Oh Texas, There You Go Again…

2016-05-24_07-55-55.pngAfter traveling through all fifty States I can’t help it, I have my most favorite States and my least favorite States.  Texas is in the latter category. In my mind Texas, at least the most vocal of Texans, are the epitome of bravado, arrogance,  and most sadly vengeance.

A textbook proposed to help teach the cultural history of Mexican-Americans in Texas public schools is under scrutiny by scholars, some of whom decry the effort as racist and not a reflection of serious academic study.

The textbook, titled Mexican American Heritage, describes Mexican-Americans as people who “adopted a revolutionary narrative that opposed Western civilization and wanted to destroy this society.”

The book also links Mexican-Americans to immigrants in the country illegally, saying illegal immigration has “caused a number of economic and security problems” in the U.S. that include “poverty, drugs, crime, non-assimilation, and exploitation”…

The Texas Board of Education’s members sanction textbooks for use statewide in a process that has for years been marred by ideological fights over lessons on subjects including evolution, climate change and the influence of biblical figures such as Moses on America’s Founding Fathers.

SOURCE:  Mexican-American history textbook proposed for Texas schools called ‘racist’ by scholars | | Dallas Morning News

I simply get tired of hearing how big Texas is.  I admit that Texas is a big desert State. Nothing seems to grow there but sagebrush. At one time it must have been lush to have made all the oil underground but that was eons ago.

There seem to be a lot of shows in the home flipping and custom auto variety on the air right now. From my observations I have deemed most of those from Texas as “lipstick on a pig”. They all just seem to cover up all the underlying problems with a coat of fresh paint and then try to sell it for a big profit.

Sadly most of the school books used throughout the nation come from Texas companies. I don’t know why that is? As cited in the article above they often try to put a “Texas” slant on them. Mexicans  come to our country wanting to destroy our society and bring drugs and crime with them. But then again that does sound a lot like one of our presidential candidates doesn’t it? I suspect he won’t have any problems winning Texas in the fall elections.

Anything that differs from their biblical interpretation of creation is flat out wrong to them. Climate change is also wrong because the Bible doesn’t mention it. To them, contrary to the facts, all the founding fathers were Baptist style Christians. Just don’t try to confuse Texans with facts…

Texas, along with Florida, execute more people annually than the other 48 States combined. They  seem to be a society founded around vengeance.  I mourn all the innocent people who have been executed by the Texas rush to judgement.

Now I am sure that there are many very nice people in Texas that don’t fit my view of that State but I just don’t personally know of them. Many in Texas often rant about how they should be a separate country; sometimes I kind of wish they were…

Fixations….

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PrintWHY??   I ask that a lot, especially when it comes to how we choose to live our lives.

I simply can’t understand how we Americans are so fixated on flexing our muscle throughout the world when we have so many thing that need repair in our own country. It is almost as if we are willing to sacrifice our own well being in order to exercise our power. We must realize that the world didn’t assign us to be policemen of the world, that was a choice we made, often times much to our own detriment.

Since I hold on to Quaker roots I understand that I am more averse to aggression than many in my homeland. I understand that much of our culture is based upon violence and domination. I understand that this type of a world view dictates an overwhelming military superiority. I understand these things but I just don’t accept them as the way they have to be.

We claim to be a nation based on Christian principles. When I read the Bible Jesus tells me very clearly that means we are to love God and love our fellow man. These are the two foundational laws of that religion.  God did not put nation barriers on that list. Our fellow man is a worldwide concept; maybe even beyond our little globe? The dichotomy of being an aggressor vs a Christian is troubling to me.

If only we could take some advice from one of my heroes Will Rogers and tend to our own business instead of poking our guns and military might in the rest of the world we might just be able to fix some of our own problems.  Why do we need to continually make enemies of the rest of the world in order to give ourselves some sense of security? When will we understand that often times flexing our muscles in the world is a cause not a cure for our insecurity?

If we must be fixated why can’t we fixate on curing our own ills. We let many of our citizens go through life without sufficient healthcare because we have not figured out how to dispense it efficiently. We have more of our citizens under lock and key than any country in the world.  Why can’t we figure out the root causes of that?  In order to maintain overwhelming military superiority we let our education system fall behind much of the world.  Why do we allow guns to destroy much of our society?   Thousands die every years due to suicides with guns. Thousands die because of random violence with guns. Thousands die due to gun accidents. It just makes no sense to me that we continue to ignore simple solutions to this problem.

Why are we so fixated on solving the  world’s problems when we have so many of our own to look after?

But I’m just a simple guy so what do I know…..

And Then There Was Andy……

The last presidential home we visited on our April vacation was the Hermitage of Andrew Jackson. I must admit that I had read various things about “Stonewall” before I visited and there was not much of what I read that I liked. After visiting his home just outside of Nashville Tennessee and learning more about him I can say I like him even less today. Sorry to all you Jackson fans but he was just not the type of person I would ever admire.

The Hermitage was a huge mansion compared to the other four presidential places we visited the previous week. I forget exactly but I think it was over 10,000 square feet and all of was decorated in total opulence. I guess Andy made a LOT of money as a lawyer and a plantation slave owner before he became president. Like other very wealthy people he loved showing off his wealth.  Mr. Jackson was just one of several presidents who had a hyper-inflated ego. He was an “in-your-face” type guy and undoubtedly the most racist president we have every had. African-Americans along with Native-Americans were sub-human to him. He treated both with an almost total disdain. When he moved out of his temporary house to move into the mansion. He gutted it, took down the top story and then whitewashed it before turning it into slave quarters. He did not want his slaves to get uppity on him I guess.

The early part of Mr. Jackson’s life he became famous for his war skills and killing Indians. They say he had quite a love for his wife Rachel Donelson but the scandal of the day was that he jumped in and married her before she was even divorced from her first husband.

He was a president who enjoyed locking horns with other politicians of his day. His arrogance and bravado reminds me  Rush Limbaugh except that Andy actually accomplished some things instead of just talking/ranting about them. 🙂  He spent his political career saying that he was for the common man but didn’t seem to live his life practicing those words. The one thing I am grateful for with Andrew Jackson and some other presidents after him is that the U.S. did survive his presidency without too many setbacks. Although like the Republicans today he came very close to ignorantly closing down the country over monetary matters.

So, here is to you Mr. Jackson. It was interesting to visit your lavish home and get to know you a little better.

Next time I will be finishing up our April vacation with a visit to the Grand Ole Opry. No, not the new one but the one of Minee Pearl and her group.

And the journey goes on…

No Credit Given….

The above note has been making its rounds on Facebook. I have seen in on several of my conservative friends postings. As usual the radical right among us seems unwilling to give President Obama credit for ANYTHING. Bin Laden was in the compound where they discovered him for probably more than four years before Mr. Bush left office. If Bushie had been president when the attack took place there these same pundits would have been yelling “MISSION ACCOMPLISHED – PRESIDENT BUSH TOOK DOWN HIS MAN!!!”

The part about the pay on this posting is another demonstration of “don’t confuse me with the facts” syndrome typical of the RR. The original poster says President Obama was debating on whether or not to PAY the soldiers. I don’t watch Fox News much so maybe they reported it differently than any of the other news channels (I wouldn’t put that past them 😉 ) but from what I heard it was the Republicans in the House who were threatening to shut down the government  and stop the soldiers pay not President Obama or the Democrats.

The final thing that bothers me about this whole episode is the fact that so many people seem to be celebrating this death. I personally don’t think we should “celebrate” any death including Bin Laden’s. Yes, he was a bad guy and he more than deserved what he got but he was also a child of God although a very very misguided one. No death should be celebrated. Especially when it is taken this manner. Too bad we showed the rest of the world our bravado instead of our moral goodness.

Enough for Everyone

I must admit that I am becoming a big fan of Anthony Bourdain and his show No Reservations. Anthony is a TV celebrity/chef/author who travels to other countries to try to get a real feel for their culture and also their food. He doesn’t spend any time in the touristy places; he goes and meets the real people. Tony is kind of like the guy I would have liked to have been more like in earlier life. He doesn’t hold back much and he is kind of raw on the edges. Actually he is very raw on the edges! 🙂  One of the things I admire most about Tony is that he doesn’t disrespect any of his guest. Even though he is a rough guy he is tender in his relationships with others.

The episode I just got finished watching was about Sweden. I was a serious tennis amateur when Bjorn Borg was the number one tennis star of the world.  And of course I always had a fascination with those blond Swedish girls.  Until this episode that is about all the exposure I had to that country.  One thing that entranced me about this episode was that the swedes have a saying that translates to “Enough for Everyone”. This saying seems to be very entrenched in their culture. They aren’t into the “WE ARE NUMBER ONE” mentality that is so prevalent in the U.S. and some other countries. Looking back now that is probably one of the reasons Borg was so calm even during his tennis events.   The Swedes just don’t have the paranoid desire to always be number one in anything. They think there is room for everyone at the table.

The Radical Right probably call Sweden communists (that seems to be one of their favorite slams) because they have so much socialism in their government. They dare to have universal healthcare for all their citizens and also free education through college. There are not a lot of poor people in Sweden because everyone has a change to make something of themselves. Those who follow my other blog (www.redletterliving.org) know that I am a follower of Jesus Christ. Jesus taught us that we are all to be our brother’s keeper and if we want to be first we must humble ourselves into being last. The Swedes, even though they might not know it, seem to align to those teachings.  Our bravado in the U.S. sometimes prevents us from being as much as we could be.

But What do I know..