Category Archives: Political Views

Immigration Hypocrisy Makes Me Sick


Silence is deafening, isn’t it?

I can tolerate all manner of offensive behavior without much protest, but three things will consistently anger me beyond my ability to remain silent. They are, in no certain order, lying, abuse of animals, old people, or children, and bald-faced hypocrisy. From what I keep reading in the news day after day, I firmly believe many politicians and American citizens are out-and-out hypocrites on the subject of illegal immigration.

The English Pilgrims and Jamestown colonists got off the boat in modern-day Massachusetts and Virginia, respectively, and they would have died to a man if not for the grace of God and the kindness of the native Indians of their regions. How they repaid God’s grace is a matter of debate, but how they thanked the Indians is a matter of historical record. Smallpox infected blankets, lies upon lies, and blatant disregard for Indian culture and natural rights. Down south, the Spaniards were much more direct. A conquistador would simply ask “Do you have gold? Good, we will take it all. Thank you. Now, you are our slaves, carry your, I mean, my gold to the ship.” Then, a wonderfully pious priest would ask, “Do you believe in God? Who is that? He isn’t the real god. Convert and we’ll let you live or cling to your stupid backward ways and we’ll torture you until you convert then kill you so you can go straight to Heaven.”

That was just the 16th Century.

Deemed savages because they didn’t understand or practice ownership of land and didn’t worship the Christian’s God, by that name anyway, they were worthy of extermination. The cry of the public was “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.” By the 21st Century, Indians controlled less than 1% of the continent they once stewarded and tended. Well, folk, karma is a bitch. If the Hindu reference bothers you, then how about a Christian reference from the Apostle Paul in Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, that will he also reap.” That’s where the hypocrisy begins.

We took this land by force in the fervent belief that it was our Destiny and now some of us are pissed off people from all over the world, but mostly from Mexico, want a piece of the pie. We stole the whole cupboard and pantry and we grudge others the crumbs. Our ancestors set out in rickety ships to “find a better life” and they brave burning deserts with no water to do what? “Find a better life.” What made our ancestors so right and the new “illegals” so wrong?

People want to say, “Well, if they want to come here they should go about it ‘the right way.”” Why? Why exactly should they follow any of our laws and customs? We didn’t follow any native laws or customs to take what we wanted from them? Why do we howl so loudly now that what went around has come around? People want to say, “but that was different.” How was it different, exactly? Because they were brown instead of white? Because they weren’t “cultured?” That doesn’t fly.

It’s “different” because THEY AREN’T US.

The big argument people love to use is “They’re taking all our jobs!” Really? Just exactly what jobs are these people stealing? When is the last time you saw an illegal looking Latino individual (whatever that means) working a job you would want to have? Let’s see, landscaping? I’m sure hundreds of good strong Americans are just lined up to fill all the landscaping jobs once we deport the illegal Hispanics. I mean, who among us doesn’t want to spread truckloads of mulch, cut grass, and dig irrigation trenches in 100 degree heat?

The fact is, the only jobs the vast majority of so-called illegals are filling are the jobs business owners can’t fill with anyone else. I have an acquaintance who owns his own full service car wash. It’s not pleasant work. Wiping off cars on a slab of concrete in blazing heat and freezing cold with dampness all around is my picture of misery. He’s in his 33rd year of business. According to him, the first twenty years he filled his lines with college students home for the summer or high school dropouts learning a hard lesson.  The last ten years, though, he can’t get the college students or the dropouts. The work is “too hard.”

So, he fills all his positions with Hispanics and adores them. Both men and women are always neat, clean, prompt, and hard-working. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much supervision as he once did because all his workers are a community. They live together, eat together, and go to and from work together. They police themselves, and as he puts it, “They push a lot of cars through and make me a lot of money.”

Speaking of them being “together,” I have listened to so many good Christian people make fun of some Hispanics because they pack three and four families into a single wide trailer or a ridiculous number of them ride in a single car. Okay, riddle me this then all you stand up comedians, what kind of life and living conditions are these people LEAVING where being packed up like sardines, surviving off whatever they can get in cash, and generally being looked down upon by the people they serve is BETTER? If how they have to live here is BETTER, what in the name of all that’s holy are they getting away from?

The bottom line is this country was founded on the idea you could come here with nothing, work your fingers to the bone for a long time, and eventually “have something”. It’s called The American Dream. Why are we, a country of rebels and entrepreneurs, so incensed at a newer, hungrier wave of people coming in to grab a share of the pie? At least, we can be relatively certain they don’t plan to exterminate us as we did those who were here before us.

Something to think about. Love y’all and keep those feet clean.


As The Book Is Banned, A Cautionary Tale


NeonomiconBannedI haven’t written a librarian post in quite some time, mainly because I haven’t been an official librarian in several years now. However, I remain a librarian at heart and just because I’m not working in a library, I haven’t turned a blind eye to the library world and the eye of the library world is blackened and puffy due to events transpiring right in my home town public library system. A book has been banned in from the Greenville County Public Library System.

The Greenville News has the entire story, but allow me to give you a short precis’. Last year, a fourteen year old girl used her father’s library card to check out Alan Moore’s graphic novel Neonomicon. When she showed the book to her mother, the mother was aghast and appalled at the content so she took the book back to the library and lodged a formal complaint. As per the library’s policy, a materials review committee went over the book using all the various criteria for selection such as literary merit, author reputation, awards, etc. After a thorough and careful review, the committee voted to uphold the book’s inclusion in the library’s collection. Then events took an ominous turn. The director of the library system, one Ms. Beverly James, used her “executive authority” to go against her own policy and OVERRULE HER EMPLOYEE COMMITTEE by ordering the book removed.

Let’s review. ONE person made a complaint about a book. The complaint went through proper protocols and channels. The committee upheld the book’s placement. The library director — a librarian with education and experience — went against their recommendation and BANNED THE BOOK.

A LIBRARIAN BANNED A BOOK!! This wasn’t a city council pressured by picketing pressure groups or a school board acting to quell an imagined scandal. This was a librarian taking a book off the shelves because ONE PARENT COMPLAINED! What’s next? Garbage-men pouring trash into the streets? Plumbers causing leaks in pipes? Congress passing meaningful legislation?

In the interest of full disclosure, Neonomicon is a harsh book. Alan Moore wrote it as a commentary on the horror genre and how it is racist and misogynistic. Since it is a graphic novel, it has pictures and some of the pictures show an orgy and later a rape scene. Did I mention it was a horror book? I can understand a parent not wanting his or her child to read this book. I get that, but that’s the issue.

This is Ms. Beverly James. She ordered a book banned after her materials review committee upheld it.

This is Ms. Beverly James, Director of the Greenville County Library System. She ordered a book banned after her materials review committee upheld it.

If you are a parent, you have EVERY right in the world to monitor your child or teen’s reading habits. You have the right to order YOUR child not to read something. You have the right to impose your views on morality on your children. I don’t have a problem with that. What I have a tremendous problem with is when YOU try to impose YOUR views on MY child and — regardless of how you want to sugar coat it — that is what censorship is, one person or one group of people imposing THEIR views on others by denying others the opportunity to books, movies, etc which the others have a First Amendment right to see and read.

Simply put, NO parent has the right to RAISE ANOTHER PARENT’S CHILDREN, but that is exactly what this ONE woman has done. She has, with the complicity of the HEAD LIBRARIAN of our county system, told EVERY teenager in this county “You cannot read this book because I don’t like it.”

I find that appalling.

Someone in the comments section of the article tried to defend Ms. James by saying she was acting in the interest of the prevailing views of the community and THAT is where another serious problem crops up. Librarians are PUBLIC servants. They act as agents of the state / city. As agents of the state, librarians are responsible for acting in the interest of the ENTIRE COMMUNITY, not just those who hold power or majority views. A librarian does not and should not have the luxury of allowing his or her personal views to taint his or her service to the community served. Let me give you an example of what I mean.

Is it just me or is the resemblance amazingly uncanny?

Is it just me or is the resemblance amazingly uncanny?

A friend of mine is a librarian in a high school in the upstate. She has a good selection of LGBT young adult novels as well as reference books and other non-fiction books that address LGBT topics. She put this collection together because her school has a growing number of students who identify as LGBT and she wants THEM to have a place and voice in the library even though she personally doesn’t support the LGBT lifestyle because it runs counter to her beliefs as an Evangelical Christian. She is and has always been VERY conservative but she realizes something lots of people don’t — she is an agent of the state from the time she gets out of her car on campus until she gets back in to leave.

She gets a lot of heat from people, including people in her own family for having such a liberal selection policy, but I applaud her because she realizes something too many Christians, especially in the South in general and the communities here in the Buckle of the Bible Belt do not — THE MORALITY OF HER STUDENTS IS THEIR PARENTS” RESPONSIBILITY, NOT HERS. Her job is to serve the school community as a whole, not promote any agenda.

Unfortunately, a lot of people can’t or won’t see the bigger picture. I support freedom to read, freedom of religion, and the separation of church and state NOT because I am not a Christian, but because I am and I’ve realized something — our majority is slipping. Islam is growing in America by leaps and bounds. Latin American Catholicism, which has some unsettling differences from the run of the mill Catholic churches around here, is growing with the growing influx of Latinos — legal and illegal. What happens when W.A.S.P.s are no longer in control? It’s something to think about and think about carefully. Sure, you probably support prayer in schools, but what happens when the class president or valedictorian is a Muslim and wants to pray in Allah’s name instead of Jesus’? When that day comes, and it WILL come, many Christians will be wishing they had listened to Thomas Jefferson’s message to the Danbury Baptist Association much more carefully.

So what does that have to do with the book banning? Everything. To boil it down, if WE insist on banning THEIR books today because we can, what do we say when the shoe is on the other foot and they want to ban OUR books? Think about this before I go; the woman who started the ball rolling which ended in Neonomicon being banned cited the book’s graphic depiction of violence and nudity as her reasons for wanting the book off the shelves. As an amateur theologian who has read the book cover to cover many times, I can tell you this — if graphic depiction of violence and misogyny were grounds for banning a book, the Old Testament of the Holy Bible wouldn’t  last a week.

Love you all, and I hope this makes it to the computers of some of my former colleagues so they can spread the alarm around the state and around the country. Now, keep those feet clean AND dry and I’ll catch you next time.

Thoughts on Election 2012 Results: A History Lesson


Does this map speak volumes to anyone but me? Facts are annoying little things, aren’t they?

This will probably not be my most popular post.

The American people have spoken and the sound-bite election summary is President Obama won reelection, the Republican party maintained control of the House of Representatives but lost a few seats, and the Democratic party maintained control of the Senate and picked up a seat or two as well. Democrats are rejoicing at the win, Republicans are wondering what went wrong when the President seemed so vulnerable, and the Florida Election Committee is still counting votes because that’s how they roll in Florida.

The bigger picture is much deeper. For one thing, I am deeply saddened to learn I now live in a Godless nation. Thank you, Facebook, for alerting me to the departure of the Glory cloud from the Temple. Apparently God stood by us through 200 years of chattel slavery, a century or more of genocide against the Native Americans, the Tuskegee Syphilis “Research”, virulent institutional — if unspoken — anti-Antisemitism, lynchings, Jim Crow, televangelists, reality television, etc. but the 2012 election was the final straw.

Since we re-elected a biracial, Harvard-educated Christian who follows his faith quietly instead of pandering to people by invoking God in everything instead of a man whose Mormonism says Satan and Christ are brothers born from God’s marriage to His celestial wife, that African-Americans are sub-human (at least until 1978), and that unmarried and/or childless women won’t get to go to Heaven because they will have no one to “call them through the Veil,” God is now finished with America. This seems perfectly logical given the state of politics AND Christianity in America today.

I am certain I am the ONLY Democrat in my family — immediate, extended, or in-lawed. In some peoples’ eyes this makes me a bad person who is obviously not a Christian. I find this situation INCREDIBLY ironic since two of the greatest people and Christians I ever knew — my beloved Papa and Granny Wham — died as registered Democrats. See, the youngsters among my limited readership may not know this, but once upon a time, South Carolina was known as a “Yellow Dog Democrat” state because the Democratic Party in South Carolina (and many other southern states) could “run a yellow dog for office and beat any Republican no matter how well qualified.”

That won’t happen today and maybe a very brief history outline will show why. Most southerners forget but the reviled Abraham Lincoln was the nation’s first Republican President. He set the standard for the Constitutional abuses of later Republicans with his suspension of habeas corpus and other executive acts during the Civil War. In the end, though, his actions helped end slavery. On the other hand, the Democratic Party — dating all the way back to Thomas Jefferson — was the party of slavery. South Carolina’s own  John C. Calhoun was a Democrat who defended slavery on the floor of the Senate as “not a necessary evil, but a positive good.” Following the Civil War during Reconstruction, the hated Republican party forced the occupied but unbowed southern states to elect “coloreds” to governorships and high Federal offices.

With this miniscule history of the parties laid out, what happened to make the Democratic Party — once the pro-slavery party — champions of people of color and poor of all colors? It all started with Franklin Delano Roosevelt.  FDR’s “New Deal” made him a demigod among the poor and disenfranchised of the Great Depression, but his championing of liberal causes such as labor unions, social welfare, government regulation, and civil rights cracked the Democratic “Solid South.”

Those cracks exploded with the coming of the Civil Rights Movement of the Sixties. Democrat became synonymous with minority, poor, hippie, and liberal. The switchover completed in 1964 when the ageless Senator Strom Thurmond, again from this great Palmetto State, left the Democratic Party in protest of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and became a Republican. That’s where we’ve been ever since and as the country has gotten steadily less white and the divide between the wealthy and the middle class has reached its greatest extent since the Gilded Age, the polarization has intensified. Don’t mention the “wealth gap” though or you’ll be pilloried for “provoking class warfare.”

As a result of uber-partisan politics, we have a hopelessly gridlocked government where party loyalty trumps any desire to get anything done which might benefit the American people. Unfortunately, the gridlock has extended to the mindset of entirely too many Americans. God forbid you want to be like every single other industrialized first world country and have some sort of national health care. Mention that around here and people who don’t know the difference between a Communist and a Fascist will brand you a socialist. Even worse than Partisan Man is the dreaded “one issue voter.” For Evangelical Republicans, the issue is abortion. It doesn’t matter WHAT a Republican candidate believes or does. If he or she promises to overturn and undo Roe v Wade, the Southern Baptist Convention will endorse him from the conference floor.

Worst of all, however, is the completely uninformed voter. For Republicans, these are the disciples of Hannity, Limbaugh, and other denizens of talk radio. These voters don’t look up anything for themselves but believe anything and anyone as long as they are on Fox News after 6:00 PM, and they consistently support candidates who do not have their interests at heart. I know rabid Rush Limbaugh fans who collect Social Security or disability checks or receive other government assistance anathematic to the ultra-conservative wing controlling the Republican Party. These people can’t see they are voting for people who — if elected — would do away with or at best deeply cut the very programs sustaining them and their families. . . The irony is worthy of Shakespeare.

So, where do we go from here? The reality is “probably nowhere.” President Obama will continue trying to enact policies to benefit those other than “The 1%” and the Republican Party will fight him and stonewall him at every turn cheered on by a mass of red state voters who can’t or won’t realize when Rush or Glenn Beck are talking about “parasites” THEY are the ones being referred to.

Good luck in the next four years, remember I love y’all — Democrat or Republican alike, and most of all, keep those feet clean.

It’s 11 Years Since the WTC Attacks; Do You Know Where Your Constitutional Rights Are?


This Patriots Day, I’m not going to look back at the terrible events of 9-11-2001. We all know the horror, the intense loss, and the overwhelming fear which billowed up and gripped our nation by the throat 11 years ago today. I want to spend a minute looking at the results of the fear because I’m afraid ever since that dark day, we’ve become accustomed to the dark in this country. Specifically, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact our Constitution and its Bill of Rights — cornerstone and keystone — of our nation have been largely discarded in the name of state security.

First, look at the PATRIOT Act. This single piece of legislation has destroyed the liberty and freedom of more Americans than any law this nation has ever passed. It is a law any dictator would be proud to have on his books. It is a law which has completely eviscerated our Constitution.

Broadly defined, the PATRIOT Act has:

expanded authority to regulate financial transactions . . .  and broadened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration authorities . . . . The act also expanded the definition of terrorism . . . thus enlarging the number of activities to which the . . . .  Act’s expanded law enforcement powers can be applied.

When (and why) did our police start looking like our military?

So terrorism is now whatever our government says it is and anyone our government denounces as a terrorist IS one. In the name of state security, our federal government — and by extension state and many local governments as well — can wiretap your phones, monitor your cell phone usage, track your internet browsing, and, with the provision that brought out the fight in librarians all over the country, walk in to your local library, flash a FBI badge and ask to see your library records. What makes this so insidious is this can all be done without your knowledge and in many cases without a warrant. Please read the following and compare what it says to the PATRIOT Act:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

If it sounds familiar, it’s because you remember the text of the Fourth Amendment from a civics class somewhere in your past. Many “unreasonable searches” and more than a few “seizures” have taken place in the last ten years, but where is the required “probable cause?” Probable Cause is no longer a legal definition; it’s whatever the FBI and other law enforcement agencies SAY it is.

Next, how many of you have heard of a guy named Anwar al-Awlaki? He was an odious little man who, as a high-ranking member of al-Qaeda, spewed venom and hatred against the US from his platform as a Muslim imam in Yemen. You don’t have to worry about him anymore though because he was killed about a year ago in a Predator drone strike carried out in Yemen on President Obama’s orders. This probably won’t make anyone lose sleep and I’m not saying it should except for one little detail about Awlaki. He was born in New Mexico in 1971.

According to US Law, anyone born on American soil, regardless of the nationality or citizenship of his or her parents is an AMERICAN CITIZEN. Anwar al-Awlaki was just as much a citizen of this country as George W. Bush is and Awlaki was assassinated on foreign soil by US armed forces. Our President ordered a citizen of this country summarily executed.

Time for another civics review.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

That’d be the Sixth Amendment. Our Founding Fathers wanted to see to it American citizens didn’t just “disappear” like so many French citizens did during their Revolution. One of our most precious rights is the right to a trial. It’s one of the things which makes us who we are as Americans. “THEY” stand people up against walls and shoot them. WE don’t do that! Or we didn’t. Now we do; and let me ask you a question — how long do you think it will be before American citizens on OUR own soil deemed to dangerous to live and to potentially hazardous to arrest and prosecute in the courts end up missing? When that happens, you may want to start looking up.

America has NEVER violated the rights of its lawful citizens in a time of war.

Of course, by the end of this year if you look up, and you live in an urban area, chances are good you’ll see a Predator or a Globe Hawk or maybe even a Reaper drone flying around above your city looking harmless. Right now, the military has 64 drone bases operational on American soil. Not all of them are for training. Maybe the government won’t use the ever-growing drone fleet to spy on us . . . maybe.

Finally, a word about The Global War on Terror. Ever since 9-11-01, many people believe we have been at war with terrorism. Here’s the problem with that. You cannot WIN a GLOBAL war on TERRORISM unless you control the WHOLE WORLD. What you can do though, is keep a lot of people scared of boogie men in Arab robes around every corner. The whole premise of TGWOT is ludicrous, unless you want to keep the country ACTING like we are at war. See, I listened to Granny Wham tell stories about how things were on the home front in WWII. You couldn’t do things you could do before Pearl Harbor. Police could do things they formerly couldn’t do because the country was AT WAR and when you are AT WAR, you have to draft WARTIME LEGISLATION. Unfortunately, we can’t win this war because “Terrorism” isn’t a country we can invade and wipe out. For every terrorist cell we find and take down, three more will pop up.

Comic book or prophecy?
You decide.

That’s okay with the government though because being AT WAR makes it okay to do almost anything, like put Japanese-American CITIZENS in concentration camps, or detain people at Gitmo for 11 years without a trial or spy on our own citizens. As long as the public is running scared and we are theoretically “At War” the government can do whatever it wants to do and cover it up or spin it and it’ll all be okay because it’s all done in the name of national security. Do yourself a favor and get a copy of Alan Moore’s graphic novel V for Vendetta. Read the book instead of watching the movie. The movie is an action thriller; the book will make you think. Just replace the book’s nuclear war with The Global War on Terror and see where it leads.

Let a great American from another era end this posting with his thought on “security.”

Take it away, Ben.

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and in the end will lose both.

Survivior 2012: Washington, DC


As much as I hated to see it come, another Presidential election year has arrived. For the next twelve months, the American people will be inundated by ads on television, radio, Twitter, and probably Facebook telling us how great this candidate is and how horrible all his (or her) opponents are. Whoever comes out of the Republican Survivor Series gets to face off against the reigning champion / President, one Barack Obama.

Here is where it gets wildly interesting because ALL the Republican pundits from Glenn “Cry Me a River in my Sweater Vest” Beck to Rush “more Oxy than Billy Mays” Limbaugh are predicting a huge landslide win for the Republican candidate — whoever that turns out to be.

I highly doubt it.

Now let me get one thing straight from the beginning. I am not a political expert or commentator. I’m writing this post because I’m sick of the endless Republican presidential Debates ALREADY. People haven’t really started putting out yard signs and wearing bumper stickers yet and I’m already OVER IT. So I just want to point out why I think things are not going to turn out the way all the “experts” believe they will.

I don’t really care who wins because none of the candidates or President Obama share my views. I’m an Anarchist in the V for Vendetta mode. Read the book, you’ll understand.

Anyway, here goes my amateur breakdown of the upcoming Republican defeat. If I’m wrong, please comment. Also, I don’t usually ask this, but pass this one along because I’m SICK and TIRED of hearing all this politico-babble.

First, and this is the big elephant in the room people don’t want to talk about but, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that President Barack Obama is the first African-American / person of color / Black POTUS. Now I know he’s actually biracial. My wife’s FOURTH graders know he’s biracial. That doesn’t really matter. He’s the first non-lily white man to get elected and a BIG chunk of the population of the USA is REALLY proud of that fact, and they have every right to be. Obama is THEIR man. If you don’t believe it, look at Herman Cain’s “numbers” among Black voters. Small single digits.  The people of color in this country are going to vote for Obama.

Second, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that this country has many, many more poor people than rich people. Also, “rich” is relative; to a man living in a van down by the river eating government cheese, I’m probably looking like Warren B. himself. Anyway, all those great unwashed masses of poor people VOTE for President. They might not vote in off-year elections or any other election from Senator on down to dog-catcher, but they will vote for Presidents.

Didn't anyone tell those people what "tea bag" means before they picked the name for their movement? I mean, c'mon people, Wikipedia is your friend.

Now poor people — deserving and undeserving — have a vested interest in making sure all the entitlements stay in place. Word is starting to get around that the candidates who are going against Prez O want to mess with those entitlements. That’s messing wit’ they check! You ever been to a post office in a small town on “check day” third of the month? All those people standing in front of open PO boxes waiting for “they check” WILL vote in 2012 and they ain’t voting for someone who might “mess up they check.” Poor people are going to vote for Obama.

Third, Teabaggers and other really rabid Conservatives forget the fact that this country has as many — if not more now — OLD PEOPLE than young people. Old people LIKE Social Security. After all, “they paid into Social Security all their lives and THEY DESERVE TO GET THEIR MONEY!” Now, you and I know that Social Security doesn’t really work that way and who they were paying for were the retirees of 20 years ago and such. Most old folk don’t know that AND they don’t care to learn it. All they know is people like Romney and Co. are CONSIDERING fooling around with Social Security. Heck, they might even DO AWAY with Social Security and if they do that “I’ll lose all that money I put in over the years!” Old people are going to vote for Obama.

Let me interject a bit of knowledge here so you’ll know that I’m not a dumb as I sound sometimes. The Teabaggers, rabid Conservatives, and even I know that the welfare entitlements and Social Security are slowly but surely bankrupting the country. They aren’t doing it alone, I know, but they are a big chunk of the problem. I hear people all the time on TV talking about “don’t these people know the country can’t sustain this level of paying out?” To answer that question — NO, they don’t know that AND if they DID, they wouldn’t CARE.

Have you looked at Greece lately? It’s been in the news when they needed something to pull away from the pressing drama that is the “Penn State Sex Scandal” or the all important latest doings of one or more Kardashians. Greece is FLAT BROKE. They are just BARELY paying their bills. They are about to go under. As a result, the Greek parliament has passed “austerity measures” designed to cut spending and they’ve raised taxes some. Do you think the Greek people have jumped on board and agreed to tighten their collective belts to help ensure their country’s solvency? HADES NO! They are rioting in the streets! Those people are PISSED! They don’t CARE if the country is broke as long as “they get they check.” What will happen when they check stops because the country is BANKRUPT?

Told you! I ain't lying.

Think fire. Lots and lots of fire. For some reason, pissed off people like to burn stuff.

Does anyone REALLY think the people of America are going to be any better as we near economic collapse? No. Most people in America have no idea what country-wide economic collapse IS. All they know is “they got to get they check” on the third so they can make a payment on the trailer so they won’t have to live in the van down by the river. You tell them it’s going to mean higher taxes and THEY DON’T CARE because THEY DON’T PAY TAXES ANYWAY! Zero increased by 50% is still ZERO.

Any candidate — Presidential or otherwise — who runs on a platform of cutting entitlements or changing Social Security is NOT going to get elected or re-elected and politicians are all about the elections because being up on “The Hill” is a pretty sweet gig if you can get it. The hours are good, the pay is good, and the retirement is phenomenal! In all, being a politician is a great way to “get a check,” and we all know that no one — politicians included — wants ANYBODY to “mess with they check.”

Love y’all. Keep the faith and the feet clean.

Thoughts on Veterans’ Day 2011


I would like to thank all the brave men and women throughout our country’s history who have served under arms waging war and keeping peace. It is because of the sacrifice in time, emotion, energy, and — all too often — blood, that the United States of America remains the envy of the rest of the world.

I wholeheartedly support our troops — past, present, and future. Always have, always will.

Having said that, I need to make clear that I am adamantly against the two current “wars” our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and marines have been fighting for the last ten years. Furthermore, even though I was not yet born, I stand retroactively and historically against every war and conflict this country has been involved in since 1945.

Again, to be crystal clear, I SUPPORT OUR TROOPS. My immediate family has sent many brave men to fight our country’s wars including my grandfather, father, father-in-law, and brother-in-law. If I pull back to look at my extended family, the number of veterans quickly becomes too great to list.  As a teacher, I watched more than fifty of my former students go off to fight. To my everlasting sorrow, two of them returned home in flag draped caskets after making the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

I have never admitted this to anyone before tonight, but I was prepared to leave college in 1991 to enlist in the US Army in order to fight in the First Gulf War (the semi- justifiable one) when it looked like we were up against a real army and it might be a somewhat long war. I went to Fountain Inn one early fall afternoon and spoke to Papa Wham alone. Papa, with his eyes tearing up, asked me to please not enlist. He said, “Frankie being in Vietnam almost killed Mama (he always called Granny Wham, Mama) and me. I don’t believe either one of us could stand to see you go to war.” I didn’t enlist, but even though I am grateful to have honored Papa’s wishes, I still feel like a little part of me is missing and I’ll never be able to hold my head quite as high as Papa Wham and Daddy with no test of combat under my belt.

Papa had passed away by the time of the 9-11-2001 attacks when I would again contemplate enlisting, but by then, I was 30 and the recruiters all said I was too old so once again, I did not get to fight. My deepest and greatest regret is having never served my country in uniform.

In any event, though I was willing to go fight myself, I do not support the way our military is being used and has been used for the last forty-five years.  I believe, and I feel justified in my belief, that our government, for whatever real or stated reasons has decided to make the United States the big brother / policeman to the entire world. We are spending our sons and daughters’ precious blood on soil where we have no business being fighting for causes that are not our own.

Please look through the following list of the MAJOR wars and conflicts America has participated in and see what we gained.

  • American Revolution — gained our independence and became a country.
  • War of 1812 — gained nothing for the US.  This war was so unpopular at the time the New England states almost seceded from the United States.
  • Mexican War — Our first aggressive war. We got most of the southwest, which we’d been claiming anyway for years. Oh, and we trained a whole generation of officers for the next war.
  • The War of Northern Aggression — The Confederate States were forced to remain in the Union at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives both Blue and Grey.
  • The Spanish-American War — Our first war started and fought under completely false pretenses. We gained an overseas empire and a bad reputation.
  • World War I — We fought for one year and acted like we won the war single-handedly.  WWI put us on the world stage as a major player, but we could have just as easily sat it out and still emerged as a dominant power in the world. Wilson just HAD to get us in the fight though.
  • World War II — The continuation of the First World War after a 20 year intermission. We could have sat this one out as well so long as we kept Great Britain and the Soviet Union supplied from The Arsenal of Democracy, but the Japs had to sneak attack us (well, sneak attack for Pearl Harbor. FDR knew all about the coming attack) We gained nothing except superpower status. This is also when we started the annoying trend of blowing the hell out of an enemy and then going in and rebuilding them even stronger.
  • The Korean Conflict — Never a declared war. Still technically going on today since no peace treaty has ever been signed. We gained NOTHING from the Korean War except thousands of casualties and the basis for a mediocre but long running television show.
  • Vietnam Conflict — Never a declared war. We lost nearly 60,000 brave young men for NOTHING. Our government committed acts tantamount to TREASON against our troops then a bunch of dreadlocked hippies had the gall to spit on our boys as they came home. This war destroyed any innocence our country might have retained and gained us NOTHING.
  • Gulf War I — Bush I managed to get us cheap oil for a little while longer.
  • Gulf War II —  Bush II managed to get rid of Saddam Hussein in one of the most unjustified actions of aggression against another sovereign nation (albeit it a sorry, lowdown, and wicked sovereign nation) since we exterminated the Indians and paved the way for one of the only non-theocratic Islamic states in the Middle East to become a theocratic Islamic state. Oh, and also did away with what was left of Daddy Bush’s cheap oil.
  • War In Afghanistan — Ten years to kill one man and when we leave, and we WILL leave, the Taliban will come right back in and reinstall Islamic law, destroy all the schools we built with our boys’ blood, and start cutting women’s noses off again if they get “uppity”.

So, I support our troops whole-heartedly and will happily fight anyone anytime anywhere who think I do not. They are doing their jobs despite the government’s ability to tie their hands at every opportunity. They are fighting, not for “our freedom” because our freedom is not endangered by al-queda’s terrorists. Al-queda can kill Americans, but they cannot kill America and if we stayed out of their miserable God-forsaken countries, they wouldn’t be able to kill as many Americans. 9-11 was a lesson, but unfortunately, it has become the entire curriculum.

At the close of this Veterans Day, Thank You once again to all our Veterans, past and present, living and dead; and to our government let me say loudly and clearly,


Illegal Hypocrisy


I tolerate much offensive behavior without protest, but four things consistently anger me beyond my ability to remain silent. They are — in no particular order — lying, abuse of the helpless (elderly, children, and animals), Clemson football play calling, and bald-faced hypocrisy. At the moment, I’m pretty well pissed because  too many politicians and people are such hypocrites on illegal immigration. Immigration hasn’t out front lately with all the media coverage going to the “debt crisis.” (Debt crisis! Come to my house; I’ll SHOW you a debt crisis) Yesterday, though, I saw some stuff on Facebook in the comments section of President Obama’s page that remind me of how ugly this debate really is.

Here’s the problem as I see it; the story of Europeans in America is a story of raping and robbing, of deceit and destruction. When English Pilgrims and Jamestowners got off the boats, they would have ALL died if not for the grace of God and the kindness of the natives. How they repaid God’s grace is a matter for theological debate, but how they thanked the Indians is a matter of historical record: smallpox infected blankets, blatant disregard for Indian culture, and complete dishonesty in treaty after treaty. Sure doesn’t say much for people who founded a country supposedly based on “equality of all mankind.” (Of course they meant all free, white, male, landowning, and educated kind.)

Down South America / Central America way, the Spanish were at least honest. A conquistador would simply ask “Do you have gold? Good, we will take it all. Thank you. Now, you are my slave; carry your — I mean — my gold to the ship.” Then, a wonderfully pious priest would ask, “Do you believe in God? Who is that? He isn’t the real god. Convert immediately and live or cling to your stupid backward ways (that built at least 3 flourishing empires) and we’ll torture you until you beg to convert then kill you so you can go straight to Heaven.”

By the end of the 20th Century, Indians controlled less than 10% of the continents they kept and tended so well for thousands of years. One would think they were just waiting to be discovered and exploited by the white man. Deemed savages because they didn’t understand or practice ownership of land and didn’t worship the Christian’s God — at least not by that name anyway — they were worthy of extermination as in “the only good Indian is a dead Indian.”

Well, folks, karma is an ill-tempered bitch with a long memory. If the Hindu reference bothers you, then how about a Christian reference?  Apostle Paul in Galatians, “Whatever a man sows, he will reap.” For 500 years, European “immigrants” have destroyed and exploited the native people. Now their descendents want some of it back.

Thus begins the hypocrisy.

We took this land by force with the fervent belief it was our Manifest Destiny. Now people are pissed off at people, mostly brown people from Mexico, who want a piece of the pie. We wanted, nay, demanded, the whole cupboard and pantry yet begrudge them the crusts they want. Here’s the deal, our ancestors set out in rickety ships to “find a better life.” The new wave of illegal immigrants walk across deserts with no water while avoiding crazy, trigger-happy “Minutemen”  to do what?

“Find a better life.”

What made our ancestors so right and the new “illegals” so wrong? We didn’t feel the need to obey native laws or customs, so why do we cry foul when what went around has come back around?

I know people will want to say “that was different.” How was it different, exactly? Some will go on about how a lot of the illegals are criminals and represent a danger to our safety. Really? Well,  a lot of Indians died because Europeans wanted land, so I’d say the Indians were in danger, but apparently that’s okay with everyone .

Rash Limburger and his ilk love to blather about how, “They’ll take (or they’re taking) all our jobs!” Really? When is the last time you saw an illegal looking Latino individual working a white-collar job? Just exactly what jobs are these people stealing? Let’s see . . . landscaping? I’m sure hundreds of Anglo-Americans will line up to fill all the landscaping jobs once we deport the illegals. I mean, who doesn’t want to spread mulch, cut grass, and dig irrigation trenches in 100 degree heat and 90% humidity? How about highway construction? Sign me up to stand behind a dump truck full of 600 degree semi-molten tar and rock ready to spread it with a shovel! Household staff (aka “maids”)? Custodians? Slaughterhouse workers? Dish washers? The fact is, suspected illegals fill jobs Anglo-Americans have mostly abandoned but still need doing! Why begrudge someone a job you don’t want?

An acquaintance of mine owns his own full service car wash. He employs a large number of Hispanics, but it wasn’t always like that. According to him, in the first years he filled his staff with college students home for the summer or high school dropouts learning a hard lesson. Now the last ten years, he can’t get students or dropouts. When he asks them why they are leaving — the ones man enough to show up and tell him anyway — they say the work is “way too hard for the pay.”

He says he never has a problem with his Hispanic workers though. Men and women alike are always neat, clean, prompt, and hard-working. He doesn’t have to do nearly as much supervision as he once did because his workers are a community. Many of them live together, eat together, and go to and from work together. They police themselves, and as he puts it, “They push a lot of cars through and make me a lot of money.” He acknowledges some of them may be illegal but whenever he’s asked for it, they’ve the correct required paperwork.

This country was founded on the ideal that you could come here with nothing, work hard for a long time, and eventually “have something”. We even have a name for it. It’s called The American Dream. So why are we — a country of rebels and renegades, eccentrics and entrepreneurs — so incensed at a newer, hungrier wave of people coming in — just like our ancestors did — to grab a share of the pie we stole from them originally and have been hogged to ourselves for 200+ years? They want the same thing those early colonists wanted — a better life.

We even have one advantage over those natives’ ancestors who greeted our European progenitors; we can be relatively certain they don’t plan to exterminate or enslave us.

That’s what I think, anyway.

Love y’all and keep those feet clean!

My Thoughts on a “Caylee’s Law”


I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback telling me how “right on” I am with my previous post demonizing (deservedly) Nancy Grace for her larger-than-credited role in the Casey Anthony Trial. I’m betting I don’t get the same feedback on this post, mainly because I figure this post is going to upset more than one person. I, however, ascribe to the position held by Femi-Nazi Gloria Steinem (probably the ONLY thing she and I would agree on) when she said, “The truth shall set you free, but first it shall piss you off.”

Let the pissing off begin.

I personally don’t think Florida OR the US needs a “Caylee’s Law.” I think it is bogus and an attempt by pathetically pandering politicos to cash in on the furor surrounding the wildly unpopular verdict in the Anthony trial. While we’re on the subject, let’s go a little deeper, shall we? Take a look at the pictures in the following gallery, s’il vous plait?

I won’t keep you in suspense. These are all dead children who have or will have legislation named for them. These are the namesakes of Ginny’s Law, Adam’s Law, The AMBER Alert, Chelsea’s Law, etc, etc. Now that you know what they are, do you notice anything missing?

How about a Jakwuan’s Law? Maybe a Juan-Carlos Law? Bubba Ray’s Law? Leqweshia’s Alert? Thao Po’s Law? Mayeller’s Law?

Where are all THOSE laws? Why are all the dead children laws named for middle class White kids?

I’ll tell you why. They represent the greatest potential for political photo ops and sound bites. Dead, raped, and / or kidnapped W.A.S.P. children are ratings boosters for today’s Don Henley-esque “Dirty Laundry” news cycle. Dead colored kids or dead white trash / redneck kids? NOT SO MUCH.

Oh, no he didn’t! Yeah. As a matter of fact, he did. Does anyone who reads my blog — besides Ronald Taylor — realize just how skewed public perceptions are when it comes to finding lost or murdered children? I’ll grant you that a greater statistically valid number of white children are kidnapped and / or killed each year than other children, but where is the outcry over the missing black children? How many young black boys did Wayne Williams murder in Atlanta before pressure mounted on the authorities to “Do Something?”

Casey Anthony stayed in the spotlight for three years and prosecutors could do little more than wring their hands. Earlier this year here in South Carolina, a black woman murdered two of her children in Orangeburg. It was out of the news in less than a week. Why?

Why all the psychoanalyzing Casey Anthony, Susan Smith, and Andrea Yates, but most people can’t even name ONE black mother/murderer or ONE black missing child. The ENTIRE WORLD knows who Jon-Benet Ramsey is. She has movies and memorials and web pages to perpetuate her memory. Can anyone — ANYONE AT ALL — tell me who Celina Janette Mays is? Since I’m fairly certain no one can, I’ll tell you who she is. She is a beautiful young black girl who went missing from her home in Willingsboro, NJ on December 16, 1996. That’s nine days before Jon-Benet was found murdered in her basement under what can only be described as bizarre circumstances. Where are Celina’s memorials? Where are her made for TV movies?

I know this must look like I am saying dead and missing colored children are more important than dead or missing white children. I most emphatically am NOT saying that. I believe the death or abduction of ANY child is a tragedy. I assure you, as anyone who knows me can attest, if Caylee had been MY daughter or granddaughter, the City of Orlando and State of Florida would have had to spend MUCH less money on a trial since I would have plead guilty to first degree murder with VERY exacerbating circumstances. I don’t have much faith in lawmen, with the possible exception of the Texas Rangers and the R.C.M.P. Those are two organizations bad people would be wise not to cross. I have no problem with vigilante justice.

I’m afraid the lack of attention on missing and murdered colored children is a symptom of something much more insidious. I think the lack of media attention is the direct result of things not being all that different now than they were in 1955 when young Emmett Till was murdered in Mississippi. I think the media, despite Oprah’s near canonization and BETs success, is a white man’s game and white children make the news. People of color are marginalized, and I think it’s because of a subtle attitude of “that’s what you can expect from them.”

I even have one concrete example — Ennis Cosby. Ennis Cosby, for those who don’t know, was the only son of beloved comedian Bill Cosby. Ennis was murdered in 1997 while changing a tire on the side of the road. Even though Ennis had never had any history of drug use or even any negative history at all, because he was a black man in a bad neighborhood, initial media kneejerk response was “drug deal gone bad.” Eyewitness testimony from Ennis’ friend present at the murder soon cleared the air, but that initial reaction was black = bad.

People of color are not the only marginalized group though. The poor and those on the fringes of society don’t get much news coverage of their tragedy either. If a girl goes missing from a trailer park in Detroit or El Paso, well, she must have just run away. Really, bossman? Even if she was NINE?

To bring this back around to Caylee and land this plane, I don’t think laws named for dead children are a good idea or good legislation. I believe Caylee is in a better place, ala Martina McBride’s “Concrete Angel”. Do we REALLY want to memorialize her with a law that remembers only her death?

Finally, I’d like to pose the question of how much have things changed in this country? July 4th was a week ago. How far have we come towards “all men (and women) being created equal?” In my opinion, not very far at all.

After all, not all slavery involves shackles and chains.

Love y’all and keep the faith and feet clean.

Election ’10 is Over!


The people of America have spoken once again! I wanted to wait to add my two cents to the rest of the pundits out there, but it seems the first wave of analysis has died down so I thought I’d kick in my views.

I know that all across the country right now some are rejoicing and all but dancing in the streets while in those same cities and towns, just down the street is weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. I’ve heard it on the news and the godforsaken talking head shows and the even MORE godforsaken talk RADIO shows that the current election results are either a positive indication that the country is moving in the right direction OR a definite sign that the Apocalypse is finally upon us!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but isn’t that pretty much what was tossed around in the LAST election?

I don’t know how any of my readers feel about the election results except for Budge and she feels the same way I do which is, so what? I have better things to do than get wrapped around the axle over one group of rich politicians leaving office to make room for another group of rich politicians to move into those offices. Yes, I voted Tuesday because it is one of the duties of a citizen and I did some research before I voted. Not everyone I voted for won and not everyone I voted for lost. In the end, though, my feelings are distinctly  . . . meh, who cares? Now I know some of you who read this blog will think I should be shot for saying that it doesn’t matter who is elected, but that is exactly what I am saying and I’ll give three reasons why:

1) No elected person, office, or group “runs the country”. Bureaucrats “run the country” and they aren’t elected, they are spawned. Just remember, no matter what party is in office, the DMV is still the DMV.

2) As a general rule, the candidates taking office aren’t that different from the candidates leaving office. One wears red and one wears blue. One rides a donkey and one rides an elephant. All that means to me is one group is a bunch of asses and the other produces a huge load of . . . stuff out the back end. All politicians are generally the same. They are wealthy enough to not have to have a real job so they have time to campaign. They are passionate about what they think is right or wrong and they have families and friends and hopes and dreams just like everyone else. (Except for Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi. I’m pretty sure they are aliens in human disguise)

3) The newly elected all have great ideas about “what they are going to do when they get to Washington!” but reality will set in for them right after the first vote on the floor of Congress. If anyone can truly be said to be in control of the US Congress, it is not the Speaker of the House or the Vice President in the Senate. Instead it is a long dead man named Henry Martyn Robert. Yes, that Robert of Robert’s Rules of Order fame. The ghost of Henry Martyn Robert will dictate who can say what and when and provide a way to block any progress at all if someone desires it.

Look at it this way. Anyone who has completed a basic course in US Civics can tell you that ANY legislation that passes through our triumvirate of branches is going to do so at roughly the same rate that pitch balls drop from the funnel in The Thomas Parnell Pitch Drop Experiment.

The US Government is woefully inefficient. A Southern Baptist church congregation can decide to change service times or musical styles faster than big, earthshaking legislation that will really affect our daily lives can pass Congress. For example, it took 79 YEARS (from 1789 to 1868) and a freaking WAR  for black people in the US to be declared citizens and even after that it took another 100 years for them to be guaranteed BASIC CIVIL RIGHTS.

It took 131 YEARS for WOMEN to be allowed to vote and they make up HALF the FREAKING POPULATION!!

Nothing gets done fast in Washington. If the Founding Fathers saw to anything, they saw to that and they had very good reason. They lived in a time when what we call dictators today were called kings and in a lot of places one man, just because of his position of birth, could have your head cut off with a single pronouncement. They knew what tyranny REALLY was and I imagine they are rolling over in their graves at the thought of a whining bunch of coddled children fussing that their government doesn’t work. Those men made sure it WOULDN’T work, except when it does.

So take a Xanax folks and be happy that we live somewhere that government change doesn’t mean riots, juntas, or widespread killings. Sure, your candidate may not have won, but I promise the Brownshirts are emphatically NOT coming for you any time soon.

For now, people, no matter WHAT any of the party pundits may say, we live in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Stop griping and enjoy it while we still can. Remember, the Greek democracies didn’t last forever; the Roman Republic didn’t last forever . . . neither will we, but til then, it’s still the greatest country — warts and all — on the planet.

Love y’all and get those feet cleaned!