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Friday, November 11, 2016

You Mean ANTI-Social Media?

A writing in which I reveal how I voted and why...

To be accurate, this is where I reveal how I didn't vote and why.

I didn't vote for either leading candidate, and the fallout from last Tuesday's election affirms my decision. Here in the state of California, I had the luxury of making my presidential vote a statement - if only to myself and those who know how I voted - because the outcome for the presidential race isn't altered one whit by my vote when the Electoral College votes are counted. No, this isn't a screed about abolishing the Electoral College. If anything, it's a screed about abolishing the uncivil discourse we now take for granted on Facebook and other social media. 

Friends? Stop. Just stop.

In your passionate response to the election results, you are defaming, demeaning, and labeling YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS who exercised their right to disagree with you in their vote! You're doing, or supporting, the very things you accused the opposite side's supporters of having up their sleeve!

This is a hard truth to absorb for those who were and still are passionately committed to their candidate, but here's why some of your friends didn't vote for your guy or gal... and it's not because your friends are racist, sexist, knuckle-dragging, America-hating, bleeding-hearted, ignorant, uneducated, panty-waisted, misogynist, will-fall-for-anything, or any other derogatory adjective: Clinton and Trump are deeply flawed representatives of the parties for which they ran, and they don't represent what millions of your fellow Americans believe is best about our political process. Clinton not only came with a huge load of baggage, but she was identified early on as not capturing the spirit and enthusiasm of Millennials and plenty of other Democrats and progressives. A hugely wealthy, senior, white woman was the DNC's choice, despite all evidence that she wasn't the best choice. As for the other candidate, Donald Trump is no more a conservative Republican than I am a baboon. Millions of voters who are as American, as intelligent, as concerned about this country's future as anyone else, couldn't vote for him in good conscience because of his deep flaws and questionable dedication to conservative ideals. The Republican Party rejected him until he shockingly beat down all other Republican contenders, including those who have represented such values throughout their careers!

So... somehow we ended up with two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in U.S. history. 

Although I've watched many of my fellow voters be browbeaten for doing what I am about to tell you I did, here goes: I voted for a write-in candidate. As I said, California goes Democrat in the presidential election and there's the Electoral College to consider, so my single vote wasn't going to swing this thing one way or the other. My write-in didn't file to be considered as a write-in, so he wasn't going to win even if millions of others voted for him. (For all I know, thousands did.) 

What made up my mind to write in his name? When the ugliest phase of mudslinging began, back when there were still multiple candidates but the field was narrowing by the week, this candidate dipped one toe in the muck and mire and made a personal insult against one of his competitors. Within a day or so, he publicly apologized, noted that he needed to be an example to his children and wouldn't engage in that behavior again. And he didn't. He is lightyears more qualified to serve as president than Trump, but he got winnowed out in the silly season that was Election 2016. 

I'm sad about that. I'm sad that any number of strong candidates didn't hang in there and end up on the ballot. That doesn't mean, however, that I felt compelled to vote for one of the two leading contenders because of the little letter that followed their names on the ticket - and there's the problem with this particular election (and every other one), I believe: That little (D) or (R) isn't a magic charm. If you take that designation away, you quickly realize that your guy or gal this election didn't represent the highest tenets of the two top parties. Recognizing that fact made it easy for me to write in the name of someone who, IMHO, does. 

It also makes it easy to stay out of the slugfest that's happening now, still, days after the election. I'm as willing as anyone to throw blame at the media, who really do need to reexamine their function in our democratic republic. I'm willing to throw blame at DNC and RNC party leadership, who have been so terribly out of touch with the majority of the country. I'm not, however, willing to post articles on Facebook and other social media that snarkily call my family, friends, and neighbors all kinds of ugly names because they didn't agree with me in this vote. I didn't have a dog in this race, and it was liberating. 

The people around us are the same people they were last Tuesday morning before the tables were turned. There are some folks who are out there wreaking destructive havoc right now, but the vast majority of American voters truly voted their conscience and went with either Clinton or Trump. The rest of us voted our conscience and chose neither of two hugely unpopular candidates. 



Monday, January 2, 2012

A poem in memory of a friend, passed away on New Year's Eve

The Great Lover
by Rupert Brooke


I have been so great a lover: filled my days
So proudly with the splendour of Love's praise,
The pain, the calm, and the astonishment,
Desire illimitable, and still content,
And all dear names men use, to cheat despair,
For the perplexed and viewless streams that bear
Our hearts at random down the dark of life.
Now, ere the unthinking silence on that strife
Steals down, I would cheat drowsy Death so far,
My night shall be remembered for a star
That outshone all the suns of all men's days.
Shall I not crown them with immortal praise
Whom I have loved, who have given me, dared with me
High secrets, and in darkness knelt to see
The inenarrable godhead of delight?
Love is a flame:--we have beaconed the world's night.
A city:--and we have built it, these and I.
An emperor:--we have taught the world to die.
So, for their sakes I loved, ere I go hence,
And the high cause of Love's magnificence,
And to keep loyalties young, I'll write those names
Golden for ever, eagles, crying flames,
And set them as a banner, that men may know,
To dare the generations, burn, and blow
Out on the wind of Time, shining and streaming . . . .

These I have loved:
White plates and cups, clean-gleaming,
Ringed with blue lines; and feathery, faery dust;
Wet roofs, beneath the lamp-light; the strong crust
Of friendly bread; and many-tasting food;
Rainbows; and the blue bitter smoke of wood;
And radiant raindrops couching in cool flowers;
And flowers themselves, that sway through sunny hours,
Dreaming of moths that drink them under the moon;
Then, the cool kindliness of sheets, that soon
Smooth away trouble; and the rough male kiss
Of blankets; grainy wood; live hair that is
Shining and free; blue-massing clouds; the keen
Unpassioned beauty of a great machine;
The benison of hot water; furs to touch;
The good smell of old clothes; and other such--
The comfortable smell of friendly fingers,
Hair's fragrance, and the musty reek that lingers
About dead leaves and last year's ferns. . . .
Dear names,
And thousand other throng to me! Royal flames;
Sweet water's dimpling laugh from tap or spring;
Holes in the ground; and voices that do sing;
Voices in laughter, too; and body's pain,
Soon turned to peace; and the deep-panting train;
Firm sands; the little dulling edge of foam
That browns and dwindles as the wave goes home;
And washen stones, gay for an hour; the cold
Graveness of iron; moist black earthen mould;
Sleep; and high places; footprints in the dew;
And oaks; and brown horse-chestnuts, glossy-new;
And new-peeled sticks; and shining pools on grass;--
All these have been my loves. And these shall pass,
Whatever passes not, in the great hour,
Nor all my passion, all my prayers, have power
To hold them with me through the gate of Death.
They'll play deserter, turn with the traitor breath,
Break the high bond we made, and sell Love's trust
And sacramented covenant to the dust.
----Oh, never a doubt but, somewhere, I shall wake,
And give what's left of love again, and make
New friends, now strangers. . . .
But the best I've known
Stays here, and changes, breaks, grows old, is blown
About the winds of the world, and fades from brains
Of living men, and dies.
Nothing remains.

O dear my loves, O faithless, once again
This one last gift I give: that after men
Shall know, and later lovers, far-removed,
Praise you, 'All these were lovely'; say, 'He loved.'

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Cats and Dogs

It seems to me that cats and dogs fill that gap that develops in long-lasting human relationships. . . when you've lived with someone long enough that you no longer gaze for long seconds into his or her limpid eyes without awkwardness or a desire to be the first to look away. Dogs and cats, on the other hand, gaze unabashedly into their humans' eyes - tenderly, adoringly, loyally. No embarrassment, no jokes to break the awkward silence. . . just long, silent looks that speak volumes.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Your editorial bias is showing. . .

Charming No More: Strauss-Kahn Braces for the Wrath of American Puritanism


"Puritanism"? Really? "Puritanism"?? Because sexual assault and attempted rape are illegal?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Rain in the Forecast. . . Check

Weed-blocking fabric made from corn. . . Check.

Organic compost. . . Check.

Organic leeks by the dozen. . . Check.

Rain in the forecast. . . Check.

Thank you, God, for gardens and gardening.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Robbing (Fiscally Responsible) Peter to Pay ("A Day Late, A Dollar Short") Paul

The California legislature and governor have presented a new budget. . . one that "borrows" money from local government and special districts to pay bills at the state level. Hmm. . . I think we voted this option down in a special election just a few months ago. At least, I THOUGHT that's what the ballot read.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

For Those of Us Who Are Clutter-Challenged. . .

Organizing for Life: Declutter Your Mind to Declutter Your World Organizing for Life: Declutter Your Mind to Declutter Your World by Sandra Felton


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
This book is a heavy-duty read. It's not about how to organize your house: It's about why many of us have difficulty doing so. A thought-provoking and sometimes disturbing read, it addresses issues such as self-esteem, alcoholic parents, attention deficit, etc., etc. Author Felton doesn't condemn; rather, she offers hope and concrete suggestions for the perennially disorganized and clutter-challenged.


View all my reviews.