What Next…

Every day, EVERY DAY, it is something else.  A new affront to the moral sensibilities I hold dear… they are said, left unsaid, tweeted, or alluded to by our ‘leader’.  Although he has continuously proven himself as anything but a leader, once again today he showed his complete lack of leadership ability.  After two days of being called out by fellow republicans and democrats for his unwillingness to name white supremacist, Nazi, neo-Nazi, and alt-right groups, terrorist groups, he begrudgingly spoke the words that were lost to him two days ago… of course, those words were tucked into a speech that began with a commentary on how well our economy and stock market were doing, obviously written by someone with a far superior vocabulary than himself… hence his use of the word repugnant.  I am sure his base was confused by the omission of  the highly sophisticated term ‘very, very bad’, which he often uses when speaking of ideas he dislikes.  He admonished those groups by name because he was forced to do so… his admonishment is as hollow as is his ability to lead this country.  Our country is caught in the tornado that is his twitter storm of self-serving, ego-centered, and volatile statements on whatever catches his attention.

Who are those speaking out against his madness? Now there are many, perhaps more people will begin to listen.  Today they were there at a very small rally in a highly conservative town… they were the educators, social workers, doctors, medical professionals… they were people chanting for love, for peace, for tolerance, for justice, for equality…

What next?  Fight and stand for what is right… do not sit silently by just shaking your head… join a group, speak out, mail a postcard, call your elected officials, show up…

A Right to Complain

I know many people are irate at the way our president is …. just is…. speaking, tweeting, lying, perhaps even breathing… you know, that whistling sound some people make with their nose… but, I digress…

Many people are rightfully complaining, loudly, about the leader of our country and his loyal followers. You can complain to whomever you choose, but your complaining means nothing if you only complain to those who chime in and spur you on.  Living your life as the ‘good guy’, the upstanding, decent, charity contributing, liberal means nothing if you are not willing to say ‘I do not support Trump’, ‘I am a Jew’, or ‘I am a liberal Democrat ‘…. only then will people who hold you in high regard perhaps think twice about their own ideas… when you are respected you MUST be willing to be honest about who you really are… allowing someone to believe that you are a ‘good Christian’ or a staunch Trump supporter does nothing to enlighten those you may have the power to impact.

IF you care, IF you disagree with the direction  our country is heading, IF you are irate…. YOU HAVE AN OBLIGATION….

If you are not willing to stand up… then perhaps  you should just suck it up and hang on for the next 3 1/2 years… otherwise the time has come to say ‘No, I did not and do not, support Trump’…

 

Sympathy for the Devil

I almost feel sorry for him… day after day, speech after speech, meeting after meeting and tweet after tweet… people still support him ~ those same people who wore the red hats and flooded the internet spreading fake news ~ they are standing tall by their man.  Billing himself as the only one who could come in and ‘save’ our country, he was (and probably still is) look at as the Messiah. I recall reading  and hearing his supporters  speak about Trump being the choice of God.  How frightening for them to think that God was really not in charge of our election but actually a narcissistic loose cannon and his helpful Russian friends (whether he knew it or not).  Trump is spiraling out of control, digging his hole deeper by the day, and alienating our global friends. Most every day we can hear him speaking the alternate truth.  Watching Trump’s presidency is like watching a train wreck or a singer perform who can’t carry a tune… cringing, I watch, through my finger, shaking my head…  I almost feel sorry for him because he is making himself and our country look like a fool…. and a man in his 70’s should behave with more dignity and speak with more care…

Impeachment? I don’t think it will happen…. but I can hope…

People say that everything is either a gift or a lesson…. well, America?  Have we learned our lesson yet?  If so, it is time to move on and do better next time.

Building An Effective Wall

I just read that the ‘Wall Proposals’ are due on Wednesday.  I had this picture in my mind of people all over the world sitting in little teams contemplating materials and design.  Suddenly I had a flash of a children’s story I read to my first grade class every year: The Three Little Wolves and The Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas.  From the title you can see that the classic tale is flip flopped and the sweet little wolves are terrorized by this big mean ugly pig.  The wolves like to play games like badminton, hopscotch and croquet … they try to protect themselves by using not straw, sticks and bricks, but iron bars, metal plates, concrete block and a video surveillance system… each time the Big Bad Pig blasts their home to bits with dynamite, sledgehammers, or his ever ready pneumatic drill.  Finally the wolves give up trying to build this fortress against their enemy….

I imagine our wall as their final house, a wall of flowers (or better yet edible plants) swaying delicately in the wind, having a similar effect on boarder dwellers, as the wolves flower house had on the Pig…. as one draws near our wall “they are filled with the fragrant scent of flowers”… their hearts grow and they begin to dance.  At my wall they may pick a strawberry or snack on an apple before shaking hands with the boarder control, who tend the wall, take selfies with the crossers and welcome them to America.

Gone are the people dying in the desert, gone are people dying in storage containers or the backs of overheated trucks and gone are those profiting from human trafficking…

I am sure there are holes in my dream… but if you don’t have the dream nothing can ever change…

What’s Wrong

Trump supporters are eating this up…. his behavior, tweets and bizarre ‘press conference’ will never sway the Americans who voted for Trump.  We live in a society with Kim Kardashian, the Big Brother House, and Duck Dynasty… We hang on whether or not Brad and Angelia are splitting up, and whose dimpled backside dons the cover of People Magazine.  This president is just the typification of our obsession with uncouth overexposure, saying whatever pops into your brain and an America where people can do whatever the f*** they want because ‘it’s a free country’.

I’ve seen great t-shirts these past few months… one of my favorites is ‘Make America Smart Again’… even better would be ‘Make America Polite Again’.  We have lost the core of American society and it has nothing to do with Christianity.  It has to do with the loss of decorum, the unwillingness to find common ground and the rallying cry of Trump supporters that people who are demonstrating against our current president and all that he stand for are crybabies and whiners.

I am not a whiner… as of November 9, 2016, I am an activist, a nasty woman, persistent, pussy-hat wearing, believer in science, immigrant loving, LGBTQ supporting, educator who will not be silenced.  Sorry if that interferes with what you want to see on Facebook or what you want to believe about me… my goal is to find the middle ground, to educate and have an open dialogue so that we can bridge the gap that has formed over the last 20 years and has been highlighted by this ugly moment in US history.  Time to put on your big girl panies and get to work… bridging the gap will be harder work than we have ever seen because the gap has become a casism.  Trump supporters seem to be giving him a free pass, believe his every word, and are cheering him on as he wreaks havoc on our civil liberties, our constitution and our American values.  I don’t get it, but I am willing to listen, to look at the other side and to try and bridge the gap…

My only question is, if you are all deleting me from your FB feed, how are we even going to begin?

Your Sky

I have hated it when I heard people comparing our current president to Hitler.  To me it was going too far, too harsh, and would alienate those we wanted to sway… But this ban  on people  is Hitleresque.  And, those who are carrying out his orders, knowing they are unjust, unkind and unconstitutional are just like the troops who followed orders to keep their jobs. I applaud Ms. Yates for taking a stand and saying she was unwilling to do something she believed to be wrong. We all need to be ready to do just that.

We have elected a madman, a loose cannon, a maniac, and someone with no forethought to the most powerful position in the world!  You shook your finger when we said ‘the sky is falling’… well, it is… he just insulted and fired our Attorney General, banned people from seven countries, decided that someone who ran an alt-right newspaper should be in on all intelligence meetings, put forward someone who is not an educator to run our education system, and is clearly mentally unstable.

Maybe YOUR sky isn’t falling. Perhaps you drove to work today just like any other day, picked your kids up at daycare or from the bus stop, went to the local Mexican restaurant or grabbed a pizza… maybe you are home, warm and comfortable after a hot shower, food in the oven and a glass of wine in your hand… Maybe you are surfing the internet deciding where to take your next vacation, or getting together with your friends for Bible study.

Maybe YOUR sky isn’t falling…

YET

 

Why I Marched…

I read a great piece of writing earlier this week addressed to a group of women who are posting and re-posting a list of reasons they disagree with the idea of a Women’s March and feel the march was not for them… I was at the march in Eugene… yes, many, including myself wore pink ‘pussy’ hats… they were pink hats with CAT EARS… if you are offended by THAT how is it you are not raising your voice against our own president who said he could grab any woman in the ‘pussy’ because he has money and power. He was not being clever, coy, or using a play on words… even if he had used a different word, the message that it is okay to grab a woman in her privates should be far more offensive than women wearing pink hats marching for equal rights and the marginalized people of our society.

I appreciate that I feel equal, that I am respected in the workplace and by my husband, that I can choose to hang out with friends whenever I want, and that I can, in my life, do anything my husband can do… I am lucky.  I am privileged. And because I know that I have privilege, I know that others must not have those same privileges.

In our country, women can join the military.  Women fought for that right… but along with it came catcalls, snide remarks, harassment, and sexual assault.  And along with speaking out against those conditions came blame, rude remarks, and a whole slew of difficulties and persecution .  I am not saying that every woman in the military goes through this, but many have and just dismissed it as ‘the price you pay’ or ‘part of that culture’ . That is just unacceptable.

Women typically pay more when getting a mortgage, buying a car, and when buying nearly identical clothing items or personal products…. is that okay with you? Maybe it is

But, for me, this march was by women standing in opposition to everything Trump represents.  We have seen, over the course of a few days, the ways he is taking action on his scary promises.  Tech companies have stopped their immigrant employees, who work lawfully in our country, from traveling outside of the country on company business for fear that they won’t be able to get back in if the leave.   People coming in with visas have been detained in New York. People in Cairo, with visas, are being  stopped from getting on their planes. According to a BBC report, over 13,000 Americans were killed by gun violence in 2015. That is over four times more than have been killed by terrorism from 2001-2013. But, it is easier to address those outside threats than look at our own obsession with owning guns. Trump is targeting a group of people… will that make our country safer? Will it make you safer?

I marched because Trump is dredging the swamp and putting those super wealthy insiders in the most powerful positions in our country. I marched for healthcare, for the right to collectively bargain, for immigrants, for refugees, for the right to choose, for clean air, for public schools, for Native lands, for my LGBTQ brothers and sisters, and for our children.

So, women’s rights are a huge issue…. but I marched for that and far more… I marched because I am American and believe in what America represents and that is the antithesis of the road Trump is leading us down.

I will not be quiet.  Let me know when we march again…. I’ve got my hat ready to go!