President Obama’s Response To The Cancelling of DACA…a re-blog from Gronda Morin.

Thanks for the excellent post, Gronda, and for allowing the Reblog.

Gronda Morin

Image result for PHOTOS OF PRESIDENT OBAMA SIGNING daca

On September 5, 2017, the LA Times published our former democratic President Barack Obama’s Response to the republican President Donald Trump’s September 5, 2017 decision to cancel DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program), with the caveat of a 6 month’s delay.

Young people protected from deportation and allowed to work legally under the DACA program will begin losing their protection around March 2018 unless the US Congress finally acts to shield them. “

President Obama (White House photo by Pete Souza)Statement from President Obama 

Immigration can be a controversial topic.  We all want safe, secure borders and a dynamic economy, and people of goodwill can have legitimate disagreements about how to fix our immigration system so that everybody plays by the rules.

But that’s not what the action that the White House took today is about.  This is about young people who grew up in America – kids who…

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Of Statues and Soldiers…

Why are angry mobs allowed to destroy Civil War statues?      If they have to be taken down, properly and carefully by local government authorities—why not store them temporarily at a museum or some other place appropriate.     Smashing them to rubble is foolish…no, let me say stupid…and knee-jerk reactions to political correctness.   Gratuitous pandering, perhaps.

Except for one thing—there seems to be NO thought or reasoning to these actions, only public showing-off.       This kind of destruction of public property is against the law, for one thing, and morally wrong for a few hot-heads to decide for entire communities that historic statues need to be not only removed…but demolished.

Most villages and towns have a statue of a civil war soldier in its town park, or round-about in the highway, or city hall.     The statue stands proudly with his rifle, standing vigil of pride and gratitude to the soldiers who died fighting for their side in the Civil War.     North of the Mason-Dixon Line, approximate borders between states (Ohio and Pennsylvania in the North, Kentucky and West Virginia, etc. in the South.

It boggles the mind thinking about the problems involved in removing Southern statues…and by extension perhaps Northern statues as well?   That action would likely cause great unrest, being that the Union troops were on the winning side, therefore perceived to be the “right” side.     The fact is that the Civil War, was fought over state’s rights to maintain slavery….simplified, but that’s how it was…hyperbole and “regional history” aside.

The Generals and other high-ranking bigshots are usually the ones mortalized in statues:  the southern generals Robert E. Lee,  Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson,  James Longstreet…etc., etc., etc.     But the rank-n-file soldiers were young volunteers, then draftees, pressed into service by their respective sides, especially in the latter years of the war.  They had    little choice, and high-minded rhetoric about noble causes and patriotic duty hardly affected the lowest level Johnny Reb…who went to war because he had to.

 

 

New Leaf…stay tuned

OK.     Enough time has been wasted on the agonizing and agonistic misadventures of the United States Government (or lack thereof.)    I do hope to live long enough to ingrain some of the History of the World Under Trump into my DNA.   Right, I’m not even sure that is possible, about the DNA that is, but the truth is that until about twenty years ago I was not even aware of such a thing.       Science was never my bag,  although my interests and obsessions lie as much with clouds and rocks, bugs and sea creatures, as any one.

A basic interest in Geneology is in fact part of my basic make-up, due largely if not mainly to my Dad’s Mom, my Grandmother Lillian Turney Piper.    The font of knowledge or awareness of our family origins was argueably Lillian’s mother, Ann Avann Turney, of Tenterton, England.      OK, enough with the name-dropping.

We lived with the aforementioned forebears until I was three, so direct influence of Great Grandma Ann was by osmosis, so to speak.   She no doubt talked with me a lot about family affairs.  She also kept personal diaries after the age of about 80, when she was forced to curtail her former active social life and retreat to her home.   There she wrote her faithful diary entries…and discussed life and the world with visitors and family.    She read daily newspapers and other periodicals, and often wrote and received personal letters.

Visitors included members of social clubs, and church membership.   GG Ann was into all sorts of world activities, and wrote poetry.   Yes…a poet.   There was no WordPress then, of course, no computers or email.   The telephone was tied to the wall with a cord, and used only in turn with other people on the line (of course they listened in) so one just stated their business and got off the phone.    No texting…no cell phones.

GG Ann was keenly interested, and involved to whatever possible extent, in the WCTU: The Women’s Christian Temperance Union.   Their target—Alcohol.     I wish that here would follow exciting tales about women in long dresses and big fancy hats smashing bars and bottles with axes.   Or at least, rolling pins.     I have no details about GG Ann’s adventures with the WCTU, although there are extant examples of her original poetry and quotations clipped from newspapers.

To get back to my new pursuit…as I said earlier, my preoccupation with the United States government (or lack thereof,) only grows by the hour, and has no practical application to my personal blog.    My associates, followers, correspondents, critics…mostly are on the same political page wherever they are in our world.   Common sense and questionable judgement urges me to stay out of the comment sections of various venues, on the premise that everyone has an opinion and anything I say they will ignore, take offense, or call me names…which hurts my feelings.    Preaching to the choir has no direct result except winks and thumbs-ups…and arguing with the posters, trolls or not, is counterproductive and only makes me mad.

This morning a blogger pal reposted an article from a newspaper that mentions the Koch Brothers and hitherto emphasized family (group?) The Mercers.   I know who the Koch Brothers are…friends of Trump, I think…but the Mercers?   Hmmm, I have decided to find out who these people are, what they are up to, and—if they are related to ME.     GG Ann’s grandmother was a Mary Mercer… so that’s my new preoccupation.   (stay tuned)

 

 

Second Guessing myself…

Day 8, 2017.

Wow!  We are already heading into the second week of the new year.   January is the busiest month of the year as far as family birthdays count.   My late husband, two grandsons, a son, great-granddaughter, son-in-law, and daughter-in-law.  And that is just my immediate family, not counting at least one niece from my Florida-Clan.

I used to send cards with detailed notes in them, and even money.    Now that I am basically a poor church mouse, I’m lucky if I get a card out at all.   Oh, sure, there are electronic cards that are relatively easy to send, and I must say those are often very attractive…and they even sing or play music for the recipient.

My intentions are good, and yes, I do know what they say about good intentions.   I do at least think about people on their birthdays.

Unfortunately (I guess,) I am not really into Facebook or other social media.   Let’s not go into that here, with a wink and a nod to my excuse/reasoning that these venues cause a LOT of trouble.   E-mail was bad enough, always a risk for correspondents.

Blogging is my love, being a source of endless blank pages on the computer screen, beckoning with a promise that I can write/say almost anything about nearly any subject.  I write poetry, essays and diaries about the good old days…at least MY good old days.     My goal for this new year is to write something every day…or at least re-post something that I have written since my blog SOMETIMES was born.

One of the sweet things about blogging is that we tend to attract like-minded writers who more or less follow our work.   We enjoy each others’ photos, essays, and poems, and short stories.

One rule I set for myself is to write with care.   To me that means avoiding offending anyone, getting uppity with those who do not agree with me, or writing obnoxious or unsubstantiated  things.    Normally I rest fairly well assured that when I push the SEND button, and later when someone opens my post to read it, there will not be any adverse effects.    Sometimes (often, actually) what I write is intended to be humorous, though representative of my views and opinions.   Satire and sarcasm I use sparingly,  with care and judgement.

I have published 671 posts to this blog, Sometimes, as of a glance to my Stats page just moments ago.    This represents steady publications the last couple of years, and the total over the life of my blog since 2011.   I have deleted two posts that I recall, rewrote a couple, but most have stood as written.      I don’t think I’ve offended or insulted anyone, and I take great pains to avoid such writing.

My number one goal this year is to write every day.    Actually I do write daily, usually in a variety of diaries and notebooks…then transfer items to my blog.    Once in a great while I have misgivings about a post, and accordingly re-write it, edit it for spelling or grammatical errors…and for any questionable content.     It takes a few moments to go back in the pages and fix typos or mis-spellings, or to make glaring corrections of fact.

Yesterday I wrote one of my problem pieces, and have mulled it over in my mind since.   It is about the infamous Wall which has been proposed…whether actual or theoretical, our president-elect now owns this idea, and possibly feels he has an obligation to “build the wall.”.     My purpose was to post the link to photos of the existing wall between the United States southern border and Mexico.   The suggestions that were included in my post are facetious…tongue-in-cheek…sarcastic.   When I came to my computer this morning I fully expected (dreaded, perhaps,) some negative comments about my rather outrageous “suggestions” for extending the border.    Especially worrying to me are “guests” or browsers who happen-upon  what I write, not regulars that recognize snide…ok, snarky…sarcasm.    So far so good…

 

 

 

J is for JUST WAR

I read an article yesterday that prompted me to blog about it…and how coincidental  and appropriate that the  subject is   — the LETTER J in the A-Z Challenge !
But don’t worry, I’ll try to wrap it up in a little poem, and leave the details to the original sources via links to the sites.   Please NOTE: These references are suggested reading only–there won’t be a quiz.

JUST WAR
is an old concept
an archaic idea
which would justify
ignoring good or evil
in decisions made
in considering bomb use.

Killing innocents
is allowed if their rulers
are evil people–
as determined by “The Good.”
Hope they can stay safe…
Sad if they die in cross-fire.

The way of peace and
talks of negotiation,
sharing the bounty
in brotherhood, and kindness
is often too slow…
eats into profit margin

Every so often
a new conference is called
to discuss possible
methods to curb the killing.
A Utopian answer
may be found this time around.

Put the Good People
in charge…bad ones in prison.
Just War is inherently
UN-JUST — as they decided
following The Cross.
A lesson ignored again?

© Sometimes, 2016

JUST A couple of paragraphs of editorial comment here, as I don’t want to impose upon the author’s excellent article.  In this article the author does not capitalize the words “just war” as I would have because the term is a term describing a concept (or theory) of JUST WAR, which is discussed often and in great length in the field of Latin American History, which is my thing.  Basic to the concept is the underlying facts of the “colonization” of the New World, in which serious soldiers with guns and swords…and huge dogs…brought the Goodness of Civilization to the native peoples. The atrocities of the conquistadores are well documented, although not widely included in basic education about the Conquest of the Americas.

In a nutshell–the conversion was based largely on the premise of “if we can’t protect them from the Devil we’ll just kill them….”  which is basically the concept of Just War.

The reason I am fascinated by the Just War concept, and the current interest of the subject, is my own deep interest in the concept of Liberation Theology…which, despite the implied images of priests-with-machine-guns in the Central and South American revolutions of the 1980s-2000 … actually promoted a movement quite different.  I spent more than a decade researching and investigating Liberation Theology, and I am happy to have a platform for presenting my interrupted doctoral dissertation –unfinished because I ran out of time.

Thanks for reading along…

—-

http://ncronline.org/news/global/why-catholic-church-moving-away-just-war-theory

 [EXCERPT]

Modern wars

“For centuries, the Catholic church made the just war theory its standard teaching on war. In recent decades, however, church leadership has realized that the just war theory is truncated and minimalist. It does not go far enough. Its focus is war, not peace. Even what it sets out to do — discriminate justified from unjustified wars — has been rendered null and void by the massive, indiscriminate violence of modern wars.

Key criteria of the theory, namely, proportionality and protection of noncombatants, are never met by modern wars. Civilian deaths in World War I were 10 percent of the deaths. In modern wars, such as the internal conflict in Syria or the U.S. invasion of Iraq, civilian deaths now range from 80 percent to 90 percent of all war casualties. By the very criteria of the just war theory, in our era there is no such thing as a justified war.”

“The Catholic church’s ongoing move away from the just war theory as “settled teaching” to a more expansive call to proactive peacemaking has been made clear in a global conference scheduled for April 11-13 in Rome.

“Sponsored by the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace and Pax Christi International, the conference, “Nonviolence and Just Peace: Contributing to the Catholic Understanding of and Commitment to Nonviolence,” is gathering educators and activists from all over the world, particularly from the global South. The precise purpose of the conference is to more fully develop a vision of nonviolence and just peace for the Catholic church.

“Five reasons underlie this pivot to a positive vision of peace and a point of view that goes well beyond the just war theory:   Modern wars have made the just war theory obsolete;  The rise of a Christology “from below”; A clearer understanding of how the New Testament relates to contemporary problems;  A renewed appreciation of the way the early church practiced Jesus’ teachings on peace;The compelling, thrilling saga of nonviolent action over the 60 years since Gandhi.”

“[Terrence J. Rynne teaches peace studies at Marquette University. He and his wife, Sally, are founders of the Marquette University Center for Peacemaking. He is the author of Gandhi and Jesus: The Saving Power of Nonviolence and Jesus Christ, Peacemaker: A New Theology of Peace.]
This story appeared in the April 8-21, 2016 print issue under the headline: A vision of peace .”

The excerpts are directly from the National Catholic Register online site. http://ncronline.org/news/global/why-catholic-church-moving-away-just-war-theory

[EXCERPT]    A Christology from below opens for Christian disciples the full meaning of peacemaking and our call to be peacemakers. It is a positive vision of peace, not just the absence of war. It is a call to do as Jesus did — work to relieve peoples’ suffering, change the economic and political structures that bring so much pain, and remove underlying causes of violence and war. And, most importantly, introduce the power of nonviolent action to the world.

Church leadership has benefited from this Christology that focuses squarely on the arc of Jesus’ life and his historical struggles. It prompts them to turn to the New Testament when they are thinking about issues of war and peace.

The just war theory, on the other hand, ignores the New Testament. It is an ethical discipline that came to us from the “pagan” Cicero by way of St. Augustine. It approaches the problem of war and violence using natural law thinking and does not measure up to the call to positive peacemaking that we find in the New Testament.”

————
[Here are two further references, the  second is similar to the one I have excerpted above; and the Oregon State site involves a Philosophy post on St. Augustine, who wrote extensively about the concept of Just War.]

http://www.ncronline.org/blogs/ncr-today/francis-encourages-vatican-just-war-conference-revitalize-tools-non-violence

Watch those spectators sitting behind debate stars (re-blogged)

Some of the most interesting fans, or supporters, or spectators–whatever you call them–are the people sitting in the stands directly behind the speaker’s podium at televised speeches.

A case in point is the woman who ended up more or less trapped at a Donald Trump rally recently.  She happened to be black…which she said was perhaps not at all coincidental…and she was escorted to the VIP seating right behind the candidate.  http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/11/12/1449095/-It-s-hard-not-to-laugh-about-this-woman-reading-during-a-Trump-speech-but-her-reasoning-is-legit?detail=email

Her name is Johari Osayi Idusuyi, a community college student, has achieved a certain amount of fame or notoriety on the telly.  Apparently she was not seeking anything more than just getting a peek at the famous Trump, but when she and some friends were turned away from the first rows, which were empty at the time, they were told the area was reserved for only VIPs….which (if there is anyone who is not familiar with that term,) means “Very Important Persons.”

Ms. Idusuyi accepted when the VIP rule was lifted, and she and her friends were ushered to the middle of the row of seats, right behind The Donald.     How fortuitous was that!

Anyway, she sat and read a book throughout the speech, much to the dismay of “older” people in the crowd that hassled her about being rude…telling her she should leave if she didn’t like what was going on and being said.   She wisely pointed out that it would be even more rude to stand up and leave.

I love watching these crowds.   The VIPs are obviously either “Very Important Local Republicans,” or staffers that are required to fill in the rows.   The reason I say that is because many of the people are obviously not paying attention.   They are whispering to their neighbors, looking at the ceiling, and apparently either ignoring, or otherwise not engaging with what is being said.

To be fair, it isn’t uncommon to see crowds at VIP speeches whose eyes are glazed-over, yawning, clapping gratituously–even when the spectators are members of the military, university students, Congress–I might call these “Mandated Crowds.”   These are often show-up-and-try-to-stay-awake  appearances.  Professors sometimes give class credit for showing up at these occasions, or there are consequences for NOT showing up.  The crowd should be reacting…laughing, nodding their heads, shaking their heads, cheering, jeering… showing signs of being awake.

In my opinion, just watching the people in these crowds is entertaining.

 

 

Word Police–stop editing our dictionary

[Warning: Not Politically Correct]

The Word Police are at it again.  We aren’t allowed to say the word “thug.”

Thug is NOT a racist word.  It is a term coined back in the olden days to describe a certain type of criminal–almost invariably a white (caucasian) male..

Just consider, please, the uses of the word in common useage… here is a short list, and I apologize if it is narrow in application.  Possibly there is some generation-specific meanings, but none of them refer to any racial group.  Basically there are two main classifications that immediately come to (my) mind:

1. “Jack-booted thugs,” which in common useage refers to military or government troops that go around smashing things and beating people with clubs.  They wear heavy leather-boots that are very effective.  The jack-boots are actually bigger than life, and as the saying goes, twice as ugly.  These are the “storm troopers” of another era, but hey–a thug by any other name is still a thug.

2. so-called “union thugs.”   We heard a lot about these guys back in the days of the union fights.  The picture that one might conjur up is of a stocky muscular white guy–remember Bluto the villain of the Popeye comics?   If not, he  was a big bruiser (another bad word for the Word Police to add to their list) who regularly attempted to whip Popeye’s butt, but always got beaten up himself by the end of the comic strip.

bluto

3. “Street thugs,” as they were known, allegedly blustered about just committing stupid and intimidating actions against innocent bystanders.   My version of these guys includes bullies who beat up other kids in school with no apparent reason (like robbery) but just for the heck of it.

I think it is noteworthy to mention that in other countries, such as the UK and much of Europe, the types of characters I think of as “thugs” — are known as “Hooligans.”

Stereotypical Hooligans are those that show up at soccer (fubol) or other sports events, and if their team doesn’t win (or DOES win, sometimes) take the opportunity to beat up the players, bystanders, fans, passers-by…and create general havoc in stadiums or nearby city streets.

I hasten to point out here that the term “Thug” is relative.  Some people think that I am very opinionated about things like words and…well lots of things.  This is true.

If there is a stereotype thug, then HE (although women can be thugs, they are not usually thought of in that light.  Please don’t take any of my ramblings about  word-use as sexist.    There are special words for women, but all I wish to say about that is that “thug” isn’t really appropriate for a woman.

So–Word Police–please stop looking for excuses to turn everything anyone says into fodder for Political Correctness.

(Most Popeye paraphernalia remains under copyright in the United States until 2024.   This drawing of Bluto is in the public domain.)