Sunday, July 2, 2017

TRYING TIMES FOR THE REPUBLIC 241 YEARS IN THE MAKING

American Tune
Lyrics by Paul Simon
Music by JS Bach

Many's the time I've been mistaken, and many times confused
And I've often felt forsaken, and certainly misused.
But it's all right, it's all right, I'm just weary to my bones
Still, you don't expect to be bright and Bon Vivant
So far away from home, so far away from home.

By Juan Montoya
The American Republic and its inhabitants have seen turmoil from its very inception. When the Pilgrim colonists landed on Plymouth Rock and left the Mayflower, they were a sect of religious believers that were not content (and not very well liked) in their native England.

Dissatisfied with their situation, they sailed off to the new English colony that would eventually become the United States. Interestingly, the sect also had its disillusioned members who splintered off and formed new states away from the core colony because they complained of...religious intolerance.


The lot of the Native American under these new settlers was not a good one. The natives were not immune to the Old World diseases, and those who didn't succumb to the pestilences of small pox and other contagious illnesses were driven from their lands or simply slaughtered to drive them away from the Christian settlements. A sort of low-level intensity war raged for years.

The goodwill extended the new comers by the naive natives at the first Thanksgiving that helped them survive in the Brave New world was badly repaid with a strange sort of return.
It would result, eventually, in the native populations being decimated, dispossessed of their ancestral homelands, and relegated to a system of dependence on their conquerors. If in New Spain it was encomiendas, in the United States it was reservations. What if the natives had had an immigration service to filter out the newcomers?

I don't know a soul who's not been battered
Don't have a friend who feels at ease
Don't know a dream that's not been shattered
Or driven to it's knees. 
But it's all right, all right, We've lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the road we're traveling on,
I wonder what went wrong, I can't help it
I wonder what went wrong.

By 1776, the 13 colonies had acquired their independence from Mother England and set about to establish a country rooted in the ideals embodied in the U.S. Constitution that still hold the nation together. It was the promise of freedom and equal justice for all.

The United States spread west and incorporated into it the masses of Europe, the tired, the hungry, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The young country soon contracted the dreaded European disease known as imperialism and spread its wings – as newspaper editor John O'Sullivan , the sloganeer, phrased it – to accomplish its "manifest destiny."

By 1848, having invaded and defeated the newly-independent and division-torn Mexican state and acquired more than half of its territory, it set about to settle and grab the great stretches of land west of the Mississippi and beyond the Continental Divide. Hungry European and Irish refugees looked across the ocean to a new beginning, for them, the American Dream.

They came by the millions, often to face a backlash by those who were already here. Even the Irish often found that in the lowest jobs, the statement "Irish Need Not Apply" was posted below the advertisement for workers.

And still, the nagging and lingering "peculiar institution" that relegated the black slave and his descendants to a life of servitude and second-class citizenship (remember the three-fifths Compromise?) continued to hang around the nation's conscience like an albatross. It would only be a matter of time before the festering sore would explode "like a raisin in the sun" and the matter was brought to the fore and faced squarely in a bloody Civil War between brothers.

It had to reconcile its comportment with its stated ideals, or, as one of the descendants of slaves, Barbara Jordan, so simply and eloquently stated: "What the people want is very simple – they want an America as good as its promise."


And I dreamed I was flying. I dreamed my soul rose
unexpectedly, and looking back down on me, smiled
reassuringly, and I dreamed I was dying.
And far above, my eyes could clearly see
The Statue of Liberty, drifting away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying.

Lately, it seems the Good Ship America doesn't want some of us anymore. In contrast to the laws of the past that actually sought out agreements with nations like China, Mexico and others to fill jobs no one – not even the descendants of the Irish – would take, it now seeks out those who appear different are now targeted for banishment from the realm.

The policies singling out those of the Muslim faith is but the latest manifestation of this all-too-American trait.

During wars and times when labor was needed, the trains and transports would stream to the border to load up with laborers only too glad to find any kind of work to feed their families back in their homelands. Chinese workers built – and died building – the railroads in the West. They literally watered the road to progress with their blood. The Germans and Scandinavians made the Great Plains fertile. The Irish provided the raw muscle for huge public projects in the East.

People like Albert Einstein, a Jewish scientist refugee fleeing the Nazi nightmare, helped us prevent a Third Reich. Countless other human beings cast out by want or the authoritarian regimes of their homelands migrated here and contributed their grain of sand.

Mexicans bent their backs to make the deserts green and gathered the minerals from the depths of dank, dark mines. During both world wars – and continuing up to now – the crops and food that feed us are harvested by them. 
And now, in the aftermath of the 911 tragedy and a continuing conflict in the Middle East combined with the global economic downturn, has antagonized us against each other.
Fences and walls are being built.
Deportations have began again.

And so we find ourselves like that first load of Pilgrims who unloaded their meager belongings at Plymouth agonizing over what kind of nation we want to be, what kind of people we want to become, what kind of future we want for our children. Will we forget the promise that was made back when?
Or can we soar higher?


We come on a ship we call the Mayflower,
We come on a ship that sailed the moon 
We come at the age's most uncertain hour
And sing the American tune

But it's all right, it's all right
You can't be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow's gonna be another working day
And I'm trying to get some rest,
That's all, I'm trying to get some rest

8 comments:

Diego Lee Rot said...

"and I dreamed I was dying" Sounds like what a black man would say after getting pulled over for a busted tail light

Anonymous said...

You know what? I was eating at a chinese restaurant the other day eating TSO Chicken and the Chinese owner and his wife and daughter came and sat at my table. As I enjoyed the Chinese cuisine, I was amazed how they told me they woukd not be voting for Rene Oliveira because they read and hear from their customers that he is a homewrecker and degrades women. I told them that I agree. The lady told me,"Sir, anyone with Rene Oliveira is practicing a form of prostitution." I chuckled and they gave me two extra eggrolls that were crunchy.

Anonymous said...

Pussy!

Anonymous said...

As I don't agree with oliveira's way of living his life, you must take into consideration the women also play a part in the home wrecker issue.
He is a bit nasty. Either way how does that affect his job?
Most politicians in this part of town are home wreckers..... their moral compass is zero.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 9:02. Chingado Captain Bob! Let it go! She's gone! You are as ridiculous as Rene , and your juvenile postings are boring.You didn't eat with the Chinese owners and,besides , no way in hell they'd give you anything "extra." Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Yes America has changed. WE have changed from the land of the free and the home of the brave to the land of the lazy and the home of the welfare cheat.

All of this boo hoo hoo shit about the poor downtrodden, is what got Trump elected. People who work for a living got tired of paying the bills for those that don't. Donald Trump is the creation of the left wing socialist idiots. You made him, you own him so swallow hard and bend over.

If you are too old, sick or challenged to hold down, a job then society should help you out. Otherwise, get a job you lazy fuck. Stop whining about how you been done wrong, because nobody is listening anymore. The statute of limitations has run on your bull shit guilt trip. Working Americans are through being played.

Anonymous said...

Rene Olivera is a home wrecker, immoral sex hound, a drunk and dishonest man, is that right. Sounds like he has all the qualifications to hold public office in Cameron County. He can put that on his push card and still get reelected.

Anonymous said...

It take two to tango and usually it is a man and a woman involved, so don't blame the guy only. Girls seem to be wanting to entice men as I see it when I see them with half their ass showing and their boobs dangling, even in church. Decency is long lost and then they blame the man. Y los hombres se les cae la babba! I don't see how some
husbands allow their wives to go out of their house undressed as they do. Then they wonder.

rita