The intent of this blog is to promote human equality, human progress, human peace and justice, and optimism. To accomplish this, to encourage the discussion of ideas after identifying and discovering problems, and then creating positive solutions for "we the people," in order to provide for the "general welfare" and "domestic tranquility" of America now and its "posterity" into the future. To encourage an emphasis on separation of religion and state for all, no matter if this is for those "of faith" in a Maker / Creator (Deists, God-loving people, Christians, various people of spirituality) and atheists or agnostics.

Archive for June, 2021

Additional Comments About Ross Douthat and “Odd Juncture on Race”

Correction: Adam Serwer is a staff writer for The Atlantic.

My additional comments about Ross Douthat’s op-ed, “Odd Juncture on Race,” (title is headline as it appeared in the (Scranton, PA) Times-Tribune) are blunt and to the point.

Mr. Douthat attacks the 1619 project, plus many other very positive and good things about America and its multi-cultural history. My families arrived on the shores of what became the USA, the nation for which I have loved because of the resulting melting pot and multi-cultural society we have, in 1638. I love such a nation and do not like it when people like Douthat believe they are doing America a service by being negative about attempts to fix systemic racism. Systemic racism does exist in America, ladies and gentlemen.

My Cornwell / Cornell family arrived in the Boston Colony from Saffron Walden (County Essex), England. It is figured they arrived here on a boat during the Great Migration in 1638. Mr. Douthat attacked changes in education because of the teaching about the firsts Africans arrival in 1619, prior to my own family’s arrival. My Albro family and various other ancestors arrived in New England about the same period of the Great Migration, perhaps earlier than my Cornwells and perhaps earlier than the first Africans in Virginia. I really don’t care about the time frame because I had a few others who “coming to America” was in the 19th Century.

My progenitor, Thomas Cornell, arrived with his family in 1638. Thomas Cornell, Jr., has the line in which Stephen Cornell was derived. Follow this line to the 19th Century and we have the line consisting of Ezra Cornell, one of the founders of Cornell University and Western Union.

On the other hand, my Cornwells descend from a brother to Thomas, Jr., (Richard Cornwell) who had departed for Flushing at the time the Dutch were in control in the jurisdiction now known as New York City. Ezra Cornell was one of the first Republicans and a TRUE Republican. Ezra Cornell was an abolitionist in Upstate New York.

Early in the time sequence of the history of Cornell University, during the time of Jim Crow in the South, it had an integrated population of students, which included Simon Haley, the father of Alex Haley. On the opposite side of Ithaca, from Cornell University, was Ithaca Conservatory of Music, now Ithaca College. This was where Alex Haley’s mother, Bertha Palmer Haley graduated in 1925 (according to the footnotes in Haley’s book, Roots). This was the same year my grandmother graduated from Ithaca Conservatory of Music. Within two or so years following my grandmother’s graduation, she gave birth to her first son, my uncle. Alex Haley, too, was born about that same time. My grandmother’s line is an English line which came to New England and then to New Jersey and Philadelphia in the early 1600s as well. One who watched the mini-series, Roots, would know that Bertha Palmer Haley descended from Kunta Kinte, an African slave forced to these shores on a boat with squalid and horrific conditions.

Yet, Mr. Douthat apparently believes my grandmother was better than Simon and Bertha Haley. With Douthat’s foolish account, we are led, falsely, to the true account the history applicable to the Haleys should not be shared in the public schools. To which I say, Mr. Douthat is nothing but a fool for saying this. As a college student of the 1970s, in upstate New York, we were assigned portions of Haley’s book to read, as it was published in sections in The Reader’s Digest. In high school in upstate New York, we had units we could choose in black literature. All of this was a great learning experience and no foolish cruel Republicans or Douthat should be smearing such education. I resent such fools doing this. And, a further note. The Haley book was given to me as a birthday present when it was published. The note in the front was a teaser written by the person giving me the present, stating, “bet in a year you will not have completely read this book.” Wrong. In just a month or two, I read that book and I have continued to read that book many times over.

I have heard white genealogists condemn Haley for errors in the book. It is a piece of historical fiction. It is very clear with the documentation Mr. Haley provided at the end of the book that there are records used to support the information in the book. Historical fiction, though, can be based on true facts, but the fiction part of it indicates there may be fiction to fill the voids in the historical evidence. A white man like Bernard Cornwell writes historical fiction and he does the same thing.

Yet, the 1901 author, Rev. John Cornell, of supposed non-fiction, the genealogy of the Cornell family, has many errors in the genealogy and unsubstantiated facts. One such error is the claim that Thomas Cornell accompanied Roger Williams in seeking the charter for Rhode Island before the British Parliament. Genealogical researchers about a decade ago, determined they were not able to find anything to substantiate the fact that Thomas Cornell was on that boat. A piece of historical fiction, but not identified as “historical fiction” and written by a white man of the clergy class in America. It was a nice feeling to have, thinking my ancestor was one who helped obtain the charter for Rhode Island, but it is fake news and there are those who are able to validate it as such.

Douthat is foolish in defending those who are actually with a complex of white superiority and proclaiming, “there is no systemic racism.” They all are liars who entice other white idiots who feel insecure. Perhaps Douthat needs to read what New York Times staff writer and author of a forthcoming book titled, The Cruelty is the Point: The Past, Present, and Future of Trump’s America, Adam Serwer, says in the New York Times op-ed, “The Cruel Logic of the G.O.P.” It is no surprise that I feel as if I am the focus of Trumpicans who can behind the scenes cause trouble on my computer and cell phones because I speak out against the Trumpicans. Yet, people who follow the line of Democrats at times (plus I follow the line of logical and intelligent, reasonable Republicans who don’t follow Trump – yes, they do exist, but they are in hiding, out of fear and are being “disenfranchised, according to Serwer) and believe in the true multi-cultural history of America, noticing that Thanksgiving is more than what is described in New England, but also about Spanish-speaking people of St. Augustine, FL, of the late 1500s, and a Thanksgiving with pork, not turkey.

The title of Douthat’s op-ed is: “Odd Juncture on Race” (headline used by the (Scranton, PA) Times-Tribune. The one who is odd is Douthat and any followers of him who have white skin and are insecure out of fear that their culture might be changed, due to the skin color of Americans in the wonderful melting pot we have. The people of this melting pot have also helped settle and build this wonderful nation of ours beginning in the late 16th Century and continuing to today. We need to give all people of any race, color, creed, ethnicity, sex, or sexual identity credit for this. Changing history to reflect this part of our history more accurately and effectively will do the job.

This nation is not great because of white people who control the nation with a dictatorial iron fist over the others using vigilante groups with Jim Crow lynching and the shooting of black slaves (justified by the 2nd Amendment). This nation is not great due to a dictatorial iron fist of control and shutting up those of us who are white who find life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness in such a melting pot of a nation.

In spite of white Republicans who may have ruined our finances and our happiness about living in this nation, we move on. It just happens that I am blessed because when a white Republican I name as “Rick the Prick” Scott devastated my finances in a dictatorial way and against the will of the voters – the PEOPLE – of Florida, I suffered due to it. I had to pick myself up by my bootstraps and move on. The incident does leave a sour taste in my mouth when we should have leaders and politicians who try to gain support with honey, not lemons and “cruel logic” with lies (referring to the Serwer op-ed, titled, “The Cruel Logic of the G.O.P.”). The honey, too, can be better for all, rather than feeding people sour crap after the Republican-supported white fat pigs at the top trickle down what they think is necessary for us to survive. Perhaps I should be positive and say, at least it’s sour lemons which trickle down, right? But is that not exactly the way these fat white pigs want us all to feel?

Review of Ross Douthat op-ed (29 June 2021): “Odd Juncture on Race”

Systemic racism exists in America. When the white superiority party of Republicans gerrymanders the state of Florida to its advantage, it has created white-oriented political districts with a minority of people with a white superiority. It happens to be that most of those people are Republicans, so we consider it partisanship. It’s not partisanship, but systemic racism. There might be less Democrats controlling the Florida legislature, but let’s count the number of black people there and see what we come up with.

As with so many people today, Douthat identifies the lousy progressives when referencing the changes in the teaching of history to reflect the masses which consist of people of all colors. In the process he stereotypes conservatives as being opposed to this. I have some conservative ideas in this regard and with other issues and I don’t fall in lockstep (goose step of a Nazi) with this attack on changes which will provide more coverage of history as it really did happen.

Douthat makes no substantive argument regarding why we don’t need to change it and that is the problem. His quotes of various writers provides absolutely no substantive opinions and conclusions. In the process, the reader merely wallows in the mud and we solve no problems in order to make America a better place to live and coexist together in the name of achieving peace and justice. We all wish, whether black, brown, white or otherwise, to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The problem with those like Douthat is a perverted idea of what civility and humanity truly are, as they attempt to justify the hidden agenda to preserve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness only for those who figure they are superior due to the white color of their skin. The odd juncture on race is caused by such white ones with a superiority complex because they feel insecure about themselves so have to press their way or the highway, as a dictator would do.

Why Abolish the Filibuster in the U.S. Senate?

KISS. One simple reason why the filibuster has to go. Robert’s Rules of Order. If these rules were followed, we don’t need a filibuster, especially the convoluted one which exists today.

Every attempt to “reform” the filibuster will simply lead to another day when people want to go back and reform it again. Sickening thought.

Since I was a teenager, I was leading small groups and taught these rules of order as the best means for running a meeting. I was actually taught by my other, a Republican. I was taught when running meetings in the Congregational Church, a church with its version today of United Church of Christ (UCC) is based on democracy, not top-down hierarchy with a pope at the top or a bishop of Canterbury overseeing an international group (not like a pope) or any strong-willed bishop or leader of a church.

In later years, there were those who came from these other churches who laughed and scoffed at the use of Robert’s Rules of Order. But we continued, in other organizations which I was involved, in persisting by having a parliamentarian who was familiar with the rules and helped stand by those rules for the purpose of order.

These rules also define the types of issues when there should be a simple majority, two-thirds a majority, three-fourths of a majority, or even when there should be a unanimous decision in a democratic body. To use any one of these definitions for all decisions stifles progress and getting anything done. This is the case right now in the U.S. Senate, caught up in not allowing decisions to be made by a simple majority. As a proud American, I am embarrassed about this situation, as the whole world watches.

Thus, what are we waiting for? Abolish the filibuster rule and rely on the guidelines of Robert’s Rules of Order.

“Should I Hang Out With Someone Whose Political Views I Hate?” (New York Times Magazine, 27 June 2021, by Kwame Anthony Applah, philosophy professor, NYU)

There could be a KISS answer to the question, “should I hang out with someone whose political views I hate?” That would be if we were to abandon this reliance on ideology to direct our lives and change the American attitudes based on insecurity which drives a need to win by putting down another person. If we could do this, the answer is, “yes.” However, life has been made far too complex with Americans, from Baby Boomers and after, each becoming too insecure about one’s self.

Rather than answer the question, I pose the suggestion that we solve the problem which causes this to happen in the first place. What this disdain for one another does is to create uncivilized manners and a lack of strategy for us all to coexist and stop pitting one against the other.

I have consistently written about ways to solve this problem, but no one wants to even listen. Rather they wonder whether we should even speak to one another, should there be a person for whom we hate the person’s political views. This is sick and disdainful and needs to end. One has to wonder if, when struck by so many financial bad things and people who force these things on us, from health providers to pharmaceuticals to health insurance to big corporate monopolies of newspapers and so forth, it is all the result of vengeance due to a hatred of me due to my moderate political views.

Who Am I?

In the Broadway and movie (Broadway) version of Victor Hugo’s novel, Les Miserable, there was a song sung by character, Jean ValJean titled “Who Am I?” He had been in prison for stealing a loaf of bread because his family needed something to eat. The song was about the number he was assigned in prison and his real name. In the end, he had to shed the self-hatred and guilt imposed on him, due to the fact he stole a loaf of bread.

There is much more to this show than this. I bring this up because even though we are not criminals, we often wonder about, “who am I?” This impacts the LGBTQ community, but also impacts people of colored skin, too. For society places us into a position of having to be in denial about who we are. Society groupthink and groupspeak puts a horrid pressure on us and if we don’t obey, then we are frowned upon and perhaps even worse.

The truth will set you free. So, when I came out of the closet in 2005, the truth did set me free. I was the same person as I always was, but I felt more free to express myself. I am not speaking about expressing myself with regard to sex, but with regard to who I really was which I had kept hidden and kept all of it hidden, out of fear of retribution. I am actually a kind and generous person who has always had a faith in God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. But in those years before, I was not able to express this faith because I was a confused guy in this respect.

I also had a good sense about being proud to be an American, too. In 1977, I was so proud to be an American, that I turned down a teaching job I was offered in Nova Scotia, Canada. People think they know so much about me that if I tell them that job was the result of my Scottish family in the USA, they question me about Scottish things and then jump to some kind of conclusion based on their own individual knowledge as to why I don’t know as much about the Scottish. What they don’t realize is that my Scottish great-grandmother died in childbirth in 1903 and my great-grandfather ended up marrying two other women later. The second wife also died in childbirth, but the third one, of English decent, was the one we knew as our great-grandmother. In essence, we had little exposure to our Scottish ancestry, with only the surname, MacLennan, and research on our great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather in the MacLennan line, which proved the immigrants who came here to America from Scotland. In the case of other ancestors, they had married English women with English names, so when we examine the name of my great-grandmother of the MacLennan clan, we find her given name, Angeline (or “Angie”) might not be Scottish, but of English origins. I have no idea and have not researched this further. But those who have no idea come to false conclusions about “how I am faking it by saying she is Scottish.” That irks me, but that is what happens so much more frequently in America these days. People jump to conclusions based on their own knowledge and never bothering to think about other aspects, nor asking me questions so they can LEARN. No learning in America these days and apparently the fascists who are attempting to gain power and control don’t want the people to learn, do they?

This past Friday, I was at a concert at the Newark Valley Depot. In the summer, there are concerts each Friday night and we have enjoyed them. We missed them in 2020. They were all cancelled due to COVID-19.

Rich Wilson was the singer. He had some good songs by Elvis Presley, the Righteous Brothers, Neil Diamond, Glenn Campbell, the Platters, and several country singers whom I have no idea who they were because country or bluegrass or several others of these are not on my own personal playlist. I do have an eclectic interest in music of all kinds. As a college professor, I taught students about having an eclectic interest. But again, due to the sense of insecurity which predominates too damn much in this nation, people just wish to grab on to what they like and put down anything someone else might like because it makes insecure people feel better, don’t you know? This attitude predominates much more, in my humble opinion, from the Baby Boomers to the younger ones. I did not find this to be the case with as much predominance, driving a strong groupthink with the generations before the Baby Boomers. Who am I? Just remember that I said, here, this attitude did not PREDOMINATE as much and never said it never existed in previous generations. Somehow those previous generations were taught better overall in America.

At the end of this Friday night concert, Rich Wilson sang “God Bless the USA” by Lee Greenwood. I do night like songs begging us to bless the USA, including Kate Smith’s rendition of “God Bless America.” But I join in and sing both when I am asked to do so. What I despised this past Friday night was a groupthink which may have frowned on me, should I not have stood up as everyone else did. Peer pressure on me to do this when I find it very foul to do so. I will stand with the National Anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. I also may salute like a soldier salutes, take off my hat, or place my hand on my heart during both of those songs. But not for God Bless America or God Bless the USA. I find such actions offensive, especially while viewing so many in the crowd – groupthink – hovering their right hands like a heil Hitler salute. I find that so offensive because that is not who I am.

I also do not get angry and throw myself with the lousy groupthink of those who get angry because of the black people who kneel during the National Anthem. Why? Because I recognize that black people are segregated in some organizations in America, in the name of some lousy “me, first” attitude regarding an insecurity of one’s self and the white race which has not been lynched, shot at as slaves, denied the right to vote, and denied being acknowledged for blacks who have ancestors who have served in the American Revolution and deserve to be a part of the DAR and SAR.

Rich Wilson sang a song by Neil Diamond. Why did he choose that Greenwood song, rather than Neil Diamond’s “Coming to America.” That song fits us all. The first Africans arrived on American soil in 1619. My family arrived on American soil in 1638. My Scottish ancestors arrived on American soil in the mid-1800s. Various other family lines prove they have arrived at other times, right up to the current time frame. “Coming to America” describes America, not “proud to be an American.” In fact, I was taught that having “pride” was a sin, according to the true Christian beliefs. Even in the case of this Neil Diamond song, I would never stand up as if to worship and throw my right hand in a Hitler-like gesture.

In fact, Neil Diamond’s song has a short section for “My country tis of thee, sweet land of liberty…”

Why not sing, Ray Charles’s version of “America, the Beautiful?” It is a very moving song about the beauty of America which is even better than singing, “bombs bursting in air,” which emboldens those who carry weapons and creates a terribly violence and weaponry mentality of insecure people who want to feel better than others. There is also, “This Land is Your Land, This Land is My Land.”

Or how about “He ain’t heavy, he’s my brother” … or … the Stevie Wonder song, “Love’s in Need of Love.” … or … “What the World Needs now is Love Sweet Love.” We don’t need songs based on the love for feeling insecure, with people seeking to put others down if they don’t fit the mold. Or to have humour based on “redneck” “red state” crap which attacks anyone who tries to put this nation together, like Joe Biden by The reason “pride” and “proud” are a sin is because they embolden those who feel insecure about one’s self and have to feel better by proclaiming how “proud” they are. So they push fear and intimidation on others by way of groupthink and groupspeech – peer pressure which becomes an autocratic sense of, “you better be as I say you should.” That does not sit well with me.

This past Friday, there was also the “sarcastic remarks” about political correctness. You know, there is a book I read in which I got an understanding of what some people feel about political correctness, so I understand. The book is written by a former Dept. of Education person under George W. Bush named Dr. Diane Ravitch, titled The Language Police: How Pressure Groups Restrict What Students Learn. The book acknowledges some of the concerns expressed with the sarcastic remarks about political correctness. However, how many rednecks are willing to learn more than just what is spoon fed to them by Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, Breitbart, Fox News, NewsMax? I suspect that none of them wish to do so, yet here I am listening to the sarcasm and put down from people who never do something the founder of IBM (Thomas J. Watson in Endicott, NY) impressed on his employees: “THINK.” Dr. Ravitch describes “pressure groups” and boy did one feel they were in the midst of a “pressure group” of rednecks with a white superiority complex this past Friday night.

I think about that situation. What would have happened if I decided I did not wish to stand up, in the name of liberty and justice for all, during the Greenwood song? What would have happened had I demonstrated being proud enough to wish to have life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness? I am proud to be an American. So proud that my being proud puts me in line to express my disgust at what happened by a bunch of thugs on January 6, 2021, and the lies forthcoming about an election where there is no proof of fraud. The whole world is watching and I am very embarrassed by an America which does not even examine closely what was done on that day in January and convict those responsible for it. I am so proud that I am embarrassed by it all with the liars like Trump, Giuliani, and others who have egged people on to show hatred of Democrats, calling us Dummycrats, and having a “f” Biden sign with a Confederate flag.

Rich Wilson was also supposed to sing at the VFW in Owego on Saturday night. My father was a lifetime member of the VFW and would also have had shame for what I observed on Friday night. The VFW gave my father a gun-salute at the Newark Valley Cemetery when he was buried. My father had VFW and American Legion magazines around his house in Florida when we cleaned out his house. I often sat down and read some of them, over the years. But my father also had newspapers and read them avidly each day. Today, Gannett denies us early delivery of newspapers here in Newark Valley, where my father would ALWAYS get his newspaper daily. Or, he would receive an early morning delivery of a Gannett Newspaper in Florida, each day. My father complained about how much Gannett condensed the newspaper in about 2008 or so, but he still had it delivered, in spite of sections which were cut out in order to eliminate it from being a news and information paper. I had many friends who stopped their newspaper subscriptions as newspapers condensed their newspapers down to snippets, eliminating details designed to teach people and provide correct information (not perfect at times, but as correct as possible). Those were the things which made me proud to be an American and they have all been tossed out the window.

My father also got along in life without what we call social media. Social media is a misnomer for what it truly is: social technology. Communications with no editors or moderators, as is the case with newspapers and the early days of the Internet with forums and other communication TECHNOLOGY for society to use. Moderators who did not censor, but checked for errors and to make corrections in errors.

As a result of this social technology today, we are being blasted with false information so as to fill the fascist dream based on Hitler’s Goebbels: “tell lies repeatedly and they become the truth.” And with these lies permeating our groupthink, we are forced to stand for a song because we feel like should we not stand, we might be dishonored. And it was not the National Anthem, either, for which we were to stand.

McConnell: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

McConnell was heard to proclaim that he is disappointed that President Biden would veto the recent legislation agreed upon with a bipartisan effort. McConnell is a liar who looks to block anything Biden wants at all, so his evil attitude is to say anything he wants to say about Biden. McConnell has let it be known he does not want Biden to succeed. Even if Biden used an implication about veto in order to persuade, I did not hear the president explicitly talk about a veto. Call me a fool if I am wrong, though. I trust President Biden more than Mitch McConnell who made his money off the backs of taxpayers and leads a force of destruction against the American people’s desires and wishes. He leads a force of destruction which represents the wealthy fat pigs and perhaps less than 20% of the common folk.

I apologize (and have done so in the past) if I use the “f” word against Trumpicans or even McConnell. However, with a banner I have seen with the “f” word used against Biden, I have yet to hear an apology for doing so and taking down the banner. My apology would be simply about the words used. I don’t put up such a banner with the “f” word, for all who pass by to see. But I won’t use that “f” word against McConnell, even if any such liar such as McConnell might deserve it.

I do have to say this: McConnell the Liar, liar, pants on fire.

Criminal Giuliani is not Above the Law

Giuliani lost in court today. He believes his 1st Amendment rights were violated. If that is the case, there are many people in jails in America whose 1st Amendment rights have been violated. Maybe even those who committed manslaughter and murder?

Giuliani and Trump believe they are above the law, so therefore if they do something wrong, 1st Amendment rights are violated. When I lost my home in Florida due to Rick Scott, now sitting in the U.S. Senate, cancelling the building of a train approved by voters, my 1st Amendment rights were violated. Right? Or am I wrong.

When my stock was stolen from me due to a Republican-led destruction of PUHCA and implementation of deregulation of an industry, my 1st Amendment rights were violated then, right? They formed a merged company by shafting the smaller stock holders and benefiting the Republican fat pigs with the most stock.

When I lost my job at the same company mentioned above, due to Republican deregulation and a love of money that superseded all human rights, my 1st Amendment rights were violated. Right?

I am a good hard-working American. Giuliani is a lazy fat pig with money, so only he has his 1st Amendment rights violated? Giuliani is a lousy piece of work as a lawyer who can twist things around, so only Giuliani has his rights violated? Give me a break.

When these things happened to me, I had to count my blessings and move on. That was what I was told. I did so and went on to be successful. You would think that Giuliani and Trump would do the same thing. Instead, they continue to lie and cheat and embolden a large group of people who then lie, cheat, and become hypocrites like Giuliani and Trump. Such people repeat lies about President Biden, instilled in them by Giuliani and Repugnicants like Trump and Giuliani, dividing America so as to instill a dictatorship on the order of Hitler. They are being vengeful because of those who froze the assets of Hitler-loving Nazis back at the time Hitler was in power in Germany.

It is as if Giuliani and Trump figure they have a divine right to rule, as the monarchies of Europe once thought, but were told to go pound salt. The monarchy of Britain listened to the people and they are still around. Giuliani and Trump listen only to 18% of the people and then lie to everyone else and toss the dice to determine who it is who is so stupid and lainbrained to listen to their drivel.

I am sick and tired of these awful rats of America and wish I could vomit on them.

WRONG! FICA is not a tax, as described at

FICA means Federal Insurance Contributions Act. With these words, it is not a tax. Yet, on the SSA website is described as a tax. It is not a tax. I repeat. It is not a tax. If it were a tax then the money put into my “contribution” to my homeowners’ insurance would be a tax, too, would it not? FICA is a capitalist investment into a pooled insurance resource run by the government. It is not a tax. Need I say this again? FICA is not a tax, no more than the “contribution” I make to my auto insurance is a tax.

My investment with FICA provides me with a better capitalist return on investment than return on investment from my homeowners’ insurance, which stands at 0% over some 50 years of my investment. I wish I had put my homeowners’ insurance premiums into a government-run pooled resource for all those years, then I could make a claim for a return on my investment. As it stands now and with the various companies to which I have invested the funds, there is no good paper trail over time in which I could claim a return on investment. That makes it nicer for the wealthy pigs of America to take money from us and give us no capitalist return on investment.

With FICA/Social Security, we are held hostage to the fat pigs of America who don’t pay a FICA (insurance contribution) which is equivalent for all of us, across the board. The fat pigs don’t make money the old fashioned way, to earn it, as those of us who work hard have done. I don’t answer surveys with “expand Social Security.” If possible, I would want to comment that we need to tighten Social Security which is an equivalent percentage figured for FICA (insurance contribution) for all.

BOOK REVIEW: Bright-sided by Barbara Ehrenreich (v. 2.0)

As a benchmark to what I am about to write, I am offering the review of Barbara Ehrenreich’s 2009 book, Bright-sided, as a starting point. I have not read this book, so I am going by the review. I should read it, but lack of funds and a library system which makes it hard to get a copy of a book precludes me from obtaining a copy, sad to say. This also is commentary to contest another Ehrenreich book (2010), Smile or Die: How Positive Thinking Fooled America and the World. If you take the time to read my commentary, you will find that I contest Ehrenreich’s use of a predominance of a perverted version of positive thinking which borders on perverted optimism and in denial of the truth about positive thinking. Her words help to destroy what positive thinking is intended to be. Read on.

Also, I have been attempting to contact to learn how to do several things. One is to indent a quote like this. I have spent minutes and minutes on attempting to do this on this blog and have still not been able to learn it. Thanks so much to for helping out. Thanks so much for other blog services for (not) answering my questions about how I can convert my blog to another blog service. Thanks (not) so much to the monopolized business of America, run by billionaires who don’t pay taxes, while I do pay taxes.

Here is the review of Bright-sided on

A sharp-witted knockdown of America’s love affair with positive thinking and an urgent call for a new commitment to realism

Americans are a “positive” people―cheerful, optimistic, and upbeat: this is our reputation as well as our self-image. But more than a temperament, being positive, we are told, is the key to success and prosperity.
In this utterly original take on the American frame of mind, Barbara Ehrenreich traces the strange career of our sunny outlook from its origins as a marginal nineteenth-century healing technique to its enshrinement as a dominant, almost mandatory, cultural attitude. Evangelical mega-churches preach the good news that you only have to want something to get it, because God wants to “prosper” you. The medical profession prescribes positive thinking for its presumed health benefits. Academia has made room for new departments of “positive psychology” and the “science of happiness.” Nowhere, though, has bright-siding taken firmer root than within the business community, where, as Ehrenreich shows, the refusal even to consider negative outcomes―like mortgage defaults―contributed directly to the current economic crisis.

With the mythbusting powers for which she is acclaimed, Ehrenreich exposes the downside of America’s penchant for positive thinking: On a personal level, it leads to self-blame and a morbid preoccupation with stamping out “negative” thoughts. On a national level, it’s brought us an era of irrational optimism resulting in disaster. This is Ehrenreich at her provocative best―poking holes in conventional wisdom and faux science, and ending with a call for existential clarity and courage.”

From my perspective, after reading and spending a great deal of my life learning about Rev. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s books about positive thinking, Ehrenreich describes a perversion of positive thinking which is just as perverted as the view about what capitalism is supposed to be about, as defined by Adam Smith (who also wrote, The Theory of Moral Sentiment). Whether education, psychology or business, people have grabbed at the ideas of positive thinking and used them to maintain their status quo about life. Typically, if I hear someone comment about positive thinking, I usually say, “you are talking about wishful thinking, not positive thinking. Go read Dr. Peale’s books.” In other words, people are writing about positive thinking (and capitalism, too) from their own individualistic eyes in order to massage their egos. Mary Trump, niece to Donald Trump does the same thing and from her perspective in psychology. She and the others are wrong in this sense and I believe I have a better knowledge of what positive thinking is about because I have read about the basics of those thoughts.

The reviewer mentions what I consider to be a misinterpretation of positive thinking. The review says, “…it leads to … a morbid preoccupation with stamping out ‘negative’ thoughts.” In fact, I have been criticized for trying to solve problems with a positive attitude by bringing up the problems and sounding negative by doing so. I am awe-struck at the predominance for “stamping out negative thoughts.” For Donald Trump himself, a number of times, I have tried to be positive about what he intends to do, but when I come up empty-handed and disappointed about his actions, I comment about this. For Trump, this criticism means a negative thought, not constructive criticism. Trump has acted like this over and over again, in line with this predominant attitude about putting down “negative thoughts,” wrongly associated with positive thinking. I do believe that both Dr. Peale and Dr. Schuler (Crystal Cathedral in California) have talked about constructive criticism, even if they have not used that particular phrase. People’s minds are messed up in this regard. I say this by way of constructive criticism, not negativity, but no one seems to understand what I say in this regard. Instead, we have “irrational optimism.” To me, it sounds like pessimism based on self-hatred.

My comment about the reviewer’s statement about Ehrenreich’s book regarding positive thinking: “…it leads to self-blame…”

Please read books: A Stranger to Self-hatred: A Glimpse of Jesus (Brennan Manning, 1982). Diana Butler Bass’s books, Christianity for the Rest of Us (2007), Christianity After Religion: The End of Church and the Birth of a New Spiritual Awakening (2012), and A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story (2010). Theologian, Adam Smith’s, The Theory of Moral Sentiments (published in the 18th Century, reprinted, 2018). Father Matthew Fox’s Original Blessings (2000); I condemn the American bishops for their recent proclaimed judgments which are blasphemy when considering God does the judging, and what these bishops are dictating – DICTATING – are that all Catholics believe in only one way (as a woman I once dated forced upon others in thought); the Roman Catholics who pushed this dictatorial way which led to the the excommunication of Father Fox, the English civil war of the 17th Century, and my ancestors who came to America to escape that BS in England. Read books by Roman Catholic layperson, Gary (or Garry) Wills, What Jesus Meant (a 2007 New York Times best seller) or What Paul Meant (2007), etc. who offers a very insightful view of Christianity.

Read a recent article in The Economist about the pervasive individualism in America today (“How Many American Children Have Cut Contact with Parents?”, 22 May 2021) which, with evidence, the writer claims the problems in America are due to the individualism which inundates and pervades society, not positive thinking.

Individualism has perverted the ideas of positive thinking so as to consider “…it leads to self-blame” and destruction of confidence with self-control and self-sacrifice for community and nation. Original sin leads to guilt of one’s existence and destroys ideas of confidence for “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” Instead, we end up, to the delight of Trumpicans, evangelical puritans, and Roman Catholic bishops, to a dictatorship with a vicious person at the head who can more easily control the people, rather than educate them and provide opportunities for all. The overriding impact of considering sin and guilt to be so important leads to self-blame and self-hatred, not positive thinking.

While I agree with the reviewers identification of positive thinking as the problem, my view is that Ehrenreich and others are viewing a “perverted” interpretation of positive thinking as being the blame, and they are correct, but only in that sense. I have to disagree with this assessment because, as Karl Marx did in blaming capitalism, it takes a toll and leads to an implosion which puts us on a downward slope.

This leads us to the downward slope the ancient Chinese experienced centuries ago. It had a society with opportunities for all by way of small business and academics, but a mean and vicious mentally ill emperor created ended up creating a very two-class society consisting of the wealthy and the impoverished. Fareed Zakaria gave us red flags because this possible implosion can push America into a similar implosion to what happened with a vicious emperor in Ancient China which lasted for centuries, until Mao Tse-Tung. The best example of capitalist democracy is on an island called Taiwan, but Mao Tse-tung lovers want to take that and turn it into rotten centralized planned economy with a dictator to suppress the masses. Read about the Ancient Chinese in Fareed Zakaria’s book, The Post-American World (2nd ed., 2012). His book sounds like a “negative” title, so it should be trashed, right? So why did yours truly, with a belief in positive thinking, read it? The book reviewer sums it up this way: “This is not a book about the decline of America, but rather about the rise of everyone else.” In other words, the book becomes a teachable moment, not a negative one. When Zakaria first wrote this book he included solutions as to how to overcome “what everyone else” is doing. It was ignored as being “negative.” As a result, American life has headed even more on a slippery downhill slope.

Shall I lay judgment on the Roman Catholic bishops? They have condemned the very people who are attempting to move America off that slippery downhill slope defined by Zakaria. When President Biden attempts to head us back up the slope, there is too damn much opposition to him, rather than lending him support to lead and do it. All based on a warped view of what are “negative” thoughts and ignores the truth about what it truly represents.

“Science of happiness?” Are you kidding me? There is no such thing as the “science of happiness.” It is the “art of happiness.” Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But for people to use individualism to project their happiness in a dictatorial way on all Americans is sickening and makes me nauseous and wishing to vomit. It makes the Roman Catholic bishops to force their happiness (power and control) on everyone else and I am sickened by that, too. I believe in Christ as the ONLY representative of God on earth and refuse to listen to a bunch of strong-arming heathens with power and control, heading up the American bishops. But I am not God and I cannot judge these bishops, Trumpicans, or evangelical s**t of puritans who become disgusted because someone, somewhere, is having a good time. Jesus Christ, a “stranger to self-hatred.” Yet, Roman Catholic bishops wish to FORCE self-hatred on members of its flock.

Do I make any sense or am I being negative?

One More Time: Big Business Monopoly in America is a Joke

Best Buy Geek Squad people, upon a visit to fix computers at home, told me that my laptop, purchased from Best Buy in early 2019, had to be fixed by setting up an appointment at the local Best Buy. It has taken me some time, but today, I made the attempt schedule an appointment by calling the Vestal store of Best Buy. I was told the local store is not answering the phone and was transferred to centralized scheduling. I can’t talk to a human being about what is happening. No. I have to speak with someone who is sitting in a chair somewhere. Not that person’s fault, but if I mention that I don’t like this being tossed somewhere else and not able to speak with the local store, I get hit with, “I am having trouble hearing you.” Thanks. Thanks Verizon for your lousy American phone system, too, because I face this quite frequently. They don’t face such problems with Internet and cell phones in socialist democracy, Denmark. They don’t face such problems in capitalist democracy, South Korea or Taiwan (yet communists in China wish to take over Taiwan and do to those people what they have done to people of Hong Kong). The American feudal system modeled after Medieval economics with supply side economics really sucks when considering big business in America.

But this customer service person at Best Buy, who actually spoke with me with an American English accent, was mean and rude to me for my wishing to speak to a local person. She ignored me when I said that there is a better return on investment for Best Buy if they worked that way. Another example of people of America who don’t know one damn thing about what capitalism is about and just brush it off.

I have the appointment and now have to drive to Vestal. A monopoly called Best Buy and I will be damned if I can find local businesses who will compete with Best Buy and provide better service.

According to Barbara Ehrenreich (i.e., books, Nickel and Dimed, Natural Causes, Bait and Switch, Living with a Wild God, Had I known) discussed how much Americans are being nickel and dimed, yet they think everything is peachy when it comes to the cost of goods and services. Ehrenreich makes me think about this current situation I face. She also makes me think about my dad’s small business which big monopolies have destroyed, as well as others which are similar to my dad’s business. In other words, Americans, blinded by big business conglomerates, go for supposed enlightenment regarding “high-volume purchases in retail and the wonderful idea (false) that it’s all about selling at a lower price.” Wrong. This is true about lower prices. But in the process, big corporate monopolized industries have ended up jacking up exponentially the cost of servicing such products with “warranty” coverages and at-home visits with a minimum of $100 or $200 per visit, plus jacked up prices regarding parts and services. The big fat cats and fat pigs at the top and those owning most of the stock end up making a bundle, as they close local offices, ship jobs of customer service overseas, and doing centralized customer service with no concern for “bedside manners” (to borrow a phrase about medical doctors) and give praise and honor to the thought of being like used car salesmen.

Corporation after corporation does this. And this is supposed to be good for American consumers when corporations no longer provide the products and services in one bundle (to borrow a phrase from Progressive Insurance which “bundles” its insurance). Instead, some very good corporations, one which is facing bankruptcy and uses the bundling situation as an excuse (any excuse will do, right?), hiring third-parties to do the service and nickel and diming the customers in the process. Meanwhile, customers believe they are doing so well in paying “lower prices?” BS. They are losing out, while small businesses which bundled products and services together, are being trashed by big corporate conglomerates and no one has the balls to challenge the big corporations. Thus, with Best Buy, we don’t have local competition to give the company a run for its money, so the customer service can treat its customers like dirt (or s**t?).

And the “third-party” approach for service does not accept credit cards and insists on same-day payment, rather than a bill and then pay it. They evidently think they are HMOs or PPOs which ask for a set co-payment price at the time service is rendered. However, even in cases of health providers accepting HMOs or PPOs, they accept credit card payments.

And consumers face the sublime to the ridiculous. Those who insist on immediate payment for services rendered and those who refuse to divulge the cost of the services and let them pile up, perhaps to see how much they can grab at the financial balls of the consumer and strangulate them?

Once more. An America with no concern for fellow Americans, allowing the “bedside manners” to go to hell. One more time and I am speaking out against this development in America, the land where I saw many of these things in a much better light than today. America needs an attitude adjustment. Sad to say, but I definitely don’t like a reliance on the lawyers who make themselves careers from ambulance-chasing and government politicians in government. Lawyers who make so much money, even like McConnell in the U.S. Senate, from ripping off the taxpayers while having huge salaries, the best health benefits, and the best retirement benefits. May they go to hell as they get delight out of pitching one American against another. As I said. America needs an attitude adjustment, but no one seems to care to pursue the solutions to make this happen. I am mad as hell and ain’t going to take it anymore. These are lawyers on the take from big business/industry monopolies who destroy capitalist competition and then support this lousy status quo.

Tag Cloud