DARK THURSDAY

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DARK THURSDAY

These words need to be printed on the front page of every newspaper and news site in the country.  

WAR IS THE ULTIMATE DISTRACTION

By Mark Sumner    4/7/2017

“After all, Donald Trump talking about “beautiful babies” in Syria is so sickeningly hypocritical that it demands a new word. These are the same people that Trump condemned over, and over, and over. Some of those children who died in the Idlib attack might have been sitting in kindergartens in Ohio, or pre-schools in Minnesota or at new homes in Pennsylvania, except that Donald Trump sold his voters on the idea that these beautiful babies deserved to be trapped in a war zone.”

“Their blood is on more hands than just Bashar Assad.”

Source >>

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/4/7/1651126/-War-is-the-ultimate-distraction?detail=email&link_id=14&can_id=b5437115b1342199c76789ddf0f2106f&source=email-former-snl-cast-member-confirms-what-we-all-suspected-about-trump-in-real-life&email_referrer=former-snl-cast-member-confirms-what-we-all-suspected-about-trump-in-real-life&email_subject=former-snl-cast-member-confirms-what-we-all-suspected-about-trump-in-real-life#comment_66089226

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THERE IS STILL SOMETHING WE CAN DO

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THERE IS STILL SOMETHING WE CAN DO

ELECTORAL COLLEGE VERSUS THE POPULAR VOTE

This blog today is for all of you who believe that Donald Trump is the Buffoon that he seems to be. Mr. Trump is a Racist, a Bigot, a Misogynist, a Xenophobe, a Homophobe, has no concern for the Environment or Global Warming, and is all too ready to punch the Nuclear Button.

We can still stop him, but it will take Your Courage, Your Convictions, Your Ability to think outside the box and attempt to confront the Electoral College and vociferously urge them to Vote Democrat on December 19. Not all Electors are bound to vote for the party they represent.

On December 19, the Electors of the Electoral College will cast their ballots.

 Change.Org has provided a Petition to challenge the Electors to vote Democrat on December 19, 2016.

You can sign this petition and help to preserve our Civil Rights, our Healthcare, Climate Control, the Environment, the Constitution…

Click on the URL below and read all about it, and then sign it.

Your Health, your Lives, our Country depend on it.

https://www.change.org/p/electoral-college-electors-electoral-college-make-hillary-clinton-president-on-december-19

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OHIO PRIMARY ELECTIONS – MARCH 15, 2016, TUESDAY

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OHIO PRIMARY ELECTIONS – MARCH 15, 2016, TUESDAY

REMEMBER TO VOTE

This is your chance to help choose the person who will be in the White House for the next four years.

Think about the things that are most important to you and then ask, which of the candidates is most likely to help you achieve those things for yourself, your children, your family, your friends, your neighbors, your State, your Country.

Remember that Voting is the Peace-ful way to make lasting and positive change.

Vote.  There’s a lot at stake depending on your Vote.

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“THE ‘EXCUSE ME’………….”

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“THE ‘EXCUSE ME’………….”

The article printed below is borrowed from the writer Liz Warren Writer who writes for DailyKos.com.  These words are hers, but they reflect my thoughts about our Democratic candidates.  Sometimes other people can say it better than I, and this is one of those times.  Ms. Writer spells out the nuance of Hillary Clinton’s political tactics, something that is hard to put into words. 

It seems to me that Hillary Clinton is from the School of Political Hard Tactics, a style of politics that I find disingenuous, disrespectful, full of accusations, injurious, malicious…  I own a Thesaurus!! 

I like Bernie Sanders; he seems honest and genuine.  He responds to Ms. Clinton, but he isn’t malicious.  And he’s smart.  Smart about people and what they need, especially Civil Rights and Human Rights.

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Article Reprinted from DailyKos.com

“THE “EXCUSE ME” HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD”

By Liz Warren Writer     Of Daily Kos.com        March 07, 2016

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/6/1497277/-THE-EXCUSE-ME-HEARD-ROUND-THE-WORLD

“Bernie Sanders wouldn’t have had to utter the now infamous admonition–complete with hand in the air–had moderator Anderson Cooper done his job and actually told  Hillary Clinton (politely) to shut up when it wasn’t her turn to speak.”

“She did it repeatedly all night–and it was not prompted by excess enthusiasm. It was calculated. She continued to talk–even introducing a new topic–more than once even after Cooper had repeatedly called time. She did it to be sure she always had the last word. We should all take note of this strategy as it is a reflection of how Hillary Clinton regards the rules: they don’t apply to her.”

“Despite her best efforts, however, Bernie Sanders won on substance and because of that Hillary’s sycophants in the mainstream media were scrounging for something to criticize. They seized on the fact that he was “mean ” and spoke to her in a “tone.”

“The subject took up considerable time on post-debate media forums and seemed to concern these reporters more than the substantive policy differences we heard about, notably:

*That despite claiming to want to keep jobs in America, Clinton never met a Free Trade deal she didn’t like.

*That there is no excuse for inaction when children’s health is involved (focusing on the issue of lead pipes in Flint and elsewhere).

*That it wasn’t the job of middle class taxpayers to fund the Wall Street bailouts.

*That there is no such thing as “super predators”—only teens living in poverty who need education and jobs—something the wealthiest nation in the history of the world should be able to secure for them.

*That while we must close NRA-sponsored loopholes in our gun laws, appealing to the emotions of gun control activists is irresponsible if a candidate promises to draft or support laws that are on their face, essentially illegal.  Such as holding the manufacturers of legally sold and licensed firearms responsible for the actions of those who purchased them.

“Though I despise the tactics of the NRA, in this instance I’d liken Clinton’s suggestion that gun manufacturers and/or dealers be held liable for tragedies like Sandy Hook—an action she claims would bring people to the table to negotiate tougher gun control laws—to holding Ford liable if some nut plowed into a playground full of children in his Explorer. It would not make people safer drivers.”

*That despite Sanders’ offer to release the text of every speech he’s ever made to corporations (exactly zero) she STILL refuses to disclose the content of her paid (at $200K+ a pop) speeches made to private meetings of Wall Street contributors.

“She claims she’ll release her content when the Republicans also disclose. Sanders rightly pointed out that she’s not running against the Republicans in the primary, she’s running against him—score one for the good guys.”

*That one cannot serve two masters, so we need campaign finance reform if we are ever to have a truly democratic electoral process. 

“And Sanders made the point well: corporate executives didn’t get where they are by throwing money away. If politicians were not influenced by Wall Street donations, corporations would not be spending millions to support campaigns.”

“I may have more to say later, but for now, let me say just one thing about tonight’s debate etiquette (or lack thereof) and full disclosure—it includes a personal confession: When a person routinely interrupts, refuses to respect polite and generally accepted boundaries, and quite obviously angles to always speak last whether it’s her turn or not--she needs and deserves to be shut down.”

“So I say this now as a woman, and as someone who is frequently guilty of the very same conversational sins myself: when you interrupt, speak out of turn or talk over someone, it’s really bad form to then cry “poor me” and accuse (by indirect means through minions) the other person of being a bully, or imply that their justified reaction (borne of frustration with your bad behavior) is somehow a fault of theirs.”

“Hillary Clinton employed a debate tactic tonight (not for the first time since this process began) that is all too common among seasoned debaters and courtroom litigators: do whatever you can to make sure that your opponent never lands a blow or gets the last word. Make sure that his words won’t have a chance to settle in the minds of listeners, or the substance of his facts have time to resonate. It’s a tool for those who are short on facts or weak on substance.”

“She executed it (interrupting the flow of his remarks as often and as best she could) with pinpoint precision. And alleging “sexism” when asked to abide by the rules is especially cheap. I am not surprised. I just wish the media doing the debate postmortem had exercised more objectivity in their analysis.”

“And to Secretary Clinton, a word to the wise: vilifying an opponent through your media grapevine after displaying contempt for debate rules is no way to win votes–at least not mine.”

Article Reprinted from DailyKos.com

“THE “EXCUSE ME” HEARD ‘ROUND THE WORLD”

By Liz Warren Writer     Of Daily Kos.com        March 07, 2016

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/3/6/1497277/-THE-EXCUSE-ME-HEARD-ROUND-THE-WORLD

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“I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE A WORLD…”

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“I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE A WORLD…” 

This Presidential Election Campaign of 2016 is probably one of the most important U.S. elections in our history as a country.  And that is not exaggerating, even a nano-bit.   It is a bit hard to wrap your head around it, and my head too, but the Millionaires and Billionaires have literally BOUGHT the vote in this country.  They have literally bought out dozens of State and U.S. Representatives and Senators and Governors in our country by donating to election campaigns to insure that these people NOT do the bidding of the American people, but instead do the bidding of the Rich and Wealthy.  

Take a look at the demolition that Governor Scott Walker has done to the State of Wisconsin.  He has busted Workers Unions and told people that it is better not to have a Union that would protect your wages, your health, your retirement.  He cut funding to the University of Wisconsin and has been trying to divert that $300 million towards a new sports arena.   Other states have shut down Planned Parenthood Clinics.  A number of states have passed bills to make it more difficult for “certain people” to vote and other bills that make it easier to discriminate against “certain people.”

You can help stop these Anti-Democratic laws and actions.  And there is only one way to do so.  And that is to VOTE.  It is your Constitutional duty and your Civic duty  and your Moral duty to VOTE. 

Our country is NO LONGER a Democracy, because our country is now OWNED BY THE MILLIONAIRES AND THE BILLIONAIRES who are polluting our air, contaminating our drinking water, destroying the oceans, opening legal pathways to discriminate against people they don’t like, opting to start more wars in the Middle East, creating ways to deprive you of healthcare.  These are not just scare tactics.  These things are happening now to millions of people in this country.

Vote in your State Primary Election now, and in November, Vote in the Presidential Election.  And Vote for Equality for All People.  It just makes Life better for Everyone.

Imagine a Better World and Reach for It.

Scroll on down and read a few words from my favorite candidate – Bernie Sanders.

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“I WANT YOU TO IMAGINE A WORLD…”  from Bernie Sanders

“Brothers and Sisters”

“I want you to imagine a world eight years from now where nobody who works 40 hours a week lives in poverty, health care is a right for all Americans, kids of all backgrounds can go to college without crushing debt, there is no bank too big to fail, no banker too powerful to jail, and we’ve reclaimed our democracy from the billionaire class.”

“That is what our campaign is about, and why it is so important we keep fighting. Because if we do, we are going to win.”

“Real change comes about when large numbers of ordinary Americans speak, vote and get involved in the democratic process. If we stand together, we win. If we are divided, the big-money interests win.”

“In solidarity.”

“Bernie Sanders.”

http://unityfeed.com/doc/6907/i-want-you-to-imagine-a-world?grp_id=0

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AND ONE OF MANY REASONS **TO VOTE** FOR BERNIE SANDERS

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AND ONE OF MANY REASONS **TO VOTE** FOR BERNIE SANDERS

One of the many reasons that I intend to vote for Bernie Sanders is noted in the middle of the following YouTube video, and that is, Bernie Sanders is not going to criticize Hillary Clinton, he is going to state firmly what he believes in and what he hopes to do for all Americans who need a “hand up” out of the hole. 

No mudslinging!

Now that’s my kind of guy.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=-PVwdm_IugU

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ANOTHER REASON **NOT** TO VOTE FOR HILLARY

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ANOTHER REASON **NOT** TO VOTE FOR HILLARY

“Bill Clinton, for those of you who haven’t heard, crisscrossed all over Massachusetts voting stations, and BLOCKED THE VOTING FOR SEVERAL HOURS while people were held in line to wait or told to come back.”  

“He blocked the vote of citizens of this country and used a bullhorn to urge people to vote for Hillary right within the polling station immediate area IN VIOLATION OF MASSACHUSETTS LAW…”

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/3/1/1494189/-Hillary-what-do-you-have-to-say-about-BILL-BLOCKING-VOTERS

I am finding more and more reasons not to like Hillary Clinton.  I was really turned off in 2008 when she and Bill Clinton turned the election into a bloody mudslinging event aimed at Barack Obama.  It was nauseating. 

How is it that she thinks that she and Bill Clinton are ABOVE THE LAW???? 

I cannot like this woman.

VOTE BERNIE!

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SIX REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY PLUS ONE

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SIX REASONS NOT TO VOTE FOR HILLARY PLUS ONE   

I lost all respect for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 Presidential Campaign. She and Bill Clinton came out swinging, spewing all kind of dirty mudslinging accusations against Barack Obama and it just made me ill.  Below are six more reasons NOT to vote for Hillary R. Clinton.

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“Bernie Sanders says he is running until ALL 50 states have voted in their individual primaries. And he knocks Hillary Clinton for accepting corporate money for her campaign.”

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493648/-Sanders-says-he-s-running-until-ALL-50-states-vote-knocks-Clinton-for-corporate-money

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“Bernie has awoken the young, the disenfranchised, the FUTURE of our nation. Bernie has proven that big, dirty, corporate money does NOT have to decide our elections. Bernie has courageously shown us that if we stand together we CAN be heard. We have a chance of a lifetime right now to elect a leader who truly has the interests of the 99% at heart and who will not be swayed by money or corporate greed and who will lead us in our battle to reclaim our democracy from the hands of the few who see us as nothing more than pawns in their game of power, control and financial dominance.”

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493514/-We-Are-Done

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Bernie Sanders says let’s take big leaps and think big. Hillary Clinton says we must take moderate steps to change this country. 

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493245/-Bingo-Bernie-Gets-It

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“We wonder how her / Hillary Clinton’s election will be a win for progressive politics given her record of far too often favoring war over peace, regime change over the rule of law, and corporate interests over unions and working people.”

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493555/–No-I-Will-Not-Yield

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“What are the odds that Hillary Clinton has us neck deep in another Middle East quagmire in her first term?”

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493282/-What-are-the-odds-Hillary-Clinton-has-us-neck-deep-in-another-ME-quagmire-in-her-first-term

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 Hillary Clinton is not Progressive enough.  Why is that???

http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/2/29/1493407/-Hillary-Clinton-is-not-progressive-enough-Another-position-that-does-not-make-sense

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At the very least, please remember to vote in your State’s Primary Election.  You can google the dates online.  Many people do not realize that they as individuals can vote in the Primaries.  It is in this Presidential Election Campaign that I have realized that I can vote in a Primary and so can you. 

It is every bit as important to vote in the Primaries as it is to always vote in the Presidential Elections.  You never know until the very end just how much can change, and hopefully, that change will benefit the entire American people, not just the Wealthy, the Billionaires, the Millionaires, the Corporate CEO’s, the Bankers, the Insurance Companies, and the Politicians who get paid by the Wealthy to do their bidding, and the heck with your needs as an Everyday Person.

If you want Change, you have to stand up and fight / Vote for it.

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THEIR GOAL IS TO DERAIL DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY.

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THEIR GOAL IS TO DERAIL DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY.

The Problem……………….

Do you vote in the State and Local Elections and State Primaries in a NON Presidential Election Year? Do you know how important it is to vote in all elections?  Presidential.  U.S. Congress.  State Legislatures.  State Primaries.

State Primaries?!?

The Koch Brothers and about another 150 families in the U.S. are the extreme Tea Partiers who are closing down Planned Parenthood across the country, creating laws to hinder voting, who are trying to shut down the Environmental Agency, who are busting Workers Unions. These are the people who are trying to take Food Assistance away from some very needy people. 

The Tea Partiers are the people who want to deny you a Guaranteed Minimum Wage, a wage sufficient enough that you can eat and buy shoes and clothes and have a birthday party for your child.

And they are working at this not only at the National level, but also in your State Governments, in your State Legislatures, and with your Governors. The Tea Partiers are LITERALLY BUYING the Republican extremists to effect laws in your State, laws that will deprive you of your Constitutional rights:  to vote, to have health care, to have fair and living wages.

THE GOAL OF THE TEA PARTIERS IS TO DERAIL DEMOCRACY IN THIS COUNTRY.

And they have succeeded.

THE U.S. IS NO LONGER A DEMOCRACY. We are now a country that is being run by the wealthy, the “Less Than One Percenters.”  That is, those who make up less than one percent of the United States, but now who own 99% of the nation’s money. 

The Wealthy One Percenters are the ones who Deny Climate Change and would rather that you drink poisonous water in Flint Michigan, without complaining, and want to make it too expensive for you to invest in Solar Energy. These are the people who want to deprive you of Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security and Infant Milk Formula for very poor babies. 

Did you know that YOU the average voter can and should vote in Party Primary Elections?

Some of you will say, and me included, Oh, I vote in all the Presidential Elections.   But that’s not the question.  Did you know that you and I can and should vote in the Party Primary Elections, you know, the ones that occur in February and March and into August in a Presidential Election year?  The Primary Elections that allow you to be a part of choosing who your Presidential candidate will be for your party?

My first response to this question was, Oh, I thought that only the State Democratic and Republican Parties voted in the Primaries and eventually choose who will be the Party’s Nominee for the Presidency.

OK, I was wrong. Anyone and everyone can and should vote in the Primary Elections. 

Why didn’t I know this? How could I not know this?  I took Political Science and Economics in High School and College.  But somehow I did not know that I could vote in a Primary Election.

So when people raise the question, Why don’t people vote? Why are people so lazy? …  my answer is, I didn’t know.

It isn’t just complacency and laziness.  As much as I hate to admit it, some of us have been totally NON-schooled in Politics and have had absolutely no idea just how crazy the GOP has become. It wasn’t until I started reading DailyKos.com on a regular basis that I became aware of just how precarious our Democracy has become.  I have learned more about Politics and the Republicans in the past few years than I have learned in a lifetime.  

In my high school and college, Political Science classes were strictly lecture classes. It was seemingly implied that Democracy “ran itself.”  It was never discussed that in fact it was humans that “steered the course” and that Democracy could be manipulated to serve those with money and the heck with the rest of us.

Remember when Al Gore ran against George Bush II?  Mr. Gore accused the state of Florida with gerrymandering and thus manipulating the outcome of the Presidential election? Well, today, research has shown that Mr. Gore was correct and that the vote counting in Florida was fraudulent.  Gerrymandering at its best.

Today we have the Koch Brothers and there are many other money people out there who are buying off the Republican vote and implementing their plans to derail Democracy to their benefit. Like lower taxes for themselves or none at all.  Without taxes how will we repair roads and bridges and fund schools?

Think of the current stories of how the Governor of Michigan poisoned the drinking water of Flint Michigan. Think of the Governor of Wisconsin who busted the workers unions and told the people of Wisconsin that busting unions will be beneficial to the workers. 

These guys are being paid by the wealthy of this country and especially the Koch Brothers to do these things. The only people who benefit are the wealthy.  They think they don’t have to obey the rules of the Law of the Land, the Constitution of the U.S.  These are the people who are trying to take Health Care away from you and make it so expensive for the individual that hopefully you will die sooner than you expected.

We need to do something to wake up the American people.  I know people who have no idea that the Corporate world isn’t paying its fair share of taxes, that there are corporations who pay zero taxes, or that the National Football League has officially been a Non-Profit organization for many decades.  Who let that happen?  Who even knew? 

For myriad reasons the American People are not getting the necessary information to make good voting decisions.  People just don’t realize how much corruption is going on in our government, and some people still think we are a Democracy.  There are some people who are so good-hearted that they can’t even imagine that the GOP would reject Obamacare simply because the current President is Black! 

Right now, today, the Republicans are being paid off by their benefactors to completely and totally obstruct the nomination for a new Supreme Court Justice. Their arguing point is that an outgoing President should not nominate a new Justice.  The Republicans have vowed to delay, delay, delay, until a new President is elected and takes office in January 2017.  That leaves us a whole YEAR with an empty seat on America’s highest Court.  Of course, the Republicans think they are going to win this coming November.  We have to stop them.

A Suggestion…………………

There has been some discussion about how to get more people to vote in all elections, ………………… and One Idea Is To Move All Elections To The Same Year. I personally think this is a great idea, …………………

…..and I think it is a Necessary Shift In How We Do Politics.  It would help people get a better picture of what goes on in our government, national & state & local.  It would allow people to see the bigger picture and to see how all the little parts fit together. 

We need to do whatever it takes to re-establish Democracy in this country.  Moving election dates might seem insignificant, but if it Galvanizes People and Educates People to vote for those candidates who really do have a heart and a concern for “the people,”  then We Would Be Negligent In Not Doing So.

Moving all elections to the Presidential Election Year could be a way to get ourselves educated and informed. Maybe it’s like a jigsaw puzzle; all the pieces must fit together in order to see the whole picture.  I think it focuses more scrutiny on the various candidates.  I think it allows the voters to do some “comparison shopping” with lots of input from many sources.  I think that by putting all the elections in one year, we would be emphasizing that National, State, and Local Elections are all important and that they are all interrelated and not to be taken lightly. 

A big part of the problem is getting good and solid information to the public.  Last year in Columbus OH, there was an off-year election for the Office of Mayor for the city of Columbus.  Who knew, who knew anything about the up-coming election.  I knew nothing. I did not know who was running.  Few people turned out to vote.  And there were only two men running for the Office of Mayor, and both of them were Democrats!?!  I had never heard of either one of them. 

It’s quite possible that my radar was off-beam.  In the few days before the election, I was scrambling for information.  So, why was I clueless?  Did I not read enough local news to know about the Mayoral election?  Was there not enough data for me to read up on?  I don’t know. 

Get yourself educated TODAY!!! Tune into some decent and balanced news sites online.  Some of my favorites and most informative are given below:

https://www.dailykos.com/

http://www.nationalmemo.com/  

http://thinkprogress.org/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/

Read something from these sites for the next three weeks. Conscript your family members and your friends.  Sit down every other day for three weeks and take a look at some very informative news stories.  See the other side of the picture.  Don’t be afraid of the words like, progressive, ideological, being bold. 

“Times need to be a-changing.”

Fight to restore our Democracy, a Democracy of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Information. Education.  Communication.  AND VOTE!!  All Elections!

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By the way, I grew up in the Deep South.  I have learned recently that Radio and TV and newspaper news was sometimes censored, so that nobody got the whole story.  I wonder how much our textbooks were censored.  When Martin Luther King was assassinated, NOT ONE adult spoke of the tragedy, not one parent, not one teacher, not one pastor.  I’m still working on that one. 

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GRIEF UNSPOKEN

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GRIEF UNSPOKEN

From Katie S…….

“You just feel like you’re in this dark hole, and you can’t even begin to know how to claw your way out. These women don’t just throw a rope down to you. They climb down in that dark hole with you, and they sit there beside you, and they help you through.”

And from Cameron Reeves Poynter…..

“Look, I come from a family of criers. We have happy tears and sad ones. Painful ones and joyful ones. But we have them — a lot. And we embrace them. So I quietly took Jack’s little face in my hands and wiped away the layers of tears and snot. I stared at his beautiful freckled face and told him that tears do not negate courage. Bravery can be as grandiose as slaying the dragon.”

“But more often than not, bravery is simply accepting that your body or mind or heart is overwhelmed by the pain. Or the beauty. Or the loneliness. Or the love.”

“So I beg you, don’t teach your children that tears are a sign of weakness. For the love of all that’s holy, do not tell them big boys or girls don’t cry. Teach them tears are a sign of courage. That they bear witness, more eloquently than words ever could, to the capacity we have to endure that most cannot bear.”

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One of my professors in Seminary many years ago was a Listener. He said, more than once, “I am not offended by your tears.”  And, THAT, right there, is the most Religious, Psychological, Compassionate, Empathic encounter I have ever experienced in my life.

And that’s what people need. That’s what people are looking for.

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From Katie S….          http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/03/23/3636298/ended-wanted-pregnancies-website/

And from Cameron Reeves Poynter…..       http://themighty.com/2015/05/why-i-beg-parents-not-to-say-this-to-kids-who-cry/#ixzz3f6ot1cf1

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THE CRUCIBLE OF HIS CHILDHOOD – SAN BERNARDINO

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THE CRUCIBLE OF HIS CHILDHOOD

NEUTRON STAR BORN IN CRUCIBLE OF STELLAR EXPLOSION      WWW.NASA.GOV      neutron-star-creation-illustration-2

Neutron Star Born in Crucible of Stellar Explosion / A Metaphor for the Life of Mr. Farook

Photo Provided By      http://www.nasa.gov

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                   Empathy is Vital to the Survival of the Human Species.

Everyone the U.S. is trying to figure out WHY these two people, a husband and wife, could launch an all-out attack on people they knew. How could they do this? Why did they do this? Was it ties with radical Jihadist terrorists?

The authors of the article asked the same questions everyone else is asking.  They even went so far as to describe the home life of the male suspect, Mr. Farook and noted that the suspect’s home life was violent, with a father out of control, screaming, yelling, lashing out at his wife and children, throwing heavy objects at his young children, a father who became combative towards family. In addition the father was an alcoholic who combined the alcohol with medications.

I am not certain whether the authors of the news article actually attempted to draw any ties or links between the Violent Childhood of Farook and the violent actions he took out on his fellow workers.  It is however of ultimate importance to draw these links.

Growing up in a violent family is no small thing. Domestic Violence damages the emotional growth of a child and the physical growth of the brain. The child with some help may have the chance to make a better adult life. Some children will eventually take their pain out on themselves. And some will grow up and turn that violence onto others.

What kind of child could possibly grow up normal in a violent family? Don’t tell me that you grew up in a violent home and that you are OK. No, you are not. That doesn’t mean you will become a terrorist, but it does mean that it colors your life and your relationships with family and friends and your attitudes towards the rest of humanity.

Read some of the comments by the authors of the N.Y. Times article…………

“Syed Rizwan Farook was a “Normal Person” who kept Halal “just like any other Muslim,” Mr. Khan said. “Why would he do something like that?” he said of the shooting. “I have absolutely no idea. I am in shock.”

“Mr. Farook’s father was an alcoholic and could be violent, capable of lashing out at his wife and children, according to statements his mother, Rafia Farook, made in a series of divorce proceedings beginning in 2006.”

“The father, also named Syed Farook, called his wife names, screamed at his children, hurled home appliances and, at the worst moments, grew so combative that his children had to step between him and his wife, she asserted.”

“The elder Mr. Farook forced his family to move out of their home in 2006, Ms. Farook said in court papers, but he continued to harass her.”

“My husband is mentally ill and is on medication but is also an alcoholic and drinks with the medicine,” she said. The marriage was formally dissolved this year.”

“The director of the Mosque that the younger Farook attended, commented, “I never thought of him as someone who is violent.”

The U.S. has a real phobia about acknowledging Child Abuse.  Way too many people believe it is OK to hit a small and defenseless child.  Far too many people deny that abuse could be so significant as to cause a person to become violent, toward himself or to others.  And very few people even attempt to make the connection between abusing a child and the violent behavior or self-destructive behavior that comes after such a childhood and is carried into adulthood.

One more comment from an observer of Mr. Farook before the December 2015, massacre:

“He’s a mosque-goer,” Mr. Kuko said of Mr. Farook. “He comes to the mosque regularly. Something might have happened to him mentally, physically or whatever that made him change.”

Unfortunately, the anger of Mr. Farook had already been cooking for many, many years, in the Crucible of his Childhood.

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Source:

Couple Kept Tight Lid On Plans For San Bernardino Shooting                     By  Adam Nagourney, Ian Lovett, Julie Turkewitz, Benjamin Mueller    The New York Times     Thursday December 3, 2015

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/12/04/us/san-bernardino-shooting-syed-rizwan-farook.html?_r=0

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References:

 Altemeyer, Robert.  The Authoritarians.  Harvard University Press, June 10, 2007.

 Goleman, Daniel.  Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.  NY: Bantam Books, 1995.

 Miller, Alice.  For Your Own Good:  Hidden Cruelty In Child-Rearing And The Roots Of Violence.   Translated by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1983.

 Perry, Bruce and Maia Szalavitz.  Born For Love: Why Empathy Is Essential And Endangered.  NY: William Morrow, 2010.

LACK OF EMPATHY & THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY DISORDER

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LACK OF EMPATHY & THE AUTHORITARIAN PERSONALITY DISORDER

MORRIS WWW.BERKSARL.ORG ColbyProcyk1

Empathy is Vital to the Survival of the Human Species.

http://www.berksarl.org

The events of today’s political scene are bizarrely twisted and fraught with anger, hostility, and one-up-man-ship.

I hear some religious people saying that they believe it is our responsibility to care for the poor.

And then I hear from other so-called religious people that they have no concern for the poor. They seem to believe that the poor deserve to be poor because they somehow did something to become poor.

How can two groups of people who profess to worship the same God and read the same Scriptures have two opposingly different takes from the same religion?

Try out this idea:    We interpret Scripture according to the way our parents treated us when we were children.

I had hoped that as we entered the 21st century that a more reasonable, more empathic mindset would take root in our Nation.

But the political scene today is Polluted with ……..

Anger   Prejudice    Racism  Classism  Sexism  Authoritarianism Mudslinging   Blaming    Invalidation     Hostility   Hatred     Arrogance     Disrespect       Discrimination       Scientific Ignorance     Self Righteousness     Religious Fundamentalism    Anti-Intellectualism  Loss of Reason   Money & Power     Lack of Empathy   The Need to Control Women & Children    Total Disregard for the Needs of Human Beings………

The Ugliness that I see is overwhelming. I cannot find enough words for all of the Insanity I see and hear in our own country, a Nation Of the People, By the People, For All the People.

Congress is so blinded by Money $$ and Power, they have no Conscience and continue in their attempt to deprive millions of food, shelter, and healthcare.

What I hear most is a total Lack of Empathy for our Fellow Human Beings.

What I see is a huge need on the part of some people to step down on the Others of Our Society.

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Martin Luther King      How hard it is for people to live without someone to look down upon, really to look down upon. It is not just that they feel cheated out of someone to hate. It is that they are compelled to look more closely into themselves and what they don’t like in themselves.

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I think the missing elements are….

Empathy   Compassion   Respect   Caring   Listening   Acceptance                  Sensitivity    Awareness    Conscience Tolerance    Patience     Emotional Intelligence.

What I see today in the American Political Scene is Out & Out Racism and Hatred and a Cold-Blooded Disregard for the Human Race, especially for those at the bottom of the barrel.

There Is A Label For This Kind Of Irrational Thinking.

It Is Known As The Authoritarian Personality Disorder.

Wayne Weiten describes the phenomenon. I think if you look at the following description and hold it up to the political scene today, you will see a mirror reflection.

Characteristics Of The Authoritarian Personality

Aggression     Hostility      Conventionalism     Self Righteousness

Need to Control others     Believe they are More Moral

Threatened by Social Change     Expects others to be Submissive

Pull yourself up by your own bootstraps

People who contract AIDS deserve their fate

Labeling other people and other nations as Evil

Organizes social world as In-Groups & Out-Groups

Belief that some groups of people are simply inferior

Belief that the world is a dangerous and hostile place

Out-Groups are a threat to cherished traditional values

Feel justified in Derogating groups deemed as less moral

Little exposure to minority groups & unconventional behavior

Grew up in Highly Religious & Socially Homogeneous Groups

It is OK if some groups have more of a chance in life than others

Must demonstrate In-Group Favoritism & Out-Group Contempt

There would be fewer problems if certain people stayed in their place

Cognitive distortions are an attempt to reassure a person that they will            not suffer a similar fate.

The next part is really interesting…………………..

The Authoritarian Personality Correlates Positively With …

Racism          Sexism          Classism         Anti-Semitism

Ethnocentrism          Social Dominance          Homophobia

Political Conservatism          Economic Conservatism

Lack Of Empathy

It is all about CONTROL OVER OTHERS. Without control over others, the Authoritarian Personality fears being Controlled by Others.

O.K.  So, How Do People Develop An Authoritarian Personality Disorder?

This is a question that I do not often see addressed in mainstream Media. It seems people are a little/a lot! afraid to ask just how does this happen.

So how does one develop all this Hostility and Anger, a total Lack of Empathy and Flagrant Disregard for the Conditions of Human Life?

No federal assistance for Tornado Victims???

The Answer Is Simple, But It Is Also The One Reason That Most People Reject…………and that is…………………They themselves were abused children.

How people become Angry, Hostile, Uncaring People has its Origins in Abuse. Look back up the page a little to the Characteristics of the Authoritarian Personality. That list describes the kind of home life many people have grown up in. It is not a healthy way to raise Children. It is a Toxic Atmosphere that produces Highly Dysfunctional people.

Many people will deny that their Home of Origin was abusive. Many people want to forget the abuse because it hurts too much to remember how afraid and frightened they were when their parents yelled and screamed at and hit them.

How many news articles do you read each day online that disagree over the definition of child abuse? If I allow myself to read the commentaries afterwards, they are often full of sarcasm and bitterness. People cannot even agree on what child abuse is.

Many people do not believe that spanking is child abuse.

But I am here to tell you: Hitting a Little Kid Is Child Abuse.

It’s nothing more than a Power Trip.

Ask your four year old or five year old: When I hit you, are you Afraid? Frightened? Angry? Scared? Do you remember that I love you when I hit you???

Many people cannot bear to look back into their own lives and admit to the fear they harbored when their parents hit them. They have an incredible need to believe that their parents loved them, and if their parents hit them, then they must have had a good reason, like….”I’m a bad person.”

There are some who will say, “I was hit and beaten, and I turned out OK.”

I know for sure they have not turned out OK.  I see their anger, their denial, their bullying behavior towards others, their lack of empathy.

The child is Emotionally Deformed by the abuse. The child is helpless. He is at the mercy of the parent.

Children who suffer severe abuse have Abnormal MRI’s, brain damage which may or may not be reversible. Add to the mix the colicky baby, the kid with ADHD, learning disorders. And the situation becomes even more volatile.

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http://www.childtrauma.org

http://www.RootsofEmpathy.com

http://www.vachss.com

Sheldon Kopp:   Childhood is a Nightmare.

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How could you possibly grow into a Responsible Loving Compassionate Empathic Person when you have never experienced Love Empathy Compassion Understanding Respect Tolerance?

It becomes necessary as the Child develops and grows into Adulthood to repress this pain and fear and terror. And when that child becomes an adult, he represses his pain only to visit that pain upon his own child.

I can’t help but think that the verse, “the sins of the fathers unto the third and fourth generation,” refers to the abuse that we hand down to our children and they to their children.

And in the case of our Presidential candidates and half of Congress, all of their fear and anger becomes fixated upon The Have-Not’s, The Least Of These, and on Those Who Are Not Like Us.

The Rest of America needs to wake up soon and take drastic measures to Resist, to Halt, to Counter, to Stand Against, to Challenge, to Contest, to Oppose, to Dispute, to Buck, to Deflect, to Defy, and to Vote against those ………………………………………………………………………………………who would deny aid to disaster victims, who would take away Social Security checks of those who truly need it, who would cut monetary aid and school breakfasts for Children, who would take away Healthcare from those who cannot afford medical care, who would take money from those who live with illness and can no longer work, who would destroy woodlands & oceans & wildlife, who would pollute the very air we breathe.

It might hurt for a while when we recognize that our own parents abused us in response to having to suppress the reality that they had been abused………..but when we acknowledge our pain, then change is possible.

It is the only way we can communicate and build relationships, not only with our own families but also with the rest of Humanity. If we could just take a deep breath and allow ourselves to be more Empathic, more Compassionate, more Understanding, we could work toward more Peaceful Solutions to the problems that we encounter at home and with the rest of Earth’s population.

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Martin Hoffman:   The Roots of Morality are to be found in Empathy.

Read the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights.

Read the United Nations Declaration of the Rights of Children.

In the U.N. Declarations we are all called forth to care for all of Earth’s people.

Venerable Wuling      Kindness will accomplish that which force never will.

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Already, It Is Illegal To Hit Children In Sweden.

France Has Been Working On Making Spousal Abuse Illegal.

Why is it so hard for America to consider that Sweden & France believe in something worth our paying attention to?

Are we afraid that Empathy might make us look Weak???  

What kind of country do you want to live in???

What kind of country do you want your children to grow up in???

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Altemeyer, Robert. The Authoritarians.  Harvard University Press, June 10, 2007.

Goleman, Daniel. Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ. NY: Bantam Books, 1995.

Hacker, Jacob S. & Paul Pierson.   Winner Take All Politics:  How Washington Made The Rich Richer – And Turned Its Back On The Middle Class.  Foreword by Bill Moyers.  NY:  Simon & Schuster Paperbacks, 2010.

Hartmann, Thom.  Unequal Protection:  How Corporations Became “People” And How You Can Fight Back.  Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2010.

Ifill, Gwen.  The Breakthrough:  Racism In Our Country.

Karr-Morse, Robin and Meredith S. Wiley. Ghosts From The Nursery: Tracing The Roots Of Violence. NY: The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.

King, Coretta Scott. The Words Of Martin Luther King Jr. NY: Newmarket Press, 1987.

Kopp, Sheldon. No Hidden Meanings: An Illustrated Eschatological Laundry List. Palo Alto CA: Science and Behavior Books, 1975.

Lardner, James & David A. Smith, Editors.  Inequality Matters:  The Growing Economic Divide In America And Its Poisonous Consequences.  Foreword by Bill Moyers.  The New Press, 2007.

Mann, Thomas E. and Norman J. Ornstein.  It’s Even Worse Than It Looks:  How The American Constitutional System Collided With The New Politics Of Extremism.  Basic Books, 2012.

Miller, Alice. For Your Own Good: Hidden Cruelty In Child-Rearing And The Roots Of Violence. Translated by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum. NY: Farrar Straus Giroux, 1983.

Moyers, Bill.  Moyers On Democracy.  Doubleday, 2008.

Perry, Bruce and Maia Szalavitz. Born For Love: Why Empathy Is Essential And Endangered. NY: William Morrow, 2010.

Smiley, Tavis and Cornel West. The Rich And The Rest Of Us: A Poverty Manifesto.   NY: Smiley Books, 2012.

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WHAT WAS LOST IS FOUND — MH 370

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WHAT WAS LOST IS FOUND

MH 370

Reuters dot com has announced……………….

WING PART WASHED UP ON BEACH IS FROM MISSING MH-370, MALAYSIA CONFIRMS

Wednesday   August 5, 2015    4:16pm EDT

Kuala Lumpur | By Morade Azzouz

With a soft voice it was announced today that a portion of Flight MH 370, the FLAPERON, a portion of the wing, has been found on the island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean.

http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/08/05/us-malaysia-airlines-crash-idUSKCN0QA1KC20150805

See also from the BBC………..

The BBC displays a map of the Indian Ocean, where the original search began and now where debris has begun to show up on the beach of the French Island Reunion, right where ocean currents would naturally carry parts of the crashed plane that can now be found and examined.

A day for sadness, but also a day for relief.

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-33798195

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“BERNIE SANDERS’ AWESOME MOMENTUM”

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“BERNIE SANDERS’ AWESOME MOMENTUM”

July 1, 2015

Bernie’s speech for the Presidency. 

Sanders is the U.S. Senator from Vermont.

Bernie Sanders is speaking to a crowd of nearly 10,000 people in Wisconsin.  He is passionate for the Rights of the Common People, that’s you and me, the people with low-paying jobs, no healthcare, food stamps, Social Security, struggling to meet payments just for the necessities of life, going into debt, voting rights curtailed; our world where the rich, the corporations, the CEO’s who are not paying their taxes, owning more money than most of the rest of  the United States.

Take a look at Bernie Sanders.  I think he will make one heck of a President, one who really cares about you and me.

Watch these videos.  It’s been a long time since I have heard such passion and commitment from someone who really cares and wants to help make a better country for the 99% of us who don’t have a million dollars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UsWf0TuM6AA

And also a similar speech by J.F. Kennedy as he argues for Universal Healthcare.  I had forgotten about his campaign for Universal Healthcare.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14A1zxaHpD8&feature=player_embedded 

It’s this kind of passionate campaigning for the Rights of All People that this country needs now more than ever.  The little people in the U.S. are being marginalized by the Banks, the Corporations, Millionaires and Billionaires who are NOT paying their fair share of taxes. 

Be angry.  And then Vote for Equality for All Citizens of the U.S.

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CHANGE.ORG

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CHANGE.ORG

Where your petitions and others’ make things happen.

Learn more about  Change.org  and track the impact of the growing community at  http://change.org/impact

“Over 100 million people around the world have signed petitions on Change.org. Nearly every hour, a petition and the supporters behind it, achieve victory. Hear from real people who have used Change.org as they share their reasons for signing.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=UcT1rgZDko4

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PRESIDENT OBAMA / AMAZING GRACE

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PRESIDENT OBAMA / AMAZING GRACE

Friday June 26, 2015

President Obama spoke at the funeral of Clementa Pinckney:  Pinckney and eight other Church members and friends were killed by a white terrorist.

The President said:  “We are here today to remember a man of God who lived by faith.   A man who believed in things not seen. A man who believed there were better days ahead, off in the distance. A man of service who persevered knowing full well he would not receive all those things he was promised, because he believed his efforts would provide a better life for those who followed.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPIb8TmJIbY

Words are difficult to find.  No words are sufficient to express the grief over the loss of our loved ones.  And maybe sometimes the music wells up inside us and expresses some of the pain and sorrow and helps open the path to Empathy and Compassion.

Music speaks when there are no words.

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A HARSH WORLD

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A HARSH WORLD

I had a conversation with another person who remarked that the world is getting harsher because mothers are too permissive or refuse to discipline their children. 

I had to disagree.  The world is not getting harsher because parents are too permissive or refuse to discipline their children.

The world is getting harsher ……………

Because most people work for low wage jobs,

Because health care is denied to many who do not have the money to purchase it,

Because people are hungry,

Because we would rather fight wars with other countries and with our own children than search for less violent ways to communicate with each other,

Because we fear others who are not like us,

Because we warehouse our children in day care centers where there are too many children and not enough teachers or moms or dads, and not enough playground space, and not enough trees, and not enough outside time to run and be free,

          Because we do not tell our children enough that they are loved for no other reason than that we love them.

And that is why the world is so broken.

And that is why the world is so sad.

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6 WORDS YOU SHOULD SAY TODAY

By Rachel Stafford

Rachel Stafford suggested that parents should say to their children:

I love to watch you play softball. 

I love to watch you having fun. 

I love to make cookies with you. 

I love to………..

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I tried this little technique of saying “I would love to …………..” to my now grown up niece and nephew.  I emailed my nephew and wrote, “I would love to play board games with you when I come back to visit.”  And to my niece, I wrote, “I would love to go rock hunting with you when I come back to visit.”

Gee, talk about high speed internet!!  Their response was almost instantaneous!  They both emailed back and said, “I would love to play board games!”  and “I would love to go rock hunting!”

And I thought, “Wow, I love being an Aunt.”

It’s All About Communication.

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/rachel-macy-stafford/six-words-you-should-say-today_b_3863643.html

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A JUST WORLD AND ITS VICTIMS

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A JUST WORLD AND ITS VICTIMS

Human beings have the “fundamental need to find meaning and order in life’s experiences,” especially when the inexplicable happens to people.

How could so many people die in Hurricane Katrina?

How could a man kill his wife and infant child and then himself?

What made it possible for a 16 year old boy to come to school one morning, my nephew’s school, with a loaded gun and kill one of his classmates?

Something happens in our thinking when we are faced with these questions.

We tend NOT to look too deeply into the experience. We tend to look only for “Surface Answers.”

To look TOO deeply requires looking into oneself.  And to look deeply inside ourselves is scary and threatening.  The question can be asked then, could this have happened to me?  Could I have done this?

Humans have a need to believe that we live in a JUST WORLD, a world where bad things happen only to bad people.

“This belief is a fundamental DELUSION that is central to the way we organize experience, make sense out of confusion, justice out of cruelty and unfairness, and ORDERLINESS OUT OF RANDOM EVENTS.”

“The Widespread But False Belief Is That The World Is Essentially Fair.  And In A Fair World, The Only Reason That Misfortunes Happen Must Be The Result Of The Actions Of The Individual.”

“The Good Are Rewarded.   And The Bad Are Punished.”

In other words, The Poor are responsible for becoming Poor and therefore deserve to be and to remain Poor.

In other words, The Homeless caused their Homelessness and therefore deserve to be Homeless.

In other words, those without Healthcare deserve to be sick without Healthcare.

“The outcome of this belief is that people assume that those who suffer misfortune deserve their fate.”

In other words, we BLAME THE VICTIM.

When we Blame the Victim, we can Absolve ourselves of any responsibility to care for others.

When we Blame the Victim, we can absolve ourselves of creating a Just Society to help prevent people from falling through the cracks in the first place.

When we blame the victim, we can absolve ourselves from ever helping those who do fall through the cracks of a Society.

I met a woman several years ago who believed that God sent Hurricane Katrina to punish the evil people of New Orleans.

I found her words offensive.   I was raised in the South so her remarks cut deep.   A white hot anger envelopes my body when I hear words like those.

“BLAMING THE VICTIM is the tendency to assume that the person who has suffered a misfortune must have done something wrong to have deserved it.”

I have heard people say to others who have been fired, dismissed from a job, or laid off:  Man, you must not be living right.

The immediate effect on me when I hear words like that is to feel like a huge crevice has opened up between me and the other person.

It occurred to me while writing this:  Have I created the crevice, or has the other person created the crevice?

The obvious answer is, The Other Person Has Created the Crevice.  The other person has just divorced himself from me and has left me to Sink or Swim.

Strange things happen when believers in the Just World Hypothesis are confronted with Injustice Suffered by Others:

They denigrate the victim.

They deny the evidence.

They reinterpret the event entirely.

Just World Theorists BLAME THE VICTIM.

And oddly enough, even the VICTIMS begin to Blame Themselves.

WALKING AROUND IN A DISASTER AREA CAN SHAKE ANYONE TO THE CENTER OF THEIR BEING.

People go to great lengths to protect the basic belief that bad things happen only to bad people or irresponsible people.  This belief is a consequence of the Illusion of Control.

The ILLUSION OF CONTROL is an Imaginary Defense against the fear that terrible things can happen to anyone.

No one is exempt from the possibility of  disaster in their own lives.

Researchers have devised  a JUST WORLD SCALE INVENTORY.  It is a list of basic assumptions that people hold about other people who suffer disastrous events.

Some of the assumptions that are listed in the Scale are statements like the following:

Basically the world is a just place.

By and large people get what they deserve.

The homeless want to be homeless.

Innocent women are not raped.

Drug addicts want to be drug addicts.

Those who hold the Just World Hypothesis to be true believe that The Poor bring about their own suffering because they are lazy, drunk, violent, stupid, uneducated, addicted.

All of these rationalizations help people avoid the panicky thought that poverty, job loss, or even death could strike them.  It is called DENIAL.

DENIAL and SELF-DELUSION PROTECT us against anger, depression, and anxiety.  Denial and Self-Delusion help us to be optimistic, to feel safe, and to feel invincible.

UNFORTUNATELY, Denial and Self-Delusion also provide us with the EXCUSE to turn our backs on and to IGNORE the very people who most need our help and aid.

Unfortunately, Denial and Self-Delusion prevent us from building a Society that can help prevent some of the awful things that happen to people.

Unfortunately, Denial and Self-Delusion prevent us from helping others when    The Unpredictable and The Unpreventable happen to people.

Unfortunately, when we build a Society on the backs of The Poor, The Homeless, and The Ill, we have a Society that is built on a Precarious Foundation.

And then we are all in danger of falling into the Cracks, into the Abyss, and into the Darkness.

BUT if we build a CARING SOCIETY designed to help prevent people from falling through the cracks in the first place, and also to catch those who do fall through, then we have built a JUST SOCIETY FOR ALL PEOPLE.

It all requires a lot of hard work.  It requires EMPATHY.  It requires COMPASSION.  It requires INSIGHT.  It requires us to Challenge Our Ways of Thinking and to Challenge Our Persuasions.

It requires our having to think about what it would be like to WALK IN SOMEONE ELSE’S SHOES.   “Could this happen to me?”

It’s a lot of hard work.  But it is not impossible.  It only requires us to OPEN OUR HEARTS TO OTHERS.

And isn’t that what our Country is supposed to be about in the first place!!!!

A Just And Caring Society

Of The People,

By The People,

And For All The People.

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H.G. WELLS

A Federation of All Humanity, together with a sufficient measure of Social Justice to Ensure Health, Education, and a Rough Equality of Opportunity, would mean such a Release and Increase of Human Energy as to Open a New Phase in Human History.

MARTIN LUTHER KING

Our nation’s greatness relies on the way we treat our poor….

BILL MOYERS

We must want something enough that we want it for all persons:  Health, Shelter, Education, Peace.

ALDOUS HUXLEY

Facts do not cease to exist just because they are ignored.

TED KENNEDY

It is the character of our country to take care of our own.

RALPH NADER

A Society that has more Justice is a Society that needs less Charity.

CHARLIE ROSE

The cost of inaction is greater.

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Tavris, Carol.  Anger:  The Misunderstood Emotion.  NY:  A Touchstone Book, 1989.

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COMPASSION LOVE UNDERSTANDING EMPATHY

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COMPASSION  LOVE  UNDERSTANDING  EMPATHY

I have been surfing the net using these terms:  Empathy, Compassion, Children.

This is what I have seen on Google:  Teaching Empathy to Children, Animals Teach Empathy to Children, Teach Your Children Compassion.

I can say that most of us need Empathy training.  I experience a huge lack of Empathy in our world.  And even for those who have Empathy, it is reinforcing to spend a little time studying, learning, practicing, and sharing the experience with others.  

But there is something that bothers me.  I have discovered that a lot of people do not believe that children have any kind of empathy at all and that we as adults must take it upon ourselves to teach children how to be empathic.

Look at all the news reports on bullying and hazing and other cruel behavior that some children and adults inflict on others.   It would be easy to assume that children are not born with empathy. 

Recently I was shocked by a news interview with a medical doctor who stated quite categorically that:  ………  Children Are Not Born With Empathy And Compassion.  They Must Be Taught.

I could hardly disagree more.

In so many discussions that I have had with parents and other adults, the other person always assumes that children must be taught compassion, that children have no respect for parents or for others beyond themselves, that children are narcissistic and will remain so until we the adults train them to be empathic and respectful. 

So we adults tend to treat children as somehow deviant until we set them straight.

You have heard some zealots say, We have to beat the fear of God into them and put them on the straight and narrow.   Spare the rod, spoil the child.

I know of parents who slap their babies because the baby dares to move and wiggle during a diaper change.  Trust me, I know of no child who wants to be bound up in tight fitting, itchy clothing.  Babies like the freedom to move and run around without clothes.

But back to the point of this essay. 

I have witnessed in my lifetime such cruelty and have listened to parents defend themselves for hitting their children.  I have known mothers who have hit small children with wooden spoons.  Or a father who pulled off his belt to hit his tiny little six year old.  She was so petite and so sweet.

And most of this seems to happen in the name of God who has seemingly condoned the hitting of children.  Little people who are only two or three feet tall.  And that sentiment seems also to underlie the beliefs of those who are not the religious type.

I remember that awful book that we had to suffer through somewhere in my junior high or high school days:  The Lord of the Flies.  Written by Sir William Gerald Golding.

So the story goes that a number of children survived a plane crash, no adults survived, and the children found themselves alone on an island.  The children fell into two camps:  one camp that was out to rule the island and literally kill the other children to do so, and the other camp that tried to stay alive.

The story line assumes that children are generally born lawless and that adults must teach their children how to be empathic.   

I have known children who were hit by parents, spanked, slapped, yelled at, threatened, degraded, punished …………. Am I making my point?  Let’s make sure ….

belittled, frightened, ……………….

Ah – frightened.

I read or hear about adults who say that they must instill fear into and demand respect from their children.  “How else,” they ask, “would my child learn to be good?”

The irony is so blatant.  Teach fear to learn goodness?

Does anyone else “feel” the contradiction gnawing at your bones?

Let’s lay it out like a grocery list:

?  Children are not born with Empathy and Compassion.

?  Children must be taught E + C.

?  We must use fear to teach goodness.

?  Society must demand of them obedience, submission, and respect.

Does anyone else hurt yet reading these words?

We have got it backwards and we wonder why the world is so messed up.

How we raise our children does have something to do with the mess the world is in.  The whole world.  

We have got it backwards.  We believe that children are born lacking in humanity and we believe in a God who is loving. More irony.  

How many times have we heard adults say to children:  Now say please; now say thank you; now say you are sorry; now say you are welcome; now say this; now say that. 

Unfortunately, neither fear nor bullying can create good.  It is impossible.  They are mutually exclusive.  Fear cannot make someone love you.

Think about it.  We adults neglect, scream, yell, hit, kick, injure, and shun and bully our children and then we wonder, why is my kid so messed up?  Why hasn’t my kid learned goodness, virtue, and kindness?

And just how are children supposed to learn goodness, virtue, etc…….?

We wonder why our children feel such resentment towards us, themselves, and other children that they have learned to bully.  And just where did they learn to bully?

They have to learn it somewhere.  Perhaps at home? 

Too many people have major stockpiles of anger and they share it with their children.  I have experienced that.

How many times have you heard yourself or others say to children, “You are ruining my day.”

I worked in day care for a couple of years.  I watched the children in the modern day care center all day long.

Some came as early as 7 am, and some remained there until 5 or 6 pm in the evening.  That’s a long day for an infant, a toddler, preschooler, kindergartner.

By the end of  a long day without Mom and Dad and having had to compete with 6, 10, and 15 other children for the teacher’s attention, the children were tired, distraught, barely able to keep it together.

And then Mom or Dad appears at the classroom door, and the child goes into meltdown.  The child begins to cry.  The child wants to be held, noticed, and cuddled by Mom & Dad.  The child approaches the parent.  And the parent reacts out of his or her own rotten day, and says to the small child, three years old, “Don’t you start.  Don’t you whine.  Don’t you cry.”

And the parent turns to leave the building and expects the child to follow along and be cheerful and cooperative.

Where in all of this could a child possibly learn kindness, empathy, and compassion?

I watched one mother belittle and rip her child’s self-esteem to shreds for having eaten candy that belonged to another child.  On the last day of school.  It was the last time I ever saw him.  I wonder who he has become as an adult.

We destroy the child’s sense of Dignity, Pride, and Self-Esteem.  And Empathy.  And Compassion.   And Understanding.  And Love.

I was in the World Market store years ago and I was checking out and chatting with the cashier.  I can’t remember precisely what we were talking about.   But I found myself saying, Oh thank you, thank you, and thank  you.

Suddenly, behind me in the check out lane, I heard a small boy repeating my words.  Thank you, Thank you.

Every time I said it, he said it.

I managed to say something like, those are good words to know.

I have no idea how his family functioned, but it occurred to me that that little boy learned “Thank you” because his parents said it to him FIRST.

Children learn by Imitation not Abstract Rules.

Let me finally get to my point.  Here it comes………

* Children are born with a huge capacity to love and be loved.

* Children are born already full of Empathy and Compassion.

And the really painful part …………

* It is the adult who robs the child of Love and Understanding and Empathy and Compassion by hitting, yelling, spanking, threatening, and neglecting an absolutely helpless infant.

Here’s an icy thought …………….

* Babies spend nine long months in a very warm cradle, sharing the ultimate attachment to another human being.

* And then the child is born and the parents stuff the baby into confining clothes and lay him down in a cold crib and walk out and leave him completely alone, confined, unconnected.

* And then the parents ignore the helpless infant who cries until his heart is broken by the total aloneness and isolation. 

How could we possibly expect any child to feel safe, loved, cared for, empathic, compassionate, full of understanding for other people?

How can the child possibly grow up normal?

To grow up loving?

We have got it backwards.  The child is born for love, the child already has all the empathy and compassion in his heart.  But we the adults are the ones who kill our children’s souls.

Why?  Why do we do this?

The only possible answer is this: 

* That is how we were raised by our parents.

* And that is how our parents were raised.

* And their parents, and their parents.……

We pass it down from “generation unto generation.”

Children are born with all the love and empathy they could ever need, if only we could let them share it with us.

We haven’t a clue about how to raise a child because we are lacking in love and empathy ourselves.

Until we get a clue, we haven’t a chance of raising healthy, normal, loving children.

Love cannot grow in a vacuum.  Love dies in isolation and fear and anger.

We need to turn the tables.  We need to Umbrella Our Children with our love and respect.   We must love and respect them FIRST if we want them to return that love and respect.

WE NEED TO NURTURE THE LOVE THAT IS ALREADY THERE.

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Picasso, the Painter once said: 

“All children are born artists. 

The problem is to remain an artist

as we grow up.”

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Treat yourself to a whole page of Love & Empathy & Compassion & Understanding & Children

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=love+compassion+empathy+understanding+children&go=&qs=bs&form=QBIR

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Suggested Reading:

Perry, Bruce and Maia Szalavitz.  Born for Love:  Why Empathy Is Essential and Endangered.  New York:  William Morrow, 2010.

Gordon, Mary. Roots of Empathy: Changing the World Child by Child. Toronto: Thomas Allen Publishers, 2005.

Bruce Perry:    http://www.childtrauma.org

Mary Gordon:    http://www.rootsofempathy.org

Bradshaw, John.  Bradshaw On:  The Family:  A Revolutionary Way of Self-Discovery.  Pompano Beach FL:  Health Communications Inc., 1988.

Goleman, Daniel.  Emotional Intelligence:  Why It Can Matter More Than IQ.  New York:  Bantam Books, 1995.

Gottman, John and Joan DeClaire.  The Heart of Parenting:  Raising an Emotionally Intelligent Child.  New York:  Simon and Schuster, 1997.

Greenspan, Stanley and Nancy Thorndike Greenspan.  First Feelings:  Milestones in the Emotional Development of Your Baby and Child.  New York:  Viking, 1985.

Karr-Morse, Robin and Meredith S. Wiley.  Ghosts from the Nursery:  Tracing the Roots of Violence.   New York:  The Atlantic Monthly Press, 1997.

Miller, Alice.  For Your Own Good:  Hidden Cruelty in Child-Rearing and the Roots of Violence.  Translated by Hildegarde and Hunter Hannum.    New York:  Farrar Straus Giroux, 1983.

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THE NEW GRASSROOTS POLITICS

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THE NEW GRASSROOTS POLITICS

Join The New Grassroots Political Action Groups.

There are many online sites for you to join

and make yourself heard in this political world.

Stand Up for Justice, for Equality, for Fairness.

Help make this a better world to everyone to live in.

Choose one below or two.

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“Giving All Americans A Way To Engage Their Government On The Issues That Matter To Them”

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/

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“The World’s Platform For Change”

https://www.change.org/

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“Care2 Is The Largest Global Community Of People Working To Make A Difference”

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/create-a-petition.html?cid=create_bing_0514&utm_source=bing&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Start%20a%20Petition&utm_term=%23petition

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“Defend Human Rights For All”

http://www.amnestyusa.org/

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“Explore, Enjoy, and Protect The Planet”

http://sierraclub.org/

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“Addup Is A Website With A Mission  —  To Give You More Power To Protect The Environment.” And Our Democracy.

https://www.addup.org/

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“Takepart Is Dedicated To Connecting Inspiring Content To Relevant And Credible Actions You Can Take To Make A Difference.”

https://takeaction.takepart.com  

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What’s really cool about Signing Petitions is that you will receive updates from the websites you join.  You will learn about the successes of the petitions and about what is yet to be done.

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SYRIANS CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER FOR PEACE — ACT NOW!

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SYRIANS CAN’T WAIT ANY LONGER FOR PEACE — ACT NOW!

https://takeaction.takepart.com  —  A Social Action Platform

Join the new grassroots political action group.

There are many online sites for you to join

and make yourself heard in this political world.

Stand Up for Justice, for Equality, for Fairness.

Help make this a better world to everyone to live in.

Sign a Petition like the one below to John F. Kerry, Secretary of State.

“Around the US, many children are getting ready to head back to school.  But for hundreds of thousands of Syrian children forced to flee from the violence in their country, school isn’t an option.  Instead, those refugee children struggle to survive the hot summer.

“This fall, instead of starting classes, they’ll be doing all they can to help their families prepare for another freezing winter without adequate shelter.

“Syrians are standing up for peace, and the United States, along with Russia, is key to getting the peace process started – but two of the world’s most powerful countries continue to delay and put politics before peace.

“It’s time – past time – for the United States to step up and push to bring all the parties together for a Peace Conference.”

“Tell Secretary of State Kerry: We need peace talks now.”

“The UN estimates that there are more than 4 million Syrian children in need of humanitarian aid. They’re children, like 12-year-old Reema, whose family was forced to flee from the conflict, and are now living as refugees in Lebanon.  Reema wants to go home. She wants to be able to go to school.”

Reema  shared her poem  (translated from the original Arabic):

“When I take my pencil and notebook what will I write about?

About my school or my house.

I am deprived from living in my house and school.

My school, when will I visit you again,

To take my bag and run to you?

Destruction has replaced you

and taken the place of your ringing bells.

And without the students,

My house, my flowers, I miss you.

My Syria, when will I return back to you?

I have dreams that I can’t achieve and make come true,

And all I want is living with you in freedom,

Syria, my country, I love you.”

https://takeaction.takepart.com/actions/syrians-cant-wait-any-longer-peace

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Click below and browse the many different petitions.

http://takeaction.takepart.com/actions

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THE GOVERNMENT’S WAR ON WOMEN – RAPE & PREGNANCY

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THE GOVERNMENT’S WAR ON WOMEN – RAPE & PREGNANCY

Ohio State Representative Teresa Fedor, Democrat, stood up in front of a room in Ohio State government, a room filled mostly with men, and just revealed the most painful thing a woman can reveal about herself – rape, pregnancy, & abortion – and, there was at least one man in the room who laughed at her.

 This story today is about Human Rights & Freedom, and this country is on the brink of losing everything to small minded people who cannot bring themselves to “walk in another person’s shoes.”

Where are your hearts?  Where is your decency?  Where is your respect? Where is your courage?

Be Enraged & Stand Up & Fight & Vote To Preserve The Right Of Women To Make Their Own Choices.

Watch & listen to her words.  Click below.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/03/27/1373677/-Ohio-lawmaker-s-personal-story-of-rape-and-abortion-interrupted-by-male-colleagues-laughing?detail=email

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Rep. Victoria Steele, Arizona lawmaker, Democrat, who disclosed her sexual assault earlier this month in Cosmopolitan, said,  “We should not have to bare that part of our lives in such a public way to be able to access legal medical care.”

Click below & read of other women in government who have stood up and shared their private stories.

http://thinkprogress.org/health/2015/03/26/3639180/female-lawmakers-personal-health/

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Now Be Enraged & Stand Up & Fight & Vote To Preserve The Right Of Women To Make Their Own Choices.

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WORLD READ ALOUD DAY

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WORLD READ ALOUD DAY

THE FIRST WEDNESDAY IN MARCH

Take some time today to read for yourself or with friends or with your children.  Take your children to the library and apply for their own Library Card.  Ask the librarian for a recommended list for whatever interests you.  Send a book to a friend.  Start a Read Aloud At Home Time everyday.

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“The first Wednesday in March (today!) is World Read Aloud Day. Started in 2010 by LitWorld, a nonprofit organization that promotes literacy worldwide, World Read Aloud Day is meant to demonstrate the importance of reading and sharing stories.”

http://www.bing.com/search?q=National+Library+of+China&form=hpcapt&filters=HpDate%3a%2220150304_0800%22

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Litworld – Be the Story

“Our Mission: To empower young people to author lives of independence, hope, and joy.”

http://www.litworld.org/

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Website for National Library Of China

This place is huge!  It holds 31.1 Million items.

The library also includes 35,000 Pieces Of Scripted Turtle Shells.

http://www.nlc.gov.cn/newen/

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BARBARA BOXER SPEAKS OUT ON GOP HYPOCRISY IRRESPONSIBILITY & OBAMA HATRED

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BARBARA BOXER SPEAKS OUT ON GOP HYPOCRISY IRRESPONSIBILITY & OBAMA HATRED

U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer, Democrat from California, speaks out on the Republican threat to shut down Homeland Security because the GOP does not agree with President Obama’s plans for Immigration.  The President’s plan is to keep Immigrants in the U.S. and to create a means for Immigrants to become U.S. citizens, especially those people who have been here for many years.

Listen to her speech and read a portion of the transcript, then try to justify the Republican threat to shut down Homeland Security until President Obama changes his Policy Of Offering Citizenship To Immigrants.  The two issues are unrelated, and closing down Homeland Security puts our nation at risk.

“Senator Boxer reminds Congress that this shutdown threat is in retaliation to President  Obama’s recent plan for immigration.”

I have never heard Senator Barbara Boxer speak before.  She is one fiery lady and speaks with boldness and courage.  She is also considering retiring soon and there are petitions out to encourage her to run for office again.  We need more bold and progressive speakers like her in Congress.

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2015/02/24/1366654/-Barbara-Boxer-Hits-It-Out-Of-The-F-cking-Park-Regarding-Irresponsible-Republicans-The-New-Shutdown?detail=email

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VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE RIGHT ANSWER

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VIOLENCE IS NEVER THE RIGHT ANSWER

Patrick Stewart Speaks Out On Domestic Abuse

Where does Violence start?  It starts at home when we were children with parents abusing their children.  The parents themselves were also victims of abuse in the families they grew up in.

And then we send our people into war.  And then those people come home, and they act out the violence of war on their families, spouses, and children.

Patrick Stewart grew up in a violent home.  He now works to prevent violence.

It is interesting that in his role as Captain Jean Luc Picard, it was always his mission to mediate, negotiate, to find a nonviolent way to interact with the people of other worlds.

Watch and listen to his own personal experience as a child growing up in a violent home.

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=TqFaiVNuy1k

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