Monday, February 22, 2021

When Is Native American Heritage Month?


Every February, I am overwhelmed by the tragedies told in Black History Month. I watch many of the documentaries and programs that describe in painstaking detail the shameful history of White America. I read about children of tender years torn from their parents to be auctioned away from them. Stories of unspeakable cruelty at the hands of so many, not just slave owners or people of the south, but in the north as well. In the aftermath segregation was the norm in too place places, red-lining for housing was practiced, and equal pay was a myth. Lynching continued well into the 20th century, with the last one thought to be Michael Donald on March 20th, 1981. Yes, you read that right. 1981 in Mobile, Alabama, Michael Donald walking home from the gas station, was chosen at random for being Black...and hanged. 1981, people. Think about it. 

The injustices perpetrated against Black America are manifold. If, after abolition, there was any discernible progress made toward citizenship and equality, then perhaps We, the People, might have a leg to stand on in saying we did our best but the sad truth is we did not, nor do we even now. The long legacy of slavery still impacts our daily lives, and if you doubt that statement, just remember what flags were flown at the insurrection. There are pockets of this nation where if slavery could be reestablished they would jump for joy. The root of that particular evil continues to run deep, and the crimes against People of Color continue unabated. If you want to really know what Black Lives Matter is all about, you need to look beyond the placards and to the root of anger. 
As ugly as it gets, the anger part is real, palpable, and pretty much justifiable. Black Americans have a whole lot to be angry about. 

[Note: The violence, however, just feeds the enemy of equanimity exactly what it needs to thrive: another excuse to hate. We saw that in action during the George Floyd riots in Minneapolis and New York - provocateurs adding hatred to the flames.]

There is not a minority group in the nation that has not felt the sting of unfathomable hatred. Jews are still under attack from all sides (see Jewish Space Lasers,) Latinos, Asians, Muslims. In the old days you could've added Irish, Italian, and Polish to the list. What is very clear is that if your appearance is different, or perceived different, you become a target. The bullies will find you. It's just that simple. 

One group, however, has been banished from sight, hidden away in corners you might not even know are there. There are actual places for those people who were once the majority population here. In fact, they pretty much owned this country and ran it on their terms. Oh, they had their spats, but they also had different systems of governance that worked well for them. And then they were herded up, shipped off, and denied all rights. Even when the Civil War was setting the slaves free, these people continued to be pushed aside, denied all civil rights including citizenship in their own country, and no one came to their rescue.

Yeah, yeah, I know. This is one of my usual soapboxes. Too bad. It is. And it doesn't get enough attention. 

Do you even know there is a Native American Heritage Month? Just so you know, it's November, the same month as Aviation Month, Latin American Month, Good Nutrition Month, Hunger Awareness Month, Aids Awareness Month, Vegan Awareness Month...and others. But nowhere on the list appears Native American Heritage Month. Gee, I wonder why? Maybe because it's the same month as Thanksgiving, when we lie to ourselves about our relationship with the people who lived in the soon-to-be-Boston area? 

Does your local PBS station run a zillion documentaries about the plight of those still on the Res, or those groups without access to any sort of health care? Your local news might show pictures of the pow wows in late summer, but does anyone ever have a special about what those dances are and how they came to be? That they are often religious in nature... or do they just tell you where you can go to see one? How would you feel if people came to gawk at your place of worship?

Chief Joseph of the Nez Percé was the leader of the Wallowa band and lead his people on an incredible flight across the Rocky Mountains. On October 5th, 1877, he surrendered to General Nelson A Miles at the Bear Paw Mountains of Montana. In his surrender speech he said,
My people–some of them–have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find; maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever!
Chief Joseph was an eloquent speaker. He was later invited to Washington, D.C. in January of 1879, and met with President Rutherford B. Hayes, Congress, and lots of other people to tell them about the plight of his people and other tribes in the west. In one of his speeches he said,

I only ask of the government to be treated as all other men are treated. If I cannot go to my own home, let me have a home in a country where my people will not die so fast. I would like to go to Bitter Root Valley. There my people would be happy; where they are now they are dying. Three have died since I left my camp to come to Washington. When I think of our condition, my heart is heavy. I see men of my own race treated as outlaws and driven from country to country, or shot down like animals. I know that my race must change. We cannot hold our own with the white men as we are. We only ask an even chance to live as other men live. We ask to be recognized as men. We ask that the same law shall work alike on all men. If an Indian breaks the law, punish him by the law. If a white man breaks the law, punish him also. Let me be a free man, free to travel, free to stop, free to work, free to trade where I choose, free to choose my own teachers, free to follow the religion of my fathers, free to talk, think, and act for myself—and I will obey every law or submit to the penalty. Whenever the white man treats the Indian as they treat each other, then we shall have no more wars. We shall be all alike—brothers of one father and mother, with one sky above us and one country around us and one government for all. Then the Great Spirit Chief who rules above will smile upon this land and send rain to wash out the bloody spots made by brothers' hands upon the face of the earth. For this time the Indian race is waiting and praying. I hope no more groans of wounded men and women will ever go to the ear of the Great Spirit Chief above, and that all people may be one people. 

Heinmot Tooyalakekt  has spoken for his people.  (January 14, 1879)

Heinmot Tooyalakekt (Thunder Rising to Loftier Mountain Heights) was Chief Joseph's Nez Percé name. I guess it was too much to ask the historians of the period to bother learning how to spell it. Oh, hell; if we Minnesotans can learn to spell Bde Maka Ska.....

 

You may not know it, but Heinmot Tooyalakekt is considered one of the great civil rights leaders of America. He spoke up for the Indigenous Peoples of this land. Didn't get him very far, nor did too many people in DC pay any attention to him then, just as we pay no attention to him now. That is very broken.

 

See, that's the thing. He's still ignored. Not much has changed for his descendants; they're ignored, too. Too many of our Indigenous population remain on reservations or in places where the rest of America doesn't have to deal with seeing what We, the People have done to them. They are not front and center, even when living in cities. Did you know there are people fighting right now to get COVID vaccines to those populations because they have been "missed?" 

How do you miss an entire tribe like the Navaho? Ask Mae Tso's family.

Black Americans are doing the absolute right thing in standing up to demand justice, to demand equality, to demand equal access to education, health care, and justice. In their struggle to be recognized as equal partners in these here United States, to be an absolute part of We, the People, they are setting the example for the other exploited minorities in the nation. In pushing for their rights, they have an incredible obligation to be the example for the rest of the "others" in this nation who are denied civil rights and full participation in America. ALL Americans of any and all stripes should be marching shoulder to shoulder with them under the tent of the Constitution. We, ALL the People, have an obligation to them. It's long past the time when the IP are set free. 

And maybe, just maybe we will understand the need to have the original owners of this land to have a seat at this table beneath a tent that is rightfully theirs.


The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Be not afraid of cataract surgery. It's frickin' painless.
The drops are a pain in the ass, 
but hey!  I can see bright, shiny, clear colors with both eyes.
And today, for the first time in a zillion years, I drove without glasses. 
Who knew?

Monday, February 15, 2021

The 14th Amendment Section 3: Giving Aid or Comfort to the Enemies Thereof.

My babysitter has arrived and is downstairs logged into his workplace in Milwaukee. In a little bit, we of negative COVID tests will join the Junior Son and family of negative COVID tests for pizza dinner. Funny how something I would have thought to be so exceedingly normal is right up there with a State Dinner. Seriously. Senior Son has not seen Little Miss and Young Sir since October, and they are totally revved up that their Bumple is here for a couple of days. If you haven't guessed, they call him Bumple, The only one missing is Mrs. Senior Son who is holding down the fort at home. I am just glad to have a babysitter for tomorrow. 

Tomorrow is eye #2, and if the results are anything like eye #1, as I expect them to be, I am totally psyched to get this done. I really had no idea how yellow my world had become. Who knew? I am looking forward to even better colors with two working eyeballs. 

I really do want to be done with Feckless Loser and look forward to when, like my cataracts, he is scraped away. However, this past week, the specter of his existence wafted across the news-scape and once again we were reminded of the sadness of the last four years. Watching the footage of the mob attacking the Capitol was frighteningly sad. Hearing them call "Naaaaaancy!" again and again, and knowing they had created gallows on the grounds for Speaker Pelosi and Vice President Pence was like some kind of bad movie. Only it was the real thing and we were watching it unfold live as we watched more than a few senators look away, doodle on pads, read magazines, generally ignore watching tape of what had happened scant weeks ago outside that very chamber. It was as if they were not present, much less bothered by the attack directed against them. 

So the senate acquitted the pathetic shell of a human formerly known as Feckless Loser, on the grounds that they didn't think the Constitution allowed for impeachment after a person leaves office. Which, for the record, it does. But even convicting him would not have removed him from office; instead, it would've assigned responsibility for his words in the hours leading up to the insurrection. Instead, the Republican senators absolved him....or did they? 

Senator Mitch McConnell, probably one of the guiltiest members of Congress to aid and abet this White House in its attempted destruction of the United States as we once knew it, lashed out after the vote in which he voted to acquit:

January 6th was a disgrace.  American citizens attacked their own government. They used terrorism to try to stop a specific piece of democratic business they did not like. Fellow Americans beat and bloodied our own police. They stormed the Senate floor. They tried to hunt down the Speaker of the House. They built a gallows and chanted about murdering the Vice President. They did this because they had been fed wild falsehoods by the most powerful man on Earth — because he was angry he'd lost an election.

 

Former President Trump's actions preceding the riot were a disgraceful dereliction of duty. The House accused the former President of, quote, 'incitement.' That is a specific term from the criminal law. Let me put that to the side for one moment and reiterate something I said weeks ago: There is no question that President Trump is practically and morally responsible for provoking the events of that day. The people who stormed this building believed they were acting on the wishes and instructions of their President.

Yes, McConnell's speech is powerful, but admitting there was a problem while refusing to act on it is just as deceitful as the act itself, if not more so. He ends this accusation of Constitutional dereliction of duty with this:

We refused to continue a cycle of recklessness by straining our own constitutional boundaries in response. The Senate’s decision today does not condone anything that happened on or before that terrible day. It simply shows that senators did what the former president failed to do. We put our constitutional duty first.

By not giving this speech before the vote, Yertle the Turtle let the senate do something much worse than "not condoning" the action of this Feckless Loser -  he allowed that chamber to refuse to assign responsibility to the heinous acts, and opened the door to permit another run at the presidency in 2024.

In other words, Mitch McConnell is full of shit. 

So now, people are trotting out the 14th Amendment, Section 3:

Fourteenth Amendment 

  • Section 3

    No Person shall be a Senator or Representative in Congress, or elector of President and Vice-President, or hold any office, civil or military, under the United States, or under any State, who, having previously taken an oath, as a member of Congress, or as an officer of the United States, or as a member of any State legislature, or as an executive or judicial officer of any State, to support the Constitution of the United States, shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same, or given aid or comfort to the enemies thereof. But Congress may by a vote of two-thirds of each House, remove such disability.

Hmmmm. Do you think telling the mob that you love them constitutes aid or comfort? What aid and comfort did Feckless Loser give his Vice President while he was being hunted down? Eleven minutes after being informed Pence was being evacuated from the Senate floor for his own safety, at 2:24 pm EST, Feckless loser tweeted :

Mike Pence didn't have the courage to do what should have been done to protect our Country and our Constitution, giving states a chance to certify a corrected set of facts, not the fraudulent or inaccurate ones which they were asked to previously certify.

He knew his VP was in harm's way and he tweeted that shit. 

In the greater scheme of things, I would rather see them use the 14th Amendment, Section 3 to prevent Feckless Loser from ever running again. If they won't convict him because they think the post presidency impeachment is unconstitutional, why not use the Constitution to restrain him from any other attempts at elected office? This would be a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

Meanwhile, where the hell is Pence in all this? Why is he silent? Why does he not speak about the events of that day? His silence is not deafening; it's perplexing. What is this man so afraid of that he won't speak out?

A Pizza Pause

Dinner with a six-year old and an almost three-year old is a raucous event, especially when pizza's involved. There were timed laps around the living room, kitchen, and dining room, lots of jumping off stuff, shrieking, hysterical laughing, dog barking, airplane crashes, and general mayhem. Bedtime stories were the best...and a promise was elicited that Bumple would come back tomorrow night to read more bedtime stories. I should be just fine by then, and that would give my boys a little bonus time, too. I love that the kids cannot wait to see Bumple. I love that my boys still jerk each other's chains and laugh at their own jokes.  


Resumption of Serious Stuff. 
Everyone back on your head*

Where was I? Oh, yeah. I remember. The GOP

In some ways, Pence's continued silence speaks very loudly to the thrall in which Feckless Loser holds the Republican Party. One would hope that the base does not solely consist of the rioting mob of January 6th. One has to believe that the bulk of the party is made of individuals who believe in traditional Republican values like my dad did. Yeah, he was a Republican and proud of it, although I cannot imagine he would be proud of this GOP. What happened to those people....or are they just as afraid as Mike Pence to admit this guy was unfit for office?

There is a major disconnect for me between the long cherished positions of the Republican party and the deification of Feckless Loser. Republicans were always stolid, solid citizen types who preferred the status quo to change. That said things like, "Love it or leave it" to kids who didn't want to go to Vietnam. That claimed to support the men in blue and general law and order. They were the party of no dreams with a city over there on a hill and some sparkling stars or something. But their version of the American dream was locked in the fantasyland of the 1950s when women wore pearls to vacuum. Miss America was a paragon of American womanhood to be admired, not grabbed by the pussy. The man they nominated did all that and boasted about it. He cheated on all his wives, had kids by all three, and that was okay with them. What happened to all those good Christian folks who cherished virginity with purity rings and preached abstinence?  When that same sorry sack of orange told Nazis they were good people and later told a rioting mob that he loved them, where were all those love-or-leave Americans who fought Nazis in Europe? Why were they silent in the face of a man who trampled on all they held dear and precious? Is this the ultimate case of Follow The Money?

Mike Pence's prolonged silence matched against Mitch McConnell's speech should be cause for great debate in the Republican party. They need to take this to the general membership and not rely on mass hysteria from some small number claiming to be the "base." I don't believe for a New York minute that all those good Republican cloth coats condone the behavior of Feckless Loser and his cadre. I don't believe for one New York minute that those staunch, righteous Americans with flags on every lapel believe that the behavior exhibited by the former occupant of the White House was okay on any level. But I do believe that if the GOP does not go back to its true base membership, the Republican Party. will cease to exist. Its tent cannot hold QAnon Shaman Guy and his cabal alongside the Bushes, the Romneys, or even the Murkowskis. 

Since I am not a Republican, I don't get a vote on the future of the party...unless....unless there is change from within its ranks to bring it back to the center. But the membership must step up to do that. The vast majority of Republicans who don't buy this pay-for-play version of America have got to let their leadership know that the end of this last term was unacceptable and an embarrassment. Those who do not learn from this experience are doomed to repeat it. 

And you thought GROUNDHOG DAY couldn't possibly be real.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Anyone wanna register as a Republican just for the hell of it? 
It might be one way to move them back to the center, dontcha know?


*BONUS JOKE*
an oldie but a goody and a Ziggy favorite - #257

    A man goes to hell and the devil greets him. He takes him to a hallway which has three doors. "You gotta choose one to spend the rest of eternity in," says the devil.

    So he takes him to the first door and he opens it and sees everyone standing in fire up to their shoulders. He decides that's not for him and asks to see what's behind the second door.

    Everyone in the second room is raking brimstone. The smell is terrible, and the skin on their hands is peeling off. He decides that's not for him either. 

    He asks to be shown the third option. The devil opens the door and the man sees everyone standing around in shit drinking coffee. The man thought that was pretty bad, but at least they could drink coffee so he told the devil that looked okay to him. 

    So the man wades in, grabs a cup of coffee and is talking to one of the guys. They converse for a few minutes when the devil returns.  "Okay, guys, coffee break's over. Everyone back on your head."


Monday, February 8, 2021

One Down, One to Go

Well, the right eye is done, and let me tell you, it was quite an experience. Best light show in town. For a few minutes there, I thought I was living inside a kaleidoscope. Seriously. I was pretty nervous about anyone doing anything to my eyeballs, but this is a miracle of modern technology and science. Not only was it extremely not painful, the first thing I noticed the next morning was that the woodwork in the bathroom was screaming white, and the lightbulbs have got to be changed in there. I needed sunglasses! I am happily anticipating eye #2 so I can truly appreciate the light show. All joking aside, the difference between my right eye (fixed) and my left eye (not fixed) is astounding.

To be perfectly honest, I did not watch the Stupid Bowl. I have never watched the Stupid Bowl. I have been summoned to watch an ad or two over the years, and I have watched ads the morning after online. But I have never subjected myself to the abject boredom of watching over-muscled men banging into each other for no apparent reason. I think the game is violent and stupid, and an incredible waste of resources. 

I had not even planned on watching any ads this morning, until one of my fellow bloggers, a native New Jersey person, mentioned how totally offensive Bruce Springsteen's Jeep ad was. New Jersey, Springsteen, and offensive may not ever have appeared in a sentence together. So, yes, I had to watch this purported train wreck. If you haven't seen it, please watch it now.

UPDATE: You can't, Jeep has pulled the video after it was known the Springsteen was arrest for DUI in a National Park. I'm not 100% sure I'm buying that....but we'll see.  2/5/2021


I'm not sure I would call it offensive as much as I would call it disturbing. Bruce Springsteen has always been the working guy kinda hero. A musical/lyrical Everyman. People relate to his music, his poetry, his messages. But he doesn't sing in this ad, he speaks. Almost in the faintest echo of Amanda Gorman's cadence. But the images don't match the message. 

The opening shot is taken by a drone, showing the church that is purported to sit at the exact center of the lower 48 states. It's a lovely image of the cross atop the chapel. The voiceover is modulated and serious sounding, adding intentional gravitas to the message. The message itself is benign when you just read the text:

There’s a chapel in Kansas, standing on the exact center of the lower 48. It never closes.

 

All are more than welcome to come meet here in the middle. It's no secret the middle has been a hard place to get to lately, between red and blue, between servant and citizen, between our freedom and our fear.

 

Now fear has never been the best of who we are, and as for freedom, it's not the property of just the fortunate few, it belongs to us all. Whoever you are, wherever you're from, it's what connects us, and we need that connection. We need the middle.

 

We just have to remember the very soil we stand on is common ground, so we can get there. We can make it to the mountaintop through the desert, and we will cross this divide. Our light has always found its way through the darkness. And there's hope on the road up ahead. 

Where I get into trouble with this ad is in the imagery. I'm not talking about Ol' Cowboy Bruce from New Jersey in his worn out cowboy boots and beat up cowboy hat. I'm talking about the subliminal message in all those crosses. From the opening shot, this is an ad directed at White Christian America. Even the closing shot is a cross. No ad agency in their right mind signed off on this without knowing there was going to be a giant impact, and that it wasn't gonna be all good. 

Why would they do that?

There is a lot written that this ad is promoting unity with non-accountability. That the ad says we should just move on and stop trying to assess responsibility for the last month, let alone the last year or four years. The text as delivered is calming and sensible. But the sites selected are all white-bread America. I think the person in the diner is a Person of Color, but I cannot be sure. You can't tell me that Jeep missed the part about inclusion and diversity. But I can be sure that the last image, the one that looks like Cavalry with barbed wire is totally scary and is not a plea for unity. It's something else entirely. 

What were they thinking?

I really tried to look at this ad from a whole bunch of viewpoints. It didn't matter. The words did not match the images. The images were pretty clearly directed at Christian Whites, the ones who were still donating to Feckless Loser's campaign to overturn the election. Were they targeting that group subliminally to say, It's over; come back to the centrist position of the GOP ? Or were they telling them White Supremacy is the source of light and truth? It's not easy to discern which message is the target message when the images do not match the words. 

These guys spend tons of money on ads. This one is two minutes plus. There is no way you will ever convince me that the ad agency did not know what it was doing, or that Bruce Springsteen thought this was benign. It's inconceivable. 

There is nothing benign or harmless about this ad. Anything Springsteen has to say about it will be coached and probably apologetic, but all bullshit. They knew exactly what they were putting up and they were hoping We, the People would aw, shucks the Boss in his cowboy clothes. They were counting on the emotional impact, but not the one it appears to have punched. 

But truth be told, We, the People are so emotionally impacted at this point that one more layer will just compound the anger, not assuage it. This ad does not help the cause of unity. 

Nope. Not one bit.

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week
Want a Stupid Bowl ad with a message we needed to see,
try this one from 1984



Monday, February 1, 2021

O, Cataracts! My Cataracts!

O, cataracts, my cataracts! your annoying state is done,
My floaters are about to go. Phantom fruit flies are no fun!

Apologies to Walt Whitman, another Long Islander.  

But that's kinda how I feel as I type this. I am really tired of the floaters. I keep thinking they're fruit flies. Then again, I was convinced I was having floaters the other day when Little Miss told me there was an icky fruit fly on my phone. I killed it with great relish because it wasn't a floater. By the time most of you read this, eye #1 will be done. The Junior Son will be shmoo-herding me for this adventure. I spent most of the day cooking...he should have food if he's trapped in the house with me for the afternoon. It's the least I can do. The Senior Son will come in to handle eye #2 in two weeks. But he'll be staying with me for a few days which actually makes me look forward to it. Everyone assures me this is no big deal, but I still need to be supervised after anesthesia. What I am really anxiously anticipating is being able to see more clearly than I am now. Distance is fine, but I have not put needle to cloth nor hook to yarn in almost a year and I miss having busy fingers. 

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I read the dumbest thing ever in The Forward. It was an article about how the Bernie memes were viewed by some as sexist. Really? 

Others complained that Bernie was stealing attention on a day that should have been about Kamala Harris, the historic occasion of a woman of color sworn in to the vice presidency. Comments complained that his lack of attention to his dress was disrespectful, or saw in his sullen look the sign of a bad sport who was still angry to have lost the Democratic nomination to Biden. How like a man not to feel pressure to smile at a historic occasion (not that you can see Bernie’s mouth under his surgical mask).

Give me a frickin' break. Of course, I had to leave a comment:

Oh, puh-leeze..I am a dyed-in-the-wool feminist. I am over the moon about Kamala Harris's election. I celebrate the radiant brilliance of Amanda Gorman. And I laugh at the Bernie memes. In truth, they are just what we needed: our momentary Everyman in Everyplace. Assigning some kind of deep, secret social statement to the Bernie memes means the humorless destroyers of America have won. If we are unable to laugh at ourselves, all the elections in the world won't make a difference.

After four years of terror and hate masquerading as humor, the Bernie memes are a momentary antidote. And Bernie laughed _with_ us....as his team raised millions for social welfare programs in Vermont. Good for them!

Can we back off the political correctness for a moment and just laugh? There are seriously scary people out there, but Bernie sitting on a chair is not one of them.

But during that refreshing moment of jocularity, there were really scary things happening in the background again. Frank Figliuzzi, former FBI assistant director, was on NBC and said the following:
"This is what I call the mainstreaming of madness. This is radicalization in broad daylight... To think that the images of U.S. members of Congress are now on those connected dots charts inside some office at FBI headquarters is unbelievable"- 
Listen to the Figliuzzi talk.  This is scary stuff and it's in plain sight. 

Which brings me to another set of thoughts: what is a patriot. 

Look, Marjorie Taylor Greene is batshit crazy.  This is fairly well established by virtue of her own lunatic ravings. However....and isn't there always a however...her constituency knew exactly who they were sending to Washington. And that means there are enough people who believe in the same batshit crazy stuff she does. Then she tweets something like this:

The real cancer for the Republican Party is weak Republicans who only know how to lose gracefully. This is why we are losing our country.
And I find myself wondering if I thought the same thing 4 years ago when Hillary lost. She won the popular vote by a wide margin, but did we just concede without asking the right questions? I don't think that was a batshit crazy idea then. 

If I believed the election was somehow fraudulent, would I have gone to the mattresses to fight for what I believed was right? Hell, the Bush-Gore election went to the Supreme Court. What would have happened had this one inched its way into SCOTUS? (No, I'm not talking about the bull-oney factor with this one versus the debacle of 2000.) But I am wondering did I sound as crazy as some of these people? 

I don't think so, and I don't think there was the same level of vitriol as we have experienced over the course of 4 years. And I suspect there is a great deal of truth in what I said about humor. We've had 4 years of hateful, mocking, bombastic statements that were supposed to be passed off as humor, but only demonstrated how deep the hatred of the other was. And when we finally do laugh at the gentle humor of an old guy on a schmuck bench with mittens, we are almost afraid to laugh at ourselves, lest we demonstrate we are not upright and dedicated to our cause. More like uptight, than upright, but who's counting?

Friday night, Bill Maher did a brilliant NEW RULES piece. He created The Baldy Award for hard working, boring politicians. The sculptured head and first recipient was former Congressman Henry Waxman of California, and guy that tirelessly labored to write legislation for the benefit of We, the People. He was never a glory guy, he was a trench worker, without whom many programs and laws would not exist. This is a guy who kept his head down and his eyes focused on the needs of We, the People. Like the patriots in that hot, sweaty Philadelphia meeting room in 1776, he had a job to do and he got it done. 

Surely, there is a line in the sand that demarcates the separation between insurrection and patriotism? But who gets to define which is which? I'm not sure.

Wait a minute: Like the patriots in that hot, sweaty Philadelphia meeting room in 1776.....those guys were a bunch of old white guys who owned slaves and treated their wives abysmally. How can we possibly hold them up as examples of goodness, truth, and the American way? They were defying King George! They were preaching insurrection and promulgating revolt and revolution! What puts them on the side of right when what they were doing was so wrong? Would I have gone with them? I don't know. 

We, the People, stand at the edge of a precipice. We can all go over the edge like lemmings following a leader, or we can stand firm. But what are we standing firm for? 

I used to think there were absolutes. I don't think that any more. I look at MAGA people and wonder if they really, sincerely believe they are patriots? As much as I would like Majorie Taylor Green to disappear, expelling her from the chamber makes her a martyr to the cause. Censure her, for sure, but don't give her more ammunition. Target that district and get her voted off the island in two years. 

In the olden, golden days, we used to know right from wrong, but it's not so clear now. America at its best is advanced citizenship. The batshit people get to have an opinion, and the rest of us need to work really hard to prove it is a batshit opinion. Facts do matter. Alternate facts must be disproved unequivocally. You don't get to make up your own facts. You don't get to broadcast hate-filled conspiracy theories made up in the basement by some guy out for a manipulative laugh. If you want to be part of the government, you have to be fact-based. Although it does not really explain how Marjorie got elected, and therein lies the really scary stuff. 


We, the People, need boring. We need politicians that care about the outcome for their constituents, not the outcome of their war chest. We need the Henry Waxmans of this world to concentrate on the greater good. Just as we should be concentrating on the greater good.


And right now, the greater good means shutting this thing off and getting ready for tomorrow. 

The Wifely Person's Tip o'the Week

SEE you all better next week!