Archive for May, 2010

MEMORIAL DAY HORROR

Saturday, May 29th, 2010

War drew us from our homeland in
the sunlit springtime of our youth.
Those who did not come back alive
remain in perpetual springtime
FOREVER YOUNG and a part of them is
with us ALWAYS. –
Author: Unknown (from the Crawford High Alumni web page, students who died in Vietnam: http://www.johnfry.com/pages/000WeeklyNews0528.html)

Memorial Day, 2010, is upon us; sorry, but Memorial Days are something that I have come to wish would just go away. Every Memorial Day, people seem to be telling me to remember the death of those heroes of mine from senseless wars that it has taken me days, months or years to get out of my mind; I am talking about needless killing, death of people I loved, stupidity, and the corrupted, irresponsible minds of American politicians that were responsible for the horror of it.

This particular Memorial Day, however, I feel deeply indebted to John Fry, an alumni historian for Crawford High School where I was a teacher in the 1950s and 1960s. John reminded us of Crawford High School students who died in the War in Vietnam and he published a list of those heroes, with pictures and names; I think I needed that.

I do want to remember those young inquisitive minds that sat in my classroom and that I grew to love, respect, and admire as warm compassionate human beings with a bright future before them. As I looked at those pictures and into familiar faces of those that had fallen and that I knew and remembered so well, my eyes welled up thinking of good times we had learning together in our classroom and the agony of the loss of those souls to mankind; they had so much to offer.

Sorry, but mine is not hero worship remembrance of dear friends and heroes on this Memorial Day; my memories are quickly turned to memories of the senselessness of unnecessary wars that took those precious souls from us. I cannot help but remember that the death and agony of those that I cared for so much was a result of the greed and stupidity of some of America’s culpable elected leadership, embroiling our people in undeclared War with no redeeming national or humane purpose.

What I discovered today is that in my old age, my total disgust for the more recent costly unnecessary wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, I had forgotten entirely my equal disgust and dismay for the costly unnecessary Vietnam War. How utterly ludicrous it is for me to believe that America and its people could allow such selfish culpable misbehavior of its elected leadership to occur again and again.

As horrible as the September 11 Terrorist Attack was, it was not the responsibility of the people of either sovereign nation, Afghanistan or Iraq; America was attacked by evil fanatic terrorist personalities just like American terrorist Timothy McVeigh. America has not waged a war on terror; America was and is waging an undeclared war on the sovereign nations of Iraq and Afghanistan. America did not wage a war against Communism; America waged an undeclared war against the sovereign nation of Viet Nam.

Just what is there for me to celebrate or honor this Memorial Day with a barbecue and beer; my taste is embittered. I can only grieve again and again for that vibrant youth, now only a memory, that learned of nation, Presidents, and civic responsibility in our classroom, together with me, so long ago. What did we do wrong; what should we have done differently?

What America needs most is a Memorial Day on which all the American people vow to never again allow our nation to enter a senseless undeclared war against another sovereign nation; if this were the purpose of Memorial Day, America could be satisfied and honor our fallen soldier heroes knowing that they have not died in vain.

ARIZONA MENTALITY DEFIES EXPLANATION

Tuesday, May 25th, 2010

Today’s headlines: “Arizona Graduation Speech Criticizing Immigration Laws Elicits Boos, Jeers

Commentary:

What can I say; U of A is my alma mater. On 11/22/63, while I was in a class at U of A, Law School, I heard disturbing loud laughing, cheering, and whooping outside in the hall; after class I found out students were celebrating the assassination of their President, John F. Kennedy. The scene made me ill and was frightening at that time. I have come to accept that there is an Arizona mentality that I cannot equate with any of the American values that I grew up with. The next day after the JFK assassination, the President of U of A apologized for student behavior. Arizona has obviously not changed in 47 years; nothing that happens in Arizona surprises me.

GOD IS NOT A MONKEY; HE IS ITALIAN

Friday, May 21st, 2010

One of today’s headlines really piqued my interest: “Mark Williams, Tea Party Leader, Says Muslims Worship ‘Monkey God’.” Huffington Post 5/20/10.

Since Muslims believe in Allah, the name that they use for the God of Abraham; isn’t the God of Abraham the same God or Jehovah that the Christians and Jews worship?

Really, I am confused by all these different Gods and they all start looking alike to me; yet none of the artists’ perception of God that I have ever seen looks like a monkey except for maybe the beard. I don’t know where Mark Williams got that idea.

But, all Gods have beards, don’t They?

God has a beard in all the pictures or statues I have seen of Him. But then no Muslim perception of God exists in art because Muslims do not believe in making images of God like the Christians do; Christians seem to have the inside track on what God really looks like. God looks like the guy on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel and He looks like He must be Italian.

The God on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is extending His arm and sticking His finger out, like He is saying, “Here, pull my finger.” Now that is a God with a sense of humor, all right.

God (or Allah or Jehovah or whatever his name is) is love.

THE JOHN MCCAIN THAT I KNEW; RESPECTED ADVESARY

Tuesday, May 18th, 2010

For me, a liberal democrat, I only have compassion for John McCain. Today’s news reports that his staff is leaving him for more important posts in the GOP. In McCain’s case, the rats are deserting the sinking ship and that is animal instinct; animal instinct is politics and McCain’s political end is near.

As an adversary, John McCain was a human being and one who had suffered for his country. As a politician he was wrong; as an American military veteran he was to be admired.

So far as his military heroics, I am sorry, but if I am to vote for a military hero to be my President, like George Herman Bush, I will pick a Naval aviator who does not get shot down and one that does not get captured; sorry, I am patriotic but not stupid and, of course, did not vote for George Herman Bush, either.

McCain’s politics was to support business, not people; I am people and disagreed with McCain entirely.

However, John McCain at times showed courage as a Senator, just as he did in serving his country in war; there were times when he voted in the Senate for the people and not the GOP. He earned my admiration for that.

McCain paid his dues, made the most of what he had, and deserves compassion. Love your enemies. John McCain deserved better than to succumb to fanatic Neocon, Teabagger stupidity and hysteria. Old soldiers never die; they are eaten alive by fanatics.

A CAPITALISTIC CURE FOR AMERICA’S HEALTH CARE PROBLEMS

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

Very interesting, of the 10 highest paid jobs in America, 8 are some kind of physician and the other two are CEOs and Orthodontists. It makes you think that perhaps, just maybe, Americans are motivated to become physicians because it is the most lucrative job in America and not because they really have a desire to heal people; is the greed for money the best possible motivation for a physician that you want for your personal healer?

During the health care debate, a great many physicians were very vocal in their opposition; in opposition to health care reform, physicians appeared to be more of an entrepreneur protecting their income than a healer of the masses.

This might also explain why the American Medical Association has opposed the government building new Medical Schools to alleviate the shortage of physicians in America. In an American capitalistic society and free market (supply and demand) the fewer doctors there are means the higher fee they can charge; that is simple competition and capitalism.

In communist Cuba, the Castro government invested heavily in medical training, paid by the state, and as a consequence Cuba has a physician within walking distance of everyone in Cuba; the problem, if you want to call it a problem, is that physicians do not make a lot of money in Cuba. However, medical care is not a problem in Cuba because it is quite affordable; but as Americans know the exorbitant costs of medical health care is America’s greatest problem.

The one thing that the Democrats Medical Health Care Reform did not do was to increase the number of physicians in America. In the Sputnik Era and race against Russia to get to the moon, the American government invested huge sums of money to create more engineers and scientists. After succeeding in getting to the moon, the American government spent a whole lot of money to retrain engineers and scientists because there was no longer a need for that many engineers and scientists.

Perhaps it is time for America to address the problem of health care for Americans in a different way. Using America’s capitalistic economy and knowing that physician’s fees are responsible for a large share of soaring medical costs, addressing the scarcity of physicians and applying the supply and demand principles to physicians, it just may be that the high income of physicians IS the health care problem in America.

For comparison, is it possible that America’s socialized public schools are the reason that teacher, with a comparable education to physicians, have such small incomes in comparison to physicians.

Americans, and particularly American politicians, have consistently over the years complained about the fact that there are some bad teachers in our public schools; yet the high pay for teachers cannot possibly be the motivation for Americans to become teachers because the pay is so small in comparison to physicians, plumbers, electricians, or other jobs.

With income being potentially a great incentive for an American to become a physician, it is expected that there must be a number of bad physicians treating the American people. The large numbers of bad doctors would appear to be substantiated by one of American physicians’ main complaints over the years, tort liability for malpractice and the number of malpractice cases each year and the cost of malpractice insurance for physicians..

Perhaps America has taken the wrong approach to resolving America’s lack of adequate health care problem. Instead of health care insurance reform in order to provide Americans with insurance to pay the higher costs of health care, America should use the capitalistic approach and instead simply lower the health care costs by training more, and more physicians and flooding the health care market with so many physicians that to compete for income the physicians would be required to lower their fees; that would resolve the problem of inadequate health care for Americans.

Link to “Highest Paid Jobs in America, 2010”:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/05/15/the-highest-paying-jobs-i_n_577487.html

REMEMBERING DAMON RUNYON

Sunday, May 16th, 2010

“You can keep the things of bronze and stone and give me one man to remember me just once a year.”

Damon Runyon (10/4/1880-12/10/46)

I am that man, Mr. Runyon; Harry the Horse and all those other guys and dolls live on in my mind, today; God rest your soul.

KENT STATE MAY 4 1970; LEST WE FORGET

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

At Kent State University, a weekend of confrontation between the Ohio National Guard and campus crowds protesting the Vietnam War and the U.S. invasion of Cambodia turns tragic on Monday May 4, 1970, when, to disperse a rally, 28 guardsmen open fire on the demonstrators. Four students are killed and nine are wounded. Reaction includes a national strike by four million students. Subsequent trials will determine that the guards justifiably feared for their lives, but the shootings intensify the country’s polarization over the Vietnam War and the Administration of President Nixon.

Smithsonian, May 2010 p.28

REMEMBERING MLK

Saturday, May 15th, 2010

“Ben, make sure you play, ‘Precious Lord, take my hand’, at the meeting tonight,” King called out. “Play it real pretty.”
Those were Dr. Martin Luther King’s last words; Memphis TN, April 4, 1968; Smithsonian, May 2010, p. 71.

President Obama finally delivers!

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Today’s headline (5/12/10) renewed my faith in humanity, “Obama Rejects Rush Limbaugh Golf Match: Rush ‘Can Play With Himself’”. My good ‘ol American President told Rush Limbaugh to ‘go play with himself’! There is a God!

IMMIGRATION REFORM AND THE ARIZONA FIASCO

Tuesday, May 11th, 2010

For most of my 80 years, I have lived on the Mexican border in San Diego and not much has changed.  America has Mexicans crossing the border illegally that are desperate to find employment and also Mexicans who are smuggling drugs or criminals escaping Mexican police.

In America we have illegal American employers who encourage illegal immigrant workers without fear of more than a small fine if they are caught employing illegal aliens.  In Europe if an employer hires an illegal immigrant THE EMPLOYER GOES TO PRISON; they virtually do not employ illegal immigrants in Europe and they can concentrate of catching smugglers and criminals illegally entering the country.

For 5 years, I lived on the German border in Switzerland and crossed the border daily, never having to show my passport; now, in Arizona my American friends of Mexican heritage will have to carry their American passport with them to avoid prison.

When the fear mongers in Congress paid out good tax money to pay American contractors to build a 12 foot fence along the border here in California, it was discovered that the American contractors were employing illegal immigrants to build their fence!  How ridiculous!  And now, John McCain wants America to keep building and finish the fence.

At the present time, I understand that there is a proposal in Congress to establish a National Identification system so that American employers will have no excuse for hiring illegal aliens; that is a step in the right direction and the Republicans should agree with it but they probably will not.  Congress must also establish prohibitive penalties for employers who hire illegal aliens.  That is the only possible solution to our biggest immigration problem.

Personally, I appreciate Mexican culture and am sympathetic with Mexican immigrants looking for work promised by illegal American employers looking for cheap labor; I am also however, opposed to aliens taking American jobs.

It is a myth that the only jobs illegal aliens take is menial labor.  The Mexicans are highly skilled plumbers and electricians and in all other skilled trades and they are located everywhere in American but most Americans are not aware of it.  There were illegal aliens in Illinois working in the fields around the Hoopston Illinois canning plant, when I lived in Illinois, 60 years ago, and I knew of a large Mexican community in Chicago; neighbors at that time never suspected that these were illegal aliens.

The illegal Mexicans that I knew, made excellent neighbors because they were afraid to draw attention to themselves for fear of deportation.  They were very well behaved.

Immigration is a huge problem and Arizona seemingly does not know beans about Mexicans or illegal American employers.

A former California Governor, Pete Wilson, won an election based on blaming illegal Mexican workers for California’s problems.  He won the election despite having an illegal alien as a nanny for his children.  Corrupt politicians are even more of a problem than immigration.

America’s lax immigration laws are the work of illegal American employers that want cheap Mexican labor; they virtually enslave the illegal Mexicans and screw legitimate American workers.

Today, Arizona is treating people of Mexican heritage just like the Nazis treated the Jews; it is shameful and counter-productive.