Colorful, Laskowitzpictures.com, Photographs, Photography, Pictures, Ray Laskowitz
Comments 14

Puerto Rico, Rocket Man and The Flag


Well, if this isn’t something…

I’ve long said that Storyteller isn’t a political place.

Maybe I was wrong. And, that’s saying something because I haven’t been wrong since 1970. (Don’t take that seriously. It’s an old joke.)

Like many of you I’ve had enough. Maybe the outside informs the inside. Maybe that’s how art is really made.

We have parts of three U.S. states — one is an unincorporated U.S. territory — that have all but been destroyed by three hurricanes. Two of them, Texas and Florida, are getting Federal help. Puerto Rico is getting next to nothing while a U.S President tweets about their debt. They have no water. Little food. No electrical power. They can barely communicate with the outside. Not a few people. Or a hundred people. Or, a thousand. No, no, no… millions of people.

While a U.S president calls Black athletes “sons of bitches.” And, tells team owners to fire any player who doesn’t stand for the National Anthem. He’s turned one man’s protest about police brutality into something it isn’t.

While he has ignited what could be a nuclear war in Korea. While he calls the leader of North Korea “Rocket Man.” And, threatens to destroy North Korea in a speech at The United Nations.

While he can’t get major legislation passed.

While he is now trying to force U.S citizens to pay for a wall that most of us don’t want. That we really don’t need.

While he attacks everybody and everybody via never-ending tweets. Even members of his own political party. Even people who are generally acknowledged as heroes.

While he tries to take health care away from millions of people.

I could go on. But, this post could be 200 inches long. Nobody needs that.

Some people say stuff like, “I know what I think. I’m not going to tell you what to think.”

Why the hell not?

Your thoughts matter. Stop trying to sell stuff on WordPress. And, speak your mind. You don’t have to agree with me. Just speak your truth.

The politicians and the president are trying to tell us how to do everything. What to do. They are trying to take freedoms away from us. They are trying to take our health away from us. They are barring immigration in almost any form. Should I keep writing?

Let’s get this straight. This ain’t a dictatorship. They work for us. For me. For you. If I want to protest, I’ll protest. That’s my right. My duty as a true patriot. I have Constitutional rights. Besides, this country was founded on protest. The Boston Tea Party started it. The United States Revolution pretty kept it going. We left a war an unrighteous war in Vietnam because of it.

So.

Let’s forget this nonsense about whether athletes should stand or kneel. It’s their right. And, they don’t work on an antebellum plantation. Until 2009 no NFL team took the field until after The National Anthem was sung. It took big donations from the DOD and National Guard to the NFL to get players on the field for pre-game ceremonies. It was nothing more than a recruitment scheme.

Instead, it’s time to stop hurting people. It’s time to help our brothers and sisters on Puerto Rico. Yeah, yeah. I get it. These people can’t vote in U.S. elections and — dare I say it — they aren’t white. So what? That latter only confirms what I think about this president.

Remember. I’m a Katrina survivor. I know what it’s like to be alone and forgotten. It broke one presidency. Maybe ignoring the people of Puerto Rico will break another. Lord knows. It isn’t much of a presidency anyway.

The picture. This’ll make you feel good. But, first a question. Does it show disrespect for the flag, or nah? I made it in a conservative state. Nevada. In Virginia City. Sometimes, I get drawn to shiny beads. It’s old enough that I made it on film. I didn’t think much of it when I pressed the button. I just liked what I saw.

Now, I have thought about it. It seems to matter more now. Funny how things change.

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14 Comments

  1. I’m sure that someone somewhere will say that it disrespects the flag and others will not. I personally do not care if some football player kneels. It is God given right and that is what the veterans fought for. Our right to choose whether we do that or not. I’m just know that I am mighty sick of hearing about it. There are way more important things, much like the ones that you have mentioned here. Our president, or our controlling business man as that is much more what he is. Take away his twitter privileges, seriously. He is way more concerned with feeding the controversy than protecting the country. If he wasn’t, well..Puerto Rico wouldn’t have to have people in the other other states standing for the right they should already be entitle too. That is my two cents.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe that the president is way more concerned about hiding stuff. For instance, what we aren’t reading about is the Russian investigation although it is speeding along and heading into the Oval Office. For the president, it is more about deflection. Even when Coli Kapernick first took a knee it had nothing to do with the flag or the national anthem. It was about police brutality. It was very specific. Now…..

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am with you on this one. Blogging – a new journalism, is exactly the space for political views. A free forum of thought and no one needs to apologise. I left England because it wasn’t helping me after years of working, paying taxes and giving goodwill to all men. The time out bell rang and I left. Politicians are failing us and I cannot believe there isn’t a back-bone left in any one of them.

    Like

    • I’m an old school journalist, and for the most part I think that unless somebody understands the ground rules of of reporting and writing most blogs are 90% opinion just like today’s post. There is no reporting. Nor, are there any real facts other than what I’ve read.

      Does France help you any better?

      Like

  3. Pingback: Puerto Rico, Rocket Man and The Flag – Pokes & Ashes

  4. Well stated. Thanks for voicing much of what I have been thinking. The focus and priorities of this president are disturbing as is his childish words and behavior that too often can be categorized as bullying.

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome. I was born a Brooklyn. A well know author and editor — Pete Hamill — was also born in Brooklyn. He wrote what I was thinking. The president is a punk; the kind of guy who would start a street fight and then run away from it. I grew up with plenty of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Just about an hour ago I heard a report that there were two deaths in a PR hospital because they ran out of generator fuel resulting in life support failure. I can’t even wrap my head around that. I’m so disturbed at the way the President taunts North Korea, demeans and belittles people of color, supports xenophobic behavior, and in my state the threat of “the wall” and current deportation policies are big worries and very upsetting. Blogging, to me, has been a comfort as I find those who share many of my core values, beliefs and understandings. I’ve experienced some very wide chasms in old friendships since last November. I’m frequently very disturbed, that’s for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know. I know most of that. Unfortunately.

      I lost New Orleans friends because of statue removal. OTH, my stand helped grow my relation with many I photograph on a weekly basis.

      I decided that I can’t back down. Not now. This could very well be my last fight. I might as well make it a good one.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Opinion here: a peaceful protest is an incredibly patriotic act, because it inherently suggests that the protester believes in his / her country and is taking a stand to make it better. The flag stands for freedom, period, and for anyone – president, dictator, boss, whoever – to MANDATE specific physical signs of respect for it reeks of tyranny and authoritarianism. Or worse. Bully for you for letting Storyteller by a political space when you’ve had enough.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Mine can only be opinions… 🙂 You also have to understand that I’m one of those people who can say I fought to preserve those rights. Ken Burns is doing a series about guys like me now.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I’m recording that…and I know it will be good, and I know I need to see it. But I haven’t been able to sit down and watch it yet. I want to be more educated about it, and somehow I also want to preserve my ignorance. Not admirable. And by the way, I say this sincerely: thank you, thank you, thank you for your service, your sacrifice and your continued involvement (through your opinion-sharing).

        Like

      • It has its moments. And, slants. The series is finally coming to my era which was very near the end. You’re welcome. We continue to do all sorts of little things. But, little things add up. For you in Houston, we donated money and are fostering four extra dogs until they can go home. They bark with a Texas accent.

        Liked by 1 person

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