That’s About all I can Take

I’ve been limiting my time on FB, WP, and various news sites to about 2 hours a day.  Even that’s too long.  I am so frustrated and fried.  There’s just so much wrong with our new administration (I will not call him “President.”  Ever.) it’s nearly impossible to keep up.  It feels like we’re pissing on a grass fire.  We’re the Dutch boy with his finger in the dyke.  We’re scattered and self-absorbed.

And we know the risks of being complacent.  That’s what got the US here in the first place.  Too much of the same old same old.  Too great a distance between the haves and the Have Nones.

I know we need to work on the GOP, not the Democrats on Dump.  The Dems are already appalled and frightened, and scrambling to do something, anything, to stop the flood of stupidity and immorality being spewed from the mouth of our (EC-) elected POS.  So, I keep asking myself, how do we do this?  How do you convert a Christian to Islam?  Can you rehabilitate a KKK member?  I know these things have been done.  Maybe not often, but it is not unheard of.  But what I can’t figure out is the “how” of it.

I’ve joined the Indivisible movement.  I’m also involved with the Resist movement.  Just two of probably thousands of little pockets of resistance.   We all have the same goal: impeachment.  Easy fix: take Dump out.  Sniper style.  But I don’t want anyone going to prison.  And really, it’s not a complete answer, because of, well, you know.  Pence.  And Bannon, Priebus, Ryan and McConnell, to name the most egregious members of our political heads.

I ponder these problems every night and wake up wondering what new horror Dump and his crew have devised.  I sign the petitions going around.  I’m writing to my reps.  I can see the Resistance is growing, but how long can we sustain it?  We all know about burn out.  I’ve only been moderately active and I need a script for Xanax, just to keep me from biting the heads off the people near me.

Am I just impatient?  Just hoping for a quick fix?  I know that quick is not how things change.  Just like dieting.  You want to lose 30 pounds so you join Jenny Craig or some such.  Spend your money and buy their food.  After you lose the 30 pounds and feel great, you go back to eating just the way you did before.  Soon you need to lose 40 pounds.

You have to change your way of thinking to become successful in controlling your weight. We must change people’s thinking, and that, my friends, will take a very long time.  Do we have the stamina?  The anti-Trump faction seems much larger than the pro side.  It would seem, then, that we have the numbers to sustain a movement.  Our leadership is increasing: a few Senators and Congressmen are growing balls.  Robert Reich is a leader, and Elizabeth Warren as well.  Bernie Sanders is still relevant.

I’m committed for the long-haul, provided I don’t burn out.  Join me?

Here are some links for additional information on the movements and how they will accomplish their goals.

Can we sustain the anti-Trump movement?

Emily’s List

Change will require more than protests

 

The Dump Years

That’s how I have begun to define the next four years.  The Dump Years, when the US turned to shit.  My only hope is all that shit will somehow fertilize things.  Maybe after the debris settles and the Muslim Americans have been released, and the illegal immigrants are put on a path to legality, we will have a better America.

The shocking thing to me is how singularly idiotic the Trump supporters are.  How clueless.  Do the folks in the Red States really believe he will bring better employment opportunities?  The only way that will happen is if they try to put a pipeline through Ohio and Pennsylvania. There will be jobs, but the land and water will be poisoned.  How can they not see that? Surely, some Trumpsters must be intelligent?  Some must have a college education, or are well read?  Hopefully some recognize the serious error of buying into Trump’s rhetoric.  I hope some of those who voted for him are having second thoughts.

The majority of Trumpsters seem fueled by hatred: of Muslims, immigrants, any non-whites.  They hate our government, our laws, our Constitution.  These otherwise probably normal and pleasant people are easy prey for a guy like Trump who spouts lies as easily as he combs his hair.  No.  Lying surely comes easier to him.  I doubt he even combs his hair, but has someone do it for him every day for $1000 an hour.

His cabinet nominees grows more awful by the day. Here is his latest list as posted by The New York Times (updated Dec. 5, 2016).   Most of these positions require Senate confirmation, but with a Republican dominated Senate, I don’t see a lot of opposition.  I most afraid of the three that do not require Senate confirmation:

November Peace Post

I saw something on television last night where they talked with a lawyer who is now getting ready to take some of the men from Guantanamo to trial.  AFTER 12 YEARS.  These men were incarcerated at the beginning of Bush’s illegal war on Iraq.  They have been held, without charge, and without hope for twelve years. forpeace6

I don’t see these men (I assume they are all men) as my enemy.  I see them as unfortunately mislead people.  How to make peace with someone jailed, without charges lodged against them, for twelve years.  An unthinkable situation for an American to consider.  Since I’ve been taught since grade school, you are innocent until proven guilty, and are entitled to know the charges against you, as well as a speedy and fair trial.

None of this was done for these men.  If they weren’t the enemy of the US, they are now, and why not?  If you locked me up in prison in Iraq, I might expect to be treated badly, not charged, and kept alone with my anger for 12 years.  I think I would grow to hate Iraq and all it’s people.  Perhaps rightly so.

Peace RevolutionI don’t know why these men were arrested.  I don’t know the charges against them.  I don’t know how they have been treated, whether it was with kindness and compassion or a deep disregarding hatred, or simply disinterest on the part of their jailers.

To these men, I apologize on behalf of my derelict government.  What has been done to them should not have been done to anyone arrested in America.  It goes against all our basic principles of law.  I do not understand why this has happened, and I am sure some of them are just as confused.  If they weren’t an enemy of America before, they are very likely now to be very hateful to the US people.  And I can’t blame them.

No one in the US (that I know of) has been in an uproar for the release or trial of these individuals, since they were first arrested.  I don’t know where they came from, or what their affiliation to Al Queda might be.  I’m sure our government doesn’t know either.  Innocent until proven guilty…then why are they still in jail?  I believe something was said that since these men were considered “war criminals” they could be held indefinitely without charge.  A true atrocity of American Justice.  And I for one am ashamed for my country.

Again I apologize to these men and say to them:  I am not your enemy.  I will never be your enemy.  How can I hate you?  I don’t know you, nor you me.  Do you hate me?  We could have a lot in common.  We could be friends in other circumstances.  Do you like to read?  I love to read and could recommend many books to you, some very funny and odd, and others more serious and sad.  Some of these books have obvious messages about which we could have long discussions.religion

Perhaps it is our religion that keeps us separate.  What sort of good does that do: keeping people away from each other, hating and fearing what we do not understand.  I do not know much about your (assumed) religious affiliation, but I am an Atheist and do not understand the need to kill for a god you cannot see, touch or hear.  I do understand that others do not feel the same, however.  Even so, could we not put aside our religious differences and be friends?  I have been friends with many devoutly religious people, and even though I do not understand their need for god, I accept it, and I hope they accept my beliefs as well.

Speak to me, not in anger, but to help me understand your point of view.  If only people would talk before they started shooting, the world would be a much better place, don’t you agree?

I wish these men a fair and speedy trial (at long last).  I hope it is fair.

Know this though, I am not your enemy.  I am no one’s enemy.  For without enemies how could we ever have war?

Karma

Recently I confronted the question of what I would do should my father request to see me before he died.

Estranged from my family for more than 10 years.  I have not seen, written, nor spoken to them in that time.  The only exception being the couple of emails my husband sent my parents to let them know of the birth of their great grandchild.  A few emails that consisted of little more than, “here is a picture,” followed by a “thanks.”  No effort from them to connect, no interest shown in their first great grand child.

Then one day I got a rather long email from my Dad telling me how ill he was; bad heart, poor lungs, lousy circulation and failing kidneys.  He says the latest tests show his kidneys are working at only 15%.  At 10% he will require dialysis.  I don’t know how much to believe.  With just a couple of exceptions, my dad was never ill when I was a kid.  But the times he was, it was the end of the world as we knew it.  He would be dying from the flu, sicker than anyone else in the house.

I feel nothing as I read the email.  In fact, my first thought, unkind as it is, is he should have taken better care of his himself.  He wouldn’t be in this condition if he had listened to the doctors, taken control of his diet, and taken the meds he was given.  I feel no sympathy.  His ailments are caused by the diabetes which has been out of control due to his stubbornness and insistence that he doesn’t have to do what anyone tells him.  How much sympathy can you feel about an ill person who will not take care of themselves?

I wonder if he will ask me to see him if he gets sicker.  Maybe he just assumes that I will drop everything right now and run to his bedside?  Would I visit him?  My inner cynic considers what would be gained or learned from seeing him after all this time.  The little girl in me says I should.  Not for myself, but for him.  I imagine there could be something to be gained my visit, but for the life of me I cannot imagine what sort of miracle I could hope for.  What could he offer me dying, that he never had for me living?  Will I sit quietly and listen to him as he discusses his impending death imparting wisdom?  What of family confrontation?  The rest of my family is also an unknown.  Very likely they will feel my presence is to make sure I remain in dad’s Will.  (Which is certainly not the case, since Mom is alive and there would be little enough to leave behind for all the kids to share.)

Knowing Dad, and being the cynic that I am, I expect neither.  Dad is a narcissist.  He needs attention and pouts when he doesn’t get it.  Perhaps he simply wants the illusion of being surrounded by a loving family?  Pretend, just for the moment that nothing had happened to spoil the fantasy.  Does he expect me to tell him what a great Dad he was?  I suppose I’d have to lie and I will feel like a hypocrite if I do.  Can I accept that to make a dying man feel better about his life?  To make this dying man feel better about his life?

What are the reasons for visiting an ailing parent after years of estrangement?  Is it the hope of a reconciliation?  A deathbed confession?  I know a couple of people who were estranged from a parent who didn’t see them before they died.  I know one person who was estranged and saw his dad before he died.  Chris came away from the experience saddened.  He didn’t go to meet his dad expecting anything, yet he came away disappointed.  Mostly disappointed that his dad never acknowledged any mistakes.

Visit or not, either way, it’s Karma.  At the time I decided that I would liet karma play out.  Perhaps when the time comes my choice will be more easily made.  I never received any more emails.

As it turned out, my decision was very easily made.  No one informed me of my Dad’s death.  I found out accidentally a year after his death.  I guess that’s Karma.  His or mine, only time will tell.