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My father was a supply officer in the Army in WWII. While stationed in England, his unit was a group of black men. My dad was raised in a small town in Northern Minnesota. A first generation American, he was taught that all men are created equal. Though his fellow officers shunned him, my dad carried out his duties and made certain the men under his command did their jobs and did them well.

While filling a requisition, my dad was informed that certain supplies were missing. Dad informed his commanding officer. Two days later, one of the black men in my dad’s unit Willam, was arrested for the crime.

My dad defended his unit vociferously enough that he was also thrown in the brig and had his rank busted back to private (he was a captain). He spent several weeks awaiting his court marshall. Meanwhile, more supplies went missing - of course.

At a party one weekend, another officer overheard a certain lieutenant bragging about how great it was to have “gifts” for his new mistress. The lieutenant was turned in, he confessed, and my dad and Willam were released and my dad’s rank was restored. But dad became much more vocal that the men in his unit were also Americans and deserved to be treated with respect. As you’d expect, that did not go over well.

I was born in 1954 - Brown vs the Board of Education. In 1964, after the Civil Rights act was passed, my parents broke out the champagne. I don’t remember a time when equal rights and voting rights weren’t front and center in Sunday after-dinner discussions nor a time that my parents didn’t use “current” events to start discussions about important policy issues like civil rights, women’s rights, and in our house, protecting the environment (mom was a science and math teacher). Fast forward 60 years and here we are- in the midst of furious efforts to restrict voting and control who wins national elections. Unbelievable as it seems, we are back to having to work our collective butts off to ensure that voting rights are secure and no one has the power to summarily overturn the will of the people.

So today, I will gather with other activists to discuss what actions are needed and where we can apply pressure. Tomorrow, I will be gathering donated kids clothing for children in the White Earth Indian reservation. Like many Indigenous nations, White Earth was hammered by COVID. Kids lost parents, grandparents and guardians, and too many people lost jobs. Since school is coming up, my neighbor, who grew up on White Earth, asked for help for her family and friends. It isn’t much but we hope that providing clothing, back packs with school supplies and a few fun things like new knitted and crocheted hats, mittens and blankets will help.

It helps me to do something- anything that I am able to do. Otherwise, anger and anxiety take over. I am represented, at every level of government, by Democrats. But I haver never felt less secure.

Passing the For The People Act and the Hohn Lewis voting rights act is critical. What more can we do to make this happen?

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Sheila, You have gifted us today. Thank you.

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Thank you Sheila for this excellent post about your family and your values. You have my admiration. As to what to do, have a look at this site, which provides talking points on numerous liberal positions and encourages us to call our legislators and request action:

https://5calls.org/

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Your story about your father is uplifting in so many ways. Reading it gave me more hope that people of conscience and courage can pull us through this dark time.

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Thank you, Ms. Sheila. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your family's legacy and about your efforts. I hope that these efforts continue to inspire more folks to step outside their comfort zones and advocate for a more just and equal America.

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Blessings on you, Sheila, and your family, and all Americans who accept and support ALL Americans.

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We worked so hard getting Democrats elected - why can't they do this simple thing - protect voting rights!!!

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because there are too many iorns in the fire and not enough workers who know what to do

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What a great example of what one person can do. Thank you, Sheila.

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Boy, do I wish your dad was around to interview. That story of the black troops in England is so little-known, and I am about to deal with Eighth Air Force and hope to find a way to get that in. Did he ever leave any written material? Letters? A diary (I hope I hope)?

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I wish. Like many in his generation, my dad never talked about the war. I heard the story just twice as a kid and only because I badgered him to tell it the second time. I hope you can locate some of the families who might have written material to share.

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I was just thinking about HCR reader Cheryl Strange whose father wrote a letter from when he was stationed in Germany in January 1945 and was proud of his service as he persevered through racism. Would those troops have been in danger of being collateral damage of Eighth Air Force strikes?

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No, they were part of the organization.

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Sheila, thank you so very much for sharing your father’s admirable actions and your parents’ lifelong equility stance with us! You come from and are ”good people,” clearly.

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Wow, Sheila, what a family history. God bless you and your family.

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Thank you for this post.

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Hi Sheila, not sure of this will help. But Stacy Abrams and Michelle Obama are teaming up to campaign for voter rights - these links might provide some useful information:

Michelle Obama and Stacey Abrams are asking you to join us. Are you in?

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=UgpkzWdNcio

Brennan Center for Justice - Voting Laws Roundup: July 2021

https://www.brennancenter.org/our-work/research-reports/voting-laws-roundup-july-2021

The New Georgia Project

https://newgeorgiaproject.org

Fair Fight

https://fairfight.com

When We All Vote

https://whenweallvote.org

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Here are some really good active resources:

VALARIE KAUR - REVOLUTIONARY LOVE PROJECT

https://valariekaur.com/revolutionary-love-project/

The People's Inauguration

https://thepeoplesinauguration.org

Dream Corps

https://www.thedreamcorps.org

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Thank you for alerting us to this new and important opportunity.

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Thanks Kathleen. All of these are excellent groups doing important work!

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... here's another one:

No Dem Left Behind

https://www.nodemleftbehind.com

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... and this article from YES Magazine:

The Fight to Protect Voting Rights Enters the Next Round

https://www.yesmagazine.org/opinion/2021/08/06/protect-voting-rights-congress-members-arrested

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A group of HCR Substackers has formed to turn good discussion into good action in support of all-inclusive democracy. For more info, email

heathersherd@gmail.com

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Thank you Ellie, good to know!!

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I’ve subscribed to YES Magazine for many years. Thanks for putting this article up here-a good reminder!

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Sure thing Fern, I hope it makes a difference - 2 powerhouse women in the lead!!

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Sheila B (MN) - a beautiful account.

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Today's summary of the entire history of voter rights, in the context of today's events, is precisely why I joined here and remain an enthusiastic member of HCR's "Letters" digital publication.

Thank you. I have sent it to everyone I know, independent of their interest in history.

I learned none, zero, of the contents of today's history lesson in my formal education process.

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Hear, hear! Mike is setting a fine example. Let’s share today’s column widely. HCR is brilliant and shares her knowledge with such clarity. I am deeply grateful to her, and to this community of commenters whose intelligence, integrity, determination, generosity, and often, vulnerability, so enrich my life every day. Thank you all. Now let’s make some good trouble!

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You expressed my thoughts, exactly. This education of our history, and of our current state of affairs, is profoundly valuable. It gives me the historical facts to base my opinions on. One lesson from today: Voting rights legislation passed by Republicans. Voting rights laws enshrined by a Republican-led Supreme Court. I share these “Letters” with whomever will read them too, in hopes of turning the tide on the current insanity. Today’s letter is one of the best for putting “in my back pocket.”

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“Voting rights legislation passed by Republicans. Voting rights laws enshrined by a Republican-led Supreme Court.”

These facts are part of what scares me about voters today. My family, along the the families of most of my friends, has voted Republican for generations, when it was the party that stood up for voting rights, and I applaud them for doing so. But the R party that voted for voting rights does not exist today, having been replaced by a party hell bent on destroying our democratic republic. I am finding that my friends and family (who I label “legacy Republicans”), don’t understand this radical change in their party, and continue to vote R, because it is what they have always done.

To share the truth that R’s were behind the voting laws of the 60’s would only serve to validate for them the idea that the Republican party is the party they should support.

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The Republicans of today would have been Democrats before 1965. There has been a big switch over the years. Republican and Democrat are just words used as labels that mean exactly the opposite of what they did in the past. The ultra conservative folks don’t want for government to work to rein in their licentious, unlawful behavior. They don’t want anyone to have opportunities but them. These are the same kind of people who staged a coup in Wilmington, NC in 1898 and who burned down the Greenwood district in Tulsa in 1921. Any time a little progress is made toward real equality there is a VIOLENT backlash that sets our society back decades. Look where we are today.

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This is a s exactly my point. None of my republican friends has any awareness at all that “their party” has changed, and so they continue to vote for R candidates. They now just tune me out if I try to explain this to them.

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Are they unaware of the barrage of voter-suppression bills passed by Republican states? And all the other radical fascist actions (promoting the Big Lie, downplaying the attempted coup to overturn our democracy, etc) of the current day Republican Party? This is NOT the GOP of Eisenhower anymore.

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I made a meme a few years ago that would get me banned on FB & twitter today.

"THE ONLY GOOD REPUBLICAN IS A DEAD REPUBLICAN

Of course I refer to Dwight Eisenhower, the only decent Republican POTUS in my lifetime."

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What a wonderful history lesson! It has helped me to understand that my Mom and Dad were on the right side of things when they voted as Republicans in the Eisenhower years. I am a Democrat, because Democrats believe we are all in this together, and now I understand that my Mom and Dad were on the same side as I am now. They would have voted for Joe Biden and they would have been embarrassed to see what the Republican party has become.

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I believe (hopes and prayers!) the tide has been turning. Sadly, the toxic tides of insanity gain more celebrity and notoriety. We must never underestimate the destructive power of evil. Vigilance can never rest.

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This is Dr. Richardson’s best letter ever. I fully agree with everything you say. It should be read by every American.

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Synthesizing one truth almost always brings a groundswell of more truths to the surface.

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Mike, perhaps all of us need to send it to Manchin. I think I will get however many addresses he has and send a copy to each one. Maybe if he gets a couple thousand, he might read one of them..

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Oops, typo. Only 4 addresses.

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I did not learn any of today’s history lesson during my formal education either. I have learned so much in the last five years because I wanted to know how to reconcile individual rights with the common good. I would suggest two books both by Colin Woodard. They are American Character and American Nations. I saw him interviewed on Morning Joe and was intrigued by his ideas. I have known that our history has very difficult aspects, but some of the things l learned were horrifying. We give ourselves WAY too much credit for the good things while whitewashing the bad parts.

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I agree--as a fellow historian and Substacker, I could not appreciate Heather's savvy analysis and clear presentations more.

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"It’s everybody’s input, not just mine, but I think mine, maybe...got us all talking and rolling in the direction that we had to go back to basics,”...so says Manchin. Such hubris. He should get any credit for turning the tide if that should happen. Holding out on the filibuster has just given the rethuglicans more time to put all these voter suppression laws in place. To think that a particular group can change the outcome of a vote in a particular state is appalling. Manchin and (diva)Cinema need to get off the ego train and do what's right for the country!

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Thank you for raising up Joe Manchin, who I refer to with some disdain as Senator Weasel. At the moment I live in West Virginia, a state with a black population of 3.69%. I doubt Weasel Joe has any affection at all toward blacks, browns or anything other than white, hetero and Protestant. Manchin is suspected to be a Republican Trojan Horse. He is worth $8 Million and counting. West Virginia is ranked 46th in poverty. West Virginia is 48th in education. And, let us not forget the MILLIONS his daughter accumulated to her own personal wealth by moving industry OUT of West Virginia. Sadly the people here are simply too dumbed down to understand; or, to care.

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Yes, he and that other Democrat In Name Only, Sinema are why we are not 50/50 in the Senate but actually 48/52.

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Manchin is the emblematic "shape shifter".

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Yep.

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It is, and has been a Republican strategy to keep their states Education Departments under funded, under staffed, to keep all that talent and potential under their boot. Joe Manchin is a Koch brother’s weasel.

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And, under-educates. Our public school system, such as it is, has become a national disgrace; and, disappointment. Young people no longer are taught civics, political science, MATH, handwriting; the list goes on. When I attended high school, I was in the Academic Studies program. The "General Studies" young people were smarter then than college students are today. "Ignorance is bliss" comes to mind.

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Defunding public education is but one Libertarian goal. This has manifested today in the south by passing laws against mask mandates in school. Making it unsafe for kids to attend school. These laws are connected to the Libertarian plank, to destroy the institution of Public Education. To win elections, Republicans have welcomed these radical libertarian ideas into their party.

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Betsy DeVos still hard at work. Our current youth and future generations deserve so much more. Those who swore an oath to protect and preserve have opted divest and destroy.

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Bingo. Grassroots campaign to boycott Amway.

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protect and preserve the do- their own future!

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I often say my High School Diploma from 1963 is equivalent to a Bachelor degree today. (Just from my experience working with degreed ppl)

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Manchin's daughter also hiked the price of epi pens by at least 400%, profiteering on other people's medical needs just because she could. Manchin shot down one of Biden's nominees who had been publicly critical of his daughter for that.

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It has been reported that she also is behind the Mylan Laboratories move out of West Virginia, resulting in a loss of 1,400 jobs. All the while "Daddy" says he encourages improvement in the business environment for WV. WV loses a lot of its educated talent because there is minimal opportunity in the state.

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deplorable

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While not a particularly huge "Friend of Hillary", her remarks about the "deplorables" appears to have been quite appropriate.

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I gag every time he opens his mouth.

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He is smugly self-righteous with excess hubris.

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100%

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It is amazing how many of us Manchin has NOT fooled.

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Unfortunately, not enough of us are his constituents.

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Our daughter moved from Denver to Morgantown to pursue an MFA in creative writing. She's frequently gobsmacked by the state of the State of West Virginia.

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FYI: West Virginia University's ranking in the 2021 edition of Best Colleges & National Universities is: #241.

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Well then, I guess my daughter's a loser for choosing do her MFA at a school with a small cohort (7), full tuition and a yearly stipend.

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Her choice. "Loser"? How so?

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Passing your exchange with Daria two times, Vince, triggered a couple of rhetorical questions; what prompted you to look up the ranking of the West Virginia University and convey what you learned to a parent of a student in an MFA program there? Here is another such question; it seemed clear that your unsolicited information was, understandably, not welcome news. You let Daria's reply to you pass without acknowledging the discomfort that you caused. Your exchange with Daria is none of my business, however, on my second pass through forum, I thought to share with you that subscribers try to avoid unnecessarily bringing discomfort to one another. Differences of opinion come with the territory but causing discomfort on a personal level is another matter. It is in that spirit that I am communicating with you. I have crossed the line, too, so make no pretense at perfect civility. Remembering to be open to differences and thoughtful to one another is a norm we try to observe. Thank you, Vince, for considering my 2 cents.

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"Our daughter moved from Denver to Morgantown to pursue an MFA in creative writing. She's frequently gobsmacked by the state of the State of West Virginia."

Gobsmacked: "Utterly astounded; astonished."

Am I to pre-ordain someone's "discomfort". You accuse me of intentional ill will How absurd.

". . it seemed clear that your unsolicited information was, understandably, not welcome news." Really! Unless you are an omsbudsman for this site, you clearly are out of line asserting some authority andf a foreknowledge that was yet unknown.

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Hey, tough crowd here!

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Manchin has a seriously overinflated sense of himself. So, he's one of the two Senators preventing a takedown of the filibuster but wait - he claims he's also the reason that they are now talking about voting rights? There is a phrase for this level of arrogance but it is not fit to print.

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However, a very good analyst tonight on MSNBC (a congressman) pointed out that if they vote on the Manchin Voting Rights Act next week and it gets shot down, that gives him the ability to say he gave bipartisanship its best shot but it was shot down. He has said twice that he's in favor of a carve out, or a talking filibuster. Either one will work to do what needs to be done. Manchin may drive us all nuts, but imagine how things would be if he was a West Virginia Republican?

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Thought he already was.....DINO.

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Sadly, I think we are going to find out.

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Here I am again defending someone who generally disgusts me. From what I understand Manchin is calling out some of the more excessive aspects of the proposed voting bills and there is a lot of fat that can be trimmed.

The progressive tendency to shoot for the moon does as much harm for the right as it does good for the left. They are, out of the best intentions, trying to make it as easy as possible to vote but not everything they ask for is needed to reach the goal.

As stated by other's, and we don't exactly know yet, but if Manchin proposes reasonable changes and they don't reach a level of bipartisanship acceptable for Republicans, his only option will be to kill the filibuster. Drama Queen Cinema (pun intended) will fold while claiming she won for her constituency.

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Geezoman, I hope you're right, CJ (Ohio).

Your keyboard to God's ear.

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So hope you are right, Christopher, and it does make sense to me!

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Ah, the plan is working perfectly! ;-)

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Does anyone else find it even a little bit “odd” that he entertains so many Repubs on his boat, including T’s minion Lindsey Graham?!?!

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Agree! Every time Manchin speaks, I want to scream. Knowing that he parties with the Repubs places him away from the Dem crowd. He really is a wolf not in sheep’s clothing. Sinema…a true disappointment and a certified kook.

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Actually, the parties on his houseboat are "bipartisan."

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When we get mad, we have to get mad about the actual facts.

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I agree totally - but that takes more brain effort - "Hey, get me another Bud."

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Make mine tequila

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Thank you for this statement.

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40 years ago, this would not have been unusual. We need to get back to bipartisanship in every aspect of our lives. If I could just find some reasonable Republicans, Sigh.

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I’ve thought about him quite a bit in recent months. Two things Kasumii, I doubt I’d be thinking about him at all if he was a Republican Senator from West Virginia.

And….I’m not so sure about his motives. Intellectually, I can hazard a rather sinister guess. However, with this man, I don’t think everything is as it seems. Not to say his ego is not that of most men in Congress. But I think he’s part of something other than the stubborn downfall of the Dems. Maybe something quite different.

We shall see. I see Light in our path.

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Thanks for the comments on my post. You have given me food for thought.

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Don't eat too much! When it comes to Senators, it's not always what it seems. Sometimes we try to simplify things for them to make sense but the Senate is a maze of rules and traditions outsiders may not understand.

I lived in WV. I've met Joe Manchin (sort of) and I have a fair understanding of the game he's playing. If you read his history you will see he's not putting on an act. He's always been this way, maybe a bit too naive, but what you see is who he is. He can be persuaded when the general consensus is firmly grounded.

Don't buy the hype on CNN, MSNBC or FoxNews. They are playing from the controversy angle because it pulls in viewers.

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Does anyone else find it deeply ironic, (as well as deeply disturbing) that in the 1870s, "their objection to Black voting was that Black men, just out of enslavement, were poor and uneducated", and yet today, "more than two thirds of Republican voters don’t think voting is a right and believe it can be limited," a stunning, yet glaring example of ignorance born of a lack of education.

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Oh that one caught my attention too. I cannot conceive of a Republican Party of my youth EVER believing such a ridiculous idea.

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And the Republicans of “yesteryear”, who have remained willfully ignorant of the radical change in their party, continue to vote for republicans, based on this prior conception of what their party stood for.

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I don't know how old you are but 41 years ago Republican icon Ronald Reagan launched his presidential campaign from Philadelphia, MS-- site of the above mentioned civil rights workers' murders. That was no accident and this current Republican belief is not about "education". Voting in this country has ALWAYS been limited. If anything, our educational system has failed us by failing to expose and explain 240 years of history.

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Ignorance or avarice?

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I would also add prejudice towards anyone who is not white and Christian.

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I’d put “Christian “ in quotation marks. These people are not Christian.

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Hungry. “Christian Democracy”. It’s common for the demagogue to borrow biblical phrases and to invert there meaning.

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For me, it isn't a matter of whether they are Christen, Jewish, Muslim or some other belief system or religion. The bottom line is-do they live what spews out of their mouths? Do they truly accept all and love all. Do they understand the word love vs agape.? Do they truly belief in a divine spark within ALL creation -from sand to sea to air to tree to animal to us. Once ALL is seen as sacred, the divine image of God- we are on way.

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Both

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When Pew asked that question, did people think of persons who were born here, or who came here from another country?

If you think only of immigrants (fear! fear! look out!), and forget about born-in-the-USA people, you will naturally think of voting as a privilege to be earned (by becoming a naturalized citizen).

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I find it horrifying and I am "gobsmacked" by the fact that so many don't seem pay any attention or care! My mid-twenty son and daughter-in-law don't pay attention to news- it seems those in office realize the next few generations "don't care" and are using this time to shape their world. am I wrong?

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I’ve plopped myself down in the middle of a voters suppression situation this week. I need a new license. And since it’s been a few years since I did it in person, I can’t do it online. I couldn’t get an appointment before school starts so I decided to take my chances at standing in line to get a spot. I arrived at 6:30 for 7:00am opening and they were turning people away. So I went up to ask what time do people line up. A heated discussion was starting, people were angry! Felt like a fight was going to start! They’d been there since 4AM! What! So people who don’t already have a license have to get an appointment in person. People who can’t take time off work have limited days they can get to the DMV. The employee turning people away was not sympathetic! When she told me 4 am, I said I’m not doing that that’s not safe! You’d have thought I slapped her. It never occurred to her it wasn’t safe. I’ve written to the DMV and two local mayors. The mayor of the city for this DMV said he had no idea people were there in the middle of the night and will start having police patrol the area. But he did not agree with me that this was voter suppression. It’s always been bad and why would Governor Abbott be involved with voter suppression. Indeed! So I called on him to use his office to fix this mess. In Texas you must have a state ID to vote. If the working class and new to the state can’t get in the door to get an ID or license, they can’t vote. I told him it is up to citizens to fix this for the sake of our fragile democracy.

Appointments end at 3:15! Half staff on Fridays, not open on the weekends. It is definitely against the groups of people that would lean towards being Democrats. But so many people are angry with Abbott right now it might not matter! Such a doofus!

I have an appointment and will take off work, but plenty of hardworking people don’t have that option. Seems like one attempt at voter suppression to me!

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“When she told me 4 am, I said I’m not doing that that’s not safe! You’d have thought I slapped her.” Denise I’m grateful for you speaking up. Why are people clueless? Denial? Stress? How do we not consider others? Certainly Abbott and the rest of the greedy bturds want nothing more then unconscious robots doing their bidding. What a horrible job to have to turn away desperate people everyday. Certainly if you don’t try to change that system it will change you. Thank you for sharing this and thank you for your efforts to fix it Denise. It’s going to take all of us❤️

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I’m just learning to speak up and take up oxygen! The poor woman trying again and not getting in the door said she may lose her job. I really felt for her. I told her go inside and talk to a clerk! Basically telling her don’t accept this! I’m definitely privileged any ways I don’t even know. Time to speak up for those who aren’t!

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Yay Denise!

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😂 Thanks! I’m still writing emails. Thinking phone calls next!

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Brava!!!

Holding you in the light....

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❤️❤️❤️ I’m right there with you! I’m sure you work everyday as a teacher to empower others Denise.

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❤️

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"Certainly if you don’t try to change that system it will change you"

Amen, sister. This country needs a transformation.

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And here in California, thanks to the COVID, the DMV does practically everything online now as of this past January. I got my "real ID" submitting jpegs of the necessary documents. It might even be the change Newsom has brought about that makes people happy enough to vote down the recall.

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How many folks I know are frightened of jpegs and have no clue. 🙁

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Or have no computer access. Those are the folks the Rs want to disenfranchise.

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Christy and Kathleen: We need to find ways to get people to their nearest public library. Free computer access, evening and weekend hours (hopefully) and free assistance. I probably got over a hundred people online every year, starting with “how to use a mouse” and/or “let’s get you an email address.”

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More challenging to do in the very rural areas that often lack good internet service to begin with

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Christy, of course! But that can't stop us from looking into it!

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That was a smart move of Newsom/CA. Here in FLA and TX, apparently, where Covid rages, we stand in lines or sit in crowded buildings for hours at the DMV. I’ve been through it too, lately. I went from DMV to DMV to find one I would get helped within an hour. I’m wearing my mask... most other folks are not. Death Sentence Ron is happy to see the hospitals overflowing with deathly ill people.

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Admittedly I’m sitting in TN, itself a bastion of go-along-to-get-along, stay-in-line repubs. But I’m wondering if the ppl of TX, in the case of Abbott, and FL, in the case of DeSantis, will totally refuse to re-elect these vile men after they have showN Their extreme arrogance.

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How INSANE! You are right. That’s not just ordinary bureaucratic stupidity.

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Denise! Thank you, Thank you, for sharing your story and speaking up.

Thank you for not letting those inane, ridiculous, mean-spirited, segrationist limitations hold you back.

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I’m on it!

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'As a conductor on the Underground Railroad, Harriet Tubman made several trips into slave-holding states, leading dozens of individuals to freedom in the North. During the Civil War, she further risked her life and safety to work first as a nurse and then as a spy for the Union Army. Afterwards, she became an outspoken advocate for African American and women's rights, insisting that all be afforded dignity, treated with respect and granted equality.' (National Women's History Museum)

https://www.womenshistory.org/themes/custom/primary_bootstrap/newskin_img/nwhm-logo2-light.png

'Back to basics is a very good idea indeed.' (Letter)

'I had reasoned this out in my mind, there was one of two things I had a right to, liberty or death; if I could not have one, I would have the other.' (Harriet Tubman)

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One of my heroes. It has always been somehow satisfying to me to see so many young girls (gr4-6) over the years choose Harriet Tubman as the historical figure to report on or study as biography of their choice. She is a character that always elicited the greatest responses when I asked the student “what was she like? What was she thinking when she led people on the Underground Railroad? Do you think she was scared? How have you helped people to be free? Many of them had such an innocent connection to her loyalty and fierce beliefs. I’ve saved some of their responses. The last question was always so thought provoking for them.

I’ve always encouraged teachers to dive deep when it comes to the humanities. The recent Republican cry of “no CRT. Get back to basics. Emphasize civics. Especially the program we (FL is writing one) will give you to use.” That’s all code for….you will tell children what to think and how to act and how to remember.”

No. I will object as loudly as I can. It’s the most egregious professional insult to lodge against an educator whom we entrust with our children’s education.

The humanities teaches what it is to be human. When children know that they also know….we are all in this together. It gives them a proper space and some breathing room in this Universe of ours.

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Christine, have you been able to find the names of those writing the curriculum for the FL civics program? Are they actual teachers?

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Handpicked by Corcoran. Given the outline to follow in the writing.

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Yes, she speaks to our souls. '...so many young girls...choose Harriet Tubman....' Thank you, Christine.

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Best link to National Women's History Museum:

https://www.womenshistory.org/

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Thanks for this link, a new resource for me

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This is the succinct, clear, thorough summary of voting rights in America that I've been waiting for, to help me make sense of the issue when I'm talking to other people. HCR put in the time, marshaled the facts, did the scholarship; we can carry the message.

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The message of who the f#@! are we came first to my mind...

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What she said!

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Thank you Dr. R for another great history lesson! Your last paragraph sums it up nicely-

“ Back to basics is a very good idea indeed. The basic idea that we cannot have equality before the law without equal access to the ballot gave us the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, and established the power of the federal government over the states to enforce them.”

It sounds to me like the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments give the Federal Government the power to challenge the state laws limiting voter access. It is my fervent hope that the Feds will take full advantage of the power afforded them to do just that.

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Let's remember how the Voting Rights Act came to be, as told by Andrew Young.

In February 1965 Young and MLK Jr met with LBJ to argue in favor of a Voting Rights Act. LBJ told them he agreed with them on all points, but didn't have the power to get it through Congress after all the political capital he had spent getting the 1964 Civil Rights Act passed. When they left, Young asked King what he thought they should do, to which King replied "We're going to get the president some power." The result was the Selma-Montgomery March and the police riot at the Edmund Pettus Bridge. The photos of people being beaten - nearly to death in the case of John Lewis - for the crime of wanting to vote changed the political tone of the country (it changed so much even I could tell it had changed, from way over across the sea in Vietnam). That gave Johnson the power to declare in April that "... we SHALL overcome!" It took four months to get there.

I think if the Texas Democrats went back and got arrested by Abbott for wanting to protect people's right to vote, that might create the crisis that breaks the logjam today. Of course, since I am sitting here safe in Los Angeles, I'm not going to tell them "why don't you and them fight?"

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What a story. Thinking of John Lewis brings me to tears of joy and sadness. What men and women have survived to secure rights granted but not given to them. By name alone, the John Lewis Voting Rights Act is worthy of signature into law.

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With you solidly, Christine! Every time he spoke I got choked up. What worries me now is that even if the FTP act AND the John Lewis bill (which is not written yet) are passed, the HUGE problem of myriad states’ bills giving power to states’ legislatures over Secretaries of States and elected electors, to certify elections remains. Even if every person of color voted for the good guys and the election were a landslide, new state laws allow legislatures to dump the voters’ wills. Neither FTP act nor John Lewis address this gaping hole in democracy’s protection.

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I truly believe that the DOJ is focused on that aspect.

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Those Texas Dems are somethin’, TC. I don’t think they are done riling up some whoop ass.

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Why does it always have to come to people being beaten or killed to bring “US” to our senses? I’m not sure arrests of our great Texas Democrats would be enough, sadly.

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Jane Mayer was interviewed this week by Terry Gross on NPR's Fresh Air. She has a new article in this week's New Yorker about the Republican's campaign to change state election laws. I haven't read the article yet as my copy is still sitting in my PO box, but the interview was very interesting. A couple weeks ago, another LFAA commentor noted that the voter suppression laws are not good but the really scary thing is the new legislation to empower state legislatures to overturn elections at will, and Mayer talks about that in this interview. As always, she follows the dark money.

https://www.npr.org/2021/08/05/1024741930/jane-mayer-dark-money-challenge-to-the-election-results

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The Mayer article, which I have read, echoes her earlier book "Dark Money" which explained how money from usually unidentifiable, masquerading sources, pours into Republican campaigns at the State and National level, and acts to preserve the power of the wealthy in opposing democracy by supporting anti-democratic candidates. The current New Yorker article, "The Money Behind the Big Lie," provides names, identifies foundations and organizations which are funded by that same dark money and which is currently being used to take the choice of presidential electors away from the voters and give it to State legislators as permitted by the Constitution if they fear an election involves fraud or corruption exists. That's known as the "Independent Legislature Doctrine." This is why the Republicans persist in claiming fraud exists, contrary to all evidence. Fear of of it, however unfounded, is sufficient to move these legislatures, and at least three conservative Supreme Court justices, perhaps more, may be sympathetic to that position. This is why the farcical election audit in Maricopa County, Arizona, will go on and on and on, and spread elsewhere, suggesting fraud where none exists. That is sufficient, it appears to me, to move State legislatures toward that "Doctrine."

It's a very long, detailed, article, but please read it at https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/09/the-big-money-behind-the-big-lie

I get the feeling that a bloodied democracy in America is on the ropes in the later rounds of a title prizefight. Mayer closes her article by quoting Bill Gates, one of the few remaining sane Republicans in Arizona, as follows, "The sad thing is that there are probably millions of people - hardworking, good Americans, maybe retired - who have paid their taxes, always followed the law, and they truly believe this, because of what they've been fed by their leaders ... and what is so dispiriting is that the people who are pushing it from the top? They know better."

If the two bills pending in Congress to protect voters' rights do not pass, democracy is in big trouble, and it is not, what the late Congressman Lewis called "good trouble."

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If you can convince enough Americans Gun violence isn’t a problem after Sandy Hook, if you can convince enough Americans a novel viral pneumonia is not a serious threat to thier health after 600k+ fellow citizens have died, if you can convince enough people TFG is a successful businessman, then I think Its possible to convince enough Americans to choose Authoritarianism over Democracy. We are in very troubled waters.

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I hope that somewhere upstream in that troubled water is someone or something that will serve to ease our minds, as the song goes.

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'Donald Trump's attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.' Jane Mayer's article in the New Yorker, link below:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/08/09/the-big-money-behind-the-big-lie

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“At all costs”. “Where wealth accumulates, men decay”

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One more comment for those who won't read the article. Article 2, Section 1 of the Constitution reads that "Each State shall appoint, IN SUCH MANNER AS THE LEGISLATURE THEREOF MAY DIRECT, a Number of Electors, equal to the whole Number of Senators and Representatives to which the State may be entitled in the Congress." Historically, legislatures have appointed electors based on the popular vote in the State, but they can appoint electors any damn way they please. (See my comments elsewhere on here.)

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The “gatekeeper” clause recommended by Hamilton in Federalist #6.

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Federalist 6 dealt with disputes between States or between States and the Federal government, so I don't think Hamilton is of much help. Today, we are dealing with disputing parties spread over all of our states. And although the Oliver Goldsmith quote (“Where wealth accumulates, men decay”) predates Marxism by a century, it sounds "communist" enough to color its use in this discussion.

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Ur right. #68. (Sorry bout that)

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In Federalist #68 (which my abridged version of the papers omits), Hamilton writes in support of the Electoral College that:

"It was desirable that the sense of the people should operate in the choice of the person to whom so important a trust was to be confided. This end will be answered by committing the right of making it, not to any preestablished body, but to men chosen by the people for the special purpose, and at the particular conjuncture. It was equally desirable, that the immediate election should be made by men most capable of analyzing the qualities adapted to the station, and acting under circumstances favorable to deliberation, and to a judicious combination of all the reasons and inducements which were proper to govern their choice. A small number of persons, selected by their fellow-citizens from the general mass, will be most likely to possess the information and discernment requisite to such complicated investigations. It was also peculiarly desirable to afford as little opportunity as possible to tumult and disorder."

That last sentence, despite Hamilton's earlier stated respect for the "sense of the people," clearly indicates that he did not trust the people to make a good decision. Federalist #68, along with its companion pieces, was written to drum up support for the new Constitution in conservative New York State. It no longer applies to the America of 2021, except in the minds of those who do not trust the voters, namely the Republican Party.

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Jane Mayer's article is chilling=terrifying

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I agree that the scariest part is the states passing laws making it possible to (legally) change the outcome of an election. I can’t wrap my mind around how the voters would allow that to happen. I try to visualize what it would have looked like if the swing states, which went for Joe Biden, sent electors to Washington to cast votes for “the loser”. I don’t see the supporters of the true winner allowing that to stand, which would surely lead to violence on an unimaginable scale.

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It was a great interview. (but scary) Recommend this to everyone.

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Jane knows it all.

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"The basic idea that we cannot have equality before the law without equal access to the ballot gave us the Thirteenth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth Amendments to the Constitution, and established the power of the federal government over the states to enforce them."

The federal government must have the huevos and a federal judiciary capable of enforcing the constitution and said amendments. Roberts, apparently a lackey for the Federalist Society, is without said huevos, perhaps actively collaborating with the insurrection.

From the external perspective, congresscritters are slothful, without some gathering vision of futuring, leaving the populace wondering.

IMHO, we need someone speaking fiercely toward unity incorporating a litany of topics from voting rights to climate change to true infrastructure to equity to a society without oppression. There is a unified message as it is a concept of caring encompassing ALL of us ALL the time.

I could rant (preach) on, but this is the choir...love to you all!

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I thought (erroneously, it would appear) that the failure of the Articles of Confederation to establish a strong government, and the subsequent creation of the Constitution, settled the “States Rights” issue: but no, it keeps coming up again like a zombie.

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And it is so aggravating...how is it possible to change the hard won rights of our citizens so danged easily? Stinky fascists and terrorists in the USA. Who needs the Taliban? We need what someone referred to above as "huevos" to stop these illegal and seditious acts against our people, by our people. Why is it so hard for dems to be tough? Is it thinking that we will do the right thing and the fascists will eventually have epiphanies wake up empathetic? I am afraid that we misunderstand mass narcissism and its power. They believe only in their supreme rights over everyone. Fear of others, intoxication of power (and weapons) and the propaganda of self-aggrandizement. Heathers' letters show us how the pendulum swings. Todays republicans are now the fascist democrats of the past.

Earth life is certainly a Shakespearian tragi/comedy of the polarities of black/white, yin/yank, good/bad, civil/insane, truth/propaganda. It is certainly not a world for wimps. And every time I think I cannot take it anymore, I remember that I am born of the color of the "privileged" class despite my Euro/Native American ancestry. It was the luck of the draw. My pigment. And, it appears, my deep empathy. But not my knowledge. That belongs to me. I cannot help wanting to learn and know and not be able to feel good about life until I know others who are suffering, unnecessarily, are relieved. That to me is the essence of being an American in this Experiment. So many of us are good people who want a fair and good life.

Lady Liberty is is being stabbed once again. It is unfair and unjust. And I I am privileged. I do not have to live with the harsh reality of a slightly darker pigmented skin every single minute like my adopted daughter, friends and fellow citizens. So, We, who are traumatized and exhausted, but understand the stakes, have the power to speak, write (postcards, letters to the editors, corporations and politicians), march, vigil, consume or not consume in rebellion, and wear masks to show we care about the well-being of others, children and ourselves.

If we all commit to Just One Thing right now-- and do it, I think we might be amazed. Fascists need to feel our tidal wave of power and support for our Experiment, All The People This Time. Morning rant is not over, just need to leave our choir room and make some good noise elsewhere.

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John Lewis would be proud. Go make some good trouble and know how many of us us are right there with you. Like you, I bear a privileged skin color. So I use that privilege when needed. Exhausted? Sometimes. But mine are first world problems compared to many. So I continue. Thank you for all that you do!

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Penelope and Sheila, I’m right here with you — let’s use our privilege in a tidal wave of (huevos) power and support for We The People, All

of Us This Time!!

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Women with Huevos... I like that!

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I thought it was going to be Marianne Williamson. Her peace and love message is no less far out than trump's hatred message.

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Good morning Lynn. It was fascinating to see her on the debate stage with the other Dem hopefuls for the presidential nomination. I’ve been a reader and student of hers for many, many years. I’ve always believed her message to be the most centered of all.

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I am also a fan. She never ceases to lift my spirits. I do hope she continues with her message!

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Yes, kimceann! Choir sings “amen!”

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I've just begun reading the four volume biography of LBJ by Robert Caro. Since I live in the Hill Country of Texas about an hour from the LBJ Ranch it is almost eerie to read the history of the Hill Country. It was a semi-arid grassland before the white man unwittingly destroyed that ecosystem by trying cotton (not enough rain) and then cattle herding (cattle ate the grass protecting a thin layer of soil which blew away and allowed cedar to take over) leaving the farmers and cattlemen poor and trapped by the annual cycle of financing the crops and herds. Talk about a miniature climate crisis destroyed by Euro man. My primary reason for reading this is to figure out how the Voting Rights Act was signed by an old white southern boy, LBJ. Why did he support such a forward reaching bill? What incentive did he have to make it happen? My Texas state representative is the grandson of Coke Stevens, a former Governor of Texas. Coke Stevens ran against LBJ for the U.S. Senate. LBJ won by sixty votes. When I commented to my representative about how just thirty-one votes would have changed the outcome. He replied, "Yes, I wouldn't exist." When his grandfather lost he went to Junction Texas and married my reps grandmother. It makes one appreciate how much every vote can count! Enough for tonight; I have some reading to do...

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Johnson is a very complex guy. 56 years ago tonight, according to Bill Moyers, he ad a drink to celebrate signing the bill, then turned to Moyers and said "We've lost the South for at least a generation."

LBJ is a better guy than I thought he was back then. In my research for my two coming books on Vietnam, I came to realize how insecure he was about his very modest background, when he was dealing with the Kennedy people he let that feeling of inadequacy run him (He used to "joke" about the meetings at the White House with all the Harvard and Yale men, presided over by "the graduate of Southwest Texas State Teacher's College," but that was more "whistling past the graveyard." The real hawks, the guys who wanted to jump deeper, the guys who wanted to use nukes in Vietnam, those were the New Frontiersmen, the Kennedy guys (it was JFK who jumped into Vietnam after he was humiliated by Kruschchev at the 1961 Vienna summit, to show K what a tough guy he was). The guy who kept putting off decisions, and dragged his feet over every single one - and couldn't bring himself to fire them all because he felt lesser than they - was LBJ. And it was the Kennedys who put out the fiction that JFK secretly wanted to get out, when they had to wash their hands of the mess they'd created. The "picture" of LBJ as the Vietnam warmonger is Kennedy mythology. I went from hating him to seeing him as a very tragic figure, the victim of his own lack of a feeling of self-worth despite all his achievements. And I REALLY HATE the motherfucking Kennedy scum now.

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Aw, c'mon, TC. I was really valuing your unique perspective on LBJ until the very end. I am a mother. I am not easily offended. Just think about it. "Motherfucker" saps my regard for the writing with the force of a thousand typos.

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This.

There are so many many words that could be used in place of the "F" word in writing, and I feel disappointed when an otherwise eloquent piece of writing is marred by the use of such a common expletive... and it keeps me from clicking "like" but otherwise generally I look forward to reading TC's comments in this community.

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Well, since substack has no edit function, I have to live with it, despite agreeing with your position, here in the cold light of day.

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A bit of quick research shows that the correct use of the word is a put-down of the male, not the female, for acting with disrespect toward women. That certainly describes the Kennedys! So, for the purpose of this post, let's stick to the original meaning, and in the meantime I will look up another word to express that particular level of dislike, anger and upset.

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To clarify, my objection is to the word used in writing, which I wished I could've edited to clarify in my earlier comment rather than adding another comment like this.

As for speaking the F word, I must confess that ever since November 2016, on a daily basis I have probably used it more often than in all the years combined before that, often muttered under my breath after catching a bit of news of 45's daily misdeeds.

And even now, as Trumplicans legislate to restrict and remove access to voting - that issue, and the anti-vaxxers, both continue to generate daily WTF moments for me. As a HCW I cannot even begin to describe what it's like to deal with unvaccinated IGNORANT and GULLIBLE patients.

Don't get me started lol.

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Thank you, TC, for listening. I know it's a disparaging comment about the man. But the ugliness of the concept takes my reading brain to the mother being dragged into it. Then it becomes a distraction from the argument, just like typos.

I do plenty of cursing on my own, but there's a difference between emotional venting in the moment and committing a statement in writing for the ages!

Yes, Substack needs to provide an edit function. We should seriously consider petitioning HCR to use her clout as one of Substack's biggest sources of revenue.

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You know how to edit, TC. Strange reply from a writer generally considered to shoot straight. It appears that you rather keep 12 likes than delete, edit and repost.

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There are too many comments on the original post, all of which get lost if one does a delete. That only works well when you realize soon after posting that you need to edit. But now the conversation that the post started is at least as important as the post.

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What nonsense. You fell for yourself long ago -- totally smitten.

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In case I was mistaken about you knowing how to edit, a mini-tutorial, gratis, follows:

Replies to your comment will not be affected. Copy your comment with swearwords and make it a reply to Cathy's comment right above yours. Once your comment has been connected as a reply to Cathy's,, cut your swearwords out and then post it. Everything will be as it was, except for the words you edited out. Cheerio, TC!

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I so wish there was an edit function here!

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Substack : can an edit be added after posting ? Also attachment to include for example historical photographs or sites on you tube? Or historical songs. as :Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road,? Or the famous song of anyone stationed in Japan: I Want To Go STATESIDE 🐄 🐄 🐄

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Haven't heard "I want To Go STATESIDE" Please post a link. Thanks.

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Ah, I found it: Mel Tillis, released 1966. Can vouch that I’ve never heard it & I’ve been here 50 years. Maybe because it’s country western? LOL https://www.lyrics.com/artist/Mel-Tillis/1839

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Great comic reply!

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I'm very interested in your books. Please be sure to let us know when they are done. My first husband served two tours of duty there... he was drafted as a young man. He spoke little about what happened except to say that when he got back to the US, he got off the plane, got down on his hands and knees and kissed the ground.

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Look for books by Thomas McKelvey Cleaver on Amazon. His new book The Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club is due out in October. Search his books. I have recommended them to several veterans I know.

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Yes, was amazed when I looked up the Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club book he mentioned due in Oct. and found his extensive body of work... accomplished and impressively productive. Glad he is here.

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Flattery will get you *everywhere* Carol. :-)

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My Father-in-Law was Johnson's AF1 pilot during his administration, and was assigned to him when he left office in 1969. He's got some LBJ stories to tell.

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I'll bet he does!

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The Kennedys and those surrounding them also intimidated Nixon, another deeply insecure president. Wouldn’t you think if one could achieve the presidency of the United States one could overcome that insecurity? But no.

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Good points. I've recently re-examined LBJ & am eating a bit of crow.

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Yes, and rather than tasting "just like chicken" it tastes "just like what the chicken produces." :-)

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YOU TUBE SONG -I WANT TO GO STATESIDE WAS OFTEN ON AFN RADIO 1966 Mel Tilis. I always thought the song was appreciated by men who had no desire to find out the many wonderful experiences in different cultures and in 60's America on had troops in S. KOREA, OKINAWA, JAPAN, PHILLIPINES , TAIWAN, AND THAILAND, AND VIETNAM. In 1972 Okinawa reverted back to Japan when Nixon opened relations with China, I am not sure how to attach sites on my Galaxy or send links to people so I just find a name and put in reply,

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The "national anthem of Americans in Vietnam" - it was known by every bar band from DaNang to Saigon - was the Animals:, "We Gotta Get Outta This Place (If It's The Last Thing We Ever Do!)"

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Thanks TC for z my Dear friend Shirlee taught English in Vietna

1969 after leaving the Peace Corps -Africa, Sirlee was from Belchertown, Massachusetts and worked for awhile in Boston for the Bosron Globe, Our troops returned home to hostile anti- war groups who villinized our young women and men for their service to their country- Hoping the Animals song WE Gotta Get Outta This Place brings back

Some fun times dancing and being young,

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"Landslide Lyndon" he was called after that election. I highly recommend the Caro books.

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I read the first volume. Very readable and so interesting. LBJ was an unusual man, to say the least.

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Really interesting and thought-provoking, Cathy. And I have wondered the same thing about LBJ and Civil Rights..

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People my age and younger, have taken this right for granted. Especially the younger. It's amazing that this right is even up for debate during this time. I'm quite sure the majority of the younger aren't even aware of all what you have stated here. Education is the key. I guess that's why the 'far right' are going after education.

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