One or the other, We fain a belief, or do we? A ballot question.
One or the other, We fain a belief, or do we? A ballot question.
I watch public television all the time. I travel in my mind away from the noise and bluster to places in the world that have frisky lambs, lochs, and waterfalls. I want to be in that world, just for a bit. There are always people who search for the old days, but I don’t want those. Disease, prejudice, a lack of money aren’t quaint or charming. I’m looking for modern charm in places of the world where charm is preserved. I don’t want the crass consumerism, the crowds that leave you without a breath, but I want to see how people get along together, supporting each other, and still taking time out for individuality. I’ve never had much patience for people who raise arguments for the sake of arguing. Arguments make my stomach knot up and my head ache.
Politics always concerns me because people forget that we are a “people” and not just two armies on the battlefield. I watch European governments deal with their parties with relief that there are more than two parties that have seats in power. They change with the whim of the people and sometimes because of events that overwhelm the senses.
They say that the last great generation was that of my grandparents who grew up in a time of strident ideologies that tore families apart, targeted people for genocide, and ripped the surface of the planet apart. People gave all they had to make sure the stridency of hate ended. They believed their sacrifices would protect those who came after from such a fate. Churches gathered resources to protect the innocent. Families gathered supplies and knit socks and hats. The Red Cross had a generosity that today is portioned carefully. Men and women gave their lives, in the military and as civilians. If you had two pots, and your neighbor had none, you shared. Or so the stories tell, and those stories that haven’t been written down or filmed have found a place in the garden of good deeds where you didn’t brag because you did something good. I’ve been told those good people are gone forever, and I’ll tell you know, more are coming up from the shadows where they learned of needs to the bright light where we should again celebrate them…
I live in an area with a high military and government service population. Life is fast-paced here and if you don’t slow down you will never see the good gleaming out in the open. If you are rich, you can take a world stance and be a hero in the public eye. Mrs. Clooney is representing a whole people in a court at Nuremberg, she was the lawyer who recently took the case of the Yadizi people of Northern Iraq. Young girls enslaved, young boys indoctrinated to ISIL, fathers and mothers murdered, what positive could possible come of such a situation? It’s the advocates who agree that there must be a world accountability. But what if you don’t have a lot of money? You don’t have the time? Would you want this happening in your country? We defended these people, so did the Kurds.
There was a couple, both Marines, who took care of things that “needed doing” in the neighborhood and at the school where their children attended. They never did it for the reason of publicity. They did it because it was right. They helped as they could; shoveling snow so that seniors didn’t risk it, rebuilding the crew shed for a high school with materials that were thrown up and now had a chance to serve. They cleaned up after Gradnight celebrations. They stayed busy because they believed community is where things start. They took a lonely neighbor to ball games, invited the neighbors to dinner, and reached out as much as they could. I was saddened when they went back home.
There are so many volunteers providing meals for the elderly, for the dispossessed. The local market delivered four tractor loads of food last fall to be given to needy families. They’ve kept it up. We have a homeless prevention program that advocates, shelters and guides families back into a position where they can resume their lives in a positive way for themselves. Vets who provide services to animal rescue organizations? Vet clinics who foster kittens for adoption? Lawyers who work with families who can’t afford legal advice? PAL’s organizations who foster, promote and find homes for animals from all volunteer systems? Newman’s Own, where all profits are assigned to help those in need. Teachers who stay late to tutor for free? Ball teams that give back to youth in their cities promoting a healthy lifestyle. There are so many people out there who care. These are the greats of our times.
Communities want the same things: a reduction of pollution, services for those in need, medical treatment, an end to homelessness, respect for our veterans, education for the young, jobs, roads, schools. How did we start arguing about these things?
World War II saw the end of the implementation of the greatest social experiment ever. We took care of our own, we gave the world what was an intense reaction to the behaviors of totalitarianism and Nazism. Bullies need a target to be better than in order for them to come to power. Roosevelt used an extensive national program to rebuild a nation whose classes didn’t communicate, to find work for those needing work, and to protect a national call to action by all of her members. It wasn’t perfect, but it established a system and a precedent to protect the “Welfare” or wellbeing of the citizens of our Nation. Seniors were given a chance to be fed, housed, and given medical treatment so they didn’t have to work until their dying day. early education came twenty years after.
Goldwater was the first conservative Republican, believing and creating a manifesto to undo the advances that the Roosevelts had brought forward. Simply put, he believed that our society would become weak if we kept “bailing” people out. That was his choice of word, not mine. I know of few, if any at all, that didn’t advance in life, be it from family, a teacher, the military, with a helping hand.
We’re Americans, not something for one and nothing for others. I’ve got MS. Because of it, I won’t have a pension to retire with, so should I be angry with other teachers who will get a pension that they have earned? I don’t think so. Luck has something to do with where we end up. So does due diligence. So does who you can rely on to show you the ropes to get where you want to be. Point is we are one people. E pluribus unum. We’re different, we’re the same, we’re colorful and bland, we believe in one God or not. We can cherish each other because of our uniquenesses and differences. Screaming hate from one party to the next accomplishes nothing.
Let’s get this voting thing done and go back to our work, dreams, and families. Let’s stand as Americans with the right to disagree, but let’s stand together.
How is it that I am on every fundraising list in the US? I get the queries from both parties. I didn’t sign up. Someone must be making a fortune on selling the list. “If we don’t get a donation from you, we’ll never get the election. Terrible things will happen.” It reminds me of the rhino in the cartooned story “The Giant Peach.” But where it says wonderful things will happen, there is just a gap with the pleas for aid. They promise me destruction, death by checkbook, alienation, and damn it, why haven’t I paid my membership fees to join the party.
Firstly, no one told me I had to pay to be in a party. No one sent me a bill. I just got the dunning letters, pay now or never be in the party again. I hate that. Oh, I’m not a sore loser that my beloved candidate didn’t get enough votes. The system is corrupt, and it isn’t a federal system. There is no way a voter can get enough votes to outdo the super-delegates. Half of the votes come from those super beings living on top of Mount Krumpet, how can you defeat the Grinch?
I am suddenly apathetic about the upcoming election, and that’s new for me. I’m sure I’ll develop enough energy to vote in November. Women’s rights are very important for me. I have a beautiful daughter, raised to be independent and powerful, she’s my reason that I will vote.
I’ve become tired of the voices, screaming, yelling, lying. I’ve become tired of the media’s focus on the loudest voices. I hate PAC money. Money shouldn’t be needed in such grand amounts, but how else can you get face time with so many people. Voting should be a personal thing with the facts and figures having been clearly delineated. We have the internet, TV, radio, and the mail. I think the mail is the best way to get information. You can look at it or not, toss it or put it on the fridge. It supports the US Postal System, which needs those presorted rates. Why do we need millions to run a candidate? I’m not naive. I know that people need to be paid. Ads need to be paid for. Most of the people in a campaign are volunteers. The top hired staff get paid really well, and I resent that on a “I’m only middle class, why should I pay you more than I make” basis. Give me a good platform and I’ll donate.
I want to remain apathetic about as long as a commercial lasts. I’m sending notices back to all of these fundraisers with a note, “I don’t live in your state.” It will relieve the weight on the “Internet tubes.” Look that up if you need a giggle.
So for today, I will trade politics for baseball and root for the Nationals and the Twins. I loved FP and Bob’s outfits last night. Very slick, gentlemen. FP, my dad had a jacket just like that, but he didn’t have the part. Johnson men in our family lose their parts early and replace it with a shining dome of intelligence. I hope the team does a good job, both teams. They have good millionaires playing for them, and they never charge me for their existence. They send me happy emails about silliness and jerseys. They offer, but there is no angst.
Happy Saturday all!
I never thought I’d see the day that teachers would ask parents in approved letters from school administrations to keep the news from children because it would cause discipline charges. If anything, when I taught I wanted my students to watch the news and look for elements of who, what, where, when and why. A short article written to summarize the important news of the day that could be used to teach how the correspondence of knowledge, application and discovery shaped our worlds was a positive thing. Of course, there were problems with discovering what was important and what was simply to incite a feeling that wouldn’t be allowed in polite society. But these days, I’d make sure my children didn’t watch the news when politics are highlighted. Running for the highest office in our land must show figures who, with integrity, have a positive regard for our country, the office, and the outcomes of public service. At least that is what I believed would occur, right up until this year.
This year I am embarrassed to be known as a voter. I’ll be even more embarrassed if I don’t vote. What are my choices? A bully pulpit like Theodore Roosevelt? A moralist? A preacher’s pet? A shrill voice shouting, “Mememe” without room for punctuation? How can these people be taken seriously? If I choose one, whose message is not only consistent but in my best interests to speak about, am I guilty if I promote my opinion about him?
I have never seen such a snarl of childlike behavior coming out of grown men and women. I get emails asking for money multiple times a day as the sky is falling. Watching the skies, I have seen the heaven’s holding in their assigned place, clouds up where they belong, and the wind sweeping up after their parade. Watching the television, I have see a grown man inciting to riot, to violence and then blaming it on anyone but himself. He’s a front runner. I have seen a woman portray herself as one of the people but taking the very money from sources that she had urged her presidential husband to veto during his turn. I have seen an older man criticized because he is over 70 and in good health. How can that be a disability? I have a disability. He’s been at work for over 55 years and now they want a physical before they let him run? Franklin D. Roosevelt didn’t have a physical first and he had heart issues as well as suffered from the effects of polio in his life. Edward Kennedy came out in opposition to forces within our society that were actively seeking to control our every waking moment. He was against racism, poverty, organized crime and intellectually destroying movements who wanted to commercialize our foreign policy. And Humphrey, poor man, struck down by cancer when all he wanted was to make the world a better place for all of us. Jimmy Carter has done more good, and set a better example, after he left the office of president. When he was President, the congress refused to act positively on his proposals. Now the man has not only a sterling reputation for fairness, concern and compassion, but his cancer is in remission because of presidential funding of research.
We pay athletes millions of dollars. A man or woman, working blue collar jobs, will make in their entire lifetimes less than these young men make in a single year. Those who can take time to have a social life, vacation and go to concerts in addition to their occupations will live much longer than those of us who try to exist from paycheck to paycheck. The oil industries, gas industries, and coal industries treat their employees as expendable while they put profits in the pockets of their blue suits (or black suits or even a leisure shirt from Hawaii) and don’t use it to update and safeguard their resources. Then they turn around and swear that prices are so low for the public that it will ruin the economy. Word folks, the people who work to do all of the menial jobs in this country were very appreciative when prices fell. But do the bottom and middle of society not count?
There are people who work for others; teachers, nurses, firefighters and yes, even the police who continue to do their jobs just because they are needed. Bad apples aside, shouldn’t they have healthcare? No, not insurance, yet another bloated industry. HEALTHCARE. You bet they should.
I’ve seen HOAs who work for their communities turn right around and hire management groups who work against them. The management groups are turning quite a profit and neighborhoods become less neighborly as a result. Mine will charge you a 36% fine if you are late by even a day. 36% is about the beginning of title loans, which capture families who have little and are about to have even less. Food is not a luxury. Clean water is not a luxury. We have in Michigan a governor who encouraged Flint to use water they knew was unpalatable and downright poisonous. Can’t we on the bottom pay for a dollar a bottle? How come we don’t have those resources, now that industry moved away and jobs are found at the dollar store?
I’m angry that somehow the spirit of the United States that advocated “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America” has been swept aside and replaced with “We the masses have the right to be prosecuted and detained because of the color of our skin or our income levels or sexual preference to the point of execution that needs no justification and has no limits, to be given fearful messages by leaders that ensure compliance to new legislative whims, to starve, freeze and die of illnesses before our time, to become the least educated country in this world, to have militant organizations terrorize our own people, to destroy our natural resources, to bully and insight to riot whenever it is possible the subjects who live within our borders, to keep out any and all compassion towards the rest of the world, to profit from all moneys taken and abused and misused by the rich…” I’m angry.
I have a right to be angry. I served in the US Army, even though women were given treatment I wouldn’t inflict on a stray possum. I taught in this country’s public schools. I taught in a school system that the newer residents who were wealthier got new schools and the best equipment and opportunities. I also taught on the poor side of town. I taught school children in buildings that were old, worn, and dangerous. I taught where there weren’t enough text books to give each student one, and certainly they were not current textbooks with newly learned science and technology lessons. I put my personal money into buying books for students to read, to learn from, and I was glad to do so. I stayed every day, subjected to every illness that a child brings to school on the hands or in their sneezes when they should have been home safely in bed. I contracted an auto-immune disease. Perhaps the sneezes were part of that, perhaps not. But I want, I DEMAND, that I and every other person on the face of these states that banded together in brotherhood and sisterhood to create a nation that would rise to be a star at the top of the global factions called countries because of its policies that would eradicate poverty, racism, violence, hatred, bigotry, disease, religious zealotry and more. Those who target the poor and middle-income in an effort to increase the divide between the classes need to be put on notice that their moment of greed is at an end and that we as a people will be entitled to live our lives productively, happily and able to share in those “Blessings of Liberty” and tolerance that we were promised.
I remember the 1960s when JFK spoke about working together, when the Peace Corps was a way to serve the world, when Martin Luther King Jr used the teachings of Gandhi to mandate a peaceful reproach and civil disobedience in the face of wrong doing so that the wrong doing would end. I remember Robert Kennedy speaking and the enthusiasm of his voice proclaiming that the time had come for things to start becoming open to humanity and its needs. I was watching the TV as a child when John, Martin and Robert were murdered. I watched my parents who were numb after all of the violence. I wanted the “Blessing of Liberty.” I still do.
Coals of fire upon their head, under their feet Candidates stand on stage Roaring with indignation and inspiration At the records naked, exposed. "Listen to what I say." "The streets are safer, sadder, humbler." "Last resort, lies, destruction." "We Pray. We are sorry they died." But they all nod their heads, Arm themselves. They shake their hands.
They all have words, long and short. Piles of words, tons of words Spewed out in fractious spite called Negotiating. Indifference? Pushed to speed of light responses By moderators moving swiftly with hawks' wings To criticize. Fists, rage, frustration, and discretions, Interrupted when an answer displeases The news, the mighty commentators.
Nice isn't nice. Pushing, shoving, biting, kicking, Threatening all who speak. Cautioning. Who listens, all the while? In silences, the dread of what will come echoes. If humanity can't be reached...