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Book Promo: The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror
04/27/2021
Book Promo: The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror

Book Promo: The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror

Riverdale Avenue Books Publishes “The Binge Watcher’s Guide to The Black Mirror” Riverdale Avenue Books has published the fourth book in its binge watcher’s series focusing on the British sci…

Celebrate National Poetry Month
04/16/2021
Celebrate National Poetry Month

Celebrate National Poetry Month

After a long and difficult winter, spring is finally here. Along with much nicer weather and hopefully more opportunities to be out and about, April also brings joy to those who are literary minded.

Celebrate National Poetry Month | Polite On Society
04/01/2021
Celebrate National Poetry Month | Polite On Society

Celebrate National Poetry Month | Polite On Society

Celebrate National Poetry Month MarcApril 1, 2021April 1, 2021Leave a comment Image via Pexels   By Marc W. Polite After a long and difficult winter, spring is finally here. Along with much nicer weather and hopefully more opportunities to be out and about, April also brings joy to those who are li...

ILHAN OMAR: AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN IS ONE OF THE “BOLDEST PIECES OF ECONOMIC LEGISLATION”“The American Rescue Plan is a mo...
03/11/2021

ILHAN OMAR: AMERICAN RESCUE PLAN IS ONE OF THE “BOLDEST PIECES OF ECONOMIC LEGISLATION”

“The American Rescue Plan is a monumental piece of legislation.

“It continues unemployment benefits for millions of Americans who have lost work during the pandemic —including many in my district. It provides an additional $25 billion in rental assistance to people struggling—not nearly enough, but critical nonetheless.

“The bill gives added nutrition assistance to families in Minnesota and ensures food goes to laid off restaurant workers. It expands the child tax credit—drastically reducing child poverty. It restores emergency paid leave. It gets more relief into the pockets of small business owners. It provides $350 billion in aid to local governments and schools. It increases support for vaccines and testing. The bill will slash homelessness, helping 80,000 families get permanent housing. It provides direct payments to families who rely on school meals. It makes the largest investment in history in Native communities. It saves the pension of millions of retired truck drivers, retail clerks, builders and others—who would otherwise lose their retirement income

“As Whip of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, I worked hard to ensure that the package that the House passed was as bold as possible, keeping the thresholds for survival checks the same, including essential funding for housing, utilities, and a child tax credit that will cut poverty in half.

“Unfortunately, some of our Senate colleagues disregarded policies that will lift people out of poverty and support working class Americans. The Senate bill scaled back eligibility for unemployment benefits and reduced thresholds for payments, cutting off thousands of Minnesotans. Instead of listening to the American people, the Senate sided with the ruling of an unelected bureaucrat and failed to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, a policy that would have benefited 32 million Americans.

“But my job is to get as much relief as possible to my constituents. This bill will provide $281 million to the city of Minneapolis, $246 million for Hennepin County, and $2.6 billion to the Minnesota state government, helping frontline workers, public transit agencies and teachers and stopping the spread of the virus once and for all. It does so without any wasteful giveaways to the wealthy included in earlier packages.

“It remains one of the boldest pieces of economic legislation in generations. And for that reason, I will proudly support it.”

To read more please go to

https://www.blackstarnews.com/us-politics/policy/ilhan-omar-american-rescue-plan-is-one-of-the-%E2%80%9Cboldest-pieces-of

HARRY AND MEGHAN—EXPOSING THE ROYAL HYPOCRISYThe world waited with nervous and excited anticipation for the Prince Harry...
03/11/2021

HARRY AND MEGHAN—EXPOSING THE ROYAL HYPOCRISY

The world waited with nervous and excited anticipation for the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, interview with the queen of talk show Oprah Winfrey. It finally aired in the UK on March 8. It’s been reported that 11.4 million viewers tuned into ITV in the U.K.

The interview was broadcast to over 60 countries, reminiscent of when Diana, Princess of Wales sat down for her own bombshell interview with Martin Bashir in November 1995.

There were those who boasted on social media that they would not be watching it, as though it was beneath them or it somehow made them special. Then there were those who declared that there was other racism that we should be focusing on, this is where I let out a frustrated sigh. After the interview an acquaintance wrote, “it depends on whether you believe this young lady and her innuendos” and he is completely entitled to his opinion. His stand is that we shouldn’t believe this “young lady” but we should believe unnamed sources in the numerous tabloid stories, right? The unfairness of it all. It is very easy to be dismissive and so callous when you are not affected personally, I wonder what their opinion would be if this were their sister, mother, niece, aunty who disclosed they had been subjected to such shocking abuse?

Another offered that President Obama did not quit even when he was bombarded with unprecedented racist attacks and therefore Meghan should have stuck it out. But Obama did not have people inside of the White House trying to undermine him. Obama was not told that his wife and children were not deemed important enough to warrant protection. Obama was not competing with others inside of the White House. Aren’t we taking the narrative of the “strong Black woman” who is supposed to withstand all forms of abuses a tad too far? A lesser being would have crumbled sooner.

Meghan has been accused of having the propensity to fall out with people, but why should she be in contact with people who betray her? She tells us in the interview that as soon as her relationship with Prince Harry became public knowledge she was briefed to always answer, “no comment” to questions from reporters, and those close to her also got the same instructions. What does her father do? What does her half sister do?

Thomas Markle and Samantha Markle spoke to the press at any given opportunity. Samantha even went on to write a tell all book, “Diary of Princess Pushy's sister.” This is why Meghan severed links with them. Yet she should shoulder the blame for her family’s lack of discretion?

Guess what? I have been known to cut people off without a second thought. I have no tolerance for disloyal family members or friends and I am just Jane Blogs down the road! Family members who had not been in contact with Meghan suddenly appeared out of the woodworks to have their five minutes of fame.

Samantha Markle and other family members traveled to London, and then on to Buckingham Palace on the day of Meghan’s wedding, hoping to just stroll into the palace grounds because they were kin. To those quick to judge, ask yourselves if you would invite every member of your family to your wedding, even those you had not been in touch with for years for whatever reason. Are you in touch and in loving relationships with every family member? It is what it is.

During the Oprah interview, Meghan looked breathtaking as usual. She was a picture of health as she lovingly cradled her baby bump. Both the prince and Meghan spoke very fondly about her majesty the queen with Prince Harry referring to her as grandmother on several occasions. This was heart-warming. Meghan also revealed that the queen had been nothing but kind to her. The problem was the machinations that run the palace. Prince Harry also spoke with compassion about his father, Prince Charles and brother Prince William, acknowledging that they are trapped within the system, just as he’d been.

During the interview Meghan revealed that she did not know much about Prince Harry before they started courting. She added that she never researched him even during courtship because everything she needed to know, he told her. I find this hard to believe; that you wouldn’t be curious about a real life prince and not google him. She also said that she did not research the royal family. If she truly didn’t, then she should have, just to get an idea of what life in the oldest institution in the world would be like. Not that this would have prevented the tabloid onslaught or being undermined by the palace machinations.

Further revelations in the interview were astounding. The public had been led to believe that Prince Harry and Meghan broke with the tradition of taking pictures outside the hospital with their new born baby because they wanted to do things their own way, but in actual fact, they were never asked to and after watching the interview, we now know this was simply a way for them to protect their baby son.

Again, the public was told that the couple did not want Archie to have a title, and then we find out that they did not get to make that decision. The palace made that decision for them and in denying Archie the title of Prince, it meant that his life was not important enough to warrant security. This is the queen’s great grandson, mind you. No ratio decidendi was ever given, I wonder if concerns raised about the color of his skin had anything to do with it?

Listening to Meghan talk about her mental state and suicidal thoughts during her pregnancy brought tears to my eyes and yet vermin like Pierce Morgan, the former ITV television presenter, questioned the authenticity of

her revelation. In Morgan’s view, in relation to Meghan, there must be an icebox where the rest of us have hearts. Meghan is apparently incapable of suffering a mental breakdown. Happily Morgan got the response he deserved from the public.

Markle asked for help, she did not get it and we know what untreated mental health can lead to. Meghan was afraid to be left alone, and even in her sadness, she would rather have dressed up, put on lippy and a smile for the rest of the world. It comes with the job. While we sit in judgment, we do not know someone’s struggles behind closed doors. There have been incredibly silly and insensitive comments like, how can someone so privileged feel abused? These comments are not from some inbred in some trailer park, but from seemingly well educated people.

Both Prince Harry and Prince William have spoken of their mental states, bottling up pain and eventually becoming overwhelmed by those feelings. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William and Catherine Middleton front an organization that deals with mental health issues; yet Meghan could not access support. Prince Harry had no choice but to take matters into his own hands in order to protect his wife and son.

For such courageous action, death threats? Just wow!

I have always maintained that no one walks away from a life of such unimaginable privilege, adoration and obscene wealth without compelling reason and the reasons offered are indeed convincing.

Prince Harry and Meghan may be a celebrity couple, members of the royal family, but they are still human beings with the same challenges, same emotions, same mental health issues, same pain and suffering and family woes like the rest of us.

The couple has always maintained that they never walked away, they wanted to step back and be like other minor royals who still support the queen, live on palace grounds and earn their own money. If they were not coping, why did they need to pretend that they were? While removing the military honors and patronages from the couple may be hurtful to the Duke and Duchess, it hurts those patronages much more.

Comparisons have been made about how the British press treated Diana, Princess of Wales and Meghan. Whilst I agree that Diana was hounded by the press, and there was intense scrutiny into her private life—especially following her divorce—their experiences are different. When was Diana ever called “exotic”? When did they ever say that she was “straight out of Compton”? When did they ever compare her children to a chimpanzee? Who in their right mind hates on a baby?

The tabloid press displayed blatant racism and as for the palace, what we have had here is institutionalized racism at its best. We see it everyday and some of us experience it. This diminishes our lived experiences when some people have the luxury to question the existence of racism or to simply say they are fed up of hearing about it. Try living it. Denying its existence—however shameful it is—perpetuate the dangers faced daily by people of color. This debacle has led me to question so much and so many. It is a stain on humanity, just like so-called “tribal” and other forms of discrimination.

On October 29, 2019, British female Members of Parliament from various political parties wrote a letter in support of Meghan Markle. It’s painful to note that the royal family never once did.

Today a message was released from the palace to say, “the whole family is saddened to learn of the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly, that of race, are concerning.” The statement goes on to say that although some recollections “vary,” these matters will be addressed privately and that the couple and Archie remain much loved members of the family.

They knew, just like they knew of the couple’s intention to step back from their senior royal positions, but chose to tarnish the reputation of this young couple by saying that her majesty had been “blindsided” knowing very well that they would be vilified for such disrespect. They hoped that Meghan Markle would go away quietly.

Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex is about a life of service and with compassion. One only need recall her interaction with people during her tour of Australia and South Africa. She is pure magic and this must have irked some people. In Meghan, we have the magic of Diana, Princess of Wales. She wanted to use her voice and position to empower those with quieter voices. Alas that was not to be. Even then, the couple said a life of service is universal and it doesn’t have to be within the confines of the royal family.

They seem happy in their new life. They are making their own money just as they said they wanted to do. They have a lovely home and a lovely family. Paying back money for the renovation of Frogmore cottage did not bankrupt them as perhaps many had hoped?

To those who accuse them of using their royal connections to get deals, so what? Have you never heard of family members or friends putting in a good word for their loved ones? Have you never heard the saying sometimes it is not what you know, but who you know?

It was endearing to hear Meghan say to Prince Harry, “you saved me, you saved us.”

Every woman needs a Prince Harry. Where is mine damn it?

To read more please go to

https://www.blackstarnews.com/global-politics/europe/harry-and-meghan%E2%80%94exposing-the-royal-hypocrisy.html

CITY HARVEST RELEASES REPORT, VIDEO ON FOOD INSECURITY IN NYC DURING PANDEMICIncluded within the report are alarming sta...
03/11/2021

CITY HARVEST RELEASES REPORT, VIDEO ON FOOD INSECURITY IN NYC DURING PANDEMIC

Included within the report are alarming stats, firsthand accounts from those on the frontline of NYC's hunger crisis and visual documentation of the need across the five boroughs.

Today, the organization released an accompanying video of the same name, detailing the increase in need—and in New York City solidarity—narrated by Keith Carr, Senior Policy and Government Relations Manager for City Harvest.

City Harvest reports that it saw nearly six million more visits to the network of 400 pantries and soup kitchens it serves, compared to the same period the year before. Additionally, according to Robin Hood, more than one in three New Yorkers visited a food pantry this year. From March 2020 through January 2021, City Harvest rescued and delivered 124.7 million pounds of food, more than double the amount over the same period the year before (62.1 million pounds).

As the pandemic drags on and demand continues to grow, City Harvest now expects to rescue and deliver 144 million pounds of nutritious food by the end of FY21 (July 2020 to June 2021)—more than double (125% increase) the amount it planned on in FY20.

To read "It Takes a City to Feed a City: One Year of Feeding New Yorkers During the COVID-19 Pandemic," please click here. To watch a two-minute video released today accompanying the report, please click here.

Aligning with the report, City Harvest recently launched an "It Takes a City to Feed a City" billboard in Times Square (47th St. and 7th Ave), which will run through next week, to thank the tens of thousands of New Yorkers who have stepped up to help feed our neighbors in need during the crisis.

This "love letter" mosaic to New Yorkers features photographs of many of the more than 80,000 New Yorkers who have donated to, worked for and volunteered with City Harvest, and the millions who have been served by the organization since the pandemic began in March 2020.

The mosaic also features many prominent supporters, including Richard Gere, Bridget Moynahan and Brooks Nader, as well as members of the City Harvest Food Council like Eric Ripert, Geoffrey Zakarian, Melba Wilson, Emma Bengsston and many others.

For more please go to

https://www.blackstarnews.com/ny-watch/news/city-harvest-releases-report-video-on-food-insecurity-in-nyc-during

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Sam Anderson (with the assistance of Karen Taylor) Interviews Jeffrey B. Perry on Hubert Harrison for "WhileWeAreStillHere" on April 11, 2021,
Something is up: My FB page was hijacked or then taken down or went offline, then back again the next day. If you got this post disregard this second! SORRY!!! Idiosyncrasy and Republican Su***de John Burl Smith Idiosyncrasy and Republican su***de when spoken in the same sentence may seem bizarre to some. However, the 2016 election and Donald Trump’s nomination by Republican sparked the thought of idiosyncrasy. For me, not being a Republican, it was mind boggling that he became their nominee. Living through four years of Trump in the White House confirmed my diagnosis. Once the 2020 election arrived, I was amazed by Republican lock-step devotion to Tramp’s idiosyncrasies. The arrival of COVID-19 answered all of my questions about Trump, but Republican seemed to be in a lurch, trying to keep in step with him and explain his actions. Back in August (8-10-20) an article in the Boston Globe by columnist Renée Graham recapitulated Ali Velshi’s comment regarding the Trump Campaign, “Donald Trump’s recent attacks on Black Lives Matter protesters are a move of desperation because he has nothing else to hang this campaign on.” Following that article, Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour, added, “Donald Trump’s return to racist attacks may indicate he, ‘is starting to acknowledge that he might lose’ in November.” Such statements from the press sent conservative media pundits into gyrations, trying to create scenarios that disguised the panic and disarray among the Trump campaign, donors and surrogates. Reading like a “postcard from the outer edge of reality, Andrew Stein air mailed a fretting fear filled ferocious flights of fantasy, as an example of the panicky pundits displayed was reflected in an article for The Hill. Stein’s rambling and rancorous piece came just after Trump’s death defying dash down to the White House “panic room,” just before he gassed peaceful protesters in Lafayette Square. Stein’s stretch from the outer reaches of reality was designed to create a radical enemy that could make Donald Trump appear the savior of America, if re-elected. “Democrats’ silence on our summer of violence is a tactical blunder. Have you no sense of decency, sir?” ‘So asked Joseph Welch, the attorney who stood up to the bullying by Sen. Joe McCarthy (R-Wis.),” during the 1954 Senate hearing, during the second communist ‘Red Scare.’ And once he said it, the nightmare that was McCarthyism was over. Who will be the Joseph Welch who wakes us up from this new wave of reverse McCarthyism? Today, you are blacklisted if you don’t support a far-left agenda.” For me the only similarity between these three men is “Joe,” their names. Republicans cosigned Trump’s idiosyncrasies and began lining up so close behind him that if he stepped back, he would smash heads, as they bowed down behind him. Republicans went on a full attack against Joe Biden, denigrating his service to America, his family and his fitness, calling him feeble, fragile and weak. Following Trump’s use of the military, I was convinced Trump was planning a coup, because he made it clear, he did not plan to give up being President. Republican began taking on Trump’s idiosyncrasies, supporting his outrageous lies, particularly regarding COVID-19. I saw a real disaster looming ahead and penned a post “New Normal XVIII: Iceberg Joe.” I wanted Democrats to recognize the real threat and fight the illusion Republicans were trying to create, regarding “slow Joe.” I did not begin this long meandering look back down the road to the 2016 campaign to talk about Donald Trump, but as in my post, I wanted to talk about the collision of two totally antagonistic ideals or philosophies of politics that are still threateningly on the horizon. Republicans’ synchronized lockstep attitudes, bowing to please Donald Trump, missed the point of my metaphor “Iceberg Joe.” They fail to comprehend the comparison of the collision of the Titanic with that iceberg, even after the Republican Party ran headlong into “iceberg Joe.” My efforts, pointing out that the Captain of the Titanic made several assumptions, on which he based his disastrous decisions, fail to gain even passing notice from Republicans. First, the Captain assumed that what he saw above the waterline was all he needed to concern himself. His second deadly mistake was trying to save the ship, rather than the passengers. Once he realized the ship was lost, he tried to save passengers based on socioeconomic characteristics and allocated survival equipment on that basis. His decision caused needless pain and death, like Trump and COVID-19; many that could have been saved were lost and many that were saved, in human terms, were not worth the effort. What does Pres. Joe Biden to do with any of that today may be your question? Well nothing, nevertheless back during the 2020 election Joe Biden was like that iceberg the Titanic hit for the Trump campaign. He was the reason Republicans made all the disastrous decisions during the campaign and has continued afterwards, including Georgia, and the rest of “red” America’s, recent passage of horrendous election suppression laws. Similar to the iceberg and the Titanic, Pres. Biden, as a candidate, represented far more for Republicans, than what could be seen on the surface. The massiveness of his campaign could not be judged in late July into August. Again, like the Captain of the Titanic, Trump assumed his campaign could withstand any blow “Iceberg Joe” could deliver against his massive, “big dollar” passengers onboard his MAGA “flotilla” of a campaign. Seeing candidate Biden as weak, feeble, and very fragile, Trump was like the Titanic Captain’s view from the iceberg, he discounted what he saw as just a bump, when he encountered Tic Toc-ers in Tulsa. Trump simply thought he could plug the hold, they revealed, with more dollars. I compare the icy ocean water to the coronavirus because it controlled what Trump really wanted to do, which was hold “big outdoor rallies,” like big swim or splash parties. Consequently, Trump’s adjustments were like the Titanic’s Captain, once George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders became movements. Once “Black Lives Matter” took to the streets, Trump hoarded lifeboats for the rich passengers, while letting the poor deck passengers fight over life jackets. COVID-19 had him blind to the fact, like the Titanic’s Captain, that most of the ship was already underwater. However progressive, unlike the poor confused and frightened Titanic’s deck passengers, were organized, because “Black Lives Matter” had brought them together around George Floyd and Breonna Taylor’s murders and black voter efforts came together, turning their “street protest” into “street politics.” Using “New Normal '' posts, I counseled progresses and candidate Biden that working together could save both efforts. I advised candidate Joe Biden to remain in his basement, and go full virtual, his slow, steady and calm leadership provided direction, while allowing a great deal of autonomy and self-directed campaign structuring to emerged. This resulted in many independent street operations to develop their own funding sources and outreach efforts, which during past elections was provided by national presidential campaigns. However, this time around, “iceberg Joe” did not have such campaign resources, and that became critical during the mail in voter operations, poll day strategies and during the Georgia runoff, with Trump right wing crazies running wild. Trump, like the Titanic Captain, fell victim to his own incompetence, bad judgement and reliance on his coup to keep him in office, and could only watch his MAGA platform sink in ignominy. Reaching out to progressive and making them a viable part of his platform, Biden candidate prominence suddenly emerged in Trump’s path, like the iceberg the Titanic hit. “Iceberg Joe” ripped the bottom from beneath Trump’s floating “super spreader” and his campaign could not stop hemorrhaging money flowing out, even though tons were flowing in. His crew panicked and began abandoning ship, like rats. Trump followed the scenario of the Titanic, and its course rammed straight into “iceberg Joe” sinking trump’s scheme to sail into the White House. The Titanic comparison did not end as the campaigning ceased. Trump’s planned coup unfolded and locked the Republican Party into a date with disaster and death. Synonymous to their collision course with “iceberg Joe” during the campaign, a bunch drunk Trump was so debilitated, his idiosyncratic mindset took total control of Republicans behavior, and again, they could not see the great mass of democracy loving Americans, rising up to stop Trump’s MAGA army taking America from weak, feeble, fragile “iceberg” Joe Biden and his leftist base. What they saw was Republicans had control of everything. Republican had control of states legislatures, governors, DOJ, the FBI, the federal judiciary, and the Presidency, so Trump thought the American people would be like poor deck passengers aboard the Titanic, when the Captain ordered “abandon ship,” with his “election fraud,” and “stop the steal” the coup attempt was underway. Although orchestrated like a sad sick grade B movie or an episode of The Apprentice, Trump’s coup failed miserably, and his second impeachment conviction followed. Only 7 Republicans out of 50 faced the truth, Trump lost!! The rest of the cowardly and spineless Republicans insurrectionists refused to convict Trump, even though the truth was known. Not holding Trump accountable came at a disastrous price for Republican. Identically to the Titanic’s crew, after the collision with that iceberg, Republicans have lost control of their party to Trump. Republican Party members, as a result of its leaders, are like the Titanic’s crew, left with the fallout of their party leaders' truly bad decisions, which cannot be recalled. Now Republicans, like Titanic passengers, scrambling and fighting over life preservers and lifeboats, as “iceberg” Joe floats slowly pass. Except for two “outliers,” Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, Democrats have never been more united than they are now behind “Iceberg Joe.” His perseverance during the campaign and after inauguration has served America well. He’s tacking COVID-19 with a relief package, which has Republicans mad as hell, after running into “iceberg Joe,” and getting their butts kicked again. The Senate confirmed white nominees of Pres. Biden with little problem, but Republicans are united behind blocking black, brown, red and yellow nominees. Chuck Grassley, after making a “Bunker Hill” stand against Neera Tanden, is readying the media for a similar stand against Kristen Clarke, a proven civil rights lawyer who is more than qualified for the post. Republicans are terrified at the prospects of Pres. “iceberg” Joe’s nominations of women of color like Clarke and Vanita Gupta for DOJ. Republican opposition to these women is tied to Republican voter suppression in states like Georgia. Grassley’s fight here is all about race and gender. However, beneath it all, Republicans like Grassley are terrified by the thought of a black woman in charge of the Civil Rights Division of DOJ, and running into an ongoing fight with “Iceberg Joe” over civil rights for the next eight years. Clarke’s confirmation would be a tremendous victory for blacks and other minorities in the fight for equal justice and voting rights in America. Republicans “diehard” Trumpers and oligarchs committed to killing “the goose that lays the golden eggs for America—democracy. They seem to have decided on a fight to the death for themselves or democracy in America. Republicans are looking to rising stars like Josh Hawley, Tom Cotton and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, which is why the national media is keeping quiet about “Piney Point. Piney Point, as an environmental catastrophe, can be compared to a huge “oil spill” in the Gulf of Mexico. DeSantis is dumping over 300 million gallons of toxic and radioactive sludge into the Gulf of Mexico to prevent it from flooding and contaminating the land around a toxic waste dump. DeSantis' attitude is “to hell with the environment, we got to make money.” Trumpers like DeSantis intend to destroy American democracy, as with their “Capital insurrection.” Democracy and oligarchy are two forms of government that are mutually exclusive; they cannot coexist. So, with Republican current idiosyncratic political behavior against democracy, it seems they are committed to su***de. I will say it seems they have chosen Alicia Keys mournful tune, “I Guess You Picked the Perfect Way to Die!!,” for the Republican’s anthem!!!!!