Stuff on my busy mind, written early in the day, so that I can stop thinking about it all

News

Comment: While our President snorts about Fake News this ISIS opponent shows how honest and brave journalism is critical to the health of the world.

Trump

I haven’t bashed him for a few weeks and have come to depend upon the New York Times to expose his dark side. Its a full time job for a reader like me at a time in my life when I’d hoped not to feel compelled to read the news so closely.

Kansas, Oklahoma, Nebraska

Comment: As I keep postponing a start on the book about my Kansas Grandfather I keep seeing more stories about its Koch fueled current politics. One book title of recent vintage asked “Whatever happened to Kansas?” The same could be asked about the home of the Okies.

Oklahoma is the home of the owners of the Hobby Lobby who won a split Supreme Court decision not to cover abortion costs in their medical plans. Being good Christians they have sent some of their millions to America’s dread enemy. Although they are propping up ISIS by buying ancient artifacts looted by the terrorists its for a good cause. They need the artifacts for a Museum on the Bible.

And Nebraska, home of Oz’s Frank L. Baum? Well its also home to a bigger billionaire than the Kochs, Warren Buffett. While the Kansas Koch heads are busy trying to take us back to the days before the Trust Buster, Teddy Roosevelt, put restraints on big business, Buffet keeps undermining the Koch agenda. I’m not sure if this is the story about Buffett that caught my attention recently but in almost every story I read about him he does his best to pan mindless greed.

My Campaign for School Board

Comment: I got an early start compared to every other time I’ve worked on a school board election. There are only about two SB campaigns I didn’t have some interest in since 1989. That early start has been helpful and there are some good candidates who have surfaced. Still, I have been preoccupied with other incidental things like family so that the campaign has been a bit of a low grade fever for the past couple months. Now I’ve woken up to my long planned trip to China for which I have ten days to prepare. The election and my school board work continue but I will be crossing the Pacific during the July 18th School Board meeting.

My friend Ali offered to run a Facebook Page for my campaign and set one up. As it will be out of my control I’m a bit nervous about it although I did tell her that when the campaign is over I’d like to have the power to pull the plug on it. I’ve resisted Facebook political campaigns in the past but I know other candidates make use of them. I have a Facebook Page too. I got it in 2006 for a prospective race for Congress but ignored it for six years until my daughter started posting pictures of my Grandsons. I only have about 25 “friends” because some folks post a zillion items daily which clutter my mind and make it really difficult to find the important family posts I do want to read.

China

Comment: The ten days left to us before our departure doesn’t give us nearly enough time to read all the books we’ve bought about China. I finished the second Chapter of Tuchman’s book about Stilwell and that second chapter had as good an explanation about the western influence on China in the last couple centuries as I’ve read. It reminded me of a well regarded movie from 1966 and so I had Claudia watch Sand Pebbles last night.

Its a long movie at 182 minutes and the end is drawn out but it earned an Oscar for Steve McQueen. Its early scenes of the Yangtze River would be hard to pull off today with such verisimilitude. The Movie of a 1926 China kept showing Chang Kai-Shek’s Kuomintang Army menacing an American patrol boat as it attempted to rescue American missionaries in the city of Changsha. In 1926 Mao Tse-Tung had commandeered a Communist Army and turned it into a bandit army in and around Changsha, Mao’s old stomping grounds. Mao was to all intents and purposes a bandit for the Russian Communists and the Nationalists were as hellbent on attacking his bandits as they might have been on confronting “foreign devils.”

The book was published in 1962 before American’s were paying much attention to Vietnam but a review of the movie suggested it was intended to be a veiled critique of America’s involvement of the Vietnam War which was destined to spin out of America’s control not long after the movie’s 1966 debut.