Category Archives: Legacy

Why Are Reparations a Bad Idea?

Nothing is more disconcerting than to challenge your own assumptions.

This is one of my longer posts because I believe it requires a more complete answer. It goes to the core of several issues, including racism in America, economic inequality, the use of public funds as a form of bribe to elect candidates, the growth of government power in general. I think we need to be able to discuss these topics honestly and openly.

Beer summit brings together arrestor & arrestee

Gates joked: “We hit it off right from the very beginning.. when he’s not arresting you, Sergeant Crowley is a really likable guy.”

Reparations can mean several things. We often hear discussions about the need to correct inequities brought out by slavery, Jim Crow laws, lack of equal protection under the law, and a variety of assumed inequalities.

“Several Democratic presidential candidates are embracing reparations for the descendants of slaves — but not in the traditional sense.

Universal programs are not specific to the injustices that have been inflicted on African-Americans,” said Duke University economist William Darity, a veteran advocate of reparations.I want to be sure that whatever is proposed and potentially enacted as a reparations program really is a substantive and dramatic intervention in the patterns of racial wealth inequality in the United States — not something superficial or minor that is labeled as reparations and then politicians say the national responsibility has been met.

Montague Simmons of the Movement for Black Lives, which has pushed for reparations, said the debate is “not just cash payments.
But “unless we’re talking about something that has to be systemic and transfers power to the community, it’s not likely going to be what we would consider reparations,” he said.

“We had over 200 years of slavery. We had Jim Crow for almost a century. We had legalized discrimination, segregation. We have to recognize that everybody did not start out on an equal footing in this country and in particular Black people have not.”

Sen. Kamala Harris –
We have got to… do something about that and give folks a lift up. That’s why for example I’m proposing the LIFT Act: Give people who are making $100,000 or less as a family a tax credit, which will benefit and uplift 60 percent of Black families who are in poverty,” she explained.

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was asked at a CNN town hall Monday about his position on reparations given Warren’s and Castro’s comments, said, “What does that mean? What do they mean? I’m not sure anyone’s very clear.” He said – the U.S. must put resources into distressed communities to improve the lives of people affected by the legacy of slavery.

In order to minimize the chances of being poor the following choices should be made.

  • Graduate high school.
  • Don’t have a child until you can support yourself and that child.
  • Get married before you have a child.
  • Work consistently and improve your job skills.

poverty-single-parent-family-a
Several centuries of migration, conquests, marriages and intermixed racial births are a biological fact that can’t be ignored. In order to execute any government assistance, there would need to be some type of classification and identification. Who is qualified? Who has generations here long enough? How much of a percentage of someone’s ancestry is necessary to qualify, and what duration of their ancestry? What about those who clearly are not “economically disadvantaged”? We have a large population of blacks or mixed race that aren’t on or near poverty row. I have a primary care physician from Nigeria. The man was extremely helpful to me in a serious health issue. We discussed some of the conditions he was experiencing, which caused him to uproot his family to come here.

If black Americans constituted their own country, they would have the 11th largest economy in the world. As a demographic group (richer than 90 percent of the people in the world), blacks in America have a longer life expectancy than African and Caribbean blacks, as well as whites in many parts of Eastern Europe and Latin America. African Americans have higher rates of literacy and achieve more post secondary degrees as a percentage of the population than blacks in Africa.

The assumption being made is that we can lift up individuals and families through some economic incentives. I’m old enough to have lived during the period of “The Great Society”, as promoted by Lyndon Johnson. As I’ve seen far too often, good intentions (at least they sounded good at the time), were a horrible tragic experiment which to this day has done more harm than good. The welfare incentives from this program were given primarily to single mothers. If the father lived with the family, the financial assistance wasn’t available. This altered the families in ways not imagined at that time.

Kids are less likely to experience poverty when they grow up with both parents at home. For example: In 2016, 32% of single-parent families with children were living in poverty versus just 7% of two-parent families. 66% of African American families are single parent households. 42% for those of mixed race. 24% of white (non-Hispanic).

One of the key reasons children struggle to get ahead has to do with their parents. Two parents are better than one. (We’re keeping this short so lets not talk about dysfunctional parents). How their parents treat their children, meaning do they hold them accountable, and do they personally value education. Children start as blank slates, and what we do at home is a powerful influence of how high they reach as adults. Single parent households are also typically lower income, and that has an affect on the child.

Overall, there are a lot of things which create disadvantages and advantages. The number one thing I saw teaching students for a technical career is, “you gotta wanna”. Those who were successful weren’t necessarily the brightest, or wealthy, nor their ethnicity. The worthwhile goals people choose must include a sense of accountability for their own actions. Where we aim and our willingness to fail, most often is the final determination of our success.


Denzel Washington ~ “It all starts in the home. I saw it in my generation, and in every generation thereafter. If you’re raised by the streets, the streets become your father, and the courts become your home and the jail becomes your residence.

What we can continue to do is make sure our institutions and are laws are neutral. If justice is blind, then so should our institutions, and picking people by race is certainly nowhere close to blind. We’ve come a long way in a few decades to correct these past problems. Many believe we have much more work ahead. From where I’ve been and what I’ve experienced I’m convinced we’ve made many of the necessary changes. There will be more.

A Conflict of Visions ~ Thomas Sowell
Ideological Origins of Political Struggles [ 1987 reprint 2007 ]
The constrained vision “see the evils of the world as deriving from the limited and unhappy choices available, given the inherent moral and intellectual limitations of human beings.”

“When Rousseau said that ‘man is born free’ but is ‘everywhere in chains,’ he expressed the essence of the unconstrained vision, in which the fundamental problem is not nature or man but institutions.”

All progress requires change. Not all change is progress.

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What do you think?

Beliefs – Process – Facts

There’s an unending discussion between a belief in an existential life and a supernatural, post mortal existence. The “ungodly” are generally looked down upon as sinful, by the worshippers of deity.  The “theists” are often seen as foolish by atheists. Are we satisfied that one group are ignorant and the other are knowledgeable?

Part of this conflict arises from the thousands of differently held beliefs among the ~ “6 billion believers”. Each one has a perspective which may not be in harmony with other beliefs. If there is a God, wouldn’t there be some type of uniformity in description and purpose?

Are we operating as collective adolescents. Struggling for answers but all the while fighting among ourselves over ideology?

Some things should be obvious when it comes to knowing things. You would think for example, that people know the earth is a round three-dimensional body, yet there are those who insist the earth is flat. How do you go about determining which opinion is correct?

How do you test your own limits in knowledge?

Perhaps there’s a way of knowing, but not proving?

There are others who explain their beliefs as …

Can a scientist believe in God?

What happens to us when we die?

What are the problems if any, with a belief in deity?

Another person with an after death experience shares her story.

I don’t have any of their experience or the brilliant intellect of some of the people you may have watched in these videos. I have my doubts about an afterlife or supernatural existence, but I admit to my inability to know for sure. Anyone that reads these words might think, well he’s admitted to his own ignorance, and that is true.

What also is true, I’ve been a devout Christian, a member of the Lutheran Church while a youth, then joining the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Mormon), as an adult. I left that organization voluntarily in the ’90’s. I’ve read the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Pearl of Great Price, Doctrine and Covenants, several times, and taught adult classes. None the less, the more knowledge I gained, the more doubtful I’ve become in the authenticity of any of these religious texts.

This link is to an excellent but rather lengthy debate on a book written by Richard Dawkins; The God Delusion.

You’re comments, as long as they’re civil, are welcome. Your opinion can be completely different from mine and that’s not a problem. We’re all in an experience which we may think we know, but in reality there’s a lot more we don’t know, if we’re being honest.

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The Name is Lieber – Stanley Lieber

Stan_Lee_convention_photo_comic_con This is one of those times in life where we have the death of someone many recognized as a cultural icon. A creative talent who has launched an era of fictional characters in graphic art, that has developed into huge movie entertainment.

Fantastic_Four_1961_1st_comics

Author ~ copyright owner
Stan Lee & Jack Kirby

Stan Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber, on December 28, 1922 in New York City from Romanian-born Jewish immigrant parents. Lee had one younger brother, Larry Lieber born October 26, 1931.

“I grew up in New York City during the Depression. My earliest recollections were of my parents talking about what they would do if they didn’t have the rent money. Luckily, we were never evicted. But my father was unemployed most of the time.”

Most of us that knew anything about Stan Lee, learned it from the emerging array of super hero comic books, primarily created in the 1960’s, 70’s and 80’s, from the collaborative efforts of Stan Lee, his brother Martin, and some of the soon to become well known names of graphic artists from that period. A list of collaborators include the following:

Jack Kirby
Steve Ditko
John Romita Sr.
Don Heck
Bill Everett
Joe Maneely

Marvel branding began in 1961, the year that the company launched The Fantastic Four, with other comic hero titles soon to follow.

The comic books looked much like other published graphic art from that period, but the contents, especially the characters, were very much like average people. It’s rival, DC Comics, a much larger publisher at that time, kept their characters in a different less relatable world. Communism wasn’t mentioned, and international conflicts were kept to a minimum. Sure, they had plenty of aliens, and fiends, but the individuals described in Marvel showed you their flaws, and emotions, and Communism. This caught the attention of young, as well as many college aged readers.

Stan_Lee_in_front_of_his_creations_70sStan Lee, was a classic liberal in the sense that he understood what it was like to be downtrodden, maligned, have personal problems, but all the while possessing a moral compass. He wasn’t afraid of tackling the larger social issues, including drugs, violence and racism. I think this statement, written about 50 years ago, is at the heart of what made Marvel Comics, more than just graphic art entertainment with simple stories. He posted his own readership columns in the back of the comics, which gave us insight as to who he was as a person.

Let’s lay it right on the line. Bigotry and racism are among the deadliest social ills plaguing the world today. But, unlike a team of costumed super-villains, they can’t be halted with a punch in the snoot, or a zap from a ray gun. The only way to destroy them is to expose them—to reveal them for the insidious evils they really are. The bigot is an unreasoning hater—one who hates blindly, fanatically, indiscriminately. If his hang-up is black men, he hates ALL black men. If a redhead once offended him, he hates ALL redheads. If some foreigner beat him to a job, he’s down on ALL foreigners. He hates people he’s never seen—people he’s never known—with equal intensity—with equal venom.

Now, we’re not trying to say it’s unreasonable for one human being to bug another. But, although anyone has the right to dislike another individual, it’s totally irrational, patently insane to condemn an entire race—to despise an entire nation—to vilify an entire religion. Sooner or later, we must learn to judge each other on our own merits. Sooner or later, if man is ever to be worthy of his destiny, we must fill out hearts with tolerance. For then, and only then, will we be truly worthy of the concept that man was created in the image of God–a God who calls us ALL—His children. ~ Stan Lee

Stan Lee’s characters had feet of clay, his characters were sometimes created from ancient mythic deities, but they too weren’t infallible. Despite the many villains, and dire situations, a common decency existed among his created heroes. Sometimes, even the bad guys & gals, weren’t so bad either.

Spiderman_origins_1

Spider-man Created by Stan Lee & Steve Ditko

One of his famous comic character quotations ⋅⋅⋅  “With great ººpower comes great responsibility” ⋅⋅⋅ It has a simple meaning; if you have the ability to do something, make sure that you do it for the good of others.

Charitable Foundation
The Stan Lee Foundation was founded in 2010 to focus on literacy, education, and the arts. Its stated goals include supporting programs and ideas that improve access to literacy resources, as well as promoting diversity, national literacy, culture and the arts.

StanThe ManLee [ December 28, 1922 – November 12, 2018 ] He will be missed.

Ownership & Trademark credits

Parent company Marvel Entertainment, LLC
The Walt Disney Company©
All rights of ownership to characters & images ™ belong to them.