I don’t know about kids these days, but when I was young, I was taught to respect my elders. Even if I disagreed with them, I still showed them respect.
Nathan Phillips is a Vietnam veteran, a Native American activist and an elder of the Omaha people. On Friday, Mr. Phillips was taunted by a group of young men from Covington Catholic High School as they chanted traditional songs at an event. Wearing MAGA hats, one of the boys involved is seen standing inches from Mr. Phillips with an arrogant smirk on his face. Other boys were chanting “build the wall”.
This is the consequence of having you know who in power. These young men did not get the idea to taunt Mr. Phillips and others like him from thin air. He is enabling these young men to believe that because they are Caucasian and male, they have the right to treat Mr. Phillips as they did. Shame on them, shame on their parents and shame on their school for allowing these young men to believe that such treatment is acceptable.
In 2019, we think that we have moved on from the prejudice and hate of the past. We think that we treat each other as human beings, regardless of labels or identity. But the sad reality is that prejudice and hate are still part of our culture. Until we face both head on, they will remain as a stain on our collective humanity.
To give one’s life to serve one’s country is the most selfless thing any man or woman can do.
Today, America lost Senator John McCain. As both a politician and a member of the Armed Services, he gave his life to ensure that America lives up to her ideals.
Born 1936, he followed his father and grandfather into the US Navy. Shot down while serving in the Vietnam War, he was a prisoner of war from 1967-1973. After finishing his service in the military, he became a politician. Many Americans of a certain generation remember him for running on the Republican ticket against Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election. Known as a maverick, he was not the type of politician to just go along with the rest of his party. He was a politician who did what was right for the country, instead of what was right for the party.
While I did not share some of Senator McCain’s political beliefs, I respected him for standing up for what was right instead of meekly following in the footsteps of his fellow Republicans.
My heart goes out to those who knew him and loved him. May his memory be a blessing and may we remember, as Americans, what he did for this country.
Wherever you are Senator, RIP.
Growing up is never easy. Especially when the relationship between one’s parents is tumultuous and your growing up at the end of the world.
In Kristin Hannah’s new novel, The Great Alone, Leni Allbright is a young lady growing up in the 1970’s. Her father, Ernt, survived The Vietnam War, but came home a changed man. Her mother, Cora, loves her husband passionately and will follow him to the ends of the Earth. The ends of the Earth is a small town at the edge of the Alaska wilderness. In the beginning, their new home is nirvana. It is a chance for the family to start over. But the past is never far behind and as winter approaches, Cora and Leni must face the truth about Ernt.
The only thing I can say about this book is wow. Kristin Hannah has done it again. The narrative was tense, dramatic and I was on the edge of my seat until the final page.
I absolutely recommend it.
Immigrant has become a dirty word in this country, especially since you know who became President.
While the ban on Transgender troops was lifted last year, there are many who are willing and able to serve, but are given the runaround when they present themselves as recruits.
Today, the Associated Press reported that immigrant recruits are being quietly discharged by the military.
Not only is America the land of immigrants, but her military is made up of immigrants or children of immigrants. My grandfathers, the sons of Jewish immigrants, served their country in World War II. One of my great-uncles served in World War I. Many Irish immigrants fought for the North and the South during the Civil War. Similarly, European immigrants fought for America during World War I. They wanted to prove that they were just as American as any native-born soldier.
The fact is that America has not had a draft since Vietnam. Everyone who signs up for the military is doing so of their own free will. They know, just as we know, that it is an honorable, but perilous profession.
To potentially put your life on the line to protect the American people, reveals to me at least, the nature of those who join the military. I could say the same thing about you know who, but he did use the excuse of “bone spurs” to get out of serving in Vietnam.
Life is complicated, that is a fact.
In the 1997 television movie, A Call To Remember, Paula and David Tobias (Blythe Danner and Joe Mantegna) are middle-aged Holocaust survivors just living their lives and going about their business. But while they are still trying to keep back with the demons of their past, they are also dealing with the reality that their eldest son Jake (David Lascher) may go off to fight in Vietnam.
After the war, many Holocaust survivors returned to normal lives. Marriage, kids, jobs, etc. But the trauma, both physical and emotional that they experienced never left them. What I really appreciate about this movie is not only the normal relationships between the main characters, but also how resilient they are in spite of everything that they experienced.
I recommend it.
Freedom of the press is one of our core freedoms. Without that freedom, our democracy is not a democracy.
The new movie, The Post, takes place in 1971. Kay Graham (Meryl Streep), is the owner/publisher of The Washington Post. The Vietnam War is raging on and the country is split down an ideological divide that looks impossible to cross. Kay is dealing with two equally troubling the issues: the newspaper’s financial issues and the fact that she is not just one of the few women in the newsroom, but one of the few women running a newspaper. The men around her are not exactly pleased to have to deal with on a professional level. Ben Bradlee (Tom Hanks) is her editor who is not afraid to tell the truth. After the New York Times publishes the Pentagon Papers and is called by the government for the printing, the documents get into the hands of the Washington Post. The question is, do Kay and Ben publish the papers and is freedom of the press more important than the security of the nation?
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this movie is a must see for every American citizen. It is a must see because the same arguments that the real life versions of the characters were having 46 years ago, we are still having the same arguments today. Especially with you know who in the White House. It is also a must see because without knowing it, Kay Graham was one of the women who helped to break the glass ceiling. She is still remembered today for her contributions in the arenas of both supporting the right of a free press and for the thousands of female journalists who have careers because of her.
I absolutely recommend it.
A good comedian is more than the joke coming out of their mouth. A good comedian makes us laugh, brings people together, helps to create understandings and heal the wounds that hate and prejudice create.
Yesterday, we lost comedian and civil rights activist Dick Gregory. A few hours ago, Jerry Lewis passed away.
In the 1960’s, Dick Gregory was the face of black comedy in America. Breaking the color barrier, he used his platform to speak of the injustice that African-Americans faced. He use his celebrity to fight not just against prejudice and hatred that were part of daily life for African-Americans, but he also protested against the Vietnam War by going on a hunger strike.
He was 84.
Jerry Lewis is more than an actor/comedian/philanthropist. He is an icon. Pairing with Dean Martin in the 1950’s, Lewis was the goofball compared to Martin’s straight man. When they professionally parted ways, Lewis became a star in his own right. One of his most beloved movies (and my personal favorite) Jerry Lewis film is The Nutty Professor. While on the surface, it is slapstick comedy, there is a more subtle message about self-esteem, finding love and being brave enough to show the person who you love your real self.
He was 91.
The Vietnam War was one of the most brutal and controversial wars in recent memory.
In 1987’s Good Morning Vietnam, it is 1965. Adrian Cronauer (the late and sorely missed Robin Williams) is a Airman and a radio DJ sent to Vietnam to entertain the troops and bring some reminder of home. His unorthodox personality and on air persona does not go over well with some of the military higher-ups on the base. Though he is not on the front lines, he will experience the war in a very real and raw manner.
What strikes me about this movie is that while it is very funny at points, it is very dark and hard to watch at other points. The brutality and destruction that war brings is not lost on either the audience or Adrian.
I absolutely recommend it.