A former co-worker recently posted a photo of a U.S. military jet packed with Afghanistan refugees fleeing their country. The scene reminded her of her families own 1975 escape from Vietnam. However, she says she was very young at the time and did not remember much. She did know what a great sacrifice her parents made to protect the family.
Today, that young refugee is a skilled therapist, manager, law enforcement trainer, mother, wife, and productive community member. Thinking of her post, I thought of this new wave of refugees from yet another war torn country and their journey to our country.
Like my friend and her family, Afghan refugees will face difficult times assimilating into our society. They supported our troops now we need to give them support and a chance to succeed.
“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Most, but not all, of us have a linage of a family from other parts of the world. We are a melting pot and, in my view, better off because of our diversity.
With the very real possibility that mask mandates will return, I wonder why so many people think their rights are being violated. I just don’t get it.
I know a young man who refuses to get the vaccine. He believes his friends over doctors and health officials. But then he is 18, and we all know that 18-year-olds possess a vast amount of knowledge and life experience.
Armed with the belief that the County Commission would call for new masking guidelines, a crowd gathered outside the chambers last week. Despite the assurance from the Chairman that masking was not on the agenda. During the public comment session, most speakers ranted during their two minutes about their rights being violated; some cited studies found on the internet, which they interpreted to mean masks, vaccines, and distancing are not necessary.
I was reminded of a dear high school friend who contracted polio in the 1950s as a child. I wanted to know how she felt, so I called her. While using a wheelchair, she graduated college, married, and raised a family. Today she celebrates life as a happy grandmother. She remembers asking her mother why she needed the vaccine when she already had polio. She said her mother told her she needed it to protect the rest of her body. As I recall, the was little opposition to getting the polio shot or later sugar cube with vaccine.
As I write, employers around the country are mandating vaccinations or, at the least weekly covid tests. There will be opposition, but I feel it’s past time to take a stricter approach to slow the spread of this virus. School is bout to start, and I worry about my grandchildren. They seem at ease wearing masks, but some school boards are saying no mask mandates this year. I don’t think this is the right message to send to our kids. Luckily, I am vaccinated and live in a community where most others are as well. However, when I do venture out, you will know me by my mask.
This past Wednesday, we watched in horror as an army of thugs overran our nation’s Capital. Encouraged by Donald Trump, the mob marched to invade our cathedral of government, which was ratifying the Electoral College vote. Four days later, new questions have surfaced about why there was not sufficient security to prevent this unprecedented attack. Who knew what? Who were the people in this angry mob? Yes, some genuinely believe what Trump has been telling them for the last four years, that the Democrats stole the election despite the lack of evidence. Today some speculate that there were some law enforcement officers as part of the riotous crowd. Investigations are beginning.
What are we learning about our way of life? Our government and the way we do business? Are we witnessing Sedition?
Where are the Statesmen and Women who will represent the people without obstruction, self-serving headline-grabbing tactics? The Hawley’s, Cruz’s, and Marshalls are complicit and need to resign or step back and serve their constituents with honor rather than false narratives. They only care about themselves and will grasp any straw they think will promote their political future.
I pray that our nation will survive the next ten days without further disruption. I pray for a safe and peaceful Inauguration of the new administration.
I have been trying to understand the events of last week and find my words to express the hurt, concern and utter discust I feel. Until I can figure out my own feelings, I offer the wisdom of Pat Bell. (Full disclosure, he’s my brother-in-law and someone I hold in great esteem.)
IN My Opinion
Are Americans actually so stupid and naïve? Can’t we see why we’re so divided and angry in this country? And how this division is destroying us?
“Divide and conquer” may be the most effective military strategy. And it works in defeating cultures and societies as well.
Think about it. Those who encourage division do so with rhetoric that places blame on others for all problems. They demonize all who have differing opinions in order to achieve their own objectives. They are politicians trying to remain in power. They are media (on both sides) whose goal of larger audiences (and advertising revenue) is furthered by more and more and vitriolic and divisive language. (True journalism may indeed be dead.) And there are the true enemies of our country (both domestic and foreign) who would be delighted at our collapse.
All of these people/entities encourage and plant the seeds of division, distrust, exclusion, and anger. But in the end, it’s another group that ensures the growth of these things. We can see them every morning when we look in the mirror.
We, as Americans, have taken the bait of division….and run with it. We have embraced the idea of contempt and confrontation and blame. And we are as guilty as any of spreading division with disrespectful conversation and social media posts.
We have done this to ourselves.
Can we not show even the slightest acknowledgement of the merit of a different opinion by listening? Can we not at least try to understand that opinion without an emotional outburst? Can we not try to express our own views without blame and offensive words?
Can we defeat the division that could destroy us? Entirely? No. We will always be somewhat divided by political beliefs, religious beliefs, ethnic or racial or a host of other differences. But we have, mostly, been able to appreciate (and even celebrate some differences on occasion) respectively for the greater benefit of all. We’re far from being the perfect nation. We have certainly shown our weaknesses and sins in the past. And yet, on whole, we Americans strive to be a better society.
Our elected leaders pledge to defend us….from all threats. Division is a serious threat. They must unite us to begin the process of defeating division. But it’s not just the responsibility of politicians. It’s our job too. We have to be smarter…to survive.
Let’s think about what we can do as individuals…that’s 30
I find it unbelievable that the President of the United States would try to con the Georgia Secretary of State into changing the vote count of the general election. I listened to the recording obtained by NBC News.
Trump’s insistence that he won the election and that the people of Georgia and the entire country were mad at the Secretary of State’s reluctance to change the vote. What I heard ranged from veiled threats to a good ole boy, wink-wink, con job.
If, and that is a Bigif, Trump or anyone else had evidence of voter fraud, errors, or “skulldugery,” I believe those in Georgia’s government would gladly consider the evidence. However, they are on the record that there was no wrongdoing, and the results are accurate.
After listening to the call, I can’t help but wonder what else he will attempt between now and January 20th? I also worry about how this will impact his base and what they might do. Hopefully, this madness will soon end, and we can recover the soul of America.
I recently read an interesting article by Ambassador Allan Katz, CEO of American Public Square. He wrote the following:
Now that the election is over, I suspect many of us know someone who did not have the same beliefs about who should be elected. It could be a relative, and the holidays may well present an opportunity for some relationship healing. Listening and understanding another’s opinions does not come naturally for me, so I’m asking my family and friends to call me on this if they feel I’m not listening.
Understanding others is one of the reasons I started this blog; let the discourse begin.
As this pandemic drags on and local governments try to deal with the spread, they also must deal with those who feel their rights are violated with mask orders. These same people wear their seatbelts, most wear helmets when cycling, and to avoid being arrested for public nudity, they wear clothing.
On several occasions, I’ve seen people in stores without masks; I want to say something, but I know it will most likely cause a problem. Don’t these people care about others? I sure don’t think so. I think most of us are doing our best to wear masks, sanitize our hands, and keep a safe distance. Yes, it is not how we have lived most of our lives, and let’s hope it is not how we will live the rest of our lives.
I realize this blog post will not change the minds of those who feel so strongly about wearing a mask. I wonder if they are also going to refuse the vaccine when it is available? As someone who lives with COPD, I am in the vulnerable group and appreciate those who are doing their part to control the spread.
If you know someone who refuses to wear a mask, joins in large gatherings, or other dangerous activity, please use your influence to change their behavior.
Tomorrow is Election Day, and I believe our country is stressed. I know I am. We received our mail ballots, competed them, and delivered them to the county election office. Now we wait, and I suspect that wait will be longer than we all would like. I can only imagine some of the news in the coming days—glitches in counting, lost ballots, challenges, and surprises in outcomes.
It has been a long election season, and I feel many Americans are tired of our political systems and would like some profound change. Here some suggestions off the top of my head; set spending limits and equalize the playing field. Then we could move to Truth, a novel approach to letting us know the candidate and their positions. Another idea to consider is vetting the candidates to determine if they have the qualifications and demeanor for the office they seek.
Now I’ve vented and would like to hear from others how we might improve selecting the right people to serve this wonderful country and its people. Now, go vote if you haven’t and say a prayer for a peaceful resolution of our differences.
Here we are just one week from the General Election. Many have already cast their ballots while others wait to vote in person. I am hopeful that the voter turnout is a record-breaker. I expect we will not know the final count for sometime after the polls close. I hope I’m wrong. Today, my purpose is to ask anyone who reads this to share it and encourage your family, friends, and followers to Vote. We hear all too often; my vote won’t matter; I don’t like the candidates or some other reason for not voting. Call me naive, but I am hopeful that we can start healing the divisions in our beloved country when all is done.
a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
Thinking back to the 2008 General Election, I remember feeling anxious and worried about what some of my friends said about then-candidate Barack Obama. The rumors, falsehoods, and conspiracy theories were more than I could stand. I remember thinking, where in the world did they come up with this?
Well, here we are twelve years later, and we are back in the same mode. It is tearing people apart. People are terrified, many for the first time in what may be a sheltered life. According to the Pew Research Center, media coverage of the Obama rumors grew tenfold over a few months before the election. From my knothole, we are seeing the same things today. Only now it is compounded by the pandemic.
The difference this year, I believe, is the politicians have mastered media manipulation. They know which buttons to push and when to schedule their announcements. When have we ever seen near-daily “pressers”? Which I believe are not legitimate news, but campaign events disguised as newsworthy.
We are now just 46 days until the General Election; we need to remain calm and question the campaign fodder. More important is we must turn out the Vote. I hear some say my vote won’t matter, or I never vote. Please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to exercise their rights.