Author Archives: John

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Publisher of "AMERICAN LIBERAL TIMES" blog

Ferguson Explodes After Grand Jury Decision!

As I watched the prosecutor in the Michael Brown murder case read his statement I could almost sense what might follow.

I mean it seemed to me like the guy began his presentation by attacking the media, the social media, the shooting victim (Mr. Brown) himself ….. and I got the feeling that what I had said all along about this tragedy was going to be the case.  I had always said and I had always thought, “This policeman is not going to face any kind of charges in this case.”  I had said it …. I had thought it …. I had told other people that is how I thought all this would go down from the grand jury in the case ….. the grand jury of 9 white people and 3 black people …. in a jurisdiction down in the South where racial tensions are a matter of history ….. and just shortly after the prosecutor in the case had delivered his speech informing the world that no charges would be filed against the police officer in the shooting of the unarmed black teen, Michael Brown …..fires started in Ferguson and shots rang out in the darkness.

I have seen this kind of thing before in this country and it never seems to get any better and the conditions that become the underlying cause of these kinds of things never seem to get adequately addressed …… all kinds of conflicting opinions and attitudes erupt on both sides of the issues ….. and when things finally settle down ( as they always seem to do after a while) ….. more incidents occur somewhere along the line and tempers flare again …. and on and on and on it goes!

I do not know and I have no way of knowing if the grand jury verdict was a just verdict because I am not a lawyer and I am glad I am not one …. especially when it comes to complex cases like this one seems to have turned out to be.  I do know there are an awfully lot of hurting people in Ferguson, Mo., today and I don’t know what the answer to their dilemma is going to be.

I do know that I do not personally like the idea that somebody could be indicted for a crime on the basis of how the public outrage about the situation developed …. I am not the kind of person who would approve of “Mob” justice ….. but I also know that racial tensions have run deep down there in the South for many many years and if you are going to look at this Michael Brown thing circumstantially it is not all that hard to see something called “Old Southern Justice” at work here …. but like I said, “That is my personal opinion …

This is not the first time I have heard such an idea being advanced …… there are always all kinds of people with all kinds of viewpoints and some of them will yell, “Racist” at the first available opportunity …..

I don’t think that every confrontation between Law Enforcement and civilian citizens is always “Racist” and I think there are plenty of folks on both sides of the issues who might be tempted to play the “Race” card to support their driving agendas ….. but Racism is a really hard thing to understand ….. with the ethnic diversity of America …. It is hard to understand …. I think it is nearly impossible to explain …. and I am not sure it is fair to invoke it every time something like this happens …. but like I said earlier on, “These questions are better resolved by people with far more knowledge and experience than I possess because when the rubber meets the road the only thing I have to offer about any of this stuff is an “Opinion” and even though I am entitled to an “Opinion” so is everybody else!

The question about “Opinions” might well become, “Maybe people ought to keep their opinions to themselves sometimes …. and yes, it applies to me just as well as it applies to everybody else.  There are some things we just cannot know about situations and it serves no positive purpose to engage in speculation.”

I am not a lawyer …. I am going to have to see how all this turns out just like everybody else is going to have to wait to see …. I just hope nobody else loses their life and I hope the property destruction ends soon and I hope the police and the national guard who are on the scene are not brought to the place where they have to fire on American Citizens who …. in my opinion …. are justifiably angry and confused and hurt.

I do not like the thought of American police or armed forces firing on our own citizens.

By the same token I sure as hell don’t want our citizens firing on our Law Enforcement either …… although from what I have heard some extremists on the far right saying sometimes the day might come when such horrors might become a possibility.

There are all kinds of nut cases out there in the boon docks of America and a lot of them are so paranoid and so gun-crazy that I believe it would be totally foolhardy to discount any possibility in a country as big as this one and as ethnically diverse and as ideologically diverse as The United States has become.

It is getting to the territory now where thing could turn nightmarish with minimal provocation ….. and in many respects I think that very fact is the reason we are seeing the increasing militarism in the ranks of our Law Enforcement agencies.  I do not see this as a good development but given the growth of the nation I cannot help but see it as an inevitable development.

The bigger a country becomes I believe the harder it is for anyone to effectively govern ….. and I am afraid America is on that path and I have no idea of what the solution is or what the answer might be …. and sometimes I really fear what the future might bring ….. but I still have faith in the common sense of The American People and that gives me some comfort when my mind runs in these somewhat paranoid directions.

That is one of the most uncomfortable feelings I can think of and I definitely do not want America to start looking like some third world tyranny.   So the morning has come now and I have just gotten out of bed and I am curious to see what went on in Ferguson after I retired last evening.

I would say that I hope all Americans will join together in prayer to God and ask God to take control of the Ferguson situation …. to protect the innocent from harm …. to bring true justice to the case that was the cause of all this commotion in the first place.  God can do these things and I think we should all be in prayer about the situation.

A friend of mine has a different world view than I do.  He is a little more fatalistic, I think and his response to what happened at Ferguson last night was, “Might as well get used to it, folks – – – if you’re black or a minority in this country this is how it is always going to be.  This is how it’s always been and this is how it’s always going to be.  I remember Martin Luther King and the civil rights protests of the 1960s ….. I remember when sections of Detroit were burned to the ground in the 1970s …. I remember Rosa Parks ….. Emmet Till ….. Rodney King ….. I remember all these things and none of these things has ever resulted in anything getting done.  It’s like “Gun Violence.”  Gun violence kills schoolkids and innocent citizens on a regular basis and there still aren’t any laws on the books to try to do something about gun violence and as long as the Gun Lobby controls the American dialogue there ain’t never going to be anything done about gun violence either.”

I imagine there will be some folks who come by here to read this who might be tempted to say to me, “Why are you complaining about civil rights and gun rights?  If you don’t like it here in America then move to another country where you might be happier.”  I have had people say that to me before and I say to myself, “I have served my country in military uniform and I have the right to say whatever I want to say because we still have freedom of speech here if I haven’t missed something …. I am American …. I was born American …. and I have a right to say what I want to say just like anybody else does and I am not moving to another country ….. but it is some people like those who tell me these things that have made America what she is becoming today …. a place filled with suspicion …. with hatred …. with violence …. and I mourn for the days that once were …. days when a person could walk down any street alone and have absolutely no fear for their safety … I am afraid we are seeing the end of those kinds of days coming.


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Right Wing wastes more taxpayer money on legal action against President Obama!

O.K., the Republicans have finally reportedly filed their long-anticipated suit against the president over certain items pertaining to the Affordable Health Care Act ….. (a.k.a. “Obama Care) …… and I am fairly certain in my heart of hearts that this is a totally dumb-assed action on the part of Righties and I am confident it will gain them absolutely nothing in the long run …… except perhaps a few more minutes of TV exposure and media fluff ….. it might gain them some political points in their own private fetid little ooze pit of political meandering and manipulation …… but I think it will go down in History as a desperate act of clownishness …… and will do absolutely nothing except offer some meager little amount of satisfaction to some lame brains and their cohortive support base and I think whatever they do with their legal banana-eating tree-swinging act will only try to do harm to the working poor in the long run ….. and I think even if they should somehow miraculously win their sham suit it will do very little damage to Obama’s administration or to his legacy as president  or to Obama Care.

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Lazy, Rainy Days And Camping Out In The Wilderness


Sometimes a person just has to get as far away from all the noise and confusion of the world as it is possible to get and when I was a lot younger man that meant packing up the tent and the camping gear and heading for some vast green wilderness at the height of summer.

I remember this one time when I went to Red River Gorge in Kentucky for two weeks with nothing but the tent and some other essential gear and I had heard that the area was occasionally overrun with rattlesnakes … so I prayed that God would keep the rattlesnakes at bay for a while and I have to say that during my entire two weeks there in that gorge I never saw one rattle snake or Copperhead or any other snake ……… but I did get to see a Mother Deer and her babies coming down to the river to drink very early in the morning ……. and a family of wood ducks that went quacking along down the river.

This was the camping trip on which I discovered conditions were a little wet for making a campfire one evening so I poured a can of used motor oil over the kindling and set it ablaze and cooked my hot dogs over it.  I cannot recommend used motor oil as a fire-building agent ………. especially if one is going to eat food that has been cooked over it. …… Ugh!

We had a downpour one evening while I was there and I heard this God-awful “Crash” in the middle of the night as a really big tree came crashing down to the earth.  I prayed the tree would miss the tent …… which it did …… thankfully …… but it narrowly missed the automobile I had parked a little ways down from the tent …… that was as miracle ……. I can’t imagine how I would have walked the 300 miles to get back home if the tree had smashed the car.  …… God will take care of you.

There is really nothing quite like being alone in a great Wilderness when everything is green and fresh.  I like waking up in the early morning mists …… breathing deeply of the freshest air imaginable …… bathing in a river ……walking over trails and logs and rocks and little canyons …… it is absolutely energizing and is something that sticks with a person for years and years and years.

I had to laugh the morning I caught the little sweet-faced opossum rummaging through my garbage can.  It was so cute and it almost seemed embarrassed that I had walked up on it.

Back when I did this camping trip it was “cool” to go it alone but in these times and with the world conditions the way they are I would never go camping by myself ever again ……. I would make sure to take somebody with me if I ever did it again because you never know who is out there in the wildernesses and you don’t know whether they are going to be friendly or not ….. things just aren’t like they used to be and it is a sad commentary but I guess it is something we are all going to have to live with, isn’t it?

One thing I think I can say with some degree of certainty is this:  “Camping out in the green wonder of Nature is a heckuva lot more refreshing and invigorating and positive than sitting home in front of some “Boob Tube” or spending endless hours …. (wasting endless hours) ….. punching buttons on the remote control of some non-productive electronic diversion.

Picture credit:  The photo above of the mountains is from WIKIMEDIA COMMONS and had been released into the public domain as of the date of November 24, 2014 which is the date I posted it on this blog.


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Memories of my long-gone youth


The place in the picture is Cincinnati, Ohio and the bridge is the Suspension Bridge between Cincinnati ….. (In the background) ….. and Covington, Ky.,…… (Not shown).

Back in 1954 when I was 16-years-old I would catch a Greyhound bus and ride for an hour from my home town to Cincinnati with Twenty Dollars in my pocket.  I had saved the money from mowing lawns for people.  It had taken me a month to accumulate the Twenty but I knew I would spend the whole day in the big city and I knew I would blow the entire Twenty Dollars and I didn’t care because it was such an exciting adventure and I was going to do it …… all by myself!

One of the things I did on this particular adventure was walk the entire length of the bridge in this picture from Cincinnati over to Covington, Kentucky.  I felt really grown-up and adult because I had never ever been out of The State of Ohio by myself before and as I walked across that bridge I felt like I was heading for some foreign country or something.  I wondered if the Kentuckians spoke English.  I discovered later that they did indeed speak English ….. sort of ….. it was different from what I had heard all my life ….. but it was definitely English.

In Covington I went to a restaurant in a run down section of the city ….. it was billed on the sign out front as a “Mission” and I got a dinner of soup beans, corn bread and apple pie with coffee on the side for a grand total of 90 cents.  On that memorable day at the “Mission” restaurant I was privileged to have dinner with the finest group of transients and homeless guys I had ever met in my life ….. of course up to that point I had never met any.  It was a grand adventure for me and I braced up and tried to pretend that I was one of them.  I think they saw through my ruse but they were all very nice to me.

After walking for blocks and blocks in Cincinnati ….. looking and craning my neck to see as much as possible ….. I ended up back at the gigantic bus station where I went to the “Road House” and ordered a roast beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and smoked one of the gold-filter-tipped cigarettes I had bought at the tobacco shop.  In those days nobody questioned it when a young man such as myself plunked down the 19 cents for a package of cigarettes.  Those were great days to be alive.  The one thing I really wanted to do but couldn’t was to go and buy a ticket to get into the burlesque theater in a seedier part of town.  I couldn’t buy the ticket because I couldn’t rest my chin on the rather tall ticket counter management of the theater used as their measuring stick to make sure people who got into their show were more than 18-years of age.  It didn’t stop me from hanging out at the stage door in the rear of the theater where I at least got to see the “Babes” who had performed leaving the theater and a few of them even smiled at me sending me to the outer limits of seventh heaven.

I forgot to mention that before I crossed the suspension bridge I went down to the river front to visit some of the steam boats that used to tie up at their wharf boats down there.  I remember the “Delta Queen,” “The Gordon G. Greene” and a few others ….. all of them are gone now ….. but back in the day I got to see all the wonderful steam packets with their huge smoke stacks and their paddle wheels ….. whistles….. bells …. birthday cake decorations …. it was a different era …. an exciting time ….. There were even still working trolley cars clanging and clanking around the city …. real honest to goodness “Streetcars.” …….. God I can’t believe how old I have gotten sometimes!

I was foot loose and fancy free for a teen-aged kid ….. but even then I was street wise and knew my way around and could earn my own cash whenever I wanted to do something or go somewhere.

Cincinnati became one of my favorite stomping grounds.

Picture Credit:  The picture of the bridge in this blog post comes from A file on Wikimedia.Org and the author of the picture is given as Rdikeman at the English language Wikipedia.

The picture was being offered for use under a Creative Commons License at the time I posted it to this blog and the date I posted it to this blog was November 23, 2014.


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I think we need a new congressional investigation – that’s what I think!

I think I have come up with a marvelous idea for a brand new “Select Congressional Committee” investigation …….. and I think I can be confident that we might be expecting the radical American right wing to grab this one and run with it ……. I think some rightie with a super-patriotic sense of duty should get a special “select” committee convened in Congress to investigate and try to determine what roles President Obama and Hillary Clinton might have played in the Invasion of Pearl Harbor in Hawaii on December 7th, 1941. …….. Don’t you all think that would be a swell idea? …….. How about it, Rightwads? …….. The last 8 “Benghazi investigations didn’t turn out as righties wanted to them to obviously so maybe this one would!


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True that!

by the outrageous liberal pundit

I believe Conservative political impotence and fear is best defined by the number of occasions on which a Conservative calls a Liberal one nasty name or the other. ……….. Incontrovertible scientific fact! ……… Instead of angry responses and name calling how about a few practical solutions that will actually do something to take care of problems?  I have yet to hear a Right Winger actually answer a direct question with a direct answer or propose a solution to a problem rather than going on the attack against the Liberal doing the asking. ………. Has anyone figured out what’s up with that?


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A little confused this morning

I have nothing at all against the undocumented workers residing in this country ………. I don’t know any of them personally ………. But I do have a question about the whole “Rights For Undocumented Workers” issue:  …….. “How is it that I keep on hearing there is some kind of need for America to “Protect the rights of undocumented workers”?  ………. How does it come to pass that anyone who is not a citizen of The United States is qualified to receive any kind of “Constitutional Rights” at all until and unless they become citizens?  ………..When did it become a fact that The “Rights” afforded by The American Constitution are free to all who want to take advantage of them whether they are a certified citizen or not?  ……….What is it about the Constitution that I am missing here?  ……….Somebody who understands these things please come to my rescue on this question this morning, won’t you?  ……….I would even be willing to listen to a rightie about this one if there is a rightie out there who can comment without calling me some kind of nasty name.  ……….And yes, folks, on this issue you can consider me to be dumber than a box of rocks until somebody who actually knows something can bring me up to speed. ……… Does all this mean that if I were to run off and cross into some other country illegally ………. without citizenship papers ……… that I could reasonably expect the government of the country where I had crossed into to start protecting my rights under their own form of a constitution? ………. I am somewhat disinclined to believe that because I think if I were to try something like that I would find few people … if any … in the country where I had invaded who would be willing to even discuss protecting my rights because I am sure if I did something like this the “Host” country would probably take the position that I have no rights in their country at all and I think if I did something like what I am talking about here I would probably end up in some prison somewhere with a 12-year sentence at hard labor facing me.  …….. Isn’t that kind of like what should be happening here in The United States? ……… Why or why not? ……… I am awaiting your comments.


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