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.

Resetting Our Moral Compass

“The three hardest tasks in the world are neither physical feats nor intellectual achievements, but moral acts: to return love for hate, to include the excluded, and to say, “I was wrong.” (Sydney J. Harris)

There seems to be a noticeable “buzz” these days around the country about a confusing malaise of values promoted by our current Presidential office. Why does POTUS continue to “spin” lies and conspiracy theories to attack many of his political adversaries in this country? What negative impact on our nation’s moral fiber results from his vicious Twitter attacks daily? Why does our U.S. Senate “cow down” to him in fear as he commits mafia-style extortion for self-serving, political gain against the country of Ukraine? How does our President’s denial of global warming and consequent decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Change agreement damage our longstanding alliance with friendly allies? What negative message does he send about U.S. National Security when he “goes after” his own “intelligence” experts ( ie. Christopher Wray) and patriotic military heroes (ie. John McCain) while praising heinous dictators ( ie. Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong – Un)?

In watching the current impeachment trial of Donald Trump, I’ve been engaged by prosecutor presentations outlining the powerful “Separations of Powers/“Checks and Balances ” provisions of the U.S. Constitution. Our President shall not be above the law. Congress can remove our chief executive from office whose moral behavior goes flagrantly astray. Court processes can interpret disputes fairly in cases of improper Presidential conduct prior to or during an election. Our democracy clearly can work when handled correctly.

Therefore, I welcome 2020 as the year that America stands up to this reality TV show of hateful tweets, “this for that” bribes, senseless lies, and revengeful “meltdowns”. For by doing so through either trial conviction or election rejection, we reset the standards of our nation’s moral compass in the right direction.

Caressing Catharsis

Catharsis – the process of releasing, and thereby providing relief from, strong or repressed emotions.

“…a poor player that struts and frets his hour upon the stage? and then is heard no more.  It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, Signifying nothing.” (Shakespeare quote from Macbeth)

The tightening grip of impeachment drama unfolds in our country now and will most certainly dominate the news in 2020. As this year closes, I thus find myself desperately needing an emotional break from this continuing political crisis. Very simply, I am tired of the seemingly endless lies and deceptions that underlie the purely partisan support for this President. I am also weary of “leftist” vs. “rightist extremism that rules the media airwaves to drive negativity into my inner soul. I thus painfully yearn as the New Year begins for a President who can offer “all” of us sensible lessons about how to resolve our differences and unite for the sake of Constitution and country. Who might you choose under these urgent circumstances?

Reflecting about ways to find emotional closure to end the year on a high note, I look back to a heated political rally I attended with my wife in downtown Fort Lauderdale one week before Christmas. For it felt truly liberating then to join in mass unification with Democrats and even a scattering of Republicans who took the time on this busy weekday to peacefully vent their frustrations about the Trump Presidency. Raising my protest sign stating “Support Country Not Party” along the busy adjoining street of the rally site, I acknowledged “ thumbs ups” from friendly drivers/passengers by greeting them with a friendly wave. Accordingly, in restraining any overt signs of retaliation for those vehicle occupants who “flipped me off” in obvious disdain, I would gesture positivity back to them with a friendly smile.

In protesting at this rally, I had thus exercised with others our legal right to speak, write, and assemble freely. I now invite you to join me as I attempt to release some of my negative cathartic energy with regard to the crisis ridden Trump Presidency in the following protest photographs.

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?


“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.



Binding Echos From The Road

“All for one and one for all.”( Alexandre Dumas, The Three Musketeers)

I never enjoyed engaging with others in contentious issue confrontation and feel proud that I survived to have completed over thirty years of successful, multicultural teaching with such peaceful intentions. Thus removing a timely potion of “Critical Thinking” from my bag of teaching tricks, two basic questions comes quickly come to mind. 1) Is there any hope for building “bridges” of common agreement rather than “walls” of polarizing dissent in today’s angry “right wing” vs. “left wing” political environment? (2) What Democratic political candidate from this week’s national debate for U.S. President would best capture such compromise appeal to bring our country together again? In my hope to elect a new leader who embraces unity’s call for ALL AMERICANS, I thus present some thought provoking images in the self made, slide show below from our recent road trip travels.

Gimme Jimmy Again

“I want the people to understand my character, my weaknesses, the kind of person I am.” (Jimmy Carter Presidential Campaign Remark)

We headed north through Central Georgia on the 4th day of our road trip. As a history buff, I looked forward to blogging about the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center/Library in Atlanta, Georgia. During Carter’s Presidency, I vividly recall admiring Jimmy’s calm and studious manner of dealing with the “Iranian Hostage and Energy Crises then under political pressure. More recently, I followed with great interest his humanitarian efforts with “Habitat For Humanity” to build affordable housing for needy families in the United States and around the world. I thus composed a brief poem below hoping to (1) recharge my fond memories of his Presidency as depicted at the Carter Center and (2) better cope with today’s ugly political times.


Gimme Jimmy Again

Gimme A Chief Who Radiates A Warm Smile
Not A Villain Who Spews His Venomous Vile
Gimme A Master Who Works Humbly For All
Not A Blowhard Who Serves Self Egoist Call

Gimme A Wizard Who Believes In Truthful Acts
Not A Humbug Who Plays Loose With Firm Facts
Gimme A Scholar Who Aspires To Mindfully Learn
Not A Fool Whose Brain Rots In Tweetful Spurn

Stand Tall My Sweet Sage For In You I Envision
A Leader Who Acts With Sound Heart And Mind Mission










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