Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Take a Knee or Stand During the National Anthem.

   
Wikimedia Commons     

    Trump's latest attempt at dividing the country and trying to deflect attention away from his Russia scandal and his ignoring the tragedy in Puerto Rico.  He spent almost the entire last weekend tweeting about how disgraceful NFL players were when they took a knee during the national anthem at the NFL games. He didn't give one iota of concern or empathy for the people of Puerto Rico!  He even praised NASCAR for being more patriotic!

    Why did he pick on the NFL? Could it be that the majority of players are Black, compared to NASCAR, which has 1 Black driver?  He says it wasn't racist, but when does he ever say anything that is remotely believable?  Whenever you see photos of NFL stadiums you always see the American flag flying predominantly above all other flags and symbols, unlike many NASCAR tracks in the south where you can see the Confederate flag flying at the same height or higher than the American flag.  How patriotic of NASCAR!

  Many people voice their opinion that taking a knee is not showing respect for the flag and the national anthem.  They totally misunderstand what the flag and the national anthem stand for.  They stand for "liberty and justice for all".  What these players are protesting is that justice in this country is not the same for ALL Americans, certainly not for people of color.  Among the players' supporters are numerous military veterans who fought for their country and the rights of people to exercise their free speech and stand up for the right to protest inequality in our justice system and government.

    Many people argue that the national anthem was written to honor our flag, but the real truth is that it was written as the army of the Confederate States of America, under the Confederate Flag was attacking the US Army base at Fort Sumter!  Also the tradition of playing the national anthem while the NFL players stood was started as a paid recruitment tool for the military.

Flickr  

Flickr

   According to Trump the above images would be acceptable, in regards to showing respect to the American flag! Perhaps not really the second photo as she does not appear to be white!


It's time for Trump to stop trying to divide the country and start bringing the country together.  He is the President of all of the American people, not just the minority who voted for him!
Just a thought!

Monday, September 25, 2017

What About Puerto Rico?

NASA Earth Observatory  
    So far this month we have had three devastating hurricanes, Harvey, Irma and Maria.  Harvey was particularly devastating for Texas, Florida and parts of the Gulf Coast. Irma badly damaged parts of Florida including the Florida Keys. Maria literally wiped out St. John and St. Thomas, islands of the US Virgin Islands, before almost destroying Puerto Rico.

    For a week we saw non-stop coverage of Harvey and it's aftermath in Texas.  We saw Texans and the American people coming together to help their fellow countrymen who were suffering from the ravages of the hurricane.  Donations flooded in to help the residents of Texas, as they should.  When hurricane Maria struck the US Virgin Islands it totally destroyed the islands of St. John and St. Thomas.  Nothing was left! I am sure many people have visited these beautiful island while on a cruise of the Caribbean.  But now it is all gone! Even the palm trees have been destroyed!  Next in line for Maria was Puerto Rico.  The entire island lost power and are just about out of water and food!

    Where was the constant media coverage of this tragedy?  There was sparse coverage of the devastation in this part of the US.  Only MSNBC covered the devastation in length and asked for donations for these citizens.  People were interviewed regarding sending help to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands and their ignorant responses were downright sickening!  People actually said our money should go to Americans and not foreigners living in the Caribbean!  What ignorant fools!  They are not smart enough to realize that Puerto Rico, St. John and St. Thomas ARE part of the US and their citizens ARE Americans!  Even our so called President ignored them, paying attention to tweeting about Hillary or the NFL players exercising their First Amendment rights!

    Just maybe the reasons why these islands were either ignored or paid little attention to were that they were not white and some spoke Spanish?  Just a thought.

Friday, September 22, 2017

My New Morning Routine.

Since election day I have a new morning routine.  As soon as I wake up I check my iPhone to see what embarrassing thing, Trump  the dotard has said or did overnight and early morning.  Once I see that we are not at war with either our enemies or our allies I breathe a sigh of relief. Does anyone else do this?

So sad!


Happy First Day of Fall!

Wikimedia Commons
    Today is September 22 and the first day of fall! Here in western New York it seems like the middle of summer with temperatures in the 80's!  Enjoy the weather while it lasts.  Winter will be here before you know it.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

I Think I'll Declare My Home a Church!


    The other day I got my school taxes and am anxiously awaiting the receipt of my property taxes!  Needless to say I am not happy that my school taxes have gone up, especially since I do not have any children.  As I have been traveling around my area the last few days my aggravation about my taxes increased as I noticed the number of churches in my area.  Sure there are churches of the mainstream religions, which have been established for a number of years and are part of the history of my town.  But what gets me are these churches with names I have never heard of that are popping up all over. "Jubilation", Flowing Waters", "River church" and all kinds of weirdly named churches, with acres and acres of land attached, are packed into my small town.  Each and everyone of them are tax exempt!  Not one cent is paid by these churches to the community!  

    One would think that with this many churches the area would be a beautiful Garden of Eden, instead of an area of low to stagnant income, high poverty rates and moderate unemployment and a moderately high crime rate. I see where the mainstream churches give back to the community, but I hardly see these other so called churches offering anything to the community.  

    During the recent hurricane in Texas we see how one of the nation's largest "megachurches" lied and refused to open it's doors to those left homeless by the floods.  The pastor of this church is a multi-millionaire with a huge mansion and jet planes!  Most of these churches are nothing but big businesses that are taking money from people who can hardly afford their daily living expenses! And they do not pay one cent in taxes!

    I've decided that I am going to declare my home a church and cease paying taxes! I may not have a big following in my church but I think I will be a lot nicer to my fellow human beings than these megachurch pastors!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Major Disasters Are Always Worse for the Poor



    As we all watch the horrible tragedy of hurricane Harvey unravel in Texas and the loss of people's homes and livelihoods and even lives, our hearts go out to all of the victims and first responders.  Many of us ask why not everyone heeded the advice of public officials to evacuate. It seems that the victims who suffered the most with injuries and loss of lives are the least fortunate in our society.

    But stop and think for a while.  How many of us would be prepared to leave everything, our homes, our belongings and our  memories in just a matter of hours, if an evacuation was ordered in our community?  How many of us would not have cars? How many of us don't have relatives or friends living nearby who could take us in?  How many of us wouldn't have the money to pay for possibly several tanks of gasoline?  How many of us don't have credit cards?  How many of us aren't healthy enough to drop everything, including our medications or devices such as wheelchairs, oxygen tanks etc. and travel quite a number of miles?  How many of us could simply leave our pets behind to suffer or die?

    There's no question about it,  natural disasters, such as hurricanes, are not as devastating to those more economically advantaged.  If you look at disasters all around the world, whether they be hurricanes, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes or war it's always the poorest among us who suffer!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Why Do People Need to Hate?

Flickr 
         
    A few days ago the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled 8-3 that work place discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, thus making it unconstitutional.  I really didn't think much of this at first as I had worked in a large Boston hospital for many years where LGBT people, including myself were openly accepted.  I guess if you are sick or dying people really don't give a damn what your sexual orientation is.  What got me thinking was the outcry from a large number of people saying that not being able to fire gay people violates their religious beliefs. 

    This same argument is used against same sex marriage  and businesses having to serve gay clients.  I am gay and am in a same sex marriage (Doma is Gone! Now What?).  My closest friends are straight and married, in a heterosexual marriage.  The issue of me being in a same sex marriage never comes up. My friends are also devout Catholics and  my marriage apparently does not violate their religious beliefs. I am also a Catholic.  None of the marriages of my straight friends have ever suffered in any way from my marriage.  I know of no one, religious or otherwise who has suffered, either from me being gay or my gay marriage. 

    I was raised a Catholic and most, if not all,  of my friends were Christian.  I never learned that part of being a Christian involved hating another person because of their sexual orientation or any other reason, for that matter. I always thought a religious person was one who loved everyone, regardless of who or what they were. Remember the second commandment, "Thou Shalt love thy neighbor as thyself" ( Does Religion Breed Hatred, Bigotry and Violence?)?  I don't think that includes discriminating against anyone!  It is interesting to note that when some of these so called Christians complain that they are being discriminated against because they are Christians, they cannot cite one incidence where they have been fired from a job, refused service by a business or refused housing because they are Christians!  They have their basic right to practice their faith as a religion, but when it comes to other religions or groups of people having the same rights as them, then they start complaining that they are being persecuted!

    If these haters are not hating the LGBT community they will find another group to hate. We have seen, just during the past year,  how the religion of Islam has been demonized, with attacks on mosques, the Muslim faithful and people the haters think are Muslims, such as Hindus and Sikhs. We have seen transgender people physically attacked and murdered (Crimes Against Transgender People).  We have seen synagogues and Jewish Community Centers become the targets of bomb threats and desecration.  We have seen immigrants attacked, physically and verbally, even though they are bona fide American citizens.  The USA is supposedly a Christian nation, so it is with confidence I can say these acts of violence, hatred and terrorism have been carried out by Christians!  These people are no longer Christians if they profess a belief that it is their God given right to hate and discriminate.  They cannot profess to be a Christian when their words and actions are more akin to the KKK, Isis, Nazis, White Supremacists and other similar hate groups.  They are no longer a religion, but a terrorist group! And should bve treated as such.

    I suppose some degree of education and tolerance could do something to reduce the amount of hatred in our country, but I believe that some people are predisposed to hatred, especially when they view their own shortcomings and ignorance.  Hatred and violence has been a part of humanity ever since humans began walking this earth.  People have been hated throughout history because of their religion, their color, their tribal connections, their physical appearance (weight, height, hair color etc.) and even their education or lack of.  It is very disturbing and very disheartening to see hatred and how it effects our friends, family and fellow citizens, but we must not accept it as a norm.  Hatred and violence will always be a part of society, but we cannot let it define our society! Just thinking. 

    
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