Sunday, July 2, 2017

Celebrate the 4th of July -- BE a Patriot

Are your Ancestors signers of the Declaration of Independence? See this great video!

In light of the words in our most famous document -- what does it mean to be a patriot today in America?

Happy Fourth of July to my friends and relatives. Give thanks for Freedom.

Friday, May 5, 2017



"The law would limit federal spending on Medicaid — the program that provides health insurance to the poor — to an index of inflation in medical prices. Since the program's costs are increasing more rapidly than that index, over time, the government would spend hundreds of billions less on Medicaid than it would under the current system."
"The provision will affect millions of Americans on Medicaid — many of them children, the disabled or patients in nursing facilities"...
From Washington Post, "A huge section of the GOP bill undoing Obamacare isn’t actually about Obamacare" by Max Ehrinfreund, May 5, 2017.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

What is Politics? What is Religion?

 Michael Gerson quoted Vaclav Havel yesterday in the Washington Post:
 What is Politics?
“Genuine politics,” argues Havel, “is simply a matter of serving those around us; serving the community, and serving those who will come after us.” And this responsibility grows out of a moral and spiritual reality.
 What is Religion?
“Genuine conscience and genuine responsibility are always, in the end, explicable only as an expression of the silent assumption that we are observed ‘from above,’ that everything is visible, nothing is forgotten.”
Gerson contrasts the view of Vaclav Havel, cited above, with the speech Trump made in Philadelphia on his first 100 days as President. What excerpt from that speech did you watch?

Was it the part with "The Snake" - poetry about how doing kind deeds will kill you? Or did you tune into the half of his speech devoted to decrying immigrants and refugees as "criminals, infiltrators and terrorists"?

Whatever part of President Trump's speech you may have heard, how does it compare with what is inscribed upon our most famous monument - the Statue of Liberty?
"... 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...

"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free..."
And what about all those crimes Trump says they commit?
" "All immigrants are less likely to be incarcerated than natives" quote from The Hill, with "the largest circulation of any Capitol Hill publication" (from Wikipedia).

 Look up the statistics for yourself - many other respected publications have analyzed the crime statistics among immigrants, both of documented and of undocumented status. 

Consider this: unless you are descended from native Indians, your ancestors were immigrants here too. 

Saturday, April 15, 2017

What Makes a Person a Christian?

 Today a friend wrote to me about faith and religion. He objected to the hypocrisy he perceives on the so called Christian political right.  Here is an excerpt from my response to him:
You mentioned faith. Here are some of my beliefs:

As for God and church and faith - even Jesus had a disciple who betrayed him.

We can expect normal human failings and even betrayal within Christian fellowship.

Hypocrites can be found both in and outside of churches, so if one would avoid churches 'because of hypocrites' one should avoid all of society.

One of my definitions of life is that it is a constant struggle to live with integrity and in accordance with our convictions. It is easy to be blind to our own faults while deploring the faults of others.
A Christian (or anyone else for that matter) is not their words but their actions.

Many people think being Christian is about what we "do not do" - a list of sins we reject.

I think being Christian is about what we "do": we forgive, we love, we do acts of material kindness to the poor, the sick, the prisoners, etc. We do acts of spiritual love such as prayer, encouragement and peace.

The only thing that Jesus acted against in his whole life was those who monetized religion, when he drove the money-changers out of the temple.

When did he give people a list of things they should not do? He said anyone who harmed a child would be better off dead.

When did he give lists of what people should do? He said to heal, to forgive, to share worldly goods, to tell people the good news of the forgiveness of sins and the resurrection...

Monday, April 3, 2017

Elizabeth Tilley - Mayflower Passenger

Elizabeth Tilley, a Mayflower Passenger at age thirteen in 1620, is Goldibear's 10xgreat-grandmother.

Click to see Leo's Mayflower Tree to ancestor Elizabeth Tilley.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


Four of Goldibear's ancestors were on the Mayflower. They were not spectators during a great event in history.

We both have ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War of 1776, and others who fought in the Civil War. My grandfather fought in World War I and my father fought in World War II.

All were among the 'movers and shakers', none sat out the crisis as spectators. Even those who could not bear arms fought - my ancestor who was too old to join the 'Colonial Rebels' gave provisions to the army of 1776 - on credit.

In the current crisis in our country, how can we all be participants? Do only a small number of people in Washington, DC call the shots? Do only people as wealthy as Midas have a voice in government?

It doesn't feel like enough to email our Representative or even to march with protestors. I don't want to march. I want a functioning government, not a for-profit business, in DC.

I am not a customer - I am a citizen! And these days I am a citizen grieving for my country.