Speaking Ill of the Dead

I was taught “If you can’t say anything good, say nothing.”  I fully admit having failed to heed that teaching but I will not speak ill of the dead.  I will not celebrate his death, but I cannot celebrate his life either.  I will not call his name.

I’m quite sure during the course of his life he spoke some truth, but I cannot see his truth because of the hate he peddled and the anger he caused me.  I don’t blame him for peddling hostility anymore than I blame him for my outrage. I’m not speaking ill of him at all.

From college dropout to AM disc jockey to rightwing mega pundit, he was trying to find a way to make a living and found fertile ground to till.  A fertile ground that grew bountiful crops from the seeds of bigotry, misogyny, conspiracy, and misinformation he peddled.  All he was doing was farming the fields he had been blessed with.

No!  I’m not speaking ill of him.  I’m speaking ill of many of his followers.  They provided an eighty-five-million-dollar salary on the way to being worth six hundred million dollars.  He was just doing what he needed to do to provide for his family.  Capitalism at its best.  Charging what the market would bear and then some.  Not caring who you might step on while climbing to the top. If comparing thirteen year old Chelsey Clinton to a dog sold advertisements and airtime, what is a guy to do? If it helped write him a new and bigger contract, what is the big deal?

His audience loved the comparison along with making fun of Michael J. Fox’s disease, referring to Obama as a “house Negro”, mocking rape victims, and calling activists sluts and femnazis.  It was all in good fun; real knee slappers his fans guffawed loudly at. Just pokin’ fun at political correctness. There were other examples but like a good farmer I will not over till my ground.

He was a snake oil salesman who knew his fan base well and played to it every chance he got.    Know your demographic.  He was a President maker, a purveyor of conspiracy, a trader in fear and hatred. He was a comedian that none of his followers believed to be comedic. I’m not speaking ill of him, but it bothers me his fans couldn’t see through his shtick.

He was a Billy Mays huckster, Joe Girard car salesman, P.T. Barham showman, and Jim Bakker TV evangelist all rolled into one.  People metaphorically lined up to spend their money or shed their panties because he spoke to them in a language they understood.   They bought his absurdities along with his truths and were unable to tell the difference. They are the ones I am speaking ill of, not him. He was just trying to make a living the best way he knew how.

Do not despair fertile field. There will be others to take his place.  Seeds will continue to planted and bitter crops harvested. Want to bes are already posturing, ready to harness their mule.   He laid out the furrows and someone will broadcast the seed. While they may not be as successful they will make their living, there will continue to be successful crops.

 But he liked cats. How can you speak ill of a cat lover who named his pet “Punkin’?”  I’m sure Punkin’ loved him.

For mostly non-political ramblings https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM?fbclid=IwAR1Cv5JjARlf26IKkUq2zgrvGXL-GnP_1j8cgoPJOlIEjfVzAeMTupWmL3c

Silence as I wander in the Valley of Death


“Yea as I walk through the shadow of the valley of death…” I hear nothing.

I first wrote and posted about Silence in December 2015.  Here it is May 2019, and the silence persists when I talk to my God.  The silence reverberates even more loudly than before as more hatred floods the airways sweeping up more and more in its wake.

My God doesn’t answer me.  Daily I give him an opportunity.  I usually converse with him as I perform my walkabout.  Out in the open, in the elements, in his creation…it should be a good time to talk, a good time for answers.  Wish he or she would answer a few questions…maybe it’s the way I frame them…I’m sure it is my fault. Sometimes my questions to him just pop out from nowhere…or from everywhere.

There are many times when I wish the voices in my head would shut up, this is not one of those occasions.  I’m waiting for a Saul/Paul moment. Maybe it is the voices in my head asking the questions instead of me or my road doesn’t lead to Damascus.

I grew up in the church…and then like so many young people wandered down a divergent path.  Later I would come back and then diverge again…a couple of times. I fear I might be in the divergent mode again.   

During those divergent days, my issues weren’t with Jesus, it was with organized religion…it still is.  I have problems with the “My God is greater than your god” group.

I have problems with people who are so sure of their beliefs whether it is a minister, layman or political pundit.  My issues were or are with Christians who spread their hate in the name of God, seemingly forgetting the love of Jesus, many masquerading as political pundits.  Is it hate or am I missing the point of Christian generosity? Can you quote from Leviticus and the teachings of Jesus?

My first divergence occurred because of a young minister who was so sure that if my mother truly believed she’d be cured of her terminal disease.  Well, she wasn’t cured, she did believe, and I was an angry young man whose religious beliefs had been shattered.

Now my confidence is being tested by the hatred I see…good people pulled to the fringes of their religion while I, if anything, seem to move in the other direction.   Hellfire and brimstone seem to swirl about me as I ask my questions. The smell of sulfur hangs in the air of my head. The punishing God of the Old Testament seems to be loading up his burning stones and aiming them at anyone not toeing the fundamentalist line…I should be ready to duck.

If you believe in a fundamental, punishing god that is your right.  I will not attempt to convert you. I just can’t believe in or worship that kind of god.  I promise I won’t attempt to transmute you to my way of thinking. Please give me the same consideration.

Generally, I’m not very open about my religious beliefs…nor outspoken at all.  Writing this is an unbelievable stretch for me. Yesterday I stretched even further as I engaged a very good friend, metaphorically laying myself bare.  She is a non-believer…maybe, sometimes I wonder. She has better than a good heart.

After laying myself bare, she attempted to apply a soothing balm, “(You are) a caring human being and a spiritual soul. The goodness I see in you doesn’t require a grand biblical gesture or event to validate or verify what and who you are.”

Her comment lifted my spirits but this morning I wonder.  I don’t feel very spiritual or validated but I do keep asking myself questions and mulling while waiting, hoping for an answer.

Rewritten From December 2015

I worry. Worry for family, country, and friends. Friends of all races, creeds, sexual preferences and colors. I pray. There is no answer, nothing but silence.  

I ask, What happened to “live and let live?”

I agonize over students having to face death in what should be one of the safest places in the world.  Students giving their lives to protect others when the people we entrust with their safety seem to only to offer “thoughts and prayers.”  While we have plenty of suppositions, we offer little else other than “It is God’s will.” It’s this, it’s that, it’s not something else but we do nothing.  The silence is becoming oppressive.

I worry about worshippers of all religions, unable to praise their god for fear of bombings, burnings or the sound of rapid-fire weapons echoing in the foreground.  There seems to be no answer from above or here on earth. Does God help those who help themselves? We might try that.

I wonder. Wonder at how the world has come to this. I pray and then I rage. Rage at Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Atheist, Liberals, Conservatives, anyone in between and any religion I failed to mention.

I pray. Again, there is no succor, only silence.

I hate. Mostly I hate myself for hating. I pray for the hatred to be taken away. From myself and from people I don’t even know.  It does not relent. The silence swells in my mind.

I ask for enlightenment. Understanding, Wisdom, Awareness, and Insight. Why do we do nothing but debate? Why do we do the same things over and over again, expecting a different outcome?  It is insanity.

Why do we do nothing but wait until the next episode of terror…? I pray. There is nothing but deep, dark silence.

My grandmother instructed me to “lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.”

I pray to look “unto the hills” but the silence has become a deafening roar in my ears.

I must keep looking unto the hills. I will keep praying…hoping God will take the silence away.

Thanks, Lynn, for listening.

Don Miller’s author’s page may be accessed at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

The image is from https://gravitycenter.com/silence/


Wake up?  I am Awake What About You?

I was told to wake up by a former student.  I hold no ill will toward him and am happy he gave me a topic and a reason to vent.

I realize I don’t know everything, but I am awake.  Sometimes I wish wasn’t, just caught in a bad nightmare or watching bad horror movies.

I was young, but I wasn’t asleep during the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, used to stoke up war fever against Vietnam and communism.  I watched Cronkite describe the Tet Offensive and the destruction of any belief in victory. I cringed at the Mai Lai Massacre and its attempted cover-up.  I read the Pentagon Papers which uncovered the secrets of our clandestine involvement in Vietnam and its neighbors from Truman to Nixon.

I watched hollow-eyed veterans come home to a disrespect they didn’t deserve.  I saw the aftermath of the student massacres at Kent State and Orangeburg…something we the people didn’t deserve.  I viewed the Vietnam protests on my black and white TV.

The evening news showed protesters threatened with thirty caliber machine guns in Chicago and journalist Mike Wallace thrown to the floor for asking a question before being escorted out of the Democratic Convention.  Carnage raged outside the convention center as Daily’s minions used batons and tear gas to disperse protestors.

I experienced the Civil Rights era with government attempts to discredit Black leaders and the Black Panthers…something we still attempt to do today unless we need a good quote to make a point or someone to focus hatred upon.  1968 WAS a time when we really shouldn’t have believed our FBI.  No J. Edger Hoover probably wasn’t a crossdresser, but he was a paranoid racist at his best.

In real time, I watched people of color marginalized, beaten, bombed, and their buses set on fire.  Their votes suppressed by men who looked like me flying a flag from old time’s there not forgotten.  With reports from several states, how has that changed?

I lived through the assassinations of two Kennedys, a King and attempted assassinations on two Presidents.  I don’t believe Oswald or Jones did their evil alone but have no definitive proof, so I don’t spout off about it or embrace conspiracy theories.  I don’t believe in conspiracy theories about bombs being sent through the mail.

I witnessed, in black and white, the murder of a sovereign Asian countries’ president and a military coup but didn’t know we were complicit until well after the fact.  Complicit in attempted assassinations on Castro and the Bay of Pigs?  Yeah, those two and others.  Still, until the Seventies, I believed we wore the white hat in our gunfights at high noon and were better than assassinations, coups, and invasions.

Watergate and Contragate?  I witnessed the hearings that followed, a President riding off into the sunset and a Marine Colonel falling on his own sword so another President didn’t have to ride off to California.

Wake up?  Bullshit!

Gerald Ford told the nation their great nightmare was over.  Bill Clinton comforted the people of Oklahoma City and the nation after a mad bomber killed over a hundred and sixty.  George W. Bush left an elementary school reading to reassure a nation when planes crashed into skyscrapers, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.  Yes, as we continue to point out, they were imperfect men, but they knew how to act in times of national distress.  They knew how to calm and unify.

Why do I need to wake up?  There is plenty of evil to go around, and I’ve lived through much of it, much of it created and covered up by our own government.  I don’t need to embrace loudmouths who make a living spouting conspiracy and pointing fingers at the other side.  Maybe we should wake up and realize they are nothing more than small-minded hatemongers attempting to make a buck.

When you share their hatred and conspiracies, you become a part of the problem.  Maybe you should wake up and realize when you share hate you become the problem that is undermining the nation and your friends and neighbors.  We need compromise, not a conspiracy.

More rants and musings at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM

The image was liberated fromhttps://www.lifehack.org/648887/how-to-detect-a-wolf-in-sheeps-clothing

Olympic Lows….

I’ve enjoyed the Winter Olympics…not the actual Olympics but the backstories.  I’m not much into cold weather sports…or just cold weather.  I do enjoy the stories of what the athletes have overcome to get to where they are.  The Nigerian bobsled team, an American soldier who had to train for the bobsled while serving in the sands of a far-off land…you get the idea.  What I haven’t understood is the hatred directed at some of them.

My case in point is Lindsay Vonn.  I admit I haven’t really followed her career, hanging on her every run.  I did make note that she was a pretty, blonde haired girl who liked to go fast and live on the edge.  She reminded me of all the pretty blond girls who wouldn’t give me the time of day…back in the day.  I didn’t hold it against her and watched replays of her more memorable moments.

I held my breath watching some of her more cringe-worthy crashes.  A mutilated knee or a broken arm, being airlifted from the slopes.  Injuries that could have ended many careers but not hers.  She chose to work to overcome and compete in one more Olympic game…and dedicated it to her grandfather.  You would think people could cut her a little slack.

I admit to cringing, too, when it became newsworthy that she was dating Tiger Woods but then again, he is the Tiger.  I’ve made a few missteps when it came to affairs of the heart…I think.  At my age, it’s a bit hard to remember.  I do remember that none were newsworthy.

But oh my, she made the worst mistake of her life.  When asked a question, she told the truth.  “Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the President.”   She further went on to disparage the President by saying that she wouldn’t go to the White House if she won.  How bold and audacious…how completely unpatriotic, to tell the truth when asked the question.  She was racing for her country, herself and her recently deceased grandfather…but, not the President.

Can we not overlook a little faux pas?  Can we not overlook not racing for our President or visiting him if she won?  Can we not give her some thumbs up for standing by her beliefs even if we disagree with them?  Must we boycott or cry out for cancellation because someone doesn’t agree with our position?

Was it so egregious, we cannot give a pass to a woman who has been an inspiration to other young women…and men I would guess?  Can we not give her a participation trophy for doing her best?  Can we not just say “Thanks for the efforts?”  No, she was refusing to go to the White House, and for some reason, it is an unpatriotic travesty.  Many are happy…an ungrateful US athlete failed.

I wonder if any Olympic athlete woke up this morning and said to themselves, “This one’s for you Donnie T?”  Another question might be, “Should they?”  Are we so filled with hatred we must glorify OUR athletic failures for answering a question with truth?  Should all athletes just give up their First Amendment rights, just because they are athletes?  I would say our friendly Russian trolls have done their jobs well…or maybe they didn’t really have to.

Don Miller writes on varying subjects, not all are subjects that bother him so.  If interested you can find him at https://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM



I’m not sure where I stand on the removal of monuments celebrating the “Lost Cause” mentality of the War for Southern Independence…well I guess I am sure. People have pontificated about the removal of monuments as being paramount to removing history itself. I doubt it. Jefferson Davis is still going to be the only president, ever, of the former Confederacy, Robert E. Lee, it’s most noted general and P. G. T. Beauregard, the commander of Confederate forces who first fired upon Fort Sumter, regardless of what monuments are removed. Southern history will remain, including Southern history contained within the pesky primary documents written prior to 1866. I view the dismantling of later memorials as removing the CELEBRATION of certain histories not removing the history itself. I view the Liberty Place obelisk, recently dismantled and removed from Iberville Street in New Orleans, as one of those monuments which should be hidden from sight…except for those who WISH to see it in a museum somewhere…and yes it should be treated with the respect it deserves.

We Southerners WILL continue to wage war defending our heritage, but the monument celebrating “The Battle of Liberty Place” had LITTLE to do with our late great, great grands attempting to stem the tide of a Federal invasion in 1861. Rather, the obelisk had everything to do with the memorialization of white supremacist attempting to disenfranchise one group and re-establish a government run by and for whites just before the end of Reconstruction. The original inscription, added by the City of New Orleans in 1932, leaves little confusion as to why the 1874 battle was fought. An all-white militia, made up of members of the Crescent City White League, fought a pitched battle against racially diverse metropolitan police for control of the city of New Orleans. The inscription stated, before being covered later, the battle was fought for the “overthrow of carpetbag government, ousting the usurpers” and that “the national election of November 1876 recognized white supremacy in the South and gave us our state.” No confusion at all.

With the Compromise of 1877, Reconstruction ended and Federal troops marched out of Southern states leaving the Redeemers to usher in constitutional changes reflecting their beliefs; disenfranchisement, Jim Crow and placing whites back on the top of the pyramidal pecking order. It was not only true in Louisiana but true in most, if not all, Southern states after President Hayes ended Reconstruction as part of a backroom political deal even modern Americans should be familiar with. This is a part of OUR Southern heritage and it too should not be erased…or ignored.

MY DIFFICULTY with monuments which praise of our Confederate forefathers, including the Battle Flag, has much to do with the other side of the coin. If we embrace our heritage, do we not have to recognize the other side of the argument? I read posts from many ardent supporters of Southern heritage espousing the “need for some people to just move on.” Isn’t “moving some people along”, while wrapping ourselves in the Confederate Battle Flag and lamenting the removal of memorials such as the obelisk, a bit hypocritical? Shouldn’t we just come out and say, “Our glorious heritage is MUCH more important than the pain YOUR forefathers experienced?” If we are going to own one side of the coin, do we not own the other?

For more of Don Miller’s writings please visit https://goo.gl/pL9bpP on Amazon.


I despise Valentine’s Day. How did we get from the celebration of a Roman festival to the madness of today? A manufactured, merchandize driven celebration of love…or the realization of being quite alone. At least if you are depressed there is plenty of chocolate to raise your spirits and increase your waistline. The Valentine’s candy and cards at Wally World has been displayed since the day after Christmas.

A bit of history. One historical version suggests THE FESTIVAL began as the honoring of the Goddess Juno during the Roman Feast of Lupercalia. Young men and women drew names from a jar, pairing themselves for the duration of the feast and sometimes for the year. This was before the use of car or room keys in a fishbowl I guess. Yes, some would fall in love and sometimes even marry. Ain’t that romantic…or moronic?

Farther down the road known as history, the festival was discontinued because it was deemed un-Christian but as we all know you can’t keep a good celebration down. It was just refigured and given another name. According to one popular legend, a Roman priest would give the celebration its name. Valentine, the priest, defied the emperor, Claudius II, when said emperor decided allowing people to marry or become engaged impeded his ability to raise an army to fight the many unpopular military campaigns of the time. He banned marriage and engagements. Valentine, along with another priest, Marius, secretly married couples in Rome until their treachery was discovered resulting in the brutal beating death of Valentine. I think Marius got the better end of the deal even if a celebration is named after Valentine. Both were elevated to sainthood but Marius escaped execution.

Not romantic enough? Try this version. Valentine was helping Christians escape from prison until he himself was ratted out and jailed. While awaiting execution, as the romantic story goes, Valentine and the jailer’s daughter fell in love. On the night before his execution, Valentine penned a letter to his beloved and signed it “From Your Valentine.” Now why does “from your valentine” sound vaguely familiar?

If those unsubstantiated legends aren’t enough, early Roman-Christians believed birds mated in mid-February. It doesn’t matter. I HATE VALENTINE’S DAY! I have hated Valentine’s Day for thirty years or more. I’d rather be beaten ala Valentine or machine gunned ala Al Capone’s The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Flowers wilt and chocolate is fattening, plus the object of my romantic inclinations shouldn’t eat chocolate for health reasons. FOR THIRTY YEARS, I HAVE TRIED TO DO SOMETHING UNIQUE FOR THE UNIQUE PERSON WHO IS LINDA GAIL! Moreover, for thirty years I have failed. Even the rose bushes I bought with so much care, planted and fertilized so carefully, watered and talked to…died. Can you really kill something with love? YES! … YOU! … CAN!

One year, the worst, I reserved a romantic meal at a nearby inn on a mountain above us. IT SNOWED! Determined to be romantic or machine gunned, we went anyway. A phone call told us they were open but with no electricity. “Come on, the meal will be served by candlelight.” How much more romantic could it get? Just shoot me. JUST FREAKING SHOOT ME! A twenty-minute trip turned into an hour as we dodged downed powerlines and fallen limbs but we made it. It was romantic. Candles and little mini-lanterns. The meal served in courses by waitresses in the cutest little uniforms. A three-digit meal before we got to the tip…but it was going to be worth it! A good meal, romantic small talk, footsy under the table, a short drive home and if I played my cards right…acte d’amour. Not on your life. On the side of the road she upchucked A FREAKING THREE-DIGIT MEAL. l’acte de vomir was all I got.

Am I trying too hard. Is it too much to want to do something special and unique for a special and unique person for goodness sakes? I have been dreading St. Valentine’s Day since the last one and have been trying to come up with something special…maybe I’ll just prepare the meal. A quiet dinner with a French motif. A small table with a checked tablecloth featuring one of those candles in a wine glass with melted wax dripping down the side. I’ve got a bottle of wine somewhere…it’s full. I guess I should start drinking it if I’m going to get a candle holder ready by this evening…and if I’m going to survive it.

Uniquely Southern, uniquely insightful, books by Don Miller can be bought or downloaded at http://goo.gl/lomuQf


As Orlando is being debated, one thing IS apparent to me. Doing things over and over the same way while expecting a different outcome IS the definition of insanity. Albert Einstein WAS correct and it would appear we are one insane nation. How many times do we have to have the same type of press conference? Is our only option to wring our hands and shake our heads in disbelief as one terrorist after the other shoots up our citizens?

Immediately we polarized ourselves around gun control and expressed our hatred for the opposing side. Very few people expressed any concern for the fifty dead. There were a FEW so please don’t let me give you a reason to further hate me. First thing this morning, as in Monday morning, two people had already posted a half dozen memes…EACH…expressing their position in none too flattering terms to the opposite side. How many ways can you repeatedly call someone stupid or a sack of shit. Most haters weren’t quite that prolific BUT their hate was still apparent. Ruby Ridge and Wounded Knee were even brought up as the “greatest mass shooting” in American history rather than Orlando. Are we in some type of contest and should we EVEN be keeping score? What effect does that have on us in this situation? None! Their post were about hatred and fear.

Are we so hateful that we can’t even consider a holistic approach to the problem? Are we so spiteful that we can’t come to a compromise…or even consider a compromise? Is it all about the importance of keeping the
right to own a weapon that has only one function or is it all about President Obama using the words terror and hatred instead of radical terrorist? Is it about Muslims or Gays? Is it about Hillary or Donald? No it is about hatred. Do we just have to have someone to hate?

We need a Gandhi. Someone to address the hatred and… RELIGION IS NOT THE KEY so don’t come at me with we need to turn to God. “God helps those who help themselves” and we ain’t doing a very good job of helping ourselves. Until we pull together and get over the hate MY God will stay out of it.

Truthfully…I don’t believe this could have been prevented under the present conditions. How do you stop a New York born, Florida residing, “self-radicalized,” domestic abuser, “hot head,” on an FBI watch list, security guard who still LEGALLY obtained a high capacity, semi-automatic weapon? I’ll let you each answer the question yourselves but you need to put your hatred on hold and attempt to look at it sanely…AND WHILE YOU ARE AT IT…quit trying to fix blame on specific individuals. It seems there is a great deal of blame to go around. We don’t need blame, we need solutions and hating each other won’t get them.


Out of total boredom I listened to a political pundit on the radio. It really doesn’t matter what his name was or which side of the political argument he was on but in regard to truth in advertising, he was a conservative. I live in South Carolina; what else would he have been? What struck me was his sureness…as in his COCKSURENESS. “As sure as a cock!” Isn’t that what the word means? As arrogant and self-confident as a strutting barnyard COCK! For some reason I mentally saw a parading peacock, his feather’s all preened and fanned out as he metaphorically pranced his mating dance to attract his peafowl of a “listening audience.”

I have never been cocksure of anything…until after the fact, and sometimes even then I am not sure. Three marriages will make you less than cocksure. As soon as I wake up in the morning I am cocksure I am alive…well after I have resuscitated myself with my first cup of coffee. You can’t be dead if you ache as badly as I do can you? I am also “cock-of-the-walk sure” if I don’t hurry to the bathroom upon arising there is going to be a flood of “biblical proportions” because it has happened before. If it is snowing outside I am cocksure it is PROBABLY cold or if I zip up too quickly I might have a painful experience. It doesn’t stop me from zipping up the old beany weeny anyway or walking outside to make cocksure THE WEATHER IS COLD!

What I am REALLY not cocksure about is politics, which is a similar experience to zipping up the old beany weeny in my pants as far as I am concerned. My pundit seemed NOT to have my problem. He knew exactly what to do in order to correct all of our country’s ills from transgender bathroom rights to world peace. I got the idea his problem solving involved only our Second Amendment rights and nuclear weapons. He was cocksure about how stupid the present administration was and how it was responsible for everything negative from my colonoscopy this morning to a bird mysteriously dying in the Altiplano.

When I looked up synonyms for cocksure in the Oxford Online Dictionary I was rewarded with arrogant, conceited, overweening, overconfident, cocky, proud, vain, self-important, egotistical, presumptuous, smug, patronizing, pompous, high and mighty and finally, puffed up. I admit I had to look up overweening which means showing excessive confidence or pride. I believe all of the pundits, mine in particular, have some or all of these traits and more. My pundit understands that hatred sells only slightly less well than sex but much better than the truth. Why did the Oxford Dictionary leave out narcissistic?

I decided to give my pundit the benefit of the doubt and looked up his qualifications to be a pundit. Let’s see, a degree in Poly Sci? Economics? Basket Weaving? Now I know why he views all of academia to be “liberal, left-wing, Commie hippy freaks.” He spent very little time in institutions of higher learning except for a football game or two. My pundit has had a long career in radio and TV which I am sure is as much like the real world as is any social media political post. My “peacock” is no more “educated” than I am, except that he knows what sells on television and radio. I thought the word pundit was a Hindu word meaning “an expert in a particular subject or field who is frequently called on to give opinions about it to the public.” Well mine certainly has the opinion part of the definition down. Don’t get me wrong, college educated is not the end all but I would like my pundits to be able to do something more than turn on a microphone and sell advertising. Can you receive a Bachelor of Science in BS? Get it? A BS in BS. Quit laughing it wasn’t that funny.

I mentally see my grandmother approaching the chicken coop next to our old barn, slowly reaching through the chicken wire door and snatching up a young rooster. As she grabbed the cockerel there was an explosion of feathers from wing flapping but to no avail. A short stroke of her ax, followed by an erratic, headless run, and all was quiet. Something the political pundit might want to think about, “You’re only a short stroke of an ax from the metaphorical and silent cooking pot.”

More nonfiction by Don Miller is available at http://www.amazon.com/Don-Miller/e/B018IT38GM


The arrest of fifteen Georgia residents who SUPPOSEDLY crashed a black neighborhood birthday party while flying Confederate Battle Flags, brandishing weapons, and shouting racial epitaphs has once again ignited discussion about our Southern heritage and hate.

During a conversation with a really good friend, one whose opinion I respect a great deal, it suddenly became apparent that I had misrepresented myself. Our conversation was about the Confederate Battle Flag that recently was removed from our State House dome. From some of my previous posts, she mistakenly believed that I was of the opinion that the flag was one of the reasons Dylann Roof decided to pull the trigger that took nine lives earlier this summer. I don’t believe that any more than I believe the gun was at fault. What I do believe is that both of these inanimate objects were a part of the same environment that spawned him. Does he suffer from some type of insanity? Probably, and that insanity, cultivated by a fertile environment of racism and cultural division, was pointed at his targets just like his gun.

His environment was one that included a belief in white supremacy and the belief that Blacks, Jews, and Orientals were taking over. It is a variant of the argument that I believe, was used prior to the Civil War to create support from Southern non-slave owners. The belief that if we had not supported slavery we would be living with them, competing for jobs, and marrying off our daughters to them.

My recent rants have not been so much about the flag itself as it was about the attempt to explain the flag in a light of love and heritage, and in doing so marginalizing the effect slavery had on the South and the Civil War. Non-apologist were spouting information that made me wonder if I had read the wrong research as an undergrad history major. It was “Lost Cause” propaganda that the war was only about the state’s rights, independence, and unfair tariffs, not slavery. There is a kernel of truth in that belief but these posters seemed to be forgetting that one of those state’s rights was the right to continue and expand slavery…and the independence to do so.

It is interesting that their defense of the flag rarely speaks to the events that occurred after the Civil War other than to say it was about heritage and not hate. I was born just after the Dixiecrats first hijacked the flag and grew up during the end of Jim Crow, Brown, and the Civil Rights movement. I began my teaching career just two years after the forced desegregation of schools. It wasn’t pretty but I thought we were past most of it. The aftermath of Charleston, Ferguson, North Charleston, the deaths of too many police officers and theatergoers, and a myriad of other places and issues proved to me that we had simply covered it up and ignored it as many posts I have read have proven to me. Black Lives Matter, White Lives Matter, Police Lives Matter, and All Lives Matter seemed to move toward no lives matter unless it is mine. The “us versus them” finger-pointing continues today and has expanded to include gays, Christians, Muslims, police officers, white trash, and any other group or person we disagree with or support. With plenty of fake news sites, anyone’s particular object of hatred could be fed.

I admit to having worked in an insulated environment all my adult life as a teacher. Teaching is not working in the real world, it’s MUCH MORE challenging than that. Ninety percent of my friends of African descent come from that sector as either former students, teachers, or administrators. With few exceptions, they are intelligent, hard-working, and solid citizens in every way. They are also professionals who will tell you that Jim Crow and racism are still alive and well and located in many places other than just the South. The Jim Crow of today has become de facto instead of de jure but it’s there none the less. They will also tell you that, as white Americans, we owe them nothing more than the truth and an honest chance…the same as everyone else.

Even though I have descendants who fought and died under the Battle Flag, I could not support it. I even have some sympathy for the girl who climbed the pole and took it down because fifty-four years is a long time to wait. You might need to know I was in high school during the Civil Rights protests and in college during the height of the Viet Nam protest era. Those protests made a lasting imprint and the right to peaceful protest is ingrained in me no matter how reprehensible it might be. Should she have taken it down? No. Nor should flags be pulled down from private homes or monuments defaced but again I believe that it’s about white supremacy and I would add, the black racism that it has helped to create.

There are fear and lack of trust that both races have for each other in South Carolina and other Southern states that have grown since the Civil War. It is well earned. Throughout the rest of the country our track record with Blacks, Native Americans, Asians and Hispanics has been just as bad and has been widened to include gays and lesbians, Muslims, the Pope and those of us who believe that being unconcerned about political correctness is just an excuse for middle schools like name-calling and bullying. It is time for the name-calling to end but I fear it is just as ingrained as our racism and our cultural and political divide.



I really miss the good old days – the days when we knew who our enemies were. The days when a lab experience involving sodium and water gone wrong could be laughed at; when potato guns and exploding gas-filled hydrogen balloons were tools used to engage students instead of weapons of potential terrorist activities. When fertilizer was fertilizer and not a potential bomb. I also hate it when a kid walking into a school with a clock gets arrested. I understand it and agree completely with what the school did because of the dark times that we live in. It hurts me to have to say that. It also hurts me to see the venom directed toward a child named Ahmed and a president named Barack in the aftermath. This is our Christian society?

It seems that everything provokes an argument. Not an argument waiting to happen but argument that already exists. I visualize both the far left and far right-wingers waiting for POTUS to finish his morning poop so they can argue over the consistency of his stool and whether it is light or dark enough, firm enough or soft enough, or whether it does or does not contain enough pork to prove that he is or is not a Muslim. No, I don’t believe he is a Muslim. I do believe he was born in the United States. Those of you who disagree have fallen under the influence of dark forces. We are six and one-half years into his presidency. You are beating a dead mule and it stinks!

I have always considered myself a moderate, center of the road kind of guy. I CAN’T FIND THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD anymore! I know that the middle still exists and that the majority of the people of the United States are there. But where is it and why are we so quiet?

I guess I have gotten “jaded” in my old age. WHERE IS THE SO-CALLED MORAL MAJORITY? I don’t mean the hate-spewing far right, in their own mind, moral majority. You do realize in another time, Hitler was firmly on the far right. How did that work out for him and the world? Yes, I did compare SOME CHRISTIANS to Hitler. They are the ones who hate lesbians and gays, Jews, Muslims and blacks with a venom I hope I never understand. They also believe that the Second Amendment entitles them to purchase a fully-armed tank or an ICBM.

A post piqued my interest and, in search of truth, I found myself on a site called TruthTV.US. I’ll be honest, after looking at it, I feel a little dirty and in need of a shower. I had the same feeling years ago when I researched the American Communist Party for a lesson plan I was doing, not that I was thinking about joining. I hope that Homeland Security was not monitoring me this time. On this site I saw videos by David Duke, a video entitled “The Monkey Who Became President”, and all types of racial, cultural and government hate-spewing. The problem rattling around in my head is that some of their tenets and videos I saw seem to be in line with posts on Facebook from people I care about.

Dark forces have kidnapped the middle! Within two hours of identifying the UCC shooter I saw posts “proving” that he was a Muslim, citing a link on a social media account (Breitbart). Others (Examiner and Huffington Post) were claiming he was a Nazi fanatic with ties to the IRA. Later a third (The Inquisitr) quoted from the shooter’s “manifesto” and described him as being a young man who “would die friendless and a virgin.” There was a time when I feared the same thing but I never shot anyone. Far right versus far left and all are lies or, at least, misinformation…except for The Inquisitr. Other news services reported he was a hater of organized religion and a misguided, mentally ill man with a bunch of guns. Another site accused CNN of “lightening” his picture to make him look more “white.” His dad is white but why should it matter? Well, the right says it should matter even though lately most school shootings have been carried out by mentally ill white kids. His mother is black and there are plenty of left-leaning sites blaming her for his love for guns and the Second Amendment. FACT: He was a mentally disturbed, Army washout who was allowed to play with too many guns and those nine people are still dead. Dark forces, including our politicians, are pushing their agendas while the bodies had yet to be buried.

The one post that really upset me was the one from the European Union Times which reported the shooter’s name had been on a terrorist list offered to us by the Russians, a list President Obama refused to accept. I have seen nothing to support it yet a former teaching bud shared the post. I’m sure he wasn’t the only one but he should know better. Do you think the Russians sent President Obama an email warning him? We ARE getting along so well. The European Union Times was characterized by Rational Wiki as xenophobic, anti-Sematic, and racist, as well as, Obama bashers. Then there is the question as to how reliable is Rational Wiki? Another question is how xenophobic, anti-Sematic, and racist are the people sharing this.

There are dark forces hiding in every shadow. Why do WE ALLOW these dark forces to do their dirty work? Do we not realize that it is our country that they are trying to destroy? A Facebook friend of mine, Don McCorkle, posted a quote about a mental malady called cognitive dissonance proposed by Franz Fanon, a psychoanalyst.

“Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.”

Some of us are allowing dark forces to play on our prejudices, our preconceptions, and our fears thus feeding our cognitive dissonance. Some are blindly passing off lies as the truth without one bit of research or conscience. Many times these lies are spread in the name of God. There are liars and agitators who are poisoning our way of life and turning us against each other in hopes that we will destroy ourselves and we are allowing it. Somehow the rational middle must get control of their imaginations and address their fears before that happens. We who have not been duped must hasten to expose these dark forces to the cleansing light of day before it is too late.
Image from http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grim-reaper-dad-spooked-after-6268150