Bearden: weighing in on immigration

Hey, Micky. I’m getting ready to piss off a couple of people or two or three since I am fixing to weigh in on a sore subject called immigration.

As a Native American, I may have some what of a different perspective than my European ancestored friends some who seem to think God came along, and by divine will, gave this country to them to do with as they chose. That’s not entirely so. By the so-called ‘Manifest Destiny’ most of the land their antecedents reside upon today was taken by force and treaties which were not always adhered to in the strict sense of the word.

That being said I know that immigration is a problem that needs to be fixed but properly so and not with a bunch of idiots with AK-47s strapped on to their shoulders. There are so many in this country who want again to invoke the ‘Manifest Destiny’ crap and run anyone out they don’t like or anyone who comes to our borders. Except those whom they like which means mostly those who have the lightest skins.

There in lies the problem. We for far too long have wanted to pick and choose who can and can’t come to our country. There is something to be said for picking and choosing in that we don’t want people necessarily who are criminals (despite the fact that the state of Georgia was originally a colony peopled by so-called criminals from debtors prisons). But in the process of picking and choosing we often have only had problems with the color of one’s skin.

And then there is the historical fact that a lot of our African American ancestors came to this country unwillingly and weren’t given a choice to return to the countries of their birth. Our history on immigration is varied and fundamentally flawed. So hissing and dissing those coming to our borders seeking aid and comfort from war and strife is flawed as well. A lot of those screaming go home we don’t want you wouldn’t be here today if this nation had turned away their ancestors.

We have a problem Houston and it is in Washington, where our legislators aren’t willing to grab the bull by the horns and fix our immigration problem in a sane and just manner. We need to stop shouting go home and start telling our congress creatures quit dissing universal health care and get up off your butts and fix the problem.

Those out there shouting go home need to learn the lessons of history. The trouble with them people is they have absolutely no sense of history or how many of their ancestors who hungered for land that didn’t belong to them found ways to take what they wanted often going over and around the law to do it. A large number of the kids and women coming in our country now are fleeing oppression just like a lot of those people’s ancestors were but these current immigrants aren’t trying to take anyone’s land from them. As Red Cloud said, “They made us many promises but they kept only one. They promised to take our land and they took it!”

We not nee to repeat the sins of our forefathers but we do need to do the right thing.

Bob Bearden

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There and Back

Everything unpacked put away and dirty clothes in the washer. Back to normal or sort of. The weather going and coming to and from Philly was gorgeously cool and then the shock of Oklahoma in July hit us as we started across Mizzou culminating in 100 plus as we cautiously re-entered Oklahoma. But glad to be home anyway.

It was a great convention with lots of fun lots of work and lots accomplished. Philly still has world class cheesesteaks but we found a great deli that also has other world class sandwiches. Hershel’s Deli in the Terminal Market Place across from the convention center. Philly is truly a city of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection as they are fond of saying. So much to see and not near enough time to see it all.

We had a great side trip to Maryland to visit a fine Bayside café close to Steve’s sister’s home which is actually on the canal between the Delaware River and Chesapeake Bay. Great seafood! The Phillies Giants game turned into a 14 inning barnburner with the Giants winning in the 14th. I lost a foul ball in the lights and it hit about 4 inches from my foot prompting a near fight for it between the guy in front of me and the guy behind. But when the guy in front captured the ball and gave to his friends daughter the made up and all was well. The guy behind then received a text from his wife telling him we all got on TV on the channel broadcasting the game. So I got to be a TV star for about 3 seconds.

Getting to see and hear Ed Schultz the champion of the worker when he gave a rousing speech at the Convention on Wednesday was great. Elizabeth Warren couldn’t be there but she spoke to us live via satellite and also gave a great speech. We had several other great speakers including the head of UNI and international union of organizers and the president of the New Zealand Postal Workers Union.

But the highlight for me was getting to walk (with a bunch of other veterans and Letter Carriers from Vermont) with Senator Bernie Sanders and stand with him on the podium in front of thousands of my fellow letter carriers has he gave a rousing speech in favor of saving the Postal Service and raising the minimum wage and helping workers in general. It was a great feeling to be able to do that. 3 other Branch 458 Delegates walked with me and the others. Donna Miller Air Force Veteran and mother of our Branch President David; Mac McClendon by friend and co-worker and one of my traveling companions and roommate at to and from the convention also like myself an Air Force Veteran and Mark Simone one of our branches Steward’s and Formal Step A advocates who is a Marine Corp Veteran.

We actually got to stand at the front of the crowd on the podium as Bernie gave his speech. A great way to end the convention. Pictures of that will follow in a couple of days.

The trip home started yesterday at 2:45pm EDT in Philly and we made it all the way to Columbus Ohio on Friday night. Then up early this morning and on the road for nearly 14 1/2 hours to make in this evening. Tiring but it was a fun trip going and coming as I had 3 great travelling companions in Larry Schoenfelder are texting enforcer (no texting while driving), Mac McClendon who made a lot of pithy and interesting observations and our leader in crime Steve ‘Cowboy’ Riggs.

We enjoyed Philly, Troy Illinois, Wheeling West Virginia on the way up and Columbus Ohio on the way back with a few stops here and there for food gas and rest breaks.

It was a great convention and a lot of fun especially getting to see old friends like Marie Rassmussen (she’s not old but she is a great and gorgeous lady) and my old friend whose day TT delivered by mail when I was going to college in WF Texas back in 60 & 61 Micky Morris among others and learning to use my new smart phone (and getting dumber by the minute with it).

Great to be home though!

Bob Bearden

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I thank Connie Johnson for US Senate for this

10419964_10201413086489622_2862659236932696024_nI thank Connie Johnson for US Senate for this, as well as all the people who have come together since Senator Barrington refused to hear her bill for full legalization in committee. Oklahomans for Health have been especially active, and that may be why all these legislators are looking into medical marijuana. It makes sense that they at least want to make sure people–like children who suffer terribly from illnesses that cause seizures–have access to medicine that can help them. But I also think what’s happening is they are trying to find a way to support this inevitable and necessary change in our culture without letting go of their ability to control and punish people, and fill up our for profit prisons, and get revenue for the police department from poor people.

We know it’s true, but we do nothing about it. It’s sick. I don’t want to live in a society so full of viciousness. When people say it will be easier to pass medical in this state than it will to pass full legalization, that is basically what they are saying–the people in this state love putting poor people in jail and taking their money and ruining their futures too much to just let it go all together. We have to ease into it in a way that won’t too much cut into the profits of the industries that benefit from prohibition.

Weed is good. It makes sick people feel better. It makes well people feel super better, too. It’s an enormously, ridiculously useful plant. I’m glad some of our legislators are at least making an effort to learn about the issue. I’d like Oklahoma to beat Texas to legalization because I don’t want to have to drive to Texas to smoke legal weed. I will, but I don’t want to.

Studying cannabis By Phyllis Zorn, Staff Writer Enid News and Eagle

Interim studies on medical use of cannabis have been requested by four Oklahoma legislators.

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I wonder why this is happening?

I wonder why this is happening? I wonder what non-partisan, HUMAN RIGHTS issue is making people register to vote despite misgivings about our unjust and ridiculous and incredibly damaging two-party-maximum system in Oklahoma. I KNOW WHAT IT IS!

IT is MARIJUANA. It is weed. Weed will bring us together; I’ve been saying that, and everyone thinks that I just mean we’ll all get stoned together, and I DO MEAN THAT, but I also mean that we will all take control of our goddamned government and make it work FOR us, instead of against us, which is what is happening when we are denied medication and imprisoned for being young and trying to get high. Get registered, now. I will help you. Or I’ll hook you up with people who aren’t as goofy as I am, and they will help you.

Check this out:

Registered Voter Tally Up By 15,553

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Corporations Ceded Rights that Women are Not Allowed

Okay, owners of huge corporations have been ceded rights that women are not allowed to have. It violates their religious rights to pay for contraceptives that women need who might be employed at their place of business.

The problem I have with that is that prior to Obamacare Hobby Lobby had no problem with paying the health insurance for their female employees who purchased these same contraceptives. And Hobby Lobby owners see no conflict with their beliefs in so much as they own stock in a company that manufactures those same contraceptives that they don’t want to pay for!

How does that work? If they have to spend money to pay for their employees health care they are suddenly religious about it, but if they are going to make a ton of money off the sale and manufacture of contraceptives that they say violates their religious beliefs that’s okay.

So what it boils down to is religious beliefs count much when you have to spend money but not so much when you can make money! It’s fine that they can make a big profit off the manufacture and sale of contraceptives that they profess to abhor, but their religious convictions don’t extend beyond the profit margin.

Yes, that is really a cool religion. What would Jesus say? I think I know but that’s the problem Christianity has these days is that too many people who profess to be Christians;they don’t practice Christ’s religion. But of course Jesus wasn’t a Christian he was a Jewish Rabbi who wanted religion to be for all not just a few hypocritical zealots sitting comfortably in their corporate corner offices pretending to be his followers!

Bob Bearden

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When the Republicans Really Were the Party of Lincoln | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com

When the Republicans Really Were the Party of Lincoln | Perspectives | BillMoyers.com.

The Republican Party was, for a vital century, the American political party most closely aligned with the cause of civil rights. The invariably realistic Frederick Douglass explained that, “I knew that however bad the Republican Party was, the Democratic Party was much worse. The elements of which the Republican party was composed gave better ground for the ultimate hope of the success of the colored man’s cause than those of the Democratic Party…The change came quickly.”  More

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50th Anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act of 1964

Today is the 50th Anniversary of the signing into law of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by President Lyndon Baines Johnson. A monumental act that made sweeping changes in our nation and put us on the road to full citizenship of millions of our fellow citizens who had long suffered under Jim Crow laws and defacto segregation. It was one of the hallmarks of Johnson’s presidency and arguably no other president might have been able to accomplish what Johnson wrought. It was and is very ironic that it was a southern president who pushed the bill through congress one who had lived under and was elected by citizens who lived under Jim Crow laws in Texas.

Lyndon Johnson was a strange man in many ways but he was exactly the one person who could manage to do what no other president could and if it were not for his albatross of Vietnam he would likely be considered one of the greatest presidents in our history. Vietnam sealed his place in history and it is only now that people are becoming aware of the great things he did. He was vilified in his time and even after his death for a long time.

Johnson wasn’t a great speaker. He wasn’t very photogenic nor was he particularly liked by the public despite the electorate handing him a lopsided landslide of a victory in the very year he pushed through one of the greatest pieces of legislation in our history. But he was what our nation needed at the time and he had the courage of his convictions and he knew he was on the right side of history. It must have been a bitter pill to swallow for a man who was so outgoing and gregarious and who loved the rough and tumble of politics to have watched as his legacy was tarnished by the bloody conflict that was the quagmire of Vietnam.

But Johnson as much as any president stood tall in the tradition of the Roosevelts and did what he knew to be the right thing. And the Civil Rights Act wasn’t only the beginning for him. There was more great things to come from this man as he would shepherd another piece of legislation through congress only a year later when he pushed for the Voting Rights Act. And added his a third jewel to his crown with the passage of Medicare.

Only Franklin Roosevelt with his New Deal can really compare to the lasting legacy of LBJ and what he accomplished in his 5 plus years in office. Roosevelt had 12 years to change the world and he did, but Johnson also changed our world for the better and he did it in 7 less years. Johnson was a very flawed man but he was the right man for what was needed at the time and he never shirked from what he knew needed to be done. You can argue that the times dictated what had to be done, but without LBJ as president three of the most important pieces of legislation in our history might look demonstrably different.

His reasons and motivations came from giants like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and others of the time who were at the forefront of the push for equality but they needed a man at the top to make what they knew to be right happen and LBJ was qualified like no other person. John Kennedy had all of those things on his agenda but whether or not he could have made them happen is debatable. No one else with the possible exception of Franklin Roosevelt could have done what Johnson did because not even FDR had the knowledge and abilities to cajole and arm twist members of congress from both sides of the aisle that LBJ did.

LBJ may not be the greatest president we ever have had but he was an important one and he changed our nation for the better because he believed in what he was doing and he understood that our nation needed it to be done. And he was willing to sacrifice his place in history for the common good. He was a man who placed his country above his politics! He was a real American Hero. Flawed but of a good heart! And he loved his country!

Bob Bearden

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