Tag Archives: History

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS I TOLE YOUALL SHE WEREN’T FIT TO BE PRESIDENT

“Sarah Palin’s supporters and critics need to calm down. She’s a celebrity, not a future president”, is the sub-headline of an article in The Christian Science Monitor on February 3, by Walter Rodgers.

In the article, he lets all of you Dear Sarah funatics and you haters, too, that Dear Sarah is good copy, good for TV. She is, he says, “like a good movie that you don’t want to end.”

For me, a Dear Sarah watcher, I have tried without success to stop watching. She is an addiction because you wonder what she will say and do next. Rodgers is right, only I see her as a funny sitcom, and I wait anxiously for the next episode.

Of course she isn’t presidential material. No matter, the other hopefuls will treat her as if she is the front runner for the Republican nomination for 2012.

In the history of presidential elections, she will be a minor footnote.

All I can say is run, Sarah, run.

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Filed under American Politics, CELEBRITY, entertainment, Government, History, politics, SARAH PALIN, society, US President

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 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

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS TIME FOR TEA PARTY LEGISLATORS TO GOVERN

The Tea party now has many of its followers in the Congress, which is indeed a triumph. Congratulations are in order. You fought hard and you won.

Someone said politics is the art of compromise. I say governing is the art of politics. Smart alecky sound bites aint leadership and won’t get the job of governing this nation. You have, as it were, taken back America. From whom is still not clear.

What is your agenda? In what direction do you plan to take the nation? Saying cutting spending, making the Federal government smaller, saving the tax cuts without showing how you plan to do these things aint gonna cut it.

Reality will soon smack you in the face. And you will have to prove you can lead the nation to better economic times.

The biggest problem we have is the slow economy. How do you plan to put folks back to work?

How to you plan to improve the economy?

Do you plan to waste the tax payers money (we are, after all, paying your salaries) trying to stop the Healthcare law from becoming effective? Do you truly believe that is what the voters sent you to Washington to do?

Time for you Tea Partiers to shut up and lead.

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Filed under American Government, American Politics, Government, History, politics, SARAH PALIN, society, state politics

ALVIN S. SIMPLETON SAYS UNITED STATES APOLOGIZES AGAIN

You step on someone’s foot and say excuse me, and that apology is acceptable. For a nation that prides itself on its so-called exceptionalism (what ever that is) to constantly apologizes for its bad behavior in the past shows how unexceptional it is, and hints of downright hypocrisy. It says to the world, you were no different from other nations in your behavior.

Medical experiments on human beings without their knowledge is deplore and wrong. Yet many a nation has conducted such experiments including the United States.

In the 1930s in Alabama, the Federal government allowed medical scientist to inject some poor black men with syphilis so they could study its affects. Of course, once the experiment was revealed, the government apologized. The apology didn’t help any of the men who might have been still alive.

You would’ve thought the United States government would not allow doctors to do such a thing again. Yet, in the 1940s in Guatemala, United States scientist infected prisoners and patients in a mental hospital with syphilis.

I wonder how much the government of Guatemala was paid?

Since the experiment has come to light and the United States involvement, of course our government has apologized.

And of course the director of the National Institutes of Health vows that the knowledge of what happened in Guatemala provides a chance for the government to “redouble” its efforts to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

I believe science can help us solve some of the world’s problems. But experimenting on human beings without their consent, especially those who can’t help themselves or give consent is not just wrong, or ethical, it is evil.

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Filed under American Government, Government, IMMIGRATION, Medical, Science, society