The New Golden Door

It has begun – the journey to recreate our country and our government in the likeness of the one we remember fondly – even if our memories are sometimes faded and incorrect. And yes, the image I am seeing is someone else shouting profanities and speaking to (no, encouraging) those white supremacists and white nationalists to a fever pitch of madness in the pursuit of the white house……. but here we are, and I am envisioning a New Golden Door, a door thrown open to those who are in need. A door that welcomes, not discriminates against, all people. The brown, the black, the white, the yellow, the lgbtq+, the teeming masses that is the united states of America, my land of the free and the brave.

I have some fears as we journey, I will admit it. Fears that we too will become so immersed in our individual personal wants that we forget to work together for the common good of all people.

Let’s talk about abortion, for instance. There has already been a huge, broad line drawn in the sand on this issue on the progressive, liberal side of the board. Within that group we have a group who is pro abortion, and we have a group that is anti abortion. But what if instead of focusing on what we differ on, we focus on what we agree upon? If we can agree that the laws of many of our states and also our federal government are trying to subvert the rights of women to make their own decisions about their own bodies, we have a starting place to talk. If we can agree that the law of the land is for all women to have the right to legal abortion, we have a starting place to talk. If we can agree that all women have the right to make decisions about their own health care, we have a starting place to talk. And if we can agree that my personal beliefs and religion should not be your guiding star, we have a starting place to talk.

I am so frustrated with the many people in our country who seem to believe that their beliefs are the only ones that matter, and that we should be allowed to discriminate against others based on those beliefs. No, no, no. My beliefs are just that, a guiding light, a guiding hand for me to navigate this life. My beliefs may be very different than yours, but I hope that we can agree that we each have the right to our own beliefs, and the ability to live our lives as we want, as long as we are not doing harm to other people.

If my beliefs lead to harm for you, that is not right.

If your beliefs cause harm to me, that is not right.

And from the Declaration of Independence:

“We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

And then the first amendment to the Constitution:

Amendment I. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

I hear nothing in these statements that make me think you can impose your religious beliefs on me, in fact, the very opposite is true. We do not need a state religion in our country, and we must fight against it at all points.

#resist  #weareallequal   #lovetrumpshate


“The misconception is that the president does not know what he does not know. In my experience, the reality is that the president knows what he does not know and does not think he needs to know it.”  Sam Nunberg

Today all the talk on TV has been about the Republicans and Democrats possibly working together on a bipartisan deal to reopen the government. Some of the people interviewed talked about the trust that they were feeling with the other people who had been in the meeting with them. They also spoke about a sense of trust that Mitch McConnell will actually do what he says he will do, which is bring the DACA issue to the floor of the senate. Now I don’t know if I trust Mitch McConnell, but perhaps that is not what the most important thing is, since I am not in Washington. I guess the proof will be in what happens before the time limit runs out to get something done.

I watched some of Fox and Friends this morning, and it is a mind numbing experience. I felt like I was in some time warp, where what they were talking about had no part of the reality of the day. The first thing I saw was a panel of people talking about the terrible thing the Democrats are doing to the military with the government shutdown. I would have been absolutely livid if I had not known they were all speaking lies. I knew this because I watched the live video of Claire McCaskill, Democratic Senator from Missouri, propose a bill that would provide for pay (and death benefits if necessary) during the shut down for the military. And at the end of her proposal they asked if there were any objections, and Mitch McConnell objected and killed the proposal. Hmmmm. To me that says that the Democrats were working to keep the military members secure with no pay delays, and the Republicans were not. Another bill was put forward by a group of Democrats, to make sure that Congress would not receive pay for the time of the shutdown, which makes perfect sense.  That of course did not pass, either.

I agree with the premise that the shutdown needed both sides to happen, but as the party in power, with both houses of the congress and the presidency, it seems to me the Republicans were in the position of holding all the power, so they should be the ones who carry the lion’s share of the blame. I, of course, am more than willing to lay the blame right at the feet of Trump and McConnell.

Here is a good list to use as we go through another chaotic year. And of course, numbers 9 and 10 are paramount to making it through to the other side. I particularly like number 3. I have become more and more aware of the truth of that statement, and I personally love, love, love number 6. I am so susceptible to hopeless talk – I think we all are at some level – and staying positive helps us all. We can always find something to be grateful for……..














How are you feeling these days? Leave me a comment if you wish.




What A Mess!

Today,  just another day – a little football (rats! Brady wins again) and some political angst. The blame game is on high, and apparently if you call the White House you get to hear Kellyanne Conway’s voice tell you that the shutdown is all the Democrat’s fault. Well………… I think this might be an alternative fact, and you know what I think of those.  Yeah, they are not really facts at all.

I do have a bit of sympathy for the white house this weekend though, because can you imagine being in that building with the president, and he can’t go to his party at Mar-A-Lago, with all his rich, ass kissing friends, because the Democrats decided to stand up to the bullying of the GOP? That is really unacceptable!  I have been checking out Facebook, and there are many people who are very upset that the government is being shut down “for illegals.” I don’t think the DACA kids are illegals: they are  kids brought here and grew up here, many times not even knowing they were not “americans” until they applied for a student loan to go to college.  But here’s the thing. Apparently we allow these “illegals” to serve in the military, or become police officers, to lose their lives in service in America, but we don’t want to afford them a path to citizenship. That is crummy, and not right. I am glad the Democrats are standing up to the GOP on this.

I heard the vice president today, and he said the GOP will not work with the Democrats on immigration until the Democrats allow the budget to go on. Really? The democrats ALLOW?  But the DACA question should have been settled, and is it really immigration if these children were brought here before they could live on their own and only know this country? I think the GOP is the obstructionist here. Mitch McConnell, front and center, come have your picture taken : Obstructionist of the Year.







Of course, this graphic is from when he could obstruct President Obama, but what the heck, Obama, or Democrats, all worthy of obstruction by the great Mitch McConnell.

Again, football: the Eagles are about to pound the Vikings into the ground, so two weeks from today: Super Bowl 2018, New England Patriots against the Philadelphia Eagles.

There were women’s marches around the country and the globe yesterday,  a fitting tribute to the terrible year it has been. Another march to protest the awful result of the election in 2016. It is amazing to see that the energy level has not lagged against this presidency. Keep up the good work, energize by standing up for what you believe and what we know to be true. Our country is better than what we have been subjected to this past year. Our religious right has sold its’ soul  to the devil. The quest to kill the Supreme Court decision 45 years ago to legalize abortion has never been under more attack. But those who fight so hard against legalized abortion forget this fact: the only ones who need legalized abortion are people who are not wealthy enough to pay whatever they need to get what they want. Rich people have always been able to have safe abortions when and if they wanted one. So this argument against abortion is just another attack on poor people.

But what does our statue of liberty, waiting to greet people as they come into New York, say to those people?

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”  Emma Lazarus, 1883

We, the United States of America, we are the golden door.  The golden door. And who do we welcome? The tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. The wretched refuse of the teeming shore, the homeless, tempest-tost.

Or we used to. Before we decided we didn’t want to be the golden door. Until we decided it was too dangerous to be the golden door. Until we decided if we were the golden door it would mean less for us (it doesn’t).  That we, as older immigrants, have more right to what is inside the golden door.

Selfish. Mean. Unchristian. That is what we are practicing now.

Speak up. Wake up. Think about what you believe and take a stand. We are the United States of America and we used to be the golden door. I want to be the golden door again. Do you yearn for us to be the golden door again?

Leave a comment, if you want.


Government Shutdown




They (senators and representatives) in Washington have allowed the government to shut down because they have not come to an agreement on a budget. There is a lot of blame floating around, but I will tell you what I have seen in the last few weeks.

For four months now, the CHIP program has been unfunded. This is a bipartisan program that benefits nine million children in the United States. In that time, there has been great diarrhea of the mouth from republicans about how they are all for it, and plan to vote for the renewal of funding, but it hasn’t expired and more blah blah. I spoke with Roy Blunt’s office during this time, and was given this very answer. So that is one program, since it affects children and we know Democrats are the ones who really care about social programs, that even though Democrats would have loved to see it be taken care of, since they are not the party with the majority, they had no way to force a resolution. Mitch McConnell in the Senate, and Paul Ryan in the House have that power. So CHIP languished, and time marched on.

On September 5th, 2017, the president ended the protection program for the dreamers, those 880,000 children and young adults who were brought to this country illegally. These children have only known the United States as their country, their home. He told the Senate and the House that it was on them to write a law that would keep those children from being deported from their home, because he had just taken away all of the protection they had. So now McConnell and Ryan have this social program under their control, whether to allow any bills to make it to a point of being voted on in those houses of congress. Democrats are working on a bipartisan basis, trying to find a path that will allow the majority party to consider a way out of this.

So leading up to the end of the year, what does the Senate and the House work on? They make sure they get a bill passed, with only 50 votes in the Senate, that gives huge tax cuts to the richest of the rich; cut the tax rate for businesses to 15%, and sprinkle just a few teaser cuts for the poor and middle class (which will expire in a few years) and sell it to the American people as the best thing since sliced bread.

Of course, they didn’t have time to work on making sure the CHIP program was funded, and Dreamers, well, they are not really a priority for the majority party. So those two Democratic priorities are ignored. After the tax cut for rich people is passed, the focus changes for republicans, and they start to push for what they want: increased spending for the military, cuts to immigration, and for the president, funding for the wall that Mexico is going to pay for (excuse my laughter at this point).

There are deadlines that come up for our government, and what I think has happened in this case is that the party in power thought they could blackmail the Democrats into supporting whatever the Republicans wanted by holding CHIP funding and a path for Dreamers hostage, threatening the Democrats with bad press. This is what Republicans are good at – and Mitch McConnell in particular. He held our country hostage for over a year, and denied a sitting president a chance to fill an empty Supreme Court seat.

This is not the way our government should work. This is not how our founding fathers saw our government working. This is not how statesmen work.

To me, this shutdown is all on the GOP, and perhaps most especially, this president. The majority party should be leading the way for a resolution. Instead of being the party of rudeness, bullying, and lies, they should be the governing party. I am not seeing any of that from the Republicans in Washington. What an embarrassment for our country.

As we go forward, let’s make sure that our vote is for statesmen and women. Reject those who use slurs and lies about their opponents. We don’t need that.  Stand with me to make a change in the path our country is on. Each of us has a voice, we need to use it for good.


HHS New Conscience & Religious Freedom Division

Pay attention to this!

Yesterday I saw an interview with Trump supporters in Iowa, and they all feel that Trump is doing what they want, on policy. One man said it was of premier importance for him to be able to turn away business if he disagrees with the beliefs of the person seeking the service. His example was that if he is the owner of a venue that hosts wedding parties, and the wedding participant is a gay couple, he can say they cannot use his venue because he doesn’t believe in gay marriage. I will assume he could turn away Muslims, or any member of another faith, or blacks or Hispanics, or really, he can discriminate indiscriminately if he wishes to.

Then later yesterday, I see that HHS has announced a new Conscience and Religious Freedom Division, which is exactly what that man yesterday wanted.

In announcing the new division, this was part of the statement: “Speakers will include Acting Secretary Eric D. Hargan, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, Representative Vicky Hartzler, Senator James Lankford, OCR Director Roger Severino, and special guests.

The Conscience and Religious Freedom Division has been established to restore federal enforcement of our nation’s laws that protect the fundamental and unalienable rights of conscience and religious freedom. OCR is the law enforcement agency within HHS that enforces federal laws protecting civil rights and conscience in health and human services, and the security and privacy of people’s health information. The creation of the new division will provide HHS with the focus it needs to more vigorously and effectively enforce existing laws protecting the rights of conscience and religious freedom, the first freedom protected in the Bill of Rights.”

So let’s look at that first amendment, from the constitution, not the minds of people in Washington right now.

Amendment I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

Nowhere does it say that I can discriminate against someone I don’t like because their lifestyle or religion or skin color offends my “conscience.” I think this is a slippery slope to all the things our country has fought many years against.  This extreme religious right does not speak for me or a majority of the country. If you feel as I do, we need to be very vocal and make sure we are helping get out the vote each time there is opportunity. We need to encourage good, progressive candidates to run for office, from the bottom to the top of every ticket.  From the school board to the president.

I encourage you today – we must be a force for good.

Here is the link if you want more information on the story from HHS:

Citizens United

I don’t know if you know what Citizen’s United has done for our country, but in short, it has opened the floodgates of huge amounts of money that have been poisoning our elections ever since it happened. This is why corporations and men too rich to care for anyone but themselves are controlling our elections. These vast amounts of money, often times hidden from public view, are the driving force behind the not quite the truth ads that run against democrats and independents. Although there may be truth in the ads, the ads are not truthful. And some of the ads are downright lies. Not alternative truth, but lies. Let’s call it what it is.   So having unlimited money allows candidates to run ads, and send out mailings and open offices and provide signs for yards, or huge signs along the highways, or near malls. Money to win elections. That is what it does when it is not equal. We saw this in the race for the Missouri Senate seat in the 8th district. The democrat, a young woman, ran  against the republican from an  established career in politics. At first, they dismissed Hillary Shields as not worthy of their concern, but after an independent joined to make it a three way contest,  they began to spend massive amounts of money to fuel their win.

From the Kansas City Star, November 7, 2017 by Jason Hancock

This is part of the article entitled:

Republican Mike Cierpiot hangs on to win KC area seat in Missouri Senate

“In the end, Cierpiot’s massive fundraising advantage helped carry him across the finish line — he and his allies spent 15 times more than his opponents combined during October.

Cierpiot reported spending $353,000 in October, including $150,000 on television ads, $90,000 on mailers and $40,000 on polling.

He was aided by the Missouri Senate Campaign Committee, which works to elect Republicans to the state Senate. That organization spent $300,000 on television ads boosting Cierpiot and attacking Shields.

And a political action committee connected to a nonprofit called Missouri Alliance for Freedom spent $110,000 on a controversial TV ad attacking Shields. The ad in question erroneously claimed Shields never called for the removal of a St. Louis County legislator who earlier this year said she hoped President Donald Trump would be assassinated.


Shields spent only $48,000 in October, mostly on mailers. Turk reported no spending at all.

Cierpiot, 64, is a retired operator for Southwestern Bell who has served in the Missouri House seven years, the last two as majority leader.

With Cierpiot joining their ranks when lawmakers return to Jefferson City in January, Republicans will hold 25 of the Missouri Senate’s 34 seats. He will have to run for a full four-year term next year and may again face Shields, who plans to go for the seat in 2018.

“This election, like Mike Cierpiot, was bought and paid for by out of district millionaires and billionaires,” Shields said in a statement. “2018 starts tomorrow and we will continue to fight for our public schools, affordable healthcare and middle-class families.”

Read more here:


I have been reading about an effort to get a 28th amendment to the Constitution passed in the house and the senate, and received an email today from a group called American Progress. Now, I get a lot of email, and sometimes when I check into the people who have sent me email, they are not a group I would support with my voice or my money. I checked into this group. I went to google and asked about them.  They have a web site and seem to be a legitimate group. Here is their link:

And so as I read through the information about this group, they actually have come far enough they have two  bills  in congress that deal with this subject.

Look at these links. See if this is something that sounds good to you. This is something that crosses all party lines and all state lines. It helps us, as people that vote, take back control of that process. Big money takes away individual voices and replaces those voices with corporations and entities.

Let’s get ethics back into our lives. Let’s work for that.

Give me your ideas.


I find it amazing how a little sunshine can brighten my day. If the day is not sunny, I keep the light company solvent, because I have to have lots of lights on.

But other things affect my well being also. Last night I indulged in some personal care and went out to eat with three friends, one I have known a long time and two who are more recent, but just as dear. We had a great time – it was one of those evenings where everybody is talking but everybody is listening and caring about what we were each saying. A good time. A warm memory that will endure.

Sunday night Larry and I did the same with some long term friends, we had them for dinner to our house, and were able to sit and visit and catch up with each other. Another warm memory to cherish.

A friend I went to brunch with, a choir friend, a voice I depend on. A good, warm memory.

And the friend I talk to each week, my hash out politics friend. My bounce off  ideas friend. Very definitely a warm memory to hold dear.

I am blessed in so many ways – not just these good friends, but I am rich in family. Family that supports and stretches me. I have much to be thankful for.

And one of the things I am thankful for is the opportunity to work for a change in our country. I am proud to stand up and say, I disagree with the administration in Washington right now. I disagree with the direction our country is going. I am sad about the republicans in the house and the senate because they have hitched their fortunes to an ever destructive train. They have decided that a moral imperative is nothing to work toward, that allowing rich people to get ever richer while working against the middle class and those of us most vulnerable will somehow give them everything they have ever wanted in life. They are wrong.

Our lives are enriched when we embrace people of other cultures and religions. When our hearts embrace others. When we delight in the education of all – and encourage the health and well being of that same “all”. When we are willing to open our hearts and our minds and our country to help achieve world peace. We must cast out our fear of “others”. Look our fear in the face. Instead of being willing to cast the first stone, let’s be willing to offer a hand. Make a new friend. Join a new group. Start a conversation with someone. Try a new type of food. Go to another church. Attend a political rally. Volunteer.

I intend to try all of these things in the months ahead. I plan to ask lots of questions about the people I intend to vote for. I am going to ask if they think we should punish children for their parent’s misdeeds, or if they intend to fight for those children. I am going to ask if they believe a woman has the right to make decisions for her own body. I am going to ask if they believe an entity that gets government money must tell the scientific truth to their patrons, not what their church has told them is the truth. I want to know if they will follow the rule of law, and if they believe in the constitution and what it stands for. This will mean that my life will be more involved than I have been in the past, and I will need to make an effort to find out these things. We must do this. I  have been lax too long. I have allowed myself to drift along. That time is over.

We must turn away from the divisive, crass, bullying way of Washington and vote in a new bipartisan way. Make your voice heard. Do not be afraid. Be brave and fearless. Our country is depending on each of us.

Let me know what you are planning to do.

Just Another Week in Paradise

Wow, it really does seem we are living in some dystopian reality show. We keep saying to each other, and hearing on the TV (except for Fox of course), that it simply cannot get any worse. And then it does.

Last week was a case in point. And please, these are only the things I can remember off the top of my head. I am sure you have more.

The bi-partisan meeting in the White House, that was televised for almost an hour. DT was affable, presentable, smiling, acting as if he knew what was going on; until he didn’t. Until he agreed with Senator Dianne Feinstein that a clean DACA bill was the way to go. At that point Representative Kevin McCarthy from the state of California, majority leader of the  House,  spoke up and made the point that “perhaps” the president didn’t mean exactly that. And went on to explain what the president should mean. It was an interesting moment. The great DT, completely clueless as to what he had agreed with. This is the scariest part about DT. He doesn’t know, he doesn’t care he doesn’t know, because he thinks he knows all he needs to, and probably more than other people, who are not nearly as smart as he is. He has no clue, and doesn’t care.

So what day was that? You can always find the cheering section in the republicans in the senate and the house, never seeing the things that might have gone wrong. And Sarah Sanders, wow, she reallycan be blind folded and still carry on a press conference with ease. It must be a special skill to never see the part of the issue that resides in the white house itself, in the person of the president of the united states. I had brunch with a friend today and she said, and I agree, we are not being governed by Trump. He cannot govern. He has no skill. He is not smart enough (I know, he is a very stable genius) and thinks himself capable of everything. Scary!

We must continue to talk, to explore the path that will take us out of this swamp of idiots that are ruling right now. The defections on the republican side are mounting by the day. We are not sure right now if these are because they are sure they can’t win, or they think they will be prosecuted for being complicit in the crimes taking place against our country, but for whatever reason, they are  fleeing the sinking ship. We must keep up the pressure to find and publicize the truth of what is going on in the white house. It is wrong, and it is a threat to our very democracy. We must fight for rule of law, and for the constitution of the United States, the document that has led our country for so many years.

And then on Thursday, or was it Friday, the president was in a bipartisan meeting again, untelevised, and it was on immigration. In this meeting he spoke of certain countries, and by extension, the people from there, as s***holes, unworthy to come to our country. And why did we not get people from, say, Norway, instead? What are we to think? Reasonable people think he is a racist. People are offended. But from the white house, denial he said those words, and from republicans in the meeting: we didn’t hear that……….. It is past time for our republican leaders to turn away from the obstruction of their real view of life. Quit hearing with your “how will it affect my election” ears and listen with the ears we are given to hear the truth.

When we get ready to vote, and vote we must, we must make sure we know the facts of the election. Our public television stations, all over the country, are right now running shows that interview people running for various offices. You can tune in and hear what these people are saying. Listen critically, making sure what those people are saying is in line with what you want to see happening  in Washington. Do not be fooled by the smooth tongues which speak of pie in the sky, unattainable benefits that will never happen. Watch for lies, lies of omission and commission. Both are lies. Not alternative facts.

And in this new year, I am going to work to get unfettered money out of our elections. It has poisoned the well. Those with too much money and too much influence should not be in our elections, hidden behind a curtain while their vile messages are spewing across the airways to unsuspecting victims.

Join a group. Find out the facts. We are the ones who should choose our leaders. Set aside the easy hot button issues and talk to people. Find out where we have common interests and work on those.




What does that mean, really? Do we all need to be out marching all the time? I don’t think so. I see activism as a more quiet force  most of the time. The people who are becoming more aware of what is going on in our country, the men and women making calls to their congressmen and women, and yes, those who have the passion and the means and the time to show up at their state houses or Washington, or at a town hall. All of these things mean activism to me, and I am so glad to see it. I think it is past time for us to wake up and see where our inattention has gotten us.

I found a book today in my house, one I bought awhile ago. It was written by Jimmy Carter, yes, the former President, and yet I feel comfortable just calling him Jimmy Carter, he is so down to earth and accessible. The title of the book: Our Endangered Values: America’s Moral Crisis. This book was published in 2005, twelve years ago now, and yet it reads like it was written yesterday. I haven’t made it very far in the book, but one of the first things I read was that the dysfunction in our country is partly because of the attacks on September 11, 2001. I remember that day; it is seared in my memory as if it were yesterday. I remember the day John F. Kennedy was shot the same way. I can picture where I was when I heard about it, and remember details of the day that should be lost to time.

President Carter says that the event provoked what has happened because it was the first time we as a country had been confronted so concretely with the fact of global terrorism, and that it could come to our shores. It wasn’t a simple process, but life is never a simple process. The other causative event was the introduction of massive amounts of money into our political system, with unprecedented influence of special interests within an increasingly secretive government.

So how do we respond to this danger to our democracy? I firmly believe we must start back at the basics. Not just the basics of politics, let’s go further back than that.

Our society is heading ever more toward the richest rich and the poorest poor, with not much in between. This is the cause of the terrible situation we are in – but it is hard to convince those at the top that the best course of action is to lift up the poor. If we cannot convince those at the top, what are we to do? We must start where it all begins: with ourselves. What would happen if each one of us would decide we would mentor someone, or a family? Mentoring, by its very nature, requires lots of time. Commitment to a family or a person. The desire to help someone rise above the circumstance of their lives. Mentoring can be fraught with problems. We allow ourselves to become involved with another person. We allow them to lean on us, to trust us. That can be a very terrifying responsibility. And our heart must be in the right place: we cannot be a queen bestowing favors, we must give from a place of equality. Are we able to do this? I don’t know. It is hard. Too often those who have more are prone to want to lead, not walk alongside, the person needing an extra hand.

And there is no easy path to this. We must be willing to see the good where there is no good. To see the soul without reservation.

Let us start by thinking each day how our actions affect each person we meet – those we pay attention to, and those who see us when we are not aware.

We must be the change. We are the change.

There are no “others.” We are all equal.

We are different but equal. We are equal but different.

Celebrate uniqueness.

We are all equal. There are no “others.”