Truth No One Wants to Talk About


 

America has a lot to be ashamed about in our history. The are four huge things I am going to mention. There are others, and though we like to think of ourselves as the standard that all countries should strive for, we are not. The first is our indigenous population, the many tribes of Native Americans who lived here for centuries before white Europeans came to these shores.  I am sure it was unnerving to have the strange colored and strangely dressed people arrive at their shores, yet they welcomed these new people.

 

Despite the myth of Thanksgiving, we came and brought disease and began to take their land. They had been the caretakers of all of this beautiful land that comprises America for centuries. The land was lush and fertile. It was full of wild animals, including buffalo. There was more than enough bounty to go around. The indigenous people did not pollute the water or the air. They proudly took care of their land. White people came in an took the land and killed the “American Indians” or fought them in bloody battles. White people would not give up so they killed thousands of braves, the women and children. We “gave” them little patches of worthless land (that they already owned) and made treaties that weren’t worth the paper they were written on. Still to this day, they care for Mother Earth as best as they can.

 

Our second shame is the issue of slavery. The first black men were brought to Jamestown in chains in the 1600’s. They were brought to sell to people who wanted them to do work their new owners didn’t want to do. The south became the biggest owner of slaves because of the plantations and crops such as tobacco, cotton and sugar cane. There were some slaves early on in the north but the practice didn’t last long. The 1840 census showed that New Hampshire had one slave.

 

Today slavery is long gone, thanks to a war. Even after the Civil War, the South enacted segregation and an organization called the Klu Klux Klan was formed. It was made up of cowardly southern men who rode at night under white sheets lynching Black people, beating them up. Setting themselves up as judge, jury and executioner for the helpless black people.

 

We now have our first black president and I voted for him twice. His Presidency has brought out the racism that is still alive and well in America. Which brings me to the group Black Lives Matter. I believe in Black Lives Matter. There is no need for White Lives Matter because here in America White lives are the only lives that matter in the eyes of too many people, and often in the eyes of the law.

 

In 1947, Japan bombed Pearl Harbor and much of our Navy Fleet was lost. We lost many sailors and navy nurses. The attack was a terrible shock to America. My father kept a file about the attack that I found in 1984 when he died. Japan had woken the sleeping Tiger that was the U.S., and they payed the ultimate price, unfortunately. After the Pearl Harbor attack, came our third great shame, when we rounded up all Japanese people and some who looked oriental and put them in internment camps. We even included the Japanese who were born here and had lived in America their entire lives. Why? The were different. They were a different color, and LOOKED like the enemy, so they were judged to BE the enemy.

 

In 2001, we were attacked again by religious Jihadists. The hit us in three locations: The Pentagon, the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and a hijacked plane that was brought down by the passengers rather than let it fly to Washington DC. This attack was allegedly done “in the name of Islam” (although Islam is a peaceful religion) and over 3000 people were directly killed and many first responders have died since. Our fourth shame comes in because many here in America blame every Muslim. The vast majority of Muslims had no more idea of what was going to happen on September 11 than any non-Muslim, and are just as hurt, angered and appalled. But, because we are scared, we want to make all Muslims responsible. It’s easier for us to blame them because they often are a different color and dress differently, but this is not fair. Some want to keep all Muslims out of America. This is not right, and goes against everything America stands for, particularly the 1st Amendment Right of Freedom of Religion. There are many Muslims who are as peaceful and loving in their religious beliefs as anyone else, and should be able to come here and live.

 

Despite all the wrongs we have done to the Native Americans, they are now finally using their right to protest. They are protesting the continuation of the pipeline through their lands in the Dakotas. Whites should care as much about this land as do the descents of those from whom it was stolen. Native Americans are still taking of Mother Earth. Please listen to the important video below. Listen and take a stand. One you can be proud of.

 

Namaste

Barbara

 

Solidarity between Jews and Muslims


Jewish group expresses solidarity with Muslims after imam is murdered in Queens

 

Al-Furqan Jame Mosque in Ozone Park

Community members pray outside the Al-Furqan Jame Mosque in Ozone Park after imam Maulama Akonjee and friend Thara Uddin were killed in the Queens borough of New York City. (photo credit:KENA BETANCUR / AFP)

ion League expressed solidarity with the Muslim community on Sunday after an imam and and another Muslim walking with him were fatally shot by a lone gunman. The double murder happened on Saturday following afternoon prayers at a mosque in the New York City borough of Queens.

According to police, the gunman approached the men from behind and shot both in the head at close range in the Ozone Park neighborhood. No arrests have been made.

 While the motive for the shooting was not immediately known and no evidence has been uncovered that the two men were targeted because of their faith, some in the Muslim community have spoken out against Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, blaming him for creating an atmosphere of Islamophobia.

The victims, identified as Imam Maulama Akonjee, 55, and Thara Uddin, 64, were both wearing religious garb at the time of shooting, police said.

The ADL said it is shocked and horrified at the murder. ADL New York Regional Director Evan R. Bernstein also urged the NYPD to investigate it as a possible hate crime.

“Unfortunately, such incidents have the potential to make communities feel unsafe and vulnerable,” he said. “However, the Muslim community should know that greater New York stands united with them during this extremely difficult time.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, a Muslim civil rights and advocacy group known by the acronym CAIR, said Uddin was an associate of the imam.

“These were two very beloved people,” Afaf Nasher, executive director of the New York chapter of CAIR, told Reuters. “There is a deep sense of mourning and an overwhelming cry for justice to be served.”

“We are calling for all people, of all faiths, to rally with compassion and with a sense of vigilance so that justice can be served,” Nasher said. “You can’t go up to a person and shoot them in the head and not be motivated by hatred.”

The suspect was seen by witnesses fleeing the scene with a gun in his hand, police said.

Reuters contributed to this story.

 

bjwordpressdivider (1)

Bless the love that brought these people together and stopped the hate which is building up in our world. Love is the answer. Love is the only answer. We are all one family in one world worshiping one God, one God. It does not matter what name you use.

 

Namaste, Barbara

Victims of War and Trafficking


Hidden Victims Of War And Trafficking Revealed By Panama Papers

Panama Papers: An Incomplete List Of Perpetrators And Unseen List Of Victims

The Panama Papers rattled the world when they were released on Sunday. A massive leak of millions of documents exposed offshore financial records for clients around the globe seeking to hide bank accounts from domestic eyes. The Panama Papers now under the international spotlight have so far revealed that over 140 politicians from around the world have been involved with the Panamanian company firm Mossack Fonseca and networks of secret offshore deals that may have helped those involved to build fortunes.

Yet, the importance of the Panama Papers not only relies on the exposure of possible crime and corruption by world leaders, politicians, monarchs, and their friends and families. Tax havens, especially Panama, are well-known around the world. The offshore accounts are legal, but the Panama Papers have revealed that the legal accounts may be used for illegal activities, such as money laundering, tax evasion, and criminal activity. In addition, there are numerous victims behind these offshore deals. As stated by Al Jazeera,

“In a world of extreme inequality and massive social problems such as ours, the economic, social, and political effects of tax avoidance due to the existence of tax havens are enormous.” 

While workers and small to medium size business keep paying their tax obligations, world leaders, celebrities and business executives continue to pay less and less. Imagine how different many global issues would be without this money hidden away, but reinvested in the public. Think of the inequality, poverty, the refugee crisis, education, health, etc. TheInternational Consortium of Investigative Journals or ICIJ  (who closely worked with The Guardian, BBC and other newspapers in the exposure of the documents) also made sure to explain how these offshore deals affect others.

For example, it is known how barrel bombs and missiles have been dropped on civilian neighborhoods killing thousands of innocent lives in Syria. However, while the war crimes have been documented, the offshore finance behind these crimes has not. According to the Panama Papers, offshore companies have been accused of supplying fuel for jets slaughtering civilians in the Syrian civil war. And although many countries like the United Stated or the United Kingdom have called for bans on these companies, it is now known that

The 4 minute video done by ICIJ and the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting use alleged real life examples to explain the impact of these deals. In Russia, for example, it is said that businessmen kidnap girls and make them sex slaves whom they will later sell to clients; one of the ringleaders is believed to have been a client of Mossack Fonseca. The company allegedly turned a blind eye to evidence of underage human trafficking victims. In Uganda, a country that faced a brutal and bloody dictatorship that has left deep scars in the society, and considered one of the poorest countries in the world, a company was helped to avoid 400 million in taxes with simple paperwork. The Guardian has also recently claimed that a British banker, Nigel Cowie, helped the North Korean regime to sell arms and expand its nuclear weapons program. The US sanctioned Daedong Credit Bank, the first foreign bank in North Korea headed by Cowie.

Yet two questions remain: The first one is why US officials have not made any public declaration on the Panama Papers. The second is why there aren’t any US names outed yet in the Panama Papers.

Could the revelations actually be hiding something bigger? Why have stories so far revolved mainly around Russian President Vladimir Putin, or leaders of countries like Ukraine, Pakistan, Zimbabwe, and North Korea? Perhaps understandable, as Craig Murray has stated, if we considered the US-based ICIJ is actually funded and organized by the USA’s Center for Public Integrity, including funds from Ford Foundation, Carnegie Endowment, Rockefeller Family Fund, W K Kellogg Foundation and Open Society Foundation.

The US Justice Department said it is reviewing the documents and reports, looking for any US corruption or wrongdoing. It seems like that some in the US are holding their breath. And for good reason, as Mathew Ingram, senior writer at Fortune magazine, tweeted,

 “Editor of Süddeutsche Zeitung responded to the lack of U.S. individuals in the documents, saying “Just wait for what is coming next”. “

 bjwordpressdivider (1)

Children are also profitable to kidnap and sell.

Children are also profitable to kidnap and sell.

 

You have to wonder what will come out next. Does America have a role in the Panama Papers and who is involved? Are American women and children being kidnapped and sold as sex slaves or labor slaves? We will find out.

 

More human beings live in slavery than ever before. It must end.

More human beings live in slavery than ever before. It must end.

 

Slavery - Human Trafficking

Slavery – Human Trafficking

America the Beautiful


safeandhappy

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

America the Beautiful

Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward


O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for pilgrim feet
Whose stern impassioned stress
A thoroughfare of freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God mend thine every flaw,
Confirm thy soul in self-control,
Thy liberty in law!

O beautiful for heroes proved
In liberating strife.
Who more than self their country loved
And mercy more than life!
America! America!
May God thy gold refine
Till all success be nobleness
And every gain divine!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

O beautiful for halcyon skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the enameled plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till souls wax fair as earth and air
And music-hearted sea!

O beautiful for pilgrims feet,
Whose stem impassioned stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till paths be wrought through
wilds of thought
By pilgrim foot and knee!

O beautiful for glory-tale
Of liberating strife
When once and twice,
for man’s avail
Men lavished precious life!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till selfish gain no longer stain
The banner of the free!

O beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
Till nobler men keep once again
Thy whiter jubilee!

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

laborday ribbon wreath

 

Labor Day Greetings


WhirlyGIg

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

Labor Song

Ah!  Little they know of true happiness, they whom satiety fills,

Who, flung on the rich breast of luxury, eat of the rankness that kills.

Ah! little they know of the blessedness toll-purchased slumber enjoys

Who, stretched on the hard rack of indolence, taste of the sleep that destroys;

Nothing to hope for, or labor for; nothing to sign for or gain;

Nothing to light in its vividness, lightning-like, bosom and brain;

Nothing to break life’s monotony, rippling it o’er with its breath:

Nothing but dullness and lethargy, weariness, sorry and death!

 

But blessed that child of humanity, happiest man among men,

Who, with hammer or chisel or pencil, with rudder or ploughshare or pen

Laboreth ever and ever with hope through the morning of life,

Winning home and its darling divinities, –love-worshipped children and wife.

Round swings the hammer of industry, quickly, the sharp chisel rings,

and the heart of the toiler has throbbings that stir not the bosom of kings, —

He the true ruler and conqueror, he the true king of his race,

Who nerveth his arm for life’s combat, but looks the strong world in the face

–Denis Florence McCarthy

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

 

 

 

bjwordpressdivider

 

Hello everyone,

I am going to see some of the grandchildren for the holiday. I hope you enjoy this post. It was fun to put together for you all. I will have pictures when I return and will look forward to reading your posts.

 

I wish you all fun, safety and a happy heart.

Namaste,

Barbara

 

LaborDayFlag

Remembering What America Could Be — A Guest Rant


Hello, Everyone.  It is I, The IdealisticRebel’s Sister, and I have taken over the keyboard today to share a few thoughts.

Okay, rants.

 

For those of you who are not aware, I turned fifty several months ago, so when I say I remember a different America, I mean that I grew up in a different America.

 

In the America I grew up in, anger resulted in shouting, fist-fights and, occasionally law suits.  It did not end up in bullet-ridden bodies on the street corner, in the living room or the movie theatre.

 

I grew up in an America where we played outside till the lights came on, and no one worried we were going to be grabbed and shoved into a van and sold into slavery.  Strange cars in the neighborhood were first waved at, then greeted by a crowd of teenagers watching closely if they seemed suspicious.  Because those teenagers might be picking on you, but you were somebody’s little sister or little brother or younger cousin, and nobody got to mess with you but them!

 

I grew up in an America where my Mom worked full-time, raising three kids.  I came home to an empty house after school, and called my Mom the SECOND I got through the door, or I got what-for when she had to call me.  I heated up the dinner Mom had pre-made for the two of us, after my siblings went to college, and Mom and I ate together and shared our days and our plans for the week or the weekend.  Weekends, my siblings (sometimes) came home and we all ate together and yelled together and played together and ignored each other.  There was no father in our house (ours was the first household in school to have that ugly seven-letter word:  D-I-V-O-R-C-E).  My father, in fact, moved to Canada and, if I was lucky, I saw him twice a year.  My siblings often saw him less.

And none of us ended up on drugs, or got in bar fights, or beat our partners, or bought a gun and shot some stranger who reminded us of our parents.  We actually ended up as reasonably well-adjusted adults.  Perfect?  Not even close!  Dysfunctional together?  You bet!  But, push comes to shove, loving and caring and compassionate people who, each in our own way, do our best for those around us and the world.

 

There is no one who needs to tell me what it’s like to come from a broken home; to come home to an empty house day after day; to not have friends to play with because my family was different (I did mention:  the FIRST divorce, didn’t I?)  I was there.  I lived it, I felt it.

 

I was (very minorly) bullied in school, picked on by the ‘cool kids’, made to eat my lunch alone (because the ‘cool kids’ would ostracize anyone who sat with me), but I learned to cope, and to be happy in my own company and it never occurred to me — nor to anyone else I knew — to walk into my school and blow all my classmates away.

 

When did we become a country whose knee-jerk response is to shoot first and not ask questions, ever?

 

I’m not saying that we need to back to the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.  Go back to the time when blacks sat in the back of the bus?  When it was legal to hit a woman?  No, thank you.

 

But there has to be something between that and THIS.  Something between “you’re different, so I’m going to force you to stay away from me” and “you’re different so I’m going to blow your head off.”

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said religion.  But now, in a world where religion is an excuse to blow up synagogues and mosques and churches; where churches teach that anyone who believes differently will go to hell; where church groups picket the funerals of people who, in life, did or were something these narrow-minded people feel is ‘evil’?   I can’t believe THAT kind of religion — any kind of extremist religion, and it seems that, increasingly, that’s the predominant mentality of religious groups these days — is the answer.

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said the law.  But the lawmakers are trying to overturn basic human rights, and fighting granting rights to anyone different from them.  So I don’t know that the law is the answer (although, it’s getting better:  Thank you, SCOTUS; Thank you, POTUS).

 

I don’t know what the answer is.  Now that I’m an adult, though, I think the answer is more simple than I imagined as a child:  I think the answer might — just might — be US.  Each one of us, putting aside our differences to look for the commonalities; checking our prejudices at the door and actually LISTENING to the other side, without anger or vitriol; without judgement or censure; with open minds and open hearts and a genuine desire to make the world and each other better.

 

I don’t know what the answer is.

 

Do you?

 

 

 

 

State of DisUnion (Guest Rant)


Hi, all.  This is The Sister, stealing the keyboard for an evening, as the United States faces another State of the Union Address.

You may watch the Address, you may not, but I think, without having seen anything about the content, I can sum the entire thing up thusly:

“Hey, Republicans!  We’re moving the country forward.  Either help me, or get out of the way.”

Because, here’s the thing, all the right-wingers, conservatives, Republicans, Tea Partiers — everyone who has been working against the President for the last six years:

Nobody is asking you to agree with the man.

Nobody is expecting you to cow-tow to him.

Nobody expects you to give up your principles, your ethics, your beliefs.

But…

NO is not a viable governmental policy.

Nobody is asking you to agree with the man.  Everyone is asking you to work with him.

Nobody is expecting you to cow-tow to him.  Everyone expects you to have the common decency to respect him as a person, and to respect the office to which he was elected.  Twice.

Nobody expects you to give up your principles, your ethics, your beliefs.  Everyone expects you to be willing to compromise.

You don’t like the policies proposed?  Fine.  Propose something else.  Don’t just keep saying NO, with no alternatives given.

You don’t like the Executive Orders?  Fine.  Take some action as the elected body you are – POSITIVE action, not just repeating the tired phrase “NO, Obama, No,” like he’s a puppy on the furniture.

Like it or not, this IS your President.  You are his Congress.

WORK TOGETHER, or expect us to vote you the out at the first opportunity.

Flag unfurled by vets

Flag unfurled by vets

bjwordpressdivider

Hello, everyone.  This is Barbara.  I took the keyboard back, and there’s something I would like to add to my Sister’s Rant.

I agree with what my Sister said, however I feel that she didn’t go quite far enough.

We are in the 21st Century.  The American people have elected Barak Obama, twice, to be our President, because he is a progressive liberal.  This said, I do not think that everything he has said or done is correct.  I think he missed the target a few times.  I know that has upset some liberal progressives.  But, being a part of Congress, whichever house you may be in, gives you a responsibility; a responsibility to your constituents, and a responsibility to be part of what makes America work better.

You cannot just say, “well, we’re Republicans, or Conservatives, or Tea Partiers, and we just won’t cooperate.  We will not do what Obama wants.”  That behavior is juvenile, and reminds me of children playing in a backyard, when one child gets angry and picks up his toys and goes home, vowing never to play again.

I challenge — nay, I dare — Congress to put politics aside and to think about their constituents who are middle class or poor, not just the rich.  Poverty is the largest problem we have.  1% of the population has all the money.  Yes, they’ve earned it.  But have they earned it ethically and morally? Is giving them shortcuts and loopholes to pay less taxes fair?  I think not.

I think that if a woman has to decide whether to pay taxes or feed her children, this is not what the founding fathers had in mind when they designed our form of democracy.

I think that we need to remember, or we need to find out, what the founding fathers had in mind.  If you don’t know, I challenge you to look it up, to read it, to get into their minds.

Thursday, January 25th, on the History Channel, a three-night mini series begins, called the Sons of Liberty.  It is about the founding fathers, and the passion and the politics of an English colony trying to decide if they wanted freedom or not.

At that time, in America, freedom was very controversial, and there were many people who did not want freedom from Mother England.  The controversies and arguments were plentiful, back in those days.  The desire for a better life, a life of equality and freedom was a strong inspiration to the progressive Colonists at that time.

Equality – that’s another problem. That was the one thing they could not come to an agreement about.  They felt that, after the country had stood on its own, as a nation, following generations would be able to figure out a plan which would satisfy everyone.  This was the only place they were mistaken, and because politics was allowed to dominate this discussion of the ownership of human beings, Four Score and Seven years later, we had a Civil War which nearly tore our country permanently asunder.

To be truthful, we still don’t have it right.  We still have racism in America.  We still have people who are treated differently because of their color, and because of other factors, but color is still the largest divider.  The irony, to me, is that there is less racism in Mother England than there is here.

A nation looking out for the lives of all its citizens, rich or poor, is a responsibility.  Many nations in the world today are walking away from their responsibilities to their citizens.

America, the Brave and Beautiful, must not walk away from her citizens.