Our Votes Are For Sale, And They’re Very Expensive 

August 1, 2017

By Leyland A.King

BlueGadfly.com/

LeylandKing@gmail.com

 

Thirty-seven strong, our extended family is no electoral powerhouse. Thirty-seven passionate activists squared (1369) are a booming voice defiant. A town hall presence that will not be ignored nor dissuaded.

Progressive Democrats for decades, we are outraged by the spectacle of musical chairs of government administration at federal, state and municipal levels. It’s  time to re-evaluate our commitment to an administrative system that has moved politically from neglectfulness to tolerable malfeasance. Erroneously thinking it couldn’t get worse   -it did.

Who would have thought that the rot we have in every institutional stratum of public administration, was possible? Therefore we are open to a third party. Even fourth or fifth. We cannot continue voting for the lesser evil.  Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds given to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws such as legislated in the war on drugs.  So, we compiled a list of our priorities.

Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds handed to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws. So, we compiled a list of our priorities.

Small, efficient government and lower taxes through progressive gradients, reforming the Department of Justice, law enforcement, and criminal codes, neighborhood schools public and private, religious and un-denominational are good. We vehemently disagree with public funds given to private or charter schools. Separation of Church and State is extremely important to us. Unfortunately, regardless of which party is the majority, even if they control all branches of government, somehow, we can’t rid ourselves misguided, unconscionable, or even immoral laws. So, we compiled a list of our priorities and welcome your input.

1. End capital punishment immediately. It is immoral. The very nature of it is cruel and unusual.

2. The right to vote is inalienable. It is incumbent on the state to encourage participation of every citizen over age 18.

3. Abolish private prisons and juvenile detention facilities in every form.

4. Decriminalize drug use and possession. That is a vice, not a crime.

5. Citizens must not be arrested for nonviolent offenses if they have valid identification. Citations are available.

6. No person elected to public office shall serve beyond eight years.

8. Elections publicly financed. Legislation necessary to end lobbying and donations to elected officials.

9. Make gerrymandering a felony. It corrupts the electoral system and undermines public trust.

10. End corporate welfare including tax breaks offered to companies to “bring jobs”.

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To Gulliver’s Surprise 

This week, more than ever, I saw America’s government.  I really hope that I’ve seen the worst of it’s functioning, but a whisper in my ear cautioned me not to bet on that.

The truth, as I saw it, was so much like Gulliver’s tours, except for the shocking deviation, that after leaving Lilliput and all the little people, above whom he towered, he arrived at a place called Future Washington. There, to his dismay, he discovered that the inhabitants were much smaller than the Lilliputians. Gulliver then knew that people could be so much smaller than one could ever imagine, and much more trivial too.

Donald need not worry about draining his swamp. Instead of thoughts of wrestling out huge reptiles, almost larger than himself, a kitchen sieve would do just as well. But really, the greatest danger that infests the swamp are mosquitoes larvae that mimic miniscule politicians, lobbyists and lawyers, while spreading corrupting disease.

Is Trump White House Implosion Telling Us What We Don’t Want To Hear?

I couldn’t believe what Mica Brzezinski just said on MSNBC, Morning Joe. The particular question was about the perception of lies and strife coming out of the White House, and whether there’s precedent for that. She piped that there is, and referenced President Clinton’s lies about his affair (denials during Ken Star’s White Water investigation that ended up with Monica Lewenski)

The surprise for me was the comparison of Clinton’s peccadilloes to what is so far known about Trump. (No need to bring out the reptiles and muck) Displaying her inability to consider frequency, gravity and harm of the two situations, she scooped up what was easy and inapplicable.

Mika leapt over the more recent history   -George Bush’s lies that led to the deaths of more than half a million people….and counting. Gave a pass to Ronald Reagan’s Iran-Contra-drugs-hostages that destabilised Central America. Still on the go she ran past Richard Nixon’s Watergate crimes, too many to mention; L. B. Johnson’s three million dead by lies and you get the picture. No wonder some folks have negative opinions about America’s news-entertainment. Do some reading, Mica.

Beware of Greeks Bearing Gifts, Someone Dolefully Said

June 27, 2017

By Leyland A. King 

Yesterday it was casually announced that NFL Hall of Famer, Deion Sanders, in partnership with the Koch brothers’ political arms, will create a funnel to provide economic and other assistance to the poor in Dallas, Texas.  The photos linked to the release, together with crafted statements could not honey-me-up more. Who would find fault with charitable aid to the poor? But, before I open my door a crack to assure myself that the aid offered, is what it purports to be, particularly from the Kochs,  I ought to examine the source of the help and motivations.

The channel selected is Deion Sanders’s company PrimeTime, an entertainment business. The company plans to ameliorate the poor’s lot by targeting what they believe are the five forces that are the roots of poverty:

1. Joblessness     2. Educational failure     3. Addiction        4. Personal debt

5. Breakdown of the family

That the five drivers identified are easily debunked, in terms of priorities and causation, are not the focus here. I am more concerned with the political issues and aspirations of the seemingly secretive donor group.

Were the Kochs and the wealthy interested in helping the jobless poor in Dallas, somewhere among the five drivers will have been minor criminal records being used to screen citizens out, making them unemployable for jobs the applicants are quite qualified to do. Mr. Sanders, being of the African American community ought to have included help to deal with a criminal justice system that is the number one contributor to family breakdown in the African American community. It also concerns me that the second stratagem is the Educational failure, rather than equality of educational opportunity.  So sorry that I cannot address more, but with the drivers heading off the cliff, at least they were warned.

Even as the aid announcement was made, conservative Republicans in the Koch networks of political action were upset that the cuts to Medicaid are not deep enough. Tim Phillips, head of Americans for Prosperity chose his words carefully in describing the devastating eliminations as “nip and tuck” ACA (Obamacare)  He deemed it “immoral” that the cuts are so slight. Strange, when considering that the same people that he and Sanders want to help are Medicaid recipients. But Sanders, who ran his Charter School into financial insolvency, found the words to laud the Kochs as a being a nice family whose only desire is to help the country. He opined that the Kochs are unfairly criticized. I can’t help a digression to the eleven African-American pastors that willingly appeared as a group at a Trump rally, for the single purpose of attesting that Trump is not racists. I wail.

Prime Prep, school co-founded by Deion Sanders, will surrender charter after lengthy battle
Mr. Sanders appears to be a person eager to do good and genuinely set out to help others  –the poor and those not as gifted as himself. He should be commended for trying. He might be encouraged to get involved in projects that he has at least a rudimentary knowledge of their functioning. A big heart is not necessarily a success requisite. In fact, as the frog that agreed to help a stranded scorpion cross the river discovered, the big heart, if not discerning, can be a useful fool. The Kochs are interested in power, not people.

This is power harnessed and managed by the Koch brothers and should frighten every American. The Koch political network is among the most influential in the nation. They have bigger budgets and more staff than the entire GOP national networks. They are the dreaded cat that GOP mice in the three branches of government have to appease……always. Absolutely!

Five Myths About the Koch Brothers — And Why It Matters To Set Them Straight
With the objectives of appointing public officials from top to bottom in federal, state and municipal governments, and shaming influence on the Supreme Court, what would be there to stop them implementing any whim? On a larger scale, when the Citizens’ bread is on the end of a string held by the Kochs, are they not Kings? If they feed you, they own you and your family.

So, Deion Sanders and others who readily attribute benign purposes to the Kochs, know this  -the Trojans were as comfortable as you when someone agreed it was a marvelous idea to have the Wooden Horse, brought in.

 

 

 

My Dear U. S Government, Please Stop Trying to Save Me

By Leyland A. King June 10, 2017

After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries!

Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.

You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes.  I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created.

Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage the marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!

Gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals upon them. Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. Masked, armed men could break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs.

The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, detention, brutality, and murder.

So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, and trips back and forth to the Supreme Court. So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me.

 

When Public Officials Misplace Loyalty, Institutions Collapse

Today, like many Americans, I took the time to witness the Senate Intelligence Committee at work. They did their inquiry as best they could, under the circumstances.

By under the circumstances, I mean their determined efforts to get to the truth of various, potentially criminal matters affecting the Trump Administration, only to be stymied by the four public officers who answer to the American people. It was shameful and appalling. I hope that this nation is still able to function as under previous Administrations. They, the four witnesses appeared to me that they would be prepared to suffer anything to protect what they believe to be their personal property. The Senators be damned…and the citizens too. But of the four lame witnesses, I have to give special attention to Adm. Mike Rodgers, a rude and surly person by demeanor and arrogant with regard to personality. For a member of our armed services, he was the bad kid next door, that our parents warned us never to adopt his behavior. For junior members of the services, Admiral Rodgers is surely no officer and a gentleman.

We can look at what’s happening and fight over which party to blame and make comparisons to excuse wrongdoing for only so long. I believe that if our leaders don’t come to their senses, the fight may not be between Republicans and Democrats, there just might be the third faction.

 

Crush This Monster in the Egg​

“What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind”
-William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

I wonder if there is anything Trump’s followers are not willing to put up with. My own concerns are about what is evident today, and impending threats to our future.

When Trump’s surrogates express contempt for the constitution, the courts and media, yet Trump and GOP, by timidity or stupidity embraced those actions- be alarmed.

Said one: “Everyone……will have to bow down to Donald….the greatest man in the universe.”

Another surrogate: “The President’s authority will not be questioned.” That was yet another idiot needing a job. He was speaking about recent actions of the judiciary.

None, none of those chilling remarks, and other more subtle threats were ever discouraged by the President or the ruling Republican party. And by the way, don’t forget the recent photograph of Trump’s flag atop a military convoy traveling on the highway in the United States.

Yes, Trump doesn’t have much education, but neither did Idi Amin, former President of Uganda. The latter started with mass deportation of Asians. We know how it ended. Note that the slaughter and disappearances were indiscriminate. One can never be sufficiently loyal to any dictator. What is so special about America, that would lead anyone to believe that a fascist state of White Nationalism is so remote a possibility?

There is a conjecture I might make, based on a large number​ of American citizens encountered on social media defending each and every action of the Trump administration. Do those people truly believe that their race or party affiliation would make them safe? Stalin and Mao disproved that.

Nothing is sacrosanct​ and no one is safe in autocracies.