Tag Archives: NOT MY PRESIDENT

Do these 10 things and Trump will be toast

But first …

A German mag cover says it all …

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editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.

By filmmaker Michael Moore

Friends, I welcome you to “The Michael Moore Easy-to-Follow 10-Point Plan to Stop Trump.”

First, let’s acknowledge what we all know to be true: Trump is in deep, deep trouble – in the pocket of Russians, surrounded by alt.right idiots, alone in his bathrobe in a mostly-empty White House – and caught inside a disgusting “shit-sandwich,” so said his supporter who turned down the NSA job.

Only one month into his So-Called Presidency – and yet there is good news, as this is what the American landscape looks like:

Tens of thousands of citizens across the country have stormed Congressional district offices and town hall meetings to express their rage at the Trump agenda (a dejected Republican congressman, after a 3-hour verbal assault from his angry constituents, said on TV last night, “let’s face it – they [the Obamacare supporters] have won.”).

A federal court halted Trump’s first Muslim Ban – actually, make that FOUR federal courts have ruled against him! He’s conceded defeat and will not appeal to the Supreme Court (though he will try a new ban – and good luck with that, you son of a Scottish immigrant).

Progressive Democrat Congressman Keith Ellison appears to be the front-runner for this Saturday’s vote to head the Democratic Party – and to FIX the whole damn mess! Also, a recruitment drive has begun across the country to find the best local candidates to run for state and federal offices in 2018. Millions are committed to never letting the Debacle of ‘16 happen again.

Our beautiful Army of Comedy – with its Platoon of Satirists led by Alec Baldwin and Melissa McCarthy – is killing it! The devastating impersonation of White House spokesman Sean Spicer by McCarthy has Trump fuming to the point where he has considered getting rid of Spicer. Politico says he simply can’t watch one of his top aides being portrayed by … a woman!

So the momentum is with us right now – and if we all just take a little time to do the Action Plan below, I’m convinced we’ll succeed in halting the dark force that is Trump. We can tie him up in knots at every turn, and eventually, we can bring him down.

So let’s get started with our…

10-POINT ACTION PLAN TO STOP TRUMP

1. THE DAILY CALL: You must call Congress every day. Yes – YOU! 202-225-3121. It will take just TWO MINUTES! Make it part of your daily routine, one of those five things you do every morning without even thinking about it:
1. Wake up.
2. Brush teeth.
3. Walk dog (or stare at cat).
4. Make coffee.
5. Call Congress.

It is impossible to overstate just how much power you have by making this simple, quick DAILY CALL. I know from firsthand experience the impact it has. These politicians freak out if they get just 10 calls on an issue. Imagine them getting 10,000! Holy crap – the dome will pop off that building!

NOTE: if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t need to call because my rep is a Democrat!” — that is NOT true. They need to hear from you. They need to know they have your support. Don’t believe it? Our beloved Sen. Elizabeth Warren voted in favor of Ben Carson as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development! I’m sure no one in Massachusetts thought they had to call her. YOU DO! She and the other Dems need to hear from the boss — YOU! They work for us – and what boss doesn’t have daily contact with his or her employees?

It’s easy to make The Daily Call. To call your U.S. member of Congress or Senators in D.C., dial 202-225-3121 (or 202-224-3121 if busy). It’s even better to call their direct line. For Senators, find each of their numbers here: http://bit.ly/2kko0Ao. For the direct line to your member in the House of Representatives: http://house.gov/representatives.

Here’s some great news: Someone has created an app to make this very easy: Go to the App Store and get “5 Calls.” The app will dial the friggin’ phone for you and give you talking points for when you speak to your reps!

Here’s what a sample week of your DAILY CALL can look like:

On Monday, call your Congressman/woman and tell them you do not want them to repeal Obamacare. In fact, you want them to improve it so that we have single-payer universal health care like all other “civilized” countries.

On Tuesday, call the first of your two U.S. Senators and tell him to vote NO on Rick Perry for Secretary of Energy. He couldn’t even remember there was a Department of Energy – or what it did!

On Wednesday, call your other U.S. Senator. Demand she do everything in her power to block the appointment of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.

On Thursday, call your local State House/Assembly representative in your state capital. Tell her you want the House to vote for legislation that prohibits the incarceration of nonviolent drug users.

On Friday, call your State Senator. Tell him you want him to support all efforts to reduce those activities which cause climate change.

If you’d rather to write to your reps, you can find the best way to do that for each of them here by typing in your address on: democracy.io.

I will post updates on the actions we’re fighting for each day and week on my Twitter and Facebook pages. If you want to know what to call your reps about, I encourage you to follow me right now on Facebook at facebook.com/MMFlint and on Twitter at @MMFlint. All my social media sites are at my website www.michaelmoore.com.

Remember – A call a day keeps the Trump away.

2. THE MONTHLY VISIT: To add even more pressure, SHOW UP! Your member of Congress has a local office in your town or somewhere nearby. So do both of your U.S. Senators (often in the nearest federal building). Go there and ask to speak to their aide about the issues we’re facing (again, I will continually post them on my social media sites).

Also, don’t forget to visit the local office (or the state capitol office) of your State Representative/Assemblyperson, and your State Senator.

And, if you’re lucky to live within driving distance of Washington, DC, show up on Capitol Hill and pay an unannounced (it’s legal!) in-person visit to your U.S. Senators and your Congressman/woman. They pay serious attention to this. It blows their mind that you’d drive that far to see them. Do it!

I know not everyone has the time to do THE MONTHLY VISIT – but if you can, please do!

3. YOUR OWN PERSONAL RAPID RESPONSE TEAM: You and 5 to 20 friends and family members must become your personal RAPID RESPONSE TEAM. Sign everybody up so that when we need to leap into action (like we did at the airports the hour after Trump signed his Muslim Ban), you can email and text each other and make an instant plan. On other days, you’ll share links to good investigative stories and TV news items. Come up with a name for your RAPID RESPONSE TEAM — mine is called “The V for Vendetta Rapid Response Team” and it consists of myself, my daughter and son-in-law (and their new baby!); my two sisters, their spouses and adult children; my cousin; 8 friends; 6 co-workers; and my next door neighbor. That’s 27 of us and we live from Seattle to Michigan to Maryland. And each of them are forming their own local Rapid Response Teams. So that means the 27 on my team are so far responsible 405 new Rapid Responders overnight! And each of those 405 are doing the same – they’re recruiting their own 5-20 people – and BOOM! 4,050 more Rapid Responders tomorrow — and growing!

4. JOIN! JOIN! JOIN!: We all know it’s time for all of us to be part of a greater whole, so let’s actually physically sign up online and JOIN some of our great national groups. I’ve joined Planned Parenthood, ACLU, Black Lives Matter, Democratic Socialists of America, and ERA Action. Some charge money to join, so if you don’t have much, pick the lowest amount ($5 for ACLU for example) — or join groups that don’t charge anything (but if you can help them financially, please do). They will keep you informed of national actions and fight for us in court.

5. THE WOMEN’S MARCH NEVER ENDS: The historical, record-breaking January 21st Women’s March on Washington — and the hundreds of other Marches that day across the US and the world, with over 4 million in attendance! — brought massive numbers of people out who had never protested in their lives. It inspired millions of others and ignited so many local movements we still can’t count them all. The day after the Women’s March, another two dozen protests took place. The day after that, 2,000 Utahans jammed into their state capitol in Salt Lake City. Then, on the following Saturday, tens of thousands of Americans occupied their local airports to oppose Trump’s Muslim ban. And on and on and on. Every day — still! — dozens of actions continue to take place as if the Women’s March never ended. It hasn’t. Join it!

I and a group of friends have set up THE RESISTANCE CALENDAR (www.resistancecalendar.com) that is updated daily, where you can find out what actions are taking place near where you live. All you have to do is type in your city or state in the search bar.

It’s critical that large numbers of us continue to march, protest, sit-in, and be very visible – to Trump, so he knows we are the majority; to put the Dems on notice that we expect them to grow a spine; to our fellow Americans who live in Boise or Tulsa or Grand Rapids and have been feeling alone and afraid since the election. Our mass presence reminds them the people didn’t elect Trump. And it is good for each of us to operate in concert with each other, to feel the solidarity and the hope.

And the official Women’s March on Washington – they’ve called for a national Women’s Strike on March 8th. Let’s join them!

6. TAKE OVER THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY: The old guard of the Party has twice in 16 years presided over the majority of Americans electing the Democrat to the White House – only for us all to see the losing Republican inaugurated as President. How is it that we have won the popular vote in SIX OF THE LAST SEVEN PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS — the Republicans have only won ONCE since 1988 — and yet, we hold NO power in any branch of government?! That, plus losing 1,000 local seats in this election that the Dems use to hold — plus watching many Dems in Congress unwilling to stand up to Trump — PLEASE, the old leadership has to go. God love ’em for their contributions in the past, but if we don’t enact a radical overhaul right now, we are doomed as far as having a true opposition party during the Trump era. And that, more than anything, will help to usher in the vice-grip of a totalitarian culture.

You must do two things:

1. Let the DNC know that THIS SATURDAY, February 25th, the Democratic National Committee MUST elect reform and progressive candidate, Congressman Keith Ellison, as the new DNC chair. Keith is a former community organizer, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and a key backer of Bernie Sanders. He not only has Bernie’s support -and mine-but he’s also backed by Chuck Schumer, Harry Reid, Gloria Steinem, John Lewis and many others. Sign his petition of support at www.keithfordnc.org/howyoucanhelp. Let the DNC know how you feel.

And locally, you need to start attending your county Democratic meetings. If possible, organize your friends and others and take over your local Dem organization. More on this at a later date.

7. HELP FORM BLUE REGIONS OF RESISTANCE: People keep saying to me, “Mike – I live in a Blue State – what can I do?” If you live in a Blue State, you have one of the MOST important tasks to complete: Show the rest of America what it looks like when Trump isn’t in charge! Blue States and Blue Cities must do an end-run around Trump and create the America we want to live in. That means New York goes ahead and offers Free College for All. California can create its own Universal Health Care. Oregon can stop mass incarceration of African Americans. Hawaii can enact its own climate change laws. Blue States can show the rest of country how much better life can be. Important historical note: Before Roe v. Wade made abortion legal, California and New York passed their own state laws to make it legal. This greatly helped pave the way for CHOICE being the new normal — and the enactment of Row v. Wade.

8. YOU MUST RUN FOR OFFICE: I know, that’s the LAST thing you want to do. But if we keep leaving the job up to the dismal, lame, pathetic political hacks who have sold us all down the river, then what right do we have to complain? This is only going to get fixed when you and I decide we are willing to put in our time — even if it is a brief time — and run for office. I ran when I was 18 and got elected. You can, too. We need good candidates for the 2018 elections — and not just Congress and State Houses, but also school boards, city councils and county commissions. Why not take out a petition today and run next year? Heck, I’ll bet I’ll even support you!

I realize most of you can’t do this — but there is one office every one of us can and SHOULD run for next year: PRECINCT DELEGATE. Every precinct, every neighborhood can elect x-number of Dems to the county Democratic Convention. It’s on the ballot and it’s usually blank – no one runs for it. So the precinct delegates end up being appointed by the party hacks. And that’s who ends up eventually at the national convention to pick the next presidential candidate. So this is an important position to run for. The time commitment is just 3 hours a year! You attend the county convention — that’s it. Call your city or county clerk and find out how to get on the ballot. If you’ll do it, I’ll do it. It’s the first step to making sure we put a candidate on the ballot who can win.

9. YOU MUST BECOME THE MEDIA: Stop complaining about the media, stop wishing they were something they’re not, find the ones who are doing a good job and then start your own “media empire” by sharing their work and your work on the internet. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites to spread news and information. Make sure all your friends and family are signed up. Yes, I’m talking to you, Baby Boomers. Get over it, put down your postage stamps and your “TV clicker” and find a six-year old to show you how to start tweeting. You can be your own reporter, your own editor. You can curate the news for your friends. And now Facebook lets you have your own network with Facebook Live! It’s all free. Get on social media now. Imagine, your own CNN is in the palm of your hand…

10. JOIN THE ARMY OF COMEDY: Trump’s Achilles heel is his massively thin skin. He can’t take mockery. So we all need to MOCK HIM UP! Not just the brilliant people at SNL or Colbert, Seth Myers or Samantha Bee — but YOU. Use your sense of humor and share it with people. Get them to do the same. Keep sending around the SNL links spoofing Sean Spicer, Trump and Kellyanne — there’s no such thing as watching them too many times! Hahaha. I truly believe the final tipping point for Trump will be when he implodes from all the laughter — the mocking, the unbearable ridicule of tens of millions of Americans that will discombobulate him and force him out of the White House. I know this seems like Mike’s fever dream, but I believe it can work. I don’t know what happened to Trump in boarding school at 13 and I don’t care. Whatever it was, let’s use it. He’s used all the other things he picked up over the years – misogyny, bigotry, greed – against the powerless and the unfortunate. It’s time to laugh him outta town. And if there’s one thing we all could use right now is a good laugh — AND the possibility of a much-shortened presidential term.

So, there you go! The 10-Point Action Plan to Thump Trump. Something for everyone. And every one of us needs to do them. Please share this and spread the word. We can stop him. We can nonviolently block and obstruct halt the damage he’s doing. But it’s going to need – and take – ALL HANDS ON DECK!

Let’s make Trump toast again.

– Michael Moore

InCity Book Review

But first …

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Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World

By Jay Sekulow, (2016, First Howard Books, 310 Pages)

Reviewed by Steven R. Maher

If you dislike Muslims, you’ll love this book. If you were looking for an even-handed description of the Middle East turmoil, reading Unholy Alliance: The Agenda Iran, Russia and Jihadists Share for Conquering the World, will be a severe disappointment. That was this writer’s opinion after reading Jay Sekulow’s Unholy Alliance. In this book, Sekulow postulates the unlikely theory that “Muslim jihadists” such as Al-Qaeda and ISIS are conspiring with Iran and Vladimir Putin’s Russia to take over the world.

Sekulow wants the reader to believe that Sunni terrorist groups like Al-Qaeda and ISIS are, or could be, allied with Iranian Shiites to seize the planet. That the Sunnis and Shiites have been fighting each other for 1,400 years argues against this.As support for his belief in a pan-Muslim terrorist conspiracy, Sekulow says Shiite Iran is the major backer of the Sunni Hamas movement in the West Bank. That is an exceptional case, as Hamas is in the belly of Israel, and Israel is a major target of Islamic extremists today.

Sekulow ardmits that Iran is fighting Al-Qaeda in Syria, and asserts later that Al-Qaeda directs its overseas operations from Iranian sanctuaries. The idea that Iran is knowingly allowing Al-Qaeda to direct its Syrian followers from Iranian territory to kill Iranian Revolutionary Guards supporting Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, is absurd.

Chief Counsel of ACLJ

Sekulow is the Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice, the conservative version of the American Civil Liberties Union.

“The ACLJ was founded in 1990 by law school graduate and evangelical minister Pat Robertson to protect constitutional and human rights worldwide,” says Wikipedia. “ACLJ generally pursues constitutional issues and conservative Christian ideals in courts of law.”

This book reads like a law review article. Sekulow sources his book with Teutonic thoroughness, citing 1,460 endnotes in the186 pages in the body of the book. There are 119 pages – or 38% of the total – devoted to acknowledgments, notes, appendixes, and the index.

“Unholy Alliance” is like another tome reviewed here, “Trouble in the Tribe”. (See http://incitytimesworcester.org/steve-parked-%F0%9F%9A%99-in-roses-space-incity-times-book-review/.) In “Trouble in the Tribe”, we noted how the author dumped a great deal of specific information into endnotes, “which should have been better served in the main text, or attached as footnotes on the pages where they are cited.” In Unholy Alliance, there is a whole page for one endnote, and a large mass in commentary in the others that would better serve the reader being attached as footnotes. Unlike “Trouble in the Tribe”, “Unholy Alliance” makes little pretense at being an evenhanded analysis.

Sekulow analyzes the Muslim faith. He provides examples of how British Islamic groups prefer Islamic tribunals using Sharia law to British courts, and the terrible injustices which take place in those tribunals, particularly against women. He implies that America’s Muslim population has the same plan for the U.S. This book was published in September 2016, before Donald Trump’s surprising upset. Trump’s election makes the possibility of American courts adopting Sharia law remote.

He quotes sections of the Koran which, taken out of context and the times in which they were written, make the Muslim faith look absurd and blood thirsty. Sekulow acknowledges that critics of Judaism have done the same type of misrepresentation of the Jewish bible. He excuses this by saying essentially that the Koran was intended as a “universal and timeless” document, while the Jewish bible is a history book.

Dubious Sources

Some of the sources cited by Sekulow are at best dubious. This is another reason the author may have avoided footnotes. To find who the references are for some of these, you must turn several hundred pages forward to look up the endnote. On the other hand, if there were footnotes naming these sources, the questionable nature of some of Sekulow’s sources would become immediately known to the reader.

To illustrate this, we did a computer analysis of Chapter Nine “Iran and Al Qaeda”. The last time America launched a preemptive invasion in the Middle East, George W. Bush and the neocons linked Al-Qaeda to Iraq.

We plugged into an Excel spreadsheet the 141 sources cited by the author in 132 endnotes in Chapter 9. We then sorted the data by two sequences: by the source cited in the endnote; and by the year in which the source originated. We found:
• 51% of the sources were dated 2009 or prior. For some reason, Sekulow relied on older historical information. There were only four sources from 2012, two cites from one source dated 2014, and three from 2016.

• One out of five endnotes (28 in total) cited Ronen Bergman’s book “The Secret War with Iran.” One PBS broadcast was cited seven times. The 2004 9/11 Commission Report was cited 17 times. The 13 sources dated 2013 included four marked “opinion” in its web locations, and seven endnotes were from three sources.

• Most disturbing of all was Sekulow’s frequent cites to the Weekly Standard, the neoconservative magazine that clamored for the disastrous 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. One such article, cited in five endnotes, was co-authored by William Kristol, America’s foremost neoconservative. There were 23 sources dated 2015; sixteen of these, or 70%, derived from the Weekly Standard. The same people who bought us the war in Iraq are now ginning up for a war in Iran.

Severe Disappointment

As we said at the beginning of this book review, if you dislike Muslims, you’ll like this book. If you were looking for an even-handed description of the Middle East turmoil, reading “Unholy Alliance” will be a severe disappointment.

CELEBRATE BLACK HISTORY MONTH! KNOW YOUR HISTORY TO KNOW YOURSELF!

Parlee for Rosalie
Go, Parlee Jones, go!!!

editor’s note: In honor of Black History Month, we re-post one of Parlee’s Black History Month ICT columns.

But first, here’s MLK Jr:

… and President Obama, a leader we miss so intensely these days it hurts!! A mountain of a man (and orator) compared to the nefarious sack of Trump shit who usurped the Oval Office in November 2016 (my heart is broken!💔)

– R. Tirella

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By Parlee Jones

There has been a lot of discussion lately as to the relevance of Black History Month. Is it still needed? Why should there be a Black History Month. For me, I feel that it is still relevant. Not only for Black people, but for all people. We celebrated Dr. Martin Luther King at the library this past January. When I ordered the cake, the woman who took my order, did not know who Dr. King was. Hmm. Yes, she was from another country. Welcome. Yes, she was enjoying the freedoms that were won through the Civil Rights movement. No, she didn’t know who he was. There are a lot of people enjoying the freedoms that were wrought from the Civil Rights movement who don’t know the history.

What hurts more is the fact that our young Black people don’t know who Fred Hampton, Medgar Evers or Emmet Till were. Yes, I concede that there have been improvements in regards to acknowledging the accomplishments of Blacks here in America, but there is still a lot of denial, resentment and straight out disdain for Americans of a darker hue. Just the blatant disrespect shown towards our President and the First Lady shows that America still has issues with Black people in power positions.

Knowledge of self to better yourself! Every people has a history. And, every people should know some of that history.
Black History Month had its origins in 1915 when Dr. Carter G. Woodson founded the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. This organization is now known as the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (“ASALH”). Through this organization Dr. Woodson initiated the first Negro History Week in February 1926. In 1976 this commemoration of Black history in the United States was expanded by ASALH to Black History Month, also known as African American History Month. Since 1976, every U.S. president has officially designated the month of February as Black History Month.

Never Forget:

Fred Hampton (August 30, 1948 – December 4, 1969) was an African-American activist and deputy chairman of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party (BPP). He was killed in his apartment during a raid by a tactical unit of the Cook County, Illinois State’s Attorney’s Office (SAO), in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department (CPD) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Hampton’s death was chronicled in the 1971 documentary film The Murder of Fred Hampton, as well as an episode of the critically acclaimed documentary series Eyes on the Prize. He was shot twice in the head at close range.

Medgar Wiley Evers (July 2, 1925 – June 12, 1963) was an African American civil rights activist from Mississippi involved in efforts to overturn segregation at the University of Mississippi. He became active in the civil rights movement after returning from overseas service in World War II and completing secondary education; he became a field secretary for the NAACP. Evers was assassinated by Byron De La Beckwith, a member of the White Citizens’ Council. As a veteran, Evers was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. His murder and the resulting trials inspired civil rights protests, as well as numerous works of art, music, and film.

Emmett Louis Till (July 25, 1941 – August 28, 1955) was an African-American boy who was murdered in Mississippi at the age of 14 after reportedly flirting with a white woman. Till was from Chicago, Illinois visiting his relatives in the Mississippi Delta region when he spoke to 21-year-old Carolyn Bryant, the married proprietor of a small grocery store. Several nights later, Bryant’s husband Roy and his half-brother J. W. Milam, arrived at Till’s great-uncle’s house where they took Till, transported him to a barn, beat him and gouged out one of his eyes, before shooting him through the head and disposing of his body in the Tallahatchie River, weighting it with a 70-pound (32 kg) cotton gin fan tied around his neck with barbed wire. His body was discovered and retrieved from the river three days later. Till was returned to Chicago and his mother, who had raised him mostly by herself, insisted on a public funeral service with an open casket to show the world the brutality of the killing.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

In 1950’s America, the equality of man envisioned by the Declaration of Independence was far from a reality. People of color — blacks, Hispanics, Asians — were discriminated against in many ways, both overt and covert. The 1950’s were a turbulent time in America, when racial barriers began to come down due to Supreme Court decisions, like Brown v. Board of Education; and due to an increase in the activism of blacks, fighting for equal rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, was a driving force in the push for racial equality in the 1950’s and the 1960’s. In 1963, King and his staff focused on Birmingham, Alabama. They marched and protested non-violently, raising the ire of local officials who sicced water cannon and police dogs on the marchers, whose ranks included teenagers and children. The bad publicity and break-down of business forced the white leaders of Birmingham to concede to some anti-segregation demands.

Thrust into the national spotlight in Birmingham, where he was arrested and jailed, King helped organize a massive march on Washington, DC, on August 28, 1963. His partners in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom included other religious leaders, labor leaders, and black organizers. The assembled masses marched down the Washington Mall from the Washington Monument to the Lincoln Memorial, heard songs from Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, and heard speeches by actor Charlton Heston, NAACP president Roy Wilkins, and future U.S. Representative from Georgia John Lewis.

King’s appearance was the last of the event; the closing speech was carried live on major television networks. On the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, King evoked the name of Lincoln in his “I Have a Dream” speech, which is credited with mobilizing supporters of desegregation and prompted the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The next year, King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Towards the end of his life, MLK Jr. was passionate about economic equality – for everyone. Poverty – as well as peace – were the two issues he was now speaking about. Then he was gunned down … . Here he is on economic equality:

“Now, we are poor people. Individually, we are poor when you compare us with white society in America. We are poor. Never stop and forget that collectively…the American Negro collectively is richer than most nations of the world. We have an annual income of more than thirty billion dollars a year, which is more than all of the exports of the United States, and more than the national budget of Canada.

“Did you know that? That’s power right there, if we know how to pool it. We don’t have to argue with anybody. We don’t have to curse and go around acting bad with our words. We don’t need any bricks and bottles. We don’t need any Molotov cocktails. We just need to go around to these stores, and to these massive industries in our country, and say, “God sent us by here, to say to you that you’re not treating his children right. And we’ve come by here to ask you to make the first item on your agenda fair treatment, where God’s children are concerned. Now, if you are not prepared to do that, we do have an agenda that we must follow. And our agenda calls for withdrawing economic support from you.”

Toward the end of the speech, King refers to threats against his life and uses language that seems to foreshadow his impending death:

“And then I got to Memphis. And some began to say the threats, or talk about the threats that were out. What would happen to me from some of our sick white brothers?

“Well, I don’t know what will happen now. We’ve got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn’t really matter with me now. Because I’ve been to the mountaintop. I don’t mind. Like anybody, I would like to live – a long life; longevity has its place. But I’m not concerned about that now. I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land.

“So I’m happy, tonight. I’m not worried about anything.

“I’m not fearing any man.

“Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord.”

Of course, people say they are tired of hearing these stories, but, until there is equality for all, these stories will need to be told! In the spirit of Harriet Tubman, Malcolm X, Nat Turner and all our ancestors who survived middle passage and helped to build this country, I salute you and will keep your memories alive ~ not only in the month of February, but 365 days a year!

House Democrats Call on GOP to Investigate White House Aide Kellyanne Conway’s Promotion of Trump Business

But first:

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editor’s note: from Congressman Jim McGovern’s office. I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.:

Congressman Jim McGovern, a senior House Democrat, joined 26 of his fellow lawmakers on a letter to House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) demanding a full investigation of potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. The letter was led by Congressman Mark Pocan (D-WI).

In an interview from the White House Press Briefing room, Conway, who is a Counselor to President Donald Trump, appears to have violated Office of Government Ethics laws by promoting Ivanka Trump’s brand on Fox News.

According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private, for the endorsement of any product, service of enterprise, or for the gain of friends, relatives, or person with the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.”

Congressman McGovern and his fellow lawmakers are calling on Chairman Chaffetz to “examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump.”

“Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments,” the lawmakers wrote. “It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.”

McGovern and House Democrats criticized Chaffetz for failing to exercise any oversight of the Trump White House up to this point. “To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a ‘fishing expedition.’ However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when ‘something goes awry,’ as it clearly has here.”

“We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.”

Joining McGovern and Pocan on the letter are Representatives Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), Katherine Clark (MA-05), Steve Cohen (TN-09), Val Demings (Fl-10), Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11), Theodore E. Deutch (FL-21), Alcee Hastings (FL-20), Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), Henry C. “Hank” Johnson, Jr. (GA-04), Marcy Kaptur (OH-09), Rick Larsen (WA-02), Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14), Barbara Lee (CA-13), Ted W. Lieu (CA-33), Zoe Lofgren (CA-19), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), Richard M. Nolan (MN-08), Jared Polis (CO-02), David Price (NC-04), John Sarbanes (MD-03), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), Darren Soto (FL-09), Mark Takano (CA-41), Bennie G. Thompson (MS-02), and Nydia Velázquez (NY-07).

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Full Text of the Letter from House Democrats to Chairman Chaffetz:

February 9, 2017

Chairman Jason Chaffetz
House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform
2157 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Chairman Chaffetz:

We are writing to request the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform examine potential ethics violations concerning Kellyanne Conway’s recent public comments encouraging Americans to purchase items from the fashion line produced by President Trump’s daughter, Ivanka Trump. Kellyanne Conway, Counselor to President Trump, is a federal employee and appears to have clearly violated federal ethics laws delineated by the Office of Government Ethics.

According to the Office of Government Ethics, “An employee shall not use his public office for his own private gain, for the endorsement of any product, service or enterprise, or for the private gain of friends, relatives, or persons with whom the employee is affiliated in a nongovernmental capacity.” In a February 9, 2017, interview from the White House press briefing room with the Fox News Channel, Kellyanne Conway urged Americans to “go buy Ivanka’s stuff…It’s a wonderful line. I own some of it…I fully—I’m going to give a free commercial here. Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”

Across the government, federal employees are expected to be held to a high standard of ethics. As a federal employee, Kellyanne Conway appears to have clearly violated these standards with her recent comments. It is especially troubling that Kellyanne Conway appears to have used her position of power in the White House to directly enrich the Trump family through Ivanka Trump’s fashion line. Such a blatant disregard for federal law and ethics standards set for public servants undermines public faith in our government.

To date, you have shown little inclination to conduct even basic oversight of President Trump or his top advisers. Appearing last night on CNN, you stated repeatedly that you would not request information about the President’s massive conflicts of interest, referring to such oversight efforts as a “fishing expedition.” However, you did promise to investigate future incidents when “something goes awry,” as it clearly has here.

We encourage you to examine the blatant and inappropriate remarks made by Kellyanne Conway immediately and ensure members of the Trump Administration do not continue to use their positions of power to enrich members of the Trump family.

Sincerely,

I love my country!🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

Brilliant! Go, Melissa McCarthy, go!!!!

The First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

AMERICAN IDEALS – AMERICA! – always in style! (especially in Worcester😄)

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TOMORROW! Tuesday, Jan. 31

Before the Worcester City Council meeting!

6 p.m.

WORCESTER CITY HALL – Main Street

BE THERE!

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pic: R.T.

This demonstration, in support of Worcester’s immigrants and refugees, is to show THE CITY AND THE WORLD that Donald Trump and City Councilor Michael Gaffney’s hate-filled demagoguery has no place in Worcester! They will not score political points with our most vulnerable people – most of them women and children (under 12 years of age!)!

Let’s stop the madness in Worcester!

This demonstration is organized by Showing Up for Racial Justice Worcester. To learn more and sign up, check out their FB page!

Go, Worcester, go!

Go, Mayor Petty, go!

GO, AMERICA, GO!!!!!!!!!

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pic: R.T.

– Rosalie Tirella

At Clark U in Main South: What’s so funny?!😄😂😜

But first …

From Bill Maher:

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Clark University’s Higgins School of Humanities’ spring dialogue symposium asks ‘What’s so funny?’

Lectures, exhibits and films examine how humor connects and divides

This spring, Clark University’s Higgins School for Humanities presents “What’s so funny?” a symposium that comprises lectures, community conversations and exhibits on humor.

“Our symposium asks how humor creates and fragments communities. What larger cultural, social, and political role does humor play? In short, what can we learn when we take jokes, comedy, and laughter seriously?” wrote Amy Richter, director of the Higgins School of Humanities.

All events listed below are FREE TO ALL and will be held on the Clark University campus:

Lecture

“The Science of Laughter”
7 p.m.
Wednesday, February 1
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
British neuroscientist and stand-up comedian Sophie Scott (University College London) will discuss the sometimes surprising science and evolution of laughter—an emotion with its roots in play and social bonding. She will explore questions such as: How and why do humans laugh? What do brain studies reveal about laughter? What happens when laughter goes wrong? This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Frances L. Hiatt School of Psychology at Clark.

Lecture and exhibition

“Cartooning; Sense, Nonsense, Applications”
4 p.m.
Tuesday, February 7
Exhibition runs from Tuesday, Feb. 7, through Monday, May 22
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
Cartoonists James Sturm and Caleb Brown will look beyond graphic novels and iconic characters to emphasize cartooning’s ability to communicate complex information quickly and effectively, share powerful and precise visual narratives, and engage readers of all ages, nationalities, and socio-economic backgrounds.
Sturm, cofounder of The Center for Cartoon Studies, will curate an accompanying exhibit on “applied cartooning.” The selected images will highlight the ways the medium itself is being used to innovate and problem-solve in medicine, business, education, and other fields.
This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, Difficult Dialogues, and the Media, Culture and the Arts Program.

Lecture

“Dark Humor and the African American Image”
7 p.m.
Thursday, February 16
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
Scholar and curator Tiffany E. Barber will draw upon her recent exhibition, “Dark Humor: African American Art from the University of Delaware,” to consider the significance of humor in contemporary art. Barber will discuss how contemporary black artists, such as Camille Billops, David Hammons, Barkley Hendricks, and Peter Williams, employ subversive humor to question the currency of cultural and racial stereotypes.
This event is part of the African American Intellectual Culture Series, and is cosponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Office of the Provost, and the Department of Visual and Performing Arts.

Talk and book signing

“Light in the Dark: A Talk on Writing and Humor”
7p.m.
Thursday, February 23
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
Is it possible to fake your own death in the twenty-first century? With six figures of student loan debt, author Elizabeth Greenwood was tempted to find out. She set off on a foray into the world of death fraud, where for $30,000 a consultant can make you disappear, possibly forever. Greenwood will read from her book “Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud” (2016), and introduce us to men and women desperate enough to lose their identities—and their families—to begin again. She will lead a discussion on the role of humor in illuminating and exploring our darkest impulses. A book signing will follow. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Writing Center.

Lecture and book signing

“BALLS: It Takes Some to Get Some”
7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
For Chris Edwards, a former advertising creative director, changing his gender from female to male took balls…and a damn good sense of humor. How did he find the courage to come out at a company board meeting of white, middle-aged executives; to endure 28 painful and extensive surgeries; or to show up at his 10-year high school reunion? Edwards will read from his funny and poignant memoir “BALLS: It Takes Some to Get Some” (2016), and share how humor helped him re-brand himself and gain acceptance from his family, friends, and colleagues at a time when the word “transgender” was almost non-existent.
A book signing will follow. Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the event. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Women’s and Gender Studies Program.

Workshop

“The Truth is Funny: An Improvisation Workshop”
7 p.m.
Wednesday, March 15
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
“The truth is funny. Honest discovery, observation, and reaction is better than contrived invention.” The words of actor Del Close have inspired countless improvisational comics. In this workshop, Dan Balel (Theater) and Gino DiIorio (Theater) will lead us in theater games and improvisation exercises to develop trust, reveal truths, and generate laughs.
This event is cosponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities and the Theatre Arts Program.

Film Screening and Discussion

“’THE LAST LAUGH’; A Film Screening and Discussion”
7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 21
Jefferson Academic Center, Room 320
“THE LAST LAUGH,” a feature documentary by Ferne Pearlstein, proceeds from the premise that the Holocaust would seem to be an absolutely off-limits topic for comedy. But is it? History shows that even the victims of the Nazi concentration camps used humor as a means of survival and resistance. Still, any hint of comedy in connection with this horror risks diminishing the suffering of millions. So where is the line? If we make the Holocaust off limits, what are the implications for other controversial subjects— 9/11, AIDS, racism—in a society that prizes freedom of speech? Valerie Sperling (Holocaust and Genocide Studies/Political Science) and Amy Richter (History) will facilitate a conversation after the film.
This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Holocaust and Genocide Studies Program, and Screen Studies.

Lecture

“Brother Jonathan Runs for President: American Humor, Vernacular Values, and the Rise of Trump”
7 p.m.
Tuesday, March 28
Higgins Lounge at Dana Commons, 2nd floor
Challenges to America’s most sacred myths fuel the traditions of vernacular humor, which asserts faith in ordinary Americans and mistrust of elites. Spoof presidential campaigns by ostensibly ordinary citizens—heirs of Brother Jonathan, folklore’s quintessential American—have mocked the ideological contradictions of presidential campaigns whose vernacular values nonetheless yield elite results.

Professor Judith Yaross Lee (Scripps College of Communication at Ohio University) will consider how nearly 200 years of spoof campaigns in cartoon, video, newspaper features, and other formats highlight values and visions always at stake in the presidential race, but especially in the candidacy of Donald Trump. This event is co-sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities, the Department of History, and the Bland Fund of the Department of Political Science.

Shop early for Valentine’s Day! Sweet deals for your sweethearts🎵 …

… at Unique Finds Antiques and Vintage gift shop – 1329 Main St., Worcester.

OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK!

Until 7 p.m.

Check out their furniture warehouse – a 4-minute drive from the shop!

(Our planet is gonna need a lotta love – every man, woman and child! – now that Donald Trump is the most powerful person on it!

Madness!!!

Bold-faced lies, “alternative” facts, destroying the EPA, shutting down the free flow of info to the people!

God save America, the new upside-down shit sandwich!)

– text/pics: R. Tirella

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