Indivisible We Are Invincible

Sunday, October 30, 2016

diverse-americaI often consider America’s  future and how far apart so many Americans are -whether it is Trump vs Hillary, GOP vs Dems, Greens, Libertarians -I thought it important to weigh in with my observations.

We seem to have lost our way. We argue vehemently for Trump or for Hillary. Or some argue Republicans and Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We fight about “Big Government”, immigrants, guns and abortions.

When I think of all of the ways we are divided -the phrase that keeps returning to my mind is “focus on outcomes“. And when we do -suddenly -we become united again.

Consider the following:

When we think of America’s future -we know the world is a rapidly changing, competitive and volatile place. If we want a strong America -one outcome we need is to make sure our education system is among the best in the world. We know how to accomplish this -smaller class sizes, great teachers, curriculum focused on teaching and inspiring children to want to learn more throughout their lifetime.

When we think of campaign finance -no one I talk to wants candidates that are bought and purchased by the wealthiest Americans. Regardless of political side -we want political integrity as an outcome.

Regardless of how you feel about guns -we should all agree that the outcome we want is to feel safe in our homes or in our travel. And we don’t want terrorists, the mentally ill, or criminals to possess weapons and use them against innocent Americans or law enforcement. We don’t want all of the accidental deaths we read about almost daily when a child finds an unlocked gun in the home.

Together we respect our elders -after a lifetime of work and responsibility -we want to make sure they have the financial resources they need to have a decent lifestyle -with affordable access to healthcare, housing and transportation.

None of us wants a “Big” Government. We want an effective and transparent government that is responsive to us -that provides the common services we need for all of America, Oregon and Lincoln County.

When we turn on our kitchen faucet -every American wants safe, good tasting water for themselves, families, friends and community -not a flammable toxic sludge or water tainted with dangerous chemicals. Similarly -when we breathe our air -we don’t want our lungs to burn, eyes to water -taking in some dangerous pollutants from a nearby plant or refinery. When we buy food –we want food that is fresh, safe and free from dangerous chemicals.

Together we believe in an America where if every person works hard -they can improve the quality of their own life and family.

We believe there is great beauty in America –our coasts, rivers, valleys, mountains, forests and national parks. It’s part of what makes America a special place –and we believe in preserving and protecting them for future generations of Americans.

Most of us believe in the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty –“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” -we accept those fleeing from horrific violence with open arms and without fear.

We may have very different ideas about how to achieve the results we want -and that is what Democracy is about. We honor the fact that we can decide these things with our vote -and not with violence. America is not about Kings, Queens or Oligarchs. It is about all of us talking about what our vision of America is -and then electing people to represent us in shaping that future -while we stay involved to make sure they do represent our interest and vision.

Let’s stop yelling over each other with political slogans. When we consider and talk about the America we know is possible –we won’t agree upon everything however I think you will find we have far more in common than not. And when we unite –together we can get closer to realizing the American dream for ourselves, families and communities.

Posted by George A. Polisner at 6:28 AM

http://alonovo.blogspot.com/2016/10/indivisible-we-are-invincible.html

 

Why the timing for Amazon’s ‘Good Girls Revolt’ ‘couldn’t have been any better’

Los Angeles (CNN)As far as Dana Calvo is concerned, there’s really no better time she could have asked for Amazon to premiere her new show, “Good Girls Revolt.”

The drama — based on a Lynn Povich book of the same name — follows a group of women at the fictional News of the Week magazine as they fight for their right to pursue careers as reporters in 1969.
At the time, women were only allowed to hold the title “researcher” — though, they did the same (if not better) work as the male reporters to which they were assigned.
Anna Camp, Genevieve Angelson and Erin Darke star as women who work at the publication.
JM1_2494.CR2<img alt=”JM1_2494.CR2″ class=”media__image” src=”http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/161028160502-good-girls-revolt-new-large-169.jpg”>

Calvo, a former reporter, shopped the story to HBO, Amazon and “maybe Netflix,” she told CNN in an interview this summer, when she and the cast were in Los Angeles presenting the show to television critics.
But the show ultimately ended up at the home of Emmy-winning “Transparent.” Largely, she said, because their response to it was immediate and urgent.
“They recognized that it would be a show that would work well for a time around the election when Hillary [Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee] was going to be running,” Calvo said. “And it would be sort of in the middle of girl power year and we knew that too.”
Actress Joy Bryant, who plays the women’s lawyer, real-life activist Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, echoes the sentiment.
“We’re on the cusp of the first female president,” she told CNN this week. “The timing couldn’t have been any better.”
“Good Girls Revolt” is not a show Calvo ever imagined being made at a network. In part, because it’s a period show, she said. Also, “It’s about women’s issues; it’s not going to be a network show.”
Amazon, she said, “wanted to market it for the right reasons at the right time.”
She also wasn’t intimidated by Amazon’s pilot process.
With few exceptions (see: Woody Allen’s disappointing “Crisis in Six Scenes”), Amazon’s pilots are shown to the public and voted on. The viewer feedback is then factored into Amazon’s decision about whether a show deserves a full season.
“I thought the women would like this at the very least,” Calvo said. “It turned out men liked it, too.”
“Good Girls Revolt” is streaming now on Amazon.

 

Indivisible we are invincible

I often consider America’s future and how far apart so many Americans are — whether it is Trump vs. Hillary, GOP vs. Dems, Greens, Libertarians — I thought it important to weigh in with my observations.   

We seem to have lost our way. We argue vehemently for Trump or for Hillary. Or some argue Republicans and Democrats are just two sides of the same coin. We talk about “big government,” immigrants, guns and abortions.   

When I think of all of the ways we are divided, the phrase that keeps returning to my mind is “focus on outcomes.” And when we do, suddenly we become united again.   

Consider the following:    When we think of America’s future, we know the world is a rapidly changing, competitive and volatile place. If we want a strong America, one outcome we need is to make sure our education system is among the best in the world. We know how to accomplish this — smaller class sizes, great teachers, curriculum focused on teaching and inspiring children to want to learn more   throughout their lifetime.   

When we think of campaign finance, no one I talk to wants candidates that are bought and purchased by the wealthiest Americans. Regardless of one’s political side, we want political integrity as an outcome.   

Regardless of how you feel about guns, we should all agree that the outcome we want is to feel safe in our homes or in our travel. And we don’t want terrorists, the mentally ill or criminals to possess weapons and use them against innocent Americans or law enforcement. We don’t want all of the accidental deaths we read about almost daily when a child finds an unlocked gun in the home.   

Together, we respect our elders. After a lifetime of work and responsibility, we want to make sure they have the financial resources they need to have a decent lifestyle, with affordable access to health care, housing and transportation.   

None of us wants a big government. We want an effective and transparent government that is responsive to us, that provides the common services we need for all of America, Oregon and Lincoln County.   

When we turn on our kitchen faucet, every American wants safe, good tasting water for themselves, families, friends and community, not a flammable toxic sludge or water tainted with dangerous chemicals. Similarly, when we breathe our air, we don’t want our lungs to burn and eyes to water, taking in some dangerous pollutants from a nearby plant or refinery. When we buy food, we want food that is fresh, safe and free from dangerous chemicals.   

Together we believe in an America where if every person works hard, where they can improve the quality of their own life and family.   

We believe there is great beauty in America — our coasts, rivers, valleys, mountains, forests and national parks. It’s part of what makes America a special place, and we believe in preserving and protecting them for future generations of Americans.   

Most of us believe in the inscription at the base of the Statue of Liberty — “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” We accept those fleeing from horrific   violence with open arms and without fear.   

We may have very different ideas about how to achieve the results we want, and that is what democracy is about. We honor the fact that we can decide these things with our vote, and not with violence. America is not about kings, queens or oligarchs. It is about all of us talking about what our vision of America is and then electing people to represent us in shaping that future, while we stay involved to make sure they do represent our interest and vision.   

Let’s stop yelling over each other with political slogans. When we consider and talk about the America we know is possible, we won’t agree upon everything. However, I think you will find we have far more in common than not. And when we unite together, we can get closer to realizing the American dream for ourselves, families and communities.   

George A. Polisner is the chair of the Lincoln County Democratic Central Committee (http://LCDCC.org) and the founder of Civic Works (http://civ.works)

Reprinted from Newport News Times, October 26, 2016, Page A9

Physician Assisted Suicide, though Legal in Oregon, is Not Available to Patients in Lincoln County’s Samaritan Health Care System

Nancy Mead, October 25, 2016:

My friend Nedra Whiteman Hathaway chose to leave this world under her own terms. It is her hope that others have the ability to make the choice she made if they so choose.  This option is not easily available to those of us residing in Lincoln County, Oregon (though physician assisted suicide is legal in Oregon) because of Samaritan’s policy not allowing its caregivers to provide this care.*  We are a community made up largely of senior citizens, many of whom may wish to die as Nedra did.  They should have that option.

Read below her daughter’s beautiful description of the choice she made, and how important it was to her to have this choice.

Karen Hopkins:

Let me share with you a bit of the story of my mom’s final months… To be able to choose the way, the time, and the place she died was a very high value for her. To her way of thinking this final choice represented a fundamental human right.

After moving to Oakland fifteen months ago my mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and underwent both major surgery and 18 rounds of chemotherapy. Even after this aggressive treatment we learned that the cancer was still present. Rather than enduring any further treatment, she chose to enter Hospice Care so she could stay at home, watch CNN, and be part of family life.

After exercising her right to vote early last week and celebrating her 80th birthday (10/20) with the entire family this weekend, she chose to take the End of Life medication available to her under California law. In fact, on her birthday she was part of a panel of End of Life patients sponsored by the Kaiser Hospital system in Northern California. There she expressed her strong belief in her right to make this decision and the importance that such programs be available to all who suffer.

At her death she was surrounded by her family and confident in her faith. On more than one occasion she said, “I am not afraid to die.” Throughout her last months it was very clear to us all how important family, family history, enduring friendships, in short many of you, were to her. Her last gesture was an expression of triumph and joy.

I don’t know that this is the path that I would chose for myself – although having experienced it firsthand I might. However, to honor my mom’s legacy I want to make sure her story is shared as widely as possible. Thus I share it with you in the hope that you might talk about it with someone you love. She would want this.
Karen

*Samaritan Policy: 

“If a patient requests assistance in obtaining Physician-Assisted Suicide from a member of the health care team with appropriate training and expertise (e.g., nursing staff, social worker, chaplain, or physician), the employee shall:
A. Explore and assess the patient’s desire for Physician-Assisted Suicide and, if desired by the patient, refer the patient to a non-SHS provider or organization to assist the patient.”

Community Radio KYAQ in desperate financial straits – director says may have to shut it down

An open letter to the Lincoln County community from the KYAQ Board kyaq-ss_

KYAQ has received official notice from one of our major creditors that our lease is up for renewal on December 31 of this year, and unless all arrears are paid and the full monthly amount is paid each month, the lease will be terminated. KYAQ currently only has enough revenue to pay half the monthly lease amount. The arrears that must be paid are in excess of $10,000.

This is the greatest existential crisis that has faced KYAQ radio. We have been working hard to increase local programming and are proud of the progress we’ve made in the past year.

* We now have 3 locally produced music programs, one of which features local musicians, with another in development.
* We have 6 locally produced talk programs, including Furious George, FYI with FTD, Talk of Toledo, Latina Corner, our first Spanish language program, and the new program with Bernie Levy, “Everything in the world”.
* We have forged partnerships with many local service organizations, giving air time to allow groups to get their message out to the community.
* We air local news and weather daily, and host a monthly live broadcast of music by local musicians, “Club KYAQ”.
* In addition to more local programming, we’ve increased programming from various public radio sources in an effort to reduce and eventually eliminate repeat airings of programs.

In spite of all these accomplishments, our monthly revenue has increased only slightly. We hold pledge drives and fundraisers twice a year with meager results. Sustaining members who make monthly donations number in the 20’s. As a result, we have been falling behind on our bills virtually from the day we began broadcasting.

So, this is it. If you want a local community radio station, you must help us out financially, or we will have no choice but to close the station and liquidate our assets to pay our creditors.

To donate you can go to KYAQ.org and click on the “DONATE” button. This allows you to set up a monthly donation through Paypal using your credit card. You don’t need to have an existing Paypal account to donate.

(Please note that today, October 21st, paypal and other major internet sites are experiencing a denial of service attack and may not be available. If you can’t reach the Paypal site, try again later.)

You can also donate by sending a check to:

KYAQ
P.O. BOX 1664
Newport, OR 97365

Social Justice Is a Christian Tradition — Not a Liberal Agenda

Many Christians are wary of participating in social justice because of a deep-rooted fear of being labeled “liberal,” “progressive,” or “secular.” They don’t want to be associated with “secular” movements, and are uncomfortable delving into issues that go beyond their cultural comfort zones.

But the Bible tells us that Jesus cared deeply about the social causes around him.

Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Samaritan lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Children’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Gentile lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Jewish lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Women’s lives matter.”
Instead of saying all lives matter, Jesus said, “Lepers’ lives matter.”

Even though Jesus loves everyone, even to the point of dying for their sins, he went out of his way to intentionally help specific groups of people — the alienated, mistreated, and those facing injustice.

So saying “Black Lives Matter” and participating in a movement seeking justice, positive reform, and empowerment is one of the most Christ-like things we can do.

Christians must recognize that our society is filled with numerous groups and communities facing systemic oppression, and we must act. We must be willing to admit and address the complex realities within our world that create such problems, and avoid the spiritual laziness that tempts us to rely on generic excuses and solutions.

Christians do a disservice to the gospel message by removing the cultural context from Jesus’s ministry and watering down his message to one of religious platitudes. We like to generalize the words of Jesus and transform his life into a one-size-fits-all model that can apply to all of humanity.

Throughout the New Testament Jesus was more complex than we give him credit for.

He intentionally, purposefully, and passionately addressed very specific causes. He radically addressed the diverse and complicated conflicts of the time and shattered the status quo.

Jesus wasn’t just preaching a universal salvation message for the world, but he was also addressing specific political, social, and racial issues. He was helping those who were being abused, violated, and oppressed.

Involving ourselves within these issues — serving those who need justice — is an example of following Jesus that today’s Christians must adhere to, because throughout the world there are millions of people who are suffering. But many Christians remain simply apathetic, ignorant, or refuse to admit any problems exist.

They’re uncomfortable facing the complex and controversial issues surrounding race, ethnicity, history, and culture.

To avoid such discomfort, many Christians assume that equality and justice looks like a total dismissal — and rejection of — any cultural, ethnic, or distinguishing form of identity. They believe our very humanity should supersede all other labels or descriptions, and that a love of Christ wipes away any “superficial” characteristic such as skin color, heritage, or other cultural identifier.

They see verses such as Galatians 3:28 that states, “ There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (NIV) to mean that nothing else matters beyond our faith in Christ.

Ironically, verses like this show that these things — race, ethnicity, culture — DO matter to God, because God is recognizing the very public fact that there are various laws, expectations, practices, and opinions regarding each distinction mentioned.

Paul is validating all of the cultural issues associated with Jews, Gentiles, slaves, the free, men, and women rather than disregarding them. He’s stating that Jesus is relevant to these differences, and is working throughout their lives by understanding and recognizing the unique pros and cons they’re dealing with — the privileges, disadvantages, stereotypes, assumptions, treatment, rights, social value, and expectations they face on a daily basis.

Participating in social justice is a Christian tradition inspired by Jesus, not liberal causes, populist agendas, media platforms, lawmakers, or mainstream fads. It’s a deeply spiritual practice.

Instead of being motivated by political affiliations, financial gain, power, pride, control, or our own secular motivations, we should be active participants for the sake of following Jesus — for the purpose of glorifying God by through acts of justice, empowerment, and love.

Because everyone is created in the image of God and loved by God, we are responsible for identifying the victimized — not rejecting their existence.

That’s why the New Testament goes into great depth detailing the newfound worth given to the Gentiles, slaves, and women. These countercultural instructions to believers were radically progressive, to the point where the gospel writers had to put them in writing to make sure they were implemented within the newly formed church.

While God does love everyone and all believers are united in Christ, this doesn’t negate the fact that we have a unique cultural identity and upbringing and are called to recognize the marginalized, help the oppressed, and avoid rejecting their significance by denying their identity or ignoring their plight.

By acknowledging and actively participating in the #blacklivesmatter movement, addressing racism, immigration, gender equality, and a litany of other issues, you are following in the steps of Jesus.

It’s not a matter of pitting social causes against the gospel message of Christ; it’s a matter of realizing that these causes ARE actually an important part of that gospel message.