It's my personal soapbox, a place for me to express thoughts and feelings, musings and rants, reflections and recollections; to have fun with words -- about things spiritual, environmental, social, political, economic, and, from time to time, personal. And of course about peace. Soapboxes are in public places (as London's legendary Hyde Park) on purpose, and so I invite conversations with you, for it is through civil discourse that we can gain some perspective on the seeming chaos of these changing times and learn together how to shape a positive future for ourselves, our communities, and the generations to come.

Monday, January 30, 2017

It is time!

It is time to wake up, stand up, speak up, act up!

If not now, when? Later than now, today, this minute will be too late.

Several of President Trump’s most egregious nominees are still up for confirmation in the Senate, and the time is running short. Call now to let your senators know how you feel about this. Even if your senator is Democratic, he or she needs to hear from you, especially why you oppose a particular nominee, to bolster their case not only for delay but more so to support a “no” vote and help them convince their colleagues on the other side of the aisle. If your senator is Republican, it is even more important that he or she hears from you, particularly if among those who are perhaps wavering between party loyalty and doing what in their heart they know is right. If you don’t live in a state that has a Republican senator, pass this message on to friends and family who do.

It is really, really important that senators (and congressmen, as well) hear from their own constituents. Believe it or not, it does matter. You may only be able to leave the message with a staff person, but that’s ok. Every call is counted, tallied, and reported to the boss. They do listen. For more about how it works and a step-by-step how-to guide, and to form or join a local action group, see https://www.indivisibleguide.com/.

In addition to letting our representatives and senators in Congress know how we feel in the immediate term, it is also important – even more important! – to work locally, not only to resist the hate-filled, myopic, and reactionary onslaught but also to build the kinds of communities that represent the best of American values and ideals. The resistance to xenophobic fervor coming from Sanctuary Cities is a case in point. An article in the January 30 San Francisco Chronicle reports another example: "San Francisco Supervisors Aaron Peskin and Hillary Ronen are calling for the city to boycott any business that helps build President Trump’s wall along the Mexican border."

Great idea! How about contractors building the XL and Dakota Access pipelines, as well? How about businesses servicing Trump properties and businesses (towers, hotels, etc.)? The thing to be careful of, though, would be hurting the labor working for those companies, whose jobs might be put in jeopardy if their companies falter. Of course, the companies being given the additional work in lieu of the boycotted companies could be encouraged to hire those workers and put them to more socially beneficial work.

The corporate world, too, can get in the act. Just today, January 30, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz announcedthat his company will hire 10,000 refugees worldwide, starting in the U.S., as a show of resistance to the recent White House emanations and a demonstration of “conscious capitalism.”

In all this, we must remember not to pose enemies. People who voted for Trump, even Trump himself, are not enemies. Our opposition is to what they do and purport to do. As President Abraham Lincoln said in closing his first inaugural speech over 150 years ago, “We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”


  1. This would make a nice sounding podcast recording... quick and informative!

  2. A friend just sent me this quote from the Bible (Exodus 14:15): "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!'" Indeed!