Saturday, June 06, 2020

Today in Antifa History

REMEMBERING D-DAY

On June 6, 1944, more than 160,000 Allied troops landed along the beaches of Normandy, France. The 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified coastline was the launching place of the biggest battle against Fascism in history.  Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which, "we will accept nothing less than full victory." Read more about D-Day here


Also see:  How Fascism Spreads --
"Before Hitler attacks any country, his agents carefully sow seeds of hate and disunity, turning people against their own governments, governments against their allies, class against class..."  -- From the pamphlet, "Divide and Conquer,"
U.S. Government, 1942
Are you pro-Fascist or anti-Fascist?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

ANDREW CUOMO FOR PRESIDENT IN 2020

During this maddening, saddening, tragic, and disgraceful global pandemic that we are living and dying through, one voice has risen above all others to address the needs, speak truth to power, and help bring at least some measure of hope during this crisis of a magnitude that nobody under the age of 102 has suffered through in our country. It's the voice of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

We've lived through more than a year of the Reality TV primary election nonsense that our political system has devolved into. Disgruntled Bernie supporters and disgruntled DNC hacks have either angrily stomped off or are holding their noses in what would likely prove to be a futile effort to remove a despot from the highest place in government. Our current president is so incompetent that as a deadly pandemic was sweeping the world he reassured his low-information supporters that COVID-19 would "miraculously disappear," that the numbers would go from 15 to "near zero" (at a time when thousands of infected individuals were roaming the streets at large because no testing was being done). He wanted to leave sick Americans and other human beings adrift at sea because he said, "I don't need to have the numbers double because of one ship," as the numbers were actually quadrupling exponentially, completely unchecked, for weeks because Trump only cares about what's good for Trump. This isn't fake news, it's just old news, and irrelevant at this point. It's too late.

Enter Governor Andrew Cuomo -- a man of intelligence who at this time of crisis is actually "telling it like it is." If you haven't been watching his press conferences and interviews on TV, look them up on YouTube. I don't have time to sing his praises right now because action must be taken at once if the New York governor is to be put on the ballot in November. He's too busy saving New York to run a campaign right now, so we'll have to that ourselves. If we succeed, then President Cuomo can start on January 20, 2021 to undo all of the damage that's been done by a president and an electorate that's spent too many years confusing Reality Television with reality.

Here's what we can do now:

1. SPREAD THE WORD FAR AND WIDE. MAKE #CUOMO2020 TREND!
Just do it.

2. BEG MIKE BLOOMBERG FOR HELP!
He's promised to spend more money than we'll ever see to support whichever Democratic candidate is on the ballot. Getting Andrew Cuomo on the ballot is something Bloomberg could really help make happen. So contact him. Beg him for help.
Follow on Twitter:  https://twitter.com/MikeBloomberg
Send an email to ask at mikebloomberg.com
Follow on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mikebloomberg

3. BECOME A DELEGATE AND/OR LOBBY YOUR DELEGATES
There's still time to become a delegate to represent your state at the Democratic National Convention, which in all likelihood will be the first  and hopefully last "Virtual Presidential Convention" in our nation's history. The NEA has made it very easy to file to become a delegate. Visit this website:

https://educationvotes.nea.org/presidential-2020/delegates/

April and May are crucial months in the delegate selection process. If you're the activist type, sign up! Encourage your politically-minded friends to do the same. Once delegates are chosen, find out who they are and lobby them relentlessly via social media and every other socially-distant-acceptable method of getting your point across.

 GET TO KNOW GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO

I'll come up with more ideas soon. THIS IS POSSIBLE. Stay tuned....


Tuesday, December 31, 2019

JFK Jr, 2020, and the Mandela Effect

Talking about politics was always a turn-on for me. When the guy talking about politics was also the Sexiest Man Alive, the effect sent me into the stratosphere and I would stop at nothing to make the world a better place for every man, woman, child, and animal that existed on this planet.
   So when John F. Kennedy, Jr., and one of the sons of Mario Cuomo (was it Andrew?) decided back in the late 1980s to form a club that focused on the year 2020, the year Baby Boomers who were born in 1955 would reach their 65th birthdays, I wanted in. I wanted to join this 2020 Club more than anything else going on at that time.
   Innovative ideas would be hatched to assure that Social Security was beyond solvent; plans were to be drawn up ensuring that the Senior Citizens of that futuristic year of 2020 would have the highest quality health care, better than anything our 1980s brains could imagine as we pondered flying cars and teleportation. I wanted to be in on this from the very beginning. In the year 2020 I wanted to be able to say that I'd been a card-carrying member of the 2020 Club for more than three decades (though I never found a way to sign up). I thought of the 2020 Club many times over the years, and never more so than that dreadful weekend in July of 1999 when the plane carrying the son of a president, who published a glossy, celebrity-filled Washington magazine, went missing and I stayed awake glued to the tube night and day, hoping and praying that my future president was alive and everything was going to be okay. It wasn't.

But the death of John F. Kennedy, Jr., his wife, and her sister did not put an end to the 2020 Club.  Because apparently there was never such a thing as the 2020 Club. I can not find a SINGLE REFERENCE to an organization I had pinned my political dreams on when I was barely old enough to be able to vote. I have searched newspaper database after newspaper database; used every Google trick and every Google Book tool; searched university archives and the Internet Archives; used the "Look Inside!" feature at Amazon.com for clues in authoritative biographies of this lost leader. Nothing.

It seems there was no 2020 Club, at least not in the reality track on which I find myself at the dawn of 2020. And with just ten minutes until the clock strikes Midnight and the 2020s begin, my skepticism of the Mandela Effect is really being challenged. I never subscribed to the Mandela Effect because I could always answer the question, "When did Nelson Mandela die?" correctly without batting an eye. To Mandela Effect believers that is proof that I am not currently living in the same reality in which they exist. I merely assumed Mandela Effect believers were simply not big followers of current events and did not pay close attention to brand names and other insignificant details of the planet on which we live. They always explain this away by insisting that they and I are simultaneously living in alternate realities, an idea which amuses me but one to which until just now I have given absolutely no credence.

But with five minutes to go until the dawning of the 2020s -- I understand. There WAS a 2020 Club. JFK Jr. and Andrew Cuomo DID have big plans, they DID start an organization -- it just didn't happen in this reality. And what a shame that is.

But thank God it's 2020. Thank God those of us who survived actually did survive. And we'll make the 2020s okay no matter what reality we exist in... It's going to be better... Everything is going to be alright.

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

On Being Un-American

John Garfield, my classic film heart-throb, was a hero of World War II. The only uniform he wore was on movie sets -- he couldn't serve in the military (though he very much wanted to) due to a heart condition. So he traveled with the USO entertaining troops overseas, he co-founded the Hollywood Canteen, a star-studded club that entertained the troops lucky enough to come through Southern California; he helped sell War Bonds, helped raise money for the Red Cross, and he played film roles that likely inspired thousands of men and women to enlist in the Armed Forces (Pride of the Marines, Destination Tokyo, and others). He was as patriotic as an American could possibly be while our country was at war. He was an absolute hero to those who served and to his country, and nothing less.

And what thanks did he get from the United States government after victory was declared? He was pretty much hounded to death at the age of 39 by the House Un-American Activities Committee (the HUAC), a disgraceful arm of the United States Congress that infamously try to root out Communism, especially in Hollywood. The HUAC and its witch-hunts are roundly remembered as being one of the most un-American chapters in U.S. history, and its victims were many. John Garfield  refused to "name names" of Hollywood folk accused of being members of the Communist Party (which was not an uncommon thing to be in early 20th century America, and not at all illegal), and although he escaped going to prison (unlike the Hollywood Ten and others) he was blacklisted from working in Hollywood the year before he died. This was from the testimony he gave the HUAC:
"I have nothing to hide and nothing to be ashamed of. My life is an open book. I am no Red. I am no 'pink.’ I am no fellow traveler. I am a Democrat by politics, a liberal by inclination, and a loyal citizen of this country by every act of my life."
That wasn't good enough for men like Congressman Richard Nixon and other mostly forgettable HUAC members (whose only legacy is being remembered for being on the wrong side of history). Garfield was constantly followed by the FBI while plans were being drawn up to charge him with lying to Congress. He died before they got that chance.

I haven't been able to stop thinking about John Garfield since yesterday, when I heard Donald Trump disparage the women of color that with blatant racism he Tweeted to go back to the countries they came from. He and his minions tried to justify those Tweets by saying that these women are Communists who hate America. He said they were un-American. Sadly, the vast majority of Trump's "base" are either too young or -- let's say, to put it kindly -- too uneducated to know about the HUAC and their anti-American way of destroying lives and careers of people who they felt threatened the rich, white mens' status quo.

And like every single day, I can't stop thinking about my dear friend David, whose family also got caught up in HUAC drama. David's uncle George Marshall was, like many of David's close relatives, a great Civil Rights champion. David's uncle George spent three months in a Kentucky prison for refusing to cooperate with the HUAC. "In his appeal to the D.C. Circuit Court, Marshall pleaded that Congress had acted unconstitutionally when it created HUAC, and argued that his conviction and sentence were motivated by his militant fight for civil rights, for prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan and for the abolition of HUAC."

I will never stop being proud of men like John Garfield, George Marshall, and every patriotic American who took a stand against the corrupt, un-Constitutional HUAC.  They were on the CORRECT side of history. If you support the words, actions, and cult of personality that is Donald J. Trump, you are NOT.

Friday, March 01, 2019

Something for Tony

I have many Kansas City heroes, past and present. Coming in First Place on that list is, of course, Jacob Billikopf (a "dear friend of mine" according to his son -- in spite of the fact that Jacob left this planet 17 years before I was born). I'll be singing Jacob Billikopf's praises in person, online, and in print in perpetuity.

In today's day and age, my admiration of Tony Botello is widely known. Were it not for Tony's Kansas City, most of us would have no idea what is really going on in our town. Tony is the 21st century embodiment of the Fourth Estate, and his tireless efforts to keep us aware either amuse or enrage local denizens seven days a week.

Another Kansas City son I deem to be heroic is Ed Asner. As a lifelong fan of his acting, I became aware of his activistic inclinations decades ago. When Professor Ulichne (another hero) and I heard that Mr. Asner was raising money for the Ed Asner Family Center, which helps people with special needs and their families, it took us less than a minute to decide what we had to do: We knew instinctively that we needed to order an Ed Asner Cameo Shout-Out to our favorite blogger in the world.

So Tony, this is for you, with gratitude to all heroes who make such things possible: