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Not A Lone Voice In The Wilderness

Is the world getting scarier for you these days? It is for me. And what I’m about to write to you has been said by many other people, all of whom are much more competent at expressing themselves than I am. Actually, I’ve two things to say. Let’s start with my worrying about the end of democracy.

Trump-style Republicans, if you haven’t noticed, are doing everything they can to erode democracy as we know it. It might start with a local school board and their insistence that Critical Race Theory not be taught in the schools. (Which, of course is ridiculous because this is a subject taught on the graduate school level). We’ve touched on this before, so I’ll only say that what needs to be taught to our children is not how to hate themselves (or other people), for what has happened in history, but rather to make sure that they come away with a true picture about how POC have REALLY been treated in this country. TSR (Trump-style Republicans) are also working on the state legislature level to destroy and limit voting rights for minorities. This includes creating laws that will enable them to change the outcomes of elections if they don’t like the results. And then there’s the Washington TSR people who believe in the Big Lie. These are the ones that Trump has in his front pocket. From my seat on Fowler Ave., these people are only interested in gaining power and at any cost. I’m still waiting for them to show just a glimmer of interest in helping people. All of this spells a potential end to democracy as we know it. Truth has taken a back seat to money and avarice. And elections (which has almost never been shown to exhibit being rigged ), will now be in the hands of a minority. Starting with Roosevelt during the New Deal, there was a sentiment in government that it was created to help people and improve lives. Now, the Republican’s message is that helping is not helping, its a hand out and further its bringing us closer and closer to Socialism. My quick response to this is “Come on!” Do these same people want to give back their social security benefits. Surely, they should also look at that as Socialism, too.

The other thing that I want to share with you is about listening to those in our community who’s opinion are different from your own. Now, I’m not talking her about believers in the Big Lie. I have to admit that hearing what some of them have to say has made me curious. No, talking to them would only be an exercise in futility for me. But there are many people who’s beliefs may be different from you that it would be possible to have a real conversation with, if you could start with respect. In that way, people will feel heard and respected and there could be room for you to question and begin to understand where they come from. Many people who don’t share your own beliefs, are still believing that what they feel is right and to the point. It would be my hope that respectful questions will help all of us to understand each other better.

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All Lives Splatter (A Terrible Thought)

The above phrase is a disturbing notion that a friend told me that they saw on a bumper sticker. What in the world is their intention by saying that? My thought is that they want to drive home the point that no matter what you think or feel, that if you’re shot, that’s the end of it all. There’s no equality, no sense of justice, just a cold hard fact-people who get shot will get hurt and sometimes fatally.

I mention all this because something happened to me that was much less serious this week at the Durham Fair. Part of my extracurricular activities is to be a member of the Durham-Middlefield Social Justice Team. We’re a loose conglomeration of people who are interested in promoting social justice in our area. One of our first efforts was to try and eliminate the confederate flag image from the Durham Fair. Some of you might remember a few years ago when a band called The Confederate Railroad played Center Stage. You, yourself might have had a conversation with a friend or relative about the confederate flag. The most common reason that I hear that people wish to display this image is because its “part of our heritage and history”. Well yes, there’s no erasing the fact that there was a moment when a whole contingent of people believed that they were better and more deserving of the wealth that this country could bestow on people and for the reason slavery was not only acceptable but necessary to make that belief prevail. And, I might add that the institution of slavery also laid the groundwork for all the other ways that people who believed they were better than anyone else could keep control of wealth, money, land and all kinds of other assets. An absolute embarrassement to look at, as we contemplate our past. These are facts that are impossible to refute. And the trauma of the past 400 years has never left the minds of POC. The confederate symbol will evoke and cause trauma. This is not unlike the Nazi Swatzika and its effect on Jewish people, all these years later.

Last fall, our group secured from the Fair Executive Committee an agreement that the vendor contract would include a warning that no confederate images could be sold or exhibited. Thank you to them for taking this stand. As the Fair drew closer, we decided that it would be important to monitor the vendors and make sure that everyone was following these guidelines. We also decided (and I subsequently ignored this. You’ll see in a few more sentences), that if we saw confederate images in any booth, that we’d not say anything to the vendor but get a message to the Fair President and see what they’d do to rectify the situation.

At my earliest moment, I was down in the Commercial Building and immediately discovered a vendor with a whole rath of confederate belt buckles. In spite of our groups agreement to say nothing at the time, I engaged with the woman behind the counter. For better or worse.

“You’re not allowed to sell confederate images here. Its in your contract.”, I said

“I didn’t see anything that said that. Are you a member of the Fair Committee?” Long pause here, while I contemplated telling her that I was. But, I’m committed to only telling the truth where ever I go, so I denied being a Fair Committee member. That seemed to make her feel that she was off the hook for a second. And then…

“Why would you even want to show these images?” Oh oh, now I opened my mouth.

“We believe that the confederate flag is part of history. You can’t erase history.” True, I thought, and at the same time thought of all those people racing to Board of Ed meetings who want to make sure that our history is taught in such a way as to not remind people of the injustices white people have inflicted on POC. This is part of Critical Race Theory, a simple concept with a lot of data supporting the notion that the mechanics of our society are designed in an insidious way to make sure that white people will always have the upper hand. So, its not like I want to erase confederate ways from people’s mind-just don’t think its ok to celebrate and legitimatize these values.

“Would you sell swastika, too?”

“No, that’s different.” But I never heard why it was from her. It was pointless. Kind of like arguing with someone about the vaccine. I’d never get anywhere. Then, wished her a good day and turned to another shelf of hats. Are any of these hats with confederate flags on it, I wondered. This was suddenly interrupted by a larger, younger than myself guy. He immediately got in my face (so to speak) and told me that I couldn’t be in his booth. Its private property and I can’t be here.

“Really, because why?”, I asked-even though I was beginning to figure this out.

“Because you harassed my wife”, he shot back. Really, I thought. Harassed? So does that mean if one asks questions and disagrees with another person, that that’s called “harassment”?

At this point in our conversation, I had many feelings. First, Just general confrontations can be difficult for me. And considering that this person was bigger and younger also made me feel intimidated. But of most importance, I was being denied to be physically present where everyone else in the Commercial Tent was free to roam. My rights were being denied. Ok. A small inconvenience. Nothing like being a black student blocked from entering college or a lunch counter or a seat at the front of the bus. But it was real and not in any way a good feeling.

To be very clear, my momentary loss of freedom sits almost no where in the injustices that POC experiences for centuries and up to this day. Nowhere. But it did give me a small window into what powerlessness feels like. This was a small crack in my white male privilege life.

Turns our that vendor must have read their contract after I left because I returned with friends later, who scouted out the booth and reported that the confederate buckles were removed. This isn’t the end of the story, of course. Just a tiny step to eliminate images that cause trauma in the world. It didn’t stop Demolition Derby from having a car entry with a confederate flag on the roof, imitating the General Lee from The Dukes of Hazzard. Still, it felt good that we nudged the pile of crap that we call racism just one more spot from where it was.

Have a great week.

David

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I’m Holding My Breath

The events in Texas this week in regards to gun control, voters suppression and the Supreme Court’s decision not to review their anti-abortion law more than ever make me fear for the future of democracy. We should all stand up and take notice of what Republicans are doing. They have moved forward with all these issues inspite of a clear majority not in their camp.

Below, in full entirety is a letter that I received from the wonderful Heather Cox Richardson, a historian who teaches at Boton College. She is happy to share her thoughts with anyone. It not only outlines the historical mistake that is being made, but also serves notice on all of us to be weary and concerned about the direction our country is going in. Here is the letter:

September 3, 2021 Heather Cox RichardsonSep 4The new anti-abortion law in Texas is not just about abortion; it is about undermining civil rights decisions made by the Supreme Court during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. The Supreme Court declined to stop a state law that violates a constitutional right.Since World War II, the Supreme Court has defended civil rights from state laws that threaten them. During the Great Depression, Democrats under President Franklin Delano Roosevelt began to use the government to regulate business, provide a basic social safety net—this is when we got Social Security—and promote infrastructure. But racist Democrats from the South balked at racial equality under this new government.After World War II, under Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, and Chief Justice Warren Burger, a Republican appointed by Richard Nixon, the Supreme Court set out to make all Americans equal before the law. They tried to end segregation through the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, decision prohibiting racial segregation in public schools. They protected the right of married couples to use contraception in 1965. They legalized interracial marriage in 1967. In 1973, with the Roe v. Wade decision, they tried to give women control over their own reproduction by legalizing abortion.They based their decisions on the due process and the equal protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed by Congress in 1866 and ratified in 1868 in the wake of the Civil War. Congress developed this amendment after legislatures in former Confederate states passed “Black Codes” that severely limited the rights and protections for formerly enslaved people. Congress intended for the powers in the Fourteenth to enable the federal government to guarantee that African Americans had the same rights as white Americans, even in states whose legislatures intended to keep them in a form of quasi-slavery.Justices in the Warren and Burger courts argued that the Fourteenth Amendment required that the Bill of Rights apply to state governments as well as to the federal government. This is known as the “incorporation doctrine,” but the name matters less than the concept: states cannot abridge an individual’s rights, any more than the federal government can. This doctrine dramatically expanded civil rights.From the beginning, there was a backlash against the New Deal government by businessmen who objected to the idea of federal regulation and the bureaucracy it would require. As early as 1937, they were demanding an end to the active government and a return to the world of the 1920s, where businessmen could do as they wished, families and churches managed social welfare, and private interests profited from infrastructure projects. They gained little traction. The vast majority of Americans liked the new system.But the expansion of civil rights under the Warren Court was a whole new kettle of fish. Opponents of the new decisions insisted that the court was engaging in “judicial activism,” taking away from voters the right to make their own decisions about how society should work. That said that justices were “legislating from the bench.” They insisted that the Constitution is limited by the views of its framers and that the government can do nothing that is not explicitly written in that 1787 document. This is the foundation for today’s “originalists” on the court. They are trying to erase the era of legislation and legal decisions that constructed our modern nation. If the government is as limited as they say, it cannot regulate business. It cannot provide a social safety net or promote infrastructure, both things that cost tax dollars and, in the case of infrastructure, take lucrative opportunities from private businesses. It cannot protect the rights of minorities or women.Their doctrine would send authority for civil rights back to the states to wither or thrive as different legislatures see fit. But it has, in the past, run into the problem that Supreme Court precedent has led the court to overturn unconstitutional state laws that deprive people of their rights (although the recent conservative courts have chipped away at those precedents). The new Texas law gets around this problem with a trick. It does not put state officers in charge of enforcing it. Instead, it turns enforcement over to individual citizens. So, when opponents sued to stop the measure from going into effect, state officials argued that they could not be stopped from enforcing the law because they don’t enforce it in the first place. With this workaround, Texas lawmakers have, as Justice Stephen Breyer noted in his dissent, “delegate[d] to private individuals the power to prevent a woman from…[exercising]…a federal constitutional right.”Justice Sonia Sotomayor was more forceful, calling the measure “a flagrantly unconstitutional law engineered to prohibit women from exercising their constitutional rights and evade judicial scrutiny.” And yet, the Supreme Court permitted that state law to stand simply by refusing to do anything to stop it. As Sotomayor wrote in her dissent: “Last night, the Court silently acquiesced in a State’s enactment of a law that flouts nearly 50 years of federal precedents.” A state has undermined the power of the federal government to protect civil rights. It has given individuals who disagree with one particular right the power to take it away from their neighbors. But make no mistake: there is no reason that this mechanism couldn’t be used to undermine much of the civil rights legislation of the post–World War II years.On September 4, 1957, three years after the Brown v. Board of Education decision, a crowd of angry white people barred nine Black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The white protesters chanted: “Two, four, six, eight, we ain’t gonna integrate.” In 1957, Republican President Dwight Eisenhower used the federal government to protect the constitutional rights of the Little Rock Nine from the white vigilantes who wanted to keep them second-class citizens. In 2021, the Supreme Court has handed power back to the vigilantes. —-Notes:​​https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/20pdf/21a24_8759.pdfShareThanks for subscribing to Letters from an American. This post is public, so feel free to share it.Share© 2021 Heather Cox Richardson Unsubscribe
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Republicans Have An Outstanding Imagination

I feel like we’re all on a rapidly moving boat down some river. In front of us, I can see that there is a major drop off , a falls of sort. The sound of the water hitting the rocks below is deafening. Spray and mist are everywhere. It seems that there’s no alternative but to go over the falls. And yet, I know that we, as citizens of this planet can avoid this terrible tumble. It is easy for me to get into that head when I look at the direction Republicans want to take us to. Biden is trying to make government work for the good of the people, where by McConnell and company only want to benefit very rich corporations . (I will concede that many Republicans voted for the Interstructure Package, but this is mostly because it was getting hard for them to keep turning their backs on how popular these bills are with a majority of the people.)

One of the most ominous directions that Republicans are taking us is their push to ban from public school the teaching of Critical Race Theory. This controversy is a pure fabrication of the Republican Party. It was started by Christopher Rufo, a guest on Tucker’s show and then lead to his visit to the former President at the White House. Neither he nor Trump know a twit about the subject-it just seemed like a good opportunity to stir up their followers even more.

A quick word about Critical Race Theory should be mentioned here. There’s a lot to unpack about it. It is a rich an complicated constellation of ideas. Most people, especially the former President and Christopher Rufo seem to know nothing and have twisted it to use to their own advantage,specifically to rile their base. Wickipedia sums up what it is in the following way: Critical race theory (CRT) is a body of legal scholarship and an academic movement of civil-rights scholars and activists in the United States who seek to critically examine the intersection of race and U.S. law and to challenge mainstream American liberal approaches to racial justice. CRT examines social, cultural, and legal issues primarily as they relate to race and racism in the United States.

If I am understanding Anti-CRT correctly, there’s a large concern that teaching this subject is designed to make white children feel bad about themselves and hold them responsible for things that have happened in the past. I support parents wish to help their children maintain a healthly self esteem. But this movement is utterly going in the wrong direction in thinking that suppressing the history of all People of Color (POC) will protect their children from a poor self image.

First of all, things that have happened in the past are not the responsibility of young people who weren’t even around when offenses against people of color were committed. Albert Einstein said it all eloquently in the following statement: If the majority knew of the root of this evil, then the road to its cure would not be long.

Knowledge gives us power-great power to change individually and as a people. However, Anti-CRT people either don’t want to look at how POC where treated for the past several hundred years or they don’t believe it was that bad. Frankly, not sure which one it is. I’m just wondering for you, if you were raising your kids in this society, would you like to skip over the history of how POC have been treated over the centuries? How would you explain the Civil War and the reasons that it was fought? It would be an impossible task without mentioning that it was legal at one point in our history for one group of people to own and control the lives of another group. The hole that would be missing in your children’s knowledge would be so vast that it staggers my imagination. The very real and sad fact is that the history of society’s treatment of POC is and will always remain an utterly abhorrent part of US history. I keep looking back at the wisdom of Albert Einstein on the subject. ‘…….then the road to its cure would not be long.”

Durham could expect a controversy to erupt over CRT. Probably at a Board of Education meeting or even thru Town Times letters. Both Guilford and Killingworth have had a brush with this, already. My hope is that the BOE will take these comments in stride and support the concept of teaching unobscured facts, allowing students to get an unobstructed view of past history.

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Just To Be Sure

I don’t wish good things for the former President. Probably some of the things that I wish upon him could be bad for my personal karma. I recognize all this, but still can’t help myself. Its just the way it is. Reminds me a little of how Huck in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn resigns to the fact that he’s just going to have to like people of color, and particularly the runaway slave that is holding space with him on a raft gently floating down the Mississippi River. Huck is faced with a big choice: either stand with Jim and help him or turn his back, hich woud lead to Jim’s recapture. He is unable to do anything but help him, in spite of all that he’s been taught about slaves his whole life. When he realizes that he’s going to help Jim, Huck recognizes that he might go to hell for helping a n—. “And if that means going to hell, so be it” (or something like that).

So, I find myself wishing the worst for him, even though I’m sure that such thoughts are bad for my health. And, I’m not alone in wishing bad things for him. When I’ve confide my thoughts to friends, all of them have had the same evil thoughts. How about you?

Trump is, in my opinion, a cheat, a liar, demonic, and a person of no empathy. Everything and everyone has been put on the earth to benefit him. And yet, he seems impervious to being brought down by the justice system. There was a moment when the arrest of his CFO, Allen Weiselberg looked like the moment he might get arrested, however Mr. Weiselberg would not flip on Trump. But now something new has come to light.

Former Acting Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen gave scorching testimony this week, showing that the former President tried to get him to sign a letter stating that the election had been fraudulent and therefore the results should be overturned. Rosen’s second in command(Donoghue) was witness to these communications and took copious notes. According to these notes, Trump pressured Rosen on a daily basis to sign a statement that the election was seriously flawed. Isn’t this tampering with an election and illegal?

For myself, I want to see him go down. Politically, this probably won’t change anything. There’s plenty of baby Trumps sitting in the wings to take his place should he falter. Abbot from Texas or DeSantis from Florida to name two. But there needs to be justice. I don’t like the idea of these big guys knowing that they can get away with this stuff. Same for Cuomo in NY. Political leaders have got to stop believing that they are all powerful and can get away with anything. Democracy wasn’t meant to operate that way.

Meanwhile, our “Tomato Waterfall” has finally arrived for you. These toms have been babied and coddled thru a long and sometimes treacherous growing up period. They aren’t cheap and for good reason. A lot of work has gone into each and everyone of them. However, I will stand by my standard Star Light guarantee to you- If you don’t literally jump up in the air with delight after trying one these,we’ll give you your money back. They’re that good. And remember, you can’t eat like this in February.

Have a great week.

David

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If I Call These People Stupid, I’ll Get A Lot Of Flack

Does this happen to you? You’re talking to your friends, spouse, partner or sympathetic neighbor about how the world is doing and how it seems that people have just divided up strongly into two different camps. After a few back and fourths, one of you finally says ” How can these people be such idiots”or “They’re just stupid”. On face value, dismissing people because of their beliefs seems a bit harsh and judgemental. Most of us would like to believe that we’re rational beings, someone who looks carefully at any situation before taking a position on anything.

I’d like to think that I’m one of those people, but what comes out of the news these days has made “all bets off”. To me, it seems a fact that no matter what the cold hard facts are, that Republicans make up their own reality. To list but a few that seems irrafrutable would be that Trump won by a landslide, that actions by humans are not causing global warmng, that all the proposed new laws on the state level are meant to improve the voting system rather than repress the vote of POC and that the January 6th event was more like a tourist attraction and little or no harm was done to anyone. (5 people died and 140 police officers injured. Doesn’t sound like “a little” to me).

But this week something came to my attention that makes it hard not to call certain people idiots. As we all know, the pandemic has recently taken a big push upwards. The new cases have skyrocketed. Literally every new case is someone who hasn’t been vaccinated. Or to put it in the words of Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the Director of the CDC, this is a “pandemic of the unvaccinated.” Florida alone is responsible for 1 out of every 5 new cases. It should also be noted that Red States are the hot beds of this rise in numbers.

People who wish to remain unvaccinated are saying that its their body , so it should be their choice. Are they, therefore defending Roe V Wade?! A philosophical question is, should people be legally required to be vaccinated? It seems to me that by making the choice to remain unvaccinated that they’re choosing to endanger other unvaccinated people , including their young children. That can”t be morally right, right?

I can’t help myself but to conclude that these people are not using their brains. Tell me what you think.

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Tucker Carlson Is Far From Being Your Friend

My observation is that Republicans (the big ones: Mitch M), Matt Gaetz, the crazy one from Georgia-Marjorie Taylor Green) all lie. They also believe in the Big Lie. Let me count the ways. Mitch McConnell performed such voodoo in regards to the nomination process in between Merrick Garland and all of the Trump Cadets that he managed to squeeze thru the voting process. Matt Gaetz lies about is relationship with under aged woman and still manages to hold onto his seat. And MTG? She is just plain crazy right down to the end of her toes. They all believe The Big Lie, and they all insist that the election was stolen from DJT. And most disturbing is that they depend on Tucker Carlson to help spread utter lies and deceit. The more loudly and insistently you say something, the more likely it is that people will believe what you’re saying. In this case, any thing that looks like white people are going to lose power because POC have the vote or a strong voice- they feel and act threatened. This has been going on for a long long time. The act is insidious and has been seen over and over again. After the Civil War there was a huge surge in black voters in the South which resulted in many representatives. In Georgia, in 1868, if you can believe this, there were 33 new Black Representatives. Feeling threaten, the white members of the House, voted to expel them all on the grounds of incompetence.

I could go on, but then I’d lose track of Tucker. You know, the guy on Fox ,who probably pulls in $47million for just lying to the public. The main point is the example above, which takes place immediately after the Civil War was just the precursor of so many ways to keep POC away from money , power, a sense of decency and the vote. The historic Voting Act of 1965 helped restore so many rights for POC, only to be pulled away in 2013 by Chief Justice Roberts et all. So along comes a guy, Christopher Rufo, who literally ignites a movement who’s soul aim is to make sure that white people do not EVER look closely at the history of how non white people have been oppressed for hundreds of years. He gets a spot on Tucker’s show and implores DJT to take up his cause, which in fact he does. The reality is that Critical Race Theory is an academic exploration of how POC have been systematically taken out of the realm of great economic and freedom opportunities. Its a study. Is anyone out there going to say that the thumb of society has not placed itself heavily on this segment of our population? Anyone? Its not about making our children feel bad or responsible for the horrible things that have happened in the past. No, it is just making sure that we understand what really happened. Our children need to understand what awful things were done in the past in order to insure that they do not repeat any of this themselves.

And that’ my big gripe with Tucker. He’s rather hide behind an anti-Critical Race Theory rock and insist that he’s protecting our children’s self esteem. He is not a stupid person. He knows what he knows, but chooses to lie. I’ve no use for him except to help point out how dangerous bad people in the media are.

When friends tell you how glad they are that they aren’t teaching Critical Race Theory in our schools because they don’t want their children to have low self esteem, you could remind them that CRT is not about feeling guilty-its about learning the truth. And the truth is not pretty, and we need to understand in order for there to be any going forward.

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What Did You Learn In School Today, Dear Little Boy Of Mine

It seems to me that issues have been the same damn thing forever. Last week, there was several articles about how states are outlawing Critical Race Theory because they were trying to avoid having white children feel bad about themselves. Who’s going to argue with that? Of course, the picture is so much different than what the law makers are trying to convince people is the truth. First of all, Critical Race Theory is NOT being taught here in town or anywhere for that matter in the public school. In a word Critical Race Theory ‘s goal is to challenge the popular notion that racial justice is here already and that the law upholds such notions. Well, I could go further, but you get the idea. But the Tucker Carlson’s of the world are trying to convince people that Critical Race Theory main goal is to force white students into thinking that they are bad and responsible for the current status quo as far as racism goes. There’s so much wrong with this position that its hard to know where to start. Let’s start with the wonderment-do we not teach our children that one group (whites) enslaved another group (POC) for hundreds of years, denying them their humanhood, future financial assets and dignity (to name but a small sample)? Or do we just gloss over the massacres of Tulsa, Rosewood, Elaine , to name but a few of a long and shameful list, an pretend they didn’t happen? Or Redlining, the insidious plan to deny real estate to African Americans after WW2? To say the very least, these are terrible, unconsciounable events. But to omit them from our knowledge base because it might make our white children feel bad about themselves…??? That’s just not the way it works. Your 12 year old son or daughter is as much responsible for these deeds as your family pet. However, these children desperately need to be equipped with the history of this country that includes terrible things that white people did to POC. Education, sound judgements and opinions are based on knowing real facts not “Tucker Carlson Facts”. This is what we owe to our children.

I started this letter with a reference to a folk song that I grew up with. Lyrics are by Tom Paxton. Almost 60 year years ago, I would hear this song sung beautifully by Pete Seeger. The issues are the same now as then. And perhaps that’s why I feel that what goes around comes around. Please spend a moment reading the entire song below. I hope that you agree with me that our education system should help our children see and experience the truth rather than limit what they can know about.

Here’s the whole song:

“What Did You Learn In School Today?”

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that Washington never told a lie,
I learned that soldiers seldom die,
I learned that everybody’s free,
And that’s what the teacher said to me,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
that’s what I learned in school.

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned the policemen are my friends,
I learned that justice never ends,
I learned that murderers pay for their crimes,
Even if we make a mistake sometimes,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned that war is not so bad,
I learned about the great once we had had.
We fought in Germany and in France
And some day I might get my chance.
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school

What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?
What did you learn in school today,
Dear little boy of mine?

I learned our government must be strong;
It’s always right and never wrong!
Our leaders are the finest men
And we elect them again and again,
And that’s what I learned in school today,
That’s what I learned in school.

Words by Tom Paxton

To all of you I wish a peaceful start to Summer and that its full of all the magic you might be hoping for.

Namaste,

David

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Garlic Scape Pea Tendril Pesto

After years of hearing customers at the markets rave about Garlic Scape Pesto, we finally made some and it totally lived up to all the hype! Even Joel, who is famously anti-pesto wanted seconds.

Garlic Scapes are the flowers of the garlic plants, they start growing in an upwards direction but quickly take a nose dive then back up and back down until someone notices them . Once the scapes start making their loopyloops we start walking up and down each of the garlic rows pulling them out. One, because we want to eat them. But mostly because we want to trick the garlic bulb into growing more. We planted over 110 pounds of garlic last fall, so needless to say we have A LOT of scapes.

I found a recipe from motherearthnews.com and adapted it to fit the ingredients we had available. Here is what they called for:

  • 1 Bunch of Garlic Scapes (10-12 roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 Bag of Pea Tendrils (3 ozs)
  • 1 Bunch of Basil
  • 1/2 Cup of Olive Oil
  • 1/2 Cup Walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan

We didn’t have any other nuts besides peanut butter and cheese besides cheddar so I went for it and was not disappointed. I also added juice from half a lemon. Throw all those ingredients in a food processor or immersion blender and voila!

To make it vegan, use nutritional yeast. And to make it nut-free use sunflower seeds/butter.

So far I have enjoyed the Pesto on pasta, scrambled eggs, crackers, salad and toast! So, basically everything I’ve eaten since I made it last night.

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It Can’t Happen Here

Sinclair Lewis, in 1935 wrote a dystopian novel about a want to be American dictator who rises to power much like Adolf Hitler did in Germany. There’s been much written about the threat to democracy lately and for good reason. I’d like to reference a recent article in The New Yorker by Susan Glasser. Here’s the link. I don’t actually know if you’ll be able to view it if not a subscriber, but I think you can.

https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-bidens-washington/american-democracy-isnt-dead-yet-but-its-getting-there?utm_campaign=cm&utm_source=crm&utm_brand=tny&utm_mailing=TNY_SubPersRec_020520&utm_medium=email&bxid=5bea0f103f92a404695d3e06&cndid=44577949&hasha=a8bae82104ddcae98c6ae804ac85e509&hashb=1f83627dcdd5b8850bcbbce335c34c4b08764631&hashc=ef08fa421749567f671865d6233e099f34723180ba317fb3c0f8cab1c3504b00&utm_term=NYR_Pers_Recom_2021-06-02

In Hitler’s rise to power, we see many people warning others of the danger that Germany was going in. It did not help. In the end, millions of German citizens embraced all of Hitler’s heinous notions of how the world should evolve from here on in. Many of his assertions, particularly the concept that Jewish people are inferior to the Ayrian race was just a statement. There was no proof behind any of it. But Hitler understood the power of suggestion and the weak spots in the German citizenry and was able to mobilize and create a threat to world democracy never seen before in history.

Now, today in America we see every day a total departure from reality. How do I list the ways. The election was stolen from Trump. He’s going to go back to the White House and become President in August. The January 6th attack on the Capitol was merely a bunch of tourist and there’s no reason (according to Mitch) to scrutinize the event. It would serve no purpose.

And now the ex President is attacking vigorously Anthony Fauci and trying to vilify him. That right there should set up warning bells for all of us. Dr. Fauci has worked endlessly and tirelessly through out the pandemic. Further, Dr. Fauci has stuck to real science-a subject that every Republican should go back to revisit. It doesn’t matter what the subject or concept that you want to push on the American people, if you’ve got the platform (and DJT surely does) then you can get anyone to think almost anything. There’s going to be a long list of Republicans who get on the anti-Fauci Bandwagon

And that’s where we are. Republicans are insisting that the Dems are Socialist, ignore science in general, doing everything that they can think of suppress the POC vote because they know that they don’t have the real votes, so they’re going to figure out ways make the vote work for them. And remember, inspite of the insistence that voter fraud is robust from Republicans, there has been not one shred of credible evidence to show this to be true.

And one last thing, it was shown today that DJT tried to use the Department of Justice to overturn the 2020 national election. The DOJ is suppose to be an independent arm of government and should not have to answer to the President. That is one of the strong ways to help keep democracy strong.

I know now, that everyone that reads what I’m thinking is somewhat closely aligned with what I’m saying. There was a time, when I’d be loosing 5-10 people a week. These are people who’d rather do without great food (or get it from another farmer, who’s not so vocal!) rather than hear an opinion. But everyone, the warning flags are out there-everywhere. Democracy is on the line. If you don’t believe it, than you’re not paying close enough attention. And I mean that in a friendly way. Please, if you don’t agree with that, look again.

Have a great week. Star Light is shining day and night. We feel lucky to help feed you

Namaste,

David