Contaminated Drinking Water Tells the Story

Yesterday, I read about the contaminated drinking water injuring and killing the people of Benton Harbor, Michigan. So many of the factors plaguing Benton Harbor are familiar to us.

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Reviewing The Sentinel

The Sentinel is the 25th book in the Jack Reacher series. I have now read all 25. The first 24 were written by Lee Child. After reading an interview where Child basically said he didn’t really like writing the series or the Reacher character, I didn’t think I would read any more in the series. With Child’s relative Andrew taking over authorship and my desire to read something truly fictional, I gave The Sentinel a shot.

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Reviewing The Wax Pack

With all the serious stuff happening, I wanted an entertaining read that would encourage me to think more about comforting subjects. Brad Balukjain’s The Wax Pack was just the ticket.

Like me, Brad is a huge baseball fan who began loving the game as a child in the 1980s. Unlike me, Brad was a big baseball card collector. In the summer of 2015, he got the fun idea to purchase an unopened pack of baseball cards from 1986 and try to track down the 15 players represented by the cards.

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Reviewing Permanent Record

Permanent Record is the book written by Edward Snowden, who bravely told the world that America was spying on everyone. If you are interested in a better understanding of how things really work, Permanent Record is a must read. If you don’t already know the truth about America, you will find it upsetting.

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It’s Time for Civil Disobedience

The verdict for this episode is: nothing else will work.

In this episode, I discuss how our only shot at a government that works for us is through civil disobedience.

Rough Transcript

Hello, and welcome to Jonathan’s Verdicts.
I’m Jonathan Simeone.

The title of this episode is:
It’s Time for Civil Disobedience. The verdict for this episode is: nothing else will work.

I really hate to say this, but it’s true.

I have been following politics since 1988.
Over the years, I have become increasingly concerned with the lack of representation, a lack of equity,
And, frankly, the lack of compassion for the people demonstrated by our elected officials. But now I feel more hopeless than I’ve ever felt about things

.

The lack of compassion is at an all time high.
The lack of empathy is at an all time high.
The lack of spirit and cooperation is at an all time high.
And, sadly, selfishness and greed, are at an all time high.

The truth is so many of the problems we face were avoidable.
Many of them, except for maybe climate change, can still largely be mitigated.
But we simply don’t have enough people who care

.

That is especially true for the people we have elected to represent us. Neither party cares. No politician truly cares.
It is all about special interests.
It is all about money.
And it is entirely corrupt.

As I have said before, protests have been shown to be irrelevant. They simply don’t work any longer.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder,
Democrats are now calling for more police.
In the aftermath of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, Democrats in the House, at least in the House Armed Services Committee, want to give the Pentagon $24 billion more than even Biden requested.

We are on an endless loop of war, savagery, discrimination, inequity, and oppression.

And if we don’t engage in civil disobedience,
the kinds of civil disobedience that will really get their attention,
I don’t think there is reason for optimism.
And I truly Hate–hate saying that.

So what kinds of civil disobedience should we engage in?
Honestly, I don’t know right now. Civil disobedience, is a personal thing.
I think we have to be very strategic about what we as individuals and what we as a collective could do to engage in the appropriate amount of civil disobedience.
I don’t know what my contribution to a future of civil disobedience will look like.
But I do know I’m ready.

Because I do care about other people.
I do care about the world.
I care about the animals.
I want our air and water to be clean.
I want all of the stuff that so many pay lip service to to actually matter

.

So, I’m ready.
I will engage in civil disobedience. Once I figure out how I can best do so.
I’m open to ideas. Please contact me.
And in your own lives, I hope many of you will look at how you can contribute.
Because this won’t be fixed through voting.
It won’t be fixed through protesting.
If we continue to do the things that they expect from us, if we continue to play within the rules that they have rigged,
we’re doomed.

So with that,
good luck.
Because I think we’re going to need it in the next few months.
And here’s to a future of civil disobedience

.

Thank you for listening to this episode of Jonathan’s Verdicts

Reviewing Muhammad Ali His Life and Times

Thomas Hauser’s Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times was one of the most influential books I have read. So many times I found myself thinking about people, politics, government, society, racism, sexism, or ableism.

While I typically don’t enjoy biographies, Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times was a true exception. Of all the people that have ever lived, Muhammad Ali is one of the people I would most like to meet.

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The Lack of Blind Mentors

For the month of July, I mentored a high school student interested in a job in the field of accessibility. While I really enjoyed the experience, I found myself regularly thinking about the lack of mentors for blind children. As someone who was born blind, this is a topic I have been thinking about for nearly my entire life.

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Dear Ufi a Year Later

A year ago at this time, Ufi had been injected with the sedative that was preparing him to be relaxed when the lethal injection forced him to take his last breath.

Now, I still can’t believe he’s gone. I still can’t believe all he’s still doing for me. Most of all, I know Ufi would be glad that thanks to a miracle that didn’t seem possible one year ago today, I’m truly looking forward to a great future.

It won’t be the future I would have had with Ufi by my side. But it will be an even better, brighter future because of all I learned from Ufi.

Now, for the letter to Ufi.

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