Sunday, January 29, 2017

America is not walls and bans, it is tolerance and pluralism!

America is not about walls and bans, and "us" and "them". America is great because we are a nation of immigrants, we are a pluralistic nation. THAT is what is most inspiring, wonderful and special about us--that's what makes us great! Our tolerance and our pluralism are our greatest inspiration to the world and our greatest strength as a nation. And if we build walls, enact bans, infuriate our neighbors to the south, turn people away at the airport who have been told they could come here, and who want nothing more than to live the American dream...or at least to LIVE, not to be sent back to certain death, then we are willingly giving up what actually makes us great in the name of barricading ourselves behind false protections. What really protects us is our constitution, and our welcoming hearts. Without those, we might as well wave the white flag now, because we are done.

We are done when we become unrecognizable to ourselves.  We are done when we move from welcoming democracy to walled fascist state.

My dear fellow Americans:  we need to fight--show up and stand up--for the constitution now. We need to come together and not let those who would divide us for their own ends succeed in doing that. We need to protect and defend our constitution and each other. And I will just add that I am so profoundly heartened to see so many people doing just that. From the Women's March last week, which I participated in and which gave me great inspiration, renewed faith in my fellow Americans, and hope, to the many, many people who showed up in the freezing cold to JFK airport last night, and to many other airports both last night and today (and to the White House), chanting "Let them in!  Let them in!", we are showing up to stand up for our democracy.

The whole world is watching...and hopefully seeing that there are more of us than there are of Trump and those who support his hateful world view.  And that we will keep on showing up and speaking up.

Not that many years ago at all, in terms of human history, some of my own Jewish people came here on boats, fleeing for their lives from Nazi Germany.  Surely America would take them in.  But no, America turned them away.  They were sent back to their deaths in concentration camps.  I'm lucky because my mom's side of the family, also German Jews, had come here before WWII.  We were already here.  Already safe.  But I see my family's faces in the faces of those German Jews, captured in photographs, who weren't so lucky.  And I can never let it happen again.  I can't be like "the Good Germans" who turned away and said they "didn't know".  Maybe some of them didn't know.

But in America today, we have no excuse, no way to say "We didn't know".  We have a free press and we have news coming in from all over the world.  We have the internet--they didn't have that in WWII.  They didn't have Facebook.  They didn't have the face of a 5-year-old boy, who had been bombed, sitting shell-shocked and wounded in an ambulance in Aleppo staring back at them.  But we do.  We know.  We know what is going on in Syria.  Are we going to let our President just slam the door on refugees from there, who are fleeing for their very lives?  Are we going to turn away?  Or are we going to show ourselves and the world what America really stands for, emphasis on "stands for"?  Let's rise up and demand that our President let them in!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

He had to put a Schlafley on it.

Breaking: Trump just said "Phyllis Schlafley was a great lady."

Evidently, we weren't already sufficiently terrified tonight. He had to put a Schlafley on it.

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.