We take pride as a nation
that our government is
grounded in a
checks and balances.
Three equal branches of government...
Each with its own purpose...
Each with its own power...
Each supremely important.
This week, our nation is watching a
drama unfold between all three branches...
Executive, Legislative, and Judicial .
The Senate is holding additional hearings for
President Trump's nominee,
Judge Brett Kavanaugh,
to fill a spot on the Supreme Court
left open by the retirement of
Justice Anthony Kennedy.
This might be a good time for a little
Supreme Court confirmation trivia...
Who was the last Supreme Court justice
to be confirmed by unanimous vote of the Senate?
Justice Anthony Kennedy!
Wait...did you read that correctly?
The confirmation was unanimous?
In the Senate?
Is that even possible?
It was in 1987,
the year Kennedy was confirmed.
That's certainly a word we don't hear often connected with Congress.
But why not?
The process surrounding confirmation hearings for
Supreme Court justices has become
so politicized over the years,
it's hard to imagine any nominee
having unanimous support.
And yet, there have been many unanimous
or nearly unanimous confirmations
of justices in the Supreme Court's history.
Why is it so difficult today?
Is there a better way forward?
We'll watch and wait this week as the Senate hears testimony and
and makes a final decision about the Kavanaugh nomination.
As we're watching and waiting,
let's ask ourselves...
What do WE think about the whole confirmation process?
Is something broken with the system?
Is there a way to fix it?
What are the
Does the simple majority Senate vote make sense?
Would some kind of supermajority--60 votes--or 2/3--be better?
Could we even ask for a 3/4 majority? Would that be possible?
What about the tenure for Supreme Court justices?
Should justices continue to have lifelong appointments?
If they had term limits, what might that look like?
Would it be better to stagger the replacement of justices somehow?
It's in our nation's best interest
to keep politics
out of the Supreme Court.
Maintaining the integrity
of the Supreme Court
is vital for our beloved
checks and balances.
Let's work together
find a better way
It's important work...
Happy Peace Day!
The International Day of Peace is celebrated
each year on September 21st.
The United Nations established "Peace Day"
by unanimous resolution in 1981.
It's a day for people around the world
to focus on building a culture of peace together.
Each year, the UN selects a theme for Peace Day.
This year's big idea is...
"The Right to Peace-
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights at 70."
Have you ever read the Universal Declaration of Human Rights?
You can explore it here...
United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights
It's powerful and important reading.
In the United States we take many of these human rights for granted.
We hold these truths to be self-evident.
On Peace Day this year,
lets remember that
Freedom of Belief,
Freedom of Expression,
Freedom of Assembly
are all considered basic human rights.
When we come together in the
Purple Living Room Project
we are exercising all three of these rights.
We are fortunate that we can do so freely.
Let's #Standup4humanrights around the world.
The UN has a Pledge you can take...
It's an important pledge for all of us.
You can take the official pledge HERE.
On Peace Day this year, let's
sit down and talk together...
Then let's take a stand together
for human rights around the world...
and be grateful we have the right to do so freely.
Election Day is just around the corner...
Are you registered to vote?
If you're not registered yet,
it's time to get moving!
Many states require voters to register
30 days before election day.
If you're not registered to vote,
please STOP reading now
and CLICK HERE...
If you are already registered,
REMEMBER to VOTE!
We can talk and talk and talk
red and blue and purple
in the face,
but the most meaningful
we can take as citizens
is to exercise
our civic duty
Let's keep talking
until we are
red and blue and purple
in the face...
and then let's walk over
to the polling place
Backpacks are filled,
Pencils are sharpened,
Laptops are charged...
It's the beginning of a new school year!
What will our children be learning?
How to talk and listen to one another.
Have you ever seen the
Common Core Standards
for speaking and listening?
Here is what we expect of our high school seniors when they graduate...
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Comprehension and Collaboration:
Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
Work with peers to promote civil, democratic discussions and decision-making, set clear goals and deadlines, and establish individual roles as needed.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives; synthesize comments, claims, and evidence made on all sides of an issue; resolve contradictions when possible; and determine what additional information or research is required to deepen the investigation or complete the task.
We set the bar high for collaboration skills...
and we should do so.
We should also be able to practice what we benchmark.
We need to model the art of respectful conversation for our children.
The Purple Points Protocol combines
many of these important skills
in an easy-to-use format.
Why not try it out?
As our kids go back to school,
let's get back to our own speaking and listening.
Let's show our nation's youth
we know how to
talk the talk
walk the walk.
"Meet in the Middle"