Feeling Thoughtful


We live in difficult times. We live in sorrowful times.

We live in times that make it hard for us to keep our humanity close at hand. Times when we need to remind ourselves that those “others” are really “us”.

So I’m thinking. I’m not talented enough to come up with the powerful words that these times require. Luckily, a lot of very talented people have already covered this ground.

“What hurts the victim most is not the cruelty of the oppressor, but the silence of the observer.” by Elie Wiesel

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power.”

– Abraham Lincoln

A Union that can only be maintained by swords and bayonets, and in which strife and civil war are to take the place of brotherly love and kindness, has no charm for me.”

– Robert E. Lee

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

-Emma Lazarus, poem on the Statue of Liberty

“If ever a time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin.”

Founding Father Samuel Adams

“Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”

Author Mark Twain


Sad!


I love politics, as sickening as it is. I generally spend a fair amount of time reading about policy, and about legislation.

I’ve been deeply immersed in the insanity that has unfolded in this country over the past year. I have written about it on LiberalAmerica and here in this blog. I’ve talked, argued, debated, read, shed a lot of tears.

Almost thirty years ago, with my baby girl in my arms, I watched most of the Iran-Contra hearings. I was riveted.

Last week, I watched every single minute of the Comey hearing. It was moving, interesting, powerful.

Now I’m trying, to the best of my ability (cough, cough), to watch the “testimony” of our current Attorney General and for the very first time in my 61 years of life, I must tell you that I am in complete despair for our government and the country.

What I am watching is a room full of people who have been elected to take care of US, to guide the laws of OUR COUNTRY. They are all, Democrat and Republican, sitting in that room because people trusted them to look out for our best interests.

Instead, every one of them is trying to achieve their own agendas.

To watch adults, professionals, highly paid officials, living off of our tax money, engaging in this kind of name calling, finger pointing, griping, sniping and flat out lying is beyond disgusting.

I can’t remember the last time I was this disheartened about the country that my grandparents sacrificed so much to join. I am so sad to see the self-serving arrogance on display from the leaders of this nation that was born out of such high hopes.

I know that the Constitution was written during the age of enlightenment, when educated people believed in the best instincts of man. That Constitution opened with these moving words:

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

Nobody involved in this mess seems to be working toward any kind of union, much less a more perfect union. None of them seem to want to insure domestic tranquility or promote our general welfare. I sure as hell don’t see anybody in this hearing room who is thinking about the blessings of liberty for our kids and grandkids.

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Image by DonkeyHotey via Flickr.

What I see is one giant clusterfuck of a mess. We are watching hours and hours and millions of dollars being spent on people who are still arguing about Hillary Goddamn Clinton, who LOST the election. We are watching grown men and women who are only interested in making themselves and their team look better than the other team.

This hearing was designed to get to the truth about the FACT that the Russian government attacked us.

But that fact hasn’t even been fully acknowledged by the whining little fool of an Attorney General who seems to have a worse memory than my 87 year old mother.

I am so sad for the United States. I am so worried for my children and my grandchildren.

This country is done. Cooked. Stick a fork in us.

If we can’t find a way to form at least three or five new political parties, we’re going to find ourselves mired in more of this knee-deep bullshit.

Meanwhile, in case anyone is interested, our health insurance system is about to be blown up. The world is getting hotter, but we’re not going to do a single thing about it. And our hard earned tax dollars are flowing by the billions to Saudi Arabia so they can continue to drop bombs on Yemeni families who are busy dying of cholera.

If anyone needs me, I’ll be drunk under the back deck.

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Oh, for the love of……


I can NOT wait for November 9th. Partly I will be happy to have the suspense over. I am getting really tired of waking up at 3 Am wondering if Trump is going to blow us all to kingdom come.

It isn’t only the Presidential shit storm that I want to be done with though. It’s also the endless barrage of ads about the state candidates and referendum questions.

I am unlucky enough to live in Massachusetts but on the New Hampshire border. I don’t watch a lot of TV, but every time I try to turn it on to catch the news, or a movie, or a ballgame, I am slammed with conflicting ads.

And they are all pure 100% bullshit. That’s what I really hate.

Turn on the tube two weeks before the election and you will see 8 commercials in a row. I can sum them up here:

“Raising the Charter School Cap will make every child in America a Nobel Prize Winner!”

“Raising the Charter School Cap will end education as we know it!”

“Kelly Ayotte has a halo! She once saved a choking baby and then paid for his college tuition!”

“Kelly Ayotte is the spawn of the devil. She hates babies. She kicks puppies. She eats toads for breakfast.”

“Donald Trump will save us all from eternal damnation and will make America the actual center of the universe!”

“Donald Trump will blow us all up in the first day of his administration, just because he CAN.”

Oh. My. God.

In my fantasy world, I am running for public office. I create my own ads. They go like this.

“Hi. I’m Karen. I am not smarter than my opponent, and I am not a better human being. Neither one of us has a direct line to God or to the Founding Fathers. I think I have a good plan for making things better for us. Here it is…..”

Wouldn’t that be SO refreshing? Wouldn’t we all love it?

We WOULD.

We’d all be so relieved to have some positive ads and some actual plans and ideas.

So why can’t we manage to get that point across to the people who are running for office?

I mean, I don’t agree with my friends who want to raise the Charter School Cap. But I don’t think that they are all mass murderers, either.

I don’t agree with most of Kelly Ayotte’s votes. But I don’t think she’s a monster, either. And I don’t think her opponent, Maggie Hassan, is an angel. I just agree with her ideas and her political positions.

Good Lord. Why can’t Democracy be based on some truth for a change?

I plan to drink a whole bottle of champagne on November 9th. And not because I am so thrilled with any of the election outcomes.

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What We Need To Fear


I know that Donald Trump is telling us that the world is crumbling all around us. He paints an apocalyptic picture that goads us into fearing everyone outside of our own circle.

I’m not actually afraid, on a daily basis, of ISIS or of my Muslim neighbors or Mexican rapists.

Here’s what I fear.

The ignorance of far too many of my fellow citizens, that’s what.

Yesterday we woke up to find that our router wasn’t working. We headed off to the nearest coffee shop to use their wifi and cheer up with pumpkin lattes.

The lattes were great, the wifi was spotty. We were talking about our frustration with unreliable internet service when another customer chimed in. He asked if the wifi was up and running, saying that he had planned to get some work done, too.

“The internet everywhere is acting up,” he said. I agreed, thinking about new cable being laid and the recent hacking.

“It’s another Obama move, you know,” the man said. “Another executive order. He turned over control of the internet to the U.N.”

This man was not crazy. He was not a beat up smelly derelict. He was a guy about our age, from our town, drinking coffee and getting some work done.

There was a silence for a few seconds. Then I shook my head. “Uh, no…,” I began. He interrupted me to repeat, “Yes. Obama passed an executive order giving control of the internet to the U.N. It’s all part of the globalization plan.”

Now, my husband is both smart and non-confrontational. He shrugged and said, “Who know. Maybe so.”

But I couldn’t. I couldn’t let that go. I mean, that statement was ignorant on so many levels!

“That’s not true.” I said to the man. “That isn’t even possible.”

“Oh,” the guy said, turning away. “You’re Hillary supporters. OK. I’m for Trump. All about Trump.”

It would be easy to dismiss this guy as an idiot. But I don’t think that’s the problem. What I wanted to do, what I want to do now, is to ask him “Did you check your sources?”

It would be SOOOOO easy to look up “Obama Executive Orders.”  Or to research, “Does Obama control the U.N.?”  It would be a snap to google “Who controls the internet?”

It’s so easy to find out information. Easier than it has ever been.

There is no excuse for ignorance.

That’s what I fear. The ignorant and uninformed.

 

Lies Told By Lying Liars


Sometimes I have to step away from the news. Even the news I write over on Liberal America.

Sometimes things happen that make me so mad I scare myself.

Today was one of those days. I watched news coverage and read a whole lot of online news. I was nauseated by all the reporting on the Orange Menace. The Cowardly Liar. The Dump.

He Who Shall Not Be Named.

I was disgusted, but I didn’t explode.

Not until I started to write about a new ad that the damned, accursed, loathsome NRA has taken out to run in key swing states.

It is an ad that is calculated to create unreasonable fear in citizens so that they will behave in a particular way.

It’s terrorism. It’s all lies. I was shaking and in tears by the time I finished it.

It’s a damn good thing I’m a pacifist……

Please read this. Please share it with your friends who live in those key swing states.

“NRA’s Dramatic New Ad Targets Women”Uzi_of_the_israeli_armed_forces

 

Why I Am Not Blue


I am pretty passionate about my right to vote. I am a student of American history.  I love, in a visceral way, the story of how those revolutionaries not only toppled the monarchy but went on to create a democratic republic.

But you know what?

I am so NOT a fan of the “two party system.”  I am a progressive.  A liberal.  A lefty. A socialist in a lot of ways.

I don’t find my positions supported by either of the two giant political parties that now dominate every single election in this country.

I’m a Bernie voter. That means that I am now under all kinds of pressure from the Hillary crew, who want me to throw my vote to their candidate.  They are becoming increasingly shrill as they yell at me about “throwing away” my vote, or “voting for Trump” just because I refuse to give my precious one vote to Mrs. Clinton.

But here’s the thing.  I never signed up to vote “Blue, no matter who.”  Never. I agree with John Adams, a guy who put his life on the line to overthrow tyranny.  He said this:

“There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil under our Constitution.”

If anyone has a right to speak on the two party system, I have to believe it would be John Adams.  I do NOT support a system which leaves all of the power in the hands of two small elitist groups.

I am a progressive.  Hillary Clinton is a main stream Democrat. I believe, after having researched and thought deeply, that a vote for her is a vote for a continuation of the current administration.

I do NOT want to continue the drone strikes and the endless wars. I do NOT want the government to continue to rake in billions of dollars in interest on student loans. I do NOT want the government to be owned and operated by lobbyists and special interests. I do NOT want the oil/gas industry to continue to decide our energy policy.

I am a progressive.

I believe in a multi-party system. I believe in voting for the candidate who best reflects my beliefs.

I will NOT vote “blue, no matter who.”

What the hell, folks? Have we really given up our free thinking, our beliefs, our independence?

THINK HARD before you vote.

There are other alternatives.

Green Party.

Socialist Party.

Libertarian Party.