Speak For Those Who Cannot Speak For Themselves

Posted in Congress, faith, immigration, kentucky, louisville, Obama, politics in the united states, World News with tags , , , , , on July 22, 2014 by June Key

This is the second time I feel compelled to write my blog about the children who are coming to us for help and understanding from Central America.

Thank God we still have good people whose heart has not turned to stone. I know my list is incomplete but my information is only as good as the daily paper chooses to print. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie said, “We are an empathetic people in this country and we don’t like seeing people suffer,” despite bashing our President in the process. Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner said her city “has a long history of welcoming immigrants” – from her grandparents to recent waves of refugees from Bhutan, Iraq and South Sudan. She suggested six buildings on the old campus of the former Maria Regina College be used to house and care for them.

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said, “You have to take a step back and say, ‘We’re talking about kids as young as five’ – “What’s our role as human beings?” Barrett, Davenport, Iowa Mayor Bill Gluba, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, and Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland have said they would put together teams to look for suitable locations to help.

Thank you, thank you, thank you, each and every one. Great leaders rise to the top by not always looking for votes but for something like this – thinking outside the box to look out for these children; children not unlike your son or daughter.

In an article in the same paper there was a story about a very young boy in San Pedro, Sula, Honduras, who had two of his friends, eleven years old, snatched from their home. Their bodies were found chopped to pieces. That is how he lives each day – in fear of the same.

If each of our states would take 1000 of these children we would save 50,000 children. An example is my state of Kentucky; we have 122 counties. If each county took nine children, that would be 1098 children saved. Please use your creative ability and please do something to help these children. If we had not had some visionaries in our government in the sixties, it is possible we would still have our African-American brothers and sisters in the shackles of racism and a second class existence.

Please America – open your hearts. Ministers of all faiths, find in yourselves the voice of humanity. Let’s help these children of God. They need to be supported with the voices of caring people. Let the choir start by adding each of our voices.

The pause that reflects?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 16, 2014 by June Key

There are days when I almost regret being an avid reader of the morning newspaper. In the last week the following news items appeared.

Somali troops retook the presidential palace in the capital of Mogadishu after militants forced their way in and exchanged heavy gunfire with troops and guards Tuesday, the latest attack underscoring the threat posed by Islamic extremist group al-Shabab in East Africa.

Iraq has told the United Nations that the Islamic State extremist group has control of a vast former chemical weapons facility outside Baghdad where 2,500 chemical rockets filled with the deadly nerve agent sarin or their remnants were stored with other chemical agents. Iraqi’s U.N. Ambassador Mohamed Ali Alhakim said in a letter to U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon that “terrorist” groups entered the Muthanna site June 11 and seized weapons and equipment.

In Jerusalem, sirens blared Tuesday night, soon after the city announced that it was opening its bomb shelters “within hours” and that residents should prepare their personal or building shelters. Tel Aviv made the same announcement an hour earlier. Meanwhile in Ashkelon, many are waiting to see whether Israel wages an all-out war on Gaza. People are afraid to leave their house and afraid to leave their kids home alone. Israel, inching closer to outright war, mobilized up to 40,000 troops Tuesday for a ground invasion of the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and fired intense aerial counter strikes into the region where rockets have been launched at Israeli cities.

Ukrainian security forces encircled and shelled separatist strongholds in the eastern cities of Donetsk and Luhansk on Tuesday, continuing a swift offensive to retake the center of the pro-Russian insurgency. Ukrainian Defense Minster Valeriy Heletey said earlier that there will be no cease-fire until rebels put down their weapons. Government forces launched a bombing campaign and a push to retake border crossings.

I am thankful we do not have our young men or women engaged in these horrendous wars that are annihilating the innocent men, women and children of these countries. And for what I ask? Power grabbing or just because they can? May I remind those you Adolf Hitler was a power grabber, one country after another. He also died in his bunker like a sniveling coward, taking his own life rather then face the consequences.

I wish we could designate a day at a certain time we could pause across America and have a prayer for peace in the world.

Hobby Lobby Hypocrisy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on July 10, 2014 by June Key

I just read a letter to the editor of our local newspaper. I was already angry about the whole self-serving “crap” pertaining to Hobby Lobby and their denying access to birth control to their female employees via the company’s insurance plan.

The letter proclaims that it is part of the Hobby Lobby owner’s religious conviction and, therefore, his right to want the denial of benefits. That is the cop out used when busy bodies want to interfere in the lives of those who do not embrace their beliefs. It is also a dangerous move to recognize a for-profit corporation as able to have a religious belief – individuals have beliefs. And this individual is hiding behind his corporation.

As in 99% of cases where one group thinks they have the right to determine or, I should say, undermine the rights of others, here you will find false or, at least, poor reasoning and self-serving hypocrisy. Hobby Lobby’s 401K investments are deeply tied to companies that produce contraceptives. Not only this, but a fair amount of what they sell is Made In China, where the one-child policy has resulted in millions of abortions. How hypocritical can you get?

In the past I have been a customer of Hobby Lobby, and I am now finding I resent every dime I ever put in their cash registers. I assure them they will never see me in their store again. I would like to echo the biblical saying referred to by this letter writer saying, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” And, may I add, take care of your own business and you will have enough to do to in answering for your own transgressions.

I have a suggestion for those who want to tell women what they can do with their bodies, even though it is absolutely no one’s business.

If each of you would adopt one of those precious little babies we are going to “throw back over the border” to a deplorable life of hunger, and give them hope for their future it would help solve a humane challenge and make you a hero in what you think to be God’s eyes.

Picking and Choosing Battles

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 8, 2014 by June Key

This is not an easy blog to write. My anger is so out of control. I do not take joy in extreme feelings, especially anger. If there is one mother or one father that could read or listen to the news about the three hundred girls that have been abducted from their school as they slept and not feel extreme anger, then may God have mercy on their soul.

Some girls have been held for three weeks by the terrorist organization Boko Haram, who has killed thousands of Christians (and Muslims as well as they try to enforce strict Islamic law). They have announced that they intend to marry these little girls to their members or sell them at the market place to be “used” however the buyer chooses.

This is happening in a conflict-ridden Nigeria. Edmond Keller, a UCLA political science professor, said that the west is more concerned about human rights in Ukraine, Syria and other world hot spots than in Africa, adding, “There’s a certain amount of racism involved in the tendency to look upon African conflict as being normal and being a part of the way Africans behave, as opposed to something whites need to be concerned with.”

What a tragic state of affairs that this warped sense of racism is still so prevalent in the minds and hearts of people – that hundreds of young girls, no different than your daughters or mine are only worth the barter they would bring at a street market.

The political powers (I’m looking at you America, Britain and France) must do what is necessary and bring those children home. We have put boots on the ground for reasons far less important than this.

Beautiful Dreamer

Posted in Uncategorized on May 6, 2014 by June Key

What a beautiful Derby Day. The sun cooperated, the flowers were in bloom, the ladies were beautiful, the gentlemen dapper, the hats flamboyant, and, once again, the thoroughbreds magnificent. Last but certainly not least, as with each year, the heartrending sound of “My Old Kentucky Home” grabbed our hearts and brought tears to our eyes.

This year was even more poignant for me. I had been researching the life of Stephen Foster, the great American music composer, who wrote “My Old Kentucky Home.” I found that his beautiful music was published by a number of unscrupulous publishers who never gave him a cent, using his music to make huge amounts of money for themselves. In a time when being professional songwriter was not a recognized career, he tried to make a living as one…and failed. Today, with the system of royalties that rewards songwriters of popular songs, he would have been a millionaire with the right representation.

However, I learned he had practically nothing. After his family left him to return to Pittsburgh, he was living down and out on the Bowery at the North American Hotel in New York City. He was ill and had had a fever for several days. He had tried to call the chambermaid but fell against the wash basin which was next to his bed and shattered it, also smashing his head. In that era there were no antibiotics or transfusions and he died three days later. In his wallet was a scrap of paper with these words written on it: “Dear Friends and Gentle hearts,” along with thirty-eight cents in civil war scrip and three pennies.

He was buried in Allegheny Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the age of 37. Perhaps, one of his most beautiful songs,  “Beautiful Dreamer,” was published just shortly after he died.

Balancing the Good New Days and the Good Old Days

Posted in aging, education, memories, newspapers, schools, technology, Today's World on February 24, 2014 by June Key

I was just watching a little girl eating a ice cream cone and realized how quickly it was melting as she walked in the sun. Then, for no good reason I started thinking about other things that go poof and they are gone, probably not to be seen again. For example, the block of ice the iceman used to carry into our kitchen with his ice tongs, or the letters the postman brought with the three cent stamp attached. The list could go on and on but the one item on the list that is the saddest is the more than 291 newspapers that are defunct, MIA in the past few years. And the list increases every day.

It is not only the printed word, it is the written word also. Teaching penmanship is no longer fashionable in our schools; consequently, we are not teaching the beauty of the English language. The theme paper and number 2 pencils we coveted have seemingly been relegated to the dust heap, and in their places we have a keyboard, a return, back space and alphabet button on a computer. I believe in progress and I love my IPad and computer, but I wish we did not exile one for the other. Personally, I am glad I had to make all those circles learning to keep the numbers and letters between those two lines, and glad I had to write all of those thank you notes because it was the proper thing to do.

Teachers have so much that is required of them for testing purposes that I am sure something had to be eliminated. And I understand we are living in an electronic age and students have to embrace that; their future depends on it. However, I think they have missed out on some important things also.

I grieve the most about our newspapers but I have to accept that family owned newspapers are almost a thing of the past. It is more about advertising that brings in the money, not the news. I don’t think we will see the likes of the newspapers I grew up enjoying: the four or five sections of 10 or 12 pages in each section, every day.

At the same time, I still progress is wonderful. I will gladly accept ice cubes over the old ice pick and the block of ice.

Seeking New Challenges

Posted in aging, Blue Streak, education, reading on February 7, 2014 by June Key

My book Blue Streak is finished, the official book signing was held and I have responded to all the many kind remarks I received.

I began bouncing ideas around, thinking, “What next?” After all, being 89 years old is not a reason to accept finality about anything. I still have this blog, but my brain was seeking something more.

For some time I have bounced around the idea of a book or set of books for children. I am currently working on a book of fables, Unique Island.

While I was looking through several pages of activities for and with the residents here at Oxmoor Retirement Lodge I found some I would love to participate in, but I knew my lack of hearing would be much too stressful for both those I would be working with and myself.

I read the list and, lo and behold, it almost jumped off the paper and into my arms: HISTORIAN!!! I love history, I love researching, and I love sharing history with others.

I talked with our Oxmoor Activities Director, Marissa Morrison, she gave me the green light, and I was off to the races. So, now I shall search for interesting events to write about and research. It is a win-win opportunity. I learn by doing and I share by learning.

So far I have shared information about the Chinese New Year, the Olympics, the Oxmoor Estate, part of which our home, Oxmoor Lodge, was built on, St. Valentine’s Day and the Beatles’ arrival in the United States.

Never say there is nothing more I can do; that age has finally caught up with me. Age is no reason, age is just an excuse.

New challenges keep you involved, motivated, productive, and happy. Try it – you may like it!

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