MLK Day march

16 Jan 2017

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A large and festive march to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., his life and his work. Also, we're just a few days away from inaugurating our 45th President, Donald Trump. This was a very slow-moving march. Took us a LONG time to get to where we were going. Then again, we stayed packed closely together throughout and these marches often move too quickly and get very strung out.

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Two things that really bothered me that right-wingers used against Presidet Obama and that I'm not at all comfortable using against Presidet Trump - "Not my President" and "I want him to fail." Yes, he won the election. Trump lost the popular vote by almost three million, but he won the Electoral College by a substantial margin. Regarding him as illegitimate is dangerous. A case can be made that Russian President Vladimir Putin and FBI Director James Comey had an awful lot to do Trump's victory, but still, there are many legitimate reasons that many voters preferred him over his opponent.

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For the President to fail doesn't mean much to people like Rush Limbaugh and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. They're old, wealthy and comfortably set in their careers. But it means quite a bit to just about everybody else in America. It means careers can't get started properly, it means children can't be raised in reasonable comfort, it means retirements are harder and more spartan than they need to be. So no, failure for the President doesn't mean the same thing to the majority of Americans that it means to the comfortable few up in the 1%.

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There are two issues that might result in the destruction of humanity before the year 2100 and unfortunately, Trump appears to be on wrong side of both of them. Trump appears to be quite enthusiastic about producing more nuclear weapons. Why does he want to do such a thing? That's not at all clear. Climate Change/Global Warming is another big one. Trump has appointed several people who don't appear to have any concerns about the issue. This is while sea levels are rising. A rise of just one meter in sea level on the East Coast could have catastrophic effects in North Caroline, Virginia, Florida and Lousiana. Are these areas already being affected?

Bouchard was the commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk from 2001 to 2003, when problems started to become evident. “The base used to flood all the time. We spent millions adapting to sea level rise,” he says. That included new expensive piers, storm drainage systems and a floodgate. “The base flooded two or three feet deep with Hurricane Isabel in 2003,” he says. “And that was a pretty wimpy Category 1 hurricane. So anything bigger than that, Category 2 or 3, and we’re facing all kinds of problems.”

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Huh, never knew the song "We Shall Overcome" could be sung in a cheerful, upbeat manner (I caught this at the very end of the song).

Good film to see is "Hidden Figures." Focuses on three African-American women who have to deal with the many indignities and frustrations of being black in the early 1960s. I think it does a good job of balancing the larger historical picture with looks at the personal and professional lives of the women. It certanly doesn't hurt that the mission they're working on is sufficiently important to the nation as a whole that the white people find it really necessary to take whatever help they can get. As this review points out, it's difficult to both make progress on important missions and to be racist at the same time.

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Here's the stand we heard a number of speeches from. One of the speeches.

The Young Turks take a look at the big news of the weekend, the dispute between Trump and Congressman John Lewis (D-GA), a very successful and prominent activist. The Young Turks take a look at Lewis' district and compare it to the state of Georgia and Trump's description of it.