The Adverse Effect Upon Children In The Era of Trump

I have observed for several years now that Conservative ideology prioritizes the right to profit over the needs of the people. Such has always disturbed me. But now that we are living in the “Era of Trump”, I have observed a focal point of that general ideology which escalates my concerns to a sense of urgency heretofore unrealized.

I am highly disturbed by the fact that in less than 2 months since Donald J. Trump assumed the Office of the Presidency, that several policies have been enacted or are in the works which result in harmful effects upon CHILDREN.

I find such to be inhumane, indefensible, and unequivocally unacceptable.

Consider the following examples:

1. The Muslim Ban has terrorized and potentially threatened the safety of CHILDREN. Families from war torn region are banned from entering the land of liberty, thus creating terror for the children whose parents must now find a place for their already displaced loved ones to settle and live. Who knows the perils that await such CHILDREN due to this insensitive and inhumane ban against immigration.

2. The Deportation of people whose only “crime” is being here has terrorized and potentially threatened the safety of CHILDREN. Families have been torn apart as children have witnessed their parents taken from their homes and disappeared. School children live in terror that their Mother might not be there after school to take them to the safety and security of their homes. Then once these precious children are home they live in terror that perhaps their Father might not come home in the evening from work as he has done so each and every day of their lives. And then to compound the terror that burdens the minds of these innocent children, they go to bed each night terrified that at sometime during the night their parents might be taken away by the Authorities and disappeared, and that they themselves might be snatched from their beds and taken to places which in their minds could only be perceived as places of horror akin to a living hell.

3. The reversal of President Obama’s order to allow transgender children in the Public Schools to utilize the bathroom of their choice will terrorize and potentially threaten the safety of these precious little ones. The insensitivity to the feelings of these already oftentimes misunderstood and all too often maliciously maligned children is reprehensible. The angst that a transgender child will experience by being forced to use a bathroom which is not in accord with the gender identity with which they personally most comfortably identify will terrorize these children, and could potentially lead to mental anguish with long term effects. Not to mention that now those precious children will be more vulnerable to bullying and taunting as a result of this insensitive policy reversal.

4. The prospective repeal of the Affordable Healthcare Act threatens the health and general welfare of countless children among the 20 million people who will lose Healthcare should such a repeal take place (as to “the general welfare”, such is the responsibility of Congress according to Article 1, Section 8 of our Constitution). In the light of the Trump Administration’s insensitivity to the suffering of children in the aforementioned context, I personally see no reason to trust this Administration to replace the ACA with any Healthcare plan which would be better suited to provide for the health needs of our society’s children than the ACA itself. That said, I would welcome a Single Payer, Healthcare for all system, but clearly such is so far removed from Conservative ideology in general, that there is no reason to even entertain such becoming a reality so long as this regime rules.

5. The proposed HR 610 Bill threatens the nutritional health of school children nationwide. It is bad enough that HR 610 steals from funding for public schools in order to support private education (which should be paid for out of private pockets), but furthermore by eliminating nutritional standards for school lunches and breakfasts this Administration is shamefully sacrificing the health and general welfare of our public school children for budget cuts and cost saving purposes. In essence, the health of school children is threatened for a price paid for by the public on the return of the enterprise of private education endeavors.

6. Now that House Republicans have voted to allow the dumping of Coal in rivers, and now that President Trump has authorized the building of the DAPL under a major water source in Native American regions, there will be a potential threat to the health of the children who live in those areas of the country. The fact that the Environmental Study related to the DAPL will now not be published, the public will not have access to the environmental and health effects of such, thus sheltering the public from ever knowing the degree of the perils to which the children of those area are being subjected.

Conclusion:

The fact that the focal point of many of the current Administration’s policies in such a short span of time results in the terrorizing of and potential health threats to innocent children is alarming and disconcerting. Although I am not saying that it is the intent of the current regime to harm children; nonetheless the effect of many of the Trump Administration’s earliest policies and decisions has done reprehensible harm to the mental and physical well being of our CHILDREN.

If the potential adverse effects upon CHILDREN is an unsuitable litmus test for an Administration’s policies and ideology, then what pray tell can justify the terrorizing and potential health threats to the most innocent and vulnerable of all beings in any given society?

If adverse effects upon children is the price in order to “Make America Great” again, then perhaps such an effort was never such a great idea in the first place, at least as conceived in the mind of Conservative ideology as executed in the Donald J. Trump Presidential Administration.

On Healthcare, Human Rights, and a Humane Society

Healthcare is a basic Human Right; hence:

1. The issue of Healthcare is a Human Rights issue.

2. The denial of Healthcare to even a single person is a violation of that person’s basic Human Rights; and is inhumane in and of itself.

3. The societal system which maintains that the rights of an individual or entity to make a profit is more important than the rights of an individual to have Healthcare is an inhumane system, and is a violation of basic Human Rights in and of itself.

4. The only way that a society can be a humane and just society is to ensure that each individual has Healthcare.

5. The logistics as to how to provide Healthcare to each and every individual then are necessary details in order to maintain our humaneness as a society and as a people.

Corporate Bullies and The American Way

Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Railroad executives made the decisions,
The Military executed their will.
Our First Americans to this day,
Are imprisoned and occupied still.

Rockefeller paid the National Guard,
To suppress Colorado miners on strike.
After Rockefeller’s paid goons,
Had murdered Strikers children, and their wives.

When starving WWI Veterans,
Came to DC to demand their Bonus Pay.
Macarthur and Eisenhower lead the military operation,
Attacking WWI Vets and their families that day.

Blue clad bullies with bullets and badges,
And armed with Fire hose might.
Have water tortured peaceful demonstrators,
Who dared sit for equal rights.

College students who demonstrated,
Against an illegal and immoral war.
Were murdered by National Guardsmen,
The dead count tallied four.

Don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

Children have been burned to death,
War Veterans attacked by the Military,
Students have been murdered,
Because people dared to be contrary.

Against a system of oppression,
Against systemic tyranny,
Against an evil empire,
Against an oppressive plutocracy.

From Ludlow to Kent State,
From Wounded Knee to Standing Rock.
Plutocratic servile bullies,
Arrive and go off half cocked.

So don’t you dare organize!
Don’t you dare stand up for what’s right!
Don’t you dare become a dissident!
Don’t you dare stand up and fight!

‘Cause Bribery and Brutality,
‘Tis the American Way.
Corporate bullies and their strong armed Law;
Have always ruled the Day.

And the beat down goes on………

Dave Henderson
Denison, Texas
November 25, 2016

(Dedicated to the brave Veterans who have committed to self deploy to Standing Rock in early December in order to stand with and protect our nation’s brave Water Protectors who have come under siege and vicious attack by Corporate bullies and their strong arm of the Law.

Veterans such as these understand the concept of standing up for the good by standing up against the evil.

I respectfully salute such brave men and women. DH)

Make America Great. Finally.

It seems to me that many of the problems related to our badly divided society are actually due to the fact that certain of the more honorable principles of our national Constitution have historically been systematically limited as to the degree of their application. For example, consider the beautiful sentiment and the profound principles of the phrase “promote the general welfare” as recorded in the introductory Preamble of the Constitution. As noble as the concept sounds, the fact of the matter is that promoting the general welfare was by no means the actual concern of the 55 Aristocrats who composed the Constitutional Convention. Nor for that matter had promoting “the general welfare” ever been the primary concern of any of the other greedy gold diggers from whom our nation evolved. The sentiment so expressed is indeed honorable, and undoubtedly “the general welfare” is in fact the end goal and defined purpose of that noble collective known as the society; but therein lies the misunderstanding which serves as the basis for the limited application of the sentiment itself.

For from our very conception as a sovereign nation, America was never a society. More to the point, America is, and always been; an ongoing commercial enterprise, whose welfare for an elite sector is systematically maintained by way of domination and exploitation. In fact, for the most part the history of Western Society was never about promoting “the general welfare”, but rather has always been an ongoing predatory commercial enterprise based upon invasion, conquest, domination, and exploitation of the vulnerable, for the express purpose of enriching and further empowering the already wealthy and powerful class of any given country. The systematic domination and exploitation of the many, in order to provide welfare for an elite sector then, has been the historical pattern of Western Society in general, and America more than any other country simply serves as an example of such.

And so, while giving lip service to the concept of equality and the general welfare, the fact is that the societal system by which our forefathers functioned is in principle the same by which we function today. Granted, the Civil Rights Acts of the 1960’s legalized the concept of the equality of all people, nonetheless we have yet to abandon our national systematic commercial enterprise for the welfare of the wealthy, nor do we yet refrain from foreign invasions to the same end. Thus, in spite of our incremental social advancements towards social justice, we nonetheless continue, as did our Forefathers, to fall short of the sentiments of our own Constitution, by implementing a system which fails to function accordingly.

This is not to say that things must remain as they are. For as long as the words “promote the general welfare” remain written in our Constitution, then we as a collective people shall ever have the documented right to become a society which seeks the common good as a necessary goal. Our challenge then is to aspire towards that noble state of social being which has alluded every generation of Americans going back to and including our Founding Fathers themselves.

For when, and only when, we as America decide to finally live up to the precious sentiment as expressed in our national Constitution “promote the general welfare”; then and only then, we will actually be a society instead of a collective commercial enterprise for the primary welfare of the wealthy and the powerful.

To do so would make America great. Finally.

Damned To Pay Our Dues

Those who are born wealthy,
Use their money to stay wealthy.
Those who are born poor,
Work for money to be healthy.

A ceaseless quest,
To exploit Mother Earth.
Manufacture money from trees.
Then pretend there is a worth.

To a rectangular shred,
Manufactured and stamped.
To symbolize some value,
To we the living damned.

Damned to pay our dues,
For exploiting her so.
Damned to become earthworm feed,
And to help her flowers grow.

In The Land of Endless War

Napalm in ‘Nam,
Drone Wars these days.
A remedy for peace,
Incessant warring ways.

Why settle for peace?
When another war will do.
Why negotiate?
With those you can subdue.

The Military Industrial Complex,
Their budgets must maintain.
Where there is peace and harmony,
A mercenary sees no gain.

We are often told,
That we are always right.
Each time we do engage,
And every time we fight.

Statistically unlikely,
As often as we combat.
For we are known to fight,
At the dropping of a hat.

A declaration I have made,
Peace upon the world.
The odds aren’t in my favor.
In the land of endless war.

The Second Coming of Jesus

While sitting on my deck today,
Enjoying the morning rain,
I had a weird thought,
Perhaps somewhat insane.

What would happen if one day,
Up there in Heaven yonder,
Jesus decided he’d had enough,
As on our deeds he pondered.

Would he turn to his left,
To look His Father in the eye.
And ask permission to depart,
From the sweet bye and bye.

And as he arose to split the scene,
Would he make this declaration:
“Got to go, Daddy-o,
To visit our favored nation!!”

So would he come to the USA,
This modern day Babylon,
To tune in to Faux News,
To hear the pundits babble on?

Or would he choose instead,
To visit that horrid place,
The secular pagan temple,
Of our entire race?

Yeah, would he go to Wall Street,
And rip up the ticker tape.
And overturn people’s desks,
As people stared and gaped?

And would he declare with anger,
As he looked into CEO’s eyes:
“Let not my Father’s world,
Be a mere place of merchandise!!”

And would he choose to dine,
With the President, and the First Lady.
Or would he rather keep company with,
Those whose character seems shady?

And would he heal the sick,
Oh, would he even dare!
To do the unthinkable,
By providing free health care?

And would he feed the masses,
The heathen and the slobs,
Or as he turned his back on them,
Would he say “Get a job!!”

And would his simple answer be,
When asked what he thought about Gays,
“I am no more hung up on that topic now,
Than I was in Biblical days”

And as he beheld bare mountain tops,
And saw the fracking of Mother Earth,
Would he appeal to our common sense,
For all that effort’s worth?

Or like that Indian in the commercial,
Back in the 1970’s.
Would Jesus be moved to shed a tear,
As his heart mourned woefully heavy.

And as he gathered his closest friends,
For his second grand ascent.
Would he speak of a spiritual kingdom,
Before away he went.

Or would he rather remind us all,
That existential is our being.
So we ought to try to alleviate,
All suffering that we are seeing.

Now, I readily admit,
These thoughts are pure speculation.
But I wonder what Jesus would do,
If he ever visited our nation?

Common Ground of Christianity and Humanism

Initially, it might seem that there is nothing whatsoever in common between Christianity and Humanism.  Yet I propose otherwise.

 

Granted, Christianity is based upon a theistic worldview; while most Humanists maintain a secular perspective.  And granted that Christians tend to interpret the Bible as sacred material; whereas Humanists rarely attach such sentiments to any writings whatsoever (although we typically value literature in general).  And whereas Christians usually maintain the historicity of miracles; at least those which are recorded in the Bible, most Humanists reject such based upon our secular worldview.  Yet these differences notwithstanding, I maintain that with reference to the most basic exercise of the human experience; that of social relations, Christianity and Humanism actually share core interests and concerns.  

 

Humanism is the theory that the intellect, and sensitivity towards the suffering of others, are sure and certain guides to sufficiently regulate the human experience.  Living in accord with reason and compassion then is to live as a Humanist.  In this context, it seems evident that Humanism is by no means an ideology which is exclusive from the Christian faith, nor the latter from the former.  For even the very namesake of the Christian faith himself lived as a Humanist. Regardless of whether Jesus was in fact a historical figure, or whether he was instead a mythical literary character; this much can be said on behalf of Jesus Christ:  His was a life which exemplified the basic precepts of Humanism.

 

Jesus was an independent thinker who did not allow laws and tradition to surpass reason and practicality.  When his disciples were hungry on a Sabbath day, and picked corn to fill their bellies, Jesus justified such as a practicality of the human experience, even reminding their authoritarian critics that the Sabbath was made for the benefit of man, and not vice versa.  When Jesus saw those in need of medical care on the Sabbath, he healed them in defiance of and in spite of tradition.  

 

Jesus was a practical man and one who was close to nature.  His illustrations and his teachings were oftentimes based upon nature rather than upon a text.  He reasoned with his hearers by challenging them to reason within themselves rather than to be merely lead around by authority figures and archaic traditions.  Jesus chided his critics for utilizing their intellect to read the signs of weather patterns, yet failing to be able to figure out right from wrong by reasoning circumstances to such an end.   

 

Jesus was a compassionate man, who realized the social responsibility to supply that which was lacking for those in need, not as an opportunity to capitalize upon the suffering of another for personal gain, but as the right thing to do.  When his disciples reminded him of the hunger of the masses, rather than question the lifestyle or initiative of the people, Jesus fed them.  When Jesus saw folks suffering and in need of medical attention, rather than inquiring as to their ability to pay for medical care or judging their worthiness and character, Jesus simply tended to their needs.

 

Jesus Christ; be he a literal historical character, or be he a literary mythical character was a man who was lead by his intellect, and who acted in accord with his compassion for the suffering others.  In this regard, Jesus Christ may very well be the greatest of all examples of what it means to live as a Humanist.

 

It is my conclusion that the major distinctions between Christianity and Humanism are primarily differences related to mere tradition and doctrines. As to more practical concerns; namely those of social relations and human suffering, the common sympathies between the two philosophies are basically indistinguishable. Hence, if we would but dispatch with matters spiritual for the purpose of mutual cooperation; and then focus those efforts on the plight of the human condition, I am convinced that Humanists and Christians alike can do much to alleviate suffering among humanity.
And so the apparent antipathy between Christianity and Humanism being merely philosophical, I suggest that a pact of cooperative efforts for the common good would be a practical benefit for the entire global community, and at the same time an opportunity for Humanists and Christians alike to exercise their respective heartfelt convictions.   

On the TPP: A Human Rights and Environmental Disaster

It is my personal opinion that we the public need to be aware of and actively oppose the TPP. This is a human rights violation and environmental disaster plan in the making.

The TPP would further enable American profiteers to outsource jobs overseas to sweat shops; in order to exploit people for even less wages and expose workers to even worse and unsafe working conditions than our workers are exploited by and exposed to already here in USA. Furthermore, the TPP would allow companies to sue governments (foreign and their own) over even the potential loss of profits if laws passed by such countries could potentially reduce those companies’ profits. Thus; if a country attempts to legally raise the minimum wages for working people, or attempts to legally raise the standards for working conditions, or attempts to legally regulate carbon emissions; then any given company can sue such a government for potential profit losses based upon such laws. Sweatshops, unsafe working conditions, ongoing human induced global warming resulting in even further catastrophic climate change are all issues that the world will be dealing with if the predatory Capitalists of this generation are able to get this TPP into effective operation.

Sadly enough, it seems that we would have already learned our lessons about the social digression of multi company trade agreements which enable and empower Corporate profiteers in the exercise of exploitation of people for gain and profit. We certainly did no favors for our own generation and that of our children by way of the original multi company trade agreement which enabled and encouraged the fabrication of American products by sweatshop labor; that being the NAFTA agreement passed in 1994 during the Clinton Administration. And we are surely only compounding our disservice to this and future generations by considering ratcheting up that process by way of the TPP.

That said; if you have an ounce of decency or compassion in your hearts, please become aware of and actively oppose the exploitation of people and the human rights violations exercised in sweatshops worldwide, and which are enabled by such trade agreements as NAFTA, and the pending TPP.

On Predator Capitalists and Decent People

I do not believe in God,
But I do believe in good.
To be kind and compassionate,
I believe we all should.

Predator Capitalists,
Prey on the misery of others.
They exploit circumstances,
And take advantage of our global brothers.

These vultures and vermin,
Are always on the take.
From New Orleans to New Guinea,
Another dollar they want to make.

To hell with Predator Capitalists,
I’ve nothing more to say.
Except to ask this question:
How can decent people look the other way?