The Denial of the Truth – White Privilege

Social media is a cesspool of bad communication too often amplified by feelings, anger, and lack of knowledge.

As I write this I have taken some time to ruminate on a Facebook post that was shared on June 6, 2020.  I hope the truth of June 6, 1944 is still taught in history classes from elementary to graduate school.  June 6th is the fateful day in 1944 when the allies came ashore on the beaches of Normandy, (Juno, Sword, Gold, Utah, and Omaha) with the intent of removing a blight on the continent of Europe and all of humanity.

This year on June 6th, the 76th anniversary of that day we are engaged in a struggle for the survival of our national conscience.  The murder of Mr. George Floyd has proven to be a tipping point for many.  It’s about time.  Imagine the combination of two great evils, National Socialism and Racism.  I can imagine it because I witnessed the clash in a single photograph with a caption.

The photograph was of bodies of dead soldiers on a beach (not certain it was any of the Normandy beaches, but it was posted on June 6th) and the caption was, “A whole lot of White Privilege going on here.”  It is quite shocking to see the bodies of soldiers used to support a racist perspective, but there it was.  How is it that I can call the caption of this photograph racist?  To qualify myself; I’m a white guy, I grew up around white guys, I’m not ignorant – I understand tone and intent.  The purpose behind this post was to highlight the terrible sacrifice white people have made for everyone else.  We’ve done the hard work of making the world free for you.  How can you not appreciate all that we have done?  How do you now sling the invective White Privilege [like that’s even a thing – (indignant tone implied)] at us without saying thank you?

Ignorance is a terrible thing.  Ignorance when used to support racism is horrible and so destructive to all of us.  The very idea that only white soldiers died during the landings at Normandy is patently and completely ignorant, and more than a tiny bit – RACIST.

The majority of the U.S. forces participating in the invasion were white.  This had much to do with the policies of the U.S. Government, a government predominately controlled and administered by white people.  The Army was not integrated and had units and “colored” units. The colored units with the exception of one combat division were generally not structured to be front line (combat) units.

Colored units were, by design, not in a position to storm the beach as they were typically relegated to Service and Supply units by the white hierarchy of the Army.  One notable exception is the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion a service unit with a combat mission.  The 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion was unique at Normandy for two reasons. First, it was the only American barrage balloon unit in France and second, it was the first black unit in the segregated American Army to come ashore on D-Day.  Five battalion medics were the first to land on Omaha Beach at approximately 9 a.m.  A wounded medic, Waverly B. Woodson Jr., was nominated for the Medal of Honor, though he never received it.  Mr. Woodson treated any wounded soldier he encountered, not just colored troops.   https://www.history.com/news/d-day-hero-medal-of-honor-waverly-woodson

It is very important to recognize the reality these men faced in coming to serve in the Army of the United States.  The era of Jim Crow and it’s arbitrary and made up laws designed to dehumanize was in full effect.  Because of White Privilege, colored troops (black lives) were not treated as “full Americans” by the system (hmm, systemic racism?) and a vast majority of Americans.  In other words, colored troops (black lives) could serve the country to defend the rights of our citizenry, but were not afforded the rights of full citizenship.

To sarcastically paraphrase the quote of the image that started my thoughts on this, “There’s a whole lot of White Privilege going on there.”  Wait, what?

Some time back the United Negro College Fund used a tag line in their advertising, “The Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste.”  Clearly they are right.  And, to the individual who created the post that decried the terrible cost of white lives, the result of a system of White Privilege, thank you for proving the point.  Ignorance is ugly and when it is the root of your thoughts on others it is an affront to God and basic human decency.

Social media is a cesspool of bad communication too often amplified by feelings, anger, and lack of knowledge.  Don’t be that guy.

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I Ain’t No Plumber

I’m the son of a real carpenter, not some framer, sheet rock hanger, or cabinet maker. Those are all fine professions and I should know because he could do all of them. He was the real deal. We lived in an area of alot of historic homes and he was a go to for restoration carpentry, because he knew the “old ways”. But, he hated plumbing, not as much as he hated mechanic work, but it was a tight race. The only skill I inherited from him was his intense dislike of plumbing.

We are fortunate to have a house, but the toilets in our house seem to be prone to destroying the flapper valve with some extreme regularity. I’ve gotten good at doing the ‘handle jiggle’ to avoid replacing the flapper, but there comes a time when the dang thing must be replaced. It’s a simple task, but I have that anti-plumber gene. A little over a week ago I finally did it, I replaced the flapper. By the way have I mentioned that the toilet was working with the exception of the flapper. The beauty of the flapper replacement is there is no need to shut off the supply valve, no tools are needed, and the task is actually simple. So, flapper replaced. Tank begins to fill – tank is full – tank continues to fill. The fill valve seems to have taken notice of the new flapper and is not happy. The fill valve which had been working just fine before the flapper was replaced has now failed.

Alright this just got a bit more serious. Now I’ll have to shut off the supply valve and drain the tank to replace the fill valve. So, down to the floor and grab the shut off valve. The shut off valve turns and turns and turns. It doesn’t work! Now I have two failures and they are compounding failures. The fill valve is an involved repair, but the supply valve means I have to shut off the water to the house and may involve sweating a pipe. Fortunately I have fill valves with compression fittings – the first win in this entire affair.

Yesterday I bought all of the necessary plumbing supplies for the toilet repair and a sill cock for an outside faucet that needed to be replaced. Hey, if I have to shut off the water at the street I might as well make a day of it. I shut off the water and drain the system. Immediately I replace the sill cock and had that checked off the list. Next up that pesky toilet and the multiple repairs needed. I removed the supply line, drained the tank, and removed the fill valve. Next I removed the supply valve and replaced it with the new 1/4 turn valve. This is going really well. I had a bit of a hiccup with the new fill valve. The instructions were a bit unclear, but I muddled through and figured it out.

New supply valve in place, new supply line installed, fill valve in place and adjusted, floor is dried, all connections are tight, and I’m ready to turn the water back on. This is really going well in spite of my total disdain for any form of plumbing. Water is turned on at the street, I head in and turn on the supply valve. Success! The tank begins to fill. The fill valve shuts off as it should and I have adjusted the water level correctly. Now I check the connections for leaks and nothing is wet. I’ve really done some hydraulic magic today.

Two hours later, there is a small pool of water on the floor in the very area directly under the repairs I’ve just completed. Dang it. I check all of the connections and nothing is wet. I check a few other things and discover there is a leak at one of the bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. What the..? Apparently I own the throne of satan. I ain’t no dang plumber, but I do what I have to do. Next up I’ve got to get some bolts and gaskets. Fortunately I have that wonderful new shut off valve.

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What One Word Describes President Trump?

I had responded to a post on FaceBook that asked for a one word response to describe President Trump.

I wrote – Narcissist.  I believe this describes him with no need to explain it.  I did get challenged however as it seems in this day and age if you have an opinion that doesn’t jibe with another then your opinion must be challenged.  And of course the challenge was borne of a desire to soften the word in light of President Trump.  Well he was a narcissist long before he became president so I think it applies even now regardless of what happens to others.

I don’t need my choice of a single word justified or rationalized.

But since there was an attempt to rationalize my choice of Narcissist, here are a few more one word answers:

Greedy – Money is (now and has always been) his measure of success.

Asshole – Hyperbole is his greatest friend, ever meet one of those guys?? The guy with the biggest this, most that, costliest car, plane, boat, helicopter? Isn’t this the kind of fella you just hope you can hang out with? Asshole!

Prick – Hate to use this term to describe him as he may think it’s a compliment, it’s not.

Phony – Claims NAFTA was a bad deal.  USMCA is NAFTA repackaged with 20% less creativity. Puts himself forward as a christian and the friend of christians, his christian counsel is nothing but the name it claim it crowd – like minded money worshippers.  The Art of The Deal – his book – Ghost Written!

Unethical – Not afraid to lie if it serves his purposes. Largest crowd ever at an inauguration – 2016, (NOPE – 2008).  Muslims dancing in the street post September 11, 2001, (Didn’t happen, but hey it riles up the anti-muslim vote, so…).

Really unethical – Yeah it’s two words and yeah it’s kind of a repeat. Forces us (taxpayers) to pick up the tab at his Mar-A-Largo resort where he goes to play golf almost weekly. Hey wait wasn’t that one of the things that all republicans and himself hated President Obama for doing?  Yeah, but he donates his salary to charity.  His regular visits to go golfing have cost us far more than his salary and his family reaps the benefit. Feel like he’s screwing you yet?  Close your eyes and tell yourself he’s draining the swamp.

Jerk – This one doesn’t really need an explanation.  But for those of you who will defend him – Calling a sitting senator Pocahontas is pretty much a total jerk move. Making fun of people who you don’t like from a public national stage is so incredibly petty that it will become known as the definition of a jerk.

Conman – He got elected as a successful business man, See Selfish.  Build that wall!

Criminal – Let’s wait and see what the special counsel uncovers.

Disloyal – Quit or resigned from his administration? Brace yourself for the onslaught of statements about your loyalty (Pot meet Kettle)

Womanizer – Just ask any playmate, XXX movie star, or “pussy” you see.

Unfaithful – 3rd wife, see womanizer.

Small – Think campaign debates with Senator Marco Rubio.  Given his focus, is there a more personal problem?

Crude – See small.

Criminal – This really deserves to be on here twice.  Paid hush money so all of those who have confused their salvation with their politics wouldn’t notice how much of a whore monger he was.  OOOH Whore monger.

Selfish – Going to lose money on one of your developments? – Just declare bankruptcy. Screw those subcontractors they should have made a better deal.  How Bad their deal was – they should have made a deal with an ethical company that cares about their success too, very bad.

Since it was suggested that most people who occupy the office become narcissists, I have to ask – Do most presidents become these things too? Or is it possible he came to office as a narcissist and these things?

He may be effective if I’m willing to redefine my idea of effective.

I left Draft Dodger out of this list because it’s two words, but I remember how much heat President Clinton got from republicans for being that.

I never voted for President Clinton.  Even though time has demonstrated that he was far more conservative than President Trump.  I didn’t vote for President Clinton, Candidate Trump, or Mrs. Clinton because Character matters.  I didn’t vote for a person who seems to lack any shred of character then (Clinton) and didn’t just two years ago (Trump & Clinton).  In fact, I wonder where my Christian brothers and sisters where in 2016, you know those who cried loudly about the lack of character of President Clinton?  The republicans fielded a candidate in 2016 who had openly and repeatedly demonstrated that women were little more than semen repositories to him and yet….

You can tell allot about a man by the company he keeps.  Did you notice how uncomfortable the rest of the former Presidents felt around this current title holder?  Have you noticed how uneasy the body language of Putin and Kim Jong Un are around Trump and yet how much he desires to have a relationship with them?  When the office is all about you….

I miss men and women like Bob Dole, Carly Fiorini, Colin Powell, Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, Condoleezza Rice, Margaret Thatcher, Frederick M. Franks Jr., and George H.W. Bush.  World leaders we could encourage our sons and daughters to be like.

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Brothers in Arms

Travel over here and consider helping Brothers in Arms

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Do or Done?

I am created in the image of God, yet I am descended from Adam. I may have a godly visage, but I bear a boatload of sin. I want to be a good person, I follow the law especially those that are easy and don’t inconvenience me. But, still I realize i’m not good enough. How can I become good enough that God would approve of me?

What can I do? Are there rules I can follow? Not really. The rules only point out how much I can’t follow them. There is nothing I can do, but fortunately it has all been done! Not because of any thing I do, but because of what Christ has done. He has borne my sin and has taken the punishment I deserve for my failure to keep the law and follow the rules. His death is my sacrifice. His blood clears my transgressions. His death and resurrection are my redemption. I cannot redeem myself no matter how much I try. The death I deserve has been absorbed, my condemnation had been lifted.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Romans 8:1

Praise God!

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“Overwhelming”

via “Overwhelming”

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I’d Like to See the Light

I was recently scrolling through my facebook news feed. I happened upon a post that linked to a WND article titled:

LET THERE BE LIGHT BULBS! TRUMP LOOKS TO FLIP SWITCH ON OBAMA BAN

Energy Dept. cites misunderstanding of law

The article is full of a lot of non-science and even includes this line as a stand alone paragraph: “Opponents of the ban argued incandescents have benefits not offered by alternatives.” Such as?

Given that this ban went into effect not so long ago I remember all of the hub-bub and debate.

Allow me to take a moment to qualify myself.

I am a man. I am a follower of Christ. I am middle class, I am white. I am a republican. I was raised on a farm in the mid-west. I am a bit cheap. I like classics and technology. I (like to think I) am generous. I am concerned about the environment. I did not vote for President Obama. I did not vote for President Trump. There is more, but at some point you have to stop and hope that people will accept that I have reasoning capability beyond my ‘tags’. I do have to include this one, even though it is a bit long – I am reasonable and believe that things and ideas are more complex than the single perspective from which they are presented.

Okay the ground work is set.

I enjoy seeing. Sounds strange to read that line. I am legally blind in one eye so I really don’t see as much as some, but still seeing is not over rated. I think the light bulb is a wonderful piece of technology and surprisingly, even after so many years, it is technology that is being improved and made better.

At one point there was just the incandescent bulb. Electricity flows through a filament and the excited electrons generate heat and light. Not terribly efficient, but it works. That technology was refined and various types of filaments were developed allowing the consumer to decide between a plethora of ‘wattages’ or brightness levels. 40 watt bulbs produced less light than 100 watt bulbs, but they also consumed (or wasted) less energy. I use a bulb for the light not the heat. I do know that bulbs can be used for heat – two uses come immediately to mind; Brooder house lamps and the Easy Bake Oven. (I hope that you do a web search on those two distinctly disparate items.)

Lights are lights – well even lights must change. See what I did there. As technology and the desire for more efficiency pushed forward the common light bulb was reinvented and redesigned over the years until a first real big break, the Compact Fluorescent Bulb or CFB. This was certainly more efficient, but not as pleasant. It was oddly shaped and didn’t cast the same pleasing tone of light as the incandescent bulbs of yore. Environmentally and health wise the CFB posed great risks and dare I say – DANGER! Hazardous chemicals and heavy metals were used in the manufacture and as components of the CFB. Tossing a used CFB into the trash-bin was really not a safe thing to do. All of these negatives meant the bulbs were universally disliked. They weren’t expensive and lasted longer than incandescent bulbs, but they were rejected by consumers.

Next up on the light bulb evolutionary trail the Light Emitting Diode or LED. This bulb used far less energy, produced almost no heat (extremely efficient), lasted a long time, posed a much-much smaller environmental threat (manufacturing), but the LED bulb was (past tense) wildly expensive. The initial bulbs were weird looking and the light was glaringly harsh. As time and technology moved forward the LED evolved. It was manufactured to look like the old reliable incandescent and the LED components were modified to produce a wider range of light. Now you could purchase an LED that was a direct replacement for the incandescent. It cost 3 times more, but lasted 6 times longer. (My numbers for hyperbole only. Just pulling your leg, these are seat of the pants numbers based on my experience.) The cost is coming down as the LED gains wider acceptance.

Why then is this article in WND such an issue? Heck, why is this light bulb thing such an issue? I do not know. I wondered about my friends who rushed out to buy and stockpile all the 100 watt bulbs they could find. I tried to understand the logic. Why in the world do you desire to buy a bulb that is hugely inefficient and must be replaced more often than a babies diaper? You willingly incur greater operating cost for no appreciable (potentially negative) benefit? Does this sound rational? Sane? Reasonable? Responsible?

I suggest we also give up electrical starters in our cars. Hand cranks baby! That’s the way God and Henry Ford made ’em and that’s the way it should be.

Now I understand the market drove the innovation and adoption of the electric starter. I also acknowledge the government stepped in and banned the manufacture of the 100 watt bulb. I abhor the growth and over reach of the government intrusion into my life. But this light bulb thing is an issue where I really don’t understand the uproar. The government did step in and force the early demise of an outdated and inefficient product. How did that change the course of my life really?

I’d really like to see the light.

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Doing justice to our bodies: How race wrongs us

I love this.

The Raceless Gospel

See the source image

“The problem is solved, not by giving new information, but by arranging what we have known since long.”

| Ludwig Wittgenstein

This past week, I had the opportunity to attend the Baptist World Alliance’s Annual Gathering in Zurich, Switzerland and to present a  paper as a member of the Commission on Racial and Gender Justice.  Below is a portion of the presentation.

Post- racial.  The word causes angst and anxiety.  “Race is not behind us,” some say.  Because we continue to judge persons based on their external appearance.  But, not only that.  Based on physical characteristics and traits, we have created a system of rewards and punishments.  It is a privilege to be socially colored white and it is a problem[i] to be socially colored black and most any other skin “color.”

More than a word, the social construct of race creates a way of being and seeing…

View original post 2,001 more words

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I Don’t Live in Your Ashtray

Or your trashcan and by the way the world is not your dumpster.

I grew up having learned that the nazi and communist regimes encouraged their populace to spy on and report on the behavior of their fellow citizens. I’ve become someone that reports on the behavior of my fellow citizens. I’m as conflicted as I can possibly be. Why am I acting like this?

I live in a city that really is beautiful, but it seems to be populated with far too many incredibly selfish people. Am I still conflicted? The city of Huntsville has a program that I really have bought into. It’s called Green Team, yes I’m a tree hugger. No that’s not true, at least in the condscending way that phrase is typically used. I’m not a tree hugger, but I am an individual that is aware of how important trees and the environment are to a healthy planet. Into that comes the litter prevention program of the Huntsville Green Team.

Back during Steve Martin’s stand up comedy days he had a bit where he talked about the importance of having a litter bag in your car. He said it doesn’t take up much space and if it gets full you can just throw it out the window. I’ve always thought it was a clever bit of sarcasm. I had no idea so many people would regard it as advice.

I have embraced the litter prevention program as it ran smack into my disdain for cigarettes that goes back decades. Turns out the Green Team has a hot line – 53CLEAN (532-5326) and if you call it and report the offendor they will send them a warning. Of course this program only works if there is a modicum of shame and it is my fear that the kind of person who will toss a cigarette butt out of their window probabaly doesn’t have a strong sense of shame. And I’d guess that actually doing the right thing is just a concept with a flexible reality for this type of person. None the less I use the hot line with much glee.

Last night was an entirely new experience for me. I noticed a piece of paper that I initially thought was tossed out of the passenger window of the car in front of us, but surely that wouldn’t happen. There’s no way people are that shameless that they’d just toss litter out while in traffic is there? Well I’m glad you asked, yes indeed people are in fact that shameless that they’d toss the garbage they couldn’t put inside of themselves out of the window inspite of traffic. And here comes the bag from the fast food place to prove it. Fortunately I got their information and I have the Green Team on speed dial.

I wish this was an odd occurance, but it seems to be something that is beoming far too common. Why are people de-evolving? Keep shoveling stuff against the tide, I know I will.

Even though I am reporting on my fellow residents, I do not in any way feel bad about it. I really wish the penalty was a loss of license and vehicle. But truth be told I accept that this is a new reality where we demand to be respected while disrespecting everything around us.. I’m still conflicted.

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Where Have You Been?

What’s Been Going On?

How Are You Doing?

It’s been more than a year since I’ve posted anything on this site. So I guess the questions above are valid for anyone who really followed this site out of interest. Here’s a question for you – Are you interested?

I do not believe I can answer the questions I opened with here on this site unless you have a great deal of time or unless you are really interested. Turns out, inspite of my constantly saying it isn’t so, it all too often is more complicated than it should be. What is more complicated? Most everything, right down to choosing the shoes I’ll wear today. Brown shoes, with these socks? what color is my belt? does this belt go with the style of these pants? What is Kim wearing today, will I clash with her style? Will my wordrobe choice cause her to feel differently about her choice of wardrobe?

Time to go take a shower and continue the neuron and synapse battle in my head over getting dressed.

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