Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Black and Voting

John, a small unassuming gentleman who is retired, lives on the near east side. He is a bit shy, impeccably polite, and always has a pleasant smile. One of John's friends (he has a lot of them) is Kathryn. She planned on voting and in several conversations with John she learned of his desire to vote. John had watched the ads, listened to debates, and liked what B. Obama had to say. On February 19, Kathryn offered to help John through the process of registering and voting. John didn't want to go. She coaxed him for a couple of hours and wouldn't take no for and answer. John finally gave in and got his coat on. They took bus (#1) to Winnebago St and walked several blocks west to Washington School. John was very apprehensive about voting. He lived a considerable part of his life in Milwaukee. The scars of a lifetime of predjudice became very evident to Kathryn as the afternoon wore on. He was terrified of voting due to some bad experiences much earlier in his life. He was very afraid and hesitant when entering the voting place but got through the registration and voting process without a hitch. When leaving John began to get extremely short of breath (he is not well and has been in the hospital several times of late). Kathryn asked a stranger if they would be kind enough to take John home. The good samaritan did.

Kathryn told me that this was the second time that John had ever voted.

Good for John. Thank you Kathryn. Kathryn, who is white, learned a lot about the current state of the black population in Oshkosh today. I did too. Did you?


Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The National Guard

Let's get this straight. I am in my extremely late 30's staring at the big six-zero. I was declared 1y for the military draft in 1967 due to being very overweight. I never served.

I asked my dad at that time to explain the role of the National Guard. When asked if the National Guard ever went overseas during a war he explained that it was not their purpose. They were to help out in the good old U. S. of A with natural disasters and to assist with keeping order among the citizens. He said they would never go overseas unless there was a major extreme war, a WWIII type disaster.

Readers: We've come a long way baby! I suggest we go back to basics with the Nat'l Guard. Bring 'em home from Iraq and save them and their families from any more separation and grief.

Ann Frisch and others were absolutely right! Paul Esslinger was wrong and I will tell him so when I see him. If you see him first, you can tell him.

George Bush and his president Dick Cheney are wrong wrong wrong for using the National Guard in this fashion.