The Desensitization of a Nation

We have spent the past few decades gravitating towards a level of sensitivity and political correctness that has surpassed and suppressed our baser selves and previous insensitive and brass generations. Sadly, we are coming to the end of an era, a proverbial backlash as the pendulum swings towards the opposite end of the spectrum.  Whether he said it or not, his s***h*** comment was repeated over and over again on cable news stations all week long.  One interview I saw had a former international relations expert who not only used that language but racial slurs including the n-word more than once!  The news anchor he was talking to, who happened to be black, did not bat an eye!  I almost choked… he was making a point rather than calling someone that name, but it was still shocking.

Those baser selves, the Make America Great clan have a leader, and sadly they have joined together with decent people who were hoodwinked into thinking he would make our country better.  Okay, I will give you that the economy is booming and many people have been promised more money in their bank accounts… but is that what is most important to us as a people?  Money?

Have we lost our moral compass, our ideals, the meaning of America, our sense of justice?

The outrage is constant, but when a certain level of anger or outrage is maintained, it becomes normal and we no longer are shocked.

The more our president, OUR PRESIDENT, uses the kind of language we don’t accept from our own children and spouts the ideals we are ashamed to call our own, the more his base (those baser Americans) feels empowered to spew their hatred in their own small communities across our country.

I hope you are planning on marching next Saturday to show that those of us who still believe that we WERE moving in the right direction before this deplorable man came to power does not represent who we are as a nation.

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Happy New Year ~ Looking Ahead

What did you do with your year? Sometimes surviving the year is enough.  So much loss and tragedy across our country, but if you were lucky enough to make it to this point without personally being touched by loss, illness, or financial troubles, then you are fortunate and perhaps you have spent your year making changes in the lives of the people around you.

Wishes of health, happiness, and peace in the new year are repeated in various forms across all social media.  I hope that these sentiments come true and that we all have a healthy and happy 2018.  I know that many things are out of our control, but years ago someone told me that we shouldn’t say ‘have a great day’, we should say ‘make it a great day’.  I think about this idea often.  Much of our happiness depends on our outlook on life.

So, for 2018, I hope you walk on the sunny side of the street, make things happen, be involved, find the silver lining, smile, move your body, be kind, make healthy choices, meet adversity with optimism and hope, and always ‘Look for the joy’!

Peace

Purpose

As our year comes closer to an end I hope that you have felt that your year has had purpose.  If nothing else, this new administration has given rise to the voices of many who once sat by silently letting their government officials do whatever it is they do.  If you are reading this, perhaps you are one of those voices who has joined the chorus of outraged patriots who are watching our country slide down a slippery slope of hatred, greed, bigotry, and violence.

3.2 trillion dollars of tax cuts will have a huge impact on our country.  It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this change.  We won’t know for a while… money for government programs that people need will be at risk.  Stay alert to small changes in the coming years… will you need to push back your retirement date, pay more for your health insurance? Who knows how this will affect our lives in the future.

Although our country is being led by a buffoon, our outrage is what will save us.  It is our obligation to fight for peace, love, joy, compassion, and taking care of not only our fellow citizens, but ALL people of this country and the world.

Your purpose, to this end, can be manifested every day.  Thinking critically about what you say and do, how you treat your family, friends and those who are not your friends, what you post and how you comment… what is your purpose? Are you making this world better with your actions, are you improving the lives of the people around you, are you helping rather than hurting? Are you walking through this world consciously with thought of your actions and comments?  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice against stupidity, hatred, and greed.  Each day you have a choice to raise your voice for kindness, mindfulness, love and peace.

You have a purpose, choose wisely…

The Net and You

I am not tech savvy and all this talk of Net Neutrality has not drawn my focus… I have been more obsessed with Trump’s antics, Moore’s pedophilia, the Russia investigation, the revision of our tax code, the declaration of Jerusalem as the capitol of Israel, and all of the revelations of sexual harassment by men in power…

But, here I am on my computer, working on the Net, hoping that people will have an opportunity to read my latest blog and wondering how ending Net Neutrality will really affect my life.

The motivation of Trump and the head of the FCC is once again transparent.  Just like all of Trump’s appointments, the new FCC, Ajit Pai, although originally appointed by Obama, at the recommendation of Mitch McConnell,  was once a lawyer for Verison and has continually worked against Net Neutrality.

So, although Trump and Pai claim that ending Net Neutrality will benefit the American people it is clear that the benefactors of this change will be the owners of big companies who can pay to have their content pushed to the head of your search engines.  It will make you, the consumer, pay to see what you want on the net and limit your exposure.  No longer will you be able to have the world at your fingertips because some content will be so far down on the list you would have to weigh through page after page of options before you find that obscure video.  We will pay more for less, and big business will once again be rewarded.

Our internet is a model help up by the world as the gold standard of freedom… this will be one more way Trump will be hurting our international reputation, hurting the little guy and benefiting those who already have wealth and power. Once again we need to speak up, contact our representatives in Congress and protest this rollback of sensible regulations meant to keep our internet a place for the free exchange of information.

If you are reading my blog now you are doing so because of Net Neutrality.  Without it you might have to buy a package that had wordpress included in it or be blocked from seeing content that is not part of your internet package.  Two years ago one of my first blogs went viral and was seen by almost 70,000 people world wide… without Net Neutrality that never could have happened. The free exchange of ideas on the internet is what makes someone living in small town America able to learn about the world, participate in conversation, or run a small business on equal footing with someone in a larger city.  This will affect EVERYONE who uses the internet for information, for communication, for commerce. EVERYONE

Remember that this change will not benefit small business or consumers, it will benefit big corporations and large internet conglomerations … just like all of Trump’s moves, it is disguised as something good for America, let there be no question… it is not.

 

 

That’s Why They Pay Me The Big Bucks

I sat on the floor in the hallway.  An upset child sat with me.  He was not in trouble but had used the word ‘penis’ when talking about where the ball had hit him.  His friend, who he now hated, came to tell me that this sweet little guy was using inappropriate language.  Quickly I told him that the word ‘penis’ was not an inappropriate word, it was the name of part of your body.  There was nothing wrong with that word or that part of the body.

How do we explain that not all families like to use that word?  I tried my best.  ‘That word is something that doctors might use, or that some families use, or ….., hmmmm, it is a word that makes some people worried’… The boy fired back, ‘It is a normal word!’ Yes, it is, but not all families like to use it.  “Like the ‘H’ word?” Yes.

We got through the moment… I told him, “If you are worried about something it is okay to come to me, I won’t be mad and it doesn’t mean that someone will be in trouble. It’s my job, that’s why they pay me the big bucks.”

‘They pay you a lot of money for this?’….’Well, not a lot, but enough so that I can buy good food to eat. Okay?’ Okay….

Oh, my….

I Can’t Wait

Well, the White House and our illustrious president must be reeling… yes, we are on the verge of a new tax plan.  But Trump’s decision to run for president on a whim, just to see if he could win, to satisfy his narcissistic lust is about to land his favorite daughter’s husband in deep trouble.  It will be interesting to see just how far he is willing to go to keep himself in his dream office… will he sit back and watch as his son-in-law takes the fall for his lust for power?

My guess will be that he will provoke a new assault on his former election rival, the previous administration and on North Korea… Will he be willing to sacrifice the country’s safety to deflect attention from the treachery occurring in the oval office and in his campaign?  Who knows? But I will be up early to see what shiny object becomes the focus of his tweets…

I hope that the American people, all of them, are smart enough to see through his struggle to deflect our attention.  Stay alert!

Some Things Are Not Easy to Say

Putting yourself out there isn’t easy.  Challenging people who you respect or consider friends can be stressful. Keeping the discussions civil and being willing to listen and respond with respect is critical to moving forward and making the changes needed in our society.

Saying that I wish all guns were taken out of homes and off our streets is a bold statement, especially when I live in a small town filled with hunters.  Saying that I challenge religious zealots of all kinds and believe that many of the world’s problems fall on the shoulders of those who believe they are doing ‘God’s will’ is met by anger.  Saying that I am a liberal democrat who wishes Obama were still president and that Americans had universal healthcare is met by name calling and hateful words.

It isn’t easy, but it is necessary.  I am not looking to change the minds of those people who oppose me vehemently, I am looking at changing the minds of people on the fence and move those who are already on my side but shy to speak up towards action rather than silent agreement, I am looking to send a message of hope to those who feel that they are alone in their thoughts because they are afraid to share their true thoughts…

I am not brave, I am scared, but I am hopeful that together we CAN make a difference, even in our small town.

It is not easy to say, but I will say it… open your mind, open your heart and question the way things are… just because you were raised one way does not mean that it is right, be willing to question yourself, I do every day.