Monday, November 27, 2017

Alternative Suggestions for Time Magazine's Person or Thing of the Year

Time magazine will announce their Person of the Year next week.  We have no clue who or what will grace the cover page, but we know who it won’t be—Donald Trump.  Trump claims he was offered this coveted award but he turned it down.  No, Donald, it doesn’t work that way, but nice try, though.  

Time explains their selection process of Person of the Year is based on where the world is and a picture of where it’s going.  They say it doesn’t have to be a person, but may also be something that feels like a force of history.  Something that was important in this year that will be chronicled in history.  Well, that certainly narrows the field!

I have my own list of suggestions for Time’s Person or Thing of the Year. 
Donald Trump’s Brain
I make this suggestion because Trump’s brain is shaping our history.  And, let’s face it folks, we are all intrigued by the dysfunction of his brain and wonder what is underneath that hair.  Trump’s brain tells him to lie, and then continue to repeat the same lie until it morphs into a fact.  Trump’s brain tells him he’s “smart” and “has good words.”  His brain tells him “what I think is all that matters” and “I alone can fix it.”  The part of his brain that thinks, reasons, and experiences emotion is surely being devoured by his ego.  Trump’s brain has the ability to make abnormal behavior seem normal.  Trump’s brain should be the Thing of the Year because I believe it has dumbed down America more than drugs could in 100 years.  

Roy Moore                                   
Who would have ever thought we would be arguing whether a pedophile should be elected?  Forty years ago, when Roy Moore was molesting young girls, I bet he never realized he was changing the moral foundation of our country.  Of course, 40 years ago, evangelicals did not foresee they would be defending a pedophile either. So, I nominate Roy Moore for his contribution to the moral decay of our country.  (He has to share this honor with Donald Trump for paving the way for him.)

Republican Controlled Congress
Our Founding Fathers were smart and had good words, too.  They worded the Constitution to keep a party that controls all three branches of government from completely destroying our democracy.  Thank heavens the Republican Congress has a few morally responsible people left.  I nominate the Republican Controlled Congress because they have done nothing, absolutely nothing, to improve our government for its people.   It is historical to have such an impotent Congress and we are very thankful!  

This social media application has changed the way we communicate and how we receive our news.  It is the President’s communication tool of choice.  From Trump’s brain to his fingers.  It’s a simple, easy, and quick way to communicate.  Now we don’t have to wait for the 9:00 p.m. Presidential Address to the Nation.  Just imagine the tweet, “We are at war!”  dot, dot, dot dot…..  

 Steve Bannon
For the first time in history, we have a co-President in Steve Bannon.  Unknown to the average American, he seemed to appear out of nowhere when Trump named him Chief Executive Officer of his campaign, and later when the President named him Chief Strategist.  He started as an editor of a far-right online news site. He and his site, Breitbart, are the founders of the alt-right movement.  With his face stubble, unkempt hair, and wearing three shirts, one has to wonder if you can smell alcohol coming out of his pores.  He is a white nationalist coddler.  Bannon deserves this nomination because of his historical impact on our country.  In a short while, he has normalized racism again.

My number one pick for Time Magazine’s highest distinction would be, TA DA…Women! and those cute pink caps with pussy cat ears.  Women are the leaders of the anti-Trump movement.  They don’t have a centralized leader, not even a name.  Some are members of Indivisible, Pantsuit Nation, but most are members of thousands of small groups which sprung up organically in nearly every pig trail in America.  They all have one thing in common—to stop Trump and his destructive policies.  These women write the letters to Congress, they make the phone calls, they march in the streets, they register voters, and recruit candidates to run for office.  Women halted the unconstitutional ban on immigration.  They stopped the clean repeal and replace of the Affordable Health Care Act.  They led the fight to ouster Trump’s deplorables from his staff and one time, a cabinet secretary. Except for a few, men are invisible, not indivisible.  In short, women are saving the government for the people.  Women “alone are fixing it.” 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Chicken, Axe, and Mama's Love

This week’s column is a reprint of my column that first appeared in the Monroe County Reporter on November 26, 2014.

I’m supposed to provide you the liberal perspective of issues here. I don’t know about you, but I’m jaded from the past months of political overload and I need a break from it. At Thanksgiving time, I feel it would be irreverent to discuss the things that divide us. That’s why I’m deviating from my crusade to turn Monroe “blue” to talk about my most memorable Thanksgiving.

I WAS the caboose of nine children. During my childhood years, my siblings grew up and left home. Our Thanksgivings were typical for a very large family, lots of good food and good visiting. Even now, I associate the smell of burning leaves with Thanksgiving because it was tradition to rake and clean the yard for the big day. It was an exciting time, especially on Black Friday. Of course, there was no such thing as Black Friday back then, but it was “Black Friday” for our hogs that my daddy and my brothers butchered so we could eat all winter.

BUT MY most memorable Thanksgiving was quite different from all those before it. My Daddy had been unemployed for a long time. He finally got a job out-of-town and Mama and I were alone for Thanksgiving. No money and no car. For various reasons, no other family members were coming that day. In keeping with tradition, we still raked, cleaned, and burned leaves. When Mama got tired, she went in to take her nap, as she did every day. Unless the house was on fire, you never bothered Mama when she was taking her nap. That’s a fine tradition I passed down to my children.

I LAID down with her but sleep would not come. I thought of something fun to do that would ease my boredom—I would feed the chickens a snack!  I eased out of bed being careful not to disturb Mama.

RETURNING TO the backyard, I took an ear of corn from the corncrib, got an ax without a handle, and chopped one kernel off at a time. It was a great game to see which chicken was the fastest at pecking up the corn, to see them stepping on each other’s heads, and even pecking each other. I was laughing and having a great time until…. one little pullet got over anxious just as I made a swipe down the corn with the ax. It cut her beak off even with her face (if a chicken has a face). She immediately started flipping and flopping. I was horrified! I had never hurt an animal in my life and I was fully aware of how important these chickens were for the sustenance of our family. I knew instantly I was in deep, deep trouble. I didn’t fear Mama would kill me, but I was sure she’d make me cut my own switch. And, if I woke her up from her nap, I would get a double whooping! So, I eased into the bed beside her. Her breathing never changed. I eased back up and went to check on the chicken. She was still flipping and flopping, still suffering. I eased back into the bed. After easing in and out about three times, she yelled at me, “Either stay up or down!” I started crying and said, “I cut the chicken’s pecker off!”

SHE DIDN’T answer for a minute, and I prepared to accept my punishment. She then said, “I was just lying here thinking that I needed to go kill a chicken for our Thanksgiving dinner.” She got up and did just that.

SOME MAY say I got away with murder. I like to think I learned a great lesson in love and parenting.

Happy Thanksgiving and I hope you make a memory!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Republicans Would Rather Support a Pedophile Than Lose a Senate Seat

There are millions of men in this country having sleepless nights now.   They are living in fear the woman or child they fondled or forced themselves on, will come forward and expose their dirty secret life.  I used the number “millions” based on the fact there are 120 million men in this country, and nearly every woman has been a victim of a sexual predator, or a victim has confided in her the details of their assault. 

THE PRACTICE of sexual assault and harassment of women has been pervasive in our culture forever.  It is unspeakable, and a secret that a woman must deal with and carry with her throughout her lifetime.  On the rare occasion when a female speaks out, she is humiliated and berated.  After all, it is a “he said, she said,” occurrence and the sad truth is, a man’s word carries more weight than a woman’s.  How many times have you heard, “She’s lying,” “She brought it on herself,” “He’s a Christian and wouldn’t do that.”  And, “Why did she wait so many years to come forward?”  As if that is proof the woman is lying.  Now we have the latest term, “If it is true.”

I AM IN no way suggesting that every woman should be believed every time she makes an allegation of this nature against a man.  No hard evidence will be presented (pardon the pun).  Since it is his word against hers, we need to listen to her story, judge her sincerity, and question her motive.  No woman in her right mind would subject herself to a public stoning, like most do in our society when they expose a respected man to such allegations.  You, my fellow Americans, are the judge and jury in this type of situation and in far too many cases, the Defendant prevails and the Plaintiff faces a life of shame and disgrace.  

IT HAS BEEN proven that one woman alone will not be believed, or if they are, the man comes out unscathed.  In October, 2004, a lawsuit was filed by Bill O’Reilly’s Associate Producer of Fox News.  She had recorded phone calls as evidence—remember the Loofah incident?  O’Reilly gave her a 9 million- dollar settlement and it was forgotten.  He lost no viewers. Thirteen years later, multiple women came out with their story about Bill O’Reilly.  We don’t know exactly how many, but we know that Fox News and O’Reilly had paid out at least $50 million dollars to make these allegations go away.  We all know that if that amount of money was paid, there was evidence.  It wasn’t until the network was feeling pressure from advertisers that they fired him.  Recently, O’Reilly appeared on Fox News’ Hannity Show.  He’s worming his way back in.

WE ARE making slow progress. We gasped as Bill Cosby’s ugly deeds were exposed by 60 accusers.  Too many women to sweep under the rug.  We now have Harvey Weinstein, a big -time Hollywood producer exposed after forty years.  He was a career maker, or a career breaker.   We found out his proclivities were an open secret in Hollywood.  Eighty (80) accusers came forward.   Kevin Spacey’s activities were exposed by 15 accusers. Mark Halperin former political director at ABC, 12 accusers. There’s more, and they are dropping like flies as women are empowered to speak out.

IT WOULD appear that I have built a case that only those men with multiple accusers will be ousted from their position of power, but I have not.  What is the magic number of women you must have to believe the charges?  How many years is it too late to expose someone?  The answer is--It depends on who you are.  Ex-Judge Roy Moore, kicked off the State Supreme Court twice in Alabama, has been accused of sexual contact with a 14 year-old girl when he was a grown man—age 32.  As an Assistant DA, he told the young girl’s mother that he would watch her while she testified in a custody trial.  He took her to his home in the woods.  Two other underaged girls have come forward.  There are 30 other witnesses.  An Assistant District Attorney that worked with Moore at that time said “everyone knew he went to malls and places like that to find young girls.”  Nobody witnessed anything but everyone knew.  He was allowed to move up the political chain.  Now he wants to be a Senator, one of the most powerful people in our country.  One small problem, he’s accused of being a pedophile.  It is only a small problem because legislators and residents of Alabama are ignoring their morals and principles and are willing to give him a pass.   They had rather elect a pedophile than vote for a Democrat.  Why?  What has happened to our country?  

THIS ISN’T the first time the people have seen the true colors of a person and elected him to the high office —President Trump.  Eleven (11) women came forward and all had compelling stories of sexual assault over the past 30 years.  Then there was the Access Hollywood tape where Trump said in his own words what he does to women.  So many things are being normalized since Trump came on the scene.  Sexual assault, sexual harassment, and pedophilia must not be condoned or normalized, no matter what the political ramifications are.  Think about this:  If your beautiful 14 year-old daughter had the opportunity to spend an hour alone with Roy Moore or Donald Trump, would you let them?