Tribal Justice Well Served

“It gives me pleasure to announce to Congress that the policy of the government, steadily pursued for thirty years, in relation to the removal of the Indians beyond the white settlements is approaching to a happy consummation.” (President Andrew Jackson)

The following fictional story features a modern reflection about the “Trail of Tears” tragedy  in 1830s America. When the federal government implemented a policy of forceful removal of Cherokee Indians and other tribes from their sacred homelands to expand white settlement westward, more than 4,000 Indians died of hunger, cold, and disease along this arduous route west to reach harsh prairies of resettlement in present day Oklahoma.

As Jason took notice of so many Cherokee tourist stands as he passed through this dusty rural town in Northern Georgia, he condemned this crass display of these cheap souvenir trinkets that were not telling the real truth about his people. For he became repulsed at the misleading idea that the tragic legacy of the Cherokee nation could be exploited negatively for profit by a toy tomahawk, a colorful headdress, or a plastic snow globe enclosing a fierce warrior figure. For Jason had heard the sad stories about the “Trail of Tears” forced exodus of his Cherokee Indians descendants westward during the white expansionist, “land grab” era of President Andrew Jackson’s reign. He would therefore not stay idle and just tolerate the agony of his ancestors pain. For he would stay awhile in this small town that had grown around the site of original Cherokee settlement and volunteer at the local history museum there to actively promote the true goodness of his people for others to fully understand.

Possessing a Masters Degree in History, Jason felt highly qualified to be up to this task. For in possessing a true love for seeking past truths, he would thus tirelessly work with the curator of the museum for the next two years to present authentic evidence to museum visitors about how his proud nation managed to survive amidst such catastrophic conditions. He would possess no tribal records of individuals displaced during that time. Yet he would retell their stories of good and evil that have inspired generations of Cherokee to survive. He would not share any legal documents of proof through deeds or treaties that insured the Cherokees their rights to settle on these Georgian homelands. But he could display their unique artwork designs that inspired them with spiritual protection amid the natural beauty of these surrounding environs. There would be no written letters from that period to present of Cherokee adherence to American laws and customs. Yet he could sing their morning love songs that inspired civilized rules of living through building close clan/family connections.

So without exhibiting a tinge of jealousy for his white conquerors who had possessed the great power to coerce his people, Jason’s creative exhibits to revive memories of Cherokee glory soon became the most popular tourist attraction in town. But on one unusual summer morning, the museum’s historic mission had radically changed. For Jason and other guides had met with the museum curator, curious to find out about the contents of five boxes of election campaign flyers/buttons  that had been recently placed in the museum entrance lobby. Each object had conspicuously read, “Support Donald Trump: Make America Great Again.” They were soon advised at this encounter that the town mayor had called the curator to request that Jason and other employees there distribute these tokens in mass to town residents by mail and to museum visitors in person during the weeks ahead leading to the election.

Jason now wondered how this this museum’s high standards to serve truthful reflections of the past could be abandoned in the face of this obvious ploy of racist tinged, political propaganda! His suddenly overtaxed brain revived new thoughts about the horrors of white privilege that had so cruelly wreaked havoc on the Cherokee spirit. So late one evening, Jason would courageously circle around the fire to honor his ancestors who performed this ritual to find strength in enduring their struggles with the white man before. For as he had chosen to ignite this gloriously blazing fire to extinguish each box of racist political tokens forever in the quiet of night, he realized that fair retribution for his people against white racism had been justifiably accomplished.


For those of you who wish to know more about the history of Cherokee Indian injustice, click on the short, You Tube video below.

“Pony Up” No Corona Rider

“The Pony Express rider was usually a little bit of a man, brimful of spirit and endurance. No matter what time of day or night his watch came on…, he must be always ready to leap into the saddle and be off like the wind! “ (Mark Twain,1872)

The Corona impact clearly lingers in our mind as we end the second week of our road trip. At our motel stay in Independence, Missouri on Tuesday, the atmosphere seemed eerily quiet in the hallways today with guest services quite limited. Thus, we would be offered a meager breakfast bag containing only a small apple and granola bar while any room cleaning would be unavailable. Moving on the next morning to the Pony Express National Museum in the historic river town of St. Joseph, Missouri, numerous hand sanitizer stations conspicuously lined the hallways while press button functions for interactive exhibits had been disabled. Ending our second day at a local tavern for dinner, I was also required to give my name and phone number to the manager present to receive a potential future call from the Health Department in the event anyone in the cafe was reported to be testing positive for Corona Virus at the time of our visit.

It seems to me the that our current road trip adventure into our Corona stricken country, resembles the quote description of an 1860 Pony Express rider described in the quote at the beginning of this blog. Instead of a western bandana around his face, we must wear a mask. While he endured far west dangers of extreme heat, wind, and rain, we resign ourselves to stay healthy from airborne viral particles. While he moved great distances daily through remote western lands on the legs of a sturdy pony to assure safe delivery of their goods, we largely depend on the air purified isolation of our vehicle to provide safe arrival at our intended faraway destinations. So let’s “giddy ‘up and go” as I provide a photographic look at the life of a Pony Express rider in the mid 19th century as so authentically depicted at this museum.

A Pony Express rider required unique qualifications to withstand the dangers they would face along each ride.

This panel provides a brief history of the Pony Express period in 1860-1861 as well as the typical route westward taken for almost 2,000 miles.

On April 3, 1869, a lone rider left on horseback to a wildly cheering crowd in St. Joseph, Missouri for the first Pony Express ride west to California.

The famous Pony Express rider, Johnny Fry and his horse seem anxious to leave on their latest adventure in this exhibit.

Riders usually stopped every 10-15 miles at relay stations to freshen up and often change horses.

A Pony Express rider typically carried 20 lbs. of mail per ride. Observe a typical saddlebag from these occasions.

Riders riding westward from St. Joseph encountered their first natural obstacle: the free flowing Missouri River.

This rider wore a fringe covered, buckskin coat on these long mail runs.

This map depicts the various stopping points on a typical rife westward surrounded by various dangers they would face along the way.

Remembrances Of A Racist Past

“We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.” (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

I dedicate the following blog reposting from our road trip past to George Floyd and those demonstrators who so rightfully advocate “Black Lives Matter.”

I felt the ghosts of segregation as I walked the downtown streets of Montgomery, Alabama today. It was difficult to imagine a time when a black skinned person could be jailed if they sat in the front of a bus, took a seat at a restaurant lunch counter, or attempted to enter a bus terminal through a whites only passageway. The evidence was clear at the Rosa Parks Museum, however, that these heinous acts of racial discrimination against African Americans were once sanctioned by law in this city. Yet Rosa Parks’’ courage to peacefully reject the injustices of a blatantly, racist system reminded me here that Americans must invoke a  similar resolve to preserve their “liberty, justice, and pursuit of happiness” for all.”

What exactly it meant to be black as I followed the segregationist path of history at this museum confused me. If you looked white, but we’re actually a mulatto black, you might obtain a first class travel ticket. If you were white and painted your face black, you could be adored as a performer in a vaudeville minstrel show. At the federal level, a black could be protected by the equal protection provisions of the 14th amendment but at the state/local level they were sure to be denied basic rights by racist, Jim Crow laws. Accordingly, inner city, public schools were technically integrated by mixed race, yet white flight to suburban communities ultimately re-segregated them over time.

I took a short walk along Dexter Avenue to find the imposing presence of the Alabama State Capitol and the adjoining First White House of the Confederacy. Along the way, rebel flags flew as an anti-abortion protest took place nearby. It was here that Martin Luther King and his freedom fighters ended their peaceful march from Selma to Montgomery after being viciously attacked by angry, white supremacists along the way. Only a simple, Civil Rights Memorial plaque remains today to honor the forty one people who died in this infamous episode of American History.

As I concluded my brief glimpse of Montgomery’s turbulent past, I observed some encouraging signs of a “fair treatment  for all” change. A black college student spoke steadfastly to me of her plans to obtain a doctoral degree in her southern hometown. Some restaurants filled with integrated gatherings of many races. The Confederate flag no longer flew atop of the conspicuous dome of the State Capitol. all. As you observe the following photographs, I hope you will realize that state sanctioned racism of any kind must end.


“Mad Impeachment Show”Preview

In the coming days, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump will begin in ceremonious fashion. Keep in mind that this act will mark only the third time in American History that the House Of Representatives has formally impeached our Chief Executive in office. Sadly, I reason that this momentous event will quickly spiral in the following weeks into a contentious “reality show.” Trust me. I am not just making this stuff up. Let the raucous charade begin!

For any of my readers who sense a spirit of protest surrounding this memorable time in U.S. History, I invite you to return to the “classic rock era” and absorb the song lyrics of “The Who’s” masterful “Won’t Get Fooled Again” in the video below.

It’s showtime now. Put your critical thinking skills to good use and get ready for Impeachment 2020! Please take the time to care!

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Welcome to “The Mad Impeachment Show.” You are about to witness with your “very eyes” the suspense-filled trial of our current American President performed live on stage. As you tune-in to this unfolding drama on your phone, computer, or television, beware of the rise in hateful rhetoric and blatant unfairness that you will likely witness throughout this ordeal. For it might literally “take your breath away!”

As you begin to follow this “big show”script, it may occur to you that the trial’s rules invites a “Circus Of Fools.” So don’t be deceived if illogical arguments are presented that ignore key facts of this case. If you trust these words today, you do so at your own risk. “Wise up” to those as well who show obvious bias by arguing the defendant’s guilt or innocence without actually citing evidence on BOTH sides. In addition, notice the “bamboozlement” you might feel as so many key witnesses are denied the right to testify at these proceedings.

Beware that your emotions may also be “flying high” throughout these proceedings. At the trial outset, many viewers might feel a sudden urge to shout or scream as expected attempts are made to end this trial prematurely. Escalating national security concerns to provide a safe trial venue within the U.S. Capitol and prevent unlawful acts of civil disturbance might quickly become a key emotional distraction from the impeachment proceedings as well. In this regard, one must think hard how they might react if the hate spewing words of our tyrannical defendant and his partisan cohorts spreads violent acts of reprisal around our country!

As a follow-up to upcoming Mad Impeachment performances, some will dare match wits with our Presidential “Ringmaster of Rage” in heated, video game competitions to spread pure evil, immoral excess and descent into hell. Others may check into his social media presence several times daily on Twitter and join him in commenting angrily as he he takes vicious “potshots” at ANYONE opposing him. Don’t be fooled!


Freedom Flourishes In Boston

A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”     (John F. Kennedy)

“Citizens of Boston! Consider your blessings; consider your duties. ….. Let New England continue to be an example to the world of the blessings of free government, and of the means and capacity of man to maintain it. ….. (Josiah Quincy)

From a tourist perspective, Boston always presents itself to me as a historically interesting town. There certainly lies authentic proof here of free will served through independence from Great Britain control in the latter years of the 18th century. On past occasions, for instance, we’ve visited iconic downtown landmarks along the Freedom Trail, gazed at the hallowed battlefields of Bunker Hill, Lexington, Concord, and relaxed along the colonial “green-space” of Boston Common. We thus found good reason to book a half day, bus excursion on our most recent Atlantic cruise with the hope of re-living this spirit of liberty at John Adams National Historic Park and John F. Kennedy Presidential Library/Museum.

As my primary interest of this tour would thus be historical, I hoped to photograph for my readers a Bostonian showcase of freedom’s reign at these two sites on our scheduled itinerary. Departing from the waterfront in late morning , however, our vehicle slowed frequently amidst heavy commuter traffic. How satisfying it felt then to discover that the lighthearted scripts of our elderly tour guide could be a useful mind diversion from such time delays and unsightly gridlock.

Several of his humorous tidbits, spiced with Bostonian drawl/ culture, come to mind. He first spoke of a past prison incident where inmates rioted because they no longer received an adequate supply of lobster (“lobsta”) at their daily meals. He then noted that angry city drivers never chose to honk their horns at other drivers but would eagerly “flip them off” with a finger. He would further demonstrate his showy talents by boasting a fantasized scenario where every professional team in Boston would respectively win their finals championship this year. As he concluded this amusing narration, we arrived at the small hamlet of Quincy, where our historic adventure would pleasantly begin.

In Quincy, Mass., Presidents John Adams followed by his son John Quincy Adams resided year around in this country homestead now part of Adams National Historical Park. Amazingly intact for almost three centuries, it remains as a living memory of America’s first “Founding Fathers.”

Passed on to four generations of Adams families, the lush landscaped grounds of this estate inspire public interest in environmental preservation. In time, these manicured grounds attained the nickname, “Peace Field.”

John Adams traveled to Europe extensively as an American diplomat in support of American liberty ideals. Interior decorations of this estate include prized mementos collected overseas from friends/allies during this period of his life.

As a patriot, skilled in the professions of law, science, and politics, John Adams filled his time with challenging daily learnings. Yet he also made time for informal gatherings.

Many notable figures in American history line the interior walls As many of them visited the Adams estate over the years, one can imagine the “buzz” of freedom’s diplomacy engaged here.

John Quincy Adams spearheaded the addition of a Stone Annex (the first Presidential Library) at the rear of the Adams estate. The extensive collection of books here remain as a living testament to the intellectual foundations in colonial times of America’s democracy.

The John F. Kennedy Center at Columbia Point, Mass. stands as America’s official memorial to his life and Presidency. Its unique contemporary design overlooking a serene bay inspires visitors to view the Kennedy legacy as one of American innovation/imagination.

Kennedy’s legendary leadership qualities as President are vividly depicted in this museum. Yet in other ways, he might be portrayed as a mere humble man.

Great political leaders inspire high ideals. The writings of John Kennedy displayed a keen awareness of freedom’s call that lies at the heart of our American Democracy.

Free spread of communication in American politics provided a vital link to Kennedy’s election as President. What measures to directly impact voters occurred in Kennedy’s time? Are they as relevant today?

A President must provide a positive role model for our country and the global community in time of crisis. In my brief tour of this museum, John F. Kennedy clearly meets that standard.

How might the Presidency of John Kennedy as depicted in this blog impact your voting decision for the election in 2020?


Tampa Tourist Temptation Therapy

“It’s  very refreshing to go away and take a break, to clear your head, and just get into something else.” (Francois Noirs)

On most occasions, Ruth and do not need an excuse to travel and do not hesitate to pack up and go. Yet we recognize that dealing with life’s harsh realities do impact our travel decisions as we get older and hopefully wiser. Some basic question thus can arise quickly. Would it be right to isolate ourselves from an ailing loved one for an extended European vacation stay? How easily could we arrange travel home in a family emergency? Can pending financial decisions regarding my loved ones be best handled abroad? Such concerns would thus weigh heavily on our mind in our decision to cancel our monthlong stay in Paris this fall.

Reflecting about my blog theme that one can enjoy the present moment of travel at anytime/place thus enlightened me to consider some new travel alternatives for Fall 2019. Feel the youthful energy again of a new semester on a revered college campus. Follow your favorite football teams this fall by visiting more games on the road. Celebrate the music of one of your favorite rock stars out of town in a magical theater setting. Settle into the pleasing nostalgia of a quiet walk in a historic city of your youth.

We thus foresee such quick “getaways” as a new travel therapy for us in adapting to upcoming times of life crisis. Thus acting boldly to test our new lifestyle alterations for the first time in late August , a brief sojourn to Tampa, Florida would surprisingly fulfill several of such desired, short travel options. I thus present the following photographic snippets from this most satisfying, fall inaugural weekend.

My favorite football team, the Cleveland Browns, just happened to be playing a preseason game in Tampa last Saturday night at Raymond James Stadium, I purchased an inexpensive ticket to the game and enjoyed the collective feel of other Browns fans similarly showing their faith in the new winning version of this team.

“Go Bulls” chants came alive for me as I enjoyed a morning walk around the campus of our undergraduate alumnus, the University of South Florida. The  welcoming presence of new students at the USF Student Center also provided vivid memories for me of the campus “buzz” surrounding the first week of college classes.

So few rockstars from the late 1960s remain active today as relevant role models for the aging “baby boomer” population. Thus, a Saturday film documentary of singer David Crosby at the historic Florida Theatre became a “must see” event for me. For his past/present life path depicted on screen, provided a brutally honest look at the youthful naïveté combined with magical music that inspired “live together in peace” ideals during my college days.

This grandiose theatre attraction opened on October 15, 1926 as a “Roaring Twenties” spectacle in downtown Tampa. As I curiously entered the theater lobby, I immediately noticed its ornately sculptured lobby punctuated by the melodious sounds of a genuine Wurlitzer organ in the distance.

Ascending my way along a narrow staircase to the balcony, I obtained a spectacular panorama of this unique stage/seating venue.

During my four year tenure at USF as a student and frequent visits to Greater Tampa later, I rarely ventured downtown. Taking a short walk to the river from the Florida Theater, I now witnessed for the first time a visually pleasing blend of both old and new.

In spring 1974, I received my undergraduate college diploma at Curtis Hixon Hall in downtown Tampa. Rekindling my memories of this milestone along my riverside walk, a fountain lined park now stands nearby the site of this demolished facility amidst the mystical Turkish dome backdrop of the University of Tampa.

Choosing a slower route of the Interstate to to exit downtown, I noticed shades of Bourbon Street New Orleans along the historic Franklin Street corridor. What was the Reverend Billy Graham thinking when he started his fervent religious crusade in this seemingly raucous area?

N.Y.C. From The Ground On Up

“New York City, city of exaggerations. Place of Herculean ascensions and perilous falls.” (Kurt Wenzel)

A first glance at the iconic New York City skyline certainly heightened our interest in touring Manhattan Island on our recent cruise along the U.S. Atlantic seaboard. With so much to see in only a short, one day stopover, however, our excursion options seemed noticeably limited. In addition, a Brooklyn landing point for the Caribbean Princess several miles from Manhattan Island precluded any thoughts of making our way on foot this day. We thus logically realized that a morning scheduled tour offering of a convenient “hop-on hop-off” bus service to/from NYC seemed the most feasible self traveling option this day.

Finding our way to the top of our double deck bus, we would soon cross over the Manhattan Bridge from Brooklyn into NYC downtown. I noticed then how the abrupt transition from our sheltered lifestyle on a cruise boat to the frenzied urban chaos of Lower Manhattan radiated both sadly depressing and positively energizing thoughts. It also seemed clear that the more I listened to our bus tour guide describe our surroundings, the more intense my mixed feelings about NYC curiosities became. Seeing good reason then to stay on the bus the entire time, I would thus photograph this tour, gauging my “see saw” like ambivalence for over thirty stops throughout our circle route uptown from Battery Park to Times Square and return.

As we departed Brooklyn Harbor on our “hop-hop-off” bus  north to Manhattan, the magnificent panorama of Manhattan skyscrapers and the Brooklyn drew closer. However, an unsightly field of industrial clutter/roof graffiti obstructed our attention to dampen our sightseeing enthusiasm.

Along our route through downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan, we observed many historically interesting buildings. Yet the dense traffic gridlock and horn honks combined with the continuous noise coming from urban construction sites made it difficult to concentrate on the tour narrations of our driver.

Towering High Rise housing complexes at the southern tip of Manhattan provided stunning visual evidence of NYC’s current wave of luxury residential living. Yet I could also reason how few could afford typical buying prices averaging over $1,000,000 per unit there.

Sturdy structural designs from the early 20th century remain in Lower Manhattan as amazing fixtures of historic preservation. Yet poor infrastructure and unsightly urban decay increasingly damage their functional capacities.

The rebuilt steel tower of One World Trade Center again stands as a modern symbol of American will to heal from the 9/11 disaster. Seeing the tallest building in New York City again from a distance, I admired the modern grandeur of this structure. Yet as I drew closer to the monument, I felt the profound sadness emanating from its surrounding open space memorials in honoring so many who died there on that fateful day.

The public parks in Manhattan offered us plentiful opportunities for walking pleasure. However, Bryant Park, in particular, seemed overcrowded and thus lacking in privacy.

We exited our “Hop – On Hop Off” to the sensory mesmerizing sights of Times Square. Yet we got lost in the mass throngs of people looking for a specific restaurant due to GPS service interference there as well as poor address number signage on buildings. So much for the modern look of gentrification here if it makes tourism more difficult.

Passing street scenes often revealed interesting people watching opportunities in Manhattan While I often enjoyed this immersion into cultural diversity, New Yorkers at times seemed stressfully overwhelmed about the fast pace life there.

The subways of NYC create a subterranean world of urban survivors who are whisked daily below to their destinations in an efficient fashion. Yet in their failure to see the light of day, this cemetery overlooking a subway station suggested to me that such tunnel living each day evokes a dark and eerie kind of coffin.

The skies over Manhattan turned black and high winds whistled strongly in late afternoon at the end of our tour. Quickly entering a shuttle at Battery Park, we felt fortunate that we would soon be back in the safe confines of our cruise ship.

As or cruise departed New York City in evening, I admired the enduring presence of two landmark symbols of American immigrant freedom: The Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano Bridge. In the face of political times today fomented by our divisive American President, however, my fears mounted then about U.S. future commitments to such “open door” policies.



Charleston’s Southern Charms

Ruth and I recently completed a relaxing, sixteen day cruise on Princess Lines’ Caribbean Princess from Fort Lauderdale, Florida to Quebec Canada. Enjoying calm seas and warm (but not overly hot) temperatures consistently throughout this adventure meant greater opportunities to lounge quietly along open air sections typically at the rear the ship. This outdoor strategy proved effective as well in allowing us to find easy refuge from the crowded interior corridors during sailing times. Amidst life’ slowdown on this cruise, I would also note that we made healthy lifestyle choices throughout this cruise to avoid over- indulging in “all you can eat” temptations while maintaining our daily gym workout/yoga regimen.

Being curious to explore, we were also pleased that our northerly itinerary along the Atlantic seaboard enabled us to disembark conveniently at nine, excursion destinations. Capitalizing on a booking incentive of $200.00 extra per person for this cruise, we would allot such bonuses to three, bus excursions of specialized interest. Our remaining land outings ashore, in contrast, would take place on our own, averaging between 3-5 miles walking distance per day. Adding a Hilton Hotel stay onto this vacation at the end of our cruise, we would then spend four, leisurely days touring “0ld Quebec City” in the company of close Canadian friends.

In my first blog installment of this memorable journey, I thus hope you enjoy my photographic recollections of cruise destination #1 – Charleston, South Carolina.

Our cruise dock debarkation point in the heart of “Old Town” Charleston proved ideal for beginning our self guided walking tour in the morning.

The Old City Market dates back to the founding of colonial Charleston in the 18th century. Bustling with tourists, our brief walk along the narrow corridors of this “National Historic Place” revealed a fascinating glimpse at enduring “Deep South”entrepreneurial traditions.

On a quiet side street, the Powder Magazine remains as the oldest public building in Charleston. In the restored museum interior, I enjoyed a “ touch and feel” perspective concerning the authentic weaponry of the Revolutionary War period.

Several early American flags displayed at The Powder Magazine served as a historic reminder that American unity stands as a fundamental principle of our country’s being.

On the site of the privately restored, Old Slave Mart Museum, a bustling center of African slave trade in Charleston took place here in the early/mid 19th century. As photographs were strictly prohibited on our interior tour of the museum, I include the following reference list photo for those readers who wish to learn more about the human tragedy of slavery’s presence in this time period.

Sauntering slowly south along historic Meeting Street, we stepped into a time warp presence of narrow, horse-drawn, streets and luxurious Georgian style homes during 18th century colonial times. Along the way, several, historic inns/mansions from that era caught our attention as well.

As the summer heat intensified on our tour, we stopped for a leisurely lunch at the historic Blind Tiger Pub.

Our walking tour of Charleston ended at the southern tip of the old city: Battery Park. Finding cool shade for a rest under giant Magnolia trees, several landmarks surrounding us stood prominently as testaments to Charleston’s turbulent wartime past.

Aboard ship again at sailing time, we soon savored a lavish Southern barbecue feast/chocolate dessert fantasy amidst an intimate dinner setting.


Spotting the historic remnants of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter on our route to the open seas proved to be an equally exciting moment in this departure.









American History Gone Wrong

“Our Army manned the air, it rammed the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do, and at Fort McHenry, under the rocket’s red glare it had nothing but victory” (Donald Trump, 4th Of July, 2019)

As a past American History Teacher in urban middle schools, I often taught with the idea of transforming my class from one of passive recital of textbook facts into an exciting quest for self learning discovery. Yet I also faced then the challenging task of providing daily lessons to an inner city clientele who lacked basic comprehension/vocabulary skills. Without these learning fundamentals, they often struggled to make sense of the true complexities of historical understanding such as cause/effect, fact vs. opinion, and the powerful influence of biased reasoning. As the school year progressed, however, with basic skill attainment, I would discover that my students learned to question past events more critically.

From a learning perspective then, our President’s speech effort on the Fourth of July to force feed “ wrong U.S. History to Americans seems at first glance egregiously dumb. For in spite of the mindful efforts of his staff to provide a smooth teleprompter delivery, he found ample time to “spin” false tales of our nation’s past in grandiose proportions. Let us however consider his loose play of facts with regard to America’s aviation presence during the Revolutionary War serves as a provocative class lesson plan. I thus might inspire some interesting student reactions by posing the following questions.

1. What airport should have George Washington and his troops landed to insure victory at Valley Forge?

2. Did he need to fly first class then? Why or why not?

3. Why did soldiers ride horses in the era of airplane travel during the Revolutionary War?

4. Why were airport tarmacs key locations of battle in these colonial times?

5. Why might George Washington need to fly only in window seats during his diplomatic missions during the American Revolution?

6. How were British planes shot down by U.S. patriots during the Revolutionary War?

7. Who might have made the airplanes for the colonial cause then?

8. What cities became most vulnerable to British air invasions in colonial times?

9. What was Benjamin Franklin’s most celebrated invention for aerospace travel in the late 18th century?

10. What battle strategies would colonial pilots likely have employed at Yorktown to end this war?

As a follow up to this amusing scenario, imagine a similarly enlightened 8th grade class today offering a warm invite to our President to share his keen historical interest in our country by visiting their school. A key component of this invitation would be a request for him to lead the student/teacher populace in singing a rousing version of the U.S. National Anthem and Pledge Of Allegiance.

Under the present circumstances of this current administration, which of the following statements would be his most likely response to the school regarding acceptance of this invitation?

a. Surely , I’d be glad to be there in person.

b. Maybe, I need to check with my lawyers.

c. No, I have a golf game that day.

d. Possibly, I will check about my broken teleprompter.

e. Definitely if I can bring Sean Hannity with me.

“Tuning In” For Holiday Honor?

“Democracy is government of the people, by the people, and for the people (Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address)

In early evening on the 4th of July in our nation’s capital, President Trump will speak to this nation from one of the enduring landmark symbols of American Democracy: The Lincoln Memorial. Yet it seems sadly un – American that a “VIP” ticket policy will allot reserved seats for family, friends, military, and official dignitaries in closest proximity to the stage. After all, wasn’t Washington D.C.’s Capital Mall designed for free public access for all? It also follows that “right wing” media outlets like “Fox” will heavily politicize coverage by scanning these staged proceedings, to create a false impression that President Trump’s booming popularity here bodes well for him for 2020 re-election. It seems also likely that any personal attacks of this President against his perceived enemies will similarly ignite misguided press attention in this rally stoked atmosphere and thus further widen the red vs. blue state divide in this country.

Is it right then that our nation should be subjected to such a reality show sham on these hallowed grounds on such a historic occasion? Surely, Americans could find better ways to show love of country and desire to relax in summer fun than watch a self serving speech or divisive campaign plea on the Fourth of July! I am reminded as well that deep-seated threats to American ideals of democracy, freedom, truth, and equality intensify as a deeply divided country suffers today because of the ill advised words/ actions of this Chief Executive.

I conclude this blog with a bit of sarcastic fun about this topic, as some timely tune titles “caught” my critical thinking attention from a recent Google search of “oldies” music genres. Each of these captions are compiled below in boldface parenthesis to correspond with key issue dealings of this current Presidential administration.

Russian Involvement in Our Elections (“LOOK WHAT YOU DONE FOR ME”)

Family Separation/Deportation Policies (“BRIDGE OVER TROUBLED WATER”)

Executive Relations With The Media (“BACK OFF BOOGALOO”)

Empowerment Of Women in America (“RUN FOR YOUR LIFE”)

Draining The Corrupt “Swamp” (“COULDN’T GET IT RIGHT”)

Limits of Presidential Powers (“JUST WANT TO BE YOUR EVERYTHING”)

Influence of Lobbyist/Corporate Power (“ASK ME WHAT YOU WANT”)

Engaging With Autocratic Foreign Powers (“I’VE BEEN LONELY TOO LONG”)

The Politics Of Supreme Court Selections (“IT’S GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME”)

Balancing Science vs. Religious Outlooks (“LIVING THE LIE”)

Health Insurance For All (“HEART BREAK HOTEL”)

Improving Educational Standards (“DON’T ASK ME NO QUESTIONS”)

Civil Rights In The Modern Era (“WILL THE CIRCLE BE UNBROKEN?”)

As you glance at the photo below, please soul search deeply about the present state of our Presidency on America’s 243rd birthday of its Declaration of Independence.



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