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Never Did I Think We Would See This In Our Lifetime–In America

June 18, 2018

The AP toured a holding facility in South Texas that’s holding hundreds of immigrant children. While reporters were not allowed to record the tour, video released by border patrol shows them waiting in a series of cages created by metal fencing.

This Is America 2018

June 18, 2018

“No, these aren’t cages”, Steve Doocy says. The authorities simply “built walls out of chain-link fences.” Yes, that’s a real quote from Fox News this morning.

The nation is in revolt over the issue of ripping children from their parents.  Republicans need to rebuke Donald Trump who has implemented this policy, and then stop the further damage it is causing to families.

What we are witnessing is another dark and low point in the Donald Trump term in the White House.  Think about Trump’s initial travel ban, the furor over Charlottesville, and the pardon of Joe Arpaio.  Now we have the Trump policy of separating migrant children from their families at the border.  All the issues that I listed go to the fundamental issues which is central to Trump.  Nationalism. Xenophobia.  Hating Brown People.

This policy is simply absurd, hateful, and so inhumane to the children.

Look at this child below.

He’s numbered. On his shirt. A number. Sound familiar?

How can any person in this nation think for one second this is in any way acceptable? Have we lost our moral center to the point that this does not pain us to the very core?

I Agree With Former First Lady Laura Bush

June 17, 2018

The absolute lack of humanity from the Trump White House is simply stunning to witness.  This column by Laura Bush is perfectly stated.

Our government should not be in the business of warehousing children in converted box stores or making plans to place them in tent cities in the desert outside of El Paso. These images are eerily reminiscent of the Japanese American internment camps of World War II, now considered to have been one of the most shameful episodes in U.S. history. We also know that this treatment inflicts trauma; interned Japanese have been two times as likely to suffer cardiovascular disease or die prematurely than those who were not interned.

Americans pride ourselves on being a moral nation, on being the nation that sends humanitarian relief to places devastated by natural disasters or famine or war. We pride ourselves on believing that people should be seen for the content of their character, not the color of their skin. We pride ourselves on acceptance. If we are truly that country, then it is our obligation to reunite these detained children with their parents — and to stop separating parents and children in the first place.

People on all sides agree that our immigration system isn’t working, but the injustice of zero tolerance is not the answer.

Lets Talk Facts About Children Being Removed From Parents At The Border

June 17, 2018

There is no law that requires families to be separated at the border. There is a law against “improper entry” at the border, as well as a consent decree known as the Flores settlement that limits to 20 days the amount of time that migrant children may be held in immigration detention, which a federal judge ruled in 2016 also applies to families. A 2008 anti-trafficking statute — signed into law by President George W. Bush — also requires that certain unaccompanied alien minors be transferred out of immigration detention in 72 hours. None of those laws or precedents mean that children must be taken away from their parents.

It is the Trump administration’s decision this year to prosecute all unlawful immigrants as criminals that has forced the breakup of families; the children are removed when the parents are taken into federal custody. While previous administrations have made exceptions to such prosecutions for adults traveling with their minor children, the Trump administration has said it will not do so.

United Methodist Church Calls Out Jeff Sessions

June 17, 2018

A statement from the United Methodist Church explicitly calls out Attorney General Jeff Sessions as a “fellow United Methodist” and asks him to reverse the Trump administration’s decision to split up migrant families after he claimed the Bible justified it.

Jesus is our way, our truth, our life. The Christ we follow would have no part in ripping children from their mothers’ arms or shunning those fleeing violence. It is unimaginable that faith leaders even have to say that these policies are antithetical to the teachings of Christ.

Christian sacred texts should never be used to justify policies that oppress or harm children and families.

(Emphasis is mine)

In Memory Of Mary Trainor–And With Deep Appreciation

June 16, 2018

This evening as I walked out of our driveway, onto the sidewalk, I saw a woman standing and staring up at our home.  I greeted her, and at once she asked if I knew the previous owner, Henry Dudek. I told the story of how I had met the man while we both worked in state government.   James came out and the conversation widened to how Henry’s kindness in willing us the home had made for what we call ‘the gift of time’.   The woman had known Henry for years, having lived for a time in the immediate area.

As the conversation moved along the name of Mary Trainor, a woman who owned a home on our street, came up.  I mentioned what a powerful impact she had on my life following the passing of my mom.   It was then this woman told us that Trainor had died in 2016.  I was stunned.

There are people who find their way into our life for a reason.  In 2007 I most needed a therapist to talk to, and so a friend passed the name of Mary to me, recommending that I call.  From the first minutes in her comfortable office and sitting area we started a conversation.  I recall over the months I often asked Mary how the process worked in allowing me to find my way through the storm.  She knew I was a curious type guy about lots of things, and so would pull me back to the work at hand—my talking and her posing thoughts and views.   After many months of weekly sessions she told me one of the reasons things progressed as they had.

On my first visit, she said, I sat in the chair and told her how totally lost and hurt I was, and how I needed to find a way to the other side of the conflict.  Many people take weeks to fathom what they want to achieve from counseling, she said.  Within minutes I had told her of the things of which I needed to deal.  In addition to the loss of my Mom in August, there was also the death of Dudek that May.  With his passing came the need to find a way to say thanks for what he did in his will–to a man who was not able to hear expressions of gratitude.

One can say if I had not found Mary there would have been countless other people who could have helped me.  While that is true, the fact is it was Mary who made the difference in my life.  She was the one who took the time, helped me out at times when I could hardly even talk due to deep emotions, and pushed me towards resolving my grief.   She also started me on the path of paying it forward.   It is something James and I do in many ways, often without others being aware.

Mary would have loved how this evening played out–as she knew the value and power of just being yourself and letting life proceed.  With the simple act of greeting someone I did not know, who was on our sidewalk, a series of topics flowed and connections made.

Shortly after my book, Walking Up The Ramp, was published I took a signed copy and met her at the door. She was certainly a part of the story.  It was the last time I would talk with her.  Soft spoken, kind, and as usual wearing her smile that made all feel welcome at once.

We all have those in our life who make a most important mark, so that everything that follows plays out in a better way.   Mary was that type of person in my life.  I will forever be appreciative.


Another Bad Week For Sarah Huckabee Sanders

June 15, 2018

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