As we engage in the upcoming critical election, I am mindful of the Rev. William Barber’s speech before the Democratic National Convention, when he called upon all of us to be the “moral defibrillators of our time.” (Go to YouTube to hear the speech in its entirety.)
One day after his speech, an electric current went through our civic hearts when the three-judge panel of the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously struck down the discriminatory intent of the North Carolina legislature’s voter suppression law. Now it’s our turn to help secure a mass voter turn out.
Our votes can reverse a political landscape in which: discriminatory laws like HB2 remain on the books; the few have been enriched at the expense of the many; critical social services have been diminished by allowing big corporations and the wealthy to avoid paying their fair share of taxes; health care has been denied to thousands; too many workers are denied a living wage; our public schools and higher education institutions suffer a funding drought.
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The thousands of faith and community residents who have joined the NAACP-led Moral Monday movement are heeding Rev. Barber’s call to become moral defibrillators, by joining voter education, mobilization, registration and Get Out the Vote drives that will send electric currents to repair the heart of North Carolina, end hatred, fear, racism and Islamophobia, and restore the health and well being of all our neighbors.
I can understand the frustrations felt by many Trump supporters – millions of good manufacturing jobs gone, trade deals that seem to benefit the corporations at the expense of the workers, and a Washington establishment that is often oblivious to the concerns of many Americans.
I cannot, however, understand why anyone would expect Trump to solve these – or any – problems. He is, to be blunt, a blistering incompetent whose only skills seem to be self-promotion and lying.
His ignorance is legendary – for example, he has proposed invading Iceland because they “are harboring ISIS.” His multiple failed businesses and bankruptcies give the lie to any claim of business competence, as does the fact that his wealth would be just as great if he had simply invested his huge inheritance in a mutual fund and taken a 40-year nap.
Electing Trump would be like burning down your garage because your car is not running right. And, do you really want this loudmouth buffoon in command of the U.S. military with his short little finger on The Button? Trump to nuclear missile: “You’re fired.”
Learn from your Peers this fall
Peer Learning of Chapel Hill, a nonprofit group for seniors and retirees this fall, will offer a fresh lineup of classes. Located at Olin T. Binkley Memorial Baptist Church, 1713 Willow Drive, Chapel Hill, next to University Place, classes are taught by peers, often retired professors or professionals in their fields.
This semester, members will be able to explore the emperors of Rome, the short story, current events, Puccini’s operas, and common medical issues for seniors, or join an informal discussion group on personal experiences. Topical speakers at Binkley and informal luncheons at local restaurants are scheduled on the second and fourth Fridays throughout the year and are open to the public.
The first speaker of the season will be Mir Ali, who will discuss prison rducation, its benefits and effect on recidivism on Friday, Sept. 9, at 11 a.m. in the lounge at the Binkley Baptist Church. All are welcome.
Stephanie K. Johnson
on behalf of Peer Learning of Chapel Hill
Registration open for Shared Learning
This fall, Shared Learning Association of Chapel Hill welcomes the public to enroll into any of our 22 14-week courses on our website: www.sharedlearningchapelhill.com.
Morning meetings take place in comfortable classroom environments in Expand Church, 114 Weaver Dairy Road, Chapel Hill. Those interested may pick up a paper catalog with complete course descriptions and a course registration form at the Friends of the Chapel Hill Public Library Book Store, lower level of the library. Or, they may contact me at 703-329-2933 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Shared Learning Fall registration period ends Sept. 5. Classes begin on Monday, Sept. 12, and end Dec. 16 with a holiday party.
For the fall term, sample course titles include “Controversies in the World,” “Demystifying the Other Europe: History of Eastern Europe,” “Voices of Literary Modernism:Writers of Early 20th Century,” “Art Masterpieces from the Met,” “The Science of Information, Part I,” “Parables of Jesus,” “Short Stories,” “Homer’s Iliad,” “Basics of Digital Photography” and “Oceanography, the Final Frontier, Part I.”
In addition, two, free one hour “Lindgren Lectures,” both concerning politics, are scheduled for fall, both held on the last Friday of the month, beginning at 11 a.m. Free and open to the public, on Friday, Sept. 23, Ferrel Guillory, director of the Program on Public Life at UNC, will speak on “North Carolina as a Purple Swing State.” And on Friday, Oct. 28, James Stimson, Bicentennial Distinguished UNC Professor of Political Science, will speak on the national election.
Also, on Friday, Nov. 5, at 11 a.m., Shared Learning will sponsor a special free program on the life and influence of Oliver Sacks, presented by member Enid Handler, who was a long-time friend of Dr. Sacks.
Founded in 1979 by local residents, Shared Learning Association is a voluntary association for those who wish to continue to learn in groups and classroom settings. Paying the annual membership fee of $50 entitles a member to take as many non-credit courses in the fall, spring and summer terms as he/she wants. Members determine the study topics to be pursued per term, based on their diverse interests, experiences, travels and expertise. Also, they serve as moderators in courses and programs, using presentation formats that are learner-centered and provocative to enrollees.
on behalf of Shared Learning
Looking for aviators
I am the flight captain for the Harley H Pope Flight Order of Daedalians. We are a military aviator group made up of members from all the services; our flight has members from World War II to the present day.
We are beginning our annual membership drive looking for past and new members. Requirements of membership have recently changed.
Current membership qualification is you must be acommissioned military officer, warrant officer or Women Airforce Service Pilot (WASP) in any component of the U.S. Armed Forces who is a pilot, navigator, combat systems officer (CSO), naval flight officer (NFO), air battle manager (ABM), remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) pilot or flight surgeon of heavier than air-powered aircraft or astronaut. The Flight meets most every month on the fourth Thursday at Carolina Trace Club in Sanford.
For more information about the Daedalians go to our website: http://www.daedalians.org/ or more on the Pope Flight use this link: http://apollo.daedalians.org/flights/16. In addition, you can contact the Flight Adjutant via email at email@example.com or by phone at 910-488-3118.
Joe Fitzpatrick, Colonel USAF (ret)