Martin Luther King Day (2019)… and “Black Amends”

Earlier in our campaign travels we stopped in Selma, Alabama. Part of extensive cross-country touring included teaching our children American history. Here my wife Liz is explaining to our Sarah about “Bloody Sunday” at the Emund Pettus Bridge. –photo by Joe

Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Our campaign/research travels took us all over the country in the past 20 years, or so, to look at, among a host of things, Black issues. We volunteered at Koinonia Farm in Americus, Georgia, which was the backwater version of Selma/Montgomery. We followed the Voting Rights March route between Selma and Montgomery. We did an “Underground Railroad Tour” from the deep south to Ohio. We lived, for extended periods (and did outreach) in hardscrabble areas of Cleveland and Atlanta looking, first hand, at issues facing Blacks who have been trapped in inter-generational poverty loops. And more… From this exposure, including interviews with a variety of people who have developed models to help, we have crafted a comprehensive “Black Amends” position paper that would go a long way in making things right.

Bluster and bombs?

I visited this War Memorial in Spencerville, Ohio, the day Trump talked from the Pentagon. We should weigh our words soberly in this area, and our actions even more soberly. –photo by Joe

Yesterday Trump, with great fanfare, spoke from the Pentagon about withdrawing troops from Syria, ramping up even more our missile defense, and he talked, once again, about the need for a iron clad border wall. Yesterday I, with a whole lot less fanfare (in fact I was the only one there), visited a Military Memorial in small Spencerville, Ohio, in the early evening. The Memorial, among a good number of things, includes a marble stone listing every armed conflict the U.S. has had over the years where American service people have lost their lives. Anything from, say, WWII where 293,121 lost their lives to as small as the “Bay of Pigs” (1961) where four American service people lost their lives. As president, the gravity of going to war, any war, would weigh heavily on me. I believe in the “Just War” principles where, among other principles, you have to exhaust every avenue of peaceful diplomacy before committing to war. This would include, in my book, being as proactive as possible about preemptively “building peace” around the world at every turn. And there is so much more we could do in these areas, starting with our proposal for a U.S. Department of Peace. Note: “Bluster and Bombs” is not a sustainable, geo-political long-term answer.

‘Let them eat cake!’ Trump?

The underside of Joe’s 2004 Equinox, muffler tape and all.

Trump struck a $3.9 billion deal with Boeing last year for a new, and exclusively improved, Air Force One. I just spent $9.95 on muffler tape to help nurse the exhaust system on my 2004 Equinox through the winter because of other financial obligations — like feeding my kid. During the current Federal Government Shut Down, time and again there have been stories of a good number of federal employees who are living pay check to pay check and are being impacted, a lot, by this. And by extension, there are many of us in the country who are living pay check to pay check in general. This “Let them eat cake!” ‘Trumpian’ luxury mentality — eating, say, chocolate mousse at Mar-a-largo or the White House, while a majority of “average Joe’s” are struggling week to week, is, at best, quite troubling.

Trashing the planet?

Joe’s article

We, many of us, are “trashing” the planet. I wrote this article a few weeks back. Ada’s Village Administrator pointed out that China is taking approximately 40% less recycling from the U.S. these days because it’s trying to get its own pollution problems under control. I mention further on in the article, that when we were on a research trip out east a number of years ago, we learned that New Jersey’s landfills were all but full, and garbage trucks there have clear cylinders on the outside that the trash is initially funneled through before going into the body of the truck. If recyclables are observed in the garbage, some municipalities levy fines now — of up to $250. For a look at our position on the environment…

Middle Class Joe?

I just read that Joe Biden and his wife bought a $2.7 million beach house in Rehobeth Beach, Delaware with magnificent vistas of the Atlantic Ocean. Biden is colloquially referred to as “Middle Class Joe.” Above is the “vista” we have in our backyard. Enough said.

End the Space Program?

This Museum, shaped, that’s right, like the moon, is in Wapakoneta, Ohio. On an early evening stop there to watch my kid’s away basketball game, I took this photo. — Joe

I recently saw the movie First Man about Neil Armstrong. It was, indeed, compelling, and he was quite a guy. However toward the end of an Urbana (OH) Citizen newspaper article — see last post — on our campaign, it was noted that as president I would lobby to end the Space Program — at least for now. (I also said that during a Wapakoneta Daily News interview as well. How’s that for politically gutsy?! Especially given Wapakoneta is Neil Armstrong’s hometown.) Anyway, the reasoning is this: Today, as happens every day now according to the UN, 24,000 people will starve to death on this planet, some two billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water on this planet, global warming looms like a scary doomsday scenario above this planet — and I could go on, and on, and… In other words, until we take care of our planet, the billions of dollars rocketing toward other planets, and such, could be much better spent. Common sense. Note: And don’t even get me started on this Trump “Space Force” deal.

Joe’s college text book essay on Native American issues…

Joe’s position paper on Native American issues was used in this college text book.

Elizabeth Warren’s DNA testing shows some 6 to 10 generations ago there’s a strong indication of a Native American in her ancestry. Meanwhile, I’m pretty sure that’s not the case with me. However, what I did was go to a good number of Native American Reservations throughout the country where I conducted a significant amount of research. The compilation of this research was crafted into a position paper on Native American issues. And subsequently that position paper appeared as an essay in this Cengage Learning college text book.

Stumping coast-to-coast, at “Biggies”

Part of my stumping strategy is: When I see a group, any group, of people gathered… And so it was the other Friday night along Old Rte. 30 in Cairo, Ohio, on the way to my kid’s away basketball game in Paulding, Ohio. A group of guys were standing outside of “Biggies” front door jawboning. I approached and said: “I know this is coming out of the blue guys, but I’m running for president of the country as an independent candidate…” They asked some questions, including one guy wondering why I was running against Trump. I talked for about five minutes and then passed out some signed campaign cards. Another guy, who was drinking a beer, exclaimed: “When you get to the White House I’m going there to have you sign this!” I pointed out it was already signed. “Then I’ll have you sign it again,” he smiled. Note: Notice the Biggies sign. I can go “coast-to-coast” without ever leaving northern Ohio. Now my wife has mentioned, more than once, that maybe I should get a campaign strategist — besides myself, that is.

Front Porch campaign in full swing…

It was reported today that Elizabeth Warren has formed an “Exploratory Committee” to get a jump on the other potential Democratic presidential contenders. Not to be outdone, I declared a year ago and have been campaigning ever since. Part of our “Front Porch” strategy is putting up campaign cards/flyers in spots around Ohio. This bulletin board was at a Market in Mt. Eaton, OH, and as you can read, I don’t even need paid political campaign marketers for some of this stuff. Lol, sort of.

small business, a mobile chapel, recycling, an athlete who’s lost a step…

Catching up on the rest of the month… For “Small Business Saturday,” I did a newspaper story on, well, small businesses in Bluffton. They are the backbone of our economy (some 70% of businesses are small businesses), and they are an integral part of our Economic Position Paper… Pictured her, his woman runs a “spirit wear” shop downtown. The high school mascot is, that’s right, a pirate. It wouldn’t have been my first choice, but… I also did a story on a man from Ada, Ohio, who is a chaplain at a Mobile Chapel set up at a Pilot truck stop in Beaverdam, Ohio. It’s a converted 18-wheeler that has been converted to a chapel and sits as a beacon of hope, he said, for, often, lonely drivers who are continually tempted with drugs, gambling, prostitution… in some of these truck stops… I also interviewed the Ada Village Administrator for a story on local recycling. While there was a local focus, Jamie Hall explained the cost of recycling is going up because, in part, China has stopped taking the world’s recycling in order to ramp up badly needed pollution control in that country. China, for instance, used to take 40% of American recyclables to bolster their GDP… Our Environmental Position Paper outlines a series of measures we’d attempt to mobilize in America to work on our own pollution control… Instead of going to Mar-a-Lago for the holidays (although I realize Trump was stuck at the White House this time with the shutdown. I wish I was ‘stuck’ there…), I went to Steubenville, Ohio, for a family get together. One of our rituals is a family basketball game at the local gym. Our daughter Sarah was “Newcomer of the Year” in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference a few years back, our son Joseph is starting point guard for Franciscan University, our son Jonathan is starting point guard for his high school JV basketball team… and I couldn’t get out of bed the day after the game. I think I’ve lost a step.