Go and Vote

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Vote for what you believe.  Don’t stay home..get out and let your voice be heard!

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Repairing the World

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Last weekend I watched the wonderful documentary on Fred Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (which I suggest that you watch also, since Fred Rogers was an extraordinary man).  While I was watching it, some of the words mentioned in regard to the mess that’s the U.S. right now were “Tikkun Olam” which I’d never heard of before.  The words were referenced with regard to the question ‘what can we do to help ourselves and the world right now’?  The response was “repair the world”.  I’m leaving a link below that better explains the background and original meaning of these words, but also emphasizes that the meaning that is usually associated with these words has to do with repairing the world by means of social justice and human responsibility toward fixing what is wrong with the world.

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While changing the entire world is a huge task, and one that most of us are unable to achieve, after watching Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I was struck by how much each one of us can change the world.  How, you might ask?  By changing the world we live in.  Of course, we can sign petitions, march in protest, vote and give money to causes that resonate with us.  We should do all that.  But there are also direct actions that we can take.  We can declutter and make our homes as peaceful as we can.  We can also work at a soup kitchen.  These actions aren’t either/or, remember.  We can treat everyone we see with kindness.  And, for those of us who have limited money, it can be the most direct way of repairing the world.  I hope that I can manage to create a better world right where I am.  Hope you are inspired to do the same.

 https://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/tikkun-olam-repairing-the-world/

 

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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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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Religious Freedom Division in the Federal Health & Human Services Department

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What in the heck is “religious freedom”, and what does it mean to your health?  Here is a definition of “religious freedom” from the people who want the legal right to “practice” it.

“… is the right to use religious beliefs as a license to discriminate, and to provide special protections for Christians that fly in the face of the First Amendment.”  https://newrepublic.com/article/140645/trump-republicans-redefining-religious-freedom-favor-christians

So, now that we have the definition down, what is going to happen to you, if you need to go to a health provider?  Well, the following may happen to you if you are the following:  the child of a gay couple who needs health care; a LGBTQ+ person in need of health care; another religion, including but not limited to: Muslim, Hindu, or something other than Christian.  How will you be denied care?  Well, if your health care provider does not “believe” in contraception, he/she need not offer it to you as part of your health insurance, because their beliefs are more important than your care.  The same holds true if you need the “morning after pill” regardless if that is because of rape, incest, or another reason – no need for you to take it, since an unwanted pregnancy is a “silver lining”, or even an “unexpected gift from God”.   Because this is the “belief” of the health provider, you don’t get a choice.  Another problem with this new law is that if a woman needs an abortion, and there are a variety of medical reasons for this, including a dead fetus, the hospital or doctor can deny them the choice, leaving them with a) having to endure an induced labor and a still birth; b) carrying a dead fetus and hopefully not dying herself due to a septic womb.

Another item to take note of here, this “religious freedom” is used to control women and their health decisions along with anyone who is not a cis man.  I don’t see anyone worrying about prescriptions for Viagra, or even prostate examinations.

However, the most interesting question is this – whose religion is it that we must worry about with this freedom of religion?  Is it only the Christian religion, or does this also include:  Hindu, Muslim, the Church of Satan?  Is there a line, and if so where is it?  This opens a huge legal can of worms, and it will be interesting to see where it leads.  I’ve left some links for you if you want to know more about this subject.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administration-could-narrow-affordable-care-acts-contraception-mandate/2017/10/05/16139400-a9f0-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.8d7198460d17

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-religion-legal/trump-move-on-healthcare-religious-freedom-prompts-discrimination-fears-idUSKBN1F800L

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/2/6/1737656/-A-Trump-official-wanted-to-forcibly-reverse-an-unaccompanied-teenager-s-medical-abortion?detail=emaildkre

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