Saturday, June 25, 2016

"Eight is not enough."

            The American Bar Association  provided judge Merrick Garland its highest rating. Garland was effortlessly confirmed by a bipartisan vote for the Circuit Court. On March 16th, following the death of  Antonin Scalia, February 13th 2016,  President Obama nominated Merrick Garland which under our Constitution is customary as well as necessary when a Supreme Court seat is vacated for any reason. Despite an impressive record and impeccable credentials only a few Republican lawmakers have even agreed to meet Merrick Garland. let alone consider confirming him as the ninth US Supreme Court justice. 

 Why do we need nine?  Without nine justices our Supreme Court is operating at a diminished capacity. Important determinations will have to be made in upcoming Supreme Court cases this week. All United States citizens have continuously updated information available to them at 

Get the facts at WE NEED NINE. ORG   

         Contact your elected officials and tell them #DO YOUR JOB. The historically unprecedented obstruction by Republican lawmakers is preventing our country from moving forward and keeping pace with the rest of the developed world..  Regardless of your party affiliation this act of obstruction effects all Americans and generations of Americans to come.

   Those lawmakers who are intentionally harming the lives of American voters and the progress of our country should be voted out.   

Video of Minnesota Senator Al Franken courtesy of YouTube

Saturday, June 18, 2016

"Love conquers hate."

"I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person."
- poet, essayist, journalist and humanist, Walt Whitman - "Song of Myself"

                 The very definition of dehumanization is to deprive human beings of human qualities. Men, women and children become the "enemy", " other", "different". When we deny human beings have rights, suffer, feel pain, love and are loved we take away the qualities that allow us to share our humanity. Dehumanization causes us to no longer view people as individuals but as targets, targets of unjustified rage, hatred, targets of greed or targets of lesser value than ourselves. Human beings are reduced to a number- a number of victims or a number of casualties. Our mental disconnection between number and human being allows us to justify hatred, bigotry and intolerance. This is our greatest tragedy. There is a deep sense of numbness in our numbers. When we listen or read news stories from media sources, facts are reported. Part of those important facts is relaying numbers-a number of missing, a number of wounded, a number of dead. It is precisely this disconnection that promotes a separation of ourselves from other humans. We lose our compassion.
      Twelve innocent people were killed at an Aurora, Colorado movie 2012. Later that same year in December, twenty children and six adults were brutally murdered at Sandy Hook Elementary School. One year ago this week nine members of a Charleston, South Carolina church were slaughtered.  In the early morning of Sunday, June 12th, forty-nine human beings, forty-nine brothers, sisters, friends, lovers, co-workers were senselessly gunned down in an Orlando nightclub massacre. The victims of those horribly violent crimes were human beings who woke up on the morning of their deaths to live their lives as any other day, never suspecting for one moment that their lives would be taken away by a man with a gun.  A man with a gun, a man with an assault weapon who had no right or justification to take their lives. Each human being who had their life cut short had the RIGHT to freedom, to love and be loved, to dream, to pursue happiness, to hope, to dance, to worship, to sing, to cry, to LIVE.
They didn't want to die nor did they deserve to die.

     Please visit the  HRCHuman Rights Campaign website which has posted a memorial with the names and photo's of the forty-nine murder victims in Orlando on June 12th. Look closely at the pictures of the beautiful men and women who had their lives taken from them, taken from their families, taken from their communities.  Look at their smiles. Look into their eyes. Read the individual biographies.They were mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, friends, students, soldiers, lovers and children. They are all of us.

    Please take a moment to watch the short video clip taken from C- Span during a fifteen hour marathon of Senate Democrats pleading with Senate Republicans to enforce laws and continue to enact common sense gun control measures preventing further gun related mass murders. Connecticut Senator, Christopher Murphy describes the life of Dylan Hockley. Dylan was a student at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Monday, June 6, 2016

"More than you know...."

                 My heart was shattered by the death of a beautiful, soft, sweet, soulful brown eyed cocker spaniel a few years ago and it still hasn't mended. Such is the power of love. Pets- our dogs, cats, horses, hamsters, lizards, ferrets and more have been honored with an Appreciation Week, (June 5th thru the 11th) and a World Pet Memorial Day, (June 12th.) Why? Don't be so cynical. As astrophysicist, Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson reaffirms in the Nova feature above we have a special relationship with our four legged friends stretching far back in human history.
          Dogs are not only trusted, affectionate, loyal companions, hunters, guides, searchers and field workers, they are keenly intelligent therapists, intuitive healers and protective guardians. Pets can serve as important sources of social and emotional support. Individuals facing significant health challenges such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or severe depression have shown remarkable improvement in overall quality of life from pet companionship. According to research published by the American Psychological Association  pet owners were just as close to key people in their lives as to their animals indicating no evidence that relationships with pets came at the expense of relationships with other people or that people relied more on pets when their human social support was poor or unreliable.  The results of the study were reported in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, published online by the APA .

     According to researchers studying human-pet relationships, " We observed evidence that pet owners fared better both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences than non-owners on several dimensions.” said lead researcher, Allen R. McConnell, PhD, of Miami University in Ohio. “Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, tended to be less fearful and tended to be less preoccupied than non-owners." Sounds like caring for a pet has resulted in a wonderful list of physical and mental health benefits. Personally, pet ownership was an enriching, unforgettable experience prompting one simple warning: Be prepared to have your heart broken.

 The month of June also features:

Adopt-A-Cat Month

National Pet Preparedness Month 

Animal Right's Awareness Week (19-25)

Take Your Dog to Work Day  June 24th

World Pet Memorial Day  June 12th