Flamed Out

I like most people have watched the fires that continue to ravage the state at both ends. In Ventura County, the fires have left the daytime skies left dark or blood-red from all of the smoke caused burning vegetation that is tinder dry from six years of drought. Once again the wealthy areas suffered the most devastation. The entire city of Malibu was evacuated hundreds of expensive homes were burnt to the ground. The temperature in the 80’s right now with no rain in sight. There is very little discussion about global warming and its effect on the planet we call home. The Hurricane in Florida, Super Typhoon in the Philippines, and for the first time the government has changed the term “fire season” to year-round status in California.

The fire also caused the loss of Internet and phone service for the entire Oxnard city area for over 24 hours this also included television. All communication with others was lost. I began to wonder what if the systems destroyed by the fires will take a long time to repair? The Woolsey fire now covers an area of 150 square miles with no containment in sight. The smell of smoke is everywhere even at night. The other shoe will drop when the rains begin and then the problems will be flooding and mudslides. Mother Earth is trying to warn us that we are responsible for the world that we leave for future generations. At the rate we’re going they will only get a burnt-out washed away hulk.

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La Frontera II

When I first wrote about the border with Mexico it was about people in this country illegally who were being deported from the United States being dumped at the border without any identification papers or money by ICE. They were caught up in the legal justice system for something as simple as a traffic ticket. There is a lot of rhetoric coming from the president about the “invasion” coming up from Mexico. The migrant group has now swelled to over 15,000 people. Once again a president is sending military troops to provide logistical support to the Border Patrol. There is the talk of tent cities to be set up as “temporary” detention facilities as not to separate families while they are being processed.

In 1980 the Mariel boatlift began when Fidel Castro allowed 124,000 Cubans including criminals, the sick both mentally and physically to leave Cuba and come to America on up to 1,700 small boats. All of this occurred between April and October of that year. The Marielito’s as the refugees were called were assimilated into our society with minimal problems for Americans. There was no breakdown of our way of life, no outbreaks of diseases from the refugees. I now listen to the politicians saying that the people coming this way are bringing these things with them including Middle Easterners thrown in for good measure.

The migrant caravan will not go away because we don’t want to be invaded by those who for the most part only want a chance at a better life here for themselves and their families. Is America returning to its racist past for the survival of those who want to minimize the non-white hordes from what Trump described as s#!thole countries? What will play out in the coming months on the border will define who we are as a nation moving forward.

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America is once again under attack from within by those who espouse racial hate against minorities. The killing of 11 people at a Jewish temple in Pittsburg, The killing of two blacks in a store in Kentucky by a white man who was unable to get into a black church. The mailing of pipe bombs to people including former presidents Clinton and Obama by an ardent supporter of Trump and his attitudes about minorities in general. American society has to deal with another mass shooting by an angry white man with easy access to the guns used in the murders. These kinds of shootings continue to the point that one becomes unable to be shocked anymore. When President Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 it was the beginning of the times of violence that is so commonplace that I now realize that not much has changed when it comes to stories of gun violence in the United States.

The fact is there are more guns in this country than people, and it appears that we are all potential targets to be wounded and killed whenever someone gets angry for whatever reason and decides to shoot others. The killers are for the most part white men with anger issues against minorities. Jews have been persecuted throughout history in all of the cultures that they found themselves living in. From the Roman empire to the Nazi party they have had to survive constant religious and racial persecution by others. The president is seen as the figurehead for the racist movement now prevalent in our society he is not using his bully pulpit status to unite us he is adding fuel to the fire with his attitude. Our country is like a boat without a rudder. We need a leader who can lead and not incite the citizens of this great country.

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The Caravan

The two hundred or so people who left Honduras last week on a long and perilous journey to the United States in search of a chance for a better life than the one they left have increased to over seven thousand men women and children as of today. That number is sure to increase as they make their way across the 1600 miles to the American border. President Trump has stated he will send the military if needed to seal the border from those seeking asylum here. There will be a showdown because of the Mexican official’s attitude to let these economic refugees pass through the country as quickly as possible. The migrants say they will not return to their home countries no matter what.

The U.S. government has begun the process of cleaning up the damage from Hurricane Michael last week. Citizens are complaining about the slow pace of FEMA assistance being provided. The people of Puerto Rico are still a long way from recovery after Hurricane Maria. The new problem for the migrants is Hurricane Willa which is expected to make landfall in Mexico tomorrow. This would be a disaster for those out in the open especially with children with them. Mother Nature might do what the governments along the way couldn’t. Stop the migrants from moving any further.

The interference in the politics of Central American dating back to at least the Regan years has apparently brought “the chickens home to roost.” Europe and now the United States have to deal with mass migrations of people’s from countries they exploited for various reasons in the past. Once again history repeats itself because we never learn from the mistakes of those who came before us.

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Seeds Of Contention

The recreational use of Marijuana in California continues its long journey to full acceptance by the public in general. Most cities still ban the sale of marijuana legal or not. This practice will continue the sale of the drug on the streets to those who are either underage or looking for local access to the product without having to go out of their way just to get high. California is set to make 1.6 billion dollars in taxes this year because of cannabis sales alone. This being a tourist state where people from all over the world come to visit with plenty of money to spend on whatever they desire. LAX recently gave permission to passengers with less than a gram of weed to legally carry on the planes departing daily.

Donald Trump recently stated that he would consider legalization of marijuana on the federal level. There is one problem for those who want to grow their own plants. That is the total lack of the availability of seeds. One can buy sterilized seeds as food for pet birds so why not non sterilized seeds for people with gardens? The growers do not want to lose any future profits because of home-grown plants. The customer is being locked out of the full use of this plant because of the grower’s desire to have a steady customer base that will be there for now on. The customers should at least have the option to grow their own in a free society such as ours.

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The Red Ball Express

During WWII there was a group of Black American soldiers who drove supply trucks for the military that gave American troops under men like George S. Patton the ability to chase the German troops across France into Germany and total defeat of the Nazi regime under Adolph Hitler. During WWII Blacks were restricted to mostly non-combat roles In the Nave they were mess stewards (cooks) and truck drivers in the Army. The racial attitude of that time in the military was summed up in a statement by the white commander of the 367th Infantry Division he stated. ” As fighting troops, the Negro must be rated as second class material; this is due to primarily to his inferior intelligence and lack of mental and moral qualities.”

141 truck companies and 3000 men were formed into the “Red Ball Express” 75% of the drivers were black. I never saw any black soldiers in the movies and tv shows about WWII. Black men have served in the military of the U.S. since the beginning of this country with little recognition from the public or government of their service to this nation. The movie “Glory” was a wake-up call for me. Then there was the “Red Tails” about the Tuskegee Airmen and what they did to help win the war in Europe. I am proud to have served in the military of my forefathers who gave their all for this country. What they did made America great long before Donald Trump.

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The Crusaders

The situation that now exists in the Middle East that has caused hundreds of thousands of people to leave everything they cannot physically carry behind to seek refuge in the heart of modern Europe. Once again the Muslim and Christian worlds are colliding because of their religious differences. At the beginning of the eleventh century, Pope Urban II gave a sermon telling the people of Europe to travel to Jerusalem to clear the Muslim population from the city and make it Christian again after almost 400 years of Islamic rule.

There were two groups the underclass who were the peasants, and the Knights who were the wealthy landowners as well as fighting men. Pope Urban promised the Crusaders who were afraid of the fires of hell on their souls because of the way they lived in those times. Anyone who would join the Crusades would be given what amounted a holy pardon if they fought for the Holy Roman Church. They made it to the city in June of 1099 and immediately prepared to surround and when ready attack and kill all of the inhabitants of the city. Jews and Muslims women and children were all slaughtered in an in an orgy of bloodlust all in the name of God.

A thousand years later that city is still unable to be a place where all can live together in peace because of the religious beliefs of those who occupy the most important piece of real estate in the Christian world today. Syria, Iran, Iraq are used to the violence that has existed for thousands of years. We in the West should try to learn as much as possible about the history of this part of the world. I believe that at some point in the future all eyes will be on the city of Jerusalem and its continued power to change mankind in ways that cannot be understood at this point in time.

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