Friday, December 8, 2017

A Big Bad Wolf Story

I believe the women who have told us who Roy Moore really is, because I am a survivor too.

A Big Bad Wolf has wrapped himself in the flag and the ten commandments. Do not be confused. He is still a Wolf. 

Roy Moore is a predator. Maybe he is a religious, patriotic predator -- he is a predator regardless. Other predators are quitting Congress under duress in both parties because neither party wants to  defend a sexual predator -- until now.  Republicans are not only defending him -- they are funding him. But why expect anything else? They defended and funded our current predator-in-chief.

Why is the party that investigated complaints against Bill Clinton ignoring complaints against Roy Moore? For women who are survivors of sexual assault, politics does not trump behavior. There is no political party "good" enough to whitewash men who prey upon the powerless - whether very young girls or employees or co-workers.

Let's elect men and women of good character to Congress -- regardless of party. 

Today a 'pile-on' accuser of Roy Moore admitted that she added to what he wrote in her high school year book. A famous technique for fighting fire is to start a fire yourself - a "backfire" that will become a wall against the original fire. This has been applied recently by a woman hired to tell Washington Post her (fake) story about Roy Moore. Was the woman who admitted to lying about what Roy Moore wrote in her HS yearbook another 'backfire" attack? I don't know. The original accusers stand on their own merits. Hiring liars they can later "expose" makes Roy's defenders even worse. By their actions they are assaulting the reputations of women who Roy already assaulted in person.

The "everyone does it" defense and the "everyone is lying" defense are both actions of desperate guilty people and we all know it.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Beauty is as Beauty does

"Beauty is as Beauty does" is an ideal attributed to Chaucer ('The Wife of Bath's Tale'), written 1387). Six hundred and thirty years later, it is still true -- that beauty comes not from external looks but from the beauty of actions that are good and right.

By these standards, the statues of Robert E Lee and other oppressors of freedom and equality are so ugly that removing them is not just a public service but a public imperative. 

How can Trump, who disdained John McCain for losing a battle, admire the statues of generals who lost a whole war? Our president needs to explain why he thinks statues honoring men who fought against America are beautiful to our current soldiers as they risk their lives to defend America!  What makes our Commander-in-chief believe that these tributes to men who caused the deaths of 620,000 American soldiers are beautiful? 

Is our leader is so lacking in empathy that he cannot see how vile were these defenders of slavery? It is not hard to figure out -- Lee is a hero only to those who also want to enslave blacks and other people of color. Confederate statues are shrines to oppression that glorify the idea of a superior race.

These monuments are slap in the face of every person of color and of every person who has fought, bled or died to defend our Constitution, and our mutual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They are not history, they are how some people want to remember history. How many of them enshrine the moment that Lee surrendered to General Grant at Appomattox Courthouse? Now that is history -- and let's remember it!

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...