Category Archives: politics

Eighty-two days – For the Record


I decided to look up information about the so called “Spanish Pandemic”. My mother was born in December of 1918. Therefore she was barely a month old when people all around the world were dying. It did not originate in Spain as the name suggests.

“Wartime censors in the UK, Germany, the United States and France, anxious not to lower morale, played down the numbers of victims. But there were no restrictions on reporting the figures for Spain, which had taken no part in the war. So the belief grew that seemingly badly hit Spain was the epicentre of the disease.”

Then I looked up the latest information from sources like the CDC, NHI, and the CDC. These are the data based and research based organizations that help to advise the authorities about the precautions that need to be taken and how the spread of a virus, flu or illness.

This is why we should all listen to the appropriate authorities. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic is an acronym or an abbreviation as COVID-19. In COVID-19, ‘CO’ stands for ‘corona,’ ‘VI’ for ‘virus,’ and ‘D’ for disease. There are many types of human coronaviruses including some that commonly cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses. COVID-19 is a new disease, caused by a novel (or new) coronavirus that has not previously been seen in humans.

“Research indicates that children and adolescents are just as likely to become infected as any other age group and can spread the disease.”  – WHO

“The 1918 pandemic came in three waves. During the first, in the early part of the year, deaths were relatively low. The second wave, which began in August, was much more serious, the virus having mutated to a considerably aggressive form and October was the deadliest month of the whole pandemic.”

So if right now our country is averaging 1000 deaths per day. We have 165,000 deaths thus far. If this trend continues, we can potentially end up with another 65.000 deaths by the time the election comes around.

For the record, I am truly concerned. However, we can make a difference right now. My mother used to say not to leave for tomorrow what you can do today. She also told me she was a strong woman because she lived through a pandemic, a horrible hurricane, an earthquake, the depression and was widowed twice. I do not think I want to have to go through all of that to be strong. God bless her soul. I wonder what she would advise me now. One thing is for sure she would advise me to stay informed and take every precaution. She would have done anything to keep us safe. She would not have listened to any nonsense and would make sure she said something when she heard it.

There are 82 days to check out the records. Facts are what we need to hear. The truth is what needs to be spoken.

Please stay safe my friends. God bless America!

 

 

Eighty-three days – When I think about my vows


For better and for worse

in sickness and in health

until death do us part.

Vows that many of us make in a marriage.

 

How sad when you cannot be close

until death wants to separate for your loved one.

So many souls died alone during this pandemic.

 

Some couples died within hours of each other

Death has no pride;

neither does this virus.

It does not discriminate.

It does not care who you vote for

or who your candidate is or what political party you belong to.

 

It is cruel, relentless, and even smart

because you may not know you are afflicted or infected,

until you actually feel ill. It changes the symptoms all the time.

It out smarts you;

Until it may be too late and

no one can come in to be with you when you die.

 

It may leave you with heart problems,

kidney failure and unable to think straight.

In 83 days, at the rate we are going,

Eighty-three thousand people may die.

This can be a reality.

Does this horrify you?

It scares the hell out of me.

I now know three people who are ravaged  by COVID-19

Something’s gotta give.

I vow to try not to infect someone else

I know what we have to do.

Will you?

 

I don to want to sound so hopeless or helpless but I just heard of a family member who has tested positive. She did everything right. So what happened? It is frustrating and it makes me crazy. I do not want to impose my opinions. I try to be positive. I want to write poetry. I want to inspire not to instill fear. So please be safe. In the meanwhile, think about what we can do during this next 83 days.

 

 

 

84 Days – Wow! Wow! Wow!


I just heard the news and could not resist writing a reaction to Former Vice President Biden’s choice for Vice President. Senator Kamala Harris is it. The choice is historical and will be even more historical at the end of 84 days. Like that old television commercial proudly decreed, “You have come a long way baby.”  One hundred years ago women fought for the right right to vote. How appropriate that a woman should picked to be the possible next Vice-President of the United States of America.

We have seen the ME TOO movement create an awareness about abuse and sexual harassment. We have seen people become more aware and more willing to speak up with the Black Lives Matter movement. I had a flashback to the year 2000, when our community was getting ready to make changes that would come to fruition by the year 2020. That community gave themselves twenty years because anything that is worthwhile has to be well planned. 2020 has been a very memorable year for sure. Today perhaps will be the most positive day of all.

I am excited for the future but more excited for the right now. I want to tell my 5 year old granddaughter that for sure she can be anything she wants to be. All I can say right now which is not very eloquent but comes from the pride deep down in my heart, Wow! Wow! Wow!

 

Eighty-four Days – What we are up against?


As a retired educator, I feel the obligation to stress the need to help our children and young people right now. Parents and families need support as schools open within the next few weeks. School districts and their respective boards and local authorities are planning and trying to make ends meet with regard to supplies to keep their schools clean, safe and how to implement spacial distancing.

Many schools continue to advocate for distance learning  or remote learning via Zoom and other Internet platforms. Some districts have opted for a hybrid system alternating days for face to face learning and on-line learning. There is no doubt that these decisions will be protested and opposed by parents, teachers and even our national leaders. There is no one size fits all. There are too many factors to consider.

There is no equity. But then again education has never really been equitable in our country. We even label some school districts poor or rich. This is just a fact. Some cities and towns are funded by property taxes and supplemented by some state and federal entitlements. However, the buildings and technological infrastructure is either excellent and state of the art or very old and in some cases obsolete or non existent. I am not going to point fingers or blame anyone at this point for our failures in education but the truth is not all schools are created nor maintained equally.

Right this minute, parents are trying to figure out how to get their children suitable devices, update their Wifi speeds or even get Internet service, and how to afford remote learning. Teachers typically use their own dollars to buy materials and supplies during the school year. The difference this year is that they cannot buy all their students tablets or computers. So who can help to provide these devices if we should have to go back to stay at home kind of learning? Make a list if you will.

All the medical experts I have listened to have said that children can be infected and can get seriously ill from COVID 19 . Yes, they have better immune systems but what about the immunity of their teachers and the parents and grandparents they go back home to possibly spread the disease.

So, to attend school or not to go back to school is the critical question for all of us. Let us remember that it takes a village. This is just not a cliche anymore. We spend our energy worrying about what sports teams are doing to play and keep their members safe. Many of the players, may I add are millionaires. I support sports just like everyone else; but should not our focus be our education system? Sports fulfill a large part of our cultural needs and help us to relax in many ways. Just like the NFL, NBA and national baseball teams, our educational system needs sensible and professional leadership, good coaching by knowledgeable educators and fitness experts to support students and teachers.

I am calling for action for all of us to do our part. Check out the needs of your school district. If you can donate a tablet or computer. If you know someone who can afford it ask them to donate. Rich companies like Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Samsung, LG, Walmart, Amazon, to name a few, and how about the richer members of the stock exchange to donate computers and devices to communities where children and their families simply cannot afford to get a suitable device. A parent should not have to give their child a cell phone to use during remote learning. Some parents work from home as well. How do they share the time to get on-line? We have always been a very generous country and people. Let us put our money in the right place.

Last, our politicians should work out a viable bipartisan plan to continue to help our most vulnerable populations. We need people to feel safe and empowered again. No one wants to stay home and never leave it. I do not know anyone who loves to be on food stamps or depend on others to survive. Many folks want and need to get back to work.

However we need to help slow down this deadly virus and to keep each other safe. Love thy neighbor! Follow the guidelines to keep yourself and others safe until we find a cure, a safe vaccine and effective treatments. 163,533 souls suffered so much pain and lost their worst life’s battle. Let us not loose the war. It is not appropriate or acceptable to say that “It is what it is”. 

We need to keep up the fight, call out those leaders who are not doing their jobs, vote for those who are capable of getting the job done. This is how we will honor the memory of those who have fallen.

Let us pay attention to our local public officials. Check out what they are voting for to keep our country safe. Write letters, make the phone calls.

Please stay safe my friends.

85 days – Some Points to Ponder


How many times have you actually counted down the days to an important event. I can only think of childbirth. It seemed like the 9 months were eternal. This count down has been agonizing and exhausting. But at the end of these 85 days, we will hopefully be at peace again. Just like the due date for the birth of a child, you are so happy because in the end the wait was so worth it.

I think about zero hour all the time. I would say that it is almost an obsession of sorts. I made a list of all the things I visualize happening after the 2020 Election.

Here are my thoughts about this. Tell me what you think.

1. The media anchors will smile again. Have you seen their faces lately? They are so tired of being called fake news.

2. The wrinkles on my forehead will start to disappear.

3. Hopefully a presidential campaign will not be 4 years long again.

4. No one will have to count the lies.

5. We won’t hear phrases like:

  • A lot people think …
  • Very, very big… amazing…
  • No one has ever seen or done this before ….
  • If you look at ….
  • No more twitter rantings.
  • The swamp will finally be drained
  • Believe me
  • As you know, you know this,
  • You’ll find out

6. I will be able to feel safe again.

7. Hopefully congress will get to work for the people.

Let us keep our eyes on the prize. Our vote is the power we have right now. Stay safe my friends.

 

Photo by Melba Christie (C) 2019

Eighty-six days – What Good Trouble are You Making?


‘When historians pick up their pens to write the story of the 21st century, let them say that it was your generation who laid down the heavy burdens of hate at last and that peace finally triumphed over violence, aggression and war. So I say to you, walk with the wind, brothers and sisters, and let the spirit of peace and the power of everlasting love be your guide.” – Late Congressman John R. Lewis

 

I finally read the entire OpEd written by John Lewis shortly before his death. It brought back Dr. Martin l. King’s last prophetic speech where he said, “I have seen the promise land; I  may not get there with you but I want you to know we as a people will get to the promise land.”

We cannot let the words of these two great men be erased from our history and most importantly from our collective conscience. We need to make sure that their dreams live on. We must exercise our right to vote and to make sure our country is under the leadership of intelligent, truthful and empathetic men and women.

I pray that COVID 19 does not continue to kill so many vulnerable Americans. I pray that I see the change in my lifetime. I pray that I can be a part of the change. We have 86 days to think about what is at stake. It is time to think big like one of my wonderful teachers used to say. He would challenge us everyday with this: “let me see how shrewd you are.” This continues to resonate in my mind.

Of course I just had to write a poem about it. Here it is.

Let me see how shrewd you are,

he’d ask us every morning.

We all knew he expected

from all of us to be

the best that we could be.

He wanted us to see

from all different perspectives.

 

He’d write a quote on the board

and made us think real hard

His methods some would say were a little avant-garde

He had a domineering voice

Everyone had to opine

We did not have a choice.

His quoted people from all walks of life;

usually someone he admired

for their leadership and courage.

 

Everyone loved him

He made learning fun and adventurous

Not once did we get tired

of how vociferous

he was.

If Mr. G is still around

I hope he knows he made good trouble

when he told us

to always stand our ground.

 

 

Are you as tired as I am?


I am so tired;

I am so fatigued.

At the same time,

I am so intrigued

by the power of lies

that flow freely

without shame.

No one wants to call it what it is

Someone please give it it’s proper name.

I am so tired;

when I look in the mirror,

collective conscience concedes.

I am so fatigued.

Are you as tired as I am?

Please let me know how tired you may be feeling about what is happening in our country. I am so interested in knowing the emotional stress that people are under right now. There are apps that are being promoted on-line for people to use for relaxation. I will devote one post a week to try to help myself and anyone else who wishes to join me in coping with the stress and exhaustion caused by the tension, uncertainty and frankly craziness that is going on. Please continue to stay safe and follow the medical guidelines that make sense. We need to protect each other. God bless.

We need to talk


As a lifetime educator, I feel that I must join the conversation on race and how racism impacts all of us. I lived through the protests of the sixties and remember my teachers talking frankly about racism. I feel blessed to have had such great teachers with such enormous insights. I was lucky to have teachers from all backgrounds. Race to me was basically the human race. I always tried to teach my students more about our common ground but always celebrated the differences with equal enthusiasm. Now that I am a grandmother I feel that I owe it to the to be clear about how racism affects us all one way or another. I feel I have to be blunt at times and not sugar coat some of the realities. It is so difficult to isolate children from some of these horribly frightening events. Social media and the television coverage of the latest horror has been so dreadfully painful. As a mother, grandmother, educator, and simply a human being I have to speak out. All grown-ups especially those who are parents have the obligation, I believe, to have the talk with their respective children. If you are not a parent but have a neighbor or family member with children, find a way to join the conversation.

Mr. George Floyd’s little girl declared to the world “MY DADDY CHANGED THE WORLD” and I pray for all my heart and for the sake of all our children. It takes more than a village. A village can only subscribe to one area. We need to expand the village to include all people and all children.

I have posted a few videos that may help some folks start the talk about race and racism. Look for children’s books that show the culture values that exist in all villages. I just purchased a few books from a book store called https://www.eyeseeme.com/ which is owned by an African American woman whose mission is to promote positive images and stories about African American culture and history. Books have always been a source of comfort for me when I have been confused about something or needed to learn more about a subject in order to fully understand a concept. I hope to continue the conversation with my fellow bloggers and with the readers of my blog. It is pivotal to not only have the conversation but to take action in the most creative ways we can from this moment forward so that we do not have to be the witnesses of plain and torturous hatred. I hope to hear from all of you. What will you do to take part in the conversation? #JointheTalk@poemattic.


Challenge Response by Melba Christie – I must speak up


My heart speaks up all the time

but the thoughts are only mine.

My soul speaks up frequently;

but my soul swears me to secrecy.

However today I must speak out loud

I must make at least, Mrs. Metelitz proud.

She always told us to take control of the shroud.

She told us to take a stand

and if we must,


even reprimand

what is wrong,

what is untrue,

oh yes, and whoever wants to misconstrue.

I must speak up

I cannot hold my tongue

It was ok when I was too young.

Today is the day;

when I must say,

what I feel,

Because I cannot believe

what we are all living is really real.

I must speak up before something even more horrible occurs

like more deaths because of ignorance and grave errors

or a war in the midst of this health crisis.

We must decree justice.

I am here to tell you

we must all unite.

and not allow partisan politics win the fight.

We need truth and honesty;

we cannot allow any more of this travesty.

Our democracy must prevail;

and propel our ship with the toughest of sails.

Our journey has been hard up until now;

but together we will make this virus kowtow

to our firm stance and belief

that God will help us get through our grief.

Our Nation of the people,

is our principal value;

one for all and all for one

United we will win the run.

God Bless America.

Image by truthseeker08 from Pixabay

A birthday to remember


As far as I know we do not celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on the exact day February 12 anymore. We celebrate President’s Day instead. No wonder some children have no idea which presidents we celebrate. I asked a 10 year old and he thought the days off are to celebrate all our presidents. Most schools close for a long weekend and of course we all look forward to the sales. But I wonder how many of us remember the date.

Well I want to celebrate Abe Lincoln and remind people of some facts (not alternative ones) and some of his thoughtful, eloquent oratory. Abraham was the 16th president of the United States. He was born in 1809 and died victim of an assassination on April 15, 1865. He was still in office when his assassin John Wilkes Booth shot him at the Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Lincoln was born in Kentucky and the son of Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln. His mother died when he was just nine years old. He was self educated and loved to read. He ended up in the state of Illinois and became a lawyer and later ran as a Republican for a seat in the state senate and won at the age of twenty-five. He later became a congressman. He married Mary Todd and had four children.

We need to remember him for his Emancipation Proclamation in January of 1863 ordering for the freeing of slaves. This set forth the 13th Amendment which would free all slaves in the United States a few years later. During the Civil War Mr. Lincoln held the country together.

He is remembered for one of the greatest speeches in American History, He gave the speech at Gettysburg on November 19, 1863. It’s called the Gettysburg Address.

My first memory of knowing about our 16th president was a poem my teacher read us. She told us about how honorable and honest he was growing up and throughout his life. Two pretty good traits for a president.

I recently visited a family member whose home was built in 1865 and I had a flash back to that moment in my childhood when my teacher emphasized the importance of honest. I looked around the house. It was built around the time we had lost a great and beloved president. He was just fifty-two years old.

“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.”

Here are a few of the quotes I remember learning about in school and thank my teacher for teaching us that these were quotes to live by. I think we must remember their value.

“No man has a good enough memory to be a successful liar.”

“I am not bound to win, but I am bound to be true. I am not bound to succeed, but I am bound to live by the light that I have. I must stand with anybody that stands right, and stand with him while he is right, and part with him when he goes wrong.”

“You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.”

The Gettysburg Address

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us — that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion — that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain — that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom — and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Abraham Lincoln
November 19, 1863

« Older Entries Recent Entries »