America – Built on Solid Rock or Sinking Sand

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Long ago, essayist John Jay Chapman addressed it, writing about the earliest days of the Republic, the world of the Founding Fathers and men such as Jefferson, both revolutionary and slaveholder.

He wrote, “There was never a moment,” Chapman wrote, “when the slavery issue was not a sleeping serpent. That issue lay coiled up under the table during the deliberations of the Constitutional Convention. … Thereafter, slavery was always on everyone’s mind, though not always on his tongue.”

Ken Burns reiterated, “It’s very American to presume that all those old guilts can be transformed into reconciliation, reparation and atonement, as in the celebrated story of the slaver who abandoned his errant path and wrote the exquisitely beautiful hymn “Amazing Grace.” But, as the Civil War — and, sadly, our present day — attests, the opposite is also true. Our ancient guilts and animosities more often metastasize into anger, violence and brutality. That’s very American, too.

Even with a century and a half between us and our greatest cataclysm, we have an eerie sense that so much of what seemed safely finished and distant about the war now seems uncomfortably present, palpable, the underlying racial causes of the old conflict on nearly daily display. Too often, it seems, the black lives that were once bound by those shackles still don’t matter.”

This same snake, this vile creature synonymous with hate and bigotry, so representative of the klan, the neo-Nazis, so  trumpian, was there from the beginning and has remained with us all the while.

I think all of us who have been and, who are still recipients of the ugliness, both tangible and intangible, know full well nothing is going to change, because that snake of slavery, of racial hate is still curled up under every table, in every household, in the board rooms, civic halls, halls of Congress and most definitely under the desk in the West Wing of the White house.

It has not been killed, and until it is –if it can be – killed, we will end our lives sitting at these tables (when are allowed too) with our feet tucked well back under the chair, because we know it’s always ready and willing to strike and will bite the hell out of us if it’s disturbed.

Two wars have been fought to eradicate Nazism, the Klan and other forms of racial hate and bigotry. In one (World War II),
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_War_II_casualties some 50 to 80 million people total (at least half of them German), 50 to 55 million civilians, 416,000 Americans, were killed in this mother of all previous world wars in an attempt to quell the Nazis, this same snake Chapman spoke of, and all they represented.

In the other, this same racist, bigoted hateful snake couldn’t be killed during the great U. S. civil war in 1861 through 1865, when more than 600 Americans were killed, in a superficial attempt to kill this snake, yet it still lives and even thrives.  The snake is feed, nurtured, pampered and schooled in the wiles of racial hate by its fathers, mothers, grand-fathers and Grandmothers, to remain strong and vibrant and trained to be ready strike at a moment’s notice.

The issues that manifested themselves in Charlottesville is a constant reminder that nothing will change in this country until this country atones itself for the sins and indignities it was founded on – slavery being the most predominant.  You cannot build a building on sand and expect to never have problems with that building. Problems like, cracks in the walls, cracks in the roof, and sinking foundations are things you’re going to have always deal with, but you’ll never eradicate those problems because the building was built on sand.

“My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”
by Edward Mote, 1797-1874

1. My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand.

Oh how we wonder why did it choose to rear its vicious head now, why did it choose this moment in time to strike “some” with its poison and cause them to agonize over the sting of its bite as they scream, yell and ask silly ass, idiotic statements like, this is 2017, why is this still happening?  Why is this happening in 2017!  Where the heck have they been?  Some of us wake up each day and go about our business and are totally oblivious to what’s  happening around us.  We know that the people, like the ones who showed up Charlottesville are dispersed in every walk of our lives, yet we are unmindful of this snake because it hasn’t reared its ugly head and struck us an individual.

Keep in mind, that as a country, there is no other country in the world that fought a civil war (for whatever the reason), has so foolishly and blatantly allowed the losing side to so prominently and profoundly display the images (statues) of those individuals who lost said war for all the world to see and bear witness to what they stood for – this idea of wanting to keep another race of people in bondage.  Those of us who are beneficiaries of our ancestors who endured this most horrific act, are asked to walk pass the images in all of our daily comings and goings.

We can’t go to work without passing these racist relics, our kids attend schools named after these slaveholders and war generals, we have cities, towns, public facilities parks, military bases, warships; and every item imaginable staring us in the face as we go about our daily lives.  Take them all down, but we will still have to live, work and recreate with the Neo-Nazis, KKK and white supremacists who are among us.

It’s not an image we need to kill, it’s and idea.  Laws and other social actions and force a sort of change of one’s behavior, but those laws and actions will never change a attitude.

You can modify or change a behavior but you just can’t kill an attitude. 

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The Repugs Attempt to Repeal and Replace the Affordable Care Act

cow_stepping_in_his_poo_2209835My father used an enormous number of clichés, axioms and old sayings when I was growing up as a kid.

One of my favorites was “it’s like a cow shitting and stepping back in it.” Yesterday, the Repugs inability to pass their long-awaited legislation to “Repeal and Replace Obamacare” is analogous to the cow trying to shake the shit off his hoof/foot after shitting and stepping back in it.  This gross misstep came after seven (7) years of repeated threats, and after taking more than 50 votes in the House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or the artist known as “Obamacare”.  Of course, keep in mind, that these votes by the House were taken with full knowledge that they didn’t have to worry about repercussions because they knew the President, Barack Obama, whose signature legislation it was in the first place, would simply veto the bill; therefore, they could go about their merry way(s) and blame him for blocking their brave and bold attempt to kill the Frankenstein monster known as Affordable Care Act (ACA), or the artist known as “Obamacare”.

To better understand the repugnance of the saying “shitting and stepping back into it”, you have to understand and appreciate the required misstep one – in this case the cow – has to make, and then understand the anger, frustration, disgust and uncalculated move you (the cow) would have had to make to create this most unfortunate event.

You see, if you have ever had the opportunity to observe four-legged farm animals, be they cows, horses, sheep, goats, etc., or animals in the wild, like elephants, giraffes, lions, or whatever; as they move gracefully through the pasture, or the plains of Africa, you will notice they never step in their own shit.  It doesn’t matter how much shit is on the ground around these animals, they never seem to step in their own shit.  What’s most amazing to me is, these four-legged animals cannot see their feet (certainly not their rear two feet), yet they can walk continuously, going about their way, and never step in the piles of shit that lay in their paths.

However, there are these rare occasions, and rare they are in deed, where the cow will occasionally shit and accidentally step backwards in it.  When this unfortunate occurrence happens, its’ amazing to see how difficult it is for the cow to get the shit off his hoof.  You can also see the dismay on the cow’s face, at the moment this happens.  It’s as though it was saying to itself, dammit, what the hell do I do now.  What the cow does then is to immediately lift the shitty foot in the air and tries to shake off the shit.  Well, if you know anything about getting shit off your shoe, it tops the list of crap that’s seems almost impossible to clean off your shoe – say gum for example.  So, the cow shakes his hoof. and shakes it and shakes it, but to no avail. So the cow just decides to start walking in hopes the shit will just wear off.

So, the cow in this case is the Repugs who, for more than seven (7) years and more than sixty (60) (House) votes later, to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, or the artist known as Obamacare.  In addition, there were countless house seats won by the Repugs during the last two (2) Midterms – and most recently the pathological liar name trump – all won by the Repugs because they campaigned on this one enormous lie – they would repeal and replace  the Affordable Care Act, or the artist known as “Obamacare.”

The shit in this case is the monumental, colossal failure on Friday to garner enough votes to get their inhumane health care bill through a vote in the House.  As in the case of the cow, the Repugs immediately began trying their damnedest to shake the shit of their embarrassing – egg in your face – setback, using selective finger-pointing, first at each other, then the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, then at the Freedom Caucus, then at the Dems, then on the weather, then on Sponge Bob, etc, etc.

But guess what, like the cow, cleaning the shit off their hoofs will be most difficult, and, even if they can, the smell of shit will remain on them for a long while.