Posts Tagged 'home'



A CATCHER IN THE RYE

“‘You know that song ‘If a body catch a body comin’ through the rye’?  I’d like—‘

“‘It’s ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye’!’ old Phoebe said.  ‘It’s a poem.  By Robert Burns.’

“‘I know it’s a poem by Robert Burns.’

“She was right, though.  It is ‘If a body meet a body coming through the rye.’  I didn’t know it then, though.

“‘I thought it was ‘If a body catch a body,’ I said.  ‘Anyway, I keep picturing all these little kids playing some game in this big field of rye and all.  Thousands of little kids, and nobody’s around—nobody big, I mean—except me.  And I’m standing on the edge of some crazy cliff.  What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff—I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them.  That’s all I’d do all day.  I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.  I know it’s crazy, but that’s the only thing I’d really like to be.  I know it’s crazy.’

“Old Phoebe didn’t say anything for a long time.  Then, when she said something, all she said was, ‘Daddy’s going to kill you.’

“‘I don’t give a damn if he does,’ I said. . . .”

J. D. Salinger

The Catcher in the Rye

1945

THEY ARE NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF

When I was a little boy, I was afraid of cats.

I was terrified of cats, actually.

Domestic cats.

We had no cats, as pets—only dogs.

And whenever I saw a cat—anywhere near me—I got back inside, fast.  

Whenever I saw a cat, anywhere near me, I got into my safe space—and stayed there.

Mr. Sutton, over a block away from our house, had cats.

And even though our backyard was fenced, I would sit on our back porch, rather than even venture into our fenced backyard—because I was so terrified of those cats over a block away.

My mother would urge me to get off that back porch, and enjoy the backyard—but I wouldn’t budge, because I was so terrified of neighbors’ cats.

There was a National Geographic article about cats.

In that article, there was a photograph of a Siamese cat, standing up, grabbing a fish someone had offered it—and because it was a close-up photograph, that cat appeared to be the size of a man or woman.

I had a nightmare about that cat.  I dreamed there was a man-or-woman-sized Siamese cat walking upright down the hall, saying, “Ring around the collar, ring around the collar!” and coming to get me.

One night, I thought I saw a cat in the hall—even though we had no cats.  And to this day, I’m not sure if that cat was real or not.

Cats scared the hell out of me—I truly thought they were the most terrifying things in the world.

My mother said that a cat jumped on my back when I was an infant—and that’s why I was so terrified of cats.  I can’t remember this incident—but it had to have happened, because it’s the only thing that explains my fear of cats.

One night, I saw a cat outside in the dark—and ran back inside the house, my safe space, of course.

But my sister, Cathy, who had taught me how to ride a bicycle without training wheels—got rid of my fear right there.

She picked up the cat, and brought it inside the house.  And she showed me that the cat was nothing to be afraid of, and urged me to pet the cat.  

And I petted the cat, as Cathy held it—and discovered that it was nothing to fear at all.  I discovered that it was just like a dog—and was pretty and soft and warm and friendly, just like a dog—and that it liked to be petted, and made a pleasant, purring sound.

Once my sister, Cathy, urged me not to run from a cat—but to learn something about it, and to gain some understanding of it—I was completely cured of my fear of cats.

And I have never been afraid of cats—at all—since that moment.

You hate Confederate flags and monuments, because you are afraid of them.

And you are afraid of Confederate flags and monuments, because you have learned nothing about them, and have gained no understanding of them.

But rather than face your fear of Confederate flags and monuments—and allow yourself to learn about them, and gain some understanding of them—you demand that politicians remove them from your sight.

And the gutless and immoral Republican and Democratic politicians remove them from your sight—and you remain terrified of all Confederate flags and monuments.

The gutless and immoral neocon and liberal politicians remove them from your sight—and you remain terrified of all Confederate flags and monuments.

But this time, I’m asking you not to run from Confederate flags and monuments.

I’m asking you not to retreat to your safe spaces—where you’re never really safe, because the only thing you have to fear truly is fear itself.

I get rid of your fear right now.

I show you the Confederate flags and monuments—in this space.  And I show you that Confederate flags and monuments are nothing to be afraid of, and urge you to look at the flags and monuments.

I urge you not to let politicians censor your Confederate flags and monuments anymore—but to learn something about them, and to gain some understanding of them—so you’ll be completely cured of your fear of Confederate flags and monuments.

Look at these flags and monuments.  Look at them, and think about what they really meant, in the time that they were created.  Since June 22, 2015, this blog has been filled with background information on Confederate flags and monuments—not misinformation, like that spread by neocon and liberal politicians, like Nimrata Randhawa Haley and Mitch Landrieu—but real, researched, truthful information that will give you a good place to start in your discovery of the true history of Confederate flags and monuments.

Your fear of Confederate flags and monuments is as irrational as my fear of cats was—and you can rid yourself of that irrational fear right now, if you truly make an effort to do so.

Are you ready?

You see, they are nothing to be afraid of—only something to be discovered, understood, and even appreciated.

LET US BE CONSERVATIONISTS, RATHER THAN ENVIRONMENTALISTS

Earth Day is tomorrow.

Earth Day is a nice sentiment, but it is just as ineffective at bringing about real, positive change as Martin Luther King Jr. Day is.

Environmentalism is like communism—it always works in theory, but never works in practice.

Because environmentalism, just like communism, works against human nature.

Conservationism is like capitalism—it always works in theory, and always works in practice (if it is applied with knowledge, wisdom, discipline, and restraint).

Because conservationism, just like capitalism, works with human nature.

Environmentalism says, “Nature first—to hell with humanity.”

Conservationism says, “Humanity first—it is in the interest of humanity to conserve the earth’s natural resources for the benefit of humanity.”

On every day—not just Earth Day—let us be conservationists, rather than environmentalists.

RESPECT AND APPRECIATE, GENERATION Y

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

During the Great Depression, Marian Anderson was prohibited from singing at Constitution Hall, in Washington, D.C., by the Daughters of the American Revolution—because she was colored.  First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt resigned from the DAR—then arranged for Marian Anderson to sing in front of the Lincoln Memorial, instead.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel was a Best Supporting Actress Academy Award nominee for her role as “Mammy” in the 1939 production of “Gone with the Wind”.

Colored people were prohibited from entering the Los Angeles hotel where the awards ceremony was held, but the hotel made an exception for Hattie McDaniel.  It allowed her to attend the ceremony—though she had to sit at a table across the room from the tables where the whites sat.  Hattie McDaniel graciously accepted the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award however, stating that she hoped to be a credit to her race.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

The majority of abolitionists in the 19th century were whites who simply didn’t want blacks around—enslaved or free.

In all Northern states, blacks were segregated from whites—and some, like Indiana, kept blacks out entirely.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo, who was raised in Ohio, encountered some uppity Southern women once—the kind of Southern women who gave all Southern women a bad name.  

They asked her a question about a train’s schedule, and she replied, “That colored lady said…”

“We don’t call a colored woman a ‘lady,'” they interrupted.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo also told me of a restaurant in New York that didn’t take kindly to recent desegregation laws.

The waitress served the black man and his wife—but in the rudest, noisiest manner.

She slammed their plates onto the table, and abruptly walked away.

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER, Generation Y?

My German friend, Mr. Vogel, wanted to register to vote in Alabama, after moving there from Wisconsin.

He was told he’d have to pay a poll tax to register to vote.

“Why?” he asked.

“To keep the niggers down,” was the reply.

Mr. Vogel refused to pay a poll tax for a reason like that—he waited until poll taxes were prohibited, before he registered to vote in Alabama.

 

You can put those BLACK LIVES MATTER signs down, Generation Y.  And you can show some appreciation for the fact that you’ve never truly suffered a day in your privileged lives.  And you can show some respect for your ancestors—and your elders—who have.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo’s Aunt Pearl told of her mother—an orphan in Ohio.

At one point, Aunt Pearl’s mother, Lizzie, was staying with a woman who had three sons.  This woman’s three sons bullied Lizzie, a great deal—verbally and emotionally.

But whenever Lizzie reported this abuse to their mother, their mother accused Lizzie of lying—and sided with her sons, without ever even questioning them.

Eventually, Lizzie was adopted by a more understanding and loving foster mother.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo was actually born in Nashville.

But her father died, not long after she was born.  

Her sixteen-year-old mother, Nonnie, had to take her newborn daughter all the way back home to Akron, Ohio—because she didn’t have the means to raise her by herself.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

Nonnie and Pearl had a sister named Polly.

I have a photograph of my Great-Great Aunt Polly that was taken shortly before she died—she was a beautiful young woman.

Polly died in childbirth—at age eighteen.

Needless to say, her husband was heartbroken.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

My Grandma Mayo was “pro-choice”, and I didn’t agree with her on that point.

But her opinion was completely understandable.

Louise—a beautiful cousin of her husband’s—got pregnant, out of wedlock.

In those days, an unwed woman who got pregnant was often treated like trash—while the man who impregnated her was often treated with impunity.

As was so often the case, in those days, the father of Louise’s unborn child disappeared—and Louise was faced with the stigma every abandoned, unwed mother faced.

Louise panicked, and attempted to abort the child.

She and her unborn child died in the attempt.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

During the War between the Confederate States and the United States—and especially during the “Reconstruction”, a brutal occupation in which the people of the vanquished Confederate States were denied their constitutional rights for twelve years—Southern women, black and white, were brutally raped by Union troops and Union League terrorists, on a constant basis.

 

ME TOO, Generation Y?

On March 25, 1911, 145 young women—mostly teenaged immigrants who didn’t speak English—burned to death at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company factory in New York City.

Women died in Northern factories often—this was just one of the worst of such tragedies.

In fact, the majority of factory workers in Northern U.S. cities were orphans and unwed women, in those days.

And the factory owners and managers—most of them Jewish men—couldn’t care less.

 

You can put those ME TOO signs down, Generation Y.  And you can show some appreciation for the fact that you’ve never truly suffered a day in your privileged lives.  And you can show some respect for your ancestors—and your elders—who have.

NOT A GOOD BET, IS IT?

Christians are at their worst on Sundays, and on Christian holidays.

At least in the United States, Christians are at their worst on Sundays, and during the Christmas holidays (Thanksgiving Day through New Year’s Day), and over Easter weekend (Good Friday through Easter Sunday).

It is on Sundays, and on Christian holidays, that Christians most belligerently refuse to follow Christ, in word or deed.

It is futile to ask Christians for any help on Sundays—they would rather let you die than help you.

It is futile to ask Christians for any help on Christian holidays—they will gladly let you die, rather than help you.

I am hungry right now—in fact, I am starving.

Because Christians will let me starve to death, rather than lift a finger to help me over Easter weekend.

Christians will let anyone starve to death, rather than lift a finger to help anyone over Easter weekend.

The reason is simple—Christians take their salvation for granted.

Christians believe that as long as they believe in Jesus Christ, as the Incarnation of God on earth, sacrificed on the Cross for the sins of humanity, they will go to Heaven when they die—no matter how sinful they are toward their fellow human beings.

This is how Christians justified the Crusades, the Inquisition, colonialism, and every other sin they committed yesterday.

And this is how Christians justify Zionism, this global war on Muslims, and every other sin they commit today.

Christians believe that as long as they believe in Jesus Christ, as the Incarnation of God on earth, sacrificed on the Cross for the sins of humanity, they will go to Heaven when they die—no matter how sinful they are toward their fellow human beings.

And they bet their eternity on this.

Not a good bet, is it?

“OUR INDIVIDUAL AND NATIONAL SHADOWS”

“I believe that President Donald Trump is only the symptom of Trump Derangement Syndrome—he is not the disease.

“I admit I am increasingly deranged as I witness the escalating erosion of decency, the normalization and acceptance of deception, the brazen, unchallenged corruption and disregard for law and ethics.

“Trump’s tactics are textbook projection.  He disowns his venality and blames others for his sins.  We are his goats of Azazel, commanded to carry his sins out of sight.

“I am baffled that anyone who claims to be an Israelite (one who wrestles) can be assuaged by his antics.  He represents Amalek, the anti-Jew who mocks our commandments.  Amalek represents our dark, destructive impulses, literally our inner “dweller in the vale,” our Yetzer Hara.  Amalek has many descendants and Trump and his co-conspirators are the most recent, and in my experience, the most frightening eruptions of our individual and national shadows that I have known in my lifetime.”

Harriet Rossetto

Los Angeles

Letter to the Editor, Jewish Journal, March 22, 2018

THEY ARE THE POLITICIANS

We can support the troops without supporting the war.

And they can support the war without supporting the troops.

We are the people.

And they are the politicians—both Democratic and Republican.

ABANDON THEM BOTH

The Republican Party has White Americans fooled every bit as much as the Democratic Party has Black Americans fooled.

Both parties make fools of all who remain loyal to them.

Abandon them both—for the sake of all Americans.

RELUCTANT DEISM

God sees the truth, but waits.

God knows the truth, but waits.

God chooses not to intervene in this world.

Because God expects us to intervene in this world.

God chooses not to act as God in this world.

Because God expects us to act as God in this world.

God chooses not to do God’s work in this world.

Because God expects us to do God’s work in this world.

God chooses not to enforce God’s laws in this world.

Because God expects us to enforce God’s laws in this world.

And being humanity’s Creator in this world is the greatest burden of being human.

Being God in this world is the greatest burden of being man.

SAY NO TO CENSORSHIP

On June 24, 2015, Republican Pensacola Mayor Ashton Hayward censored the First Confederate Flag from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays.  He did this without the consent of his constituents.

Mayor Hayward stated, in a press release:

“While the Confederate Flag undeniably represents a part of Pensacola’s history, to many it is a painful symbol of racial hatred and intolerance.”

Mayor Hayward didn’t mention that the “Confederate Flag” he had censored was not the Confederate Battle Flag—but the First Confederate Flag.  This flag:

On June 25, 2015, Escambia County Democratic Women’s Club President Dianne Krumel made this demand of the Escambia County Commission:

“I understand the flags are down, but I want to make it permanent.  I don’t want any chance of those flags going back up.”

All five members of the Escambia County Commission—Republican Doug Underhill, Republican Grover C. Robinson IV, Republican Steven Barry, Republican Wilson Robertson (whose seat is now occupied by Republican Jeff Bergosh), and Democrat Lumon May—gave in to Dianne Krumel’s demand, and chose to keep the First Confederate Flag censored from Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays.  They did this without the consent of their constituents—including me.

This government-imposed censorship of the First Confederate Flag, from our historical flags displays, continues—without our consent.

Yet now there is a way you can help me put a stop to this government-imposed censorship of our historical flags displays here in Greater Pensacola, Florida—and you don’t even have to be a resident of Greater Pensacola, Florida, to do it.

I’ve started an online petition to have the First Confederate Flag returned to its rightful place in Pensacola’s Five-Flags Displays:

https://www.change.org/p/pensacola-mayor-ashton-hayward-and-the-escambia-county-board-of-county-commissioners-return-the-first-confederate-flag-to-its-rightful-place-in-pensacola-s-five-flags-displays

Are you as opposed to government-imposed censorship as I am?

Then click on the link above, and sign the petition—and together we can say no to censorship.


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