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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.”
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.)
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.
Much 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.
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.
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)
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”.
A new book by former First Lady, Hillary Clinton, has just come out. She is making her speeches, giving interviews and signing her autograph concerning it. The one thing that is probably not in the book (since I have not read it as of yet) is the fact that “cutting back” on security was only a part of the problem as well as the top leadership decisions that resulted in the death of four Americans. For Mrs. Clinton to write or mention Benghazi as a likely reason for her political decline or failure to become the first woman President of the United States is appalling. It is no wonder that their family members are upset because the terrible loss of these men’s lives is not about her career as a politician.
This blog is written just after we have remembered 9-11 and all the victims. Today, we honor the four men who lost their lives in Benghazi. They too must never be forgotten.
U.S Consulate in Benghazi
Burned out U.S. Consulate
Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, were the men interviewed recently about the circumstances of how they were called upon too late to clean up the security mess at Benghazi. The fact of “silencing” them at the time should be a real concern to all Americans. Below is the full article on the events of Benghazi and the plea for security which came too late for the four men who are pictured above.
Author’s Note: This is a reprint of the full article by Catherine Herridge, Pamela Brown and Cyd Upson on Sept. 2017. (If you are unable to read with an unbiased opinion because you do not agree with Fox News, just read the words of these men interviewed who were professionals called upon by our government at the last minute. They say they were silenced until now. )
Contractors: ‘We were pressured to keep quiet on Benghazi’
EXCLUSIVE: Security at the State Department’s Benghazi compound was so dire that another contractor was brought in to clean up the mess just two weeks before the 2012 terror attack – and was later pressured to keep quiet by a government bureaucrat under then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, according to two men from the American security company.
Brad Owens and Jerry Torres, of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, say they faced pressure to stay silent and get on the same page with the State Department with regard to the security lapses that led to the deaths of four Americans.
Jerry Torres, CEO of Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions, shown here in Afghanistan.
They spoke exclusively with Fox News for “Tucker Carlson Tonight,” revealing new information that undermines the State Department’s account of the 2012 terror attack in Benghazi, where Islamic militants launched a 13-hour assault from Sept. 11-12 that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, foreign service officer Sean Smith and former Navy SEALS Ty Woods and Glenn Doherty.
Torres Advanced Enterprise Solutions provides security for U.S. Embassy and consulate personnel around the world in some of the most dangerous locations spanning Africa, the Middle East and South America, according to the firm.
Jerry Torres remains haunted by the fact that specific bureaucrats and policies remain in the State Department after the Benghazi attack despite the change in administrations. “A U.S. ambassador is dead and nobody is held accountable for it. And three guys … all died trying to defend him,” said Torres, the company’s CEO and a former Green Beret.
Asked if there was a specific effort by a senior State Department contracting officer tosilence them, Torres said, “Absolutely, absolutely.”
Owens, a former Army intelligence officer, echoed his colleague, saying those “who made the poor choices that actually, I would say, were more responsible for the Benghazi attacks than anyone else, they’re still in the same positions, making security choices for our embassies overseas now.”
In 2012, Owens was the American company’s point man in Libya with extensive experience in the region. After the death of Libyan dictator Muammar Qaddafi in the fall of 2011, Owens stressed to Fox News it was well-known that Islamic radicals including Al Qaeda-tied militias were pouring into the region and security “had deteriorated considerably.”
Owens, who had personally visited the Benghazi compound to assess security, was shocked. “Blue Mountain U.K. is a teeny, tiny, little security company registered in Wales that had never had a diplomatic security contract, had never done any high threat contracts anywhere else in the world that we’ve been able to find, much less in high threat areas for the U.S. government. They had a few guys on the ground,” he said.
According to Torres, the Blue Mountain Group came in 4 percent lower than their bid – and they challenged the decision, claiming the American company should have been preferred over the foreign one.
Torres said State Department contracting officer Jan Visintainer responded that the State Department had the “latitude to apply” that preference or not.
And there was more: The Blue Mountain Group hired guards through another company who were not armed.
Problems soon arose. One month before the attack — in August 2012, with The Blue Mountain Group still in charge of compound security — Ambassador Stevens and his team alerted the State Department via diplomatic cable that radical Islamic groups were everywhere and that the temporary mission compound could not withstand a “coordinated attack.” The classified cable was first reported by Fox News.
“They came back to us and said, ‘Can you guys come in and take over security?’ Owens said. “So we were ready.”
But Torres emphasized that time was against them, saying it would have taken two-to-three weeks to get set up.
Twelve days later, the ambassador was killed. Torres learned of the attacks by watching television. He called the circumstances leading up to the tragedy “bad decision-making from top to bottom.”
“There was nothing we could’ve done about it. If we’d had one month warning … who knows what might’ve happened,” Owens said.
In the chaotic days following that attack, the Obama White House blamed the attacks on an anti-Islam video and demonstration which was not accurate. As a former Green Beret, Torres was stunned: “Coming from a military background, I would expect the administration to tell the truth. So I bought into it for a minute. But I didn’t believe it in the back of my mind.” He said they later figured out the video was not the culprit. The attack was a coordinated terrorist assault which included a precision mortar strike on the CIA post in Benghazi.
But as the Obama administration and Clinton’s team struggled to answer questions about the attacks, Visintainer apparently took it one step further — summoning Jerry Torres from overseas to attend a meeting at her government office in Rosslyn, Va., in early 2013.
Torres took Fox News back to the Virginia office building where he recalled that day’s events.
“[Visintainer] said that I and people from Torres should not speak to the media, should not speak to any officials with respect to the Benghazi program,” he said.
Torres said he was afraid for his company – and hasn’t spoken publicly until now.
“We had about 8,000 employees at the time. You know, we just didn’t need that level of damage because these guys, their livelihood relies on the company,” he said. “I trust that our U.S. government is going to follow chain of command, follow procedures, follow protocols and do the right thing.”
Another part of that conversation stuck out to Torres. He said Visintainer told him “in her opinion, that guards should not be armed at U.S. embassies. She just made that blanket statement. … And she said that they weren’t required in Benghazi. So I was kind of confused about that. And she said that she would like my support in saying that if that came up. And I looked at her. I just didn’t respond.”
The State Department declined Fox News’ request to make Visintainer available for an interview, or have her answer written email questions.
The Blue Mountain Group did not immediately respond to questions from Fox News.
Torres and Owens said repercussions against their company continue to this day – and that of the 20 security force contracts they’ve bid on since that conversation, they’ve lost 18.
Torres and Owens are concerned another attack like the one in Benghazi could happen again because the same State Department employees responsible for the Benghazi contract remain in place and the contracting rules are outdated.
“In 1990, Congress passed a law that required contracts of this nature to go to the lowest bidder that’s technically acceptable,” Owens explained. “Now, what that has created is a race to the bottom, is what we call it. So basically, every company tries to cut every corner they can for these contracts.”
The men say they are hopeful that changes will come with the Trump administration’s promise to “drain the swamp.”
“Let’s just say there’s been a change at management at Department of State,” Owens said. “I feel now that, given that the politics has been taken out of the Benghazi situation, now that there’s no longer a candidate or anything related to it, a change of administrations, that actually, we have an opportunity here to fix the problems that made it happen.”
On the fifth anniversary, Torres said he thinks about the four families who lost a father, a brother or a son in the 2012 attack, and feels sorry “for not bringing this up earlier. For not actually being there, on the ground and taking care of these guys.”
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.
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:
Health and Addiction
Loss of employment
Respect for Law Enforcement, School Officials and Parents
Faith and Church Attendance
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
Born in 1694, in Paris, France, Voltaire established himself as one of the leading writers of the Enlightenment. Often at odds with French authorities over his politically charged works, he was twice imprisoned and spent many years in exile. He died in Paris in 1778.
The best definition of liberal education is one that I read about recently, which was given at a commencement address by Fareed Zakaria. One may hope that the graduates who heard him were enlightened and came out to face the world with a new vision of tolerance.
Who is Fareed Zakaria? He is an Indian-American journalist and author. The Post-American World, The Future of Freedom (2003) was a New York Times bestseller and has been translated into over 25 languages. His most recent book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, has been praised in the New York Times as “an accessible, necessary defense of an idea under siege.”
The essence of what he had to say is in the video below. ( put out by CNN (Alexander King). I think it is worth a listen before we all become so un- enlightened in this world that we cannot listen to any viewpoint but our own. Agree or disagree, we will all live on the same planet…have many of the same worries for our global and individual safety and will share in whatever blesses or plagues us as a society. We will have a “common destiny”.
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
“You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
Harper Lee, To Kill a Mockingbird 1960
Other quotes may be about walking in a man’s shoes or his moccasins. Regardless, we do not understand why people say what they do or act a certain way until we have some understanding of where he is coming from or his experiences in his life’s story.
John Robert Lewis and 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington
I found this true recently when I heard that Representative John Robert Lewis and others would boycott the swearing in of our new President of the United States. Under our Rights as a nation, which I wrote about in my last blog, these people have every right to do so. Peaceful protest is welcome in our nation…note the word is “PEACEFUL.” I believe that it is in North Korea, as in other dictatorships, that the people are ordered to assemble to show approval of their leader. Not doing so is definitely not an option. No one is forced to attend the inauguration.
All of this led me to do some research on Representative Lewis of Georgia. Where had he walked in his past? Many may not agree with his political views or his decision to not be a part of a peaceful swearing in of a new President, elected by the people of the United States. Nevertheless, where his “shoes” have walked may help us understand him. I point this out because we all need to see people more carefully from their viewpoint.
Here are some historical facts about John Robert Lewis:
Lewis was born in racially segregated Troy, Alabama on February 21, 1940, and was one of ten children.
The Lewis children were raised in a religious atmosphere and as he saw discrimination, his parents tried to keep him from becoming involved.
While listening to the radio, he heard Martin Luther King, Jr., a Baptist minister, who inspired him…even thinking that he may also be called to go into the Christian ministry.
Lewis was only a teenager when he heard about the bus boycott being led by King, Abernathy and members of the Montgomery Improvement Association (MIA), as well as sit-in protests of restaurants where African Americans were not allowed or made to ride in the rear of the buses.
He was inspired to be a part of the protests, but first decided to get an education. He enrolled in the American Baptist Seminary and at Fisk University in Nashville, whose student bodies were primarily African American.
Lewis later joined the demonstrations, knowing that he was heading into uncharted territory and danger. The federal Civil Rights Act was not passed until four years later in 1964, but Lewis had already been jailed and beaten many times. He also suffered a fractured skull.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr is joined by John Lewis and others.
August 28, 1963, March on Washington, 250,000 African Americans and white people staged a peaceful march for equal opportunities. Lewis became director of Voter Education Project (VEP). From 1970 through 1977, Lewis organized southern African American voters. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Lewis to be director of US operations for ACTION, a federal agency for economic recovery programs at the community level.
Later, Lewis became part of the Atlanta City Council and was eventually elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.
His passion for Civil Rights has led him to say, “Do not give up, do not give out, and do not give in. We must hold on and we must not get lost in a sea of despair.”
(Taken from Encyclopedia of World Biography)
CONCLUSION: (On the week before the swearing in of the new President of the United States…2017)
Of course, John Robert Lewis will not give up, in 2017, his life-long walk of protest and boycott. It is where his shoes have walked and his “moccasins” fit comfortably there. He has breathed dissent for all these decades. He would feel he had let down all those who walked with him in the past and the protesters of the future.
Sometimes, we must understand, people have difficulty not living in the past because of what they have lived and suffered speaks so loudly. The loudness of this experience, when facing the future, may drown out the very objective of those who marched…to judge ALL men and women “by their character”…thus bringing racial harmony. Even after Americans of all races voted in twice the first African American President, racial divide and discontent is exacerbated by those who cannot move on. I think I am beginning to understand what fuels the fires of distrust and opposition…it is one’s own experience. Perhaps our new, incoming President should keep “moccasins” in mind before he tweets out his rebuttals to his opponents.
History is often not emphasized in some elementary and high schools around the country. Unfortunately, those protesting on college campuses might want to go back in class and take a refresher class, mandated by the University. It might be more productive and open some eyes that this election is final and transitions may or may not be smooth as hoped for. It is all part of our democracy. If we give ourselves a chance to recompose with new leadership, students may finish exams and actually get through their education.
Here are some transitions in history that we can consider.
1828 John Quincy Adams had to run away from a mob. (“Ladies fainted, men were seen with bloody noses and such a scene of confusion took place as is impossible to describe.”) Whole Story on the mob
1860 States seceded from nation after Abraham Lincoln’s election
1932 Hoover and Roosevelt called each other names.
1952 Truman and Eisenhower were suspicious of tricks.
1969 Lyndon Johnson said Nixon had “blood on his hands” concerning Vietnam.
1980 Reagan felt sorry for Carter. “Though he profoundly disagreed with Carter on policy issues, Reagan harbored no mean-spiritedness toward Carter… It’s usually the loser that is full of sour grapes.” (Ed Meese)
(Taken from The Atlantic Krishnadev Calamur.)”The presidential election of 1828 was a rematch between John Quincy Adams, the incumbent, and Andrew Jackson, who’d been deprived of the presidency in 1824 by the “corrupt bargain.” The campaign was nasty, even by today’s standards. Jackson’s marriage came under intense scrutiny, as did his ownership of slaves. When the election results were announced, Jackson had won, his supporters stormed the White House, and Adams had to escape through the back.The 1860 election led to what was perhaps the most significant presidential inauguration in American history: Seven Southern states states seceded between the 1860 election and Abraham Lincoln’s inauguration in March of the following year. James Buchanan, the man who Lincoln succeed, believed that while states didn’t have the right to break away, the Constitution did not empower the president to prevent them.Nine years later, more drama: Andrew Johnson, the highly unpopular outgoing president, did not attend the inauguration because his successor, Ulysses S. Grant, had refused to sit next to him in the carriage. Johnson remained in the White House during the ceremony.In the 1932 election, President Hoover (left) called his challenger, Franklin D. Roosevelt, (Right) a “chameleon on plaid.” Roosevelt described the man he’d succeed as a “fat, timid capon.” Their first meeting at the White House was awkward, as was the period running up the inauguration by which time the U.S. economy was in such shambles that Hoover had become a reviled figure.
Twenty years later, Harry S. Truman prepared to hand over the reins of the presidency to Dwight Eisenhower. The two men had once been allies, working together in the last days of World War II, but had fallen out over what Truman regarded as Eisenhower’s silence on Senator Joe McCarthy. “He has betrayed almost everything I thought he stood for,”Truman said. The transition itself didn’t go well, either. “Ike and his advisers are afraid of some kind of trick,” Truman wrote in his diary. “There are no tricks.”
In 1969, President Lyndon B. Johnson, who’d decided not to run for a second term of his own, gave way to Richard Nixon, the former vice president. In the dying days of the presidential campaign, Nixon nixed any prospect of LBJ reaching a peace in Vietnam, where the war had been waging for years. Nixon, LBJ had said, had “blood on his hands.” But he still cooperated with President-elect Nixon, believing the threat from the Soviet Union made a smooth transition necessary.
President Carter met with Ronald Reagan after the 1980 election that swept Reagan to the White House. A news article from the time describes Carter saying: “We have a very good working relationship.” Personal relations between the two men were cool, however. Carter acknowledged as much in an interview two years later. In his book The Unfinished Presidency: Jimmy Carter’s Journey Beyond the White House, Douglas Brinkley, the historian, describes the sniping between the Carter and Reagan camps during the transition, as well as an alleged slight directed at Rosalynn Carter by Nancy Reagan. About the meeting between the two men, he wrote: “Reagan left the meeting impressed by Carter’s ‘graciousness’ and ‘mastery of detail.’”
Descent and protest is part of our free speech in America. Destruction and violence is a different story and should be prosecuted. It is a difficult job for police and those in charge of keeping the peace…and as much as possible bringing about a peaceful transfer of power. Setting the tone for this should be a priority for our Educational Institutions, out-going politicians and Americans in general.
Change is inevitable as it has always been in the past…smooth or not smooth is what we make it.
The Out-Going Family
The In-Coming Family
Hang in there. This too shall pass and life will go on…even if students think theirs have come to an end. Now, you are smarter than that!
Who is Doug Schoen and why does his opinion on our U.S. election matter?
Douglas Schoen graduated magna cum laude from Harvard, and holds a degree from Harvard Law School as well as a doctorate in philosophy from Oxford University. He has lectured at the Institute of Politics at Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government, the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania, and the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University.
Perhaps most of all, we may want to listen to what he has to say because he is a Democrat who has known the Clintons since 1994. He was a strong Democratic supporter and adviser to them. He is now reassessing his vote and tells us why in the video below and in his writing for The Hill.
Let’s be clear. Schoen is not a supporter of Trump…but he does care about what will happen to our nation and the turmoil or even “stand-still” or “Constitutional crisis” that our government will face if there are trials in the future…after the election… for supposed wrong doing.
Schoen wrote the following: “…Moreover, we simply cannot face a situation where the president elect may need or want a pardon from the president to govern. Or worse yet, need to pardon herself after she takes office. As of now, I have no confidence that either of those questions will be answered by Election Day or that we will have full clarity on an investigation into what could be as many as 650,000 emails that found their way to Weiner and Abedin’s computer. However, in good conscience, and as a Democrat, I am actively doubting whether I can vote for the Secretary of State. I also want to make clear that I cannot vote for Donald Trump as his world view and mine are very different. I remain a Democrat and proud of the work I did for six years for President Bill Clinton between 1994 and 2000 and I write with extreme sadness. But I cannot in the waning days of the election make the case that Secretary Clinton should be elected. I still share her worldview and am much closer to her approach to policies than I am to Donald Trump. That said, with America facing a potential constitutional crisis after her election, I am not able, under the circumstances we are now facing, to vote for Secretary Clinton….”
The subject of immorality is out in the open. Perhaps the first thing we need to do is to identify exactly what we mean by immorality. We are not always talking about sexual immorality. God’s law does say “Thou shall not commit adultery.” That seems clear, but in essence, we are talking about wrong behavior. This could range from evil and wicked acts such as stealing, murder, adultery, lying and corruption in many forms. Any way one looks at it, it is always associated with doing wrong and being offensive. Wrong behavior is a way of living avoided by most people who want to live good, honorable lives and teach it to their children. For those readers who may be unfamiliar with what exactly the 10 Commandments are, this picture gives the list that was given to Moses.
Probably everyone has broken one or more of these Holy Laws at one time or another. We may ask ourselves, however, in modern interpretation…what have we made our Gods? Have we never used God’s name in vain? Do we honor a special day to worship? How many truly honor our Mother or Father and show them that they are honored? We may not have killed, committed adultery, but saying something false or repeating a gossip against someone…or even stretching the truth is probably something we have all done. You get the point.
How is all this relevant to us in this time of electing our next President of the United States? What responsibilities do our candidates have in this matter of immorality or morality? What about the press that labors on the off color or inappropriate comments because that is what they think we, the people, want to hear?.. or do we?
Let’s come straight to the point… disgusting and inappropriate words and behaviors are being aired into our homes day and night. Most of us allow it. Our children are watching and hearing our reactions to whatever we are seeing. We have friends who limit T.V. or do not have TV at all in their homes. The reason? They are protecting their children. Children, at early ages, hear and have to deal with the obscene statements made on T.V. Unfortunately, they are often made by political candidates and others. Sometimes they are hearing their own family saying things that are offensive. They watch women who are willing to go on T.V. and give in the most descriptive, detailed way inappropriate sexual behavior toward them. The young are most observant and hear more than we think. They wonder what is the meaning of words like racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic…or may ask who is “deplorable” or what does “irredeemable” mean? It is too much…too young…too depressing. Could we even say it is immoral to poison the minds of the innocent? In this world of cell phones, computers, TV, video games and movies, is it any wonder that young people are often suicidal? We worry about mental health and instability in our society. How much are we contributing to this? Children need to have a child’s life because adulthood will come soon enough. Giving them freedom to watch and see everything and anything is not responsible parenting. Hats off to those parents who place boundaries. Maybe it is time for adults to do the same for themselves.
This is not saying that everyone should have their heads in the sand about what is going on in the world or in the political world, but as the young grow up, there will be time for discussions on topics they don’t understand. How much poison are we bringing into society because most are glued to their T.V. sets. Is our nation going down a slippery slope with no way to return to the normal and the decent? Even many adults have had enough. Yes, God knows our hearts and what is happening to our nation. There is need for transformation, just as there is a need for protecting our young. We, as adults, need to take control of our lives or we may be dragged down into the muck and the mire.
The highest honor in America is to be the President of a free country…following Lincoln and other great leaders. In recent years, the people of our nation seem to ignore immoral ways. People who believe in being moral and following the commandments for living are criticized and branded as “old fashioned” or “out of touch.”
One may be interested in how “out of touch” our founding fathers were when they wrote the Constitution and our great Washington monuments were built with inscriptions that announced the beliefs of out nation. Do you know the following?
Walking up the steps to the U.S. Capitol Building, which houses the Supreme Court, set into the top of the building is a row of the world’s law givers who are facing Moses and the Ten Commandments.
As one enters the Supreme Court, the two large oak doors also have the Ten Commandments engraved on the lower part of the door. Inside the courtroom is another display of the Commandments where the judges are seated.
There are Bible verses etched in stone over the Federal Buildings and are displayed in state capitals.
James Madison, our 4th President and Father of our Constitution said: “We have staked the whole of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government, upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God.”
Patrick Henry, a Founding Father and patriot said, “It cannot be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded not by religionists but by Christians…not on religions but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”
Every session of Congress begins with a prayer by a paid preacher…whose salary has been paid by the taxpayer since 1777.
Were these men backward and out of touch? After reading these facts about men who worked to build our nation, one may ask how far away from morality have we come? Many in our country do not seem to trust what any member of Congress or the President has to say. Truth and trustworthiness is at its lowest ebb. Political correctness and their next election are in the forefront. Cooperation between parties in order to get things done for the benefit of all seems non-existent.
It does not appear to matter, in modern days, that a President was impeached for his immoral ways and then reelected. Those who have the option of leading this country into a better, higher, and more moral way also demean those who teach that immorality is not acceptable, whether one is in office or simply a citizen.
This came to light when a leaked email called the Catholic faith “severely backward” and hoped that Catholics would “demand the end of a middle ages dictatorship.” (article by Eric Scheener) It is assumed that those writing the emails are aware that the Christian faith, whether Catholic or Protestant, takes their so called “backward” views from the commandments of the Bible. Concerning these emails, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York said, “Were it any other religion…Jewish or Muslim faiths…there would be an apology…”
Apologies may not be the answer for no one seems to take apologies seriously. The hearts of the people and the country’s leaders need to be changed according to the Reverend Billy Graham. Now in his 90’s, Reverend Graham has been teaching what the Holy Scriptures has to say about being moral or immoral for over 60 years. It is estimated that Reverend Graham has given God’s message of forgiveness and salvation to about 2.2 billion people in 185 countries on 6 continents. This is what he had to say just a few years ago, still holding the same view today. Some would say he has not “evolved” enough. Others would say that he is being true to the principles of morality within the Christian faith and is a voice of warning to our nation.
“Our early fathers led our nation according to biblical principles. ‘Hope and change’ has become a cliche in our nation, and it is daunting to think that any American could hope for change from what God has blessed. Our country is turning away from what has made it so great. But far greater than the government knowing our every move that could lead to losing our freedom to worship God publicly, is to know that God knows our every thought. He knows our hearts need transformation.” Dr.Graham
To be transformed is to be changed in our spirits and souls. Psalms 139:2 and 26:2; Isaiah 64:8
“The man with a conscience fights a lonely battle against the overwhelming forces of inescapable situations which demand decisions. . . . Some who seek to escape from taking a stand publicly find a place of refuge in private virtuousness. Such a man does not steal. He does not commit murder. He does not commit adultery. Within the limits of his powers he does good. He must be blind and deaf to the wrongs which surround him. It is only at the price of an act of self-deception that he can safeguard his private blamelessness against contamination through responsible action in the world. Whatever he may do, that which he omits to do will give him no peace. Either this disquiet will destroy him or he will become the most hypocritical of Pharisees.” Derrick Bonhoeffer
My writing has taken me into a new series called, The Blue Ridge Mountains. It is a collection of books that celebrate the life and work of the people who live in and around the beautiful Blue Ridge Parkway of Virginia and North Carolina. In researching my stories of the books, it has been my privilege to interview a number of people whose roots go back generations. Many small, family grave plots can be seen in the hills. Some have a small flag or stone that reads that the person was a Civil War member of the Confederacy dating back into the 1800’s. They are proud of their history and do not think of their confederate flag as a symbol of racism or bigotry, but of the bravery of the men who fought against those who had invaded their land and homes.
Hearing their stories has brought to mind how tied the people are to their mountains and their history. The “Yankee” troops that marched through these valleys and hills during the Civil War, marched on afterward to return to their northern states.
The people of the South pulled themselves up to endure rebuilding and hardship, becoming a strong part of “one nation under God”. Slavery was no more. The long road to equality began far after the ships arrived with its human cargo from Africa.
As an retired educator, I know the emphasis that I put on history in the classroom, but it has almost become, in recent years, politically incorrect to talk about slavery…even the Emancipation Proclamation which freed them. It appears that the climate of the country is to bury our heads about the past. Remembering it no more must be the road to the future. I think that this way of thinking is wrong for we should learn from our past. In all fairness, the nation must have believed that they had passed racial tensions and elected an African American President twice to follow in the footsteps of Presidents like Lincoln and Thomas Jefferson. When we see violence in our streets and children who can’t walk to school in our large cities without the fear of being shot, one wonders if we have learned anything from the strife of the past.
We have a fabric in America that is woven from many different threads and backgrounds. Most school children today probably do not know that there are descendants of Thomas Jefferson, the writer of the Declaration of Independence, who meet each year to celebrate who they are and to tell their stories. Many are highly educated because education was placed as a priority. (See video at end)
Who exactly was Thomas Jefferson? He certainly was a man of great contradictions. A graduate in law from the College of William and Mary, he at times defended slaves seeking freedom, but owned a large number of slaves himself. He represented Virginia in the Continental Congress…drafting the law for religious freedom…served as a governor and became the U.S. Minister to France…served as Secretary of State under President George Washington. He penned “all men are created equal.” and had a strong belief in states rights.
Jefferson also became the 3rd President of the United States. There were many issues to deal with, as there are today, for this nation. Jefferson’s were concerning trade and pirates. He doubled the size of the country with the Louisiana Purchase. Not only was there controversy with slavery, but he began the removal of Indian tribes to the newly organized Louisiana Territory….but signed the Act Prohibiting Importation of Slaves. (Yes, a difficult, but talented man to understand in the midst of a growing, new nation. ) Jefferson’s talents were in mathematics, surveying, horticulture and mechanics.
He was a Christian well versed in linguistics and spoke several languages.”Baptized in his youth, Jefferson became a governing member of his local Episcopal Church in Charlottesville, VA. Influenced by Deist authors during his college years Jefferson abandoned “orthodox” Christianity. In 1803 he asserted, ‘I am Christian, in the only sense in which Jesus wished any one to be.’ Jefferson later defined being a Christian as one who followed the simple teachings of Jesus.”
He was the founder of the University of Virginia after leaving public office.
(Story behind picture of Lucy Cottrell was the daughter of Dorothea (Dolly) Cottrell, a house servant at Monticello who, after 1826, became the property of George Blaetterman, a professor at the University of Virginia. About 1850 Dolly and Lucy Cottrell went to Maysville, Kentucky, with the professor’s widow, who freed them five years later. In this daguerreotype Lucy Cottrell is holding Charlotte, daughter of Blaetterman’s foster son.)
Jefferson must have taken it literally that all of his hundreds of slaves belonged to him to do with as he liked. After the death of his wife in 1782, he had a relationship with Sally Hemings and fathered at least one of her children. This may have been the beginning of those who now have Jefferson as part of their heritage. Nevertheless, despite the events in his life that makes him controversial, he is consistently ranked as one of the countries “Greatest Presidents”. Presidents are often making decisions to foster their own legacy. History will play out whether the time in office points to greatness or the lack thereof.
Video. Turn on sound and enlarge for best viewing.
About two weeks ago, I sent out this blog, Is there another choice?, on the fact that there could be a chance that another person could derail both political parties in his bid for President as an Independent. The readers who responded said, “It is too late. There is no chance.”
It seems that this candidate, Evan McMullin, is banking on a strategy that has not been successful since 1824…but could it be a possibility considering the dislike of many people for both of the other choices?
Do you know how the House of Representatives plays into this stategy? Here are the facts:
John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825. The election was the only one in history to be decided by the House of Representatives under the provisions of the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution after no candidate secured a majority of the electoral vote.
Look at this link which explains the pros and cons on Mr. McMullin’s run and the hope that history could repeat its self. (See Strategy )
Below is the content of the first post with a video of Mr. McMullin, in case you missed it: “Almost everyone that I have talked to since the Democratic and Republican conventions, have said that they are “holding their nose” as they go to the voting polls this November. We know that huge amounts of money have been spent, as well as billions of words uttered, to promote two choices, but is there another choice? ”
As we listen to the pleas of people in various Town Hall Meetings throughout the country, it is difficult to hear the lives that have been lost by addiction. Families have been devastated. An example is the heroine epidemic in the state of New Hampshire and it is not the only state. The areas of the Appalachians and California are also greatly effected. Most likely those families will be horrified to know that hundreds are now being released early back into society with letter in hand from our President, which reads :
“I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around,” the president wrote. “Now it is up to you to make the most of this opportunity. It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances. But remember that you have the capacity to make good choices. I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better.”
According to Lederman of the Associated Press, “The latest tranche of commutations brings to 248 the total number of inmates whose sentences Obama has commuted — more than the past six presidents combined, the White House said. The pace of commutations and the rarer use of pardons are expected to increase as the end of Obama’s presidency nears.”
Everyone hopes that those who are given a second chance will make good on the a new life. Over crowding of jails or a need for prison reform may not be good reasons to put our communities in harms way. A court and judge gave the sentences which were expected to be carried out. This map may tell us how active the pushers’ business is and how many deaths have occurred up until 2014. Take a look at your state and county. Can we afford any more?
“Drugs deaths have skyrocketed in New Hampshire. In 2014, 326 people died from an overdose of an opioid, a class of drugs that includes heroin and fentanyl, a painkiller 100 times as powerful as morphine.
Nationally, opioids were involved in more than 61 percent of deaths from overdoses in 2014. Deaths from heroin overdoses have more than tripled since 2010 and are double the rate of deaths from cocaine.
In New Hampshire, which holds this year’s first presidential primary, residents have repeatedly raised the issue of heroin addiction with visiting candidates.” (Article written by Haeyoun Park and Mattew Bloch, Jan.2016)
Most drug pushes have already become addicted themselves to the life style of easy money with no regard to the lives they are harming. How likely is it that any one of those given a second chance will not continue their former ways into all areas of society. Don’t forget the unborn who also often come into this world with an addiction that they will have to combat all of their lives. Who will tell them that giving a second chance to the pusher, that sold the drug to their mother, was in their best interest?
Our brightest young people are at great risk. They usually started out with a bright future ahead and after experimentation, they descended into a life of hell. Watch this video below and ask yourself two questions: Why are parents with money and affluence supporting the habit? (See video 2) The last is when we have young people with total, everyday dependency, is it worth an early release, a commutation of convicted drug pushers? ….I think not.
Video 1 Beautiful Marin and her parents Video:
Video 2 Click on the video and you will be able to watch on You Tube.
Americans are voting across the nation for the candidates who will face each other in November 2016. At this time, it is down in number to a “precious few”. Most voters just want the candidate they support to tell the truth…and nothing but the truth. This is the case whether a person votes Democratic or Republican. It is hard to tell who one can actually trust to be honest.Character, on both sides, seems to be out the window. The spin on truth begins on almost any question asked. Hardly ever is the exact question answered. It is then left up to the voter to decipher and analyze the answer. Will the person really telling the truth, PLEASE STAND UP! We’d like to know who you are.
Perhaps the most troubling has been the more recent comments made to millions of American viewers about Patricia Smith, whose son died in the Benghazi attack, that her statements of being lied to by the State Department and the President were “wrong”. Life and death matters deserve the entire truth and not called a “Fog of War”.
The video below is an interview of Patricia Smith who has not been told the truth by those government officials responsible for giving family members the comfort of reality even though the reality may be very difficult. Real people, with real hurts and concerns, need to be respected and told straight-up the truth. If things went wrong, as they surely did in Benghazi, then the truth should be told, especially to the families.
Politicians are often so concerned about the next election that they brush aside all honor. They are voted into office, often with a pledge to be “the most transparent in history” to those who elected them. The people need to hold every person in office to that pledge.
It is most surprising that the Americans can look so far past the character and moral values of those they elect, especially when that person or persons are holding some of the highest offices of the land. Truthfulness may not be expedient, but it is all we have if we are going to trust those in charge of our military, our nuclear capabilities, our economic future and our security against terrorism. At this point, people I talk to say, “It may come down to the lesser of two evils.” How sad.
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Boyer Writes Statistics for 11 Years of Writing
I started writing in 2009. Over the years, the “visitors” to my blog have been 287,834 and counting. This does not represent “views”, which are many more. I love looking at the maps and seeing that I have over 200 followers from 113 countries. Compared to many bloggers, this is a small number, but it is great news to me. Occasionally a follower will write a note of appreciation and encouragement to my writing. My thanks to all my readers.