Mary Beth Writes

Here we are at Memorial Day again. This is a time to honor those who have given so much to and for our nation. In honor of their honor - here are some of my thoughts and actions. 

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Some of you already know about this. If you don’t, please read the Sun-Times article.

Pastor Betty Rendon was arrested by ICE early in May in Chicago. She was a student pastor at Emaus Lutheran in Racine and just beginning her work on a Ph.D.

Click here for the story from the Chicago Sun-Times

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I don’t quite know how to relax in my country anymore. Do you? 

Every side, every front, every place one's heart goes – there is this Trump Republican Administration trampling law, fairness, and decency.

This is not the Republican party of the people who raised me. This powerful, chaotic, fascist administration is hijacking who we are. The sanity, justice, fairness, and opportunity that has been the slow churning history and legacy of this nation is under seige.

What I keep hearing us saying is this. “I don’t even know where to grab on. The chaos is everywhere. This lie, that slur. This law broken, that massively unfair deal done. How do we keep breathing?”

This is where I am. I am not accepting that my full-time job is to oppose injustice. I am also not “a good German” which in 2019 is a racist and pejorative phrase. I am not running on guilt, frenetic energy, or a full-steam ahead anger. But I am paying attention.

I do grab some issues and injustices.  You grab, too.  You don’t have to do it all and neither do I.  But we all have to grab some causes.

I suggest you start here.

Wikipedia has the back-stories of our elected representatives.  Go to Google, type in their name, (skip the sites they pay for.).  Read who they are.  It sheds light.

EXAMPLE: My reps are:

Senator Ron Johnson was raised in middle American family and then he married the daughter of a man who started a plastics company in Green Bay. This translates to a current personal worth over $36 million. He is one of the seven richest senators in Congress.

Senator Tammy Baldwin was born to a 19-year old mother who was in the middle of a divorce and who was a drug addict. Tammy was mostly raised by her grandparents. She is related to TWO biochemists and also to Andy Samberg! She is lesbian and had been open about that since the beginning of her career. Her net wealth is $800K.

Representative Jim Sensenbrenner’s great-grandfather invented Kotex napkins and also served as the second president of Kimberly-Clark. Sensenbrenner is an heir to the family fortune. His net wealth is 11.6 million.

Knowledge sheds light on power.

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Back to the ICE arrest of Pastor Betty Rendon.  

I sent the following letter to one of my reps and then detailed it differently for the others.

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Dear Representative Jim Sensenbrenner,

Lutheran Pastor Betty Rendon of Racine is due to be deported 5/28 by ICE.  Today is Sunday. The 28th is Tuesday.

I STRONGLY oppose this arrest and deportation. This is a Nazi-like travesty of American justice. ICE knowingly arrested a DACA recipient – using their daughter as “bait” to get to her parents and uncle - planning to deport her in the process until others protested and ICE un-arrested her. This family arrest was carried out in a guns-drawn, strong-arm militaristic manner that terrified the family’s 5-year old. Brown shirt methods, Sir.

Is this how you planned to keep America safe when you introduced the American Patriot Act in 2001? Deporting Lutheran pastors at gunpoint?

“In an interview with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Rendón’s daughter Paula Hincapie explained that their family moved to the U.S. from Colombia after guerrilla soldiers threatened her mother, the principal of a school, for opposing their attempts to recruit students.”  Sojourners

This is YOUR party’s “shock-and-awe” policy. To deport educators who fled to the US to be SAFE? This is a mockery of American justice. On YOUR watch, Sir.

 “Since the couple’s arrest, more than 65 organizations have submitted letters of support through the Emaus Evangelical Lutheran Church in Racine, Wisconsin, where Betty is a student pastor, and more than 13,000 people have signed a petition requesting that ICE halt the couple’s deportation to Colombia and release them from detention."

This is one more letter - and a few hundred more readers of this letter who are the people who read my website.

Release Pastor Betty Rendon and her family from custody now. 

Sincerely Mary Beth Danielson

PS: I am posting this at my website: https://www.marybethdanielson.com/

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“No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.”   Warsan Shire, poet of "Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth"

“If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”  Adolf Hitler

“If you want peace, work for justice.”  Henry Louis Mencken 

 

Comments

As an American resident and citizen I am appalled and ANGRY. The travesty being committed day after day is frightening. As an immigrant myself, this is even more personal. It makes me realize that my 1989 thought that my sister and I had nothing to prove we were citizens and therefore fought to get our own papers was fortuitous. Nevertheless, now that dual citizenship is legal, I am filing papers to regain my Danish citizenship. It’s called: Self Protection

You tell it like it is! I live in a state and district (Illinois) with legislators I can count on to speak out for justice. But they need calls too so they know we have their backs.

What a powerful and inspiring letter. Thank you.

Thanks, Kjr..

See what happens, I guess. I mentioned your post in my email.

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Let's go to Canada. It will be beautiful and convenient and nothing will get too crazy.

Hi! Len and I returned home at 1:30AM from our 15-day road trip through eastern Canada and Maine and more.  

In case you ever wondered, you CAN go to the “Glazed and Confused” donut shop in Syracuse, NY at 9 in the morning, peruse the  Erie Canal museum https://eriecanalmuseum.org/ and then drive back in Waukesha - all in one 16-hour day. We are generally closer to interesting places than we know.

But I get ahead of myself.

An afternoon in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario

Sault is a French word that mean topsy-turvy as in the rapids on the St. Mary river that tumbles between the US and Canada. Or summersaults. Isn’t that cute?

We walked a lot that first day. We thought the Ermatinger Clergue National Historic Site; which is two old houses that we wanted to see, were just around the corner from where we parked. Nope; more like two miles there and two miles back.  But it was a brisk day and after our hot, humid Wisconsin summer it was delicious to wear a jacket and not sweat.

Mountain Top Toddler

We drove to Chicago to help care for our 2-year old granddaughter. There is a lot going on in their family as is true of any family with a toddler, a new infant, and two working parents. Such as; my daughter went back to work the same week their daycare center closed for a 10-day break. A perfect storm of domestic hoopla. 

We only watched her from 7:30AM until 4PM on Monday and Tuesday. When our son-in-law came home from work, he took over. Other relatives are watching her the next few days. 

Here are three things I noticed about taking care of a toddler.

"Death Comes for the Archbishop" and How to drive to the Y without a map.

I read Willa Cather’s “Death Comes for the Archbishop” when I was in high school. I heard it was an important book which made me curious (still does), so I borrowed it from the library and read the whole thing.

It was mud. I didn’t care about the characters; two middle-aged priests who go to the American southwest to build and strengthen the Catholic church. Snooze. Nothing cohesive happens. They do a bunch of walking around in the desert followed by episodes of trying to be helpful a few days here, a few years there. Yawn.

When Weaving is NOT a Metaphor

I wrote this 12 years ago.  It's long and even I get confused as to what I wrote when one gets about half way through this  - and I was there!   But some of you will be interested to read how those "ethnic weavings" from Guatemala begin.  Next time you buy something hand woven, for less than $20, you will understand that price is not right.

.....

Retirement Smackdown

I just made a list of fourteen friends who have retired in the past five years. Of the fourteen, SEVEN retired early and abruptly when their employer’s business practices, for various reasons, changed or failed.

There is a myth out there that retirement is a fixed event with a date one knows years in advance. Then at the desired retirement age there will be a company party where one gets a memento from their employer - and after that they live aimlessly, trying to find purpose.  

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