More About Reaching Out

How coming from a place of kindness and curiosity can make a real difference.

Today I’m just going to let somebody else do the talking. This TED Talk was powerful. She has a unique perspective and it’s totally worth the 15 minutes of listening. I keep struggling to be open, less condescending, and less judgmental. This was a good reminder of why it’s important and how if done right it can make an impact.

Blogging is Hard!

My struggle to figure this all out. Including my fears, commitment issues, and lack of self-confidence.

Confession time. I…do…not…know…wth…I…am…doing! Just to lay it all out on the table. Up until I started this blog, there were almost no blogs that I read regularly or followed. Sure, I might read one because somebody linked to it on FB or I stumbled across it while searching Google. Especially big ones like Huff Po that are almost impossible not to read or my favorite online writer Jim Wright whose blog Stonekettle Station  is just fabulous (and whose FB posts are almost better!). But other than that, I really didn’t know much about blogging. Including logistics, structures, etiquette, the expected quid-pro-quo with other bloggers, etc. etc.

I started this blog because I felt like I needed an outlet, I enjoy writing, and because several people had suggested to me that blogging might be perfect for me (my passion when talking about politics apparently sounded very bloggish?). All of that may be true, but it doesn’t make me actually any good at it. I’m terrified that I’m screwing this up and won’t get any better. I don’t understand most of the terminology, the tech keeps confusing me which makes everything take at least twice as long, and I still don’t feel like I even have a real “voice”. I am usually pretty witty but I don’t feel like that is coming across in my writing and I’m striving (in vain) to figure out my “niche” in the blogosphere.

I guess I’m putting this all out there as an apology and a confession. I am terribly self-conscious, critical, and battle mightily with confidence. I want this to work and I want to reach people, but the fear that prevented me from starting this for so long is creeping back: I’m not going to be good at this and nobody cares what I have to say. I hope that those things are not real or that they can be changed but it’s yet to be seen. I am going to keep at this, keep reading up on it, try to be smarter about researching it, and really work at it.

Most things in life that I’ve found to be difficult, quickly became things I no longer tried to do. Things that scared me or brought into question my abilities were summarily dismissed as “not in my wheel house” or “not worth my time”. Perfectionism has held me back from attempting or finishing more things in life than I can count. Unattainable self-imposed standards have prevented everything from a college degree to picking up a new hobby. I also struggle with finding balance, and can quickly become almost obsessed with something, finding it difficult to pull myself away to take care of other responsibilities, or even just relax. I want to change all that now. Being *almost* in my 40’s means a long history of self-defeating habits and pessimistic self-talk  (mingled with mental health issues) to overcome. But for now at least, I’m determined to keep trying!

This blog will never be perfection and perhaps I never really will reach an audience or connect with anyone, but for the moment at least I have the will to keep plugging away at it. I’ll keep learning, reading, and writing. My concern about this country and it’s politics is not something that will fade and hopefully neither will my resolve to reach people. I implore you, anyone who comes across this, to please keep checking back! It may be a bit chaotic for a while, but hopefully I’ll figure it out.

For anyone else who struggles with self-confidence or commitment, I hope you may garner something useful from my admission and pledge. I’m going to try and hang in there and I hope you can do the same with whatever scares you!

So…..Angry!

Did Trump’s apparent lack of both careful deliberation and a hierarchical system for approval lead to a terrible decision on Yemen?

So, ya’ll heard about the (arguably) disastrous raid in Yemen right? The one in which one commando and several civilians including children were killed, 3 other commandos were injured, and one of our multi million dollar aircrafts needed to be blown up. Right, so there’s more to this story and it’s making me insane.

Now, not every decision about combat ops are going to be great ones for any president and there’s always a chance of things going wrong and people getting injured or killed. It’s happened to even the best, most conscientious of leaders. But, that is not necessarily what happened here. And to top it off, the administration is lying about aspects in order to shift blame from them to Obama. Well, I’m calling bullshit and am super pissed that it’s not getting more coverage.

In this one action and their response to the outcome, the administration has demonstrated much to us, if only we are paying attention. The decision to go ahead with the raid was made by Trump at dinner, not in the Situation Room or any other room in the White House that is used for official business. There seems to be multiple conflicting stories about how much deliberation there was leading up to the decision, who may or may not have weighed in on the decision, and just generally if it was handled properly or with enough care.

While the military discussed various options for actions in Yemen, the 44th president felt such action “represented a significant escalation of US involvement in Yemen,” as one senior government official under Obama said. – By Dan Merica, Ryan Browne and Jeff Zeleny, CNN

One big thing to consider here is that although this plan obviously made it’s way through a long chain and was initiated by Central Command (because that’s what they do, come up with military plans and submit them for approval), it was not simply a “routine” mission. One of the issues here that should have been weighed heavily by Trump and his team was the fact that it meant an escalation of our presence in Yemen, from one more about air raids and support, to actual boots on the ground. That’s usually the kind of thing that deserves much consideration from the highest levels, beyond DOD. Continue reading “So…..Angry!”

Hypocrisy at its Worst

The democrats are starting to flex their remaining muscles a bit only to be accused of obstructionism…..by the same people who stole a SCOTUS seat!

Oh for fucks sake! You have got to be kidding me with this high and mighty bullshit! Hypocrisy abounds among republicans  right now, saying such things as “I think this is a completely unprecedented level of obstruction”(from the above article). No, no it’s not! And you know why?? Because YOU guys set that “unprecedented level” so high over the last 8 years, we’d need a full 8 years to match it! When you set out from basically the beginning with a planned strategy of obstruct everything and concluded those 8 years with a stolen Supreme Court pick, you lose the right to ever accuse others of an “unprecedented level of obstruction”! Ever!

The refusal to even hold hearings on Obama’s SCOTUS pick was actually unprecedented. It was your job to do that, yet you refused, even when handed a moderate many of you had praised in the past.  Obama won both his elections fair and square with over 52% of the vote, and 365 electors in 2008 (the runner up only had about 45% and 173 electors), and 51% of votes with 332 electors in 2012 (runner up had 47% of votes and 206 electors). So, I think it should have been crystal clear that the American public wanted President Obama and in turn wanted him to do his job of filling vacant SCOTUS seats. That was his right as a democratically elected president and it was your JOB to debate and vote on his picks. You didn’t.

But now you feel like your democratic colleagues are being somehow unreasonable? Nooooope! The American people did NOT want this man in charge and he certainly doesn’t have a mandate or get a pass on anything. Let’s not forget his election results. Trump lost the popular vote roughly 46% to 48%, and only won the electors 304 to 227. AND, it really only came down to 107,00 or so people across 3 states that tipped the Electoral College to Trump! That was only about .09% of total votes! So basically Trump lost if you count only the popular vote (which is how it should be, but that topic is for another time), and won by less than 1 total percent of votes when it comes to the Electoral College.

You don’t get to obstruct a president the majority of Americans wanted in power for 8 years then claim obstructionism against your guy who a majority of Americans didn’t want in office! Fuck you and your hypocrisy! I hope the democrats say no to everything and anyone Trump puts up! Even though we cannot completely stop most things on our own, I’m certainly encouraging my reps to vote no and hold up votes when possible. Payback is a bitch. It may not be completely effective yet, but watch out during midterm elections!

The Sky is Falling

What if Chicken Little was right and the sky really WAS falling?

That was actually one of the names I considered for this blog. The thought being that the fabled story of Chicken Little and his hysterical belief that the sky is falling could have been totally different. What if the sky actually was falling?? It would seem if that’s the case then the hysteria would be pretty justifiable. And the sense of urgency to warn people wouldn’t be considered unreasonable, but would seem altogether rational and necessary.

Ultimately I decided on a different name but I still like the metaphor (I know, that’s not exactly what I mean, but gimme a break, ok?). The concept hasn’t really left the front of my mind though. I wasn’t even planning on writing anything else today, as I’m trying not to inundate anybody who has been kind enough to follow me and I have shit to do in life other than scream into my computer through my fingers. But today’s news once again has left me stunned and feeling like The Sky Is Falling!

I’m not going to go into the specifics except to say this is about the executive order banning immigration and refugees from certain countries, temporarily. What has me freaking out isn’t how terrible the order is, how poorly implemented it was, or the obvious play to his base this is. All of those are issues and terrible in their own right. What I’m concerned about is Trumps reaction to the acting Attorney General of the United States refusing to defend the order in court. Sally Yates had been the Deputy Attorney General under Obama but stayed on at Trumps request to fill the top vacancy until a nominee could be confirmed.

Yates put out a statement basically saying that she is not convinced of the legality or the justness of the order and would not defend it in court. Well our Tweeter-in-Chief did not like that and quickly fired her. He threw some other United States attorney into the position as a place-holder for the racist Jeff Sessions who they are hoping to confirm shortly.

My fear is that we are headed down a road with no checks and balances, removal of autonomy of departments that are not meant to be political in nature, an abandonment of the rule of law, a destruction of the free press, and a total breakdown of the governmental system we’ve lived with in this country for over 200 years. A system we set up based on the US Constitution that sooo many people claim to love and uphold! Yes, I know I sound like Chicken Little, but can you really tell me this isn’t all going through your mind, at least a bit?  It’s just one thing after another. Gagging our EPA, Parks Dept, NASA, etc., telling State Deptartment employees  to “get with the program” or “go” when they filed a completely legal and supposedly “safe” Dissent Cable to voice their concern and disagreement with the ban, the continual antagonism toward and corrosion of public trust in the media, and on and on. Seemingly it will be endless since this is the sort of shit we’ve seen from Trump and his cronies since the beginning of the campaign WAY back in 2015! Oh, and the lies, lies, lies!!

The thing that is causing me the most anxiety though is the republicans in congress and throughout the state governments. Because of their seeming soullessness, greed, and/or stupidity I feel like we have NO power to stop any of this! No matter if every single democrat that holds office in the US or within state governments opposes every single action taken by this administration, no matter if every single democrat or anti-Trump citizen protested every single day, we could not stop all this from happening. We have NO real power anymore to stop the take-over of our government by this fascist plutocracy or kleptocracy or whatever ‘ocracy it’ll end up being! Our last hope was the law and it appears as if they are starting their chipping away at that as well.

If we had at least some actual patriotic, compassionate, and benevolent republicans in power I would feel safe in the knowledge that they would help us put a stop to this before it gets out of control. But I don’t believe that’s the case. It is certainly NOT what we’ve seen so far. Nothing they have said or done over the last 8+ years have led me to believe that will be a possibility. And that is where my fear lies. In the elected representatives that will not have our backs and the millions of people Trump and Tea Partiers have been able to brainwash, gaslight, and dumb-down over time. I don’t think anybody is coming to our salvation. We’re on a sinking ship and the GOP controls the life rafts. If they refuse to deploy them we’re all going down and there will be no rescue.

A Good Article About the EO in Question (Not too technical or biased, just good general info)

 

Samantha Bee is My Spirit Animal!

Why Samantha Bee is one of the best things on television these days.

If you are not watching Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, you are missing one of the greatest things on television these days! Her political commentary and wit, coupled with her fast talking take-downs are a thing to behold. She has definitely done a superior job recruiting writers to fuel her monologues.

It seems every time I watch I’m laughing hysterically, while also feeling called to action. At times (as was the case with this clip of the #ICan’tKeepQuiet Choir, starting around minute 4) I end up in tears. I have yet to watch one of her shows and think “It wasn’t that good” or not agree with pretty much every stance she takes. Several times now I’ve exclaimed to my husband that “Sam Bee is my spirit animal!” or “my soul mate!”. I feel like she is a more realized, better version of my inner self. She is the person I wish I were 🙂

I have no financial or personal stake in whether or not anyone takes my advice and watches her show. But I do believe you’re missing out on comedy gold and some great information. If you want to check her out, the show is on Wednesday’s at 10pm on TBS. But you can get most of the clips from her show online as well.

I’ll leave you with this description of the inauguration, from her show on 1/25/17:

We are “swearing in the concept of white male mediocrity”

Tears for Obama – Fears for America

An emotional reaction to a look back at the Obama administrations accomplishments and a look forward to what’s ahead.

Tonight (1/19/17) on The Rachel Maddow Show, her list of Obama’s achievements and our directive to play defense now was heart wrenching. It should have been an uplifting feel-good-moment because a lot has been accomplished. But it wasn’t. It feels shitty to know that the crap treatment of Obama has continued for so long and will continue despite all the freakin’ great shit he’s done for our country. They (opponents) just cannot bring themselves to give him any goddamn credit! And all the cretins around the internet who are basically just grunting and spitting like cavemen are somehow getting exactly what they (think) they want. We’re arguably going from one of the most accomplished, America-serving presidents of all time to what will likely be one of the most self-serving, dangerous, and greatest failures of all time. I am NOT saying Obama was perfect, or delivered on every promise, or didn’t make mistakes. But I believe the contrast between he and Trump are already innumerable and will only become more glaring as time goes on.

This look back on the Obama administrations successes and the knowledge that we’ll be fighting tooth and nail to hang on to them was very emotional for me. I’ve found myself crying a lot lately and this was definitely no exception. I have great reverence and respect for the Obama’s and the job they’ve done as our first family. They served as a shining example of grace under fire, how to handle even the most vitriolic opposition and threats, and how to hold onto those ideals and people most dear to you. Obama took office in a time of great struggle and strife, when we were perched on the precipice of total economic disaster, already in a recession worse than anything since the great depression. But he came in with an uplifting message of hope, and despite some setbacks and mishaps and unparalleled obstructionism, lifted our country out of financial ruin, put Americans back to work, & fought and won battles for social justice.

I’m proud to have voted for President Obama twice and am ashamed of my fellow Americans who cast their vote this time for Trump. I believe history will agree with me in my assessment of the contrast between the two. I believe this upcoming presidency will turn out to be a complete and total disaster in the eyes of the world and historians. My tears are for the loss of the high standards we once placed on those occupying the White House and the future which is so uncertain. I will miss you president Obama, first lady Michelle, and the little girls we watched grow up, Sasha and Malia. To you I say:

“Goodnight and good luck.” – Edward R. Murrow