Hello Everyone, yes, we’re still in England, but not for much longer! On our way home soon. 🏡 But ever since our election, I’ve had a hard time sleeping, I can’t turn off my brain, I wake up thinking about it, and go to sleep worrying about it. Finally I turn to the cure, I’m going to work it over in my mind by writing about it. It’s not that I have any secrets from you. I usually see my blog as a happy place, even as an escape from the negativity these days, where kindred spirits gather to talk about the little things that make life wonderful, things we all have in common. And, until recently, I always thoughtAnd I have done it, risen above reality, quite easily throughout most of my life. When bad things happen, I go to the garden and pick a few flowers, make a cup of tea, get under my nap blanket with an old movie, and I feel better. I put away the disappointment I feel for the direction of the world and go knit my 89th scarf instead. I invite friends to dinner, light candles, pour wine, play beautiful MUSICA that fits my mood and forget. Even during 9-11, the worst, most intrusive example of man’s inhumanity to man, followed by all the other ones since, I could turn on Shirley Temple or Fred Astaire and slowly but surely, be healed. Maybe this made me a shallow person, but I didn’t see it that way. I saw it as a “take charge” of my life gesture, and it has always worked (except once, Sandy Hook 😥). But what has just happened to our country, I fear, is a 9-11 in very slow motion…no Shirley Temple movie is going to help. Where this election will take us, as a people, is still to be seen. And I have to talk about it. Please try to read this, because it comes from my heart. It’s not so much about the election, but more about us, and this angry world we live in.
See this photo, this room full of anything-but-angry Girlfriends? This and the photos below are the wonderful faces of some of the people that Joe and I had the privilege of meeting while crossing the country in the Fine Romance Van this last spring. I have no idea what political party they affiliate with, and I honestly don’t care. Because that’s only one small part of who a person is, and these people were so giving, kind, and filled with light . . . and we have so much in common! I would much rather concentrate on that . . . I could write a book about our commonalities! Oh yes, I forgot, I have! I’ve always known it from the wonderful letters I’ve received over the years, my whole life is based on it. We love our families and our best friends, we love nurturing them. We love to decorate our houses, make curtains and pillows, pick wildflowers for vases, because we all agree, home is where the heart is. We fold clothes, warm from the dryer, on the kitchen table (sometimes we wrap our kids or husbands up in them), we call each other to catch up, bake cookies and birthday cakes, feed our beloved pets, make Thanksgiving dinner, welcome family home with open arms, work hard, get the kids to school, put their drawings on the fridge, give to charity, mourn our lost loves, count our many blessings and are so grateful we have this amazing opportunity and gift to be able to do these little things that make life so very sweet.💞 We know how quickly everything can change and we are grateful for a normal day.
These days though, another thing we have in common, we worry. Mostly for our children and grandchildren in this changing world ~ we want them to hold on to the look in this little girl’s eyes for as long as possible, to grow up free as the wind, so tenderly careful never to touch butterfly wings, never experiencing war, sure that all things in our world are right and good. We want them to read books, embrace honesty, integrity, and ethics, have the very best education possible so the stars are the limit, honor family traditions, lay under trees, watch the leaves fall, dream, and feel perfectly free to reach for the moon and make this world a better place because I’ve never met a child who didn’t wish to do that. Every one of us wants our families to receive the best health care, and none of us want to see our parents grow old, destitute and alone. I don’t care which political party we’re from. Or even which country. Right? Isn’t that who we are as human beings, all of us? It’s what I believe.
Some of us are Catholic, some of us are Methodist, Jewish, or Muslim, and some of us have no religion at all, but that’s okay, because we respect freedom of religion as our forefathers, those we honor on Veterans Day, have fought so hard to preserve. We aren’t afraid of people that are different from us. We know their children will be bullied in school if we adults do not stand up for the rights of their parents. Because common sense tells us, you can’t hold a person down without staying down there with him. And it’s our intention to rise and rise together. Right? One world, one people? Our grandmothers taught us that we’re going to disagree with people, but to be respectful, don’t throw our trash in other people’s yards, and remember that religion and politics are taboo subjects in mixed company and good manners means that sometimes we just keep our mouths shut.
If A is success in life, then A equals X plus Y plus Z. Work is X; Y is play; and Z is keeping your mouth shut. 💛Albert Einstein
We might be Republicans or Democrats, but until the last few years, we’ve always believed we were on the same American team, trying to make a better country. We agree that we’d like to use our tax money to have good roads, clean water, fine schools. Despite what we are told by a divisive media, we do want the same things, Yes we do, and are mostly just exactly alike. And that is true for peace-loving, garden-planting, women and men of all backgrounds, in all countries. Imagine waking up each morning not knowing if your child will make it home from school alive. Not knowing if men with machine guns will pop in the door of your little house with the one flower in the vase. Really imagine it, because it’s like that for some women, women just exactly like the ones in these photos, people like us, who never stop dreaming of a better world. We are so lucky to live the way we do. To knit Christmas presents, make soup, take the kids to a movie. To go to tea parties wearing a new hat. All the joyful little things that make life so wonderful. But our peace is under threat. We are being torn apart from within. I can tell you for 100% sure, no one in any of these photos hates America, whether she’s from Iowa, California, Arizona, Texas, Utah, Oklahoma, New York, or Wisconsin or all of the lovely places in-between. You know it, and I know it. Believing they do hurts our country. The people who tell us one part of the country is BETTER or WORSE than another, is a traitor to his country. His purpose is to rip us apart when he does that. It’s cruel and wrong, it has not a single American value in it, and if I was queen I would put these people in rehab (on a desert island). They do it for money. Look closely at those faces, we all love our country. We are good people, all of us. Anyone who tells you different is lying. That’s the first thing I wanted to clear up.
“Reporting is expensive, and making stuff up costs nothing.” 😜 BBC
But something has clearly changed when we elect a President of the United States who admits grabbing women by their private parts. I don’t care about one political thing, but that statement was a knife in my heart. That was the moment I said to myself, “Done.” Because it tells our young men that we condone this, it tells our daughters they are nothing. There is not one honorable thing in it, it is against everything I want the world to be. I would be very surprised if we didn’t all agree on this too no matter who we voted for. When I think of women in other countries who are buried in the dirt up to their necks and stoned to death for not following the local rules, and remember how hard we’ve fought for respect in this country, my heart bleeds and I cry very sad tears.
So what changed and when? Our country didn’t always suffer from so much divisiveness. Our media didn’t always take us to the lowest common denominator. I know, because I’ve been around a long time. When I was in high school, whether you were a Republican or a Democrat did not matter a bit. Most of us didn’t even know what we were. When did half of us become “the other” and the other half become “reviled?” How did this knife get driven into the heart of our country, dividing us like we are today? How did we all get so hurt, because both sides are very hurt by this. And, with all this glorifying of negativity, this shamelessness, how do we want our kids to see the future?How’d it happen? I think I know because I watched it unfold. Age is very good for this type of thing. It began for real in 1988 . . . when radio and TV talk shows (on stations owned by huge political corporations) starting using fear, telling people that half of us were trying to undermine America by doing things like getting rid of Christmas (which is the MOST ridiculous thing I ever heard, no one does, breaks my heart to think anyone would believe it), that our leaders, our media, were “not to be trusted” — that only THEY could be trusted. And guess what, fear worked! And radio talk proliferated, and moved to television. This kind of media, with their 24/7 brainwashing, was allowed because of a change in the law called the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. Turns out the people doing the talking were cheating on their wives, having affairs in bathroom stalls in airports, were addicted to drugs, yet they would rail against these things, and blame them on “others.” They told us our president wasn’t born in this country. They said he is a muslim. Recently they even told us Trump had a heart attack. These days they are starting to call this Fake News. They’ve lied to us a thousand times, and yet, for some reason (due to a myriad of personal experiences) many of us believe them, and, slowly, over the years, we have allowed them to tear us in two. Because there wasn’t anything we could say. We couldn’t stop them, they gained strength and filled the airwaves with this stuff. Now it’s all over social media. Families are being torn apart, friendships are ending, violence is occurring. It’s not getting better, and no one knows what to think. Or, we think we do.I used to imagine it didn’t matter who became president, because if I turned off the news, I couldn’t see how it made an actual difference to my life. Sun still came up, trash was picked up in same big trucks, street lights still worked. Then two things occurred. First, good paying jobs began going to other countries where people could work for a lot less. Our little towns were robbed of our small businesses, some look like ghost towns now, because they could not compete with large corporations such as Walmart who bought everything cheaply-made from foreign countries. (And, to be fair, we forgot to notice that we supported them by flocking to their stores.) In my art licensing business, in the years just after 2000, so many manufacturers closed, I was no longer able to license my products, the jammies, or the dishes, the way I used to…there was no one to make them anymore. All the money that used to go into the hands of small bookstores, publishers, editors, printers, authors, PR people, and agents, and most importantly, their families (who spent that money supporting other small businesses), now goes into the hands of just one person, Jeff Bezos, who owns Amazon. Yes, a billionaire is born every minute, to the exclusion of the rest of us. Everyone was affected by this mass abandonment by our government and big business who had gotten their successes on our backs. Then they had the nerve (and greed) to invent Black Friday and open stores on Thanksgiving (no, young ones, Black Friday is NOT an “American Tradition” despite that they tell us it is). There was a time when corporations felt a duty toward the country and the people that supported them. But no more. We’re losing our American way of life. We’re all in the same boat, together, the people on the coasts, the mid-west, the south, the coal miners, the manufacturing towns. And we put up with it. But we were/are mad. And media and the powers that be used our anger to divide us even further.Then in 2008, the banks walked away with all our money, they foreclosed on us and our neighbors who had done nothing more but applied for and were granted a loan from a bank, and walked away with retirements and pensions. Zip, too bad, gone. They were bailed out with OUR TAX MONEY (but not any for the foreclosed-upon), and the powers that be did absolutely NOTHING about it, news media did nothing, talk news ignored it. I have never been so upset with government in my life. Someone should have gone to jail. Someone should still go to jail. None of my friends got through it unscathed. It’s become much harder for everyone to make ends meet. It’s not just you. It’s not just your imagination. We are all worried sick about what will happen to us when we get too old to work, or if we get really sick. Most of us, including me, now work for nothing most of the time, and steal money from the retirement funds we’ve managed to put by, to make ends meet, still trying our best, adapting, the only way we know how. New graduates from colleges and universities are hurting, young people saddled with massive debt that the government gets interest on (btw, university in France and other countries is free, we could most definitely have that too, if it wasn’t for the large faction of our legislators that are trying to convince us now that we don’t need a Department of Education in this country) and these kid’s lives have a hopelessness to them that we never felt. These are our children, and words such as “Liberal” or “Conservative,” used as poison darts have NOTHING to do with it. Some things should not be politicized. They have undermined our beautiful American middle class. There is plenty of money in this country, it’s OUR money, and our government officials, corporations and media are using it to enrich themselves, through changes in laws, tax codes, and sadly, war. It’s our money, it should be used to make America better.I hope I haven’t lost any of you. I want more than anything to figure a way to bring us together. I speak right out of a broken heart. There is common ground in every single subject and we are so sensible, and so like minded, kindred spirits can always, always find a way. 💙 But not unless we can see the truth that we are being used, divided, and conquered. Who’s in charge, who are the powers that be, who are the ruling class in this country? It’s not just the President, or congress, it’s the guys behind the scene, it’s the CEO of Walmart and every large corporation in America, the heads of CNN, CBS, FOX, oil companies and insurance companies, the bankers, and all their lobbyists that work behind the scenes making sure the laws are written to make them richer and happier. It’s the media and talk radio that have realized that they become richer and more powerful by separating us. And they are willing to say anything to do it. They tell us they are the “true news,” the only believable ones, and they use fear, the cruelest of all, that Isis (or whatever the fear is because they make up tons of them) is coming into YOUR town to GET YOU, and that they are the only ones that can save us. They tell us that people (the other, who just might be your family member or your next door neighbor) who disagree with them are Godless, or hicks, or racist, violent, or anything they want and tell stories to back it up. Problem is, it’s legal to say anything in this country. You can go in, make a fake newspaper, put a fake article in it, put it on your website, all fake and newspapery-like and say it’s true. And it’s really hard to tell the difference between fake and real these days. And some websites are so inflammatory, using despicable language, frightening everyone into fearful action, when what is needed is slow, thoughtful contemplation based on truth and fact. We don’t trust anything anymore. Friends and families are being torn apart by these lies, and our country is being torn asunder from within. Our beautiful country. I know this is strong, but I don’t care, I call this treason.
Imagine a town meeting: I’m sure many of you have attended them, so you recognize the process: the town identifies a need, a water system or stop sign at the corner of Park and Main, something. So they hash it over in the most boring way possible, what’s the best way to get what they need, how do they find the money for it, etc…and then, the town votes, and they SOLVE the problem between them, and the water system gets updated, the stop sign gets put in, and the town is better.👏Your national government should work exactly the same. But if half the people refuse to deal with the other half, nothing gets done, your air turns dirty, your water becomes poisoned, your health care is taken away, your education system gets dismantled, your bridges fall down, regulation goes away so big business doesn’t have to tell you what additives they put in your food or how much lead is in your water. And who benefits from all that? Because definitely someone does, and it isn’t us.
We have to work together. Because there is a way to bring America back together, but not with all this name calling and fake news. And saying it’s okay because the other guy did it first, doesn’t help. The buck must stop with each of us. Turn off the radio. Just say no. Don’t believe everything you hear. If there is an issue, follow it through to see who is benefiting from the divisions it causes. A very good place for that is C-Span, it’s a little boring because it sticks to facts, but it lets you see all sides of issues and decide for yourself. It doesn’t lie. Your presence in your government doesn’t end with your vote for president. Watch your congress. Watch them like hawks. Don’t let anyone TELL you what they do, see it for yourself. We are alike, we are Americans, we sink or swim together, and what we provide for our fellow citizens through laws we all work to make together, in jobs, affordable housing, clean water, the best education, not only brings up our country, it brings up our children, and it brings up the world.We are being kept apart by an evil force that we need to join together to fight. Please, believe in each other, don’t believe in these voices using us for, when it comes right down to it, money. They take our tax money and give it to each other, while we are fighting about stupid things, they manage not to spend it on the things we want, those schools, those roads, a VA that works for our lost and suffering veterans . . . they ignore us completely, pay lip service, and all the money, OUR money, goes to wars that we don’t want or ask for, to make up for the taxes that corporations don’t pay. And at this point in time the ruling class, media, government and corporations are in cahoots against we the people.
Not to throw out the baby with the bath water, because there are several wonderful politicians/people who are in it for all the right reasons. Of course these good ones are first to be demonized by the media. A politician that they can’t control is a bad one as far as they are concerned and has to go. If one of them chooses to vote for gun control, the NRA does everything in its considerable power to unseat that person no matter what his or her other achievements have been. The NRA, therefore, runs our country, not us. (And don’t go crazy here, nobody and I mean nobody, wants to take away everyone’s guns, that’s another lie, but who needs machine guns in the hands of crazy people or children? Lovely to be in England, go to the movies, and be perfectly sure that no one will get up on stage and begin to mow everyone down.) And yes, politicians with that kind of bravery, who put their jobs on the line for doing the right thing, are few and far between. We should find the good ones, check backgrounds, find out what they’ve stood for, and bring them forward. It’s not what they SAY, it’s what they DO. But if our elected officials divide us, refuse to work on behalf of the country we love, we should vote them out of office.
Americans are WONDERFUL friendly, hard working, generous, creative people. Don’t believe ANYONE who tells you differently. Our country does not have to be made great again, it is already the greatest country on earth. This bit about some of our United States being filled with “hicks” and some filled with “elites” makes me sick, they are doing this to separate us and we are letting them.We have to outsmart them. If the media outlet you’re listening to tells you your neighbor thinks you are stupid, laugh in their face and say, “You must think I’m stupid if you think I believe that malarky.” If they tell you, “They don’t think like you,” “or those people are baby killers,” or “Christianity is under attack,” be aware that these are total and complete lies, they make it all up because our laws say they can and no one can stop them. If they blame Mexicans, Jews, Blacks, Iranians, whoever, it’s because they want to separate us. Remember, Timothy McVeigh who blew up the Murrah building in Oklahoma City was a white christian American. They don’t talk about him much. Terrorists come in all colors and from all countries. You and your neighbor are in the exact same boat, and the powers that be want to OWN the boat and will SINK it if they have to. Government has limits. It’s not in charge of Christianity (they honestly don’t care about it, they use it to divide), it’s in charge of roads.
Trump was appealing because he sounds like change, and at least he spoke to our total national frustration with the ruling class that shipped our jobs off-shore (even though he buys most everything he makes from China), and let the banks walk away with our national treasure, foreclosing on people (hardworking citizens of this country) to whom they had approved loans because they thought they could get away with it (then blaming it on them), and the truth is WE ALL FEEL THAT WAY, no matter WHO we voted for. We all feel the need for change. But, unfortunately, electing this divisive man, a billionaire who told us that if he lost, the election would have been rigged, thereby inviting violence between the American People, for whom he was purporting to work, was not the answer. It is the saddest day America has ever seen. It’s the loss of presidential nobility, honor, honesty, integrity, truth, justice and the American way I lament. 😥 I know some of you disagree with me, and you have every right to do that, and write about it on your own blogs. But you can’t disagree with some of the things he has said and done. I see the election of Trump as the culmination of massive amounts of misinformation coupled with total frustration at the system. Everyone has a right to vote they way they see fit. I just felt like there was more to this than meets the eye, this wall building, Lock Her Up, rhetoric, I don’t believe he will do these things. It will unfold. If Trump puts people in his cabinet that are on the side of We the people, I will be thrilled and happy. But if it ends up as all deal-maker billionaires, heads of corporations that have been running this country for years anyway, I will be heartbroken even further than I am now. Yes, we desperately needed change and Hillary blew it. She should have said, “I will jail the people that stole our national treasure, I will stop us from subsidizing corporations for taking our jobs overseas (that money will go to rebuild our infrastructure and fix health care), and I will raise taxes on corporations. I will work for the people.” Obama, instead of trying to “make nice” when he got into office, should have had opened a huge investigation into the banks. Banks should have been broken up. But he wanted to soften the rhetoric between the parties, so instead he went to work saving the auto industry … he tried to be a healer, but the congress had vowed not to work with him, and in the end, he missed the boat. Hillary is also more of a hawk than I would personally like. She voted for that ruinous war. But at least I know her as an honorable person. Despite the fake stories, she is not a murderer, she has worked hard all her life to make a better world. At least she tried to talk about roads and schools and children’s health. And, sadly, the powers that be (which even includes foreign governments like Putin) would rather see a man in office, no matter how inappropriate he might be, than any woman. Tons of manipulation went into that. (And now Melania Trump is in the crosshairs. She’s not evil either, and neither is Michelle Obama.)
But our country was so upset, we needed change so badly, we’ve been lied to and manipulated so much in this post-truth world, we forgot our core values as defender against tyranny, champion of the little guy, equality and justice for all. If you see an article beginning with, “Sources have told us . . . that so and so is sick, dying, meeting with the KKK, in a rage, falling apart . . . whatever . . . be suspicious. What sources? Never forget, they can say anything. The unvarnished truth is the only way we can make a better world. We need to know. There was a huge discussion on BBC here yesterday about false information coming from Facebook. We can’t let the forces of evil take over the world. We need new foot soldiers to join in the fight against the misinformation they are using to control us. If you think it’s all one side or the other, you are wrong.
We grew up in our lovely middle class world believing in the American Dream, and this includes Hillary Clinton, who is my age and remembers it the way it was, is a good mom and a hard worker, and since I’ve been around long enough to watch it unfold, I have to tell you, she is the most investigated person in the history of this country. It’s been almost constant since I first heard her name. Looking back, ever since talk radio began calling her a femi-nazi in the early 90s (because she wanted to help fix health care and the powers that be didn’t want that, because it would change the status quo, i.e. their pocketbooks, follow the money), she has been under scrutiny. I don’t know how she’s stood it. She’s a brave person, and in my opinion, she stood it for us. Despite our congress spending millions of dollars of OUR tax money on the best and the brightest lawyers hired to prove something against her (should have spent it on reopening the mental health facilities in this country ~ were closed in 1982), she has never been charged … not with the murder they said she committed, nor any of the “crimes” they say she did. Because accusing someone of something is perfectly legal ~ totally reprehensible, without integrity or honor, but legal, and lucrative. And if you put them through hell and find out they did nothing, too bad for them. If she was guilty of something, she would be in jail. Obviously the system, despite Trump’s lie, is not “fixed” — or, for example, Donald Trump would not be president. He was willing to say that, to shout LOCK HER UP, to incite violence (because he never had any intention of doing that, he knew she’d never been charged with anything), even to bring this country to civil war, in order to win. Donald Trump, supposed outsider, was not the answer. He is the ruling class (and so is Hillary, btw). Before he ran for president, he was a pro-choice, bonafide card-carrying Democrat who invited Hillary to his wedding in order to court her for whatever he wanted voted for, now he says he’s a Republican and he’s vowed to lower corporation taxes from 35% to 15%. But we have no idea, none of us really know what he will do; he will say anything because what he really is is an opportunist. He’s the art of the deal. He would have done anything to win, and he did. Now we are going to have a government run by his children. Please God. Common sense tells us this is not good. Yes, we needed a shake up. But the damage that can be done in four years can actually never be undone. We can never take back the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the costs associated that we paid for, we can never bring all those people back to life, we can never take back what the banks were allowed to do to us.
One thing I know for sure, the enemy is not your neighbor. Look at the faces in these photos and ask yourself, who benefits from reduction of corporate taxes, reduction of death taxes, and who profits from war? Because people do, and those people aren’t us. Who benefits when there is no regulation or weak regulations on car safety or safety of our food or water so they can make it cheaper, faster, using slave labor? Who benefits when they advertise drugs on TV that none of us ever heard of? Who benefits if the legislative process is stymied? Do you think that oil companies want us to believe in global warming? Heck, no. Kids gun down their classmates with AK47’s and we’re scared when we’re told that “libs” want to take away our first amendment rights, who benefits from that lie? Us, our kids, or gun manufacturers? Who benefits when we fight each other over gun control or Obama Care? Everything is fixed to benefit them, not us, and in this, Trump was right: the system IS rigged against us, but not the way he says it is. When we fight, they get away with it. It’s our NOT ALLOWING them to divide us that can save us. Can we do it? I don’t know. We’re in so deep. The yelling on Twitter breaks my heart, moms screaming at other moms. And the powers that be are loving every moment of it. I mean, how better to sell a newspaper than the screaming headline VIOLENCE ENSUES OVER ELECTION. And some media outlets say the violence is coming from the right, and some say it’s coming from the left, and the only thing we know for sure, when they do this, they win and we lose. We’re being used. They would rather we don’t vote at all actually, they make it harder and harder for us to do so, and when media made both candidates seem so unpalatable, when they decided issues didn’t matter, many people stayed home and didn’t vote at all. Perfect. Just what we, the people, need.
See this photo? This is a room full of Girlfriends who have EVERYTHING in common. We can be mad, but not at each other, let’s be mad at them! Some of you may like what I’ve written here, some of you may see it as political, some of you may wonder why I didn’t write it before the election. Now I wish I had. If my dad was still alive he would have made me, but, sadly, I no longer have his sage advice. I’m on my own. I’ve never been a political person, I’ve believed that goodness would always just automatically win. I have a vision of a strong, inclusive America. Some of you might agree with me that our divisions are not real, but are caused by influences from within, from the powers that be who have everything to gain by keeping us separate and off message, if you do, pass this blog around, because we need all the help we can get. Some of you might decide I’m the enemy and never come to my blog again. So be it. Let the chips fall where they may. Many tears have been shed over the choice of best words here, maybe I didn’t do it perfectly, but please, never doubt one thing, my sincerity for the outcome: Us. Together. Forever. One country, one world.🌎
He drew a circle that kept me out, heretic rebel a thing to flout, but love and I had the wit to win, we drew a circle that took him in. 💖
I’ve said my piece. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.
We’re on our way home! We leave England on Saturday, via the Queen Mary 2, back to America across the deep blue sea. It’s been wonderful beyond words and I wrote it all down in my diary.✍🏼 And don’t worry, my blog will come back in its same old homemaking celebratory way because that’s my heart and it’s almost Christmas🎄, and despite everything, I was born with the happy gene and I know I’ll come out of this. I could probably go on all day, but I believe I have entertained you long enough.💞