Generally, when people refer to the battle for civil rights in the 1960s, the focus is entirely on blacks and a few politicians like Lyndon Johnson and Hubert Humphrey. But there were thousands of white people who risked traveling to the South to help blacks achieve their basic rights, such as the right to vote, to eat at lunch counters and drink from public fountains. A few of them were murdered, many were beaten and even more of them were arrested and jailed on trumped-up charges.
I wasn’t one of them. But I had a Jewish friend who was. In 1965, at the age of 23, he was jailed and spent a night in the colored section of a Mississippi jail. Eventually, he became a doctor and a Republican.
Recently, while tuned in to Donald Trump’s State of the Union address, he was shocked to see the members of the Congressional Black Caucus segregated either by choice or as a political tactic. It was, in his words, “wrong, ugly, immoral, sad and disgusting.”
It certainly wasn’t what he would have expected to see 53 years after he had risked his life to bring black people fully into American society.
I replied to his email: “Having the black members of Congress huddled together as they were made it easier to see them sitting on their hands even when President Trump referred to record low unemployment among blacks.
"Your intentions in the distant past were noble, but the intervening years have shown you to be a sucker. Blacks are worse off today than they were in 1965…higher illegitimacy rate, more drug addiction, criminal activity, gang membership and abortions.
"They can drink from any fountain, but, alas, they segregate themselves on college campuses and in Congress, and the babies who aren’t aborted are rarely raised in two-parent homes. They continue to vote for Democrats 95% of the time, just as LBJ predicted they would. I judge them — as I do Martin Luther King himself — not by the color of their skin but by their character, and I find most of them abominable. Regards, Burt.”
I have always despised Vladimir Putin. As I like to say, you can take the man out of the KGB, but you can’t take the KGB out of the man.
Even when George W. Bush said he had gazed into Putin’s eyes and seen his soul, my reaction was that if Bush couldn’t tell the difference between a soul and a block of ice, he needed a new pair of glasses.
But even I can sympathize with Putin. What must he be thinking when he hears the Democrats demonizing him on an hourly basis? He tried to interfere in our elections? Well, of course he did. That’s what nations, especially hostile ones, do. Heck, we’ve been doing it in Latin America for quite a while. We excused it on the basis of the Monroe Doctrine, which happened to be a foreign policy we had invented out of whole cloth.
If it was so evil for one nation to try to sway elections, why was it okay when President Obama paid political operatives to go to Israel in 2013 to make certain that Bibi Netanyahu wasn’t re-elected? Funny, but I don’t recall the Jewish Democrats — people like Chuck Schumer, Ben Cardin, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Richard Blumenthal, Henry Waxman, Alan Grayson, Al Franken, Ron Wyden, Brad Sherman, Adam Schiff, Bernie Sanders and Debbie Wasserman-Schultz — raising a stink and sounding the alarm that we were trying to interfere in the democratic process of not only another nation but one that was an ally.
But what must Putin be thinking as he sits at his desk in the Kremlin, his head in his hands, trying to figure out how it is that just a short time ago our secretary of state was delighted to hand over a quarter of America’s uranium deposits to Russia and push the reset button with her Russian counterpart, and President Obama was only too happy to welcome Russia into Syria, and, now, suddenly members of their political party are carrying on as if he’s Satan.
I generally have a live-and-let-live attitude where my fellow pundits are concerned. But when I hear syndicated radio host Michael Medved, allegedly a Republican, try to conflate ObamaCare with Trump’s tax reform to prove that Republicans can be as obstinate as Democrats, he merely proves once again that an Ivy League education might not be all it’s cracked up to be.
It’s true that ObamaCare was passed without a single Republican vote and that the tax reform bill was passed without the support of a single Democrat. But even a schnook like Medved should be able to recognize that the Affordable Care Act was passed because Obama repeatedly lied, telling gullible Americans that they would still be able to hang on to their doctors and their health insurance; and, what’s more, it’s been an unmitigated disaster. In fact, just in political terms, it’s been a disaster of such enormous proportions that it eventually cost the Democrats their majorities in the House and the Senate.
The tax reform bill has already seen American workers receive a windfall in bonuses, pay raises and new jobs.
But so far as Medved is concerned, it is merely proof that the Republicans can be as blindly partisan as Democrats.
It’s just proof once again that sometimes a college degree isn’t worth the parchment it’s printed on.
Clark Huskey, the pride of Waterville, OH, called my attention to the fact that California Senate Leader Kevin de León was born Kevin Alexander Leon. In other words, he was born with a middle name, but no preposition and no accent mark. But in a state with a huge Hispanic population, apparently every little bit of deception helps.
I was reminded, although he’d never want you to know it, the man who has cashed in on being Geraldo Rivera for all these years was born Gerald Michael Rivera, whose father was Puerto Rican but whose mother was a Russian Jew, and who, when it was to his advantage, went by the name Jerry Rivers.
Speaking of phonies, Joseph Kennedy III, who voiced strong objection to Trump’s wall during his rebuttal to the President’s State of the Union address, grew up behind a huge wall. It was the one that surrounded the Kennedy compound in Hyannisport, Massachusetts. But of course, that’s different, because whereas Trump’s wall would only protect America, the one in Hyannisport protected the Kennedy clan.
It occurs to me that if Jennifer Lopez can be called J.Lo and Alex Rodriguez can be called A-Rod, there’s certainly no reason that Joe Kennedy III can’t be called JOKE.
I was sent something titled “Secrets to Inner Peace”:
If you can start the day without caffeine;
If you can always be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains;
If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles;
If you can eat the same meal every day and be grateful for it;
If you can accept it when your loved ones are too busy to pay attention to you;
If you can take criticism and blame without resentment;
If you can relax without alcohol or tobacco;
If you can sleep without the aid of drugs;
You are probably the family dog.
In conclusion, it states that we should handle stressful situations the way our dogs do: If you can’t eat it or play with it, piss on it and walk away.