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H2O Man

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Member since: Mon Dec 29, 2003, 07:49 PM
Number of posts: 52,093

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Robert Kennedy: In His Own Words

My favorite politician is the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy (D-NY). As we approach the anniversary of his death, I like to look through the numerous RFK books in my library, including those written about and by him. This year, I thought I’d share some information on one of those books, as it is as important as it is overlooked by both historians and the general public.

I found the book in Boston, where I was staying for several weeks in late june-early July of 1988. Its title is “Robert Kennedy: In His Own Words (The Unpublished Recollections of the Kennedy Years)” published by Bantam Books (1988). I’ve rarely seen it in other book stores for sale, but I’m sure that in this day and age, one could find copies for sale on the internet.

In 1964, ‘65, and ‘67, Kennedy was interviewed by Anthony Lewis, John Bartlow Martin, Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., and John Francis Stewart, for the John F. Kennedy Library. The series of interviews cover the “Thousand Days” that President Kennedy served in office. They go into great detail, not only about the issues the Kennedy administration was confronted with, but also the personalities of those in the administration.

Those who, like myself, hold RFK in extremely high regard, tend to separate his public career into two distinct phases: his career before November 22, 1963, and the relatively short span from 1964 until his death in June of 1968. While this is fair, reading this book reinforces the belief that Robert Kennedy had begun his transformation while serving as Attorney General: the Cuban Missile Crisis and the Civil Rights movement expanded his thinking on the conditions the United States was confronted with in both foreign and domestic affairs.

The majority of these interviews were conducted in that brief period between Dallas and his becoming the driven social-political activist between 1966-68, of which his 90-day run for the Democratic nomination for President stands alone in American history. It was that period that most of his biographers refer to as a time of severe depression. This book documents that Kennedy -- not surprisingly -- experienced the range of emotions that are known as the Kubler-Ross model for dealing with death and dying.

In his early career, Robert Kennedy earned a reputation for being “ruthless.” Indeed, that description is something he jokes about in the interviews. His public enemies viewed him as a self-righteous, hostile , vindictive prick. More than a little of this comes through in what Kubler-Ross identifies as the “anger stage” of grief -- in which an individual focuses rage upon proximate people in their surroundings. The mutual dislike between RFK and LBJ is, of course, legendary. However, in the early interviews, Robert attacks the reputations of the majority of those who played roles in the Thousand Days -- both inside and outside the administration. It’s only in the final, 1967 section that one encounters RFK’s acceptance of people and events, although it is clear that he has become re-focused on eventually reaching the goals that he and his brother shared.

For people of my generation, it brings up the two “political” questions that continue to haunt us: what if Dallas had not happened? What if RFK had not been murdered? What direction might our nation have gone in?

The book provides insight into the “everyday” workings of a White House. This includes the built-in tensions between the White House and State Department. It also details the difficulties a President has in exercising control over intelligence agencies, such as the FBI and CIA, as well as the military leadership.

Perhaps the most interesting part, at least for me, was Robert Kennedy’s description of events involving the Bay of Pigs. He tells of how military officers working with the rebel forces as they trained in Nicaragua were prepared to go far beyond the limitations that President Kennedy had laid out for the US military and the para-military forces they were training. His description includes the quote that what they planned was: “Virtually treason!” (page 245)

It was on this foundation, constructed during his pre-Attorney General days, and his experiences in the Kennedy administration, that Robert was transformed into a US Senator and presidential candidate who had the potential to make the United States a much better country. There are, f course, another dozen books that I would recommend to anyone who is interested in that era. RFK’s death in 1968 is part of the history of that period of time -- especially that year -- when our nation underwent a wide range of changes.

Peace,
H2O Man

Standard Blues Changes

There have been a few discussions regarding the differences between Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley on DU:GD in the past month or so. Some of these include informative and valuable insights; others focus on the poster’s opinion; and at least two or three seem to be rather negative. Well, at least that’s my interpretation.

This morning, as I went on my daily walk -- and found a perfect flint arrowhead, circa 1300 ad -- I was thinking about what these three announced Democratic Party candidates have in common. I’m confident that the synergism of my being old and lacking in intelligence insures that my list is far from complete, but I thought it was important.

Each of the three is a superior choice, compared to the announced republican presidential candidates, or any potential republican who may enter the race.

Each of the three can win the national election; this is particularly true if the Democratic Party as a whole works for their election.

Each of the three could lose the election, if the party is divided.

Each of the three could be effective in getting meaningful legislation passed, if the party also works at electing/ re-electing good candidates to the House and Senate, and continues to put pressure upon our elected officials.

Each of the three could find it impossible to pass meaningful legislation, if we do not focus attention upon both Houses of Congress.

Each of the three has strengths and potential weaknesses, as all three are not only human beings, but are politicians.

I’m sure that there are more than this half-dozen common features. If you can think of more, I would appreciate it if you could list them.

Thanks,
H2O Man

Wow! (Your Opinion, Please!)

An associate just sent me the following link. It is to a news article, complete with an audio recording of Senator Ted Cruz. I read the article and listened to the recording; admittedly, I am only half-way through my first cup of coffee this morning, and can't be 100% sure, but I suspect that this could remove this pimple on the republican party's ass.

http://www.thestatelyharold.com/#!Exclusive-Ted-Cruz-calls-Obama-an-Nword-in-secret-audio-recording/cmbz/556c8bde0cf2312d7962f040

The Public Square

I was encouraged by Bernie Sanders’ call for an increase in the number of presidential candidates’ debates, and even more so by his suggestion that a more open, inclusive forum be used. It will be interesting to see two things: first, if any of the marginal republicans endorse the concept; and second, how the corporate machines behind both parties respond.

The republican machine, of course, is intent upon limiting both access to, and the number of, their primary debates. As Willard Romney has said, there’s no use in even talking to 47% of the voters. Rick Perry himself has noted there are three reasons for this. But there are plenty of others, such as Rand Paul, who appear eager to appear on any stage.

I suppose it is inevitable that some in the Democratic Party will insist that Sanders’ suggestion is foolish, and that there are established rules that make it impossible to seriously consider providing the American public with that more open and inclusive format to discuss the serious problems that we face. It’s possible that they will take a page from the republican book -- first, make fun of the idea; second, say its impossible; and then simply ignore it.

Every step towards bringing “politics” back to the Public Square is, in my opinion, a good thing. Indeed, that is what our constitutional democracy requires. It is, in essence, the opposite of having decisions made in what were once known as “smoke-filled rooms,” but now are plush, air-conditioned corporate offices.

The three announced democratic candidates -- Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley -- are all capable communicators; each would have opportunity to appeal to a wider base by using such a format. It would be interesting to show the stark differences between reality-based candidates, and those who deny climate change. There are other extremely important issues to be discussed, from national security to the TPP. This format could only be “high risk” for a corporate candidate, such as Jeb Bush.

Malcolm X used to say that if you place a sparkling clean glass of water next to a glass of filthy sludge, you can trust a thirsty public to make the correct choice. I think a “water-taste-test” in the Public Square is a great idea.

Peace,
H2O Man

Food for Thought



This is a link to a short film that my daughter & two classmates made on food.

Real People

It seems lately that my attempts to become a full-time hermit, and cut off almost all contact with the outside world, keep getting derailed, if only temporarily. But what, a rational human being can -- and, indeed, should --ask is, “But what does this have to do with that fellow Bernie Sanders?” That’s a fair question. A little “off the wall,” but I’ll deal with it.

One of my favorite pastimes is sitting quietly, out near my little pond, and feed the fish, birds, and chipmunks. I have a one-room cabin there, as well as a great stone fire-pit my boys made me, plus my lodge is only a couple dozen feet away, hidden in the brush and edge of the woods. I love to hang out there with my dogs.

But recently, people call, to ask for my thoughts or assistance on some issues. Some are minor: an area school principal was attempting to prevent a 16-year old girl from attending her prom. The girl has had serious (brutal) health issues, and missed enough of the year that she couldn’t catch up. She’ll be “home-schooled,” with hopes she can eventually enter college. She’s a bright, good young lady.

Her father is employed in the media, and has covered a wide range of issues that I’ve been involved in over the decades. So he called me. I told him to approach the school correctly, going through the “appropriate channels,” and to repeat three sentences I wrote up, having to do with: the state’s focus on inclusion vs. exclusion; that she’s not a “drop-out,” as the principal claimed, but rather a kid with medical “special needs”; and that it was better to resolve this rationally, rather than have it become a news story. (Their superintendent and BOE over-ruled the principal this morning.)

A group of teachers and concerned citizens from yet another district requested my help in recent elections for three seats on their school board. Despite several “recounts,” their three candidates won. Convincingly. And an area District Attorney requested my help on his re-election campaign. (In upstate New York, every not every race involves a Democrat vs. a republican; sadly, some are republican vs. rabid tea party. Less often, it is republican vs. rabid tea party vs. Democratic Left. In a four county area, the candidates that I’ve assisted are 8 to 2 winners in the past five years.)

Now back to the question about Bernie Sanders. I guess what has impressed me the most recently has been listening to conversations that a fairly wide range, in terms of age and income, of people are having. Because it’s not just the same small group of people, going town to town, that are doing the grass roots organizing. I think it is like one of the cycles that Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., spoke and wrote of so often. More people seem to be waking up.

Let me give an example. I think it is an important one. Today, among the groups that is targeted for “blame” in American culture is public school teachers. I include those in K through 12, as well as those teaching in public colleges and universities. While that isn’t a new social dynamic, the intensity of it has increased in recent years. It is both fair and accurate to say that a large segment of the 1% are actively opposed to public education. And they use their lap dogs in political offices, and even in churches, to take cheap shots at public education.

Now, the teachers’ unions are relatively strong. But that isn’t the only way to advocate for quality public education. As I have studied systems for decades, I’ve long been aware of another option. And it’s funny how you can say something for years, and it seems like others don’t really hear you. Then, suddenly, they do. A teacher can’t serve on their school’s BOE, but not every teachers resides within the district that employs them. Hence, it is entirely possible to organize, and get one or more teachers on their community’s school board. That changes the tone of the conversations that BOEs have. (Two of the three new BOE members in the one school are public school teachers.)

Back in the Reagan era, the right-wing republicans became aware of the fact that school boards are the first step in elective office. They exercise -- to various degrees -- community control. So they started running candidates. More recently, in the northeast, energy corporations get employees to run for school boards. In some cases, quite literally, they advocate for “community support” for fracking of gas. I’ve seen this.

“Community control” is power. It’s not the only power, by any means. But it is the building block necessary to create a larger movement to bring about social justice. Well, at least in a constitutional democracy. This doesn’t mean one segment of the community speaks -- or makes every decisions -- for the entire community. But it does require bringing a variety of voices into that conversation, which is an important part of that decision-making process.

When people start to actively participate in the social-political process, they begin to understand that they have more power than they did as a cog in an industry. Their economic power might be slime, indeed, but that isn’t where their power resides. It’s kind of like a teacher serving on the BOE of their home community, but not where they are employed. It’s a group power, the Power of Ideas.

Now, back to this Bernie Sanders character. Quite a few people are talking about him, which suggests there is a very real possibility that most of them might actual listen to him. And I think that is a good thing. If a large segment of the population listens to him with an open mind, I think that they will hear him, and understand. That’s not to say that his current message is any different than it was, decades ago. Principles and ethics are constant. Rather, it is that we are at a time when more people are able to hear him.

Peace,
H2O Man

War




My younger son sent me the above link. This is among the most important things that I have ever encountered in my life.

We watched it last week, before going to a community college to watch my youngest daughter graduate. One of her high school classmates -- he and she graduate from high school next month -- just joined the US Marines. A young man from last year’s class, who recently completed “boot camp,” had convinced him it was the best option.

These young men are fellows I watched grow up. I walk the corn fields with one’s father, looking for artifacts. I’ve bought corn from the older one’s family, at their family farm stand, a quarter-mile down the road.

My son has considered joining the military. He said that this video changed his mind.

Today, all four of my children will be here. Some other family and friends, too. We will remember the service of family and friends.

I can’t help but think of a kid who went to school with my sons and nephews. I watched him grow up, and I remember him on various sports teams, much like the two kids from my daughter’s school. He joined the service for entirely patriotic reasons. He died in Iraq. The biggest part of him that was returned for burial was one of his hands. And for what?

Fuck George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and the rest of those shitheads.

Authority

A former associate recently approached me about her working conditions. She is a public school teacher. Although the teachers union per se has organized power, the faculty at her school is inconsistent in advocating for themselves. She described people as “scared,” though there is no rational explanation for their fear.

This is an example of the type of general anxiety that a significant portion of our population feels. It impacts the manner in which individuals and groups behave. In my opinion, it illustrates why the majority of the American public accepts -- or becomes emotionally invested in -- a social-political system that exploits them.

Obviously, the current economic trends are a major factor; people fear being fired. Yet for people to fear that potential, when they know that they are doing a good job, So let’s examine a few “group dynamics” that come into play. We’ll start with “authority,” and how that translates in group behavior. Though I’ve written about this first part before on DU, I think a brief review is of value.

There are three general types of “authority” in human communities. The first is “traditional,” and as the name implies, tends to apply to older cultures. Things are understood to be done in a certain way, because “that is the way that we’ve always done them.” An example of this can be found in how I can identify what general cultural phase a specific projectile point I find dates to, for there was a “cultural compulsion” in which everyone, for perhaps several hundred years, made their spear points and/or arrowheads. There was no authority figure who demanded that they were made thus; rather, it was the way everyone did -- because they worked in helping that group meet their needs.

The second type is “charismatic” authority. This is generally that man or woman who the group recognizes has special insights and talents, and who others chose to follow. In the negative potential, of course, that leader can misuse his/her authority, to impose their beliefs and choices upon others. Charismatic leaders tend to be like meteors: they burn brightly, but for a brief time. For their ideas for social change to take deep root, they must be followed by the third type of authority.

That third type is “bureaucratic authority.” This is the type that deals with large groups of people. The general concept is that most people have similar issues, and this system identifies the easiest way to handle that common problem. If you have ever had the experience of going to the DMV for an uncommon problem, you’ve come face-to-face with the weakness of such a system.

Now, within each of these three types, there have long been easily understood rewards and punishments for various types of behavior. Generally, an individual knew where he/she stood. That does not mean that their status was good or bad, acceptable or unacceptable. But it was defined, with another type of “authority” to back it up.

This other realm of authority has two general sub-groups: “overt authority” and “anonymous authority.” Most of us are familiar with “overt authority,” which includes, among many others, when a parent disciplines their child; when a teacher kicks a student out of class; when a policeman arrests a person; or when a boss fires an employee Obey the rules, or face the consequences. In a relatively healthy society, these rules are enforced fairly. In a sick society, these are enforced in an unfair manner.

Let’s consider some examples. In a healthy society, more young black men would be enrolled in our colleges and universities, than in jail, or one parole or probation. For a healthy culture benefits from the education of not only all groups, but all individuals. An unhealthy culture involves a small group that benefit from the incarceration of a large group.

Or, another example: a healthy culture recognizes every adults human right to be married to the adult individual that they love. For a healthy society promotes the happiness and well-being of all of its members. In an unhealthy culture, a group with power attempts to impose its beliefs and values -- its dogma -- on other groups, to deny them basic human rights.

In a healthy culture, the legitimate purpose of discipline is to instill self-discipline. In unhealthy cultures, those who administer “discipline” tend to be undisciplined individuals, acting out their frustrations, anger, and sense of inferiority. By no coincidence, the American experience in the 20th century per public education provides numerous examples -- good and bad -- of how “discipline” and “respect for authority” took root in our culture. As the twig is bent …..

In the post-WW2 period, two dynamics were changing in the United States: public education was being recognized as more important than it previously had been, and the capitalist economic system began placing more emphasis upon encouraging consumerism. The two were, of course, closely related. Yet, there were some significant tensions between the two.

Progressive advocates for public education recognized the benefits of relaxing overt authority within the schools. There was European influences on concepts of instilling self-discipline in children and youth, much of that based upon insights in the field of psychology. These were sincere attempts to improve students’ experiences and futures.

Industry viewed schools somewhat differently. Since public schools are, in a sense, not-for-profit businesses, this applies to some administrators, but more so to the local corporate leaders and the politicians who serve them. The “elite” male students (many of whom attended private schools) were destined to go on to college, as were a smaller percentage of the females. But the majority of the public school graduates were going to be finding employment in factories, or jobs connected to the local factory or the construction industry. Female graduates might go on to, for example, nursing school, or become public school teachers, but the majority went on to become housewives.

Now, while we know that the greatest growth was in the military-industrial complex, the country grew in other ways, too. This included those things such as “the suburbs,” and cars to drive on the new highways, for the expanding middle class. A high school diploma allowed a father to work in a factory, and support his family in a more comfortable style than before. At the same time, there was a growth in other unhealthy areas, such as depression, substance abuse (primarily legal drugs, such as alcohol), and family violence (including suicide). Although other industrialized nations showed some growth in these areas, the United States was #1.

There are numerous valuable insights on the nature of how the middle class economic experience impacted our society. These include important thoughts on how, when our economy went from industrial to high-tech, the human experience -- in relation to one’s self and others -- has also changed. Still, in order to understand “today,” we need a grasp of “yesterday.” And some of the articles and books that were written back then are essential; my favorites include Durkheim and Fromm.

Durkheim wrote of the phenomenon of “anomie,” in which traditional bonds and institutions give way to the power of the nation-state. He famously spoke of citizens in modern society becoming a “disorganized dust of individuals.” Fromm built upon this, and noted how consumerism had led to a uniformity in the middle class. More, he spoke of how individuals increasingly found it difficult to be either alone, or different than the mass-produced modern middle class citizen.

That discomfort with being alone, and fear of being different, is the essence of unhealthy “anonymous authority.” No person -- boss, cop, teacher, or whoever -- has to enforce a code of conduct upon the individuals that make up a group, for they police themselves.

The dynamics of this type of conformity is distinct from the cultural compulsion that results in almost all projectile points resembling each other in days of old. Those cultures used specific types of projectile points for everyone’s benefit. In our culture, a small sub-group is capitalizing upon that anonymous authority that produces conformance.

Because the true nature of the beast of anonymous authority is not visible to some, or appears “too big to change” to others, society has created various outlets for those energies that should be invested in over-turning the system. People who want to be part of a team for identity are free to become fans of the Yankees, Celtics, or the Cowboys -- or all three. They can even buy shirts, hats, and banners that identify them with that group.

Or, they might identify their life experiences in a group context, be it religion, political party, or similar club. Or, for young adults, there is that opportunity to “be all that you can be” by joining the military. In all of these instances, however, we can see that some corporation or another is profiting financially.

But what is more important to the 1% is that those sports’ fans and religious folks are available to work in the factory -- or school, or office, etc -- most of their time. And to be sure they do their jobs, while feeling uncomfortable for unidentified rational reasons. To get out of work, slam down a six-pack, and to be ready the next day.

The victims of this system become alienated from their own being: they complain about work conditions, but never take meaningful steps to address the real problems. The fill their “off” time with activities that, while intended to be fun, are un-fulfilling. They avoid “alone time,” even if they lie to themselves, and believe they enjoy it -- but just can’t set aside the time. For they are too busy. Busy, busy, busy people.

“It is beneath human dignity,” Gandhi told us, “To be a mere cog in the machine.” Clearly, cog-ism is one human potential. But it is not the only one, nor the most desirable. In order to change the current reality, society needs a group of people to rise above the cog status. To reach a higher ground than that which allows people to know that “climate change” is a reality, and one that poses definite negative consequences -- for Mother Nature practices a type of overt authority that doesn’t consider if one is from a wealthy family, as everyone suffers -- but still be stuck in place, heading down a self-destructive path.

We need a revolution in our thinking, and our behavior.

-- H2O Man

New World Disorder

On September 11, 1990, President Geoege H. W. Bush spoke of a “new world order.” At the time, many critics assumed it was a clumpy attempt by a poor public speaker to sound inspirational in describing the promise that the post-Cold War held. In fact, it marked one of the very few times Bush spoke honestly, although he attempted to make the plan sound beneficial to everyone, especially US and Soviet citizens.

A quarter of a century later, it is evident that this new world order has not brought stability, much less security, to the world at large. It has helped a tiny minority to prosper. And it is in this context that we should view the TPP -- for it is nothing, if not an agreement by the wealthy elite, disguised as an international trade deal.

Bush attempted to sound like Woodrow Wilson advocating for the United Nations. But Wilson’s post-WW1 attempt to prevent the international tensions that led to warfare was sincere, and based upon both the rule of law, and respect for every nation’s sovereignty. The TPP is distinct: it is an attempt to over-ride governments, and institute the authority of multi-national corporations.

After WW2, a new reality was created in the United States -- a strong middle class. Although looking back, we can see that this was primarily the territory of white men, it would provide opportunity for others to struggle for social justice. And, for several decades, it allowed US citizens to live in a level of material comfort that had not been experienced by human beings in the past. Indeed, it created a lifestyle that most global inhabitants today do not have.

A solid case can be made for the concept that this lifestyle did not improve the quality of life -- except in material comfort -- for many people. This is evidenced by the rates of mental illness, especially depressive disorders; suicide; violence, including but not exclusively gun-related; and rates of drug dependence, abuse, and addiction. This includes, of course, both illegal and legal substances, even those prescribed by a doctor.

America’s military might allowed it to exploit the resources -- human and material -- from much of the world. Exploitation by corporations, including the military-industrial complex, was greatest in “Third-World” nations. Likewise, the USSR had sections of the world it exploited, and competed with Uncle Sam for access to the Third World.

Times changed. The Soviet Union came apart at the seams. US corporations began to cooperate with foreign businesses in manners that displayed a total lack of anything that could be mistaken for patriotism, excepting only their commercials and ads. The leaders of various nations were primarily fronting for these corporations.

As a rule, American presidents talk about their desire for peace. Yet, it would be difficult to identify when we haven’t been involved in wardare -- though not in the manner identified by the Constitution of the United States, nor against specific nations. But a general policy that involves violence of the type that benefits powerful US corporate interests -- including, of course, those of the military-industrial complex.

Indeed, although the general public was distracted, there was even a shift between the exclusive use of the US military, to hiring “private contractors” -- with tax dollars, and without Congressional oversight. These “private contractors” began as the “security” forces of various corporations, which sometimes morphed into a corporate identity of their own. But hey, corporations ARE people. Just ask the US Supreme Court.

While Americans are busy fighting about “social issues” -- primarily rooted in one group’s attempting to prove their church employs the biggest god on earth -- corporations have focused on purchasing the best politicians that money can buy. That’s not to say that all politicians are corporate lap dogs. But most are. And the few who aren’t willing to “rise above their principles” for the good of the team get run over, one way or another.

Non-US corporate elitists know that their populations require a higher standard of living, in order to insure that they can be more fully exploited. And US corporations are willing partners. Heck, they are eager to pay workers less money, not have to deal with unions, or obey pesky environmental laws. And, as we have witnessed, there is a corresponding decrease in US citizens’ living standards. That “middle class” ain’t what it used to be.

We have options. One is to do nothing, and just accept this new world disorder. Another would be to focus entirely upon which candidate favors our positions on social issues; indeed, they are important. A third option would be to exercise the rights, and live up to the responsibilities, that the Constitution provides for. And that obviously includes actively supporting those politicians who aren’t owned by corporate interests.

Peace,
H2O Man

Hatred in the USA

On April 10, the FBI arrested Robert R. Doggert, 63, of Signal Mountain, TN. Initially, the criminal complaint was sealed. However, the complaint was recently unsealed, to show that the former congressional candidate was planning a violent attack upon an Islamic community in the town of Hancock, NY.

Doggert’s plan was to have a para-military force attack the community, with snipers using rifles; with explosives to destroy the school and mosque; and machetes for “hand-to-hand” combat. He reportedly had selected this community, based upon some Fox News reports that it was a “terrorist training camp.”

It has been reported, based upon Doggert’s previous communications, that he had planned a similar attack on another Islamic community in the past. However, during the course of his preparations, he had been disappointed to learn that community was non-violent, and its residents were well-accepted as good neighbors and responsible citizens by the larger community of non-Muslim residents.

Having lived and worked in this area of upstate New York for many years, I am familiar with the Islamic groups in Hancock and near-by Deposit, both in Delaware County. The vast majority are from families in NYC that, in the 1960s and ‘70s, converted to Islam. As happens with human beings of all religions, or no religion, some would seek to move out of the city, to raise their families in “small town America.” If one were to follow one of the main highways out of NYC, heading west, one comes to Hancock and Deposit, and eventually Binghamton.

In the 1980s, groups of people from mosques in NYC, seeking a better quality of life for their families, would pitch in funds, and buy old farms in our region. They sought to raise their own livestock and gardens. They faced a certain amount of mistrust at first, for several reasons: “city folks” do not always mix well; most are black, moving into white towns; and they weren’t “Christians.”

However, at a time when “family farms” were being put out of business by corporate farms, and when many beautiful old farms were being sub-divided into lots that realtors advertised in distant places, the locals came to appreciate having hard-working, law-abiding neighbors. Not everyone, of course, but in time it became clear that the only ones who were opposed to these settlements of Muslims were the racist trash on the margins of civilization.

After 9/11, the fear of Islam began its metastasis, and those who were not familiar with the group in Hancock became convinced that the settlement was a cell that posed danger to our society. The articles linked below, however, clearly identify the diseased individuals who pose the risk of extreme violence in America.

http://www.wbng.com/news/local/Former-congressional-candidate-arrested-charged-for--304050121.html

http://heavy.com/news/2015/05/robert-doggart-tennessee-congressional-candidate-islamberg-new-york-anti-muslim-islam-attack-arrest-court-documents-photos-charges-plea-patriot/
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