Hidden Prejudice

Prejudice is inherently abhorrent to the human spirit because deep down we know the miracle of life is in its diversity, not in its created separation and fear of difference.

Prejudice and all its alias’s, particularly poverty, can disguise itself in the illusion that one is better than another. It can hide in the way we say words to describe others, Mexican, Gringo, Jew, Black, and even in the non-ethnic words like immigrant and foreigner or poor or disadvantaged.

Prejudice can also manifest in rules and regulations that diminish the dignity of any society. It can harbor in actions of hatred and bigotry and sometimes in walls and fences, both real and imaginary. A comfortable commonality for all people is found in the open front yards of our hearts, not in the walled courts of intolerance however the ego builds them or the intellect sustains them.

We must remember that prejudice grows from many seeds; statements without truth, judgments without justice, belief without compassion, and even conversation without courtesy.

Rumor and Innuendo

Some thoughts on political rumor and innuendo.

Even since the Democrats Presidential race came down to two candidates, the rumors and innuendo have run rampant over the Internet. I’ve received dozens of blatantly false emails purporting to be true in order to discredit, smear and maligned the candidate. The false accusations have attacked both Barrack Obama and Hillery Clinton.

What is disappointing to me is that many people forward these pieces of junk to their litany of email friends without checking the facts, without any thought of the harm they are doing and the false witness they are spreading.

I won’t repeat the allegations, because even if there were a shred of truth in them, some investigative reporter would have checked it out long ago. Rumor and innuendo, however they are spread, always belie the truth with a fetid falsity of illusion’s fiction.

Back during the Franklin Roosevelt administration some of his opponents spread rumors that his democrats plundered the gold in Fort Knox to pull the country out of the depression.

In 1953, President Eisenhower was pressured to have the gold counted. When the last bar was tabulated, it was short of what was supposed to be there. Ten dollars short.

Just to even up the books, Mrs. Georgia Clark, the long time treasurer of the United States, sent the government a personal check for ten dollars to cover the missing funds
.
The rumor went away. In this time of resurging election rhetoric how many more rumors would go away if all of us did more checking and less gossip?

Law and Life

We often call ourselves a “nation of laws.” What it means officially, is that we collectively agree to follow specific sets of rules in order for our society to function fairly, honorably and routinely in life and through mercantile exchange.

Under this banner we do not say that all laws are perfect, absolute or immutable. What is right and just for one generation, may not be so for the next, or the next, for attitudes, requirements, conditions and values change.

The founding fathers provided a framework wherein changes through the will of the people are to be made peacefully by a representative democracy, applying the art of compromise and compassion. We are the only nation on Earth that has made the legal process an art form and who calls that art, the practice of law.

What we might choose to do now is to simplify the understanding and the administration of law so that timely adjudication does not get bound up in a complex bureaucratic system that often requires more money than sense to get a resolution.

Bretton Woods

New Hampshire is a gentle state. Unassuming, and bountifully peaceful. A leisurely ride along U.S. 302 through the White Mountain National Forest underlines that sense of peace and punctuates it with a tiny bit of history. It is called Bretton Woods. It was there in a rambling summer resort back in July of 1944, that 44-nations met to plan for the post-world War II economic recovery.

The Mount Washington Hotel where the conference took place is still a thriving resort today. It’s wraparound veranda frames the magnificent Mount Washington and other peaks in the Presidential Range.

Financial leaders, back then, talked, an negotiated and discussed and simplified, a way to make international monetary policies fair and workable following the expense of World War Two. The conference lasted 20-days.

The Bretton Woods accord basically created a system of fixed exchange rates. The value of the Dollar was set a $35 per oz of gold. All other currencies were pegged to the dollar and respective countries were obliged to maintain their currencies value.

The agreement maintained an economic stability for twenty years, but eventually hugh balance of payments deficits shook its foundation and finally in 1971 President Nixon ended it by cutting the link between the dollar and gold.

The arrangement was so successful, 15 years after its collapse many economists and politicians today long for a return to Bretton Woods.