Monday, January 25, 2021

If Only We're Brave Enough

A  single year ago, We the People were blissfully unaware of the impending crisis called COVID-19. I was dealing with the crisis of an idiot-induced basement flood. The first impeachment of Feckless Leader was underway.

What a difference a year makes. 

My basement is a lovely space that is happy, friendly, and a pleasure to fold laundry in. I ended up getting rid of my ancient Bow Flex, and I remain undecided on what will ultimately replace it. I do need some kind of exercise equipment, but I have yet to figure out what. But coming in through the garage door just makes me smile. 

COVID has impacted everything we do and will do for at least another year. Late in 2019, one of my travelers told me there was a virus in China and I shouldn't book anyone to Wuhan, and if I did, I should warn them. I mentioned it to my boss at the time, and we both mentioned it to our site manager. At that time, word came back that "they" had heard something about it, but no action was to be taken at the time. By this time last year, questions were beginning to be asked, but not much was happening. Now, we are all rushing to get vaccinated and it turns out the previous administration not only didn't give a shit about the pandemic, all those "plans" to get the vaccine out to states and humans were in the same folder with the biggest, bestest health care plan this country has ever seen.  In other words, there was no plan.

And new articles of impeachment are being delivered to the Senate tonight. I have mixed feelings about this, and I don't really want to write about it tonight. I will say I wish there was a way to hold him accountable for his words and bar him from running for public office ever again without putting this nation through another trial that is going to fail for all the reasons you already know. So let's leave it for another day.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

Still, last Wednesday, instead of wearing my usual sweats, I dressed up. I put on my pearls. I cried when I saw them walking up the Capitol steps. When Kamala and Doug emerged from the Capitol onto the platform, I bawled like a baby. Seriously. Tears of relief. When Joe and Jill came out, I cheered. I grinned like a Cheshire Cat as St. Amy of Minnesota did her thing, I stood for Lady Gaga's National Anthem, and I could barely breathe during Amanda Gorman's poem, The Hill We Climb. 

I thought President Biden spoke well; his measured tone was that not of Commander-In-Chief, but of Comforter-In-Chief. His words were meant to be a salve for the aching wounds of the past four years, especially those past two weeks:

This is America’s day.

This is democracy’s day.

A day of history and hope.

Of renewal and resolve.


Through a crucible for the ages America has been tested anew and America has risen to the challenge. Today, we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate, but of a cause, the cause of democracy. The will of the people has been heard and the will of the people has been heeded.


We have learned again that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile.


And at this hour, my friends, democracy has prevailed.


So now, on this hallowed ground where just days ago violence sought to shake this Capitol’s very foundation, we come together as one nation, under God, indivisible, to carry out the peaceful transfer of power as we have for more than two centuries.


We look ahead in our uniquely American way – restless, bold, optimistic – and set our sights on the nation we know we can be and we must be.

Yeah, I know it's a speech. But it was a speech everyone needed to hear at that moment, two weeks after the attack on the Capitol. There needs to be a moment when everyone can breathe a sigh of relief before resuming the standard operating procedures of obstructionism. 

© Patrick Semansky/AFP
What I do want to talk about is the grace, elegance, and beauty of Amanda Gorman's words. Her poem, The Hill We Climb, is exquisite. Through the eyes of a young woman, we get a glimpse of another America, one that struggles, that is rife with faults, misconceptions, and presumptions, but that recognizes the potential of possibility, hope, and diversity. As my friend Bettelynn commented, she was "dancing to her words with her hands." as she spoke. That is such an apt way to describe Ms. Gorman speaking the her own words. I could barely breathe as I listened to her. Her voice, her composure, her surety, and those hands dancing as she can you not become a devotee of this poet? If you have not read it, here it is in its entirety:

When day comes we ask ourselves,
where can we find light in this never-ending shade?
The loss we carry,
a sea we must wade.
We've braved the belly of the beast,
We've learned that quiet isn't always peace,
and the norms and notions
of what just is
isn't always just-ice.
And yet the dawn is ours
before we knew it.
Somehow we do it.
Somehow we've weathered and witnessed
a nation that isn't broken,
but simply unfinished.
We the successors of a country and a time
where a skinny Black girl
descended from slaves and raised by a single mother
can dream of becoming president
only to find herself reciting for one.
And yes we are far from polished.
Far from pristine.
But that doesn't mean we are
striving to form a union that is perfect.
We are striving to forge a union with purpose,
to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and
conditions of man.
And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us,
but what stands before us.
We close the divide because we know, to put our future first,
we must first put our differences aside.
We lay down our arms
so we can reach out our arms
to one another.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all.
Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true,
that even as we grieved, we grew,
that even as we hurt, we hoped,
that even as we tired, we tried,
that we'll forever be tied together, victorious.
Not because we will never again know defeat,
but because we will never again sow division.
Scripture tells us to envision
that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree
and no one shall make them afraid.
If we're to live up to our own time,
then victory won't lie in the blade.
But in all the bridges we've made,
that is the promise to glade,
the hill we climb.
If only we dare.
It's because being American is more than a pride we inherit,
it's the past we step into
and how we repair it.
We've seen a force that would shatter our nation
rather than share it.
Would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.
And this effort very nearly succeeded.
But while democracy can be periodically delayed,
it can never be permanently defeated.
In this truth,
in this faith we trust.
For while we have our eyes on the future,
history has its eyes on us.
This is the era of just redemption
we feared at its inception.
We did not feel prepared to be the heirs
of such a terrifying hour
but within it we found the power
to author a new chapter.
To offer hope and laughter to ourselves.
So while once we asked,
how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?
Now we assert,
How could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?
We will not march back to what was,
but move to what shall be.
A country that is bruised but whole,
benevolent but bold,
fierce and free.
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation,
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation.
Our blunders become their burdens.
But one thing is certain,
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy,
and change our children's birthright.
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with.
Every breath from my bronze-pounded chest,
we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one.
We will rise from the gold-limbed hills of the west.
We will rise from the windswept northeast,
where our forefathers first realized revolution.
We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the midwestern states.
We will rise from the sunbaked south.
We will rebuild, reconcile and recover.
And every known nook of our nation and
every corner called our country,
our people diverse and beautiful will emerge,
battered and beautiful.
When day comes we step out of the shade,
aflame and unafraid,
the new dawn blooms as we free it.
For there is always light,
if only we're brave enough to see it.
If only we're brave enough to be it.

Thursday morning, I woke up unafraid to turn on the news. Seriously. I know that the division and rancor will not soon go away. The paramilitary movements have been driven farther underground which is not a good development. Two sides of this political divide are not gonna have some kinda Kumbaya moment to suddenly seek compromise. The best we can hope for is that legislators begin to legislate for all instead of down party lines. Yeah, that's a big jump,  but we need daring Congressclowns willing to take that leap of faith for We, the People. 

Lastly, there is laughter. The Bernie memes are funny without being mean. How refreshing is that?  Even Bernie thinks they're funny. We, the People, need that; we need to laugh at something without rancor.  We need to stop hating each other. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o' the Week
Get a vaccine as soon as you are able. 
Gee, isn't that simple.

Monday, January 18, 2021

MLK DAY, January 18th, 2021. Let Us Pray

Before I begin this week's episode, I would ask all my readers to view these 2 videos, one, a compilation from The Washington Post, the other from The New Yorker's Luke Mogelson. It is a factual, clear, timeline of the attack on the Capitol. [Note: if you use the link below The Washington Post video there is no sound, but there are lots of maps so you can follow the progress of the insurrections as they move into and through the building.] Understanding the timeline and what happened in the Senate chamber is not to make a political statement; although there are many to be made, every single one of We, the People, need to see how our Capitol was breached. Understanding the why superficially is not enough; there is a deeper, more complex, more complete why which the incoming administration must fully dissect and examine if we are to ever move forward.  

There is a transcript of what was said in the Senate chamber attached to the Mogelson video, but it's the part at 8:00 minutes in that should shake the core of our republic at its very roots:

[Man at Podium] Let's all say a prayer in this sacred space.

Thank you heavenly father for gracing us

with this opportunity.


Thanks to our heavenly father.

[Man] Amen.

For this opportunity to stand up

for our God-given unalienable rights.

Thank you heavenly father for

being the inspiration needed to these police officers

to allow us into the building,

to allow us to exercise our rights,

to allow us to send a message

to all the tyrants, the communists, and the globalists,

that this is our nation, not theirs,

that we will not allow the America,

the American way of the United States of America to go down.

Thank you divine, omniscient, omnipotent,

and omnipresent creator God

for filling this chamber with your white light and love,

with your white light of harmony.

Thank you for filling this chamber with patriots

that love you. Yes lord.

And that love Christ.

Thank you divine, omniscient, omnipotent,

and omnipresent creator God for blessing

each and every one of us here and now.

Amen. Thank you divine

creator God for surrounding [indistinct]

with the divine omnipresent white light

of love and protection, peace and harmony.

Thank you for allowing the United States of America

to be reborn.

Thank you for allowing us to get rid of the communists,

the globalists, and the traitors within our government.

We love you and we thank you, in Christ's holy name we pray.

[Crowd] Amen.

They believe they are defending the Constitution. They believe they are following in the footsteps of our Founding Fathers. And they believe the rest of us are the traitors. Especially the non-Christians. 

Now, let me make something crystal clear here. 


Okay, got that? Good. Now you may read on.

 Horn man left this on the desk
We, the People, cannot ignore this protest. It doesn't matter that they have been fed a pile of bullshit and are trying to spread it around. What matters is that they believe Donald Trump's tenure in office has been illegally suspended. Once you can grasp that concept, you have a chance to understand these people are not going to just go away; they will continue to demonstrate and demand some form of recall. And if those demands are not met, they will turn to violent insurrection. As the guy in the horns wrote on the paper in the Senate, "Justice Is Coming." Their justice, based on their belief that they are the true patriots here. 

A lot of people may have had a wake-up call on January 6th, but not everyone. Sunday morning, an interviewee on FACE THE NATION said 49% of Republicans remain unconvinced Biden/Harris won. Maybe that's 25% of the entire population? I don't know. But I still think 25% of anything is significant and requires attention. They will not be swept under the rug, nor will they just go away. This percentage must be recognized, and their grievances must be taken seriously. To do otherwise will grow the rebellion. I'm suggesting We, the People, adopt their policies; I am strongly suggesting that we start listening to what they are saying so facts and reality can be targeted to that audience. 

Most of you, dear readers, do not believe that Wednesday afternoon the Good Fairy of Kindness will descend on the nation's capital to sprinkle magic dust to change all hearts and minds. Let me reassure you: pixies are not coming to fix this. Reality is reality and that is what we must confront. To ignore that segment of the population is to do so at our own peril.

We, the People, must recognize this is far from over. 


But today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and we know there is another fight for the soul of this nation that is far from over. 

My friend Eric, a Minnesotan living in exile on the West Coast, posted the following status on FaceBook: 

I’m disappointed in myself that I hadn’t read his Letter from Birmingham Jail before now. Fortunately for my edification – though, sadly for the march of progress – it is as relevant to our present moment as it was to the moment for which it was written almost 58 years ago.

Too much time has passed since I read the Letter from Birmingham Jail, and Eric is correct, it is as relevant now as it was then. What is equally important is to read the open letter from the eight white clergymen from Birmingham, published on April 12th, 1963, who believed the demonstrations were inappropriate and unnecessary. The "outsiders" to whom they refer tacitly includes Dr. King and those who demonstrated with him. 

However, we are now confronted by a series of demonstrations by some of our Negro citizens, directed and led in part by outsiders. We recognize the natural impatience of people who feel that their hopes are slow in being realized. But we are convinced that these demonstrations are unwise and untimely. 
We agree rather with certain local Negro leadership which has called for honest and open negotiation of racial issues in our area. And we believe this kind of facing of issues can best be accomplished by citizens of our own metropolitan area, white and Negro, meeting with their knowledge and experience of the local situation. All of us need to face that responsibility and find proper channels for its accomplishment. 

All things considered, this is talking about Alabama in the 1960s. Untimely? It's not like there was a whole lotta progress over the last 100 years. 

In his letter, Dr King takes issue with these clergymen most eloquently. He writes:

You deplore the demonstrations that are presently taking place in Birmingham. But I am sorry that your statement did not express a similar concern for the conditions that brought the demonstrations into being. I am sure that each of you would want to go beyond the superficial social analyst who looks merely at effects and does not grapple with underlying causes. I would not hesitate to say that it is unfortunate that so-called demonstrations are taking place in Birmingham at this time, but I would say in more emphatic terms that it is even more unfortunate that the white power structure of this city left the Negro community with no other alternative.

We are a deeply divided nation that is still struggling with the injustice Dr. King saw and experienced in 1963. There is no denying the existence of the chasm between Black and White America then or now. It's there. Recognition of its existence is crucial and Dr. King bluntly states his disappointment with the religious leaders of Alabama in no uncertain terms:
I have heard numerous religious leaders of the South call upon their worshipers to comply with a desegregation decision because it is the law, but I have longed to hear white ministers say, follow this decree because integration is morally right and the Negro is your brother. In the midst of blatant injustices inflicted upon the Negro, I have watched white churches stand on the sidelines and merely mouth pious irrelevancies and sanctimonious trivialities. In the midst of a mighty struggle to rid our nation of racial and economic injustice, I have heard so many ministers say, “Those are social issues which the gospel has nothing to do with,” and I have watched so many churches commit themselves to a completely otherworldly religion which made a strange distinction between bodies and souls, the sacred and the secular
Dr. King, throughout the letter, spells out the exasperation of those denied a voice in deciding their own lives. He returns to the theme of self-determination again and again, reminding the other religious leaders that they have an obligation to treat all fairly and with respect. In the deep south of the 1960s segregation was the norm, and not high on the list of things to change no matter what pastors said from the pulpit. It's not enough to mouth the words; the words must contain intent, and that intent has to move outside the walls of the houses of worship to be put into practice. 

At the time the two letters were written, Dr. King and those fighting for civil rights were viewed much the same way most of us are viewing the insurrectionists. 

Yeah. Really. 

And therein lies one of the bigger problems: We, the People, in order to form a more perfect union, have to provide transparency in our government so that those who believe the DNC is running a pedophile ring in a Philly pizzeria can be brought in from that cold, cold night. The generally disenfranchised who have been sucked into this morass have to be nudged out. And it has to be done at the Congressional district level. 

If our elected legislators are honest about wanting to heal the rift, they will have to have words with intent, and intent pasted to the soles of their shoes as they walk their own districts. There needs to be an agreement about how the midterm elections are going to unfold...from tone and tenor to money and pacs. There must be a show of dissenting, CIVIL opinion and a demonstration of respect between the contenders. They don't have to agree, they just have to be civil and respectful of each other. Debate is not a synonym for name-calling and shouting. Debate should be a presentation of ideas. 

Yeah, I'm asking a lot. But if you're reading this, how about sending it to your Congressperson with a note saying, "It's time to get this right. Let's have a midterm campaign about ideas. Let's say 'no' to dark money and smear ads. Let's listen to what each side has to say." 

Yeah, yeah, just call me the Wifely Pollyanna. But here's the thing, it has to start someplace. Sure, it will begin with Joe Biden's inaugural address on Wednesday, but let's ask our legislators not to stop there... but to keep going. 

Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
Win Mcnamee/Getty Images
And for those members of Congress who aided the insurrection with maps, tours, and directions: throw their sorry asses right out of Congress with expulsion. No matter what they thought about the election, their job was to protect both the Constitution and the republic. When they put their own colleagues at risk, their oath of office was shattered.

I mean, whaddya think the insurrectionists would've done to Nancy Pelosi had they found her?

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Day
Planning on watching the Inauguration?
Get outta the sweats and dress up a little.
You'll feel better and maybe even a little hopeful.
Me? I'm gonna wear my pearls.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Then Again.....from the middle of the insurrection

The last 4 days have been spent trying to unpack the events of the last week. Lots of readers sent IMs and emails, some calling me Cassandra, others asking how I knew. The better question is why didn't you know?

On November 9th, 2016, a scant 2 days after the election, I posted a special edition: Just So You Know

If minorities are worried, it's for a reason. We've seen this before. 78 years ago today, November 9,1938; there are still living eyewitnesses. It was called Kristallnacht

I can imagine why Jews in Germany were thinking this little Austrian paper hanger would be a flash in the governmental pan. But he wasn't and by the time people figured this out, glass was shattered and the borders were closed...except for the one you could pass through on a train heading into Poland. Jews were denied escape routes. President Roosevelt refused entry to the St. Louis; 908 passengers were turned away from the US, Cuba, and Canada. They were sent back to Europe. Many journeys ended in the gas chambers across Europe. 

That was then and this is now. 

Social media provides instant information. We understand what David Duke means when he twits his "people" got Donald Trump elected and his "people" are taking back America.

So let's be real clear about this: 1930 was then and this is now. Donald Trump may be president, but that's not a license to kill, bully, round-up, or terrify. We, the People will not stand idly by while segments of our population are terrorized by roving gangs of white supremacist miscreants. This is still the United States of America and we still have a Constitution. 

Or do we? Wednesday's insurrection was not about looting the Capitol or stealing Nancy Peolosi's mail; it was a full frontal attack on American democracy and the U.S. Constitution.

This meme was posted on Facebook on January 7th, at 12:53 EST. Let's not talk about how incredibly stupid this is, but for a moment, imagine what would have happened had they not been removed from the chambers. Rounded up? Beaten? Executed? Is that what this person wanted to see? I have to think so. The person that posted this was actively advocating for the murder of our Congress. Regardless of people who claimed the storming of the Capitol was "peaceful," had the mob reached a full chamber, the outcome would have been driven by rage. 

On January 8th, 2:15 PM EST, the same person posted a picture of Ashli Babbitt, the vet who was killed inside the Capitol with the status:

The only thing you need to know is she was a domestic terrorist who betrayed her oath.
No flags, no bugles, no salutes.
Expunge her. I’m embarrassed we wore the same badge 

Followed by a photograph of Brian Sicknick, the USCP officer killed by terrorists, with the status:

Now this is a HERO Air Force veteran. PROUD to say we wore the same badge...

All I could think is, "You have been a meme-posting supporter of 'the overturn the election' cabal since the beginning and now you hail this guy as a hero? You fucking hypocrite."

Oh, all the wind-twisting we are getting now. 

To ALL of you who post those memes and bullshit news stories in the name of humor or news:  Sorry folks, you cannot delete all those posts fast enough. You cannot suddenly expect people of reason to forget that you were cheering the insurrection on. Mitch McConnell cannot apologize his way outta this. Mike Pence breaks with Feckless Loser and we're supposed to believe he wasn't lock step with this traitorous SOB? And Melania? Don't even get me started. 

In your hearts, you are ALL still cheering them on. Nazis are Nazis, racists are racist, seditionists are seditionist even if you change your costume. You were pretty clear about how you felt and what you believed. You actions spoke even louder than your psychobabble. 

Former-body-builder-Conan-the-Barbarian-Republican-Gubernator Arnold Schwarzenegger delivered one of the most powerful warnings to We, the People. Arnold knows about this stuff; he grew up in the aftermath of Nazi Austria. He is the son of a Nazi soldier. He called  Wednesday Crystal Day; I think he was spot on. If you haven't seen it, stop now and watch it. 

Guys like Josh Hawley (R. Missouri,) with their closed-fist salutes are still out there. The guy with the Confederate flag marching through the Rotunda is only one of hundreds like him. They still cherish that flag and the slave-society it represented. They are looking for a return to those glory days. And they are going to continue this insurrection because they believe the great Feckless Fraud will be there on the other side to lead them to some kind of victory. They drink the Kool-Aid and swallow the bullshit because they need to believe they are right about something. Anything. Whatever sound bite deflects them from rational reality and into a world where they can blame someone else for their misfortune. 

Social media has done a great job of normalizing extremist content. Various platforms have provided the space and privacy needed to plan this attack and ones to come. There is a finely honed, well-oiled network that spread this stuff. You would have to be living under a rock to think otherwise. If you can marshal your friends for a kegger via social media, what do you think the pros are able to do? There is no doubt in my mind that we have yet to see the depth of this movement. Equally not in doubt, is the idea that they don't need Feckless to do this. If he dies, he's a martyr. If he lives, he's a puppet. Someone else is jerking those strings. 

Feckless Loser may have hosted the pre-storming rally, but the attack was well planned in advance by others. Feckless said he was going to march with them....but disappeared. Where did he go? Why didn't the kids march with the gang of thugs to storm the Capitol? What were they afraid of? Mob mentality? Or plausible deniability?The rioters knew where to go and how to get there. (That some police helped them is another matter for another day.) None of this was spontaneous. The Steve Bannons and Steve Millers of that movement are smart, crafty, and vicious.

Now, if you were to ask most of the rabble in that mob why they are storming the Capitol, they would be unlikely to provide a cogent answer. They don't want a social state (but mom depends on Medicare and Social Security.) The election was stolen by voting machines from Panama? Nah, even the hand counts lined up. They don't want Obamacare, but ask them how they pay for health care? 

Of course, there are those in the crowd who know exactly what they are doing and why. You see orthodox Jews in that crowd, vocal supporters of Feckless Loser because they believe he is good for Israel. They are a part of the one-trick-pony mob. They have an agenda that is exclusive; not unlike the Rapture-ites. They cannot see they are acting like Brownshirts. They think they are not Nazis, but they are Nazis in this crowd. They are participating in their own version of Kristallnacht and don't even see it. They have forgotten the meaning of Chillul HaShem, desecration of the Holy Name. Don't even bother trying to reason with them. You can't. 

And everyone reading this knows it ain't over. The FBI is already warning of armed "demonstrations" being planned for state capitol buildings in all 50 states. Domestic terrorists have a secondary goal, and that is to terrorize the rest of us. Right now, I'm seeing little on how to prevent that, but maybe one just has to decide not to be terrorized. Maybe think of them as Boggarts with a bad edge. I'm not positive that would work, but making up one's mind not to be scared has to be a part of this. Defy them all....get a vaccine! 

I do want Feckless Loser stripped of his civil list pensions and perks. I don't wanna play one red cent for additional Secret Service detail for him, his creepy wife, or his disgusting children. They profited off the Secret Service while he was in office, and I think that should be charged as restitution of this government. I never would've blinked an eye on the perks had he NOT encouraged the attack on the Capitol. He deserves nothing but the bill for the cleaning and repairs of the building he destroyed. 

And I hope that New York State has enough on this jackass to lock him up for the rest of his unnatural life. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
If you're gonna attend a riot, at least wear a mask. 
Not only will it help keep the spread of COVID down,
it'll hide your face from the cameras, and make you harder to track down.
Didn't think of that, didja?