Have the Dopes Trumped Hope?

Webster states:  cynical – contemptuously distrustful of human nature and motives.

Never has our general populace been more cynical then now.

In my lifetime I have never seen the degree of disrespect shown to elected officials that we have today. And we had made such great strides toward truly becoming the country that welcomed one and all to our shores, fulfilling the dream our nation was built upon…

For the first time we elected an African-American as our President and our collective chest swelled with pride. But it did not take long for the ugly bigots to begin to creep out from under the rocks and spread their influence, two-faced, now showing their true feelings. Sadly, a portion of those names and faces belonged to elected politicians and, because of that animosity, Washington has failed to move important legislation forward.

Along with that ugliness we have had numerous killings of young African-Americans and have had to bear witness to far too many examples of guns being used too quickly and unwisely against persons of color. In view of these many incidents of police brutality we need diversity training for our policing forces to be an ongoing program.

The whole subject of what to do about guns and gun ownership will be a perpetual battle as long as our legislators depend on gun money to stay in their seats in Washington. On the subject of guns, how many children will have to die, how many families need be torn apart before it is time to say enough is enough?

I am not so sure we will recapture that spirit we had not that long ago: a sense of promise, hope, acceptance and respect for diversity.

And, boy, never did I think I would see ministers arming themselves – preachers packing in church – or encouraging their members to come to church bearing firearms.

My sense of humor tells me that it is a deterrent to sermons that sometimes seem a bit long in the tooth!

I do not look forward to our 2016 presidential election. I believe it will be one that thrives on bad manners, and infighting from desperate candidates. We can only hope someone who truly wants to serve the people and this great country will be elected.

The Middle Class

From my room at Oxmoor Lodge I listened to our President’s vision for the months ahead. There was no doubt he has his arms around the Middle Class in our country.

He spoke of many other programs that certainly need our attention.

He spoke of the need to move expeditiously on the following issues:

Immigration—It is way past time for thousands of fine human beings that want to be Americans to have that opportunity, legally.  If our country had not welcomed almost all of our grandparents and great grandparents with open arms, most of us would not be Americans today. We are the descendants of other countries, but America said come join us, help us build the greatest country in the world. Our ancestors came and were welcomed with open arms. Do the immigrants of today deserve any less?

Gun control–Contrary to the usual naysayers, the President does not advocate disarming the public or throwing out the second amendment. He, like most Americans – including our police officers – see no use for individuals to own assault weapons that can riddle a child’s body from head to toe with one squeeze of the trigger. Assault weapons and multi-clips must be taken out of circulation by law.

Medicare–The specific cost of various treatments or services and the exorbitant price charged to the patient should be looked at carefully. Who determines what your doctor or dentist charges you for a visit? Is it your doctor or dentist or a price set by Medicare you must charge or not get reimbursed? There are probably cost-cutting areas in Medicare that could help salvage and keep the program healthy.

The Middle Class—Last but certainly not least; quite the contrary. His emphasis on improving the lives of the middle class was evident in almost all of the above and more. Raising the minimum wage to $9.00 an hour should be a no-brainier. How many persons of means would do the work the middle class does on a daily basis for even that amount? How many among our wealthy citizens would be their own gardner, their housekeeper, their hotel doorman, their waitress at their favorite restaurant or their man servant for minimum wage every day all day. I dare say none.

The middle class – contrary to words uttered by the last Republican nominee for President – the middle class are not the takers of the government; quite the contrary. The wealthy would rather pay lobbyists more than their hired help to work on our representatives and senators to keep their taxes low. They would rather give thousands to secret PACs to keep their paid hands in office and pay huge fees to their accountants and lawyers to find loopholes to cheat the government out of tax money. And they call the middle class the takers of government? They are not only the takers – they are morally corrupt takers. It is the middle class that keep the wheels of work and progress going in this country, yes even for the wealthy.

GUNS-guns-guns-guns

From the lodge at Oxmoor….I have waited until I had my anger in check before I wrote this blog. I waited until I read the stupid reply from the NRA and could wait no longer.

I was a forty-six year PTA volunteer in our local school system and a fifteen year employee of that school system. To advocate arming school personnel is absolutely insane. Why not go farther, arm every PTA volunteer and why stop there, let’s arm the President of the Student Council.  After all, students have better eyesight and are so much quicker on the draw.

When you think about some of the immoral reasoning of the NRA, you know the mentally ill are running the asylums.

I do not advocate taking guns away from legitimate hunters, who themselves say you are not a true hunter if you need a clip that can fire 20-30 or more shots in rapid fire. That is not hunting – that is wanting to rip your target into a hundred pieces. It does not take that kind of firepower to kill a deer, a rabbit or a pheasant. That kind of hunter just wants to see blood, blood and guts.

Let’s get sensible. We need to ban assault weapons, we need to outlaw multi-clips, we need to stop the proliferation of the easy, under-the-table illegal selling of these guns and clips at gun shows. We need additional funding and help for the mentally ill. We need to encourage parents and others to be more aware of the signs of despair, withdrawing and potential suicide.

What happens when a country has more people armed than not?  Annihilation, genocide, revolutions and mass hysteria. It only took the ranting of one man and the arming of, even, children in the Nazi police force, the S.S., to bring a mighty country down – by the annihilation of the Jewish and non-white population Germans were “taught” to fear.

Yes, I know you think it can’t happen in this great country. It has happened to larger, more powerful monarchies older than our young country. It is time for action, not senseless rhetoric. Let’s not throw out the baby with the bath water, let’s just use the soap and clean it up.