In the Pause Between Winter and Spring

Between winter and spring,

the dull browns look dirty and the world seems in lack.

There is no green that heals,

No yellow that cheers,

No orange that gives hope,

And no red that brings joy.

With pain of loss, abuse or shame,

the laughter, the hope, the joy, is all gone.

We are stripped down to our skins,

to the rawness of of our soul,

and we don’t know if we will ever come back again to who we were.


in the brown

in the dirt

in the despair,

there is still who we are.

There is still life.

We are not defined by what we show others.

We are defined by what we don’t.

We shall grow,

We shall bloom again.

We are just in the pause between winter and spring.


Dear Republicans:

There are two opposing factions of you who are taking shelter under the Party umbrella.  As we have witnessed with the Trump years and the resulting January 6 insurrection, one is the revived “white christian nationalist” (also known as anti-semitic Nazi) group.  The other is the traditional Republican.


If you are still reading this, I’m going to assume you are a Republican who has remained silent because you are undecided as to which faction you belong. Let me introduce myself. 

Though I am an independent voter, the words Democrat, liberal, progressive, feminist, or whatever, are also words thrown at me to place me in a small box with a label on the side.  I’m proud to be those things, and I’m also proud to be tolerant, compassionate, humanistic, liberal on some issues and conservative in others, and a progressive only when it educates or creates a better quality of life that causes no harm to future generations or other living things.  I am also whatever means “emotionally intelligent”.

I miss you!  I remember my long years in state government, when I would meet someone like yourself, and get into a great conversation and discussion about social problems, solutions, etc.  It was stimulating!  It was fun!  It was thought provoking!  And then your party let Trump into it, and supported him as a viable candidate.

I repeat:


As if the sexual assault accusations against Trump were not enough to give you pause, the fact that he is an immoral, unfaithful, sexist misogynist as proven by the Hollywood Access TV tape, should have.  As also proven by his recorded campaign actions of bullying and making fun of disabled people, lying every time he takes a breath, and exhibiting NO understanding of any social or political issue, for that inhuman creature, he is the ONLY THING that matters.

When Russia was personally invited to interfere with the 2016 election and Trump “won”, you all not only ignored the majority of us who did NOT want him in office, you jumped on his rickety bandwagon and signed on as huge fans.  Then you started trying to force the kool-aid down our throats.  Misery loves company, I suppose. Made me seriously fear you would have supported Halloween’s Michael Myers if he had run, under the chant of Party, Party!!.  (Insert videos from Hitler’s rallies.)

Did you laugh with delight when he allowed Sarah Palin to make fun  of a former first lady in a selfie in front of the official portrait??  Or when he sold cans of beans on the Resolute Oval Office desk?  Perhaps when he thought himself cool in ordering cheap and tacky take out food for a visiting sports team?  Did you crack yourself up and slap your knee and say, “Oh, gosh, that Trump is hilarious, just my kinda guy for the Oval Office!”  You must have, because you DID NOTHING TO REPRIMAND HIM before, during or after any public or sneaky debacle.  Your public tolerance and acceptance of his unethical behavior and nepotism, putting his foolish children in our faces TO RUN OUR COUNTRY (which they all failed at but got richer from, may I just say), is repulsive.

Further and increasingly serious, you ignored his private meetings and public praise of Putin and his love affair with Kim Jung of North Korea.  You dangerously dismissed all these signs of his devotion to an Authoritarin government, his bullying of Ukraine’s president in an attempted bribery scheme, shaming and falsely smearing the reputations of people standing up for the truth of what he was trying to do – gain power for himself.  He may still be doing it with the witnesses to the January 6 Committee Hearings, exhibiting possible leanings towards witness tampering (oh, gosh, oh, my, what a total surprise). 

And his Trump business organization – oh, good grief.  You even ignored THAT!  His university was nonexistent, but he kept the money until he had to give it back.  His charity was nonexistent, but he kept the money until he had to give it back.  Were not all or nearly all, of his business attempts failures?  He appeared to have  pimped his property while squatting in the Oval Office under the guise of hosting dignitaries and government events.  HE HELD A POLITICAL RALLY ON THE GOVERNMENT WHITE HOUSE LAWN, FOR GAWD’S SAKE…and still, you were silent. 

Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, said in his Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech on Dec. 10, 1986:

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”

As threatening and dangerous as it was, you went into nearly orgasmic glee in your support of Mitch McConnell’s defying all rules to put a handmaiden, political activist, and a rapist on the Supreme Court to start taking away the voting and civil rights of your targets.  You probably knew ahead of us all that the wife of intolerant, discriminatory, state-is-the-church-and-I-am-it Clarence Thomas, is a behind-the-scenes insurrectionist. 


Your standards had fallen so low at this point, I imagine it was just a matter of an inch or so of rolling over a bit to find yourself completely in the gutter.

To the majority of Americans, who include constituents, Trump’s squatting in the Oval Office and shitting on everything historic, of value and integrity was shocking and appalling.  His defiance of our liberties, freedoms and pursuits of happiness and appointing lawyers who will enforce gender discrimination and religious persecution, is horrendously not surprising.

And when came the 2020 election, Trump’s criminal-like allies/appointees and family were rightfully ousted from our government.  And yet…you know what is coming…a well-organized, self-serving propaganda movement of LIES to stop the transfer of power took over.  Trump and your Party could have taught Nazi Joseph Goebbels lessons in messaging.  You sanction traitor behavior in Congress, heavily support faux Fox “News”, promote the likes of unhygienic Steve Bannon and mentally ill Alex Jones on the airwaves. You promoted lies to the denials who needed to believe them. LIES to the majority of Americans who knew better.  LIES to the world who felt unspeakable fear for our democracy.  Globally, you Republicans turned us into a nightmare of disgrace to our world allies.  Only the dictatorships of Russia, North Korea, etc., like kids when a favorite puppet is tightly held, were excited with the possibility of a coup against our government and democracy.  You are to blame for this monstrosity we are facing that parallels the rise of the Nazi Party and Hitler in Germany, make no mistake about it. 

But wait.  With Republicans in charge, it continued to worsen for our country.  Much worse.

January 6 arrived with the denials intending to kill people and overturn the government so the Trump and his loyalists could stay in power.  That’s when you Republicans started appearing on Fox News to say things like, “The election was stolen, the election was stolen, we are all doomed!”  (Put to “chiken little” music, please.)   You used words like, oh, I dunno…tourist…selfies…smiling crowds…peaceful protests…hang Mike Pence…drag Nancy Pelosi down the steps by her head to kill her…you know, the usual “visitors on a tour” semantics. 

During the insurrectionists’ rioting, Republican legislators secretly made calls to the White House to save their lives.  After briefly speaking the truth and remarking at the horror, those same Republicans got back up, brushed themselves off, and started all over again.  Afterwards?  After people were killed and multiple injured, and the insurrectionists were contained, did they acknowledge it then?  When it is well-known as an attack on our Democracy, and more and more evidence to support that it was brought about by the inciting of Trump himself, did they or any of you embrace the truth? 

No acknowledgement of the coup upon our governmental democracy, and the violence against the Capitol Police and threatened violence against our Congress, was a Party position.  In fact, your RNC chair – dear gawd, help us all – led the bandwagon.  Were there protests from you?





Rather…more of your usual silence.


Getting still worse.  When Trump was forced to stop to save his own orange skin, he and his second immigrant and third wife petulantly refused to attend the inauguaration, refused to show even the slightest courtesy to the incoming President and First Lady, steadfastly unwilling to relinguish the power of the presidency.  He was FORCED to do the latter.  Now, two years later, we are suffering with how he has damaged the unshakable integrity of our post office, and the voting system.  Well…wait, I forgot some little detail.  You WANT him to destroy our voting system, because we won’t vote for fascism, gender discrimination, misogyny, religious persecution and intolerance, which means we won’t vote for you.  Makes sense to destroy the voting rights, then, if you are an anti-semitic, white supremacist fascist such as the Republican Party is now. 

Trump is now stumbling his way back into the public, promoting the known LIE,  seeking militaristic gang power for himself, badmouthing our democracy and wanting to destroy it.  And your candidates who are cowering before and sucking up to HIM…not the Party, not the truth, not integrity…are they publicly dismissed by you?  Oh, heck, no…sorry, I forgot to whom I was speaking for a moment.  You are still doing it.  STILL.  You are now remaining silent to these resurrected atrocities.


It has taken the January 6 Committee hearings to finally and with dignity and evidence, present the ultimate truths to our nation, and the world.  And yet, the two Republicans who are seated on this committee have suffered at your hands for doing the right thing objectively, professionally, morally, ethically, and legally, because the thing your darkness fears the most, is any kind of light. “Must be destroyed,” you shout, no doubt.

The nightmarish truth is, the “white christian nationalists” started up multiple years ago, and Trump has fully revised that hatred under the name of “far right conservatives.” But we all know that’s another lie or two.  But hey, what’s a couple more when you are in the gutter any way, right? 

We Americans are not as stupid as you want us to be, in spite of your dumbing down America by defunding education and banning books.  We ARE BEARING WITNESS TO THE “white christian nationalists’ movement as anti-semitic, misogynistic, and militaristic.  It has cemented itself as your Party’s version of homegrown racist Nazis.

Congratulations, you have created your own Hitler.  Is your arm getting tired yet from saluting so much?

And what of the Constitutional directive of “separation of church and state”?  Oh, heck, just dust on your shoe, you can brush that off.  Even not-hanged-and-still-alive Mike Pence isn’t willing to separate his version of church from any role in government.  To him, they are the same.  I guess with his new book, “So Help Me, God”, the publishers thought, “So Help Me, Mother” was a bit offputting, to say the least, and went with God instead, huh?  You do know his own home state rejected him and might not even vote for him, right? Is Pence the best you got then??  Pathetic.  Your own beloved Ronald Regan said, “We establish no religion in this country.  We command no worship.  We mandate no belief, nor will we ever.  Church and state are and must remain separate.”  Thanks to Mitch McConnell, your party took that speech, tore it to shreds, and gave it to Trump and his Supreme Court for toilet paper.  Mr. Reagan must be looking down upon Republicans with a nasty frown.  (True) Christianity is a practice…not a government.

This bears repeating: the great majority of Americans, many of who are constituents and trusted legislators to do what they hired them to do (represent them), do not want this ugly movement to continue. And yet you Republicans are publicly supporting the leader of our country’s version of racist Nazis out of fear. You are sickened, not at the “potential” criminal wrongdoings Trump has committed, but at the idea of displeasing HIM, your Party’s new leader.

Grow UP, will you?  Man up! Woman up! You aren’t just letting constituents down, you are destroying your own Party with your silence, and the impact of your past leaders, such as Abraham Lincoln and  Theodore Roosevelt. 

Speak up and against this attack on our democracy, integrity and freedoms. Take your Party back! I miss you!  I miss the discussions, the realization that our country needs more than one party, and together, the members enhance our political and governmental systems.  I miss talking politics!  I don’t want to talk criminal acts and violence any more.  I don’t want to talk about misogynists reducing women to breeding animals and refusing civil liberties to people who are different.  I am about to puke over this “I work for Jesus” shit, when that Jesus is white and Catholic.  FYI – Jesus was a brown Jew who started his own radical movement.  He was neither white nor a christian.  (Yes, you have to point that last part out to people.  It’s sad.)

Because of you…the public acceptance of the barbarity of Trump, his family and allies, your Party is no more.  Now the Republican Party has become synonymous with broken promises, white male rapists and terrorists, propaganda without truth, denying civil liberties for our diverse populations, eliminating freedoms for women, censoring education in our schools, betraying veterans, and destroying our planet.  YUK.  Your Party stinks!  And it’s dangerous. 

But maybe it’s too late for you to save it.  A wound can only grow so much pus and toxicity before the skin turns gangrene.  I think the best the rest of us can do is kick every dang, ugly-souled Republican off the ticket and out of office.  Another intelligent, ethical and integrity-based party will grow in your Party’s spot.  And you can sit in your chair on a warm winter’s night in front of a burning fire, and tick off the counts of charges that hopefully will be brought against Trump and all his allies.  Perhaps including you.

Good night and good bye, Republican Party. 

Note:  this article is an opinion piece and based on the sole observations of the author, who does hold in high regard another faction of the Republican Party, more humane and rare:  the folks who know, respect and seek the truth. Such as:

  • Republican Accountability Project (formerly, Republican Voters Against Trump) members;
  • The Lincoln Project members; 
  • White House staffers and Trump campaigners and appointees appearing before the January 6 Committee hearings to share the truth;
  • Individual Republicans such as Steve Schmidt, Sully Sullenberger, Liz Cheney, Adam Kinzinger, to name only a few.

Handsome-est Contest

The headline announced the crowning of the International Beauty Contest winner.  This sort of headline always brings to mind what my beautiful, intelligent, gifted mother-in-law once remarked:  “Until we get rid of beauty contests, women will never be equal.”  I was 25 years old at the time and wasn’t sure what she meant.  Through the decades that followed, it became painfully clear what she meant, and I’ll be damned…she was right. 

Men don’t have handsome contests.  They don’t strut in speedos or dress up in tuxedos to answer questions about what will save mankind, and then twirl batons as their talent.  Men don’t parade with banners across their chests at rodeos, state fairs, car races, or on state stages to be crowned king of handsomeness, and then turn around to see if they can win the country’s king of handsomeness, and then – wait! There is yet more to come – turn around some more to see if they can become king of international handsomeness.  There is no international restaurant chain with a crude title named after a personal part of their body. 

Men feel handsome however they look.  They do not dress up to be compared and judged, they don’t give a shit what you think.  Take them or leave them and by gawd, if you leave them, that’s YOUR problem, not theirs. They are proud of their body parts but won’t consent to Hooters naming a subchain of restaurants after them, called “Ballsies”, because they refuse to be reduced to serving food to you in a logoed jock strap.

Men still tend to earn more than women.  Men could always vote.  Men could always own land and open a credit card.  Men have always been president of the United States.  In novels, books and magazines, men are not first described by what they are wearing, or ranked on whether it is fashionable or not.  They know it is their brain and their talents that count, but hey, they know they look good, too, no need to point it out. 

Little girls are still complimented the most on how pretty they look, not on their top grades, interests or skills. The one universal day recognized in a woman’s life by all of society making her the center of attention, is her wedding day – because there is (usually) a man involved. Women’s magazines flood the reader with improvement ads:  skin, hair, lips, clothes, body.  Men’s magazines flood the reader with national news, repair and home upkeep, funding and investment research.  When a woman becomes married, she truly is the wife of the house. She makes it a home, but she still also covers most of the housekeeping while working forty hours a week or the caregiver of the couple’s children.

Aging men are not demeaned because of wrinkles, gray hair, or broader tummies.  They are admired for hanging with partners 20-40 years younger than they are, and the movies often reinforce this role.  They have sex whenever they can because they do not have a womb, so getting pregnant is not their problem.  They do not feel responsible for the babies that are produced, but at their insistent right to ownership of female wombs, the babies must be born.  Females are not allowed to age.  Women are rejected because of wrinkles, gray hair or broader tummies.  “Anti-aging” media campaigns target females.  You can be 50 only if you look 30.  You can be 60 only if you look 40. And that look is determined by the makers of lotions, creams, lipsticks, foundations, eye makeup, hair products, etc., who are filling their pockets with the socially instilled insecurities. 

How do we protect our little girls and young women from these hypocrisies and falsehoods? 

As my mother-in-law implied, we must first get rid of beauty contests.  What is “beauty” after all, but an energy that defies definitions.  It is varied, glorious, intriguing, charming, structural.  There are always social norms glorifying specific versions of beauty…in one culture, huge rings in the mouth to extend the lips and face is considered beautiful.  In another, height above 62 inches is egregious. Blue eyes here…brown eyes there.  You get the point. 

Why get rid of beauty contests?  Because beauty is art.  Imagine walking into an art museum and being forced to compare all works of art to each other, and then pick one…ONE…that is supposedly, “the best”.  The best of what, exactly?  Is it not foolish to put “beauty” into a narrowly defined slot, when in actuality, it cannot be captured in one form and not another form?  We all know the woman who strikes us as powerfully magnetic that is beyond logic.  Great bone structure is obvious and when it isn’t, we are confused because it is something we can’t point our finger to.  It is unsettling when something happens inside that person that reaches out into her space and makes her irresistible to us or others. 

Why stop beauty competitions?  Because beauty cannot be defined.  It has no social consistency and brutally sets women against women for the most superficial of superficial values.  It keeps women distracted from their real power of intelligence, wisdom, compassion, talents, and sensualities.  It delays or prevents women from gathering with other like-minded and able women, and making major differences in the world together.

Beauty contests need to be eliminated because the “scholarships and opportunities” given only to the winner should be given to all women, regardless of social popularity.  Because men were smart enough to not have them for themselves.  Because women are not objects, but human beings.  Because each woman has beauty within, and has a right to own it. 

We know better now.  We and all our young women and little girls, deserve to be seen, loved, and cherished for our true worth as a human being. 

My mother-in-law knew that, and she was right. 

To children and moms on Mother’s Day 2017

After weeks of cold and thunderstorms and gray days, today is beautiful.  The sun shines, the breeze blows and my balcony beckons.

There is a young mother on the grounds of my condo building, playing with her son who is about 4-5 years of age. There is delight in her and happiness in him. It reminds me of the times I spent with my own son while he was growing up.

My son and I shared a special bond in his early years that held my life together by the love and awe that only a woman can feel towards the life she has produced. Though I only had the one child, I have always been profoundly grateful for my son’s conception and development in my body, and the gift of giving birth to a full, separate human being.

The child-upon-my-lawn is full of joy. He bats a ball to his mother with supreme glee while she struggles to catch it and toss it back. She expresses shock at his prowess, pride in his stroke. He tries harder to be better. He misses, she laughs and grabs him in a hug as they both slip to the ground in laughter.

I remember those days of play, and a picnic in the snow (“The Winter Picnic” by Robert Welber) that froze my behind and fingers. Memories of reading to my son at night…trying to find answers to his questions on life and the behaviors of others…these flood my consciousness, and I am in peace.  I am thankful to have not only given life to programs…projects…but to relationships.

The little boy in my yard waves to a helicopter overhead that is coming in for a landing at the nearby airpark. I smile. Though I know the pilot and passengers don’t see, I still want to wave, every time, too. My childhood is still within me.

From the corner of my building, the father walks around and joins the fun. The family of three gives me unexpected hope in the future.

I know many women who are single mothers; children who have been abandoned; husband and fathers who neglect their children and mothers. I know too many children who have grown up to make choices that have cost them their health, families and tragically in some cases, their lives.

Yet today…in the sun soaked backyard of my condo, all is well, and life is good.

On this eve of Mother’s Day, I say with profound gratitude, I am happy that love still exits in units. That children still matter to so many. Ultimately, I’m glad love is so powerful. A mother will always be a mother, and nothing upon this earth ever changes that relationship to her child(ren), and rippling outward, to the world. Because of my own motherhood, I have learned to love the child in adults. I share their dreams…innocence…and struggles. They will never be alone, if they are in my space.

To all my fellow moms…happy Mother’s Day. May you continue to be honored every day of your life for all the love you awaken in yourself, and others.

Dear Mr. Mitch McConnell, a Few Questions:

As a graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law (1967), I am perplexed as to why you fear a placement on the Supreme Court?   I am assuming you studied the law at the University, and understand that the Constitution and its intentions are meant to be respected, honored and followed, to the best of someone’s ability.

  • Are you fearful of the Constitution’s intent?
  • Do you lack courage to do the right thing, or are you naturally an anxious person?
  • Has this recent nominee made judgments against your top campaign donors (NRA etc.), and you are afraid of losing their funding?

As a law student, obstruction to justice, obstructing the law – such as promoting the blockade of a Supreme Court justice nomination – you learned that it is not only unethical, but illegal.  Yet you are choosing to be unethical and perhaps, illegal.

  • Why are you willing to break your oath to uphold the law?
  • Why does the oath you took to serve the citizens of your country no longer mean anything to you?

I am confused why you are personally against the President of the United States to the point where you continually show disrespect for the position.  You have done little else but try to thwart the good the President has accomplished while personally demeaning the man.

  • Are you prejudiced against darker skinned people?
  • Are you personally threatened by President Obama’s thoughtful, gracious approach?
  • Is there jealousy involved?

The NRA contributed heavily to your re-election campaign.  You insist they approve the nominee.

  • What was the selling price?  How much was the trust of the citizens of Kentucky worth?
  • Did the NRA treat the citizens of Kentucky to dinner and buy them flowers first?

You were voted into office to represent the citizens of Kentucky.  But your confrontational actions are affecting me in my state, too.  In fact, you are systematically destroying the backbone of the United States you (supposedly) represent…its middle class, its women and children.

  • Are most Kentucky citizens bigoted like you?
  • Do most Kentucky citizens want women demeaned, education destroyed, and the working class eroded?
  • If not, who – besides your own personal agenda – are you representing?

One last concern.

I continue to read your “stances”, and I wonder if you ever feel shame for your behavior, or guilt that you, as a grown-up, who is in such an influential position, has no awareness of the common good…or guilt for being so openly and proudly hostile, in how you treat others who may think or act differently than you.

  • Do you really…really…believe you are earning your lifetime pay and benefits, and leaving a legacy that children want to grow up and emulate?
  • Do you really…really…believe you get re-elected after abusing your position so?

You have a pattern.  Whenever you have a choice between money and ethics or the law, you choose the money.  When you do not get your way, you become uncooperative and belligerent.

  • How do you define “wisdom”?
  • Do you have any answers at all, that the intelligent, wise and mature in our society would describe as common sensed?

Inquiring minds want to know.