Majority Needs to Get Loud: Reduce U.S. Gun Violence Now

Majority Rules? We Could... "The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don't have any." Alice Walker It has been less than 6 months since I interviewed Main Street Women in 36 states. The Number 1 Immediate Change in the U.S.? Tolerance! Number 2:  Change Congress. Women shared how slicing and personalizing news sources fostered a lack of tolerance, from the family table to the local diner to the halls of power in Congress. Hence, the 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance Challenge where each week, I've accessed some 'new' news source to find out what others are hearing, and to grow my tolerance for listening to different voices, different perspectives. With just one week left in the 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance, I’m sharing a ‘new’ news video. Most of the 'new' news I've accessed focused on highly conservative sources like Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, etc. Why? Because I had no idea what these folks were talking about and really wanted to begin to hear, and try to understand, their perspectives. But today, I'm sharing a link to the panel discussion held last Saturday that focused on ending gun violence in America. This news source is more aligned to my own … [Read more...]

Halfway Through the ‘New News’ Challenge, Tolerance Grows & Patience Wans

On February 4th I issued the 8 Weeks to Optimum Tolerance ‘New News’ challenge. Half way through, I confess that it is harder than I expected, listening to more diverse perspectives than I usually do. Thus far, I’ve watched Bill O’Reilly lament the “Epidemic of Disrespect” in America while calling people I care deeply about, our nation’s public school teachers, “Pinheads.” I tried to find something to love about O’Reilly. I paid close attention to the Republican’s response to the State of the Union address, ripping off my blinders instead of shutting down (with envy) when I heard Marco Rubio had paid off his $100,000 in student loans debts in the short time he’d been in Congress. Instead of trying to get my head around why 22 male Senators voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, I reminded myself that these leaders (one of whom I worked for in the past), had been charged with carrying their party’s message. They may indeed be decent human beings. And, I celebrated when the House passed the Senate’s version of VAWA that expanded services to immigrant, Native, and LGBTQ women, also requiring that universities report on campus rapes. I even … [Read more...]

Down on Main Street: U.S. Women Poorer And Getting Ready For More With Sequestration

If you're like me, you remember at least one time during childhood when you squabbled with some other kid. An adult stepped in and said, "Work it Out." As we head closer to the March 1 sequestration, that ominous term now part of American lexicon, DC squabbling and fingerpointing continues. I'm longing for Main Street to rise up and tell those governing us to work it out -- right now. Instead of using energy to find solutions, those governing us seem more focused on who's fault it is that we're in this situation. My vow of tolerance is failing, though I'm listening to all 'sides' and wondering, where is the adult to step in? We're innudated with information about how these automatic cuts will impact us in a myriad of ways. Likley thousands of teachers will lose their jobs. Our food supply will become less safe as food inspections are reduced. Children will go without vaccinations. Struggling parents won't be able to afford child care. Millions of seniors will go without meals. (For more, see the White House sequester cuts estimates of impact for your state at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/sequestration-state-impact/?tid=ts_carousel.) When sequester … [Read more...]

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