Addressing Poverty

I just finished a book, “The Inclusive Economy; How to Bring Wealth to America’s Poor” by Michael Tanner. I recommend it as a tonic for the hyper-sensitive and accusatory political battle we seem to be in today. It has DATA! Data that compares various methods employed over the last 50 years in the noble attempt to reduce poverty in our great country.

Notice I said reduce. Poverty will be with us for the foreseeable future. It can be reduced but the author identifies five major pillars that must be addressed in order to do so.

He talks about the history of poverty reduction in the 20th century and the great progress made in the first half, but also about the stagnation in the second half through today. He talks about specific programs, their positives and negatives. Those first few chapters are instructive, at least they were to me.

He then talks about how both sides of the political spectrum need to re-evaluate historical perspectives in order to get us off this plateau and achieve further reduction of those in poverty.

He then lists the five pillars:

  1. Reform the criminal justice system, end the war on drugs.
  2. Reform education system and stop the slide of the U.S. in education outcomes.
  3. Bring down the cost of housing.
  4. Make it easier for the poor to bank, save, borrow and invest–and start businesses.
  5. Increase economic growth and make it more inclusive.

We, both conservative and progressive, must admit the policies of the past 50 years have failed. We must cooperate if our citizens see a path to a better economic future. Personal freedom is a key to this goal.

I welcome your comments. We can create a society with a minimum of people in poverty if we agree to look at what works, love those who may disagree with us and not judge those in poverty.

MLK, A Philanderer

I was in my late teens when MLK changed the world, for the better. I lived outside of Washington, DC, where I was born and raised in various places within 2 hours of our capital. On august 28th, 1963 I was getting ready to enter my junior year in high school in Annapolis, Md., finishing up my summer as a lifeguard at a local pool.

MLK gave his “I have a dream speech” that day. Annapolis is the state capital and houses the Naval Academy and has lots of rural farming and fishing industries in the surrounding geography; tobacco farming to the south and Baltimore 90 minutes to the north. A diverse area demographically and economically (the area around DC even then had five of the richest counties in the country).

The reaction to the speech was positive in my house, my father spent 20 years in the Marine Corps, spent four years in the Pacific fighting up the chain of islands ending at Iwo Jima; then going to Guam to prepare for the invasion of Honshu. He had an integrated battalion (he was a LtCol. at the time, 28 years old). He told us kids that we all look the same when a mortar round hits us.

At school however the feelings ran the gamut, as they did everywhere else. Annapolis High School was across the street from Bates High School, the “colored” school. I had friends who were as opposed to MLK as others were around the country. I had friends who saw him as a person who would change the country. Stories were circulating then that he had plagiarized material for his PhD, that he cheated on his wife, was a communist, etc.

Well, cheating on his wife appears to be true, a Mr. Garrow has published a 7800 word detailed piece based on interviews and materials just released from the FBI, “vetted summaries” from tape recordings that will be released in 2027. The Justice Department has confirmed the accuracy of the summaries. No one in the U.S. would publish the piece, so he went to England. Most of the MSM have discounted the material, but the tapes supposedly clearly indicate the accusations are accurate.

Mr. Garrow is a Pulitzer prize winning historian, respected by his profession and peers. He identifies himself as a “democratic socialist.”

I have heard of this piece, and read more in details from the WSJ today, on the Opinion pager, “A Reckoning With Martin Luther King.”

I post this for one reason. All of us are imperfect. Do we trash everything an imperfect person did because they-owned slaves-cheated on tests-cheated on their wife-sexually harassed another person-don’t think Obamacare is the right solution-etc. if what they do is considered by all to be “good” for the people of the country? Many hate President Trump because he is a cad, crude guy-yet-the results so far are economically good-NATO is stepping up rather that sucking off us-China has been screwing us for decades (I have seen this personally as I traveled there on business)-maybe N Korea will be tamed-Iran has been using our money to kill those they don’t like-Russia has stolen territory from other countries. I like many of these results even while disliking him personally.

I disliked Clinton, still do, but he was an effective president, mostly. I disliked Obama, he disliked me too-I cling to my bible and guns, and I think he was an ineffective-elitist president.

It is easy to be critical.

How many of us would stand up to the kind of scrutiny you get when you become a public figure. When Nixon was running against JFK and proof of his philandering was found, Nixon refused to use it because he felt the election should not be tarnished by such action. Kennedy won by 112,ooo votes-not win a majority, he won the electoral college ( He won Illinois by 8800 votes, many say Mayor Daley was the reason he got those votes.

My hope and prayer is both sides get off their high horses and stop judging the other side of a debate as ………………….., insert your own words.

Divided we will fall.

Oberlin College Tires to Smear Local Business

“Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”, John Acton. A well known phrase and the article below is another example, a college tries to smear a local business because they exercised their rights to prevent students from stealing from them. Because the owners were Caucasian, the students mixed race, they were racist. Over 2 1/2 years enduring multiple protests in front of their 130 year old business, being black listed from doing business with the college and tons of hate speech the facts finally came out that the students actually did try to rob them; the students stated they did and the business was not racist, the college trying to buy their silence before a jury awarded the business damages.

Power in our country was designed to be distributed so that one person, or group could not use it to subjugate others. Concentrated power is what people came from others countries to avoid, to have the freedom to pursue happiness based on their own decisions.

Progressives throw out the “fascist” word regularly when trying to label those who disagree with their desire to gain power over others. The quote above applies to all who try to accumulate power to make others do what is “in their best interest” but they are too stupid to realize it-whether they are progressive or conservative. Fascism started in Italy by Mussolini, it was praised by the progressive movement in this country for 20-30 years as the way of the future.

Oberlin College has been stopped in its’ tracks by a jury who looked at what they did and said, “Nope!” Good for the jury. Distributed power, let us not ever abandon it.




Separation of Church and State

I am a christian, a member of the Episcopal (Anglican) tradition, on my mothers’ side to before the American Revolution. There are things my church does that I do not agree with, but more I do agree with. We, in most cases, do not preach politics from the pulpit; we preach the message of the gospel which to love God and your neighbor. Still a good message. Then, follow your heart and engage in politics in whatever way you see fit, remembering the two directives above.

“One of the penalties of refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”  Plato

I read a piece this morning I resonated with, a mixed race preacher talked about the church’s role in politics. An excerpt and a quote from the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King is below.

“In 1967, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave this direct warning to people of faith:

The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.

Today, we forget that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was the Reverend Dr. Marin Luther King Jr. The organization he founded, SCLC, stood for the Southern Christian Leadership Council. It was as a Christian leader, standing unashamedly on the authority of Scripture, that King spoke truth to power and called out racism and bigotry in society.”

The preacher highlights the following: “The phrase “separation of church and state” does not appear in either the Constitution or the Bill of Rights. What we have is the First Amendment’s “establishment clause,” which prohibits setting up an official state church. Somehow, “separation of church and state” has soaked into our collective consciousness and brainwashed us into thinking the church must never insert itself into political discourse or public policy. It is actually the other way around: The point of the First Amendment is that the government must get out of the church’s business.”

“The conscience of the State”, what a nice idea.

Why I, as a Black Pastor, Must Speak Out on Abortion


Accountability-June 6, 1944

75 years ago our country was united behind our need to eliminate a clear and present threat to our, and the world’s, way of life. Fail, and hundreds of millions of people would live under tyrannical leaders whose vision excluded vast classes, races, political freedoms from their vision of a “1000 year rule.”

Luckily the German, Italian and Japanese fascists were defeated, the communists were not engaged and in various forms still exist today. China is implementing facial recognition Ala “Minority Report” as well as social scores that control what benefits you receive-they are growing rapidly in military might; Russia is rearming, taking land that legally isn’t theirs per the UN, threatening bordering countries; Venezuela has descended from one of the highest GDP per person in South America to beggar status; Cuba remains Cuba; many in our country think giving government more power over individual freedoms is a solution; and the list goes on.

Our political leaders on both sides refuse to meet in the middle;  pursuing political wins versus doing something. They are accountable to themselves only. This isn’t new; after G. Washington left office he warned of the divisiveness of party politics. That happened in the next election, and continues through today.

General Eisenhower was confident in the plan for “Overlord”, but also realistic. He penned the below prior to the landings.

“Our landings in the Cherbourg-Havre area have failed to gain a satisfactory foothold and I have withdrawn the troops. My decision to attack at this time and place was based on the best information available. The troops, the air and the Navy did all that bravery and devotion to duty could do. If any blame or fault attaches to the attempt it is mine alone.”

How I wish those in Washington had an iota of the same kind of courage to be accountable. We live in a dangerous world. Our fellow citizens are not our enemies; many outside our borders are-whether economically or militarily.