Presidential Quotations

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“Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

                                                            George Washington

 

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“Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the president or any other public official, save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country. In either event, it is unpatriotic not to tell the truth, whether about the president or anyone else.”

                                                          Theodore Roosevelt

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“Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.”

                                                          John F. Kennedy

 

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“Hope is not blind optimism. It’s not ignoring the enormity of the task ahead or the roadblocks that stand in our path. It’s not sitting on the sidelines or shirking from a fight. Hope is that thing inside us that insists, despite all evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us if we have the courage to reach for it, and to work for it, and to fight for it. Hope is the belief that destiny will not be written for us, but by us, by the men and women who are not content to settle for the world as it is, who have the courage to remake the world as it should be.”

                                                         Barack Obama

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Quotations on Freedom

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“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”

                                                                        Benjamin Franklin

 

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“Those who deny freedom to others, deserve it not for themselves”

                                                                       Abraham Lincoln

 

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“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”

                                                                       Nelson Mandela

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And His Wisdom

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“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

“Courage is an inner resolution to go forward despite obstacles;
Cowardice is submissive surrender to circumstances.

Courage breeds creativity; Cowardice represses fear and is mastered by it.
Cowardice asks the question, is it safe?
Expediency ask the question, is it politic?
Vanity asks the question, is it popular?

But conscience ask the question, is it right? And there comes a time when we must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but one must take it because it is right.”

Actions of High Schoolers–Historically Frightening

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I did not think, that at my age, I would be as shocked or frightened by a news story as I have been recently. Certainly the United States of America has become more coarse and more vulgar over the last few years. Following the pattern of the President, who regularly uses insults to degrade his opponents, many Americans seem to be following his lead.

Worse recently was the incident in which high school boys from a Catholic school, some wearing MAGA hats, confronted and insulted Mr. Nathan Phillips, a Native American of the Omaha Nation and a Vietnam War veteran while he was participating in the Indigenous Peoples’ March. In the video that has gone viral, the boys can be seen confronting and attempting to intimidate Mr. Phillips.

While watching the video, I got chills, not only for the shear ugliness of the racism and bullying behavior but also because the high school students reminded me of another group of youngsters in the past who were used to promote the worst evil the world has ever seen–the Hitler Youth of Nazi Germany. I am not claiming that they are of the same level of evil, but we are entering dangerous territory when young people feel emboldened to attack people of minorities. And the man they focused on was a former soldier, a Vietnam War veteran. They demonstrated a dangerous attitude of potential mob violence, fascism, and racism.

How dare they?

How dare we, as a society, allow this to happen unchallenged?

How dare we not speak up?

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.

 

 

Teargassing of families and children–the stuff of fascism.

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The Trump administration has ordered and defended the use of tear gas against families, against mothers, against children, and against babies. This is beyond reprehensible–it is evil, and it is the stuff of fascism, racism, and bigotry.

We must never become used to such abominable behavior. All of those who oppose these actions must speak out.

This must end.

Remember that we are all connected.

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend’s
Or of thine own were:
Any man’s death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee”

John Donne

Mr. Trump, do you have no decency?

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I try not to be political in this blog, but I cannot be silent.

President Trump has a history of attacking service members and their families, which gives the lie to his claim that he supports the military.  He attacked Senator McCain, a gold star family, and now Admiral McRaven, a former Navy Seal and special operations commander, who lead the attack and capture of Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaeda leader and one of America’s greatest enemies.

Trump is a man who avoided military service and who places self-interest above all else. Admiral McRaven, conversely, has lead a life of serving the United States of America. I am not concerned with the Admiral’s political views. I respect him no matter if conservative or liberal. He served the country honorably.

To paraphrase Joseph Welch, whose opposition to Senator McCarthy during the Army-McCarthy hearings helped end McCarthy’s cruel, unAmerican, and tyrannical approach to justice, I ask President Trump — Do you have no decency? Finally, Sir, do you have no decency?

President Trump, stop attacking our military.