If you are a Canadian and you are complaining about our health system, have a good look at this letter.
Everynow and then I come across a hunk of software on the web that is just right, perfect, so topical, or just plain down right nasty. Today's find is the Trump Filter an add-on to Google Chrome that will filter out all news about the Donald. You can get this software by going to Trump Filter. This gets two thumbs up.
I found the following article helpful in thinking about the Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville VA this past weekend. In tribute I will be including the words of Heather Heyer as the closing of every one of my emails for the foreseeable future: “If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Heather should have a monument.
An open letter from the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson - - Jack Christian and Warren Christian
Dear Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney and members of the Monument Avenue Commission,
We are native Richmonders and also the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson. As two of the closest living relatives to Stonewall, we are writing today to ask for the removal of his statue, as well as the removal of all Confederate statues from Monument Avenue. They are overt symbols of racism and white supremacy, and the time is long overdue for them to depart from public display. Overnight, Baltimore has seen fit to take this action. Richmond should, too.
In making this request, we wish to express our respect and admiration for Mayor Stoney’s leadership while also strongly disagreeing with his claim that “removal of symbols does [nothing] for telling the actual truth [nor] changes the state and culture of racism in this country today.” In our view, the removal of the Jackson statue and others will necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice. It will begin to tell the truth of us all coming to our senses.
Last weekend, Charlottesville showed us unequivocally that Confederate statues offer pre-existing iconography for racists. The people who descended on Charlottesville last weekend were there to make a naked show of force for white supremacy. To them, the Robert E. Lee statue is a clear symbol of their hateful ideology. The Confederate statues on Monument Avenue are, too—especially Jackson, who faces north, supposedly as if to continue the fight.
We are writing to say that we understand justice very differently from our grandfather’s grandfather, and we wish to make it clear his statue does not represent us.
Through our upbringing and education, we have learned much about Stonewall Jackson. We have learned about his reluctance to fight and his teaching of Sunday School to enslaved peoples in Lexington, Virginia, a potentially criminal activity at the time. We have learned how thoughtful and loving he was toward his family. But we cannot ignore his decision to own slaves, his decision to go to war for the Confederacy, and, ultimately, the fact that he was a white man fighting on the side of white supremacy.
While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer. We are ashamed of the monument.
In fact, instead of lauding Jackson’s violence, we choose to celebrate Stonewall’s sister—our great-great-grandaunt—Laura Jackson Arnold. As an adult Laura became a staunch Unionist and abolitionist. Though she and Stonewall were incredibly close through childhood, she never spoke to Stonewall after his decision to support the Confederacy. We choose to stand on the right side of history with Laura Jackson Arnold.
Confederate monuments like the Jackson statue were never intended as benign symbols. Rather, they were the clearly articulated artwork of white supremacy. Among many examples, we can see this plainly if we look at the dedication of a Confederate statue at the University of North Carolina, in which a speaker proclaimed that the Confederate soldier “saved the very life of the Anglo-Saxon race in the South.” Disturbingly, he went on to recount a tale of performing the “pleasing duty” of “horse whipping” a black woman in front of federal soldiers. All over the South, this grotesque message is conveyed by similar monuments. As importantly, this message is clear to today’s avowed white supremacists.
There is also historical evidence that the statues on Monument Avenue were rejected by black Richmonders at the time of their construction. In the 1870s, John Mitchell, a black city councilman, called the monuments a tribute to “blood and treason” and voiced strong opposition to the use of public funds for building them. Speaking about the Lee Memorial, he vowed that there would come a time when African Americans would “be there to take it down.”
Ongoing racial disparities in incarceration, educational attainment, police brutality, hiring practices, access to health care, and, perhaps most starkly, wealth, make it clear that these monuments do not stand somehow outside of history. Racism and white supremacy, which undoubtedly continue today, are neither natural nor inevitable. Rather, they were created in order to justify the unjustifiable, in particular slavery.
One thing that bonds our extended family, besides our common ancestor, is that many have worked, often as clergy and as educators, for justice in their communities. While we do not purport to speak for all of Stonewall’s kin, our sense of justice leads us to believe that removing the Stonewall statue and other monuments should be part of a larger project of actively mending the racial disparities that hundreds of years of white supremacy have wrought. We hope other descendants of Confederate generals will stand with us.
As cities all over the South are realizing now, we are not in need of added context. We are in need of a new context—one in which the statues have been taken down.
Respectfully, William Jackson Christian Warren Edmund Christian Great-great-grandsons of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson
WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—In a fiercely defiant statement on Tuesday, the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, denied that any member of the White House staff has ever worked "in any way, shape, or form" for the benefit of the United States. Angrily addressing the press corps, Spicer said that any allegations that members of the Trump Administration have ever acted in concert or collusion with the United States are "unequivocally false."
"At no time during the transition or afterward did any member of the Trump team have meetings, conversations, or any other contacts that furthered the interests of the United States of America," Spicer said. "In the thousands of communications that took place, the United States never came up even once."
Drawing a stark contrast with the Administration of former President Barack Obama, Spicer said that many members of Obama’s staff were “clearly and flagrantly working for the United States government at all times.”
“President Trump has put an end to that,” he said. In closing, Spicer said that the recent effort to pass the Republican health-care bill should silence “once and for all” those trying to link the Trump Administration to the United States government. "If you look at the interaction between the White House and congressional Republicans, there is absolutely no evidence of coordination,” he said.
A few months ago I caught a glimpse of a documentary on TVO titled Don't Panic, The Truth About Population. I needed to see the rest of this documentary, so I found it on YouTube. It is about an hour long, but the presenter was so energetic and his messages so exciting that I did not want it to end. In fact I have watched it more than once. Hans Rosling, the presenter is a Swedish medical doctor, academic, statistician and public speaker. I have concluded after watching a few presentations by Dr. Rosling that I do not know very much about the world. I have always felt that we were making progress on the important gender, health and economic issues, but then there is the despair built by CNN groaning on and on about the problem areas of the world, seldom showing the progress, just focusing on politics and shootings. Watching a bit of Hans Rosling can be a tonic for all of the negativity of normal broadcasting. I recommend watching:
When you are finished, if you enjoyed it, try Googling for more video presentations. I was not disappointed.
Well - ISIS is not happy with Canada. They think that a good way to express their displeasure with Canada is to kill Canadians. Hmm. Probably not a good train of thought for the leadership of ISIS. Canadians do not really respond well to intimidation. Dieppe (just a test), and Beaumont-Hamel (the real thing) did not intimidate Canadians or cause us to question our beliefs of the difference between right and wrong.