Posts tagged ‘America’

Things That Helped Me Feel Better Today.

fb_flagIt’s a strange and surprising day and a very difficult one for a lot of people in America. I do not make light of anyone’s anger or disappointment, but I place here for anyone’s perusal, a list of things that helped me feel better today.

  • I have funny friends.
  • No President has ever kept all of his campaign promises.
  • Never forget that the media likes it when we feel terrified and sad. (That is when we tune in, and they make more money.)
  • Never doubt that the (established) government also likes it when we feel terrified and sad. (That is when they can add staff.)
  • I know people who are solid Trump supporters. They are not idiotic, racist, homophobic, or in any way deplorable. For now, I entrust my hope with them.
  • Talk to and listen to someone you respect who likes our President-elect. Not to change your opinion but to take the edge off of your despair.
  • Everyone who voted for Donald Trump cannot fit into that basket. (Some of you, oh hell yes, and you should really work on that, but not all of you, no way.)
  • I listened to his full speech on YouTube. (Note:  By design or not, Donald Trump had to give his acceptance speech when most people were sound asleep, which means the TV news channels have control over which sound bytes most people will hear.)
  • I haven’t relied on Fox or CNN for my news since 2012. I’m not as upset as most people. Perhaps there’s a correlation?
  • I am old enough to have seen many elections. Life goes on, kiddos. And it’s lovely either way.
  • Within the broad spectrums of political beliefs and ways of life, Republican and Democrat are more like bickering siblings than polar opposites.
  • Donald Trump will be a member of a branch of a government with so many built-in checks and balances that it is very difficult to get things done. And it’s like that on purpose.
  • He’s not a monarch.
  • He is not Hitler. (Note:  If you genuinely think Hitler could thrive in this country, you’re nuttier than a peanut cluster.)
  • I am not embarrassed to be an American. I went to the polls in red, white, and blue and a flag pin. I left the booth and said “Woo hoo!” to one of the election staff. Turns out, my vote was not for the winner. I still say, “Woo hoo! I voted!”
  • Last night, as I listened to the so-called experts talk about how no one saw this coming except for the Trump campaign, it struck me that Trump had better advisors than the Democratic Party and had better data than the mainstream news media. i.e., He picks incredibly smart, effective people to help him. That’s good.
  • I talked to my Mom, and she has promised not to move to Canada.

Take heart, America. You’ve always been great. You will continue to be great. You are not poll responses. You are not segments. You are not a political affiliation. You are individuals, each with the power to change the world around you. Maybe you don’t always have the power to pick someone you like for President. But you can be kind to your friends (and your enemies). You can be respectful of all Americans (and all peoples of the world). You can be you. (Pursue happiness! Be free!) You can be willing, perhaps tomorrow or the next day, to consider optimism. You can wait and see.

But please feel better today. I love you, America.

November 9, 2016 at 1:51 pm 2 comments

Happy Birthday America

Soon as I got up today, I went out on the side porch to hang the flag. Realized that the once-a-puppy dogwood tree growing next to the porch had grown so much that the flag would drape over the leaves and branches.

Went down to the garage and got clippers. Hacked away for a while and realized that, without a chain saw, I probably wasn’t going to be able to make enough room for the flag to fly properly.

Went down to the garage and got my sonic screw driver. Unscrewed the screws that hold the brace to the porch railing and moved the brace a foot or so to the right. Attempted to reattached the screws.

Went down the porch stairs to retrieve the brace and screw; then, went down to the garage to get a hammer and nail to make starter holes. Voila! Two of three screws are back in perfectly snug and the third is halfway in and stripped. But it holds the flag just fine.

Might seem like a lot of effort . . . but, of course, relatively, that was nothing — less than nothing — less than 1/1,000,000th of nothing — compared to the brilliant and brave who gave us our land of the free and those who have kept it that way for more than two centuries. To the U.S. soldier who sent me this flag and all our founding father and military life preservers, I say:

I pledge allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one nation, under God, indivisible, 
with liberty and justice for all.

Happy Birthday America.

4th of July, 2014

July 4, 2014 at 2:35 pm Leave a comment


Osama Bin Laden is dead, and I am glad. I believe he will burn in hell. And you can tell Rashard Mendehall that God and I are fine with my what is in my heart.

{While you’re at it, you can tell the media that social media commentary is not news—unless, instead of being an actual journalist, you are a lazy moron.}

It’s okay to be glad he is dead. As Winston Churchill said, “You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

I understand the burial at sea. I appreciate that last rights were respected; that took some class. And I really appreciate that there’s no gravesite/shrine.

But still. I wish I lived near the ocean. So I could go there and spit in it and fall on my knees, eyes unabashedly to heaven, in thankful rejoicing.

I hate terrorists. (Yes, hate.) And I’m okay with that.

If you want to give evil the benefit of the doubt, if you want to keep your heart open to the idea of really really bad people someday transforming, you go right ahead. But don’t preach at me about real love and true hate until you’ve reached your 40s.

Anyone who knows me knows I have never been an Obama fan. But, whatever my personal opinions about government and leadership, I don’t see the point of blindly, immediately bashing every single thing the man does or says. Read this.

 The cause of securing our country is not complete. But tonight, we are once again reminded that America can do whatever we set our mind to. That is the story of our history, whether it’s the pursuit of prosperity for our people, or the struggle for equality for all our citizens; our commitment to stand up for our values abroad, and our sacrifices to make the world a safer place.

Let us remember that we can do these things not just because of wealth or power, but because of who we are: one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

C’mon people. That’s good stuff. Lies and insincerity rarely induce goosebumps. Whatever your politics, give the man his due this week. He was the man in charge when this all went down. He deserves some respect. And, if you can’t muster respect for the man, find some respect for him as the representative leader of The United States of America.

Not everything that happens in the world is or needs to be orchestrated or spun. You can’t just swallow baby bird style:  eyes closed, mouth open, and squawking. Neither should you puke it all back up into unrecognizable chunks.

I find it amazing that people have the capacity to think that Osama is holed up somewhere with Elvis and Michael Jackson but are incapable of imagining that we would announce that Pakistan was not involved in order to help an ally save face—and lives—in an unstable country, during an incredibly volatile time.

This isn’t a movie where the blundering clutz giving the good guys away is funny. This is real. Life. And. Death. Stuff. So, you know, maybe sit down and shut up for a minute, yeah?

I’m not saying don’t be inquisitive. But take a moment. Watch different channels. Listen to different stations. Read a newspaper (and not just the headlines). Listen to others. Use your brain. Whatever it may be, form your own opinion. Just because it’s in the news doesn’t make it true. But. Just because it’s in the news doesn’t make it false either.

I find it amusing that some news channels were suddenly spelling Osama with a U. Do they think people are stupid enough to confuse Osama with Obama? And/Or that we wouldn’t notice? Really?

I also find amusement in the fact that the President’s speech preempted Donald Trump’s TV show. I don’t care what your political preferences are, that was a brilliant and subtle touche if ever I saw one.

Last but not least, do we really need to see the photographs? Do we need children to see them? Do we need our enemies to see them? Simmer down and think for a moment. This isn’t a Friday the 13th movie or an episode of CSI.

Dear conspiracy freaks:  If a Navy Seal walked up and handed you a DNA sample, what? You have the knowledge in your head or the equipment in your parent’s garage, sitting there next to your PlayStation and a case of Red Bull, to prove anything more than we already know? Preposterous twits.

They have a DNA sample. Granted, I would have preferred that the DNA sample came in the form of his head, on a pole, carried at the front of a huge parade through New York City. But, for now, we have to let the military and the scientists sort it out. For now, all I can say is:

God bless the Americans who gathered, shared, and deciphered the intelligence. God bless the Americans who supported the mission—for a very long time. God bless the Americans who carried out the mission.  And God bless those who remain in harm’s way to fight (and, yes, hopefully kill) other terrorists.

It doesn’t matter if Clinton started it. It doesn’t matter if G.W. Bush laid groundwork. It doesn’t matter if Obama got input or even pressure from others to say “Go.”

Osama Bin Laden is dead. And I am glad. And, no matter what else may remain unclear, one thing is not open for debate:  The Navy Seals kick ass.

Should you be so inclined, donations can be made to the Navy Seals Foundation.  

May 4, 2011 at 4:16 am 2 comments

Happy Columbus Day

[Note:  Sorry for the double-post. I originally posted an old draft.]

I watched the History Channel’s “Who Really Discovered America?” over the weekend. They didn’t really answer the question except to say that Signore Columbus was definitely not the first to arrive.

The show reviewed theories of discovery by the Vikings, the Native Americans (er, um, Native Russians?), the Irish, One of the Lost Tribes of Israel, the Japanese, the Chinese, Polynesians, and others. Evidence presented included architecture, language, physical features, skeletal remains, fish hooks, weaponry, architecture, disease, art, and DNA.

Scientists now have DNA testing capabilities to examine and trace physical traits via genes back thousands and thousands of years—which they are now using to try to confirm genetic patterns to support (or disprove) some of the discovery theories.

The theory that went farther back than any other was that a group called the Solutreans arrived, from Southwestern Europe, in 22,000 B.C. (i.e., not just Before Columbus).

Really makes ya wonder how come Columbus got all the attention and is remembered well enough to close banks and schools on an annual basis more than 500 years after the fact.

(I’m thinking it could be because he’s the only one with a cool mnemonic device.)

In the end, the show concluded by saying that, the more we learn, the more likely that the question of Who Discovered America? will become Who Didn’t?

Although the show’s title remains a bit perturbing, especially for someone who does not like cliff-hanger endings, I think I’d find it much harder to believe that one person discovered America than to believe that people from a variety of cultures were sticking a foot in Alaska, California, Florida, and Connecticut all at the same moment.

Eenie, meenie, miney, moe. I say, take your pick.

What fascinates me more than that is the type of the human being who ventured out. Yes, the documentarians surmise that some of the voyages were initiated by a flight from tyranny or earthly disaster, but some of these folks? They just wanted to go find out.

As I get into my car and go buy groceries that have been grown, picked, wrapped in plastic, and stacked up to await my arrival at 2:00 in the afternoon or 2:00 in the morning; as I grumble about a 1/2-hour delay on a flight that will take me across the country in a matter of hours; as I recall the preparations, car problems, and pit stops of various vacations, I find it absolutely mind-boggling.

And also exhilirating.

Consider the imagination and spirit (and cojones) of these adventurers. Getting into hand-made boats, some without sails. Planning to catch their own dinner as needed. Pushing off from shore without checking the Weather Channel or turning on the GPS. Wondering just how many miles of ocean rolled and crashed beyond the horizon. Not knowing what—if anything—awaited them, but darn near certain it wouldn’t be a HoJo’s and a plate full of fried clams, hush puppies, and a Coke.

I don’t think it matters who got here first. I think what matters is that we are descended from explorers and trail-blazers, that we each have some guts in our guts. A deeply held memory of derring-do. A hint of faith that defies impossibilities. The twist in our double-helix.

And, whether or not the grade-school history lesson was completely accurate, I think this remains a day worth celebrating (and certainly a day for life preservers).

Happy Columbus Day.

(Or, Happy Solutrean Day, just in case.)


October 11, 2010 at 9:39 am Leave a comment

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