Saturday, September 23, 2017

Receipts


I am an anal person. I should have been an accountant. I keep track of every penny I earn and every cent I spend. I’ve been this way for years.
I haven’t always accomplished the results I intended but I’ve made it a mission to record every receipt.
Why, you might ask?
I think I started from the little bank books recording my paycheck deposits, then I started keeping the little paper receipts shop owners place in the bag along with whatever you bought. Everyone does it, even today.
I may have picked up this habit from my father who kept an intense ledger of family expenditures. Many a night I’d see him sitting at the kitchen table going over receipts and writing them down. On Sunday’s he’d take me to his office and while I played on the typewriter, he’d work the tabulating machine meticulously checking numbers and cost and profit and salaries and however he was cooking the books.
On my meager salary I didn’t want to pay someone to prepare my taxes so I started saving receipts. At first a shoebox held the little wonders that were going to save me from paying taxes to legal folders crisply marked with “Grocery” or “Electricity” or “Illegal Substances”. If I had been raided, I had all the evidence neatly arranged.  
File cabinets were set up to hold the folders until the first of the year when the tax forms arrived. Technology had presented the calculator to help from counting fingers but all the numbers had to add up.
Each year the tax forms would change and the instructions (written in government lawyer speak) didn’t help much as to what could be deducted and what could be claimed. For those deductions you had to have proof in case you were audited, so another file cabinet had to be used for past years receipts.
To keep things organized these little thin strips of paper were stapled together to mark the month or place of business frequented or some sort of fashion that was worthy of a number cruncher.
When the purchase became larger, like a car or a house, the receipts also grew and additional filing had to accommodate the extra paperwork.
Some weeks were too busy so the pile would sit until later to sort and try to remember the store and the purchase. A written ledger was started to duplicate the receipts trying to make some sense of them.
At the end of the year the numbers never added up because receipts were lost or never received from the store.
To make matters worst, the ink on the receipts fades. After a year or two (or maybe a week) there is nothing to read. Now I had folders with stapled scraps of blank paper.
 Luckily computers came along and Bill Gates (in all his wisdom or luck) convince the world to stop using written ledgers and start using digital spreadsheets. Apple also had ‘numbers’ which is their spreadsheet app but it didn’t travel well to PC users, so I learned Microsoft (also available on the Mac). The accountants never understood how I could work in the Apple environment and send them spreadsheets that work on their PCs. Some people know the secrets.
The best part about spreadsheets is I could set up formulas to add, subtract, percentage, average, etc. I checked some other software when calculating time and cost doing freelancing but every year there would be an upgrade or a new faster, fancier version in the mail.
So today I keep a meticulous record of every penny I pay and it all adds up correctly. Logging expenditures has become a daily ritual to record the receipt while the ink is still readable. I even itemized the articles purchased but not each extra cost. I also keep track of every meal I have per day but not the calorie count thought I probably ought to start.
Taxes have become easier without all the deductions and saving receipts so the short form accomplished returns. Still I have a folder with my first tax returns.
Receipts? I save them for a year and then shred them. There are enough electronic backups so why hoard?
Why didn’t I learn this in economics class? Oh yeah, I took typing instead.

Friday, September 22, 2017

It is time to escape


Reality is tough so we like to escape.
Books, movies, theme parks, vacations, video games, music festivals, social media and much, much more are all escapism from what we do day-by-day. We travel to far off lands, venture into the future and review the past. We escape in a crowd or to solidarity. We escape the mundane with laughter, tears and maybe even love. We create all sorts of potions and concoctions to assist us escape.
Our escapes, however brief, are our expressions to others of how much fun we have. What books are you reading? What movies do you like? Have you seen this television show or heard this music?
Now that is a better discussion than dirty diapers and flat tires.
The joy of living on this planet is the unusual occurrences that happen everyday. That wallet that someone dropped creates an adventure. The crow baby in the road you pick up to move. Walking home in a storm and watching lightning knock a branch off a tree in front of you. Picking a branch of willow to wrap around your hat for a year. The laughter enjoyed folding laundry together. The once in a lifetime experience of lying on the wet grass and watching a meteor shower in the middle of the night are all momentary highlights that can’t be purchased.
These moments are just how life works. Maybe we think we are too busy to enjoy them but when we get older those are the memories that count.
At the end, the final escape, the money, houses, cars, travels, power and status won’t matter. The scrapbook holds the fun and pain and smiles and tears of life.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

We live in a time of fear


We live in a time of fear. We fear we will be unpopular or outcaste by the majority. We fear for the weather and the raging fires. We fear for our jobs to be eliminated. We fear physical harm. We fear rejection. We fear our own self worth.
This is nothing new. We have lived in fear since time began. There was the fear of dinosaurs and space aliens so we created armies and the Bible.
I’ve written about this subject many times but this weekend brought a new chapter to my backyard. In my little city there were rumors of being invaded by Confederates. Well the sons of the sons of the sons or the maybe some kind of linage to a historical heritage announced they would be coming to town to rally about preservation of monuments to the generals who lost the war. The city turned to panic.
There was some reason for this fear. A month earlier a similar group marched into a small college town in the mountains carrying shields and bats and guns to confront a group of anti-protestors throwing bottles, paint and pepper spray and it proceeded to turn into a ruckus and an unfortunate death.
So our city prepared for the worst possible scenario and brought in troopers and heavy trucks and blocked streets and surrounded all participants with cities finest.
Luckily, this time, it was more of a hot air festival minus the music and the food trucks and civility prevailed.
The media went home without breaking news coverage and our emotions can fester for another day.
Social media is not so lucky. People with whatever opinions will comment with whatever potty mouth or in cogent statement with no recourse.
Bullying is the use of force, threat, or coercion to abuse, intimidate, or aggressively dominate others. The behavior is often repeated and habitual. One essential prerequisite is the perception, by the bully or by others, of an imbalance of social or physical power, which distinguishes bullying from conflict. Behaviors used to assert such domination can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion, and such acts may be directed repeatedly towards particular targets. Rationalizations of such behavior sometimes include differences of social class, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, appearance, behavior, body language, personality, reputation, lineage, strength, size, or ability.  Bullying done by a group is called mobbing.
Bullying can be defined in many different ways. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland has no legal definition of bullying, while some states in the United States have laws against it. Bullying is divided into four basic types of abuse – emotional (sometimes called relational), verbal, physical, and cyber. It typically involves subtle methods of coercion, such as intimidation.
Bullying ranges from one-on-one, individual bullying through to group bullying called mobbing, in which the bully may have one or more “lieutenants” who may seem to be willing to assist the primary bully in his or her bullying activities. Bullying in school and the workplace is also referred to as peer abuse. Robert W. Fuller has analyzed bullying in the context of rankism.
A bullying culture can develop in any context in which humans interact with each other. This includes school, family, the workplace, home, and neighborhoods. In a 2012 study of male adolescent American football players, “the strongest predictor [of bullying] was the perception of whether the most influential male in a player’s life would approve of the bullying behavior”.
Think about what an army does?
Intimidation (also called cowing) is intentional behavior that “would cause a person of ordinary sensibilities” to fear injury or harm. It is not necessary to prove that the behavior was so violent as to cause terror or that the victim was actually frightened.
Threat, criminal threatening (or threatening behavior) is the crime of intentionally or knowingly putting another person in fear of bodily injury. “Threat of harm generally involves a perception of injury...physical or mental damage...act or instance of injury, or a material and detriment or loss to a person.” “A terroristic threat is a crime generally involving a threat to commit violence communicated with the intent to terrorize other.”
“Intimidation” is the name of a criminal offense in several U.S. states.

In human social affairs, discrimination is treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person based on the group, class, or category to which the person is perceived to belong rather than on individual attributes. Based on their actual or perceived membership in a certain group or social category, “in a way that is worse than the way people are usually treated”. It involves the group's initial reaction or interaction going on to influence the individual's actual behavior towards the group leader or the group, restricting members of one group from opportunities or privileges that are available to another group, leading to the exclusion of the individual or entities based on logical or irrational decision making.
Discriminatory traditions, policies, ideas, practices and laws exist in many countries and institutions in every part of the world, including in territories where discrimination is generally looked down. In some places, controversial attempts such as quotas have been used to benefit those believed to be current or past victims of discrimination—but have sometimes been called reverse discrimination. In the US, a government policy known as ‘affirmative action’ was instituted to encourage employers and universities to seek out and accept groups such as African Americans and women, who have been subject to discrimination for a long time.
Propaganda that repeated enough becomes true?
A joke is a display of humor in which words are used within a specific and well-defined narrative structure to make people laugh and not to be taken seriously. It takes the form of a story, usually with dialogue, and ends in a punch line. It is in the punch line that the audience becomes aware that the story contains a second, conflicting meaning. This can be done using a pun or other word play such as irony, a logical incompatibility, nonsense, or other means.
A joke is a short humorous piece of oral literature in which the funniness culminates in the final sentence, called the punch line… In fact, the main condition is that the tension should reach its highest level at the very end. No continuation relieving the tension should be added. As for its being “oral,” it is true that jokes may appear printed, but when further transferred, there is no obligation to reproduce the text verbatim, as in the case of poetry.
It is generally held that jokes benefit from brevity, containing no more detail than is needed to set the scene for the punch line at the end. In the case of riddle jokes or one-liners the setting is implicitly understood, leaving only the dialogue and punch line to be verbalized. However, subverting these and other common guidelines can also be a source of humor -- the shaggy dog story is in a class of its own as an anti-joke; although presenting as a joke, it contains a long drawn-out narrative of time, place and character, rambles through many pointless inclusions and finally fails to deliver a punch line. Jokes are a form of humor, but not all humor is a joke. Some humorous forms, which are not verbal jokes, are: involuntary humor, situational humor, practical jokes, slapstick and anecdotes.
They are told in both private and public settings; a single person tells a joke to his friend in the natural flow of conversation, or a set of jokes is told to a group as part of scripted entertainment. Jokes are also passed along in written form or, more recently, through the Internet.
Stand-up comics, comedians and slapstick work with comic timing, precision and rhythm in their performance, were relying as much on actions as on the verbal punch line to evoke laughter. This distinction has been formulated in the popular saying “A comic says funny things; a comedian says things funny”.
Offensive to some while maybe the freedom of speech?
Slander as an oral defamation, in which someone tells one or more persons an untruth about another, which untruth will harm the reputation of the person defamed. Slander is a civil wrong (tort) and can be the basis for a lawsuit. Damages (payoff for worth) for slander may be limited to actual (special) damages. Malicious intent are usually difficult to specify and harder to prove. Some statements, such as an untrue accusation of having committed a crime, having a loathsome disease or being unable to perform one's occupation, are treated as slander per se since the harm and malice are obvious and therefore usually result in general and even punitive damage recovery by the person harmed. Words spoken over the air on television or radio are treated as libel (written defamation) and not slander on the theory that broadcasting reaches a large audience as much as if not more than printed publications.
Yet our fear might not be able to understand or comprehend the difference?
Defamation of character occurs when someone makes a false statement about you that causes you some type of harm. The statement must be published (meaning some third party must have heard it), false, and it must result in harm, usually to the reputation. Those essential components of a defamation claim are fairly straightforward. But what kinds of harm can result from a defamatory statement, and can you recover damages for those harms in a lawsuit?
Accusations can bring harm to a reputation?
The most obvious negative consequence that a defamatory statement can cause is harm to your professional reputation. Perhaps you are a local businessperson and someone made a statement about you to others indicating that you did something dishonest. Such allegations might cause your customers to take their business elsewhere. Perhaps the statement caused your employer to doubt whether you should remain employed. Those are clear-cut examples of harm to your reputation in your professional community.
When harm is presumed it still has results?
Some kinds of statements are automatically presumed to be defamatory. The recent Duke lacrosse scandal is definitely an example of that. There, a woman accused several young athletes of raping her at a party. It turned out that her account was not trustworthy, but the damage to those young men was profound. Any statement accusing another person of sexual misconduct, or of having a sexually transmitted disease, is “per se defamatory,” meaning that it will be presumed to constitute defamation if, in fact, it was false and maliciously or recklessly made.
Accusing someone of committing a crime can harm one’s personal or professional reputation.  An accusation of criminal conduct also is presumed to be defamatory. 
Similarly, an allegation that someone is racist or is otherwise prejudice likely will be presumed to be defamatory because it can cause strong reactions in the community. It is important to bear in mind, though, that expressions of opinion about you, even if they are negative, are not defamatory. Opinions are protected speech. Likewise, if someone relates an embarrassing incident involving you that is also not defamatory because embarrassment does not rise to the level of a defamatory statement and if the statement is true, your lawsuit will be barred.
Or bring in the lawyers?
Of course, financial consequences often go hand-in-hand with harm to reputation. If you lose some business or lose your job altogether, you could seek compensation for those financial losses. If you lose business opportunities and can tie that to the defamatory statements, that is also a form of financial harm for which you can seek recovery. If you incur expenses as a result of taking steps to repair your reputation, you may include those losses in a defamation lawsuit.
Bring in the doctors?
Another type of harm suffered by victims of defamation may well be health problems, ranging from insomnia, to depression and anxiety, to physical ailments.  Enduring someone’s publication of a false statement about you can take a toll on your mental and physical health, and those harms may be compensable.
Here comes the judge?
In many jurisdictions, if you can prove that someone made a false statement about you knowingly or recklessly, and published it to other parties, you have established a claim of defamation and it will be presumed that you have suffered harm. If, however, your jurisdiction does not follow that rule, or if you are a public figure or official who is in the public eye (someone who more routinely faces negative statements), you may have to prove you were in fact harmed by the defamatory statement. 
In order to establish that your reputation has suffered, in addition to your own testimony, you would need to provide witnesses who could testify that that effect. You could produce evidence that you lost your job, that you were demoted or passed over for a promotion, or suffered other adverse consequences that can be tied to the defamatory statement.
To prove financial harm, you could testify about the monetary effects of the defamation, but you may also need other documentation, such as bank statements, bills, or tax returns, to back up your claims.
To prove mental or physical anguish, you would testify about the severe effects the defamation has had on you. You would also need to provide lay witnesses, such as a spouse, a relative, and/or a close friend, to testify about the noticeable changes in you as a result of the incident. However, you most likely would also need your doctor or other treatment provider to testify about your treatment, if you have had any. You would need to show that any mental health or physical health consequences indeed resulted from the defamatory statement and were not pre-existing. If they were, your doctor would need to explain how the defamatory statement worsened your condition. You would also want to provide medical bills to show what the treatment cost you out of pocket.
If the opposing party is likely to claim that your reputation was already poor, or that whatever problems you are claiming to suffer from now weren’t caused by the alleged defamation, you will need to anticipate that and provide witnesses who can counter those arguments.
Remember that someone expressing a negative opinion about you, or even relating an embarrassing anecdote about you, is not the same as making a false and defamatory statement. To understand the nuances of defamation, you may want to consult with an experienced personal injury lawyer, who can tell you whether you have solid legal grounds to file a defamation lawsuit.
Truth be told, we are not very nice to each other. We have created words so hideous that they cannot be used in a newscast but can be constantly chanted in music. If there is enough of ‘us’ and fewer of ‘them’ we create all sorts of atrocities in the name of whatever cause will support the behavior.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

End of Summer


The yard is quiet now. There are not as many faces at the daily buffet. There is not the flutter of activity. There are no wake-up calls in the morning. It is the end of summer.
Grey Jay left a few weeks ago back to Florida and might be rethinking that decision but with her the Robins left, the Blue jays became sparse and the Cardinals couple only come around at dusk. Only one bunny comes by as the sunsets and is skittish. Soon the little scooters will be scooting down their holes for a winter nap and the tree monkeys will pack their treetop houses with extra padding.
The seed is being left by the clean up crew and the blueberries have lost their favor leaving leftovers for the late night creatures. It is the end of summer.
The kids are back in school and the sound of constant lawnmowers and leaf blowers is limited to weekend mornings. There is still construction noise but it stops at five when the neighbors come home and fill the parking lot.
So as the temps are becoming more pleasant I rock on the porch at night and ponder the end of summer. What does it mean when summer is over?
Summer vacations and the logistics of packing the family into a vehicle to travel some distance to enjoy each other and bond through texting and selfies will be done with until next year. Enjoy medical mishaps like sunburn, snakebites, mosquitoes, and any assortment of stomach ailments keep the excitement of the unexpected. Not only returning home with shoes full of sand but additional t-shirts and tacky trinket never to be used again.
Summer is over so it is time to put away the shorts and bring out the big boy pants, strap on a sweatshirt and continue in the mundane life for everyday is a vacation.
So as I rock in the dark while everyone else sleeps I think of those tourist, vacationers, travelers who find it necessary to wander during their down time. Agree that you cannot fully experience the Grand Canyon until you are there but some just don’t want to see a big ditch. The ruins of Europe, Middle East, and Far East have been filmed and photographed but some feel the passion of being there. To get away from the monotony of everyday existence is more than a goal but is it necessary?
My mind wanders to a time when I did travel far and wide. The destination wasn’t nearly as interesting as the process. The traveling companions made the over-priced glass of wine or the plate of semi-cooked bland dishes enjoyable. Even traveling alone, my temperament is mellow enough to adjust with the hazards of long distance searches for another life. I’ve slept in airports, checked into roach hotels, eaten at greasy spoons and conversed with people I would avoid on a normal day.
So after all the summer travel is done and everyone has gone home, what is left? The locals are still there.
Some are called townies but they are the ones who live in the same location visited by others who then go away. The locals decided to stay in a location maybe for generations. They stock the grocery store. They bring you food and drink. They repair your car. They give you directions when the GPS is not good enough. They attend churches. They fill the potholes. They have BBQs and parades. They put out fires and teach the children.
In small rural areas they might be impressed by the city folk passing through in their fancy cars and chic couture that is unavailable in these parts. Beaches and amusement parks have a few months to make years salary from folks who will pay fee for a good time without worrying about what happens when they leave.
I’m a townie. A local. I’ve stayed in the same neighborhood, in the same city, in the same state for most of my life. I’ve attended schools I could walk to including university. I worked for a local company continually getting raises and titles and responsibilities until forced retirement. I live in a house a few blocks from where I grew up and am very happy here.
I could tell you the best places to eat but most of them have disappeared and become microbreweries. I could tell you the best places to stay but most of them are out-of-town chains now or a few expensive establishments. I could tell you sites to see and places to go but so can Google.
Again I live in a town that lost it’s relevance 150 years ago and can be easily by-passed.
So why do I stay?
Why not go off to some far off land seeking unknown adventures and wonders?
A city is pretty much a city to me. Skyscrapers, restaurants, traffic; pedestrians, local news, network shows, events and entertainment are pretty much the same. The bistros in New York are no better than the few hole-in-the-wall diners I frequent. A beer in San Francisco is no better than opening a can in the backyard.
While I don’t make a point of becoming familiar with other locals, some do recognize me from frequently seeing me on the street and wave.
Being a local I know the places to go to get good deals and recognize when old friends leave and the search will continue. I know parts of town to avoid and places that can be inspiring and relaxing. Being a local I’ve seen the changes and am satisfied in my place in the community.
While I can’t dig my toes in the sand, the weather is fairly mild with 4-seasons and an occasional storm or two. Life can be patterned by the season’s regularity and no complaints.
Tonight I rock in the dark and silence only missing the waves calling. This is what vacations are about; the freedom to relax.
As the night grows longer I’m entertained by the shadows and the moonlight and the realization that this could be Lebanon or Scottsville or Beaver Falls or Middleton or Locust Grove or a million other burgs and villages and waysides where families have settled and grew families and started businesses and watched their children grow and buried their dead and formed memories no outsider will ever understand.
There are a few places I’ve had enough time to spend with other townies of different localities and been accepted into their community. Those were very special times with amazing memories.
As the sun is starting to come up, this old local will have to retire for the evening feeling secure that staying was the right decision… at least for now.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Town Crier



“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"
Before instant electronic communications or before printing had refined technology and long before most people could read, a fella in a bright red coat stood in the public square, rang a bell and read the announcements of the town.
News of the world, much less the county, could take days or months to arrive and be distributed through word of mouth and a series of interpretations.
This was the only news source and our lives were formed on what we heard. The church reinforced our news with a moral explanation and we believed it.
Then there was competition. New opinions and editorials shook our one-shop-stop news and questioned our beliefs.
From not that many years ago, the newspaper landed on the doorstep every morning. There were pages of sports, comics, recipes, fashion, local politics, stock reports, lots of advertising for cars and grocery coupons and editorials giving the opinion of the publisher to persuade the reader’s comprehension of local and world events. Radio had it’s own brief slant on news but was mostly listened to for music, weather and traffic reports. Television brought moving pictures with narration by wise white men trying not to editorialize.
Today the established new media has as many variations as a public view with no differentiation between entertainment and journalism.
And the social media platforms present personal opinions as fact with reports, blogs, web pages, and comments. Every event is recorded and posted with whatever bias attached to it. The flood of information (true or not) overwhelms the laws of ethical journalism with background checks and investigative reporting to viral videos. The ones with the most views must be real?
The news that was fit to print and for the public to know was pushed by the established newspapers but now it is downloaded and viewed from questionable sources and our bias and prejudices spread to our friends and family and anyone else who will listen to our ranting of Believe it Or Not.

“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"
“Publix buys former Martin's grocery store building on Forest Hill Ave. in South Richmond”
“Virginia Democrats slam Trump's move to end DACA immigrant program, Gillespie wants 'legislative solution'”
“Henrico man shot to death on Monday identified; Richmond man arrested”
“State police helicopter that crashed outside Charlottesville, killing 2 officers, was not struck by any objects”
“John Stallings named president of Union Bank & Trust after leaving SunTrust”
“UVa athletic director Craig Littlepage to retire”
“Chef Mike Ledesma opening new restaurant in Scott’s Addition, in former Joy Garden space”
“Beyonce, Streisand to headline Harvey relief telethon”
“Trump rescinding DACA program protecting young immigrants”
“Man arrested after deadly shooting in Prince George Wendy’s”
“Some strong storms tonight; Irma intensifies”
“Head lice cases on the rise as students head back to school”
“Anna Faris Is ‘So Scared’ To Release ‘Intimate’ Book About Her Life”
“How We Could Better Leverage Social Media During Disasters Like Harvey?”
“Prince William Says There’s ‘Not Much Sleep’ With Third Baby On The Way”
“Lin-Manuel Miranda Sings ‘Magic School Bus’ Theme In Netflix Trailer”
“Oyez, Oyez, Oyez!"

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Minority


With all the talk of superiority, supremacy and discrimination; let us study the whole history of who the boss is here.
In a company it is the CEO, in a state it is the Governor, in the nation it is the President who has the final word on decisions. Some of them are elected and some work their way up to a position of power but they are what the majority rules to be supreme.
A majority is the greater part, or more than half, of the total. It is a subset of a set consisting of more than half of the set’s elements.
“Majority” can be used to specify the voting requirement, as in a “majority vote”.
A plurality is not necessarily a majority as the largest subset considered may consist of less than half the set’s elements. This can occur when there are three or more possible choices.
Now as I recall from the history books our forefathers who came over to this continent were in the minority to those who had already arrived and staked their claim on the land.
For whatever reasons of escaping religious persecution or the promise of riches, the boats kept arriving with Caucasian Europeans with their own culture invading another’s land. Unfortunately for the natives, the new immigrants brought weapons of mass destruction.
The majority was becoming the minority.
A minority are fewer than the majority of positions of social power in a society. The differentiation can be based on one or more observable human characteristics, including: ethnicity, race, religion, caste, gender, wealth, health or sexual orientation.
In the social sciences, the term “minority” is used to describe social power relations between dominant and subordinate groups, rather than simply indicating demographic variation within a population. Any given individual may simultaneously occupy both a majority identity and a minority identity, depending on the intersection of different social categories (e.g. around age, religion, gender, and so on).
Members of minority groups are prone to different treatment in the countries and societies in which they live. The discrimination may be directly based on an individual’s perceived membership of a minority group, without consideration of that individual’s personal achievement.
It may also occur indirectly by social structures that are not equally accessible to all.
And so the minority became the majority by brute force to decimate the existing culture, as any invading army will do.
Minority is the smaller part or number; a number, part, or amount forming less than half of the whole. Minority is a smaller party or group opposed to a majority, as in voting or other action. Minority is a group in society distinguished from, and less dominant than, the more numerous majority. Minority is a racial, ethnic, religious, or social subdivision of a society that is subordinate to the dominant group in political, financial, or social power without regard to the size of these groups: legislation aimed at providing equal rights for minorities. Minority is the period of being under the legal age of full responsibility.
Once a majority is declared, supremacy can be established over the minority.
Supremacy is the state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status. Supremacy is ascendancy, predominance, primacy, dominion, hegemony, authority, mastery, control, power, rule, sovereignty, influence, dominance, and superiority.
The victors reap the spoils. They make the laws. They take the riches. They enslave.
Discrimination is the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.
Discrimination is prejudice, bias, bigotry, intolerance, narrow-mindedness, unfairness, inequity, favoritism, one-sidedness, partisanship; sexism, chauvinism, misogyny, racism, racialism, anti-Semitism, heterosexism, ageism, classism, and formation of caste.
No matter the majority or the minority, discrimination will run rampant. It is a self-affirming emotion.
Families are formed and extended, churches and beliefs are modified to increase the congregation, social societies and clubs and organizations will form and create missions and visions for members to follow, political affiliations will be funded, elected, and established to lead the majority and the minority and yet there must be a hierocracy system of authority.
What of the ‘one’?
The one must decide how to interact with surroundings and opinions and in some cases condescending judgments.
It is up to you to be your own majority. And remember you are your own minority.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Where To Put Them?



So now the decision is getting serious and the monuments are coming down and being carted to some unknown destination. Where are you going to put them?
Well they could be melted down and the scrap metal sold but I’m not sure the cost would equal the reward. They could be put in with old cars and crushed into a pile of lost cause memories with some flecks of a ’68 Desota. They could be placed in former battlefields of men in blue and men in gray forming long lines and running at each other until the end of the day the remainders returned to where they started to eat hardtack and sleep in the dirt before walking to another location to do it all over again. Here the graves of the heritage can have their leaders but they may become downsized due to federal budget. They could be placed in cemeteries but that would only make headstones another monument.
They could be moved to the museum district but there is very little empty land available for so many huge statues to be stacked together. They could be placed out of sight but that goes back to the trash heap.
So here is an idea.
Sell them to the people who want to save them.
For whatever reason these people think these monuments should still be revered, let them have a bygone icon that’s usage is over, have them.
Let them pay for the dismantling and moving and do whatever they want with them. It won’t cost the state a penny except for the clean up. Problem solved, right?
These statues could wind up in Shopping Malls trying to draw curious shoppers or become weather vanes on farms. They could become oversized carousal horses in some weird theme park.
I’d take one. With a few licenses and permits and a tight fit, I’d put one in the back yard. Be the first in your neighborhood. What a conversation lawn ornament at your next soiree.
In a few years it could be covered by ivy and appear like some ancient figure out of some begotten time like the castles in Europe or the Pyramids.
 
Some statues you think have gone away but can still be purchased and placed on the lawn to remind your neighbors the story goes on.