I wanna be president, too! Part 2

For the second installment I shall continue My American Story, My American Dream. How my Irish ancestor, Sheamus O’Wilt was impressed into the British Merchant Service, jumped ship in Jamaica, and disguised as an African, worked the sugar cane fields until he built a raft and sailed to Boston. Like many new Americans, he had but two pence in his pocket. Unfortunately, he also brought along with him a gargantuan thirst.

I wanna be president, too!

Oh, what the hell. I’m hereby declaring my candidacy for U.S.A president. After years of pleading from family, friends and strangers throughout the country, I decided, hey, why not?

My life story is great and it’s American. I was born in the state of presidents, the great state of Ohio, in the Rubber CHAMPION of the world, the Jewel of the Cuyahoga, shall I say sacred? City of Akron. In the fateful year of 1949, at the old Peoples Hospital, was I brought into the surly world: half-mile from the Ohio Canal, the burial waters of many families life’s treasures; a quarter mile from the Little Cuyahoga river, where a vital process of tire manufacture took place for the mighty Firestone Tire and Rubber – all God-given natural resources of Akron.

Akron, O Akron: the home city of Hugh Downs, John Lithgrow, Paige Palmer, Jeffy D.(rapper), Clark Gable, Louis-Ferdinand Celine, and the King of Basketball, may I utter his name? Lebron James. Akron has been envied by spiteful, small-minded people, but it is the largest city in America where so many, who left in a fit of madness, eventually return. This the greatness upon which I feed.

God blessed me with my parents, who shall go unnamed. In the second quarter of 1948, they teamed up to produce the zygote from which I sprung. Let us pretend that my father heard a commotion outside the house and had to leave for a moment to investigate. In that case, I would not have been born, but a brother or sister of my ethereal self. Or perhaps no one at all. Perhaps this hypothetical person decided not to run for president but to live out his or her life in private bliss. Ah, the mystery of Fate!

This is the first installment of my Great American Story. A very important basketball game is about to begin which requires my attention.

Education – Chris Christie Lies and Lies

Christie is not stupid at all. He plays directly into the prejudices of his audience.  No one objects to the crap he’s spewing because they all believe it’s true.

The public schools are failing in urban areas – what’s the biggest reason everybody?  Because WE have allowed families in these areas to fail. We have stood by and watched the most powerful institution in society fall into pieces.  In some areas of this country, kids are ON THEIR OWN.  The only love they get is from the local street gang.

Whose at fault?  Mothers, fathers, absent fathers, teachers, administrators, law enforcement, educational theorists, unions, the absence of unions, private corporations who feel no responsibility toward the society who support them… quick, I’m running out of ideas

There are more villains to list, but who are the easiest to pick on – the teachers.  It’s like,

“Everybody is drowning!  It’s the fault of the lifeguards!”

No. Why don’t we teach people how to swim?”

“What are you, a communist?”

Rampant stupidity has settled into the public debate on education, and there it shall remain because our current leaders don’t want to touch it.  They might have to blame the parents, i.e. the voters, for their negligence, or point the finger at the cheeses, i.e., donors and bribers, for rigging the system so that many parents have to work two or three jobs to support their families.

So what should a poor, bedraggled lot of put-upon peasants to do?  What was that last word… peasants?  Peasants don’t have power to change society, but CITIZENS do. As CITIZENS we have the power to demand superior public education and we will kick, scream, vote, and vote again and raise money and vote again and again until we get what we want – and if some fathead says, “Blame the lazy teachers!”, we know he’s lying.

Send CHRIS CHRISTIE an email and tell him we know he’s lying and you’re not necessarily a Clinton supporter. You might even be a Republican who has had enough.  Send Christie an email. He knows the truth but he’s lying to get his crummy votes. Our once great American public school system is in peril.  Don’t depend on politicians or rich people or corporate interests or academe to save it.

Only WE, the CITIZENS, can save it.

Free Trade – The Long Con

To all free trade zealots: yes, free trade should result in lower prices for consumers by holding down labor costs. This is fine if shoppers can put out of their minds the many foreign workers who are virtual slaves. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are stuck in low wage jobs that barely cover those most essential human needs: food and shelter. Unfortunately, neither are traded globally. Their prices are set by local supply and demand. So you have low wage and unemployed Americans able to buy cell phones, good for locating homeless shelters and soup kitchens.

If we allow the Oligarchy to continue its rule over America with free trade policies, citizens will finally wake up to the fact they have totally lost control over their lives. And, mark it: they will finally wake up. They may conclude the only solution is bloody revolution, which almost never works. Then what?

Gun Control For The Umpteenth Time

The ONLY way sane gun control will ever happen in the USA: imagine an open air speech given by the president somewhere in the US The crowd is crawling with people carrying handguns openly in waist or shoulder holsters. The Secret Service cannot pay attention to all of them. At some point during the speech, a lone nut pulls out a machine pistol and kills the president, the first lady, the first kids, the first cat, the first parakeet, etc. Several gun carrying citizens pull out their weapons and start shooting at the assassin, but since none of them can shoot worth a damn, many innocent people are slaughtered while the gunman gets away. Maybe then the American people will become incensed to the point where the NRA headquarters will be burned down and gun control opponents in Congress and state legislatures must go into hiding or be flogged.

You would think that killing 23 school kids in CT might stir up enough outrage to demand a change, but it did not happen. I’m wondering if any atrocity would be bad enough to do the trick. Suppose the CT event doesn’t qualify because there were too few deaths and the children were too old. What if a madman invaded a maternity ward and shot 50 babies to death? At what point do even the so-called “law-abiding responsible gun owners” say, “hey, that’s enough!” C’mon, there MUST be a limit to the horror! Then again, I’ve always been an optimist.

In Defense Of “Politics”

Politics is the art and science of influencing people. It does not come in genders. There is no male or female politics.

In society, people will disagree on a particular issue. This issue gets resolved through the practice of politics. There is no other way.

One side influences the other side through either coercion or persuasion. If a guy wants to rob a convenience store, society shows its displeasure by throwing the criminal in jail. If you want to eliminate homelessness, they must persuade enough people to follow your plan.

People forget, or they’re not aware, that both sides are convinced of their moral superiority. Remember the Nazi’s delusion; killing all the Jews will save humanity.

So if you can’t convert your opponents, what can you do? You can coerce people to follow your cause, a tactic terrorists favor. Or you can persuade others their best interest is served by coming around to your point of view. This is what we like to think is the American way of influencing each other.

This is where people find politics objectionable. Appealing to self-interest seems wrong, dirty. However, almost every day you appeal to another’s best interest to get what you need as others do likewise to you.. This process, or “game”, goes on within the family, in the workplace, at church, as well as within the country – wherever people hold opposing views.

We should expect that politics, however practiced, advances the common good. Making history by becoming the first woman president seems to me, so far, Hillary Clinton’s idea of advancing the common good.