I woke up optimistic and went back to bed disillusioned. So I thought the least that I might do is bring attention to the plight of African-Americans caught up in America’s Criminal Justice System. An institution, if not by design, then surely by malice, IS determined to eliminate that particular segment of citizens. A protracted war could not have inflicted more suffering and human destruction. America’s Criminal Justice System is by practice, an evil institution.
One hears grudging admissions such as “well, the system is overwhelmed.” Platitudes about reform and trust building initiatives. If you refuse to believe that America can sort a billion Chinese, to find one prisoner unjustly incarcerated, then vehemently condemn China at international forums, as we do much the same at home, then I’m with you, because it’s truly incredible. So, the attached, though fictional, is worth imagining.
By Leyland A. King
July 7, 2017
No need be alarmed or outraged about the title. It really doesn’t matter anymore whether one chooses to be Democrat, Republican, or apathetic; religious zealot or palpably patriotic. It is too late! The hated Washington big government is no more, and the welfare queen has flown. Yes, government we dismantled. No, it we suffocated. Fact is, it rotted away in plain sight while we called each other vile names and ignored the vile stench of decades long institutional decay.
Now we can run government as a business. A family enterprise. Hooray! It is a person with free speech and all the rights and privileges of a citizen, unconsrained by irritants like the constitution, regulations and such. Who needs voting rights anyway, Justice Scalia almost said. Free the Corporate citizen. They already have their own armies. They, in some countries are called warlords.
Surely, we all heard of the contented frog slow-poached in a pot; about the jealous, happy frogs that prayed for a king to rule over them. The apt, belated comment might well be, they should have known. But there must be a parable somewhere, concerning the day the poor convened a meeting for super rich men to, by goodness of heart, discuss being kind to the poor. I can’t find one fitting but Jonathan Swift’s satirical letter to the British, inquiring how they preferred Irish babies cooked, with what spices and accompanying dressings served, is as close as I got.
Now, like North Korean citizens ruled by a smart cookie, we’ll smile and cheer on sight of Trump, Paul Ryan, Betsie DeVos and so many, many others. Don’t ever stop cheering.
Won’t keep you with a lot of insincere reasons. Trump is now standing on the edge of a precipice and appears to have all his options closed. Behind him are a small group of unprincipled fanatics, who are determined to hurry on apocalyptic occurrences. Trump in his naivete did not foresee his predicament. All he wanted was to ride an emperor’s horse.
I think that we ought to follow the pleas of Republicans and get behind Trump. I figure that a bump or a push from us, reasonable forgiving folks, would be more that enough to get him and Bannon’s marionettes over the edge, hopefully to a river of fire below, compliments of karma.
Today, while preparing some notes on another subject, it occurred to me that the state of Kentucky, U.S ranks near the bottom of human well-being scales on every measure: adult literacy, higher education, household income and others. Thirty-two percent of the families live below the federal poverty level thus qualifying for federal assistance. Welfare.
How could this be, given the fact that ninety-five percent of the residents vote Republican? That their Senator Mitch McConnell has been serving them in one official capacity or another, all of his working life. A person Kentucky voters have kept in the Senate for over thirty years consecutively. One who began in 1985 making $75,100 now earning $174,000. His average wealth of $22.8 million.
How did Mitch McConnell’s net worth soar?
So, since the White ghetto sees the Black Ghetto in distant, negative terms, it seems to me that our system, beneficial to neither group is maintained, people will continue to deeper poverty.
I tried to keep this short because the two links explain so much more.
Today, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts on social media. Several hours reading just political commentary from my fellow citizens, not media articles, not blogs, only posts from John and Jane Doe.
I made sure that I was mentally prepared for every disconcerting thing, my rule: do not post or respond. I am now so glad to say that I survived but let me throw out some cautionary words. If you are prone to depression, do not visit; do not read content. It is that disappointing and utterly discouraging.
How did we get here, I thought just a little and informed myself that an accumulation of appalling choices by people who covet public office but have no business being there, stands out among the several that quickly come to mind. Individuals who are compelled to one of two parties for their own longevity of office, and because of that dependency, which they confuse with loyalty, brought us to a place not that different to communist parties. Graphically triangular, one would see the paramountcy of the party, survival of office, and somewhere fighting for the third tier comes the befuddled and abused citizenry.
It is now being claimed that all that bedevil us is race and that emerged from the legacy of slavery. But if I concede that explanation, then I correctly state as truth, what have leaders done to address the issue head on? Not by “a conversation about race,” but by being a beacon helping us through the darkness. But that is a false expectation. Why would they? They rely on racial animus to get elected. President George H.W Bush used mug shots of Willie Horton, to scare the bejeebers out of the White electorate; Nixon used crime and the Southern Strategy. Trump used Muslims and Mexicans. The malicious means justify the winning ends.
Seems to me that race was and continues to be a potent factor. It does not have to be that way. We have choices, we need leaders. Not instigators.
Senator Paul Ryan, a Shrinking Man
Dear Senator Ryan, I remember when you were an indistinct politician until the spotlight shone on you in the lead-up to your selection as running mate to Gov Romney. As the media promoted you, I said to myself , this guy seems to be someone passionate about our country, likeable, reasonable and would probably work with both parties. Though I do not share your political views I respected you and expected much of you. Then a few things happened, I learned more about you and you seemed to diminish in stature like a banquet ice-carving that could not see the event through. I now remember you for two actions, Sen. Ryan, both of which were choices you made for paltry gain. The first was when you espoused your view about “inner city” people not willing to work and relying on welfare. Nothing new there. Africans have always been depreciated that way. It gets votes. You went through the ritual of apology after claiming you were misunderstood. I knew better as did most people. Today, I watched as you needlessly harangued a senior public servant John Koskinen at an unnecessary hearing. You all but inferred criminality. The kind of people who would see your behavior and celebrate that, I would not wish to share the street with. Today, I saw you for what you truly are: a heartless, disrespectful, egotistical little man whose only care in life is to bully and insult others for whatever miniscule gain you can eke out of the disparate-power-interaction. Frankly, I am disgusted with you and the way you use your office. A public apology is owed Mr.Koskinen.
Potaro335 January 3, 2014 at 5:35 PM
Today I read an article titled “Senator Spends Day Off With Homeless Man For A Lesson You Can’t Learn From An Office”. Linked to “Homelessness” by Eleanor Goldberg.
Clearly, the composition was not about the victim, anonym Nick, nor about the phenomenon our society struggles with. It was all about the Senator, Chris Murphy (D-CT). The good gentleman wanted spend his day off following Nick to get a glimpse of homelessness in Connecticut. Equipped with his smartphone, Sen Murphy began his day at 7.30 AM and tweeted his adventure throughout the 8 hours he spent with the unfortunate man, concluding later that he was “inspired” by Nick’s “determination and his resolve to move forward”. The Senator declared the situation “unacceptable” and so on and so on in PoliticalSpeak.
Apart for the foolishness of the Senator’s adventuring, this is what got me dispirited: the pretence and faked outrage. Sir, you could have been well rested for that day you wasted by just opening your eyes to SEE, on your daily commute. Look beneath the bridges, swish by the alleyways, the bus stops, the convenience stores and the extended stay hotels. Yes, you went to the library and the soup kitchen, did you think the bundle of rags in human form on the park bench was there for fresh air and recreation? Did you need to know that his father used crack? What is the connection, the stratum you are looking at cannot support the billions of dollars in the drug trade. Sir, most of the homeless humans are children and the working poor. Just pickup the phone and speak with a few school guidance counselors or social workers. (if there are any left). Speak with your waitress, you just might be surprised. But for goodness sake stop politiking, I’m already cynical we do not need more. You cannot get a glimpse of the loss of hope.