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My Word on “Why I Am Writing and Sharing So Much About Politics And Why Now?”

October 3rd, 2019 Comments off

Why I Am Writing/Sharing So Much About Politics? Why now?

For those of you who have known me for even a short time, you know I usually don’t take a great interest in politics. It can be fair to say that I worry least about the government that governs best. I have my political opinions and I might occasionally show my support for some program or another, but usually, I am content to let other fret and strut their hour upon the political stage and take care of more immediate concerns.

My Word on

That said, lately, my Twitter and Facebook streams have been awash with political news, comments, rants and more. Over the last 2 years I have been growing more and more angry, upset, disenchanted, vocal (insert your favorite emotion here) with my government. This has caused me to re-think my usual laissez-faire (a policy or attitude of letting things take their course, without interfering) attitudes towards politics, government and governing.

I often say that if I start talking politics then you know things have gotten really bad and that is certainly the case now. I take issue with many policies and actions of the current administration and could no longer hold off voicing some of my opinions. Lest people were mistaking my silence for support, I had to share that I did not agree and exactly why.

Taking these actions has been far more about me and my emotions than any effort to affect the outside world. I had to make it clear that I did NOT agree, I did NOT support, I did NOT assent, to the actions being taken, ostensibly, in my name and certainly with my tax dollars. IF my son ever asked me what I did during these times, I need to be able to show him where I stood on the issues and why. I guess this is my generations version of “What did you do in the war, Dad?”

I won’t reiterate my opinions on issues here. If you wish to see them, visit any of my social media feeds and it will be clear. Rather I wanted to explain a little bit about why my political side has popped up, unbidden, like a large groundhog surveying his plot. When the noise grows too loud, we must all stick our head out and take stock of what is going on.

Here are a few quotes that have led me to speak out…

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor” – Desmond Tutu

“We must take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented” – Elie Wiesel

“Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral” – Paulo Freire

“The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict…[an individual] who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it” – Martin Luther King Jr.

After reading these I found that I was no longer able to remain neutral, ignorant, dismissive or amoral about what is happening in our country and our world today. The time has come to take sides and I, in my own small, small, small, way, have done just that.

No one knows what the future will bring, but at least I know that I said what I believed and I stood up for those opinions whatever happens.

Categories: My Word, Opinion, Writing Tags:

My Word on “Being Cassandra”

September 28th, 2019 Comments off

In the Greek myth, Cassandra is granted the gift of foresight by Apollo, but when she resists his advances, Apollo adds a curse — although she sees the truth, no one will believe her.

Throughout this entire presidency, I can imagine there have been many — perhaps hundreds or thousands — who have felt like Cassandra from one day to the next. Thye tried to warn us about this man in the 80s and 90s. They tried to warn us before the election. They tried to warn us after the election and nearly daily since that time. Still, so many people did not believe it. 

“Cassandra and Ajax”, Greek Krater, 350-340 BC

Despite Cassandra’s warnings, they ignored each question, each failure, each exposure of wrong-doing, each hateful outburst, each attack on portions of the citizenry they were supposed to serve, until, finally, the curtain was dropped and we saw the machinations that hid behind it all.

Now, despite our disbelief, we must look back with clear hindsight and reevaluate how we failed to listen and how we victimized all those Cassandras who tried to warn us. We called them liars. We called them mad. We called them political hacks. We questioned their loyalty, their citizenship, and their very existence. We threatened them with jail, destruction of their reputations and, in some cases, barely veiled threats of death.

While it is impossible to make amends for how these people were treated, we can offer them some recompense by finally opening our minds and believing them. Even though they may have stated truths we did not want to hear, we must believe. We must see the truth that lies in front of us. We can deny it no longer.

The Me, Too movement has shown us how so many people have been assaulted, attacked and killed while those around them did nothing — because they did not, or could not, believe that these assaults happened. In each case, Me Too activists have shouted, “Believe Them!” It should be clear that this mantra needs to be applied to all such events. Start with belief, investigate and punish as necessary regardless of income, political power, race, creed or sexual orientation. Too often we tout the age-old exclamation “The Rule of Law”, but much too often the law is different for rich and poor, brown and beige, Christian and Muslim, male and female.

No one (should be) above the law, but often that is exactly the case. We see it in everyday dealings and the actions in the halls of national and international power. The Cassandras of our time speak out to warn us and just like their mythical namesake we refuse to believe. We must learn from the past — both mythical and historical — or we are doomed to repeat our mistakes or perhaps, simply doomed.

My Word on Impeachment

September 25th, 2019 Comments off

The impeachment of a President is a horrible thing. Impeachment is disruptive, contentious and one fo the most violent political acts that can be taken by one branch of government against another. Impeachment is a necessary evil, though, to prevent the co-option of our government by those who put self before country, profit before the gain of all citizens and lies in the place of truth.

Read How IMpeachment Works, Washington Post

Impeachment is to government as chemotherapy is to the human body. It is horrible in itself, but it just might suppress a cancer. It withers the body but restores a lifetime if it works. One person suffers most, but all around them suffer too with grief, the unknown future, and the day-to-day punishment of it all. It will be the same with the coming weeks as we march through seemingly endless interrogations, testimonies, and news reports.

Still, Impeachment is necessary. Impeachment is important. Impeachment is political chemotherapy for the ills that have infected our government. I absolutely hate that we must take these steps. It would have been better for everyone had we not had to take these steps, but when faced with no other choice we must steel ourselves and impeach.

Today, like many other trying times in my life, I think back to one of my favorite book series, The Lord of The Rings. In the first volume, The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo and Gandalf have this short exchange.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo. “So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R Tolkien

We are often faced with terrible situations not of our own creation. Just earlier this year, I had to watch my son barely escape death from a car crash and face the long, painful, road through stabilization, multiple operations, crashingly painful recovery and finally return home with us. Would I have rather avoided this? Of course, but often we are faced with situations that can only be faced day by day. There is no way to avoid them. The only thing you can do is do your best with the time you are given. This is how I envision the slow march of the impeachment process over the next several months. One day at a time.

Despite what might be said by some in government, there is a process to be followed here. The President has not been impeached. There is no immediate impeachment trial in progress. There is no rush to judgment. There is no “judgment” to be had. Rather, Yesterday’s announcement was only for the beginning of an impeachment investigation. 

This investigation is of the greatest importance. While there may be significant anecdotal evidence of wrongdoing, we are a country that believes in the rule of law. Law is carried out in specific, through specific actions and policies and no one is above the law. This investigation turns away from anecdotal and circumstantial evidence and burrows deep into the actions that may have taken place and the evidence that directly and clearly proves any malfeasance.

We need this desperately. The last few years have been filled with actions that have caused such accusations and rancor that we all need to be reassured that our government can work to the benefit of all its citizens. It is only by the application of this “terrible medicine” of law that we can all begin to clearly assess what has occurred and move forward with a mended heart and clear conscience.

Let us all move forward into this battle to determine the truth — no matter how that truth may stand — and preserve our democracy for ourselves, our future and future generations.

My Word on “America may lose its “measles elimination” status” from The New York Times

September 23rd, 2019 Comments off

This is what happens when we deny science and the power it has to change our world forever.

Denying science is a sure way to move civilization backward by leaps and bounds and in this case, killing thousands if not millions through our ignorance.

I never would’ve thought to see our modern-day Galileoes stood up in front of ignorant firing squads of anti-science know-nothings while these people infect (and in some cases kill) those around them.

I am old enough to have suffered from these diseases before there were vaccines to prevent them and I would have gladly rather been vaccinated then suffered from weeks of pain and suffering from measles, chickenpox, mumps and more.

Once again we see how, in today’s world, the actions of a small minority can deeply and profoundly affect the lives of those around them. Even worse, they don’t even care about the pain they visit on their children and certainly don’t care about the pain of others.

This is selfishness masquerading as parental care. They don’t refuse vaccines for their children but rather for their own, anti-scientific hostilities. I believe it is far worse to suffer the almost assured risk of a preventable disease than the small risks carried by vaccination.

Comments on

I walk the talk, too. My son has had all his vaccinations and been Spared much the suffering of our generation. And for myself, both my wife and I recently took a measles booster due to all the anti-vaccination talk and measles infection in the Los Angeles area.

She works at public colleges and I am on campus and around large groups quite a bit myself. After the UCLA quarantine of several months ago, it became clear that we both needed to protect ourselves again since we received our measles vaccines so long ago.

I beg you to protect yourself and those around you and vaccinate your children and yourself to prevent pandemics of diseases like measles, polio, chickenpox, smallpox from ever occurring again. We deserve it ourselves and we owe it to the future.

Categories: Health, Opinion, Writing Tags:

Warnings without action equals death

August 7th, 2019 Comments off

I came across this article tonight as I was scrolling through Facebook —

Mother of El Paso suspect called police before shooting about son

It is always with great sadness and hopelessness that I read about situations like this. Many times there are clear signs of what is to come but we have no sense of how to intervene and forestall the attacks. Surely there is some method, some process, both psychological and legal To redirect dangerous behaviors before they explode.

Too often in policing today, we rely on responses to violence — security cam videos, and calls to protect ourselves — rather than proactive actions like catching criminals when they commit smaller crimes and redirect them Before they commit larger ones.

Of course, there are large differences between common criminals ( if there are such people) and those who would commit mass murder. They are a world apart and require much different methods to defuse.

Still, as we have seen, there are signs in all of these most recent attacks that something was horribly wrong. These people often give clear indication — in both words and action — of what they plan to do. Too often, we ignore it at our own great peril and the peril of others and suddenly we are mourning again.

DW

Categories: Opinion, Writing Tags:

Be A White Supremacist’s Worst Nightmare

August 4th, 2019 Comments off

Be A White Supremacist's Worst Nightmare

Be A White Supremacist’s Worst Nightmare
Douglas E. Welch

I am a white supremacist’s worst nightmare. You can be too!

I look like them. Heck, given lack of sleep or enough alcohol and I can even slip back into my childhood accent and sound like them. I was raised in rural Ohio but sound like I am from Kentucky or West Virginia. I have had acquaintances be surprised that, given my background and upbringing, I am not a racist “good ole boy”. 

Given these outward signs, many white supremacists believe that I think and act the way that they do.

Uh….NO!

In fact, I am their worst nightmare — a “race traitor!” 1 

I will fight against their white supremacist policies and beliefs wherever I see them. I will stand up for others who are classified by their color and abused — if not killed outright — merely because they are not “white” or at least, “white enough” for the white supremacists around them. I will act as an ally for others no matter their race, creed, color, sexual identification, hair type, hair color, eye color, nose shape, place of birth, name, and all the other traits stupid racists use to try and divide — and conquer — the world.

So, white supremacists, be VERY CAREFUL who you talk to? They may look like you. They might sound like you. They might have even grown up next door to you, but they may not THINK like you. Like me, they might sell you out on social media, to law enforcement, to the government, before a second, racist sentence comes out of your mouth.

We exist.
We’re out there.
You’ll never know who we are — until it is too late. 

Now, what were you saying (Twittering, Redditing, 4Chan-ing, 8Chan-ing) again?

Let me copy and paste that for later.


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_traitor

Categories: Opinion, Writing Tags:

The Mentoris Project Podcast: Fermi’s Gifts with Author, Kate Fuglei [Audio]

May 20th, 2019 Comments off

I am the technical producer on this podcast which is hosted by my wife, Dr. Rosanne Welch! A true family project! — Douglas

The Mentoris Project Podcast: Fermi's Gifts with Author, Kate Fuglei [Audio]The Mentoris Project Podcast: Fermi's Gifts with Author, Kate Fuglei [Audio]

The Mentoris Project Podcast: Fermi’s Gifts with Author, Kate Fuglei

Hosted by Dr. Rosanne Welch

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Today’s guest is Kate Fuglei, author of Fermi’s Gifts: A Novel Based on the life of Enrico Fermi. Fermi is known as the “architect of the nuclear age” and for his work on the Manhattan Project during World War II. 


About the Author

An actress, singer, and writer, Fuglei created a one-woman show, Rachel Calof,  based on the memoir of a Jewish homesteader, and has performed it around America. It won Best Musical at the 2015 United Solo Festival in New York City. Fuglei has appeared in more than forty roles in episodic television and film, and she was in the First National Broadway tour of Spring Awakening

Based in Los Angeles, she has played leading roles in regional theaters across the country, among them Arena Stage, the Public Theater in NYC, and the La Jolla Playhouse. Two of her short stories appear as part of Sister Writereaters, a book of essays about motherhood and food. katefuglei.com

Fuglei is the author of two Mentoris Project books: Fermi’s Gifts: A Novel Based on the Life of Enrico Fermi and The Soul of a Child: A Novel Based on the Life of Maria Montessori.

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The Mentoris Project Podcast: A.P. Giannini: The People’s Banker by Francesca Valente [Audio]

May 7th, 2019 Comments off

I am the technical producer on this podcast! — Douglas

Giannini Icon 3 28Valente+photo

The Mentoris Project Podcast: A.P. Giannini: The People’s Banker by Francesca Valente

Hosted by Dr. Rosanne Welch

Listen Now

Play


Today’s guest Francesca Valente, author of A.P. Giannini: The People’s Banker.

In spite of devastating personal obstacles, such as the death of his father, Giannini became the world’s leading banker of the twentieth century. Raised by hardworking peasant immigrants in what was considered a backwater area of California, Giannini received his economic education in an unconventional way, paving the way for his rise to prosperity.  

Founding the Bank of Italy for poor immigrant families, he wanted to overcome the barriers put in place by the conservative current banking elite to fulfill the dreams of “little guys.”  

Soon, the Bank of Italy became the Bank of America and the poor Italian was now in a position to help dreamers such as Walt Disney achieve their own dreams. Giannini also shaped the San Francisco skyline by financing the bold Golden Gate Bridge. His influences and hard work can be seen all over the country, simply because he believed in “a more general distribution of wealth and happiness.” 

About the Author

A journalist and a cultural mediator, Dr. Francesca Valente was director of several Italian Cultural Institutes (IIC) in North America for more than thirty years. In her most recent post in Los Angeles, she coordinated the eight IIC of USA and Canada. She produced several short films, edited over 100 catalogues and publications, and translated thirty-five works by such renowned authors as Margaret Atwood, Giorgio Bassani, Leonard Cohen, Northrop Frye, Marshall McLuhan, Michael Ondaatje, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. She has lectured at University of California at Berkeley; University of Southern California; LUISS University and La Sapienza, Rome.

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Want to use these books in your classroom? Contact the Mentoris Project!`

Categories: Audio, Books, History, Podcast, Show, Writing Tags:

Autumn Color on a Historic Campus via Instagram

January 22nd, 2019 Comments off

What is your favorite season? Share your thoughts in the comments!

Autumn Color on a Historic Campus via Instagram

Autumn Color on a Historic Campus

Stephens College, Columbia, Missouri

There is always something special for me about walking a college campus — whether is is old and historic lime @stephenscollege or fairly modern one like Cal Poly Pomona — where my son attends and my wife teaches.

College campuses always carry a sense of growth and opportunity for me. The energy, and often, lack of aged cynicism, reminds me of the younger person I once was. There can be a bit of melancholy too, though, as I am confronted with all those plans that didn’t quite work out and this I abandoned for more life-necessary work. 

Of course, I am sure some of my rose-colored memories come from the fact that college is where I met @drrosannewelch on the first night of my Fall Semester. Events like that are sure to color your thoughts for a lifetime. 

Still, no matter how young the students start to appear — (When did colleges start accepting junior high aged students? 🤪) — or how old it makes me feel, I’ll still carry a special feeling for college campuses and the hope they carry

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The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text via Instagram

January 11th, 2019 Comments off

The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text via Instagram

The Canterbury Tales, Figure and Text

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanic Gardens

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