10,000+ Children and Counting

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Over 10,000 migrant children, some of them seeking asylum on their own, and others taken from families seeking asylum, are now being held in various places in the U.S.  This is an increase in numbers, and they are being held in a variety of places.  Some are being held in tents in the desert of Texas, other are being crowded into other shelters which were never designed to hold the amount of people they are now being forced to hold.

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Some of these facilities are being paid upwards of $750.00 per day, and someone is making a lot of money from this.  Not only that, but the money trail leads directly to the Trump administration, including one company paying half a million dollars toward Trump’s inauguration.  Other companies making millions on these practices include Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education), and Jim Mattis (Secretary of Defense) as part of their investors.  Vice President Pence also has ties through his brother to other of these providers.

I’ve left some links for you to follow if you want to find out more.  The reporting is not only from highly respected new outlets, but I’ve also included a Snopes link. Let me know your thoughts on this matter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/migrant-shelters-border-crossing.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/migrant-children-detention.html

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/14/politics/immigrant-children-kept-detention/index.html

 

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/are-10000-children-in-u-s-detention-centers/

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Quotes for Columbus Day

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I thought that I’d try something a little different for today.  Here are some Native American quotes I’d like to share with you all.

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Don’t Be Silent

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It’s important to speak out when there are injustices being committed.  Right now, in the U.S. there are forces gathered against many of our rights as citizens.  Not only are we treating asylum seekers as criminals, but we are allowing the murder of unarmed civilians be overly aggressive police.  Racism and bigotry are running rampant, and an entire gender is being told to “sit down and shut up”.

Who are the perpetrators of this?   For the most part it is angry white men.  Whether they identify as “incel”, white supremacist, or simply Republican, the message is always the same.  Whatever it is that they want, it’s so much more important than what you want/need.  The rest of us, and yes, there are more of us than them, are being divided by race, gender and sexual orientation.  It’s time to join hands and stand together.

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If you believe in “liberty and justice for all”, do whatever you can with what you have.  Sign petitions; write your congressperson; register to vote (if you haven’t done so); join a protest/march; give a donation to an organization that follows your own morals.  Do what you can.  But most importantly, do not be silent!

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Horseback Librarians

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I love librarians.  I wish they ruled the world.  So, I heard this great story on NPR the other night that was all about librarians on horseback.  I was simply gob smacked.  I’d never heard of such a thing, but wow, was it cool.

So, the history is that in 1935, the WPA (Works Progress Administration) as part of the New Deal, hired women librarians to be part of the Pack Horse Project to deliver books long distances by either horse or mule in the Appalachians and other rural distracts for both education and support.  Because of the Great Depression many schools had been closed, and the illiteracy rate kept going up.  This of course was not a good thing for the country, and the belief was that if books and magazines could be delivered directly to the families, this would encourage parents to teach their children to read.

Many of the books had been donated by richer citizens.  Also, the librarians fixed up old books, and put together “scrapbooks” with articles and stories they believed that their readers would be interested in.  Each pack could carry about 100 books, and the librarians carried these books to homes and schools about once a month.  These books were then sent on to other locations.  The librarians tracked which books and scrapbooks had gone where so that people wouldn’t get the same books over and over again.  They also offered reading lessons to citizens.

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This was not a walk in the park for the librarians.  They needed to be able to provide their own horse/mule.  Many of these were rented.  The “roads” they traveled were difficult, and the hours were long.  However, they were often the only ones with a job and provided for their families.  The Pack Horse Project employed about 200 librarians, and they in turn they established 30 libraries, and serviced about 100,000 people.

In 1943 the funding for this project stopped, but the vision remains.  To this day there are bookmobiles in many areas of the country that provide books to both inner-city neighborhoods and rural areas.  As I said, librarians are awesome!

 

2018 Summer Heat Wave

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This summer has been unbearable in New England.  The humidity levels have been outrageous, we have had day after day of unexpected torrential downpours that are reminiscent of downpours in Florida.  Since there are many people who don’t have air conditioning (my family included) life has been something to be endured.

So, since I don’t have t.v., and my newspaper is often not delivered, I decided to see just what in the heck is going on.  Unfortunately, the news is dire.  Get ready for more and more of this.  There have been record heat recorded all over the world.  Heat waves that are over and above anything seen before.  Not only that, but we’ve had drought and wildfires all over also, not just in the U.S., but also Sweden (!).

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I suggest that we start doing something about this.  Extreme weather will be on its way also…hurricanes, etc. etc.  Are you hurricane ready?  I know I’m not.  How have you been coping with the heat?  I’ve been standing in an ice-cold shower before bed every night.  During the day I’ve been reading while sitting in front of a fan.  Work-outs happen in the early morning, and it’s been over a week since I took a walk outside.  I’m dreaming of snow storms and the cold weather.  It can’t come fast enough for me!

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/07/23/world/global-heatwaves-climate-change-wxc/index.html

https://insideclimatenews.org/news/27072018/summer-2018-heat-wave-wildfires-climate-change-evidence-crops-flooding-deaths-records-broken

 

Why Are People from Honduras Seeking Asylum?

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As we all know, there are a lot of people from Central and South America seeking asylum at our southern border.  However, I haven’t really seen much information regarding the reasons why they’re seeking asylum.  We’ve all heard about the gangs, etc. but not the reasons why these countries are falling apart.  Since I’m an information seeker, I decided to look into one of these countries and let you know why there are so many problems there.  My first pick was Honduras since this was the country that caught my eye.

In my reading I found out that in the early 1900’s U.S. banana companies set up shop in Honduras, bribed government officials, gained control of over 1 million acres of land and sent the resulting money and crops to the U.S.  This buy-up of land converted Honduras into a one-crop economy, setting the entire nation up for massive poverty.  At the same time, U.S. military was used to prevent any uprising against the corporations by the citizens of Honduras, while the banana companies gained monetary control of the country.  By the time Regan was president, Honduras was often referred to as “U.S.S. Honduras”.    Honduras was also used as a place to train the Contras of Nicaragua, which in turn increased the U.S. military presence in Honduras.  This militarized Honduran society and brought about a crack down of any and all resistance to the government, thus squashing democracy.  The U.S. was also instrumental in disrupting the coffee trade under the policy of “globalization”, which led to the destabilization of this industry.

All this has led to an increase in military, a loss of human rights, and many human rights violations.  When the citizens elected Manuel Zelaya, a progressive president in 2006, his promise of reforms upset the ruling oligarchy, who then staged a military coup to overthrow the elected government.  Poverty is a huge problem, with drug lords and a corrupt government, police and military working together.  The U.S. is also at fault for militarily supporting this coup against the wishes of the 35-member Organization of American States.

So, this is a quick over-view of the problems in Honduras.  From what I have seen, the other countries from which asylum-seekers are coming have a history with the U.S. that is much the same.  Clearly, the fault is not with the people who have walked thousands of miles seeking asylum.  I’ve left some links below for your education.  Once again, nothing happens in a vacuum, and we need to look at the history of a problem before we start assigning blame.

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https://theconversation.com/how-us-policy-in-honduras-set-the-stage-for-todays-mass-migration-65935

https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/opinion/in-honduras-a-mess-helped-by-the-us.html

 

Who Are We – Do We Know?

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I can’t let silence speak for me.  I don’t want to stay quiet on what is happening to children in this country.  I do understand that the U.S. has a long history of genocide, slavery, stealing children from indigenous peoples, stealing children from slaves, separating Japanese families.    This is who we have been, but I had thought that we’d finally grown up and learned from our mistakes.

I have been proven wrong once again.  We are continuing to our past in our present, and most likely into our future.  This is appalling, and against all human rights.  The U.N. council was correct in condemning this outrageous behavior.  Not only are we taking the children, but we are refusing to tell the parents where the children are.  (And, in many cases the government has simply lost children).  We are at a point in our history where there are two paths we can go down.  One leads to less rights and justice for everyone, and the other leads to empathy and compassion.  Please don’t tell me you are a Christian while also telling me that taking children away from their families is an okay thing to do.  The two do not go together.  “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”  James 2:8. Many of the people coming to our borders are seeking asylum, they are not illegal.  Yet, we are treating them as such.  By the way, illegal entry is a misdemeanor, not a felony, so it is comparable to getting a speeding ticket.  Did you lose your children when you got a speeding ticket?  No, of course not.

If you are upset and outraged by this policy, please let your congressmen/women know.  Make your voice heard.  Don’t be silent, lest your silence be assumed to be agreement.

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