Monday Reads: WTF Kenner?

Good Morning Sky Dancers!

If all politics is local, then there is something really rotten in the parishes that surround mine. The same congressional district that gave rise to David Duke and “David Duke without the Baggage” Steve Scalise has a berg called Kenner which,of course, was part of an old plantation back in the day. You can’t go far around here without standing on ground that was likely taken from indigenous people and built up by slaves.  Then, there’s the always haunting knowledge that the poor white man was placated by these rich, slave owning bastards with the comfort of “well, at least you’re not black”.

We’re not far–at any moment–from this history and we’ve not learned our history lessons.

The deliberate use of Colin Kaepernick’s symbolic and quiet protest of the incredible levels of police violence against persons of color to fan the flames of aggrieved white people has me sick to my stomach.  I am sick of this illegitimate president*. I am even more sick of all the politicians that fan the flames of hatred between all of us that call this country home. I am sick of reading wypipo who simply want to cling to their ignorance and privilege. I want to scream it isn’t always about you at them!

It is difficult to not see the racism in all these actions and words. We’ve gone way pass the dog whistle phase.

This should not stand and any person in Kenner, Louisiana should let their mayor know that the majority of people living around here will not tolerate it.  It’s an abomination. It’s illegal.  It’s a first amendment violation. To quote my friend and editor of the Bayou Brief Lamar White Junior:

The white mayor of an American city is attempting to prevent parents and coaches from buying or dressing their children in clothes and shoes from a company that aired an inspirational television commercial reaffirming the humanity and the hopes of black children in America.

Read this and weep.  Better yet, read this and decide that #BlackLivesMatter should be the battle cry of all good American citizens today and every day.  This administration is race baiting one citizen to turn on another and to be blind to the violence, murder, and terror that results.  It’s not just inequitable. It borderlines on calling for genocide.

Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn has apparently issued a memorandum demanding that the city recreation department and any booster clubs operating at its facilities no longer purchase or accept delivery of Nike athletic products or any apparel that features the company’s famous logo.

The Sept. 5 memo to Recreation Director Chad Pitfield, which is being circulated on social media, was not made public by City Hall. A spokesman for the city said Sunday (Sept. 9) that he had no comment. Zahn could not be reached.

Kenner booster club president Owen Rey told WWL the policy “shouldn’t be that way.”

“If we have something that we feel that we want that’s going to benefit our kids,” Rey said, “it shouldn’t matter what logo, what brand — as long as it helps the kids and what we’re trying to accomplish at the park.”

Nike recently unveiled its “Dream Crazy” campaign featuring former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who triggered a wave of protests against racial inequality last year by kneeling during the National Anthem prior to games. The ads generated passionate reactions from people around the world.

The Kenner memo says that, effective immediately, all purchases of clothing, shoes, athletic equipment or any other athletic equipment by booster clubs operating at city recreation facilities must be approved by Pitfield or his designee.

“Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any city of Kenner recreation facility,” according to the memo, which is on official mayor’s office letterhead and signed by Zahn. It makes no reference to the Nike campaign.

Kenner Councilman Gregory Carroll responded to the memo in a public Facebook post Sunday (Sept. 9), “I was not made aware of this decision beforehand and it is in direct contradiction of what I stand for and what the City of Kenner should stand for. I am 100% AGAINST this decision. I will meet with the Mayor and other Council members in an effort to rescind this directive.”

Those of us in Orleans Parish recognize these remnants of scared white people fleeing to Jefferson Parish to avoid white children and black children in the same classroom as “Kenner Brahs”.  They’re not a very distinct breed down here in the old south.  They’re just one with a slightly different accent that drinks beer and spews racism.

The statistics supporting the #BlackLivesMatter movement are overwhelming.  This is lost in hooplah of white males complaining they want to watch their football and be blatantly ignorant of the issue and their role in it.

Black people are much more likely to be shot by police than their white peers.

An analysis of the available FBI data by Vox’s Dara Lind found that US police kill black people at disproportionate rates: Black people accounted for 31 percent of police killing victims in 2012, even though they made up just 13 percent of the US population. Although the data is incomplete because it’s based on voluntary reports from police agencies around the country, it highlights the vast disparities in how police use force.

The disparities appear to be even starker for unarmed suspects, according to an analysis of 2015 police killings by the Guardian. Racial minorities made up about 37.4 percent of the general population in the US and 46.6 percent of armed and unarmed victims, but they made up 62.7 percent of unarmed people killed by police.

This is at the heart of Kaepernick/NFL players protest. There is no intent to disrespect the flag or troops or whatever stupid things emanate from the fevered brain of our very mentally ill president.  Athletic events have been used for protests against all sorts of thing. Every black athlete from Jesse Owens attending those Olympics in Munich was essentially a country wide troll of Hitler’s NAZI Germany. If you have a national or international platform, you’re in a special place to call attention to a problem.  Most people who feel strongly about social justice issues use that platform.  It’s nothing new.  Many other athletes will join the call.

What is distinct about this protest?  Is it just that we’ve got such naked white nationalism in the White House egging on the demons of our history?  I suggest you read this brilliant essay “Dictating the conditions of freedom”.

White people don’t like it when black folks take a stand against their oppression. White culture expects black bodies and minds to be servile; existing for the sole purpose of entertaining, educating, or otherwise being in service to white people. White folks think that by ‘allowing’ black people to participate in ‘their’ stuff they aren’t racist. In reality, participation is often predicated on the unspoken expectation that ‘exceptional’ black people are only granted access to these spaces in exchange for their silence on the race issue.

We must always be thankful and express our gratitude at every turn. We must always pay obeisance to the benevolent white people who ‘gave’ us a chance.

Never talk about history; always focus on the present.

Be black, but not too black.

Never speak about current issues, unless you’re talking about what’s wrong with the black community.

Never call white people to account for their present racism.

Never make white people feel like they’re racist. Never speak out about your own or others’ oppression.

Do whatever it is that you’re being allowed to do without saying a mumbling word about how you’re being treated. Woe be unto you if you break this silent contract.

When Colin Kaepernick decided to take a knee during the national anthem, he broke the contract. What’s worse is that as a biracial man who was adopted by a white family, he broke solidarity with any claim that whiteness could make on him. In White America’s eyes, he had chosen a side. He could not play the role of the ‘ambiguous other with white parents.’ He was no longer a white man by proxy. Whiteness had been willing to grant him a pass until he took a knee on the sideline, his Afro advertising his bold blackness that could not be buried.

When Colin kneeled, White America stopped seeing his whiteness. They could only see a black man who had broken the contract, who had made them feel racist. They could only see an “ungrateful n——r” who deigned not to participate in America’s civil religion. Whether or not he intended to, Kaepernick chose his blackness on that day. Not that he should have had to (because he shouldn’t have), but a side was chosen for him.

When white people decide to stand up for the dignity of black people, they still retain their whiteness. Other white folks might call them unsavory names and attempt to cow them back into white solidarity, but they still carry white privilege everywhere they go.

But when black people, even those of us who carry multiple racial identities, stand up for black lives, we lose. We lose friends. We lose employment. Some of us even lose our places of worship or connections to family members. We become pariahs.

When white people can no longer buy our silence and acquiescence about white supremacy, they turn on us. They try to destroy our reputation. They make us out to be mentally ill. They sanction us for failing to pass their litmus tests for orthodoxy. They attempt to gaslight us and make us feel guilty for ‘changing.’

The reaction that we see to Colin Kaepernick’s Nike endorsement has nothing to do with patriotism, ‘the troops,’ or any other red herring that is being bandied about. People aren’t burning their shoes because they feel that our country is being disrespected. They aren’t cutting Nike swooshes off of clothes because they feel a deep sense of patriotism. White people are ‘protesting Nike’ because they are upset that a black man has called attention to how racist America is (and them by extension).

Any black person who is participating in this so-called protest is doing so because they have bought into the idea of their own exceptionalism above the rest of the black community. They are a contract player for white supremacy, and their actions should not be seen as a cachet of black approval for white folks’ racism.

White people’s anger shows that they do not believe that the First Amendment (or any other rights for that matter) applies to black people. Their rage shows that they feel that their whiteness is not being adequately respected and revered by someone who they believe is beneath them.

I have read some very disturbing comments on posts I’ve read from friends that make me wonder if so many white people are being willfully obtuse about not getting all of this.  I suppose the actual motivation matters less than the words I read that make me realize that we’re a long way from seeing every one’s civil rights respected equally.

It’s really not difficult to dig into any Republican State or Candidate and not find a racist.  I have to admit that I’m watching the Florida and Georgia gubernatorial races with quite the jaundiced eye. The white candidates are about as subtle as Lester Maddox and unrepetant George Wallace.

Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), a gubernatorial nominee who recently was accused of using racially tinged language, spoke four times at conferences organized by a conservative activist who has said that African Americans owe their freedom to white people and that the country’s “only serious race war” is against whites.

DeSantis, elected to represent north-central Florida in 2012, appeared at the David Horowitz Freedom Center conferences in Palm Beach, Fla., and Charleston, S.C., in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2017, said Michael Finch, president of the organization. At the group’s annual Restoration Weekend conferences, hundreds of people gather to hear right-wing provocateurs such as Stephen K. Bannon, Milo Yiannopoulos and Sebastian Gorka sound off on multiculturalism, radical Islam, free speech on college campuses and other issues.

Well, their next target be Ford Motor Company who builds the All American Truck? Yes, I’m proud to be a Ford Dealer’s daughter! 

On Monday, the Ford Motor Company, which owns the Detroit Lions, took a stand and pushed back on President Donald Trump’s divisive rhetoric against NFL players who protest.

“We respect individuals’ rights to express their views, even if they are not ones we share,” the company said on Monday. “That’s part of what makes America great.”

The company made the announcement after Trump on Friday urged people to protest the NFL and said owners should fire players who decide to kneel during the national anthem, CNN reports.

Ford has a heavy stake in the NFL with team ownership and last year entered into a three-year agreement making the Ford F-Series the league’s official truck.

The NFL has said it would not penalize players who refuse to take the field during the national anthem.

Martha Firestone Ford, owner and chairwoman of the Detroit Lions and a member of the Ford family, fired back at Trump for his divisive comments.

“Our game has long provided a powerful platform for dialogue and positive change in many communities throughout our nation,” she said. “Negative and disrespectful comments suggesting otherwise are contrary to the founding principles of our country, and we do not support those comments or opinions.”

Ford also owns the naming rights to the Ford Field in Detroit.

 

Sunday’s first NFL game saw Twitler tweets and kneeling NFL players prior to the Dolphins Game.  This isn’t going away no matter how much these racist white fans want to watch their game without thinking of any one but themselves. I was disappointed to see none of the Saints players carried the torch forward.

Just hours ahead of the first kickoffs on the first Sunday of the NFL’s regular season, President Trump again called for NFL players to stand for the national anthem and for TV networks to broadcast it, pointing to a decline in television ratings for the league’s season opener Thursday night.

“Wow, NFL first game ratings are way down over an already really bad last year comparison,” he tweeted. “Viewership declined 13%, the lowest in over a decade. If the players stood proudly for our Flag and Anthem, and it is all shown on broadcast, maybe ratings could come back? Otherwise worse!”

Even though Colin Kaepernick would later join Trump in tweeting about the issue, it was a relatively quiet day as it pertained to the issue, with most of the discussion on the league’s first Sunday focused on the action on the field.

The season-opening games featured few demonstrations during the playing of the anthem, with Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson of the Dolphins taking a knee and their teammate, Robert Quinn, raising a fist before the game against the Titans. Kaepernick, the former 49ers quarterback who started the idea of demonstrating during the anthem, tweeted that Stills and Wilson, who have frequently protested by kneeling before games, “continue to show their unwavering strength by fighting for the oppressed! They have not backed down, even when attacked and intimidated. Their courage will move the world forward! ‘Love is at the root of our resistance!’ ”

It seems Russian trolls are excited and “ready for some football”.

The same Kremlin-linked group that posed as Americans on social media during the 2016 US presidential election has repeatedly exploited the controversy surrounding the NFL and players who have protested police brutality and racial injustice during the National Anthem, playing both sides in an effort to exacerbate divides in American society.

The debate is almost certainly an irresistible one for the Russians, given that it includes issues of race, patriotism, and national identity — topics the Russian trolls sought to exploit during the run-up to the election, and have continued to focus on in the two years since.

CNN worked with researchers at Clemson University that have archived millions of tweets sent by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian troll group that was indicted by Special Counsel Robert Mueller in February. The accounts’ links to Russia were discovered by Twitter, which provided details about them to Congress. The data shows the trolls repeatedly weighing in on the debate, using different accounts to take both sides. While they used some accounts to push petitions to fire the protesting players, they used others to hail them as heroes.

Over the past year, social media networks have identified and removed thousands of accounts tied to the IRA. But despite the tech companies’ efforts, there’s no indication that the group is shying away from the NFL controversy.

There is no question that the debate over the protests is real. But Americans watching the controversy unfold on social media ought to know that not all the outrage on either side is authentic, and not all of it is coming from US shores.

Clemson University researchers and CNN have found instances of accounts linked to Russian trolls by Twitter weighing in on the issue as recently as May of this year.

Meanwhile, the Kenna Brah suburb by the New Orleans Airport has a peaceful protest planned for tonight.

In the wake of a widely-circulated memo banning Kenner’s recreation booster clubs from purchasing Nike gear, a “peaceful protest” is planned for the city’s Susan Park at 5 p.m. on Monday.

The protests follow a firestorm that ignited over the weekend when a memo from Kenner Mayor Ben Zahn began to be shared on social media. That memo ordered that all recreation district purchases be routed through the city’s purchasing department and said “Under no circumstances will any Nike product or any product with the Nike logo be purchased for use or delivery at any city of Kenner recreation facility.”

Nike has recently found itself the subject of national controversy after running new commercials featuring former NFL quarterback Kaepernick, who had been widely criticized — and supported — for kneeling during the playing of the national anthem when he was with the San Francisco 49ers. Kaepernick chose to kneel as a protest against police killings of African-Americans.

Zahn did not respond to repeated requests for comment Sunday. But he made his feelings on the matter clear at the city’s Freedom Fest during the Labor Day weekend, when he said before a national anthem performance “In the city of Kenner, we all stand.”

Hey Zahn, when it comes to government stamping its damned shoes down on the rights of our fellow citizens, then I say this.  A good number of us will not stand for it or any other tricks.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?

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Monday Reads: A Reptile Dysfunction

Eleven years ago, Honey, Karma, Miles and I were sharing a small pink futon on the floor of a Lake Charles motel between the beds of a Chinese and Japanese Graduate student from UNO. I had told all of our foreign grad students in our doctorate program to get hotel rooms and get the heck out of Dodge about 5 days before. I was going to stick it out but didn’t and wound up be very thankful to join them. There’s was nothing to do but to watch CNN and hook up the internet.

It was a day that changed many lives including mine. Honey and Karma, my French Quarter Dogs, have since crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Miles and I are a little worse for the wear and frankly, so is the Kat House. My insurance company never really did pony up enough money to cover the damages and I never took the Road Home Funds because I had–and still have–survivor guilt. My house didn’t flood. But, one of the residuals is that I have a $10,000 deductible for named storms and live in constant fear of anything with a name on it now. Then, of course, we’re still reeling from the post-hurricane damage of 8 years of Bobby Jindal and the continued encroachment on the wetlands by oil companies and housing developers. The last set of floods is just the most recent display of what happens when you really don’t take care of your Mother Earth.

At least this year, I don’t have to hear the word resilient.product_thumb

Good Morning!

Here’s some linky goodness and badness from me, the dakini of the swamps.  I’m in wrathful form today so enjoy some pictures of Naginis.

Here’s a wonderful and ominous post recommended by General  Russell Honore about the issues with  our Louisiana Wetlands.  I hope you can take some time to read it all.

We need a massive reforestation of Louisiana. Mature, native, water-loving trees like Live Oaks and Bald Cypress drink up to 1,000 gallons of water per day and should be as common and beloved a site in our urban and rural landscapes as Saints bumper stickers. One huge impetus behind founding SOUL is the very large goal of replanting New Orleans, the most deforested city in the U.S.! But rural Louisiana suffers from deforestation as well, largely due to short-sighted development of subdivisions and commercial areas that raze the forest and level the land before construction. Trees are essential to our resilience as they absorb stormwater into their root systems and transpire it back into the air. A mature tree produces enough oxygen for ten people, and can lower our air temperatures by up to two degrees. The benefits of trees are endless, and our futures rely on them.

It’s time to respect the gravity of gravity. It there’s one thing we can always count on, it’s that water will always travel downhill. Thus, it is vital that water has an unobstructed path to its nearest floodplain or basin. Rural Louisiana has many flood plains and small water bodies like creeks that are bisected by roads. During heavy rains these spots turn into dams and cause massive flooding as water seeks a lower point of gravity.

New construction should be raised to a level accommodating a 2,000-year storm.Considering how quickly our disasters are growing in intensity and frequency, it only makes sense that we should build new homes and businesses according to future storm levels. We’re recovering from a 1,000-year flood, so let’s rebuild to a 2,000-year disaster this time. Many of the structures that were damaged were built at grade on slab. Cities must stop allowing development that ignores our hydrology and natural history, for the sake of developers maximizing their profits.

We need to integrate “green infrastructure” into every aspect of our lives. If you’re not already familiar with this term, it refers to infrastructure that mimics natural systems and harnesses stormwater at its source. Essentially its goal is to get water back into the ground and into the water table.

There’s a developing tropical storm that’s due to enter the Gulf. It’s supposed to turn back on Florida at this point.  However,  you never know and we would be on the wet side if it gets too close for comfort. People south of us already have a lot on their plate and any kind of drenching of the area would be really bad.  Thankfully, the winds aloft are not particularly friendly atm.  I just hope it doesn’t get a name if it pours on the Kat House and that it misses the folks in the flooded area completely.

So, onward with today’s theme of snaky people.

Naga182A white male radical christianist was plotting a ” mass shooting to protect 2nd Amendment from ‘f*ggots’.”  This guy sounds like a good Trump supporter, doesn’t he?

Bryce Cuellar, 24, was arrested by Las Vegas police after they were notified by Interpol in July about Cuellar’s video. In the video, Cuellar stated that he is tired of the government trying to take away his First and Second Amendment rights and planned to go on a killing spree.

Calling himself a “Christian warrior,” Cuellar bragged that he would use his weapons as the Founding Fathers intended, killing,” gays, faggots, lesbians and satanists.”

According to Las Vegas police, Cuellar reportedly beat his wife hours after posting the video on YouTube, where he displayed his weapons while wearing a Kevlar vest and sporting night-vision goggles.

A review of Cuellar’s YouTube page reveal a collection of conspiracy-minded videos including ones that question what happened at Sandy Hook Elementary, support for the Bundy family’s war on the government, the threat of the Illuminati  and proof that angels and demons are real. Investigators say the timeline of his videos suggest that he has sunk deeper in the world of conspiracy mongering over the past three years.

This is pretty scary.  Foreign hackers have gotten into the state election databases according to the FBI.  Vijayanagar_snakestone

The FBI has uncovered evidence that foreign hackers penetrated two state election databases in recent weeks, prompting the bureau to warn election officials across the country to take new steps to enhance the security of their computer systems, according to federal and state law enforcement officials.

The FBI warning, contained in a “flash” alert from the FBI’s Cyber Division, a copy of which was obtained by Yahoo News, comes amid heightened concerns among U.S. intelligence officials about the possibility of cyberintrusions, potentially by Russian state-sponsored hackers, aimed at disrupting the November elections.

Those concerns prompted Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to convene a conference call with state election officials on Aug. 15, in which he offered his department’s help to make state voting systems more secure, including providing federal cyber security experts to scan for vulnerabilities, according to a “readout” of the call released by the department.

Johnson emphasized in the call that Homeland Security was not aware of “specific or credible cybersecurity threats” to the election, officials said. But three days after that call, the FBI Cyber Division issued a potentially more disturbing warning, entitled “Targeting Activity Against State Board of Election Systems.” The alert, labeled as restricted for “NEED TO KNOW recipients,” disclosed that the bureau was investigating cyberintrusions against two state election websites this summer, including one that resulted in the “exfiltration,” or theft, of voter registration data. “It was an eye opener,” one senior law enforcement official said of the bureau’s discovery of the intrusions. “We believe it’s kind of serious, and we’re investigating.”

The bulletin does not identify the states in question, but sources familiar with the document say it refers to the targeting by suspected foreign hackers of voter registration databases in Arizona and Illinois. In the Illinois case, officials were forced to shut down the state’s voter registration system for ten days in late July, after the hackers managed to download personal data on up to 200,000 state voters, Ken Menzel, the general counsel of the Illinois Board of Elections, said in an interview. The Arizona attack was more limited, involving malicious software that was introduced into its voter registration system but no successful exfiltration of data, a state official said.

nagastatue1A huge amount of hoopla has surrounded the 49ers Quarterback who has refused to stand for the pre-game playing of our national anthem.  My 10 year old self would actually have a crush on this guy. I refused to say the pledge in classroom at that ripe old age, was nearly kicked out of Girl Scouts and was asked why by the Principal who couldn’t understand why mass symbolic recitations of anti-communist loyalty shows would disturb me.  I basically said it was pretty meaningless and why didn’t we just read the preamble to the Constitution instead.  Actually, the District wound up taking this activity out of the daily classroom and never said another word to me.  I think it was because the Constitution was behind me and the District Lawyer figured it out.  I never heard back why but was relieved to not have to go through a rote, meaningless exercise every day to prove I wasn’t a communist. I am not nor have I ever been a communist or a member of the communist party.  Now, can I quit the loyalty oath shit?

But, Colin Kaepernick has stated his reason as a protest of national oppression of racial minorities.   The NFL is actually giving him quiet consent. I say more power to him.

San Francisco 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick on Sunday defended his decision not to stand for the national anthem at a game two days earlier, saying he is protesting on behalf of people oppressed because of their race.

“This country stands for freedom, liberty, justice for all — and it’s not happening for all right now,” Kaepernick said.

Kaepernick did not stand as the national anthem played before a preseason game against the Green Bay Packers. The move sparked criticism, and some fans posted videos of themselves burning Kaepernick jerseys and other apparel.

Actually, if you read the real history of this anthem and the racist who wrote it and an abhorrent additional verse that is totally ashta nagasracist, you’d be asking them to switch our anthem to something like America the Beautiful where I could substitute something creative for the current head nod to the angry sky fairy.

The story, as most of us are told, is that Francis Scott Key was a prisoner on a British ship during the War of 1812 and wrote this poem while watching the American troops battle back the invading British in Baltimore. That—as is the case with 99 percent of history that is taught in public schools and regurgitated by the mainstream press—is less than half the story.

To understand the full “Star-Spangled Banner” story, you have to understand the author. Key was an aristocrat and city prosecutor in Washington, D.C. He was, like most enlightened men at the time, not against slavery; he just thought that since blacks were mentally inferior, masters should treat them with more Christian kindness. He supported sending free blacks (not slaves) back to Africa and, with a few exceptions, was about as pro-slavery, anti-black and anti-abolitionist as you could get at the time.

Of particular note was Key’s opposition to the idea of the Colonial Marines. The Marines were a battalion of runaway slaves who joined with the British Royal Army in exchange for their freedom. The Marines were not only a terrifying example of what slaves would do if given the chance, but also a repudiation of the white superiority that men like Key were so invested in.

All of these ideas and concepts came together around Aug. 24, 1815, at the Battle of Bladensburg, where Key, who was serving as a lieutenant at the time, ran into a battalion of Colonial Marines. His troops were taken to the woodshed by the very black folks he disdained, and he fled back to his home in Georgetown to lick his wounds. The British troops, emboldened by their victory in Bladensburg, then marched into Washington, D.C., burning the Library of Congress, the Capitol Building and the White House. You can imagine that Key was very much in his feelings seeing black soldiers trampling on the city he so desperately loved.

A few weeks later, in September of 1815, far from being a captive, Key was on a British boat begging for the release of one of his friends, a doctor named William Beanes. Key was on the boat waiting to see if the British would release his friend when he observed the bloody battle of Fort McHenry in Baltimore on Sept. 13, 1815. America lost the battle but managed to inflict heavy casualties on the British in the process. This inspired Key to write “The Star-Spangled Banner” right then and there, but no one remembers that he wrote a full third stanza decrying the former slaves who were now working for the British army:

Read the comments there to fully embrace the number of white folks that want the revisionist version of history and their Carving-of-a-Naga-serpentcomments.  It’s pretty revealing of a few nasty natures.  Speaking of which, RUN HUMA RUN.  Anthony Weiner has done it again.  Huma actually has decided to separate from the man now so evidently, he’s worked her last nerve.

Just two weeks ago, when he was asked if his sexting days were behind him, he seemed to deflect. And now we know why: On Sunday night, the New York Post reported that Weiner had recently been sexting with a woman who is not his wife. Making the story even more cringe-worthy, the New York Post reports that Weiner sent a suggestive photo of himself while his toddler son was in the bed next to him.

Weiner didn’t deny any of this. He told the New York Post that he and the woman “have been friends for some time.”

“She has asked me not to comment except to say that our conversations were private, often included pictures of her nieces and nephews and my son and were always appropriate,” he said. By Monday morning, Weiner had deleted his Twitter account. By Monday afternoon, his wife, Huma Abedin, announced the two  were separating.

liuchao21-12-Tibet-Buddhist-Joss-Silver-5-Snake-Head-Naga-Kanya-Shakyamuni-Buddha-StatueAt least he’s not shooting up malls of innocents but wow, the dude has major issues. He had so much going for him.  What accounts for such self-destructive behavior?

Is it just me or is the entire national discourse today turning into some display of things that require medication and the help of a a good psychiatrist/psychologist?  One more story about the nation’s top pathological liar and I’m going to make more coffee and listen to some nice music.  Trump has turned into a whirling dervish on the immigration issue.

The real reason Trump is now shifting away from mass deportations is almost too obvious to restate: It is probably alienating the college educated whites and white women — swing constituencies — that he simply must improve among if he is to have a chance at winning. And so, Trump is now downplaying this goal, by saying that his priority is to remove “criminal” illegal immigrants. The game here is to sound more reasonable to swing voters who are horrified by mass deportations and generally support mass assimilation, by projecting a recognition that not all of them are full blown criminals. He compassionately understands that many of them are “good ones,” believe me! But in so doing, Trump is still preserving his underlying stance that all the 11 million generally remain targets for removal. He eventold CNN that there’s a “very good chance” that all the rest would be deported later. This isn’t as crazy as vowing proactive, immediate mass deportations. But it still is not an actual solution. At best, it is tantamount to leaving them all in the shadows for an indefinite period, or a reversion to Mitt Romney’s absurd “self deportation” stance. In reality it probably means they’ll all have to go.

And this leads to the ultimate point: Donald Trump’s deportation problem is the GOP’s deportation problem. Many Republican lawmakers — including GOP leaders — generally support the goal of legalization. They recognize that the most realistic solution for the 11 million — the one that would best serve the national interest — is some kind of path to assimilation, combined with penalties and increased border security. They also recognize that long term demographic and political realities compel this stance.

But the party has refrained from embracing that solution, because the base won’t allow it. For years, that forced many Republicans to continue saying the 11 million should be subject to removal, but when pressed, they tended to fudge on whether this means they all should be deported right way, since that’s politically and substantively untenable. Instead they took refuge in the platitude that we should merely “enforce the law,” without saying exactly what that should mean. What it really means is, leave most of them in the shadows indefinitely.

Trump is now being forced to sever himself from his explicit mass deportations pledge. And this is forcing him to adopt the GOP’s platitudinous “enforce the law” position.  We’ve come full circle: On deportations, the GOP nominee is now pretty much where most Republicans have publicly been. Thus, in his speech, he will probably revert to a vow to target criminals first while more generally promising to “enforce the law” to deal with the rest. But Trump — as the GOP nominee and as someone whose entire campaign is built on the idea that illegal immigrants are nothing more than criminal invaders — is facing a much higher level of media scrutiny on this issue than GOP lawmakers have to date, rendering that long-held GOP position untenable for him in a way it wasn’t for other Republicans.

Fu-Xi-and-Nu-Wa-mythological-serpentsSerpent Cults have been a part of human history for some time.  Many religious myths embrace the serpent concept as symbolic of a number of things.  As I look at the many stories I’ve gathered today, I can only think of our folksy renderings of calling a man a ‘snake in the grass’.   We also have the imagine of woman as a siren or mermaid or woman turned temptress by snakes and apples.  It strikes me that we never really truly forget our ancient mythos and their identification of the many aspects of our human nature.

In mythology, the serpent symbolises fertility and procreation, wisdom, death, and resurrection (due to the shedding of its skin, which is not akin to rebirth), and in the earliest schools of mysticism, the symbol of ‘The Word’ was the serpent. The ‘light’ that appeared was metaphorically defined as a serpent called ‘Kundalini’, coiled at the base of the spine to remain dormant in an unawakened person.   Divinity or awakening one’s Godhood and latent abilities came with the rituals and teachings brought by the serpent people.
To understand them, we must look at the original ‘serpents’.  In China, it was a male and female pair with human heads and serpent bodies named Fu Xi and Nu Wa who created humans. In Sumer, it was the Annunaki Nin-Khursag and her husband Enki who were given the task of creating workers. Enki is known to us as the serpent in Genesis—the one who gave us the ability to think and reason and so was cursed by his brother Enlil for it. To the Hindus, it was the cosmic serpent Ananta who created us. So, if, at the dawn of man’s creation we have a pair of serpent-like beings who created us, then those of the serpent cult must have been their direct descendants, either by blood or by spirit.

Government has been designed with the idea that you can punish or circumvent aspects of originalhuman nature with the rule of law and the force of the will of the many. Still, we get Snake Oil Salesmen like Donald Trump and guys that can’t get past their basic anatomy and their urge to think with their littlest head or use other phallic symbols like missiles and killing projectiles to take out the creative and intelligent forces that stymie them which, mostly tend to be women and small children when you think about it.  The Trump CEO–Steven Bannon–is like the walking symbol of all things snaky. Here’s the latest op research his life of evil doing.

Donald Trump’s campaign CEO fired a new mother suffering from multiple sclerosis while she was on maternity leave, according to a lawsuit obtained exclusively by The Post.

“Julia Panely-Pacetti, a new mother who suffers from multiple sclerosis, was terminated by defendants from her position as head of public relations and corporate marketing because of her sex and her disability,” states the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan federal court in September 2005.

I wish there was a better tradition of snake handling in this country. Maybe we could learn something from the ancients.  Maybe that medieval guy with the bow has the right idea.

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?