“God gave Noah the rainbow sign. No more water, the fire next time.” – From a venerable “Negro” spiritual
The current edition of the German version of Time, Der Spiegel (“The mirror”) has a cover that does Time one better. The US news mag’s best has been the illustration of Trump staring down at a crying Latina baby at his feet.
Der Spiegel shows Trump in the oval office with a lit match in his hand as a riot takes place outside his window. The caption: Der Feuerteufel – The Fire Devil. (See the expanded web edition of this column at NevadaLabor.com/)
As usual, the artists are way ahead of the pols. Don McLean got it right when he sang “no angel born in hell could break that Satan’s spell, and as the flames burned high into the night to light the sacrificial rite, I saw Satan laughing with delight.”
Chaos is Trump’s standard method of operation and his fans love it. About one in four Americans have sold their souls to him because the Devil is very seductive and entertaining. You can express how pissed off you are at your lot in life against a rigged deck that enriches the rich at the expense of the rest. (See the recent Nevada legislative failure to raise the laughably low mining tax on multi-national corporate welfare queens.)
The way the powerful acquire and stay in power has always been the same: Keep the lower classes fighting among each and thus failing to look up at the puppeteers.
Trump wants to be dictator for life and he’s well on his way. If the election ends with a hung jury and is thrown to the House of Representatives, each state gets one vote based on its party split. Right now, Trump gets a second term by a score of 26 to 23 with Pennsylvania a tossup.
In 2017, historian Timothy Snyder wrote “When the pro-leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the end (of democracy) has come.”
Look around you and be very afraid.
Once again, the artists have warned us. Doonesbury auteur Garry Trudeau warned a year ago that the Donkeykongs would nominate a garden variety doofus against “a feral POTUS whose only chance of avoiding prison is re-election.”
The takeway: “Always bet on the cornered rat.”
And cornered we are. Desperation is a wonderful motivator.
MEATLESS MEETINGS. More than 13 years after former Reno-Sparks NAACP Presidents Dolores Feemster and Lucille Adin and I won a unanimous vote from the Sparks City Council to establish a diversity commission, last Monday the current council finally decided to study it again. So I guess I’ll have to keep running periodic reminders in this newspaper until 2033.
The late Mrs. Feemster’s grand-daughter, Adrienne, will lead a march to the Washoe school district administration building at noon this Saturday demanding that the school board reverse its 4-3 decision from last May not to rename the former Hug High for “Mother Hug” and give it to the late Sen. Debbie Smith, D-Sparks. Good luck, filial grand-daughter. Like Sparks City Hall, the school board has always been cold-bloodedly pale.
NO MORE EXCUSES? Gov. Sisolak got very hardassed in his press conference last Monday and called for punishment of businesses who violate his Coronavirus safety mandates. I’ll believe it when I see it.
Every elected official in Washoe County, the governor and attorney general’s offices have been notified that the Regional Transportation Commission has flouted the governor’s mask directive on the local transit services.
Like Republican election officials, they are hiding behind the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President Bush the Elder 30 years ago this week.
Trump shills use the ADA to limit the number of polling places for Democrats and minorities. RTC management has ordered drivers to allow anyone not wearing a mask onto a bus, turning them into rolling Typhoid Marys.
They say that the ADA forbids them to inquire as to anyone’s medical condition so all without masks are assumed disabled. Bull.
Drivers can simply say “you’ll have to wear a mask.” That’s not a medical inquiry. If the potential passenger says he or she is disabled, that may trigger ADA protection. Pandemic proliferation happens when too many corporate lawyers are playing cover-your-precious ass. So more than 20,000 Nevadans a day are potentially exposed to a gruesome death.
As it stands, a driver can stop a guy with his pants down from boarding (which actually happened a couple of weeks ago), but must admit maskless riders or risk firing. Go figger.
Gov. Sisolak praised safety officials and County Commissioner Bob Lucey for doing one helluva job. He should monitor the Barbwire. Like every other elected official in these parts, Lucey, who sits on the Regional Transportation Commission, has sat shiva.
Meanwhile, two bus drivers and one management staffer have tested positive with more tests pending. Watch NevadaLabor.com/
DITCH THE MITCH. US Senate Majority Leader McConnell, D-KY, is leading the charge for Trump to exempt all businesses from liability for exposing their workers to the virus. Think meatpacking plants. Battle Born Progress has enlisted an impressive list of community groups opposing inclusion of such a death sentence in pending relief legislation. See NevadaLabor.com/
JOHN LEWIS, 1940-2020. The great man’s funeral will be held in Atlanta tomorrow. There can be no better tribute than Congress fixing the 1965 Voting Rights Act which the conservative Supremes gutted several years ago. In 1965, Lewis was almost killed marching for voting rights down in the Confederacy.
A New York Times columnist wrote a story last week that she once accompanied Lewis down an escalator when a woman coming up began to weep at the sight of him. He noted that it happened a lot.
It’s been happening to me as I have stood to salute toward my TV over the past week.
Rest in peace, great warrior.
Take care of each other and be careful out there.
¡Sí se puede!
Be well. Raise hell. Esté bien. Haga infierno.
Andrew Barbano is a 51-year Nevadan, editor of NevadaLabor.com and first vice-president of the Reno-Sparks NAACP. As always, his comments are strictly his own. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Barbwire by Barbano has originated in the Tribune since 1988.