Tag Archives: politics

Will the People Who Took My Country, Please Return it?

I haven’t been on here in a while, but I’m feeling the need to vent, so here goes!   Jane

I have lost my country.  It happened without my knowing it, maybe while I was sleeping.   I didn’t ever imagine it could happen.  But it’s gone.

The country I’m talking about is the United States of my youth.  It seems to me that once there was a country that tried to live by a moral code, seemed to try to treat people decently, cared something about human rights.  That country inspired me in my childhood, when the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act were passed, and I got a glimpse of it it again more recently, when we elected Obama.Image result for signing of the civil rights act

Image result for images of Obama being elected

I know it’s never been fully here, at least not the country I imagine in my head.  In my fantasy country, the Statue of Liberty welcomes all immigrants, we openly acknowledge that the foundation of our economy was slavery and we try to make reparations for it, our system offers equal opportunity to everyone to build wealth, every student has access to a free college education, and every person can get quality health care.  I know that country has never existed, but I used to feel comforted by the fact that there were a lot of people out there in positions of power and leadership holding that vision of a country in their heads and working hard every day to try to make it a reality.

I’m not so sure any more.

I’ve been feeling lately like it must have been kidnapped by hooligans.

How else can we explain the new rise in white supremacy groups?

Or our lack of any sensible gun laws?

Or Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court?

Or cuts in funding for Medicaid?

Or a rapist and liar in the White House?

Or, worst of all, those camps full of children on our southern border?

Image result for images of child detention camps

It makes me so sad that I have to turn off the radio and stop listening to the news.  It makes me want to move to a country that has a heart and a head, like Canada or New Zealand.

The fallout from this kidnapping of my country is so much damage to so many people that I don’t see how things will ever turnaround.  The ransom note we will have to pay is too high. So much trauma inflicted on those children.  So much harm to our governmental institutions by a president and his bully boys and girls who could care less about our system of government and just want to make a profit, tell lies, strut their stuff, look tough. So many nuclear bombs being manufactured in Iran.

All I want is to be able to hold my head high again and say proudly, “I’m American,” instead of cringing at the site of the flag waving.  I want a country that isn’t perfect but at least tries to treat people fairly, that doesn’t only reward the rich, that fights to hold down its racist tendencies, that doesn’t cavort with dictators, that joins with other countries to work to prevent climate collapse.

I want America back!

So, I’m begging you:  please, someone out there, find my country and bring it home!

Jane: My Turn to Vent

I’m feeling pretty discouraged about my state and my country these days.

I’ll start with my state.  North Carolina has always been known as one of the more enlightened states in the South, with good schools, good social programs, good people.  But what is going on in our legislature is not just random changes in our laws; it is a shift in the kind of state we are deciding to be.  And it is disheartening and embarrassing.

I know that all the changes that folks in Raleigh are trying to bring about are happening under the guise of fiscal responsibility—a noble banner to carry in a Recession—but, when things are as tough as they are right now, maybe that’s when we should remember most that there are things to consider that are just as important as the bottom line.

Maybe now, when the chips are down and people are most fearful, it’s most critical for us to remember that children raised in poverty have trouble ever getting out of poverty and that the first two to three years of a child’s life are the most critical in that child’s brain development and that if we don’t want our streets and prisons of the future overcrowded with angry, poorly educated, frustrated people, maybe it’s time to take a stand.

Maybe it’s time to stand up, for instance,  for quality child care, for every child in North Carolina.  After all, when more families are living in poverty in our state, and families are desperately trying to work their way out of poverty, isn’t it time for all of us to join together to help those families with more subsidies, more high-quality programs?  Isn’t it time to fight for tax reform that puts the greatest burden on those people most able to bear it instead of, once again, on poor people who don’t have the money or the time to fight for themselves?  Why do we always consider raising the sales tax first?—because it’s the easiest to get away with.

I am disheartened by what I see happening in Raleigh, but I also draw encouragement from the wonderful protestors in Raleigh!

And I’m disheartened by what’s happening in Washington, the capital of my country, the country that, after all, elected Obama on a platform of change and hope—and possibility.

As we tighten and tighten our national social program belt, while leaving our military budget virtually intact, what choices are we making for our future?  As we fight and fight over power in our House and Senate, while poor children stand hungry at the door, what kind of a people are we deciding to be?

It seems to me that if we do not start investing real money into the things that can really make a difference for this country, like good education for everyone, affordable health care for everyone, and real measures to decrease global warming, we are making some pretty bleak choices for the future of our children and our children’s children.

I would like to ask each legislator in Raleigh and Washington to take a minute before voting on any new bill to ask themselves two questions:

1) On my deathbed, will I be proud of my vote on this bill?  And 2) If the people most affected by this bill were my children or my grandchildren, would I vote the same way right now?

Maybe I should put it this way:  if I really walked in my neighbor’s shoes for one day, would I vote the same way?

Some of you tea party folks are always talking about bringing Christianity back into politics.  Well, damn it, if nothing else will work to get people to come back to thinking of other people as their brothers and sisters, then let’s do it!  Let’s redefine our political agenda based on an even stronger Christian basis.  Maybe then, when it comes our turn to vote on education reform/immigration reform/environmental protection/using drones to bomb innocent people/and, yes, gay marriage, we might actually stop, take a breath, and ask ourselves:

“What would Jesus do, really?”  And, for once, we might have the guts to listen to the truth that we can hear better with our hearts than our brains– and act accordingly!

 

BEAUTIFUL WOMEN OVER 50: IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH EDWARDS

 

Jane

I’m feeling very sad today because Elizabeth Edwards is dead.  Even though we all knew she was going to die at some point, and even though the doctors recently said it could happen soon, it still was a shock to hear it out loud.  It’s just so plain sad. 

Elizabeth Edwards was the main reason I liked John Edwards when he ran for office—there was just something about his smile that I didn’t like—but she seemed intelligent, and strong.  The more I saw of him, the less I liked him–but the more I liked her.  My only real low point with her was when she allowed John to stay in the race after her cancer.  All I could think was that 1) he was a complete egotist and/or 2) she was either plain crazy or one of those political wives who denies her own needs in order to advance her charming husband’s career—a ala Hillary Clinton in her darker past or Cindy McCain in the last campaign. 

I do think Elizabeth was the real gifted politician in the family, but this sometimes took her temporarily down weird turns:  there was that brief moment, after all, when Elizabeth said she would be happy to share her family Christmas with John’s love child. That seemed a bit over the top in the saintliness department!  But, as John’s star declined further and further in the heavens, her star rose.  Continue reading BEAUTIFUL WOMEN OVER 50: IN MEMORY OF ELIZABETH EDWARDS