Please Honor Veterans Day

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Today is Veterans Day, and I simply wanted to offer my thank you to all the men and women who have served or are serving our country in the Armed Forces.

This day began with Armistice Day, November 11, 1918, which ended the First World War. Congress formalized Armistice Day as a national holiday in 1938. After World War II and The Korean War, the day was renamed Veterans Day, and it serves as a time to honor all of those who have served or are serving.

Please let it be a day of honor and thanks, not one of special sales deals. It is a day to recognize the commitment, duty, sacrifice, and service of the men and women who have served or are serving in the Armed Forces.

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Happy Birthday To The United States Marine Corps!

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Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps, who are on this day 244 years old. This branch of the Armed Forces of the United States has a long and distinguished history.  They will always have a special place in my heart, because my father was a Marine in World War II.

The Marine Corps is a family, and I saw this clearly one day, when my father was dying of cancer. His body had become a tiny version of the man he had been. He had taken to wearing his Marine Corps cap, and two young men in their uniforms, clearly just out of boot camp, saw him. We had been out for a small meal in my home town of Easton, PA,  and they approached him and began a conversation with him about his experiences. Then one young man asked me with complete courtesy if it was okay if they borrowed him for a few hours, simply to talk with an older Marine. My father was delighted, and I knew he was in good hands. I came back later that afternoon to pick him up, and he was still there talking with the two youngsters.

When he stood to go, they saluted him. My heart was full, and I saw the great joy these two young men had given to a mortally ill, elderly man they had never known before. When he was leaving, they exchanged, “Semper Fi.”

Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps.

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R. I. P. Elijah E. Cummings

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America lost a great man today with the death of Representative Elijah E. Cummings from Maryland at the age of 68.

Mr. Cummings, a brilliant orator, was a tireless advocate for social justice, and he spoke for the causes of the poor and the left-behind in the United States of America. Among his causes were fights for health care and justice for all Americans, regardless of class, race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation.

He spoke of the need for civility in the government but also the absolute necessity for the government to serve the people’s needs. He battled for justice and against injustice. He advocated for the defense of democracy. He was a tireless American patriot.

He will be missed.

He was a great American.

R. I. P. Elijah E. Cummings

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It Can Happen Here: Revisited

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Given the horrors of the mass shootings over the weekend, clearly inspired by bigotry, white nationalism, and racism, I decided to use this post again.

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In 1935, Sinclair Lewis, in It Can’t Happen Here, spoke to the idea that many Americans held that fascism could not occur in the United States of America. His book is satirical, frightening, and, unfortunately, still applicable.

1984 by George Orwell details the action of dictatorship set  in a dystopian future. Unfortunately, the lies of politicians as they deny their support for fascists and white power fanatics, illustrates Orwell’s understanding of how dictatorships can work.

Erik Larson’s nonfiction history book In The Garden of Beasts, 2011, detailed the experience of Ambassador Dodd in Berlin in the 1930s, during the rise and solidification of Hitler’s power, and it is a terrifying read.

We must always remember that it can happen here, that bigotry and hatred can lead to terrible results. That white nationalists and neo-nazis brought their horror and bigotry to Charlottesville, VA resulting in violence and death should make all Americans, regardless of political party, Democrat, Republican, or Independent, aware of what can happen. Since then other attacks on innocent people, both in the United States and around the world, continue to occur. The horror of the brutalities in New Zealand affects all of us. And now, we have experienced new horrors with the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. These new obscenities should continue to remind us of the dangers of racism and hatred.

We should all be frightened of the possibilities of such hatred. We should also speak to the singular lack of condemnation by President Trump of the neo-nazis and white power groups. As President, he should not have said that there were good people “on many sides” in Charlottesville, VA, and he has claimed that white nationalists are not a big problem in the world.

This problem is, however, enormous and terrifying. This is an issue of hatred, brought by those who worship hatred and the defeated, in World War II, obscenities of Hitler. The President should have, without equivocation, stated his condemnation of their actions and beliefs. And we must be aware that the fascist beliefs are regrowing in our world.

We must always remember that fascism, bigotry, hatred, and dictatorship can occur here as it can anywhere. As Americans, whose freedom was paid for in blood, by those who fought in World War Two, we must speak out against such injustice and horror. As members of the world community, we must condemn such actions and support the victims of this horror.

There should be no place for neo-nazis, white nationialists, and bigotry in the United States of America nor in the world. If we do not speak out, then we are condoning this horror. We must remember that silence is complicity in evil.

Oppose Racism

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No matter the political party to which you might belong, no matter where you fall on the political spectrum, racism is completely unacceptable in the United States of America.

Donald Trump, who has a history of racist tweets and behavior recently attacked Congressman Elijah Cummings in a way that can only be racist. “As proven last week during a Congressional tour, the Border is clean, efficient & well run, just very crowded. Cumming District is a disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess. If he spent more time in Baltimore, maybe he could help clean up this very dangerous & filthy place” (Donald Trump July 27, 2019).  Anyone who is familiar with racist terminology can see this for what it is, and this bigotry must be opposed. If you have any doubt, look at the support Trump receives from people like David Duke and the alt-right.

The Baltimore Sun, in its op-ed piece, wrote a blistering rebuttal of Trump. “It’s not hard to see what’s going on here. The congressman has been a thorn in this president’s side, and Mr. Trump sees attacking African American members of Congress as good politics, as it both warms the cockles of the white supremacists who love him and causes so many of the thoughtful people who don’t to scream . . . Finally, while we would not sink to name-calling in the Trumpian manner — or ruefully point out that he failed to spell the congressman’s name correctly (it’s Cummings, not Cumming) — we would tell the most dishonest man to ever occupy the Oval Office, the mocker of war heroes, the gleeful grabber of women’s private parts, the serial bankrupter of businesses, the useful idiot of Vladimir Putin and the guy who insisted there are “good people” among murderous neo-Nazis that he’s still not fooling most Americans into believing he’s even slightly competent in his current post. Or that he possesses a scintilla of integrity. Better to have some vermin living in your neighborhood than to be one” (https://www.baltimoresun.com/opinion/editorial/bs-ed-0728-trump-baltimore-20190727-k6ac4yvnpvcczlaexdfglifada-story.html).

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Martin Luther King Jr. said “There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must take it because his conscience tells him it is right.” This must be a time to speak out.

All writers must speak out. Racism is never acceptable, and it must not be allowed to be spoken in the name of the United States Of America.

A Deeply Important Post From Lara Trace Hentz: Breaking News: Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women GENOCIDE (NYT)

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I apologize to Lara Trace Hentz for having to copy and paste her excellent post. For some reason, the reblog button does not seem to be working.  Please visit her site https://laratracehentz.wordpress.com

Breaking News: Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women GENOCIDE (NYT)

Some 1,181 Indigenous women were killed or disappeared across the country from 1980 to 2012, according to a 2014 report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Indigenous advocates, and the report, say the number is likely far higher since so many deaths have gone unreported.

BIG READ

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/06/02/world/canada/indigenous-women-girls-violence-inquiry.html

The Final Report on the Canadian Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

by Monica Williamson

Report here.

“Reclaiming Power and Place

The National Inquiry’s Final Report reveals that persistent and deliberate human and Indigenous rights violations and abuses are the root cause behind Canada’s staggering rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people. . The two volume report calls for transformative legal and social changes to resolve the crisis that has devastated Indigenous communities across the country.”

MORE:  https://redpowermedia.wordpress.com/2019/06/01/national-inquiry-deems-missing-murdered-indigenous-women-canadian-genocide-leaked-report/

My writing on MMIWG at Dean’s blog LEFT HOOK here

The federal government’s policy of termination against tribes lasted from 1887 to 1943. Native people were stripped of their cultures, languages, and ancestral instructions and expected to adopt the ways of the colonizer. Our ceremonies became illegal. Children and adults alike suffered and died to save them. These things survive today only because they continued in secret.

Throughout this time, mainstream society participated in our degradation and erasure. Pop culture hypersexualized native women with its “Pocahottie” imagery, and dehumanized us by saying we’re little more than a Halloween costume.

Today, we are still being hunted and killed.

There is an epidemic of missing and murdered native women throughout North America, but even though it’s been going on for decades and many native families on the continent can recount stories of loved ones who’ve gone missing or been murdered, there remains insufficient data on the problem because there’s been no centralized database for keeping that information.

In 2013, the Canadian government began a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, but the United States has yet to take such action.

READ: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Need Your Support | Teen Vogue

To follow her blog, please go to https://laratracehentz.wordpress.com

Remember to Honor Memorial Day

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I hope all of you have a wonderful weekend, but I also hope you remember why this holiday exists.  The word “holiday” comes from “holy day,” and the remembrance of this day and its purpose should be sacred. It was originally known as Decoration Day after the end of the Civil War, and it was designated Memorial Day in the 20th Century.

This day is intended to honor, give thanks, and remember those who have sacrificed their lives for The United States of America.  Please honor the fallen and the wounded on this day.  I realize the day was meant originally for the dead, but I extend my wishes and  thanks to the wounded also. Regardless of political beliefs or stands on a war, these are the men and women who fought to keep us safe, and they deserve our remembrance.

They deserve our thanks and our honor.

Please keep in mind that this day is not merely the beginning of the summer season, nor is it intended to be the time of a special sale. This should be a sacred and somber time. There will be plenty of opportunity for shopping and vacationing afterwards. Please remember those who sacrificed.

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