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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.

Update:

There's movement in South Carolina's state legislature to finally get rid of the Confederate flag flying above the statehouse in Charleston. There's a bill on its way through the state legislature and should be on nikkihaley's desk by December, at least that's the hope. The reality is, it's going to be a loud and contentious debate in that state. These are the words of Nikki herself in the call to remove the flag from the statehouse and possibly place it in a museum. I'll agree to digress with her on letting people continue to fly the flag, but then again, if it's on their homes or private property, there's not a lot we can do as it's private not government speech. I'm aware of this reality and so I'll concede the point, albeit reluctantly, that she's right in one sense. I just hope that people will begin to educate themselves on how the Confederate flag has become a divisive symbol in many respects, and a symbol of racial terrorism and of White supremacy.

I think Cenk Uygur, from The Young Turks, makes the point very clear that there's some coded language in the overall message that the flag must be lowered and be displayed elsewhere. But all in all, it's very heartening to see what's happening in South Carolina after the disgusting display of overt White supremacy and anti-Black racism in Charleston on Monday, June 15, 2015.

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.





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