Friday, March 19, 2021

Americans Are Wrong Sometimes

We were wrong not to outlaw slavery in the original Constitution. We were wrong to keep women as second class citizens for 150 years. We were wrong on so many issues of individual rights and freedoms.

We still try and progress today. It's a slow process, not of law, but of people's beliefs. The law can say it's wrong to discriminate, but that doesn't protect people from being discriminated against, it just allows for justice to be sought.

Those who say the Constitution must be read and applied as the founding fathers originally intended, must be pro slavery, anti-women, and believe we should not, or cannot progress and mature as a country, over the centuries.

The harm done to those minorities while we wait for "the majority" of Americans to embrace inclusion, is outrageous.

It is a lesson we must learn again and again. Japanese were interned during WW II. Nearly every ethnic group to come to America was at one time discriminated against. Like a rite of passage, or a frat house initiation, it always gets ugly.

The enemy, as usual, is within us.

It is not the Muslim who seeks to be a good American while keeping their faith and culture (as all immigrants have done for centuries) but the fear. An irrational fear enhanced be the forces who seek political power. That is evil.

Most disturbing, are my fellow countrymen who would discard the Constitution in favor of their own hate and prejudices.

Friday, March 5, 2021

Demanding Equality and Justice

Martin Luther King said,
"A riot is the language of the unheard."

President Kennedy said,
"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

Riots always get ugly and people die.That has been proven over and over again all over the world. Riots and violence are not the best way to achieve change, but sometimes the only, or last attempt to get change.

Riots do not always signify good change; as in Russia, when riots forced the Czar out of power, murdered him and his family, and installed a new government. I'm sure they were convinced they were fighting for a better life and eliminating an oppressive government rule. But what if the overthrow of the Czar had never happened? Would the monarchy of Russia had evolved into a parliamentary system as much of the rest of Europe finally did?

How long should people wait for change, before forcing change? How long did the American colonies wait to force King George out of America?

Black Africans who were kidnapped and forced into slavery only got a change when their white masters fought and died (600,000 deaths in the Civil War) over slavery. One wonders why those slaves didn't just get together and revolt against their white slave masters using violence and murder. 

In America, riots have usually meant fighting for rights and better treatment from those in power. Whether fighting for better working conditions from oppressive employers, or fighting for civil rights from an oppressive government, the people will force change when other more civil methods of negotiations fail.

Unfortunately, it seems change in America includes people taking to the streets and demanding change, even in the face of death. One might think that should not be necessary with a democratic governmental system, but those seeking a better life and rights were not included in legal rights like voting, so they had no civil voice. Imagine all the suffering while waiting for the majority to include minorities as their equals in law.

The fight never ends. Women fought for the right to vote, yet, 100 years later still have to fight for equal pay and other inequities. After centuries of slavery blacks were given freedom, yet, we know they were discriminated against for another 150 years and the discrimination still goes on. And blacks still have to re-fight for rights won decades ago, like voting rights.

A little empathy from Americans would be nice, but lacking that, Americans still have to answer why some people are less deserving of equality than others, especially given our legal, guiding, founding documents. The law allows to seek justice, but can't stop an injustice being committed against people. It seems every right has to be fought for; gays have the right to marry now, but in most States can still be legally fired from a job for just being gay.

If we wonder why people get violent, we have to put ourselves in their position, and ask how long would we put up with that kind of discriminatory treatment? If blacks can be killed just for being black, it's easy to understand why they are forced to use violence to protect themselves. Just as our white forefathers used violence against King George when the King hung us for not bowing to his oppressive laws, which were not nearly as oppressive as the laws (slavery) we had against blacks at the time.

For all you peace nicks out there, history is not on your side. A brutal truth about humans. Gandhi and MLK are great leaders and idols to follow, but we know violence was the response by their oppressors. If the Black Panthers had their way, would the outcome have been better? NO, probably worse, but violence and death was part of the movement anyways.

Monday, February 22, 2021

Cash Is King

 Cash is what greases the wheels of a capitalistic economy. That cash must be shared by everyone in the society for financial growth and stability. 

Put cash in Americans pockets and they will spend it. That will create the growth we need to get back to financial strength. 

Government has plenty of Socialistic tendencies that give money back to the people (social security, welfare benefits, medical benefits, etc., etc..) And more is needed during this time of the pandemic. It's corporations who need more Socialistic tendencies towards its workers (profit and benefit increases). 

They can well afford it and claims to the contrary are false. One multi-million dollar salary paid to one of their executives could pay for a pay raise to their whole work force. In order to spur financial growth even the lowest paid worker needs a pay raise. 

The greatest growth period in American history happened when we paid taxes three times higher than we pay now.  At that time only one worker in a household was needed to not only pay the bills, but have a nice lifestyle. That's because people had disposable income and they spent it spurring economic growth. 

Capitalists have a responsibility to the community they do business in and that responsibility goes beyond their stock holders and must include their workers. We have killed off our unions, but if we ignore our workers, our national economy suffers. Prices may go up, but it's all relevant. Everyone can afford the higher prices, if their pay raises are high enough. Twenty five cents an hour won't cut it. 

Walmart (one the nations largest employers) pay their work force so poorly, that they qualify for Federal and State benefits. Why should tax payers subsidize Walmart's workforce? Especially when Walmart is posting outrageous profits. 

Put cash in Americans pockets and there will be a boom in our economy, but everybody must be included in getting more cash.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Calm The Fuck Down

 This country needs to calm the fuck down. We can't seem to calm down the partisanship, so lets just back off politics for a while. MSNBC and FOX continue to ramp up their viewers to their particular viewpoints and continue to beg the 24/7 attention. Lets stop reacting to every little non-important political incident in the country. Let the politicians do their job, if possible. Let it start with what the politicians can agree on, which is very little, but enough to get started with each other. 

We need to kill off this virus, get people vaccinated, and get everyone back to work. Can everyone agree on that? Maybe, after we get used to negotiating with each other we can tackle more partisan issues. 

But the evil still lurks. He's working full time to divide the country. He will be speaking at the CPAK convention next Sunday. Accept the fact that this criminal will be in our national politics until he dies. Lets not give him the attention he seeks. 

Just because FOX admitted Trump lost the election (at the last possible moment) doesn't mean they aren't working hard to fill America full of their lies. Maybe a real investigation into January 6th and the red necks involved will allow America to believe less of their bullshit. 

It amazes me that if you stick a camera in someone's face they are willing to spew the most hate filled garbage, knowing it will be broadcast nationwide. That includes MSNBC who are not happy because the country won't accept Trump as the new Hitler. And FOX is busy condemning Biden for things he hasn't even done yet and probably won't.  

Cruz not being in State when an ice storm hit doesn't deserve 4 days of front page news. Biden doing what he is doing should not be news, he has been saying for 2 years now he would do those things. 

What will be the next thing we make a big deal of, that the Sun rose this mourning? They really know how to push your buttons and you really know how to jump.

Just calm the fuck down.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

The Times They Are A Changing



                                                              Bob Dylan - 1964

Monday, February 15, 2021

President's Day

 I don't honor all presidents the same. 

Trump is not the same as Lincoln. 

Bush was not the same as Washington. 

Clinton was not the same as FDR. 

Nixon was not the same as Eisenhower.

Reagan was not the same as Jefferson.

Even presidents need to earn honor. It should not just be given to them just because they were president. On this day I choose to honor the presidents who deserve honor, which is not all presidents.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Profiles in Courage

 "Profiles in Courage" (by JFK) was one of the first books I ever read. I understood the big words and comprehended the big ideas. I was a very early reader and exposed to the World at an early age. My parents gave me the book. They saw my early interest through my behavior at home. 

My parents had nine kids and they had an early mourning ritual that I copied. Everyday they would get up early, make coffee, and read the paper. It was funny how they would switch newspaper sections, without saying a word, and continue reading and drinking their coffee. I remember it vividly.

I was a nerdy kid. I got up before my parents, got myself dressed, got a glass of milk and grabbed the newspaper from the front door. I would put the newspaper on the coffee table just as my parents came out of their bedroom. Dad sat down and grabbed the front page section. Mom made the coffee. Mom served Dad coffee and both sat and read the paper. I was allowed to sit with them as long as I was quiet. I didn't have to be told to be quiet, I just understood that. Dad would throw me the comics and we all had quiet reading time before the other kids got up. When they were done reading the paper, Mom would go to the kitchen and start making breakfast for eleven. Dad would hit the shower and dress for the day. That was my time. I got to read the rest of the paper before Mom started waking up the rest of the house. 

I took an interest in the front page news. I didn't always understand the deep meanings, but I knew what was going on in the World and was getting to know the leaders of the World. I know my interest in history and current events came from those early days reading the newspaper with my parents. I was six years old then. Eisenhower was president. The space race was just getting underway. We had no manned vehicles, yet, but I was obsessed with all things space. 

"Profiles in Courage" taught me a lot about politics, the men in politics, the power of politics, and why politicians made the decisions they did. What was bravery in politics and what was fear in the face of political power. It also taught me no matter how many times we make the same mistake, we continue to make those same mistakes. Iraq was just as big a folly as Vietnam was and neither was as good a reason to send our young men to die as WW II. Scandals are just as common as they were 50 years ago. All politicians lie to grab power. Demagogues are not rare in politics. War is a beast that needs to be fed. 

Trump was not a surprise to me, just another sad event of history. I've given up on thinking the people will get smarter as they go through these episodes. Impeachment II is no different, we will soon move on to the next outrageous moment and still have Trump in our national politics. 

FDR was involved in some scurrilous events, but he pulled us through the depression and saved the world from fascism.  Ike was a grumpy old warrior, but he did create the International Highway system and oversaw the greatest growth period in American history (with taxes three times higher than we pay today). JFK slept with women, but he did push us to the Moon and all the technology we learned from that project. LBJ lied about Vietnam, but he did pass great legislation. One difference is, we no longer tackle great projects that truly progress the country for the good of all the people. If you think the Keystone pipeline is the greatest thing America has going for it, well, welcome to mediocre America. We are going to the Moon! Wait, we did that over 50 years ago. We did accomplish a 30 trillion dollar debt and a country at each others throats. 

If Biden can have a great two years, we may hold off Republicans regaining majority. But the deck is stacked against Joe for the next two years, so I really don't see some great change that will make things greatly different. It will take a lot more courage as a society than we have shown in the last 40 years to make a great change. After that, the chances that I will be around to see the future, is small. I don't believe in God, and if I did I would be convinced that God created this pandemic to cull the heard. 

Optimism is fleeting. Obama's first two years is proof of that. If you are more optimistic than me, good luck to you. The best thing you can do is fight to make sure Democrats keep majority after the midterms. Don't be looking for messiahs, or miracles, they don't exist. Just keeping the country from sinking lower will be a hard enough task.

Saturday, February 6, 2021

It's Winter !

 It's 7 AM and it's 15 below zero. By 4 PM it's supposed to be 25 below zero. The wind is howling and there are wind chill warnings out for 60 below zero. By midnight it will be 35 below zero. Worst of all, this kind of weather is suppose to last at least 5 days. 

The news stations will be out showing how a bucket of water thrown in the air will freeze before it hits the ground. Wherever you live, you will probably hear about our temperatures on your weather forecast. 

This is normal weather for us this time of year. In fact, we have all been saying what a mild Winter it has been until now. 

I wonder if the virus dies at 30 below zero?

We knew this was coming. It had been forecast for days. I went grocery shopping yesterday to stock up. It was 5 below zero then and it just kept falling. I will catch up on old movies, cook hardy foods like chili, watch the Super Bowl, take hot showers, listen to good music, play on the computer, hope the power won't go out, and hibernate inside. 

Hope your team wins. As an old guy, I'm rooting for the old guy.

Thursday, February 4, 2021

History and Heroes

 Historians will write about January 6th. Most will wait until more facts are known about how it all started and who the bad actors were. They will also write about the good actors. There are always many good actors in an incident like January 6th, but story tellers usually pick out one good actor and make him the hero. 

I hope 50 years from now they will write about officer Sicknick. He was most certainly a hero, among many others. He should stick out because he died. He put his life on the line to protect the Capitol and the elected Representatives inside. 

My definition of a hero is a person willing to die protecting others. That means police, firemen, and soldiers. That also includes our front line health workers fighting this pandemic. I do not consider musicians, athletes, and other cultural icons heroes. 

It will be interesting to hear the whole story of January 6th, but we already know officer Sicknick was a hero.