709 Comments

Tremendous summary of a complicated issue

Thank you

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And if you are from Michigan, this brings even greater clarity to why we are fighting so hard to re-elect Governor Gretchen Whitmer!

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I’m from Michigan. Even my non political wife yells at Dixon when her ads appear on TV

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Grew up there. On east coast for 30 years. I can’t even fathom how Dixon is considered a viable candidate.

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Betsy DeVos money, thats how

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I live in MI. Even though President Biden won here, it is awash with MAGAs. Dixon believes and promotes the Big Lie.

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Yes, Laurie, I agree.

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Also a native Michigander. I was there a week ago visiting my brother in western MI. The ads were much worse than those here in MN. To laugh, I kept asking who, in right mind, would name their daughter, Tudor - is she the reincarnation of Henry VIII?

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It was a Ford model. Perhaps the R candidate is a Ford heirss. “ The Ford Tudor (pronounced two-door) was a coupe marketed by Ford in the fifties. Despite its name, the Tudor was not named after the British Tudor family, but rather just a play on the fact that it had two doors. Accompanying it was the Ford Fordor.”

- from a website whose link I can’t get my phone to let me paste here

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Elizabeth Ford’s naming a car Tudor was not as bad as Chevy’s Nova, which had special trouble in Latin America. Of course in Spanish No Va means ‘no go.’

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Even if you made it all up, love the story. Thank you.

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“Tooter”?

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I'm going to have to read this a few more times to understand all the twists.and turns of how it evolved. However it sure doesn’t fit neatly into a TV or newspaper ad!

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That's what I just said!!! And it doesn't. But maybe Heather's ending could be turned into a question: How did it happen that members of a party that once defended civil rights, now make white power rants on public media? I'm going to try this on twitter!

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I lived it all from 1934 to the present, in the South until 1997. It’s really exactly as told. From WWII onward the twists and turns were even more complex than at any point after the 1861 war. What do we call that war these days? The Civil War? There was nothing civil about it. The Brady photographs tell all. Our history is a bloody mess; the dream of democracy is what has made us special as long as we held onto it. If we have lost it through greed and stupidity, we will know by mid-November. Vote and vote blue!

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Thank you Virginia, such a perilous time.

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Thank you, Sandra. Watching Queen Elizabeth’s funeral, remembering photos of her with her sister and their parents walking in bombed out parts of London, reminded of her being “out” in the British equivalent of the WAACs, I recognized that both of us had been formed by WWII. And in my public school in a poor district during and after WWII, I had Virginia history, world history, American history, and civics. My civics teacher, a truly rare lady, told her classes that if they did not vote in every election they were entitled to vote in, she would come back to haunt them. Forty years later, at a high school reunion, she was the only teacher mentioned. Between her and my father, I grew up and grew old working on many elections and voting.

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I’m with you. I still have a hard time grasping it…I also do not understand the filibuster, and the electoral college………………….

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I'm with you Sandra. I feel like I have to chart it while I'm reading it. I'm very confused right now.

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Agreed!

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Any political party that aspired to be a national party had a northern anti-slavery and a southern pro-slavery wing. this was true of the whigs, the democrats and the republicans. the northern and southern wings of these parties were constantly compromising. in recent times northern and southern democrats could barely keep the party together, but there was no break up, even under fdr. the south voted for everything he wanted as long as he wasn't too pro-naacp. they still curse him in dixie, but if it weren't for fdr the south would probably not have electricity yet. and all the small forts in the south are huge military installations now, thanks to fdr. they'd better pray down there that the federal gov't doesn't get out of their lives anytime soon. the dem party broke up during the civil rights era. in other words, over race. the northern wing supported civil rights, and that's all it took. the republicans gladly allied with the south because it made their party stronger. northern dems and repubs always think they can control their southern wings, but the south is so solid that the tail always ends up wagging the dog. "southern slavery is an institution that is in earnest. northern freedom is an institution that is not in earnest." and just read that stupid 13th amendment that everybody moons over in that ridiculous s. spielberg cartoon, lincoln. did the north not realize that white southern juries would simply convict black men on trumped-up charges and send them to jail, where they would work for no pay? in other words, as slaves? you'd think abe lincoln had never been a lawyer.

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So much education and clarity in so few words, as is always the case with your daily newsetter. You are too classy to mention the book you wrote on this subject, but I will. "How the South Won the Civil War." A must-read, folks.

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Am reading it now. I only wish that more Americans would take the time to know our history the way Heather has laid it out today. Because it is repeating itself.

I think there are too many Americans who don't believe that America could slide back to a time where democracy was secondary to hate, racism and class warfare. They are too busy ignoring the political mudslinging - it's so disgusting, why wouldn't one want to turn on that big TV and stare at social media nonsense on a fat phone?

Because we are in the process of losing the very essence of the nation that our Founding Fathers (and Mothers) risked their lives for. We are close to becoming the Italy and Germany of the early 20th Century.

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I was a history teacher before retirement and had the good fortune of being able to actually teach history - rather than that watered-down thing called "social studies." One of my biggest concerns is that so many on the MAGA right manifest a remarkable ignorance of the history of their own country that they profess to be so patriotic about. Tudor Dixon's foot-in-mouth moment (she's also blissfully ignorant about THAT) is a perfect example. I think it would be very telling to find out how many on the right, including such congressional notables as Kevin McCarthy. Marjorie Taylor Greene, and Lauren Boebert, were actually exposed to history during their schooling. My bet: Nope. "Social Studies"

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History and English major here. From these two disciplines I learned not only about our country and the world - past and present - but I also learned how to think, how to reason and how to come to rational conclusions about events, both past and present. The ability to think, to discern, and to learn is what is sorely lacking today, and that is woefully obvious in the halls of Congress.

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I also learned how to do very well on Jeopardy! 😉

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Marg Yea verily and forsooth for the disciplines of History and English. These served me extremely well in diverse careers (with the fillip of a MS from MIT). Being able to think three dimensionally is essential in our modern-day world. One dimensional thinking is a hallmark of Trumpublicans for which we all. Are suffering.

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I can’t “heart” your comment for some reason, Keith, but I do love your use of verily and forsooth. Bet Raphael and his ilk don’t even know those words exist!

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Marg Verily and forsooth from your humble and obedient servant (back in the 18th century this could be followed by execution or imprisonment, but in a most gentile manner.)

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Isn't Raphael "our" guy? And, in response to Keith's comment below, being executed or imprisoned in "a most gentile manner" doesn't sound good at all. Back to reading class.

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Also important to learn how to read (carefully), which should happen in history and English classes. (Also math classes, but a different sort of attention needed.)

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I'm replying to myself here: reading is even more important than math. (I'm a retired mathematician, so my word is law on this topic.)

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I remember that, when I was a high school student, many of my classmates did not pay attention in our history class or do any of the required reading. They only did the minimum to get by and that did not result in much of an understanding of the material. They just weren’t interested. I had traveled the country with my family visiting historical, patriotic, and governmental sites, so I had a context in which to fit the history lessons and was fascinated by it all. I think of of those disconnected students when I see the MAGA followers.

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Susan, you have it right. Travel does indeed “broaden” one. I was lucky enough to have a Fulbright scholarship to France so felt perfectly able to return there as often as I could afford to. Recognizing the brain work required for a second language, I have written to Americans who don’t “get it,” that Ukrainians can learn the complicated weapons they receive in some part because they learned at least two languages and two alphabets in primary school. And have we noticed the excellence of the spoken English of so many Ukrainians on TV?

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Yes, I have noticed how many Ukrainians speak English. This is true for all of the western European countries, it's part of their education programs.

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You were indeed fortunate. Your family's travels broadened your interest and understanding of the relevance of the storied on those history book pages.

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Most Republican pols who spout quackery and conspiracies certainly know history. Tom Cotton, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley, JD Vance, Blake Masters, Ron DeSantis - all Ivy League and/or Stanford grads, most of them with a law degree. To be a successful Republican politician you have to proclaim ignorance for the ignorant voter base, but make no mistake, they are not themselves ignorant.

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JR DeSantis was a history major at Yale. My understanding is that he was in the less rigorous general history major program. In contrast I was an intensive Yale history major in 1955. There the faculty provided an intense education to a limited number of history majors who chose to work hard to learn. More than half of the 37 initial intensive history majors dropped back to the easier track, where DeSantis started. Still, he should be ashamed of himself for his historical false fantasies..

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Being intelligent is quite different from being book smart. Just about anyone can be accepted to an Ivy or any other university, do the class work, get the grades, graduate, on move on to a career. What is lacking in the cohort listed above is intellectual curiosity .

I had a friend in high school who had a straight 4.0 GPA all through school (highest possible at the time). She went on to a fine state university and graduated early with academic accomplishment. Her problem was once she took the class and got the A, she just moved on to the next course, just checked it off her To Do list. She took a quarter long course reading and studying James Joyce’s Ulysses. As an English major, I expressed my admiration for tackling such weighted material and tried to engage her in a conversation about the book. It didn’t make dent. Read the book, got the grade, moved on. No more interest in Joyce than she showed in any of her other subjects. No intellectual curiosity. My mom nailed it. “Susie is as deep as a pie tin.” Thankfully, she never ran for elected office.

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Marg Loved “Susie is as deep as a pie tin.” As a professor I encountered students who tried to memorize, spew forth on tests, grab an A, and go on to the next academic hurdle.

I foxed such folks by having a THINK essay to write at the start of each class with the grades on the THINK essays (dropping one or two) comprising about 50% of their grade.) Some memorizers were pissed, while others learned. To THINK. Reminds me of the IBM ad: THINK or swim.

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I think I would have had a love/hate relationship with you as a prof, and I did with several of mine. Always the best relationships!

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Nov 1, 2022·edited Nov 1, 2022

Spot on. Sad situation for too many students. You can always pick them out later on. Just try to have a chat with them about something 'significant.' Andy Borowitz has a new book out that includes this topic.

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History teachers were some of my favorite instructors.

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You reminded me of my English teacher - who was a history buff (even more so than my history teacher). Lloyd Feisel - a real mensch. I remember I was in his class when JFK was shot.

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I was actually an English major, at UVA, but had an incredible professor for U.S. Diplomatic History, Norman Graebner. Everyone who had to take a humanities course but was not a history or even humanities major wanted to take his course. It was peppered with what a liberal arts education is supposed to provide: lots of "Ah, ha!" moments. "I never knew that! Wow." It was during the Vietnam War, and we read such eye-opening primary sources such as Ho Chi-minh's message to President Truman in '46 pleading with the head of our Republic - which had thrown off an earlier colonial master - to help Vietnam block French re-assertion there after WW II. https://todaysdocument.tumblr.com/post/640657324945620993/letter-from-ho-chi-minh-to-president-harry-truman

To think of how different history would have been had Truman sided with international justice for an Asian people instead of bowing to the wishes of our cultural cousins in France (who soon enough got their comeuppance from Ho Chi-minh at Dien Bien-phu). So, to make a long story short, I became a history teacher rather than an English lit. one. Gladly.

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I studied business. I hate business, but it was because I am so terrible at math (I never mastered basic algebra) that I was packed into a mold common for girls in the 1970's living in small towns all over America - it was decided that I should study to be an Executive Secretary, whatever that was. but I always loved history and literature, reading about so many things that high school never covered. Eventually, I wrote investigative reports, newsletters, even legal documents for the people I worked for over the years, and then I went to the middle east and taught English until I retired.

We can all look back and wonder, "what if"? What if the Cuban missile crisis exploded? What if the US had never gone to war in Vietnam (I just bought Pol Pot's biography by Philip Short)? And what if Al Gore had become president instead of Bush? Today, I contemplate the long history of the decline of the American conscience, a price we pay for American greed.

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I was 6 years old and sitting on my school bus waiting to go home when our school principal came and told us JFK was shot. Ever since, I've been aware of the constant creation of history all around me. It's always been my favorite subject.

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That had to be incredible. I was 5, and could not understand why all the grownups were in the living room watching TV and crying. I was banished to the back of the house with my "Quick Draw McGraw" album for the week.

I subsequently had long talks with my folks about that time, and how devastated they were by that event; later, we could discuss the assassinations of 1968 (MLK and RFK) in a much more impactful manner.

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I was married with two kids - one in school, & the other a toddler at the time - sitting on a hassock watching the Kennedys driving thru Dallas - it was awful - watching in real time - seeing Jacky leaning way out over the back of the car to pull the SS guy in. I still wonder - exactly who really was responsible. Especially with the hate towards JFK.

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The ignorance of history remains astounding to me, but less so than their abject lack of curiosity. So many are not interested in what actually happened. As explained to me by a philosophy professor, this is the misappropriation of Galbraith's "conventional wisdom," where the root of "conventional" was actually "convenient."

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A sense of curiosity is, I believe, ever so much more important than even a good History class. The need to find out "what really happened".

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 31, 2022

Peter I was a community colleague professor from age 58-to-80 and was unrestricted in what I could teach, ranging from similarities/ differences early Judaism, Christianity, Islam and societal discrimination from patriarchy to ‘race’ to the present.

I retired in 2013 rather aghast at what high school graduates didn’t know about our Constitution, the hard road for Blacks, Native Americans, women, sand immigrants from Eastern Europe and Asia (also, Irish—in Boston—NINA—No Irish Need Apply).

I shudder to think what history is being taught in many US states. Some of the Republican blow hards know better, but they don’t care.

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After how many years of hearing white supremacist crap, I am not convinced that people like this candidate are ignorant. I think there is a deliberate and cynical manipulation of history by these candidates to support their racist views. Do the masses care? I don’t think so—what they want are these destructive and hate-filled candidates to defeat the “elites”. What their candidates say is irrelevant so long as the libs are outraged. Thank you Dr. Cox Richardson for reminding us of the real history of the Republican Party.

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I didn't know about the R-D switch until I took American History in college. Do you have to be an AP History high school student to get this information? Definitely sharing this HCR letter.

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As best I could, I taught this "lesson" to my talented 8th graders, and I hope for many it "stuck."

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Peter Tenney: Rather than just “Social Studies” (actually a poor choice of a title. It’s real function was to introduce isolated Americans to the cultures of other nations.); what we have lost is found in the study of History, Literature, and the Arts. That is: how does the individual fit in (or not) their larger society. And, when they don’t fit in, how can that be remedied (or not)? We used to call that “Humanities”. Not only did “Social Studies” get a bad name from conservatives, “Humanities” as a topic is no longer taught widely. It is simply a study of how History, Literature, and the Arts express the values of a time and how they change (or not) with the experiences of the society that generates them. We have other language difficulties, such as “Global Warming”. While it might explain the process, it doesn’t explain the effects of that process -- as we can see every time it snows!

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I’m going to go out on a limb here to inject a bit of humor...I’m a bit of a trivia buff and one of my favorite sources of minutiae are the Uncle John’s Bathroom series books. I know, humor me...many salient points of interest have been made in this series, lots of fun stories, and also historical asides. And some inclusions are just bats*ht crazy, which sometimes makes what we’re living with today seem almost normal. Let’s all take a long deep breath or two and look ahead to what we hope will be a brighter and better future.

Peace out.

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Marg I like the Hornblower series and currently imagine Trumpublicans on the poop deck, while I struggle to avoid their excrement.

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I wouldn't disparage "social studies" as invaluable. Look deeper into the cabal who decided decades ago that we ought not let those we didn't consider 'qualified' to learn too much about any of the 'social studies' including history, political science, sociology, anthropology, etc. Didn't want too much actual thinking, critically or otherwise, about these issues. Might have them wanting 'change' and you know how dangerous THAT is... (tongue partially in cheek) It's not an accident that these people don't know history or why it's important. And then just let 'em run around with guns... yeah, that's the ticket.

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People are turned off by history because in the past education centered on the memorization of dates and facts. There was also an awful lot of distortion of the real events.

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I'd make that "too many *white* Americans," and I might add "Christian" too. For many Americans it's not a matter of sliding *back* because we never really slid *out* of that long period where our "democracy," such as it was, was secondary to racism, sexism, and corporate interests.

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And excellent online history class series based on it, done during pandemic. Still available ... incredibly worthwhile and valuable learning.

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Link please?

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Professor Richardson has done a couple of "chats" on Facebook twice a week (Tuesdays and Thursdays) since the beginning of the pandemic. They are archived to YouTube shortly after they are done live. If you go back to the very beginning of them, the first dozen or so (I'm guessing here) are, conversationally, about "How the South Won the Civil War").

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Mike, I think this is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-Tz4awyyNU

Also, I highly recommend the book "How the South Won the Civil War" by HCR.

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Thanks for the link! I just sent a request to the President!

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Thanks, Liz, and yes, it would be.

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Mike, this is a better place to view talks by HCR about the book—How the South...

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2dS6uX1RkUw2AWBqq_nEtAj1HpF8U-yw

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Arthur

Many thanks.

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Perfect for my homeschool. Thank you!

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I liked learning the stories of the past in history class. HOWEVER, I have learned so much vital history of America since I began reading this newsletter. Many thanks to HCR!

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Agreed. “How the South Won The Civil War” is a must read. We must tie our barbaric, cruel, colonialists history to the poor state of health we are in today! We are a nation of collective historical traumas. The damage to our bodies and souls has been inequitable, and inevitable, and is passed down from generation to generation with indigenous and Black peoples being predisposed to stress-related health conditions, and more vulnerable to premature death and death, as the Pandemic showed, due multigenerational trauma; inequities. (Inequity/injustice is trauma.) Just as the damage to the ability to build and transfer wealth has affected Native American and Black, Brown and other people of color the most, the health of BIPOC people bears the epigenetic damage of centuries of historical trauma, racism, systemic oppression, poverty, INEQUITY. We tie all of this together with public health data at PACESConnection.com, where we have been hosting a series on Historical Trauma in America with a webinar focused on each region about every-other month for the last 18 months. This is our passion and mission, to share the science of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study of 1998, and the hundreds of subsequent studies correlating the devastating health consequences of toxic childhood stress to adult health outcomes. We also focus on the newer science of positive childhood experiences (PCEs) and their buffering impact, hence PACEs for positive and adverse childhood experiences. On the ACEs side there is toxic childhood stress in the home (sexual, physical, emotional abuse and neglect, parental addiction and/or mental illness, incarceration of a family member, domestic violence of the father attacking the mother), community toxic stress (poverty, food and housing insecurity, racism, inequity across education, healthcare, nutrition, employment, opportunities, and on and on to include historical or generational trauma) and environmental ACEs, including environmental racism, pollution, climate change, the pandemics and epidemics, catastrophic weather events -- wildfires, floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, famines, droughts -- and more.

There is much more to share on this, so I am going to save what I have here and come back and drop in some links. So glad we can edit these posts now!

And so grateful for Heather Cox Richardson and her writings. Our dream is to have her join us for our Historical Trauma in America series someday, of course! The nexus historical trauma and public health and culture is a vital area of study. These truths, we hope and believe will help build understanding, empathy, and compassion, toward healthier, more compassionate communities.

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I agree, instead of living in a society that provides security, economic support, and aspirations on an equitable basis across the land - for individuals, families, schools, workplaces, communities - we are stuck with a society oriented toward profits for corporations and discounting or exploitation of about 50% of Americans through racism, low wages, and lack of social supports.

Growing out of expanding knowledge of the tragic lifelong harms of child maltreatment, PACES knowledge has expanded to comprehend the persistent, intergenerational toxicity of racism and poverty. The current fabulist paranoia gripping so many Americans is boosted, but not created, by fake news and would be authoritarian politicians. It is the end result of decades of neoliberal economics (promoted by both major parties) which power boosted economic growth while ignoring people needs. This created the current state of massive income inequality which is destroying democratic society.

PACES wisdom is an underappreciated science/activity proven to rebuild and rehabilitate individuals, families, and communities from the ground up creating strengths and resilience in the midst of a failing and flailing society. It remains to be seen if it can part of a movement strong enough to stem the flood of decline and the loss of democracy. It also remains to be seen if interventions based on empathy, compassion, moral values and justice have the capacity to impact a political system now based on raw power.

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Thanks, Jeoff. We have to use this knowledge as best we can. It is like sitting on the preventative for cancer, crime, poverty, hatred, depression, toxic polarization — and NOT sharing it. The solutions come from the awareness of the problems: violence, greed, greed, inequity, greed and did I say greed? A system that rewards greed and inequity, that prevents hardworking people from creating generational wealth, that provides healthcare and a decent education to some but not all fosters the toxic polarization of the haves vs the have nots which is ridiculous. We are in abundance if our laws and policies were not created and perpetuated to stack things for the wealthy.

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Don’t forget the lack of understanding of these issues brought on by the constant din of right-wing propaganda and mis-education.

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“ the health of BIPOC people bears the epigenetic damage of centuries of historical trauma, racism, systemic oppression, poverty, INEQUITY.”

IMO, as a retired doc and public health officer, spreading the word on “epigenetics” is crucial to getting past older “social/behavioral” models for understanding the true structural harm our society has caused BIPOC people (and whites raised in toxic environments.) As we better understand that regulation of the body, health, longevity has MUCH more to do with epigenetics than inherited DNA, we realize the direct physical harm caused by children being raised in inequitable environments and how the very real damage is trans-generational.

Thanks for further opening my eyes, Carey. I’ve only been peripherally aware of research on ACE - and plan to study it further, including reading the PACESConnection.com site.

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Thank you Peter!

Please join pacesconnection.com. It’s free. We curate and send a Daily Digest MTTF and a Weekly Roundup on Wednesdays. These emailed publications have the latest news pertaining to the learnings, policies, challenges, opportunities, events and more. Our YouTube channel has more than 100 free webinars; we dove into the pandemic with webinars as a way to connect our reeling membership of then some 50k people. We’re now more than 57,430 members. Many are pediatricians, educators, people with lived experience, judges, social workers, people in city, county and state governments who are coming to realize the upstream benefits of creating “trauma-informed” schools, clinics, businesses, courtrooms, government entities and more. My email is csipp@pacesconnection.com and I would be delighted to send you an invitation. We are an inclusive anti-racist organization led by educators, journalists, people with public health backgrounds and more. A nonprofit we were originally funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The California Endowment. I believe you will find like minded and amazing humans there who will welcome you. We also have some 440 or so cross-sector geographic communities and about 40 interest-based communities, and a LibSource resources center full of free materials and every PACEs-related publication we can find.

We have policy partners, too, in our efforts to track states that have passed trauma-informed legislation and are working to help our communities learn how to advocate for trauma-informed practices and policies.

This is a movement, not unlike a labor movement or the ACT UP movement to create awareness, understanding, and resources necessary to fight and end AIDs.

It’s a long-haul to change public policy and create awareness of the damage we do to everyone when we don’t protect our children from the toxic stress of violence, poverty, racism, inequity, injustice, climate change, environmental racism, hatred.

Thank you!

Peace!

Carey

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Thanks for the heads up. I ordered it just now. HCR is such a great historian and

a readable writer. I hope to get a firmer grasp on this subject I've only had a fragmented understanding of.

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Yes, a terrific book!

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Or listen to on Audible!

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Robert, agreed. "How the South Won the Civil War" is a must-read.

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gonna read it....thanks Heather

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Agreed.

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I am so incredibly anxious about the upcoming midterms that I am finding it hard to focus on anything else. I have been following campaigns of several candidates outside of my state for awhile now. That, and the fact that one of my adult children has been brainwashed by a legalistic Baptist church, makes these elections feel very personal to me.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Breathe, please. ALL of us need to.

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I'm so sorry, Miselle. I completely understand your concerns. I believe, however, that the majority of Americans are rational, intelligent, and morally strong. The democracy depends on it. VOTE.

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You and Michael Moore have faith in ‘the people’ - see his substack; I wish I could feel less anxiety!

Voting from Australia- where voting is obligatory!

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In Australia there is a fine for not voting.

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Yes! One does not have to actually vote but a ballot has to be presented…eg could be blank

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Wow. I didn’t know. What a good idea. So what % of the population votes?

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I love that system of required voting. It is pathetic how few people vote here. Pay taxes and vote that’s what you should have to do here if you’re lucky enough to be a US citizen.

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I wish I could count on rational, intelligent, and morally strong fellow Americans. Unfortunately, the pandemic showed another side to the America I thought I lived in. Petty grievances, self-centered, and easily mislead…

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Propaganda works especially well with the “easily mislead.” Includes some that I thought were “solid.”

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Wish I had your belief. I have thought many times “we aren’t that stupid.” Only to be proven wrong. However, I still believe that, but the propaganda works and it is louder than the majority’s sanity. Will anything burst Rupert’s balloon??

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So true, Jeri, and well put: “We aren’t that stupid” or are we? Sad….

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I would love to believe that. None the less worried as hell. The cost of living (which as very little to do with Biden) is more important too many Americans than civil rights (women's rights ++) and democracy its self.

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Very true. I have a right wing friend in Texas that tries to bring me over to his side. When I give him my list of why I see the Republican party turning towards fasicism all he can come back with is the economy and gas prices. Quite frankly he has absolutely no idea what fasicism (or socialism is for that matter) even is and doesn't want to know. He would be perfectly content if the last election was "nulified" and Trump installed. I think he thinks that's "democracy".

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So much of this goes back to longterm structural limitations built into public education regarding history and civics, by right wingers especially in the South who wanted those subjects to convey their political and cultural indoctrination, not the truth. Consider the outsize dominance on the content of public school textbooks by the Texas state Board of Education, simply because they’re such a huge market that publishers found it expedient to concede to their demands, and economical to publish only one edition of each history textbook for the whole country. https://education.msu.edu/green-and-write/2014/texas-textbooks-and-the-politics-of-history-standards/

(I will copy this comment to a more central spot on today’s comment thread.)

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That's how we got Open Court reading program.

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Aha! The “Nutshell” answer for what we are all complaining about!

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-isms take thought for understanding. Gas prices temporarily take more cash in the grand scheme.

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I’m so sorry.

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That fact makes our population one of the dumbest ever to claim rational thinking.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

And spread the word far and wide to #VoteDownBallot ! #VoteDemDownBallot !

People often ignore the smaller offices, judges etc and we can no longer afford to do so. If you don’t know who to vote for, then just guess and go Dem down the line!

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I would agree with you about Americans being rational, intelligent and morally strong but, if so, how the hell did Trump get elected? There are good people out there but they are naive and ignorant. This is so sad. Please VOTE!

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Trump won because he won the popular vote in three big states by about 70,000 votes spread across those states. That gave him just enough electoral votes to put him over the top. He won because those 70,000 voters were persuaded to vote for white Christian supremacy, or they voted for a third party candidate, amounting to the same thing.

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Yes, people were persuaded to vote for white Christian supremacy. That's what I'm saying. I don't mean to be disrespectful, but people need to be less naive and less ignorant. Jesus himself is probably rolling His eyes that people think a vote for Trump was a vote for Christianity. I mean seriously, HUH?

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I believe we are as well, though the crazy cult 45 base drowns us out. Michael Moore mentioned (as did "Beau of the Fifth Column") that it will be the Independent, or infrequent voters who will decide the election. So I channeled that worry into 220 letters and 60 postcards to voters.

I never even knew I could do this from home until frequent contributor here, Ellie Kona, mentioned it. Kudos to her! I wish I could know how many of the voters I "adopted" will actually vote.

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I mailed 100 post cards yesterday. I, too, hope they help get people out to VOTE.

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I think we are truly kindred souls. What was your source for the letters and cards? I have a daughter getting married, so I don't think I'll have time to send any - but even talking like we've done, and having people comment or express appreciation, is an important step toward stopping this nightmare. WE CAN DO THIS. Good WILL prevail.

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Linda Biondi: - Agreed that "a majority of Americans are rational, intelligent, and morally strong." But unfortunately a minority of American voters put He Who Shall Not Be Named into the White House. A very sad and outdated condition of our political system.

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Politics from the pulpit is huge in Texas. Family members have told me I teach CRT. When I assure them I don’t they say that’s not what I’ve heard. The mega church in the city where I teach last Sunday put a list of Republican candidates on their mega screen and told the congregation to just take a screenshot and find out for themselves what those candidates are about. Not endorsing them but they are a part of their church family. Several administrators and teachers in the district go to that church. But the Democrats out number the Republicans and if we can get more people to the polls, that’s all we need! I’m anxious too. But so hopeful!

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It’s illegal for churches to engage in political support of candidates According to IRS tax law. I looked into this because of a concerted effort by the Catholic church to support anti Roe anti choice candidates here in Vt. I believe that these 502C3 churches which are tax exempt should start paying taxes .. losing tax exempt status. !!

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I believe the former archbishop of Minn-St Paul got a visit from the IRS several yrs ago when he was not subtlety campaigning against SSM. He was eventually removed from his position for his (mis)handling of sex abuse cases.

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It seems to me that church organizations are breaking the law when they push a political agenda. I would rather see each of them charged with a crime and given fines based on the extent of their abuses. That would bankrupt most of them. Maybe then they could get back to the job of helping others.

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This puts the IRS/federal gov't in a lose-lose situation. MAGAs already talk about how Demonrats are attacking Christianity, and here would be their proof. (You know, following the rule of law isn't exactly MAGAs thing).

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So when do we put our feet down and stand up for the rule of law?

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Agreed! And it’s being circulated on social media.

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I didn’t know that… I think it’s a concerted effort by the Catholic Church on a countrywide basis. It makes my blood boil to know that they’re tax exempt

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It's the southern evangelicals, not the Catholics.

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Nope. It is the Catholics too. If I could I would show you a photo of the ad placed in my little local Vt newspaper … the same ad thst is being placed nationally by the Catholic Church. Sorry but it is true and I have photos to show it

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Thankfully, I'm not seeing that in my (Catholic) church.

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Such a good point but who is enforcing this?

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I don’t know. There are some people talking if turning them in to the IRS. Plenty of lawyers around that might take up the fight. It’s wait and see!

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Amen!

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It’s time for the truth about CRT to come out.

CRT has never been taught in K-12 schools. Let me say that again. CRT has never been taught in K-12 schools.

When I first heard talk on the news a few years ago about Critical Race Theory being taught in our schools, I was baffled. What the heck is that, I thought. I taught elementary school for 42 years. I have a BEd in elementary ed and an MEd in reading Instruction. I had NEVER heard of CRT.

I did a search which yielded no information about what CRT is. Over the next year or so I continued to find very little information about what it actually is, then finally I stumbled on something in the news explaining it. Apparently it is a legal theory discussed in legal academic settings. I couldn’t explain it to you; I’m not a lawyer. But, it is not taught in public schools.

If a politician tells you that they are against teaching CRT in the schools, they are showing you their ignorance. They do not know what CRT is, as is true of most of the rest of us. It’s time for our leaders to get educated about CRT and start speaking out, telling the truth about this.

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Well said! CRT is not taught at that level. Methinks they are confusing CRT with, perhaps, a field of study which is critical of racism... kind of like what should be being taught.

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Thank you for the work you do, teaching in that environment.

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Aww! Thanks! I’ve had some struggles with it but ultimately I love my students and know they need a voice of calm right now. Young elementary kids are having struggles once held by high school and college kids. I just want them to feel loved and accepted!

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Sorry to hear about one of your children falling under the spell Miselle.

Hopefully, the specific actions and teachings of Jesus will get through.

And?

That stark contrast between Jesus message of love, acceptance, value of diversity, and forgiveness, will begin to chafe with Baptist theology of judgement, superiority, hypocrisy, “going to hell” and male/white supremacy.

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Here’s the deal; “I read what Jesus said, but that’s not really what he meant with respect to ‘Murica. Jesus didn’t know ‘bout ‘Murica cuz it hadn’t been discovered yet. If he had known, he’d agree with ‘our’ message that segregation and control keeps things peaceful. That’s why they call him The Prince of Peace”

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I do believe that Republicans forget that Jesus was black and Jewish

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It does not occur to them at all

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I disagree, Dave. The message of Jesus as I recall it, is love and acceptance and forgiveness. The only reason that slavery is accepted in the bible, is that it was common at the time, and it apparently hadn't occurred to anyone that slavery conflicts with the primary new testament message (love and acceptance and forgiveness.) Segregation is opposed to acceptance and forgiveness, as Jesus demonstrated with his treatment of the woman at the well, the parable of the good Samaritan and the acceptance of the thief on the cross.

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Please reread the passage in quotes as if it was delivered by a Southern Radical preacher

Again, my “facetious” font is not working

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Baptist became republicans, officially in 2004, Karl Rove orchestrated that for W a second term.

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Hang in there Miselle. We hear you.

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I'm not anxious at all. What will happen, will happen regardless of the stress I could put myself under. Please, recognize that putting your own state of mind (and health) at risk will not change anything. Life will continue.

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Miselle, I understand what you are going through. I've never felt this anxious about a midterm election before. Try to take a break from it and meditate, pray, anything that can help to calm you. You are not alone.

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I threw my energies into writing postcards and letters to voters. 220 letters, 60 postcards.

I need to take a break from comment areas in Yahoo and msn.com, that will make your BP skyrocket.

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THIS is why civics literacy and active life-long engagement in civil society are of central importance for beating back fascist, authoritarian messaging of the MAGA GOP tribes. I focus on these areas in my teaching. I’d like to know how others are resisting the polarization?

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Yes, we need better civic education, starting with the earliest grades. And anyone running for office should be able to pass a basic civics test.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Ruthie, Absolutely, “And anyone running for office should be able to pass a basic civics test.” I have believed this forever. It’s absurd that junior high school students often know more than some/many citizens running for office. Likely TFG wouldn’t have passed.

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Given his narcissism, he would fail the test (that is if he couldn't find someone to take the test for him.)

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That would have been his go to

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They should also be able to demonstrate a knowledge of mathematics and science to at least the high school level. Roe v Wade might still be standing if the Supreme Court had even an elementary knowledge of basic biology.

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Knowledge is secondary to grievance politics, ask Mitch

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You got it, Ruthie! Let’s start with Tommy Tuberville (R Senator from Alabama) and test his knowledge of the three branches of the American government.

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I agree about the ignorance of civic knowledge. Also, it is mind boggling how ignorant of economics most politicians are, considering how vital economics are to most legislation.

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And pass a background check for national security clearance (looking at you, tfg and Jared).

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Hahaha, I wish

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I’d like to tell a story. Teaching French at Xavier University, the oldest black Catholic college in America, I was startled when a student stood up in the middle of class and announced that she had never expected to be taught by a white teacher. To this day I don’t know why I stood up and replied that I didn’t expect racism in reverse. The rest of the class applauded. This was mid ‘70’s. It’s the small acts that will finally erase racism and mistrust on both sides. Laws help, but the “lifelong engagement” is what counts.

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A lesson well learned for that class

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For Starters: Stay away from clicking on malevolent algorithms, chirons that scream "look at me" and malignant narcissists. Try clicking on "block", "unsubscribe", "spam" & statutory law restricting the misuse or abuse of personal data. Boycott products hawked on the wings of the chirping Bird by the Chief Twit.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Or. Just don’t bother with Facebook, twitter, tik toc, instagram and the like.

Rather. Go read “To make men free: history of the Republican Party. By HCR

Or. Read the 1619 Project Book.

Use time well. Don’t throw it down the abyss of social media.

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It's so addictive! I am relatively self-aware, and yet still doom scroll. Self-awareness isn't exactly a MAGA trait, so imagine how valuable this tool is for fascists. That's why Musk bought Twitter. It clearly wasn't for the company to make money directly.

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Thank you becky, you are spot-on with word "addictive"; we need more "situational awareness": self, family, community, city, county, region, nation, hemisphere & Planet- our only really big home.

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Thank you Mike, anti-social media.

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Good advice. Don't click on a big BREAKING NEWS either.

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That eliminates ABC nightly news where "NEWS" is always "BREAKING as we come on the air" & urgently delivered in a firm, concerned voice including weather as so & so "times it all out for us" ... body counts preferred.

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LOL! Beautiful - I can just hear it!

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Family members scatter to other rooms. :)

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❤️

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It's been BREAKING for so long it's done broke.

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"Ain't no use jiving"

"Ain't no use joking"

"Everything is broken"

Author & Singer: Bob Zimmerman, Hibbing, Minnesota aka Bob Dylan.

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No, voters should have the right to elect whoever they choose. Morons, included.

The voters elected FDR four times then the Republicans pushed through the an amendment limiting a President to two terms.

Raise your hand if you would prefer to have had Obama remain President instead of Trump or Biden.

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I have no issue with Biden. He has been a good statesman, a good president. I was crazy about Obama but in certain areas he was weak, not wanting to "rock the boat". He didn't call out a lot of the disgusting stuff from the GOP. He should have pushed Garland thru to the Supreme Court, should have insisted. Biden has passed so much legislation just in the past few months. Yes, he is old. So what. He has a lot of experience and I applaud his support for Ukraine. I don't have the sense that he will run again, even if he says he is at this point. If he were to say he isn't running, he would be a lame duck, so I think it's important at this point that he says he is running. I don't know that Obama would have gotten so much done. Indeed, he was focused on health care and that's great but that wasn't the only issue at hand.

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Obama was likely focused on staying alive. The vitriol was earth shattering. The tea party was the KKK in tee shirts. Looking back, his election “woke” up the racist pigs who then used “socialist” as the epithet of the day. It became du rigueur for the haters and the opportunists. Chump took notice and licked his chops.

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Completely agree, Jeri

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I remember well the vitriol towards Obama. Racists in and out of the government just couldn't come to terms with a person of color in the White House. It didn't matter how intelligent and capable he was. Not only was he attacked, but his wife and daughters.

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I’m not sure Obama would have been elected if Biden hadn’t been on the ticket. If it had been Hilary, I don’t think Obama would have won. Biden was a huge asset for that time. And I like him now! He’s getting way more done than any president I’ve seen before! Getting away from trickle economics disaster is huge!

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I recall the capable & disciplined 2008 Campaign work by David Plouffe & others including an active, digital Community that was essentially abandoned In 2009. A couple of years into Obama's 1st Term, David was lost to Uber.

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Imagine the rage of MAGAs if Obama ran in 2024. The domestic terrorism would be off the hook.

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My dream would be for Michele to run.

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She's brilliant but she has said she wants no part of it and who can blame her.

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I'm quite happy with Biden, thank you. He's built on Obama's legacy, and achieved in areas where Obama struggled, such as adding women and minorities to the administration, and getting us out of Afghanistan. He's soon turn our relationship with the Saudis on it's head. Would Obama have been so bold in Ukraine? I doubt it. On abortion? I wonder. If sensible voters show up at the polls, which I believe they will, Democrats will expand the Supreme Court, opening the possibility of a purge of decades of regressive ruling. We may look back on these years as a Golden Era. So, miss the romance of Obama? Yes and no.

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I think Biden made a horrible call in not running for President in 2016. I think that H. Clinton was the most unilaterally and uniquely qualified candidate for President that we have had in my lifetime who had sadly been the recipient of at least 15 years of crafted RepubliQan objection so that she was unable to be elected in spite of winning the popular vote. I also believe that the election of Obama ripped the scab off the festering wound of racism which also kicked up a backlash like nothing else could have.

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Well, Trump anyhow.

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I think that's terrific. Civics lessons are so important and they seem to have dropped out of our education system. Glad you are teaching civics.

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Too bad we, who subscribe, know it well. Post and spread to those who have no clue.

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I know that (at least in my limited experience with public education as a consumer of that for my first 12 years of education) that teaching to the mean was the philosophy, at least for many. This was then dropped to the mandated "no child left behind" which quit teaching anything other than rote information for regurgitation at test time (as I watched teacher friends struggle to impart anything other than what would get their kids to pass these mandated tests). I have come to believe that "no child left behind" has actually meant "all children, then an informed population left behind".

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As a teacher, I have to agree with you.

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I believe there are two keys to resisting polarization; teaching logical and teaching how to ask good questions

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Got that right Dave ... basically the scientific method: Deductive Reasoning.

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So much of our voter ignorance and political dysfunction goes back to longterm structural limitations built into public education regarding history and civics. Right wingers especially in the South wanted those subjects to convey their political and cultural indoctrination, not the truth. Consider the outsize dominance on the content of public school textbooks country-wide by the Texas state Board of Education, simply because they’re such a huge market that publishers found it expedient to concede to their demands, and economical to publish only one edition of each history textbook for the whole country. https://education.msu.edu/green-and-write/2014/texas-textbooks-and-the-politics-of-history-standards/

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Texas is Santa Ana’s ultimate revenge

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Elizabeth, I spotted "Giving to the College of Education", I will donate.

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And let us not forget that Southern evangelicals seized on abortion, years after Roe v. wade as an issue for their followers to distract from the fact that the IRS was going after their tax exemptions for their segregated private schools in the wake of Brown v. Board of Education. In one way or another, it's always about race.

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And money...

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Not necessarily. I remember growing up around a Southern Baptist majority who hated Catholics first, and liturgical churches second. Took me a while to figure out why they had teamed up with anti-abortion folks who were mostly Catholic at that time.

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This is why we need civics and history classes in high school and college. And not a curriculum that just memorizes events and dates. I am old enough to have witnessed the history HCR discusses in real time: Nixon's southern strategy, James Meredith public stand . . . I don't know if Tudor Dixon is truly ignorant or deliberately devious in her portrayal. But the fact that she is running for governor is frightening.

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I don't remember a thing from my US history class in high school except that it was taught by a football coach who I think actually took his teaching seriously. I had a wonderful prof for 19th century US history in grad school. He could cram a hour and half worth of lecture into a hour. We also had to read 4 or 5 books each term....three, so it was 12 to 15. As a grad student I had to read 5 more each term and write reports on them. I concentrated on slavery which showed me, among other things, how the writing about it changed.

I don't remember my American government class either except that it was taught by a track coach, who once again, was sincere about his teaching. My best teacher was a Brit for world history. I also taught government in a small high school. I wanted them to understand why we needed government and they did figure that out and then we concentrated on the amendments to the Constitution.

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“Truly ignorant or deliberately devious”. Those are the bookends of of the parameters. We had some ditches that were blocked with debris which my old friend(79) and I were obliged to clean. After which we thanked each other for always being there for each other. He asked me if I had heard about Pelosi getting attacked. His information had it wrong as he was tickled that Nancy was hurt. This is completely out of character. He is a kind and giving man and yet he was eager to divulge this catastrophe in a manner meant to be good news. When he didn’t get my approval rather eliciting a severe reprimand his demeanor went back and he apologized for being so heartless. Going to work in the woods ending his education at 14 and logging all of his life makes me sure this man’s ignorance far outweighed any kind of deviance. I find this to be the dilemma.

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Oct 30, 2022·edited Oct 30, 2022

Very illuminating anecdote Pat. Thank you. I think this illustrates how close we are to another hot Civil War. The ideological battle lines have been drawn and the bigots and autocrats among us have armed themselves to the teeth. As in the prelude to the Civil War, the arteries have hardened. The forces of evil have marshalled the ignorant. At age 68, I’ll do what I can but as in all wars it will be the youth who must gather their courage and confront this evil. In the face of all this confusion, there is still something called right and wrong. Good and evil. We are staring evil in the face and have to prepare ourselves for the fight. When duty calls out low “thou must” the youth replies “I can.” We’ve done it before. We can do it again. And we must.

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I completely agree with you. I am 65. We must screw our courage up and speak out. vote!

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Jeeze William. I’m never sure if someone has seen our armed forces in serious action or just in the movies. Being armed to the teeth is not a qualifier to face the army, marine corp, navy, or air force. The 266 combat assaults in my very short military career gave me a good impression of our forces capabilities. There is no fucking chance you will find me trying to face us. I can’t even describe horrors that await idiots who think they are capable of taking on the tsunami of war. That is why I used the F-word.

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Sadly, but the youth don’t want to.

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