Are We Now Fighting A Second Civil War? (Albeit A Cold War)

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This says it all – I only wish all Americans felt like this. Photo courtesy of rawstory.com

 

A FEW BELATED THOUGHTS FROM ME CONCERNING DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION AND THIS COUNTRY’S DEEP DIVISIONS

 

The last time these United States of America was divided like this, 600,000 men and boys died.

Killed in a brutal fashion over deeply divided ideologies and how they saw this country.

Now that it has been two weeks since Donald Trump shocked this planet by being elected leader of the free world  – I won’t go into how Trump not so much won the election as Hillary Clinton lost it; that has already been well documented – it has amazed me that the racial, political, and ideological divisions that America has been experiencing for the past few years has perhaps grown to the point of no return.

The many anti-Trump protests (I saw one in downtown Los Angeles in which a HUGE sea of folks made themselves heard) and the 400 racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-Muslim incidents in the week following Election Day certainly illustrate this.

So much so that although…

* Despite recent actions, the realistic likelihood of California seceding from the union ala “Calexit” is highly unlikely,

* Despite the various riots and skirmishes, there are no all out battles with armies carrying Confederate and American flags with Robert E. Lee and U.S. Grant-like generals leading them, and…

* There are no plans for the red states to separate from the blue states and form two separate countries, as what happened in 1947 when after independence from Great Britain, Muslims separated from Hindu-dominated India and formed Pakistan, with the two countries subsequently experiencing wars and significant tensions ever since,

I’m going to go ahead and call this period we are going through a name…

 

The Cold Civil War.

 

Much like the Cold War in the late 1940s through the 1980s, even though the United States and the then-Soviet Union never fired any nuclear missiles, the tension was so pronounced between those two superpowers that there were wars (namely in Korea and Vietnam) fought over those democracy/communist ideological differences and the fact that those communists’ ultimate goal was to make the world like them.

Not to mention the fact that the world came pretty close to ending during that 1962 missile crisis in Cuba.

 

 

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This is what I’m fervently praying for in light of this recent election as far as people of color, women, LGBTQs, and all other non-Christians as well as Muslims. Photo courtesy of slate.com

 

There’s no doubt in my mind and heart –  We are now in a Second Civil War.

It is a Cold War, at least for now.

But it is a Civil War.

I don’t how else I can describe it.

And sadly, I honestly don’t know how it can be stopped.

As long as there are millions of people – liberals, conservatives, “Alt-Rights”, or what have you –  who feel the way they do on both sides and who are so unwilling to compromise,

Then this Second (Cold) Civil War will be ongoing.

And the way things are, if in about fifty years (or even twenty) the United States does what India and Pakistan did nearly 70 years before and dissolves, with liberals forming one country and conservatives – those who voted for Trump in particular – forming another,

Like it tried to do in the 1860s and very nearly succeeded,

It would not surprise me at all.

 

One last thought…

About five years ago I wrote on the website Hubpages.com an article called “If The Far Right Ruled America”.

The article offered my view of what this country would be like under far right Republican rule.

For those who are interested in reading it, here’s the link to that piece:  http://www.hubpages.com/politics/If-The-Far-Right-Ruled-America

In light of what has happened this month, I believe we are about to find out what this U S of A will be like now that the far right has taken power.

Or officially will on January 20th.

 

 

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An anti-Trump protest in downtown Los Angeles, which I saw when passing through there. Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com

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Me And My Second Favorite Baseball Team

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Chicago’s Cubs celebrating something they haven’t been able to celebrate in 108 years – a World Series championship. Photo courtesy of celebuzz.com

 

PAYING HOMAGE AND A LONG OVERDUE RESPECT TO A BASEBALL CLUB THAT HAS ELECTRIFIED A COUNTRY BY WINNING THEIR FIRST CHAMPIONSHIP IN OVER A CENTURY.

 

Before I continue, let me make something crystal clear:

I am a fan of the Los Angeles Dodgers, have been for a long time, and will continue to be one.

The Dodgers will always be first in my baseball universe, but let’s put it like this…

You know how sports fans often have a second team that they find themselves liking and rooting for except when they play their primary team?

The Chicago Cubs are that second baseball team for me (with the Pittsburgh Pirates a close third, but that will be saved for another post).

I was just watching some YouTube videos of Cub fans reacting at the moment their team won the World Series, and I teared up a bit as I’m not sure any one else who’s a fan of a team besides the Cubs was happier for that ball club, their fans, and the city of Chicago than I was.

 

 

Highlights that every Cub fan has been waiting for their entire lifetimes, courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

Actually, my connection to the Cubs goes back thirty years, to when I coached a little league team in Santa Monica for four seasons that was called – you guessed it, the Cubs.

I had Cubs jerseys that I wore to those games, and I especially remember journeying to Chicago in August of 1987 to pick up my then-five year old brother, who was visiting his father.

It was my very first time outside of Southern California, and as I took the train (didn’t want to fly), I got to see two-thirds of America; I felt like an explorer in the 1500s discovering the New World.

Most importantly, I was scheduled to see a doubleheader at Wrigley Field during my two days in the Windy City, but the weather miserably failed to cooperate as it poured rain the entire time I was there, washing out my plans to see the Friendly Confines on Clark and Addison Streets and check out those Bleacher Bums.

Which is why seeing that iconic ballpark remains on my bucket list.

I also remember taking home a Cubs fan pack consisting of a pennant, a button, and some other knickknacks.

Kind of weird considering my Dodger roots, I know.

Over the years my attraction to those Cubs remained despite my loyalty to the Dodgers. I got to see the Cubs twice when they played at Dodger Stadium, one time being when Sammy Sosa – this was a year or two after his 66 home run odyssey as I was rooting for him over Mark McGwire to break Roger Maris’ record – hit a game tying home run to send the game into extra innings.

 

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate during a rally in Grant Park honoring the World Series baseball champions Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Chicago Cubs fans celebrate during a rally in Grant Park honoring the World Series baseball champions Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) Photo courtesy of vivelohoy.com

 

Fast forward about a decade or so…

When the Dodgers faced the Cubs in this year’s National League Championship Series, though I was clearly rooting for the Dodgers not only would I have not been that upset if the Cubs had won, as an objective and realistic Dodger fan who runs a sports fan site/blog called SoCal Sports Annals (here’s the link:  http://www.SoCalSportsAnnals.Wordpress.com)  I picked the Cubs to win in six games because they were simply a better team with more pitching depth.

When those Cubs made my prediction spot on, there was no question that I would be rooting for that franchise to win their first World Series since 1908.

As a matter of perspective, the last time those Cubs won it all (besides the obvious such as World War I not breaking out yet or the automobile barely being invented or radio, let alone television, not existing)…

My grandfather – who died in 1982 – was all of two years old.

My grandmother – who died in 1993 – was not even born yet!

Los Angeles – America’s second largest city with over four million inhabitants – had barely over 300,000 people.

Culver City, CA – a suburb of Los Angeles where I now reside and have lived for 18 years – didn’t exist and wouldn’t for another nine years!

Other cities in Los Angeles County that didn’t exist in 1908:  Beverly Hills, Burbank, Torrance, San Fernando

Most of America’s streets were dirt, not paved as that was a rare thing.

Roosevelt – Teddy, not Franklin – was the president.

Women were not allowed to vote – and wouldn’t be for another twelve years!

* Movies were of the silent kind and wouldn’t be able to “talk” for another 19 years!

 

 

The scene at Wrigley Field the moment the Cubs won the World Series, courtesy of YouTube.

 

 

And as far as baseball and other sports were concerned…

Babe Ruth was a 14-year-old resident at St. Mary’s Industrial School for Boys in Baltimore.

Ted Williams, Joe DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Henry Aaron, Roberto Clemente, Jackie Robinson; NONE of those legends were even born yet!

The NFL, NBA and NHL – NONE of those leagues existed!

And not only were USC’s teams not called the Trojans, and wouldn’t for another four years as they were called the Methodists…

my collegiate alma mater, UCLA, did not exist!

 

CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 04: Chicago Cubs mascot Clark celebrates during the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series victory parade on November 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs won their first World Series championship in 108 years after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) ** OUTS - ELSENT, FPG, CM - OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD **

CHICAGO, IL – NOVEMBER 04: Chicago Cubs mascot Clark celebrates during the Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series victory parade on November 4, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs won their first World Series championship in 108 years after defeating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in Game 7. (Photo by Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images) ** OUTS – ELSENT, FPG, CM – OUTS * NM, PH, VA if sourced by CT, LA or MoD ** Photo courtesy of darkroom.baltimoresun.com

 

All right, enough with the historical perspectives…

The bottom line was, when Kris Bryant threw to Anthony Rizzo at first base for that final out in Game Seven, I was as happy as anyone.

Which considering that I’m a Dodger fan whose team was beaten by the Cubs, is saying something.

I found myself wearing my Cubs cap for the next few days, including to my weekly pick-up softball game, as well as watching the parade and rally a few days before.

I think the reason I reacted to the Cubs winning the crown the way I did was because it was not only good for that city, it was good for baseball in general as that game had pretty much ceased to be the National Pastime, football – both the pro and college kind – having taken over years before.

Baseball got a boost in popularity thanks to that team residing in Chicago’s North Side, and being a longtime baseball and softball guy that was good news.

I don’t think I’ll buy any Cub jerseys as I would feel like the ultimate bandwagon fan and a traitor to the Dodgers if I did.

But that doesn’t change my happiness over those Cubbies breaking a 108-year curse.

This year it was the Cubs.

Next year (I hope) it will be the Dodgers.

But until then…

Congratulations, Cubs! 

 

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This year it was the Cubs, and deservedly so. Next year I’ll hopefully get to see this team celebrate a World Series title. Photo courtesy of ajc.com

 

 

Why I’m NOT Voting For Trump: My Thoughts Regarding This Presidential Election

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Image courtesy of hamodia.com

 

HOW I SEE THIS COUNTRY UNDER TRUMP AND CONSERVATIVE RULE, AND WHY I’M AFRAID OF THAT.

I’ll get right to the point:

I am NOT a big fan of Hillary Clinton.

Not because of any dishonesty she may have exuded over Benghazi or because of some emails – to be honest, I really don’t care about how she may have lied about those; who cares about a bunch of emails?

I’m not a big fan of Clinton because I see her as a retread, someone who has been around a long time and whose time has passed.

I wanted someone new and relatively unknown to take over for Barack Obama, which is one reason why I voted for Bernie Sanders in the primary as the fact that Obama wasn’t really known outside of Chicago and Hawaii was one factor in his becoming President and staying in the White House for eight years.

Though I still see Clinton as a retread, since this election season began I always said that if Clinton’s the nominee, I’d vote for her because an America under Donald Trump – or any Republican for that matter – scares me personally.

Here’s why…

First, the slogan “Make America Great Again” in the hearts of conservatives should more accurately say: “Make America White, Male, and Straight Again” , and any conservative who denies this is lying to themselves.

The instances of Trump bad mouthing, insulting, and demeaning anyone and everyone not white and male has been too well documented throughout this campaign.

Which of course is one reason why I’m not voting for him.

However, besides the obvious issues regarding Trump being a less than scrupulous businessman, having filed for bankruptcy more than once and failing to pay those who built his hotels and other buildings; you should see how so many people in his hometown New York City talk about him, they loathe him so much,

I’ve never voted for any conservative in the 31 years that I’ve been eligible to vote, for these reasons:

  1. Conservatives don’t care about people of color, as I fear that the clock would be turned back on African-Americans, Latinos, and anyone else not white. The crusade against Civil Rights will be turned up several notches, and I see the open warfare against black males in particular in the form of racial profiling and shootings by the police quadrupled under a Trump administration. Not to mention a much bigger open hunt against Latinos and Muslims in the form of that “build a wall” pledge; that should go without saying. In other words, conservatives feel that anyone not white is somehow lesser and should be put “in their place”, which is precisely what will be attempted if Trump is elected. In fact, I wouldn’t rule out an attempt to return to the “Jim Crow” segregation laws that were a big part of the American landscape for decades.
  2. Conservatives don’t care about the poor or those who have fallen on hard times. If they did, they would leave social programs such as welfare and social security alone rather than try to defund them, as I’m sure Trump will try to do as President. The rampant homeless problem would explode out of control due to cuts to programs that help the downtrodden.
  3. Conservatives don’t care about the true equality of women.  I don’t have to remind anyone about all the nasty things Trump has said regarding the female gender, but besides that, it has been evident to me that conservatives feel that like gays, blacks, Latinos and other people of color, women are somehow lesser and should be kept “in their place”. Not to mention not having the right to decide what to do with their own body.
  4. Conservatives don’t care about the environment.  Their convictions about climate change being a hoax has been well documented and is certainly a prime example of this. Under conservative rule, American will see the green movement die and the environment devastated beyond repair through deregulation, all for the sake of profits.
  5. Conservatives don’t care about education for those who aren’t affluent.  Public school budgets have been more or less destroyed by budget cuts under Republican administrations, and a Trump presidency would see a return to that.

As someone who’s an African-American male and not wealthy by any means, any government under conservative control would hurt me.

That’s why I’ve always taken major elections like this one personally.

Whenever I read comments to online articles regarding racial or gender issues, the nasty things that folks have said, even to the point of using the “N” word,  particularly scares me as those are the people who are conservative and have supported Trump.

A Trump presidency would be a tragedy for anyone not white, male, rich, conservative, or straight.

Since I’m black, liberal and definitely not rich, I would be devastated.

Which is why though I would rather see someone else in the White House, someone new and fresh like Obama was, I’ve already voted for Clinton.

And I’m fervently hoping and praying that our first woman president will be giving her first speech as President-Elect on the evening of November 8th.

 

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Image courtesy of robingorsline.com