Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain


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Trump Supporters are Loud and Proud

Sometimes I have a hard time deciding whether to engage or not when someone posts idiotic nonsense like this on social media:

Make no mistake. If President Trump is impeached on false charges. We will rise en masse and you will see the likes of a civil war. Everday AMERICANS will take to the streets we will withdraw our money from banks, close our 401k’s, pull our kids from school. We will rise against the the Democrats, RINO, NeverTrumpers, and shadow government. You will have showed us our Republic is a farce and democracy is dead. We will riot.

This quote is being shared readily on social media.  I have no idea who to attribute it to.  Several people have posted it with no citation as if it’s their own.

More often than not I choose not to engage.  There would be no point as no one in the situation would change their position, including me.

Of course, if he were impeached on false charges I would be very much in disagreement with that. I just find it hard to believe that he would or even could be impeached on false charges.

The comments that follow are big, “Hell yeah! Count me in! I’m ready!!!”

The question is:  If and when President Trump is brought for impeachment how will these people be determining whether the charges are false or legitimate?

Who didn’t already know that our Republic is a farce and that democracy is dead?  Capitialism, lobbyists, and crooked politicians have ensured that fact.

The best the I can tell from those who espouse this point of view, no amount of evidence would convince them that Donald Trump has done anything wrong.  Even his admission of such isn’t enough.

I believe he was right when he said he could shoot someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue and he wouldn’t lose his supporters.  They’re die-hards who will not budge.

These same supporters seem to be offended at the suggestion that they are uneducated, racist, or misogynist.  Yet they post ignorant, racist, objectifying memes and expect to be taken at their word that they aren’t the very things that they find agreement with.

I’m very thankful that these die-hards seem to be in the minority but they are quite loud.

I haven’t said much about our political climate here in the States because I, quite frankly, haven’t quite known what to think of all this, between the news media and the crazy train running through the White House.

The haze is lifting and I have some very distinct opinions but I don’t think the Republican nor the Democratic parties would be particularly thrilled with them.


24 Comments

Sadness, Anger, and Sympathy

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A friend of mine posted this a bit ago. She frequently posts these types of messages and prayers. They fill me all at once with sadness, anger, and immense amount of sympathy.

Let me give you a bit of back story.

She and her husband are in their early fifties. They were young, vibrant, active, and adventurous.

Her husband had always been a tall, strong, imposing figure. Yet he was really just a giant teddy bear of a man, always at the ready with a hug and joke.

In the blink of an eye that changed for them.

He was riding solo on his Harley Davidson when someone turned across traffic in front of him. Unable to stop he slid underneath the vehicle. After days of touch and go, not knowing if he would live or die, he pulled through.

She was awash with relief and sang the praises of her God.

Then the devastating news came that the brain damage would be permanent and also the paralysis.

That has been some four years ago now. The longer it goes the more desperate she becomes. She loves her husband and takes very good care of him but it is now more of a mother/child relationship. She has amply displayed her commitment. Yet she longs for that husband/wife relationship that she once had. She would never verbalize this but she can’t even move on. It isn’t even as she would want to if she could, but she can’t have her husband back either. Neverland.

And while all of that fills me with a great sadness it also fills me with sadness that in order for her to come to terms with her situation she must do these mental gymnastics.

She prays to the God she believes caused her situation to thank him for it. Thanking him for causing her circumstances in order to bring about her dependence on this invisible entity that cannot give her an embrace, cannot kiss her lips, cannot hold her hand – this invisible entity that cannot carry on regular conversation but is only voices in her head.

Yes, it is indeed sad.

It makes me so angry to watch as she struggles day after day with his pain management. She has long given up praying for healing. She believes her God’s answer is, “no,” that her husband must suffer and she along with him for some greater purpose. And that purpose is a desperate need for dependence on the very being that caused the pain in the first place. She will sing his praises and glorify him for breaking her down.

On Earth we call that abuse.

It’s like watching a parent beat their child until everything in them is broken and watching that child beg the parent to do it all over again. Stockholm syndrome doesn’t even begin to describe it.

The anger that wells up inside of me is visceral.

And at the same time I’m filled with so much sympathy and so much understanding of why she needs this to be so. It might all be too much to bear if it doesn’t serve some purpose. She needs to believe that all of this has some meaning or else she might just throw in the towel. It would likely break her mind to believe otherwise.

This is why religion persists, why it will likely always persist. And who could be so cruel as to even attempt to take the one thing that is holding it all together for her away?


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A Humdinger of a Humbug

I am soooo not in the Christmas spirit this year.  I normally love to do all the things.  You know, decorate everything that can have garland wrapped around it, Christmas Tree up Thanksgiving(American) weekend, baking, gifting, more baking.

Not so much this year.  It doesn’t even feel like it should be here.

TheBrit and I did go weekend before last and bought a real tree.  I haven’t had one in ages.  Years ago I bought one of those pre-lit deals.  Swore I’d never have a tree I’d have to put lights on again.  But I thought, what the heck, maybe the smell of the real deal will put me to rights.

It stood in it’s stand bare for a week.  Finally  this past Sunday I decided perhaps I should put something on the Frasier Fur that has been sacrificed for my pleasure. So there it is:

 

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I’ve bought one gift. A Star Wars Planetarium for my nephew.

We decided that since we’re not in the jingliest of moods we’d do some things for other people to get outside of ourselves.  We saw a panhandler sitting on the corner in nothing but a undershirt, a pair of trousers, and shoes.  As we were headed to that hell on earth, otherwise known as Wal-Mart, we decided to get him some boxes of non-perishable food and a hoodie.

We handed it to him, still in the bags, through the car window along with a little cash and wished him a Merry Christmas.  He said, “It’s Christmas?  I didn’t even know it was.  I don’t keep up with it anymore.”

At first TheBrit was a bit concerned as to what he might purchase with the cash.  “I don’t care what he does with it,” I said, “If I lived on the street like that I’d probably want a drink, too.  Plus, many homeless people who do drink only drink beer as it’s an appetite suppressant and it’s cheap. They don’t necessarily drink to be drunk.  The drink to not be hungry.”

Then we went by a local restaurant to pick out a child’s name for the local Tree of Giving campaign.  The wish lists are supplied by local school system social workers, The Children’s Advocacy Center, The Methodist Home for Children, The Local Battered Women’s Shelter, The Local Recreation Center and The Sheriff’s Boy’s Ranch.  There were only a few names left.  We picked one and purchased everything on the child’s list plus a little something extra, wrapped them, and returned them to the drop off location.

I should be more thankful, I know.  I have so many reasons to be.  I’m still having a humdinger of a humbug. Bah!

I’ll count my three biggest blessings and cuddle with them.  Here I am with two of them doing just that(the hubs doesn’t want his countenance published):

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35 Comments

Class Warfare

 

These are the words of a “white trash hillbilly from the holler.”

He and his compatriots are not looting.  They are not vandalizing.  They simply know the score.  Their coal jobs are gone.  They were unhealthy occupations when they had them.  They need a living wage and they know they aren’t going to get it from the incoming administration without a fight.

They are realists.  Pragmatists.  Even without an education Nic Smith is thinking critically about the promises made and the outlook for his future.

You don’t have to have a college or university degree to see what’s plain in front of your face.

The last time I bought a pair of blue jeans was about a year and half ago.  They came from…*gasp*…Target. They are made by a company that is a staple in the denim industry, Levi Strauss.  They used to be a symbol of Made In America.

When I look at the tag it says they were made in Bangladesh.  Or possibly Brazil.  I’m not sure which because both locations are on the label.  They were not made in America.

They might have even been made in a sweatshop by a seven year old who was paid ten cents.

I don’t know.

What I do know is the manufacturing of Levi’s jeans isn’t coming back to America.

Manufacturing and mining as we knew it fifty years ago isn’t coming back to America.

People need a living wage and everyone can’t be a white-collar worker.

We are going to have to be innovative and creative.

Clean energy would be a great avenue to explore but the incoming administration seems loathe to explore that.  They jettison climate change and EPA regulations in favor of “clean” coal, whatever that is, and fossil fuels.

Welcome to 1950.  Except it’s nearly 2017.

I would say that I feel discouraged.  Except I don’t.

I know that there are enough of us, the us that wants positive change – not just change at any cost – to come up with new and better ways to sustain ourselves.

The government is not the United States of America.  The people are.  People like Nic Smith give me hope.

We don’t need to cut and run.  We need to dig in and fight.

 


47 Comments

Is that Sexual Harassment?

classy

Stock photo I found on Pinterest.

 

 

One day this week I wore an ensemble not unlike the one pictured above.  Very similar, in fact.  Classic.  Business-like.  Appropriate office attire. Not especially provocative.

I was told by Mr. Keep-Away, “That outfit looks good on you.”  Then he proceeded to say, “It…well…I better not say what I was thinking.”

No, perhaps not.

But then he just wouldn’t let it go.

Last week I could hear him the next office over, playing keep-away with my co-worker, asking her if she was going to kiss him for “doing her a favor”(not really, he was just doing his damn job).  I cringed.

He has already remarked about the clothes I wear, “hitting all the right places.”

Later, another male co-worker, Mr. Regional Salesman, remarked on my appearance in front of another male co-worker, Mr. General Manager.  “You look good, Ruth. Oh, wait, is that sexual harassment or something?  I’m just old school.”

Then he looks at Mr. GM and says, “Is that sexual harassment?”

I think, “Probably not until you made it about sexual harassment.”  Meanwhile I’m also wondering what it means that he’s “old-school.”  Does he mean old-school as in when sexual harassment was perfectly acceptable and even expected in an office situation?

Mr. GM says, “That all depends on whether she’s offended by it or not.”

Why in my mind is there a vast difference between, “You look good,” and “You look nice?”

There’s just something in the connotation.  Are you sitting down to a porterhouse steak?

I laugh it off, “It all depends on whether you’re looking at me like you’re about to eat a pork chop or not.”

Mr. Keep-Away always looks like he’s about to eat a pork chop without his hands.

Even the Controller has made remarks both positive and negative about the attractiveness or lack thereof of the women who work here.

I was just making conversation one day and remarked that I’d like to meet a woman who works in a satellite office.  She’s a hoot, but I’ve only spoken with her on the phone.  I’ve never met her face to face.  His remark:  “You haven’t missed much.  She looks like Receptionist, only bigger, if you can imagine it.”

Me:  “Pardon?”

Controller:  “I’m just telling you what she looks like.”

No.  No, you’re not.  You’re being a sexist jackass.

Me:  “What does that have to do with me wanting to meet her?”

In a separate conversation about exercise, he commented that he goes to the gym.  I just said that I’d never exercise if I had to go somewhere to do it.  I run because I can just lace-up and go.  He made some offhand remark about me not needing to lose weight(is that the purpose of exercise?), but that he couldn’t really comment on it because he could get into trouble.

Why did it even need to go there?

The thing is, women are expected to just laugh it off.  We’re in a catch 22.  Yes, there are laws against sexual harassment, but if you file a complaint then you’re a problem.  A troublemaker.  A whiner. Suddenly your performance is scrutinized and the next thing you know you’re looking for another job.  Yet, if you don’t file a complaint you’re seen as complicit.  How can it be sexual harassment if you don’t complain?

Do you know what I have never.ever. heard?  Any of the women in this office say anything like any of this to or about the men who work here.

Is sexism systemic?  Noooo…can’t be.  There are laws against it.


19 Comments

My Two Cents

This, my friends, is why I have not gotten involved in any social media wars about the upcoming train wreck we are calling a Presidential election in this country.

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I see in my social media feed many who are one issue voters, find “The Biblical Argument for ________” candidate, and generally speaking, people who have their minds made up and have an ax to grind against political party a or b.

Frankly, I’m very discouraged.  I don’t want Hillary Clinton – not because I think she’s the devil, but for the very same reason I believe to be behind the inaction and stagnancy in Washington now.  The Republicans seem to oppose anything remotely envisioned by the Democrats.  It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s good for our country or not.  Yes, we have a two party system so that the views of all the people are represented, but surely there have to causes and issues that are bipartisan in nature.

I loathe the very idea of Donald Trump as president.  He is not good for our country.  This can be seen in the very visceral divide between his staunch supporters and anyone who disagrees.

Because of where I live most of the people I know back the Republican platform, even if they don’t like Trump himself, and will be voting that direction.

Yesterday, one of my social media acquaintances expressed that he would feel the election is rigged if Donald Trump doesn’t win because nobody he knows is voting for Hillary Clinton.  As if all the people he knows represents the entire population.

Honestly, here, people are a little afraid to say they’re voting for the Democratic nominee because of the backlash, the barrage of insults, the fearmongering, and the belittling simply because one party has a different vision for our country than the other.

When there have been back and forth…em…debates?..about who should be president it turns ugly quickly.  Nobody is listening, they’re only formulating responses, insulting each other, and there is seemingly no common ground. I’m hoping that there is a silent majority out there who isn’t towing some party line, who just wants what’s best for the country, and who doesn’t really give two damns whether an idea is Republican or Democrat, only that it’s good.

I wish our country had better to offer than the two leading candidates.  I even considered third party candidates.  It’s hard to take someone seriously if they don’t even know who the leader of North Korea is.  It’s one thing to be Libertarian and believe that the U.S. shouldn’t be intervening in international conflict as much as we do or that we shouldn’t be trying to topple leaders and overturn regimes, but it’s inexcusable not to know anything about what’s going on in the world.  Even if your foreign policy is one of minding our own business we’ve got to know how the hell to make that happen since we’re already involved.

I’m looking down ballot.  The president can only do so much through executive order, so regardless which candidate is elected, unless we can get past the bipartisan bickering and actually come to some kind of compromise we’ll go another, at lease four, and more likely eight years of this same divisive rhetoric we’ve had over the last several years.

It’s disheartening to say the least. Maybe Victoria was right.  Maybe we are going down the crapper.  Too bad shit floats. When the nuclear fallout settles we’ll have nothing left but cockroaches.