PELOSI’S GULAG

In our nation’s Capitol, on January 6, 2021, to use a phrase coined by Rep. Ilan Omar, D-MN, “some people did something.”

That “something” is enshrouded in a mystery that grows ever deeper each passing day. Not in dispute are facts such as that several hundred people have been arrested and are being held without bail, in solitary confinement. That a closed prison facility was brought back online specifically to hold those arrested in connection with the Capitol incident, and that those being held are being denied any semblance of due process.

The Speaker of the house, Nancy Pelosi and then majority Leader of the Senate, Mitch McConnell were fully responsible for overseeing events in the Capitol. That they failed miserably is an understatement.

The so-called insurrection should never have taken place and was totally preventable. The unanswered question is, was it an organic movement or was it the result of careful planning?

There are suspicions that the initial stage of the rioting was a false flag operation intended to disrupt any attempt to postpone the certification of the Biden election until certain states could examine their elections and perhaps recall their electors. If this is true then the “insurrection” was highly successful.

This particular mystery can be easily resolved. The answers are readily available. The FBI has 14,000 hours of surveillance video captured by 6 separate cameras. So far this video evidence has been used only to identify and incarcerate people who can be shown to be Trump supporters.

This is America, not the Soviet Union or Communist North Korea. We don’t have political prisoners, reeducation camps or state sponsored torture. Or do we?

Where is the full force of our legal system’s investigative power? Where the search for truth without regard to where it might lead? Why do we have investigations being led by a need to “prove” a given outcome rather than to discover the facts?

If Trump supporters are truly guilty of instigating the riot then they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The truth is in the 14,000 hours of video and they must be released, shown to we the people, and a bright light focused on the facts.

The other closely guarded top secret is the identity of the only person to have caused a fatality during the Capitol events, the killer of Ashli Babbitt.

Early broadcast video showed two viewpoints of the tragedy. One was from outside the infamous window. In that footage a man is seen urging Ms. Babbitt to go through the window, saying, “you’re holding everyone up, go on through so other people can climb through.”

The other viewpoint showed the shooter, gun in hand, aimed at the window. As soon as Ms. Babbitt, empty hands in plain view, came through the window, the shooter fired his weapon. No warning, no attempt get her to reverse course. Deadly force was the first and only response to her trespass.

This shooter was reported to be a Capitol policeman but remains unidentified. Secrecy where none is usually to be found, or even necessary, leads naturally to suspicion that something is being covered up. Perhaps the shooter is a policeman, perhaps not.

Again, the answer is in the 14,000 hours of video.

Perhaps the DOJ should be renamed, “The Department of Selective Justice.”

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MARK TWAIN NAILED IT

In his publication ‘Pudd’nhead Wilson’s New Calendar’ Mark Twain wrote, “It could be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinct native American criminal class except Congress.”

Written tongue in cheek to show his disdain for what he saw as corruption in government, Twain left us with an amusing quote. But in his wildest imaginings Twain could never even have suspected the degree of wrongdoing to which the malfeasance he observed would grow.

A full catalog of the crimes and misdemeanors that have plagued this once great nation would require several volumes to adequately record but we can touch on a few in this limited space.

Let’s begin with one of the most egregious, the Jeffrey Epstein saga. As is widely known Mr. Epstein died while in custody. Although the circumstances were suspicious his demise was ruled suicide. Then Attorney general Barr stated that the entire fiasco surrounding his death was a “perfect storm of dereliction of duty and official mistakes” but otherwise nothing to see. A key element was that the men assigned to check on Epstein’s cell failed to do so and were subsequently charged with making false records and conspiracy. On May 21, 2021 those guards received a deferred prosecution deal, avoiding jail time and slipping their case under the rug.

The unanswered question is, what happened to the rest of the Epstein investigation? In his rise to wealth Epstein amassed a trove of video recorded evidence showing his “clients” committing serious crimes. The FBI confiscated all such evidence and has held it for several years but no mention of it being used to bring justice to the Epstein victims has ever been mentioned.

The Biden crime family was outed by one of its major members, Hunter Biden. Again, the evidence has been in the possession of the FBI and our Justice Department for quite a while. Have you heard any underground rumblings of potential prosecutions? Again, nothing to see here.

Was the 2020 presidential election stolen or was it not stolen? No one really knows, but the current president thinks that it was. He said as much on national TV. “We have put together the most massive voter fraud in history.” Also, contrary to the Constitution, many states allowed their elections to be governed by other than their state legislators. That’s a huge no-no.

Audits are currently being conducted to test the integrity of the election and, surprisingly, are being met with fierce opposition from the winning side. That alone sounds just a bit counterintuitive.

Our last Attorney General, under the previous administration, came into office swearing that he would uphold the rule of law and left office with a laundry list of criminal referrals and unfinished IG investigations pending but no significant prosecutions. He did get a book deal.

And on book deals, if you want clue as to who has done the bidding of the so-called Deep State or the billionaire oligarchs simply look to the book deals.

Billionaire “world shakers” buy into publishing companies. Those companies can then be used to funnel money to people who are willing to violate their oaths of office and to abandon public trust by acceding to the wishes of special interests.

When the books do not sell the “authors” of the books get to keep the money, the publishers chalk it up to bad business decisions and write off the losses. Those who wanted the event, outcome or judicial ruling get whatever it is that they paid for.

It is by design, not stupidity, that we no longer have a meaningful Southern border. It is by design, not stupidity, that we have unchecked, unprosecuted rioting in our streets.

Deviancy has been defined down to a point that no behavior is still considered deviant. There is a well organized movement in America to normalize pedophilia and school curriculum now embraces teaching children to judge others by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character. MLK has been canceled.

As I said at the top, a full examination of crime and malfeasance in government would require volumes. If so inclined you can readily find all the evidence you care to see. The perpetrators no longer even bother to hide their crimes, for all practical purposes they own the judicial system.

Quoting Swami Vivekananda, London, 1896, “the nation that abandons morality will not survive.”

The Swami, just as did Mark Twain, nailed it.

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HOW DARE WE?

Here in South Central Texas the sun is setting on Memorial Day, 2021.

This is the one day of the year dedicated to remembering the fallen heroes who paid the ultimate price for the rights and liberties we enjoy as citizens of this, the greatest country on the face of the earth,

We owe a debt that can never be paid, a debt to each of those patriotic men and women who sacrificed their all for all that we lay claim to as American citizens.

How dare we make this a day about trivial pursuits of pleasure rather than focusing on the solemn duty to offer prayers of gratitude for the blood shed on our behalf.

How dare elected leaders our country dismiss the meaning of this day with a cavalier, “keep cool out there,” while eating an ice cream cone or, “enjoy the long weekend.” Where is the honor and gratitude in those comments?

I am a proud veteran, ten years in military service, but this day isn’t about me or anyone else who can read these words. As veterans we have a day on which our nation pauses to offer us collective thanks for whatever degree of service and/or sacrifice we have made. Today is all about those who did not survive to be thanked in person.

Memorial Day was originally the day on which we visited the graves of those who had fallen in battle, let us not lose sight of that purpose.

Patriotism was once an integral part of every civic occasion. Statues of military heroes populated town squares across the nation and the flag was proudly waved from coast to coast. We were a people proud of our country, willing to pay whatever price necessary to maintain the freedoms purchased at great cost by the bravest of the brave.

How dare we trivialize their sacrifice by converting this day into just another excuse to take a day off. How dare we we abandon the reason for this day, that of offering honor to, and prayers for those who shed their life’s blood to guarantee our right to live peacefully here in America is the planet’s greatest nation and it’s largest magnet for legal immigration.

America is indisputably the greatest nation. Proof of this statement is that millions of people from every nation on earth vote, and have voted, with their feet by coming here to enjoy the rights and freedoms that those who gave their all secured for us.

How dare we not make the true purpose of the day foremost in all we do on this day?

How dare we allow the meaning this day and the meaning of all other patriotic holidays to slip away? Do we not realize that a nation that abandons its shared spirit of nationalism will soon cease being a nation?

How dare we allow the greatest experiment in self government ever attempted to so easily slip away?

Do we lack the courage to dare to step up and reclaim the ideal so many died to protect?

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THE UPSIDE TO IMMORALITY

There is a concerted effort afoot to remove all vestiges of morality from the American culture. We are engaged in a war for the soul of our nation. The war is not new, not of recent creation, it has been waged for many decades and the forces for good are losing.

America is a nation founded on religious principles, endowed by a Creator God with certain inalienable rights. These rights, as numerated in our foundational documents, being bestowed as they were by a Higher Power and not derived from the the benevolence of a ruling class, cannot be taken away by any such ruling class. While our God given rights cannot be taken they can be hidden from us, removed from our reach.

Is there an upside to immorality? For those who would destroy the American way of life, subvert the intent of our founders and exert control (for fun and profit) over America, and by extension the world, the answer is a resounding “yes.” For them Immorality is merely a tool, just as is racism, political and judicial corruption, civil unrest and election fraud to name just a few.

Morals, ehtics, and obedience to a Higher Power all have rules, immorality has none. The dichotomy is that the control sought by those driving the war against morality must also conform to a set of rules. This they accomplish by dividing the populace into definable groups, each with its own set of rules. These sub sets are then told that so long as they remain in their own lanes they are united and free, never realizing that the concept that divides them from everyone else is itself antithetical to unity and freedom.

Examples to prove the premise that a war on morality is taking place are so many and so varied that it would require far more space than is available here. If you have an interest in pursuing the subject I suggest you do a search for “pornography in public school curriculum,” “normalizing pedophilia,” and “treating adolescent gender dysphoria.” A deeper dive could lead to asking why our Justice Department is still not acting on the mountain of evidence garnered in the raids on the Jeffrey Epstein properties.

Hunter Biden provided the smoking gun that would certainly have led to at least a day in court had he not been related to a member of the protected class. AG Bill Barr (CIA code name Robert Johnson) deftly avoided juggling that hot potato. That Robert Johnson was a blues guitar player who claimed to have sold his his soul to the devil might just be happenstance.

Other arrows in the quiver of those seeking to erase ethics and morality are book deal advances. It is no coincidence that several of the oligarchs commonly linked to nefarious schemes to control the strings of government have invested in publishing companies and that oddly enough many individuals having made in controversial decisions in their official capacities which aided the war against morality have been rewarded with multi million dollar advances for books destined to never become best sellers. Nothing to see here.

We are losing the war and the key to victory for the dark side is aptly described in the adage, “for evil to triumph it requires merely that good people do nothing.”

You, dear reader, are doubtlessly a good person. Bite off a chunk of this battle, investigate it, form opinions and then communicate your thoughts as widely as possible. We greatly outnumber the enemy but they are well positioned, wealthy and dedicated to the destruction of this nation that we cherish. If the army of the good continues to slumber while the dark side makes inroads into all the institutions we once held to be sacred, there will be nothing left to fight for.

Someone much wiser than me once said, “if you have nothing worth dying for you have nothing worth living for.”

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WHY ARE WE ALLOWING HATE TO WIN?

Make no mistake, the United States of America is being ruled, not governed, ruled by organized hatred. Just as Adolph Hitler employed his Sturmabteilung (Brownshirts) to intimidate and frighten the citizens of Germany into giving him the dictatorship the current governing bodies in America are using similar means to increase and solidify their power over this country. Hatred is the most powerful weapon in their arsenal.

The three most prevalent factors in human interaction are love, hate and indifference. Of these the easiest to control is hate. Hatred requires no maintenance whereas love needs to be nurtured through understanding, empathy and compassion. In other words, love requires that you actually put some effort into sustaining it. Love is not something you say, it’s something you do on a continuing basis.

The forces now controlling America have successfully weaponized hatred and have used it to instill fear and intimidation in order to divide the people, and to subvert law, reason and due process. When people have to arm themselves, board up their businesses and cower behind locked doors in anticipation of an election result, a jury verdict or a court ruling, can we not agree that something has gone awry?

When even our Supreme Court can be cowed by the mob, can be intimidated to shirk its sworn duty to the Constitution out of fear of retribution by uncontrolled rioters how can we say that we are very far removed from Hitler’s Germany of 1925?

When duly elected members of our legislatures, federal and state, can take to the streets to egg on the mobs and incite riots in order to advance their political ideologies, where are the checks and balances?

And those of us who care, what can we do beyond wringing our hands in despair as we futilely blow against the whirlwind? In a few short months we have seen our great nation dive into the abyss, a headlong leap toward destruction fueled by a purposely engendered divisive hatred that has been financed by forces that for various reasons want to see the America we have all cherished cease to be. And those forces are winning.

There is no end to the list of laws violated by the people who are behind the destruction of the country. Where are the prosecutions for abetting illegal border crossings? That is still a crime, is it not? What of inciting riots and looting? Giving comfort to enemies, foreign and domestic? Still illegal? The money trails are obvious and could be followed but are not being acted on.

For a period of time we had so-called good guys in power. Where were their actions against what was taking place to subvert the rule of law? Not only were they silent then but now seem to be interested only in multi-million dollar book deal advances, a classic way to pay off corrupt officials for services rendered. Those that we looked to for positive leadership were not haters, nor were they governed by a love for country. They were driven by shameless greed, indifferent to the result their inaction would have on all of us who depended on them to honor their oaths and to defend the country and its laws.

Personally, I feel betrayed. Not by the haters in the streets, they are at best useful idiots duped into following false prophets or at worst criminals using the cover of a political debacle to profit from looting. Nor do I feel betrayed by the billionaire radical leftists or the Media or the Big Tech oligarchs, they cannot be expected to have any desire to seek a just, well governed society blinded as they all are by their quest for wealth and power.

I feel betrayed by the good guys, that whole sanctimonious lot of pretenders, acting and talking as though we the people, the rule of law, the American ideal and the Constitution were the driving forces in their lives when all along they were just in it for the glory and the gold. How some of them can stand to live in a world that has mirrors is beyond me.

Okay, the rant is over and the search begins. A search for that person, that font of wisdom, that potential shining knight, who can pick up the tattered pieces of our nation and provide the leadership that will unite those who truly want this country to survive as a republic and begin a cause worthy of being rallied around. Hate can be defeated.

Any volunteers?

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LIFE IMITATING ART

I just finished reading a fascinating book, A War of Shadows, by Jack L. Chalker. The first sentence reads, “The shadow of death passed through Cornwall, Nebraska, but it was such a nice day that nobody noticed.”

Small town America was being attacked by a biological agent, bringing death and/or chronic illness to such a degree that the President of the United States had Congress declare martial law. Our government’s response to the attack by unknown assailants was to completely suspend civil liberties.

As the narrative unfolds it becomes clear that the biological agents being used were manmade, developed for the purpose of creating sufficient fear among the general population that no measures taken to counteract the menace would be questioned.

The forces behind the plot consisted of a group of very wealthy liberals and progressives, under the control of rogue elements in the government, going all the way to the highest offices in all three branches. Their end purpose was that of transforming the United States into a totalitarian regime, forever to be under their collective thumb.

Quoting from the text of the novel, “Using the idea that we had a mysterious enemy controlling a horrible fate, we scared the American people half to death. They were willing to do just about anything to feel safe from this dreaded disease. It was much worse than soldiers of an enemy. It was silent, invisible and permanent in its effects. They demanded protection from Congress, Congress gave extreme emergency powers to the President, and we had the military state of emergency.”

A phrase often used when a work of fiction or entertainment seems to hit upon a subject currently existing in real life, “ripped from the headlines,” would seem to be appropriate in reviewing Mr. Chalker’s novel. Appropriate until one takes into account that the novel, “A War of Shadows,” was written in 1979, over forty years ago.

I am not a great fan of coincidences but barring such an occurrence it would seem that Jack Chalker was either prescient to a degree rivaling Nostradamus or someone reading his work saw it not as science fiction but as a blueprint for achieving a political end impossible through the use of any ordinary legal and ethical means.

No matter what your take on the subject, Mr. Chalker’s fantasy is far too close to our current reality for comfort and complacency. The parallels are uncanny.

Perhaps the answer to why we are where we are lies in identifying the true architects of the events that have caused our lives to imitate Chalker’s art and then taking all appropriate action to bring them to justice.

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WHERE HAVE ALL THE HAPPY PEOPLE GONE?

Today’s date is March 22, 2021. The headline in the Houston Chronicle reads, “Another migrant surge building at the border.” Four months ago the Southern border was closed, migrants seeking asylum were forced to remain in Mexico while their claims were being investigated and the drug cartels south of the border were being controlled to an unprecedented extent. Now those drug cartels are in control of the border. Not my words but those of Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, President of Mexico. By his own admission he can no longer control the cartels. What a difference four months can make.

In just the past few days China has openly insulted our diplomats during a meeting in Alaska and Iran has threatened harm to the Army’s vice chief of staff and has discussed plans to blow up Ft. McNair in Washington D.C.. In a rapid turn of events America has come to be perceived as weak and is the laughing stock of the world. Four months, and a Presidential election has made quite a difference in our nation.

The humor is gone, the comedians have all exited stage left and the haters have replaced them. The late night shows and that god-father of comedy, Saturday Night Live, no longer offer up the deep belly laughs they were famous for. Dark political “comedy routines” have replaced the writing of those comic geniuses whose work used to hold sway on the evening TV tubes.

I realize that those who engage with WordPress prefer a lighter fare. This is a site better known for pleasant anecdotes, poetry and floral images. I too would prefer to consume from that dish but the times have changed. We have serious problems, life changing problems, and each of us must decide whether we keep our heads in the sand and merely hope that things will improve or do we seriously discuss how to make a difference.

The unpleasant truth is that the oligarchs have taken over the federal government. We can blame the Democrats, we can blame the Republicans but neither approach goes to the root cause of the problem. Deep State, The Establishment, Big Tech, The Oligarchy, Socialists, Communists, RINO’s Tree Huggers, whatever label you like, it’s all rhetoric.

The problem is that there exists a loose affiliation of disparate interests who have as their only point in common a desire to see the American system of governance fail. There is no need for a conspiracy, each branch of the Destroy America Tree will follow the same path out of self interest. That path is to control the narrative by controlling the media. Jeff Bezos didn’t buy the Washington Post because he liked the smell of printer’s ink.

Another truth is that we had the closest thing possible to an effective President in Donald J. Trump. Just compare the events of today with those of four months ago. The media as a monolithic structure was told to destroy him and they succeeded in creating a hydra-headed monster of misinformation. It should be obvious by now that no amount of hating Trump is going to put this country back on a path to prosperity. That will require an honest government free from outside interference by those interested in shredding the Constitution.

You can’t hate away the pandemic but you can claim that the simple act of calling covid “The China Virus” is powerful enough to gin up hatred for all Asians. You can say that uttering the words, “peacefully assemble to make our voices heard,” is sufficient to start an insurrection but you can’t hate the man enough to cause the current administration to pull down the razor wire surrounding the Capitol and send the National Guard home.

It may be that we have already burned the final bridge, that it is too late to wrest the reins of government from the hands of the special interests. Money talks and politicians generally listen. All one needs to do is examine the revolving door between government and the K Street lobbying industry to understand how deeply in the pocket of the special interests all of government has volunteered itself to be.

I realize that I am a voice crying in the wilderness. My greatest hope is that perhaps my words will inspire one person, that individual who has an idea of how to grasp this sorry scheme of things entire and mold it closer to the ideal of the America we used to have and that he or she will step up to the podium and become another voice crying in the wilderness and that this might be repeated until we make a noise that cannot be ignored.

And then I would like to go back to posting excerpts from my poetry books.

If you got this far, thank you for reading and please consider adding your voice to the search for viable answers. America needs you.

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JUST DON’T CALL IT SLAVERY

The term “slavery” has been coopted by the left and their captive news media to refer solely to persons of African descent who were held in captivity and under conditions of forced labor from the early 1600’s until 1865. The Civil War gave freedom to 3,900,000 such individuals and the 13th and 14th amendments sought to codify the rights of those given freedom and to prevent anyone from ever being so abused in the United States into the future. It must be noted that it took another 100 years to force the Democratic Party to allow for the passage of civil rights laws to insure the rights granted at the close of the Civil War.

Today persons held in captivity or in involuntary servitude are no longer called slaves, the term having been replaced by “Human Trafficking,” a distinction without a difference.

According to the best information available there are some 25-30 million people held around the world in conditions called slavery or human trafficking, your choice. The United States has an estimated 400,000 people meeting this description.

The media’s response to the tragic events in Georgia concerning the vicious murders in three massage parlors was the impetus for this post. Although the perpetrator stated that his motive was to eliminate the temptation that led him to participate in activities that, while contrary to his desire to be a good Christian, fed his self-diagnosed sexual addiction. He blamed the workers at the massage parlors for his sick thought patterns.

Despite hearing what the killer stated as his motivation, the media immediately described the murders as hate crimes against Asians, caused by ex President Donald Trump’s insistence on calling Covid-19 “The China Virus.” The pathology of Trump-phobia aside, this incident has opened an opportunity for a national discussion on the tragic circumstances of human trafficking. Such a discussion is even more timely now that the Southern border has been opened and tens of thousands of people are flooding in, among them a great many who are victims of human trafficking and who will eventually end up in involuntary servitude and sex slavery.

While the victims number in the hundreds of thousands, prosecutions and convictions are only in the high hundreds to low one thousands. This is an intolerable situation. The reason for so little law enforcement is variously given as cloudy jurisdiction and a mish-mash of conflicting laws, local and federal. I would add the interference of highly placed special interests who greatly profit from the status quo.

Most of us have, at one time or another, read or heard a report of a local crime that took place in a “known crack house,” or “a known brothel.” The question is never asked, if the location was so known, why was it allowed to operate?

That massage parlors offer sexual services or that a great many people are engaged in forced labor in sweat shops comes as no surprise. What should be surprising is why the majority of citizens in this great country do not care?

There are many organizations, easily found by a web search, which are dedicated to addressing the problem of human trafficking but they do not have the benefit of law. Several Federal agencies claim jurisdiction and pontificate about their efforts but those efforts seem to be confined to issuing self-aggrandizing reports. Local law enforcement seems to be equally impotent.

Human trafficking, slavery, whatever the term, the conversation is long overdue and we need to demand effective laws and effective law enforcement. The time is long past for slavery under any name to be eradicated from the planet.

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ALWAYS PERPETUATE A GOOD CRISIS

President Barrack Obama’s wing man, Rahm Emmanuel, is credited with coining the phrase, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Actually the first usage of those words goes back to sixteenth century writer Niccolo Machiavelli who said, “Never waste the opportunity of a good crisis.” British Prime Minister Winston Churchill was also quoted expressing that same political advice during the Second World War.

We are now witnessing the unusual confluence of a crisis riding a crisis. The current administration wasted no time in undoing all the good work done at the Southern border by the previous administration and once again we have massive caravans of illegal immigrants swarming across into our country.

As has been widely reported, a number of these new arrivals have been taken into custody, tested for Covid-19, found to be positive and then released into the country. Given all the effort put into containing and defeating the virus, such a catch and release policy would seem to be counter productive. But if your goal is to perpetuate the crisis it makes perfect sense. The new arrivals will become super spreaders and the crisis will be maintained.

The pandemic was used to great effect by the Democrat party in winning the previous election but many Democrats and their supporters in the establishment are quite worried about retaining their power through the 2022 elections. Covid served them well in the past and they would expect it to be as effective in the future. Unfortunately for their goals medical science is lessening the incidence of covid and removing it as a valid reason to completely relax all controls on elections.

It isn’t surprising that the Democrats and the establishment would perpetuate the covid crisis but the unanswered question is where is Dr. Fauci? Our virologist in chief is strangely and eerily silent on the subject of those covid positive immigrants, amongst a sea of untested brethren, surging into the country. He has nothing to say, not even a warning to America to keep a distance from anyone who might be one of the new arrivals from across the Southern border. Is there a profit motive for him or simply a reluctance to see the spotlights turned off as he is told to exit stage left?

The open border crisis has provided a way to perpetuate the Covid-19 crisis and the left is taking full advantage of this gift from the administration. The big loser is the American way of life and all of those patriotic citizens who have who have labored, fought and sacrificed to make this the greatest nation on earth. May God bless America, she needs it now more than ever.

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will be at peace”
Bob Marley

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REPARATIONS: WHO GETS, WHO GIVES?

The conversation about reparations to the descendants of African slaves in America is one that most people who desire unity would rather avoid. The subject cannot be parsed in any way that will avoid division. But it also seems that given the current power structure in the federal government it is a conversation that will be had.

It has been said that when you open a can of worms it will always require a much larger can to get them contained again. That will be true in the subject of reparations. As to who gets, the easy answer is anyone who descended from someone who was held as a slave in the United States. Who gives would be anyone whose non slave ancestors were living in the United States prior to 1865. Simple, right?

But what of the descendants of William Ellison, Jr., one of some 171 black slave owners in South Carolina at the time? He was born a slave and as a young man apprenticed to a cotton gin maker. He made improvements on the design of the cotton gin and was paid for his work. Eventually he saved enough to buy his freedom and went on to become quite wealthy and then bought the freedom of his wife and children. Mr. Ellison became a plantation owner and operated it with slave labor, placing himself on both sides of the reparations debate. Do his descendants get or do they give?

Kamala Harris, our current Vice President and perhaps the most successful anchor baby in the history of the fourteenth amendment, is herself a descendant of a slave owner. In her direct line of ancestry is one Hamilton Brown, a Jamaican and the founder of Brown’s Town. He was also the largest slave owner of his time. If reparations are voted on in the Senate and the vote is tied will she have to recuse herself?

The original attempt at paying reparations was made by General William T. Sherman. He issued Field Order 15 which set aside 400,000 acres of land that had been confiscated from Southern land owners to be given to freed slaves in 40 acre parcels. The former slaves were also to receive one government surplus mule per parcel of land for as long as the supply of animals lasted. Given that at the end of the Civil War there were an estimated 3.9 million freed slaves, this attempt at reparations was woefully inadequate. An equal distribution would have required 3.9 million mules and 156 million acres or 243,750 square miles, a land mass nearly equal to the size of the State of Texas.

The entire exercise became moot with the assassination of President Lincoln. Field Order 15 was rescinded and the land returned to its original owners.

Returning to the here and now, who gets, who gives? Obviously anyone whose family was not in the United States at the end of the Civil War cannot be involved. That would also seem to eliminate using money from general tax revenues to pay reparations. Those later arrivals would not share in the liability of the slave holders and so their taxes should be exempt. And If one’s ancestors included both slaves and slave owners would that not constitute conditions that cancelled each other?

Perhaps we should just abandon the entire reparations argument and simply admit that the best form or reparations has already been given to us. It’s called “Opportunity Zones.” The Federal program that will bring investment, new businesses and jobs into the nation’s underserved communities, without regard to ethnicity or any other characteristic that seeks to divide us as a people, would best serve anyone who feels that he or she has been held back as a result of having descended from African slaves while at the same time improving conditions for all Americans.

Opportunity zones are not only color blind and unifying but also go a long way to fulfilling the dream promised but not delivered by Lyndon Johnson’s War on Poverty.

Solution, expand on Opportunity Zones and call them “Reparations Plus.”

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