Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

Why We Stand for the National Anthem

October 15, 2017

Although the “National Anthem” is called “The Star Spangled Banner”, we are not standing to honor and respect the flag itself. We are standing with those who have fought to keep that banner flying.

Today we tend to think of flags as primarily decorative items. In 1814 the flag was an essential communications device on the battlefield.

The flag flying above a fort demonstrated which army controlled it. When an army captured a fort it took down the enemy’s flag and raised its own flag. If the occupants of a fort lowered their flag, “struck their colors”, it meant that they were surrendering.

When Francis Scott Key saw that the flag was still flying over Ft. McHenry he knew the men in the fort had refused to be intimidated by the British artillery barrage. His poem celebrated the courage of the men in the fort rather than the flag itself.

The use of the flag to demonstrate a resolve to stand up to America’s enemies has continued into this century. This spirit was demonstrated in World War II when the Marines who took Iwo Jima quickly raised the flag to let those at sea know they were established on the island. New York city firefighters showed they were not defeated when they erected a flag at Ground Zero shortly after the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center.

Those who disrespect the military by attacking the national anthem demonstrate a lack of gratitude for what the military has done to reduce racism. 360,000 U.S. army soldiers, including 40,000 black, died in the Civil War which ended slavery. After WWII President Harry Truman integrated the military to show that black men and white men could live together and work together. President Dwight Eisenhower used paratroopers in Little Rock to insure compliance with a federal court order to desegregate the schools.

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Edward R. Murrow Would Be Ashamed of the People at CBS.

October 13, 2017

Edward R. Murrow used his position as a journalist to expose the anti-communist witch hunt in the 50’s.

I remember seeing some of the television coverage of the Army-McCarthy hearings. I was too young to fully understand what was going on, but I recognized that Murrow thought something was wrong.

If he were alive today, I’m sure he would recognize that the current anti-Russian crusade makes less sense than Sen. Joseph McCarthy’s anti-communist crusade in the 50’s.

There was a Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union in the 50’s. There is no good reason for the United States and Russia to be enemies today.

The question Joe McCarthy asked in the 50’s was: “Are you now or have you ever been a member of the communist party?” The question today is: “have you ever talked to a Russian?”

Supporters of the Russian meddling witch hunt claim that Russian hackers were spying on the Democratic Party’s emails. The fact is that the Russian government has arrested four of those hackers [ including the deputy head of the FSB security agency’s Centre for Information Security, Col. Sergei Mikhailov and his deputy Maj. Dmitry Dokuchayev]. and charged them with working for the CIA.

Thus any inquisition on this issue should begin with Obama administration officials and seek answers to the following questions: “What did President Obama know? When did he know it? and What did he do about it?”

The witch hunters also charge the Russians with “planting fake news”. The traditional term is “propaganda” and governments have been doing it for generations. Great Britain started doing it to us during WWI. After the 9/11 attack the British convinced our government that Iraq’s WMD program was more extensive than it was.

Prior to the 2004 election, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam [DRV] released a story that insured that Gov. Bob Kerrey would not run against Sen John Kerry [whom the DRV was supporting] for the Democratic presidential nomination. The DRV had previously provided “fake news” to try to influence voters in the 1968 and 1972 elections.

It’s increasingly obvious that it’s the British, rather than the Russians, who are meddling in American politics. The British are once again using “fake intelligence” to influence American politics.

After the 9/11 attack the British used fake intelligence about WMD in Iraq to get President George W. Bush to help them invade Iraq. The British treated rumors about WMD as if they were proven facts.

Now they are using fake intelligence to undermine President Donald Trump. Patrick Cockburn in the “London Independent” says the charges about Trump’s alleged association with the Russians are based on information that is at least as unreliable as the claims about Iraq’s WMD.

The British Are Meddling! The British Are Meddling!

October 11, 2017

It’s increasingly obvious that it’s the British, rather than the Russians, who are meddling in American politics. The British are once again using “fake intelligence” to influence American politics.

After the 9/11 attack the British used fake intelligence about WMD in Iraq to get President George W. Bush to help them invade Iraq. The British treated rumors about WMD as if they were proven facts.

Now they are using fake intelligence to undermine President Donald Trump. Patrick Cockburn in the “London Independent” says the charges about Trump’s alleged association with the Russians are based on information that is at least as unreliable as the claims about Iraq’s WMD.

The British may be trying to oust Trump because they know they cannot manipulate him the way they manipulated George W. Bush and Barack Obama. They used fake intelligence to get Bush’s help in invading Iraq. I don’t know how they tricked Obama into helping them invade Libya. This century is only about 18 years old and the British have already gotten us into two stupid wars. We need to keep the British from using their boy Robby Mueller to force Trump out of office.

Replacing Obamacare

October 10, 2017

President Trump promised to replace Obamacare, but so far has only suggested modifying it. He should replace the Obama approach to health care.

Medical costs cause the price of health insurance to be too high for some to afford. Obamacare attempted to deal with high insurance rates by forcing healthy people to buy health insurance.

A better approach would recognize that it isn’t practical for profit-making insurance programs to pay for expensive to treat chronic disorders such as those associated with alcohol or tobacco use. Special programs could be set up to cover such disorders.

Taxes on alcohol and tobacco should be used to fund programs for alcohol and tobacco related medical disorders. For example, a per gallon tax on alcohol products would go into a fund for treatment of alcohol related disorders. A doctor would certify that a person has an alcohol related disorder and health care providers would send health care bills for the patient to the alcohol fund in the same way bills are sent to insurance companies for payment. To simplify payment procedures all medical problems of a patient with an alcohol related medical problem would be paid by the fund because alcohol can reduce the body’s ability to handle problems. The fund would also cover medical costs of those who suffer injuries because of the actions of someone under the influence of alcohol even if the injury involved a preexisting condition. A police report that one of the drivers in a traffic accident was under the influence of alcohol would trigger payment from the alcohol fund even if the courts wouldn’t consider the drinking driver to be at fault.

Under the current insurance system people who never use tobacco or alcohol help pay for the medical treatment of those who have tobacco or alcohol related medical problems. Under my proposal only those who use alcohol and tobacco products would pay to treat medical problems related to alcohol and tobacco use.

Another type of health care fund would involve specific disorders, such as heart trouble or specific cancers that may be caused by various factors other than tobacco or alcohol. Government would use general taxes to finance treatment and conduct research. Other funds might come from non-profit organizations. Government might encourage non-profit funds by offering to match what they raise.

Each fund would operate in part as a research project. Paying for all treatments from a single fund would allow researchers to monitor and compare the success rate of various different treatments. Insurance companies are reluctant to fund experimental treatments because they can’t expect to benefit from them, but the federal government could benefit from knowing what doesn’t work as well as knowing what does work.

Obama Official Admits Meddling in Russia

October 5, 2017

Tom Malinowski, who served as Barack Obama’s assistant secretary of state for democracy, human rights and labor from 2014 to 2017, has admitted in a Washington Post article that the United States “meddled” in Russian elections by financing political groups.

Malinowski says: “until the U.S. Agency for International Development was expelled from Russia in 2012 [it helped] fund some of the country’s leading nongovernmental organizations. These included the human rights group Memorial, the Committee Against Torture and, most important, given the drama to come, a group called Golos, Russia’s main nongovernment organization for election fraud monitoring.”

Malinowski demonstrates his imperialistic attitude with the claim: “This effort was non-partisan and it aimed to strengthen democracy for everyone in Russia, not to steer the outcome.” What gives Malinowski and the United States the authority to claim they know what is best for Russian democracy? The term “non-partisan” is a nonsense word because issue positions and election procedures may not have the same impact on all parties. Any claims about corruption in the Russian government are inherently partisan because the claims place the governing party in a negative light.

Malinowski may be too ignorant to understand the potential implications of such spending, but former KGB officer President Vladimir Putin probably knows why the Soviet Union financed comparable groups in the United States during the 1950’s. Americans called such organizations designed to support the communist view of the world “communist front groups”. When a nation finances alternate political groups in another nation, it is meddling in that nation’s politics if any of those connected with those organizations participates in politics regardless of whether the participation involves issues or personalities. I wonder what Democrats would say if Russia financed a group in the United States whose purpose was monitoring election fraud.

Malinowski is out of touch with reality. He suffers from the delusion that American foreign policy has some idealistic purpose. As a Vietnam vet I know that isn’t true.. Many American foreign policy actions are just a response to events. Actions that have a purpose usually are designed to serve corporate interests.

The best example of this situation is the Obama administration’s efforts to push the crooked Enron corporation’s global warming fraud. The claim that carbon dioxide causes global warming is based on a primitive early 19th Century belief that was disproved in 1909. Malinowski talks about corruption in Russia. I wonder what he would say if Russia had made a major effort to discredit Hillary Clinton by exposing the global warming fraud prior to last year’s election.

Those Who Benefit from Economic Injustice Shouldn’t Complain

September 25, 2017

Those athletes who complain about the existence of injustice ignore the fact that they are part of the class whose members may benefit from whatever injustices are perceived to exist. What is considered an injustice varies from one person to another.

The use of local taxes to subsidize sports facilities can be considered an injustice. Some of the athletes using the facilities pay more in income taxes than some of the local taxpayers make in a year. The money teams save by not having to pay to construct facilities is available for player salaries.

If professional athletes are really concerned about injustice they should do something directly instead of whining about it like children For example, they might use part of their income to create jobs in high unemployment areas.

Criticism of President Donald Trump’s comments is unjustified. As the elected leader of the American he can speak for those who agree with him. Normally we can expect that some will agree with him and some will disagree.

 

Donald Trump Should Tell Gestapo-like Mueller: “You’re fired!”

September 24, 2017

Is Robert S. Mueller III Mr. Mueller the special counsel or Herr Mueller the head of the American Gestapo? His treatment of Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul J. Manafort implies he should be called “Herr Mueller”.

Mueller conducted a search of Manafort’s residence by breaking into the residence while Manafort and his wife were in bed. Such a tactic might have been accepted in Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union It should not be accepted in 21st Century America.

The secret police in police states use this tactic to terrorize their victims into confessing they are “witches”. Police in the United States might need to use this tactic with violent criminals.

There can be no justification for using it in political controversies particularly when there is no evidence of a crime.

Four of the Russian computer hackers [including a colonel and a major] who supposedly interfered in the election were on the C.I.A.’s payroll. Thus, if anything illegal happened it was President Barack Obama and his C.I.A. who were involved rather than persons associated with Donald Trump. Barack Obama was paying them. Not Donald Trump. They reported to the C.I.A. Not Donald Trump

Did Pres. Obama and CIA Help Donald Trump Win?

September 8, 2017

News stories about purported Russian hacking in the presidential election continue to omit a very important fact. The Russian government has arrested four of the hackers, including Col.Sergei Mikhailov, and charged them with working for the CIA.

Thus if Russians did any election hacking it was with the knowledge and consent of the CIA and President Barack Obama. The knowledge received would have allowed the Obama administration to prevent any action that could have affected the outcome of the election. If the president knew terrorists threatened to attack, he would assign federal agents to protect those who might be attacked. Wouldn’t a president who thought foreign government hackers threatened an organization assign government computer experts to protect against the attack?

If the hackers tried to help Donald Trump win, it was because someone in the Obama administration wanted Trump to win. It seems unlikely the CIA would have tried to help Trump win without Obama’s approval. Incidentally with an FSB colonel on the CIA’s payroll it would have been easy to have Russians meet with Trump’s associates where the meetings would be noticed. [The FSB is the successor to the KGB.]

Why would Barack Obama want Donald Trump to win the election? Perhaps Obama thought if Trump won, it might be possible to convince Congress to change the Constitution to allow Obama to seek a third term in 2020, particularly if Congress thought Trump was involved with the Russians. That strategy wouldn’t have been possible if Hillary Clinton had won.

I doubt the claim that Russian hackers did anything that affected the outcome of the election. even if they tried to do so. However, if they did then any federal investigation should ask what did the CIA and President Barack Obama know, when did they know it and what did they do with the knowledge? If CIA officials didn’t tell Obama about the Russians, why didn’t they?

Those Who Want to Live Only With Whites Should Go Back to Ancestors’ Homelands

August 20, 2017

This post is a partial summary of the preceding post which contains links for some of the information.

The white person’s continent is Europe, not American. North America has been a melting pot since the Spanish arrived 500 years ago with African slaves whom they sometimes mated with. The first documented marriage of an African to a North American occurred in Florida in 1525.

In British North America the “melting pot” began a century later at Jamestown. The small populations in the early Virginia communities meant that people often had to marry across the black, white and red color lines. The 1636 marriage of an African man named John Punch to a white woman [who was probably an Irish indentured servant] was not the first such union, but it is one whose descendants have been traced to the 20th Century. Diplomat Dr. Ralph Bunche was one of the dark-complexioned descendants. A Kansas woman named Stanley Ann Dunham [the mother of President Barack Obama]
was one of the white descendants. Dunham like the vast majority of Americans with African ancestry didn’t know she had an African ancestor.

Later the introduction of permanent slavery included two laws which initially accelerated the mixing of African and European DNA. A child’s status as slave or free was determined by the mother’s status as slave [including indentured servants] or free. If the child was black it would be a permanent slave. White children would be indentured servants. Some slave owners increased the number of permanent slaves by requiring white female indentured servants to mate with black males.

Subsequent laws prohibiting sex across the color line were generally ignored if the woman was black. The primary purpose of such laws was to prevent free white women from having black babies who wouldn’t be slaves.

By 1776 some of the descendants of such “mixed” marriages were able to pass for white especially if they moved to a new location and changed their names. Some claimed they had North American or Mediterranean ancestry. The presence of the albino gene in the African genome could have helped some become white. Most probably didn’t tell their children about their ancestry.

During the slavery era some slave owners, including President Thomas Jefferson and his father in law, had slave “wives” called “concubines. Jefferson’s concubine, Sally Hemmings was described as white with long straight hair. The children of Jefferson’s concubine were eventually freed, left Virginia and passed for white.

As the southern urban population began increasing in the early 19th Century, some slave owners bred light skinned women [fancy slaves] for the sex trade. The end of slavery allowed some of these women along with other light skinned former slaves to pass for white. Prostitution provided an economic opportunity for young black women with a resulting increase in light skinned children who could eventually pass for white.

Many whites who checked their ancestry after the broadcast of Alex Haley’s “Roots” were surprised to find that an ancestor who had served in the military had the letter “c” after his name for “colored”.

Barack Obama was the first dark complexion president, but he wasn’t the first president to acknowledge African ancestry. President Warren G.Harding said one of his ancestors might have “jumped the fence”. There is speculation that five other presidents might have had African ancestry: Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson Abraham Lincoln, Calvin Coolidge, and Dwight Eisenhower. It would be difficult to prove or disprove such claims.

Most parents with North American ancestry probably did not pass along the information.

Most of us who consider ourselves white who have some ancestors who arrived five or more generations probably have at least one ancestor who was North American or African. At five generations in the past you can have 32 different ancestors. I know I have a North American ancestor and suspect I have an African ancestor.

Media Perpetuating Racism

August 16, 2017

I am reposting the following so it can be used for information]

Jesse Washington has reported that many dark skinned Americans recognize that they are not “African” Americans in spite of what some racists say.

Th e term “African-American” perpetuates the principle tenet of Southern racism: “part black, all black” under the “one drop rule”.

Those who use the term are in effect segregating Americans with dark complexions from the rest of the population they may be related to. Those who use the term believe that those with dark complexions should only be able to claim their African ancestors and should forget about ancestors who came from Europe, North America or Asia even if most of a person’s ancestors came from places other than Africa.

The media in particular apply the term indiscriminately to any American with a dark complexion. For example, they call golfer Tiger Woods “African American” even though his ancestry is predominately Asian. His mother is Asian and his father had Asian as well as African and American Indian ancestors.

Dr. Martin Luther King dreamed of a day in which color would not be important. Unfortunately, the media along with many politicians and black leaders are still preoccupied with skin color.

Members of the media still falsely claim that differences in skin color among Americans indicate a racial difference. Perhaps there is an European “race” that is white and an African “race” that is black, but if there is an American race it is red and yellow, black and white. We Americans are a mixture of peoples from all parts of the world.

As the Lakota say, Aho Mitakuye Oyasin (We Are All Related) regardless of the color of our skin.

The fact that a person has dark skin doesn’t mean a majority of ancestors came from Africa. Dark skin only means a person received one or more of the half dozen skin color related genes that produce “black” skin from an African ancestor. Some of the genes associated with dark complexion are also present in persons from other parts of the world, especially India and Australia. The versions of the skin color genes that cause dark skin are dominant genes which means if a person has a dark version of the gene, complexion will be dark even if the other gene is associated with light skin. Incidentally, the African gene pool includes the albino gene which means some residents of Africa have pale skin.

Calling black Americans African-Americans denies them the opportunity to claim their European (especially Irish) and North American ancestry. The first Africans in the English colonies worked with the Irish in the fields and occasionally became sexually involved with them. In some cases planters deliberately forced Irish women to have children by African men to produce children of a desired complexion. Later, Irish overseers and plantation owners sometimes offered favors for sex or just raped slaves.

Until the 1960’s Southern white men could rape black women without fearing punishment. Some black women voluntarily had sex with white employers or their sons. Former Sen. Strom Thurman fathered a daughter by his parent’s 16-year-old housekeeper when he was a young man. Young southern women were told that if their good night kisses were too passionate, their boyfriends might seek sexual satisfaction in the black community.

Some black Americans can trace their ancestry back to President Thomas Jefferson and his virtual wife Sally Hennings. DNA tests confirmed the claim that Sally Hennings descendants were also descendants of Thomas Jefferson. The tests examined the “Y” chromosome which is passed from father to son.

A test of the “Y” chromosome of Martin Luther King III indicates that he and his civil rights leader father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., had a north European male ancestor like about 33% of black American males.

The Spanish who established colonies in South Carolina, Florida and Georgia in the 16th Century using African slaves were less likely than the British to bring wives and instead used their slaves for sexual satisfaction. The French in Louisiana also had a shortage of white women. The French, unlike the English, even used terms indicating the proportion of African and European ancestry.

African slaves of the Spanish started a long association with the original inhabitants of North America that continued in the British colonies. The Africans left behind when Spain withdrew from Florida joined with the Seminoles. In the English colonies the Cherokees and some other tribes socialized with the Africans, gave refuge to runaway slaves or had African slaves of their own.

Many white Americans, including former President Warren G. Harding, have African ancestors. Some believe as many as four other white presidents had African ancestors. After the “Roots Miniseries” many whites who researched their family histories were surprised to find ancestors who served in the military who had a “C” after their names for “colored”.

Most whites with African ancestors probably don’t even know it because their African ancestors whose skin was light enough to pass for white covered up their past. It would only take a few generations of people with mixed parentage to have descendants with skin light enough to pass for white. If only one gene were involved, the math of inheritance would indicate that if two parents each had one black parent and one white parent approximately 25% of their children would have white skin. The math is more complicated with the involvement of multiple genes, but the probability of some light skinned children increases with each generation.

Racists sometimes suggest that black males have a greater propensity for violence especially against women and falsely ascribe that characteristic to their African ancestors. If some black men actually have a genetic tendency to commit rape and murder it would be far more likely that they inherited the gene from a white male ancestor who raped one of their black female ancestors than that they inherited it from an African male ancestor.

Another popular stereotype is that blacks have “rhythm” which they are supposed to have inherited from their African ancestors. Although the slaves’ African heritage would have influenced their music, it seems more likely that the social and biological association with the musically oriented Irish would be more responsible for the black emphasis on music.

The Irish responded to the repressive treatment by the English through musical expression. They would have passed that tradition along to the Africans whom they initially worked with as “indentured servants” and later supervised after black slavery was established. The slaves blended their Irish and African traditions with their own situation. They concentrated on expressing themselves through music because their oppressors didn’t allow other ways to “fight” their situation. Watch Irish groups like Riverdance and Celtic Woman and then say that black Americans could only have gotten “rhythm” from African ancestors.

The first African “servants” arrived in Jamestown in 1619 only 14 years after the founding of the settlement. During the two centuries of the Atlantic slave trade only about 500,000 additional Africans were imported into North America. Britain led the way to ending the Atlantic slave trade in 1807 and the United States quickly followed to outlaw the importation of slaves without prohibiting the internal slave trade. Thus, the vast majority of the 4.5 million blacks living in the U.S. in 1860 were born here to parents and grandparents who were born here. A substantial portion had at least some ancestors who were living in North America at the time of the American Revolution.

It’s time we recognize that the only African ancestors of the descendants of slaves arrived here centuries ago. We need to recognize that those dark skinned Americans whose ancestors were slaves are just as deserving of being called regular Americans as those of us with light skins without any modifier that segregates them from the rest of us.

Americans with dark skins should be allowed to claim all of their ancestors, not just those who provided the genes responsible for their skin color. Those of us with light skins need to accept the possibility that many of those with dark skins are our distant cousins. Those of us whose ancestors arrived here a couple of centuries ago or came from the British Isles, especially Ireland, likely had relatives who had sexual relations with the descendants of Africans. We could also have ancestors who came from Africa. Those whose ancestors have lived in the south for several generations, especially if they have dark naturally curly hair, could easily have an ancestor who passed for white at some time in the past.

Americans need to recognize that color is only skin deep. It doesn’t totally define us.