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Category: Serious

Strictly serious.

“Trump Covers Most of the 13 Things We as Seniors Want.”

I knew better than to open an email with this heading from an old friend. Anything with the heading Seniors is usually going to make me madder than hops. But the topic hit two of my hot buttons.

I was curious to see how an otherwise intelligent, successful person could drink the Trump Kool-aid and I am out of the loop on blanket endorsements by older people.

This brief caveat preceded the list of thirteen things seniors want:

“Truthfully, we are usually in agreement with most of what he says but wish someone else was saying it.  But you have to listen to him and not be distracted by his showmanship and obnoxious behavior. But what matters is that he covers most of the 13 things we as seniors want.”

  1. Put “GOD” back in America!
  2. Borders: Closed or tightly guarded!
  3. Congress: On the same retirement & healthcare plans as everybody else.
  4. Congress: Obey its own laws NOW!
  5. Language: English only!
  6. Culture: Constitution and the Bill of Rights!
  7. Drug-Free: Mandatory Drug Screening before & during Welfare!
  8. Freebies: NONE to Non-Citizens!
  9. Budget: Balance the damn thing!
  10. Foreign Countries: Stop giving them our money! Charge them for our help! We need it here.
  11. Fix the TAX CODE!
  12. RESPECT OUR MILITARY AND OUR FLAG!”
 If this was a blanket endorsement by older people, I'm beginning to understand why they are tools for pollsters. Urban dictionary: Tool: One who lacks the mental capacity to know he is being used. A fool.

Here’s my take on thirteen things that seniors admire about “The Donald.”

All of their rantings about morality has sent the far right segment of the older population off the rails. Do a balance sheet of “wrongdoings” of Hillary vs Donald and get back to me.

The demographic that correctly identifies these folks is bigotry not senior. When it serves their purpose they drag God, respect and the military into the equation.

Nothing about Trump’s behavior indicates he has a clue about godliness.

He has totally disrespected the office of the Presidency.

As for the military, I guess many of these folks forgot Trump had bone spurs when it came time to man up.

Older people are not given due consideration and often have to deal with exclusion and marginalization.

To my friend who sent the email; I know I won’t hear from you again and to tell the truth, I’m not sorry.

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Should Only The Rich and Powerful Men Escape Scrutiny for Sexual Misconduct?

Powerful and not so powerful men have always had a sense of entitlement that extended to humiliating women, to include inappropriate groping and touching. Men historically believed they were exempt and inappropriate behavior was passed off as men just being men.

(This is not about those who sexually abuse and exploit children. It is a given they deserve a special place in hell.)

Until recently women kept silent. But no more, however, I wonder if we may have gone a step too far. I have more questions than answers about adult women who come forth years after the fact.

Make no mistake inappropriate behavior has never been acceptable.

It angers me when someone, (usually male) suggests that women invite inappropriate behavior.  However, I do believe we have some responsibility to avoid being victimized. Unless drugged, most women would get the heck out of that situation.

When a woman calls out a famous person, twenty years after the fact, I wonder if the perp was a nondescript accountant or a stockbroker would the reaction been made public? I think not.

In the case of Justice Kavanaugh, during his confirmation hearing, his responses toward Senator Klobuchar did little to support his claim of being a choir boy.

Al Franken’s resignation as a result of a photo of him, hands in a groping position, poised over a sleeping woman, surfaced. At the time, I’m sure he and his co-harts thought it was a cool gag to ridicule a sleeping woman. It was not cool, it was victimization at the expense of a woman’s dignity. However, Franken was an intelligent voice in government. Was his behavior, twenty years after the incident, so egregious he had to resign?

Women voted for Trump, a serial misogynist.

Doesn’t this send mixed signals confusing the issue about what is acceptable? Why did he get a pass and Franken does not?

Now we learn of Neil deGrasse Tyson’s alleged misconduct. This guy makes astrophysics almost understandable. It will be terrible if his intelligence and contribution to society are negated by these allegations. Was the woman making the allegations truly a victim? Where was her voice when the inappropriate behavior occurred?

Even the most dim-witted male in the year 2018 by now should realize women are a powerful force and unwelcome, unwarranted sexual advances will not be tolerated.

My native Texan father, in the land before time, told me to never place yourself in a position of vulnerability. He said, if that fails, “knock the fire out of him and run like hell.” This applies to rich and famous men as well as accountants and stockbrokers.

Crying foul, twenty years after the fact, is questionable. At some point, and I don’t know where that is, women should consider the fable of Chicken Little. It would be terrible if the sky falls in, and we lose credibility by focusing on situations, where we could have taken charge and avoided placing ourselves in a vulnerable situation.

 

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Mother’s Day and the “M” Connection

It occurred to me this Mother’s Day that my ancestor mothers names all began with the letter “M”.  Aside from the initial, these women shared few common traits, but each was a special mother in her own way.

Mattie, my maternal grandmother’s life was a testament to survival.

Her mother died when she was a teenager ending her potential for a better life. Her father remarried and abandoned her to the care of a stepmother who sent her to the fields to chop cotton.

Mattie married caring for her husband and ten children in appalling circumstances. Her rural shotgun shack had neither electricity nor indoor plumbing. She cooked on a wood burning stove fueled by wood she chopped.  Clothes laundered outdoors in a cast iron pot with water she hauled from a well. Feeding chickens, milking cows, slopping pigs and sewing dresses for her daughters from feed sacks completed her workday.

Mattie was a reflection of this environment. As a child and the oldest of her twenty-one grandchildren, I never felt loved by her. I was wrong. As an adult, I realized the special teacakes she baked for me were the only way she knew how to tell me she loved me.

Marie, Mattie’s eldest daughter, was my mother.

As a child, coddled and catered, I was the beneficiary of my mother’s harsh beginning in life. Mother chafed at male domination and inequality in the workplace. She had no hesitation about confrontation if she believed she was right. The problem with that was she had full confidence in her beliefs, even if unsupported.  If alive today, she’d most likely be front and center wearing a pink pussy hat.

Mary Ella, my paternal grandmother, grew up in a male-dominated household.

Sent to live with an uncle when her mother died, she grew up without a maternal role model.  She married my grandfather who had a carefree attitude about providing for his family. Despite living in poverty, she was never bitter about their circumstances. She was a joyful soul. They loved each other and their home reflected that love.

She understood the difference between about quality and quantity. This was a good trait to have, as quantity would never grace her life.  She had the ability to make the ordinary seem special. Her cherished “made in Japan” sugar bowl and creamer sit on my desk today. Ancient and fragile, they hold pens, and pencils and are a reminder that she made me feel special.

On this Mother’s Day, I am reminded of the values that my “M” connection moms gave me.

They are hard acts to follow. I am proud of them and hope they would be proud of me too.

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We’ve Seen Enough-It’s Time to Say Something-Loud and Clear

If you see something, say something…..

Open Carry/Concealed/Carry is a huge mistake; should have never become law.
Guns should be restricted to one’s dwelling for those who feel they must have them. Few individuals have a legitimate business need to carry a gun outside their home.

If you feel you need to carry a weapon to feel safe, you are screwed up. Enjoy your special challenge in the privacy of your home.

Amazon can provide most of life’s necessities. There are a variety of multi-lingual spiritual advisors on television 24/7. Stay home so the rest of us can get on with our lives without fear.

There will never be a way to exclude mental health risks from purchasing firearms.

There are far too many people who fall under the radar; those considered eccentric, different, aloof, or the nutty relative who talks to the television. Treatment for diagnosed mental illness in this country is spotty at best and the uninsured can go suck wind.

Our commander-in-chief barely satisfies the lowest common denominator of decency. His appeal and support are from that same quarter. He has done nothing to discourage gun violence.

Texans John Cornyn,  a lackey for the NRA, and Ted Cruz are a disgrace.

On the Sutherland Springs massacre, Ted Cruz quoted one of the members as saying they left their guns in the car out of respect for the church.

Cornyn’s lip service for taking some action to ban bump stocks and hold government agencies accountable for uploading relevant information to the federal background check system is laughable.

This helps exactly how? It is blatant BS band-aid treatment for a life or death issue in our society.

If politicians believe guns are necessary to carry; then they should feel fine with  citizens bringing guns into government buildings.

Let them see how comfortable they are with their distorted second amendment rights. Most of them are putting their mouth where the NRA money is.

As a sixth-generation native Texan, I have gun owner ancestors. My grandfather provided food for ten children hunting wild game. Were he alive today he would be appalled by gun owners carrying weapons for anything other than shooting deer or killing rattlesnakes. Anyone who needs an assault or high capacity loading weapon to shoot wild game should consider becoming vegan. What’s next – a rocket launcher?

Where does this senseless insanity end? Early voting in Texas begins February 20th. Do your homework. Vote out legislators who are supported by the NRA.

We need new solutions. Our generation has created a huge mess and it is killing people.

 

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Do We Want To Ban Bossy?

Do we want to ban “bossy”?

I don’t get it. What is wrong with being bossy?

Current events in state and national government indicate action stronger than “bossy” is going to be necessary to prevent women’s rights from eroding. Never has it been more important to encourage girls to think independently.

Would we have any semblance of equal rights if women had not been bossy?  If eliminating the word would help women achieve an equal place in the workplace isn’t it likely someone would have considered it long before now.

Rather than eliminate the word bossy, why not present it as a positive quality?

It’s difficult not to fuss over our beautiful daughters, dress them like dolls and focus on their appearance, but when we do doesn’t that send a message that external qualities are priorities? Why not focus on teaching them good eating habits and the importance of taking care of their bodies.

If we are to ban “bossy” why not ban “pretty”, “cute” and “sweet”?

Why not teach young girls to be strong but fair-minded. Teach girls they don’t have to be people pleasers. Tell them that others sometimes say untruthful or hurtful things about us and it will happen many times in their lives.

Give them the tools to develop self-confidence and not follow the pack. Exposing them to the joy of reading and discovering more words fuels their imaginations and promotes creativity.

Authoritarian, commanding, controlling, overbearing, imperious, iron-handed, pushy, overpowering, strict, tyrannical

These are other adjectives for “bossy,” all of which might be used as qualifying skills on a job description for a CEO, male of course. Some of them are unflattering, but I have witnessed their execution from the executive suite on more than one occasion.

Eons ago, in the land before time, my mentor told me “sweet” or “cute” are never compliments. It is what people say when they believe you have no brains. You never hear those adjectives when describing a CEO.

If “bossy” places more women in positions of power let’s think twice before we ban the word.


			
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He Drained The Swamp and Gave Us A Zoo

The current occupant of the oval office shook his tiny fist and declared he would drain the swamp and he did. The problem is he filled the swamp with residents from the zoo.
 
When in the entire history of our nation, has a Treasury Secretary and his wife posed with currency from the US Mint?
 
Mass shootings increase, each more horrific than the one that preceded it. We wait hoping each is the last.
 
Daring dangerous demagogues to play chicken with nuclear weapons is our new normal.
 
Every day brings a  challenge, worse than the day before.
 
The bumbler in chief cannot get through a simple award ceremony without making a mockery of the dignity of the presidency.
 
 If this was a television reality show, we could change the channelKeeping Up With the Kardashians is Masterpiece Theatre worthy by comparison, but our reality is we can’t change the channel.
 
Congress appears to be a captive of the Stockholm syndrome and given what appears to be this administrations leadership capability, the year 2020 seems far away. Will we become more desensitized to chaos to salvage our sanity?
 
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day, the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”—Henry Louis Mencken (1920)
 
The effect of having leadership such as described by Mencken is it will take decades to repair the damage.
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Is There An Argument to Keep Confederate Monuments?

I often remarked that my family was too poor to own slaves.

My heart hurt when I discovered a slave schedule belonging to one of my great, great grandparent’s. Among those listed was a one-year-old child. How would one ever justify a practice that would permit someone to own another human being and their baby? I felt guilt, shame, and remorse for a practice that I find abhorrent.

In light of this discovery, I thought a lot about the confederate monuments. Many want to remove them as painful reminders. Do we eliminate memorials that are painful or can we accept them as reminders, of man’s inhumanity to man?

I am opposed to removing them. As horrible as it was, it is part of our American history. Where does it end? Do we remove Confederate historical markers in old family cemeteries? George Washington owned slaves, as did many others, including Ulysses Grant, who had control of his wife’s slaves. Do we remove their monuments as well?

Should we marginalize those commanded to fight and which wars would we sanction?

America has a lot of history that is ugly, the Salem witch-hunts, and massacre of Native American Indians, Internment camps for Japanese, Germans, and Italians in the US.

I wish slavery had never existed, but it did. Removing the monuments will not erase that part of our history. We own our history, the good and the atrocious. Doesn’t it make sense to pay forward the good and never repeat the horrific?

 

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A Small Town in Texas

I promised myself I’d never write about this, as it felt like a violation of an unspoken trust.

Current events caused me to change my mind.

It was a small Texas town back in the fifties, steeped in Southern Baptist religion and ruled by parents who survived the depression. The town culture was a schizophrenic tug of war of hard line religion, the beginnings of rock and roll and poodle skirts.

My sophomore year of high school began with a change that none of us could have imagined. One of our classmates ended the previous school year as Ronald (not the real name) and started the next as Ronnie. We never knew what the reason was; other than Ronald had a medical event that forced the family to make a decision that would affect the rest of his life. Ronald was popular, outgoing; a star athlete who would no longer participate in sports.

The first time Ronnie appeared in the girl’s locker room to change clothes for the gym was awkward and I imagine something akin to Hell for her. Teenagers can be brutal, but no one uttered one single unkind word to Ronnie. We all shared her pain for a situation she had to accept in such a public way. I’d like to believe even in our naïveté, we admired her courage.

Ronnie didn’t hide but she didn’t socialize much either. She graduated and went to college and enjoyed a successful career.

The female senator who authored the disgusting Texas bathroom bill is a fifth generation native, from a small town probably much like the one I where I grew up. The senator claims ancestral roots from the Texas War of Independence, which infers a strong independent woman with courage.

It’s too bad she didn’t know Ronnie. She could use a bit of her heart and a lot of her courage.

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Voices From the Past On Violence

This week I have no words.

I am posting the words of others.

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“Even today we raise our hand against our brother… We have perfected our weapons, our conscience has fallen asleep, and we have sharpened our ideas to justify ourselves as if it were normal we continue to sow destruction, pain, death. Violence and war lead only to death.”

Pope Francis

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“The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral,
begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy.
Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it.
Through violence, you may murder the liar,
but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth.
Through violence, you may murder the hater,
but you do not murder hate.
In fact, violence merely increases hate.
So it goes.
Returning violence for violence multiplies violence,
adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars.
Darkness cannot drive out darkness:
only light can do that.
Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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“Use truth as your anvil, nonviolence as your hammer and anything that does not stand the test when it is brought to the anvil of truth and hammered with nonviolence, reject it.”

Mahatma Gandhi

 

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