Finding Common Ground
From Our Friends at Braver Angels:
Red (conservative or Republican-leaning) and Blue (liberal or Democrat-leaning) community members will come together in structured and facilitated discussions that intend to find common ground through listening and learning rather than declaring or debating. It will be held on Friday, September 30 from 9am – 3:30pm at the Newaygo United Church of Christ, 432 Quarterline Street, Newaygo, MI 49337. This event is free, open to Michigan residents, and breakfast snacks, drinks, and lunch will be provided. Donations are encouraged but are not required.
The “Red and Blue Workshop” is the signature workshop created by Braver Angels, a non-profit organization whose mission in part is to depolarize and unite America. This event is made possible by individual donations, and is supported by the Fremont Area Community Foundation.
“I’m concerned about the culture of contempt being fostered in our county, politically,” states Sally Kane, one of the coordinators of the Red and Blue Workshop. “It’s alive and well nationwide too. Contempt breeds more contempt. It disrupts our humanity and our democracy on all levels. We need to heal from this. The best way is through relationships and safe conversations that foster trust, respect and deeper understanding. Our democracy is at risk if we don’t.”
Braver Angels is a national movement with a strong Michigan presence. According to their website every level of leadership within the organization is equally balanced between conservatives and progressives, as much as possible (given these are volunteers). The Braver Angels Pledge states “As individuals, we try to understand the other side’s point of view, even if we don’t agree with it.
In our communities, we engage those we disagree with, looking for common ground and ways to work together.
In politics, we support principles that bring us together rather than divide us.”
Sarah Brabbs is a Michigan Braver Angels Facilitator who co-moderating this workshop. “I’ve seen the power of a group of people who differ drastically in their political views, setting aside time and engaging in this workshop - it’s this willingness at grassroots levels that is key to depolarizing our country. One person at a time. I often hear from workshop attendees that making the decision to attend feels very risky, but it’s not one that anyone ever regrets, and often it has a life-changing impact. New relationships are formed, and hope is rekindled. I’m proud to volunteer how I can with this organization, and especially having gotten to know folks in the Newaygo area this year, I’m excited to be able to travel in to help make this workshop happen.”
The “Red and Blue Workshop” invites and encourages anyone interested in developing a deeper understanding of, and connection with, people whose political beliefs differ from their own to join the event. Space is limited, and the acceptance process will assure an evenly divided group between conservatives and liberals. Attendees can join as a “Participant”, who will be actively involved in discussions with others of the same as well as different political persuasions. “Observers” will watch and listen but not participate in the discussions.
“It is easy to disagree with anger and hatred, and to lump issues and people into negative sound bites,” states Sally Wagoner, event co-coordinator with Sally Kane. “It takes courage and the willingness to listen with an open mind and heart instead of throwing verbal, and sometimes real, weapons. I urge our community members and civic leaders to join us, and become a ‘Braver Angel’ on September 30.”
For those who wish to see how politically divergent community members can come together through the Braver Angels process, a successful Red and Blue Workshop was recently held in Traverse City, Michigan. A special segment will be aired on CBS Sunday Morning, on September 18.
Registration is required for this free event. To register, go to www.BraveAngels.org. Click on “Find an Event” at the top, then click on the calendar to September 30. Click on “Red-Blue Workshop Sessions 1 & 2”; “Click Here to Register” will take you to the Eventbrite registration page.
This, That and The Other
Lions and Tigers and Scammers and Shoes
By Ken DeLaat
“The very existence of flamethrowers proves that sometime, somewhere, someone said to themselves, 'You know, I want to set those people over there on fire, but I’m just not close enough to get the job done.”-George Carlin
L&T-While it has been beyond disappointing to be a Tiger fan once again this season (currently immersed in an impassioned race with the A’s to achieve the worst record in the American League) there was always football season to look forward to.
Sure it’s the perennial hapless Lions, but there were signs things had turned around under Coach Campbell. I tuned in Sunday filled with positive thoughts that only became enhanced after that splendid opening drive for a TD.
Then came the second quarter when turnovers, penalties and big plays helped Philly slap on 24 points, 14 of them in less than a minute.
The Blue & Silver came back and made a bit of a game of it and look to be a much improved team but 2 things tell me different.
First is the propensity of this team to shoot themselves in the foot time and time again. This seems to be ingrained in the Lion culture. Not the current culture, the ancestral influence that looms over each version of this team over the past too many decades. A curse that has loomed since they traded enigmatic quarterback Bobby Layne in 1958.
The second thing also has to do with a quarterback.
Goff isn’t terrible but I recently watched Josh Allen dismantle a good Ram defense and it was easy to see who was the superior playcaller on the field when they faced the Eagles.
But hey, chances are they won’t finish an eternity out of contention while playing in the absolute worst division in the sport because not a single player on their team knows how to hit and every trade and free agent they pursued flamed out, and, and…
Sorry. Just needed to get that off my chest.
Scammers-While the whole student loan forgiveness thing is steaming along social media with the usual polarized opinions we have all come to know and despise, this is an issue I am certain that most of us can agree on.
A mutual abhorrence for those who prey on others.
With the ink not even dry on the initiative I received not one, but two calls informing me of the upcoming forgiveness of my student loan and the necessity of contacting the callers to ensure I would get what was coming to me.
And I am certain they would make good on that promise to give me what was coming to me.
If what coming to me was a hosing, fleecing and all around flimflamming.
What's more, my student loan history consisted of the 10 bucks I once borrowed from a frat brother for gas to drive home for Christmas. I did indeed pay it back with the interest consisting of ponying up for a pitcher of beer we split at the Bird in Mt Pleasant.
And for those who share my generational grouping? Yes, American Pie was played on the jukebox at least 17 times that afternoon.
Shoes- Suddenly there has been an absolute plethora of orphaned footwear found alongside area roads. TI Editor Wheater sent a shot of a substantially solid Sorel that was apparently not content to lurk on the shoulder. It had been discovered gaining a higher perspective perched on a pole. I advised him to exercise caution since the movement seems to have gotten more daring.
The blue sneaker on I-96 near the 131 interchange, the brown loafer type sitting a bit too innocently on M-72 near Linden and don’t even get me started on sandals. Suddenly they’re everywhere.
While I generally try to remain a tad skeptical of conspiracy theories and consider myself to be adequately rational, this burgeoning burst of suspicious soles seems to beg the question…
What does it mean?
Annual event coming Saturday to Muskegon County Fairgrounds
Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day, which is always held on the first Saturday after Labor Day, is September 10, 2022 this year. Youth Day is held at Muskegon County Fairgrounds, 2261 Heights Ravenna Road, Fruitport, Michigan. This will be our 28th year. The gates open at 9am and close at 3pm. This is a free family friendly event to introduce our youth to the many activities available to them in the great outdoors, however only youth under 17 years of age can participate in the activities. Persons over 17 are welcome to sit in on all the seminars. Each youth participating will receive a t-shirt and a ticket for lunch (while supplies last) and a raffle ticket.
This year we have received commitments from approximately 60 exhibitors including the following: a rock climbing wall, the Coast Guard Axillary and a vessel from Coast Guard Station, Muskegon, the Critter Barn, Muskegon Conservation Club, Grand Haven Steelheaders, with their fishing simulator, Friends of Ottawa County Parks, Jumpn’ Jupiter Skate Center, Coopersville Sportsman’s Club, Michigan United Conservation Club, a reptile and a birds of prey display and the West Michigan Walleye Club, to name a few. Once again there will be the trout pond, put on by Michigan Anglers Assoc., with 1000 trout to be caught.
The Hawg Trough, a 50 foot long aquarium mounted on a semi-trailer, will be here again this year and will be stocked with native fish for viewing. It is also used as the stage for seminars with Mark Martin and some of his fishing staff. There are also mentored shooting of firearms, however you need to present a Hunter Safety Certificate in order to shoot.
Attendees will also be able to experience various safety exhibits, demonstrations and tours of fire trucks, EMT vehicles and law enforcement displays. There will also be a 9/11 tribute at noon. More information on this Youth Day can be found on our website (www.sportsmenforyouth.com) and Facebook page.
Please plan to spend Sportsmen for Youth – Youth Day with us on September 10, 2022. I’m sure you will have a great time.
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