Category Archives: Democracy

It’s time to listen hard

“I think we’re going to be OK.” President Barack Obama.

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.” Dalai Lama

Actions speak louder than words, and listening involves not only the five senses, but the sixth one too — intuition.

I listened to Standing Rock, and what I heard is love of the earth and so much more.

I listened to Senator Bernie Sanders and voted for him in the Democratic primary, because he has integrity, has the ability to imagine humanistic solutions and realize them, and knows how to compromise. He shows respect for his fellow Senators and Congressmen. He shows respect for everyone.

I voted for Hilary Clinton in the general election, because I think she is sane. And compassionate. I had many reservations though… the Wall Street speeches, the Clinton Foundation (couldn’t they have fund raised for other foundations), that Glass-Steagell disappeared under her husband’s watch, which led to the Great Recession, that her husband never owned his mistreatment of women…

Every time I listen to President-elect Donald Trump or hear of his Cabinet choices, my chest tightens, my heart beats rapidly, and I imagine more and more working poor, more real jobs being outsourced, more beneath-subsistence jobs created in the U.S.  (who needs slavery when you can work for Wal-Mart), more denial in regards to climate change and environmental abuse (lead-poisoned and lung-damaged children for example), civil rights abuses, and even worse outcomes….

I pray to keep hearing President Obama’s words and those of my favorite president…

“The only thing we have to fear, is fear itself.” Franklin Delano Roosevelt

 

 

 

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Courage requires a thick skin

If you want everyone to like you, then you shouldn’t be a writer Steven King noted in his masterpiece on writing, On Writing.

Sensitivity often goes hand in hand with having a “thin skin,” keenly sensing others’ emotions. This election year has driven home to me that courageous individuals willing to fight for what they believe in are somehow able to withstand intense criticism, bullying, and sometimes even sabotage and hatred.

Today’s Los Angeles Times article, Soldier for the climate change cause, about scientist Ben Santer who is willing to get way out of his comfort zone, articulate the extreme significance of climate change, and subject himself to decades of intense criticism made my day.

There have been so many others. Michael Moore’s 5 Point Plan for 2017 is hilarious and practical.

 

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Purple pain: President Elect Donald Trump

I am not through mourning witnessing the free-flow expression of contempt for fellow human beings, the disengagement, and the effect of disinformation that became apparent the morning of November 9.

Trump changed everything. Now everything counts, an article by Barbara Kingsolver in The Guardian lists the potential loss of human rights and dignity, “Losses are coming at us in these areas: freedom of speech and the press; women’s reproductive rights; affordable healthcare; security for immigrants and Muslims; racial and LGBTQ civil rights; environmental protection; scientific research and education; international cooperation on limiting climate change; international cooperation on anything; any restraints on who may possess firearms; restraint on the upper-class wealth accumulation that’s gutting our middle class; limits on corporate influence over our laws.”

I am so sick of hearing “the media.” As if celebrity gossip outlets, every variation of television news, newspapers that strive for objective reporting, National Public Radio (NPR), and every blogger and Internet site are equivalent. And fake news…

Without objective reporting, I would feel hopeless. I found this LA Times news feature helpful, A primer on executive power: Trump can’t end same-sex marriages, but he could speed up deportations.

This election made me realize how incredibly hard life had become for a lot of Americans. Through NPR, newspapers, magazines, and legitimate Internet sites, I also see a lot of Americans willing to stand up for human rights and dignity, and for this I am very grateful.

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Bernie Sanders ain’t a socialist

Bernie Sanders is not a socialist. Why was his campaign calling him one? Were they allergic to marketing?

Merriam-Webster’s dictionary defines socialism as a society in which there is no private property — the government owns the means of production and distribution of goods. That was not even close to his platform.

Social democrat
Mark Thoma of The Fiscal Times terms Sanders a social democrat, a capitalist who believes in social insurance. Thoma explains the part about capitalism that rocks, and the part that doesn’t, “…production under capitalism is subject to booms and busts” — hence the need for social insurance such as unemployment insurance and social security.

Media snubbing cost votes
Having witnessed so much integrity, compassion, and pragmatism rolled into this once-in-a-lifetime candidate, it hurts a lot that he did not have a fair chance to become our president.

I don’t have the stomach to go into his own party’s machinations that kept him from the nomination for president, but this column in Democracy Now, How the Media Iced Out Bernie Sanders cites the Tyndall Report, which analyzed 1,000 minutes of national candidate coverage during primary season.

Donald Trump received 322 minutes of coverage to Bernie Sanders’ 22 minutes. That’s 1,500 percent more coverage! Estimates of Trump’s free airtime range from $1 billion to $3 billion dollars.

Out of sight is out of mind and out of vote. As much as I hate to admit it, Donald Trump can be entertaining, has natural comedic timing, and was able to appeal to citizens who felt despair at the “sharing economy,” which has some sharing their cars, living spaces, jackets, and outhouses.

 

 

 

 

 

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Damon Dunn, Vision and Then Some for Mayor of Long Beach

“I am impressed with Damon’s knowledge of the issues facing Long Beach and his ability to articulate them,” said O’Neill. “Damon’s strength and commitment will help to lead us into a promising future,” Beverly O’Neill endorsing Damon Dunn as reported in May 5, Long Beach Press Telegram.

“I believe that Damon Dunn will bring transparency to City Hall so that residents are given the information on how and why decisions are made that impact this city,” Schipske said in a statement.

Schipske also credited Dunn for his pledge to bring a new ethics code when in office, and for running a “good, truthful, positive campaign” in the primary, Gerrie Schipske endorsing Damon Dunn as reported in April 30, Long Beach Press Telegram.

Damon Dunn epitomizes the power of positive living. Although Damon Dunn was blessed with athletic and academic prowess, it is his approachability, his effectiveness, and his lifelong affinity for serving the community that earns my vote.

Long Beach is poised to become as desired a destination as San Francisco or Seattle.  Dunn has the passion for all the possibilities Long Beach offers and the imagination and drive to make Long Beach truly come into its own.

And since my children refuse to move to Los Angeles and they happen to be minors, I want Long Beach to be even better than it already is.

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