Category: Politics

Negative Political Rants = Social Media Unfriending/ Muting/Blocking

Let’s face it – you cannot agree with everyone all the time.  Especially, about politics! Sadly, I have seen lifelong relationships morph in to adversarial relationships due to emotions running beyond limits over national politics. Not only are people disagreeing but they are having a public and bitter war of words for all to witness!  So. Very. Heartbreaking.

It is no surprise that Facebook can make or break a friendship when it comes to differing opinions, including heated ‘political debates”.   I know that there have been several people who have “unfriended” me due to my proactive and liberal tendencies when it comes to women’s rights, education, my stance on the current administration and the 2016 election – in general.  I respect their decision and hope if we see each other IRL (in real life) – that we can be cordial and perhaps event share a conversation over a quiet cup of coffee.

Conversely, I have unfriended and muted people who I feel are simply spreading negativity and are myopic. I am willing to listen and take in to account the opinions of others, but when someone won’t even consider that there are “two sides of a coin” – then sorry – off my timeline you must go. You are welcome to your opinions. I just don’t need to see, hear or read posts that are not respectful but full of hate – regardless of your political affiliation.  I’ll live longer without the spike in cortisol from reading these negative media posts.

Beyond those who share the rhetoric that makes me want to cringe, there also is a sector of people who spew vehement that goes beyond rationale.   It is for these folks, sadly, I turn on the BLOCK option.  I cannot follow or be followed by a person who shares hate, rumor or conjecture – especially when it comes to the lives of children and vulnerable families.  It is my prerogative to follow those that share compassion, act with kindness and understand that we are part of one race- the human race. Again, we don’t need to agree on issues, but we at least should demonstrate civil kindness.  We owe that much to ourselves and to the children who are taking notes of our actions.

RELATED: Want to make a difference- VOTE and be sure you are REGISTERED! You can even register ONLINE.  It will take but a few minutes of your time!

This election year I plan on spending time listening, learning and voting my conscience. I want to be drama-free and enjoy a world that is offline.   And, if I am online I am equally as likely to post about movies, television, education and travel as I am about politics.

 

 

Home. Sweet. Home. For. Bayla. But. Not. For._______.

IMG_5085Bayla is our dog that we adopted from a Southern California rescue a little more than three years ago. She is goofy, loving and oh- an immigrant.  You see, Bayla was brought IN to the United States as a pregnant pup from Tijuana, Mexico.  Immediately upon her arrival she was offered a home, food and free medical care at a modest rescue facility where her life was far better there than her days on the streets.  She was frightened, hungry and timid – at first. And, she was almost ready to deliver her puppies. In fact, Bayla delivered her puppies only a week or so after her arrival and was able to stay with all EIGHT puppies until they were weaned and adopted out to their loving and vetted fur-ever homes.  Never was this “parent and pups”  separated or were any of the dogs placed in “canine jail” for their non-documented status.  (See four of the eight of their precious faces below!)

 

Yes, Bayla was afforded better living conditions, care and concern than that given to many humans who currently are seeking a safe life, including asylum, in  the United States.  Bayla was given a ” home sweet home” as an immigrant. She was rescued from a less than ideal life on the streets and given a permanent home where she has survived and thrived.  In fact, there are scores of  dogs every day who come in to this country as “immigrants” and are allowed to live safely in towns across America.

Some of you may be thinking that my use of Bayla’s story as a parallel to the current and much more serious situation of immigrants being separated from their families is rubbish… let me continue.

First, while in no means do I think that the circumstances surrounding my dog and those of  humans are interchangeable  –  I do find it horrific that my dog received better care and respect than many of the families who in the past few months have  tried  to “survive and thrive” by entering the United States from Mexico, Central America and South America.  Instead they were detained and maltreated at the US- Mexico border.  Additionally, many of the families were separated with parents not knowing the whereabouts of their children.  From babies to teens, parents and children have been torn from each other’s arms. Included in these heinous acts are families that have children with special needs, such as Down syndrome and Deafness.

I have listened to many  interviews of individuals who recently were detained at the border. I listened to their accounts in both Spanish and English – so I could get the true essence of their emotion vs. through the voice of an interpreter. I was so saddened by  their stories’ of harrowing travels. Their recounting of narrow escapes from terror sent chills up and down my spine. Gang threats, physical harm, starvation, etc. were mentioned over and over and over again.  At no time did I doubt these stories or believe they were fabricated. Nor did I think – “Geez that person should be turned back and learn to just “deal” with the gangs, poor living conditions, lack of opportunity or the extreme poverty that made them risk everything to come here.”

One mother said when placed in detention she had fallen asleep with her child and when she awoke her child was gone from her. Gone. No one bothered to even wake up this mother?

I have been haunted by the wailing cries of this mother. Since hearing these first-hand stories my emotions have vacillated between crying, outrage and sheer anger.

As a parent, educator and a citizen of a country that allowed my ancestors to call the United States of America  home sweet home –  I cannot fathom how  families separated from their loved ones are enduring. I just hope and pray that all of them will be welcomed in to our country with a huge amount of compassion, caring, respect and concern. If Bayla can be treated with dignity and love upon her arrival then surely we can muster that amount and much more for all humans.

I welcome respectful commentary.

 

 

#PeaceNow

Sometimes I can write a blog in a blink.  Today is not one of those days.

Why?

Because today I feel compelled to write about the Orlando shooting.  But, I can’t due to the gnawing realization that  I have written this blog before.  The topic is all too familiar.  And, that bothers me – deeply.

So I am not going to write a blog. Instead I ask that we just take a moment to appreciate what is good in this world.  Thank those who are making a difference by helping others.

And, remember those who died due to senseless gun violence. Thank you.

Sandy Hook.  Aurora. San Bernardino. Columbine. Orlando … 

  

 

#PeaceNow

Sunrise, Sunset

Confession, one of the best things about moving to Southern California is the amazing sunrises and sunsets.  Actually photographing the massive sky with some serious beauty really makes me happy.

Photos shot with a simple Nikon 60 or my iPhone.

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Falling off the Fiscal and Emotional Cliff


Today in between watching college football games I am also busy awaiting the “verdict” from Congress.  Rather I should say, I am one of millions awaiting “the news”…. Will we or won’t we be falling off the “fiscal cliff”?

I have spent much of the day flipping channels or listening to political pundits and newscasters trying to “spin” our collective future.  My head hurts.

This is what I know…

1. If our Senators and Representatives were students in a high school they would all be in detention for lack of time management,  completing their assignment without penalty to their “grade”, for excessive complaining, and exhibiting unnecessary outbursts.

2. I don’t care if our elected officials  are missing their “New Year’s Holiday”… in fact it gives me great satisfaction that our politicians are inconvenienced.

3. Why is no one talking about  the “emotional cliff” that many will fall over if the fiscal cliff isn’t resolved soon!

4. Not everyone, in fact almost no one, will be entirely happy with the results of any resolution to this economic “debacle”.  There are winners and losers in every game.

5. I would like to see the “cliff” explained in Powerpoint and without all the rhetoric.  I am a visual learner and truly am up to my eyeballs in hearing stats and predictions.  Just SHOW me the flow chart already!

6. I would rather watch football, uninterrupted.  Time to resume pulling my hair out!

Ok, that is my 2 cents worth.  Feel free to write yours below. Please be kind and play nice.

Ask a 5th Grader!

As the campaign trail is winding down and another election will be upon us in just a matter of days, people are conducting all kinds of polls!  Who will win the Presidential election? What are the topics that really matter to people in the United States? What should we do about threats to our nation? How can we improve on healthcare and education?

Really want true and organic answers to these questions? Then I suggest that all the pollsters, media types and pundits go have lunch with a group of 5th graders.  In fact, take a caravan and travel from state to state or at least city to city to really find out what is the pulse of America.

Some school districts have decided to use this election as “teachable moments”!  I applaud each and every school which has made the election part of the curriculum.  My hope is that the students are learning about our government , the election process, and how to be respectful towards an opponent. I fear that some will take away from the election process that it is all about “bullying” the other person in a disrespectful manner, whether during a debate, on television attack advertisements or in person.

In my research I have found two school districts that were reported in the general news as having “5th grade polling”  or mock elections scheduled.

Brevard County, Florida students  had a mock election and President Obama won a second term (64 out of 71 votes)

Texas has developed PROJECT V.O.T.E  which helps fifth graders learn about the election process via a unique and valuable hands on exercise.  Lubbock Schools are just one of many partaking in the project with their mock elections.  Their elections will be held very soon- no preliminary inkling of results to report, but the local press is awaiting the news!

So, if you have a fifth grader and wish to “poll” your child AND share the results, feel free to do so in the comments below.

THANKS!

~Louise

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