Authored by Sam Levin, of San Francisco. Published by The Guardian on June 23, 2017. See link below.
Sometimes one feels the urgent, compelling need to scream. At least somebody would hear. Sure, that might relieve outrage, anger and disappointment, until tomorrow when the same thoughtlessness repeats and another family grieves. But citizens are not merely frustrated, the scream will be heard, citizens want authorities to listen and to act positively. It is a public safety issue that words directly from Attorney General, Jeff Sessions tells that he doesn’t know or want to learn, about very serious occurrences taking place in the United States. This is not a training issue.
Source: Life in a Web of Duplicity
On June 16, 2017, in a Minnesota police officer, Jeronimo Yazez, walked free after the murder of Philando Castile, during a daytime traffic stop. Castile, a 32-year-old, African-American who had been stopped by police over three dozen times without incident, complied with all the instructions of the officer. Castile was killed within about three minutes of the illegal stop. The entire incident was live streamed across the world by his friend who was in the car’s backseat with her young child. Despite all the evidence presented the accused was freed on all counts.
African Americans are quite aware of the threat to their lives posed by the police. But most other citizens remain uninterested. Had it been possible to copyright the excuses made for, and by officers after killings, one could make a bundle just owning the most frequently used get-out-of-culpability justifications. It’s not funny when you’re preyed upon.
X Religion (reverence) precludes one from renting hotel rooms to gays, sign marriage certificates and all the way down to the sublimity of selling a cake. A cake! Despite the fact that the seller is licensed and regulated by state and municipal governments. The same authorities that honor laws that support various freedoms and protections. This is in the sphere of commerce.
Some might argue that commerce is a part of life and is rightly governed by the religious commands; that not only those mandates, but their personal choices and freedom of association are impinged upon. Fair enough, I respect individuals’ choices. Even that made by a pharmacy clerk, not to sell women pregnancy prevention pills.
I could take the third and easy position within what many believe to be very important issues. That is to say, it’s not worth the hassle, just go to the competing business, thereby helping the other to get off the block. I am heterosexual, married, worked comfortably in businesses where the majority of employees were gay. Why should I give a hoot?
Here’s why I keep an open blog and open mind. My first responsibility as it relates to the other people’s ethical conundrums is that I am human. I am a citizen. The second reason is that religions, like bureaucracies and governments, always extend and expand. The dogma always evolving and elusive. It is just the basic nature of institutions, so to do.
I could go on questioning their clashing inconsistencies. That would bore both of us. So permit me this one one example of what I think is a moral blindspot so big that it obscures and tests our agendas and commitment to be ethically and morally consistent.
When newly elected State Attorney Aramis Ayala informed Florida Governor Rick Scott who took the fifth over five dozen times, that she will not be seeking the death penalty in the homicide cases under her charge, he was beyond control. He took away her cases and gave them to another attorney perceived to be unencumbered by the triviality of capital punishment, especially as practiced in the United States. Republican lawmakers gathered for a special session, the purpose of examining and ensuring that the killing process remains at work efficiently.
We see a profound level of disinterest when it comes to capital punishment. Still waiting for a judge, a doctor, a recent governor, an executioner to refuse to carry out his unholy duty. They all are complicit in a system that is so corrupt, so unjust, I daresay so criminally dysfunctional, that with very limited resources, the Innocence Project is able to rescue wrongly convicted, especially Black men, at the rate of one every three weeks. They estimate that one in ten inmates on death row were not even remotely connected to the crimes they were about to be killed for. Statistically, governors are blithely signing death warrants to execute innocent people, the rationale I presume to be, shoring up a defence of the usual “soft on crime” political attacks. How sick are these people? How indifferent our electorate?
So, please America, lets debate again the issues of the blinking cake or the pill.
By Leyland A.King
June 14, 2017
I do my best to keep up with the mystifying politics and personality of Donald Trump. I have to. The last century is chock full of instructive episodes of human destructiveness. One does not have to look closely to see the lessons which mankind might have to learn all over again.
There is much to worry about, but just for today, I want to focus on one of the issues that have had slight attention. It is the posturing again over Cuba. An independent country situated in the northern Caribbean. It does not threaten any country and for generations live in peace with its neighbors.
Shortly after President Barack Obama and Cuban authorities announced and began normalizing relations, culminating in his productive visit to Cuba, opening ties leading to changes in the status of travel, repatriated funds, diplomatic channels, business investment and much more. There was joy Cuba. And hope for a better life for its eleven million citizens. Quickly, the howling started in America.
Governor(R) Cris Cristie bellowed his outrage. He claimed that the agreement should not have been made until Cuba hands over all Americans asylum there. Something the U.S never considered reciprocally.
Senator(R) Marco Rubio after his recovery from shock piped up with five decades old political rhetoric that he has to know won’t bear fruit. He hopes that his constituents don’t know that.
Governor(R) Rick Scott of Florida, a state hoping to be the major trade hub of America -sea, and land- revealed his indignation and vowed to reinstate the embargo on the people of Cuba.
The hypocrisy would be jarring, were it not originating from Trump’s GOP. With millions of people in American jails and disenfranchisement normalized, that freedom and democracy thing is as hollow as a suit in the Capitol.
But Donald Trump, the granddaddy of political and business disasters, chimed in this week with a statement that has dire consequences for over eleven million people in Cuba. It must be noted that Trump’s companies, like many others, reportedly violated United States law vis-a-vis sanctions against Cuba.
This is wrong. It is morally and ethically wrong. It is incumbent on just citizens of America to speak up, despite the certainty that we’ll be ignored anyway.
The United States put an economic embargo on Cuba 55 to 57 years ago. The international community of nations strenuously objected. It did not matter to us. Cuba was later put on the U.S list as state sponsors of terrorism. The rationale eludes me. There has been no successful lobbying on Cuba’s behalf. Nothing stops the lawless coercion and re-isolation of Cuba, by only the United States.
Today, the European Union are the largest foreign investors in Cuba. Many other countries enjoy opportunities for investment. So what is Trump’s issue? It’s definitely not the stated freedom and democracy for the Cuban people; the nation is no threat to the U.S or the international community. The people who do not have the freedom to travel to Cuba at will are the American people. Over 100 countries do not need a visa to travel to and in Cuba. What is this freedom we boast about then?
Yes, I’ll make a wild, incredible guess. Trump will dialogue with Cuba, the embargo will be lifted and suddenly there are lucrative Trump Towers and Trump entertain venues dominating the beautiful island’s cities and coasts as America brings them democracy and freedom….yet again!