“Men are born, and always remain, free and equal in their rights. Civil distinctions, therefore, can be founded only on public utility.”-Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen,National Assembly, Paris, 27August 1789
“(James) Baldwin wanted (Attorney General Robert) Kennedy to see (May 24, 1963) what was at the root of all of our troubles; that, for the most part, human beings refused to live honestly with themselves and were all too willing to hide behind the idols of race and ready to kill in order to defend them. His insight remains relevant today because the moral reckoning we face bears the markings of the original sin of the nation.” - Eddie S. Glaude Jr., Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own, 2020
“Woman is born free and lives equal to man in her rights. Social distinctions can be based only on the common utility.” - Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen, Olympe de Gouges, Paris, 1791
“…what we will see in 2020 is the culmination of 75 years of the development of techniques (called) “Woman-Hating.” While not new, this GOP attack has aimed to make voters more afraid of a world run by women, whom they perceive as dangerous, radical, immoral, inept or just “unlikeable,” than (run) by men who have proven themselves to be exactly that…Even among voters who say they would support a woman for president, a majority finds fault with any individual woman who runs.” - Catherine McNicol Stock, Hartford Courant, July 12, 2020
“The authoritarians of today are…terror managers…In its invasion of Ukraine in 2014, Russia transformed units of its own regular army into a terrorist force, removing insignia from uniforms and denying all responsibility for the dreadful suffering they inflicted.” (However)…“Violence is not confidence, and terror is not mastery.” - Timothy Snyder, On Tyranny; Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin
“The unidentified Customs and Border Protection (CBP) special tactical agents who’ve kidnapped at least two demonstrators right off the street in Portland, Oregon, are wholly untrained in how to properly deal with large demonstrations and a former senior Border Patrol agent turned whistleblower calls the Border Patrol Tactical Unit, or BORTAC, among “the most violent and racist in all law enforcement.” – Gabe Ortiz, Daily Kos, 7/29/20
“Colonization would make of Germany a continental empire fit to rival the United States, another hardy frontier state based upon exterminatory colonialism and slave labor. The East was the Nazi Manifest Destiny…As Hitler imagined the future, Germany would deal with the Slavs much as the North Americans had dealt with the Indians. The Volga River in Russia…(would) be Germany’s Mississippi.” - Timothy Snyder, Bloodlands
“From Robert Burns (Scotland), Toussaint L’Ouverture (Haiti) and Olympe de Gouges (France), through America’s Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Rosa Parks, James Baldwin and Bob Dylan to 2020, roads for revolutions of rising expectations are long, winding, and weary…The best “revenge” along the way is to live well for others, as well as oneself.” - Chicago Dog
As the presumptive Democratic nominee for President in the 2020 election, Joe Biden, prepares to select his Vice-Presidential running mate from a likely final list of incredibly able women of color, it is worth noting that it doesn’t really matter which one she is, except to self-appointed “experts” on what is good or bad for Joe Biden, the Democrats, and the country. The others will have plenty to do in building this country back to something better than what a string of white bread, male, practitioners of trickle down economics since Ronald Reagan have left us with. As long as she is black, given the current revolutionary climate in the wake of George Floyd’s killing, and Trump’s truancy on the pandemic, it will be very, very cool.
Joe Biden, and a black sister on the ticket, will be running in step with Black Lives Matter, Walls of Moms, Leaf Blower Dads, Front Line Heroes, Civil Servants, and neglected Soldiers and Veterans. They will be leaders of a movement celebrating loftier goals of the French; not limited ones of the American Revolution; the “Rights of Everyone,” not just the “Rights of Englishmen.”
With such a choice for VP, Joe Biden thus crosses the “color line” AND the “gender line,” using non-violent means of Constitutional “regular order,” plus “good trouble” of recently eulogized Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), in the steps of South Africa’s Nelson Mandela, and India’s Mohandas Gandhi. These methods, requiring patience of saints, nevertheless have achieved many revolutionary ends of previous, more impatient movements, with their violent means: the very, very, “bad trouble,” of England’s Oliver Cromwell, American colonists’ expulsion of Indians and British Empire loyalists (aka. Canadians), and France’s Maximilian Robespierre.
In addition, Joe Biden represents in his own persona and background, the aspirations and achievements of many ordinary white folks (“small whites” in the French language), so often exploited by aristocrats on both sides of the Atlantic. Disappointed by the performance of Democrats and Republicans, frustrated, white minimum wage workers, and other disenchanted voters had turned to (President) Donald Trump in 2016 for relief from economic stress produced by Wall Street and Washington D.C. big shots (“big whites” in the French). The massive fraud, malevolent administration, and incredible incompetence of Trump’s Republican Party has left only the Democrats as a vessel of hope. A marriage of populism with progressivism is upon us.
The forces of reaction this time are represented by the sometimes violent actions, but always violent rhetoric of “feeble minded fascism” emanating from the White House, egged on by ruthless coaches like Vladimir Putin and assorted authoritarians from around the world, unhampered by laws and norms of Anglo-American Constitutional history. The more “bad trouble” they can manufacture in the name of “freedom,” but in the cause of totalitarianism, the better the chance to defeat democracy in America and around the world. It is important to remember that the sociopathic Trump, as described by his niece, Mary Trump, really does enjoy the suffering he is causing in pursuit of his open-ended agenda of mayhem and malice.
The issue may be in doubt, but betting against civil liberties and civil rights advocates marching and organizing in the contemporary spirit of the late Congressman Lewis, and the very lively Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez(D-NY) is probably not a good idea. Their “road less travelled,” is now a busy highway filled with millennials, their parents and their grandparents, marching, knowingly or unknowingly, with the spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Michael Harrington, Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm (D-NY), the Reuther Brothers, Saul Alinsky, Emma Goldman, Sojourner Truth, Wendell Phillips, and Jeremy Bentham, to mention a few. As democratic drama unfolds amidst a pandemic, I needed the counsel of my KGB animal friends.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends. Public Television has been running programs on the French Revolution. Is it because American History no longer provides guidance to where we are going?
Putin: It some ways, it never did. Freedom and equality were always worldwide issues, despite the insularity of so much writing on American History, heavily biased by a racist and sexist past.
Lena: In addition, Political Science/punditry tropes of a “tribal division” between Democrats and Republicans, while adequate in explaining lunacies regarding mask wearing as political, not medical statements, are totally inadequate in explaining the initial tribal division between women and men going back thousands of years beyond the Biblical burden of infamy borne by Eve.
Rasputin: The second major tribal division, on the basis of color, began in Shakespeare’s time as European and American colonizers began to slaughter or enslave peoples of color, while forging their empires. War was the usual vehicle, but no longer a sole determinant of who was slave or master, as vast economies emerged in the Western World, and the Color Line thickened.
Señor Perro: The initial pushback against aristocracies of birth, wealth, and color began in subdivisions/classes of the white tribe known as Anglo-America; The English Civil War (1642-48) Commonwealth (1649-60) and Revolution (1688-89) and the American Revolution (1763-1783 and Constitution (1787-1791). The “Big Bang” was the French Revolution (1789-1815); and before forces of reaction were able to reduce its political, economic and social confines, the borders of gender and color tribes had been breached in hearts and minds all over the world.
Jim Crow XV: Like Americans from 1775-1781, the people of Haiti won their independence by force of arms from the British Empire in 1795, as well as the French Empire in 1802; but, unlike Americans, they made the mistake of doing it “while black.” Initially, President John Adams recognized and traded equitably with the Republic of Haiti, but in 1800, Mr. “All Men Are Created Equal,” and slave owner, Thomas Jefferson, was elected President. Haiti was “redlined” out of its freedom and autonomy, and lied about in American history books thereafter.
Chicago Dog: While Jefferson admitted: “slavery was despotism,” he had no clue of what to do about it without diminishing his standard of living, and that of much of his “white tribe” in the South, as well as the North. However, he did exploit Haiti’s defeat of Napoleon to acquire the Louisiana Purchase for white tribes to come - at much expense to “red tribes,” of course.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Presidents Lincoln and Grant did do something about slavery and the despotism of discrimination during the Civil War and Reconstruction (1861-1877), but it was not nearly enough, and hypocrisies regarding race continued into the 21th Century.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: None of the previous violent Revolutions had done much regarding gender hypocrisies, so women began organizing along lines of non-violent protest strategies that had proved successful in the English-speaking world in the 19th Century and well into the 20th Century. Peoples of color employed these civil rights strategies to great effect after World War II. One of the two major political “tribes,” the Democrats, became converted in part in the 1960’s, and all the way in 2008 and 2012 with the election and reelection of President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden.
Kim Dog Un: But Obama’s “being President while black” was as much anathema to white tribal forces organized under the guise of Tea Party Republicans, Donald Trump’s “Birtherism” and the likes of FOX news nimrods like Tucker Carlson, as Haiti’s “having a successful slave rebellion while black” was anathema to Thomas Jefferson. With the exception of Msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell, the defaming of a sitting President on the basis of race was tolerated by major news outlets, until racism became Executive Branch dogma on January 20, 2017.
HPR: Even if Biden and his revolutionary choice for Vice President win, can they do much?
Putin: Pelosi already has shown the way with $600. per week unemployment insurance.
HPR: But it was only for four months, and expired on July 31, because of Moscow Mitch.
Rasputin: Naturally. Divide 600 by 40 hours per week and you get a subsistence wage of $15. an hour. Republicans hate that, but dare not say so, and they certainly couldn’t stay in D.C. and vote against it. They prefer slave wages of half that amount in Red States, so Mitch claimed a liability issue as cause for adjournment, and hopes misery can be blamed on the Democrats.
Mr. Crying Wolf: Fat chance. Not even Trump thinks that dodge will work. Democrats will succeed in November as long as they combine progressive and populist goals as Nancy Pelosi has done, and fight along tribal lines other than “Democrat” or “Republican,” or “to mask or not to mask; that is the question.” Something like Orwell’s “My Country, Right or Left;” plus: “White or Of Color; Male or Female; Young or Old, Gay or Straight, and Funky or Bland.”
Chicago Dog: Not as slogans, perhaps, but these contrasts definitely need to be borne in mind as concepts. Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better” is more than a slogan since he is sincere about their literal meaning. Programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of the 1930’s still have relevance for unemployed and underemployed in a “Green New Deal,” in the wake of economic devastations of Covid-19. It has taken a color-blind virus to force you to confront the absurdities of your color consciousness in race, and in politics. Besides, a black woman is a twofer.
HPR: A twofer?
Mr. Swamp Fox: Sure. Any ward heeler knows that’s how you perfect a balanced ticket . A woman and an African American; the two largest voting blocs in the Democratic Party. Are you kidding me? This “Biden team” will shatter older tribal norms if Democrats, Independents, and disgusted Republicans back them for the White House, Senate and House, the way polls indicate.
HPR: But Biden was on the Wall Street side of the Credit Card issue 20 years ago!
Chicago Dog: He was a Senator from Delaware, the Capital of Credit Card Companies. Would you expect a Wisconsin Senator to vote against cheese, or an Iowa Senator to vote against corn?
HPR: I suppose not, and Joe has certainly been on right side of things with President Obama.
Lena: Biden’s economic plans include strong input from his progressive, Primary rivals, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). They take aim at fundamental structural flaws in the bankruptcy of “trickle down” Reaganite, as well as Trumpist, economics and (Senator) Moscow Mitch (McConnell, R-KY) miserliness that mirrors the wild excesses of Louis XVI and the French aristocracy in 1789. The U.S. economy is in wretched shape, precisely because of leadership oriented to 1% or less of its population. The French Revolution was sparked by a temporary economic, but permanent moral, bankruptcy at the top of society.
Ms.RRLD: Only a political tsunami of overwhelming Democratic victories on November 3 can undergird Nancy Pelosi’s “bubble up” policies aimed at the general population in the spirit and action of a New Deal for the 21st Century. Former Republican stalwarts, like Congressman David Jolly (FL) and the Lincoln Project’s Steve Schmidt, feel the depths of the betrayal even more intensely than Democrats, and their passionate refusal to accept anything less than a complete destruction of their former Party is a sight to behold. There will be Republican remnants left at State and local levels, no doubt; but the “Tea Party” is over.
Prudence Possum: Even Trump is beginning to figure out that the number of Republicans willing to follow him over the cliff of treason to the Constitution is dwindling. We found an envelope from one of (Congressman) Louis Gohmert’s (R-TX) Covid-19 exposed staffers labeled “The Trump Hoax and Bad Jokes Are On Us” with an enclosed abject poem which speculated on Trump’s midnight musings:
“Bedtime With Bo(n)zo?…But I don’t want to go!”………….………….Headless Horseman
If I can just postpone Election day
Until I feel like giving power up;
Then I could rain an endless, bitter cup
Of bile upon my foes who block my way.
I love the endless cruelty I use
To “own the libs,” and feel the rush of glee;
My people in their frenzy give to me
To “strut my stuff,” my power to abuse.
Alas, I fear my game is near the end
If I cannot get Mitch to halt the mail;
Or Barr to stop electors from their wills
That I depart this “golden gig;” and bend
My ego into pretzels, even jail;Without friend Vlad to help me pay my bills.
September 15th 2020
September 7th 2020
August 31st 2020
August 24th 2020
August 19th 2020
by John Showalter
By the time this article is published, all the major new outlets in the area will have reported on the May 30th protest in Fargo demanding change and justice after the needless killing of George Floyd, as well as its aftermath. …
by HPR Contributor
by Sofia Makarova and Massimo Sassi The global pandemic is an incredibly challenging time for many. Nearlyone in every three Americans’ jobs have been affected, whether a temporary layoff, a permanent job loss, or a reduction in…
by John Showalter
Fargo obviously loves their classical music. Audiences have still turned out during the 2019-2020 season of the Sanford Masterworks Series performed by the Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra despite an unrelenting winter. That…
by Greg Carlson
Well-deserved praise for writer-director Amy Seimetz’s efficient and provocative “She Dies Tomorrow” almost inevitably points to the film’s eerie timeliness as a metaphor for pandemic-inspired malaise and disequilibrium.…
by HPR Contributor
by Kris Gruberperriex1@gmail.comAdam Quesnell's last show at The Cellar beneath the Front Street Taproom in Fargo was in early September of 2018. He was embarking on a seminal move from Minneapolis to LA. As always, his comedy was…
by Jill Finkelsonjsfinkelson99@gmail.comFar North Spirits, located up in Hallock, MN, is the northernmost distillery in the lower 48. They may be young in the distillery world but the farm and the spirit reach far into the past.…
by HPR Contributor
by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…