The Debate: To Watch or Not to Watch—It’s Not Even a Question

Last night was the first of the 2020 presidential debates between Joe Biden and the current occupant of the White House. Studly Doright asked if I wanted to watch the event and I thought about it for all of two seconds before saying, “No!”

This will be the first time in many years that I refuse to watch a presidential debate. In 2016 I watched Trump boorishly looming over Hillary Clinton while he lied through his teeth. While she handled the whole intimidation attempt beautifully, I did not. It made me sick to my stomach, and I didn’t sleep at all afterwards.

Trump represents the worst mankind has to offer. He is without honor, solely interested in enriching himself, and maybe his family if their interests happen to align with his own. And he will say anything, do anything, to screw over the little guy in his quest for the almighty dollar.

What did we do instead of watching the debate? We watched Dexter on Netflix. Yes, I’d rather watch a serial killer killing other serial killers than watch Trump bloviate ad nauseam.

Dexter

Peace, people!

Journey into Trumpland

Studly Doright and I drove southwest to Panama City yesterday afternoon to pick up my new-to-me Yamaha Majesty. The nearer we came to our destination, the more prevalent were the signs supporting the re-election of Donald Trump.

Neither of us was surprised. This part of Florida is notoriously ultra conservative, and any Liberal voters are reluctant to advertise their support for a Democrat lest there be nasty consequences.

As Studly and the seller loaded the bike onto the trailer I visited with an older couple out walking their dogs. The woman was a talker.

“We moved here from Asheville, North Carolina,” she told me at one point.

“Oh, I love Asheville!” I said.

“Oh, you wouldn’t now!” She replied. “It’s all hippies and liberals.”

I smiled and winked. “I adore hippies and liberals. In fact, I’m a liberal myself.”

Now, this little woman who’d been amazed that her yappy little dog had taken a liking to me suddenly closed up like a clam. One would have thought I’d grown horns and a tail.

Fortunately Studly had the bike loaded by then and we made our escape. I had images of villagers chasing me with pitchforks and torches. Fun times.

I can’t imagine how wild it’s going to get between now and November. Those pitchforks I worried about might become reality.

I’m not sure why Biden scares anyone! Crazy people.

Peace, people!

Snapshot #269

I love a good bumper sticker, but Studly Doright frowns on me putting any on our cars. When I saw this well decorated car at my favorite vegan cafe, I was struck by a case of “Bumper Sticker Envy.” Oh, to be this visually outspoken.

☮️, people!

The Message

Yesterday morning I went to church.

There seemed to be no consequences. I wasn’t impaled on a bolt of lightning. The ground didn’t open up and swallow me whole. No crowd with pitchforks showed up to exorcise my demons.

Of course it was wise of me to attend a church that prides itself on inclusion. I wouldn’t have gone to one of those that preaches intolerance for any group, or exclusion based on skin color or sexual orientation. In fact, I was prepared to walk out if there’d been even a hint of that. I was a bit skittish.

Several people welcomed me, but I found a spot where I could sit alone just in case I needed to exit for any reason. At my age, nature sometimes calls urgently and with little warning. Thankfully nothing physical interfered with my morning of worship.

The message was delivered by a guest pastor, and it began with a liberal political statement.

Now y’all know I’m a liberal. I detest Donald Trump and everything he represents, but I don’t want politics mixed with my faith. And from the sudden feel of chill in the air I got the distinct impression that none of the other worshippers appreciated it either.

That’s a huge difference between the right and the left. The right seems to relish politics mixed in with their religious beliefs, while we on the left tend to believe in the sanctity of the separation between church and state.

In the end this morning’s message was okay. I wasn’t inspired, but I found some nuggets to take away.

1) Know your audience

Okay, one nugget: Dude, politics don’t belong in the sermon.

Don’t get me wrong, from the notices on the church bulletin board and the pre-service chitchat and morning announcements, I concluded that this is a progressive congregation that believes in service over dogma. They’re all about action. They just don’t want the ugliness of trump, et. al., to interfere with the worship.

Will I go back? Sure. The regular ministers will be returning soon, and I’m eager to hear their message. Hopefully it’s free of politics.

Peace, people.

Feckless, Still

I thought this piece deserved a reblog. I’m so sick of Trump’s endless lies, inconsistencies, and blatant criminal activity, and just as sick of Congress’s failure to act on the behalf of the American people.

https://nananoyz5forme.com/2017/02/20/feckless/

Making the Case that My Mom Would be a Democrat

As far as I know my parents weren’t terribly politically active. They always voted, but I never heard them declare for one party or the other. They tended to vote for the person and ignore party affiliation.

Now I do recall their amusement when, as a fifth grader, I campaigned for Richard Nixon in the R.C. Andrews elementary school mock election. Texas was still primarily a Democrat leaning state back then, so my choice cast me as a bit of a rebel. Apparently, I was ahead of the pack in supporting the GOP candidate. I sure hope I’m not the reason that Texas is a red state nowadays. That’s a burden I’m not sure I could bear.

My mom died more than two decades ago, in late October just after I turned 39. She wasn’t old, but younger than I am now. She’d lived her entire life in Texas. Her peers are now in their late seventies and early eighties. Many have been brainwashed by FOX news and believe that Donald Trump was selected personally by God almighty to be president of the United States, while a few have maintained the dignity of independent thinking and have a healthy skepticism regarding 45.

It bothered me for a while to think that had mom lived into her 80’s she might have succumbed to the FOX News propaganda machine. However, I recall several pieces of evidence that indicate Mom would not be a Trump supporter:

1. She was never a Ronald Reagan fan, even when much of the country was mesmerized by the former actor. Early on she warned me that he was capable of exerting great harm on the country. She had never trusted Nixon either.

2. Mom worked for Planned Parenthood in the mid-70’s and firmly believed a woman should be the final decision maker in matters concerning her own body.

3. My mother was wary of organized religion. She had no use for the likes of televangelists, always scornful of their dramatic public prayer that was more about garnering dollars for their private coffers than about caring for the poor. Mom’s beliefs were private, and she didn’t need to attend a particular church to be a good Christian.

4. She taught me to think for myself, to weigh the good and the bad, and to make informed decisions. And trust me, she could smell a lie from miles away.

Who knows what the years might have wrought? But I’m fairly sure Freida Hall would’ve told Trump to kiss her ass. If she were still living, we would do it together.

That’s Mom holding baby me. Well, it might be me, but I’m certain that’s my mom.

Peace, people.

Fakery

Several days ago I posted a pledge to abstain from using political memes as a way of communicating my opinions on social media. It seemed an easy pledge to follow, right? Just don’t hit the “share” button when confronted with a political meme. But these things are literally everywhere on Facebook and Twitter, and some don’t seem all that political at first glance.

Indeed, sometimes groups that post such memes begin by drawing people in with innocuous images. Then, when they have one’s attention they gradually build to ideas that seek to sway opinions one way or the other. And guess what? Often they really don’t care which side one chooses, they merely seek to divide.

I’m adding a link that will allow readers to test their abilities to winnow the legitimate memes from those put forward by influence campaigns, usually posted by foreign bots. I did fairly well–just missed one, but all it takes is one fake story to go viral and negatively influence thousands of people. Keeping my fingers crossed that the link works. Readers might need to open the link in another browser, or however that works. Technology and I aren’t always on speaking terms.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2018/09/04/technology/facebook-influence-campaigns-quiz.html

An irrelevant photo of my cat. She has no opinion on memes.

Meme-Free Pledge

One of my long-time real life friends wrote this piece and posted it on Facebook. I took the pledge and hope that you will, as well. Thanks, Jim for making a difference. Here’s the pledge:

This political season, I am taking the Meme-Free Pledge, abstaining from sharing any political meme on social media. Like if you approve, Share and substitute your name for mine if you wish to join me!

WHEREAS: There is broad agreement that American democracy is under attack by foreign adversaries by means of spreading misinformation (propaganda) in order to create anger, fear, and mistrust, and

WHEREAS: Some of the adversaries’ most effective weapons in this effort to spread misinformation are memes shared through social media, and

WHEREAS: It is often difficult to know the source of these memes,

I HEREBY PLEDGE to assume that any political meme I see has been planted by America’s adversaries, and therefore, I will not share them, neither in public social media, nor private. This includes secret groups to which I belong and private messages.

I FURTHER PLEDGE to push back against these attacks on American democracy by exposing the misinformation, and if the misinformation is especially egregious, I will report it to Facebook or other social media formats.

I ALSO HUMBLY PLEDGE (this is the hard one for me) in my clarification of misinformation, I will do so with only sourced facts, without emotion, doing my best to avoid insulting or demeaning the poster, using language to the best of my ability that will not sound like a sneer or put down. (This is the hardest part, but the most important.)

Respectfully,

Leslie Noyes with thanks to my friend, Jim Lovell, whose post I’ve borrowed.

Sign of the Apocalypse?

Our cats never, and I mean NEVER, come this close to snuggling. I guess the early morning snow in Tallahassee, or perhaps the “My button is bigger than your button” tweet from trump to Kim Jung Un, has them believing it’s the end of the world as we know it. On the plus side, in either case, I don’t have to make my bed.

And I think we all know trump’s button isn’t bigger than anyone’s.

Peace, people.