Hey Dude, Is Our Town That Bad?

SvengoolieJohn Oliver may be strident thumping his desk-top and maintains an assuredly British viewpoint but he is spot on in his analysis and conclusions about the problems in this country (not to mention being extremely funny). Last Week Tonight is absolutely my favorite program on the television and since I tend to only watch three shows each week, that places Oliver in the spotlight. But he shouldn’t get too cocky since one of the other two is Svengoolie.

One thing that Oliver is successful doing is to reach his audience and get some form of action. In past weeks he has ignited email campaigns, gotten government officials to acknowledge his criticism, and now even has gotten the local officials in Saginaw, Michigan, to decommission their obscene and clearly unnecessary military vehicle. The local news said that it was because an HBO comedy show made fun of them … ya think?

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Apartheid in Missouri?

OpportunityRemember, SCOTUS declared in a decision last year that racism is no longer a significant problem in the United States (see more on this myth). Of course, as soon as the decision came down, those states which are often associated with racism immediately moved to change their voting laws in a blatant effort to disenfranchise minorities and people of color (as they say). Now reports out of Ferguson, Missouri, expose a nefarious process to keep the white minority in power by using police power and a biased legal system to disenfranchise the black majority in the area … shades of South Africa. As has been said so often, Follow the Money! It seems that Ferguson has expanded the municipal wealth by an ingenious process that runs the black residents through a feedback loop of unequal education, lack of jobs, poverty, petty crime, fines and incarceration, and disenfranchisement based on criminal records. Simply put, the city gets the fines and the whites stay in power because the black citizens are legally discouraged to vote.

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Ferguson, ou le malaise des Noirs américains

This is what they are seeing in the European papers. We are truly exceptional, right?

This is what they are seeing in the European papers. We truly are exceptional, right? Can anyone tell if this is the local police or the National Guard? It’s so hard to tell them apart. Is that Rambo, the third on the left?

Oh look: the rocket’s red glare … this makes you proud to be an American!