I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

I’VE ALWAYS WONDERED by Beth Rankin

Beth

I’ve always wondered how people going through an upheaval actually emotionally dealt with the hardship of seeing their world as they knew it collapse and assume there was nothing they could do but hold on and ride the waves.

Sort of how it feels now.

U S CAPITOL BUILDING

 

  • We have two unstable national leaders playing a game of chicken.
  • We have a Congress that seems to forget who put them there.
  • We have a series of natural events coming fast and furious with hurricanes, earthquakes and wildfires needing attention.
  • We have a huge segment of our population who is hiding as much as they can, not earning a living, because they are on a list to be removed and sent away.
  • We have Germany perhaps having their first elected fascists since the destruction of the Third Reich coming this weekend.
  • We have Britain’s Prime Minister trying to delay the departure from the European Union because since the vote more people know it’s a bad idea.
  • We have the US involved in wars We the People know little about.
  • We have military veterans coming home in emotional states that clearly show that war is hell and they were not prepared for it.
  • We have a segment of our population who seem to think they are above average while they line up with the rest of the sheep to support the 1%.
  • We have two major political parties that are dysfunctional and do not remember that this nation’s Constitution begins with “We the People.”

I could go on and on.

So, I have always loved to read and reading fictionalized or nonfiction accounts of how individuals live through a major crisis has given me concepts to consider.

  1. The Scout Motto, Be Prepared, makes sense. Have skills and equipment that will help survival opportunities improve.
  2. While Preppers may have the message right, it seems difficult to store 3 or more months of food, water and other supplies. Many of us can at least have a supply of food for two weeks in our homes. I know many people who don’t keep a “pantry” with some staples. Time to wake up, everyone. It does not take a war to have an emergency when stores will not be supplied with your favorite treats. All it takes is a storm and a loss of electricity. A highway blocked. A bridge too unsafe to cross.
  3. Start thinking NOW about how you will prepare food if there is no power.
  4. Make sure you also store water, toilet paper, medicines, and first aid supplies.
  5. I don’t need to tell you to store your weapon and ammo, but people, remember safety especially if there are children around.
  • Build a network of people you can trust. These are people who have complementary skills and common goals.
  1. So many people have no close friends and are estranged from their families because of emotional battles that may truly be pretty insignificant if you thought about it dispassionately. Time to try to heal those wounds. 
  • As the Governors of several states have recently done during hurricanes, martial law will most likely will be imposed.
  1. Recognize that the Internet and our cell phones most likely will stop communication; we’ll have to resort to meeting with people face to face and talking.
  2. ATMs will not be accessible and banks will be closed. Money will not be the currency of trade.
  3. Most likely  there will be restrictions on movement. Gas will be in short supply and expensive.

Now, I sure hope saner heads will prevail in this building concern with North Korea. We will not do well with a nuclear war.

I hope We the People have a better memory in the next election and actually participate and vote to remove Congressional representatives who fail at their job. No one should be returned to office who has not demonstrated their responsiveness to their constituents.

I hope anyone in places where there can be warning of a coming devastation like a wildfire or a hurricane can calmly and safely get their loved ones to safety. As hard as it is to lose “everything,” no matter how precious they are, they are THINGS. You can rebuild.

I hope people in places where devastation has occurred can remember they are part of the Family Of Man and will open their homes to provide shelter and sustenance to people who have lost everything.

I hope you feel compelled to speak to your morals and ethics when others are showing their fear in hatred to a minority. When we remain silent, perhaps out of fear that we will also be attacked, we condone the attack.

I hope you know firsthand how cooperating with others may not bring you the riches you dream of, but allows you “enough” as well as the ability to understand we each need “enough.”

I pray that any loved one serving in the military comes home safe and sound, and if not, you stay patient to give them the succor they require. As difficult as it is to lose the someone you knew to an altered person, love can help bring them around. A sense of trust and safety can provide the way.

I urge you to start digging a bit deeper from information that shapes your opinions. So many of us do NOT read across the spectrum nor any news sources form overseas, but those are the only ways you can know if the information you are being fed is accurate. Also, if what you are reading is using inflammatory language, if the article tells you what to think, it is an editorial, not a news article. News articles must explain who, what, why, where and how and leave you thinking.

As for the political parties, the ONLY way we can gain change is for everyone to get involved. Simple. And please realize that the place your voice REALLY counts is on the local level. You want to see changes, get involved in your town.

[Beth Rankin lives with her husband Graham in McMinnville, Oregon. She is the publisher and editor of “Going Places–Living Life” and “Can-Do Zero Waste.” This editor and his wife had the distinct pleasure of spending a few days with the Rankins during a recent trip through the far western and northern United States.]

 

“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”:  by Neil deGrasse Tyson

“WE MIGHT NOT RECOVER”: by Neil deGrasse Tyson

‘We might not recover’: Neil deGrasse Tyson gets emotional and sounds the alarm. All the alarms. –by Jen Hayden

NEIL DEGRASSE TYSON

Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson joined CNN’s Fareed Zakaria to discuss the massive, record-setting hurricanes that have been pummeling Texas, Florida and the Caribbean in recent weeks and he is sounding the alarm. All the climate change alarms, even wondering if we’ve reached the point now where we might not be able to recover.

It’s a sobering interview that all should see. The full interview an transcript are below. The time to act is right now.ZAKARIA: So what role did climate change play in the ferocious strength of hurricane Irma and the intense flooding caused by Irma and Harvey? Well, on Monday, U.S. Homeland Security adviser refused to say whether climate change had been a factor or Irma’s strength at all. The head of the EPA, Scott Pruitt, has told CNN in advance of Irma’s landfall that it was insensitive to talk about climate change right now. How should we think about an event like this and the broader issue of science and public policy?

To help me understand the impact of all of this, Neil deGrasse Tyson joins me. He is, of course, the author of the best-seller Astrophysics for People in a Hurry and much, much more. Neil, you’re not a climate scientist but you’re a very distinguished scientist and astrophysicist. What do you think about when people say, look, this is not settled science, there are still questions about Einstein’s theories that led to nuclear fission but we still know that there are nuclear power plants do operate and they do provide electricity.

TYSON: There are people who have cultural, political, religious economic philosophies that they then invoke when they want to cherry pick one scientific result or another. You can find a scientific paper that says practically anything and the press, which I count you as part of, will sometimes find a single paper and say “Here’s a new truth.” But an emergent scientific truth, for it to become an objective truth, a truth that is true whether or not you believe it, it requires more than one scientific paper. It requires a whole system of people’s research all leaning in the same direction, all pointing to the same consequences. That’s what we have with climate change as induced by human conduct. This is a known correspondence. If you want to find the 3 percent of the papers or the 1 percent of the papers that conflicted with this and build policy on that, that is simply irresponsible. How else do you establish a scientific truth if not by looking at the consensus of scientific experiments and scientific observations. Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, signed into law in 1863–a year when he had important things to be thinking about–he signed into law the National Academy of Sciences. Because he knew that science mattered and should matter in governance.

ZAKARIA: And you know we build our cities on the basis of science. When we fall ill, we don’t go to the local witch doctor, we go to a doctor even though all of that science is still–there are advances going to be made, none of it is settled in the sense that–

TYSON: Well, you know what is settled? Settled science is the science that has come out of large bodies of research that all agree. When you see scientists arguing–and I said if you think scientists want to always agree with one another, you’ve never been to a scientific conference because people are duking it out. But what are they fighting over?

MARCH FOR SCIENCE

Not the settled science that’s been in the books. We’re fighting over the bleeding edge of what is not yet known and that is the natural course of science. If you as a journalist want to eavesdrop on that meeting, you’ll think scientists don’t know anything about anything but it’s the body of knowledge that accumulated over the decades that precedes this that becomes the canon that if you’re going to base policy and legislation on, that’s what you should be thinking about.

ZAKARIA: So you would say this is a moment to listen to climate scientists?

TYSON: I can’t even picture–how many rain drops was that? Fifty inches of rain in Houston. This is a shot across the bow. A hurricane the width of Florida going up the center of Florida. These are shots across our bow. What will it take for people to recognize that a community of scientists are learning objective truths about the natural world and that you can benefit from knowing about it? Even news reports on this channel talked about the fact that we have fewer deaths per hurricane. Why? Because you now know weeks in advance. We have models that have drawn trajectories of hurricanes. In decades gone by it was like there’s hurricane there. I don’t know, should I stay? Should I go? You stay and you die. So to cherry pick science is an odd thing for a scientist to observe and I didn’t grow up in a country where that was a common phenomenon. We went to the moon and people knew science and technology fed those discoveries. And the day two politicians are arguing about whether science is true, it means nothing gets done, nothing. It’s the beginning of the end of an informed democracy, as I’ve said many times. What I’d rather happen is you recognize what is scientifically truth then you have your political debate. So in the case of energy policy, whatever, you don’t ask is the science right, you ask should we have carbon credits tariffs.

TYSON: …Right. The longer we delay, the more–I worry we might not be able to recover from this because our greatest cities are on the oceans and water’s edges historically for commerce and transportation and as storms kick in, as water levels rise they are the first to go and we don’t have a system, we don’t have a civilization with the capacity to pick up a city and move it inland 20 miles. This is happening faster than our ability to respond. That could have huge economic consequences.

ZAKARIA: On that sobering note, Neil deGrasse Tyson, always a pleasure. We are in a hurry to read the book.

[The above interview was transcribed and first published in DAILY KOS, September 09, 2017 by Jen Hayden. It is reprinted in Columnist With a View because it is extremely important information for everyone. It was re-blogged by DAILY KOS SOCIAL, and it is reprinted with the permission of DAILY KOS.]

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 mad at me for being black. Or female. Or whatever. But what IS being asked of you is to acknowledge that white privilege DOES exist and not only to treat people of races that differ from yours ‘with respect and humor,’ but also to stand up for fair treatment and justice, not to let ‘jokes’ or ‘off-color’ comments by friends, co-workers, or family slide by without challenge, and to continually make an effort to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, so we may all cherish and respect our unique and special contributions to society as much as we do our common ground. With much love and respect, Lori.” –Richard Moberly

 

“I’m presently watching President Inept Narcissist Two Second Attention Span read a speech to the United Nations. I understand and respect that all Presidents in the modern era have used speech writers. Having said that…it is clear that no President has differed so greatly in what they say in their off the cuff remarks vs. what they say in their speeches written by others. Everyone knows that Trump is an incessant liar. His positions can change from day to day, or hour to hour, or sentence to sentence. He has no moral compass. He has no credibility here or anywhere in the world. What an embarrassment. He’s The Emperor With No Clothes. I’m thankful that he’s temporary.” –David Click

 

“DACA defines what we stand for as a nation, a program redefined in this early century. “Dreamers,” as were all immigrants to this country in the past, were allowed to fulfill their ambitions. Let it not become a nightmare for these young people. A bonus to our country, and a tragedy if our small-minded politicians prevail in ending the program. DACA kids, and their parents and extended families, remind us of what makes the USA great. There’s no need to “Make America Great Again”; it remains great as long as we welcome those already here and the new arrivals from across the world.” –Nicholas Friedin

 

“PYONGYANG (The Borowitz Report)–In what some security experts fear could be a high-stakes war of Elton John lyrics, minutes after Donald Trump called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man,” the North Korean dictator responded by calling Trump “Honky Cat.”

“As he issued the Elton John-based attack, Kim warned that he had an extensive collection of the singer-songwriter’s albums and was prepared to weaponized every lyric in them.

“The White House immediately struck back, warning Kim that ‘any further provocation involving an Elton John lyric, especially ‘Tiny Dancer,’ will be seen as an act of war.’

“But any hope that Kim would be silenced was short-lived.

“Responding to the White House, Kim stated, ‘I see the bitch is back,’ before signing off, ‘Goodbye, Yellow-Wigged Toad.'” –Ed Rabel

 

EASTERN EUROPE WAS AN ENLIGHTENING TRIP by Diane W. Mufson

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.

BUDAPEST ON THE DANUBE

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.

“SHOE ON THE DANUBE BANK”

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 think that tobacco companies worry about the decline in American cigarette consumption, but Eastern Europe is picking up the slack. Another fascinating find was the large numbers of stores selling sewing notion, fabrics and machines. Obviously, the economy is such that homemade clothing is needed as it was here in the middle of the 20th century.

DUBROVNIK, CROATIA

We visited Croatia and Servia, two of the six countries that once were part of Yugoslavia, a country that existed from 1942 to 1991, when the somewhat benevolent independent communist dictator, “Tito” (Josip Broz) kept those countries in line and prevented them from killing each other. This area, known as the Balkans, has always been a tinder point for wars.

Vukovar, a small attractive Croatian city, was about 85 percent obliterated in the 1990s in their war with Serbia, which extended into much of the former Yugoslavia. According to our guide, it’s peaceful now, but unemployment is 33 percent and emigration is causing a brain drain among the young educated people.

Perhaps the most amazing piece of information from our guide regarded schools. Croatian and Serbian people reside in both Croatia and Serbia and some have intermarried. But when the children of intermarried couples go to school in Croatia, they must decide if they will attend a Serbian or a Croatian school; the youngsters of these nationalities cannot mix in schools even if their parents have done so.

BUCHAREST, ROMANIA

I wasn’t prepared to like Bucharest, Romania’s capital, as I’d heard that it was a grey boring city and a set of my grandparents emigrated from Romania over a century ago because of the dangers facing them.

A BUCHAREST CAFE

But what we found were friendly people, interesting places, great food, joy at getting rid of their Communist dictator in 1989, an amazingly modern McDonald’s and ease in getting around Bucharest with Uber.

Travel is always interesting; visiting a small part of Eastern Europe was enlightening.

[This wonderfully descriptive article first appeared in the Huntington WV Herald-Dispatch on Thursday, September 14, 2017. The author, Diane W. Mufson, a retired psychologist, and her husband Maury reside in Huntington, West Virginia. Ms. Mufson is a weekly contributor the editorial page of the Herald-Dispatch. Her e-mail is dwmufson@comcast.net] 

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

STATUE OF ROBERT E. LEE - This is what started it all in Charlottesville.

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 the mission. If the recent media attention causes concern with my church, I reluctantly offer my resignation.”


Lee’s congregants emphatically did not like the world wide media attention. Washington Post:

“Lee did not describe specific responses he received from congregants. But the comments section on an article about his VMA speech in the Winston-Salem Journal gives some sense of the backlash. One commenter wrote that there was “no way” Lee was a Christian and that “it seems anybody that wants to protect our country is a racist, or white supremacist. …It’s a sin to use your position to name-call and judge.” Another commenter wrote that rather than appear on television, Lee should devote his time to ministering: “You have how many faithful members? Maybe if you spent more time around the church that number would increase.”

“In an Aug. 18 interview with BBC News, Lee argued that statues of his ancestor honor white supremacy and endorse a system in which it is acceptable to be racist in America. He pointed to the complete lack of markers to fascists in Europe following World War II as evidence that there is a way to “remember your history and not commemorate it.” Lee talked of how he had spoken with a descendant of a slave owned by the Lee family, describing his heartbreak over hearing the firsthand experiences of those “hurt and oppressed by statues.”

“Lee has spoken openly about how he arrived at his own conclusions about his lineage, saying he has at once felt pride in the fact that Lee family members signed the Declaration of Independence and shame over Robert E. Lee’s leadership over the Confederacy. In one NPR interview, he spoke of how he was often given mixed messages on whether the elder Lee was a proponent of slavery or states’ rights.”

REV. ROB LEE

Rev. Lee is quite courageous. He is in a small, yet gradually increasing group of courageous pastors, notably John Pavlovitz and William Barber, who are unequivocally standing up for what is right in America. They truly are moral leaders in troubled times when churches and congregations are reflecting the divisions and turmoil that exist all over our country. Their moral compass is strong and we are fortunate. When Rev. Lee was asked “was it worth it,” he replied, “Unequivocally yes.”

[This article first appeared in Daily Kos on September 5, 2017. It was re-blogged by “Support the Dream Defenders,” “Street Prophets,” and “Daily Kos Liberation League.”]