How Did We Get Here?

Maybe there has never been a time since the television was invented where stressful and turbulent, and sometimes just downright depressing, news stories weren’t reported.

The 60’s had its protests and riots over Vietnam and Civil Rights, as well as the assassinations of three of its country’s leaders– John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King.

The 70’s had Watergate, a gas crisis, and political protests over racial and gender equality, and some gay rights activism too.

The 80’s had the AIDS epidemic, the Rodney King beating, Iran-Contra, and Ronald Reagan’s assault on the “welfare queens” while he lowered taxes on the wealthy and big corporations (corporate welfare, but Republicans were always fine with welfare that went to the top, but not the bottom. Never the bottom.). The 80’s represents the decade of corporate greed and will always be synonymous with the movie “Wall Street.”

The 90’s had Columbine, a school shooting that, though we didn’t know it then, was only the beginning of what would be known as mass shootings. My twenty-one-year-old self, sitting in her college library, reading the local paper about the school massacre, had no inkling that such a macabre occurrence would someday be as tantamount to America as apple pie.

The 90’s also had Bill Clinton abusing his power for a blowjob, the stained blue dress, and grunge. Oh, how much I loved those flannel shirts. It was cool to dress like a lesbian in the 90’s. But what kind of lesbian would I be if I talked about the 90’s without mentioning Ellen’s monster “Yep, I’m gay” coming out in Time magazine, as well as how much just the existence of Melissa Etheridge singing songs about loving a woman during the decade I was coming to terms with my own homosexuality?  Those two women made this midwestern girl feel not so strange, after all. 

The 00’s had 9/11 and the war on terrorism that included two wars, the Great Recession, and the historic election of the United States’ first Black president, Barack Obama.

The 2010’s had the inception of the Tea Party, more mass shootings, including at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 people were killed, including 20 six and seven-year-olds. As gruesome as that is, Obama still wasn’t able to get Republicans to agree on even a most basic gun control bill. Simple background checks were a bridge too far for Republicans because this is ‘Merica, the Land of Freedom and Guns, Guns, Guns!

The 2010’s was also the decade that saw the election of a self-proclaimed “Real Estate Mogul” and one of the country’s most popular philanderer to the U.S Presidency.  The U.S will feel the burn of having such an inept, self-serving corrupt conman as president for a long time.  It will take decades to get the stench of that piece of shit off our country.

The 2020’s started off with a global pandemic that would go on to kill over a million people in the U.S alone, and over six million worldwide after two years, and counting. The 20’s also saw for the first time in U.S elections the denial of a peaceful transition of power. The former corrupt president lied about the results of a fair and legal election that he lost and tried to implement a plan to retain power. When that failed, only because there were some decent politicians who put Country over Party, the conman incited a coup to invade the U.S Capitol and literally try to kill the Vice President and Speaker of the House.

What a time to be alive. But the crazy doesn’t end there. Said former corrupt president is currently being investigated because he stole top secret classified documents regarding nuclear weapons and nuclear intel and stored them at his golf resort. He’s being investigated for violating the Espionage Act. The FUCKING Espionage Act! We had a traitor in the White House!

But the sickest part about all of this is there are people who call themselves Patriots and wave the American flag while defending said traitor. What a truly fucking time to be alive.

I admit, I wasn’t a huge fan of history class when I was in school. I didn’t understand why it was important for me to know about the Puritans and the Quakers, The Industrial Revolution, or anything that happened centuries before I was born, but I remember being extremely interested in learning about Richard Nixon and Watergate. It was closer to my time of birth and what I knew about Nixon was that he did a very bad thing and that intrigued me to know more. I thought what I learned about Watergate was bad. Future history classes are going to blow future generations’ minds when they learn how the previous criminal in chief tried to destroy our democracy.

Of course, the conman’s actions will only be shocking to future generations if we are able to stop them from repeating. If we elect more politicians like him, his crimes will become the norm. Obviously, we can’t let that happen.

Every generation had its turbulent times. But back in the sixties, and seventies, and eighties, TV was limited. We didn’t have 500 channels back then. But now we do. Between twenty-four hours news channels and endless Internet sites and You Tube channels, some credulous, while others spouting out crazy conspiracy theories, it can be detrimental to our mental health to block out the noise.

Take a break. Turn it off. Escape.

Walking in nature, sitting by the water, reading, quiet drives down remote roads, or cuddling with a pet are all great ways to ease your mind and break away from the stress of the headline news. There’s another thing that takes me out of my head for a little bit. I love looking back to the past. Maybe too much, but that’s beside the point. You Tube is a great way to find videos of a time you may wish you had lived or maybe wish you could live again.

As a kid, I loved the movie “Eddie and the Cruisers.” I wanted to be Eddie so bad. He had the voice. He had the face. He had the arms. And he had the girl. I fell in love with the songs in that movie and I remember searching every mall record store for the soundtrack. I was in high school when I finally found it.

One day, when I was in my “looking back” moods, I searched those songs on You Tube and found a video of John Cafferty (the voice of Eddie Wilson) and the Beaver Brown Band playing these songs during a 1980’s New Year’s Eve set. The video was such a relaxation for me that it is my go-to when I need a stress-releaser.

Here’s the video. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Thanks to the Vaccinated

 I’m not vaccinated. It’s not a political statement. It’s doctor’s orders. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Myasthenia Gravis. I’ve written a couple blogs about it. I’ve had my ups and downs with the disease, but with medication and various treatments, I’ve been living relatively well with the disease in recent years, and it’d been a somewhat quiet seven years or so. But like all good things, that had to end too.

In mid-March my brother had an appointment to get the vaccine and could get me one, too. At that time it was still difficult to secure appointments for the vaccine. Despite really wanting it since I am one of the immune-compromised vulnerable ones, I listened to my body and it was telling me that something wasn’t right. I won’t go into details, but I suspected it wasn’t a good time for my body to take on a vaccine.

Two weeks would prove me right as I was in the midst of a full-blown flareup. Emails to my doctor put me on more medication and orders to stay away from the vaccine until things got better. This was the last week of March and as we head into mid-July, I am doing better, but not well enough to get vaccinated yet. 

I’m hoping a few more weeks changes that, but I’ve been hoping that for months now. I’m not writing about this to get sympathy. I don’t need that. We all have our health issues. I’m writing this to thank the people who have gotten vaccinated.  Because of you, people like me are safer. I know some people are unvaccinated by choice, but I am sure I can’t be the only one unvaccinated for health reasons. 

It is frustrating that politics have played such an integral role in the attitude to this virus, as well as to its vaccine. If the former idiot in the Oval Office would have just worn a mask at its inception, without complaint or political divide, and did not take his own vaccine in secret, maybe over 600,000 Americans wouldn’t have died and today more people would be vaccinated, thus helping to put a stop to this mutating deadly virus. But we’ll never know if that would have happened because, like I said, we had a dangerous idiot in the White House.  

So this blog is to simply thank those who had the good sense to get vaccinated, because while you did it to protect yourselves, you are also protecting vulnerable people like me by slowing the spread of this virus. I read an article a couple weeks ago (I’m sorry but I forgot where) that showed statistics that the more Republican a county is, the less vaccinated they are. The unvaccinated would be at a high risk in those counties, and as I read about the more contagious Delta variant, I am grateful I don’t live in those counties. 

Thank you to everyone who got the shot. 

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

I Can’t Wait Till You’re Gone, Donald Trump

It’s been eight days since the U.S presidential election has been called for Joe Biden, and Donald Trump has yet to concede. Though the election hasn’t been certified, the norm is that the losing nominee concedes so that the winner can begin the transition into their future presidency. 

A lot is at stake during the transfer of power between presidential administrations, mostly in the national security of this country. A president-elect has to be prepared to keep the country safe during the transition, and in order to do that, he needs to know all of our threats. He needs to be privy to all classified information. He needs to see the daily presidential briefs, something Donald Trump is blocking Joe Biden by not conceding. 

Regardless of whether Trump concedes or not, Joe Biden will take the presidential oath on January 20, 2021, and become the country’s 46th president. Say what you want about Hillary Clinton. I know she was a flawed candidate, but she conceded the day after the 2016 election. She lost to a smaller margin of votes in the key states, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania, than Trump lost to Biden, yet, she didn’t sue the states. Plus, she won the popular vote by over 3 million votes, yet she still conceded immediately. 

Yet, here we are. Donald Trump won’t concede because he claims to have won the election, but widespread election and voter fraud stole it from him. He has no real proof. His legal team is losing in court, but that hasn’t stopped Trump from losing his mind on Twitter and tweeting how he has won the election by a lot. 

I thought the liberals were supposed to be the cry-baby snowflakes? Donald Trump is the biggest baby. He didn’t get the name Toddler-in-Chief for nothing. He earned that title. 

This past Saturday, Trump supporters went to D.C for a Stop the Steal march, even though nothing was stolen from Trump. You have to own something before it can be stolen from you, and Donald Trump never owned this election, he never won it. 

Still, tens of thousands of people showed up flaunting their Trump merch–hats, T-shirts, shorts, flags, and banners.  But no matter how many Trump flags they wave, Trump still lost the election. That won’t change. Ever. 

His followers stood out there waving their Trump flags, while Trump played golf. He is literally on the golf course as the tense partisan divide in the country mirrors that of the Civil War, all the while a deadly out-of-control pandemic looms in the background, and Donald Trump is doing nothing about it. Except golfs. That’s what he does. 

 Donald Trump is a useless POS.  The sooner he’s gone, the sooner we can bring some kind of normalcy and decorum back to the office of the presidency. He’s been an embarrassment for far too long. The only reason he wants to win so bad is because he knows the legal battles that await him the moment he is no longer the president of the United States.

I think Donald Trump will find his legal troubles are a lot harder to fight without the Office of Legal Counsel’s protection of “you can’t indict a sitting president” shielding him in court.  As a private citizen, I hope Donald Trump will finally be held accountable for all the laws he has broken.

I think we will soon find out why he never did release those tax returns. 

I can’t wait till you’re gone, Donald Trump. And I know I’m not the only one. 

Below is my favorite parody video made about Trump and all his cronies. God, I hope this comes true. 

Save America

The presidential election is less than four months away. This country has been through so much scandal, investigations, corruption, and incompetence these past three and a half years, it’s beyond a relief that the time we can put an end to this chaotic and lawless administration is merely months away.

And November can’t come soon enough.

I don’t know if the pandemic is making the time go by slower or faster. My days seem to melt together because they’re pretty much the same. Does this make the days feel shorter or longer? Shorter because Wednesday can slip into Thursday or longer because Thursday can still feel like Wednesday? I don’t know, but I’ve been quarantining since mid-March, until about a month ago when I started making weekly trips to grocery stores.

I’m a writer, and luckily I’m able to do that at home, but I used to go to places to write some pages like, my local public library, the Morton Arboretum, coffee houses, and my late-night favorite, IHOP. But these days I’ve been writing at home and I’ve used the quarantine time to finally finish the novel I’ve been working on for the past two years. That feels great.

I’m an introvert at heart, so quarantining probably hasn’t been as hard on me as has been for all the extroverts out there. Aside from writing, I like to cook, read and was always a movie buff.  So add three more activities to the “things to pass the time” list.

As I write about quarantining, the news is swarming about the skyrocket rate of new Coronavirus cases in the U.S and I’m aware not everyone is taking this virus and the need to quarantine seriously. With over 130,000 Americans dead and no sign that U.S cases are going to slow down, please stay home when you can, and if you have to go out, wear a mask.

If we had a decent president in this country, wearing a mask in public wouldn’t be considered political. Under a competent president, wearing a mask in public during a global pandemic would be considered the sensible thing to do. But, sigh, we have neither a decent nor a competent president.

But you can help to change that. If you’re stuck at home, and are neither a writer, nor a reader, nor a movie buff , nor a cook, and you are looking for something to do to help pass the time, I have a suggestion for you – postcarding.

If you want Trump out of office as much as I do, postcarding is a great way to help get people out to vote. There are ten states considered to be swing states that both parties need to win in November. If you have the time, please consider writing postcards to constituents of these states and urge them to get out and vote.

Every vote matters.

You can pick which swing state you want to send your postcard to.  Postcards will be sent to you at no charge, with a pre-written message that you write on each card, but you do have to supply the .35 cent postage.

The ten swing states are, Arizona, Iowa, Maine, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina, and Montana.

Click on the link below:

https://postcardstoswingstates.com/

Every single one of us needs to do all we can to get this narcissistic and authoritarian maniac out of the White House.

 

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Get Ready to Vote

It’s hard not to get political these days as 24-hour news channels, with nonstop talking heads, argue for their side of the political spectrum.  So a certain amount of political partisanship is expected over issues like healthcare, the national budget, gay marriage, abortion, and social security. But political partisanship over a highly contagious virus that infects people with no regard to party affiliation sounds counterintuitive to me.

I’ve stopped watching the White House coronavirus briefs because I can only take so much of an insecure narcissistic patting himself on the back for a job well done, as 81,199 Americans have died from COVID-19, and these are just the numbers from people who died in hospitals. There is no count of people who are dying at home from this virus.

Donald Trump has politicized every aspect of this virus. He has blamed lack of testing on Barack Obama, even though COVID-19 wasn’t around when Obama was president. He has blamed the lack of medical stockpile, like masks, ventilators, and PPE on Obama, even though in February of this year, the State Department sent 17.8 tons of medical supplies to China. But even if it were true that Obama left the stockpile bare, why didn’t Trump do anything to replenish it? He’s been president over three years. Seems like that should be sufficient enough time to order ore supplies, I mean, he certainly found time to golf.

Trump has encouraged this country to become even more politically divided over this virus. He has used his Twitter account to agitate his followers. As Democratic governors have issued shelter-in-place orders, Trump tweeted for those states to “liberate” themselves, and people protested with guns, nooses, and Confederate flags.

Just a few days ago, the Wisconsin Supreme Court overruled the Democratic Governor’s shelter in place order, and within hours bars were packed with patrons crowded close to each other, sans masks or any kind of social distancing.

What could go wrong?

Back in April, Trump estimated the death total by August could be 80,000, and here it is mid-May, and we’ve already surpassed that.

I wonder how differently this pandemic would have been handled if we had a competent President, with an uncorrupted administration, in charge.

But we don’t have that, so all we can do right now is wonder, at least until November. Then we can vote.

 

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Say What You Want About Hillary…

At least she had the courage to testify when asked to do so.

Where are you Donald Trump? There’s a seat waiting for you as soon as you summon the courage. Which we all know will never happen because you are a coward–a corrupt coward.

Round after round, for eleven hours, Hillary Clinton was pounded with questions from overzealous Republicans, pining desperately to catch an erroneous statement from her. But she answered each and every question with the composure and certainty of a fearless leader.

She was a cool glass of water, and the hearing ended with the Republicans unable to find her guilty of a thing. But they had the opportunity to try because Clinton had the balls to show up and President Obama didn’t try to stop her, nor did he withhold any requested documents.

I’ve spent more time than I should have this week trying to get a Republican, any Republican, to explain to me why, if Donald Trump is innocent of the accusations against him, isn’t he testifying? Why has he also tried to block all those who have testified from testifying?

Why won’t he, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo, all raise their right hands and put their words under oath? If everything the president did was so perfect, then why is he trying so hard to hide everything? Why won’t the State Department release all the documents and witness’s notes regarding the phone call with the Ukrainian President and all relating communications?

When I ask this, I don’t get a direct response from my Republican friends. One friend answered by claiming that all of the people who have testified are Never Trumpers filled with raging hate for the president. Her disregard for the men and women who have served their country honorably for decades in nonpartisan, diplomatic roles is disgusting.

Instead of defending Trump by offering a valid defense, they attack the people who work to keep this country safe, with no desire for fame or fortune. The people who do their jobs on a government salary with no need to sprawl their names across buildings.

These diplomats are the enemies of this country?

If you watched the hearings, it’s easy to see they are the saviors of this country/

Also, if you watched the hearings, it’s easy to see why Donald Trump is trying so hard to hide everything.

Say what you want about Hillary Clinton, but at least she showed up.

 

 

 

Pictures I Think a Lot of Us Need Right Now

I sat down with my laptop tonight, unsure what I should write about. The first thing that popped in my head was Donald Trump, because every day we are bombarded with wild headlines about a corrupt president who is using the U.S government to do his personal bidding. These certainly are crazy times, and I wonder in decades to come the questions people who weren’t “lucky” enough to live during this messed-up, chaotic time will ask those of us who did. I hope I have good answers like, “Yes, Donald Trump did all of those criminal things and that’s why he went to jail and stayed there until the day he died.”

But we don’t yet know how this will all end. (Oh please, please, please let me be right about the jail thing!) But if you’re paying attention, you’re probably feeling anxious, stressed, angry, frustrated, hopeless, and maybe more. I know I am. Luckily, I have a very cute dog with the best poses who even if it’s just for a minute or two, can ease my mind of all toxic thoughts and make me smile.

So for anyone who may need this, here are some of my favorite calming photos of my goofy little baby, Phil. I hope it helps you as it has helped me.

 

 

 

 

 

Here Comes Mueller

Robert Mueller is scheduled to testify in front of Congress this week. I just finished reading the Mueller Report a couple days ago. I started the report July 3, and continued through the 4th of July holiday weekend. As I read about an American presidential campaign having so many contacts with Russians, and Russians trying so hard to infiltrate the US in order to influence an American election, I thought solemnly to myself, Happy Birthday, America.

This is where we’ve come.

The polls show that most Americans haven’t read the report. Hopefully it’s because of lack of time – family, work, school, life – and not for a lack of interest because what’s in this report should concern us all.

According to the report, the Russians’ attack on the U.S through social media to sow discord on our democracy was “sweeping and systematic.” There were hundreds of thousands of fake accounts on Twitter and Facebook of Russians posing as Americans and smearing lies about Hillary Clinton.

I remember those lies. I got nowhere trying to convince a man I know that Hillary Clinton was not heading a child sex ring in a pizzeria in Washington, DC. But he believed the conspiracy theorists that told him there were tunnels trafficking children into the basement of the pizza parlor. Another man believed it too because he showed up with a gun demanding to see those tunnels. Luckily the owner was able to talk the delusional man down until the police came.

But there were more lies. So many lies. Social media was run amok with Russian bots spreading those lies, and Americans didn’t know the difference.

We know from the report that the Trump campaign welcomed the support of the Russians. It should make every American shudder that an American presidential campaign did not notify the FBI once during the hundreds of contacts between the Russians and those in the Trump campaign or associated to the campaign.

In 2000,  George W Bush’s debate prep book was stolen, and Al Gore received the book while he was preparing for a presidential debate with Bush. Gore and his team immediately turned the stolen materials over to the FBI. Yet not one peep from the Trump team to the FBI about the Russian interference. That should infuriate every person who calls themselves an American.

The report found collusion with Russia, but Mueller couldn’t determine conspiracy, mostly because those questioned had lied, or had communicated with each other through apps where texts disappeared, or they simply destroyed evidence.

I hope Mueller is very clear about this part because Donald Trump has falsely claimed too many times that there was no collusion.  I hope Mueller is blunt about every pointed question he is asked, especially those questions about obstruction. Trump obstructed justice on multiple occasions.

I laughed out loud as I read a part of the report where Donald Trump tried to get then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to un-recuse himself from the Russia investigation and order the FBI to limit their scope to include only future elections. This made me laugh because I remembered as a child when I did something bad and got caught and knew I was going to be punished, I’d yell “Starting now! Okay? Starting now! You can punish me starting now.” I wanted a do over. I wanted my bad behavior from just minutes ago to be forgotten and only my future behavior be judged for punishment.

Donald Trump wanted a do-over too. It’s funny when children try to get away with bad behavior, but when it’s the President of America it’s abhorrent.

America deserves better.

 

American flag on cracked brick wall

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net

 

 

 

 

Make This Madness Stop…Vote!

Tomorrow is election night. Even if you aren’t part of the Resistance that’s been waiting two years for this day, it’d be hard not to know election day is coming with all the political ads on TV, signs along the roads, and campaign robocalls and text messages inundating your phone, as they are mine. But I don’t complain as my mother does. I understand this is how it goes, and I appreciate the people who give their time to support the candidate they truly believe exemplifies their values and will be the best representation for their community.

I wrote postcards for the party I support and hope to win. As a lesbian with a serious pre-existing condition, it should be no surprise which party I want to take over Congress. One party is currently in court suing the government over the protections for people with pre-existing conditions, claiming the mandate that no insurance company may deny or charge higher premiums to people who are sick, is unconstitutional (I bet Trump doesn’t know how to spell that word).

 I’ll give you a hint as to which party is doing this….It’s the Republicans. 

Also, what should be no surprise to any gay person, the administration is doing nothing to protect the gay community.  On the campaign trail, Trump promised to be the community’s greatest ally while he held up a rainbow flag. I didn’t buy it, but some gay people did as they cheered him on with their Gays For Trump cardboard signs. Even while choosing anti-gay Mike Pence as his running mate, some gays still believed he’d have their backs.   Not sure what they were drinking, but it must have been as strong as jet fuel.

I’m voting against the Republican party for many reasons, but the main one is because this country needs a political party that will check Donald Trump’s dictatorship ways. He truly wants to be a dictator and sees himself as above the law. He once said he could shoot someone on 6th Avenue and get away with it. If the Republicans are his jury, then yes, Donald Trump will get away with it.

Please don’t let Donald Trump get away with it.

Vote Blue.

 

GOP Out

 

Don't Boo

 

 

 

Save America, Vote

So much is at stake this November and this country can’t afford to have over a hundred million people sit another election out.

Our healthcare is on the ballot.

Corruption is on the ballot.

Freedom of the Press is on the ballot.

The survival of our land, air, and water are on the ballot.

Women’s rights are on the ballot.

Gay rights are on the ballot.

Consumer protections against predatory banks and lenders are on the ballot.

Human rights are on the ballot.

Education is on the ballot.

Labor rights are on the ballot.

Save our country. Register to vote. Already registered? Go to vote.org and make sure you haven’t been purged because Republicans are doing all they can to suppress our votes. Vote Democratic and stop the corruption. Republicans are doing nothing to stop Trump from his authoritarian ways. Keep democracy alive and vote to turn Congress blue this November and finally put a check on Trump’s overreach of power.

 

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