Trump as Dictator

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I try to avoid political posts in this blog, but I cannot remain silent. Our country and our democracy are under attack from the highest level of government–the President.

Today, Donald Trump used tear gas and military force to dispel peaceful protestors in Washington, DC, so he could have a photo-op holding a Bible. Please remember that the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America guarantees the right of citizens to protest peacefully.

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

He then held up the Bible in front of a church to justify his actions, and that is the highest level of hypocrisy.  All Americans who love this country, who admire our democracy, and who want to preserve freedom must oppose this would be dictator. Republicans, Democrats, and Independents must oppose him.

Please make no mistake–I am not condoning violence or rioting, not at all, but Trump is using this time to project strength, but the strength he projects is that which is reminiscent of Mussolini and Hitler, not of Reagan, FDR, JFK or President Bush.

Remember that freedom and democracy are fragile and precious, and they must not be sacrificed to the altar of a projection of power. America needs and deserves better.

 

Quotations On Presidential Responsibility

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In any time of crisis, the United States looks to its President for true leadership, for someone who can guide and understand the magnitude of the times, for someone who can also accept responsibility.

 

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“The Buck Stops Here!” (from desk sign)

Harry S. Truman

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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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“Let us not seek the Republican answer, or the Democratic answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.”

                                                                          John F. Kennedy

 

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“Power always brings with it responsibility.”

                                                                         Teddy Roosevelt

 

Sometimes, leaders do not rise to the necessary levels during such times of need.

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“I don’t take responsibility at all.”

                                                                        Donald Trump

Quotations On Ignorance and Its Danger

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“Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

                                                     Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

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“Reason obeys itself; and ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.”

                                                                     Thomas Paine

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“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action.”

                                                   Johann Wolfgang von Geothe

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“We must, especially now, be aware of the threat of tyranny and authoritarianism that is riding on the wave of ignorance, bigotry, and fear.”

                                                                    Charles F. French

Happy Birthday to Mr. Charles Dickens!

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Today is Charles Dickens’ 208th birthday, and I celebrate this extraordinary writer who gave the world a plethora of books, filled with dynamic and lasting characters, an attention to life, concern with the condition of the poor and suffering, and joy. In Dickens’ works is a celebration of humanity as well as a condemnation of the capacity of human beings to be inhumane to each other.

I have had the good fortune of not only reading many of his excellent books, but also I have taught them in various courses. Among his novels that I have used in my classes are A Christmas Carol, Hard Times, and A Tale Of Two Cities.

Dickens was not only an exceptional writer but also beloved by humanity. His was not work aimed at solely literary critics. Like Shakespeare, Dickens was loved and is loved by the mass of people, and I celebrate that love.

Happy Birthday to you, and I wish that your writings continue to be read and loved, Charles Dickens!

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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2020

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Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and I would like to offer a few of this extraordinary American’s quotations as a tribute to him. He was one of the finest, most decent, and empathetic people in the history of the United States of America. We should all remember him and honor his teaching, his legacy, and his call for justice for everyone.

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

 

“There comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular, but he must take it because conscience tells him it is right.”

 

“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

 

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

 

“We must live together as brothers or perish together as fools.”

Quotations On The Need For Justice

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“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.”

                                                                      Elie Wiesel

 

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“No man is justified in doing evil on the ground of expediency.”

                                                                      Theodore Roosevelt

 

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“When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

                                                                       Eleanor Roosevelt

 

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“An injustice to one person is a crime against everyone, and we must always try to achieve true justice in the world.”

                                                                     Charles F. French

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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Enough Is Enough!

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“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

How many mass shootings will occur before we do something about it? Once again, a horrible shooting took place today in El Paso, Texas. The numbers that I have seen on television reporting are at least 19 dead and over 40 wounded. Once again, this horror occurs in America. Once again, we can expect those politicians who are in the control of the NRA to offer “thoughts and prayers.” Once again, we, as a nation, need to demand action.

Once again, we need to say in one voice, “Enough is enough!”

This is a uniquely American tragedy, not that it cannot happen in other countries, but the sheer numbers of incidents that do occur here make it part of the fabric of our nation.

We must not allow this to be normal, to hear it, be upset, and then just move on. This is wrong, this is evil, and this must not continue. The majority of Americans want some form of gun control. We must not simply want it. We must demand it. We must tell politicians that if they do not take action on gun control, we will vote them out of office. We must demand that they stand up to the corporate gun lobby and the NRA. We must demand that they understand and recognize human lives matter more than the sale of guns no one should have.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

Elie Wiesel

Let us speak out. Vote. Let your voices be heard.

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.

Quotations on Idealism–Revisited

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I am an unapologetic idealist, a dreamer, and an optimist. As a writer and teacher, I find these qualities to be essential. I continue to see ways to improve the world, no matter how many losses or setbacks occur.

We must always stand up for what is right, what is worth fighting for, and for those who cannot fight for themselves.

Here are a few quotations about idealism:

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“Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace

You may say that I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one”

                                                                                John Lennon

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“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”

                                                                            Robert Kennedy

 

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“There is some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for.”

                                                                              J. R. R. Tolkien