Presidential Quotations on Power and Moral Responsibility

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“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

                                                                      Abraham Lincoln

 

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“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

                                                                      John F. Kennedy,

                                                                      based on Dante,

                                                                       Inferno

 

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“Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

                                                                     Barack Obama

 

 

 

 

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Quotations on Immigration

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Given the political climate of the times, I thought I would offer some quotations from past leaders on the issue of immigration.

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“It says something about our country that people around the world are willing to leave their homes and leave their families and risk everything to come to America. Their talent and hard work and love of freedom have helped make America the leader of the world. And our generation will ensure that America remains a beacon of liberty and the most hope fill society this world has ever known.”

                                                                     George W. Bush

 

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“Our attitude towards immigration reflects our faith in the American ideal. We have always believed it possible for men and women who start at the bottom to rise as far as the talent and energy allow. Neither race nor place of birth should affect their chances.”

                                                                   Robert F. Kennedy

 

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“Remember, remember always, that all of us, you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.”

                                                                   Franklin D. Roosevelt

 

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“The United States should be an asylum for the persecuted lovers of civil and religious liberty.”

                                                                   Thomas Paine

 

I want to point out that all of us, except for those who are 100 percent Native American, have either immigrated or descended from immigrants to the United States of America. To believe that we are under invasion from immigrants is a mistake, and those spreading that misinformation are cons and liars. This is not a time to be quiet. Writers need to speak.

 

 

Quotations on Democracy

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“A great democracy has got to be progressive or it will soon cease to be great or a democracy.”

                                                        Theodore Roosevelt

 

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“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy , therefore, is education.”

                                                       Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

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“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.”

                                                       Abraham Lincoln

 

Quotations on Leadership

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“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”

                                                                    John F. Kennedy

 

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“To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.”

                                                                   Theodore Roosevelt

 

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“All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope”

                                                                   Winston S. Churchill

Remember to Register and Vote

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If you are one of the people who was horrified by the recent tragedy of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and you wish to do something to enact changes in gun legislation, there is one crucial action or actions you should take: if you are not registered to vote, register immediately, and then vote.

There is no excuse for not voting–none. And if you want to enact gun control legislation, then do your research and find out where the candidates stand. The population of the United States consistently polls that it wants gun control, so act on your convictions.

Voting is one of the most powerful, if not the most powerful, tools in our democracy, and I hope the young people who are leading this fight also register to vote when they are 18 and then vote. If we, who want gun control legislation, do vote, then our voices will be heard, and the narrow special interest that is the NRA will have its influence nullified.

Be sure to vote!

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Sunshine Blogger Award

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Thank you to Roo Ruse at What’s Next https://roosruse.wordpress.com for nominating me for the Sunshine Blogger Award!  I have received one in the past, but it is always an honor to be recognized by fellow bloggers. Roo has a wonderful blog; please stop by and check it out.

The Rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  1. Thank and link back to the blogger who nominated you.
  2. Answer the 11 questions your nominator posed to you.
  3. Nominate 11 other bloggers, and notify them of their recognition.
  4. Pose 11 questions for them to answer.

My Answers:

1.) What is my favorite genre to read? Anything considered speculation fiction, including horror, fantasy, and sci-fi.

2.) What do I mostly read today? A combination of serious literature for teaching and speculative fiction–which I also teach.

3.) If one word could describe me, what would it be? That is tough, but I will go with passionate, about my wife, my family, my friends, and my work.

4.) What makes my favorite character stand out to me? That is Aragorn, who shows a combination of courage, curiosity, generosity, and weakness.

5.) If a story is difficult to understand, do I finish it? Always.

6.) What one person would I choose as a companion for one day? I would love to spend one day being able to speak with Einstein. I am not saying I would understand him, but I would enjoy the conversation.

7.) What one literary character affected me the most? Again, it would be Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings.

8.) If I could pick where I would retire, where would it be today? Near Burlington, Vermont.

9.) If I could choose one gift or talent for a lifetime, but only one, what would it be? To be able to write well.

10.) Stranded on a deserted island, what two non-electronic items do I want with me? A volume of the complete works of Shakespeare and a coffee percolator for over a campfire.

11.) What is one target accomplishment for 2016? To have my horror novel Evil Lives After published.

Here Are My Nominees:

Tadhg https://askateenageaspie.wordpress.com

Bruce https://sportsattitudes.wordpress.com

Lynette Noni http://lynettenoni.com/

Khaya Ronkainen http://www.khayaronkainen.com

Mitch Goldfarb https://mitchgoldfarbblog.wordpress.com

Tricia http://neverlessthan.com/

Eddie Two Hawks https://eddietwohawks.wordpress.com

Carolina http://yesterdayafter.com

Anna https://fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com

Laura https://todaysdose.wordpress.com

Spearfruit http://spearfruit.com/

My Questions For My Nominees:

1.) What is your most important creative skill?

2.) What season of the year do you prefer?

3.) Do you like to travel with a clear plan or make it up as you go?

4.) If you could travel to anytime in the past, where and when would it be?

5.) What do you think is the most important quality for a good leader?

6.) What is one  thing that could be done to help nurture creativity in children?

7.) What is your favorite book?

8.) If you could develop one skill that you do not currently have, what would it be?

9.) Where  would you like to visit in the world today?

10.) What is your favorite comfort food?

11.) Do you prefer  to write with a keyboard or pen?

And once again, thank you to Roo Ruse at What’s Next https://roosruse.wordpress.com

 

 

Dining With Characters: Part 3

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It has been a while since I have made an entry to this series, so I thought it was definitely a good time to do so. As before, I am imagining what it would be like to invite a few fictional characters to a dinner and have conversation with them.

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(This is the first page of the extant original copy of Beowulf, written in Old English.)

 

Today’s guests are Beowulf, King Arthur, and Aragorn, all kings from British epics: Beowulf, Le Morte d’Arthur, and The Lord of the Rings. These books range from the Dark Ages, circa the mid 800s to the Middle Ages, circa 1485 to the contemporary world in the mid 1900s. These texts are all important to me, both as a reader and as a teacher, because I have used all of these books in different college classes. While covering a very long historical range, they all deal with the difficulties faced by leaders especially when the fate of their kingdoms rests in their decisions and actions.

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(King Arthur and his knights)

For this entry, we would dine again at a traditional British pub, and we would be seated around a fairly large, wooden, round table.  This seems appropriate, given the attendees.

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“Aragorn300ppx” by Source. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Aragorn300ppx.png#/media/File:Aragorn300ppx.png

I would like to ask these three kings what it was like to lead soldiers actively into combat. Unlike the leaders of contemporary armies, they faced death directly with their fellow fighters. I would also ask them what they see the main responsibilities of leaders to be. I would also like to ask them if they consider fate to be real, or are they in control of their own destinies?  Given the variation in optimism and pessimism that ranges in their attitudes, their approaches to facing the difficulties of life and death would be fascinating to explore.

I would certainly be curious to see how these three warrior kings spoke with each other. I think a checking of the swords at the door might be a very good idea.

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What questions would you ask these leaders?