 14:18

America is not a Center-Right country. It is governed by a Right Wing sect and run by Center-Right ideologues. America is a Progressive country based on the value set people by large majorities or pluralities. So why is it that we do not see a government that reflects the people?

Elizabeth Warren prove America is a Progressive country

The answer is simple. Americans have been irresponsible with their votes. The plutocracy introduced this irresponsibility. They have successfully made most Americans believe that their vote does not matter because they really cannot change anything beyond the options given within two rails, the Establishment Democrats on the Left and the Establishment Republicans on the Right.

The TEA Party taught us that paradigm was not unbreakable. They are still in control of the Republican Party. While ineffectual because their ideology is a mathematical and societal impossibility, that is a reality Progressives need not fear if they organize and behave cohesively.

It is becoming clear that Progressives are starting to see the light. The Indivisible Movement is using some of the positive techniques used by the Right for some time with much success. The difference is that because Progressivism is inherently fact-based while Right Wing policies are generally anathema to history and facts, an elected Progressive Majority can accomplish middle-class centric policies the country is yearning for in the near term.

Several organizations including Our Revolution and Brand New Congress are seeding America in local and national elections with Progressive candidates. And note the keyword is Progressive, and not Democratic or Republican. A Progressive revolution will require the support of both parties until the day we do away with parties altogether or increase the number of functional parties.

America is governed by the Right because of a process that began with the inception of the Powell Manifesto. While Progressives were asleep basking in their many victories, the plutocracy began its infiltration in all aspects of government, education, media, and more.

Control of the media allowed them to create the false reality of what is best for Americans. Infiltrating the schools and creation of Think Tanks that mislead allowed them to give their ideology the semblance of fact-based viability. Infiltrating the government allowed them to codify their plutocracy building ideology into law.

All of this can be reversed but just like it took time to build, it will take time to destroy and rebuild the Progressive core. Americans must do their part. It is not enough to vote for the lesser of two evils. Progressives must do their civic duty. They must run for offices, from city council to municipal government, from the school board to the water board, from the state Congress to the national Congress, from the state Senate to the national Senate.

Most importantly Americans must vote in the primaries where the plutocracy fields its acceptable candidates. You see, both parties try to stuff Establishment characters which ultimately are acceptable to The Establishment. The disruption must occur in the primaries so Americans have real Progressive choices in the general election. Progressives, you have much work to do. Start now.

 

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Bernie Sanders corners Ted Cruz in CNN debate and Cruz knew it (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-10-19 11:01

The CNN Debate between Bernie Sanders and Ted Cruz has not gotten much coverage but it showed the difference between a party that has middle-class centric policies and one where middle-class support is not a prime concern. This particular snippet where Sanders confronts Cruz is the technique Progressives must learn.

Bernie Sanders corners Ted Cruz

"Before we talk about the small business," said Bernie Sanders. "Will you agree with me that it makes no sense to lower the tax rates of the highest income people in this country?

"I don't agree with that.," Ted Cruz replied.

"Would you agree with me that thousands of people will die if we cut Medicaid by a trillion dollars and throw 15 million people off their health insurance that they have?" Bernie Sanders said. "That's not Bernie Sanders. That's a number of studies saying that. To answer your question, if the question is should we support small businesses and low-income people, with assistance? Of course, we should. That's the tax reform we should do. I don't want to write them a check, we could lower taxes. But what you are doing is saying we're going to help a lower income person, a small business over here, but we're going to tie it to the fact that 80% of the benefits are going to the top 1%. Work with me on a tax proposal where 80% of the benefits go to the working class and middle class of this country."

Walter Einenkel at DailyKos described this segment best.

Sen. Bernie Sanders took on Sen. Ted Cruz in a debate about the big tax-overhaul being discussed in our country. Sen. Cruz’s position, as is his Party’s position as well as the President’s position, is that we need to give the wealthiest people in the country huge tax breaks. They want to do this because they believe that their power exists solely as a result of that money. And they’re right; because their ideas are shit and the evidential record proves that out. This one exchange gave us all a chance to remember what we like about Bernie Sanders and how special it is to watch Ted Cruz wilt under the pressure of someone with real passion and ideas (and ideals).

While Cruz attempted the old Socratic trick of creating consensus by asking relatively rhetorical no-brainer questions (do you believe small businesses should be relieved of some of their tax burdens? Do you think lower income homes should pay less taxes?), Sen. Sanders reminded little Teddy that this wasn’t an insecure prospective-freshman at Princeton he was debating with.

The debate displayed the clear contrast between the parties. An educated America can make the correct choice.

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John McCain slams Fox News reporter: Why would you say something that stupid? (VIDEO)

Thu, 2017-10-19 02:02

Senator John McCain (R-AZ) thought the Fox News reporter's question was dumb and he insulted him for it. But, was the question that 'stupid?'

McCain returned to his maverick ways as he excoriated a Fox News reporter for asking a question that he thought was stupid, but was it?

Senator John McCain let this Fox News reporter have it

"Has your relationship with the president frayed," the Fox News reporter asked. "To the point that you are not going to support anything that he comes to you and asks you?"

"Why would say something that stupid?" McCain replied. "Why would ask something that dumb. My job is the United States Senator as the senator from Arizona, which I was just re-elected to. You mean that I am somehow going to behave in a way that I am going to block everything because of a personal disagreement? That's a dumb question."

Senator John McCain did not break ranks during the Obama administration. He like every Republican obstructed every policy President Obama attempted to put into effect when Democrats lost their majorities in the Senate and the House. They did it out of spite. They were not even ashamed to admit that they were purposefully obstructing President Obama.

So, John McCain, the question was not stupid. He asked it because your past history made him infer that blocking legislation for no specific reason was a possibility.

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Houston Mayor Turner slams State Senator Bettencourt for his tax hypocrisy

Thu, 2017-10-19 00:19

Is State Senator Paul Bettencourt trying to soften up the terrain to run for Mayor? He attempted to pull a Trumpian move on Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. He forgot that Houston politics and some Houston Democrats do not follow the path of timidity. Bettencourt apparently questioned Mayor Turner's credibility on taxes. Turner responded with all guns blazing releasing the following statement.

"In a written statement published today, state Sen. Paul Bettencourt of Houston questioned my credibility on the issue of taxing property owned by residents of the city. But in doing so, the senator is a hypocrite who either forgot his own record or assumed others would.'

"It’s time to set the factual record straight.'

"Sen. Bettencourt stated that instead of keeping property tax rates at the current level, which is what I proposed for Houston, governments should instead lower property value appraisals 'to give flooded out homeowners a break.''

"The facts show I would have done exactly that – taken the Hurricane Harvey flood damages into account when levying property taxes – if Sen. Bettencourt had not failed to pass a bill in the Senate that was adopted 148 to 0 in the state House. At the very least, he should have supported passage of the bill that would have helped everyone whose home flooded.'

"Sen. Bettencourt, who claims to be a taxpayer watchdog, barks often.'

"But in the regular session of the Texas Legislature, this year and in the special session that followed, the Senate had an opportunity to pass legislation that would require local governments to reappraise homes and businesses that suffered damage in disasters like Hurricane Harvey. This requirement would have allowed all ad-valorem taxing entities to share the cost of reappraisals. Sen. Bettencourt did nothing.'

"After Rep. Sarah Davis of Houston got her bill through the House, the bill never received a hearing in the Senate. Again during the special session, the House passed Rep. Davis’s bill without opposition. The bill, nor any similar bill by a Senate author, did not even get taken up by a Senate committee.  State Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton and chair of the House Ways & Means Committee, said he believed the Senate was guilty of engaging in 'fake junior high politics' in not passing the Davis bill (Houston Chronicle 10/5/2017).
Sen. Bettencourt claims he wants to protect taxpayers now, but when he had an opportunity to take action, he chose to play politics instead and took no action.'

"Also in his news release today, Bettencourt falsely accused me of breaking a promise to not pursue an option to temporarily raise the city property tax rate to pay for disaster recovery. I kept my promise, taking the tax rate increase off the table and keeping it off the table after Gov. Abbott provided the city with recovery funds.'

"This week I proposed keeping the city’s property tax rate unchanged from last year. The City Council today lowered the property tax rate instead, costing the City $7.8 million, while we ask the federal and state government for more recovery money.'

"In 2015 and 2016, when declared disasters were factored in to the revenue taken in by the City of Houston – the amount was $15 million and $6 million respectively -- Sen. Bettencourt offered no criticism in either case.'

"This year the senator repeatedly called on me to provide emergency services to the public, and I responded. If Sen. Bettencourt is now stating there was no emergency in dealing with Hurricane Harvey, his repeated requests for services proved otherwise.'

"That’s not all.'

"Sen. Bettencourt voted for a state budget that depends on increased property appraisals for it to balance.'

"'Property values, and the estimates of local tax collections on which they are based, shall be increased by 7.04 percent for tax year 2017 and by 6.77 percent for tax year 2018,' said the budget bill he backed.'

"It’s strikingly two-faced to accuse a municipality dealing with an unprecedented natural disaster of keeping a tax rate steady when his own budget dictates local tax increases. At the same time, he remains surprisingly silent about the State’s $10 billion Rainy Day Fund.'

"This dog doesn’t hunt."

How small does that make Bettencourt seem? What a rookie mistake.

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Kingwood residents e-attack mom for pulling her kids to school with her bike/cart.

Wed, 2017-10-18 17:52

In this reality TV era, it seems many are so trained to go after the mundane, burning a lot of mental capital on things that ultimately have no value to make our lives in the community, state, or country any better. My old QLS racquetball partner and friend, Jennifer wrote a Facebook post that kinda shocked me.

Kingwood resident photographed her riding kids to school

So I'm racing across Kingwood on the bicycle, pulling Mike behind me in the bicycle trailer and heading to get Connor at his school... and a cop pulls up beside me at a stop light and tells me that people are complaining ABOUT ME on social media, riding my bike between the schools each day on the road, but then he says he was going to pipe in on it and tell them I had the right-of-way being a cyclist...I just laughed. Watch me give a flying * about negative comments on social media, bahahaa!

Someone created the post on the Kingwood.com forums titled "Please be careful with this person in Bear Branch." As of the date of this post, it has received over 3,638 views. My initial scan seems to show that most of the Kingwood residents were attacking Jennifer for all kinds of reasons. It was amazing how much they assumed or believe they had the right to infer. It is the same behavior that has made our politics so caustic. While I don't chime into these types of petty issues, I really wanted to just put one supporting voice in the thread for my friend.

I am so amazed that a woman riding a bike to take her kids to school in a neighborhood with controlled speeds during school hours can cause this much angst. BTW, I know this woman and she is one of the most attentive and responsible parents bar none.

If I still had elementary school-aged kids, I may have tried what she is doing. I am pretty sure the kids appreciate the bonding time and experience. And other kids watching just may appreciate if their parents who are able would do so as well. And on the positive, she is teaching her kids that one can get around with more than a gasoline/diesel powered metal box.

Keep up the good job biking mom.

A 21-year Kingwood resident who continues to get shocked from some of my neighbor's continually.

But, the take-no-prisoners Jennifer who hustled in racquetball or any of the other sports she decided to take over gave a response I knew was in the making and well deserving to the self-righteous souls attacking her.

Jennifer strikes back

New addition to my bike. I guess I'm feeling a little confrontational right now. I just posted this photo and this remark at the end of the thread:

"OK, since I am now famous on here, and throughout Kingwood I guess- I will leave you with this, because, frankly, I have a life, a business, and no time or patience for this childish, inane nonsense (even though I have enjoyed many chuckles from the remarks).

My name is Jennifer; you all know what I look like and where I am, obviously.

  • If you are law enforcement and see me doing something illegal, by all means, stop me (just as the officer did yesterday at the stop light on WLHP- but only to tell me that I was in the right, and let me know about this crazy post).
  • If I have buzzed you on my bike because you are in the middle of the path, have earbuds in, are on your phone, taking up the whole path with your dogs, a team of runners, or a cluster of people- pay attention to the very distinguishable bicycle bell that I RING.
  • If you have been sitting in the pickup line for 45 minutes prior to school letting out, and you see me whiz by you at 5 minutes till and leave at 1 minute after- STFU, you are just jealous.
  • Yea, I grew up in the 70's, in the country, not wearing helmets or seat belts, so no, I'm not a fragile-minded or fragile-bodied millennial that is ever going to wear a helmet- if you get off your phones in a school zone (which is a $200 fine), you would see me and my very legal bike trailer, and I wouldn't need to wear one out of fear that a careless driver will hit me.
  • I am a 23-year resident of Kingwood, drive a Cadillac, and own my home outright- this isn't because of finances...it is freedom of choice.
  • NOW, if any of you have a set of these, get out from behind the anonymity of your little computer and approach me with any VALID points. (You won't change my mind with your personal beliefs and I won't try to change yours- what you do is your own business.
  • If you choose to make threats of hitting me or my child, or want to start something, be advised-not only could I probably bench press you, but I have an LTC, and my son's father is a Sheriff's Deputy- bring it...
  • If you are some of the cool cats on here that support me, feel free to give me a "rock-on" fist up as I pass...if you're not, feel free to flip me the bird... at least you have a set of balls!

Now, go find some politics or religion to argue about.
Peace out"

Look, folks, Jennifer is right. If there is something she was doing "really" wrong that somehow needed addressing, I am sure she would always have been ready to take the advice. But the way folks came at her is counterproductive. Moreover, even the police officer corroborated that she never placed her kids in danger. And yes while so many complain about helmets and other issues that in her situation was her choice, I find it ironic we do not get these complaints on everyday issues that affect your children here in Kingwood and throughout the country.

We tend to have tunnel vision and unable to see the big picture on issue after issue. Do you want discussions? Watch your school board and just like many on the chain researched whether Jennifer was breaking the law and posted laws in the thread, do the same as you watch our local school board to ensure the best interest of your kids are really being addressed. Remember, to many they are just the raw material for the income of a few companies salivating to profit from skimming a few dollars that could ultimately affect their education going forward permanently. Get out of the comfort of your echo chamber and explore.

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Why I give racists 2nd, 3rd, and more chances and it’s about sexism

Tue, 2017-10-17 22:33

Like most men, I grew up sexist, (and homophobic). It did not help that I am from a Latin American country. My path away from homophobia deserves another blog post. Most importantly, my path to becoming a feminist (and gay rights activist) makes me a much more empathetic person towards racists. I know it sounds strange, and to many, outright crazy. I am sure many would use "other" adjectives.

I became a feminist soon after I entered the University of Texas Austin. But it was an intellectual realization that women as a class, like many other groups (blacks, Asians, gays, etc.), were discriminated against. Moreover, the systemic nature of said discrimination resulted in the male/female economic and power disparity.

This morning I read an FB friend, Jim Rigby's post that really spoke to me.

Listen guys, I understand your resistance to what women are saying this week about the prevalence of male abuse of women, but there is a gift in this for you if you can find the courage to set aside your defenses and hear what is being said.

I remember my own painful awakening to MY role in the patriarchy- sitting in training classes at the Rape Crisis Center decades ago.

I remember the temptation to co-op the conversation making it about MY discomfort with the conversation instead of what was happening to women. I remember resisting the statistics.

I remember, after that training, speaking to colleges and high schools where the males CONSISTENTLY tried to shut down the conversation by presenting the experiences of women as though they were nothing more than personal criticisms of men.

I certainly remember a fraternity at U.T. shutting down my talk on rape prevention by shouting "f*ck you, f*ck you."

To recognize how I had been taught to see women as objects and how I had been conditioned by the culture to "fix" women and to try to stay in control, without even realizing it, was not easy.

I, personally, could not THINK my way out of patriarchy. I kept finding flaws in what was being said. I did not realize I was using my own sexist interpretations of my life to measure the justice claims of women. Eventually, I had to GRIEVE my way out of patriarchy. I had to die to my false hyper-masculinity. I had to learn to stop trying to control and fix others. I had to die to my false bravado, and be born into the ambiguities of my deeper humanity.

Like alcoholism, undoing male privilege is a life time struggle, but the reward of being fully human is worth every tear.

Jim Rigby hits the nail on the head. The person in the privileged position tends to take a defensive posture even if they consider themselves enlighted and understand that the aggrieved class is really aggrieved.

It was not until I joined Move to Amend where we centralized on race and gender, that I really understood the concept of just listening through the eyes of the offended class. That organization had some strong women, and it was not long before they penetrated my faux feminism. It was not for me to negotiate an understanding of what women go through, via the lens of my still embedded sexism. It was these women, and some men taking control and breaking me down whether I could accept it or not.

The reality, however, is that I still had the opportunity to walk away to flee the discomfort. Or I could stay and cathartically heal. I chose the latter. But I was ready intellectually to do that. This behavior is true when going through the interhuman dynamics of any aggrieved class.

I once wrote that sexism has a much higher hurdle in our society than racism in my article titled "Hillary Clinton proved that sexism is worse than racism in America." I got a lot of pushback from white Liberals but especially black women, among my many dear friends at Daily Kos.

Patriarchy, male supremacy, is deeply embedded in most cultures and "races." As such males across cultures are offenders. While racism has a worldwide economic power component, sexism is prevalent in absolutely every corner of society which makes it that more ingrained. It is hard to move that juggernaut.

I now view most racists through the eyes of my past sexism and the continual journey to fully extricate it. The mind has two components, the intellectual part, and the muscle memory part. When working with racists, the intellectual part is easy. Even if they try not to get the intellectual argument, they ultimately do. However, the muscle memory portion of our minds requires practice and stimulation. That is where integration in all aspects of living can provide that positive stimulus. But one has to give the racist the opportunity for redemption after a screwup.

Look, I am not naive. There are racists who are willful racists. It fulfills them financially or it empowers them in a manner they find appealing. My contention is that they do not represent the majority. Most are swayed by ignorance, upbringing, and peer pressure.

A racist, a sexist, a homophobe can always take the easy way out. Just like I could have run away from my own enlightenment, which would have been much easier, they can too. If we really want change, if we really want to have a truly functional multicultural, multiracial, and multigendered society based on true social equality, we must give 2nd, 3rd, and more chances.

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Journalist all but call Trump a liar to his face about the corporate tax (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:05

Reporters are slowly attempting to do their jobs. One hopes more will challenge our lying president with the necessary determination as this journalist did.

Mike Sacks, National Political Correspondent @EWScrippsCo gave a clinic on how one should interview a lying president. It was civil, hard-hitting, and beautiful all at once.

Journalist corners Trump on his lying statements

I asked POTUS today why he keeps saying "We're the highest taxed nation in the world" when it's objectively false. Here's how he answered: pic.twitter.com/2EHa0nbm5p

— Mike Sacks (@MikeSacksEsq) October 17, 2017

"You've repeatedly said that we're the highest tax nation in the world," said Mike Sacks of Scripps. "When that's been seen as objectively false. How with the credibility you need to pass tax reform, why do you say it?"

"Some people say it differently," Trump said. "And they'll say we're the highest developed nation tax in the world."

The reporter then challenged Trump.

"Then why don't you say it that way," Sacks interjected.

"Because a lot of people know exactly what I'm talking about," Trump responded. "And in many cases, they think I'm right when I say the highest. As far as I'm concerned, I think we're really essentially the highest but if you'd like to add the developed nation you can say that too. But a lot of people agree that the way I'm saying it is exactly correct. Thank you very much."

The president ran off to shut the line of questioning down. But by then Sacks had forced the president to concede. And it is all on video for all to see him resort to a verbal salad.

Just imagine if our journalists were not derelict in their duty during the primaries and the general election. Imagine if they did not allow Trump to bloviate and lie on air which gave him a semblance of a plausible president even as many knew he just was not mentally capable to execute the job.

It is, however, not too late. Trump has not yet made irreversible changes to our body politic or our laws. Yes, many of the environmental regulations he overturned will create short-term chaos, in the bigger scheme, they are manageable. His healthcare shenanigans may disrupt the markets enough where Medicare for All becomes the only option Americans will accept for their healthcare.

So here is a message for the mainstream media. Progressive bloggers are doing their part. Many print journalists are doing their jobs even if they do not get the coverage they deserve (bloggers continue to push their great work). It is your turn, long overdue to step up.

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Progressive bloggers I respect that you must read every chance you get

Tue, 2017-10-17 16:04

This Progressive Bloggers page is being populated. Please index and comeback shortly.

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Convicted evangelist warns those making fun of him will face the wrath of God (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-10-17 11:37

This convicted felon, evangelist Jim Bakker wants his followers to know something that is very important for their souls. If this was not so sad given the gullibility many Americans have shown to the likes of Bakker and Trump, it would be funny. His passion and conviction in his delivery of the words fool many.

Convicted Evangelist Jim Bakker to those making fun of him

Jim Bakker is tired of those who continue to watch him given his proclivity to crookery. And it is getting to him. He first wanted to mitigate his past "God-driven" assertions.

“When God says something to you, you don’t always know the exact time it’s going to happen,” Jim Bakker said. “Stop beating up the prophets because God says, ‘Woe unto you when you beat up on the prophets.’”

In other words, it will happen at some time in human history, so don't blame me if the timing is off. But if you hold me, Jim Bakker to account, guess what? God has a special something for you.

“If you don’t want to hear it, just shut me off,” Bakker said. “Especially you folks that monitor me every day to try to destroy me. Just go away. You don’t have to be there, you don’t have to hear it. But one day, you’re going to shake your fist in God’s face and you’re going to say, ‘God, why didn’t you warn me?’ And He’s going say, ‘You sat there and you made fun of Jim Bakker all those years. I warned you but you didn’t listen.’”

Now let's remember who Jim Baker is. He is the guy who preached moral superiority while he was involved in sexual escapades and bilked his followers out of over $158 million.

The American psychology in which a Jim Bakker can pilfer and harm and still hold the trust and faith of many is the same psychology that Donald Trump depends on. But this psychology can be broken. Bakker's attack on 'those watching' him is just the beginning. The biggest problem is that Progressives many times lack the consistency to attack a specific person, issue, or evil at maximal levels. The Right is good at that and that is why their misinformation stick.

#RESIST consistently at high levels and watch the frauds come tumbling down.

(h/t RawStory, RightWingWatch.org)

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Robert Reich schools Trump economist lying about tax cuts & middle-class income (VIDEO)

Tue, 2017-10-17 02:06

Robert Reich has been a stalwart in the Progressive movement by keeping the body politic informed. Most importantly he challenges those who spew lies and misinformation like he did with Trump economist Stephen Moore. This one was a doozy.

Once again Robert Reich nails a Trump economist for lying to the American people, this time about tax cuts increasing the income of the middle-class.

Robert Reich nails Trump economist Stephen Moore.

Robert Reich schools Trump economist lying about tax cuts & middle-class income (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/Ni7ehGZa94

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 17, 2017

Erin Burnett pointed out that Kevin Hassett, president of the Council of economic advisors did a study that concluded that corporate tax cuts would result in an income increase of $3.000 for middle-class Americans. But there is a caveat.

"Because that looked like a lot of money," Erin Burnett said. "I looked up what has happened to the median income in the last few years. Here is what I have found. 2014, just shy of $54,000. 2015, just shy of $57,000. If you look at the years that we've just seen, 2014, 2015. 2016, it's going up $3,000 a year. Steve, that is without this big tax cut. So they are trying to say, oh, this tax is going to get $3,000. They are already getting $3,000. That would mean this tax cut is not a good idea."

Stephen Moore balked at her fact-based analysis. He attempted to conflate what occurred during the economic meltdown with the recovery. He then continued the false premise that companies would invest their tax windfall on employees. Robert Reich would have none of it.

"I am looking at history," Reich said. "Corporations have never done as well as they are doing now., They have huge profits. Where are those prophets going now? They are not going to wages. They are not going into jobs. They are going into executive pay and they are going to shareholders. And the top 1% of Americans have a huge percentage of the total shares of shares of stock in this country."

Reich continued. He debunked the supply-side economic theory of trickle down. He said the only way to create jobs is to put the money in the hands of the masses and not the elite. The marginal propensity to spend of the masses is much greater than that of the wealthy. As such they will spend much of what they get from the tax cuts. The demand created would likely cause corporations to expand and higher to cover the demand.

Reich further pointed out that over the last 44 years supply-side economics failed.

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Trump insults Mitch McConnell at press conference for taking lobbyists’ money (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-10-16 15:33

Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell appeared at the White House for a press conference after they had lunch. Trump took the opportunity to insult Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell as he aggrandized himself.

Mitch McConnell gave an uncomfortable but very visibly pained smile after Trump implied that McConnell was on the take from the healthcare lobby.

Donald Trump insults Mitch McConnell

To many, it may seem shallow to concentrate what Trump did to McConnell in his answer to an important question. A reporter asked Trump what specifically did he want to do to the insurance and drug companies. The following reply was interesting.

"So the insurance companies have made a fortune with Obamacare, an absolute fortune," said Trump. "As you know what I did with the cuts at the end which we're all going, you know, you're talking about hundreds of millions of dollars a month going right into the pockets of the insurance companies. And I'm very happy with what I did. And because of that people are talking now. Democrats are talking to the Republicans for a short-term taking care of what we will call health care; So that people can have good health care without big spikes. You would have had massive spikes. You already have. I mean every year the massive spikes to Obamacare have been ridiculous. As far as, and I didn't speak to Mitch about this today, but a priority of mine and you know that this is coming up, will be the cost of prescription drugs. We're going to get the costs way down, way down."

Trump, then went at Mitch McConnell in a rather direct manner. He was speaking about the Washington Establishment.

"And those drug companies," Trump said. "So you have the insurance companies in one case and the other case, actually with regard to both, you have the drug companies. They contribute massive amounts of money to political people. I don't know Mitch maybe even to you. But I have to tell you, they contribute massive amounts of money. Me I'm not interested in their money. I don't need their money. I will tell you. You have prescription drugs. You go to England. You go to various places, Canada. You go to many many countries and the same exact pill from the same company, the same box, the same everything is a tiny fraction of what it costs in the United States. We are going to get drug prices, prescription drug prices, way down. Because the world has taken advantage of us. The world has taken advantage of us."

Of course, Trump does not talk about him being on the take throughout his life. He does not mention that his cabinet looks like Wall Street. Many Americans will see that jab as the outsider beating back a corrupt Washington on the take.

This is a funny aside but one that will mean a lot to his followers. It will give him some cover when working with the evil Washington Establishment. I would not be surprised to see this in an ad.

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Zeke Emanuel eviscerates Rick Santorum on Trump’s Obamacare sabotage (VIDEO)

Mon, 2017-10-16 12:38

Dr. Zeke Emanuel appeared on CNN alongside Right Wing former Senator Rick Santorum to discuss Donald Trump's latest sabotage to the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare. He eviscerated Santorum with facts and style that should make every Progressive happy.

It was great seeing this Obamacare expert go toe to toe with the fallacies emanating from an evil Right Wing sect that would deny Americans affordable healthcare.

Zeke Emanuel eviscerates Rick Santorum on Obamacare sabotage

Zeke Emanuel eviscerates Rick Santorum on Trump's latest Obamacare sabotage (VIDEO) pic.twitter.com/dHxNmtAHsv

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 16, 2017

Watch the entire CNN segment of the debate here.

Zeke Emanuel started the segment by calling out Donald Trump for sabotaging the Affordable Care Act. He pointed out that Trump reduced advertising, his siphoning of healthy people, and elimination of subsidies is a definite sabotage. Most importantly he said that while a few people will get lower premiums because they are young and healthy, the number of people that will have their premiums massively increased is much higher than those who would save money.

"This is just fake news that this is going to make premiums better," said Zeke Emanuel. "There would be a few hundred thousand who benefit. Most people would not benefit."

Rick Santorum had to acknowledge that there is nothing inherent in blocking the subsidies that will cause premiums to fall. Emanuel did not let that statement go unnoticed. He pointed out that it made Trump's assertions about his reasons for canceling subsidies, false."

Santorum attempted to blame Democrats for not coming to the table. Emanuel reminded him that seven years have passed and Republicans have yet to come up with a bill evaluated by independent organizations that shows a reduction in healthcare premiums.

Emanuel then did what many Progressive pundits and analysts never do. He went on the offensive. He pointed out that as a result of a direct action from the president, counties that had exchange health care plans are now bare. That hurts people. He should have gone further, however. He should have pointed out that those that will be hurt the most by the president's action are those who voted for Donald Trump.

Santorum lied about Obamacare being in a death spiral. Emanuel rebuffed the false claim by pointing out independent studies that say otherwise. Moreover, California's exchange which is run by a Progressive government who believes in helping its citizens is working very well.

Santorum continued with his statements that Obamacare failed. Zeke Emanuel had a simple answer.

"I would like us to come back," Emanuel said. "And see if in 2018 premiums go down or they go up 20%. If they go up 20% Rick Santorum has to eat his words."

Well done Zeke.

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Republican Rep: Many in GOP want a Democratic House to save America from Trump (VIDEO)

Sat, 2017-10-14 12:48

You know things are crazy in the country when you have Republicans wishing for a Democratic Congress to counter the existential danger that is Donald Trump.

Former Representative David Jolly did not mince his words as he excoriated Donald Trump while on a panel with Joy-Ann Reid. He made it clear that many Republicans are unlikely to do anything to fight Donald Trump. Because of that, he said, many Republicans believe it is best if the House is taken over by Democrats.

Reid asked Jolly at what point does Republicans have responsibility for Trump's bad acts.

"They have responsibility now," David Jolly said. "This is a commander-in-chief with no understanding or appreciation for national security. We know that. I have great confidence in John Kelly. He is a sober leader, a very experienced national security leader. I think he is doing a good job trying to contain him. If the moment comes when he cannot, watch John Kelly because the seriousness of this administration rest on how long John Kelly stays."

But Jolly was not done. He gave the following striking statement.

"There are Republicans, not elected ones in Washington right now," Jolly said. "Beginning to question whether or not we would be a safer nation if Democrats took the House in 2018."

Fmr. Rep. David Jolly's shocking statement on Trump

Fmr Republican Rep- Many GOP members want Democratic House to save America from Trump pic.twitter.com/7LeUL6tj5k

— Egberto Willies (@EgbertoWillies) October 14, 2017

The former Congressman's words should not be taken lightly. He has been a recent critic of the president, many times with jarring admonishments. As explained on the panel. It is clear that the President may be wagging the dog. His bombastic performance with both North Korea and Iran cannot be taken lightly.

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