The GOP is determined not to be upended by Sharpie Gate.Presidential primaries in several states have disappeared and the party wants us to know “…The contrast between Mr. Trump and the Democratic field is a demonstration of just how much Mr. Trump understands the American psyche and just how much most Democrats do not.” They know that in this week’s contest for weird news, “Sharpie Gate” might outdo the Taliban-Camp David story, the firing/resignation of John Bolton, the U.S. military’s spending related to Trump’s Ireland golf course, and maybe all the other 12,019 false or misleading presidential statements documented by Fact Checker.
How did this mess escalate so quickly? We began with a silly photo-op when Trump, trying to prove his earlier claim that Dorian put Alabama at risk, produced a map showing the hurricane moving in a sharpie-drawn curve towards Alabama. We progressed to goofy when Twitter erupted with sharpie memes: Trump with 6-pack abs, bone spur feet, and, my favorite, a check from Mexico for ten trillion dollars for the wall.
When President Trump threatened to cut off $4 billion in foreign aid, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition emailed how cuts could limit the response to outbreaks of the deadly ebola virus. Concerned, I immediately thought of John Germ, past president of Rotary International, who spoke at Glynn Hodges’ recent Mastermind meeting. Yes, we were inspired by his story of being the first in his family to graduate college. And we were speechless at his stories of navigating outdated military planes on the verge of crashing. We empathized with his struggles to finish college while marrying and having his first child. But it was his dedication to eradicating polio world-wide, his ability to see the challenge as an invitation, that held us in awe.
We all know that after the back-to-back mass shootings this weekend, there will be renewed discussion over gun control and safety. We also know that the debate will probably go nowhere, as usual. Even though many of these massacres are committed using military style weapons, many anti-gun control folks maintain that owning these semi-automatic rifles is aconstitutional right.Why should law abiding persons be limited because of a few crazies out there.But given that CBS news reports more mass killings in 2019 than days so far this year. It’s time to re-examine our cultural norms regarding military-style weapons.
The latest thing in political discourse is a doozie. The liberal “Squad” has become the hate target of the week, revving up the President’s campaign rally in Florida. Charges of racism are flying all over the place after the “Send her back” chant. Thirteen seconds went by as the President sat back and took it all in. While push back was furious with much “racist” name calling applied to Trump. He disavowed those chants the next day and claimed he’d immediately started to talk fast to silence the unruly crowd. Talk show hosts had a field day with that one. The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah inserted a video of Olympic track star Usain Bolt winning a medal in the same time it took before Trump spoke.
Trump basked in the congratulations of a right-wing British commentator known for hateful anti-Muslims and anti-Semitic remarks. But I doubt anyone in the UK or the US was surprised when Trump immediately turned around and ranted about the Squad’s anti-Semitism and racism. Our political warming is producing unprecedented heat waves, stoked by increasingly divisive leadership.
“As we gather together at this exploration & celebration of our cultural diversity, let us ask for the blessing of our Creator who has placed us all on this precious planet. Let us give thanks for our shared hope for a future where we can harmonize, not homogenize, the intersection of race, ethnicity, religion, generation, and genders represented in this room.” That’s how I began my invocation prayer for Chattanooga’s Chamber of Commerce Diversify Summit. The luncheon at the Convention Center was packed with every generation, from grey-haired sages to newborn infants with their moms. Attendees represented corporations, small businesses, universities and colleges, nonprofits, networking groups, media, and municipal agencies.
I hate the idea of abortion. I hate everything about it and I know I have plenty of company. No one has warm fuzzy thoughts about abortion. Whether you’re pro or anti-abortion, the term evokes pain and suffering as well as sorrow and mourning, Abortion has been a political football for as long as I remember, but the game has become more intense than ever.
Abortion was just a whisper in high school back in the sixties when a friend got pregnant at sixteen. She had the baby, dropped out of school, and never returned. It wasn’t an uncommon story since Roe vs. Wade didn’t became law until 1973. Birth control pills weren’t even a whisper because while legal in 1965, it was only for married couples. Unmarried women weren’t allowed to purchase birth control until 1972, another seven years.
Your may think that the cost overrun for the Fall Creek inn is a state budget issue is just a dollars and cents issue. You’re probably annoyed that you’re paying for the extra $11 million with your tax dollars. Those overruns pushed the replacement cost from $29.4 to $40.4 million and pushed the completion date from 2020 to 2021. Was it an accident that increased the damage? Were mistakes made and now you’re stuck paying the bill to clean up the mess? The answer should get your attention, and keep it.
It was painful waking up to the terrorism news that suicide bombers in Sri Lanka had targeted hotels and churches during Easter services. Hundreds of people were killed and hundreds more were injured. At first, officials pointed to the perpetrators as a local group of radical Islamists espousing a terrorist ideology. Then they announced that international connections had helped design the attacks. At this point, Sri Lanka shut down online social networks, a move that would limit conspiracy theories, copy cat attempts, and violent revenge attempts. Was the ban prompted by guilt that warnings had been ignored, or by the experience days before in Paris?
Years ago, I sat on a bench with a group of women in a neighborhood park watching my toddler play in the sandbox. A young woman sitting next to me and commented on how adorable my sweetie was. No better way to get a young mother talking than that. So after trading a few more comments on my two-year old, I asked her if she lived near the park like me. Her answer startled me, “I’m officially homeless as of 8 am this morning.”
I turned and stared at her. “I called the police to tell them that my boyfriend was threatening me with a gun. They came immediately, but instead of arresting him, they told me to leave the apartment because I was agitating him.” Smiling at my confusion, she showed me a black-and-blue mark on her arm and said, “How do you think I got this?” Then she said that the police advised her she to never go back because they couldn’t guarantee her safety. “It’s my apartment, under my name, I furnished it and pay the rent! I should at least be able to get my clothes. ” I couldn’t think of anything to say as she wandered off muttering, “I need to find a shelter somewhere.”
The Systemic Diversity and Inclusive group gladly presents the recent interview with Deborah Levine, The Editor-in-Chief at the American Diversity Report and a member of the group. The interview was moderated by one of our own, Pamela Teagarden, a leader in her own right, and one of our own who has continuously provided unparalleled leadership to the group. Deborah is well endowed with a wealth of diversity and corporate experience. She is an expert in deciphering the framework for meaningful diversity and inclusion and inventor of a cognitive technology for dealing with unconscious bias. While making the case for infusion of competing perspectives, she can guide us to find common ground that fosters effective diversity and inclusion while advocating for the planning of strategic business priorities with emotional intelligence and smart decision making. Without further delay, please watch this remarkable lady and how she shared her work on systemic diversity…