Politics on Facebook.

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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.

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Helpless and hopeless? Not for long.

pexels-photo-457563.jpegHelpless and hopeless is how I feel after every mass shooting. It takes several days to get a grip, especially when the killing takes place in a school.

School shootings are personal. I am a retired teacher.

As the faces of victims cross my screen, I see eager, bright teenagers on the cusp of adult life. Most are ready to conquer the world, to do good, and they sparkle with life. I know them even though I don’t.

Then I see the faces of teachers and administrators who have sacrificed themselves. I know them too. Most educators I have known would instinctively protect their students from harm. I can visualize the coach down the hall opening his locked door to offer safety to running children. I can easily imagine the young English teacher attending to an injured child or colleague.

It is all so sad and unnecessary, so I lick my wounds briefly and then I start to see fiery-red waves of anger. Anger is good for a time. It can be a good motivator. It almost always pushes me to act.

I see anger red when Paul Ryan appears on the news telling us not to have a knee-jerk reaction. Let me tell you something, Mr. Paul Ryan. If it were your dead child lying in a pool of blood you would change your tune. Please don’t ever say that again.

I see red when Thom Tillis of North Carolina (my state) says he is praying for the families. Take your prayers and shove’em, Mr. Tillis, until you’re ready to give up NRA money and take a stand against the AR-15.

I see red when President #45 addresses the Parkland community, vaguely mentioning mental health, but offering no solutions, thus putting an onus on the students for not monitoring the gunman’s social media activity. It’s nice of you to make an appearance among them, though I imagine you’ll stop by on your way to play golf at Mar-a-Lago. And by the way, how much money has the NRA contributed to your follies?

Here’s the thing, the NRA would like to keep us licking our wounds and wringing our hands. Well, listen up National Rifle Association, that’s not what real Americans do. We see red, we get angry, and we fight for change. We fight to elect citizens who will work to enact responsible gun laws and campaign finance reform. This fight is not about taking away anyone’s guns. It’s about money. Do you think we don’t know that?

The pendulum is swinging, the clock is ticking, and the NRA assault on America’s children is coming to an end. That’s how democracy works.

Clever insults.

In 2018, I wish…

Image-1I always welcome a new year with hope and good will. I’m trying to continue that tradition this year but I find it extremely difficult to be as optimistic as I’ve been in past years. This is uncharacteristic for me. As a rule, I’m an eternal optimist, not a Pollyanna but I am generally optimistic.

This year, I started to think about the wishes/hopes I have for you and for me in the coming year. Once I got past the traditional love/hope/peace items, I began to realize that everything else on my list related to the disgraceful language, actions, disregard for the common (wo)man that spews daily from the White House and its current resident. And the lies. Never has there been a POTUS who could even think up as many untruths as this one tells daily.

This administration, along with our current Congress, has caused me to cry and rage in shame many times for an entire year. Making the rich richer and the poor poorer is their primary goal. Or maybe it’s destroying the environment by ignoring science. They’ve also done a bang-up job of alienating our allies and causing further rifts between us and our adversaries.

The best I can tell, no world leaders trust our President to do anything constructive. I used to worry a bit about George W damaging our international image. He did do some damage but our current “leader” makes me miss GW. At least George had a kind face and I didn’t gag when I spoke his name.

Even Pope Francis appears to have serious concerns about this President. He doesn’t usually speak his name in his comments, but it’s easy to tell whom he means to address with his concerns. According to Newsweek, the Pope was as unhappy with 2017 as I. He called it a “wasted year of death and lies, harming the environment and humanity as a whole.”

If you’ve read this far, thank you for letting me get this off my chest. Maybe now I can return to my happier self and look forward to another year. I wish you, and all of us, a year of peace and love and good health. And for myself, the ability to recognize that this, too, shall pass. I can’t change much, but I can change how I react to the injustices around me. I can work locally to elect better people in 2018. I’m sure as hell going to hope for a Blue Tsunami in the next elections.

HAPPY NEW YEAR! I absolutely mean it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opiod addiction — modern day plague.

Needle-syringe-clipart-620x400Everyone’s talking about it, even the President. I’m glad. It’s time. But the more we talk, the more I realize it’s important how we talk about addiction.

There are studies that tell us who is addicted and why they’re addicted. Some think the addict made a bad decision in his youth. Doctors are to blame, say others. Many think the addict is weak and if she would be tougher and stronger she could recover. The theory that addiction is an illness is gaining ground. If only he hadn’t smoked pot when he was twelve maybe he wouldn’t have started the strong stuff. Parents blame themselves. There are as many reasons as there are persons who are dependent on these drugs.

To (mis)quote a Catholic priest who was also a member of Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), “It matters not how the donkey got in the ditch. JUST GET HIM OUT!” Please, let’s get them out. They’re dying at an alarming rate.

If you don’t have a family member or friend who is dependent on drugs, count yourself lucky and don’t hold your breath. It’s just a matter of time. I don’t say that to be a doomsayer. It’s who and where we Americans are now. It’s our reality.

When (not if) you find yourself confronted with an opportunity to interact with an addict and/or the family of one, don’t forget that they are human beings. Flawed? Maybe. Troubled? To be sure. Sick? Yes. But they are people all the same. Just like you and me. They have hearts and souls and hopes and dreams. They hurt more than you and I can imagine. They are someone’s child, sibling, parent, grandchild, aunt, uncle.  The rest of us have an obligation to help them.

As with everything in our society this could, and probably is, going to become political. Don’t let it. Addiction knows no political affiliation, no socioeconomic level, no gender, no age, no ethnicity, etc. Our job is to see that our politicians don’t politicize this issue. Call them daily. Write letters/postcards. Keep after them. Most of them surely know personally someone who needs their help. We need their help and lots of money.

 

 

 

 

EAL flight 212 – the crash.

fullsizerender-7The crash of flight 212 comes into my consciousness from time to time. These days it’s usually Stephen Colbert who takes me back to that time. After Stephen became famous and I became a huge fan of his, I learned that he lost two brothers and his father in that deadly crash.

The crash was (and is) particularly poignant for me because my first husband and I were working for Eastern Airlines at the time, in Charlotte, where the doomed flight went down. I worked in reservations. My now ex-husband worked in the computer lab.

Flight 212 originated in Charleston, SC, landed briefly in Charlotte, NC, and continued to O’Hare in Chicago. Usually a number of passengers disembarked in Charlotte and made connections to destinations other than Chicago.

I remember that morning in September as if it were yesterday. Ironically, the crash occurred on September 11, in 1974. It was a foggy morning. Poor visibility. I remember a loud boom and a bit of a tremor. I wondered, “What on earth was that?” It was a few minutes later, in my car, when I heard the news on the radio. All I could think was, “No, no, no, no, no!”

Then, I couldn’t help asking myself, “Did I book any of those people on that flight?” Fortunately, I don’t know the answer to that question. Flight 212 was a busy and popular flight. Most reservations agents had booked someone at some time on 212. Best not to dwell on it.

The flight left Charleston with seventy-four people on board. Initially there were thirteen survivors. Later three of those thirteen died of severe burns. A co-pilot and a flight attendant were among the final ten survivors.

For days, then weeks, airline employees and others sifted through the sad traces of human life cut short. Some worked the morgue.

I write this piece to honor those workers. My husband was one of them. He worked tirelessly and without complaint. I don’t know if I ever thanked him. I do so now. Thank you, JDM.

NTSB probable cause statement:

The flight crew’s lack of altitude awareness at critical points during the approach due to poor cockpit discipline in that the crew didn’t follow prescribed procedure.  Source: Wikipedia

What a sad, sad statement.

Writing down the sound bites…

There is too much garbage wandering in and out of my consciousness to make sense of it. The sad thing is the junk in my brain is coming straight from #45’s White House. Each day, before I have assimilated the previous day’s craziness, something new and more frightening comes down the pike.

I read somewhere on social media that we protesters/dissenters should write a list of concerns about our so-called leaders at the end of each day. Seriously? If I did that I would be more depressed than I am already. It’s impossible to keep up. The wee-hour tweets alone are enough to drive me over the edge.

Can my sense of humor get me through this? I can usually find humor in almost any situation, no matter how dire. And I have lived through some tough times. The best I can do is catch a smidgen of humor however brief and try to keep hopeful that we will soon begin the impeachment process.

img_1524Will the real President 45 please stand up? Hold on. He’s trying. Whoops. Try again.

I’m trying to make a joke here but it’s falling flat even for me. There is just nothing funny about Bannon being Trump’s mouthpiece. He’s the puppet master and 45 is the ideal puppet. I can’t laugh about that. Bannon scares the hell out of me.

Then there’s Kellyanne. img_1522-2I must admit I did get a good laugh when I saw her Inauguration Day outfit. It’s been well documented and she’s never going to live it down. I kept singing “Send in the Clowns.” (Sorry Judy Collins)

Though I still giggle every time I see a photo of her in her patriotic duds, I cannot help feeling anger and pity for her. She’s sold her soul to the devil. Her evasive style of speaking and her alternative facts are recorded for posterity. Her progeny will read it and weep.

How can a woman as intelligent as she is prostitute herself in this way? I have no answers. I’ll continue to mute the sound on my television whenever I see her face on the screen.

There’s nothing funny about our self-imposed immigration crisis. I won’t even try.

I think I will have to rely on my favorite satirist Andy Borowitz to give me a laugh or two as I struggle to make sense of our floundering nation. This quote from is him is not funny but it gives me a scintilla of hope. And I can count on him to make me laugh soon. Probably before the day is over. Thanks, Andy.img_1526

Before the nightmare begins (2)…

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I dreamed about President Obama last night. We were standing side by side and I had my arm around his skinny little waist. I looked up at him (He’s way taller than I.) and I said, “I love you Obama.” I suppose it was too up close and personal for him to respond, “I love you back.”

He did, however, give me that famous sparkling smile.

I learned recently that I actually know a person or two who are going to PEOTUS Trump’s inauguration (or as I sometimes say in-nausea-ration.) I suppose any inauguration is historic and worth attending. This one is especially so because it’s the first time we’ve elected a fascist.

I’m seventy-three years old and have voted in every election since I came of age. This is the first time I have feared an inauguration would be the beginning of a very long four-year nightmare.

I pray I’m wrong.