RFK, we love and miss you so! We still aspire to be like you!🇺🇸🇺🇸💙
Robert Francis Kennedy was murdered 50 years ago today. This is one of his finest speeches, so un-Trumpian:
Learn more! Click and READ THIS! by Chris Matthews.
– Rose T.
By Edith Morgan
Friday night was really ladies’ night! The first evening of the 2018 Democratic Convention, which started around 4:30 p.m., was dedicated to signing in and hearing the unopposed candidates speak. In the past, I had not attended the Friday evening meetings – which are more sparsely attended usually because the real business of the party is done on Saturday. But this year we were there – and I would not have missed the opportunity to hear from not only our unopposed candidates but also the inimitable Elizabeth Warren, who closed the day’s events with a truly rousing speech.
The unopposed candidates also gave invigorating speeches, all repeating the whole list of Democratic programs they would be supporting when re-elected. Already in office, and seeking re-election, are: State Auditor Suzanne Bump, state treasurer Goldberg, and attorney general Maura Healy. Each brought her own brand of energy and vigor to her presentation and stopped to shake hands and take pictures with delegates.
After the official part of the convention ended for Friday, there was time to visit the many display tables in the great hall, where candidates and organizations passed out literature, signed up volunteers and chatted with convention attendees – guests, alternates and other visitors.
The real fun of the evening began later, as there were numerous parties at nearby Worcester “hot spots,” giving the many visitors to our city from all over Massachusetts a chance to get better acquainted with our city and with each other. I believe there were many who had not been here for some time, who were amazed at the transformation of the downtown area. I heard even one longtime Worcester resident comment on how impressed she was with the offerings at the Mercantile center. Though I did not see figures about how many took advantage of these parties, at least some of the visiting Democrats got to partake.
Saturday began quite early and was, of course, much better attended – with all candidates having their volunteers out in full force amid a plethora of signs along the boulevard. After numerous free breakfasts on the third floor, delegates assembled on the center floor, found their assigned areas, and got down to business.
Running to replace Gov. Baker, two candidates were vying for his job: Jay Gonzalez and Bob Massie. Gonsalez got the nod from this convention, winning 70% of the votes. Bob Massie, with 30%, will still appear on the September primary ballot, though he did not receive the convention endorsement. Quentin Palfrey won the lieutenant governor nomination, with 59% of the vote, to Jimmy Tingle’s 41%.
The final contest was for Secretary of State – with the incumbent of 24 years, William Galvin, losing out to newcomer Leonard Zakim, who won with 54% …8% of the vote to Galvin’s 45.2%. As with the other candidates, this still enables Galvin to be on the primary ballot – which is scheduled for September 4.
Unlike some previous years, when the voting and resolutions took the convention time well into the evening, this one was well organized, employed some electronics, and was adjourned after only two resolutions, which were passed unanimously by acclamation. And so, as the delegates were reminded several times, now the work begins – the calling, door knocking, leafleting, sign holding – all the trappings of modern campaigning. It was good to see so many young people engaged at all levels – and to see the Democrats holding on to the very good, while making room for new people and ideas. I left feeling hopeful and enthusiastic.
Let us all vote!!
By Edith Morgan
We keep hearing that many Americans think we are headed in the wrong direction. But so many signs point to a seemingly good economy, to an ever-rising stock market, to good employment figures, to longer and more productive lives. Still when we delve deeper into the figures, a great deal of doubt arises … . Can we believe what the data seem to show, or are they really just meaningless numbers?
Whom and what can we trust any more?
Almost everything in our daily lives depends on trust: we expect, without even thinking about it, that some things will be done regularly by 99% of the people. No one wonders whether drivers will stay to the right, will stop at red lights, will move over for emergency vehicles, and will obey the rules of the road.
Of course, being imperfect humans, there are always the few who do not follow the rules, and they tend to infuriate some of us. The fabric of trust is so necessary to marriage, to banking, to so much of our existence – and it used to be evident in government.
When I first came to America in 1941, we elected people by and large in whom we could believe, who were better able to do the job than we ourselves, and who were public “SERVANTS.” Even now I rely on government to see that my social security and retirement checks will come on time, that my trash will be picked up, that police and fire will come when I call – and so on and on, in so many ways. I can rely on friends and neighbors, and most of the companies on whom I rely for creature comforts can be assumed to deliver their services as promised.
But now something has gone badly awry: we have a President (Donald Trump) who lies constantly, with impunity, and is not held accountable for this behavior by a substantial section of our fellow-citizens.
Even worse, Trump appears to be part of the group of Americans who are determined to render government as small and powerless as possible – and who would grab the power for themselves and their friends and family.
Trump has said one thing and consistently done another.
And so none of us can trust him or predict what he will do or say next. He functions at the level of a petulant there year old, who still believes he is the center of the universe. He expects total loyalty but gives none. He is vengeful and has put in place at the top of the executive branch as many people who are “ethically challenged” (to use the new euphemism for dishonest) and allowed them to decimate and dismantle the agencies they were hired to run.
We are running headlong into an abyss of real evil! All the values we thought we stood for have been turned on their heads, and “truth” is whatever the Trump administration says it is from day to day. How long will it be before we become a “banana republic”?
I am not laying blame on only Donald Trump: he had plenty of help and support. And still does. People support him for all the wrong reasons – but it is we middle- and lower-class Americans who will pay the price.
My brother, who has passed away, was once asked, “What was the most important thing your mother taught you?” He said: ”She taught me right from wrong.” Of course, she saw to it that we PRACTICED that lesson. And it was not always easy. But we were always able to sleep with a clear conscience.
What do we do with people who have no conscience?
From Jim’s office:
Congressman McGovern Statement on Trump Administration ending Temporary Protected Status for Hondurans
(editor’s note: I’ve made some sentences bold. – R.T.)
Congressman Jim McGovern, Ranking Member of the House Rules Committee and Co-Chair of the bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, issued the following statement following the Trump Administration’s decision yesterday to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for thousands of Hondurans:
“I am outraged by this cruel, narrow-minded and self-defeating decision by the Trump Administration to end legal protections for 57,000 Hondurans who have resided in the United States since 1999.
“In its own description of Honduras, the State Department describes a country where “violent crime, such as homicide and armed robbery, is common” and “violent gang activity, such as extortion, violent street crime, rape, and narcotics and human trafficking, is widespread,” and where “local police and emergency services” fail to respond effectively.
“It is also a place where boys and girls are violently and forcibly recruited into gang life and sexual slavery. Why we would force law-abiding, tax-paying, productive members of our communities back to one of the most violent places on the planet defies imagination.
“Despite her protestations, Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen has the discretion to extend temporary protected status for these long-time residents of the United States, just as she has the authority to re-designate the reason for providing TPS to these individuals and families based on how conditions on-the-ground fail to guarantee the safety and security of returnees.
“Her failure to exercise these prerogatives underscores the hostile environment facing all immigrants today in the United States, including those who are here lawfully, like these Hondurans. To date, the Trump Administration has stripped legal protections from Salvadoran, Honduran, Haitian, Nicaraguan, Sudanese and Nepalese long-time TPS holders.”
By Edith Morgan
We keep hearing that “the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result.” But that seems to be our foreign policy: A number of small nations, far away from our shores, who have never attacked us, suddenly become “a threat to our national security,” and we must fight them, or some portion of their population we label “terrorists.”
Or, we disagree with their leaders, or we give some other spurious reason for intervening in their affairs.
So we went into Afghanistan to save people from al Qaeda and to train them to fight them (just after they had defeated the Russians and driven them back); we went into Vietnam just after the people there had freed themselves from 100 years of French rule.
We went into Iraq, just after we had told Saddam that his recapture of Kuwait was “an internal affair and we would not intervene” … . And so it goes.
Of course, our interventions in the Middle East are just as muddled. After we botched the “regime change” in Libya and Iraq, we are now embroiled in a battle to get rid of the ruler of Syria.
One has to feel sorry for the Syrian people: They, like all the other civilians caught in the crossfire of super-power politics, are subjected to continual shelling, bombing, sanctions and other miseries associated with war. And recently, many have found the doors of countries to which they flee closed to them. And so, America this year allowed only 44 Syrians in – out of the tens of thousands fleeing the multiple enemies fighting over control of their land. I read somewhere recently that more than 5 million Syrians are displaced – in a nation of less than 25 million!
It is not enough to be ruled by a brutal dictator – unfortunately, that is not an uncommon problem around the world. But then to be a part of the battleground between the various local (i.e. Middle Eastern) factions – Kurds who want their own nation, ISIs or ISIL, who want it all, Moslems who are divided and Assad’s own tribe, (the Alawites) who are a small minority but hold the reins of power at this time.
The incessant fighting is bringing to their knees a nation that would have the resources to support itself and take care of its 25 million inhabitants.
Looking at the basket cases that war has made of Iraq, Libya, Afghanistan, to mention only those in that region and the munitions and victims created, can we not come up with a better way of dealing with these problems?
Our present “solutions” only result in more refugees, more destruction of land, poisoning of water and air and spreading disease and disruption everywhere.
Syria has a high literacy rate – about 83% – and, before all this slaughter, had a high life-expectancy. It sits geographically in an ancient area that has been inhabited for millennia.
Why can we not find a solution other than mayhem to help them survive?
By Edith Morgan
Enough is enough.
Was the murder of 17 people at a Florida High School the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back”? Apparently not for Congress, for politicians on all sides, not state and local establishments.
Certainly it was just another in a continuous string of blood-lettings, to be condemned, prayed over, and regretted, but not an occasion for adults to act or to put a stop to it.
But through the miracle of instant communications, the Internet, and things going viral so fast, our young took the initiative and proclaimed loudly throughout the country, that at last, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
And, in a marvelous display of unity, all over the nation, they put together what they have learned so recently, and achieved a great first step in a battle that we old timers should have taken on and won long ago.
I was impressed with the way our high school students were able to stick to the point, but express themselves in so many ways, yet still getting the same message across. Using the well-known techniques of civil disobedience, mass action and media coverage, they took the first giant step toward slowing down mass killing, while being well aware that this was only a first step in a long and difficult battle,
But, as they said, it is they who are being killed, and they took responsibility in the battle to stop it. With homemade posters saying “Fear has no place in schools”, “Enough is enough”, “NRA, there is blood on your hands”, and others, on Tuesday, more than 3,000 schools nationwide, from Maine to California, went out to protest gun violence.
Asking “Am I next?” they left their classes at 10 a.m. and stayed out for 17 minutes, the time symbolizing the 17 victims of this mass shooting spree.
Some students wore orange, the color of the movement against gun violence, others wore maroon, the school color of the Parkland, Florida, High School.
Not all the groups emphasized their support of the same ideas – better background checks and a ban on assault weapons, among other things. But they were in agreement about the need to enable them to feel safe in their schools. Students from middle schools, high schools and colleges participated.
Adult reaction varied: It ranged from arranging for school to be suspended so the demonstrations could be carried on with minimal disruption of the day, to “lock-downs” where the 17 minutes had to be observed in their classrooms, to carefully orchestrated events with the heavy hand of school administrators being felt in the proceedings.
But everywhere the message was pretty much the same, even though it was expressed in so many ways, each unique to the group that was expressing it.
Here in Worcester, Mother Nature dumped another pile of snow on us all, so the proceedings were postponed, but all our high schools had plans: from the very brief to the very elaborate. But all featured speakers, music, poetry, by and for the young people. Where there was an ROTC group, the participants played taps and raised flags. While Clarement Academy and UPCS went to the Ckark University campus, students at our Technical High School were to meet in the gym. Others gathered in the school parking lot or around the outdoor flagpole. But ALL were there to observe a moment of silence, and several planned to use part of the 17 minutes allotted to read the names of the Parkland victims.
I was impressed with the way that those who were interviewed on TV all understood this was only a beginning and planned to stick it out. And they were mindful of the fact that with the voting age at 18, many would be voters very soon, and could make a difference.
After so much doom and gloom recently, I have felt uplifted and much more sanguine about the future of our country. We are in good hands.