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.

Boomerang

The pundit here.

I have been twisted and turned, rolled and churned in every direction. And in every direction turned left and right and up and down. And merry-go-round and round?

The pills keep coming. Doctors-1-2-3-4, nurses-5-6-7.

Kidneys shot. Heart not much better. Lungs in the big sleep. Brain trying to find out who will be the woman on the $10 bill. Darn, I may not get to spend any.

People coming and going. Questions, questions from each one. They all ask the same questions. I give them all the same answers.

Pigs selling for 5, corn for 10. My blood pressure is high, my oxygen is low. If ever the two get it right, this place I shall blow!

Take a nap so a needle can wake you up. It’s a game we play. I go to sleep, the needle wakes. Oh what the hell – the bottom’s up, the dollar’s down.

The bottom line is, I survived all the anxieties of “crossing over.” My mama didn’t raise no fool. I ain’t getting in no boat if I don’t know where it’s going. Guess I will hang out a little longer, celebrate my 91st birthday Sunday, and wait to see what thirteen Republican candidates are going to use for their stump speeches. Can’t be Obamacare. Way to go Barack!!!

Trick or Treat Meet and Greet

Two events are close at hand: Halloween and Election Day. It is hard to decide which is the scariest.

One of the two is over quickly. Someone jumps out with a crazy made up face, devil horns and a long tail and shouts, “Boooooo!” Then you wait for the next reveler to knock on the door and yell, “Trick or Treat!”

Depending on who the winners are in the many elections across our great country, the outcome will delight us or scare us more than the Halloween guest at our front door. It is no secret our country and our President have been held hostage by negativism, disrespect, bigotry and all the NO, NO, NO of recent years.

If that behavior continues, it will be worse than devils with horns and long tails or ghosts with spiders crawling over them. Our country and our citizens deserve better.

I, for one, am sick and tired of millionaires buying the government they want while they fatten themselves at the trough, boosting themselves upward on the backs of the less fortunate.

May good government return.

Speak For Those Who Cannot Speak For Themselves

This is the second time I feel compelled to write my blog about the children who are coming to us for help and understanding from Central America.

Thank God we still have good people whose heart has not turned to stone. I know my list is incomplete but my information is only as good as the daily paper chooses to print. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “We are an empathetic people in this country and we don’t like seeing people suffer,” despite bashing our President in the process. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said her city “has a long history of welcoming immigrants” – from her grandparents to recent waves of refugees from Bhutan, Iraq and South Sudan. She suggested six buildings on the old campus of the former Maria Regina College be used to house and care for them.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said, “You have to take a step back and say, ‘We’re talking about kids as young as five’ – “What’s our role as human beings?” Barrett, Davenport, Iowa Mayor Bill Gluba, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland have said they would put together teams to look for suitable locations to help.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, each and every one. Great leaders rise to the top by not always looking for votes but for something like this – thinking outside the box to look out for these children; children not unlike your son or daughter.

In an article in the same paper there was a story about a very young boy in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras, who had two of his friends, eleven years old, snatched from their home. Their bodies were found chopped to pieces. That is how he lives each day – in fear of the same.

If each of our states would take 1000 of these children we would save 50,000 children. An example is my state of Kentucky; we have 122 counties. If each county took nine children, that would be 1098 children saved. Please use your creative ability and please do something to help these children. If we had not had some visionaries in our government in the sixties, it is possible we would still have our African-American brothers and sisters in the shackles of racism and a second class existence.

Please America – open your hearts. Ministers of all faiths, find in yourselves the voice of humanity. Let’s help these children of God. They need to be supported with the voices of caring people. Let the choir start by adding each of our voices.

They’re In the Money

My morning paper is my morning friend. I read my paper, front to back. I try to, if not always successful, understand both the good and the not-so-good news equally. But there are exceptions. This morning a story on the front page left me so angry I could not even enjoy my first cup of coffee.

This article concerned the annual financial disclosure list filed for 2012.

The medium net worth of senators and representatives in the Senate and House is $1,008,767: up 4.4 percent. And Kentucky has at least six legislators that are on the millionaires list. Mitch McConnell and John Yarmuth are near the top of the list.

True, some, including John Yarmuth, had amassed great wealth before being elected to serve our Government. But some have amassed their wealth from their service in the Senate or House of Representatives. We, the tax payers, have made millionaires out of some very cold-hearted members of Congress who evidently never read the good book – or at least the part where, over and over, our Father in Heaven tells us to care and share with our brothers and sisters who are less fortunate then we.

It is an embarrassment that my State of Kentucky is where one of those sniveling idiots had the audacity to state publicly that people on any kind of assistance did not want to work, and, by helping them, we encourage them to be lazy and to wait for a handout. I want that little, and I mean “little” ass to know my mother worked herself to death to provide a home AND accepted food for us from the Government to feed us AND passed away at 49 after a hard life doing so.

For you and many in your “party of no ‘s” who have never missed a meal, who have always been warm, or who are living the good life – think of the families who had their unemployment stopped. Think of the families who no longer can get food stamps. Think of what you have taken AWAY from those you are supposed to care about. Most important, think about how you would feel if you had to watch your children cry from hunger. That is a parent’s hell.

I promise you, you will answer for your lack of compassion. You may feel all-powerful and able to abuse the less fortunate now, but you are just a little P- ant compared to the one you will answer to.

The task is not yet finished

Yesterday we heard emotional speeches by five national leaders and patriots. The words of Presidents Obama, Clinton and Carter, along with John Lewis, should remind us of the battle not yet won.

Yes, thanks to leaders such as those who were present, we have made great strides in righting the wrongs of so many years – those which we did not want to acknowledge existed. The four I have mentioned stood tall and proud, each working in their own way to right the wrongs that so many of our brothers and sisters endured.

The fifth voice was a voice silenced before its time – a voice that everyone who stood on that great Mall in Washington or who listened across our great country was able to summon, once more hearing those words…”I have a dream, that one day all men will be free.”

Even if it is no longer with us, that voice will never truly be silenced.  No bullet can ever still that voice or the words of Martin Luther King.

May we always have leadership that truly believes all men and women: black, white, Asian, Mexican – any and all races –  shall feel this country is big enough for all to come to work, enjoy life and add the different shade of beauty each brings to enhance our rainbow.

As Christians our hearts should be so full of love we have no room for hate. Only those who are misguided, misinformed, mean-spirited, or just plain stupid would defy our Heavenly Father, who said we all are God’s children, sisters and brothers together. God’s words are good enough for me. How about you? Are you picking and choosing that which is easy to do and calling yourself a Christian or do you truly follow God’s words and live by his words?

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.