The American People Deserve Justice

What can we talk about? What is on everyone’s mind right now? What is happening to our country? We watched in horror as a mob attacked the seat of our democracy. Never did we imagine our country would fall so low.

We heard the President of the United States whip the crowd up and send them to attack the Capital building telling them they could only win with “strength”-code word for violence. He promised to walk with them as they stormed the building where the business of our democracy was taking place. There is no other description for this but that this was an attempted coup by the President and his supporters.

I’ve said, since he first launched his campaign, that he was dangerous. I watched and listened and kept warning that he was like all the other would be dictators. I kept saying that he was leading our country down the same path as 1930s Germany. I kept expecting something like the burning of the Reichstag but even I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. I guess it’s true; knowing it in your mind and seeing it with your eyes is totally different.

Five people died. To be brutally honest, I only care about one of those people, the Capitol Policeman. The others brought it on themselves. Their behavior led to their deaths. The Capitol Policeman was an innocent just trying to do his job. The physical damage and destruction has yet to be calculated. The possible damage to our democracy may be immeasurable.

Those responsible MUST BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE! If not, we have said that our laws do not matter. That our democracy is negotiable. That might makes right. We may as well suspend elections and admit that we no longer are a country of democratic law and order but rather a country run by mobs and chaos.

If that’s the country you want, close your eyes and forget what happened. If, instead, you want your democracy back, fight for it. Demand that Congress hold President Trump accountable however long it takes. Demand the justice system investigate every possible lead and hold every person who breached the barriers surrounding the Capitol building accountable. Demand that any Capitol Police member who was complicit is held accountable. It doesn’t matter how long it takes. Justice demands accountability. The American people deserve justice.

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Covid Christmas

Since my husband, son, and I decided to follow the medical and scientific guidance regarding celebrating Christmas during the Covid-19 pandemic, my husband and I are going to be alone. It’s not what we would choose but it’s what we believe to be the responsible thing to do for those we love and for the community.

So, we’re fashioning our Covid Christmas. The first thing to do was identify, if everything was normal, what traditions were important to make our Christmas celebration complete. Time with our son, parents, and other family members and friends. Giving gifts to those we love. Celebrating church services. Special meals following traditions we’ve developed as a family over the years. Watching Christmas movies and television shows. Then, we had to figure out which, if any, of these activities we could do during a pandemic and what alterations would be required for safety.

First, spending time with our son was not an option. He is twenty-seven years old and decided he would not take the risk of bringing coronavirus to us. It was a tough decision he made out of a sense of responsibility, respect and love. How, after seeing the example he set, could we do any less? We agreed the responsible, reasonable thing to do was to follow the medical guidelines and limit our contact to only those in our closest circle.

So, we bought gifts that could be sent directly to our loved ones. We wrapped gifts and bagged them to be dropped on porches for local friends and family. And we cancelled the traditional family lunches and dinners. Then we looked at what we can do.

What we can do is send gifts and drop off gifts with all of our love knowing we do this to protect those we love from possible illness or death. We can enjoy church services online. We have planned special meals for my husband and I to share together both Christmas eve and Christmas day. We based these meal plans on what we would have done in pre-covid years. We have carved out times to watch all of the Christmas shows and movies sometimes with a fire in the fireplace.

We’re focusing, as much as possible, on the positives of this very different Christmas. The reduced costs. The reduced amount of work. The increased amount of time we actually spend with just the two of us. The time we have to reflect on what is important.

Yes, this Covid Christmas is very different and not what we want. However, we are focusing on the things that are the most important. Right now, that means safely getting through the pandemic and sending our love to our loved ones.

Disappointment

We encounter disappointment all through our lives and there are all kinds of disappointment. There’s the disappointment that comes from not getting something we want. Disappointment when we don’t achieve a goal. And, perhaps the worst, disappointment when someone fails to meet our expectations.

As a child, I knew disappointment when I wished for a toy or a chance to do something and wasn’t able to do it. As the oldest of five children, those disappointments were not few and far between. But they weren’t heart-breaking. They were fleeting and easily overcome by the next joyous, happy time which were also not few and far between.

As an adult, disappointment actually happened less often. I learned that being denied things was not worth getting upset over. I learned that people weren’t always going to be able to live up to my expectations. Of course, there would always be dreams and hopes so important and people so special that disappointment could be felt at times. And while those disappointments may have been fewer and farther between, they were much more painful and longer lasting.

Now as an older adult, the learning continues. It takes much more to make me feel disappointed. The loss of things almost never causes disappointment. Really what do things matter, after all? But people? People I love and trust and value. That is where the greatest risk for disappointment lies. Although I know that no one can always live up to my expectations, I will always be disappointed when someone I love and trust seems to disregard my feelings. It’s not a choice I make. It’s just a feeling. Disappointment.

I wonder if, as I continue to grow older, I will completely lose the ability to be disappointed, even in the people I love. I don’t think so, though, because it seems you’d have to stop loving people in order to be able to stop feeling disappointed when they don’t seem to care about your feelings.

I wonder

Well, we’ve finally come to the Electoral College vote. Does anyone think we’re done? Is this finally the end of the 2020 election?

Most of us are used to an election that ends on election night. We knew this one would be different because of COVID-19. We would have to allow extra time for all of the votes to be counted. Time for all of the people to vote. There would be extra precautions taken that would require time. We were prepared for that.

What we weren’t prepared for was a candidate who would call the election for himself at 10pm eastern time. A time when not even all of the polls were closed, much less counted. A candidate that decided he could declare himself the winner whenever he deemed it to be so.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I was taught that governments where people declare themselves in charge are not democracies. They are dictatorships or autocracies. I was taught that the United States fought against dictatorships and autocracies to defend democracy.

Anyway, back to the election. The voting went on despite the declaration and the counting went on until every vote was counted. When it was actually complete, one candidate had clearly won and one candidate had clearly lost. There was no confusion.

Now, most of us expected that the candidate who had clearly lost would then concede because that’s just how it’s done. The loser admits defeat and encourages his/her supporters to accept and support the winner. It is what is done for the good of the country.

But not this election. Not this candidate. Not this time.

He claims, without any evidence that the election was stolen from him. Without any evidence he has demanded, and gotten, recounts after recount. And he has lost over and over again. Without and evidence, he has filed lawsuit after lawsuit in all kinds of Courts only to be told he has no grounds for a lawsuit.

Still, he claims he won. Still he refuses to accept the fact that the voters did not choose him.

Now, many people say it doesn’t matter. They say the Electoral College has decided and he is done. But that isn’t true.

First, he will now attempt to get Congress to overturn the legitimate will of the people and the election.

Secondly, he is encouraging his cult followers to go out and commit acts of violence against people and property in order to spread his lies.

Finally , he is legitimizing the sedition and treason in our government agencies. We see government representatives refusing to do their duties in the transition process.

Now, I’m sure that the winner will be sworn in on January 20, 2021 and will take his rightful position. But what damage has been done by allowing this loser to make our election process into a circus? Will we ever get back the respect and solemnity that once surrounded our election process?

I wonder.

Thanksgiving 2020

Thanksgiving 2020 will definitely be one for the record books. We all had decisions to make. Do we listen to the scientists and medical experts and stay home? Do we take risks and go be with family and other loved ones as in Thanksgivings gone by? These were personal choices made across the country.

In our family we decided we had two things to consider. We wanted to be with our family and we wanted to make sure that we were responsible in our actions. We made the decision to take some limited risks.

First, we limited the people we had for Thanksgiving lunch to those we knew were extremely careful about their exposure and risk in their daily lives. We asked them to wear masks and use hand sanitizer when serving food. We ate at separate tables and distanced when socializing before and after the meal. We took all the precautions we could while still having some semblance of a traditional family Thanksgiving.

Why did we do this? First we wanted to have our loved ones for Thanksgiving dinner. So, first we thought about who we felt safe having over. We looked at who we knew took the pandemic seriously. Who followed the guidance from the medical experts regarding masking an social distancing. It was these family members we felt safest inviting to join us.

The next thing we thought about was how to make the day as safe as possible. We knew that we had to take extra care while we were all together. We started with the assumption that any one of us could be carrying the virus and could infect someone else. That meant we must take precautions to protect one another. There would be no physical contact. No hugs or hand shakes.

We set the tables up with spaced out seating. We wore masks except while eating. We used hand sanitizer and washed our hands frequently. Before serving ourselves food, we would wash our hands and wear masks. Whatever was necessary to protect those we loved was worth doing.

Certainly a lot was different about the day. But a lot was the same. We were together. We told great stories. We heard about one another’s lives. We ate too much. We watched sports on TV. Some took a walk after lunch. Some took a nap after lunch. Then, somehow, we found room for dessert. It was a wonderful traditional family Thanksgiving lunch.

So, yes, in 2020 Thanksgiving was different but it was the same too.

That person

Sometimes there are people who come into our lives and lift our souls, heal our spirits, and make our hearts sing just by being with us. These people go through life like butterflies spreading happiness, seemingly without even knowing the power of their love. There is that person who, whenever you are with them, make you feel better about yourself.

That person who says something nice about how you look. They notice a new hairstyle and tell you it looks really nice. They compliment your smile, your eyes, your skin, your overall beauty. Whenever you’re with them you feel better about how you look no matter how negative you usually are about your looks.

That person is the one who tells you that you are so smart, clever, and wise. They say things that make you feel like you are the smartest person in the room. They tell you that you should run for office. They say that you should lead a group, write a book. teach a class. They make you feel like you are intelligent, bright, witty, and amazing.

That person tells you that you are the most caring person they know. That you are the person who is always there for them. That you are the person who listens the best. That you know how to listen and give advice or not give advice whichever they need. They say that your advice is what they need when they need it. They say that you could have been a therapist. They make you feel valued for your empathy, compassion, heart, and soul.

We all need that person in our lives. Not everyone is blessed to have them. I am. If you know me, believe you are that person.

What possible reason?

Well, it finally happened. I reached the end of my rope. I tied a knot. I’m hanging on. Still the rope is frayed and there is just one strand left. That one strand is strained to its breaking point. It’s all just too much.

First we have a narcissist in the White House, refusing to accept reality, enabled by the egomaniacs in Congress. I mean, really, what will happen when the shoe is on the other foot and a Democratic President says, nah, I think I’ll just ignore the election results and stay here?

Then, how about that woman at the GSA? Here she is sitting on her thrown telling the voters that she’ll let us know if she decides that she’s going to agree with us that Biden won the election. In the meantime, she’s holding up important work that may impact the future of deploying the vaccine in a timely manner. But whatever, she doesn’t answer to anyone.

But what’s really gotten to me is the whole Corona Virus/COVID-19 debate. Something that really shouldn’t be a debate at all. How in the hell did something factual become a debate?

I’m facing people telling me that this isn’t real. It’s just like the flu. That people (me) are making a big deal out of nothing. That we don’t need to wear face masks. That it’s 99.8% survivable (where that number comes from, I don’t know). That it’s not a big deal. Etc., etc., etc. Basically, that I’m stupid because I’m worried and taking precautions.

There are scientists and medical personnel who have studied and worked with THIS virus and THIS disease and who are saying exactly the opposite of what these people are saying. These scientists and these medical personnel are begging us to make a big deal out of this. They are begging us to take this seriously. They tell us that we can save thousands of LIVES just by wearing a face mask. They beg us to social distance and avoid having gatherings outside of our households. They are begging us with tears in their eyes because they are watching people die every day.

Scientists. Medical personnel. Experts who have worked with this virus and this disease. What possible reason do they have to make this up?

What possible reason do you have to ignore their advice?

It’s really simple, Isn’t it?

Okay, so we’ve survived the election and the conservatives are mostly focused on how to convince the world that they won. They seem to have lost some of the pleasure in calling liberals “libtards” and “snowflakes”. So now, we’ve turned to insulting people who believe in following the science and medical advice during the corona virus pandemic.

My FaceBook feed is full of insulting articles and posts. They insist that those who believe we should stay home, social distance, and wear masks are sheep, drinking the “kool-aid”, spreading unnecessary panic, buying into the “deep-state conspiracy, and stupid. How did it become negative to listen to the experts and care about other people?

I was raised to believe that I don’t know everything about everything. With that premise, I know that I am not an expert on science (what an understatement) and medicine (another understatement). With that as a baseline, I go to the experts when I need reliable information in both science and medicine. I don’t go to my neighbors or relatives for scientific or medical information. When I need to know what the latest, most accurate information is regarding a disease, I consult the leading scientists and medical specialists in that field. That’s just how I was raised. Go to the people who have spent their lives training and working in those fields. They know more than you do. It’s really simple, isn’t it?

Now, the second thing I was taught was to care about other people. It began very simply. Don’t treat someone else in a way that you don’t want them to treat you. Don’t hit someone else. Don’t take things from other people. Don’t say ugly things to other people. Don’t make fun of other people. Don’t use ugly words. Don’t look down on other people because no one is better than anyone else. We all have feelings that matter. Don’t cough or sneeze on other people. If you’re sick stay home. It’s really simple, isn’t it?

Of course, as we get older we learn that germs are more complicated than we know (hence scientists and medical personnel) and we have to listen to the experts in order to keep ourselves and others safe. So, when the experts say, wear a mask, practice social distancing, stay home, I think…don’t cough on other people, don’t sneeze on other people, treat other people the way I want to be treated, consider other people before myself.

It’s really simple, isn’t it?

Strength, comfort, peace, and love

I pray for strength, comfort, peace, and love.

For the healthcare workers fighting coronavirus and Covid19.

For the election workers doing all they can to support our election process and thus our democracy.

For all those fighting against injustice and systemic racism within our country and around the world.

For every person fighting personal battles with poverty, hunger, \addiction, depression, disillusionment, fear, and sorrow.

May whatever power you believe in bring you strength, comfort, peace, and love.

Thoughts on the eve of the election

Well, it’s almost here. The 2020 election. There have been many times I’ve thought we’d never see this day. To be honest, I’m still not sure that it will happen and will things will transpire as they should.

I know that there are strong feelings all over the world regarding this election. I guess the only ones that really matter are the U.S. citizens. Even those are so very varied. So many people who are angry, sad, happy, smug, judgmental, sure, doubtful, hopeful, morose, and on and on.

There was a time when liberals and conservatives simply disagreed on how to make our country the best it could be. We didn’t hate one another. We knew we all wanted the best for one another. I hope to live to see those days again.

I am scared to death. I pray for a change. I can’t understand how anyone supports a foul-mouthed, ignorant, bully to lead our government and I never will. Before you jump all over me, hear me out.

I can understand opposing views on many issues. I can even respect most opposing views. I certainly can allow that we all have the right to our own opinions. What sticks in my craw are the basic right to justice and equality, How can anyone argue against those rights?

You can’t. But then, when you drill down and equate equality to the right to determine what happens to your own body, suddenly some people think that right should be taken from other people. When you equate justice with whether cops should be held accountable for shooting unarmed people, some people believe that’s asking too much.

So, what can I do to understand Trump supporters? I listen to their arguments but most of what they say is false. They’ve heard the lies for so long that they’ve come to believe it all. I pray for them and for all they love. I pray for love to come into their hearts. I pray for our country.

Mostly, I pray for a Biden/Harris win.