Category Archives: Citizenship

@ JacksonvilleTrump Inaugural Ball ~ had a blast

img_2256

Last night there was no shortage of good food, happy people having a wonderful time, a great band for dancing and fun. Grand Banquet Hall, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, Fl.

One of the most wonderful things about this inauguration, from the Trump Welcome Concert to the Washington, D.C. balls (which we watched on a large screen with sound on mute, as our own band was playing)…to the upcoming National Prayer service on Saturday is the feeling this is the people’s inauguration. Watching the D.C. inaugural festivities, though certainly elegant and replete with pomp, also often had a hometown feel. I loved the absence of so-called “A-List” celebrities.

img_2252


Riot in Charlotte ~ the silent majority must speak

police-in-riot-gear

I watched the peaceful demonstration in Charlotte as it grew dark and the peaceful resident protestors left the park and went home. They were soon replaced by other protestors, some of them from out-of-town. Some of them professional rabble-rousers.

I watched in shock as they rushed police, vandalized stores, attacked representatives of the press. I have to say, I was shocked and became numb. That’s when I went to bed.

This morning I picked up my Bible and read for a while before turning on the TV. When I did the news, as most of America now knows, was not good. Mom and pop stores as well as corporate enterprises had been looted. A protestor had shot another protestor. The night before, I’d seen a souvenir shop being decimated. This morning, I found out it belonged to an Asian family.

As a nation, the law abiding citizens need to speak out. We need to make our voices heard. We need to cry out to God and to our elected officials that we want our streets to be safe for everyone, of every color, all the time. We will not tolerate rioting and looting.

We want our police departments to be better trained when dealing with potentially violent encounters. It’s not so much get the bad apples out, but train the ones in the basket. We want them to practice and drill for these situations. However, they are not social workers and can’t solve the problems of troubled communities. They are law enforcement officers, there to enforce the law. On that note, we want existing gun laws enforced and we want illegal weapons taken off the streets.

We want high crime communities to take responsibility for the breakdown of the family and breakdown of respect. We need to impress upon young people the best way to have a good and long life is to complete high school and not have a baby out of wedlock.

This is upon the silent majority and the silent majority can not afford to be silent anymore if we desire peace and safety on our streets and in our communities.


I’m a First Time Voter in Florida ~ what a rush

IMG_2100

 

I couldn’t wait to vote this time, and it’s only a state primary but I just moved here from New York City. So it was kind of thrilling to be voting in the sunshine state.

I turned on my GPS and found my polling place with absolutely no problem.

 

IMG_2098

 

It was gratifying to see quite a number of cars in the polling location parking lot. After I slid my ballot through the electronic vote counting machine, they gave me a red, white, and blue sticker that said, “I Vote”.

 

I decided NOT to vote for Marco Rubio for two reasons, though I’m sure he’s going to win the primary and I WILL vote for him in November.

  1. He tends not to show up much on the floor to do his job.
  2. He hasn’t given only anemic support to Donald J. Trump.

I voted for Carlos Beruff because he is challenging Rubio on his pathetic work ethic and because Beruff exemplifies the Republican populist movement desiring to clean up Washington, D.C. When Rubio wins, I want him to know there was substantial grass-roots displeasure with him. I hope he gets the message, but I doubt he will.

I’m not at all AltRight, the name Hillary is trying to hang on Trump supporters. I’m much more ConPop (conservative populist).


I Went To The Jacksonville Trump Rally ~ and had a blast

 

IMG_2074

Terrible at taking selfies, I gritted my teeth.

Disclaimer: I’m a yuge Trump supporter, so everything written here has to be viewed through that lens. The rally was held tonight at 7pm in the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena. I was supposed to meet author Linda Wood Rondeau and her husband Steve. In fact I never would’ve printed out a ticket if Linda hadn’t said she was going. They were scheduled to leave  at 4pm. I’m new to Jacksonville and unsure of driving downtown, so I left at 3:25 and arrived just after 4pm. There was already a line and people were being admitted into the arena. Street vendors sold a variety of Trump paraphernalia. A bottle of water cost $3.00. I decided I didn’t need hydration right then.

The line moved quickly and folks were admitted right away. What totally amazed me were the number of supporters who chose to stand for the entire event just so they would be under the podium. My friends Linda and Steve hadn’t yet arrived. I suspected it would not be easy to meet up with them in that crowd, so I looked for a seat. The very best ones were already taken, but I did manager to get one with an excellent view of the podium half way up in the bleachers.

There were plenty of red “Make America Great Again” hats in evidence around the arena. The crowd was much more diverse than is reported in the media. To be sure, white working class males were in evidence. However there were also quite a number of blacks, Latinos, women, as well as teenagers and college kids. Two twenty-something guys ran around in homemade ‘Trump-capes’ like super-heroes.  I found the people around me to be friendly. Active cross-conversations were taking place. Supporters not only spoke to the persons on either side of them, but leaned forward to talk to those in front of them and turned around to address those behind.After all, there would be at least two hours to fill before the opening speeches. The arena holds 16,000 and it was packed solid. My earlier suspicion was correct. I never did find Linda and Steve, though we texted each other for a while.

The opening speeches were rousing, though the crowd didn’t need much pumping up. Jacksonville mayor Lenny Curry didn’t run away like John Kasich did at the RNC Convention. Mayor Curry warmly welcomed and addressed the crowd. The local chair of the RNC and Sharon Day, co-chair of the national RNC spoke, the dynamic Florida senator Ted Yoho, as did Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. The bottom line seemed to be jobs, national security and personal safety, and the Supreme Court. There was an obvious law enforcement presence and all of the speaker lauded them, as well as giving accolades to first responders, and the military. This was always accompanied by loud cheering from the crowd…and I clapped and cheered along with everyone else.

I was a bit surprised by the pounding music which seemed to favor songs by the Rolling Stones, although there were a few arias by The Three Tenors tossed in. And odd combination to say the least, but also emotionally moving.

IMG_2075

Finally Donald J. Trump arrived with Secret Service agents preceding and following him.

IMG_2076

Naturally Trump spoke about building the wall and having Mexico pay for it. He decried how heroin and crime were coming across the border, saying a nation without borders is not a nation. He said jobs that had been outsourced to foreign countries would come back to the United States. That the American people would win-win-win so much, they’d get sick of winning. He instructed each supporter to not only vote on November 8th, but to bring five people to the polls with them.

IMG_2078

When the crowd left it was dark outside and the atmosphere had changed. Protestors shouted at us, but the police had the situation under control. What shocked me was the number of vendors had astronomically increased and they were hawking tee shirts bordering on the obscene. They yelled at supporters to get our attention focused upon what was printed on the shirts. I won’t repeat any of it here, but many of the blurbs on the shirts involved Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton and were graphic. I hurried to my car without incident. There were few police in the parking lot and few were needed. I got out of the lot relatively quickly…then got stuck in the traffic jam rally goers were creating.

And I kept having the sense that I’d become part of American political history. That sitting there waving my ‘Trump sign’, standing and cheering over and over, I’d become part of a phenomena that had never before occurred in American political history. A phenomena that didn’t’ pay attention to the political rules, and it felt good. Of course this phenomena occurred because the average (and that cuts across all categories of those voters, not just HS educated white males) had been lied to by their politicians for decades. Trump couldn’t do this with out us, and we couldn’t do it without his leadership. It felt real good. And I have to admit, yelling “Lock her up,” is fun.


A Memorial Day Poem ~ the story behind it

Memorial Day 1

Jean Browder had been looking for a Memorial Day poem to read at her church service. She saw the title of this one listed among many poems for the holiday and it touched her. She clicked on it and was amazed to discover her son had written it.

 

We Never Forget by Mitchell Browder (written on Memorial Day 2001 after a visit to the American Cemetery and War Memorial in Florence, Italy)

 

Brothers and Sisters at rest
we never forget
the gift you give
we still receive how could you know
so young
that your battle
at all cost
must be won Brothers and Sisters at rest
may we, in your eyes
pass your test
and one day, with honor
join your ranks
Memorial Day 2
Memorial Day 3

Don’t forget prisoners of war. They have  not all been military in a war on terror, and in previous wars. We have and have had journalists taken, medical personnel, missionaries, civilians…

Memorial Day 4
Memorial Day 6

Rolling Thunder

Memorial Day 8

Veteran Suicide

Memorial Day 7

Let’s not forget the first responders (police, firefighters, EMS, equine and canine in the field. We’re losing them at an alarming rate too.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

 


Blizzard of 2016 ~ NYC up and running in 24-hours

IMG_1863

Avenue S, Brooklyn ~ 24-hours after blizzard

 

With over two-feet of snow (Central Park measured 25.1 inches), you’d think New York City would be stopped in its tracks. Not so. The city was up and running the very next day. This is due to pre-planning and snow removal crews that know what they’re doing.

The city-wide 24-hour travel ban helped in the clean up. I had to laugh having read a piece calling the police hauling away 25 drivers who disregarded the ban evidence of a “nanny-state”. I’m pretty conservative politically. Yes, there are a few of us in New York City. Let me tell you, the travel ban is not evidence of tyranny. Seriously, we must use some common sense. Eight million people live in New York, with over 6,000 miles of the world’s busiest streets, 840 miles of subway tracks (much of it above ground in the outer boroughs) , not to mention railway tracks anchored to Grand Central Terminal and Penn Station.

The 25 drivers who ignored the travel ban should be ticketed and fined. The Sanitation department had the Herculean task of plowing and salting not only the major avenues (some of them four lanes), but also the side streets and dead end streets. This they did in 24-hours. Plows and sanders shouldn’t be slowed down by selfish drivers on the road, or have to go around those vehicles.  With freezing temperature and winds whipping snowfall sideways at speeds up to 40 mph, police had to deal with the homless who were in crisis during this blizzard.  The gas and electric companies had to come to the aid of buildings that had lost heat. The travel ban was for the public good and of public safety. By Sunday, the next morning, anyone who had to report to work, could. Residents could get to local stores, if need be. It wasn’t business as usual, but it was on its way back to normal.

With a city the size of New York, the only way to deal effectively with a blizzard or hurricane is to have a travel ban during the worst of the storm. That’s the how essential city services get out in front of it. However, just to keep things in perspective, this wasn’t the worst NYC blizzard on record. February 11-12, 2006 recorded a record 26.9 inches of snow; and December 26-27, 1947 recorded 25.8 inches.

IMG_1864

 


The Broad Channel One Year After Sandy.

The weather’s been up and down in Gotham. Nearly 60 degrees one day and then freezing the next. Several days ago we had a glorious day and I decided to take a drive to the Broad Channel for a look-see.

IMG_0408

 

This might just be the most peculiar neighborhood in Queens, and not just because it sits smack in the middle of the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, surrounded by water on all sides. It’s connected to the rest of the borough by two bridges and one subway. The bridges offer magnificent views of the bay.  The entire community is about twenty blocks long from north-to-south and four blocks wide from east-to-west. Man-made canals have been dug which separate the dead-end residential streets. Residents tend to love their boats and many have them moored in the canals.

 

IMG_0407

 

 

Broad Channel’s mostly middle-class residents tend to be stalwart and have made a definite commitment to live here. There is no natural gas line running into the community which forces home owners to use more costly propane to heat their houses and to cook in their kitchens. With water everywhere the eye can see, as might be supposed this is an area prone to flooding.

It goes without saying Broad Channel was hit hard by Super Storm Sandy. Most of the residents have pretty much recovered. Life seems to be bustling. Stores and restaurants are open and doing business. The outside of homes in most of the community are in good shape. I did see one man with the outside of his house in tact, carrying lumber into the interior. I saw renovated houses with debris in the back yards.

 

IMG_0410

 

 

Some residents have not fared so well. Either they didn’t have the financial resources to rebuild so quickly, or the damage to their homes was too extensive. Still, all of the houses I saw needing repair had permits nailed to the outside and their owners were doing their level best to bring them back.

 

IMG_0405

 

 

 

Not everyone seemed happy with the government’s efforts to help the community. Several homes had “STOP FEMA NOW” signs prominently displayed in their front windows.

 

IMG_0406

Residents are outraged by the new federal law, the Biggert-Waters Act which astronomically raises flood insurance rates for the purpose of keeping FEMA afloat. However, FEMA was supposed to do a feasibility study that was never done and the fed seems to be cherry picking how they will implement the law.

This tempest in a teapot goes far beyond the Broad Channel with senators from Massachusetts, Oregon, and Louisiana vociferously questioning FEMA.

The larger question seems to me to be should a politician be held to promises made before an election? Many who are in the political game as a career believe politicians who tell the truth do not get elected or re-elected. When do the American people want to hear the truth: before or after an election? Before or after a crisis? Eventually the truth will come out. Your elected official isn’t gonna do what was promised. When that happens why not throw the bum out. And here’s a novel idea: don’t vote for the guy who promises pie in the sky. Vote for the realist. Look for a candidate with a record of success in government, business. Vote for a candidate whose word is good.

However the debate on Biggert-Waters turns out, the fact remains that one year after Sandy, residents of New York City who were most hit are still struggling. The federal government promised the sun, moon, and the sky prior to the presidential election, which they obviously have not delivered. The Red Cross pulled out long ago. Now it’s mostly neighbor helping neighbor. Local churches and the Salvation Army have been at the forefront.

If you want to help contact…

Occupy Sandy. This was the name given to the recovery effort in its first days and it now has a website. http://occupysandy.net/

The Salvation Army New York City still has boots on the ground. http://www.use.salvationarmy.org/use/www_use_GNYD.nsf/vw-dynamic-index/7E58E6D68DAB0CA0852579AC00520BEA?openDocument


%d bloggers like this: