CHARLOTTESVILLE: I CAN’T BE SILENT. NONE OF US CAN. – (REBLOG) SEAN MUNGER

This is a well thought out, well written piece. Worth reading.


The last few days have made it very difficult to feel pride at being an American. The violence and hatred at a racist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, capped off by a terrorist attack by a Nazi killing and wounding innocent people, should horrify any thinking person. Add to this the deep and disturbing failure by President Donald Trump to denounce the Nazis and their toadies until it was too late to do any good, and what we have in the past few days is a picture of an America that is totally unacceptable. I haven’t been able to talk much about what happened in Charlottesville, but this is an issue of such importance that we all must speak out. Silence is consent, and I do not consent.

We can’t let these vile and hate-filled people take over our country–and they are trying mightily to do exactly that. They also think they’re succeeding, and that’s a problem. Neo-Nazis, white supremacists, misogynists, anti-Semites, GamerGaters, the “alt-right”–virtually to a man they see Donald Trump as a hero, someone who can advance their agenda of marginalizing people of color, women, the LGBT community, or really anyone who isn’t white, straight, male, conservative and thinks like them. The fact that Nazis were able to march in Charlottesville in what they perceived as triumph is itself an alarm bell for what’s happened to our country and our political discourse. Furthermore, these people want the kind of conflict with counter-protestors that got so much coverage this weekend. If someone dies, it’s good for them. Their ideology, just like the Nazism of the 1930s in Germany, is held together with blood. All of us must make sure that these people fail utterly and completely in their sick project to transform America into something evil.

PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP CLEARLY EMBOLDENS NAZIS AND OTHER RACISTS TO PUSH THEIR AGENDA. MOST MEMBERS OF THE “ALT-RIGHT” ADORE HIM AND SUPPORT HIM TO THE END.

See full article at: CHARLOTTSESVILLE: I CAN’T BE SILENT. NONE OF US CAN.

BY THE PRICKING OF MY THUMBS, SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES …

“By the pricking of my thumbs, something wicked this way comes …” — William Shakespeare,  Macbeth: Act 4, Sc 1, P 2


Trump refused to repudiate support from the KKK during his election. What makes anyone think he isn’t FOR white supremacy and racism? What makes you think he hasn’t always been in favor of it?


This is how he got elected and it is what “his base” is about.


It’s not about making America great. It’s not about improving economics or ending terrorism. It’s about crushing non-white people while freely allowing white terrorists to behave however they want. He is promoting his terrorists to do their worst … and don’t think for a moment that they won’t thrive under his leadership.

He got a hearty vote of approval from the KKK today. If you aren’t sure whose side he is on, that should be your answer.

Photo: Washington Post

Everybody has been carefully treading around a fundamental reality. We have a bigot and a racist as America’s president. While we’ve been not saying what is obviously true, this asshole’s “base” has been growing larger and getting stronger. When Hillary Clinton called them “deplorable,” she was right. And I bet you knew it, too.

Since when are we not allowed to call evil, “evil?” Do we now assume there is no evil? Maybe that all behavior is some kind of “mental disorder?”

If you don’t call a thing what it is, it gets worse. We need to call this what it is: our own, homegrown, American Nazi party.


Trump will NEVER be presidential.

He is not going to care about “real people” because he is the only “real person” in his world.

He is a bigot. A hater. He has always been a racist, as was his father before him.

I think if he has the opportunity, he will also become a killer. Watch your ass.


I was ashamed to call Trump president. Now I’m ashamed to have these people share my citizenship.

It’s just a prickle … so far …

And if you’d like another look at this, from a different voice: History Hiccups and Hiccups and Hiccups by Martha Kennedy.

TRUMP SMELLS LIKE A WHITE SUPREMACIST, PERIOD. — REBLOG by “A LOT FROM LYDIA”

Trump Smells Like a White Supremacist, Period. 


As the Bard once said:

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

The same could be said of fecal matter.


Nevertheless, it’s time to call things by their proper name. A rose is a rose, what happened in Charlottesville was terrorism, and Donald Trump is a white supremacist…among other things.

Donald Trump knows which side his bread is buttered on. KKK leader David Duke knows which side Donald Trump’s bread is buttered on. Vladimir Putin knows which side Trump’s bread is buttered on. Trump has a lot of people buttering one side of his bread, and they’re all despicable.


Merck CEO Kenneth Frazer has taken a stand against Trump’s refusal to condemn white supremacists by resigning from Trump’s Jobs Advisory Council, saying:

“America’s leaders must honor our fundamental values by clearly rejecting expressions of hatred, bigotry and group supremacy.”

Trump’s response was not to make himself clear in opposition to white supremacist hate groups, instead he attacked the black man who took a stand against them in a tweet.

The bottom line here is that Trump will not speak out against hate groups, like he will not speak out against Putin. They own him.

If there is any question left in anyone’s mind about Trump’s Nazi tendencies consider this often used gesture of Trump’s. Coincidence?

Point made?

There is a big push today to get Steve Bannon out of the White House. Yes, he should be removed, but, the man who put Bannon, Jeff Sessions, Stephan Miller, and Gorka there, did not do so by accident. You don’t surround yourself with racist hate groups if you are opposed to their thinking.


Trump will be gone soon enough. His financial crimes will be his undoing. What is happening to America in the meantime has to stop. The only way for this to stop is to make clear to hate groups that this behavior is not going to be tolerated. How?

  • In Germany and in several other countries it is a criminal offense to make the Nazi salute. They have good reason. That should be considered here.
  • Neo-Nazi white supremacist organizations, are terrorist organizations, and should be registered as such.
  • Twitter has been outing those at the rally, that is another way to combat this.


Can we stop pretending Donald Trump is less of a racist than Steve Bannon? Trump was raised in this.

It’s time for the KKK to put their white hats and robes back on and crawl back into the hole Trump let them out of.

Source: Trump Smells Like a White Supremacist, Period. 

LIFE WITH FATHER – BY ELLIN CURLEY

I had a very strange and strained relationship with my father. In his defense, he was 59 when I was born and newly married, for the first time. He had been a confirmed bachelor, living alone, for a long, long time.

Then suddenly he had a young wife of 33 and a child. Culture shock on all fronts. To his discredit, he never really tried to become more child-oriented and he never reached out to me at the various stages of my life. My Dad and Mom adored each other and had a wonderful relationship. But Mom could never get him to change his ways with me.

Dad played the piano for me a lot through my childhood.

Dad was a practicing psychoanalyst, a teacher and a published writer in his field. He lived in an intellectual ivory tower and was totally absorbed in his intellectual pursuits. That left little room for me. He would often walk by me in the hallway and not see me or acknowledge me. On other days, the only thing he would say to me was, “Where’s your mother?”

He also yelled a lot. He yelled out of anxiety rather than anger and was never mean or demeaning to anyone. Nevertheless, because of his aloofness combined with his yelling, I was scared of him. I usually didn’t want to be alone with him so my Mom had to be an intermediary between us. This made Dad feel hurt and rejected by me and created a vicious circle.

Me and my parents when I was 11

When I was about nine, my mom finally decided that we had to confront one another. She insisted that I tell my dad, to his face, that I didn’t like it when he yelled. I was frightened, but I did it. I’ll never forget my dad’s response: “Do I yell?” Dad then proposed that whenever he yelled, I should tell him he was yelling and then tell him to stop. It didn’t really reduce the yelling, but it reduced the tension between us and banished my fear of him. After that, whenever he yelled, I just yelled back.

Our relationship was epitomized by our dinnertime ritual. Both parents worked at home, as therapists. Dad always got out of work for dinner before my mom did. So we would sit at the dinner table, each at opposite ends, waiting for my mom. In silence. As soon as Mom arrived, we would all begin talking. Our conversations were lively, interesting and often filled with laughter. Both parents were interested in what I was doing and what I thought about whatever we were discussing. But the conversation was rarely between just me and my dad.

Me and Dad when I was around 22

When I got old enough to have serious intellectual conversations about history, current events, anthropology, etc., my dad and I had many on-on-one exchanges. One summer during high school, I read books on ancient Egypt and Dad and I shared many conversations on that topic. In high school, I started helping my Mom edit Dad’s writing. That provoked some heated discussions,

When I moved away from home, our phone conversations were short and stilted. We’d say, “Hello. How are you?” and then usually Dad would say “Here’s your mother” and turn the phone over to her.

Mom and Dad when Dad was in his late 70’s

My dad cared about me and worried about me a lot. He just shared all this with my mother, not with me directly. Mom would report to me about what my father thought about what was going on in my life. We would have three-way conversations when I had serious issues and Dad would be attentive and insightful. This only made it more painful to me that we could only have these conversations when my mother was present.

I realize now that in many ways, my dad was more in tune with me than my mom was. He was also usually more likely to say, “Let her do it her way. Don’t push her.” My mom was more controlling and had a fixed idea of what my life should be.

My favorite picture of Dad in his prime

The last thing my dad said to me before he died, was, “What did I do to deserve a daughter like you? I didn’t deserve you.” I replied, “You’re right. But I love you anyway.” I guess for us, that was a form of closure.

THE 12-FOOT TEEPEE

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: STRUCTURE


In 2007, I built a 12-foot teepee. It’s the smallest “full-size” teepee. I would have built a bigger one, but we didn’t have enough flat ground on which to build it. As it is, we had to create a flat place to stand the teepee. We build a platform of railroad planks, sand and earth. There was a lot of sweating and heaving going on for several weeks before we could even start putting the teepee up.

I bought the teepee — plain and unadorned — from Nomadics Tipi, a wonderful company that has helped construct teepees all over the world. If you have time, take a look at their site. They have a wonderful collection of pictures from everywhere, literally, on earth.

Building the platform on which to stand the teepee was a lot of work … all of which was done by Garry and Owen. When that piece was done, I had to make poles. You can buy poles and if you buy them, they are smooth and straight and pretty easy to use. They are also wildly expensive. Not the poles. The cost for bringing poles from where they grow — mostly in the Pacific northwest — to wherever you live would have cost around $1000. And that was just the delivery.

The teepee was my favorite place to be on a snowy afternoon.

I couldn’t do that, so I made the poles myself. Owen and I went into the woods and chose a couple of dozen young hardwood trees that weren’t too crooked. After that, me and my draw knives peeled the bark and cut all the little pieces off the poles. After which I sanded the poles. It took a long time and although I got better at it over time, it was still a lot of work.

I painted the door from a design I found. It’s not a very good rendition, but it was as good as I could do. The interior design were the hand-prints of our family, forming a friendship ring.

Nothing makes you respect the work done by supposedly primitive people more than trying to do the same thing yourself. It isn’t all that primitive and it definitely isn’t easy!

I wrote a book based on the building of the teepee. You can find it on Amazon as “The 12-Foot Teepee” by Marilyn Armstrong.

The teepee could not last forever, but its name lives on … and that is why the name of my blog is teepee12.com. 

LIMPING INTO THE GOLDEN YEARS

I’m not one of those people who romanticizes the “old days,” but there are some truths worth remembering and revisiting.

I grew up in a different world. Play meant imagination. Physical activity. Jump rope, hide and seek, tag, Stick ball because no one owned a real bat. Stoop ball, jacks. Building a “fort” or climbing a tree. Cowboys.

Toys were simple, not electronic. Getting a new doll was a thrill. She never needed a reboot, unless you count having to find her lost shoe. Almost nothing except flashlights needed batteries.

If you were having a hard time with the bullies in school, you got up, got dressed and went to school. It didn’t mean you weren’t scared. I was plenty scared. It simply wasn’t a parent problem … it was mine. Yours. Ours.

You didn’t get a lot of pats on the back for “trying hard.” You might get an “attaboy” for doing exceptionally well, but you were expected to do your best. Nothing less was acceptable. Doing your best was your job. You took it seriously.

You learned your lessons in elementary school so you could go on to junior high school and then high school. You had to do well in high school because if you didn’t, you couldn’t get into college. We all knew — with 100% certainty — if you didn’t go to college, you wouldn’t go to heaven.

Pretty much every family has family members who didn’t make it. The ones who never found real job or formed a serious relationship. Or accomplished much. If they happen to be our own kids, it makes us wonder what we did wrong. Usually, we have a sneaking suspicion the problem isn’t what we didn’t do. More like what we did too much.

I don’t think we should be mean and uncaring to our kids, nor am I an advocate of corporal punishment, but I think it’s important to recognize we didn’t get strong by being protected from every pain, every hurt. We didn’t get everything we wanted the moment we wanted it. Or, at least I didn’t. If I got one really cool present, that was a big deal. Now kids get so much, it’s meaningless. They don’t appreciate anything because there’s always more where that came from.

So, in memory of the good times, the bad times, the hard times, the great times. The schoolyard battles we fought and sometimes lost. The subjects we barely passed or actually failed — and had to take again. The bullies who badgered us until we fought back and discovered bullies are cowards. Getting cornered in the girls’ room by tough chicks with switch blades, wondering if you can talk your way out of this.

Being the only Jew, Black kid, Spanish kid, fat kid, short kid or whatever different kind of kid you were in a school full of people who didn’t like you. Getting through it and coming out the other side. Being the only one who used big words and read books when everyone else was watching American Bandstand. Being the klutz who couldn’t do the dances and never had the right clothing or hair. Then, finally, getting to college and discovering the weirdos and rejects from high school were now cool people.

Magically, suddenly, becoming part of the “in crowd.” Metamorphoses. No longer outsiders. Whatever made us misfits were the same qualities that made us popular. And eventually, successful.

The fifties and early sixties were not idyllic, especially if you weren’t middle class, white, and Christian. Yet, whoever you were, it was a great time to be a kid. Not because we had more stuff, but because we had more freedom.

We had time. Time to play, time to dream. Whatever we lacked in “things,” we made up for by having many fewer rules. We were encouraged to use our imagination. We didn’t have video games, cable TV, cell phones and computers. We were lucky to have a crappy black and white TV with rabbit ears that barely got a signal.

We learned to survive and cope. Simultaneously, we learned to achieve. By the time we hit adulthood, we weren’t afraid to try even if success seemed unlikely. We had enough courage to know if it didn’t work out, we’d get up, dust ourselves off and try again — or try something else. We knew we would make it, one way or the other.

When we got out into the world, for at least a couple of decades, we had a blast.

Here’s to us as we limp past middle age into the so-called golden years. We really had great lives. We’re still having them, but more slowly.