musings

More French hospitality…

A bigger organ than Putin’s…

We will be going home tomorrow. I have to say I’m ready to go, not because we haven’t had fun, but because I’m worn out. I am not used to so much hospitality. Today, after we visited Obernai and Saverne, we came back to our room and I promptly fell asleep. Now, I’m up, but only because we booked dinner again in the restaurant. Last night, we did the big tasting dinner. Tonight, I hope for something simpler and shorter in duration. I am ready to go to bed, get up in the morning for one more excellent breakfast, and go home to Germany, so I can write up all of our fun and share pictures… and of course, see my dogs. I have missed them, too. French people love dogs, and they are everywhere.

Right this minute, I’m watching French news about Ukraine. I have a lot of thoughts about that situation. I have a friend whose wife is from there, and she still has a lot of family members who are trapped in Kiev. I get highly irritated listening to Putin and his threats. He really is a nasty character… one of those people who probably ought to be blown straight back to Hell. However, I am very grateful that my husband is no longer in the Army. I have a feeling the Army will be getting involved eventually, although I hope they won’t.

I do get kind of tickled when I notice the difference between French news and US news. A couple of nights ago, I happened to watch the news when the death of a famous French presenter was being reported. The anchor was openly crying as he spoke about it. He kept saying “Je suis desole!”

I notice that they spell Putin’s name “Poutine”. So now, when I see him, I think of a giant deep friend cheese curd.

And tonight, I saw a protester holding up a poster of a hand drawn tiny penis. It had a caption that read, “Putin: 3 centimeters”. I find it outrageous that one, very toxic man, can hold the world hostage this way with his threats. At the same time, while I don’t think Joe Biden is the best person to handle Putin, I do thank God Trump isn’t in office. He’s a moron who thought Finland was part of Russia. You bet your ass he’d just let Putin do what he wants. Putin probably has dirt on him.

It’s a little scary watching this stuff happening in Ukraine. It’s not that far away. I fear it could get much worse. I am old enough to remember the Chernobyl accident… and I remember that the effects from that crossed over Europe. Bill’s first landlady in Germany died because she got cancer from Chernobyl. The fallout affected the whole continent.

But I guess Putin doesn’t care about that. He just wants land and power… and it doesn’t matter how much humans suffer. For once, I think I agree with Lindsey Graham. I hope someone takes him out.

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politics, Trump

I feel like someone poured water on the Wicked Warlock of the White House…

“Who would have thought a little girl like you would destroy my beautiful wickedness?”

Well, it’s been four days since the U.S. election and we’re still waiting for the winner to be announced. It’s beginning to look more and more like we’re about to say goodbye to the Trump era. If Trump does, in fact, lose the election, and it looks an awful lot like he will, there will be a long recovery from his disastrous stint in the White House. But it does sort of inject some hope into a year that has been very strange at best, completely heartbreaking at worst.

I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions this week. I was disgusted on Tuesday, as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham were both re-elected. I was especially disgusted to see that Mitch got another term. I think he’s worse than Lindsey Graham, even though I met Mitch’s wife once. Back in the 1990s, Elaine Chao was briefly the director of the Peace Corps, and she visited Yerevan (after she’d left the post) when I was a Volunteer. Because I lived in Yerevan, I was invited to visit the Ambassador’s house and talk to her about what we were doing. I didn’t know who she was, nor did I know who Mitch McConnell was. I didn’t care about politics in those days. What a blissful time… I remember her to be pleasant enough, although I find her husband’s politics completely disgusting.

I was also disgusted to see just how many Americans apparently don’t care about Trump’s incredibly bad behavior. They don’t care about his constant tantrums and lies, nor do they care about the way he blatantly cheats as he bleats about having his power stripped. He’s just another one of those people who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him. But still, many people I thought were basically decent, caring, kind, and fair people are willing to give Trump a pass for this obvious disrespect for the American people and the world at large. Check out this post my German friend shared:

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his father should open an “all-out war” around the election. Even Goebbels was more polite and at least asked.

The comments on the original post by Germans are very interesting. I’m glad to see that a lot of them realize that not all Americans are for Trump. And although many more Americans still accept Trump’s disastrous behavior and catastrophic failures as a leader than I expected, in the end, it does look like the better man will prevail (not that it’s hard to be better than Donald Trump is). I truly hope Joe Biden will help mend all of the relationships Trump has done his best to destroy. Especially with Germany.

Then, someone was mean to me. It’s always upsetting to me when someone is deliberately mean. I don’t react to mean people the way I used to. Now, when someone is really blatantly rude to me, I just cut them off. It makes me sad to do that, but I don’t have time for unapologetic assholes. If someone feels emboldened enough to be blatantly horrible to me without any reason or remorse, that’s a sign that we don’t need to be in touch. So, while I’m a little sad and disappointed to say goodbye to this person, I’ve resolved to come away from that experience a better person. In this case, I also hope to become a better guitar player. I doubt he’ll even notice, anyway.

At least Kanye was gracious enough to concede.

As the week wore on, things improved. I became reacquainted with an old college friend. And then the mail in ballots were counted and it became clear that Biden got more votes, even as Trump continued to wail, threaten, and complain about corruption. If anyone knows about corruption, it’s Donald Trump… and now it’s time for him to pay the piper. But he is determined to make the process as painful, complicated, and expensive as he can, and he’s going about it all in the least dignified way possible. Really, it’s pathetic. He’s talking about calling in favors to the Supreme Court, which is now stacked with justices he selected. There’s no doubt that they will be pressured to do what he wants them to do. Hopefully, they will uphold their responsibility to be fair and impartial and follow the law. No matter what, I anticipate many weeks of a shitshow as Trump and Biden duke it out over who will lead the country.

Now it’s Saturday, and Bill is cooking our usual Saturday breakfast. Looks like the weather will be nice, although thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown lite, we probably won’t do anything. We did have a fire last night– first one of this side of 2020. The weather is finally chilly, too… Winter is coming.

It’s disturbing to watch a world leader melt down the way Trump is, kinda like the Wicked Witch of the West did. But it’s more disturbing that people with supposedly normal intelligence can’t grasp why he so badly needs to go. If he doesn’t go, I have grave concerns for the future. Everybody says that. I know many Trumpers feel the same about Biden. But in this case, we’ve already had four years of life under Trump. He may not have directly made my life worse, but his seagull leadership style has definitely affected many people who aren’t as privileged as I am. Below is a copy and paste job shared by my cousin’s ex wife… She’s obviously out to lunch on this.

People are so scared. Anyway, wasn’t it Republican George W. Bush who got us into those “endless wars with the Middle East”? And aren’t Republicans more interested in making money than treating their workers fairly? This thing confuses me.

Sigh… and the final thing that has happened this week is that an elderly close family member is very ill and on a ventilator, although not because of COVID-19. We’re a bit concerned about that, especially since it’s not so easy to get back to the United States. But with any luck, the ventilator will help more than it harms. Unfortunately, when it comes to the elderly and serious illnesses, sometimes these situations can go south rather quickly. In 2014, my dad went to the hospital with an inflamed gallbladder. Most people think of gallbladder removal as pretty straightforward. The gallbladder was successfully removed, but my dad was unable to recover from the anesthesia. That was his exit. I kind of knew it was going to happen, too, but at least I was able to see him one last time before he passed. I’m not sure that can happen this time, if it comes down to that.

Bill will be back to teleworking next week. COVID-19 is getting worse here. Fortunately, Germany is led by people who mostly care more about people than money. And although Bill works for the United States, we’re obliged to follow the host country’s rules. And that suits me fine. Germans enjoy a better lifestyle anyway.

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politicians, politics, social media, Trump

“Trump 2020…”

Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at the table listening to music and drinking wine when I got a notification from a long lost ex relative. It was a woman who was once married to one of my cousins. There was a time when I liked her well enough, although she kind of struck me as a bit of an attention seeker. She could relate to me about depression and anxiety, though, and I remember having a lot of talks with her at Thanksgiving gatherings. Then she and my cousin divorced.

I will admit that her complaints about my cousin weren’t unwarranted. When they were married, my cousin drank too much, and that got him into legal and personal trouble. He’s chauvinistic about a lot of things, and if he’s anything like his father or my father, he’s probably quite abusive when he’s angry. He’s also turned into a very rigid thinker, especially about conservative values. He has quit drinking– at least as far as I know– but now he’s found Jesus and has turned into a total wingnut. It’s like he’s traded booze for conservative politics and Christianity, and that makes hanging around him about as pleasant as getting a pelvic exam.

When my cousin was young, he was a lot of fun. He still has his moments of levity. I used to love hanging out with him when we were kids. He had a wonderful sense of adventure, and like a lot of the men on my dad’s side of the family, he’s very much an adrenaline junkie. He was definitely never boring. But now he collects firearms and isn’t always the smartest and safest about how he handles them. He argues politics with people who don’t want to argue about politics. And he’s still very much a chauvinist and treats women like they need special help. There’s a difference between being a gentleman to a lady, and treating women like they need special protection because they don’t have a penis. My cousin’s treatment of women is borderline insulting. He’s sexist, condescending, and rude, whether or not he means to be. In his defense, he comes by that behavior honestly, because two of his three brothers and his father are the same way. His other brother is gay.

Since divorcing my cousin in 2007 or so, his ex wife has married two more times. I remember she divorced husband #3 when she caught him cheating on her. That was a big drama about it on Facebook. Then she married some other guy and I hadn’t heard from her since yesterday. On two posts about the current events involving the orange menace, my cousin’s ex wife apparently posted “Trump 2020”. These posts happened within the time span of a minute or so. I reacted with an angry emoji the first time. The second time, I quickly unfriended her. I felt badly about it for a minute, but then realized it was long overdue. Especially since I unfriended my cousin– her ex husband– three years ago, for similarly obnoxious behavior.

We weren’t really a good fit anyway. I suddenly remembered how, the day after my wedding, which she’d attended with my cousin, she insulted me by backhandedly accusing me of being a drunk. In fairness, it may be true that I’m a drunk, but at least I haven’t been a serial divorcee– and unlike her ex husband, my consumption of alcohol hasn’t ever led to my being arrested. We all have our imperfections, right? Mine is hereditary, as she can personally attest to, having been married to my cousin and having had his parents for in laws. Many people in my family drink alcohol, and quite a few drink to excess. My cousin’s parents were both heavy drinkers. His mother died ten years ago and his father, my uncle, is still going strong on the sauce. I have been on the receiving end of his drunken screeds on more than one occasion. So if I am a drunk, I come by it honestly. Should I quit drinking? Maybe… but I don’t want to, just like she doesn’t want to wake up and quit worshiping Trump.

I was also reminded of why I unfollowed her on Facebook ages ago. It was mainly because of all of the Biblical memes and other religious and political stuff that kept showing up on my page, interspersed with personal drama. It had been years since we last communicated online, let alone in person.

Just now, I went to her page and found this public post…

Did she come up with this idea herself? What is this supposed to do besides alienate people?

At first, I wondered if her fourth husband was behind her mysterious appearance on my page after so many years. But now I think she did it. I wonder what her objective is, besides annoying people or rallying the like minded? Frankly, posting this idea makes me think she’s an idiot, or at best, a follower who doesn’t do much deep thinking. What is this supposed to accomplish? The people who dislike Trump are not going to change their minds because she posts “Trump 2020” on their posts. The people who like Trump will probably just give her a thumbs up. And why does she she feel this is necessary? Is she afraid people are suddenly realizing that Trump is a terrible leader and won’t vote for him? I’ve got news for her. The cat’s been out of the bag for years.

I debated addressing this on my page. I had a feeling it could piss off some people who are already on edge. But then I decided I would write something about it. If people decided to opt out of my Facebook feed because of this statement, so much the better. So I posted this:

Simple enough, right?

I got some comments, all of which were positive. I did clarify what I meant, though. I don’t unfriend people who support Trump as president. I unfriend people who try to turn my page into their platform to rally for his re-election.

Want to cheerlead for Trump? Do it on your space.

This morning, I found that I’d lost one “friend”. I don’t know what finally pushed them over the edge. Was it the above post? Or was it this one below about Lindsey Graham?

This is in response to a post I read about Lindsey Graham being a closeted homosexual. If he’s gay, who cares? If he’s not gay, who cares? Either way, he’s an asshole.

It’s hard to tell what finally moves people to get to the “red button” unfriending action. Personally, my patience is getting shorter and shorter with people who openly support an incompetent, sexually abusive, narcissistic bigot like Donald Trump. If someone would rather unfriend me because of my lack of patience for their dogged support of an orange dictator wannabe, so be it. But I still support your right to vote for Trump if you want to vote for him. Just don’t use my page to promote your political bullshit. My page is only meant to be used by me for MY bullshit. You have your own page for your own political bullshit.

Besides, I think the Internet is already “flooded” with thoughts and images about Donald Trump. Posting “Trump 2020” as responses to random Facebook posts just makes you look feeble-minded and desperate. I’m sure Trump will still give Joe Biden a run for his money in November. There are still many people who will vote red no matter what. Not all of those people are stupid. Some are simply ignorant… and some aren’t stupid or ignorant, they simply hate abortion (which I do think is kind of stupid, especially given the terrible state of the world, but I can understand why people are horrified by it). I am heartened to read that some prominent Republicans will NOT be supporting Trump in November, though. It gives me some renewed faith that they are decent people.

I guess my cousin’s ex wife is afraid Trump will lose in November. That’s why she feels the need to “rally” support for the orange asshole by posting “Trump 2020” on random Facebook posts. But I have a feeling she’s going to lose a lot of friends by employing this tactic, which is not cute, clever, or funny… Or maybe she’ll lost just a few “friends” she didn’t care that much about, anyway. Either way, so much the better.

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