From a Beatles’ Song

Is today misspent

If tomorrow never knows

And yesterday’s gone?

Often I wonder

What reward is forthcoming

For surviving now

While demagogues rant

And keep children in cages

While walls divide us

I was listening to the radio yesterday afternoon and heard a reference to the Beatles’ song “Tomorrow Never Knows.” I had to pull over to listen and to jot down the first part of this poem that came to me in an instant.

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=RDpHNbHn3i9S4

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.

Grumpy Trump’s on a Roll

Or a sandwich. He insisted on white bread made with a white sandwich spread and served on a white napkin. He said it’s the best sandwich ever. Much better than any sandwich Obama made. Bigger, too.

I asked if he wanted it toasted:

But he just gave me the finger.

Peace, people.

Not Exactly Elf on the Shelf

On Wednesday I received a surprise gift in the mail from friends in Kansas. I couldn’t imagine what the box might contain, but being the overgrown kid I am I ripped into it with wild abandon. Good thing I’m not on anyone’s anthrax delivery list! As far as I know, anyway.

To my delight this is what the box contained:

Note the position of his middle finger, above.

Note the back of the box, below:

I wrestled for a second with whether I should keep the box sealed for posterity’s sake, but again, I couldn’t resist opening it up so trump, the over-reaction figure, could embark on a variety of adventures in the vein of Elf on the Shelf.

I didn’t have to wait long for him to make a move, either. The angry little dude got into my reading material and flipped off Joe Biden’s book:

Maybe I can teach my Trump on the Stump some manners while he’s a guest in my home. I have a feeling I’m going to need to start with the basics, though.

Peace, people.

Breaking News!

On Tuesday while all major mainstream news outlets were carrying word of guilty verdicts for Trump cronies, Paul Manafort and Michael Cohen, the ultra conservative media was singing a different song. Here’s what the Western Journal ran as “Breaking News”:

Wow! They really did a killer job of distracting readers, right? This site’s normal fare includes scathing articles about Hillary’s emails along with high praise for trump.

I subscribe to the WJ (whose name is so similar to the Wall Street Journal’s that one might believe it was titled in such a way as to mislead readers) in order to keep up with what far right conservatives are reading.

The Wall Street Journal, which also tends toward the conservative viewpoint, didn’t mess around with animal cracker stories yesterday.

I watched FOX news on Wednesday afternoon. Yes, I took one for the blog. It may require a year of counseling to shake off the nightmares that watching FOX brings on, but a girl has to make sacrifices.

Their take on the whole thing is that Democrats are just itching to impeach Trump and that Trump didn’t know about anything and if he did it wasn’t important and anyway, “Look! A squirrel!” A sitting president, they said, has never been indicted, so….Oh, and anyway, no one really trusts Manafort or Cohen. In other words, it was a word soup with very little nutritional value.

FOX was even trying to coach Sarah Huckabee Sanders on how to brief the press following Tuesday’s headlines. I wonder if she’ll address the animal crackers scandal?

The big news on FOX, though, dealt with the case of an illegal immigrant who is being charged with the murder of a college student in Iowa. They even broke away from regular news coverage and went live to the courtroom. I wonder why? Do they go live to every courtroom in which a man has been charged with raping and murdering a woman? If so, they’re going to be doing nothing but covering such cases. According to Ms. magazine, more than 1,600 women were murdered by men in 2017. FOX had better get busy. Between that and breaking news animal cracker stories the conservative media has its hands full.

Peace, people.

Handmaid’s Tale, the Series

More than once I’ve read Margaret Atwood’s novel of the dystopian country of Gilead, formerly known as the United States of America. Each reading of The Handmaid’s Tale has caused me to see some new and horrifying aspect of a brave new world in which some women, those who are fertile, are reduced to being nothing more than brood mares, while their infertile counterparts serve men in other ways.

When I first read the novel I was a young mom with two children underfoot, and I was devastated by the main character’s separation from her child. I couldn’t imagine anyone trying to take my babies away, and her heartache was my heartache.

The second time I read The Handmaid’s Tale my children were teenagers, and all I could think of was that my daughter could be used in this birthing scheme, while I would be relegated to being a Martha or an Auntie–someone whose only purpose in life was to cook or clean for a commander and his family.

When I read the book for a third time, Donald Trump had just been sworn in and I had just taken part in a women’s march to protest his misogynistic views. Now I read the book from a whole world perspective. I saw how women, with just a few winks and nods from Congress, could drop rapidly in status just because men declared us to be second class citizens.

Friends kept urging me to watch the Hulu series based on the book, but I was afraid I’d be disappointed. Now, after spending two days binge watching the first season on dvd, I’m in awe. Not only has the series captured the book perfectly in scope and mood, but it has also brought back every one of those emotions I experienced during my past experiences with the book.

The Handmaid’s Tale will take you by the shoulders and shake you until you’re only capable of seeing the paths that lie ahead. We really are on the cusp in this country, and this series reminds us to be wary. Keep resisting.

Peace, people.

We Aren’t Walking Away

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. Abraham Lincoln

My feelings about Donald Trump are no secret. He is not a competent president, and each day since his election has brought some new concern. The latest is his all caps (so you know he’s yelling, I suppose) tweet to the president of Iran:

To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!

What a guy, eh? It’s not enough that trump is in Putin’s back pocket, but now he’s threatening Iran with what appears to be nuclear retribution. Isn’t the way he plays with human lives just adorable?

When I responded to the tweet expressing my displeasure one of his minions suggested I read the “#WalkAway” testimonials, saying that soon I’d be the only one left supporting the Democratic Party.

Apparently no one had told this poor lady that #WalkAway is just one more attempt by Russian bots to weaken morale among progressives. Seriously, I don’t know any true progressive voters who believe this crap, but the fact that some on the conservative side do is telling.

Here’s an example of a #WalkAway meme.

And here’s the Shutterstock photo the man’s image came from:

Here’s another example:

And the Shutterstock photo:

For the record, true progressives aren’t walking away from the Democratic Party. Most of us aren’t for open borders or illegal immigration. We might have our differences, but trump isn’t seen by any of us as a palatable solution. We’ll fight back, we’ll resist, we’ll argue amongst ourselves, but we won’t walk away.

I like the hashtag started by a group of young people who are campaigning for common sense gun reform. It’s #WalkTogether. Now that’s something I can get behind. Or better, beside.

Peace, people.

It Might be Love

I’ve been awfully hard on Donald Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin. The two of them are so cozy that to all appearances it looks like perhaps Trump is committing treason.

But then I got to thinking, maybe, just maybe their relationship goes beyond politics. They might have formed a bond of manly love. Let’s let the two lovebirds have some privacy, shall we?

Oh hell, no. Trump’s a freaking traitor and Putin is feeding him his lines. Here are just a few political cartoons on the subject:

If you’re still supporting this wannabe tyrant, ask yourself why.

Peace, people.