Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

How do we define indivisible?

 


If we were looking for a definition of the adjective indivisible we would learn that it means “unable to be divided or separated.”

Now that's relatively straightforward and simple. It means that something that is indivisible is something that is a tight, complete entity that can't be chopped up into bits and pieces, into smaller portions that can be dealt with and employed according to one's individual wishes. Such as “One nation indivisible,” as the U.S.A. is supposed to be.

Unfortunately, America has strayed afar from this principle. Not since the 1860s has this nation been so seriously divided. When the Civil War got underway at least there was semblance of a reason for it. Now, a century and a half later, our nation is as divided, if not more so. But now there is no tangible reason for the division, other than ego, and that's not much of a reason. It's more of a flimsy excuse.

Most Americans, especially those in the latter years of their lives, recall as youngsters learning to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, a task that had a great significance on our young lives. We learned that the strength of our nation was that we were first and foremost Americans! We stood together, united, as a single entity. And, our nation, indivisible, endured through hard times and through war times.

For most of us “old timers,” learning the Pledge took place at a time when our nation was either anticipating a World War, or was already in it--up to our ears.

And it seemed like about once a week we were pledging our allegiance to our flag and the Republic for which it stood.

And, as the pledge so declared, whether we lived in the Rocky Mountains, basked on the shores of Hawaii, trudged through knee deep snows in the Dakotas, Minnesota, and other sub zero climates, or were still recovering from the War of Northern Aggression in the South, we were all Americans, and our loyalty to our nation was indivisible—pure and simple.

Fast forward more than half a century. Are we still reciting the pledge in our schools, and other American sites of congregation? Or, do our children even know what pledging one's allegiance means? How many of our citizens have even a reasonable understanding of what we mean by one nation indivisible? Actually, as a nation, we've become more divided than we were in 1861. So far, fortunately, the two sides aren't shooting at one another—yet.

But we have become a nation divided; this time, instead of regional, the split is primarily political, but there's also a major secondary factor as it relates to political attitudes; most Republicans lean to conservatism, there are a significant portion of the GOP whose conservatism is more liberal; a leaning that can create attitudinal problems.

As we watch or listen to the daily news do we discern any semblance of allegiance? When the Rev. Francis Bellamy originally wrote the Pledge in 1892, it was directed at America's young people. But where are the young people of the 21st Century? Many of them are rioting in the streets of their own country, blindly dancing to the tunes of militant puppet masters, few of whom have any allegiance to an indivisible nation—rather, they're intent on simply dividing and weakening our country as much as is possible.

Where we used to end a presidential election with a new White House resident, and a return to business as usual, we're now knee deep in sour grapes and descriptive barrages of the most vicious and senseless vituperation our country has ever known.

And for what reason?

Ego.

The present presidential election has been held. The Republicans won - the Democrats lost. End of story.

Unfortunately, however, 2017 has ushered in a new era - an era of shame. And we're just going to have to learn to live with it. We've become:

One nation, needlessly and terribly divided.

America deserves better.

June events

By Dr. John Bitter

By the time we reach the reader, we're well into the month of June, the first day of which was National Doughnut Day. The thought behind celebrating doughnuts dates back to World War I, when the Salvation Army's “Doughnut Dollies,” as they became known, served doughnuts to Americans fighting in Europe during World War I.

To help celebrate this event, both Dunkin' Donuts and Krispy Kreme donuts were giving out the pastries free of charge; one to a customer.

And, the dollies continue to provide the pastries, as well as a variety of other edible and tangible amenities to America's defenders overseas.

Moving right along, to the fourth of the month when Americans celebrate National Cheese Day.

After eating the doughnuts and cheeses, Americans might well put on their running togs on the 6th of the month and participate in one of the National Running Days, that will be offered around the country.

The 6th is also the day we honor the World War II D-Day invasion, a turning point in World War II. Also on this day one might celebrate National Drive-in Movie Day if there are still any left in the country.

On the 9th, we celebrate Donald Duck's birthday.

On the 10th both the Ball Point pen and Iced Tea will be honored, and on the following day we'll pay respects to Corn on the Cob. Yum yum.

Skip a day and then get out your hoe and weed your garden, on the date so designated.

Getting back to more serious celebrations, we honor our national colors on Flag Day on the 14th, and on the following day it's National Flip Flop Day, as well as Smile Power Day.

And keeping on with frivolity, the 16th of June is World Juggling Day and National Fudge Day.

June 18, is both Father's Day, who also told us, “Eat your vegetables,” which is also honored on this date.

Jumping ahead to the 20th, we have the first day of Summer, and Ice Cream Soda Day.

The 22nd shares two holidays, one being Take your Dog to Work Day, and National Chocolate Eclair Day.

The 23rd is the day to pitch your tent in the back yard and sleep the night away on the hard and bumpy ground to help celebrate the Great American Backyard Camp out, bumps and bugs included.

If you believe in fairies, the 24th is National Fairy Day, and the 26th is National Chocolate Pudding Day, and on the more serious side, International Day Against Drug Abuse, and National Day Against Drug Abuse and Illicit Trafficking.

On June 28, those of us who once called Minnesota home, recall celebrating Paul Bunyon Day—as well they should.

On the 29th, we pay our respects to those folks who enjoy jumping up in front of us at special events in order to be able to take picture; which seldom turn out to be what they imagined they would. One tiny speck looks like any other.

And to continue on with the camera theme, on this day one may cast an eye to the vast expanses of space in the hope of taking a picture of a meteor on the day set aside in its honor.

So, another auspicious month will provide us with no end of events to celebrate, and reasons to take pictures which seldom turn out they way we had hoped. Perhaps July will provide better fare.

What's ahead?

By Dr. John Bitter

What shall we take from President Donald Trump's recent visit to the Middle East, coupled with the ever-growing reports of terrorism across the globe?

Will we see darkness fall from the wings of night... and witness the sadness and longing that is engulfing our world; which, rather than bordering on Utopian will we be blessed with the beginning of a period of rest; a period where we can begin to enjoy a rest from life's endless toil and endeavor?

If the reader has not yet recognized the words of Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's “The Day is Done,” struggle along.

As a result of our new President's visit to the Middle East, and beyond, will we metamorphose into a life filled with music and watch and listen gleefully as the songs of the poets drown out the empty words of generals and politicians, and may we rejoice as the night is filled with music, and take heart as our ever-growing collection of cares that infest our days fold their tents like the Arabs and silently steal away?

And now, 173 years after Longfellow's words were written, might this be possible should the ever multiplying gaggle of politicians, blowhards and sycophants pull themselves out of their mire of darkness and fill our nights with music. And the cares of the day, shall fold their tents, like the Arabs, and silently steal away.

Financial Dangers

By Dr. John Bitter

We couldn't get Clint Eastwood to caution our residents about the financial dangers threatening our senior citizens, and Securities Commissioner Joseph P. Borg, wasn't available, so we relied on Clint Niemeyer, of the Alabama Securities Commission, to warn residents of Elmcroft of Halcyon assisted living facility about the securities fraud dangers that threaten them at every turn.

Many senior citizens recall the Great Depression and the misery that brought on.

When they matured and started to earn some money, many stashed a little bit aside, and by the time they reached senior status, many had a good bit of money buried in the back yard.

Sad to say, by this time there were many jackals lurking in the bushes whose sole raison d' etre, getting their hands on this savings stash.

And today this has turned into a cottage industry, with swindlers lounging about on every street corner, waiting to swindle some gullible senior citizen out of his or her savings.

Mr. Niemeyer spoke to a group of Elmcroft residents about the magnitude of this facet of elder abuse, advised the residents on how to protect themselves from securities fraud—a growing menace to our society.

Not only must seniors be wary of individual fraudsters, there are also many agencies and groups that have formed entities designed to separate them from their life's savings. It goes on every day, and gets worse with each passing day.

The goal of Mr. Niemeyer and his associates is to help seniors keep the wolves away from the door, so to speak.

Unfortunately, conning elders out of their hard-earned savings is a growing industry, which is why informational programs such as Mr. Niemeyer's, serve to warn seniors to check the registration, licensing, and background of persons selling securities and to check with the Alabama Securities Commission before investing any of their money into offers of securities, investment plans, financial planning.

If someone calls you, and offers you a free lunch, hear him out. But take a representative of the Alabama Securities Commission along with you.

And if you have any questions or suspicions, call them at 1-800-222-1253. You may save some money.

 

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