If you’ve been around Greenfield for very long you’re sure to have heard that Greenfield is known as “Little Chicago”, a small town with a questionable reputation. All the years I grew up here I’d occasionally hear that claim. However, I must not have taken it seriously because I never felt insecure or scared while running the streets and allies as a young boy, which I did lots of.
As an adult, I’ve come to realize that there is nothing unique about Greenfield and its people. Like every other community, we have our problems and our problems are pretty much related, to the population size, educational level, and economic opportunity and income. Large cities with bad schools, high levels of ignorance, low incomes, and poor chances for advancement have the same difficulties as small rural communities. The difference is mainly the number of people. The more people the more problems. Even places that have none of these problems have problems.
The population of the US Territory of Puerto Rico is 3.195 million US citizens. In 2017 the island was struck by two major hurricanes that inflicted horrible and long-lasting damage. Congress authorized $20 billion in relief aid but so far only $1.5 billion has been released; the balance being held back by Trump’s Department of Housing and Urban Development headed up by the always insensitive and incompetent, Ben Carson.
We all know how Republicans love to charge the Democrats in Congress with never doing anything. It’s the easiest and most convenient means of throwing or diverting the heat off their backs. After all, it takes two to tango and while the House is one of the necessary partners in the dance, the GOP and Moscow Mitch controlled Senate is the other.
Actually, American lawmaking is not a dance for two. Instead, it is, as the French would say, a “danser pour trois.” Before anyone
Some years ago I had a ham radio acquaintance who lived in West Virginia and worked in a Radio Shack. Anytime someone asked him what he did he very proudly said, “I work in retail.”
I never really understood how someone who sold capacitors and 7-transistor portable radios could swell up with such pride as he displayed. Maybe jobs that didn’t require working underground and breathing bad air were just that rare in the Mountain State.
Over the holidays I watched the Netflix documentary, The American Factory. It’s about the closure of a GM factory in Dayton and its subsequent purchase by a Chines billionaire. His company invested lots of money, got lots of tax abatements, and created hundreds of jobs. They brought in an army of Chinese managers and tried to convince American workers they should succumb to Chinese work ethics and blind loyalty to the company.
It wasn’t long before an attempt to organize arose and not much longer before that attempt was crushed and those responsible were shown the door. When it was a GM plant the wage was $29 an hour plus benefits. After a couple of years, the starting wage under the Chinese was still only $14 an hour with far fewer benefits. The workers are mostly overworked, under-paid, underrepresented, and safety-wise, under-protected.
Yesterday or today Trump tweeted that the House of Representatives didn’t have the power to impeach him. Instantly I thought of the standard triangular graphic that appears in absolutely every high school government or civics textbook.
There has never been a public school student who sat in one of the aforementioned classes and didn’t see something that closely resembled the attached graph. And, as they saw the graphic,
Several times in the past couple of weeks I’ve had opportunities to address this subject. Every time I put fingers to keyboard I ended up with long rants that I soon realized few would take the time to read.
The former governor of South Carolina, Nikki Haley, recently stated that the Confederate Flag had been hijacked by Dylann Roof, the white nationalists who murdered nine innocent churchgoers in Charleston, SC several years ago. Haley, appearing on Glen Beck’s radio program, claimed that to most people of South Carolina the Confederate Flag represented a history of “service, sacrifice, and heritage”.
One of this morning’s lead news stories concerned the evangelical magazine, Christian Times (CT), calling for the removal from office of the now impeached Donald Trump.
CT is reported to be the leading journal in the evangelical community and was founded by possibly the best known of all evangelicals, Billy Graham. The majority of their reasons for Trump’s removal are centered around his lack of morality and the body of immoral behaviors he has amassed during his life.
If you don’t know who George Orwellwas, he was the author of what is arguably the greatest book ever about big brother and the abuse and distortion of truth by the government, Nineteen Eighty-Four. His words about the threats toward the truth have never been greater.
I recently became aware of an older couple who came face to face with a common and life-threatening medical condition. The details aren’t germane other than to say, the final costs will well exceed $115,000 and if left without insurance they would find themselves bankrupt.
Being bankrupted by America’s “poorest health care system in the developed world” system is nothing new, it happens countless times each day. Researchers recently learned that over 65% of all bankruptcies in America are tied to medical issues and that over 500,000 families file for medically-related bankruptcies every year.
For as long as there has been an American “war on drugs” the nation of Columbia has been a target. Sitting at the top of South America, Columbia has been a major supplier of illegal marijuana and cocaine for decades. Arguably, no one knows more about growing pot and coke than Columbia.
Well, according to National Public Radio Columbia is putting all this experience into legal business opportunities, supplying the world’s needs for medical marijuana. NPR says:
“Colombia is on track to become a medical marijuana powerhouse. The South American country now has more than two dozen legal cannabis companies that have invested more than $600 million in building new facilities. The government legalized medical marijuana in 2016 and the country now exports products to Canada and the U.K.”
Since Dayton and El Paso, there’s been lots of talk about placing pressure on the CEOs and shareholders of big box stores, like Walmart, Cabellas, Bass Pro and others to change their gun policies. So far there doesn’t seem to be any mad rush to comply and just this morning it was reported that the CEO of Walmart said that they would not be changing their current procedures. The same newspaper article reported this:
Reality check: Smaller gun shops and gun shows make up a much larger piece of the vendor pie than big retailers do, and a lot of transactions take place in cash.