Tag Archives: politics

Freedom and Light

Everything is black. There is light above, in the distance, shining through shards of glass and pieces of canvasses covered with my favorite art, Renaissance and Impressionist, all triangular and just out of reach. I reach for the next one, it’s circling and its sharp edges cannot be reached. Jumping now, I grab it and begin to pull myself up.

Bright light intervenes and I’m in a beautiful setting with palm trees and sand, then I awaken in my old cement block college dorm room and there’s a blow-up palm tree sitting on my desk with a paper I’ve yet to finish. Repeat ad nauseum.

Finally, I emerge into the light, and am free. See, I’ve been a coma for a month, trapped in my mind and body and unable to get out. One thing I remember clearly is a blank grey space into which I said “If this is death, I need to go back, I’ve got stuff to do.” And I do.

For three months after I awoke, I was told I was the hardest working patient on the brain trauma floor. Near the end of my confinement a shrink who should lose his license said to all the other doctors and therapists, in front of me: “Is this the smart one? Well, she’ll never get out of here or will spend her days in a place just like this and no, she’ll never drive again.”

Two weeks later I was home. A month after that I passed my driving test (tester said it was like I’d never been away) and then as a ward of the state I was supposed to show up in court so I could be institutionalized. I called my state attorney and he said he forgot to contact the court to have my status reversed. I told him I would represent myself and my husband was on the road but would be at court virtually. Oops! In one fell swoop, my identity, no, existence, was erased. They sent a lawyer to evaluate me surreptitiously. Mom taught me to be a great hostess so I asked him if he’d like me to brew him some tea, he sat down and discussed the weather then quickly excused himself, knowing I was sane and would be fine.

Perhaps the injury jiggled things around a bit but I had a cataract and after surgery for that, I was able to get corrective lenses and read and therefore write again. Thank you, WordPress, for being here still for my return. Someone stole my blog address while I was gone but I was able to change to a .com instead of .net and everything for the past ten years came back to me. Writers block kept me away for a while.

But I wasn’t afraid of much else, as a death scare tends to put things into perspective. Like for nearly everyone else, 2020 was mostly bad with decent health but no work. Politics became more of an interest, but that’s because I like to imagine my way around sticky situations. Always a problem-solver, I also think outside the box (now, literally).

It bothers me that I live in a swing state and for months our president, US senator and state legislature have tried to illegally rob me of my vote. My vote is my voice, a precious thing. I spent a month convincing myself to get out of my own way to be free. If I can do that, I can do anything. I’m pretty stubborn, ask my husband if you still don’t believe me!

I believe that we have rights and should be able to exercise those rights in a lawful fashion. We live in a democracy that awards us certain freedoms and with freedom comes responsibility. We vote for people to represent us and maintain our rights. If they choose not to represent us fairly and tell us the truth, we have a right to un-elect them through the ballot box or even a recall election if their faults are egregious.

This has been a dark year for our country and for the world. Judging from our democracy, many of its leaders have not dealt with the challenges well. It is our responsibility to assure that we have people in leadership positions to help us through these dark times so we all can see the light.

As I see it, it’s not about Democrat or Republican, it’s now about America. This week’s activities to overthrow our government should scare all of us. We must do better. We must meet in the middle and fix this mess, and we must start by accepting the truth. On January 20, our country is going to be on a new path, whether one likes it or not. Americans, starting with President Trump, can no longer pretend that Donald Trump will be leading this country at 12:01 p.m. next Wednesday. Alternate reality is not reality, folks.

After my dark year, a year before COVID-19 shattered our lives and livelihoods, I had a chance to strive for light. Our old dog Zoe was with me at the hospital but died before I awakened. She was a gift we named “Zoe,” Greek for life when we adopted her fifteen years earlier. Our old girl could never be replaced but on December 31, 2019 a puppy was born. Eight weeks later Lulu came home with us to start a new chapter. Lucia, Italian for “bringer of light.” Zoe would have approved.

I’m looking forward to light, and freedom. And a COVID vaccine shot. I’ll wait my turn for the vaccine, but not for the rest. Buon’anno, Dee

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Have you no shame,

Mr. President? Of course you don’t, it was a rhetorical question.

Saturday you openly threatened Georgia’s Secretary of State if he would not steal votes to give you a second term. Today, you riled up your base, told them you would never concede your loss of the presidency, and urged them to march to the U.S. Capitol and tell Congress what they think. Well, they did, to disastrous results.

You placed thousands of lives in danger, including your own Vice President and leaders and members of the House and Senate. Your thugs stormed the House and Senate chambers and one person is now fighting for her life after being shot at the Capitol.

You must stop this nonsense right now. You just said a few words to encourage peace but still said that the election was fraudulent. You lost, Mr. President. fair and square. In two weeks we’ll have a new administration and you’ll be gone, along with all your hired sycophants. There will, unfortunately, still be seditionists holding office down the street from the White House, the ones who’ll be voted out of office in 2022 for forgetting that their allegiance is to the Constitution and constituency, not you.

Stop this Electoral College charade and ackowledge that you lost the election fair and square. Isn’t it enough that your supporters have granted you a $250 million severance package? You and you alone lost your election. Live with it. You and your seditionist senators and congressmen and women are responsible for today’s insurrection at the Capitol.

Enough is enough. Your fifteen minutes of fame are over. Oh, and please take the kids with you and surrender their keys to the White House. Hopefully none of them will ever see the inside of that building again. And stop trying to steal my vote. For now, I’m living in a swing state and am sick and tired of hearing that you or our legislature want to take my vote away. Stop it. Now. Thank you.

Fate

When I went to the grocery store today, without the dog…. Let me go back. I did not have the dog with me because it was too warm for her to stay in the car although she loves “coming with.” I paid for 30 minutes on the meter and got back with 20 left.

The owner of a gorgeous rescued Greyhound came up to me (and let me pet his dog). As a volunteer for rescued Greys for six years it was a treat for me. He told me the city had just banned dogs on outside restaurant patios. Also, that businesses are not allowed to place a water bowl for dogs outside their door.

Two more men came up to me and told me the same story. Why? Kindred spirit? Again, I was not with my dog. They urged me to take action. I’ve tried to find the new law, have emailed the Commissioner and our Alderman to find out the truth about what’s happening in our district.

What I’ve said is that we have a couple months of summer, one each spring and fall and the rest is winter. People bike (cycles and Harleys), run, walk dogs and eat outdoors at restaurants with their dogs. There is a very slim window for us to do so. For our city, county or state to deny this to its tax paying, law-abiding, voting responsible dog owners does not make sense.

My dinner was beautiful sea scallops sauteed on the stove, with room temp marble potatoes and asparagus from yesterday. Yum. I made my own fresh bread crumbs from a brioche roll and dinner was delicious. Cheers! Dee

On My Watch

I was a kid just out of college and was thrown into the deep end, without the requisite note from my parents. It was such an exhilarating learning curve and I was scared to death but intrigued.

These fellow legislative analysts were my family for the next few years. I found out early on any legislation I imagined or wrote would affect millions of people. That was a frightening thought. I vowed to do the best for everyone.

My boss, who had done my job before, let me do the grunt work and he went to meetings without me, without even telling me the meetings were about my work. The legislative bill drafting group wrote up potential laws for colleagues. I wrote my own, usually after awakening at 3:00 in the morning, a habit I have decades later. For many, they said they had no changes and good job, girl.

I messed up on a few things. I didn’t see AIDS coming, neither did anyone else but I helped pass legislation on employment and housing and of course it was denied by the senate. Now we have marriages.

I helped NYC by requiring netting on all construction so people on the sidewalks were safe and workers did not fall off concrete platforms.

In the end, I was in the forefront of privacy legislation and put together a team with every committee that had an interest. Mine was cable tv back then and it was really pre-internet. Reader’s Digest killed at the last moment. The bill was 1984. Yes, I’d reserved A.B. 1984 the year before and had gifts for the people who saved that number.

There was hard work on sexual orientation but now there are marriages. Crime victims do not have to sit in the same room as the offender. People who get speeding tickets pay restitution to the state that a criminal owes. I was there near the Son of Sam Law.

Mistakes were made but my heart and brain were good. I get to go to sleep at night knowing that I made a difference in the lives of 34 million people. As a kid, figuring that out, that was and would still be a daunting task. Now I’m retired and get crosswalks and tax refunds. Ah, well, back in the day. Dee

ps My husband put a pad of paper and a pen so if I’ve one of my many great ideas at 3:00 in the morning I can write it down and go back to sleep. I love this guy.

Scott Walker for President???

In his budget, yes this Wisconsin governor who tried union-busting a few years ago to make a name for himself, is now running for president. I guess he figures a statewide recall is worth it’s weight in gold as when your name is in the papers, people know your name, good or bad.

President of what I do not know. But it may be the USA. Right now his budget includes a miscellaneous package that:

1, allows payday loan companies to sell insurance, annuities and provide financial advice;

2. eliminates the Freedom of Information Act for information on politicians;

3. changes the living wage law for people working on government projects to minimum wage (that came out but will come back next week);

4. subsidizes energy companies, provides tax benefits for government and church building projects thus melding church and state, something our founding fathers found to be wrong, and give Milwaukee’s county executive carte blanche, even letting him use a parking lot for the infamous art museum for a sports franchise investment property to build upon.

5. and sanitize any reports of police shootings. Yes, police shoot people, white cops shoot Black people. I’ve read that Milwaukee is the most racially divided city in the nation. Think Detroit, then think worse. There are Black and white beaches. Not by official designation but there are no police cars at the white beaches and two huge SWAT vehicles plus patrol cars at the others, where we like to have a burger in the summer.

I’m not even going to say what he thinks about taxes or abortion as I’ve had enough. I lived in this state last year and paid taxes for my husband working out of state and paying full taxes in two states. We were owed a large refund and I got no one on the phone many times so 10 weeks later started with local politicians and they actually gave me a working phone number. A tax guy called me back. I asked if he had any questions on our return. No. We got our IRS return in three weeks. Are there any audit flags? No.

We just don’t want to cut big checks so wait for you to contact us. Government in action, government inaction. Here’s to our next president. We will have moved to another country before he takes office.

This is is not a budget. It is a publicity stunt to get his name out there nationally for being insane and a presidential candidate and be a tea cozy for the tea party. The people who elected him paid for this ad. They pay his salary and those of his minions. He is supposed to work for the people of Wisconsin, not just himself. I require more from the President of the United States. Politically yours, Dee

Entitlement

I’ve a tiny photo of my old cat Nathan in a frame by my desk. He’s on his bed with his name embroidered on it, and his green eyes look at me before I write. He was the first pet I had to euthanize. I comforted him, then held him after he died for a while and I felt something. I’d like to think that some of him is in me.

An angel ornament is there as well, of my first dog Chani, not that I need any reminders. I only have to go to Google Earth to see her tree in her park thousands of miles away. The other is me, standing by pine trees at probably 18 months in a pink snowsuit, showing me the possibilities of life.

As I write I look at these reminders every day. When I hear that a US Senator’s son allowed 20 dogs to die under his care, and then blames the dogs for their deaths and packs them, dead and dying in a shed… I am suspicious.

I’ve never seen a setup as is online now where the dogs stayed, it’s as if they’re locked in a laundry room. If a dog chewed a wire and cut off the A/C that wire should never have been open in the first place. This is human error, and I’d say cruelty. My dog has stayed on a farm before with 15 acres and cows and she got dirty but a bath was part of going home.

When Zoe came home from the vet she ran to us and was needy. From the farm, she was paired with an older dog to teach her manners and also secret things to make her humans do what she wants, yes the latter part was a success. I went there, worked with them on a spay/neuter project and Zoe was a favorite there and when clean from mud et al joined them in the office.

TO: Dog Owners in Maricopa County

Do NOT go to Green Acres to board your dog unless you want it to turn up dead and the Senator’s son say it was your dog’s fault.

Thank you, and so sorry to all the families who lost their dogs due to at the very least, negligence. I know a great lawyer in UT who can get you a class action suit. Dee

Willing and Able

Making it a lifelong quest I choose to be able and willing to take care of any situation that comes along.

That was the case for most of my life. Now I take care of a husband and he takes care of me. In a hurricane I pack clothes and dog and he takes care of electronics and drives because he knows I’m freaked out.  We are willing and able to take care of each other.

He and dogma also slept 10 hours during a Cat 5 hurricane and I blogged it by the windows until the power went out, and every place around us was hit but ours. Unable to get food or water for ourselves (we’d stored some water) we gathered what the local shelters were looking for and used precious gas to get there and deliver the items. Blankets, towels, toothpaste, shampoo………

That week we had to use the rest of our gas to get to the airport to spend a week at hospice with my mother. Every time I saw a gas pump I wanted to turn in but we had a full tank in that state and not at home. Do what you can. Be willing and able to make a difference.

As to others, inability is not an issue. Ability and unwillingness to address a situation is intolerable. I’ve been bullied, unfairly judged, sexually harassed and merely tolerated by loved ones.  I forgive them for their errors and hope they forgive me for mine.

Willingness to address whatever situation is important to you is another matter. It usually appears when you have a problem and no-one will help solve it. It takes gumption, chutzpah, and a willingness to get your problem solved despite the ones unwilling to do so.

I didn’t know that years ago. I thought politicians were champions of the people and that lawyers and doctors were knights on white horses. For a while I wanted to go to law school, and chose not to do so. Dad always said I should be a politician but nothing about that or law school appeals to me. The law is another matter that I cherish.

Today I see people who know they have the power to do something but do not do so because of unwillingness to do the right thing or go against the grain. Usually they are concerned that  their power base will be undermined or career derailed.

These people don’t understand that there are folks in the world that only care about justice and fairness in the world. They don’t go to your pricey fundraisers but help neighbors and save the stray cat. They don’t get money from lobbyists and fight to make a fair wage to take care of the family.

I am willing and able to take on a challenge whether it be a lost dog or whatever the community needs from me.

Unwilling is not an option for me and should not be for anyone. Decide if you care for your family, community, life, liberty, freedom and do something positive to correct anything you are able to do. Pick up the phone. Cheers, Dee

Business as Usual

No matter what party has the majority (today it’s Senate and President) in election years politicians of every stripe pick at any sores the opposition might have and try to drive the message home.

Unfortunately the Tea Party Republicans have nothing to do but try to de-fund their constituents from getting health care. I have worked in politics and do not now but I can say this is the equivalent of shooting oneself in the foot, politically.

In case I need to remind Congress, we live under a Constitution in a representative democracy.

For years I’ve never seen elected person representing or working for me or my neighbors, only for themselves to make them more powerful and have more money.

This Republican/Tea Party offensive to keep the elderly and poor and those with pre-existing conditions from buying health care is offensive and driven by insurance and health care lobbyists.

What is business as usual is that they use issues like this so they can bargain down and get pork barrel projects in the federal budget. This, and a supreme health care package for life, is what you elect Congress to do for their “constituents.” Oh no, we can’t get their health care package. We have to deal with what we get from employers, who are already cutting back.

Why don’t we all run against these guys and gals and get our own supreme health care package for life? Sounds like a plan to me. Enough. Dee

Judy Garland

helped me get my first solo apartment.

I was up at four this morning, and turned on a documentary about Prop 8 in California and how the Mormon church in Utah drove that debate, spent $22 million dollars (divulging only $2,000 in in-kind gifts, to the IRS), bankrupted church members, and caused many young people to commit suicide.

It was heartbreaking what they did to strong-arm and fund a coalition to change the Constitution in another state that has nothing to do with Utah. The parents of one boy who killed himself wrote a book telling of how much at peace they were after he was gone. Ugh. I would never place any church hierarchy above my children.

Many years ago I hated my new roommate who moved in with me. She was always ironing and telling me how smart she was and how much smarter she was than all of us on staff. Plus she never changed the litter box, only stuck deodorant things on the wall, but said box was next to the frig. Ick. Eating there was a problem, even though I liked the cat, and going out was expensive.

Years later I had cats and dogs but no-one who ever entered my home ever knew it by smell because of two litter pans, unscented litter, scooping all the time and dumping, scrubbing and bleaching every 48 hours.

Regarding the incredibly offensive roommate, an appointment was made for a lovely small 1-bedroom a few doors away. The owner, a young man, met me on the sidewalk and said it had already been rented 15 minutes prior. I was desperate and desolate.

I asked to see it anyway to see what else was going for that rate and he agreed to spend ten minutes showing it to me. I walked in, it was immaculate and on the windowsill was an 8×10 of Judy Garland. I knew right then he was a “friend of Dorothy” and he asked where I worked (politics) and his father was the chief judge in the state and he said: you have the place. It’s yours. I’ll call the other prospective tenant and say it didn’t work out.

The next week I moved in with huge windows and sills, fold-in blinds that made cabinets, seven huge windows including one in the bath, and hexagonal tiles on the bathroom floor. It was freezing in the winter but I loved having freedom and privacy and no roommates!

There is nothing Judy Garland cannot do where rainbows are concerned. She and her friends have helped me often over the years and I like to think I return favors to friends and shared causes. Wishing you well, Dee

Job Descriptions

In under ten words tell me your job description. Not that you’re an engineer or psychiatrist. Tell me, in a nugget, what you do.

This is conjecture so take it as such:

Thomas Jefferson: Assure freedom.

Ben Franklin: Where’s my key?

Eleanor Roosevelt: Human Rights Worldwide.

Rosa Parks: Equality.

MLK Jr.: I Have a Dream.

Gloria Steinem: I’m a Writer, Get Your Hand off that Tail.

Oprah Winfrey: Billionaire who makes careers, also drinks for fellow campers.

Phil McGraw: Oprah made me famous.

Rachael Ray: Te Hee

Jay Leno: I have cars.

David Letterman: I have attitude.

Julia Child: Bon Appetit!

Padma Lakshmi: Pack your knives and go.

Any James Bond: Shaken, not stirred.

The Godfather:  My father made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.

Tom Cruise: I feel the need…. the need for speed!

Han Solo: May the Force be with you.

Me? I would say: Change a life every day.

Age and wisdom can be dangerous things and should be used sparingly. This week I want to help kids on a school bus and next week it’ll be someone else. I’ve been bullied as a child and want to help the bullied kids survive and thrive. Figure out what you do in ten words or less and do it better now that you are focused on your future. Dee