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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Tale Of A Pissed Off Blue Shield Of California Customer

I can think of nothing more aggrivating than having my health insurance pulled out from under me. Let me say this, Blue Shield of California has a terrible problem with lining policies up, particularly policy numbers and the payments for them. If someone's paying them to provide them with basic coverage for their medical expenses, it should be a common knowledge that they should be able to keep track of those payments and not denying people coverage because of a clerical on their end. That was experience I had, and I can tell you, this is completely unacceptable. I can't think of any reason why a company like Blue Shield can't line up 2 pieces of paper, but apparently they can't for the life of them. I'll be happy when Open Enrollment comes up in November, as that's the first chance I'll get to switch carriers to Blue Cross of California. i'm not saying that Blue Cross is any better than Blue Shield, but it should end this nightmare that I've been having with them since last year.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Confederate Flag's New Destiny Post-Charleston

I have to say that I'm very heartened to hear about South Carolina's decision to get the Confederate Battle Flag flying at its statehouse removed for good. That flag belongs in a museum, so people can learn about what kind of divisions it helped to sow for so many years. If the state and other states in the South want to make a region-wide heritage and history museum with it on display, fine. I won't argue that its a symbol of American history, but it's a symbol for all the wrong reasons. First off, it was the flag of Southern treason during the Civil War, when the South fought to retain the right to retain humans as property (African Americans). Following that 4-year debacle, which the South came out very poorly, for the next 150 years or so, it was a symbol of hate and a symbol of subjugation of both the Blacks and their White allies, and also of poor Whites, by more prominent Whites through the Ku Klux Klan and other organizations.

I understand that many in the South see the Confederate flag as part of their heritage, but they need to quit displaying it, as it's got other symbolizations as mentioned above. As I said above as well, it's good to see that South Carolina, along with Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and Texas, is beginning to wake up to the fact that there's more than Southern heritage in that flag and that there's an equally long history of it being associated with White supremacy. In Mississippi's case, there's a movement to craft a new state flag that doesn't resemble the Confederate Stars and Bars. Somehow, Dylan Roof's shooting spree at Mother Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church really drove open the effects of racial hate that the Confederate flag long symbolized, and now the nation is seeing the post-shooting evolution taking place across the region. I'm not sure if it'll lead to anything in terms of gun-control, but I do think that it will definitely make the National Rifle Association's position of loose-gun laws at all costs that much harder to defend. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Mass Shooting In South Carolina & The Ugly Return Of White Supremacy

I can't express my sadness at hearing about how 9 African Americans were murdered in cold blood and at their place of worship in Charleston, South Carolina. Who does this? Then again, it's only the mind of a bigoted individual. 

Luckily, the terrorist behind this dastardly act has been arrested and is in police custody. Now by piecing together what he did in Charleston is making the case very clear that what happened was a hate crime. The individual was shown in a jacket with the flags of Apartheid South Africa and White supremacist Rhodesia. I'm aware those 2 patches in the perp's possession is no crime in itself, but it does explain his ideology when firing his gun in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston.

Emanuel AME Church has seen its fair share of White supremacist violence, going all the way back to the Antebellum era of South Carolina's history. It was a safe-haven for Blacks both in slavery and after its abolition in 1865. It was a continual target even during the lead-up to the Civil Rights Era after Reconstruction ended in 1877. 

It was a place to congregate and worship, a pillar of the community. The church was originally founded in 1822, at a time when places of worship for African Americans were illegal in South Carolina. It was a place that Blacks could get away from Whites. This didn't mean that they were always safe from the wrath of Whites lusting for blood, the reason usually being just because, or to make an example of what could happen if there was a slave revolt.

Because of the Church's long history, it's not much of a shock that it was targetted again in 2015. Still, it's enough to wake us all up to the fact that we're going to have to hold the uncomfortable discussion of race relations and how each racial group experiences them. It should be a learning experience for us all.

The more I learn about the perpetrator of this ghastly act, the more I see the ugly return of White supremacy and how it's not ever going to disappear. Its ties to both our nation's gun culture and its law enforcing is apparent to the point of wanting to throw our hands in the air in utter frustration.

In no way can we allow White supremacy to take hold in this grand nation of ours. The only outcome will be that of a race war, which is exactly what these racists want. 

For many who see the Black community as inherently inferior and subhuman to this day are proving that even though the last shots Civil War shots were fired 150 years ago, the war has never ended. If anything, the war has found a new home to fight in, our political discourse via the Media. One of the biggest arenas I see this happening in is in Congress. Specifically among Congressional Republicans.

Congressional Republicans have shown themselves to be willing tools for organization pushing for these kind of terrorist acts. That organization is the NRA, who's been cowing everyone in Congress, and this has brought a number of Democrats under their control. 

Let's be clear on 1 thing here, some of these extreme voices in the NRA are also tied to White supremacy.

The region with the loosest gun laws is the South, and the reason is obvious. With a strong belief in White supremacy in parts of the region, many Whites take it on to themselves to hunt and exterminate Blacks before they come to rape and plunder White women or other poor scared White folks. This thought pattern is total bullsh*t, but it's how many people think. Add that to loose gun laws, and there you have it. It's open "n****r" season.

Saying that if Blacks don't mind their place as second-class citizens, they'll be a target is no empty threat. Just like Blacks saying they'll arm themselves in defense is not an empty one either. However, this is not the exchange to follow. The one to keep tabs on is on why Whites have the sole right to exact revenge on minorities and why they can be exterminated at any time. That's the exhange to follow as it's the common denominator to puck up on when recognizing White supremacy's self-expression and the vestage of White privilege.

The violent expression of White supremacy is a direct by-product of this nation's gun culture. That's what happened in Charleston, and that's why we need gun control.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Admission For Bringing Back Jim Crow

I have to say I've been expecting this, some right-wing blow-hard calling for the return of Jim Crow's voting regulations. As the article from Addicting Info makes clear, this is entirely expected for the right to say. My only question is, what took you boneheads so dang long? I have to admit, even I'm amazed that the circular firing squad that the GOP's base has turned into has really taken this much time to really let the most overt demand for racial discrimination out and through vote disenfranchisement. In fact in my last post, I said something about it, how there seems to be a massive push by the right to bring back Jim Crow in some aspects. This just proves my point in its entirety.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Current Vote Suppression and Falling of Race Relations

It's weird; by listening to people like Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter, I'm almost taken back to the time of the Nadir of American Race Relations, given the number dog-whistle political attacks and physical attacks on people who aren't White. However, what really gets me is the number of expression of White supremacy and display of support for Social Darwinism's style of Eugenics. This is a testament to the fact that what we're seeing by the advancement of vote suppression on a scale not seen since the Gilded Age and the Progressive Era (basically the enactment of the extreme ends of the Jim Crow Laws). Think about it, how many more stories do we need to hear about how Blacks (or anyone else as the "Other") are inferior and they deserve to be exterminated from being a pestulant infestation? Here's what we hear from outlets like Fox News and Newsmax, as well as others.

I've been finding that the number of hate-based attacks and threats of violence have gone up since Barack Obama took office in 2009, but his assuming the presidency is not the cause of the recent uptick. It's a testament to the Southern Strategy employed by the Republicans to prevent Blacks from really exercising any real political power, and now they're making sure that no such uptick happens again. 

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

NSA Reform - What The USA Freedom Act Means

Upon hearing that the Senate GOP and Senate Democrats passed the USA Freedom Act, I'm kinda mixed about it. Yeah, in some cases it does something to curb some of the most egregious abuses by the National Security Administration, but doesn't really go far enough to ensure that domestic spying doesn't happen on the same magnitude again. For the most part it did allow the Patriot Act to finally expire in some sense, thus ending part of the insidious legacy that the Bush Administration left behind. I still give Edward Snowden a ton of credit for having the balls to speak out on these abuses back in 2013 and he does deserve the title of patriot, not traitor. Hearing about the disclosures back then made me understand that we were heading back to the days of J. Edgar Hoover (the first director of the FBI) where he along with other intelligence agency heads directed their subordinates to spy on the American people. If anyone can remember Frank Church (the powerful Democratic Senator from Idaho [1957-81]), he warned of the consequences of an all-powerful intelligence apparatus that had the tendency to run amok if left without vigorous oversight. Snowden reminds me of him, and of those who leaked the Pentagon papers back in 1971.

The USA Freedom Act is a symbolic law in the sense that it proved Snowden right.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Stupid Season Returns

For a lot of reasons beyond my comprehension, it seems like "stupid season" is back again. By stupid season, I'm talking about the run-up to the GOP's presidential primaries, of which are guaranteed to be quite colorful and in some cases heavy on the stupid factor (the second one is 100% guaranteed).

I can't quite tell yet if he's running or not, but Rick Santorum has certainly done some good work in making himself look like a complete dumbass as you'll see in this video. As you can clearly see, not only is he making some insanely racist commentary, he's also flat-out got his facts wrong and he ought to rethink how immigrants are stealing jobs here. Xenophobia doesn't cut it, Rick. You ought to open a history book sometime, brother, and you'll see that embracing xenophobia actually hurts the economy more than it helps. You'd think the Gilded Age would have let that lesson be known, but apparently you missed that lesson in high school or lecture in college. (Video credit to Right Wing Watch) You can find the original article about this here and why Rick's completely being a moron who's off-target here.

Anyway, remind me why I'm here correcting the mind of a simpleton, again. Not worth the wasted paragraph, but truth be told, there's not much else you can do, when stupid season fires up. Such is the way with Republicans, it's always a race to the bottom. Somehow, they pride themselves in getting F's on everything that requires a modicum of intelligence and/or knowledge of what the heck they're doing (don't count on them having that ability).

At least in Rick's case, he's harmless, albeit dishonest, but harmless as he's not likely to get the nomination in 2016, just like he failed to do so in 2008 and 2012. I've got in mind people who are actually more dangerous than he is. Take Ted Cruz for example, this guy is a nuclear apocalypse waiting to happen, and that's just on foreign policy. On domestic policy, this guy wants to take away all of our rights and silence us to the point that we dare not have any independent thinking. This guy is an absolute lunatic and he's the most dangerous from the fact that he's the leader of the last government shutdown (October 2013). Ted's been engaging in several conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama and on the Democrats destroying the country, along with the Democratic base. The fact is that if Ted's president, or any of the other extremists are president, expect a massive uptick in the harassment of Democratic voters. I'm talking African Americans, Young Americans, Spanish-speaking Americans, Middle Eastern Americans, Women, etc. Of these groups, African Americans would bear the worst of any Republican administration's wrath.

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