Justice for All

The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia. Does this give some the right to treat others without justice?

The United States was founded on rebellion. Rebellion is what created the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. This week I have been to Washington D. C., Philadelphia, and Baltimore visiting historical sites. The United States Capitol was in Philadelphia the first ten years, the 1790s, of its existence while the Washington, D. C. Capitol was being built.  According to the park ranger, protests were a constant thing.  Protesting for the right of women to vote, and protests to end slavery were often at Independence Hall, where at that time the capital was located. The protesters felt the new government was unjust to exclude women and allow slavery.

Independence Hall had many protests at the beginning of the U.S. government.

Now in 2017 we have athletes protesting police violence towards black men. Many feel the behavior of law enforcement toward black people is not acceptable. This is a way athletes can express their opinions to many people.  Unfortunately, in denial of this injustice some have changed the meaning of these protests to be about protesting against the flag and military.

We can’t tell others how they should feel, or what they should think, and we don’t all think and feel alike. In the 1790 some felt the new United States government was unjust. The same is true today, not everyone feels they are treated equally and with justice! Are their complaints justified?  Is there equal treatment for all?  Do we all have the same liberties and rights? What do you think?

 

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International Day of Non-Violence

Hello to the United States from a girl I met in Taiwan

“A small body of determined spirits fired by an unquenchable faith in their mission can alter the course of history!” Gandhi

Everyday the world faces tragedy, but we must continue to work together to create a world where non-violence is cool!

The below editorial was printed in the Minneapolis Star Tribune: Six Steps to Make America more Civil, and a little bit greater:

 

1. Become more aware of others

Give more hugs!

2. Do a good deed everyday

3. Clean up your language

4. Give others the benefit of the doubt.

5. Change the world right where you are.

6. Leave your surroundings better than you found them! Read the entire article here.

Even if you can do only two from above, you can make a difference and be happier!

Together for Peace

2017 Peace Day Theme: Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All.

The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
#jointogether

Peace is a goal to which we strive, a state of existence that we want to live in, a way of acting and a feeling of respect.  When we work to live peacefully with others it shows the concern and love we express for them.  In some cultures, people greet one another by using the word “peace” in their greetings, “peace be to you.”  Native Americans when they met with people from another tribe, or when “foreigners” came to them respectfully, the “peace pipe” was shared among those assembled.  From early times, cultures have recognized symbols for peace. Voices Education

Wishing kindness on our earth

Today, do something kind for our earth!

Brothers and sisters all are we
Let me walk with my brother and sister
In perfect harmony !

Life and Death on Lake Superior

August 2017

Many bees on the native plants.

I had just seen a hawk fly along Lake Superior, but was surprised when two large birds came crashing into a window where was sitting. This created a 45 minute ordeal below my window. The flicker cried, fought and cried some more, but the talons of the hawk had a firm grip. Blue jays and crows came to watch the commotion. The persistence of the hawk ruled and she was too strong and determined for the flicker. An unusual number of hawks in our neighborhood this August have changed the lives of chipmunks, squirrels, and the birds.

On a happier note, A a fresh bright monarch was drying her wings after emerging from her cocoon, and a monarch caterpillar was weaving herself into a cocoon and will hopefully evolve into a new monarch in two weeks.

The great south migration has started with groups of night-hawks and yellow-rump warblers migrating through, and in another week the hummingbirds will be gone, also.  Harbingers of fall.

Common Wood-nymph

The flowers are at their peak and the bees are crazy for bee balm and anise hyssop. The wood-nymph butterflies have been plentiul, but they too are at the end of their life cycle to be replaced by white admirals, cabbage whites, and fritillaries.

Hate and Injustice

Everyone has rights!

Hate is not sustainable!

Last week I finished reading “The Deep South” by Paul Theroux. Theroux takes four trips into the south, works diligently at interviewing individuals, and writes serious descriptions of what he sees and hears. I loved meeting the people he meets, but was surprised by the poverty, illiteracy, and segregation that still exists in our country. I was most surprised by the white men still fighting the Civil War, and expressions that the rest of us were taking away their freedom because of rules imposed upon them.  Why they wallow in this self-pity, and that they are so discriminated against is a serious issue for all of us. I can relate “Deep South” to the events that happened this week in Charlottesville, Virginia.  Why do these White Separatists feel so discriminated against? The statue of Robert E. Lee is a symbol of something bigger? Why is hate the solution to our problems? In my work on gun violence and ATVs, I try to express that we all have rights, but I am just stomping on my opponents rights, and out to get them. They are being discriminated against! They feel they should be able to do what they want without regard to the rest of us. Why can’t we see when we violate others rights? The conversation must continue.

Read an interesting thought about the struggle to rise above our history of slavery on PBS.

 

What Unites Us?

“I see it as a hopeful sign that this eclipse captured the nation’s attention. For all that divides us, we are passengers on a global journey – together.” Dan Rather

As I attend reunions and talk with people who I see every few years, I think about what we have in common? What do we have to talk about in this politically charged climate? This morning I was struck by a moderate journalist, a meteorologist, talking about what we can all agree on? His thought was that clean energy, less pollution, cleaner water, and good paying jobs were things we could unite behind.  These are some of the top issues on this blog and things I am passionate about.  It would be a dream come true if we could agree on solutions for water and air pollution.

Front CoverDan Rather has written a new book on the same topic, “What Unites Us?”  He focuses more on our patriotism. Read about it here.

What do you think? What are issues we can rally around and find some common ground solutions?  Are clean water and clean air something for which we can find sustainable solutions?  What do you think can unite us?

Ready for Good News!

This is my occasional series of good news stories. It’s a look into what the future will be. These stories deal with some of my favorite topics: Clean water, renewable energy, banning plastic bags, and opportunities for girls.

I love New York!

First. whales are coming into New York City for dinner! After working hard to get the Hudson River clean, there is good news. Whales have returned to the New York Harbor for the first time in a century.  Read about it from NPR 

Second, Even though the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement, many U.S. Mayors Endorse 100% Renewable Energy Goals, Read it here.

Car of the future!

Third, Electric cars:  Volvo Cars announced all of its new models will be electric or hybrid by 2019. France intends to end sales of gasoline and diesel cars by 2040.  Norway and India will go to all electric cars in the next decade. General Motors is rolling out the Bolt, and Tesla is building a more affordable electric car.  Hopefully, charging stations will catch up to the demand!  Read more at electric.

Fourth, the historical land of windmills is leading the charge in wind energy development. As of January 2017, Holland, the land of windmills, has powered all public transport trains by wind power.  Read about it at Future. 

Fifth, The island country of Australia knows the damage plastic is doing to our oceans. The two biggest supermarket giants, Woolworth and Coles, both announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags over the next twelve months.
Woolworths stated that from July 1 next year, its customers will need to bring their own bags when they go shopping, or purchase re-usable ones in-store. Shoppers in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia will be affected by the ban.
South Australian, Northern Territory and Tasmanian governments have already implemented state-wide plastic bag bans, and a ban in Queensland will come into effect next year. Read at plastic bags

Finally, a very happy story, the girls robotics team from Afghanistan was allowed to come into the United States to compete in robotics. Read at Afghan girls.