Numbers in Glass

Recently, I took my family on an epic tour of the eastern United States.  We saw many things, most of which was meticulously planned over the course of several months.  But I discovered that the most meaningful was not that which was planned, but something that was found by accident. Something that my months of research missed.

We were in Boston. A city I have long wanted to visit, a city that I immediately fell in love with, a city which I will visit again. The plan for Boston was simple, walk the Freedom Trail. See where our country began. The sites, still standing, which marked the beginning of our Revolution.  It was warm that day, very warm. My children were growing tired. We had reached the Old State House, the location where the Boston Massacre occurred. They couldn’t go any further. They were hot, and tired. The two miles left on the trail was simply out of the question. Reluctantly, I agreed with my husband to leave the trail and head back to our car. Thus, we turned up Congress Street to head to our parking garage on Sudbury.  And that’s when we found it. 6 glass towers, rising 54 feet. Each tower stood atop a grate, releasing steam from the glowing coals beneath. One would think that adding steam to a hot summer day would be oppressive. Instead, as I walked through those towers I was no longer hot, but chilled.

Numbers on Glass

This one time, I want you to not look at the big picture.  Instead look closer. Ignore the city beyond the glass. Past even, the poignant words etched in black. Closer. Do you see it? I’ll help you.

Numbers on Glass

Numbers in glass. 132 panels of numbers etched in glass. A fraction of what occurred. Each number, a representation of something that should be much more than a mere number in glass. A life. Millions of lives. Reduced to nothing more than a number etched in glass. It was a powerful site to see. Humbling. Tragic. And in the light of the events of this weekend, all the more poignant. Because as we sit in the comfort of our homes, watching with horror and outrage at the events unfolding, we all too easily forget that this has happened before.

The events in Virginia are sadly, nothing new. Not to the world, not to America. They are, frankly, all too common. But we have the benefit, now in 2017, to look at the past and learn from it. We have the power to not allow the past to repeat itself.  We have an OBLIGATION to do so.  We, especially all white people, are OBLIGATED to speak against the events in Virginia. But none of this ‘both sides’ nonsense.  We must speak out against the protest began with the angry white men. Nazis. We cannot allow this to be simply shrugged away under the guise of free speech. It is time for the Confederacy to die. For Nazism to die.  We must rise up against these ideas. We cannot allow it to be someone’s ‘opinion.’ It cannot, now, nor ever again, be tolerated. In any form. We must stand up and shout, “NEVER AGAIN.” And we must mean it. We, not a single one of us, can afford to be silent on this. We cannot excuse it away. Condemn it, every one of you. Loudly. Publicly. Because if you do not, then you are complicit in what follows. Intentions matter for shit if you aren’t willing to stand up when things go sideways.  I don’t care about your vote. I don’t care about your ‘intent.’ STAND UP!!

This has all happened before. And if we are not careful, it WILL happen again. Because this is how it begins. EVERY. TIME.


With angry white men. EVERY. TIME. If we don’t stand up and condemn it now, then we are well and truly lost. And so is the dream of America. As long as we allow for this we cannot, nor will we ever, be ‘great.’ The problem with America isn’t immigration. It isn’t LGBTQ persons. It isn’t Muslims, or Atheists, or Liberals. It isn’t BLM. It’s this:


This right here. And our silence which allows it to march through our streets because ‘free speech,’ and ‘everyone is entitled to their opinion.’ NO! No, they are not entitled to the opinion that numerous groups of people don’t have the right to exist. The opinion that the color of one’s skin makes them less than.  The idea of white supremacy. Such ideas are not only anathema to the ideas upon which America was supposedly founded upon, but to humanity in general.  For as long as we allow for these ideas to exist, we will always end up here.  Always.

Eighteen million. Let that sink in. Eighteen million lives lost in those camps. Jews, Romani, Slavs, People of Color, Homosexuals.  Gone. Erased. Because these ideas were allowed to continue.  Because far too many refused to take a stand against it. And the reasons why they refused to stand up don’t matter a whole hell of a lot in regards to what was lost.  Yes, many of those that stood joined those numbers in glass. But I know I would rather be a number in glass, then one who refused to speak against true evil. Because even those who were too afraid to speak up are complicit it what occurred.

We must stand. We must speak. Because we have seen where silence leads. What does it say about us as a nation, as a people, as a human being if we do not stand now? If we do not decry what occurred in Virginia this weekend? If we allow this to be tolerated? If we are complacent? Because this is how it begins. Every time. This is how it always began. And this is how it ends.


With numbers in glass.



Bleeding Heart

I was questioned lately on what made me a liberal. I believe in God, I must be a conservative. I am a stay at home mom with a husband that leads our house like the bible says, I must be a conservative. (Actually, while I am a stay at home mom my husband and I are equal partners in our house.) Because of my belief in God, I must be against marriage equality, abortion, taxes…I must be a conservative. All of this ending with the claim that John F. Kennedy would be a Republican under the current structure of the Democratic Party that had been high-jacked by liberals. I find it amusing that liberal has become a dirty word. I find it amusing because liberalism was founded on liberty and equality. Below is the response I gave.

I am a liberal. Just because I am a liberal does not mean I can’t believe in God. Just because I have a traditional family does not mean that I think that is the only or even best way to go. I believe one of the basic requirements for a free society is the freedom to pursue whatever religion you wish including the freedom to not pursue religion. I am a Christian, but I do not believe that a free society can legislate a single religious belief. When we do so we are no longer free.

I fail to see how a government based on freedom of religion can regulate a religious institution such as marriage. I am fine with the churches’ position. I am less fine with any government telling two consenting adults that they can’t get married. There are churches out there that support same-sex marriage and I have a HUGE problem with the government telling them what they can and cannot support. Personally, I have absolutely no problem with same-sex marriage. Their love and relationships are just as valid as mine. Marriage in a church is a religious ceremony before God and I feel that the church can determine who they can and cannot marry. I think they are wrong to do so but perfectly free to make that choice. Marriage is also a legal contract and I have problems with this legal contract being restricted to certain types of people by the government. I equate these with Jim Crow laws that prohibited inter-racial marriage. If you look back, the arguments are even the same.

I am for tax reform yes…but probably more different from what you would think. First, I am in favor of a flat tax with no stupid deductions (like for yachts, private jets, and show horses). You get a standard deduction and that is it. Since that will never happen I am in favor of creating new tax brackets for the super-wealthy. I find it horribly unfair that persons making $400,000 pay the same rate as those making millions. We need brackets for those higher incomes. With regards to FICA, the Federal Insurance Contributions Act tax removed from every paycheck for Social Security and Medicaid, I am willing to pay more. Currently, Medicaid is at 1.45%. That’s $14.50 for every $1,000 earned bumping it up to a full 2% would only increase it by $5.50 for every $1,000. I am more than willing to pay that to help more Americans. And all income should be subject to the Social Security portion of the FICA tax…not just the first $110,000. I am poor; I get a return most years. I would give up every single penny, regardless of how much it helps my family, if it could guarantee every single American quality health care.

I am not for partial birth abortions and I would argue that no liberal really is…however, my views on abortion could take up a huge amount of space. Some of them though, can be found here:

As far as the Islamic religion is concerned…I support it 100%. The reasons why are many. First, we have freedom of religion in this country. Second, not every Muslim believes what the extremists believe. “Islamic Extremism is to Islam what the KKK is to Christianity”—it may be from an old ‘West Wing’ episode but I really do believe it. Furthermore, I studied religion in college and have read the Qur’an. I know that what it says is so very different from what is presented by the extremists. I know many Muslims who are good Americans that do not believe a single thing coming from the mouths of terrorists. Christianity’s history hasn’t exactly been all flowers and roses either. Judging all Muslims for the beliefs of extremists is akin to judging all Christians based on the beliefs of the Westboro Baptist Church.

I am not for the government restricting my diet…but making recommendations to how I should eat is pretty much the job description of the Surgeon General. Making healthier food cheaper and crappy food more expensive is no different from taxing alcohol and tobacco. I also feel that one shouldn’t be able to buy candy and soda with food stamps.

I have no problems with doctors, teachers, and others whose duty it is to care for my children to ask if there are guns in the home. If it prevents even one child from a preventable death or injury because their parents were too stupid to figure out on their own that they should keep their pretty pink gun out of the reach of their 3yo then I am all for it. I find it to be similar to asking about lead in the home. Or smoking. Or car seats. Frankly, someone has to look after our kids and American parents, by and large, are failing miserably.

Now, looking back at history I have found a lot of Executive Orders that I disagree with. Pretty much every President since FDR had a few I disliked. A few have had some that I agree with. They are nothing new and the Executive Orders Obama has signed have made him disappointingly average. As far as taking control of our infrastructure, that has been an Executive Order since Truman was President. Wire taps, search warrants, and what not are due to the Patriot Act, which I oppose vehemently. But a conservative President and a conservative Congress enacted it. Detention of US citizens is also not new…technically FDR did it…but the tenets in National Defense Authorization Act (which is currently being blamed solely on Obama) actually began with Authorization for the Use of Military Force Against Terrorists. AUMF was also passed under conservative leadership…on September 14, 2001…quietly, while America was distracted. We should speak up about these actions but we should also be clear of the whole history of such actions and not lay blame solely at the feet of the individual holding the Presidency. What we need to do is take such tenets to court and get them deemed unconstitutional (which is what we are doing with NDAA now) so no one can do it again.

A liberal is: “someone who looks ahead and not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of the people—their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties—someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal’, then I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal’.” according to John F. Kennedy. Personally, given the quote, I think JFK would fit nicely into this Democratic Party. Lincoln I have a hard time believing would still be a Republican given his liberal and progressive stances on a number of issues. I am a liberal. Furthermore, I am a bleeding heart liberal and I wear that title like a badge of honor. Just like I don’t believe I should pick and choose parts of my Bible, I also do not believe that I can pick and choose parts of my Constitution. I believe, with my whole heart, cemented by my faith in God, that all men are created equal and therefore are equal under the law.