Category Archives: politics

Loyal public servant

Note: This article is part of a new series “Inspiring Communities.” This is the second installment following the article about Arctic Heating & Cooling owner Evert Bek “Installing water filters in Haiti.”

Nominate a person who has inspired you.

Former Lowell mayor Jim Hodges retires

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI – After 23 years of public service, former Lowell mayor Jim Hodges has decided it is time to move on. He officially retired from the Lowell City Council on Nov. 6, 2017.

EW Jim Hodges retires
Former mayor Jim Hodges retires from the Lowell City Council after 23 years.

He started his successful career in public service in 1982 as the director of YMCA, which at the time functioned as the city recreational department.

“A connection with the city was established,” he said, “I attended meetings.”

In 1991, Hodges became the chairperson for the Lowell Area Schools millage campaign. He helped pass two millage proposals.

He applied for the city council seat in 1988, and he was elected to two four-year terms. In 1997, he was defeated in an election by 20 votes. Hodges took a break from the Lowell City Council for six years.

In 2004, he became a city council member all over again after being asked to run by Jeanne Shores, who became the mayor twice through 2009. Shores was the only female mayor the city of Lowell has ever had.

“Because of my loyalty and friendship, I encouraged Jeanne to run,” Hodges said.

“I have always encouraged women to run. It’s crazy not to. Everybody needs to be involved in politics to get a better balance and diversity in the society. Otherwise you’re cutting your assets in half.”

Due to Shores’ sickness, Hodges became the acting mayor in 2008.

All throughout his public service, Hodges believed in respecting others opinions and diversity.

“I have three big takeaways from my public service,” he said.

The first takeaway was to pay tribute to Shores; Hodges arranged for her to run her last meeting on Dec. 21 in 2009 from a wheelchair and named her mayor emeritus.

The second takeaway was negotiating for Dave Pasquale, manager of 23 years, to take retirement.

The third takeaway was putting a traffic light at the intersection of Bowes Road and Alden Nash.

“As the mayor, you have to be less bold and more proper than as a council member,” he said.

In an era of corrupt politics and improper behavior of various officials, Hodges was one of a kind. He was always diplomatic and smiling his impeccable smile.

Public service came with the good and the bad: the deaths of mayor emeritus Shores and council member Jim Hall, as well as the clash between the personalities on the city council.

There were some controversies during the more than two decades of service in a relatively quiet community on the banks of the Flat and Grand rivers.

Some pertained to the firing of the previous city manager Mark Howe. Other controversies involved the police chiefs; one had resigned, the other chief Steve Bukala was put on first paid administrative leave in April, and on unpaid leave in June as investigation into misusing police database and subsequent charges took place.

Since, then Bukala has been reinstated.

“It will make him a better police chief,” said Hodges. “It adds another dimension of being a better professional. We have a solid team of people working together. Steve brings leadership to them as we move forward.”

Hodges had the vision to locate the chamber building on the current Riverwalk in downtown Lowell.

And would Mr. Hodges do it all over again?

“Absolutely,” he said smiling. “I would like to think that I have helped. I like a variety of people and this has given me the chance to meet many different people.”

Hodges also takes pride in being able to balance his third shift work at Amway with his public service which included meetings in the evening or in the morning.

“You have to be disciplined,” he said.

He plans on traveling with his wife Chris and enjoying their grandson.

“I hope I have added some humor and entertainment,” he said.

Following are some moments in time from Hodges’ tenure with the city of Lowell. Hodges participated in countless city parades and in the Riverwalk flushing of the city manager.

A Loyal public servant.

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

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No ordinary Friday

Not just another Friday

This post is also in response to the Daily Post prompt “Ordinary” at
Ordinary

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI -Today is definitely not an ordinary day. It’s not an ordinary Friday in the year 2017. It hasn’t been an ordinary week in mid-March.

Even though it’s a gray day in West Michigan, we have moved forward in time since we hit the Spring Equinox on Monday, March 20. Our energies and vibrations have been shifting with everything new, including new beginnings. To our great enjoyment, we’ve seen new life coming out of the hard ground after the long winter months.

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Sadly, we’ve witnessed the tragedy with the London attacks on Wednesday.

And the House is still expected to vote later in the afternoon on a bill to repeal Obamacare, a vote postponed from yesterday. The vote will affect most people living in the USA. So far, the reports of the repeal are not good for President Donald Trump, according to major news media.

As such, this Friday has been the culmination of many precipitating events, both internationally, locally and personally. Mr. Trump much like the majority of the Republican Party have been using the repeal of Obamacare as their staple agenda that secured the victory in the presidential election.

If I quickly look at the social media buzz, I see an overwhelming relief that we’ve made it to Friday with a quote from Goodreads for March 24, 2017 from Tennessee Williams:

“I’ve got the guts to die. What I want to know is, have you got the guts to live?”

The quote is from Williams’ play “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.”

Currently, we could say the entire GOP is sitting on its own “hot tin roof.”

But, that could also be true for any of us, because whatever we are sitting or standing on changes from day to day. This change makes every day special.

The greater Lowell community has been working toward its annual Lowell Community Expo that takes place tomorrow, March 25th, for the entire year. So, have the individual participating organizations and vendors.

Don’t forget to stop by at the Fallasburg Historical Society booth 129 in the Cafe of the Lowell High School tomorrow.

I have resolved some of my not-so-ordinary issues this week, as well.

A flaky relationship that has been running on burnt fuel of the past came to an end also on Wednesday to my great relief after days of struggling, aka “sitting on a hot tin roof.”

On a very positive note, I observed the five months anniversary of my new life this week. I continue my work on the “Greenwich Meridian” memoir © 2017 copyright Emma Palova. I have given an extraordinary push to the new app in the works.

There is no such thing as an ordinary day in the life of any of us.

Make every day a special day.

For more info about the Lowell Expo go to http://www.lowellexpo.org

Check out daily quotes on Goodreads at goodreads.com

For Fallasburg info go to http://fallasburgtoday.org or http://www.fallasburg.org

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved

Graceful

In search of grace

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI- I write this not only in response to the Daily Post @graceful photo prompt, but also to find solace and reprieve in grace.

Graceful

Contrary to my better judgment, I’ve been writing a lot about politics lately. I don’t know if I’ve been doing that to make myself feel better or more responsive to what has been going on in North America, UK and the Middle East.

And I still don’t know if it was the journalist bursting out of me, or the Czech ex-patriot living currently in America. I guess, I’ll never know.

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Graceful orchids in full bloom at the end of January.

Somebody once said that the worst thing of all is “indifference.” No matter, how hard I try to be immune to it all, the current affairs just bug me.

I am trying to find the grace in me, to accept the future of democracy.

Along with writing about religion, writing about politics, no matter how unbiased, usually gets me into trouble. I really don’t need any distraction at a time when I’ve picked up the momentum to finish the “Greenwich Meridian” memoir about the Konecny family immigration saga.

After coming back from Aunt Marta’s funeral in mid January in Czech Republic, I was so re-energized to finish the memoir, and to pursue the greater Konecny Saga picture. I made space for it in my mind, in my studio and in my work day.

I’ve gathered the necessary research, started the Ancestry Konecny Facebook page, caught up with the Alumni ZDS Stipa page to set the stage for everything to finally wrap up. I have built up the following on social media and most platforms that I know of. I hooked up with a dear director friend whom we seem to have similar goals, at times.

Thanks to my never-ending insomnia, I am caught up with client projects into 2017 as they constantly evolve. I did all the little bureaucracy that I needed to do, put things in fancy five-star folders, and such. I straightened my affairs both here and there, and in between.

I’ve communicated and answered messages both domestic and foreign; on messenger, on text, on Skype, and on phone.

I said hi to an old friend of Irish origin at church last Sunday. I  asked about the immigrant family from Africa that the church had sponsored in 2016. I was supposed to teach them English as a Second Language (ESL), but other projects came up.

“Oh, I’ve been neglecting them since it’s so cold outside,” he said. “I really feel bad.”

“Me too,” I thought, without any particular reference to anything.

So what happened? The world happened. I am burnt out like a candle, like the fire in our wood stove.

Even host Alfonso Ribeiro on AFV last Sunday said, “I am out like acid-washed jeans or mullets.”

It’s a cold early afternoon in January. The day is grayish, and so are my heart and soul.

“So, what are you going to do for yourself, today,” Facebook friend Fiosa posted this Monday morning.

Somebody out there on that vast Internet sea responded:

“I am going to look for a job.”

Just before reading that, I arranged my beautiful collection of blooming orchids for a photo shoot for the @graceful photo prompt.

If I really love anything and need anything when I feel whipped, it’s these enigmatic flowers. They literally speak to me in their own language with their beautiful shapes and colors and their bold structure.

They come into full bloom during the deepest frosts Up North in Michigan. They engage in nothing but themselves, in their own grace.

Where do you find grace?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/graceful/#respond

Thank you for being.

Love always,

Emma

Copyright (c) 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

10 Actions in 100 Days

IW Inspiring Women Sharon Ellison

Note: This IW winter series features inspiring women from all walks of life who strive to make a difference in other people’s lives.

orchids-log

The difference in the society these women make is not measured by money or accolades they receive. It is measured by the progress in the society, because we as a nation cannot go backwards.

The IW series which leads up to the International Women’s Day on March 8th was also inspired by a dedication note on “365 ways to Relax mind, body & soul” from my son Jake:

“I dedicate this to my inspiring and motivational mother.” -Kuba

Nominate a woman who has made a difference in your life for this series.

Lowell woman shows passion for human rights, marches in Washington

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Sharon Ellison

Name: Sharon Ellison

Residence: Lowell, MI

Occupation: retired from Lowell Area Schools

Family: husband Tony, sons Steve and Tony

Interests: travelling, art

Education: bachelor’s from Central Michigan University

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – It was a solid wall to wall crowd between the main route on Independence Avenue and 14th Street, where Lowell resident Sharon Ellison and team ended up last Saturday during the Women’s March in Washington D.C.

“We could not reach the main parade on Independence and Third Street, because it was a solid wall of people,” Ellison said. “There was no break in the crowd.”

So, instead the team made their way to 14th Street were the parade was headed.

“I felt fenced in,” she said. “There were solid walls of people all around us.”

However, in spite of the crowds, the march was peaceful, according to Ellison.

“Everyone was respectful and polite,” she said. “There were only three police cars. We were looking out for each other. I did not feel vulnerable.”

There was a woman who went into labor and an ambulance had to make its way through the crowds.

But there were also some embarrassing moments like when someone questioned why women from Michigan were at the march.

“I felt sad for Michigan, whose electoral votes were for Trump,” Ellison said.

The crowds in Washington D.C. were estimated at 250,000, while worldwide around three million protestors gathered in major cities.

Ellison and other women carried signs bearing the name of those who couldn’t come: whether live or in memory of. Ellison gathered 74 signatures including memorial signatures of late family members.

“I felt those women were with me that day,” she said. “The atmosphere was peaceful, everyone wanted to be present.”

Ellison is no stranger to the Lowell community located at the confluence of Flat and Grand Rivers in northeast Kent County known as “The next place to be.”

Ellison, who is now retired, worked for the Lowell Middle School for 16 years, and she served on the Lowell City Council for eight years.

In the 1990s, Ellison with husband Tony had a video store in different locations around town.

Ellison enjoys travelling around the world and getting to know other cultures.

However, due to the events of the previous 19 months of the presidential campaign, Ellison felt she needed to do more than just complain.

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“I went to D.C. for the Women’s March out of fear of what might happen,” she said.

Fountain Street Church of Grand Rapids organized last Saturday’s trip to Washington D.C. However, the charter buses were sold out early on, so the church also organized a local Women’s March in Grand Rapids.

“By sharing our experiences, writing to our representatives and making phone calls, we’re going to keep the movement going,” said Ellison on the future of the movement.

Ellison said there is no way of going back in protecting human rights.

“If any group is marginalized, we all lose,” she said. “We can’t go back.”

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Unlike at the inauguration on Jan. 20, the metro trains were packed, according to Ellison.

“We rode the metro, but we had trouble getting in,” she said. “We were met by walls of people. The best we could do was to march on 14th Street to Constitution Avenue. It was amazing, you could hear the wave of people moving.”

Ellison said she went to the Women’s March in Washington for the same reason, she ran for a seat on the Lowell city council in 2015.

“I did stand up to make a difference,” she said. “I don’t want to be just politically correct. You get tired of banging your head against the wall.”

Ellison’s biggest pet peeve are bullies in any environment.

“I couldn’t tolerate it at work, as a child, or as a politician,” she said. “We wanted to send a definite message that this is not okay.”

And it’s time for action.

“We’ve gone past words,” she said. “We have to do something. This is the upside of the downside.”

Other women present in D.C. from the Grand Rapids area along with Ellison were: Nancy Misner, Alice Harwood, Kathy Sainz, Maria Lara, Nancy Misner, Shelli Otten.

Join 10 actions for the first 100 Days.

For more info go to http://www.womensmarch.com

Copyright © 2017. Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

END

Local women march in Washington D. C.

Women from Michigan march in Washington for Women’s Rights

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Lowell, MI – Women from all over the USA and the UK gathered in different places to march for Women’s Rights on Saturday, just one day after the inauguration of president, Mr. Donald Trump.

Lowell resident Sharon Ellison, former mayor pro-tem for the city of Lowell, is among the many women voicing their rights in the historical march following the inauguration.

Three weeks prior to the event, the charter buses from Grand Rapids heading for the Women’s March were sold out.

Local marches are currently being held in Grand Rapids and Lansing.

Ellison is representing many local women carrying a sign with their signatures.

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John Grote, editor at Discovery Communications, commented on Facebook:

“I am perplexed at the media coverage or should I say lack of as of this morning of the Women’s March,” he wrote. “I get the National Prayer service is important, but history is being made.”

Follow us as with Sharon Ellison as we go through the day, and into history.

Pictured in the feature photo are from left to right: Alice Harwood, Kathy Sainz, Maria Lara, Nancy Misner, Sharon Ellison and Shelli Otten, principal of Cherry Creek Elementary in Lowell.

One of the organizers from Fountain Street Church was Rev. Jason Hubbard.

For more information go to: http://www.womensmarch.com

Follow @EmmaPalova #emmapalova #ewwriting #womenmarch

Copyright (c) 2017 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

27. November 1989

A step back in time to  Monday Nov. 27 in 1989

Lowell, MI- It was Monday under the sign of Sagittarius as George W. Bush took the presidential torch from Ronald Reagan.

It was also the release of “Christmas Vacation” with Chevy Chase and John Grisham topped the bestselling list with his “A Time to Kill.” Two major tragedies set 1989 apart from the rest: the massacre at Tiananmen Square and the Exxon-Valdez oil spill.

Just as the world lost Salvador Dali in 1989, Taylor Swift was born, according to takemebackto.com.

The following are excerpts from my memoir “Greenwich Meridian” (c) copyright 2016 Emma Palova.

“That Monday morning I dressed up warm in my Benetton jacket adorned with an tricolor ribbon, a red, white and blue sweater and jeans. I made a quick snack for the four-hour trip from Zlin to Prague. It was probably an old croissant with salami.

I boarded the 6 a.m. train to Prague called “Citron” packed with young people in the standing room only aisles.

As daylight broke into the dark morning, I felt the crisp air from the outside brush my red cheeks. Exhausted from the events of the past few months, I didn’t sleep much. I was shaking and not just from the November chill.

The last 10 days since the Nov. 17 student demonstrations in Prague were filled with political turmoil and uncertainty. I was either glued to the TV much like the entire nation or demonstrating on the town square in Zlin.

The communist regime has already fallen in the neighboring Poland. We all supported the Polish leader of revolution, Lech Walesa along with our own dissident Vaclav Havel and the Civic Forum (CF) that led the movement for freedom. This movement entered modern history as the Velvet Revolution, lasting from Nov. 17 through Dec. 10, 1989.

The mass media in former Czechoslovakia informed the nation about the General Strike on Nov. 27 in Prague and all the major cities.

“Please participate in the strike,” the media encouraged, “or if you cannot hold solidarity with the people on strike.”

That Monday, a nation that could not agree on anything, walked out of universities, factories and offices to show the power of the people.

Twenty-seven years later sitting behind my desk on a Sunday morning in rural America, while it’s still dark outside, I ask myself:

“What if the manifestation went violent like in Tiananmen Square?”

I left that trail of thought untouched.

As we disembarked from the train at the art nouveau Prague Main Station, like a river, the crowds flowed into the Wenceslas Square. 300,000 people howled in the square from noon to 2 p.m. holding their arms up with hands in the peace sign.

“Havel to the castle,” I chanted along with the crowds.

We wanted the poet, the playwright and the dissident Havel, to become the next president of Czechoslovakia, as we rang our keys and little bells.

That ring magnified by millions across the nation signified that the hour of freedom has arrived after years of darkness and oppression.

For Havel, it was an uneasy progression from a communist jail cell to the Hradcany Castle, over the last two decades since the Prague Spring in 1968.

I’ve always been claustrophobic, and the moving crowd made me nauseous. The defunct communist leadership under President Gustav Husak met most of the demands of the Civic Forum (CF), so the demonstration ended peacefully.

I remember heading into one of the pubs on the Lesser Square aka Mala Strana on the other side of the Vltava River. Havel frequented that area, and in 1994 as the president of Czech Republic, visited one of the pubs with the former USA president Bill Clinton.

Meanwhile, a different story was transpiring on the home front on that gloomy Monday. The late afternoon train took me back to hometown Zlin.

My grandpa Joseph passed from lung cancer at the Vizovice Hospital of Merciful Friars after steadily deteriorating for six months.

In one of the last conversations held at the white hospital room, that smelled of a heavy disinfectant agent, grandpa asked me about his beloved ranch. That is the house at 111 Krnovska Street in Vizovice that I inherited in grandpa’s will. Together, with husband Ludek and daughter Emma, we spent many delightful years at the ranch.

“You know I had to sell it, so I can leave the country,” I explained patiently for the 100th time.

After selling all my worldly possessions as a condition to emigration, I was holding tight onto my exit visa to the USA. Ludek was waiting for his emigration visa in Pabneukirchen, Austria.

“The ranch is in good hands of a person who loves it,” I reassured grandpa.

“Who is it?” grandpa whispered in pain.

“It’s Eugene,” I said in equal emotional pain.

“Mr. Drabek, do you want your yogurt,” asked a nurse traditionally dressed in blue with white apron and a starched white hat.”

“No,” sighed grandpa turning away from us.

…………………………………………………………….I remained in the country until Dec. 22.”

What’s your story?

In the pictures: Top, late Vaclav Havel lays flowers at the Velvet Revolution memorial on Wenceslas Square in Prague.

Bottom: Grandpa Joseph Drabek with wife Anna, daughters left to right: Ella & Anna.

For more stories on Velvet Revolution go to https://wordpress.com/post/emmapalova.com/172636

For more info on certain dates go to takemebackto.com

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

27th Anniversary of Velvet Revolution

Masses commemorate 27th anniversary of Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic in  march for freedom

By Emma Palova

Lowell, MI- I watched the live stream from the demonstrations commemorating the 27th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in Czech Republic with mixed feelings as they turned into protests against the current government. That is mainly against the third president of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman.

Only yesterday hundreds of college students walked out against the President-elect Donald Trump in the USA following high school students’ and citizens’ protests across the nation.

In a time of political unrest all over the world, I attempt to dissect everything impartially. I don’t know if it is always possible to be totally without any bias because I don’t live in social isolation.

“Milos into the trash,” reverberated the crowds marching from the Prague Castle Square known as “Hradcany” across the Manes Bridge over the Vltava River and onto the Wenceslas Square. A stage was set up by the King Wenceslas statue for a concert for freedom in the evening.

At times the crowds used the 1989 slogan of the Velvet Revolution, “It’s already here,” That was a reference to the movement started by students in memory of the death of Jan Opletal by the Nazis in 1939.

ew-vaclav-havel-head

“We don’t want another totality,” was the message for the Nov. 17, 2016 events. “It’s already here.”

“It was always here, then and now,” I say while watching the history repeat itself.

I was still in Czechoslovakia in that critical period of time from Nov. 17 to Dec. 10, when the communist officials including former president Gustav Husak resigned under pressure.

A democratic coalition and an economic forum led by former dissident Vaclav Havel replaced the dictatorship.

I was finalizing my emigration to the USA to join my parents and my husband, who had already left the homeland for Austria in 1988.

I dedicate a few chapters in the Greenwich Meridian © memoir to this difficult time in my life, when I was living alone with my kids. My grandfather Joseph Drabek was already in the hospital dying from lung cancer.

In those 23 days from Nov. 17 to Dec. 10, 1989, I learned more than I have learned in all the schools: past and present, physical or virtual.

I’ve learned that a change in the society is possible as long as enough people want it, and if they are willing to stand behind their beliefs in face of adversity by taking action.

The 1989 demonstrations for freedom from the communist dictatorship spread across the country. I was standing together with thousands of others on the town squares in the cold November nights, sporting the tri-color ribbons on the lapel of my coat.

My friend Zuzana was watching my two-and-a-half year old son Jake in the stroller, while her boyfriend was speaking from the podium.

We all took part in the change. It didn’t happen by itself. And it didn’t happen overnight. It started with the political movement for the reformation of the communist party known as the “Prague Spring” in 1968.

The Velvet Revolution was 21 years in the making since the Soviet tanks invaded the country to punish the reformers including Havel. Even in prison, Havel, known as the poet of democracy, never gave up.

I’ve learned that anything is possible including my highly improbable exit from the politically torn Czechoslovakia.

I’ve learned that we are stronger than we think, and that we have to make decisions that will impact other people, as well.

Speaking about decision-making.

I was standing on the brink of freedom, with exit visa in my drawer, shaking with cold and not just from the November night, but from the things to come.

The CTK Czech Press Office covered the demonstrations in Prague.

To be continued……..

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Dissent after election 2016

Election 2016 is the biggest political upset in generations

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Grand Rapids, MI- I am no stranger to dissent. I participated in the demonstrations leading up to the Velvet Revolution in former Czechoslovakia in November of 1989.

The historic protest was against the dictatorship of the Communist Party, its leaders in the Czechoslovak government and their hardline policies instituted after Prague Spring in 1968.

This is my story.
This is my story.

The demonstrations culminated on Nov. 17, 1989 when students and actors took to the streets of Prague, followed by 10 days of chaos. Those 10 days in the  history of Czechoslovakia led both countries, Czech and Slovak republics to freedom.

Flabbergasted,  I watched the demonstrations in downtown Grand Rapids last night. Just four days ago on election eve, hundreds lined up on the bridge crossing the Grand River for Mr. Donald Trump’s last rally of the 2016 presidential campaign.

“This is our Independence Day,” he said to the crowd on Monday, Nov. 7th at 11 p.m.

Rural small town America
Rural America helps President-Elect Donald Trump to victory.

On Thursday night, hundreds of unhappy people took to the streets waving signs that read: “Trump is not my president.”

“Why are they protesting?” asked the TV anchor.

“We want to show other people that they are not alone,” said a protester in the streets.

“Alone in what?” asked the reporter.

“That Trump is not our president,” the guy said. “My vote didn’t count.”

The guy was referring to the fact that Presiden-Elect Trump won the electoral vote, but not the popular vote.

In other cities in the USA and Canada, the demonstrations mostly in front of Mr. Trump’s properties, turned into riots accompanied by violence.

President-Elect Donald Trump.
President-Elect Donald Trump.

Facebook has always been a good gauge of public sentiment. On election day, 700 million posts were election related.

“I didn’t go and protest when my candidate wasn’t elected,” posted G. E. “And I didn’t even vote for Trump or Hillary.”

In 2000 when Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore got the popular vote, but not the electoral vote and George W. Bush won the election, I didn’t go and protest.

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a rally.
Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton during a rally.

I accepted the results of the democratic election process including the electoral college that propelled Mr. Bush into the White House. I don’t remember other disappointed people protesting either.

Actually W. was the only sitting American president whom I saw in Chicago at the Saint Pat’s parade after the 911 horror. I was happy to see the president of the USA. I didn’t care that he was a GOP president, that it was brisk and cold, and you had to go through security or that W. walked only a few hundred feet.

I never lost that respect to the office of the President of the USA., no matter who holds it.

In an interview with the founders of Americas Community Voices Network (ACVN) Donald & Ronald Brookins of Tampa, FL I asked the question:

“How will you accept the results either way whether your candidate wins or loses?”

“I will respond in the same way,” Donald said, “God bless our new President and God bless the United States of America.”

““The winner will be my President and the leader of the free world,” Ronald said.

The polls had major influence on the decision making of most voters.

“What kind of an impact did the polls make on your decision?”
“The polls created a sense of urgency that it was critical to vote and to encourage others to vote,” Ronald said.
“The polls allowed me to decide who was winning the election, “Donald  said. “They are a good indicator of possible results.”
In the end, it was the huge turnout in the rustic belt of America and rural voters, who felt  the current administration was ignoring them.
Previous GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney did not get the same numbers that Mr. Trump did in the rustic belt states known as the firewall.
“He’s the people’s man,” said a woman in a small community in Pennsylvania.
I had the same feeling, as we drove back home from the Gerald Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids through the rural communities on Tuesday evening. Voters were streaming into the Lowell Township Hall, into churches and the city halls., all bundled up and sporting patriotic colors and jackets.
This was the people’s election. It was the voice of change from  the obsolete Washington self-serving  bureaucracy, its institutions and non-functioning apparatus.
The people have spoken. They boldly stood up to the lies of the establishment.
Let freedom ring in our great country.
For more info on ACVN go to http://www.americascommunityvoicesnet.org

Copyright (c) 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

 

Against all odds

White educated female Democrat votes red for the first time

By Emma Palova

EW Emma’s Writings

Grand Rapids, MI- Reeling off from the historic “unprecedented & unpredictable” Election 2016 with President-Elect Donald Trump soon to take residency at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave, I admit that I am glad it’s over.

Wearing a red sweater for the occasion, I cast my ballot on Tuesday, Nov. 8 at 11 a.m. at precinct no.1 at the Vergennes Township Hall on Bailey Road. I couldn’t find a parking space. After voting I took a selfie with a selfie stick in front of the township hall. It was windy and cloudy. I was shivering, and not just from the wind.

I didn’t expect Trump to win anyways much like the media, the polls and the political pundits.

“You’re an idiot,” my mother Ella yelled at me on Wednesday, “just like the rest of the people who voted for him. The whole world thinks that. The stocks have gone down.”

Okay, thank you mom.

Coming from generations of Liberals, I was supposed to vote for Secretary Hillary Clinton.

After all I am a white educated female Democrat who started her blogging/design business Emma Blogs, LLC on the WordPress platform in 2013.

But, my business and entrepreneurial spirit have nothing to do with my vote for the 45th president of the USA.

 

I consider myself a people’s woman and I have always voted Democratic until now. I would have voted for Bernie Sanders, if he had stayed in the race.

But, not for Hillary.

As a victim of politics of the Prague Spring 1968 in former Czechoslovakia when the Soviet tanks invaded the country, I do not put up easily with lies, tactics and establishment.

And I write about my encounters with politics throughout my life in the memoir “Greenwich Meridian.” (c)

Thus, I am more keen and sensitive when someone is lying to me and to other billions of people around the world. Hillary’s private server, erased e-mails, Wall Street speeches and funding of her presidential campaign from the Clinton Foundation, didn’t resonate well with me.

It takes a lot more than a polished lying lawyer sporting a blue or white suit and a great blonde haircut, to convince me.

Lies were the biggest issue that the voters had with Hillary and they expressed it in the following keywords:

Liar/Not trustworthy.

“I made a mistake,” she said on the theme of the proverbial private server and the erased e-mails.

I should have been more graceful and forgiving, we all make mistakes.

But, I wasn’t. Considering Hillary’s political history and my political history, there was not enough grace left in me.

On the other hand, I should have been offended by Trump’s misogyny and his rough language at the debates and rallies around the country, his bullying and overall disregard for some human values.

His language did offend me, but there was a grain of forgiveness in me.

I separated the former bully from the agent of change. That apparently struck  accord with the majority of voters; that is Trump’s promise of change.

I watched him defy the establishment of both parties, while mocking the media all along. Hillary would have only been an extension of President Obama’s policies. And I voted for Obama twice.

President-Elect Trump didn’t bypass the importance of the rural and blue-collar votes in the Midwest. I love rural America. It’s been my home for 20 years. Michigan became one of the battleground states in the pivotal hours of the election.

On election eve, Trump made his last stop at DeVos Hall in Grand Rapids at 11 p.m. with 10,000 people present.

“This is our Independence Day,” he said to the crowd.

On Wednesday Nov. 9 at 2:45 a.m., I watched his victory speech starting out with tears in his eyes.

“This was tough,” he said about the campaign. “It’s complicated business.”

Spreading his arms wide to the audience and looking directly into the camera, Trump said.

“I love you.”

Let independence from old establishments, institutions and biased media ring around the world.

Good luck and God Bless Mr. President-Elect. Protect the freedoms and independence in this great country.

 

Copyright © 2016 Emma Blogs, LLC. All rights reserved.

Madame Secretary

Hillary Clinton concedes race to President-Elect Donald Trump on Wednesday

By Donald Brookins, ACVN co-founder

Election special for Emma Blogs, LLC

Tampa, FL-The results are in for the 2016 Presidential Election. Donald J Trump is our new President- Elect. He defeated Secretary Clinton in the Electoral College but lost the popular vote.  Looking back on the Clinton campaign Hillary lost this election the moment she made the reckless decision to create a private server for her emails when she knew it was against State Department guidelines. What is even more unforgivable to me is she tried to be slick about it once it was discovered via Congressional investigation.

Secretary Clinton’s actions only confirmed what a majority of the American electorate thought about her as a candidate. The electorate believed her to be a liar, a crook, and a Washington insider.  All of these perceptions were confirmed by her actions involving her email server. Secretary Clinton never took responsibility for her behavior or her actions. She never apologized. She deflected when asked to say it was wrong to have a separate server by saying “she would never do that again.”

President – Elect Trump seized upon her bad behavior and used it as a weapon and rallying cry to predominately uneducated white blue-collar voters to win the election.  Trump ran as a Populist outsider. I am deeply sad because Hillary Rodham Clinton was more prepared and more capable to be our next President than any other candidate. She just had too much baggage; she made the mistake of arming Trump with a powerful weapon when all she had to do was disarm him by getting in front of the issue the moment she decided to run for President. I believe if she had apologized to the American People and took responsibility for her actions, she would have been elected the 45th President of the United States.

It is crystal clear to me that the party of Reagan is no more; Obamacare is dead, the Obama coalition that won the 2008 and 2012 elections has been severely damaged; and that Donald Trump has made legitimate all of the seedy elements of white Nationalism.

The 2016 contest is over and the PEOPLE have spoken. My candidate did not win. But in a democracy when all the votes have been counted we accept the results and come together to support our new President.  So in the spirit of unity with respect to our beloved constitution – God Bless our new President Donald J Trump and God Bless the United States of America.

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Copyright (c) 2016 ACVN. All rights reserved.