Time for Christmas Cheer —

 

— Dear Readers

                             Who’ve Hung With Us: 

Passing along a “borrowed blessing” from us here,

With HOPE you’ve survived this worst of years!

:
 

Christmas Hope

— for the Holidays and Coming Year

 

It doesn’t matter how rough the year was

We always come back to here.
To those who are the most dear to us,
Those who stood with us through the year.
We asked for you to trust us,
And you did it without a pause.
That one act is more “Christmas”
Than the jolliest Santa Claus.
When things got rough, you stuck with us.
You never let go of the rope.
That’s the real meaning of Christmas—
A season of kindness and hope.
Wherever this road is taking us,
Together we’re going without fear.
Because thanks to you, and loyalty true,

It’ll be a happier Christmas and New Year, too!

from your Families at DanBodine.com,
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Wishing hope, health, and happiness

For you and those you love,

                        Today, Tomorrow, & in the New Year!

— Dan

Double your blessings!

Clean Up Our Religion; Clean Up Our Planet!

Introduction To New Series

Climate Change Protest. (Image courtesy unsplash.com)

 

By Dan Bodine

 

Welcome to a new category of writing for my blog. Ecotheology seems to be one of the fastest growing courses now on many university campuses, despite it not getting a lot of attention from our current political leaders. But it’s spawned some religious movements already – despite Trumpism – so hopefully the trend’ll continue.

Here’s how Wiki defines it: “Ecotheology generally starts from the premise that a relationship exists between human religious/spiritual worldviews and the degradation of nature. It explores the interaction between ecological values, such as sustainability, and the human domination of nature.” Continue reading

Double your blessings!

GOP Tied Church to Public Funding 40 Years Ago

This was the new Dallas Convention Center that opened in 1980 just in time for the New Right and its Moral Majority to “turn the country around.” (Image courtesy)

 

By Dan Bodine

It’s been 40 years this month since the floozy Republican Party formally married the Religious Right‘s church funding at the National Affairs Briefing in Dallas’ new Convention Center. And I mean “wed to the hip” our government is now! Try saying Billions for Church Bail-Outs real softly, i.e.

Anyone doubting the consternation raised then from Ronald Reagan’s flagrantly breaching our long hallowed constitutional Church/State wall of separation by saying “I can endorse you,” can simply read a recent list of the 400 ministries who bellied up to the SBA bar recently — to take at least a million dollars each in the Coronavirus Paycheck Protection Program. Continue reading

Yoho’s ‘Gutter Words’ to AOC Toxic to Civility

Seen are U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio Cortez (D-New York)., and her accused “accoster,” “Congressman Ted Yoho (R-Florida) [Images credit]

By Dan Bodine

 

The toxic words U.S. Congressman Ted Yoho (R-FL) uttered to U.S. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) — AOC, as she is called — last week at the Capitol should be rolled up in a soiled tampon and forced down his throat! Criticism of such attacks, justly so, from this has been huge.

This is a critical moment in our society, yes. Continue reading

NYT’s “Afghan bounties” in a wall urinal

Note: This is another of my old Social Minimalism thru Radical Capitalism stories from an earlier website, which I’ve rewritten some to go with today’s Afghanistan story.

 

By Dan Bodine

 

New York Times’ afghan bounty stories are all a spoof, I guess! According to this usually reliable oped news story, anyway. Major news sources haven’t run anything about it though. So… Cry me a damn river! I’m still guessing.

Ah, the perils of good journalism — Somebody with an ‘ax to grind’ always trying to set your poor-ol’-ass up — to get at someone else! Continue reading

Yes, Yee Ol’ “Ambulance” Has Changed

Emergency Medical Services now in Temple TX are being provided by a local division of American Medical Response. This is one of their Temple EMS ambulances.     (Facebook website.)

A Temple EMT checks out an emergency stretcher in the back of one of his department’s ambulances. (Photo Credit: Andrew Moore, KCEN-TV)

 

By Dan Bodine

Sometimes it’d difficult for a senior citizen to admit that … (ah, cough, cough)…he or she is getting old. But you mention modernization of the field of emergency medical services in the civilian population, however, and here’s one ol’ boy who’ll gladly raise his hand to say he’s witnessed incredible change! The ’60s and ’70s were on fire with it! Continue reading

Too many whites still don’t know blacks bleed red

ATLANTA, GA – MAY 29: Protesters burn a flag outside the CNN Center on May 29, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Elijah Nouvelage/Getty Images) GETTY IMAGES

 

By Dan Bodine

 

What happened this past week, with protests continuing now, with the street execution of George Floyd, an African American — by a white police officer suffocating him to death with his knee on his neck in Minneapolis — cringes me to the core. Execution before trial can be a white imperialist’s gravest sin!

And what is raging across the United States now with all the infernos of protests is wrong, yes.

But still I can’t help but agree with my ol’ El Paso blogging compadre, Jaime Abeytia, who Saturday wrote “No Justice, No Peace…

Or one of my favorite religious professors’ blog:

“…There’s no other way to put it than that George Floyd was murdered. The fact that there are police who murder and get away with it show that the system we currently have to address crime prevention in this country is broken beyond repair.”                      —  JAMES F. MCGRATH, Eight Minutes and Forty-Six Seconds

This public realization has been a long-g-g time coming, yes! Is there an easier answer to it? With the current administration in Washington D.C. and the millions who support it, I doubt we’ll find it anytime soon! So, go figure how this will play out!

Innocent property owners are losing their livelihoods; already stressed taxpayers now have, if not more non-insured damages at least more police-duty costs to pay!

And a minority of yáhoo opportunists are threatening to take over the streets to boot! Or at least it appears. And our white supremacist president just fans more fires with pompous threats!

I don’t know where all these anarchists are coming from — hell, maybe Putin’s sister sent ’em — but I know one thing: In a once-democratic country that’s been replaced by a big, divisive tit called neo-liberalism (that many of ‘ya still are on, on ‘ya hands and knees, suckin’ off of right now), this much inequality can’t stand! End of argument!

The Atlantic‘s already written how America’s Republican politics has already’s become a [must read] “failed state.” Now Europeans are looking at us and more-or-less asking, Gee, how did smart people lose their government like that? (See “…America is Really Screwed)

A corpocracy did it?

Well…Argued that for years with a social minimalism blog and few bit into it.

But now, it’s commonly identified as plutocracy?

Same thing! It’s only [the latter] is a more Northern, aristocratic-targeted word! To this ol’ Texas country boy, it is! (Hell, everybody knows what corpocracy is — the money-baggers all wear black hats!)

But would you believe — the kosher‘ed argument, yes — the Republicans did most of this?

Yep! Here’s how: By minimalizing labor unions! (Yeah, I gotta bone to pick with labor unions, too — one of excess — but not once have I ever demeaned their importance to our economy. Labor negotiations beginning well over a century and a half ago is what put “fair” in fairness!)

“So this is (that) story,” writes Kevin Drum, in November 2019’s Mother Jones magazine. “Spend three or four decades wiping out the power of labor unions, and then you can spend the next three or four decades turning the United States into a plutocracy with no one to effectively fight you about it.”

And where did President Ronald Reagan’s war on labor unions really start? Before he even got to the White House! And in Washington right-wing voters applauded as he continued to destroy union memberships with his own unique war brand.

The actual beginning (for me, personally) began in August of 1980 when Reagan was challenging incumbent Jimmy Carter’s reelection bid as President of the U.S.

It was during the height of the Sunbelt Movement, when millions were fleeing the Northeast. Leaving not just because of rising fuel prices but, remember, this was the decade in the wake of the Supreme Court’s integration order, too.

Escaping? Hard-core, many even wealthy conservatives no way wanted their kids in classrooms with blacks!

The Dallas moment then was a week-long New Right‘s National Affairs Briefing in a new convention center — when Reagan stepped to the podium and told a crowd of thousands of largely evangelical Southern Baptist ministers that “You can’t endorse me, but I can endorse you.”

The pandemonium that erupted upset me greatly. Underlying it, I sensed, was racial hatred and more divisiveness! It, too, was one of those moments you’ll remember forever!

As city editor of a nearby, small daily newspaper — and, too, needing a thesis topic to finish out an “M.A. Political Science” curriculum — I’d gotten permission to cover what was actually this Republican political rally of evangelicals.

It was that pivotal moment that joined religious and political campaigns in our nation’s history.

The New Right, mostly affluent, corporate businessmen, had enlisted the late Rev. Jerry Falwell of Virginia to build a coalition of evangelicals for the Republican nominee. And enlist by the millions (starting with the pastors, yes), is what he did — founding the Moral Majority.

Preachers at the rally I could see coming out of that considered themselves God’s new, front-line attack dogs — going to war against Carter and liberal Democrats on a host of moral issues — with abortion and all its sex-first trappings, of course, big-time!

And, of course, too, they went home and preached it from their pulpits.

But I’m still firmly convinced, even now, that those preachers were unaware they were being duped — e.g., not to be anti-abortion so much as to be pro-segregationists!

I made that convention the focal point of my thesis later. Falwell, it turned out (and I would only learn many years later), had a chip on his shoulder. Thus he lacked standing!

He told friends years later the Carter administration had revoked his tax exemption status he used for corporate mega donations. Teed him off, yes!

Wasn’t Carter, though. It was the previous administration — acting on Roe vs Wade, yes! Falwell had refused to integrate his classrooms at Liberty University! Was getting too much money from it!

Driving home to Cleburne at the end of the Dallas rally I cried some, yes. I knew (could feel) the anguish the country was in for! Civil Rights (…on a dime!) had been shoved aside for white imperialism; greed would replace common decency!

And the road to totalitarianism had just been opened! Novice political buffoons drunk on Shall We Gather at the River-whiskey had just stirred up a naive American electorate and was unleashing it on our Constitution!

Damn, y’all, what’s it going to take before some of you can call a human a human? Skins of yellow, brown, black, or white pigments all bleed humanity’s red! True?

There’s no safe-house for segregationists to hide in anymore, judiciously — not even in fiery, right-wing evangelism! Except, culturally, in certain white nationalists’ modus operandi — which there is still a wink-‘n-nod in many police activities!

So we decry all the accomplishments of racial solidarity for it, generally, in the past hundred years or so… in the old democracy, right? That’s your hunker-down reason for resenting it? The progress?

And throw it all out the window for a new system of government that screws all of us ol’ poor folks — as color-blinded as it will be, yes! That’s the story?

Well, African-Americans, I guess, are somewhat ahead of you, then! For having been kicked off the society bus (how many times?), personally, I feel, they’ve had it!

How many years they’ve taken it? Three hundred? Four?

Abducted from their homelands and brought over here to be slaves! Which the country fought a civil war over once to finally free them! But many ol’ soreheads never accepted!

And 160 or so years later, it’s still this: You ‘n your hold-out buddies, as police officers, can kill one of ’em — by simply pinning him to the ground, stepping on his neck ’til all life’s been squeezed out of him?!! Right? Or. as the good religion professor above says, for “Eight minutes and forty-six seconds”!?

In the name of Justice?!

Well…Let me tell ‘ya what they know already — that you don’t know:

You’re hopeless! No redeeming value for equality, you’ve got!

You’re too far out there in your gotta-blame-Life-on-somebody, white imperialism instincts. to ever be able to welcome African-Americans into your thoughts as decent human beings.

It ain’t happening! Ever!

So…If they are ever gonna live as free beings (on this planet), you can’t see there’s only one option for ’em!?

Only One!

And a short time to do it:

“We love ‘ya, George!”

“… Gimme that torch!”

“…Yeah … Burn that M…..F….. down, Baby, ‘fore they kill us all!!!”

 

— 30 —

Weather changes quickly!

El Paso’s short springs burn gardeners’ dreams

By Dan Bodine

Ok, Christmas is over, yáhoo! So now let’s seed some new plants to put in this year’s new garden! A GOOD GARDEN we’ll have this year, right !??

Hee, hee! The old “Fools rush in…” meme was written especially for certain wild-eyed, yáhoo gardeners in the weather-change region of U.S. Desert Southwest — who grasp packets of plant seeds in early January in their makeshift greenhouses — shiny packets they got at a variety store month or so earlier, foolishly looking at a new, promising garden-year ahead. Oblivious to lessons of this region’s short springs. Continue reading

Looking at 60 years of marriage together. Through thick and thin!

Virus or not, I’m going to see my wife!

 

featured image

“If a guy can’t see his wife after being married to her for most of his life, there’s something wrong with this world! Huh?!” (Courtesy family photo)

 

By Dan Bodine

 

FORT WORTH, TX — All Bill Campbell (ret. USAF) of Fort Worth wanted to do was see his wife, Claudia Campbell, a Fort Worth nursing home resident. Idea seemed simple. But there was this coronavirus lockdown order. No visitors. No outside visiting.

Since Claudia had entered the home primarily for twice-weekly dialysis treatments about a decade ago, Bill’d spent a large amount of every day with her. Every day.

Bill & Claudia seen together earlier this year. (Family photo)

So when the coronavirus began sweeping through the United States a few months ago and the Texas government then ordered a lockout for visitors into (among many other establishments) all state nursing home facilities, it chafed him just a little. Yes.

How did he get around it? Without getting thrown in jail?

Ah, he knew exactly which outside window to look through! So he called Claudia and said, Hey, Honey, look for me! I’m on my way!

And he crossed the outside lawn greens, and stared at her through the window! And the two lovebirds were connected again.

Why all the excitement over this, no doubt he’d wondered?

After all, in early June, even if it’s through the window, they’ll be celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary! Hopefully with children Angela, Robin, Greg, and Billy Jr.

And all 20 years of active duty in the Air Force, they’d spent together — including extended stays in Taiwan and Rantoul, IL.

After discharge, they’d returned to White Settlement in Fort Worth, and Bill went to work for General Dynamics for another 17 years. And then, he decided Ah, I still feel healthy, so he spent another decade or so in maintenance with FWISD.

And also, the two have been faithful Baptists all their lives — in marriage, particularly, exemplifying love and devotion to each other, and service to their children and community.

After 60 years together, how’s a little (virus) wall gonna stand in the way, huh?!

 

— 30 —

 

(Author’s note: I’ve a little fondness in writing this story — Bill has been a friend and a wonderful brother-in-law over the years.)

 

Grayhound lays down law on Immigration checks (finally)

NEWS FLASH: Greyhound has stopped Border Patrol/ICE agents from boarding its buses searching for illegal immigrants. American Civil Liberties Union was one of the critics.

By Dan Bodine

This story about immigration checks should be filed under “Let’s celebrate a citizen’s rights win!” Pure and Simple now! If you’re in a vehicle and “The Law” wants to shake you down, they’d better have a PC (probable cause) to approach you or a warrant in their hands one! What they did was illegal!

But for how long — 70-80-more years? — all of us as American citizens have turned blind eyes to these onboard immigration checks!

Why? Does it take the proverbial Act of Congress to tell us as humans, we have inalienable rights — i.e., against unlawful searches? Or is exercising them too much trouble? Living itself is enough trouble! Why stir up more?

I witnessed some of these, yes. As an old beat-up journalist moonlighting as a small border town’s sole judge, I did. Routinely saw it! And sensed it was illegal. But said nothing.

Couple of years into this, as a passenger on this same bus line into and out of Presidio (not Greyhound) — going to Odessa to bring back a pickup, once — I underwent an immigration check myself.

“Are you an American citizen?”

I politely showed the agents my identifications.

But why didn’t I say something about this practice then? If I felt it was illegal?

Who, me?! Pawdnuh, I started this new life I’m in now escaping alcohol, divorce and bankruptcy — all by running off to Presidio TX, my status lower ‘n an ol’ drunk grubworm just wanting to get enough vittles to stay alive.

ME, stir up some dust?!! Uh, uh!

Greyhound, often written Greyhound Bus Lines — the nation’s largest bus lines — forever it seems has allowed federal immigration checks — e.g., customs inspectors in or near border cities to board carriers and check passengers’ identities. Looking for people in the country illegally, of course.

No more though! It’s against the law! It’s demeaning to many innocent citizens! And the bus line finally has caved to pressure from civil liberties groups.

The company announced Friday it was notifying the federal agencies such officers would no longer be able to board buses and do immigration checks without legitimate reason.

No ax to grind here concerning U.S. border patrolmen or U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) inspectors enforcing the laws of our country. Worked with them for almost 20 years in Presidio — and on the whole, they’re respectable, front-line defense personnel for us! Good people.

I’m just glad Grayhound finally bowed its neck and pointed out one old practice they don’t have a right to: You ain’t got a right to board our buses and hassle our innocent passengers without due process! It’s a civil rights violation under the U.S. Constitution’s Fourth Amendment.

Hallalujua enough people finally stood up! Constitutional rights are a lot like tax deductions — if not used, some unrestrained presidential administration eventually can take them away.

Resisting our current whack-a-mole political climate, and thus not naming any names. But yes, authoritarians rise in politics. Even in America.

So thank you, Greyhound!

30 —