Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Iggy Stardust Podcast Wrap Up

Special Snowflake Sharona returned with another episode of Back Talk with special guest Mirza Alfaro to discuss gaming, sports and the latest in immigration from whoever the hell is running the insane asylum that is the White House these days.

First up, we talked gaming and what games appeal to us as women. Gaming franchises suffer from the same issues that companies like Twitter do. They don’t know who they are or what they want to be. Instead of focusing on what made the product great they look over their shoulders at what everyone else is doing and try to replicate it. Imitation might be the sincerest form of flattery but it will kill your product. #Message

Next, we talked some sports and the current state of the Tennessee Titans. The Titans have been a mess for several years but things finally might be on the upswing. Cornerback, and the entire secondary, is the area that needs addressing the most either via the draft or free agency. Marcus Mariota is young, but improving, and with a solid run game the future is bright for the team.

Finally, we talked about immigration and the discriminatory nature of the current White House and why the atmosphere of hate is so troubling. The current administration uses hate and policies derived therefrom to hide the greed pervading the cabinet appointments and what is to come. Americans are paying attention now and becoming increasingly involved in the process. Together, we can make a difference.

You can listen to today’s episode here.

Posted in commentary, latest posts

From Russia With Love Podcast Wrap Up

Back Talk returned with a new episode of Chopping It Up with Matt to discuss the latest in #RussiaGate plus the Presidential Records Act and why violations of it matter.

We are living in historical times, some of it good and some of it bad. The resignation of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn a mere 25 days into this new administration is historical, in a bad way. Participation in the democratic process by average Americans is one of the lone bright spots.

The Russia connection with the current administration should be concerning to everyone but we live in times where partisan politics trump all else for far too many (okay sorry).That Russia interfered in our country’s 2016 presidential election no longer seems debatable and that certain high ranking officials in the White House were at least complicit.

The question remains as to the identity of those individuals and the extent to which they were involved, or did nothing to stop it.

Russia is a problem worldwide and the United States isn’t the only country where it is middling in national elections. Russian aggression in the Ukraine, and elsewhere, remains a problem too. Destabilization, along with the close ties between certain high ranking governmental officials, are ways to make certain this aggression gets lost in the crossfire.

Combine all this with violations of the Presidential Records Act and obstructionism from those in positions of power toward an investigation of Russian interference and you get an authoritarian cocktail that is deadly to democracy. You can listen to today’s podcast here.

Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Transformation Podcast Wrap Up

Hello Resistance! We are 21 days into the Bannon Administration and there has been progress even though it might be slight. There is no time to let up however. So let’s celebrate some successes but also look at areas where we need to pay attention.

There are several notable victories as Vox Media notes here via @blowticious and they are important. The 9th Circuit dealt a small blow to the Muslim Ban in a victory for the states of Washington and Minnesota but no court to date has addressed the merits of the ban. Last, but certainly not least, we are seeing engagement from our citizenry on a widespread and thus far sustained level.

The level of involvement is important but so also is maintaining that level of commitment. Town hall meetings are important, phone calls are important but so also is staying focused and committed. There will be misdirection, progress and setback. Vigilance and longevity will be key to lasting change.

The list of things to watch is long but of great concern right now is what @ICEgov might be doing. Reports continue to circulate that agents are going into communities looking for immigrants. While widespread operations have not yet been seen, but it certainly bears some watching.

Finally, Congress is being asked to look into the numerous conflicts of interest surrounding the White House. President Donald Trump vowed to divest himself of his assets prior to taking the oath of office. He has not. Representative Jerrold Nadler has filed a resolution of inquiry seeking information so Congress can take a look at the issue. For a good primer on possible White House conflicts, see this piece by Jeremy Venook at The Atlantic. 

All politicians bear watching and now more so than ever. It is incumbent on citizens in a representative democracy to actively engage in the process. Oversight is important and so is participation on a fundamental level. We are seeing more average citizens declaring they will run for office. That, perhaps, might be the lasting legacy of #TheResistance.

You can listen to today’s podcast here.

Posted in commentary, latest posts, Sports

Can You Hear Me? Podcast Wrap Up

“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.”
William Faulkner

We live in crazy times and there is not nearly enough time in a one hour podcast to touch upon it all. So let’s focus on what matters first. White supremacists run the White House and they are trying to tell you that protest against their unconstitutional and illegal actions is bad. DO. NOT. LISTEN. PROTEST. IS. AS. AMERICAN. AS. IT. GETS.

I repeat protest is as American as apple pie and this nation was founded upon it. In light of today’s climate, let’s revisit one of our nation’s most famous protests shall we?  #NeverForget

Mary Ann Vecchio screams as she kneels over the body of fellow student Jeffrey Miller during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, Ohio, May 4, 1970. Four students were killed when Ohio National Guard troops fired at some 600 anti-war demonstrators. A cropped version of this image won the Pulitzer Prize.
Mary Ann Vecchio screams as she kneels over the body of fellow student Jeffrey Miller during an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, Ohio, May 4, 1970. Four students were killed when Ohio National Guard troops fired at some 600 anti-war demonstrators. A cropped version of this image won the Pulitzer Prize.

On May 4, 1970 four young Kent State students were killed when the Ohio National Guard fired at unarmed protesters during an anti-war protest against our involvement in Vietnam. This event is referred to in our history books as the Kent State Massacre. The Kent State protest, one of the largest in our country, is widely credited with putting an end to the Vietnam War and ultimately helped seal the end Richard Nixon’s presidency. Watergate did quite a bit to help too of course. 

The National Guard fire tear gas to disperse the crowd of students gathered on the commons, May 4, 1970.
The National Guard fire tear gas to disperse the crowd of students gathered on the commons, May 4, 1970.

Protest isn’t inherently violent and far too often they end up that way because of those who object to the message of the protest. Police brutality versus civil rights activists has been well documented and if you aren’t familiar you should read up on it. Suppression of the people by any means necessary goes hand in hand with authoritarianism. We must never cede our right as citizens and watch dogs of federal overreach to protest against injustice.

“Nothing strengthens authority so much as silence.”
Leonardo da Vinci

Continue reading “Can You Hear Me? Podcast Wrap Up”

Posted in commentary, latest posts

On Protest and White Privilege

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me. ~ Martin Niemöller

We’re going to be talking about protest and white privilege in light of recent events and a good place to start is always a bit of a tweetstorm. This is from last night.