Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Thank you, President Obama

Well, O, you weren't the change I can believe in--and I always knew you wouldn't be. I was hard on you from the beginning for that. But you know what? Now? I profoundly appreciate you and am so glad you were President from 2008 - 16. You weren't the change but you were the steadiness, in a time that called for a steady, calm hand. You were the steadiness I could believe in. You were the calm in a storm. You were the eloquence when we desperately needed it. You were the class and the civility in a society descending into something else--you remind us, stay civil. You were the pragmatist in times that absolutely called for it. I'm an idealist but 2008 - 16 was not a time that was open to my ideals. It was a time that critically needed a pragmatist. It was a time that needed you.

Someone to pull us back up onto the cliff (our economy had already slipped off the edge) and onto solid ground, or at least back from the edge. Someone to unify during polarizing forces. Someone to compromise and be reasonable with uncompromising and unreasonable people surrounding you.

Thanks, O. My deepest thank you. You weren't the change, but it turns out it wasn't quite time for that. You kept our ship from going under. You gave us courage in the night. And now. Now is the time for the change I can believe in. And we all have to help bring it about.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

A look back at 2016 and forward to 2017...

A lot of people are saying that 2016 was a bad year because we lost a lot of brightly shining stars from life here on earth to back up in the night sky, and/or because of the horrific things that have unfolded in politics and the world in general. To the first thing (so many deaths of famous people): I think it would be interesting if someone actually compared the number of famous folks who passed in 2016 to how many are lost, on average, in any given year, as I think we'd find that we did not, in fact, lose more than usual. What I think happened is this: this was the first year that Baby Boomers started dropping off at an alarming (to us Boomers!) rate, and that has scared us about our own mortality. I'm at the tail end of the Boom, so hopefully I've got a few more good years in me *lol*, but many of the older Boomers are still very vital and healthy, too, so not to worry loves--hopefully, our best years are yet to come for many of us!

Moving on to what unfolded in politics and the news this year, I can't argue with how horrifying much of it is. However, there was something else, too: Bernie. BERNIE! <3 His message was spot on, and his campaign and the passionate following and movement it brought to flower was absolutely inspiring, breathtaking, and so hopeful! As I said in another post on FB today, it was a beginning, not an ending, so take heart. We could be in the darkness before the dawn right now.

Finally, I will say that, for me, personally, 2016 was actually a good year. Yes, I have some ongoing sadness over important stuff I don't have, and challenges I do have, but instead of focusing on that as I look back at this year, what I'm struck by are the blessings I did have: my aging mom held her own this year and actually improved a bit from recent years; my four furkids are all healthy (versus in 2014, my dear dog had two operations to remove a cancer--two years later, he's healthy and cancer-free); I still have my job which, while incredibly stressful and grueling, does pay the bills; and I think I've finally recovered from all the major stressors and upheaval I went through in 2013 and 14 (took me all of 15 just to do that), so 2016 was, for me personally (not for the world!) a very and much, much-needed stable year--loved ones healthy, job still there, no selling or buying of houses, or moving twice in 10 months...2016 (again, other than the political!), for me, was a year of calming down. Which I very much needed. So I just wanted to take a moment to express my appreciation to the cosmos for that.

Now, about 2017: I pray that my loved ones and myself stay healthy, and that things stay stable for me in most ways, though I do think I'm ready to maybe take a leap off a cliff in another way, if the opportunity were to present itself for such cliff leaping. But other than that, I'm good with things staying calm and stable! Let's just hope that, as I pan out from the personal to the macro level, the world, which is anything but calm and stable right now, will somehow have good and healthy forces come to the fore and take the wheel...as I said, if we glance back a moment at Bernie's campaign, we get a window into those forces, and we can take heart and hope in knowing that they are still there, beating within us...they haven't gone anywhere, and neither have we. 2017 will be a time to stand up, speak up, and let our light shine.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Still waiting for something to trickle down...

Status: If I pay my mortgage payment today, I am not going to have anything in my checking account. Been working full-time since 1985. I never go to movies, I don't take vacations, I don't eat out much, I don't buy clothes (ask my co-workers--my dress code is "rags chique"). What's wrong with this picture? Yes, I can dip into my savings, but the point is, one should be able to earn enough to live on when one has a college degree and has been working one's butt off since 1985, and I don't even have a car payment right now. And the only reason I even have a "savings" is not from actually being able to "save" anything in all those years of working full-time, but because I was bril enough to buy a house in a down market in 1995 in an area where everyone told me I was crazy to buy, but I knew had potential. Only from selling that house in 2013 do I have any "savings", so don't let the word fool you into thinking that a working person in America can actually "save" enough (or anything) from their paycheck every month to accumulate anything in the bank. My smarts in buying that first house and spending 18 years bringing that 'hood back is what did that.

Anyway: thanks, Reagan. You are the gift that keeps on giving, you and your damn trickle-down economics. In the workforce full time since 1985 and can't make ends meet from my salary. I don't see anything trickling down. How long does it take? Been waiting over three decades up in hea'!

And now my fellow workin' stiffs have mistakenly voted Trump in, thinking he is somehow going to help us? HOW, with more of the same, failed, repug, doublespeak policy, which is actually trickle-UP economics?

Something is very wrong with this picture. We need Bernie but we got stuck with Trump, the anti-Bernie. I am not happy.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Trump Keeps Lyin' When he Outta be Truthin'

Well, as of 4 hours ago, Trump has officially gone off the deep end.

He now claims, on Twitter of course, that "I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

1. Millions of people did NOT vote illegally.
2. Trump did NOT win the popular vote, not even remotely close.

He is spewing out a slew of demented tweets because he is upset about the recount movement. Do we even care that he LIES blatantly and routinely, or has it, in fact, become so routine, that it seems normal that we now have a President Elect who just tells bald-faced lies that are easily disproved and we just give him pass after pass on it?

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Trump's Transition: Nothing About It Is Remotely Okay

Good morning, friends.

I would normally be driving to work right now. You know, as a working American, member of the 99%, who has worked full-time since 1985. I have a dentist appointment a bit later this fine a.m., though, so I'm home, with a minute to reflect on re my current state of abject terror.

I have stated many times since a week ago this morning that I have never felt this kind of terror for my country before in my life. Today, I want to say something about Trump's transition and what it tells us. It has done nothing but exponentially increase my terror, and deepen my horror.

Where to even start? The obvious place would be with Trump's choice to appoint a hate-monger as White House Chief Strategist. A man who peddles anti-semitism, racism, sexism and white nationalism. Or I could start with how Trump has refused to put his assets into a blind trust, and is instead going to have his children run them. In other words, he will still be running his businesses, and those same children will have high clearance and access in the Trump administration. They are already peddling their wares on .gov sites. Trump is a real estate developer who is going to also be President of the United States. He's also appointing people who are lobbyists, and who have clear conflicts of interest. So much for "draining the swamp". But some of us tried to warn that he is a con man. So I don't want to start with all of the above and so much more. What I really simply want to talk about is something else very, very terrifying.

Trump's transition team cancelled their meeting with Obama's White House transition team, which was scheduled for the day after Trump met with Obama. Trump and his team are also failing to return the calls of the Pentagon, the State Dept, and others who are standing ready to facilitate the transition. Why the duck is Trump NOT even moving forward with the transition of power?

As Rachel Maddow said last night, before Trump even assumes power, we have quite a few (many--MANY) things going on here that are all "breathtaking" in how NOT okay AT ALL they are--how totally unacceptable, unethical, corrupt and horrifying they are. She used the word corrupt.

Trump was elected President a week ago. I was horrified and terrified. But this is America, and the man was elected President, so I was willing for my party to work with him if he proposes anything good, and fight him on anything bad. However, now? We need to RESIST. We need to fight. He is loading up with White House with hate mongers, lobbyists and nepotism. He is signaling that he is going to use the Presidency for his own business interests at the expense of what is good for the country and the world (not to mention the environment, but I'm talking about just the conflict of interest here). Trump has a conflict of interest between his own financial and hateful/vengeful purposes, and what is best for the United States of America. We have to stand up to that and fight it.

Also the man has zero experience--ZERO--in government, and he is surrounding himself with people who also have zero experience, which is equally terrifying and horrifying to the fact that he is so unethical, corrupt and conflict-of-interest-infused.

Nothing about this is normal or okay in the slightest. We have to fight this. We have to protest. Yes, he won the election, but NO, the things he is already doing are not even remotely okay. So don't tell me not to protest. Don't tell me to "accept". This isn't like the 8 years of Republican downright treasonous at times obstructionism of a decent President whom they just happened to disagree with (not to mention, many of them were racist against). No, this isn't about that Trump's policies are anathema to everything I believe is healthy for this country and world, which they are. If it was just that, I'd say, hey, the man won. Give him his four years to ruin the country and environment, just like other repug Presidents before him, and I will fight him on policy but respect that he is the President. No, this isn't like that. This is like this: this man is corrupting the entire office of the Presidency for his own ends. So we MUST fight that, we must fight him, because Donald Trump clearly does not have the best interests of this country at heart. This isn't about disagreeing with him on policy, this need to protest him NOW. This is about him corrupting the office, using it to amass his own power and as a headquarters for hate, too.

We fight (non-violently, of course). We protest. We stand up and we speak up. We stand up for our country, our democracy and each other. We do this NOW. And we don't stop.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Are We Supposed to Act Like Everything is Normal?

Are we supposed to feel and/or act like everything is normal now?

I walked for hours today. It didn't take away the terror. This abject terror that I can't describe and that I've never felt before Trump was elected President. Instead of getting better, it is getting worse every day. As time relentlessly marches toward his swearing in, as he starts to form his thug-fascist cabinet, as his people start talking about violating the constitution and shipping political dissidents back to Turkey and up-ending environmental regulations/protection, my terror deepens and grows.

I feel that our democracy is in grave, profound peril. I feel that our environment doesn't have four years for us to fiddle while Rome burns. I feel that I and other people are in danger, as we fall into one or more of many categories of people that Trump has stated over and over again he is going to take the country "back" from. I feel that our economy is going to head right back over the cliff (but that is actually the least of my worries--I'm more worried about our democracy itself, the environment, and what will happen to many citizens, possibly including myself, if the US becomes a fascist state).

I walked today and everything looked the same. Nature--still beautiful. The trees look so peaceful. They don't know. I know. You look at people's faces, into their eyes, and you can tell. You can tell who knows and who doesn't. The ones who know look like me: shell shocked, grim on a beautiful day, steeled.

Are we supposed to act like everything is normal? Luckily, my tea-partyish boss was on business in another city last week, so I didn't have to keep up the front all the time. Next week, I'll have to. I'll have to act like everything's fine, my precious, hard-fought-for country didn't just go from democracy into the hands of a would-be fascist. And maybe I can do it, if I have to, to pay the mortgage. Maybe I can act like everything's normal. But this feeling won't go away. My country's been taken, democracy has a gun to its head, everything and everyone I love is in profound peril, and I'm supposed to act normal?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

A Hopeful Message For Those of Us Who Voted Blue...

I want people to realize and think about something: if you, like I, felt like you woke up in a country you don't recognize on Wednesday, think about the following truth, and take heart, though I do believe we are in for a long national nightmare. We can draw strength from this fact: Hillary Clinton won the popular vote.

She lost the election, but won the popular vote. She lost due to our electoral college system, which is a part of our Constitution. So Trump did win the election. I'm not arguing that. I'm saying to those Americans, like myself, who are horrified, and terrified for our country, that realizing that *more Americans voted for Clinton than for Trump* can help us. It can help us feel less like foreigners in our own country.

More Americans voted for Hillary's message, plans and platform than voted for Trump and what he stands for. So take heart. Look around you. You are still home. You're not in a foreign country. The majority of the American people want and voted for a progressive, inclusive healthy society. It's just that, due to a complex constitutional construct called the electoral college (which has pro's and con's, and can be argued for or against, but it is certainly the law of the land right now, so Trump certainly won the election), we did not prevail in this election. We are the majority, though.

So keep your heads up, your hearts hopeful and your spirits strong. Also keep your voices speaking, eloquent and substantive. Our time will come. To paraphrase one of my heroes, Martin Luther King, Jr., I may not get there with you, but we as a country will get there. We are going to have to go through some dark times now (<---back to me--I'm not paraphrasing MLK on that last statement), but you know what the cliche says--and cliches don't make it to cliche status without containing truth: it's always darkest before the dawn.

Twitter version: hang in there, friends, you are not alone. You are the majority of America.