Donald Trump, Immigration: Next?

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By now, we all know about the issues with Trump’s immigration policy at our southern border such as family separation, detaining children in camps, and, in general, causing an uproar across America. Right on the heels of that fiasco, we learn that Trump is asking the U.S. Army to release any soldier who is serving in the Army with the promise of citizenship at the end of his or her service. This has released some excellent soldiers from our Army who will now be deported.

One has to ask, “What’s next?” or maybe “Who’s next?”

Has Donald Trump forgotten, or did he ever know, that the United States of America is a nation of immigrants? I am only third generation in America. Trump, himself, is only second generation. I had to wonder exactly what Trump is trying to accomplish after I heard him ask, “Why can’t we get more immigrants from Norway?” I suppose he meant as opposed to south of our southern border. That statement reeked of racism and bigotry. Clearly, he meant more white immigrants instead of brown immigrants.

We should (and so should Trump) remember the lessons of history. Hitler was striving for his Aryan race. A race of what he called white, superior beings. His brand of politics was called Fascism. As Trump wishes for more white immigrants and fewer immigrants from countries south of the border and from Muslim countries, all who have browner skin, I wonder what he’s trying to achieve. It can’t be that he wants to conserve resources or he would not be wishing for any immigrants at all. Could he be trying to “whiten up” America?

What should we expect next? Should we expect that all people with brown skin might have their citizenship revoked and be sent back to the countries of their ancestors? Or that all African-Americans or Asian-Americans might suffer the same fate? Perhaps he’ll just take a short-cut, and since our Congress is no longer serving as a system of checks and balances and because he is going to pack the Supreme Court to his liking, he’ll just build gas chambers as Hitler did.

I know you think I’m exaggerating. I would imagine the German people didn’t expect millions of Jews to be killed either. At least, not at first.

Maybe Trump will decide that no one is worthy of living in America but his “base.” At least that’s what I hear from some members of his base. Some of them say there will be a revolution and, for example, there will be no Democrats left. I wonder where they got that from? Trump takes the Democratic Party’s name in vain, and badly, at every Trump rally. No wonder he has riled up “his people” into thinking such a thing. Now his “base” wonders why the Democrats are filled with hatred and fear. Talk to some of the members of his base or go to a Trump rally and you will figure out why.

It could be that Trump will decide no one should live in America but “true Americans.” Of course, he thinks that is his base or he tries to make us think those are his thoughts. If he goes that far, the jokes on him. America is a nation of immigrants. The only “true Americans” have red skin. The Native Americans. #NotMyPresident

 

Recommended Reading: “Fascism: A Warning” by Madeleine Albright

The Return of Protest Music

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I grew up on a diet of protest music. It was the 1960s and 1970s. The Vietnam War. The civil rights movement. Profound social and cultural change in the United States. Kids my age had to decide how they felt about big issues very early in their lives. How do you decide how you feel about war, civil rights, changes in the norms and mores of society when you’re not even 18 years of age? We had to do that. Those events shaped us for the rest of our lives. The backdrop of the civil unrest were the protest songs. What’s rising again now are protest songs, in all forms, from folk music to hip-hop. America is not going to stand for neo-Nazis to march in our streets.  We are going to protest. Loud and proud. Peaceful. Skinheads are not welcome here. Neither is the Klan. Our fathers fought the Nazis. They didn’t do that, with many not coming home, for nothing.

The backdrop of the current civil unrest is protest songs – once again. I’m amused when the white supremacists, the neo-Nazis, the separatists are called “patriots.” Patriots? They are a group of people who are intolerant and they are exercising their First Amendment rights. I contend that those monsters who our fathers fought in World War II, the Nazis, should not have First Amendment rights. They should not be allowed any rights in the United States. They should be denied all rights like the Fascist pigs they are. If my father were alive, and he watched the Nazis kill his friends on the beaches of Normandy in World War II, he would be one of the counter-protestors. He would vehemently agree with me. The counter-protestors are the patriots.

Bob Dylan wrote some of the most famous of the protest songs in the 1960s. “Blowin’ in the Wind.” “The Times They Are A’Changin”. Those are only two of the most famous of his songs. Another famous protest song of the 1960s was “If I Had a Hammer,” performed by Peter, Paul, and Mary. Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young were famous for their song, “Ohio.” Bob Marley moved beyond folk music to reggae and his “Redemption Song.”

John Fogerty and Creedence Clearwater Revival did “Fortunate Son,” which was a classic working class protest song in the same vein as Bruce Springsteen’s “Born in the USA.”

Many of today’s protest songs are hip-hop, but pop and folk are emerging. Music is powerful and influenced an entire generation in the 1960s and 1970s. It can influence today’s young people as well. The US has a rich tradition of protest music. It can be a powerful part of a counter-protest movement.

 

One Liner Wednesday – 8/16/17

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I think this quote is particularly relevant in the United States at this time.

Those who serve supreme causes must not consider what they can get but what they can give.

Source: Winston Churchill, 11 August 1950, Council of Europe, Strasbourg (cited in Langworth, Churchill: In His Own Words)

#SoCS – 8/12/2017

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It’s always interesting for me to write a stream of consciousness post. My writing is always so planned that stream of consciousness is hard for me. But, I’m guess I’m going to give it a shot. Let’s see. What’s on my mind this Saturday morning?

I’m a political animal, so the first thing I’m thinking of is the neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, VA. I believe in freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. When the assembly is a bunch of neo-Fascists, then I think an exception should be made. Fascists were the downfall of most of Europe during World War II. We don’t dare give an inch when it comes to Fascism in the United States. I would call for the Fascists currently occupying the White House (Steve Bannon) to be fired immediately. If he is not fired, then I would call for the impeachment of our President, Donald J. Trump, who apparently condones Fascism. Steve Bannon is one of his closest advisors. Fascists would not feel free to congregate in our streets without a person like Steve Bannon in the White House. If you have read any of my articles on our current President, you know my feelings about this.

I’ve heard, just now, that the Governor of Virginia has called for a State of Emergency and the Fascist rally has been broken up. I am waiting to see if our President will make a statement. If he doesn’t, then I will know he does indeed condone Fascism.

The other thing on my mind is writing. I won’t be blogging as much as usual over the next few months. I’m working on the “meaty” part of my novel and I have about 60,000 words to write before I leave for Florida at the first of November. I have a lot of other things I have to do on a daily basis besides write. I can usually only grab two or three hours per day.

Have a good week!

Censorship and the Bookstore on the Corner

The little bookstore used to be one of the gathering places in the small village. The front of the bookstore had the current bestsellers and also some books that were worthy but that had not caught the eye of the public. As you walked toward the back of the bookstore, the books got older and more were in paperback. All were carefully vetted by the owner, Pete Turner. All he wanted was high quality literature in his store.

This was before the federal government stepped in and started banning books. There were always sectors of society that banned books. Public schools. Libraries. They usually banned them because they contained sex, violence, profanity. Pete bought books for literary value. That was in the past. Before the federal government, beginning in 2017, sent out squads of soldiers to pull books off the shelf that were on their banned book lists.

It was hypocrisy. The Holy Bible was always on the banned book list. That was the only banned book the soldiers left intact on the shelves.

What the squads of soldiers didn’t know is that Pete kept shelves of banned books hidden in the basement of his bookstore. He had put book jackets on the banned books that were fake. The jackets from other books that were on the government’s approved list.

In 2017, the federal government decided to try to control the American people’s reading material. They were relentless. They went into libraries and schools and stripped the shelves of any book on the list and even some that weren’t. Bookstores were hit especially hard. They even pulled the Harry Potter series off the shelves. It had been on the banned book list off and on and so many children had enjoyed it. Harry Potter was the number one banned book between 2000-2009 according to the information Pete had. After they pulled the books off shelves, they piled them in the street and burned them.

People were afraid to gather in Pete’s bookstore now. His business had dropped by half. He owned his store fair and square. There was no mortgage on it. That was the only way he was staying in business at all. Many bookstores were going out of business.

The people who were in favor of the actions of the federal government with regard to banning books didn’t see the problem. Some thought it was a good thing that these books that talked about issues that made them uneasy and afraid were being burned in  the streets. The others, the ones who thought the federal government was overstepping, brought up the First Amendment and freedom of speech. They said that banning books and burning them in the streets was a violation of the First Amendment. Banning books and burning them in the street was the ultimate in censorship.

Just recently, Pete had learned through his distributors of books, that the federal government had ordered that production be stopped of the books on the banned book list by the book publishers. These publishers were high-profile. Pete had also learned through his contacts that smaller publishers had started producing these banned books under the radar. They were booklegging. Producing banned books illicitly. Otherwise, these wonderful books would be lost forever. Books like “Of Mice and Men” by John Steinbeck; “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain; “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee; “Brave New World” by Aldous Huxley; and many, many more. If these small publishers were discovered, there would be terrible consequences compliments of the federal government.

Pete’s bookstore had a supply of many of the banned books camouflaged in his basement. He was essentially running a library out of his basement and loaned them to people who wanted to read them. Pete, himself, would suffer consequences if he was discovered. Even though many people now avoided his bookstore, there was a core group of readers that still came in, had coffee and tea, and browsed. They were defiant of the federal government. Pete was so glad to see them. These people recognized censorship for what it was.

Pete had been able to obtain and keep some history books that detailed what had happened in the Fascist regime in Germany. If the soldiers found these books, they would take them and burn them, but Pete tried to keep them available for all his patrons to read. In 1933, Hitler’s regime burned 25,000 books supposedly to remove the Jewish influence from Nazi Germany. Books from scholars such as Freud and Einstein were among these books and some were irreplaceable. Censorship through book burning was a hallmark of the German Fascist regime. Pete wanted history books available for his patrons so they could read about this movement. He was afraid he would be found out. In Germany, booklegging became popular but was shut down.

Pete spent his days as proprietor of his bookstore trying to keep a low profile while encouraging the people of the village to frequent his bookstore. It was a fine line to walk. The squads of soldiers appeared at his door on a regular basis but they found fewer and fewer books to burn. All his banned books were camouflaged and hidden. Pete is noticing that more people in the village, people who are surprising to him, are coming in to have coffee and talk with him. They carefully ask to see his history books and occasionally, the banned books. This gives Pete hope, for his business and for his country.

Pete’s little bookstore in the village remains. The story has no ending yet. Pete and at least some of the people in the village have hope that the First Amendment of their Constitution will be respected in the future and censorship and the issue of banned books will become a thing of the past.

amwriting with The Writing Reader

A Darkness Over Our Country

A darkness has descended over our country. No, I’m not talking about ISIS. I’m not even talking about terrorism in general. I’m talking about how the political environment in the United States is affecting our society and the relationships between people in our country.

There was a time, a long period of time, in the U.S. that politics and religion were two topics that were not discussed between friends in what was then called “polite society.” I’m not suggesting that we go back to that time. I am suggesting that we take some lessons from that time.

The political environment in U.S. has gotten so toxic that people of different political persuasions literally cannot have a discussion about the issues affecting the U.S. today without becoming angry and spewing vitriol to their acquaintances and even to their family and friends. I have never been in such an environment in the U.S. in my lifetime. For most of the years of my life, I have not known the political affiliations of my friends and acquaintances. Politics was something we did not discuss. Because of my profession, we always discussed issues that affected our country and other countries. We had spirited discussions. But, they never devolved to the point where people became angry and friendships were affected. We always laughed, shook hands at the end of our discussions, and agreed to disagree. That doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

When friends and family discuss the issues affecting the U.S. now, during the 2016 Presidential campaign, someone, or several someone’s, are going to walk away angry. I don’t understand this. We all have opinions. Some of us think that we need a fence between our country and Mexico. Some of us think there are other solutions. Some of us think we need a “change” from the policies of the current political administration. Some of us think the current administration has done a good job. I recall that, in 2008, some thought we needed a change then as well. Some of us have strong opinions that a change is needed in our foreign policy in a number of areas. Some of us think a change is needed in other areas. Some of us strongly believe in the Medicare and Social Security systems as they are. Some of us don’t.

What I am doing is illustrating that there is a plethora of issues facing our country. It isn’t possible, or even desirable, for all of us to have the same opinion. Differing opinions is what our two-party system is based on. If everyone had the same opinion, there would be no need for a two-party system. That is when the country starts to lean toward Fascism.

I avoid political discussions now. I am one of those people who has lost a friend, partly because we engaged in political discussions. I am sure some of you reading this blog post may be able to say the same. Somehow, our society in the U.S. has to get past thinking that politics is more important than relationships. No matter who is in the White House, no matter who is in the Congress, we need our friends and family. It is unfathomable to me that we have allowed this type of darkness to descend over our society. It is a sign of radicalism taking hold of us and leading us down a path where we should not want to go. #amwriting #writing #blogging #politics