A Few Things

Hello, Friends. Happy Independence Day! How are you? I know lots of people are feeling conflicted about celebrating today. And I totally get it. Here’s some of what I’m seeing and hearing out there.

1- This man is one of several people who have explained they feel like they can’t celebrate freedom when we have so many asylum seekers in cages (many of them children!), and so many citizens sitting in jail cells for things like being too poor to pay $500 of bail, or for marijuana charges — a drug that’s now legal in many states. They are celebrating the idea or concept of freedom instead.

2- Several people I follow have said if you read one thing on the 4th of July, it should be this painful, necessary, infuriating read in the Atlantic titled “The Detention Camps at the Border Are a Crime.”

3- Poets.org helps us remember that America doesn’t always act as inclusively as we should.

4- This woman is reminding people that wherever you live in America, you are on land that was taken from native tribes and communities. She includes a link where you can look up the original peoples of your land. According the map, I’m living on land that belonged to the Chochenyo tribes.

5- George Takei, who knows what it means to be in an American concentration camp, wrote this today about cherishing the promise of America:

6- This essay by Frederik Douglass, titled “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?” comes highly recommended as the best thing ever written about this holiday.

7- This man used to work overseas in counterterrorism, but now works in his hometown as a local cop. His focus today is on FDRs Four Freedoms.

8- You can find the Close The Camps patriotic pie here.

How are you feeling today? We watched fireworks last night, and then slept in this morning. We were originally planning to go to a local parade, but didn’t end up making it. (Oops!) No big plans for the rest of our day beyond watermelon and popsicles. : )

Before I sign off for the long weekend, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

-The best way to fight global warming? A new study suggests planting at least a trillion trees.

-Hah! Spicy snack power ratings.

-An activist was arrested for reciting a poem criticizing immigration policy.

Why plants don’t die from cancer.

What a Pediatrician Saw Inside a Border Patrol Warehouse.

A budgeting game for teens.

-“If Kentucky were a country, we’d say that it was receiving foreign aid on an almost inconceivable scale.” (NYT)

Tiny homes for sale on Amazon.

-I enjoyed this essay. Politics Is Changing; Why Aren’t the Pundits Who Cover It?

-Minnesota has a plan to pay residents to grow bee-friendly lawns.

-“With hardware, it’s easy to see how it’s affecting us or not fitting us, so it’s relatively easy to fix. What’s more concerning to me are algorithms being trained on highly biased male data sets.”

-The best! Enjoy this article written by Sue Bird about her girlfriend (and soccer mega-star) Megan Rapinoe.

I hope you have a really wonderful holiday weekend. I’ll meet you back here on Monday. I miss you already.


17 thoughts on “A Few Things”

  1. Pamela Balabuszko-Reay

    Thank you as always for your thoughtful posts. I’m so far past conflicted that I don’t even know what to call it. I can’t say I’m celebrating today. I appreciate all of your links. Enjoy your time with your family today💓

  2. I so appreciate that this blog has such a moral core. I love the design elements, but your thoughtfulness and empathy are what keep me coming back. Thank you for not turning your back on politics in such an important moment. <3

  3. What a sad way to approach a holiday. Can we continue to dwell within, to inhabit, to soak and wallow and glory in all our past faults and failures like this, day after day after day, accusing one another of all we’ve done wrong, and also move forward into a better future with hope for change individually and as a collective society? Find another, more perfect nation, then. I’m proud of all that our nation has striven for, broken and imperfect as we are today. We can do better, every day. Learn from the past, look with optimism to the future! I had a wonderful Fourth and enjoyed the DC celebrations as well as local events! So blessed to be a U.S. citizen.

    1. It is sad. I wish it weren’t. I love my country, and I’m also nauseous every time I think about kids being separated from their families and held in unspeakable conditions. I have a three-year-old son, and it is nightmarishly easy for me to imagine him being taken away from me and held in centers like the ones I’ve read about. I don’t think what I’m doing is wallowing or soaking in my country’s failures. I think my nausea and my tears are normal reactions to extreme and unnecessary human suffering–and a horrified awareness that, as a US citizen, I am culpable for what my country does. Last night I watched fireworks with my son in my lap, my arms around him because although he enjoyed the lights, he was a little scared by the noise. I am grateful that it was so easy for me to comfort him. Every child deserves that comfort and protection from a loving parent or caregiver. God have mercy on us for tearing families apart.

  4. United States Patriot!

    Well, one thing we *didn’t* do yesterday, July 4, was to watch any televised political *programming*. We chose to hang with family, watch local parades, played, swam, ate too many rice crispy treats, watched the fireworks, and avoided social media…

    until the long drive home. Twitter was accessed and we noticed a few tweets replaying our most esteemed supreme leader recalling the events of our most powerful military and their prowess during the Revolutionary War. It was impressive and a caution to the world! Do NOT try US bad people who don’t belong here! I got a chill of pride how our ARMY, *in 1775!* were SO cunning and capable on the ground, in the air, controlling the SKY! (I cannot wait for SPACE FORCE!)

    We soon found ourself reading many of the historical tweets, –records from those early Patriots!, that prove just how brave -and truly *revolutionary* George and his army were in the trying circumstances of war! If you are interested in reading their accounts you can search on twitter ->

    #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories or #RevolutionaryWarAirports

    Please choose wisely and vote!

  5. Thank you for sharing these links. I will read and marinate and think about our past and our future. I just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate you sharing this information in this incredibly bleak moment in America.

  6. I like this quote from Shirley Chisholm, “I don’t measure America by its achievement but by its potential.” I think this echoes the Taki quote and expresses well the way I feel about my country. While I love my country and am very grateful for the men and women who came before me who sacrificed for the potential of America, we should still be striving to form a better country for all of the people within our borders.

      1. Gabby, I felt so conflicted on July 4 and came to your blog that day thinking you might have the right things to say. And, of course, you did. Thank you!

    1. I feel the same Ann. I do not feel patriotic at all. I participated in 4th of July celebrations, but treated them more like a summer family reunion. Seeing our flag everywhere makes me cringe a bit because of what America represents lately. 2 encouraging things: the World Cup games and the line: “Dissent is patriotic.” If that’s true, maybe I am the most patriotic of all?

  7. I couldn’t f*cking love the article on Megan Rapinoe by her talented girlfriend, Sue Bird, more. GO USA! This is who we are.

    1. As far as equality in pay for women’s soccer it’s simple economics: the public interest level (and revenue) in men’s soccer has in the past far exceeded women’s. Surely someone has tried to explain that to Megan. And throwing around the eff word just makes all of you look adolescent, like Trump

      1. The men have failed to qualify for the past 3 out of 4 Olympics and can’t even qualify for World Cup, where the women routinely qualify, play out of their minds and have won 4 stars. Did you happen to see how packed the stadiums were for the Women’s World Cup? The women’s team is far more interesting, hard working and successful than the men’s team. They deserve support and fair pay.

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