What I Believe

I believe:

That we are spiritual creatures on a human journey

That most animals are more intelligent than humans

In peace, acceptance and respect of everyone, regardless of the skin color, nationality, who you love, what gender you identify with, religion, or political party affiliation. I may not agree with your opinions, but I will defend your right to have them.

That we all are in need of love, home, comfort, food and medical care.

That when Jesus said “Love one another…” He didn’t finish the sentence with “except”.

We are all in this life together to help our brothers and sisters.

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Featured post

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

Small Great Things

This is such a wonderful book that I’m reposting my review.

I was thinking today of some of my greatest influences, even as a child. Dr. King, Selma, Maya, Mahalia and Dinah Washington.  For some reason, maybe reincarnation? I have always felt a pull.  The first time I heard Dinah sing, “This Bitter Earth”, I cried. When I heard Mahalia sing, “It is No Secret”, I cried.  Maya’s “Still I Rise”, Dr King’s “I Have A Dream”, and when I learned of the events in Selma, I cried.  And recently, after reading Small Great Things.  I don’t cry easily, I really don’t.  And I can’t stand racism, bigotry and xenophobia.

Back to Small Great Things. This book moved me to tears. It is sad, poignant, though-provoking, touching, gripping and compelling.  Without a doubt, this book will be on my favorites shelf.

I have often said that I am “colorblind and a humanist”. I very much believe that everyone should be regarded equally with respect. To me, we are all God’s children. Black, white, gay, straight, Hispanic, Asian, Muslim or Mormon none of it matters to me as neither does creed or religion. As long as you’re not hurting anyone, I believe you should be able to live your life, in peace.

Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?  The infant ends up dying and Ruth is charged with murder and committing a hate crime.

Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

A couple of poignant statements:

“I am not a racist, Ruth. And I understand that you’re upset, but it’s a little unfair of you to take it out on me, when I’m just trying to do my best—my professional best—to help you. For God’s sake, if I’m walking down a street and a Black man is coming toward me and I realize I’m going the wrong way, I keep going the wrong direction instead of turning around so he won’t automatically think I’m afraid of him.” “That’s overcompensating, and that’s just as bad,” I say. “You say you don’t see color…but that’s all you see. You’re so hyperaware of it, and of trying to look like you aren’t prejudiced, you can’t even understand that when you say race doesn’t matter all I hear is you dismissing what I’ve felt, what I’ve lived, what it’s like to be put down because of the color of my skin.”

“Active racism is telling a nurse supervisor that an African American nurse can’t touch your baby. It’s snickering at a black joke. But passive racism? It’s noticing there’s only one person of color in your office and not asking your boss why. It’s reading your kid’s fourth-grade curriculum and seeing that the only black history covered is slavery, and not questioning why. It’s defending a woman in court whose indictment directly resulted from her race…and glossing over that fact, like it hardly matters.”

Oh my God. I am guilty of that and I am sorry.  I would never intentionally dismiss what anyone has lived through, especially the black community.  A tweet today from the Women’s March:  “Throughout history, violence has been committed and justified in the name of white womanhood.  Terence Crutcher is no exception.”

I remember Dr. King saying “if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.”  And I am left with the question, what can I do to make a difference?

 

Featured post

Sold On A Monday by Kristina McMorris

Based on a stunning photograph in depression era America, the story is about two people who work to reunite a family. It’s 1931, and a reporter who is out on an assignment, takes a photograph of two boys playing in front of an old farmhouse. He is stunned when he sees a sign that reads “2 children for sale”. His intention was not for publication, but for personal, a reminder of the younger brother he lost as a child. Lillian, who also works at the paper, finds the photograph and includes it in with the other pictures to be published.

The photograph is published nationwide and leads to Ellis’ big break, but a mistake has been made and he and Lillian race against the clock to right the wrong.

The story was thrilling, well written and a very enjoyable read. Lillian is strong and protective and is a good balance against Ellis, a woe begotten misfit,

It’s sad to know how often this happened during those dark times in American history, but be sure to read the authors note following the story.

Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks for the ARC

#TreasonSummit

Treasonous and Traitorous Trump. If you’re not angry, you’re not paying attention!

By Hook Or By Book

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If you were watching the press conference with Trump and Putin earlier and thought your hearing went, yes Trump just threw our intelligence community and our country under the bus. Here’s what he said after being asked if he believes our U.S. intelligence or Putin.

Let me just say that we have two thoughts. You have groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why haven’t they taken the server? Why was the FBI told to leave the office of the Democratic National Committee? I’ve been wondering that. I’ve been asking that for months and months. And I’ve been tweeting it out and calling it out on social media. Where is the server? I want to know, where is the server and what is the server saying? With that being said, all I can do is ask the question. My people came to me, Dan Coates came…

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The Delivery Girl by Tony McAndrew

The Delivery Girl

When I read this book, I was blown away by the imagery the author is able to portray.  Gritty, dark, emotional and powerful.  Honest to God, I thought I was reading something by John Grisham.  He’s that good.  I thought there’s no way this is the first novel.  I receive a lot of requests to review new authors and it’s something I enjoy doing.  Sometimes I get clunkers, sometimes, pretty good, but wow, this is one of the BEST books by a new author I’ve read.

Anna Ramanova is a 9 year old girl who is abused by all of the kids at school on a daily basis.  She is bullied, beaten up and emotionally abused at school.  She’s very smart and has a photographic mind.  Her home life is even worse.  Her mother was murdered by her stepfather but the police believe it to be an accident.  Her step father and step brothers are all part of a large drug operation.  Anna’s job is to deliver drugs via her bicycle all over town and during all hours of the night.

Her life is bleak and she keeps wanting to kill herself but can’t make her body do what is needed.  One day she is at her mom’s grave when she sees a statue of archangel Michael.  She climbs up, hugs it and prays for help.  The next day, a stranger is there to help her when the school bullies are trying to force feed her dog feces.  His name is Mikhail and they soon become fast friends.

My friends, I could not put this book down.  I finished it a week ago and it has stayed with me, every day.  As someone who has survived child abuse, mentally, physically, sexually, emotionally, abandonment and neglect, I love a story when there is someone there to rescue someone like little me.  I am at a point in my healing where it is safe for me to do so.  But for those of you who are not, or are sensitive to such tragic issues, this may be a difficult story for you to read,  Also, there is an incident of dog fighting.  When I realized what was about to happen, I skimmed ahead a few pages for I’m very sensitive and triggered by animal abuse.

This is a terrifically written story, it is meaty, edgy, and wonderful.  Thanks to Tony for writing such a fantastic novel.

 

Say WHAT???

Filosofa's Word

Two stories yesterday just left me … speechless.

Alabama has been a controversial state in recent years, in no small part due to Roy Moore, a federal judge twice tossed off the bench for failing to uphold the law, then a credibly accused pedophile running for a seat in the U.S. Senate to replace proven-racist Jeff Sessions, who is now the U.S. Attorney General.  Whew … makes your head spin, doesn’t it?  Historically, Alabama has been a republican stronghold, though that may be changing, given that they didn’t fall for Roy Moore’s story in December and voted in Doug Jones, a democrat, rejecting Moore for either his lawbreaking ways, his racism, or his pedophilia … who knows which?

Well, Alabama is back in the news, and I want you to sit down, because what I’m about to tell you is going to surprise you … or maybe not, in the…

View original post 763 more words

German Chancellor Angela Merkel Bites Back At President Trump’s Accusations Against Her

Thanks Gronda for another well written post. I particularly like the sign, pro-American, Anti-Trump.

Gronda Morin

Image result for photos of nato july 2018

On the 11th day of July 2018, the republican US President Donald J. Trump started off demonstrating the sheer depth of his bulling style by berating NATO officials for its member countries not paying more towards their defense expenditures. It made no difference when others reminded him that most countries are contributing more and that almost all have agreed to coffer up 2% of GDP by 2024-2030 as had been previously promised. Later the president countered that the countries should start paying their fair share of 2% immediately and that should work towards a goal of 4%.

It sounds like President Trump cannot accept a win which makes those observing the president’s posturing wonder, what his real motives are. Is he acting to create a confrontation to where the president can then announce the arbitrary decision to have the US leave NATO as a member country?

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Later, President Trump acting…

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Shelter in Place by Nora Roberts

I live in a state which has had 2 tragic, terrible mass shootings: one in a high school and the other in a movie theatre.  So I was a bit startled when I started reading Shelter in Place which begins with a mass shooting in a theater and mall.  Once I could catch my breath again, I was drawn in the story.  For fans of her “In Death” series, you’d probably enjoy this book.  If you tend to enjoy more of Nora’s lighter books, not so much.  We’re taken into the mind of a killer, a definite narcissistic psychopathic bitch from hell.  She’s hunting down the survivors of the mall and/or their family, one by one throughout the country.

The characters are strong, I love CiCi, a self-proclaimed hippie artist and Essie, a present day Eve Dallas.  I grew tired of the villain and her thoughts but really enjoyed Simone and CiCi’s conversations.  I could definitely see a series starring Essie, a detective who was on-site at the shooting.  The story continues from the day of the shooting to about 10 years later.

As typical of Nora’s stories, there are some funny moments, some to shed tears and no weak females.  I love a great thriller and this is definitely one that was hard to put down.

 

From Anne Lamott: The world can feel like an alcoholic father sitting in the living room in his vile underwear, tranced out or abusive; and the world can feel like your favorite auntie who thinks you are just great, still likes to hike, always brings trail mix, and knows her wildflowers. These are excruciating times, and this is the kingdom. It’s two, two, two mints in one. So yeah, some of us are a little tense. But we are not flattened. Nor do we look away from the suffering of others. And no matter how bad things look and how long change is taking, we don’t give up on goodness. Here is proof: we still take care of each other in ways that are profound, loving and sacrificial, by the bedside of our most beloved, and in the streets. We show up: the secret of life. We gather in cities to rise up, and at local parks for live music in the sun, where we and our cranky neighbor end up doing the old tribal hippie two-step in the same shaft of light. We are still laughing—some of us perhaps a bit maniacally—and people are creating the greatest, most live-giving routines and cartoons and responses. This is what saved me during the Cheney years. It was chemo. So, great laughter, community, joyous and/or sacrificial love. We can work with this! It is more than enough. Here’s the one fly in the ointment: we have to do this in dim lighting, what with a political fever dream, and our own failing memories and overwhelm. Life is always like E.L. Doctorow’s great line about writing, that it is like driving at night with the headlights on—you can only see a little ways in front of you, but you can make the whole journey that way. You still have to buckle up, no matter how slowly the car is moving. Put on the radio and sing along, loudly and off key. You just have to trust that, as John Lennon said, “Everything will be okay. If it’s not okay, it’s not the end.” I heard a story last week from a sober friend that almost completely captures my understand of goodness and life, a story that has been medicine for my worried, worried soul: Caroline stopped drinking 30 years ago, at the age of 40, with zero interest or belief in any kind of higher power to whom she might be able to turn when cravings overcame her. But after a year of white-knuckle sobriety, contemptuous of a higher power, hanging on through will power, she one day heard and then found a frog in her shower. She lifted it and gently carried it in her cupped hands through the house. She could feel and, of course, imagine its terror. She took it out to the garden, where there was a moist patch of earth over near the blackberries, and set it down. It sat stock still for a bit, and then hopped away into the bushes. She said, “My name is Caroline. I’m that frog.” I am, too, and I am also a big helper. When I have felt most isolated and lost, I have always ended up being carried back to the garden in people’s good hands, to where I need to be, afraid and not breathing. for much of the way. And I have helped carry scared people, the best I could. You have, too. Isn’t that what grace is, when some force of kindness, against all odds, with unknown hands, brings us from fear and hard tiles to a moist patch earth, and sets us down? If I were God’s west coast representative, I would speed up the process a bit, and hand out klieg lights but I can’t. All I can do is to try and help you get back to where there is moist soil and fresh air, and let you help me. And those happen to be the two things I most want in life.

https://m.facebook.com/AnneLamott/posts/1550066625122975

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