Caught in a tempest

Ed Raymond

The U.S. is a failed state captained by a Caliban

And yes, it’s headed directly for a huge iceberg. There is no evidence that Donald The Lyin’ King has read anything beyond a menu or a porn star’s telephone number. His tweets are void of any reference to classical literature or American or world history. I’m sure he has never read any of Shakespeare’s plays.

Donald is a perfect caricature of Caliban, a major character in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Caliban is a half-human, half-monster, and the only resident of an island. He is the son of a witch who dies before Prospero and his daughter Miranda appear on his island.

Prospero enslaves Caliban and rather likes him until Caliban attempts to rape Miranda. Caliban admits to the attempt, saying his goal was to fill the island with little Calibans.

There is a great deal more to the play, but it struck me that Caliban is simply another Donald Trump, a half-human, half-monster. And he is the captain of the rudderless USS Titanic, a failed state about to hit an iceberg and sink.

Donald The Lyin’ King lives alone on his little island in a big white house in D.C., filled with his own incoherent, divisive babble, clearly a malignant narcissistic nutcase. He is a monster-man like Caliban, who has no empathy, who can’t laugh or cry, or love. Somehow he is emotionally damaged, totally unlettered, and has no literary, spiritual or historical knowledge. His vocabulary cannot rise above the fifth grade level.

Abe Lincoln had only six months of formal education but he later had read many of Shakespeare’s plays. Trump has had the temerity – and arrogant ignorance – to compare himself to Lincoln.

The U.S. has a fever and suffers from verbal diarrhea

Not only are we in the middle of a deadly pandemic and the highest economic inequality in the world, we are a divided nation battling each other on the streets and in Congress, while death threats fill e-mails and social media.

Our political issues are determined by whether we are wearing masks or maintaining proper spacing. Facebook and Twitter have been turned into manure lagoons filled with expletives, death threats, and presidential lies and insults. Almost every Trump tweet  has become a suppurating wound covered in poisonous pus.

Wealthy Manhattan is a ghost town because of migration to second home Shangri-las, while poor Harlem stacks bodies in tractor trailers, victims of COVID-19.
The results from the pandemic are beginning to come in. Data from 40 states indicate blacks die at a rate three times that of whites. Black Kansans die at a rate seven times that of whites, and blacks in Wisconsin and Washington D.C. die at a ratio six times that of whites.

When New York City’s ZIP codes are ranked, the highest death rates are in eight of the 10 that have majority black or Latino populations.
We are an exceptional country when it comes to COVID-19. We lead the world in confirmed cases and deaths. We have 41 million people officially living in poverty while 41 million are unemployed.

Harvard philosopher Cornel West says, “The virus encounters deeply racist structures and institutions already in place, against the backdrop of wealth inequality, a militarized state and a commodified culture in which everybody and everything is for sale.”

A ‘lynching’ with a potential 7.6 billion witnesses

About 4,000 American blacks were lynched in the last 170 years, many by the Ku Klux Klan in the dead of night by flaming “Christian” crosses or in the dead of day after lunch.

Others were lynched in town squares and parks, witnessed by thousands of white families on sun-filled Saturday afternoons before dinner. Many sent postcard pictures of the lynching scene to distant relatives to commemorate the event.

There have been many scenes of mass murder committed by armies, gangs, and individuals which have been later “witnessed” by film, video, still cameras, and personal testimony.

How many witnesses have watched the “lynching” of an American black on a city street?

How many billions around the world watched the eight-minute, 46-second murder based on the alleged passing of a counterfeit 20-dollar bill? They watched four white policemen participate in killing a black man in handcuffs by kneeling on his neck, sitting on him in the concrete gutter, and watching the event with hands in pockets and biased eyes.

Ironically, a man named Mike Free-Man observed the murder of George Slave-Man Floyd in a 10-minute crime scene.

Later, Freeman said he had to collect evidence before he charged the four policemen with a criminal act!

They walked.

If four black policemen had murder-ed a white man with the eyes of mil-lions watching them, would they have been charged and jailed?

It took a lifetime of nine days that may change the world to charge all of them with a crime.

What would have happened in Minneapolis if the four had been immediately charged and jailed?

There is a rare moment in life when a decision will make a huge difference in millions of lives. The stars and events were lined up. This was an important moment in the arc of human history. Freeman failed to recognize it.

Don’t give me lawyerly crap. Kids with an ounce of pot are charged and jailed immediately in some jurisdictions.

A pair of shoes on the path that leads the country to oblivion

Who paid $560,000 at a Sotheby auction for a pair of basketball sneakers Michael Jordan wore when he was an NBA rookie?

Who paid $437,500 at another Sotheby auction last year for a pair of Nike “Moon Shoes?” Are they one of “us”?

We have 41 million citizens in poverty, with another 41 million filing for unemployment insurance while we have other citizens spending a half million dollars on smelly sneakers.

We have hungry people waiting in lines by the thousands at food banks. Our friendly relatives, the chimps and bonobos, share their food. Evidently we are still evolving to – something.

But the selfishness and greed of the One Percent who build $250 million mansions with 27 bathrooms, hide from COVID-19 on $560 million yachts, and buy $560,000 sneakers is another matter today.

The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified 576 anti-government organizations in the U.S., many of them armed militias. Some of them have been around for a long time.

Remember Ruby Ridge, the Branch Davidians at Waco, Timothy McVeigh and the Christian Identity Church at Oklahoma City, the Michigan Militia, Clint Bundy and the nature preserve, the Montana Freemen, the “patriots” who thought they could live in a sovereign country?

There are hundreds of others with similar histories.

Now we have those who intimidate legislators in Michigan and other AR-15 “carry” states. Now we have another armed militia known as the Boogaloos, working many of the protests occurring in dozens of cities across the country, hoping to start a white-black civil war – again.

Gun owners proving their gonads are bigger than their brains

Some gun nutcases are posting Facebook pictures of themselves pointing guns at their gonads. It’s supposed to be some kind of message. I hope they all have .45s and happy slippery fingers. It will help the gene pool because their gonads have to be bigger than their brains.

Speaking of guns and gonads, policemen in the U.S. shot and killed 1,042 Americans in 2019.

In the last 10 years, policemen in Great Britain shot and killed 23.
In the last five years 1,252 blacks have been shot and killed by police in the U.S.

Isn’t it about time our Congress asks Britain’s parliament how they accomplish this feat?

I still remember when the “origin-alist” Republican Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia chastised a fellow justice for referencing a British court decision in a majority opinion. The Brits do have experience in the field of law. Their constitution goes back to 1066 and the battle of Hastings. Modifications were made after the Magna Carta passed in 1215. That’s 954 years of experience with the law versus our 233.

We can’t learn anything from British common law? I’ll give you a choice with Scalia’s comment. Is it ignorance or stupidity? Or both?

Back to the Boogaloos

I have kept files on militias since North Dakota anti-taxer Gordon Kaul of Posse Comitatus and sovereign-minded Montana Freemen ended up dead in an Arkansas shootout for killing U.S. marshals in a shootout near Medina.

I was principal of Horace Mann School in Fargo at the time and had a relative of one of the murdered marshals as a student.

There have been hundreds of militias formed and disbanded in the last 50 years. Many government and militia members have killed each other.
Some militias played the paramil-itary part, carrying assault rifles, wearing cammies and boots, and practicing “snoopin’ and poopin’” in the woods, playing soldier in Michi-gan, Minnesota, and the swamps of Georgia and Florida.

The Boogaloos are relatively new on the militia scene. They have taken their name from a 1984 movie Breakin 2 Electric Boogaloo and morphed to a white supremacist militia. It gained national notoriety in 2020 by showing up in Hawaiian print shirts at a Second Amendment rally in Richmond, Virginia.

Their main goal is to provoke a civil war between the races. Guys in Hawaiian shirts and firearms were videoed in Minneapolis. It will be interesting to see if any Boogaloos were arrested in cities that had George Floyd protests.

Boogaloo Facebook postings often include images of German SS and Wehrmacht units in action during World War II. The Boogaloo flag depicts an igloo and palm trees. That only means looting, fires and vandalism to provoke another civil war.

A redneck member of the Boogaloo militia from Hampstead, North Carolina, posted this on Facebook when the protests began: “Lock and load boys. Boog flags are in the air, and the national network is going off.” (Corky’s sister graduated from all-white Hampstead High School when we lived in North Carolina in the 1950s. These were “Separate but Equal” days. All-white Hampstead High was made of brick. All-black Hampstead High was a tarpaper shack.) His posting was a notice that the Boogaloos are attempting to promote a race war.

That ‘SOB’ put a knee on the grass! Ship him back to Africa!

Remember when black San Francisco 49’er Super Bowl quarterback Colin Kaepernick put a knee on the grass during the “Star Spangled Banner” to protest the treatment of blacks? Donald The Lyin’ King called him “a son-of-a-bitch” and said he should be thrown out of the country.

That was more than three years ago and Kaepernick is still blackballed by every NFL team.

More than 75% of NFL players are black but 31 of the owners are billionaire whites.
Only three teams have black head coaches.

And while black Colin put a knee on the green grass to protest, white police officer Derek Chauvin put a knee on the neck of a handcuffed black George Floyd.
Isn’t Colin actually whiteballed?