Friday, March 16, 2018

More insight for our president from my Uber drivers.

I'm sure our president would have a different outlook on immigration if he had a chance to accompany me on my short rides recently in Washington DC.

  1. I was fascinated when I learned that my driver came from Afghanistan just a year ago. In answer to my queries he stated:
  • He had been of assistance to the American military.
  • His four children are in the public schools of the state of Virginia and his wife is with him in their home.
  • Upon making more than $3000 a month he was no longer getting medical care nor any assistance from our government.
  • They were assisted upon their arrival in America by Catholic charities.

2. How fascinating to have a middle-aged driver who came to the United States from Ethiopia two years ago. In answer to my queries he stated:
  • He was one of 2000 who came from Ethiopia that year.
  • All of Ethiopia would join him in feeling lucky that he won the lottery to be an immigrant to the United States.
  • He calls his wife and four children every morning before coming to work.
  • He regularly sends money for their support. He misses his family very much and is hopeful the five of them will be able to come to our country.

How fortunate I was to have good drivers. I'm glad there was no wall to keep them out and that I could tell them of my grandfather who came from Germany as a tailor so many years ago

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Guns: We're all guilty

The Florida school shootings cause me to say.......

I'm excited with the promise of cultural awakening that has been led by women and the youth of America. Perhaps the "Spirit of '18" will catch fire and sustain a National Recovery that will return our nation to the never realized principles upon which our nation was founded. I'm looking forward to saying more about the contribution of women and youth as well as two other necessities for such progress to be made.

However I first need to say a few things about guns!

The continuing misuse of guns in the American society causes me to internalize my own contribution to the problem. Of course I've always seen myself as a nonviolent, peaceful person, but I had to recall two actions of mine, and my peace-lovin' families behavior that perhaps unconsciously have contributed to the problem. I fear they show the depth to which we have all descended in nurturing a culture of guns and conquest.

1. In the depression years of the 1920's and 30's many of us manufactured our own toys - and mine were guns! All it took was a piece of discarded wood from my father's workshop and a spring type clothes pin from my mother's clothes line. Abundant ammunition was provided by the worn out inner – tube from the Model T– Ford's tires. By using mother's very sharp scissors we were able to create pseudo rubber bands. And thus our "gangs" began their wars. Using our ingenuity we were even able to manufacture rapid-fire rifles.
"Warfare" became a family tradition. These combat soirees were passed on to the next generation even though a broader supply of commercially manufactured toys were available. And how exciting it was for me to finally have a grandson to continue the tradition. Yet a smarter, more sensitive generation informed grandfather that such glorification of guns and killing was harmful – that all precautions must be taken to avoid creating a combative environment. NO RUBBER GUNS are tolerated in this enlightened society
Yet something has gone awry! My peaceful, insightful progeny have not only accepted combat, they have even encouraged toys far beyond my imagination for destructiveness. Killing, mayhem and annihilation of enemies is regularly "played" out on computer games and cell phones and seen on screens in homes and movie houses. These film break box office attendance records and are praised by the critics. Attempts to limit their viewership are seen as attacks on individual liberty.

2. As indicated earlier, I think I'm a peaceful guy not given to outbursts of anger. How is it possible then that when presented with an opportunity as a child to use a firearm on a peaceful day in sunny San Antonio, I shot a playmate!
This is how I committed the crime with a gun! (And real names will be used because all but me are dead and it more vividly brings my behavior home to me!) My older brother and I, Erwin, spent a day with our church friend, Alfred. Alfred's family, living in the country, seemed to have things we did not: like a Packard automobile and a BB gun. How pleased I was to be carrying the gun in the woods next to their home, but I was told that the pressure in the gun was so weak that it wouldn't even hurt a bird. Our hunt was unsuccessful, but I soon grew tired of the constant teasing of Erwin by Alfred. (Erwin was often the target of jokes in our church group , and the Wright family was right Christian.) I told Alfred to stop, but he continued and so I leveled my weapon and let him have it – right in his thigh. Teasing – perhaps bullying today – was not discussed with me by Alfred's parents but they surely let me know what a recalcitrant I was.. Fortunately they didn't tell my parents, and I never fired a weapon again until target practice in the Marines in WWII.

My personal good fortune continued and I was never involved in combat. I personally have no desire to own a gun, and I have no desire to deny gun ownership to hunters and collectors. Yet I have never felt more strongly that the time has come to bring a valid protection to all citizens by the outlawing of certain weapons intended for national defense only and implementing other stringent limitations on ownership of guns.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The four essentials for national recovery - I just have to have my say

This is my epic piece. As I review my 92 years I feel the time has come to put in perspective the lessons I've learned and make one final, unsolicited, statement relative to the country – and perhaps the world. It's necessary because I feel we are facing a situation even more difficult and complex than World War II. Certainly there is now the threat of military annihilation and the challenge of globalization. Yet this is all accentuated by the fact that our country has lost its way because of a failure of leadership and national morality.

Yet this can be the dawning of a new age – just as the "discovery" of the "NEW WORLD" seemed to develop new opportunities for a new start around the 16th century. (How we muffed it by conquering native peoples and enslaving others is another story.) I believe there is a realization today that the world is truly "ONE WORLD" and that we must make it just that, or we are in danger of LOSING OUR WORLD.

I believe the future can be unlimited if we realize the opportunity that is here by giving voice to these four issues and movements.

  1. The ideals and aspirations of young people.
  2. The continued increased contribution of women on the National scene.
  3. The wisdom of the oracles. I find it fascinating that in trying to write the word, "Prophets" my a Dragon dictation machine persisted in spelling "Profits". At last a machine smarter than humans. The scourge of the American society has been to enthrone and equate power with monetary excess.
  4. An understanding of the importance of the tribal phenomenon.

While the first two items encourage me by their present progress, my overriding concern is with the last two. Certainly the "tribal phenomenon" is a present buzzword. Yet it is one aspect of this causes me the greatest concern:

It is this topic that I shall devote myself to after a weeks hiatus with my family in Michigan. As a lifelong church-goer I respect the moral teachings of worldwide religion. Yet I have grown to perceive it as one of the primary causes of our broken world.

In the near future I look forward to clarifying what I feel can be a new way to use religion to provide harmony in the world.

Friday, February 16, 2018

My dependence upon immigrants.

How I wish I could tell out president how very important immigrants are to me.  The doctor who relieved my back pain yesterday hails from India.  No longer able to drive because of age, I was transported by an Uber driver who came from Haiti.  I returned home with a driver from Eritrea.  Both drivers felt they were lucky to be lottery winners.  And so it is with most of my medical professionals.

Monday, February 12, 2018

ANOTHER LESSON AT UBER U - Intended For President Trump

How was I to know that there was someone in the backseat leaning against the door? She almost fell out as I opened the door, but I was quick to note her gorgeous platinum hair and exquisite handbag! Naturally I quickly shut the door, went to the driver's side, apologized and tried to remain remain quiet for the rest of the ride while only gazing forward.

But I could restrain myself only so long and begin a conversation with the driver, John. Finally getting to my "attention-getting statement, 'I'm 92'” I was finally able to look at the young lady as she spoke in what I learned was a Ukrainian accent. How fascinating to learn that she has been here as a refugee for one year but her status is uncertain. Her crime? Participating in rallies against government corruption and support of the LGBT community!

Oh how I would like to have our president each day read the words on the Statue of Liberty:

Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Friday, February 2, 2018

How I wish everyone in our country could read the following!

It is my pleasure and honor to lead the reading of the following prayer at the Bat Mitzvah service of "granddaughter" Sadie Foer tomorrow. I feel it magnificently represents the prayer of all of us at this most critical time for our country. Yet knowing the commitment of Sadie – and thousands of other young people I have known in my lifetime – I have every confidence that with their leadership and values our nation will endure with values and morals in tact.

Please join me in reading this telling and timely
Prayer for our Country

Our God and God of our ancestors with mercy accept our prayer on behalf of our country and its government.
Pour out your blessed upon this land, upon its inhabitants upon its leaders, its judges, officers, and officials who faithfully devote themselves to the needs of the public.
Help them understand the rules of justice you have decreed so that peace and security, happiness and freedom, will never depart from our land.

Ad-don-i – God, whose spirit is in all creatures, we pray that your spirit be awakened within all the inhabitants of our land. Uproot from our hearts hatred and malice, jealousy and strife. Plant love and companionship, peace and friendship among the many peoples and faiths who dwell in our nation. Grant us the knowledge to judge justly, the wisdom to act with compassion, and the understanding and courage to root out poverty from our land.

May it be your will that our land be a blessing to all who dwell on earth, and may you cause all people to dwell in friendship and freedom. Speedily fulfill the vision of your prophets: "Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore."
“For all of them, from the least of them to the greatest, shall know me.”

And let us say.............Amen

*Spelling adjusted for pronunciation sake.

Sunday, January 28, 2018

It's amazing, the insight one can gain from fellow Uber passengers in D. C.

I finally succumbed to Uber when I learned of  "Rideshare".   Two passengers from other countries provided me with a fascinating look at what they considered was "exceptional"  about America.

1. The first passenger was seated in the back seat along with me as I was talking to the driver who  was from Ghana. I discovered that my fellow passenger had been in our country for three years, somewhat reluctantly joined our conversation and stated that it was the American educational system that perplexed her.  Her remarks included, "How can it be that good, free education is not provided all students through college". Time did not permit are discussing this further, but I was eager to learn more about her only to discover that she was the wife of the very, very high government official from a Nordic country! And as we neared her residence she surprised me by answering another query with, "My husband found it much more satisfying to work with the previous administration".

2. It was during the height of the NFL stand/kneel controversy that the driver and I discussed how folks from a Balkan nation felt about the issue. Never having attended a sporting event abroad, I was surprised when he stated that he knew of no nation where the national anthem was performed for routine athletic events. Picking up another passenger, this one from Great Britain, he stated that he had traveled the world over and found United States to be the only exception by having patriotism displayed in such a fashion at all sporting events.

How I wish our president might join me on such a ride. He might find out something about how the other 99.9% of the world's population lives and how we are viewed internationally. I'm sorry these aching bones in mine might well prevent me from going to another live athletic event. Guess I'll just have to both kneel and stand when I hear the national anthem on TV.