With the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Republicans have effectively consolidated power for the next few decades on the supreme court, effectively gaining control of the judicial branch far into the future. At this point, they have control of all three branches of government on the federal level. The 33 governors mansions that are lived in by republicans effectively give them executive power at the local level in roughly 70% of the nation. 31 State Governments are controlled by Republicans, with 26 states being totally controlled by Republicans compared to just 8 for Democrats and the rest have a combination of mismatching governors and legislators. By these measures, they have near total control of the American Political Establishment with Democrats being opposition virtually in name only.
While it is true that this could change next month and Democrats could take control of the legislative branch, Republican power has still been locked in and will take years to unseat. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to talk about how the Republicans managed to go from the party of Civil Rights to the party of States Rights (which has become code for having the personal freedom to mistreat and abuse others in a lot of circles). The party that while only making up 25% of the population, controls the nation.
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Back in January of this year, we got Fire and Fury from Michael Wolffe, a pretty entertaining and damning expose of the first year or so of the Trump White House along with his campaign leading up to his election. It was viewed as an interestingly accurate picture of the administration, but that picture was viewed as more of a caricature than a portrait. Since that time there has been a slew of administration books coming out, seems like everyone that leaves the administration writes a book and it seems like every reporter or journalist with a name has written a book. None of them reach the level of detail and have the level of credibility as the book produced by Bob Woodward entitled Fear. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to talk about that book a little bit and help you make the decision about whether you should read it or not.
For the last 3 years, we have been engaged in an ongoing discussion about sexual violence. What started with the popularization of the term rape culture moved into street harassment and then transitioned into the #metoo movement. But it’s all still a part of rape culture. Throughout all of this change, we have seen women coming forward in record numbers to talk about their experiences. We have focused, rightfully so, on empowering women and removing the stigmas they face as they come forward. But as with all movements, there are dark places hidden in the light, and rape culture is as deeply embedded into American Society as Racism. Some of the very same tenets that potentially make someone a rapist also make them successful.
We also have to reconcile that even with all this focus on sexual assault, plenty of known perpetrators are still moving seamlessly through the halls of power. Donald Trump was elected president even after he admitted with his own mouth to being a sexual assaulter. Now Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s supreme court nominee is facing sexual allegations of his own. However, it looks like he will still ascend to the highest court in the land regardless of whether he did it or not. As with Trump, a slew of women support Kavanaugh and they too are making their voices heard.
Then, further in the back, we have men who have been assaulted, these men find themselves in the same space that women found themselves in decades ago. Afraid to come forward, ridiculed and teased when they do, and very often met with disbelief. These shades are all part of what we call rape culture, and in this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we are going to dive right in.
Earlier today China released a white paper regarding its position on the trade frictions with the United States. The Information Office of the State Council for the People's Republic of China released the report In order to clarify the facts about China-US economic and trade relations, clarify China’s stance on trade friction with the US, and pursue reasonable solutions.
With America and China having the largest economies in the world and with China’s Economy on pace to pass the American Economy in the next 10 to 15 years what we are seeing could be a structural realignment of global markets. During this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will look at this report, what does it say, and what does it potentially mean.
Earlier this month a new documentary appeared on Netflix entitled Reversing Roe. Having seen a slew of documentaries on abortion I went into it very sarcastically expecting to be bombarded with pro-life rhetoric and biblical messages. I hadn’t heard of the documentary and judging from the title I fully expected it to be a pro-life endeavor. What followed in the next hour and a half is what we are going to spend the next half hour talking about. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to be looking at the documentary by Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg entitled, Reversing Roe.
Here in North Carolina, we are continuing to recover from Hurricane Florence. A 400-mile wide behemoth that crawled across the Carolinas at a whopping 10 miles per hour. The storm dropped records amounts of rain and here in Charlotte we experienced rain fail for nearly 30 hours straight, people died and the flooding is catastrophic. Not to be outdone by Americans, China and Hong Kong experienced even more brutality at the hands of the weather over the same period as Typhoon Mangkhut ripped through Asia (Typhoons, hurricanes, and cyclones are all the same thing receiving their label based on where they originate).
But the commonality of both of these storms besides them both being the same thing was how we heard about them and how much stock we placed in the person delivering the news. Meteorologists are the scientist involved in weather forecasting and understanding, they are also tasked with delivering the bad news about a 400-mile wide force of nature carrying 150+ mph winds and tons of gallons of water directly towards you and your family. But they aren’t always accurate according to many and things are almost never as bad as they make them out to be, again, according to many. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we are going to take a look at weather forecasting, when did it start, how did it become a part of the news, what they are actually doing, and why they seem to be hyped for nothing.
With the hurricane pending here. We are preparing to evacuate and as such there will not be a show this week from Lessons from the Screen. Thank you for your listener-ship and support. Keep us in your prayers and we look forward to returning next week.
Congress has a duty to advice and consent. This duty of Congress to Advice and Consent has been and will probably continue to be under the limelight with every appointment made by a president following President Obama’s nomination of Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. A nomination that the Senate simply refused to Advice and Consent on leading to him not even getting a hearing. Today on lessons from the screen we are going to be looking at Advice and Consent and the history of confirmation hearings in the United States. Which is again creating interest with the fast-moving appointment of Brett Kavanaugh to the supreme court by Donald Trump.
Since 2013 Ipsos has been releasing a yearly report on how well informed people are about the societies they live in. It’s a yearly survey of over 50,000 people from 38 different countries being asked to give their opinions on various issues and situations within their country. The last one was done in November of 2017 and a composite book being released about the surveys and the data that is due to come out September 6, 2018, which would be Thursday. But we thought it would be a good time to just look at the survey from last year and talk about the questions and where America stood in understanding the realities of the societies we live in. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we will look at the Ipsos Ignorance Index.
This show is just Patrick talking candidly about mental health in the community. It's a short off the cuff monologue to bring the month to a close.
Last show we talked about stress and its impact on us and throughout the month we have gone through various components of mental health. But one still remains, Biology. Sometimes your mental health fails or begins to deteriorate and there actually is a biological component causing it. During this show we are going to be talking about what that could be, and if there is anything that we can do about it.
Having talked about some of the more common mental disorders and what it means to be healthy, it becomes necessary to also talk about the most critical factor in health: stress. Stress management should be at the core of everyone's attempt to get healthy and remain healthy. Most of the mental health disorders we talked about are exacerbated by stress, many physical ailments are caused or made worse by stress, and in our modern world, it is nearly impossible to live a life that is stress-free. In this episode of lessons from the screen we are going to spend the entire time talking about stress, what is it, what does it do, how does it affect you, and how can you manage it.
Last show we started the mental health disorder show by looking at disorders in the anxiety, mood, psychotic, eating, impulse and addition control, personality, and post-traumatic stress categories. This week we are going to continue to define some of the more common disorders as we prepare the way for our solution based conversations later. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we continue our look at psychological disorders.
We’ve looked at what mental health is, we’ve looked at the disparities and issues with getting mental health services in the community, now it's time to look at what mental health disorders are and the symptoms they present. Because out of the top 7 barriers to treatment, only 1 has anything to do with issues not related to personal beliefs or societal fear.
40% of black people don’t get treatment because they are in denial, 38% are embarrassed or ashamed, 31% flat out refuse, 29% lack money or insurance, 17% are just plain scared, 17% don’t know what to do, and 12% are just hopeless. We are going to get to what can be done but right now we are still in the process of defining the problem. Because we believe that once the problem is thoroughly defined and identified, real steps can be taken towards solving it.
Last show we defined mental health and what makes someone mentally healthy. We talked about it being more than just the absence of illness but also the presence of balance and stability. This show we will be talking about a report produced in November of 2017 regarding some of the disparities and issues surrounding mental health in the Black Community. While I don’t agree with most comparisons being used for serious strategic planning, they do serve the purpose of providing context to numbers when the context is needed. As we continue on into Mental Health Awareness month we continue to hope that you will take everything you’re getting from the network and start a conversation around mental health in your circles. Conversations that spark action and changes to the world around you in a positive way.
In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we will be looking at the On the Shoulders of Giants Series produced by Joseph Ward. What started out as a Blog has now become a series of Books, a youtube series, and a podcast. Going back to 2014 every other week, and sometimes more often than that, we have seen the series release a new figure and illustrated their contribution to Black People globally. We are going to talk about this series, its impact, takeaways, and ways to move forward.
Black History has always largely been ignored here in America. As such Black People have always sought various mediums, information, and images to make us feel complete and proud of who we are as a cultural collective. There are people out there doing work to answer that call and fill that void not with fantasy, but with real live people from our history and one of them is Joseph Ward.
This week on Lessons From the Screen we will be looking at the Independence Day Project, a documentary film that seeks to change the way Black People look at our struggle for equality. It does this by shifting the narrative away from all the problems we face at the hands of White Supremacy and plants the narrative directly on the Black Community and things we can do now to change our situation. The film looks at 10 areas of human activity and gives us a little something to swallow and ponder on all of them. As usual we will look at this film, likes, dislikes, and its potential impact In this episode of Lessons from the Screen.
Ending off Black History Month with a bang is always an interesting subject simply because it’s rarely done. After the first week of February the heritage designation because even more invisible with award shows and championship games. With all that being said, we are going to try to end this Black History Month off with an outstanding project that’s different from most anything else we’ve seen associated with Black People and our fight for Equality. After years of work, Professor Carl Tone Jones premiered his Independence Day Project to the world in Philadelphia on the 18th of this February. A documentary that ask 2 questions essentially, what does an independant Black Community look like, and how do we get there.
We are always at a critical juncture in history. That is one of the deeper lessons of history that you don’t get until you start connecting the dots between major past events and the minuscule things that proceed them. There is more to learn in some cases from the long and peaceful periods of history, aka the boring bits, than there is to learn in the eventful war filled periods. History is fluid, as is the present and the future, ever-changing based on the actions of the present and the perceptions of the future. That being said we find ourselves at a critical juncture in history.
For the last 30 years, we have been engaging in an increasingly hostile political environment that seems to have been pushed over the edge by 2 recent occurrences, the election of Barack Obama and the subsequent election of Donald Trump. Both of these events triggered massive increases in political incivility not seen since the years before the war of succession, and contrary to popular opinion it wasn’t the war that changed politics it was the compromise of 1877. That brings us to the point of this show, is democracy dying, and if it is, why are we so willing to kill it?
A more timely book couldn’t have been produced than the one Steve Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt released in January of this year. A book that at its core takes a look at democracies across the globe and analyzes how they transformed into authoritarian states. It does this in a very comparative and analytical way bringing every discussion back to what we see in America today. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be taking a look at How Democracies Die.
This week on Trending Tuesday We will take a look at the top 10 trending topics according to Google Searches. Addition to a bonus listing from the week prior. Today being the 24th of July we will be going over the top 10 and giving you some insight as to whether or not we think these stories are worth your time based on whether or not we feel that they have a potential impact on your life and of course our own bias and interest. This Trending Tuesday we will be looking at the following topics:
1. Goldfish Recall
2. Yanet Garcia
3. Fortnite Birthday Challenges
4. Jimmy Garoppolo
5. Mila Kunis
6. National Tequila Day 2018
7. Daily News
8. Gary Sanchez
9. Henry Cavill
10. Jesse Camp
Education is indoctrination. It shouldn’t be that way, the difference between the terms is supposed to be imparting the ability to critically think about a subject matter versus simply being told that something is true. However, in modern society, education is indoctrination. Even in societies where education is practiced correctly, there is a part of the education process that involves indoctrination that simply can’t be separated from the educational process. The passing on of culture and values as well as the continuation of a society requires that all members have certain levels of acceptance and agreeableness to the world they live in. Otherwise, everything breaks down. These are some of the philosophies we will be talking about today
In 2010 Carol Black released her documentary Schooling the World with a focus on getting people to think about the impact of foreign education on indigenous peoples all over the world. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking at this documentary, what is in it, what is it about, and should you watch it. Obviously all from our perspective. This show is all about Schooling the World, the White Man's Last Burden.
This week on Trending Tuesday We will take a look at the top 10 trending topics according to Google Searches. Addition to a bonus listing from the week prior. Today being the 17th of July we will be going over the top 10 and giving you some insight as to whether or not we think these stories are worth your time based on whether or not we feel that they have a potential impact on your life and of course our own bias and interest. This Trending Tuesday we will be looking at the following topics:
1 Home Run Derby 2018
2 Netflix Stock
4 Maria Butina
5 Annabelle Neilson
6 Manny Machado
7 John Schnatter
9 Le’Veon Bell
10 Jeff Bezos
We live in a world of genetics now more than ever. For the past 30 years, DNA has become an increasing part of our criminal defense system, our family research into our ancestry, and even our workout and fitness plans. In certain locations, law enforcement has begun to create their own databases of DNA in addition to partnering with some ancestry companies to access their records and DNA profiles (think about that for a moment). A cheek swab is considered a lawful part of a standard search and they can keep your DNA whether you are guilty of something or not. But thus far all of the focus has been on reading and navigating DNA to acquire the information already written into who you are. Now, however, it is possible to erase that DNA in a way that is probably far too simple, genetic cut and paste have become a real thing and it has become available to any consumer without any oversight.
Matters have come to such a point that the Department of Defense ordered a study to review the field of synthetic biology and the report has some alarming things in it. In this episode of Lessons from the Screen we will be looking at the technology that allows you to modify your genetic code as well as looking at the report commissioned by the department of defense. We will be giving you some information in this episode, but we will leave the takeaways for you to gather for yourself and share with us on our website or through the Freedom Train Social Media Handles. In this episode of lessons from the screen, we will be talking about, The Age of Synthetic Biology.
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In September of 2016 students in Detroit decided enough was enough. They filed a class action lawsuit against the State of Michigan declaring that their fundamental rights were being violated on the basis of race. In addition to being taught in classrooms filled with rodents, insects and mold, buildings with non-functioning A/C, and in some cases being taught by other students because teachers weren’t available, they had to contend with textbooks that were 20 years old and falling apart. They didn’t even have enough of those textbooks to go around. In the case 5 schools were listed, 3 public schools and 2 charter schools, each with horrible ratings representing the worst schools in the state. Going from a scale of 0 - 100 the schools are rated 1, 2, 4, and 6 with one of the schools being closed. Less than 5% of students scored proficient or above in the third grade of one school compared to 46% statewide. At another school, 12.5% of students scored proficient or above compared with 49.2% statewide both with regards to English proficiency.
The Schools lacked adequate teaching, with one of the schools going out and recruiting Latino children and telling them they would provide English instruction only to not have any teachers that could provide the service. Amidst all of this Governor Richard Snyder appointed Darnell Earley to administer the DPS Schools. This is significant because Darnell is largely blamed for the flint water crisis. It has to be mentioned that he claims that the plan to switch to Flint River was decided before he arrived and what fell to him was to carry out the plan. With all that in mind and after nearly 2 years of legal battles, Judge Stephen J. Murphy has made a ruling on the case.
In this episode of Lessons from the Screen, we will be going over that ruling as well as some of the details of the case itself. As always we will be giving some of the takeaways from this case. Stick around as we dig into Literacy, a Fundamental Right.
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In 1849 a book was published in a niche but growing genre that would become one of the most powerful sections of American Literature and the most damning for American Historical Pride. That Genre was dubbed: Slave Narratives. Not only did these books serve to vilify a major force in American Culture and a major source of American Wealth, but they also pushed back heavily on American Propaganda which sought to convey an image of pride and dignity with regards to the owning of human beings. And after more than 150 years these books are still serving the same purposes as America continues to resist accepting it’s cultural legacy and continues to push propaganda that promotes the pride and dignity of the darkest sections of American History.
Today on Lessons from the Screen we will be taking a look at the Narrative of Henry Bibb an American Slave. The book was written in 1849 by Henry Bibb himself and reveals a lot about slavery in America, in addition, the overall American Culture at that time that it would accept such an institution. We will give a brief review of the book and interesting points about it, we will also give one of the biggest takeaways for us from the reading of the book. This is definitely a book you should read and its one that you can find for free at that, the link will be provided on this post.
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is a lover of learning and analyzer of anything that can be analyzed, even if it probably shouldn't be.