Dave Paxton

Donald Trump is now a far worse racist today than he was a couple of days ago because he dared state the truth about the inner city of Baltimore. It’s likely he would have turned off his tweet machine had Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings not brutalized Trump’s Department of Human Services head Kevin McAleenan in a Congressional hearing, accusing him of forcing illegal alien children to live in their own feces. “Come on man,” Cummings shouted. “These are human beings.”

McAleenan looked like he had just swallowed a bag of dog crap. And Trump took offense, which caused him to suggest to Cummings he needed to look in his own nest, specifically West Baltimore, Md., ranked fifth in the nation for its large rat population, with garbage stacked up on streets and sidewalks and minority children living in filth.

Just before Trump was elected, the Baltimore Sun newspaper leveled the same criticism against city leaders. When Trump basically parroted their 2015 editorial, their editorial board went postal, calling Trump every name they could think of but never, ever answering the question of why the children of minority families of Baltimore live in horrific conditions.

The city, Trump reminded America, has been in the hands of Democrats for over a half century. If you’re listening, the President is making the same statements of fact toward the leaders of San Francisco, New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle and Portland. If Democrat leadership is so high minded and wonderful, how come the streets and sidewalks are full of homeless men and women, murders in black neighborhoods are as common as a Good Humor truck in some cities, public schools are in wrack and ruin and children are suffering.

The President is demanding answers and the only answer he gets from these mopes is the charge of his being racist.

Exactly who is the racist? A white rich guy president who bluntly states little kids of any color shouldn’t live in rat infested neighborhoods in big cities, or the black Congressmen who wear their silk suits into those cities and shill for votes only to do nothing after they are elected.

This is what is sad about the state of our nation. Barack Obama, America’s first black President, had the opportunity to confront the black communities and their weak-willed and outright corrupt Democrat leadership with the exact message President Trump is sending out today. Except that had President Obama stated the obvious, it may well have been accepted more readily. It may have led to real change. It may have lifted little kids out of their own feces and rat-infested homes. It may have started change in the public schools against completely corrupt inner city teacher unions.

Positive change, not along the border where people who have actually visited the detention facilities say the living conditions aren’t as Rep. Cummings charges, but in Baltimore, Chicago, LA and New York City.

But he didn’t. He was more interested in criticizing cops and standing with the radicals in the completely phony Black Lives Matter movement.

I’m nearing the end of a summer season that for the past few years has been exhausting and exhilarating at the same time. It is the state softball/county fair/Restoration Days season in Albia.

There’s nothing I like better than watching state softball competition. And as a community journalist there’s nothing I like better than to cover the games. Since about 2000, I’ve enjoyed the gift of covering state tournament games for Albia, Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont and Chariton. Plus I’ve gotten to cover state baseball for Albia and Chariton on three different occasions. That’s six trips to Fort Dodge and three trips to Principal Park in Des Moines since 2001.

I never tire of doing it, but the older I get, the quicker I tire in general.

My wife asked me as I trooped out to cover the Monroe County 4-H and FFA Fair how many fairs I had attended in my life. So I added them up. I tagged along as the little brother for my first two Tama County Fairs, then did nine as an active 4-H showman (mostly swine, a few calves). In 1977 I covered the first of three Floyd County Fairs, did two more in Franklin County and finished my 37th last week for Monroe County. For Lucas County, in the past 20 years, my job has mostly been proofing and keeping up with other stuff while my staff is boots on the ground.

So all together that would be 52. Being at the fair is a bit like a visit home (except it’s in searing heat and dust most years). My deepest roots are country roots and it always seems right, even if I’m buried in picture taking. As we speak I am turning jpeg digital images into color and black and white tiff files for ultimate newspaper production.

So now it’s the first week of August and tonight (Thursday) the Restoration Days Follies opens (a vaudeville style variety show I’ve helped direct and perform in for the Albia community the past 35 years), followed by the second night on Friday and the day long Restoration Days on Saturday.

I’m driving a 1930 Model A Roadster in the parade on Saturday with what grandchild and/or friend of a grandchild in the rumble seat I’m not sure of. My big moment, however, on a full day of fun will be performing with a 50s and 60s rock and roll band my wife and I were a part of for about 20 years, “Slick Valdez and the Exxons.” We were invited back to do a reunion concert after 10 years apart.

I’m not sure I can stand with a bass guitar slung over my shoulder for two hours, but I’ll give it the old college try. Every time my back starts to ache I think of Mick Jagger at 75 years of age. Except that I can’t lean on the fact that Jagger is getting a million bucks for one performance. My aching back is all volunteer.

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