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A Look Ahead: National Politics



This country is one year from one of the most critical national elections of the 21st century. All attention will be on the presidential contest that is set to match up President Joe Biden against the impeached former President Donald Trump. What makes this probable campaign unique is that one candidate, President Joe Biden, is not the favorite choice of the Democrats. Trump is the overwhelming favorite within the Republican Party, but neither one scores high with the overall American voters.

In a recent CNN Survey of Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, two-thirds said they preferred someone other than Biden. Among the two-thirds, 18% specified an alternative candidate, but the other 82% did not name someone other than Biden. Marianne Williamson, a self-help author, recently announced her candidacy again, and Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips has also thrown his hat in the ring, challenging Biden. In another poll by CNN, the results are bad news for the President. His job approval rating is a dismal 39%, extremely low for a sitting president.

It is President Biden’s age and his public policies that are causing him problems, with age as the primary concern. In a Wall Street Journal poll, 73% of the respondents felt he was too old to run for a second term. Next year, in 2024, the election year, he will be 82, and if elected, he would be 86 if he served a full term. He is the oldest person to win the presidency, and many observers believe his age has led to what appears to be signs of senility. Congressman Phillips is using the age issue as the basis of his challenge. In announcing his candidacy, he said, “It is time for the torch to be passed to a new generation of American leaders.” Undoubtedly, he is capitalizing on the results of the polls.

For others who prefer a new Democratic candidate, their concerns are policy-related. The economy was the primary concern. Even though the administration has had some success in lowering inflation, voters are still not content with the high cost of goods and services. Biden is also being held responsible for the problems at the southern border. The number of migrants seeking refuge in this country has increased since 2021. In 2020, the last year of the Trump presidency, there were 458,088 border crossings, but in 2021, President Biden’s first year, the crossings increased to 1,734,686, and in 2022, to 2,378,944. As of September 2023, the number was 2,475,669, with three months remaining. On these two important issues, Trump scores higher than Biden in the polls, making the Democrats quite nervous.

An additional problem confronting the President is his handling of foreign affairs. Early on in his presidency, he was confronted with the Afghanistan fiasco. Getting the American people and the Afghans who had been loyal to this country out of Afghanistan became a nightmare. It led to the death of 13 American soldiers and 183 Afghan citizens. It was anything other than a smooth transition of our troops and civilians out of that country, and Biden was thoroughly attacked for what has been perceived as a serious blunder. In a recent prisoner exchange agreement with Iran, five Americans being held in that country were freed in return for our release of $6 billion in oil revenues we froze as a result of our sanctioning that country. The release of this money is now being tied to the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack and slaughter of over 1,400 Israelites, even though there is no concrete evidence that the money had been given to Iran, who, in return, provided weapons to Hamas, who in turn has used them to build up their military strength, the perceived trail has been created with the President to blame.

Another problem but less important is the legal issues confronting Hunter Biden, the President’s son. There is a segment of the public that has bought the MAGA Republican hype that Biden is intricately linked to Hunter’s illegal activities. In fact, the wayward and outrageous MAGA Republicans in the United States House of Representatives forced the beleaguered former Speaker of the House of Representatives to convene a special Impeachment Inquiry into the President’s perceived criminal activity. It accomplished nothing but added to the momentum the Republicans are generating as the country moves closer to the 2024 election. Their continuous accusations and attacks on Biden have brought them some hope. Polls have shown that Trump is leading the President by a slim margin of 47% to 46%, and he is tied in a contest with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 47%. He leads presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy, 47% to 46%. Three other candidates are still vying for the Republican nomination but will have a lot of ground to make up. They include Tim Scott, Chris Christie, and Niki Haley.

The impeached former President Donald Trump, who right now has an enormous lead over all the other Republican candidates, is not much better off than Biden among the American voters. The former President has a 56% unfavorable rating to just 43% favorable. However, his rating among Republicans is much higher. Despite the four indictments and 92 felony charges against him, he leads his closest competitor, DeSantis, by a whopping 60% to 18%. His lead is much greater over the other candidates, with Haley having only 9%, Ramaswamy 4%, and Scott, Christie, and Governor Doug Burgum only at 2%.
An interesting phenomenon to most logical-thinking people is that as the number of criminal charges against Trump grows, his support within the Republican base also increases. Trump has effectively convinced many of his Republican followers that it is not just him being “persecuted” by a system being orchestrated by President Biden but also the people of the country. For political reasons, he probably welcomes each charge against him, but personally, according to some reports, he is concerned about the possibility of going to prison.

An additional problem the former President confronts is his involvement in the January 6, 2001, attack on the Capitol Building by thousands of his followers. Their goal was to prevent the peaceful transfer of power, which is a proud symbol of the success of this country’s political system. Special Counsel Jack Smith has brought four criminal counts against the former President, including 1) a conspiracy to violate civil rights; 2) a conspiracy to defraud the government; 3) the corrupt obstruction of an official and proceeding; and 4) a conspiracy to carry out such obstruction. As the four indictments begin to play out next year, chances are Trump will spend a great deal of time in a courtroom and not on the campaign trail to win the Republican nomination and, ultimately, the presidency. If elected and also found guilty, it would create some very serious logistical and constitutional issues. There is the logistical challenge of sending him to prison while he is entitled to around-the-clock Secret Service protection, and there is the constitutional issue of whether a judge sentences a president to serve out a prison term.

These are the problems this country will face next year as the voters go to the polls. There is also a looming problem at the other end of Constitutional Avenue with the Congress. All 435 members of the House of Representatives will be up for re-election, and 33 Senators with 10 Republicans, 20 Democrats, and three Independents. Given all the confusion that the American voters have witnessed over the past few months emanating out of Capitol Hill, control by either or just one party is up for grabs. It just adds to the political intrigue that will be fully displayed on the national scene next year.

Black Life Texas

The Real History of Thanksgiving




The history of Thanksgiving cannot be discussed without recognizing the reality of genocide committed against Native Indigenous people. Free land was the enticement for European settlers to come to the Americas. The Native populations on these lands would have to be removed or conquered to accomplish their goals.

Many foreigners were already slave owners who wanted to plant cash crops using Black slave labor. The history of the United States cannot be fully understood unless one examines “settler colonialism.” Settler colonialism was founded on the ideology of land theft, genocide, and slavery. Those who have written American history with an eraser of bias have found it easy to perpetuate the Thanksgiving myth of Europeans sitting down with Native Americans and enjoying a food feast together—nothing could be further from the truth.

What came before this so-called “Thanksgiving” was murder, genocide, and slavery of Native people before and after the mythical thank you dinner. Puritan settlers came up with the idea of the “Doctrine of Discovery,” a racist law enacted by the Pope of that time and brought to America by the less-than-honorable Christopher Columbus. This is the part of the American origin myth that professors and teachers still ignore to be accepted in the world of historical falsehoods. Settler colonialism is a genocidal policy of murder and land theft to satisfy a false religious belief in racial destiny (also called Manifest Destiny). Settlers required violence to realize their dreams of wealth. No community will willingly give up their land, children, resources, and dignity without a fight, and Indigenous people did not go down without a fight against these ideals that were rooted in a colonial agenda that had a religious spin on it. When European settlers were crossing the ocean and illegally crossing borders, it was something supposedly legal and sanctioned by God.

America was not a virgin land or wilderness filled with wild animals but a land tame to Native people. It was a network of native communities that linked people through roads and trails they carved themselves, which they built long before Europeans arrived. Native people cultivated farmland and crops to survive the harsh winters in the northern parts of America. The Native people knew where the oyster beds were, the water routes, and what plants had medicinal value. Settlers came to America with a culture of conquest and killing that they experienced in hundreds of years of religious savagery between Catholics and Protestants, especially the killing and exploitation of the Irish by the English and Scottish. White supremacy can be traced to the Christian Crusades against Muslims and not to capitalism, though capitalism exploited the idea to the fullest later.

These Europeans did not tame the wilderness. They invaded and murdered the original inhabitants. There are many fake origin stories from one country to the next, as apartheid South Africa once claimed and is now claimed by Israel using similar tactics for decades in a systematic way to force Palestinians from their homes, according to Amnesty International.

The fake Captain John Smith story never mentions his threat to kill all Native women and children if the Native people would not help feed and clothe the settlers from England and provide free labor for the English settlement. When Native people refused, the settlers burned their crops in an attempt to starve out the so-called “Indians.” This would result in the Pequot War, in which settlers would slaughter the Pequot tribe in the 1600s. Unknown to many, this was the first “Thanksgiving,” according to research by historians, in which settlers had a celebration thanking God for their murderous exploits. Scalp hunting was brought to America’s shores by the Scottish Protestants, who also invented the term “Redskin” to describe the bleeding head of one of their victims. Mutilated bloody corpses, which Puritans scalped, were the origin of the term “Redskin.” It was not developed as an indication of “race.” Later in history, the practice of scalping and gutting pregnant Native women would be carried out by the Scotsman Andrew Jackson, whom many now call the “Hitler of America.”

The Thanksgiving Myth is that of smiling “Indians” welcoming the European explorers to America, showing them how to reside in this ‘wilderness,” and sitting down to dinner with them. They supposedly hand their lands off to “frontiersmen,” so these invaders can create an incredible country committed to freedom, opportunity, and Christianity until the end of the world. That is the story — it’s about Native People yielding to settler colonialism. The myth is bloodless and, in numerous ways, an argument for the racist idea of Manifest Racial Destiny. Thus, the Thanksgiving myth was created to present a false history to deny the horrors of American origins and later to invent a fake ideology coined “American Exceptionalism.” American Exceptionalism was derived from these false ideas, created by criminal or ignorant historians, which claim that America is an “Innocent Nation” while other nations may have blood on their hands. Nothing could be further from the real history of America and the truth about Thanksgiving. Today, many of us celebrate family and friends and want nothing to do with the invented narrative. We can always choose to provide our own meanings and, at the same time, educate our community about the lies.

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Downtown SA Lights Up for the Holidays



Downtown San Antonio will sparkle this holiday season with an array of lights and holiday events. 

Set against the backdrop of one of the city’s most historic and charming walkways, five blocks of Houston Street will buzz with twinkling lights, decorations, entertainers, and vendors from Nov. 24 and runs through January 2. 

 Additionally, on Nov. 24, kick off the holiday festivities with the Annual H-E-B Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at Travis Park. Festivities begin at 4 p.m. and include live entertainment, food trucks, letters to Santa, giveaways, holiday crafts, a special visit from Santa, and a movie screening of “The Grinch.” The tree-lighting ceremony begins at 6 p.m., followed by the movie at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public. 

Get front-row seats to the 42nd Annual Ford Holiday River Parade, which offers a spectacular one-hour parade along the San Antonio River Walk starting at 6 pm at the Tobin Center. This year’s theme, “Holiday Stories,” will kick off the San Antonio tradition. Always held the day after Thanksgiving, the parade and river lighting ceremony will feature 28 illuminated floats and over 100,000 lights (2,250 strands) illuminating the River Walk. The lights turn on from sundown to sunrise every day until the weekend following New Year’s Day. Seating ranges from $15 to $40. It is broadcast live at 7 p.m. at the Arneson River Theatre.

The Rotary Ice Rink, presented by Valero, will also return this fall at Travis Park in downtown San Antonio. Since 2019, nearly 200,000 people have enjoyed the rink and surrounding festivities. For more information, including hours of operation, pricing, and specials, visit (

For more events, go to (

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Black Life Texas

Black Soldiers’ Convictions Overturned – A Century Later!



More than 100 years later, the U.S. Army recently overturned the convictions of the 110 Black soldiers of the 3rd Battalion, 24th Infantry Regiment (also known as the Buffalo Soldiers), who were falsely found guilty following the World War I-era Houston Riots. 

The records of these soldiers will be corrected, to the extent possible, to characterize their military service as honorable. Seventeen of these men are buried at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio. In 2022, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs unveiled a sign telling the story of these men to educate visitors about what happened. 

Secretary of the Army Christine Wormuth said, “After a thorough review, the Board has found that these soldiers were wrongly treated because of their race and were not given fair trials. By setting aside their convictions and granting honorable discharges, the Army is acknowledging past mistakes and setting the record straight.”

The Houston Riots took place on Aug. 23, 1917, following months of racial provocations against members of the 24th — including the violent arrest and assault of two Black soldiers. Following the assaults and amid rumors of additional threats to soldiers, a group of more than 100 Black soldiers seized weapons and marched into the city, where clashes erupted. The violence left 19 people dead.

In the months that followed, the Army convicted 110 soldiers in a process that was, according to historians, characterized by numerous irregularities. Ultimately, 19 men were executed in the largest mass execution of American soldiers by the U.S. Army. The first set of executions occurred in secrecy and within a day of sentencing, leading the Army to implement an immediate regulatory change that prohibited future executions without review by the War Department and the President.

In 2020 and 2021, the South Texas College of Law petitioned the Army to review the convictions. Shortly after, the Army received petitions from retired general officers requesting clemency for all 110 soldiers.

“As a Texas native, I was grateful to participate in this process early in my tenure at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, and I am proud that the Army has now formally restored honor to soldiers of the 3-24 and their families,” said Under Secretary of the Army Gabe Camarillo. “We cannot change the past; however, this decision provides the Army and the American people an opportunity to learn from this difficult moment in our history.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has been deeply involved as this case has unfolded and is prepared to assist any family members upon receipt of the corrected records. Relatives of the soldiers may be entitled to benefits. Family members or other interested parties may request a copy of the corrected records from the National Archives and Records Administration, in accordance with NARA Archival Records Request procedures found at (

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