Tuesday, February 20, 2018

TRUMP IS GUILTY AS SIN AND A THREAT TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

TRUMP IS GUILTY AS SIN AND A THREAT TO AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
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Donald Trump's behavior says it all. An innocent man would simply quietly wait out the Russian investigation and review the results. But not Trump - he's been firing people, threatening to fire others, literally climbing the walls, and totally preoccupied with the investigation to the exclusion of everything else. Why? He's publically humiliated his own Attorney General for recusing himself and failing to maintain control of the investigation. Why?  He’s also been slandering our most respected government institutions who have a mandate to protect the American people. Why?  And he seems to be furious at everybody BUT the Russians who attacked our democracy. Why?  And why did Trump try to set up back channel communications with the Russians that was outside the hearing of our intelligence services? In addition, Trump has refused to put sanctions into place that was voted in against Russia as the bipartisan will of the 2017 congress - and he was FORCED to sign. Why?  Is Trump afraid of Russia for some reason? It sure seems like it, and it is essential to our national security that we ask ourselves, Why?
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Further, Trump tweeted that "If it was the GOAL of Russia to create discord, disruption and chaos within the U.S. then, with all of the Committee Hearings, Investigations and Party hatred, they have succeeded beyond their wildest dreams. They are laughing their asses off in Moscow. Get smart America!" If he recognizes that as Russia's agenda, why is it that his own agenda seems to be in perfect sync with that of the Russians rather than what's in the best interest of the United States? For the entire year that he's been in office he's mounted a relentless attack on all of America's most cherished government institutions, from his attacks on congress, to his unconscionable attacks on the FBI, CIA, and our other intelligence agencies, to his brutal undermining of our judiciary, justice department, and the press. Why?
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SHEPARD SMITH OF FOX NEWS GOES AFTER TRUMP FOR NOT CONDEMNING RUSSIA IN TWEETSTORM
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SHEPARD SMITH
Even FOX News seems to agree that Trump's behavior in this matter is peculiar. Shepard Smith of FOX News went after Trump for not condemning Russia in his tweetstorm subsequent to the announcement of the 13 indictments.  Smith said:
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"The president spent the weekend defending himself, misrepresenting the truth and attacking others from his phone in Florida. " Smith went on to say, "Trump attacked the Department of Justice, the FBI, national security adviser H.R. McMaster, as well as Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), former President Obama and Oprah Winfrey.  Yet, "He did not attack Vladimir Putin or Russia, nor did he express concern that the Russians attacked the United States. Nor did he pledge in any way to put measures in place to stop future attacks."

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Trump has been involved with the Russians long before the election, that's why Mueller indicted these 13 Russians. This is just the tip of the iceberg. It goes much deeper than just Russians interfering in our election. That’s just a small part of a much larger conspiracy. That explains why conservatives are telling Trump to simply pardon everybody involved in the Russian investigation. Why would they want to pardon people who attacked our democracy unless Trump was involved and they don’t want it to come out in plea bargains? 
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It's beginning to look like Putin is controlling Trump, and thereby, this nation. That’s why the Russians wanted him to win the presidency in the first place. It looks like the Russians have dirt on Trump, and they’ve turned him into the Manchurian Candidate. Even as we speak, Trump could be filling our government with Russian operatives, much like he did his campaign, and they, in turn, could be hiring others, so Putin will still have influence over the inner-workings of our government regardless to what happens to Trump. This is a serious situation, so the American people needs to take it seriously - very seriously.  This is not just politics as usual.  This is a fight for American democracy that is just as serious as WWII.

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SOME OF THE 13 RUSSIANS WHO WERE INDICTED PULLED TRUMP OUT OF BANKRUPTCY AND WENT INTO BUSINESS WITH HIM. THAT IS WHY TRUMP DIDN'T WANT MUELLER DIGGING INTO HIS PRIVATE BUSINESS.
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THE DUBIOUS FRIENDS OF DONALD TRUMP
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Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

ABOUT ALL THIS PRAYIN’ AND CHURCH-IFYIN’

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

ABOUT ALL THIS PRAYIN’ AND CHURCH-IFYIN’
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TO EVANGELICALS:
IF YOUR GOD IS NOT TELLING YOU
TRUMP IS AN EVIL-MINDED LUNATIC,
YOU’RE TALKING TO THE WRONG PERSON.
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Wait a minute, lady, you just called me a “demonic lunatic!” Now, you know that wasn't very Christian of you, now, don’t you? We can't just be Christian when we want to be. So, tell me, whatever happened to that “Turning the other cheek”, and "Judge ye not” that you’re always talkin’ about?  But now that you don't like my political position your Christian love seems to have flown right out the window, hasn’t it?
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You see, there are two kinds of people who claim to be Christians, the first are the hypocrites, of which you seem to be a charter member. These people are Christian in flappin’ lips and spewin' Bible verses only. They love to go around spewing the Bible and criticizing others as they casually go about their lives molesting children, exploiting the weak, and grabbing the genitals of the opposite sex.  Such people place genuine Christians in a bad light. Genuine Christians generally keep their mouths shut and simply live their faith - all five of them.
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But what this is really about is that you called me a demonic lunatic because I don't like Donald Trump.  Now, the jury is still out on whether or not I’m a lunatic, but I don’t have to worry about all that demonic nonsense, because I'm not a Christian so I don’t believe in demons. So, you see, I'm free to say what's REALLY on my mind instead of trying to fool God by lyin' to him. I don't have to try to cover up bigotry and hatred of everybody who doesn't look, think, and act like me by claiming to love Trump because I want America to be great again.  God knows what's you’re thinking. He knows that you only love Trump because he's helping you to make America evil and racist again. So you fake Christians better hope like hell that God's not at Heaven's gate asking questions to see whether you'll try to lie to him or not, because if he is, all he'd have to ask you is one question, "Do you REALLY believe in walking dead men, talkin' snakes, and loving your neighbor?" If he does, you're all going to Hell for lyin'.
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You people are evil, and destroying this country.  While you’re running around talking about how much you love Jesus, you’re robbing, murdering, stealing, and creating absolute chaos all over the world. You've slaughtered over a 100 million Native Americans, and no telling how many Black people. So I mean, really, do you really think God is actually gonna let your hypocritical, lyin’, self-righteous asses into Heaven!!!? Not on your life. In fact, it would be impossible for one very simple and logical reason -  because with you in Heaven, it would turn Heaven into Hell for everyone else. Who would want to sit around listenin’ to Pat Robertson lyin' throughout eternity?  That would be more than even God could take. 

But I ain’t just singling you White folks out. We have some very tiresome Black Christians as well - but I also blame you for that, because you’re the ones who taught ‘em to be lyin', greedy hypocrites.  For that reason, Black Christians are gonna have a very unique problem in Heaven. Since there's nowhere in Heaven to buy a big car, and T.D Jakes won't be able to find nowhere to buy his tailor-made fugadoo suits, they ain’t gonna be able to find nobody willing to preach.
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TURN OFF THE ONLY THING YOU KNOW GOD GAVE YOU!!!?
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I'M TRYING MY BEST, LORD, BUT THEY'VE BEEN
BRAINWASHED FROM CHILDHOOD.  THEY THINK YOU'RE GONNA BE MAD AT 'EM IF THEY THINK.
HOW DO YOU GET THROUGH TO PEOPLE WHO GIVE AWAY THEIR MONEY TO GET THE'RE BILLS PAID? 
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Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

THE GRITS AND GRAVY DEBATE

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

THE GRITS AND GRAVY DEBATE
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The Black community wastes far too much time sharing recipes, and not nearly enough time sharing knowledge and wisdom.  We've been trying the grits and gravy approach for 400 years now, and where has it gotten us?  Yet, when I brought up the prospect of recognizing the need to use the most powerful organizing tool known to man to address this issue and reassess our priorities, many people became up-in- arms over what they claimed was my attempt to ban the sharing of recipes, which was ridiculous. But it seems that I’ve inadvertently revealed two very serious problems in the Black community.  First, the seeming inability of many of us to prioritize and differentiate between the frivolous, and those issues that are a serious matter of survival, and secondly, our tendency to go out of our way to look for ways to be obstinate, disruptive, and disagreeable in order to corrupt serious discussion.
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It was clearly not my intent to ban the sharing of recipes. My point wasn’t even about recipes, per se. “Sharing recipes” was merely a metaphor to reflect our tendency to focus on the frivolous. My point was actually about priorities, and the fact that we tend to place much too much emphasis on the frivolous, and much too little on the things that can improve our condition. A perfect example of that is, instead of working together to improve our condition, we try to put up fronts with each other to give the impression that we've already "arrived," like buying big new cars that forces us to deprive our kids and starve to death to afford. So instead of wasting our time discussing grits and gravy recipes, we need to be in serious discussions with one another about the need to change our cultural mores, and investing in our community, instead of trying to front-off as individuals.
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But when I broached this subject, you would have thought the sky was falling. Instead of focusing on the part of my statement which referred to improving our condition, many completely ignored the substantive part of the comment, and focused like a laser on what they claimed was my suggestion that they stop sharing recipes.  It was like I committed a mortal sin. Of course, they knew better, but it was a clumsy form of obfuscation in an attempt redirect the discussion. So while my intent was to inform, what I actually did was inadvertently bring out a very interesting characteristic in our people, that many of us are much more interested in the social and the frivolous than we are the practical and serious. The discussion became so heated that I actually had to block a couple of people, but when I look back on it, it might have been partially my fault, because I have a very low threshold for ignorance and stupidity. I tend to be a bigot in that regard, but a writer should never give-in to his personal disposition and always remain remote and objective towards his subject matter.
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But one of the reasons that I became so irritated was because I recognized many of the response as Willie Lynch-inspired.  While many Black people don’t realize it, the tendency to be disagreeable and nitpicky toward other Blacks was psychologically bred into us during slavery. Slave masters instilled that character flaw in us to insure that we would never be able to successfully come together to rebel against them - and it can be on any subject. We could be discussing the horrors of picking cotton, and somebody will say, “Why pick on cotton, what about wool?” - in spite of the fact that you don’t have to pick wool.  But they’ll find a way to turn it into a counterproductive and distracting argument nevertheless, and thereby, disrupt the focus of the discussion.
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Thus, many Black people have an unnatural tendency to be distrusting and hostile toward any Black person who advocates any kind of change to the status quo.  Black people were bred to be protectors of the status quo; there were even a few who fought against the abolishment of slavery.  Many Black people claimed, for example, that Tavis Smiley and Cornel West were justified in taking a bus all over the country criticizing Barack Obama’s conduct in office. They claimed they were doing it because of their love for the Black community, but the truth was, these men didn't care anything about the Black community. They were haters, and they used the Black community as a pretext to justify their ignorance.  They started criticizing Obama long before he even entered office. Look at the video below of Tavis and West on THE VERY DAY that Senator Obama threw his hat in the ring just to RUN for office, and the truly ugly part of their character was, when it became clear that Obama could actually win, Cornel West jumped the fence and tried to start supporting him.
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So it's all about mindset. We can always find an excuse for being obstinate, and we've become experts at it.  During the election when they were so insistent on knowing where Obama's money was coming from, they didn't say a word about Hillary Clinton, and where are Tavis and West now that Donald Trump's in office? All we hear now are crickets - and there's a good reason for that. It's because Tavis and West are comfortable with Trump running America, because he's a White man. Even though he's an absolute horror, he's a White horror, and he represents a status quo that they're accustom to, and quite comfortable with.
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So even though we often fail to recognize it, many Black people contracted a serious mental disorder during slavery, and it's been passed down through the generations over the years. It entails an innate distrust and disdain of our own people, a lack of focus and the ability to prioritize, and the tendency to be disagreeable and hostile toward anyone who challenges the status quo. That attitude makes it next to impossible for Black people to organize to improve our condition - and it also serves to insure the stability of this White supremacist system. Even Martin Luther King was initially criticized by the Black church for causing an unnecessary disturbance to the status quo. They told him to stop rockin' the boat and just pray on it, and eventually racism and bigotry would work itself out. And that mindset is so pronounced within the Black community that Malcolm was even killed by his own people. So the White man has done his job well, which brings me back to grits and gravy.
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While we might love using the most powerful tool on the planet to share recipes and such, the Black community has far too much work to do to waste our time engaging in such frivolous pursuits. Now, I’m not suggesting that we cease socializing in such ways altogether, but we must get away from making it our primary way of life. If we want to move forward in a society that has the odds stacked against us, we must learn to stick together, organize, focus, and make knowledge and a dedication to serious pursuits what it means to have “soul,” and sharing grits and gravy is not going to help us in that regard.
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Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Wednesday, February 07, 2018

TRUMP ORDERS PENTAGON TO ORGANIZE A MILITARY PARADE - FOR TRUMP

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

TRUMP ORDERS PENTAGON TO ORGANIZE A MILITARY PARADE - FOR TRUMP
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Donald Trump’s childish propensity for meaningless and over-the-top ostentation and bombasity has once again reared it ugly head. The Washington Post reported that Trump has ordered the pentagon to organize a huge military parade to be held in Washington, D.C. in the very near future.  While several other countries routinely stage such parades as a part of their national tradition, the United States as a rule has shied away from that kind of military muscle-flexing except upon return of our troops from overseas and to punctuate the end of foreign wars. Adjusted for inflation, the cost of the parade that George H.W. Bush gave after the Gulf War was $21 million.
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Nevertheless, according to the Washington Post, Trump's “marching orders were: ‘I want a parade like the one in France [on Bastille Day],’ a military official told The Post,” and the details are currently being worked out at the highest levels of the military. But there's a burning question that begs to be answered here - what’s motivating Trump to waste badly needed taxpayer dollars to indulge in such an unprecedented whim?  It's an extremely bizarre demand, to say the least.
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White House Press Secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, said in a statement that “President Trump is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe," she said, so "he has asked the Department of Defense to explore a celebration at which all Americans can show their appreciation.” That neither rings true, nor does it reflect his actions with regard to veterans. Yes, Donald Trump is more than willing praise our military veterans to promote his whims and agenda, but he’s also made it clear that he’s willing to cut their throats at the drop of a hat.
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Military.com, reported the following:
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The Trump budget “would cap the next military pay raise; hike healthcare fees ‘modestly’ for working-age military retirees, and increase co-payments on pharmacy drugs for TRICARE beneficiaries, including retirees of any age.” It goes on to say, the “administration has fresh cost-cutting plans. Many target federal civilian employees but one that would hit 208,000 seriously disabled older veterans particularly hard. These “IU” veterans have disability ratings from the Department of Veterans Affairs of 60 to 90 percent, but because they aren’t able to work they receive VA compensation as if 100-percent disabled.  Individual Unemployability or IU status provides, on average, an additional $1300 a month in VA disability pay. The administration wants Congress to end IU eligibility next year for any veteran 62 and older who qualifies for at least minimum Social Security payments. Their VA compensation would be rolled back to amounts payable based on their actual disability ratings of 60 to 90 percent.”
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That budget doesn't reflect the actions of a man who "is incredibly supportive of America’s great service members who risk their lives every day to keep our country safe," at all. What it reflects is a cynical manipulator who has absolutely no problem with using suffering vets to promote his own interests. Especially when we consider that they just wasted $24 million on a new refrigerator for Air Force One, and $349.2 million last year just to  play golf. Are these the same Republicans who are always complaining about wasteful government spending?
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In addition, I find it quite odd that all of a sudden Donald Trump has morphed into this super-patriot who loves the military. If this is indeed the case, his passionate love for the military must be a newly acquired taste, because when Donald Trump had the opportunity to demonstrate his love for this country he obtained 5 deferments (FIVE!!!) to avoid the draft, and that has been a Trump family tradition.  Both his father, grandfather, and now his sons all avoided military service as well. So four generations of Trumps ran like hell when they had an opportunity to serve their country. But now he loves the troops so much he wants to give them a parade, even as he’s robbing them of their benefits to finance nauseatingly huge tax cuts for the top 1% of this country’s controlling oligarchs. 
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So all of that strongly suggests that it's not very likely that Trump wants to stage a parade for our troops. The much more obvious answer - and the ramifications of which should be absolutely chilling to all Americans - is he wants to squander millions of taxpayer dollars in order to hold a parade in honor of himself.  That's not only terrifying due of his gross disregard and manipulation of the American people, but because it speaks directly to his narcissistic vision of himself, and his widely suspected mental instability and autocratic tendencies.  And what's equally terrifying and disgusting is, instead of trying to protect American democracy the Republican Party is catering to Trump's obvious instability for their own selfish gain.
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Retired Major General Paul Eaton penned what some have referred to as a "jaw-dropping" response to Trump's call for a military parade. The general said the following:
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MAJOR GENERAL PAUL EATON
“Donald Trump has continually shown himself to have authoritarian tendencies, and this is just another example, For someone who just declared it was ‘treasonous’ to not applaud him, and for someone who has, in the past, admired the tactics of everyone from Saddam Hussein to Vladimir Putin, it is clear that a military parade isn’t about saluting the military — it’s about making a display of the military saluting him.
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“The military is not Donald Trump’s to use and abuse in this way.” The retired major general went on to say that the military would not be “reduced to stagecraft to prop up Donald Trump’s image.
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“Unfortunately, we do not have a commander in chief, right now, as much as we have a banana republic strong man.”
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So the stakes are too high for us to continue to tap dance around this issue - Donald Trump is unstable; we all know it, and the heads of state of all of the nations of the world know it. In fact, many of our long-time allies are distancing themselves from us for just that reason. Due to Donald Trump, America is no longer being led buy the best among us, but the loudest, most obnoxious, and craziest among us, and he's flooding our government with more like himself on a daily basis.  That's not only a huge threat to our democracy, but to our very existence. And further. we cannot trust this man's judgement, that's why his attorneys don't want him to be interviewed by Special Prosecutor Mueller.  What if Trump's approval ratings fall into the twenties and he decides that the best way to get them back up is to engage in a "limited" nuclear exchange with North Korea, or if Kim Jong Un says or does something that fractures Trump's fragile ego or sense of narcissism? A simple slight could lead to the end the world.
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And finally, Trump's demand for a military parade for himself clearly shows that he's not interested in what he can do to improve America or the world at all; it's all about Donald Trump. Through his narcissistic eyes all America represents to him is a powerful extension of his own ego.  So we're in a precariously dangerous situation. Absolutely everything that Trump has done since he's been in office has been designed to make himself look good to his mindless supporters, so this can't continue.  Donald Trump is about to implode, so it is absolutely imperative that we take the necessary steps to insure that he can't take America, and the world, down with him.  This man doesn't belong in the White House; he belongs in a state hospital - and if we continue to just sit on our hands and do nothing, maybe we belong there with him.
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SO FACE IT, TRUMP
NOT EVEN A MILITARY PARADE WILL MAKE YOU
EQUAL TO THIS BLACK MAN



Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com
Citizens Against Reckless Middle-Class Abuse (CARMA)
.
Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Friday, February 02, 2018

WHY MANY BLACK PEOPLE FEEL A MORAL OBLIGATION TO PRETEND TO BE IGNORANT

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

WHY MANY BLACK PEOPLE FEEL A MORAL OBLIGATION TO PRETEND TO BE IGNORANT
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One of the major problems that we have in the Black community is a failure to recognize our own intellect. We fail to realize that having to deal with adversity from the time we wake up in the morning until the time we close our eyes at night has made us more, rather than less. We assume that everybody can see and understand everything that we can plainly see, and that our unique insight into reality is simply common knowledge. It's not. But as a result of this assumption, we tend to dismiss our intellect as routine, or average, and invest all of our intellectual potential into being cool and “soulful” instead of in math, science, philosophy and psychology. By making that erroneous assumption, we're severely short-changing ourselves, and the world. So it is a must that Black people start to take our intellectual development more seriously, and make knowledge the new “soul.”
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What Black people call "soul" is actually creativity, and as any cognitive scientist can tell you, creativity is intelligence.  So if Black people are known for having soul, what that actually means is we're known for having intelligence.  What we call soul is actually intelligence seeping out through the cracks as a result of not being used for other pursuits. Thus, the reason that Black people seem to have so much "soul," is because we were prevented from expressing our knowledge, intellect, and creativity in any other way. Later, we developed a hostility toward knowledge as a direct result of our history of bondage in this country, but it's time for all of that to come to an end.
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During slavery, house slaves, who were the more educated among us, had a tendency to look down their noses at field slaves. As a result, many of us developed a hostility toward knowledge. We tend to feel that Black people who take pride in their intellect, or who are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge are trying to be White. So instead of embracing our intellect, many of us take great pains  to hide it.  That’s why Black intellectuals like Cornel West and Michael Eric Dyson are always trying to be so cool. Their attempt to be cool is actually an apology to the Black community for pursuing knowledge. Their actions tend to say, “Yeah, I’m a professor with multiple degrees, but that don’t mean I ain’t one of you.”  What that demonstrates is that they feel that they have a moral obligation to be ignorant in order to prove their Blackness.”  Young brothers on the street do the same thing when they say things like “What it be like?”,  “What it is?”, or  “Stay Woke.”  They know that’s bad English, but they feel an obligation to sound illiterate to prove their Blackness.
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Another reason that many Black people feign ignorance is for survival. When my grandparents, who raised me while my mother was in college, would go back to visit Louisiana, they would never take me along. When I asked them why, my grandfather said, “Because you talk too much and you could get us killed.”  You see, many White folks are very insecure, so during the Jim Crow era, one of the fastest ways for a Black person to be lynched was to let White folks know that he was smarter or better than them in any way. And even now, the fastest way to lose a job is to let your boss know that you’re smarter than he is.
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There are a lot of White folks who don’t appreciate Blacks having the audacity to be intelligent at all, because it’s a direct assault on their delusion of superiority, and in many cases that delusion reinforces their entire sense of self-esteem - "I might not be much, but at least I'm better than them." That's the primary reason they hate Barack Obama so intensely, because he's walking and breathing proof that their delusion of superiority is a myth.  Clear evidence of that can be seen in the fact that even though Obama has long since gone on about his business, Donald Trump is still trying to compete with him. You'd think that Barack was living next door. So old-school Black people had a rule of thumb that my grandfather laid out to me as a kid - “Never tell people everything you know.”
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But it’s time to set those old traditions and attitudes aside.  The new paradigm in this country is not just about race, but class. The Donald Trumps of this world don’t care any more about poor and working class White people than they do Blacks and other minorities, and Black people have a unique understanding of White supremacy that other groups lack, so it has become our responsibility to educate them. If poor and working class Americans are going to survive in this country, it’s is imperative for Black people to step up to the plate, because  ironically, it’s going to fall on the shoulders of the Black community to first, educate itself, and then begin to educate others on how to deal with this greedy and self-serving beast - and we can do this.
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An excellent example of who we actually are was reflected around the turn of the 20th Century, when you could find Black musicians sitting along the side of the road playing washboards, tubs, and anything they could put together that would make a sound. When people passed them by, including White musicians, they would simply smile, and sometimes even throw them a few pennies for the modest effort and industry that they displayed for even attempting to make real music with such crude instruments.
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These simple music-makers were looked upon as "quaint". There was no hostility towards them at all, because they weren't a threat. After all, they couldn't possibly be a threat to the White musicians, since they could never hope to get any real instruction in music. Most of them couldn't even read their names, so why should anyone ever worry about them learning to read music? They had to struggle just to get through grade school, so what threat did they pose to White musicians who had access to the great music conservatories of the world?
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WHO WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THIS
YOUNG MAN WOULD BECOME ONE
OF OUR GREATEST PRESIDENTS? 
Well, little did the world know that in the very near future, those simple little ragtag musicians with their makeshift instruments would morph into some of the greatest musicians the world has ever known. They would contribute one of the most important and harmonically complex forms of music to the world in the history of all mankind. Few knew at the time that one day Universities, musicologists, and music conservatories all over the world would struggle to understand the complexity of their musical genius, and even fewer could have guessed that many of these "quaint" musicians would someday become world renowned, and synonymous with their respective instruments–Louis Armstrong, Jellyroll Morton, Duke Ellington, Charlie Parker, Miles Davis, John Coltrane–just to mention a few.
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As a point of irony, I began to typed "Duke" into Google, and the program completed my entry with a list that presented Duke Ellington before the Duke of Windsor. I'd say that says it all about the impact that the Black culture has had on this society, and the world.
But what we've got to recognize and address as a community is that creativity is not restricted to just music. The reason that the creative genius of Black people has been reflected more in music than in business, science, or technology is because it was an area where we didn't have to depend on the approval of others, and more importantly, we were rewarded in the community for its development. We've also got to recognize, as any scientist who studies cognition well knows, creativity is not stagnant–it has associative properties that allow it to be transferred from one endeavor to another. Thus, as Barack Obama has clearly demonstrated, Black people have much more to offer the world than a twelve bar blues.
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But due to the racist history of this country, the intellectual capacity of Black people have always been grossly underestimated.  Thomas Jefferson said the following:
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“They [Black people] are more generally gifted than the whites with accurate ears for tune and time, and they have been found capable of imagining a small catch. … Whether they will be equal to the composition of a more extensive run of melody, or of complicated harmony, is yet to be proved.”
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Well, I wonder what Tom would have to say about this regarding our ability to be "equal to the composition of a more extensive run of melody?"
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So just as the Black community has educated the world in music, it now falls upon us to educate them in generalized knowledge and common sense. Thus, we must educate ourselves against divisiveness and begin to recognize that our battle is not against THE White man, but against a particular GROUP of White men. If we fail to recognize that fact and continue to allow them to stir division among the working class - Blacks, Whites, Asians, Hispanics, gays and straights - we’ve already lost.  Because as Barack Obama pointed out, we must begin to recognize that “We are the change that we seek.”
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Thursday, February 01, 2018

DID GOD CHOOSE ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE OVER OTHERS AND VALIDATE SLAVERY?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

DID GOD CHOOSE ONE GROUP OF PEOPLE OVER OTHERS AND VALIDATE SLAVERY?
ACCORDING TO THE BIBLE, HE DID - AND BLACK PEOPLE WORSHIP IT
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Christians often tell me that they’re following the word of God as prescribed in the Bible, and as we all know, they say, the Bible is the word of God. We know that for a fact because the Bible says it’s the word of God in no uncertain terms.
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In response, I tell them that they can just call me a mindless heathen and an instrument of “Satan” if I have to buy into that, because it strikes me as pure lunacy and lacking in common sense from my point of view. You cannot use the Bible to validate the Bible, yet, Christians do it routinely as though it’s a perfectly natural thing to do.
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There are many reasons to question the veracity of the Bible’s claim to be the word of God, and one of the many reasons is it tends to share all of the prejudices of the people who wrote it. For example, it only acknowledges the people who wrote it as worthy of God’s interest. Did God only speak to them?  It all but ignores women, and the people of other lands. Where is the book of Mumbulu, Nancy, or Chong, for example? They’re all but dismissed, because they were unimportant to the people who wrote and/or compiled the Bible. Do you really believe that God would select a “chosen people" over all others (For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God, and the LORD hath chosen thee to be a peculiar people unto himself, above all the nations that are - Deuteronomy 14:2), or that God would validate slavery (Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ” - Ephesians 6:5)?  I don’t think so, but according to the Bible, God did both.
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The fact is, the “Holy Bible” that Christians Worship today was both compiled, and “blessed,” by the Catholic Church, not God, and any book that disagreed with the Catholic Church was banned.  What Christians refer to as "The Holy Bible," and what preachers run around thumping, wasn’t even compiled until almost 400 years after the death of Jesus. So everything in it is hearsay.  In terms of years, at the time the Bible was compiled they were twice as far away from the life and times of Jesus Christ as we are away from the life and times of George Washington today.  So in reality, they didn’t know fact from fiction, or any more than we know about whether or not George Washington actually chopped down a cherry tree.
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"For the first 300 years of Christianity, there was no Bible as we know it today.  Christians had the Old Testament Septuagint, and literally hundreds of other books from which to choose.  The Catholic Church realized early on that it had to decide which of these books were inspired and which ones weren't.  The debates raged between theologians, Bishops, and Church Fathers for several centuries as to which books were inspired and which ones weren't.  In the meantime, several Church Councils, or Synods, were convened to deal with the matter, notably, Rome in 382, Hippo in 393, and Carthage in 397 and 419.  The debates sometimes became bitter on both sides.  One of the most famous was between St. Jerome, who felt the seven books were not canonical, and St. Augustine who said they were.  Protestants who write about this will invariably mention St. Jerome and his opposition, and conveniently omit the support of St. Augustine. 
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“I must point out here that Church Father's writings are not infallible statements, and their arguments are merely reflections of their own private opinions.  There are always three sides to every story, this side, that side, and the side of truth.  Whether Jerome's position, or Augustine's position was the correct position, had to be settled by a third party, and that third party was the Catholic Church.
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"Now the story had a dramatic change as the Pope stepped in to settle the matter.  In concurrence with the opinion of St. Augustine, and being prompted by the Holy Spirit, Pope St. Damasus I, at the Council of Rome in 382, issued a decree appropriately called, "The Decree of Damasus," in which he listed the canonical books of both the Old and New Testaments.  He then asked St. Jerome to use this canon and to write a new Bible translation which included an Old Testament of 46 books, which were all in the Septuagint, and a New Testament of 27 books"
(http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080928064041AATOZUD).
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SO THE POPE HAD SPOKEN, AND THE ISSUE WAS SETTLED.  THUS, WHAT CHRISTIANS REFER TO AS "THE HOLY BIBLE" IS NOT THE WORD OF GOD, IT'S THE WORD OF POPE DAMASUS I.
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So as I pointed out in a previous article, truth and common sense dictates that it's all nonsense. If a devout Christian born in Georgia had been born in Israel, he would be a devout Jew, or if in Iran, a devout Muslim, or if he’d been born in China he would be a devoted Buddhist. That clearly demonstrates that religion is not of God, but of man. People are actually socialized into believing what they believe. If God had created religion to guide us, would he have created so many of them that they would cause man to hate, brutalize and murder one another?  I don't think so, not a loving God. 
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So from my point of view, the Bible is pure fiction, and it was written and compiled by its day's equivalent of the Republican National Committee.  God has absolutely nothing to do with religion. Religion is the "word of man," not God. So anyone who chooses to believe in walking dead men and talking snakes over the common sense that was bestowed upon them by nature (God), has chosen to give the word of man priority over God.
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God is whatever force, entity, or process that’s responsible for what we refer to as existence, so if we exist, God exists, regardless of whether God is a he, she, or it - but he hasn't said a word to nobody.  The mere fact that we’re here to question God’s existence, however, proves God’s existence.  But that’s all we know, and that's all we have to know - period. 

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Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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Tuesday, January 30, 2018

CHRISTIANITY: IS IT REALLY ABOUT GOD, OR MANIPULATION AND GREED?

Beneath the Spin * Eric L. Wattree

CHRISTIANITY: IS IT REALLY ABOUT GOD, OR MANIPULATION AND GREED?
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I give truth and common sense priority over any kind of political or religious ideology, because politics and religion are one and the same, they both deal in manipulating the naïve, gullible and uninformed for money and power. So my one and only philosophy is to follow truth wherever it leads and regardless to whose ox it gores.
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With that, most Christians would say, but "the word of God" is truth, and then immediately start quoting the Bible to prove their point and suggest that I'm a closed-minded heathen destined to go to Hell if I don't change my thinking. But these people have been so completely indoctrinated in Christian dogma throughout their lives that they completely fail to recognize that the only reason they accept the Bible as "the word of God" is because the Bible says it is, and they have absolutely no other evidence of that fact other than the Bible itself.
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But that's where "faith" and/or gullibility comes in, and why faith plays such an important role in ALL religions. Even though Jesus was born in the desert, and even the Bible describes him differently, Christians portray him as a White Scandinavian with blue eyes. If that were true they wouldn’t have had to crucify him, he would have died of Sunburn.  So if they even lied about what the man looked like, what are the chances that they're telling us the truth about what he, or anybody else said? It's not very likely. So I view Jesus as an enlightened philosopher - period. He wasn’t God, or any more supernatural than the rest of us. That’s why when they stabbed him, he died just like the rest of us are going to - and he's not coming back, so we need to give that Hocus-Pocus nonsense a rest. This is real life, not Mother Goose, and we're adults, not children.
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In a 1841 speech, Frederick Douglass said he was in church and witnessed a young Christian White woman go into a trance. When she came out of it she claimed to have visited Heaven.  When she was asked were there any Black people there, she hesitated, and then said, “I don’t know.  I didn’t go into the kitchen.”  Can you believe that any person who is that far out of touch with reality is being informed by God? 

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Nevertheless, one of the main tenets of Christianity is that its adherents maintain absolute and unwavering "faith" in what they are told.  One of the worst sins that can be committed by a Christian is to lose faith - not just faith in God, but faith in what they're being told about God. This serves two very important purposes.  First, it prevents people from even thinking about whether or not what they're being told makes sense, and secondly, it allows preachers - or "men of God" - to step into God's place as his surrogate.  So essentially, they become God, and speak on his behalf. As a result, many Christians are not actually worshipping God, but their preachers. That's why they make them so rich.
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When Christians give to the church, subconsciously, they think they're buying their way into Heaven. For a mere 10% of their earnings they can receive absolution for all of the dirt and abuse of others they've committed that week. That leaves them perfectly free to go out and commit more social atrocities the following week - like firing people from badly needed jobs, mowing down unarmed Black people on the street, or letting the people who commit said murders go free - and all in good conscience, and with God's blessing. So it's the perfect solution for everybody - it keeps scoundrels free to commit sin, and the "men of God" in big homes and fancy cars.  And they do all of these things in the name of God, and with the ardent support of the very people who are the most negatively impacted by it. 

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But truth and common sense dictates that it's all nonsense. If a devout Christian born in Georgia had been born in Israel, he would be a devout Jew, or if in Iran, a devout Muslim, or if he’d been born in China he would be a devoted Buddhist. That clearly demonstrates that religion is not of God, but of man. People are actually socialized into believing what they believe. If God had created religion to guide us, would he have created so many of them that they would cause man to hate, brutalize and murder one another?  I don't think so, not a loving God. 
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PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE MIND 
GOD GAVE YOU, JUST LISTEN TO ME.

So although it is claimed that religion was placed on Earth as a blessing to mankind from a loving God, in reality, organized religion is without a doubt the most evil and destructive force on the face of the Earth.  It’s the primary source of all manner of hatred, bigotry, and misery in the world, and that's an indisputable fact. 
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Nevertheless, if a person chooses to be a "Believer" that's up to them.  Ordinarily there would be no problem with that if people would simply believed what they believed and go on about their business. But that's not good enough for people who are prone to be religious fanatics.  They're convinced that they're carrying out God's will, so they want to proselytize, and shove their religious beliefs down everybody else's throats, and then, go on to demand that laws be passed to institutionalize their beliefs. A perfect example of that mindset at work was senatorial candidate, Roy Moore. He wanted to make it against the law for gay people to marry, but thought it was perfectly alright to molest 14-year-old girls. We have the same problem with Donald Trump, who routinely uses narrow-minded religious bigotry to gain support for mean-spirited social policies. So instead of the people's so-called love of God spreading love and enlightenment throughout the world, it's being used to sew hatred, misery, and division among the people.
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The fact is, God is whatever force, entity, or process that’s responsible for what we refer to as existence, so if we exist, God exists, regardless of whether God is a he, she, or it - but he hasn't said a word to nobody. The mere fact that we’re here to question God’s existence, however, proves God’s existence. But that’s all we know, and that's all we have to know - period.

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I recognized these facts as a mere child, and I also recognized that I didn't have to be religious to be Godly.  I'm one of the most God-loving people I know, but I don't feel that I have to believe in walkin’ dead men, talkin' snakes, or have to put up with foolish preachers struttin' around on stage giving paid spoken-word concerts every Sunday morning to prove I love God. Embracing that nonsense is where loving God crosses over into brainwashing and Voodoo, and it's shocking to me how many otherwise intelligent people buy into it.
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As a rule, the more undereducated people are, the more religious and bigoted they tend to be, and if they're Black, they tend to be more conservative, critical of other Blacks, and eager-to-please and submissive toward Whites. I could never identify with such people, so as a young adult I came up with my own religion.  I guess you could call it the Gospel of Wattreeism. My Bible is only one page long, and has only three Commandments:
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1). LIVE THE BEST LIFE YOU CAN.
2). HELP OTHERS WHENEVER YOU CAN.
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3). MIND YOUR OWN DAMN BUSINESS.
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Now, that's Godly, because it doesn't create hatred, hostility, mayhem, or chaos, and I think God would agree with my basic theology, because God’s where I got it, not from some money-hungry and fanatical preacher. It's important to remember that Jesus didn't have any "faith" in the word of any man. He found God within himself, because that's where God resides, and when I seek God’s council, that’s where I look.  On the other hand, the video below portrays what you get from organized religion - maybe not always so blatant, but the end-game is always the same - money:
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CHRISTIANITY: IS IT ABOUT GOD, OR GREED?
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Eric L. Wattree 
wattree.blogspot.com
Ewattree@Gmail.com

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Religious bigotry: It's not that I hate everyone who doesn't look, think, and act like me - it's just that God does.

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