Category Archives: Politics

Mid-Week Random Ramblings

I have got so many ideas of things I want to write about swimming about in my head right now. And as I have mentioned in previous posts, I am an over-thinker. Which means I have a tendency to be indecisive.

What does this mean to me, today, right here, right now? I think it means that I need to go random with this particular post. Bear with me, patient readers. Once I get this out of my system, I will be able to put the final touches on the next couple of one-topic posts I’ve got waiting for me in my draft folder. 

True story: On Monday,  I didn’t allow my driving anxiety to get the better of me. I actually drove myself through Denver for a work meeting and then home afterwards on I-25 just at the beginning of rush hour.  I told myself that I could pull over at any time but I didn’t end up doing that even once. Heart pounding, palms sweating, mind racing, I pushed through and stayed the course. And I got home in one piece. Driving anxiety truly sucks, but now (here’s me being brave) it no longer means I won’t drive on I-25 or any other freeway for that matter. Not anymore. Gone are the days when I purposefully map out my route to avoid all freeways. I just have to accept that the anxiety may creep in and try to mess with my head. And keep moving forward in spite of it.

Later today,  I’m getting a major hair cut and color done by my lively, one-of-a-kind hairdresser, Angel. I’m bound to give myself whiplash from flicking my head back and to the side to keep my bangs out of my eyes if I don’t. I’ve had essentially the same haircut and style now for the better part of two years and with summery temps on the horizon, I think it’s time to go even shorter and lighten things up.

On a totally unrelated note, I’ve been thinking that it’d be some sweet justice if the con-man/bully/hypocritical/liar/fool-in-chief (no need to name names here, right?), ends up being taken down by a woman, or shall I say women, that he has undoubtedly wronged. This would further cement by belief in karma. I mean, something has got to happen for this all to come to an end right? I’d much prefer it be because of his lecherous, immoral, and sexist behavior (and of course because Mueller and his team have got enough to prosecute for obstruction of justice and God only knows what else)  than a nuclear war. Just saying.

I was awestruck this past weekend watching some of the speeches given by high school students at the March for Our Lives. Their poise and passion blew me away. Emma Gonzales will go down in  history as the voice of this movement, largely because of her purposeful, meaningful speech, which included a long period of silence equal to the amount of time it took for the gunman to kill 17 people at her high school on Valentine’s Day. I pray that we will see some common sense gun legislation very soon. All of our kids deserve this.

I’m really digging the new book I’m reading about finding your soul song playlist. The writer, Jessica Myler, points out that all of those self-help books that so many of us read focus on thinking positive thoughts. Which is all good and fine, but, as she notes (and I am paraphrasing here), feelings need to go hand in hand with these thoughts to be powerful enough to manifest true happiness. This concept really clicks with me. From my perspective, it’s all about the way the words and the melodies work in tandem to evoke emotions which inspire and energize me to create, to communicate, and to be a force for positive change.

I’m feeling that a blog post about my Google playlists will be coming soon. Or one about dieting and food. Or one about travel. I hope you all will stay tuned.

Happy Hump Day!

 

 

For the kids

One of my Facebook friends shared the address for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, urging everyone to write a letter to the students. I knew right away that this is something I could do. It’s actually the least I could do.

Question for myself is what will I say?

I will surely offer my condolences. Offer my support. Ask how we as adults can specifically support them. I want to urge them to not grow weary of the fight; to soldier on despite the crap the jerks of this world may try to throw at them. Urge them to practice self-care so they can stay emotionally strong. These kids have been foisted into the spotlight, due to an event that they never in a million years could have imagined happening to them. Heck, I read that Parkland, Fl was actually voted the safest city in Florida in 2017. I can’t imagine the shock this was to the entire community.

I believe with the right encouragement from their elders as well as their peers, fighting for common sense gun control could just be the beginning. Our society is sick; there’s an underlying mental health crisis that needs to be comprehensively addressed. Coming up with solid steps to address our nation’s mental health crises may just be the next thing these kids could tackle.

As I’ve been reading online, the kids of MSD high school-actually all the high school kids today-they’re smart. They are savvier with social media than the rest of us. Social media is the primary tool with which they work to affect change. I think it’s important to encourage them to continue to use this powerful tool in a thoughtful, strategic manner. Now this is obviously the parent in me coming out, but I worry what will become of these kids from MSD High School. Will some of them take advantage of their sudden fame and sell out to become famous douchebags with their own YouTube channel? Will some of them crash and burn in other ways due to the stress of trying to change the world? That’s the stuff I worry about. I want these kids to keep their wits about them. I wish for them to stay health, to stay strong.

Isn’t that what we should all be wishing for?

My letter may not make a lick of difference to these kids. However, perhaps if we, as their elders, all commit to penning letters, signing petitions, providing support in financial ways, and casting our ballots for political candidates who we believe will support legislation that actually advances these kids’ causes, great changes may come to fruition.

Please join me in writing letters to and for these kids. It’s a good start, don’t you think? And it really is the least we can do right now.

Random and Uncategorized

 

Lately, I’ve been wondering where Shameful Sheep, the blogger named Blair, has been. She seems to have taken a hiatus from the blogosphere. I hope she is okay. She’s such a good egg.  I miss her witty anecdotes and funny stories. She sometimes pens “random as shit” posts, like this one. Today I’m feeling extra indecisive about topics to blog about, so I’m going to take a cue from Blair and unload some thoughts I’ve had recently about stuff. So here I go….

If I could be any one of the Trump family members, who would I be? I’d pick Tiffany. Because first and foremost, she seems to be out of the fray. Kind of like Barron (but he’s just a tween so he should not be in the fray in any capacity. That poor kid. I hope he has someone in his daily life who is kind to him).  Tiff has no official titles at least that I’m aware of.  She seems to have a cool mom which I deduced not because she married the Donald (massive error in judgement no doubt),  but because I watched her on DWTS where I learned that she’s a super health nut and very fit for her age. I thought she generally just had a cool vibe about her.  It seems to me that Tiff is able to pretty much do as she pleases (go on tropical vacations, hang out with celebrities, stay in swanky hotels) while the rest of her family makes asses out of themselves in the Oval Office.

Hubs has been encouraging me to share my blog publicly on Facebook. I’ve been a chicken when it comes to that. While it very well could boost my stats, I’m worried that some off hand remark I inadverdently made in one of my posts would make them think less of me. That they’d think I’ve lost my marbles or worse yet, that I’m a massively untalented writer. On the other hand, they have the power to choose not to read my blog posts. Just like I have exercised the power to screen calls on my cell phone and not answer when I don’t want to talk to whoever it is that is calling.

Speaking of Facebook, I find it interesting, maybe even a little surprising, that my favorite Facebook friends are actually my cousins. It’s weird because I can’t honestly say (okay, with like 3 exceptions) that growing up I was personally close with any of them. There’s a lot of reasons for that: many of them lived far away so I didn’t get to see them but once, maybe twice, a year. And many of them are either much younger than me or much older than me (on both sides of the family). On Facebook, they often make me laugh and teach me a thing or two about our family’s history that without Facebook I would be completely unaware.

Two things I feel like I really struggle with when I’m working on blog posts are 1) coming up with an appropriate, catchy title and 2) deciding what “categories” to check. I’m intrigued by the “uncategorized” category option. I feel like that for better or perhaps worse, that one word captures my entire blog. Sometimes I post about my passion for music, once in a while I throw a recipe in there, sometimes I can’t help but get all political on your asses, and sometimes I just write about what or who is in my heart in the moment. I’m all over the place, I know. Kind of a hot mess, but hopefully in a good way. I could go ahead and just pick one lane (cooking/baking, music, relationships, politics) and go with that for eons, but Geez Louise, that would be such a yawn fest after a while.

Because I’m stubborn and maybe a little cheap frugal, I primarily rely on a combination of RTD (city bus) or Uber to get to and from work each day, instead of buying a second vehicle. I can’t fathom forking over 1/3 to 1/2 of my monthly earnings for a car payment and insurance. It’s been, to say the least, interesting to use alternate transportation. The Uber drivers vary so much. I’ve ridden in tobacco scented cars with crumbs on the floor and pristine cars where the driver offers me a free bottle of water. I’ve had some drivers who seem to have zero interest in chit-chat and some who have essentially talked my ears off (I prefer the latter). Yesterday, I missed my second bus, which was to take me to my volunteer gig, because the first bus was delayed. Why you ask? Because one of the riders on that bus was arrested. I watched the drama unfold from my perch at the bus stop, about a block away. When I finally was able to board the bus I remarked to the petite, female bus driver that there had “apparently” been some drama. She explained that the dude was intoxicated and “laid his hands on me”. As a result, I ended up having to cancel my volunteer gig with the food bank. But at least I didn’t have to deal with that drunk fool myself like she did.

Random shit happens, right folks?

Why Oprah shouldn’t run in 2020

I along with I suppose gazillions of people on earth watched the Golden Globes last Sunday night. Oprah’s speech was a major highlight, as she inspired us all with hope for the future. People cried, cheered, and many took immediately to Twitter, declaring “Oprah for 2020”.

I get it. If the election was held today, I would vote for her. She has earned the trust of the American people by her inclusiveness, her honesty, and her integrity over the span of many years. And I suspect she’d probably win by a wide margin, especially if she was running against Trump. 

While I could just as easily pen a post declaring the reasons why Oprah should run,  I maintain she shouldn’t run for POTUS.

Why, you ask? In a nutshell, I think she’s got more important things to do. I also suspect that in her heart of hearts, she doesn’t want to be POTUS. I’ve heard her say multiple times in interviews that she has no interest in serving our country in this capacity.

Oprah is an expert, in my opinion, of lifting others up. I loved that unlike some people, she used her podium in this speech not to talk about herself and her own accomplishments, but to lift up the #metoo movement, making sure to note that this movement includes women from all fields, all walks of life, who have been sexually abused or harassed by men in power. She lifted up Recy Taylor  (who I had never heard of before this-thank you Oprah) and Rosa Parks. She emphasized the need for all of us to speak truth to power in these tumultuous times. She said what I think we all needed to hear.

You see, Oprah has exquisite judgement of who it is that deserves our attention. Our support. Our loyalty. I think we need to pay close attention to who she champions as our next political leaders. The female leaders that have political experience. The female leaders that have the right combination of heart and intellect. The female leaders who have the vision to move our country forward, in a positive direction.

Oprah has the financial means and the social influence to shine a bright light on whoever our next candidate for POTUS should be.

That should be her role. At least for now. I would suggest that whoever is our next POTUS, that she appoints Oprah to her cabinet, perhaps as Chief Advisor. That’s something I could really get behind.

Guest Post: Sanity

Every day, we arise to news of calamity, death, anger, and threats. Every day is an unending torrent of bad news. How do you stay sane in such an environment? It isn’t easy, but I’d like to offer some ideas.

First, be thankful. For all the tragedy and outrage surrounding us, pay attention to the good stuff. While the Federal Government gets into a pissing war with a U.S. territory and threatens to abandon it, Google and Tesla are finding innovative ways to at least somewhat help out the human condition with solar power units and balloon based cellular relay points. Speaking of that, while we read of the repeal of vast numbers of environmental regulations and accords, solar and wind are now cheaper than coal, almost cheaper than gas, and within the next decade, market dynamics will give us a clean energy economy world wide. New innovations in science are making the world healthier, and we have discoveries every day which move us forward. There are a lot of people out there who don’t live for the almighty dollar as their god, and actually do care about others, this planet, all its species, and improving the world. There are still voices in the wilderness calling us to do right, be kind, and work hard for change.

Second, be grounded. It’s easy to get caught up in the maelstrom of a nation gone mad, where checks and balances break down. It is an emotional, guttural response to see people hurting, and know that while we have the capacity to prevent it, nothing gets done (or even worse, something gets done to make it worse). It’s also easy to feel outnumbered and powerless, and the toll of this stress is affecting everyone. I encourage you to remember and study history. We have been through worse as a country, and each time, we did eventually forge a new path forward. Change happens. You cannot re-bottle a Genie. When the tide of public opinion led to general consensus that LGBTQ people had full rights, it happened over a period of fifteen years, not in one night. That consensus remains. The insane voices on the right may be screeching about religious freedom, but even with a stacked court, the people will not accept a change back to “Make America Gay-hating Again”. As I said, study and know your history; it will show the road we’ve travelled and give you hints at the future.

Third, be statistical. When you feel like evil outnumbers good, and there is no hope, consider this: we have 200 million registered voters in our nation, but only 128 million voted, meaning the real winner on 2016 was apathy, the vast silent center, with 71 million missing votes. These are people who are “not into politics”, or think “it won’t make a difference” or say “I’m too busy”. I would suggest the awful debacle we’ve seen since January may awake some portion of these voters, to the chagrin of Republicans (high voter turnouts always lean center or left). From what I’ve seen, approval ratings for this administration are somewhere around 30 percent now. However, there is a difference between being a person who feels culturally compelled to support their political “faith”, and those who will actually go to the mat for a candidate. I do not know how gerrymandering, voter suppression by the Federal commission, or external influences will change the 2018 vote, but I can reasonably predict that 2018 will have more of the vast silent middle in the polling booths, and a downtrodden Trump base.

Finally, be hopeful. This is the hardest one. Not one of us is guaranteed to be here in 20 minutes, 20 days, or 20 years. That’s not, however, what it’s about. It’s about what you do during that time. You can be hopeful. You can state your case, stick to your morals, and take the hard road to bringing something good into the world. You can dream, and picture a better world, then work to make it happen. You don’t have to change the whole world; you can focus on one thing, take it as your mantra, and stay the course. It won’t be easy, evil will fight you every step of the way, but you won’t be alone. Others are on the same course, maybe not for the same reason, but these people will be part of your community, a community of good. From community springs hope, and that hope, along with our Constitution, will lead us to good again one fine day.

This post was brought to you courtesy of Hubs in case you were all wondering. And I fully concur with his points.

A few good white men

Lately, I’m sickened by the sight of angry, white, American men. I think it’s bullshit that they have all the power in this country, which has given them a podium to whine and bitch from about their supposed lot in life.

Here’s a visual, if I haven’t been descriptive enough for you:

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My optimistic nature, however, is getting the better of me. Fact is, there’s plenty of good white American men out there. Men who are respectable and respectful. Men who have goodness in their hearts. Men who do not hesitate to speak truth to power in their own special ways. So let’s hear it for a few of these dudes.

Al Franken

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So Al and I go way back. To 2010, specifically. Hubs and I attended an event with another couple in support of a new candidate for U.S. House of Representatives in Winona, Mn. We lived in Wisconsin at the time, but as admirers of Al’s work in congress not to mention SNL, we were there to see him, not the candidate, Tim Walz. So after Al gave a short speech and the four of us had wandered into the reception hall, I got a chance to meet Al in person. We had just read his book “Lies and the Lying Liars that Tell Them”,  which we got him to sign later that evening.  I was making a bee line for the cookie tray because free cookies, duh, when I realized I was face to face with Al. I couldn’t not say anything. But I couldn’t think of anything actually intelligent to say. So I stuck my hand out and said “Hi Al” with a stupid grin on my face. Then I proceeded to tell him I lived in Wisconsin so I wouldn’t be voting in Minnesota. But I added that I did indeed hail from Minnesota. I’m sure he was super impressed. Hubs and I have been listening to his latest audio book “Giant of the Senate”. Best quote so far in this book (we are on Chapter 3) : “Just because you are right doesn’t mean you have the right to be a jerk”.

Anyway, I remain a fan of Al’s to this day. I sincerely hope he stays in politics. We need more guys like him there.

Weird Al Yankovic

He’s the guy that made being weird cool, don’t you think? And he does a great job of satirizing American politics. Political satire is an important tool  coping mechanism these days, dontcha think?

Al Gore

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My favorite champion of the environment. Instead of enjoying a quiet retirement after leaving his job as VP in the White House, he chose to take up the most important cause of all: educating the public about climate change: what it means and how we can fix it.

Here’s to three great Al’s, courtesy of one of my very favorite Paul’s:

 

 

4 Points from a discontented Polly

I have so much to say. About so many things. Things that are important to me as a woman. Things that are important to me as an American. Things that are important to me as a thinking, feeling, hopeful, yet still discontented human on planet Earth.

My discontentment stems from a multitude of bad news. From our so called President, who according to me anyway,  only truly cares about the almighty dollar, to biblical level weather disasters like we are currently seeing the catastrophic, human effects of, to the news of people dying at far too young ages from cancer, as my Aunt Connie (the personification of the term social butterfly), who we lost this week at the age of 64.

I believe very strongly at this moment in time it behooves me, as it should behoove us all, to get real about what changes are needed to begin the uphill climb to a better reality for all of humankind.

It’s time for Polly to climb up on her soapbox. 

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Here I go!

Here are a few things that I believe in my heart and mind need to happen to give every one of us a brighter and healthier future:

We need to push for positive political change. Most importantly, I believe we need to change the electoral college system. We need our government to better represent all Americans.  And we need to greatly improve our voting system so it’s easier to vote and harder for our system to be attacked by foreign entities. And we need to do all we can to increase the number of Americans that vote. Maybe that’s through employers allowing people time off to get to the ballot boxes. Or increasing the numbers of locations where people can vote. But certainly it will involve having multitudes of volunteers in every state getting people registered to vote. I’m down for that, how about you?

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Climate change-it’s real. The vast majority of scientists are in agreement with this.  We have the responsibility for our children’s and grandchildren’s futures to address it head on, by investing in alternative energies,  such as solar and wind power. Coal is not the way to go. It’s the past, not the future. It seems to me that our government and private companies ought to be putting their heads together and collaborating on a plan to train workers in the field of alternative energies. To me, it’s a no-brainer.

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It simultaneously breaks my heart and angers me every time I hear a story of someone who has gone bankrupt because of medical bills. This simply should not be happening. Not in America, or any other country for that matter. “Go fund me pages” should not be the answer when someone has the misfortune of becoming sick. I for one am more than happy to pay higher taxes if it means cancer patients and their families, for example, can focus their energies, mentally and physically, on treatment instead of having to worry about losing their life savings and/or their homes. Along with my endorsement of “health care for all” (a single payer system), which seems to work pretty darn well in other countries, I think more of our tax revenue should be spent on medical research to actually cure diseases like Cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and Huntington’s (just to name a few). If America’s great scientific minds can figure out how to send a man to the moon, cure polio, and build artificial hearts, there is no reason to believe we can’t also find cures for devastatingly debilitating and deadly diseases such as these. I believe if the proper amount of funding was available for medical research, we could eradicate them all.

I firmly believe that more federal funding needs to be allocated for mental health services. There’s just been so much trauma inflicted on so many people due to war, natural disasters, violence due to terrorism and hate/ignorance in my lifetime. I think we as a country have dropped the ball on this. I can’t imagine there hasn’t been a huge increase in cases of PTSD, drug/alcohol addiction, anxiety and depression in the past several years due to all the social and political turmoil in our world, not to mention our engagement in wars that seem to have no end in sight. There’s a shortage of mental health professionals and that needs to end. Not only that, but the costs of mental health treatment I believe keep it out of reach for many. We need to have an abundance of trained, compassionate, professional mental health practitioners ready to meet this challenge. Perhaps the government and private entities can work together to create incentives for folks to pursue careers in the field of mental health? That would certainly be a good start in my opinion.

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There are certainly many more issues I believe we as Americans need to pay attention to and push our government officials to comprehend and find money to compassionately address. I could go on for days.