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Friday, December 27, 2013

When Technology Fails

My technology woes began about three weeks ago when my  Windows 7 desktop was infected with adware. Those critters were slipping past the free Microsoft Essential virus protector. I remembered that Best Buy gave me a malware/adware /virus protector named Trend Micro Titanium. The salesman told me that I probably wouldn’t need it because my new MacBook Pro laptop does not need a virus protector. I installed the software on my desktop and it found 137 parasites, two days later it found 424 more, and then I had to go through a continuous loop of booting and rebooting until they were finally gone. I was just on the verge of calling a technician, so they could pull out those critters by the root.

A few days before Christmas, my wife went to Target and paid for a couple of gifts using her debit card. It wasn’t a long after that when she heard on the news that 40 million of Target's credit and debit card customers’ information might have been compromised. Within hours, my wife received an e-mail from Target informing her that she should check our bank account for any discrepancies. It’s funny; we've never had a Target credit card, so how did they get my wife’s e-mail address? My wife had to go through the process of receiving a new debit card but was told that she could keep her pin number. The next day she received a new e-mail from Target advising her to change your pin number, so on to the bank she went to change our pin number because we didn’t want to take the chance. Lucky for us, we got to the bank on time before any one tried to illegally withdraw any funds.

Last night, I saw a news story of a person who ordered lobster from Amazon for her Christmas Eve party. Say what? Anyway UPS was a day late and a dollar short, so all she got the next day was smelly lobster. Amazon refunded her money and gave her a $25.00 gift card but that didn’t make up for a ruined Christmas Eve party. I guess there’s a moral to this story, the customer expected too much and Amazon oversold on what they could deliver.

Delta Air had a costly computer glitch, so it was not only customers who suffered. Some lucky airline customers received a $48.00 round trip from North Carolina to Los Angeles and another received a trip from Los Angeles to Hawaii for $88.00 which normally sells for over $3000. Delta honored all the tickets that were sold online. The fact that they honored the ticket purchases, gave them some unintended goodwill publicity.

Despite all the ups and down, I’m still anxiously awaiting the iPhone 6 or the next electronic gadget that will make my life easier

Hope everyone had a good holiday and didn’t suffer from any technology failures.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

You Live and You Learn

One of the things I’ve learned this week is that there’s not enough hours during the day for me to have a good discussion on Facebook and on the online forum and still have time to keep up with my two blogs. I know, I bragged that I was retired so I certainly had the time to accomplish that. You live and you learn.

The best thing I learned is that Facebook allowed me to have a couple of good civil discussions. It can be addictive because the responses are in real time.

We had a week that started with the “White Santa” controversy and ended with the Duck Dynasty head duck’s comments.

I still believe that the Duck Dynasty issue has a lot of support from those who want to say controversial things without any repercussions. I also believe that A&E made a free market decision to protect the integrity of what they portray as a Christian family espousing family values. A& E’s sponsors may have gotten, spooked and decided that a short suspension would ease the minds of their viewers. I think Duck Dynasty’s 14 million viewers have the same mind-set as Phil Robertson. I know a lot of people like Phil Roberson, who partied hard until they got old, and then they found religion. I also know a lot of people that age who are generational racists. These people have a misconception that minorities were happy go lucky before several pieces of civil rights legislation were passed. I’m pretty sure if someone reminded Phil of the lynching, discrimination, and other reprehensible events, that took place in that era, he would agree it was wrong, and that he was taken out of context because he was just describing the environment he grew up in. I’m sure Phil Roberson is a good man but he’s not one that I would discuss world events with. I used to have a lot of Phil Robertson types in my family and I’ve worked with many but they are a dying breed. I don’t buy the notion that he was standing up for orthodox Christianity and I think we can agree that he was not denied his freedom of speech. I see the divide between social conservatism and the fiscal conservative belief in the unfretted free market.

Newt Gingrich has got to be the most quotable man in history and not in a good way. I don’t know how many WWIII he’s compared conflicts with but he took a sentence from a Phil Roberson quote and immediately compared him to Pope Francis. The man has no shame; he’s a flimflam man who knows his outrageous remarks will make the evening news.

In between the two stories during the week, I discussed Georgia’s Rep. Kingston’s remark that children should sweep the floors of the school they get their free lunches from. Jack Kingston is not a Tea Party nut. He's a pretty reasonable Republican, but he’s being challenged by a couple of extremists. He has backtracked a bit, now he’s saying that he wasn’t talking about a specific group and that everyone who gets meal paid by the taxpayers should pay at least a nickel or a dime for it. He wants to let them know that nothing is free. Well, for one thing, it is my understanding that only those who are 130% below the poverty level get a free meal, so if that’s the case, he is targeting that group. It is my opinion that these children need to go to school to learn math, science, English, and history and they shouldn’t be a pawn for social experiments or a political message

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How Do You Argue With Those Who Live in an Evidence Free World?

I know I should’ve have known better, but I wasted a lot of my time yesterday trying to conjure up a debate about the necessity of public assistance. I tried to make a case for budget fairness, and I offered a solution to get people SNAP by increasing the federal minimum wage. The opponents of the welfare system mocked my suggestion by exaggerating my point and saying that prices would go up. I acknowledged the very modest price increase but I doubt that anyone paid attention to it.

Throughout the 67 comments made on the “Foods stamp cuts affect Crossroads, family, economy” thread, not one person addressed the cuts. There were several comments made about how easily a family of three could live on $335 of SNAP benefits. Some mentioned that the lady in question quit her job and others mentioned that missing father should have been contributing. Those questions are better left to the case worker who probably could provide the answers. The SNAP recipient could be in a temporary position while she sorts things out and the father of the children could be completely out of the picture. How can people be so judgmental when the article didn’t dwell into all the facts?

Dennis Trojcak and Eula Pfenniger were two of the more outspoken ones who were trying to make a case for corruption and laziness. Eula Pfenninger witnessed a drugs/beer for food stamps deal that went down back in the eighties as her proof. Dennis Trojcak questioned people’s alertness if they haven’t seen food stamp abuse in their lifetime. At one point he said that 50% of its value was the going rate for the trading of food stamps. I don’t see how that’s feasible since it’s a plastic card that gets replenished every month. It may happen but I don’t think it’s as good as cash for drug dealers. Mr. Trojcak complained because he saw rib eyes and T-bone steaks in the recipient’s baskets. I say, so what, it’s legal and it all goes toward their monthly maximum amount. I always ask myself, why it is that only right-wing republicans notice what someone else buys. Could it be possible be that Trojcak was looking at a Hispanic plant worker who just finished moving his yard (reason for dirty clothes) who paid with a credit card that looked like the Lone Star Card? I might go to the grocery store two or three times a year maximum , but even if I went more frequently I wouldn’t be checking out people’s baskets, stretching my neck to see how they pay or follow them outdoors to check out the car they are driving. I may be wrong but I think the people that notice these abuses are purposely looking for them but they never do any follow-up investigations to get actual proof because their assumptions are good enough for them.

Mr.Trojcak didn’t want to expand the discussion to cause and effect and compassion. He said that the subject had nothing to do with Christmas, but it does because these cuts will take effect early next year. Families on the SNAP program have to be frugal this coming Christmas because of anticipated cuts in January. The poster said that subject had nothing to do with corporate farming or corporate welfare, but it does. The SNAP program was extracted from the Farm bill, so the GOP could vote for farm subsidies without having to support the SNAP program. That’s what the budget is all about; the more you take away from the poor (who don’t have a lobby) the more you have for corporate welfare.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The Squeaky Wheels Gets the Grease

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An old -timer I used to work with at the Texas Highway Department always told me that I had to always say what I wanted (whether I got it or not) because “the squeaky wheel always gets the grease.” He wasn’t wrong because all you have to do is look and see who the media covers.

Remember how the deficit and the debt was the most important crisis facing our country, then it became Obamacare, and now it’s the people on public assistance? The GOP squealed the most so they got the media attention.

The deficit has been cut in half, and the debt is a long-term issue so the budget that was passed didn’t address those issues. The country was satisfied that there was a bipartisan agreement, and another crisis was averted for two years. Republicans in the Senate will not support the budget deal as a whole because those who are running for president will vote against it, to align themself with the base. The other Republicans opposing the budget will do so to pay back the House Republicans for the shutdown.

Obamacare will linger until all the problems are solved and then people will forget the disastrous rollout. In the meantime, the talk shows, newspapers, and talk radio will continue to cover the horror stories.

There will be two issues facing Congress when they finally get back from their holiday break. One will be the farm bill, and the other will be the extension of unemployment benefits. SNAP (food stamps) was separated from the farm bill so the Republicans could vote for cutting food stamps without jeopardizing the farm subsidies. The “makers and takers” is being revived to justify this action.

I know we’ve all heard of abuses of the SNAP, and some have seen what they thought were flagrant abuses, but I think most of those are “Welfare Queen” exaggerations. I believe the government figures which show 76% of those households receiving benefits include a child, an elderly person or a disabled one. These people receive 83% of the benefits. The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal. The GOP wants to cut $40 billion from the program over ten years but the Democrats also want to cut funds from that program, which is wrong, even if it’s a fraction of the Republican want. When SNAP was a part of the farm bill, it was immediately passed on a bipartisan basis because of the farm subsidies. I saw where the oil companies made $16 billion in profits so far, but we’re still giving them tax incentives. That’s the wealth distribution I’m against.

I think we should extend unemployment benefits beyond the normal 26 weeks until unemployment drops to 6%. There should be some type of reform because I don’t know we can sustain the 99 weeks of benefits that is being proposed. The recipients of those benefits should be required to show proof that they are attending a school to enhance their job skills. It’s not as if all of a sudden, people decided not to work anymore. We were hit with the worst recession since the Great Depression, and we should make accommodations for that. The recipients of those funds use that money to seek a job, pay for their school, and support their family until they are able to get a job. People would rather have a permanent job than having to rely on temporary unemployment insurance. These people spend the money which stimulates the economy.

The ‘greasing the squeaky wheel’ theory was being used against the prisoners being held at Guantanamo Bay. At first, we couldn’t give them a trial in our Federal Court system because it would cause chaos in the city that held the trial. We convicted a few terrorists and sent them to our maximum-security systems and now that will become the norm because no one said anything. Included in a defense bill that will pass, will be funds to release some detainees to other countries and give the remaining, a trial in our Federal courts. This is being done so that we can finally close Guantanamo Bay. Will those prisoners rejoin the fight against us? I suspect some will but don’t American civilian prisoners go back to their lives of crime?

Friday, December 13, 2013

Congress Acting Like Juveniles

The United States Senate is supposed to be where the more seasoned adults meet to govern.  It's been a deliberate chamber of 100 duly elected senators but that's no longer the case.

A few weeks ago, Harry Reid decided to eliminate the  filibuster when it came to confirming the president's nominees.  It's not it's as if he didn’t warn the GOP.  Mitch McConnell said that the Democrats would pay for that decision.  At the time, I thought Mitch might have a trick or two up his sleeve, but no,he decided that he would make the Democrats suffer by calling for pajama parties.  The president's nominees will get passed by simple majority, but they will have to work late into the night because the GOP will use the only toy in their toy box; the four corner stall. Harry Reid said if they want to go through the nonsense, he's willing to keep them there until Christmas.

John Boehner and the House of Representatives are taking their victory lap for passing a bipartisan bill that had to have 45 Democrats in order for it to pass.  I guess the House Republicans are sticking out their tongues and doing their victory dance because they finally had enough guts to go against the more conservative tea party. Someone should remind Speaker Boehner that he should've done this before the shutdown and there are the issues they can be passed with bipartisan support, such as immigration reform, increasing the minimum wage, background checks, extending unemployment benefits and a jobs and farm bill. I mean now that Boehner has found his mojo,let’s act on it.

Democrats need to take heed because if the House GOPers are going to start acting like adults, we can’t act like we are still dealing with the crazies.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

It’s Been a Long Journey

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I wonder what led me to that day that I started reading the comments at the Victoria Advocate on –line forum? Do any of us remember? I’ve always been an avid reader of the letters- to- the -editor, and the on line forum was an extension of that, but the posters used anonymous names which made it very interesting.

I believe it was in 2007 when I finally got the nerve to post a comment.  The post looked terrible because I didn’t know that you needed to format  your words in a text editor before posting.  The original posters were intimidating because it seemed like the posters  were all wordsmiths and very knowledgeable.  They didn't stick around for long so that opened the door for amateurs like me.

It wasn't long before I submitted my first blog, and it seems like as soon as I pressed <enter> I got my first rebuttal, and it took off from there.  It wasn't too long after that everyone was writing a blog. Your blog wouldn’t stay visible very long because sometime during the day another journal would replace yours.  Between the blogs and the threads, a person could lose track of time reading and postings.  There was just one big comment section and the postings appeared in real time.

In March of 2010, I wrote a couple of personal blogs, quit, and then restarted in November and December of that year,  I wrote 10 more blogs, and I set out to see if I could pick up an audience.  It took me another two years to get viewers. As we all know; the VA went to their Facebook format, and many of my on-line friends quit posting, so I started concentrating on my personal blog.  I'm back at the VA forum but not too many people are commenting.

This past week I’ve being fiddling with my Facebook settings, so I'm ready to accept friends on my Mike Mike Facebook page.  I think this old retiree can handle all three venues. ..Smile

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Dwelling on the Negative

I remember laughing when an old- timer used to tell us that the media controls the mood of the country. I must’ve been pretty na├»ve back then because they do play a major role on how Americans view current events.

This morning I waited patiently to hear something about the good job numbers of last week or that a million people have signed up for Obamacare. Joe Scarborough made sure that President Obama’s low approval number was going to be the main topic. The president’s approval numbers are as high as 45% in one poll as low as 38% in another and most of it’s got to do with the website rollout. Congress has a new low approval rating of 13% so that’s still gives the president a 25% margin over Congress. I believe the American people have a very low opinion of a dysfunctional federal government, and everyone associated with it. These polls are just a snapshot, and the president's numbers will improve as more people sign up for affordable health care. Joe Scarborough doesn’t see how the president can get his approval numbers up, but I’m not sure he wants to see them go up. The president could get a couple of good results on foreign policy when the Syrians destroy all their chemical weapons and to deal with Iran goes better than expected. On the home front, there are signs that the economy is improving and if the president keeps rallying for middle- class issues like raising the minimum wage and doing something about income inequality; he will be rewarded. I know Congress is still  a deterrent, but John Podesta was hired because he’s a master of executive authority.

I don’t know what the panel on ‘Morning Joe’ expected from the budget deal that was announced yesterday. The best you can say about it is that if it passes, the compromise will avoid a government shutdown. I’m pretty disappointed because Democrats did not make extending unemployment benefits to 1.3 million Americans a priority. The GOP stuck to their no taxes pledge. We have a low bar these days because all we want from our representatives is to talk to each other and don’t shut down the government. You’ve got to love the Republicans’, they got their revenue to make this deal work by making newly hired federal employees make larger contributions to their pension fund, did the same for the retired military and added to the cost of an airline ticket by raising fees and not taxes on the top 1%.

Joe Scarborough had to laugh off Obama’s handshake with Raul Castro controversy or defend John McCain’s handshake with Omar Qaddafi, Richard Nixon’s handshake with Chairman Mao and Fidel Castro and Rumsfeld’s handshake with Saddam Hussein. Raul Castro is a ruthless dictator but we deal with those people all the time. The Cuban trade embargo is against our economic interest. The Jewish lobby and Cuban Americans have a lot of political clout.

Tidbits

Big J, I believe Bill Kennedy of Woodsboro was the name of that person who used to write letters –to- the- editor contradicting the local conservatives.

Yesterday I received my voter-registration card, and I folded it and tried to find space in my wallet for it. Why do we even need it anymore? We have to show a driver’s license anyway, so it’s just a duplication. It seems like we could save some money, trees, and postage by doing away with those oversized cards, after we use up the current supply.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Some Letters are Best Left Unanswered

I know that I probably should just ignore Allen Novosad’s latest letter but I can’t help wondering why he thinks he has stumbled onto something that one else has been able to
pick up on. Evidently his latest theory is not his own, it comes from a person named Wayne Allen Root.

President Obama is painted as this mystical figure who just appeared out of nowhere with an intent to ruin capitalism. It’s as if 535 members of Congress don’t matter.

Universal health care like tax cuts for the rich, identifies each party. Democrats have been running on health care for at least 50 years. Obama insisted on affordable healthcare for as many people as possible and rejected plans for the public option or a single-payer and opted for a free-market exchange.

Mr. Novosad made a classic class war comment by saying that the rich people, businesses, and the middle class were going to be paying a lot more taxes and higher premiums  and that Obamacare was redistributing the wealth. He left out the part about the use of emergency room added about $1000 annually to a person’s health care premiums before Obamacare.

The writer said that Obamacare would cause chaos in the economy thereby killing decent paying jobs for the middle class and making them dependent on the government. Did Novosad completely forget about the 2008 Wall Street financial crisis that led us down this road of economic disparity?

 The Internal Revenue Service only audits 1 to 2% of tax returns because they don’t have the manpower and he thinks they will now have the time to snoop into every aspect of your life. The administration was criticized for not being able to roll out their healthcare.gov website but now they’re supposed to be sophisticated enough to use the darkest medical records to intimidate average workers and their political enemies.

No most of Mr. Root’s analysis is not happening. The economy is improving and the stock market is booming, so capitalism lives on.

And then the writer ends with a cold war quote from Nikita Khrushev that was made when President Obama was two years old. Mr. Novosad needs to move into the 21st-century.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Will It Ever End before 2016?

It must be the first of the month because Mr. Paul Drake of Victoria has written another letter- to -our editor complaining how President Obama is failing our country. Here is latest installment he titles “President Obama is not upholding his oath.”

It doesn’t surprise me that Mr. Drake doesn’t believe that President Obama has upheld his oath of office and he thinks that he has attempted to destroy or circumvent parts of the constitution. I don’t know where Mr. Drake was prior to January 20, 2009, but then again, he doesn’t really provide any proof of his accusations. He writes as though his theories are accepted facts, and they may be in his parallel universe.

The writer states that it’s quite obvious that President Obama does not like Israel as if that country doesn’t have varying opinions. The people of that country and its military leaders are not as anxious to go to war as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu seems to be. The prime minister’s skepticism is helpful in our dealings with Iran. Think about it; if Netanyahu backed the plan 100%, the Iranians would think they were giving up the store. Looking over their shoulder and worried about what Israel will do, will keep the Iranians in check during the negotiation period.

That part about the president’s Muslim heritage is nothing more than questioning the president’s Christianity.

President Obama has more understanding about Israel’s relationships with its enemies than Mr. Drake will ever know. The president’s advisers meet and discuss the situations from both sides and how it affects our country’s interest.

I don’t know what will happen if Iran decides to build a nuclear weapon but I don’t think we’ll ever contemplate nuking them or engage them in a land war. Israel might try some targeted air strikes which will definitely create more chaos in the Middle East. I don’t think giving peace a chance is a bad strategy.

It’s funny how a sound bite “liar” can be accepted as Obama being the most prolific prevaricator in presidential history. Oh how quickly we forget, Iran- Contra, Watergate, WMD, and the other lies that comes from occupying the oval office. That honor will be bestowed on many future presidents because things aren’t always as they seem to be.

Is it just me or is it this time during the year when Christians seem to act less Christian? I hear conservatives wanting to cut off unemployment compensation, cut food stamps, and balk at raising the minimum-wage and lord forbid poor people getting affordable health care. What’s hating Muslims got to do with being a good Christian? It seems like the letter writer, and some posters think that you can’t be a Muslim and an American patriot at the same time. the president of the United States should always denigrate Muslims or he will be put in the camp of  helping the Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaida.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What War on Christmas?






Every year about this time there seems to be a ‘War on Christmas’ for Bill O’Reily.  He’ll fill viewer’s heads with obscure stories about a town that is not allowed to display Christmas’ scenes.  He’ll also report about a huge department store that advises their employees to use happy holidays greeting instead of the usual Merry Christmas’ one. Bill’s expert staffers (as he calls them) will keep a sharp eye on the White House looking for another reason to dub them the opponent in the so –called ‘War on Christmas.’

The blame is usually placed on the secular liberals who don’t want any Christmas display on public property.  That myth has been around for longtime.

Bill O’Reilly is not a serious journalist; he’s an opportunist who carved out this niche for himself.  His followers are already angry because their political beliefs are not resonating with most Americans, so anything less than 100% of participation in promoting Christmas’ becomes a war.
 
I’m going to continue to say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year as a matter of habit and not just because it may or may not be politically correct.  I think most people feel this way, but I do know some bitter people who seem to fall for any conspiracy such as the ‘War on Christmas.’

Monday, December 2, 2013

Is it Really so Great?


Last nights 60 Minutes featured Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos describing the greatness of Amazon, and I am pretty much in agreement but I can’t get excited about their future plan of flying your 5-pound   package to your front door using a small drone.

The idea won’t be approved until four or five years from now, so maybe that will give Amazon the time to make it more appealing. Charlie Rose’s excitement was unwarranted.

I’m usually on board when it comes to newer and better ways of doing thing buts this idea doesn’t match the hype. For one, the customer must be within a ten mile radius of an Amazon Fulfillment Center.

I can see where the small drones might land on unsuspecting children or the family pet and it might get tangled up with a newly installed object. It might work if drone receptacle boxes were installed about 8 feet above the ground.  Amazon could pay for the initial boxes but then cities could rewrite their building codes to make sure all the newly built houses had the receptacle boxes.  Then again, does anyone want to go through all that trouble and expense to receive their package 30 minutes later?  Could a hacker divert the path of the drone?

It’s in planning stages, and I realize Jeff Bezos and his engineers are a lot smarter than I am but I came away unimpressed by what I saw last night.  I’m still a big fan and loyal Amazon customer.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

The Trust Factor










According to a recent AP-GFK poll two- thirds of Americans don’t trust each other anymore. That’s beyond the natural level of mistrust in government, Wall Street and insurance companies. In the 1960s,73% of Americans trusted government to get things right,today only 19% trust the government to get anything right.

The level of mistrust leads to gated communities, gun sales, protests, long-winded contracts and 2000 pages of legislation.

 A good example of mistrust is President Obama’s  “honest and trustworthy” poll number. More Americans don’t believe he’s trustworthy and I don’t blame them, given the media’s attention to charges that have never been substantiated. Another good example of that comes from a 2016 presidential candidate Jeb Bush who has always operated above partisan fray. Last week the State Dept. merged the Vatican facility with the larger Embassy in Italy. As expected, the right wing media went nuts saying that Obama was closing the Vatican facility. Jeb Bush responded with a tweet saying, “ Why would our President close our Embassy to the Vatican? Hopefully, it is not retribution for Catholic organizations opposing Obamacare.” The Jeb Bush staff would normally make a couple of calls before embarrassing themselves but the tweet did give Bush some tea party credibility.

It’s going to take the younger people to turnaround the level of mistrust and they will do it with technology. New norms will have to be reestablished using new metrics to reflect the current population. For example ,we now know what the numbers will look like for corporations if they raise the minimum wage; we no longer have to take their word for it. A good example is the largest retail corporation, Wal-Mart’s paying practices. How can people be upset over people being on the government dole and not be equally upset that their tax money is being used to subsidize the health care of Wal-Mart’s employees?Now that's classic 'redistribution of wealth.'

I often hear Rep. Paul Ryan say that we shouldn’t be creating a climate of government dependency but he continues to vote for tax incentives for oil companies.

The other day, I heard a discussion as to whether the Affordable Care Act would have to establish death panels in order to get the cost curve down. The dissenters were referring to the advisory panel but couldn’t call it that because it might give the panel some legitimacy. Insurance companies make life or death decisions everyday. The argument then becomes “do you want a government bureaucrat to pull the plug on granny?” It’s not as if a three star general roaming the halls of the White House or a golfing buddy of Obama will sit on the panel. It’s going to be human beings making that choice, whether it is a selective panel or several insurance companies.  

I remember an old blogger named “thewaywardwind” asking me to explain something that I had written in a blog without inserting my usual political spin. The colorful blogger wanted me to write something he could believe because he didn’t trust my version of the facts. I told him that he was perfectly capable of writing a blog that supported his beliefs. We eventually established boundaries because after many discussions, we understood where we came from. A continuing dialogue will eventfully lead to understanding and from there we will get closer to trust.

We can’t expect everyone to accept the views we had about race, culture, ideology or religion that we had in the 1950s because the demographics have changed. The 1970s were a prosperous time but many were benefiting from the G.I. bill, strong unions, good pay/ benefits and affordable education. Today we are a war weary nation coping with a high level of income inequality, which leads to mistrust.


We need to get our nation back to work so the conversation switches to the positives that are achievable. The employed people will find a way to form a community organization to help others and eventually trust will reemerge.