Tag Archives: John F. Kennedy

Womens march on Washington – the Lovettsville buses

The Womens March on Washington

The Womens March on Washington

Many of your neighbors from Lovettsville, and not just women, felt it was necessary to March on Washington the next day after the Inauguration this past Friday.

They were doing what many other communities were doing across the Commonwealth.

One local woman said, “You know how a woman speaks at a meeting and is ignored.  Then a man repeats the very same thought he just heard her say – and then it’s treated by the men as if it was the man’s idea all along.”

“Worse than that,” she said, “is when a woman enjoys the right of privacy to control her own body – and that’s not respected.”

This latter observation relates to what was plainly a defining moment in the recent presidential election for very many women, when it was widely disclosed, what Mr. Trump thought about women.

Mr. Trump said, “You can do anything … Grab them by the pussy, you can do anything.”

“And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” Mr. Trump said.

“You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful [women],” Trump said, “I just start kissing them.  It’s like a magnet, just kiss.  I don’t even wait.”

In other words, a woman said, “a woman’s consent is irrelevant to this guy.”

Trump confided to a like-minded male that he tried to have sex with one woman the two were about to join, knowing she was married.  He said, “I moved on her like a bitch.”

Mr. Trump favors tic tacs “just in case I start kissing…”

In the recent campaign, it is undisputed that Mr. Trump, by word and conduct, was transparently intolerant of persons by their gender, race, color, religion and place of origin.

Mr. Trump, however, reserved his special abuse for women, no matter whether the woman was a Fox anchor or an Oscar-winning actor.

Contradicting Mr. Trump invited slander, lies and relentless trash talk.

Women the world over saw in Mr. Trump’s November election the danger of sexual discrimination going forward in his Administration, impermissible incursions into the sanctity of the person, of the constitutional right to be let alone, of access to medical records, of equal pay for equal work, of their dignity – meaning shame for being a woman. Continue reading

On the pledge of allegiance – under God

Thomas Jefferson: “Erecting the Wall of Separation between Church and State is  absolutely essential in a free society.” (Photo by John P. Flannery)

Thomas Jefferson: “Erecting the Wall of Separation between Church and State is
absolutely essential in a free society.” (Photo by John P. Flannery)

At the recent Dem meeting, I was asked to lead the meeting in the pledge of allegiance.

I told the group that I do not say “under God” when I make the pledge but that I would pause when leading the pledge for anyone to say those words.

When I finished the pledge, someone shouted out, “God bless you!”

I didn’t respond.  But he was out of line.  He was, in fact and truth, objecting, in his way, that I refused to say “under God,” and would foist his wrong-headed view, in this manner, insisting that I acknowledge that our nation was “under God.”  Well, it’s not.

The Dominican Nuns in the South Bronx instructed us to “render unto Caesar the things that are Caesar’s” and that “rendering” had nothing whatsoever to do with God or our Roman Catholic religion.

I have refused to say the words, “under God,” ever since Congress added those words in 1954 to fight communism, because congressional zeal violated what Jesus told me and what our constitution prohibited in the very First Amendment to the US Constitution; in other words, it was none of Caesar’s business what even a kid thought was the righteous relationship of god and country. Continue reading


JFK sketch by John Flannery

JFK sketch by John Flannery

Jack Kennedy was a force in life and his death broke a promise made that this nation was different in that it celebrated courage, culture and change.

I was a freshman at Fordham Prep in the Bronx in 1960 on the way to a Latin class when I saw the University students going to the gymnasium in great numbers.  I had some time before class, though not much, so I ran to see what it was all about, followed them, one by one, all taller, through the narrow doors of the gym, and pushed with the others into the large area where we had basketball games.

The gym was full of standing students and teachers, and I made out, like in a B-movie, a bright light from the left shining on a man talking to this mostly first generation college audience that was disproportionally Irish.

It was Jack Kennedy, smiling broadly and making his characteristic gestures, pointing with his right finger in the air before him, painting a picture of ideas, his jaw jutting forward, challenging these students, by his word and manner, to make a difference.  His pauses invited clapping and cheering, smiles and laughter.

I left this amazing place, the sounds duller as I returned to class, to make my class late and sat in a reverie the rest of the afternoon thinking about what I’d observed and heard and felt.

This man was what life was about, mixing into the issues of the day, trying, as he said, to make a difference.

He did.

He inspired a nation to go to the moon, to avoid a nuclear confrontation, to make steps toward equality, to introduce beautiful art and music and style to a nation thirsty to meet a higher calling and destiny.

He was cut short on November 22nd years ago but he still inspires us to be more than we’ve become.