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Mike Feder – Heil To The Chief!

I can’t say or write anything about Donald Trump that isn’t being said or written everywhere—and, for the most part, by people who are more articulate and informed than I am. But still, since there isn’t anything I can do about him and his followers I feel a need to say or write something—if only to join with other, like-minded souls who are experiencing the same sense of dread and despondency about what’s happening now and what might happen in the future. And I want to write something so I can tell myself, no matter what happens later on, that I didn’t just shake my head, wring my hands and watch this final “reality” show in passive silence.

Trump does not seem real to me. That feeling could derive from the fact I don’t want him or his political “movement” to be real; the consequences are too terrifying to imagine (Germany in the late 1920’s and early ‘30s). Or this feeling could be because there is about him a quality of inhuman-ness—as if he were a machine that operates without the basic spark of animation; something with the form of a human but without an actual mind, heart or soul.
When I listen to him speak I don’t feel the existence of any meaningful process of thought or depth of feeling behind his absurd pronouncements and daily contradictions. His words, even the puerile hostility and sarcasm, his main form of expression, seem to be uttered randomly, without any psychological context or an awareness of cause and effect; like a robot that has experienced a breakdown in its original programming.
He even looks made-up (and I don’t mean all the actual make-up), I mean that he appears to be the creation of some alien life-forms that were working without any original concept or diagrams of what a human actually looks like.

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Black Agenda Radio – 02.29.16

Welcome, to the radio magazine that brings you news, commentary and analysis from a Black Left perspective with host Glen Ford and his co-host, Nellie Bailey.

– There is turmoil this presidential primacy season, in both the Democratic and Republican parties. Dr. Anthony Monteiro, the Dubois Scholar and veteran activist who helped put together a national conference on the Black Radical Tradition, this January, in Philadelphia, says the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump campaigns reveal a crisis in the duopoly political system.

– Students, teachers, parents and community members in Detroit are gearing up for a city-wide strike to defend the public schools, which have been pushed to the brink of bankruptcy after 17 years of management by the state. Among the leaders of the protests is Steven Conn, the elected president of the Detroit teachers’ union, who was deprived of his seat by the union’s national leadership. Conn says Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and his appointed emergency financial managers are hell-bent on destroying public education. Their current plan is to divide the Detroit school system in two.

– A new study shows that Teach for America, or TFA, which has been a leading force in the charterization of the nation’s public schools, enjoys a special relationship with school systems in Atlanta, Chicago, New Orleans and New York. The lead researcher for the study is Jameson Brewer. He says Teach for America collects finders fees to provide school systems with novice teachers, and protects them against lay-offs, while traditional teachers are pushed out of the profession.

– The Alliance for a Just Society has released a new report titled “Jobs After Jail.” The problem is, there AREN’T many employment opportunities for ex-offenders, partly because former prison inmates are prohibited by law from working at literally hundreds of jobs. Allyson Fredericksen was one of the authors of the report.

– As a lifelong activist, and a veteran journalist and educator, Dr. Charles Simmons takes the long view. Simmons spoke last week to a meeting on Black Men in Unions, at the Institute for Labor and Community Studies, in Detroit.