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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 11,540

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Mother Jones, July 18: The Hate Pamphlet That Started It All

"Donald Trump’s Politics of Hate Began With a “Cynical and Evil” GOP Memo"


Trump has embraced the Newt way. He runs on hate. He turns political opponents into evil enemies, and he does so with an emphasis on race. He exploits and whips up fear. None of this is new for the Republican Party...

... what does [Frank] Luntz, who has been a GOP strategist for much of this time, think of Trump’s demagogic breakout? (Luntz, who was at odds with Trump during the 2016 campaign, has reportedly been advising the White House since his old friend Mick Mulvaney became Trump’s chief of staff.) “I don’t want to go there,” he says. “I’m not answering this for anyone. I don’t want to comment. It’s not what I would do. It’s not what I would say.” And Luntz, who blames “both sides” for the toxic political environment, continues: “But I will tell you this. I’m afraid for the country. I do not think we know how low we can go…I know what the outcome is. It’s bad. It’s France in 1793. It ends up consuming everything.”

The GOP has made use of race-driven and hate-propelled demagoguery since the early 1960s. But it has mostly done so in a manner that preserved deniability and would be acceptable at the country club. To a certain degree, Gingrich changed that.

But Trump, the owner of several country clubs, has decided that in his world no niceties at all are needed. He has essentially said to the party, “Thanks for the lift, fellows, I’ll take it from here.”

Better late than never. I hate it when media get stuff and file it for future reference.

It's late coming in usefulness for MF45's tweets and teleprompter messaging, but here the pamphlet's word chart without the pep talk.


Optimistic Positive Governing Words

Use the list below to help define your campaign and your vision of public service. These words can help give extra power to your message.
common sense freedom peace reform
courage hard work pioneer rights
crusade help precious strength
dream liberty pride truth
duty light principle(d) vision
empower(ment) moral pristine workfare
fair movement pro-environment
family passionate prosperity

Contrasting Words

Often we search hard for words to define our opponents. Sometimes we are hesitant to use contrast. These are powerful words that can create a clear and easily understood contrast. Apply these to the opponent, his record, proposals and party.

anti-child deeper liberal shallow
anti-flag disgrace lie shame
betray devour machine sick
bizarre destroy obsolete status quo
cheat excuses pathetic steal
collapse failure radical taxes
corruption greed red tape they/them
crisis hypocrisy self-serving traitors
decay incompetent sensationalists welfare

"The Family" -- A Church That Has Breached the Wall, Invaded The State -- On Netflix

Lawmakers, Intelligence Officials Welcomed To This Year's Def Con Conference

"Multiple members of congress, dozens of congressional staffers and members of the intelligence community are gathering in Las Vegas this weekend to rub shoulders with hackers at Def Con," reports CNN:

Washington's embrace of the hacking community comes amid heightened awareness of the threat of cyber attacks in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election and lawmakers realizing they need to get to grips with technology, Phil Stupak, one of the organizers of Def Con's A.I. Village told CNN Business before the conference began... Hackers here are also demonstrating potential vulnerabilities in voting machines used by Americans. The convention's election village includes a room full of voting equipment where hackers can let loose...

It will likely be the largest presence the government has had since before 2013, when, in the wake of NSA analyst Edward Snowden's leaks, Def Con founder Jeff Moss formally requested "the feds call a 'time-out' and not attend Def Con this year." But that has since smoothed over. "I think the record presence of both representative and administration reflect the reality that technology and security are built into our society," Moss told CNN Business.

"We are trying to break down the barriers between the people in tech who know what they're doing and the people in Congress who know how to take that knowledge to make laws," said Stupak, who is also a fellow at Cyber Policy Initiative at the University of Chicago.

Speaking at Def Con this year was the top cybersecurity official for America's Department of Homeland Security, who stressed the importance of backup paper ballots, as well as "auditability."

Also attending Def Con is Senator Ron Wyden, who emphasized another important election safeguard to CNN: that no voting equipment should be connected to the internet.


WISP -- Women In Security and Privacy

One More Time -- Roger Bonair Agard's Great Tribute To Toni Morrison

(Roger is a poet, teacher, father and spoken word artist living in Chicago, born in Trinidad.)

The first book of Toni Morrison's I ever read was Song of Solomon. It was 1998 and I was undertaking a 36hr bus ride from New York City to Dallas to do a series of poetry gigs. I forget now who recommended it, but I hadn't read a lot of fiction recent to that and thought a long bus ride would be perfect for it. Still, when i want to reference that book I often forget the name. It slips past my grasp.

What i remember first, is a passage from the book in which she talks about the difference between folks who are land locked, and folks who live at the ocean. That passage riveted me at the time. I recognized a truth that felt fundamental. It felt like it was a verifiable truth because the wording of it made me feel it / know it, in my bones. I recognized in her work more kin to poetry than i thought at the time fiction might hold.

I read the entire book on the way there, closed it, opened up my notebook and wrote a poem that at that time was a massive leap in accomplishment for me over what i had written before. The poem was called 'naming and other Christian things,' and i think it was several years before i'd write anything as good again.

On the 36hr bus ride on the way back from Dallas, i began a novel. I wrote probably 50 pages on the way back, and eventually about 150 pages of a terrible novel that is lost and locked away in a Toshiba laptop somewhere that only some computer savant can free.

Derek Walcott gave my language permission, ratified the ways in which we move from recognized English to the dialects of our speech - as literature. Willie Perdomo allowed to recognize the authenticity of the hybrid languages i was learning and evolving as poetry.

Toni Morrison completely blew the doors off the fake ass border between literary genres. I transformed almost immediately into someone who saw my potential as a writer as without boundary defined by genre. I understood how my prose might be poem, how my verse could be memoir, my notes - drama. It wasn't a new discovery by any means. It was only new to me, and I was young in my process of becoming a writer, even though i was already 30 years old.

Toni Morrison unlocked a current underneath the energy and swell of what should inform useful writing, if useful meant that it moved the reader, that it moved and was emotionally relevant somewhere to someone. She did that too while making my Black feel loved, while creating for me, personally, a paradigm which did not include white people.

By then i was already an acolyte of James Baldwin's. I have my mother to thank for that. She'd gifted me 'The Fire Next Time' while i was still a child, and it fascinated me - this public letter to the nephew, and in hindsight i believe it had some to do with my mostly absent father.

Some months ago, my father brought out a file of letters I had written him from ages 5 through 9, the pages over 40 years old and yellowed, but kept in pristine condition. It instantly re-wrote a narrative i had in my head about my childhood relationship to my father. The letters felt written from such pain too - the wanting to see my father, the hoping he could come home, back to Trinidad so he could be with us...

...when i first read Morrison I didn't know my father had kept those letters but Morrison's every line was weighted in the gravity of that boy's dreams. I believe Toni was a link in a chain that not just made me a writer but that ultimately provided a container wherein my father and I could discover each other again, and love each other, perhaps, anew.

There is no way for me to measure how responsible Toni is for any victory my writing can claim, but from Song of Solomon to Jazz - Paradise to Beloved, her Nobel Laureate acceptance speech and every random essay, which includes the sound of her voice reading them, Toni Morrison is a key element in my survival as a Black man in America.

I am certain I could not have survived the journey this far without her. To be certain, the jury is still out but she has a massive hand in getting me this far.

I can only imagine how many she has worked for similarly. I know the lady will travel well. She exhorts us to not be distracted from our work. That must include the current moment. I loved her. I love her. I'm a better human being for it.

Twitter doesn't run public conversation.

See this?


Looks impressive, right? Wrong.

Only 17 million out of 325 million people in the U.S. have public accounts. That's IT.

Only 10% of those public account holders create 80% of tweets. 1.7 million out of 325 million Americans. That's IT.

Trump's account fails to increase Twitter accounts. Only 19% of accounts follow his. 26% of accounts follow Obama's.

When Pew says that 1 in 5 Twitter users follow Trump, that's a fly on America's apple pie. That's IT.

Twitter is not a public temperature gauge.

Twitter's not a valid, reliable poll.

Twitter is not coherent or analytical. It cares not for history or context.

Twitter is the cult of clever.

Yet cult-of-clever Twitter is the tail that wags the retweet and media coverage dog,
which is only amounts to 5 million TV prime time viewers. That's IT.

Twitter is stupidly, stupidly overrated by media. Cable news, too.

When we really want to understand something, we need to READ.

Jay Inslee's 10-Point Plan to End White Nationalist Gun Violence

The long version:


Governor Inslee already has versions of this plan in effect in Washington state.

The short version:

Addressing White Nationalism:

1. Direct Federal Law Enforcement Resources To Confront White Nationalism:reinstate and expand federal funding for de-radicalization programs, intervention grants, and investigative resources, consistent with a whole-of-government strategy to confront white supremacy as a distinct and discrete terrorist threat

2. Create Systems to Identify, Track, and Prosecute White Nationalist Extremists: reinstate the requirement for an annual public report on the domestic terror threat.

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has introduced legislation, the Domestic Terrorism Prevention Act, that lays out a roadmap to do this; Inslee would sign this bill. The Inslee Administration would also strengthen implementation of laws like the Hate Crime Statistics Act, which requires the Department of Justice to compile and report the number of bias crimes but is severely underenforced. The combination of new data sources would help enhance federal prosecution of hate crimes, especially where state laws are weak or non-existent.

3. Expanding International Cooperation to Fight White Nationalism: America will expand partnerships with international intelligence and domestic law enforcement agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private businesses like social media corporations, to take a unified, mutually-supportive approach to countering violent extremism.

Addressing the Ease-of-Access to Firearms

4. National Assault Weapons Ban: As president, Governor Inslee will reinstate a national assault weapons ban, as well as a ban on high-capacity magazines.

5. Extreme Risk Protection Orders: advance a national Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, modeled after those passed in Washington state, Oregon, and 15 other states as well as the District of Columbia.
...allow police, family members, and household members to petition for firearms to be temporarily removed from people threatening to harm themselves or others.
... open federal courts to petitions by law enforcement and families to have access to firearm rights temporarily removed, and would also provide grant assistance to states to implement protection order laws, reflecting the essential role of local, regional, tribal, and state law enforcement in tackling this challenge.
Washington already has the first hate-specific ERPO law in America.

6. Disarm Hate: Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) and Rep. David Cicilline (D-RI) have proposed legislation to do just that, the “Disarm Hate Act,” and Inslee would sign the bill into law as president.

7. Target People Who “Lie And Try” to Buy Guns: provide notification to state law enforcement when a person who “lies and tries” to buy a firearm is blocked by the federal background check system.

8. Close the Charleston Loophole: The House has passed legislation to address the Charleston loophole by expanding this period to ten days, yet the Senate has failed to act. As president, Inslee will close the Charleston loophole and end the “default proceed” rule.

9. Overhaul and Enhance ATF Enforcement: take executive action and support legislation to modernize long underfunded ATF’s data management systems and provide the resources necessary to conduct needed inspections.

10. Ban Untraceable Firearms: restrict the production and manufacture of 3D printer “ghost guns” in ... immediately end this dangerous and senseless action on the part of the Trump Administration... support legislation codifying into federal law restrictions on Trump's exporting plans for these types of weapons, ensuring America has the same strong standards on these weapons as Washington state does.

Inslee's ON IT!

New Idea To Improve Campaign Debate

The solution to network conflict of interests, moderators and time limits for candidates:

the DNC should stream and broadcast the debate itself and then license network and cable TV providers to rebroadcast it.

Thanks to the internet and the rise of quality equipment with which to stream stuff, the parties no longer need to dole out broadcast partnerships for their debates.

Instead, the parties can handle all of this themselves and stream the debates either on their own sites, or via platforms like Facebook or YouTube.

TV partners can then be allowed to re-transmit that, which they'll absolutely want to do. If they somehow do not, the stream will be available on the internet.

This move would do several things.

First, it would end the insanity that is DMCA notices and platform bans that happen when people re-transmit the broadcast of a TV partner on streaming sites. The idea that a major party debate should be locked up behind copyright notices surely would make the founding fathers shit themselves. And, yet, that's what's happening today.

More importantly, it would leave moderator seats vacant for those with actual expertise on the topics to be discussed. Those moderators would also not be incentivized to generate soundbites or easy-to-repackage quips for cable news broadcasts.

Literally everything would be better and there is no longer a technological or cost barrier to do all of this.

I can't think of a reason not to try this in 2024.


RIP, Toni Morrison. You are one of the greatest writers of American Literature.

Your spirit entered me and others. I loved sharing the power of your writing art with my students.

Everyone should read everything you wrote. You will always be the best of America.



“Once upon a time there was an old woman. Blind. Wise.”

In the version I know the woman is the daughter of slaves, black, American, and lives alone in a small house outside of town. Her reputation for wisdom is without peer and without question. Among her people she is both the law and its transgression. The honor she is paid and the awe in which she is held reach beyond her neighborhood to places far away; to the city where the intelligence of rural prophets is the source of much amusement.

One day the woman is visited by some young people who seem to be bent on disproving her clairvoyance and showing her up for the fraud they believe she is. Their plan is simple: they enter her house and ask the one question the answer to which rides solely on her difference from them, a difference they regard as a profound disability: her blindness. They stand before her, and one of them says, “Old woman, I hold in my hand a bird. Tell me whether it is living or dead.”

She does not answer, and the question is repeated. “Is the bird I am holding living or dead?”

Still she doesn’t answer. She is blind and cannot see her visitors, let alone what is in their hands. She does not know their color, gender or homeland. She only knows their motive.

The old woman’s silence is so long, the young people have trouble holding their laughter.

Finally she speaks and her voice is soft but stern. “I don’t know”, she says. “I don’t know whether the bird you are holding is dead or alive, but what I do know is that it is in your hands. It is in your hands.”

whether it is the malign language of law-without-ethics, or language designed for the estrangement of minorities, hiding its racist plunder in its literary cheek – it must be rejected, altered and exposed.

It is the language that drinks blood, laps vulnerabilities, tucks its fascist boots under crinolines of respectability and patriotism as it moves relentlessly toward the bottom line and the bottomed-out mind. Sexist language, racist language, theistic language – all are typical of the policing languages of mastery, and cannot, do not permit new knowledge or encourage the mutual exchange of ideas.

The old woman is keenly aware that no intellectual mercenary, nor insatiable dictator, no paid-for politician or demagogue; no counterfeit journalist would be persuaded by her thoughts. There is and will be rousing language to keep citizens armed and arming; slaughtered and slaughtering in the malls, courthouses, post offices, playgrounds, bedrooms and boulevards; stirring, memorializing language to mask the pity and waste of needless death.

There will be more diplomatic language to countenance rape, torture, assassination. There is and will be more seductive, mutant language designed to throttle women, to pack their throats like paté-producing geese with their own unsayable, transgressive words; there will be more of the language of surveillance disguised as research; of politics and history calculated to render the suffering of millions mute; language glamorized to thrill the dissatisfied and bereft into assaulting their neighbors; arrogant pseudo-empirical language crafted to lock creative people into cages of inferiority and hopelessness...

The conventional wisdom of the Tower of Babel story is that the collapse was a misfortune. That it was the distraction, or the weight of many languages that precipitated the tower’s failed architecture. That one monolithic language would have expedited the building and heaven would have been reached. Whose heaven, she wonders? And what kind? Perhaps the achievement of Paradise was premature, a little hasty if no one could take the time to understand other languages, other views, other narratives period. Had they, the heaven they imagined might have been found at their feet. Complicated, demanding, yes, but a view of heaven as life; not heaven as post-life.

She would not want to leave her young visitors with the impression that language should be forced to stay alive merely to be. The vitality of language lies in its ability to limn the actual, imagined and possible lives of its speakers, readers, writers. Although its poise is sometimes in displacing experience it is not a substitute for it. It arcs toward the place where meaning may lie....

Her artful map was of new territory that we need to learn "to secure our human difference ... we do language. That may be the meaning of our lives... "

Fortifying Schools: About The 2A Rights of Gun Owners? Or About The Big Business of Protection?

How a protection racket works is to make the victims pay anything, whether it's bullet proof class shelters, facial recognition software, motion sensors, camera triggered lockdowns.

Great ideas. Good for business as much as safety.

What would advanced industrialized countries say to this, I wonder.

I feel a sadness about the "making the best of things" resignation of the adults. Even more sad about the children's resigned acceptance of a world that shoots children.

The protection bought at any expense. No wonder teachers have to work two jobs.

If this is the best America can do for future generations, then a better world must not be possible.

Jay Inslee Signs Bump Stock Ban

One step taken. A year ago.

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