Post Canceled

Wrote a long rant on how we the little people, who vote and pay our taxes, teach our kids to be polite to everyone, dutifully vote, and mow our lawn once a week, we are the ones who need to still the political waters with kindness and tolerance.

Sorry, I can’t see how that will work.

Canceled

Time

8 Year Anniversary Achievement
Happy Anniversary with WordPress.com!
You registered on WordPress.com 8 years ago.
Thanks for flying with us. Keep up the good blogging.
Eight years ago I had no idea what a blog would come to mean to me.  My original concept was very different.  I wanted to write about psychographics, but nobody seemed interested, except my sons.  After awhile, I decided to try again.  Sometimes I’m more serious about blogging than other times.
These days I am not exactly burning up the keyboard.   What am I doing?  Processing!
If you aren’t from my area of the world you may not even realize what is going on here.  Between current events in my area, and personal events, there is a lot to process.
We had a very contentious election in 2016, and the divisiveness continues.  We have this Russian investigation into Russian attempts to interfere in our election, and possible collusion with candidates.  There is also a special prosecutor investigating obstruction of justice related to the Russia investigations.
Our outspokenly provocative president has done nothing to heal the divide in the electorate, and has participated in a war of insults with any opposition, including, most notably, North Korea.  This discourse includes such memorable comments in tweet form such as, “My button is bigger than yours!”
Trade agreements have been tossed.  Tariffs have been instituted.  Regulations are rolled back.  The Environmental Protective Agency is barring new organizations from meetings dealing with clean water concerns.  The Government has opened park land to business interests and has put up for sale large tracts.  There are scandals in various government departments.  There are also politically motivated accusations of improper procedures being followed by anyone who has anything to do with the various investigations.
Some of this “politics” continues to spill out into daily life.  Political topics quickly lead to arguments, and sometimes violence.  Demonstrations seem to be a part of daily life:  Against guns/for the Second Amendment, kneel for social justice for black people and minorities/stand for the flag, white power (complete with tiki-torches)/unity of all people.  Plus we have Women’s March, Not One More rallies against gun shootings, and the Me Too movement against powerful men.  As I write, Harvey Weinstein is being taken to prison after being arrested and charged for violence and abuse against women in His business under him.
All of this can be overwhelming.  It is mesmerizing!  It is upsetting, no matter which side of the politics you are.  I now limit my news viewing.  I need to give some thought to my real life.
There are changes going on in my life.  Doctors are now a big part of life.  Answers need to be found.   Adaptations have to be made.  Plus there is our house.
Our house is being painted!  I know I picked them, but I have to say, I love the colors!  I am so relieved.  Those tiny little swatches look great as a room.  I still have some anxiety about my other selections.  They are so different from anything else I’ve ever had.  It is exciting and fun.
While I am processing all this stuff, time just gets away from me, and yet another day goes without a blog posting, but I’ll do better.

Lunch with a Side of Politics

We stopped for lunch at our local, neighborhood restaurant after church on Sunday.  The Hugger Mugger, in New Castle, PA has generous servings of good food.  Around the restaurant, there are televisions, but this is the second time I’ve notices a change in channel selection, so I asked about it.

When we moved into the neighborhood, Hugger Mugger was the closest restaurant to our home.  It has been our first choice, for times we are busy and don’t want to cook.  Hugger Mugger has several televisions throughout the restaurant which have been set to the major news channels, CNN and FOX NEWS.  I liked to sit where I could look back and forth between the two.  I liked the attempt at balance.  I liked a choice wasn’t being made.

Things at the Hugger have changed.  I am told the owner has instructed the only channels to be used are FOX and The Weather Channel.  If all the televisions had been changed from news channels to something else, I would have an entirely different reaction.  There are other choices:  cartoons, fashion, sports, or other non political programs.

I already know I am one of the few who voted for the opposition in this area I now live.   Now I feel a little less welcome in one of our local establishments, and the community at large.

I remember Republicans complaining about the cast of Hamilton making an appeal for unity.  The Republicans called the comments “rude,” “harassment,” and “inappropriate” for a venue where you pay your own money to be there.  Vice-president Pence left the theater.

The peaceful protest by athletes of taking a knee during the National Anthem has additionally been called “disrespectful to veterans”  (some of whom support the athletes), and “un-american.”  Some people have decided to boycott athletic events due to these political statements.

It was called being PC or politically correct to be careful of your opinions.  Restaurants, businesses, and professionals were expected to be quiet with their opinions while they were taking your money for their services.  If they are forward with their opinions there are other choices.

I just wanted a nice omelet for lunch, without the side of partisan politics.  It is a simple business basic to appeal to the broadest possible patronage.  Politics and business don’t mix if your intention is to appeal to the broadest possible clientele.  Another business may offer your same service.

Hazel’s in New Castle, PA has a nice Omelet.  Hazel’s also leaves the partisan politics outside.

Busy? Not so Much.

A Ramble.

It is a snowy, blustery day, but warm enough that there is no accumulation on the ground.  Terrific.

I have swept and mopped, dusted and polished, scrubbed and scrapped, fluffed and folded.  I have also watched a bunch of TV, checked everyone on Facebook, deleted a bunch of emails, and sat with my little Shadow on my lap.  Just the mention of my sweet black cat brings a smile to my lips.  Me and my Shadow.  You would never know I have another cat, Blue, and a Boston Terrier named Brutus Buckeye who does accompany me on walks.

While doing these things my head was a buzz with ideas.  These are the same ideas that keep me from a good nights sleep.  Ideas that sound really great, until I actually give them attention.

Today those ideas include a family saga that my Dad thought I should write.  Not just the random pieces I heard growing up, but a real story, based upon actual events, that I really know very little about.  All of the people who could tell me details have passed.  A large historical family saga seems completely beyond my abilities.

The house, the one that caught fire, had to be gutted, and has been sitting empty since mid December, finally is ready for inspection of its new wiring.  When you buy a house from someone who thinks they can do everything themselves, and codes are only for other people.

Some very creative solutions, that are illegal, and possibly dangerous, were found within our walls.  Such dangers as bare wires inside a wall with just a little electrical tape to keep things together, or faux grounded outlets (outlets lacking any grounding) near areas of water usage.  The new wiring is ready for inspection and will meet all codes.  Codes which really are for our protection.

I can hear someone thinking that communities can really get picky with their codes, especially when the exterior is concerned.  Live in a historic district and you will really know the pressure code can exert on a homeowner can be worse than the pickiest of homeowner associations, but these codes ensure the maintenance of historically valuable architecture.  Fortunately, I live in the country.  Nobody cares about historical accuracy and general cosmetic stuff, but safety is the concern.

There were also at least ten blog ideas that flitted through my brain, but those are gone.  I live most of my life in the comfort of my own brain, full of stories, and ideas that I just can’t get out to share with anyone else.  There is too much going on.  As I jump from one thing to the next, ideas disappear into the hidden corners of my mind.

Write it down you say?  Ever find those notes later and ask yourself, “What?  What ever possessed me to think that’s a good idea? Nobody cares what I think about that!

Politics?  I don’t even want to hear about politics, why would anyone care what I think.  CNN, FOX, MSNBC, CBS, PBS… all have better sources and, people more politically educated than I.  Recently, I stick to the major local networks, and PBS.  I just want the news.  I can make my own political determination about it, and so can you!

Our house?  It is coming along, agonizingly slowly.  I do not want to bore you with counter choices and flooring.  I like it.  I will share pictures as available.  I can’t wait to see the results of all this planning.  It has been emotionally trying at times.  Repeated moves, make me feel like a couch surfer.  Sleep disruptions, general anxiety, and overall stress is the rule of the day.   We are in a nice place, and have what we need, but I am plagued by stress over my own klutziness and worry over pets and the damage we may cause.

Interpersonal conflict.  No.  Either to personal, or to mundane.

I could just write about my cat.  Shadow is curled up on her stand in the window.  Just a warm little body who plants herself on my lap whenever I make myself available.  Her silky fur, and gentle purr are soothing.

Give your pet, or someone you love, a little attention.  It is a great stress reliever.

Differences

american_flag_194592_edited

You can’t look at me and see which half of my face is white and which is black.  A person from another world would see us as completely the same.  Just by looking at each other we can’t tell who is Republican or Democrat.  If we could tell the difference at a glance, we could avoid interaction, or know when to keep our inflammatory comments to ourselves.  Our communication with others could be pleasant and peaceful.

At the beginning of the American Experiment there were no political parties.  The person who got the most votes won the election and became president.  The runner up became Vice-President.  Our new country quickly learned having a president and a vice-president with opposing views made things difficult.  Candidates began selecting a running mate with similar views.  The two party system was born.

Today the two major parties have become polarized into very different camps.  Republicans claim to be fiscally and socially conservative.  Democrats claim to be inclusive and socially liberal.

It is not obvious who is on which team, but I hear people talking about it.  At the YMCA, the local hospital, area restaurants, people talk politics and who is in which party.

We live in the same neighborhoods, maintain our property, raise our children and send them to the same schools.  We stand on main street with our flags for the Fourth of July parade, and the annual Christmas parade to welcome Santa to town.  We shop in the same places, work in similar jobs, pay our taxes, and deal with the same issues of health and happiness.  We belong to the same clubs, organizations, and churches.

The representatives we choose should represent all of us.  The party label should be used as a guide of a similar political approach, but not as a guarantee that a party candidate thinks like you.  Look past the party rhetoric at the entire person, their record and service.

Our political views may be different, but our ballot is secret.  Say whatever you need to get along in the world.  Vote for the best person.  If that isn’t the party candidate, no one will know.

 

Trump Stirs Supporters and Protesters

File:WV Capitol Eagle DOME top.jpg
Eagle on top of WV Capitol Dome in Charleston WV  This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.
Author
Coal town guy

Some of us remember the antiwar demonstrations beginning in 1969, the civil rights demonstrations leading to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, or The Tea Party demonstrations against ever increasing taxes of recent times.

Recently we see demonstrations in opposition to President Donald Trump, by those who object to the dismantling of healthcare, oppose the wall proposed by the President, or take exception to a the idea of roughing up the opposition for speaking out, or are against encouraging police officers to rough up those taken into custody, or for being a little too friendly with those found to interfere with our elections.

Are these demonstrations effective?

Today President Trump will be holding a rally in West Virginia.  Thanks to living in Appalachia  for the last seven years, I know many people on both sides.  An interesting idea for protest was posed, to buy two tickets to the rally, and then don’t show up, denying the President an audience.  To my friends who are supporters, don’t worry.  There are plenty of people who want into the rally, and if you are one of the lucky ones, you may just get one of those seats.  Their will be a full audience for the rally.

My readers, and my friends, all know where I stand politically.  My sympathies are with those who stand in opposition to many of President Trump’s policies.  At the same time, I long for a way to get the parties to work together.  I wrote letters to all of my Ohio representatives, about healthcare, and got a very thoughtful response from Ohio Senator Rob Portman.  The other response I received was full of Republican talking points, and not at all persuasive, nor appreciated.

Being a child of the sixties who wore a black protest ribbon against the Vietnam War, while dating a Marine, I love a good protest.  So what protest are my West Virginia friends plotting?  A party!  A party with banners of inclusion, food collection for the hungry, a positive demonstration with a lot of flag waving, and music.  No chaos, no shouting, no fighting with the opposition.

Will the proposed, positive protest be an agent of change?  Will it result in Republicans and Democrats coming together to debate civilly?  Will it result in an America that is neither red nor blue, but instead purple?  Purple combines both colors, and would result in cooperation and compromise.  Perhaps the results would be better than either party could force through on its own, and last more than one election cycle.

The question is how to have a protest that makes this desire clear to our elected representatives.  The Antiwar sit-ins I participated in had a clear statement to stop the Vietnam  war.  Civil rights demonstrations were aimed at ending separation policies between whites and blacks, no more sitting at the back of the bus, separate wash rooms, separate schools, and discrimination against voters.  Most recently the Tea Party showed themselves to be a force in elections, even attaining office, in its fight against the expanding reach of government, and the taxation that comes with that reach.

Senator Portman is a person I would recommend as a thoughtful leader who is aware of the concerns of both sides.  He is the kind of person we should all be voting for.  I can see the other side, when slogans are dropped.  Maybe there is a way to appease both sides. Maybe my friends in West Virginia should sign up voters who, like them, are looking for leaders who will work for all of us, rather than their party.

For the next election I will be voting in Pennsylvania.  I’ve already registered.

 

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Contacting My Representatives

I’ve spent my day drafting a letter to my congressman and senators regarding my questions and concerns of proposed legislation.   It took me most of the afternoon.  The first draft was more of a rant.  Realizing these are busy people, I edited my final draft to more than half the original length.  I have family members who may be impacted by the proposed legislation, and I want my representatives to be aware of my concerns and questions.  Hopefully, I will get some answers.

It is easy to find your representatives on-line, with both snail mail and email contact information.  Visiting my representatives’ home pages, I found copies of press releases, statements on position, and some really nice services.  Our representatives have newsletters so we can keep up to date on what is taking place in Washington DC.  There are phone numbers for offices in state and in DC.  There is DC tour information available, and dates when constituents can come in for coffee.

I was nervous.  I know that is a little silly, but I have never written any of the people who represent me.  This is an entirely new experience.  I don’t know what to expect next.  Do my letters and comments fall into some gigantic slush pile?  Will I get a form letter in response?  Will I get a call from someone on staff?  Will my insight prove so essential that my representative will call me himself?  The big question is, will my letters make a difference?

I expressed my concerns.  I asked my questions.  I will be getting the newsletters and will have a better understanding of just what my representatives are doing, and why.  I will even plan a trip to DC so I can go to one of those constituent coffees.   Cherry Blossom season is nearly upon us.

I highly recommend all American’s visit their representatives home pages.  Not sure who your representatives are?  No problem?  Using your zip code your search will be over within seconds.  Then you can read the press releases, look at the legislative calendar, become aware of opportunities to meet your representatives, and more.

Have fun!

 

Juicy Tidbits

My job as a newspaper correspondent was to sit in meeting, and then sum up what was said for the readers of my community.  I looked at it as if I was the eyes and ears of everyone in my community.  If you were busy with little league, choir practice, reading bedtime stories and tucking your little ones, you had no worries about what was happening at the council, school board or planning meetings.

It wasn’t usually very exciting.  Most of the business of local government is routine. Community business was routine, but important.  Are road repairs causing closures during your commute to work?  How much are the bridge repairs going to cost, and where is the money coming from from?  The city budget, the police reports, the accountants review.

My neighbor came to me with a story on how badly the building committee was treating her, by insisting she follow code.  A fellow worshiper stopped me in church to tell me the council was shamefully disregarding the law.  My hairdresser would wonder why I didn’t report on the abuse of police handing out traffic tickets for speeding as a city fundraiser.

There are rules that govern what can be discussed behind closed doors, and what must be discussed in the public eye.  There are also rules that determine who can be used as a source.  If the secretary says council is discussing something illegally behind closed doors, that may be interesting, but it is not something I can report on.

If a councilman is discussed with the lack of public conversations and produces reports on a study done in secret, then the reporter has a very juicy piece of news to report on.  This is where a reporter will legitimately keep their source secret, no matter what the mayor may feel about the legality or appropriateness of the action.

Just to be clear, the source is never a secretary, janitor, housekeeper, or other support personnel.  This is what is often called a leak, for no other reason that that the person or people in charge do not want to explain their actions.

This juicy scenario never happened  to me.  No, I had people saying things in public meetings that they wanted off the record.   Statements in a public meeting are never off the record.  The result for my community was longer executive sessions behind closed doors, and legislation presented for public discussion with carefully crafted statements for or against.

Some people did question if this situation was an abuse, but no-one who wanted to take a public stand.  That was the end of that story.

 

You Won

This is probably when I  should just be quiet, bite my tongue bloody, and step away from the computer.  But Nooooo!  That is not what I’m doing.  All my common sense says, “This will make me no friends.”  Really.  I know. But this is really just too amusing.

Sure I am disappointed that my candidate didn’t get elected.  I accept the decision of my country, and hope for the best.  While I  may disagree on policy, you won’t find me seeking a second amendment solution.  Name calling really isn’t my style, either.

After a campaign openly supported by the alt-right (a new word for antisemitic racist swastika bearing white supremacists), some people aren’t willing to let it go.  Not all Republicans are alt-right, racists or others in the basket of deplorables, but unless you have avoided the news completely, and why wouldn’t you, you have seen the rallies with neo-Nazis lifting their arm in salute shouting Trump.

A cafe in Hawaii has posted a sign to prohibit Trump voters and Nazis.  Republicans are not just annoyed, but complaining about the poor taste of offering a side of politics with lunch.

I had this very same reaction, which I shared with Hubby repeatedly, during the Clinton administration and again during the Obama years.  While going to a dentist, insurance office, or other private business I constantly saw disrespectful political signs and distasteful cartoon. My complaints were met with mockery of my political correctness.   President Clinton and President Obama were frequently called Hitler by those opposing them politically.

During the last eight years, I  have had to endure lectures on the evils of universal healthcare or Obamacare.  I have had to change my podiatrist and my orthopedist, because at the cost of these specialists, I thought it poor taste to subject me to their political diatribe. While not unfeeling about the financial hit they are taking, I have a hard time feeling too bad when their houses are much bigger and their cars are much finer than mine.

Political comments are totally lacking in civility. Comments on the President and first family have taken on a very personal tone, have been overtly racist, and without regard for the fact that most people will not be persuaded to change their views by name calling, anger, and disdain.

Where has all of this righteous indignation been over the last eight years?  To those minority Republicans living among the Democrat enemy,  I would like to assure you that you will survive.  Of course, you could move here to coal country.  Feeling pillaged by Obama policy, coal county is the lap of the Trump majority.  We could trade houses for awhile.  Deal?

Home Again

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Our rescue animals Blue and Shadow.  

After a few days with my daughter and her family, we are back home.  The e-mails were stacked up, and unable to bear the stress, I just deleted the bunch.  Was there anything of an urgent nature?  I certainly hope not.  In my experience, I just don’t get really important things through e-mail.

Facebook is another matter.

The wedding plans for my niece are moving forward, and apparently puppies and rescue animals play a major role.  This is not something I understand.  I thought weddings were supposed to be about the bride and groom, and their future.

Citizens are admonishing each other for their reactions in the wake of our presidential election.  Horror is expressed about some political fear or another.  Puppies and kittens don’t seem to ease the uncertainty,confusion, disappointment, and fear.

I love my rescue kitties, plus our Boston, Brutus, who entered our house when his original owner, our son, went over-seas for two years.  I’m doing my part.  There have been other rescued cats and dogs in my life.  They are as cute, fun, lovable as any pure-breed papered dog or cat, and you can get them at a bargain price.  Free is a bargain price.

Caring for an animal does cost money, for food, shots, and necessary medical care.  Having more animals than you have money, time or energy to care for doesn’t create a good environment for man nor beast.  In fact, hording animals, is a severe mental health issue leading to animal abuse, rather than rescue.

I needed the down time of just being with family.  We saw our oldest granddaughter in a musical, let the kids walk the dogs, and even sleep with them if they want.  The youngest little Curlytop is ready for a dog.  Curlytop was the first to volunteer for walking duty, and did not cringe at cleanup.  Curlytop played tirelessly with the dogs, and helped with feeding, and bedtime treats.

The kitties ran out the door as we were bringing our suitcases into the hose.  Ungrateful strays!  I caught up with the news, got a cup of tea with milk and honey, and sat down to blog.

The prompts I missed?  Fish.  Lofty.  Flames.  Or.  (I’m cheating. I know, but I am not the first one to pull this trick out.)

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