Saturday in the park – miscellaneous musings on March 12

In deference to the band Chicago, let me metaphorically meander this “Saturday in Park” with a few miscellaneous musings. In no particular order:

-one of the Republican primary opponents for a NC US Senator seat is running a commercial against the positions of the last GOP governor who is also running. The ad focuses on what the governor said in criticism of Donald Trump to show that the governor is not Republican enough. The irony is every word the former governor said in criticism is true about the former president and my wife and I both nodded our heads yes.

-the malevolent and untruthful acting autocratic leader of Russia is accusing the US of plotting with Ukraine a bio-chemical attack against Russia. This is vintage narcissistic behavior – brand others with the accusations being made at you. The aforementioned former president uses this narcissistic defense mechanism often, so we should not be surprised when one of his idols does as well.

-any US president is given too much credit and blame for the economy. The best they can do is provide some headwinds or tailwinds, a phrase I heard about ten years ago and agree with. Usually, presidents provide some of both. But, for those who believe that the last former president created and sustained a great economy, they should realize that his predecessor saw 91 months of economic growth, six years of 2 million per annum job growth and a more than doubled stock market. So, this line of thinking says Obama was better for the economy than Trump. By the way, inflation may be up, but the economy has recovered from the pandemic slump.

-the state of Florida has passed a law which is expected to be signed that limits what teachers and schools can teach and gives parents the right to sue and be recompensed for such lawsuits. It is called the “Don’t say gay bill” but that is just part of what it does. This comes on the tail of other school limiting laws in several states about not teaching critical race theory, a catch all term, to mean a narrative that looks at the maltreatment of black and brown skinned people in our US history. I feel we are building up to a “Fahrenheit 451” movement where books will be burned that do not suit the vanilla teachings of a white washed world, where people who are not viewed as mainstream get denigrated. Or, as the Rush song “Subdivsions” says “conform or be cast out.” One of the thoughts I have is why would any reasonable person still want to be a teacher if they know they are being watched and could be sued for uttering something that someone does not like?

If we do not learn from history, the good and the bad, we will repeat things we should not. I may pull out a few old posts, but in the meantime I want readers to look up the “Lavender Scare” in the US where gays and lesbians were uncovered and fired from government jobs. I want people to look up “McCarthyism” where people were accused of being communists and blackballed from employment in a country where it is not supposed to matter what political persuasion someone is. Or, worse look up “the Greensboro Four” or “Edmund Pettis bridge incident” or “Birmingham church bombings” or “Emmitt Till” and read about how blacks were maltreated and killed.

It frustrates me when we laws cater to a narrow-minded view. It frustrates me when people try to change history or pretend it did not happen, even history we saw first hand. It frustrates me when people make things up, not because it is right, but because it sells.


39 thoughts on “Saturday in the park – miscellaneous musings on March 12

  1. “It frustrates me when we (pass? create?) laws (that) cater to a narrow-minded view.”

    You have presented criticism of and concern about the teaching and implementation of Critical Race Theory practices in schools to be equivalent to holding a narrow-minded view from which these laws emerge. You’re not alone. I hear this all the time. It is factually wrong. Being factually wrong should matter when it comes to an informed opinion, don’t you think?

    If you knew first hand how insidious CRT practices were in schools today, how widespread and toxic to respecting the ‘quality of one’s character’ it is in practice, and how effectively it promotes a narrow hierarchical race-based view of the world and everything it contains, you’d realize just how inverted your opinion here really is from what is true. We’re not teaching about historical grievances with CRT; we are attacking the legitimacy of and respect for the individual in law upon which liberal democracy depends. This is not a ‘narrow-minded’ concern. At all.

    So although I can certainly understand why anti-CRT bills pander to the building anger and resentment parents have being bullied into going along to get along against schools trying to indoctrinate their children with deeply antiliberal ideology, and why this is really poor reason for such bills, what I can’t understand is how easily so many well intentioned people go along with the lie that CRT is about teaching historical grievances. That’s just not true. What CRT does in effect is intentionally skew not just history but all social interactions and frame EVERYTHING in terms of race and power. Absolutely everything. History doesn’t do that. CRT is all about creating activists to impose a self-refuting hierarchical power ideology on everything of which CRT is but one small part.

    It’s not ‘narrow-minded’ to want to change this widespread practice in schools; it’ s really one’s civic duty and, these days, takes a fair bit of courage when one knows people will paint such a person as the worst of the worst, an intolerant white supremacist, a bigot, a Nazi, a xenophobic hater, and someone who deserves social and economic punishment because, hey, they are of such deplorable morality. Or, perhaps less harsh, someone who is at the very least ‘narrow-minded’ but being ‘catered to’ if legislators dare to support (inappropriately, I think) their legitimate concerns.

  2. Excellent post with a number of very thoughtful issues — all of which I agree with. The whitewashing of history and limiting what our children are allowed to learn will harm future generations in uncountable ways, make them less prepared to avoid making the same mistakes. And it is a sad … nay, TRAGIC … state of affairs that the Republican Party has allowed itself to be taken over by a megalomaniac. We can only hope that some cooler heads prevail and begin to re-structure the party. It is also a sad state of affairs that ‘Party’ matters more than doing what’s right, than promoting policies to help people in need. So much is wrong in this country today that it is sometimes difficult to remember what’s good. Oh … and thanks for the earworm! I owe you one!

    • Jill, thanks. We need for the Republican Party to regain better footing. This commercial which shows what an elected Republican governor (and seven-time mayor in a Democrat majority city) says about Trump is telling in that it will greatly appeal to Democrats and Independents and some Republicans,but is supposed to say he is not a true Republican – in essence he is. I did not realize you were a Rush fan, so please forgive the earworm. Keith

      • Not a fan of Rush, but of Chicago and their “Saturdays In The Park”! 😉 Nikki Haley damaged her persona, in my view, when she was pro-Trump … it’s good to see she came to her senses, but … maybe too late. And if the Republican Party continues to demand loyalty to Trump as the cost of staying in the party, I’ll be surprised if many don’t leave. Perhaps they could form a new, viable, less toxic party?

      • Jill, of course, Chicago over Rush. Haley had so much going for her. I recall her being critical of Trump early on and then turned sycophant for awhile before turning on him again. Too many followed a similar pattern. Keith

    • “By the way, inflation may be up, but the economy has recovered from the pandemic slump.” Keith, what good is a recovered economy when people near on or below the poverty line cannot afford to eat healthy meals,, travel to their jobs, or clothe and shelter their children. All this recovered economy is doing is putting more proits into the hands of the alrea(dy wealthy! Tell me, have wages gone up commensurate with the economy, or with the raised profit lines? Of course not! The little people cannot afford a good economy!

      • Fully understand Rawgod. Until our supply issues get resolved, demand will continue to drive up prices. You imply an important point though, prices are upward elastic and downward inelastic, with employers quick on increasing and slow on decreasing.

      • While being the exact opposite on wages. It has always been about money, but now it is money out of your pocket, into mine, and there it stays.

    • To Jill:
      You said: “We can only hope that some cooler heads prevail and begin to re-structure the party. It is also a sad state of affairs that ‘Party’ matters more than doing what’s right, than promoting policies to help people in need.”

      The Republucan party is beyond re-structuring. What is needed is dismantling the ex-Republican Party, and creating a new party that will do its job, which is help run the country, not “run the USI into the ground!”

      • Fully understand your point. Unfortunately, the new party approach may be harder to come by than retooling. I agree that wiser heads should spin-off.

  3. Reblogged this on Filosofa's Word and commented:
    With a high temp of 25° and snow on the ground here, I won’t be spending my “Saturday In The Park”, but our friend Keith did, and the thoughts that accompanied his time in the park are worthy of being shared. He covers a lot of ground here … all important topics. Thank you, Keith!

  4. Kind of reminds me of a song Joan Baez sang about the Birmingham church bombings, Keith. I knew it well at one time and still remember the incident even though I wish I could wipe it from my mind. All those children, all those people, all the innocence lost that Sunday morning. All of this post slammed home again the sins of our past and will continue to do that until people wake up and smell the coffee burning along with the bacon and toast! I get emails every day wanting my “support’ for people I couldn’t even vote for or against since they are NOT in Kentucky, but for some reason they seem to think I will send them money. Doesn’t do any good to report them as spam, they just keep on coming. A sign of desperation maybe?

    • Angie, it was indeed horrible. I am glad Joan Baez captured it in a song. As for money crossing state lines for campaigns, this was one of the worst decisions ever made by the Supreme Court to allow people from across the country to fund an election campaign they have no specific interest in. In other words, Susie could be overwhelmed as a candidate for state house, because a group across the country gave Johnny’s campaign $250,000. How are the people of that district represented? Maybe, that funder wants to build a waste treatment facility there or wants a tax break to build a plant. Keith

      • Congress has done some idiotic things in the past but I think this one beats them all. I keep getting the emails from California, Texas, Arizona and Florida among others. The only Adam Schiff I ever knew of before this was the name of a character in Law and Order and that was so many years ago I can’t remember who played the character or any other characters for that matter.
        The words I remember best from the Joan Baez song are “and the choir kept singing of freedom”. Sad words indeed. As for the rest I don’t understand why Google doesn’t mark them as the spam they are and keep them from clogging up my email! Almost enough to make me give up on email completely!

      • Angie, Congress spends far too much time fundraising or enabling fundraising. I don’t hold high hopes for a group that even the best ones spend only 65% of the time working for us. Keith

  5. Nineteen Eighty Four, If there is an American lawyer for the Estate of George Orwell, they could sue under copywrite laws for unauthorised use of of his material. It is so blatantly obvious as well, the next step being pictures of well dressed plantation slave playing fiddles and dancing happily outside their modest but well constructed homes.
    The writing was (almost literally) on the wall when books started to appear citing how close the American Army had been to winning the war in Vietnam, a direct child of the ‘Stabbed In The Back’ distortion as to why Germany was defeated in WWI.
    I daresay Noah was seriously criticised for building that Ark.

    • Roger, those authors failed to read or know of the Pentagon Papers which let the real truth out of the bag about Vietnam. Four presidents knew America could not win the Vietnam war and sacrificed tens of thousands of Americans and hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people to save face. And, as CCR sang, those fighting were not “Senator’s sons.” Keith

  6. Quite rightly put Keith…(‘Fortunate Son’ is my favourite CCR song- not an easy one to select).
    I daresay these clumsy folk trying to re-write the obvious would have had short shrift if they had talked to Philip Caputo ‘A Rumour of War’; Michael Herr ‘Despatches’ & ‘A Bright Shining Lie’ – Neil Sheehan (concerning John Paul Vann)- Caputo, Herr & Vann having all been at the sharp end.

  7. Note to Readers: We should not lose sight that a horrible mass shooting at a gay night club occurred in the state who has decided to not talk about gay issues in public schools or the teacher could be sued. For some reason, I believe we should talk more openly about the rights and freedoms of the LGBTQ+ people and maybe it will open some people’s eyes and make people more tolerant.

    • Fact: the Bill is aimed only at PRIMARY grades (K-3), not ‘public schools’.
      Fact: the Bill bans “classroom instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity” for children aged 5-8.

      Perhaps a more worthwhile and honest discussion should be about why such a Bill is either needed or so popular. Maybe… I don’t know… good reasons?

      Sure, you can always wave away real concerns of real parents by claiming these are signs and symptoms of bigotry and maybe even feel virtuous pointing this out by framing any and all dissent this way. Because that is what you’ve done by including the mass shooting to contrast the State’s Bill as if one is linked to the other. But is it? Really? Or are you deciding it is and then basing this opinion that the Bill is somehow contrary to gay equality rights?

      What is not being served by avoiding the question I raise is what’s true. Teaching primary students about gender and race ideology in PRIMARY grades is straight up indoctrination. There is no call for it. There is no evidence to suggest this somehow increases or improves tolerance of same sex attraction. That’s why the term ‘gender’ is used: it doesn’t mean anything in fact. It’s an ideological term.

      So an equivalent question right back at you might very well be why are you so strongly supportive of the rights of teachers to impose an ideological indoctrination (you might favour) on everyone’s children? This, by effect, what you are supporting here.

      You know, I presume, that by legislation a parent’s rights to be responsible for their children ends at the door of the school. Some parents find out years later that a child has been undergoing orchestrated transitioning (usually in the form of T and binding) with the school’s active but secretive support (with in school counselling and professional services brought in) all of which presumes parents are the enemies of their wards. Some parents have even lost custody when they do anything other than go along meekly with the school’s revealed ‘recommendations.’

      And are you actually comfortable with this or have you bought hook, line, and sinker, this ridiculous ‘Don’t say gay’ ideological framing of this Bill as if true?

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