Archive for the ‘Commentary’ Category

Racism in America by Keith N. Larsen

In 2011, I met an 80 year old black gentleman who was reading a story on Chief Standing Bear. I asked him for his thoughts and he said, ““I believe Racism is not a matter of Skin but a matter of Sin.” He explained further, “If I do not love – everyone – then I am not going – anywhere – with God.” His words moved me in a profound way. It is a rare and wonderful experience to find such personal resonance between belief and expression.
Chief Standing Bear was the first Indian to be recognized by the US courts as a person. We have to ask “What was he before this landmark trial? Not a man? Not a person?” Thankfully, his impossible situation was recognized by several people from Omaha who stepped forward to help correct a moral injustice. The story is told in Joe Starita’s book “I Am a Man.”
Imagine, if you will, a new group of people, blue colored people perhaps… Thousands of blue people, settling on existing Nebraska farms and displacing existing Nebraska farmers off their land. Imagine the laws are written to support these actions and troops are sent to enforce the law. They have to leave and move to Mexico!
As our friends are forced to walk to Mexico how do they feel? They have to establish a new home where the lands and language are totally different. Imagine their anguish! Imagine also that they are promised food and clothing and compensation – but it never comes. Now imagine it is not your friends but you and your family that must leave! This is what we did to the American Indians.
When a “country” sins against a race, it creates new laws and rules to rationalize its actions. America did not legally buy this great land with the Louisiana Purchase – we merely paid France to stop their own encroachment against the Indian people. With a fabricated piece of paper, American politicians and pioneers behaved as if we owned the West.
We took the land – rich land – resource filled land – land filled with rich soil, trees, gold and oil. We surveyed it, parceled it out, and gave it all to homesteaders and giant corporations. It would seem the Indians had no more rights than the wildlife.
Our proud heritage would have us believe our family homesteads were built out of nothing but pioneer blood, sweat, and tears. In general, the homesteaders acted in good faith within the laws of the time and we can’t blame any one person for settling on native lands. There seemed to be plenty for everyone. However, the sad truth is our law abiding ancestors lived in a world that used “White Man’s Law” to take everything from the American Indians.
Although we feel this ancient shame, most farmlands are not going to go back to the Indian tribes. We can’t take land away from the current owners and return it to the Indian tribes. This was a world where “Might made Right” and “White made Might.”
It is ironic to me that we blame other countries for the atrocities they commit but we are somehow able to overlook the misdeeds of our own country. There is a shame so deep it is impossible for us to look at our history with any hope of resolution.
Many unfair choices were made in the name of America’s Manifest Destiny. I think most people can agree our American industry craved the raw materials of this great land – we needed it to grow! It is my personal belief that no corporation and no government will be needed, or welcomed, in heaven.
In recent news, we find that Congress has passed a bill to provide $3.4 billion in compensation to the American Indians who were first robbed of their homes and then robbed of the resources that came from the scrabble lands left to them. This bill is not a welfare program for native Americans but a court ordered judgment of a class action suit filed in 1996. The claim was that our governmental officials mismanaged and stole as much as $100 billion from the resources harvested from Indian Lands.
Let’s be reminded that this bill to compensate the Indian Nations is a natural outcome of the trial of Chief Standing Bear. We find there are real treaties that are backed by the US Government. After the trial 1879, Native Americans were deemed to be real people who are to be protected by those laws.
There has been significant pressure to provide some form of justice. Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) noted that a federal judge has held the federal government in contempt for not funding the Indian case and called it a “bargain for the American taxpayers” that will avoid tens of millions of dollars in court costs. “We are correcting historic wrongs that should never have occurred in the first place,” he said.
Even though congress can only offer cold cash in this settlement, I hope they are able to express personal sorrow in some meaningful way. In the material sense, we will always fall short.
Perhaps, a spiritual cleansing is something that we can offer. Maybe we have a chance to purify our thoughts and bring them into harmony with our actions. Perhaps our penance will be to speak up the next time a demeaning comment is made about someone. We may fall short from time to time but, like my mentor on racism, we can begin the journey needed to “Love Everyone.” Only when we are ready from the inside, can we ask the Indian Nations to forgive us.
Our kudos to Joe Starita and the work he has done to open our eyes with his book, “I am a Man.” We are grateful for the exposure offered by the Public Library’s “One Book, One Lincoln” program. Recently, we are hearing calls to expand our reach of “I am a Man” to “One Book, One Nebraska” and beyond. Maybe the next time we print a state coin, the proud image of Chief Standing Bear will be the one chosen.
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Welcome to TrumpDiaries – Trump Diaries

 What You’ll Find Here – TrumpDiaries is an academic blog that explains what Trump is doing here in Washington. You’ll gain a basic understanding, but I also help readers find out where to go if they want more details.

I want to inform. I also feel there’s a real need to untangle the issues so we feel more confident we actually know what’s going on!

I explain the effects of Trump’s actions, what WE can do about it, and most of all, remind people that we have power and that we can slow him down and even stop him.

I want to educate, support, and provide a jumping off point for people who are just starting to learn about these really important issues. Once you feel you’ve wrapped your head around how crazy things are, I’ll help you find out where to go for more details.

Everything I write about is available here, or you can scroll to the bottom for a list of my recent posts.

Purpose

TrumpDiaries was created to make sure that we never forget how good things were before Trump changed everything. Not everything is bad, only about 99% of it.

Just like everything else in life, some days will be really hard. It’ll be tempting to accept things as normal, to lower your standards so that you can actually feel good about what’s going on. However, you need to always remember that Trump is NOT NORMAL.

In 2020, we want to vote for someone who isn’t just better than Trump but WAY better than Trump and maybe even better than we’ve ever had!

There’s gonna be a day when someone who cares actually asks us what we want, when we have a chance to vote for someone who’s going to pay attention to us, and I don’t ever want to think that’s a fantasy.

For me, writing it all down allows me to remember the way things used to be. If I ever have trouble remembering, I’ll have something to refer to.

I hope you enjoy TrumpDiaries. Please remember that you are worth it, your voice matters, and that you are stronger than you think.

Recent Posts

Source: Welcome to TrumpDiaries – Trump Diaries

Ten Golden Mantras to Those Aging Gracefully | Tips and Updates – BabaMail

Ten golden mantras for those who wish to grow older with style and dignity.

Source: Ten Golden Mantras to Those Aging Gracefully | Tips and Updates – BabaMail

MAYOR SUPPORTS NATIONAL EFFORT TO COMBAT HATE, EXTREMISM AND BIGOTRY

Mayor Chris Beutler has signed onto a statement supporting the Mayors Compact to Combat Hate, Extremism and Bigotry.   The Compact was created by the U.S. Conference of Mayors (USMC) in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) in the wake of the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

“Lincoln prides itself on being a City that welcomes people of all nationalities, races, ethnicities and faith tradition,” Mayor Beutler said.  “What happened in Virginia is a stern reminder that we must all continue to oppose racism, bigotry and discrimination everywhere in America.  I applaud these two great organizations for coming together to promote justice and equality for all, two principles on which this nation was built.  As Mayor, I pledge to do all I can to rebuke hate and promote peace in our City.”

The Compact has 10 key components

  • Expressly rejecting extremism, white supremacy and all forms of bigotry
  • Denouncing all acts of hate wherever they occur
  • Ensuring public safety while protecting free speech and other basic constitutional rights
  • Calling for fully-resourced law enforcement and civil rights investigations of domestic terrorism and hate crimes
  • Elevating and prioritizing anti-bias and anti-hate programs in our nation’s schools
  • Supporting targeted communities and bringing together civic and community leaders to build trust
  • Celebrating diversity, promoting inclusivity and challenging bias
  • Promoting Law enforcement training on responding to and reporting hate incidents, hate crimes and domestic terrorism
  • Encouraging residents in their communities to report hate incidents and crimes, including using hot lines and online tools
  • Maintaining civil rights enforcement and strengthening hate crime laws when necessary

The Compact statement reads in part, “Mayors and their cities must continue to be a beacon for inclusion, tolerance and respect for all.  We will continue to create stronger cultures of kindness and compassion in our communities and expect our federal and state partners to join us in this endeavor.”

More information on the Compact is available at MayorsCompact.org.

The USCM is the official nonpartisan organization for cities with a population of 30,000 or more.   More information is available at USMayors.org.

Founded in 2013, the nonprofit, nonpartisan ADL is the nation’s premier civil rights and human relations organization.   More information is available at ADL.org.

InterLinc: City of Lincoln: Mayor’s Office: 2017 Media Releases Source: InterLinc: City of Lincoln: Mayor’s Office: 2017 Media Releases

Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide 

This report lists and describes 10 ways to fight hate, cites examples of individuals and groups across the country tackling issues of intolerance, and provides a compilation of organizations and materials that can assist in the fight against hate.

Source: Ten Ways to Fight Hate: A Community Response Guide | Racial Equity Resource Guide

  • 1. ACT Do something. In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance — by the perpetrators, the public and, worse, the victims. Decent people must take action; if we don’t, hate persists. page 4
  • 2. UNITE Call a friend or coworker. Organize allies from churches, schools, clubs and other civic groups. Create a diverse coalition. Include children, police and the media. Gather ideas from everyone, and get everyone involved. page 6
  • 3. SUPPORT THE VICTIMS Hate crime victims are especially vulnerable, fearful and alone. If you’re a victim, report every incident — in detail — and ask for help. If you learn about a hate crime victim in your community, show support. Let victims know you care. Surround them with comfort and protection. page 8
  • 4. DO YOUR HOMEWORK An informed campaign improves its effectiveness. Determine if a hate group is involved, and research its symbols and agenda. Understand the difference between a hate crime and a bias incident. page 10
  • 5. CREATE AN ALTERNATIVE Do not attend a hate rally. Find another outlet for anger and frustration and for people’s desire to do something. Hold a unity rally or parade to draw media attention away from hate. page 12 3
  • 6. SPEAK UP Hate must be exposed and denounced. Help news organizations achieve balance and depth. Do not debate hate group members in conflict-driven forums. Instead, speak up in ways that draw attention away from hate, toward unity. page 14
  • 7. LOBBY LEADERS Elected officials and other community leaders can be important allies in the fight against hate. But some must overcome reluctance — and others, their own biases — before they’re able to take a stand. page 16
  • 8. LOOK LONG RANGE Promote tolerance and address bias before another hate crime can occur. Expand your community’s comfort zones so you can learn and live together. page 18
  • 9. TEACH TOLERANCE Bias is learned early, usually at home. Schools can offer lessons of tolerance and acceptance. Sponsor an “I Have a Dream” contest. Reach out to young people who may be susceptible to hate group propaganda and prejudice. page 20
  • 10. DIG DEEPER Look inside yourself for prejudices and stereotypes. Build your own cultural competency, then keep working to expose discrimination wherever it happens — in housing, employment, education and more. 

Kris Kobach says he can’t comply with Kris Kobach’s voter data request – The Washington Post

This is the guy who asked for the data. nebraska needs to withhold SSN data as well. Data is never safe enough as we all know. -keith

He’s not the only Election Integrity Commission member with the problem.

Source: Kris Kobach says he can’t comply with Kris Kobach’s voter data request – The Washington Post

Democratic party ask this.
Please contact Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale at 402-471-1572, (email is john.gale@nebraska.gov) and let him know Nebraska voters do not want him to provide this outrageous request to give our voter information to the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity that Trump calls a “voter fraud panel”. John Gale has not made up his mind yet about this issue. Call now! 
Below is an exerpt from CNN’s interview with Kris Kobach. Click on the blue “letter” to read the entire letter sent to each state and the District of Columbia. Forty four states have refused to comply or to provide only some data requested.  The link to the entire CNN report is http://www.cnn.com/2017/07/03/politics/kris-kobach-letter-voter-fraud-commission-information/index.html
“Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, vice chairman of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which President Donald Trump created by executive order in May, sent a letter to all 50 states last Wednesday requesting a bevy of voter data, which he notes will eventually be made available to the public.The order came months after Trump claimed without evidence that millions had voted illegally in the 2016 presidential election. When states began to express concerns about the legality of his administration’s efforts to investigate voter fraud, Trump called them out on Twitter on Saturday, questioning whether they were hiding something.
The information the commission is seeking includes registrants’ full names, addresses, dates of birth, political parties, the last four digits of their social security numbers, a list of the elections they voted in since 2006, information on any felony convictions, information on whether they were registered to vote in other states, their military status, and whether they lived overseas.
Jane Egan, Chair
Lancaster County Democratic Party
830 L Street
Lincoln NE 68508

Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report: MedlinePlus Health News

Medicare Part D costs are rising because we reach the Gap far sooner as costs rise. -keith —->>>
Cost of brand-name meds for chronic conditions rose nearly 130 times faster than inflation rate

Source: Prices Skyrocket on Drugs Widely Used by Seniors: Report: MedlinePlus Health News

Cost of brand-name meds for chronic conditions rose nearly 130 times faster than inflation rate
By Robert Preidt

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

HealthDay news imageWEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — The prices of brand-name drugs used by many older Americans rose nearly 130 times faster than inflation last year, a new study reports.

“This new report once again highlights the high and unrelenting price increases that are shockingly common in the pharmaceutical market,” said Debra Whitman. She is chief public policy officer at AARP, a nonprofit organization focused on social welfare issues.

“What’s particularly remarkable is that these incredibly high price increases are still occurring in the face of the intense public and congressional criticism of prescription drug pricing practices,” Whitman said in an AARP news release.

The researchers examined the prices of 268 brand-name prescription drugs widely used by seniors, including 49 in drug categories that are used to treat common and often chronic conditions, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

The retail prices of the drugs rose an average of 15.5 percent in 2015, compared with a 0.1 percent increase in the general inflation rate, according to the AARP report.

The study findings also showed the average annual cost for chronic use of one brand-name drug rose to more than $5,800, compared with nearly $1,800 in 2006.

The average older person takes 4.5 prescription drugs a month. This means that current average yearly drug costs could be as much as $26,000, the researchers suggested.

The average median income of Medicare beneficiaries is $24,150.

The drug prices in the report are the total costs, and may not represent the actual out-of-pocket costs that a Medicare patient would pay at the pharmacy, the report authors noted.

Of the 268 drugs included in the report, 97 percent had retail price increases in 2015. Seven had average price increases of more than 50 percent. Five of the six drugs with the highest price increases were marketed by Valeant Pharmaceuticals. The price of the company’s anti-anxiety drug Ativan rose over 2,800 percent between 2006 and 2015, the study authors said.

Report co-author Leigh Purvis said that “prescription drug therapy is not affordable when its cost exceeds the patient’s entire income.” Purvis is director of health services research at the AARP Public Policy Institute.

“Even if patients are fortunate enough to have good health care coverage, high prescription drug costs translate into higher out-of-pocket costs — especially for those who pay a percentage of drug costs rather than a fixed co-payment — as well as higher premiums, deductibles and other forms of cost-sharing,” Purvis said.

SOURCE: AARP, news release, Dec. 14, 2016

HealthDay
News stories are provided by HealthDay and do not reflect the views of MedlinePlus, the National Library of Medicine, the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, or federal policy.
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