I would like to reply to an argument I have been getting a lot from Donald J. Trump supporters:
    "If liberals are so damn concerned about the Syrian people, why don't you support
           Trump bombing the government that is killing them?

~Because I am capable of caring about more than one thing at a time. I can care about civilians killed *and* about escalating an on-going conflict to a full-on war.
~Because the way to prevent death is usually not with more death- which I fear this will lead to.
~Because I question the forward-thinking and planning that went into this action. I do not believe that Trump knows- or particularly cares- what the consequences of throwing missiles around in the middle east could be. 
~Because, while I am sure that there are many in the military that DO consider the consequences wisely, Trump has stated on more than one occasion that he believes he is smarter than the generals, and everyone else. I doubt he listens to anything that doesn't agree with what he already wants to do.

~Because I question Trump's motives in the attack. Everything that Donald Trump has ever said and done and tweeted tells me that concern for the civilians of Syria was NOT his motivation for this largely window-dressing of a raid.
So what was? Shut down interest in Russia-gate by attacking a country that Russia has been helping? Prop up his poll numbers? Get some good press for a change? Well MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. The way pundits are fawning over how 'decisive' and 'presidential' he is now is not only infuriating but terrifying. If you praise an egomaniac for violence, he will commit more violence to get more praise!

~Because almost no time seems to have been taken to verify that what killed those people was a chemical attack carried out by Syria. Some are claiming (and not just the Syrian government) that what really happened was a government bomb hit a chemical storage area and released toxic chemicals that killed people. Maybe that's bullshit. Maybe that's true. Do we even know for sure?
~Because Trump has a history of 'going with his gut'. If something 'feels ' like terrorism to him (or if it would be super-handy for him if it were terrorism) then he announces to the world that it was, w/o waiting for experts to confirm this. What if that happend this week? What if he retaliated, in a manner violating international laws by the way, for a chemical attack that didn't actually happen?
~Because Trump has a history of being impulsive and revenge-motivated. In his own words, he likes to "hit back". He might eventually walk away and pretend he was never there if he's losing, but he will never publicly back down, no matter the cost.
~Because Trump is terrified of being seen as weak or a failure- which his entire presidency has been so far. Now it comes out that his $80- $90 mill attack  did approximately ZERO to degrade the Syrian military's ability- or willingness- to kill the rebels who oppose them. They were off and bombing a human rights monitoring station the very next day!  Will he attack Syria AGAIN, even more 'bigly' in order to save face, to look like a winner and not a loser?

~Because Trump says he "loves war". He seems to believe that simply possessing a vast army with deep resources is all it takes to win any fight you take on- and we all know that is not the case. Ask George Bush about Iraq. Ask Russia about Afghanistan. Ask LBJ about Vietnam. 
~Because there are no simple answers to generations of hostility and bloodshed- and Trump deals ONLY in simple answers. If he can't buy it, sue it, grope it or blow it up- Trump has nothing.

~Because a guy who wanted to block US doctors who had treated Ebola patients from being allowed to return home, who wants to stop ANY Muslim from being able to enter the US, who wants to increase pollution and toxic chemicals, cancels lead-abatement programs, defund food programs for shut-ins, deny prenatal care and cancer screenings to millions and ignore climate change to increase his own wealth does not care if pople get killed as a result of his actions!

~Because presidents sometimes must do things that kill people, and all you can ask is that they care about that. Barack Obama took actions that resulted in civilian deaths… and whether it turned out they were necessary or were an error, you could at least tell that he felt each and every one of them personally. Trump ordered a missile launch and then went to play golf.

~Because Donald Trump is a serial and unrepentant LIAR, to the point that if he said it was a sunny day I and half the world would grab an umbrella. Because you can guarantee that anything he says about a subject this closely tied (in his mind) to his own masculinity and ego WILL BE LIES, or at best gross exaggerations. 
Raise your hand if a building burned down next week and Trump said that terrorists did it, you would think …Reichstag fire. Uh huh. Half the fucking world would!
I don't believe him, YOU don't believe him, our military probably doesn't believe him and our allies sure as HELL don't believe him.   And when bombs and missiles and even nukes are on the line- that is a recipie for disaster! Not just for America but for the human race.

And finally- again, because I am capable of caring about more than one thing at a time…









Posted by Tracy on Apr 9th 2017 | Filed in General,The Daily Rant | Comments (0)

Line in the Sand


     I really thought that there were boundaries.
     I believed that there were still lines that the 21st century Republican party would not cross.

     It was silly of me I guess, after seeing them block Obama's Supreme Court nominee for almost a year. But I still thought that when the actual constitutional system of checks and balances (upon which their power depends!) was threatened, the GOP would suddenly remember they have a spine and stand up.

     A few have: Lindsay Graham, and that old coot John McCain, who every now and then shows the steel that helped  him survive as a POW. But the rest  are too busy filling their bank accounts and drafting legislation to make it illegal for women to vote without permission (or whatever wet-dream they nurture in their corrupt little pea-sized souls) to care what happens to the nation they claim to serve.

     As ghastly as the whole Trumpapalooza is, the worst, most terrifying part of it is discovering that almost ALL of the elected members of the Republican party actually DON'T CARE.

     I mean we know that, for all their talk they don't actually care about deficits (if they help their big business donors) or about "life" (unless it involves a flea-sized speck of tissue in someone else's body. And we should have realized that they don't care about the future of the planet as they pass legislation making it illegal to talk about global climate change instead of actually doing something about it.

     But it turns out- they don't even care about their own jobs.

     They don't care about the Rule of law, the Bill of Rights or massive executive corruption. Don't care about an executive branch that is trying to neuter both the legislative and judicial branches of government! They don't care about a president who is trying to make them rubber-stampers for his fevered power dreams.

     They don't care about blatant White supremacy in the oval office.
     Don't care about the rest of the world leaving us behind as the government attacks science, the loss of our quality public education system, the destruction of the middle class… about sick people or hungry children- about drinkable water or air that isn't toxic to breathe.
     Don't care about the dissolution of NATO, Russian aggression in Europe and won't even investigate a direct Russian attack on the American electoral system! (Russians! I'm old enough I remember when Republicans hated Russians. Now it's "Meh… what's a little spying among friends?) 

     They know that the moment he put his hand on the bible and swore to uphold the Constitution, his rapacious business practices put him in violation of that oath.
     They see as clearly as we do that Donald Trump's agenda is NOT conservative- it is fascist! That Russia is threatening our democracy. That Trump, the laughing stock/nightmare of the entire world is literally INSANE and poses a clear and present danger to world stability. He has the f**king nuclear codes!!

But instead of doing their sworn duty, of doing what they have the power to do and STOPPING him… they are just grabbing whatever they can get. 
    It's like someone who sees that his house is on fire but instead of grabbing the fire extinguisher, the Republicans are using the confusion to stuff their pockets full of cookies, steal their dad's laptop and raid their sister's underwear drawer.

     When Richard Nixon was caught breaking the law, the Republican party recognized that, however unpleasant it was, their primary duty was to DEMOCRACY, not maximizing their after-office profits while screwing over as many of "those guys" as possible.

     Donald Trump is 20x Richard Nixon- but all the Republicans can think about is what's in it for them.

     And I really didn't see that coming. I thought that when American democracy and our entire way of life was about to go over the falls- that Republicans would grab an oar and help us row the other way. Sure, we'd all argue the whole time about where we should dock and how to tie up the boat etc etc. but I believed they were decent human beings who don't want democracy and thousands of people to die just so they can stand in the bow and pump their fists and shout "Republicans rule!"

     But it turns out- they're quite happy to leave their own children to live in an America that is a festering dystopia.

     We're at the tipping point. With his latest attack on the judiciary, Donald trump has made it clear that he believes American government should be a 1-man operation. America is not exceptional- Trump is! And reporter, senator or judge who disagrees with him will be mocked and de-legitimized.
     If his next tweet tells America that they really don't have to obey any judge that doesn't adhere to the Trump plan- that's a full-blown constitutional crisis. Because either our laws have to be obeyed… or Trump has to. 

     Never before has that even been a question which would be on top. Every man and woman in government raises their hand and swears to serve and obey the Constitution, not their party, and not some narcissistic fascist who lost the popular vote but just happened to get into the Oval office anyway.
     So in this moment of crisis when America needs her champions, where is the voice of the flag-pin-wearing, ultra-patriotic Republicans who were so outraged at the tyranny of Obama?

     I have to tell you: knowing that America has one soulless monster in office is bad. Knowing that we have hundreds of them is nearly debilitating.

Posted by Tracy on Feb 5th 2017 | Filed in The Daily Rant | Comments (0)

This Moment in History

At this one moment in time…

There's a "Trumpocalypse" that is clearly happening in America right now. Remember when it was "Morning in America"? Not any more. We're about to encounter that 'darkest hour" and it's a long time til dawn. The times that try mens- and women's- souls.

Friday, January 20th… a day that will definitely live in infamy, the unthinkable happened and Donald J. Trump, the Orange Julius, the Cheeto Jesus, the Tiny Trumpkin, Comrade Trumpovsky, the Groper-in-Chief, the sociopathic 70-year-old toddler, the Tangerine Tornado, the Fall of Western Civilization, Putin's Puppet… was crowned. Er- "Inaugurated".
Despite everything:
~the fact that Hillary Clinton got almost 3 million more votes,
~that 17 U.S. Intelligence agencies agreed that Russia attacked America and influenced our election in order to elect Trump… and he called them all stupid and defended Putin,
~that he has the lowest popularity rating of any incoming president (he just says the polls lie),
~that he literally skips Intelligence briefings in order to meet with celebrities because "I'm really smart",
~that he has refused to divest from his business interests which means he was in violation of the Emoluents clause of the Constitution (and thereby impeachable) the second he took office,
~that his idiot sons were caught trying to SELL access to him at a New Years party,
~that every single cabinet nominee of his has proven to be either dangerously incompetent (Rick Perry didn't know what the Sec'y of Energy is supposed to do!) massively corrupt, such a blatant racist that he was once refused a judgeship, a religious zealot who thinks only Christians really have rights, utterly contemptuous of the Constitution, in personal communication with the hostile foreign power (Putin) who attacked us multiple times the day he story broke or has already made statements that ammount to threatening a war with China… or some combination of these,
~that he set out to purge every federal employee working on climate change, or who believes in climate change,
~that he purged the ambassadorial ranks not just making new appointments (of course) but summarily demanding ALL top staff come home his first day in office despite there being no replacement for them yet,
~despite the fact that literally every DAY he says something that is known to be a lie, shown to be a lie and just says "I"m not a liar, you are" like a 3rd grade kid, and that the U.S. Congress has both the power AND the evidence to simply set aside his election and demand a do-over or to impeach him the moment he took office… he was Inaugurated.


Right after the election, once the numb horror wore off, someone came up with the idea of a Resistance March, specifically (but not exclusively) for women, as a way to tell the Pussy-Grabber-In-Chief that we are not going to just stand there and allow him to turn us back into sex objects and second-class citizens.
WMW (Women's March on Washington) was scheduled for the day after  the Inauguration and boy did it catch on fast. Kind of like a prairie wildfire.

Continue Reading »

Posted by Tracy on Jan 23rd 2017 | Filed in The Daily Rant | Comments (0)

Happy New Year??

It's hard to make myself write it.
It's hard to verbalize the feelings~ dread, anxiety, despair.
I've always been pretty good at compartmentalizing my fears:
   Here is the box where I keep my worries about Steve and Katie
   Here is where I keep worries about Mom's health
   Here is where I keep my fears about the breakdown of civilization, environmental collapse, global apocalypse.

So to open the box and peek in adds another fear- that the tiger will come roaring out and consume me. But on this last day of the year 2016, when so many of us came to realize that we can't pretend it hasn't all gone to shit, I return to the habit I pushed away because it was getting too close to the bone, and I write.

I read something on a friend's Facebook post today that I have been turning over in my mind ever since. She said that if we are honest, the world has always been a shitty place for most of the human population. It has always been a life of misery and desperation for tens of millions of people.
It's just our entitled position of being white and middle or upper class that has allowed us to see it as something different.

We think that human existence is good and full of compassion and kindness and love- because for us, it mostly has been. Oh houses burn down and people we love die, but from our position as apex predator in THE first-world nation, those are bumps in the road. And we see the parts of it that are obviously not kind and good: war-torn Syria and ebola-ravaged Africa and the authoritarian hell of North Koreas and the slums of rio de Janeiro as abberrations but really, for most of humanity, that's the norm.
They suffer. They worry every day about what they will eat, where they will find clean water. They give birth to children wondering if they will live to grow up and if they do, what pain they will suffer.  Diseases ravage them that we cannot concieve of. They exist for a month on the resources that we use  in a day. 
We think we are good world citizens "doing our part" if we recycle and try to fix something instead of throwing it away and buying a new one, when millions of people around the world may never see a new thing in their llives  unless they make it for themselves.

We have no idea.

But we might. Or our kids, or grandchildren will.

It's weird to think that this may one day be thought of as the Golden Age, before it all fell apart to the point where we could no longer pretend it wasn't falling apart.
Donald Trump isn't going to be the cause. Probably just the catalyst. Already he has a good chunk of the American middle class losing sleep, starting to see the truth behind the curtain that we've been able to use to hide our view of what is coming.
What WE are doing, to ourselves and our kids and our planet. 
Remove the incredible and pants-wettingly terrifying threat he poses to Amerian democracy, our economy, our environment and world peace and the human race is STILL in for a nasty wake-up call real soon.

We are killing ourselves.
We have damaged the oceans- possibly to the point of no return- but still Red Lobster has their "Endless Shrimp" sales. As if anything is ever endless. The vast, uncharted deep, teeming with so much life- and though the body is still twitching, we've killed it. 
We are destroying the environment on which we and much of life depends- not because we have no ability to deal with global warming, but because we care more about the One Day Sale at Macy's than giving up anything- ANYTHING- to protect the planet. We'd rather give up logic and reason and deny science than give up our air conditioners and gas-guzzlers and disposable economy.

Our nuclear boogeyman, that human-built doomsday machine, was never totally disassembled, but at least we seemed to have all recognized that it needs to be. The biggest danger was from small, desperate madmen past careing that to set off a 'dirty bomb' would harm them and theirs more than it would us.
Now we have Donad Trump saying that a nuclear arms race would be a GOOD thing, and the very people who, a decade or even a year ago would have said "More nukes will make us safer? Are you inSANE?" are cheering him on because…

Because… I don't know. 
What blinds a person so much that they will abandon all reason, will look away from the truths before them and embrace chaos and apocalypse. To accept in someone who is "one of them" the very things that they curse and revile in others? To put a sick ideology above the entire world?
Fuck you I'm American/white/christian/straight/rural/angry/entitled. I grew up thinking that the sun revolves around me, and I will embrace any ideology, no matter how twisted, selfish, violent or self-destructive that protects that world-view for another 5 minutes. And if I want to destroy this stinkin planet to do that well no Jew/liberal/Mexican/Muslim/scientist/tree-hugger is gonna tell me no. GOD thinks like me and to hell with the rest of you weirdos! My tribe and nobody else!

It's like we're on the Titanic and the iceberg is about to strike. It's right there outside the stateroom windows, big as death!
And when we tried to steer away- they passed a law saying we aren't allowed to steer any more. When we begged them to steer away, showed them pictures of the iceberg we were about to smash on- they said the pictures were obviously fake and asked why we liberals keep plotting to ruin their cruise? 
  And if the water IS coming in down below and the boat is tipping a little, it's all the fault of those immigrants and brown people , atheists and Muslims we insisted on letting in the steerage compartment, so maybe if we just kicked them out the boat would right itself just fine. And when we shout to get out the boats they say it's all a liberal plot to waste their tax money convincing the cruise line to buy more lifeboats and anyway, the top half of the boat is still nice and dry… the top third of the boat is… this deck they're on… their shoes are only a little bit wet.

and I confess that I am tired. I've been running around with my hair on fire for a while now, and all I'm getting is a singed scalp. I confess that I avoid the news now. The normalization of racism and homophobia and ethnocentrism and nuclear belligerance has exhausted me.
I just can't stand to hear the Titanic News Network talking about suffleboard on the Leto deck when there's water coming in, for fuck's sake! 

So ring out the wold, ring in the new. I expect for us privileged white middle class Americans life will go on pretty much the same for a while. More of us won't be able to afford medical care, fewer of our kids will go to college, our homes will start to lose value as fewer people can afford to buy one. And unemployment will creep up and up despite Trump's magical promises to win at jobs! 
Life as a female is going to more dicey, as rape becomes "locker room antics" and "Women really ought to stay home with their kids where they belong" becomes an accepted thing for a man to say to an educated, qualified woman applying for a job.

Then again, maybe Donald Trump will tweet us into World War 3 by February and the whole house of cards will come crashing down.
And you have to admit that, with a few exceptions, if we as a race are stupid enough to do this to ourselves… perhaps we deserve what's coming.

Posted by Tracy on Dec 31st 2016 | Filed in The Daily Rant | Comments (0)

Late-Night Sing Along

Mom woke completely around 3 AM. She had been restless and apparently fussed with her heart monitor leads to the point that she pulled one of the patches completely off, which sent the nurse in to turn on the light and re-attach it.

I had been dozing off an on in a reclining chair in her room. Having been to this rodeo before, I brought my ipod with me and had music playing so that every beep and chime of her monitor, clunk of a gurney in the hall and restless movement of my mother wouldn't wake me up. It had helped me get a little sleep- but now I was up and so was she.
After the nurse left Mom went back to tossing and turning. I worried that, uncomfortable and unhappy to be back in the hospital again, she wouldn't get back to the sleep she needed. 
   "Mom, would you like to listen to some music?" I asked and walked over to her bed. I scrolled quickly down the list of artists and picked a CD by Jim Malcolm. "This is the guy we toured Scotland with" I said and put the earbuds gently in her ears.

She rolled over and lay quietly, listening to the end while I sat in the chair and tried really hard not to stare obsessively at her heart monitor readings. I hope I never have to have a heart monitor on. The anxiety of worrying that there is something wrong with my heart– that it's too fast or too slow or the T-waves are wrong or something– would for sure make my heart rate go nuts. 

   When I realized the CD was over I got up and scrolled through the list on the iPod again.
   "Oh hey, you might like this one" I said and started it up.
   "This is you, isn't it?" she said with a smile.
I was playing the recording that with my friends Byron and Bill I had made some years ago for our pastor. We called it Come to the Quiet" and it was hymns and other spiritual songs that we found tranquil and uplifting.

I sat back in my chair and tried to quiet my mind to see if I could get a little sleep. Don't worry about her respirations! I chided myself sternly. I was just getting relaxed when I heard a strange sound from the bed. Was she- moaning? Oh no- is something wrong? I sat forward and listened carefully and realized that no- she was… humming.
    "There is a balm… in Gilead…. to make the wounded whole"
Quietly, and a little out of tune (the way you are with ear buds in)  she began to sing along with the recording. She didn't hear me, but I sang with her, because it's something I have always loved to do.
    "Oh that was lovely" she said and smiling, listened to the end. When I started it again with  a CD of a female folk group with wonderful harmonies, she went to sleep almost immediately, and slept deeply.

  So maybe that balm was working.

Posted by Tracy on Dec 29th 2016 | Filed in General | Comments (0)

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