Sunday, December 11, 2016


EDIT: Also see Part Two

Dear USA,

Contemplate for a moment, USA, your current set of circumstances against the global backdrop:

The USA has 17 trillion debt.

The Chinese own 1.5 trillion of that.  They are the largest "shareholder" of our debt.  Moreover, they have the planet's lion share of lathanides- metals your cell phone, car, and computer need.  Supplies of lathanides, or rare earth metals, are decreasing.  China does not export them, which requires that many computers and electronics - including department of defense systems-- be manufactured in China.

Trump says he is not worried about any diplomatic disadvantages or trade embargoes with China.  And he proved that with his Tawain chat.

Whether Trump is too ignorant of diplomatic and economic agreements between the US and China, or he is actually willfully trying to destroy these agreements for his own benefit, it doesn't matter.  It will be We The People that pay the price. (And I cannot help but mention as a sidenote, that a man who takes offense at SNL lampoons, or what photograph the news media uses, should be able to understand that unnecessarily and capriciously provoking foreign countries that we are indebted to, is bound to slight egos and create conflicts.)  

Yes, the Obama administration did approve an arms sale to Tawian about a year ago.  Obama had been President for 7 years when he did this, and he followed protocol. And China did register a complaint.
The White House said there was no change in the longstanding U.S. "one China" policy. Past U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan have attracted strong condemnation in China, which considers Taiwan a renegade province.
The White House said the authorization followed previous sales notifications by the administration totaling more than $12 billion under the Taiwan Relations Act.
"Our longstanding policy on arms sales to Taiwan has been consistent across six different U.S. administrations," a National Security Council spokesman, Myles Caggins, said. "We remain committed to our one-China policy," he added.
Although Washington does not recognize Taiwan as a separate state from China, it is committed under the Taiwan Relations Act to ensuring Taipei can maintain a credible defense.

Trump is probably just looking to line his pockets.  The only motivation that both his supporters and detractors agree on.  Trump is a "successful" businessman, meaning whoever he has to screw over, including the country that elected him President, he only cares about more money and more fame.

The Saudi's own about 116 billion of our debt, but the US is tied to them in another was. We pay for OPEC oil with petrodollars. Petrodollars are like a department store credit card- they can only spend them with us, moreover, they can only spend them on OUR SPENDING.

Will it effect our economy if the Arab oil cartels stop shopping at our company store? YES.
The basic framework was strikingly simple. The U.S. would buy oil from Saudi Arabia and provide the kingdom military aid and equipment. In return, the Saudis would plow billions of their petrodollar revenue back into Treasuries and finance America’s spending. 

OPEC is talking about lowering production to increase prices.

Russia has agreed to halt production, too... Maybe. (They have made soft agreements.)

Russia is the second largest oil producer in the world.  The Saudi's and Russia have been courting an alliance. 

Russia and Iran have done a lot to avoid economic sanctions from the West by non-dollar trading.  This has weakened the petrodollar.

Trump claims that his Energy strategy relies on the Saudis and Russia, but I can definitely see where factions in Russia might be interested in getting the Saudi's out of the USA oil picture.

From the end of World War 2 until the present, the Saudi's (the only country in the world with the name of the royal family in the name of the country- remember it used to be simply "Arabia"?) have been untouchable by the USA.  With the decline in power of the Saudi-loyal Bush family, we can now sue them for September 11, 2001. I doubt any Saudi takes that lightly. 

And no Islamic country is going to take Trump's Muslim registry without umbrage, no matter how many hotels he builds in Arab countries.

Any USA-Russian alliance is going to affect Syria. Any change in USA- Saudi relations will affect Syria. I am more worried about the people of Syria than any government's interests.  If I thought that any changes Trump's presidency would be good for the Syrian people, I might not be so worried.  But I guarantee no one is looking out for the Syrian people. 

Yes, Putin is still paying lip service to "the USA, the only superpower in the world." 

But if Trump is using the Russians as much as they appear to be using him? Or if Trump really is just a clown, being used like a tool for Putin's agenda? Obama's administration has been very careful not to let the face off between the USA and Russia in Syria get too out of hand.  It wouldn't take much for full on confrontation, again, at the expense of the Syrian people. 

If it is true that Russia was involved in any way with our election, we as a country need to ask why?  There may not be one answer.  Governments, like companies, and schools, or any organization or agency, are really just a group of people that work for that government or company.  From the bottom to the top.  And within any group of people there are always factions.

Please read this opinion piece which really connects the dots:

And please call the White House and demand a full investigation, including a judicial order for Trump's tax returns to be examined for evidence of financial collusion with the Russian government.

And Homeland Security needs to be investigated, whether they are working in concert with the Russians or not:

If Trump breaks a NATO alliance, or compromises a long standing trade agreement, or simply uses his election to further his own career, it is WE THE PEOPLE that will face the consequences- Republican and Democrat, Left and Right, Fascist and Anarchist alike.
And thanks to Obama (who other than being a black man married to a black woman is really another neoliberal "wolf in sheep's clothing" like Bill Clinton) Trump is going to inherit some stunning powers:
When it comes to sustained bombing campaigns, Trump may not have to justify his actions much at all. Obama dramatically reduced the number of ground soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but he has continued to bomb seven countries, with virtually no Congressional acknowledgement or debate.
Obama has continued the Presidential tradition of going to war without Congress, sometimes in almost absurd ways. In 2011, for example, the White House needed to argue that it could continue bombing Muammar Gaddafi’s forces in Libya without Congressional authorization. So the top lawyer in the State Department sent a memo to Congress arguing that a bombing campaign did not amount to wartime “hostilities,” mainly because the enemy could not fire back.


And perhaps most alarming is that Trump will inherit a Justice Department that has waged an unprecedented war on press freedom. Rather than shut down the Bush-era office that prosecuted leaks to the press, Obama made it his own, and has prosecuted more than twice as many people under the Espionage Act for leaking information to the press than all of his predecessors combined. His actions met with no resistance from Democrats.
In 2013, Obama’s Justice Department seized the phone records from three Associated Press bureaus to uncover the source for a story. Obama also waged a seven-year legal campaign against New York Times Reporter James Risen, threatening him with prison if he did not reveal his source for a story about a botched CIA operation. The prosecutors dropped the request at the last minute.

Please read the whole article.  The rest of it is just as terrifying as these two snippets.

I think Wikileaks was played by the Russians, and I think the DDoS attack just prior to the election was the Russians, not Wikileaks supporters.  Testing our easy to invade system.  (This was done through your "smart toaster."  Through the "internet of things.")
A distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, occurs when hackers flood the servers that run a target’s site with internet traffic until it stumbles or collapses under the load. Such attacks are common, but there is evidence that they are becoming more powerful, more sophisticated and increasingly aimed at core internet infrastructure providers.
Going after companies like Dyn can cause far more damage than aiming at a single website.
Dyn is one of many outfits that host the Domain Name System, or DNS, which functions as a switchboard for the internet. The DNS translates user-friendly web addresses like into numerical addresses that allow computers to speak to one another. Without the DNS servers operated by internet service providers, the internet could not operate.
In this case, the attack was aimed at the Dyn infrastructure that supports internet connections. While the attack did not affect the websites themselves, it blocked or slowed users trying to gain access to those sites.

It doesn't matter if my theory is right or not.  The whole world got a good look at how vulnerable we are cyber-wise. Our country has mistaken technology for strength.  I invite you to consider what life would be like here if there were widespread internet outages and/or utility disruptions.  We are dependent on the internet and computer technology and electricity.  We are dependent on trucked in food (the 1,000 mile salad).  Most of our wealth exists in the form of electronic payments and computerized banking systems.  We would suffer if DDoS attacks were widespread and continuous.

Whether The Orange One With Tiny Hands is in on it or not, his election could be the key to the collapse of our country. Even if the Electoral College does the right thing and votes for Clinton, it may be too late.  The world is filled with wobbly dominoes.  Enough hot air and the collapse will begin.

Trump is a coup d'etat waiting to happen.

It is surreal to me that GW Bush's Ethics Lawyer and I agree that Trump is a disaster (the least ethical administration prior to the monstrosity Trump is breeding).  The unity against Trump is astonishing:

 In fact, the one bright spot is that all these corrupt factions are now facing their own "Karmageddon."  Just like the powers that Obama has left for his successor to inherit, all of these corrupt alliances were the architects for an outside coup d'etat.  I am certain that they are all aware of this, and that is why there is so much protest about Trump coming from these factions.  The Republican party and the conservatives created this monster, and he is going to destroy them first.

We The People can use that in our favour to dump Trump.  (And later we can dismantle their corrupt systems too.  But for now "the enemy of my enemy is my ally.")

I am not leading up to a Hollywood Movie, conspiracy theory, "denouement."  Real life is messy.  Sometimes contradictory. I am trying to point out how precarious the world situation is right now, and how globally connected we are.  If the Russians are trying to destabilize the USA, and shift the global financial power base, all they need to do is sit back and wait for Trump to enter office.

Domestically, the white supremacists will create such chaos with their "Racial Holy War" (slated to begin on Inauguration Day) we will be so busy we won't notice until it is too late.  With leftists dissidents under lock and key, the general populace will be easy pickings for civil war and/or invasion, and/or financial hi-jacking. 

Someone like me (a political activist for 35 years)  expects to be on watch lists.  But between the NSA and Homeland Security and Five Eyes**, we could be a nation with a unclothed emperor and naked populace. Easy prey for a rising superpower like Russia.

Oh but our big huge military right? 57 cents of every dollar income tax goes to military spending- although that doesn't include Veteran's Benefits.  No, that pays for things like the development of the Epi-Pen and those billion dollar prototype fighter jets.

It also pays for the services of companies like Blackwater and Serco, and Booz Allen Hamilton (Snowdon's employer). Blackwater and Booz Allen Hamilton are, I think, technically American companies.  (Serco is UK based.  It began as part of RCA Victor.) But Five Eyes (USA, UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand) shares intelligence.  There is no reason for these contractors to remain loyal to our country if we collapse.  They would not lose their ability to monitor our citizens, or interfere- in our defense or to our detriment.

(And I advise you, reader, if you haven't already- to look into Serco beyond the sabotaging of the Affordable Care Act here in St. Louis. Not only did the sabotage ACA enrollment, and get caught red-handed, they also profited from it.  Even after the sabotage was discovered they were awarded a second fee to continue sabotaging enrollment.  Yes, taxpayer, you paid for that. If Serco decided to strong arm the world, they could.  They have their fingers in every pie, in every part of the world.  Not just espionage- but education, transportation of all kinds- they control a lot airports and air traffic, and school buses, medical, commodities, etc.)

Oh, but our stock market?  Our big wealthy Wall Street? Stocks soared after the Orange Oompa Loompa was elected, right? The stock market doesn't have jackshit to do with the economy.  That's rich people betting on future corporate profits. It doesn't matter what language the corporations speak, or what country they call home. The stock market is like the lottery- a really expensive and exclusive lottery.  If everyone that played it won there would be no jackpot. 

(And there are plenty that see the Orange One as the "final straw" that will cause the collapse of the global market:

One should never doubt a powerful, rich person when they say things like "I'm going to deport all the immigrants."  Or "I"m going to institute a registry based on religion." History has proven that given the chance they will.  That is why Trump must be stopped.  We need to take that seriously.

In fact, Trump is already abusing his new power and fame to threaten people's lives and whip up the brownshirts.  And eventually no one, including his supporters, will be safe from this.
Consider the experience of Chuck Jones, the head of the local union responsible for the workers at the Carrier plant in Indiana, who accurately went on TV and said Trump was misleading Americans about the number of jobs he saved. Trump savaged him on Twitter. He accused Jones of doing a “terrible job” representing workers and said that if his local union was “any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana.” Once you get past the surreal nature of an alleged billionaire who lives in an apartment that looks like it was designed by Saddam Hussein’s interior decorator bashing working-class Americans who work in a factory in Indiana, this is pretty scary stuff. Here’s the president-elect of the United States attacking a private citizen who criticized him. Jones is now getting death threats from outraged Trump supporters.

We need to resist him NOW.  Much, much more than we are already doing.  I am less inclined towards demonstrations in the streets and civil disobedience than I am towards widespread demands via phone calls, letters and emails, and visits to congressional leaders.  Economic boycotts and "no business as usual" days (weekdays that everyone stays home and makes calls and holds meetings, etc.) are more effective than the opportunity for Trump supporters to attack us and the police to arrest us.

It is vital that we learn to protect our own private lives while risking them for our children's and country's future.  We can do this by making the wheels of government come to a halt until we get answers and investigations.  We need to voluntarily disrupt our mundane lives in order to prevent the more serious disruptions lurking in the future.

We need to take over this government and run our officials.  That we cannot get election recounts without a candidate paying millions of dollars is ridiculous! We need to defend our election system and our voting rights! (And shame on you, Democrats, for not taking the lead).

Faithless Electors are the strongest possibility to keeping Trump out of office, until they vote on December 19th.

A Republican Electoral Collegian in Texas is calling for a revolt. It may not be Clinton, but Kasich, that they vote for.  At this point, Kasich would be a hundred times better than Trump.

We need to demolish the electoral college altogether, regardless of what happens.

We need to demand the Department of Justice investigate Donald Trump's business dealings, and the election fraud that happened in swing states.

And we need to re-instate Glass Steagall, get a nationwide $15 an hour minimum wage, Universal Health care, and more jobs. We need the rich to start paying their share of taxes, and for corporations to pay their taxes, and to limit CEO salaries and bonuses.  We need sales tax charged for stock exchange transactions and to close the carried interest loophole. If we have those things A LOT of problems in this country will disappear.

We also need to defend Standing Rock and to develop public transportation and become less oil dependent.  Our planet is in very fragile shape.  We are just a few years away from drinkable water running out, and we have fewer than 60 harvests left before arable land is gone.

All of the things I say about life in developed countries getting disrupted by revolutions and war and nuclear bombs is also true for natural disaster.  "Poor" countries like Mexico and Pakistan will survive, we will not.

(If you are one of those misguided souls that thinks the answer is some sort of violent "people's revolution"- whether white supremacist or Leninist or whatever- seriously, wake the fuck up.  I don't care how many weapons the 2nd Amendment people and doomsday-preppers have, you can't win against the mercenary Department of Defense corporate contractors.  This isn't Mao-ist China or Castro's Cuba.  Read again that stuff I pointed out about utilities and water and trucked in food.  Consider Satellite Defense Imaging and drones.)

Donald Trump is not Hitler.  He's more a George W. Bush without any political grooming.  Donald Trump is a spoiled, hedonistic, little rich boy, playing a game with our government and the world.  The consequences of his actions mean nothing to him, whether he's a patsy, in bed with Putin, or just a lazy rich psychopath on a global ego trip. But Donald Trump is a perfect mask for a lot of little Hitlers. And even if we prevent him from entering office it might be too late.

I sincerely hope that whatever political persuasion you are, that you will consider what I am saying seriously and act.  If we do not start running our government and demanding accountability and responsible actions now, we are facing a very real possibility of national and even global disaster.

Other suggested actions:
Wear a safety pin, to denote that you do not support a registry based on religion, or the attack of people that are not white or Christian or American or straight.

Stop paying income taxes or increase your deductions to 9.  If enough of us do this it will impact the government coffers.

Register as a Republican and take over the party with your decidely un-Republican demands.

Get a "doomsday" network in place: where to meet if phones and servers crash, people to check on and people that check on you; stock up on food, water, batteries, and other supplies.  Buy a generator and a HAM radio.

Keep a full tank of gas and supplies in your car, if you have one.

If you have the money to buy property in Bismark, North Dakota, do so.  Move there if you can.  In my opinion this is a likely site for an attack by Russian sponsored white supremacists.  Being an outsider in an RV at Standing Rock reservation will not be helpful to the water protectors or stopping the DAPL.

Work on making your own community a safe haven for all people.  Make sure your community has the resources and a back up plan in case of uprisings, attacks or natural disasters. 

If you are a white American, you can also join a mosque or reach out to other communities, and get to know people that might be vulnerable or at risk.

Talk to people about what is going on and encourage them to take action and make preparations. However, I would avoid confrontations with the Trump supporters.  Even those that are either willfully ignorant or star-struck (in other words, the supporters that really aren't a danger).  Many Trump supporters are already regretting their support, and most of the rest will soon follow suit.  Trying to argue or persuade them might just make them more rigid.

Focus on people that are uncertain about him, but not aware enough to take action, or don't think it is going to effect them.  

If all of us do more, none of us will have to sacrifice too much.  By acting now we can change direction and create a better future.  But the time is NOW.


**About Five Eyes:  If Trump and Russia are teamed up, the access they have to English speaking countries. Many right wing people are okay with this as long as we are the top dog.  As long as all those Blackwater and Booz Hamilton contractors are answering to us... but what happens when they answer to a new master?

And just a reminder, Blackwater's founder Erik Prince is Betsy DeVos' brother.  Betsey DeVos is Trump's pick for Education Secretary.

Sunday, April 17, 2016


OPTINSTL is severely overextended at the moment.  Sorry for the delay.

Thursday, April 7, 2016


I had a health issue that put me under the weather and should have the new issue up by Monday.  I was going to do voting but in light of the 4/14 Strike I am going to do Work and Wages as the theme.

BTW, Hardees is closing up shop in St. Louis.  These big corporations may or may not "stimulate" the economy.  I would like to know how much "development" money and tax breaks they have been given by the St. Louis region.  I'd like to know what the numbers are in terms of their contributions both as a corporate office and sales tax (and did they get sales tax breaks at their stores?).  Maybe the job loss from their headquarters moving will impact the local economy, and maybe it won't.

There is no guarantee that a big corporation is going to stay in the St. Louis region.  Every move or closure is mourned and every new acquisition to the corporate skyline is celebrated, but the local economy continues to sink. 

I don't think Nat Geo is going to revitalize the neighbourhood they are moving into, either.  However, I do think we will start hearing about how the police need more money to "protect and serve" Nat Geo once they get there. So the taxpayers will be asked to pay for more police. 

Sunday, March 20, 2016


There were some big anti-Drumpf rallies this weekend.  I admire the spirit, but as I have already written, I don't know that demonstrations are going to do much to stop him, and may just stoke the fires of his supporters.

And even if everyone turns out to vote in the Autumn We The People still have the major problem that the popular vote does not actually elect the President.  We MUST get rid of the Electoral College, among many other things that need to change in our electoral process.

An Anonymous Sec has launched an Op against Drumpf, and while I don't know how effective the hacking part will be, I do think an April Fools' Day "Assault" on the phone lines and websites of Drumpf's campaign would be effective.

If everyone that was against Drumpf made just one phone call on April 1st and asked at least one pointed (but polite) question of his campaign, I think it would significantly stress his resources.  (Mine is "what era specifically is Trump referring to when he says 'make America great again'?")

Friday, March 18, 2016


The primaries scared the sh*t out of me.  For one thing, KMOV's tally in MO showed twice as many Republican voters than Democratic voters for the first 68% reporting.  Eventually the numbers evened out (mostly) and there were a lot of rumours that many Dems voted for Cruz or any other candidate than Drumpf.

Just a reminder, the popular vote does NOT elect the President.  The primaries are really more important.

In Illinois, twice the number of Dem's turned out at the polls, and even though Hillary got Illinois, I was fine with a large voter turnout.  Larger than expected. But Drumpf still won the Republican primary in Illinois.

To stop Drumpf, I want to again suggest targeting his offices, not his speaking engagements.  It does seem that protests emboldened his supporters and those on the fence to cast a vote for him.  This guy thrives on being vilified and on public attention.

Please make them work for this attention.  Call the Campaign headquarters. Tel: 646-736-1779
Try one of these

Ask a lot questions:
When Trump (don't say Drumpf LOL!) says he is going to make America great again, exactly what era is he referring to?  Bring up all the problems that era faced. Make them tell you specifics- the kind of things his followers don't ask.  How will his policies produce jobs?  When is Trump going to move all of his manufacturing back to the US? (Note, this linke is from FORBES!)
What does he think of the new SCOTUS appointee?  Who is his choice?  (Trust me they don't have an answer for this.)

Literally wear them out.  Make his drones do some research, I guarantee you a few will abandon him if enough people ask the right questions. 

You can also organize a large group to sign up for tickets and DON'T go

Again, it won't be on the news- the media won't be notified about this humiliation, but expecting 2000 or 10000 people that don't show up will affect the campaign and the people working on it.

Instead of protesting during the event, protest the night or day before and skip the confrontation with his drones.  And you will be able to better reach people that are apathetic or on the fence.

Of course, with any of his supporters, asking them the same questions, i.e. "what era are you referring to when you say 'make America great again'?"  These people were never happy. Call them on their fantasy.  Quote the Forbes article, ask them how they can support him as a true American patriot when he does the same things Ford does?

But I personally do not think demonstrations against him, clashing with his supporters, or infiltrating his rallies, does much good.  In the end it seems to only create revenue for the police and keeps Drumpf in the headlines.

And if he becomes the Republican candidate, and is then elected into office, no amount of protest is going to matter. Our efforts against him our better spent on getting more people to vote, and educating people so that they understand why they should vote against him.   

Tuesday, March 15, 2016


(EDIT: Please note, this post rambles and is kind of incoherent.  I suddenly realized I had an opinion about slavery that I had never noticed before.  It touches on a number of different aspects of things I have thought about a lot before, but never from the view of "what if a lot more people owned only a few slaves, instead of a small percentage owning a large number of slaves".  So I apologize, if I am not presenting completely clear thoughts.  I posted this mostly in hopes that someone would post a link to any books to read that address this. Or was this myth so embedded in my head that I need to go back and re-read some things?  Without the plantation myth I also realized that I hadn't fully seen all the roots of these people who think the Emancipation Proclamation was a bad thing.  26% of Donald Drumpf supporters, said one meme statistic that I saw on facebook.  I don't know how accurate that is, but I believe it possible.  And I believe a lot of it is handed down from former slave owning families, generation to generation.)

The Saint Louis library has 6 copies of this book, most of them are in the Stacks at Central, but Baden and Cabanne have copies on the shelves.

I just happened to see it while I was wandering around Baden, the kind of book I would check out anyhow, but it turned out to be enlightening in terms of the "Drumpf" phenomenon, and the Ferguson/BLM trolls.

In the introduction, straight away, a major myth about slavery in the United States is dispelled. Only half of the slaves in the south lived on plantations, and the slave population on plantations was on average 20.  Larger plantations with 50 or more slaves were roughly 20% of slave-owning populace.

The image of the plantation slave, surrounded by large numbers of fellow slaves, one among many, with each other and against their wealthy, white owners, creates a much different image of slavery than the statistics presented in this book.

The author examines census reports from Wayne County, Kentucky, and the statistics show that most slaves lived in close quarters with the white families that owned them. For women slaves, especially, this must have been a nightmare, and Stockholm's Syndrome to escape the misery of reality's truth was probably frequent, if not permanent. It seems that most slave women in the census bore mulatto children.  Raped by the Master at midnight, up before dawn to serve him breakfast.  And how would the owner's wife not know?

American Horror Story's Marie Delphine LaLaurie might have been more gruesome, but I expect African women suffered the worse abuse from the Mistress.

I haven't read enough Henry Gates, Jr., or Zora Neale Hurston, and certainly not with this understanding, to know if the "plantation myth" has been dispelled in academic circles.  (I haven't yet read the Ta-Nehisi Coates Reparations book yet, but I am glad now I read Streets' book first.) But in popular myth- even for someone like me, a "white ally" or "white aware"- there is an image of most slaves living separately from the white owners, with the Master having to enter the slave quarters to sire more workers and satisfy whatever sexual predilections he might have- and I imagine there was a lot of sadism and pedophilia that is not documented.

And the myth of field hands being jealous of house slaves. Would it have been a relief to be sold to large plantation, and not be sole focus of the Master's rape and the Mistress's revenge?  Not have to be in the house at night?

I wonder if the plantation mythos remains popular because in addition to making it seem as if only a relatively small percentage of white southerners owned slaves (something I used to believe before looking at this book) this myth also substantiates all the historical claims that white people lived in constant fear of a slave revolt.

With this new understanding, I think it is more likely that most slave owners lived in fear of their morning porridge being laced with morning glory seeds.  And because of this threat in close quarters, racism had to be heavily institutionalized.  Too many white slave owners lived with slaves that used the butcher's knife and machete all day. (I know that's what I would have been thinking about every time I chopped potatoes.)

Slave patrols and policing and mobs were the instruments of plantation owners with their 20 or more slaves.  The early version of the riot squad. But the inability of a person with black skin to find a friend in any part of Southern society was to ensure that no slave ever get the idea that they were going to be able to get away from the Master by killing him.  That was the more effective protection for the small, poorer, family with just a few slaves.

Another thought was that while very poor whites would always see slaves as both competition for work, and also the people he could look down upon and feel superior about their place under the boot of class society- almost the very bottom of society, but still not an African slave- a labouring slave-owning man could lease out his and his slaves' time, also putting the white man with no slaves at a loss.

This revelation gave me some thoughts on re-examining the Great Scramble's effects on the end of slavery in the U.S.  All the European nations were in a rush to enslave the African continent when slavery in this country was ending. In my opinion, (again, I don't know if this academic, I don't see it covered in general studies and encyclopedias) no European nation and the US could not repatriate African slaves en masse for fear of the armies that could potentially be raised.

(And let's not forget that Haiti had to pay the French back for loss of income after the revolution.  That's right.  Haiti finally managed to do that - IN 1950! So Josephine Baker and Bricktop and Bohemian 1920's Paris aside, the French government is still just another oppressor, class, racist nation.)

And I also would like to re-examine the famine Irish (and the Scots-Irish from the Clearances) that came in the late 1800's in large numbers.  Still today racism against black people is notorious among their descendants.  There was a lot of stress between the Irish already here and the waves of immigrants that came here- up to the 1950's.

As freed slaves and their children moved into the cities, the Irish sharecroppers- the Murphy's and Kennedy's and McDonnell's -that had starved in their own country and been spit on by other Irish in this country could scapegoat the slaves, many of whom shared their last names.

The Klansman of today has his poor, white, slave owning ancestors (not necessarily his own blood relatives) to thank for the all the mixed African and European DNA in our society.  Not a handful of wealthy plantation owners and white overseers, but his own historical self.  The plantation myth serves today's white supremacist for this reason, too. 

The supporters of Donald Drumpf that are the real inheritors of the legacy of widespread, non-plantation slavery.  Many families have secrets.  But the poor family with the slave-owning ancestor has probably passed on stories that were only told in secret to other family members.

Among a lot of middle class (or middle class cultured) white people, race is not discussed in polite society.  White people that do talk about race, especially when they talk about African Americans, mark themselves right away.  This is something that I have never been able to describe satisfactorily.

It is something so inherent in white American culture, that I think a Ph.D. level thesis paper would be required.  It is not even recognizable to a lot of white people, because it so instinctive. On both sides.

The white families that historically or personally mourned the loss of their family slaves view white people that are less racist- even cultural sensitivity in professional or work environments- as the outsiders or enemies.

I've had numerous conversations with white people about this, and everyone can identify this experience only after it has happened, and after the other person reveals themselves. For example, during Obama's election year, during Ferguson, the widespread openness in white society, talking about race, and finding out that all along, that friend on social media, or the women that you lunch with at work, have just not been talking about race openly because they had already identified you as an outsider.

But when it came out in the open, me and my friends saw them for racists. And they had been hiding it, ducking all the conversations about race.  Because they recognised me, and people like me, right away.

What I am talking about is something that happens that even I don't always see, and I am looking for it.  In fact, I am looking for it so that I can do the same thing!  The careful smile, the quick change of subject, the extra niceness that was not motivated by any genuine liking but by the desire to keep me away from the important difference between us that will create issues when it comes out.  Keep it out of the workplace relationship, or the neighbourhood relationship, etc.  They feel like they have to protect themselves.  If their great-great grandaddy didn't own slaves, they wish that he had.

To them the world is not racist enough.   I see them as being aligned with institutionalized racism, with the structure and power of racism- but they do not.    Donald Drumpf supporters and white supremacists and capitalists that rely on institutionalized racism to line their pockets with profits from cheap labour or justify an invasion or fill an army are becoming the minority.  Drumpf is promising to bring back a time they never lived in- not in the 1980's or the 1950's, but the 1850's.

These people had the same complaints in the 1950's and the 1980's.  Phyllis Schlafley spoke at the Donald Drumpf rally last week.  She's still saying the same thing she said 40 years ago when I left St. Louis for Los Angeles. As I might have written in another post- there is no America that any of these people lived through that they considered great. When these Drumpf supporters say "Make America Great Again" I thought they were talking about the Reagan years and they were just totally forgetting that they were this unhappy and complaining about everything back then, too.  But just more openly.  They still controlled the culture.

Now I think they are talking about back in the days when they would have been allowed to own slaves.  (I'm curious enough that if I had the time and money to do some sort of genealogical research on Drumpf supporters I would.  But I bet there are plenty that just inherited the legacy by osmosis of living in our society.  Manifest Destiny, the Monroe Doctrine, the Taney Code, all of these contributed with private family stories and histories.)

I am so thankful that Ferguson and Black Lives Matter have put race and racism out in the open in our society.  As a nation, we need to be having these conversations.  We need for people to be open about what they really think.

But even that is an affront to the Drumpf supporter.  Because they feel oppressed that they have had to keep silent distance from people like me. They want the antebellum south.

Again, "equality feels like oppression to the oppressor, and special treatment to the oppressed."

I would love to hear any comments or thoughts or feedback on any of this.  Or any suggestions of other good books to read.  About 20 years ago I read a number of Civil War books.  They included Gone With The Wind and Uncle Tom's Cabin.  I really hated GWTW, but I didn't like Uncle Tom's Cabin much.  Both were the portraits of plantation life, although now I want to look at UTC again and see if my ignorance about individuals owning just a few slaves were the majority caused me to overlook it. (I don't remember much of it.)

This also changes how I look at individual slave narratives and biographies, too.  In this case, though, I feel certain that once I start to review them, I will see that evidence was there, but I wasn't looking for it. A subconscious assumption of some other explanation- perhaps that slaves that were owned by poor families and lived lives more isolated from other slaves might have more opportunities to escape, tell their stories, etc.

I was always rejecting justifications and explanations for slavery and racism, but I never knew enough to reject the "plantations with 50 or more slaves" were the majority.

My fiction writer's mind wonders now if there isn't some sort of former slave-owning "Marrano"-type secret societies, hidden among us?   (Marrranos are Jews in Portugal and Spain that converted to Catholicism during the Inquistion but secretly continued private rituals among the families for hundreds of years.  They married among other Marrano families and even had their own dialect.  Some families that came out of the closet after World War 2 did not even realize that their secret tradition was founded in Judaism, and not witchcraft or pagan practices. (EDIT I shouldn't have to add this, but just in case, let me be clear I am not comparing the Marrano's need for secrecy with people who want to own slaves like grandaddy did, just that the Marranos had a secret society that rivals the theories about Illuminati secret societies, and the Marranos are well documented.)

One final loose thought, I wonder now, too, about the Caribbean and Mexico, Central, and South America, and the slavery situation there?  Is the plantation majority true in other countries?

These are all things I hope to investigate, and that I think are relevant today, in order to understand how to eradicate racism all together.

Saturday, March 12, 2016


For the first issues of the Political Activist's Guide To Saint Louis, please go to this page:

This is a re-post from the Occupy Public Transportation In St. Louis blog (

"Voting and calling representatives won't do any good, we need a revolution! The whole system has to change!"  I have said this myself in the past, and I have heard this from other people countless times.

"They would rather kill us all than change the system!" Said about the 1%.

I spent ten years in a revolutionary movement. I've never lived through a revolution, but I have talked to many people from Central and South America that have, and read about many revolutions in history.

Violent revolution is not a solution.  It does change a lot of things in a seemingly "quick" fashion, but only because of  years of work by a few individuals that were prepared for the moment of a mass uprising, and had a plan to take power.  These people- for the most part- had their own agendas, and just ended up replacing the faces in power, and making cosmetic changes to the power structure.  The masses of people have never been in power.  There has never been a "people's government."  (Iceland might be, but I haven't researched it enough yet.  They did make a lot of changes without violence.)

And revolutions are wars, and wars are a nightmare.  Everybody suffers.  (A few psychopaths, like George H.W. Bush, prosper and thrive, and usually live to propagate more wars.)

There are 7 billion people on this planet, twice the population of all the civilizations before us, twice the population of the world in 1970, and we are running out of drinkable water on a global scale.  Any mass death requires disposal of the dead, and treatment of wounded.  We really don't have the resources for this. Our species can't afford to solve problems with violence anymore.

The American Revolution created a kind of Republic that is unique in the world.  Freedom of and from religion, democratic mass voting (except for the President), the Constitution, all of these things were created after the revolution against the monarchy.   People had to think up these new modes of government and bring them into existence.  There was debate and disagreement, countless discussions.

None of the bloodshed and sacrifice of the revolution would have made a damn bit of difference without the work that came afterward.

For the first time in history, we could actually accomplish everything WITHOUT the violent uprising and war.  We could create a whole new mode of government power, run by and for the people, without killing each other.

From roughly age 16 to age 26 I advocated armed revolution in the U.S. I sold newspapers and talked to people and went to demonstrations and organized conferences and rallies.  I don't hold the same beliefs anymore but I learned a lot and talked to a lot of people about politics and things that really matter in their lives. 

Back then (the 1980's) there was no internet and no cell phones.  I remember trying to get information on the MOVE massacre in Philadelphia.  I had to go to different libraries, look in card catalogs and at microfiche, track down people that had videotaped news segments.  (Video machines were still very new then, and personal video cameras were cumbersome and heavy.) Then a leaflet had to be written and photocopied and distributed on the street in my spare time.

To talk to people I had to have all of the facts in my head or on a piece of paper in front me.  Most people don't really want to know about things that are happening because it is disturbing.  (Most people in our country have the luxury of avoiding political interaction with their government. This is very different than avoidance in poor countries where leisure time of any kind is very limited, and simply questioning politicians can mean imprisonment and/or death.)

Even in areas that were responsive and sympathetic - in the MOVE example we went to South Central Los Angeles- we were encountering people when they were out shopping, or running errands.  They could buy the paper or take a leaflet, but to find out more, they had to keep in touch with us, calling the bookstore to find out when an action might be, or we had to call them.  

It was a lot easier for people in power to lie and cover up dishonest and deadly actions.  And many people who didn't want to be disturbed by cold, hard evidence of their governments misdeeds were able to dismiss the few people like me that they might encounter.

Research that took months and even years in 1985, can be found on line in minutes. Tens of petitions can be signed on line in an hour.  Hundreds of elected officials can be emailed instantly in the time it took to write one letter and mail it.

A lot of people that say "there has to be revolution" really mean "I am not going to do anything until it gets so bad that I can't ignore it anymore."  But a lot of people really don't think that anything can be done unless we overthrow the existing power structure, with violence.  Which means they have to wait around until enough other people will revolt with them.

Which means things have to get really, really bad.

This is the first time in 35 years that I have felt like a revolutionary uprising might occur in the U.S.A.  The only other time was in Los Angeles after the police that beat Rodney King were acquitted in 1992.

The revolt that is brewing is another sign of a new world.  It's not the usual suspects this time.  It's the Good Ole Boys that are taking over government buildings and hoarding guns and ammo.  As someone said to me at a Ferguson protest "Equality feels like privilege or special treatment to the oppressed, and it feels like discrimination to the oppressor."

In Ferguson it was the mostly white Peacekeepers walking around with guns, not the Black Panthers. The paranoid delusions of the Dylan Roof's and the Donald Drumpf's are not completely paranoid or delusional.  They are losing their privilege.  America is not "Great" for racists anymore. The status quo no longer serves them first, because the rest of us demanded a more equitable and fair society.

The Armchair Revolution and Phoning It In are more effective now than an armed uprising.  For the first time in history, we can make revolutionary change without making revolution. We can, literally,  "call them on their bullshit." Make them answer to you and work for you.

Make this country great.  Not "again", but for the first time.  Your mind, your time, and your phone (or computer), are the only weapons you need.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016


Here it is as a blog post, with a few formatting inconsistencies, if you want to view it on Google Docs or print or download, see this post:


First Issue: Template For Change 5 March 2016
You know you are powerful. Maybe the knowledge of your power is buried beneath the weight of your day-to-day life. Maybe you don't always have the chance to exercise that power, but it is there. You know that you matter.
You have a vision of a better life for yourself and your loved ones. You have a vision of a better world. Your vision is as valid as the visions of Mayor Slay, or Rex Sinquefield, or Governor Nixon, or the Koch Brothers. You have a right to a good life.
It may seem that to use your power you must find a large group of like minded people and stage large demonstrations or actions. Or have a lot of money. Or have a lot of guns. All you need is your own mind, and a decision to use it to make change. Just a commitment of a little of your time, to exercise your power.
It may seem that changing something in your own life takes so much of your personal power that there is little leftover to change things for other people. That is exactly why you are so powerful. The vision that you have, as a (seemingly) “powerless” person, is a vision that is shared by many people.
Your issues are the issues. What you need is what everyone needs. You speak for millions. Your thoughts, your solutions, your actions, can change the world for everyone.
Take the $15 minimum wage movement as an example. Even if each one of the individual people in that movement had demanded a raise for themselves it would have created a similar result. By joining together and synchronizing their actions, they created a visible movement. Done in unison, they were able to prevent retaliation on individuals (by firing them). But it began with just a few people, speaking up for their rights. People that knew they had power and weren't afraid to use it.
The Fight for $15 is a great example of just how much change a few people can create. Each person in the movement is acting on their own interests, and their interests align with many other people's. Like small drops of evaporated water, naturally gathering together to form large storm clouds.

Practical people know that to change something, you must have a vision of how things should be. That vision should be “idealistic,” the best we can imagine. We don't have to like each other, or agree on everything.
We just have to start with what everyone needs.
Clean air.
Clean water.
Arable land for food.
Health care, medicine, and emergency services.
Shelter and clothing.
Child care and Elder care.
Education, including college.
Safety nets for disability, disease, and old age.
We also need:
(Real) Civic responsibility.
Travel through community, civic or military responsibilities.
Freedom and leisure to pursue our own interests.
Very few humans on this planet have all of those things, and those that do are mostly in “developed” nations like ours. There is enough for everyone: enough air, enough water, enough food, enough medical care and medicine, enough clothing, enough homes, enough work. Travel, civic responsibility, and freedom and leisure are also available in abundance.
THE WORLD'S RESOURCES NEED TO BE DISTRIBUTED MORE FAIRLY. And that includes work. There is plenty of work, but not enough jobs. Everyone should work, even if they are rich. A minimum amount of work should be required of everyone on this planet to provide for that person's basic needs, and to ensure equitable distribution of natural resources. If everyone worked at the jobs that were necessary, for 10 hours a week, people that chose to work and earn more would still have the opportunity. But every person should have a job.


Altering local government and institutions will automatically change the power structure at the top. Even many Federal laws can be altered at State and Local levels.
Local laws and regulations effect your day to day life much more significantly than national or state laws. Representatives are easier to reach. And careful monitoring at a local level would ensure that only the best of local leaders make it to the state and national congresses.
We have more power in our own communities. Occupy Wall Street sought to shut down Wall Street. To change something nationally- and globally- requires changing a lot of big structures and networks. In other words, changing Wall Street means changing St. Louis. It's actually simpler and more effective to do it in the reverse. Change St. Louis, and the country changes.
We have to become more involved by keeping in contact with local politicians, by being aware of what laws and legislation are affecting our communities, and by monitoring elected judges and their records, and watching who is appointed to run government funded entities (like John Nations appointment as CEO of Metro).
Most of the City's funds for business development are used to lure discretionary spending by county residents. This does not always benefit city residents. In fact, it often robs the city to do this. (Ballpark Village, Cortex, etc.)
City leaders waged what they knew was a losing battle to keep a football team. And they fought hard until the end.
If our city leaders can rally around a $1 Billion stadium on their own decision, We The People can force them to rally $1 Billion for jobs, social services, and to save our schools! The level of organization, energy, time, and resources that was given to the Rams stadium project needs to be forced into real economic development. If that money was available for a football team, it must be available to hire unemployed citizens to clean up, repair, educate, and reorganize St. Louis. IT'S UP TO US TO MAKE THEM DO IT!


The systems and modes that worked up until World War 2 are no longer relevant or viable. That includes revolutions. Violence against the government and ruling classes is no longer a path to transformative change for We The People.
We live in a truly “New Age.” The population of the planet has doubled since 1970, and of all the people that lived on this earth, half of them are dead. In other words, the global population (7 billion) is now twice that of all the people that have ever lived before us. Never before have humans been a greater threat to nature than the other way around. Never before have we had technology like we do today. Never before have governments had “weapons of mass destruction.”
Our world is run by bankers and the Departments of Defense (and their contractors) in a few governments globally, the U.S. being the top dog. We cannot fight them with weapons. We don't need to, and it wouldn't be effective change, anyhow. Violence would simply change the faces in power. The real power is the active voice of We The People.
Right now politicians decide what issues will be placed before voters. We need to start dictating the issues to them. To change the power structure we have to change. The current government structure does need many changes, for instance, the electoral college. George W. Bush's election is proof of that. But no changes are going to matter until we take control of our government. Right now, the government has no reason to take us seriously. That has to change first.
We don't need more people running for office. WE THE PEOPLE need to start running all of the government offices and public institutions by individually starting our own revolutions. Each one of us needs to become just a little more active and aware, socially and politically, in our own communities.
When the people fear the government there is tyranny. When the government fears the people there is liberty.” John Basel Barnhart

What we need is for more motivated people to create a culture where social activism and civic responsibility is woven into the fabric of our day to day lives. If we all do a little more, none of us will have to do too much. The Armchair revolution is on-going, which means that We The People will stay in control.
Social change is created through the actions of as little as 12% of the population. In St. Louis city that is roughly 37,000 people. Imagine the changes in our city, if everyone at the Card's game was a registered voter (whether they voted or not) and called an elected official once a month? Or 4700 people made 5 phone calls a month (still 37,000 calls a month)? An increase of this size in telephone calls from registered voters would create widespread change in our local government, and shift the balance of power in St. Louis.
Marches, rallies, and demonstrations are still necessary. But too often they create extra revenue for the police, in addition to putting burden on a lot of individual people. And often mass actions without consistent, active follow-up, achieve only small results. The work of the Ferguson uprising continues almost 2 years later. Every day dedicated people make phone calls, write letters, sign petitions, and have conversations in our communities. This work has to be done! Let's start now, before things get critical enough that we have to take to the streets!
We can “gather” and “create large mobs” and “demonstrations” simply by using our cell phones. Registering to vote, calling elected officials, researching issues and power structures, can all be done from a cell phone.
The Armchair Revolution does not require an oath or dues or signing any contracts. It does not require you to agree with anything or anybody but yourself. You do not need to tell anyone you are a revolutionary. It requires only that you make a decision to use your power, a little of your time, every day, week, or month, to do a little more to create change in your life and your community. 5 additional actions a month, 11 months a year.
People should not be afraid of their governments; Governments should be afraid of their people.” -V for Vendetta


There is only one power in the government that cannot be bought or sold. It is the only legal power capable of overthrowing the oligarchy** our government has become.
Politicians only pay attention to people that are registered to vote. It doesn't matter if that person has actually voted. In order for a politician to gain or keep their power, they must be voted into office. By becoming a registered voter, you are another potential source of election (or re-election) to a politician. (You don't have to vote. Just register to vote. But as a form of protest, you can also legally write-in anyone, including people that aren't running, and exercise your voting rights. Your vote is your voice.)
Every person that registers to vote becomes another person politicians have to call and send mailings to. Another person they have to (at least pretend to) listen to. Right now elected officials only have to communicate with roughly 30% of the population (averaging out very low local voter turnout with higher state and national turnout). Which means those 30% have more power with politicians than lobbyists. You have more power now as a registered voter than when the majority of people are registered.
Our government answers to very few people. The voting public is so inconsequential that election years are the only time we really matter. Dishonest politicians do not want more registered voters. Honest politicians, who truly want to do the will of the people, are working in an environment where corruption is “business as usual.” The more people that register to vote, the more power politicians have against the lobbyists and special interests, and even other politicians. Which means you have greater power.
Super wealthy, special interests are trying to make it more difficult for people to vote. They recognize the power of a registered voter. Even if you don't vote, please register and stay registered.
I am the ballot in your box...”
You can go to any library or department of motor vehicles, or register on-line: .
**Oligarchy: a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution.


Everyone is guaranteed a home, basic food, clothing, medical care, education, and work 10 hours a week at a wage that pays for the basics. (This wage might be more than $15, or less.)
Community daycare and elder care are available free.
All utilities are public services are publicly owned, NON-PROFIT, and managed by the government. Not publicly “held”. Publicly owned. Water, electricity, gas, telephone, internet, trash and waste removel, public transportation, health insurance and medical services, hospitals, emergency services (ambulance and fire), police, prisons.
HUD and Section 8 buys people homes.
Stores like Wal-Mart and Costco are community owned and operated co-operatives (like WinCo, for example). Every community has a publicly owned and operated “Superstore” Co-op. (These large chains can sell non-necessities for profit.)
Our schools have 100% what they need. Every child deserves a GREAT education, including tutoring, extra-curricular activities, sports, and social events. Every child is given what s/he needs to thrive and prosper. High school drop-out rates are low, and post secondary degrees (college, trade school) are the norm.
Our communities are centered around school districts. All other districts- fire, police, transportation, voting, etc.- are organized around the school districts.
Every 6 block area has a community garden and collects rainwater. (Our planet's supply of drinkable water is set to run out in 2025. This will effect developed nation's like ours first.)
Everyone is automatically registered to vote at age 18.
Every resident has a personal public transit pass, with free fare days on July 4th and election days. All resident passes “cap out” each month when fares totalling the cost of a montly pass are reached. Discount passes for low income and unemployed are available, as they are for seniors and the disabled currently.
All of this is possible NOW! Other communities around the world have made changes like these. So can St. Louis!

5 FOR 11:
  • Register to vote
  • Make a call to a political official
  • Sign a petition
  • Learn about something! Globally: the TPP. Nationally: Glass-Steagall, the Carried Interest Loophole, the Electoral College. Locally: Metro's $5 million “contributions to outside entities”. (The same amount of money Metro needs, supposedly, from rider fare increases this July!) All of these things directly impact the St. Louis economy.
  • Encourage someone else to take action. Share this 'zine on-line, or print and distribute it. Feel free to use part or all of it to make your own leaflet or 'zine.
  • If you were arrested at a political demonstration DON'T TAKE THE PLEA AND PAY THE FINE. Take it to court. Protect the First Amendment and your right to political action. Don't let your political activism be an easy source of revenue for the police and courts. Even if you lose, your challenge will remain in the judicial record, and will contribute to future cases. (Many criminal arrests need to be challenged as well.) The police and courts, and lawyers, are very powerful (and wealthy) in St. Louis, and often get away with taking actions and powers that are not legally theirs to take. Law and Order are not the same as Peace and Justice!
IDEAS ARE BULLETPROOF” 5 For 11 and the Armchair Revolution are inspired by the movie “V For Vendetta”. Instead of planting bombs, plant information and knowledge. Instead of blowing up buildings, “blow up” the phone lines with calls.
PAG2STL MISSION STATEMENT: To encourage citizens of Saint Louis to register to vote (whether they vote or not). To encourage powerful, visionary citizens to create social, political, economic, judicial, legal, environmental, and community change via “The Armchair Revolution.”

Monday, March 7, 2016


You can view, download or print the entire 'zine at:

When printing: the first document is the back and front covers (in that order, for printing purposes).
The next is pages 1 and 6.
The "Armchair Revolution" is the centrefold, pages 3 & 4.
The next is pages 5 and 2.

Print it out, two-sided (watch the orientation!), and fold it in half. Voila!

EDIT 8 March 16: If you want to read it as a blog post (much easier to load and view on a phone) go to this post: