American Essay Journalism — Donald Trump Is the First White President

❝ It is insufficient to state the obvious of Donald Trump: that he is a white man who would not be president were it not for this fact. With one immediate exception, Trump’s predecessors made their way to high office through the passive power of whiteness — that bloody heirloom which cannot ensure mastery of all events but can conjure a tailwind for most of them. Land theft and human plunder cleared the grounds for Trump’s forefathers and barred others from it. Once upon the field, these men became soldiers, statesmen, and scholars; held court in Paris; presided at Princeton; advanced into the Wilderness and then into the White House. Their individual triumphs made this exclusive party seem above America’s founding sins, and it was forgotten that the former was in fact bound to the latter, that all their victories had transpired on cleared grounds. No such elegant detachment can be attributed to Donald Trump—a president who, more than any other, has made the awful inheritance explicit.

…..

❝ The first white president in American history is also the most dangerous president—and he is made more dangerous still by the fact that those charged with analyzing him cannot name his essential nature, because they too are implicated in it.

One of the best pieces of the type I have read in months. There are many paragraphs which sound like they need criticism at their entry – and complete themselves with insight.

A worthwhile read, my friends.

Donald Trump refuses to call out white supremacist violence

❝ Donald Trump refuses to name the problem of white supremacist violence

His remarks on violence in Charlottesville were ignorance to the point of callousness.

❝ White nationalists rallied in Charlottesville, Virginia, this weekend against the removal of Confederate statues in public spaces. White nationalists attacked counter-protesters on Friday night, punching and kicking them and (reportedly) pepper-spraying them. One counter-protester was killed and several were injured when a car rammed into them after accelerating for over a block.

President Trump blamed both sides

❝ This is not just a failure to condemn the white nationalists who were responsible for the bulk of the violence and disorder in Charlottesville with the same vehemence that Trump condemns “radical Islamic terrorism” during any attack of any size in the US or abroad. It is an actively misleading account of what happened.

It implies that both rally-goers and counterprotesters were equally to blame for violence, leaving the door wide open for Trump supporters to assume that “the left” started it. It implies that the “hate and division” are equally distributed, and that the counterprotesters seeking to stand up to the rallygoers are every bit as hateful as the rallygoers sporting swastika pins. And by calling for the “swift restoration of law and order,” it implies that the problem is disrespect for police — encouraging the misinterpretation that this is somehow the fault of anyone else but the white nationalists themselves.

Racism and violence go together like ham and cheesy excuses from chickenshit politicians. They are as American as apple pie – and they’ve been around in this land since the first day white folks landed and shoved nonwhites to the side of the road. Centuries have passed and lip service from politicians hasn’t changed anything. People of courage and conscience have. Threatening the gravy train in city hall, the statehouse, Congress and the White House has provoked every bit of change in modernizing the halfway decent start we had to a Constitution.

It took pressure and demonstrations to bring voting rights to all – and change in the legislation provided by politicians running scared from that pressure. Now, with one of the two candyass parties we’re allowed campaigning on the basis of shutting down voting rights a fightback is imperative.

Nazis and racists are emboldened by a thug in the White House they feel is one of their own. Certainly, his failure to stand responsibly aids their reactionary cause. It’s time all people of conscience acted to slide the mostly creeps in Congress out of office, work to elect independent, progressive women and men to office whether they’re called Democrats or Republicans or whatever they choose!

Long-time Iowa farm cartoonist fired for offending AgriBiz corporations

❝ Rick Friday has been giving farmers a voice and a laugh every Friday for two decades through his cartoons in Farm News

I am no longer the Editorial Cartoonist for Farm News due to the attached cartoon…

Apparently a large company affiliated with one of the corporations mentioned in the cartoon was insulted and cancelled their advertisement with the paper, thus, resulting in the reprimand of my editor and cancellation of its Friday cartoons after 21 years of service and over 1,090 published cartoons to over 24,000 households per week in 33 counties of Iowa.

“I did my research and only submitted the facts in my cartoon.

“That’s okay, hopefully my children and my grandchildren will see that this last cartoon published by Farm News out of Fort Dodge, Iowa, will shine light on how fragile our rights to free speech and free press really are in the country.”

Farm News apparently has the courage of an overripe squash when it comes to standing up for farmers, journalists, cartoonists against corporate barons.

Thanks, UrsaRodinia

Brits’ new Surveillance Law will be a global model – for repression

Civil rights advocates are up in arms over a sweeping new digital surveillance law in the United Kingdom, and not just because they say it intrudes on the privacy of people in the U.K. Some worry that the law sets an example other democratic nations will be tempted to follow.

The legislation…is called the Investigatory Powers Act (or, by its critics, the “Snooper’s Charter”). It enshrines broad new authority for U.K. law enforcement and intelligence agencies to conduct online surveillance, hack into devices deemed relevant to investigations, and make technology companies provide access to data about their users — even by forcing them to change the design of products. It also gives investigators the authority to use these powers in “bulk,” meaning they can access large data sets that may include information about people not relevant to investigations. They can even hack into devices owned by people who are not suspects in a crime.

…The most high-profile fight is over a new authority for the government to compel Internet service providers to retain “Internet connection records”—including websites visited or mobile apps used, the times they were accessed, and the duration of use — for up to 12 months for all their customers. Investigators won’t need a warrant from a judge to access this data. “There is no state in the Western democratic world that has anything similar,” says Eric King…former deputy director of Don’t Spy on Us, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations that advocates for surveillance reform…

Brazil and Australia have also recently instituted data retention laws. The U.S. has not, but the U.S. Department of Justice has advocated for mandatory data retention before, as have members of Congress. After the Snowden revelations, President Obama issued a policy directive limiting bulk data collection by the federal government itself. But Donald Trump could rescind that or work with Congress to require Internet service providers to retain data so investigators could access it later—a step that would be modeled on the U.K. legislation. “If the Trump administration wants to expand its surveillance powers, or seek sanction for more aggressive use of its existing powers, it could unfortunately point to the U.K.’s new law as precedent,” says Camilla Graham Wood, Privacy International’s legal officer.

RTFA for a peek at the brave new world brought to us in part by fools who vote for phonies like Donald Trump. That doesn’t exempt the chickenshit Establishment of Democrats and Republicans who roll over and stick all four feet into the air every time some surveillance pimp prattles about fear.

Huge study refutes the federal government’s crap marijuana laws

❝ In the federal drug classification scheme, marijuana is classed at the very top. It is considered to be a Schedule I substance — a category reserved for drugs with a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.

For years, however, scientists have done study after study showing that this classification is misguided. On Thursday, the National Academy of Sciences put one more nail in the coffin with one of the most thorough reviews of the research to date: a massive, 396-page report on 10,000 research studies on marijuana, assessing therapeutic benefits and risk factors.

❝ The review, conducted by a panel of experts led by Harvard public health researcher Marie McCormack, is broken out into 100 different conclusions — many of which are just assessments of the current state of the research…

It is particularly significant, however, that the review states quite clearly that there is “conclusive or substantial evidence” that marijuana is effective for the treatment of chronic pain, as a tonic for nausea and vomiting in cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy, and in treating spasticity in multiple sclerosis patients…

❝ Marijuana has also been floated as a potential treatment for a whole host of other disorders — such as easing insomnia relating to painful syndromes, increasing appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, decreasing severe anxiety, and combating the effects of PTSD. Although there’s moderate to limited evidence supporting marijuana’s effectiveness, the report found, the research here isn’t yet conclusive.

The review also looked at the health risks associated with marijuana use, dispelling some popular arguments against it. For example, according to the review of the research, smoking marijuana is not associated with the same cancer risks as tobacco — there was no evidence that marijuana use was associated with lung, head, and neck cancers. Tobacco, unlike marijuana, is recreationally legal nationwide.

❝ That doesn’t mean, however, that marijuana is completely absolved of health risks…“It just reinforces what our policy makers should already know,” said Taylor West. “This is a product with significantly lower risk factors than other things that we regulate and consume, like alcohol.”

Congress has the power to change these absurd and outdated laws. The White House could help progress along. Obama didn’t do much about that. I expect even less from Trump.

The big “but” lies with the grassroots organizing every Democrat from here to the Halls of Congress is talking about. If push is going to come to shove, if science is to return to stable, reasoned responsibility in the development of political platforms, then Democrats and Independents seeking my vote – and many, many others – had better get up-to-date on results from legal, recreational sales of marijuana, taxed for the general benefit of the voting public.

This ain’t the biggest deal in real reform needed in this ethically-backwards nation; but, it counts as one with liberty, justice and fiscal responsibility as recommendations.