We have accomplished much, and have a lot left to do.

First, let me say that I am doing quite well, although I’ve still not solved the, ‘no oil pressure problem’ on the engine.

Google says that today is the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s, “I have a dream!” speech.

It might be a good time to reflect on how far some things have come. I was born in Houston Texas in 1943. Until the significant changes of the mid-60s, ‘Coloreds’ had separate bathrooms from ‘Whites’, separate water fountains. However, the water appeared to me to be just like the water ‘Whites’ drank. It was not colored at all.

They rode in the back of the bus, if there was a seat at all, because the dividing line on some buses was movable and sometimes their area was made artificially small just to annoy them. Ask Rosa Parks about it.

In my mind, probably the most disgusting thing of those days, where I lived, was that it was,’Open Season’ on anyone that you deemed to be ‘Colored’.

There were countless abuses of this. As I read what I’m writing, that that seems like an odd thing to say. The whole system was an abuse. Not only who you decided was subhuman.

What I mean to say is, that it was frequently used as justification for harming someone just because you could. It had more to do with skin color and hatred, than African ancestry. Lynchings and other brutality in the world that I knew in the South, was punctualized by frequent examples of, what I certainly hope is considered idiotic atrocity today.

Another big example of the, ‘How could so many have been so stupid.’ category, is how women were treated in America way back then. It seemed to me that the assumption was that they were supposed to be obedient housewives. Extremely subservient to their male masters. If they had some sort of defect and did not accept their role that was supposedly ordained from On High, they could be schoolteachers. But, in many areas, for many years, a schoolteacher could not possibly be married. They could be secretaries or nurses. But, that was about the extent of the action.

At the University of Washington, where I was finishing up my mechanical engineering degree, near the end of my term, the late 1960s, there was finally, actually one woman taking mechanical engineering. And she was quite the conversation piece. Whoever heard of such a thing? I’m sure she had a tough row to hoe.

A friend of ours was one of the pioneer women in the Merchant Marine industry in the early 1970s. She started out working on tugboats and ferries. As you might suspect she was no shrinking violet. But, even she almost reconsidered her perilous plight many times.

Even though the Alaska State Ferries had the perhaps premature wisdom to hire her. Some of her bosses would not allow her to come aboard their ship. They met her at the top of the gangway and sent her home.

Happily, eventually, she and a few other women that were trying to get into that industry, finally did win a class-action lawsuit, for lost wages.

Janet applied to get into that industry in late 1979. She was far from the 1st, but it was still early days. I’m quite sure that no one but by me understands how incredibly tough she was. But, even when she went back to work for NOAA for a few months in 1989/1990, she had some really tough times because she was ‘a woman in a man’s job.’

It is no secret that I still know quite a few people who think that women are inherently inferior at almost everything. Actually, I even know some that still think that the color of your skin indicate something. I hope their brain transplant comes through soon.

>Added 29 Aug:
>Upon reading this post, a dear friend told me:

>Dave, this past Monday August 26th was Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote. That was in 1920. Now back to original post.

Also in today’s news I saw this interesting article about, new advances in how to detect ovarian cancer:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-23811705

The logical assumption is that if you can catch any kind of cancer sooner, it is easier to survive. Just like it is easier to put out a fire in the beginning. It is very possible that that will turn out to not be a very accurate analogy, or assumption. But it’s all we have at the moment. I am still of the opinion that we need to find out why the cancer is allowed to grow and to fix that, the ‘real cause’ of the problem. And then let the body heal and repair itself. Not requiring any surgery, or the deadly chemicals that are standard procedure now. But, we are long way from that day. And it may be a bad assumption also.

So, even though people with dark skin, or the wrong gender, and that would include gays and lesbians, still are a long way from equality. Even though cancer, of all kinds, is a very long way from being understood and the problem solved. We have come a long way just in my lifetime.

Hopefully, the further we come, the more the things that we HAVE accomplished, will fuel the fires to try to get us to accomplish even more.

Clearly those are by no means the only problems we have to deal with. They are probably not even among the most important problems that we have to deal with. But they certainly are extremely important, and any progress on any front is welcome.

Have a great day. And keep on chipping away at whatever problem you notice. Whether inside your external environment, or inside your own body and mind.

Dave

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One thought on “We have accomplished much, and have a lot left to do.

  1. Dave, this past Monday August 26th was Women’s Equality Day, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment and women’s right to vote. That was in 1920.
    We are very happy to hear that you are doing quite well.
    Much love and hugs
    Denise and Roger

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