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Thought for the Day: Democracy

“The truth is that the fate of America hangs in the balance in every presidential election.  That is the genius of the Constitution.  In creating a nation that transfers power every four years, the Framers charged its citizens with the duty of continually redeeming the gift of democracy or risk losing it.  Democracy is not for the faint-hearted. . .

Let’s prove that our generation is worthy of the gift of democracy” (in a email from R.H.)

Happy July 4th, U.S. Independence Day.

Get informed, verify your sources, support excellent candidates, & Vote.

Banner photo by Roven Images on Unsplash – photo from another year.

Fireworks are illegal here on Maui this year – to discourage crowds.  Instead, we are staying home.  Barry is making chili; I’m making potato salad; we have a big watermelon in the fridge getting cold; John is likely to come to dinner.  And Mary, our wonderful neighbor, has invited a few of us this evening to watch Hamilton; we will be safely distant from each other. Barry and I get to Zoom new Servas friends this afternoon.  We are healthy and safe — but we know many are suffering now.  Who we support in November, both locally and nationally, can make a big difference in how we as a country move forward (or not).

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I love this image of how our entrenched systems could be.

May you be grateful wherever you are – and may we each work for positive changes. Stay healthy; stay home.

Aloha, Renée

What White People Can Do For Racial Justice

These are well-researched, practical, up-dated ideas of actions we can take.  Choose something.  Work on something.  You are needed.  We need change and solutions.

https://medium.com/equality-includes-you/what-white-people-can-do-for-racial-justice-f2d18b0e0234

Aloha, Renée

Gloria & Hillary & Voting & more

Voting isn’t the most we can do, but it is the least. To have a democracy, you have to want one,” says Gloria Steinem.

One of the advantages of self-isolation is that I’m not dashing around as usual and so am getting to enjoy some cooking, reading, and reflecting. Recently, I read Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, a book that has been on a shelf for a few years. I loved much about the book – and of course, the woman, who has learned much from being open and observant as she has moved about the world.

One section in particular was really interesting to me; Steinem writes about Hillary Clinton:

“As long as I’ve been campaigning, I’ve heard two Questions: ‘When will we have a woman president?’ and ‘When will we have a black president?’

Ironically, the 2008 primary campaign between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, which gave us the chance for both, was the best contest in terms of candidates and the worst in terms of conflict.

I kew Hillary Clinton mostly in the way we all do, as a public figure in good times and bad, one who became part of our lives and even our dreams. I once introduced her to a thousand women in a hotel ballroom at a breakfast in New York City. Standing behind her as she spoke, I could see the Whiite House binder on the lectern with her speech carefully laid out–and also that she wasn’t reading from it. Instead, she was responding to people who had spoken before her, addressing activists and leaders she saw in the audience, and putting their work in a national and global context–all in such clarity and graceful sentences that no one would have guessed she hadn’t written them in advance. It was an on-the-spot tour de force perhaps the best I’ve ever heard.

But what clinched it for me was listening to her speak after a performance of Eve Ensler’s play Necessary Targets, based on interviews with women in one of the camps set up to treat women who had endured unspeakable suffering, humiliation, and torture in the ethnic wars within the former Yugoslavia. To speak to an audience that had just heard these heartbreaking horrors seemed impossible for anyone, and Hillary had the added burden of representing the Clinton administration, which had been criticized for slowness in stopping this genocide.

Nonetheless, she rose in the silence, with no possibility of preparing, and began to speak quietly–about suffering, about the importance of serving as witnesses to suffering. Most crucial of all, she admitted this country’s slowness in intervening. By the time she sat down, she had brought the audience together and given us all a shared meeting place: the simple truth.

So when she left the White House and decided to run for the U.S. Senate from her new home in New York State–something no First Lady, not even Eleanor Roosevelt, had dared to do–I was blindsided by the hostility toward her from some women. They called her cold, calculating, ambitious, and even ‘unfemiinist’ for using political experience gained as a wife. These were not the right-wing extremists who had accused the Clintons of everything from perpetrating real estate scams in Arkansas to musrdering a White House aide with whom Hillary supposedly had an affair. On the contrary, they mostly agreed with her on the issues, yet they were so opposed to her that they came to be called Hillary Haters. It took me weeks of listening on the road to begin to understand why.

In the living rooms from Dallas to Chicago, I noticed that the Hillary Haters often turned out to be the women most like her: white, well-educated, and married to or linked with powerful men. They were by no means all such women, but their numbers were still surprising. Also they hadn’t objected to sons, brothers, and sons-in-law using family connections and political names to further careers–say, the Bushes or the Rockefellers or the Kennedys–yet they objected to Hillary doing the same. The more they talked, the more it was clear that their own husbands hadn’t shared power with them. If Hillary had a husband who regarded her as an equal–who had always said this country got ‘two president for the price of one’–it only dramatized their own lack of power and respect. After one long night and a lot of wine, one woman told me that Hillary’s marriage made her aware of just how unequal hers was.

In San Francisco and Seattle, I listened to self-identified Hillary Haters condemn her for staying with her husband, despite his well-publicized affairs. It turned out that many of them had suffered a faithless husband too, but lacked the ability or the will to leave. They wanted Hillary to punish a powerful man in public on their behalf. I reminded them that presidents from Roosevelt to Kennedy had affairs, but the haters identified with those First Ladies and assumed they couldn’t leave. It was Hillary’s very strength and independence that made them blame her. When I tried describing the public condemnation Hillary would have suffered had she abandoned her duties in the White House for such a personal reason, this changed the minds of some–but not many.

Finally, I resorted to explaining my own reasons for thinking the Clintons just might be, in Shakespeare’s phrase, ‘the marriage of true minds.’ I had seen them together for a long afternoon during a White House ceremony for recipients of the Medal of Freedom. One medalist was my friend Wilma Mankiller, chief of the Cherokee Nation. She and I were both struck by the obvious connection between the Clintons as they walked from one group of awardees and their families to the next, talking to guests and each other. In a roomful of interesting people, they seemed just as interested in listening and talking to each other. What they were sharing, I don’t know, but what was clear was their intimacy and pleasure in each other’s company. Of how many long-married couples could that be said?

Yet when I brought this up, some Hillary Haters became even angrier. Many were longtime wives and others were new wives replacing older ones, but the fact that Bill valued Hillary as an equal partner–and vice versa–seemed to make them more aware that their own marriages were different. It dawned on me that if a sexual connection is the only bond between a husband and wife, an affair can make her feel replaceable–perhaps cause her to be replaced. This was not only emotionally painful but devastating when it also meant losing social identity and economic security as well. I began to understand that Hillary represented the very public, in-your-face opposite of the precarious and unequal lives that some women were living. In a classic sense, they were trying to kill the messenger. . . .

As my own part of her Senate campaign, I began to invite Hillary Haters to the living room events were Hillary herself was fundraising. To my surprise, all but a few turned around once they had spent time in her presence. This woman they had imagined as smart, cold, and calculating turned out to be smart, warm, and responsive. Instead of someone who excused a husband’s behavior, she was potentially, as one said, ‘a great girlfriend’ who had their backs.

They also saw her expertise. For instance, George Soros, the Hungarian -born financier and philanthropist, introduced her in his Manhattan living room by saying, ‘Hillary knows more about Eastern Europe than any other American.’

After she was elected to the U.S. Senate on her own merits, she worked constructively even with old enemies there, and was solidly reelected to a second term. I began to hear the first serious talk of Hillary Clinton as a presidential candidate. By the time the election of 2008 was in the wind, she had a higher popularity rating than any other potential candidate, Republican or Democrat. . . .

It wasn’t campaign season yet, but wherever I went, from campuses to living rooms, questions about the possibility of a new kind of president were being raised.

Though Obama was younger, with less national, international, and Senate experience than Hillary, I still thought it was too soon for the country to accept a woman commander in chief. Moreover, Obama’s Kenneyesque appeal created a rare and precious chance to break the racial barrier. But to me, their shared content was way more important than different forms. She was a civil rights advocate. He was a feminist. They were a modern-day echo for the abolitionist and suffragist era, when black men, black women, and white women–the groups white male supremacists had worked so hard and cruelly to keep apart–turned this country on its head by working together for universal adult suffrage.

Whenever I was on the road before the primaries, I saw a revival of this unconscious coalition in audiences that were interested in politics as never before. There was an enthusiasm for these two new faces that stood for a shared worldview. In audiences from very blue states to very red ones, support was more like a Rorschach test than a division by race and sex. For instance, 94 percent of black Democrats had a favorable view of Hillary Clinton, compared to an 88 percent favorable view of Obama. After all, he was new on the national stage and the Clintons had earned a reputation for racial inclusiveness that caused African American novelist Toni Morrison to famously call Bill Clinton ‘the first black president.’ Both white and black women were more likely than their male counterparts to support Hillary Clinton–and in my observation, also more likely to believe that she couldn’t win. Male and female black voters were more likely than white voters to support Obama and also to believe he couldn’t win. Each group was made pessimistic by the depth of the bias they had experienced.

Some mostly white audiences seemed to hope this country could expiate past sins by electing Obama. As one white music teacher rose in an audience to say, ‘Racism puts me in prison, too–a prison of guilt.’ Many parents of little girls, black and white, were taking them to Clinton rallies so they would know that they, too, could be president. Older women especially saw Hillary Clinton as their last and best chance to see a woman in the White House. And not just any woman: as one said, ‘This isn’t just about biology. We don’t want a Margaret Thatcher, who cut off milk for schoolchildren.’ They wanted Hillary Clinton because she supported the majority interests of women. On the other hand, many young black single mothers said they supported Obama because their sons needed a positive black male role model. A divorce white father told me that Obama’s life story had inspired him to drive hundreds of miles to see his son every week. ‘I don’t want to be the father Obama almost never saw,’ he explained. ‘I want to be the father he wished he had.’ In Austin, Texas, an eighty-year-old black woman said she was supporting Hillary because ‘I’ve seen too many women who earned it, and too many young men who came along and took it.’

But the press, instead of reporting on these shared and often boundary-crossing views as an asset for the Democratic Party–after all, Democratic voters would have to unify around one of these candidates eventually–responded with disappointment and even condescension. They seemed to want newsworthy division. [my emphasis – Doesn’t this seem too familiar? Running up to the Democratic Primary these last few months, we have had a wonderful crowd of smart, passionate, experienced, heart-centered Democratic candidates]. Soon frustrated reporters were creating conflict by turning any millimeter of difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama into a mile. Since there was almost none in content, they emphasized ones of form. Clinton was entirely summed up by sex, and Obama was entirely summed up by race. Journalists sounded like sports fans who arrived for a football game and were outraged to find all the players on the same team.

It dawned on me that in the abolitionist and suffragist past, a universal suffragist movement of black men and white and black women also had been consciously divided by giving the vote to black men only–and then limiting even that with violence, impossible literacy tests, and poll taxes. Now, this echo of divide-and-conquer in the past was polarizing the constituencies of two barrier-breaking ‘firsts,’ never mind that the candidates were almost identical in content. As in history, a potentially powerful majority was being divided by an entrenched powerful few” [my emphasis] . . .

In making my list about the pluses and minuses of Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, I discovered I was angry. I was angry because it was okay for two generations of Bush sons to inherit power from a political patriarchy even if they spent no time in the White House, but not okay for one Clinton wife to claim experience and inherit power from a husband whose full political partner she had been for twenty years. I was angry because young men in politics were treated like rising stars, but young women were treated like — well, young women. I was angry about all the women candidates who put their political skills on hold to raise children–and all the male candidates who didn’t;t. I was angry about the human talent that was lost just because it was born into a female body, and the mediocrity that was rewarded because it was born into a male one. And I was angry because the media took racism seriously–or pretended to–but with sexism, they rarely bothered even to pretend. Resentment of women still seemed safe, whether it took the form of demonizing black single mothers or making routine jokes about powerful women being ball-busters.”. . .

As my last campaign effort, I made hundreds of buttons that said:

HILLARY SUPPORTS OBAMA

SO DO I

. . . All my years of campaigning have given me one clear message: Voting isn’t the most we can do, but it is the least. To have a democracy, you have to want one” [[my emphasis] (157-171).

Gloria Steinem stories from the road and her insights are very relevant now. While you are staying home to stay healthy, read about Gloria’s surprising encounters and insights in My Life on the Road. And get involved in the coming elections. Democracy needs your actions, your voice, and your vote.

And what more can you be doing to help make this a sustainable, more just, even more awesome world?

Aloha, Renée

Book cover from: <https://www.amazon.com/My-Life-on-the-Road&gt;

Barry’s Gleanings: “Democrats, here’s the sure-fire way to defeat Donald Trump” by Thomas Friedman

I love the ideas in this article. Why aren’t the strengths of each of the U.S. presidential candidates combined? The U.S. and its people have many challenges. We are likely to debate some of Friedman’s suggested placements, but there is strength in unity.

From:

The Palm Beach Post

Opinion

Thomas Friedman: Democrats, here’s the sure-fire way to defeat Donald Trump

If this election turns out to be just between a self-proclaimed socialist and an undiagnosed sociopath, we will be in a terrible, terrible place as a country. How do we prevent that?

That’s all I am thinking about right now. My short answer is that the Democrats have to do something extraordinary — forge a national unity ticket the likes of which they have never forged before. And that’s true even if Democrats nominate someone other than Bernie Sanders.

What would this super ticket look like? Well, I suggest Sanders — and Michael Bloomberg, who seems to be his most viable long-term challenger — lay it out this way:

“I want people to know that if I am the Democratic nominee these will be my Cabinet choices — my team of rivals. I want Amy Klobuchar as my vice president. Her decency, experience and moderation will be greatly appreciated across America and particularly in the Midwest. I want Mike Bloomberg (or Bernie Sanders) as my secretary of the Treasury. Our plans for addressing income inequality are actually not that far apart, and if we can blend them together it will be great for the country and reassure markets. I want Joe Biden as my secretary of state. No one in our party knows the world better or has more credibility with our allies than Joe. I will ask Elizabeth Warren to serve as health and human services secretary. No one could bring more energy and intellect to the task of expanding health care for more Americans than Senator Warren.

“I want Kamala Harris for attorney general. She has the toughness and integrity needed to clean up the corrupt mess Donald Trump has created in our Justice Department. I would like Mayor Pete as homeland security secretary; his intelligence and military background would make him a quick study in that job. I would like Tom Steyer to head a new Cabinet position: secretary of national infrastructure. We’re going to rebuild America, not just build a wall on the border with Mexico. And I am asking Cory Booker, the former mayor of Newark, to become secretary of housing and urban development. Who would bring more passion to the task of revitalizing our inner cities than Cory?

“I am asking Mitt Romney to be my commerce secretary. He is the best person to promote American business and technology abroad — and it is vital that the public understands that my government will be representing all Americans, including Republicans. I would like Andrew Yang to be energy secretary, overseeing our nuclear stockpile and renewable energy innovation. He’d be awesome.

“I am asking Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to serve as our U.N. ambassador. Can you imagine how our international standing would improve with youth worldwide with her representing next-gen America? And I want Sen. Michael Bennet, the former superintendent of the Denver Public Schools, to be my secretary of education. No one understands education reform better than he does. Silicon Valley Congressman Ro Khanna would be an ideal secretary of labor, balancing robots and workers to create “new collar” jobs.

“Finally, I am asking William H. McRaven, the retired Navy admiral who commanded the U.S. Special Operations Command from 2011 to 2014 and oversaw the 2011 Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, to be my defense secretary. Admiral McRaven, more than any other retired military officer, has had the courage and integrity to speak out against the way President Trump has politicized our intelligence agencies.

Only last week, McRaven wrote an essay in The Washington Post decrying Trump’s firing of Joe Maguire as acting director of national intelligence — the nation’s top intelligence officer — for doing his job when he had an aide brief a bipartisan committee of Congress on Russia’s renewed efforts to tilt our election toward Trump.

“Edmund Burke,” wrote McRaven, “the Irish statesman and philosopher, once said: ‘The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.’”

If Bernie or Bloomberg or whoever emerges to head the Democratic ticket brings together such a team of rivals, I am confident it will defeat Trump in a landslide. But if progressives think they can win without the moderates — or the moderates without the progressives — they are crazy. And they’d be taking a huge risk with the future of the country by trying.

And I mean a huge risk. Back in May 2018, the former House speaker John Boehner declared: “There is no Republican Party. There’s a Trump party. The Republican Party is kind of taking a nap somewhere.”

It’s actually not napping anymore. It’s dead.

And I will tell you the day it died. It was just last week, when Trump sacked Maguire for advancing the truth and replaced him with a loyalist, an incompetent political hack, Richard Grenell. Grenell is the widely disliked U.S. ambassador to Germany, a post for which he is also unfit. Grenell is now purging the intelligence service of Trump critics. How are we going to get unvarnished, nonpolitical intelligence analysis when the message goes out that if your expert conclusions disagree with Trump’s wishes, you’re gone?

I don’t accept, but can vaguely understand, Republicans’ rallying around Trump on impeachment. But when Republicans, the self-proclaimed national security party — folks like Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio and Tom Cotton — don’t lift a finger to stop Trump’s politicization of our first line of defense — the national intelligence directorate set up after 9/11 — then the Republican Party is not asleep. It’s dead and buried.

And that is why a respected, nonpartisan military intelligence professional like Bill McRaven felt compelled to warn what happens when good people are silent in the face of evil. Our retired generals don’t go public like that very often. But he was practically screaming, “This is a four-alarm fire, a category 5 hurricane.” And the GOP response? Silence.

Veteran political analyst E.J. Dionne, in his valuable new book, “Code Red: How Progressives and Moderates Can Unite to Save Our Country,” got this exactly right: We have no responsible Republican Party anymore. It is a deformed Trump personality cult. If the country is going to be governed responsibly, that leadership can come only from Democrats and disaffected Republicans courageous enough to stand up to Trump. It is crucial, therefore, argues Dionne, that moderate and progressive Democrats find a way to build a governing coalition together.

Neither can defeat the other. Neither can win without the other. Neither can govern without the other.

If they don’t join together — if the Democrats opt for a circular firing squad — you can kiss the America you grew up in goodbye.”

<http://Thomas Friedman: Democrats, here’s the sure-fire way to defeat Donald Trump>

Thomas Friedman is an American political commentator and author, a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner, and a weekly columnist for The New York Times – from Wikipedia
<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Friedman&gt;

Thanks for sharing this article, Louis.

What do you think?

Aloha, Renée

Banner photo by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Quotation: “People can debate . . .”

“People can debate how big a factor straight-up racism was in Trump’s victory.  But his yearlong drumbeat of remarks and tweets and retweets, [up to the 2016 U.S. Presidential election – and beyond] giving voice to white resentment toward people of color and religious minorities, offending millions and pulling scabs off old American wounds–all of that was not too much for the 62,984,825 people who colored in the bubble next to Trump’s name” 

– John Biewen (from the audio program at the Center for Documentary Studies.  Biewen teaches and produces/hosts the podcast Scene on Radio).

From: “Sunbeams,” The Sun, September 2018, issue 513, p. 48.

In stark contrast,  Jan Markell of Olive Tree Ministries says in wonder of God’s ways that President Trump, although a flawed man, promotes Biblical values.  She notes the Bible says that when the righteous rule, the evil moan.  

From: https://olivetreeviews.org/

Jan Markell  – Image from https://i2.wp.com/soaringeagleradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/Jan-Markell.png

Since Donald Trump and his friends have been in control, I’ve been moaning every day about the undermining of basic human decency and our democracy.   And I certainly don’t consider myself evil. 

How can we listen to each other and move forward together if each position feels the other is evil?  

Gandhi said, “It is no nonviolence if we merely love those that love us.  It is nonviolence only when we love those that hate us.  I know how difficult it is to follow this grand law of love.  But are not all great and good things difficult to do?  Love of the hater is the most difficult of all.  But by the grace of God even this most difficult thing becomes easy to accomplish if we want to do it” (Gandhi the Man, Eknath Easwaran, p. 108). 

http://Photo by Ishant Mishra on Unsplash

Although a struggle, we must find ways to listen and talk and work – together. 

Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Unsplash

Let’s talk, even – perhaps especially – to people we don’t understand – yet.

Aloha, Renee 

Banner photo: http://Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Quotation: from Hawaii Queen Lili’ uokalani

Some Hawaiians here in our state don’t vote because our U.S. government overthrew the legal monarchy  of the Hawaiian Kingdom in 1893 when businessmen (children of U.S. missionaries) garnered the help of a U.S. warship in the Honolulu harbor threatening mass killing of the Hawaiians.  Queen Lili’uokalani, the royal monarch,  acquiesced, to prevent the deaths of her people.  She hoped the United States President would right the situation. Though President Cleveland and his special commissioner James Blount supported the return of the Queen’s sovereignty, the Provisional Government refused to step down. They quickly proclaimed themselves the Republic of Hawai’i and by 1898 they’d received status as a U.S. Territory.  Nothing was done to reinstate the islands to the Hawaiian people.

img420

U.S. plantation owners and businessmen worried about the influence of the popular Queen Lili’uokalani and overthrew the legal monarchy

Image from: http://www.hawaiihistory.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=ig.page&PageID=312

So it is very understandable that some Hawaiians today don’t want to be part of this system.

However, when you don’t vote and make your voice heard, the ones who do vote win for their ideas, their way of life, their benefit.

Besides, Queen Lili’uokalani saw that having a vote was important!

Queen-Lili'uokalani

Photo from Ki’ope Raymond, Hawaiian Language Professor, University of Hawaii Maui College

“We have no other direction left to pursue, except this unrestricted right to vote. Given by the U.S. to you the Lahui [the Hawaiian Nation], grasp it and hold on to it.  It is up to you to make things right for all of us in the Future.”  Queen Lili’uokalani

So if you are Hawaiian, please make choices that will be the best for you, your family, your community.

And for those of us who aren’t Native Hawaiians, I’ve learned that it is important to vote for the candidates for the Office of Hawaiian Affairs.  Until this last Primary Election in August, I left those three spots unchecked each election – because I’m not Hawaiian and didn’t think I had a real right to be making those choices.  However, I’ve learned that the Hawaiian community can use our  votes if they are well informed.  The mission of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs includes protecting the ‘aina and Hawaiians.  What is good for the land and the Hawaiian people is likely good for all of us.

It’s not too late in Hawaii to register to vote (although official early registration ended last Tuesday, October 9th).  The Maui County Clerk’s Office is relaxing deadlines, so if you have valid identification with you, you can register to vote on the day you vote.

Early walk-in voting here on Maui is October 23-November 3, Monday – Saturday, 8am- 4pm at the Velma McWayne Santos Community Center in Wailuku.

The General Election is November 6, 7am-6pm at your designated polling place.

Watch for the various candidate forums.  Kihei Community Center has another one this Tuesday, Oct. 16  at St. Theresa Church.  Go to <olvr.hawaii.gov>, put in your address, and see the ballot for you.  UHMC will be having a “Teach In.”  Get informed.

Then VOTE.  Queen Lili’uokalani knew it was important.  Our future depends on it.

Aloha, Renée

Banner photo: https://www.biography.com/people/liliuokalani-39552

 

 

Quotation: Thank you, President Trump

Garth-Lenz_Camp-family

Mekasi Camp Horinek and Pipeline Fighters

On March 23, 2017,  President Trump signed the permit approving the Keystone XL oil pipeline – where Native American led protests, says Wikipedia, have united environmental groups, citizens, and politicians over the potential negative impacts of the Keystone XL project.[92] The main issues are the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and 17% higher greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of oil sands compared to extraction of conventional oil.[93][94]

On that day, Mekasi Camp Horinek, a member of the Ponca Nation, told reporter Alleen Brown:

“I want to say thank you to the president for all the bad decisions that he’s making — for the bad cabinet appointments that he’s made and for awakening a sleeping giant.  People that have never stood up for themselves, people that have never had their voices heard, that have never put their bodies on the line are now outraged.  I would like to say thank you to President Trump for his bigotry, for his sexism,

[for his attacks on our environment, for his support of gun rights over the rights of our children to be safe in schools, for his attacks on immigrants – in this country that is filled with people whose ancestors came as immigrants, for snubbing our Allies and becoming cozy with ruthless dictators, for celebrating hate and disrespect, for filling the pockets of the richest from the suffering of the poorest,  . . .]

for bringing all of us in this nation together to stand up and unite

From: Naomi Klein’s NO IS NOT ENOUGH: Resisting Trump’s Shock Politics and Winning the World We Need, p. 190-191.

Let’s stand together and VOTE on November 6th.

Aloha, in light and action, Renée

 

Banner source: https://bsnorrell.blogspot.com/2016/08/listen-mekasi-camp-horinek-on-standing.html

March for Our Lives – Maui

March 24, 2018 – March and Concert – on Maui – wonderful, hopeful:

The people, the signs, the unity –

one-child-March

will-i-be-the-next-MarchNY-Marcher

60s-generation---Marchboy-&amp;-grandma-MarchBeyonce-baby-MarchEmma-signsigns-tourists-Marchorange-March

Ms-Eleanor-&amp;-Jill-MarchBernie-sign-March

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The T-shirt says: “go Vegan & No one gets HURT”

 

Minnesota-Marchjoy-Marchbe-like-Australia-MarchStanding-Rock-Marchgirls-old-enough-March

Pussy-hats-March

families-Marchguys-Marchgirls-and-signs-Marchgirls-MarchStormy-signs-Marchme-March

Evolve-March

The volunteers –

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respect-empower-March

A great way to live: “Respect, Empower, Include, Organize”

 

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Volunteer Lucy to the left; Maui Council Woman (and sunflower queen), Kelly King, to the right

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Linette with other voter registration volunteers

After the March for our Lives, we had the Concert for our Lives, Maui style:

uteruses-March

lawn-w-Rachel-March

Rachel Zisk, King Kekaulike High School freshman, was one of several articulate, passionate voices that called for us not to forget all the victims of gun violence.  “It is time to come together and demand change.”

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Where’s Barry?  Can you find him?

Dad-March

Mazie-March

U.S. Senator Mazie Hirono

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Maui sent students to Parkland, Florida to bring aloha – and a three-mile ti leaf lei of love and solidarity.

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Following the documentary, “Lei of Aloha,” Kihei Charter School students held up photos of the 17 killed at the Florida school;  Anthony Pfluke sang, “We will rise” and then the Hawaiian chant “E Ala E”

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Maui students including Gita Tucker, Tori Teoh, Skylar Masuda, and ‘Oiwi Gormley spoke powerful messages calling for action.

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With the clipboard, Diana, my student about 15 years ago, was one of those getting people to registered to vote – near the food booths under “mackerel” clouds (Diana taught me that description) at Maui’s Concert for our Lives.

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Representative Tulsi Gabbard – has earned an “F” rating from the National Rifle Association; we are proud of her!

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Uncle Willie K – despite fighting cancer was there to sing and play for us.

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Jack Johnson!  After earlier mass shootings, Jack said he was embarrassed to watch T.V. and see leaders with just “words on their lips.”  This time there is real energy and resolve with the students leading the way.

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Kris Kristofferson, Willie Nelson, Lily Meola, Pat Simmons Jr. were other entertainers in this alcohol/drug-free event

This being Maui, we also saw famous surfers and water people and Hawaiian cultural practitioners.  Ram Dass was there!  Students came to the concert for free.  Adults paid $10 for the fabulous concert.  All the proceeds from the sold-out event will help promote sensible gun- control laws.

Not everyone attending the concert wanted stricter gun laws.  In going around offering forms for voter registration,  I met a man from Alaska who has his assault rifle in his locked gun safe.  He explained that he needed the high-power weapon because of bears and moose.  Wouldn’t a regular rifle offer protection in the unlikely event of an animal attack?  (And then you would be able to eat the meat).   He also tried to explain why he didn’t vote – so he wouldn’t be responsible for voting someone into office that he later found didn’t make good choices.

StevenT-March

Steven Tyler of Aerosmith closed the show with all the performers singing the Beatles” Come Together.   The 5,500 of us in the audience joined in on the chorus: joyful, hope filled.

Why do we desperately need gun change in the U.S.?

Mom’s Demand Action (for gun sense in America) notes a few of those excellent reasons we need change:

  • Every day, 9 3 Americans die from gun violence.
  •  Since Newtown, [the Sandy Hook Elementary School 2012 shooting that killed 20 children between six and seven years old, as well as six adult staff members] there have been over 200 school shootings – one almost every week.
  • American women are 16 times more likely to be shot and killed than women in other developed countries.

The goals:

  • Close the deadly loopholes in our background check system that allow dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers easy access to guns
  • Support reasonable limits on where, when and how loaded guns are carried and used in public
  • Promote gun safety so that America’s children will no longer be exposed to unacceptable level of risk
  • Mobilize popular support for policies that respect Second Amendment rights and protect people

Go to: www.momsdemandaction.org

If you live in the U.S., please Register, Educate Yourself, and then Vote.  If you live in Hawaii, you can check your registration status and/or update your information, by going to: https://olvr.hawaii.gov/.

boy-arms-shirt-March

The only arms we need – are for hugging.

We can at least get rid of the assault weapons and keep mentally ill and domestic abusers from getting guns legally.  It’s time for positive action.

uplifting-my-students-March

3-kids-with-bird-March

Our children are asking for help.  Guns cause senseless killings every day in the U.S. – including “too easy” suicides, too easy  disagreements and domestic abuse incidents  that turn deadly . . .  Even the hate-filled, mentally-ill men who see killing others as an option – need help.

We must take action to stop gun violence in the U.S.

In Peace and Aloha, Renée

Absentee Voting

A Disappointed VoterI didn’t vote. Barry didn’t vote.  We wanted to vote and had applied in August for absentee ballots before we left Maui.  According to the postmark, our absentee ballots were mailed to us on Oct. 19, 2010, at 3pm from Honolulu.  The ballot was posted with a 39cent stamp!  “Ballots must be received before 6p.m. Election Day to be counted” warns the absentee balloting material.  We are living in what is considered rural China.  My absentee ballot did arrive, but it was the day after our U.S. election. Now a week after the election, Barry’s absentee ballot has yet to arrive.  It is a good thing that none of our candidates such as Ray Hart lost by more than two votes or we would be even more upset.  How many other US citizens are denied the privilege of voting each election because the absentee ballots are mailed out too late and with too little postage?

 

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