Now we fight

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My iPhone seems to have taken on a personality of it’s own the past few days and decided to, randomly, play protest songs for me. It has been kind of weird but it has also brought a smile to my face and has emboldened me to fight against hate. I’ve lovingly referred to this as my iPhone’s “Fight the Power” playlist. Here it is so far.
Renegades of Funk. Rage Against The Machine

If the Kids Are United. Sham 69

All You Fascists. Billy Bragg and Wilco

White Riot. The Clash

 

Megalomaniac. Incubus

Like everyone else, I am moved to do what I can to support those doing good in the world. I don’t have a lot of extra money at the end of the month so I am trying to be intentional about where it goes. I have already set up a monthly donation to Planned Parenthood because that is just a no-brainer. They provided me with health services when I was in my twenties when I didn’t have health insurance so I owe that organization a huge debt of gratitude. I should have been donating before now!

I feel that I really need to support good journalism right now. Freedom of the Press is one of our greatest rights and I want to support it. At the moment I am trying to decide which paper I am going to subscribe to. I am leaning toward the New York Times because I have always admired the journalism there.

I am also planning on making donations to the ACLU and the NRDC.

And because I am committed to promoting peace in this world I have re-subscribed to Tricycle so I can be exposed to ALL OF THE DHARMA.

I am fired up and ready to fight. And, apparently, I have the approval of my iPhone.


About the featured photo:

I was trying to find a suitable photo for this post  and came across this photo I took in Dublin. I can’t remember who the artist is but here is a video of him putting it up, and here is a better shot of it on IG. I keep seeing ADW Art associated with the piece.  The piece is a response to the Dublin coat of arms and it’s motto (according to the video).

I love it.

For you photography geeks: I used my Olympus XA and Tri-x film for the shot.

scattered thoughts about the election

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What. The Fuck.

Did we really just elect a reality tv star with no political experience to speak of into the office of President of the United States? Even worse, that he has emboldened  racists and mysogynists to show their true colors, to make it ok to hate and to bully and be violent. I am sad for us. For what we have become. Or maybe it’s more like I’m sad that I am seeing us for what we truly are: a nation of racist mysogynists.

yes, I think this is it.

Last night as I was watching in horror the numbers roll in for Trump I was still in denial. I have been in denial for more than a year. When he began his race I laughed it off and said,”Oh he is ridiculous. This will never happen.” And even as he became the Republican presidential candidate (to my utter shock) I still couldn’t believe that he would beat Hillary. “Trump will never win, ” I said to myself.

When I woke up and checked the result and Google told me that “Trump won the presidency” I was forced to believe it. There it was right there. My reaction was to sit on my couch and sob.

We fucked up. We voted this monster into office.

I realize that dismissing those that voted for Trump as “stupid” or “uneducated” is misguided and wrong. There are people in my life that I love and respect that voted for Trump. I can’t just dismiss them. I refuse to do that.

As one of my British friends said after Brexit, we need to engage. The people who voted for Trump voted for him for a reason. We need to figure out that reason. Not all of them are racist mysogynists (though, admittedly, it’s hard to say this because how can you not be one if you support one so obviously racist and mysogynistic).

Trump gamed the system. He made it work for him. He realized who he needed to speak to, and he figured out how to speak to them. He figured out what to say to them. And it worked.

We need to do the same thing. We need to find someone who understands the system and game it the same way, but this person needs to be a good person, not a hateful, racist, mysogynistic shit bag.

This person should not be a Clinton.

This may not be a popular opinion but I’m going to get this off my chest: Why the fuck did we run Hilary Clinton, with all of her baggage, against Trump? Let’s face it. The DNC fucked up. We fucked up.

And now we have made our bed and we will have to lay in it for four years. I have no idea what will happen. But it will not be pretty.

 

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“No union is more profound than marriage, for it embodies the highest ideals of love, fidelity, devotion, sacrifice, and family. In forming a marital union, two people become something greater than once they were. As some of the petitioners in these cases demonstrate, marriage embodies a love that may endure even past death. It would misunderstand these men and women to say they disrespect the idea of marriage. Their plea is that they do respect it, respect it so deeply that they seek to find its fulfillment for themselves. Their hope is not to be condemned to live in loneliness, excluded from one of civilization’s oldest institutions. They ask for equal dignity in the eyes of the law. The Constitution grants them that right.

The judgement of the Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is reversed.

It is so ordered.”

– Justice Anthony Kennedy

So last month the people of Ireland voted for marriage equality  – the right for everyone to marry under the law, regardless of gender or sexual orientation. I followed the story with interest. I was excited to see how this vote would shake out. Honestly, I was super skeptical that it would pass. But  I was also hopeful that it would. If it passed, it would be such an incredible example to the world.

As we all know by now, the people voted yes.  It was an amazing moment, not just for the Irish, but also for everyone around the world who strongly believe in civil rights for all. I was very happy for them. I was also a bit envious because I knew that this is something I would NEVER see in my lifetime here in the U.S.A.

And then BOOM. I woke up yesterday to this news. And just like this we have Marriage Equality in all 50 states. Just like that. thanks to the Supreme Court.

Whoa. I am completely shocked. I am completely, happily shocked.

I guess the lesson here is never say never.

Barack and roll!

Barack Obama Wins!
Barack Obama Wins! (Photo credit: BenSeese)

I am SO HAPPY and relieved that Obama won re-election. I haven’t been into politics for quite awhile. I used to rant about it  a lot on this blog awhile ago. But that fire has turned into a few smoldering embers at the bottom of the pit. On the eve before election day I suddenly felt very anxious at the very real possibility that Romney could actually be president. I did not like it. Not at all. Not after hearing him speak during the debates and realizing how completely out of touch he is with my hopes, dreams, and desires as an American.

So I chewed my nails down to the quick during election returns. When Obama won it felt like the biggest exhale ever. What a relief! I am so happy.

Unfortunately I quickly found out that there was a vast number of citizens who are not happy. Not at all. Not even close. There are tumblr blogs  that are chronicling the tears of Romney supporters. News sites with lists of epic Conservative meltdowns.   sigh.

The thing is that I know exactly how the other side feels. I felt exactly the same way 8 years ago. I had the same fears (except I was afraid we would go fascist) and I seriously considered moving to Canada.  I even said some of the same words I am seeing conservatives using. So I feel compassion for them. It hurts badly when your team loses. Especially when there is so much emotion wrapped up in it.

But the fact of the matter is that we got through the last of the Bush years intact. We didn’t turn fascist, like I feared. We ended up pretty much o.k. as a nation. Maybe a little scarred but we are o.k.

I  noticed that lots of the fear is rooted in the fear of our country becoming socialist. I am hearing conservatives say things like “We elected a Socialist president.” We did not elect a socialist president. Having Obama in office is not going to cause our country to become socialist. We will never, ever (in a million, trillion) years become a socialist nation. Ever. We are a capitalist country with some socialist philosophies and institutions. We will continue to stay that way. You know why? Because Americans, no matter what side of the fence we are on, like our choices.  All of us do. I, personally, like that we have some government regulated institutions (like the public library for example). I would like to continue to have these institutions, as an American. I don’t want them taken away from me. Does having government-run institutions threaten capitalism? Absolutely not.

Anyway, just some post-election thoughts. I am happy that we have four more years of Obama. Very happy. I am sad that there are many people in this country who feel that we are divided because of it. I don’t want us to be divided. I want us to work together. We all want the same things, ultimately.

Image

Flickr Time Machine

Burning bush

No deep thoughts running through my head today. Instead, here is an episode of Flickr Time Machine! This was not taken on October 4th. It was actually taken on October 2nd, 2008. However, I saw this photo and it triggered memories of the last Presidential Election. I took this photo on my way to the car at work. The library I worked at has beautiful, colorful trees in the fall and I took  every opportunity to photograph them. I was anxious to get home that evening to watch the presidential debate between Obama and McCain, and that is what I was thinking about when I took this.

Presidential debates are upon us again and, four years later,  feel anxious. I don’t want a repeat of the Bush years.