Monday, January 30, 2017

I Get It Now

Dear ACLU,

I've been irritated at you for many years now, because you kept sending membership renewals to our daughter based on her one-time donation back in 2007.  I felt that - and I still do, honestly - you spend too much on mass membership mailings, but that's neither here nor there at the moment.  What is important, and what has given me, for the first time since January 20th, a moment of relief and a feeling like maybe we CAN stop the insanity that is coming from the White House, was hearing that you helped to get the immigration ban blocked on Saturday night.

Here's the thing.  I'm not an activist.  I'm not a strongly political person - I believe that most people can work together for the good of our country, regardless of their political party.  I took my status as an American for granted, until last week.  I never realized just how much privilege I had in this country, until the last week.  And I know that the majority of my readers don't come here for political posts; I'm not one to speak out publicly as I feel there are those who are much better at this than I am.  But for today, I just wanted to acknowledge the ACLU with gratitude for standing up to an executive order that goes against human decency.

So rock on, ACLU.  Keep fighting the fight; to help, I made a donation.  I understand now just how much good you do.  No need to mail me any membership reminders, though - email will do just fine.

45 comments:

  1. I wonder how many ACLU donations were made this weekend. On Sunday morning I became a first time donor.

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  2. Sometimes the ACLU represents such frivolous causes that we forget about things like this!

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    1. Yep...but damn, when they come out swinging, they come out SWINGING!

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  3. I've always tried to help those less fortunate when I can, but feel the same as you - I took everything for granted until very recently! I know so many first-generation Americans, and all I could think this weekend was about their parents feeling unwelcome in the country that they chose to come to (or fled to, in some cases) in hopes of giving their family a better future. That's just not right.

    I think the current state of things here has made a lot of people who were once quiet speak out, and has made a lot of people first-time donors to causes that need our help now more than ever. I was just reading that the ACLU received $24M in donations this weekend, and I remember seeing a really high number for Planned Parenthood after the Womens March.

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    1. That's pretty awesome about the upswing in donations; aside from contacting our representatives and participating in marches/protests, cash donations are probably the next biggest help.

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  4. Well said Shelly. Thank God that for now at least that mad man is stopped! This is not the America I grew up in or want to live in we will have to fight him on a local grass roots level.

    On a side not how awesome was it to see all those pink hats? We knitters have started a movement in our country and across the world!

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    1. You are right - this isn't the America I grew up in, either. :(

      I loved the pink hats and all that they represented, along with knowing how much knitters (and crocheters) helped. Give us some sticks and string and we will take over the world? Well, maybe not - but we will make it noticed!

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    1. Thank you - and I didn't know you were blogging again! YAY.

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  6. I don't write about politics at all, but glad you wrote this - go Shelley! :D

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  7. I have to start listening to a LITTLE news... I heard about the executive order, and I heard it got blocked, but I missed the part where the ACLU was the moving force behind it. Go, ACLU!

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    1. I understand the news blackout, believe me - but things are getting bad really quickly.

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  8. I am SO with you on this and thank you for speaking up! We've been donating and signing things in a fairly panicked helter-skelter way and hadn't gotten to the ACLU yet. But Robin and I are going to have a sit-down strategy session and prioritize and plan, because these are not normal times. It really does mirror Nazi Germany in so many ways.

    I think it's particularly important for NON-political bloggers to step up, because all the progressive/liberal outlets only get read by people who already identify that way. If we health and fitness bloggers add our voices, I think it shows that these are extraordinary circumstances where every voice is needed.

    Again, thank you Shelley.

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    1. I agree that the current situation resembles Nazi Germany, and it's scary. When I went to school, I often wondered how someone like Hitler could be voted into office - democratically - now I understand better :-(

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    2. Crabby, I totally get that "helter-skelter" approach because it's like every other day - nope, more like every other hour, he's heaping more insanity onto the pile.

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    3. And Ginette, I used to wonder why people "let" Hitler happen. I'm beginning to see how that wasn't the case now.

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    4. Germany was poor at that time and the people weren't happy. When someone steps up saying he will make life better for them ... it's easy to get voted.

      Hmmmm looks a bit like November last year and is what is going to happen in March at our elections.

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    5. I hope common sense prevails for your election, Fran...maybe your countrymen will see how this is turning out for us and vote otherwise.

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  9. BRAVO SHELLEY! Proud of you for speaking out. I think speaking out is something that has been uncomfortable but is also now something we MUST do. By the way, I just read the ACLU took in more donations this past weekend than they did the entire of 2016.

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    1. Thanks, firl. :)

      Very, VERY cool about the ACLU donations - when we can't do anything else at the moment, we CAN donate...even if it's a little bit, it obviously adds up.

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  10. Amen. Thank you for speaking out. I live in Europe, but travelled to the USA several times in the past, and really, when I watch the news these days, I do not recognise the country I visited. I have quite a few friends in the States, and many of them are scared out of their wits about what has happened within the last week - and more particularly over the weekend. We have our own issues over here, but obviously, we're all on this planet together, and we've got to take care of each other. So, I think it's important to show support wherever and whenever we can.

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    1. Thank you for commenting, Ginette - you are so correct, we are all in this together, no matter where we live.

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  11. Hey Shelley, still loving and reading your blog avidly but have not posted for ages! As a New Zealander I have been shocked at how affected I have been by the election of your president. Then I have been shocked at how angry that man's actions have made me in particular three things; the anti abortion order (I don't know if I could have an abortion myself but I don't think I have any rights to remove choices for other women), the gag order for federally funded science and then the ban on middle eastern countries (noting here that Trump didn't ban countries he does business with). He is dangerous and scary and I don't even live in the US. Thanks for sharing :-)

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    1. Hi Samantha, thanks for commenting! I am right with you on what you are shocked by, and I don't know what's worse - to have to stand on the sidelines and watch this happen, as you in other countries do, or to be here and watch it unfold. It's nuts.

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  12. I really appreciate these posts! Your willingness to speak publicly encourages me. Also did you see Rick Steves donation of $50,000 to the ACLU?

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    1. I didn't see that - nice! Several celebrities matched donations over the weekend, which I'm sure, helped bump up the totals quite nicely.

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  13. I will always listen to other point of views. But I must put in my 1 and 1/2 cents. The executive order is only banning refugees for 120 days to vet the security protocol. It is only towards the countries that the government is a Jihadist ran. It is not a ban on Muslims in general. Once the vetting process has been improved we will be allowing, just as under Obama Administration, 50,000 refugees per year. Let us please reflect back to Sept 11, 2001 when many sleeper cells had entered our country and did what they did on American soil. Let us remember the many civilians that were killed and injured as well as many of the firemen and police officers that still to this day suffer from health issues. Where was the media back in 2011 when Obama banned visas from Iraq refugees for 6 months? The media spins things to cause an uproar because without an uproar they are out of business. Vetting takes 2 years regardless anyway. Do I think Trump does things with grace and PC? No because he is not a career politician. He is an American you is doing what it takes to make America safe and great again. We have had 8 years of Political Correctness and apologies to other nations. I did not grow up in a country that apologizes. Maybe that makes me rude, but I remember the glory days prior to 9/11. Bill Clinton even said that immigration needed to be screened more as well as harder to enter our country. Again mainstream liberal media does not report these things because they want the snowflakes to be guided like sheep. The protests and marches need to stop. We need to allow the new administration to do what it can. Will it make mistakes? Yes just as all new administrations. It has only been a week. Many executive orders will not stand just as under all other Presidents who want to go in balls to the walls.

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    1. Except the 9/11 hijackers came from countries that aren't on this travel ban list. I don't get that. Nobody seems to be able to explain that.

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    2. I respect your right to how you see things, Wynette. But I have to disagree with you - America has been great. We didn't need a new president to make that happen. But what he's doing right now? It's not making America great.

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    3. Neither are some countries that can be a thread too. Why? Because Mr. President has business companies in those countries.

      Make America safe again? Start in America, how many shootings have there been in the past years where the shooters were US citizens?

      I have heard such sad stories this week. F.e. a man who has a Dutch/Iran passport. He was supposed to fly to the US to help out his sister who just lost her husband and has 3 children of which one of them is disable. His sister is a US citizen. He isn't allowed to go.

      An elder couple from Iran who had a visa got stuck at the airport in Amsterdam, they couldn't go to US to visit their children and were put on a plane back to Iran.

      Sad, sad, sad!

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    4. Bottom line is that Trump is doing nothing different from the past 6 presidents before him. Obama banned certain emigrants as well as refugees 6 times during his tenure; Geoge W Bush 6 times; Bill Clinton 6 times; George Senior once; Ronald Reagan 5 times; Jimmy Carter one time. Let's not go back to Roosevelt and Truman. Problem is the media will only report on the things they want to cause divide in our country. Plus as civilians we do not know the top secret classified information that our new president is now privy to. Plus America is not the only country that bans emigrants or refugees. Let's not get into how New Zealand will not even allow overweight people to travel into their country or anyone with preexisting medical conditions.

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    5. Hi Wynette.

      I don't hold any pretense to changing your mind, but I do want to ensure that you have as complete a picture on this issue as possible. One of the things that frustrates a lot of us is the use of a false equivalence.

      What Trump did in this case is not the same as what was done by the others. What Trump did is tantamount to what Roosevelt did with that boat of Jews and the Japanese internment camps.

      In fact, Trump uses the exact same phrase as Roosevelt, this idea of a Trojan Horse, whereby they are - could be - coming here waiting to attack.

      The reason Shelley donated money to the ACLU is that both of us understand what is happening here. There are innocent people having their rights taken away from them because Trump has decided that maybe one of them could be a bad hombre. Keep as many out as you can and you lesson the risk.

      What frustrates me is how easily you have accepted his charge of "extreme vetting" as the reason for this ban. Basically, as Judge Judy would tell you, Trump is peeing on your leg while telling you its raining. And you honestly believe it's raining.

      There will be no extreme vetting after 180 days. If there is, it will be a disguise for a ban making it next to impossible for a Muslim to enter. This is what he wants. This is what a lot of Trump supporters want. They want a ban because of the idea of a Trojan horse.

      Make no mistake about it, Trump is doing this earnestly as a way to protect us "real" Americans. But the means do not justify the end, and that end was never there in the first place.

      If I am wrong on this in 180 days - that we get an extreme vetting that is valid - I'll edit this post with an apology to you.

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  14. I don't think we should stop protesting or be quiet. The majority of people are trying to speak and don't need to be told "put up or shut up". That's authoritarian, not democratic. That hasn't worked in the past and it's not going to work now. The government is supposed to speak for us and it's trying to keep the majority from having a voice.

    It's nice to see donated money go to work. The ACLU was on that lickety split. The fact that the EO went out without being looked at by a lawyer first was a bad move. It's not like people can just go get a visa in a day or two. Why not wait and let the people who have been vetted and granted permission time to finish whatever travel they were in the midst of doing.

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    1. I agree - if we all shut up, as he would like, if the media stops questioning him and reporting facts, as he would like, if the freaking NATIONAL PARKS SERVICE would stop talking about climate change, as he would like - well, we might as well start calling him what he'd really like - "King" - but that's not America. We CAN march and protest...and we will.

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  15. Another comment I will make, too, is that I have been listening to international news rather than US news because I want an outside voice. It's mortifying to hear what they are saying. It's not making America safer - it's creating new problems. Travelers are going to need to be extra careful or reconsider some plans.

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    1. Several locals have been caught up in this mess and haven't been able to return home. This was done to throw everyone into chaos, and I suspect, sneak in more Executive Orders while the focus is on the ban.

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  16. I think it's great you and other friend (they know who they are) speak out that they don't agree with everything that's happening. Being quiet never helps.

    I think it's so sad what is happening. You know our major news station has an item called "Trump daily". I read it everyday to see what stupid thing he did the day before. How sad is it that there's something new to tell everyday?

    As said above the stories I read of people who are banned now are nothing but sad. A refugee that has lived in a refugee camp for 13 years and finally got a visa to immigrate to the US, isn't allowed to go.
    And besides if someone want to attack the US, they sure will find a way to get into the country. We've seen that happen here in Europe.

    There's a first time for everything so I keep my fingers crossed the first impeachment will happen so it won't last 4 years.

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    1. They probably need a "Trump hourly" instead of "Trump daily" with the way he's going. :(

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