Tag Archives: mitch grosky

The Hillary Clinton I Know, and the Kind, Caring Woman Some Refuse to See . . .

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Admittedly, I’ve never actually met Hillary Clinton, though I have watched a few dozen of her speeches over the years and  actually attended one in person.  I have probably read another two dozen articles or books about her life and work.  I have followed her career and admired her work and her commitment to people –particularly to children and women–ever since her husband was running for President back in 1991.  I was 25 years younger then–a relatively youthful man of 40–and I saw and continue to see a strong, determined, brilliant woman whose words and acts truly reveal both a true compassion for others as well as a burning passion for making people’s lives better!  Over all these  years, this is a woman whom I feel I really know –and respect and admire.

I don’t look at Hillary with blinders on; I am fully aware of all the attacks that regularly and routinely have come from nearly everyone on the right, far too many on the left, and from many average middle-of-the-road Americans.  In many cases, I could debate each of those arguments, and successfully refute many of the points that are routinely and incorrectly made, but that is not my point here.  My purpose in this blog post, is to show you the Hillary Clinton I have always known.  When my friends (and occasionally relatives) ask me why I support Hillary, when they routinely excoriate her for Benghazi or her email servers or for any number of other offenses, I get frustrated that they simply refuse to acknowledge all the good that she has done for others.  They refuse to accept that her life’s work has been focused on helping the poor, helping the sick, helping those who live in the shadows of our society, helping those who experience prejudice and discrimination, those who–even in 2016–are not treated always equally within the home or within our nation.

I am hopeful that people of all political points of view will take seven minutes of their lives watch the fascinating video to which I LINK below.  It shows just 8 to 10 brief stories out of literally thousand of times when Hillary has listened to the problems of average Americans and has done her best to help.  It shows why I and millions and millions of other Americans strongly support Hillary Clinton for  President of the United States.

Hillary Clinton’s Commitment to Women and Children

 

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Michelle Obama’s Powerful Speech on Women

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First Lady Michelle Obama (Courtesy of Creative Commons)

 

I just watched, once again on MSNBC,  Michelle Obama’s incredibly powerful speech in New Hampshire about women and about the comments and actions of Donald Trump against women. The speech was magnificent — AND historic.   It was a speech for the ages–much like Hillary Clinton’s famous speech about Women’s rights being Human rights.

The First Lady’s speech was more than an emotional diatribe against Donald Trump and his views of and actions against women. It was a profound denunciation of the attitudes that some men, some societies, even some women have held against women in our society and our world–against their rights, against their character, against their roles in society (some chosen and some forced), against their very beings. It was a powerful condemnation of the way that so many women are treated by men–especially men in powerful positions.

She stood up for women and spoke directly to them–with a shared knowledge and experience. She spoke not only of women, but also of men who were outraged at the sexism and misogyny and discrimination they have seen throughout this campaign and throughout their lives. She stood up for the daughters and sons in America and across the world. And I was proud–so proud of her–as First Lady, as a woman, as a leader. In one extraordinary speech, she said so much about women–what they live with, what they have to overcome, what they indeed HAVE overcome, what they can achieve and what they HAVE achieved.

The speech should be played and replayed, over and over, for appropriate audiences–young men and women, and those older, as well. And let us hope and pray–and aspire to a day sometime in the very near future, when we will not need to re-play this speech because women will have achieved full equality–in the boardroom, in the home, and in society–and, most importantly, in the way they are spoken about and TREATED by all people–men and women–each and every day.

NOTE:  To view the entire speech by First Lady Michelle Obama (courtesy of Vox), please click on the following link:  Michelle Obama’s Speech

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A Call for HONESTY in Presidential Politics on Facebook

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Don’t Believe Everything You Read: Phony Memes, Photoshopped Photos, and False Tweets

A FACEBOOK POLITICAL POST THAT MAKES SENSE —

NO MATTER WHICH CANDIDATE YOU ARE SUPPORTING!

Did Hillary Clinton REALLY say, “The average Democrat voter is just plain stupid”? Did Bernie Sanders really say, “My object in life is to dethrone God and destroy capitalism”? Did Donald Trump once call Republicans “the dumbest group of voters in the country”? Did Ted Cruz really hug Fidel Castro? Is that photo of Marco Rubio shaking hands with President Obama while signing a trade deal real”? Did Hillary Clinton really shake hands with Bin Laden, like that picture I saw on the internet? Did Ted Cruz really say, “When gays stayed hidden we had no mass murders”? Did Obama really order that the words “Under God” be removed from the “Pledge of Allegiance”?

The answer to ALL of the above questions is NO — absolutely NOT!

All of the above quotations were placed on actual facebook memes which were shared thousands and thousands of times, and if you check each one out on a fact-checking site like Snopes.com or politifact.com, you will find that they are all FALSE, all FAKE.

Can I please ask for YOUR help? Can you help me to get rid of phony memes on facebook? I am getting so tired of seeing people post absolutely FALSE and PHONY political memes on facebook, as well as phony photoshopped photos of political candidates. No matter WHO you support, this is absolutely WRONG! Please, before you share some political poster–especially one with a candidate saying something that sounds absolutely outrageous, please CHECK IT OUT FIRST!!! You can simply google the quote by asking something like this: “Did (Candidate’s Name) actually say, “……..”? Usually, that search will show you a Snopes article (Snopes is a neutral and respected fact-checker) demonstrating to you that the quotation is FALSE (though on rare occasions, it may show that it is true).

This primaries and the national Presidential election in November is absolutely crucial toward our county’s future–and perhaps the world’s future, as well. Nearly ALL of us believe that–no matter what candidate we support. What I am asking is for us all to rely just as much as we can on FACTS in supporting our candidates. If you attack the positions of another candidate, please use carefully checked FACTS in doing so. Even if you feel you must attack the character of another candidate, please do so in a civil way, and use FACTS.

And just because you found it on someone’s Republican website, or Democratic website, or Tea Party website, DOESN’T mean it is TRUE. Try to check it out with the most reputable source that you can—not some left-leaning OR right-leaning website. Look for sources (like Politifact or Snopes or maybe CNN which are generally given credit for trying to maintain neutrality). I know some of you may disagree with those sources I mentioned, but just try to be sure it is generally respected as a neutral site for reporting FACTS. And if you find a friend or family member–or even a stranger–sharing something that seems outrageous, please check it out. If it proves to be false, don’t ignore it, please point out that it is false, and include the link that PROVES it is false.

Many of the memes, posters, and photos that are shown in the collage above were shared MILLIONS of times, and believed by the people who shared them AND who viewed them. We all have a responsibility to be sure to vote, and to make up our minds–to make our choice–based on FACTS. The choice for our country is far too important to believe falsehoods, half-truths, and outright lies.

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A Fond Farewell to Leonard Nimoy: A Friend from My Childhood

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Rest in Peace, Leonard Nimoy! Few things make me feel as old as the passing of an actor who was so much a part of my childhood–my teen years and beyond! We have lost an extremely talented, very good man.

Spock’s famous quotes go well beyond his iconic “Live long and prosper” and his raised eyebrowed “Fascinating . . .” You might recall his “Change is the essential process of all existence” or “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one” or “Insufficient facts always invite danger” or “Without followers, evil cannot spread.”

Yes, I certainly am fully cognizant that in just the past year alone, a number of people have passed away who have likely had a far greater impact on our world; yet with Leonard Nimoy’s passing, a part of my childhood goes with him, and I am confident that many share that feeling.

From William Shatner: “”I loved him like a brother. We will all miss his humor, his talent, and his capacity to love” and from George Takei ”

The word extraordinary is often overused, but I think it’s really appropriate for Leonard. He was an extraordinarily talented man, but he was also a very decent human being. His talent embraced directing as well as acting and photography. He was a very sensitive man. And we feel his passing very much. He had been ill for a long, long time, and we miss him very much.”

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In his role as Spock, Leonard Nimoy once said, “You have been, and always shall be, my friend.” I turn this very phrase back on this larger-than-life yet all-too-human man whom I viewed only on a television and movie screen. May your kind and gentle spirit not only speed to the heavens, but may it also imbue each one of us every day!

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The 2014 Boston Marathon –Remembering Sean Collier, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Krystle Campbell

As the 2014 Boston Marathon begins in Hopkinton, Our Four Heroes Watch From Above.

As the 2014 Boston Marathon begins in Hopkinton, Our Four Heroes Watch From Above.

In Tribute . . . As I watch the Boston Marathon, I like to think that somehow, somewhere, and in some way, the spirits of Officer Sean Collier, Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, and Krystle Campbell are looking down on the start of the race–knowing that they are remembered lovingly by family, friends, runners, and “Bostonians” from every state and country, and proud that we all carry on–standing strong together–determined to defeat hatred and violence and equally committed to build a better world for all! God bless each of these brave souls and their families and also all those who were injured in the bombing. We will always remember and honor you!

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In Memory of President John F. Kennedy

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I was there–in Texas–no, not in Dallas, but in Austin, the next stop on President Kennedy’s trip through Texas. I was 12 years old then, and I not only deeply respected John Fitzgerald Kennedy as our nation’s President, but I truly believed that I loved him, as well, as a young, vibrant leader who would lead us into both the outer reaches of space as well as into a new prosperity in America. In my young, idealistic innocent mind and heart, he would almost singlehandedly lead us into a more kind, more just nation and world. The poverty of which I was just becoming aware would be no more. The prejudice and racism which I saw when I stared at the separate water fountains and restrooms at the pro wrestling (rasslin’) matches I attended monthly would dissipate and then vanish altogether–vestiges of another time and place as the new age of Camelot convinced so many of us that there really was a shining city and fleeting wisps of glory to come.

I was in seventh grade then—in junior high, and we were so excited, so absolutely thrilled to be getting out of school early to go to the parade in downtown Austin–the parade in which our President would smile that broad smile of his and offer us all a friendly, energetic wave–the parade which was–tragically–never to be. My brother Geoff–one year my junior (and my best friend, as well)–was the first to sense that something was amiss. As Austin was the capital city of Texas, Geoff was privileged to have Governor John Connally’s son in his sixth grade class, and when young Mark Connally was called suddenly and urgently from class, there was a sense that something was definitely wrong.

Hearing the news, I was stunned—we ALL were stunned and shocked and grief-stricken–beyond my ability to describe it. Dismissed early, we all went home to watch the tragedy unfold on the national news—black and white TV–but burned into our consciousness–believe me–in living color.

I remember the depth of emotion I felt in the days to come–the overwhelming sadness and despair–as we watched the assassin himself killed and then the funeral procession for the President, the salute by John-John, and then shared sad, bitter tears in the realization that not only was President Kennedy gone, but that somehow, things would never be the same again.

As a twelve-year-old who loved to write, my grief flowed from an aching heart just as surely and continuously as the ink in the cartridge pens we used in that day. I wrote the following words:

THE DEATH OF PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY
by Mitchell R. Grosky

Our leader has departed–
His heart, his soul gone too.
His memory will long remain
in everything we do.

Our lives, our dreams were shattered
on this outrageous day.
Our eyes are filled with tears;
Our President’s passed away.

He tried so hard for freedom–
for rights for one and all.
He tried to keep us happy;
How could this great man fall?

He tried to make our country
greater than ever before.
He tried to do all this.
Yet hatred sealed the door.

It was a beautiful morning–
More beautiful than ever before.
No one knew or had any idea
of what Fate held in store.

Suddenly three shots rang out,
and hit him in the head.
A short time afterwards,
our President was dead.

It must have been a madman
to do a thing like this!
His aim was sharp and careful;
His bullet did not miss.

An unforgivable act
was carried out this day.
The world is deep in sorrow;
our President’s passed away.

I remember the poem word for word, as my beloved mother had me repeat it verbatim so many times over the years for our relatives and her friends. As a retired English teacher, I look back at it with mixed feelings–the forced rhyme and curious, childlike wording all too evident to someone who spent his life focusing on the power and beauty of the written word.

Yet, as I recite the words once more–as I–and all of us–acknowledge the passing of 50 years since our President’s death, my eyes once again fill with the tears of a future that was never to be–of a President who though imperfect in many ways–still made us believe in ourselves and in a better America and a better world.

I think that I was raised to believe that we all must do our parts to make the world a better place, but–looking back–maybe it was this particular time in my life–this oh-so-sad time–that forced me to finally look in the mirror and to face a solemn truth. Perhaps that was the time that I first saw and accepted that it was OUR job–MY job and that of my three brothers and one sister–and all my friends who were growing all-too-quickly toward adulthood…..that it was our job to do something good and kind and decent–maybe even noble with our lives. The world should be a better place because one has lived–that’s the way one person said it.

That was the lesson I learned from one of the saddest days in my life–that we can–and we MUST–make a difference.

Don’t let it be forgot
That once there was a spot
For one brief shining moment that was known
As Camelot.

Whether Camelot was real,
or just was an illusion,
I can tell you that it was real
in the mind of this 12-year-old boy.
And so…
So many years later,
I thank President Kennedy for leaving that lesson–
that message to me
and to so many others throughout the world.

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In Praise of Facebook


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This is a blog I’ve been planning to write for some time.  Now is as good a time as any–especially since it is hot and humid outside, and still relatively cool here–in front of my computer.  The summer is winding down, and fall offers fewer moment of free time to reflect and share

There are more than enough media stories in which Facebook is derided, slammed, put down, mocked, ridiculed, and even excoriated.  I offer a dissenting view.  I really love Facebook.  Oh, sure ; it sometimes occupies a bit too much of my time, but–in general–I control it rather than letting it control me.

It offers me the chance the converse–online-with hundred of facebook friends, colleague, associates, and friends of friends.  Converse about what?  Well, anything, but for me it is often about politics, photography, education, travel, and many other subjects.  I enjoy reading about and reveling in the accomplishments and joys of friends and their families.  I really enjoy seeing my cousins, nephews, and nieces grow up through their parents’ stories and photos.  I love reading about the exploits of my former students–now all grown up, out of college and (hopefully) thriving in the world and doing their parts to help people and the world in which we all live.  I have formed good friendships with former students who are now 25, 35, 45, or even 50 years old.  So many are married.  Many have children; some have grandchildren.  They have become doctors, lawyers, electricians, company vice presidents, t.v. reporters, carpenters, politicians,  journalists, salesmen, rock band stars, gymnasts, actors, professors, writers, store clerks, musicians, artists—and teachers!  Most of all, they have become fascinating and involved adults!

I tell people that Facebook is different things to different people, and it meets the needs of so many.  For some, it is like a diary; for others it is more like a journal or a blog.  For some, it is a place to share recipes or family photos.  For others, it is a place to share joys or heartaches.

I often compare facebook to (of all things) an online Disney EPCOT.   Those who have visited EPCOT can–hopefully relate to this.  At EPCOT, you are surrounded by exhibit of all sizes, themes, and styles.  Just a few would be (in no particular order)  the Universe of Energy, the American Experience, the Canada Pavilion, the China Pavilion, Mission Space, Journey into Imagination, Living with the Land, and so many others.  If you are interested in the theme, you venture in, sit down, enjoy, and learn.  If you are interested in Mexico, you drop my the Mexico Pavilion and you “Explore a towering Aztec pyramid featuring the Animales Fantastico folk art collection, a lively marketplace, the lagoon-side historic restaurant San Angel Inn and a relaxing boat ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros.”  If that doesn’t interest you, why then you pass right by that exhibit, and perhaps you stop at The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion where you “Stare in wonder at a massive aquarium that holds one of the largest man-made ocean environments in the world, the innovative Turtle Talk with Crush show, a “clamobile” ride and other undersea-themed delights.”  Not wowed by that exhibit?  Well, then maybe you’ll stop by National Treasures where you can “Observe the rare historic artifacts of important Americans and U.S. events. You’ll be awestruck seeing Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, Thomas Edison’s projector and the belongings of Mark Twain, Rosa Parks and others up close.”  The point here is that you stop and look and participate in those areas in which YOU are interested.

Facebook is very similar.  You go to the site, and are confronted by a plethora of possible stories competing for your attention.  Interested in movies or music?  See what your friend are viewing or listening to, and check out their opinions.  Not interested?  Pass right by.  Interested in family photos?  Check them out—hundreds are posted daily.  Check out one or two, or ten or twenty.  Not interested?  Pass right by.  Interested in politics?  Want to talk about Obama or Romney or Scott Brown or Elizabeth Warren or Nancy Pelosi or John Boehner?  Great!  Stop in. Debate the issues.  Not interested?  Again, pass on by…….ignore those posts.  Interested in food?  Check out the recipes that people post, or the restaurants they go to, or the pictures of the “best meal they ever ate.”  Love nature? or travel? or pets?  Check out some of the gorgeous photography posted.  Not interested in that?  Just “walk on by.”  Want some daily inspiration?  Check out some of the lovely posters that people display that help you to start off the day right, or to put your own problems into perspective.  Need some help with a problem.? Well, if you don’t mind sharing your problem, you can find many close friends, friends, or friends of friends who will offer their own solutions or just lend an ear and empathize with you.  Not into sharing problems?  Well, you don’t have to; nor do you NEED to spend time reading about the problems of others–if you don’t want to.   But sometimes, it IS nice to be able to offer a helpful idea, a birthday wish, or a few words of consolation or condolence.  But the key is that it is UP TO YOU!  Stop by the areas that YOU want to, and walk right by those areas in which you are not interested or in which you can not spare the time to stop.

You can go on Facebook as little as once a week or once a month, and spend just 5-10 minutes on there reading and/or commenting.  Or….you can go on it as often as daily or even several times a day.  Sometimes I’m on for just 5 minutes or so–catching up on a little news that my brother or my nephew or niece –or my best friends–have posted.  I click “LIKE” a couple of times on a few postings, and then I’m off.  Other days I’m on for 15-30 minutes where I am reading and commenting on postings from others which attract my attention or interest.   Then there are days like today, when I’m writing a long political post or an editorial-type post or when I’m sharing a series of my own photographs—days when I CHOOSE to be on for an hour or two or even three–because I ENJOY what I am doing—or because I am trying to make a difference in some way.

This is Facebook–many different things to so many different people.  And here’s one person who really likes it, appreciates it…………and is not afraid to admit it!

 

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