(History Poem) American History Of My Time

AMERICAN HISTORY OF MY TIME

 

In the depths of 1950’s poverty, Appalachia

Coal dust in your lungs, eyes, nose and hair

Sawdust blankets your morning  work ride

Odd gratitude for working till the day we die

So sad that so many have left us so young

Pathway to Heaven washed in my mothers tears

 

1960’s the enlightenment to some of the Nation’s ills

Poverty and racism is a disease to any and all people on Earth

Three Leaders killed by the hate behind the trigger of a gun

Another Asian War raging on, that we should have never begun

Mr. Johnson and Nixon were all those lives necessary to end

Answer to the families, why was it our policies were not to win

 

The 1970’s to say the least was an odd time in our land

One war ended, but another one was Nixon was set to begin

Surgeon General’s advise was worthless against Nixon’s rage

With the stroke of his pen this War Criminal must have grinned

Nixon’s signature making Class I criminals of freedom loving millions

Peace loving, anti-war, pot heads, Nixon got even for ending Vietnam

 

80’s began with our civilians still illegally imprisoned in Iran

Coward ambushed the President, one didn’t get to walk again

For eight years we had a President who gave us some pride again

From disco to head-banging, to country starting to spur life again

25 Married a second time to a woman who hated the air I breathed

Life through a windshield, it would be till I broke down or died

 

The 1990’s were rough anyway I sliced these years of my life

Heartaches and heart attacks, so many times, VA full of crime

For eight years we had Mr. Bill, had the coolest hair on the Hill

One war in the dust, to save an old friend with oil and our blood

Throw a bomb or two at the bad boy of Baghdad and boys two

When George W. got the job, the three will get to meet their end

 

2000 the new millennium, the computer disaster that wasn’t

The computers people worship, could they create the zero

Married the whole decade, no idea what she sees in me

Sometimes when you pass the time in life you were given

As one’s health fades, and your eyes dim, the Soul still sees

Education and Degrees at this stage in life, quite a surprise

 

When I leave to meet our maker, please shed no tears for me

I thank the Lord each day for the ways I have been blessed

When our body degrades our Soul’s eyes are sometimes grateful

At my funeral please sing Amazing Grace and Peace In The Valley

Please sing our favorite George Straight song, Cross My Heart

As they put me in the ground, sing ‘The Dance’, don’t cry for me

We are all standing in the walkway to Heaven when this life ends

 

Putting China’s Goals Into The Context Of Their Ancient History

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HUFFINGTON POST)

 

THE WEEKEND ROUNDUP 

In The World Post this week, Oxford historian Peter Frankopan puts into historical context China’s initiative to invest in infrastructure across Eurasia and build out new trading routes that connect continents. “Precedents and parallels are important in providing intellectual credibility and framing the overarching vision of what is at stake,” he writes, referring to what the Chinese call the Belt and Road Initiative. As Chinese President Xi Jinping said in Beijing in May, the “ancient silk routes embody the spirit of peace and cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit.”

Frankopan goes on to compare China’s initiative to the era of Pax Mongolica in the 13th and 14th centuries. “It is not surprising, of course, that the emphasis should be placed on the positive exchanges that were enabled and facilitated along the Silk Roads, rather than pointing out that disease, environmental change and violence also sometimes coursed along the arteries connecting east with west. Nevertheless, it is striking to note that while the rhythms along the Silk Roads were not always smooth, they compare favorably when set alongside those of Europe, whose history was shaped by almost never-ending confrontation and warfare.”

The road to China’s rejuvenated future inevitably runs through the present, where it must prove its proposition is a “win-win” for all, as it claims. “If the Belt and Road is part of a larger attempt to build out infrastructure, it is good,” Raghuram Rajan, the former governor of the Bank of India, told me in an interview. “Obviously, there is a certain degree of China-centrism in this. But if the capabilities formed while building this infrastructure allow for a further set of ties for development ― logistical networks and citizen networks connecting different places ― it can only help boost economic activity.” But, Rajan warned, “the Chinese do have to be careful about the political implications of this project. It shouldn’t be, and shouldn’t be seen, as isolating certain groups or enabling certain countries at the expense of others. I’m not only talking about India, but globally. When one country pushes for a certain structure, it is important to show inclusiveness and disinterestedness.”

The present also poses challenges to China’s future plans on other fronts, notably the South China Sea, where the U.S. and its allies have been the stabilizing presence since the end of World War II. In a provocative article, Harvard’s Graham Allison also looks to history to show how modern China’s recent efforts to reclaim influence in the South China Sea are tame when compared to how America established its hegemony over the Western Hemisphere in the early 20th century. “American leaders enjoy lecturing the Chinese on ‘maintaining the rules-based international order,’” he writes. “The message is clear: China should be more like us. But Americans should be careful what they wish for. In the United States of Amnesia, very few Americans have any inkling of how we behaved at an analogous period in our history.”

In the decade that followed Teddy Roosevelt’s election as president, writes Allison, “the U.S. drove Spain from the Western Hemisphere, threatened Germany and Britain with war, supported an insurrection in Colombia to create the new country of Panama and declared itself the policeman of the Western Hemisphere, asserting the right to intervene whenever and wherever it judged necessary.” Allison concludes: “If China really follows early 20th-century America’s footsteps, we ain’t seen nothing yet.”

Writing from Manila, Richard Javad Heydarian finds the Philippines smack in the middle of the controversy over a global rules-based system versus China’s assertiveness rooted in the claim of “historic rights.” Even though a United Nations tribunal arbitrating the Convention on the Law of the Sea ruled in favor of the Philippines a year ago and nullified China’s claims, China nonetheless pushes on. In a sign of China’s growing influence, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has not pushed back. On the contrary, as Heydarian writes, Duterte “canceled various joint military exercises with the United States in the South China Sea, while nixing initial plans for joint patrols in the area. In exchange, China has offered a multi-billion dollar package of infrastructure investment and a $500 million loan to the Philippines’ military.” The Chinese, Heydarian notes, are delighted by this improvement in bilateral relations, calling it a “golden period of fast development.”

However, all is not quiet on the home front back in Beijing. Steve Tsang sees recent moves by Xi to demonstrate his resolve in cleaning up the Communist Party as a sign he is compelled to confront resistance in advance of a critical upcoming Party Congress that will put in place the future leadership team. “Xi is seeking to make substantial changes to some of the norms or conventions which were first put in place after the now infamous Tiananmen Square incident in 1989 and the collapse of Communism in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union that altered many of China’s relations in the region. This is where he faces great resistance,” writes Tsang. “The cornerstone for political stability up until this point was an institutionalized succession process, by which a new generation of top leaders was identified and put in apprenticeship for five years before taking power for a maximum of two five-year terms.” That this process may be flouted by Xi is highly unsettling, according to Tsang, for those who see orderly succession as the basis for the Party’s success over recent decades.

Delving into the deeper cultural and civilizational aspect of modern China, Jenny Bourne asks: Can anyone be Chinese? Her question was prompted by a recent essay by the Beijing-based Canadian scholar Daniel Bell, in which he argues the affirmative. Bourne agrees, embracing Bell’s claim that China once accepted foreigners as Chinese. “During the Tang dynasty (618 to 907 A.D.),” she writes, “this embrace of other cultures was a reality. Often foreigners who had been employed by the Chinese government, such as Turks, Koreans and Arabs, were welcome as members of Chinese society and even allowed to take on public positions in government. If ancient China could stretch the boundaries for Chinese assimilation, why can’t we do that again now with identity?”

Finally, this week we have a video on the humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip, where water and electricity have become desperately scarce, which Fedaa Al Ghussain filmed and narrated.

Honest, Truthful American History

 

On old wooden leaky boats smaller than a rich mans toys

We all climbed in and to this new world we set our sails

There’s some that have joined us who are looking for gold and fame

Most came for the hope of land that they could till in their own name

 

Roanoke Island, Jamestown on the river off the Chesapeake Bay

To Plymouth by the Rock these old creaky boats found their way

Pushed, pulled and chased yet most whites came by their own will

Many really had no choice, poverty and the laws chased them away

 

This strange new world with all this lumber and open land to claim

An extension of Heaven to all white males this land lays in wait

Wait, who are these strange red faces, with arrows pointed our way

Indians, so-called by Captain Columbus and his misfit crews I think

 

America, with all these wide open spaces surely I can make my way

White male land owners ordained, we shall be from sea to shining sea

These Indians don’t matter there just good excuse to use our black powder

What our white mans diseases don’t wipe out we will turn into our slaves

 

America, Valhalla to all white males who have the guts, guns and gold to stay

Kill all the Indian Braves then turn all who are left breathing into our slaves

The Chinese aren’t white so we can use them like dogs to lay our steel highways

Then these Black Devils from Africa, they are only good for work, whips and chains

 

Why should we be forced to stop at our borders whether by land or by the seas

Canada to our north settled by the French so of course we have every right to invade

To our south we burst through their front door to Mexico City we rode without shame

Spanish, Mexicans and them damn Indians, if we killed them all who would care anyway

 

Our gold bought Alaska from those Russians so damn it, no war, we didn’t get to play

Then of course there were those primitive Hawaiians, not knowing what we had in store

With big guns and ships we invaded their Islands, killed half the men, imprisoned their Queen

Now their land is our land as we buried our flag in their sand, you know we always want more

 

Is it through ego or arrogance that why some of us don’t understand the outside world

Why do some roll their eyes and snicker when we say that peace and human rights are our stay

America, I do still believe that she is the best nation to ever give her people a somewhat honest chance

So don’t get angry when others see us different, just look at King George W., Obama and Guantanamo Bay.