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Black History Month
Bloomberg's Stop & Frisk 

February 13, 2020

Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg did not invent racism or Stop & Frisk, the New York City Police racial profiling practice of detaining, questioning, and searching mostly African-Americans or Latinos aged 14–24. However as the following chart by the New York Civil Liberties Union shows, Stop & Frisk became a signature of Bloomberg's time in office (2002-2013).

Stop and Frisk - Mike Bloomberg as NYC mayor
Mayor Mike Bloomberg's Stop & Frisk program in NYC, targeting young African-Americans and Latinos. (source: NYCLU)

Stop and Frisk - a Michael Bloomberg legacy
Of those stopped, 70% were found to be innocent. It was a public policy to harass minorities for not being white. In 2015, Bloomberg defended Stop & Frisk by saying:
“Ninety-five percent of murders, murderers and murder victims, fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it, and pass it out to all the cops. They are male, minorities, 16-25. That’s true in New York. That’s true in virtually every city. And that’s where the real crime is. You’ve got to get the guns out of the hands of people that are getting killed. So you want to spend the money on a lot of cops in the streets. Put those cops where the crime is, which means in minority neighborhoods.

If Mike... he goes by Mike now according to his commercials... if Mike wants to run for president as a wealthier (9th richest in the U.S., 14th richest in the world), more successful, and almost-equally racist adversary to Donald Trump, running as a distraction to Donald Trump, then bravo. (Slow claps.) Two billion dollars well spent. Sarcasm

Otherwise, the United States doesn't need another Donald Trump. We already have two.

Music Association: Dolly Parton - Here You Come Again

Donald Trump and Michael Bloomberg

Groundhog Forecast: 2nd Trump Impeachment
Impeachment - the Sequel
Trump Doubles Down 

February 7, 2020

There are many ways of defining Donald Trump: liar, gaslighter, racist, rapist (multiple allegations), misogynistcursing swearing adulterer (multiple allegations), kompromat-compromised traitor, or malignant narcissist.

A New York Times opinion article by Frank Bruni talks about the whining victim Donald Trump. Bruni says, “Donald Trump obviously relishes the role of bully. But his greatest talent by far lies in playing the victim. He’s a victim of Adam Schiff. A victim of Nancy Pelosi. A victim of all Democrats, really, and of his own seedy henchmen (Michael Cohen, Lev Parnas) and of the ‘deep state’ and of the ‘fake news media’ and of the entire establishment, whatever that is. He’s a victim of so many forces so many times over that even ‘martyr’ doesn’t do justice to his lot... No president has ever been treated so badly. I’m not being sarcastic. I’m taking dictation: He has made this exact claim — repeatedly. His victimhood is front and center in his defense against the articles of impeachment and in the legal papers...  so soggy with Trumpian self-pity it weeps.

Bruni says columnist Rich Lowry crowned Trump, “the most fabulous whiner in all of American politics.” CNN anchor Chris Cuomo subsequently asked Trump about Lowry’s words. “I am the most fabulous whiner,” Trump conceded. “I keep whining and whining until I win.”

Bruni misunderstands Trump.

Donald Trump the bully is also Donald Trump the whining, mendacious victim. He whines and bullys at the same time, as both the victim and the victimizer. Both are tools to Trump to beat down all others (Republicans, Democrats, women, men, minorities, whites, U.S. allies, and U.S. veterans), anyone who is not Donald Trump.

As Stephanie Sarkis has said, Trump creates crises (like illegal border crossings) to solve them. He fabricates enemies to bully and whine about.

Candidate Trump defeated candidate Clinton to become president, succeeding President Obama, yet he is still obsessed with Clinton and Obama. During Trump's impeachment trial on January 17, 2020, he rolled back Michelle Obama's school nutritional guidelines... on her birthday.

After the Special Counsel investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election and suspicious links between Trump associates and Russian officials (Mueller Report), Trump went a step further to divert attention from Russian hacking to Ukraine and bribing Ukraine to announce an investigation involving his potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. That led to Trump's impeachment. Now that Trump has been acquitted of two articles of impeachment, he will do much more to get reelected. Trump will double down. He always doubles down.

When the tariffs didn't work with China, he doubled down, increasing them on China and involving more countries. Two months after negotiating a border deal with Mexico, he threatened Mexico with tariffs to prove the China tariffs would work. When the New York Times revealed the earlier Mexican border deal, Trump tweeted, “They are truly the enemy of the people!”

When he golfs, Trump doesn't just cheat, he “cheats like a three-card Monte dealer. He throws it, boots it, and moves it. He lies about his lies. He fudges and foozles and fluffs. At Winged Foot, where Trump is a member, the caddies got so used to seeing him kick his ball back onto the fairway they came up with a nickname for him: ‘Pele,’” according to Rick Reilly author of Commander in Cheat: How Golf Explains Trump.

Trump will double down. He will make all his other effects to get reelected seem like a warm-up act. And Congress may have to impeach him again, as the Constitution mandates.

Trump holds up the Washington Post with a Trump acquitted headline

Music Association: Carly Simon - You're So Vain

State of the Union
Climate Emergency 

February 4, 2020

The house is on fire, and the firefighter in chief is rigging the 2020 election.

There. That's the state of the union.

Music Association: The Inkspots - I Don't Want To Set The World On Fire
Quotation Association: “I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic... and act as if the house was on fire.  - Greta Thunberg

Hopes and Dreams

Economic Inequities
Capitalism & Socialism

January 20, 2020

The profit motive encourages cuthroat competition and selfish ambition that is [more] about making a living than making a life.
“The profit motive, when it is the sole basis of an economic system, encourages a cutthroat competition and selfish ambition that inspires men to be more concerned about making a living than making a life.  - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

We have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor.
“We all too often have socialism for the rich and rugged free market capitalism for the poor. - Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Music Association: George Harrison - What Is Life?

Hopes and Dreams

Crowd Control
Climate Emergency 

January 15, 2020

Have you ever tried to get a whole group of people to agree on pizza or something for lunch? People worry over their decisions as if either they have never eaten before or they will never eat again. It can be really tough to get consensus on any dire questions like lunch.

And yet just last November, 11,258 scientists from 153 countries signed a statement announcing a Climate Emergency, published in the journal BioScience:

“Scientists have a moral obligation to clearly warn humanity of any catastrophic threat and to 'tell it like it is.' On the basis of this obligation... we declare... clearly and unequivocally that planet Earth is facing a climate emergency... The climate crisis is closely linked to excessive consumption of the wealthy lifestyle. The most affluent countries are mainly responsible for the historic [greenhouse gas] emissions and generally have the greatest per capita emissions.

Profoundly troubling signs from human activities include sustained increases in both human and ruminant livestock populations, per capita meat production, world gross domestic product, global tree cover loss, fossil fuel consumption, the number of air passengers carried, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and per capita CO2 emissions since 2000... Especially disturbing are concurrent trends in the vital signs of climatic impacts. Three abundant atmospheric greenhouse gases (CO2, methane, and nitrous oxide) continue to increase, as does global surface temperature.

Despite 40 years of global climate negotiations, with few exceptions, we have generally conducted business as usual and have largely failed to address this predicament. The climate crisis has arrived and is accelerating faster than most scientists expected. It is more severe than anticipated, threatening natural ecosystems and the fate of humanity. Especially worrisome are potential irreversible climate tipping points and nature's reinforcing feedbacks (atmospheric, marine, and terrestrial) that could lead to a catastrophic 'hothouse Earth,' well beyond the control of humans.

To secure a sustainable future, we must change how we live... We suggest six critical and interrelated steps (in no particular order):

1.  Energy
The world must quickly implement massive energy efficiency and conservation practices and must replace fossil fuels with low-carbon renewables and other cleaner sources of energy if safe for people and the environment...

2.  Short-lived pollutants
We need to promptly reduce the emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, black carbon (soot), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)...

3.  Nature
We must protect and restore Earth's ecosystems...

4.  Food
Eating mostly plant-based foods while reducing the global consumption of animal products, especially ruminant livestock, can improve human health and significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions...

5.  Economy
Excessive extraction of materials and overexploitation of ecosystems, driven by economic growth, must be quickly curtailed to maintain long-term sustainability of the biosphere...

6.  Population
Still increasing by roughly 80 million people per year, or more than 200,000 per day, the world population must be stabilized—and, ideally, gradually reduced—within a framework that ensures social integrity. There are proven and effective policies that strengthen human rights while lowering fertility rates and lessening the impacts of population growth on greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss. These policies make family-planning services available to all people, remove barriers to their access and achieve full gender equity, including primary and secondary education as a global norm for all, especially girls and young women.”

Music Association: Yes - I've Seen All Good People

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Climate Solutions
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Hennepin County Library at Southdale (Edina, MN)
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