3.14.2018,9:23 AM
The Echo Chambers
Quotes from a newly released book — “Trumpocracy: The Corruption of the American Democracy” by David Frum, a senior Editor at The Atlantic.

A few excerpts from the introduction:

“President Trump has plunged the government of the United States into chaos that enhances his personal power.”

“He has persuaded millions of Americans to ignore information they need as fake news from a corrupt media.”

“He has allowed foreign states and local politicians to tamper with the integrity of American elections to his own benefit.”

“He demands that high officials disregard the law in favor of personal loyalty to him.”

“He has concentrated power in the hands of military men—better men than himself, but not the right hands for the job of civilian government.”

“He has alienated allies, appeased large enemies, and goaded small ones to the edge of war.”

“He has brutally inflamed the ethnic and class divisions that empowered him in the first place.”

“He has enriched himself in government in a way that disheartens every honest public official, and invites dishonest ones to imitate him.’

“But that cannot be the final word—and it will not be. We can choose our futures, not merely submit to them. Past generations of Americans have faced and overcome severer tests.”

We already know. But then again, what we know, and believe, flies in the face of what Teumo’s followers know and believe.

I don’t listen to the daily scandals and drama anymore (in all politics). It’s just as insipid and nauseating as the drama and gossip encounters in middle and high school. Their voices are talking heads and most what I see and hear is dirty laundry. I pay attention to what they do, and don’t do. And I’ve stepped out of the echo chamber.

Perhaps I’m jaded and disillusioned.  It is astounding and incredulous that in today’s modern world, and in a country that contributed to human and ecological advancement, people can be so hoodwinked, blind, and self-centered, even at their own deficit.

Rather than having my energy drained, it goes into what I can do, especially at the local level and with my votes.
posted by Macrobe
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2.13.2018,6:45 AM
The Dutchess!
Watching 'The Last Dukes' on PBS. Of Britain, of course.
All the pageantry, fuss, regality, enormity. The gigantic, and I mean very pregnant domiciles with pom-pom shrubs and expanses of green lawn (where's the sheep?).

I proclaim myself the landless Duchess of Nevermore! I reign over the snow piles pure from male dogs, the crows announce my presence, and I march with a shovel in my hand! 

I pay homage to Noone in the Kingdom of Winterblust, and the emblem for my duchessdom is a lake monster: a howling wolf with fins and a weird tail. My peasants are the birds, but they seem to have left for greener territory. How jolly can we be!

Where's my kilt?............
posted by Macrobe
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11.14.2017,9:20 PM
The Eternal Question
"Was it as good for you as it was for me?"

posted by Macrobe
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11.11.2017,7:38 PM
Veterans. Every day.
The restaurant  where my daughter works at in Eugene, OR, had free meals to all veterans today. She visited at the 'community' table full of vets of all ages, where they all shared stories. Some were in tears. She was in tears with them. Her Dad is a Vietnam vet, wounded in action. She understood their pain and camaraderie.

Some of you have been in war. Some of you may have lost a family member, classmates, friends. Many vets return home but are never the same, still lost.

A few veterans have told me that there is honor but no glory in war. There is only pain, of the body or the spirit. Many times both. No one wins, everyone loses.

This was also related to me by a veteran from Afghanistan, who was wounded and lost his spleen, a kidney, and part of his liver. He rode the TRE train that I rode, sometimes in the morning, sometimes late afternoon. He could not work due to his injuries which will never fully heal. He was half-Apache and lived with his sister near Fort Worth. He had severe depression since returning and had to travel to the veterans' clinic in Dallas every week for treatments.

He has been riding the train to the Veteran's Clinic almost every weekday for several years to volunteer working with other returning veterans to give them moral support. He told me that I was the first one that sat next to him on the train with a smile and a "Good morning". In all those years.

He never told me his story until weeks after we had first met and we sat together when seats allowed. He explained that he and so many other returning vets exist in a different world than everyone else. No one can know what they experienced unless they were also there. Some never talk about it and try to find solace in drugs or alcohol. He chose not to go that route because he is Apache, and that is not what his people do. But many others do, and that is why he volunteers: to help them find some peace within themselves.

I know many veterans that talk about their time in the military. My ex-husband did not; its locked away in a dark place and he won't let that demon out. Maybe that is why he is a recurring alcoholic. It destroyed our marriage.

Other than the two World Wars, our country has mired itself in wars on alien soil that don't have to be our wars. Where is the glory in wars that our governing administration has no taste of the reality of war? Are our husbands, wives, sons, daughters, sisters and brothers expendable pawns sent off to political wars and often ignored after they return? How long must this go on?

About two months before I retired, my friend disappeared from the train. I asked one of the conductors if he had seen him. He remembered him because of his limp, solemn face and long black hair. He had not seen him for several weeks, in the am nor the pm. I missed him. He was hope for strength, perseverance, and compassion.

During our last conversation, he admitted that his depression had gotten worse and no medication was helping. He asked me if I would accompany him to a movie sometime as a friend. Movies helped him escape his pain. I replied that I would be honored to. I gave him my phone number, but I never heard from him. And I worry for why I never saw him on the train again.

This is how I grieve on Veterans Day. And how I honor veterans, the  living and the dead.

For all that have served, fallen, and those that live on, may the dove be your guide.

"The dove she is a pretty bird,
She sings as she flies.
She brings us glad tidings,
And tells us no lies.

Come all you young men,
take a warning by me.
Don't go for a soldier,
don't join no army.
For the dove she will leave you
and the raven will come
And death will come marching
to the beat of a drum.

Come all you pretty young girls,
come walk in the sun.
And don't let your young men
ever carry a gun
For the gun it will scare her
and she'll fly away
And then there'll be weeping
by night and by day.

Well the dove she's a pretty bird,
she sings as she flies.
She brings us glad tidings
and she tells us no lies
She flies in the mountains
and the valley so low.
And if you live peaceful
then she never will go."

- lyrics by Ewan McCall.
posted by Macrobe
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11.10.2017,7:32 AM
What is your story?
"No matter how little you have, you'll always have your story."

If no one hears or reads your story, it's still yours. And that is what makes our lives: stories.

But those stories overlap and intertwine with other people's stories. You are the narrator of your story and a character in other stories. You read other people's stories the minute you meet them; when your eyes meet, you see the first page even though the cover may change.

Sometimes, the world around may fade into the background while you both read each other's stories. And that's all we have.

Many times, that's all we need.

posted by Macrobe
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7.21.2017,9:59 PM
Rest In Peace, Chester Bennington
Sad to hear about the untimely death of Chester Bennington, lead singer of Linkin' Park.

His voice and lyrics have been a private source of connection for over a decade. And the band's peace activism has been admirable.

Listened to some Chester Bennington and Linkin' Park sitting near the lake tonight.

It's amazing how music, songs, can open a locked door of memories and flood the the mind and body. And you are taken back in time, 'crawling in your skin.'  His voice was ours.

Damn. Another good soul lost.
Many of us will miss you and your voice, Chester.

posted by Macrobe
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1.21.2017,2:54 PM
Not my President!!!

posted by Macrobe
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,2:40 PM
Between Sky and Ground

I come from the places
Between the sky and the ground
Always moving
And never found.

I’ve tasted love
But like a river
It’s flowed away
Always out of grasp.

posted by Macrobe
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