Election Reflection – Hope

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The last time I stayed up until 2am watching election returns my mood was much more somber, much more reserved, much more depressed. For the first time since November 8, 2016 I have hope. I have worry – the Republicans are still pushing their taxscam, the President implied my Senator was a prostitute, and the FCC closed the internet last week, but I have hope. I don’t believe any of this needs to be permanent.

While covfefe was the rock that broke the dam and let me see human again, Doug Jones is the light in a very long, very dark tunnel.

McConnell can wait to seat him and pretend he’s not the obstructionist in chief. He can encourage the Dems to clean house while supporting a child molester who was banned from the local mall. He can laugh at his bigotry over his reactions to President Obama and he can relish in his hypocrisy of using social security and medicare while now calling them entitlements and planning to eliminate them from families just like his.

We have the higher ground.

We have always had the higher ground.

This country was founded on a strong central government with limited state powers. How the Republicans corrupted that I don’t know. Probably the same way they corrupted the 2nd Amendment from James Madison’s original intent.

They let their people denigrate the liberal states, while knowing that they couldn’t survive without our invention, inspiration, and tax support. Secede. We’ll be okay. We give more than we get.

I’m determined.

My inner dragon is awakened.

My kids will not live in dystopia or fear.

Rise up. It’s working.

Wise up. Pay attention.

Eyes up. See the whites of their eyes.

Look them in the eye; don’t back down.

Resist.
A pro-choice Democrat who prosecuted and convicted the KKK was elected the Alabama Senator.

I absolutely have hope.

Election Reflection – Civics 101 or Dear Mr. President

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Civics 101 is not something I would have expected to write for a President of the United States, but here we are – through the looking glass.
First, not receiving calls directly about citizens against DAPL doesn’t mean that everyone in the country is for it. In fact, I would hazard to guess that the President’s aides are not giving him the full picture of what’s going on in this country. More people are against it than are for it. In fact, this is the epitome of an example to show the President why we have conflict of interest laws. He should not be pushing forward on a pipeline that he will directly benefit from once it’s in place.

Second, you won’t receive phone calls if the phones at the White House switchboard are disconnected or turned off as has been reported.

Third, President Obama doesn’t like you. He’s just too polite to say it. You called him horrible things, said horrible things about his parents and his birth. He may forgive you, but I can guarantee he will not forget.

Fourth, and more importantly, there are Three Branches of Government. Three. There is a reason for that. It’s called checks and balances. They are co-equal. The Legislative Branch, ie. Congress, makes the laws. Watch Schoolhouse Rock’s How a Bill Becomes a Law. It will break it down into bite sized pieces for you. It can’t be more than three minutes. And they sing.

The Executive Branch signs the laws. He or she makes suggestions, and sets the agenda, the priorities for the country. The whole country. Not just the rich, white folks.

The Judicial Branch keeps it all in order. They determine what is and isn’t Constitutional. Yes, they can overrule the President. In fact, that’s kind of their job.

You’re not the boss anymore.

We the people are.

I’d recommend brushing up on this handy document in its original or a transcript.

Or the interactive version.

Election Reflection – The Press

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​I spent half an hour on Sunday night writing about a free press. It was a little bit ranty, but it was a first draft. Before book and bed, I went to Facebook to catch up on my friends, and my entire feed was filled with Meryl Streep at the Golden Globes.

As a writer, it pains me to say that sometimes others can say what you are trying to say better than you could possibly, and that happened Sunday night. Meryl Streep was right on track with what I wanted to say, only much more eloquently than I could say it. I will still try my hand, and I will include a video of Meryl and a transcript of what she said.

Before anything else, I would like to note that the President-Elect responded exactly how predicted, on Twitter, in the early hours of the morning, and with name-calling. It is easy to dismiss this simply as a child’s ravings, but unfortunately, this man is not a child; in a few short days he will be the President of the United States.

His response to any kind of criticism is through mocking, name-calling, and falsehood. This needs to stop, and if it doesn’t stop, it needs to be called out at every turn where it affects our rights, most especially our Bill of Rights, and our First Amendment, the one that makes all the other ones possible.

The First acknowledges and legally supports our speech, our gatherings, our independent and free press, and our religion. There is no minimum age or maximum age on it. It is there for everyone, with few, very few, exceptions.

Benjamin Franklin was a member of the press. As was Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, Matthew Brady, and in our modern days, Edward R. Murrow and Woodward and Bernstein. Without the Press, there may have never been a Revolution or Constitution at all, beginning with Broadsheets to Weeklies to Dailies to Television News. Without the Press, there would have been no Nixon resignation, no disclosure of Iraq’s lack of weapons or the change from the Soviet Union back to Russia.

The Press must stand alone and independent.

Yes, ther eis a place for pundits and punditry, opinions, and editorials, but in all of that, the truth must be adhered to.

Post-truth simply means untruths.

Facts are not negotiable. You can agree or not, but you can’t change them. We can’t pretend that they don’t exist. 

Since becoming President-Elect, Mr. Trump has tweeted, his primary source of communication, and in tweeting, he has caused three multibillion dollar American companies to lose more than two billion dollars because of impulsive and untrue things he’s said. He’s caused a rift with China, and through his words encouraged them to take one of our technological properties in international waters. They’ve lodged a formal complaint. He’s taken the sides of Julian Assange and WikiLeaks and Alex Jones (a crackpot if ever I saw one, but of course that’s only my opinion) over the NSA and the Intelligence community that the rest of us understand to be professionals and nonpartisan. He’s continued his personal attacks on television programs and personalities, last night’s being the last egregious. He called Meryl Streep overrated. Now, I can guarantee, ven not knowing her that this does not bother her. She’s been called worse by better, I’m sure, and certainly overratedness is an opinion, but really? Meryl Streep? Overrated? I’m not sure that’s an accurate assessment of not only her acting ability, but her personal decorum and behavior.

We, as citizens of this country, and the Press need to call it out when their hypocrisy takes over.

On The Walking Dead, the character of Rick was admonishing his barely a teenager son by telling him, “Don’t Talk. Think.” I made it into an art project actually. Perhaps someone should tell the President-Elect, “Don’t Tweet. Think.” It would help the rest of us who just want to survive the next four years intact.

Supporting the Press isn’t just reading and taking sides. It’s also promoting their investigative journalism even when it goes against our own opinions. It is also donating to groups like the one Meryl Streep suggested, the Committee to Protect Journalists as well, I would suggest as the ACLU. It is also subscribing to  news organizations, print newspapers and magazines like The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Atlantic.

The Free Press needs to remain independent in order to be free.

Note: Before inauguration day, I will have a new page with links that will highlight news sources, journalists, and organizations meant to keep the checks and balance on the new Administration and the GOP led Congress. Most are nonpartisan. If there is an opinion/editorial writer or organization, I hope to label it as such.

Transcript of Meryl Streep’s Acceptance Speech (provided by Entertainment Weekly):

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Election Reflection

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​Well, it’s been six weeks since Election Day. I have been reading and sifting through news stories, and I cannot fathom a Trump presidency. Obviously, this is something that we all need to wrap our heads around because it’s here, and it’s here to stay.

That much is clear.

As much as I thought that perhaps the Republicans were true Americans and patriots, I think I am mistaken. Senators John McCain and Chuck Schumer led the fight to investigate Russia’s election interference amid rank and file Republicans, the Trump transition team, and President-Elect Trump himself decrying the partisanship and sour grapes.

I don’t think I’ve ever been this embarrassed for my country in my life.

Now, Sen. McConnell and Rep. Ryan have jumped on board, but I fear that their acquiescence is simply to slow things down. They weren’t interested before, and they had seen the intelligence briefings, so what changed?

We, the people, spoke up and said, No.

Now, we have transition members meeting with an Austrian opposition group founded by the Nazis. Not neo-Nazis, not alt-right, but the literal, actual Nazis.

We’re already fighting with China.

Mr. Trump’s sons are selling access to him one day after the inauguration for millions of dollars. For charity. Yeah, like all their other charitable works.

Trump has admitted to buying hedgefund stock in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and his Secretary of Treasury Designee announced one day after his nomination that his intention is to privatize them both. Do you have any idea how much money the President-Elect made from that announcement and the stock going up.

He tweeted about Boeing and Lockheed Martin and their stocks went down. And people bought them up at bargain prices. Some people began to sell their stock right before the tweet. Boeing lost $4 Billion in less than an hour.

Now, we’ll allow insider trading, I guess because according to Newt Gingrich, it’s not Trump, it’s the constraining ethics laws that need changing. Or ignoring.

He hasn’t had a press conference since the middle of July.

This presidency is already a disaster.

Has anyone seen what’s going on in North and South Carolina? NC stripped the incoming governor of his powers because the Republican governor lost. SC is trying to pass a law that you must pay a $20 fee to access pornography on a newly bought computers

What’s happening to our first amendment?

Merry Christmas shouldn’t be used as a dagger. My priest says Happy Holidays, and everyone he’s talking to from the pulpit is Catholic for crying out loud. Is he being politically correct?

I’m stunned.

I’m speechless.

I’m worried, and frightened, and have much more to say in smaller, bite-sized chunks.

For now, sleep well. The holidays are here, and it is family time. Everything else will come when it comes. Right now, it’s time to take a breath and look at what we are being called to in the new year.

Recommended News Sources

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​I have tried to choose recommendations that will give perspective and a factual explanation or account. I will readily admit for accountability that I would consider myself. broadly liberal. I sit on the fence for several issues, but others are non-starters for me. 

I believe strongly in the First Amendment; the whole thing. I also believe that the Second Amendment has limitations (as opined by Justice Scalia in his ruling on a case.) 

Freedom of religion is the right to practice or not without governmental interference. Freedom of the press is essential, but not more so than in the next four years. 

My pro-choice support has nothing to do with when you believe life begins. I will never try to change your mind on that or what you believe. Choice means exactly that. A woman’s choice to have autonomy over what happens to her body. We’re upset about the actress in Last Tango in Paris, but if we forced her to have a child, we’re okay with non-con.

LGBT+ rights are human rights. They are civil rights. Civil rights cannot be discriminatory.

If you have further questions, please ask.

If you have any recommendations of your own that you feel I, or readers will benefit from, please add them in the comments. However, I will not support or recommend fake news sights or severely biased, click-baity sites. At the moment, these only include Breitbart, Conservative Tribune, Redneck Nation, Washington Times. Fox News news division (Chris Wallace, Bret Baeir, Shepherd Smith) will be included for information, but not endorsed.

The Trump election has changed the very fabric of our nation. It is up to us to bring it back to our shared values and our Constitution. If you’re for small government, you can’t regulate what happens in my bedroom.

Social security is not an entitlement. Neither is Medicare. WE ALL pay into those funds, and they are ours. We earned them.

Poisoning water in minority areas like Flint, MI and Standing Rock, ND are two examples where communities of color were sacrificed for white communities’ safety.

This is going to be an important time to get accurate information. Opinion shows/columns have their places, but they are not informational. They are merely a stepping stone to get more knowledge on a subject. You can agree or disagree. You can form your own opinion, but please don’t follow and repeat blindly.

Recommendations:

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Grief and Anger: Where Do We Go From Here?

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​This is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins aThis is my first time sitting at the keyboard since the results of the election were made clear. I’m still in the anger stage of grief. Well, actually, I’m alternating between anger and depression.

Anger at the Republican party/Trump’s lies. Anger that people fell for it. Anger at having a vice president so out of touch with today’s America that he gives fetuses more rights than women in his home state of Indiana. Not to mention conversion therapy. Going from VP Joe Biden, who authored the VAWA to these misogynists makes me weep; sick. Anger at James Comey and anger at the Clinton haters who did not have any other reason for voting against her other than she sucks. How’re you feeling now?

This is not the first time that my candidate did not win the Presidency, but I have never felt this way about an election in my entire life. I trusted George Bush (and the other two candidates in recent years) to do the right thing. They wanted what was best for America even if I didn’t agree with them. I’m worried about Donald Trump.

I’m worried for Donald Trump.

Regardless of my feelings, on January 20th, Donald Trump will become the 45th President of the United States. He will represent all of us and we must stay watchful. We must look at the reaction to the Obama Presidency and not replicate that, lest we be hypocrites. And Republicans need to acknowledge that protests are okay; at least, we didn’t grab our muskets as threatened by an actual Congressional Representative [Joe Walsh] and supported and encouraged by the Trump campaign (publicly even). 

I will pray for and wish him success. His success is ours as well. I will not shout out for his impeachment unless he does something impeachable. To be honest, I’m more worried about the Senate and Pence.

For the names I’ve seen floated for various Cabinet positions, I’m terrified. It’s not that I disagree with their policies but they are superiorly unqualified (not even under qualified) for the job:

Sarah Palin as Sec’y of the Interior.

Dr. Ben Carson as Sec’y of Education. Call me crazy but the Sec’y of Education should be an educator and someone who, you know, believes in science and evolution. By the bare minimum standards, I’m more qualified. I at least have a teaching degree.

Ted Cruz as Supreme Court Justice. Wow. There are no words.

Rudy Giuliani as Attorney General. While technically qualified, the fact that he continued to go after Hillary Clinton’s email issue as a legal issue should disqualify him simply on incompetence.

A climate change denier for EPA.

I have never wanted to be more wrong in my life. Attacks on minorities have already begun. There was a Confederate flag in a Veteran’s Day parade in California, a state not of the Deep South. Swastikas.

Where do we go from here?

For me, I’ll be speaking out. I’ll be keeping track and keeping informed. I’ll be sending my financial and emotional support to the ACLU and Planned Parenthood for a start. John Oliver had a pretty good list of suggestions, which I will share later in the week.

Acceptance is still a little bit away. It could be weeks; it could be months.

In the coming days, I will get back to writing and posting. I still have thirteen pieces to post before my birthday in almost three weeks. Nineteen days.

Today will be two more posts. The first was supposed to be on what the safety pins mean, but they’ve already been co-opted by the alt-right as white supremacists are encouraging their members to wear them to fool marginalized groups thinking they’re safe. Disgusting.

Instead I will post a 50 reflection on Chinese food that spans childhood through adulthood.

The second, my penultimate Year of Mercy reflection, appropriately on the act of reconciliation.

I spent last night curled up in a chair with macaroni and cheese, half a chocolate eclair and an extra long episode of The Walking Dead. I woke up this morning to sunshine and blue sky.

Tomorrow is a new day. The sun will rise and we will rise with it. All of us.

We have work to do.