Facts Are So Inconvenient

There’s what we believe, and there’s what is true. Sometimes those two things align; often, unfortunately, they don’t.

Most of us have yet to sink to Trumpian levels–in fact, it never ceases to amaze me that Trump can tweet out some nonsense, or make an idiotic statement at a news conference, then blandly deny that he said any such thing. It takes a certain type of mental illness to forget that there is actual evidence rebutting you.

We may not approach Trumpian levels, but most of us do cling to certain “truths” that we desperately want to believe. I’m no different–it took me a long time, well into adulthood, before I realized that my view of America’s past was seriously deficient–heavy on the Founders’ ideals, light on some of their slaveholding behaviors, and pretty much void of what was done to Native Americans, among other things.

Then there were my fond beliefs about America vis a vis other countries. Social mobility. Equality. Rule of law.

I now know–unfortunately–that our once-vaunted social mobility is worse than that of many countries. This helpful infographic shows us 27th--not dead last, but not exactly in bragging rights territory.

In the Age of Orange, I’m not even going to talk about the rule of law; as a concept, it’s  beyond Trump’s limited intellect, and as a principle, it has apparently been abandoned by the Mitch McConnell wing of the Supreme Court.

And then there’s equality.

Now, as I tell my students, there are a lot of different ways to think about equality: genuinely religious people will say that we are all equal in the eyes of God; our constitution  requires government to treat equally-situated people equally, irrespective of the color of their skin or the beliefs they embrace.

And clearly, we don’t come into the world equally talented or beautiful or intelligent…

But about civic equality as a goal: Another visualization I stumbled across recently–this one from Time Magazine– made me aware of just how unequal Americans are. It uses neighborhood data to pinpoint metropolitan areas with high and low levels of equal opportunity, by searching for areas with relatively small gaps between the highest- and lowest-ranked neighborhoods. (It didn’t help my frame of mind that my own city, Indianapolis, was represented by a dark red dot indicating highly unequal neighborhoods.)

As the text explained:

This information is useful because, even when places have the same opportunity level overall, actually living in those cities can be a very different experience. For example, Colorado Springs and Detroit both score an overall opportunity level of 55. But in Colorado Springs, a typical high-opportunity neighborhood scores an 87 and a typical low-opportunity one scores 24. That might seem like a huge gap. But Detroit’s high is 95 and its low is 2: a much less equal city.

The problem was, when we found areas with small gaps between neighborhoods, those cities tended to be racially homogenous. In other words, children in Provo, Utah, and Boise, Idaho, have access to comparatively equal opportunities, regardless of which neighborhoods they live in—but those cities are more than 80% white.

When combined, in all 100 metro areas covered by the study, neighborhoods where white children lived had a median score of 73. The median neighborhood score for Asian children was 72. It was 33 for Hispanic children and 24 for black children. Black and Hispanic kids live with considerably less opportunity than their white and Asian peers almost without exception.

The disparities are especially wide in certain parts of the country. Milwaukee and its surrounding area has the widest racial disparity in the U.S., despite having a high overall opportunity score. A white child there lives in a neighborhood with a median opportunity score of 85. For a black child, the median neighborhood score is 6.

Once this pandemic is over, there is a long “laundry list” of situations in our country requiring attention and repair. That list needs to be based on facts, not beliefs.

Add equalizing children’s prospects to that list–and put it near the top.


  1. In one of my books I wrote about an indelible experience as a 10-year old growing up in the Cleveland area. My father took me “skid row” where all “those people” lived. I came to realize that “those people” were quaintly described as the “underclass”. Well, guess what. They’re still there. “They” constituted about 15% of our population then (about 150 million in 1952) and that percentage hasn’t changed. BUT we’re now a nation of around 325 million, so the math tells us that we’ve never really addressed the underclass.

    It’s why poverty is “normal” to our wonderfully idealistic, capitalistic, racist and classist society. The power in this country doesn’t care. Those power brokers have just thrown a few bucks at “those people” with the hopes of keeping them quiet. Oh, every once in a while there is a blow-up and the “criminals” are rounded up. Meanwhile, the gangs, drugs and outright crimes fueled by institutionalized poverty continue apace.

    I’d love to embrace the same ideals as you once did, Sheila, but the truth and reality of our quiet hypocrisy remains – and probably always will remain no matter who are government leaders become. Donald Trump is merely the worst example of social neglect, and those who drool over him are those who intend to perpetuate that underclass. Why would anyone bring guns to a political rally, if they weren’t trying to send a signal to those who would disagree with their whiteness and their insistence that they are superior. It’s pure tribalism, and those gun people simply lack the intellectual agility to be anything but what they are. We’re stuck with them because our capitalists refuse to change the paradigm of our economics and stratification.

    I’ve come to realize that the weird and bizarre story lines in the TV series “Westworld” is all about that. Too bad it’s so abstract in so many ways. As I’ve mentioned before, there is this ex-FBI agent who, at age 78, has lost his mind. He epitomizes the life inside the bubble of lies. He no longer denies his racism, nor disguises his outright hatred for everything Trump hates. People like that are scarier than any street thug, because of their inherent power.

  2. Sheila, remember back in the day, the old ditty, “if you are white you’re right if you’re brown you get around, and if you’re black get back?” Or, “better dead than red?”

    These sayings were popular before the civil rights movement, then you didn’t hear of them much afterwords, but now they’ve made a roaring comeback! Sometimes they’re modified here and there, but the point is, everyone is extremely aware, no matter who they are, of the inequity that exists in this supposedly inclusive society.

    I’ve gone through the hypocrisy of how the race of people who are in charge use every conceivable tool in their toolbox to convince themselves, and even alleviate their consciences, the purposeful discrimination is a necessity, because minorities cannot possibly meld into that white society without a monumental payout of resources which would make it untenable anyway. So therefore, load up those minority communities with drugs, and guns! Something that was done with the assistance of government during the Vietnam War. And it destroyed major bastions of black society, the south side of Chicago is one example, and Harlem is another!

    This inequity is not going to is not going to go anywhere in the near future, and I doubt if it will go anywhere in man’s future whatsoever. As long as you have people of power and authority lie with impunity, who actually say one thing and in the very same sentence say the opposite and people lap it up like slop in a pig’s trough. I can’t hardly find the desire to listen to those Covid 19 news conferences by the administration, because every day we are whipsawed, it’s like riding those switchbacks through the mountains, they are so crooked, twisted, they can make you seasick after a short period of time!

    Maybe it should be Pres. Donald Whipsaw Narcissus Nero, LOL! Now that is a mouthful! I should delete that, but I’m going to leave it there against my better judgment, LOL.

    I have pointed out to my cousins, which are ample in number, how the POTUS couldn’t walk a straight line if he was tied to a rail, that His inconsistencies flow constantly, that he is as crooked as a corkscrew, and they post things about some of this stuff that’s antithetical to what their idol says, and not just a little bit, a lot! And then they turn around and post a laundry list of lies that he’s spouted to share and pass along, completely contradicting everything that they’ve posted previously, usually just a couple of hours before! I’ve confronted them about it, and they really have no answer!

    I really don’t think there’s been a time like this in history, where people self delude themselves, when they remain willfully ignorant because it’s a narrative that gives them pleasure. So the only thing I can conclude, is, it’s time for these things to happen! Daniel’s prophecy of the immense image, “You, O king, were watching, and you saw an immense image. That image, which was huge and extremely bright, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was terrifying. 32 The head of that image was of fine gold, its chest and its arms were of silver, its abdomen and its thighs were of copper, 33 its legs were of iron, and its feet were partly of iron and partly of clay. 34 You looked on until a stone was cut out, not by hands, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and of clay and crushed them. 35 At that time the iron, the clay, the copper, the silver, and the gold were, all together, crushed and became like the chaff from the summer threshing floor, and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them could be found……………..”

    This tells a story of a time of great turmoil, and retribution! Do we put any weight in prophecy? We were told that these things were going to happen, that they would happen at a time when the earth is like it is right now.
    Read to Matthew the 24th chapter!

    James’ brother Jude warns his fellow Christians of the great danger from wicked men who slip into the congregation with the purpose of bringing in moral defilement. He calls them “wild waves of the sea that foam up their own causes for shame.” (Jude 4-13)

    As Cook’s Commentary on Jude 13 remarks: “They cast forth to public view the mire and dirt of their excesses . . . So these men foam out their own acts of shame, and cast them forth for all men to see, and so to blame the Church for the ill-deeds of these professors.” Another commentator says: “What they impart is as unsubstantial and valueless as the foam of the ocean waves, and the result is in fact a proclamation of their own shame.”​(Barnes’ Notes on the New Testament, 1974) also, read the apostle Peter’s description of these Men at 2nd Peter 2 :10-22.

    We’ve reached a time of the ultimate saturation of faithless self-serving self-aggrandizement! Narcissistic and self-deluded leaders are Pied Piper’s to the lemmings who have also deluded themselves, those that believe the lies, those who listen to supposed intellectuals and those that claim a special wisdom, only to be led off the precipice by those very ones they admire!

    So, if it’s time, it’s time! Not a whole lot anyone can do about it, except, be on the right side

  3. “our constitution requires government to treat equally-situated people equally, irrespective of the color of their skin or the beliefs they embrace.”

    I’ve never seen the words “equally-situated” used in this context before. It gives ideologically-oriented Justices some wiggle room when they want to clamp down on “those people.” But those words are not in the Fourteenth Amendment, so I wonder where they came from.

  4. “Social mobility. Equality. Rule of law.” “The land of milk and honey.” “Streets paved with gold.”

    One of those old misconceptions became horrifyingly true in 2016; “In America, ANYONE can grow up to become president.”

    How many people watching Trump’s nightly bizarre, lying, repeated non-factual information reports, which were titled “coronavirus updates” but were thinly disguised presidential campaign appearances, have been believed by those who want and NEED to believe this Pandemic will end soon? Does anyone question the specific reopening first of restaurants (with NO required social distancing) and liquor stores while ignoring businesses providing needed goods and services or the lack of necessary testing availability before reopening? Isn’t that moving our “social mobility” as well as life and death survival downward?

    “Once this pandemic is over, there is a long “laundry list” of situations in our country requiring attention and repair. That list needs to be based on facts, not beliefs.”

    This Pandemic has diverted, and rightly so, attention from other vital issues before all of us in this country, such as the Census. The form I received questioned my age, rent, mortgage or own my home, are there any Hispanics living in my home followed by the question are there any other Hispanics living in my home not listed on the previous question, and moved on to my race and ethnic origin. The only information to be gained by those questions will benefit gerrymandering and use of our tax dollars to aid vote purging to favor Republicans – who authored the Census form. It will be assuming the lower income and education levels based on race with no FACTS regarding income and education levels or needs in areas.

    “Add equalizing children’s prospects to that list–and put it near the top.” Factor in Trump, Pence and DeVos’ education basics of creationism and the picture becomes blurred as public education for all disappears from view. Facts; we don’t need no stinkin’ facts…unless we want to survive Trump and this Covid-19 Pandemic.

  5. Unfortunately, we are a short attention span people. We might be reminded of disparities by the astounding percentages of people of color who are dying from COVID-19, but will we even think about it when we’re back to our new normal, whatever that may be? Even if we do think about it, will we have the political will to do something about it?

    I know that when the crisis has ended and Republicans have managed to scrape the bottom of the tax barrel to further enrich corporations, they will once again complain about the deficits and the national debt. If they aren’t gone from all positions of power, they will begin again to attack the flimsy safety net we have now. The only thing that might come from that is that more urban and suburban white people will join the people of color at the lower strata of society and we will truly be in this together.

    As an aside, I hate the term people of color, because scientifically we are all people of color, especially the white (combination of all colors) people. It would be nice if we could all just be humans.

  6. Pascal–and others: Government classifies citizens for all sorts of perfectly acceptable reasons: we treat motorists differently from pedestrians, children differently than adults, smokers can be treated differently than non-smokers, etc. Equal protection doctrine does not require government to treat people in these different categories “equally,” but it does require, for example, that all motorists be subjected to the same rules–no matter their race, religion, etc. etc. That is what is meant by “equally-situated.” The concept is fundamental to the jurisprudence.

  7. We were inequal from our creation. We didn’t even attempt equalization until the mid-1900s, and the MAGA wants to chip away at those strides.

    At one time, the Democratic Party had a spine helped by unionized employees. Still, somehow we’ve gone from 80% to 12% unionized during the same time the Democratic Party went from representing workers to working for Wall Street Banksters.

    The Oligarchs ran the show at the beginning, and nothing has changed that ownership or power structure. We’ve been bamboozled by charlatans who every intention of keeping it.

    So, I ask, your laundry list of items requiring changed, how do you plan to effectuate those changes with a country even less unified than ever. Hell, 33% of Americans vote for politicians who devise policies that cause them direct harm.

    One Indiana congressman supports the working class is sacrificed for the good of the Oligarchy. Where’s the Hoosier outrage? Where’s the worker outrage? Where is the outrage from our Oligarchic owned press?

  8. Thanks for clarifying Sheila – very helpful.

    It’s Friday, so I get to be my repetitive self…yes, folks here are angry and upset about inequality, but I don’t see anyone suggesting doable, practical, sustainable and, most importantly, acceptable to the masses, steps to reduce it. From this eye, one would be (once the DEMs get in) to close the huge tax loopholes only used by the 1%…there are more like that….

  9. Sheila,

    “Most of us have yet to sink to Trumpian levels–in fact, it never ceases to amaze me that Trump can tweet out some nonsense, or make an idiotic statement at a news conference, then blandly deny that he said any such thing. It takes a certain type of mental illness to forget that there is actual evidence rebutting you.”

    It’s called Anti-Social Personality Disorder.

    From “Cancer in the Body Politic: Diagnosis and Prescription for an America in Decline” by Peter D. Mott, MD (EPICA, Washington, DC, 2006) p. 58:

    “Do certain of our leaders show signs of Anti-Social Personality Disorder?”

    “With this mental health disorder a patient is driven to go to any lengths necessary to get what she or he wants without any sign of being bothered by conscience. No matter how destructive their actions are to other people, people with this disorder don’t care. They show no chagrin, no shame, no guiltiness.”

    John is probably right. “Enjoy yourselves, it’s later than you think.”

  10. Sometimes I like to imagine a world that is really ” child centered.” A world where every child has his/her needs met for food, clothing,shelter, education, health care, love attention guidance and APPROPRIATE discipline.

    There would be none of the disparities in opportunities mentioned above. There probably would be a marked drop in the # of people in prison.

    But (sigh) that world does not exist. If it did, we would all have to radically change the way we live.

  11. Lester,

    Before you dismiss the contributors out of hand, go back through the archives of this blog until you come across several days when copious solutions were offered to overcome the problems and issues discussed in today’s blog. You will find that some version of a domestically applied Marshall Plan was suggested by me and several others. What it takes is the political will to do these things.

    As Todd so often points out, neither major party has that will. So, the solutions come from within all of us. Are you willing to run for office to implement your plans? No? Why not? Do you know somebody more willing to run for office at ANY level to enact some solution?

    There’s the rub, isn’t it?

  12. Todd,

    One big problem is that to most, any effective treatment appears to be worse than the disease. That comes from not facing up to political reality. Americans will finally wake-up a few seconds before the “blade of the guillotine” comes crashing down on their neck.

    Again, john is probably right.

  13. For those of you who have contemplated moving to Canada or more distant venues, I would strongly suggest that this is the time to leave before, understandably, exclusions of Americans are put into place.

  14. Vernon,

    Would love to see your Marshall Plan, but do not have the time to search for it. How about if you reach out to Sheila for my email address? As I understand it, putting one’s email in the blog is against the rules.

    Regarding ” Do you know somebody more willing to run for office at ANY level to enact some solution?” My former Alaska Governor answer is: “You Betcha!”. That’s what my project, CommonGoodGoverning is laser-focused on via candidates to the US House! Glad to tell you more – ask Sheila for my email.

  15. Marv … I detect a glib suggestion for malcontents to move to Canada before its too late. Sorry. The border is closed. Health authorities have also restricted access to all recreational island and shoreline properties to essential personnel only. On conference call this week with long time friends in Palestine. While Israel suffers from COVID spread, exposure to Gaza and West Bank dramatically soared due to decades of imposed separation. Gaza has two ventilators for population of two million. No cases yet but if exposed it will be a disaster. Interesting how a virus flips the wall who is at risk. Bibi and Old Bone Spur … what a pair!

  16. Oooops … spell check drives me nuts. CORRECTION. “dramatically spared” not “soared”.

  17. Vernon,
    “Are you willing to run for office to implement your plans? No? Why not?”

    All others:
    Vernon’s question is an excellent one. But let’s say Lester is willing, as, let’s say, is , JoAnn, John, Peggy, Pete and even I, to run for office to implement our plans. The next question is:

    Why run for office if implementing our plans requires the dreaded, hated, corrupting, evil POWER to do so?

    Why the question?

    Because almost every contributor to this blog has ranted about the evil of power, and they never qualify their concept of power, leaving us with the impression that they are against power in general, in particular, in any form, as if the only way one can do good is to be weak. I take that as opposition to all power. I take that as rejection of power even if it is handed to me, even if power is an absolute necessity to do good.

    Of what use is this attitude: if I must use power to do good, then good can go to hell; I shall not dirty my hands with power?

    As you can see, I am damned fed up with people who are so inconsistent as to one day damn power and the next day or the next paragraph covet power to “implement” favored plans.

    Yes, I’ve ranted on this subject before, but I’m certain it is one of those things that must be tapped down repeatedly, like nails in a coffin lid. The idea that power corrupts is a phenomenal corruption itself, almost supernatural, and seems to rise from the dead at every full moon.

    I say we should love power, understand power, make it our friend, seek it honestly, and in that way deserve it, know what to do with it, and cultivate our constituents to believe that we can be trusted to do good things with it. Otherwise, how can constituents trust us with a thing we tell them is so overpoweringly evil?

    It seems to me that the Constitution itself is a guide to HANDLING power rather than a prescription against power.

    But maybe that’s just me talking–the old propagandist and public information officer.

  18. We would like to disconnect politics from culture but I don’t think that is possible. Our very roughly democratic government does reflect who we the people are and what we believe about the way our lives should be lived.

    It seems to me that many of the observations on this blog reflect those of us who participate here being in a minority culture in the country that we used to be a majority in. In that way we are not different than white supremacists or oligarchs fighting to re-establish what we once thought was normal.

    It is my hope that, actually, the pandemic will replace worrying about getting our control of things back with acceptance that we are all stuck with each other and the only way to restore order from the chaos is to collaborate dispite our differences, not eliminate them. A dream? Perhaps, but more productive than waiting for a train that will never stop at our station.

    Our challenge is to rebuild from the wreckage of our old culture new ways of doing things economically that will accomplish over time to what used to be antithetical to the American dream – shrinking the economy from the top down. In other words tying earnings to work not to investing. Understanding that the goal is not always more, but balance – collaboration instead of competition. Everybody winning.

  19. Norris,

    “Marv … I detect a glib suggestion for malcontents to move to Canada before its too late. Sorry. The border is closed.”

    A not so glib thanks. That’s good news. Without an escape valve, maybe we can find the courage to save ourselves from being eaten alive by the Trumpstein, or is that “stien,” monster.

  20. Marv,
    “It’s called Anti-Social Personality Disorder.”

    It’s also called How to Be Successful, as drilled into seven consecutive generations of Americans by thousands of self-help books. And on and on it goes.

    Never take no for an answer.

    Their objections do not matter.

    Self-confidence sells.

    Never let them see you sweat.

    You’re not selling logic; you’re selling hope.

    Build your myth before the opponent does.

    The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK.

    You Are a Badass.

    Tools of Titans.

    Never Split the Difference.

    Becoming Supernatural.

    Get it?

  21. Larry,

    I agree with much that you have just pointed out about power. However, the blog never reaches down to the root cause of it all, OLIGARCHIC POWER. The closest we ever get to it is some well-meaning statement that it is “all about dollars.”

    I’ve been collecting books for many, many years and I’ve only found one author that had the courage and to discuss the problem in any meaningful way.

    See: “Elite Deviance” by David R. Simon (Pearson Education, Boston, 2006). I’m now looking at the Eighth Edition.

  22. Strange, isn’t it, that we white people are descendants of black people who migrated from Africa to the north and east, descendants who over time and environment changed colors, and who later (thanks to English slave ships) imported our forebears from Africa to pick cotton and tobacco in their colony. I often tell anybody who will listen that but for innovation among whites we whites might have been brought to Africa to pick whatever our black masters told us to pick. It was a happenstance, but a happenstance that has needed and still needs correction in the world we live in today.

    A personal note > I have been aware of the above history of race for a long time and am pleased (though ashamed to admit it took so long) to report as the Justice of my law fraternity in law school as a senior in 1954 that our fraternity admitted our first black pledge. I must also admit that my vice justice and I were called to a meeting of practicing attorneys (our frat’s alumni) and raked over the coals for such departure from “tradition.” My vice justice (who later was a bankruptcy judge for the Southern District) and I held our ground, and Bob, our pledge, later became a successful attorney, as have many black students since. My next departure from “tradition” involved redlining with a proposal for open housing, which failed but has since been adopted by law (though with scattered results). I was, uh, a young liberal Democrat at the time and sometimes things never change (except aging).

  23. Hey, I don’t mean to be a Debbie downer, and, most people don’t have as staunch of faith as I tend to have. And far be it from me to try to force anyone into a point of view that they are diametrically opposed to, my opinions are formed by experiences and research (lots and lots of reading) because that’s the way I was taught by my extended family.

    I point out things that I’ve found, that I’ve researched, and if there’s a ring of truth to it, it’s better than listening to a gaggle of lies every single day.

    I love the parable of the good Samaritan, Samaritans were looked down upon by the Jews, yet the good Samaritan found a Jew that was assaulted by robbers after that Jew was passed by, by other Jews, a religious leader, and the like. So he took care of that Jew who ordinarily would’ve looked down upon him and paid for his lodging and nursing expenses.

    Then we have the parable of the prodigal son, who demanded his inheritance and spent it on prostitutes and debauchery. He ended up shepherding pigs and eating carob pods, which of course pigs were considered unclean. The carob pods are what the pigs were eating. But his father welcomed him back, gave him a ring off of his finger and a fine robe, he was so happy to see his son again. But his brother was not happy, because his brother never left, so his brother didn’t think he should be treated well and welcomed back with open arms. But his father told him to slaughter the fat and young bowl for a feast because his son was home.

    These parables allude to equality, that nobody should be treated any different no matter the circumstances. Now this is not talking about criminal behavior, but it is talking about your fellow man who has done nothing evil to you.

    The same with the parable of the vineyard workers, workers that were there all day were given a denarius for a day’s wage. In the middle of the day, the master worker needed more people, so he hired them for the same amount, then at the last hour, he needed still more, and he paid them the same amount. The individuals that were there for the whole day protested! They were not happy that they worked the whole day for the same amount of someone who was only there for one hour. They confronted the master worker, the one who was in charge of the vineyard for his master, and he said it was his master’s right, because he owned the vineyard and he wanted to pay everyone equally.

    The whole point of these parables was to stress faith, to stress equality of faith, and those who complain because they feel they are entitled will be cut off. These lessons were not learned easily back then, the parables helped, but only very few.

    It’s the same also with the parable of the widow dropping in a couple of almost worthless coins into the contribution jar at the temple, giving from her need, showing her faith, and contrasting that with the wealthy Pharisee or Sadducees of the Sanhedrin slowly dropping in a handful of coins so that all could hear them clink down, thereby making a show a display of his reserves, he didn’t give from a need, he gave for self-aggrandizement. He didn’t give from his heart, he gave for stature! Jesus Christ himself said that there was no equality in that, because the widow gave from her need! And therefore she would be blessed because just as he (Jesus Christ) noticed, so did his father.

    In Jesus Christ also used parables to discuss the treatment of the elderly, widows and orphans, i.e. fatherless children, and foreign residents! These people were not to be treated anything less than equal, they were to be respected because all were/are God’s children. Now, people talk about myths, and the faithless, but, sad to say, true faith the size of a mustard grain can move a mountain! Now that’s a bit grandiose, but it makes the point of the power of faith. And I’m not just talking about religious faith, I’m talking about the faith of conscience the faith of morality the faith of empathy and the faith of compassion. These are supposed to embody what it is to be a faithful person, a person of faith!

    Man’s inhumanity to man shows how far righteousness has fallen, that the righteous ones, those faithful ones, are few and far between, and that if it gets to a certain point, there is going to be a reckoning! Mankind has been poaching his fellow man since any time you can point to in recorded history. Jesus Christ regularly quoted prophecy from the time of Abraham, the time of Moses, the time of King David and his son Solomon, all away down to the messianic appearance.

    He recognized that from the beginning, man was supposed to be under the purview of God’s rulership, but man was created a free moral agent, able to govern himself through conscience, of loyalty, and of faith. Mankind also discovered what it was like to be greedy. So therefore, when Satan threw down the gauntlet, that basically mankind would follow his lead rather than that of God, it began. Some people call it the struggle between good and evil. Anyway, it was decided that God would allow man to govern himself to see if the other way was better than what man was created for. Obviously, to this point, mankind has proven his creator correct, mankind cannot govern himself without murdering his fellow man, without being inhumane to his fellow man, without murdering his neighbor, or his brother, or the children, or his mate, or entire villages!

    Like I said, if you read the Matthew the 24th chapter, or read about Daniel and the immense image, one that Christ quoted about, that’s in the book of Daniel, we could have reached a saturation point. Maybe? Maybe not! But these times are unprecedented in history, not just because of the evil that men do and are visible to all, but because the earth is full! And man has not changed from his rebellious attitude from the beginning!

    That’s why I said if it’s time, it’s time!

  24. Lester,

    O.K. Buy my book, “Racing to the Brink: The End Game for Race and Capitalism.”

    In short, my Marshall Plan includes funding a kind of CCC for the inner cities. The plan pays for the journeymen instructors, materials, designs, supplies and even apprentice tradesmen salaries. THEN, we set about re-building those “underclass” dwellings that have the names on them of the people who re-built them with energy efficiency, safety and an inherent sense of community and self-policing. Right. Then, we continue to train the welders and mechanics to work on the bridges. Then, we pay under-employed professionals to become classroom teachers – especially in “those” neighborhoods.

    You see where this is going: PRIDE IN ACCOMPLISHMENT COUPLED WITH LIFE SKILLS AND A PRIDEFUL, LIVING INCOME. We’ve done this before. The model just needs an update.

  25. John Song. “That’s why I said if it’s time, it’s time!” By the time I read through to your finish line, I ran out of time. Time for lunch.

  26. Vernon, your book sounds interesting. We just have to find ways to bring the top and bottom of the economic spectrum closer together to elevate the bottom to above mere subsistence and lower the top to lifestyle that puts them as part of the human family rather than above it.

  27. Vernon,

    Thanks so much….can see a bit of spinning infrastructure to do just that, maybe also combined with some ethical public/private partnership, some opportunities for public service…hmmm

  28. Larry,

    Usually, I try to suggest a solution to whatever gripe I have. I’m sorry that I didn’t do that today, but I’m not certain how we go about changing the predilections of people, who might be momentarily disturbed by numbers they see describing systemic racism, but can’t worry about that tomorrow. One reason I won’t run for office is that I’m just another old white fart. Not what we need today.

  29. Vernon,
    “Then, we continue to train the welders and mechanics to work on the bridges. ”

    Bridges. Infrastructure.

    I had almost forgotten a relative of mine who was a painter on the Golden Gate Bridge. He spent his entire working life on that bridge. He was part of a painting shift (two shifts a day) that never finished painting the bridge. Every day they would sandblast a portion, which then would be examined for flaws. Then welders would fix the flaws before painters covered them. When the painters reached the end of the bridge, it was time to start over on the other end.

    I don’t know if that pattern of upkeep continues today, but the fact that the Golden Gate has never needed major repair speaks loudly for persistent rather than intermittent maintenance of infrastructure. Which in turn, thinking nationally, suggests the need/opportunity for a national full-time infrastructure maintenance force. Maintenance is a job not conducive to robot labor or super-sized machine labor. So, it creates a lot of jobs. Lots of money going into local economies. Daily, ongoing stimulus. And, as a result, there likely would be no–or very few–major breakdowns to be solved by multi-trillions of bailout money.

  30. For one thing we can and should make higher education college or trade school free for tuition. Countries in Europe manage to do this. Denmark even pays out a stipend.

    The best future for a child is an higher education. We could also start teaching K-12 critical thinking skills and forget some of tests.

  31. Do not underestimate The Don, he is only interested in being the boss and the center of power. Every new day he thinks of something to score publicity, everything else doesn’t matter. So the position of POTUS is the best vehicle you can think of for him to reach his goal. And he does very well so far: the chances for a second term look good. He doesn’t care that he is a bad ruler, as long as there are enough evil fools around him who say he is the best president ever in history. We hope and pray, also in Amsterdam as in the USA, that the majority votes for Biden.

  32. What a shame Norris!
    You might have learned something? How about, some things are more important than lunch!

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