Retiring at age 69

The retirement age now for Social Security is 67 and the GOP want to raise that to age 69 in gradual steps. That is a cut in benefits that I oppose. I am currently age 75 and my wife and I derive 85% of our retirement income from Social Security. In 2017, all our insurance expenses, life, home, auto and secondary health, have increased at double-digit rates. Fortunately our property taxes are stable, but in order to remain in our home, we have been forced to take out a reverse mortgage on our home. That means that we will not be able to pass on the value of our home to our son when we die.

However, we are more fortunate than those who are totally dependent on Social Security. We are taking in our belts somewhat in 2017, but we still lead comfortable lives. I worry about Americans who are not as well off as we are, and I worry about the future of all Americans dependent on Social Security and Medicare in the Trump era.

My definition of racism

Opinion without knowledge is prejudice. Prejudice in areas of race is racism. Opinion without knowledge in areas of race is racism. The US was founded on racism and our founding document, the US Constitution, is tainted with racism. Counting slaves as 3/5 person is racist, pure and simple. The amendments to the Constitution have lessened the taint, but not eliminated it.

We know that parts of the US are more racist than others, and those areas tend to vote Republican. Not all Republicans are racists, but racists, if they vote, tend to vote GOP. Hillary Clinton was wrong to claim that half of Trump supporters are deplorable. The number of deplorable and racist Trump supporters is unknowable. Probably there are some and there may be many, more than half or less than half, but still unknowable.

Racism within the US is the rock, fatal flaw, that could sink the ship of state which is the US republic. To combat racism within the US, I recommend consciousness raising and deliberate attempts at greater empathy for our fellow-men. The US is only one ship and we survive or sink together.

Human rights

Humans have certain basic, inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Those rights include, but are not limited to, the rights to shelter, food, health care, water, education and a safe environment. If society charges for those rights, then humans have the right to employment that pays a wage sufficient to buy those necessities.

Not representative

Republicans like to showcase blacks who are Republicans and have succeeded through hard work. Those blacks are not representative of the vast majority of blacks in the US. It is typical of repressive regimes to try to make themselves acceptable to the majority by pointing out the support of a few members of a specific population. It would be like the following:

Jews for Hitler

Ethiopians for Mussolini

Koreans for Hirohito

Kulaks for Stalin

Cambodians for Pol Pot

Educated Chinese for Mao

Gays for Idi Amin

There will always be some members of a group who will support their oppressors.

 

HAPPY NEW YEAR, 2017!

Becoming is Superior to Being

tucson-sunset-blog Image by kenne

On this New Year’s day, taking notes from D. H. Lawrence.’s Fantasia of the Unconscious, I penned the following, with apologies to Lawrence:

New Year’s day,
Sunday at home

a light winter rain
refreshes the desert,

I ponder my mind,
psyche and soul,

whose trinity form
the powers of my

whole being
together speaking

in one voice, which
I can never deny.

When at last,
in all life’s storms,

my whole self speaks,
only to pause,

collecting itself into
pure silence and isolation –

perhaps after much pain,
the mind suspends

its knowledge, and waits.
It is then the psyche becomes

strangely still,
and after a pause,

there is a fresh beginning,
a new life adjustment

pushing a deep sigh
through every pore

fading into a mist —
a sense of mystery.

— kenne

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