Tag Archives: President Barack Obama

Donald Trump has ruined the country I love

Greetings, readers. I am a nervous man. I read the headlines on the internet news pages and I am seeing things going horribly wrong. What’s worse, President-Elect Trump is not even in office yet. He is making choices that I highly question, such as appointing people to head government departments when they oppose the work of those departments, and he does not intend to get daily intelligence briefings. Today I learned that four Republican electors might change their vote to change the outcome of the election. The problem is, who would go in next? Vice President-Elect Pence is no better than Donald, in some ways he is worse. What I would love to see happen is to allow the American people, who overwhelming gave Hillary Clinton the nod in the popular vote, their choice. Is that going to happen? Hell no. Why? Because that would be the right thing to do, and the United States of America hardly does the right thing anymore.

We need gun laws, but no, that interferes with our right to bear arms. So, teenagers and children can get shot up in schools and drive-by shootings. Sorry parents, that’s the Constitution for you. The American dream has become the American nightmare. When I was a kid, the American dream stood for enough money to buy a house, at least one car, and to be able to pay your bills without worry, and maybe even have a little left over for a week’s vacation at the beach. Now, both parents have to work at one or more jobs that don’t pay much, and between child care costs, bills, and grocery bills, people are lucky if they have any savings at the end of the month at all. I’m 51 years old, and for the first time in my life I look around my town and I am scared. There has been an increase of homeless people here, folks who just can’t seem to make it anymore and have given up.

The economy has grown somewhat, as I understand it, but to me those are just numbers. It seems that a lot of people have not seen better times yet. I don’t know how well off we really are, and I certainly don’t think we should have changed the political party in charge at this particular time. Although President Obama had his flaws, the economy did seem to pick up and we have a skeleton health care program which can be improved on. The Republicans wish to scrap it and begin again, leaving everyone who benefited from the Affordable Care Act in the lurch.

I feel like hopping on the ship Queen Mary II, or the Queen Victoria, and doing the immigration trip in reverse. I could visit my family in Holland for four years. Would I move there permanently? No. But right now the U.S. of A. is leaving me with such a sour taste in my mouth that even Listerine isn’t helping. I suppose I’ll be forced to give Donald Trump a chance, but I won’t wait long to bail. My nerves can’t take it. Do I want the President-Elect to drop dead? Absolutely not. I wouldn’t wish that on anybody. But it would be nice if he just left office on his own. No other President-Elect since I’ve been born has made me this jittery. Time will tell if my mind eases.

Until tomorrow when we will have another blog entry for you, take care, have a good day, and happy reading.

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From Rebecca: The satisfaction of voting

This week we had our primary election in Pennsylvania. I proudly voted, as did Joe, and my husband Darren. Voting in every election is a tradition passed down to me from my folks, especially my late mother, Betty Lee (Durham) Dowlin Rodgers. Mom never took voting for granted. She considered it to be one of the most patriotic duties any citizen could do. She also believed strongly in civil rights, and she was very moved the day Barack Obama was elected the first African-American President of the United States. I am so glad she lived long enough to see that. She voted in every election because she knew the importance of a nation forming its own governing body.

The government of the United States of America, from the smallest local level to the highest federal office, is chosen by the vote of the people of the United States. (I know, electoral colleges choose the president/vice president ticket, but those votes are based on the election counts.) This puts the power in our collective hands, and by voting we wield that power. There is a saying that we get the government we deserve, and we do that by voting. Or by not voting, withholding our voice, and letting others determine our leaders.

Exercising our right to vote is especially important for all women, as it was denied us until the 19th amendment in the year 1920. The country is over 200 years old, and voting rights came for women less than 100 years ago. Our forewomen fought hard for it, and I do not take it for granted.

Some have told me they don’t want to vote because they don’t know enough about the candidates to make an informed decision. I can understand and respect that view. I use the League of Women Voters Guide for most of my information about the candidates, but I could do a lot more research of my own. I do know that an informed vote is a better vote. That said, I feel confident enough using the Guide to go to the polls twice a year. And, I see that as more a reason to do more research instead of a reason not to vote at all.

In local elections we vote for positions that often have the most effect on our daily lives, though we might have the least information about the candidates for them. Or there might be no candidate listed, just a chance to write-in a name. They don’t feel as important as a congressperson or the governor, but those are important jobs too. People who are elected to – or hire people to – register our official papers, regulate safety for different industries, school board, township board, department of transportation, etc. touch our lives in so many ways; government services we use, depend on, or are inconvenienced by (i.e. road construction) daily. When we feel powerless, we need to remember that we do hold power and use it with elections. I also admire those people who chose to serve by running for those small local offices, so that there is a name there instead of a blank line.

Another valid reason for not voting in every election is the problem of Independents being locked out of primaries. I don’t know the solution, but there must be some way, other than registering for a political party that they don’t believe in, for independent voters to participate in the spring elections. In State College this was a particular issue this time, as there was a ballot question that we all needed to vote on, about the township going into debt to rebuild the high school. I heard on the news that independents were allowed to vote on that question.

The night of the election I checked the news to see if my candidates won, and they did not. More people voted for someone else, and I am bummed by that. But all of us who voted collectively chose the people who will go on to work on our behave, representing us and our interests. (Or will keep campaigning for the general election. Then go on to work on our behave, …)  That is a good thing.

My view on the possible Redskins name change

Greetings, readers. Dominating the sports news the last few days has been the discussion about whether the Washington Redskins should change their nickname, as some view Redskins as offensive to Native Americans. Rebecca and I have just finished doing research on other people’s views on this topic and on other team names; such as the Atlanta Braves, Kansas City Chiefs, and Chicago Blackhawks. So, we will tiptoe through this blog entry and hopefully not offend anyone.

Our main source of information today was from an article on CNN.com from October 8, 2013 by Alison Harding titled “Tribe seeks to force NFL Redskins name change”. The article, and videos on the same page, use interviews and quotes from people attending recent events in Washington, as well as older interviews. Included are statements from the Washington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder, from President Barack Obama, and from the Oneida Indian Nation representative Roy Halbritter. Other views: One gentleman made the point that a lot of pee-wee and high school teams across the county use the name Redskins. If they were forced to change the name as well, imagine how much money that would cost. Another person said that many fans don’t mind the name, and continue to purchase tickets and merchandise with the Redskins logo on it. Until that stops, the name change probably won’t happen.

In my research I have learned that the Washington Redskins have been an NFL franchise since 1933 and before that they were in Boston. According to this article, the franchise began in Boston and if I understand the article correctly, the team was already called the Redskins. If this is not correct, I apologize.

An easy fix would be this. In the early 80s, Washington had a United States Football League team called the Washington Federals. Why don’t the Redskins just buy the rights and call themselves the Federals? I’m sure something could be worked out. Even though that team was only in existence for two seasons in the failed USFL I never heard anyone complain about the name or the logo.

Over the years the Redskins name change has bubbled to the surface only to dissipate. Recently, President Barack Obama said that if he owned the team, he would consider changing the name if it offended other people. However, Redskins owner Dan Snyder said he would never change the name and in an interview last spring he told a reporter that you can put ‘never’ in CAPS. Roy Halbritter, representing the Oneida Indian Nation, said that Redskins is a racial slur that hurts the self-image of Native American children.

My personal view is this; Being the wishy-washy person I am, I can see both sides of the coin. The Redskins name has been around since at least 1933, if not longer. But that is really no excuse for continuing to offend Native Americans. Sure it would be easy to change the name to the Federals or the Congressmen, or even the Deficits (haha), but just like the Indianapolis Colts, formerly of Baltimore, and the St. Louis Rams, formerly of L.A., it would take generations of fans to get used to the new name. The bottom line, however, is this: The name is offensive. In a video clip to the above linked article, the name Redskin is a racial slur according to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary.

Ok, now that I have Washington off my chest, let’s talk about other teams. Names like Braves, Chiefs, Blackhawks, and Seminoles do not seem to have any racial slur attached to them. This is why I think that the Redskins are being singled out. I’ve learned that the Florida State College Football team actually got permission from the Seminole tribe to use their name. Kudos to them.

The other big question then becomes, should all sports franchises using Native American nicknames, be forced to change their nickname? I say no. With the Redskins nickname being an obvious racial slur, that is the one to go if any should.

Until next week, enjoy your day, take care and happy reading.