42/52 – Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright

Standard

Madeleine Albright was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia and after living in the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, her family applied for asylum and emigrated to the United States in 1948, becoming a US citizen in 1957.

She received a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a PhD from Columbia University. In 1993, she was the UN Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1997 became the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, continuing until 2001.

In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As many women in government and the political fields, she is often judged or at the very least has had her fashion sense scrutinized by the public and the media. Does anyone remember conversations about Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits?

For Secretary Albright, she was often seen wearing pins. So many pins of all shapes and sizes, colors and styles. I can relate. I have my own collection of pins, ranging from plastic holiday pins to show off as a teacher to fandom as well as pewter pieces and place name souvenirs from trips I’ve made.

Unlike mine, her pin collection was put on display and she wrote an accompanying book to go along with the collection’s display. I’ve recently read it, and was fortunate to see many of Secretary Albright’s pins, at least in picture form. I enjoy sharing this with her.

Below the cut, I have included many of photos of my own pins in a variety of groupings.The photos are in no particular order of importance. It’s just how they were imported onto the site.

Every time I went to post this since Tuesday, I came across more pins that I wanted to share, so instead of editing this again, I think I will post pictures of more pins next week in its own post.

Continue reading

33/52 – Jimmy Kimmel

Standard

To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel. He’s funny and he tells intelligent jokes. He’s good at political humor, and satire. He can also be biting. I think it was a chance watching of one of his early works on Comedy Central: The Man Show. It was…not my cup of tea to put it mildly.

However, last week and the weeks previous back to when he talked about the birth of his baby son, Billy had me catching up with his monologue, at least on YouTube.

People, politicians mostly, got upset with him for moving out of his lane, comedy, forgetting that before he was a comedian he was a person. And as any parent knows, or should know, once you have kids, your parenthood comes first.

He spoke what was on his mind, made his priorities known, and most people agreed with him.

Then, they came for him.

The hypocrites.

And he did not crawl away, hurt, insulted, fearful of what his ratings might turn to, but he came back stronger, and he came back stronger because he had the truth on his side.

He spoke the truth.

He let his heart sit on his sleeve, and talked about what his family was going through, and reminded the hypocritical politicians that his isn’t the only family going through this scary time. They’re not even the only family with health insurance, but there are many more who don’t have adequate health insurance or any health insurance at all.

In fact, if you follow the news, you’ll have read, between the President’s golf game and berating the hard-working Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Congress ignored a key deadline and failed to reauthorize the CHIP, the children’s health care plan that has helped millions of children. Today, they wake up with no health insurance. What are they supposed to do?

No, Jimmy Kimmel isn’t an expert on health care, but he is an expert on what health insurance and health care provides for his family; for his children, andhe has every right in the world to speak about it, and if that shames Congress, well, they should be ashamed.

Here are some links to the CHP information in addition to more information about Jimmy Kimmel.

Jimmy Kimmel is just a person, just as we all are. There is something we can all do, but first we have to stand up.

Jimmy Kimmel
Official YouTube Channel
The Anger of Jimmy Kimmel (from The Atlantic)

The Washington Post article on the failure of Congress to reauthorize CHIP

#covfefe

Standard

​Other than my getting in on the meme, we can’t let this joke get too out of hand. This presidency is not a joke, it is frighteningly incompetent.

That said,  I feel like this #covfefe was a collective release of 120+ days of stress and fear, and we really, really needed it.
Let’s get back to withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and taking away women’s rights to reproductive freedom. 

1. Global warming is so pervasive it is affecting the morning songs of birds as they become more confused by the climate change. 

2. Everyone knows that birth control and comprehensive, accurate sex education is the number one preventor of abortion. Let’s get on the page of truth and education and cut down on unnecessary abortions.

Post-Election Reflection – FBI, DOJ, WH

Standard

​Whatever you think of Rachel Maddow’s opinions and politics, put those aside and find tape of last night’s show (May 9th, 2017). Rachel Maddow makes no apologies for her very strong feelings or her liberal, progressive beliefs. However, she is one of the brilliant minds in politics today. She’s smart, honest, and educates and explains hard to understand politics with details that often get overlooked or ignored by partisan pundits. She is much more than that.

Her educational background includes a Bachelor’s degree in public policy. She attended Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship and earned her doctorate in political science.

To not take her seriously or dismiss her as partisan would be at your own peril.

Continue reading

March for Science – An Introduction

Standard

​Tomorrow is the March for Science. As these important issues come up, I’m trying not to be political, but what we call political actually affects a number of people’s real lives. From crime to health care, immigration to women’s equality and civil rights for all, these are basic things that many of us deal with on a daily basis. I know people are tired of hearing about privilege, but if you’re not affected by these issues and simply see them as politics as usual, then more than likely you are in a privileged group.

That doesn’t mean that you are rich or have no troubles of your own; it is simply that from your perspective you can’t understand “the big deal”  or why some of us are so vocal. You may or may not take your rights for granted, but for some of us who live the day to day of having our civil rights violated, it has been very frustrating.

Whether or not you believe that our global climate is changing or whether or not you feel that it is a man-made problem, it is eveyrone’s responsibility to maintain adequate living conditions for everyone here now, and everyone to come.

This simply means taking care of our environment.

Conserve water.

Turn off the lights when you leave the room.

Adjust your thermostat.

Pick up litter.

In listing them, these should not be controversial. In fact, many of these should be common sense.

When a new White House Administration comes in, their priorities take precedence. They focus on what they feel is important. Looking back decades, we can see that. Even President George W. Bush, whose policies didn’t believe in climate change still did his part to protect the environment without compromising his capitalist values.

When the Trump Administration came in, on the very first day, they eliminated web pages from the official White House website. Ignoring what we would deem controversial like the justice department, immigration, LGBT+, and ethics policies, they also shuttered anything about climate and environmental protections as well as national parks, and food and drug safety. This included established and agreed upon science.

You can’t change facts.

You can disagree with them; you can have a differing viewpoint in how to address them, but facts are facts.

Our children need to know how to read and analyze data critically, objectively, and sadly, we are all being lied to when less than knowledgeable people are in charge of the various departments.

Tomorrow, as we have been doing since January on a variety of topics, we stand up for science.

We must broaden our minds, and think critically, and problem solve, and communicate with the best minds. We should encourage science education and questioning.

Science. Not silence.

This is the first of a series of posts for the March for Science and science resources. Please add your own suggestions in the comments. Now more than ever, we need to be here for each other and for our planet. We have one chance to get it right.

Stand up and be counted.

Emma’s Book Club

Standard

Continuing the Monday book recommendations that I began a few weeks ago with President Obama, I’ve chosen Emma Watson’s book list for this next grouping of weeks. 

Most people probably know Emma from her role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series of movies. She can currently be found on big screens as Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast.

She speaks out forcefully on feminism and equality, and whatever other issue comes to mind. She doesn’t hold back. She is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women as part of HeforShe which advocates for gender equality.

She seems to be a voracious reader, very  much like Hermione, and she shares that with the world through her social media accounts and public activities.

Not only did she have her own book club on Goodreads, she also hid books on the London Underground to encourage reading through an organization called Books on the Underground.

The first of the books on her recommended list is one that I just finished recently and one that fits into the crazy narrative that’s gripped US politics. Paranoia, wiretapping, fake news, and phony polls. When Mr.Trump became President Trump, people said we should re-read 1984. I graduated high school in 1984, and I know I read the book, but I couldn’t really remember it, so I re-read it, finishing it just last week.

The similarities are mind-boggling and frightening. One of the things that I am reminded of in both re-reading this book and watching current events play out is that history must be studied and learned and remembered or it is destined to repeat itself. In too many cases, we can’t let that happen. We must stand up for what we believe and what we see and hear with our own eyes and ears, respectively. I won’t get into specific politics other than to say it’s important to know what’s going on in the world and pay attention to it; to grasp facts and differentiate them from opinions and hyperbole. We still have time.

But first, read 1984 by George Orwell.