Saturday, June 11, 2016

What a Surprise: We Moved To Whitopia!

Good Day World!

When my wife and I moved to Oregon from California three years ago, one of the first things we noticed was the lack of African-Americans.

(Ken Webber of Medford, Oregon wears a confederate flag hat and shows the Confederate flag that got him fired as a school bus driver in 2012 (AP)

At first we just thought it was Medford where we live. But, as we explored the state, it became increasingly clear that Oregon was Whitopia.

Did some research. Here's why there's still so few African- Americans in Oregon today:

When Oregon was granted statehood in 1859, it was the only state in the Union admitted with a constitution that forbade black people from living, working, or owning property there.

It was illegal for black people even to move to the state until 1926.

Oregon has had more than its fair share of utopia community experiments. The definitive book on the topic is Eden Within Eden: Oregon’s Utopia Heritage, where you’ll find plenty of those utopian communities catalogued.

While 13 percent of Americans are African-American, just 2 percent of Oregon’s population is African-American.

Oregon today still exists as a white utopia in some respects.

The state, much like so many others, is haunted by the residue of experiments in whitopia. These experiments form the basis of Rich Benjamin’s 2009 book Searching for Whitopia: An Improbable Journey to the Heart of White America.

The thing is, we never dreamed we were moving into Whitopia. We thought Oregon was like California in it's racial diversity.

I still can't get use to seeing Confederate flags flying from the back of pickup trucks (see photo at top of page) with rifles in the rear window. Apparently, Oregon's lack of gun laws is very attractive to rednecks from throughout the south and midwest.

I want to say in all fairness, we have been treated GREAT since we moved here. Almost everyone we've run across has been nice. We've made a lot of new friends too.

I've learned something new. It's not a pretty picture, but at least it explains why I seldom see people of African-American descent here.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Going In The Wrong Direction: Students, Cheaters, And Swat Teams

Good Day World!

Nine million students taking the "gaokao" (China's national university test exam) are hoping to get high tests scores this week because their future literally depends upon it.

The test exams are distributed throughout the country by SWAT teams. You read that right.

Exam test papers were delivered by a police SWAT team in Beijing for the first time this year and at least eight police officers guarded each test center, according to state media.

Why, you wonder?

Because the Chinese have a problem with students cheating on their exams. Any students caught cheating risk going to prison for as long as seven years, the official Xinhua news agency recently reported.

Count yourself lucky of you're a student in America where prison sentences aren't given to student cheaters.It's a good thing too because we have more than our share of them.

I've been reading about how well financially our universities are doing with the influx of international students. But there's a dark side to those students.

A recent Wall Street Journal analysis said that international students are five times more likely to cheat in U.S. universities than domestic students.

And guess which country sends the most cheaters?


I'm not sure what to make of that. Cheating in American high schools is already widespread if not endemic. And it usually works according to an ABC News Primetime poll. 

Maybe those Chinese students know that the consequences are minor if caught cheating in universities across America. Or, more likely, it's just a cultural thing in a society that sets such high standards. 

I wonder what it'll take to turn the tide of international and domestic cheaters in our education system? 

Note to NRA: Don't even think about putting SWAT teams in our schools to catch cheaters! You're already trying hard enough to bring guns on campuses now.

Perhaps we ought to encourage our teachers to build up more student loyalty - as well as how to guard against cheating? At least it would be a baby step in the right direction.

There's no doubt that we're going in the wrong direction right now.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Thursday, June 9, 2016

More Holidays Needed To Reflect 21st Century

Good Day World!

You can never have too many days for celebrations in a year. We need more to reflect the changes in our 21st century society.

Stuff that we see and hear on a daily basis. Here's some quick suggestions for your consideration:

National Stupid Week

A time for stupid people to celebrate their diversity and their unique take on the world. Parades led by stupid politicians can wind though the streets of every city in America.

Race Baiting Week

This holiday will be the highlight of every racist's year with rants from individuals and groups competing for various accolades and prizes.

Racists can celebrate their twisted take on minorities without fear of any reprisals for one week. 

Groups of like-minded racists can compete against professionals like the KKK, John Birch Society, and Neo Nazi's organizations like StormFront. Or, each other.

Individuals will be encouraged to summit racist slogans for prizes in fairs, and to the mainstream media.

National Zombie Week

Everywhere you look nowadays there's zombies staggering through popular movies and television shows. There's hip zombie clothing and toys.

National Zombie Week will be an apocalyptic week for zombie lovers, who can shuffle from store to store buying creepy makeup and masks. Retailers will love it.

Zombie parades from coast to coast. Zombie Film Festivals and Food Fairs featuring loathsome snacks fit for the undead will be among the many options offered to encourage your inner-zombie!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

'Trump Detox Center' Will Be Federally Funded

Good Day World!

Meanwhile in a parallel universe...

In a rare bi-partisan agreement, The House of Representatives passed a resolution today to fund a national "Trump Detox Center."

Trump followers unable to reconcile that their Donnie lost have been causing chaos in the country. They need mental health care to get over their trumpery addiction .

They can be seen wandering mindlessly through stores and public places muttering to themselves about "...making America Great Again."

Trumpetts are reporting a series of problems to counselors as they try to grasp the reality that the White House won't be re-named the Trump House.

The senate is expected to quickly pass the resolution and to send the bill to President Clinton's desk, ready for approval by Friday. 
Under an emergency contingent by Congress the national construction funds and staff funding are expected to be available within a week!

Anyone who voted for Trump that needs (and wants) mental health care to deal with The Donald's political loss (and conviction for ripping people off with his Trump University scam in California) will be offered help FREE of charge.

Want to get that Orange-Kool aid out of your system? A "Trump Detox Center" will be coming your way soon!

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Sexism Sells: Presidential Race Is A Gold Mine

Good Day World!

I think we can all agree this is one of the nastiest presidential races in America's history.

Vicious personal attacks by presidential candidate, Donald Trump, have opened the door all the way to selling sexism via politics. We already know that sexism is rampant in the advertising industry, selling products from clothing to food.

Now people are making a lot of money calling Hillary Clinton every name in the book. Entrepreneurs are seizing the moment and are gladly providing more fuel for Trump's sexist campaign attacks.

Sexism sells. Politicians have been using the gender card for decades.

This election however, has become a coming out party for corruption and crass sexist comments on steroids.

Entrepreneurs like Sam Constantino have discovered that the anti-Trump stuff is not selling. In a recent interview he said "that it's just the anti-Hillary stuff that's selling."

Constantino estimates that Hillary merchandise is 100 times more popular and it's the sexualized, gender-specific stuff that sells best! 

Here's two recent Top Button sellers: "Hillary will go down faster than Bill's pants," and "Trump that Bitch."

When Hillary ran in 2008, she faced a more subtle brand of sexism. Cable news pundits debated whether or not she was "nagging" and made jokes about how her voice made men want to "cross their legs."

This election cycle all pretense at masking sexists comments has been dropped in favor of ratings and sales. I suspect those angry white men who comprise the core of Trump followers are the main sales target.

It's all about capitalism and the decline of civility in our society. Sexism sells. It joins other sleasy sales markets in our country like racism (which has sold for years).

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Monday, June 6, 2016

Everyone Does it Right? Online Dating in the 21st Century

Good Day World!

I'm going to make a sweeping statement...are you ready?

It's easier nowadays to get a date than it was in the 1960s, when I was a teenager.

(Photo-Conny, left, and Sinta, right, together watch video of Orangutan male Gempa.Harald Knitter

You lucky 21st century guys, and gals, can have your choice of a date anytime. You just get on that PC, or smartphone, and hook up with one of the many dating sites online.

Your get to meet people who have expressed the same interests as you - a real time saver. Back in my day getting a date required a lot more effort than that.

Anyone can get a date online...even Orangutans (see photo above). Here's a list of the Top 10 Free Dating Sites for 2016. 

When I think about all the anxiety I went through asking for a date back in the 1960s, I have to laugh. It was like going on cold sales calls; you never knew what the response would be.

Because of that, I think it was more exciting when I was young looking for that 20th Century Fox!! (nod to Jim Morrison and The Doors)

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Sunday, June 5, 2016

'We Gotta Get Out Of This Place' Still Resonates Today

Good Day World!

Been hearing a lot of folks who say they'll leave this country if Donald Trump is elected president.

Wanting to get out of a country reminds me of doing my time as a combat engineer in South Vietnam; counting the hours and days until I could come back home to America.
(Photo-Fair use,

One of my favorite songs then was "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by The Animals

The song was very popular with United States Armed Forces members. It was frequently requested of, and played by, American Forces Vietnam Network disc jockeys.

And now, I look at what has to be the two worst candidates for an American president ever, and I feel disheartened. I may not be counting the hours and days yet...but I'm having trouble getting this song out of my mind!

Related Trivia:

1) One first-season episode of Tour of Duty "USO Down", used "live" versions of "Wooly Bully", and "We Gotta Get Out of This Place.

2) "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" was a popular number to be played at high school senior proms and graduation parties. 
In music writer Dave Marsh's view, it was one of a wave of songs in 1965, by artists such as The BeatlesThe Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, that ushered in a new role for rock music as a vehicle for common perception and as a force for social consciousness.

Time for me to walk on down the road...

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...