Point of View Columns

A Half A Million Dead Americans

February 22, 2021

28,222,180-501,091 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

When death and devastation becomes ordinary we come closer to an unthinkable abyss of not caring anymore – not caring about anyone or anything – except ourselves. The pandemic itself is certainly devastating – the thought of a half a million dead Americans was inconceivable a year ago. Now we hope that the number does not become one million.

Perhaps one of the worst of 45’s many sins and crimes and depredations was the degrading of human life by ignoring the pandemic, by pretending that it would just go away and finally, as he left Walter Reed Hospital telling Americans to simply not let the pandemic “dominate your life”.

He somehow made it ok to either ignore the deaths all around us or to not care. And by ignoring and not caring what happens to each of our neighbors and friends and family and people that we will never know. How else to explain the politicization of a damn mask? How or why did taking globally accepted steps to protect others and ourselves become an attack on some American concept of freedom.

Freedom which, by the way, is regularly denied to many Black Americans, many indigenous people, many LatinX people, many Asian people and many women of any and all identities. Yet this worship of some ephemeral freedom was enough to let others die, and even allowed dying pandemic patients to deny that the pandemic even existed.

Half a million dead Americans – there are 500,000 people in Atlanta, Sacramento among other American cities (imagine them being devastated) and we sit and wonder how this could have happened. And yet, we are still startled to learn that literally, the worse may be yet to come because the seeds of not caring have been planted too deep and the bitter fruit that will be harvested will be appalling.

Half a million dead Americans.

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Impeachment Week in America – Again

February 9, 2021

27,097,885-465,083 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The second impeachment trial of 45 began today. The first day is when the House impeachment managers and the attorneys for 45 making their initial presentations. The House managers’ presentation was professional and excellent. It was not intended to try to change the minds of Republicans who have taken a blood oath to worship at the altar of 45, till death do they part.

Team 45’s presentation immediately cleared up the question of how was it possible that in their initial brief they misspelled “United States” (seriously?). To call the two attorneys incompetent would be a compliment. They were so bad that it is reported that 45 was screaming at the television as the lawyerly version of Laurel and Hardy stumbled and bumbled and rambled and brayed until they totally exhausted all possibility of facts or competence.

Luckily for 45 the threat of his vengeance has intimidated virtually all fifty of the Republican men and women in the Senate that it is likely that no more than a few of them will dare to find out if the emperor really has no clothes and that his bark is far worse than his bite. But they just won’t take that chance.

Tomorrow the trial begins in earnest. And while the outcome may not be in question it is still important that the crimes of 45 are put on the record for all time. The notion that this impeachment trial postpones reconciliation and healing is a naked and mythical right wing lie. The right wing of the right wing is only interested in supremacy – not healing – and we can be sure that even during this trial and in all the days afterwards the Republican-led legislatures in over thirty states are in the process of advocating further voter suppression measures so that white minority rule in America can become a reality.

Right out of the pages of the playbook of apartheid-era South Africa.

Land of the Free and Home of the Brave indeed.

February 10, 2021

27,193,586-468,217 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Even though 45 is in a time out in his Mar a Lago playpen, he is still a continuing part of the national story. Amazingly, but not surprisingly, he is the first president to be impeached twice – and within one year. The blood runs cold at the thought that of what havoc he could have visited upon this planet if he was re-elected. After all, look at all the havoc and turmoil that he has left in his wake like a giant leaking oil tanker.

Meanwhile, the House impeachment managers were surgically magnificent in laying out the case against 45. Not surprisingly, his own words were used to nail his impeachment coffin shut. The man just can never shut up and so there were videotapes and audio tapes galore where he convicted himself with his own loose lips.

Not satisfied with just skewering 45, the impeachment managers barbequed him to well done by provided multiple videos of the actual insurrection attack on the Capitol. Even a month removed, the heat and fury and pure savagery of the 45-inspired mob was a sight to behold and fearsome even in retrospect.

There can simply be no doubt that Mitt Romney and Chuck Schumer, caught on video running like Olympic springers, believed that their lives were literally in danger. The insurrection mobsters spoke on video about putting a bullet into Nancy Pelosi’s head. And these mobsters actually brought a gallows – complete with a homemade noose (who actually knows how to make a noose in the 20th century anyway?) – as they shouted “Hang Mike Pence”. There is no doubt that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Maxine Waters would have been torn to pieces.

Clearly the members of the House and Senate barely escaped with their lives. And yet, the Republican bootlickers will still vote to exonerate 45. They are more afraid of the Wrath of 45 than the cloak of shame that they will have to wear all of their lives and in history.

And proving that when the going gets bizarre, the bizarre turn pro (with apologies to Hunter Thompson), QAnon sites are announcing that March 4th is the new date when 45 will return to Washington, DC to take control of the government. All true believers are being told to be ready for yet another Storm.

And we should believe that they believe.

February 11, 2021

27,288,100-471,764 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

As the impeachment trial of 45 continues, it is important to remember that Americans are dying every day even as this orchestrated debacle of a spectacle continues. The Biden-Harris administration has brought a belief in science, a belief in transparency and a belief in honesty to the pandemic battle. This is such a difference from the administration of 45 that we have to believe that these changes alone give all of us a better chance to come out of this alive even though there is so much human wreckage across the land.

The House impeachment managers continue to be excellent. Virgin Islands Delegate Stacey Plaskett has been especially impressive. A former prosecutor from the Bronx, she was relentless and artfully articulate in presenting the facts, all the facts and nothing but the facts. And though she could take no joy in hammering more nails into the impeachment coffin of 45, she completed her task with the professionalism that the moment demanded.

In the various commentaries across the air waves three items stood out:

  1. There is serious talk about a true schism in the Republican party. It seems that hundreds/thousands of pre-45 Republicans are discussing the idea of establishing a third party – a Conservative party – to counter the 45 pandemic that has afflicted so much of the traditional Republican party. It will be interesting to see if these “original” Republicans have the staying power to actually pull this off – there is no doubt that they could raise the money.
  2. One of the more interesting aspects of the 45-inspired insurrection were the real time quotes from people who were in the middle of the melee. They were there. One Black Capitol Hill police officer said that he could not recall being called “nigger” so many times in the course of just one day. That tells us a lot about the DNA of the 45 mobsters. It is important to remember that these mobsters were about as patriotic and the Ku Klux Klan or Jefferson Davis or 45.
  3. One commentator quoted Voltaire as saying that once you can get the people to believe absurdity, they can be persuaded to commit atrocities. Words to remember during these times of turmoil.

February 12, 2021

27,507,111-477,239 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

It would be a real insult to the memory of comedy teams like Laurel and Hardy, Amos and Andy and the Smothers Brothers to call the 45’s defense team a comedy team. The word “pathetic” comes to mind, however.

What is clear is lawyers Bruce Castor and David Schoen are the best that 45 could get. And while the prestige of representing a former President of the United States would be a great way to attract new clients, the stink and the stench of being in the proximity of 45 is not a great way to retain existing clients much less attract new ones. And so, the Castor-Schoen Show will be on daytime cable news for most of this day.

Although they have been allotted 16 hours, 8 today and 8 tomorrow, the Lawyers Who Couldn’t Shoot Straight have stated that they only need 3 hours today and none tomorrow. And that may be the best way to minimize further embarrassment and professional shame.

And the reality is that since the Republicans have already shed even a pretense of being willing to withhold judgement until all arguments have been presented, all that Castor and Schoen can do is lose votes for acquittal. The Republicans in the Senate are so afraid of the Wrath of 45 that it appears that no more than 6 out of 50 will vote to convict.

Meanwhile Nikki Haley – former governor of South Carolina and former appointee of 45 to the post of U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations – seems to have “discovered” that 45 is not good for the country and that “it was wrong to follow him”. One has to wonder at what moment did this revelation occur?

Because just three weeks ago Ambassador Haley was railing against the impeachment of 45, stating that Congress should “leave him alone”. But now, the presumed 2024 presidential candidate must sense that 45’s blood is in the water.

Opportunism is part of the training program for any political candidate. But since Nikki Haley has seen and hear and worked for 45 over the past five years, one has to wonder at what point did she finally, finally, decide that “it was wrong to follow him”. Nikki Haley should start getting prepared for that question within minutes of her announcing her presidential candidacy.

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Avoiding Amnesia

There are far too many voices calling for the end of the impeachment proceedings against 45. The thinking (if it can be called that) is that 45 is no longer in office and dredging up the facts of some 30 days ago will only create more division and delay the healing process that this country needs so badly.

This thinking might be worthy of consideration except for the fact that the authors of this fake line of thinking supported and accepted all the hateful, divisive and corrosive actions and rhetoric of 45 during his entire time in office. From Charlottesville to the confederate generals’ statuary controversy to his demonization of the Black Lives Matter movement, 45 has been a walking, talking toxic brew that spilled all over this country. 45 has been the root cause of the division that allowed QAnon and the Proud Boys and their ilk to grow and flourish, finally arriving in full bloom in the Capitol on 1.6.21.

There is no need to pay any attention to these fake calls for unity that are coming days late and many dollars short. And it should be noted that the members of this bogus chorus are almost all Republicans who do not want to go on the record supporting 45 and are also deathly afraid of casting an impeachment vote against 45 – who has already threatened “accountability” for those who dare to vote against him.

So it is left to the Democrats to make sure that this nation simply does not forget, much less forgive, what 45 did. It is important for history books tell the story right – that for at least two months before the election, as national polls became more bleak and predictive of his defeat, 45 started promoting the lie that the only way he could lose would be due to voter fraud. So, on 11.7.20 when it was confirmed that he had lost, 45 started promoting The Big Lie.

The Big Lie being that he had won the election overwhelmingly – even though he lost by 8 million votes – and that voter fraud, particularly in cities and states with large Black populations, was the reason for Joe Biden’s presumed (but actually fake) victory. And then 45 promoted The Big Lie every day, virtually ignoring the thousands of Americans who were falling ill and dying from the pandemic.

The Big Lie morphed into something even more pernicious when 45 started calling for the denizens of MAGA nation to come to Washington on 1.6.21. And it should be noted that was not a casual selection of a day – 45 knew that this was the day that the Electoral College vote would be confirmed by Congress. And in his fevered, damaged brain, 45 thought that he could bring a mob to D.C. to intimidate Congress to salvage his waning presidency.

The whole world – even the cowardly Republicans in Congress – know what happened next. 45 and his son and others whipped the mob into a frenzy and set that mob on its mission of disruption headed straight for Congress. The death and destruction that ensued is the bastard child of 45 and Congress should confirm his paternity of this horror for all time.

It is clear that 45 is going to be a presence – a fading presence, but a presence nevertheless. It is important that he be stripped of any legitimacy, if not by Congress, then by the people. And that means avoiding amnesia.

Anytime and every time that 45 speaks for the rest of his life he should be remembered as the President Who Attacked America.

Amnesia must be avoided at all costs to make sure that no would be tyrant tries to imitate 45 – after all the next imitator might succeed.

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Slipping into Darkness

Slipping into Darkness

There is really nothing new about this not so new mouth breather named Marjorie Taylor Green. The newly elected member of Congress from Georgia is clearly a QAnon acolyte who is so used to visiting the slimy sewers of conspiracy theories and racist tropes that she slithers even when she is walking.

In the modern era we have seen the likes of Michelle Bachmann and Sarah Palin do deep dives into the sewage of the white American psyche, and there is no reason to believe that there won’t be any number of Marjorie wannabes popping all over the national landscape like some kind of malignant weed that simply will not be denied and will not go away.

Some of the madness that emanates from this woman include:

  • Claiming that last year’s California wildfires were started by a Jewish space laser in order to clear land for a high speed rail line.
  • The mass shooting murders at Sandy Hook, Parkland and Las Vegas were either fake or orchestrated by the Deep State in order to promote the banning of firearms
  • Supporting the assassination of Nancy Pelosi and other leading Democrats
  • The Deep State has many high level Democrats who either eat or sexually molest kidnapped children (or both) and are plotting to take over the world

This sounds like the ravings of a villain in a Batman movie, but there are millions (millions???) of Americans who believe everything just noted and so much more. And the question must be asked – is Marjorie Taylor Green just an aberration or is she a living, breathing forecast of a super storm of fascism and racism and nihilism that is infecting the country at COVID-19 rates?

It is a fair question to ask because however odious Ms. Green may be, it is impossible to believe that she is an aberration. And if she is a forecast of things to come, it would seem that no appeals for unity and understanding can penetrate the force field of unspeakable madness and disarray that she represents.

And if no appeals for unity and understanding will work – then what? Will it finally be time to treat white domestic terrorists and their enablers like the clear and present danger that they are – which means using law enforcement and military assets in the same fashion that they were deployed against the national Muslim community after 9/11 and against supposed Black militants in the 1960’s.

Unless the force field of presumed immunity surrounding white supremacists is removed – completely – this uniquely American cancer will metastasize and kill this nation from the inside – because that’s what cancer does.

There will be some hard choices that have to be made. There are hard choices that must be made.

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The End of an Error

End of an Error

With the end of the Trump presidency it would seem that the entire nation, indeed the entire world, breathed a sigh of relief with the hope that the Trump Pandemic would be gone. There is now no doubt that Trump was the worst president in the history of the United States vanquishing Richard Nixon, Franklin Pierce, Millard Fillmore and Andrew Johnson in a race to the bottom. But there is also no doubt that it is at least possible that Trump has made it possible that there will be a president worse than him sooner than later.

By shattering all presidential norms, treating governmental institutions like his personal property and treating the American people as his subjects he has certainly cleared the way for another, even more malign version of himself. After all, over 74 million presumably conscious and functionally intelligent Americans voted for Trump – warts and all.

The end of the Trump presidency actually began with the inauguration of Joe Biden. President Biden delivered what was arguably one of the best inaugural speeches in presidential history. Lifting the stain of Trump from the fabric of American politics will take a long time, but President Biden spoke to this issue with the very clear statement – “Don’t tell me things can’t change”. It does remain to be seen how long it will take for things to change.

It is noteworthy that President Biden became the first president in history to declare war on white supremacy and the nihilist domestic terrorists who espouse this vile philosophy. Of course, it is also noteworthy that it was not until the year 2021 that an American president declared war on white supremacy.

And as much of the nation struggled to wrench the memories of the January 6th Insurrection from our collective memory, a true ray of hope and possible dreams made itself known. For following President Biden’s inaugural speech, and Lady Gaga had sung the national anthem and Jennifer Lopez had sung America the Beautiful, a glorious National Poet Laureate appeared. Amanda Gorman is a 22-year-old Black woman who embodies genius and spectacular vision.

She delivered a poem which was written for the moment, just as Amanda Gorman was born for this day. There would be no way to recount all of the content of that poem, but let it suffice to say that she brought tears of joy and hope and remembered pain to the face of America. It is almost a travesty to quote her poem because the entire masterpiece deserves to be quoted and remembered and memorized. The pearls that she offered to the world included:

  • Too often Just Is is not Justice
  • There’s always light if only we are brave enough to see it

And so very much more. Her words belong to all who made that day possible – indeed her word belongs to the ages already.

The celebrations of the rest of the day were amazing and uplifting and inspiring. But it remains to be seen what happens when the real work of repairing the spirit of a nation and its people begins.

And, as we witness The End of the Error, it is so important to make sure that America does not make the mistake of not taking fascist and authoritarian rhetoric and those who utter such words seriously. It is true that no one could imagine that Trump could be as bad as he turned out to be. Clearly we suffered from a failure of imagination.

America dodged a nuclear powered laser beam of tyranny and destruction……this time.

As a nation we cannot afford to ever fail this way again.

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MLK Day – What America Really Thinks

As the annual celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. progressed yesterday, several thoughts come to mind. First, Trump demonstrated that he has not run out of verbal sewage after five years of flooding America with his wrongful, hurtful and absolutely racist rhetoric.

For reasons that might somehow be found in the secret canyons of his damaged mind, Trump chose yesterday to attack schools where the truth about slavery is being taught as somehow being Un-American. And then he pivoted to advocate that something called Patriotic Education be a part of the curriculum in all American schools.

As with most things Trump there are few details about exactly what Patriotic Education looks like, but it sounds like White Supremacy 101 would probably be the title of a master course in this curriculum and a course in White Privilege would probably qualify as a graduate course. Not mentioning the genocide committed against the indigenous people of the North American content is certainly a likely topic.

Painting the institution of slavery and its systemic descendants – systemic racism and institutional inequity are guaranteed to be a part of Patriotic Education. And, of course, the confederacy and the treasonous civil war would certainly be components of this white supremacist lesson plan.

That the President of the United States would publicly support such an odious agenda is bad enough. Issuing such rhetorical garbage on the national holiday celebrating the life of Dr. King is an act of racism worthy of a Klan leader or Woodrow Wilson.

But the fact that the overwhelming majority of the 74 million people who voted for him would have no problem with Patriotic Education makes matters worse. And it is not a stretch to surmise that the Patriotic Education speech being made on the King holiday would not disqualify Trump from receiving their vote any and every time.

Which raises the question as to what a significant part of white America really thinks about Dr. King and racial inequity here in the 21st century, in focusing on this concern it is important to note that in 1967, the year before he died, Dr. King was one of the most hated men in many parts of America. In that year Dr. King also stated his concern that at some point in the future historians would state that American civilization died because it failed to make justice a reality.

While Dr. King is rightly remembered from his aspirational rhetoric and continued faith in possibility and probability of equal justice for all, there should be no doubt that during his entire public career he was a fierce critic of American racism, American cruelty and American injustice. And there should be no doubt that his every critique criticism shortened his life.

The only reason that Dr. King is celebrated is that the sanitized version of a saintly, nonviolent Black man who advocated patient and peaceful protest. The real Dr. King, the man who challenged racism and racists at every turn, the real Dr. King who was fearless and clear that the malignant America must change and the real Dr. King saw nonviolence as a tactic and not a reflection of a passive spirit.

There should be no wonder that racists like Trump would still fear and hate Dr. King over a half century after his assassination. And it should be no wonder that the children and grandchildren of the men and women who hated Dr. King when he lived would now support a president who still hates Dr. King.

Of course, for Dr. King, who is a place where Trump will never be, knowing that Trump still hates him would verify that he was the one doing the right thing.

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The Day That Donald Trump Declared War on America

As the new year began there was the faint flicker of hope that 2021 would be a better year because at least it would not be 2020. But the fact that Trump was still president meant that his capacity for creating chaos would remain.

There are a number of dates in American history that are remembered with dismay and pain.

  • April 15, 1865 – the day that Abraham Lincoln was assassinated. The first time that an American president had ever been killed while in office.
  • December 7, 1941 – the day that the Empire of Japan attacked the United States without a prior declaration of war. Thousands of Americans died in the attack and America entered World War II.
  • November 22, 1963 – the day that John F. Kennedy was assassinated, the first time that an American president had been assassinated since 1901.
  • April 4, 1968 – the day that Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated.
  • September 11, 2001 – the day of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that resulted in the death of over 3,000 Americans
  • January 6, 2021 – the day that Donald Trump declared war on America

That last bullet might sound extreme except that it is true. If any foreign power or individual invited a huge mob of disaffected, well-armed true believers to come to Washington and then incited and invited that mob to attack the United States Capitol it would be considered an act of war. An individual would be charged with capital crimes including sedition, inciting to riot and treason.

Trump took these actions with the clear goal of derailing the certification of the presidential election results so that he, Trump, could remain in power. This is a clear and present case of treason and sedition. These are certainly impeachable offenses with which no American president has ever been charged. But if there were ever a time, now is the time.

An historical note – Andrew Jackson was arguably the most disruptive president in American history pre-Trump. Upon his inauguration he invited hundreds of his drunken supporters into the White House who virtually trashed the place as they celebrated. Very bad taste indeed – but not treasonous.

Now Trump comes along – with a portrait of Andrew Jackson in his office – and directs his supporters to attack the Capitol and the members of Congress to keep himself in office. And they actually go ahead and do it – Trump calls them patriots and beautiful people and as of this writing remains absolutely remorseless. And lack of remorse is just one more indication of how damaged a human being Trump is.

It should also be noted that the Trump mob was virtually all white. This all white mob virtually waltzed passed the Capitol police who were happy to take selfies with these invading rioters. The all white mob terrorized the members of Congress who were forced to cower and hide. The all white mob destroyed property, defaced the Capitol and generally acted like the deranged fools that they clearly are.

And their grievances are hard to discern at first? There were no poor people in the crowd. Most were reasonably well dressed and it is doubtful that there were many homeless or jobless white men and women in the mob. Their grievance was that their sense of White Privilege was being eroded by the progress of Black people, LatinX people, Muslims, LGBTQ communities and any “other” group that offended them.

And then, the DC polic4e allowed this mob to exit with few arrests failing only to give them souvenir gifts commemorating their visit to the nation’s Capitol. Four mobsters died under circumstances that are not yet clear. But there was no wholesale violence or brutality suffered by this all white mob.

Now change the narrative of the past two paragraphs from all white to all Black and think about how different the outcome would have been. After all, peaceful Black Lives Matter protestors have been shot, killed, maimed and arrested en masse without attacking any governmental buildings or committing acts that could be called treasonous or seditious in any way.

Think what the body count would be if thousands of Black Lives Matter protestors had invaded the Capitol and harassed and threatened the members of Congress while trashing and defacing the building in the process. The body count would not be complete as of the writing of this column.

Two things are clear from yesterday’s staged debacle. First, White Privilege is real. The overwhelmingly white men and women who made up the mob felt that they had a right to act in an illegal and violent fashion because they didn’t like the election results. Such is the perspective from the ivory tower of White Privilege. Such behavior would have been suicidal for Black Americans.

Second, Donald J. Trump did indeed promote a civil insurrection against the United States government and should be held accountable. There may be only thirteen days left in his Reign of Terror but his actions on January 6, 2021 should not be without consequence.

He was already going to be ranked as the worst president in the history of the United States. He should now be the first president ever convicted of treason.

After all, Trump did declare war on the America.

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In the Spirit of Janus – Looking Forward and Looking Backward

The Romans worshipped the god Janus. A quirky deity who had the uncanny ability to look forward and backwards at the same time – which is where we get the name for the first month of every year.

And it would seem that if there was ever a time to look forward and backwards at the same time it is in the last days of December 2020.

Looking backwards we see a year that is literally crammed with tragedy, the bizarre and the lethal and the stupid.

Looking forwards we see the real possibility that we may end up looking at the days of 2020 as the good old days. And those words make the blood run cold because they could be true.

The human species evolved by having a great capacity to learn, remember and innovate – to create that which had not been seen. That capacity has resulted in wondrous developments, inventions and development of civilizations that could not have been imagined by our ancestors of 50,000 years ago.

As a species we have advanced with the utilization of genius paired with a curious streak of self-destructiveness. There seem to be no limits to our collective ability to create and destroy.

And that pairing has never been more clear than in the United States during this past year.

Systemic racism is an integral part of the American DNA, even before there was a United States of America. This past year put on display the most horrific aspect of that racism with the highly publicized police murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and so many more and now, Andre Hill – all unarmed Black people who were executed because they were Black.

There have been protests and riots and more protests and legislative proposals, but all the while it is clear to virtually every Black American that any encounter with a white police officer could result in a fatal outcome. It is sad but true that there will be more such deaths as we witnessed the U.S. Department of Justice refusing to prosecute Cleveland police officers for the murder of 12-year-old Tamir Rice six years ago. His destiny with death was due to his playing with a toy gun in a playground…..and being Black.

And if it is really necessary to once more examine the seamy underside of American race justice and white privilege we need look no further than the Nashville Christmas bombing. The girlfriend of the (white) suspect called the local police over one year ago to report that he was making bombs in his RV in the backyard. The police called the (white) suspect several times but he did not return the calls. And that was the end of the story until Christmas day 2020.

It is clear to anyone with a pulse that if a fact-challenged call to the police regarding a large drug sale involving Black suspects that warrant or no warrant (or in the case of Breonna Taylor a falsified warrant) that the police would not have been deterred by the fact that their calls had not been returned.

There are too many examples in the past, and sadly in the future, to contemplate. What is known is that people have been known to change. Societies have been known to change. And during 2020 there appeared to be a glimmer of flickering hope that the reality of systemic racism might change.

After all Confederate statues were removed and acknowledgement of racist behavior with a commitment to change emanated from major sports leagues, corporate America and binders full of celebrities. It would seem that that for a brief shining moment that America was taking a page from South Africa which used the vehicle of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to expose and expunge key aspects of the racist past of that country.

And then 73 million overwhelmingly white Americans voted for Donald Trump. He of the “very good people on both sides”.

And now it remains to be seen if this country can actually move forward or remain mired in the past until a demographic tsunami imposes change. We already see the resistance to that impending demographic reality materializing in the form of more and greater voter suppression tactics and we are sure to be witness to this struggle continuing for decades to come.

Nevertheless, one other evolutionary inheritance that we humans possess is hope. It is the articulation of hope, the belief in hope and the actualization of hope that has fueled the advance of the species.

It may be that now, perhaps more than ever, hope will be the saving grace of the species, not only in America but around the world.

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Approaching the Finish Line – The Last Week of the Worst Year Ever

December 21, 2020

17,847,629-317,684 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Under the heading of…just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse…. there is now a new strain of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the world. It is more infectious than the original and it has already shut down the U.K. There can be no doubt that COVID II is already in the U.S. And there can be no doubt that this country and its people are not ready for the challenge.

Meanwhile, it appears that Trump spent the weekend in lengthy meetings regarding the mechanics by which martial law could be imposed in the swing states in order to reverse the results of the election. Trump is playing with fire and does not have any idea how much damage he is causing by even giving serious thought to such a destructive thought.

Of course, Destructive may actually be Trump’s real middle name.

December 22, 2020

18,057,172-319,826 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

And now, in an amazing illustration of how the madness pandemic has gripped Trump, Rudy Giuliani is tasked with calming down Trump and getting him to back off the martial law ledge on which he is currently standing.

When Giuliani is the wisest person in the room, it is definitely time to find another room.

December 23, 2020

18,237,190-322,849 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

A bizarro take on the 12 days of Christmas carol

2 Mueller defendants

3 Corrupt Congressman and

4 Convicted murderers

Meanwhile federal executions continue at an unprecedented rate.

Meanwhile Trump threatens to derail the not-enough stimulus bill literally putting the lives and livelihoods of millions of Americans in jeopardy. Trump’s tantrum is lethal.

December 26, 2020

18,762,383-330,279 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Death and infection statistics continue to skyrocket (is skyrocket even a word?) and there is actually no end in sight to this cataclysmic pandemic.

Americans continue to fly around the nation in the millions infecting and being infected. It may well be that we will look at 2020 as the time before the COVID-19 cataclysm really turned catastrophic in a biblical way.

Meanwhile, as of today, the unemployment for millions of Americans – and their families – expired and Trump continues to refuse to sign the stimulus bill while playing golf in Mar-A-Lago.

Nero fiddling while Rome burns is an image that comes to mind.

December 28, 2020

19,136,587-333,140 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

This is the year that seems like it will never end. It will end – but it is not ending well. The news is just now appearing that last week members of the Columbus, Ohio police department shot and killed Andre Hill – yet another unarmed Black man dying from LWB – Living While Black.

Meanwhile, Trump took a tantrum break and decided to finally sign the Stimulus Bill. This means that millions of Americans who are perched precariously on the precipice of starvation and financial ruination while Trump has been bathing in his own fury and golfing can at least hope with reason that some too little too late relief will be on its way.

Meanwhile the twin Georgia senatorial elections are taking on the appearance of Political Armageddon in America. Over $500 million has been spent on supporting the campaigns of the four candidates. If you live in Georgia, you are thankful for Netflix or Amazon Prime because otherwise you only get to watch campaign commercials for one or more of the Final Four.

Ironically, these elections are that important. If the Democrats sweep the two seats the Biden-Harris administration will have the ability to remake and rebuild the country and its institutions which Trump and his minions have tried mightily to destroy. If the Republicans win only one of the two seats Mitch McConnell will continue to have the title of President Without Portfolio and play obstacle chess with Joe Biden for at least the next two years.

And in what can only be called a Man Bites Dog story, the New York Post, a journalistic lapdog of Trump for years before he even became president, published an editorial telling Trump to accept defeat and move on.

Guess which White House newspaper subscription just got cancelled?

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Point of View Columns

One More Week in the Worst Year Ever

December 15, 2020

16,519,628-300,493 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Today sees Russian President Vladimir Putin congratulating Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States. Over 120 House Republicans continue to refuse to do so.

Today seen Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell congratulating Joe Biden on his election as President of the United States. Over 120 House Republicans continue to refuse to do so.

This political dissonance worries more than a few Americans as to whether a true assault on Democracy is taking place in real time. Katy McAneny, the White House Press Secretary and a fountain of lies made reference to “a transition or a second term” without further explanation, but it doesn’t sound good for so-called democracy.

Leave it to right wing of the right wing thought leader John Bolton to provide some words of comfort, to wit “Trump isn’t smart enough to be a successful authoritarian”, and Bolton knows enough about authoritarianism to know it when he sees it.

Whew!

December 16, 2020

16,725,039-303,867 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Trump is holding up U.S. funding of international vaccine initiatives, keeping to his America First doctrine. As if the COVID-19 virus respects international boundaries.

Meanwhile Congress continues to stumble and fall on the path to providing stimulus money for Americans who have lost their jobs, for Americans who are losing their homes and for Americans who are hungry – right now. Although the senators and representatives will not be fasting in solidarity with the suffering of Americans, and while these members of Congress will not be worrying about where they will sleep tonight and they certainly don’t have to worry about whether or not they are going to get paid – they are moving at a glacial pace that seems horrific under the circumstances.

This is a bipartisan atrocity – Democrats and Republicans should be ashamed.

But, of course, they are not.

December 17, 2020

16,980,842-307,512 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Yesterday almost 4,000 Americans died from the pandemic – in a single day. The daily death toll is staggering almost to the point of anesthetizing the American public. The bright shiny object of an April or May vaccination has distracted the country from the fact that our friends and neighbors and family members and people that we will never know are dying all around us.

December 18, 2020

17,213,887-310,792 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Madness in America. Sadness in America. Disgraced – but pardoned – former general Michael Flynn has gone public with the idea that Trump should declare martial law in the swing states that voted for Biden and redo the elections.

We should be clear – while these are the ravings of a madman (and the creator of the “Lock Her Up” chant in 2016 – he is not standing on a park bench howling at the wind. Flynn was on the NewsMax national television network and millions of Americans are listening and believing.

Flynn would be easy to ignore.

And that makes him even more dangerous.

December 19, 2020

17,466,226-313,669 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

And because the Age of Trump is the gift that just won’t stop giving, Flynn – and others – are calling for Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 in order to force a repeat of the November 3rd election. Presumably the same result would result in yet another forced election until the American people finally figure out that Trump is President for Life.

It is important to note that the Insurrection Act has been invoked to quell the barbarous activity of the Ku Klux Klan in the 19th century, and more recently during urban riots when federal troops were requested by the governor and mayor, not imposed by the president.

And while all this noise would be easy to ignore……we ignore it at our own peril.

When people tell you who they are we should listen.

December 20, 2020

17,722,193-316,932 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

The news of the day that finally, finally, Congress has decided to ease the pain and suffering of the people just enough so that no one can say that Congress did nothing. The Stimulus Bill is certainly too little and it is certainly too late for Americans who have already lost their jobs. It is certainly too little for Americans who have seen the dreams of their own businesses evaporate. It is certainly too late for thousands of Americans who are being evicted daily. And it is most certainly too late for the millions of Americans who are already living with The Beast Called Hunger every single day.

Definitely too little.

Definitely too late.

December 21, 2020

17,847,629-317,684 (number of confirmed COVID-19 cases – the number of dead Americans at the beginning of the day)

Under the heading of…just when you thought that things couldn’t get any worse…. there is now a new strain of the COVID-19 virus spreading throughout the world. It is more infectious than the original and it has already shut down the U.K. There can be no doubt that COVID II is already in the U.S. And there can be no doubt that this country and its people are not ready for the challenge.

Meanwhile, it appears that Trump spent the weekend in lengthy meetings regarding the mechanics by which martial law could be imposed in the swing states in order to reverse the results of the election. Trump is playing with fire and does not have any idea how much damage he is causing by even giving serious thought to such a destructive thought.

Of course, Destructive may actually be Trump’s real middle name

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