Making it better

Light Side

If you hate Hillary Clinton it has nothing to do with her, and everything to do with you.

If you hate Hillary Clinton it is because you have been duped. If you still hate her today – that means you are sticking ferociously to your ill-gotten belief. That means you have chosen to believe the rash of lies that have been told about her for decades. It means you were sucked into the whirlwind of fake news bots that descended on our country. It means you’ve fallen for propaganda from another country. It means you are under the influence of a vast marketing genius from the rich elite who are wanting to keep you under the control of their false promises.

If you hate Hillary Clinton… you have the ability to change… and that will change the world.

If you hate Hillary Clinton ‘YOU’ are the problem.

Understanding this puts all the power in your hands. You can stop, take a breath, admit that you have been duped, that it’s not your fault. You can see it now; you can change. The second that you choose to change you will start to change my world; our collective world.

It’s possible to change in a second by simply raising your head up above the cloud of smoke and mirrors… to where the clear blue sky still shines. Find a world where clarity of thought and vision still lives, where the lies don’t capture your attention. It’s simply a choice to raise up.

You can change your mind and start talking about it. You can put your blame in the direction it deserves. Put your blame on the people who have filled your media feeds with lies. Put the blame on those guys on television who have spent millions so they can be in front of you whipping up fear and distrust.

Take a breath and relax. Start seeing her for who she is: a person like you who tried to do something, a person who is short and has funny hair, a person who tried to deal in the moment with something she didn’t understand, a person who got caught in the whirlwind of hateful chatter that engulfed our nation. She is what she is. You are what you are.

You can change. When you change that changes everything. That will save the world.

jobs for all
How progressives can create jobs for all.

It’s not rocket science… if we want a world where everyone has value, then let’s simply guarantee jobs. Imagine how much can get done. Here is a great article that outlines how it would work, what it would cost, and how it would benefit society in the long run.

You’re Hired!

Dear Republicans,

It matters that Russia interfered with our elections. This has nothing to do with which party won, it has to do with the fact the everybody lost.

The reason it matters is because Russia’s purpose was to prove that democracy doesn’t work and they did it through the ONLY means that it can be broken: corrupting the minds of the people themselves with misinformation.

Democracy relies on an intelligent and morally upright populace to elect representatives. When we turn around and elect someone who is mean, spiteful, uninformed and out of touch then we ruin ourselves. When we, ourselves, are mean, spiteful, unformed and out of touch then we ruin ourselves.

The real hack from the Russians was the erosion of our moral centers by lies and beligerance.

This is what we now need to overcome. Please look in your hearts and take a pause. Is this person you are today a reflection of who you really are? Take a pause and listen to our long-time news media sources… what it is they are actually reporting? You have the ability to tell a truth from a lie, exercise that. Listen to our artists and musicians who have been bringing us beauty and stories of moral courage for decades… what are they actually saying? They aren’t the enemy. They are our voice. Listen with your heart.

Who are you really?

Aren’t you the kindly neighbor? Aren’t you the caring parent and grandparent? Remember when you were full of community spirit? Remember when you felt an openness and appreciation for all kinds of people? It wasn’t that long ago that you saw the world through a different lense. Remember who you were before you started reading news from Facebook. Remember that time?

If you can start to remember, then you will realize how damaging Russian influence has been on our population. That, my friend, is why it really matters. That’s why it really really matters. We want you to come back to being the good, kindly, interesting and involved person you used to be. That is the only way to free ourselves of this influence. We need you.

Keep in mind that there has never been anything like us before. As American people we’ve been used to freedom for centuries. We will not take easily to a demagogue no matter how much confusion he sows. We are also a nation that is still FULL of the old hippy generation. We know how to do this thing… we’ve gotten a lot smarter over the years… we have new tools at our disposal… we have the most educated younger generation that’s ever lived… and we are confident and strong in our goodness of heart and ability to communicate. We are an unbeatable force for good.

We aren’t hearing about it, but every single day a person who voted for Trump is starting to feel uncomfortable with their choice. Some are looking at their families and wondering where this will go. Some are realizing that they missed all the fun of the 60’s and are starting to see the rising up of creativity that is surging from the energized left. Some are starting to listen to their daughter’s, sisters… and maybe even mothers!

Never lose heart for one second. Celebrate everyone who is doing something… do what you are comfortable with. Be prepared to win big. When we are done with this thing we will not take obstruction any longer. No longer will we think that slow progress on climate change is okay. No longer will we tolerate any sort of prejudice in these United States. No longer will we allow companies to spew carcinogens throughout our environment. We will demand good education for everyone… no matter what neighborhood they live in. We will demand good health care for everyone… and demand health care that is actually interested in health (not just responding to disease.) We will demand decent pay for our work, and will stand up for others to have the same. We live in the wealthiest nation on earth… let’s start acting like it.

We will not take it any more. There are more of us than ever before. We are smarter and more competent than ever before. We have huge resources at our fingers.

We shall overcome.

Some assessments after reading the report on Russian interference. Their main goal was to spread so much misinformation about Hillary Clinton that, if she won, she would not be able to govern. The over-riding goal was to prove that democracy, especially as demonstrated by the U.S., does not work… and to hurt Hillary personally.

One of their videos “How 100% of the Clintons’ ‘Charity’ Went to…Themselves,” had more than 9 million views on social media platforms. The most popular video about the President-elect, called “Trump Will Not Be Permitted To Win,” had 2.2 million views. There were many others that were equally popular.

This is where our friends and neighbors got their information during the election.

Most important to know is that this is not the end of it. Russia has not decided to stop now. They are celebrating the success of their propaganda. It’s not in the report, but it is my opinion, that they must be laughing their heads off about how gullible we were.

Let’s un-gullible ourselves!

Here’s a copy of the report for those willing to read for themselves.

https://www.dni.gov/files/documents/ICA_2017_01.pdf

Dear Media People,

Stop talking about how we are such a divided nation and start talking about what we are divided about! After a year and a half of content-free reporting, it’s time to really take a look at the issues. Issues… remember those?

If you want to talk about the division itself, then get it right. For decades liberals have sat around and watched the people around us be brainwashed by big money. We’ve watched as they have been taught that government is too big, and that government programs are shameful, and that this thing they call a “Free Market” exists and will solve all their problems. We have sat around trying to be nice as the word “Liberal” became a nasty word, used in everyday conversations around us. We sat, nicely, and watched a black president be obstructed and disrespected for his blackness, and then watched as a woman candidate was subjected to the worst pack of lies and invented scandal to ever hit the newswaves. We let it go too long and we’re pissed.

But forget all that.

The big issue is the issues! We are talking about the future of the planet and the future of our children here. Global warming is the biggest threat that we have ever faced as a nation… and we’re ignoring it! Our world is so polluted that approximately one in every three people will get cancer and cancer rates amongst young people are skyrocketing. We live in a world where big oil has instigated huge wars with millions dying. Our history of constant war has to stop. Nuclear weapons need to be reduced (preferably eliminated). Russia is run by a new Stalin and is forming a club with the other one in Syria. Big business has proven that it has no interest in worker’s health and rights… and any effort to keep the monster down can’t even get started. And now Republicans have elected the biggest idiot ever to run the nation and he’s appointing a cabinet of evil unrivaled in our history.

These are the issues. It really matters what we are divided about. Let’s talk about that.

Many of the ideas and ideals in our constitution and rule of law are there because the founders of our country were intimately acquainted with the results of an unfair society. One of our most important ideals is “Innocent until proven guilty.”

The reason for this is subtle, so it’s important to go deeply into it and really understand how it works.

Here’s the crux of the matter: It is impossible to prove innocence.

Guilt is not a lot easier. As we know from watching movies, and maybe even reading mystery novels, it can be quite complicated to prove guilt. Especially if a person is really good at hiding their tracks. But we as a nation have decided that it is much more heinous to falsely imprison an innocent person than it is to let a few bad guys go. So: Innocent until proven guilty.

We are based on the ideals of Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The thought of whizzing in on someone who is just living their life, accusing them of a crime and locking them up, when they are innocent, is abhorrent to us.

Like many freedoms, the idea of Innocent Until Proven Guilty takes constant vigilance. That’s because it is human nature to jump to conclusions based on little facts.

I remember when my children were young and I was trying to teach them that they can trust friends, but they need to be wary of strangers. I really did explain it the best I could, but the next day we were driving down Main Street and there was a man with a big limp and a cane. He was also overweight and dressed shabbily.

“Look!” Shouted the kids – “there’s a stranger!”

You and I both know they totally missed the point of what I had been trying to teach them. They took my words, put them together into what made sense to them, and then jumped to a conclusion that was not my point at all. And you can imagine me trying to explain myself out of that one… because yes… that guy was a stranger. But so was the really nice woman over on the other side of the street. This was a case where I was trying to teach “Stranger until proven innocent…” and even that was tricky.

In an unexamined society everyone will quickly follow the path my children took. Some crime happens in the neighborhood and everyone will jump to blame the weird looking guy with a limp and bad clothes. There are cases where a good alibi would get him off, but other than that the mob could quickly descend on the poor fellow and hang him.

Hillary Clinton is a perfect example. She is the weird guy with a limp. Years ago people started picking on her with every conceivable allegation, and she has been cleared of each one (often against very hostile judges.) She’s never been proven guilty of a single thing, and yet our society holds on to every rumor and small fact as truth.

She’s never been proven guilty. But it is literally impossible for her to prove herself innocent.

Another good example is O.J. Simpson’s trial. In that trial he was declared not guilty of killing his wife. I have to say that I, personally, think there is a good likelihood that he did it. But I wasn’t there when the crime was committed, and I also wasn’t on the jury who examined the full case. All I know is what I heard on the media. That’s my only evidence against him, and I know it is incomplete. So, as an honest and decent citizen, I am required to follow the verdict of “Not guilty.”

As it turns out, O.J. ended up in jail anyway. It was from another crime… but I can judge that it follows a pattern. I also believe that people get a certain karma for their misdeeds, and that dishonest person often gets caught in the end. But we have to still consider him innocent of the first charge. That’s our rule of law.

We need to stop holding Hillary Clinton hostage to accusations that have never been proven. We need to look at the actual facts as we know them. It’s easy to get online and watch her speeches. Does she really look all that evil? Does anything she say make sense? Does she have a consistency that we can follow? And most important – where does she get all those pant suits (snicker.) But really, come on. In our most honored ethics she is innocent. Let’s all treat her that way.

Now on to Donald Trump (you knew I was going there… right?)

Right now Trump is being accused of all sorts of things from bad business deals to collusion with the Russians. We have to, with all our integrity, hold him innocent of anything that has not been proven against him.

We can, however, judge him for things we have actually seen. And this is what has me pulling out my hair every day (okay, well I don’t have any hair right now, but you get the picture.)

We have all seen the constant look of straight-out meanness that constantly adorns his face. We’ve heard the sneers and sidelines that come from his mouth. We’ve heard him mock a disabled person (no, it wasn’t taken out of context, what the hell would be the context of that!) We’ve heard him call for a Muslim registry, we’ve heard him call Mexicans rapists and murders. We’ve heard him call for second amendment people to take care of Clinton… and then quickly add a few more words at the end of the sentence to make it seem like he didn’t really say that.

These are things we have seen him do with our own eyes. This, people, should be enough for us to make a judgment of his character. Perhaps he was only a willing dupe with the Russians. We have to hold him innocent of that. But we do have enough empirical evidence to judge his character… and in that line he is (and has been all along) guilty as charged.

I’ve seen nothing but intelligence and thoughtfulness from Hillary Clinton. I also know that many upstanding people whom I trust have backed her and supported her: Bernie Sanders, President Obama, Joe Biden, to name a few. There is no evidence to suggest that she is not what she seems, when we really look at her. Hillary Clinton is innocent.

Donald Trump is probably not guilty of everything, but he is guilty of being a thin skinned bully.

These are things that we know.

I want to talk about my dad. He passed away this year – actually he made his transition as I was sitting on a chemo drip a thousand miles away, so I couldn’t be there. He was a victim of old age. I’m a victim of our chemical swamp of a polluted world (no… my cancer isn’t hereditary and please stop asking that, like it’s some sort of explanation).

My father was a very good man. A staunch conservative and lifelong Republican. Though I have fought conservatives my whole life, and blame them for the fact that our world is not clean and safe from the industrial soup of big business, I have always put two things together in my mind: Good person + Republican.

When my dad was a young man in Chattanooga Tennessee he was a “Young Republican.” Back in those days the party was progressive and a proponent of human rights. I can’t even say how many stories I’ve heard about gracious and kind things my dad was involved in. My dad ran a foundry in Chattanooga and many of his employees were black. One guy in particular was literally the best employee my dad had. The most responsible, smartest and hardest working. Dad wanted to promote him to manager but that was actually against the law! So dad invented some position with a silly “not manager” title and paid the guy his equal due. That’s what I remember as the Good Ol’ Party.

When I was in second grade we moved to Denver Colorado. One of the best stories of the Young Republicans from that time was when they all got together and bought a window for the weatherman… who would always report stuff like a sunny day when it was raining cats and dogs outside! He clearly needed a window and the Young Republicans stepped up to the task. That was not only a good thing to do, but it was funny and a great story to tell around town. That was the fun, kind, honest and true Republican party that I remember.

My parents taught me that goodness is an action. A good person would never just sit there and watch a bully hurt someone. I would actually stop fights in my elementary school when I came upon a circle of boys harassing a little kid. I got away with it cause I’m kind of mean, and I’m a girl. A good tongue lashing could make quite a dent in an angry crowd of peers.

I was taught to speak up against tyrants, and to be able to tell the truth from a lie. My parents were from the World War II generation and a constant topic in our house was about the forces that caused Hitler to come to power. We were taught that he didn’t just wake up one day and say, “Hey! Let’s start killing Jews.” Instead it was a slow, insidious, downward slide of truth and morals that made the horrors of that war a “norm” for people who would have otherwise been good human beings. I learned that leadership itself is the thing that “leads” populations into hope or despair, into kindness or cruelty. I was taught the tactics of Mussolini and Stalin, and how hard it is to overcome that kind of leadership.

Over the years I’ve had a lot of colossal arguments with my dad. I’ll admit, and admitted at the time, that he often won those arguments. I’ve been (and still kind of am) a “Get rid of all money” sort of person. But he would argue, “So then, how do we come together to do something big like build a bridge?” My rebuttals of “We would just do it because we are so full of love…” did not make it very far against his actual experience in building bridges. He made me think, and think hard. Because of him I know that changing the world is a big task, and it will require a tremendous amount of attention to details, changing of hearts and habits, and a willingness to experiment and grow with the changes. He was a constant challenge to my thinking. In other words, he taught me that when two good people have a disagreement that this is the way learning happens.

The bottom line… the total and complete bottom line, is good people. We aren’t perfect, but as citizens we at least try to be good. And we demand an even higher level of goodness in our leaders.

So this is my main shock today. What happened? I feel that our nation has been totally abandoned by the Republican party. They are not just a bunch of innocents here. In my mind that goes for the voters and the leadership alike. This is so clearly that long insidious slip of truth and goodness that gripped Germany and lead to atrocities we don’t want to think about.

And liberals too… don’t think we are off the hook. We also fell for the insidious barrage of negativity in 2016. So many of us believed it! What happened to us? Why are we just speaking up now?

Believe me, I know I’m guilty of that as well. Heck, I was sick (sort of a good excuse.) But mostly I was afraid for my business. I live in a small town in Idaho and I know that even admitting in public that I am a “Liberal” is enough to have me ridiculed and blacklisted. The posts I’m making to my Facebook page these days are clear financial suicide for me. That was my excuse… besides being much more of a chicken than I was in third grade. Yep, me.

Even I fell for the long downward slope of the Good Ol’ Party, as I watched them get meaner and meaner and either laughed and brushed it off, or just stayed quiet. I never could believe that the people around me were not good. I couldn’t believe that they were actually as mean as the mean things they were saying. I’m as big a part of it as anyone else.

I think the final thing my Dad taught me is that something can be done about this. We have history to teach us. We have a common spiritually that teaches goodness and kindness. It’s possible for both sides of the aisle to at least have a moral ground.  Good people need to stand up and speak, and hold firm. It’s gotten this bad and we can see it. At this point if we let it get any worse than it’s totally on us.

Letter to Editor
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