N.W.BOYER…Christian Author

Leadership and Governments

SAVING THE WORLD for the CHILDREN

When will people look around them and say that the world is worth saving because there are innocent, little children living on every country of the earth? They don’t deserve wars, riots in their neighborhoods, drive-by shootings or any other form of brutality.

Take a long, hard look at this little boy. He is in Yemen and he is starving.

A child in Yemen
(BBC credit)

I was so touched by this child who is very sick, but when he saw the BBC camera, he was just barely able to give a little smile. (Photo from TV)

Pray for this little boy…that somehow he will get the help and food that he needs.

This BBC video showed the catastrophe happening in Yemen today. The people in the communities are still being bombed. The people have little or no food. People are walking around with the virus, saying that they won’t go to the hospital because “they will kill you there!” This is because the rumor has spread that the medical staff and doctors do “mercy killings” if you arrive there with the virus. The government, however, is denying that there are many virus cases at all…saying that they have less than 10 people who have died of Coronavirus. The people know that is a lie.

When asked by the BBC reporting staff, who were wearing masks while interviewing the people, why the people in the crowded streets were not wearing masks? They said that they didn’t have to wear masks because “Allah will protect them.” Ignorance, governmental control and war has left these people and their children in a desperate situation.

To try to understand why there is a war in Yemen in the first place, this excellent graphic given below is your best resource for understanding what is happening in the Middle East, specifically Yemen.

“The economic devastation that pushed millions to the brink of famine and created the worst cholera epidemic in living memory is no accident of war: It is the product of deliberate policies by the warring parties.

The Saudi-led coalition, with its warplanes, blockades and vast economic power, bears a large share of the blame. But the Houthis are also at fault. They have manipulated relief aid, recruited child soldiers and planted vast numbers of land mines, according to aid workers and human rights groups.

Peace talks in Sweden in December offered a faint glimmer of hope for an end to the war. A shaky cease-fire in the key port of Hudaydah is holding.

But if politics fails, many fear that Yemen could lapse into even worse fighting. Famine could become a reality. And millions of civilians would pay the heaviest price, yet again. (Watkins and Walsh)

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The Holy Scriptures are very clear when it comes to harming children:

It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones. Luke 17:2

Not only are the children of Yemen being harmed, the children of America are also being harmed by what is happening in our society today. This is not to neglect writing about the sadness in all the other countries of the world. It is not to forget the fact that there is terrible trafficking of children. The more we allow anarchism to continue in our country…motivated distrust between races and an extended close-down of schools and businesses…our families and their children are going to suffer… as it tears into the fabric of our democracy. We must save our society for the children!

These are the things that need to be taught to our children and reminded to our young people:

  • They are not in the starving as the children of Yemen. We have well-stocked food banks if there is a need.
  • They are not forced to work long hours in factories as our early emigrants.
  • They haven’t lived today through a food famine in the U.S., like the children in Ireland during the Potato Famine.
  • They are not in the middle of a Great Depression like their great-grandmothers and fathers endured.
  • The children of this generation also haven’t had to live in the Martin Luther King, Jr. era when injustice was confronted head-on.
  • They need to be reminded in school and at home that because of King and others, the Civil Rights laws and changes gave opportunities to excel to all minority children.
  • All children need to know that Americans can learn to live in peace together…most people are not racists.

Why do some American young people behave badly? Perhaps they should give this some thought for if their country collapses, they may be like the children of Yemen. Yet, some continue doing these things:

  • Roaming the streets night after night
  • Destroying property
  • Setting fires
  • Attacking police
  • Shouting at people trying to peacefully eat in a restaurant.
  • Acting like they are for a “cause” when they can’t explain what the cause is all about when asked to explain their actions.
  • Shooting at children in the playgrounds and front yards
  • Being a terrible example to their younger brothers and sisters.
  • Not taking jobs that are available, even after so many lost jobs due to the virus…for work signs are still out there.
  • Sitting around waiting for hand-outs for things they should work for…like cellphones and Nike tennis shoes etc.
  • Not listening to parents, church leaders or their church clergy on how to behave…that is…unless those leaders are NOT saying anything.
These children are our Future Generations. Our prayers go out for them because the future will be theirs.

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LET’S TAKE A MOMENT and LOOK at what AMERICA COULD EVENTUALLY EXPERIENCE IF WE LOSE ALL LAW AND ORDEROR IF WE ARE ATTACKED, LIKE 9-11, AND IT THROWS US INTO WAR! IT WOULD NOT BE MUCH DIFFERENT THAN THAT OF THE PEOPLE OF YEMEN.

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Saving our people and our planet must be a high priority in every country. There is no choice. We must SAVE OUR WORLD FOR OUR CHILDREN! Can we do that, even with our best intentions…or the best of leaders…without TURNING TO GOD? WE HAVE BEEN TOLD THE ANSWER and it is the ONLY ANSWER FOR OUR CHILDREN TO BE SAFE.

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”  2 Chronicles 7:14

Report by Derek Watkins and Declan Walsh of the N.Y Times…Just 2 years ago.

CLICK ON THIS LINK BELOW

(Credit Information for link given above:)

1. Civilian strike locations from Human Rights Watch and our own reporting.

2. Data on coalition air raids from the Yemen Data Project.

3.Control map data from the American Enterprise Institute’s Critical Threats Project.

4.Data on Yemen’s G.D.P. from World Bank. Locations of strikes on fishing and agricultural targets from Yemen’s Ministry of Agriculture and Irrigation and

5.Ministry of Fish Wealth, via a report by Martha Mundy at the London School of Economics. Additional work by Larry Buchanan.

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CURRICULUM BIAS and YOUR CHILD

After much confinement and trying to teach children at home during the Pandemic, most of my readers who are parents or have grandchildren, whom they rarely see, are excited about the possibility of getting back on track with school and education.

Some families are choosing to take things slowly with a “wait and see” attitude…continuing home schooling or online teaching…while others will be relieved to see the big, yellow bus come their way. We ask prayers for any bus driver who will have to enforce “distancing” and “mask wearing!” Everyone, however, is eager to get back to “normal”…or whatever “normal” may be!

As parents gives last minute instructions, they may be saying things like “Be sure to wear your mask and don’t get too close to anyone!” Good luck on that happening. No, it hasn’t been easy all these months and the problems that will arise will be new and varied. I can only imagine the stress parents have been under because my children are all grown and out on their own…trying to make a living, like everyone else. Parenting is a new challenge. God bless them everyone!!

Having been surrogate teachers, Moms and Dads might make this comment: “At least, the teacher, who is educated in higher math, science and history will be able to do a far better job than those of us who never intended to teach these subjects. After all, I work in the restaurant business, drive a truck, stock shelves… or work as a bank teller for a living. My child just didn’t know how to interact me or with a teacher on a screen…especially my little kindergarten child.”

Well, Dear Reader, if you are looking for relief, this blog post may not give you very much because we are going to consider the new concepts of learning that your child will encounter when you wave “goodbye and have a nice day!” You will find that there is a bias that runs deep within most school systems.

If you want your child to have the best learning experience possible and you can’t afford a private or Christian school that has a fantastic reputation for learning, what are you to do? What exactly are most schools around the country deciding for you what is the correct approach to teaching your beautiful child? Here are some big questions that might have never crossed your mind.

How will they learn?

What will their minds be filled with that you may not agree with?

How will you counter those things as a parent?

Let’s talk curriculum and learning!

The curriculum established in a school is the heart of what is to be learned in the classroom, along with social interaction. I speak as an educator, who knows quite a lot on this subject because of my many years of teaching students and supervising other teachers. CREATIVITY in teaching was my strength. It is what I believe to be the joy of teaching for most excellent teachers. This freedom is fading away…and in some cases…COMPLETELY GONE.

It appears that the changes in “how and what to teach” that is being forced upon teachers in education today are laced with ulterior motives. Through teacher in-service training, the fast- changing rules and regulations are taking place… and they WILL effect your child.

Each year there are teachers who leave the profession because they are not being allowed to creatively teach…as one more rule and regulation is added to how they are to teach the student’s curriculum. They know if they are to keep their jobs, their hands are tied and they worry about what the student is actually learning or being indoctrinated academically. The ability for a student to find solutions to problems, looking at both sides of an issue and in general…learning about critical thinking is not being stressed. How much debate is allowed in the High Schools or Middle Schools is “debatable.” Students are also concerned about being called names if they don’t take the popular positions espoused by news media and more. Every teen wants to fit in…and it takes real courage to oppose the norm. Ask Jonathan Isaac, the young man who was highlighted in one of my previous blogs. He is an adult now, but somewhere in his youth, he had to learn to decide what was right for himself. He choose to stand during the National Anthem…even if he had to do it alone.

If you want your child to actually learn the major parts of our U.S. history, science and literature… and be well-rounded in the basic areas of learning, you may want to read Paula Enck’s interview with a teacher. She is writing this article to give parents and others in the world a heads up to what is happening in our American world of education.

Here, in part, are some of her eye-opening statements from the 4th grade teacher about her experience and what is being expected of other teachers:

A world without textbooks or homework and where getting the wrong answer is celebrated may sound like an elementary student’s dream, but if such a fantasy becomes a reality, it would damage a generation of young minds. That is, however, exactly what is happening in many public elementary schools.

Recently, I spoke with a fourth-grade teacher from the midwest, who shared her experience witnessing the shifting of curriculum from history and science towards overt political indoctrination, all to the detriment of students’ learning. To protect this person’s privacy, she will remain nameless.

In supervising fourth grade, she teaches a little bit of everything: math, reading, language arts, social studies, and science. Recently, her school district, like many others, switched to an “integrated curriculum.” On paper, an integrated curriculum sounds like a fair idea. Students learn subjects by exploring their intersections to deepen understanding. In practice, however, the curriculum all but eradicates history while working to push politics on impressionable children.

As the teacher reports, “It says ‘integrated curriculum,’ and some of its science, and some of its social studies but it really isn’t. It’s more of a push for the progressive movement.” Indeed, it’s a movement that has fundamentally altered her curriculum. As the school district’s new curricula are online, outsiders have the ability to dictate curriculum to teachers. The result? This teacher’s science and history classes were gutted...

History Deemed Expendable

(the interview continues) “I used to do a whole unit an Abraham Lincoln, and for some reason, it’s just all of that is gone, based on an integrated curriculum. When you look at our curriculum, they’ve removed everything that was in the textbook. They say, ‘Don’t use the textbook, and you don’t need to teach that anymore.’

Student textbooks may disappear completely.
Computers have replaced textbooks at many schools.

Throwing Out Textbooks

This teacher’s district, like many others, has not just done away with history and science, but also textbooks in general. The frustrating part of being a teacher in elementary grades is that they have no foundational skills. The textbooks that were used went through the different states and regions, the government, Abraham Lincoln… As far as studying history, we kind of lost all of that because I was told, ‘Please discard all of your textbooks.’ … I asked why over and over and over again and was told that we now have an integrated curriculum, so do not use textbooks.

Ditching all books for computers teaches students to disregard the information that can be found in books, the teacher noted. Instead, they are being taught that everything can and should be learned online. Despite this push towards the internet, the students are not taught how to evaluate online sources for accuracy. In youth and inexperience, it can be easy to mistake a valid source of historical or scientific facts with a poor alternative. This is a recipe for ill-prepared children armed with a legion of bad facts.

Values in teaching history

The kids are missing out on learning why there was a civil war in the first place. They don’t learn the true meaning of slavery and how it got resolved because it’s just disappeared from the curriculum.

The only thing I can teach in social studies was a little bit of government. There wasn’t anything anymore about the Civil War; that was completely gone...I spoke to a friend, who’s a fifth-grade teacher, and her Revolutionary War unit was gone. She used to do a great job on the colonists of America.

Science Replaced With Propaganda

Before the integrated curriculum began, this teacher engaged her students in an array of scientific studies. In the new curriculum, however: My last unit of teaching was just a long unit on petroleum and how bad it was. It would talk about oil spills. We’d have an experiment that kids have to mix tempera paint and oil to simulate an oil spill, so when that happened, the kids would see how awful it was on plants and animals. In reality, these are few and far between, where we have oil spills and causing great damage. But they take something that was awful happened back in history, we’ll take that and say, ‘This is why no one should ever use oil or gas.’ They’re trying to tell the kids that you are bad if you think that you should drive a car or a school bus without it being with renewable energy.

I’m teaching renewable energy in the 4th grade and feeling that is there should be a debate on it, and it should be taught both ways. Instead, it’s video after video after video how we killed animals, how it’s bad for the environment. It’s one-sided education instead of the time for debate.

That is what it’s really changed in the elementary school year. It’s a one-sided script. Science class under this curriculum mandate is not science, but political propaganda. Students have lost out on foundational skills that would benefit them greatly in middle and high school...

They’re not looking at the different levels of electricity. They’re not looking at anything about the water cycle. It’s all in the electronics area or it’s always on the Internet. Nothing is about reading a book and learning about following directions anymoreScience is taught in a very progressive manner. No longer the kids ever going to see a textbook in schools. It’s called ’21st-century learning’ so therefore without a textbook now...

Beloved Projects on the Chopping Block

It was so much fun doing state reports. Now, sadly to say, I’m told not to, because there’s no time for it. That it would be a waste of time. It was probably the best thing about 4th grade. They say, ‘What are you doing, teaching states? Why are you letting the kids do a state report?’ I said, ‘It’s reading, it’s writing, it’s research.’ There is so much to learn, and now I’m not allowed to do that because of the integrated curriculum.

These state projects were not just social studies. They taught kids valuable research and communication skills. The cross-section of skills that coalesced into a beloved annual tradition is how an integrated curriculum should function. Now it’s gone, and so is the teacher’s ability to be creative in working with her students.

(Boyer Writes note: As an educator, before my retirement, I taught a number of grades in both elementary and middle school. 5th grade was my favorite where I was able to do exciting things to enhance the curriculum required. We learned in Social Studies about the Constitution, History of American wars fought, the Emancipation Proclamation that freed the slaves, and had one on one interviews with World War II veterans and Holocaust Survivors. The students took notes, wrote a report about their conversations and presented them, as a public speaking exercise, to the class. A teacher friend told me…”No more planting a Victory Garden or doing those things for we must be on the same page and chapter in every classroom. There is no time.”)

Parents None the Wiser

With the removal of important foundational skills and basic subjects, one would think the school district parents would be up-in-arms about the schools’ curriculum shift. Conservative parents especially should be fighting the school’s attempted indoctrination of their children. However, they are unable to have opinions on their children’s education, because they have no idea what’s happening.

The parents don’t know what’s going on because it’s all at school. We hardly give homework anymore…. I just disagree with a lot of things, but they keep it in school so that the parents don’t have to worry. The parents question very little and they just assume the teacher knows what they’re doing.

With limited homework, parents lack a window into what is being taught to their children. Likewise, the students are losing an important aspect of early education — drilling foundational subjects, like basic math, in order to better understand in the future.

Getting the Wrong Answer…and Growth Mindset

The in-school application of a so-called “growth mindset” actually keeps students from learning and growing. The way of teaching is to get them to get the answer first, and then some of the kids won’t know how they got there because they’re always in a group setting. We have to work together. We’re always talking about cooperative learning. I feel that too much cooperative learning now. We don’t have the skill base anymore.

We test them, but by the time we’ve tested them, they really have never learned anything in the first place. We know they’re at the bottom and they stay at the bottom because nobody sitting there saying, ‘Well let’s just skill and drill.’ They’ve left out all the basic skills. They left out drills. No longer can a teacher do things like math flashcards, because that’s not acceptable. Some principals think that that would belittle the children if they see that they’re not getting their math facts fast.

We can’t identify the kids that are low achievers. So they try to pretend that that’s why we need cooperative learning. Just give the answer. Don’t let them say the wrong answer and feel bad about it.

Helping each other figure out the answer..right or wrong

They come up with this new math, and just say, ‘Getting the wrong answer is good because that helps your brain grow.’ So we’ve got this growth mindset, which is fine but we’re really allowing kids to get wrong answers and not be curious about how do we get to this right. The fear of belittling or saddening students is directly keeping them from learning and thriving academically.”

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School should be a happy experience for all students. The greatest complement to a teacher is when a parent says, “My child just can’t wait to get to school.” It is then that a teacher knows she or he is doing something right. Learning is taking place because the child loves coming to school to be able to learn.

There could be some sad days at school. It is going to be part of human kind that some students will try to bully other children. Perhaps they also experience this in their own home. In these situations, the teacher must have a close connection with all students and be on top of any concerns that keeps a student from enjoying school, learning or being a target of any other student. Real learning can only be achieved in this atmosphere. There has to be proper discipline for learning to take place. It is the beginning of the child’s understanding about the real world.

Teaching values to children should also be a part of every grade-level curriculum. This does not mean religious training, unless in a religious school, but simple every-day living values of honesty, sportsmanship, caring, empathy and more. A parent should know that this is also part of the curriculum. After all, social interaction is part of going to school…everything from being polite to a classmate to the janitor who cleans the building.

As has been mentioned, Teachers should be able to be as creative as possible while achieving with their students the curriculum goals. This will mean juggling the curriculum to help those who don’t have as strong foundation as other children. The children who are accelerated in their learning should not be held back with those unable to keep up. This will lead to boredom and a slow-down in what they are able to achieve. To think that all children learn equally is a complete falsehood. No shoe fits all. To try to make the curriculum one way is not only foolish, but totally irresponsible. Only an excellent teacher, who is unbridled by the authorities in her teaching abilities, will be able to accomplish the best achievement for all students. If they are not able to do this, they should find a job elsewhere. Keeping poor teachers on year after year is a disgrace to the educational system. The Teacher’s Union should not stand in the way of a dismissal when it is in the best interest of the child.

Principals and Academic supervisors play a great part in choosing the correct curriculum within their schools. A good Principal is worth his or her weight in gold if they give the teachers the opportunity to express their individual teaching style. One wonders how people, with great authority in decision making for students, get into these positions. It has a simple answer… Often IT IS POLITICAL.

Sometimes it is the supervisors, unions, or national or state educational groups who want to plant their seeds in the schools to fit their agenda. We must not forget that training the young minds for the future can be the downfall of a country. One example of political power is the push to rid the system of charter schools, which are making a contribution to the specific education needs of our children. Much of this is assertion of power or personal ladder climbing at the expense of our children. Should I say more?

Cartoon credit Nate Beeler

During new regulations concerning the virus, parents may not have as much leeway to enter classrooms in order to observe the kind of atmosphere and learning that is taking place in the classroom. Regular conversations, however, between a parent and child about what is being taught in the classroom is essential. In doing so, a parent will get a sense if their child is experiencing a joy for learning. They will know if he or she is learning to think on their own and are gaining an understanding of the history that has made America strong and other countries collapse. It is essential that they learn the difference between Democracy and ideologies such as Communism. This will be a crucial life-skill needed in the their future.

Those agreeing with “Cancel-Culture” wants to change the date of the Founding of our nation from 1776 to 1619 to reflect the timeline that slaves were brought to America instead of the time the Declaration of Independence was signed. This is called the 1619 Project (Jake Silverstein of the New York Times) In reaction to this is what Cabot Phillips wrote in his article:

“…We must not stand idly by while our education system is hijacked, and our children misled and brainwashed to hate our nation instead of loving it.Last month, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., proposed a bill that would prevent federal funds from being used to teach the 1619 Project in public schools. Bold steps like this must be taken, and Americans must demand a say in what’s being taught in our schools. Without action, our education system will continue to indoctrinate students with anti-American propaganda, and future generations will think our culture and way of life is nothing worth preserving.”

As mentioned previously, the proposals for changing the curriculum of K-12 and College is changing faster that anyone can imagine. Be alert, parents, and do your best to protect your children. Remember, YOU are the greatest teacher that your child will ever have. Most will emulate your thoughts and beliefs. Let them know what you believe is right for them to know and understand. It will not be enough to leave their education and their future in someone else’s hands.

Blessings for this new school year. It may be different, but may it a great one! Boyer Writes


The White Rose

There are many examples, leading up to and during World War II, of resistance movements. Usually it was a group outside Germany within countries that had been taken over by Hitler’s armies. The French are well known, as well as others, who risk everything for FREEDOM and eventual peace.

It may not be as familiar with some of my readers that there were Germans who also resisted. In fact, there were several movement who paid a great price for their heroic deeds. One was known as the White Rose. Perhaps three of the most famous were a brother and sister, Hans and Sophie Scholl, who were students in the University of Munich. Christoph Probst, a married father of three, was also part of the White Rose movement. They believed that the German people had suffered greatly under Adolph Hitler and the crimes he was committing against humanity was totally against their conscience and Christian beliefs.

White Rose Resistance at University of Munich

Exactly what was the White Rose?

The White Rose ( Weiße Rose) was a non-violent, intellectual, resistance group in the Third Reich led by a group of students. The group conducted an anonymous leaflet and graffiti campaign that called for active opposition to the Nazi regime. Their activities started on 27 June 1942, and ended with the arrest of the core group by the Gestapo on 18 February 1943. The Scholls, as well as others, carried on distributing the pamphlets, faced show trials  by the Nazi People’s Court  (Volksgerichtshof), and many of them were sentenced to death or imprisonment.

Hans, Sophie Scholl and Christoph Probst were executed by guillotine four days after their arrest, on February 22nd, 1943. During the trial, Sophie interrupted the judge multiple times. No defendants were given any opportunity to speak.

The Final Days Presentation of Sophie Scholl on trial.

The group wrote, printed and initially distributed their pamphlets in the greater Munich region. Later on, secret carriers brought copies to other cities, mostly in the southern parts of Germany. In total, the White Rose authored six leaflets, which were multiplied and spread, in a total of about 15,000 copies. They denounced the Nazi regime’s crimes and oppression, and called for resistance.

In their second leaflet, they openly denounced the persecution and mass murder of the Jews.  By the time of their arrest, the members of the White Rose were just about to establish contacts with other German resistance groups like the Kreisau Circle or the Schulze-Boysen/Harnack group of the Red Orchestra. Today, the White Rose is well known both within Germany and worldwide. (Wikipedia)

A surviving member of the White Rose gave this description of life in Germany at that time:

“The government—or rather, the party—controlled everything: the news media, arms, police, the armed forces, the judiciary system, communications, travel, all levels of education from kindergarten to universities, all cultural and religious institutions. Political indoctrination started at a very early age, and continued by means of the Hitler Youth with the ultimate goal of complete mind control. Children were exhorted in school to denounce even their own parents for derogatory remarks about Hitler or Nazi ideology.”— George J. Wittenstein, M.D., “Memories of the White Rose” (Wikipedia)

Should this not be a history lesson for all of us today, who have the democratic privilege to vote for our officials…or see that our own society’s voice may be slipping away with more and more government control?

What motivated Hans and Sophie Scholl to stand strong under such oppression?

Sophie’s own words tell of her CHRISTIAN CONSCIENCE. This was the great motivator to do something important in the midst of evil. Here are some of her quotes:

Stand up for what you believe in, even if you are standing alone.”

“An end in terror is preferable to terror without end.”

“How can we expect fate to let a righteous cause prevail when there is hardly anyone who will give himself up undividedly to a righteous cause?”

“The real damage is done by those millions who want to ‘survive.’ The honest men who just want to be left in peace. Those who don’t want their little lives disturbed by anything bigger than themselves. “

I will cling to the rope God has thrown me in Jesus Christ, even when my numb hands can no longer feel it.”

(quotes from article by Bill Muehlenberg)

On the back of Sophie’s indictment, she wrote FREEDOM (from Institute fuer Zeitgeschichte.)

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HONORS in recent history for Sophie and Hans Scholl by the German people

The Geschwister-Scholl-Institut (“Scholl Siblings Institute”) for Political Science at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich (LMU) is named in honour of Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans. The institute is home to the university’s political science and communication departments, and is housed in the former Radio Free Europe building close to the city’s Englischer Garten. (Wikipedia)

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OPPRESSION CAN HAPPEN ANYWHERE

Will you or I be willing to speak up against it?

VIDEO Turn up your sound. Scenes from the movie The Final Days based on the true story of the White Rose Resistance. (The full movie is on You Tube)


U.S. ATTORNEY GENERAL SPEAKS

In the government of the United States, we have an office that is important to our democracy. It is the office of the Attorney General. The Attorney General represents the United States in legal matters, advises the President and the heads of the executive departments of the government, and occasionally appears in person before the Supreme Court. (White House)

In this year of 2020, during our time of virus difficulty, riotous outbreaks against law and order, the U.S. Attorney General, William P. Barr, agreed to come before a governmental committee for questioning on various topics. From the airing of the TV portion of this process, some on the committee tried very hard to verbally “throw him under the bus.” From his opening statement, it was obvious that Barr was aware of their motives.

In case you have any interest in what Mr. Barr had to say, I am including his address to the committee in this post.

In his opening statement and before questions were addressed to him, he tries to address the importance of laws and order for all citizens of our country. Unfortunately, some of the members of the committee used their time to make speeches before asking a question, leaving little time for any meaningful dialog.

At various times, the answers to the questions just asked, were rudely interrupted by the person asking. Maybe this is why England’s Parliament just simply YELL at each other. It was not much different here with all the bias ranting that made it difficult to get to the point. Even though they had asked him to come and answer questions, he was hardly allowed to talk. As things continued to get worse, Barr asked the chairman of the committee if he could “take a 5 minute break.” Jerry Nadler, representative of the N.Y congressional district said, “No.” After a little debate about common courtesy, it was finally granted.

Most people that said they had watched all of it were greatly disgusted and felt that there was nothing productive at all. Why did the committee ask him to speak in the first place? You probably know the answer to that question…to discredit him. If their interruptions were in order to NOT ALLOW him to give answers…nor to allow him to convince the American people, before the coming election, that Barr was doing his job without being controlled by anyone, the committee was successful….successful only in acting like bullies and showing their inability to conduct such an investigation with dignity.

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Why am I including this written document by Attorney General Barr?

It is simple. I would like you to know what he actually said about all of our concerns here in the country most of us love.

If you, the reader, did not hear Barr’s full opening statement or any of his answers to the questions, but only looked at excerpts from national news media… you will only hear a one-sided view with exaggerations and distortions. All Americans and anyone in other countries, who read his statement given below, will know exactly what Mr. Barr had to say. To help you, I have highlighted some of the topics that he is discussing.

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Written Statement of William P. Barr, Attorney General

Chairman Nadler, Ranking Member Jordan, Members of the Committee, I am pleased to be here this morning. I accepted an invitation to testify before this Committee in late March, but it was postponed as a result of the pandemic that continues to pose challenges to us all. I know some other hearings this week have been postponed to honor your late colleague, Congressman
John Lewis of Georgia. On behalf of the Department of Justice, I want to pay my respects to Congressman Lewis, an indomitable champion of civil rights and the rule of law. I think it is especially important to remember today that he pursued his cause passionately and successfully with an unwavering commitment to nonviolence.

We are in a time when the political discourse in Washington often reflects the politically divided nation in which we live, and too often drives that divide even deeper.

Political rhetoric is inherent in our democratic system, and politics is to be expected by politicians, especially in an election year. While that may be appropriate here on Capitol Hill or on cable news, it is not acceptable at the Department of Justice. At the Department, decisions must be made with no regard to political pressure—pressure from either end of Pennsylvania Avenue, or from the media or mobs.


Ever since I made it clear that I was going to do everything I could to get to the bottom of the grave abuses involved in the bogus “Russiagate” scandal, many of the Democrats on this Committee have attempted to discredit me by conjuring up a narrative that I am simply the President’s factotum who disposes of criminal cases according to his instructions. Judging from
the letter inviting me to this hearing, that appears to be your agenda today
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So let me turn to that first.


As I said in my confirmation hearing, the Attorney General has a unique obligation. He holds in trust the fair and impartial administration of justice. He must ensure that there is one standard of justice that applies to everyone equally and that criminal cases are handled even-handedly, based on the law and the facts, and without regard to political or personal considerations.


I can tell you that I have handled criminal matters that have come to me for decision in this way.
The President has not attempted to interfere in these decisions. On the contrary, he has told me from the start that he expects me to exercise my independent judgment to make whatever call I think is right. That is precisely what I have done.


From my experience, the President has played a role properly and traditionally played by Presidents. Like his predecessors, President Trump and his National Security Council have appropriately weighed in on law-enforcement decisions that directly implicate national security or foreign policy, because those decisions necessarily involve considerations that transcend typical prosecutorial factors. Moreover, when some noteworthy event occurs that potentially has legal ramifications – such as leaks of classified information, potential civil rights abuses by police, or illegal price fixing or gouging – the President has occasionally, and appropriately, confirmed that the Department is aware of the matter. But the handling of the matter and my decisions on criminal matters have been left to my independent judgment, based on the law and fact, without any direction or interference from the White House or anyone outside the Department.


Indeed, it is precisely because I feel complete freedom to do what I think is right that induced me serve once again as Attorney General. As you know, I served as Attorney General under President George H. W. Bush. After that, I spent many years in the corporate world. I was almost 70 years old, slipping happily into retirement as I enjoyed my grandchildren. I had nothing
to prove and had no desire to return to government. I had no prior relationship with President Trump.


But as an outsider I became deeply troubled by what I perceived as the increasing use of the criminal justice process as a political weapon and the emergence of two separate standards of justice. The Department had been drawn into the political maelstrom and was being buffeted on
all sides. When asked to consider returning, I did so because I revere the Department and believed my independence would allow me to help steer her back to her core mission of applying one standard of justice for everyone and enforcing the law even-handedly, without partisan considerations. Since returning to the Department, I have done precisely that. My decisions on criminal matters before the Department have been my own, and they have been made because I believed they were right under the law and principles of justice. Let me turn briefly to several pressing issues of the day.

The horrible killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis understandably jarred the whole country and forced us to reflect on longstanding issues in our nation. Those issues obviously relate to the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community. Given our history it is understandable that, among black Americans, there is at least some
ambivalence, and often distrust, toward the police.

Until just the last 50 years or so, our laws and institutions were explicitly discriminatory. It was not until the 60’s that the Civil Rights movement finally succeeded in tearing down the Jim Crow edifice. Our laws finally came to formally embody the guarantee of equal protection. Since then, the work of securing civil rights has rightly focused on reforming our institutions to ensure they better conform to our laws and aspirations. That work, it is important to acknowledge, has been increasingly successful.

Police forces today are far more diverse than ever before; there are both more black police chiefs and more black officers in the ranks. Although the death of George Floyd – an unarmed black man – at the hands of the police was a shocking event, the fact is that such events are fortunately quite rare. According to statistics compiled by the Washington Post, the number of unarmed black men killed by police so far this year is 8. The number of unarmed white men killed by police over the same time period is 11. Some unarmed suspects, moreover, were physically attacking officers or threatening others at the time they were shot. And the overall number of police shootings has been decreasing. Nevertheless, every instance of excessive force is unacceptable and must be addressed, as is happening now in Minneapolis.


Apart from their numbers, I think these events strike a deep chord in the black community because they are perceived as manifestation of the deeper, lingering concern that, in encounters with police, blacks will not be treated even-handedly; they will not be given the benefit of the doubt; they will be treated with greater suspicion than a white person would be in the same circumstances.

Senator Tim Scott has recounted the numerous times he has been unjustifiably pulled over on Capitol Hill. As one prominent black professional in Washington said to me, African Americans often feel “treated as suspects first and citizens second.” I think these concerns are legitimate.

At the same time, I think it would be an oversimplification to treat the problem as rooted in some deep-seated racism generally infecting our police departments. It seems far more likely that the problem stems from a complex mix of factors, which can be addressed with focused attention over time. We in law enforcement must be conscious of the concerns and ensure that we do not have two different systems of justice. In a pluralistic society like ours, composed of many races and ethnicities, we all must strive not to reduce each other to stereotypes or to allow those stereotypes to govern our treatment of our fellow citizens. Rather, we have a basic and overriding obligation to treat each other as individuals, created equal and entitled to the benefit of the doubt rather than assumptions based on skin color.


A recommitment to that principle, particularly by those entrusted with the weighty responsibilities of law enforcement, would be a worthy response to George Floyd’s death. It would ensure that good comes out of bad. The Justice Department will honor that commitment. Among
other steps, we are implementing the President’s Executive Order, which outlines a number of
measures to propel continued professionalization of the police, including setting clear standards for appropriate use of force.

Unfortunately, some have chosen to respond to George Floyd’s death in a far less productive way – by demonizing the police, promoting slogans like ACAB (All Cops Are Bastards), and making grossly irresponsible proposals to defund the police. The demonization of police is not only unfair and inconsistent with the principle that all people should be treated as individuals, but gravely injurious to our inner city communities.

There is no harder job in America today than being a police officer. When officers respond to an emergency, whether a catastrophe like 9/11 or an everyday crime, they do not set out to protect white people or black people. They risk and sometimes give their lives to protect and serve all people, and all people owe them thanks.


When a community turns on and pillories its own police, officers naturally become more risk averse and crime rates soar. Unfortunately, we are seeing that now in many of our major cities. This is a critical problem that exists apart from disagreements on other issues. The threat to black lives posed by crime on the streets is massively greater than any threat posed by police
misconduct. The leading cause of death for young black males is homicide. Every year approximately 7,500 black Americans are victims of homicide, and the vast majority of them –around 90 percent – are killed by other blacks, mainly by gunfire. Each of those lives matter.

And it is not just that crime snuffs out lives. Crime snuffs out opportunity. Children cannot thrive in playgrounds and schools dominated by gangs and drug pushers. Businesses do not locate in unsafe neighborhoods. When the police are attacked, when they are defunded, when they are driven out of urban communities, it is black lives that will suffer most from their absence.

It is for that reason that, in select cities where there has been an upsurge in violent crime, we are stepping up and bolstering the activities of our joint anti-crime task forces, which have been successful in the past. In those cities, we are adding experienced investigators, firearms and ballistics analysts, and experts at apprehending violent fugitives. We are also offering funding to support more police who can be assigned to these anti-crime task forces. To be clear, this initiative has nothing to do with the problem of violent mob rioting that I will discuss in a moment; it is instead designed to help state and local law enforcement to meet their basic responsibility to solve crimes and keep their communities safe.


Finally, I want to address a different breakdown in the rule of law that we have witnessed over the past two months. In the wake of George Floyd’s death, violent rioters and anarchists have hijacked legitimate protests to wreak senseless havoc and destruction on innocent victims. The current situation in Portland is a telling example. Every night for the past two months, a mob of hundreds of rioters has laid siege to the federal courthouse and other nearby federal property. The rioters arrive equipped for a fight, armed with powerful slingshots, tasers, sledgehammers, saws, knives, rifles, and explosive devices. Inside the courthouse are a relatively small number of federal law enforcement personnel charged with a defensive mission: to protect the courthouse, home to Article III federal judges, from being overrun and destroyed.

What unfolds nightly around the courthouse cannot reasonably be called a protest; it is, by any objective measure, an assault on the Government of the United States. In recent nights, rioters have barricaded the front door of the courthouse, pried plywood off the windows with crowbars, and thrown commercial-grade fireworks into the building in an apparent attempt to burn it down with federal personnel inside. The rioters have started fires outside the building, and then systematically attacked federal law enforcement officers who attempt to put them out—for example, by pelting the officers with rocks, frozen water bottles, cans of food, and balloons filled with fecal matter.

A recent video showed a mob enthusiastically beating a Deputy U.S. Marshal who was trying to protect the courthouse – a property of the United States government funded by this Congress – from further destruction. A number of federal officers have been injured, including one severely burned by a mortar-style firework and three who have suffered serious eye injuries and may be permanently blind.

Largely absent from these scenes of destruction are even superficial attempts by the rioters to connect their actions to George Floyd’s death or any legitimate call for reform. Nor could such brazen acts of lawlessness plausibly be justified by a concern that police officers in Minnesota or elsewhere defied the law. Remarkably, the response from many in the media and local elected offices to this organized assault has been to blame the federal government.

To state what should be obvious, peaceful protesters do not throw explosives into federal courthouses, tear down plywood with crowbars, or launch fecal matter at federal officers. Such acts are in fact federal crimes under statutes enacted by this Congress. As elected officials of the federal government, every Member of this Committee –regardless of your political views or your feelings about the Trump Administration – should condemn violence against federal officers and destruction of federal property. So should state and local leaders who have a responsibility to keep their communities safe.

To tacitly condone destruction and anarchy is to abandon the basic rule-of-law principles that should unite us even in a politically divisive time. At the very least, we should all be able to agree that there is no place in this country for armed mobs that seek to establish autonomous zones beyond government control, or tear down statues and monuments that law-abiding communities chose to erect, or to destroy the property and livelihoods of innocent business owners.

The most basic responsibility of government is to ensure the rule of law, so that people can live their lives safely and without fear. The Justice Department will continue working to meet that solemn responsibility. (All words are by the Author, Attorney General William P Barr)

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LAW, ORDER and JUSTICE….are words that may not be easily comprehended UNLESS we are all part of the equation. Turn up your sound for a prayer for all of us.


Trapped in the Midst of Wealth

Do we have any idea what is happening in the concrete jungles of the world? Hardly! We only hear the names of big cities…Paris, London, Moscow, New York….and more. What is actually happening in these great metropolises is anybody’s guess. They are only names…without real understanding of the hard working people in their midst.

In these great cities of steel and stone are real people who are trapped in a cycle of over-population, rising costs, air pollution and the rush for investors to take every inch of land in order to build…and build. These great towers rise high and gleam in the sky…the symbol of wealth and prosperity….or DOES IT?

Take a look at our large cities and you might get an answer if you have something to compare the life of those living there and the lives of others around the world. It could make us decide that life in many American towns, even with the great improvements that need to be made, is good and should be appreciated. We must not forget that for most our blessings are great! Perhaps this blog will help us put things into perspective.

You are going to have the opportunity to follow the lives of some select people in a towering city of gigantic, concrete high rises and see what things are really like….HONG KONG. This story can be played out in any large city in the world as desire for more and more constitutes the creed in the world.

But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 1 Timothy 6:9

Hong Kong

Hong Kong is by far the largest source of foreign direct investment in China, totaling U.S.$76 billion by the end of 1995. Mainland money is also pouring into Hong Kong, with Chinese companies investing as much as U.S.$60 billion in the territory in recent years. (Rand)

WHAT IS THE PROBLEM…IN ALL THIS PROSPERITY?

“In glitzy and prosperous Hong Kong, thousands live in conditions deemed an “insult to human dignity”. Low-income residents who can’t keep up with soaring property prices have no choice but to cram into homes barely bigger than a coffin or wire cage. More than 200,000 Hongkongers survive in the cramped and squalid conditions of so-called coffin houses and cage homes. “(RT documentaries)

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A BRIEF HISTORY OF HONG KONG and ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE

Starting out as a farming fishing village and salt production site, it became an important free port and eventually a major international financial centre. The Qing dynasty ceded Hong Kong to the British Empire in 1842 through the treaty of Nanjing, ending the First Opium War. (Wikipedia)

The treaty of Nanking in 1842 ceded Hong Kong to the British. Their big ships and military might meant China had little choice at the end of the first opium war. It was given to them in perpetuity. … It was this, the New Territories, that in 1898 the British pledged to give back in 1997 (Newsweek)

Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China and enjoys its own limited autonomy as defined by the Basic Law. (Investipedia)

The cause of the 2019–20 Hong Kong protests was the proposed legislation of the 2019 Hong Kong extradition bill…and demands for democratic reform…and the fear of losing a “high degree of autonomy” in general. (Wikipedia)

Hong Kong Protests

Hong Kong is officially known as the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Hong Kong has one of the world’s most thriving economies and is a hub for international trade and investment. A cosmopolitan city, Hong Kong weaves Western and Asian influence into a world-class center of business, culture, and trade. (Hong Kong Atlanta)

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One would think that the power and influential of Hong Kong would have economic problems figured out for the workers of this vast empire. However, the desire for wealth doesn’t mean that the average, working citizen can live with any dignity. The economy of any nation is extremely important, but the workers who are the steam behind the engine must not be overlooked.

I’ve asked why most of the workers in our country and others are the poorest of the poor…the most vulnerable to disease that spreads to others? Why are they mostly the only ones willing to work? Why, even during the pandemic in the U.S., did many of these workers, mostly Spanish or Asian, continue working in the slaughter houses while others collected unemployment, refusing to return to work as long as the government paid out?

The answer is simple…they did not want to lose a job that was their only life line. This is also the reason for the workers interviewed in the video below. We must not forget that Hong Kong is still under the thumb of communistic China. You will see in one episode where the men refused to be photographed in fear of losing the only thing they had…a job and a tiny place to live, not much bigger than your average large dog cage in the USA. Fear is a great motivator in survival.

Governments and companies should look seriously at the Holy Scripture and its promises to the worker in Psalm 128:2. The worker is promised something from God if the bosses over them do not interfere.

“You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands; you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.”

 God rewards those who work hard. They deserve to be rewarded and blessed with a good and decent life. Authoritarian powers often cancel out God’s purposes. The world will suffer and men’s actions and greed will eventually be held accountable…not only in the East…but the West.

New York City

“You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your brothers or one of the sojourners who are in your land within your towns. You shall give him his wages on the same day, before the sun sets (for he is poor and counts on it), lest he cry against you to the Lord, and you be guilty of sin. Deuteronomy 24:14,15

This video, Trapped inside Hong Kong’s cage houses” proves what over-crowing and rising costs leads to completely being trapped for these Hong Kong’s workers. When watching this, keep in mind that the same thing can happen in any large city in the world today.

Turn on your sound.


Defending America From Anarchists

What does the word ANARCHIST mean? According to the dictionary, it is “One who uses violent means to overthrow the established order.” (Merriam Webster)

No one I know wants to see the “established order” overthrown. It is horrifying to see businesses burned to the ground when we can only imagine how hard the people worked to finally hang a sign “OPEN” on their doors!

Burning and looting of businesses

To even consider that people can run loose in our American neighborhoods shooting at little children, as happens in Chicago and some other places, is beyond what the average person can hardly believe is happening. Yet, over 100 people were killed in that city over one night. Call it gang violence or anything else…it is a form of “anarchy” when law and order is allowed by those in charge to disappear and call it a “new normal.” That indicates that we “just have to put up with it.”

Police are now being told by some local governments to “stay out of it.” Some places have designated zones where the police are off bounds. When a man was shot and another was critical, the police tried to go to their aid, but was attacked by the mob and they never reached the victims. In these cases, there is no control at all. No peace-loving person is safe…nor is any child.

A child’s sign says it all…for Chicago, New York and many cities

Even if there are people who believe that protesting is their right, which it is as long as it is peaceful, those anarchists who use that protest to strike at the very heart of our country should be called out for what they really are.

Written on St. John Church …BHAZ in today’s meaning… has to do with a place taken by force

200 year old, historic, St. John’s Church, known as the “Church of the Presidents,” was damaged as D.C. Firefighters found a fire in the basement of the church. A large fire also burned outside the church. Unfortunately, the people who set these fires call themselves “Protesters,” but in truth once they become violent to property or persons, they have become anarchists. Every president since James Madison has attended a service at St. John’s. It is a historic site to be protected as is any other American piece of history.

(Photo credit: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

Because Boyer Writes is a Christian blog, I most often would not post a video that some would feel is centered on a political position. However, regardless of who my readers think should be the next President of the United States, I believe it is time to speak out about whoever is elected to the highest office in our land, MUST restore law and order. We cannot have domestic terrorism in America any more than we can have the terrorists from other countries.

I think that every American has the privilege to vote for the person whom they believe to be best qualified to not tolerate the anarchists who would destroy our country. Will that person be perfect in all decisions? Of course not.

However, it will be his or her job, Democrat or Republican, to see that our country is safe from this kind of violence. Voting our beliefs is still one of our greatest freedoms. Let’s pray that it will be the right choice in November. Our future lives depend on it!

Don’t forget those who died to keep our freedom and democracy

So why speak out about anarchists through this blog?

I could not sit with hands folded when I saw the anarchists had spray painted on the beautiful Christian cathedral in Washington, D.C. or were tearing down Christian statues.

In San Francisco, at the Golden Gate Park, the statue of the Christian missionary, St. Junipero Serra was torn down. During the 1800’s there were instances of mistreatment of Native Americans, which gave the anarchists their reasoning for tearing down the statue. We should be learning from the history that we abhor, not destroying it.

Archbishop Gomez of LA had this statement about the priest:

“He preached God’s compassion, fought for the dignity of women and the rights of America’s native peoples, and he was probably the first person in the Americas to make a moral case against capital punishment.”

St Junipero Serra stands tall before being torn down

A vandalized statue of St. Junipero Serra in San Francisco is seen June 19, 2020. The Spanish Franciscan founded several missions in what is now California. (CNS photo/David Zandman via Reuters) 

At the risk of being accused of something I don’t intend, I believe it is my duty to share with you, the reader, one of the most precise, well-thought through videos on this subject. As I write or as you watch your TV to the unfolding of events, the anarchists are planning their next move.

You may not agree to all that is said in this video and that is your privilege and mine. Thank God for free speech in America…while we still have it.

VIDEO: Turn up your sound and click this link: (please note, if you are not commercial free …give it a minute to move passed the commercials..as it will soon load.)

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump-polls-republican-gop-operatives-possible-drop-out


LIFE IS FRAGILE

My Mother made a beautiful stitched picture that hangs on my wall. Every time I look at it, I think of her fingers carefully pulling the needle and thread. The message was important to her and it should be for all of us today.

 

stictching by Alta

History also is most important to us because it teaches us so much.  We can look at what has happened in the past and in some ways project the future…unless we refuse to learn. Most present-day issues are sensitive and hard to discuss, but we must think about these things.

What kind of “fragile” times are we going through and what has history taught our last generations?

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Let’s take a hard look at now and then.

  • Everyone has become fearful of the possibility of becoming sick or dying from our recent virus.
  • Governments have taken control world-wide more than we can remember in our modern history.
  • Life and travel has completely changed.
  • Tragedies have led people to respond with demonstrations as they let their concerns be known. This is the democratic way, according to our Constitution, and should be respected.

    Protests 2020 3

    A mostly peaceful demonstration in the U.S.

  • More tragedies have occurred for business owners, of every race and creed, whose livelihood has been ruined by the breaking and looting, which should have never been connected with those wanting peaceful demonstrations. Some organizations have as their goal to bring down democracy and pit our citizens against one another.

    protest looting broken windows 2020

    Small business store fronts smashed and looted.

(Let’s look at those in other parts of the world who are fighting to keep their democratic way of life.)

  • People in Hong Kong are facing further governmental crack-downs from mainland China as Beijing proposes new legislation. ( “China stunned Hong Kong when it announced it would impose a national security law on the city. Many worry this could spell the end of Hong Kong’s unique freedoms…”whole story on BBC News

Hong Kong

After 156 years of British rule, Hong Kong exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China with its own limited autonomy as defined by the principle of “one country, two systems.” (Wikipedia)

 

Why even mention the present day problems?  It is because these are only a few of the world’s problems that makes “Life Fragile” for all of us, in this country and around the world today.

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What can we, the present generations, learn from history?

  • The slave owners and slave ship captains were the ones responsible for the sins of the past…not people living today. By making slavery the sin of those living today only makes our society more fragile. Unfortunately, history cannot be relived, as much as we would like to correct the wrongs of the past.  Looking at and condemning the actions of the past by individuals or governments is one thing…to place it on the shoulders of those not responsible is another.

We talk of the need for “being together and unified” and  for everyone to work together to rid all injustices in society.  Yes, the present and future are our responsibilities. To rectify present problems is an honorable goal that most would want to see accomplished, but talk is cheap if we continue to blame those who are not responsible for past injustices.

Slave ships

Slave ship

Mass blame only leads to disruption and a society sickness within groups of people, leadership, the media, and our communities in general.

( Let’s think also about German history.)

  • The Nazi regime blamed an entire group of people. They were the builders of the death camps, designed to eliminate the Jews from their culture.  I had the honor of taking young Americans to Auschwitz to remember this tragic time during World War II.  It is an experience one never forgets. Even the Jews, themselves, could not believe that their businesses were being destroyed and that they would be rounded up to die, simply because they were a particular group of people.  Society has a way, through the evils of leadership, to turn against one another.  Interestingly enough, Hitler continued to use the expertise of his Jewish doctors and dentist.  How could he not have known the value of the individual?  Mass hysteria became the weapon of choice, as well as propaganda through the German media, leaflets, and posters against people as a whole.

 

Nazi death camp

Nazi death camp2

Jewish women in a Nazi death camp

The German youth today, or their parents, are not responsible.  We will make life more fragile if we try to pin on innocent people what tragedies were espoused when they were either tiny children or not even born.

  • Past generations of Native Americans had the horror of walking to their death on the Trail of Tears, which is a despicable part of our own history of governmental policies. The white, mostly of European descent, who rode their wagons through the tribal territory to settle the West were often murdered and scalped.  No living Native American had anything to do with this tragedy. 

     

  • We must not forget the hundreds of Japanese Americans, who were placed by our government leaders during World War II in the U.S.Internment Camps because of being Japanese.  The generations today of U.S. Government officials had no part in this. 

    Japanese internment

    American interment camp for Japanese in WWII

  • Because some policemen have acted in evil ways against defenseless people, ALL men and women wearing the badge can not be blamed or demonized for the acts of others… for many have dedicated their lives to helping safe-guard our communities.  Without them, those who mean harm will be let loose on those who will see a greater need to protect themselves. In this case, those wishing for more gun control may find their proposals will fall on deaf ears.

     

Are we getting the picture?

Blaming ALL people for the actions of some only leads  to an extremely fragile society. It leads to the persecution of the innocent and instability of our nation and the world today. 

Our last question:  Can destroying the representations of history remove it from memory?

the destruction of statue of Buddah in Afghanistan

180-foot-high Buddha statue in Bamian, central Afghanistan on Dec. 18, 1997, left, and after its destruction on March 26, 2001. (Muzammil Pasha, Sayed Salahuddin/Reuters)

tearing down of confederate statue at UNC

Police stand guard after protesters tore down the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill, which was considered destruction of state property.

 

Condoleeza Rice

 

Condoleezza Rice, former 66th Secretary of State, explained her view about destroying history to the Washington Examiner. She believes that the Confederate statues and associated names of schools and universities should be used as teaching tools. It is as a way to understand history even as we learn not to celebrate it.

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This is why we, the Believers in Christ and of the dignity of all people who were created in the image of God, must not forget to pray.  We must pray for each other, all mankind of every nationality and the government leaders around the world, who have the power to turn our world upside down.

We are a fragile world.

“For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.”  Nelson Mandela, former Pres. of South Africa

If my people will humble themselves

 

Video: Turn up sound

 

 

 

 


Life Histories…Will We LEARN?

“THOSE WHO FAIL TO LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT.”

  Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, 1948

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This famous quote is one to strongly consider as we think about our nation and the world today.  We thought we had conquered most of the world’s diseases, then the Coronavirus moved around the world. 

We thought we had crossed through the problems of discrimination after the tragic assassination of Dr. Martin Luther, Jr…then came more deaths for many people of all colors. We are faced with problems today that could be disastrous for us all. There are those who simply want their voices heard, justice done and then there are the anarchists among us who want to destroy peace and accomplishments of many. What we thought had been attained through new laws of the land against racism and civil rights for all can be destroyed within an instance if lawlessness is allowed to continue. We ask ourselves, “What is next and what has happened to the democratic way of life? Where is law and order?” 

There are forces at work to disrupt anything peaceful.  Some are outsiders, who mean no good will. These forces will take advantage of every tragic event to move our civilization toward something even more tragic. What would that be is not fully known, but the loss of lawfulness, the democratic way and the sanctity of all men and women could be only a starter.

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What exactly is “sanctity?”  It has to do with being sacred or morally upright and correct.”  Is nothing sacred anymore?  Does the hard work of people building businesses, which support our communities…for all races…make it right to “smash…grab…and run”… while laughing about it?!

The values that were taught in most families…about stealing or destroying seems to mean nothing to many who have been given so much by the previous generation? There were marches in Selma; men and women of all colors who went off to war to fight for world freedom.  Do they understand the sacrifices of history? If not, do we blame ourselves for not teaching it more in schools or in the home?  Will these young adults who believe they are changing the world teach their own children the meaning of sacrifice and sanctity? Do they “care less” when it comes to destroying and looting?

broken glass2

A man records the broken glass during protests

Yes, there are voices that need to be heard, but all people, through our Constitution and laws, have been given a right to freedom of speech when voicing complaints…and should and can be heard without destroying the center of their own universe.  (“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress…”) There is no right given to plunder, steal or take the property of another.

We have also seen how situations can turn from bad to worse when people are singled out because of who they are…minorities…police…the calling of disparaging names because of one’s belief on a particular subject. The victims of violence should be able to mourn their dead. The victim’s memories should be honored, not exploited.

While government officials argue about what to do in this crisis, the “rape” of hard-working American men and women’s businesses goes on…destroying the lives of many.

Jueenhan Moon Reuters Photo credit

BREAK, GRAB, STEAL during protests Photo credit Jueenhan Moon Reuters

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Do not forget history.  It teaches us everything…to do and not to do. It tells us how fragile governments can be when those who believe their ideas are the only ideas, regardless of who they hurt, begs the possibility of raising up leaders to push the world into a brink of despair and even war. We have seen it in our best teacher…HISTORY.

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 Let’s take a look back.

There were good people in Germany before World War II who saw that the path on which their country was heading would lead Germany and other countries into chaos.  Even within the high-ranking military and Christian churches, there were dissidents who stood against Hitler. There were actually six attempts to do away with Hitler, but each failed.

1944 Plot:  …”At the center of this plot was Claus von Stauffenberg, a dashing colonel who had lost an eye and one of his hands during combat in North Africa. He and his co-conspirators—who included Tresckow, Friedrich Olbricht and Ludwig Beck—planned to kill the Führer with a hidden bomb concealed in a briefcase and then use the German Reserve Army to topple the Nazi high command. If their coup was successful, the rebels would then immediately seek a negotiated peace with the Allies. ( Full story of 6 plots  History.com)

 When the bomb exploded, more than 20 people were injured and three officers were killed, but Hitler escaped one more time.  Because of this attempt, more than 7,000 people were arrested and 4,980 people were executed by the Gestapo.” (History Collection)

picture of Hitler and Strassenberg who attemted to kill Hitler

At Rastenburg on 15 July 1944. Stauffenberg at left, Hitler center, Keitel on right. The person shaking hands with Hitler is General Karl Bodenschatz, who was seriously wounded five days later by Stauffenberg’s bomb. Wikipedia

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Anarchy is raising an ugly head in today’s modern world.  The very word, from the Latin word, anarchia, and the Greek, anarchos, has the meaning of “no rule.”  (Wikipedia)

We, as a nation of people, have a choice to stand for what is right and honorable…or loss control. Don’t forget “Kristallnacht” (The Night of Broken Glass)  when storefronts belonging to the Jews were shattered. Glass littered the streets and vandalism occurred. Sound familiar?

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I leave you with a compelling life of a survivor of one of history’s darkest hours.  At first it began slowly and then the blaming of an entire group of people began.  The innocent were accused…and the rest is “history.”  We pray that this part of our present day history will not be another dark hour.

Hannah Pick Goslar
Life of Hannah Elizabeth Goslar Pick:
  • Born in 1928 in Berlin. Hannah’s father was Head of the Prussian Press Bureau and adviser to the Minister of Interior of Brandenburg, Germany. In 1933, with the rise of the Nazis to power, Hannah’s family fled to Amsterdam.
  • There, at school, Hannah met Anna Frank, also a refugee from Germany. 
  • In October 1942, while giving birth, both the baby and Hannah’s mother died.
  • On June 20, 1943, Hannah, her younger sister, Gabi, her father and grandparents were sent to the Westerbork transit camp.
  • Hannah and Gabi were separated from their father and sent to the orphanage in the camp. There, she worked cleaning the toilets 
  • In 1944, Hannah, her father and sister were transferred to the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp where she had to do forced labor.
  • When she was told that Anna Frank was also imprisoned there she managed to establish contact with her and even tried to give her a package of food and clothing, which someone else stole.

    Hannah Goslar and Ann Frank

    Ann Frank and Hannah were friends in Amsterdam

  • Hanna’s Father and Grandparents were murdered in Bergen-Belsen.
  • On April 11, 1945, the camp inmates were evacuated. Hannah had contracted typhus.
  • In June, the Soviets handed Hannah and her sister to the Americans and they were returned to Amsterdam.
  • Hannah went to Israel in 1947 and lived in Kfar Hasidim. She worked as a nurse in a pediatric ward at the ‘Bikkur Holim’ Hospital in Jerusalem.  (from Yad Vashem)

    Young Hannah Pick Goslar

    Young adult Hannah Pick Goslar

In Hannah’s own words:

Video  Turn up your sound.

 


Military Sunday…COST of Freedom

Our National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. and in various churches, this Sunday, May 17, 2020, will be honoring our brave military who have served faithfully for our freedom and democracy.  We must remember that there was great cost.

fallen brought home with honor

 

What exactly is FREEDOM and its COST to us today?

This might be the time to ask ourselves some hard questions, as we have been told recently that we must forfeit many of our freedoms for the “good of all.”  We have to ask ourselves what will be the great cost to our democracy and freedom, as we see many private decisions slowly drifting…or rapidly falling into someone else’s hands to make choices for us….such as when we can work, run our businesses, shop, go to school etc. etc. ?

We, as citizens, appreciate warnings to potential danger and given a heads-up to prepare individually and within our community…just as we do when a devastating hurricane is approaching Florida or any part of our country.

I can never remember our local news saying “You are mandated to board up your house and stay inside because you could die from this approaching storm!!” 

They just inform us and expect that as responsible people we will prepare and do what is right for us and the neighbors around us.  Is EVERYONE always responsible?  NEVER...not in the past and not in the future. Some houses blow away and people are sometimes killed, but we then try to help as much as possible to rebuild lives.  One thing is certain, people are generous, helpful and outright heroic in many situations.  Most do not expect government handouts unless they are in dire need. Faith based organizations hand out food with these disasters and as they are doing now.

This is DEMOCRACY…and personal responsibility. This is what our military men and women have bravely fought to maintain.

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No governments… local, national, or international are able to have perfect answers when they begin dictating to the masses.  State and community rules/regulations that help our society are expected, when they don’t interfere with with our Constitutional rights that will be discussed later.  The individual is the patriot, the guy next door…like all of our military.

Our honored military have sacrificed so much for their country’s freedom. Do you think they were afraid?  Of course they were, but they knew without freedom we would have nothing to live for.  They went…They served…and they are loved for it!   Are people afraid today? Yes, for certain, if they are about to lose everything they have worked hard for over the years or if they have elderly parents who are facing things alone.   Wars were fought to keep our independence, starting with the Revolutionary War.

  • WHY did the U.S. and other freedom loving countries get involved in the wars listed below?  There is a simple answer….

TO PROTECT OUR FREEDOM TO MAKE OUR OWN WAY OF LIFE AND DECISIONS WITHOUT INTERVENTION FROM A DICTATORSHIP...whatever the name may be.

  • Why should we be concerned today?  I’m certain you are pondering your answer.
  • There is also another question that we should be asking ourselves:

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How do countries slowly, or not so slowly, lose their independence and freedom of choice?

“Although regimes vary widely, most dictators have at least a few things in common. They don’t come to power through free, constitutional elections. They often take control during coups d’etats, revolutions or…

states of emergency.

Once they have control, they have absolute, sole power.”  (Encyclopedia Britannica)

  • What about deaths brought on by men who cared nothing about freedom for their citizens…only about their own power?

(Deaths caused by three of the worst dictators: Joseph Stalin 43,000,000 Mao Zedong 38,000,000+ Adolf Hitler 21,000,000)

  • What about the dictators of today’s communist countries to whom we are giving much of our allegiance…wealth and intellectual property?

At the present time, we know there are gulags around the world where thousands are languishing and dying because they have no voice and are arrested with no recourse for protesting or speaking out about their government’s activities.  (The term, gulag, is a prison camp where conditions are extremely bad and the prisoners are forced to work very hard. The name gulag comes from the prison camps in the former Soviet Union.) Collins dictionary

Auschwitz2

AUSCHWITZ WORLD WAR II

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Military conflict has taken place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.  (from Imperial War Museums)

20th and 21st Century’s major wars:

  • The First World War 1914–1918
  • The Second World War  1939–1945  
  • The Korean War  1950–1953

Slide presentation:  (Give each picture a moment to change)

 

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  • The Vietnam War, 1955-75
  • The Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • The War in Afghanistan 2001–2014
  • The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011
  • The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–present

 

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Our freedom today in America and around the world is due to those who were willing to stand up and go into harms way to defend freedom.  This is why we honor them today in our churches, who still have church services…via the internet and TV broadcasts.  Because most churches place the physical health of their congregations as a priority, it was only the wise thing to do until they were able to assemble together again.  How to do this was up to the church to decide what was best to continue giving people the opportunity to worship.   Faith is alive and well, even if it is a family gathering around the TV at home. Underground churches have had to find creative ways to worship God in the past and present throughout the world.

A minister was arrested in Florida for not closing his church, which caused infection to spread from those not knowing they were carrying the Coronavirus. This act of defiance by the pastor, which was totally unwise at the time, lead the Governor of Florida to make this statement as the right to worship was being challenged by the local authority:

“I don’t know that [governments] would have the authority, quite frankly, to close a religious institution.” Governor DeSantis said in deciding not to shutter churches in Florida. “The Constitution doesn’t get suspended here.”

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  • What does our U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights guarantee us?

Our Constitution, through Amendment 1, guarantees FREEDOM of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, PEACEABLE ASSEMBLY and petition of grievances.  Many young men and women have been willing to die for this freedom.  Many have!

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

US. ConstitutionBill of Rights

 

To all our military…from all wars…we THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND YOUR DEDICATION TO FREEDOM!

American flag held high

Honoring those who serve

Footnote:

My husband ,who is a retired U.S. Navy Chaplain, will be presenting the sermon from St. James Episcopal Church in Florida.  This will be taped ahead of time to be aired on  Sunday, May 17.  If interested in watching, it can be viewed on YouTube any time on or after May 17.  (Go to YouTube and type St. James Episcopal Church, Leesburg, Florida to view and choose the service for May 17.)

 

 


A History of Pandemics

All of us understand that we are in the midst of a world-wide pandemic, which has caused great grief around the world.  Yet, we might not be familiar with the other Pandemics that have been endured throughout history.

In every pandemic, the world, with great loss of life, has moved through them.  In all their horror, people come out on the other side to live again.  We will live again…perhaps not exactly as before…but life will go on.  They WILL find it.We also may want to educate ourselves on other times in history that sickness and disease have ravished the earth.  it (The following information is taken from MPH Online, which is an independent online resource for public health information.)

  • ANTONINE PLAGUE (165 AD)

Death Toll: 5 million
Cause: Unknown
Also known as the Plague of Galen, the Antonine Plague was an ancient pandemic that affected Asia Minor, Egypt, Greece, and Italy and is thought to have been either Smallpox or Measles, though the true cause is still unknown. This unknown disease was brought back to Rome by soldiers returning from Mesopotamia around 165AD; unknowingly, they had spread a disease which would end up killing over 5 million people and decimating the Roman army.

painting-of-antonine-plague

Painting of the Antonine Plague in Rome

  • Plague of Justinian (541-542)

Death Toll: 25 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
Thought to have killed perhaps half the population of Europe, the Plague of Justinian was an outbreak of the bubonic plague that afflicted the Byzantine Empire and Mediterranean port cities, killing up to 25 million people in its year long reign of terror. Generally regarded as the first recorded incident of the Bubonic Plague, the Plague of Justinian left its mark on the world, killing up to a quarter of the population of the Eastern Mediterranean and devastating the city of Constantinople, where at its height it was killing an estimated 5,000 people per day and eventually resulting in the deaths of 40% of the city’s population.

Justinian Plague

Painting depicting the Justinian Plague

  • The Black Death (1346-1353)

Death Toll: 75 – 200 million
Cause: Bubonic Plague
From 1346 to 1353 an outbreak of the Plague ravaged Europe, Africa, and Asia, with an estimated death toll between 75 and 200 million people. Thought to have originated in Asia, the Plague most likely jumped continents via the fleas living on the rats that so frequently lived aboard merchant ships. Ports being major urban centers at the time, were the perfect breeding ground for the rats and fleas, and thus the insidious bacterium flourished, devastating three continents in its wake.flea

  • Third Cholera Pandemic (1852-1860)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Cholera
Generally considered the most deadly of the seven cholera pandemics, the third major outbreak of Cholera in the 19th century lasted from 1852 to 1860. Like the first and second pandemics, the Third Cholera Pandemic originated in India, spreading from the Ganges River Delta before tearing through Asia, Europe, North America and Africa and ending the lives of over a million people. British physician John Snow, while working in a poor area of London, tracked cases of cholera and eventually succeeded in identifying contaminated water as the means of transmission for the disease. Unfortunately the same year as his discovery (1854) went down as the worst year of the pandemic, in which 23,000 people died in Great Britain.

  •  FLU PANDEMIC (1889-1890)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
Originally the “Asiatic Flu” or “Russian Flu” as it was called, this strain was thought to be an outbreak of the Influenza A virus subtype H2N2, though recent discoveries have instead found the cause to be the Influenza A virus subtype H3N8. The first cases were observed in May 1889 in three separate and distant locations, Bukhara in Central Asia (Turkestan), Athabasca in northwestern Canada, and Greenland. Rapid population growth of the 19th century, specifically in urban areas, only helped the flu spread, and before long the outbreak had spread across the globe. Though it was the first true epidemic in the era of bacteriology and much was learned from it. In the end, the 1889-1890 Flu Pandemic claimed the lives of over a million individuals.

  • Sixth cholera pandemic (1910-1911)

Death Toll: 800,000+
Cause: Cholera
Like its five previous incarnations, the Sixth Cholera Pandemic originated in India where it killed over 800,000, before spreading to the Middle East, North Africa, Eastern Europe and Russia. The Sixth Cholera Pandemic was also the source of the last American outbreak of Cholera (1910–1911). American health authorities, having learned from the past, quickly sought to isolate the infected, and in the end only 11 deaths occurred in the U.S. By 1923 Cholera cases had been cut down dramatically, although it was still a constant in India.cholera

1911 cholera

1911 Cholera Pandemic

 

Map. Cholera spread during the seventh pandemic.

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1918)

Death Toll: 20 -50 million
Cause: Influenza
Between 1918 and 1920 a disturbingly deadly outbreak of influenza tore across the globe, infecting over a third of the world’s population and ending the lives of 20 – 50 million people. Of the 500 million people infected in the 1918 pandemic, the mortality rate was estimated at 10% to 20%, with up to 25 million deaths in the first 25 weeks alone. What separated the 1918 flu pandemic from other influenza outbreaks was the victims; where influenza had always previously only killed juveniles and the elderly or already weakened patients, it had begun striking down hardy and completely healthy young adults, while leaving children and those with weaker immune systems still alive.

1918 flu in Kansas

FLU PANDEMIC 1918 in Kansas

  • ASIAN FLU (1956-1958)

Death Toll: 2 million
Cause: Influenza
Asian Flu was a pandemic outbreak of Influenza A of the H2N2 subtype, that originated in China in 1956 and lasted until 1958. In its two-year spree, Asian Flu traveled from the Chinese province of Guizhou to Singapore, Hong Kong, and the United States. Estimates for the death toll of the Asian Flu vary depending on the source, but the World Health Organization places the final tally at approximately 2 million deaths, 69,800 of those in the US alone.

Red Guard in China 1967 flu

Red Guard in China wear masks during 1967 Influenza

  • FLU PANDEMIC (1968)

Death Toll: 1 million
Cause: Influenza
A category 2 Flu pandemic sometimes referred to as “the Hong Kong Flu,” the 1968 flu pandemic was caused by the H3N2 strain of the Influenza A virus, a genetic offshoot of the H2N2 subtype. From the first reported case on July 13, 1968 in Hong Kong, it took only 17 days before outbreaks of the virus were reported in Singapore and Vietnam, and within three months had spread to The Philippines, India, Australia, Europe, and the United States. While the 1968 pandemic had a comparatively low mortality rate (.5%) it still resulted in the deaths of more than a million people, including 500,000 residents of Hong Kong, approximately 15% of its population at the time.

  • SARS Coronavirus (2003)

    An acronym for severe acute respiratory syndrome, the SARS coronavirus is a viral respiratory disease that caused 774 deaths across 17 countries, the majority of which were in mainland China and Hong Kong.

    The outbreak occurred in Guangdong, China, in late 2002, but the Chinese government tried to cover it up by discouraging press coverage, delaying reporting of the outbreak to the World Health Organisation (WHO), and reporting false numbers—all of which resulted in international criticism. As a result, neighboring nations did not get sufficient warning to prepare for a possible health crisis.

    At the end of January, a fishmonger checked into the Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hospital in Guangdong, where he infected 30 medical staff. From there, the virus spread to nearby hospitals. A doctor named Liu from the hospital in Guangdong then traveled to Hong Kong in February; he proved to be the super-spreader who would go on to infect much of the city. Apart from seeing various family members, he also stayed in the Metropol Hotel. 23 other guests of the hotel developed SARS, while Liu’s brother-in-law eventually died of the disease. Liu checked himself into the Kwong Wah Hospital and later died in the Intensive Care Unit.

    A large proportion of those infected were either medical staff or family members of those who were ill. Reportedly, at least 99 medical staff were infected while treating a single patient who had visited a guest at the Metropole Hotel. A global health alert was issued by WHO about the new infectious disease in March 2003.

    The following months were a dark period for Hongkongers. Schools were all cancelled indefinitely, the streets were largely empty, and people could only watch as infected numbers increased daily. Among the residential estates, Amoy Gardens was hit particularly heavily: in just Block E of the estate there was an outbreak of over 200 cases. Residents were transferred to quarantine camps, and it was later found that the virus spread through droplets from the drainage pipes because the apartments shared a sewage system.

    The symptoms of SARS are similar to flu and may include fever, muscle pain, lethargy, cough, and sore throat. The only common symptom that all patients had was running a fever above 38 degrees Celsius. Its average incubation period is four to six days, and patients are most infectious during the second week of illness, so if detection was early and the carrier was quarantined by day five of their illness they rarely infected others.

    It wasn’t until June that Hong Kong was removed from WHO’s list of affected areas. There is still no vaccine for SARS; clinical isolation and maintaining personal hygiene remains the most effective means to stop it spreading.   (from History.com)

 

pandemics-hong-kong-sars-2003

SARS pandemic 2003 Hong Kong

  • HIV/AIDS PANDEMIC (AT ITS PEAK, 2005-2012)

Death Toll: 36 million
Cause: HIV/AIDS
First identified in Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1976, HIV/AIDS has truly proven itself as a global pandemic, killing more than 36 million people since 1981. Currently there are between 31 and 35 million people living with HIV, the vast majority of those are in Sub-Saharan Africa, where 5% of the population is infected, roughly 21 million people. As awareness has grown, new treatments have been developed that make HIV far more manageable, and many of those infected go on to lead productive lives. Between 2005 and 2012 the annual global deaths from HIV/AIDS dropped from 2.2 million to 1.6 million.

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC timeline quilt

HIV AIDS PANDEMIC “TIMELINE QUILT”

 

HongKong wholesale market H7N9 bird flu virus 2013

Bird Flu N7N9 2013 Hong Kong Wholesale Market destroy bird carriers.

  • COVID-19 ( CORONAVIRUS)

Beginning in December 2019, in the region of Wuhan, China, a new (“novel”) coronavirus began appearing in human beings. It has been named Covid-19, a shortened form of “coronavirus disease of 2019.” This new virus spreads incredibly quickly between people, due to its newness – no one on earth has an immunity to Covid-19, because no one had Covid-19 until 2019. While it was initially seen to be an epidemic in China, the virus spread worldwide within months. The WHO declared Covid-19 a pandemic in March, and by the end of that month, the world saw more than a half-million people infected and nearly 30,000 deaths. The infection rate in the US and other nations was still spiking.

With the coronavirus pandemic, people all over the world have become more aware of the best practices during a pandemic, from careful hand-washing to social distancing. Countries across the world declared mandatory stay-at-home measures, closing schools, businesses, and public places. Dozens of companies and many more independent researchers began working on tests, treatments, and vaccines. The push for the human race to survive the pandemic became the primary concern in the world.

The outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is impossible to predict, at the time of this writing. But we can learn from pandemics in history to determine our best courses. These are our teachers – the Spanish flu, the AIDS pandemic, and more.”

Hospital worker in US

Heroic hospital workers in the U.S. and world-wide

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Every pandemic originated somewhere. The lack of scientific knowledge and communication problems contributed to the wide-spread of the diseases around the world in our past history.  Perhaps we will never know the complete truth about how the Coronavirus of 2020 started. With all our technology, there should have been only moments before we, on the other side of the world, should have known and been told.  Fingers will be pointed and the truth or lack of it will most likely be denied.

However, It can not be stressed enough that in our century the responsibility  ALL COUNTRIES have when a serious health problem arises, to quickly warn the world! No knowledge must be withheld if we are to save lives and be victorious over the next pandemic…and there will be a “next one.” 

I have chosen to include this VIDEO  from the EPOCH TIMES,  “Documentary: Tracking Down the Origin of the Wuhan Coronavirus”   by the seasoned, investigative reporter, Joshua Philipp. Because of the controversy about the actual origin of the pandemic in China, it is worth listening to those who have information not available to the general public. You can choose for yourself if it has merit.

All countries have a need to protect their citizens.  Give yourself an hour to concentrate on the words spoken here by members of the scientific community, intelligence officers and ask God to show you the truth for your future and that of the world.  Pray for the Leaders in all countries who shoulder a great burden for all of us. 

Turn up your sound.


D Day June 6… Sacrifice of so many for Freedom!

Jack Claiborne heads to Normandy at 95 years old

 

Some of our elderly veterans are heading to Normandy one last time. We are told that over 400 per day are passing away.  If the young people in your family do not know about or don’t understand that our freedoms today are due to these brave men, give them a history lesson.  It is extremely important to do so as we are told after World War II was over, and we went to liberate the death camps of the Holocaust… that “those who do not remember will live it over again.”

 

 Blessings to all veterans on this June 6…D DAY. 

Below is footage that will help us remember exactly what brave men did to keep Europe free.  We must never forget.

Rare Old D-Day video:   Turn up sound:

 


A Visiting Professor’s Observation

statue of liberty

It is interesting how someone can come to the United States and have a completely different perspective on the word “democracy.”  We, who live here, become used to how things work in our free society.  The thoughts of a foreign visitor, who is used to a much different society,  brings a new dimension to the very meaning of the word…democracy.  We ask the question then…

“How much does religious freedom play as an encompassing part of democracy?”

 A visiting Chinese professor may have great words of wisdom concerning this matter. Clay Christensen, a professor at Harvard Business School, found friendship with this visitor, who was on a Fulbright Scholarship to the United States, and shares with us his words.   Pay close attention to his final statement.  It is quite chilling.

Short Video:  Please turn up your sound and click the link below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch_p opup?v=YjntXYDPw44&sns=em 


Remembering Pearl Harbor

This Christmas we will be having a guest who works here in Florida as a Safety Engineer at Universal Studios.   She is Japanese and a friend and business acquaintance of our son. We are happy that she will be a part of our Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus.  Who would have believed that Japan, after being such an enemy with the attack on our troops and ships at Pearl Harbor would rebuild and become a world power with our help?   Who would believe that the next generations would be our friends?

Several years ago, I was invited to Japan as an American educator from Florida by the Japanese government.  The first meeting that the Americans had with a Japanese diplomat surprisingly was a speech of apology for the war.  We were given a warm welcome to stay in the country, visit schools and have home stays with a Japanese family.   It was the country’s way of thanking Americans, after so many years, for helping rebuild the country after World War II.   It was a wonderful experience to be emersed in the Japanese culture.  Nancy and Bill with Japanese Counselate General in Miami

Today is December 7th when we remember Pearl Harbor and the price that was paid by so many in this attack…resulting in the thousands who died in battles with the Japanese and Germans. Many ended up in prison camps after the United States Congress voted to enter the war.   The dropping of the atomic bombs on Japan ended the war, but the horrors were profound.

The rebuilding process began and today Japan is a wonderful place to visit.  My husband and I went to Mt. Fuji during autumn and enjoyed the beautiful Japanese maples.  We hope to visit Washington, D.C. when the Japanese cherry blossoms are in bloom.Japanese Maple favorite for nancy and bill While we were in Japan, we went to the Memorial of the USS Arizona.  To know that the sailors who perished there are still entombed in their sunken ship was an emotional experience.

040120-N-0879R-009

The names of those on the USS Arizona are read by Bill Johnson at the Memorial at Pearl Harbor

 

Recently I found a video that was interesting as it gave some of the details of the attack on Pearl Harbor of which some may not be aware.

Video  (Turn up sound)


A House of Cards…Worldwide Intelligence

During World War II, the underground movement in various countries was an integral part of winning the war.  Many people lost their lives passing on information to the Allies.  How would their overt operations been different if they had the technology of today?   Those who now lay their lives on the line to fight for what they think is right may very well be playing roulette with a system in which they have no control…the world wide web.

Recently on my research into various topics, I ran into a fascinating article written by Zach Dorfman and Jenna McLaughlin, with a beginning title that caught my eye… “The CIA’s Communications Suffered a Catastrophic Compromise…”

Yes, it was a long…very long article…but I waded through it, finding out some horrific things that happened in recent years.

“From around 2009 to 2013, the U.S. intelligence community experienced crippling intelligence failures related to the secret internet-based communications system, a key means for remote messaging between CIA officers and their sources on the ground worldwide. The previously unreported global problem originated in Iran and spiderwebbed to other countries, and was left unrepaireddespite warnings about what was happening — until more than two dozen sources died in China in 2011 and 2012 as a result, according to 11 former intelligence and national security officials…”

infomant source

photo credit Osie Greenway

We have read about “sources” that we have depended upon for information on the ground where we are fighting terrorism, but most people do not think of the fact that these very “human sources” are now lingering in prison or were executed because of their help in the fight.  In some cases, because we have not tried to have them released and brought here for protection, they are a throw-away.   How very sad…and yet we still rely upon these men (and women) to risk their lives.  Sometimes, the article I just referred to, stated they are promised help that never was acted upon.

Some informants, who work with our military, simply take the danger because of the love of their family and country.   One man (Agent 40) who helped fight ISIS realized the danger but continued regardless. The informant is on the ground and knows firsthand what is happening.

” Coalition spokesman Col. John Dorrian confirmed the international alliance receives its target lists from civilian informants, among other sources…  Islamic State fighters in  Iraq conducted a surprise inspection of Agent 40’s house and found his wife using a forbidden phone. They waited for him to return and then promptly arrested him, beat him, and shoved him in a cell with seven other men. After they went through the phone and saw the videos he took, they sentenced him to execution. As he sat there waiting to die, the building quaked, and one of the walls exploded into pieces from an airstrike on an adjacent building. Through the smoke, Agent 40 saw four Islamic State bodies sprawled on the ground. He and six fellow prisoners made their escape through the hole caused by the airstrike — he believes the eighth prisoner was killed…The informant fled Mosul to Qayyarah, and then to Shirqat, where he was eventually reunited with his family. To this day, he doesn’t know whether the airstrike was accidental or a deliberate attempt to free him. Still, Agent 40 was happy that the most absurd parts of the experience were over. He said he had found it ever more difficult to keep a straight face while attending mosque on Fridays, which the Islamic State mandated. When the militants called on God to defeat their enemies, Agent 40 made a different prayer. They told us to pray, ‘Please, God, destroy the Americans and the Peshmerga,’ he said. ‘I prayed: ‘Please, my God, don’t listen to them.’   (taken from FP News Igor Kossov)

Civilians walk on a street in al-Dawwasah district, in soutwest Mosul.

Airstrike in Mosul credit Time

 

Dorfman and McLaughlin continue about crippling intelligence failures :

“You establish these networks that are obviously critical to our ability to really understand what our adversaries are up to — there’s a pride in that — and when something that valuable starts to fall apart, the concern is, ‘Are we developing a house of cards?’” said one former senior official. “A lot of bells went off” during this time, said this person, because “whatever methods and procedures we were using were in jeopardy because of what the Chinese and Iranians had determined. You find that you’re blind.”

One of the people mentioned in the article was John Reidy:

“In 2008 — well before the Iranians had arrested any agents — a defense contractor named John Reidy, whose job it was to identify, contact and manage human sources for the CIA in Iran, had already sounded an alarm about a “massive intelligence failure” having to do with “communications” with sources… The “U.S. communications infrastructure was under siege,” he wrote. Reidy warned that the problem wasn’t limited to a single country — it extended to everywhere the CIA operates. Close to 70 percent of operations at the time were potentially compromised, he noted. In other words, an entire class of CIA agents — those using some iteration of the online system — was in danger. “CIA is aware of this,” he wrote. “The design and maintenance of the system is flawed.”… Reidy’s complaint wasn’t fully addressed for many years. But when the wide-scale arrest of sources in Iran happened, the CIA eventually launched an investigation. The deaths in China sent investigators into overdrive. Teams from the CIA, the FBI and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence scrambled to try to figure out what had happened — and how to stem the damage.”

For much more information, I highly recommend that you take some time to read all of this article.  Whistleblowers who are not taken seriously will leave huge gaps in our intelligence. Each day or hour that ticks by will be an invitation for discovery and death for our agents and sources throughout the world.   The internet has become the new technology from which to wage war…although it is done silently.  One thing leads to another with global speed while the House of Cards is built higher.

CLICK HERE TO READ FULL ARTICLE 


Never Forget…Suffering

Not too many years ago, I was privileged to take a group of senior high students to Eastern Europe.  While in Poland, we went to Auschwitz Concentration camp. It was an experience never to be forgotten.  I had one Jewish student with our group.  He found a flower vendor and I watched as he gently laid the flowers before the wall within the camp where so many were executed.  He wore his Bermuda shorts, but carefully dressed in a sports jacket and tie.  I could see that his effort was to show honor and respect for those who lost their lives there.  I also took him to the spot where the Munich massacre took place at the 1972 Summer Olympics. This was when a Palestinian terrorist group took eleven Israeli Olympic team members hostage and killed them along with a West German police officer.  Most people want to forget such atrocities. Yet history replays itself over and over again as we lose our compassion for one another.

 

1972 Munich Israel Team murdered at Olympics

Terrorist and Israeli Team at the 1972 Munich Summer Olympics

The Israeli Olympic team members’ families tried unsuccessfully to convince the International Olympic Committee to mark the 40th anniversary of the killings by holding a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.  The Committee refused.  Often people are reluctant to lay the blame where it belongs. Each isolated case of human suffering has its opposing views, but the insanity of it is that the world never seems to learn.

suffering person

Human suffering comes in many forms. In our present day, we see it all over the world.  It is often brought upon people by the corruption of governments and political struggles.  More recently, as we watch the long lines of people who are walking hundreds of miles toward the USA border, we know that each has their own story. Some for the search for a better life and some for evil and disruption. A mob gives no indication of what the intentions may be.  Many are walking in flip-flops or carrying children.  There are motives that most of us here will never know.   Regardless of what the reasons may be, our borders must be secured and laws must be reformed to encourage a proper way to emigrate to a better life. The road to legal emigration is often a long one and those taking the proper path should be recognized.    Desperation colliding with law and order is, unfortunately, a reality of our times.Caravans of people coming into Mexico for USAjpg

If the situation in their countries is so terrifying that they are trying to find a safer place, it is understandable.  However, they probably do not want to go to Chicago or to some other parts of our country for we have problems of our own.

If it is work that the people seek, there are ways to find this particular path.  During our time in Virginia, we got to know some of the farmers and growers.  Each year large groups of workers are brought to our country legally.  It was explained to us that the Virginia growers take care of all the legal paperwork, provide transportation to the farm from whatever country they come from, provide a place to live (usually a small trailer), a truck or car to use with a temporary license on the weekends and much more. Multiply this by all the growers in California and Florida.  We, in the US, employ large numbers of people…all legally.  Are there undocumented workers here?  Of course, but their employers should be held accountable to the laws of the land.

When the harvest season is over, the workers return to their country with pay for the family left behind.   It is a proper and legal way of doing things.   It was our observation that these workers are excellent at their jobs and work long hours.  We watched the trucks they loaded with pumpkins, apples, broccoli, cabbages and other products. In fact, I took the picture of the men shown below. Even though we did not speak their language, they often smiled as we came by.   After dark, the trucks rolled to the processing plants. It is not an easy life by any stretch of the imagination.  The farm and orchard owners told us that without the migrant help their farming business would fold.   Yes, we need the emigrants and the temporary, migrant workers…but we need all involved to follow the laws…including the farm and business owners.

Picking Cabbage

Virginia migrant workers load cabbage

Countries of Europe have opened their borders to the suffering around the world.  In the beginning, it was a noble thing to do, but the problems have been severe as many refused to assimilate into the culture of the country they had chosen. Often the local police would not go into the areas because they had their own laws of living.  On a vacation to England, we were told that people who had lived in an area all their lives were basically forced out by the influx. No one wanted to buy their homes, so the emigrants moved in.  The worry in the USA is that mass influx will bring on similar situations.

There are many legitimate questions: Where will they live?  Who will feed them?  What will the drain on our overall economy be with welfare and medical issues?  If the border is not secured, when will the next wave come….and the next and the next?   There is no easy answer.

Does securing our borders mean that Americans do not have compassion?  Of course not.  We are probably the most generous people in the world to help out…and to give out needed supplies and support when emergencies arise. We give millions, if not billions, of foreign aid.   Just as it is not up to one family to support all families, this country can not support all countries.  Neither can our military fight all battles even as they try hard to fight terrorism and the forces of evil in far away places.  Now, we are thinking that it may be necessary to use military strength at our own borders?!  How bizarre can things get?   Probably more than we know.

The emigrants of the past, particularly from all parts of Europe, helped build this country.   We have not forgotten our history.  Neither should we forget the sins of the past when people were brought here as slaves to work the soil.  It is likely that the “sins of the fathers” will always stay with the sons…as the racial unrest continues to this day.  Generations to come will feel what we did then and what we do now.  Yes, suffering is a very sad thing no matter when it has occurred and to whom.

Our parents who lived through World War II finally saw the sufferings that human beings went through when death camps were opened and surviving prisoners were set free.  The millions who did not make it died there and as we think of the problems of today and in the future, we must never forget the history that led up to these terrible atrocities.  Suffering has no boundaries.

God must weep in heaven when men harden their hearts to the suffering of others.  Yet, He does not treat us like robots.  He gives us free will to decide right and wrong.  In making tough decisions, our leaders and citizens must never forget what history has taught us about suffering…or we shall live it again.  That is an international promise.

Shindler’s List is probably one of the most moving films ever made.  The video that you will see took place in 2017 in Budapest at one of the largest synagogues in Europe.  It is a concert where Csongor Korossy plays the violin of the music from that film. I believe that John Williams, who composed this piece of music was truly inspired.   Notice the faces of the people in the audience… especially the elderly who are most likely remembering someone that they lost.  The youth have heard the stories from their families.  Those tragic histories must not be lost in our memories.  Neither can the fact of how quickly people, of all faiths and heritages, can be tortured or abused for who they are, where they come from or what they believe.  Even in our news this week is the tragedy of those killed in their own synagogue of worship while dedicating the names of their little children.

Until God comes with the angels in heaven and with His Son to rid the world of evil and wipe away all tears, there will be suffering. However, we are not left without hope.  We have a promise of good things to come.

______________________

…And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes and there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the former things have passed away. And the One seated on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” Then He said, “Write this down, for these words are faithful and true.”…   (Berea Study Bible…Revelation 21:4)

__________________________

 

Video  A Concert…not the movie  (Turn up your sound)

Dedicated to the victims at  Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.


A Tragedy… She says…He says

Ford-sits-before-Senate-Judiciary-CommitteeKavanaugh-sworn-before-testifying

Dr. Christine Ford-sworn-before-testifying-committee

Senate Judiciary Committee hearing of Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford on misconduct and the Supreme Court Appointment  (Getty photos)

Are you ready to regurgitate yet?  (a fancy word for “throw up”)  If you watched any of the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings with Dr. Ford and Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh, you may have felt a little queasy….and in the end decide that it all comes down to  “He said, she said…or She said, he said.”    Nothing was gained except to know there will never be real proof to who is telling the straight facts of an alleged crime over 30 years ago.

One thing is for certain, both lives will never recover from the scandal…nor will their families’.   Death threats on both side…horrendous stress and the need for security in a safe place has taken over their lives. It is definitely a tragedy.

So what makes most people sick while watching this parade of senators asking questions after hearing the statements of both Kavanaugh and Ford?   It is the way that the politicians lined up on both sides to do the most damage possible.  Yes, it was obvious that most were not truly seeking the truth, but showing to those back home just who they were lining up for or against.  Why?  Many senators have elections coming up and the people back home are going to hold them accountable.

It is no wonder most people can’t stand politicians. How refreshing it would be to not know before someone speaks…or asks questions…which side of the aisle (Democrat or Republican) they represent.  The lines of division are clear and vivid even to the casual observer.

After all was said and done, it still was the “He says…she says” drama.  People on the committee and at home were then to sit in judgment to something no one can prove at this late date. We have definitely sunk to a new low, with graphic details being spoken in the committee chamber and over every news media.   Whatever happened to the burden of proof being placed on the accuser to prove?  Whatever happened to “innocent until proven guilty”?

It is not the first time in American history that the reputations of those seeking office have been hung out to dry.  Privacy and common decency are definitely out the window.  Perhaps two of the saddest things brought out in the hearings was that the Kavanaugh’s daughter had to have an explanation about what was going on with her father. She wanted to pray for Dr. Ford, which he called “Quite mature for a 10-year-old.” The look on his wife’s face was one of great sadness.

I am a great believer that women who are abused or experience traumatic assault need to have every opportunity to bring the perpetrator to justice.  Dr. Ford has had to hire security and move to a safe location!  No woman should have to have this kind of abuse because they say they are following their conscience to speak out about what they consider a terrible crime against themselves.  Dr. Ford will be a face to remember for those who have suffered sexual assault…and we know there are many.   Reputations are permanently out the window for both of these people who have spent years building careers. There are NO WINNERS here regardless of what happens in the Senate vote.

Here are a few “moments in history” to ponder:

  • John C Fremont was a presidential candidate in 1856. He was a target because he was Catholic and there were those who were suspicious of Catholics. ( My, how far we have come!)
  • Ralph Nader, in 1966, was smeared because he campaigned for car safety. General Motors went after him to find damaging or embarrassing incidents. His phone was tapped and prostitutes were hired to trap him.  Nader went to court and used the proceeds from the lawsuit to start the pro-consumer Center for Study of Responsive Law.  (Maybe something good can come out of the despicable.)
  • In 1988, Gary Hart ran for president. After an embarrassing extramarital affair, Hart withdrew from the race in May 1987. In the meantime, the New York Post wrote in BIG, BOLD letters, “Gary, I’m no womanizer.” (from Wikipedia)

(This may be a lesson to all men and women that their lives will come back to haunt them…especially when they are parading it openly on FaceBook and other media.)

The attempt to discredit is not only personal, but companies and countries are at fault also.  In 2011, China launched a smear campaign against Apple. The campaign failed.  I’m sure that we could find many more examples.

teens drinkingMuch was said in the Kavanaugh/Ford hearings about the abuse of alcohol…and how it may have contributed to the alleged assault Dr. Ford described. We know that young people start drinking early and the college-aged youth seem to think there is no fun without liquor being a part of the equation.
It is not only the young.  Many older people find themselves a prisoner of alcoholism, wishing that they could change the fact.  The example we set for our youth is important for their future and ours.  How many parents have a talk with young men about their responsibility to girls and women?  Acting like a gentleman can have great advantages…and keeping hands where they should be and their pants zipped is a part of character development.
Excessive drinking clouds the mind with what is right or wrong.   Perhaps this old chart from 1800’s says it like it is:
Called The Drunkard’s Progress
   Step 1. A glass with a friend. Step 2. A glass to keep the cold out. Step 3. A glass too much. Step 4. Drunk and riotous. Step 5. The summit attained. Jolly companions. A confirmed drunkard. Step 6. Poverty and disease. Step 7. Forsaken by Friends. Step 8. Desperation and crime. Step 9. Possible Death.
1280px-The_Drunkard's_Progress_1846
As sickening as many politicians can be, one way or another, the committees in our government will go on…thinking they are doing their job, speaking for and protecting our laws…but little do they know that they are looking like someone the average person would never want to be….a blind-sighted politician who will do anything for a vote. They play games with peoples’ lives and often withhold information until it is the most appropriate time to bring down the sword upon one’s head…hoping the damage will be done.  Unfortunately, it often is.

 

 


World War II…Unforgettable

Having just finished writing and publishing a book on veterans who fought against tyranny around the world, I began to wonder if our recent generations truly understand what these wars were all about.  If you have a teen in your house or an appreciator of history, this is the time to share this blog.

My book, Men and Women of Valor in the Blue Ridge, not only gives the stories of World War II veterans, but of those in the Korean and Vietnam wars. (Click on book at far right for more information)

Men and Women of Valor Book Front revised

 

Therefore, as difficult and as unentertaining as it may be….for it seems the world only wants entertainment, I plan to run a series of three blogs introducing the reasons for each war mentioned and the results of great battles and great loss of life on both sides of the wars.

History is to be learned from…or we will live it again…with even worse consequences.  Here is a quote worth pondering:

“I do not know with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.” – Albert Einstein.

Albert Einstein

There were several versions of his quote:   Supposedly, Professor Albert Einstein was asked by friends at a dinner party what new weapons might be employed in World War III. Appalled at the implications, he shook his head. After several minutes of meditation, he said. “I don’t know what weapons might be used in World War III. But there isn’t any doubt what weapons will be used in World War IV.” “And what are those?” a guest asked. “Stone spears,” said Einstein. 

This quote (or at least a version of it) dates back to the 1940s when the first nuclear weapons were being developed. Although Albert Einstein didn’t actually develop the atom bomb, his work did make such a device possible. Albert Einstein did not work directly on the atom bomb. But Einstein was the father of the bomb in two important ways: 1) it was his initiative which started U.S. bomb research; 2) it was his equation (E = mc2) which made the atomic bomb theoretically possible.  (Snopes Fact Checking)

Anyone who turns on a TV today is worried that some person or government will go too far and trigger the next great war.  Life as we know it could come to a screeching halt from a computer hacker based anywhere in the world.  Every phase of our lives, from our energy and water supplies, banking, grocery stores, hospitals, fire and police, cell phones, nuclear plants and much more are controlled by the electronics of today.  Einstein was a genius, but even he may not have seen that nuclear devastation may not be the only end of life as we know it.   Regardless, the wars that we have fought with our allies in the past were for one purpose…to keep the world free from tyranny and to give us “peace on earth.”   Men and Women of Valor Back FINALrevised

Yes, PEACE…what a wonderful word.   The Holy Scriptures tell us… “Peace, Peace and there is no peace.”  (Ezekial 13:10)  and yet we are told not to lose hope for Christ said… “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14.27

Yet, so often we are afraid…afraid of what the future may hold.  We cannot forget the sacrifices of those who believed that FREEDOM was worth dying for.  We, or the next generations, must not forget their stories and what they represented to us who are left to lead and to guide our nations. We have freedom of choice because of them.

Below is the first in a historical series to come: World War II…Korea, and Vietnam

VIDEO with narration. Turn up sound


CORNERSTONE OF LIBERTY… the Magna Carta and our Bill of Rights

picture of magna carta

The Magna Carta is considered the “Cornerstone of Liberty”.  It has influenced most of the civilized world, including the foundation of the Constitution of the United States.

Written in 1215, a few of its words in the Magna Carta are as follows:

No free man shall be seized or imprisoned  No man shall be stripped of his rights or possessions or outlawed or exiled  Nor will we proceed with force against him except by the lawful judgment of his equals or by the law of the land.  To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice.

How did the Magna Carta come into existence?

It was drafted by the Archbishop of Canterbury to make peace between the unpopular King John and a group of rebel barons – was designed to ensure the protection of church rights, protection for the barons from illegal imprisonment, access to swift justice, and limitations on feudal payments to the Crown.  On the 19 June 1215 at Runnymede King John signed the Magna Carta. (This means Great Charter.) It was the first formal document stating that a King had to follow the laws of the land and it guaranteed the rights of individuals against the wishes of the King. (from Telegraph)

KING_JOHN signing the Magna Carta

How unpopular was this English King?   Well, according to A. A. Milne’s poem for children, he was most unpopular:   “King John’s Christmas”, begins

‘King John was not a good man. He had his little ways… And sometimes no one spoke to him for days and days and days.

Nevertheless, our own government here in the U.S.A is based upon the Magna Carta.

Where is the original Magna Carta?   The manuscript at Salisbury Cathedral is the best preserved of four surviving original copies of Magna Carta, which were written up shortly after a beleaguered King John met and agreed to terms with 25 rebellious barons.

The Magna Carta influence was shaped by what eighteenth-century Americans believed Magna Carta to signify. Magna Carta was widely held to be:

  • The people’s reassertion of rights against an oppressive ruler
  • A legacy that captured American distrust of concentrated political power
  • In part because of this tradition, most of the state constitutions included declarations of rights intended to guarantee individual citizens a list of protections and immunities from the state government.US. Constitution

The United States also adopted the Bill of Rights, in part, due to these political convictions. Both the state declarations of rights and the United States Bill of Rights incorporated several guarantees that were understood at the time of their ratification to descend from rights protected by Magna Carta. Among these are freedom from:

  • unlawful searches and seizures,
  • a right to a speedy trial,
  • a right to a jury trial in both a criminal and a civil case,
  • and protection from loss of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.

Many broader American constitutional principles have their roots in an eighteenth-century understanding of Magna Carta, such as the theory of representative government, the idea of a supreme law, and judicial review.

Perhaps in their next meeting, President Trump should carry a copy of the Bill of Rights to the North Korean leader.  It would be a GREAT START to the assurance of human rights for that country. Bill of Rights

If you do not live in the United States or you, as an American, are rusty on your knowledge of government and our freedoms, here is a short film that may help you understand why Americans cherish their freedoms….with a little quiz at the end.  See how you do.


Is the State of the Union Address Important?

congress Getty photo

Photo by Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images

Neighbor friends of mine have said, “I’m not watching it!”   Other elected officials from various states have decided to “boycott” the State of the Union address also…even if they have not asked those who elected them whether it was a good idea and did they approve?  Some Congress members have already decided that they will not stand or applaud even when what is being said is for the good of all Americans…simply because they are determined to be oppositional. That may be why many Americans see the Congress as a “do nothing” organization.

We ask at Boyer Writes the question: Is the State of the Union Message of any importance to Americans…the rich, the poor, the small business person and economists, the elderly, those who receive government aid, environmentalists,  our military, the immigrants…legal and illegal, who may be hoping to be citizens of the USA and all others who would put themselves in any category? 

We will address first the meaning of the State of the Union and its history…in case some should not know:

It is a Constitutional Duty.

“Article II, Section 2 of the United States Constitution provides that the President “shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”

  • The Address is to be informative to the Congress and to every citizen of the United States…whether listening or not.   (Any elected official who does not show up to hear probably should be close to a T.V….just to be “informed”.)
  •  It is a part of our established history.  The President of the US has been giving this message in person to the Congress and the American people for 105 years since 1913 by President Woodrow Wilson, the 28th President.  With the advent of TV and the internet, it has been easier to reach the average person.  (Some may even ask why the average person should not be able to hear or know the direction of our country…just as the elected officials are informed?)

The Early history:  George Washington delivered the first annual address to Congress in 1790.  Thomas Jefferson discontinued the practice because he felt it was too monarchical, as similar to the “Speech from the Throne”.  He wrote it out and sent it to be read by a clerk.

There was controversy in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson planned to reestablish the speech.  (Oh my, “controversy” also has a long history!)    There have been only a few exceptions by the U.S. Presidents of delivering the address in person to the Congress and to the American people, with the last being President Jimmy Carter in 1981.

  • Important enough to designate a SURVIVOR:   Whenever Congress meets together to hear the President speak, there is a designated survivor appointed. What does this mean?

“Since the ’80s, a designated survivor has been selected for the State of the Union. This is a member of the president’s cabinet who does not attend the event, in case a disaster or attack kills the president and everyone in the line of succession. The first designated survivor was Reagan’s Housing and Urban Development secretary, Samuel Pierce. The two cabinet positions most often selected to serve as designated survivor are the secretary of the Agriculture Department and the secretary of the Interior Department; both positions have been selected six times each. The only person to serve in the role more than once was George W. Bush’s Commerce secretary, Donald Evans.”   (taken from PBS News)

US-POLITICS-HOUSE

photo credit  BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

Does history or tradition mean anything to the American people today?   Is it too old-fashioned to spend an hour before our TV sets or online to hear what the President has to say?

Do the personal opinions about the particular person elected to the office of President cloud a more important aspect of being American?   We must all remember that we are in it together for at least the 4 years the President will serve.  Decisions made by Congress will effect us all…and might be why they should be listening rather than protesting at this point.

Free speech (and opinion) is part of our right guaranteed in the Constitution.  The President is following the requirements of the Constitution to make this address.  That is why it is my opinion that we lay aside, for one hour, to check out what we may be up against for years to come…for good or bad.  Those who say, “I hate him and everything he stands for”… should remember that the State of the Union message is important for this reason. It is not a State of the Union on a Personality, but on our country and the future of our country.   If we don’t like the things said or the things proposed to follow in the next year or the next three years, try our other right…your VOTING RIGHT!   At least you will be able to say you’re informed.

Yes, We still have elections and the leadership choices are still made at the ballot box and not at the end of a gun as they are in some nations.  Thank God!    Therefore, in Honor of the office of the Presidency...whether you approve of the sitting President or not…here is HAIL TO THE CHIEF performed by the United States Army Band  “Pershing’s Own”.

 

Some information is taken from Wikipedia.    For more information on the State of the Union 


Will We be Picking up the Pieces of History in the Future? Are we ERASING American History?

Are we erasing history?   Every generation has its conflicts…wars…inequalities and disputes.  One might even today believe that the United States of America is coming apart at the seams and will someday have to pick up the pieces of our history that are being destroyed or hidden away.

People who are part of history never have had unanimous beliefs.  Headlines may read  “The KKK and White Supremacists Fight a Race war in the U.S.” …or “Everyone Hates the Police…or “The President is an Evil Racist.”   Wait a minute…perhaps we should get a handle on things!   What exactly does our very short U.S. history tell us about dissent and civil unrest?

The news clips and internet videos show that the recent violence in Virginia appears to be made up of young people as do the worldwide clips of terrorism and unrest.  What is this saying about our future generations and public property?  Have they not learned anything from historical figures such as Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks or Mahatma Gandhi about a peaceful protest for change?

Rosa Parks sat up front

Rosa Parks rides in front of the bus for whites only

Remaining Silent

A slave owner’s comment

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

non violent protest ML King

Rev. King learned peaceful march from Gandhi

 

It is true that there has been recent disputes and bloodshed over the removal of Southern, historical statues.  Most politicians and Americans condemn such violence. As much as I dislike many of the things our President says, I agree when he said, “Where does this stop?”  Will we have to rename Washington, D.C., our Capitol, because George Washington was an owner of slaves?   What will happen to Mt. Rushmore? Mount-Rushmore-National-Memorial

Some would say that the actions of removing monuments is to “sanitize history.”  Yet, according to the writings of Chris Graham, there can not be any sanitizing or rewriting history.  He is correct on that point.  History is history and should remain a lesson from which we learn.  It should not be a lesson that is erased.

As an example, what would one think if we went to Auschwitz and removed the evidence of one of the most heinous crimes in history?    Would we think that the Germans of today, who were not part of the Nazi era, would be offended and therefore the suitcases, eyeglasses, gassing buildings, ovens and Nazi signs should all be taken down?   I think we know the answer to that….No, of course not!  Would out of sight also mean out of mind?   The Jews, by the millions,  suffered as well as Christians who spoke out, gypsies, and homosexuals. If we tried to sanitize that period of history,  we could be opening up another generation to treat these same people to another Holocaust…because they had learned nothing from history?  We are also told that “those who do not remember history, will live it over again.”  This includes the generation that is not taught history.  Thankfully, we have people like Stephen Spielberg who is recording the stories of the Holocaust survivors to preserve for all times.

ct-duke-university-robert-e-lee-statue-defaced 2017

The defacing of Confederate General, Robert E.Lee statue at Duke University Chapel entrance in Durham, North Carolina in 2017. The statue was removed. No word on the prosecuting of the vandals of private property at a University which was founded by the Christian United Methodist Church.

Chris Graham says “…you can’t rewrite the history of the United States to the point of sanitizing our collective experiences to meet the demands of our 21st-century sensibilities. Slavery was literally written into our Constitution…”    (See paragraph below on the 13th Amendment)

“Even the great Thomas Jefferson, as he penned the Declaration of Independence, not even arguably the most important written document in human history, owned slaves at the time he put the words to paper and did for the remaining 50 years of his life after.  George Washington owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln demurred over the Emancipation Proclamation. Every president and Supreme Court justice and other statesmen of any significance between Washington and Jefferson and today acquiesced in the perpetuation of slavery, Jim Crow, massive resistance, housing and job discrimination, mass incarceration and disenfranchisement, dilution of voting power through political gerrymandering. We don’t have the capacity to produce enough bleach to cleanse the sins of our past, our present and the ones that we will continue to commit into the distant future. 

But our collective history is more than our collective sins. Jefferson, a slaveholder, breathed life into the concept that all men are created equal. Washington led our armies to victory in our American Revolution. Lincoln did issue the Emancipation Proclamation and prosecuted the war against rebels intent on preserving the institution of slavery to the bitter end. Women waged a decades-old battle to win the right to vote that had been denied them. We persevered through a Depression and then immediately after defeated a literal axis of fascism, and the seeds of that victory jump-started a civil rights movement that de-codified Jim Crow and thrust our nation into the modern era…”

The Civil War was fought between April 12, 1861 and May 9, 1865.  Abraham Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation (Freeing the slaves) on September 22nd, 1862. It stipulated that if the Southern states did not cease their rebellion by January 1st, 1863, then Proclamation would go into effect.

13th Amendment to the Constitution (The Abolishment of Slavery)

“Before the Civil War ended, Congress passed and sent to the states for ratification, the Thirteenth Amendment which abolished “slavery” and “involuntary servitude” and authorized Congress to enact “appropriate legislation” implementing the abolition.  The Amendment was understood to also make blacks citizens of the United States (overruling Dred Scott on that point).  The House vote to propose the Thirteenth Amendment followed the Senate vote and barely made the 2/3 majority requirement.  When the vote was announced the galleries cheered, congressmen embraced and wept, and Capitol cannons boomed a 100-gun salute.  Congressman George Julian of Indiana wrote in his diary, “I have felt, ever since the vote, as if I were in a new country.”  Ratification by the states quickly followed, and Secretary of State Seward proclaimed the Amendment adopted on December 18, 1865.
Less than a year after ratification of the Thirteenth Amendment, Congress used its newly conferred power to pass the Civil Rights Act of 1866, giving black citizens “the same right in every state…to make and enforce contracts, to sue, be parties, …to inherit, purchase, sell, and convey real and personal property; and to the full and equal benefit of all laws and proceedings for the security of person and property as is enjoyed by white citizens.”  Supporters of the 1866 law argued that its guarantees constituted  “appropriate” means of “enforcing” the right of blacks not to be held in bondage.

The Thirteenth Amendment, unlike most provisions in the Constitution, is self-executing, in that it directly reaches-even without action by Congress- conduct by private individuals (slave holders).  Because of this fact, Congress’s power under the Thirteenth Amendment allows it to punish forms of private conduct when it might not be able to do so under an amendment such as the Fourteenth, which restricts the conduct of states (prohibiting states from denying equal protection of the laws or due process).”(Exploring Constitutional Conflicts)

What about the removal of Southern, historical monuments?   Many of our artistic, beautiful bronze statues are headed for the warehouses…unless they are pulverized first.  Should we take a lesson from a more recent history where ISIS, that is good at destroying antiquities and monuments with which they do not agree, bombed a 2,000-year-old temple in Syria?

Think of it.  Will we someday have scientists and archeologists sifting through the ruins or warehouses to find the antiquities of our American past?   The people of Syria are desperately trying to save every piece of their temple history, even at their own peril. They are collecting even the smallest pieces, photographing, and storing them in boxes to save for future generations.    CNN VIDEO on Syria  

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2,000-year-old Temple of Baalshamin, historic ruins of Palmyra, Syria, was blown up by ISIS to show their power over the people

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes, many of our nation’s founders were slave holders.  Today everyone is appalled with the history of slavery and the hate that it inspired.  It took too long to right a wrong, but finally, our government leaders decided to do something about those in bondage and the terrible road they had traveled…literally, from far away shores that they called home.slaves at Foller House 1862- Library of Congress

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yet throughout our history, people of color rose above the discrimination and sadness they encountered.   Below are a few examples of over 118 African Americans who chose to build and develop America by their inventions and expertise. The list of white inventors…or Asian or Hispanic would also be long.  However, the color of the skin made no difference.  In any case, the people who made America what it is today only tried to better it and not destroy it.  So many of the videos that show the recent violence appear to be mainly young people.  Let’s hope that they will learn about these people and our history that worked for us in building a great nation. Each of these people had a vision of their self-worth and acted upon it.

Self Respect

Gandhi promoted Peaceful Protest in India

A few African Americans from previous history and modern history:

Alexander Ashbourne biscuit cutter

Invented the biscuit cutter

George-Crum potato chip

Invented the Potato Chip

Sara Boone Ironing board

Invented the ironing board

 

  • George Washington Carver:    Discovered hundreds of uses for previously useless vegetables and fruits, principally the peanut.
  •  Sarah Boone:   Invented the ironing board,  allowing sleeves of women’s garments to be ironed more easily
  • Harold Amos:  Microbiologist    Harvard Medical School Department Chair
  • George Alcorn Edward, Jr.:  Physicist    Invented a method of fabricating X-ray spectrometer
  • Archie Alexander:  Civil Engineer  Responsible for construction of roads and bridges including the  Tidal Basin Bridge and Baltimore- Washington Parkway
  • Leonard Bailey:  Inventor of the folding bed
  • Alice Augusta Ball: chemist  Extracted chaulmoogra oil for treatment of leprosy
  • Benjamin Banneker:  Mathematician, astronomer, surveyor of Washington, D.C.
  • Janet Basher:   First African-American woman to receive a patent for a web-based software invention, LinkLine, an Equal Employment Opportunity case management and tracking software
  • David Crosthwait Jr.:  Heating, ventilation, air conditioning patents  ( 40 US patents) relating to the HVAC systems        See the entire list of 118 

Modern Day contributors to our American history:

Carl Maxie Brashear US Naby Master Diver 1970

Carl Brashear 1970 U.S. Navy Master Diver

 

Dr. Patricia Bath cataract

Dr. Patricia Bath Contributor to the success of cataract surgery

first black woman in space Mae Jemison

Mae Jennison 1st Black Woman in U.S. Space program

 

Major Merryl Tengesdal Only black woman to fly AF Elite U-2 Spy Plane

Major Meryl Tengesdal First Black woman to fly Air Force Elite U-2 Spy Plane

All of us must decide to be a part of building a better America through cooperation, non-violent discussions, and protests needed for change.  We should look to history from which to learn and from which to teach the lessons that are needed for a better tomorrow for all generations.  If we continue to tear down, destroy, promote violence that leads to death and injury or disrespect the history of our country, we will be no better than other countries that are having to pick up the pieces of their violators.  Americans…We must not be like ISIS…destroying and turning our backs on our past.  We are a young country and our monuments and statues are not thousands of years old, but they are OUR HISTORY.   Our future generations need to know about their ancestors…for good or for bad.   Disagreement does not mean DESTRUCTION. 

VIDEO:  Take a look.  Do we want to be like this?  Remember, it all started with the destruction of the FIRST statue and monument.  We must not be a part of erasing history.  

In Honor and Memory of Khaled al-Asaad, Antiquities Director, murdered by ISIS for refusing to divulge the storage of historical antiquities. (Look for another blog to come on his amazing life.)

 


56 Men Paid the Price for Independence

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Happy 4th of July from the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia

There was nothing HAPPY for the 56 men who signed the American Declaration of Independence at the birth of our nation.  Do you know what happened to some of them?

It was brought to my attention today in our church service that there was a price for freedom that these men  paid. Some suffered right away when they were captured by British troops and others suffered later through loss of fortune or brutal acts against them.  They may have known that they were risking their lives to take such a public stand.  Counting the cost is difficult to do before one acts.  Regardless of how their contributions in becoming signers of the Constitution effected them and their families, we know from history that their lives were not a bed of roses.  Declaration-of-Independence

Standing up for freedom and democracy is not popular, even today, with those who would be against it and wish to destroy it. The following gives us an account of a few of these men who made the choice to stand up and be counted:

  • Five signers were captured by the British as traitors    They were considered prisoners of war while actively engaged in military operations against the British.  George Walton was captured after being wounded while commanding militia at the Battle of Savannah in December 1778, and Thomas Heyward, Jr., Arthur Middleton, and Edward Rutledge (three of the four Declaration of Independence signers from South Carolina) were taken prisoner at the Siege of Charleston in May in 1780.  Richard Stockton of New Jersey was the only signer taken prisoner specifically because of his status as a signatory to the Declaration, “dragged from his bed by night” by local Tories after he had evacuated his family from New Jersey, and imprisoned in New York City’s infamous Provost Jail like a common criminal.

Revolutionary War Battle of Lexington 002.jpg

  • Twelve of the signers of the Declaration of Independence had their homes ransacked and burned.   Their property was subject to seizure when it fell along the path of a war being waged on the North American continent.
  • Two lost their sons serving in the Revolutionary Army, another had two sons captured.  Abraham Clark of New Jersey saw two of his sons captured by the British and incarcerated on the prison ship Jersey. John Witherspoon, also of New Jersey, saw his eldest son, James, killed in the Battle of Germantown in October 1777.
  • Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts.   
  • Properties of  William Ellery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett,  Thomas Heyward, Edward Rutledge, and Middleton were looted.     The British needed supplies and these stately homes were a good source.  Little concern during war time is given to the family that dwells therein.

    Home of Thomas Heyward in Charleston SC

    Home of Signer of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Heyward, in Charleston, S.C.

  •  Some homes of the signers, such as Samuel Adams, John Hancock, Benjamin Franklin, James Wilson, Benjamin Rush and Robert Morris were occupied by the British during the war.  They also were unfortunate victims whose property fell in the path of an armed conflict being waged on American soil.

 

  • Francis Lewis had his home and properties destroyed. The enemy jailed his wife, and she died of poor health.  Francis Lewis represented New York in the Continental Congress, and shortly after he signed the Declaration of Independence his Long Island estate was raided by the British.   While Lewis was in Philadelphia attending to congressional matters, his wife was taken prisoner by the British.
  • John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children, who were adults at the time,  fled for their lives. His fields and his gristmill were laid to waste. For more than a year, he lived in forests and caves, returning home to find his wife dead.   John Hart of New Jersey, had been  Speaker of the Assembly.

Founding Fathers

Morris and Livingston suffered similar fates.  Lewis Morris saw his Westchester County, New York, home taken over in 1776 and used as a barracks for soldiers, and the horses and livestock from his farm commandeered by military personnel of the Continental Army.  Shortly afterwards his property was appropriated, looted, and burned by the British when they occupied New York.  Morris and his wife were eventually able to reclaim their property and restore their home after the war. Philip Livingston lost several properties to the British occupation of New York and sold off others to support the war effort, and he did not recover them because he died suddenly in 1778, before the end of the war.

Constitution We the People

For your further knowledge:  FIFTY FACTS ABOUT THE SIGNING OF THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE  and the listing of all the signers by states. 

All of our country celebrates today the wonderful independence that we have as a nation.  It is by God’s grace that we can enjoy all that is part of our United States today.   We must never forget the founding fathers who risk everything to make it happen and those who have come afterwards to fight for and preserve that independence and freedom.

flyover the statue of liberty

GOD BLESS AMERICA

HAPPY 4TH OF JULY from BOYER WRITES to ALL OUR READERS

boy and dog and flag

Remember to fly your flag!

VIDEO Turn on sound:


Sensible Words…finally

Trump and Bloomberg

President Trump and Michael Bloomberg

Michael Bloomberg has had some harsh words to describe our now President Trump during the campaign, but recently he has begun to sound more like his pragmatic side.

Who exactly is Michael Rubens Bloomberg?  He has been a Democrat…a Republican..and is now an Independent.   According to Wikipedia,  in brief Bloomberg was born in 1942. He is an American businessman, politician and philanthropist.  He is a billionaire, raking as one of the richest people in the world. However, he has joined The Giving Pledge where billionaires will give away at least half their wealth. He is the owner of Bloomberg L.P., a global financial services,  mass media, and software company.   Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City for three terms. michael Rubens Bloomberg

Recently Lang of ABC News wrote an article that you may have missed.  She told what Michael Bloomberg, who did not vote for President Trump,  had to say about the now President Trump and what the politicians and the country should do.  It is a far cry from other things he has said, but his words are probably some of the most sensible and best advice that the country can have at this time.

Regardless of what your personal opinion of Mr. Bloomberg may be,  Boyer Writes felt it was important to pass this along to all our readers… for his recent words should be put into practice by everyone.   It is what our democracy is all about.

This is Lang’s article in its entirety:

“Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said America should “get behind” President Trump because “the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not,” during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

Bloomberg said that opposing a president just because of one’s alignment with another party is the wrong approach. He referred to a 2010 interview with The National Journal in which Mitch McConnell,  at the time the Senate minority leader, said, “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”

“That’s my country. That’s my kids and grand-kids,” Bloomberg said of his reaction to McConnell’s statement. “You have to make it work. We have an election — whoever wins, you got to get behind.”

“He’s our president, and we need this country to be run well. I didn’t vote for him,” Bloomberg added. “Let’s just all hope that Donald Trump is a good president of the United States.”

Also a businessman and philanthropist, Bloomberg said Americans should direct their energy toward changing the outcome of the next election rather than fighting the current administration.

He said people in other countries “try to tear down the government and have a revolution” when their candidate doesn’t win but Americans should be more strategic.

“We should sit back and say, four years from now, how do I get my woman or man elected? And that’s very different,” he said. But Bloomberg said people should still fight policies they don’t agree with.

“You can protest. You can elect other officials, write letters, make phone calls,” he said. “But in the end, the public has spoken, whether you like the results or not.”

Bloomberg joked that Trump had “a little help from the Russians” in the 2016 election.

As for whether the result of Tuesday’s special election in Georgia has serious implications for the future of the Democratic Party,  Bloomberg warned people not to read too much into it.

But he said “one thing” the congressional race, won by Republican Karen Handel, showed was that “all the money in the world can’t buy an election.”

“The public is a lot smarter than people give them credit for,” Bloomberg said.

In the end, he said, it was Trump’s “Make America great again” message that resonated with voters.

“I don’t know what the ‘again’ means,” Bloomberg added. “We’re better today than we have ever been. Still, that’s the key.”

Post note:   We may want to think about that last sentence.  Are we in America truly “better today than we ever have been“?     Think about these words:

  • Divisiveness
  • Crime
  • Health and Addiction
  • Loss of employment
  • Race Relations
  • Respect for Law Enforcement, School Officials and Parents
  • Faith and Church Attendance
  • Patriotism 
  • World turmoil and terrorism

You decide if we measure up to other generations.  It is for certain that we must come together to make changes to all of these areas…through sensible thoughts, words and actions.   Yes, we must work together to make changes…starting within ourselves.

VIDEO:  Make me an Instrument of Thy Peace  (Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi) sung by The Canadian Tenors

 


World Tensions grow over Nuclear War

A Picture and its Story: North Korea on parade

Pyongyang, N. Korea  2017 REUTERS/ Damir Sagoj

All the world knows that nuclear power can be useful or totally destructive.  The threats of nuclear war loom mammoth in the thoughts of world leaders and what it means to all people on our planet.    This video perhaps explains  best where our nation and the world may be at this time in considering how North Korea plays into the nuclear picture:

To understand more about the life of North Koreans, the following link was made by two French journalists that were given the tours and propaganda that went with it.  Some who managed to escape and defect speak out in this link.     CLICK FOR LINK


FREEDOM What is in a word?

basic-freedoms-of-usa

Our road to freedom for all has not been an easy one, but it is one that is continually worked on in the United States.  Our founding fathers of this nation would not know our country in years past or today as they worked hard to overcome the inequalities of all humans and to build a country where freedom is for all.

They had to work through their own problems of slavery, finally giving freedom under the Emancipation Proclamation.  In later years we as a nation had to make things better for native Americans whose lands had been taken and whose sufferings were evident in the Trail of Tears.   Men of character stood up to speak for the civil rights of all through demonstrations and civil rights sit ins.  Our soldiers have stood duty around the world to guarantee that no nation would take these freedoms away from our homeland.  Evil raised it’s head once more and brought the terror of removing our freedoms in our present day.   We must all know what what these freedoms mean and vow that they will never be taken away.

 

dr-king-and-flag

Dr. Martin Luther King, the voice of Civil Rights and freedom for all. He advocated non-violent protests.

The word FREEDOM is defined as :

  • the power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.
  • absence of subjection to foreign domination or despotic government or
    the state of not being imprisoned or enslaved.
    Just as anyone who has lost their freedom or in our past history, those who had to fight for their freedoms, FREEDOM has  great meaning.  Men of good will have seen the wrongs done and have tried to set things right. We know that through new laws and legislation, all can eat in restaurants, have access to education and much more in our country.   Sadly, the non-violent approach to protest so cherished by Dr. King has lost its way in many cities, even though many try to stay true to his beliefs.  Buildings and businesses have been burned and destroyed bringing no one to a better life or more justice.  Freedom, as we desire it, is lost in this type of aggression for those who want change the most.
    fergerson-burning-after-protest
      We usually think of someone being imprisoned or taken hostage in deplorable conditions when we think of lost freedoms.    It actually is more than that.  If a person has been active and suddenly is disabled in someway that they no longer can do the things they once did, this is a loss of freedom.   Many are courageous and build upon a new life.   As far as the freedoms we enjoy because we have a government and a Constitution that guarantees our liberty and freedom, we may not think of what it would be like to lose it as other nations have.
    Let us think about that for a moment.
    What are some of our basic freedoms in this country and other countries world-wide with a democracy?
    Here in the U.S. we are have the following freedoms guaranteed by the THE BILL OF RIGHTS.  If you are an American citizen and do not know your rights, then you should read this carefully.  Men and women have died for the protection of these rights for you. 
    (Some history in brief)
     “In drafting the Constitution, most of the Founding Fathers believed that the safeguards written into it would protect the rights of Americans. But when the Constitution was sent to the states in 1787 for ratification, a great roar of disapproval went up. In Virginia, Patrick Henry protested vigorously against the lack of a specific statement of rights. Other Americans from different states demanded that a Bill of Rights be added to the Constitution. A number of states ratified the Constitution only conditionally. That is, they would approve the Constitution only if it were changed to include these rights.  Two years after the new American government went into effect, the Bill of Rights was added as the first ten amendments to the Constitution. Congress discussed nearly 200 proposals for amendments before it presented these ten to the states for approval. The states ratified these amendments, and they became part of the Constitution in 1791:
    FREEDOM OF RELIGION  ...guarantees to all Americans the right to practice any religion they choose, or to practice no religion at all.  (Notice it was chosen first.)
    Congress is forbidden to establish any religion as our nation’s official religion. Congress cannot favor any one religion over others or tax citizens in order to support any one religion.

    FREEDOM OF SPEECH…The right to express your ideas and opinions… Freedom of speech also means the right to listen to the thoughts and opinions of others. This freedom guarantees that Americans are free to express their thoughts and ideas about anything. They may talk freely to their friends and neighbors or speak in public to a group of people. Of course, no one may use his freedom of speech to injure others. If a person knowingly says things that are false about another, he may be sued in court by the person or persons who believe they have been harmed by what he said. Americans are free to express opinions about their government or anything else. They are free to criticize the actions of the government and of government officials. In a dictatorship, where the nation’s government has all the powers, the people have no right to speak like this. They do not dare to criticize the actions of the government. If they do, they may be imprisoned. But all Americans enjoy the freedom of speech, which is guaranteed in the First Amendment.

    FREEDOM OF THE PRESS…The freedom to express your ideas and opinions in writing. This freedom is closely related to freedom of speech…This writing may be in newspapers, books, magazines, or any other printed or written form. Americans are also free to read what others write. They may read any newspaper, book or magazine they want. Because they are free to read a variety of facts and opinions, Americans can become better-informed citizens.  (Reading does not necessarily mean agreement to what is written.)

    FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY …freedom to hold meetings. Americans are free to meet together to discuss problems and to plan their actions. Of course, such meetings must be carried on in a peaceful way.

    FREEDOM OF PETITION…The freedom of petition is the right to ask your government to do something or to refrain from doing something… The freedom of petition gives you the right to write to your Congressman and request him to work for the passage of laws you favor. You are free to ask him to change laws that you do not like. The right of petition also helps government officials to know what Americans think and what actions they want the government to take.

    THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS…The Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees Americans the right to bear arms. In the early years of our nation, Americans needed weapons in order to serve in the militia, or volunteer armies, that were established to defend our states. The militia provided protection during emergencies, too. Many Americans also believed that without weapons they would be powerless if the government tried to overstep its powers and rule by force.

    “NO-QUARTERING” RIGHT…The Third Amendment states, “No soldier shall, in times of peace, be quartered in any house. . . .” Under British rule, the colonists sometimes had to feed and house British soldiers against their will. As a result, Americans wanted this practice forbidden under the Bill of Rights.

    THE RIGHT TO EQUAL JUSTICE…The Bill of Rights contains many rights that are guaranteed to persons accused of a crime. Amendments Five, Six, Seven, and Eight are all concerned with these rights. Our nation places great importance on these rights in order to guarantee equal justice for all Americans.

    1. A person must be indicted, or formally accused of a crime, by a group of citizens called a “grand jury” before he can be brought into court for trial.
    2. A person accused of a crime is guaranteed the right to know what law he is accused of breaking.
    3. A person accused of a crime has a right to a prompt public trial by a jury of his fellow citizens.
    4. An accused person cannot be put into prison and kept there for weeks or months while awaiting a trial. He has the right to leave jail, in most cases, if he can raise a certain sum of money, or bail, as a pledge that he will appear at his trial.
    5. An accused person has a right to a lawyer to represent him in court.
    6. All the testimony and evidence against an accused person must be presented publicly in court.
    7. The accused person has the right to call any witnesses to appear if their testimony will help him.
    8. The accused person cannot be forced to testify or give evidence against himself.
    9. If the accused person is found guilty, he cannot be given cruel or unusual punishment. If the accused person is found not guilty of a serious crime, he cannot be tried a second time for this same crime.

    THE RIGHT TO OWN PRIVATE PROPERTY…The Fifth Amendment guarantees Americans the right to own private property. No person may take away anything that we own. Nor can the government seize our land, money, or other forms of property without cause, or without paying for it. The right to own private property is one of America’s basic freedoms. Our free economic system is based upon this right.eagles-and-flag

    THE RIGHT TO ENJOY MANY OTHER FREEDOMS…To make doubly sure that Americans should enjoy every right and freedom possible, Amendment Nine was added to the Constitution. This amendment states that the list of rights contained in the Bill of Rights is not complete. There are many other rights that all Americans have and will continue to have even though they are not mentioned in the Bill of Rights. Among them are the following.

    1. Freedom to work at any job for which we can qualify
    2. Freedom to marry and raise a family
    3. Freedom to receive a free education in good public schools
    4. Freedom to join a political party, a union, and other legal groups
    5. Freedom to live or travel anywhere in our nation

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    As a final guarantee of our rights, the Tenth Amendment set aside many powers of government for the states. This Amendment says that all powers not given to the federal government by the Constitution, nor forbidden to the states, are set aside for the states, or for the people. This provision leaves with the states the power to act in many ways to guarantee the rights of their citizens.

    SUMMARY

    Government is the authority or power that people establish to help them run their affairs.
    Governments serve many important purposes, but the most important one is that government makes it possible for people to live and work together. Government provides us with rules of conduct we can follow. Government makes it possible for people to live by known laws, and helps provide many services that citizens acting alone could not perform themselves.
    Our nation’s government is based on the American Constitution. This Constitution, together with its Bill of Rights and other amendments, provides us with a workable plan of government. The Constitution also guarantees to all Americans many priceless rights and freedoms.
    Our nation’s government is based upon the approval, or consent, of the people who are governed. It is a federal system in which certain powers are given to the national government and other powers are left to the states and to the people. Certain powers are shared by both federal and state governments. In both federal and state governments, powers are separated and balanced among three branches of government.   (From: Hartley, William H., Vincent, William S.. American Civics. N.Y., 1974, pp. 34ff)

    Protesting has its place in our democracy, but the statement below should make us think seriously about the cost of freedom, for it is not free. 

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    Video:  Our National Anthem:  A tribute to all who love our country and our American flag, the symbol of our FREEDOM.  (turn on sound)