National Historic Landmark

So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality.  Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.  

pride8

….as near as the destination may be, it’s still the journey that matters….

Edmund Winston Pettus was a Confederate brigadier general, a U.S. senator and a grand dragon of the KKK.  In 1940, Selma, Alabama, needed a bridge across the Alabama River.  A steel arch bridge was constructed and named the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

On March 7, 1965, civil rights movement demonstrators attempted crossing the bridge to march to the state capital of Montgomery.  They were met by mounted police who attacked with billy clubs and tear gas.  The day became known as Bloody Sunday.  On February 27, 2013, the Edmund Pettus Bridge, named after a KKK racist, became a symbol of the African-American plight in America and was declared a National Historic Landmark.

John Lewis met Rosa Parks when he was 17 years old, met Martin Luther King, Jr a year later.  He was born in 1940 in Troy Alabama to sharecroppers and by the age of six had seen only two white people.  In1961, John Lewis became one of the thirteen original freedom riders who were determined to ride from Washington, D.C., to New Orleans in an integrated bus.

On March 7, 1965, Lewis and fellow activist Hosea Williams led 600 marchers across the Edmund Pettus bridge.  When confronted by police, the marchers stopped to pray and the police attacked.

Presidential Medal of Freedom – February, 2011

from his acceptance remarks at ceremony of President Barack Obama presenting the civil rights warrior with the Presidential Medal of Freedom –

“never get lost in a sea of despair…have this abiding faith that there are things that are so right, so good, so necessary that you are willing to die for…”

Congressman John Lewis
February 21, 1940 – July 17, 2020

freedom or license

So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality.  Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.  

pride8

….as near as the destination may be, it’s still the journey that matters….

“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”  MARK TWAIN

GOD, GUNS, COUNTRY – I am moved to waves of nausea when I see this political sign in my neighbor’s front yard.  It does not matter which political affiliation is being endorsed.  How on earth can anyone associate God with guns with country?  Truly, if there is a rational answer, I do not see it.

I overheard while entering the grocery store, one of three first responders shopping for lunch say, “I’m not wearing any damned mask.”  Okay, you could say he was exercising his freedom, his 1st Amendment rights.  But is that a right if it infringes on the rights of the other shoppers who want to walk through the aisles safely with a modicum of protection from covid-19?  That fireman’s declaration of his freedoms is more accurately defined as ‘license’, a motivation driven by ego and self-centeredness.  Not a good thing, not necessarily a bad thing, but let’s not confuse freedom and license.

Nationalism is part of our political conversation these days.  Again, good or bad?  I am proud of my country’s people, of the diversity which melds us into one great society advocating justice and equality for all.  I love my country when it humbly takes its place as one nation among a multitude of other nations recognizing its virtues along with its sins.  On the other hand, I shudder when I hear, “America, love it or leave it,”  “America first,” “my country, right or wrong.”  

……and I still get nauseated when I have to look at my neighbor’s political sign, “God, guns, country.”  I suppose there are some things that are not meant for me to understand.

FACE MASK

 

“our nation, our heritage, our culture”

Much has been said concerning the verbal exchanges between Tucker Carlson and Senator Tammy Duckworth.  Carlson’s rhetoric was inflammatory, the Senator’s response was appropriate, and we must believe that the Fox News host’s dialog was intentionally directed to a specific element of the American population.

In the remaining few minutes of his segment on Duckworth, he called her a “fraud” and “a callous hack.” Then he brought up Ilhan Omar, a favorite target, and said those who like the U.S. “have every right to fight to preserve our nation and our heritage and our culture” from “vandals like Tammy Duckworth and Ilhan Omar.”

NYMag.com/intellingencer

What is the heritage and culture of which he is speaking and why is he labeling Tammy Duckworth and Ilhan Omar as “vandals?”  Perhaps, to better understand we need to look at his audience.  Are they racially diverse and indicative of the demographic changes happening in America?  Are they part of America’s minorities who justifiably question the country’s commitment to freedom and equality for all?

Probably not.  The Tucker Carlson audience wants to maintain the privilege and exclusionary practices of an America which has seen nearly 250 years of systemic covert and more recently overt racism and oppression of the minority population.  And that is understandable – why should white America want to give up the privileges they have enjoyed for centuries?

But, that objective is not moral nor is it sustainable in a civil society.  According to the demographic gurus, Caucasian America will be the minority by mid-century.  Resistance to change and transformation is the sign of a decaying society.  Protecting America from “vandals” like Tammy Duckworth and Ilhan Omar and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is akin to 1930s Germany protecting its population from the Jewish threat.

The threat does not come from the presence of minorities, religious creeds, nationalities, and varying lifestyle choices.  It comes from those who fear change and transformation, those who are willing to demean and demonize others who do not fit into a narrow paradigm based on privilege and exclusion.

god bless america

 

good news…..I guess

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So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality.  Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.  

pride8

SCOTUS decision

By a vote of 7-2, our SCOTUS denied the bid of our POTUS to reign supreme over the justice system.  Check out the link above from YES MAGAZINE for the details.  No, we are not yet out of the woods threatening our democracy, but there is a glimmer of hope shining through the circus which has become our government.

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DAKOTA PIPELINE

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So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality.  Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.  

pride8

Check out the link below to the story in YES MAGAZINE.  Wise men and women know that Mother Nature will prevail over man’s greed in the end, but kudos to those earthly inhabitants who are helping her now.

Dakota victory

In U.S. District Court Judge James Boasberg’s order, he wrote, “The Court does not reach its decision with blithe disregard for the lives it will affect. Yet, given the seriousness of the Corps’ NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) error, the impossibility of a simple fix, the fact that Dakota Access did assume much of its economic risk knowingly, and the potential harm each day the pipeline operates, the Court is forced to conclude that the flow of oil must cease.”

 

 

served your country – so what?

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So many of us have lived our lives placing unmerited value on the opinions of others while discrediting our personal truth and reality.  Breaking the shackles of people-pleasing requires honest self-appraisal, a healthy dose of self-esteem, and an enormous commitment to self-realization.  

pride8

It was 1968.  Lyndon Johnson had won easily in the 1964 Presidential election after finishing the term of President Kennedy who was assassinated in November of 1963.  But the political scene took a few nasty turns and in March of 1968 Johnson decided to drop out of the race.

Many Americans were disgusted with the Vietnam War, the blacks were disenchanted with the Civil Rights Act, the corruption of DC politicians became fodder for the frenzied press.  Brave, young warriors, disproportionately African-American, were coming home in flag draped coffins to an angry and unsettled America.  Those who survived the horrors of Vietnam often came home to chants of “baby killers” and were spat upon at the airports.

For many years thereafter, veterans responsibly assured future military warriors and heroes that this display of cowardice and disrespect toward service men and women would never, ever happen again in the United States of America.  If nothing else, the dignity of military service would be honored and respected regardless of political alignment or social status.  It had nothing to do with flags, parades, or memorial services.  It was simply a matter of revering the sacrifices of all who served their country whether in war times or peace.

During the 2016 campaign for President, the Republican Party hosted a wide array of worthy and qualified contenders for the party’s nomination.  One of them was Senator John McCain, a Vietnam War hero who was captured and subsequently spent five years in a POW camp suffering torture at the hands of his captors resulting in permanent physical disability.  Yet his documented valor in the line of duty was discredited by a man who had spent his war years in NYC “fighting off STDs” in a period of time which he termed as “my personal Vietnam.”  Trump referred to Senator McCain as a “loser for getting himself captured, not really a war hero.”  The 4 time draft-dodger went on to win the Republican nomination.

Enter Tucker Carlson of Fox News, a champion of the current POTUS and outspoken critic of anything or anyone not clad in the American flag and the traditional red MAGA cap.  Like his WH master and trainer, Carlson has not one day of military experience nor public service.  Yet, the self-proclaimed guru of patriotism has leveled a stream of negative invective against Senator Tammy Duckworth who had both her legs blown off while serving her country in combat in Iraq.

On Tuesday, Carlson called Duckworth, who is being vetted as Joe Biden’s possible running mate, a “moron,” a “coward,” and a “fraud.” He also called on those who love America to defend “our nation and our heritage and our culture” against Duckworth, Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar, and those like them.

During an online fundraiser Tuesday, Biden said the attacks on Duckworth were “disgusting, sickening,” and a “reflection of the depravity of what’s going on in the White House right now.”

The depravity of which Joe Biden speaks is rampant not only in the White House.  It is a contagion infecting the soul of America, it is as deadly as covid-19 and it is spearheaded by men like Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump.  Having never stood shoulder to shoulder with others in military uniform, having never spent a day in service to this old codgercountry, having never fought in combat and severely injured, having never seen the inside of a POW camp, how dare you, Tucker Carlson and Donald Trump question the patriotism of those who served with honor and valor? ‘Loser, moron, coward, fraud’ – the words are applicable, but being applied to the wrong set of characters in this sad episode of American history.

TAMMY DUCKWORTH

 

leadership

Many in America are in a state of denial.  They refuse to believe that the most powerful country on earth has been brought to its knees by a virus, something unseen that can lurk within, undetected until it lashes out with deadly consequences upon its unfortunate victims.

For some of them, a popular conspiracy theory is more acceptable – the Chinese have done it for economic control, the medical community is inflating numbers to make covid-19 appear more dire than it actually is thus receiving more federal aid, and the Democrats have conspired to use the bug for political advantage in November.  Damn those Dems anyhow.  I had no idea we were that powerful.😁

What cannot be denied is that a divided nation has become even more divided pitting those who mask against those who don’t mask, those who practice social distancing against those who freely interact, and those who prefer to be safe until a vaccine is developed against those who call the lockdown a politically motivated drama.

Political leadership is the key element in this division.  We do not enjoy the leadership of a uniting force in government.  From the Tao Te Ching we learn the following wisdom:

The best of leaders,
his people hardly know that he exists.
Next is the leader his people love and praise.
Next comes the one they fear.
Next comes the one they shame.

Nonchalant and reticent.
When work is done,
His people say, ‘We did it all but naturally!’

–  Lao Tzu

 

compromise

What are we willing to compromise for government protection or assistance?  Perhaps another regulation or federal snoop is not too great a price to pay for those promised benefits – or is it?  When should we stop giving away another little piece of our liberty?

No, I don’t have the answers, but the words of ancient wisdom would advise this:

"When taxes are too high,
people go hungry.
When government is too intrusive,
people lose their spirit.

Act for the people's benefit;
trust them, leave them alone."

verse 75, the TAO

When fewer demands are placed upon me, I demand less of myself.  I embrace a freedom (john 8:31-32) to commune with nature, watch my garden grow, read verses, write or

JUST DO NOTHING 😄

Mayor Pete – Bill Maher

copyright unshackled 3I refuse to carry QUEST into political tit for tat, but I sure as hell will endorse a candidate who is intelligent, of sound mind, a patriot ( did not claim bone spurs), a veteran, a man of vision, under the age of 70, well-spoken, educated, honest and witty.

When asked by Bill Maher if he had considered the possibility that Trump will claim a rigged election and refuse to leave the White House, what would he do?

Mayor Pete responded smilingly, “Well, it will be kind of awkward when Chasten and I move in.”

 

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