There are now three things we must never discuss: Politics, Religion and Race however those are the three things we must discuss with
not only an open mind but also with empathy. So let's go with it...grab a few moments and chug down a cup of Sunday Morning Coffee.
The Police State
Last week during an NPR interview conducted by Terry Gross I heard former New York City Police Officer Eric Adams say these words, "Police have two rights that even the president does not have; the right to take liberty and the right to take life." Let that sink in for just a moment. This is why, my friends, that we must hold police officers to a higher standard. Why we must insure they are there to not only protect but to serve. Far too often they are failing and the result has been tragic. If you would like to hear that interview here you go:
Last week officers from North Miami Beach were called because someone reported a man was walking around with a gun. When police arrived they saw a black man and a white man in the street. The black man was Charles Kinsey the white man was a person playing with a toy truck who suffers from autism and who had wandered away from the group home where Mr. Kinsey works. During the confrontation Mr. Kinsey did all that the officers told him to do yet he was shot and wounded by Officer Jonathan Aledda. When the union officials from the police department faced the media they said something startling: "It appeared to the officers that the white male was trying to do harm to Mr. Kinsey," Rivera said, citing the man's motions toward Kinsey just before the officer opened fire. In other words the officer was trying to shoot the person with autism but missed and hit Mr. Kinsey. But, if that is so...why then did the officers, with guns drawn, handcuff Mr Kinsey and leave him there for ten to fifteen minutes bleeding in the street?
It is fortunate that Officer Aledda is a bad shot or...was he?
When trust is abandoned so too is respect. As a white man my interaction with law enforcement has always been positive. But, for a moment consider the threat a police officer has on a person of color. If you fail to understand that then you are turning a blind eye toward the startling reality that, in many respects, we have replaced the Jim Crow South with something called law enforcement where black men and women are seen as "less than".
There is a reason we know the names of Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, Jordan Davis, Natasha McKenna, LaQuan McDonald, Freddie Gray and Jamar Clark. Think of these words spoken by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. decades ago: "Armies of officials are clothed in uniform, invested with authority, armed with the instruments of violence and death and conditioned to believe they can intimidate, maim or kill Negros with the same recklessness that once motivated the slave owner. If one doubts this conclusion, let him search the records and find how rarely in any southern state a police officer has been punished for abusing a Negro."
Let that sink in for a moment... It is all about....trust.
Last week the unthinkable happened as the Republican Party nominated a huckster and a person who has never served anyone but himself as their candidate for President of the United States. You have lost your minds. Those of you who support this man do so because he, unlike you, says the things you can not say in public but you can behind closed doors. You are fearful, resentful, self-absorbed and disrespectful but you are able to cloak that in an air of respectability. Your candidate has exposed you for what you are and, frankly I'm grateful. The jig...is up and now you get to live with it. (Cartoon - Tim Lloyd)
Republicans and the LGBT Community
Those of you who adhere to the Grand Old Party have hoisted up the flag of hate. You must be proud. While you wrap yourself in Jesus the hate that spews from your platform regarding your fellow humans is a horror. You have doubled down on your fear and made the decision to marginalize thousands of Americans. The official platform finalized this week, defines marriage as between a man and a woman, rejects what it calls the Obama administration’s redefinition of sex discrimination laws to include transgender individuals, and says parents of LGBT children should be allowed to force their children into conversion therapy. Committee members even rejected an attempt to include language condemning foreign terrorist attacks against the LGBT community.
Conversion therapy...really? Jesus will make you straight! If not you will simply burn in hell. And, heck, if you can't legally kill LGBT folks you will gladly hand over your gun and bible to a terrorist. Lincoln is spinning in his grave.
Damn...I'm at 800 words and just getting started!
Let's move on to more...happy thoughts shall we?
Bad For Business!
For years we have heard from the Iowa GOP leaders that Iowa is bad for business. Governor Terry Branstad (R-IA) goes wherever he can and proclaims we have a "bad business climate" we are "too taxed" and that "businesses need more tax breaks". Wait a minute. What if all of those cries of desperation were simply not...true? What? You mean politicians might lie to us? So, indulge me for a bit and read this piece about California. As we all know, California is the home of left-wing lunatics where taxes are way too high and businesses are being throttled...and it's hell out there. Maybe not so much...
You have all heard of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition...right? Well, here in Central Iowa we have a rebuttal to that fancy rag in the Cityview Swimsuit Edition. That's right you red-blooded American men...we have swimsuit models right here in River City. Three of them. Three. This week the Swimsuit Edition underwhelmed but I would like to thank Grace, Payton and Ashlee for sharing.
It was very nice and it got me to notice my air conditioner.
Then There Was This...
However, after a blistering article about the financial troubles of Marty Tirrell and his wives and his jobs and his... My friend Michael Gartner did offer this bit of news regarding Gov. Branstad (R-IA) and his jobs promise. When he took office...(some, what fifty years ago?) he promised he would create 200,000 new jobs for Iowans in five years. Well, when he took office the non-farm employment in Iowa was 1,488,100 in May of this year it was 1,597,000. (Stay with me because I failed to go to a private, for-profit Charter School so math is a little tough.) After five-and-a-half years that is an increase of 108,900 new jobs! And, as Michael wrote, "Who's counting? Not the Governor."
Forgive me but if you don't know what a putz is...perhaps you know what a schmuck is? No? It is a penis. Brad Marshall of the Democratic National Committee is one, or doesn't have one..well, I don't want to check. Just before the Democratic National Committee "Hillary LoveFest" Wikeleaks released over 19,000 emails and internal documents. One of which calls out Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for being Jewish: “It might may no difference, but for KY and WVA can we get someone to ask his belief. Does he believe in a God. He had skated on saying he has a Jewish heritage. I think I read he is an atheist. This could make several points difference with my peeps. My Southern Baptist peeps would draw a big difference between a Jew and an atheist.” Here is the story.
You PUTZ...you. For all the hate/pain that you people (Christians) have cause my people you have to bend over for this? Screw you! BTW Debbie Wasserman Schultz you should be ashamed. But you won't be because it's your job to protect a putz.
It is RAGBRAI Week where thousands of cyclists trek across Iowa on public roads. Of course this practice should be banned because as of this writing eight cyclists have died in bike/car accidents in Iowa and everybody knows that bikes do not belong on roads. They, after all, were built for slow moving farm machinery.
UPDATE: This morning a cyclist who was on RAGBRAI was killed when he was struck from behind by a pickup truck.
Now there are Nine...
Rides of Silence are not what needs to happen we need to shout that we will not tolerate any more. The feckless Iowa Legislature has failed to add some small amount of protection for riders. It is a shame and they should be held accountable.
This is a photo of Georgie with her "RAGBRAI Husband" John Melville who hails from Maryland. I know, it's a long journey for a bike ride.
Here is wishing you, our son Aaron and everybody a safe journey.
Here? Well, today begins the annual celebration of Roomaday! That is where, free from the fetters of other chores I get to clean, top to bottom, a room a day. I have promised NOT to post any before/after photos...out of respect.
Thanks for reading and have a great week!