Archive for July, 2009

AMERICA IS A RACIST POLICE STATE AND THE PRESIDENT OF THE USA IS A VICTIM

Friday, July 31st, 2009

     Last week in Cambridge MA, a police officer, Crowley, answering a call about a possible break-in of a house, found an African Professor at Harvard, Gates, was both the suspect and the legal resident of the house.  Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story.

     As sometimes happens, the police officer took exception to the professor’s vigorous expression of indignation at being accused of breaking into his own home and to get even, the officer enticed the professor to step outside onto his porch steps where he cuffed the professor and took him to jail for disorderly conduct; the charges of disorderly conduct could not be sustained and the professor was released without being charged of any crime.  Unfortunately that is not the end of the story.

     At a new conference, a news reporter asked President Obama to comment on the episode, since Professor Gates was an acquaintance of the President, and the President expressed the opinion that the officer had acted stupidly since the professor was not guilty of any crime.  The President, who is mulatto, has been greatly criticized by primarily Caucasian Americans for expressing his opinion raising the issue of racial profiling.  Unfortunately that is not the end of the story and it appears there is no end to the story.  Everyone is getting into the act and therefore, I am herein expressing my own opinion.

     My personal experience dictates that there are no two other professions filled with more arrogance than university professors and police officers.  Actually, I have been a university professor and on occasion have engaged in some interaction with police officers.  Personally, my philosophy has been that I realized that the police officers always carry a badge and gun and college professors do not; don’t argue with them, fear them.  However, I am not surprised at all that Crowley and Gates confronted each other.

     It does worry me to know that not all police officers are honorable and deserving of having the title of officer-of-law and responsible enough to be carrying a badge and gun; that is scary.  Truthfully, not all professors of a university are deserving of their title either, but fortunately they are not entrusted with carrying a badge or gun though they are capable of doing great damage to students with their arrogance; that is also scary.

     While I was writing this post, a news item came up on the internet about a White reporter, Pepin Tuma, being arrested for disorderly conduct in Washington D.C. for uttering in public within earshot of a policeman that “I hate Police”, while the reporter was discussing the Gates-Crowley issue while walking with a friend.  The reporter was cuffed and jailed for disorderly conduct and got out on $35 bail.

Disorderly Conduct: Coversation About Gates Arrest Precedes Arrest. At:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/29/disorderly-conduct-conver_n_246794.html?view=print

     Actually, it occurred to me that people getting arrested and thrown in the pokey for “disorderly conduct” happens much, much too often to satisfy me that it is really necessary, but I also know that am too scared to express my concern; I am absolutely convinced that police officers are vindictive.

 

      Once while I was in the military, I was arrested unjustly by military police and taken to the pokey, held, and then released without being changed with any wrongdoing; that was a very unpleasant experience for me.  Perhaps that is why I tend to agree with Professor Gates and President Obama.

 

      What is most amazing to me is that the President’s remarks and the arrest of Professor Gates has been used by everyone in America to stoke their own hate and obsessions with racial overtones.  Almost every Caucasian friend or relative that I have discussed the issue with has said that the President and Professor Gates was wrong.  I keep wondering what in the name of God either the professor or the President did that was wrong; it was the professor that was put in the pokey but no charges were filed and all the President said was that the officer acted stupidly for arresting someone who had not broken the law.  To me, this is a good example of how racist America is and what a police state it has become.  I weep for the American democratic Republic.

     Someone sent me a link to the Chicago Tribune and a column about the issue by writer John Kass entitled “Teaching on tap at the White House confab”:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/columnists/chi-kass-30-jul30,0,915294.column

      It is conceded that I am prejudice of Kass’s writing; I have never read a Kass column that I thought had any real value.  Because the Chicago Tribune allows comments on its writers opinion it publishes and since I had strong feelings about the Gates/Crowley issue I made a few comments along with a couple of hundred others (most all supporting Kass and Officer Crowley) that I will share here.

      Comment 1: “Teaching on tap at the White House confab” by Kass was sent to me to read and I did, since I have a vested interest in both teaching and the White House.  But after finishing, for the life of me, I had no idea what Kass was trying to say.  His purpose and style of writing appear to be that he can take any incident and make it look like the Democrats and the President of the United States are members of the John Dillinger gang and puppets of the Daley political cartel, which are apparently Kass’s obsessions. Kass’s writing has no apparent purpose, other than to satisfy the appetite of the lunatic Republican Right Wing-Nut racists’ crowd out for liberal blood.  Kass’s perchance for research on racial profiling appears to be limited to his own feeble thinking and the Associated Press.  After reading Kass’s baloney about Hawaiian kings, Rev. Jackson, and Bud Light I could only wonder what the title, “Teaching on tap at the White House confab” was all about except the President of the United States having a fondness for Bud Light.  Kass’s byline should read JACK kASS.

      Comment 2:  From the U.S. Constitution Bill of Rights:

“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.”

       Officer Crowley had no warrant or cause (no charges) and not only acted stupidly by jailing Professor Gates, he violated the US Constitution and appears to be guilty of false arrest.

       Why would the Cambridge Brotherhood of Police Officers demand an apology from the President of the United States for saying Crowley acted stupidly?  Does it have anything to do with the organization publically endorsing John McCain for President in 2008?

     Comment 3: How do you describe police behavior, when a White Cambridge police officer enters a Black Harvard professor’s home without an invitation or a warrant and the police officer, after the professor identified himself as rightful resident, cuffs the professor and takes him to jail for disorderly conduct because the professor did not show proper respect for the police and was indignant that police intruded on his residence without a justifiable purpose and warrant.  The disorderly conduct charges cannot be sustained and no other charges are filed against the professor.  Personally, I think the police officer acted stupidly and if any President of the United States would disagree with me, I would have been ashamed.

     In San Diego, we had an incident that particularly infuriated me.  A local woman had a fundraiser for a female Democratic candidate at her home.  One neighbor shouted epithets at participants attending making disparaging remarks about Democrats and lesbians (the home owner is purported to be lesbian).  Other neighbors had no complaints about noise.

 

      An unknown caller made a 911 call to police about noise and a policeman was dispatched.  The policeman evidently found no excessive noise but was planning to write a “warning” (assuming that a warning is not a charge of a crime).  The owner of the house identified herself amid a crowd of her friends and the police officer asked the woman her age.  She wanted to know why providing her age was necessary and the police officer did not reply.

 

      When she turned to walk away, the police officer grabbed her arm, threw her to the floor, cuffed her, and pepper sprayed her and her guests who trying to defend her; the frightened officer also called for police backup reinforcements.  Eight police cars and a helicopter were dispatched to subdue a 62 year old lady alleged to be a lesbian and had committed no crime.  The only charge filed against the woman was obstructing and officer from apprehending her for doing nothing wrong.

     The police officer does not dispute the facts of the case but he only insists that he was simply doing his duty (?).   It is debatable whether or not the local police are doing Lesbian profiling or Democrat profiling since it seems obvious that local police do not much care for either gays or Democrats.

 

     The local newspaper, which is biased a little to the Right of Attila the Hun has editorialized and supported the police officer for doing his duty (?); most of the people in San Diego are enraged by this police behavior but apprehensive about what police would do if the people actually expressed their opinion.

 

      Personally, I have concerns that my American democratic Republic is becoming a police state to be feared.  What has happed to the image of the policeman helping kids and old people across the street?  Is it because police today are White, straight, Republican, and filled with hate?

THINGS TO DO TODAY

Thursday, July 30th, 2009

 The Democratic Party and the voters must absolutely provide consequences for “Blue Dog Democrats” in Congress who have been bought by health insurers to destroy the universal health care promised to American voters.

The American Physician Lottery and Health Care Reform

Tuesday, July 28th, 2009

     My cousin wrote to me about her concern regarding the current health care reform.  Her problem was legitimate and the resolution for her concern has not been adequately addressed by voters, politicians, or the health care industry.  The resolution requires more than anything else, some thought by American citizens as voters and conveying those thoughts to their elected officials.

     My cousin wrote, “This is what I am experiencing now.  I am still having a problem getting a doctor’s appointment and I pay $400 a month for my health care to Blue Cross Blue Shield (in addition to Medicare).  What will it be like when there is so-called health care for everyone; there will not be enough doctors.  I am just scared at what will happen?”

     Here is my reply based on what I have learned over the years as an educator and what I know for a fact:

 

My dear Cousin,

     Here is the reason for your problem of not being able to get a doctor’s appointment when you want and need it.  American physicians and their American Medical Association know that in a capitalistic society like America that is driven by competition and supply and demand, the fewer doctors there are in America, the higher the fee that American doctors can charge.  If there are too few physicians in America, Americans are willing to pay higher fees than if there were a dearth of physicians practicing medicine.  If there are too few physicians in America, even the lousy doctors can make big money from their fees because the lousy doctor is the only physician available to people who can’t wait for or afford a better doctor.

 

     Now the problem is not just capitalism; capitalism is not inherently bad.  The truth is simply that uncontrolled capitalism can and does create some horrible social problems.

 

     Americans actually give physicians a monopoly on health care by statutory law, so that a registered nurse cannot even dispense an aspirin to a patient and anyone giving medical advice is practicing medicine without a license and is a criminal; in exchange for the monopoly that voters have given physicians, the physicians give up nothing to the voters in return.  Medical doctors can pretty well operate as they choose and charge whatever fees they want.  Doctors basically enjoy an unfettered monopoly, capitalism, and medical practice.

     During my lifetime as student, as a teacher, and as a college administrator, I encountered thousands and thousands of capable compassionate students who desperately wanted to be a physician and had devoted their life and talent to becoming a doctor and yet were never admitted to medical school because the number of students admitted to medical school was and is severely limited.  Furthermore, those lucky students to be admitted to medical school are not necessarily the students who will make the best or most compassionate doctors; the means and methods of determining which students are admitted to medical school are not necessarily entirely fair or objective. 

     Medical schools (even those of the State Universities) are also capitalistic in design and dependent upon funding; and, if the father of a student applying for medical school is a big donor to the medical school you can be assured that the son or daughter of the wealthy donor will have a better chance of being admitted to the medical school than an equally talented but poor student who must depend on big student loans just for their tuition.

     The only solution to the problem of not having an adequate number of physicians to provide care for a growing population is for America to invest in Federal public funded medical schools that maintain high standards based on fair and objective entrance requirements.  Americans need to understand that there is only one purpose for government of any kind; the only purpose for government is to provide for citizens, those things that citizens cannot provide for themselves, and that includes adequate health care. 

     Many Americans who believe that public education is socialism and the only ‘good’ schools are private schools, continue to object to Americans creating their own medical schools and providing an adequate source of physicians to serve the people; the American Medical Association and most (but not all) physicians oppose the concept of the Federal government creating quality medical schools, to resolve the problem of not having an adequate number of qualified physicians in America. 

     As an educator, I can personally attest to the fact that there are more than enough competent and talented students in America that are capable of and would become excellent, compassionate physicians if they were given the opportunity and were admitted to medical school.  They are currently being deprived of that opportunity by a majority of the existing physicians, the American Medical Society, seemingly the Republican Party, and generally the same people who are opposed to universal health care (because creating more physicians is one necessary component of adequate health care reform in America).

     Billions of dollars are being spent today to convince Americans that universal health care and health care reform is ‘bad’ and ‘wrong’ and ‘unnecessary’.  All of the money being spent to oppose health care reform and buying favors of Members of Congress is coming from the profits of health insurance companies (from the people’s premium costs) and from greedy physicians (from medical fees the people pay).  The number of opponents of universal health care and reform are a small, wealthy minority of Americans but they have the abundance of money to ‘purchase’ favorable legislation from Congress that they require to fill their own pockets; meanwhile, the vast majority of Americans are being bankrupt by excessive costs of health care or simply cannot afford any kind of health care and are a burden to welfare agencies funded by taxpayers, the people.

     In these times of financial crisis in America, the public has demanded that labor, labor unions like the United Auto Workers, and teachers and other government workers take huge cuts in pay and income, as the patriotic thing to do, in order see America through our national financial crisis; however doctors, insurance companies, hospital administrators and other medical care workers have not offered nor been asked to make any monetary sacrifice whatsoever to resolve a health care crisis; neither does the health care industry offer any solution to the exorbitant price of the medical care to the people.  Is it because the health care industry and capitalism is more sacred in America that the health and welfare of the people?

     In reflecting on the monumental health care problems facing America, consider what it would mean to individual Americans to have twice the number of physicians that exist in American today, or three times the number of physicians that exist today and think about what the cost would be for increasing the number of doctors in America compared to finding ways of funding the increasing costs of health care insurance.  It would behoove Americans to consider the possibility of creation of more physicians to treat the ill health of Americans, rather than allowing the lobbyists and the costly propaganda of the health care industry to do their thinking for them.

    While Americans are in the thinking mode, perhaps they should think about what the end results would have been if America would have spent all the money an unnecessary War in Iraq (there were no weapons of mass destruction) and instead had invested the funds to create medical schools and do research on HIV and cancer for America?  Perhaps Americans should compare the amount of money that health insurance companies receive in profits and money spent on CEO salaries to the amount of money our Federal Government does not spend creating medical schools and doing research into resolving the mysteries of HIV infection and cancer.

     America seems to have abdicated thinking on their own and have relied entirely on the media to do their thinking; at the same time, American media relies solely for their profits on the satisfaction of advertisers who represent the health care industry and the military industrial complex.  

     The final word for resolving any of America’s problems is who is doing America’s thinking, the voters or media advertisers, the health care industry, the military-industrial complex, and Congress?

Some Thoughts About Universal Health Care for Americans, or Not!

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

The health care insurance industry has spent as much money to defeat the proposed new Universal Health Care program as it would take to fund the program; are Americans efficient or not? 

In this last year of the 2008 Depression, as good American patriots, auto workers had to take cuts in pay and government workers have had to take a cut in pay because of the financial crisis, but health care in America continues to increase in cost as it has for years and is now unaffordable, but physicians have never offered to lower their fees in an act of American patriotism; actually, physicians and the health care industry have been spending a ton of their profits, from treating patients, to convince Congress they should not enact legislation to help Americans to have affordable health care insurance.

 

Thirty-one percent of American health insurance costs is administrative overhead (read profit) and the Republican Congressmen are saying universal health care would be too expensive for America; yet those same Congressmen have filled their campaign coffers with contributions from American health insurance companies, so isn’t that part of the reason universal health care is too expensive for America?

 

Communist Cuba spends a lot of its revenue on medical schools training doctors and as a result have enough physicians to provide health care within walking distance for all the people of Cuba; there are so many competing doctors in Cuba that a physician’s services are far less costly than they are in the USA; is that a bad idea?

 

It is a well known fact that in order to receive the benefits that Americans have already paid health insurance companies to  provide, those same premium paying Americans are required to sue the insurance companies to get their benefits; the evidence of proof is carefully written in the opinions of the courts, from lawsuits the health insurance companies have lost.  Americans who died because they did not receive their benefits however, have no way of telling their story.

 

Strange that the Americans who need universal health care the most are often the same people who oppose universal health care on the grounds it might be socialistic; strange that Americans are so brain-washed about capitalism versus socialism that they would rather die for lack of health benefits, than receive health care that they have paid for with their taxes.  Capitalism is not mentioned in the American Constitution; “in capitalism we trust” is not printed on American money.

 

“In God we trust”, is printed on all American money but forty percent of Americans do not have enough of that money to afford health insurance; does that mean that Americans put their trust in the wrong entity relating to health care?  

Notes From My Desk 07-18-09

Sunday, July 19th, 2009
The latest game in the Nation’s capital is called “Wise Latino Woman Versus Stupid Republican White Men”
 
The Pope slipped and broke his wrist, which goes to prove that no one is infallible.
 
Walter Cronkite died today and Fox News commented on the passing of the gay, Muslim, Communist broadcaster; goodnight and good luck.
 

TEACHER BASHING: a sport enjoyed by selected newspaper editors

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

     From 1956 until 1987, I taught and administered programs in public education in San Diego California.  Today, California is beset by a tax funding crisis.  The primary cause is a Constitutional change 32 years ago when unscrupulous people convinced voters that they should vote for an initiative, Proposition 13, and restrict the use of property tax for support of schools and police and fire protection and lower real estate tax; Proposition 13 also did away with the reassessment of real property every three years, and caused severe inequities and further loss of revenue from real estate tax.  The public schools suffered the greatest and the author of Proposition 13, Howard Jarvis, told the people that it would have no affect on their schools; Jarvis lied.

      After 32 years of wealthy real estate owners not paying their fair share of taxes, the State of California is now bankrupt and the schools are being denied even minimal funding.

     The local newspaper, the San Diego Union Tribune, appears to have a vendetta against public schools and its teachers.  Despite the fact the schools received less than the Constitutional allotment of funding, the newspaper claims that teachers and their union has bullied the School Board into over spending.  It is ridiculous to say the problem is overspending when schools are under funded; but the newspaper has been venomous in their teacher bashing of late.  The paper has become a fanatic teacher hater and it is difficult to understand why.  It should be noted that the people of San Diego have always supported and been proud of their schools and I was always proud to have been a part of public education in San Diego.

     It seems to me that the editors and writers of the San Diego Union Tribune must either have had a traumatic experience in the public schools, been abused by a teacher, or they believe the public schools are a socialistic entity that California should eliminate.  Whatever their reason, I have had enough.

     I composed this letter to the editor, which I assume will never be published and therefore am posting it here to publicize my reaction to the problem.  Here is the letter:

 

Dear Editor,

     It is with mixed emotion that I watch the demise of the daily newspaper, in San Diego and America; I have always had great admiration for journalism and as a public school teacher believed that the daily newspaper was but another educator of the public.  Lately, I have been reconsidering my evaluation of the San Diego Union-Tribune newspaper, because of the unwarranted and venomous attacks on public schools and teachers by the Editor and writer Chris Reed.

     I am a retired San Diego, public school teacher.  Throughout my working years (1956-1987), the huge majority of San Diego people and voters have treated me with respect and reacted favorably when their public schools needed their vote to increase their taxes for the schools back in the 50s and 60s when schools faced overcrowding.

     In 1956, my classes averaged 45-48 students per classroom; only a teacher can know that with 45 students in a class, teaching becomes exceedingly stressful and each student obviously get less personal attention than they need.  My colleagues and I accepted the challenge of the rising numbers of students of the baby boomer generation; we taught classes of unwieldy size.  Keep this in mind, never in my public school teaching career did I ever feel that I was bilking the public or that I was overpaid.  I felt that a teacher had a fiduciary responsibility to taxpayers and I still believe that.

      The editorial policy of the San Diego Union Tribune would have the public believe that my colleagues and I, and our ‘union’, are committed to greedily filling our pockets with the taxpayers money and that we bully the government into bankruptcy with our power; the Union Tribune would have the public believe that we have no interest in providing education for our students and we have failed in providing adequate education for San Diego students.

     The San Diego Union is wrong, and I would encourage the Union Tribune editors to attend my students’ 50th High School Reunion next month and take a look at how successful San Diego students have been; look also at any of my former students who are not in attendance at their reunion because they are incarcerated in prison or because they died valiantly defending the nation during its many wars over the last half decade.

    The success of teachers is measured by the success of their students and not by their performance on standard achievement tests; students are human beings and not statistics.

     In 1978, the State of California had a surplus in its treasury and the State was number one in America for dollars spent per public school student.  The passage of Proposition 13 in that year devastated the status of public education in California and seriously damaged State’s funding for schools, fire and police protection, and other necessary State services.  Today, the State of California and public education is in a budgetary crisis.  Schools in California are now last or near last in dollars per student spent on public school students annually.

     At the same time, it appears to me that the only reason that the San Diego Union newspaper prospered at any time in its existence is because public school teachers taught their students to read the newspaper.  Where would the Union Tribune be without public school teachers?  It hardly behooves the San Diego Union Tribune to engage in public school teacher bashing.

     Let the public decide.  If the public would wake up tomorrow morning and there would be no San Diego Union Tribune morning newspaper, how would the public feel, compared to waking up tomorrow morning and discovering that there were no public school teachers for our city? 

      Personally, I am ready to cancel my own newspaper subscription; of all people, I don’t need public school teacher bashing.

What is the Value of a Public School Teacher?

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

by a public school teacher, retired    

     As a school teacher my entire life, it frankly bugged the heck out of me to be constantly berated and disparaged for my profession by a significant portion of the population, some of whom were actually elected to public office.  These people, based on their own assessment of themselves, appear to be considered honorable people; I, of course, disagree.  I will not name names, but among these bonkers people are editors of the local newspaper and the local Congressman who was elected in spite of my vote.

     “A teacher doesn’t have to work; he is a teacher” is one of the frequent humorous references made about those of my chosen profession.

     “A teacher only works 5 hours a day,” I often heard, along with, “Teachers only work 9 months out of the year.”

     Studies indicate that the average teacher spend 60 hours a week in work related activity; personally, I devoted more than 60 hours a week to teaching and that is a fact and not an estimate.  About working only 9 months out of the year, I would hurriedly respond, “Actually, teachers are only paid, 9 months out of the year,” and quickly add that, “Unfortunately, most teachers developed a bad habit of eating 12 months out of the year.”  

     The truth is that teachers are unemployed 3 months of the year but they usually are required to take a summer job at McDonald’s to survive the summer of unemployment, serving hamburgers to accountants and department store managers who have to work all twelve months of the year.

     “Teachers are not held accountable,” is one of the current complaints heard from a range of people from a soccer mom to bank teller to the President of the United States, all of whom are totally ignorant of what teaching is all about.  Unless you have actually been alone in a classroom full of students and been held responsible for their education, their welfare, and their physical being, you do not know squat about teaching. 

     For the uninformed, let me clearly state that standard achievement tests for students are tests for measuring achievement of students and that is not the same as measuring the teaching ability of their teachers.  Students are human beings and not statistics; teachers are human being, really, and not student statistics.  The best measure of the ability of a teacher would be to attend that teacher’s students’ 30th high school reunion; also, be sure to take into account those not attending because they are incarcerated in the State Prison or because they were killed while heroically defending the United States of America from some Third World’s Nation’s weapons of mass destruction.

     As a teacher, I get sick and tired of the local newspaper editor writing editorials about the extravagance of teachers costing the taxpayers too much money, the school budget should be cut again this year, and the National Teachers’ Association is a union of a bunch of greedy teacher thugs demanding excessive pay without any consideration for the welfare of their students.  It gripes me that my Congressman complains about public school teachers filling their student’s mind with radical ‘liberal’ ideas like, “the American democratic Republic is a nation of the people, by the people, and for the people!”

     When it comes to ‘push or shove’, which do the American public trust most, their local newspaper editor, their Congressman, or their public school teacher.  Based on my profound knowledge of the subject, I am confident that that a majority of the people would trust their newspaper editor or Congressman more than their public school teacher.  After all, the local newspaper editor and Congressman tell the public every day that they cannot trust their public school teacher.

     Just for fun and folly, I would like to propose a question for the public; how would the public feel, if tomorrow morning when they woke up, there were no more public school teachers in the world?  Think about it.  Now, think about what the public would feel if when they woke up tomorrow morning, there would be no more local newspaper editors in the world or there would be no more Congressmen in the world?

     Well, that is a lousy public school teacher for you; always asking a trick question.

 

 

Please Recognize: Michael Jackson is Dead and May He Rest In Peace!

Friday, July 10th, 2009

      Recently I received from a friend, a copy of a commentary by John Kass of the  Chicago Tribune entitled “Deification of Jackson as the Creep He Was”.  I appeared obligated to read it, though I had quit reading about Mr. Jackson’s death, days ago.  After a quick read, I couldn’t believe that a respected newspaper like the Tribune would actually publish this prurient drivel; nothing could convince me that there was any justification for the perverted author writing this seamy commentary.

     Kass reminds the readers: “The little boys Jackson would sleep with, and the wine or ‘Jesus juice’ he allegedly offered to one child, according to testimony in Jackson’s 2005 sexual molestation trial that ended in acquittal. And that $20 million he paid another family after similar allegations.”

      These accusations of lascivious behavior filled the press and TV screen for weeks, four years ago, and the world, or at least I did, had tired of it then.  Kass rightly states that Michael Jackson was acquitted.  The American democratic Republic is a nation of law.  Whether or not you agree with the law or decisions made under the law, it is in the interest of a civilized society to abide by the law.  What is the purpose of Kass, in his defiance of law, writing this sadistic commentary; appeal to the prurient interests of the public, of course?  However, it is time the Tribune  begin to publish writers appealing to normal interests.

     My personal commentary is to report that John Kass is one sick puppy!  Get past your ‘creepiness’, Mr. Kass, Michael Jackson is dead.  If you need help, see a therapist, but do not write lascivious commentary for the Tribune to satisfy your needs.

     Certainly I recognize the importance of Michael Jackson, the extraordinary entertainer; he is dead and may he rest in peace.  However, a simple notification of his death would have sufficed.  Be aware that I know nothing at all about the perverted sexual fantasy of John Kass and I have no more interest in that than I have in the past sexual fantasies of the late Michael Jackson.  Please, just spare me!

Is America ‘One Nation Under God’?

Friday, July 3rd, 2009

      Recently, I received a nice email about what America was like when I was a kid (1930s) compared to today.  I enjoyed it, of course.  The email admonished me to be sure and read the Jay Leno quote at the end of the email.  The Leno quote was this: ‘With hurricanes, tornados, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms tearing up the country from one end to another, and with the threat of bird flu and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance?’

     Leno’s joke was funny to me; but, it caused me to think about the times when “under God” was added to the pledge.  It was 1954 and I vividly remember the hassle about it then; I was 24 years old.

     It is interesting to note that “under God” was not in the original pledge of allegiance and perhaps Leno should have considered why and what America was like in 1954 when  President Eisenhower asked Congress to add the words.  But then, Leno is excused because he is a comedian and not a historian.

     Here is the purpose espoused by Eisenhower: “These words [“under God”] will remind Americans that despite our great physical strength we must remain humble. They will help us to keep constantly in our minds and hearts the spiritual and moral principles which alone give dignity to man, and upon which our way of life is founded.”

     Evidently, considering all the unnecessary wars of American aggression since Ike was President, the people have forgotten Ike’s purpose and substituted their own, just as Leno did.  Please note that Ike does not in any place use the word Christianity but instead he uses generic words moral and humble.

     This caused me to consider, when the last time was that America elected a humble and moral President.  Is Obama one or was George W. Bush one? 

     Hey, to each his own (grin). 

     However, I find Ike’s reasoning interesting.  It is a shame that those words, ‘under God’, are apparently being interpreted for entirely different purposes today, rather than what Ike intended (and that is meant to be apolitical).  Needless to say, it is difficult to find fault with Ike’s meaning.

     If you wonder why and for what purpose Ike encouraged adding the words ‘under God’ to the pledge, let me remind you that Ike was said to have uttered ‘no quotable words during the 8 years of his Presidency’.  The closest he came, was his warning to the people of America when he left office, “Beware of the Industrial/Military Complex!”  Hmmm!  Humble and moral!  Yeah!

     It also appears to me that those who would remove the words, under God, and restore the pledge to the one that I first learned, would not seem to object to the reasoning of Ike but instead to the reasoning of people since, who insist that the words have a strictly religious and Christian purpose, people like Jay Leno.  Poor Ike!