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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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!

 

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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Telling Me What I Can Wear?

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The other day while walking through the Walmart parking lot, I noticed a woman who was wearing a t-shirt that said, “Leggings are not Pants!”.  Since I was taken aback by this slogan, and I was wearing the seemingly outlawed leggings, I simply pivoted as I passed her, so that she could see that I was indeed not only wearing leggings but using them just like pants!  (On a side note, maybe I should have been wearing them as a headscarf? – I’ve always assumed you wore them as pants.  Have I been mistaken all this time?)  – Oh, the horror of it all.  This of course reminded me of the school and airline bans all aimed at leggings and yoga pants.  We also have had legislators who have tried to make not only leggings and yoga pants illegal, but also female nipples – now don’t get too cold, women, you might get arrested!  I have a problem with other people telling me (or anyone) what we can and cannot wear.  The interesting thing about all these bans, is that, of course they have to do with what women and girls are wearing.  This is not about banning clothes that men wear.

From my own observations, it is quite obvious that the problem isn’t so much what women are wearing, as it is the male reaction to those articles of clothing.  Lest you think that it only has to do with what we’re wearing in our day-to-day lives; our clothing is used to shame us as well.  You get catcalled?  Well, look at what you’re wearing – you deserve it!  Raped?  Well look what you were wearing – you were asking for it.  On a personal note, after I was assaulted, beaten and left for dead, one of the responding police officers offered up the observation that my extremely large sweat pants and hoodie were somehow to blame for the assault.  There was no skin to see other than my face and hands, but that was the problem.  My face and hands were somehow “asking for it”.  This shaming and focusing on women and girls is the problem.  Boys and men need to step up and realize that they are sharing the world with females, who have a right to dress as they like.  Just get over it already – after all, we have to deal with your Speedos!

I’ve left some links below.  Look into the situation and let me know what you think.

http://www.thejournal.ie/ban-yoga-pants-leggings-united-states-1935822-Feb2015/

http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2014/04/more_schools_moving_to_outlaw.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/united-banned-girls-leggings-flight-article-1.3010391

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What are “Incels”?

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After the attack in Toronto, I began seeing the term “incel”, and I was curious, since I’d never heard that word before.  So, I decided to find out more about these people (men), who identify as such.  The term “incel” is a combination of the two words involuntarily celibate.  These are men who no matter what they say and/or do, cannot get women to have sex with them.  They have many forums on-line where they share their frustration and hatred toward women.  Their views toward women includes the belief that women are shallow and only interested in “alpha men”, thus, the fact that they can’t get any women to hop into bed with them is due to failings on the part of women.  There is no  failure on the part of the men, instead the failure is the women’s as they are shallow and lacking.  This is a great way to blame other people for your own failures.  These men are under the impression that women “owe” them sex, just for the very fact that they are men.  Women are put here on earth in order to “service” them whenever and wherever.  The unfortunate fact is, there seem to be a lot of sites across the internet that feed into this misogynist thinking.

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This is an example of Incel thought.

There have been a few mass murders committed by men who are a part of this community.  Alek Minassian (Toronto) and Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara).  Both of these men have admitted they are part of the incel movement, specifically what is known as the “Incel Rebellion”.

I’ve left some links for you to read for more information regarding this community.  What do you think of this?  Do you feel that women should be worried?  Do you feel that this the men who act out by committing murder are terrorists?

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/4/25/17277496/incel-toronto-attack-alek-minassian

https://thinkprogress.org/incels-are-wildly-celebrating-the-toronto-van-attack-c57d4702d196/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters

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Thoughts and Prayers?

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We’ve been hearing a lot (too much) about thoughts and prayers.  It’s a nice sentiment, but what do these thoughts and prayers actually do?  Do they help the grieving and the injured?  Do people stop grieving and get “better” once they know their government officials are sending them thoughts and prayers?  Do these kind sentiments help?

As anyone who has suffered grief and injury knows, thoughts and prayers do nothing to help.  Making sure others won’t suffer the same injury and grief would help, but since sending sentiments doesn’t change anything, there is no way they “help”.

Blaming video games, music and lyrics, even movies is ridiculous.  Other countries spend more money on more violent video games and they don’t have the same problems we do here in the U.S.  As a country we export all our music (along with the lyrics) all over the world, and the rest of the world doesn’t have the same mass murder problems.  And, last, but not least, our movies also are sent out to be viewed all over the world and again, the rates of mass murder is much higher in the U.S.

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However, there is one BIG difference between the U.S. and the rest of the world.  Guess what that is?  Gun ownership – and the kind of gun ownership.  There is a difference between what kinds of guns may be owned, and how people can obtain them.  The conditions are much more stringent in the rest of the world than in the U.S.  Also, there is a limit on what kinds of guns may be obtained, along with the amount of ammo that can be bought.

But hey, let’s not discuss that, we’ll just send out our “thoughts and prayers”.  And then go and collect our bribes from the NRA.

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