The Grouchy Historian

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​One of the things I loved about The Grouchy Historian, besides the grouchy historian was how timely it was. It made reference to things that had barely concluded in Washington. I hadn’t heard of this book before I found it in the online library I use, and it was very current.

Which was kind of ironic considering the entirety of the book is looking at and analyzing the intent of the framers, something that today’s Republicans and Conservative justices claim to honor and admire, worship even but don’t often put into practice.

Two disclaimers:

1. Ed Asner is an angry old-time lefty, who in this book, defends our Constitution against right-wing hypocrites and nutjobs, who seem to be crawling out of the woodwork multiple times daily, not even having the courage of their convictions anymore. (See Senate candidate, Roy Moore and who is openly supporting him.)

2. If you are a second amendment proponent I ask you to ignore the snark and facetiousness of the chapter on Guns. Look past his opinions and read what the framers wrote about guns and the second amendment. Please.

Conservative scion, Antonin Scalia even said that there are limits on the second amendment. I think that when you have lifelong conservatives like Scalia and Clarence Thomas talking about the framers’ intent and strict constructionism, but then not actually following what they claim are their own beliefs there comes the time to call out the hypocrisy.

You can’t really say the Constitution is to be literally taken and also call it a living document. Madison called it a living document, so we know how it was intended: to grow and change with the times.

At least as a Democrat I have my convictions, which are really quite simple: equality for all, all means all, medicare for all, and do good for everyone. We lift each other up.

In reading what the framers and founders had to say about the Constitution as it was being written and developed and amended, it is interesting to hear their arguments for and against certain things. What I found really amusing with this (and Ron Chernow’s Hamilton) is how similar their arguments are to today’s arguments in Washington politics.

I laugh when I hear that the founders wanted strong states when it’s clear (in this book and the original writings of the framers) that they wanted a strong central government. With a standing army. Collecting taxes. And forming a bank to put those taxes.

Now you have my opinion as well.

Read this book, and if you’re lucky you’ll hear it in your head with Ed Asner’s voice. Can’t beat that!

The Grouchy Historian: An Angry Old-Time Lefty Defends Our Constitution Against Right-Wing Hypocrites and Nutjobs by Ed Asner and Ed. Weinberger

Election Reflection – A Political Eruption

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​I originally wrote this eight months ago for a memoir workshop prompt, which was ironic because we were told, both for the fall before and this spring to avoid politics. I am easily the most liberal person in our writing group and the most conservative is a couple who I actually know from my church. Everyone else falls somewhere between us, and with the 2016 election and the Inauguration still very fresh on our minds any talk of politics was like pulling the band-aid off a cut. For some of us it was like, well, just to avoid a graphic example let’s leave it at pulling off a band-aid.

This prompt was interesting because it was a writing exercise from Bill Roorbach’s book, Writing Life Stories. It is the Chinese Food Menu Exercise – choose one from column A and one from column B and write for ten minutes.

I think if I was starting this project today instead of editing it for you, I would use a rhyming scheme just so I could write about the eruption of corruption in the Trump Administration.

What rhymes with incompetence?

Ignorant?

Intolerable?

Suffice it to say, we’ve come a long way in the past eight months, down a darkening path that frightened me, and continues to frighten me.

Late night comedians and twenty-four hour internet opinionators called this a dumpster fire around February. If February was a dumpster fire, then what in G-d’s name is this?

I’m in a mirror universe where up is down, truth are lies, news is fake, Russia is good and Congress is indifferent.

Originally, this was written with hopelessness. I still feel it, but I’m also opening myself up to hope and to take action. I’m also going to link to Peter MacDonald’s speech at the White House. He is a Navajo Code Talker, and if he can have hope, I can also.

———-

The prompt for this was choose one from column A and one from column B. My two words were politics and eruptions.
Politics is calling out to me, I think since my inner (and outer) (political) junkie has reawakened. A little wiser, a little calmer, a little more cackling at the chaos and fearful of the mongering.

For several years politics is more than policy; it is life. Corporate lay-offs equal will my husband have a job? Health care increases and higher deductibles equal medical care or lunch? Decisions no one should have to make.

But last year…last year was beyond the pale. This can’t be what anyone wanted, but here it is. And last year also brought politics to a boiling point, a volcanic spewing, a series of eruptions. As the silent majority rose in the 80s, a new majority erupted from the ashes right below the glass ceiling, tiny pieces of glass tinkling on the floor, balloons popping and children crying as well as their stunned parents.

The slow boil began, the lava beginning its ascent higher and hotter until it could be contained no longer.

Boom!

Not crybabies.

Not sore losers.

Tired, tired people.

Tired of hypocrisy and broken promises.

Tired of silence and complacency.

I drew political art. i attended my first protest. 

The political eruption like the Hawaiian volcano will continue to echo and build and staggered ground shaking spew. Once it erupts, it can not be re-contained.

Not the silent majority.

There are more of us and we will not be silent.

We are the majority.

42/52 – Read My Pins by Madeleine Albright

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Madeleine Albright was born in 1937 in Prague, Czechoslovakia and after living in the United Kingdom and Yugoslavia, her family applied for asylum and emigrated to the United States in 1948, becoming a US citizen in 1957.

She received a Bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College and a PhD from Columbia University. In 1993, she was the UN Ambassador to the United Nations, and in 1997 became the first woman to serve as Secretary of State, continuing until 2001.

In 2012, she was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

As many women in government and the political fields, she is often judged or at the very least has had her fashion sense scrutinized by the public and the media. Does anyone remember conversations about Hillary Clinton’s pantsuits?

For Secretary Albright, she was often seen wearing pins. So many pins of all shapes and sizes, colors and styles. I can relate. I have my own collection of pins, ranging from plastic holiday pins to show off as a teacher to fandom as well as pewter pieces and place name souvenirs from trips I’ve made.

Unlike mine, her pin collection was put on display and she wrote an accompanying book to go along with the collection’s display. I’ve recently read it, and was fortunate to see many of Secretary Albright’s pins, at least in picture form. I enjoy sharing this with her.

Below the cut, I have included many of photos of my own pins in a variety of groupings.The photos are in no particular order of importance. It’s just how they were imported onto the site.

Every time I went to post this since Tuesday, I came across more pins that I wanted to share, so instead of editing this again, I think I will post pictures of more pins next week in its own post.

Continue reading

33/52 – Jimmy Kimmel

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To be honest, I’ve never been a huge fan of Jimmy Kimmel. He’s funny and he tells intelligent jokes. He’s good at political humor, and satire. He can also be biting. I think it was a chance watching of one of his early works on Comedy Central: The Man Show. It was…not my cup of tea to put it mildly.

However, last week and the weeks previous back to when he talked about the birth of his baby son, Billy had me catching up with his monologue, at least on YouTube.

People, politicians mostly, got upset with him for moving out of his lane, comedy, forgetting that before he was a comedian he was a person. And as any parent knows, or should know, once you have kids, your parenthood comes first.

He spoke what was on his mind, made his priorities known, and most people agreed with him.

Then, they came for him.

The hypocrites.

And he did not crawl away, hurt, insulted, fearful of what his ratings might turn to, but he came back stronger, and he came back stronger because he had the truth on his side.

He spoke the truth.

He let his heart sit on his sleeve, and talked about what his family was going through, and reminded the hypocritical politicians that his isn’t the only family going through this scary time. They’re not even the only family with health insurance, but there are many more who don’t have adequate health insurance or any health insurance at all.

In fact, if you follow the news, you’ll have read, between the President’s golf game and berating the hard-working Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Congress ignored a key deadline and failed to reauthorize the CHIP, the children’s health care plan that has helped millions of children. Today, they wake up with no health insurance. What are they supposed to do?

No, Jimmy Kimmel isn’t an expert on health care, but he is an expert on what health insurance and health care provides for his family; for his children, andhe has every right in the world to speak about it, and if that shames Congress, well, they should be ashamed.

Here are some links to the CHP information in addition to more information about Jimmy Kimmel.

Jimmy Kimmel is just a person, just as we all are. There is something we can all do, but first we have to stand up.

Jimmy Kimmel
Official YouTube Channel
The Anger of Jimmy Kimmel (from The Atlantic)

The Washington Post article on the failure of Congress to reauthorize CHIP

#covfefe

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​Other than my getting in on the meme, we can’t let this joke get too out of hand. This presidency is not a joke, it is frighteningly incompetent.

That said,  I feel like this #covfefe was a collective release of 120+ days of stress and fear, and we really, really needed it.
Let’s get back to withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement and taking away women’s rights to reproductive freedom. 

1. Global warming is so pervasive it is affecting the morning songs of birds as they become more confused by the climate change. 

2. Everyone knows that birth control and comprehensive, accurate sex education is the number one preventor of abortion. Let’s get on the page of truth and education and cut down on unnecessary abortions.