Have you tired yet? Will the burden of disconnection ever be so great that it simply must be dropped?
Are you ready for compassion and love to overcome the stifling power of the ego and fear?
It was interesting to be at Mom’s this last week – with TV! She, of course, has MSNBC on non-stop so we got to see some interesting correlations with 45DD to Nixon’s years (which husband Dan has been noting for months now). It’s almost comical, if not a bit scary (mostly to think it could take as long to remove 45 as it did Nixon) to see the comparisons.
While it was slightly entertaining, I’m not sure I understand this need for constant TV News watching. I believe it’s making our country sicker and sicker by the day. The constant plugging in to the “news” which seems mostly to be a rehashing of sound bites over and over, only entrenches people more firmly in their stances, depending on which channel they watch… it seems almost everything is biased these days.
And TV does not appear to be doing anything to bring about any common sense, common decency, or progress for all Americans. What does seem to be happening? Well, racism seems to be getting more and more out of hand and 45DD keeps making progress on his only apparent goal: turning back any and every thing that happened during Obama’s administration, which mostly means giving more and more to the already wealthy and doing more and more harm to our environment. I’m wondering if what 45 is doing is also basically racism…
The CONSTANT “news” coverage is really insane – how many ways can we talk about 45’s lawyers and who knew what when? How many ways can they say the same things over and over?? I literally heard a guy on NPR the other day saying something ~ it was about 30 seconds of saying and re-saying the same simple thing that could have been said in about 6 seconds. It’s maddening! It’s like we need to fill the space with talky noise.
And now they are spewing some of what 45DD and the war mongers want them to… Dan noted Media are claiming “Iran” fired missiles into Israel (after Israel fired missiles into Syria, of course… Israel is so ironically good at hanging on the cross) when the source of the missile firing has yet to be determined!
I believe moving to the Harn without TV was a REALLY good idea… We still have NPR and we can watch Trevor Noah, Sam Bee, John Oliver, Seth Meyers – you know, folks who cover more of the real news via satire than the actual “news” anchors – so we can stay kind of up to date. But we are not sucked into the insane and repetitive 24-hour TV “news” coverage. [Though we do get sucked into the FB at times… which is a whole other WTF-is-wrong-with-us subject.]
The orange one has his own catastrophes occurring with new facts emerging almost daily about funding that seems damning. I just keep wondering why all the investigations seem to be taking SO LONG… And why there still seems to be so little condemning of 45DD in light of everything that is emerging. As David Letterman put is last week:
On a good note, we did get some North Korean prisoners out – well, someone did. 45DD doesn’t seem to do much except take full credit for EVERYTHING that happens [or will be happening…“We’ll see what happens”…] while mostly spewing nonsense, often unintelligible or unrelated, that only his followers can think is intelligent. But this was a second “success” for his administration – I think they are going for one/year. Last year it was Tax Reform, which really mostly helped rich white people but is seen as victory by his poor white followers who mostly will get fucked by it. This year it’s three guys returning from North Korea.
But the long, slow, slog to failure seems to continue for 45DD. He pulled out of the Iran deal this past week – which could have grave implications for the US and the rest of the world. Meanwhile, there are immediate ramifications for others. For many in the U.S., the only real downside will be higher fuel prices. But the consequences for those closer to Iran geographically could be catastrophic. It will be interesting to see if the remaining parties to the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) for Iran will continue to abide by it, thus making the U.S. largely irrelevant.
What you may not be aware of are the losers and winners in the Iran Deal Pullout. The big loser in the U.S.? Boeing. Tariffs are looming and this pullout could leave them in the lurch with their aircraft contracts in Iran. And overseas? Germany. With many companies in Iran, German leaders are working hard to maintain the agreement with the other parties. And who are the big winners? Oil companies, China (the world’s #2 largest economy on their way to #1 as they continue to fill the void as we pull out of things), and the biggest winner? Russia. About a month ago, for the very first time, Iran awarded a prime oil project to Russia. So this could very well be another instance of Putin getting exactly what he wants from the administration he is accused of putting in place here in America. [Watch minutes 2-8 of this video to see a layout of the potential winners and losers.] As is evident in Iran, moderates want the deal to continue. Thus, 45 has now aligned himself with Iranian hardliners who want to see it scrapped.
[If you are reading closely, you will recognize the above as a reverse shit-sandwich. Have you ever used this technique – you know, couching some crappy news between two slices of good, or at least not so crappy, news? Well, there are not enough good news items from this administration so I had to do the opposite kind of sandwich, which is a lot messier.]
And if you are REALLY paying attention, you will recognize the happenings now for their stunning similarity to what happened about a hundred years ago here in America, basically the time between the Great Depression and WWII.
Speaking of jobs, we can surely not count on 45DD to implement anything like the New Deal or the Civilian Conservation Corps – for all the good they did to stabilize the country and deal with the effects of the Great Depression, Republicans still can’t admit to them being good things. What we can count on is that 45’s continual “pulling out” is telling the world, “Agreements you make with us aren’t worth the paper on which they are written.” [Of course I know he could never talk like this!! His grammar is atrocious!] And what we can hope to avoid is World War III. We’ll see what happens!
In actuality, we look much like 1930’s Germany… Hitler reference fully intended. [Yes, many times this has been abused but it’s more and more apt for 45DD.] The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect laid this out plainly in a 2017 tweet ~ how ironic!
[Big thanks to hubby Dan for all his history knowledge that wrapped up this week’s blog.]
And finally, with a throwback to Dan’s home state…45 took a little road trip to Elkhart, Indiana last week too, where he told the crowd, “America is Respected Again.” Uh, not sure what universe he is living in but it seems we are losing respect more and more around the world as is evidenced nicely in this succinct video from the UK. His message is attractive in Indiana. Dan and I have noted to many here in Minnesota (and I have noted in this blog) that one reason we moved from Indiana is that they seem to be marching back to the 1950’s (1850s if they can). But as the Democratic Mayor of South Bend put it:
“Trying to turn the clock back socially, economically and racially to the ’50s, that’s attractive to some people. But the alternative is to move to the future.”
Let’s hope we keep moving forward, not back.
Perhaps the natural disaster in Hawaii will yield some relief for us.
Once again, it is the talk of the Nation: Another horrendous mass shooting in a public school. If a country cannot assure its children are safe in public schools, I don’t think it deserves to call itself civilized. And if continued outcry for solutions doesn’t lead to improvement, then it’s a pretty piss-poor democracy. It’s been almost 20 years since Columbine – the school shooting that brought this issue to our attention April 20, 1999. But that was far from the first school shooting. School massacres are older than our democracy but have taken a seeming exponential rise over time. And in 2018, we’ve had 18 shootings already this year. Or have we? We cannot even agree on the statistics.
Snopes has a pretty thorough analysis of 2018 school shootings but I was disturbed by this sentence in their analysis – which seemed to downplay the statistics.
Only seven were intentional shootings that occurred during normal school hours.
Only seven! In the first six weeks of the year. Well, cheer up, everyone!!
While I agree that suicide at a school which has been closed for several months would not be a public school shooting, I would not classify incidents where no injuries occur as non-relevant. Snopes gives a thorough breakdown of each incident with details. In all, 22 deaths and 36 injuries. Just this year. Just in our schools.
And the laws are fucked up. In Florida, you have to wait 3 days to buy a handgun but an AR-15 style rifle? You can clear a background check and walk out with one in minutes. “Under federal law, you also must be 21 to buy a handgun from a firearms dealer. But 18-year-olds can buy semiautomatic rifles.” But there is some good news from the election of 45. “The publicly traded gun makers Sturm, Ruger & Company and American Outdoor Brands both lost about a quarter of their market value in the days after Mr. Trump’s victory. Earlier this week the Remington Outdoor Company, one of the country’s biggest and oldest gun manufacturers, said it would seek Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection amid plunging sales and mounting losses.”
Ironically, the fear mongering of the NRA is quite successful when “gun-control” Dems are elected, but their purchase of “pro-gun” GOP leaders has resulted in losses for the businesses that should find their efforts the most helpful.
So where can we look for answers?
I’d first like to direct you to a recent blog of someone I have newly discovered. She said so much so succinctly and so well that I have left much of it to her. Please check her out as she has much wisdom on this and many other topics. Here’s an excerpt from her Engineering, Parenthood, and a Solid Attempt at Adult Status blog Fuck you, I like guns. (Note – the title is a quote and accounts for a third of the f-bombs in the piece. She does a nice job of making solid points with excellent analogies and minimal cursing.) :
“This (AR-15) rifle is so deadly and so easy to use that no civilian should be able to get their hands on one. We simply don’t need these things in society at large. I always find it interesting that when I was in the Army, and part of my job was to be incredibly proficient with this exact weapon, I never carried one at any point in garrison other than at the range. Our rifles lived in the arms room, cleaned and oiled, ready for the next range day or deployment. We didn’t carry them around just because we liked them. We didn’t bluster on about barracks defense and our second amendment rights. We tucked our rifles away in the arms room until the next time we needed them, just as it had been done since the Army’s inception. The military police protected us from threats in garrison. They had 9 mm Berettas to carry. They were the only soldiers who carry weapons in garrison. We trusted them to protect us, and they delivered. With notably rare exceptions, this system has worked well. There are fewer shootings on Army posts than in society in general, probably because soldiers are actively discouraged from walking around with rifles, despite being impeccably well trained with them. Perchance, we could have the largely untrained civilian population take a page from that book?” ~ Fuck you. I like guns. 2/15/18
Weapons meant for quick people-killing are NOT the type of gun you want anywhere… except maybe the front lines of a war. This blogger makes an amazing argument and I’m hopeful her voice will make an impact on this issue.
Australia has figured it out. After a mass shooting in 1996 by a gunman who killed 35 and wounded 23 more – notably NOT in a school – Australia implemented a massive buyback of semi-automatic weapons and implemented “new gun laws (which) prohibited private sales, required that all weapons be individually registered to their owners, and required that gun buyers present a “genuine reason” for needing each weapon at the time of the purchase. (Self-defense did not count.)” While that may not be feasible in America “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”, it has been successful in Australia: “In the decade before the Port Arthur massacre, there had been 11 mass shootings in the country. There hasn’t been a single one in Australia since.”
Switzerland has a pretty good system too where men ages 20-30 (34 for officers) are issued guns (for militia training) which they can keep at home. However, there are strict controls on ammunition. Every round is accounted for in regular checks. In recent years, only the gun is kept at home and ammo is retrieved from nearby in case of a need for militia (with the exception of a few designated people).
Danny often argues that we don’t have to worry about guns if we should make ammo EXTREMELY expensive. If it cost $100/round or even $25/round, you’d be thinking hard about each time you shot. At shooting ranges, you could purchase all the ammo you want really inexpensively. But you’d have to shoot it all there. We could even subsidize this ammo with the “home” ammo purchases. And what about those who make their own ammunition? In the time spent making bullets, they’d have time to think about where those bullets were going to be used. And, if they used them in the wrong place, pre-meditation would be easy to prove.
Maybe the Youth in America will finally resolve the issue. The #MeNext and #NeverAgain movements, along with the planned walkout on 4/20, the anniversary of Columbine, may give the wake-up call we need. I’m hopeful we won’t have to wait until these young people are all old enough to replace the bought-and-paid-for NRA politicians we have in place now. But fear runs strong in America and many just can’t see any cure for guns except… more guns. I think the real cure is to work on getting rid of the fear. But the rich and powerful love it when we’re afraid… especially of each other.
And how might this affect the race for Governor in Minnesota? No telling. But what we do know is that Walz has an A+ rating from the NRA… on which Erin Murphy has said, “That means he’s done their work plus the extra credit to get the plus.” Love it. Note: Erin has an F rating from the NRA, supports “limits on sales of certain ammunition, expanded background checks and a ban on sales of AR-15 rifles in Minnesota,” which puts her toward the top in my ratings. While Rebecca Otto appears to be our most Progressive candidate, with the data indicating she will beat out the competition, I’m guessing the DFL will weakly decide to run with DINO candidate Walz and end up losing anyway. They’ve maybe learned nothing from the Bernie Sanders / Hillary Clinton fiasco from last cycle. Or the continued horror happening in our schools.
This week I had one more realization of how our health care system is so broken.
I am starting service with a new clinic and they emailed me an Authorization for Disclosure of Protected Health Information form to complete. This will give my old clinic permission to send my records to my new clinic. The new clinic is only requesting records from 9/1/2015 to present which is a pretty small amount of information I believe, since I rarely go to the doctor.
Anyway, so I completed the form and scanned it in and emailed it back to the address from which it came. I got a return error…
Apparently, this was a no-response email address.
So I called the clinic… first to listen to their answering machine and then again days later when the office was open again as they don’t allow you to leave a message so they can get back to you when they have time. You just have to call when the office is open. You still have to listen to a message when you call but if you sit patiently for a while, your call “will be answered in the order in which it was received”.
The gal who answered the phone was not the same one to whom I spoke previously and who sent me the form. This new gal said I could fax it and I explained that I don’t have a fax machine. She asked if I wanted to mail it and I said, “No, I’d like to send it electronically, the same way you sent it to me, so you have it right away and can get the ball rolling. I’d imagine your office has an email address to which these kinds of documents can be sent. This is the 21st century after all.” OK, I know that last part was not really necessary but, for God’s sake, shouldn’t our medical clinics HAVE and USE the latest technology?
She let me know that the person who sent the letter would typically handle it. So I asked if she could give me her email address. She then reluctantly and slowly (because she doesn’t know it by heart) gave me HER OWN email address at the clinic. I sent the document and she said, “Yep, it looks like I got it. I’ll print it out and fax it to where it needs to go.”
So, yes, in trying to work electronically, the clinic will still use a piece of paper to print this document and THEN, generate another piece of fax paper – are we really still use these things??? – to get the job done. Why couldn’t she simply forward my message to the gal’s email who had originally worked with me? Better yet, why didn’t she have that person’s email to provide to me directly?
No wonder health care is so expensive. This is a lot of steps and I imagine there is some kind of scanning that will then be done to keep a record of the document. Which could all have been avoided if they simply knew how to use electronically emailed documents in the first place!
I really thought that the ACA was going to help all clinics go electronic, not only for this kind of communication, but also for sending records from one clinic to another. With this antiquated system still in use, I’m guessing that my paper records may still be in transit when I arrive for my appointment later this month.
Apparently this is now in question. OK, maybe it’s been in question for some time but it’s officially recorded as of this week when I made the local paper, referenced by my full name and apparently ending with the question… “Where will you spend eternity?” I’m feeling somewhat important… but mostly, I’m just confused.
Here’s the response: http://www.echopress.com/opinion/letters/3929645-letter-where-will-you-spend-eternity I’m not really sure how what I wrote is connected to what she wrote but apparently it has something to do with where I will spend eternity… There’s a reference to me, personally, and my letters on climate change. Then there is a bunch of stuff about how God flooded the Earth. Then a question: “Where will you spend eternity?’
It gets even better with another letter in the same edition of the paper’s opinion letters: http://www.echopress.com/opinion/letters/3929617-letter-god-control-climate I have to put some detail here:
“In the beginning, God created the universe and put the Earth perfect on its axis. Then came God’s judgment on the Earth with Noah’s flood that covered the whole Earth. After the flood, God had to do something with all the excess water so he tipped the Earth 23-1/2 degrees on its axis, causing the waters to rush to the poles, where he froze the water immediately into the glaciers.
What is happening now is that God the creator is slowly tipping the Earth back to its original position on its axis. Therefore, the Earth’s temperature is slowly changing and causing climate change around the Earth. The glaciers are slowly melting and some are breaking loose and starting to move around.
Because God is tipping the Earth back to its original position on its axis, it is causing earthquakes, floods, and weather changes around the world.”
I think he’s doing it with his big finger… or as we call it, “His Noodly Appendage”!
The grammar in these letters alone is enough to give one pause… but the premise and explanation is where the true belly laughs erupt. I am AMAZED to learn that God tipped the Earth to allow all the water to go to the poles where it was instantly frozen into glaciers. (I pondered aloud, “How would that work really? Getting all the water on opposite sides of the globe at the same time?? My husband says, “He had to tweak it really fast!”)
If this is so, are we to take it that, since God is now “causing climate change around the Earth” ~ a situation where bunches of us are being killed, like literally millions of people ~ that He hates us?!? It would seem to me that killing many of us in mass floods, droughts, tsunamis, heat waves and other weather-related disasters would be a sign of disapproval. It’s not like, “Oops! Sorry about that tornado where a couple people died. I was just playing around with this wind thing and it got a little out of control.” No this is like, “See ya’!” with no time for response. Looks like He especially disapproves of the people in D.C. right now. It’s probably all those damn politicians!
But really, we all know that the true instigator in all things climate change is the lack of pirates.
As explained in an open letter to the Kansas School Board regarding the beliefs of The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, “there is a statistically significant inverse relationship between pirates and global temperature.” http://www.venganza.org/about/open-letter/
This letter is asking that, if we’re going to teach Intelligent Design, then how about also teaching the idea of Intelligent Design by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, the author’s deity of choice. Tongue in cheek, this has developed into a new religion for those who have a big sense of humor and perhaps also a sense of humility. Pastafarians, as they are known, poke fun at those who, rather than respecting that others be allowed to practice their own ideas, instead want to force Christian beliefs to be taught as the only “truth”.
Reminds me of Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States. During the European Invasion of Haiti (aka Columbus’ discovery of America), the white invaders (aka Missionaries) asked the Natives if they didn’t want to go to Heaven. This was asked as they were literally killing the Natives for refusing to accept Jesus Christ as Savior. BTW, I’m pretty sure this was not in line with what Jesus would have deemed A-OK. Anyway, their response was basically “Not if that’s where you’re going to be.” I’d tend to agree.
bumper sticker: https://www.flickr.com/photos/wiless/2627167258
All others Wikipedia