Category Archives: RETIREMENT

I Am Not Naive

The other day I saw a local article that took me by surprise. Not the contents of the article but the fact that the reporter seem very surprised about what was found and what it meant. The article stated old bodies were discovered in graves on the property of The Medical College of Virginia (MCV). These graves were of slaves that were used (for labor?) at the school.

               What got me was people are surprised that slaves were used there. I stated in a blog I wrote a long time ago which said people need to think like it is some time ago, not like it is today when reading about yesteryears. Evidently the people that are surprised about this situation is viewing it like it is today. Yes, slaves were used everywhere back in the day. Not too long ago, some wealthy people were keeping people that worked for them as slave labor. They kept their passports, did not pay them, would not let them leave the house, and had them work very long hours because they were migrants.

               Let me explain why I am surprised about people around here being so naïve. The Medical College of Virginia is in Richmond, Virginia (Capital of the Confederacy), around the corner from the President of the Confederacy’s home (Jefferson Davis). The entire southern states had slaves as well as some places in the other states. Slaves were used to do anything and everything the White person could not do or did not want to do. They cooked, cleaned, did all the field work, and made things (horseshoes, clothes, buildings, etc.).

               As the doctors, nurses, etc. worked and taught at the college it stands to reason that either the school bought slaves to labor or the people there used their own slaves. That is not too hard to imagine, especially if you think as if it was the time of slavery. It would be expected. In fact, when I was growing up, those were the only jobs a Black person could get, labor at very low pay.

               A while ago graves were found (also bones in an abandoned well) of cadavers used in experimentation and teaching. It was never said if these were of White or Black people. I would assume most, if not all, were White. The reasoning for that is 1) there was a stigma that Black people were not like White people. 2) there was a lot of grave robbing during that time. 3) Black cemeteries were not close to White people. 4) In case you do not know this, free Black people could not live within the city limits. Therefore, graverobbers would have to travel a long way to get a fresh cadaver of a Black person.

               So, people can stop trying to make me think I am naïve enough to believe they are surprised to discover people used slaves at a prestigious school. If I remember correctly, not too long ago The University of Virginia (UVA) (which have a great medical school) found graves. I am assuming it was everywhere because Blacks were used for labor, free or enslaved, and experimentation (remember The Tuskegee Experiment). Why are people so naïve or is it a ruse to make us think they are?

Wake-Up People

2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privately shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2:2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. 2:3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words (o. logos) make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingers not, and their damnation slumbers not. 2:4 For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment. (II Peter 2:1-4 KJV)

          This is part of the second letter from Peter, the disciple, to the Christian people in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey). The things that were happening during that time is happening today. Like today’s people, the many people then would not take heed. They were going about with their minds and eyes closed and would not believe that inside forces were tearing their church apart.

          During the time of these letters was the time of Nero and Christians were persecuted, killed like it is done in some countries today. If we are not careful and will not heed the warnings from thousands of years of persecution, we will meet the same fate as then.

          In Congress, we have false prophets that is tearing Democracy apart (as well as in the church) and the people with their eyes closed voted them into their lives. There is a silent fight between the young and old. For instance, the new Congress have stated that the first thing they want to work on is cutting Social Security. Older people depend on the SSA, and younger people are not close enough to it to know what it means to live with a cut in which food to put on the table (if any) and other things that take money.

          The false people in Congress have hood-winked the people to vote for them promising they will not hurt them. That they can survive without the SSA and other benefits, but most people cannot. But God have a plan. God will see us through.

          The people even elected a liar. If he says to me that he loves Jesus, I could not believe a word he says. The cult leader loves him and the people he is a part of. How can anything get done with a liar when nothing he says can be believed? With the house divided, the people are voting for anyone that sounds good as long as they do not have to investigate them. Then, after investigating them and finding wrong things, they will vote for them anyway as long as they are not from across the aisle.

          Just remember, false prophets are everywhere and all you must do to avoid them is to wake-up and smell the roses. You only have one chance to qualify to go to Heaven and be with God. At the moment, Hell is the destination for many, many people. Stop wasting time. Time is not our friend. Wake-up, say and do what is right.

A House Divided

As it is written, a divided house can not stand. The house the Republicans were trying to build have been in disarray for a few years. Their minds are so diversely divided that they can not do anything that will make all of them agree on anything. Then there is the cult leader that they are afraid to distance themselves from.

               As I write this, McCarthy have gone through thirteen votes (history made here), and he still have not been elected as House of Representatives Speaker of the House. He loves Trump and it seems he is guided by him, and he does not want to do anything that will meet Trump’s disapproval. Trump endorsed many Republicans that ran for office and most of them lost that election, is this why McCarthy is having problems winning enough votes to get elected? It is too late to move away from Trump now because everyone knows who is at his side.

               I am not a politician, and I am not a political expert, but I am a person that try to use a little common sense to attempt to figure things out. I am independent, I vote for whomever I believe will do the best job although I am not of the Independent Party. Through the last few years all I have heard from Republicans in Congress is to give angst to the Democrats at all costs. They don’t seem to have any ideas of their own except to say what should be done, never how and never present a bill nor compromise with a Democrat on a bill of substance.

               Recently, Republicans have been elected that are not a part of the cult and want to get the party moving in way that will hopefully accomplish something of meaning. They don’t seem to want to stay on their own side but seem to want to reach across the aisle and accomplish something. They just don’t want to banish Democrats, or undo what Democrats have done for the country, nor sit idle and let the nation be shunned by the rest of the world, they want to make a difference.

               However, with the Republican House being in, I believe, three parts mean each and every thing they try to do will mean chaos. Then there are the Democrats to deal with if the Republicans decide not to reach across the aisle or compromise. If the Republicans do not do what they did the last time they had the majority, which were to present bills of contention, they should be okay.

               They must remember one thing, they were elected by the people and are paid to do the people’s work. Instead of doing their own thing or doing what the cult leader wants, remember what they are there for. Now all they must do is to get their house together instead of it being divided. Then and only then maybe they can accomplish something. Until the division is gotten rid of, there is no chance that any great thing will be accomplished.

               So, the bottom line is, bring the party together. Do not govern by contention. Compromise. Remember the people that elected you. You are not in a cult, therefore, rid yourselves of the cult leader. And lastly, the world is watching.

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!!