I’m Getting Angry, Then Sad

I am angry, sad, confused, and just plain put out.  Common sense has disappeared from Congress.  Our protests gain a lot of press time and piss off Dump and Pres. Bannon, and yet, they seem to be ineffectual.  How do you keep up the heat?  I have only been actively involved a short time, and yet I already feel utterly defeated.

Here is a link to an article about how senators have voted on each Dump cabinet pick.  This list did not make me happy.

 

Sure, we should hang in there, wait until 2018 with the mid-term votes.  But both my reps seem to vote (mostly) how I want.  But I can’t vote for other states’ reps.  I can’t make the people in Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, etc. see it my way.

We can keep up the heat on declaring Dump incompetent due to mental illness, but we’re still stuck with all the other swamp creatures!  How do we clean up that mess?

Yes, I know, one step at a time.  But patience and persistence are not going to be enough.  I can’t sit here and hope the people in Blue States start calling their senators.

I feel like Dorothy, caught in a black & white tornado, and suddenly dumped (pun intended) in the middle of a bright orange swamp!

 

 

An Open Letter to Trump supporters

Dear Trump Fan

You must understand that the anti-Trump group is not simply upset that there are questions as to foreign manipulation in our election process.  It’s not simply that my preferred candidate did not win.  It’s not because most Trump supporters are Obama haters.  It’s because the man is simply UNFIT.

He lacks the knowledge of how to govern.  You might say, yeah, it’s one of the things you like about it.  But knowing how to govern involves understanding others’ points of view.  If I read a book, or several books, about government and how to be effective doesn’t mean I know how to govern.  But I would have a leg up on Trump.

He lacks the diplomacy that is required when dealing with foreign dignitaries.  Sure, you say, he knows plenty of foreign big wigs.  Yes, but those big wigs only deal with Trump on business.  They may respect that, they may not.  It could be they just put up with his lack of grace and humility because he is making them money.  Well, the government is NOT a business, and probably shouldn’t be run like one.  Businesses look at the bottom line, profit and loss.  A country doesn’t profit from its people, but is supported by them via taxes.

To be an effective leader, one must have empathy for the other guys.  Something Trump certainly appears to lack.  In fact, I’m not even sure Trump can define ’empathy’.  Nor can many of his supporters.

One must have compassion for ALL citizens, not just those who agree with you.  Belittling other groups is counterproductive, and makes one look small and childish.  Very un-Presidential.  Disrespectful.  Something Trump seems not to understand.  Respect is earned, and treating others disrespectfully diminishes one’s chance at being respected.

I don’t believe our President should be tweeting criticisms about TV shows, or people who disagree with him.  My President has more important things to do.  My President barely sleeps, has no time to watch TV, let alone have twitter wars.  It diminishes respect for My President in the eyes of other countries, which reflects badly on me.

For a democracy to work, it cannot be run like a dictatorship.  The American people will not yield their rights to a dictator.  Perhaps Trump and his supporters don’t know what a dictator is.  Well, it is exactly what Trump proposes with his refusal to meet with certain members of the press.  The elected leader of this country is bound by the Constitution to allow Freedom of the Press.  There are plenty of Trump supporters who know the Second Amendment very well, but many seem to be ignorant of the rest.

I won’t even go into the lies.  I don’t expect politicians to tell the truth, but I do expect them to own up to their ‘misstatements’ and offer a clarification, or an apology.  And an apology is not “I’m sorry you got mad at me when I called you stupid.”  It is “I’m sorry I called you stupid.  That was untrue and unkind.”

Yeah, your candidate won.  And since no charges are forthcoming from those who claim voter fraud or foreign influence, etc., I’ll go so far as to say he won legitimately.  That still does NOT mean he is a suitable representative of me, or people who think like me.  He can’t legislate people away.  He can’t ignore the majority, not for long, anyway.  One group of people does not have more privileges than another.  At least they shouldn’t.  Trump and his supporters seem to think it’s ok to ignore the rest of us.  The British didn’t take the resistance seriously either.  You do know how that ended, right?

Warning!

As many intelligent people, I have been scared shitless that the idiot commonly known as Trump would actually win the election.  Now that it has come to pass I’m even more terrified.  Just watching the people he is putting into key positions, and heading every major department.  I’m fucking horrified.  Every day is worse!

Supreme Court Nominee

National Security Advisor

Attorney General

 

Here is what you can do that might make you feel a tiny bit better.

Call the House Oversight Committee :  Call to demand that Donald Trumps financials be released and investigate any conflicts of interest.  We must make this call NOW!  We only have a few days left to make an impact.

 

Or if you prefer, donate to one of these charities in the name of your favorite asshole. They will receive a thank-you letter for each donation.

Human Rights Campaign (LGBTQ rights)

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

American Civil Liberties Union

Protect the Environment

Anti-Bullying (which will need more support as adults and children learn to bully by watching our “President”.

I am scared and angry and worried for the future.  I’ve started a Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/LSJRevolution/ where I will post on ways to help ensure the safety and well being of the citizens of the US.  I hope to put up information on when, where and how to protest.  Join me in fighting against Trump, his growing circle of incompetents, his followers, and other haters.  Please!

Atheism and War

I’ve been reading a lot of both religious and atheistic blogs and tweets lately.  I follow the Progressive Secular Humanist Facebook page, and subscribe to the American Humanist Association.  Both Atheistic based sites.  The American Humanist group hopes for peace and a belief that all people are equal, and that not all people need religion, and the religion is responsible for many of the worlds ill.  The Progressive Secular group is very similar, but a bit more radical in its approach toward religion.  From what I can tell the Progressives want to ensure a separation between church and state, and slowly make people realize what a drug religion can be.

I don’t hate Christians, any more than I hate Jews or Muslims.  They are all equal (in my eyes) in the state of ignorance they choose to live their lives.  But that’s ok with me.  You can be a Mormon for all I care, I have no preference.  Yet, these are the groups that spawn racial hatred, paint “the other guys” with a much different brush.  Jews are different than Christians, the Christians scream.  The Jews say, they’re right, but we’re going to keep doing what we’re doing and making a good living at it.

The Muslims have taken a bad rap lately.  Unfairly, I think.  More hatred, fear, and distrust seems to be spread about this religion than any other.  Just because a group of radicals took down the World Trade Center, there has been hatred of the Muslim people growing.  Because of a radical sect!   Jonestown was a radical sect.  Look what happened to them.  Not all Muslims are bad, just like not all Christians are bad, the same as not all people are bad.  The entire population should not be judged on the actions of so few.  That’s all I’m saying here.  Even if President Obama was Muslim (which he says he is not) he is obviously not of the Al Qaeda mindset.

And look at the related gospels of each of the major religions.  They all teach us that it is wrong to steal, or commit murder, or covet thy neighbor’s goods.  They teach us to honor our parents and to avoid temptation.  They extoll us to live a good life, doing the right thing.  The central teaching (as I understand) of Jesus Christ was one of tolerance and forgiveness.  The Christian Right isn’t tolerant, or forgiving.  They are holding entire populations at fault for the acts of just a few.  Americans are sent to die when they are sent off to kill the “insurgents” and “terrorists.”  Innocent people are killed, injured and homeless, hospitals destroyed, freeways and roads decimated.  All done in the name of Patriotism when it was really about greed and oil and profiteering.  Religion allowed us to do this.  Not science.  Would we have any wars if everyone believed in science.  The Al Qeada felt the US was too powerful and so decided they had a statement to make.  Should we invade a country to help them throw out their trash?  Let Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Palestine kill their own people with their chaos, distrust, and hatred.  Outside of humanitarian help, we should not send our soldiers to free other countries from their own tyrants.

I’m sick of people telling me the men and women over in Afghanistan and Iraq are/were fighting for my freedom.  They are not fighting for me or my freedom.  Our soldiers are over there fighting for the freedom of the Iraqi and Afghan people–and that’s not a bad thing.  In fact that is more noble to fight for someone else’s freedom.  But I want it clear, Soldiers fighting in foreign places are not fighting to keep me free, but to free another country from a tyrant.

If we want world peace we need to get rid of religion. We can’t force someone to give up their religion, so I guess we will have to live with war always in our future.

I Hate the Media

All of the media, from CNN to commercials.  The commercials I hate most are the ones that run in loops on screens in the grocery store and at the gas station.  We are bombarded constantly by ads telling us our teeth are yellow, our hair is gray and that we are fat.  These are portrayed as negatives and we don’t want to have yellow teeth, so we buy the latest product.  We don’t want to look old, so we buy hair coloring.  We don’t want to carry around that extra weight, so we’ll buy into the pill that allows you to lose weight eating whatever you want, without that bothersome exercise.

I think advertising is fine, but we have to be conscious of the tricks the advertiser play.  They way they make  us feel inferior for not owning a Mercedes, or not buying a Cadillac for your wife for Christmas.  Ads play to our basest desires: to have what the Joneses have.  To have more than the Smiths.  Just to have more or better or bigger.

I don’t understand this.  I mean I understand how marketing works.  It works amazingly well as our retail outlets can attest.  But what about the rough times.  When money is tight do the adverts about buying a car as a Christmas gift make you feel somehow a failure?  That’s what its supposed to do!  They use sex to sell everything from linens to  sugarless gum, and we buy into it.

Buy this expensive car- you will be successful

Buy your wife diamonds-she’ll love you forever

Buy this toy for your kid-he’ll play with it for 5 minutes

Why do we buy into the hype and the garbage?

I had a discussion once with a friend about how I didn’t feel influenced by ads.  She disagreed, she insisted there was no way I wasn’t influenced by at least some advertisements.  I told her the biggest influence over my buying practices was price.  I might try a new product if it were cheaper than my usual brand, but I’m likely to try the other product only once.  So do ads keep me going to the same preferred products?  No, I buy them because they are a reasonable price and do the job I need them for.

What about you, are you influenced by advertisements?  Will you buy something just because you saw an ad for it?  You have a great phone you bought two years ago.  You know everything about it, and can use every feature.  It’s completely paid for.  Then they come out with a new phone, it has better picture quality and a 30 second video capability, and it does everything you need a phone to do.  It costs $500.  Do you buy it?  What if it was only $100? CNN

CNN was the first 24 hour news source.  They spoon fed us the Gulf War in the 90s and we fell in love.  News all day long.  Except it’s all the same news all day long.  They just repeat it every hour.  Sure they have all the talking heads with their own shows.  All worthless.  Before CNN we were able to make a decision or understand a concept without having to listen to a bunch of so-called experts.  Do we really need experts to tell us how to solve the problem in the Middle East?  We are intelligent, thinking people (at least most of us are), why do we need experts to tell us how to think?  There has been fighting every few years since the state of Israel was created.  What is to understand the hate of that place.  No arguments I have heard on the subject have ever convinced me of a reason to go to war, and yet we listen to experts.  We let the experts tell us how the world operates, while it’s really only one person’s (educated) opinion, nothing more.

The bottom line is there has always been fighting in that part of the world, and until  people stop explaining all the intricate ins and outs and realize the truth:  Israel and Palestine will never be friends until they have two generations of peace.  We could use the media to create peace, just as they sell a car.  We’ll pay $500 for the latest cell phone, why can’t we bombard people with messages of peace.  Especially in the Mid East.  Why not use television screens for something positive?

Can of Worms

I’ll probably be sorry for opening this can of worms, but why can’t Palestine and Israel get along?  They’ve been at war virtually my entire life.  Why?  Because Palestine doesn’t like Israel and vice versa.  Well, of course they don’t like each other, they keep bombing the shit out of each other.  Do mothers and fathers indoctrinate their children into hating each other?  Do they read books about hating each other?  Is that all they have is hate?  Can’t their countries produce something beautiful, like togetherness?

I don’t really  want a lesson in history as to who did what to whom first.  I admit I know very little about the whys of Israel and Palestine.  I don’t think I need to know those things.  People are people and all they want is to live in peace in their little place in the world.  If we all just let each other do that it would be a better world.

The bottom line is war can end.  It is possible to stop hating.  Is that really so hard?  People quit smoking every day.  Plenty of people give up drinking.  All of these people have one thing in common: they know their world will be better without the addiction.  I think people get addicted to hate, they have somewhere to aim all of their anger and frustration: complete strangers.

People can change if they want to.  Do the people really want peace?  I truly wonder.

A (Relatively) Short Political Rant

I saw this post on another blog, and it just made me angry enough to try to pen a response.

“I might just have to move there to get away from Obama if he’s re-elected. We’re praying he won’t be. He’s bad news!”

All I could think was, “There’s another one of Romney’s followers who listens and believes the lies spewed.”  I suppose this writer, like so many Romney followers, follows like a sheep to the slaughter, not even checking what is at stake.

For those of you out of the loop of US politics, let me catch you up quickly: The Republican Presidential Candidate, Mitt Romney said (in a secret recording released this week) that 47% of those in the US (who back President Barack Obama) are the Losers of America; the unemployed and unemployable, the mentally ill, the disabled, the vets, the working class, the poor.

Apparently, from the Republican point of view, this 47% of the US is not worth the bother.  We are, apparently, the dregs of society, (albeit 47% seems awfully high to me) and should pull ourselves up by our bootstraps.  They feel they owe nothing to those disabled vets returning from Iraq/Afghanistan that are so disabled either physically or psychically, that they cannot work.  They can go starve, apparently according to Scrooge Romney and His Believers.  The Romney-ites have the illusion that people can control their circumstances.  Maybe you can control it better when you have money.  Most of us wouldn’t know.

Us “Losers” in the US want what Republicans want: life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. I don’t begrudge millionaires their money, but I do take offense at their insistence that the working class don’t do enough to better their lives. “Not making enough money?” says the Republican, “Get a better paying job.” What they fail to realize is sometimes that the one you have is the best paying job. Sometimes you top out.  Let’s be real here, not everyone is Princeton material, right.  But there is nothing wrong with doing a “menial” job.  As long as I was a good worker, worked hard, and made enough to bring home each week I could be proud. 

The Republicans will say there are no jobs because Obama failed.  But when companies like Romney’s started out-sourcing “to keep costs down” and profits high.  That is in fact the attitude nationwide, many of us lost our good paying menial jobs due to out-sourcing.  Obama hasn’t failed, you goofballs, the Republicans thwarted him at every turn.  The world is in financial shambles not seen since the 1930s, and it’s all apparently Obama’s fault.  That it was caused partly by Republican era changes in banking regulations.  The world’s economy tanked because it would no longer fit into the parameters we designed.  Stocks, designed to make rich people richer, drive the economy.  One person can cause a run on a stock with world-wide repercussions.

My H is a driver at a private university. He makes $12 an hour and give us good medical benefits, but not much to live on. Our S also lives with us. He is unemployed and has been for more than 3 years. Neither of them are the most skilled.  Both are smart , but have no school beyond highschool, but in California at least, just about every job requires some sort of degree.  Not all of us have been lucky enough to have an opportunity for college. I worked full time, was a mother and a wife, and for more than 15 years I tried to get my degree. Life would get in the way.  Then the costs kept going up; books, parking, tuition, and fewer classes could be afforded per semester.  So, Mr. Better Than Republican, I tried. I really really tried to get a degree, but after 15 years off and on, I gave up, one credit short of an AA degree.

Depending on where you live, what your economic background is, and what your mode of transportation not every job is open to you.  I am a very qualified secretary. The best jobs are about 35 miles away from where I live. I live where I live because it is affordable. The 35 miles to work is on two of the State’s busiest freeways. Most days it takes 1 and a half hours to go in to work in the morning, and takes nearly two hours to come home in the evening.

Due to MS I can no longer make a drive like that.  My body needs a minimum 9 hours sleep each night, closer to 11 hours after driving long distances.  My government says I am perfectly able to keep working at my usual job.  I recently tested for a job placement agency, my scores were only good enough to take a position below my normal job.   The tests prove I no longer have the mental acuity to work as an Executive Assistant.  I have begun to fall backwards career-wise, and have had to start looking for work as an Administrative Assistant.  About a $20,000 difference in pay, in some cases as high as $40,000.  Because of a disease I have no control over.

I’m sorry, I guess being one of the 47% of “losers” I take personal offense to what Romney said, and am personally infuriated when I see someone blinding following him.

I’m trying to survive on disability payments (60% of my prior salary) while also trying not to lose my house. I didn’t plan on becoming disabled, but voting for Obama seems the only way I may remain housed, because I’m pretty sure Romney doesn’t care at all.

I Almost Hate Zoos

If not for zoos, the panda would probably be extinct.

If not for zoos, I’d never have been able to see a fuzzy blob in a fake eucalyptus tree.

If not for a zoo I’d never have seen the saddest gorilla in the world:  Samson, at the Milwaukee Zoo from  1973 until 1981.

That visit made me hate zoos.  Sampson had a great indoor space: a dark concrete room with one ring to swing on, and no one to play with.  Walls, ceiling and floor all shiny, flat, gray concrete,  and a glass window where we could all ogle him.  Ever since I saw him, not long before he died, I saw such sadness in his eyes I decided I’d never go to a zoo again.

I say I almost hate zoos.  Zoos make me uncomfortable, and sad.  Sad that this is the only way we will ever see these animals alive.  It’s not that I don’t like zoos.  Just that they make me sad.  I feel bad for the birds caged away from the sky and freedom.  Sad for the lion who can’t run across the savannah.  I cry for the elephants’ in their tiny little enclosure. 

It’s not that I disagree with the idea of zoos.  I know they do great work toward conservation and saving animals from extinction.  I’m grateful to the foundations and charities that fund ways of saving said animals and habitat.  I have made my donations when I visited the San Diego Zoo and the Wild Animal Park three times in the last ten years.  No record I’m sure.  They are melancholy days for me, and remember, I’m a depressive.

I know the reality:  Zoos have done a lot of good toward understanding animals and their needs, and I am sure the caretakers care very much for their charges.   If not for zoos I’d never get to see an elephant, or tiger, or any of the other animals, alive, and relatively close.  I just feel sorry for the animals stuck in this cage.  No matter the size, a cage is still a cage.  I keep seeing actor Roddy McDowell as an astronaut in the old Twilight Zone episode where the he is greeted grandly, only to realize too late that he has been caged for display at a zoo.

Before you email and tell me not to be sad, be a part of the solution and donate to zoos and wildlife protection foundations.  I have given to The Gorilla Foundation, The Jane Goodall Foundation, and several charities. I cannot give every year, but I try to make a donation somewhere each year.

I would love to become member of a zoo foundation, but I can’t afford to pay for something the provides no immediate return.   WAIT!!  Before you lecture me about “getting nothing in return.”  I know what it is we lose.  We all lose when it comes to loss of habitat.  We all lose when an animal goes extinct, no matter how small.    But when you’re living on what the average American makes, you’re just trying to make sure your family doesn’t go extinct.

And I care. I care very much about the earth.  It hurts to care and not be able to do much.  Knowing you can’t give because you’re just trying to keep a roof over your head, hurts, in uncountable ways, too.   I would give more, but we’re four of us currently surviving on about $40,000 per year, and a $2200/mo mortgage. Deduct HOA fees, gasoline, and groceries.  I’ll let you do the math.  But I think you can see I don’t have a lot left over to save the elephants no matter how badly I might want to help.

Fathers Day

So it’s mid June and Fathers Day.  To all of you out there without your fathers, I’m sorry.  Fathers Day is sort of hard when your father is no longer around.  My father is no longer around.  Wasn’t in my life for some time.  And now he’s dead two years.

I guess the day marks the time we can thank our dads for being the good dads they were.  But what about the lousy dads?  Like mine.  Narcissistic, self involved and generally only peripherally aware of us kids.  I remember doing all the usual Fathers Day stuff as a kid; buying him ugly ties he never wore, gloves he didn’t need, a lighter to replace the one he already had.  I don’t recall if he liked the things we kids gave him.  I’m not sure how he ever felt about us kids at all.  I don’t know if he loved anyone.

My dad didn’t do the things other dads did, like throw a baseball or football.  He hated sports.  In fact, he made it pretty clear that sports, especially professional football, was a complete waste of time.  He didn’t attend school functions, like teacher conferences and parent night.  I’m sure he attended some events, but I’m sure he didn’t come see me when I had a part in the annual high school musical.

I don’t remember my dad doing much of anything but work, sleep and eat.  I think that’s all he thought a man needed to do; provide the money for food and shelter.  On that end, Dad was efficient.  He worked nights.  This was a time when the night shift would get a monetary incentive.  He also worked weekends and holidays.  I assume he did it for the money.  Although I think he liked going to work, just because he didn’t have to deal with any of us.

There was a long time I was angry with my father for not being more of the dad I felt I needed.  At this point, though, I’ve forgiven him for not being perfect.  In his defense, he is not alone.  After doing a little digging, I have a pretty good picture of who his Dad was, and when it came to setting an example, I’d have to say grandpa was lacking.  I’m sure they tried to make life easier for their kids.  I mean, that’s all any of us can do: our best.  When someone’s best doesn’t measure up, and then we try to idolize people after they’re dead, only serves to fuel my anger.

My dad was not an educated man.  Neither was his father.  I accepted my dad exactly as he was, but there came a time when I was angry that he was not the Dad I had hoped to have.  He seemed weak, and opinionated.  His opinion was the only one that counted–his opinion was law.   Since he was never wrong, I was never right, and when I grew up, I wanted to be right all the time like dad was.   It took me almost 30 years to undo the harm my father inflicted on me, to grow less opinionated, a lot less angry, and more forgiving.

I’m not laying blame at my father’s feet, but stating the facts as they exist.  I don’t hate my father, or even dislike him, though he was quite dislikeable.  But neither did I love him, now, or ten years ago.  He was unable to ever show he cared for his family and that has been a great disappointment to me.  Now that I’m in my 50s I think I understand him better than I did, but I hope I did a much better job at raising my son.  I think I did, because my son still talks to me.

 

Afghan War is Over…Look Out Iran/Syria

Just heard President Obama say the Afghan War is “basically” over.  I guess that means no one is supposed to die any more.  We are only going to stay in Afghanistan for a few years, just long enough to transfer power to the natives.  Are these people so backwards we must train them?  How insulting.  What do we train them in?  Bombs and guns or growing food?

It’s the same war over and over.  First we discover a weakness in another country (or perhaps someone flies through some buildings).  Communists, Muslims, Albinos.  Who ever is available to feel the wrath of the US–the police of the world.

Since when is it our duty to step into these situations?  Oh, right, the oil thing.  That would explain why we don’t have more of a presence in Africa.  Notice how well we stay out of Africa?  Seems like there has been a country in the midst of civil war every year for as long as I can remember.  Do you recall when all of the continent of  Africa was at peace?  Now, do you remember how many times the US stepped in?

George Bush the Ignorant put us into these wars.  He never had an exit strategy.  He only had an agenda.  Even said it was the next guy’s worry.  Is that why we are still there ten years later?  Ten years!  For what?  To turn the country back over to it’s true owners and move out.  I don’t know what was accomplished in the past ten years.  Seems to me thousands of people died to avenge the deaths of hundreds of others.  I hate to suggest it was a “holy” war, but that’s what it seemed to amount to “Christians vs Heathens”

I’m always hearing the US Military is over there fighting for my freedom.  How can a man send people to fight for MY freedom in another country?  Exactly how does that work?   The US Military is over there fighting to avenge hundreds of deaths, or perhaps, eventually, bring the people peace.  But first let’s destroy the infrastructure, kill thousands of people who, if given a choice, would probably have preferred US would fight for MY freedom somewhere else.

Watch out Iran.  Lay low Syria.  You wouldn’t want us to bring you peace.