UNTITLED (a poem) by Theodor Hendrick End

UNTITLED (a poem) by Theodor Hendrick End

I admire you,

Not for your fame

or popularity

not for your skills

or awards

not for your money

or possessions.

I admire you

for not turning back in the darker days

or becoming cold

in life’s winters

for continuing to sacrifice your life

so that someone

you will never know

or meet

may for a moment,

despite all they might be going through,

find some good in the world.

and even now

in the beauty of your ripened age

you sit upon the throne of servant hood

devoutly,

diligently

molding the souls of tomorrow

planting a harvest

you know

you will never see

–Grandpa–

PLANNER OR REACTOR? by Beth Rankin

PLANNER OR REACTOR? by Beth Rankin

For those of us who are Facebook people, you know there are often small surveys you can complete to find out if you know the slang used in a particular state or the foods eaten in different areas of the country. What would be interesting would be a questionnaire series to determine if an individual is a Planner or a Reactor.

For example, this past Saturday Graham and I participated in the March for Science at the state capitol in Salem, Oregon. Graham asked me early Saturday…what time should we leave? My mind automatically went into 30-minutes to drive there, 10 to find parking, 10 to walk from where we park and add a 10-minute fudge factor and there we had the time to leave the house. Do you do that? You might be a Planner.

GETTING OUT THE BREAD MAKER FOR PIZZA

I’m sitting here, past noon, thinking about pizza….and how can I work it out so we can go to a pizzeria after an evening meeting today when my husband (Graham) makes a comment about pizza. So I get off my butt and grab the bread maker and pizza dough will be ready in time for supper. Got the sausage out of the freezer, we have cheese, and there are some assorted other toppings in the frig. We’re set!  How about your supper plans? Do you have them in the works early in the day (out of the freezer the night before counts) or does supper prep happen when you get that hunger pang later? Your typical routine will very much indicate if you are a Planner or a Reactor.

When I lived in Connecticut and my two older kids were elementary school age, I often checked out the camp offerings when there was a fair in February. I couldn’t believe that action needed to be taken that early but found out it sometimes was the case that a special camp with limited spots filled quickly.

Years ago I planned a family trip to Nova Scotia. It was my youngest’s location of choice for his Golden Birthday Trip so he was involved and we started planning the summer trip in February. Good thing for the ferry, because the spots for cars were sold out by March. One of the planned events turned out wonderfully. We all like to cook so on our trips we usually try to fit in a cooking class for something local.

When I contacted the chef-in-charge of the cooking classes I found listed, he did not have his schedule planned out as far as July. He asked what I would like to learn. Well, I told him I knew how to boil a lobster but another way to prepare it would be enjoyed. Or perhaps, something from Acadian cooking.

We showed up for the class, held in a teaching kitchen space at a local supermarket chain. The regular attendees had left the front row vacant for us because they had been informed about our trip and the early communication. As the chef announced we would be learning some Acadian recipes everyone cheered and one woman said that they never would’ve been offered that if it had not been for us. Now, that isn’t even the end of the story!

A couple of years ago, about six years after the trip, I received an email from the chef. It was something he had mailed out to everyone on his list that he was changing the direction of his business. I responded that it was great what he was planning to do, told him a little about my business, Can-Do Real Food,

and then reminded him who I was. He remembered us and now we can compare local food concepts on Facebook. Amazing how a bit of planning made the world a friendlier and smaller place. 

Nice, but so what? All these things, being a tad late instead of early to the March, going out for pizza instead making our own, getting the kids into a certain camp, and even making a memory with a chef in Nova Scotia, have only small impact on our day to day life. But there are other more important issues concerning how the contrast between a Planner and a Reactor can influence the lives of many.

The concept of a happy marriage is more than happy bed partners. Yet many people forget to find out if they know how to TALK with one another and can work through disagreements.

The concept of raising healthy and well-adjusted children requires a lot of planning. When you react to your child’s antics, you tend to discipline in ways that are not as well thought out if, alternatively, you had planned that lesson before it actually was needed. How would you know the lesson would be needed? You simply remember your own childhood and think how you wish your parents would have handled it. Somewhere between what Mom and Dad did and what you wanted when you were a kid is the right answer, but merely smacking a butt when angry is NOT what will work long term.

                    THE DO’S AND DON’TS OF GOOD DISCIPLINE

The concept of leadership for any successful organization usually required that members of that organization have a way to have their voices heard. It means the leader has to be thoughtful, willing to hear all sides, and be well-educated in history, science and more in order to make decisions that are wise and sound for positive long term effect. Choosing such a leader also requires recognition that bluster does not indicate brains, that speaking his mind does not indicate an ability to get along with others, that being the king of the empire does not translate well to leading a system with others have strong voices.

                                                       THE MAZE OF LEADERSHIP

And so, now it seems that we must react because so many people did not plan well.

                                                                          ACTIVISM

Activism in a March for Science is but a drop in the bucket but amazing how many more people showed up to show that TRUTH and FACTS are needed….more than showed up for the inauguration. Activism is needed as you feel SOMETHING pro or con about a subject.

So, essentially, planning will ease your life from some stresses but being able to get moving in reaction to events is also something needed. We must be both–PLANNERS and REACTORS.

[Beth Rankin, who is often featured in Columnist with a View, lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. Beth is a multi-faceted, multi-talented person, thinker, entrepreneur, writer, crafter and activist.  We encourage everyone to sign up for Beth’s blog:  www.goingplaceslivinglife. wordpress.com.  We thank Beth for allowing us to share her thoughts with our readers.]

 

A SPEECH TO KANAWHA COUNTY DEMOCRATS by Ed Rabel

A SPEECH TO KANAWHA COUNTY DEMOCRATS by Ed Rabel

[A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to read snippets of the following address on Facebook.  I am a West Virginian, so, quite naturally, it caught my attention.  Although much of the speech is obviously dated, the speaker addressed much that continues to be true of West Virginia today. So, I wrote to the author and asked his permission to re-print his speech here.  He graciously consented.]

I come here today not as a messenger of despair, despondency nor defeat. My message today is one of peace, prosperity and hope. Most of all, though, I come here to day to shout out four more years for Barack Obama! In the words of Robert F. Kennedy: “Some people see things as they are and ask why. I see things as they could be and ask, why not? Why not four more years for Barack Obama!

Those who know me see me as the proud son of West Virginia, born and reared in Appalachia and instructed in the lore of the southern coalfields. Mine is an all-American story of a lad born in poverty, enriched in a world-wide experience who comes back to rediscover his roots on Rabel Mountain. For those who do not know me, I introduce myself simply as a fellow Democrat, a member of the biggest disorganized political party man has ever known. (laughter)

John F. Kennedy said this: “The sun down not always shine in West Virginia, but the people always do.” Kennedy said those words standing in a pouring rain on the statehouse steps in Charleston, West Virginia in 1963.

JOHN F. KENNEDY

I was there, too, on the 100th birthday of our illustrious state. Kennedy became President in large part because West Virginia democrats voted for him in the primary to show the nation that a Catholic could win even among a population in which religious fundamentalism was rampant. That may have been West Virginia’s finest hour.

Since then many democrats in West Virginia have changed. No longer are they the honored captains of the party of Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Harry S Truman and John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Lyndon Baines Johnson and William Jefferson Clinton and, yes, Barack Hussein Obama. No longer do they represent the party of ferocity in war, compassion in peace and hope for the future. At the forefront of crusades to grant women the right to vote, on the front lines for civil rights and as the pioneers to reach for the stars by putting a man on the moon, democrats always led the way. Today we democrats are losing ground in the ageless struggle to do what is right.

SCENIC WEST VIRGINIA

If our history is any guide, we should be trumpeting the rights of the working man, promoting diversity both in human rights and in the economy and jumping on the band wagon for an environment free of pollution and the cancer it causes. If we would be true to ourselves, we should be forestalling the endless theft of our patrimony by those outside our state who bear us nothing but ill will. If we truly pay homage to our founding as “Mountaineers Always Free,” we would be about the business of freedom–freedom from a one dimensional economy, freedom from the tyranny of political corruption in state and local government and freedom to choose progressive leaders to spur us on in the 21st century.

Instead, we are falling victim, once again to antiquated shibboleths predicated on fear and hopelessness promoted mainly by fossil fuel lobbyists whose only interest is that of their corporate bosses. If they tell you they have your interest at heart, best you head for the hills. If their message is one of hatred and racism, best tell them to get lost. For you and I know that we are better than that.

Our state and our people are known not for intolerance. West Virginia is known not for laziness.

COAL MINERS

Its workers are some of the best and most productive in the world. When called to meet the challenges of the 21st century, we know how to do that. We can produce energy for the world better and faster than anyone else. We can produce talent that we can be proud of: Chuck Yeager, Robert Byrd, Pearl Buck, Don Knotts, Jerry West, Walter Reuther and Mary Lou Retton just to name a few. And we owe it to them and to ourselves not to dishonor them by allowing ourselves to become pedestrian, mere followers of the commonplace.

I come not today to try to change political minds. For, if I am not mistaken, many democrats in the state already have their minds made up. That, of course, is their right and their privilege. If the polls are correct, in three days most of them, as crypto-Republicans, will vote for Mitt Romney in the belief that he will champion their cause by turning back the tide of environmental protection if he becomes president. In their view, global warming is a myth to be discredited at least, destroyed completely at best. To have that view is their right and their privilege. Never mind that at least six-thousand scientists avow that the earth is heating up and the oceans are rising up. No one should dismiss their belief that it is not so. No one, after all, would want his child to grow up in a world covered by the oceans.

Nor in a world choking on carbon dioxide. The scientists tell us that for every pound of coal that is burned; two-and-a-half pounds of carbon dioxide are produced. That fact is indisputable. The answer, the scientists say, is to capture the CO2 and force it deep underground. The problem is, nobody can figure out how to do it. The devil is always in the details. If global warming is a myth, so is clean coal. Which myth are you to believe?

The truth is, we are living in a season of myths. Myth–I say–Myth Romney is one of them. (laughter/maybe) That the national budget can be balanced by giving tax breaks to the rich is a myth. That the female body has a way of shutting down conception in what the mythmakers call a “legitimate rape” is a myth. That Israel can avoid global war by attacking Iran is a myth. Because no rational person believes the mythmakers, why should anyone believe they are telling the truth about the future of fossil fuels and the jobs that might be produced if only the so-called war on coal can be ended? In the words of President Obama, “That’s the biggest whopper of them all.”

Here are the facts:

Employment in West Virginia coal mines is down from 126,000 in 1948 to fewer than 25,000 today.

The biggest private employer in West Virginia is Wal-Mart, not coal.

Natural gas production in West Virginia is competing with coal in the production of energy.

MOUNTAIN-TOP REMOVAL MINING

Mechanization and modernization in coal mining through mountain top removal, in part, means fewer miners are required to do the job. Hence layoffs occur because coal companies do not need as many miners as before to dig the coal out of the mountains.

Since 1950, West Virginia has lost 40% of its population.

Instead of five Congressional districts, we’re down to three.

The Kanawha Valley lost its chemical company dynamism long ago.

A modern, international airport to provide thousands of jobs was nixed by local politicians fearful of losing their fiefdoms.

I could go on, but why should I? You know the facts. You have the ability to separate fact from fiction. West Virginians, traditionally, have resisted being buffaloed. We are a proud people who do not like to have the wool pulled over our eyes. Too often, in the past, big shots and crooked politicians and religious fanatics have tried. But failed. We sent them to jail for their lies. We did not tolerate them then. And we, as good democrats, should not tolerate them now.

Now we have work to do. If we, as democrats, return to our revered foundation forged in the annals of Roosevelt, Truman and Kennedy we can make something of ourselves and of our state. If we put our shoulders to the task we can be magnificent. If we demand that our leaders get off their comfort zones and lure new, diverse industries to our state, we can be proud once again. If we can sweep aside those who get in the way of advancements like city-county metro governments and new businesses and an infrastructure second to none, we can be rich again. And if we can stop putting all our eggs in one, tired and frayed basket, we can be sure again. And the way to start is to give Barack Obama four more years!

Certain that we and our children can live in a state that ranks at the top instead of at the bottom, that offers opportunity to outlanders and insiders alike and is a beacon to those seeking truth, knowledge and freedom of expression. All these things we can achieve and more. This cannot be accomplished today or next week or next year or even in our lifetime. But let us begin by giving Barack Obama four more years!

[Ed Rabel is a now-retired, local and national broadcasting reporter.  The speech reprinted here was delivered to a gathering of Kanawha County Democrats at the Teamsters Hall in South Charleston, West Virginia on November 4, 2012.]

CROSSING THE RIVER by Ernie Tucker

CROSSING THE RIVER by Ernie Tucker

THE LINCOLN STATUE IN LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY

I am old enough to remember pre-integration days in my hometown of Louisville, Kentucky. Segregation to me, as a young boy, seemed perfectly normal. It was dimply how things were done, how things were, and, since our neighborhood, Crescent Hill, was completely white, I seldom saw a “Negro” unless I rode the bus downtown or went through the black neighborhood in West Central Louisville. In my mind, “they” hardly existed.

            SEGREGATED WATER STATION

Our schools were segregated, of course, but so were churches, theatres, restaurants, parks, amateur and professional sports, restrooms, trains, swimming pools, water fountains, neighborhoods: everything. When Negroes got on a city bus or trolley car, they automatically moved to the rear before taking a seat.

Such was true throughout the American South and in parts of the North, as well. As late as the early 1960s, for example, I visited a small town in Northern Indiana that had signs posted at the city limits warning Negroes that they had to be out-of-town by sunset — believe it or not!

                A SEGREGATED STREET

When I was a boy of about twelve, I was with my mother visiting her sister in Washington, D.C. As we were leaving D.C., we crossed over the Potomac into Arlington, Virginia on a Trailways bus, and the driver pulled into a small parking area. Now that we were entering “The South,” all the black riders who had been sitting near the front of the bus had to get up and move to the rear — while all the white riders who may have been sitting in the rear had to move closer to the front. Then the bus continued on further south.

It seems unbelievable to me today, but that is how it was. I guess that is one reason why I’m still a little surprised when someone who did not live back then tries to tell me that not much has changed since those pre-integration days.

Many racist attitudes are still in place, to be sure; but in a legal sense, the changes have been very great; indeed, and who would say the changes have not been for the better!

 

 

“INTERVIEW PROVIDES YOUR HANDY REMINDER… by Mark Sumner

“INTERVIEW PROVIDES YOUR HANDY REMINDER… by Mark Sumner

THAT DONALD TRUMP IS NUCKING FUTS!”

Since Donald Trump took office–before Donald Trump took office–there was a sudden burst of interest in the 25th Amendment, that little bit of text that describes how the president may be removed from office if unfit to serve. But of course, the application of that rule is just a fantasy. There’s no way that Donald Trump’s cabinet or the Republican Congress would actually pull the switch.

It’s just that with every interview which passes, Donald Trump shows why they really, really should.

PRESIDENT TRUMP SPEAKING

There’s the unreasoning arrogance of a grade-school bully,

AP: Can you tell me a little bit about how that came about?

TRUMP: No, must–you know, I asked the government to let her out. —You know Obama worked on it for three years, got zippo, zero.

There’s the Greek chorus of imaginary praise that speaks to him from everywhere on everything.

TRUMP: Many people, human rights people, are talking about it. …

TRUMP: People have given me credit for having great chemistry with all of the leaders, including el-Sissi. …

TRUMP: People said they’ve never seen anything like what’s going on right now.

And the persecution he feels because that praise doesn’t end up on the front page of every paper.

TRUMP: I’ve developed great relationships with all of these leaders. Nobody’s written that. …

TRUMP: And the media, some of them get it, in all fairness. But you know some of them either don’t get it, in which case they’re very stupid people, or they just don’t want to say it.

And there’s the just plain delusion.

TRUMP: A little before I took office there was a terrible article about the F-35 fighter jet. It was hundreds of billions of dollars over budget. It was seven years behind schedule. It was a disaster. So I called in Lockheed and I said, “I’m sorry, we’re going to have to bid this out to another company, namely Boeing,” or whoever else. But Boeing. And I called in Boeing and I started getting competing offers back and forth.

TRUMP: I saved $725 million on the 90 planes. Now there are 3,000 planes that are going to be ordered. On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It’s actually a little bit more than that, but it’s $725 million. Gen. Mattis, who had to sign the deal when it came to his office, said, “I’ve never seen anything like this in my life.” We went from a company that wanted more money for the planes to a company that cut. And the reason they cut–same planes, same everything–was because of me. I mean, because that’s what I do.

TRUMP: Now if you multiply that times 3,000 planes, you know this is on 90 planes. In fact, when the Prime Minister (Shinzo) Abe of Japan came in because they bought a certain number of those … The first thing he said to me, because it was right at the time I did it, he said, “Could I thank you? I said, “What?” He said, “You saved us $100 million.” Because they got a $100 million savings on the 10 or 12 planes that they (bought). Nobody wrote that story. Now you know that’s a saving of billions and billions of dollars, many billions of dollars over the course of — it’s between 2, 500 and 3,000 planes will be the final order. But this was only 90 of those 2,500 planes.

None of which–none–makes sense. Here’s what really happened. Trump saw an article about the F-35. He made a noise about Boeing building a “super F-18” instead, a plane which doesn’t exist. Trump was then told that the price of the F-35 was dropping, because those initial prices included the high cost of developing the plane and setting up production. The end. That’s the whole story. The planes are going to cost exactly what they were going to cost. Trump saved not a penny.

But he now relates doing nothing as a great, unprecedented triumph–his example for one of the most important things to happen in his presidency.

This story is actually a great example of something. It’s a great example of how the media aids Trump’s delusions and fails to call him on a giant lie that happened in public, with full knowledge of everyone. But with rare exceptions, the press decided that nodding and reporting what Trump said was sufficient coverage.

Trump isn’t just convinced that he’s saved insane amounts of money, but he’s also fixed the world, just by being there.

TRUMP: You know because of a couple of them said, “He didn’t call them a currency manipulator.” Well, for two reasons. Number One, he’s not, since my time. You know, very specific formula. You would think it’s like generalities, it’s not. They have–they’ve actually–their currency’s gone up. So it’s a very, very specific formula. And I said, “How badly have they been,” … they said, “Since you got to office they have not manipulated their currency.” That’s Number One, but much more important, they are working with us on North Korea. Now maybe that’ll work out or maybe it won’t. Can you imagine? …

Stupid previous presidents didn’t fix this because … they weren’t Donald Trump. And the media might say that Donald Trump didn’t do anything, but he really did. He was Donald Trump. And that’s what all this really needed. It needed Donald Trump to just sit down and Donald Trump the hell out of it.

And, perhaps best of all …

AP: So in terms of the 100-day plan that you did put out during the campaign, do you feel, though, that people should hold you accountable to this in terms of judging success?

TRUMP: No, because much of the foundation’s been laid. Things came up. I’ll give you an example. I didn’t put Supreme Court judge on the 100 (day) plan, and I got a Supreme Court judge.

AP: I think it’s on there.

TRUMP: I don’t know. …

Go read the WHOLE THING.  If you dare.

[This article appeared (reblogged) in Daily Kos on Monday April 24, 2017 and is republished here with permission. The AP interview was widely posted on blogs–the point being that the president was almost completely incoherent. Thanks to Mark Sumner for piecing the article together–no easy job!]