Tag Archives: life

Who Has the Mob Mentality?

21 Sep

Here is something I didn’t know…

From 1882 to 1968, close to 200 anti-lynching bills were introduced in the U.S. Congress. Only Three passed the House and those were later filibustered in the Senate and never received a vote. Seven presidents between 1890 and 1952 petitioned Congress to pass a federal law but none was ever passed.

A lynching is when a mob (usually a group of white people) kills someone, (usually a black person ) especially by hanging, for an alleged offense and done without legal authority.

I’m supposing that the mob felt that there was safety in numbers because since there was no federal law prohibiting mass murder of this type (with the mass being on the opposite side of the murder equation) so it was left up to the states to enforce or prosecute said lynchings…which they usually did not…even when photos of the perpetrators were taken and made available. (usually by the perpetrators themselves!)

I became curious about this subject while watching the new Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts (oddly enough this was never a topic of discussion in public school even though lynchings were still occurring and were “legal” in my lifetime)

Anyway, anti-lynching bills came to the fore during the years of Franklin Roosevelt’s presidency and although he is well know as a social reformer President Roosevelt did not support the federal anti-lynching bills because he feared that support would cost him Southern votes during his many elections. (perhaps “feared” is the wrong word here) In any event he apparently believed that he could accomplish more for more people simply by getting re-elected and in 1939 he created the Civil Rights Section of the Justice Department and directed them to start prosecutions to combat lynching. How did they do?  They failed to win any convictions until 1946.

Things apparently got so bad that after WWII and during the cold war even the Soviet Union (of all unions) criticized the United States for the frequency of lynchings of black people and later in 1951 the famous actor Paul Robeson and the Civil Rights Congress argued at the United Nations that the U.S. government was guilty of genocide under Article II of the United Nations Genocide Convention because it failed to act against lynchings… The United Nations of course…took no action.

But then the FBI helped…by declaring people like Albert Einstein to be communist sympathizers for joining Mr. Robeson’s crusade.  J. Edgar Hoover (everyone’s heard of him) even went so far as to direct more attention to investigations of civil rights groups for communist connections than to Ku Klux Klan activities…like lynching.

So when exactly did the United States Congress pass legislation making lynchings a federal crime in America?

Amazingly, the answer is: Never

But On June 13, 2005, not Congress, but the U.S. Senate, formally apologized for its failure in the early 20th century, “when it was most needed”, to enact a Federal anti-lynching law… and by a voice vote no less (not a roll call)…I wonder why?

Thankfully people as a whole, or groups, have pretty much decided that lynchings are no longer in vogue and so we don’t have… any? or… as many? anymore… but can you imagine what must have been going through the minds of the protesters in Furguson Missouri while they were staring into the massed weapons of the police’s armored vehicles and automatic weapons following the shooting of Michael Brown?

Weren’t the police just daring them to go ahead and try something that night? To see what they might get? I’m sure the police had absolutely no doubt what they, the police, might get should they be “forced” to fire upon a goaded and angry mob of militant protesters…Off…does anyone doubt that?

Racism is not dead in this country. Dormant in most places, maybe, but dead? How could it be? Who has really tried to kill it or seriously eradicate it? I mean really… until it was just snuffed out…you know, like Native Americans at Wounded Knee… seriously, who?

What’s In a Name?

9 Sep

The High School in which I was a teacher for 31 years always offered a course in the study of The Holocaust. The town in which the high school was located had a long and rich history that included many Jewish residents and visitors and so this particular course touched upon a subject that was both near and dear to the hearts of those who lived and worked and taught within the town.

But of course the importance of teaching such a course was to instruct all of the students and residents of the town that such a horrible atrocity could never be forgotten and that this monstrous injustice could occur somewhere else and at some other time to any group of people and anywhere within our world where people did not remain vigilant or were willing to forget or disbelieve that humans could ever treat other humans with such cold cruelty.

And of course the corner stone of the course, if you will, was always the phrase: “Never forget”. We must never forget what happened in the Germany of WWII lest an atrocity of similar horror happen again.

And so over the years the course was taught, and as fate would have it, over the years our classes, students and public school community gradually changed complexion until one day I was listening in when a young African American student, looking a bit bored with the lecture, raised his hand and said, “Who cares about this. What about slavery?” as many of the other students of color began to mutter their agreement.

And I will never forget what the teacher’s response was…and this is going to sound like I’m making it up although I swear to you, on my honor, that I am not…

The teacher’s response was: “Son, that was a long time ago. You’re going to have to forget about that and move on with your life or you’ll end up going nowhere.”

And that is why The Washington Redskins need to change their name! And Daniel Snyder, the Washington team’s owner, should know better…especially than to say to USA Today and the world…”We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Because Never is a word you use…when you forget.

 

The Other Holy Land?

13 Aug

I would venture to guess that just about everyone can identify where the Holy Land is on a map of the world and why it is known as the Holy Land… because that is where religion and god were born of course. (fancy god being born!)

But I digress, because you would think that a planet’s Holy Land would be a place of peace and prosperity and provide a model for living and behavior to every other living thing on the planet…but our Holy land is exactly the opposite.

It’s a place that is home to thousands of years of bickering and strife, war and terror, unrest and injustice. Maybe it is a model for humanity, judging by how we all live in other parts of the world, but if it is it sure is a lousy one.

What is so Holy about it anyway? And if it is God’s “special place” then how does one explain it for God’s sake? Judaism and Islam have been fighting over who has the most special claim to it and they apparently have vowed to fight about it until the crack of doom. And Christianity is all aglow as to the way things are there because if all remains as it is now then it means that the “crack of doom” is nigh and God will soon return! But on a sadder Christian note… to destroy us all!

How cool…and Holy…is that?

Legend has it that Iceland was originally named Iceland so that foreigners would be frightened off and stay away from what was really a nice place to live. While Greenland, a cold and desolate place, was named Greenland so that folks would want to go there instead, and of course, miss Iceland all together.

Perhaps that’s what’s happened with the Holy Land. I think it is actually some other-where like for instance, Antarctica (Brrrrrr)… where all of the people there, and from many different countries, agree to live in peace and work harmoniously towards scientific and humanitarian goals…plus there hasn’t been a war there in…forever!

Maybe the fact that it’s not (incredibly) hot there is also a clue? I don’t know…just a thought.

 

 

 

 

Apocalyptic Apptitude

8 Aug

 

Today I received this Email message from a Republican website.

Dear Patriot,

There is a huge, hushed-up conspiracy that will wipe out 281 Million Americans in the next 6 months.The media has been forbidden to report anything about it. But at this very moment, the final part of this sinister agenda is being carried out…

…and this will bring God’s Judgement onto America.

But for 37 dollars you can buy the book that will explain how to survive it! And of course this disaster is going to happen because of President Obama and his sinister administration…

But seriously, why would you buy this man’s book or believe that the information in his book could help you survive over 90% of America’s population being wiped out! And why is he so avidly trying to sell books to raise money for a future where money will be useless? Hmmmmmmmm? NOT TO MENTION: 90% of America’s population is going to be wiped out!!! With only Republicans like you left???

It just begs the question: Who will do the cleanup???…Doesn’t it?

I used to love watching Jimmy Swaggart and Tammy Fay and Jim Bakker raise all of that money by trying to help other folks get into heaven. You’d send them all of your hard earned money to help ensure your future in paradise and they’d spend all of that same money on earthly desires like cheap whores, mascara and jewelry…and hardly anyone ever saw the irony.

This is where I like to think that a good education comes in handy. Read! Think! Question! Observe! Think critically!

And even if you consider yourself to be more of a spiritual person rather than an erudite one, and would rather ask yourself what Jesus would do, then by all means be my guest…Jesus may sacrifice himself to save your immortal soul but he would never, never, ever …ask you for money for a book on how he was going to do it.

Now would he?

 

Which Is Better, Less or More?

8 Aug

 

 

Here is a very simple question for all people on every side of the gun debate in America, so please answer it honestly. And in today’s society either one of these scenarios is quite possible so please choose either possibility A or possibility B…no exceptions…no qualifying statements.

Question: In which situation would you feel the safest?

A. You are a concealed gun carrier in a bar filled with concealed gun carrier patrons.

                                                 OR

B. You are the only concealed gun carrier in a bar filled with unarmed patrons.

 

P.s. And if I took your gun away where would you feel (and still B) the safest, then?

Creation Myth?

6 Aug

Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham, advocates a literal interpretation of the Bible and claims that the universe is 6,000 years old, despite scientific evidence from astronomy and from the Earth’s fossil and geological records. He says that Noah’s flood occurred about 4,500 years ago in the year 2348 BC and that the animals carried on Noah’s ark produced the biological diversity we now find on Earth. (7 billion people from 3 mothers? Cool!) He also believes that the dinosaurs co-existed with genetically modern humans.

And according to a Pew research poll 33 percent of U.S. adults, kind of agree with Mr. Ham and disagree with evolution and believe that “humans and other living things have existed in their present form since the beginning of time.”

Now Mr. Ham is saying that if Aliens were to be discovered somewhere in the universe they would also be affected by sin, but the salvation through Christ that the inhabitants of planet Earth benefit from would not apply to them. The Earth was “specially created” by God says Mr. Ham and the sin committed on Earth would affect the rest of creation because the Bible makes it clear that Adam’s sin affected the whole universe, which means that any aliens would also be affected by Adam’s sin, but because they are not Adam’s descendants, they can’t have salvation…and of course, would go straight to hell.

That makes perfect sense to me…doesn’t it to you?

Mr. Ham thinks scientists should stop searching for aliens because the search to find aliens, is itself a product of man’s sinful nature “driven by man’s rebellion against God in a desperate attempt to supposedly prove evolution!”

But I say, what could be more egotistical or desperate or sinfully hubris filled than believing that God made everything “just for us humans”! Or in believing that an all powerful God came up with a complex plan for a complex universe that is so mundane and trite… create a giant universe all for one special species just to see who will be sinful and who will not based on a mistake one “male” of the species made…and just do that over and over and over again… ad infinitum, and nothing else counts.

I’m bored with that universe already and I don’t even have a super intelligent and immortal brain!

Anyway, isn’t God an Alien?

He wasn’t born on Earth or from Earth or of Earth. He made it…didn’t he? So where did he come from if it was not from some alien other-worldly place???

And what if he does come back and lands at Mr. Ham’s Creation Museum just to check out his handiwork and to see how we humans are celebrating him? Right after he steps off his spaceship or flying horse or whatever, people will probably point and say, “Hey look at the sinful alien!”

…and then shoot him! (and then all go straight to hell I suppose?)

 

 

Signing Bonus?

30 Jul

I was driving down the New Jersey turnpike today as I have done quite often over the past 40 years and I am constantly amazed by the incredible array of power plants, smoke stacks, oil tanks, refineries, generating stations, fire belching exhaust stacks and the miles of conduit pipes that seem to connect them all.

It’s the stretch of the Turnpike that most New Jersey-ans like to call “cancer alley” most probably because it smells like and looks like what could be the Devil’s workshop if the Devil indeed had one! And on this day it looked just like it had on any other day of driving through this hellish landscape… except for one small difference.

And that was a giant new sign on one of the largest power plants that read: ” Energy Efficient and Environmentally Advanced”

And I thought to myself, Really? What’s new and different? Have changes been made? Is our country moving in the right direction and are our energy systems finally becoming more efficient and advanced? And if so why does everything still look, smell and belch exactly as it always had before?

So I did a little research and discovered that a new study of the world’s largest economies has ranked the energy efficiency, policy and programs of each, and Germany is ranked #1 with the United States ranked at lucky #13…but worse than that, China is ranked #4 and India #11! We’re behind India and China!

And those are the 2 countries that are always mentioned by U.S. politicians whenever they attempt to explain why America can’t and shouldn’t join in the fight against global warming and climate change…because India and China, the 2 most populous countries are ruining the planet with their energy inefficiency so why should we bother…but we’re doing worse than they are!

Anyway, it turns out that that power plant on the turnpike with the big sign is one of the top polluters in the state of New Jersey. And our Governor recently pulled our state out of a multistate initiative known as the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global climate change.

Those in favor of the program see it as a model on how the nation can curb pollution from power plants that increase global warming. But Critics, like our Governor say that such efforts are ineffective and just another tax on utilities.

So, I guess it’s much more environmentally advanced and efficient to just get a big sign and put that on top of the power plants instead

…yep, that oughta do it…a nice, big, fat sign!

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