December 20, 2018 Christmas Photo a Day

 

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Granpa and Laylabug, #TBT 2012


(I know, it’s all about Christmas photos, and fun, some humor,  occasionally a little sappy, and of course CATS, right?)

Sometimes, we just need a bit more…compassion, and care for ALL humanity. But, all the screaming from some folks, about THE REASON FOR THE SEASON–(OMG Starbucks coffee cups??)–and all that……well, you know what? Jesus was a refugee. LOOK at the child who means the most to you in this world. Stop, right now and look at them. Whether you have to look at a photo or can go poke your head into their room, go and look at them. Now, tell me WHAT YOU WOULD NOT  DO FOR THEM?

What? Would you FLEE your home with them? Would you abandon your town, city, family, job, way of life, language, support system, to protect them? Would you walk a hundred miles with them in your arms? How about a thousand miles? To find hope for them? Would you leave EVERYTHING you know, everything you own, and walk for weeks, HOPING??Would you think the appropriate response to this behavior is rubber bullets, or to TEAR GAS CHILDREN????  (are you REALLY going to say tear gas isn’t that bad, NBD??) Children who of course have no control over what their parents do? The infant Jesus and his tiny family fled their homeland, to keep him alive. Why should any other parent do less? Where is the ALL LIFE IS SACRED crowd?

(I wrote this before the little 7 year-old girl died in our custody.)

DO THEY KNOW IT’S CHRISTMAS?

It’s Christmastime, there’s no need to be afraid
At Christmastime, we let in light and we banish shade
And in our world of plenty we can spread a smile of joy
Throw your arms around the world at Christmastime
But say a prayer, pray for the other ones
At Christmastime it’s hard, but when you’re having fun
There’s a world outside your window
And it’s a world of dread and fear
Where the only water flowing 
Is the bitter sting of tears
And the Christmas bells that ring there are the clanging chimes of doom
Well tonight thank God it’s them instead of you
And there won’t be snow in Africa this Christmastime
The greatest gift they’ll get this year is life
Where nothing ever grows
No rain nor rivers flow
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Here’s to you
Raise a glass for everyone
Here’s to them
Underneath that burning sun
Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?
Feed the world
Feed the world
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world 
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again 
Feed the world
Let them know it’s Christmastime again
Songwriters: Bob Geldof / Midge Ure
Do They Know It’s Christmas? lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, In
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friends?

I don’t block or unfriend people as a matter of course. I have, on occasion, removed a hitchhiker… someone who I don’t know; never met, but who maybe was a friend of a friend from a literary group or a high school classmate’s neighbor, who I may have given a chance, who turned out to be more trouble than they were worth.

I do not.

But I have been.

Unfriended.

Blocked.

By FAMILY.

By “friends”…

…Because my religious beliefs and behaviors don’t align with theirs. Note–I am NOT in any fashion STOPPING THEM from worshiping as they wish. We are, for the time being at least, still FREE to worship as we see fit. YOUR desire to worship should have NO BEARING on how OUR country is GOVERNED….

…Because my political philosophy doesn’t align with theirs. My opinions are based on factual information, not hyper-partisan spin. (Of course I have shared a misplaced meme once or twice. I have occasionally not vetted something as well as I should. I happen to be human.)

But I WILL NOT BE QUIET. Not in the face of injustice, not with willful ignorance staring me in the face, not when people have locked themselves into a narrative that excludes all EVIDENCE because of some perceived, CREATED fear. When people refuse to CALL OUT EVIL because their ‘leader’ is providing them tax relief…. real or perceived… when the three co-equal branches of government will not call out utter fraud and possible treason, all because they crave POWER over patriotism…

I will continue to maintain my grasp on the correct side of history, as all of the horrors of this world through themselves at us. No matter that people vilify me or mine. I know I am in the right.

AND I WILL BE VOTING.

(Note also, that I have it on good authority I WILL be going to heaven. Sr Concepta assured me of this on many occasions over the years that she spent walking in my neighborhood, when she would pat my tiny daughter on the head, and say hello to my overgrown puppy.)

 

Seriously?

Do we REALLY need tell people to think about this logically? About half the country is R, about half is D; with a good chunk from either side claiming to be something closer to OTHER.

  • Are we TRULY shocked or upset or thinking there’s a nefarious plot because some CAREER agents of the Secret Service or of the FBI openly fall into ONE of those three categories?
  • Are we HONESTLY suggesting that all those people should have NO PERSONAL POLITICAL OPINIONS?
  • Are we saying that if they DIDN’T vote for the person who won they should then LOSE THEIR Job?
  • Are we saying no SS or FBI should be voting at all? That part of their employment is to be disenfranchised?

How exactly would that work? Grownups (theoretically) have the ability to work with others, even if they disagree, on a personal level, with almost EVERYTHING about their boss.

We 100% can NOT, I repeat CAN NOT pick on the “affair” aspect of these two FBI agents, as we as a country, have apparently decided that marital infidelity with a PORN STAR is acceptable behavior nowadays. (Mulligan?? Are you kidding me? He got his mulligan when he was married to Ivanka and cheated on her with Marla. )

And, god help those who have made it past age 20 without the amount of humor and sarcasm that might produce a “secret society” comment between friends. Insert rolling eyes, people. Seriously.

Spoiler alert:

I dislike my boss. I don’t think this person is capable of the job in front of them.  I gossip about my boss to other employees and to friends/ family, IRL or via text. I didn’t vote for this person to be my boss…I was there first. I would not have voted for this person had that been an option.

I still do MY job. And I can do MY job because it’s MY job. I have respect for MY behavior. I don’t respect my boss, because respect has to be earned, and my boss has yet to earn it, but that doesn’t stop me from following the directives I am given, as long as they are legal, ethical and moral.

If the FBI, the SS et al, can do that, then what the actual F?

Unless we ARE now a Banana Republic, or we DO have an Emperor…

It’s ONLY been 364 days.

(My random political rant… still bubbling over with disbelief how is this happening…)

What did we do that we went from the educated oratory of JFK, to incoherent Tweets from the Accidental Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave? When did we decide the person in charge should be the one with the LEAST knowledge, and the LEAST interest in learning? Shouldn’t we want our leaders to be heads and shoulders above us in intellect, vision, empathy, and ideas?

The person who represents us across the globe…shouldn’t that person be able to think on their feet, extemporize on a wide variety of topics and provide backup for their statements? What caused us to end up with someone who believes that TV ratings outrank policy? Who GETS his facts from one news channel–one that isn’t known for it’s truth-telling.  As president, he has ACCESS to the greatest minds of the world, yet he chooses cable TV to inform him.  He believes the Constitution is a False Flag when it doesn’t benefit HIM  but needs to be followed without question when the words can be manipulated to SUIT him?

How many of the .015% of people in this country do YOU know who will benefit from the repeal of the “death tax?” How many will be harmed by Trumpcare?

eligiblevoterpie

There is small comfort in knowing that the MAJORITY of Americans saw through his smoke and mirrors and elected someone else. Hillary received more votes than any candidate EVER—(except for Obama). Trump got THREE MILLION LESS VOTES THAN HILLARY.  These are FACTS. Or worse, decided to sit this one out in a pique of moral superiority that couldn’t have them vote for the least worst.

Despite his obsession with the electoral map, it is obvious he doesn’t understand even THAT aspect...that while the maps look red, the POPULATED areas went blue..  He got more square miles, not more people. He “rules” on the assumption that people like him; in truth he is the naked emperor. MOST of America doesn’t have the wool pulled over their eyes.

It’s been a year. No, I am not over it.  

13781934_10210590582744736_2260827268672719815_nI think that I have voted for the winning side about half the time since I started voting.  I would lament, read about the new guy, and move on.  Better luck next time. Never before did I truly feel we may not make it out of this alive, or whole, or as AMERICA. No, that is not overreaction. Have you been paying attention??

Even if you agree with all of his public policy, (and HOW can you?) how can you agree with his personal behavior,  his public presentation of the office?  Accepting his behavior as the price you need to pay for getting the things you hope he will get you? That is NOT GOVERNING. It is being complicit in the abdication of the office of president to a lunatic.

Show your work. Your responses to ANYTHING here cannot– I REPEAT CANNOT– be “Yes but–The Democrats, Hillary, Obama…” Two wrongs don’t make a right. You don’t let your son off the hook for staying out late and lying about where he was because he tells you that your daughter took $5 from your wallet last year when he gets caught.

–If one more person says to “stop dredging up history”… Should we STOP celebrating the Fourth of July then? That’s just “history”… or Veteran’s Day or Memorial Day? Only racial/ethnic minorities are told to forget the history of their oppression, and to move on….the victors may continue to celebrate apace.

–For ANY government official to declare that the price of protesting should be losing your job is 100% opposite of the intent of the First Amendment. Period. It is SETTLED LAW that you do not have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. If, as an employee of a company, you do something that is against your company‘s policies, yes,  you can be reprimanded in a variety of ways including lose your job. That is in the employee handbook. It is up to the managers, the unions, the CEO. For a government official, one who is NOT your employer  (indeed, YOU EMPLOY THEM) to say that you should lose your job because you speak out about injustice is wrong. For goodness sake, haven’t you ever heard of whistle-blower rules?

What of all the people on line, buying beer when the anthem starts. How about those people in the john? All those watching on television who get up and go feed the cat while the anthem plays instead of standing in front of the television with her hand over her heart? You want to FORCE allegiance? That is NOT the land of the FREE then, is it? Move to North Korea.

–If the alternative to the ACA is to allow 32 million people to not have health insurance then we stick with the ACA and fix it. “There but for the grace of God” and all that Christian stuff, remember that? All the carrying on about Christ, and Christian behaviors that ALL are expected to follow, and yet “Do Unto Others” doesn’t make it out the door of church on Sunday morning.

–How many of you have salaries OVER $200K?  Congrats to you. You will NEVER have to choose between the electric bill and the rent. Or the rent and a doctor visit for your kid’s ear infection. When we start getting to the billionaires—ANYONE who has to PAY in taxes more than most people will EVER EARN should sit down, shut up and thank their lucky stars. You actually can’t take it with you.

–How many of you are reading about the new tax proposal and ignoring the end date of the one little crumb left to the majority?

–How many of you plan on retiring before you get too old to enjoy retirement? How many of you have aging parents?  How many of you were planning on taking them in when they can’t still live on their own? Because once health care isn’t a right, and SS is decimated and Medicare is destroyed, and all the immigrant women who will work as home health aides have been deported, you will need to have the man-cave become the MIL suite, and one of you will need to stay home to tend the aging parent who can’t afford nursing home care; which in turn will cut your household income and the hope of retirement. Whoops.

—-> How many of you can’t see that once he finishes allowing this government to screw over the dark people, the funny-accented people, the people who were born in a country that scares him, that once all those people are done for/gone, that once they become irrelevant and unable to impact change or be the boogeyman any longer,  that then he and his goons will be coming after YOU??

We are standing and shouting, protesting against injustice, kneeling (oh, KNEELING! ) against the silence of justice mismanaged… whistle-blowing, loudly, to the universe, that we are AWARE of your maleficence and will not let it go by silently. This man will not let us simply move on. It is a dereliction of duty as an American to sit down and shut up this time.

Truth, justice and the American way —this administration has members who are picking fights with the Statue of Liberty and whether or not the correct and proper intent of the Statue of Liberty is to welcome immigrants.??? Think about that for a second; think back to your third grade civics when you learned about the Statue of Liberty (if you didn’t grow up in New York and see her every day.)  “Bring your tired your poor…” All the things that MAKE America the place people want to be, he and his band of thieves is trying to destroy.

–Be honest when you answer this question.  Why is it more important that Hillary say something about Weinstein when Donald Trump BEHAVES like Weinstein? Ask yourself why the media is more concerned with Hillary‘s reaction than with Donald’s behavior. That, right there, is white male privilege; that is misogyny.

It has been a year since the least issue-oriented presidential campaign ever.  HOW is it it wasn’t about issues? The same way that the actions of the Current Resident aren’t about issues… he is all about face time and ratings and manipulation.

In LITERALLY less than 365 days from being declared president, the office has turned into CHAOS, lies, and worse.

I started this little essay of wandering thoughts about two weeks ago. How naive and silly the topics I started writing about appear. See them up there? Little snippets of thoughts about something so esoteric as the reason for Lady Liberty… Now, we have one conviction, two indictments and so so much more about to happen. 

There is only ONE other answer. The man is senile, mentally deficient or has dementia and his caregivers are committing elder-abuse on a grand scale so that they may steal power and money from him. This is my most generous read on what is happening, having spent my early 20’s care-giving for someone with dementia. The other choice is he and his are committing high crimes and misdemeanors against our country.

I want to link a dozen different articles–would you read them? Or do you believe HIM and HIS more than actual factual reality? I am not crazy or ranting. I am scared. If you are not scared, you are not paying attention.

I had no IDEA that the dismantling of a country was so easy to get to… but the way we are going, we might as well be singing “How to Get to Sesame Street” Because, people… the pot is on the stove, you were dropped in the cool water, and someone turned on the burner.

Instead, I will leave you with this article, and this plea. VOTE TUESDAY. The candidate need not be perfect–they are human.  But choose the saner one.

This in NO WAY exonerates him…

.. nor does it indicate that I am OK with his behavior, or feel that women were lying or making too big a deal of things, but for chrissakes, can we find something else to lose our minds over? Regarding Weinstein– I promise to never shut up if he ever attempts to run for elected office after the behavior that has come out. ( how many people couldn’t have pointed Weinstein out in a line up back on Monday night?)

It is morally reprehensible and unethical if not illegal.  His political persuasion has not a whit to do with anything.

WHERE is the outrage for the way Donald behaved? Why suddenly is there to be a moral equivalence between the Accidental Resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenues’ past behaviors (for which he had doubled down, as is his wont, that it wasn’t so bad, that other people have done worse) and what at this moment is a personnel issue at a private company? (and Weinstein’s “apology” has the stink of I got caught but is slightly more graceful than Donald could ever hope to be)

Why are the president’s surrogates all out there talking about how terrible Weinstein is, when their boss is equally as bad? What high horse do they get to ride in on, to intimate that all Democrats are complicit for having accepted monetary donations from a man who is just now publicly accused of sexual harassment? As if A has anything to do with B. As if the majority of the GOP electorate and elected officials alike haven’t just shrugged and looked the other way, hoping to be able to get their piece of the pie before Donald is carted away (via the 25th, impeachment, or my personal favorite option, Mueller.)

Instead, couldn’t we save all of our outrage for the NRA, which continues to try to buy our government, lock, stock and barrel? (bad pun, I couldn’t resist)

Or, what about we take some of that bloviating frustration out on those in the GOP responsible for not refunding CHIP? Or for those in government who have decided that not only should your employer get to decide if you can have birth control, but also that the resulting pregnancy caused by lack of BC is a preexisting condition and therefore not covered, and also that there is no right to maternity leave, nor is it illegal to discriminate against you when the OBGYN tells you not to lift anything heavy while pregnant and so you lose your job (and there goes your health insurance)

Still have room to fit Weinstein into your irritation bubble? Well, there is the matter that 3.5 million American citizens are suffering from Maria down in Puerto Rico, and that their president is more interested in pointing out that their hurricane may cause us to mess up the budget (read: negatively impact the huge tax breaks he is planning for his cronies and himself, while trying to con you into thinking he will throw you more than a bone)

How about the fact that Donald ran on “her emails” and yet,  his kids are doing THE EXACT SAME THING?

Or, plain old health care, or clean water for Detroit, or Mother Russia… or… I could find you things to worry about and grouse about and lose your mind over all day long.

Weinstein doesn’t even hit the Top Ten.

This is why we can’t have nice things.

Just a random thought from a sinus-y, head-achy brain, that’s waiting for the caffeine to kick in.

I think Congress and the GOP in general are a pile of petulant children, not at all adults who care a whit about you and I, their constituents, and even less about governing. They care about posturing, however. They are afraid to utter a vocalization that will not tow the line of their silent partners–those with the moneybags; the ones who bought them their seats of power in exchange for their free will.

They want to make sure that whatever they say will play well and be bombastic  and loud and rally the people in the 10-20 second clips that will make the news.

Governing- not so much. Smokescreens- those they like.

President Obama has just done SOMETHING, ANYTHING, finally, about the issue that our country is being shot full of holes by people who feel their right to lug around and use a gun over-rides my right to LIFE, let alone liberty and the pursuit of happiness. What’s funny is they have been screeching “We don’t need new laws, we need to uphold the ones we have–” after EVERY mass shooting, and so, that is what President Obama has finally done. The majority of sane people agree this is a Smart Thing, (especially if they don’t have to say it on camera, with their name attached, in case they happen to be Republicans and will be ‘found out’.)

As expected, they’ve all* now come out screeching about how wrong the president is and how illegal it is for him to enforce the laws that already exist! (*If there are any GOP elected officials or candidates who haven’t, please share with me.)

Healthcare was dealt a similar fate. Back in the days before the ACA, there was this thing called RomneyCare, for the residents of Massachusetts. And President Obama wanted to avail the entire country of such a Wonderful Thing. So, he bent and he twisted and he sliced and he diced and he arrived at the admittedly not perfect ACA, which could be a lot better if the amount of energy put into fighting and destroying it were put into making it better. (But, hey, that’s just me.) Once out of the hands of the Republicans, it now has President Obama’s name attached to it, and has suddenly become the worst idea EVER.

And now, the Faux News is carrying on that President Obama is faking his tears about shot dead six-year-olds, and the GOP candidates say he is simply distracting us from the incipient horrors of Daesh by trying to keep American citizens from killing each other, and he should be more concerned with defeating Daesh. Considering the number of people murdered last year by Daesh in this country versus the number of people murdered by (formerly) law-abiding good guys with guns who went bad, I think the president is on the right track.

By the numbers.  (If you READ the article before belly-aching, you will see the author indicates the numbers are slightly off from reality, but the reality is that the CDC isn’t ALLOWED to collect all the information they need, and therefore the data comes from a variety of sources and is being approximated.)

So, to counteract this wily bit of distraction by the president, the GOP  has decided to attempt to defund the ACA and Planned Parenthood. AGAIN. (Head-scratching inserted here.)

Hypocrazy

If I am following the latest outrage du jour properly, I am to understand that Ted Cruz allowed (used/permitted/agreed to/suggested/didn’t refuse) his young girls to mock our current government and other people running for president, in search of campaign contributions. This is an acceptable use of an actual minor child.

And then,  a political cartoonist inferred that his children were being used to collect money by performing, a la the organ grinder and his dancing monkeys. This is not an acceptable use of pen and ink, or pixels. (Do people understand the reference –that the organ grinder is out begging for money, using the monkeys to ‘entertain’ in exchange for cash?) or are they just offended because they were told to be offended?)

And THEN, he sent out the offensive cartoon to many, many more people who would have never otherwise seen it, and begged for the money himself.

Let’s leave all the kids out of it all, how about that? Politicians–Don’t parade them out for votes or for warm-fuzzies photos. Reporters and photographers–Don’t stalk them, or try to sneak photos, or use them in the news cycle. What they wear or where they vacation or had for dinner? Not part of the campaign.