Written by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

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Welcome, My FB Family…

Warmer night! It was supposed to be in the upper 40s last night and was already 50 degrees when I went to bed at midnight; I woke up this morning to an outside temp of 52, so I don’t know if it got down as low as the weatherman’s crystal ball, I mean, projection model had predicted. I hope that the same does not apply to the high predicted today; an 81 is predicted and I am not ready for higher temps yet!!! Summer will just have to wait as far as I’m concerned.

_Mission Inn_redroofMission Inn: Redroof  (Photo Credit: ©Don O’Neill)

This weekend the temps are supposed to to drop down to the 60s again and a possibility of rain Saturday night. I hope the rain does stay away until the evening, because Grace and I are going to the Downtown Farmer’s Market again, Lord willing and the shuttle comes as requested. It will be interesting to see what they have and an overcast day will be great for photos. We are going to check out a store across from the Mission Inn that handles Don O’Neill’s watercolor prints (postcard size). I love some of the samples that I’ve seen on his web site; O’Neill was a resident of Riverside until he passed in 2008. Many of his paintings are set in and about River City here. Then on to the Mission Inn and especially to the Downtown Public Library. We haven’t been there for many, many years. Again, photo op of Grace in and about the Gazebo from our sister city, Sendai. Looking forward to a great outing…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2263 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Alaska:

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“America is looking for answers. She’s looking for a new direction; the world is looking for a light. That light can come from America’s great North Star; it can come from Alaska.”
— Sarah Palin

“In one line of his poem he said good fences make good neighbors. I’d like to think that Alaska and British Columbia working together can prove that we can be pretty darned good neighbors without fences.”
— Dan Miller

“A changing environment will affect Alaska more than any other state, because of our location. I’m not one though who would attribute it to being man-made.”
— Sarah Palin

“But again, you know, the views that we’ve expressed are transferring power back from the federal government to the states, giving Alaska an incredible opportunity to expand its economy, especially at a time when our federal government is coming close to bankruptcy.So that is a broad-based appeal. It’s not an extreme view.”
— Joe Miller

    

My Musings of the Day: March 30th…

    

Successful Visit to Goeske Center…

Well, yesterday morning we actually got to the Goeske Center, one of Riverside’s Senior Centers. Shuttle bus was a little late, but it came and we got to the Goeske Center. Grace had called the day before and they told us to go to the main desk and someone on duty would give us a tour of the facility. So we followed those instructions; they gave us a brochure of the facility and activities before going on the tour, which was very interesting. The facility is quite large, has a couple of exercise rooms, a couple of large lobby areas for small groups to assemble, and a number of smaller meeting rooms where classes and other groups can meet. There is even a small computer center with six computers hooked up to the Internet.

Goeske Center_Collage-1

As we were talking to the ladies at the front desk, we found out that the center had lost there computer teacher several months ago. So, what do you suppose that Grace did? Volunteer to teach some classes? NO! She volunteered yours truly! Well, I was handed the form for volunteering and I filled it out. You would have thought that Moses had just walked through the door — LOL! Before we left, I talked with the director of the center about it and looks like a may have yet another thing to do — in my spare time! Between researching material for these FB postings for my dear FB family and writing my blog articles, most of my day is occupied. But, I think that I will be able to work in a morning once a week; it probably will not start until June. I’ll keep you informed on this new activity as it becomes clearer.

We got back home OK and had lunch and I took my Lasix. After eating, took a nap; I had been up since about 3:30 that morning! Hope that you liked my musings yesterday and I’ll try to tackle a harder topic today (see below)…

    

Thought for Today…

In this day of high technology, some fear that the technology will not only put people out of work. Ala the Luddites of the initial Industrial Revolution in the UK during the early 19th century, people fear that they will lose their livelihoods and dignity with change. But change is inevitable. New technologies are emerging every year. For fifteen years, I taught a graduate course entitled "Advanced Technologies" in a Computer Science MS program. We see new technologies pop up all around us. But we don’t need to fear them; they will find their rightful place in our lives, in most cases.

When I started my journey into technology, we lived in a very different world. Computers were those room-sized machines that only engineers worked with. Telephones and the Telco’s were the big technology innovators. Believe it or not, we are still saddled by some of those "innovations." The telephone voice transmission schema that is still the dominant technology in communications!

But let me segue into the specific topic addressed in the poster below with a great quote by Maya Angelou. Despite the technology advances around us that may affect our jobs, working conditions, and leisure-time activities, we still base our interactions with the people around us. We quickly learn that Angelou’s truisms really apply!

When we interact with others, people WILL forget what we say. They WILL also forget what we did. But the thing that people WILL NOT forget is the feelings loosed when our lives touch! This applies to our family — spouses, significant others, and children — especially. But it also applies to our colleagues at work, those that we encounter socially, those that we exercise or play sports with. Or, for that matter, those we casually encounter in the living of our lives.

_People Will Forget_Maya Angelou

I remember hearing Catherine Ryan Hyde speak at a conference a few years ago. She is the author of the book, Pay It Forward, which was made into the movie staring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt. The idea behind this book and movie was that when you receive a good deed, you are obligated, in return, to do the same thing for three other people. Thus, good deeds, and by extension, good feelings, will spread throughout society at a geometric rate. I think that embodies the essence of what Maya Angelou was trying to say.

To bring it back to our thoughts on discussion above, we only need to think about the slogan used by AT&T during their heyday in the 1960s. What was that slogan? "Reach out and touch someone!" That is the height of our lives touching those around us; THAT IS WHAT WE WILL BE REMEMBERED FOR IN THE FUTURE. Think about it…

    

Musings About Justice…

I have been researching, writing, and posting articles in my blog for the last three years on the events in the history of the civil rights movement, not just for African Americans, but for Mexican Americans, Women, and those with different sexual orientations. In the last few years of teaching, I had began addressing some of these issues in workshops, conference sessions, and invited addresses. After graduate school, I went to work for the Research & Evaluation Group in the Riverside Unified School District. I worked there for ten years, many of them involved with evaluating special programs to address the needs of desegregated schools and working with the analysis of student achievement data. Even in the 1970s, the achievement of the economically-disadvantaged, Black & Hispanic students was not equal to that of their Caucasian peers.

From these experiences, I thought back to my experiences with minority groups, especially the African Americans. I grew up in a town that practiced "de jure" discrimination against Blacks; the realtors in the city agreed NOT to show or sell housing or rentals to Blacks! While going to school, I was not aware of this, but I knew that the Blacks (then called "Negros") lived in Compton, not in our town. I guess those were the "good old days," but I don’t know for whom.

As I have studied our post-Civil War history, I have become aware of the rise of the KKK in the south and their tactics. This group and their campaign of terror was intended to keep the African Americans who gained their freedom after the Civil War from exercising their new rights: literacy tests, intimidation, selective violence (including lynching) and the share-cropper system. One would have thought that we were beyond that by the middle of the 20th century.

Emmett_TillPresident Truman had desegregated the military. No longer would African Americans be assigned to their own segregated units and relegated to digging latrines and performing mortuary duties. In the early 1950s, we saw the Supreme Court issuing decisions against segregated buses and school segregation. But, while there were changes seen in the northern states and out west, the South still was a hostile environment for the African American through the passing and enforcement of the Jim Crow laws.

And the vigilante actions against African Americans was still alive and well. In 1955, a young African American from Chicago, Emmett Till, visited relatives in Mississippi. His interactions (which the whites considered flirting) of Till with the wife of the local store owner resulted in the youth being kidnapped, beaten, and killed. The men accused of carrying out this horrible act were white and a jury of their peers, e.g., white men, would find them not guilty in just a few hours of deliberation! This was a horrible injustice against minorities was just the tip of the iceberg.

So, the recent actions of police or neighborhood watch personnel against young black men on which they used lethal force is all the more disturbing. It is nearly fifty years after the 1965 Watts Riots in south-central Los Angeles. I would have hopped that we would have a more equitable system of justice by now. I remember working just a few blocks away from Alameda Avenue, the dividing line between the Blacks in Watts and the whites in South Gate, during those days in August of 1965. We would see patrols of white men armed with shotguns, hunting rifles (30-06, etc.), and handguns go trough the drive-thru of the dairy at which I worked. They were just hoping to see a stray black person (they really didn’t care if it were man, woman, or child) walking down the street; they would have shot them dead!

trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman

Well, this topic is too big to complete it in one posting, so I will continue it tomorrow and Sunday. But think about it. We are the land of the free. We supposedly have a legal system that should protect the rights of all of our citizens. But something is wrong. We still live in a prejudiced society. Our police departments, despite efforts to effect reform, still seem to be biased when the suspect has black or brown skin. Whites have learned to use trigger words like "Black young man" and "He has a gun" to trigger faster response from 911 and the police department. Where is justice? Where is equality? Where is equity?

We will continue to grapple with that question tomorrow. I’ll leave you with the images of the Sanford, Florida, shooting victim (Black) and neighborhood watch leader (white) to ponder these problems. Ponder these issues, but have a great day…

    
Photo of the Day:

In 1867, just after the Civil War, Secretary of State Seward negotiated our purchase of Alaska from the Russians for about two cents per acre. It was a purchase with a lot of similarities to the Louisiana Purchase by Thomas Jefferson almost seventy years previous; both purchases increased the size of the United States with a quantum leap. Both purchases introduced new lands to this country rich in natural resources and natural wonders.

I leave you today with the following photo of Mount McKinley in what is now Denali National Park. This is a vast land of open spaces, abundant wildlife, and a feast for our eyes. It is a place where our souls can soar with the eagles that are abundant. It is a place where we can marvel at the power of the Grizzly and revel in the beauty of the changing seasons. I have always wanted to travel to this great land, but will have to settle for pictures like this for the time being.

Join me in the celebration of nature’s beauty. Let your souls soar on the wings of eagles. Seward’s Folly has turned out to be a uplifting experience in the Lord’s natural Cathedral. Enjoy the feast…

Mount_McKinley_Alaska

Mount McKinley in Denali National Park. Photo Credit: Unknown Photographer.

Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved