Caste or Outcasts

Our founding fathers thought they had the perfect solution for the enactment of the laws that would give structure to our democracy. A citizen/patriot would run for office, get elected, serve their term, and return to their regular lives. They didn’t realize that being elected to Congress would be the maiden step toward a life-long career. Ordinary people are enjoying the best job they have had in their lives. They are making more money, have the world’s best healthcare, receive money and gifts from lobbyists that make them rich, and enjoy a position of prestige enjoyed by few in this world. They have become the legislative caste in what we thought was a classless society. What if the job went back to being more of a civic duty rather than a career? I realize that what is regarded as “corporate memory” would be lost, but that can be overcome by enthusiasm and diligence. I might add that this caste system is becoming the norm. The GOP is ignoring the polls and treating their constituents as untouchables.

Dave Thomas


Melting Pot

America has often been referred to as a “Melting Pot”. This is not an accurate descriptive term for our country. After 250 years of existence, if we were truly a melting pot, we would have blended into one color. Don’t freak out on me as I don’t mean it literally. I just mean we should all be of one mind as to who we really are. We all carry labels, two of them being skin color and country of origin. We may be black, white, yellow, brown, or red. And we could be African-American, Mexican-American, Italian-American, Native American, Irish-American, Chinese-American or some other hyphenated species. At birth or at court, we become citizens-Americans. Wouldn’t it be great if we just called ourselves Americans and the only colors we worried about were red, white, and blue? Even though a work-in-progress, America is still the greatest democracy the world has ever known.

Dave Thomas


Not What She Deserved

It was a warm summer evening, and the kids, Russ, Doug, and Terri were playing in the front yard after supper. Pat was finishing up in the kitchen, and I was working in the garage with the big overhead door open. Suddenly, an El Cajon police car pulled up at the curb, and an officer got out and went to our front door. I headed for the front door, and got there just after the officer knocked, and Pat opened the door. The officer said, “We got a report that your son, Russell, had urinated on a neighbor girl. I’m here to find out just how that happened.” The kids had already gathered around to see what was happening. Pat and I both said that Russell wouldn’t do such a thing. The officer turned to the kids and asked which one was Russell. Russ identified himself, and the officer said, “Okay, Russell. Tell me exactly what happened.” 

Russ told the whole story:  The 7-11 down around the corner from us had a sale on some cheap water pistols, and the neighborhood kids had been having a lot of fun with water fights. Unfortunately, the water guns were so cheaply made, they didn’t last long.

A couple of days prior to this, we had visited our friends, the Hewitt’s. Roy Hewitt’s horse had been sick, and he had been giving it shots with big horse syringes. Roy hadn’t thrown the used syringes away but had left them on his work bench. Russ saw how big they were and thought they might make good water guns. Roy said he could have a couple of them, so Russ took them home and started using them.

The evening in question, as I said, the kids were playing in the front yard. A neighbor girl came riding down the sidewalk on her bike, probably headed for the 7-11. This girl had quite a mouth on her and she was always giving the rest of the kids (mainly Russ) a hard time about something. She finished her comments and rode down the sidewalk. A few minutes later, she came riding back up the sidewalk. Russ just happened to have a loaded “water gun” syringe in his hand, and, seeing the approaching girl, he hid his hand behind his leg. As the girl rode past them, running her mouth all the way, Russ pulled his arm out from behind his leg and squirted the girl as she went by. She must not have noticed until she got home, and then she or her folks decided that Russ must have urinated on her.

Pat and I could see that the officer was having a hard time keeping from laughing. He pulled himself together and put on his “tough cop” face and said, “Okay, Russell, I believe you, but I don’t want this to ever happen again.”

Dave Thomas