Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Birthday, John Adams

Hi to anyone who actually reads my blog. Yes, I'm still around, but trying to keep up with everything gets hectic sometimes. Unfortunately, blogging is not a TOP priority.

But since it is that day, and I have 5 minutes to breathe this evening, I have to post a Happy Birthday to our second President. Happy Birthday, Mr. President and many good wishes!

I have to confess I have not yet finished that biography by David McCullough (I keep promising myself I will get through it all one day). I haven't even seen the Miniseries based on it - but I hope to see it on DVD one day. Of course I watched The Adams Chronicles years ago; it would be nice to see that miniseries again.

I hope we all will take a few minutes to honor Adams' heritage of dedication and service to our country; his commitment to freedom. We must continue to work, pray, hold officials accountable, and strive to advance further toward those ideals.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Dissent, Protest, and Any Support?

Hello - if anyone is reading this.

I haven't given up blogging, although my life gets busy and crazy and I don't post as often as I would like.

I finally felt I had to post about recent events in Iran. My heart just breaks for those people. To see and hear of folks beaten or killed, harassed, having their property trashed, having communications cut off is so upsetting. How can some humans mistreat other humans so miserably - especially peaceful protesters? What kind of animals would do things like that to others? And what kind of government oppresses its own people so?

Not that this country is or has been perfect. Anti-war protesters in the 60's were often beaten and those of us of a certain age cannot forget Kent State (and how protesters were beaten in Chicago at Democratic Convention, 1968). More recently, when preparations were being made for the last Democratic National Convention, a news report showed jail cells being built for protesters. Why was protesters needing jail cells the first thought about them that came to mind? Further, some of my previous posts talk about how protesters were treated at both of the last two major party conventions. And locally, 2 graduation speakers at a nearby town had speeches critical of the way the school was run. The administration didn't want them to give their speeches at all. Eventually they gave shortened speeches. The administration then barred the two from going to the post-graduation party. I'm left wondering why there's such a problem with peaceful dissent and protest.

Is "power" such a strong aphrodisiac that those with it will do anything to maintain it? Why do some (too many, really) of the "powerful" resort to physical force and intimidation , caring nothing for human rights at all?

And I'm also feeling somewhat discouraged. It seems that there really isn't much the International Community is doing to help those struggling for human rights. Amnesty International does some good work, Human Rights Watch, too. But they only seem to be able to do so much. Burma/Myanmar has been a terrible situation for many years. Tibet and Darfur, too. Now Iran. Those who follow the situations wonder what can be done; wonder why more has not been done to support people struggling for basic rights.

Friday, February 27, 2009

This Time There's Some Noise

I'm referring to the outrage over the "Chimp" cartoon by Sean Delonas that appeared in the NY Post recently.

I found it highly racially insensitive and offensive. I also didn't like the violence (which we definitely don't need more of) shown by officers killing a chimp - who must be presumed to be the author of the stimulus bill (I wonder who that could be?). I don't know what they were thinking - how could they - the cartoonist, the editors - NOT know this was feeding into racial stereotypes? And how could he find that chimp attack which landed a woman in very critical condition food for "satire" in the first place?

An opinion writer for USA Today suggests we keep up the heat on the NY Post. There have been protests, people are boycotting (I never buy it anyway), and John Legend, the musician, wrote an excellent open letter to this paper. Doing my part, I just e-mailed the Editor of the page where these cartoons appear. He is Robert Johnson, e-mail:

We must demand better public discourse than this.

The Economy - there IS work to be done

I'm still around - so busy it's hard to find time to blog although there's no shortage of topics.

The economy seems to be topic #1. We had a local job fair recently - attendance was far beyond what the organizers had expected (around 2,000 people). The local paper had a mini-interview with one attendee, a former student of mine (who I believe has his Associate's Degree now). He was applicant #1,872 for a dish washing job at a local restaurant! Imagine - that many applications for a dish washing job! The host venue also received around 1, 800 applications for the jobs they had available.

Not that there is any shortage of work to be done in this country. There are so many societal needs and problems that we should find ways to get people to work on those. Of course we need teachers, police officers, firefighters, and librarians. We need to keep those we have and hire more! We need workers to upgrade our infrastructure - the stimulus plan seems to address that area - generally through money the states will get. But that's not all

We need more social workers to handle the terrific number of cases our social service agencies have. We need more of them to guide people through the system to resources and get them empowered toward self-sufficiency. We need more transportation for the disabled. This would mean jobs as drivers, aides and dispatchers. We need more people to care for the elderly who need such care. If we can have these folks cared for in their own homes, they would be better psychologically, families would be better served, and society would be helped budget-wise compared to nursing home care. One focus of the Middle Class Task Force is "green jobs". How about jobs cleaning up the environment? Too many of our rivers are still polluted, and too often our air isn't of the quality it should be. And of course there are more skilled, hazardous jobs that need to be done - cleaning up sites that have toxic waste. And how about jobs preserving our historic buildings (if that doesn't count as infrastructure)?

So it's not as if there isn't stuff to be done, work that could truly make a difference. Now, can we just figure out how to get people to do them?

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

Thank God that the Bush Administration is over at last!

Although there are so many challenges ahead, it is a day for hope.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


Please pray for the people of Gaza. Please pray for some relief for the civilians and a speedy and permanent cease-fire.