politicians, politics

And now I feel like Pam Ewing after the Dream Season on Dallas…

Pamela Ewing wakes up to a surreal surprise…

Well, we did it. Donald Trump has lost the election and will be moving out of the White House in a couple of months. I’m sure the next couple of months will be pretty crazy, but it’s so nice to see a light at the end of the Trump tunnel. As I was watching the news last night, and hearing the bells that pealed all over Europe (though not in my town), it dawned on me that I have not set foot in the United States since November 2014. And since I have no plans to visit the USA anytime soon, that means I have pretty much “missed” Trump’s presidency.

Oh… I don’t mean that I missed being affected by his leadership. It’s more that I’ve been watching it from afar, in a weird position of being an American thousands of miles away from my homeland as it became more bizarre and dangerous by the day. It saddens me somewhat that the race was so tight and so many Americans were fine with Trump’s hateful rhetoric. But I am delighted that Biden prevailed and that may mean a return to decency. I even sent Bill to buy the bubbly in the photo above when it became clear that Biden was going to win.

I remember in 2016, when Trump won. I felt sick to my stomach that morning. I tried to be brave about it… and I posted this video in my blog post for that day, because Trump reminded me so much of Ming the Merciless.

And I must say, Trump is really not unlike Ming the Merciless…
And now Flash Gordon has finally arrived to save the day.

I consoled myself with this song from Avenue Q, comforted by the idea that everything is only “For Now”… and realized that kvetching about the election was pointless, since there was nothing I could do about it.

So… if you’re unhappy about the results of the election, just remember that everything is only “for now”… That’s what I told myself in 2016.

Donald Trump is only for now… just like Joe Biden will be, once he’s installed in the White House.

Until Trump came along, I mostly didn’t care about politics. I paid little attention to them, even when I had a job tracking healthcare policy. If there is one thing Trump has done, it’s made people much less complacent about politics and politicians. More people got out and voted this year because of Trump. Some voted because they wanted him to go. Some voted because they wanted him to stay. What’s important is that people exercised their rights to choose.

I don’t usually feel elated when we get a new president, as I do today. In fact, don’t usually vote for either of the main candidates, unless the election is particularly important or I’m living in a swing state. This year, I decided I would vote Democrat because it was important to me that Trump left office. I think he’s been a terrible leader and a wretched example of Americans to the rest of the world. I’ve been horrified to watch the hatred and violence from afar.

This Golden Girls storyline worked in the 80s because kids could write to world leaders back then… Imagine a kid writing to Trump!

I kept thinking about how, when I was a child, Ronald Reagan was the president. Kids would write letters to him and he’d answer them. We all knew about his love for Jelly Bellies. He was a Republican, and some of his policies weren’t popular. But– I don’t remember him representing hate and divisiveness the way Trump has. I remember being in school, learning about Reagan and seeing him as someone I could look up to, even though I was a kid and knew nothing about politics.

10 year old Samantha Smith, now sadly deceased, famously wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, because she was so concerned about the prospect of nuclear war. She went to the USSR and made many friends there, doing so much to foster goodwill and friendship. I can’t see this scenario with Trump.

Samantha Smith spent two weeks in the former USSR, being shown that people in the Soviet Union aren’t that different than Americans are. Her visit in 1983 was groundbreaking, and she became a heroine to people all over the world. Sadly, Samantha died in a plane crash a couple of years after she visited the Soviet Union. I guess nowadays, we have Greta Thunberg… who very wittily trolled Trump by advising him to go see a movie with a friend as he melted down over the election results. Trump had advised her to do the same last December.

Seems kind of tone deaf to talk about the military while standing next to the Easter Bunny…

If I had a child, I wouldn’t encourage him or her to write to Trump. I can’t see Trump caring about answering a letter from a child, the way other presidents have. I remember him talking to children at Easter, remarking about how none of the children had a weight problem as he gave them candy. And the above clip shows him talking about the military and money while the Easter Bunny just stands there, mouth agape. It’s pretty surreal.

I can see Joe Biden enthusiastically answering letters from children. I can see his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, working to get education back on track and improve literacy in the United States. I can see Joe Biden engaging with people of all classes, races, and creeds, and actually caring about them. Will he be perfect? No one ever is… but he’s chosen a dynamic Vice President in Kamala Harris. I have great hope that things will get back to some semblance of normalcy… or at least basic decency. And I feel a lot better today than I did four years ago. The Trump nightmare is about to end at last! Or, at least, for now…

Well, it’s time for breakfast, so I’m off… Enjoy your Sunday!

Standard
advertising, disasters, songs, Trump, videos

“Boom, boom, diddum, doddum, woddum, choo…”

I slept fairly decently last night. When I woke up, I didn’t expect to see any concrete election results, since we’re six hours ahead of the United States. It does surprise me that this race is so close. Maybe it shouldn’t, though. A lot of people are extremely rigid about their politics and will only vote for the people in their parties. I suppose I voted that way myself this year, although that’s not the norm for me. I usually try to consider people over political parties. I’m really angry with the Republican Party, though, and I don’t think I’ll forgive the people within it for a very long time.

I don’t really feel like writing more about the election, nor do I want to obsess over the results. The fact is, there are many votes that have yet to be counted. If the mail in votes aren’t counted, I wonder how any state can accurately claim a victor. I usually vote absentee. It’s rare that I’m actually in the place where I’m registered to vote. It started when I was in college. Then I was in the Peace Corps… then graduate school… and finally, as a military wife/overseas expat. My votes probably don’t get counted, which pisses me off, since I have to go to some effort to cast them.

But anyway… I see no reason to sit here and obsess about it. I probably ought to stay away from social media today, too… especially when people post these well meaning but ultimately privileged memes. The truth is, a lot of people’s rights are legitimately at risk. Telling people to “get over it”, which is pretty much what these things do, is disrespectful. But that’s just my opinion, and there’s nothing I can do… so instead, here’s a little silliness.

First of all… Bill got this ad on Facebook this morning. It looks like it’s a new campaign. These jolly dancing African guys, who are dancing with a coffin in face masks that match their socks, say wear a mask or die.

Are the masks for you or for me?

I have to admit, they look like a fun group of guys to hang out with. But they imply that if we don’t all wear a mask, we’ll die. I thought the masks were not useful for the wearer. Personally– I think that message is one reason why people don’t want to cooperate, especially in the United States. In any case, I do think the ad is entertaining if only because it’s just so strange. Upbeat techno music plays as these masked men in their colorful socks dance around with a coffin. What were they smoking when they came up with this idea?

I was singing the old song, “Three Little Fishies”, when I was made aware of Afrisocks. Bill saw the ad on his Facebook feed and had to share it with me. The ad appears to have come out a week ago, so it’s not very popular yet. I wonder what others will think of it.

“Boom, boom, diddum, dottum, woddum choo…”
“I almost had it…”
This is how I feel right now… PLEASE!!!

Yep… I rely on weird and funny shit like this to make it through the day, especially when I see people disregarding how completely horrible the president is. I mean, he could be as fucked up as Jeffrey Tambor singing “Boom, boom, diddum, dottum, wattum, choo” is on Three’s Company, but they’ll still vote for him over abortion rights or a few extra bucks in their paychecks. It’s tragic and pathetic.

Another weird and funny comment for today… a year ago, I learned the German word for “pussy”. I don’t remember why I learned it, only that I did. And I probably should use it more often than I do. Maybe it would make me laugh more. We could all use a few more laughs this year.

Anyway, I hope you’re enjoying your post election day. We’ll see what the future holds. I’ll get back to practicing guitar and reading about Lenny Kravitz. Maybe I should get The Muppet Show box set, too.

Standard
Trump

Today’s the day we’ve been waiting for… but I feel anxious.

Election Day is usually exciting for me, especially during a presidential election year. This year, I feel more anxious than excited. I feel hopeful that things will turn around and we’ll finally get some good people leading the United States again. But then I remember what happened in 2016 and I know that no matter what’s in the news, it might not turn out the way I’d like it.

Yesterday, a woman I’ve known since high school posted a somewhat reasonable comment about how Donald Trump isn’t to blame for “everything” wrong in America. In previous years, I would have totally agreed with her that the president isn’t at fault for everything wrong. Even this year, I can concede that Trump isn’t directly responsible for everything bad that has happened since he took office. There are others involved who aided and abetted him. However, no other president in my lifetime has been as unprofessional, uncaring, and unhinged as Trump has been.

Against my better judgment, I responded to my friend’s post that under normal circumstances, I would agree wholeheartedly with her post. Trump is a different animal. My friend reiterated that he’s not at fault for everything. I agreed with that, but then pointed out that he eggs on divisiveness, mockery, and violence. Instead of denouncing the men who plotted to kidnap Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Trump cheered them on. Instead of criticizing the mob of Trump supporting drivers in Texas who swarmed Joe Biden’s bus, Trump tweeted about how much he loves Texas and even THANKED them for trying to run Biden’s people off the road! Innocent people could have been KILLED!

So I pointed these things out… and one of my friend’s Trump supporting pals mocked me for my opinion, saying I have “Trump derangement syndrome”. I asked him not to insult me, and he denied claiming that I have a mental illness because I don’t approve of Trump was “insulting”. I reminded the guy that he doesn’t know me at all and can’t make any legitimate evaluations of my mental health. He advised me to “stop watching CNN”. I wondered if he really thought his comments would change my mind, or if he just wanted to be an asshole.

It always surprises me when people think I get all of my news from CNN. First of all, I don’t live in the United States and I don’t get cable TV. So I don’t watch CNN. I do occasionally look at CNN’s Web site, but more often than not, I get my information from well-respected newspapers to which I am a paying subscriber. At this writing, these are the publications I pay to read:

  1. The Washington Post
  2. The New York Times
  3. The Irish Times
  4. The Wall Street Journal
  5. The Atlantic

I also read a lot of books. I have read several about Trump’s presidency, written by people who worked with him. I also have the benefit of two advanced degrees. Although Trump supporting people may want to call me “stupid”, “crazy”, or a “sheep” for reading the news, the truth is, I’m not a dummy. I’m not sure what that guy expects from people, anyway. Is he saying that I should be drawing my own conclusions based on no news at all? Or should I simply get my news from Fox?

Anyway, that attempt at civilized discourse quickly unraveled, so I left the conversation. As I was about to go to sleep, I noticed a post by Ricky Skaggs. I actually love Ricky Skaggs’ music. I don’t go to him or anyone else for my politics. I figure he has as much right as anyone to vote as he likes. But I did pause when I read this…

After hearing a pastor speak a message about life and death, I felt I had to share what I heard. I know many of you are still trying to decide who to vote for on Tuesday. Some people vote for or against a person solely on their personality, I get that, but let me just offer a few words that might help you to decide. Voting is a very personal thing and I’m not telling you who to vote for but just giving you something to think about. When I look at the platform of both parties, I see a stark contrast, nearly as much as day is from night. 

I decided a long time ago that if I was gonna grow up and have a relationship with the living Savior Jesus Christ, I needed to know what His Word says. I needed to love the things He loves, and hate the things He hates. God is love, but God is also righteous in all of His ways. 

His Word says; “God hates the shedding of innocent blood.” There’s nothing more innocent than an unborn baby. The pastor went on to say “anyone who votes for the party that approves abortion, that person has co-signed a death warrant on the unborn. They have come into an agreement and made a covenant with that party and all that it stands for.” I had never heard it said like that before. It was a hard hitting truth. It made me realize the awesome responsibility of agreement! “Today I set before you, life and prosperity, death and destruction.” Deut 30:19

Ricky Skaggs is a very proud and unabashed Trump supporter. I’m surprised Trump’s people didn’t get him to play at his inauguration in 2017. I feel certain that Skaggs would have obliged. But my guess is that Trump wouldn’t appreciate Ricky Skaggs’ bluegrass and gospel stylings.

I don’t understand why Skaggs likes Trump so much. Trump is certainly not “pro-life”. Trump brags about molesting women. He has a history of violence toward women. In fact, some of his victims have been teenagers. I would not be the least bit surprised if he has paid for abortions. In fact, when Trump found out his second wife Marla Maples, who was not his wife at the time, was pregnant with his daughter, Tiffany, he reportedly said, “Oh, great.” He also reportedly asked Marla to have an abortion. Supposedly, Trump’s mother insisted that Trump marry Maples. Their union lasted six years. He’s now on marriage number three. Below is an excerpt from a Vanity Fair article about Trump’s relationship with Maples…

At one point, he broke up with Maples by FedEx-ing her a letter, the source said. Trump bragged about his bachelorhood. “I had been in Europe fucking every model in the world. My life was wild,” he told Vanity Fair in 1994. But Trump, a famous germophobe, also found monogamy reassuring as the AIDS crisis raged. “Being single out there is a little bit scary, to put it mildly,” he said. “It’s like being in Vietnam, in the forests, and knowing there are guns pointed at your head.”

It could be possible that Trump has had a change of heart since the 1990s, but I sincerely doubt it. He’s quite clearly a narcissist and they don’t typically change. They’re famously rigid people who tend to get worse rather than better. So I don’t know why Ricky Skaggs holds Trump up to be such a moral “pro-life” choice. Frankly, I’m much more concerned about people who have already been born. And Trump brags about his conquests. He has no respect for life.

Anyway… I have been waiting for Election Day 2020. I hope Americans do the right thing. I know there are people out there who will vote for Trump because they just can’t see what a dishonest scumbag he is. There’s nothing I can do about that. I have some hope that things will change in 2021, although if Trump loses, he will do everything he can to fuck things up even more before he’s forced out of the White House. And no matter what, there will probably be chaos and violence as people react to the results.

I’m glad to be in Germany, but watching this from afar is also very sad for me. I don’t love everything about the Democrats. I especially dislike their smug, self-righteous tone when it comes to social issues. But we really need a new leader… someone with a conscience and a good brain. We have to get rid of the toxicity that Trump promotes. Otherwise, things are only going to get worse.

Standard
musings

This week is going to be historic…

I don’t actually feel too much like bashing Trump today, even if he did cheer on the gang of idiots in Texas who swarmed Joe Biden’s campaign bus. I would like to think his actions speak for themselves. I also know that nothing I write in my blog is going to convince people who have already made up their minds about which way they want to vote. I truly hope decency prevails.

I have long believed that people should be free to vote their consciences anyway. I have not made it a secret that I despise Trump and his ilk, but I do understand why some prefer him to Joe Biden. I think they should be free to vote for Trump if they want to, even if I also think they’re ignoring the fact that he has some pretty serious character deficits and ignoring those deficits does not make them look too good themselves. As I posted in my last article, I am not big on shaming people. At the same time, I fervently hope and pray that this political circus will end at some point soon. It’s exhausting, and I would like to have something else to write about besides Trump’s shenanigans.

That being said… on to another topic.

I decided last night to reactivate an old Facebook group that was previously archived. When we first moved back to Stuttgart in 2014, there was a group for Americans renting houses in Germany. It consisted of people who are affiliated with the U.S. military. I found it very useful when it was active, but unfortunately, it eventually went dormant.

Given that Bill and I have now lived together in three different homes in two different German states, I thought I would be a good person to revive that group. And given that Bill sued our former landlords, I know that we have the experience to help people who decide to go to court to assert their rights. Some people might just want a place to share their stories. I know there are some doozies out there.

I don’t know how well it will go across. I probably won’t promote it heavily. I just feel like it might be a good tool for people who have come to Germany and need assistance. But even as I write that, I feel some dread because oftentimes, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. I also think this group could be a lot more contentious than my wine group is.

We’ll see what happens…

I’d like to finish reading Lenny Kravitz’s book today. It’s surprisingly good. I’m glad I’m not in the States and can avoid the political shitshow that will be upon us tomorrow.

Standard
politics

We won’t get screwed again…

Okay… this song is “Won’t Get Fooled Again”… but the sentiment is the same.

As the last days until the election loom ahead, I’m feeling kind of hopeful. I feel this way, even though Germany has now ordered a new partial lockdown for the next month. Supposedly, this is being done to “save” Christmas. Christmas is a big deal in Deutschland. Unfortunately, this year most of the markets have been cancelled. Or, at least I haven’t heard of any going on.

The news of the partial lockdown means that our 18th wedding anniversary will not be spent in a hotel. Hotels and restaurants will be closed to anyone traveling for leisure purposes. Shops, schools, and churches will remain open, but no one can get their nails done. I guess I’ll have to clip Bill’s hair for him again. Good thing I got plenty of practice over the spring. He’ll be teleworking again, too.

All in all, I can’t complain too much. I don’t mind being locked down with Bill. At least we like being together. Thank God we managed to get down to Slovenia to get Noyzi, too. He’s a welcome addition to our home. Every day, I get to see his progress. He’s not the same dog he was on October 4th, when we picked him up in Kranjska Gora. He can now walk on the leash like a gentleman (most of the time, anyway). He does his business outside and often sits on command. He’s learned that the leash and harness aren’t torture devices, and he even had his very first bath in his whole life. He’s still a bit scared of Bill, but he’s getting better.

This is the truth!

I don’t know what the results of the election will be, but I did my part. Weeks ago, Bill and I both sent in straight blue tickets for Democrats. I’ve gotten some shitty comments from infantile men who are angry about my choices. I’ve gladly advised them to go fuck themselves. It’s been a lot of fun. Maybe Trump will win again, but I have hope that he won’t. I don’t love everything about Biden, but I think he’s got to be a better leader than Trump is. So I have hope that he will win…

I have to admit that I really enjoyed this op-ed in The Washington Post. Political analyst Philip Bump introduced me to the term “Trumpsplained”. Bump made me laugh as he wrote about how Trump hopes to appeal to suburban White women by telling them that he’s going to get their husbands back to work. Trump obviously isn’t living in the real world. He thinks it’s the 1950s. It’s been entertaining, infuriating, and downright scary to watch Trump’s increasing desperation to appeal to people he so obviously disdains. Some people still support him as rabidly as ever, but a whole lot of people are jumping ship.

And finally, it looks like a big pain in the ass that we have been dealing with for about two years is about to be resolved at long last. Justice was done. We learned a lot of valuable lessons. And now it looks like we will be able to close the book on this chapter very soon.

So I’m feeling alright today… hopeful for the future. Even if “Won’t Get Fooled Again” is a cynical song, the energy of it resonates with me today, even though it’s Thursday and that is when I do my least favorite chore. Got to get the vacuum cleaner out and suck up all the dog hair on the rugs…

And since we can’t go somewhere for our anniversary, maybe I’ll spend some money on something frivolous, like a lightweight cordless vacuum that I don’t have to haul up and down the steps. Or maybe I’ll buy an electric guitar. Or two… Why not? Since we’re going to be locked down, I’ll have more time to become a better guitar player. So will Bill.

Maybe I’ll even learn to play this on guitar.
Standard