How to Truly Make America Great Again


Many people are calling for us to give Trump a chance; to not condemn him for what he said on the campaign trail, and for what he’s done since he won the election:  for the Twitter rants and for the nominations he’s made, appointing people who seem both unqualified for the office assigned, and who in many cases have long espoused views in direct contradiction to the roles of the departments they have been proposed to head.

But I, and many others, cannot overlook either his words or his actions. For so many of us it is not about politics, as some have suggested; it is about what his administration brings to our country. The misogyny, the racism, the discrimination of immigrants (Muslims and others), anti-semitic views, and the general bigotry he prescribes to. We are one country, but if we descend into hating people we go against the very principles that our Founding Fathers crafted in our great constitution.

If we don’t take a stand to protect others in our country, we will lose the fundamental precepts that we were founded upon. That is why many of us are resisting Trump, his views and words go against all we believe in. To care about others and to act on that care is vital to what our democracy stands for and what the Founding Fathers dreamed of.

In reality, hate crimes have gone up since the election, synagogues are being threatened,the poor are being disparaged, the disabled are being mocked, immigrants are being threatened (the country was founded by Europeans and they killed the indigenous people which makes us great hypocrites). Immigrants are the richness that has fed America through the centuries. They brought to America their skills, dreams and hard work and are part of the reason America is great.

Yes, I realize that this isn’t what Trump says, but based upon my beliefs and others, America is still great. America gives everyone the ability to dream and work hard and move up in our society. America, because of the influence of many immigrants, is still the place that you can work to make yourself rise above where you were born in the social structure of your country of their birth. America is also the country where others care about your education, health, losses, accomplishments and ability to work for yourself and your family, The desire for our children to become more than what we are is paramount to the American dream.

America is not perfect. Hatred is a great deal of the reason why. For instance, because the Founding Fathers could not come to any type of a decision on slavery, they postponed that decision until a future generation would be able to come to a moral and ethical solution. We ended up freeing the slaves during the Civil War. Has America provided minorities equality and the same opportunities that white people have? No. The racism that stumped The Founding Fathers and that crippled the South for many years is still a problem.

As Americans, we must look at the bigotry, racism, and sexism that dwells within our hearts and souls. We need to be honest with ourselves, face it head on, and overcome the desire to blame others for what is not right in our lives. Black people, Jews, and women are not the reason you find your life lacking. They are not the reason you lost your job or don’t have health insurance, or don’t have the family you always dreamed of. But other caring Americans can help and give you support. Often, others can and would advise you, give you a hand, or just assist in ways you can determine.

America has never been perfect but we have continued to try. We haven’t tried hard enough and there are people whose lives can testify to that. Education, hard work and being honest with ourselves will take us to what we desire. By being responsible for all of our actions we negate the habit to blame others for our losses and disappointments.

America must realize that while we are great, we each need to love our fellow citizens despite their religion, color, gender, education level, and socio-economic place in our society. Only then we can rise together to fulfill our dreams and to make America the best it can possibly be.

 

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Obama Takes Gun Control Action when Congress Won’t


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(CNN)President Barack Obama grew emotional Tuesday as he made a passionate call for a national “sense of urgency” to limit gun violence.

He was introduced by Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was killed in the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. Obama circled back to that shooting in the final moments of his speech.

“Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad,” Obama said, pausing to wipe away tears.

He added: “And by the way, it happens on the streets of Chicago every day,” referring to his hometown where he began his political career.

Guns must not be allowed on our streets.

Guns must not be allowed on our streets.  The streets have enough blood on them already.

https://vine.co/v/iblQEjv5eHr/embed/simple

The White House is seeking to expand background checks for buyers. The measure clarifies that individuals “in the business of selling firearms” register as licensed gun dealers, effectively narrowing the so-called “gun show loophole,” which exempts most small sellers from keeping formal sales records.

Former Congresswoman and gun control advocate Gabby Giffords, who was seriously injured in a 2011 mass shooting, was also in attendance at Tuesday’s event and was greeted with a standing ovation from the White House audience.

Obama hammered congressional Republicans for opposing measures like expanded background checks as he called on Americans to punish them at the polls. He defended his actions to strengthen background checks for purchasing guns, answering critics who say the measure would not make it harder for criminals to obtain firearms.

“Each time this comes up, we are fed the excuse that common-sense reforms like background checks might not have stopped the last massacre, or the one before that, or the one before that, so why bother trying,” Obama said. “I reject that thinking.”

“We know we can’t stop every act of violence, every act of evil in the world. But maybe we could try to stop one act of evil, one act of violence,” he added.

The President blasted the gun lobby, particularly the National Rifle Association, and insisted that his actions are “not a plot to take away everybody’s guns.”

He compared his push for gun control to steps the United States and businesses have taken to limit traffic fatalities, require fingerprints to unlock iPads and keep children from opening bottles of aspirin.

“I believe in the Second Amendment, there written on paper, that guarantees the right to bear arms,” Obama said. “No matter how many times people try to twist my words around, I taught constitutional law. I know a little bit about this. But I also believe that we can find ways to reduce gun violence consistent with the Second Amendment.”

Obama said Congress, which blocked a tougher gun bill in 2013, still needs to impose new gun control measures. He noted that many of the actions he’s calling for can only be imposed through legislative action.

“Congress still needs to act,” Obama said. “The folks in this room will not rest until Congress does. Because once Congress gets on board with common-sense gun safety measures, we can reduce gun violence a whole lot.”

“But we also can’t wait,” Obama added. “Until we have the Congress that’s in line with the majority of Americans, there are actions within my legal authority that we can take to help reduce gun violence and save more lives.”

In addition to expanding and bolstering the background check system to cover sales that take place online and at gun shows, Obama said the administration will provide more funding for mental health treatment, FBI staff and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco Firearms and Explosives agents.

On Capitol Hill, the reaction from Republicans was just as Obama had predicted.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, said Obama’s actions “will no doubt be challenged in the courts” and “can be overturned by a Republican President.”

“From day one, the President has never respected the right to safe and legal gun ownership that our nation has valued since its founding,” Ryan said in a statement. “He knows full well that the law already says that people who make their living selling firearms must be licensed, regardless of venue. Still, rather than focus on criminals and terrorists, he goes after the most law-abiding of citizens. His words and actions amount to a form of intimidation that undermines liberty.”

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton, meanwhile, vowed in New Hampshire on Tuesday that she will “take on that fight” and continue Obama’s gun control push if she’s elected.

On Twitter, in a tweet signed “-H” to indicate it was written by Clinton, rather than her staff, the former secretary of state thanked Obama “for taking a crucial step forward on gun violence. Our next President has to build on that progress—not rip it away.”

And her campaign highlighted Republican candidates’ criticism of Obama’s comments on its website, warning that a GOP president would undo Obama’s actions.

Many polls have found broad support for expanded background checks — the most recent being a Quinnipiac University poll in December. In that survey, 89% overall support it, 84% in gun-owning households, 87% of Republicans, 86% of independent, 95% of Democrats.

In a December CNN/ORC poll, 48% of Americans said they were in favor of stricter gun control laws, 51% were opposed.

Support for stricter laws has been less than half since 2013. There’s a sharp partisan divide on the question, with 74% of Democrats in favor of stricter laws, while just 23% of Republicans feel the same way.

Among those who live in a gun-owning household, 29% favor stricter laws, that rises to 65% among those who live in households where no one owns a gun.

Just 35% approve of Obama’s handling of gun policy, including 56% of Democrats and 55% of liberals. That’s well below his approval rating among Democrats/liberals for other top issue.

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We can not continue to let all of these mass murders happen here in The United States of America. We are a nation the world looks up to despite slavery, racism and misogyny. These are terrible demerits for a nation and now we are killing each other off…over and over again. The NRA has bought out Congress. They have more power than everyone except for the Executive branch.
We the people are allowing this to happen. If you want stricter gun laws,write, call, tweet, fax, facebook your Congress people and let them know how you feel. You elected them and you can unelected them. Our society is deteriorating at a terrible rate. It must be stopped or else the gun holders will commit more crimes than the mob ever has.
Think about your children’s children’s children. Do we want them to grow up in a bloody hate filled, thoughtless, mean spirited world? I sure don’t. I want the America which our Founding Fathers formed. The country where people were supposed to live in equality, compassion and kindness. Think about this before you vote and vote for the coming generations and not just for today.
Namaste.
Barbara

Just What Were the Founding Fathers Intending in the New Republic


Reblogged from February 2013

founding-fathers

Portraits of our Founding Fathers

The has been a lot of conversation and debate lately about our founding fathers. The heroic revolutionaries who decided that these colonies must break away from England and become a Republic and there had to be freedom here. These men were very different from those who are in government today. They were actually willing, may I go so far as to say, they looked forward to fighting and gaining our independence. They were a brave and very diverse group of men.

foundingfathersliberal

America was imagined and created by men who were liberals and revolutionaries.

The original words of our founding fathers found in the Constitution, Bill of Rights show us a picture of men who were radicals for their day. The entire idea of what they wanted to create here was liberal and so very radical. The founders were a kind of motley crew. I say this with no disrespect meant. They were a group of rather unlikely idealists. They also were imperfect. Some were slave holders, Paine wrote anti-slavery pamphlets and Benjamin Franklin organized the first anti-slavery societies.

Women were never on their radar, even after the famous letter Abigail Adam’s wrote to her husband John Adams. “If particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound to obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation.” Despite Abigail Adam’s efforts, our rights weren’t up for discussion.

The Founding Fathers were not uniformly Christian, they were freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, Christians, Freemasons, and Deists. A Deist professes belief in as-yet-unknown powers evinced in the natural, scientifically observed universe. But whether they were religious or not, they fought for a secular state and for freedom of belief.

The question of slavery was the only big issue they were unable to find a solution for. However, it ended up being left out of the Constitution and they agreed to leave it to later generations to solve this divisive problem. So, as you know, Lincoln was the man who picked up the gauntlet and freed the slaves and held this union together.

founding-liberals

These Founding men were radical and liberal.

It is time to reclaim our nation and return it to its original “patriotic” values. These constitute our rightful inheritance and inspiration. The United States of America was the dream of these great men we revere so much. They considered it the great experiment. To this day, the reason the world wants to come here is not really for the big TV’s, fast foods, etc. The real reason the world wants to come here is still to be part of the remarkable experiment.

After the first Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the Founders had chosen. Franklin replied, “We have given you a republic—if you can keep it. I believe we must never give up.

theconstitution

Original sketch of the drawing up of our Constitution

Part of this blog has been excerpted from Fighting Words, by Robin Morgan.

America


With All Thy Gifts – Walt Whitman

With all thy gifts, America,
Standing secure, rapidly tending, overlooking the world,
Power, wealth, extent, vouchsafed to thee — with these and like of these vouchsafed to thee.
What if one gift thou lackest? (the ultimate human problem never solving.)
The gift of perfect women fit for thee — what if that gift of gifts thou lackest?
The towering feminine of thee? the beauty, health, completion, fit for thee?
The mothers fit for thee?

When the Founding Fathers had the idea of designing a new country, a democratic country there was much they couldn’t agree on. Their bond was a democratic country so far in concept from what they had previously lived under. They fought, argued, there was an illegal duel, but they respected each other. Hate and anger were not part of the energy that formed our country. There was slavery, women were essentially owned like property, they couldn’t agree about how big of a federal government they should create and states’ rights was an issue for many.

It is 2013. There have been many generations who have lived and died. Our government was the “great experiment” and like today it was not perfect. I love America but we have many huge problems that the Founding Fathers could not foresee. Women are still second class citizens and not legally equal. Racism flows like lava covering our country with hatred and anger which is destructive. The Founding Fathers could not  be expected to see what pulls at our country. Slavery they couldn’t come to a consensus on and thought later generations would work it out. We fought the Civil War for two reasons. One was to keep the Union whole and the second was to free the slaves.

Today racism is still huge. We have Chinese, Russians, Indians, Muslims, Buddhists, Afrikan Americans, Jews, Gypsies, Cajuns, Native Americans and Christians, and countless others. We are not all equal. We need to change this. We need to accept each other as children of the Beloved. We need to finally become what the Founding Fathers envisioned:  a government where we are all equal citizens. A country where judgement and condemnation no longer exist. A country where we live what we say. May it come soon and may we stop hurting each other. May we grow up and be respectful and accepting of all Americans.

There Will be a Huge Birthday tomorrow here in America


sparkling 4th of July

sparkling 4th of July

Americans are getting ready today for our birthday. The day which we think about beaches, picnics, visiting friends who live far away. We buy sparklers, we make the deviled eggs, red, white and blue cakes. We get the grill out. There is baseball to be played as well as horseshoes, lots of cold drinks.
We have the privilege to celebrate our freedoms in our own country.

And we have gratitude that we must express to our Founding Fathers. Their decision that they must have freedom and a new country. How hard that must have been to be placed in the middle of a historic choice. Will you remain the English person you were born and raised to be or do you turn your back on your Mother Country. Do you stay neutral? Do you fight? This land was huge and mostly empty except for the few established colonies, the wild animals and the Native Indians.

We can almost hear the discussions in log cabins, at balls, and among neighbors. It took so much courage to pick your side. That courage would be tested by the ensuing war. A war fought by England’s well provisioned professional army.

For the people who chose the new country, most were farmers, not well-versed in combat or in possession of many guns. They often used their farm implements as weapons. They had no real uniforms, or boots and not many supplies.

They fought because they wanted freedom. Most people will fight for freedom, and Americans did. It wasn’t an easy accomplishment but we succeeded. So Happy Birthday America. I am proud to be an American.

I hear American Sing

“I hear America singing, the varied carols I hear,
Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be
Blithe and strong.

The carpenter singing his as he measures his plank or beam,
The mason singing his as he makes ready for work, or leaves off work.
The boatman singing what belongs to him in his boat,
The deckhand singing singing as he sits on the steamboat deck,
The shoemaker singing as he sits on his bench, the hatter singing as he stands,
The wood-cutters, the ploughboy’s on his way in
the morning, or at noon intermission or at sundown,
The delicious singing of the mother, or of the young wife
at work, or of the girl sewing or washing.
Each singing what belongs to him or her and to none else,
The day what belongs to the day—at night the party of young fellows, robust, friendly,
Singing with open mouths their strong melodious songs.

—–Walt Whitman
American poet

 

Celebrating the birth of a nation.

Celebrating the birth of a nation.

The Separation of Church and State


Separation of Church and State

Separation of Church and State

I am wondering if any of you have been gnashing your teeth, and shout at the TV whenever you watch the news. There are a lot of negative issues. For instance, the United States now educater fewer scientists each year, we import more high-tech products, many Americans think that the answer for teen pregnancy is not education on birth control and safe sex, but abstinance. Don’t get me wrong I, in theory, believe that abstinance should be taught but there is a gap between theory and reality. Teens with raging hormones don’t always understand what parents and schools are trying to tell them.

My biggest frustration, however, is the people who are talking and insisting on the idea that this country was formed as a Christian Country. So, I am going to explain what is really has happened.

” Those who won our independence believed…that the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people,,,that it is hazardous to discourage thought, hope, and imagination; that fear breeds repression; that repression breeds hate; that hate menaces stable government…Fear cannot justify suppression of free speech and assembly. Men feared witches and burnt women. It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.”  ——by Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis.

Thomas Jefferson on separation of church and state

Thomas Jefferson on separation of church and state

God is claimed by both sides in a war, and the Bible is used to defend the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, slavery, lynching, apartheid, racism, povery, violence against women, homophobia and a score of other human tragedies. The three largest Christian-right organizations call for “Crusaders” to pray that certain U.S. Supreme Court justices whose voting records they dislike will die. Televangelist Pat Robertson blames talk show host, Ellen Deganeres for the disaster of  Hurricane Katrina. He also intimidated that God had sent the Hurricane to punish people. Robertson also declares that the attack on America on 9-11, was also God punishing America.

Did you know?

Did you know?

The Air Force Academy, has developed a “strident evangelicalism”. There have been fifty-five complaints of religious discrimination filed in the past few years. The Academy has also become a test tube of sexual harrassment. Female cadets filed charges that were ignored or overlooked. Faith-based prisons are apparently making money by reaping in the profits of spreading the Gospel to convicts. As taxpayers, we pay for proselytizing prisons without ever giving permission or voting for our money to be used in this manner. Inmates receive special priveleges if they follow all-day, all-week, Christian agendas. Prision ministries have as much as $46 million budgets.

Kennedy quote re: Church and State

Kennedy quote re: Church and State

The Constitution of the United States of America does not contain even one reference to a diety — on purpose. Former Attorney General John Ashcroft invoked the Founding Fathers of our country and he said, the Founding Fathers were a hodgepodge of freethinkers, Deists, agnostics, Christians, and Freemansons. Above all they were radicals.

“Question with boldness even the existence of a god.”  —Thomas Jefferson

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind.”  –James Madison

“I doubt of Revelation itself.”  –Benjamin Franklin

” My own mind is my church” –Thomas Paine

George W. Bush added, “so help me God.” to his presidential oath of office.

Pat Robertson claims that “In God We Trust” was on our currency and “Under God” was the U.S. motto from 1776.  These were not added until 1950.

John Adams  declared, ” The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion.”

Thomas Jefferson wrote to James Madison in 1789, ” No society can make a perpetual constitution, or even a perpetual law. The earth belongs always to the living genetation.”

We now take it for granted that churches, temples, mosques, and other religious institutions are tax exempt-but it was not always that way, nor was it the intent of the Founders. This policy was the fruit of a religious campaign.

So was “In God We Trust” getting stamped onto our coinage and the insertion of ” Under God” in our Pledge of Allegiance. The religious movement that we are living in is different. This time is the blatant political mobilization of extreme right religious forces, which seek to change the Constitutional mandate to keep Church and State separated.  This mandate is why the Founding Fathers called their new country a Republic, not a Theocracy.

Ronald Reagan's quote

Ronald Reagan’s quote

I would like to be clear about one thing in this blog. I believe the Fathers built a wall between Church and State. I also believe in the Divinity of the Universe. I believe it dwells within each of us and all of life around us. The One wants us to love, support, accept, care for each other and all living things including our planet. He/she/It does not a government run. So think about what is really happening right now in our country.

 

Some excerpts taken from Fighting Words, by Robin Morgan

Just What Were the Founding Fathers Intending in This New Republic


Portraits of our Founding Fathers

Portraits of our Founding Fathers

The has been a lot of conversation and debate lately about our founding fathers. The heroic revolutionaries who deciced that these colonies must break away from England and become a Republic and there had to be freedom here.  These men were very different from those who are in government today. They were actually willing, may I go so far as to say, they looked forward to fighting and gaining our independence. They were a brave and  very diverse group of men.

America was imagined and created by men who were liberals and revolutionaries.

America was imagined and created by men who were liberals and revolutionaries.

The original words of our founding fathers found in the Constitution, Bill of Rights show us a picture of men who were radicals for their day. The entire idea of what they wanted to create here was liberal and so very radical. The founders were a kind of motley crew. I say this with no disrespect meant. They were a group of rather unlikely idealists. They also were imperfect. Some were slave holders, Paine wrote anti-slavery pamphlets and Benjamin Franklin organized the first anti-slavery societies.

Women were never on their radar, even after the famous letter Abigail Adam’s wrote to her husband John Adams. “If particular care and attention are not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion and will not hold ourselves bound to obey any laws in which we have no voice or representation.”  Despite Abiagail Adam’s efforts,  our rights weren’t up for discussion.

The Founding Fathers were not uniformly Christian, they were freethinkers, agnostics, atheists, Christians, Freemasons, and Deists. A Deist professes belief in as-yet-unknown powers evinced in the natural, scientifically observed universe. But whether they were religious or not, they fought for a secular state and for freedom of belief.

The question of slavery was the only big issue they were unable to find a solution for. However, it ended up being left out of the Constitution and they agreed to leave it to later generations to solve this divisive problem. So, as you know, Lincoln was the man who picked up the gauntlet and freed the slaves and held this union together.

These Founding men were radical and liberal.

These Founding men were radical and liberal.

It is time to reclaim our nation and return it to its original  “patriotic” values. These constitute our rightful inheritance and inspiration. The United States of America was the dream of these great men we revere so much. They considered it the great experiement. To this day, the reason the world wants to come here is not really for the big TV’s,  fast foods, etc. The real reason the world wants to come here is still to be part of the remarkable experiment.

After the first Constitutional Convention, Benjamin Franklin was asked what type of government the Founders had chosen. Franklin replied, “We have given you a republic—if you can keep it. I believe we must never give up.

Original sketch of the drawing up of our Constitution

Original sketch of the drawing up of our Constitution

Part of this blog has been excerpted from Fighting Words, by Robin Morgan.