Archive | January 2017

Community

o-talking-to-kids-about-race-facebookIf you read through my blogs, it might become evident that I have a passion for building community.  Strong towns and neighborhoods are crucial for our well being, especially now, when prejudice, threat of deportation and the possibility of having vital services cut loom so darkly.  That has inspired the following:

Coming together as citizens;
Overcoming differences and fear;
Making friends out of strangers
Moves us to be more clear:
Unity builds strength and safety;
No one can bully us then.
It truly is impossible
To turn against the one
You have come to know and love as a friend.

On Our Own

I was reading the headlines on

http://news.google.com

 

There was one about the CDC having their conference on the impacts of climate change without federal participation.  From the way it was stated, I got the impression that this is new.

This got me thinking, what will we need to do for ourselves?  From what will the Federal Government withdraw its assistance?  Will we have to learn to do without some things?

Another question:
What do Federal agencies do now?
There are some major provisions, such as financial support for our more vulnerable citizens, including elders, people with disabilities and children; protection by the military; parks and land management…

Then there are some about I really haven’t thought…or did know.  These are ones Mr. Trump wants to get rid of:
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Minority Business Development Agency
Economic Development Administration
International Trade Administration
Manufacturing Extension Partnership
Office of Community Oriented Policing Services
Office of Violence Against Women
Legal Services Corporation
Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department
Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy ReliabilityOffice of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Office of Fossil Energy

Add to this federal funding for everything from emergency response to education, health, community development, agriculture and on the list goes.

 

I am thinking that I will need to review my own lifestyle and look for ways to be less dependent.  I can do that now, or wait until I’m forced to because an agency or program gets taken away.

 

I invite your help:
What things do we need to take back so that we are less dependent on government services?
What skills do we need to develop?
Are some things better done in local communities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

The Tyranny Has Begun – Executive Orders That Close US Borders and Oppress Her People

While people go about their daily lives, working, eating supper and doing chores, and evil is set in place.

Oh, there’s plenty of distraction:  The squabble about illegal voters and numbers is back; Mr. Trump doesn’t believe reports…

Meanwhile, immigrants, refugees and the people who help them are about to be targetted; Social Security and Medicaid are in immediate trouble; federal agencies are ordered not to talk to the public.
There is more bad news:
*FHA insurance premium cuts for home buyers have been frozen
*The pipeline in North Dakota is moving forward by way of Presidential executive order – Let’s completely disregard Native Americans, environment and any progress that has been made!
*Mr. Trump has indicated his intentions to significantly reduce environmental regulations in the production of cars

 

I’m not sure which of these troubles me most.  Perhaps the communications lockdown of federal agencies:  This sets the stage for policies and actions to be taken without public knowledge.  Transparency has been a long-time value in the United States.  It frightens me to have this compromised or abolished altogether.

Here are three stories from Google News:

 

Trump to sign executive orders enabling construction of proposed border wall and targeting sanctuary cities
Washington Post  – ‎28 minutes ago‎
President Trump is planning to sign executive orders on Wednesday enabling construction of his proposed border wall, and targeting cities where local leaders refuse to hand over illegal immigrants for deportation, part of a multi-day rollout of his …

 

Trump expected to announce executive orders on visa and refugee restrictionsCNN

I listened to this one:  He is planning to make it very difficult for refugees to enter the US and is planning to ban visas from 7 Muslim countries.

 

Trump clamps down on federal agencies
The Hill  – ‎2 hours ago‎
The Trump administration is clamping down on public communications by agencies as it seeks to assert control over the federal bureaucracy.

I listened to this one, too.  Essentially, federal agencies are banned or limited from public comment, social media or disclosure of any sort.

 

The time for citizens to join together in support of each other and resistance to such unconscionable tyranny by an administration has arrived:  It’s now; not some day.

 

Are you ready?

First Families; Transitions

barack_obama_enters_the_white_house_march_2012

I have been thinking of a number of stories that are
beautiful.  You have probably read or heard many of them, but they are worth
repeating:
*When George W. and family were moving out of the White House and the
Obamas were moving in, the Bush Sisters wrote letters to the Obama
girls, encouraging them and blessing them.  One of the statements I
remember fondly is to the effect of, “You will hear your father called
names and there will be caricatures of him, but remember, for you, he
is still your daddy.”

*As Barack Obama was preparing to transfer power to Donald Trump, he
said that the Bushes had been so helpful to him and his family, he was
passing it on.
Way to go, George W. Bush; way to go, Barack Obama!

*When Donald Trump went into the Oval Office, he found a letter from
Barack to him that he says he will cherish.  No one will get to know
what the letter said, but it evidently was very much a blessing.

*The Bush Sisters followed with a second letter to the Obama Girls as
they moved out of the White House, again, we don’t know the whole
contents, but they encouraged them as they find their own selves,
apart from their famous parents.  What good big sisters they are!

*Chelsea Clinton stood up for Baron Trump today.  I didn’t know this, but she
evidently experienced some bullying as she was entering the White
House, shortly before her 13th birthday.  She defended Baron on
Twitter, saying that he is a child who deserves one thing:  Just to be
a kid!

****

Chelsea Clinton defends Barron Trump: He deserves the chance ‘to be a kid’ usat.ly/2jRgdZO

Good stories!

Truth

Let the truth be known;
Hold it in high esteem.
“Alternative facts” don’t make it;
They’re nothing more than schemes.

 

Let Truth rule your heart;
Honor and keep it near.
Even when Truth seems difficult;
Declare it loud and clear.

 

Great is this treasure,
A valued gift and right.
Let us join in preserving it;
Let us walk in its light.

I Have Found My Voice

If there is one good thing that has come out of the US election, it’s that our complacency has been kicked in the butt.

For too long, it has been easy to avoid hard issues or get weighed down by cynicism.
I understand: I have been there.

Part of the challenge is that anger gives way to frustration, which eventually turns into apathy.

Well, I have found a new voice: A fresh determination to be heard.
There are a few ways for me to accomplish this:
First, in who I am, what I will or will not tolerate.
Next, in my immediate community as one who promotes honor, respect and compassionate action.
Then in a way that surprises me a bit: Involvement in organizations that stand for what is good and right. I will likely not be in the forefront, but I can support those who are.

In all of my recent searching, I have run into this question: “Are you willing to take a stand? Will you protect and help vulnerable people, even to the point of civil disobedience?”

Interesting. I am willing to take stands and come alongside people; I am not sure how far I would go in terms of civil disobedience.

 

My choices, of course, will be governed by my own priorities and sense of “right.”

Other considerations include my ability, limitations, gifting and resources.

 

What are your thoughts on all of this?

Do you have a voice?
What seems right to you?

How will you express yourself?
Will you defend and protect to the point of civil disobedience?
How can we best live out our roles as citizens?

 

Here are three organizations I have found, just to “prime the pump”:

http://ourrevolution.com

This is Bernie Sanders’ organization

 

http://sojo.net

The home of Sojourners, a magazine and movement

 

http://obama.org

The home of the Barack Obama Foundation

 

If you know of interesting organizations to explore, please add them in the comments.