Monday, February 12, 2018

Random Thoughts: On Quite a Week Already (And it is only Monday)

The best laid plans are sometimes "laid to waste" as a result of on-going events.  I had plans to be more "upbeat" this week, but Ghouta and the new Budget announced by the Trump Adminstration threw me a curve.

I ended up helping at the Daily Outsider as  I saw some challenging reporting on #Ghouta in Syria and the erosion of Civil Liberties in the United States.   I also saw an article in the Guardian of London on life in Finland and could not help but be jealous--as the article reflects, the US Ambassador Under Barack Obama liked Finland so much he stayed there.   This is as the Trump Administration just introduced a budget that will eliminate the Corporation for National Service--I just joined the call to action and have noted it here so that all can join:

We need your help to protect national service programs.
The White House just submitted their budget proposal for fiscal year 2019 and once again, they are recommending that the government shut down the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and eliminate AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. We can’t sit quiet while they recycle this short-sighted budget proposal!
Just like his FY18 budget, President Trump’s FY19 proposal only includes limited funding dedicated to the orderly shutdown of CNCS over the course of the next year. But eliminating CNCS funding would be a huge mistake. Instead of costing taxpayers money, national service programs actually save federal dollars - and studies show a nearly four-to-one return for society in terms of higher earnings, increased output, and other community-wide benefits. In fact, now is the time when we should be expanding investments in national service, not cutting them.
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members are on the front lines of fighting the opioid epidemic, and are helping communities rebuild after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria. They connect returning veterans to jobs, support seniors living independently, preserve public lands, foster economic opportunity, prepare students for college, and more. Without funding for these programs, communities would suffer. You can read the full Voices for National Service statement on the President’s Budget here.
Here’s the silver lining: we have been here before. If we work together, we can protect - and even expand - investments in national service. Congress will soon begin the FY19 appropriations process and will have to make tough decisions about funding allocations - so they need to hear from all of us that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps should be a priority.
Last year, we successfully mobilized to protect funding for CNCS—and, with your help, we can do it again. Thank you for taking action with us today.
Yours in Service,
AnnMaura Connolly
Voices for National Service
P.S. Help spread the word by forwarding this email to friends and family and encouraging them to make their voices heard in support of national service. 

This led me to embrace this I ran across from the great Carl Sagan.  It seems to me that we on Earth Seem to forget how insignificant we are and how we should work to elevate--not discourage: 

 I do want to end this though on a bit of a high note with this image of Iranian Atheltes as they entered the Winter Olympics during opening ceremonies: 

Today is also officially President Lincoln's Birthday as we in the United States will honor all Presidents on President's Day Week-End later on this week.   I picked this compliation of thoughts from President Lincoln thanks to the great work yet again from Jonathan Lockwood Huie as I go "Dark" here in my "Corner" for the Week:

If you look for the bad in people
expecting to find it, you surely will.
- Abraham Lincoln

The probability that we may fail
in the struggle ought not to deter us
from the support of a cause we believe to be just.
- Abraham Lincoln

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
- Abraham Lincoln

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