On this 4th of July, 2020

Rethinking the Fourth of July’, Bill Bigelow, Rethinking Schools curriculum editor, Zinn Education Project co-director, huff-po, July, 2014

“But the yahoo of fireworks also turns an immensely complicated time in U.S. history into a cartoon of miseducation. For example, check out Ray Raphael’s “Re-examining the Revolution“ at the Zinn Education Project, an article that every history teacher should read before wading into the events leading up to 1776. Raphael analyzed 22 elementary-school, middle-school, and high-school texts and found them filled with inaccuracies — some merely silly, but others leaving students with important misunderstandings about U.S. history and how social change does and does not happen.

Raphael offers some context for the Declaration of Independence:

‘In 1997, Pauline Maier published American Scripture, where she uncovered 90 state and local “declarations of independence” that preceded the U.S. Declaration of Independence. The consequence of this historical tidbit is profound: Jefferson was not a lonely genius conjuring his notions from the ether; he was part of a nationwide political upheaval.

Similarly, Raphael reports:

‘[I]n 1774 common farmers and artisans from throughout Massachusetts rose up by the thousands and overthrew all British authority. In the small town of Worcester (only 300 voters), 4,622 militiamen from 37 surrounding communities lined both sides of Main Street and forced British-appointed officials to walk the gauntlet, hats in hand, reciting their recantations 30 times each so everyone could hear. There were no famous “leaders” for this event. The people elected representatives who served for one day only, the ultimate in term limits. “The body of the people” made decisions and the people decided that the old regime must fall.

And there is a lot more that complicates the events surrounding the Fourth of July and the Revolutionary War. Raphael notes:

‘Not one of the elementary or middle school texts [I reviewed] even mentions the genocidal Sullivan campaign, one of the largest military offensives of the war, which burned Iroquois villages and destroyed every orchard and farm in its path to deny food to Indians.’

For use with students, see “George Washington: An American Hero?” in Rethinking Columbus, published by Rethinking Schools. In an excerpt included in Rethinking Columbus, Washington wrote to Gen. John Sullivan on May 31, 1779:

The Expedition you are appointed to command is to be directed against the hostile tribes of the Six Nations of Indians, with their associates and adherents. The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible. It will be essential to ruin their crops now in the ground and prevent their planting more. …

[P]arties should be detached to lay waste all the settlements around, with instructions to do it in the most effectual manner, that the country may not be merely overrun, but destroyed.’

Those are the orders of a war criminal.

Nor do texts mention the indigenous resistance movements of the 1780s in response to American “settler” expansion, which Raphael calls “the largest coalitions of Native Americans in our history.”

Included at the Zinn Education Project site is a link to a video of Danny Glover performing one of history’s most passionate denunciations of U.S. racism and hypocrisy, Frederick Douglass’ “The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro,” at one of Howard Zinn’s remarkable “The People Speak“ events. Douglass delivered the speech on July 5, 1852, in Rochester, New York, at a Declaration of Independence commemoration.

(I like this one better):

“Douglass delivered his speech four years after the United finished its war against Mexico to steal land and spread slavery, five years before the vicious Supreme Court Dred Scott decision, and nine years before the country would explode into civil war. His words call out through the generations to abandon the empty “shout of liberty and equality” on July 4, and to put away the fireworks and flags.”

...................................................................................

In the Revolutionary Spirit, let’s call for this sort of Independence Day Proclamation:

End US Imperialism!  Out of (re-purposed Cold War) NATO, out of AFRICOM; disband the CIA, NSA, and other NatSec acronyms.  Bring all troops home from around the world; close all 1200-1800 US bases on every continent of the planet.  With that Peace Dividend: treat every GI with the mental health services they request.  Treat all Veterans, as well, as the VA says about 20 of them commit suicide daily.  House them, feed them, give them any free education they’d like, as well as monthly stipends until they’re ready to cope with life again.

Melt down all weapons of war in situ, and turn them into ploughshares or other useful items.  Pay war reparations as needed, and create a permanent Cabinet level Department of Peace and Diplomacy to replace US gunboat diplomacy. Disarm all nuclear weapons, and build no more!

Further: socialize the Federal Reserve, and break up big banks, and turn them all into Public Banks*; socialize BigPharma, health care, and reliable public transportation.

End policing as it is now by: calling for community policing with elected boards for oversight and hiring, which might include no veterans of war hired, ending the 1033 militarization of police program, and the psychological testing and deep background checks of all applicants.

End all US sanctions abroad now, and call for a global IMF debt Jubilee.  Free all political prisoners, and decriminalize all drugs. Break up all media monopolies.  Outlaw all GMOs, poisonous farming and gardening products.

Consider a call for a Constitutional Convention in order that it may be truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.

(Public schooling is a much longer subject, so I’ll end with that list for now.)

*The Public Banking Institute; Banking in the Public Interest

This is the trailer for my current favorite antiwar film: ‘Thank you for your service’

 

(cross-posted from Café Babylon)

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Pricknick's picture

Ditch the fireworks.
It's a time to reflect on what independence really is. The freedom and belief of individuality.
The ability to enjoy a day free of hallmark propaganda. A time to explore the unknown limits of the imagination.
Most of all, to me, it should be a quiet time to reflect on how this nation went from greatness to be
an unmitigated disaster.
I see nothing to celebrate.
Sorry to be a bummer on your fine diary wendy but I yam who I yam.

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Regardless of the path in life I chose, I realize it's always forward, never straight.

wendy davis's picture

@Pricknick

is necessary, my friend. i will offer that i've hated this 'holiday' for so long that i was so relieved to run into this essay from the zinn education project. oh, my yes: the nasty 'star-spangled banner....' which is why i took about an hour to relocate anthony freda's version with the stars...falling off to use as the representative graphic at the top.

in the end, it was also the reason i'd subsequently felt sassy enough to create my own version of an Independence Day Proclamation. a nation founded on the twin evils and genocide. and given washington's quote as well, i guess it may never have been great.

but turtle island was indeed a region of vast beauty, varied topography, pristine ecosystmes, and indigenous tribes that must have been a sight to explore!

i'd actually meant to be the first commenter, but real life had precluded that idea. i'd meant to ask this:

does anyone know how to contact CB (black cat, golden eyes avatar) of the boards? he hasn't commented since june 6, and hadn't ever left contact info with the members project. his last long absence was of course that he was undergoing (successful) treatment for colon cancer.

similarly, woods dweller has been AWOL since that date, but i did email him...no answer. we'll of course be hoping that they're both involved in more rewarding activities offline.

thank you for your comment, Pricknick.

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Cassiodorus's picture

Kanye West tweets that he's "running for President of the United States." I wonder what his plan is for getting on the ballot in all fifty states.

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

Pluto's Republic's picture

@Cassiodorus

...I think, is the way this story is supposed to go. Out with the commoners; in with the billionaires. We need Kanye and the Kardasians to eject all the corrupt old people in DC. Everything their benighted generation touched, turned to shit.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

Cassiodorus's picture

at the beginning of the Socialism 2020 conference as well. It's nice that people are having radical thoughts; now how about some radical actions? My initial proposal: a Medicare for All march and demo. There have to be a lot of people who want something like that.

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

at the virtual conference; last year's was so full of monied elites i'd (erm...) done a satire on it.

a march for 'medicare for all' doesn't seem very radical, but then...i like my list better. ; ) but srsly, aren't there two versions of medicar4all? and there seem to be reasons that one needs to purchase policies to supplement medicare.

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis to those who have received $300,000 bills for having been treated for COVID-19. Actually a M4A march seems so obvious given what is going on right now that one has to imagine why it isn't happening: the failure of political imagination.

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

post of yours. on edit: i should have noted that i hadn't watched the videos.

but would there ever be enough marchers to make a difference legislatively?

the jury's still out on the police violence protests, although the D's are virtue-signaling like hell. i'd been grabbing quotes and links for 'the revolutionary possibilities, etc.' but sadly, globally the movement seems to have stalled out.

it's a big nation geographically, unlike so many EU nations, the capital is so far for most. is that part of the reason that europeans rumble so easily against their PTB? the yellow vests and all? would those with such bills be healthy enough to attend? and how about social distancing? and would all medicare parts (i've forgotten their letters) be free? just spit-ballin' here. but sure, go for it, cass!

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Cassiodorus's picture

@wendy davis that only those bankrupted yesterday would care?

would there ever be enough marchers to make a difference legislatively?

The pandemic will make it clear in a couple of weeks that 99% of America is a medical bankruptcy just waiting to happen.. As if it wasn't clear yesterday.

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"Scab of a nation, driven insane" -- Frank Zappa

wendy davis's picture

@Cassiodorus

this. i do take your point, cass. was this one of the plans from the socialism 2020 conference? or have you seen a move afoot for such a march? i suppose protests driven by rage as larger than might be driven by meicare4all, is all. but i sure don't have the gift of prophecy, especially given that this house is on fire in soooooo many ways....

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Kanye West tweets that he's running for President

It can surely get worse, but it would be far too depressing to try to imagine how.

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travelerxxx's picture

@Marie

Let me work this out. Shouldn't take too long...

Kanye West or Donald Trump.
Kanye West or Joe Biden.

Well, that wasn't too hard. If we really got a chance to vote for Kanye West, he could hardly be worse than either of the two dotards the R's and D's are foisting on us.

Kanye West. I don't know jack about him, but right now we could do as well by throwing darts at a phone book.

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snoopydawg's picture

@travelerxxx

He thinks that if we bring gawd into our lives everything will magically get better.

If the election was held tomorrow who ya gonna vote for?

1- ByeDone
2- Trump
3- Giant Meteor
4- Yellowstone Volcano
5- Other

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“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” - John Adams

travelerxxx's picture

@snoopydawg

I think I would vote for 5- Other.

Just briefly thinking of people I've known who would be better than Trump, Biden, Kanye West, gawd, or Howie... For some reason this guy I met when I lived in Redondo Beach comes to mind. He was a plumber. He was also a millionaire. He became a millionaire by being a plumber. Dude was probably in his mid 50s when I met him. Lived in Palos Verde, California. I saw his home; it was fantastic. All his neighbors were millionaires and they all called him when their toilet backed up, or a pipe blew, or a sink leaked, or any of the other miscellaneous things that people call plumbers for. All his neighbors paid damn good money for this guy to fix their troubles. Damn good money. I did too. Once.

Anyway, this plumber was (I say was, because he's probably passed by now ...this was 50 years ago) several magnitudes sharper than Trump. In fact, he never once had gone bankrupt and I'm sure he didn't after I knew him. He had a tremendous sense of humor, something of which Trump has absolutely none - I mean zero. Unlike Swiss-cheese-head Biden, he would tell you the truth, even if you didn't want to hear it. If he told you something, you could go to the bank with it. He didn't want to kill brown people in countries not named USA, unlike nearly all those in Washington having a D or a R after their name.

That's good enough for me right now. Honestly, my old plumber would be a gigantic step toward sanity. If he's still living, I'd vote for him. If he's passed, I'll take the next plumber in the phone book.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@snoopydawg

....moving in our direction?

WARNING: Supermassive black hole heading Earth’s way at 110 KM per SECOND

A greeting card from gawd.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

snoopydawg's picture

@snoopydawg

I am watching old episodes of Star Trek after watching Picard which I rec biggly.

TAKEI1.jpg

saw this on dk^

Heh...

nomorelocusts.jpg
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“Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide.” - John Adams

Pluto's Republic's picture

...when it came to dealing with inconvenient humans who created tiresome obstacles to our exceptional ambitions. The Founders could feel the rumblings of the bountiful Industrial Revolution beneath their feet — ready to burst forth. They began writing laws of ownership and property immediately.

Not many Americans realize that the US was once a real utopia — it was the only place on earth where a man could get a patent on any invention that he could imagine in his mind. This was the real birth of Capitalism and Equality. A good idea could make a US citizen enormously wealthy — even without owning or inheriting any property. This was the birth of "Liberty." It was a concept that could justify any action necessary to secure it.

This is what brought the settlers to America. Not "religious freedom," which was an early propaganda narrative. They came because Greed was next to Godliness. Now, fast-forward to the Pharmaceutical Empire that aspires to sell you the right to stay alive, if you can afford to pay the price.

The US Patent Act inspired the creation of the US Constitution. The first US Patent, numbered X000001 was granted on July 31, 1790. The patent was granted by George Washington. That's what Independence Day is really all about.

.

This also hints at the big truth hidden inside the current Pandemic. What we thought was biological warfare is actually a Capitalist Revolution staged by America's Pharmaceutical Overlords. I saw it In detail today. This is what we are being prepared for — and it has been a long time coming. It's the Capitalist form of depopulation, yet it is so much more than that.

From your Essay:

The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible.

.
(I wonder how many sexes they had back in the olden days?)

It's always bothered me that there is so little history and discussion of the massive US genocide. No one ever talks about it. I'd wager that 85 percent of Americans have no higher-lobe consciousness of how genocide defines what we call 'American culture'. Most Americans will live their lives and die without ever understanding this important truth.

I discovered several years ago that the American genocide and its detailed history was widely studied in Europe. Adolf Hitler was said to be obsessed by this bold American achievement. He had a collection of histories and monographs on the topic, and was deeply inspired by how Americans freely applied a solution to a people problem that would have blocked their progress. Instead, Americans could actively shape their abundant new world to meet their exceptional needs. The story goes that Hitler was particularly interested in the logistics of how these young American Founders and their descendants disposed of a hundred million dead bodies. Hitler saw that their bold actions allowed Americans to launch themselves, untroubled and unencumbered, into the First Great Industrial Revolution.

Maga. Amirite?

It's alive and it's coming to a head.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic

Most places had officially established religions. And even in those that didn't, religion was closely tied to social and economic status.

So, I don't completely buy the following:

Not many Americans realize that the US was once a real utopia — it was the only place on earth where a man could get a patent on any invention that he could imagine in his mind. This was the real birth of Capitalism and Equality. A good idea could make a US citizen enormously wealthy — even without owning or inheriting any property. This was the birth of "Liberty." It was a concept that could justify any action necessary to secure it.

This is what brought the settlers to America. Not "religious freedom," which was an early propaganda narrative. They came because Greed was next to Godliness. Now, fast-forward to the Pharmaceutical Empire that aspires to sell you the right to stay alive, if you can afford to pay the price.

Religious persecution (and the associated economic and social costs) in their homeland was a motivating factor for the Puritans, the Quakers, the Virginia "cavaliers" (royalist Anglicans who had come out on the losing side to Cromwell), The Scots-Irish (mostly Presbyterian and Baptist - used by the English to subdue and administer Ireland, but denied many civil rights)... and these all tended to settle in separate regions and not to be especially tolerant of the others. Absent a common enemy they would likely never have united.

Not discounting the appeal of entrepreneurial opportunities, land and the absence of kings and nobility.

Anyway, whatever my ancestors' motivations were in coming to America, I'm pretty sure it was not just to swap their existence under one empire for life under another one.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Blue Republic

It is my experience that so many came for a chance to get ahead. One way or another, they felt trapped and oppressed by the old ways. It's funny how the US became what it deplored: religiously authoritarian, occupying every other media channel to let us know what god is thinking right this very minute. Meanwhile, in the Old Country, they'd just as soon send religions back to the Middle East where all that fake news got started.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic periods is being discussed.

It is my experience that so many came for a chance to get ahead.

Money -- the resources required to fund the travel and establish a colony was a major factor in the early immigration from England. Not too long after that there were immigrant colonies from other countries. So, generally a wealthy person or entity duped a bunch of poor people to come here in the expectation that they would generate more wealth for the wealthy entity.

Labor -- stealing huge tracts of lands was only valuable if the owner had the labor to work it. The early preferred solution was indentured servitude. Not so many of them came by choice; they weren't given one by their parents. The death rate of those sent to work fields in the West Indies was horrendous. Their treatment in the American colonies was somewhat better, but as by contract they were to be given land and cash at the end of their period of indenture (ranged from five to seven years), there wasn't much incentive for the owners to treat them all that well. The legalization of a forever West African slave changed the equation but not all that quickly, and those people didn't come here by choice either.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Marie

To live a better life.

Your comment makes me wonder,,,,

Is the US the only nation in the world where the people do not own the natural resources and do not own a share of the profits that come from therm? The new world was the only place left where robber barons could steal the resources of a nation.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic getting enough food not to starve to death today.

Feudal economic societies is what existed for the masses in England and European countries when colonization of the western hemisphere, Africa, and Asia began. Monarchs and the wealthy funded that effort, but the willing (to emigrate for a 'better life') were in short supply. (How many willingly went to Australia?) Passage (travel costs) meant being an over-worked servant (zero rights, no family, in a foreign land) for years (and life expectancy wasn't all that long then either).

That 'better life' fiction came along centuries later. Early days it was those with wealth (acquired by exploiting home lands and peoples) seeking greater wealth which required the exploitation of labor that they had to get some way. Enslaving natives in what became the eastern US was unsuccessful. (Spain was more successful in other regions.)

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Marie

...at that time. Some systems were coming to an end, some were just launching. The Age of Reason was extracting a toll. For the first time it seemed possible for an individual to become somewhat sovereign. The results, however, are sadly mixed..

The establishment of Universal Basic Income is essential and it's way overdue. This species as a whole simply cannot find its center until it stops degrading itself with hunger and homelessness and slipping backward into savage grunting. At the moment, the only thing we are producing is brain damage and psychosis. It's taking too damn long for everyone to learn to respect humanity and themselves — and to treat the miracle of our intellectual awareness with the dignity that sentience deserves. UBI would at least establish a sense of personal security and give people some control over their reactionary, freaked-out, animal brains. We are naturally programmed to evolve an enlightened civilization, if we let ourselves. Now, it's become urgent that we get there, stat.

It is so interesting that the two men running for President are both so profoundly mentally ill. What are the odds? It's so important for Americans to witness this spectacle and allow themselves to be horrified by it. Hopefully, they will ask themselves: "Who created this shitshow? Who pushed this insanity upon the People? Why are these deviants not institutionalized? Why, in god's name, are they part of our government?"

Send them all to a sanitarium for treatment.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic You've touched an several issues, that while interrelated, can't be discussed simultaneously, at least not succinctly enough for a blog comment.

It is so interesting that the two men running for President are both so profoundly mentally ill. What are the odds?

Probably much higher than our faulty knowledge of history suggests to us. (How many 19th century presidential elections, and the resulting winner, were notable?) OTOH, it's the first time both major parties have nominated a septuagenarian. Both endowed with the distorted historical knowledge of a 1960 twelve year old.

...Some systems were coming to an end, some were just launching. The Age of Reason was extracting a toll. For the first time it seemed possible for an individual to become somewhat sovereign. ...

...This species as a whole simply cannot find its center until it stops degrading itself with hunger and homelessness and slipping backward into savage grunting.

Not the first time at all. A long story of individuals becoming sovereign and the greediest of all becoming the ruling classes that built systems of ownership for their benefit and to the detriment of those previously sovereign individuals and small communities. (Native American communities did just fine for far more centuries than the 'white man's' takeover empire has been around.) Empires that lasted hundreds and thousands of years. Highly resilient until the weight of the rot of the internal system collapsed on itself or an external 'black swan' reduced it to rubble. Pestilence and climactic change that leads to crop failures and famines fall into the 'black swan' category. So too would be surprises that improve nutritional health including increasing the amount of available food.

Ireland is an interesting example.

...
For early medieval Ireland, it seems the population numbered several million people, perhaps over three million when the population was at its maximum in the late 7th century. This number was never stable and was fated to tip into a long slow decline for centuries afterwards.

The Irish population hovered at around 1-2m until the introduction of potato [western hemisphere crop] farming in the 17th century enabled a population explosion – with numbers exceeding 8m by the 1840s. Famine provoked by disastrous potato crop failures led to years of migration in the 19th and 20th centuries. The population never recovered. Today, some 6.6m people live on the island.

1100 years ago the estimated world population was similar to the US population today. Every tech/science advance increased the number needing food and shelter and created surplus labor that could be exploited by those with the means to do so. One difference today in the US and somewhat less in western European countries is that obesity (and essential nutrient poor) instead of hunger is shortening lives. For population that's unique, but it may have been a factor in the decline of various elites among ruling classes.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@Marie

...I have sensed the presence of a second, equally large event unfolding at the same time. I can't see what it is, but I can see the shadows that it casts. I can see random events all bending in the same direction, as if something large stepped on them. I see blatant criminal activities taking place inside the CDC and the FDA that are actually killing people — related to Covid-19. I see other people mention these things, but then they disappear.

I recognize the patterns you mention. I suppose we both use a 'pattern language' as an analytical tool. The one below was an interesting insert, as it pertains to sovereign individuals and sovereignty in general:

(Native American communities did just fine for far more centuries than the 'white man's' takeover empire has been around.)

Indigenous peoples developed a way to prevent the brain disease that plagues Western Empires. (Plus the indigenous spent 50,000 years or so practicing in North America to work out the kinks and develop failsafes.) The natives didn't succumb to the madness because they took property ownership off the table in their civilizations. They were immune. I suspect their "property ownership prohibition" has something to do with their genocide.

We need to learn how to communicate on one topic while addressing the simultaneous and synchronistic events that are unfolding in the same biome, because that's the way reality is manifesting these days, and devilishly important things are escaping our notice.

I suspect that there is a second powerful medical event taking place right alongside Covid-19. Right under our noses. Something at the evolutionary level of gene-editing and super-abilities. The decisions we make about treating Covid-19 will be deeply influenced in order to benefit this secondary event. Our politics have been bent by hidden motives.

If they're sticking Joe in the Crispr, it's not working. They are only succeeding in making him look more like a reptile.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

@Pluto's Republic scarier than what you may be sensing.

The tension between individualism and collectivism seems to me to have always been present in this country. The desire to "do it my way" versus the desire for a strong leader to tell us how it's going to be. Seems to me that in the past people were more likely to adopt one or the other way of being and stick to it unless or until it became too dysfunctional for them personally, but in the US, people had more input at the local and state level and national politics were of less importance and national business was a much smaller factor in everyday life.

Now individuals want both "my way" and leaders telling them what to do. Trump is the perfect 'strong leader' for one segment of the population believing in their personal autonomy and Obama filled that role for another segment. I'm not phrasing this all that well. Perhaps examples are required.

Are Trekkies individualists or mass consumers? How does an uneducated, teenager become a billionaire hawking make-up that she doesn't and couldn't produce to individualists that believe it will make them look just like her?

US institutions that people relied on to make their lives more predictable and dependable have been crumbling for decades before their eyes but ignored and dismissed. Seriously, who among us knew that the CDC can't even minimally respond to a development that is inherent in why it exists? And it's at about the level of incompetence and corruption in almost every institution from local on up through national.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

possibly related links to you.

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

i'd never even heard of the the Virginia "cavaliers". but then i haven't a clue where all my forebears came from, save the generic: poor europeans.

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TheOtherMaven's picture

@wendy davis

https://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/va14_cavaliers.htm

is a three-volume compilation of colonial land office records, and a priceless genealogical resource for seventeenth and early eighteenth century Virginia.

Technically, the "Cavaliers" were the Tidewater upper crust, and the "Pioneers" were everybody else (lots and lots of everybody-elses, some of whom eventually became Cavalier-wannabes or even joined the elite).

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There is no justice. There can be no peace.

wendy davis's picture

@TheOtherMaven

er...i hope there won't be a pop quiz coming my way... ; )

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

agile mind, amiga, and order of magnitude beyond mine, so i'll need to respond more than once.

but first, how fascinating your take on 'Liberty' as the ease of Patenting while the industrial revolution was felt rumbling beneath the ground. 'wealth' without property ownership' which was, as i understand it, the basis of the US constitution's Rule of Law. and really, the first police were slave patrols to protect the owners' Property, and now in 2020 it's the same thing. (broken windows policing)

i think you're right as to so few ever having learned about First American genocide on turtle island, nor the genocide of slaves, or at least from the perspective of those on the receiving end. in our local public grade schools, the focus was always on 'those godless induns scalping and burning out 'Amerikan settlers who were looking for new homes' or close. our adopted Ute daughter had to sit thru shit like that. our adopted black/azteca son had to sit thru films showing 'black african children with flies crawling around their eyes they were so poor and unhealthy, etc.

mr. wd managed to do a Ute history class one year, i tackled a black history one, but mine was a flop as it was far too academic. i was permitted to put together a magnificent indigenous outside cultural fair at the grade school one year, featuring crafts, cooking, etc., but most teachers never let their students out the door to see it.

be back in a bit; i need some brekkie.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

...who think of themselves of settlers. That's probably because they dabble with the Mormons, who were around when Jesus visited Missouri.

I asked the matriarch once, "Don't you ever feel bad that we took their continent and rehoused them on bare land, way the hell out by the casinos?"

She said it seemed fair to take the land because the natives were not doing anything with it. "We knew what to do," she said.

Mormons believe that Jesus Christ visited the American continent shortly after his resurrection to teach early indigenous peoples who were actually members of some of the Lost Tribes of Israel. After all the other Christian churches fell into apostasy, God sent the Angel Moroni to reveal new scripture to Joseph Smith, a simple man living in Palmrya, NY.

One of the revelations that God gave Joseph Smith was that Jesus will personally return to reign over a paradisaical Kingdom on earth. His headquarters will be at the Mormon temple in Jackson County, Missouri.

So, there's that.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

the casinos' is hilarious, but true now, as two the Ute tribes (ute mtn. and southern utes) do operate casinos, as they were given arid land as reservations, once roaming the entire 4-corners states.

but changing gambling laws and indun lawsuits are a whole 'nother issue which details i've long forgotten.

dunno where in the southwest your mormon dabblers live, but our (oddly, riverless) webber canyon was first settled by mormons. close on their heals were two branches of eppichs, one from austria, the others' origins i've forgotten. no they did not get along, esp. over river water rights, later lake water rights.

a dozen years ago, F(undie)LDS warren jeffs bought a tract of land north of town. at some point, i'd put a notice up on the local grocery store's bulletin board (phrased more diplomatically) that any of them who wanted to escape (meaning the multiple, often teen wives) should call this number (mine).

never had a call, of course, but recently the bed and breakfast/nature preserve where mr. wd works now part-time, hired a cleaning crew that he is positive is FLDS young wives, long dresses, long hair, silent, etc.

but yes, we're well-acquainted with that cult, and friends w/ a number of them. i used to have a lot of books about their darker sides, doubt i do any longer. ping! in fact, tony hillerman wrote a thriller of an LDS mystery that began in mancos (plural for lame in both legs, given our town by the dominguez/escalante priests), traveled to farmington, NM, back north to the ute mtn. tribal park cliff-top ruins, and so on. wish i could remember the title, but i can't.

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

i'm curious about this, not limited to what i've bolded:

This also hints at the big truth hidden inside the current Pandemic. What we thought was biological warfare is actually a Capitalist Revolution staged by America's Pharmaceutical Overlords. I saw it In detail today. This is what we are being prepared for — and it has been a long time coming. It's the Capitalist form of depopulation, yet it is so much more than that.

i've kinda tried to stay away from pandemic news, as the headlines seem to be very inconsistent. (i just deleted a longish bill gates and vaccines paragraph).

as to this:

The immediate objects are the total destruction and devastation of their settlements, and the capture of as many prisoners of every age and sex as possible.

and your answer is hilarious:

(I wonder how many sexes they had back in the olden days?)

pretty clumsy phrasing, but i always wonder why not gender, not sex?

i remember too well back when i wrote for FDL's reader diaries, that few cared to know anything about the indigenous or black immiseration/precarity, unjustified incarceration rates, the 2012 Operation Ghetto Storm report (extra-judicious killings of blacks) and so on. just bingling fo it, i saw there was an update.

but there only guesses as to how many first americans died, as well as the number of tribes that were totally eradicated, especially in california. you may remember that priest junipero sera used them as slaves, many died as a result of it....but Pope Francis canonized him a few years ago. (i just tried to find my diary on it back in the day, but w/ no title...)

i had brought a public television series 'we shall remain', and good nn them. a few of our friends were interviewed.

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Pluto's Republic's picture

@wendy davis

i remember too well back when i wrote for FDL's reader diaries, that few cared to know anything about the indigenous or black immiseration/precarity, unjustified incarceration rates,

When you write on these certain topics, you really write for yourself. People have their own issues and annoyances. If they are not haunted by the core "foundational" issues that, left unaddressed, will render their political hopes meaningless — it doesn't matter. The depraved empire is not supposed to improve, It is dying with a lifeless whimper, because it was never worthy of a bang.

Nobody wants to redress these issues. They are very disturbing, but they are also banal. I think to myself — why shouldn't they just run out the clock pursuing a political distraction? The People have been side-railed for half a century already, with nothing to show for it and no Plan B.

It's my indulgence to write about our depraved slave-owners constitution. That, too, is a conversation for one. The US Constitution is just happens to be the only American horror left that still offends me. But only a little bit, these days. I notice that one or two other people have sufficient spiritual gravity to perceive the terrible price we are going to pay for our lack of self-respect in accepting our status as 'human garbage' under the US Constitution. This essay says it better than I can muster at the moment: The US Constitution Is So 1789.

When people of conscience rightfully broke the back of slavery and the slave economy, it is unfortunate that the Constitution was merely amended rather than abandoned and reworked. The new economic engine to emerge following the Civil War would hand the crown of true power to the railroad companies, the robber barons, and the money men. They get the credit for taking money out of the pockets of common workers to build industrial empires. Gone were canals and a cotton economy. In came the railroads and a bevy of commodities and finished goods made possible by fossil fuels and steel, mined and milled by men and women who did not share in the bounty. And let’s not forget that blacks weren’t really free, laborers were falling to the bullets of the federal military, and the tribes out west would be nearly wiped off the planet – all sanctioned by the US Constitution.

.

i've kinda tried to stay away from pandemic news, as the headlines seem to be very inconsistent. (i just deleted a longish bill gates and vaccines paragraph).

.

See? You're going through the same thing in these latter days. Something is wrong with Bill Gate's brain. He should take up golf.

I've found the shocking truth behind the Pandemic. We are dealing with evil here. But it is not easy to understand. And the damage being done is wow. Happy to source it to you, but really, you can just sit it out, too. There is an upside, surprisingly. The virus can be defeated in simple ways. (So can HIV, it turns out.) I don't think they can make a "real" vaccine. It's not that kind of virus. I'll link you if you so request.

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Human salvation lies in the hands of the creatively maladjusted.

— Martin Luther King

wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

but it's very good to know about, so i've saved the link and will PM it to reverend jane.

this jumped out, because it's my belief after reading (shall we say 'subversive'?) revisionist history about the document:

The US Constitution was written by propertied white men who despised the notion of democracy

i guess i'll sit out your pandemic offer, but thank you for your it.

i finally opened today's popular resistance newsletter and found: Fourth of July Musings: The Curse of Exceptionalism and the Perils of Patriotism', July 2, 2020, sheerpost.com

the title sure sounds like my cuppa:

but yes, i write what i care about, don't really give a fuck about the presidential election bread and circuses, dunno who ghislaine (?). maxwell even is, and so on. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

@Pluto's Republic

The US Constitution Is So 1789. It’s Time for a Serious Overhaul, May 3, 2017, by Kai Huschke ...wasn't really all that long. his/her crtique was solid, including these bullet points:

•The US Constitution was written by the top 1% owners of wealth of their time
•The US Constitution is not a document creating democracy; it is a republic only nominally
•The US Constitution places commerce and property protection above civil, human, and nature’s rights
•The US Constitution was written by propertied white men who despised the notion of democracy
•The US Constitution’s checks and balances on government function more as a check on democracy
•The US Constitution is not just the bill of rights nor is it the Declaration of Independence – people often mash up the best of the two documents
•The US Constitution was opposed by a large contingency of people, in fact the majority; it was ratified not by the whole nation, but by wealthy delegates who did not reflect the demographics of the country
•The US Constitution is extremely difficult to amend, which is very undemocratic

and potential correctives:

There are myriad things that could be added to the list that would lay bare the deeper purpose and intention behind the constitution. However, I’ll focus on three:

1) who the document benefits (the 1%)

2) what the document is largely concerned about (commerce and property) and

3) why replacing words on paper with new words on paper can invigorate us (remember the Revolutionaries?)

but while kai notes that the states so far endorsing the idea of a constitutional convention are promulgating the koch bros. and ALEC, kai suggests or envisions nothing that might mitigate their dominating a national one. hell, even i'd spit-balled one... ; ) meaning, i guess i won't PM it to reverend jane. but i sure did love this iconic photo of one of the water protectors at standing rock facing what i assume is the Tiger Swan hired mercenaries.

ach, you'd asked another question i'd meant to answer; later when i find it again, i guess.

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I grew up in South Florida and with a single semester of high school excepted, went to the same school system throughout my childhood. That school system has been featured in a prominent school-to-prison pipeline documentary. My mother attended the same school system only 18 years before I went; when she went, those schools were still segregated by race. I was in like second grade when guys like Biden were taking the national stage and howling about bussing and I already thought they were stupid assholes.

One of the good things about my personal roll of the genetic dice is that almost all things academic come very easily to me and I have rarely worked for any grade in any subject. This meant that I was always sorted into whatever gifted/advanced/dorktrack classes the school had going on. In junior high school (the most like a prison out of all of the schools I attended) some of the classes were not on the gifted track and so the story we were told was that we were to be randomly sorted into these. They included homeroom, electives, and classes like PE and Civics.

We didn't have enough classrooms in the school to house our student body so we had this modular non-permanent building out behind the locker rooms called "the 6 pack" because it was broken up into six "rooms". This was the home of all of our Civics courses, along with the Journalism elective which I took in the 8th grade, and all of our indoor suspensions, so just getting to Civics or Journalism class meant you basically had to run down shank alley. I never got cut but I was groped between the legs more than once just walking down crowded halls in that school before I learned some defense. I was 12.

My 7th grade Civics teacher was perhaps the worst teacher I ever had. He taught us nothing. His demeanor was always as if he'd just woken up from sleeping 16 hours after a booze bender and then taken a Valium and gone to work. He wrote questions on the board, we were to copy those questions, and we were to remain silent while we opened our textbooks, found the answers to the questions, and wrote them down in complete sentences, then turned our papers in, and most importantly, remained silent. Sometimes we watched a movie. My classmates and I sometimes passed notes back and forth, and one time one of them set his desk on fire. That was Civics. We all learned more about the government from Schoolhouse Rock commercials.

About halfway through the year (savvy was a much lower roll for me on those damnable genetic dice lol) it finally occurred to me that exactly none of my gifted/advanced/dorktrack buddies were in this Civics class. And then it occurred to me that approximately 75% of them had been sorted into a Civics class with an excellent teacher, and the majority of the rest had that same excellent teacher during a different class period. And then I realized that ALL the poor white kids were in my Civics class where we were very specifically not being taught shit about how to work to improve anything through government channels. And I got super fuckin depressed because that was the time I realized how intentional it all was, and how all these teachers knew it was intentional, and how they were all lying to us while they were hobbling our socioeconomic class for life. They were fucking us over so hard, and we were still getting treated better, as a class, than the poor black kids.

Later in life I tried to fill in the gaps in my early education, but I never did run across what seemed to me to be a workable strategy for keeping the oligarchy or the assholes out of a Constitutional Convention. If anyone else has a good strategy for that, I'd love to read it.

*edited for typos

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wendy davis's picture

@Reverend Jane Ignatowski

appreciate your heart-and-soul piercing history by vignette, amiga. and yes, biden's racist history is pretty secret now because: obomba's shirt-tails.

if i might capsulize: what you learned that no matter how bright you were, you were white trash, not acceptable for learning how to change the system. but you were still treated better than the poor black kids.

and that's exactly what we're still seeing in Civil Rights 2020. not really the intersection of class and race/ethnicity (black, indigenous, latinos), but close enough. here in the 4-corners, it's fist american tribes who are the 'unworthy, lazy n*ggers', but i'm sad to say that some tribes not only look down on others, but also on blacks. our daughter's Ute, one of the lowliest tribes in the SW pecking order.

but jezum crow, this blew me away, and i'll never forget this as a mind-picture, Reverend Jane:

This was the home of all of our Civics courses, along with the Journalism elective which I took in the 8th grade, and all of our indoor suspensions, so just getting to Civics or Journalism class meant you basically had to run down shank alley. I never got cut but I was groped between the legs more than once just walking down crowded halls in that school before I learned some defense. I was 12.

i really have no idea how a Constitutional Convention of the people, by the people, and for the people might be established, nor who might establish how delegates to such a convention might be elected, but a bloke who'd called for one a dozen years ago at FDL was trounced with: "sure, them goddammed libertarians would get their noses udder the tent!", lol.

so i dunno about the elite ruling class, and how that might work, myself. no one with wealth over X can be a delegate?

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by the Zinn Education thing, but will check it out further.

The Rafael article: "Re-examining the Revolution" was definitely worthwhile, though, thanks for the heads-up.

Speaking of conceptions and misconceptions abut the War of Independence, Constitution and such, I'll make a recommendation of my own - Ferdinand Lundberg's 1980 work "Cracks in the Constitution". Lundberg deconstructs many of the myths about the Constitution - shows how it was authored by very different people, with profoundly different agendas than those who were signers of the Declaration of Independence, that in fact it amounted to a coup against the existing Confederation and was intended by its main authors to result in a society very much like Britain's, but without monarchy, nobility and established church. There would be a stratified society ruled be a small, propertied elite.

They had to include the Bill of Rights to get the thing ratified, but did so in the correct (as it turns out) belief that that would not really cramp their style in realizing a strong central government controlled by themselves.

Good, comprehensive, *long* review here

Hope you all had a good Cuatro de Julio

What young people know about the meaning of Independence Day:

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

the project is to zinn's apparently great 'the Peoples History' book, either, but it's geared for educators, so there's that to consider. i wish i could have heard about it when i could still read dead tree.

i'll try to read your review of lundberg's book soonish, but i was tickled witless about the interviews. thanks for that. 'and we're teachers!' said the two... the others: 'er...1977?'

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

whistlin' dixie (so to speak) calling it long. i do know some of lendman's work, but it appears he's channeling lundberg's damnation of the document quite well:

Lundberg destroys the romanticism and enthusiasm felt today about the Constitution and the revolt against Great Britain preceding it. He began by reviewing the establishment of state constitutions at the time and the enactment of the Articles of Confederation adopted by the Second Continental Congress November 15, 1777 with final ratification March 1, 1781. None of these events had electoral sanction. "They were strictly coup d’etat affairs, run by small groups of self-styled patriots many of whom bettered their personal economic positions significantly" from the revolution and events before and after it took place. Despite what’s commonly taught in schools, most people opposed the Constitution when it was ratified. So by getting it done anyway, the framers (with the conservative Federalists spearheading the effort) went against the will of the people they ignored and disdained.

It wasn’t easy, though, as only by promising amendments did it happen. The anti-Federalist opposition demanded and got the "oft-hymned" first ten amendments, commonly known as the Bill of Rights. In fact, they "made no great difference," and did little to dilute the 1787 document. More on that below.

Lundberg explained that most anti-Federalists weren’t particularly happy either with the Articles of Confederation or the Constitution. These men were mostly privileged property owners (all white, of course) squabbling over the means to get pretty similar ends and having a generally hostile attitude about the majority population overall. In other words, everyone was not considered "We the people," which is how radical English Whigs felt and whose traditions colonists adopted. "The illiterate and underprivileged (elements) were not much considered" with the "people" again being the privileged male property owners in charge of everything and out only for their own self-interest.

i'll try to finish it another day; my RL chores are backed up almost beyond repair. and that was just Part I?

the 4th went okay; at least there were no fireworks as we're in the Extreme Drought #4 category.
but the head of the local volunteer fire dept did find it adorable to blow off their july 4 cannon six times at 6 in the a.m. and none of our new neighbors set off fireworks, either, as they had last year (the criminal idiots).

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@wendy davis

anything but dry - monsoon season, a real one this year, unlike a few recent ones.

Glad you made it through the first bit of review (the book itself is not that much longer).

I should say that when the reviewer says

Lundberg destroys the romanticism and enthusiasm felt today about the Constitution and the revolt against Great Britain preceding it.

I think he is misconstruing or misrepresenting somewhat - giving the impression that Lundberg is unsympathetic to the original ideals of the revolution and those who signed and supported the Declaration of Independence. I may be recalling incorrectly (and my hard copy of the book is loaned out at the moment) but I think Lundberg compares that group (and those sentiments) quite favorably to the Constitution and those promoting it.

Cheers, BR

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wendy davis's picture

@Blue Republic

those bits too early, as well. but it's good you've critiqued lendman's review a bit.

monsoons as in flooding and 'seek higher ground'? here, a decade ago, july was considered our 'monsoon season', but 2-3 inches of wet stuff a day was par for the course. once in awhile some small rivers would flood, wipe out a local bridge or two, but that was about it.

got some oven-fried chicken bakin', workin' on a big ol' bowl of tabouli and veg for my hunny-bunny's work lunches. IOW: break's over for now. ; )

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wendy davis's picture

this thread needs something playful as a closing song. (h/t erstwhile café commenter north floridian marine biologist bruce; dunno if he's still on this side or not.) just fancy the work it took to create this.

Big Bird is the Word: Big Bird sings "Surfin' Bird"

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