It’s the Guns, Stupid

I did not intend to post a fourth post tonight, but … on reading Jeff’s post, I felt I had to. His words speak for themselves, and for the record, I am in 100% agreement with every word. We are the creators of our own doom … the love of guns in this country is greater than the love of life. Thank you, Jeff … great post!

On The Fence Voters

I was never a fan of President Ronald Reagan and can proudly say that I never voted for him. But he did possess an ability during his time in office for communicating a hopeful tone to the American people. They used to call him “The Great Communicator.”

One of his most famous rhetorical flourishes focused around his belief that when he thought about America, he felt that it was that “shining city upon a hill.” Reagan borrowed the analogous quote from John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, who upon setting sail for New England in 1630, reflected on his hopes for what would come to signify American exceptionalism; that we would be the moral compass and example for the rest of the world.

Let’s say that these days, that “shining city” is beginning to look more like an abandoned town, with rubble and burned out facades dotting the landscape…

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What is White Privilege?

Jeff’s post needs no introduction from me — it speaks for itself. Thank you, Jeff.

On The Fence Voters

I’d like to share something with all of you. I’m not on Facebook, nor do I like Facebook. I think the platform is intrusive and, quite frankly, a danger to America in many ways, especially now, with the complicit Mark Zuckerberg refusing to fact check any political ads, regardless of whether they are outright lies. That’s a story for another day.

But while I’m not a participant on the platform, my wife is, and she shared a post with me that’s been getting a lot of attention. It’s very subtle and understated, but it shows the sheer volume of young black men and women who’ve lost their lives in recent years. For, quite simply, being a person of color in America and engaging in activities that many of us could never imagine might jeopardize our lives.

I do not have that problem. I’m white and have never once been stopped…

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Message to the Right: Racism is Alive and Well in America

I realize I have covered this topic already in the last day, but our friend Jeff has written such a thoughtful post, expressing himself far better than I could, that I simply had to share it. Thank you, Jeff.

On The Fence Voters

When it comes to race in this country, I sometimes hesitate to weigh in. After all, I’m a 58-year-old white male. What gives me the right to comment on the plight of African-Americans and other people of color when I haven’t experienced the kind of institutional racism they have?

I’d be remiss if I didn’t say anything, though. The rage I feel inside is real. It’s called empathy, the last time I checked. It’s putting yourself in someone else’s shoes, or at least an ability to think in that manner.

When I see a white cop with his knee on the neck of a black man screaming, “I can’t breathe!” my first instinct is to say to the white policeman, “take your goddamn knee off his neck, you’re killing him!” If that were me suffering the same fate, I’d like to think most would mouth those very same words.

It…

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America Needs an Election Intervention

Jeff over at On the Fence Voters, like most of us, has been giving a lot of thought to the upcoming election. He shares some of those thoughts and a possible solution to the dreaded scenarios that have played through our heads, in his post tonight. Please take a minute to read his thoughts, and let him know what you think. Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

Since the year 2000, we’ve had three presidential elections that we could easily question the final results. We know about the fiasco with George W. Bush against Al Gore and the hanging chads, not to mention the purging of African-American voters by his brother and then Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush. Oh, and of course, the Supreme Court weighing in by stopping the recount as well.

There was also the election of 2004 when John Kerry lost Ohio by roughly 118,000 votes. Still, there were questions at the time of voting irregularities and purges of Democratic voters by then Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. It didn’t matter in the long run because Kerry conceded the election and never demanded a recount.

And in 2016, with a little help from the Russians and voter suppression, the future worst president of the United States was elected. Here we are on the…

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Running While Black?

The most heinous crime I can imagine was committed three months ago in the State of Georgia, where a gun-lovin’ racist, Brian Kemp, is governor. This is the stuff of the mid-1950s, not the 21st century!!! Our friend Jeff is as incensed as I am, and he has written a passionate piece about the brutal slaying of Ahmaud Arbery, a black man gunned down for no reason by a couple of Georgia crackers. Thank you, Jeff. Sigh.

On The Fence Voters

Pissed. Angry. Distraught. Hopeless. Any of these words describe your feelings these days? Personally, I’ve had them all in the last 24 hours. And then I saw a video of a young African-American male gunned down and slaughtered by a couple of yahoo vigilante white dudes. My head exploded.

Another one murdered—this time apparently for having the nerve to jog down the street in the middle of the day. The nerve of this young man, right? How dare he run while black, in a white neighborhood? Doesn’t he know his place?

For those of you wondering what the story is, perhaps you haven’t seen the video yet. Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, is seen being chased by two white men in a pickup truck outside the city of Brunswick, Georgia. A confrontation occurs between the younger white man and Arbery, shots were fired, and Arbery is seen falling to…

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May 4th, 1970

Fifty years ago today … I remember it more vividly than I remember yesterday. Kent State. The tragedy of the year, perhaps of the decade. Have we learned? Are we better today? I think not. Thank you, Jeff, for sharing your memories of that tragic, brutal day. 😥

On The Fence Voters

I’ll never forget coming home from elementary school on the afternoon of May 4, 1970. Only eight years old at the time, I hadn’t heard about the tragedy that occurred only a couple of hours earlier, 20 minutes up the road from my hometown of Akron, Ohio, at Kent State University. Four students were slaughtered and nine more were wounded when the Ohio National Guard opened fire at 12:24 pm while attempting to disburse several thousand protestors that had gathered on the commons to protest the Vietnam War.

I’m not quite sure who it was that told me, but I assume it was one of my older siblings. I remember the sadness and I certainly remember the anger. My oldest brother was hurt the most. He’d been a vocal opponent of the war and if not for a later nervous breakdown, he would have been on his way to fight…

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Truth Must Triumph

In this, the era of ‘alternative facts’, has truth taken a long hike, is it gone forever, or do we just need to dig a little deeper to sift through the detritus? Jerry from On the Fence Voters has written a thoughtful piece about truth in the era of Trump . And at the end, there’s a petition to sign to “Make America Rational Again”, though in truth, that starts with We the People on November 3rd. Thanks Jerry!

On The Fence Voters

Nearly two decades ago, the evangelical mega-ministry Focus on the Family produced a video/teaching series with the title The Truth Project. I’ve watched only the first episode of the series, and that’s all one needs to watch to know the series’ emphasis, which is, as Jesus said, “For this reason I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth” (John 18:37, emphasis added).

Del Tackett, the series’ presenter, quotes the 1828 version of Webster’s Dictionary for his definition of truth: “conformity to fact or reality.” That’s a nice, concise, easy-to-remember definition—although it might be a bit too simple. In an infinite universe that, as most physicists now postulate, consists of at least 10 dimensions, finite beings cannot always determine what is fact or reality.

But in most situations, and for our purpose here, that simple, straightforward definition of truth—conformity to…

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Discord & Dissension-A Pause

Jeff and I are taking a little break from our project … I’ll let Jeff explain …

On The Fence Voters

At the beginning of the year, Jill Dennison and I decided to collaborate on a project that we hoped would focus our collective attention on the upcoming presidential election. Both of us felt then, and now that this election is the most consequential of our lives.

We told you how we got to the present hyperventilating partisanship in Washington, D.C. We reminded you how one political party was doing its level best to keep as many people from voting via unprecedented suppression tactics and gerrymandering.

We told you about the current administration’s unprecedented corruption, their total denial of climate change, and their attempt to destroy the administrative state. We alluded to how important the courts were to our future, as well as showcasing the myriad of issues that will confront voters in this election.

We also touched upon the growing dispute going on at the time between Bernie Sanders and…

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Universal Basic Income-Let’s Have a Conversation-Part two

Last week, I shared Jeff’s post about UBI (Universal Basic Income). That post was Part I, and this week he has written Part II, which certainly provides us with some food for thought! Thanks Jeff!!!

On The Fence Voters

It was nice to see House Speaker Nancy Pelosi admit in an interview yesterday that it might be time to start looking into a minimum basic salary for the American people. Her weighing in at this time tells us we might be ready for a real debate.

I began a discussion last week into what Universal Basic Income (UBI) is and what it could look like in the United States. Again, while there are many variations of such a plan, for the sake of our discussion here, I’d like to stick with the Andrew Yang version, which purports to give every American citizen a $1,000 per month stipend beginning at age 18, regardless of income.

Would such a plan work in America? It depends. UBI would represent a fundamental reshaping of how we deal with income inequality and the social welfare state. It would be a radical shift, and the…

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Roosting Chickens Won’t Drag Them Away

I’m not sure, no matter how much people attempt to explain it, that I will ever understand the phenomenon of trumpism. It has led me to believe that the human species is actually comprised of more than one sub-species, for trumpists live in a world that I cannot comprehend. Our friend Jerry over at On the Fence Voters, who has friends among the trumpists, writes a bit about his friends, and concludes with a warning of what we must do. Jerry is a better person than I, for I can no longer count the trumpists as friends. Thank you, Jerry, for sharing!

On The Fence Voters

Hal, Mitch, and Greg (all pseudonyms for real people I know) were, are, and probably always will be true-red Donald Trump fans. If any of them saw The Orange Assassin holding a gun and casting furtive glances around Fifth Avenue (not that any of them are likely to ever visit America’s biggest, bluest city), they’d very likely offer to go buy him more ammunition. They’re all—normally—good men. But, like so many Trumpists, they check their reason and compassion at the door when they enter Trumpsylvania. Their hero’s cape can be crusted in chicken manure, but they still see it as pristine.

So when the man who boasts of his “total authority” fails virtually every exam and pop quiz in his first real crisis as president, they find others to blame. Messiahs don’t make mistakes. Not even when the homecoming chickens are roosting—and pooping—on his adoring disciples’ shoulders.

Hal, Mitch, and…

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