Posts Tagged With: slavery

ONE PERSON, ONE VOTE.

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I attended the Resistance Event against the Electoral College on the steps of the Sacramento State Capitol. People in every state were rallying, though only six showed up in Madison, Wisconsin, and Trump supporters tell us to “quit whining”. People are disgusted to think a candidate can win 2.8+ million votes, but  because of the way the electoral college works, her opponent won the election. He is our president too and people are fearful of his destructive agenda so this rally looks more like a hate Trump rally. The crowd grew from 400 to over 1,000 people.

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My daughter Virginia and I attended together. I was hoping to meet with a friend Galen Hazelhofer and the first person she ran into was Virginia. Galen is on the right. In such a big mob of people I was amazed we connected. And, speaking of the big mob of people, the organizers were concerned about violence. But there was none at this morning to afternoon event but the night before, 150 people protested and closed a couple of streets and took over a tower in downtown Sac. They were all anti-Trump. As many of you know, my co-blogger is a Trump supporter while I stand in the opposite camp. I think if people make an effort to at least consider other’s points of view, we have a better chance of building a better and stronger democracy.

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The organizers encouraged us to talk to Trump supporters and figure out what we have in common and where we largely differ. Two Trump supporters showed up at the rally. Virginia interviewed the man above and they talked for about twenty minutes. The young man was articulate, kind, sincere, educated and a veteran. I thought he had courage to come in the face of so many Anti-Trump people in evidence. His support comes from his veteran beliefs and that Obama did not do enough for vets. His friend was the opposite end of the spectrum, basically a war monger. Kind of like Allen West who quoted Trump’s choice of “Mad Dog Mattis” for Secretary of Defense: “Obama fired him (Mattis) to save the Muslims, Trump hired him to exterminate them.” And, “Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.”  Taken out of context I’m not sure what that means, but saying those things publicly doesn’t give me confidence in Trump’s choices.

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Even so, the rally wasn’t about hate. There were exhortations-do not revert to violence, anger and hate, but to build on what we know is good and protest vocally what we know is not good. And that probably sums it up best.

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The organizers brought a Russian journalist to the podium. She declared that Putin considers the United States their worst enemy. Her message was clear. Make no mistake, Putin is not our friend. He made Europeans wonder why a U.S. President would give Putin any sort of gesture of approval after the slaughter at Aleppo.

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The organizers brought a woman from Berlin who wanted to tell the world that after the Berlin Wall fell, East Germany was a drag on the economy, no decent infra-structure, crumbling buildings; a fearful, mistrustful, population. It took years and a lot of investment to heal the rift and bring the country to unity. Let’s not let that happen to us.

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A famous science professor described the attack Trump’s agenda will have on climate change. He chose for the Environmental Protection Agency a person who claims climate change doesn’t exist, it’s a hoax. No wonder people are angry about Trump’s shortsightedness. Hundreds of environmental organizations have charted and changed toxic rivers into healthy streams; protected corals from acidic oceans;  introduced native fish, wolves, birds and a multitude of threatened species to their original habitat and made visible, measurable, positive differences to our shared space. Corporations who have changed their business models to account for climate change have not spoken up or made suggestions to Trump. But, they know it is less expensive to accommodate climate change  and move forward than to clean up afterword.

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Of course, that isn’t going to happen, but that was the mood and what should have happened, in my opinion and many others.  And, early, before so many people showed up, I counted 5 wheelchairs. What a testament to courage and commitment.

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The organizers brought Christi Pelosi, a member of the Electoral College who spoke about the way it operates in California and how it operates in some other states. It is obvious that such a divided electoral college and its upside down results does not represent the majority of voters.  It is an antiquated bill from 1787 that established the electoral college. I always thought the electoral college bill was established on the premise of the founding fathers belief the uneducated peasants didn’t know enough about what was going on in their country to be trusted to vote. But it wasn’t against uneducated peasants. It was to protect slavery and ensure that blacks did not vote. What a shame that people cannot get over bigotry. Blacks to this day do not get fair treatment in a country that is a beacon of freedom to the world.

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These dogs were very popular at the rally. When Virginia and I left at 2:00, the protestors were marching around the State Capitol, and by the time we got into our car to head for home, the March completely surrounded the capitol. I was very disappointed in the early footage of the rally in the Sacramento Bee. They didn’t see the half of it.

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CORPORATOCRACY-AN ESSAY OF INTEREST

In my last blog I identified a cow parsnip as angels lace and I appreciated the correction.

A showy plant that grows very well in this cool, wet area. A Western Garden book would help, but its huge in a small motor home where space is at a premium.
Yesterday, we curled in with our books. Into reading John Lescroart legal thrillers. Took a swim before dinner and it felt good. The pool has a unique design, two shallow ends and the deep part in the middle.  Today is also moving day.

I read a lot. Sometimes junk, sometimes serious stuff. And, I thought the following essay by Will Moore had some interesting things to say. He is a political junkie and a member of the World Affairs Counsel.

Humans are a predatory species. We got to the top of the food chain on  this planet by preying on everything else. We prey on  animals, fish, on mollusks, and the other predators in the seas. Humans don’t eat a lot of insects, we prey on them for honey, silk and certain beetles whose shells we use for dyes. We prey upon many more killing millions and millions of tons of insects in the process of agricultural competition with them. All those millions of  tons of insects are the food supply for birds, fish and other species, so we’re preying indirectly on those species as well.
 We prey on everything including other humans.  We no longer kill and eat other people, but we prey upon their products, their labor, their lands and their resources.  Humans  preying on other people is the source of all the wars that are going on.
In the old days raiding distant lands and “lesser” peoples seemed like a good idea. It was profitable. The world has changed. The idea that we have a God-given right to raid and cheat “others” and plunder the earth is an idea that has outlived its time like cannibalism and slavery have gone with their times.
Wall Street is now the top predator on this planet and the working man is the prey of  Wall Street imperialism for their mental resources, their labor and the products of their labor.
A lot of anti-liberal, anti-socialist, anti-communist small government advocates think that socialism is evil and capitalism is good. They seem to think that the government is the enemy of the people and Wall Street is our friend. That isn’t true. We’re the prey species in the  unholy marriage of Washington and Wall Street.
There is no such thing as a power vacuum. If you take a bone away from a  dog some other dog will take the bone. If you take power from one force in a power struggle, the power struggle doesn’t end. Some other power will immediately fill that power vacuum. We’re going to have a government whether we want one or not. If we don’t have the government we have, we will have something else. We will have a warlord, a dictator, a military junta, a panel of judges, a Pope, or something else. That  something else will be Wall Street. We will have a corporate plutocracy, a corporatocracy (which is where we are going). If Washington takes a penny from us in taxes, everybody knows about it;  it’s a visible tax. But we actually get something for that tax penny – roads, clean air, fresh milk, mail delivery, police protection, paramedics who  will rush to your house when you have a heart attack, and many other services that we all take for granted. There can be such a thing as enough taxes. There can never be such a thing as enough profit. The corporatocracy is trying to diminish, defund, demolish, dismantle and disenfranchise the government we have with no clear idea about what is going to replace it. The government we have is legally limited in how predatory it can be and it has a constitutional mandate to serve the “general welfare” of “We the people.” Those who are trying to dis-empower the government  we have are merely handing more power over to Wall Street capitalism. They are granting an unrestricted license to the primary predator on the planet to prey upon  “We the people” with no legal limits and with no mandate to serve the “general welfare.” Yeah, taxes are high, but government for profit will be ever more onerous. Perhaps we can agree that there can be no real freedom for debt slaves, and  that the greatest threat to us all is the unholy marriage of two powerful predators, government and capitalism and that we should work to dissolve that marriage.



Food for thought.

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ST. MARTINSVILLE, LOUISIANA

From Mary’s desk.

Many of the 10,000 deported Acadians, (shortened by use to Cajuns)  found their way to St. Martinsville, Louisiana. The State established a Memorial to them and Evangeline, an Acadian by the name of Emmaline LaBiche. Her story is told in a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow called Evangeline.


The tree above is called the Evangeline Tree, supposedly where Emma LaBiche met her long separated love after the deportation. And, supposedly the most photographed tree in the world. Hmmm! I live by Calaveras Big Trees State Park and I’m doubting that “factoid.”

The garden above holds a replica of the deportation cross erected in Nova Scotia, the coats of arms of the initial families that rekindled life here, and a wall of names of all the families and their decendants that settled here. Jim and I both looked for our known family names  since we both have French Canadian ancestors. I found several from my geneology.

The St. Martinsville Catholic Church is on the National Historic Registry, unchanged and unique. Its hold over the community again makes one glad that our forefathers saw fit to separate church and state.

This site also houses an African American Museum that tells the history of slavery and accomplishments of people of color during the 1800’s.

This musical instrument was made of cowhide and common twine. Enslaved people were encouraged to sing and chant to form some sense of community and stave off fear of their predicament as they were herded like animals to their destination.

Most enslaved Africans were sold by other Africans dealing in human flesh and came from the West Coast of Africa in what is now known as Senegal. The slavers from France had the lowest mortality rate on their ships;  the Brits, the highest.  Since 2001 France has commemorated the abolition of slavery on May 10th each year.  A group called the Shackles Of Memory Alliance are attempting to get other countries to do the same and honor the 15 million Africans sold into slavery.

Before the Civil War, free people of color enjoyed many of the rights of whites. They worked hard, bought plantations, (in some cases owned slaves of their own, but more often to free relatives and friends.) They operated their own businesses and regularly won judgements against whites in court.  After the Civil war, all of those rights disappeared for “elite” people of color. Laws on the books from then to the 1960’s repressed all people of culture.

The town of New Iberia has an old historic Rice Mill that we also visited. More about it tomorrow.

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