Posts Tagged ‘President Jimmy Carter’

Random Friday Thoughts — September 30, 2016

It’s now been a couple of days back at work for me after five days in Cleveland, Ohio.

Ray was at a conference and I went along and spent time with “Mom” (Betty).  It was nice seeing her again since the last time was over a year ago when she was in the Quad Cities.

Thank you for taking the time to check out my random thoughts.

THEY SAID WHAT??? — PRESIDENTIAL DEBATE VERSION

Monday night’s first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump was the most watched in history.

84 million people tuned in and this doesn’t include the millions who watched online or at other venues like parties, bars, restaurants, and offices.

This beat out the 1980 debate between President Jimmy Carter and eventual winner Ronald Reagan.  80.6 million watched that debate.

A CNN/ORC poll after Monday night’s showdown showed that Clinton easily won it by a margin of 62%-27%, the third largest win in debate history.

debate

Between Trump snorting like a pig, drinking water like he’d walked through the desert, and constantly saying “wrong” during many of Clinton’s answers and rebuttals and Hillary smiling like a Cheshire Cat because she knew Donald was coming unglued, it was an interesting night.

Here are my favorite soundbites:

Donald:  “I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament.  I have a winning temperament.”

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Hillary:  “I have a feeling by the end of this debate I am going to be blamed for everything that ever happened.”

Donald:  “Why not?”

Hillary:  “Join the debate by saying more crazy things.”

Donald Debate.jpg

Donald:  (on who’s to blame for the Democratic National Committee security breach.  It could have been Russia or China) “It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.”

hillary-debate

Hillary:  “Donald, I know you live in your own reality.”

Hillary:  “He loves beauty contests, supporting them, and hanging around them.”

BEST TWEET ABOUT THE CANDIDATES

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JUST IGNORE HIM — HE’S USED TO IT!

Because most of the people that read or will come across my blog are compassionate and caring, you’ll likely click on the video below (it’s less than a minute and you don’t even need the sound up!)

Vote this November!  It’s important!

CANCER SUCKS

In the past I’ve shared many stories about cancer.  The bottom line is that it sucks.

cancer

While I’ve had a couple of scares that, fortunately, didn’t turn out turn out to be cancer, I did lose my grandfather, my hero, and my father to cancer.

Canadian country music star Brett Kissel, one of my favorites, is raising awareness of the disease on his latest single from his album “Pick Me Up”.

Brett Kissel

He’s also donating the money from “I Didn’t Fall In Love With Your Hair” with Carolyn Dawn Johnson to cancer research in Canada.

What a powerful video!

This single is dedicated to his mother, Brenda, a survivor who’s battled cancer several times and has gone through more than forty surgeries!

You can help out by buying the single here (it’s track 10).  But, let me tell you the entire album is spectacular!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/pick-me-up/id1023505720

And, that’s not all.  Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and two-time cancer survivor W. Brett Wilson is matching the sales of the single up to $25,000 through October 28th.

Kissel has a nice run going with eight consecutive Top Ten hits on the Canadian Country music chart and this is looking like it’ll be his ninth!  It moves up eleven this week to #31!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRESIDENT CARTER!

I want to take a moment to wish my favorite President Jimmy Carter a very happy birthday this weekend.

On Saturday, our 39th U.S. president turns 92 years old.

Jimmy CarterJimmy Carter

I got to visit his presidential museum and library earlier this month in Atlanta, Georgia, and it was amazing seeing all of the history of his long, rewarding life.

President Carter is the second-oldest living president.  George H.W. Bush turned 92-year-old back in June.

FIVE YEARS & COUNTING

It’s five years today!  Happy fifth anniversary Ray and Gretel!

These pictures were taken shortly after it became official in Vander Veer Botanical Park in Davenport, Iowa.

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Our wedding posse, oops, party (from left to right:  Ray’s sister Cindy, my “Mom” Betty, Ray, Gretel, me, and my sister Tammy.)

Wedding 1

The first years!

And, if you haven’t seen it before, here’s a compilation video of our wedding reception, which was held the next day in our back yard.

We planned it and decorated all by ourselves!  It was beautiful — even if I say so myself!

While the video is labeled “One Year Anniversary”, it’s now five!

Ray and Gretel, here’s to the next five years!

IN SHOCKING POLITICAL NEWS…

Texas Senator and former presidential wannabe Ted Cruz announced that he’ll be voting for Donald Trump in November.

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Also, another former presidential wannabe (and several times loser) Rick Santorum has been appointed to Trump’s Catholic Advisory Council.

Heather Mooney’s response to both of these shockers!

HeatherMooney

SERIES & SEASON FINALES

If you haven’t seen the season finales of “Mr. Robot” and “Aquarius”, skip down until you see olives.  Yes, I said olives. 🙂

spoiler-alert

Season two of “Mr. Robot” is over and while the season was much different than the incredible first season, it was enjoyable.

The season two finale was very bold.  It had some very strong language and confrontations.

Speaking of confrontations, the showdown between E Corp’s Scott Knowles and Tyrell’s wife, Joanna, over the death of Knowles’ dead (and pregnant) wife, Sharon, was literally painful to watch!

joanna

And, the last scene with Elliot, Tyrell, and the phone call with Angela makes me look forward to what’s likely to be a shorter season three in 2017.

GRADE:  B  (Season one — GRADE:  A)

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The season two finale of “Aquarius” on NBC with David Duchovny will likely serve as a “series finale”.

For two years, we’ve watched Duchovny as Los Angeles Police Detective Sam Hodiak working his job (the right way and, also, bending the law), sexing up the ladies, and teasing his pretty boy, younger partner Brian Shafe (Grey Damon).

Grey Damon

At the same time, since it’s the late-1960s, we also watched Charles Manson and his “family” terrorize Los Angeles, which as we all know, ended in a savage bloodbath of actress Sharon Tate and four others inside her Hollywood home.

It was a strong season that few people watched and it was an enjoyable two years.

While the show hasn’t been “officially” cancelled, I’m almost certain it won’t be back.

GRADE:  B+  (Season one — GRADE:  B)

WELCOME BACK “HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER”

“How To Get Away With Murder” is back for its third season and the premiere episode proves that show has plenty of life left in it.

However, as was teased at the end of the episode, that’s not the case for a major character.  Someone will die by the end of the season.

Here’s a teaser for the remaining fourteen episodes this season.

You can catch the show Thursday nights on ABC.

DO YOU KNOW HOW OLIVES ARE STUFFED?

Yes, I thought about this the other day and I just had to look it up, so I’m sharing it with you.

I figured that olives were stuffed by humans and machines. I was right.

This is an incredible short video showing the process.

After watching this video, I know it’s a job.  But, could you imagine how monotonous it would be!

PICK HIT

Some of the biggest names in country music, from today to yesteryear, created an instant classic.

To celebrate “The 50th Annual CMA Awards”, CMA brings us “Forever Country”, a single that was produced by CMA Award winner Shane McAnally and features 30 superstars including Reba, George Strait, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Martina McBride, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Randy Travis, Tim McGraw, Faith Hill, Trisha Yearwood, Brett Eldredge, Miranda Lambert, Carrie Underwood, Little Big Town, Kacey Musgraves, and many more.

The song is a medley of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads”, Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You”, and Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again”.

The single was downloaded 93,000 times and streamed 5.7 million times in its first week.  That helped it debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Songs chart.

While this is an achievement that only two other songs have done, it’s only getting limited airplay at country radio.

Don’t even get me started about the current state of country radio!!!!!!!!

IT’S THAT TIME OF THE YEAR

So, fall officially arrived a week ago last Thursday.  That evening, at the Moline Walmart, I saw that the garden section was already the Christmas section.

MyFavoriteDecoratingCartoon

So, it’s truly one-stop shopping now.  You can pick up Halloween candy and costumes, buy frozen turkeys and canned cranberry sauce, and shop for your artificial tree and decorations all at the same time!

THAT’S IT

With all the craziness in the world, make it the best in your little part of it!

Anthony

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Random Friday Thoughts — July 8, 2016

I hope you’re enjoying your week following the Fourth of July weekend.

I loved the cooler temperatures last weekend, but the heat and humidity definitely returned to the Midwest.

As always, I appreciate you checking out my random thoughts and many of you did last Friday, so thank you again.

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY

I want to extend Happy Anniversary wishes to one of the most perfect couples — my favorite President Jimmy Carter and his beautiful bride, Rosalynn.

Jimmy & Rosalynn.jpg

Thursday marked the couple’s 70th wedding anniversary.

After the couple married in their hometown of Plains, Georgia, they lived in several different parts of the country when President Carter was in the Navy.  After that, they returned to Plains to run the family’s peanut farm and business before moving on to Atlanta to become to Governor and First Lady of Georgia.

As I’ve written before, as a 12-year-old boy, I accompanied my grandmother, Helen, who was mostly illiterate into the voting booth in November 1976 in Mayfield, Kentucky, and placed my first presidential vote for the former Georgia governor.

I want to think that my vote was instrumental in him winning my state’s nine electoral votes.

CarterPres

I went with her again in 1980 and, again, voted for President Carter.

I’ll be visiting Atlanta in early September for the first time and I can’t wait to see the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.  I’m so hoping that the former President and First Lady will be speaking at the Carter Center while I’m there.

So, President and Mrs. Carter, I’d love to treat you to an anniversary lunch or dinner if our path’s cross in Atlanta this September!  🙂

Happy Anniversary!

President-Jimmy-and-Rosalynn-Carter1

In case you missed it, here’s the blog from four years ago confessing my admiration for President and Mrs. Carter. (It’ll open in a new window and you won’t lose your place in this week’s blog.)

https://anthonypeoples.wordpress.com/2012/03/08/forget-marilyn-i-want-my-week-with-jimmy/

SAD STATE OF THE WORLD

I already had this week’s “Random Friday Thoughts” ready to post when the bloodshed in Dallas, Texas, became the top story.

Dallas

A sniper (or snipers) opened fire on about 100 police officers at a demonstration of around 800 people in Dallas.  Eleven police officers were shot and, at least, five were dead.

The group gathered to protest two police-related deadly shootings this week — one in Louisiana and the other in Minnesota.

At least three people were in custody after an exchange of gunfire with police at a parking garage downtown.

This story is changing by the minute and will continue to do so throughout the day and weekend.

the real world

America and the world, violence is and has always been a part of our existence.   But, the lack of empathy and the total disregard for life and our fellow man has to change.

I’m a realist and I know how this will play out, but I truly want society and mankind to prove me wrong!

STOP THE HATE

(This part of the blog was already written before the Dallas shooting spree.)

It’s been almost a month since the deadly shooting at the gay nightclub, Pulse, in Orlando, Florida.

49 people were gunned down and another 53 were injured.

There have been many vigils and memorials in the past few weeks.

Now, heavyweight producer Ryan Murphy (“American Horror Story”, “American Crime Story”, “Scream Queens”, and “Glee”) is behind a very powerful and beautiful 18-minute video tribute featuring Hollywood stars sharing the stories of each of the 49 victims’ lives with their photographs.

The video may be long, but that time pales in comparison to the lifetime that each of those 49 people will never experience now.

I hope you take the time to watch it.

So touching and heartbreaking!

THOSE “DAMN EMAILS”

“The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails.”

Those words came from Senator Bernie Sanders on October 13, 2015 (my birthday)  in a Democratic debate with Hillary Clinton, the presumptive U.S. Presidential nominee, in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Clinton quickly replied with a chuckle, “Thank you. Me, too.  Me, too.”

DEM 2016 Debate

Now, almost nine months later, the debate is over with FBI Director James Comey stating in a press conference with his agency’s decision, “Our judgement is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

But, Comey did call Clinton’s handling of private emails “extremely careless.”

Yesterday, while being grilled by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, he basically said that none of the Clinton documents in the investigation had headers stating it was “classified”.

Now that precedence is set, hopefully every Secretary of State from John Kerry forward will learn from this and new guidelines will be instituted that can keep up with the always changing internet world.

BENGHAZI — FOUR YEARS LATER

If you asked Americans what country Benghazi is in or where to find it on the map, most would not know.  From a security standpoint four years ago, our own government didn’t seem to have it (and several other places) high on their radar either.

It didn’t seem like a priority until September 11, 2012, when Islamic militants killed U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans there.

The U.S. government, the Obama administration, and then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton admitted formal responsibility and she said this of the blame game, “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, Senator.”

Hearing were held and many studies were conducted (even independent ones).  Yet, in this presidential election year, people are still looking for the “silver bullet” to implicate Clinton for this tragedy.

The Stevens Family.jpg

Dr. Anne Stevens, the sister of Ambassador Stevens, is that family’s spokesperson and she says the latest reports added nothing new because it was already established that Benghazi was not secure.

Stevens adds, “I do not blame Hillary Clinton or Leon Panetta. They were balancing security efforts at embassies and missions around the world. And their staffs were doing their best to provide what they could with the resources they had. The Benghazi Mission was understaffed. We know that now. But, again, Chris knew that. It wasn’t a secret to him. He decided to take the risk to go there. It is not something they did to him. It is something he took on himself.”

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And, when asked what Chris would have thought about this year’s upcoming presidential election, she says, “I know he had a lot of respect for Secretary Clinton. He admired her ability to intensely read the issues and understand the whole picture.”

Sadly, many people are keeping this tragedy alive, not because they are saddened by the loss of Ambassador Stevens and the three other men, to make it another piece of this year’s election puzzle.

It’s time to make security changes to ensure this doesn’t happen again, and, most of all, it’s time to move on people.

“13 HOURS:  THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI”

When it was announced in late 2014 that director Michael Bay would be bringing a movie about the Benghazi tragedy to the big screen, I didn’t have any interest in seeing it.

He’s famous for making popcorn movies geared toward teenage fanboys and fangirls (“The Transformers” series and “Armageddon”).

However, once I heard that the movie wasn’t just propaganda (it was released two weeks before the Iowa Caucus on February 1, 2016, which is the kick-off to the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election), I decided I would check it out on DVD.

It’s much better than I expected it to be.  From a Hollywood telling of real life events, it was definitely a great thriller.  It ended up making about $70 million in theaters with a $50 million budget.

Since we’re talking about the movie here, John Krasinski looks incredible with his newly buffed physique.

GRADE:  B

TICKETMASTER & FREE TICKETS

The concert movie giant is trying to make good after a losing a lawsuit over the crazy fees it charges.

Ticketmaster has already released two waves of tickets totaling almost $15 million, but it’s only for select concerts and venues.

It’s a nice gesture, but it’ll not likely benefit most of the customers it ripped off over the years, including myself.

Here’s a July 1st post from Ticketmaster:

tm

Ticketmaster, I have an idea if you really (and I stress, REALLY) want to make good on redemption from your shady activities that got you sued.

Since you’re only offering select number of tickets anyway, let us pick the general admission seats to the concerts we’d want to attend — if seats are available.

For instance, there are two shows that still have plenty of cheap seats open in Las Vegas when I’m there later this month.  Let me use my free vouchers there.

Just a thought!

SULLY

You might not remember that it was in January 2009, but I’m sure just looking at this photo, you’ll remember the story.

Flight 1549

This is US Airways Flight 1549 resting on the Hudson River after taking off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City.

Shortly after take-off, the plane hit a flock of Canadian geese, which caused engine failure.

57-year-old Captain Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and 49-year-old First Officer Jeff Skiles skillfully saved all 155 passengers on board in this amazing, unpowered emergency water landing.

Director Clint Eastwood and Oscar winner Tom Hanks are bringing this amazing story to the big screen September 9th.

The movie also stars Aaron Eckhart as Skiles and Oscar nominee Laura Linney as Sully’s wife, Lorraine.

FISH POND UPDATE

It appears that the anti-viral chemical we’re using in the fish pond is making a difference!

As I told you in last week’s “Random Friday Thoughts”, we had four larger koi to die in about a week’s time and then we quickly treated the pond with an agent to fight viruses in case the last fish we acquired were sick.

Sadly, Snowflake, another of the larger koi, died last weekend.  (She’s on the left here.  Pumpkin Pie, my favorite fish, on the right, died two weeks ago.)

Snowflake Pumpkie Pie

While I think the medicine is definitely working, it was already too late for Snowflake.

FIRST LADIES

For the past three weeks, I’ve been sharing tidbits from the book I read called “First Ladies” by Betty Boyd Caroli.

I’m wrapping it up this week.

First Ladies

Eleanor Roosevelt:   She worked for the advancement of women and civil rights for black Americans.  Many saw her and FDR as a team in politics.  She loved press conferences — she had 348 in the three terms as First lady.  She also ended Prohibition by serving wine in the White House in 1934.

Elizabeth “Bess” Truman:  She and President Harry Truman made it no secret that they closely worked together for his policies.  She didn’t travel by air and mostly took the train.  Unlike her First Lady predecessor, she hated press conferences and only gave one!

Mamie Eisenhower:  Her favorite color was pink and she surrounded herself with it.  She saw her role as wife as secondary and supportive.  She made many “best dressed” lists, but often bought clothes off the rack.  While she exuded a “soft” side, White House staff saw her as militaristic.

Jacqueline Kennedy:  She worked hard to restore the White House (she didn’t like the word “redecorate”).  She was the first First Lady to hire her own press secretary and she was very into art and not just what was popular at the time.

Lady Bird Johnson:  Her first name was Claudia.  She borrowed against her inheritance, so her husband, LBJ, could run for Congress in Texas in 1937.  She also borrowed money to buy an Austin radio station in 1942 and when television took off in the 1950s, her broadcasting complex made her a very rich woman.  She’s best known for supporting the environment and for starting Highway Beautification projects.

Pat Nixon:  Thelma was her first name.  In her renovations of the White House, she made it more accessible for disabled and the sight-impaired.  She responded to her correspondences individually and she was also a well-traveled First Lady visiting 83 nations.

Betty Ford:  Her real name was Elizabeth.  She was widely lauded (and likely mocked) for her frankness — about her kids, health problems, and her life, including using Valium.  She wasn’t afraid to share her views even when they contradicted President Gerald Ford’s stances.

Rosalynn Carter:  Her first name is Eleanor and she gave the valedictory speech at her high school graduation of eleven students in Plains, Georgia.  As First Lady of Georgia and the country, she worked very hard for mental health reforms.  She also fought to get the Equal Rights Amendment ratified.  She also played a big role in the Middle East Peace Talks at Camp David by making many trips back to Washington D.C. during the lengthy process to stand in at events for President Jimmy Carter.

Nancy Reagan:  She wasn’t shy about asking for White House renovations and new china even as the country was in a major recession.  She was often criticized for influencing her husband, especially in his second term.  The “New York Times” even wrote about her “Associate Presidency”.

Barbara Bush:   She worked hard during her White House years for literacy and to bring attention to the fight against AIDS.  She was heavily into volunteerism before she became First Lady.

Hillary Rodham Clinton:  As First Lady, she was seen as highly ambitious because she was a strong woman that worked on policy for her husband.  To counter criticism, she lightened her hair, wore a more feminine wardrobe, and cut back on her public speaking.  To top it off, she even added her married name publicly to her already establish name of “Hillary Rodham”.

This book was updated in 1993 and it didn’t have chapters on Laura Bush and Michelle Obama.

HIllary Flag

One last interesting comment that the author made was “By 1993, the credentials of First Lady Hillary Clinton looked very much like those of the President.”

Prophetic much???? 🙂

PICK HIT

I saw Cardiknox, the pop duo of Thomas Dutton and lead singer Lonnie Angle, open for Carly Rae Jepsen in New York City in March on the “Emotion Tour”.

They are full of energy and their debut album, “Portrait”, is fantastic.

Here’s their new video, “Wild Child”.

PICK HIT BONUS

I also want to share the first song and video from the album, “On My Way”, which is one of my favorite songs of 2016.

The video is amazing because it definitely looks like it done in one take with no edits.

THAT’S IT

With all that’s going on in the world, I hope you can make your little part of this f**ked up world a little brighter!

Anthony

They Said What??? President Jimmy Carter, Stevie Wonder, & Miley Cyrus

FOX COMMENTATOR BILL O’REILLY

“I would like the states to decide what kind of society they want.  I don’t buy into the fact that homosexuals have a constitutional right to marry; I don’t believe that, because If that were true, then pluralists would, then Mormons could have more than one [spouse].”

FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER

“At a time when popular revolutions are sweeping the globe, the United States should be strengthening, not weakening, basic rules of law and principles of justice enumerated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  But instead of making the world safer, America’s violation of international human rights abets our enemies and alienates our friends.”

MORE CARTER

(on NSA information leaker Edward Snowden):  “He’s obviously violated the laws of America, for which he’s responsible, but I think the invasion of human rights and American privacy has gone too far.  I think that the secrecy that has been surrounding this invasion of privacy has been excessive, so I think that the bringing of it to the public notice has probably been, in the long term, beneficial. I think the American people deserve to know what their Congress is doing.”

SINGER MILEY CYRUS

“Everybody said I was a lesbian but I’m like, ‘Being a lesbian isn’t a bad thing. So if you think I look like I’m a lesbian, I’m not offended. You can call me much worse.  I’ve been called much worse. Being a lesbian is a compliment more than what else they call me.”

ACTRESS KIRSTIE ALLEY

(in a tweet slamming Scientology expert and former “Village Voice” editor Tony Ortega for claiming she was upset with actress Leah Remini for leaving Scientology):  “lying news outlets. I do NOT care what religion ANYONE is or isn’t. I respect religions & would fight for your freedom as well as mine.”

“THE WIRE” CREATOR DAVID SIMON

(responding about the George Zimmerman verdict):  “If I were a person of color in Florida, I would pick up a brick and start walking toward that courthouse in Sanford. Those that do not, those that hold the pain and betrayal inside and somehow manage to resist violence — these citizens are testament to a stoic tolerance that is more than the rest of us deserve. I confess, their patience and patriotism is well beyond my own.”

MORE SIMON

“I can’t look an African-American parent in the eye for thinking about what they must tell their sons about what can happen to them on the streets of their country. Tonight, anyone who truly understands what justice is and what it requires of a society is ashamed to call himself an American.”

MUSIC ICON STEVIE WONDER

(responding to the George Zimmerman acquittal):  “I decided today that until the Stand Your Ground law is abolished in Florida, I will never perform there again,”. “As a matter of fact, wherever I find that law exists, I will not perform in that state or in that part of the world.”

MORE WONDER

“The truth is that—for those of you who’ve lost in the battle for justice, wherever that fits in any part of the world—we can’t bring them back.  What we can do is we can let our voices be heard. And we can vote in our various countries throughout the world for change and equality for everybody. That’s what I know we can do.”

Anthony

Peace on Earth — All Around The World

I love sending out Christmas cards and I love getting them.  While I know most people are not like me and take them to the post office the day before Thanksgiving so they start their trek across the country, it’s a routine that I’ve done for the past twenty years.

It’ll be exciting to start getting them in the mail.  While the holidays are just now beginning, I’ve already gotten three cards from friends, one from my bank, and one that I will cherish and keep forever.

When I saw the envelope, I was very careful in opening it because I knew I wanted to keep it.

Letter

If you’ve read my blog, you know that I absolutely love President Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn.  I’ve blogged about how much I’d love to spend a week with President Carter and how he was given a bum deal in the late-1970s with the many problems he faced while President.

No, I don’t personally know President Carter.  I was probably added to the mailing list of  “The Carter Center” by donating money to Habitat For Humanity, which I’ve done many times and recently.  But, I’d love to think that I was added to the mailing list because the former President has read my blog. 🙂

Nevertheless, there inside the envelope was a four page letter from Jimmy Carter that started out with why he and his wife have worked so hard since leaving the White House in January 1981.

Letter From President Carter

And, there was a note from the former First Lady, Rosalynn.

RSC

The president went on to talk about how their work had to be “non-partisan and non-political”, had to approach the problems of the world in a new way, and that their work toward a “peaceful, healthier world” would be interfaith.  And, it must be working because President Carter says that more than 900,000 Americans have joined The Carter Center.

Right now, the organization is “working to avert violence and foster peace and growth in Asia, the Caribbean, Africa, and Latin America”,” is working to end hunger in developing countries, teaching farmers to be self-reliant” and combating Guinea worm disease “that threatened more than 120 million people from India to Africa” in 1986.  Today, there are fewer than 500 reported cases.

Card CoverCard Inside

Along with the business part of the mailing was this Christmas card.  The cover, “White Dove”, is from an original oil on canvas painting by President Carter.

As I stated before, I know this is a standard mailing.  However, it still touches my heart and solidifies my thoughts that President Carter is one of the greatest men alive.

If you want to donate, here’s the link to the Carter Center:  http://www.cartercenter.org/index.html

Anthony

Milk: It Does A Movement Good

*Note:  Once you start reading this, you’ll realize it was originally posted in November 2012.*

As Americans go to the polls in three days to decide whether President Barack Obama gets a second term, history was made 35 years ago today.

On November 3, 1977, Harvey Milk was elected to San Fransisco’s Board of Supervisors.  By securing that position, he became the first openly gay person to serve on the board and one of the nation’s highest gay profile figures.

Milk1

These days, we’re fortunate enough to have openly gay members of Congress (Barney Frank, Tammy Baldwin, and Jared Polis) and openly gay mayors across the country, including Annise Parker in Houston, Texas, Sam Adams in Portland, Oregon, and David Cicilline in Providence, Rhode Island.

It’s amazing how things have change in the past 30-plus years.

HarveyMilkNavy1954

After growing up in New York and serving in the Navy in the Korean War in the early-1950s, Milk, who was not open about his sexuality, moved to the Castro district of San Francisco, California, in 1972, and he quickly got involved in politics because of the injustices he noticed in his neighborhood.

In his career, Milk unsuccessfully ran for office three times before winning in November 1977.

Milk2

His first campaign, in 1973, was socially liberal.  He opposed government interference in private sexual matters and favored legalizing marijuana.  While he got a lot of press, he placed 10th out of 32 candidates earning almost 17,000 votes.

Two years later, he decided to run for city supervisor again and this time he changed his appearance by cutting his hair, wearing suits, and swearing off marijuana and visiting the bath houses.   He also got support from the Teamsters, firefighters, and construction unions.  Milk lost the election, but ended up in seventh place.

In 1976, he ran for State Assembly and against the political machine losing by only 4,000 votes.

Milk3

Meanwhile, on the other side of the country in Miami, Florida, gay activists got a civil rights ordinance passed that prohibited anti-gay discrimination.  Fundamentalist Christians led by former beauty queen and singer Anita Bryant led the charge to overturn that ruling.

SaveOurChildren

The fear and lies that Bryant spewed, along with her “Save Our Children” campaign, worked and 70% of Dade County, Florida, voted to repeal the law.   More cities across the country (Saint Paul, Minnesota, Eugene, Oregon, and Wichita, Kansas) rode that wave of success in Florida and overturned the advancements made by gay activists.

While Harvey Milk lost the State Assembly election in November 1976, San Francisco voters in that same election changed the supervisor elections guidelines so that supervisors would be chosen from their neighborhoods instead of being elected in city-wide ballots.  This gave Milk the chance he needed to win the supervisor seat in the November 1977 elections from the Castro district, which he did rather easily by 30% against sixteen other candidates.

SupervisorMilk

In Milk’s first year in office, he worked hard and passed one of the strongest gay rights ordinance in the country (only one Supervisor, Dan White, voted against it).  And, he didn’t just work for gay issues.  He also got an ordinance passed that required dog owners to scoop their pets’ poop, he worked to get less expensive and larger child care facilities, free public transportation, and to establish a board of citizens to oversee the police.

As Harvey worked to make his mark on San Fransisco politics, conservative state legislator John Briggs sponsored California Proposition 6, which became known as the “Briggs Initiative”, which would have made it mandatory to fire gay or lesbians teachers in California’s public school.  It could have also included anyone that supported gay rights.

Briggs

That proposition was opposed by then President Jimmy Carter, future President Ronald Reagan, and then and current California Governor Jerry Brown.  Luckily, it failed 58-42%, by more than a million votes.  In San Fransisco, 75% voted against it.  Also, in 1978, Briggs sought to become the Republican nominee for Governor, but lost in that bid, too.

Shortly after Harvey Milk celebrated the one-year anniversary of being elected to the Board of Supervisors, another supervisor Dan White resigned from his position because he wasn’t making enough money to support his family.

Dan White

Early on in Milk’s supervisory career, White was opposed to a mental health facility for troubled adolescents moving into his district.  While Milk was initially behind White about the facility not being placed there, Milk educated himself more on the matter and decided to vote against White’s proposal.  It failed and White never forgave Milk and voted against every thing that Harvey proposed.

After thinking about his resignation, White asked Mayor George Moscone for his job back and initially Moscone was going to give it to him.  However, after talking to other supervisors, including Milk, the Mayor decided not to give him his job back.

MilkMosconeWhite

On November 27, 1978, just 30 minutes before Mayor Moscone was to announce White’s replacement in a press conference, White crawled through a basement window to avoid metal detectors and went to the mayor’s office.   After a loud argument, White shot Mayor Moscone four times (in the shoulder and chest and then twice in the head when he fell to the floor).  He quickly left the office and summoned Milk inside his old office and shot Harvey five times, twice in the head at close range.

DianneAnnouncesDeaths

Dianne Feinstein, who would become Mayor of San Fransisco for ten years, and is currently a senior U.S. Senator in California, made this announcement to reporters, “”Today San Francisco has experienced a double tragedy of immense proportions. As President of the Board of Supervisors, it is my duty to inform you that both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed.”  She added, “and the suspect is Supervisor Dan White.”

Vigil

On the evening of their deaths, a spontaneous candlelight vigil to remember Milk and Moscone moved from the Castro to City Hall brought out 40,000 people.

WhiteTrial

At his trial, White’s lawyers and their forensic psychiatrist claim that White was depressed and that led to him giving up healthy food for sugary foods and drinks that alter his thinking.  (The term, “Twinkie Defense”, is now synonymous with the Dan White trial although the snack cake was never mentioned in court!)

For that reason, his lawyers convinced the jury that he was not capable of first-degree murder and premeditation.   On May 21, 1979, the jury found White guilty of only voluntary manslaughter.  He was sentenced to only seven years in prison.

The San Francisco gay community was outraged and many marched from the Castro to City Hall.  This protest became violent and would be known as the “White Night Riots”.

White Night Riot, SF City Hall, May 21, 1979RiotsCityHall

After hours of violence at City Hall and in Castro district gay bars, at least 61 police officers and 100 gays and activists were hospitalized and dozens were arrested.

DanWhite

After serving five years of his sentence, Dan White was released from prison in January 1984.  His marriage fell apart and on October 21, 1985, he committed suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning in his San Francisco garage.

Milk Movie

If you’d like to know more about the wonderful man and trailblazer, Harvey Milk, there’s the 2008 Oscar-winning movie, “Milk”, which won Academy Awards for Sean Penn’s performance as Milk and for Dustin Lance Black’s original screenplay.

Also, there’s the book by Randy Shilts, “The Mayor of Castro Street”.  (Irrelevant to my blog, Shilts was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1951.)

Harvey Milk, I’m thinking of your accomplishments today, I’ll think of you later this month on the horrible anniversary of that day that your life was ended way too soon, and I’ll remember you each May on your birthday.  I’m so grateful for all that you accomplished in those few short years in San Francisco.   I’m honored to continue your fight for equality and for what is right.

Harvey Milk meets Jimmy Carter, May 1976

And, I’ll close this with a fantastic picture of two of the most inspirational men that I know, Harvey Milk and President Jimmy Carter from 1976.

On the day that Supervisor Milk and Mayor Moscone were assassinated, President Carter released this statement:

“I know I speak on behalf of the Nation when I express a sense of outrage and sadness at the senseless killings today of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

George Moscone had long and ably served the people of the San Francisco area. At age 33 he became one of the youngest members ever elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. He was elected three times to the California State Senate before becoming San Francisco’s mayor in 1976.

In every conversation with Mayor Moscone, I always knew that the people of San Francisco and California were uppermost in his mind and heart. He was a good and kind man, and he will be sorely missed.

Supervisor Milk was a hard-working and dedicated supervisor, a leader of San Francisco’s gay community who kept his promise to represent all his constituents.

Rosalynn and I express our deepest sympathies to the families and friends of both men.”

Milk Statue

Harvey, thank you.

Anthony