Christians and Their “Sins”

Christianity as a Weapon is Against the Teachings of Jesus

I consider myself to be a Christian. I fundamentally believe that which is written in the Bible, but I am unsure of the intent of many portions of the Bible. I believe there is much that is unknown to us as well. God told us all he wanted us to know, not all He knows. I believe in science and also that science and the Bible are not incompatible with each other. I have also become a very strong and extreme believer of the very far left politically. I find no conflict between my political and my religious beliefs.

Now that you know where I stand I want to make a very clear statement to both Christians and non-Christians. Religious beliefs should NEVER be used as a weapon against any person, for any reason, in order to condemn behavior or pronounce judgement. If you believe otherwise, please show me in the Bible where Jesus granted such behavior to mankind?

You can’t, because there is no passage in the New Testament that would support the belief that you can. Jesus brought peace and love, not hate and divisiveness. For a minute, think of yourself as one of the Jews in John 8, who stand behind an adulteress they brought to Jesus. They wanted the women to be judged and stoned, as was the Law of Moses. Jesus told the Jews that “he who is without sin among you, let him cast a stone first.” In the end the Jews departed and Jesus gave the women forgiveness and told her to sin no more.

Now, how many of you Christians have no sin? I certainly have sin and I ask Jesus for forgiveness for my sins. There is not one Christian who is without sin and there never will be. We are taught that we are all sinners and that only Jesus was without sin. What do you say now about your behaviors when using Christianity against another?

You, self-described Christian, have no moral right or authority to use your Christianity against another! To do so is a sin! Religious beliefs are private. They should be, for Christians, taking the teachings of Jesus and using them to live by and whatever sins you make are a private issue between you and Jesus. No one else.

If you want to judge someone, you should judge yourself only. Then, you can take your judgements to Jesus and ask forgiveness for judging yourself (along with any sins you need to be forgiven for). Only Jesus Christ has the righteousness to judge us and he will on our judgement day. Only Jesus Christ decides whether we will be allowed in Heaven or be sent to Hell for eternity.

So, the next time you run into a person you know to be a member of the LGBTQ+ community, do not preach at them and do not condemn them when it is not your place to do so. The next time you have contact with a drunkard, do not preach at them and do not condemn them when it is not your place to do so. The next time you have contact with someone who is committing adultery, do not preach at them and do not condemn them when it is not your place to do so. Getting the picture yet?

You should properly follow the teachings of Jesus. Bring love and peace to others and let our Lord Jesus handle the rest. Be a Christian of true moral standing, not a shell to hide your self-supposed superiority. Remember what Jesus said in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

May God’s Blessings be upon you. Go in peace.

Until next time

Down, Not Out

Minimum Wage Isn’t Enough!

Capitalism is not going to work. It never has, it never will. The only winners in capitalism are the wealthy owners and shareholders filling their wallets with the profits earned by the workforce. Plus, they connive with the politicians from both parties, so they pay little to nothing in taxes.

Capitalism cares nothing for the workers beyond having them put their maximum efforts into their work so that maximum profits are earned. Unfortunately, by design, wages are kept to the absolute minimum that can be gotten away with. This leaves the society in the death grip of Capitalism.

Add into the situation the loss of jobs due to the coronavirus. Businesses have been forced to close, some permanently. In the first legislation passed to help during this pandemic, each adult received $1200.00 in a direct payment, along with $500.00 for each dependent child. Plus, every worker who lost their job would receive and additional $600.00 per week in unemployment payments over and above the unemployment pay rate. That money would be sorely needed for people to be able to for their living expenses. Also put into place by local and state authorities were moratoriums on evictions. Home foreclosures happened through law and mandates from individual States.

This was considered a lifeline to workers across America. Capitalism at it’s finest, at least in the minds of the politicians and wealthy corporation owners & stockholders. There are two issues I have with this government “aid.” First, the “benefits” expired this past Friday, July 31, 2020. No more $600.00 a week increases, throwing millions of Americans into jeopardy of being unable to sustain themselves and their families. The second issue is that had corporations been structured to reward workers, instead of enslaving them, they wouldn’t have been in such dire straits to sustain themselves and their families.

Why should workers be exploited like this? The federal minimum wage in the United States currently stands at $7.25 per hour. The highest State mandated minimum wage is $15.00 per hour in the District of Columbia. A person working 40 hours a week will, based of the two minimum wages, earn from $15.080.00 to $31,200.00 per year. Keep in mind that this is gross income. The average tax rate for all taxpayers is 21%. So, using this rate, a person has net income of $11,913.20 to $24,648.00 yearly. These amounts do not account for other variables like health insurance or retirement plans as examples.

Looking at poverty guidelines, see the chart, for 2020 shows the poverty line by the number of people in a household:

Persons in family/householdPoverty guideline
For families/households with 1 to 5 persons.
1$12,760
2$17,240
3$21,720
4$26,200
5$30,680
2020 U.S. Poverty Guidelines for 48 Contiguous States and D.C.

A single person can not survive on these wages, regardless of whether or not they are above the poverty line. Try it if you don’t believe me. If you have a family of four (2 parents with 2 children), one income will not allow a family to survive. Two jobs will be the only way to hope to survive, maybe. We are not taking into consideration the cost of living where the employee lives. New York City is going to be much more expensive compared to Rapid City, ND.

Yet, the corporations are making profits that run from hundreds of millions to billions of dollars. The owners and shareholders are making obscene amounts of money, of the backs of their workers. In 2019 Sundar Pichai, Alphabet Inc., (owner of Google) received over $280 million. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is making billions of dollars during the COVID pandemic!

Yet, workers will struggle to survive because Capitalism requires workers at slave wages. Capitalism is a economic system keeping workers in thrall. When will the lives of workers and their families become more important than the almighty Capitalist dollar?

Capitalism needs to go, the sooner the better. That or it must be turned upside down and compensate workers by giving them a voice on the boards of corporations and pay that removes the necessity of government aid just to try to survive. In addition, workers are entitled to decent housing, quality healthcare, income regardless of whether they are off sick/injured or working their job, less work hours in a week, and a fair system providing a secure retirement, among other things.

Capitalism will never value the human lives that make the owners/shareholders wealthier, while workers struggle.

So, tell me again that workers don’t need to be an extra $600.00 a week if they are currently unemployed due to the COVID-19 coronavirus? Explain how people may end up evicted and homeless or will be even more reluctant to seek medical attention and that’s okay?

Capitalism is one of the enemies that must be defeated in order to have a better America. Those ugly wealthy must pay for their exploitation of workers.

Kill Capitalism now!

Until next time

Mi Casa No Es Tu Casa

My House is Not Your House!

President Donald Trump has ordered the ending of the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) rule, turning back the clock to let lily white suburban communities be for lily whites only.

Jesse Van Tol, CEO of the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, said of the rollback that, “The president’s implication that this five-year old rule somehow ruined suburbs is both counterfactual and a transparent shoutout to white supremacists who don’t like that America’s suburbs, along with the entire country, have become more diverse.”

The rule was put in place in 2015 is for “providing its program participants (states, counties, municipalities and public housing agencies) with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.”

HUD Secretary Ben Carson stated, “After reviewing thousands of comments on the proposed changes to the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing regulation, we found it to be unworkable and ultimately a waste of time for localities to comply with, too often resulting in funds being steered away from communities that need them most…”

Discrimination in housing was first tackled by the Civil Rights Act of 1866, enacted April 9, 1866, (but not ratified until 1870) was the first United States federal law to define citizenship and affirm that all citizens are equally protected by the law. It was mainly intended, in the wake of the American Civil War, to protect the civil rights of persons of African descent born in or brought to the United States.

While the law was needed, it failed to have any way for the federal government to enforce violations of the act. This failure made the law nothing more than a sop to Black Americans, the now former slaves in the United States. With this being the case, it didn’t stop discrimination based on race. It wasn’t until the Civil Rights Act of 1968 that anything changed, or was suppose to change, as we shall see.

An NPR article in 2017, “A ‘Forgotten History’ Of How The U.S. Government Segregated America,” In 1933, faced with a housing shortage, the federal government began a program explicitly designed to increase — and segregate — America’s housing stock. Author Richard Rothstein says the housing programs begun under the New Deal were tantamount to a “state-sponsored system of segregation.”

African-Americans were left to their own devices. With the federal government blocking them from decent fair housing took different forms to keep housing segregated. The NPR article pointed out that, according to Rothstein, in his book “The Color of Law”, he “notes that the Federal Housing Administration, which was established in 1934, furthered the segregation efforts by refusing to insure mortgages in and near African-American neighborhoods — a policy known as “redlining.” At the same time, the FHA was subsidizing builders who were mass-producing entire subdivisions for whites — with the requirement that none of the homes be sold to African-Americans.

With the federal government actively segregating communities, for whatever reason(s), Black Americans didn’t stand a chance of having equal opportunities for fair treatment in housing. There is no logical reason for this other than White Americans didn’t want minorities spoiling their subdivisions in suburbia. Racism at its most blatant.

The Civil Rights Act of 1968 also enacted 18 U.S.C.§ 245(b)(2), which permits federal prosecution of anyone who “willingly injures, intimidates or interferes with another person, or attempts to do so, by force because of the other person’s race, color, religion or national origin” because of the victim’s attempt to engage in one of six types of federally protected activities, such as attending school, patronizing a public place/facility, applying for employment, acting as a juror in a state court or voting.

Specifically to housing the Act prohibited discrimination based on race, color, national origin or religion. People with disabilities and families with children were added by amendment in 1988 and gender in 1974. The Act prohibited discrimination for refusal in renting or selling a dwelling. When an individual was applying to rent or purchase a dwelling there could be no discrimination in the terms, conditions or privilege of the sale or rental of a dwelling.

There could not be any discrimination in the advertising of a rental or sale of a dwelling. There was to be no neglecting the maintenance or repairs of rental units. No type of force, intimidation, coercion, retaliation or threats against any person exercising their rights to fair housing. Further, services and amenities could not be restrictions either.

Yet, with all that covered in the Act, discrimination continued decade after decade. The law itself does not protect those in the LGBTQ+ communities. Sexual orientation and gender discrimination is covered in state laws of more than 20 states. Even with federal and state laws protecting minorities there was no stopping white communities from doing all they could to “protect” their neighborhoods.

In 2015, under President Obama, HUD issued a new regulation to implement the affirmatively furthering fair housing requirements of the Fair Housing Act. With this rule, HUD is providing its program participants (states, counties, municipalities and public housing agencies) with more effective means to affirmatively further the purposes and policies of the Fair Housing Act, Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968.

Fairness to decent housing is everyone’s right. Since the end of the Civil War it seemed that, as in other areas of American life, equal treatment to housing was just an empty promise. One only needs to look at the cities across the country that have lower income Black Americans living in housing projects in the parts of town on the “other side of the railroad tracks.”

Then, our most controversial president ever decides to roll back the 2015 rule. While in Texas on a campaign visit President Trump said, “You know the suburbs, people fight all of their lives to get into the suburbs and have a beautiful home, There will be no more low-income housing forced into the suburbs. … It’s been going on for years. I’ve seen conflict for years. It’s been hell for suburbia.” If it is hell for suburbia, image what it must be like for Black Americans and other minorities.

In other words, discrimination in housing in the white suburbs was fine. Imagine a president allowing his racist beliefs to be the basis for his decisions against minorities. Why, you may wonder? It’s likely President Trump is doing all he can to rally his poor poll numbers among suburban voting blocks. Also, he is appealing to the white supremacists that are a part of his base. He can’t hide his racist beliefs and doesn’t seem like he wants to in the end. He’s a man who believes in division and turmoil.

The crass way he has exercised his duties as President leaves no doubt that America means nothing to him. America must work to prevent him from gaining a second term in office. If we don’t, Trump will feel emboldened to treat this nation and her people as his personal servants.

Many would argue that the Republic is on it’s last legs and that now is the time for revolutionary change. Those of the younger generations believe it is right that the Democrats and Republicans relinquish their stranglehold on the country and allow a new form of government, where equality in all things is more than an empty promise. A new nation where everyone has the same opportunities, where there is sustainable use and protection of the land. A new nation in which the term “poor” does not pertain to a person’s socioeconomic status and wealth is shared among all.

It’s time in their eyes for the dinosaur to become extinct. I can’t say, after sixty years of life, that I disagree with them. It’s time for Baby Boomers to step aside and let the younger generations lead America.

Decent housing, well maintained, should be a right, not a luxury.

One last thing, remember that Black Lives Matter!

Until next time

Good Cop, Bad Cop

The Broken Trust by American Police

There are times, like the past several days since my last post, that one should stop and observe what is happening around the country. Between mainstream media and internet news organizations there is a wealth of information to look over on just about any topic.

With all that is happening in the US, from Black Lives Matter protests to the devastation being caused by the coronavirus to American lives, the economy, and the loss of faith in the actions by the federal government to get the coronavirus under control, we are lost and struggling to see a path of safety.

President Trump has released his “dogs of war” of federal law enforcement agencies on cities in the United States. In at least the city of Portland, these officers have taken unconstitutional actions, snatching people off the streets without probable cause. It has been observed that there are officers without officer and agency identification visibly displayed on their uniforms. People taken were placed into unmarked vans and driven away. This is not the way law enforcement is suppose to operate.

But it just isn’t just federal law enforcement that has been working outside the boundaries of law. There has been reporting, a lot of reporting, on the excessive use of force and brutality by police agencies around America. From the NYPD to the LAPD and in between, police officers have acted as if they are free to act as they please without repercussions.

The trust that a large portion of US citizens have in law enforcement has been broken by the methods being employed by police around the United States. It seems though that any Republican elected to state or federal governments are doing their best to distract Americans from these excesses by pointing to the violence of protests around the country. They call anyone exercising their 1st Amendment rights anarchists and criminals. The general broad brush that is used to justify unacceptable behavior by police in America is like excusing the lynching of a Black man.

There is a fairly visible record of these excesses, or more accurately brutalities, being committed. Besides the many deaths of Black Americans here are some examples from this year alone:

Is there any misunderstanding about a lot of police behavior going on in America? The above behavior isn’t to be expected of every law enforcement officer in America though. There are good cops, right?

We constantly hear that these “bad” cops are just a few rotten apples. Using that premise, we should believe that all the “good” cops, who regularly remain silent about the actions of bad cops, is an honorable, law abiding behavior. If a good cop remains silent, isn’t that good cop then being a bad cop? In fact, it happens all the time. Cops remain silent about the behavior of those of the “thin blue line,” to include supervisory officers. Where is the honorable behavior in that? So, telling us it’s only a few bad apples is a lie. Any and every officer remaining silent to actions of brutality or misconduct are just as bad as those “bad apples.”

Why should citizens trust the police to “protect and serve” when police officers won’t even protect the rights of an arrestee, or serve the public good when they use excessive force? Why should citizens trust the police when “bad apples” are continually protected by their department, the district attorney, and the police unions who insist their officers do no wrong?

There are nationwide calls for defunding and dismantling police agencies. While dismantling police agencies is not a reasonable idea, defunding police is when tied to the ideas of removing responsibilities from police agencies and shifting them to other agencies. I have written of this issue before, you can read it here.

Changing the dynamic of policing must occur in order for trust to be rebuilt between the police and public. The largest change is the stopping of abuse and brutality by police across the country, including federal law enforcement. Anyone stop and arrested by police must be done using the minimum amount of force necessary to make the arrest, which means starting – generally – with verbal deescalation. Further, once in police custody, the police must protect the arrestees’ life from all harm or death. The police must insure that the arrestees’ rights are also protected.

Police agencies have the responsibility to weed out bad cops, not protect them. Police unions have the duty to help weed out bad officers, if for no other reason than to protect the reputation of the good officers. Individual officers have the responsibility and the duty to turn in officers violating department rules & regulations and those violating the law.

If any officer can’t do their duty honorably and lawfully, then they should resign and find a new career.

Until the police are forced off their high horses and brought back to reality, we will continue to see the behaviors of excessive force and brutality.

Until next time

pitchforksandtorches image

What’s Ailing America?

It’s not just one thing

What will history say about the America of 2020? I doubt it will show the country as a shining light on the path of leadership by the supposed most powerful nation in the world. To me, it is more likely that historians will say that America was a sad failure. That seems to be all that the current government and its leadership can accomplish – failure.

At a time when there is a world pandemic striking hard at countries worldwide, a pandemic here in America that has caused over 140,000 deaths, a pandemic that caused millions to become unemployed due to the necessary shutdowns in states in order to try to mitigate the spread of the virus, a pandemic that has not stopped national outrage and protests against police brutality and systemic racism, and a pandemic with no national leadership, who do Americans turn to for help?

Political Ailments

President Donald Trump is responsible for so many dying. He has consistently undermined the steps being taken by states to contain the virus. Worse, Donald Trump feels no guilt, like every sociopath, and takes no responsibility for anything even remotely considered a negative, like coronavirus testing.

Lets be clear, President Donald J. Trump has built his administration up as being the most ineffective and inept administration in the history of America. I’ll show you why I say this.

He is a science denier when talking about climate change or the coronavirus, insisting that he knows better. As results show, quite clearly, Donald Trump doesn’t know better. Plus, I doubt he even cares.

He has shown his disregard for children of immigrants, called illegal immigrants by Trump, and locked them up in “detention centers” under horrible overcrowding and health conditions. “Detention camps” are not the words I would use to describe these facilities. They are concentration camps, defined as “a camp in which people are detained or confined, usually under harsh conditions and without regard to legal norms of arrest and imprisonment that are acceptable in a constitutional democracy.” It seems this is no longer a newsworthy issue, its been overshadowed.

On May 25th of this year Minneapolis police arrested and murdered George Floyd, a Black American suspected of passing a counterfeit $20 bill at a store. Ex-officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Mr Floyd’s neck for almost nine minutes, eventually killing Mr Floyd.

The murder of Mr Floyd evoked nationwide protests across America over his death and the systemic racism in America. The vandalism and rioting in some of the protests has resulted in further police brutality and excessive use of force. Trump has called the protestors “thugs.” The protests have been led by the Black Lives Matter (BLM) group, with White Americans supporting BLM, rather than leading, as it should be.

President Donald Trump, “attacked the Black Lives Matter movement, calling the rallying cry a ‘symbol of hate.'” Contrast this with the fact that while Trump has condemned the extreme right at times, he panders to his base by continuing his racist statements and beliefs (on the Confederate battle flag, Confederate statues, and Confederate names of military bases as examples).

Will Donald Trump be elected to a second term? Only time will tell. But, Donald Trump isn’t wasting any time in setting up his straw man should he lose to Joe Biden. He’s back to putting out, without any supporting evidence, his claim’s that voting by mail is ripe for fraud and will rig the election.

So, what is Donald Trump’s goal? Simply put, Trump is setting the stage to deny his loss to Joe Biden and illegally attempt to hold on to power. Now, if all the government officials live up to their oath to the US Constitution, Donald Trump will be forcibly removed from the White House. Joe Biden would be President and life will go on in America. Or will it?

We’ll back up just a touch to the ongoing protests in America. George Floyd’s murder was the straw that broke the camel’s back, resulting in the wide spread protests led by BLM. Black people (and other people of color) are tired of the lack of equality and are fighting for a new America. There is violence occurring at these protests not only from protestors, but from police as well.

The ongoing protests by the “thugs,” as they are labelled by Donald Trump, have brought Trump to the point where he announced that he would send in federal agencies to quell the ongoing rioting and protests. He kept his word, sending in Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies to Portland, OR. The U.S. Marshal’s Special Operations Group and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit in Portland are wearing military style camouflage uniforms that have no agency identifiers or name tags visible. All that can be seen are patches on their tactical vests of the word “Police.” These federal agents have been recorded driving up in unmarked minivans, jumping out and taking individuals into custody without stating the person is under arrest. The “suspect” is handcuffed and hustled over to the minivan and driven away from the scene of their kidnapping.

Some of those snatched off the streets, Gestapo style, have been charged with offenses and some have not. Those not charged were eventually released. This behavior by federal agents is as unconstitutional as you can get. So, one shouldn’t overlook these incidents. This is one reason why the founders of the US wrote the Second Amendment! Please don’t think this is an isolated series of incidents. Donald Trump has ordered 150 agents of DHS’ Homeland Security Investigations agents to Chicago in the near future.

Hopefully everyone knows what doing this is called? I can tell you it isn’t democracy in any form. It’s fascism. A person could surmise that this is Trump’s way of testing to see what he can get away with should he lose the election this November. Will America sit still, or will there be hell to pay.

These intrusions into American cities by federal agents won’t silence the protests. If anything, they will act as gasoline and ignite more violence and rioting. Donald Trump has made a tactical error it would seem. There is more that will open your eyes wider.

Those protestors are strong groups of primarily Millennials and Gen Zers. Their support for Black Lives Matter is clear. They will not bow down any longer to the repressive governments run by the Republicans or the Democrats. They know that the two parties of different sides of the same coin. Both have the same end goal, but have different paths to get there. These young people, of the extreme far left, see the Democrat Party as being centrist, at best, but generally right of center and not representing them and their goals. In fact, calling them socialist or communist would gain their immediate agreement. Is this truly a bad thing?

I’ve had the opportunity to speak with a Gen Z ardent activist of the extreme left political faction. This individual shall remain anonymous for their own protection. I’ll call this person “Activist Z.” Activist Z explained the ideals and goals of the movement itself.

When we observe the current political landscape of both the right and left, we see the same old battle going on. While the ideas of how to move America along may see incremental change to our way of life, it’s not good enough according to Activist Z. Bringing on those changes at a faster rate is also too slow.

Societal Ailments

When Activist Z and the others in the movement look at what America should be, they start with societal fairness, known as equality. To their belief system, whatever is needed to sustain a healthy life for all comes with certain basics. Those basics being housing for all, healthcare for all, equal education in the K-12 schooling system, food and water to comfortably sustain life, and no overblown government or capitalist organization.

Homelessness

Now, I’ll be taking these one issue at a time, starting with housing for all. In the richest nation on Earth (so we are told) there are over 560,000 people who experience homelessness every night. Over 200,000 of the homeless spend each night unsheltered (living outdoors in places not meant for human habitation). Now, don’t just see numbers, see them. These are people, human beings and they have no place to call home, like the rest of us do. Activist Z states that this would not be the case in their views. But, it’s not just the homeless. We must look to the to those living in substandard housing. Substandard housing is defined as “any condition which exists to an extent that it endangers the life, limb, property, safety or welfare of the occupants or general public.” There are about six million homes in America that are substandard. So think hard and visualize people living in those homes.

Still with me? Yes, okay. Now, according to 247wallst.com there are over 17 million vacant homes in America in 2018. Remember those 560,000 plus homeless? They could fill those homes over 30 times. Those six million substandard homes? They could be replaced 2.83 times from the vacant homes.

Activist Z shows that we have more than enough decent homes to house all of the population of America. No one should be living on the streets or in substandard housing. I have to say Activist Z has a point.

Healthcare

Now we know, without any argument, that every person in the country can be provided healthcare. No insurance necessary either. The only reason there is not healthcare for all is politics. There were 30.4 million people with no health insurance in 2018, with millions more with inadequate health insurance. If there was a national healthcare system (including dental and vision care), without any reduction of the level of services provided, then couldn’t we expect Americans to be healthier overall? We won’t know until we tried, though I don’t hesitate to say that with the current government (Democratic or Republican) it won’t get implemented equally for all Americans.

Food Security

Every member of any society should never have to suffer food insecurity, but it happens every day all around the world. With the coronavirus ravaging America there are more than 54 million people facing food insecurity, a total that includes 18 million children.

Consider that the world’s food production is sufficient to feed 10 billion people. Why then do we have so many people in America facing food insecurity? From the same article linked to in this paragraph, globally 30% to 40% of our food production is wasted every year. There should be no hunger in America, or the rest of the world for that matter.

But, when we review the topic we find that over 13.6 million children receive free breakfast and lunch meals at school. Now, no one wants to see any child go hungry, at least I hope they don’t. That’s helps children receive nutritious meals every day, however there are still children in schools that have yet to participate in the federally subsidized breakfast and lunch program. Plus, millions of children and adults don’t get three meals a day. Many parents (and other adults) don’t have enough of a paycheck to cover all their living needs, so they all go without.

Can you imagine sending your children to bed without supper because there’s no money left to buy enough food? I can’t and luckily never had to. When you wrap your head around the food insecurity issue, you can see why food security is a right, not a privilege. Every man, woman, and child should have enough nutritious food to feed themselves every single day.

Education

We all know that it is important to have children receive an education. In 2019, 58.6 million children attended elementary and secondary schools. But, do all these children receive equal education opportunity in America? Sadly, they do not. When looking at why this inequality is we see that resources is not the problem, it’s how the resources are distributed, that was reported in an article from American University in Washington D.C. in 2018. Okay, so we need to demand the inequality gap be closed, something our elected local, state, and federal leaders have failed to do in decade after decade.

If we don’t fairly educate our children in elementary and secondary school education, we then handicap them for their future, either in college or the workforce. The high school graduation rate in 2016 was 84.1%, leaving the rest as dropouts or late graduation for whatever reason.

For all the graduates of high school there are many paths they can decide to follow, such as college, vocational-technical training, and internships in many fields of endeavor. Those who enrolled in college for the Fall Semester of 2019 stood at about 18.2 million students for all 2 year and 4 year colleges and universities. Now, we have to work out a path choice for all the high school dropouts.

High school dropouts have difficulty obtaining high skilled employment. So, we find them flipping hamburgers at a fast food joint, or working in a field focused on manual labor, such as landscaping. It’s no hard to learn how to mow grass, edge lawns, and trim bushes. Most people can be taught these skills fairly fast, but the level of pay won’t come close to what college graduates make.

How do I know this? It’s because I dropped out of high school and worked menial jobs with poor pay. You look for a way out, but without a high school diploma you’re pretty much limited to a low wage “career.”

The education system needs to be set to offer an equal quality education, to include four years of college or university education. Plus, it should be free. Education beyond a four year degree can be paid for by the well educated student, using their learned skills to enter the workforce if necessary to pay for the advanced educational degree. The system must work with struggling students in high schools to get these children to not drop out of school.

What’s Left to Do

I tell you that is a great deal left to do. I’ve barely scratched the surface. There are all types of issues that will have to be worked out in the America envisioned by Activist Z and the other far left radicals (those socialist or communists that haunt our sleep). They are ready to tear down and rebuild a new America where equality will truly exist in their thinking. So much to do, but there is a part of Generation Z ready to change the nation.

Conclusion

The United States of America has stood for 244 years. Look at the mess we made. The system was rigged from the start and year after year generations of Americans have left it better off when the torch is passed to the next generation.

The political landscape in 2020 looks dismal. We have a President, along with his cabal, pretty much doing anything he wants. Laws, morals, and ethics mean nothing to Donald Trump. He’s just interested in pleasing his personal whims and having his ego stroked by his cult of followers.

There have been peaceful revolutions that changed the structure of a nation, take the old Soviet Union’s collapse as an example. Yet, history teaches us that violence and force are needed to change a nation, like the French Revolution and our own Revolution. A change in the national structure of American may end up breaking up America in to multiple nations. If the change can be done peacefully, or if it takes violent overthrow, the extreme left of Gen Z are willing to use either method. We already have 244 years of failure, so maybe Gen Z has ideas that we should accept and try.

There is no guarantee of a tomorrow in life, guarantee of a tomorrow in a nation that you knew yesterday.

I asked in the title, What’s Ailing America? I can tell you what’s ailing America, America is ailing America and her people.

Until next time

The Secret Police

Who will they come for next?

The darkness of the night was only occasionally pushed back by a streetlight. There were still people walking along the sidewalks. Down the road approached a car. It stopped between streetlights, in the shadows of the surrounding buildings. Three men stepped from the vehicle and walked over to a man nearby. The three men stopped the man and within a minute the man was pushed into the vehicle. Nothing was said to the man as he was hustled to the vehicle. The three men climbed inside and the vehicle drove off into the night.

Sounds like the activities of the Nazi Gestapo before and during World War II. Alas, this is not from World War II, but from a night in 2020 in the city of Portland, OR. Wait, what? This is America and people have rights ya know? Well, tell that to the three federal law enforcement officers in military style camouflage fatigues with no identifying patches, no name labels and only the word “Police” on the vests being wore. Nor are the vehicles marked either.

Anyone older than my old tennis shoes know that this is unlawful behavior by these federal agents, in fact unconstitutional! The subjects are not told anything. They are taken to, some have said, a federal building. Some are charged with a crime, some are not. For those not charged there is no record of an arrest. Uncharged individuals are later released without any explanation at all. This gives Department of Homeland Security “plausible deniability” or, in other words, it never happened.

DHS Emblem

Chad Wolf, acting DHS Director visited Portland and labelled all the protestors as anarchists. This is a tactic to dehumanize the protestors and insinuate that the protests are unlawful. Pray tell, what are the crimes of these “anarchists”? Spray painting graffiti on federal buildings, some vandalism and trespassing. Obviously dangerous felons.

Who’s responsible for the Gestapo-like tactics? It can only be Donald Trump, our fascist president. He’s stepped over the line, again, in his actions as president. When he got static from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff about using military personnel against US citizens, he chose a different group to go after US civilians.

I have to wonder what’s next? Will there be other cities where Trump’s Gestapo dogs whisk people off the streets? When it comes to Donald Trump anything is probable. As for his goons, they have violated their oath to protect and defend the Constitution and the rights contained therein. They fit right in as a part of the over militarized police forces in the country. They are uncaring of their tactics and only act, just point and off these federal hounds go.

If the goal is to put fear in the hearts of protestors, it won’t stop the protests. In all likelihood it will stiffen the protestors resolve all across America to continue the struggles against systemic racism and government oppression. Donald Trump fails, as he does in so many things, to grasp the depth of commitment of all the people protesting and supporting the protests.

But, what should the people do about these tactics? If you see it occurring, record it. Yell for the detained individual to shout out their name. Write down or record license plates of the unmarked vehicles being used by the federal agents. Notify the press of the incident and also get it out on the internet. Notify Democratic members of Congress and ask for them to demand answers from the Department of Homeland Security. Most of all, as scary as it is, don’t let it stop demands for change. It sure won’t get the public to trust the police.

Time will tell whether or not other cities have DHS agents playing Gestapo. I guess it depends on how much Donald Trump likes what he ordered done to the civilians of the cities. President, using the term loosely, Trump has a lot to answer for, either now or at some future date.

Until next time

“It’s Freedom of Speech”

President Trump says of the Confederate Flag

This is not the article I planned for today, but this article reflects current news reports. Today’s article will actually cover two topics.

President Donald Trump spoke to the issue of the Confederate battle flag when asked a question during an interview with CBS News’ Catherine Herridge, as published by Politico.

When Herridge asked Trump for his view on the Confederate battle flag, he responded, “I know people that like the Confederate flag, and they’re not thinking about slavery”. He went on to speak about NASCAR recent prohibition that the flag is not allowed, in any form, at NASCAR raceways. Trump also said it was free speech.

CSA Battle Flag

While Trump is correct that people have the right to believe in and display the Confederate battle flag, it is a symbol of slavery. By extension, those who support the Confederate battle flag believe in all that the, long dead, Confederate States of America stood for. This includes slavery! They’ll lie to high heaven that it’s not true and that they are not racists, both of which are outright lies. Supporting the Confederate battle flag would, logically, make one surmise that those supporters want the return of the Confederacy, slavery and all. Comparing this flag with BLM, which Trump did, is abhorrent. BLM is a movement to gain full civil rights and treatment for Black Americans. Oppression on the one hand, rights on the other. They are not the same.

The Time Has Come

America needs to start over

I started my adult life as a strong conservative and registered Republican. It was the 80’s, Ronald Reagan was President, and the country was starting to have hope of better lives for all. I was young, likely too idealistic, and willing to trust the GOP to get the country back on it’s feet and running smoothly in a post Vietnam America. I never took a deeper look at society, preferring to surf along the top of the water. I stayed this way for the 12 years of Republican leadership. I ignored those parts of the party platform I didn’t agree with. Like I said, just surfing along.

Then comes the elections for 1992. George H. W. Bush was running for a second term. Bill Clinton was his Democratic opponent. There was a division of thought for me at this point. I wasn’t thrilled with George H. W. Bush. At one time he’d been the head of the CIA. I’m no fan of the James Bonds of the world, though I understand it’s necessary to have them – unfortunately. I was souring on the GOP, so in the end I voted for Bill Clinton and switched over to the Democratic Party. I stayed there for four years.

I voted for Clinton the second time too, but I stepped out of party politics and became an Independent. I saw garbage in both parties and started on the road of picking who I felt could do the job better, regardless of party affiliation. I became very tired of the two party lock on the government. The two party system was pushing the country to the same outcome, with just a little variation on how the country gets there. They are still doing so and won’t stop. It’s become a political cold war in the US.

Now here I am in the year 2020. George W. Bush had two terms in office, then Barack Obama had two terms as well. GW Bush pulled the country into an unending war with Afghanistan, as well as Iraq. Barack Obama, our first Black American president, continued allowing the wars to continue. He has, to his credit, shown Americans a different face to politics. But, alas, we then get Donald Trump as president.

Under Donald Trump we have become a very fractured nation. A deadly pandemic, social unrest and protest, an economy that has crashed, and a “dictator” in the Oval Office. What shall become of America? I don’t know.

I will tell you this, the last 3 1/2 years have slowly changed my political outlook. I see the deep systemic racism in the US. It’s always been there, but the murder of George Floyd by four Minneapolis Police have brought into very clear view of all of America. Protests hit cities all across the country, demanding change. Demanding their rights once and for all. Many White Americans, myself included, support the movement for Black Americans to obtain ALL the rights due them as an American. This and the reactions of the government and President Trump have pushed me, with the help of two young citizens, into a more radical left point on the political spectrum.

I think it’s time to tear this old shack of a nation down and build a new house. Not all at once, but piece by piece. We can do it now at our choosing or do it when it is thrust upon us all at once. What’s your preference?

Until next time

cop car

They Do, But They Really Don’t

Defund and Disband the Police

From the younger and more progressive generations (2nd half of the Millennial and beyond) want to defund the police in the US. But, really they don’t. What they want to do is disband the police system and do without it. They have agreed to defund police as a compromise to the older generations.

I had a discussion today with a young person of Generation Z, who patiently explained to me how the police be should disbanded and replaced with a different system that would remove the need for the police to patrol the streets of America.

In this article I will look at how the current policing model can be changed. Remember that currently policing is reactive, not proactive. That tells us that the motto “to protect and serve” doesn’t mean what it says. Keep in mind that these suggestions are not all inclusive. What I present is the framework that can be built.

To begin, I will pick apart crimes and how they could be handled differently. Most crimes are over by the time police are notified and can arrive at the scene. With that being the case, why do we need police officers to respond? With the appropriate training in investigating, interviewing, and report writing, a non-police officer can respond and document the crime. A trained crime scene technician would also respond to collect any evidence. This would meet the needs of the citizens in the community. With this model, any crime can be handled regardless of what the specific crime is, like theft, burglary, robbery, murder, etc.

But what if the crime is still in progress? In the new paradigm I currently envision (meaning I can adapt to better ideas), that there would be a small team of sworn & armed police officers that would respond. This small team, say five officers, would secure the scene and if required, take any offender into custody. Then the scene would be turned over to the civilian “investigator” and the crime scene technician. The team of officers would depart to handle any other duties they are assigned.

Okay, but what about crimes like domestic disturbance calls? When the call comes to the dispatch center, the dispatcher would determine key information. That information would include whether or not the other involved party is still on scene and whether or not weapons are involved or present at the scene. If there are weapons involved, send the team of officers to secure the scene. Then a trained crisis intervention worker would take over and handle the problem. If necessary, a crime scene technician would also respond to collect evidence.

Yes, but who is going to handle all the crazy drivers on the streets? I’ll answer by saying we can use alternative enforcement. License plate scanners and cameras can “catch” violators. Then a ticket can be sent in the mail to the vehicle’s registered owner. If the registered owner denies driving the vehicle at the time of the violation, it wouldn’t matter. They are the registered owner, so they get the ticket. In the future they should be more selective over who uses their vehicle.

Sounds reasonable so far, but what about people who have warrants out for their arrest? How is that going to be handled. My answer is that most people will appear in court, especially after the justice system has been overhauled so that there is no disparity in “punishments.” While this is a topic all on its own, I will say that any violent/dangerous offenders can be handled by the police officer team (unless or until a better option comes to light).

As you can see this basic outline for handling crime in the community is accomplished with no heavy-handed ways from over militarized police agencies. There would be no unions to shield officers and interfere with the operations in this policing paradigm.

These aspects would be good steps towards a viable new policing paradigm. Police budgets would be cut down, with the money going to other areas in a community. More money to social services, education opportunities, and job training programs for instance. Money could be spent to fight poverty, improve living conditions, help first-time home buyers even. There are probably many more areas that would benefit as well. Careful planning is paramount to successfully creating this new paradigm. Plus, we must remain willing to change and adapt as better ideas and options present themselves.

This new policing paradigm would report to a civilian oversight committee representing all the different segments of the citizenry. Accountability must be removed from a internal organizational chain of command. The “Chief of Police” would answer to the oversight committee. Transparency of all aspects of the paradigm would have the goal of gaining and maintaining the trust of the community. The people must know and see accountability working to keep policing as is done using the practices of being fair, firm, and consistent.

The time has come for the next evolution of policing in America. Are you ready for change?

Until next time

Woman pulling her hair out

White America Mental Illness?

Or, What the Hell is Wrong People?

I am mystified over the seeming illness of White people in our country since the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. With much of America up in arms protesting police brutality and the systemic racism, there seems to be a number of white people who have lost their minds and done so in public.

We had Amy Cooper, a White woman, calling 911 on a Black man, Christian Cooper, who was out in Central Park bird watching, because Mr Cooper asked her to leash her dog (which is required in NYC). Somehow Amy Cooper felt threatened and called police. The police that respond to this heinous crime did nothing, explaining it was nothing more than a verbal dispute.

Now, we pop over to Auburn Hills, MI, to a Walmart parking lot. A Black women slapped the back of a vehicle that was backing up out of a parking space. This was done, allegedly, to keep the driver from continuing to back up, which would have hit her daughter. Of course this is where things really go downhill. The driver, a White woman, jumps out of her vehicle and confronts the Black woman and her family, brandishing a handgun that she was pointed at the Black Woman. What the hell? How does this white woman feel the use of a handgun is necessary? Apparently the White woman is yelling and screaming obscenities. Of course the police show up, at which time the White woman is taken in to custody (and later released).

Next we are in Montclair, NJ, where a White woman flips out. Susan Schulz, the White woman, who confronts her next door neighbor, a Black couple, by coming onto the neighbor’s property demanding to know if there was a permit, or if a permit was required, for the stone patio the couple were putting in. Her neighbors happened to be lawyers and were, apparently, not providing acceptable responses to this nut. So, nutty woman calls police and falsely claims that they had pushed her. While waiting for the cops, Susan tries to get White neighbors to back up what she said to police. Cops arrive, Susan gives them her story. Unfortunately for Susan, her White neighbors didn’t back up her story, instead supporting the Black couple’s explanation.

It seems White American, primarily women from what I’ve read, are somehow intimidated by Black Americans. They lose whatever common sense they have and publicly make asses of themselves. Is there something in the water? Is the air they are breathing tainted with a stupidity ingredient that makes them fall off sensibility mountain? I dunno folks, but it seems like to me that Whites are plain old idiots.

It’s not just against Black Americans people are “going off” on. There are many examples of White men and women going crazy over being required to wear a mask by business owners. These “patrons” make asses out of themselves with their yelling and screaming about their “rights”, which they are completely ignorant of when the US Constitution’s Amendments can be used. Maybe the government is seeding some whites only chemical in the air to cause white people to flip out.

Whatever it is making them climb up on the public hill of stupidity, it makes us regular White Americans just sigh and shake our heads at the lunacy. I don’t know, is there any way to resign as a White American? If so, where do I sign?

Until next time