The Power of Woke is Real

“Woke” means to be unafraid.

We do not fear children learning about

History – our mistakes and successes

Science – beginning of life, stars and planets, health

Religions, all and atheism

Laws – rights, justices and injustices

Freedoms – owning their bodies, voting

Thinking critically and independently.

We do not fear adults

Owning their bodies, voting, living secure and safely

Choosing their genders, partners, lifestyles

Seeking higher education

Demanding nonprofit, affordable, healing healthcare

Earning a living wage that pays for food, clothing, shelter, transportation.

We support politicians who

Speak the facts

Protect all voting rights

Promote tolerance

Veto misogyny

Serve justice

Establish equitable taxes

Revitalize the Middle Class

Honor the elderly.

“Woke” means we see the darkness in your chosen ignorance, the

Attacks on the good

Abuse on the vulnerable

Gunning down of our babies in school

Gunning down of our neighbors on the street, in the malls and clubs

Controlling, anti-female legislation

Fascist, intolerant Supreme Court.

Woke is not a thing.

Woke is me. Woke is us. Woke is We the People.

Fear us. For in the darkness, we will shine.

The Tale of Two Nations Under One Crazymaker


Most people – around 2/3 of any group– prefer a sane person to be their boss, or to lead them.  Someone who is gracious and makes them feel respected and worthwhile.  Most people suffer when men and women in positions of power are difficult and demeaning.  Then there is the remaining 1/3 of the group.  (My unofficial official statistics.) 

Our current political trauma is a perfect example of the always present 1/3:  the supporters of Donald J. Trump.  This group appears to reject truth, graciousness, fairness, intelligence, and justice.  I disagree with the media signaling this group out for analysis.  The spotlight on them only makes them dig in deeper with their alternate and incorrect versions of reality.  The truth is much simpler:  1/3 of any group will always be stuck in quicksand and stubbornly will not concede to facts.  This is not to imply their concerns are not worthy of consideration.  They are…but not for the reasons they think.  I’ll get to this later.

Religions and many spiritual gurus speak of the need to “forgive”, to “show compassion”, to “be tolerant”, especially in this climate of political polarization.  I disagree and think they are on the wrong path, and this advice is dangerous. I believe there is an even deeper path of reaction is that is far more pertinent, and far more compassionate. I think what the religions and gurus are missing are two important truths:

  1.  For perhaps the first time in history, politics is no longer about politics.  It’s about values.  The two major parties are no longer defined by platforms and political spin, but by truth, integrity and intention. This paradigm shift is a critical transformation of our society and to our democracy; and,
  2. Any god you believe in, by deductive reasoning, is definitely not weak, but a damned smart spiritual warrior.  Politics may once have been about being nice, at least in public, but now it is about bullying, lying and temper tantrums.  Now, it is more important than ever to stand up effectively to this abuse.

With this in mind, what prompted our political paradigm to change so?  Enter the color orange. 

Chapter One:  The Crazymaker

In “The Artists Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity”, Julia Cameron identifies one personality as the most dangerous:  the “crazymaker,” who “should be avoided at all costs”.  Crazymakers create storm centers and are enormously destructive; long on problems and short on solutions. They thrive on drama and making themselves the center of attention.  They feed on any power you give them. 

Let me share with you her dentifying traits of a Crazymaker.  It reminded me of someone, and so I have added that resemblance. 

Breaks deals and destroy schedules.    On September 28, 2020, the Guardian followed up on the New York Times report:

Alex Cobham, the chief executive of the Tax Justice Network, an international group campaigning for a fairer and more transparent tax system, said: “This shows that Trump is either a very bad businessman or a tax cheat who is not respecting the tax system that he is asking everyone else to pay. Probably both are true.”

The New York Times said Trump paid $750 in federal income taxes in the year he won the presidency, and the same amount in his first year in the White House. It said Trump paid no income taxes at all in 10 of the previous 15 years, largely because he reported losing much more money than he made. The Times said the records revealed “chronic losses and years of tax avoidance”.

Expect special treatment.  They care little for anyone else outside of themselves.  On September 3, 2020, according to The Atlantic and additional media:

When President Donald Trump canceled a visit to the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery near Paris in 2018, he blamed rain for the last-minute decision, saying that “the helicopter couldn’t fly” and that the Secret Service wouldn’t drive him there. Neither claim was true.

Trump rejected the idea of the visit because he feared his hair would become disheveled in the rain, and because he did not believe it important to honor American war dead, according to four people with firsthand knowledge of the discussion that day. In a conversation with senior staff members on the morning of the scheduled visit, Trump said, “Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers.” In a separate conversation on the same trip, Trump referred to the more than 1,800 marines who lost their lives at Belleau Wood as “suckers” for getting killed.

Discounts your reality.  Crazymakers will violate your needs.  On September 10, 2020, The Nation summed it up:

Trump deliberately lied. He downplayed the danger in the critical early stages of the fight—which the president would eventually describe as “our big war”—and he has continued to lie as the death toll has ticked upward…. Tens of thousands of those deaths were preventable. But Trump’s lies made them inevitable.

Spend your time and money.   According to Presidential Golf Tracker, as of September, 2020:

Trump’s Current Golf Outings: 279

Current Cost to the Tax Payer: ~+ $105 million

Triangulate those they deal with. Because Crazymakers thrive on your energy, they set people against one another in order to maintain their own position of power. From this position, they can feed most directly on the negative energies they stir up.  After violence and death at Charlottesville in 2017, The Washington Post quoted Donald J. Trump:

“You had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides. You had people in that group … There were people in that rally — and I looked the night before — if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee. I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones. The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people — neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest.”

Multiple media reported on the command to white supremacists by Donald J. Trump to “Stand back and stand by.”  CBS News reported on what was said: 

“The Proud Boys,” Mr. Trump said. “Stand back and stand by. But I’ll tell you what, I’ll tell you what, somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem.”  After the debate, in the Proud Boys’ Telegram channel, members boasted of Mr. Trump’s reaction. They used “stand back” and “stand by” in the logo and posted videos from the debate with the caption “God. Family. Brotherhood.” Biden responded to a tweet about the Proud Boys’ reaction by tweeting, “This is Donald Trump’s America.”

Expert blamersNothing that goes wrong is ever their fault.  As far back as August of 2017, Politico had already spotted the blaming trait:   

“Using Obama as a focal point probably works because he’s so polarizing with Republicans,” said Julian Zelizer, a presidential historian at Princeton University.

Yet some of the claims simply are not true or are without context, Zelizer notes, something that stands in stark contrast with his predecessors. “These are wilder, continual attacks,” he said. “The difference is in scale and scope.”

Trump most notably blamed Obama for tapping his phones during the “very sacred election process,” calling him a “bad (or sick) guy!” Evidence has not backed up that claim…

After a botched raid in Yemen that killed a Navy SEAL, Trump said, “this was a mission that was started before I got here.” Trump, however, made the final decision to forge ahead with the raid.

Facing massive protests across the country and leaks within the federal government that were critical of his administration, Trump blamed Obama “or his people” for inciting the protests and leaking the material.

Then in March of 2020, Politico reported:

President Donald Trump on Friday deflected blame for his administration’s lagging ability to test Americans for the coronavirus outbreak, insisting instead — without offering evidence — that fault lies with his predecessor, Barack Obama.

“I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump said defiantly…

Create dramas-but seldom where they belong.  It makes them even more dramatic- at your expense. Devoted to their own agendas, whatever matters to you becomes trivialized into a mere backdrop for the casemakers’ personal plight.  NPR’s report on September 23, 2020:

President Trump…suggested that he might not accept the election results if he is not declared the winner in November, in response to a reporter’s question about whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power — regardless of the outcome of the election.

“We’re going to have to see what happens. You know that. I’ve been complaining very strongly about the ballots. And the ballots are a disaster,” Trump said, alluding to his unsubstantiated arguments about widespread mail-in ballot fraud.

“Get rid of the ballots and you’ll have a very peaceful — there won’t be a transfer, frankly, there’ll be a continuation. The ballots are out of control.”

Hate schedules- except their own. In the hands of a Crazymaker, time is a primary tool for abuse.    AP News on September 9, 2020, the revelations Donald J. Trump gave to Bob Woodward:

President Donald Trump talked in private about the “deadly” coronavirus last February, even as he was declaring to America it was no worse than the flu and insisting it was under control, according to a new book by journalist Bob Woodward. Trump said Wednesday he was just being a “cheerleader” for the nation and trying to keep everyone calm.

His public rhetoric, Trump told Woodward in March, was part of a strategy to deliberately minimize the danger. “I wanted to always play it down,” the president said. “I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Trump, according to the book, acknowledged being alarmed by the virus, even as he was telling the nation that it would swiftly disappear.

Hate order. Chaos serves their purposes. When you begin to establish a space that serves you a Crazymaker will abruptly invade that space with their mess.  On September 30, 2020, CBS News ran this headline:  First debate descends into chaos as Trump and Biden exchange attacks

The article included:  The first presidential debate between President Trump and Joe Biden featured a chaotic series of bitter exchanges and name-calling, with the president repeatedly speaking over his Democratic rival and the moderator struggling to maintain control of the 90-minute affair.

Deny that they are Crazymakers. They will always try to convince you that YOU are the one who’s crazy.  In October of 2019, The New Yorker nailed Donald J. Trump with this headline: Trump’s Message: His Critics Are the Crazy Ones

Content from the article included:

Doubts about whether he is entirely steady are not new, and Trump has long proffered various rationales for his troubling outbursts. One is that his erratic actions are tactical moves: unconventional behavior that shakes up the political and diplomatic stiffs, and makes things happen. Another is that he is just being authentic, which raises the question of what he authentically is. But perhaps the most troubling rationale is one that he emphasized in Texas: he’s not crazy; anyone who doubts him is. His supporters just need to recognize the madness of his enemies, and then everything he says will make sense.

Drive you Crazy. If someone in your life is making you crazy run far away and fast.

Former presidential candidate, Pete Buttigieg, and Philip H. Gordon, wrote an opinion piece for Foreign Policy on July 15, 2020 mentioning the damage Donald J. Trump has caused our country:

The failure of the administration of U.S. President Donald Trump to build an international coalition to combat the coronavirus is in fact only the latest manifestation of a deeper and potentially lasting failure. ..A world without U.S. leadership is no longer some vague and lamentable future possibility. Since the start of his presidency, Trump has abandoned multiple treaties and agreements, undermined the credibility of U.S. defense guarantees, bullied and belittled allies, and cozied up to dictators who threaten those allies and the United States. His “America First” doctrine—with its ominous echoes of the 1930s—and indifference to the rule of law at home and abroad have left allies wondering if they can count on the United States; many have started to look elsewhere for more reliable friends and partners. The result is a world in which the United States is less safe, less respected, and less able to deal with the enormous challenges it faces: climate change, pandemics, refugees, cyberattacks, election interference, nuclear proliferation, terrorism, modern technology, and the rise of China.

The collapse in global regard for the United States has been breathtakingly swift under this president. Even before collapsing further due to Trump’s mishandling of the pandemic, confidence in him to “do the right thing” in international affairs stood at just 29 percent among 32 countries polled—down from 74 percent in former President Barack Obama’s final year in office. Global confidence in Trump is significantly lower than in German Chancellor Angela Merkel (46 percent), French President Emmanuel Macron (41 percent), and Russian President Vladimir Putin (33 percent)—and just one point higher than in Chinese leader Xi Jinping (28 percent). Germans are now equally divided on whether the United States (37 percent) or China (36 percent) is their closest partner, while just 28 percent of Britons trust the United States to act responsibly. Confidence in Trump is only 36 percent in Japan, 32 percent in the United Kingdom, 28 percent in Canada, 28 percent in Brazil, 20 percent in France, 13 percent in Germany, and a mere 8 percent in Mexico, while favorable views of the United States have fallen from 64 percent in 2016 to 53 percent in 2019. Asked in June whether she trusted Trump, Merkel paused before saying only “I work with elected presidents around the world, including, of course, the American one.”

Chapter Two:  What does this mean?

It means we have a Crazymaker in the Oval Office with the nation’s securities, and the nuclear war codes.  It means that Donald J. Trump is a huge security risk to our nation. 

Back to the religions and the gurus and the pleas for “forgiveness”, “compassion” and “understanding.”

Ever hear of “tough love”?  It is a course of action that prioritizes a person’s welfare, especially that of an addict, child, or criminal, by enforcing certain constraints on them, or requiring them to take responsibility for their actions. “Requiring them to take responsibility for their actions.”  Keep that in mind.

Thich Nhat Hanh, the Buddhist monk, spoke of compassion:  “When you have seen suffering, you are motivated by the desire to remove suffering — the suffering in you and the suffering in that other person — because if that person continues to suffer, it will make you suffer somehow later on. So helping other people remove their suffering means doing something for you also.”  Keep this in mind, too.

Why do people get involved in supporting the orange Crazymaker?  Julia Cameron suggests that people accept Crazymakers when they are self-destructive.  I agree this is true.  How many supporters do you see/know who do not eat healthy, establish healthy lifestyles for themselves, or take the high road in relationships?  Comparable to a “writer’s block”, these folks have a “life block”.  They can’t figure out how to get out of the sinkhole their resentment is in, so they have given up and are settling in for the long haul.  They have allowed themselves to be used for someone else’s power, even though it is dangerous and destructive to them. There is a bit of a thrill in that, even if it means this support is doing nothing to change their lives for the better, much less rescuing them from their troubles.   The orange Crazymaker is exploiting and using his followers, with their permission. 

Many of us have witnessed the demise of relationships with family members, friends and colleagues, over this Crazymaker’s deliberate and abusive political polarization.  We wonder what to do now.  How can we ever go back to how we felt about them, when we know they like this negativity, incompetency and cruelty?  Unfortunately, you and I cannot relate to them as we did before. You can’t go back, and you should not feel guilty you can’t.  Things have changed.  Remember the Tough Love concept?  It is time to require our family members and friends to take responsibility for their actions of supporting this Hitleresque atrocity.  We must find the courage to show them “tough love”, and establish new boundaries.   It is the loving thing to do.  But also recall the Thich Nhat Hanh quote.  By supporting people, organizations, movements, and efforts to ease the suffering of those who have been and remain vulnerable, we are helping those family members and friends heal. 

Forgive the Crazymaker supporters for following him?  It isn’t a question of forgiveness.  Instead, I choose to look beyond that question.  I choose to show these misguided supporters true compassion by allowing them to live the consequences of their choice, which is to no longer be tolerated in my space.  Show understanding to the Crazymaker supporters?  Oh, I understand them just fine.  What I choose to act on is not their choice, but the reasons behind it.  I will support anything that helps ease their suffering.  But until they respect the facts and all people and choose kindness over hostility, they will remain isolated from the mainstream of America that hosts the good, the compassionate and the humane. 

Chapter Three:  What do we do now?

Because of the Crazymaker’s deliberate polarization of our nation’s people, if he and the toxic Senate Republicans are reelected by a fair and safe majority of votes, 2/3 of our people will brutally suffer under their lies, insanity, cruelty, and gross incompetency.  The targets will be women, the poor and middle classes, and all Democrats and Independents.  He and the toxic Republican Senate are incapable of empathy and will continue to IGNORE the need for universal health care, environmental standards, nurturing the middle class, keeping our children safe in schools, legislating the protection of women as full human beings with control of their bodies, and anything else that is good, kind or intelligent. 

If Biden and Democratic Senators are elected, the 1/3 will be given the attention they crave.  Some of the 1/3 are dangerous white supremacists who must be monitored and/or charged and arrested.  But many are upset with the political system and feel it has not only let them down, but abused them.  They will be heard.  Their legitimate concerns will be tended to, problems identified and solutions created. 

With Donald J. Trump and his crazy, unethical, criminal administration, and the toxic Republican Senate gone, every effort will be made to keep our people, our nation, our world, and our planet safe from another Crazymaker.  How do I know that?  Because history teaches us this.  Germany taught us how easy it was for their Hitler to rise to power and destroy their nation and peoples, and the surrounding countries.  Germany taught us that the followers of Hitler would not protect their country, and that the only solution was to overthrow the head of the snake, Hitler, and make the supporters accountable for their actions.   Germany taught us you can overcome, heal and recover. 

And so shall we. 

Vote out the Crazymaker.  Vote out the toxic Senate Republicans.  Live the day in safety and peace, and sleep again at night. 

*** Update ***

Donald J. Trump is currently at Walter Reed Hospital, with COVID-19.  Many of the people he exposed are at risk, and at least 3 have been identified as positive.  Regardless of any outcome to this unsurprising development, Donald J. Trump’s legacy has been set, and it will not be complimentary. 

When Who You Are is Wrong

Uncle Ben’s rice.  Aunt Jemima pancakes.  Mrs. Butterworth’s syrup.  Confederate officers’ statues.  Fort Bragg.  Fort Hood.  Andrew Jackson on a $10 bill.

Like the target for Target, I wonder how many of us actually see the branding any more?  But the minute it is gone, we would notice.  And that’s the point.

The continuing murders of people of color – beautiful shades of brown, honey, caramel, mahogany, and black – never should have begun, much less never stopped.  The protests around the world are hugely peaceful and relentless.  The violent rioting that erupts is minimal and always makes the news.  The point is, changes have to be made.  Reforms have to be enacted.  The world has come together to demand it, and we won’t stop until black lives matter, are kept safe, respected and honored.

It’s incredible that in 2020, this has to be said – again.  Franklin Delano Roosevelt wanted another Bill of Rights for all people, not just for pasty-arsed whites.  Lyndon Baines Johnson enacted civil rights legislation that the southern – confederate – states, are still fighting today through the current Republican Party.  Really, people!?!  Really!?!

But then I guess we shouldn’t be surprised.  With Richard Milhouse Nixon denying us universal healthcare through creation of a for-profit parasitic environment, denying healthcare to and bankrupting our citizens…Ronald Prescott Reagan favoring the wealthy with his lying “trickle down” theory, robbing the Middle Class; his denial of aids and subsequent deaths to a disease that could have been researched early and treated…George Walker Bush faking an excuse to put our sons and daughters in a lifelong, brutal war, taking the economy and tearing it to shreds for yet again, the Middle Class, while keeping the wealthy rich…to the inexperienced reality show male currently squatting in the Oval House…we shouldn’t be surprised that our fellow citizens are being murdered to maintain the elite, white supremacy so convenient and desired by the current Republican Party office holders.

I am an Independent voter, with a record of choosing good people in both the Republican and Democratic parties.  The Republican Party was not always like this, and Republicans weren’t always like that.  This is the party of Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, two of the most admired presidents in history.  The year the Republican Party started turning its back on these types of greatness and focused on greed and power can probably never be confirmed.  But the Vietnam War and Watergate in the 1960s and 1970s showcased the direction it had gone.  With the public advent of Phyllis Schlafly writing of and organizing the extreme conservative ideals of suppression and intolerance under the appalling guise of “faith”, the Republican Party has only gotten worse for all but the 1%.

Now as a country, we face daily humiliation for the unethical, bullying and most likely illegal, behavior of a childish, insane male and his cohorts in ethical, moral and legal crimes.  Our nation’s lack of affordable and effective healthcare is 3rd world level.  Our refusal to separate church and state is denying civil and reproductive rights to targeted groups.  The Supreme Court is no longer divided on its legal opinions, it is defined by who is politically liberal, and who is politically conservative.  It isn’t just the branding of products that needs to go to reflect true humanity.  It’s the entire branding of the Republican Party.

Uncle Ben.  Aunt Jemima.  Mrs. Butterworth.  Confederate officers’ statues.  Confederate names of forts.  Jackson’s face on currency.  Donald Trump in the Oval Office.  The Republican Party in the Houses of Congress.   They all need to go.

The  Democratic Party needs to review its own legacy as well and take a lesson from Thomas Jefferson:  Combine the efforts in opposition to the current Republican Party, and create a two-pronged approach.  This country would do well to muster its human values and common sense and come together.  As a united force through a Democratic-Independent Party, humanity and tolerance can overshadow the elite and discriminatory Republican Party.   That is, if the current good, humane Republicans cannot get their Lincoln Party back.


‘Tis the Season of Things to Come

In the car and out the garage, oh how the cold does blow!  It stings the toes and bites the nose, and nips the fingers, too.  As I walk, my heeled boots clink against the sidewalk; my double layer car coat crinkles, the hood hides my earmuffs and keeps my scarf in front of my mouth. My hands are in ski gloves and feel bulky and awkward – I can barely hold my tote bag. People scurry by, faces down out of the wind. I feel extraordinarily cozy and cheerful. By the time I have made it the block from my parking space to inside my office building, I am feeling for all the world like a proud, astute survivor of the Antarctic cold.

Ungraceful in my struggle to unwrap myself in the building’s gust of heat, I am secretly and illogically delighted with the reappearance of winter weather during actual winter, especially at Christmas and the New Year holiday.

It brings back awestruck childhood memories of all that white snow to walk in…hills to sleigh down…ice rinks to skate on…and soaked mittens and socks from the snow that slid in during the snow fight with my brothers at our snow fort. All sibling rivalry was forgotten as we peeled the layers off the kitchen floor, ignoring Mom’s shouts of “Don’t track snow on my floors, I just finished scrubbing them!” We raced to the stovepipe furnace in the living room where each claimed a side and took up positions: flat on our backs, knees bent, feet bottoms directly on the furnace. We sighed happily as the red tones of our feet started to fade to pink. We watched the fire through the little window and exaggerated our great aiming skills during the snow fight. Life was good…and warm, this winter of my childhood.

Not so much any more.

Global warming, climate change, destroying the ozone – however you want to describe it, is destroying the environment we living creatures need to breathe, eat and survive.  The planet will continue to exist without us, much like the moon and Mars.  I want the generations after me to live safely and healthy upon this wondrous planet.  I desire they travel to cold places and warm places…visit rain forests and touch snow atop a mountain.  Photograph the beauty of a desert and the prairie or farmland and vineyards.  Hell, they can stay put if need be. I just want them to be able to drink water that doesn’t poison them and eat food that doesn’t give them cancer.  And I want the seasons to be true for each climate.

When there is spring, let there be flowers and green grass.  Where summer beckons, let there be lazy, hot afternoons and cool waters.  Where fall pounces, let there be leaf burning and crisp air and apple cider.  And in the winter…let there be snow and cold and bright days; cozy indoors and a respite from life.

It is time for our world to be in harmony with itself, in balance with its genders and fluid in its compassion. The strife and violence of the patriarchal society has worn out its welcome. The future is female. There is no turning back now for us, and we would not want to. The future is female and our season has come.

In the car and out the garage, oh how the hate does grow! It stings the disabled and bites the nonwhites and nips the atheists too. As I walk, my determination clinks against the sidewalk, my double layer of intention crinkles like electricity. The aura around my head shines my love and opens my mouth to speak my power. My hands are steady and my reach feels long – I can barely contain my strength. People scurry by, faces down out of the wind, but look up with a start at what has passed them by. I feel extraordinarily cozy and cheerful. This time I have made it from where I once was to where I am supposed to be. I am feeling for all the world like a proud, astute survivor of the herculean challenge of facing down hate, lies and misogyny.

Although struggling against odds, I gracefully wrap myself in my gender’s gust of power. I am secretly and fully, delighted with the reappearance of an actual change during this season of hate, especially at Christmas and the New Year holiday. It brings back awestruck childhood memories of all that white light of compassion and empathy to walk in…hills of rage to climb down…ice hearts to thaw and heal..and all the other bright lights that slid in during the fight with the New Republicans at our constitutional halls.

All polite rivalry will be forgotten as we peel the two faces off Congress and ignore their naked shouts of “Don’t steal my pile of money, I just finished robbing it from you!” We females will race to the White House and rid it of its vile stench. We will reclaim the West Wing for humanity and take our positions of backs straight, legs out, hands on hips, eye-to-eye. We will sigh happily as the orange tones of our nation’s gravest mistake start to fade away. We will watch the glow of hope through the Oval Office window travel once again across the nation, and credit our sons, husbands, fathers, brothers, grandparents, and loving friends, for standing by us during this fight. All this, too, shall come to be. Life will be good…warm …and peaceful once again in this upcoming winter of femalehood.


Tea for Trouble – right here in Republican City

This was written in 2011 about the 2008 elections and immediately after.  I wonder, though, if anything has changed.  The Republican Party may be, as some have accused – hijacked by a fringe element.  I hope the true, intelligent and broad-minded Republicans make their voices heard louder and clearer than the Tea Party.

Whether or not the tea partiers originally had a legitimate complaint is irrelevant when one looks at their chosen group behavior to express it.   Whether viewing it from a religious, spiritual, emotional, or psychological level, their group behavior is all the same:  unacceptable, improper and detrimental to anyone’s good.  Flash back to October 2008 when the stakes were for the highest governing office in the land.

“From the deepest desires often come the deadliest hate.”  Socrates 

The Washington Post reported on the absurd negativity of one Republican rally.  When the Republican vice presidential candidate talked against then candidate Obama, the crowd shouted “Boooo!” and one man yelled, “Kill him!”  The candidate was pleased at the reaction.  The crowd (mob) even turned against the press.

In a Republican rally in Clearwater, the reporters were greeted with shouting taunts by the 3,000 or so gathered.   When the respected journalist, Katie Couric, was publicly accused of asking the “wrong” things on purpose just to make the Republican vice presidential candidate “look” unsuccessful, the mob began to wave sticks and shout abuse at the gathered reporters.  Some hurled obscenities at a camera crew, calling out to an African American soundman, “Sit down, boy.”  “Getting ugly out there,” ABC’s Jake Tapper was reported to have stated.

American News Project went inside a Republican rally to watch the vice presidential debate, where it witnessed Republican supporters booing the moderator and laughing when Sen. Joe Biden got choked up talking about his first wife and daughter’s deaths.

November 2008.  Newsweek reported that the Secret Service gave the Obama campaign reports that “a sharp and disturbing increase in threats to Obama in September and early October” occurred at the same time that many crowds (mobs) at Republican rallies became more frenzied.  Now flash forward to the present.

In March of 2010 journalists reported on the tea baggers” abusive and derogatory attacks against select members of Congress.  Representative Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) was spat upon.  Representative John Lewis (D-Ga), who championed the civil rights movement and became a hero himself, was called a “ni-er”.  Representative Barney Frank (D-Mass) was mocked by lisp sounds and called a faggot.

Kjell Magne Bondevik, a Lutheran minister and politician who is served as Prime Minister of Norway and is currently the President of the Oslo Centre for Peace and Human Rights, has been credited with making this observation; “Extremists and populist movements are exploiting people’s fear of those who are not like us.

We can see the consequences in the form of terrorism and racially motivated violence.” The Republican mob is calling itself the Tea Party to invoke historic memory of the establishment of our country.

Whoa, Nellie.  I am not buying the false patriotism.

This country was established by refugees who were escaping governments that hounded them with hate, bigotry, discrimination and intolerance.  America was about religious freedom, civil liberties and the right to happiness that cones from peaceful and healthy living among its citizens.

Instead of promoting the vision of the early colonists, the tea partiers are trying to create the very same environment that the first settlers came here to escape. In addition to the slight-of-hand with the naming of the group (now you see patriotism, now you don’t), the tea partiers have chosen to follow people who are….strange.

Their primary figure is a former governor who quit public service to become a well-paid speaker and state tour guide.  Her lies, sneers, sarcasms and greed have been well documented for all to see.  But the necessary rhetoric to incite the emotions is there in spades:  sneering, sarcasm, and “reload” directives, so one can understand the attraction she holds for the tea partiers.  And on her part, she can make fun of them and be exactly what they despise and get away with it.   She coyly dismisses the low-economic population that is setting the tone and behavior of the tea partiers.  She calls them Joe Sixpack, which conjures up 1) male figures who 2) sit on their behinds and drink.  Just because a person is economically limited does not mean they are 1) only males and 2) sit instead of working hard and 3) drink away their paychecks.  It is demeaning to this class of hard-working Americans and yet the tea partiers wear the label like a compliment.  She is also sarcastic towards the dreaded “elitist,” which she desperately wants to be.

I agree with her desire.  An elitist, by Webster’s definition, is a great thing to be: the choice or best of a group, class, or the like.  Yet even though she strives to set herself apart from the group that wants her to represent them by demanding a high salary and star treatment, she knows she is not quite there yet.   So her anger is quite real.

In spite of its good purpose, anger is an emotion that has been overused by the tea partiers.  Anger was meant to be an appropriate, healthy response that alerts us to the need for a change in behavior, direction or expectations.

Who can fault anyone for being angry at the two wars we have been carrying for too long, the loss of jobs, income, security, and self-respect, or health care coverage to pay our health care bills?

But she who represents the tea partiers is not angry about any of those.  In fact, she approves of the aggressive war tactics, is making quite enough money for herself, thank you, and slams any attempt to care for the health and well-being of our most vulnerable:  her Joe Sixpacks, our children and elderly.  She has snowed the tea partiers into seeing what they want to see in her, not who she is.  It is sad until you realize it is the choice of the tea partiers to be fooled, so all empathy goes right out the window.  (Which she can probably see because she sees a lot from her windows.)

“False words are not only evil in themselves, but they infect the soul with evil.”  Socrates 

I don’t buy the pleas from tea partiers that declare they are misunderstood, maligned and just plain ole good folks voicing an opinion; that those against their group behavior are “elitists,” “liberals,” or plain old dorky Democrats.  One has only to observe behavior to know character.   Those who proudly proclaim themselves tea partiers and rally behind a public figure who is dishonest, a cheap bully and advocate of fear mongering, are secretly or not so secretly, choosing to create and promote evil.

No one who honors truth and integrity could support what this group is doing.

In pre-WW II Germany, there was an organization that was originally focused on a healthy back-to-nature theme.  However, by the mid 1930s with Hitler’s rise to power, the face of the organization had changed.  Each member was considered a “soldier of an idea” and that the individual worth of each member was the complete surrender to the organization’s views.

Though many tea partiers are middle-aged or older, there is an eerie echo of the Hitler obsessive dedication to a group mentality. No self-respecting member of any group endorses a mob mentality, which is exactly the role the tea partiers have embraced.

What is confusing, though, is why the Republican Party does not see the harm this faction is causing.   Unless…the tea partiers ARE the voice of the Republican Party?


So where do the rest of us go from here?

There are many options.

“He is a man of courage who does not run away, but remains at his post and fights against the enemy.”  Socrates 

The reverse elitist approach the tea partiers use in their separate and conquer tactic is recognized by most Americans for what it truly is:  an anti-religious, anti-spiritual and anti-American movement.

Many people, especially women, are dismayed by the tea partiers’ intention to gain control of government by polarizing this country.  Our religious and our spiritual beliefs focus on healing the coming together of humanity in respect and dignity that mirrors a Divine Source.  It practices the Golden Rule of doing onto others as you would do onto yourself; the biblical directive to treat your fellow human as your brother or sister; the “love thy neighbor” intention.  If the god of the tea partiers who they purport to respect, were to have a second chance at the Ten Commandments, there would be an addendum:  “Incite no mob to violence, no mouth to utter slurs, and no action to shame the love that has created you.”

Write your elected officials and party leaders to insist they speak out publicly against any behavior that exhibits violent rhetoric, racism, discrimination and mob behavior.   Write to every Republican you can and insist the Party denounce this wild faction.  The Republican Party unleashed this fury, now it is time for them to reel it back in.

Vote only for those who reject this hate group movement.  E-mail your news stations and demand that they stop sensationalizing the tea partiers by limiting the video coverage of their antics.  Ask that the news substitute international events for the numerous yells and verbal abuse displayed at these gatherings.   Comment on articles of tea partiers with calm, thoughtful expressions of disapproval for their behavior.   Refuse to support any person, organization or event that promotes this group.  Voice your disapproval when it comes into the conversation.  Talk tolerance, acceptance, diversity, and civil liberties.  Model the appropriate, calm and respectful behavior when voicing an opinion or disagreement.

Or, you can start a quieter movement of one.

Dr. Wayne Dyer, in his book The Power of Intention, refers to research from Dr. David Hawkins, well-known psychiatrist and researcher of kinesiology, in illustrating the notion that one individual can impact thousands.  Based on his ideas of counterbalancing energies, Dr. Hawkins presents the position that one person who is optimistic and non-judgmental of others will counterbalance the negativity of 90,000 individuals who are not; one person who is loving and respectful of life will counterbalance the negativity of 750,000 people who are not; one person who lives in constant peace and spiritual joy will counterbalance the negativity of 10 million people who do not.   Finally, one person who lives in pure, transcended spiritual grace will counterbalance the negativity of 70 million people.

There is no way can I live in pure grace and counterbalance the negativity of 70 million people.   I am too insulted at idiocy, too vulnerable to wants, and just plain too ornery for everybody else’s good.  I might have the chance of affecting 90,000 people, tops.  I can live with that.   Of course, if another person joined me on this first level, that would lessen the negativity of 180,000 people.  A total of 17 people being optimistic and non-judgmental would positively impact my entire home city.  67 optimistic and non-judgmental people would positively impact the whole state.  Perhaps more importantly, I would only need .007 of a person to counterbalance the United States Congress.

These are good enough odds for me.


[A Tea Party bilboard hung in Iowa.  Methinks thy heading was a little too close to home in describing the good ole Tea Party itself.   Under (enlightened) public pressure, the billboard was later removed.]

It’s my Birthday…Got a Wish

It’s my birthday month.  I’m not like most…I love birthdays.  Not the acknowledgment that one gets older, but the chance to tell and be told, that someone else is glad your or their spirit arrived upon this earth.   I have a wish, and since it’s my birthday month, I thought I would share it.  Like, anyone could stop me.  (It’s also an election month.  Lots of wishes there, but I’ll stick to my birthday wish.)

We all share common survival needs for food, clothing, water, shelter, a physical need for safety, predictability and certainty, and a sense of connection and community.  We recognize the frailties of our physical bodies and how close madness is when pitched against the disease of substandard wages and the ongoing torture of unemployment.

The decline started with Reagan, and no president since then prior to Obama changed our nation’s course to protect us economically.  One man…one lone man as president without the backing of Congress…cannot change a lifetime of bad choices in 4 years.  (He might be able to do it in 5, though.)  I cannot find one non-political, objective and mathematical statistics to support the position that Obama caused this and could clean it up in four years.  That doesn’t mean you have to like the man.  Please look beyond the house of mirrors that reflect Obama as the sole instigator of our economic woes (all Europe is fighting as well), and discover the other issues that matter to you, that may be hidden.  I will share with you a fear I have as a very real female…he will protect my rights as a woman…the other candidates will not.

My wish for today is thus:  that all men out there against Obama consider choosing him to help protect me and the women in your lives who matter.  For although we are not a Taliban country yet…the other candidates are sure putting out a welcome mat for them, and I am deeply afraid.  In the end of course…vote your conscience.  All I ask is that if you can protect me as a female, that you do so with your vote.

Vote…it is our only voice to be heard as a united people for one cause:  good leadership and safety through freedom.

— ( c ) St. John 2012

Then We Women Must

There are haters in America peering out from under the sheets of religion, conservatism and family, and creating violence among us.  They crucify spirituality, freedoms, civil liberties, and human dignity, and our politicians are not containing them, but bowing down before their altars of discrimination and rage.

They are the underbelly of America that appalls other nations and they want more than anything to govern the rest of us by their hate, revenge, racism, homophobia, suppression of women, and mob action.

Who are they to be so arrogant as to bully the rest of us!?!

These inciters do not represent us, our sons and daughters, our families.  Our patriotism goes back to “United States,” “one nation,” and  “justice for all.”  We remember the Civil War and learned what history taught us:  we are a diverse people living together, not separate.  We differ with intelligence, not misspelled signs or insulting placards; we listen with respect, not place the crosshairs of rifle sights on the names of those who disagree with us.   We vote our preference, we do not vow to “reload” and attack.

If the powers that be won’t take a public stand against the sarcastic nastiness, the obvious lies, the unabashed prejudices more reminiscent of white cloaks and hoods or SS insignia…

If their political party won’t…

If the media won’t label them fanatics and dangerous…

…then we women must.

We women must speak out against the polarization and for unity; against hatred and for allowing of differences; against racism, homophobia and suppression of women and for diversity, economic equality and freedom over our bodies.

We women must do so and can simply and without fanfare, as our part of the conversation.  We must express our desire for unity, our respect for the dignity of all humans and our willingness to allow in our art, our attitudes and our teachings.

For if we women do not set the course of human events upon the path of intelligence, grace and compassion, it will not get done.

— © St. John 2010

The Legacy of Our Congress (Ouch, That Hurts!)

To garner an objective perspective of our Congress’s current policies and practices, I need a time warp machine that propels me into the future, one hundred years from now.

How would our Congress hold up?

It is the “non-war” wars I would notice first, and how we resolutely refused to learn from them:  Korea, Vietnam, Persian Gulf, and now, Afghanistan and Iraq.  The trust our military men and women put into Congress was blatantly betrayed for its own political gains.  Our freedom of speech and right to protest without repercussions were put at risk in the process.

Then I spotted our children failing to read or use correct grammar.  Education is one of the areas where funds were routinely cut, and classroom sizes increased.  The people we had elected were officially against prioritizing and funding what is absolutely necessary for enhancing and growing the intellectual spirits of our young people.  (Personally, I think Congress doesn’t want to teach or children to think critically, because it would make their political and PAC ads more obviously slanted.)   And, rather than being nurtured, their creative and athletic spirits were completely rejected in favor of funding non-wars.

I heard the church bells ring and saw how our churches went wild.  The extreme “right” movement not only wanted religion dictated into our laws, it wanted only their religion.  The freedom to express individual religious views, separate from state, was nearly governmentalized right out of existence.

Rather than being cultivated and respected, the artistic spirit was belittled and abandoned by society.  Art and music were taken out of our classrooms, and “culture” became associated with silliness.

Congress allowed the continuing destruction of our environment, the slaughter of the American Dream of owning a home, and the loss of our nation’s reputation and subsequent negotiating power.

What would I conclude?

I would conclude that our country was still young, feeling its wings, and that these transgressions of Congress were all part of its growing up.

That makes Congress a teenager now.

The worst kind of teenager.

The worst kind of teenager uses drugs and sex for validation (officials preying on young and vulnerable pages, soliciting sex partners from madams or public bathrooms, taking away women’s health rights towards their bodies, but fully supporting their bodies wrapped around a pole and dancing for entertainment.   These teenagers impulsively follow the pack (whatever their party says, goes) to make an impression on their peers (their contributors, the president and vice president), not the courageous thinkers (the constituents who voted them in).  They’re mouthy to their elders (other countries) because they know it all and the elders are only stupid anyway.

These self-absorbed teenagers are predictable in their behavior.  They give people (France, Germany, Turkey, Russia) the cold shoulder when they don’t give into their demands (go into a preemptive war with us or else), to teach them a lesson.  “I’ll show them they can’t mess with me!” they smugly think.  They look to follow whatever is trendy (whatever buzz words the current lobbyists are using) and watch their peers closely (Homeland Security) to demean and reprimand them if they are “different” (denying civil union rights to homosexuals, continued lower pay for women, continued racist behavior in Jena and elsewhere).  They don’t care about others’ misfortune (disaster victims; third world starvation, aids, genocide) because no one else is in that 4’x4’ space they directly inhabit.  They are too egocentric to see any needs other than their own (veterans’ care kept horrifying substandard).

Our Congress’s conscience has completely disappeared.  Congress has steadfastly refused to mirror a sense of humanity, a sense of being a good family and a good neighbor.

At what point during Congress’s collective set of choices, did it stop being kind and foster good will?  When did Congress decide spirituality, doing the right thing for the right reasons, no longer mattered?

When did we Americans start electing self-serving teenagers to represent us in Congress and in the presidential administration?  For truly, I have come to believe that whoever is President is becoming more and more insignificant… those rogues behind an elected desk in Congress are the ones running our country and ruining our middles class, our stability, and our futures.

It is time we rein in those teenagers, before it is too late.  It is time we as a nation grew up and insisted that only integrity-based people represent us to the rest of the world.

Let us begin to care openly about others, allowing diversity as enriching, not threatening.   Let us continue to support the individuality, achievements, spirits, and bodies of our females.   Let us put money where our values should be, health care, job security, education, and civil freedoms.

Instead of ignoring us, let us remind Congress who really has the power:  its constituents.

Let us re-elect only that small handful of elected officials who protected our rights, our military and our veterans. Let us newly elect only those people who will add maturity, grace and common sense to our governments.

Instead of writing history, let us right history.

— ( c ) St. John 2007, 2012