Tuesday, July 17, 2018

The Trump Baby Blimp Rules!

The Trump Baby Blimp Rules! 

Over a quarter-million protesters marched in London alone to voice their displeasure in Donald Trump's trip to the UK.  They protested his insulting of their queen, their government and their commonsense through the use of humor in the form of a giant angry-baby Trump blimp--complete with a cell phone to tweet from in his tiny hand. Pure genius, don't you think?

Enjoy some aerial footage and great memes from a German comedy show as you read this week's article on the importance of political humor. Remember, without it there is no freedom of speech. 

Making fun of those in authority is our duty and our right. So get out there and make fun of a tyrant today!

Alas, Poor Yorick! The Passing of the Court Jester?

by Coast Watcher

The recent firing of Rob Rogers, former editorial cartoonist for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, rang alarm bells in some quarters. The majority of Americans who heard the news couldn’t understand why a cartoonist should be fired for, well, simply doing his job. Nick Anderson, a Pulitzer-prize winning cartoonist, was laid off from the Houston Chronicle last year. They are but two political cartoonists of hundreds laid off by various publications across the United States within the last thirty years. A once thriving pool of over one hundred and eighty editorial cartoonists has dwindled to a few dozen, all of whom are looking nervously over their shoulders lest they be next for the chop.

What’s going on?

It’s an old adage that the best way to destroy tyranny is to laugh at it. Making a tyrant seem ridiculous in any way, shape or form diminishes him in the eyes of the general population and so weakens his power. A shining example from history is editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast. Nast is credited with bringing down Boss Tweed’s corrupt New York Tammany Hall political machine in the late nineteenth century. (Tammany Hall became a byword for political corruption on an epic scale, a tradition the Democratic Party seems determined to uphold.)

The other function of the jester, or fool, comes through literature where he or she is seen as the symbol of common sense and honesty. The court jester is a character used for insight and advice, a person able to take advantage of his ancient right to mock and speak freely in order to highlight folly on the part of the tyrant and generally give sage advice. The jester can do this where a person of more exalted birth would find themselves in the tyrant’s potentially lethal disfavor.

Shakespearean fools are usually clever peasants or commoners that use their wits to outdo people of higher social standing. Even autocratic rulers had to tolerate their jests and japes or be seen as humorless and intolerant. In this day and age of faceless corporate power, the jester has a more difficult life. 

The modern world isn’t kind to the jester’s artistic descendant. Witness the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris in regard to the controversial Mohammed cartoon in a Danish newspaper. Perhaps nowadays the establishment doesn’t care for the idea of being the butt of righteous satire or humor. Since the majority of cartoonists are employed by newspapers owned by a tiny handful of plutocrats, they become a juicy target for  tyrants wishing to suppress dissent. A word in the right ear will see a cartoonist being told the clear his or her desk the next day.
Performance jesters are under attack nowadays as well. One only has to look at comedian Lee Camp's You Tube videos to see how the establishment is attempting to marginalize his progressive insights and his sharing of vital information that is seldom disseminated on mainstream media outlets. The establishment feels so threatened by Lee's humor (as well as others, such as Jimmy Dore's) that they regularly block sharing of his videos and even made You Tube post a nonsensical "warning" under them to scare viewers off. If anything, their attempts have only grown Lee's audience and solidified his followers in their support for him and his message. The joke's on the establishment!

When the establishment fights back and uses dirty tactics, it doesn’t mean we can’t employ humor against the establishment and those who embody it. The American president, a boorish, ill-educated man who practically begs ordinary people to poke fun at his pomposity and foolishness, is on record as hating the Trump Baby blimp that flew over the mass protests against his visit to Great Britain. The humor worked--it got the point across as intended. We the people are not happy with his performance.  

Nick Anderson suggests newspaper readers should tell the editor of the publication how much they appreciate the cartoonist, or if the paper doesn’t have one on staff, suggest they hire one. People power does have considerable sway, even in these days of wholly-owned, Sinclair-Tribune media conglomerates. After all, if the buying public doesn’t buy their product even the arch plutocrat is helpless.   

This means we must support the political cartoonist and the comedian and the creative protester and all  like them in every way we can. Remember, humor is one weapon the tyrannical can't defend against. Arm yourself with a good sense of humor and fight back!

BIO: Coast Watcher is very proud to be British. He salutes his countrymen for their creativity and humor and thinks the Baby Trump blimp is a bloody good idea. Don't hide in the bushes--poke fun at the establishment every chance you get! Knock them down a few notches in the political revolution, fellow humorists.

And now, a bit of political humor in the sing-along fashion...
 Oh, the humanity! (Or is that "trumpanity"?)

 My Donald Trump Balloon
sung to the tune of "Up, Up and Away in My Beautiful Balloon"
new lyrics by Still Bernin'

Would you like to fly my great Donald Trump balloon?
All across the "cloud" with my Baby Trump balloon?
We can tweet, grump and spout crass racist talk, you and I--
'Cause we can cry!

Up, up and away on my Donald Trump, my Baby Trump balloon!

Would you like to hate like a Donald Trump buffoon?
Anyone will do if you're a Baby Trump baboon!
Browns, blacks and Chinese have too big a piece of the pie--
So he will lie!

Up, up and away in my Donald Trump, my Baby Trump balloon!

My Donald Trump, my Baby Trump balloon
Created under a narcissistic streak
He'll rant for war and a chance to start one
If by some chance you find yourself hating him
Then find a crowd to join you, and keep this chant beside you

The world's a hate-filled place with our Baby Trump balloon
It wears a sadder face with a Donald Trump buffoon
We can march the streets and shout it high up to the skies
He can die!

Up, up and away in my Donald Trump, my Baby Trump balloon!

(With my sincerest apologies to the Fifth Dimension for using their great tune.)

BIO: Still Bernin' keeps things in perspective through the use of biting humor. It's better than sitting and crying all day long, right? "Don't let the haters get you down! Use satire as a weapon against them. You'll be glad you did."

It's no laughing matter--
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Freedom from election fraud is as important as our exercising our freedom of speech... More on the 2016 recount fight.

As we approach the 2018 midterms, the fight for elections we can trust continues. We’re happy to share with you this latest summary of the successes and ongoing struggles in the continuing recount fight for election protection and voting justice. Thank you for your support that has made this fight possible.

It’s in our hands!
Jill Stein

WithMidterms Approaching, the Recount Fight Continues for Elections We CanTrust

From the start, the 2016 Presidential recount was not simply a call to retabulate the vote. It was a demand for elections we can trust, that are accurate, secure and just, and free from the scourge of Jim Crow. While there’s been progress since then towards greater cybersecurity, our votes remain vulnerable to a spectrum of cyber threats. But that’s not all. On multiple fronts, our right to vote itself is under attack, along with other basic rights at the foundation of our democracy, including our rights of protest, privacy, freedom of the press and more. With democracy increasingly under fire, trustworthy elections are more critical than ever. For all these reasons, the recount fight continues as a battle for election protection and voting justice, a fight being waged in both the court of law and the court of public opinion.

The past year and a half has seen both mounting threats and important progress, including notable successes in ongoing recount-related efforts. This includes the adoption of crucial reforms the recount helped shine a spotlight on, and hard-fought legal progress towards much-needed scrutiny of secret, privately-controlled voting software.

Read More

The water in the faucet runs orange. But kids are expected to drink it.  

In Fayetteville, West Virginia, the water at school has been discolored for years. No one knows what’s in it and there is no plan to clean it up.

Headwater Defense, a local grassroots group, has been donating bottled water to the school since 2016. When they tried to speak out against the school’s neglect, they were threatened. The school told them they’d stop accepting bottled water if the group publicized the issue.

The safety of kids is at risk. Congress must do something about it. Call (202) 224-3121 now to be connected to your Senator.
Schools can get away with potentially toxic water because, shockingly, Public Water Systems are not required to test water in schools.

The Get the Lead Out of Schools Act (S.1401) would make sure that water in schools is tested and that parents and teachers find out when there is a problem right away.  It also creates a grant program to help fund the improvement of water.

This law could have identified and stopped disasters like that in Flint, Michigan, where a whole generation of kids is being poisoned. Right this second, children are at risk for developmental delays, anemia, hypertension, and even death.

No child should come home from school poisoned. Call your senator at (202) 224-3121 to protect children from dangerous drinking water. Whole generations of kids are depending on us.
Lois Gibbs
Center for Health, Environment, and Justice and People’s Action
P.S. Use the following script to tell your Senator exactly why they need to support this bill. 

Please support the Get the Lead Out of Schools Act (S. 1401), a critical bill that will protect children from the devastating impact of lead poisoning.  No level of lead exposure is safe and children are particularly at risk to the detrimental effects of lead exposure. Prolonged exposure can cause developmental delays in children, anemia, hypertension, organ failure and death.

S. 1401 would protect America’s school children from lead by requiring that the Public Water Systems test all water that flows into school systems. This act also requires  results of the water testing to be shared with the school community, because everyone has the right to know what they are drinking. The act also provides grants to help schools address their water contamination issue and protect the health of their students.
I strongly believe this bill must be passed and encourage you to co-sponsor the legislation.

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