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What White House Journalists Can Learn From the Chauncey Bailey Project: How to Journalistically Crowdsource the Trump/Russia Investigation

With President Trump's firing of FBI Director James Comey, one thing has become apparent:  A truly independent investigation of any ties between the Russian government and the Trump presidential campaign will only be accomplished by the free press, for however long it remains free.

There is precedent for journalists coming together across a variety of platforms to conduct an investigation together and report on it:  The Chauncey Bailey Project.

Those of you who know me personally know of my brief interactions with the late Chauncey Bailey, a respected Oakland journalist who was killed investigating criminal activities of the Your Muslim Bakery in Oakland.  Journalists from television, print, radio, the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the Center for Investigative Journalism, and the U.C. Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism came together to pick up where Chauncey Bailey was stopped in his investigation by murder and to investigate his murder themselves.  The…
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Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

Poverty of Imagination Is A Sin Against Yourself

Sometimes in life, you have to imagine yourself to where you want to be.  You have to create where you want to be in your life in your mind first, see what no one else can see, and speak, create, and work what only you can imagine into existence.  You especially have to do this when you don't see around you what you aspire to be, see, or do.

The inability to do this is what I would call "poverty of imagination."  I see it all around me.

I even accused a dear friend of mine of suffering from this.  She was taken aback, offended.  I told her that, in imagining all the possible ways a legal conflict could be settled to the benefit of her client, she failed to imagine other options for no other reason than that they had never been done before.

"That, my friend," I declared, "is poverty of imagination."

I then told her the story of my dad and uncle that epitomized  poverty of imagination, as told to me by one of my younger uncles.

When my dad and my uncle,…

Progressives, Liberals, Democrats and Trump: No Quarter Asked Nor Given

Now that Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States, progressives, liberals and Democrats need to wrap their mind around a wartime concept that violates The Hague Convention:

No quarter asked nor given.

What does that mean?  According to Wikipedia,  in war, a victor gives "no quarter" (or takes no prisoners) when the victor shows no clemency or mercy and refuses to spare the life of a vanquished opponent in return for their unconditional surrender.

No amount of protest or persuasion is going to change the fact that President Trump has no intention of compromising on the more inflammatory ideals he campaigned on -- the wall, repealing Obamacare, not acknowledging climate change, rolling back regulations because they are regulations,  a Muslim registry, the deportation of Dreamers.

Republicans are so drunk with their power that they don't care what ideological compromises they made to get it.  They backed a sexist, racist, xenophobic, Islamaphobic candidate wit…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.

S…

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

Smarter, Harder, Blacker: My Guide to Being Black in the Trump Era

When I started to write this, it just wouldn’t flow as easily as previous blog entries had.I didn’t like the tone – me pontificating on what we as black folks need to do to get through the oncoming Trump era.I realize now why I didn’t like the tone:I’m not qualified to pontificate on what black folks should do.
Remember, I’m the one who called for a boycott on Colin Kaepernick’s birthday in support of Black Lives Matter, and that fool didn’t even vote.I bought his jersey and everything.Posted a picture of myself on social media wearing it and taking a knee.Damn.
So instead of me telling you, Gentle Readers, what you should be doing to survive Trumpocalypse as black people, I’m going to tell you what I’m going to do.And it’s not much different than what I am doing or have already done, if you remember from my blog posts in 2011 about my family’s revolution to be smarter than Wall Street during the Great Recession.First, let me tell you want I’m not going to do:
I’m not going to hate.I hav…