What America Needs Right Now: 4 Problems With the Stories We’re Getting from Public Officials Who Should Know Better

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Social Commentary

The Dallas Cowboys have a new coach! The New England Patriots hope to hold on to their ‘old’ quarterback. That’s how sports talk in the first week of 2020 might be summarized. Neither team made it to the playoffs so some changes in personnel were expected. This has the sports world buzzing.

In the case of ‘breaking news,’ the unfolding story revolves around Impeachment and Iran. Some are considering the question, which comes first? Based on the news timeline it’s impeachment which started first. But based on public attention it might be a matter of what you think is most important to the country.

With the presidential campaigns taking shape, the next few months are expected to be fast and furious. Candidates face primaries in many States which will help to set the stage for the convention later in the year. Some feel that what America needs right now is a good look at itself. Who are we as a nation?

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More directly, what America needs right now is to clearly see the four problems with the stories we’re getting from public officials who should know better. Otherwise, as citizens we’ll keep being sold a bill of goods. Part of our civic duty is based on a decision of who should represent us in public office. The four problems with the stories being told are:

  1. Integrity and diplomacy are being replaced by ego and disinformation.

We’re on the brink of a new escalation in war-like rhetoric which points back to some decisions. These actions were made less around integrity and diplomacy and more around ego and disinformation. Unlike the ‘NAFTA 2.0’ agreement, the Iran Deal and Climate Accord were scrapped before a new plan was put in place. There’s the obvious explanation that while NAFTA was done under President George W. Bush, the Iran Deal and Climate Accord were done under Obama.

  1. Actions to uphold an oath to the Constitution are being replaced by actions to drive the media cycle.

There’s concern by some as to whether the Senate Impeachment trial will be fair. The subtext to that concern is whether it will be treated as a legitimate pursuit of the facts or simply as a ‘reality show’ drama. It’s as if the oath to the Constitution plays second fiddle to the gamesmanship at hand. Even in the case of the Iran tensions there’s a battle also brewing between our different branches of government.

  1. What’s being said doesn’t always reflect what’s meant.

Our human experience is managed by how we spend the days of the week, weeks of the month and months of the year. This is seen in our calendar of events. Imagine if we’re arguing about whether Monday is really Monday or if January is really January? Our days, weeks and months would have little or no meaning. That’s some of what we have when dealing with explanations from public officials. What’s being said doesn’t always reflect what’s meant.

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  1. Public service based on purpose and honor is being overshadowed by service based on privilege.

There two ways people might approach public service. One is to see themselves as an extension or expression of public good. The other is to see themselves as an extension or expression of a privileged view. We find this back-and-forth battle throughout the annals of America’s history. Where we are today seems to have public service reflecting an upside-down smile emoji.

Some die-hard sport fans see the Cowboys over the years as a team with promise but without a playoff win. They, like other professional teams, have been going around in circles trying to find the right combination of talent, passion and coaching. Well as citizens if we’re not careful, we’ll keep going around in circles too. This might happen if greater promise as a nation gets turned into a skewed form of public service. What America Needs right now is to bring down the rhetoric and slow down the bleed.

Tracks: Post Malone – Circles  – https://youtu.be/wXhTHyIgQ_U

Skip Marley Ft. H.E.R. – Slow Down – https://youtu.be/p4jZKM5Y6-0

Ava DuVernay & Lin-Manuel Miranda Speak on Winning a Game but not Losing Our Civil Liberties – #HometownChat

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#HometownChat – “Smart Community, Special Service, Civic Dreams”

“Hey Martellus Bennett, Patriots just won the Superbowl, what are you doing next?” That question might remind us of those past ads for Disney. Bennett’s not planning to do the usual stuff. He’d probably love to hear Ava DuVernay or Lin-Manuel Miranda speak on winning a game but not losing our civil liberties.

While Monday morning quarterbacks broke down the game, other folks were happy seeing the Obama’s back in town. During their two-week vacation there was even a sighting of BO’s look-alike ‘cool Barry’ with his cap turned backward. They returned just in time to settle into Washington’s business as ‘Reality TV.’

What we’re seeing these days is just a new look of some old ways. That’s what a doctor might say when examining a patient or a historian might say when examining the political, social and economic system. We’ve gone from slavery to Jim Crow to an emerging system condition that could be called John Crow.

It’s called John Crow because of a certain far-away bird that takes advantage of the death, misery and ‘lost way’ of animals. This system has a new set of ‘isms’ (along with WMDs – Weapons of Mass Dah) to benefit from death, misery and lower socio-economic status. So to #LetThePeopleKnow when it’s a John Crow is to:

  1. Check the system for signs of ‘Vulture-ism.’
  2. Churn (agitate) the establishment for the acts of ‘sham-ism.’
  3. Challenge the laws against rounds of social schism.
  4. Cheer the people to avoid the pitfalls of fake realism.

Executive Orders recently issued by the Republican Administration appear to have a negative impact on the everyday citizen. Vulture-ism is seen when perks for Wall Street dig potholes on the roads for Main Street. It’s when concerns for poverty and income inequality are stunted by policies of ‘purge & reward.’ We’ve got to save our streets from being attacked by a ‘republic of vultures.’ (Is it just coincidence that Trump’s middle name is John?)

Even the idea of possibly taking Iraq’s oil to pay for U.S. troop deployment in the Middle East is like a John Crow beast preying on the least. The thing to watchout for is whether the shifting administration policies are really about ‘Make America Great Again’ or adding more power and prime rib to their plate.

These efforts to undermine & override are not being overlooked by ‘people in the know.’ Maybe that’s why Nancy Pelosi made the statement that Trump Advisor Steve Bannon is a shot-caller for white supremacy. Howard Stern saying he feels Trump ran for president to get more money for hosting The Apprentice.

By putting those two thoughts out there some political observers have concluded that we’ve got to callout the administration for the acts of sham-ism. A ‘sham’ is a thing that is not what it’s advertised to be. There’s reason the establishment has more explaining to do on their proposed policies and procedures.

In his letter written while in a Birmingham jail Dr. King outlined the issues of his time. He challenged those who questioned his non-violent protests against laws that protected Jim Crow but oppressed, suppressed or distressed John & Jane Doe. King was saying ‘Yo, that’s some social schism.’

Fast-forward to John Crow today with policies that threaten 1st Amendment rights to a free press and religion but protect 2nd Amendment rights to bear arms. The administration wants weak vetting on cabinet picks but extreme vetting on immigrant visas. We find them shutting down Obamacare signups while saying a replacement won’t be ready until 2018. Does that mean they’d rather have people die, denying them insurance while delaying them any chance for a supposedly better plan? Yo, that’s some social schism right there.

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So DuVernay and Miranda are doing their part to rally the people against losing touch with realism. She recently quoted James Baldwin who said A civilization isn’t destroyed by wicked people. It is not necessary that people be wicked. Only that they be spineless. Another philosopher once said Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (Is there a ‘true dat’ or amen?)

These notes are reminders to take off any ‘blinders’ that cause citizens to be tone-deaf, street dumb or side-eye blind. They might even suggest it’s a time to have ‘antennas up’ to get the reception and record straight. Smart community understands the past in order to better relate it to what just happened last.

When an Ohio minister says a ‘Chicago gang wants to work with Trump’ it makes people say, really? Then 24 hours later he walks it back, saying he miss-spoke as he was still tired from the recent campaign. He’s not the first minister with the campaign ‘trying to keep it real’ but showing straight-up fake realism.

The job of media, Congressional leaders, constitutional experts and engaged citizens is to keep the ducks in order. Some have committed to doing their part to fight the power as well as ‘floss Trump’s tweets’ (and the rest of his team) because the words in-and-out of their mouths can affect America’s future well-being.

‘Alternative facts’ is the new WMD in the John Crow system used as a cover for miss-information. We’ve been here before in Jim Crow times. So as we rise, let’s not be weary but stay true to realism. We’ll know if what we’re seeing will lead us to a place of more ‘still waters’ or towards a storm of some rough waters.

Groove-tracks: Isley Brothers – Fight the Power – https://youtu.be/KdJ0uv6oMRU

Solange – Rise/Weary – https://youtu.be/mKwxz23H5UY

Malcolm Butler Goes from Undrafted and Unheralded to Unbelievable Experience

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Trivia: What is the brand name used for Marshawn Lynch Apparel? (Answer below)

Some fans have had enough already with Deflategate! With the NFL still investigating the case, only time will tell whether the Patriots or anyone else gets fined. This year the big game seemed to have lived-up to the hype. Brady was MVP. But the game winner was Malcolm Butler, an undrafted unheralded rookie.

With the game clock about to run-out Butler snagged an interception. Some have called it the worst play-call ever because the Seahawks could have run instead of passing the ball. Many thought Marshawn Lynch should have gotten the call. Well, the NFL gods had other ideas. It started a few plays earlier.

The Seahawks were on the move and Jermaine Kearse made a spectacular catch. Butler almost had a shot at intercepting the ball then. The catch made by Kearse had to be reviewed by officials and replayed a few times to show that the ball never hit the ground. It looked like the Seahawks had it in the bag.

During the post-game interview Butler said “I just had a vision I was going to make a big play and it came true.” Sometimes that’s what it takes to go from unheralded to unbelievable. Butler also explained how they practiced goal-line defense all week leading-up to the big game. So, vision executed with precision.

The MVP normally gets a grand prize. This year it’s a new Chevy truck. There’s also the tradition of having the MVP in a commercial about going to Disney World. Well, Brady announced he’s going to give the truck to Butler. And Butler can be seen with Julian Edelman saying they’re going to Disney World.

Answer: ‘Beast Mode’