Category Archives: AAH-RETIREMENT

Ancestors and the Tracing

I read the saga of a Black man who wrote about tracing his ancestry back to Africa. He told about his family and what it means to him to know where his ancestors originated. It was an interesting story but as usual, I began to think about all the things that makes knowing the true story unlikely.

               What I am talking about is genetics and history. Yes, history. A Black person’s ancestral history is much different than that of a White person. A White person, i.e., can say they are Italian, that they come from a small Italian town named…, their relatives still live there, and their names are…, and they can trace and name their relatives back centuries. Their family tree is branched out covering hundreds of years and, possibly, thousands of names.

               The Black person can trace, with difficulty, ancestral names back, perhaps, almost two hundred years. Then a DNA sample will, hopefully, show where in Africa his relatives originated. This is the reason there is a large gap in the chain of relatives belonging to one particular Black person. It all started like this. Black people were enslaved in Africa. While enslaved, many were raped and later bore those children. While traversing the Middle Passage, slaves were raped, and many bore those children. When the slaves finally went ashore in America and other places in the Caribbean, they were sold, many separated from their children, never to see or hear of them again.

               Many people believe that the sad and disgusting saga ended there until freedom came after the war. These people would be wrong again. The slaves, while on the plantations, were raped and bore those children who were sold to other plantations or kept on the plantation to grow up to be workers and trading commodity. Most house staff and artisans of the plantation usually were offspring of the plantation master or mistress. The slaves were property, like animals, to be done with as the owner chose.

               Before the Civil War the slaves were listed, for taxation purpose, in ledgers. At that time there were only numbers in the place of the slave’s name. After the Civil War the ledgers contained the slave’s name, the last name is usually the slave owner’s last name. That is a good thing for ancestor hunters but there is another big problem. If a slave escaped the plantation, the slave usually changed his name. Then there is the problem of breeding farms. These farms bred many slaves to be sold to many plantations. Some plantations had its own form of breeding which made the plantation seem richer.

               Then to top all of this, for all people, White, Black, Brown, whatever, there were always houses of ill-repute that, before contraceptive material, produced children. Today men and women mate with other than their lawful mates and have children.  There was and is the situation of people hooking up with people that work for them and produce children. I know of a man that I graduated from school with that was so light skinned that he could pass for White. He took that leap and is still passing for White today.

               I am okay with ancestry tracing, but I disagree with the person that will tell me they can exactly trace my ancestry/DNA through all the stages. Maybe they can do it for a White person whose family have been true and never strayed but not me. I am Black and know where the family tree limb starts to bend, and I know there are snapped branches. I have seen pictures of my great grandparents (they came from North Carolina), they were dark skinned. My grandmother and mother were light skinned. My grandmother married a Cherokee Indian. What is my complete ancestry/DNA? I would love to know but it is not to be.

Insular Cases

Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right, but here is the situation. The Supreme Court have decided not to take the case of giving 3.6 million people of the U. S. Possessions equal rights. I say the court is wrong in not taking the case. I think it is wrong that those people do not have equal rights in the first place. It is not about law (although the lawmakers and court are not reading the law the way I am), it is about morality.

               This is the situation. American Samoa, Guam, Northern Marianas Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories. These possessions have U.S. passports, pay taxes, and, as U.S. possessions, it is considered U.S. soil. So, the way I see it, if the properties are American soil anyone born on that soil is automatically a U.S. citizen and have all the rights and privileges as a citizen.

               The problem, the reason there are lawsuits, and it has gone all the way to the Supreme Court, is the people can not vote. My question is, why not? All citizens are supposed to be afforded the right to vote, or am I wrong about that. They are calling it ‘Insular Cases’.

               I will quote what I read in a Yahoo news article: ‘Insular Cases that deny people like Fitisemanu equal rights as citizens were explicitly founded on racist premises. The cases, which occurred from 1901 to 1922, claimed that the people of the oversees territories the U.S. conquered in the Spanish-American War came from “savage tribes” and “alien” and “uncivilized races” who were “absolutely unfit to receive” the rights provided by the Constitution. The court invented a new legal class of “unincorporated territory” for the colonial possessions taken from Spain that denied them equal rights and statehood.’

               These people also serve in the armed forces, go to schools in the 50 states, work in the 50 states, can live in any state and must abide the American laws. But it seems as though the courts still want to hold on to the racist laws from more than a century ago. Yet we as Americans choose to tell other nations how they should conduct themselves when we are the ones that need to change. These racist stereotypes not only hurt the island possessions but many Black, Brown, etc. here on mainland USA.

               As I read the article, all I thought about is how many island people I have met, and I thought they had all the rights I have. My original thoughts about our laws, which I have harbored in my mind since childhood, have not changed. A lot of these laws can be changed but most keep hitting roadblocks put up by the Republicans. The Republicans loaded the Supreme Court and now they control what goes on there. I do not foresee anything that make sense or is moral coming out of the Supreme Court.

               The people of these islands will never see justice as long as the court is the way it is and as long as the Congress have those roadblocks. Call them American Nationals or whatever you want, it still is not right. Let us not call it Insular Cases, call it what it is. Racist.

Long Live Mother Earth

I’ve been thing about all the hullabaloo over climate change which made me wonder whether it is true or false and (I try to listen to my mind and body) what do I really feel about it. My mind, body, and soul say it is true. Not only from what the scientists say but from my own personal knowledge. I have been a person that look at things thoroughly, while in the military and out. I am also a person that depend heavily on things I learned through life.

               What really got me to write about climate change was an article in The Atlantic by Chris Baraniuk about ancient flooding tales. The article was really good, and I could add more (I guess he could also), especially a few stories from the Bible (remember Noah’s Ark, to name only one). Through the years I have written a blog or two about catastrophes during biblical times (blog: www.faithingodministries.net).

               Earth have been in constant change since its existence. Through my lifetime I have witnessed some of the changes. For one, the weather here is not like it was when I was growing up in the area. Some things are very minor while other things are dramatic. There are areas where the landscape is different and the coming and going of the seasons have a different feel to it.

               When I was in the military in Germany, I had many German friends and I stayed in many German homes. I remember a man that was digging fencepost holes in his back yard when one pole went further down than the others. He had hit an old Roman grave, hit the corpse, flipped it before it stopped. The experts were called and verified the site, excavated and searched the grave before leaving. I knew the Roman soldiers buried their dead on the banks of a stream or river. The nearest water was about a hundred yards away which told me the stream had changed over the years. Things change, nothing is ever the same.

               When I was a child my sister and I always wondered if it would snow for Christmas because most times it would even if it was only flurries. Now I don’t worry about it because it has become a rarity. I also remember, when I was stationed in North Dakota, my mother was telling me about a tornado that hit the area. I did not believe her. She had to send me the newspaper article before I began to believe. All my childhood I had never heard of, knew anything about, nor knew what a tornado was.

               In the article by Chris Baraniuk, he tells how stories from elders around the world told of different land features and even lands that have disappeared. Upon extensive investigation, he and the people with him have found the tales from around the world were true. I have always said that people should listen to the elder person. Maybe that is what happen to Atlantis.

               I personally do not think us humans will stop, nor can we slow what is happening to the changing world. Earth have been changing for far too long. Long live Mother Earth!

John the Baptist

6:22 And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, ask of me whatsoever you will, and I will give it you. 6:23 And he swore unto her, whatsoever you shall ask of me, I will give it you, unto the half of my kingdom. 6:24 And she went forth, and said unto her mother, what shall I ask? And she said, The head of John the Baptist. 6:25 And she came in immediately with haste unto the king, and asked, saying, I will that you give me by and by in a charger the head of John the Baptist. 6:26 And the king was exceeding sorry; yet for his oath’s sake, and for their sakes which sat with him, he would not reject her. 6:27 And immediately the king sent an executioner, and commanded his head to be brought and he went and beheaded him in the prison, (Mark 6:22-27 KJV)

          For those of you that do not know the entire saga of John the Baptist I will just say something of the characters that is in this part of his life. Herod is the king and he married Herodias who was his brother’s wife. John the Baptist, being the greatest prophet, was jailed. He told Herod that it was wrong to marry his brother’s wife. The wife had a daughter that was, evidently, very lovely.

          For some reason the wife did not like John the Baptist (I am assuming it was because he told Herod he was wrong to marry her which make her wrong to accept the marriage). When her daughter danced for Herod, he offered her anything she wanted, up to half his kingdom, Herodias saw a way to rid herself of John the Baptist.

          Women can entice men to do almost anything they desire. Just by looking at today’s headlines anyone can see it happening. And, to talk about negative results, these women are running amuck with our government, and this includes Clarence Thomas’ wife.

          After Herod said what he said he had to behead John the Baptist for his stepdaughter, not knowing his wife requested it. Some women can be deceptive and (as the old saying goes nothing is worse than a woman’s scorn) vile.

          God hates evil and Herod got the wrong end of the stick. His army took a beating in his next battle. I am sure God did not forget Herod’s wife nor the daughter. I am also sure the women of today will get the wrong end of the stick and so will the husbands and anyone attached to them.

          Years ago, I learned not to trust anyone at face value, especially if it is a woman. Years ago, I found myself is difficult situations because of a woman. I look at the women that have clout and I wonder who or what they did to make it where they are now. Some of the women in Congress is destroying it (not counting the numerous men). Be careful out there.

5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. 5:2 And all of you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that has done this deed might be taken away from among you. 5:3 For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, (o. pneuma) have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that has so done this deed, 5:4 In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when all of you are gathered together, and my spirit, (o. pneuma) with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, 5:5 To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit (o. pneuma) may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.               (1 Corinthians 5:1-5 KJV)

Book Sense and Common Sense

When I was in the military, we had a saying about many officers and it was, ‘lots of book sense and no common sense’. This also applies to some NCOs as well. Not all of them were like that but there were plenty to go around. These people stayed in some sort of school, always into their books but when it came to thinking outside of the box, what is not found in a book, they were lost or would do or say something crazy.

               There are a lot of people in Congress, state and local government that run in the same pact. They can say what you need to hear or want to hear but never enacted what they have said. They are good at telling you what need to be done or tell you what to do but have never done it themselves nor realize what the outcome will be. Every situation is different with all sorts of variables which mean there must be some sort of fine tuning to complete the task.

               There are many people that cannot think beyond the box and have been put into a position due to who they know or who they owe, etc. but they do not have the knowledge, expertise, or anything that qualify them for the position. I have seen a lot of them when I was in the military. There is one in Congress (there may be others that made it in because of this situation) that was elected because her opponent had to drop out for personal reasons, and she ran unopposed. If the opponent had not dropped out, she would have never won the election. Now the state and the country are stuck with this unqualified person.

               Then you have those that get into politics to gain wealth. All they want to do is make money anyway they can. They will say and do anything. They will take money to say and do certain things as long as they can climb up the ladder a little further. In the meanwhile, we the people suffer for the wrongs that are being perpetrated by these people. They do not care if the law that they want enacted helps the constituents or not as long as they get theirs. If they can garner a fan base, all the better because that will ensure they can stay in place and make more money.

               There is a Congresswoman that constantly break the rules and is fined for them. Now she is complaining she don’t have money because her pay is going toward paying off the fines imposed on her. Common sense tells anyone not to break the rules that carry a fine in which you will not get paid on payday.

               Thinking about book sense and common sense; there is a leader of a violent group from the right that is a Yale Law graduate but is now considered a jailbird because of his and his group’s actions. He has plenty of book sense, but I don’t think he ever had enough common sense to stay out of jail and to keep those radical views out of his head.

               I’ve always said that knowing the book is good but common sense is better. First, the book may not tell you everything. And second, is the book telling the truth? A mix of book and common sense go hand in hand to make a better person and a lot of Congresspeople need to make that change. There is a lot of stupid out there, even in those that elect these stupid people and keep them in office.

The Borinqueneers

I just returned from a week in Puerto Rico, just ahead of the hurricane/tropical storm. My wife and I go there often and have been to most of the other major islands. However, after watching a segment of history about Puerto Rico on a morning talk show, I thought about I have never heard about Puerto Rican military people when I was in the military nor read about them in history books. It was as if, like Black military people and Native Americans, they never existed. I did some research, and it did not take long to find a lot of information.

               Like Black people, Hispanic people volunteered for military service and was delegated to segregated units. During WWI they formed the 65th Infantry Regiment and served as the U.S. military’s last segregated unit composed primarily of Hispanic Soldiers. This have echoes of Black soldiers in the military. These soldiers are known as Borinqueneers.

               There is a short piece in the history pages that I found, and it say ‘shortly after Puerto Rico became part of the United States in 1898, a regiment of Puerto Rican Soldiers was formed, and they served our nation bravely ever since. In World War I, they defended the homeland and patrolled the Panama Canal Zone. In World War II, they fought in Europe. In Korea, they fought in mud and snow. They are the 65th Infantry Regime, U.S. Army. They are also known as Borinqueneers’. The nickname ‘Borinqueneers’ originated from the Borinquen – one of the native Taino Indian names for the island of Puerto Rico.

               One interesting fact is that two hundred Hispanic women joined the military and was given the job as code talkers, just like the Native Americans. Now that I have a taste of Hispanic history, I will delve more into it because I know there is much more to discover. Like all the other ethnic groups of people, the Hispanics have done well in many things for the United States including doing better than average in the military. Also, like other ethnic groups in the military, the Hispanics were short changed when it came to receiving medals. When ex-President Obama was in office, he gave out a record twenty-four Medal of Honor at one award ceremony.

               Although Puerto Rico is a possession of the USA, they have trouble getting USA support when there is a disaster, need of an influx of money for infrastructure upgrades, and so forth. I really love that island and would love to live there if the hurricanes would skip the place. The island is usually in the path of most hurricanes that leave the coast of Africa. And, while I was there, the news said there were earthquakes on the east coast of the island. I didn’t feel them.

               I invite all of you to join me and dig deeper into Hispanic history (music also), especially the Borinqueneers. These people are as interesting as the Tuskegee Airmen and others. Mexico is not the only place for Hispanics, but most people only think of Mexico and southward as the only Hispanics. Duh, not so. Look at Puerto Rico and other places. Huum, I have to do more traveling. By the way, HAPPY HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH!!

The Cult And Cult Members

The other day I was talking with a friend and ‘cult’ was mentioned. That made me think about today’s situation. Remember Charles Manson? For those that do not, I will tell you a little about him. He was a jailbird, con man, drug user, musician, among other things. Somehow, he decided to form a cult to his liking. He had a few followers that he kept in-line with LSD and alcohol. These followers followed him everywhere and did anything and everything he wanted.

               Time went on and he killed someone. A few of the cult killed Sheron Tate and her family and tried to make it look like someone else did it to cover Charles’ murder. They did everything they could to get the onus off him. However, they were caught and after one thing led to another, Charles Manson and his cult was charged with multiple murders and other acts. This led to a very long trial.

               The, I think, nine-month trial boil down to this. The entire time the cult members, that were on trial, repeatedly said Charles did not do it, did not have anything to do with it, and did not know anything about it. Meanwhile, other members of the cult staged demonstrations outside the courthouse (they were barred from the building because they caused disruptions). During the trial Charles put a cross in the center of his brow. The cult members did the same. Next, Charles shaved his head, the cult members did the same. Charles finally was found guilty and was given the death penalty but, with the changing law, received life without parole. His cult members received the same but, a few years later, got a chance at parole but refused to renounce Charles Manson and remained in prison.

               That was only one cult out of many through my time here on earth and Trump’s cult, as far as I know, is the largest. Since he loves patting himself on the back for achievements, whether deserved or not, I will let him take this. What make this so weird is he has given them nothing to keep them close to him. Just shadow promises and many defeats. The master conman has millions of people kissing the ground he walks on, even when it is shown time after time that he is above wrong.

               Trump is like Charles Manson only Trump have not murdered anyone, nor have he given his cult LSD. He controls has cult and loves his cult members while never giving them anything. They must give their everything to him and his causes. His cult members have attempted murder, assaults, break-ins, do anything to cover for him, etc. while getting nothing in return but scorn.

               There are more cults I could talk about, but I only picked one. Trump’s cult members are filled with veneration for him and only him. I hope they do not drink kool-aid (remember Jim Jones?) that he may serve them. Some are already drinking the wrong kool-aid and it is making them certifiably loony. I personally feel sorry for anyone that is willing to stay on this runaway train that is almost out of track. Some cult members are jumping but not many.

Classified Material

I have handled classified material all through my military and civil service career, but I have never imagined anything like what is in the news today. I had both respect and fear of the material I was handling. Respect because I knew what it was, what it could do if the wrong eyes saw it and honored to be able to handle such sensitive material. I feared it because I knew if I mishandled it, lost it, or allowed the wrong eyes to see it I was in very big trouble and the trouble would come very quickly. I used to say, ‘they would dump me in a very deep hole, fill it in, and build a prison over me’. Evidently not so today.

               When the boxes of material were taken from the White House, when the ex-President was reluctantly leaving, I asked then how he was allowed to take the material or is it the law had changed. Eighteen months ago, the removal of classified material was known. Yet, people are acting like it is new news. A year after the material was taken Trump was asked for the return of the material. See-sawing back and forth through delay after delay got the government nowhere with just asking for the return of the material. In June a subpoena was issued for its return. Again, delay after delay resulted in just some of the material being returned, although his lawyers said that was all of it. Now the raid produced boxes of highly classified material. Surprise-surprise-surprise!

               In my civil servant job, when I handled classified correspondence, I had to be very careful. I signed for the material, took it where it had to go, stood there while the individual read it, they signed for it, I took it to a secure storage place, signed in and stored it. When it was time to destroy it, there was a strict procedure that had to be followed to the letter. I could not just flush it down the toilet. If I did not follow the rules to the letter, there would not be a warning nor a chance to delay nor a subpoena nor more than a year going past before I was in handcuffs. Oh, I get it. I am not an ex-President.

               I have said from day one, if I did anything remotely close to what Trump have done, I would have been in prison years ago serving a very long sentence. My leading question is, what was he going to do with that trove of classified material? I know Putin blackmailed people with material like that (he is ex-KGB). Was he trying to do something like that? Was he going to sell it for the money he needs? I guess we will never know. We can only speculate.

               The handling of classified material takes obvious precautions with harsh penalties if you miss the mark, regardless of who you are. There are people for Trump calling for the disbandment of the law enforcement agencies involved or just leaving him alone. I guess they are saying you and me must follow the law and/or rules but Trump does not. He is above the law. He was given time to return the material where-by anyone else would immediately be in jail for the slightest misstep.  Who said this world is fair?

Higher Education

I have been told I would not amount to anything nor have a good job without a degree. I have been told that a degree is the only way to success. A degree will ensure a comfortable senior life. A degree will, after a good job, guarantee a good pension. I was also told that it is the people with degrees that have made the finer things that have been invented. I say, not necessarily so.

               The Great Pyramids were created by people that were versed in the construction of such things. The labor, as in many things before that and since then, was done by slaves and common people. Some may have been versed on the subject, but the overall majority were not, maybe none. Those structures still stand after thousands of years yet today we have structures that fail after a few years of wear.

               I am going to tell a story of facts that happened to me while I was in the military. I only have a high school education because, at the time, I did not have the money to attend college and the draft was looming. When I became the kennelmaster at a base in Germany, I had my own budget to care for the kennels. My budget was separate from the squadron’s budget. The squadron’s budget was maintained by a sergeant that was college educated in finance and an officer. My budget was a few hundreds of thousands of dollars and the squadrons was, of course, much more than that. The yearly money was broken into four quarters, yet each quarter they came to me to borrow from my budget. I maintained a well-balanced budget for a few years and the squadron decided to replace me by putting me in another section of the squadron and putting a college educated sergeant in my place. From what I heard; the kennels was never the same. There were always problems, and both the squadron and kennels were always in trouble with the money.

               It does not take a degree to do everything. Look at the British military. In the United States Military, a person must have a college degree to even be considered to become an aircraft pilot. In England a Warrant Officer, who is not a full officer, can fly. I have met a few. If that is not enough, look at the pilots that are in high school and can fly.

               One last example about education. Back in the day, the days of slavery in the United States, just about everything was done by the slave. Without the slave, America would not have been built. The slave worked hard and to make his labors easier, the slave invented ways to ease the situation. Since the slave was denied applying for or having a patient the slave owner acquired the patient for himself. Everyone knows the slave was not educated and, in most cases, neither was the slave owner.

               These were just a few cases that say a higher education is not needed for success nor to get anything of value done. All that is needed is a good brain, volition, and wherewithal for any endeavor. Never say never nor that something is impossible to do. Just say, no one beats a failure but someone that never tries. Higher education is great, but it is not everything.

My Business Card

Many things go through my mind but, as usual after watching my favorite news channels, I decided to blowout my mind to clear all the mess it has absorbed. The one thing that stands out is most people engage their tongues before their mind have thought it through. A rampant, out of control person is more dangerous than a person that is mindless. A thoughtless, mindless person is very dangerous and can, not only harm them, but can harm others.

               Maybe some of you have seen my Facebook page and have noticed what I have on the back of my business card. I have had that saying for over fifty years and do not know where it come from. All I remember is I saw it one day, remembered it, and have attempted to apply it as much as I can. Being human, I have failed a few times but, overall, I have applied it. The rear of my business card says “Be kind to your neighbors because you’ll never know when you’ll need them. Also, ensure your words are soft and sweet because you’ll never know when you’ll have to eat them”.

               Why am I saying this? First let me start with President Biden. He has made a few minor hiccups in his time and so has others. The one that standout the most is his Saudi Arabia hiccup. When the Arabian man was murdered, he blamed the Crown Prince for it and called him a terrorist. Now he is rubbing shoulders with the so-called murderer. My guess, for that reason, is not only unity of the Mideast but, as I wrote in a blog a long, long time ago, the oil. Get the price down and pump more of it.

               While on the campaign trail, he also promised many things. He not only did not consider the stiff resistance of the GOP but he, as well as everyone else, never thought that one or two of his own party would resist him and the party. I, as a civilian, can promise something and nothing much would come of it. But in politics everyone, especially the other party, clamps down on every promise and will make him pay dearly if he fails. That is a big deal in today’s politics.

               Let us look at Trump (Yes, I know. Don’t roll your eyes). He always misspeaks and lie. The biggest problem with him is he does not care and will speak badly to a person or about a person because that person did not do as he said or is not a part of his huge click. I think he is finally seeing the people he treated badly is badly needed now. He was not kind to anyone but his family. They are the only ones that know exactly what went on, that are sticking by him. Or are they? I don’t know what is coming.

               I have mentioned two individuals, but everyone should try to abide by the saying on the rear of my business card. One day, what you said some time ago will come back to bite you in your rear end. Once your tongue puts out what you did not mean to say, it is too late. The only thing to do is in the future ensure your words are soft and sweet. You do not want that chunk out of your rear end to be huge.