Tag Archives: conflict

More War Mission Creep

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There was a song during the era of the Vietnam War that asked the question; War what is it good for? And the answer is NOTHING!

It is like dancing with the dancing with the devil. We know politics is a dirty business; full of unreasonable positions that usually only benefit the people who have the most to gain. Let’s be clear about that – it is not about the troops or the soldiers who do the dirty work: it is about the wealthy.

Bush took America to war, a war they knew could not be won. Therefore, the military industrial complex would have an endless stream of money because these wars will never end. I am of the opinion that if you follow the money – you will get the correct answer, and you will find people in suits out of harm’s way that are the people who start wars. War is about one thing – killing people.

Corporations and private contractors fuel the money industry from the armaments and munitions needed to facilitate the death, and destruction are the only benefactors. Don’t let me leave out the politicians who sold the souls. The problem is most American’s have never seen war nor the blood and guts or the atrocities resulting from war.

The children of the rich and powerful don’t die – they profit. Of course and for sure, there are bad people all over the world, as well as here at home. I am not saying that in Syria the crimes are not horrendous. What I am saying is that America likewise has dire concerns that need addressing; such as Ferguson, Camden, Detroit, Chicago, New York, and others city’s where American people are in distress.

The outcomes of the Arab Spring, ISIS, and the Middle East problems are daunting. Everyone would agree, but we have tried to step in with huge and catastrophic costs in both blood and treasure. We spent hundreds of billions of dollars in Iraq and Afghanistan for thirteen years with many US soldiers dead and wounded with no appreciable results that has benefited the American taxpayer who foots the bill. I would argue that in those places where we have interfered their problems are worst today than when we tried to help.

I was sent and served in Vietnam under the guise of protecting American interest and to defeat communism. Of course, we know how that turned out. We lost, industry won, and people suffered. In my lifetime America went into Bosnia, attacked Libya and Granada; been at two wars for the last thirteen years, in Iraq and Afghanistan and sent troops all over the world acting like America owns the world.

It seems like standard operating procedure for America to be in a conflict constantly and when they do – they never leave. Every president in my lifetime with the exception of one has started or been involved in some sort military action or conflict. One could conclude that the price for being elected is to reward the industrial military complex because they are the only winners.

It’s time that rational minds, those who would die and their parents, to say STUDY WAR NO MORE!!! Nonetheless, this president have begun to ratchet up the war machine once more. Just imagine how much better “We the People” would be today if we had not spent trillions on the wars of the last decade. And that’s my thought provoking perspectives…

JUST SAY NO!!!


The Citizens Counsel Returns: Armed And Dangerous

thFirst there was the Slave Master followed by a number of variations from slave catchers to overseers of Apartheid American style. What evolved from that was the “Klan” and a more political version of them called the “Citizens Counsel.” In modern times, we call them the Tea Party! At each phase of this evil, there was a philosophy in which these people presumed to be moral, righteous, and yes sanctioned by God himself. In other words, the American way!

Senator Ted Cruz is a right-wing nut that seems to be the leader of a new version of this ilk. He has and continues to make utterly remarkable statements that makes him eerily similar to such and clearly aligned him with the ideology of American racist of the past. The Cruzer once said, America would be better off if the Senate were full of people like Jesse Helms, the late senator, who was ardently opposed to all kinds of civil rights measures and even tried to block the Senate from approving a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr.

Cruz made the remark at a Heritage Foundation event dubbed the “Jesse Helms Lecture Series,” where Cruz told a story of Helms receiving a $5,000 political donation from actor John Wayne, who apparently later told Helms he liked him because “you’re that guy saying all those crazy things” and that there needed to be 100 more of him. To which the Cruzer said, “It’s every bit as true now as it was then… We need 100 more like Jesse Helms in the U.S. Senate.” Yes, this is the guy that wants to be the next president!

Helms, a conservative North Carolina Republican, who served in the Senate for 30 years, was known for his efforts to stop progressive policies relating to gay rights, abortion and race. He voted against the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which he referred to as “the single most dangerous piece of legislation ever introduced in the Congress.” When the Senate acted in 1983 to create a federal holiday honoring King, Helms staged a 16-day filibuster to try to block it. He ultimately caved in exchange for action on a tobacco bill.

From public statements, Cruz’s ideology is derived from what sounds like his mentor or idol. He went on to say that the first political donation he ever made was to Helms — $10 — and praised the late senator for his outspokenness. From the government shutdown to child stories from the senate floor “believer” feel this is the man who can “take back their country” by turning back the hands of time.

I am old enough to remember the racial bigotry of Helms and those like him; such as George Wallace and Strom Thurman to which I see nothing to be proud of by anyone with their views. With Cruz’s McCarthy like tactics and statements such as this remind us of a shameful time not so long ago, where America should never want to return.

In totality, the new crop of conservatives are merely a representation that is eerily similar to their forefathers racial past and we see you for who you are. Moreover, because of the many who support and agree with the likes of him, we should be afraid – terrified! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Body Found May Be Teleka Patrick

122Police have not yet officially identified the body pulled Sunday morning from Lake Charles near the town of Porter, according to a release from the Indiana State Police. However, Patrick’s mother told 24 Hour News 8 over the phone on Sunday afternoon that it was Patrick’s body.

After Patrick’s mother’s call, another family member called back and said they were waiting for confirmation of the body’s identity, which they had not yet received. They then sent this statement:

“Our family was informed that a body was found that may be our daughter Teleka Patrick. We are waiting for official confirmation from the Kalamazoo Sheriff’s Department and have no comment at this time. Thank you for your continued prayers-we ask that you respect our privacy at this difficult time.”

Chuck Harris, the Porter County coroner, told 24 Hour News 8 Sunday that no positive identity had been made on the body, which he confirmed was that of an African-American female. Harris said he’s not certain how long the body has been in the lake. Due to its decomposition, he said, fingerprints or dental records will have to be used to confirm an identity. He said there were not any obvious signs of trauma to the body. An autopsy is scheduled for the beginning of the week, he said, possibly on Tuesday.

A man fishing on Lake Charles noticed something suspicious floating in the water around 7:10 a.m. Sunday, the release from Indiana State Police says. He called police. Area residents said they woke Sunday morning to find a fleet of emergency vehicles around the lake. The Indiana State police SCUBA team and Porter Fire and Rescue responded to the scene and pulled the body of a female dressed in dark clothing from the water, the release said.

Harris, the coroner, said he was called to the scene at 9:21 a.m. He also said the woman was wearing dark pants and a dark top. Patrick, 30, was last seen the evening of Dec. 5, 2013 in the parking lot of Borgess Medical Center in Kalamazoo. Her car was found later that night off I-94 near Porter, less than a mile away from Lake Charles. Lake Charles is separated from the highway by a waist-high barbed wire fence.

Authorities searched Lake Charles in January when it was still frozen over, but that search did not reveal anything related to Patrick’s case. Last week, authorities also conducted a land search near where Patrick’s car was found. That search was also fruitless. Besides those searches, Harris said, there is nothing at this time to link the body to Patrick.

In a Sunday release, the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department said it would not immediately have any comment.

Western Michigan University’s medical school released this statement Sunday evening:

“Western Michigan University Homer Stryker M.D. School of Medicine was notified earlier today that a body matching the description of Dr. Teleka Patrick, a first year resident in our psychiatry residency program, has been found.  We are awaiting the results of an official confirmation from authorities and offer our sincerest condolences and prayers to Teleka’s family during this difficult time.”


Time After Time: Same Old Story

13798_lgAs I look back over the passage of time from the era of the 1960s to now. Things are worse and more devastating than ever in every category of life. I often wonder “what happened to the protest and the rage”. Poverty is worse, social vices have exploded, crime, police brutality, healthcare, education, and unemployment is more prevalent today. During the 60s, people took to the streets to make a statement that there is something very wrong. The cry of the day was power to the people.

Lost is the concept of “I am my brother’s keeper” or “it takes a village” and the sense of community, rather what exists today is “I and me”. A common theory for this is complacency and the belief that everything is all right in this land of milk and honey. There is no recollection of the voices real leadership as it was of that era. What we see today is corporate faces out front; bought and paid for to give us a message that says “don’t worry, just pray, and you will get your just due in the next life.

I don’t need to name names because you know who they are!!! There is always a false prophet espousing the same old message that one day “we will overcome”. They are forced upon us in every aspect of our lives. These folks come in many forms and have usually been given a position of authority over you by someone other than us. There job is like the overseer or the selected preacher from the days of slavery. You see them on television and in case you didn’t know this tool is amply named. The idiot box is designed to “tell you a vision” and that vision is usually not based, in fact, which is a view that those in control want you to believe and know.

During the 1960s, the mantra was “the revolution will not be televised”! It spoke to the ideology of that which is in your mind where you can see through the lies and have the courage to address the wrongs of society that are imposed on the people through a system of capitalism. Where are those voice like Brother Malcolm, Dr. King, the Panthers, SNCC, and others of the era which believed “I am willing to die for what is right.

I had a conversation with a conservative person recently, who claimed to have answers to all the problems of the least of thee. What was amazing, no crazy? This fool said, “All I know about ‘you people’ is what I see on television. These people should just get a job and stop having children”. Of course that was enough for me to know how deranged this fool was but what this fool does not understand, it is bigger than that. It is done by designed, as it has been from day one. There has to be a permanent underclass in order for the so-called real Americans, the rich and white, to survive or more aptly put “laws that allow the rich to continue to rape and pillage”.

No one knows what to fight for because no one knows what to say. Then there is the longstanding notion by those who remind me of an uncle of mine – whose name was Thomas, but we call him “Tom” for short. So to the Judas’ among us maybe that old country preacher I knew was right! Money will make you change your God and like Judas betray your people. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


Money and Speech are not the Same

This is a reblogged article Posted on  by Joshua Schwitzerlett

11Yesterday, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in McCutcheon v. Federal Elections Commission (McCutcheon) and decided to strike down the aggregate limits on campaign finance contributions. The reasoning, according to Justice John Roberts, who delivered the Court’s opinion along with Justices Scalia, Kennedy, and Alito, is that the right to spend money on elections is the same as the freedom to speak.

Justice Roberts is either naive or misguided and neither option is becoming of the nation’s highest legal authority.

The political landslide that has been won in the Court started with Citizens United, a case that, in the view of the nation, was horribly unpopular. This decision put the nation on a crash-course with the devastation that awaits unbridled and unchecked spending by corporations and private interests in our national discussions and elections.

In the words of the dissenting opinion in McCutcheon, delivered by Justice Breyer, along with Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and Kagan, “Taken together with Citizens United…, today’s decision eviscerates our Nation’s campaign finance laws, leaving a remnant incapable of dealing with the grave problems of democratic legitimacy that those laws were intended to resolve.”

But what does a world in which money is equitable with speech look like? It looks like billionaires being able to squelch out public opinion by flooding debates and elections in a never-ending escalation of rhetorical arms. It looks like a society where the right of the lowest and poorest to speak must be earned by hard labor, as are their meager wages. That’s the world Justice Roberts has set us on track to meet.

To get us there, he is also ignoring a history of corruption that led to the need for these campaign finance laws in the first place. Roberts seems to be persuaded that we live in a world where the corruption that is likely to occur involves massive transactions to single candidates in return for political favors and that the possibility of something more pervasive and sinister is improbable.

The problem, which Dahlia Lithwick hits on the head, is that the removal of aggregate limits may now make it where billionaires and corporations are capable of making every politician beholden to them, leaving no room for the common man to speak.

All credit to Joshua a writer and researcher with Ring of Fire.


America Is No Longer For Sale: It’s Been Sold

11It used to be thought that America was for sale. Well, as a result of the Supreme Court ruling last week; what we see is that America has been sold. The “Citizens United” decision was one of the worst court decision rendered by any Supreme Court since the Dread Scott Decision. Make no mistake, when the ruling allows the richest people in America and in fact the world to spend unlimited amounts of money to fund a political candidate means – they can buy the government!

The Citizens United Supreme ruling says that corporations are viewed as people and have the right to contribute like a person. This ruling was unconscionable because it is a fact that corporations have far more resources to fund a candidate to support their interests than an individual. Oh, what they are saying is that a corporation is an individual! This was surely a huge gift for the Republicans because their souls rest with big business and their interests. Whereas, the fact is most people and individuals of the country cannot and are frozen out of the system and virtually silenced.

The recent McCutien court’s decision accomplishes exactly what the chief justice claims to abhor: it enhances the free speech rights of the wealthy and restricts the free speech rights of the many who cannot afford to donate millions. It gives clearance by law for a single person to give as much money as the want to anyone and how many candidates they want. For example, in the 2012 election cycle just about 600 people were able to give more money to candidates than 4.4 million of the rest of Americans.

This takes America back to the days of the Robber Barons of the beginning of the twentieth century when the richest people in America owned America. Laws were passed then to correct the inequities.  Accepting for the sake of argument that money is a form of free speech, the court ignored that our political representatives have only a finite amount of time and resources to respond to those of us who require their attention. Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. was wrong when he characterized the purpose of campaign finance laws as “to restrict the political participation of some in order to enhance the relative influence of others.”

Roberts’ view of the laws was enacted not to enhance the influence of some but to maintain the ability of the many to have their voices heard. What he is saying here is that a few can in influence the many with the power of the money in this age of media.

I’ll just say now we know what they mean when they say, “We the people” the people are talking about is the rich, and they create the means for them to get richer! The effects of what this court is doing will be devastating!!! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


The Urban Leagues State Of Black America 2014 Report

11WASHINGTON (AP) this article was taken from Huffpost speaking to the state of African-Americans and Latinos saying they are losing economic ground when compared with whites in the areas of employment and income as the United States pulls itself out of the Great Recession, the latest State of Black America report from the National Urban League says.

The annual report, called “One Nation Underemployed: Jobs Rebuild America,” noted that the underemployment rate for African-American workers was 20.5 percent, compared with 18.4 percent for Hispanic workers and 11.8 percent for white workers. Underemployment is defined as those who are jobless or working part-time jobs but desiring full-time work.

The report also said African-Americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. The unemployment rate for blacks was 12 percent in February, compared with 5.8 percent for whites.

“Many Americans are being left behind, and that includes African-Americans and Latinos who are being disproportionately left behind by the job creation that we see,” National Urban League President Marc Morial said.

Despite the dismal numbers, an analysis by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found African-Americans significantly more optimistic about their future standard of living than whites, regardless of income level, education or partisanship. Overall, 71 percent of blacks surveyed in the 2012 General Social Survey agreed that they have a good chance of improving their standard of living, outpacing the share among whites by 25 percentage points.

The survey found high optimism even among blacks who say racism is a cause for economic inequality.

Such findings illustrate “a level of optimism in the African-American community and it’s important to lift that up,” said La June Montgomery Tabron, president and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, which released similar findings this week in separate research.

The National Urban League is pushing for several economic measures, including an increase in the minimum wage, an issue being debated in Congress. Democrats backed by President Barack Obama want to force election-year votes on gradually increasing today’s minimum to $10.10 by 2016, an effort that seems likely to fail in Congress. Republicans generally oppose the proposal, saying it would cost too many jobs.

“More must be done in post-recession America to try to help people and help communities close these gaps,” Morial said.

The National Urban League derives its numbers from an “equality index” that is based on nationally collected data from federal agencies including the Census Bureau, the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the National Center for Education Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With full equality with whites in economics, health, education, social justice and civic engagement set at 100 percent, the National Urban League said this year’s equality index for blacks stands at 71.2 percent, a slight improvement over last year’s index of 71.0 percent. However, the economic portion of the index dropped from 56.3 percent to 55.5 percent.

The equality index for Hispanics improved to 75.8 percent, compared with 74.6 percent last year, while the Hispanic economics index declined from 60.8 percent to 60.6 percent.

The report for the first time ranked large American cities from most equal to least equal when it comes to income equality and unemployment equality.

Memphis, Tenn., ranked the most equal for Hispanics when it came to unemployment equality, because in that city the Latino unemployment rate was only 3.8 percent, compared with a 6.5 percent unemployment rate for whites. For blacks, the Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., metropolitan area was most equal, with a 13.3 percent unemployment rate for blacks and an 8.5 percent unemployment rate for whites.

When it came to income, the most equal city for blacks was Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, Calif., where the median black household income was $44,572, while the median white household brought in $57,252. For Hispanics, Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., was most equal, with median Hispanic income of $39,434 and median white income of $44,014.

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Follow Jesse J. Holland on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jessejholland

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AP-NORC Center report on the public mood:http://www.apnorc.org/projects/Pages/the-public-mood-white-malaise-but-optimism-among-blacks-hispanics.aspx

National Urban League: http://www.nul.org


What Would Jesus Say?

22

Let me offer a few thoughts concerning the current political discourse revolving around the health care bill. I wonder, how can the conservatives claim to be Christian and love God who they cannot see, but cannot love the people who they work for and can see?

The Affordable Health Act is something that all moral people of other nations provide their citizens with the ability to afford medical treatment when they are sick. We know that we are being poisoned by the food we eat, air we breathe and probably everything else we encounter in our environment that many think is by design; it allows the cartels to profit. However, we have a great president who has won the Nobel Peace Prize and have accomplished something that no administration has done since the idea of health care reform was first introduced over a hundred years ago.

I’ve watched the outrageous antics displayed during town hall meetings where the opponents of something as morally correct as helping the sick be able to afford the cost of staying alive – “act a fool”. Many of these folks are Republicans, and it’s safe to assume they call themselves compassionate conservatives or Christian Conservatives. Yet, they display such outrage and bigotry over an issue that would greatly benefit the lives so many human beings.

These same folks are all for bringing democracy to countries around the world to care about those people, but they apparently are not willing to accept it here unless it is financially beneficial to them. At a town hall event, a news report covering the issue asked someone attending the rally; what are your concerns? She said, “We want our country back”. As if the country was overthrown. The elderly woman went on to say “she wanted to restore the country back to what the founding fathers wanted in the Constitution”.

I looked at her wondering if she was aware that the Constitution was signed in 1787 by all white men excluding everybody but them. The founding fathers she referred to lived in a time when they owned human beings as chattel and women had no rights whatsoever. Nonetheless, she was correct in that the Constitution affords us the right to free speech no matter how ridiculous it might be. I suppose this is the hypocrisy of democracy.

In her rage, she also said she does not want the government in her life making medical decisions for her. Hmmm – but it is ok when it’s the insurance company’s and HMO’s. The woman claims “Obama wants the government to kill old people, socialize medicine, and take away our Medicare”. The lady who looked to be in her seventies and was wearing a t-shirt that said support the troops obviously did not understand that both entities are government systems providing medical services that are socialized. I’ll bet receives and takes advantage of Social Security.

The most disrespectful was a sign that had the president looking like Hitler, arguably the worst man to every live. This might just be the reason for the all the Nazi remarks that could very well be a codeword for N- — (n word), just like they throw around words like communist or socialist, when referring to our president. Let’s be clear, the real issue is the face of what America looks like; a black President, Department of Justice head – black, a Latin Supreme Court Justice the new faces of ultimate power that are no longer all white men.

I don’t have to go back thirty or forty years because these people are the same ones we saw last summer attending rallies held by President Obama’s campaign opponent. However, I am old enough to remember the Jim Crow era when bigotry was a way of life and segregation was the law of the land. The problem is, I think, most African Americans have forgotten what it was like to be “Colored” and in spite of wanting to forget it, I believe we are witnessing a “Columbus Experience”. By that I mean, we are discovering America or at least that segment of the “Real America” the now former Governor decried during the presidential campaign. Because, the actions of these people are eerily similar to the racism of a time I’d hoped to never see again.

If we were to witness the Second Coming of Jesus, another question would be; what would he say about you? Believing and knowing that his life was lived in service of the least of thee and also died to save us – I wonder if he would react much in the way he did with the thieves in the temple. I am certain he will not be happy! Frankly, if he does those people who pretend to love him will quickly find out that he is not going to be happy. He is not going to be happy! And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

 


KKK Leader: ‘We’re A Christian Organization’

22Let me share this ridiculous article I read today in the Huffington Post. Since they don’t have a way of sharing, I want to give them their just due and re-blogging it to my audience. These clowns are saying what they’ve been saying since the first day they hide behind the sheet. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…

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The leader of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan is tired of “a few rogue Klansmen” ruining the group’s reputation, and argues that the group is a non-violent Christian organization.

“We don’t hate people because of their race, I mean, we’re a Christian organization,” Frank Ancona, the group’s Imperial Wizard, told Virginia’s NBC 12 on Thursday. “Because of the acts of a few rogue Klansmen, all Klansmen are supposed to be murderers, and wanting to lynch black people, and we’re supposed to be terrorists. That’s a complete falsehood.”

Ancona’s group has come under fire from residents of Chesterfield County, Va., about 20 miles south of Richmond, for distributing KKK recruitment fliers in people’s yards since January.

“We picked ours up out of our driveway and threw it in the trash,” Sarah Peachee told NBC 12. “We weren’t interested in even reading about it.”

Ancona defended the strategy, however, citing a boom in KKK membership across the country since 2008.

“In the last six years that I’ve been president of this organization I’ve seen the numbers probably triple,” Ancona told NBC 12. “The funny thing is the same neighborhoods where you’re saying there are people who don’t want the flier are neighborhoods where our members live, and neighborhoods where people are sympathetic to our cause and are glad to hear from us.”

Although Ancona insisted that the KKK is not a hate group, he added that “We just want to keep our race the white race.”

“We want to stay white,” Ancona said. “It’s not a hateful thing to want to maintain white supremacy.”

Similar activity by the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan was reported in Tinley Park, a suburb of Chicago, in December, after promotional fliers were found in several driveways throughout the town.

“You can sleep tonight knowing the Klan is awake!” the fliers said, according to the Chicago Tribune.


Tea-Party Anyone

22I have lived long enough to have witnessed a lot of history and there always seems to be one constant – “Nothing is as it seems”. As a child I can remember was watching terrorist [the KKK] marching through the rural area where I lived carrying crosses.

I have also seen those strains of thinking espoused by the John Birch Society, the so-called religious right, compassionate conservatives, and other right-wing groups during the segregated days of 1950s and 60s. Now there is a new repackaged conservatism that is a diverse movement with many philosophical threads and tensions who call themselves the Tea Party.

In my view, the rise of the Tea Party movement is nothing more than a throwback to the old form of libertarianism that sees most of the domestic policies that government has undertaken since Roosevelt as unconstitutional, to include many civil rights initiatives. The reason, I believe, is because, from their view, the government became socially conscience and began to address the needs of the elderly, the poor, and the least of thee. This element of society typically perceives these issues as dangerous threats to freedom and to the well-educated elitists that support “American values” or as they say “Real Americans”.

Let me be a critic for a moment. These compassionate folks tend to show their compassion, oftentimes, in support of big-business with their public rhetoric intended for their own self-serving agendas. For example, compare government today to recent history, i.e. the Bush years. This is amazing precisely because it underscored how far this element is to the extreme as it relates to mainstream America. When faced with a choice between supporting a large the horrors of Bush and Obama the reality is as stark as black and white.

A group called Tea Party Patriots that describes itself as “a community committed to standing together, shoulder to shoulder, to protect our country and the Constitution upon which we were founded!” Tea Party Nation says it is “a user-driven group of like-minded people who desire our God given Individual Freedoms which were written out by the Founding Fathers.” My question is to them; have they read the original Constitution? These Founding Fathers were really terrorists, and these same men were slave owners. They wrote Negroes were 3/5th a man, and denied women all rights. Is this what they want to go back too?

What’s remarkable is the extent to which the movement has displaced the religious-right as the dominant voice of conservative militancy. The religious conservatives have not disappeared. But these issues have been overshadowed by the broader anti-government themes pushed by the New Old Right, and the “compassionate conservatism” that inspires parts of the Christian political movement has no place in the right’s current order of battle.

This seems un-American to me, dangerous, and frankly just a resurrection of an America that even they have forgotten the horror of it. Let me digress, this is the place that invented racism through its apartheid like policies, so I guess that is their American way. And that’s my thought provoking perspective…


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