SOL17 DoodleaDay 26 United We Stand

IMG_3726_doodleaday_united_we_stand

A Story:

Today, there is…

fear

discrimination

divisions

intolerance

power wars

hatred

Tomorrow there ought to be…

calm

listen

share

accept

understand

hope

compromise

love:

listen openly; value experiences

I believe this because…

I believe in

the dream of a United States of America

each person, an opportunity, a human with hopes for a better tomorrow

all persons created equal

with liberty and justice for all

indivisible

diversity opens options and opportunities and solutions

leadership of the United States promoted justice and peace for all

so others dreamt our dream

our greatness was determined by our diversity

We are the world’s future.

United, we stand…

It will be achieved by…

Listen Openly, Value Experiences

United, We Stand

Justice For All brings Peace

Together, Humanity Solves World Problems

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School days we stand and salute our flag and our nation:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

United States of America.

Indivisible.

Justice For All.

Our country stands for justice for all. For All.  We have stood for this value as leaders in the world– that we believe in justice for all in the world.

Now, the White House is undermining this, spreading fear and denying justice of “other” people, denying facts, and silencing science. If the White House eliminates guidelines and rules for financial regulation, air and water quality, is it for people — or for promotion of corporations over its people? Justice to corporations eliminates justice for all — because greed is its guide. The White House promotes power, but not power of the people.

The White House seems to concur with the onslaught of false information in the form of propaganda: websites, videos, blogs. These promote conspiracy theories and fear. They are enemies of democracy and seek to divide us. A divided country, without a willingness to listen, understand, and compromise to live in a diverse world, is a declining and doomed country.

Our nation was built on diverse ideas and compromise. We welcomed those suffering and fleeing persecution and hardship, no matter who they were– and accepted the benefits of diversity, knowing that our nation was strong enough to build on the best of each us to build a better America, a great America. We did it.

But now, the White House and the enemies hiding in posts, blogs, videos, websites spread fear instead. Fear divides us. Divided we fall.

If you are conservative, speak.

If you are liberal, speak.

If you are libertarian, speak.

If your are conservationist, speak.

If you are white supremacist, speak.

If you are Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, atheist, etc., speak.

And remember that we are “one nation” “indivisible” “with liberty and justice for all.” Unless we listen and understand and accept each other as part of this great nation, we will remain divided and we will fail as a democratic republic.

Believe what you wish, but accept that we all live together. We are one nation. We the people must govern for all of us– not a nation where opponents are killed and jailed, or laws promote injustice and discrimination. We are nation of justice, acceptance, and compromise.

Even if the world is not as we wish, for this nation to survive, we must accept differences. We must understand that our neighbors, however different, love their families and love this nation just as much. They many pray, sing, speak, and live differently, but their human hearts beat with a hope for a better future — living in a United States of America. We must promote hope and acceptance. We must be united in our belief in “liberty and justice for all.”

As John Mayer sang,

Pain throws your heart to the ground
Love turns the whole thing around
Fear is a friend who’s misunderstood
But I know the heart of life is good
I know it’s good
Songwriters: John Clayton Mayer
The Heart of Life lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Reach Music Publishing

I know the world isn’t perfect, that some are in difficult times. Hearts are in pain. But fear of others divides and conquers us. Fear comes from an unknown face– get to know your neighbor — reach out to build understanding. Help each other understand. Overcome fear; build hope.

Because: United, We Stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers
Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: Doodle a Story

Doodling Song: John Mayer — The Heart of Life

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No matter your beliefs: open minds build our democracy and help us stand together.

Review these resources to deal with Fake News, which are lies, conspiracy theories, and propaganda to divide and destroy our democracy:

How Fake News Tricks Your Brain by Alexandra E. Petri at National Geographic

“Motivated reasoning is the idea that we are motivated to believe whatever confirms our opinions.”

How to Spot Fake News by CommonSense Media  Short Video gives 5 Tips.

10 Questions to Spot Fake News by NewsLiteracyProject

How to Spot Fake News by FactCheck

Fake News or Real? by NPR

Teaching Kids to Discern Fact from Fiction at NPR

How to Teach Students about Fake News by PBS

Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News from New York Times

Battling Fake News at Edutopia by Mary Beth Hertz

Fake News? Teaching Media Literacy from Brown.edu

Fighting Fake News by KQED

SOL17 DoodleaDay 15 Blowin’ In The Wind

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I spend time each day to learn from others by reading their ideas linked to in tweets on Twitter. Before November 8th, this daily activity inspired me and my work; the twitter feed offered the opportunity to share, learn, grow, reciprocate, and remix to make the world a better place.

After November 8th, I took some time off. I found the world had shifted off the humane course of a world seeking peace– seeking liberty and justice for all. It careened of a cliff and away from but a call to:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

~Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson

I don’t know if you felt it, that tremble under your feet that knocks you off balance; a feeling of dread that the world beneath your feet is crumbling away. Before November 8th, our country opened up that joyous word: freedom — it acknowledged and upheld differences; it celebrated a world that includes everyone. Yes, places in the world were still horrific, and the world was trying to help that. Yes, sometimes the opportunities were not available as easily for some than others. Yet, we were as a country working on those. We were not perfect, but we were open; we had avenues to take to promote freedom and justice for all.

Then we elected oligarchs, white supremacists, anarchists, illiterates whose sole purpose is to disrupt and control.

I thought that the Republicans were American patriots — that they would see the evil in the actions and the power negating freedoms, but now they are complicit.

I am a fool; I thought our government of the people, by the people, and for the people through our elected representatives would govern for all the people.

I am a fool.

Today, I looked at the blogs of people I follow on Twitter. One post, My Un-Representative by Alan Levine [@cogdog] really hit my heart- the ideas touched exactly how I’m feeling.

Look at the graphic at the top of the post — this is a Wikimedia Commons public domain image representing the House of Representatives, 2017.

houseofrepresentatives2017_publicdomain.jpg

There are, indeed, more Republicans [red] than Democrats and others [blue].

Yes, we elected them, but how did we elect them? In fact, the Republicans selected us, the voters by rigging the voting districts. It’s called gerrymandering, and this January, 2016 Washington Post article explains this concept and this fact [bold, mine]:

The GOP scored 33 more seats in the House this election even though Democrats earned a million more votes in House races. Professor Jeremy Mayer says gerrymandering distorts democracy. (The Fold/The Washington Post)

I knew gerrymandering existed, but did not think it was that bad, and in fact, I thought my state [Washington] was fair with a bi-partisan system. It turns out I’m wrong: Read the DailyKos article on why this doesn’t work either.

Some resources to correct the effects of gerrymandering:

End Gerrymandering

The Fold/The Washington Post

Brennan Center for Justice

FairVote

Still, despite knowing about gerrymandering, I’m still a fool. Because although there are more red than blue representatives and senators, I believed they represented ALL the people, not just their party.

Yes, I thought the people elected still had to be Americans and consider all Americans in their elected responsibility as my representative in the House or Senate.

freedom_iconsre Yes, I believe in our freedoms, our rights, and the freedom to live one’s life in one’s own way.

That means that our representatives need to consider all the people, to hold up those rights for all Americans. In the past, we have expected our rights to extend to anyone in our country. But that was then, now we have the inhumane, unAmerican travel ban.

Since we all live with others, freedom comes with responsibilities. One of those is to respect the freedoms and ideas of others, which I certainly expect my congresspersons to do.

respect_iconsre

Respect means listening to and accepting other ideas, tolerating that which is different, and acknowledging ways to allow those differing ideas a voice and a life in our complex and dynamic communities. I expect this of our elected officials in Congress.

In my classroom, it means we have a talking stick, a Native American way to hand off a time to share and give one’s voice [and everyone has a  voice to solve an issue].

compromise_iconsre

Another responsibility key to our democracy is compromise. We find common ground so that our country of diverse ideas and cultures can live together in peace and respect. I expect that elected officials work together to compromise so all people are represented, not just the elected person’s party.

And in my classroom, sometimes we compromise on how we spend our  time– some students want more time with the teacher and others want to work in their own small groups. I shorten up my part, and then students set their goals and work in the areas and ways that best help them succeed in their projects.

cooperation_iconsre

In order to compromise, listening and understanding respectfully is a must and so is cooperation. I expect that when a law is created, that bi-partisan cooperation takes precedence over party political manipulation.

In my classroom, students and I cooperate– giving each other ideas and feedback on our writing or videos or blogposts. We help each other be successful.

collaboration_iconsre

Sometimes issues are so complicated, that we need to collaborate to get things done — the people we elect need to research and present different ideas to each other in order to analyze what would work best to solve the issue in cooperation and compromise.

In the classroom, sometimes students have different jobs [researcher, interviewer, composer] and sometimes they have parts of topics for which they are responsible for so when their team meets, everyone has part of the information needed to complete a project. That’s collaboration, which then requires cooperation and compromise respectfully to consider and solve the big picture issue.

doodleaday_iconssre_freedomI know these concepts: freedom, respect, compromise, cooperation, and collaboration work together — and I know that they work because that’s how things happen in  the real world.

So I’m expecting the elected officials, Democrat, Republican, Independents, work together for all Americans, and not just for their party.

How about you?

Look for and support those officials who seek each other out and begin the listening process to uphold the Constitution and our American values which are now under siege by the current and very lost administration. Help them find the way back to the great America, the one that fought for and created laws — not for order — but for liberty and justice for all.

The answer is blowing’ in the wind — and we must listen in freedom for all to find the answers together.

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Maybe just you can,

Maybe you say,

Maybe you shut me up,

Maybe you pray your way.

Maybe you slam the door

Maybe you build a border

Maybe you block me out

Maybe you hear my shouts.

Maybe I stand louder

Maybe you can’t ignore

Maybe in the crying

Maybe you’ll feel your heart.

Maybe you’ll open up,

Maybe you’ll listen,

Maybe you’ll see the person

Maybe you’ll step up.

Maybe you’ll open a window,

Maybe you’ll open a door,

Maybe you’ll take my hand,

Maybe together we stand.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today: icons: metaphors for concepts

Doodling Song: Peter, Paul, and Mary Blowin’ in the Wind

House of Representatives 2017 Image: “United States House of Representatives 2017” is a Wikimedia Commons image place in the public domain.

SOL17 DoodleaDay Stand Up

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Do not make

the mistake of thinking

that you have to agree

with people and their beliefs

to defend them from

injustice.

~ Bryant McGill in his Preamble to the Voice of Reason

What is the DoodleADay today? Our thirteenth DoodleADay is to doodle a quote from someone we admire. I wanted to continue on my theme of social justice, so I had so many quotes to choose from — the founding fathers, Martin Luther King, JR, Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, Elie Wiesel, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Blackwell, Geraldine Ferraro, Rachel Carson, Sandra Day O’Connor, Margaret Mead, etc.

But one thing I worry about is hesitancy. When should we speak up? For that, I found Bryant McGill’s quote most important. If we don’t speak up for the human rights of all of us, then change won’t occur.

Bryant McGil also said in this Preamble to his book, The Voice of Reason:

Without love and compassion, nothing is sacred. No marketplace, free or otherwise, is good when it fails to consider the basic human state of needs at every stage of life. No political body is sacred, sustainable or under protection, which allows the exploitation of its people, or capitalization from the subdued life-force of its weakest members. No nation’s flag is great or glorious if it flies over the weak and downtrodden, even if they raise and protect it out of misguided allegiance. No belief or idea is sacred, unless it treats all people as sacred. And no construct on earth will stand, that does not stand for the least among them, as their advocate and humble servant. ~Bryant McGill

I’ve not found any content related to our current dilemmas from Bryant, but it’s important to put this time in perspective, and why it is important to stand together and speak up in whatever ways we can.

I know someone I truly admire who did fight for injustice: Abraham Lincoln.

And he said this:

Thosewhodenyfreedom.png

But what is even more important is why he said this — and how it reflects on our current two-party system and the Democratic and Republic Parties as they stray from the core principles laid out by Thomas Jefferson, a founding father who wrote, with discussion with others:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

~Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson

His emphasis was the people, above property; people, as the government. How far have we strayed from these founding ideas?

Read the letter written by Abraham Lincoln to H.L.Pierce in 1859: Click to Letter and form your own thoughtful conclusions.

Hopefully, these quotes may guide us. My elementary and high school year history classes during the 50s and 60s engrained these founding fathers and their ideals and ideas into my beliefs of our country. Do you see the infringement today by our leaders– to put profit and their religious rules above the people — all the people– and their rights and freedoms? I think instead of #resist we should #standup !

Freedom is nothing if it is only your rights you support.

Abraham Lincoln, on Saturday Evening, July 10, 1858, at Chicago, Illinois, said:

Ibelieveeachindividual.png

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Freedom rings true

to me and to you,

a compromise

at times must do

For yours to be

And mine to be too.

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Part of Slice of Life 2017 by The Two Writing Teachers

Part of DoodleaDay by Royan Lee— today- a quote from someone you admire

Today I doodled to Ani DiFranco‘s Paradigm