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Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Just Thinking






It’s a beautiful day.  Almost summer.  The windows are open and a breeze full of newly cut grass is wafting across my keyboard.  My husband is outside working on the lawn, my Mom is in the kitchen making her “second” breakfast of the day, and I am typing, wondering where this piece will head.

I could talk about politics, and I will a bit, but aside from the disgust at the current occupant of the White House, I won’t go too far into that topic.  Suffice it to say, he must be voted out of office if the United States of America stands for anything good and decent.  I am a strong believer that the last election was an anomaly.  Between the Russian interference and a baggage laden Democratic nominee, whether called for or not, we were doomed.  Coming off of a successful, dynamic, brilliant President, who happened to be a man of color, the racists were motivated…and they sure got their guy.  But, I am hopeful that America is not the land of Trump.  We are mostly a kind, compassionate, giving people.  We believe in democratic principles and will work tirelessly for fairness and respect. 

Most commentators are stressing that we have to reach the trump voters and get them to see the error of their way.  I think that’s nuts. Anyone still standing with that ‘man’, despite all we know along with all he is working so hard to hide, is lost.  Forget them.  Motivate OUR base, which is bigger, younger, and brighter.  I believe we need a candidate that will bring that base to the polls, forget the trumpers….forget them!!  We tried a middle of the road candidate many times.  Gore ran from Clinton and his popularity, chose Lieberman as his running mate…it was too close and we lost either through manipulation or lies, but we lost.  Then we chose John Kerry.  He was middle of the road, a nice guy, a good man, we lost.  Then we had a motivating, inspiring candidate and we won, twice!!  Then we went back to middle of the road, leaned toward compromise even though the other side NEVER compromises…we may have won the popular vote, but we lost where it mattered.  So, middle of the road doesn’t work!! It doesn’t motivate our base!  Will we ever learn?

Yes, Biden leads all other candidates at this point and the media is running with that.  But if you add up all the other percentages over the major polls, Biden stands at somewhere between 22 and 30% of Democrats.  That means that 70% of Democrats are choosing someone else!!  Where is that discussion in the media?  And why are we so hell bent on polls when the last election sure didn’t prove to be a 96% chance of a Hillary Presidency!!
Don’t get me wrong, I admire Vice President Biden.  He’s been through so many horrific tragedies and I know he’s a good, decent, loving man.  I’d have no problem voting for him.  But, will he motivate the base?  I am looking forward to the first round of debates to give air time to some we haven’t heard much from.  The field is open and so is my mind.  Anyone is better than trump.  Elizabeth Warren has “a plan for that”!  I love her enthusiasm and her zest for fighting back!  But all will shake out soon. 

All of this political drama plays out daily, but in the midst of the chaos I am trying to both reflect and plan.  Reflecting gets harder over time, maybe because there’s more time to reflect or maybe because there are less options to make that thinking process relevant.  For example, I used to think about where my life was heading.  Should I go back to school and further my journalism credentials?  I am into politics, could I be a political writer?  Should I go back to school and become a therapist, a lawyer, a chef??  I know the professions are so different but they all grabbed my interest and I always thought I would go into one of them, I didn’t.  Life happened one day at a time and now, it’s too late.  In my early 60’s I’m not about to become any of those things.

To reflect on my history is just to make me aware of how I’ve allowed my day-to-day life to become my life.  I heard an interesting quote the other day by Wayne Dwyer.  I was listening to a talk he gave years ago, as he has already passed on.  In that talk he said, “Am I going to live 90 years or 1 year 90 times”?  That sentence really hit me.  I don’t mean this to sound like I hold regrets over my life.  I absolutely do not.  My family, my children, my grandson, my friends, they are the most important part of my life, and as long as I live, they always will be.  However, wondering what I am here to contribute to society and how to break free of the mental chains that I locked on to myself that kept me from doing more, learning more, growing more….and to keep others from falling into that hole, that is what this is about. 

Time is funny, no one knows how much they have.  The joy of growing old is that you don’t die young.  But as I head into the older years, before I let more time slip away, day to day, before some illness or mental decline steals time, what do I do?
I don’t have the extra money to just travel and learn about other cultures first hand.  I don’t have that freedom to work for charity.  I can’t feed the homeless or go to the border and demand that the children taken from their mothers and fathers be united IMMEDIATELY!!  So, what can I do?

I can write this blog.  I can reach people who I will never meet.  Perhaps some 30 something year-old somewhere will start that course to be who they want to be.  Don’t let mental restrictions keep you from being, keep you from learning, keep you from exploring who you are and who you want to become.  Take time while you have time to go inside and listen to your heart.  Where is it leading you, then follow it, beat by beat until you realize that each year you are learning and growing and changing and you are living 90 different years, not simply repeating the same year 90 times. 

Where does that leave me?  Well, on this beautiful day, I am just thankful.  In the end, yes, I could have been something additional…. but inside, in the deepest part of my soul, I am a Mom.  I send gratitude and love to my husband who afforded me the luxury of being a full-time Mom when they were small.  My contribution to this world, when all is said and done, is the goodness, hard-work, love and intelligence that my children strive for and exude every day.

I can be an armchair politician, cook to my hearts content, talk through problems with friends, and fulfill the different aspects of unfulfilled professional goals.  

But me…..I guess my plan and hope for the future is for more time to spend with those I love and to try to spread that love to those around me who will spread it to those around them. I suppose the only thing that will set this world right again is to love others as you love your own.  (And to vote out trump in the next election!!)

Now, I’ll head outside and enjoy this beautiful day!  Hope your day is full of happiness!




Sunday, March 10, 2019

A Cage Is A Cage




Image result for political cartoon of babies in cages


In my name, as an American citizen, my country is taking babies, taking toddlers, taking children from their Mom and Dad’s arms and putting them in steel, cold, cages, alone and scared.  Babies and toddlers are crying for their Mommy, for their Daddy…. their wails can be heard because we have real, thoughtful journalists there to record it despite the pleas for silence from representatives of the Trump administration.  If you are reading this and you are also American, this is being done in your name, too.  If you are reading this from any other country, you must think we are barbaric.  This reality makes me sick.  

These children, as young as breastfed infants, are unceremoniously torn away from their parents’, placed in cages with no records or connection to their families for future reunification.  Two have died, many are being sexually abused, they are all traumatized for life.  Just think of your own children being torn from your arms, or, if you are young, think of yourself as a small child, think of how you would feel being taken from your family.  Imagine escaping a country filled with violence, trudging 2,000 miles on foot despite all dangers on the way, imagine finally arriving at what was supposed to be a country you had always been taught welcomes the “tired and poor”…. only to be torn from those you love, only to be alone, scared, frightened, and mishandled with no one to comfort you.  Feel the pain and anguish of these parents with no idea where or how their children are being treated along with if and when you will EVER see them again!  This is what the United States is doing today to people who are legally presenting themselves for asylum.

This is being done in my name.

Groups of conservatives who call themselves pro-life……they are silent.  Does pro-life not extend to children after they are born?  Does it not extend to children who happen to be born outside our country, children who are escaping certain violence and possible death in their own country….people of color who may not speak English well?  Of course I know that the pro-life movement does NOT care about children after they are born whether in our country or outside its borders.  That is why they don’t fight for parental leave after the birth of a baby, they don’t fight for affordable, quality day care, affordable, quality healthcare, they don’t fight for policies that offer healthy, nutritional food to children in poor neighborhoods.  The pro-life movement doesn’t fight for school funding in poor areas, they don’t fight to restore criminal justice for the poor, for people of color, for people in need…. this leads to homes with just one parent who can barely keep their heads above water. A policy which leads one parent with little or no means of obtaining the American dream (or what used to be the American dream).  There are neighborhoods, Flint, Michigan for example, where children are being poisoned by lead in their water for YEARS, but this pro-life movement is quiet.  Not one has raised their voice, not one has raised money to fight these unfair practices that are done daily in the United States of America.

This is being done in my name.

I am ashamed.  I am ashamed of a media that conflates Democratic Socialism with Socialism because it works to scare people.  Why don’t they take just a portion of their 24 hour news time and explain what is meant by Democratic Socialism and explain how it differs from the socialism that brings such frightful response in Americans?  They won’t because the fear of the word socialism is good for ratings and it’s just EASY.  It requires no work.  Democratic Socialism would restore FAIRNESS in this unfair country.  I know John Edwards was a flawed spokesman, but his view of Two Americas is definitely what is taking place.  This unfairness was once again demonstrated the other day when Manafort, a white, wealthy, connected man who had been CONVICTED of crimes that brought a recommended sentence of approximately 18 years was given 4 years….credit for time served…..and will probably get out early on “good behavior”.

This is being done in my name.

I watch as white people call the police on black people because they are doing things that no one would think dangerous if they were white.  These people call the police who then arrive with preconceived notions of impending violence.  A young 12 year old boy, Tamir Rice, was shot and killed in seconds in a playground, holding nothing more dangerous than an inexpensive toy gun bought in any toy store.  Two police officers, a 26 and a 46 year old, were called to the scene.  In the beginning of that initial call, the person admitted the gun looked fake and at the end of the call the person said it was probably a juvenile holding the weapon.  With all that information, in less than 2 seconds after the police arrived, that young man was lethally shot and is forever gone from this world.  All his accomplishments, his present and future family, his life….all taken in one moment of fear and anger generated by institutionalized racism.  If that young man had been white there would never have been an initial call to the police.  If, for some reason, there had been a call, if the police arrived and murdered a 12-year-old white boy with a toy gun, there would have been hell to pay….but in this case, nothing, no charges, nothing, nothing but a lifetime of pain for his family. 

This is being done in my name.

I once read a statement by the Reverend Martin Luther King, “There can be no justice without peace and there can be no peace without justice.”  I find this quote so obviously true.  In my country today there is no justice for too many.   Right-wing folks who once were so horrified by a man having an affair while President that they were determined and felt forced to impeach him over his lie over the affair now feel no shame forcefully backing a man who lies continuously.  A man who bragged BEFORE the election about grabbing women by a private body part.  A man who paid off at least one porn actress for her silence and another woman for hers.  A man who touts the virtues of Kim Jong Un after knowing his regime, with his knowledge, tortured a young American student to the point of his returning to our country brain dead.  A man whose teeth were visibly rearranged…the thought of the pain endured by that young man makes the hair stand up on the back of my neck.  But Trump claims the letters Un wrote him were so beautiful, they fell in love.  Right-wing Americans back a man who lied about building a structure in Moscow, a man who stood next to Putin in Helsinki and said he believed a lying, murderous dictator over every Intelligence Agency in the Unites States!

All of these topics don’t even begin to broach the inequities of life in the United States today.  Economic inequities which were exasperated by the tax cuts for the uber wealthy that the republicans just passed, blowing up the deficit they always preach such horror over when Democrats want to pass something like HEALTHCARE for all!  But that is a subject for another blog.

All these injustices are now being implemented in my name….and in your name.  There can be no peace while this is true.

The importance of the next election cannot be overstated.  If Trump continues in office we are doomed to a life of inequity.  Doomed to a life where injustice and unfairness reigns.  A life where those with no power are demoralized and abused without consequence.  There will be no peace for anyone as long as this continues, as long as this agenda is pushed and supported by a President with no soul and a "news" network with no honesty.

I don’t want this done in my name, not for one more second.  Please stand up against this, stand with those who are fighting for fairness, stand with those who stand against hate and bigotry.  Please, let’s restore our country to one where we will all be proud to say, This IS done in my name!