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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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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?

Ancestry – What’s in your DNA?

Recently I spit in a test tube and had my DNA examined. I thought it would be interesting to know a little more about my ancestors. I can’t say I learned anything new. Heck! I didn’t even validate what I thought I already knew.

I was not particularly thrilled with the results. I grew up in the mountains of North Carolina so, of course, I was hoping for a smidgen of Cherokee. Nowadays I think most North Americans wish for a little Native American. Why is it we pine for a drop of native Continue reading

Be brave. Bloom.

IMG_2026“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” — Anais Nin

Almost every day I stumble upon a quote that speaks to me. This one might seem to some my age a bit delayed – even too late. I don’t think so. It’s never too late to bloom.

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.