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Today’s Quote

Today’s press conference in Helsinki was one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory. The damage inflicted by President Trump’s naiveté, egotism, false equivalence, and sympathy for autocrats is difficult to calculate. … President Trump proved not only unable, but unwilling to stand up to Putin. He and Putin seemed to be speaking from the same script as the president made a conscious choice to defend a tyrant against the fair questions of a free press, and to grant Putin an uncontested platform to spew propaganda and lies to the world. … No prior president has ever abased himself more abjectly before a tyrant. Not only did President Trump fail to speak the truth about an adversary; but speaking for America to the world, our president failed to defend all that makes us who we are — a republic of free people dedicated to the cause of liberty at home and abroad. American presidents must be the champions of that cause if it is to succeed. Americans are waiting and hoping for President Trump to embrace that sacred responsibility. One can only hope they are not waiting totally in vain.”

~John McCain, U.S. Senator

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Sobriety and Friday the 13th

I have always loved Friday the 13th, but it also holds an extra special place in my heart for a reason other than the obvious (horror movies, superstition, etc.).  Exactly six years ago today, and also on a Friday the 13th, I checked into detox, and thus began my journey into sobriety.  Although horribly drunk at the time, I can remember that day and evening so clearly, as though it was yesterday.  I cried a lot, I spent time on the floor during intake because I was dizzy and thought I would puke, I laughed at ridiculous things, and most of all, I was terrified.  Terrified of how I would figure out how to live without alcohol.  You see, even though I was beyond my bottom at that point and desperately wanted to get sober, I had spent so much of my adult life in an altered state, I didn’t know how I was going to handle even the simplest things.  But, through tons of hard work, self-searching, tears, and painful truths, not only did I sober up, I have managed to stay sober.  I am so grateful to my supportive family and to even be here today.  Many wonderful things have happened in my life over the past six years and I feel I have grown a lot as a person.  Quite a few difficult things have happened as well, and thanks to the tools I learned from the wonderful people of AA, I got through.  Life requires us to constantly evaluate and work on ourselves, and I am blessed to be granted a second life in order to continue on this journey.

Happy Friday the 13th everyone!

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Today’s Quote

“The Constitution… Its language is ‘we the people’.  Not we the white people, not even we the citizens, not we the privileged class, not we the high, not we the low, but we the people.  Not we the horses, sheep, and swine, and wheel-barrows, but we the people, we the human inhabitants…”

~Frederick Douglass, 1818 – 1895

Today’s Quote #MLK50th

In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., on the 50 year anniversary of his assassination, I am reposting a song by the Black Eyed Peas that I feel we all need right about now, especially with the leadership of the U.S. spewing so much hate, vile, ignorance, and intolerance towards multiple groups of people.

“The thing that we need in the world today is a group of men and women who will stand up for right and to be opposed to wrong, wherever it is.  A group of people who have come to see that some things are wrong, whether they’re never caught up with.  And some things are right, whether nobody sees you doing them or not.”  ~Martin Luther King, Jr., 15 January 1929 – 4 April 1968

Black Eyed Peas – One Tribe

Here are the lyrics should you rather not listen to the song:

Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh!
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-ooh!
Oh-whoa-oh!

One Tri…
One Tri…
One Tribe, one time, one planet, one race
It’s all one blood, don’t care about your face
The color of your eye or the tone of your skin
Don’t care where ya are, don’t care where ya been
‘Cause where we gonna go, is where we wanna be
The place where the native language is Unity
And the continent is called Pangaea
And the main ideas are connected like a sphere
No propaganda,
They tried to upper hand us
‘Cause man I’m loving this… peace
Man, man, I’m loving this… peace
Man, man, I’m loving this… peace
I don’t need no leader
That’s gonna force-feed a
Concept that make me think I need ta
Fear my brother and fear my sister
And shoot my neighbor with my big missile
If I had an enemy… (enemy)
If I had an enemy… (enemy)
If I had an enemy, then my enemy is gonna try to come and kill me
‘Cause I’m his enemy
There’s one tribe y’all

One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
We are one people
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil
Forget about all that evil
That evil that they feed ya
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil
That evil that they feed ya
Remember that we’re one people
We are one people

One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)

One tribe, one tribe
One tribe, one time, one planet, one (race)
Race, one love, one people, one (and)
Too many things that’s causing one (to)
To forget about the main cause
Connecting, uniting
But the evil is seen and alive in us
So our weapons are colliding
And our peace is sinking like Poseidon
But, we know that the one (one)
The evil one is threatened by the sum (sum)
So he’ll come and try and separate the sum
But he dumb, he didn’t know we had a way to overcome
Rejuvenated by the beating of the drum
Come together by the cycle of the hum
Freedom when all become one (one)
Forever

One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
We are one people
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil (evil)
Forget about all that evil (evil)
That evil that they feed ya
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil (evil)
That evil, that they feed ya (feed ya)
Remember that we’re one people
We are one people

One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)

One love, one blood, one people
One heart, one beat, we equal
Connected like the internet
United that’s how we do
Let’s break walls, so we see through
Let love and peace lead you
We could overcome the complication ’cause we need to
Help each other, make these changes
Brother, sister, rearrange this
The way I’m thinking that we can change this bad condition
Wait… use you mind and not your greed
Let’s connect and then proceed
This is something I believe
We are one, we’re all just people

One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
One tribe y’all
We are one people
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil
Forget about all that evil
That evil that they feed ya (huh)
Let’s cast amnesia
Let’s cast amnesia
Forget about all that evil
That evil, that they feed ya (huh, huh)
We’re one tribe y’all
We-we-we’re one tribe y’all

One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)
One… one… one people (One People)
One p… one p… one people (One People)
One p… one p… one people (One People)
One p… one p… one people (One People)

Let’s-let’s cast amnesia
Lord help me out
Trying to figure out what it’s all about (what it’s all about)
‘Cause we’re one and the same (one and the same)
Same joy, same pain
And I hope that you’re there when I need ya
Cause maybe we need amnesia
And I don’t wanna sound like a preacher
But we need to… be one

One world, one love, one passion
One tribe, one understanding
‘Cause you and me can become one

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Today’s Quote #CesarChavezDay

“History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”

~Cesar Chavez, 31 March 1927 – 23 April 1993, As quoted in Cesar Chavez: A Triumph of Spirit (1997) by Richard Griswold del Castillo and Richard A. Garcia, p. 116

March For Our Lives

“Our schools are unsafe.  Our children and teachers are dying.  We must make it our top priority to save these lives.
March For Our Lives is created by, inspired by, and led by students across the country who will no longer risk their lives waiting for someone else to take action to stop the epidemic of mass school shootings that has become all too familiar.  In the tragic wake of the seventeen lives brutally cut short in Florida, politicians are telling us that now is not the time to talk about guns.  March For Our Lives believes the time is now.”

~March For Our Lives, Saturday, March 24, 2018~

 

I wanted to take time today to mention the incredibly wonderful, brave students from Parkland, FL, who organized the enormous #MarchForOurLives march that took place earlier today.  It was so inspiring to see that not only was there a huge turnout (approx. 800,000+, some reports state it reached over 1 million) at the primary march in Washington, D.C., but that hundreds of thousands more joined all over the world in their own marches.

I realize that the discussion of guns and gun control is a very touchy subject for many, and before anyone starts thinking I’m some radical who wants to take everyone’s guns away, know that I am a gun owner, but I do believe in being rational about gun ownership.  The 2nd Amendment is not all encompassing – it does not grant the right to own anything and everything when it comes to firearms.  Also, there are so many holes in the process of purchasing guns in the U.S., it’s ridiculous.  Add to that the fact that the NRA funnels large amounts of money into the pockets of many of our lawmakers and even assist in the writing of our gun laws (and lack thereof), and we have a recipe for disaster – which we have been witnessing.  Plus, so many people seem to be so scared to even bring the subject up, or if it is brought up, they quickly attempt to change the subject.  This gets us no where.  If we keep kicking this can down the road saying it’s not the right time to discuss, then nothing happens, and the senseless killing continues.  As for a solution, there are many factors that must be considered and addressed, and the first step towards any type of resolution is open communication.  This is the only way we will begin to see progress.

I am deeply disturbed by the increasing frequency of school shootings in the U.S.  The only stress students should face when it comes to school is how well they will do on their test, not whether they will survive a potential shooting.  The recurring shootings that have happened in 2018 alone have created an unhealthy culture in our schools and amongst our kids – one in which they have to have active shooter drills and constantly live in fear of being shot.  And arming teachers is absolutely not the solution; I will not send my child to any school where they opt to arm teachers.  Not only does this open the door for potentially serious problems, it does not address the underlying problem – that there are people who are not getting the help they need, that are able to easily (and in most all cases, legally) purchase hand guns, assault rifles, etc., and that our country’s leaders are ignoring the problem, not coming up with solutions, and are not even consistently enforcing the laws we already have.

The time for pretending there is not a problem and refusing to talk about it is over.  Thanks to these great kids who are pushing the movement for gun reform, I hope we will all see the day when this senseless violence finally comes to an end.  These students are our future, and I truly believe we will finally start seeing progress and change thanks to them.

In case you missed the moving speech given at the march today by Emma Gonzalez, here’s a link to it:  “Fight for your lives before it’s someone else’s job.”  Please share her message.

 

“Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.”  ~Neil Postman, 1931 – 2003