Thursday, July 7, 2016

Senseless: Innocent Lives Lost in Falcon Heights and Baghdad

Feeling numb and shocked by the senseless loss of innocent lives thousands of miles away and right in my own backyard. I cannot articulate what I want to say so I will let others speak for me tonight. I do not understand the evil that has made these incomprehensible events happen.

Philando Castile Shooting in Falcon Heights, Minnesota, Sparks Protests

Protests erupted in Minnesota overnight after a man was fatally shot by police during a traffic stop in front of his girlfriend and a child.  The aftermath of Philando Castile's shooting in Falcon Heights was apparently captured in graphic detail on Facebook video. Angry crowds gathered outside the governor's mansion as news spread about the death. Castile, 32, was a kitchen supervisor for the St. Paul school district.  Full story and videos (graphic).

KING: ISIS terrorists aren’t Muslims — they're just evil men hell-bent on carnage and destruction

Maybe you missed it since “pray for Baghdad” didn't trend on Twitter and Facebook didn’t give you the option of overlaying an Iraqi flag on your profile picture, but something truly horrific happened there Sunday morning. A suicide truck bomb tore through a busy shopping district in Baghdad. ISIS has already claimed the attack as their own.
The carnage it left behind was comparable to our Oklahoma City bombing, but worse. It tore through an entire block, ripped gaping holes in huge buildings, and killed at least 215 people — including dozens of women and young children. The death toll is expected to rise. It was the single deadliest attack in Iraq in nearly a decade. As you read this, people are still combing through the rubble hoping to find their loved ones alive. Read more  . . . 

Both acts are so very wrong. . . .what will it take to just make people stop?

Monday, July 4, 2016

Freedom in the 21st Century

In his 2012 song, Freedom at 21 Jack White's lyrics sing of freedom in the 21st Century at the pivotal age of 21. The freedom you might feel at age 21 seems very different than how freedom feels in this 21st Century.

Freedom on the surface on a sunny, Minnesota 4th of July looks like sparkling lakes dotted with boats, swimmers, and water-skiers. Picnics in pavilions on the shore. American flags flying from front porches. Tonight the sky over the Twin Cities will be illuminated by fireworks. A typical American 4th of July.

But scratch the surface, dig a bit deeper, and remove your age 21 rose-tinted sunglasses. The 21st Century is now and freedom does look different.

As a blogger I feel that my freedoms are diminishing. Freedom of speech. Blog posts that scream for a voice cannot be written and posted live because of feared repercussions from people who will disagree, taking their anger to extremes. So this blog remains empty of a voice that now fears touching issues and sparking debate on what matters to Americans. Freedom in the 21st Century means freedom for some, a strong voice for some, and silencing of others.

Tonight as we feast with friends and family before we gather to recline on the grass and gaze skyward for the fireworks, think of what it took to get where we are today. Think about the sacrifices of those who came before us, think about the military service members defending this country, think about those millions of people across the globe who do not know freedom and live in fear. Think about America. Think about your own freedoms and what you might do if suddenly your freedom wasn't quite so free.