About Me

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Jim Killebrew has 40 years of clinical psychological work for people with intellectual disabilities, and experience teaching, administration, consulting, writing with multiple publications. Dr. Killebrew has attended four Universities and received advanced degrees. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D., Educational Psychology; University of Illinois at Springfield, Counseling Education; M.A., Human Development Counseling; Northeastern Oklahoma State University, B.A., Psychology and Sociology. Dr. Killebrew attended Lincoln Christian Seminary (Now Lincoln Christian University). Writing contributions have been accepted and published in several journals: Hospital & Community Psychiatry, The Lookout, and Christian Standard (multiple articles). He may be reached at Killebrewjb@aol.com.

Welcome to my Opinion Pages

Thanks for stopping by and reading some of my thoughts. I hope you will find an enjoyable adventure here on my pages.

The articles are only my opinion and are never meant to hurt anyone nor to downgrade any other person's ideas or opinions.

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

Political incongruence

Monday, March 3, 2014

Ukraine, Russia and the United States

By now, of course everyone knows the Ukrainian infantry in Crimea has been surrounded by gunmen and the Russian forces have moved into the area to take control. Of course it was not a surprise that Russia, under the leadership of a KGB operative like Vladimir Putin would take such action. Putin’s main objective is to re-establish the federation with those former Soviet satellites like the Ukraine so as to retrieve Russia’s power and prestige in the region. The fact that Ukraine is a sovereign nation seems to make little difference to the Russian leader.

The United States response has been little more than a flurry of denouncements of the action over the past few days, including the President’s statement he is “watching” the situation and claiming the “costs” will be high for Russia. The United States Secretary of State, John Kerry, remarked on Sunday Russia’s action was an, “incredible act of aggression.” Mr. Kerry remarked that Mr. Putin “was acting in 19th century fashion by invading another country on completely trumpet-up pretext.” As a result of his actions, Mr. Kerry further suggested the West could impose a set of economic sanctions, asset freezes and perhaps some Russian business disruption in the Western countries. Mr. Putin has wanted to host the G8 Summit at Sochi, where the Olympics were held, sometime in June. But Mr. Kerry suggested that not only may those meetings not be held in Russia, but Russia might even be expelled from the G8 for the current actions. Mr. Kerry further suggested that visas might be banned for high-ranking Russian leaders in the future.

For sure the invasion of another country is an egregious offence and Russia should be held accountable in some way. But that accountability is not going to come from the United States or any other European state from the West. Perhaps some of those things the Secretary of State mentioned on Meet the Press will come to pass and it may be enough to at least start some negotiation, but the consensus is that Mr. Putin is resolved in his decision to maintain control of the ports in Crimea. When he looked out across the world and listened to the world leaders, he was likely more emboldened to continue with his venture than turn away. His actions seemingly have reinforced that thought.

Really, what can the United States do about it anyway? The Russian fleet is stationed on the Black Sea in Crimea. Does anyone think that Vladimir Putin is going to willingly back down from the West when he knows our current President has no stomach for anything other than diplomatic negotiation? Mr. Putin knows as most bullies know, it is easier to receive forgiveness than it is to receive permission. Of course, in his case, he is seeking neither. We need to realize that Mr. Putin does not think like the Western diplomat. The West uses a logic that assumes the world morality is going to judge the Russian actions in such a way as to move Mr. Putin from his position so the world leaders will like him. He doesn’t care if the world leaders like him. He only cares that they fear him. What better way for leaders who are at best squeamish about entering a fight than to start a fight and crush the opponent with superior power? No, Mr. Putin will assume control of Crimea, and if that doesn’t satisfy him he will move eastward toward Kiev.

Let’s go back and examine the historical activities unfolding on October 22, 1962. The Soviet Union had placed missiles in Cuba ninety miles off the US border. President Kennedy decided it was in the best interest of the United States to ban the missiles from Cuba and ordered them out and for the Soviet Union to stop brining them to the tiny Southern Island. He ordered a blockade around Cuba and warned the Soviets not to cross that line. Mr. Kennedy’s “red line” was much heavier that the current President’s red line. We all know what happened; the Soviet Union blinked and turned their ships around and did not penetrate the blockage President Kennedy had established. Even then, the Soviets recognized they had crossed a line that could not be defended. They were putting nuclear weapons and a missile delivery system ninety miles off the shore of the United States and to protect that they would have to fight a battle from half-way around the world. It made no sense then, and it makes no sense now.

Someone says, “That is not the same as now; those missiles were just off our shore. But think about it from Russia’s current perspective. Ukraine has moved toward wanting to be a democracy. When it broke from the old Soviet Union they began to court the Western European way of life, perhaps even looking toward the United States. In fact, the United States started sending missionaries into that country by the hundreds, flooding it with Bibles and other Christian literature. Revivals broke out and churches began to flourish. What had once been forbidden territory became fertile ground for conversions moving from totalitarianism to a form of democratic freedom. More recently, the people in Ukraine have moved to gain acceptance from the European Organizations to identify with them. Russia is sitting there with the two land masses touching each other, with the Russian fleet in the Black Sea off Crimea, and the Ukrainian move has brought with it a chance there might be Western-style military squatting within a few miles of the Russian Federation. Is it any wonder that a former KGB operator who is now the Leader of Russia would take actions to prevent such a thing?

So, as Russia has sent their military into Ukraine on a mission of invasion, the United Nations sits almost stagnant in the wake of the Russian movement since the Russians sit on the UN Security Council ready to veto any action proposed against the Russian government for invasion and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has no clear-cut plans to either protect or engage since the Russians invaded. So perhaps the best position would be for the Secretary of State Kerry to speak his bluster on the Sunday morning talk shows, using the Administration talking points, then withdraw back to his corner and keep singing his song of declaring that Climate Change is the single-most debilitating threat against the US national security. Perhaps his stand on Global Warming will be the very thing that will scare Vladimir Putin and will knock him off his game.

Jim Killebrew

Monday, January 20, 2014

Martin Luther King, Jr. struggles

Martin Luther King, Jr. struggles


The time was the 1960s and the world seemed in turmoil.  The country was gearing up for a war it did not want, poverty was staggering in the United States amidst one of the richest countries in the world and Black citizens were still treated as second-class citizens...especially in the South.  1954 had brought a Supreme Court decision that was to end school segregation, but that edict had not been heeded by those in the South.


John Fraser Hart wrote in 1967 in his book "The Southeastern Untied States, "The attitude of most Southerners, when they contemplated the future of their region, was compounded with hope and fear.  Their hope was for rapid industrial development that would change the retarded rural South to modern cities.  Their fear was the necessity of accepting the practice of racial equality.  These hopes and fears were both interrelated, for cities are centers of change, and the growth of cities would bring increased pressures for integration."


So on August 28, 1963 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. stood in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC to deliver his "I Have a Dream" speech where he said the promises that had been given a hundred years before had been broken.  He said, "But one hundred years later, the Negro still is not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacles of segregation and the chains of discrimination. One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languished in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. And so we've come here today to dramatize a shameful condition."


Dr. King's call for justice continued.  His insight had come from personal experience through the suffering of injustice and broken promises.  He continued, "In a sense we've come to our nation's capital to cash a check. When the architects of our republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir. This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed the "unalienable Rights" of "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note, insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check which has come back marked "insufficient funds."


Echoing that call for justice much evidence had been laid on the foundation of the "defaulted promissory note" Dr. King had described.  Jona Hannah, author of "Public Education," 1964, issued a Staff Report, in which Hanna "indicated that with the close of the 1963-64 school year, ten years after the Supreme Court’s decision in the School Segregation Cases, just a small portion over nine percent of the Negro children in the Southern and Border States were attending public schools with White students.”

Hanna continued, “In the year 1963-64, there were 181 school districts in the 17 States which admitted Negro pupils to White schools for the first time, the largest number added in any year since 1956-57, the third school year after the Supreme Court’s decision.  On a regional basis, 19.7 percent of the school districts in the 11 Southern States had started the desegregation process, whereas 92.4 percent of the school districts in the Border States were desegregated in some degree.  Two states, South Carolina and Alabama, experienced their first desegregation below the college level when schools opened in September 1963.  Mississippi was the only state maintaining completely segregated elementary and secondary schools in 1963-64.”


One Governor, George Wallace in Alabama was defiant toward integration.   Robert Sherrill, author of "Gothic Politics in the Deep South, (1969)," had quoted George Wallace in 1962:  "I shall refuse to abide by any illegal federal court order, even to the point of standing at the schoolhouse door in person.”  Of course everyone now knows that is exactly what he did.


On September 9, 1963, President Kennedy issued a statement in which he accused the Governor (Wallace) of trying to provoke Federal Government intervention.  The President charged that the Governor’s actions were motivated by personal and political reasons.  He said the Governor knew that the United States Government must carry out court orders, and that most citizens of the four cities involved were

willing to face the difficult transition with the same courage and respect for law shown by communities in neighboring states.  President Kennedy said that the government would do whatever was necessary to see that Federal orders to desegregate public schools were carried out in Alabama, but added his hope that the Governor would allow local officials and communities to meet their responsibilities in this regard.


Robert Sherrill, author of "Gothic Politics in the Deep South, 1969" wrote, "The stage was set at the University of Alabama.  Sherrill painted a perfect picture of a political George Wallace at work.  Reporting in Sherrill’s Gothic Politics..., “George Wallace was given a podium and microphone to make his speech, in front of the television cameras.  As Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach approached, Wallace held up his hand like a traffic cop, the Governor and Katzenbach began to talk.  Later, the temporarily federalized National Guard general stepped in, as Wallace saluted him, and announced it was his ‘sad duty’ to have to take over from the Governor.  Wallace, at that point, consoled him by saying, ‘I know this is a bitter pill....’ At that point, Wallace stepped aside to surrender, not to the federal government, but to a Southern soldier acting under duress.’”  These were the politics of George Wallace.

This was the segregation that existed in the Southern schools.  The attitudes of the leaders of the South, and the people who lived there, was to keep the South segregated.  They wanted regional growth, and larger cities with more industry, but they feared integration.


Dr. King encountered pressures and opposition from many sources.  The opposition even came from fellow preachers and pastors.  They were complaining that he was moving too fast in trying to gain equality, justice and integration.  From his perspective the country had moved too slowly.  From his jail cell in the city of Birmingham, Alabama Dr. King wrote, "We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed. Frankly, I have yet to engage in a direct action campaign that was 'well timed' in the view of those who have not suffered unduly from the disease of segregation. For years now I have heard the word 'Wait!' It rings in the ear of every Negro with piercing familiarity. This 'Wait' has almost always meant 'Never.' We must come to see, with one of our distinguished jurists, that 'justice too long delayed is justice denied.'"  (Martin Luther King, Jr., April 16, 1963, "Letter from a Birmingham Jail")


As Dr. King stood amidst that giant crowd in Washington, DC that day, his mind may have gone back to the leaders of the Church who had pierced his efforts with criticism and cries to "wait."  He continued his speech, "There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, 'When will you be satisfied?' We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality. We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities. We cannot be satisfied as long as the negro's basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one. We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their self-hood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating: 'For Whites Only.' We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote. No, no, we are not satisfied, and we will not be satisfied until 'justice rolls down like waters, and righteousness like a mighty stream.'"  (This quote from the Bible; Amos 5:24, American Standard Version)


Our remembrance of Dr. King rings in our ears and echoes in our minds each time we remember the man and his work.  With all the struggles he faced as he delivered the check to America to cash it in for all Americans who want to be free, his legacy remains forever embedded in our collective memory as we rehearse the monumental work he did for all humanity.  It can be summed up by his own words as he ended his speech in Washington.  Read those words again and remember a great man, his struggles and his dreams.


"Let us not wallow in the valley of despair, I say to you today, my friends.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.

I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.

I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.

I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of "interposition" and "nullification" -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I have a dream today!

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight; "and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together."  (Isaiah 40:4-5, KJV)

This is our hope, and this is the faith that I go back to the South with.

With this faith, we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope. With this faith, we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood. With this faith, we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to stand up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:

My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

Land where my fathers died, land of the Pilgrim's pride,

From every mountainside, let freedom ring!

And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.

And so let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.

Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.

Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.

Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.

Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.

But not only that:

Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.

Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee.

Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi.

From every mountainside, let freedom ring.

And when this happens, and when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

                Free at last! Free at last!

                Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!  

(Martin Luther King, Jr., "I Have a Dream," August 28, 1963, Washington, DC)


Jim Killebrew

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Abortion effect

Abortion was made legal in 1973 with the Roe v. Wade decision.  People whose persuasion for life have been known as pro-life proponents, while people who have favored a woman's right of choice to terminate the baby through death have been called pro-choice proponents.  Since the time of the legalization of abortion there have been almost 56,000,000 (56 million) babies who have been put to death through the legalized abortion laws in America.  These are the facts of abortion; without emotion, without science, opinion, debate, spin or religion; simply facts.
During the past forty years since the legalization of abortion there have likely been millions of words written about the practice.  Politicians have won and lost their races based on their position on abortion.  Even the Obamacare insurance law is having a difficult time with the issue with the funding of agencies that might intermingle taxpayer monies in their budget that might help pay for abortions against public opinion.  Even with all the words written and politician wins or loses, the effects of a law that elevates the right of a small slice of women in society whose condition places them in a unique position to serve as the Emperor of old Rome at the gladiator games with  thumbs up or thumbs down to take or spare the life of another human being, the full effect of the abortion still has not been felt.  We can only catch a glimpse of the horrific effects simply because of the passage of forty (40) years of cumulative carnage.
Think about it in terms of actual loss and the effect it would have on our modern day responses.  We have experienced things in history that have kicked off world wars for our society.  Pearl Harbor was an attack that was labeled by the President as a "Day of Infamy" that prompted Congress to declare war on the aggressors and their axis of powers who teamed to destroy the American way of life.  The significance of the 38th parallel between the Koreas or the de-militarized zone between the two Vietnams showcased wars that claimed thousands of lives.  The terrorist attack on the Twin Towers on 9/11 that claimed thousands of lives resulted in a ten-year war with Iraq and a continuing war against terror in Afghanistan.  Yet these events pale by comparison to the war being waged against the unborn child in America.
Think of the largest city in America; the most populated city in America, New York, New York with a population of 8,336,697 souls.  Imagine if you can, that city being attacked and each and every citizen of that city was completely destroyed.  It would dwarf the attack on 9/11 and would make the news all over the world.  I suspect that it would likely start a war with counter attack on the perpetrator of that attack.  As if that would not be horrific enough, think of the top 74 most populated cities in America.  See the following cities that combined have 55,871,224 people living there.             
New York, New York; Los Angeles, California; Chicago, Illinois; Houston, Texas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Phoenix, Arizona; San Antonio, Texas; San Diego, California; Dallas, Texas; San Jose, California; Austin, Texas; Jacksonville, Florida; Indianapolis, Indiana; San Francisco, California; Columbus, Ohio; Fort Worth, Texas; Charlotte, North Carolina; Detroit, Michigan; El Paso, Texas; Memphis, Tennessee; Boston, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Denver, Colorado; Washington, District of Columbia; Nashville, Tennessee; Baltimore, Maryland; Louisville, Kentucky; Portland, Oregon; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Las Vegas, Nevada; Albuquerque, New Mexico; Tucson, Arizona; Fresno, California; Sacramento, California; Long Beach, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Mesa, Arizona; Virginia Beach, Virginia; Atlanta, Georgia; Colorado Springs, Colorado; Raleigh, North Carolina; Omaha, Nebraska; Miami, Florida; Oakland, California; Tulsa, Oklahoma; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Cleveland, Ohio; Wichita, Kansas; Arlington, Texas; New Orleans, Louisiana; Bakersfield, California; Tampa, Florida; Honolulu, Hawai'i; Anaheim, California; Aurora, Colorado; Santa Ana, California; St. Louis, Missouri; Riverside, California; Corpus Christi, Texas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Lexington, Kentucky; Anchorage, Alaska; Stockton, California; Cincinnati, Ohio; Saint Paul, Minnesota; Toledo, Ohio; Newark, New Jersey; Greensboro, North Carolina; Plano, Texas; Henderson, Nevada; Lincoln, Nebraska; Buffalo, New York; and Fort Wayne, Indiana.
What if each and every city listed above with the almost 56 million people was completely destroyed?  Would that make an impact on our American society?  Would the death of that many citizens cause the politicians to make war with the killers?  Would there be anything else in history that would even compare with such a mass death of a society?  Would it be enough to take notice that something in society might be wrong?  Would this horrendous act of human destruction in the 74 largest cities in America go unnoticed because their killing would somehow be declared "legal?" 
Of course that idea would be preposterous and would never be considered.  And yet, here we are, 40 years after the United States Supreme Court upheld a decision that killing through abortion was legal.  The effect:  the equivalency of the killing of the entire population of the 74 largest cities in America.
Isn't it amazing how logical, rational, reasonably prudent, common sense minds of so many Americans could be controlled by thoughts so bizarre and evil as to actually come to believe and even accept as normal a concept that a pregnant woman in our society should have the power of life and death over the human being she carries simply because it has been granted as her choice?
Jim Killebrew