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Still not ready for words, except for two that I’d like to get rid of: Liberal and Conservative. Perhaps those labels had meaning once, but now all they do is divide and misrepresent us as individuals and as a unified nation.

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Cozumel, Mexico.

Daily gratitudes: “Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.” — Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daily gratitudes:
The man dancing in his seat at the bus stop today
Gestures of kindness
More time with MKL
Sharing a family recipe with Kelsea
Walks with Christine

Be this. Be a goat. And let’s all come together.

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Denver, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “You’re not to be so blind with patriotism that you can’t face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.” — Malcolm X

Daily gratitudes:
Things to look forward to
Warm socks
Love
Southern accents
Hunkering down

 

I warned you there might be a Part Two, and I’ll warn you there may be lots of parts.

Last night’s speeches at the DNC were moving and inspiring. I will vote my conscience, as so many speakers recommended, and my conscience, or feelings, or instincts, or what have you, is telling me what is wiser for our future in terms of our political leader. We are at the final day of the DNC now. We know what’s ahead of us over the next three months, at least in rhetoric.

I loved the sense of unity that came from the DNC. I was disappointed by some of the criticisms of Donald Trump, and I’m probably among his strongest critics. I did not appreciate Tim Kaine’s mocking tone when talking about Trump. That’s the sort of speech I would expect from Trump himself. As Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high.” That’s how it should be.

I was a Bernie supporter. Not a rabid supporter, but a firm one. I didn’t appreciate the lack of perspective from the Bernie supporters – that they couldn’t see that once Bernie himself said to support Mrs. Clinton, it was time to get behind her, if only for the purpose of not having a President Trump.

People who have known me for decades know that I support the theory of pure Marxism, although it is impossible in practice , as it does not take into account basic human nature and human emotions. Bernie seemed to be carving a path that took that humanity into account, as he proposed change that many considered socialism. If there’s one thing I’ve learned so far in this political season, it’s that labels become weights and don’t truly represent the people on whom they are slapped. I am labelled liberal, but I have some very un-liberal stances on important issues. Since I have that label though, no one ever bothers to question what my actual personal beliefs are.

I don’t like labels.

I’m sorry there was so little discussion about the issues and Mrs. Clinton’s plans to address them; there was none of that from Mr. Trump either. Perhaps this was not the correct forum for them. I didn’t really appreciate the DNC trotting out the Mothers Movement group, although I agree with their sentiments. I didn’t appreciate the focus on gun violence, though I agree with the party line in terms of tightening the purchasing loopholes. It seems the conventions are more pep rallys than platforms. I look forward to hearing the one-on-one debates in the future, where hopefully we will be able to hear EACH candidate talk about their plans to address the issues we face as individuals, families, this nation, and this world.

I loved President Obama’s speech. He seems like the most genuine human on the planet, frustrated by eight years of battling a political machine that doesn’t work. I truly believe he felt, when he set out in 2008, that everyone in politics wanted unity, they just didn’t have a leader to guide them. How sadly wrong he was. Professional politicians often don’t want change. Netflix’s House of Cards is, I suspect, a more accurate representation of how things in D.C. work than anything we’ve seen through mainstream media. I never felt that President Obama bought into all that. He really did want to bring hope and change. Now, at the end of his term, he feels more free to speak his mind, share his passions and his disappointments more openly, be less (if you will) politically correct. I appreciate that. I will miss him, and miss the videos we get of him playing with babies, and the smile that almost always reaches his eyes, and how he is classy and passionate at the same time.

I still remember hearing his first speech at his first DNC in 2004. Ex-Pat and I looked at each other, stunned, and just said “Wow. That guy is going to be president someday.” And we were right.

I read Michael Moore’s “5 Reasons Why Trump Will Win” this evening, and his points are all valid. I just hope that we as a nation come to our collective senses and see that Trump is a dangerous and self-centered man who does not have the best interests of people like me and my husband at heart. He is reckless and unskilled, and has only his own interests in mind.

It’s going to be an interesting fall.

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I seldom get political here. But now, I must. Since I cannot guarantee that I will not do so again, I am calling this Part One. If you have no interest in reading a political-related post based mostly on feelings, I’d suggest you go wash your cat or trim your hedges now.

I cannot stomach the hatred and blindness that I am seeing from appointed representatives within the Republican Party. I have been watching the convention. And listening to nothing but hate. I hear nothing constructive, nothing concrete, nothing positive. Just hateful rhetoric. I don’t think Hillary Clinton is the be all and end all of candidates. But the way that spokespeople in the Republican Party have denigrated her, placed all blame on her for actions that are indeed beyond her sole control, have insulted everything about her as a human being, is unacceptable. People do not speak about each other that way. Not people who I want in charge of the future of this country. They tell lies. They make assumptions. Some of the things they say seem insane. Ben Carson just said, in essence, that she holds Lucifer as a role model, based on a dedication in her graduate thesis.

Mr. Trump spent half of his campaign claiming that the system was rigged. I do not hear him making that claim now that he is the nominee. How does he reconcile that? It’s not fair unless I win? Isn’t that what kindergarteners do? Anyone who has spent any time in New York City knows his influence there, knows who his cronies were (and no doubt are), knows about the lawsuits, the bankruptcies. Anyone who has watched any television knows he has based his visibility on trashy, vile reality television – and I feel justified in saying that because I watched it. How can this man be the leader of America when he is being shunned by former Presidents from his own party – and I’m not a Bush supporter either? How can someone who has admitted, in so many words, that he tailors his ethics to suit the business situation, spill such bile about Mrs. Clinton? He stated on an interview earlier this week that Hillary Clinton created ISIS. Seriously.

I am a believer in you don’t have to respect the man, but for our country to be unified, we must respect the office. The Office of the President of the United States. The statements I’ve heard about Mr. Obama since the race has heated up has shown anything but respect for the office. Even the way that the media refers to him reflects this: I was 16 months old when President Kennedy was assassinated, so I’ve been aware of media coverage of nine presidents, and never in my memory have I not heard a reporter refer to a sitting president as “Mr. Something” or “President Something”. With President Obama, I seldom hear the media refer to him as anything but “Obama”. Perhaps this seems like a trivial distinction, but I feel it reinforces the undertone of disrespect for a man who did indeed have true ideals and hopes of unifying the parties, and unfortunately realized that neither side was particularly interested in doing so. Many of his hopes and dreams died when he saw that sad light.

I am sick of it. I will not be one of those people talking about moving to Canada, mostly because it’s too cold there. I will stay here and vote my conscience and see what happens. But I am stating that I am sick of the divisiveness. I am sick of the myth of the liberal media. I am sick of all of it. I cannot discuss it with MKL, because we don’t see eye to eye, and we know we will not change one another’s minds. I know this hatred is effecting me. It is worsening my depression. I should stop watching. But I feel that that is just turning away because I can’t change it. I want to understand what’s going on. I want to know the truth. WHERE IS THE TRUTH? I don’t know where to look for it anymore.

So I will keep watching. I will keep reading. I will listen to the Democratic Convention to see if the rhetoric there is equally as hateful. I hope that in the debates – assuming Mr. Trump chooses to participate – it becomes evident that Mr. Trump has nothing but attack in him, that his political inexperience is highlighted – because to be a political leader, having political experience IS important – and that he does not form sentences that actually have any meaning. If I were a serious drinker, I’d have myself a game of a shot every time he says something along the lines of “they love me”, “believe me”, “I know more than anybody”, or the words “incredible”, “amazing”, or “huge”. Perhaps I’ll make it a water shot game.

But it saddens and ages me to see our tenuous racial, social, and gender unity shattered by people who are watching a bully take charge, and feeling that bullying is now okay because of it. It’s one thing to be politically correct. It’s another thing to speak your mind. And it’s yet another thing to truly believe in equality and justice. Right now,  it seems we are just watching a train wreck, rubbernecking at the devastating accident occurring before our eyes, unable to look away.

We cannot look away. If we do, we let hate win, and it is the end of all of us. I am a little too young to be an old hippie, but I still believe in the messages of that movement.

Peace and love are the only answers. Fear and hatred will lead us only to the end of days all the more rapidly than we would have arrived in the first place.

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Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Quote of the day: “”Unless the Virgin Mary appears to me on a piece of toast and asks me to vote for the guy, I’m not going to do it.” — CNN reporter Ana Navarro referring to Mr. Trump (This last part of this quote may not be verbatim – I tried to get it down while I watching it.)

Daily gratitudes:
Head butts, snuggles, and spooning from Mr. Man

 

#republicanconvention #acountryintrouble #notimeforhate

 

I’ve been watching the Republican debates with some interest this election two years, not because I’m a fan, but because I’m curious. It certainly is an … interesting collection of options. Ex-Pat and I shared some political opinions, but we could never discuss our opinions. It always turned into bullying and then into some huge personal argument. MKL and I have rather different opinions, and don’t discuss politics much. But I do miss being able to have a dialogue about it. I don’t know enough to base all of my opinions on pure facts, because for one thing, I know that most of what I read or hear is presented with its own media bias and so I mistrust it, and for another thing, I trust my instincts and feelings, as I do on most things. I won’t share my political opinions here (yet) but I’m sure you can probably guess at my leanings.

Do you recall the days when political buttons were a big thing? I do. And this picture reminded me of that. Even though there aren’t any political buttons in this picture.

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Durham, North Carolina.

Quote of the day: “Our great democracies still tend to think that a stupid man is more likely to be honest than a clever man, and our politicians take advantage of this prejudice by pretending to be even more stupid than nature made them.” — Bertrand Russell

Daily gratitudes:
Freedom of speech
Windchimes
My dermatologist
Seeing MKL
Talks with Kelsea

And a Happy 240th birthday to the Marine Corps. Many Marines have meant much to me personally, but all have meant more to us as a country than we can ever understand.

The election was a while ago. And during the election, I was saddened to see the divisiveness between people who supported Barak Obama and people who supported Mitt Romney, but I tried to understand it. However, I was never able to understand the insulting, venomous words that seemed to spew forth from both sides.

Now, Barak Obama is president. More than half of the people wanted that outcome, and so he won. But the hate keeps coming.

I’m not a constitutional scholar. I don’t follow politics that closely. I don’t stay on top of all the international happenings. I admit it. But I do support my country. I love my country. I love my fellow countrypeople. If I had to categorize myself, I’d say I’m a liberal.

And I’m hurt.

I see people on various social media platforms, people whom I know and love, spreading hate. And I want to speak here to my friends:

Reposting things from sites such as “Things Liberals Hate”, and “Let’s Make Fun of Liberals” – hey, I’m a liberal, and I’m your friend. I don’t agree with what you’re saying (though I defend your right to say it) because it’s mean and hateful and doesn’t help our country or its people get along and act as one. Whey would you share things like that? And what’s more, would you come and say that stuff to my face? I thought you liked me. Why are you painting all “liberals” with the same ugly brush. Why not paint something beautiful on a fresh canvas?

When you post a link to an article that says that Obama basically killed the victims of the Benghazi attack, I read it. Maybe I’ve missed something in the mainstream media coverage. I’m open minded enough to think that could be the case, and I know there are some things that the government sweeps under the rug. But when that article spouts suppositions and calls them facts, and makes its own unsupported claims, I feel discouraged. I tried to understand your point of view, and I am saddened by what I see.

And you are Christians- devoutly so. I believe what I believe. And as you know, I believe in spirituality and the power of the universe. I respect your beliefs. I would never judge you for what you believe. I do think, though, that Jesus was trying to bring people together to live a life of harmony and devotion. I also believe that all religions can co-exist peacefully. Acceptance was a large part of Jesus’ teachings. If you’re going to call me a murderer because I believe in a woman’s right to choose, or tell me my child is going to hell because he or she is gay, how am I to react to that? How am I to react to you personally? I find myself praying for YOU, to release the hate in your heart that somehow grown there in the name of things that are holy.

I can see why most of the wars in history have been fought about religion. What I can’t understand is why, if we all believe in the same God, we cannot respect each other’s right to find our own path to that same God.

And I can see how, if your political beliefs differ from those of our elected president, you may feel disappointed, and want something different. That’s why we have elections every four years. But if you love your country, support its leader. Inspire change by your positive actions, not by spreading hateful words. Open your eyes to see that we are all in this together, and we all want the same thing, and to achieve that, we must band together as a nation. I believe our president wants the same thing as we do: a prosperous economy and a peaceful world. Saying you want those things, however, does not make it so. He operates in a political machine that refuses to compromise – I’m not even sure what the good of all the unwillingness to work together within our government is, but I can certainly see it being reflected in the split among people – among friends – within our country. Within our system, the president cannot just say, “This is how it’s going to be”. So, no, he can’t immediately make things better. But he’s trying.

I want us all to try. I want to feel like my friends are people who appreciate our differences. They can know that I will ALWAYS have their backs, and if they need something, they can ALWAYS turn to me for help. It sounds awfully simple, doesn’t it?

I will (almost) end this mini-rant with a reiteration of a Thomas Jefferson quote I posted last month:
“I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend.”

But please, act like my friend. I love you. And remember another quote, this by John Watson: “Be kind. everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

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An ignominious presidency and one that has left impressions on my mind that will never be shaken loose.

  • Three days before my Mother died, we moved her TV into her bedroom, as she was unable to get out of bed anymore.  After much fussing and adjusting, we got it into the proper position and turned it on to find 43 addressing the nation.  My Mother made a disgusted noise and said “Change the channel.  One of the great things about dying is that I’ll never have to listen to that idiot again.” 
  • 43 standing on the deck of the aircraft carrier under the sign “Mission Accomplished”. The irony of this statement continues to plague our country, as we continue to lose soldiers and face every day in Iraq.
  • The image of 43 holding a book upside-down, reading to a class of schoolchildren on 9/11.
  • Again, on 9/11, our nation’s fearless leader flying aimlessly around in Air Force One, as the rest of us suffered beneath him.
  • Coming to the realization, sometime after 43 was elected to his first term, that the reason he was elected was that he made every common man feel that if this guy of average intelligence and questionable business skills could be elected, then anyone could be elected. 
  • “You’re doin’ a hell of a job, Brownie” – juxtaposed with an image from Time Magazine of an elderly lady in a housecoat floating facedown, dead, in the water when the levees broke.  That woman was someone’s mother, someone’s grandmother.  Yep, that was a hell of a job.
  • One should not be bitter about the past, as bitterness is useless.  But it is so difficult to watch my meager retirement money, the small inheritance left to me by my Mother after her years of working and saving, my daughter’s college funds, dwindle away into nothingness because of the poor stewardship, blind eyes, selfish attitudes, self-serving actions, rampant cronyism, and blatant greed that has pushed our economy to its current state. 
  • An oilman tells lies to get us into a war over oil under the guise of democracy and freedom.
  • A shift in world opinion – the US is an arrogant, hostile, greedy young nation that does not play well with others.
  • A stolen election in Florida, with an ambitious, painted woman as the fall gal.  Coincidence that Florida was under the (albeit fairly positive) influence of 43’s brother?
  • An editorial cartoon shortly after 9/11 showing 43 calling Al Gore, saying, “That’s okay – it’s all yours.”
  • My erudite librarian Father’s humorous appreciation of “Bushisms”.  There were a few small books documenting them all that came out periodically over the past 8 years, and I got every one for him until he died.
  • Puppeteer Dick Cheney quietly, determinedly and sociopathically pulling the strings of this clueless façade of a leader.
  • The one positive note: when 43 addressed the nation after 9/11, we were like children looking to our father to help us feel better and make sense of a soul-shattering tragedy.  And that speech was one of the finest.  Whoever wrote it should have been nominated for a Nobel Prize.

 So many indefensible actions and decisions. Such a questionable legacy.  A legacy does not automatically imply good.  But one cannot change perception or history.

 

 

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