The news is abuzz over the heroic action of the Texas Democratic Caucus that left the state to go to DC so the Texas government could not vote on a new election law. The left is all aflutter over the bravery of these elected officials in denying the Texas legislature the quorum it needs to vote on a bill. In the meanwhile back in DC the left is up in arms over a Senate rule that that allows the minority to hold up a vote, called the filibuster.
If one is wrong the other is wrong and if one is right the other is right. Regardless of political position one of the mainstays of American governance is the right of the minority to have its say. Are the Texas Democrats playing a political game, of course they are. Will they pay a price, that remains to be seen. Are they Hero’s or tools. your call.
Enough is enough, every time there is a shooting in this country the first thing out of the mouth of the left is gun control. The problem with gun control laws is that they do not work. This country has had guns in the hands of the people since it began. There are many who say the reason we have a country is that the people were armed and took up arms against tyranny. Does this translate to the people able to take up arms to defend their freedom today, likely not. Regardless of the left calling what the people possess as “Assault Rifles,” or military grade weapons it would be impossible for citizens to fight a modern military. That having been said it is unlikely, today, that they would have to. With an increase in violence, however, they may have to defend themselves and their community. The problem is not with guns but with the increase in violence which is a threat to our communities.
The problem to be address then, is why have we become a more violent society? What has happened to remove the restrictions on violence that have held us together. There have been violent episodes in the past, the Jim Crow south or during prohibition. There were in fact understood reasons for these, not good or justifiable reasons, but reasons none the less. Today the violence seems to be mindless such as Atlanta or Denver.
So, the question to be asked of the political leadership is why are you not trying to address the rea; problem. Its because it is so much easier to scream gun control then then to address a problem that you may in fact be a contributor.
This now goes to the question of border control. This is a country of immigrants. Including my grandparents and my mother-in-law. The question is not how to close the border but how to effectively allow people to immigrate. While the left seems to think that we must allow anyone to enter who reaches the border they do not consider the ramifications of doing so. This is especially true in a time of pandemic when we have enough trouble controlling the spread of covid-19. By allowing anyone who can reach he border to enter and then jamming those who we catch into confinement facilities we are only helping spread the virus among those who can least afford to fight it physically we then release them into the general population. We must control access while being compassionate to those who need protection and will add to the common good of America.
The constant drum beat of simplistic solutions that come from the left and picked up as truth by the mass media feed a continued downward spiral of the American culture and society. This is not a new phenomenon it is what must be called a standard technique of dictators who not only control all aspects of a country but the minds of most of the population. This must stop and the only way is for all of us to question everything that comes out of the mouths of our political leadership, both left and right. I ask that everyone PLEASETHINK when you hear something that sounds wrong, because it likely is.
By the way I will be starting a VLOG soon and hope to see you signing in.
The Murders in Atlanta are a horror and an abomination, as they would be anywhere. The horror of what the left is making of them is even worse for our society. The suspect Robert Aaron Long, is a troubled young man with a history of mental illness. Two stories in the Washington Post highlight the problems the left has with dealing with reality. The first, headlined in at the beginning of the online and print versions spoke of the troubles Aaron faced in his life, starting the article with “The war within Robert Arron Long was evident for years.” Long is portrayed as a quiet young man who was raised in a strict religious family and community. He was seen changing after graduation from High School when he became obsessed with sex. He found relief through pornography and visits to massage parlors where the women would help him masturbate. He was in rehabilitation programs that centered on religious therapy. He eventually succumbed to guilt and decided that killing the sex workers at the Spas would reduce his guilt. He was captured on the way to Florida where he intended to attack the Porn industry.
Six of the eight people he killed were Asian. The media immediately declared this a hate crime and decried the rise in hate crimes against Asians, blaming it on President Trump calling the Covid-19 virus the Chinese virus. Statistically a case can be made for an increase. According to reports the number of hate crime against Asians rose 150% between 2019 and 2020. The number of hate crimes recorded against Asians in 2020 was 122. Society should never tolerate hate crime and one is too many, yet 122 is hardly at crisis level. To be clear these are reported hate crimes and the number does not cover anti-Asian racist incidents.
The second article in the WP was about President Biden and Vice-President Harris on a trip to Atlanta speaking out on the crime and declaring it a racist act. This is reminiscent of President Obama’s visit to Ferguson Missouri following the death of Michael Brown. Browns death at the hands of a police officer was called police brutality perpetrated by a white officer. This launched the Black Lives Matter movement as well as several deadly riots across the country. Obama and his AG, Eric Holder, met with the community and spoke of the horror of racism and the need for police reform. In the end, after all the evidence was collected, it was determined that Brown had attacked the officer and that the shooting was justified.
As the evidence is being collected in Atlanta it is becoming clear that this is not a hate crime against Asians, but murder committed by a deranged individual who targeted sex workers who he felt were guilty of his problems. What the takeaway should be is to look at the potential of sex trafficking in this case, the use of massage parlors to conduct prostitution, and the need to pay attention to the mentally ill in need of help. The response should bot be an instant cry of racism and protests and calls for more laws. We need to look at the reality and evidence and wait and see were that leads us. In other words, Pleasethink before just reacting.
We need to remember the story of the boy who cried wolf. When will the cry of racism become ignored? A military axiom from Frederick the Great of Prussia states, He who defends everything defends nothing. We can extend that today and say when everything becomes racist, then nothing is racist. There is racism in the world, always has been and always will be. The objective is to blunt its impact on society. Today however we reward its activities and when there is not enough, we make it up. The people that gain from this are not the few racist/white supremacist/black activist, but the politicians who use it to increase their hold on power at the expense of the people. I for one am tired of them trying to manipulate me.
What happened Atlanta was a crime, it was murder, it was mass murder, but it was not racially motivated and to insist that it was is to deny the facts and ignore the true nature of the crime which means that crimes like this will continue while society looks the other way.
I have been asked why it bothers me that such things as removing Disney’s Peter Pan, Dumbo, or the cartoon Pepe La Pew, when they are meaningless to someone of my age. My response has been that it is not the specific action that bothers me it is the stupidity of it. Emotional reactions are more destructive to society than discussing things logically. Returning to Pepe Le Pew, it is now suggested that his affection for Penelope Pussycat is symbolic of a “rape-revenge narrative” in many cases it was Penelope who became the aggressor. In the end, it is a cartoon. The Indians/Native Americans, characterization is viewed as degrading. The degrading imagery of the crows in Dumbo, with one named Jim Crow is the closest thing that needs to be removed, yet again it is a cartoon, and the crows could be revoiced and renamed without effecting the story. The story lines are either educational or just comical there is no reason to deny them to future generations
Recently in North Carolina a class of 4th graders was given an assignment to write tweets as if they were in the Civil War era. In an article in the Washington Post the assignment was made to look like a white supremacist workbook. Some of the students wrote, to quote the article, “You may not agree with slavery but I do and I’m honest about it. #SlaveryforLife,” read one, above the made-up account name @dontStopSlavery. Said another, using the handle @Confederate4life: “Why do we need to leave the country? We can stay and our slaves! #SLAVERYFOREVER.” It is important to remember this was an assignment to teach the thinking of a bygone era. There was nowhere in the story about the any after discussion, what was the lesson learned. Was it possible that afterward there was a discussion about how the view of race has changed over the years and what we need to know today, that would be education, not political correctness. Even a member of the local NAACP and former member of the Board of education said: “that the lack of context made it appear as if the students were espousing racist messages themselves rather than showing what they believed people might have written during the Civil War.”, but then continued “It should be deeply disturbing to anyone,”
We are losing connection with our past and attempting to rewrite history to the current narrative. To disconnect from our history, warts, and all, makes it impossible to move forward in an orderly fashion and leads to emotional and reactionary laws. We cannot govern this way and expect our society to progress. To forget the past or worse to rewrite it, is the sure and certain road to losing everything we hold dear as a nation.
The concept of the filibuster has made headlines this week and it very existence has been threatened. What is a filibuster, its an attempt by the minority to slowdown, thwart or stop legislation they do not agree with. The filibuster is not explicitly granted in the constitution but is a part of the Senate rules, a process that is allowed by the constitution. The concept of filibuster goes back to Roman times and has been used in other governments. The philosophy behind the filibuster is much the same driving force that has been a part of American political philosophy since the beginning, protect the minority opinion from being smashed by an overbearing majority.
The constitution has a dual purpose, to set up the government and then to restrict its power. The filibuster is an extension of that restriction. It is also a political tool to prove that a Senator is representing their States wishes and some form of ideology. Senator Strom Thurmond used the filibuster several time while opposing civil rights legislation. Not only did he oppose the legislation he also went against his own party, Democrat, to represent what he felt was the opinion of his state. South Carolina. It takes a super majority. 60 Senators, to close debate which in many cases will allow it to go on for a long time.
Today, many of the majority Democrats have pushed to remove the filibuster from the Senate rules. This would allow for legislation that is popular for the moment to be passed by simple majority vote. The removal of rules that protect the minority from having any power to shape legislation is not a victory for democracy but a move toward a dictatorship of the majority. I would also point out to those who seek this to PLEASEThink what it will mean when they are no longer in the majority and the other party can legislate with no restrictions.
I would like to say I am happy that Congress finally passed a covid-19 relief bill. I would like to but cannot since this is the wrong bill at the wrong time with most of it aimed at the wrong things. I am happy that an additional $1400.00 will be going out, but it not going to impact the economy and could have been accomplished months ago had the Democrat party been more concerned with the people then trying to make sure President Trump did not get credit. I listened to Chuck Shummer today say that the money will help reduce poverty, how? The poverty level is currently at 10.5%, the lowest it has ever been and has declined steadily for years, but that does not fit the lefts narrative. It is suppose to help reopen schools and help struggling businesses through loans and grants, but at what cost? While only 9% is actually directed at direct covid relief the rest is designed to send tax dollars to state and local governments to offset the cost of implementing mitigation programs. Those of us who have followed how government programs are run know that most of the money will get eaten up by an increased in bureaucracy with little ever getting to the intended target. No this is a bad bill that will cost the tax payer and accomplish little.
The US House of Representatives passed HR 1 also known as “For the People Act.” The intent of this act is, as stated in the bill, “To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.” While this sounds wonderful and people will question how anybody can oppose this, the answer is simple, it is an undemocratic intrusion on legitimate citizens voting power. Overall, the problem is that it intends to usurp State control over their election process and bring it under control of the federal government. If you recall from civics class, when they had such things, one of the main concerns of the States was an all-powerful central government. This bill is a move toward that. It limits the actions to elections for federal office, but to be serious the only election of a federal office that is nation wide is that of President/Vice-President. Senate and House elections are intended to vote in, or out, persons representing the State or districts.
In the first section of the act, titled Voter Registration Modernization,” it attempts to bring in the internet. Again, a noble objective with ignoble intent. I have no objection to using online registration but there has to be some form of validation. In an attempt to assure validation the applicant must:
(a) Requiring Availability Of Internet For Online Registration.—Each State, acting through the chief State election official, shall ensure that the following services are available to the public
“(1) Online application for voter registration.
“(2) Online assistance to applicants in applying to register to vote.
“(3) Online completion and submission by applicants of the mail voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to section 9(a)(2), including assistance with providing a signature as required under subsection (c)).
“(4) Online receipt of completed voter registration applications.
“(b) Acceptance Of Completed Applications.—A State shall accept an online voter registration application provided by an individual under this section
“(1) the individual meets the same voter registration requirements applicable to individuals who register to vote by mail in accordance with section 6(a)(1) using the mail voter registration application form prescribed by the Election Assistance Commission pursuant to section 9(a)(2); and
“(2) the individual meets the requirements of subsection (c) to provide a signature in electronic form (but only in the case of applications submitted during or after the second year in which this section is in effect in the State).
“(c) Signature Requirements.—
“(1) IN GENERAL.—For purposes of this section, an individual meets the requirements of this subsection as follows:
“(A) In the case of an individual who has a signature on file with a State agency, including the State motor vehicle authority, that is required to provide voter registration services under this Act or any other law, the individual consents to the transfer of that electronic signature.
“(B) If subparagraph (A) does not apply, the individual submits with the application an electronic copy of the individual’s handwritten signature through electronic means.
“(C) If subparagraph (A) and subparagraph (B) do not apply, the individual executes a computerized mark in the signature field on an online voter registration application, in accordance with reasonable security measures established by the State, but only if the State accepts such mark from the individual.
In other words, almost anything counts as a signature, and anyone can register.
Next, the act demands that all eligible voters be registered automatically by other agencies such as motor vehicle departments when you get a driver’s license. This will be automatic, and the person needs to decline if they do not wish to be registered. All States must also allow for same day registration and mandate a minimum of 15-day early voting. It makes it very difficult for States to purge voter list of ineligible voters. It also allows for mail-in ballots for any reason and once an application for mail-in ballot is made it is considered a request for all future elections. It continues with prohibition of foreign entities election interference, which is already established in law. Demands that all candidates release 10 years’ worth of tax returns, guess who that is aimed at. Strengthens oversight of online political advertising, which depending on all is making decisions on what is wrong likely will run afoul of the 1st amendment. It declares the Supreme Court wrong in Citizens United and moves to remove large corporate contributions to political campaigns. Good luck with that. It also aims to end gerrymandering, again good luck.
There is a good deal more in this act, but the bottom line is that the Federal Government is imposing liberal ideology on States for the purpose of ensuring a left-wing voter majority. This will include those who should not be considered eligible or even existing. There is very little in this act that is designed to enhance citizens right to vote or protect that right. In fact, it does just the opposite. I do not think this has much chance in the Senate, but it may pass. There will be a number of lawsuits to come out of this and should the republicans recapture the house and senate in 2022 will be repealed. This bill of course is designed to make sure that does not happen.
Reparations to the African American community for the sin of slavery has once again made it into the mainstream conversation. Cedric Richmond, a White House advisor has indicated that the President may take unilateral action to bypass Congress and institute some form of reparations to Black Americans. This would not be the first time the US government has paid reparations for past actions including to native American tribes, Native Hawaiian and others for mistreatment and land confiscation. These reparations in most cases were paid to the actual victims of government misdeeds, such as those Japanese Americans interned in camps during World War II or those African Americans subjected to horrific experiments such as those in Tuskegee. The question now, so many years later, is who is to receive these reparations and who is to pay for them.
According to Richmond a purpose of reparations is because “we have to start breaking down systemic racism and barriers that have held people of color back and especially African Americans.” “We have to do stuff now.” The problem with this is that systemic racism is a myth perpetuated on the country and most people of color have made great strides and live a normal middle class American existence. There are no survivors of slavery to be paid. Those horrors that many point out are part of history and have been imposed on many of our citizens, black and white.
While the slave trade is one of the earliest and most repugnant forms, there are other types of ethnic and racial suppression. One of the earliest groups known to have been enslaved in mass were the Jewish tribes in the middle east. Anti-Semitism was well established before the holocaust and the German government has been paying reparations since the end of the war. Anti-Semitism continued after the war; I remember the story my parents told of being told that when trying to book their honeymoon they were turned down. The reason given by the travel agent was that the resort was restricted, no Jews. When it was offered to try again explaining they were Christian, to their great honor they said they did not want to stay at such a place. Today of course we see the continuation of this by the liberal left including BDS. Irish, Italian, Asian and Polish have experienced prejudice and violence over the years. To set the record straight what others have experienced is nothing compared to what African Americans have over the years.
Regardless of the harm done are reparations the answer. Beyond reparations Richmond supports making Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) tuition free. In the past there have been a number of civil rights acts and legislation that was meant to address and redress the wrongs of the past. Such actions as the Voting Rights Act, The Civil Rights Act of 1964, Affirmative action legislation other action to grant special considerations to historically deprived groups. These made way for the beginning of full citizenship rights for blacks in America, rights that should never have been denied.
Fifty years after, we should be beyond the point of continuing special considerations. While we need to keep an eye out and ensure all have an equal opportunity, we are past interfering with normal growth. Reparations have become a buzz word of the left without any substance behind it or reasons for it. It is time to move forward to solve actual problems today.
As you can tell from the title, I am no Dr, Suess. I do need to talk to you today about him. By now we all know that Dr. Suess has come under attack for his books having “undertones of racism.” While others have mentioned in the past some of the imagery in Dr. Suess books did portray racial stereotypes, the main study being used today is an article in “Research on Diversity in Youth Literature,” by Katie Ishizuka and Ramón Stephens.
Since the authors have reached back to Suess’s past to prove a racist predilection it is important to look at the authors past and current positions. To their credit they mentioned it in the paper “Katie is a director and Japanese American researcher for the critical literacy organization, The Conscious Kid. Her grandparents were incarcerated at Manzanar and Minidoka concentration camps during World War II, so her family was directly impacted by the anti-Japanese rhetoric and hysteria that Seuss fueled and espoused. Ramón is a director and Black male educator for The Conscious Kid. A CRT (Critical Race Theory) framework was employed due to his professional training and to address Black teacher advocacy in teaching.”
March 2nd is Read Across America Day; the date was picked because it is Theodor Seuss Geisel’s birthday. This year he would have been 117, which means he was born in 1904. He was raised in Springfield MA and went to Dartmouth College as an undergrad and then attended Lincoln College, Oxford. Intending to be an English teacher he was diverted by another student, Helen Palmer who would be his wife, to use his skills at drawing and illustration. Following collage, he launched a career doing Political cartoons and illustrations for marketing. Now we have a Youngman in the mid-1920s to early 1930’s working in advertisement the authors of depict it as “In spite of Dr. Seuss’ extensive body of explicitly racist published works dehumanizing and degrading Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and people from other marginalized groups (including Jewish people and Muslims), many differentiate and defend the author’s children’s books as “promoting tolerance,” and even “anti-racist.” This last, seems to piss the authors off to no end.
I will admit I did not read every word of the paper but read most of it and understand the intent of the authors. In explaining how they went about their study; “Our study sought to evaluate the claims that his children’s books are anti-racist, and was shaped by the research question: How and to what extent are non-White characters depicted in Dr. Seuss’ children’s books? We designed our study to provide important insights into the manner and extent to which White characters and characters of color are portrayed, and assess their implications to the development and reinforcement of racial bias in young children.”
The question is, did they really search out the truth or did they look for information that supported their predetermined conclusion? In the background of the paper under Seuss’ History of Publishing Racist Works they go back to his Undergraduate days; “In the 1920s, Dr. Seuss published anti-Black and anti-Semitic cartoons in Dartmouth’s humor magazine, the Jack-O-Lantern. He depicted a Jewish couple (captioned “the Cohen’s”) with oversized noses and Jewish merchants on a football field with “Quarterback Mosenblum” refusing to relinquish the ball until a bargain price has been established for the goods being sold. In the same issue of Jack-O-Lantern, Seuss drew Black male boxers as gorillas.” I cannot defend these images they are fairly common for the time. If the depiction of the Quarterback causes censorship we will need to ban “The Merchant of Venice.” Much of what he did as a political cartoonist and illustrations he did in marketing reflected mass appeal and that is what politics and marketing is all about. Most of the advertisements in the 50’s and 60’s depicted women in subservient roles wearing stings of pearls while in house dresses. Should we ban everything Mary Taylor Moore did because she once dress as a fairy and danced around a refrigerator? Ishizuka personalizes his anti-Japanese work during the war and talks about his work with Frank Capra to dehumanize the Japanese. I am sorry but this was a war and Pearl Harbor was very fresh in the minds of America. If Suess is to be punished let us ban the works of Capra such as “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
The paper starts out with the premise that Suess was an unrepentant racist. The biases of Ishizuka and Stephens runs through this paper, In particular we must address the concept of Critical Race Theory which deep in the assessment. Stephens academic career has focused on race and CRT as well as critical literacy. These subjects have been subjected to the complaint that they are too judgmental based on the assumption that all white people suffer from white privilege and support in one form or another white supremacy. These terms run as a consistent theme in the paper. When researching this subject, the authors point out that the cat in the hat is based on blackface and minstrel shows indicates a deep-seated misunderstanding of the books. They also state that any defense of Suess in based on whiteness.
Keep reading Suess to your children, it encourages reading and teaches tolerance.
We have heard a lot about something called diversity, brought up again form the Golden Globe awards. The awards are voted on by the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. For many years there have been complaints about how the nominations are made and voted on. Recently it was pointed out that the studio that made ‘Emily in Paris’ treated members of the association to an all-expense paid visit to Paris and the area where the show was filmed. This is as opposed to studios taking out full page ads and putting up billboards to get their films pushed forward during Oscar time. Now, in this age of political correctness, the main complaint is lack of diversity in the voting members.
Which leads us to today’s topic, DIVERSITY. As always let us define the word. Generally, diversity means variety, having ranges of different something. When discussed in a social, business, or academic setting it means inclusion of different races, political thought, sexual orientation, gender, or ethnic backgrounds. I can agree with all of this and desire it in my life. Today however we are using the term to mean quota.
Making any group maintain a membership based on percentages of any of the above does not guarantee a better group. It may guarantee the appearance of diversity but not the desired outcome of a diverse grouping. If someone is hired based on a racial quota it would likely mean that person is only going to interact with that racial group with little chance to grow professionally.
America today has the most racially diverse population on the planet. In the past they have been segregated and that was wrong, and from a business and social growth standpoint, stupid. It has been over the years. through legislation and self-correcting, changed. Yet we are being bombarded with calls to greater diversity. We have diversified but are being pushed into quotas which will serve no one.
The reason for his hue and cry is because those calling for greater diversity are those on the left who reject diversity in political speech. The left is the least diverse group in composition and thought. If we look back on the last couple of presidential campaigns the right had the most diverse group of candidates while the left personified old and white. What we should be striving for is the ability to bring in different ideas and discuss them. Both the left and right do come to the table with different ideas but there is no discussion, just yelling and hatred.
The political leadership will not change so it is up to us to PLEASEThink about what we want and where we want to be and force the change.