“the Squad”

Trump calls ‘the squad” pro-terrorist

  • a terrorist threatens
  • a terrorist instills fear
  • a terrorist advocates violence
  • a terrorist distorts facts
  • a terrorist abandons the rule of law
  • a terrorist has no moral compass
  • a terrorist is subversive
  • a terrorist is a thug
  • a terrorist promotes anarchy
  • a terrorist feeds on weakness and vulnerability
  • a terrorist inflicts disorder
  • a terrorist cares nothing for the victim of his/her actions

Ok, explain this to me again.  Who is calling whom a terrorist?

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Mayor Pete

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Let’s give a shout-out to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the host city for the Democratic National Convention, July 13-16, 2020, at Fiserv Forum.  Particularly in today’s heated and volatile political climate, it behooves us to know our candidates’ platforms.

Pete Buttigieg – PBS.org

CLIMATE CHANGE

He believes climate change is a national security threat. Supporting “Green New Deal” proposals, candidate Pete is one of 407 U.S. mayors who signed a pact to adhere to the Paris climate accord after Trump pulled out of the international agreement in 2017.

ECONOMY/TRADE

Strongly supporting labor and union groups, he believes the NAFTA trade agreement caused irreplaceable job losses across the industrial Midwest saying that Democrats must work harder to advocate for working people.

GUNS

Mayor Pete is a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group that advocates for gun control legislation at the state and federal level.  A supporter of universal background checks, he opposes guns in schools and “Stand Your Ground” self-defense laws.

FOREIGN POLICY

Pete, having served as a Naval intelligence officer in Afghanistan, like other Democratic candidates has criticized Trump for conducting foreign policy by tweet.  He would withdraw troops from Afghanistan, but believes troops should remain in Syria and considers Iran to be the greatest threat to Israel in the Middle East.

HEALTH CARE

Buttigieg says he’s all for a single-payer health care system but would not immediately jump to that system from the current system.  Instead he would first implement an all-payer rate setting which would not eliminate private insurance companies.

IMMIGRATION

Mayor Pete supports a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants, DACA, and opposes Trump’s aggressive deportation policies.

SOCIAL ISSUES

He favors passing the Federal Equality Act, an amendment to existing civil rights legislation that would give federal  non-discrimination protections to LGBTQ people.  He opposes Trump’s transgender ban in the military and supports gender reassignment surgery for transgender people in prison.

For links to greater detail go this PBS link – Pete Buttigieg platform

Peter Paul Buttigieg is a former military officer, now in the Naval Reserves, and combat veteran who has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012.  Born January 19, 1992 in South Bend, he was married to Chasten Buttigieg in 2018.  He is a graduate of Pembroke College in Oxford, University of Oxford and Harvard University.  He is a Rhodes scholar who speaks 8 languages: English, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Italian, Maltese, Arabic and Dari.

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PRIDE7

 

How dare he?

How dare he call them patriots?

old codger

 

The racist mouthpiece for white nationalism in the USA just announced to the world that those chanters in Greenville, N.C.,  slandering four female members of Congress, are American patriots.  He, who has avoided any semblance of public service to the country which has afforded him and his family wealth beyond the dreams of most citizens, now feels empowered to determine whom is and whom is not a patriot.  He who has diminished any adversaries, who has operated outside the realms of lawful business, who has made a mockery of American values, who has cozied with foreign dictators while assaulting long-time allies – this same man now decides he has the moral authority to call four conscientious law-makers unpatriotic.

…and may I continue

The man who avoided military service during the height of the Vietnam War which witnessed 54,000+ valorous warriors sacrifice their all, by claiming first college deferments and then a medical exemption due to bone spurs…

the man who compares his avoidance of STDs while carousing with the NYC party crowd as his “personal Vietnam”….

the man who encouraged cooperation by his campaign with an international adversary in order to win  the 2016 election….

the man who discredited a national icon, Senator John McCain, labeling him a “loser” for being captured and held as a POW for 5 years suffering torture and inhumane imprisonment…

the man who denigrated the Khan family, gold-star Muslim parents of an American military officer who was killed in Iraq….

the man who called white racists “good people” after a young woman protesting the march of white nationalists in Charlottesville, Virginia, was killed…

the man who puts himself above the law of the land by refusing to submit to inquiries and subpoenas, a power granted to Congress by the Constitution of the United States…

the man who, by his actions, flaunts his disregard of the Constitution’s grant of power to three co-equal branches of governance guaranteeing a government of the people, by the people and for the people….

this man has the audacity to name whom is and whom is not patriotic.  Does anybody else have a problem with the sheer arrogance?  Does anybody else smell a rat?

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rat

if God were here – what would She do?

laughing emoji2A dear friend recently suggested that listening to Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, right-wing politicians and preachers would add a dimension of understanding to the crisis enveloping our nation.  I tried his advice and immediately realized that the new dimension puts me in greater fear and disgust than ever.  The crap America finds itself in is much more odorous and enormously deeper than I ever imagined.  To my friend I must answer, “Next time just mind your own business.”

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that my attitude doesn’t advance the enlightenment of mankind nor does it advance a civil conversation, but I am wearied by the daily assault of racism and misogyny from the State News Network, the WH, and Bootlickers Unlimited.  I am wearied by curses and labels from those who are incapable of engaging in meaningful, intelligent dialog.  I am wearied….oh Lord, I am simply too tired to explain one more time to one more white, evangelical Republican that all people are created equal.  Yes, the blacks, browns, Muslims, gays, and Puerto Ricans are also loved by an omnipotent, magnanimous, munificent God and She absolutely loves those brown babies sitting in cages on our border.  Yes, She does.  It says so in their Christian scriptures.

You may query, “Larry, you seem awfully out of sorts, are you a political burn-out?”

I am fine, but I am weary.  And I am disillusioned.  Those issues that we are urged to discuss and find compromising solutions suitable to both of us – I have come to realize  we are so polarized on those key issues that there is no compromise.  Compromise is overrated anyway.  It reminds me of my ex-wife.  The compromise she advocated was this: “what’s yours is mine, what’s mine is mine and what’s ours is mine.”  Do you see the problem there?

Actually, I should probably not be this insincere about the weighty problems facing our nation, but have I told you how weary I am?  The American Academy of Psychologists has defined a new disorder in our country which they have named TBCS – trump bull crap syndrome.  It affects 10 out of every 10 Democrats and it is contagious.  Hey, go easy on me, I did not name this affliction and I did not vote for trump.

I see two solutions to my dilemma. 1) Seek solace and refuge with my make-believe monk friends on the island of Galagos in the Mediterranean, or 2) buy a few white sheets and work counter-intelligence with the local KKK.  Okay, option 2 is not a valid solution because there is no intelligence to counter in the KKK.   However, come to think of it, there is a 3rd solution.

Pray hard, trust that God, in her mysterious ways, will emasculate the bullies who have usurped our government and then lead our nation to a sensible election in 2020.  Maybe a female President?  Or maybe a gay president?

We want Pete, we want Pete, we want Pete.

PETE BUTTUGUEGc6fe7102aaf9242136b451907b02957d[1]

Last Chance

just drive, will you?

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CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

Did anybody miss that? Let me say it again.

CLIMATE CHANGE, IF WE CONTINUE TO IGNORE IT, WILL LEAD TO OUR EXTINCTION.

There is no greater threat to humanity. Not ISIS. Not illegal immigrants.Not even delusional, despotic Presidents.

None of them are a match for Mother Nature.

If you’re still a Denier, well, pardon me but, pull your head out. This is real, it is urgent, and denying it won’t keep it away.

It’s not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue, or even an American issue. It is a human issue, and it demands all our attention.

If we fail to give it, we’re done for. Period.

Are you all with me? Good, listen up:

Last week, a resolution was introduced to Congress declaring a Climate Change Emergency. The resolution, H.Con.Res.52, sponsored by Senator Bernie Sanders…

View original post 511 more words

e pluribus unum

OUT OF MANY, ONE

Ultimately, America’s answer to the intolerant man is diversity, the very diversity which our heritage of religious freedom has inspired. ROBERT KENNEDY

If, during our time of national crisis, we cannot answer intolerance with understanding, if we cannot answer racism with deeper efforts to end division, if we cannot answer hatred with love, then we are probably no further enlightened than the intolerant one, the racist, the hate-monger.  

me – a mosquito?

“If you think you are too small
to make a difference…..
just sleep with a mosquito in the room.”
TENZIN GYATZO
14TH DALAI LAMA

DALAI LAMA

Photos by EGOR KAMELEV and icon0.com

Never underestimate your impact.
A butterfly’s flutter is felt on the other side of the world,
a ripple in the brook moves the ocean,
a grain of sand combined with billions of other grains
creates one of nature’s most beautiful masterpieces.

old codger

 

YOU ARE NEVER TOO SMALL TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE.

 

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

“Silence in the face of evil is itself evil….
not to speak is to speak,
not to act is to act.”
DIETRICH BONHOEFFER 1906 – 1945

dietrich bonhoeffer

“There remains an experience of incomparable value. We have for once learned to see the great events of world history from below, from the perspective of the outcasts, the suspects, the maltreated — in short, from the perspective of those who suffer. Mere waiting and looking on is not Christian behavior. Christians are called to compassion and to action.” (Letters from Prison, p.16)

“In following Jesus, people are released from the hard yoke of their own laws to be under the gentle yoke of Jesus Christ. … Jesus’ commandment never wishes to destroy life, but rather to preserve, strengthen, and heal life.”

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER

Having read the short biography of this German pastor and social activist who was imprisoned by Hitler’s Nazi regime and executed by hanging in 1945 just a month before the collapse of the 3rd Reich, I can only ask myself, “What would I do?”  And then without hesitation I ask, “What would Jesus do?”  I pray that my actions would mirror those of Bonhoeffer and Jesus when confronted by the challenges of pursuing social justice.  What would you do?

Darkness in today’s political climate is real.  Evil exists in the policies of a regime intent on instituting white, Christian control of this country and evil abounds in the minds of those who support those policies.  That evil is fed by fear and by greed.  It is no longer an issue which we can hope reason and compassion will remedy.  Non-violent confrontation, not only in action but also in spirit and intention, mirrors the lives of Bonhoeffer, Gandhi, Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr. and certainly the example presented by Jesus of Nazareth.  For contemporary church leaders to disavow these teachings while sanctioning racism and xenophobia is heretical doctrine akin to the regime Bonhoeffer confronted before his murder.

Lord, open our eyes to the evil within our own hearts and then guide us to non-violent confrontation of the evil existing in our nation.

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paying final respects

From her solitary island abode
we believe she spoke assuredly of the people passing before her,

“They will never abandon me,
because I am offering them freedom.
They will never reject me
because I am showing them kindness.

They will never revile me
because I open my arms to all of them –
the Jews, the Catholics, the Germans,
the Irish, the Italians, then the Muslims,
blacks, browns, Asians and Hindu –
none are excluded.

They will never persecute me
because I extend  mercy to all.
They will never despise me
because in their time of need I welcome them equally.

They will never forget me because they stand before me
as the abandoned, rejected, reviled, persecuted, despised
refugee and immigrant refuse from other shores.”

Sadly many years have passed, America’s people have forgotten
from whence they arrived.
Generations have prospered and they, today’s empowered ones,
today’s angry and disillusioned,
today’s wealthy and privileged
look upon our Lady with scorn and derision.
They dishonor the words which have accompanied forever
her island’s welcoming message.

Thus they reject Lady Liberty standing forlorn on her island in the harbor:

“We disown you because you are not today’s American spirit.
Our nation is full, we have no more room.
Your comforting words to immigrants and refugees
are not meant for those on our borders today,
your justice is no longer revered,
your welcome is no longer our voice.
Your words are dead,
cold,
a vestige of an America which has passed.
We no longer need nor want you as our beacon.”

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She sinks into the harbor – just a memory to those of us who have loved and cherished her beacon of hope, her burning torch, welcoming all people regardless of race, creed or nationality.  But, she is not flesh or blood like us, she is spirit and she will resurrect when America’s people once again deserve her charity and blessing.

Until then, may a gracious God find reason to redeem a thankless people.

 

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

“Keep ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

EMMA LAZARUS

speak to me of love

cropped-candle.pnglove is patient

love is kind

38love does not envy

does not boast

is not proud

love is not rude

love is not self-seeking

love is even tempered

love does not hold grudgesclose-up-looking-up-red-rose-2380141

love rejoices with the truth

it always protects

trusts

hopes

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perseveres

love never fails

 

 

chapter 13 FIRST CORINTHIANS verses 4-8

 

LOVE