NO REPRESSION! VOTE! – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Repress


In a few minutes, we are out of here to go vote. I hope that’s what you are doing today, too. No repression in Massachusetts. We aren’t that kind of state. But wherever you are, don’t let them stop you.

Your job is to be a citizen and VOTE. Please vote. Today!

OVER AND OVER AND OVER – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Over


I have always loved flying.

I never went sky-diving (Garry did and I envied him … and wondered how in the world he managed to actually jump out of that plane into the air), but I did go gliding. Twice. I loved flying in small planes and I was lucky enough to have two good friends who flew and took me with them. One of them got permission to fly very close to the ground so I could fly 500 feet over my house and wave to my flowers.

I discovered that when you fly in a small airplane, no matter how hot it is on the ground, at 10,000 feet, you really wish you were wearing insulated shoes. I learned I was too short to see over the dashboard of a Cessna, so if I took up flying, I would have to do it entirely using instruments.

I got to be “co-pilot” on all these little flights and discovered my main job was to “look for airplanes.” With all the technology involved in flying, planes, especially small planes without flight plans, hit each other.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

When you are looking for other planes, you have to look up, and to both sides. I couldn’t look down. I was too short but I discovered the world had more directions than I ever imagined.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

My cousin Roberta lived in northern Virginia, right outside of DC. From when I was 9 or maybe 10, I used to fly there and back. Alone. That was before they made you wear special badges or anything. You just got on the plane, sat in your seat. Up in the air and half an hour later, descending again. Seeing tiny people get bigger and bigger until they were full-sized and the plane bumped to a stop.

Watching all those cars travel at high speeds through the most astonishingly complex intersections and mostly, don’t hit each other. It’s like an enormous dance done on the roads.

When Garry and I were courting, I hadn’t yet gotten a job in Massachusetts. Most weekends, Garry drove to New York and stayed with me, but sometimes, he’d buy me a ticket. I’d fly from La Guardia to Logan. Once, I was due in at 6 pm. We took off a little late and minutes later, the plane was hit by lightning. Twice. There was only one working engine.

Nobody talked. We just listened to silence, followed by the wail of the engine as it lifted the plane. One of the passengers was a pilot, probably going home to Boston. Everyone watched him, holding our collective breaths, wondering if we were going to land or crash.

We landed. Garry picked me up and started to complain I was late and he’d had to circle the airport a dozen times waiting for my plane to show up. I pointed out that I wasn’t sure I was going to get there alive, so he should be saying “Oh glory, you’re here and alive!” and after that, he fed me lobster for three days straight. I deserved every piece of lobster, not to mention one fabulous North End Italian dinner.

Photo: Garry Armstrong –

I don’t know exactly when the fun went out of flying. When airports went from being inconvenient and ugly and became houses of torment. When airline seats went from being small to being torturous. When all the little niceties of flying disappeared and then they wonder why people try not to fly if they have any other choice.

Unfortunately, our rail infrastructure has been neither maintained nor expanded. For example, you can’t take a train from Boston to Arizona. There are many areas where the tracks are not functional. Not only can you not take the train from point A to point C, but you have to detrain with all your luggage, take a bus, get another train which may or may not have the same seats or type of seats … all while juggling your luggage. You may need to do this several times and it will take days rather than hours.

I was still willing to give it a try until I read the notice that the train would not provide assistance with transferring luggage. I gave up.

Photo: Garry Armstrong

So if you are traveling a long distance, unless you are still young enough to like driving all day — and there was a time when I thought driving was fun — you can fly or stay home. Given one thing and another, we stay home. Mostly.

It doesn’t mean we’ll never fly again. I think now that Garry can hear better, we might fly somewhere, sometime, someday. England or Australia or New Zealand or the south of France. Paris or Tokyo. Who knows?

Meanwhile, a dozen or more Chickadees have discovered our bird feeder and they fly up and over and around it.

THE ROAD WE ARE ON – Rich Raschall

It’s Not A Great One, by Rich Paschall

Aside from insulting our allies and befriending our enemies, here are just a few of the actions by the current administration. They show that we are actually taking away the things that made America great:

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act:

This was the promise to help all people through tax cuts, but the truth is it primarily helped corporations and the top one percent of the wealthy. In defense of this, Republicans have argued the faulty theory of “trickle down” economics. That did not work in the 1980’s and it is not working now. Many corporations used the extra money to buy back stock and strengthen their company. Billionaires can donate some of their extra millions to Republican campaigns to help them maintain power.

The 2016 Overtime Rule:

The current administration would not defend the rule. Now low-level managers, making 23,660 dollars or more, can be made to work many extra hours for no extra pay, saving corporations a lot of money.

Pooled tips:

Some restaurants and bars used a “pooled tips” system.  This means all tips go into a pool and are then distributed among workers. busboys, and cooks, for example, might share these tips.  The current administration has taken action to remove any restrictions, allowing employers to pocket the cash.

Ending DACA:

One of the downsides of attempting to end Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals is that it would take away documentation and the protections of young adults brought here as children. This could force them into working “under the table,” that is, illegally.

Companies could then pay them anything.

Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces:

Initially, this sounds like a good thing.  We should not give contracts to companies that do not follow this rule.  The Trump administration, however, has backed the Congressional resolution to block record keeping in this area, making it hard to tell who is playing fair.

The Federal Reserve Board:

The current administration had three appointments to make and two more members have resigned since the beginning of 45’s term.  Appointments by 45 are there to protect Wall Street. The new chair is Jerome Powell, a Wall Street venture capitalist.  “We’re so bad at forecasting productivity, it’s just very hard to know when productivity is going to arrive and in what quantity….”

Well, I guess that is rather honest.

The Supreme Court:

Appointments such a Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh have swung the balance of power to the extreme right. The current administration has sought to politicize the court with these appointments.  In addition to an expected challenge to the Roe v. Wade ruling (1973) allowing abortion, these appointments may, in fact, protect 45 and other Republicans from court challenges for things like tax returns. A challenge to gay marriage may also be coming.

Affordable Care Act:

Despite the promise to “repeal and replace” Obamacare “very, very quickly” the Trump administration has done neither. Instead, they have taken actions to undermine its success.  “I think we’re probably in that position where we’ll just let Obamacare fail.”

To this end they cut the budget last year for the marketing of the Affordable Care Act, apparently hoping people would miss the deadline for enrollment.

ISIS:

There was the campaign promise that ISIS would be defeated in 30 days by a “secret plan” only 45 knew.  Apparently, he is still the only one who knows it.  While ISIS has been driven from their stronghold in Raqqa, Syria, they have not been “wiped out” as 45 claims.

Infrastructure bill:

Promised, but never delivered.

The Wall:

You may recall the promise that we would build a wall and Mexico would pay for it.  While we have repaired a few sections of fence and added some additional fencing, there is no wall and Mexico will never pay for one.

The Paris Agreement:

Almost every climate scientist of note in the entire world agrees that man-made pollution is causing global warming with possibly dire consequences.  Despite this, the current administration has pulled out of this historic agreement that was signed by 195 nations.  The USA joined Nicaragua as the only nations not part of the agreement.

Tweets:

It is hard to quantify just how unpresidential this is.

LGBT:

Not only has 45 refused to sign the traditional Pride Month declaration, but he has also, along with Pence, spoken to the Values Voter Summit, an anti-LGBT group.

Trade War:

Tariffs are, after all, taxes.  By warring on China with tariffs, the administration has cost farmers billions of dollars in sales.  As a result, the taxpayer will have to bail out US farmers to the amount of 12 billion dollars. This will be paid for in part by borrowing money…from China.

If you are an ardent follower of the current occupant of the White House and his party, you probably have not read this far. Just as well. You would likely not believe most of it anyway, despite the overwhelming proof of it.

There are a lot more broken promises and destructive policies that could be listed.  If you have not gotten the point, more examples would be of little value.

Many Americans do not agree with the road we are on.  It is not the great journey that some believed it would be.  The choice is now.  Continue down this path, or vote for change.

Sources include: “Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year,” Economic Policy Institute, epi.org, January 12, 2018.
“Most millionaires don’t plan to spend their tax savings, CNBC survey finds,” cnbc.com, 27 June 2018.
“DACA alive, barely, a year after Trump ended it,” cnn.com, September 5, 2018.
“Did Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell Just Say That?” forbes.com, September 28, 2018.
“With the appointment of Brett Kavanaugh, Roe v. Wade is likely dead,” Perspective, Carole Joffe, The Washington Post, July 10, 2018.
Trump Drops Key Campaign Promise to ‘Repeal and Replace’,” nbcnews.com, July 18, 2017
“Editorial: Wrong About ISIS,” The Weekly Standard, weeklystandard.com, September 26, 2018.
“Trump Has Now Broken Every One of His Economic Populist Promises,”  Intelligencer, nymag.com, May 11, 2018.
“Trump’s Trade Wars Are Bad. They Could Soon Get a Lot Worse,” foreignpolicy.com, July 25, 2018.
“Dem senator: Trump is borrowing money from China to ‘pay our farmers to not sell their crops to China’,” thehill.com, September 26, 2018.

 

SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

Share Your World – Election Day 2018


Is there one post on your site that is really special to you?  

DON’T DRINK THE KOOL AID – THE JONESTOWN MASSACRE. You’ll see it again on the 18th which will be the 40th anniversary of the massacre. It’s a cautionary tale for our times.

MARILYN’S FAVORITE YEAR – 1969.  Because it really was my favorite year for a lot of reasons.

They aren’t my “best-selling” posts, but they are favorite for entirely different reasons.

How do you deal with negative people? 

Personally? My life is singularly free of negative people. Otherwise, patience and occasionally getting really mad. I have to admit, it depends on what I think will get the job (usually customer service) done. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter. No matter what you do, it won’t help.

What is the first thing you think of when you wake in the morning? 

How quickly can I get to the bathroom!

Would you rather be able to talk to the animals or speak all foreign languages? 

It would be really convenient to speak thousands of languages. On the other hand, there’s no point in talking “Dog.” They would still ignore me.

Bonnie and Gibbs

November is a month in which many people give thanks.  America (and other countries) celebrate an actual Thanksgiving Day. For example, Canada celebrates this in October.

What small thing happened today (or in the past few days) that you were grateful for?   

We put up the bird feeder yesterday and it’s more than half empty today. That’s like two pounds of seed gone in about three hours. Shocking how expensive bird seed is, by the way. For some reason, I figured it would be cheap. It isn’t cheap.

Nothing is cheap, not even birdseed.

I was surprised. I thought it would a few days for the birds to find the feeder, but there were easily a dozen Chickadees and they were flying by in groups looking for a place to land! There were some other small finches eating their hearts out. I didn’t have a camera and it was raining, which slowed down my shooting. It didn’t slow down the birds!

FORGET FEAR. FORGET RAGE. LET’S TALK ABOUT DISGUST – BY TOM CURLEY

Elisabeth Kubler Ross defined the five stages of grief. They are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance.

The tragedy that is this current administration and Republicans, in general, have created a completely different five stages of grief.  Shock, Denial, Anger, Rage and finally,

DISGUST.

I never really thought about disgust as an emotion. Usually, you’re only disgusted when you see, smell or eat something really gross.

It first hit me during the Kavanagh hearings.

Remember them? It was a long, time ago. About a month.

I watched pathetic old white Republican Senators sitting behind a woman because they were too cowardly to ask questions to another woman accusing the Supreme Court nominee of sexual harassment.

It was disgusting.

Then the next day this same nominee came out yelling and screaming about how everybody was picking on him. He threatened “payback” for Democrats who asked him mean questions. He treated the female Democratic Senators on the committee with stunning disrespect.

I like beer. I really like beer. Beer beer beer beer beer!

I was disgusted.

Then all the male Republicans on the committee proceeded to scream with phony rage about how this poor man is being treated.

I was beyond disgusted.

Since then, long ago (last month), things have gotten more and more disgusting.

The Fear-Monger-In-Chief has been crisscrossing the country trying to convince his moronic minions that a few thousand desperate refugees — mostly women, and children — fleeing their home countries and walking more than 2000 miles to come to America. Based on the very slim hope of being granted asylum, Trump claims they are really a raging mob of barbarians, criminals, and terrorists coming here to

INVADE AMERICA!

Disgusting.

He also says he can change the Constitution ON HIS OWN. He — alone and without an amendment or even a conversation with Congress — can deny citizenship to children born in the United States if they’re babies he doesn’t like.

No citizenship for you!

Disgusting.

This Idiot-in-Chief and every Republican running are claiming that they are only ones protecting pre-existing conditions for our health care. Even though they’ve all voted to abolish the Affordable Care Act more than 60 times and are planning on doing it again.

Disgusting.

They claim Democrats are trying to abolish Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. If they are elected the entire country will become an apocalyptic dystopian nightmare of crime and violence.

And Zombies!

The Democrats are coming!!!

Disgusting

Racist attacks on African-American candidates that have gone from racial dog whistle code words to obscene robocalls from Nazis who don’t even live in the state in which the candidates are running.

Disgusting

In one week, a white racist, living in a van covered with alt-right pro-Trump memes sends 17 pipe bombs to two living Presidents and other Democratic leaders.

Disgusting.

Then another white racist, who after listening to the President telling crowds that Jews like George Soros is supporting the invading horde of refugees over 800 miles away decides to take an AR-15 and slaughter 11 Jews in a Temple. On Shabbat no less.

And what does the President say? It wasn’t his fault and it wasn’t fair to blame him for it. Then goes to a rally that very night and says the exact same thing!



I could go on, but I’m too disgusted.

I’m writing this on the day before the mid-term elections.  If you’re reading this before the election, use your rage, your disgust.

Go out and vote.

If you’re reading after the election and you didn’t vote?

Disgusting.