This arrived today via email. Voting is the easiest, most basic way to respond to the vision of America touted at the Republican National Convention, expressed by Todd Akin, and underlying the policies hawked by Paul Ryan.
Vote for candidates whose agendas apply equally to all residents of our country. Vote for candidates whose vision of personal liberty and “respect for life” applies to all ex-utero people, to sentient human beings who are capable of making sound decisions about their personal lives. Let’s vote for candidates whose “respect for the living” goes beyond the embryo and fetus, to encompass women, (pregnant or not), hard-working residents contributing to our GDP, the unemployed, the poverty-stricken and to people of all races and ethnicities. What could be more fundamentally “American” than that?
The sun did not come out today. Where I live in northern California, the sun usually appears before noon, and it stays sunny till sunset. The grey overcast reminded me of the coming season, four or so months of rainy days, a mix of continual and intermittent.
The chilly, cloudy day felt like place my writing self has been living in for the past year.
There’s no single cogent reason why I stopped posting. Just fell into the writing equivalent of a deep dark bog. It got kind of cozy and comfy in there.
Maybe I bogged out. But here I am, mug of hot chocolate at my side.
Hi everyone! We’re still here, or are we?
Maybe God just cut-and-pasted the world as we knew it into a new place.
Discuss among yourselves.
Andy Borowitz got this message from Him.
On a here-and-now note:
I woke up this morning and the mountains were still standing.
Today is a special friend’s birthday. She’s Another Blonde, also known among our posse as TrailMistress Z. We are hiking pals and best buddies. Take my word for it: she’s terrific. I told her as much on the phone this morning. I’m in Colorado Springs for a few days and she is at home in northern California, so I couldn’t affirm her wonderfulness in person. My praise for her may have been a tad heavy: she offered up the idea that she could be Jesus’ Sister. Maybe it’s the altitude or the location — “Mecca” for Serious Christians, home of James Dobson’s Focus on the Family empire, with evangelical churches heavily interspersed with local strip malls — but her self-proclaimed status seemed reasonable. Read more…
It was a stunningly beautiful day on the trail. Crisp fresh air, wild flowers lasting longer than usual with unusually cool days. We hiked faster than ever, fully oxygenated. The leader of our hiking posse had these thoughts today about the political right’s position on immigration:
Why wouldn’t Republicans want to extend citizenship to millions of hard-working Mexicans who contribute “illegally” to our economy? Today’s bile-spewing Republican “leaders” seem really eager to tax the poor.
These workers would provide a new source for tax revenue — while keeping the marginal tax rates (on wealthy, country-club Americans) from returning to Clinton-era levels. Oh, right. Boehner and his cronies don’t want to raise taxes… but they are okay with reducing social benefits, effectively denying access to higher education, and realistic health care options for the people who most need assistance. Thank you, Nancy, for making this point.
The Tea Partying, flag-draped, Bible-banging self-anointed Keepers of the Constitution don’t get it. Do they have a plan to “repatriate” millions of people who’ve lived here for decades — their nannies and cooks and gardeners and maintenance workers — back to Mexico? I haven’t seen one.
Can one be truly Christian and also be uncharitable to the extent we hear screaming at us from the faces on Fox News? Do we really want to maintain permanent (and rapidly growing) sub-rosa, terrified underclass in our country?
Blonde will shortly regain her composure and return to humor. Or something like that.
There are many ways of looking at the state of immigration in our country. It’s complex, and the solution isn’t clear-cut. “Right and wrong” may seem fuzzy. but it’s time to put aside politics and look at real lives, and into the eyes of real people. Cogent and arguable points abound on every side. A few simple things are quite clear.
We have a brain and talent drain concerning the excellent, brilliant and talented grads who train at our universities and who are eager to start or enrich enterprises (and employ our citizens) here in our country. But our policies make this difficult. Most are compelled to return to their homelands to find work. These are people who often fuel new enterprise: their successes are most visible throughout Silicon Valley. But many more cannot give back to the country that has advanced their education… because of roadblocks in the H1-A visa category.
The situation concerning illegal workers who’ve been coming here from Mexico over the past decades is more complex. There are tens of millions of people here, harvesting the crops that in turn fill our bulging supersized supermarkets; cleaning offices, resorts, casinos and factories; working in construction and doing the “dirty work” that nobody else wants to do. Stephen Colbert said it best. We are not going to miraculously expel tens of millions of people from our country — people whose work keeps us fed, housed and able to maintain “our American lifestyles.”
Yes, they are here illegally. They also have children who are now young adults. Most of these people have been in the U.S. since they were babies and toddlers. They speak Spanish, but have never been to Mexico. They are of Mexican heritage but see themselves as Americans… similar to the waves of immigrants who came here for the past two hundred fifty years. They want to serve in our military. They want to improve their lives, and the lives of their hard-working parents, by going to college. But every access to assimilation and “giving back” to the U.S. is blocked by our current absolutist immigration policy.
This letter from President Obama arrived in my inbox today. I invite you to read it. Read more…
I’ve tried to find causality, the reasons-why, in all kinds of places. Too much bad news in the news. The tsunami in Japan. American fundamentalists’ growing influence in Congress. My missed-trip to Paris. Too many cancer diagnoses among people I know. One of our dogs keeps on spite-peeing in hard-to-find places. Rolled up together, things large and small have taken their toll on my usually optimistic, though slightly twisted, outlook on life.
On the worst days, I try to hike, get refreshed and focused by the glories of spring in northern California. The end of rainy season brings countless rainbows — and lots of double rainbows! — as well as trails lined with bright green mosses, ferns and stunning, delicate wild flowers. The trail, enjoyed with my friends, usually sets me right for a while.
When things stubbornly remain crappy, there’s the Borowitz Report, Andy’s always clever, amusing and in-the-moment newsy blog. I drop whatever I’m doing when his latest scoop arrives.
Today, Andy spoofed the idiocy of the “birthers,” reporting on antagonistic “balders” who rant that The Donald can’t be President unless he proves his coiffure’s country of origin.
The Borowitz Report never fails to remind me that humor really does make everything — even the worst of things — tolerable. Thanks, Andy! Love you.