Surrender

In November, 2016 half of the voting nation was deeply disappointed with the results of the election.

Social media blared “not my president” but I don’t recall anybody saying “not THE president”.

The difference is one word and everything.

The half of the nation disappointed with the results of the 2020 are welcome to their upset. I get that. Been there.

What these disappointed souls are not entitled to is denying the results; declaring the results false; saying the election process is full of fraud.

Take you disappointment to your congressional representatives. Maybe they can help get you where you want to go… assuming where you want to go dovetails with the majority.

Because…. this is The United States of America. This is the land and the government directed by not the will of all people, but the will of the majority. No amount of screaming, name calling, or chest pounding is going to change that unless you are willing to leave the Constitution behind in order to get your way.

If that’s the goal, then no matter what your bumper sticker says, your passionate Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and to the Republic for which it stands is hollow.

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73 Days

That’s how long we will have to deal with the Trump administration.

He came off the golf course yesterday telling his fans that the whole election is a fraud except for the votes he received.

Too many of his fans believe him… I’m not saying all. But the ones that do bewilder me.

Read that people…. over 141 million votes were cast, but only the ones that voted for Trump are true.

Anybody who has ever voted knows that the folks working at the polls have no way of knowing who voted for whom. These sheets of paper are run through a scanner.

73 Days.

Days of lies. Days of disruption. Days of unnecessary bullshit.

On a lighter note… I have spent a few too many brain cells wondering what choices Melania is making for the Christmas decorations in the White House this year.

Truth be told, I wouldn’t be surprised if she was back in New York by next Thursday.

I don’t suppose we could get somebody to hack the atomic clock and knock off about 70 days.

I know, we aren’t supposed to wish our lives away, but seriously, I can do very nicely without this year’s socially distant Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years.

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Trust

I have been serving as a poll worker in Moore County, NC for the past two weeks.

For a gal who has been mostly a bum since 1992, getting up at 5:15, starting work at 7:30 and going non-stop until 2:00… I don’t mind saying, I am tired when I get home.

That said, it has been a interesting experience watching the people of my county come and go. My guess is that I have spoken to at least 3,000 of them. I have assisted more than a few because they were physically impaired and even some who were illiterate. All had made clear choices for their candidates.

I spoke to so many young people voting for the first time. The ones that practically skipped to the registration table were so much fun.

I spoke to senior citizens who had either never voted before in their lives or had not voted for over 40 years. There is no way for me to tell which candidate provided the motivation. I’m lifted by the improved participation.

I wish I had a magic microphone that reached into the minds of every single American citizen…. for these fourteen days I have personally witnessed the polar opposite of voter fraud.

The lengths that the State of North Carolina’s voting laws go to ensure each person the right to complete a ballot and then audit the ones that come with “unusual explanations” confirm that everything that could possibly be done, is done.

And the suspicious… they are easy to spot. The visual markers come in two forms. They arrive draped in Trump clothing or they arrive without a mask and refuse one that is offered; usually with just a hint of “no, you sheep.”

The only people to grumble about the current NC law that says photo id is not required, were clearly in the camp described above.

The thought that popped into my head on Thursday was, “I’ll bet that the same people who think people who will cheat at voting are the same people who lament the days when we couldn’t leave our front doors unlocked.”

I’m going to go so far to say that the most untrusting people in the world and probably untrustworthy.

I heard a broadcast about trust many years ago. It was about the group of people who declare, “I don’t trust anybody.” The speaker then itemized all of the things we do as humans every day that include absolute trust.

The most obvious… we drive down two-lane roads at speeds exceeding 55 mph everyday. We trust that the oncoming traffic will stay in its lane.

We trust that the disgruntled fast-food preparing isn’t putting arsenic in our cheeseburger.

The levels of distrust have been rising in recent years. The reason is so very clear to me. Day after day, there are messages coming through our communication devices, echoed by people we know, repeated as jokes, repeated as gossip…. I hear it all the time…..

All politician are crooks. Fake News. There is fraud everywhere. The man is out to get you.

My two weeks in the company of the people in charge of collecting votes and the people casting their votes, I can say with confidence that the system (at least in my corner of the country) is fine.

When the polls closed on Nov 3, you will hear news reports of the “unofficial results” and some may declare a winner because the news people choose to believe that since the numbers are so wide-spread that it is is obvious to them that a candidate has won.

However, the results are not official until over a week later when the final audit is done by the board of elections.

To anyone who reads this is still thinking… well, maybe, but I still think there is a lot of voter fraud…. put it to your own test. Next election cycle, take a day or even two weeks out of your life and become a poll worker.

I trust that you will come away feeling much better about how democracy works.

In closing…. there is one presidential candidate who bellows fraud, fake, cheat every time he gets a chance. His well documented personal history is filled with fraud, fake, and cheat. And that is not fake news, believe me.

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Judge Amy

I have no doubt that she has a mind made for the law.

I have no doubt that she has been well educated.

She is 42 years old and up to her ears in the details of family life. This is not a gender bias thing. The same would be true of a man with a young family.

Deciding the fate of an individual or a corporation is well within both her skill set and energy.

However, sitting here as a women of 70 years, I can look back to my 42nd year and know with certainty that there was much I didn’t know. There were many opinions yet to be softened by experiences not yet had.

The Supreme Court is in the business of making judgments that wave across our entire nation.

I can accept that some of these judges will make interpretations not to my liking.

However, I am deeply troubled that we now have a judge who lacks wisdom.

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God Did This?

Opening caveats. Not a great study of any religious text.

No seminary.

Don’t attend church and haven’t attended Sunday Meeting for Worship at a Friends Meeting House on a regular basis since 1968.

Have the general sense that there is something in the universe, at least in the neighborhood of planet Earth that emanates, swirls, is shared… a force field, if you will.

Don’t know about the rest of the masses active and supposedly inert, but I feel it. When I am paying attention I really feel it.

I met a very competitive golfer who believes that when she is getting off track and her game is starting to slip, she touches a tree. I totally get that.

The question answered and unanswered for every human… is there a God?

What I do not believe:

…. God is on our side.

…. God blesses American more than any other place.

…. Trump was sent by God.

What I do believe is:

…. The inherent goodness of most humans; so were born with pieces missing; some had pieces ripped away by others who had pieces missing.

…. The human race is responsible for the care of planet Earth. We are the species (as far as we know so far) that are able to envision the future. Some humans are better at is than others. The ones with limited vision need to have a bit more faith in those who do.

So… having laid a bit of ground work, I would like to speak to the image that wanders through my facebook page on occasion. I find it creepy, others may not.

It is a soft-focus picture of Trump sitting behind the Resolute Desk with a white Jesus embracing Trump’s shoulders from behind. Trump’s head is bowed receiving this blessing and the post proclaims that Jesus (aka God) has put Trump in the White House to save America.

Let’s take a trip down that rabbit hole. That hole where the true believers place all things in the hand of God. That if it happened it was God’s doing. These true believers have another belief that all the bad stuff is the doing of the devil.

Whoops… I forgot one of the things I kind of believe… if there is a devil, that dark power is directed only at humans. I base this on the one story that stuck from my days of Sunday School.

God created the Earth and put Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. So far, that goes along with my idea that God wanted us to stay in that garden and take care of it. He had a fairly simple rule, leave the apple alone. Well, the snake (aka devil) messed with that deal. The snake didn’t talk to the tree or the apple or the soil holding the tree up or the rain that would nourish the apples. The snake spoke to the human.

Meanwhile, back at Trump and Jesus. If anybody was whispering in Trump’s ear, it sure wasn’t Jesus. Not now, not ever. Everything I have ever heard about Jesus was about kindness, forgiven, feeding the multitudes, sacrifice… yep, Donnie in a nutshell.

And since God created Earth and all that surrounds it, it’s a pretty good bet that the fires, the storms, the invasion of viruses are God’s way of telling the humans that will listen that we are doing a crap job of taking care of his planet.

And, although God loves us all, that Trump guy receives little too much input from the devil and needs to be taken back about ten notches.

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Glutton for punishment

I have a lot… a lot of problems with the current administration. However, I don’t hate them — I fear many of them, but that’s different. I certainly don’t want them in charge any longer than they have to be.

I watched most of the DNC. Not bad. I never have to hear another crazed mob from the convention floor. It would be good to have more facts and plans than much of the repetitive stuff said in the interest of giving everybody a shot at the podium.

I have also watched too much of the RNC. The number of token Blacks and naturalized citizens was so obvious.

Kimberly Guilfoyle: What was that? The best I can figure is she made the choice to behave as if there was a screaming mob in front of her. She looked kind of insane.

Pick a Trump Kid any trump kid: Let us return to the happy days when the role of the president’s kid was to walk on to the stage after daddy gives his speech while clapping and smiling with love in their eyes.

Melania: That Castro outfit was not a faux pas any more than the “who cares” jacket.

Maximo Alverez: the business man born in Cuba who teared up about how wonderful America is. I have no problem with his story other than the fact that if he attempted the same journey in 2020, he would be shipped back to Cuba on the next plane. He should be supporting Biden if he wants others to be able to tell his story in the future.

Nicholas Sandmann: This kid was right. The media gave him a raw deal. There were repaired stories buried in newspapers many days later, but the damage was done. Sadly, the real damage is he thinks that the Republican Party is a safe place. Many editors should take the time to apologize to this kid, his school, and his family.

Mark and Patricia McCloskey: Now here is a pair. They are the poster children for the fear that trump has poured into the minds of too many Americans. They truly believed that strangers walking by their house put them in harms way. There is an equivalent story in my world. A mother and adult son live together in house next to the golf course. There was an incident where a non-member player went well into their property, on their porch to retrieve a golf ball. The reaction by the homeowner was to post “trespassers will be shot” signs at their property line. The signs have been there for now over two years, no amount of diplomacy has gotten them to budge. The last time the club manager stopped by to speak to them, the son stood with his gun at the ready.

I can’t find her name… she began by saying that America is not racist. Okay, not all Americans are racists, but there is a solid number of racist Americans. They are not hard to find. The wacky part was within the same paragraph she referenced how she had been discriminated against in her early years.

Abby Johnson: I get that many American are pro-life. Great. Take your pregnancy to term. Demand that your dependent girls stay away from abortion. That’s where the line stops. You can suggest, you can council, you can encourage, but you can not deny another autonomous woman’s right to make her own decision. And the collective we can not demand you have an abortion if you already have five children that you do not properly feed, clothe, educate or generally properly care for within the norms that “we” believe are required.

The day-after fact checking has been voluminous. It’s a good way to smooth out my tensed brow.

Tonight will be the tough one. In the interest of my due diligence, I can not fast forward through the major speakers. The line up is full of mendacity. Going to ride this bronco.

See you tomorrow… or maybe the next day.

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The mind wanders

A report on the death of Bernard Bailyn lead me to one of his early books The Ideological Origins of the American Revolution.

Having only gotten through a piece of the preamble, I am motivated to tackle the full read. It will be work. Reading is always a challenge to my wandering mind and crooked eyes that fight to follow the text.

Anyway, not the point.

This limited journey was enough to get me thinking about the myriad of details that are my origins.

As with all humans, it begins with my parents. William was raised Quaker in southeastern Pennsylvania. His father may have been less than successful, the story is not clear and the man died young. Dad spent most of his teenage years living with his mother’s brother. Great Uncle Joe was the manager of a large dairy farm in New Jersey, thus putting Dad on a career path of a herdsman… a guy who milks the cows and generally tends to all things herd. His formal education ended at high school with a graduating classes of 20 or so.

Mary was raised by a German immigrant father and the mom whose origin I don’t know in the coal regions of northeastern Pennsylvania. Her father was a foreman for a coal mine. Mom went to Philadelphia General Hospital after high school to study nursing. A significant journey in 1932 for a teenage girl.

My folks met as a result of these geographic arrangements. They loved each other, not in the lovey-dovey kind of way, but in the way that two people share a life, share common goals, care for each other, quietly intimate. My joke has always been that when asked who does Mom live best? The answer is Dad. They had six children together; I am the fifth.

Mom was raised Presbyterian and they were married in Mom’s church. That’s a big deal for a practicing Quaker. I never asked them about that decision and the blow-back that likely came from my father’s mother — an intolerant woman, likely to have unkind things to say.

Regardless, Mom became a persuaded Quaker and I am a birthright Quaker of Buckingham Friends Meeting in Lahaska, PA.

The next thing to know about my parents and particularly my dad is that our family moved a lot. Before I was born, the gang of then four children lived in a small house situated on the hill above Valley Farm, the homestead of my father’s people.

In those days, my two great aunts Miriam and Ellen (sisters of Uncle Joe and my grandmother). In 1950 there was fire in the barn. For reasons unclear to most, this was the impetus to ask Dad to leave the farm and find work elsewhere.

Tricky business for a guy with four kids and no home.

Off the Beverly, MA where he found a position with housing at Hood Diary. That lasted two years… its end also unclear but sent us off to Daisy, MD to another dairy with housing that again ended after two years which sent us off to Dublin, PA to a farm called Green Hills owned by the author Pearl Buck. Our family is now six children.

These are the times that include bits of my own memories. The porch, the apple trees, the silos, the hay barn, the cows beyond the electric fence we grabbed on to see our hair stand on end, the bridge over the creek where we would sit on hot days, the first ride on a school bus to kindergarten, the hurricane that knocked down the big trees, the trips to Valley Farm still inhabited by the evicting great aunts where we grew produce to feed the mob.

There came a day in 1956 when Dad was called to Pearl Buck’s offices to learn she was selling the cows and Dad would have to find a new home and another new job.

Mom said, “no more cows”. Mom took a full time job as a nurse at Doylestown Hospital and Dad landed a job on second shift at Standard Pressed Steel in Jenkintown, PA. This farm boy went to work in a steel plant in the middle of the night to feed his family.

Dad used to say it was a small miracle that they found a house in Doylestown. The owner generously offered them a rent to own option. It was three-ish bedroom house with one bathroom on a street within walking distance of the train station that would get Dad to the Jenkintown station where he would then walk the many blocks to get to work.

Let me re-state; family of eight with one bathroom.

He also started taking classes to make it possible for him to advance in his newly found career. Long story short, he retired from SPS as a highly respected manager of the shop that manufactured test products which included the exploding bolts that were used to separate the stages of the Apollo missions.

Not bad for a guy who used to milk cows for a living.

All the while, Mom was getting up early enough to cobble together hot cereal in a double-boiler, make her own breakfast and lunch and walk a half-mile to the hospital in time for her shift that started at 7am and ending (hopefully, with no emergencies) at 3pm when she walked back home to take care of the needs of her six children.

On top of all that, she knitted our sweaters and mittens, sewed most of the girls clothes, read to us every night, had a book at the kitchen table and her night stand all the time, quilted with the ladies at Meeting one Wednesday a month, made aprons to selling at the hospital bazaar, made pies for the Meeting Fair… I’m worn out just thinking about it.

I don’t recall them complaining. They never raised a hand to us. They were a stone wall against frivolous requests. It was impossible to work one against the other. They had some weird secret pact. And they slept tightly in each others arms every night despite Dad’s snores rattling the roof.

These were the examples within the walls of our home. Next comes the community.

Starting with Buckingham Friends Meeting. For those who have never attended a Meeting for worship, it is an hour dedicated to self reflection and quietude. That’s pretty interesting if you were a willing adult. An hour of possible silence to a six-year-old is something entirely different.

An hour of possible silence to an adolescent is something else again. I don’t remember it as being all that difficult.

There wasn’t always silence. The nature of Meeting is anyone may speak if the Spirit moves thee. There were all sorts of spirits and characters at Buckingham Friends. Their names wander around in my head occasionally, I’m left with the soft impressions of the Smith brothers growing beards in opposition to the Vietnam War. The odd sharing of Ohwhatshername with the poorly dyed red hair. The quiet nodding of Aunt Nelly bent over with her Dowager hump.

My connection to BFM took me into the slums of Philadelphia to help repair a community center, to the county jail to sing carols to the inmates (yikes), to volunteer for every single task within the abilities of a child.

My whole family saw service to the community as natural as breathing.

The next bricks in my foundation come from the luck of Dad finding a house in Doylestown which meant I received the education made possible by the Central Buck School District from 1956 to 1968.

I can’t tell you much about the school experience of a K thru 12er in a public school today, but I know what I received.

Elementary school included recess outside regardless of the weather. There was singing everyday. We had a gymnasium and an auditorium. Most children participated in some sort of on stage activity each semester. We had art supplies. We learned to write in cursive in 3rd grade. We wrote essays. We went to the library and learned how to find books. We could recite the times tables by the end of 4th grade. We learned about the federal government, the names of the cabinet members, the names of all the states and the capitals. We could find every state on a map of the USA.

High school offered scholastics, industrial shops for woodworking, car repair, secretarial, cooking, sewing. Every junior high girls made an apron — yes, I know, sexist, and yet I learned how to mend my own clothes, use an iron, operate a sewing machine… sure I already knew all that stuff, because of my mom, but the other girls in school didn’t until they took these classes. As write this I suddenly remember that there was a classroom filled with sewing machines and a kitchen where we cooked something. Do schools still have these rooms?

Every student had a guidance counselor. Every school had a full time nurse. Every class had at least one field trip a year to a museum. Drivers ed was right outside the back door.

The dress code was strict. Misbehaving was not tolerated by teachers, parents, or the majority of the student body.

We had choirs, orchestra, marching band, swing band, annual spring play, annual fall musical, all staging done by students. Homecoming dance, Christmas dance, Prom all held on school property themed and decorated by the students , all the music performed by students or disc jockey…. the skills learned from these events…. planning, cooperation, budgeting, construction, arithmetic, painting, hammering, photography, set design, it goes on and on. I’m told that today’s Prom are held in hotel ballrooms.

The universe will never know the impact of my lack of decision or actual decision, but I did not go on to higher education. Fear? Disinterest? Pigheadness?

It certainly contributed to where I am today. The road not taken? The speculation has no merit.

What I do know is that countless times in my life I have been asked where I went to college? This question is not the same as the standard conversation openers like, where are you from, where do you live, what do you do for a living? The question of my education comes later in the conversation. It has the implied (and I don’t think this is my ego talking) interest in the source of my education.

In the days of my career teaching middle-aged women how to use those newfangled computers, there was the usual moment of “dear, where did you go to college?”

On the dare from a new acquaintance, I wrote a column for a tiny golf newspaper. This tumbled down through the following calendars into columns for a golf magazine, a be-weekly column in my town’s newspaper and connections made with other full-time professional golf writers from around the country.

Today I am asked, “where did you go to study writing?” I didn’t. My education began with those essays in third grade. How many children will never be writers because no teacher made them write?

I didn’t “go to school” to learn how to design a computer system. I didn’t “go to school” to learn to write. I didn’t “go to school” to learn to draw or sew or make pottery or knit or fix a toilet.

I went to school to learn how to learn. To learn the fundamentals of a well informed life. To read, to count, to make sums, to know how our government works, to know how to find things through research, to be brave enough to ask a question, to be brave enough to challenge the answer and ask for better understanding or to offer sound arguments against.

My other school was my home filled with dictionaries, encyclopedias, novels, field guides, National Geographic, Popular Mechanics, Readers Digest. My home was filled with projects involving baking and cooking and preserving vegetables. My home was filled with rules that were not broken no matter how grumbly we got. My home was filled with conversations.

The mantras of my upbringing….

In or outing.

Close the refrigerator door.

Good work is its own reward.

If you make like a rug, people will walk all over you.

You may not have gotten everything you sister got, but you got everything you needed.

Company, like fish, goes bad after three days… Mom softened on this in her later years. She liked my company.

So, this is me. Confident. Willing to take on a new idea. Willing to offer a suggestion without falling to pieces if the suggestion is rejected. Able to walk into a room and see what needs to be done and get busy.

This is also me. Stomach in knots when I see others who don’t take responsibility struggling to hold my tongue in the interest of world peace vs. calling them out. Short tempered when treated poorly.

It’s harder to put my finger on my parents foundation or their parents foundation, but given the shape my upbringing had on me, all of those humans who have long since turned to dust must have had come through the ages just as the DNA waxed and waned.

There is a pile of genealogy to be found on the Quaker side of fence. Quakers are powerful archivists.

I have some physical traits similar to my immediate family, they are more apparent now, but when I was a teenager I felt like an outlier. I was a bit shorter, my chin didn’t match, my nose definitely didn’t match. My mothers ear lobes could have held a dozen studs, I have almost no ear lobes.

Then one day, I received an envelop full of photographs dating back to the earliest available. There I was, circa 1823. A long forgotten cousin who looked so much like me that even my Aunt Molly made a note on the back of the picture.

Which brings me back to the beginning of this ramble… our country, as it is today, comes from the countless choices both documented and un that shape who we are now. Just as the choices we are now making will shape the future of our children, our country, and our planet.

Wikipedia says the age of enlightenment was: 1715 – 1789. There were certainly leaps made during those times but nothing in comparison to the encyclopedias filled in just the last 50 years.

The discoveries about our planet, our universe, our people, our fellow living creatures boggle my mind.

And yet, today…. there are still voices rising up telling us that facts aren’t facts. Of course the belching the of smoke and ash from oil and coal held under the soil and oceans for eons burned to give us engines and electricity has not troubled our atmosphere.

Of course rearranging the molecules of oil to produce plastics that will endure longer than granite will not trouble the land and seas.

Of course still believing that the tiny collections of genes that determine the color of our skin and the amount of curl in our hair is directly connected to our moral code and ability to think and learn and dream.

This jumble has to end somewhere so I will end with a quote from the book that started these days of typing:

This from the author:

“… The most vivid is the Americans’ obsession with Power. It was not one among many concerns; it was the central concern. Power and its ravages engrossed their minds; they wrote about it again and again; elaborately and imaginatively — in pamphlets, letters, newspapers, sermons — in any medium available.

They wrote about the specific agencies of power they feared — royal armies, crown prerogatives, Parliamentary mandates, arbitrary magistrates — and above all the usurpation of power that would be listed in the Declaration of Independence.”

Further on:

John Adams put liberty this way; “skulking about in the corners… hunted and persecuted in all countries by cruel power.”

All of these ideas and concerns brought our nation to a Constitution drafted with every contingency they could muster in the times they lived to devise a government structure that in today’s shorthand is checks and balances.

It did not begin with Trump but it certainly has expanded like the virus that ravages our planet today. The undermining of democracy as imagined two centuries ago has been undermined by the failure of all three branches plus the press to do their jobs as our Founders intended.

The human race and our planet can not survive until will stand up to Power; until we accept the awesomeness of our own power to choose another destiny.

We are here for a very short time when compared to the ages that came before and the (hopefully) eons running out ahead of us long after we are gone.

Live for today is a lovely motto, but it cannot be done without a plan for tomorrow, else there will soon be no today in which to live.

Every adult American is facing a choice on or before November 3, 2020.

Choose wisely.

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And so it goes.

I used to be able to write about anything. Give me 15 minutes of quiet and a string of words would begin.

Not so much these days.

My brain hasn’t been quiet since election day 2016.

It is filled with dread.

It is filled with conversations not had in the interest of family peace.

I miss my silly writing. I miss being inspired by golf stories that had no particular bearing on the world but occasionally had a moral thread.

I miss sitting around talking to other people.

I miss banter.

I am sad. A lot.

My head itches all the time.

My fingers hurt.

My return to the pottery studio will be adorned with a covid mask. I’m not sure I will be able to handle it. Yes, the mask gives me a headache.

I am securely housed.

I am too well fed.

I am surrounded by comforts.

And yet… I am so very uncomfortable.

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Archaeology

There may a come a time, a thousand years from now, when a digital digger will come upon my little pile of zeros and ones.


On the off chance that the current administration manages to erase all of the newspaper articles, the history books, the Facebook pages, Twitter, and all the rest, maybe they will miss my tiny pile.

So this is what I know…

A man named Donald Trump was elected the President of the United States of America. His only credentials were name recognition, real estate developer, and television celebrity.

His negative attributes were a general lack of knowledge about how our democracy works, never read the Constitution, was disinterested in anything that he perceived as a negative reflection on himself.

His choices were driven by a group of people renowned for their bigotry, hate for government regulations even if they were in the best interest of the planet and our citizens.

He did not believe that humans contributed to the warming of the planet.

He did not believe that the warming of the planet would result in rising ocean levels and the flooding of coastal areas.

Given that you… the person from the future… are privy to the results of what scientist were warning of, you may be the judge of the choices made between 2017 and 2024 and perhaps beyond.

If you are reading this after Trump failed in his reelection campaign, I’m hoping that the shift in the USA plans saved us from some the expected troubles caused by the gang disguising itself as the Republican Party of the mid 2000s.

The other fact that may have been lost in the scrubbing of history was the armed insurrection into Portland, Oregon in July 2020 ordered by the President of the United States.

Much like the destruction of Tulsa, Oklahoma was once lost to history for everyone but the Black community ruined by it, I suspect the controlling factions of today will try to erase my current history.

I sit here, thousands of miles away, in the small town of Pinehurst, North Carolina angry, bewildered, aghast at what my government has become.

My fervent hope is that in one thousand years from now they will tell the story of Donald Trump in the same history lessons as Joe McCarthy, George Wallace, Richard Nixon, and Adolph Hitler.

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Empathy

I know exactly what it felt like to be passed over for a promotion because of my gender and my age.

I’m not talking about my imagination, I was told “we don’t want a woman in that position” and I was told “you are too young right now”.

These events happened long before our current age of semi-enlightenment. These days the deciders know better than to say “we don’t want your kind”. These days the deciders will find another excuse that sounds more palatable or at least more legal.

As a past and present member of golf clubs, I regularly walk by placards listing the names of past champions. The men’s champions are Joseph Smith, Frank Jones, William Anderson. The women’s champions until relatively recently are Mrs. Joseph Smith, Mrs. Frank Jones, or Mary Anderson (she was still single at the time).

I know how it feels to go into a car dealership with my own credit card and checking account and before the salesman will discuss price he wants to know if my husband will be joining us.

I have no clue what it feels like to be of another race; Black, Oriental, Middle Eastern, or even Jewish.

However, I believe every single thing they say about their treatment by far too many in our country.

I won’t speak to other countries because the United States of America boldly states that we are the land of the free. We supposedly believe that all are created equal. We are proud to be an American.

For so many Americans, this is not true. Resumes’ go through filters peeling off the applicants with the wrong names.

Everyday there is some or many that are stopped for looking like they don’t belong.

Yeah, I’ve been stopped for speeding. I have never gotten a ticket. The patrolman bought my pathetic story every single time.

How many do you know that have been stopped for a DUI and got off with a small fine.

I am thankful that I am an American. That is entirely different from pride.

I want to be proud, but it is hard when I see crumbling neighborhoods; when I read about teachers without all the tools they need; when people suffer because they have no access to medical care.

Somebody barked “are you a capitalist or a socialist?”

My personal success was by virtue of hard work coupled with a sound mind. Our company received payment for our quality work. We have purchased many homes with bank loans happily given and we paid our mortgages and taxes on time.

I guess that makes me a capitalist.

But wait, I donate to charities, both time and money.

I am certain that the current corporate culture was turned upside down around the time of Reagan. The stock market used to be about long term investment with solid dividends from well managed corporations.

Today it is about a gambling system and the backroom boys are holding all of the cards.

The lack of regulation has ruined the economic system heralded in the old movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

The lack of regulation has destroyed pristine lands, killed off too many species.

For all of this rambling, I know that the people currently in charge of our United States do not have the best interest of all her people in mind.

Anyone who says differently needs to check their empathy levels.

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