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All posts for the month February, 2021

Did You Ever Wonder….

Published February 28, 2021 by Nan Mykel

….How lucky we were that a mass of Biden supporters missed being killed on January 6, and hopefully will also avoid a violent fray on March 4?
The story was in the Feb. 15-22 issue of Time magazine, so thorough that I would just refer you there for specifics, but it’s in the article HOW CLOSE WE CAME: The Secret History of the Shadow Campaign That Saved the Election, by Molly Ball, on page 43-51,  with reporting by Leslie Dickstein, Mariah Espada and Simmone Shah.
     In a nutshell, a nation-wide non-partisan citizen’s group quietly set about trying to insure that the 2020 election would be free of any fraud. The purpose was to ensure the legality of whichever party won the election. That’s why the many Supreme Court cases brought by Trump were so easily ruled against: the election wasn’t rigged!
     Both Republicans and Democrats invested in the lawful continuation of our democracy–honest elections–and worked together in a patriotic effort to ensure that the election would be protected from fraud, irrespective of which side won. The non-partisan movement formed and spread, fueled by Trump’s early before-the-election insistence that the vote would be rigged.  Created by the vision of Mike Podhorzer of the AFL-CIO and subsequently embraced by hundreds of both grassroots movements and CEOs,  22 Democrats and 22 Republicans on the National Council on Election Integrity began meeting on Zoom at least once a week–The Chamber of Commerce and the AFL-CIO–and far too many other  groupings of  liberal and conservative pro-democracy  forces combined their support for a fair election and justified results, no matter who won.

     The concerned movement formed to prove doubters wrong. Whoever won, it should be a squeaky clean national election, and it was. Moreover, a threatened civil war did not begin on the streets of Washington D.C, between Trump protesters and insurrectionists on Jan. 6. The thousands who answered Trump’s call to Washington were met by virtually no counterdemonstrators. “To preserve safety and ensure they couldn’t be blamed for any mayhem, the activist left was ‘strenuously discouraging counter activity’.”
     I had postponed blogging about this due to the breadth of the information involved, but then stumbled across an article somewhere attacking the non-partisan power group for the quietness of its successful activities for a free and fair election.

     I HOPE THAT CAUTION IS STILL OBSERVED MARCH 4 and that the visit of Trump’s allies will end peacefully.  What does Trump hope for, other than to fill all his rooms at Trump Tower on Thursday?  

MUST CREATIVITY ALWAYS BE CHIPPER?

Published February 23, 2021 by Nan Mykel

What should we do with depressed thoughts?  Keep them inside in a cage so they don’t harm others?  But that leaves them inside us, perhaps to be devoured.  Don’t read the following if you’re already depressed:

DOWN

Tainted by a fallen moon, the mountain crags with menace lay their heavy burden across the throats of all.  A putrid mess around us pools as evolution rises to amend.

Nan

NEW SEGREGATION?

Published February 23, 2021 by Nan Mykel



Legislative resegregation of schools catching on in red states. Several weeks ago, Iowa’s governor proposed allowing students to transfer out of schools that have a voluntary or court-ordered diversity plan. Similar efforts have been reported in Louisiana and Alabama.

And here comes Indiana, where a similar proposal caused an uproar on Thursday in the statehouse and turned into a walkout and confrontation. WTHR

Now the rest of the news…

The definition of cashing in on kids. The co-founders of a Phoenix, Arizona, charter school in Goodyear have been indicted on fraud and theft charges. “The defendants are alleged to have provided falsified information including pay stubs to the Maricopa County Superintendent’s Office in order to obtain grant funding that wasn’t provided to the appropriate teachers.” Fox 10

Privatization in Appalachia. The West Virginia House of Delegates has passed bills to establish a school voucher program and expand the current charter school program. “Despite opposition from Democratic leaders, both bills passed easily through the chamber, which now has a Republican supermajority. They now move to the Senate, which also has a Republican supermajority.” The Neighbor

Pennsylvania online charter schools need reform. Susan DeJarnatt of the Temple University Beasley School of Law has published an article on the need for reform of Pennsylvania’s online charter schools. “Pennsylvania needs to reform its system for funding cyber charter schools. The fourteen cyber charters draw students and tuition dollars from nearly every public school district across the state, but those districts have no say in authorizing or overseeing cyber charters.” Pennsylvania Bar Association Quarterly

 For more ee Cashing in on Kids, a weekly email newsletter for people fed up with the privatization of America’s public schools—produced by In the Public Interest.

BUT I THOUGHT THE PANDEMIC WAS A HOAX…

Published February 22, 2021 by Nan Mykel

 

DEMOCRACY OVER CORPORATIONS STATEMENT

Published February 21, 2021 by Nan Mykel

On Wed, Feb 17, 2021 at 2:06 PM John Howell wrote:

Democracy Over Corporations (DOC), as an organization, has gone silent for a while. Maybe a reason to reactivate it will arise. My own efforts have gone mostly toward monetary reform, and I am attaching a short article of mine which appeared this month in a Quaker publication, Friends Journal.

I’m also forwarding information from Tish O’Dell, the Ohio leader of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), about events that the organization is carrying out. CELDF, as you will remember, helped us with our successful efforts in adopting a community rights law in Athens and our, so far, unsuccessful effort toward getting on the ballot a county charter proposal that would recognize community rights to protect our health and safety when state and federal government fail to do so.

One of the events listed in Tish’s email is a joint event with Move To Amend (MTA), the other national organization with which DOC had a relationship.

These things together emphasize the fact that we need:

1) community rights – a reshaping of our legal structure to protect our liberty from strangulation by corporations and corporate-run government – as advocated by CELDF

2) adoption of the “We the People” amendment to the US constitution – a return of control of government from corporations to the people – as advocated by MTA

3) reform of the monetary system – a return of control of the money system from corporations to the people’s representatives by ending the special privilege of banks to create money and to determine where it goes, and charging us interest to use the money they create, thus contributing to extreme concentration of private wealth, the persistence of poverty, and the government’s inability to fund needed responses to the pandemic, climate change, and infrastructure needs – as advocated by the Alliance For Just Money (monetaryalliance.org).

We dodged a bullet with the election, but the struggle for democracy will continue. I urge your support of these organizations and urge you to keep working locally in your own ways toward these fundamental goals. As individuals, we can’t do everything. Do what you can….

In hopes for a good future for ourselves and our children,

John Howell, DOC Coordinator

BLACKBIRD SONG BY KEITH and…

Published February 15, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Keith Wilson
9:08 AM (13 hours ago)

I wrote the following post six years ago, but sadly, it is still needed today. The title is from a line of The Beatles song “Blackbird” which is a tribute to the struggle by African-Americans for their civil rights. The song was sung by Paul McCartney with writing credits to both him and John Lennon, although McCartney was the lead.

“Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to be free

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
Into the light of the dark black night

Blackbird singing in the dead of night
Take these broken wings and learn to fly
All your life
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise
You were only waiting for this moment to arise”

Here is what McCartney said about the origin of the song in an interview in 2002.

“I’ve got a poetry book out called Blackbird Singing…..I was in Scotland playing on my guitar, and I remembered this whole idea of ‘you were only waiting for this moment to arise’ was about, you know, the black people’s struggle in the southern states, and I was using the symbolism of a blackbird. It’s not really about a blackbird whose wings are broken, you know, it’s a bit more symbolic.”

I added McCartney’s quote as I wanted the clarity around what the song means. African-Americans are still fighting an uphill struggle for their civil rights. What has happened in Ferguson, Cleveland, New Jersey, Charleston, Charlotte and Baltimore is tragic, but evidence of the disenfranchisement of African-Americans. The lack of opportunity, the malaise, the maltreatment, the deterioration of the neighborhood, the lack of respect given to people of color in our country continues.

I have seen Warren Buffett say he was born lucky. He was born a white male in America. All three components of that phrase are important – white, male and America. Yes, he worked hard, but he was afforded opportunities that African-Americans do not get. Not only do many whites like me have a hard time knowing the challenges of being black, but we also do not fully realize the advantages of being white. As I wrote recently, as a white man, there are not too many places I cannot go no matter how I am dressed. But, there are far too many stories of how a black man can be dressed in his Sunday best, yet still be stopped by the police and think “be careful as this may be the last thing I do on earth.”

I would encourage three things. First, please do not look at the few committing violence and extrapolating that as indicative of the African-American community. The community knows this is not the path forward. Second, people who look like me need to do our best to understand the challenges we have in America for people of color, but also for all people in poverty. Third, as always, talk is cheap. These issues are complex and solutions have to address many underlying concerns. There are no sound byte answers as some politicians have espoused.

I mention this last point as we must address the wide disparity in America between the “haves” and “have-nots.” This is not just an African-American issue. It is an American issue, as most people on food stamps are white. Please re-read this previous sentence. Poverty exists in urban areas, in rural areas and even in the suburbs. We have to stop the “war on poor people” and make this a “war on poverty.”

We must invest in our infrastructure and deteriorated assets repurposing them*. This will spawn jobs as well in places where it is needed. We must revise our minimum wage to be consistent with a living wage for one person, which varies, but is just over $10 an hour. We must invest in education at all levels. We must embrace the Affordable Care Act as it is helping so many people and fully implement it through Medicaid expansion in the remaining states. For some politicians to say we have a poverty problem and be against the ACA is hypocritical and shortsighted, especially when it is working pretty well.

Remember McCartney’s words and lets help these folks with broken wings learn to fly. To do otherwise, goes against what our country is all about and any of the teachings found in religious texts. Jesus spoke of doing for the least of these is so doing for him.

Keith Wilson, Charlotte, Independent

*Note: This is called ABCD investment – Asset Based Community Development (think of the repurposed Durham tobacco complex or Atlanta’s East Lake Golf Club community, eg).

Censuring Republicans who voted to impeach or convict – a sample letter to the editor

Published February 15, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Great suggestion.

musingsofanoldfart

I sent the following letter to my local newspaper after seeing that the North Carolina state Republican Party may censure Senator Richard Burr for voting to convict the seditious former president. This follows on similar votes executed or planned in other states to censure the likes of Representative Liz Cheney, Senator Ben Sasse, Senator Pat Toomey and Senator Bill Cassidy and maybe the others. Please feel free to adapt and use. I hope they print it.

Two thoughts pop into my head about the state Republican parties that are censuring Republicans who voted to impeach or convict the seditious former president. Each time they take aim at one of them, it gives them the chance to repeat their resolve into why the former president is a traitor. Which leads me to my second thought. Being a traitor and causing the death of now seven people by consistently lying and inciting…

View original post 46 more words

FISHING FOR A POEM – Part One

Published February 15, 2021 by Nan Mykel

FISHING FOR A POEM – Part One

 

Drifting, searching shallow and deep

frolicking fish around me leap.

If I’m to find the one that’s right

it must appear sometime tonight.

 

Although there’s a tug on my line,

reeling it up I only find

a plastic milk carton missing

poetry’s sure  thing with a zing.

 

I refuse to bump

Into Donald J. Trump,

the damn demic’s boredom

or Epstein’s whoredom.

 

The waves slap quietly as I row,

while moonlight shines on me below.

But where’s the rhyme for which I search

as in my boat I try to perch?

 

I need to jump in to embrace,

arms open wide so as to taste

the meaty, throbbing of the node

that’ll help my poem to implode.

 

Now in the depths I can see slugs,

worms, loud weeping and coffee mugs.

Tears and water mix together

To make a poem’s sudden weather.

 

Near now!  I can feel it lurking

A little tug, then it perking.

The mind’s eye finds within the pits

the hidden object of my wits.

 

This fine night it appears to be

calling out for me to see.

And there it is, a wooden box

On the bottom, without locks!

 

TO BE CONTINUED

“O”

Published February 11, 2021 by Nan Mykel

There goes my mind! Catch it!

Though we all learn our ABC’s,

some words rarely reach our lips.

There’s the “B” word, the “C” word, the

“D” word, the other “D” word, the “F”

word, the “N” word and the “Q” word.

Can you add more?  Oh right, the “RIP”

wordlet. My son just corrected me

erroneous “colored town” spoken due to

my limited other “D” days, but that stuff

don’t stop me,  Only if you’re a poet

is the limitation exacerbating. At 85, I

missed early onset.  If you don’t know

what I’m talking about, lucky you.

KEITH WRITES US

Published February 9, 2021 by Nan Mykel

Republican truth teller ridiculed more than conspiracy parrot

Feb 8, 2021, 9:03 AM (1 day ago)

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