Star Buck$, an Expression, a Piñata and Police

Today it’s Starbucks’ turn for caustic opprobrium. It’s their turn to be piñata of the day, because there were more decent customers than others, in the coffeehouse, and a woman was adroit enough to use the most feared weapon in America -a cellphone.

I’m not worried about the two Black men victimized. They are smart and doing well enough to take legal action to redress the wrong. Nor is there any sympathy needed for the Black police chief, who made himself so powerless that I don’t want to imagine the compromised, sectional existence that must be his. So all is well until tomorrow, when the world sees another America within a minute of the electronic upload. Worst if streaming. To come are the rest of the stories and American children are all watching and learning.

If this reads as uncaring, that’s not my intention. This is more about how I cope with institutionalized racism that pervades all life in America, and don’t ever think that the perpetrators and enablers are always White. I know that because of many experiences.

Starbucks would have us believe that firing a member of its staff and sensitivity training are good enough….to get by. Well, Mr. Starbucks, visit any of your stores and let us know if you see what your brand projects. Look the thing that you hatched, in the eyes. It’s not pretty and it’s menacing.

Your corporate culture is who you are. Your staff don’t need sensitivity training, they need leadership and good examples worthy of emulation. Just as nothing happens until something moves, people do what they believe is expected of them. They want to please you and maybe get recognition.

They are probably stunned by the swiftness of what corporate America and many governmental agencies rely on. Go to the most junior employee, publicly fire them and some people are satisfied. The latest script is, “that is not who we are.” I differ.

So my personal philosophy in coping with victimization is this: first, who needs whom; second, is the commodity essential to my comfort, and third, is it be available elsewhere? What cannot be changed from within can be changed from without. Starbucks needs me. I don’t need Starbucks. Problem solved.

Lastly, the employee fired and those remaining have learned something and that something would likely be taken to the next jobs. How, Mr. Starbucks, have you helped?

Starbucks

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 Lewinsky)

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 leaped 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 destabilized 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.

 

 

 

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 adapt 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.