Not every American shares the “indignation” for the effects of the murderers in our country. The ongoing onslaught of violence, murders, and incredible injustice challenges our best intentions. These deep divisions create space for dehumanizing the other and are amplified by politicians and others with a microphone.

Such tragic outcomes seem inevitable.

With a sad and heavy heart I offer gratitude for all the blessings of this life, and in the work for peaceful community, I offer my life. Take my life, not the young ones who hold our futures.

We are a sick nation; our civility eroded by countless careless opportunistic acts. The healing we must have is dependent upon our communities and our local leaders. It’s dependent upon us, each and every one of us, in our daily, ordinary lives.

In grief, gratitude, love, and work, I earnestly pray for integrity and wisdom in our leaders and in our own lives. All depends upon our fortitude in love.

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"In civilized countries of this world this doesn't happen."

Anyone who mistakes this country as "civilized" is either a fool or an ignoramus too stupid to know what is what.

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I was eleven years old. I remember that awful day in 1963 like it was yesterday. The sights. The sounds. The tears. A nation’s shock and its grief. All seared into my memory.

And my memory has never been my strong point!

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What a great quote: Eisenhower replied: “The country is far more important than any of us.”

Once again, we are reminded of the norms that we took for granted until TFG and his allies shattered them. These norms are as seemingly small as adherence to the emoluments clause of the Constitution and as large as the peaceful transfer of power. Now we have candidates refusing to admit defeat and elections officials refusing to certify the votes cast. Even though we stopped a red wave, we need to keep in mind that things are not as we used to expect; we need to keep informed so that we know what essential norms are being attacked so that we can shine a bright light on them as we urge our representatives to codify them into law.



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"“These things have happened,” he said, “and it seems inexplicable to me, because Americans are loyal, and it is just this occasional psychopathic sort of accident that occurs and I don’t know what we can do about it…."

Loyalty is a quality that is earned. When a government turns psychopathic, only psychopaths remain loyal to it.

It is a fact that psychopathic governments exist. "What we can do about it..." is strive to prevent psychopaths from getting into positions of power either in government or into positions where they can buy control over those elected to government.

Given the difference in status in Kennedy's time and now in waging illegal, undeclared wars, allowing the nation's infrastructure to decay, bankrupting families and depriving others of care through a murderous for-profit system of health care, generating more homeless citizens, destroying workers' efforts to unionize, imprisoning whistleblowers and publishers who report government malfeasance, militarizing the police, allowing oligarchs to destroy our planet and letting psychopaths have unrestricted access to military hardware, it seems like our government has moved toward becoming psychopathic. We just narrowly avoided making that official in 2020.

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I clicked the link to Ike’s comments on JFK’s assassination. I particularly noticed his remark “In a civilized country this doesn’t happen.” Massachusetts may be our most civilized state with its gun safety laws and lowest death rate due to guns. Y’all know that the authorities in Colorado let slide the red alert on the shooter at the LGBTQ club. I feel sick.

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If we were a civilized nation we wouldn’t have more guns than people.

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I am not sure there really was a Camelot even though I lived through it (I was in high school) and admired Kennedy enormously -- much to the dismay of my very Republican parents. I was devastated by his assassination.

In retrospect, JFK was flawed, as all Presidents are, brought to power supported by family wealth, without a strong personal moral compass, a great orator, with a mixed record on dealing with crises (Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile crisis, the start of Vietnam) at a time when violent racism was rampant. I think a major part of his legacy that tends to be neglected was a renewed focus on science and technology and the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty.

Kennedy was marketed as an agent of change, youthful, vigorous, glamourous and idealistic, against a sweaty and crude pol, Nixon.

I think at some level we do a disservice to history to keep the Camelot narrative alive. It is a fog that veils us from the racial violence and killings of civil rights leaders and the sheer terror of the Cuban missile crisis that was going on during Kennedy's presidency.

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I remember my shock and terror…I was a brand new mother, living in Washington D. C., full of Kennedy hope. Today your post appears in my mailbox above news of another horrible mass shooting. Thank you for your steady, extraordinary, brilliant efforts to explain the present moment. You have kept hope alive. I am thankful for you this year, and some day my brand new great granddaughter will study history and be thankful for you too.

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Nov 23, 2022·edited Nov 23, 2022

Thank you Heather .

Eisenhower's words ring true today.

If only we listen, carefully.

Be safe. Be well.

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Yes, Kim. I remember as if it were yesterday. My brutal step-father was jubilant at the news that Kennedy had been shot. I went to school, thinking a bad man had been extinguished. The bad man was the one who had married my mother and brutalized me and my little brother.

This was in Florida, but it is certain that racial hatred and small-mindedness are just two of the feasts for white right-extremism - in the South and throughout the nation.

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“In civilized countries of the world this doesn’t happen….” WOW. So perhaps we’re not as civilized as we’d like to believe!

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Memories stir.

I remember the day Kennedy was shot. I was in the 7th grade in Barron Ave. Jr. High School in Woodbridge, NJ.

I remember the steady, reassuring voice of Walter Cronkite staying on the air…forever, it seemed to me.

And, I remember the Republican Party of Dwight Eisenhower.

What would those two decent, unselfish, patriotic men think of today’s Republican Party?

That day was indeed a turning point for me. That was the day the facade of what I believed this country was, and I really believed, cracked. The assassinations that followed, the Vietnam War, what I learned about the treatment of black and indigenous peoples that ensued in the following few years, reduced the facade into a pile of rubble.

I learned it was better to see the world as it really is, even if I didn’t like what I was seeing.

It’s been a long time since that day. There has been much progress, and much left to do. Ike’s GOP has degenerated into a mob of zealots it seems to me.

Still, I will be thankful tomorrow; first for my (reasonably) good health, and then for the efforts of so many of us to bend MLK’s arc of history toward truth and justice.

And, I will be thankful for Heather Cox Richardson for helping me to remember and understand.

Best to you all; tomorrow and every day.

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I am among those who remember precisely where I was, and what I was doing when my brother ran in to my room to tell me the dreadful news that JFK had been assassinated. The country did,for a time, stand behind the government. Then the centrifugal forces of the Vietnam War, the Civil Rights Movement, the Hippie and Counter-culture Movements began to tear at the fabric of our lives. Those challenges, however, seem to have sought the vision of America that the current right wing despises. Plurality, democracy, fairness are no longer goals of the current GOP., if they ever were. JFK's assassination threw the country headlong into ugly realities.

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Nov 23, 2022·edited Nov 23, 2022

The better angels of our nature: we harken to the better angels of our nature.

That inclusion in our plan is what distinguishes this country's direction and mission towards being more Civilized . The architects of the Constitution knew they did not and could not get everything right in that 4500-word document, but they left room for, and an imperative to, get it more right, later. That is what makes us civilized. Yes, settlement here came with manifold sins committed, but there’s room, and a directive, to get it right.

“The country is far more important than any of us.”

Well said. And true.

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In my Early Childhood Education classes in the '80s in British Colombia, Canada and in Orange County, California, the professors were very concerned about violence in children's cartoons, specifically those produced in Japan, which were popular with children, and with those produced by Disney. The thought was that villains were being idolized as powerful, something children wish to be. The impressions made on their minds at an early age would influence their later years. Parents weren't prepared to manage this negative influence, and teachers tried to counteract it in school, but it was so difficult to fight big money behind the entertainment industry.

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