James Domingo: Erasing The Myth of Superiority

Photograph of beautiful and stylish African American woman
Celebrating Antoinette. AKA: Scorpiana. Photo: Tony Ward, Copyright 2024

Text by James Domingo, Copyright 2024

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Erasing The Myth of Superiority

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The 2024 election cycle may prove to be one of the most important in our country’s centuries old experiment with Democracy. 

As we wind down this Black History Month, there is always reason to celebrate the rich culture and contributions that Black Americans have woven into the fabric of America. 

Unfortunately, aside from the vast contributions of incredible music, art, literature and amazing cuisine, many other accomplishments have been purposely diminished and whitewashed from the history books by those who would prefer not to acknowledge these overwhelming contributions achieved in the face of rabid adversity. 

America, with its many successful advancements of civil rights and equality, is finding itself with a segment of our society actively working to dial our country backwards to its darkest times by resurrecting the ignorant rhetoric of the Jim Crow Era.

It’s important to remember that there are those that like to pretend that Black Americans did not contribute to the Industrial Revolution. However, in the north, we invented and received 50,000 patents which was on par with every other group of immigrants with the exception of German and English immigrants who didn’t face the adversity that Black Americans were subjected to, especially in the south where institutions and policies were extremely racist and oppressive.

Fast forward to the 2024 Election cycle and here we are again being subjected to the same ignorant rhetoric and attacks on Black History. 

For decades the GOP extremists have used their thinly veiled dog-whistles and red meat rhetoric to foment anger and resentment towards the Black American community as well as every other non-white citizen in our country including the LGBTQ  community as well.

American citizens need to stand strong against the likes of Ron DeSantis who for some strange reason thinks his misguided anger gets to dictate how and where Black history will be taught and shared. We need to stand firmly against extremists and wannabe fascist, bigoted dictators like Trump who peddles his bigoted bullshit by suggesting that Black Americans now align with him because he’s been convicted of sexual assault,  fraud and a host of other crimes. He also insisted that Black Americans will embrace him because they “loved his mugshot.” In his declining MAGAt mind he thinks Black Americans have some sort of affinity toward criminal behavior and see him as some sort of an ally or hero. He will continue to pander to Black Americans while mumbling the “N” word in private until he no longer needs them as he does with everyone in his polluted orbit.

Others in the MAGAt camp have also suggested that “the Blacks” will flock to Trump because he came out with a hideous line of sneakers that he’s yet to deliver on and wreaks of desperation.

 I suppose by their ignorant mindset, they’d also believe that he could boost sales by including a slice of watermelon and a piece of fried chicken with each purchase of his “DespAir Jordan” clown shoes.

So again, elections have consequences. The 2024 Election is one that could put some of the worst that our society has to offer back in power and diminish our standing in the world. 

We can and should avert another pandemic of racism.

So, Americans need to decide if they want our country to be run by archaic, knuckle-dragging AmeriKKKans or they can show up at the polls and vote for American leadership that will represent all of our citizens equally in the way any evolved society should. 

We’ve had 247 years to get this Democracy thing right. 

Let’s grow up and act like it.

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Portrait of James Domingo, photographer, activist
James Domingo

About The Author: James Domingo is a veteran professional photographer and political activist based in Philadelphia. He specializes in photographing people on location or in the studio and often promotes his activism on his Facebook profile. This is James Domingo’s first contribution to this zine. 

A.H. Scott: Crystal Clear

Illustration of President Joe Biden smiling from ear to ear. Artist: Thomcat23
President Joe Biden. Artwork by Thomcat23, Copyright 2024

Text by A.h. Scott, Copyright 2024

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Crystal Clear

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What will 2024 bring?

Will it bring about the reinforcement of American democracy?

Or, will it sink into the quicksand of dictatorship?

Well, of the two leading candidates of the respective Democratic and Republican party; one man boasts of an affinity for being a dictator. 

As for the other man, who came into office riding a wave of reclaiming the soul of America; he might not be a shoe-in of being re-elected. 

Just think about that reality for a moment. Donald Trump, a former President of the United States of America; who stoked and stroked an insurrection of the 2020 Presidential election, is closer than anyone would have believed in being on that pathway of reclaiming an office which he took to the brink of demolishing the spirit of democracy. 

Oh yeah – and all the while his doubly-impeached backside is facing 91 counts from New York, Florida, Georgia and Washington, DC over his malevolent machinations. For Donald, everything is everything, and everything is a-ok for him. Just keep the grift up and all is well is Trumpworld. 

Joe Biden, the current President of the United States of America; who has had a string of legislative successes that any politician would be getting high-fives and kudos over; is almost having to scream for a crumb of attention to get the respect he deserves over his record. President Biden doesn’t need to be a man begging for acknowledgement.

And, damnit, it’s a sad state of affairs in this country, when a person who has the gas can in one hand and the matches in the other in destroying anything that could be considered normal is leading or tied in the polls. Of course the polls are ever changing, and the election of this burgeoning year isn’t until November 2024. But, geez, is it just me, or is the abnormal the normal and sanity suddenly insanity. 

Alas, this present situation is not just about two men; this is about who WE are as Americans. Okay, more specifically; who WE are as voters. 

Some just wanna’ give a half-assed shrug and act as if what Donald Trump did in violating the 14th Amendment in giving aid and comfort to an insurrection, as if the Constitution doesn’t mean squat. 

To the rest of us out here in America who actually give a damn about what the Constitution means and should be heralded as being; the name of Donald John Trump should be as far away from any ballot anywhere in this country. He forfeited the right to be a candidate the moment he chose to overturn the 2020 Presidential election. Going a bit further and being blunter to the point; fairness and that man’s name or likeness ain’t even in the same galaxy. He gets what he gets and what I believe he should get is the sound of that closing cell behind him. 

Always acting like he is some penny-less victim, Donald Trump is playing that role of the ‘Poor Rich Boy’ whose daddy Fred didn’t hug him enough when all those millions he left his son was frittered away in bankruptcy after bankruptcy. Donald Trump, born with a diamond spoon in his mouth is groaning on and on every time he pops his head up before camera, rally or his own social network, which is Anti-Truth.

Just be glad you were not treated like every other defendant who would have been tossed in the clink to cool your heels until whenever your trial date came around. Yet, you have your southern palace of tackiness you get to stomp around in, all the while you tell your supporters you are being railroaded on their behalf. 

You tell them that the ‘deep state’ is out to get you, even though the title of President of the United States of America doesn’t make that reality of persecution stand the laugh test. 

The office of the President of the United States of America brings out whom and what you are. If you were a selfish, miserable, small-minded, misogynistic, son-of-a-Trump, then that’s what the reflection reveals during your days in that office. 

Donald Trump didn’t change when he ascended to the office of the President. It was the office of the Presidency that changed when he became occupant of that hallowed office. 

In some ways, the word descent is what comes to mind when I think of Donald Trump. The descent of America is what occurred when he and his lady love Melania descended that escalator at his namesake tower. Descent into one man’s egotistic madness is what we all have had to live with during the past, present and soon to be future in the realm of Donald Trump. 

Yet, for Mr. 45, there is another word that looms heavy. 

Even now, out of office and still on the hunt to claw back into the oval, Donald Trump is still the same person he’s always been. And, what word could be used at this moment – is DEPLORABLE. Oh, yeah, remember when former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used that term and was berated and mocked. She was on target then and the target is still on point. 

Deplorable Donald is who he is. 

Tact be damned, when it comes to this human being; who is void of any flicker of humanity. 

The whole situation of January 6, 2021 has to be addressed. What happened before that date, and what has happened since that date is the flashing beacon which no one should attempt to avoid. 

 Call it a reckoning. Call it karma. Or just call it just desserts. 

Damn, this was just within the last five years, but it is starting to seem as if it were decades or a century ago when these events occurred. 

With Barnum-esque braggadocio, the former President of the United States revels in always saying he is in a category all by himself. And, you know what – he is. Donald John Trump is in a category all his own. He is the only person who has occupied the oval office who has been charged with felonies up and down the courthouses of the Eastern coast of the United States of America. 

Yes, Donald, your category is yours and yours alone. You know; the category of being the first candidate that even breaches the 14th Amendment of the Constitution and the courts have to come up with a ruling upon it. Yes, you have misshaped and deformed all which has been considered on the level of decency or just plain normalcy. Yeah, it’s all you, Donald Trump. Everything you touch turns to trash. Trashing the military, trashing the media, trashing political opponents, trashing fellow citizens, trashing anything you deem as being beneath your level of supposed greatness. 

Yeah, so even I have to agree with the point of this person being on a level of all his own. It’s the 9th circle of hell, but it’s Donald’s and Donald’s alone. 

Who would have ever thought that the levers of democratic institutions in this country could ever be taken beyond the outer limits of what is civil, proper and fair; all at the behest of a single person?

When Donald Trump whines about being tossed off the ballot in Colorado and Maine (and, hopefully many a more state) and being treated unfairly, it is a joke; for he should be glad he isn’t cooling his heels in a jail cell, until he goes through his court cases, due to his role as Insurrectionist in Chief for January 6, 2021. 

Having the panoply of legal theories and legal firms on retainer at his beck and grifting call, the leading Republican Presidential candidate could choose how he wishes to be defended.

Would it be a defense of ‘true innocence’ by Donald Trump? You know, the kind of innocence that a person who wasn’t standing over a corpse holding the murder weapon in hand and has an actual alibi of being a thousand miles away with visible proof. Or, would it be a defense based on technical jujitsu[1] of flipping words and crossing your fingers in hoping that you could pull the wool over a judge or jury’s eyes? 

Donald Trump can’t plant his flag on the visage of virginity. No matter what he or his highly paid defenders can toss into the ether as a hypothetical comparison[2] to any other person who has held the office of President of the United States of America, he has to stand on his own hooves and show not a fleck of ash upon a sheet of white. 

George W. Bush with the Iraq War or Barack Obama authorizing drone strikes were policy directives by both former Presidents of the United States. So, the pros and cons of what those two former occupants of the oval office are apples compared to the putrid citrus fruit which is the orange of insurrection.

Dragging any other politician into the mucked up mix that Donald Trump may be mired within, will never make him virginal. 

That train of temperance has long left the station of his living many a decade ago.

Alas, with all the gas-lighting that’s the purview of the Republican playbook, transparency of logic isn’t as evident as one may think it should be.

One party speaks in sentences, while another speaks in paragraphs. Yeah, I just wrote that and you might think it doesn’t make sense. But, it actually does. 

Donald Trump – Make America Great Again

Joe Biden – ????????

Yes, one sentence. Whether you agree with it or not; it snaps and goes straight into a simple note of memory. You can’t forget how easy those four words in that sentence can hold your attention.

Democrats never seem to come up with a single sentence that can grab the voters’ attention. There seems that there is nothing I as a Democrat can reply in a slogan to express a vision or a roadmap.  

As you read this, can you come up with a single sentence as a wraparound for what the Biden-Harris 2024 campaign is using as a basis for their re-election.

I don’t see it. I do see accomplishments. Most definitely, there are many of them that can be pointed to. Yet, are any of them bumper-sticker worthy? No, at this point, I don’t think so. 

This is where the Democrats constantly fall short in getting their message across. In a YES or NO world, politicians on the left are forever lost in an analytical loop. 

Donald Trump says Make America Great Again and yes, I roll my eyes and groan when hearing it. But, it’s a line that’s become ingrained. And, from Joe Biden’s side of the ledger, his advisors keep saying he’s got time to make his case for re-election. Well, it is now February 2024 and November is closer than they may think.

My small piece of advice for President Joe Biden and all within his campaign infrastructure is this – Make It As Plain As A Glass of Water. 

Think of it this way; think of a glass of water and just say what it is. Water is wet. Water is cold. Water is lukewarm. Water is life.

Keep it simple and make your point. No need for a long and overdrawn chemical analysis of H2O. 

That should be a breakdown of how a slogan should be made in defense of the Biden-Harris policies and the opposing of Donald Trump’s second coming. 

If it’s the growl of Make America Great Again, why can’t we on the Democratic side say something like – Democrats Protecting Democracy. Yeah, it’s probably too simple a phrase to say; but, a single sentence has to come from somewhere. Because, right now; people out here in America ain’t feelin’ it. 

You know, feeling the purpose of something beyond just the fact that Donald Trump is on the other side of whatever this election is all about. 

Feeling of purpose seems to be that level of intensity to the extent of bleeding for the candidate. And, no matter how good and valid a man Joe Biden is; it ain’t him that brings out that devotion. Now, devotion may be overrated. I don’t know. But, since that asset of devotion is not in the toolbox of the Democratic candidate for re-election; then that messaging better be hotter than Hades and more on point than Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five.

You see, I can list the achievements of the Biden-Harris administration and show how they are benefiting the American citizenry. Yet, seeing statistics in black and white won’t set the soul on fire for people to have an impetus to vote in November. 

THE BIDEN-HARRIS RECORD: 

American Rescue Plan [3]– Stimulus checks, child care tax credits 

Inflation Reduction Act [3]– Lowering drug costs and $35.00 insulin price cap 

Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act [3]– Bridge repair and replacement, pipe and service lines, sewer systems, upgrading power grid, investing in high-speed internet 

Safer Communities Act[3] – Providing funding for gun safety and $10 billion in funding for mental healthcare

Emergency Capital Investment Program (ECIP) [4]– providing loans, grants, and assistance to small and minority-owned businesses in low-income and financially underserved communities.

Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Program[4] – 8 million payments to renters at risk of eviction

Whatever the message is that the Democrats are working on getting out before this election, they should be shouting from the rooftops and flashing the bat signal. 

Advisors can say ‘Bidenomics’ from now until the end of Summer and that will fall on deaf ears. Focus on the underlying numbers and not a cutesy name for the economy under Joe Biden’s tutelage. 

The slogan should be – Competence Over Chaos!

There you go – 3 words – bumper sticker ready!

Biden/Harris – Competence Over Chaos!

It turns ‘old & creaky Joe Biden’ into a sober and clear thinking leader of competence versus ‘old & dithering Donald Trump’ as a diaper soaked cry-baby of consistent chaos. 

Now, it might piss off both sides of the political ledger in noting both men are ‘old’. And, yes, neither of the candidates are spring chicks fresh off the farm, okay. 

So, the choice is competence or chaos? 

And, that is crystal clear. 

“Crystal Clear”- THE FOOTNOTES: 

1.-Trump’s outrageous ‘license to kill’: MAGA lawyer claims POTUS may ‘legally’ murder American rivals – MSNBC

2.-Trump’s Bizarre Immunity Claims Should Serve as a Warning – The New Yorker 

https://www.newyorker.com/news/daily-comment/trumps-bizarre-immunity-claims-should-serve-as-a-warning

3.-10 Accomplishments of The First Two Years of The Biden-Harris Administration – UpNorth News Wisconsin 

https://upnorthnewswi.com/2023/01/20/accomplishments-two-years-biden-harris-administration-2/

4.-Year in Review: Treasury’s Top Accomplishments During Year Two of the Biden-Harris Administration – U.S. Treasury Department

https://home.treasury.gov/news/press-releases/jy1180

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Portrait of A.H. Scott poet and writer based in New York City
A.H. Scott

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.H. Scott is a poet and essayist based in New York City and is a veteran contributor to this blog.  To access additional articles by A.H. Scott, click here:  https://tonyward.com/a-h-scott-games-people-play/

A.H. Scott: Games People Play

photo illustration of modified American flag as chess pieces
Games People Play. Artwork: Tony Ward, Copyright 2023

Text by A.H. Scott, Copyright 2023

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What kind of game is this? 

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It’s 2023 and welcome to Mystery Date[1]: GOP Speaker Edition!

Kevin is out. Steve is shunned, Jim is ejected, rejected and haplessly erected with his jacketless quest to hunt a Biden called Hunter. Then there’s a guy named Tom, who is a 60 second man.

Kevin McCarthy got tossed out on his butt, after a vote against him vacated the Speaker’s chair. Steve Scalise was next up, but the GOP crew didn’t want him in the big chair either. Jim Jordan couldn’t wrestle up the number of votes he needed to be elected either. Then along came Tom Emmer from Minnesota who didn’t even get enough moments in the Speaker’s post to warm the big chair. 

Along the way, the GOP was in a scramble. Good ol’ Kevin McCarthy even had an idea he put forth as a gamble. Thinking he could get himself re-installed[2] as Speaker with Jim Jordan as a sturdy side-man was McCarthy’s wackiest idea to this present date. 

Kev, you were voted out. So, stay out!! That gavel is gone with the wind, sir! Have no doubt, that wheel of speakership fortune ain’t coming your way again!

Beyond the ones who are racing to please, there is that 1 mean boy named Matt Gaetz that wants everything to freeze. 

With Tom, Jim, Steve and Kevin out of the race, who will be the one for the role as House Speaker to take that place?

The winner is Mister Mellow Mike Johnson with a soft tone, outrageous overreach and insidious ideology. Mike is the TROJAN oops, maybe shouldn’t be using that word with such a righteous figure such as he. Two ways this situation can unfold with the new speaker; either there is harmony on the highway of humanity or an instinct of intolerance. 

With newly minted House Speaker Mike Johnson, the knots are what he’s all about. 

“He is a servant leader and he is going to bind us together” – Rep. Mark Alford, R-MO[3]

Speaking of bind – I think the American people are now truly in a bind of keeping our fingers crossed that the Democrats can maintain control of the United States Senate, because with Maga Mike in charge of the house, the thumping is going to be hard and harder from the right.

So, ladies and gentlemen, here he is: Maga Mike – The Super Thumper!

“Go pick up a Bible off your shelf and read it. That’s my worldview. That’s what I believe, so I do not apologize for it.” – Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana[4]

Thumpin’ that bible hard as can be in one hand and thumpin’ somethin’ else with the other. 

“There will be no legal basis to deny a bisexual the right to marry a partner of each sex, or a person to marry his pet.” – Speaker of the House, Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana[4] 

So, no longer is the man from Louisiana just a stealth congressman, but now HE is House Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.

“All’ gay people were ‘capable of changing their abnormal lifestyles’ and there is ‘clearly no “right to sodomy” in the Constitution.” – House Speaker Mike Johnson, R-Louisiana[4] 

And, yet – there also isn’t any right to any form of any illusory descriptive positions or interplay between beings, be it from the docility of a faint peck of affection upon a rosy cheek in a stolen kiss during midnight’s missionary play to a backdoor bangin’ while hangin’ from chandeliers. 

There is no paragraph, stanza, comma or colon within the United States Constitution that voices anything in the galaxy of sexuality. But, then again, I guess those that thump that Bible round’ the clock see those considered as sinners around every shadowy corner and every pot of Puritan porridge.

So, there Maga Mike sits atop the House[5], as third in line to the Presidency of the United States of America.

Those who uplifted him to this critical position see this specific moment in history as one of glory. 

“The swamp is on the run, Maga is ascendant and if you don’t think that moving from Kevin McCarthy to Maga Mike Johnson shows the ascendance of this movement, and where the power of the Republican party truly lies, then you’re not paying attention” –  Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL[4]

Representative Matt Gaetz is all in a tizzy of titillation in swooning over this man that is one of his own ideological ilks. But, more importantly, it is the head of the modern Republican Party who truly sees Mike’s elevation as an ultimate Trump card. Oops, I let the Donald out of the bag in noting that factor. Yes, it is former President and presidential candidate Donald Trump that walks with a bit more pep in his step in having an ally who is Speaker of the House to do his nefarious bidding when it comes to a possible repeat of actions Representative Johnson did on his behalf in authoring an amicus[4] brief to the United States Supreme Court to overturn election results in the subversive plot in the last Presidential election of 2020. 

Trump is probably thinking the newly installed Speaker is bound to make things better for his electoral comeback in greasing the skids for anything that’s bound to come during the upcoming election of 2024.

Bound for glory? 

Uh-uh. Only bound for having a sudden twang of amnesia is the game Maga Mike and all the rest of them are twisting themselves into knots for. 

Speaking of games that people play, there’s a man with more knowledge of balls[6] than any of the others that has been listed in this article so far.

Does anybody honestly think that in over those 40 plus years of thousands of virile, young men being shepherded under the tutelage of Tommy Tuberville in the pursuit of athletic victory that there were not a singular ‘blip’ of less than virtuous decorum that would be better to be gone with the wind?

Anything that would dare endanger, tarnish or detour a championship title and all the collective glory for an institutions’ sports program’s sterling reputation and a glistening array of trophy in a finely polished case would just be the price of victory. 

 

So, hey, I sit here and shrug as to what a person would do to be lauded as a champion in whatever field of vocation they have chosen to tackle. Pun intended. For me, it’s one of those things to ponder that make me go hmm.

Yet, for games that people play as being on the side of all that is pristine, pure and for the moral good; is in reality just the opposite for the tawdry power-grab for ascendancy towards adoration, adulation and ever expanding campaign coffers.

Being a game of pigskin to politics, to be in the winner’s circle is the end all be all. 

Of course with his reputation, Tommy ain’t no fly by night type of character. Tommy Tuberville has coached varied champions of swiftness and speed from the University of Cincinnati in Ohio to Texas Tech University in Lubbock and Auburn University in Alabama. 

And, finally of course in the Southern United States, there is the grandest of the granddaddies when it comes to a football program legacy – Ole’ Miss; otherwise known as the University of Mississippi, located in Oxford, Mississippi. 

That allure of winning has its’ perks for the pigskin gladiators who score on and off the field on any given Sunday. With that reality, there are always accommodations to be made to keep the starting line and backup second string waiting in the wings on that field to win. 

So, when Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville rails on and on about sanctity and sin while putting a hold on nominations for promotions in our government, it reeks to me as the height of hypocrisy. 

I wonder if any of the media that come in contact with Senator Tuberville, be it on Capitol Hill or back in Alabama has ever asked him of any glint of knowledge of any young men under his wise guidance who has had a possibility of their ability to conquer in the field of sports over his 40 years plus has ever been endangered of being sidelined by an unwanted pregnancy and having its’ results swept away for convenience of furthering the march to victory. 

As from the days of the then landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in the early 1970’s to now of the present day, data statistics[7] have documented on how many unplanned pregnancies have been terminated due to that once legally protected medical procedure across the United States of America. 

No one should be under any illusion of reality that Ohio, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi have been excised from all the other 46 states being affected. 

When Senator Tuberville speaks with such a definitive deriding of any member of the United States military who has sought this medical procedure, as he is some kind of man of moral perfection that is trying to push his own stridency upon other citizens of equal standing; he probably figures no one would dare turn the spotlight of judgment back on him.  

Senator Tommy Tuberville, as well as all the rest of these Republicans are betting that they can best the game of pulling one over on the American voting public. Well, maybe some can be bamboozled with such ease in hearing a stem-winding speech on virtue and the Godliness which some profess to be bathed in.

Yet, as in the results[8] elections in Ohio, Virginia and Kentucky of November 7th, 2023 showed the country and the world, sometimes even the best players fumble and their opponents experience the winner’s circle for once in a while. Lest anyone forget the overturning of Roe v. Wade by Trump’s trio of autonomy’s reversal in 2022, many an American woman and our allies clasp the torch of recrimination in the voting booths for many an unseen decade to come. No, no, GOP – you wrought this and us women of this nation is tossin’ you out on your rears in defeat is how you are gonna’ to be taught this!!

So, just keep on thumpin’, Maga Mike and keep on torturing logic, ‘Bama Tommy; while Democrats, Independents and even Republicans who are fed up with the grubby grab for self-aggrandizement and phony piety that encompasses the party which now has gleefully relinquished any façade of a political vision and platform under the stranglehold of a tiny thumbed tyrant in waiting, Donald J. Trump have flipped the script.

Game on!!

“Games People Play”

by

A.H. Scott

Games People Play; The Footnotes:

1.-Mystery Date – Mystery Date Board Game Milton Bradley 

2.-Kevin McCarthy Floats Proposal To Return Him To Power And Make Jim Jordan Assistant House speaker – NBC

https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/mccarthy-floats-partnership-jordan-assistant-house-speaker-rcna122037

3.-New Speaker Mike Johnson ‘Is Going To Bind Us Together’: GOP Rep. Mark Alford — ABC News

4.-Mike Johnson As Speaker Shows ‘Maga Is Ascendant’ In Congress, Matt Gaetz says – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/oct/26/mike-johnson-speaker-matt-gaetz-maga-ascendant

5.-Republicans Choose Election-Denying LGBTQ-Hating Psycho as House Speaker – The Humanist Report

6.-Tommy Tuberville Made $25m Off Black men. God Forbid They Get Anything Back – The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2022/oct/12/tommy-tuberville-us-senator-auburn-coach-reparations-speech-football

7.-Morbidity and Morality Weekly Report (MMWR) – Centers For Disease Control And Prevention 

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/70/ss/ss7009a1.htm#T4_down

8.-The Supreme Court Dismantled Roe. States Are Restoring It One By One. – Politico

https://www.politico.com/news/2023/11/09/abortion-rights-elections-red-states-00126225

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Portrait of A.H. Scott poet and writer based in New York City
A.H. Scott

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: A.H. Scott is a poet and essayist based in New York City and is a veteran contributor to this blog.  To access additional articles by A.H. Scott, click here: https://tonyward.com/a-h-scott-its-all-in-the-game/

Bryan Abrams: 47,000 9/11’s

anti war illustration of two people wearing gas masks
Be Safe Out There. Artwork by Thomncat 23, Copyright 2023

Text by Bryan Abrams, Copyright 2023

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47,000 9/11’s What is that?

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That is the equivalent amount of people that would have been killed to equal the amount of Jewish people -men ,women ,old ,young and Holocaust survivors slaughtered by Hamas on October 7th, the sabbath for Jewish people.

Folks have asked why would Hamas attack Israel at this time and there are two main reasons:

The first is that the judicial reform bill that the right wing had been pushing sent hundreds of thousands of Israelis protesting in the streets and a huge contingent of reservists coming out against it. The reservists would have stopped training and wouldn’t be ready for an attack so the IDF would be lessened.
The second and probably even more vital reason was the treaty Israel was advancing with Saudi Arabia.  A recognition of Israel by the Saudi’s would be a huge blow to Hamas, a subsidiary of Iran, and they couldn’t have that .
Hamas also knew that the Israeli response would be severe and they were hoping to unite the Arab world against Israel-something that hasn’t happened. The Arab nations have been silent in their condemnation of Israel and the UAE and Bahrain have condemned the Hamas attacks.

There are people who call the barriers put up by Israel apartheid, but they have been to stop attacks like this and it is why Egypt built the Rafah gate .
Israelis and Arab Israelis coexist in Israel and have forever.
It is the extremists on both sides that have never wanted peace.
The closest came in 1993 at the Oslo peace accords, then the Assassination of Yitzhak Rabin put an end to that.

What is the solution??  That is very hard to come to but it starts with the Arab world uniting to get rid of Hamas and the Israeli government not being so right wing.  It is terrible so many innocent Palestinians have been killed, but that’s what happens in war. A war that was started by Hamas who doesn’t care one bit about the people that have been killed .
People in this country who are protesting and say that it is genocide weren’t saying that after 9/11 when we went to war with the people who attacked us,
47000 ,9/11’s.

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About The Author: Bryan Abrams is an unofficial ambassador to the Versace fashion brand.  He is one of the largest collectors  Versace  in the world.

Nefertari Williams: The Vicious Cycle of War

no war illustration by artist Thomcat23 for Tony Ward Studio article about war in the Middle East
No War. Artwork by Thomcat23, Copyright 2023

Peace in the Middle East. We grew up in the 80s and 90s hearing this as everyones wish. This may have even been your wish when you blew out your birthday candles. But what were we really wishing for? We didnt know we just heard the people on the news talk about the fighting and we knew fighting was bad. Maybe some more progressive/conservative schools taught students the nuances of geo politics but my small public school only slightly touched on the subject. Maybe there were some sophisticated 10 year oldsout there who understood what was happening but I was not one of them. 

I believe my generation was probably the most spoiled when it comes to hate and war. We didnt even have enough sense to hate each other. In fact in my small New Jersey town, we all ate at each others houses, went to each others birthday parties and walked to school together. We didnt know that our friend Harvey with the pretty curls on each side of his face was anything but our friend. 

We then went on to get married and raise our kids the same way. So when it happened we didnt really know what to tell them. 

I remember watching a democratic leaning news agency asking the 2020 republican candidate what he would do if he did not win the election to stay POTUS (President Of The United States). That was the first moment that I, a forty something year old mother of 5, learned that our democracy may actually be fragile. Then that candidate went on to say that he didnt know what he would do. And he was right. That candidate went on to do everything in his power (and beyond) to stop the peaceful exchange of power from one President to another. This had never been seen in American History. This caused violence and mayhem in America. The two man political parties were/are not getting along nor agreeing on anything and the country is in total chaos. How were we to explain this to our children? 

Today, the news is filled with the same stories that I grew up, with except I understand precisely what is going on. I now know why there isnt peace in the Middle East. In fact the fighting has caused more death in 2023 than in all years past. There isnt peace in the United States either. There is daily reports of violence, death and destruction. 

When a group of people feel that something is being taken from them sometimes some of them want to fight. This is the explanation that the news caster gave when reporting one of the violent acts. 

Now today fighting in the Middle East continues for the same reason but its not stopping. Its so bad that here in the US where tensions are already high due to the political unrest. Some of the people from the Two groups that are fighting in the Middle East have supporters here in the US and they are hunting, fighting, bullying and even threatening each other. 

Both member states, with two groups, who both feel like they were wronged. They may have two styles of war but the deaths are totaling up all the same. 

Both conflicts are basically about greed, grievance, retaliation, survival, determination and the value of life. 

Unfortunately, this cycle will continue as long as one group feels its ok to take from another group and expect them to just give in freely and that will never happen.

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About The Author:  Nefertari Williams is a jewelry maker, activist for women with heart disease and the mother of five beautiful children.  She lives in Willingboro, New Jersey.  To access additional articles by Nefertari Williams link herehttps://tonyward.com/nefertari-williams-my-broken-heart/