Can’t see the forest for the trees

The election is over, and it appears, to me, that this country is just good and tired of decency.
What stuns me the most, is how off I was about the people of this country. I assumed that most people are like me. If you look at the results, you can see that they really aren’t. I get the anger at the government. I get the anger at being economically pushed down. I get the pain of being lied to, over and over again.
 
What I don’t get is how so many people believed Trump was a better choice. That couldn’t see him as the backstabbing grifter that he is. To me, it’s obvious.
 
Or maybe they just focused on one thing. That he wasn’t part of the establishment. I get that, I do. That’s why I was for Bernie (way to pay attention to the people DNC). But Trump?
 
Maybe it was an education thing. The Blue states this election are the ones associated with higher incomes and education. Maybe it takes a certain amount of college to see through bullshit. Maybe it’s the other way around.
 
Maybe it was a gender thing. White women, paradoxically, voted for Trump. They didn’t care that he was a sexist, grabby, perv. Some are saying it was race before gender.
 
Before the election I was telling people that Trump was the only person bad enough that Hillary could win. I had it backwards, it seems. The only person Trump could beat was a woman.
 
I’m proud that my two homes, Virginia and now California, stayed Blue. I’m having to explain to my multicultural children why their Hispanic and Muslim friends are safe, but I don’t mention that it could change. I’m having to explain to my daughters why so many people think it’s okay to sexually assault women, and I haven’t the words. I don’t tell them that I am worried for them.
I tell them that the way our system works, as long as rich people run things, very little will change. I don’t tell them that the things that change will not be good for us. Obamacare is the reason we have healthcare. Social programs are the reason we aren’t on the streets right now.
 
I just tell them that this is one of the good things about America. We can have revolutions without bloodshed. And if we see we done fucked up, we can change again.
 
I tell them it’s like a forest. Sometimes you need a forest fire so that something new can grow.
 
I don’t tell them that in that forest fire, it sucks to be a tree.

What a long, hard road it’s been…

And still is, to be honest.

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Mia

Mia, my  oldest dog passed away today.  She’s been in lousy shape for a while, and when she turned 15 we found out she had kidney disease.  This morning, after not being able to eat for a week, she had covered the house in poo and vomit.  It was time.  We took her to the vet and she passed on surrounded by family.

She’s with her best friend, Pochi now.

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Mia at 15

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Mia, Ellie, and Pochi back in Virginia


New Writer: Bridget West

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The War on America

ISIS is winning.  And it’s our own damn fault.

Before you think this is going to be a discussion on arming radicals who later become our enemies, this isn’t that kind of article.  International politics is like sausage.  You don’t want to watch it being made.

No, this is about fundamentals.

In the wake of the Paris attacks, Americans are scared.  Many states are refusing to accept refugees because with refugees come problems.  The Native Americans probably agree, but that’s another discussion for another time.

That’s just what ISIS wants.  ISIS has killed more Muslims than Westerners, but they want us to be afraid of Muslims.  Drive a wedge between everyone who won’t bend a knee to ISIS.  And we’re letting them.  We’re ignorantly judging people by the color of their skin, or what they call their God.  You’re either Christian or you’re a terrorist.

The truth is very different.  More Muslims are against ISIS than are for ISIS.  That’s why there are refugees.  They’re running from the same people we hate; ISIS.  Yeah, with a flood of refugees comes the possibility of letting the wrong one in, but that exists without refugees.  Most of the terrorists we’ve been dealing with have entered the country legally.  Fake passports, people, not refugees.

But because of our fear we’re losing our identity, forgetting the values that made America strong.  We’re listening to fear mongers who profit off people hiding and doing what they’re told instead of thinking for themselves.

America has a long tradition of accepting refugees. During WWII we accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees.  It’s the American thing to do.

We’ve also forgotten what it means to be Christians, for those of us who call ourselves that.  Jesus had some very specific and clear instructions.  Love your fellow man.  He didn’t say it would be easy or safe.  He didn’t say to love your fellow man when it was convenient, or when they looked like you or believed what you believe.  He didn’t say to love them only on Sunday and when it cost you nothing.

As Americans and as Christians, we’ve lost our way.  We’ve forgotten who we are and what we stand for.  I get fear.  I understand fear.  But we can’t let fear guide us.

Frank Herbert has a great quote in Dune:

“I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”

We can’t let fear rule us.  That’s how the terrorists win.  That’s how America loses.

We’re better than that.


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Just another Friday in LA

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