Politics on Facebook.

Featured

donkey_elephantEvery day I observe political postings on Facebook. I think that’s okay. I don’t mind seeing people promoting the candidates they like.  I do it too. Perhaps too often.   My theory, though, is that anyone who doesn’t care for what I post can block me or block a particular group that I’m prone to posting fairly regularly. I block occasionally. I have done so a few times recently.  Sometimes I delete the dissenting comment and carry on.  My opinion is just that — an opinion.  Please know that I have done a great deal of research before deciding whom I’m supporting.

When I first signed on to Facebook I gleefully jumped into the fray believing that surely the person who posted was longing for my thoughts on the matter. It took me longer than it should have to realize the poster probably didn’t want opposing  comments.  I learned much more quickly that I didn’t want them. That begs the question, “Why post political propaganda if no response is required?”

I’ve thought about this a great deal during our never-ending political season.  I believe it is human nature to want to voice our choice for a given political office. It feels that way to me and I’m obviously not alone.  It’s probably also natural to want to express our views on the candidates we oppose.  But maybe we should do that in our own space.

I’m still trying to figure out FB etiquette.  As far as I know there’s no guide to help me on my way. That means I am left trying to do unto others as I would like them to do unto me.  I’m not always successful but I try.

I dislike giving space on my site to dissenting views.  I’m a Democrat and I’m voting for Hillary Clinton.  I neither want nor need anyone to tell me I’m nuts for doing so.  And I’m assuming  they don’t want me to write in their space that I think they’re crazy for voting for one of those bloviating loose cannons running on the Republican ticket.

One more thing.  If either of the two GOP front-runners should be elected, the US, and indeed, the rest of the world will be in deep doo-doo. That’s my opinion.

Note: This is a blog post not a Facebook post. Dissent if you wish.

Out of the mouths of babes…

I’ve been cleaning for some time now so I can sell my house and move to smaller quarters. I’m finding really cool memories amongst the junk. This is one of my favorites so far. I have seven lovely granddaughters and one of them wrote this wise treatise. I’m still trying to figure out which one.

Here’s what it says in case you can’t make out the writing:

If a woman was president…

There would be flowers everywhere. She would love her country so much that people would try to stop being mean. She would give everybody a house and stop homeless ness. There wouldun’t be as many wars because women don’t like killing. She would make peace with everyone. She would help kids. It could happen.

Wise words from a small child. Our little girls, and big girls,too, really need a woman in the White House – now more urgently than ever.

Ageist, sexist, racist.

image_ABC8D8E3-7FBB-4AAE-8E9D-4FB07EAF0CBE.IMG_0351 Before I acknowledge that the title of this post means me, allow me to make one very important statement: No matter who is nominated to run against Trump, I will vote for her or him.

I don’t want to rant or rave, so I will calmly state this once, get it off my chest, and then apply what energies I have left to other endeavors. Neither Joe Biden nor Bernie Sanders should be our Democratic nominee for president. Call me an ageist, but Joe and I are the same age, and Bernie is even older. I recognize that both have more energy and better mental acuity than many our age. They don’t, however, have the high levels they had twenty years ago. They may think they do but they are wrong.

We have watched presidents come and go – most old-ish, a few young. One notable thing they all have in common is how dramatically they aged while in the office of President. Even Kennedy’s angst showed on his face and he was able to serve less than half a term. President Obama aged better than most; so did President GW Bush, but even they grayed at an impressive pace.

It’s a hard job – one of the most demanding on earth. We want someone who, unlike our current White House resident, takes the job seriously. It’s a 24/7 assignment. My experience with aging tells me that I want a younger candidate. Sorry, Joe and Bernie.

Now to the sexist/racist political commentary. It’s time for the centuries-old patriarchy to recede. Old white men (OWM) have brought us to this dysfunctional state of woe. Even when we defied the odds and elected Obama, our OWM refused to allow him to do his job. (Think Mitch McConnell.)

There are more women than men in the country; therefore there should be more women than men holding public office. Indeed, our country is demographically a patchwork of diversity. Our elected officials should reflect that diversity. Alas, we aren’t even close.

We are making progress. If all eligible women would get out and vote, we could move beyond this snail-like pace we are currently treading. The greatest way to accelerate progress would be to elect a woman for President this cycle. What a concept. Maybe that’s the real reason I think Joe and Bernie shouldn’t run. OWM have screwed us. No pun intended. It’s our time. Hear us roar!

 

Walking with Bob Dylan.

IMG-0055I go for a walk every morning. My goal is to walk the better part of an hour. I usually walk a little over two miles, starting out with a podcast. Some of my favorites are The Daily, Ted Talks, and Fresh Air. If you haven’t discovered podcasts, check them out. There’s a wealth of information and entertainment at your finger tips.

Some of my podcasts run a half hour or less and that isn’t enough walk time. That’s when I go to my music and more often than not listen to Bob Dylan.  I have a wide range of musical tastes. In fact, I like almost all music. Why, then, do I choose Dylan so often? The first of several reasons  is a practical one.  Many of his songs are verrrry long. Two or three songs and my walk time is over. The notion of only a few songs tricks me into thinking I haven’t walked very long.

Pragmatism aside, I have many reasons to listen to Dylan. I like what he expresses in his songs and I enjoy the way he delivers his work. I know most of the words to most of his songs; thus, I can stroll along singing with him; speeding up for an upbeat song and slowing down a bit for a more sedate number.  I consider him not merely a song writer, but a poet.

I’ve never been a fan of poetry. (I imagine that makes me less educated in the eyes of some folks. So be it.) However, when it comes to the poetry of Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, I’m all over it. Some have called these two gentlemen the best of 20th century North American poets. I agree. Someone described Dylan’s work as “poetry for the ear.” I declare the same for Cohen’s immense body of work. I suppose this means I want my poetry set to music. That’s not surprising considering how much of my day is spent listening to my favorite, and some new, artists.

In 2016, Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. There was a little controversy over their choice. He is the first songwriter to receive the this award. The committee said he was so honored “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.” Indeed he has done that, in my opinion.

If you like this great artist as much as I do, I’m “preachin’ to the choir.” If you don’t like Dylan, but you do like poetry, check out his lyrics on the web. Go to bobdylan.com (this is his official site) and you will find a list of his songs. Touch the title of a song and the lyrics will magically appear on the screen. Listed below are a few of his best poems/songs:

Masters of War; A Hard Rain’s A Gonna Fall, Blowin’ in the Wind; Like a Rolling Stone; Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright; It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)

 

The star spangled banner, long may she wave.

pexels-photo-457563.jpegI would take a knee for Colin Kaepernick to show support for his cause, but I fear I wouldn’t be able to get back up. I bet he would give me a hand up if I did.

I think it’s important to note that he is not breaking the law when he drops to his knee. In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that we cannot force citizens to participate in these so-called patriotic rituals. These include both the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

Some would argue that it’s one of our American traditions. And that’s true. But consider, if you will, that tradition isn’t always a good thing. Slavery comes to mind. Not educating girls and women. Male/female pay inequity. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture

Those whose religion teaches that one’s allegiance should be only to God do not pledge to the flag nor do they put their right hand over their heart during the National Anthem. Pay close attention the next time you watch a game on TV. You may spot people on the field or in the crowd who are not participating. They are within their rights not to.

Part of being free is not being forced to show loyalty. Not to the flag, the President, the anthem, the country. I remember the flag burners during the Vietnam war. I was horrified when I saw them on the nightly news burning Old Glory. I wondered, “What are they thinking?” That’s when I took a long hard look at what freedom means in the United States.

One of our most important rights is our freedom to express ourselves. It is so important that it’s included in the First Amendment. That’s what the flag burners were doing: they were protesting what they considered an unnecessary and unjust war. That’s what Kaepernick is doing; calling attention to police brutality. That’s what protesters all over this country are doing; giving energy and importance to issues that matter to them. It’s their right. It’s our right.

I don’t believe that we have a duty to honor these cultural traditions. I personally respect and observe them because I choose to. But I don’t expect someone else to do as I do when their conscience tells them otherwise.

I’m not sure whether voting is a duty. Some call it a privilege. I consider it my duty. When the polls are open I’m going to go vote. Well, generally I early vote.

This November, North Carolina and several other states have midterm elections. This is an important election. Please vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The star spangled banner, long may she wave.

pexels-photo-457563.jpegI would take a knee for Colin Kaepernick to show support for his cause, but I fear I wouldn’t be able to get back up. Despite the fact that I’m a white woman, I bet he would give me a hand up if I did.

I think it’s important to note that he is not breaking the law when he drops to his knee. In 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that we cannot force citizens to participate in these so-called patriotic rituals. These include both the Pledge of Allegiance and the National Anthem.

Some would argue that it’s one of our American traditions. And that’s true. But consider, if you will, that tradition isn’t always a good thing. Slavery comes to mind. Not educating girls and women. Male/female pay inequity. I could go on and on but I’m sure you get the picture

Those whose religion teaches that one’s allegiance should be only to God do not pledge to the flag nor do they put their right hand over their heart during the National Anthem. Pay close attention the next time you watch a game on TV. You may spot people on the field or in the crowd who are not participating. They are within their rights not to.

Part of being free is not being forced to show loyalty. Not to the flag, the President, the anthem, the country. I remember the flag burners during the Vietnam war. I was horrified when I saw them on the nightly news burning Old Glory. I wondered, “What are they thinking?” That’s when I took a long hard look at what freedom means in the United States.

One of our most important rights is our freedom to express ourselves. It is so important that it’s included in the First Amendment. That’s what the flag burners were doing: they were protesting what they considered an unnecessary and unjust war. That’s what Kaepernick is doing; calling attention to police brutality. That’s what protesters all over this country are doing; giving energy and importance to issues that matter to them. It’s their right. It’s our right.

I don’t believe that we have a duty to honor these cultural traditions. I personally respect and observe them because I choose to. But I don’t expect someone else to do as I do when their conscience tells them otherwise.

I’m not sure whether voting is a duty. Some call it a privilege. I consider it my duty. When the polls are open I’m going to go vote. Well, generally I early vote.

This November, North Carolina and several other states have midterm elections. This is an important election. Please vote.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DNA – putting the fun back in dysfunction.

I wrote a few weeks about investigating my ancestry. Since then I’ve garnered some unexpected and interesting circumstances to consider. IMG_0097

In the past two weeks I learned that I have a very close familial DNA connection with someone I never knew existed.

I don’t really understand DNA jargon and numbers and probabilities. I decided I must pay dues and join an ancestry community in order to learn as rapidly as possible. It’s slow going. There’s much to learn and it requires untold hours of my time. I know that DNA is a scientific study and I have great respect for science. It seems to me, though, there are an awful lot of variables. I don’t yet have a grasp of what’s for sure and what’s iffy (for lack of a better term). I think I need help – a tutor maybe?

Here’s the deal – I have a match so close that she almost certainly has to be my sister or my niece. The match is on the paternal side of the family. I imagine you see where I’m going with this. I have one brother (deceased) and a father (deceased). I obviously cannot ask either of them the defining question. The birth mother is not known. Well, she is known by someone. The information is in a sealed record in Raleigh, our state capital. Closed adoptions were common (maybe even the law?) in the 1960s.

It seems unconscionable that my new relative cannot get access to this information. I  suppose the biological mother would have to give consent if she’s still alive. All other parents and possible parents are deceased, including the adoptive parents. My sister/niece is not asking, nor is she expecting, anything from her biological family. She wants to know that she has roots. It’s not too much to ask.

I haven’t met her yet except by telephone, text, and Facebook. She looks like us. She’s seems nice and kind. She’s intelligent. The rest of the family would probably be drawn to her if we were at party. She has a sense of humor – that runs in the family. She has our wide grin. I’ve told her about some of our quirks and familial dysfunction. It didn’t scare her.

We could use you, S, to help put a little fun in our dysfunction. We’re looking forward to meeting you in person.

Nosy Nelly.

photo-38I used to read “Dear Abby” in my daily newspaper. One issue that came up frequently was “How do I answer when a friend or acquaintance asks me a personal question that I don’t wish to answer?”

Abby had a number of possible replies – Why would you ask me that? Why do you want to know? That’s personal. – Or sometimes, when Nosy Nelly is persistent, That’s really none of your business. Or perhaps a gentler version would be Let’s not go there.

Unfortunately, when Nosy Nelly is being her most inquisitive self, there is no gentle version that will deter her. She goes into a rapid-fire mode and makes numerous inappropriate inquiries, causing me to want to throw something at her, like maybe a serious reprimand about how damn nosy she is and how she needs to get a life.

Here’s the thing – the other side of Nelly is a kind, gentle, caring woman who goes out of her way to do for others. She doesn’t call attention to her acts of kindness. I truly believe she would take the shirt off her back and hand to a friend (or a stranger) if she thought they needed it.

The last paragraph doesn’t solve the problem of Nelly’s inquisitiveness, but it makes me pause and reevaluate my relationship with her. I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Neither do I want to spend a lot of time with her. Somewhere there’s a happier balance. I’ll keep pondering. Any suggestions?