Society

I moved to Florida from France when I was twenty six. One of my first order of business was to open a bank account. The local bank I visited had two posters in the entrance, advertising loans to finance houses. One poster had a smiling white family in front of a nice white picket fenced house. The other poster had a black family in front of a similar house. My thought was “why not save by having one poster with a mixed race couple?” We’re not in France anymore Alice…

To emphasize where I come from, consider Alexander Dumas, not the famous French writer but his father Thomas-Alexander Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie, a genuine Marquis. He was half black. He also was a famous French general who commanded vast armies of white Frenchmen and was married to a white French woman. This was right before the 1789 French revolution. His son wrote “The Count of Monte Cristo” and “The Three Musketeers,” among other things.

Thomas-Alexander Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie

Thomas-Alexander Dumas Davy de la Pailleterie

So wondering why that bank poster wasn’t picturing a black man, white woman and mixed kids in front of a white picket fenced house was a legitimate question for a Frenchman fresh off the boat. After twenty two years in the United States, I know better…

I am writing this today after the shooting in Dallas of eleven police officers, five fatalities so far and hopefully no more. Racial tensions in the United States are high, but racism is not new. Why such a big difference between Europe and America? Not that Europe is entirely void of any racism, considering the recent Islamic extremist attacks in Paris and Brussels, but Islam is not a race and most French people understand the difference. Racism however isn’t particularly directed at blacks.

What people don’t like is crime. The United States prison population is 37.7% black (BOP May 2016). The general population is 12% black (2015 Census). I would argue that poverty is the main cause of crime. Drive to MLK Boulevard in your city and have a look… Prisons are also big business and some people are getting richer every time some poor sod gets put in jail for smoking a joint. Still, the statistics can’t be denied.

Blacks are not especially poor in Europe. One of my good friends, both French and black is an airline pilot; not a co-pilot, but a captain on one of those giant airliners. He did well because his parents valued education. He valued education and worked hard to get his license, then jumped from poorly paid jobs to poorly paid jobs flying all kinds of planes, some you wouldn’t want to trust your life to, and finally reached the top. So, why are so many blacks in America selling crack on the street corners?

Before I continue I can already imagine some readers getting worked up here. The fact is, young black men have an image problem in America. The police is so afraid of them they will shot one at the slightest incident. Pervasive racism within law enforcement and to some extent, the white population doesn’t help. I don’t condone racism. Being racist is a sure sign of ignorance and close-mindedness, if not plain bigotry. I condemn racism from both sides, because it isn’t a one-way problem.

Today knowledge is widely available. The Internet is fraught with free courses, tutorial videos and free books you can reach with any computer or smart phone. Unfortunately education, to the young black man, isn’t cool. I don’t think the problem is new, otherwise there would be no black poverty in America, no black crimes and no racism. Poor whites are also as likely to commit crimes, so don’t call me a racist here. Education wasn’t available to the black population until fairly recently mind you, but the new generations are not taking advantage of its availability. I heard expressions such as “The white man’s game.” Unfortunately it’s not a game, it’s people’s lives. Science isn’t white, math isn’t white and money is green. The only way this problem will solve itself is if young black men pick up books and start reading, because they can do as well as anyone else. They should be able to do so without being made fun of by their parents, siblings and friends. I do not know the cause of this cultural pitfall, but it does exist. Just listen to music lyrics… What is extolled is easy money and material possessions. Excuse my French, but “shit doesn’t mean shit.” Better buy a bunch of books than a new flat screen television.

Blacks in America got a bad hand at the card table. Hell, they weren’t invited to the table until recently, but things are different now. America is one of the greatest country in the World because anyone willing to work hard can make it. Unfortunately not everyone believes it. The problem is that the government would rather give poor people hand outs in exchange for their votes instead of encouraging them to educate themselves. It’s easy to get used to stolen money falling in your lap, and I mean stolen by the government.

I wish I knew how to eliminate racism. I do believe education is the key, but education needs to be valued, it needs to be cool again. Otherwise the poor will stay poor, no matter what political party is reigning and there will be crime, violence and bigotry. How to encourage young people to educate themselves, I don’t know. Not by paying for their schooling, because a “free” education has little value. When I was in high school I didn’t learn much because I wasn’t paying for it and didn’t care. College was out of State tuition, and boy did I work hard. Yet the skills I use today to make a living I learned from books, not school. Some of my customers wouldn’t even know if I was black because all my work is online. What they know is that I can solve problems for them and my programs work. My first programming book cost me $50. That book is still feeding me fifteen years later.

Segregation still exists because people are more comfortable in their own communities, but it doesn’t help. We need to put the mixed couple on that poster. We need mixed churches. We need brown babies of all shades. It shouldn’t be forced on people. It should be encouraged. Where are the mixed couples in Hollywood movies? That is real racism, insidious, everywhere, yet not seen, until the bullets fly.

Repost from Facebook:

To my young friends here, because I care about you. We may or may not have had long conversations at Big-Es, Indian Beach or anywhere else. If we have, you know I am the kind of guy who really thinks things through. I am also a bit older, and that means more experience and more time to figure out how the world works. I will probably be leaving the country soon, so this post isn’t about me, it is about you and your future. I noticed a lot of you guys are fond of Bernie Sanders. I get it, really, I fell for it when I was younger too. Everyone should make a decent wage, we shouldn’t spend money on needless wars, we need to end corruption, etc. We can all agree on that. Socialism however, I assure you, is not the way to do it. I came from a socialist country and I know the ravages it does. On the surface, it sounds good. It seems just, morally justified. It couldn’t be further from the truth. It is smoke and mirrors and you guys aren’t looking beyond the nice curtain. Socialism is based on theft. Once you start to make a decent living, and knowing you guys, most of you will, you will understand what I mean. Not only is it based on theft under the threat of violence, but it is also based on control, on controlling your life. I know right now you’re rolling your eyes, but hear me out. Europe is a bit ahead of the United States on the socialist front, and it is a nightmare. You can’t do anything over there without some sort of permit, and the state has everyone under a microscope. Europeans are slaves seven to eight months out of the year. That’s right, all the money they make seven to eight months out of the year is taken away from them, and they get back just a little in the form of social services. That’s what Sanders and the left wants for you, to milk you dry until you die. They don’t tell you that, they promise you higher minimum wage and a few free handouts. What they promise you is nothing compared to what they will take away from you! The more you dig, the more you will find their motives evil, under the disguise of equality. What they mean by that is everyone DOWN to the same level, except themselves. I could go on and on… The biggest threat to the world today is not global warming or terrorists, it is socialism and communism, and yes, they are the same thing, slavery with a nice pink moral wrapper. Stop worrying about the weather, worry about losing eighty percent of your paycheck for fifty years! Worry about having every aspect of your life controlled and engineered to make you obey and pay. What I am telling you is easy to understand, just not easy to accept if you have been led to believe the lies. Your friends agree, your teachers, your peers. I know it’s hard risking losing friends for ideas, but remember, we’re not talking about just now or next year. So I beg you, look into it a bit deeper. I hated politics when I was in my twenties. It was so much easier to just go along with the consensus and it all sounded fair, take money from the rich and give it to the poor, etc. It was all a big lie and it still is today. Don’t saw the branch you’re sitting on. Unfortunately this time around the candidates really suck. I would have voted for Rand Paul, but the powers in place would not let him get elected. It’s down to choosing the least evil, and evil they are. Sanders, Clinton, and the liberal side is not the least evil, trust me on that. If you value my opinion just a little and you know I’m not stupid, just don’t take my word for it, look into things yourselves, take the time, educate yourselves on how things really work in the world, because if you don’t, you’ll really wish you did later. Not only that, but if you don’t, others will, those who will be after your stuff and your life. Please share and listen to me, I want nothing but good things for you all. I am very glad I met every one of you guys, and I will miss everyone. It is just time for me to go on to new adventures; more on that later.

I wrote this rant as a comment on my friend’s Facebook wall, after he raised questions regarding this article by Albert Einstein (which I didn’t have time to read). I feel like I am constantly repeating myself, but repetition might be what it takes to make a few people understand how dangerous and evil socialism really is. Feel free to comment below..

A business is a money making enterprise. It’s very existence is driven by profit. Though there has been altruistic enterprises, in the grand scheme of things, profit drives businesses. Why is it that employers all the sudden are expected to run a social aid agency? Where is that responsibility coming from? Offering a job, at any price, is not exploitation, it is a contract, an agreement with an employee. Nobody these days puts a gun to someone’s head and makes them work as a slave. You don’t like the wages, well, find a better job.. Some will say “they have no choice..” What choice would they have if the business wasn’t there to start with? I wish that some day, as in “Atlas Shrugged”, all the large business owners said “F— this, I’m going fishing.” We would see then how many people would starve to death. We should all be thankful for greedy entrepreneurs, because without them, society would die in chaos.

My opinion is based on the respect of private property. The fruit of my labor is mine, yes, and it is mine to sell, at an hourly rate I have to decide to accept, or not. People always want more. They accept a salary, then want profit sharing on top of it.. What about loss sharing? What about someone going to the worker’s house and hauling the flat screen TV out to pay for his employer’s losses? Seems unfair huh? Well, it goes both ways..

Socialism is a plague. It is a rotten system based on theft, enslavement and disrespect of humanity. It is the lowest of the lowest. It ruins societies and alienates its people. It is dangerous because it uses the premise of helping others to steal and throughout history, kill millions of people. I can’t believe some wear Che-Guevara T-Shirts, a murderous thug.. They should wear Hitler T-shirts, it would be as bad. Socialism has to be fought, exposed for what it is, and squashed in the voting booth like a cockroach in a kitchen.

When a flight attendant tells you that you can’t have a pillow on your lap, or must remain seated an hour before landing (Yahoo News), it is time to question the competence of security agencies. Those new rules imply that an explosive device could well be already in the plane, and obviously, it has just happened. Instead of acknowledging their failure by adding new measures that consider all passengers as threats, wouldn’t it be better to ensure that no explosive gets aboard? As Bruce Schneier notes in his security blog, “Only two things have made flying safer [since 9/11]: the reinforcement of cockpit doors, and the fact that passengers know now to resist hijackers.” They are certainly more willing to do so after September 11. I believe that flight-crew training is the best thing TSA could invest in.

We all want to fly safely, but at what price? It is bad enough that we must all go through patting, puffing-sniffing machines, x-rays, shoe removal and dubious looks and questions, it should ensure that once on the plane, we are treated as paying customers again. TSA could lean a few things from El-Al security measures, including racial profiling. Instead, they ask grandmothers to remove their shoes, and ban children from flights because their name match a suspected terrorist. If I had to choose between a fountain pen and a nail file for a weapon, I’ll take the pen any day. Not that bringing explosives on-board or weapons is difficult.. Political correctness should go overboard before safety and privacy.

Airlines should feel the economic pressure of ineffective security policies. They would then lobby for better measures and training, not more of the same nonsense. The only way we can do this is simply take the car, or train when possible for short trips. I wish the United States had not lost it’s railroad industry. You can zip all around Europe at 200mph in total comfort, are we so far behind technologically? It is the responsibility of taxpayers to see that their money is used in a reasonably responsible and effective manner. Keeping me from going to the bathroom at the end of a flight or not giving me a pillow is not going to make a flight safer. If that device on the Northwest/Delta flight had been well made, the plane would have gone down, pillow or not. It only takes a fraction of a second to press a button.

I just stumbled on this article: Half Singapore children suffer from allergies: study. I had never heard about allergies before 1993, when I moved to the United States. The only ones I knew of were serious, and potentially fatal, like my mother being allergic to penicillin. Seasonal allergies or other common types seen today simply did not exist.

Call me a dirty Frenchman if you want, but the cause seems obvious to me: The modern obsession with cleanliness. Singapore doesn’t surprise me, because it is one of the cleanest cities in the world. Not that I have anything against that, I like cleanliness too. However, when the practice goes too far, it poses a threat to all of us. I think that our immune system, if not challenged once in a while, will not be able to defend us when we really need it. I am not asking you to go lick your toilet bowl or the next stray dog you see on the street! If I didn’t live in Florida, I probably would shower every other day. I don’t use hand sanitizers. I don’t mind getting dirty working outside, eat fruits and vegetables I just pulled from a tree or the ground.. We need to get exposed to germs, the benign ones anyway.

When I was a kid, I spent all day playing outside, getting scrapes on my knees, cutting myself, eating things that should have been cooked or cleaned, and coming back home covered with dirt. My parents didn’t seem to mind. It was just what children do. These days, a child won’t be admitted to school with the sniffles. Let them all catch that cold or chicken pox, and be done with it.

The media has us all in a panic about swine flu. Before, it was bird flu, and before that, Spanish flu.. What is it going to be next, fish flu? We get flu every year. Some people die from it, mostly the elderly and those with underlying health conditions; nothing new here. It’s just the flu. You don’t need to sanitize your hands twenty times a day or stay home because of it.

Allergy medicines are big business. Schering-Plough made billions with Claritin. Doctors will push allergy medicine as much as they can. Are the possible long term effects of those drugs better than the discomfort they treat? For some maybe, but overall, I doubt it.

If you want to stay in good health, have a good personal hygiene, but don’t be obsessive. Let go of the bleach a little, and don’t sterilize everything you eat or touch. If you get sick, well, you’re just exercising your immune system. If you have kids, protect and watch over them, but let them be kids and get dirty playing outside. You will make them stronger adults. Avoid loading yourself up with over-the-counter anti-allergy medicine. If you have a problem, see your doctor, but remember that he wants you to buy the stuff.. Eat healthy and exercise, that is probably the best way to a healthy body and mind.