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QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

“Well, our brilliant leader (no one is smarter than him, he said so) has begun cavalierly calling this man with his finger on the trigger in North Korea and total control over the use of monstrous weapons, “Rocket” Man like a child in the schoolyard trying to provoke a fight. If conflict ensues it will not be this draft-dodger or his pampered children who are placed in danger and sent in harm’s way to a far-flung war zone to engage. We are talking about the deaths of literally thousands and tens of thousands of people-maybe even millions-many of them sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even grandparents that are Americans. To treat the threat of a horrible war with such a thoughtless approach-as though it is no big deal-something to be joked about and belittled shows the depth of this-and I’m choking on it-president’s ignorance, arrogance, and lack of feeling for his fellow man. Is there no end to this madness? Is there no balm in Gilead for those of us seeking a return to sanity?” –Pat Jones   “This is the final paragraph of an article I just read in answer to a friend who asked his Black friends to provide examples of white privilege. (I would like to note that more accurately, his statement should be “white, straight, male privilege”) This woman wrote an extensive, sensitive response to his request which is quite long. This last paragraph is good instruction for everyone: “As to you ‘being part of the problem,’ trust me, nobody is mad at you for being white. Nobody. Just like nobody should be... read more

EASTERN EUROPE WAS AN ENLIGHTENING TRIP by Diane W. Mufson

In my youth, high schools regularly required classes in world history in addition to American history and civics. These subjects didn’t thrill us, but in retrospect they had definite benefits. Today, when high school students are shown a map of Great Britain or France, many have no inkling where these places are located. Still, most of us lack an understanding of less familiar parts of the world, especially where there is little current American involvement. That includes Eastern Europe and the Balkans, where we recently visited. Spending a week in this region certainly does not make me an expert, but it is enlightening and is a great reminder that we Americans are very fortunate. Visiting Hungary the second time in a decade was instructive. While the Capital, Budapest, remains a magnificent old city on the Danube River, with new buildings and an easy-to-navigate subway system, there are new ominous political concerns. On one of our tours, our guide was answering questions about the current government and suddenly announced that he thought it was time for him to stop. Away from the group, he noted that the Hungarian president, Victor Orban, was now moving the country in an ultra right direction, causing fear and motivating educated young people to leave. Having previously passed by the Holocaust remembrance exhibit, “Shoes on the Danube Bank,” where Jewish men, women and children were told to take off their shoes and then shot into the river by Hungarian Nazis in 1944, this information was very disconcerting. Taking a walk in a non-tourist neighborhood pointed out that cigarette smoking is frequent and constant. We may... read more

A PASTOR DESCENDED FROM ROBERT E. LEE FORCED TO LEAVE CHURCH AFTER SPEAKING OUT AGAINST RACISM by Ursula Faw

A descendant of Robert E. Lee spoke these words at the MTV Video Awards last month in the immediate aftermath of Charlottesville: “My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin. “Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on. We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched int he Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.” Long story short, his North Carolina congregants didn’t like what he had to say on national television and they decided to take a vote on whether he should remain as their pastor. Lee took the hint and issued this statement: “I regret that speaking out has caused concern and pain to my church. For this is [sic] I offer my heartfelt apology. I understand that my views could be considered to be controversial. I never sought this sort of attention. But, I do believe in God’s role in calling out for positive social change for the good of all. We are all called by God to speak out against hate and evil in all its many forms. There are so many good things going on with this congregation and I do not want my fight to detract from... read more

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POLITICS

TRUMP TRUMPS THE SCANDALS OF PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS by Milt Hankins

TRUMP TRUMPS THE SCANDALS OF PREVIOUS ADMINISTRATIONS by Milt Hankins

Almost no presidential administration has escaped the taint of a scandal or two. Scandal substantially tarnished the administrations of Ulysses S. Grant and Warren G. Harding. More recently, most of us recall Watergate, Whitewater/Lewinsky, and Iran-Contra. I selected only a few to make my point. I could have mentioned many more. Readers can google “Presidential Scandals.” Seth Cline, a staff writer with U.S. News and World Report, began his article “The 7 Worst U.S. Presidential Scandals” (March 1, 2017) mentioning Grant. If you research Trump administration scandals, you will discover a hefty list of Trump’s disgraces, and you will realize these articles have been published in the first eight or nine months of his presidency. We may have three more years to go. Simply untenable! We should have done more than raise our eyebrows when, from the beginning of the Trump administration, nepotism (“favoritism shown to relatives in appointing them to jobs”) reared its ugly head. Nepotism is illegal (see 5 U.S. Code #3110, Sub-Part B: “A public official may not appoint, employ, promote, advance, or advocate for appointment, employment, promotion or advancement, in or to a civilian position in the agency in which he is serving or over which he exercises jurisdiction or control any individual who is a relative of the public official.”) The responsibilities President Trump has given to his son-in-law Jared Kushner and his daughter Ivanka will prove extremely troublesome. Kushner is already a major subject of current investigations by the Congress. He and Donald Jr. are also under scrutiny for their involvement in questionable meetings with Russian operatives. According to an article in Politico... read more

RELIGION

A PASTOR DESCENDED FROM ROBERT E. LEE FORCED TO LEAVE CHURCH AFTER SPEAKING OUT AGAINST RACISM by Ursula Faw

A PASTOR DESCENDED FROM ROBERT E. LEE FORCED TO LEAVE CHURCH AFTER SPEAKING OUT AGAINST RACISM by Ursula Faw

A descendant of Robert E. Lee spoke these words at the MTV Video Awards last month in the immediate aftermath of Charlottesville: “My name is Robert Lee IV, I’m a descendant of Robert E. Lee, the Civil War general whose statue was the center of violence in Charlottesville. We have made my ancestor an idol of white supremacy, racism, and hate. As a pastor, it is my moral duty to speak out against racism, America’s original sin. “Today, I call on all of us with privilege and power to answer God’s call to confront racism and white supremacy head-on. We can find inspiration in the Black Lives Matter movement, the women who marched int he Women’s March in January, and, especially, Heather Heyer, who died fighting for her beliefs in Charlottesville.” Long story short, his North Carolina congregants didn’t like what he had to say on national television and they decided to take a vote on whether he should remain as their pastor. Lee took the hint and issued this statement: “I regret that speaking out has caused concern and pain to my church. For this is [sic] I offer my heartfelt apology. I understand that my views could be considered to be controversial. I never sought this sort of attention. But, I do believe in God’s role in calling out for positive social change for the good of all. We are all called by God to speak out against hate and evil in all its many forms. There are so many good things going on with this congregation and I do not want my fight to detract from... read more

CURRENT

QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

QUOTES YOU MAY HAVE MISSED ON FACEBOOK by Editor

“Well, our brilliant leader (no one is smarter than him, he said so) has begun cavalierly calling this man with his finger on the trigger in North Korea and total control over the use of monstrous weapons, “Rocket” Man like a child in the schoolyard trying to provoke a fight. If conflict ensues it will not be this draft-dodger or his pampered children who are placed in danger and sent in harm’s way to a far-flung war zone to engage. We are talking about the deaths of literally thousands and tens of thousands of people-maybe even millions-many of them sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, and even grandparents that are Americans. To treat the threat of a horrible war with such a thoughtless approach-as though it is no big deal-something to be joked about and belittled shows the depth of this-and I’m choking on it-president’s ignorance, arrogance, and lack of feeling for his fellow man. Is there no end to this madness? Is there no balm in Gilead for those of us seeking a return to sanity?” –Pat Jones   “This is the final paragraph of an article I just read in answer to a friend who asked his Black friends to provide examples of white privilege. (I would like to note that more accurately, his statement should be “white, straight, male privilege”) This woman wrote an extensive, sensitive response to his request which is quite long. This last paragraph is good instruction for everyone: “As to you ‘being part of the problem,’ trust me, nobody is mad at you for being white. Nobody. Just like nobody should be... read more