“The ballot is stronger than the bullet.”
“There’s no such thing as a vote that doesn’t matter.”
I am now feeling angry, frustrated, and frightened, all at once. My wife and I went out for what was supposed to be a short afternoon trip. The day was going to busy, with just a short afternoon diversion.
There was a Trump rally at the intersection near our place, and that is not an issue. Everyone has the right to protest in the U.S.A, but some were carrying automatic rifles (perhaps semi-automatic, but that really doesn’t change anything) and standing right at the edge of the road and screaming at cars. This should not be allowed–when I saw this, I immediately thought–they would have been at home in Nazi Germany. They are bullies, and they are not supporting democracy. How dare they try to intimidate people that way.
The election is over, and Trump lost. That is what happens with elections; sometimes your candidate wins, and sometimes your candidate loses. I learned that a long time ago. Trying to influence an election through intimidation is the tactic of a would-be totalitarian government.
We are supposed to be The United States Of America.
What happened the other night in Portland, Oregon should have all Americans who believe in the Constitution, Freedom, and Democracy outraged and frightened. Please do not divert the subject by speaking about “riots”. That is an issue that is addressed by local and state authorities, not the Federal Government. The President does not seem to care about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
Having Federal agents, wearing police insignia without identification of person or office arresting people without warrants and taking them away in unmarked vehicles is a clear violation of both the Fourth Amendment and their oath to uphold the Constitution; it is, by its very nature, an assault on American freedom and democracy. Without a warrant and an authorized jurisdiction of policing, these actions are kidnapping.
Let me be very clear. What happened is what occurs in totalitarian dictatorships, such as Putin’s tactics in the Crimea. Putin is very likely extremely proud of his friend, Donald Trump.
Further, for those who are true conservatives and care about the separation of states and city rights from the Federal government, they should be horrified. This was a clear violation of state and city sovereignty and jurisdiction.
It is also ironic that with the turmoil in our country about the abuse of police power, that these actions, themselves, are abuse of police power.
Let me be clear. I am not speaking as a member of a political party. I am speaking as a proud American who holds our Constitution to be a sacred document. Regardless of political affiliation, no matter if you are Republican, Democratic, or Independent, you should decry these actions. Our land must never become one that is ruled by autocrats and dictators who use force as they wish and ignore the rule of law.
Let us also remember that many fought and died to preserve out democracy. Let us honor their memory by insisting on the government abiding by the Constitution of the United States of America.
The United States of America lost an heroic figure with the passing of Representative John Lewis on Friday from pancreatic cancer. (1940-2020)
Mr. Lewis was a major figure in the Civil Rights Movement and worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He participated, in the March on Washington, and he led the march, as a young man, across the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. This would come to be known as Bloody Sunday because of the violence the marchers encountered, including Mr. Lewis.
He would later be elected to the United States House of Representatives in which he served for 30 years; he was frequently considered to be the Conscience of America. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Obama in 2011.
Among Mr. Lewis’ quotations are “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something, you have to do something.” and “I’m very hopeful. I am very optimistic about the future.” and “Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”
Mr. John Lewis was a tireless fighter for justice and against injustice. He will be missed.
Rest In Peace
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
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.
“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.”
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.
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.
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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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