Thursday, February 16, 2017

Liberal? Left? Lovely!

Left of center, liberal, progressive...I hear these used as insults, but I embrace them and hope they are true of me. Here are other synonyms for those words that can be hurled at me without my objecting one bit: high minded, thoughtful, compassionate, fair, inclusive, generous. I never tire of being "accused" of being a good person. I may not always live up to the estimation, but I appreciate it nevertheless.

Not Liking the News Doesn't Make it Fake News

News is news. If something happens, or if there is strong evidence to suggest something may be happening, and it is reported, that is not "fake" news. Now, commentary about the news can be biased, leaning to the left or right, and it can be verbalized in a way (with "dog whistle" words) that is meant to stir interest or even emotion in certain groups, but if a thing happened and it is reported, that is simply "news."

To try to discredit the New York Times, Washington Post, NBC, MSNBC, PBS/NPR, Wall Street Journal, CNN, Mother Jones, Al Jazeera English, The Guardian, The Independent, or even Fox (whose commentary I detest, but if they say a plane landed or an earthquake occurred, it probably did...when they say it was all a liberal conspiracy-that is commentary we can call b/s, but the news part is just news) as "Fake News" is ridiculous. Calling major news outlets "fake" is just a way of trying to keep the populace ill-informed and ignorant. Let's not fall for it, please.

By the way, there is "fake" news...they are tabloids (Enquirer), racist blogs, YouTube videos that any dweeb can post, etc. If they lie about a thing happening (pope runs prostitution ring out of Sistine Chapel, Big Foot top donor to the Clinton Campaign, Pat Robertson considered for Ambassador to Heaven)...then that is fake news. But those with long histories of journalistic integrity are not fake news, even if what they report isn't to (y)our liking.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

I Am a Product of Public Eduation


My graduate schools were all private (Goddard College, MA; Union Theological Seminary, MDiv; Episcopal Divinity School, DMin), but my success in graduate school was made possible by my public school foundation:

Carver Kindergarten
College Hill Elementary School (1st grade)
Liberty-Eylau ISD (2nd - 12th grades)
Texarkana College (public community college)
Henderson State University (BA)

Additionally, my parents were graduated from Arkansas High School (my dad was an alum of both Henderson State Teachers College, later known as HSU, [BME] and Louisiana Tech University [MAE])...all public schools.

My grandmother was graduated from Wickes High School, Magnolia A&M College (later known as Southern AR Univ [Teaching credential]), and Arkansas State Teachers College (later known as University of Central Arkansas [BSE])...all public schools.

My dad taught public school music for 7 years, my grandmother was a public school elementary teacher for 36 years, and her sister, my great-aunt was also a public school elementary and special education teacher.

My husband's MDiv and DMin are both from private seminaries, but his K-12 years were also in public schools.

Both of my brothers and all of their children went to public schools (one brother went to private school for a few years but graduated from public high school).

My entire family benefited from public education.

Additionally, my education has been enhanced by PBS/NPR (just saying).

None of this may matter to the billionaire class oligarchy in charge right now, but it has meant the world to me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

A Prayer for Healing in the Time of Trump

A prayer as I end a long day:
Another day is coming to a close. There is so much anxiety, so much uncertainty, there are so many attacks on dignity, truth, liberty, and on the norms of civil discourse. May the "better angels of our nature" guide us through this time of chaos. May grace sustain us. May wisdom, peace, and courage conspire to keep us safe and well and focused on what is good; may the good prevail. May the forces that threaten the welfare of children, the elderly, the sick, the poor, the marginalized, and the unfairly despised cease their troubling and may Loving Justice and Courageous Mercy bless us and keep us and bring healing to our fractured, fearful, and increasingly forlorn land. In the power of hope and with the assurance that "weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning" I release this prayer to the perfection of divine right action. And so it is.  

Dr. King's Widow's Words Ruled "Impuning" a Senator to Silence Another Senator

Coretta Scott King had this to say about Sessions (Senator Warren was silenced by Sen maj ldr McConnell because she was going to read this into the record):
"I write to express my sincere opposition to the confirmation of Jefferson B. Sessions as a federal district court judge for the Southern District of Alabama. My professional and personal roots in Alabama are deep and lasting. Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts. Mr. Sessions has used the awesome powers of his office in a shabby attempt to intimidate and frighten elderly black voters. For this reprehensible conduct, he should not be rewarded with a federal judgeship. I regret that a long-standing commitment prevents me from appearing in person to testify against this nominee. However, I have attached a copy of my statement opposing Mr. Sessions' confirmation and I request that my statement as well as this be made a part of the hearing record. I do sincerely urge you to oppose the confirmation of Mr. Sessions." (Coretta Scott King)

It's Apocalyptic But To Be Fair It IS What He Promised

So here's the thing: Yes, the current (US) regime is filled with white supremacists and oligarchs, yes they plan to destroy the Dept. of Education, yes they are coming for your/our social security and medicare, yes they are actively trying to delegitimize both the free press and the judiciary, yes they are shamelessly in bed with Christian Fundamentalism (which is all the reprehensible things named above masquerading as faith) even while 45 has not a pious bone in his body, yes they think the government should control women's bodies, and yes they are flagrantly trying to discriminate against Muslims, immigrants, and's all true. BUT, it is also what they campaigned on.

They said they would do this. And some of us said that was fine, or even good, or not so good but there would be more good to balance out the evil, or that they didn't mean any of that because it was too horrible to be true and so they supported this bloodless coup or they stayed home and said, "let's see what happens." It's scary and it's ridiculous and it is the downfall of our nation as a significant player in the world, but it's also what they promised. Yes, they lie so much as to make the average politician look like truth serum in shoe leather, but their promise to usher in autocracy and oppression they meant and they are delivering on that promise wtih BLITZKRIEG like speed.

I now recall the slogans that were used to make this dystopia possible:
"He speaks his mind."
"He'll shake things up."
"He'll make some real changes."
"He can't do worse than the ones before him."
"All the candidates are really the same."
"Make America Great Again."
"He's all bluster. He dosn't mean that hateful stuff. Once he's in he'll behave properly and do some good things."

Those of us who believed him when he told us he was a horseman of the acopalypse take NO PLEASURE in being right. I, for one, hoped to highest heaven that I was wrong. I am devestated to realize how right we were. But, when you're social security is a third less and you are almost 70 before you can draw it and your kids' schools are lagging behind every developed nation in the world and your loved ones are suffering or broke or dying because access to health care has been eliminated and we are drinking poisoned water and breathing contaminated air, at least you can admire the beautiful "wall" (that we will pay for) and be grateful that the Flat Earth Society is leading prayer in your kids' algebra class.

It's a horror show, but it is the exact horrow show we were promised. Now, God help us all.

Angry With Non-Voters

IF the election had broken down like this: 65% voter turnout with those who voted supporting Trump 51%, Clinton 47%, Other candidates 2%...I would still hate the current administration's agenda, but I would have to accept it. I would have to admit that a narrow but signficant and legitimate majority wanted this and that's democracy, that a vision different from the one that inspires me prevailed. "Suck it up and make the most of what I believe is a bad situation" would be my advise to myself. BUT that isn't how it broke down! Instead, about HALF the electorate stayed home, the person who would be swown in as the 45th POTUS got 3 million fewer votes than his opponent and only 27% of the country actually voted for him. Gay rights, women's rights, voting rights, the dignity of immigrants, hope for refugees, the environment, PEACE, the arts, public broadcasting, education, and safety and dignity for the majority of seniors are ALL in jeaporday now - Not because 27% of the country voted for a vision I detest, but because about half the country didn't vote at all. And in all honesty, I'm still struggling with that. It was civic malfeasance for which our whole country and possibly most of the world will be paying for years to come. The people who "won" are just people I happen to disagree with; the people who didn't care one way or the other what happens to the lives of the people who make up this country are the ones I remain angry with...I will forgive because my sanity depends on it, but I'm not there yet.