Tuesday, July 28, 2020
There is no legitimate excuse for the violence, burning, looting, destruction of property and intentional attacks on state, local and federal officers in our cities. The Constitution affords each citizen the right of assembly and peaceful protest. However, despite the rhetoric of liberal mayors, governors, media personalities, elected officials and activists, destruction of personal, municipal, state and federal property is a crime. Perpetrators should be prosecuted and ordered to pay restitution.
I understand that people are angry about the death of George Floyd. I understand that everyone in America wants to be heard. I agree that racism is wrong, that there are lingering attitudes among individuals that are offensive, that there are some police officers that abuse authority, that there are still strides to be made for equality. However, we will not achieve equality, harmony, and fairness as long as there are any segregated groups, communities, pageants, congressional caucuses, quotas, census questions or focus on race, country of origin, religion, sexual orientation or any other label.
Despite the fact that I grew up in a small town in Indiana in the 1960s and 1970s that was not particularly diverse, my parents raised me to accept each person for who he or she was, to treat each person with respect, to be kind, and to not judge another until I’d walked a mile in his/her shoes. My husband and most of my friends were raised the same way. We cannot fathom that there is systemic racism in this country. Think about the progress that has been made and that will continue to be made.
I’ve lived in countries where I was a minority and treated as such. I was a quota hire as a woman in the insurance industry in 1980. I want to believe that we Americans, collectively as a nation, do not subscribe to racism, discrimination, or judgments of people- unless the individual is an asshole. That is a different conversation.
But really, give peace a chance. Open your minds. Consider opposing views. Have a conversation without shouting. Let go of anger. And become engaged in the political process at the local level. That is where serious changes begin.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Although I’ve lived in the Washington, DC area for 26 years, I’ve never developed an affection for the Washington Football Team, FKA the Washington Redskins. I’ve attended a few games at RFK Stadium and FedEx Field when gifted with FREE tickets; but I’ve never actually paid to see a game. I will say that games at RFK we’re a lot more energetic and fun. Just getting to FedEx Field was enough of challenge that I actually declined FREE tickets in multiple occasions.
It isn’t that I dislike professional football, although I prefer live games to watching on TV. I actually held season tickets for the Indianapolis Colts for several years before they had a successful season. Other than Darrell Green, who played years for Washington, the era of free agency destroyed any sense of team consistency and cohesiveness.
Based upon my history of apathy interspersed with active dislike, I really have no “ skin in the game” so to speak regarding the team name. Frankly, the entire decades long brouhaha is a bit mystifying. Somebody can find a way to make any name offensive. The team name and mascot was intended to honor the fierceness of Native American warriors and foster a winning spirit.
But times have changed. The woke culture finds offense in the Betsy Ross Flag, Mount Rushmore, the Constitution, freedom of speech, and anybody who doesn’t vote for a democrat.
With these thoughts in mind I’ve come up with several ideas 💡 for names to succeed the Redskins for the Washington Football 🏈 Team which more accurately represent the raison d’etre of our Nations Capital, which is alleged governance:
* The Legislators
* The Witch-hunt
* The Back Stabbers
* The Politicians / the mascot - a large rat
* The Swamp
* The Weasels
* The Do Nothings
* The Hypocrites
* The Pork Barrels
* The Charlatans
* The Mighty Obstructionists
* The Sanctimonious
* The Self- Righteous
* The Partisans
* The Lobbyist / the mascot- a bag full of money 💰
Well, at least I had a bit of self-amusement with this🤣
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
My life has not followed the path I'd mapped out during those days of youthful dreaming when anything seemed possible, 30 was considered old, my career appeared to be on a soaring trajectory, I moved as a newlywed to Plano, Texas and began life far away from the Hoosier state where I was born, raised and yearned to see the world. I wanted to be somebody sophisticated, dine in fine restaurants, shop in elegant stores, amass jewelry and furs, drink wine from bottles with corks, experience urban excitement, find adventure, travel first class, wander the world and see the Terracotta warriors in Xian.
It is amazing to look back and consider that much of what I wanted to experience I've had the good fortune to achieve. However, the path that the roller coaster of fate and fortune caused me to follow nearly toppled me into an abyss on more than one occasion. I've experienced marital strife, an addicted spouse, divorce, dysfunctional relationships, heartache, career disappointment, financial challenges, adversity from my own stupid decisions, the loss of too many loved ones, and fear of never being "good enough". Fear of so many things over which I had no control.
Fortunately, by the age of 45, I met people who helped me discover the tools I needed to live a life of joy, gratitude, happiness, serenity, contentment, a focus on the positive, and a reevaluation of what is truly important in life. My marriage to an addict led me to Al Anon while I was living in Hong Kong. When I returned to the States, I continued to attend meetings. While it took me years to work the 12 Steps, the introspection, letting go of the past, and focusing on doing what is healthy for me changed my life. When I began working in Baltimore, one of my coworkers (Alice) introduced me to Doreen Virtue and Healing With The Angels. While I initially approached the studies with a bit of skepticism, I learned the power of spirituality, putting positive thoughts into the Universe, asking my angels for guidance, and....this led me to my husband of 14+ years, Todd Harrington. While it may by corny to say - he truly is the love of my life and we've celebrated the good fortune of meeting one another everyday for 15 1/2 years. My yoga practice and rediscovered love of Pilates keep me physically fit. I've embraced therapeutic massage and acupuncture to manage stress. I truly try each day to practice an attitude of gratitude for all of my good fortune.
The lessons I've learned on the path I hadn't intended to follow actually brought me to where I am today - a rocky ridge at the edge of the Shenandoah valley surrounded by refugee cats, possums, wild turkeys and evil plant eating deer. I'm relaxing on our screened in porch with a glass of Virginia Bordeaux style red wine, listening to our hosta-leaf water fountain, contemplating the amazing new experiences that I've been blessed to have over the last 15 years, and looking forward to the next 35 years.
Saturday, July 18, 2020
What better way to enjoy a summer under Covid-19 lockdown than a collection of books that I call ‘Mind Candy’! Mind Candy doesn’t focus on current events, social ills, serious literature, scholarly works, or anything heavy. Mind Candy does not include books that academics or snooty editors label as a must read. And if the Washington Post Book World suggests I read it, the book is unlikely to be on my list.
So, I am sharing my list of Mind Candy that I’ve recently read plus a few that are stacked on the table next to my favorite reading chair. Enjoy with a bite of Theo’s 70% Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt & herbal tea.
* The Shadows by Alex North
* The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
* No Exit by Taylor Adams
* A Nearly or all Family by MT Edvardson
* The Reckless Oath We Made y Bryan Greenwood
* The Chestnut Man. Y Siren Sveistrup
* Dear Edward By Ann Napolitano
* The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James
* Hour of the Assassin by Matthew Quirk
* The Guest List by Lucy Foley
* The Last Flight by Julie ClarK
* The Dark Lake by Sarah Bailey
* Final Girls by Riley Sager
* The Holdout. Y Graham Moore
* A Good Marriage by Kimberly McCreight
I find most of my new authors through Bookbrowse.com, Goodreads, or the NEW Book of the Month Club. Next up for me is The Knockout Queen by Rufus Thorpe and Behind Her Eyes by Sarah Pinborough.
I am also slowly savoring each chapter in The Brothers York, A Royal Tragedy By Thomas Penn because for me anything Involving the Plantagenets is Mind Candy....a family that made Game of Thrones seem almost tame and peaceful.
Please share any Mind Candy you can recommend. I’m always searching for something fun to read.
Tuesday, July 14, 2020
I am urging every American who believes in the United States Constitution and Freedom of Speech to read Bari Weiss’s resignation letter to the NYT. I copied it from her personal website with a link to the site. She is to be commended and admired for her bravery, her ethics, her belief in the freedom of the press and her righteous abhorrence of the new McCarthyism. 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸
Monday, July 6, 2020
Over the long Independence Day Weekend I watched the musical 1776, the mini series Sons of Liberty, and James Cagney as George M. Cohan in Yankee Doodle Dandy (which despite some offensive depictions that would not be acceptable in the 21st Century celebrates patriotism as few other films). We Americans must recapture our patriotism for this beautiful country. Despite its flaws, there is truly no other place on earth that affords its people even a scintilla of similar liberty. Those that dishonor our flag, show disdain for our national anthem, and advocate for lawlessness denigrate the brave men who wrote and signed the Declaration, the farmers who fought for independence from the British, the representatives of the 13 Colonies that compromised on values to form a more perfect albeit not perfect union, the abolitionists, John Adams who argued the Amistad case, George Washington who inspired and led an army composed of volunteers, the black soldiers of the 1st Rhode Island, Connecticut and New Jersey units that fought in the Revolutionary War, Abe Lincoln, Frederick Douglas, John Brown, Harriet Tubman, the federal soldiers who fought and died in the Civil War, the 54th Massachusetts unit of black volunteer soldiers, the American soldiers who fought in the wars of 1812, Mexican, Spanish American, WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Granada, Afghan, and who serve our interests throughout the world. Read the document that set us on this path. And reconsider your allegiance to this amazing land.
In Congress, July 4, 1776.
Friday, July 3, 2020
Many people in 21st Century America have graduated from High School or University without truly learning the history of our great country. I believe it is for this reason that progressive politicians, academics and the media are able to insight and condone anger, violence, looting, burning, toppling statues, defacing public property, shaming those with different opinions, censorship, and civil rebellion. Regretfully, many of the alleged intelligentsia that promote the belief that the United States of America was and is a substantially racist county are marginally educated in American and world history. Since the 1970's there has been a systemic attempt by educators, socialists, apologists, and proponents of multiculturalism to discourage critical thinking skills and reject the teaching of early American history because of its western European roots. This has resulted in a grave disservice to the people of our nation.
The Original 13 Colonies that formed the USA were founded over a period of 125 years. Virginia was the first colony founded in 1607 with the settlement at Jamestown followed by Plymouth Colony in 1620 (which became part of Massachusetts Bay) , New York in 1626, Massachusetts Bay in 1630, Maryland in 1633, Rhode Island and Connecticut in 1636, New Hampshire and Delaware in 1638, North Carolina in 1653, South Carolina in 1663, New Jersey 1664, Pennsylvania 1682 and Georgia in 1732. These original colonies had distinct geographic, religious, climates, and natural resources. The New England colonies were mostly Puritans that tolerated no other religious expression and gained infamy by holding the Salem Witch Trials, branding those who committed adultery, and banished dissenters. Pennsylvania was Quaker. Maryland was Catholic. Georgia was founded initially for a haven for London prisoners, but ultimately to provide a buffer between South Carolina and the Spanish that ruled Florida. The Southern colonies had fewer natural resources than the north and middle colonies, which resulted in the establishment of farming and large plantations that unfortunately relied on slave labor. All of the colonies came under the oversight of the English monarchs. Each colony had a British Governor appointed by the King. Each colony was peopled by those that came to the New World for different reasons - to make a fortune, to escape persecution, to find adventure, because the 4th son had no other options, to expand the English empire, to avoid imprisonment, for a job, for land, and for any number of other reasons that we, today, cannot fathom.
These distinct colonies were akin to separate countries. The decisions that were made in 1775 and 1776 to bring representatives of these disparate, ideological, economic, religious, moral, geographic, climate, and natural resource diverse colonies to declare independence from the monarch was an amazing exercise in bravery, foolhardiness, and brilliance. Think what you will about the Founding Fathers; however, this country would not exist today had they faltered.
Yes, by 21st Century standards most of our founders and those that have come after held attitudes that are the antithesis of what we hope to see in our modern world. However, I refuse to deny the debt that we owe to those brave men who affixed their signatures to the Declaration of Independence 244 years ago, which set off the firestorm of revolution that ultimately brought these 13 colonies together to form a nation.
When one judges the actors of the past by the knowledge of the present without a full understanding of time and place; a time when most people didn't travel more than 50 miles beyond home in a lifetime; when there was no electricity, indoor plumbing, safe drinking water, antibiotics, radio, television, knowledge of vitamins, nutrition guidance, education for the masses, heating and air conditioning, refrigeration, supermarkets, libraries, record players, understanding of sanitation, awareness that washing hands prevents the spread of disease, telegraph and all of the other wonders that we take for granted, one is a pompous, self satisfied, smug, supercilious, condescending, self-righteous, didactic fool.
Please consider dismantling CHAZ or CHOP, giving your fellow American the benefit of the doubt, thank the police for keeping you safe, understand that the majority of Americans find discrimination offensive and want fairness & equal opportunity for all, and stop listening to those who try to divide us. Read the Declaration of Independence that was drafted by a gifted, but flawed man who gave us the chance to form a more perfect union of independent colonies, and thank the Universe or the higher power of your understanding that you have the great fortune to live in these United States of America.