Come for a Visit

I started a new blog after the US election.
It’s at
http://patriotsvoiceblog.wordpress.com

I called it that because of a statement by Barack Obama, “WE are all patriots.”  The definition of this word is interesting:  “a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.”

It does not mean one who follows the party line and supports it, even when it’s wrong.

The idea of Patriotsvoiceblog is to offer my readers a chance to comment on political matters.  I also hope to encourage and facilitate some reclamation of our power as citizens.
Here are titles of posts over there:

I Don’t Know

November 14, 2016, posted in articles, discussions, Uncategorized

I have asked a few people in the past week, “Who would you like for president in 2021?”
Pretty much unanimously, they have said, “I don’t know.”
What happens in your country?

November 16, 2016, posted in articles, discussions

In the United States, candidates run for President every four years.  This time, the campaigns started relatively early in 2015.
Grassroots

November 17, 2016, posted in articles, Uncategorized

Bernie Sanders says, “The Democrats need to become a grassroots party.”

I find myself wondering if this is possible.  Nations are run by the wealthy elite; the common citizen has limited information and power.
The Trump Administration: America’s “Third Reich”?

November 20, 2016, posted in articles, discussions, In the news

“Energized By Trump’s Win, Alt-Right Extremists Gather In Washington To ‘Change The World’ : NPR
Do Our Votes Count?

November 23, 2016, posted in articles, discussions, In the news
“Hillary Clinton has widened her lead in the popular vote to 1.5 percentage points, a spread not seen for a losing candidate since the disputed election of 1876.” (New York Times)
Trump won the electoral vote; Hillary won the popular vote.
Setting the Tone

November 26, 2016, posted in articles, discussions, In the news
When Barack Obama was first elected in 2008, the mood of the nation was hopeful, cooperative and quite inclusive.

This time, however, anger, violence, racism, prejudice and aggression are in the forefront.
Take Back the Power…

November 27, 2016, posted in articles, discussions
…Raise the Standard

The notion that our government is “Of the people, for the people.”  is basically obselete.
Admittedly, some of what I write is controversial; I hope so!  That’s a good thing:  That we come at things differently is part of the beauty and struggle of government.

Come read, comment and raise questions of your own.

 

Reactions Run Amuck

What is happening?????
Why are people acting out so violently?????

 

Perhaps it’s time for one long time out:  Take a break from all of the things that anger, distress, worry or frighten us; find some quiet, nurturing peace and calm down.  There does seem to be a corporate unrest in the air these days.

 

Some of this seems more like attitude run amuck than simple anger.  Just read these news briefs:

Religious leaders in California are calling for a police investigation after identical letters were sent to local mosques hailing President-elect Donald Trump and calling for death to Muslims.

PHILADELPHIA (AP) – Police in Philadelphia say three men hanging Christmas lights were shot after getting into an argument with a passing motorist.

A 62-year-old white man accused of shooting a 15-year-old black teenager to death Monday night in Charleston, W.Va., allegedly told police after the murder, according to the Charleston Gazette-Mail: “The way I look at it, that’s another piece of trash off the street.”

CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – Coral Springs Fire Rescue reports that one person died and another was wounded in a shooting at Coral Square Mall on Saturday morning.

A Good Samaritan who tried to stop a woman being assaulted was shot to death outside a Texas Walmart packed with shoppers on Black Friday while another man in New Jersey was also killed outside a mall, authorities said.

(CNN) One person is in custody after three Starbucks coffee shops were vandalized in Albuquerque, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A gunman wildly fired shots into the air in a Long Island hospital parking lot early Saturday, officials said. John Gamble, 35, pumped off multiple rounds from a .9 mm handgun about 5:50 a.m.

I couldn’t find it again, but there was a story about someone shooting a teen who bumped him.
There was also another one that read something like, “Trump gives Democrats reason to stay angry.”  (Really, they need to stay angry???)

The best antidote I know is to step away from all of the rhetoric, news stories – whether professional or just plain gossip – and clear your own head.
I also think it is important to set your boundaries at the point where you still deal with things well.  I, for example, limit the amount of news I read or listen to.  Remember, a lot of what we here on the news is distorted at best, so don’t let it all under your skin.

 

Another strategy I use is to stay away from conversations that will produce nothing except anger, frustration and disagreement.  Don’t get me wrong; I love a good, well informed debate.  My point:  If it is stirring up more displeasure than your soul can take, step away, regroup, get your own balance back.

 

So much of what we hear about is way over the top in terms of reaction.  Hmm, somebody bumps you; don’t shoot him or her, okay?  You have an arguement; leave the pistol in its holder…or better yet, in the gun safe at home.
Next time, I’ll find some happy headlines for you.

The Party Everyone Wants to attend

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Thursday is a national holiday in the US: Thanksgiving.

This year, I am in charge of the community dinner, which will feed around 200 people.

It’s my first time doing this.  At first, I thought we could make things a little smaller, but the community is so enthusiastic about it, we’ll have to do the whole banana.  Even the entire university football team is coming!

Historically, community Thanksgiving dinners have been for “those who have nowhere to go.”  I have been in that group:  It is a real drag!  It’s also a dilemma:  Somehow, going to the dinner for ones with nowhere to go makes the loneliness more difficult, even though the intent is good.

I am already thinking that I want to change this up for next year:  A real event.  Instead of buying all the stuff, cooking for three days and cleaning up, come party with us!  If there are just two of you and you would like something a bit festive, come on in!

This idea is inspired by one family who is doing just that.  Normally, they go out to the local truck stop for Thanksgiving, but they decided that it would be more fun to come join the community meal and help out.

The football team also inspires this.  They won their playoff game and are headed to the finals, so they had to stay in town.  It will be so much fun to have them.

Then, there are people who have stepped up to help by volunteering, donating and cheering us on.

This year’s dinner will be festive indeed; next year’s?

The party everyone wants to attend!

How Can We Have Hope

How can we have hope
In times so full of fear;
When troubles seem to boil,
Robbing us of peace and cheer?

 

How can we hold on
When violence is brewing;
Pouring into our streets,
Its hateful venom spewing?

 

The answer is this;
Its secret not hidden:
Surroundings can’t stop her,
For hope is born from within.

Invitation

I would love to hear from you:

If you live somewhere other than the United States, please come tell about your country; if you do live in the US, add to the conversation.

Go to

https://patriotsvoiceblog.wordpress.com/2016/11/16/what-happens-in-your-country/

I look forward to hearing from you.

The Paradox

There is truth on both sides of the abortion issue:

 

Yes, according to the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the US Constitution, a woman has the right to choose when it comes to her own body, including the tragic and sad matter of having an abortion.  The two amendments cited are #9 and #14.

 

Yes, to have an abortion is to kill the baby in her womb.  The word fetus is Latin meaning, “little one.”

 

How do we unload this so that we can wrestle with this difficult, very emotional paradox?

My own thoughts are that we start by respecting both sides.  As long as each rejects, judges and points fingers at the other, there can be no conversation.

Next, let’s get it into context.  By the time a woman is choosing to end the life in her womb, plenty has happened.  While I have met one or two women who could make this choice with little or no concern, that is not the case overall.  Almost every time, this is a serious, heart wrenching struggle.

All sorts of factors come into play, including but not limited to relationships, economics, medical concerns, mental health, beliefs and culture.

AS we try to address such a difficult subject, let’s also recognize that everyone involved is vulnerable; there is no such thing as neutral, intellectually, politically, emotionally, spiritually or otherwise.

 

There are people who have invested time, energy, money and home in putting their actions where their beliefs are.  Gold stars to each of them.  There are also people who have dedicated themselves to fighting for women’s rights; gold stars to them as well.  To all who have done more than philosophize:  Who have offered support, comfort, counsel and resources, thank you.

 

Again, the reason for discussing this at all is to find common ground, solutions and progress.

What are your thoughts?

A Painful Dilemma

Regardless of whether you are pro choice or pro life, I have a question for you:
What would happen if Roe vs Wade were repealed?
As one who belongs to Jesus, I have wrestled with this a lot.

 

I know that the hope is, abortion would end.  That is not borne out in history, however.

Before abortion was legalized, women with sufficient funds went abroad to “have surgery on an ovarian cyst” or something like that.  Women without the means went to underground “clinics” and quacks:  Dangerous for the woman.  Many died; others had irreparable injuries.  If a physician did perform an abortion, it would be called something else…and no one had better figure out the truth.

 

The problem is, the heart of the nation is not in agreement with repealing Roe vs Wade.  That means, people will simply go underground once more.  If we really want to change that, we must deal with the complexity of the matter.  That will take time, conflict, struggles, serious problem solving  and a lot of conversation.

 

Why even have this discussion?  As long as it continues to be a political football, the matter cannot be solved.  Instead, it gets kicked around as one platform or another with plenty of talk and finger pointing; yet nothing ever gets done.  If we really want to repeal Roe vs Wade (and I’m not especially of that persuasion) we will have to take plenty of steps first, like education, economic development, increased support for women’s and children’s services…

 

I’m thinking we keep Roe vs Wade for the sake of safety; then, let’s unload the issue so it can be discussed constructively.  Next, we can build on common ground.

 

Let’s get it off the political football field, where rhetoric and empty promises keep it in play.

Don’t Give Your Power Away

I have been reading headlines about the increase of calls to crisis centers and all of the fear people have because Donald Trump got elected.  I myself was stunned and distressed when I woke up to that news last Wednesday.  I still find it quite dismaying.

 

The thought that helped me was, “You know, I’ll go to bed tonight, get up tomorrow, eat breakfast and get on with my day…”

 

Here is my poetic way to encourage anybody in the world who might find this helpful:

 

People get elected;
New policies made;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Promises and comments;
Plans that seem to fade;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Pressures and challenges;
Provocations stay;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

Hear the truth I’m sharing;
You still have a say:
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

You go to bed each night;
Get up every day;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

 

You’re still a whole person,
So don’t be afraid;
Whatever you do,
Don’t give your power away!

Counting Kindnesses

One day, I had gone to one of my favorite delis for lunch.  I placed my order; then stood back out of the way to wait for it.  When the server came back, she informed me that someone had paid for my lunch.  That person remained anonymous.  I felt quite special and pleased by this kindness.

 

My eldest  sister and I took care of our mother in her last two years of life.
One Monday, after Mom had come home from the hospital yet again, two women who went to my Church brought us dinner.  We had so much to do; a lot of visitors had come by, including service providers.  We were exhausted.
The dinner brought to us was simple, but it could have been a twelve course meal, we were so relieved by the gift.

 

Almost 10 years ago, I had a knee injury that required two surgeries.  I was in a wheelchair for 4 months.  The challenge with that is, I couldn’t go anywhere unless someone came with me.  A bunch of my friends stepped up to the plate:  They took me to work; then came and got me to go home; they took me out to lunch, to appointments, Church, stores and anywhere else I wanted to go.  I don’t know how I would have made it without their help.

 

Earlier this year, I went out of town to a conference.  I met a man by the name of Wes, from Wyoming.  He was very much the gentleman:  Greeting me, visiting; helping if I needed it.  I never felt “hit on” by him or in any way patronized.  His kindess was genuine.

 

A friend went with me to this same conference.  She was very respectful of me and sensitive to my needs.  She treats me like a real, whole person; not like a “handicap.”  I truly appreciate her regard.

 

Just today, a friend came over.  She moved two rose bushes and a hops plant for me:  Hard work.  How sweet is that!

 

I could go on, there are so many stories like these.  I might have to keep a list, just to remember them all.

 

How many stories might be in your own treasure chest?  Count them one by one and enjoy the warm, happy feeling that springs up from within.