Goodbye Old Friend

If you have ever lived with someone or something for a long, long time you will understand the meaning of the phrase “parting is such sweet sorrow.”  I have recently parted with an old friend. I spent considerable time with him over the past four weeks and have learned immensely. I fell in love with his words, and images. His country is one in which I would live if I had to live life over. There is but one problem with living with him in this land I would have to be racist. This country is very friendly to those who are not black, Mexican, or Indian.

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The friend I speak of is a novel titled “Texas” by James Michener. One thousand ninety-six pages long I estimate it to be filled with six hundred sixty-thousand words, or the equivalent of seven ordinary novels it was a joy to read. This is the eleventh Michener book I have read, and each has been engrossing. Although he plans them similarly reading one or two books will not give away his secret to success. If I had to tell you which is my favorite there is no argument it is his first novel “Tales of the South Pacific.” Out of the forty-one titles he wrote I read six, and they are jumbo novels of a thousand pages. I loved each and every page of his writing and the historical perspective.

Texas gave me a new  perspective on Mexico, Mexicans, illegal border crossings and the reasons why our country is now experiencing the difficulty of illegal immigration. I won’t try to explain it all here I’ll let you read this book and learn from it yourself. Did it change my mind about anything? Nope. I still believe, and know, that Mexicans are great workers, good family people, and hungry for a better life. I also still believe that the borders of the United States are set, and define where the US ends and Mexico begins. I also believe in the sovereignty of our nation,  our system of laws, our economic system, and politics.

There is within the United States a group of people who are firmly committed to return land stretching from Los Angeles to Santa Fe, once a remote part of Mexico, to their origins. These people believe that there should be a section between the two countries where there exists a population that speaks two languages, but the principal one being Spanish. They believe kids should be taught in Spanish until they are finished with grammar school. They believe that this population should have dual citizenships with free movement between the two separate countries. They believe both sets of laws should be maintained.

The Supreme court ruled unanimously to extend bi-lingual schooling (Lau vs Nichols) based on the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Schools all across America have been working feverishly to teach in multiple languages in order to get government money. Quite frankly, I don’t think the government money is worth having to teach multiple languages. Think about that, schools have to hire multi-lingual teachers or provide classes with a teacher who knows the language of the child. What if the school is unlucky enough to have kids from Mexico, China, Pakistan, Sudan, Mongolia, Hungary and Belarus. What would you do? I know what I would do, I’d forget the ruling, and let the kids fend for themselves, they would learn English within a year like my brother did, or like the kids of every immigrant who ever came to these shores. Instead we have school systems that bend over backwards to get those government dollars. If we need to correct this terrible system we will have to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Going a bit further off my original rant, I can say that I have never met a Mexican I didn’t like, but I have met a bunch of politicians who are just plain assholes who live off the government tit.

Maybe the time has come that the United States of America should reboot. When a computer  goes crazy, the first thing we do is shut it down to re-boot it. This usually resets the software to its original settings, and clears out extraneous garbage until things work again. Perhaps we need to shut down the government and restart with the simple settings we had when the Constitution was adopted.

I guess I can make the point that the value of reading a book like Texas is that it is thought-provoking and certainly educational. I made a big deal about only one of a thousand points that exist in this narrative. I could make a lifetime of blog posts about ideas that came to me from Michener’s work.

No Mexico, You Belong To Spain

Reading news headlines is causing me to suffer anxiety attacks. The most recent one is a quote from someone named Jorge Ramos. I judge by his name he is hispanic. He is good at inciting hispanic gang members who have infiltrated the USA to riot and protest. His main claim is that the USA belongs to Mexico. I believe at one time a great part of North America did belong to a number of Indian tribes like Aztecs and Incas, but they lost the territory to the Spanish in 1521. during the next 289 years the Spaniards subjugated the Aztecs, Inca, and Mayan tribes with severe degrees of brutality to give them a language, culture, customs, and a new DNA.

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Eventually, a guy by the name of Napoleon decided he wanted to invade Spain and claim it for France. The Spanish didn’t want to be kicked out of their home digs and needed cash to fight them off. At that same point in history, the Mexicans were all shouting “we can’t stand it anymore” and decided to wage war for independence from Spain. The Spaniards who after putting up with these ungrateful natives for so many years were only too happy to give them their independence in year 1810 by pretending to lose a war of revolution.

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Since then the Mexicans have been struggling with establishing a government that can work for all their people. It works really great for anyone who is rich, but if you were born a poor man you are destined to remain poor. Mexico is a rich country and has a very good economy, and there is not reason in the world that they should ignore the millions of poor people they have by pretending they belong to the USA.

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About thirty-six years later the natives of Texas were unhappy with conditions and decided to push the Mexican army out of their territory. A brave bunch of these fighters made a grand stand at a place called the Alamo. Later, the USA chased their sorry asses out of Texas all the way to Mexico City. The USA could by right own all of Mexico down to their capital city. Our stupid leaders at the time didn’t want all of Mexico. Instead of just occupying the country and encouraging migration into those lands they opted to draw a line along the Rio Grande river, and what is now our infamously contested border fence. Just to show them what good sports we are, we retreated from Mexico city and gave them back all the land from Mexico City north to the Rio Grande. We paid them fifteen million dollars for the land we wanted from them. They accepted the payment. The USA was not obligated to pay them one red cent, and that is the end of the argument. All of this is spelled out in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.

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If Jorge and his gang want to claim something he should pick on Spain. They are the ones who made him a half-breed, and decimated their cherished land. I have a stinking feeling that if California, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and Texas were empty of people, business, and movie stars the Mexicans would be happy to leave the territory to the gringos of the USA. It is not the land they want, it is the wealth of the people in these states that they claim is theirs. Without this wealth the land is still the same dry ass desert their Aztec, Mayan, and Inca ancestors abandoned centuries ago.

My advice to Jorge; work on your government to make things better for your people. The USA is not Mexico, and Mexico does not own the USA.

Here is a suggestion. Draw up a new border around Mexico City and the very rich states where all the US business operates to form a downsized Mexico, and give the USA everything else. My guess is that within fifty years your downsized Mexico will be engulfed by happy and prosperous American citizens who live free in an Exceptional Country.

 

Those Were the Days

Playing ball  on the street using sewer covers, and drains  for bases.

Playing ball on the street using sewer covers, and drains for bases.

Sent by a friend. Luckily I found the author ro give him some credit.

*****************************************************************
Remember When

We had a little house with three bedrooms,
One bathroom and one car out on the street.
Had a mower that you had to push
To make the grass look neat.

In the living room on a table
We only had one black phone,
No need for voice mail here,
There’s always someone home.

We only had the living room
Where all would congregate,
Unless it was at mealtime
The kitchen’s where we ate.

No need for a family room
Cause there was no T.V.
No family meetings in this house
There were only four you see

Then we got one TV set
And channels maybe two,
But always there was one of them
With something worth the view.

For snacks we had potato chips
That tasted like a chip.
And if you wanted flavor
There was always Lipton’s onion dip.

Store-bought snacks were rare because
We had no time to sit and chat
And nothing can compare to snacks
God made grandma just for that.

Weekends were for family trips
Or staying home to play
We never did things together
Like going to church to pray.

When we did our weekend trips
Depending on the weather,
Took the car to grand ma’s
We liked to be together.

Sometimes we would separate
To do things on our own,
And we knew where the others were
Without any cell phone.

Then there were the picnics
At the peak of summer season,
We all went to Grand ma’s place
July 4th was usually the reason

Get a baseball game together
With all the friends you know,
Or playing Allie Allie In Free
And no games or video.

I remember when the doctor
Was always the family friend,
Didn’t need health insurance
He came only to transcend

That meant he took care of you
Doing only what he had to do,
He took an oath and strived
To do the best for you.

Remember going to the store
And shopping casually,
And when you went to pay for it
You had to use your own money?

Nothing that you had to swipe
Or punch in some amount,
Remember when the cashier person
Had to really know how count?

The milkman used to go
From door to door,
It was never few cents more
Than going to the store.

There was a time when mailed letters
Came right to your door,
Without a lot of junk mail ads
Sent out by every store…

The mailman knew us all by name
And knew where it was sent;
There wasn’t loads of mail
Addressed to occupant.

There was a time when just one
glance was all that it would take,
And you would know the kind of car,
The model and the make.

I wish that those days were back
So I could feel free again
To walk the streets at night
With no mugging to contend

Jim 1972

James Casey

Writing Is Hard Work for An Amateur

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My blog posts have been few lately because of a project I began a few months ago. Last July I saw a documentary movie called America, Imagine the World Without Her? Written and directed by Dinesh D’Souza the movie is a very good chronicle of how Obama is changing America. I walked away from the film thinking D’Souza failed to answer the title question for me. I came home and wrote a movie review. I poled my readers and asked if they would like to hear my version of what the world would be like if America (USA) never existed. The results were overwhelmingly in favor of hearing my answer.

I began write a short story of what I thought might have happened if the Revolution of 1776 had failed. The intent was to make it a simple blog post. This story is not simple, there is too much history to consider. Instead of writing a bunch of boring historical facts and theorizing what would be different had they not happened is mind-boggling. My story has evolved into a novel and is absorbing me completely. I am not a novel writer, in fact, I have trouble writing short essays for this blog, but I will answer the question. The working title for my work is British American Colonies. At this point I am about forty percent complete and dreaming up plots and sub plots, with lots of characters. I have so many twists in the story, that I had to draw maps, keep character logs, and a chapter summary log to keep myself focused. I don’t know if any other writers do that kind of stuff, but I do. When you begin without an outline or any type of organized approach the story evolves as the words flow.

My goal is to complete the book by mid-year for publishing. The least I will do is self-publish on Kindle. One way or another this story is going to the public, that is, if I live long enough to make it happen. At my age anything can happen in a single heart beat.

Wish me luck.

Super Smart Kid Shows Up His Class

Kids-in-classroom

The teacher said, “Let’s begin by reviewing
some American History. Who said ‘Give me Liberty, or give me
Death’?”

She saw a sea of blank faces, except for
Little Akio, a bright foreign exchange student from Japan, who had his hand
up: “Patrick Henry, 1775,” he said.

“Very good! — Who said, ‘Government of the
People, by the People, for the People, shall not perish from the
Earth’?”

Again, no response except from Little Akio:
“Abraham Lincoln, 1863.”

“Excellent!” said the teacher continuing,
“Let’s try one a bit more difficult — Who said, ‘Ask not what your country
can do for you, but what you can do for your country’?”

Once again, Akio’s was the only hand in the
air and he said: “John F. Kennedy, 1961.

The teacher snapped at the
class, “Class, you should be ashamed of yourselves, Little Akio isn’t from
this country and he knows more about our history than you do.”

She heard a loud
whisper: “Fuck those Japs.”

“Who said that? — I want
to know right now!? she angrily demanded.

Little Akio put his hand
up, “General MacArthur, 1945.”

At that point, a student in
the back said, “I’m gonna puke.’

The teacher glares around
and asks, ‘All right! — Now who said that?”

Again, Little Akio says,
“George Bush to the Japanese Prime Minister, 1991.”

Now furious, another
student yells, “Oh yeah? — Suck this!”

Little Akio jumps out of
his chair waving his hand and shouts to the teacher, “Bill Clinton, to Monica
Lewinsky, 1997!”

Now with almost mob hysteria someone said, “You little shit! —
If you say anything else — I’ll kill you!”

Little Akio frantically
yells at the top of his voice, “Michael Jackson to the children testifying
against him, 2004.”

The teacher fainted. As the class
gathered around the teacher on the floor, someone said, “Oh shit, We’re
screwed!”

Little Akio said quietly, “The American people, November 6,
2012”

Two Minutes to a PhD In History

The older I get the more I like history. Maybe it is because I have enjoyed living through some of the best moments recorded on earth, and sad to say, some of the worst. Reading history books can be dull, especially if the author does not have a sense humor and makes it so. Today, my friend Ed sent me a video which is two minutes long and now I am a PhD in History. WOW! is all I can say, this is a great video.

 

Imagine the World Without Her

AmericaFlyer-WashingtonMonument

Last Friday, Peggy and I experienced sticker shock by going to the movies. I needed to see the documentary film “America,” produced by Dinesh D’Souza.

“That’ll be sixteen dollars please.”

“What? Do you see this white hair? What happened to the five dollar tickets?”

“This is Friday sir we charge the weekend rates. The five dollar ticket is for Monday through Thursday.”

I quit fighting, paid the money, and went to get Peg her bag of pop-corn. I buy a small bag because she eats one or two handfuls and then quits. I end up eating the rest.  “Six dollars please.”

“What? Would you repeat that I don’t think I heard correctly, I thought I heard you say six dollars.”

“It is six dollars sir.” During the week, I scream at an outrageous price of four-seventy-five for the same bag, and now they want six. Oh well that is capitalism at its finest.

We were the first ones in the theater and chose seats in the second row center. That makes it easy for me to sneak out for a whiz if I need to go. We sat and began watching trailers for new films to come. Peg and I shared the pop-corn. About mid-way through the third trailer, I had to fidget and eased my grip on the pop corn. PLOP! It fell to the floor. I saw my six bucks fly off with wings on it. Luckily I saved enough by carefully picking up the bag; Peg’s few handfuls saved.

The movie America, is an excellent expose of Progressivism and D’Souza points out the background for the Progressivist movement. In a nut shell, liberals hate colonialism, and that hatred permeates our society with arguments based on the premise that colonialism is theft. He briefly mentions that Obama’s father hated colonialism because his home country of Kenya was a British colony. Obama senior served as advisor to Jomo Kenyatta who ruled Kenya after breaking away from Britain. Unfortunately for Barack senior, Kenyata quickly saw through Obama’s scheme and fired him. (Evidently the Kenyans are much smarter than Americans.)

Here are some of the progressive arguments:

1. America stole the land from the native Indians.

2. Americans prospered on the labor stolen from slaves.

3. America stole land from Mexico.

4. America thrives on capitalism which steals from the average person to make business owners filthy rich.

5. America based its foreign policy on stealing resources (oil) from the mid-east.

The film very expertly examines the basis for each of these arguments then turns to debate each with sound facts. I have used many of the same arguments deduced from the faint knowledge of history that I have and some common sense. The problem is that the liberals teach their arguments in high school and college, and a Howard Zinn textbook is now used by fifth grade teachers. Zinn is most notorious for writing history textbooks that explain history from the viewpoint of the common man. Zinn does not offer a second viewpoint in his books, so our kids learn history from the viewpoint of socialism. In the film, a colleague of Zinn from the same school absolutely refutes Zinn’s perspective of history. (I wondered why this guy didn’t speak up about Zinn to University leaders. It must be the mindset of college professors to leave each other alone under First Amendment rights.)

During his defense of stealing land from Mexico, Dinesh interviews a young man of Mexican descent who lives in the U.S. on land purportedly stolen from his ancestors. The man loves America and has no desire for his state to be returned to Mexico. In fact he argued that the current Mexicans are upset that the U.S. gave back half of the land they conquered during the Mexican-American War of 1846 and paid the Mexicans for the other half. Had the U.S. kept all the land native Mexicans would have the same outcome.

America, kept me riveted to the screen from beginning to end, and I recommend  everyone see the movie. I especially liked the rock version of the Star Spangled Banner played by Madison Rising. It was a perfect way to end the course.

Yesterday, I sent a letter to each of my high school aged grandkids with a flyer for the film and a twenty-dollar bill. I asked them to take a friend to see America.

D’Souza left me disappointed in one aspect. In his intro to the film he asks us what would the world be like if there was no America? I didn’t see the answer to this question anywhere in the movie. I expected to see a version of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” where we see the outcome of North America had the American Revolution not succeeded. I’ve been thinking about the question ever since, and will write an essay based on my own visions.

 

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