Friday, November 11, 2016

THAT'S HOW THE LIGHT GETS IN

We lost a giant in music yesterday. The lyrics to this song,"Anthem", describe how so many of us feel about now. It is as appropriate today, if not more so than in 2008.  A "crack in everything".. But we must remember, as he says, "That's how the Light gets in.." 

RIP Leonard Cohen




We will see the Light again.

Love and Hope for tomorrow,
Marilyn

THE YOUTH SPEAK

"Tonight was food for my soul. I spent the evening with 4 teenage youth whose compassion and world views left me inspired. We laughed. We cried a little. We made jokes about Putin. We listened to George Harrison. We talked about our fears, especially for our marginalized friends in this country. We talked about our own struggles with bullying and depression. We sang.

My faith, philosophies, practice, and way of life tell me that no matter who you voted for, you too have worth and dignity and are deserving of love and respect. You are a Buddha to me. I'm not going to unfriend you nor stop trying to have a dialogue with you based on your beliefs, and I recognize there is grave danger in thinking that way.

I also recognize that rural, working class America has been, in large part, disenfranchised, and this election was a manifestation of that anger and a way of saying 'We still exist.' I know you, too, have had pain and economic despair, and while I think you have chosen absolutely the wrong leader who does not represent your best interests at all, this shows that we as a nation failed to listen. I hear you.

We truly live in two Americas now. I just wish there were some way for me to convey in my heart of hearts to those of you on the other side that the fear for their lives and personhood my friends are feeling is REAL. My black friends. My trans friends. My queer friends. My immigrant friends. My Muslim friends. My female friends who now know that what kind of domain they have over their bodies may rest in the hands of someone who admittedly views said bodies as objects. The persecution of these groups is nothing new, but we have a president elect who has endorsed this persecution, and so that fear and despair has been exacerbated. 8 trans youth have committed suicide since yesterday. If you still really don't think such oppression exists in supposedly the greatest country in the world, it does. It's real. So please try and take some time to understand that. I beg you.

I wish I had answers to such chaos. I could talk about peace and unity, but that's really just rhetoric. We can't have either of these until we put an end to such atrocities our siblings are experiencing. Let's make it so."

Signing off at 5:40 am.            

Cameron Young
Director of Lifespan Religious Education
Westside Unitarian Universalist Church
Fort Worth, TX
**************************************   
I appreciate your interest in my perspective. 
I voted for Hillary, and admittedly, I was shocked and appalled that Trump won. As everyone knows, none of the polls predicted he could have won, and watching Florida and Pennsylvania swing Republican left me feeling pretty hopeless.

Policies aside, I believe that the U.S. President has much greater duties than the head of the executive branch and commander-in-chief. The president should be a role-model for children and reflect the values Americans hold most dear. Unfortunately, I feel Trump has fallen vastly short in this regard, and I fear for a generation that looks up to him. He blatantly lies, makes racist, misogynistic, homophobic remarks, and relies on petty insults and horrendously inappropriate language. Trump lacks the grace and respect for others that the U.S. President needs. Trump capitalizes on the fears of voters and the American people. Trump wants to build a border wall, a project that, in my opinion, is a step away (from) world peace and cooperation. To my greatest dismay, Trump denies global warming. Trump hopes to weaken the EPA and reverse the role Obama has played in green energy, which I find incredibly ignorant, irresponsible, and disgusting. One's respect for the Earth often indicates a degree of intelligence, and in this case, I think it highlights Trump's selfish, egotistical mindset.


I could continue, and I want to continue. However, the U.S. has made its decision. Trump is going to be president, and no amount of protesting is going to change that. The election IS over. A beautiful aspect of America is the peaceful transition of power, and the American people need to remember how lucky we are to be in a country where an election like this wouldn't result in a civil war.

At first, I found it hard to look at my friends who voted for Trump, but I realized how wrong it was to think differently of someone I respected for political reasons. I still love my friends who voted for him, and I feel guilty for doubting that. I think America needs to move past the election. 

Citizens need to remember that we are all fellow Americans. Those who think Trump will ruin their lives are exaggerating. The divisive nature of our country caused this awful election, and I hope that we learned our lesson to prevent another election like this. Trump-voter or not, we all need to keep our heads up and continue striving to make this world a better place for the next generation." ..Tanner


Like any proud grandmother, my eyes teared up as I swelled with pride for these two young men. Cameron is my oldest grandchild, and Tanner voted for the very first time this year. He is a senior in high school. When I wrote him that he was no longer the little boy I remember so well. (The one who hid from me in the library cupboard.) He responded, "I'll always be a kid at heart. I promise!"

I have highlighted many events in the lives of these two on this blog. They are among the finest in the nation of their generation. Their parents, my older son Craig, and daughter Carajean and her husband Branch, are to be congratulated upon raising such fine men. Our future will be secure in their hands one day. They are handling the election results better than a lot of us "elders".

Cameron first posted the above on his Facebook page following election night. I heard from a good friend who remembers him from his childhood days singing at our Unity Church, "I was incredibly impressed with what Cameron posted on Facebook. Wonderfully astute young man. Hope I'll be voting for HIM for president some day!"

We might  just do that, Pam.

Peace, Love, and Hope for our future.
Marilyn

Addendum:

I'm sorry to interrupt the flow if you were reading this, but I just received a powerful statement from my granddaughter, Hannah, who is Cameron's sister. Not old enough to vote yet, but look out, world, she's on her way!

"It is frightening and hurtful to me that a man who ran a campaign based on fear-mongering and the scapegoating of already marginalized people
could ever win the presidency. In these days following the election, I've had it shoved down my throat again and again that not all of the people who cast their votes for Trump were hateful bigots, and did it for 'purely economic reasons'. Forget that fact that no part of me agrees with his economic policies, but even voting for him because you want a few tax breaks is turning your backs on people who are facing a very real threat in the form of this man.

I can't help but feel that, on Tuesday, the system failed us. I am scared as a woman, as a sister to a biracial woman, and a friend to all communities. Women's diseases are a very real possibility in my family, and, because Planned Parenthood is basically doomed, I might one day be at a place where I can not afford, therefore not receive, the lifesaving tests that they offer. My close friend's family is covered by Obamacare, and as soon as it is repealed, she will no longer be able to afford her birth control. Already, we are seeing people of all minorities, be it gay or Latino, being accosted on the street, because the election of Trump told bigots that their hate is both okay and justified. We are facing a real possibility of a conservative Supreme Court, which will have the largest lasting effect. With all of this and more, it's hard not to feel that we, as a nation, are doomed.

But we will persevere. We will continue to march in protests, with signs proclaiming that, 'Love Trumps Hate', as is within our 1st Amendment rights (though Republicans seem to have glazed over this fact in their hurry to proclaim their 2nd Amendment right, but oh, well). And I feel blessed that the first election I will be able to vote in is the 2018 midterm elections, because we will get a Democratic majority in Congress, if I have to go out and walk every street in America myself, campaigning for the Democratic candidates. But people ages 18-44 voted overwhelmingly for Hillary. Statistically, if millennials had been the only ones voting, only about three states would have been red. So I have hope. I have real hope in the future for a kinder, safer, and more empathetic America for everyone who cares to come. And I hope to be working on the front lines of this change. On Tuesday, a glass ceiling was meant to be shattered, but I still have hope that someday soon it will. Either way, #ImWithHer, always."


The apple doesn't fall far from the tree in our family, does it? Proud Dad, Craig is with me I'm certain when I say "I'm with HER".

You go, girl.
Love,
Grandmama

Thursday, November 10, 2016

THE DAY AFTER THE DAY AFTER THE ELECTION


I continue to get feedback from family and friends regarding the aftermath of the presidential election. Here are a few..

"I am embarrassed and afraid for my country. I feel so sad that I've left this kind of nation for my children.".. son Craig, Dallas, TX

"Well, it looks like the U.S. did exactly what Putin wanted...It is too bad, indeed....My dad was a highly-skilled, blue-collar worker and he would never have voted for Trump. Dad especially would not have voted for Trump when he started talking about what a great leader Putin is, but I will betcha that most of my cousins voted for Trump. Some of them are blue collar and some of them are white collar. Some are business owners. All dreadfully wrong."..Cliffie S., Coppell, TX

"I am sick beyond sick . . . It's going to take quite a lot for me to come to terms with this."..Pam L., Denton, TX

"I'm willing to wait and see how it goes. Worried about my insurance coverage...Hoping this is not a huge setback for us women. We have worked so hard to be where we are. Just going to take a wait and see attitude."..Carol W., Denton, TX

A daughter of a dear friend of mine from high school lost both of her parents in recent years. She lives in the very small, conservative west Texas town where we knew each other. As she knows my family and so many of the ones who read my blog, I always include her. Here is what she has to say about the election:
"I started to cry as I was reading. You know Mom and Dad were Democrats.....so that's how I lean. I feel so alone and like an outcast in this area. I don't start a politics talk to anyone, and very rarely express my opinion."..Amy B., Ballinger, TX

Yes, indeed, her parents were avid Democrats. Sadly, there are few left in that small town. I feel sure this is happening in many rural towns in the U.S.  If you happen to live in one, and you are one of the few Democrats, reach out to others who might be feeling like "outcasts". My dear Amy, you are not alone.
My friend Jack finally came out of his shock mode and said, "I can't think very much. I feel like someone sucker punched me right on the jaw. More then anything I have fear. Imagine a man whose staff took his Twitter account away from him. Who's going to be there to take away the Nuclear Code? I greatly fear nuclear war in the future. Trump does not have the emotional control to be a national leader. I will not go so far as to say he is crazy, but he does have mental problems."..John Nance Garner V, Denton, TX

Jack wrote the following before the election. I substituted "voted" for "vote" in his original Letter to the Editor:
"If you voted for Donald Trump, you are saying sexual assault is all right with you.
If you voted for Donald Trump you are telling the world that lies do not matter.
If you voted for Donald Trump you voted for bigotry.
If you voted for Donald Trump you told the world that it is all right to treat women like second class citizens.
If you voted for Donald Trump you are in effect showing that Black Lives don't matter.
If you voted for Donald Trump you approve of tax cuts for the 1% of the nation's richest.
If you voted for Donald Trump you are satisfied with the super-rich paying little or no taxes.
If you voted for Donald Trump you have no respect for Latinos.
If you voted for Donald Trump it shows you stand for everything negative about him.
That's what voting for Trump says about you."

Lots of cartoons are expressing our feelings about this election. This one has to be my favorite. I think we all woke up feeling this way yesterday.
(David Rowe Cartoon)
I have more reactions for another time. In fact, I'd be willing to bet there will be many unfavorable reviews of this new president-elect during the next four years. May we stand firm in our belief that America is already great, that no one person can tear down all of our beloved institutions, and that we will learn lessons from this election. Hopefully, most of those lessons will be apparent to the disenfranchised voters who put this man in office. 

Above all, let's keep our sense of humor. After all, we will have a clown for president.

Peace, love, and hope for the future,
Marilyn


Wednesday, November 9, 2016

"The world just caved in.."

said my friend, John Nance Garner, V. (Jack)

His famous uncle, John Nance Garner, IV, former Democratic Speaker of the House, and also 32nd Vice President under Roosevelt, was noted for his quote, describing the Vice-Presidency as being "not worth a bucket of warm piss". One wonders what he would say about today's politicians.

Jack has had a few choice words of his own regarding the now President Trump and his Vice President Pence, however, he said he couldn't share them yet - they are "too profane". Something about a "bucket of glue"?

I'm sure I'll hear more out of Jack shortly.

***************************************
"The people have spoken—and the people have set in motion a path that threatens our republic, at least as we know it. They have chosen to take the country in the direction of illiberal democracy. They have selected a leader who hates the First Amendment, who has shown a proclivity for imposing religious and ethnic tests on the citizenry, a leader who has benefited from an enemy power’s intervention in our democratic process. Donald Trump is not my president, and perhaps he’s not yours, but he will have more power over us—and the inclination to use it—than any president in American history.".. Franklin Foer, Slate

On Trump's mocking of a disabled reporter:
"If this was a member of your family or a next-door neighbor, a guy at work -- you would immediately distance yourself from that person," Letterman says of Trump's lack of civility. "And that's what I thought would happen. Because if you can do that in a national forum, that says to me that you are a damaged human being. If you can do that, and not apologize, you're a person to be shunned."..David Letterman on the NYTimes

***************************************

"Words are not enough. Tears are not enough. My beloved country is now in the hands of an immoral, egocentric racist and his minions. How happy Putin is today. God help us all."..June C. from OK





"I am in shock. We have, in my opinion, now alerted the universe that the U.S. has the most stupid, self-destructive people on earth...What is happening??? I woke up around 3:30 AM and thought, well let me turn on the news and see how badly she beat him. I could not go back to sleep. I turned it off and waited a bit and turned it back on because I was SURE I was hallucinating or something...And I bet the people who voted for Cheeto in Charge didn't even look at what that fool who is now V.P. did in his state. I'm not watching any news either. The U.S. has now declared to the world that we have more stupid people who vote than anywhere else.​"..Rita B. from NC






"(Watch) Hillary’s concession speech this morning. Just as classy as you would expect from this intelligent and able woman. And I think her words describe the way we should all try to go forward." Martha N., Austin, TX


"Disgust. Sadly, racism and ignorance are the driving force.." daughter, Carajean, Amarillo, TX



Grandson Tanner who turned 18 last August and voted for the first time, was so disappointed that he didn't want to go to school this morning.




Granddaughter Hannah, although not old enough to vote yet, was also very unhappy. To quote her dad, Craig, she's "having a breakdown" over the election results.





"Very disappointing that Hillary did not win. While her winning was never assured, I thought she would pull it off before the results began reaching the media otherwise. Truthfully, it so disturbed me that when I woke up during the night, I had to take an ambien to get back to sleep. I mean to say I was bothered. 

So many social issues and global issues at stake. From what I hear, it was the white male non-college educated that got Trump elected. We are living in a new age where everything is going to change."...Truman C., San Antonio, TX

           A former classmate, Denny, who has a second home in Warsaw,  is
planning to go to Poland in December during the semester break where he teaches at Stony Brook University. After the election results, I asked if he just might decide to stay in Poland. He replied, "Unfortunately I have to be back to teach on Jan 23, so I will return to Trumpland on Jan 18th." Denny was so fed up with the campaign this year he decided like a lot of us to quit watching the U.S. news coverage. He has many international friends who think we have gone crazy even nominating Trump. Bet he hates to face them now.

A final note for now from a beloved friend. 

"My thoughts after the election:      It is time for deep, personal reflection 
and what we can all do to be more inclusive of those who have felt disenfranchised, unheard, forgotten, and left with a sense of hopelessness. The voices/votes of the 'silent majority' have been heard and it is disheartening that so many American men and women have not felt as if they matter. This was/is the open door that led to the election outcome.

Time to affirm that the power of light and love are restoring our nation! We are all in this TOGETHER." Carin H., Denton, TX 

Beautifully said, Carin. 

Thanks to all of you for your input. If you wish to send me your thoughts as well, they will be welcomed and posted at a later time. In the meantime, let's all take a deep breath and say to ourselves, "This, too, shall pass." And remember, over half the voters in our country voted for a saner candidate.

Peace and love and prayers for our country,
Marilyn

Sunday, November 6, 2016

IT'S TIME TO VOTE!

I have started several blog posts in the past few weeks, but as I gave up on my news fast and started watching some of the campaign news I've fallen into a blue funk. (Note I said "blue".) This morning the tension and accompanying stress were so prominent in the newscasts on broadcast TV that I didn't even have to hear the actual words they were saying for the energy to hit me full on. I kept switching channels until I reached one of the PBS channels.
(Striped Hyena - It's even got the hair!)
Guess what they were featuring? Hyenas! I immediately correlated that animal with another disgusting, ugly, bottom feeder who's running for President. (I just couldn't get away from him.) "Generally, hyenas are known to drive off larger predators, like lions, from their kills, despite having a reputation in popular culture for being cowardly." .. "Hyenas are commonly viewed as frightening and worthy of contempt, ... In some cultures, hyenas are thought to influence people’s spirits, rob graves, and steal livestock and children." (Wikipedia)  I know, I know. These scavenging creatures are a necessary being in our ecosystem. So are vultures. But as our president?

I don't even like to speculate what kind of government we would have if this hyena is elected.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
"The number of Klan-affiliated groups in America grew to 190 last year, up from 72 in 2014, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report, titled 'The Year in Hate and Extremism.'" Also in this report, "The number of (hate) groups on the American radical right, according to the latest count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, expanded from 784 in 2014 to 892 in 2015 — a 14% increase."

Not surprisingly, contributing to this rise in hate groups has been the ongoing campaign of Donald Trump, as well as other GOP candidates and supporters. These groups include anti-gay, anti-Muslim, anti-abortion, neo-Nazi, and White Nationalists groups among others. There seems to be "something or someone for everyone" to hate.

Our democracy is destined to become a thing of the past if Trump is elected and his supporters predominate in governing our country.

Listen carefully to your heart and get out there and vote for equality, responsibility, decency, fairness, and true democracy. Vote for Hillary Clinton and other Democrats who stand for these values. Then, it is up to all of us to see that these values are upheld and fulfilled.

Peace and Love,
Marilyn