OUR MOMENT – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Moment

This is a moment. Well, really, the last year and a half (is it longer? shorter? interminable?) has been a “moment.”

For me, it has been a long and painful moment of realization. This catastrophe in which we have been engulfed didn’t just “sort of show up” in 2016. It isn’t something that dropped in from the outer limits. As Americans, we’ve been building towards this monumental, momentous calamity for our entire history.

We have done great things. We have also done horrendous and unspeakable things. We have — as all countries do — glossed over the unspeakable and put a lot of our energy focusing on the greatness. We have ignored our failures and failed to grow up, nationally speaking.

One of the many important things Obama said in his recent lecture was that we had made progress and so we assumed that this progress meant that we had left “the bad stuff” behind and moved on.

But that isn’t what happened at all. Briefly, our better selves dominated politically, but all the rest of it was still right where it had been before. Our Civil War is more than 150 year in our past, yet for many people, it is still going on. Despite the obvious that this entire country — unless you are a Native American — is built on immigration, we have forgotten who we are and where we come from and that it is the energy and willingness to “go the distance” that gave the United States its vitality.

We also forgot that we got our big bang of industrial power from the decimation of Europe following two devastating wars. Yes, we fought in them, but they took place elsewhere. Not on our shores and if we want to pause briefly and ponder Pearl Harbor and 9/11, we can only imagine how different this country would be if the wars fought had been fought here.

Not “over there.” Not on some foreign shore, but in our backyard. We never had to rebuild our entire infrastructure. We have been political fools. Not only now, but in many earlier times when we elected immoral, mentally challenged morons as our leaders.

It matters more now because we gained so much power. And because the speed of events has increased and we don’t wait for news anymore. Everything is instant, continuous, and migraine-inducing.

We didn’t get here by accident or because of one bad election. We have never demanded our citizens vote or even get a decent education. We have never required our citizenry behave like grownups, either. Why should we be surprised we find ourselves in this unreal, treasonous, and terrifying scenario?

Map of Nazi conquest of Europe as of 1940

This is our moment to consider who and what we want to be as a nation. Do we want to be the perpetual international fools and morons? Do we want to pretend that all the really important things — decency, morality, safety, protection, equality, liberty and fair government — are trivial? That the only thing that matters is greed? As long as someone promises to lower our taxes, nothing else counts?

If we continue thinking like that, we will be lost in history, a mere blip on the timeline. And because we have had so much power, we might take down other nations with us. Who knows how many?

We are not an island, nor do we exist alone and separate on this planet.


No Man is an Island – John Donne

No man is an island entire of itself; every man
is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe
is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as
well as any manner of thy friends or of thine
own were; any man’s death diminishes me,
because I am involved in mankind.
And therefore never send to know for whom
the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.


MEDITATION XVII
Devotions upon Emergent Occasions
John Donne

THIS WEEK IN TRUMPLANDIA: July 21 – 28, 2018

A good summary of This Week In Trumplandia. I know it’s hard to keep track of everything and to be fair, I no longer try, so it’s useful to get a good summary of the madness surrounding us.

THE SHINBONE STAR

Sex, Lies and Audio Tapes Edition

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APPROVAL ALERT AT PRESS TIME:
Gallup Poll: 42% — down from 43% last week
Rasmussen Poll: 46% — up from 44% last week

Welcome to Trumplandia, a place where with a bit of wit and snark, we keep the world caught up on all of the tasty Nuggets-O-Trump you may have heard about but were too busy to care. Because most of this minutia occurs just below the massive headlines about the POTUS, it’s in a land of its own. Here, an infusion of social media, video clips and print media meld with our outdated political views to make more delicious “Fake News” about our Commander-in-Chief.

So just like the president, we start it all with a little tweet like this:

View original post 1,563 more words

BUT MY HAIR LOOKS GREAT! – Marilyn Armstrong

Much to my shock and delight, my granddaughter and her mom went and picked up groceries and a prescription for us today. Wow! And then they came back and Kaity dyed my hair, then trimmed it.

The last time she trimmed it was the end of January 2016. In between, I snipped a little off here and there when it got especially ragged and lately it had grown quite long. Which is often the result of not cutting my hair for a year-and-a-half.

Kaitlin felt strongly that I shouldn’t have cut my own hair. Self-cut-hair is, as she put it, a hack job. I pointed out that I had several times — like maybe more than several times — suggested she could trim it, but she hadn’t. She was sure it was just a few months ago that she cut it, but since it was more than mid-back length, that was not likely. My hair doesn’t grow that fast.

She pointed out that no one “had ever called her dependable.”

I agreed. I certainly had never said anything like that.

In June, I had bought dye for my hair. Called “vanilla white,” it’s basically white and ashy. I was hoping it would pull the yellow out of my hair. Our well water is full of iron and it turns my hair yellow, no matter what I do.  I hadn’t found any way to get the yellow out of my hair or remove the iron from the water since it appears to be part of the earth.

Amazingly, the color did the job. The hair came out a nice, even white.

Then she trimmed off about 3-1/2-inches of my hair.

I went into the “long-haired woman-after-a-haircut” shock. It happens every time I get my hair cut. Even when it’s a half-an-inch trim, I go into shock. This was quite a bit of what is left of my hair, but to be fair, it needed cutting. It looks thicker and healthier when it is a bit shorter.

It’s still long enough to tie back, but it’s not long anymore. It looks fuller and the color is improved. And it will grow. Presumably.

EVERYONE IS A LIAR EXCEPT DONALD TRUMP – Garry Armstrong

“The media always lies,” she said and I cringed.

Then, I got angry. Why do people believe a president who has never told the truth about anything while failing to believe the fact-based truth?

I’m not talking about “ultimate” truth or the meaning of life or faith. I’m talking about things that can be proven with evidence, science. Stuff caught on tape. Printed, heard, overheard, and to which testimony has been given.

I really hate it when I hear that cliché – “The media doesn’t tell the truth. They always lie.”

It demeans all the passion and belief I put into more than 40-years as a working reporter. Moreover, it demeans the careers of so many others who give their lives in pursuit of the truth. Many, literally died in pursuit of the truth.

Photo: USA Today

I am not romanticizing my career. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve gotten it wrong. It happens when you’re covering multiple stories a day, 5 to 7 days a week. With deadlines breathing down your neck.

I always tried to clarify mistakes by accepting my culpability up front and being clear with viewers. There were many days when I hated what I had to do. Usually, it was in pursuit of a truth which would be ugly, demanding, tedious — and require a good deal of soul-searching. The truth isn’t simple, or black and white. Despite what you usually see on television or in movies about reporters, there aren’t many clear “wins.”

The old days

Often, we’re lambasted for telling the truth by the same folks who call us liars. Jack Nicholson’s “You can’t handle the truth” line should be crayoned on the skulls of those who insist the media always lies. Those critics are the same pilgrims who gobble up the crap proffered by the current White House Tenant who wouldn’t know the truth if it bit him.

Truth is a foreign language to him. I suspect he actually believes the nonsense he spouts. To make a lie “sound true,” you first have to convince yourself it is true. If you do this for enough years, eventually you don’t even remember what the truth used to be.

I fervently wish that the people who belittle media and law enforcement spend some time, real-time — like 24/7 — on the streets. The real streets, not their cozy neighborhood. They might discover that life without the public relations filters is a different place.

They might see our world in three dimensions and begin to look for reality instead of accepting whatever propaganda or other gobbledygook is being dumped in their biased, insulated worlds. Maybe some of them would even consider (gasp) reading something.

Finally, I’m proud of what I did for a living. For 40 plus years, I fought to tell the truth.

It was a privilege.

QUIETYLY, DOGS AT HOME – Marilyn Armstrong

Quietly At Home

Just because.

My dogs are looking good. All freshly groomed and smelling rather better than they normally do. With all the mud and gunk outside, it won’t last, but I grabbed a few shots while I could.

I could not send the smell.

If Mr. Gibbs were a flower, I could link him up. But he is a dog. There’s no special dog link for him, but he was looking good today, so I thought I might show him off.

Mr. Gibbs, looking good
Aww. She’s so sweet

And then, of course, there’s the Duke …