Category Archives: American Government

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WE SENIOR CITIZENS RULE AMERICA

You know how I know we senior citizens rule America? Washington Post columnist Robert J. Samuelson says so in his column of February 21. Right in the title, he says: “Who Rules America?” and then right in the title, he gives the answer: “AARP.”

According to him, the AARP, with it 40 million members, has taken over the government. Now he doesn’t say this in so many words. No, his words are “The great question haunting Washington’s budget debate is whether our elected politicians will take back government from AARP…”

Well, sir, I’m one of those 40 Million members and this is the first I heard that AARP had taken government from who? I suppose the taxpayers, of which I am one.

Anyway, his beef with us senior citizens is we will not allow the politicians to touch Medicare and Social Security. No, sir, we AARP frustrates “needed Social Security and Medicare changes.”

AARP is so powerful it throws fear into the politicians.

I don’t know how long it took the politicians to make payment for medicines a part of Medicare, but it took a long time. If the AARP is powerful, why did it take so long.

And if you senior citizens didn’t know it, these programs, says Samuelson, “constitute middle-class welfare.” Ignore the fact that senior citizens paid into both programs during their working years.

If you can’t find anyone else to pick on, pick on the old folks.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, politics, senior citizens, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS PRESIDENT OBAMA WAS PRESIDENTIAL

After his speech honoring those in Tucson who were killed and injured and those who acted to subdue the lone gunman, the talking heads and radio mouths praised President Obama’s speech. Even those morons at Fox news got in on the praising.

The part of the speech that I liked best:

“But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

If only the politicians on the left and right would heed his call for civility in the debates that will take place this year and in 2012 during the presidential election.

And some of you bloggers need to tone down your language, too.

PEACE

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, intolerance, LIFE, News, politics, society, state politics

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS LANGUAGE POLICE WON’T QUIT

I grew up hearing the word “nigger” from relatives and friends, but I knew when the word came out of the mouth of a White person, it was offensive and meant that person was probably a racist.

Still, I oppose eliminating the word from the dictionary, as some people advocated at one time.

Now a Mark Twain scholar and a publisher have joined forces to publish a new edition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. A new edition the American classic is always welcomed but not the edition they are publishing.

You see, the scholar replaces the word “nigger” with the word “slave” because nigger is hurtful and offensive. Apparently some parents and teachers have complained and some schools no longer teach the novel.

I wonder when the novel is taught using the word slave will the parents, teachers, and children be less offended and less hurt once they understand the history of slavery in America. Many White folks deny slavery through its absence in their ideas of their heritage. Replacing the word nigger with slave allows the White folks to say, as some have said in the past, slavery wasn’t so bad.

As for Black folks. I ask you will you be any less hurt reading the word “slave” knowing what the word entails.

The word “nigger” in “Huck Finn” is in keeping with the language of the time the novel depicts. Most important, “nigger” clearly emphasizes the way the nation saw Blacks—slaves and free blacks—in the 19th century and extending into the 21st.

To remove or replace words in a classic is crime against literature; to teach the new edition to young people is a sin against history.

 

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Filed under American classic, American Government, children, Colleges, Education, History, intolerance, LIFE, News, police, race, Racism, society

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON’S THOUGHTS ON LEAVING 2010

What is going to take to convince those fools in South Carolina that the South lost the “War Between the States?” And secession was no act of bravery, it was an act of stupidity that resulted in the death of whole lotta young men north and south.

To the governor of Mississippi: man, pick up a good history book and find out how it really was for us Black folks in Mississippi, including your hometown. I sure hope he don’t make a run for president of the United States of America cause, baby, he either don’t know his history or he historically blind. I give the dude credit for releasing from prison the two sisters who were given life sentences for their part in an armed robbery that netted $11.00. But consider this: they shoulda never been given such a sentence in the first place.

The President of the United States called the owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team and congratulated him on giving the felony, Michael Vick, a second chance after he served his time in prison for his participation in dog fighting. I don’t think Vick deserved the attention the President gave him. The President must have more pressing problems to deal with. After all, he is the most powerful man in the world.

I also don’t agree with the talking head, a Christian no less, who thinks Vick should be executed.

For the best analysis of the Vick situation read Richard Cohen’s article in the Washington post.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, CELEBRITY, church, intolerance, LIFE, Religion, society, state politics, THE SOUTH, US President

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS WE’VE HEARD THIS BEFORE

During the war in Iraq, we never read any negative reports on the progress of the war. I suppose that in wars, it is the natural reaction of the administration to report only good news—the military is always progressing in its drive to defeat the enemy.

The Obama administration is no different. In the report recently released to the public, it claims progress is being made. However, certain of the President’s words should raise red flags. He said that progress hasn’t “come fast enough,” and the report describes the progress as fragile. The timeline for withdrawing troops next summer is on track.

Some reasons why we should leave as soon as possible: The President of Afghanistan is a crook, and runs a government based on corruption.

The Afghan people do not trust government, any government.

The Taliban and al Qaeda continue to have a safe haven in Pakistan.

Most of all, we can’t do what England and Russia failed to do: make Afghanistan a western-style nation.

 

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, military, politics, society, US President

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS OBAMA DOING HIS JOB

The president’s critics on the right deride him as a radical socialist seething with anti-American rage. To them, he’s a frightening success who has transformed the federal government, ruined the economy, and undermined national security. To the left, Obama is a tragic failure who squandered his chance for dramatic change: no single-payer health-care plan, no heated battle against Wall Street, and endless war in Afghanistan. If the president is struggling these days, the critics say, it’s perhaps because he’s out of touch with Americans, and even at odds with his own principles.

In his article in Newsweek dated November 17, James T. Kloppenberg, defends President Obama’s presidency. As he notes, critics notwithstanding, Obama “is doing exactly what he said he would do.” He refers readers to Obama’s two books Dreams From My Father (1995) and The Audacity of Hope (2006) for confirmation.

The purists on the left and right accuse the President of not doing what they think he ought to be doing. They in effect want to tell him what he must do in the name of the American people (always be skeptical of anyone who says he or she is acting for the American people, or even more dangerous, acts as if they know what the American people want).

For those on the right, the main goal is to defeat President Obama in the 2012 elections. This means demonizing him and any policy he favors. Their idea of bipartisanship is to just say “no” to anything the President wants to do. Why? Because the American people don’t like what this President is doing.

The left’s self-defeating attitude is if the President doesn’t do exactly what he promised or, better yet, what they think he ought to do in the name of those nonrich folks, they’ll abandon him in the next election. Man, that’ll teach him and the next Democratic president a lesson. That this course of action will return the governing of the nation to the Republicans and Sarah Palin and her ick seems to have escaped them.

The right-wingers ain’t gonna change their attitude. But you on the left remember this: politics is the art of compromise.

 

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, IMMIGRATION, Information Age, intolerance, LIFE, News, Obama, politics, SARAH PALIN, society, state politics, US President

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS LET THEM SERVE

As an ex-navy man, I’ve thought a lot about whether gays should be allowed to serve their country in the military. It was an open secret that one or two men on the ship I was on were gay in the mid-1950s. None of us resented the men. They did their jobs and did them well.

The don’t ask, don’t tell rule doesn’t always work. For instance, if someone sees a person who is off duty engaging in sexual activity with another person of the same sex and tells the commanding officer, the commanding officer calls the offender into his office and asks him if it is true. Now, technically, the commanding officer shouldn’t ask, and the offender shouldn’t have to answer. But he or she had better answer or be charged with insubordination.

Why doesn’t the rule apply to a witness?

I don’t like the situation of gays in the military being compared to the situation of African Americans in segregated units before President Truman ordered integration. We African Americans were allowed to serve (except, of course, for gays) but in segregated units. Today gays are barred from serving.

However, the same excused used to keep the military segregated is being used today by those who don’t like the idea of gays serving their country: it will negatively affect unit cohesion.

No one has presented any evidence that this is true. In fact, evidence from foreign militaries suggests it is a false assumption.

We must take advantage of the talents of the young gay men and women who want to serve their country in the military.

Strike the don’t ask, don’t tell rule from the books.

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Filed under American Government, Foreign Affairs, Government, History, intolerance, military, society