Gary Reynolds was a classmate of mine at Deland-Weldon High School in Central Illinois. He was a kind, gentle, smart, high school student. He was our senior class president, was in the band, and probably every other useful helpful activity. He was a great friend to us all.
Graduating in 1960, he then attended and graduated from the University of Illinois in Urbana. He then joined the Peace Corps and served our nation in Africa. The U.S. Army drafted Gary from Africa and sent him instead to Vietnam. He arrived and started duty as a member of the infantry on January 02, 1969. He was killed by our own troops on February 11, just six weeks later. His death is labeled as a hostile ground action and a “misadventure.”
When I first read that terse military statement I was outraged. That was four days ago. I am still outraged.
The entire damn Vietnam War was a misadventure. The war killed over 55000 American service people and maimed hundreds of thousands more. It cost billions of dollars. It created, forever, in the minds of those of who remember LBJ and Westmoreland, and the evening news, and who listened, a deep distrust of what the government tells us. We even killed our young people on campus if they protested. And, we “got run out of town.”
The government then, lied to us. Bill Clinton lied to us. George Bush told us WMD and all we found, as the historian Karl McCarty tells us, was WD-40 under someone’s sink. Bush said we won, and six years later we still die in the streets of Iraq. McCain told us the surge was necessary. That is a short term ruse. As most Americans, McCain has a fast food view of time. The Americans have a watch or clock. The Iraqi’s have all the time. They have been killing each other in the valley of Tigris and Euphrates for 3000 or more years; they are now and they will when we leave. And all the dead? “Misadventures.” Sarah Palin and her crazy friends lie to the American people. These people speak with forked tongues. Einstein, I believe, said insanity is doing the same over and over and expecting different results.
Gary, my friend, here I am 50 years later, remembering you as the gentleman you were. I am really sorry the world didn’t get to benefit from you for 100 years. Your mother is still alive and I called her this week and told her that you were the very best, and I meant it. Rest in peace my friend.

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Children attending public schools want to have fun, see their friends, learn, and mature in safety.

Their parents want the same things… a safe, clean, healthy, enjoyable and learning environment and experience.

Bullies, both male and female ruin all of that. Why do they bully? They bully because of what happens to them when they do it. If they are rewarded by that act, even if only psychologically, they will repeat it. If they suffer negative consequences of a greater magnitude than the reward, and they suffer those consequences every time they bully, only the sociopath will continue. If it continues, they must be sent away from the non-bullies, immediately and for a very long period.
Without such a policy, the wrong people are being punished, the wrong people rewarded. Principals and school boards should be legally culpable

A culture of criminals

Americans commit over 11,400,000 crimes a year: murder, rape, robbery, assault, burglary, larceny, auto-theft.

1,400,000 are violent. That doesn’t count those that occur in our public schools.

Terrorism is fear of violent harm at home, in our communities and in our schools. We do not have to travel to other nations to find terrorists, they live among us and our school children.

A nation and culture of crime, costing us over $1 trillion per year and immense human suffering.

It is horrid evidence of our lack of concern for others and our emphasis on self- gratification, at any cost, even at the cost of human suffering. It is a cultural thing.

That is ugly. It has to change.

There is no right to privacy guaranteed in the constitution? Former Sen. Rick Santorum said (4.7.08), “this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold — Griswold was the contraceptive case — and abortion. And now we’re just extending it out. And the further you extend it out, the more you — this freedom actually intervenes and affects the family. You say, well, it’s my individual freedom. Yes, but it destroys the basic unit of our society because it condones behavior that’s antithetical to strong healthy families.”[i] In the same interview, Santorum added, “The right to privacy is a right that was created in a law that set forth a (ban on) rights to limit individual passions. And I don’t agree with that.”[ii]
Acts outside of marriage are despicable?

Santorum said (2003) he had problems with “acts outside of traditional heterosexual relationships.”[iii]

Look Out, Those who go solo!!!: Santorum says off with their hands!

He’ll bring the troops home and station them in your bedroom.


[i] USA Today.  Posted 4/23/2003. Excerpt from Santorum interview. The Associated Press. Unedited. Taped April 7, 2003. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm.

[ii] USA Today.  Posted 4/23/2003. Excerpt from Santorum interview. The Associated Press. Unedited. Taped April 7, 2003. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm.

[iii] USA Today.  Posted 4/23/2003. Excerpt from Santorum interview. The Associated Press. Unedited. Taped April 7, 2003. http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2003-04-23-santorum-excerpt_x.htm

” It’s exactly where a thought is lacking

That, just in time, a word shows up instead.”

in Faust, 1808

The Freedom of Speech- Let The Sun Shine In

The freedom of speech is an incredible protection. It allows us to know the hearts and minds of people and may save us from truly unholy alliances.

Robert Frost wrote these powerful words, “Before I’d build a wall, I’d know what I was walling in and what I was walling out.”

Before I’d follow any  group or individual, I would certainly know where they were going to take me. It is astonishing that any thinking person would listen more than once to or pay attention to many of the Right Wing crazies crowding the airwaves.

The other side of the coin is the evil that can be and is often perpetuated by the professional communicator. Just as Joseph Goebbels served Hitler as his head propagandist, modern day professionals of the Big Lie, sew an equally kind of evil. Goebbels said,“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”  Sounds so much like the Right here in the US.

That so-called “Christians” like Pat Robertson attack hate crimes legislation by comparing homosexuals to men who might want to “have sex with ducks”, and I am not making that up, is utterly contemptuous. He targets the know-nothings, Skinheads and morons such as Scott P. Roeder, of Merriam, Kansas, and helps nudge them into acts such as murder during a church service.

There is no hiding behind some kind of my God is better than your God argument. I will always defend free speech but there is no acceptable free speech excuse here. These demagogues must at least have the personal integrity to admit that they walk in the footsteps of Goebbels and enflame hatreds and actions. Bill O’Reilly, of Fox News, singled out Dr. George Tiller as an abortionist 29 times on his show prior to Tiller’s murder while in church and claimed that Dr. Tiller was guilty of “Nazi stuff,” a moral equivalent to NAMBLA and al-Qaida, and said that Tiller “has blood on his hands.” Then O’Reilly denied any responsibility for Scott Roeder’s actions, thereby denying any legitimacy for television or his own skills. Roeder gunned down Tiller while Tiller was serving as an usher in Sunday morning services. That is such a cowardly sack of crap. Come on O’Reilly, you plan on firing up the masses, you are paid to do so; so why hide when some nut case kills a man in church?

From The Reverend Pat Robertson: “You say you’re supposed to be nice to the Episcopalians and the Presbyterians and the Methodists, and this and that and the other thing. Nonsense! I don’t have to be nice to the spirit of the Antichrist.” “Feminism is a socialist, anti-family, political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”[i]

From Rush Limbaugh:“…Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society.”[i]

The Reverend Jerry Falwell…

“Billy Graham is the chief servant of Satan in America.”[i]

There are more: I have an entire chapter dedicated to these Merchants of Hate in my new book, due out next week. I’ll let you know.




[i] See http://mediamatters.org/mmtv/200508160001.


[i] What Quote » Celebrity Quotes » Quotes by Pat Robertson »http://www.whatquote.com/quotes/Pat-Robertson/31211-Feminism-encourages-.htm.


[i] See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0149408/quotes.


[i] See http://thinkexist.com/quotes/joseph_goebbels/.

CNN has a report this morning titled “huge” crowds at Tea Party Express, with a photo of this crowd. The photo showed campers and pick-ups covering most of the ground. I’ve seen more people at a rodeo in Farmer City, Illinois and a demolition derby at Carthage, TN. A “huge crowd”?

Barack Obama, as a candidate, drew huge crowds, this bunch of tea baggers was no more a huge crowd than John Boehner has a natural tan.

Billy Graham used to draw huge crowds; MLK drew huge crowds.

I have seen more people at a boxing match… hyperbole!

And, the combined IQ of this bunch, as indicated by their statements on public policy, … my dogs could beat them in 3 out of 5 games of checkers.

Tom Van Ahn raises a valid point about statistics… however, the RATE of diabetes in the USA has doubled since 1980… not raw incidence. Depending which set of numbers you use the increase in rate will vary a very small amount… but here are mine… in 1980, 5.6 million people out of a total population of 227 million were diagnosed for a rate of about 2.47%. In 2007 it was 5.76 million out of 302 million, for a RATE of 5.76%. Tom is correct in questioning stats.
But I think I am correct.

Health and Health Care Issues

Labor time lost due to health reasons totals more than 475 million days, $260 billion a year.

Of the 30 countries in Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD, the big hitters) the USA is number one in cancer, AIDS, and obesity. All three of these reflect lifestyle choices and are known killers.

Since 1980, the number of Americans suffering from diabetes has doubled to more than 20 million, and that number is projected to double again by 2025. The study found that it costs the federal government nearly $80 billion ($79.7) more to treat people with diabetes than those without the disease.  This represents 12 percent of $645 billion in total federal health care spending, the official total for federal health care spending in 2005.

74.1% of our population is overweight and/or obese. 27% of health care costs are due to chronic obesity. We eat over 150 pounds a sugar per person and drink over 2.6 gallons of alcohol per person per year, over 7.4 billion gallons of beer.

The US spends 15.3% of our Gross Domestic Product on treating and caring for the unhealthy, we call it health care. We are the highest among the 30 OECD nations. (Japan, 8.0%; Germany 10.7%, UK 8.3%)

Health care results, what are we getting for our money?

Life span: Japan 82.1, UK.79, Germany 79, USA. 77.

Infant mortality: deaths per 1000 births:   Japan 2.8. UK 5.1, Germany 3.9, USA 6.8

The USA has the third highest rate of deaths from medical errors among the 30 nations.

Most of our workforce is obese, diabetic, sick, hung over and inactive. As a nation we do next to nothing in health care promotion and prevention, beyond childhood immunization and pharmaceuticals. We are tied to fast food, high fructose corn sugar, booze and the couch.

In 2008, there were 37,000,000 Americans 65 years or older. This year, 2010, that number will be over 40,000,000, 2050, 86,000,000.

Next year over 6 million Americans will be 85 or older, 7 million by 2020 and nearly 21 million by 2050.

Alzheimer’s is sitting in the nation like an economic time bomb capable of causing a horrific cash flow difficulty for everyone. One out of every eight people, 65 and older, have Alzheimer’s. Nearly half the population over 85 suffers from the disease.

The cost to Medicare alone for Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia will reach $160 billion in 2010 and well over $200 billion in 2020.

We do not have a health care system. We have a terribly expensive, inefficient, and relatively ineffective system of taking care of the unhealthy. Within the OECD nations we have a pretty good system for unique, complicated, relatively rare disease and conditions. In providing effective care for families and individuals, in the general practice of medicine, we are behind many of the other 29 nations.

President Obama started the process of reform; I thank him for that work. The rest of the work is still to be done. Most of it requires a cultural shift.

In the winter months of 1951, my father was shot and killed in the line of duty as an Illinois State Policeman. I was 8 years old, my brother 6. Dad was 32, as was Mother.  Two months later, April 16, was Mother’s birthday. I wrote a very short story at school (3rd grade) and gave it to her for her birthday. It follows, exactly as I wrote it and turned it in. I don’t remember what grade I received….

THE BEAR THAT SMOKED

By Bill Corwin McConkey

April 16, 1951

One day Joe Ball was hunting in bear woods. He met a bear. He turned around and ran as fast as he could. Before long he met the same bear again. He ran real fast this time. Joe and the bear both ran into a bear trap. The pipe that Joe was smoking was in the bear’s mouth. The bear sat there and smoked for a long time.

I don’t know what it means…

The Sheep and the Goats… From the Book of Matthew

31“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. 32All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

37“Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

40“The King will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’

41“Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

44“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

45“He will reply, ‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

46“Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

The Republican leadership goes to great means to profess their Christianity. When I read the above and read their comments and listen to their words, methinks they lie to the American people. I do not think the Almighty will be fooled.

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