Sunday, June 11, 2017

John McCain is not a war hero!

“Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticizes US senator John McCain for getting captured during the Vietnam war. Speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Iowa on Saturday, Trump says he supported McCain in the 2008 presidential elections, but questions his status as a war hero. Trump is currently running at the top of most Republican polls.”

President Trump still continues to be criticized for that statement and few in the general public ever took the time to investigate and find out if what President Trump said is true.  John McCain is no hero in fact he may have been a traitor.  The only mistake President Trump made was to say “for getting captured during the Vietnam war.”

John McCain flew ground-attack aircraft from carriers in the US Navy. He was shot down over North Vietnam in 1967 and spent the next six years as a prisoner of the Vietnamese, whom he alleged tortured him. His mission when he was shot down was the bombing of a light bulb factory, a civilian target prohibited under international law. This means that rather than a “war hero” John McCain is in fact a “war criminal.”  Many will say he was only following orders and that is true he did not select the target.  But, the liberals did not give the Army and Marine Infantry soldiers the same break.  They called them MURDERS!

McCain didn’t just carry out such illegal orders himself, he willingly voiced support for them, specifically during the 1999 war against Yugoslavia when “water systems, power and heating plants, hospitals, universities, schools, apartment complexes, senior citizens’ homes, bridges, factories, trains, buses, radio and TV stations, the telephone system, oil refineries, embassies, marketplaces and more were deliberately destroyed by U.S./NATO planes in a ruthless 10-week bombing campaign.”

McCain is often called a “war hero”, a title adorning an unlovely resume starting with a father who was an admiral who graduated fifth from the bottom at the US Naval Academy, where he earned the nickname “McNasty”.  McCain flew 23 bombing missions over North Vietnam, (Air Force Pilots were required to fly 100 missions before rotating back to the States). each averaging about half an hour, total time ten hours and thirty minutes. For these brief excursions the admiral’s son was awarded two Silver Stars, two Legions of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, three Bronze Stars, the Vietnamese Legion of Honor and three Purple Hearts. US Veteran Dispatch calculates our hero earned a medal an hour.  McCain was shot down and parachuted into Truc Boch Lake, whence he was captured by Vietnamese, and put in prison.

On that gray morning more, McCain was knocked unconscious briefly when he ejected from his damaged bomber. Both his arms were broken, his right knee was shattered, and when he splashed into the middle of Truc Bach (White Silk) Lake, his 50 pounds of flight gear kept him from reaching the surface.  His arms and right knee was shattered because he did not follow proper procedures when ejecting from the plane.  In other words he SCREWED up.

Why did Senator McCain oppose releasing documents and information about American prisoners of war in Vietnam and the missing in action who have still not been accounted for.  His staunch resistance to laying open the POW/MIA records has baffled colleagues and others who have followed his career.  His anti-disclosure campaign successfully shut down the release of these documents. Literally thousands of documents that would otherwise have been declassified long ago have now been legislated into secrecy.  What was and is Senator McCain afraid may come out if these documents are released?  Is he afraid that if some of these returned prisoners debriefings were released they may reveal Senator John McCain was a traitor? Many former POWs, MIA families and veterans have suggested there is something especially damning about McCain that the senator wants to keep hidden. 

In 1989, 11 members of the House of Representatives introduced a measure they called “The Truth Bill.” A brief and simple document, it said: “[The] head of each department or agency which holds or receives any records and information, including live-sighting reports, which have been correlated or possibly correlated to United States personnel listed as prisoner of war or missing in action from World War II, the Korean conflict and the Vietnam conflict shall make available to the public all such records and information held or received by that department or agency. In addition, the Department of Defense shall make available to the public with its records and information a complete listing of United States personnel classified as prisoner of war, missing in action, or killed in action (body not returned) from World War II, the Korean conflict, and the Vietnam conflict.” 

This Truth Bill was bitterly opposed by the Pentagon, “The Truth Bill” got nowhere. It was reintroduced in the next Congress in 1991 — and again disappeared. Then, suddenly, out of the Senate, birthed by the Arizona Senator, a new piece of legislation emerged. It was called “The McCain Bill.” This measure turned “The Truth Bill ” on its head. It created a bureaucratic maze from which only a fraction of the available documents could emerge. And it became law. So restrictive were its provisions that one clause actually said the Pentagon didn’t even have to inform the public when it received intelligence that Americans were alive in captivity.

Boiled down, the The McCain Bill means that the Defense Department is not obligated to tell the public about prisoners believed alive in captivity and what efforts are being made to rescue them. It only has to notify the White House and the intelligence committees in the Senate and House. The committees are forbidden under law from releasing such information.

Then there is the Missing Service Personnel Act, which McCain succeeded in gutting in 1996. A year before, the act had been strengthened, with bipartisan support, to compel the Pentagon to deploy more resources with greater speed to locate and rescue missing men. The measure imposed strict reporting requirements.  Again what is Senator McCain afraid may come out?  Other than Senator McCain I do not know one veteran of the Vietnam “Conflict” that supports not doing all we can to discover the truth about these MIA.  I was in Vietnam when Senator McCain was shot down.

 One final evisceration in the law was McCain’s removal of all its enforcement teeth. The original act provided for criminal penalties for anyone, such as military bureaucrats in Washington, who destroy or cover up or withhold from families any information about a missing man. McCain erased this part of the law. He said the penalties would have a chilling effect on the Pentagon’s ability to recruit personnel for its POW/MIA office.

McCain has said again and again that he has seen no “credible” evidence that more than a tiny handful of men might have been alive in captivity after the official prison return in 1973.  One is one too many! He dismisses all of the subsequent radio intercepts, live sightings, satellite photos, CIA reports, defector information, recovered enemy documents and reports of ransom demands — thousands and thousands of pieces of information indicating live captives — as meaningless. He has even described these intelligence reports as the rough equivalent of UFO and alien sightings.  Again I ask why would a former POW work so hard and so persistently to keep POW/MIA information from coming out?

Some McCain watchers searching for answers point to his recently published best-selling autobiography, Faith of My Fathers, half of which is devoted to his years as a prisoner. In the book, he says he felt badly throughout his captivity because he knew he was being treated more leniently than his fellow POWs owing to his propaganda value as the son of Adm. John S. McCain II, who was then the CINCPAC — commander in chief of all U.S. forces in the Pacific region, including Vietnam.  Also in the book, the Arizona Senator repeatedly expresses guilt and disgrace at having broken under torture and given the North Vietnamese a taped confession, a confession he could not deny because tapes were available. The tapes were broadcast over the camp loudspeakers, saying he was a war criminal who had, among other acts, bombed a school. “I felt faithless and couldn’t control my despair,” he writes. What about the 32 tapes played on Vietnam radio where he said he was being treated well and that he killed innocent Vietnamese for the United States and if not for North Vietnam’s fine hospitals and doctors he would have never walked again.  John McCain on 32 radio taped broadcast praised North Vietnam and criticized the United States. A war hero I think not!
New York Times: “His (John McCain’s) most striking achievement came when he joined with another Vietnam veteran, Senator John Kerry (another traitor), to puncture the myth that Vietnam continued holding American prisoners.

The press corps, covering the state-by-state primary vote, made an assumption, based apparently on sentiment, that McCain, as the war hero, would capture the significant veterans’ vote by stunning margins. Actually, he didn’t capture it at all. When the states were tallied up, the veterans’ vote went to George W. Bush.

"When I was offered a chance to go home early from prison camp in Vietnam, I put my country first.  And I’ve been doing that ever since.  I had an opportunity at that time, when I was in prison in North Vietnam, to come home early because of the fact that my father was an admiral," McCain said. "And I chose not to, because I put my country first.”  If he had come home early he would have never been elected to any office in the United States.  He would have disgraced not only himself, but his family.  He certainly would not have been mentioned as a war hero.  He did not come home because he would have lost face.  It had nothing to do with loyalty to his country.  As usual John McCain was only interested in himself and his future.

I have far more to say about John McCain the war hero, but I will save that for a later date.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Making the wrong post on Facebook can be dangerous!

What responsibility does social media particularly Facebook have in many of the deaths and mutilations that result from posting on Facebook?  I am not talking about the typical ones that I have read about where a man kills his wife because she changed her status on Facebook from married to single or man kills his best friend because he sent his girlfriend a wave on Facebook, a woman kills young teens after she seduces them on Facebook or a teenager that shoots his dad for grounding him from using social media.  I do not think operators of social media sites can prevent these mentally deranged people from committing horrendous crimes.

The recent events in Indonesia and Thailand have caused me to think that Facebook and other social media sites should take some action in preventing post in countries where they know certain posts may or will bring harm to their customers. Particularly when the person posting is a minor. 

A sharia court in Indonesia sentenced two Indonesian men to be publicly caned for gay sex for the first time in the conservative province of Aceh, the latest sign of a backlash against homosexuals in the Muslim-majority country.

The pair, aged 20 and 23, were sentenced to 85 strokes of the cane each after being found guilty of breaking sharia law in the only part of Indonesia that implements the strict Islamic regulations.  After this event I looked at Facebook posting from Indonesia and found many in their profile stated they were gay.  Many of the pictures they posted on Facebook would lead someone to think they were living a gay lifestyle.  Looking at their friends list can indicate they have an interest in a gay lifestyle. 

Now I know Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, in the past has always followed a moderate form of Islam. But attitudes are changing within the government concerning sharia law and certainly among the growing number of radical Islamic Indonesians.  Social reforms regarding homosexuality and gender equality has swung far to the right. 

Facebook had no way of knowing these changes would come about, but the problem is they will continue to allow people to post items on Facebook that they know could bring them great harm or death or prison terms.  Many of these people making these posting are teenagers that do not really understand the possible consequences of their actions.  Just as Facebook knew of the problems in Thailand of posting criticism of the King or government they continue to allow teenagers to do so in the name of personal freedom.  The Thai government even warned Facebook of the consequences these posting could have and Facebook refused to monitor the site in Thailand.  Is it morally or ethically acceptable for a company that knows personal freedom in certain countries may or will bring prison and death to minors for them to continue to allow minors to take this risk?   

People in Thailand are going to jail for long periods of time for Facebook comments.  One example is "Do dogs have blue blood now?"  A comment made in December, by a 21 year old college student, reacting to a news story that a man had been charged with making fun of the king's dog and was facing up to 15 years of imprisonment, under the country's lèse majesté law, which punishes anyone who criticizes the king or his family. The man posting the comment could have been sentenced to ten years in prison, but the King showed mercy and he served 385 days. 

In 2016 two people were sentenced to 25 to 30 years for posting on Facebook they thought the government was corrupt.   I believe people have a personal responsibility for what they post, but I also believe many, especially the young, do not understand the possible consequences of their posting.  They are just innocent remarks made on Facebook. 

Most countries will hold corporations and retailers responsible for selling alcohol to minors.  There are countries that hold corporations and retailers responsible for protecting minors from being able to purchase firearms, glue, cigarettes and other inhalants.  Why then does social media, particularly Facebook, have no responsibility to protect minors?

In my opinion Facebook should have a moral and legal responsibility to go back and remove any damaging remarks from Indonesian and Thailand posting and profiles that could bring their clients harm.  The political climate, in Indonesia particularly, has changed and Facebook nor its clients knew this change would come about, but Facebook should now be concerned about their clients and do the right thing and remove dangerous postings.

Does Facebook make their clients really aware that anyone can get access to information saved to a Facebook profile, even if the information was not intended to be made public?  I think not.  Randi Zuckerberg the sister of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, criticized a friend for being "way uncool" in sharing a private Facebook photo of her on Twitter, only to be told that the image had appeared on a friend-of-a-friend's Facebook news feed.  Even Randi Zuckerberg can get it wrong. That's an example  of how confusing or how you cannot protect yourself from leaks.

Facebook claims they do not want to infringe upon their client's freedom of speech, but Facebook has no problem in censoring news stories that do not reflect their corporate views.  Compare the pro-Palestinian and anti-Israeli stories on Facebook news.  They do not mind infringing upon their clients freedom to get all the facts.  Compare their reporting of the Clinton’s (Democrats) and President Trump (Republicans). 

The popular Facebook Live app — normally used by millions to broadcast weddings, concerts and other personal events — has increasingly become a forum for violent acts such as killings, rapes, torture and suicides.  Does Facebook have an obligation to address this problem?  I think so.  It could devise an algorithm to monitor the live transmissions and uploaded videos of its nearly 2 billion members — possibly through key word or images searches — or its thousands of curators might be more vigilant in spotting and ending the transmission of suspicious activity in real-time.  I realize it is not an easy task to accomplish, but it could be accomplished. 

Why is Facebook not put to the same levels of decency as those that exist on television broadcasters?

It is hard for me to believe that Facebook cannot put in place some type of monitoring program to censor postings of clients in certain countries in order to protect them from their government.  Is it they cannot or they do not want to spend the funds or take the time to do so?

Facebook and other social media can bring instant gratification and sometimes instant gratification leads to regrets.  Some got instant gratification from criticizing President Duterte in the Philippines. Now martial law has been declared in some area.  Will there be people who will now find they regret those remarks that only brought them instant gratification and did not bring any real change to the country’s political and economical status?

Monday, May 22, 2017

Philippine Foreign Workers - ABUSED!

Philippine Foreign Workers  -  O.F.W.

I have always been disturbed by how the Philippine foreign workers ( mostly housekeepers) are treated by foreign employers.  I watched a documentary on Saturday reporting the problems these OFW’s (mostly women) experience when sent abroad to work.  The majority do not go abroad to work because they choose to go they go out of necessity in order to survive.  They go because of the problems created by the corrupt politicians that have ruled the Philippines since 1986 when Democracy was SUPPOSE to return to the Philippines.

The people were told things would get better when President Cory Aquino took office following EDSA.  In my opinion they have not.  Instead of a few corrupt politicians in Manila you now have many, many corrupt politicians draining the coppers of the government (the people’s money) dry.  These corrupt politicians are not just in Manila they are in every city, province and barangay in the Philippines. 

The government (politicians) claim these slaves (citizens of the Philippines) are the heroes of the Philippines and they are.  The Philippines would be bankrupt if not for them.  But, does the government (politicians) really treat them as the heroes they really are – I think not. 

When their citizens are abused abroad the Philippine government does little to help them.  Few of the abusers, if any, are ever prosecuted for the CRIMES  they commit against Philippine citizens.  I was appalled when I heard government officials say there is little we cam do because if we took action the foreign employers would simply cut out the Philippine workers and take more workers from Sri Lanka and India.  There is something in that statement that tells me the money the (slaves) return to the Philippines is actually far more important to politicians than the heroes of the Philippines dignity and human rights.

The private agencies operated by Philippine citizens that send these people abroad remind me of how the BLACKS in Africa sold their own people into slavery to British slave traders.  They lie to their Filipino brothers and sisters to fill their contracts.  Most are told they are going to work in hotels when the agencies know they are sending them to work in private homes.

The Philippine Government is aware that foreign employers confiscate the passport of the Filipino worker as soon as they arrive at the airport in the country they are sent to.  This violates International Law.  It for all practical purposes serves to make the Filipino worker a slave, for they cannot leave the country they are sent to without a passport, regardless of how cruel their employer is.

If the Filipino worker manages to escape the cruel foreign employer and makes it to a safe house they are still trapped in the country for eight months plus while the Philippine government tries to get their passport back from the foreign employer.  They do not dare leave the safe house during this period of time because their foreign employer may catch them on the streets and force them to return to serve out their contract.

What really sicken me was when I watched how the Filipino’s were trained in Manila to serve as housekeepers.  They were told do not talk back to the madam or master regardless of what they do to you for you will only make it worse for yourself.  They are told many will slap you in the face when you do something wrong instead of simply correcting you and never try to retaliate because you have NO RIGHTS.  They are told in the morning to say, “Good morning madam or master” and goodnight at night.  Always ask can you go to your room at night never go without permission.  You will work probably seven days a week from early morning to around eleven at night. Never open a close door without permission or knocking.  Do not wear any low cut dresses or blouses, it is best to wear tee shirts and LOOSE fitting pants, never shorts because the madam may get jealous.  In other words be prepared to give up all your human rights and to be treated less than a human being (slave) for around $150 dollars a month.

I told my caregiver this morning I cannot say definitely what I would do if I had a daughter about to go abroad to work because I have never and will never face that situation, but I do not think I could or would allow my child to make that kind of sacrifice in order to better the life or our family.  I do not think I would be willing to gamble her safety.

The documentary showed one woman from Sri Lanka that a Saudi employer drove nails through her hands, arms and legs because he did not like the way she clean the floors – nothing was done to him.  A worker was ironing and the employers child got the electric chord at the wall socket and was shocked and the employer took the hot iron and burn both sides of the workers face – nothing was done to her.  There was one horror story after another and no one was ever punished for their abuse.  Rape was not uncommon and rape by teenage employer’s son seem to be a real problem, but no criminal action was ever taken.

This is nothing more than slavery in 2017!

I have never understood why foreign executives and representatives of foreign governments can work in the Philippines and hire a housekeeper in the Philippines for 1500 pesos a month, while they themselves make the same salary they would make in their home country.  What is really ironic is they do not even pay them the monthly $150 average they would have to pay them if they hired the same Filipino worker in their home country.  This definitely is the fault of Philippine politicians and their corruptions.  Do not kid yourself the politicians do not care about the people they care about lining their own pockets.

Would you allow personal pride to interfere with receiving 285 million dollars from European Nations this year when your people are suffering?  FREE money!  I would not.  They could call me all the names they want and if I did not deserve it I would swallow my pride and choose to help my people.  I wonder how many school books, how many desk, how many schools could be build, how much medicine could be distributed to the poor with 285 million dollars.  How many OFW’s could stay in the Philippines and work with dignity on government projects with a 285 million dollar gift from the European Nations?

Now do not get me wrong I am not saying the Philippine politicians are the only ones guilty of ignoring the needs of their people.  My own country, the United States, will spend over 16 billion dollars this year for helping the homeless get places to live and the problem only grows worse every year.  One company that got low interest money and tax credits for building four low income projects stole 37 million dollars from the government (tax payers).  The two owners got less than seven years in prison for their crime and they cannot enter the low income housing program for two years.   When the head of the government program was ask how could this happen, he replied, “We have to rely and trust the developer is quoting the right cost on each project.  We do not have enough employees to audit each project.” 

I think if the government had audited the projects the 37 million dollars that these two men stole would have paid for the audits.  The government employee that made the statement has himself been fired for corruption since the documentary was aired – CORRUPTION in government. 

The real problem was not the lack of funds to hire auditors or not having the employees to audit the projects, the head of the government agency, did not want the audits because he was profiting from the developers theft.  It was not the head of the government agency or his employees that discovered the theft.  A subcontractor went to the Federal United States Attorney of Southern Florida and reported the contractor/developer.  He realized he might eventually receive a prison term for his part in the theft and he offered the government information in exchange for immunity from prosecution.   All governments are corrupt and will remain corrupt until the citizens take action.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Racism, bias, charity makes some rich and famous and they do not want it to end.

Evil will always be present until the end of time because of mankind’s thirst for power, wealth and fame.  Jesus Christ said the poor will always be among you and they will because it is advantage for many in society, especially the wealthiest of the wealthy.  There will always be some in the middle class that will take satisfaction in knowing there are some in society worse off than them. Do not kid yourself there are those at the upper rung of poverty that delight in others being poorer than them.  It all revolves back to their position in society.  If someone is worse off than you then you automatically have a higher position in society. 

It matters not how much money is spent by governments under the pretense of eliminating poverty or other social issues they will never be solved.  The reason being CORRUPTION within government and NGO’S.  Those at the top of these organizations have more interest in their getting more than they are in the ‘HAVE NOTS’ getting more.

God’s Kingdom will never be on earth before Christ returns again due to mankind’s inability to LOVE as God has instructed us to do.  If only we could LOVE as God called us to there would be peace, there would not be starvation, there would be equality, discrimination would not exist, crime would end and paradise would return.  LOVE a simple word and that could be accomplished, but difficult for mankind to do because of our desire for greed, fame and wealth.

It is true  racism is very much alive in America in all sectors of society and it runs rampant among influential black Americans.  It was very much on display in 2013 at the Lincoln Memorial where prominent black activists gathered a few days ahead of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr's historic "I have a dream" speech in order to advance their careers by pretending to care about the state of race relations in the nation today. 

Instead of simply using the opportunity to honor the work of his father in a dignified way, King's son, Martin Luther King III, cheapened it by attempting to stir up racial hatred. He said, “The vision preached by my father a half-century ago was that his four little children would no longer live in a nation where they would judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.  However, sadly, the tears of Trayvon Martin’s mother and father remind us that, the color of one’s skin remains a license to profile, to arrest and to even murder with no regard for the content of one’s character,” He used the occasion to pitch for repeal “stand your ground” self-defense laws, which had no bearing on the Martin case.  I believe both of the young thugs were guilty of crimes and brought the disaster upon themselves.  I believe Trayvon Martin was a trouble maker and I believe George Zimmerman was a trouble maker and both deserved long prison terms.

It is my opinion that it is important to note that Martin Luther King Junior’s four little children did grow up to live a life of advantage.  The only real problems they had in life were the ones they created for themselves by fighting over their father estate – GREED!

These black civil rights leaders have become rich and famous by vilifying white people and the American system, claiming blacks are persecuted and discriminated against, and asserting that there is an invisible conspiracy of white supremacists preventing black people from becoming successful. Not everything they do or say is actually racist in any meaningful sense, but they routinely say things that conservatives would be pilloried for had they said them about people of a different race.  The one thing they always neglect to say is that you have a difficult time making it not only in America, but anywhere in the world if you do not know who your father is or where he is.  They do not talk much about the importance of staying in school and the importance of education.  They become irate when you speak of drug dealing and the high number of black men in prison for crime largely due to illegal drugs. 

Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson are largely race industry profiteers and poverty pimps and are not sincere. They rally against evils that no longer exist and they ignore the evils that do exist.

These leaders for justice and equality quickly forget and never speak of the black-on-white violence that has become increasingly commonplace in recent years, despite the best efforts of the media, politicians, and left-wing activists to ignore it or deny its existence. America's major urban centers, cities like Chicago and Philadelphia, have been plagued by black race riots in recent years. Few people know about these often deadly melees because they rarely get reported.  The black leaders justify blacks killing policemen because of black thugs having pent up frustration over things in history that happen over 100 years ago.

Where is the outrage from the black leaders for 88-year-old World War II veteran Delbert Belton who was  beaten to death by blacks in Spokane or 23-year-old Australian college student Chris Lane who was shot to death in Oklahoma allegedly by young black males out of boredom or the blacks that killed nurse David Santucci in Memphis or the blacks in Minnesota who beat Ray Widstrand so brutally that he suffered permanent brain damage or the blacks in Missouri that hit a hot dog vendor in the head with a hammer or the two young black men in Georgia who killed 13-month-old Antonio West in front of his mother during an attempted robbery .  Two thugs Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman make the news for years following their incident and still yearly celebrations are held for Trayvon Martin, because the Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson’s of the world keep it in the news in order to keep themselves prominent and wealthy.

Members of  today's civil rights establishment aren't interested in solving or even acknowledging the problems of the black community because they profit so handsomely from them. They see turmoil in black neighborhoods as opportunities to promote change and raise funds. Theses same members of civil rights groups seem blissfully ignorant of the fact that America has come a long way since 1963 when Democratic President John F. Kennedy and congressional Democrats worked together to block civil rights legislation. 

It is as if the civil rights revolution never happened and Jim Crow is still making the lives of black Americans miserable. The unspoken premise of all these self-serving rants is that America somehow owes blacks for past injustices even though most black Americans today weren't even alive in 1963. 

These are the top race baiters in order to advance their personal careers in my opinion and could really care less about the black community:  Al Sharpton, Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Eric Holder, Oprah Winfrey, James Cone, Martin Luther King III, Cornel West, Louis Farrakhan, Alice Walker, Hillary Clinton and Jesse Jackson.  These public figures for the most part do not suffer any consequences for their racism or their cynical use of race for political purposes. If Martin Luther King were alive today, would he defend these people and everything they do?

Do not get me wrong BIAS is a human condition, and American history is rife with prejudice against groups and individuals because of their race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or other differences. The 20th century saw major progress in outlawing discrimination, and most Americans today support integrated schools and neighborhoods. But stereotypes and unequal treatment persist and are often exploited by hate groups –Black, Latino and White hate groups.  In recent years, the FBI has reported between 7,000 and 8,000 hate crime incidents per year in the United States and many more go unreported. 

All over the country people are fighting hate, standing up to promote tolerance and inclusion.  There are still good people in the United States and the world.  One person, acting from conscience and love, is able to neutralize bigotry. Imagine, what an entire community, working together, could do. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.  Sitting home with your virtue does no good.  Apathy will be interpreted as acceptance. 

Hate tears society along racial, ethnic, gender and religious lines. The U.S. Department of Justice warns that hate crimes, more than any other crime, can trigger larger community conflict, civil disturbances and even riots. For all their “patriotic” rhetoric, hate groups are really trying to divide us; their views are fundamentally anti-democratic. True patriots fight hate.  Hate escalates when not addressed and do not kid yourself the Obama, Sharpton’s, Jackson's, Winfrey's, etc., profit from hate and division of the races.  

When hate happens, we are faced with two choices: Do nothing, and let hate go unchallenged. Or do something — rise up, speak up and stand up against hate.  When it happens in your community  call the circle around you, including family, neighbors, co-workers, people in your church, synagogue or civic club. Meet informally and discuss the problem – make it known that you want the Jesse Jacksons and Al Sharpton to stay away.  It is a community problem and can be solved better in the community without outside interference. 

call on local law enforcement officials. Work to create a healthy relationship with local police.  Law enforcement officials can track early warning signs of hate brewing in a community, allowing for a rapid and unified response.  The police are not our enemy as race baiters want us to believe.

Support hate-crime victim in your community, show support.  Let victims know you care.  Surround them with comfort and protection.   Victims of hate crimes feel terribly alone and afraid.  They have been attacked simply for being who they are — their skin color, their ethnicity, their sexual orientation.  Silence amplifies their isolation; it also tacitly condones the act of hate.  Victims need a strong, quick message that they are valued.  Small acts of kindness — a phone call, a letter – can help.

Every act of hatred should be met with an act of love and unity.  Hate must be exposed and denounced.  Denounce hate groups and hate crimes and spread the truth about hate’s threat to a pluralistic society. An informed and unified community is the best defense against hate. Hate purveyors are cowards.  Take hate crimes seriously.

We all grow up with prejudices. Acknowledging them – and working through them  can be a scary and difficult process. It’s also one of the most important steps toward breaking down the walls of silence that allow intolerance to grow. Luckily, we all possess the power to overcome our ignorance and fear, and to influence our children, peers and communities.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The Elderly need to be touched to!

Touch is the most developed sense when an infant is born and continues to play a fundamental role in communication development throughout life until the end.  I have found as I get older (approaching 80) I need human touch more than ever.  Yet, mankind seems to have some aversion to touching the elderly or the sick.

In 2004 I was the pastor at a church in Galveston, Texas.  I got a call from a hospice in Houston, Texas to see if I could administer last rites to a dying patient with H.I.V.  The call came around midnight on Saturday and I explained I was about 80 miles from Houston and it would take several hours for me to get their.  I told the hospice attendant that Holy Rosary was only two blocks from them and The University of Saint Thomas was only three blocks from them and perhaps it would be better to ask a priest from one of those organizations to come.  She replied Father we did and they refused claiming they had a busy schedule the following day, the notice was just too short and the man had no affiliation to their particular organization.  I ask why did she call me or how did she even know about me and she replied a client knew about you. 

Needless to say I went.  I arrived and the man was nothing but skin and bone.  We talked about his family and him for a while and then I lifted him in my arms to pray with him.  He began to cry uncontrollably.  When he was able to speak he said you are the first person that has held me in nearly a year.   The man died before sunrise.

That emotional experience has always stayed with me!  I was always a touchy person , but I became more aware of the importance of touch following that visit.  I firmly believe it is as important as any medical procedure offered to the elderly and dying and possibly more important.

In the past few months I had begun to think that something was missing and I could not put my finger on it.  I finally realized I long to be held/touched.  As a retired priest (celibacy) I was never touched or held.  How would I solve the problem if that was the problem.  I will be honest I began to look on the Internet for sensual massages with a male.  There are lot of listings in the Philippines. I knew I did not want a sexual encounter, nor did not I want any type of relationship.  I looked and looked and finally gave up on the idea.

Frustration, depression, anxiety and anger grew – stupid CELIBACY!

One day my caregiver (male) ask if he could help.  He said, “Father, I do not know what you want or need or if I can do it, but please tell me and let me try.”  He has been my caregiver for ten years.  I thought about it for weeks, but gave him no answer.  One night he came to my room and I said I feel like I want to scream, cuss and destroy something.  He again offered to try and help me and we talked about it even more and I explained how I felt I needed to be held and touched.  He said he would try.  That night he began to sleep with me and we laid close to each other, body to body.

The benefits were immediately.  The next morning I found it had accomplished the following:
It served as a  form of nonverbal communication;
Decreased sensory deprivation;
Increased reality orientation;
Stimulated my mind;
Decreased my pain;
Decreased my sense of isolation and vulnerability;
It created a sense of companionship;
It conveyed trust, hope, and reassurance;
He claimed he felt a personal feeling of reward when intentionally physically contacting another human being.

Over the next month I found:
 it help to promote sleep;
Enhanced feelings of well being;
Decreased blood pressure;
And lab results were better.

Have you ever bothered to noticed how rarely many elderly are touched.  So often, elderly people live alone and have little contact with the outside world.  As their lives slow down or as physical illness takes its toll, many elderly become more and more home bound.  Many move to Assisted Living Facilities and, although surrounded by others, rarely receive the simple gift of a hug.

We must also keep in mind touching someone – even the gesture of a light hug – might be an unpleasant experience for some.  In situations where there has been physical or sexual abuse, a person may be afraid, reticent or uninterested in acceptable ways of being touched.  Many people have grown up without having touch as part of their lives and are not comfortable receiving touch.  In one of my caregiving experiences, after I grew close to a particular client, I once greeted her by asking if it was okay to give her a hug.  I was pleased with her honesty as she told me, “No, no, I don’t hug.  My family doesn’t hug.”  I personally had a an older sister that hated to be touched or kissed and she would be quite rude if you attempted to do so, being from the south we were raised among kissing and touching relatives.

Yet, when touch is welcome, it can communicate what words cannot.  Touch can say, “I am here for you.” Touch can communicate connection and solace and kindness.  Touch can say, “I love you.  You are important to me.”  Touch can say, “You are not alone.”

The elderly do not require strong touch.  Gentle touch usually suffices.  If you offer some form of massage, be aware that some elderly people have thin skin.  Certain medications may even make skin susceptible to breaking.  Proceed with care.  Offer your hand or arm as support to one who is getting up from a chair or in and out of a car.  Even this simple form of contact can be valuable to the psyche.  If you are in a position where you are bathing or showering an elderly loved one, this can be the perfect time for a soapy back rub!  Hand massages or foot massages are generally appreciated.  Trust your instincts and your love.  Listen to your heart,  follow your instincts, and you will always do what is right.

Touch is a communication that transcends age and time. No matter how old we are, we all love to have our hand held, our backs rubbed, or the feel of a warm embrace.  Seniors who live alone often do not experience the simple act of touch on a daily basis. The reasons vary:  spouses and close friends have passed away, families live in other states, or physical limitations may affect activity and contact with others. Stupid vows of celibacy.  Remember this when spending time with the senior in your life. A simple, encouraging arm around a shoulder or a momentary grasp of a hand conveys a message of affection. Feelings of affection can make a big difference in the lives of seniors.

The sense of touch is so powerful that some experts recommend elderly clients receive regular, professional massages. Massages in general are not meant to convey affection, but use the power of touch in another way. Gentle kneading of muscles helps release tension, can improve blood flow through the body and ease the pain of arthritis. While no affection is involved during a professional massage, oxytocin released in the body during the process produces the same comforting effects. In place of a full-body massage, foot and hand rubs can be emotionally and physically beneficial.

Knowing someone wants to touch you has far more benefits than knowing they are simply doing it for the money.  So if you call for a massage always inform them of your age and health condition.  Tell them you will not accept or pay anyone that comes and makes you feel that they do not want to touch an elderly person or a large person.  You have rights demand those rights.

I will continue in the future to seek out ways to fulfill my need to be touched in the future and will not be cramped by what others thinks.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Euthanasia - Abortion

I do not understand why society believes abortion and euthanasia is such a dichotomy. Both, involve taking a life.  One is taking your own life and the other is taking the life of another. It seems to me that abortion (taking the life of another) is far worse than voluntary euthanasia, the ending of your own life, when you no longer want to contend with constant physical suffering and your life quality is zero.  Yet, people vote to make abortion legal, the Supreme Court of the United States upholds abortion laws making it legal and society will flock to the streets in masses if legal abortion is ever in danger of being overturned. 

Abortion is taking the life of an innocent person that has no say in the matter.  Voluntary euthanasia is taking your own life and you make the choice.  Yes, I concede non-voluntary euthanasia is wrong just as I believe abortion is wrong.   

People argue voluntary euthanasia will lead to non-voluntary euthanasia.  Abortion of babies in the mother’s womb has not led to killing children outside the womb.  So, how can one argue on that basis one is wrong and the other is okay.  If one is morally or ethically wrong then both are.  I do not hold that it is an issue of morality or ethics when speaking of voluntary euthanasia. 

People who are "pro-life" are generally opposed to anyone taking any life - even their own - for any reason.

But, what is life without quality?  I have diabetes, in the final stage of heart failure, kidney failure, and COPD (lungs failing).  I am in constant pain, I cannot walk five steps without breathing spasms and basically confined to sitting.  To me that is not life!   I have been told by all my doctors my condition cannot be cured, it will never get better, it will get worse and all they can to is try to SLOW the progression.  That is not very comforting to me and I do not know anyone in their right mind that would applaud a doctors effort to prolong their suffering.  Now, I can stop the seventeen plus medications and suffer even more to achieve a solution – I guess.  If it is God’s will I believe I would live with or without the medication. 

Am I a coward, of course I am.  I want to end my life quickly and not have it drag on for days, weeks, months or even years before it happens by removing medication.  I really see no honor in being afraid to die and choosing to be a burden on those around me.  I have cared for two people that suffered for years, my mother and my uncle.  I could not have possibly loved my mother more than I did and I have no regrets for taking care of her, but was it extremely difficult – yes it was!  Did I ever have thoughts that I wished her suffering would end – yes I did and then I would feel guilt for weeks for having such a thought.

I believe before any act of euthanasia may be committed the suffering person must make some kind of assessment of the value of their life with the assistance of medical professionals, mental professionals and legal professionals.  There should be a waiting period involved to guarantee that someone does not wake up one day and decide this is a good day to die.

 The practice of euthanasia is Biblically wrong because it violates the principle that life is given by God. God does not approve of “hands that shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:16-17). Life comes from God. It is God’s decision to give life and to take it away (Ecclesiastes 12:7; Job 1:21). In the Bible, shedding innocent blood is called murder (1 John 3:15; Genesis 9:6).  I do not need ten thousand replies telling me what the Bible says about the subject. 

The death of King Saul an example of euthanasia or suicide? (1 Samuel 31:1-6). Saul did not want the Philistines to find him alive, because he knew they would torture him. He asked his armor bearer to kill him. When the armor bearer refused, Saul fell on his own sword and died. Saul committed suicide, but he did it in order to avoid suffering at the hands of his enemy. He murdered himself to prevent suffering prior to it happening and therefore was guilty of sin in my eyes. (Exodus 20:13). 

I have a difficult time relating killing yourself because you do not want to be taken by your enemy and suffering from a physical disease without any hope of ever getting better.  You may say that I am greedy, but I have worked and saved all my life and I have no desire to give all my money to doctors and hospitals and pharmaceutical companies when before I die I could give it to the poor. 

My father worked hard all his life and saved for his retirement and my education .  The last eleven days of his life he beg my mother and I to let him die and stop giving everything he had planned on my mother and I having to doctors when we all knew it was hopeless.  Of course we could not or would not end treatment and in the end we went from being a high middle class family to poverty.  His final hospital bill was 275,000 dollars, a lot of money in 1958.  The experiments like inserting a pigs valve in his heart did not help him and it has not help me now that I suffer as he did.

I know some Christians are thinking not all suffering is bad.  Even though we may not always understand why we suffer, some good can come from it.  The apostle Paul understood this (2 Corinthians 12:7-10). He had a “thorn in the flesh” which he asked God to remove, but he was made to realize it was for his good. Job is also an excellent example of this point (James 5:11).  I would be lying if I said I have not learned from my suffering for I have.  That does not mean I want to continue to suffer.

Do not tell me I do not respect human life.  I have been told when people understand and respect the sanctity of human life, they will not vote to end it.  You want to end it if you respect the life of your loved ones that are also suffering because of you.

I view euthanasia as the end of suffering when there is no hope of ever recovering from the illness and you are in need of life support (mechanical or medicinal) in order to barely hang on to life, it would be beneficial for both the patient and his/her family members to just let them go.  By allowing them to die peacefully, painlessly and quickly.  They will die on their own terms, rather than forcing them to live and let the disease slowly kill them.

I recognize the negatives of euthanasia and that is it could be abused by physicians and others who have the power to use this method of ending life. And more importantly, though the chances of recovery from certain diseases may be minimal, it is a known fact that some overcome this mountainous feat.  That is why I feel strongly only the suffering victim should be able to make the choice.  My niece was advised to remove all life support from my sister because she only had days to live, but my niece refused.  She continued to live three years most of it spent in a hospital and suffering.

Don’t insult me as one person did by saying a teenager that flunks a test or fails to make the football team may be suffering as much as I am and ask me would I say he has the right to end his life because he is suffering.  I will tell you as I told the person who said that to me – “You are a fool”.

I feel obligated to tell Catholic what our church says about euthanasia - So-called “mercy killing” and the efforts of the Hemlock Society and the late Dr. Jack Kevorkian to make euthanasia socially acceptable are condemned by the Church.

God alone should decide when someone leaves this earth — not the patient, doctor, or caretaker. Keeping the dying patient pain-free, comfortable, clean, nourished, and hydrated — and just allowing the natural death process to take its course — is how human beings die with dignity.  In other words if you die a miserable death you die with dignity and God is well pleased – I guess that is how they feel.  Our church always thought it was good for people to suffer. 

When death is thought imminent; the ordinary care owed to a sick person cannot be legitimately interrupted. The use of painkillers to alleviate the sufferings of the dying, even at the risk of shortening their days, can be morally in conformity with human dignity if death is not willed as either an end or a means, but only foreseen and tolerated as inevitable.

In closing, It is always unfair to directly kill an unborn child; the unborn have no say in what happens to them, and whatever interests are placed above theirs are done so in a biased and self-serving way. But this is not true in most cases of physician assisted suicide and voluntary euthanasia: in some cases death really is what the patients desire and what they ask for.  This does not mean that they are right in desiring and asking, nor that it would be right to comply; but it does indicate that the wrongness of euthanasia cannot exclusively be the wrong of unfairness to the person killed. This is a decision I should be able to make for myself – not you make for me.

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Cowerding of America - Vietnam

 The first signs I saw of America no longer being the land of the free and the brave was with the onset of Vietnam.  We engaged in a “CONFLICT” not a war and it was never classified as a war.  I would like to add in this conflict (not war) the U.S. Marine Corps lost five times as many dead as in World War I, three times as many dead as in Korea, and more total killed and wounded than in all of World War II.  We sent young men to die and those men did not even know what they were fighting for.  We did know that we did not have the full support of the U.S. Government or the American people.  

We followed orders while celebrities like Jane Fonda called us murders.  Our President Johnson was caught between a rock and a hard place.  He did not want to be the first American President to lose a war (conflict) and yet he did not want the American citizens to turn against him and the Democrat Party.  Our troops were asked to fight in a war which our political leaders in Washington would not let us win. 

Draft evasion (dodging) became vogue.  It was more popular to be a coward than to be loyal to the United States Military or the United States Government.  Draft dodgers were usually college-educated sons of the middle class who could no longer defer induction into the Selective Service System - PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON.  Deserters, on the other hand, were predominantly sons of the lower-income and working classes who had been inducted into the armed services directly from high school or who had volunteered, hoping to obtain a skill and broaden their limited horizons.  Then you had the TRUMPS, BUSH, and other wealthy families with influence who kept their boys out of harm ways.  Let us not forget two other prominent draft dodgers Joe Biden and Dick Cheney.

Starting in 1965, Canada became a choice haven for American draft dodgers and deserters. They were not formally classified as refugees, but as immigrants, there is no official estimate of how many draft dodgers and deserters were admitted to Canada during the Vietnam War. One informed estimate puts their number between 30,000 and 40,000.  Whether or not this estimate is accurate, the fact remains that emigration from the United States was high as long as America was involved in the war and maintained compulsory military service; in 1971 and 1972 Canada received more immigrants from the United States than from any other country.

There were more than 300,000 deserters and draft evaders in total, in which 209,517 men illegally resisted the draft while some 100,000 deserted. 

We do know that it was the largest number of Americans to leave the country to avoid supporting the United States since the American Revolution.  Draft dodging was so popular that books were written on how to do it.  In 1977 on his first day in office President Jimmy Carter pardon the draft dodgers. It is estimated half of them living in Canada returned to the United States with smiles on their faces, while many families stood over graves of their young boys killed in Vietnam crying.

Distinct from draft resisters, there were also deserters of the American forces who also made their way to Canada.  The deserters have not been pardoned and may still face pro forma arrest, as the case of Allen Abney demonstrated in March 2006.  Another similar case was that of Richard Allen Shields: He had deserted the U.S. Army in Alaska in 1972 after serving a year in Vietnam. Twenty-eight years later, on March 22, 2000, while he attempted to drive a lumber truck across the US-Canada border (in Metaline Falls, Washington) he was arrested by U.S. Customs agents and jailed at Fort Sill.  He was discharged from the Army with an Other Than Honorable discharge in April 2000. Not harsh enough in my opinion.  

There were some legal ways to avoid the draft.  Men who had physical or mental problems, men who were married, with children (ended in 1965), attending college or needed at home to support their families might be granted deferments.  Homosexual were exempt and a large number of heterosexual boys claimed to be homosexual to be exempt, while many homosexual hid their sexuality and served proudly with distinction.  It should be said two thirds of the men who fought in Vietnam volunteered for service.  Seventy-three percent of the men that died in Vietnam were volunteers.  

In the ‘60s and ‘70s, young people were referred to as the “Love Generation,” partly because of their insistence on sexual freedom, drugs, hippie lifestyle which they proposed as an alternative (“make love, not war”) to the Vietnam conflict.  I cannot help but refer to them as the loser generation and I am a product of the 60’s.  I credit them with contributing to the downfall of America.  Their goal was to change society and they did.  We have not recovered from what they started.  America slowly became a nation of whimpering slaves to FEAR—fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts and fear of North Korea, China, Russia, Middle East and Muslims in general.
 Attorney General Holder said, America ' has become a nation of cowards' on race.  This is one of the rare occasions I agreed with him, but we have become a nation of cowards not just on race, but on just about everything and his boss President Obama was the biggest coward of all.  John McCain’s economic adviser Phil Gramm said that this country is a “nation of whiners”.  But, please do not blame today’s ills on the 55,000 Baby Boomers who died in Vietnam! 

There was little to no stigma attached to draft dodgers in the 60’s and there is little to no stigma attached to millennials today.  It seems to be a generational thing where there's no stigma attached to being irresponsible.  Millennials delay getting jobs, their own place to live, in general delay growing up in order to delay responsibilities.  Just as the 60’s love children contributed to the decline of society so will the millennials living in mommy's and daddy's basement.   Some of these parents really don't want their kids to leave because they fear they cannot take care of themselves.  A friend told me a few months ago their 30 year old son cannot move out because he has to pay back his student loans and ask me, “Why are they making him pay it back?  It is so unfair”.  She was a love child!  Every failed generation wants someone to blame.

The media during the Vietnam era and the media today are destroying our nation.  The media defines those that want to serve our country as loser, not heroes.  Regardless of what the gutless media says my heroes are the young men and women who face the issues of war and possible death, and then weigh those concerns against obligations to their country, simple obedience to duty, as they understand it and are willing to suffer loneliness, disease, wounds and the ultimate price death.  Some in media are making cowards of our people! 

I love our America, but I will criticize us and not stand by QUIETLY and watch us become a ‘ONCE UPON A TIME GREAT NATION’.  Many students have told me that they are the most well-informed generation in history; really those same students could name all five Simpson family members, but could not name four of the five freedoms in the First Amendment!  Ignorance breeds cowards! 

I pray that the thousands of Americans in uniform around the word are not paying attention to the current cycle of news stories in Washington coming out of the Democrats and die heart liberals that are upset that President Trump ordered hitting a Syrian Airbase for using chemical weapons against their own people. It must be demoralizing to see the rest of us acting like such cowards—and making things more dangerous for them.  I know it was for us who served in Vietnam.  Have we forgotten the vows we made when the Twin Towers fell, and the Pentagon burned? That we would do what it takes to avenge our dead?