…what was that Statue of Liberty thing again?


The height of vanity, isn’t it, to reblog myself?
I was revamping my blog, going through posts and cleaning them up, when I got to this one that I wrote SIX years ago. It wasn’t terrorists that fueled the mean then, it was the fear of a drop in property value, which, wow. But it points to a different truth-do we just look for a reason to not welcome those in dire straits, because we might-gasp-have to sacrifice something in order to do so? I stand, during this Syrian refugee debate, in the same spot as I did with Haitian refugees six year ago.

also, this: Award-Winning Marine Just Tweeted A Perfect Response To The Syrian Refugee Crisis

"...but I'm not the only one..."

Give me….who?

“The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”

-Pablo Casals

Boggled. That is my mind right now–befuddled and boggled.

I read the comments section (I know, the last thing ANYONE sane should do is read the comments) that follows an online article about Haitian refugees being flown into the states, both adults to come stay with family members already here, and children and babies here to be taken in and adopted by Americans.

I’m not going to add any power to those comments by quoting them. You know the drill: a bunch of powerless ignorants who think if they spew enough garbage, someone will finally validate their existence. Hate and bigotry are their drugs of choice.  It blows my mind to read such drivel.

Basically, the sentiment is that we should NOT be taking in our  human brothers and…

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I’m no hero


I posted this 2 years ago and decided to toss it back to the top of the page in the hopes that it might change even a few hearts and prompt the owners of said hearts to think before they commit verbal abuse. A girl can hope. If it makes sense to you, feel free to share.

"...but I'm not the only one..."

angry “You (insert religious/political/racial identity here) MORONS!”

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” -Mother Teresa

 

I am no big hero.
But.

I would NEVER have called all Bush supporters a bunch of conservative morons. Why? Because not all conservatives are morons. Because it’s prejudicial and irrational. Because, no matter how I felt about W, the people who loved him simply disagreed with me. That doesn’t make them morons; it makes them human-there are as many opinions and philosophies as there are humans.

To paint any group with a broad brush is so unfair, so wrong, and though apparently I’m a Universal Unitarian according to the latest circulating survey and maybe not the resident expert, it is SO not Christian. And it’s pretty hate-filled as well, and I do disagree with hate. I suspect that those spewing the “liberal morons” meanstream

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No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives — Everyday Feminism


We are NOT Post-Racial. Hard to look at? I'll bet it's harder to be on the receiving end-ALL the time.
We are NOT Post-Racial. Hard to look at? I’ll bet it’s harder to be on the receiving end-ALL the time.

I posted this piece on my Facebook page as well. The truth and civility with which it was written are stunning.  I encourage you to read every word, even when it feels a little uncomfortable, even when you recognize that there might be things that need to change in your paradigm, the worldview you were raised to find acceptable, and/or your own behavior.

Thanks to Everyday Feminism and Anni Liu for the amazing essay.

Peace, friends.

Click the link below to read this eye-opening piece.

No, You’re Not Imagining It: 3 Ways Racial Microaggressions Sneak into Our Lives — Everyday Feminism.

Speak up, even when it's scary. Staying silent so as not to 'rock the boat?' Another Microagression.
Speak up, even when it’s scary. Staying silent so as not to ‘rock the boat?’ Another Microagression.

Bubble, Schmubble


This letter, from my friend and colleague Jenny, should be read by teachers and parents alike. After you read it, share it with a teacher, an administrator, your local School Board, and your legislators. These heartfelt words can help keep the tide turning away from profiteering and back toward what’s best for children.

Stop, Take a breath. Read this.
Stop, Take a breath. Read this.

Dear Teachers,

As I walk the halls and parking lots of our schools I hear your cautious voices, your pleas to make sense of political madness, and your cries to create an educational system that makes sense again. I can see your tired eyes and your worry lines. I know that you are balancing the needs of my children, the demands of rigor, and the pressures of high stakes testing and accountability. I know you feel like you cannot do everything. I know that too often you feel you are failing someone – and most days, you are sad to admit, that it is children whom you fail the most. I see and hear your daily struggles between what is right for children and what is asked of you. And so I am writing to tell each of you to stop. Stop playing a game you will never win and start standing up for children.

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Testing my Patience


the-direction-in-which-education-starts-a-man-will-determine-his-future-life-plate
How should education ‘start?’ Not like this.

 

(Disclaimer 1: Opinions are my own, though I suspect –okay, I know–many teachers and parents agree, and in no way are intended to represent the opinions or stances of my employers and other related entities)

This week, I have carried a crying child out of a classroom. I have rubbed a brave and sobbing boy’s back. I have led a pre-meltdown boy out of the classroom. I have seen chairs thrown, little girls crying under tables, and pencil tips broken in the hopes of Just. Making. It. Stop. It is only Wednesday and my third day of proctoring the week-long standardized test being given to the Primary students where I work. The class I’m working with? KINDERGARTEN. If these kids weren’t under the nurturing care of the dedicated staff at my school (an oasis in the inner city), all of us doing our best to just get them through this, I don’t know what this week would be like for them.

Make it stop.
Make it stop.

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Thank you. Just thank you.


(this post dedicated to Rosina McVicker, Phyllis Ayoob, Karin Monday, Wendy Geller,  Susan Clary, and the people of Our Companions Animal Sanctuary, and Siglinda at The Goathouse Refuge)

I’m starting my “Malevolence-Free Monday” with a thank-you note to the angels-on-earth who devote their hearts, homes, and wallets to Animal Rescue.  In the attached video, there’s a line from Annette King-Tucker’s poem (credit below): “I know of no creature unworthy of my time.”  That’s the Rescuer, in a nutshell. If every heart on our planet felt this way-and I don’t mean saying it, or posting a cute meme about it, but living it and exemplifying it with action?  There would be no war, no hate, no bigotry, no superiority-dances being done by the jib-jab-looking talking heads on televison. Yes, the pundits would be out of business but you know, people not dying because of their skin color, orientation/identification, or beliefs, so okay. But I digress.

I am honored to know some rescue people. They are as diverse a group (as far as political views, socio-eco status, religious views or lack thereof, etc.) as you’ll ever find. They love and respect each other. They don’t waste their time with hard-hearted thoughts about each other because of their philosophical or political leanings. Why? Because at the core of their open and loving hearts lies the truth from Ms. King-Tucker’s poem: “I know of no creature unworthy of my time.”  That’s not just a belief to a Rescuer-it has become a part of their DNA. These are, on so many levels, the most evolved humans on earth. I know this to be true. I also know that they are some of the most un-sung heroes; fortunately for us and for millions of animals, they don’t do any of it for glory or thanks. But they deserve some human gratitude. Which, I’ll grant you, is nothing compared to the grateful smile of a Pit Bull who was once used as a bait dog and is now looking at you from his side of the couch, waiting for you to throw the ball again-but hopefully, Rescue people, you’ll read this and share it with other like-hearted heroes. I want you to know how much I appreciate you:

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empathyeducates – We Must Stop Judging Kids Solely on Standardized Tests


This.

This post from another blog uses a beautiful example of how some of our most bright, creative, and yes, “career ready” kids are being thrown under the standardized testing culture bus. I wonder how the execs at Pearson and other test-making/test prep companies who are making billions hand-over-fist can sleep at night.

 

empathyeducates – We Must Stop Judging Kids Solely on Standardized Tests.

My Resignation Letter


(This is not MY resignation letter. It is a touching post that I’m re-blogging on my page.-Robin)

I have sweet, incredible, intelligent children sitting in my classroom who are giving up on their lives already. They feel that they only have failure in their futures because they’ve been told they aren’t good enough by a standardized test; they’ve been told that they can’t be successful because they aren’t jumping through the right hoops on their educational paths.

via My Resignation Letter.

The Disturbing Transformation of Kindergarten


Yeah, what she said:

Americas Education Watch

nclb One of the most distressing characteristics of education reformers is that they are hyper-focused on how students perform, but they ignore how students learn. Nowhere is this misplaced emphasis more apparent, and more damaging, than in kindergarten.

A new University of Virginia study found that kindergarten changed in disturbing ways from 1999-2006. There was a marked decline in exposure to social studies, science, music, art and physical education and an increased emphasis on reading instruction. Teachers reported spending as much time on reading as all other subjects combined.

The time spent in child-selected activity dropped by more than one-third. Direct instruction and testing increased. Moreover, more teachers reported holding all children to the same standard.

How can teachers hold all children to the same standards when they are not all the same? They learn differently, mature at different stages – they just are not all the same especially at the…

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We must stop these crazed half naked psychopaths from feeding their children in front of other people!


If it's good enough for Jesus.....
If it’s good enough for Jesus…..

I’ve often wondered about what’s going on in the heads of people who want to shame women for doing 1) as Matt wrote, doing what God intended them to do, and 2) doing what the same people will shame women for if they DON’T do it. Breasts are not ‘nasty.’ No body part is shameful, nor are their (God-created, remember?) functions. Click the link below for a fantastic blog post.

We must stop these crazed half naked psychopaths from feeding their children in front of other people!.

This happened only 40 years ago.


(I copied/pasted the following article because the comments in the article’s page on the web had sunk into the usual troll hell of who is MORE Christian, and had little to do with anything other than a bunch of people who had taken over the comment section to proclaim their holiness and wish brimstone upon anyone who disagreed.)

This happened during OUR lifetimes. I was 11 at the time. The Supreme Court of the United States is pondering some big decisions this week. I am posting today in honor of my LGBT friends who deserve equality and civil rights–overdue to the point of being ludicrous. I stand with you this week as you, as we, wait for what I pray is a triumphant shift in the heartbeat of our country.

WARNING: I posted both photos from the article, and one of them is a graphic sledgehammer to the gut. So for those of us who need a perspective check, THIS is what real persecution looks like.

“Remembering the UpStairs Lounge: The U.S.A.’s Largest LGBT Massacre Happened 40 Years Ago Today
June 24, 2013 By Terry Firma

The 24th of June in 1973 was a Sunday. For New Orleans’ gay community, it was the last day of national Pride Weekend, as well as the fourth anniversary of 1969′sStonewall uprising. You couldn’t really have an open celebration of those events — in ’73, anti-gay slurs, discrimination, and even violence were still as common as sin — but the revelers had few concerns. They had their own gathering spots in the sweltering city, places where people tended to leave them be, including a second-floor bar on the corner of Iberville and Chartres Street called the UpStairs Lounge.

That Sunday, dozens of members of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC), the nation’s first gay church, founded in Los Angeles in 1969, got together there for drinks and conversation. It seems to have been an amiable group. The atmosphere was welcoming enough that two gay brothers, Eddie and Jim Warren, even brought their mom, Inez, and proudly introduced her to the other patrons. Beer flowed. Laughter filled the room.

upstairs1

Just before 8:00 p.m., the doorbell rang insistently. To answer it, you had to unlock a steel door that opened onto a flight of stairs leading down to the ground floor. BartenderBuddy Rasmussen, expecting a taxi driver, asked his friend Luther Boggs to let the man in. Perhaps Boggs, after he pulled the door open, had just enough time to smell the Ronsonol lighter fluid that the attacker of the UpStairs Lounge had sprayed on the steps. In the next instant, he found himself in unimaginable pain as the fireball exploded, pushing upward and into the bar.

The ensuing 15 minutes were the most horrific that any of the 65 or so customers had ever endured — full of flames, smoke, panic, breaking glass, and screams.

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I’m no hero


angry
“You (insert religious/political/racial identity here) MORONS!”

“I would rather make mistakes in kindness and compassion than work miracles in unkindness and hardness.” -Mother Teresa

 

I am no big hero.
But.

I would NEVER have called all Bush supporters a bunch of conservative morons. Why? Because not all conservatives are morons. Because it’s prejudicial and irrational. Because, no matter how I felt about W, the people who loved him simply disagreed with me. That doesn’t make them morons; it makes them human-there are as many opinions and philosophies as there are humans.

To paint any group with a broad brush is so unfair, so wrong, and though apparently I’m a Universal Unitarian according to the latest circulating survey and maybe not the resident expert, it is SO not Christian. And it’s pretty hate-filled as well, and I do disagree with hate. I suspect that those spewing the “liberal morons” meanstream have issues that go much deeper than those politic. But I digress.

Listen, I could not stand where Bush took us, and it’s well documented how his brother decimated Florida and is profiteering on children’s emotional health while stealing their rights to a real education. I’m not here to argue about that, and I won’t. But you know what I didn’t do? Scream hate about him, pass along undocumented forwards mislabled as “information,”  pass along repugnant and despicable memes, or call his supporters vile names.

That doesn’t make me any kind of hero or peacenik (there’s plenty else that proves the peacenik part); it makes me a person who respects others, and, agree with them or not, respects their AMERICAN-GIVEN RIGHT to have opinions other than mine. And for those who claim Christianity, the (at least the God who lives in and around me) GOD-GIVEN right to not be belittled by others for having ideas.

Authentic Facebook “Art,” or Forgery? Just posting it doesn’t make you compassionate.

^^ Don’t just post it, DO it! ^^

When you call people morons, it dilutes (and in a reader’s mind, deletes) anything in your message that may have been informed or meaningful. Please consider looking over your status updates over the last few weeks. Your updates=your reputation. Your typing  fingers are the brush, your words are your paints, and your page is your canvas. Would you display your ‘art’ proudly?

I’m okay with my social media canvas, even if some of my updates are silly, the quotes are occasionally overly simplistic and trite, and my attempts at humor are  sometimes a little cringe-worthy. I will stand in my ‘gallery’ without regret.

Listen, I’m not always right, not always humble, not always as tasteful as I might be, and certainly not as funny or clever as I like to think I am. But I am an unapologetic liberal. Unapologetic bleeding heart. Unapologetic introvert. Unapologetic Star Trek dork, General Hospital fan, and avid reader of everything. Unapologetic advocate for children, for my child, for victims of sexual abuse. Unapologetic over-poster of cat photos. Unapologetic in my never-ending and oft-faltering quest to be kind and my mission to beg the same from everyone else, because it is the ONLY way this is all going to get better.

But hey, do you know what I’m not?

A moron.

I’m actually quite bright.

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Go Read: “The Only Thing Worse Than a Disney Princess is a Disney Prince”


“I can wake myself up, thank you.”

With apologies to the Disney Conglomerate-I read a delightful post on another blog, “Allisms.”

I discovered this blog today and want to share my favorite post (link below). It rang true because of the many status updates I read written by single people who are not comfortable with their own company, or who have subscribed to a movie company’s version of how true love looks. Here’s a secret: this version sells DVDs, but it is not what true love looks like.

I still see, and shockingly I see it often posted by women in the generation younger than mine, status updates that read like “Someday my Prince will Come!” Waiting for the one, waiting on the phone, waiting to get a man so life can truly begin.  Calling some guy “the hubby” after knowing him a week.

Girls, stop it. You don’t need to validate yourself by whether you’re one half of a couple. PLEASE don’t validate yourself by whether you’re one half of a couple. Continue reading

Better Ingredients? Better People: An open letter to John Schnatter and Everyone I Know.


I’ve been watching the mean memes about John “Papa John” Schnatter go around, with everyone swearing to never order from him again because it will apparently cost 14 cents per pie to give his employees healthcare, and he said in an interview that he didn’t want to raise the price of a pizza-he’d rather cut jobs and hours than to participate in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  Here’s one of the memes:

So a rich guy has a big house. Not a newsflash.

As a liberal, I’d like for the vitriol to NOT be coming from us. As a human, the idea of someone having a catastrophic health event, and no coverage,  is unthinkable. As a person of some intelligence, I get that Obamacare may well cost businesses a little extra, and I don’t think it’s ridiculous to pay 14 extra cents for a pizza to help a whole lot of people keep their jobs, their hours, and have health coverage.

Everyone’s screaming about people paying their ‘fair share.’  Our President says that we are the ones that will make the change. He means all of us.  I was a victim of an unscrupulous sub-prime loan broker and my struggle to keep my home, and for many years, to keep my kid clothed and fed, is fodder for another post. Suffice to say that good old Papa John, with his easily find-able 25% off promo codes, was a hero more than once. A $9.59 large pizza?  Four meals. Price change to $9.73? Even can handle that.

Papa, will every one of those 14 pennies go to healthcare coverage for your employees? Will every single one of those pennies insure every single one of your 16,000-plus workers? Then do it. Raise the price and don’t slap the employees who helped you ‘build that’ in the face. Care about them enough to give them care.  You’re a hero to no one by threatening to fire people and cut hours so you can pay instead, thinking then the healthcare law won’t apply to you. Be a leader and take care of your employees. Petulance isn’t attractive and it doesn’t sell pies.

If you decide to do this, I’m in. I will make Change with a little change. Look, in order for all of this to fall into place, everybody’s got to pitch in, not just the guys with houses like the one in the pic (is that a moat?). It IS going to cost businesses, small and large, extra to comply with the requirements, and in order to even STAY in business, some will have to pass part of that cost to consumers. Some businesses will try to cry “Obamacare!” and price-gauge, no doubt.  My guess is they will be outed pretty quickly. I do not agree with pretty much anything Papa stands for politically. I also don’t think 14 cents looks like a fleecing. And I would still buy the occasional pizza.

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