I dearly love irony, especially situational irony (a difference between what is expected and what actually happens). The example I give today is NOT a political comment, just something that tickled my irony-bone.
Congressman Steve Scalisi, Majority Whip, is harshly critical of Senate Democrats who say they’ll oppose President Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court “before they even know who it is.” He calls it an “incredible level of irresponsibility” and says that they should just “do their job.”
Where was Scalisi the last yer of Obama’s presidency when the Republicans were doing the same thing?
Could President Donald J. Trump turn out to be the Great Unifier? Democrats don’t like what he’s doing; Republicans are not that happy with his actions. Supporters are saying, “You mean that he was serious about that campaign promise?” Surprised consumers are learning that we’ll pay for “the wall” via higher prices for food and goods. Crowds of people who voted for Trump, mixed with those who did not, are, together, raising their voices against an Executive Order. Heads of state from other countries are conferring, afraid of what some of his policies will do to the world economy and peaceful coexistence.
Could it be that people will unify behind reining in the President? That Republicans and Democrats may actually communicate with each other? That countries will decide that it’s best to cooperate for the common good? That our citizens will decide that working toward the goal of a unified, functioning, egalitarian America is more important than protesting and rioting?
Cities in the San Francisco Bay Area now have bike-share programs.Rent a bike for an hour or a day to run errands, sight-see, etc. (More details can be found at http://bayareabikeshare.com.) Your city doesn’t have such a program? Propose it to your local governing board.
Why? Because if all Americans aged 10-74 walked or biked half an hour a day instead of driving we would save 6.5 billion gallons of gas and lose 3 billion pounds off our bodies!
[For more easy, money-saving, Earth-friendly tips, download a FREE copy of Green Riches: Help the Earth & Your Budget. Go to www.Smashwords.com/books/view/7000 or your favorite e-book seller and download to your computer or e-book device. Totally free, with no strings attached.]
The ultimate example of man’s inhumanity to man was put to an end 72 years ago today, when Auschwitz, the Nazi concentration camp, was liberated. It imprisoned people who were torn from their families and lives simply because they were Jewish. It was a place of unspeakable conditions, torture, and death. It used human beings for ghastly experiments because, after all, these weren’t people in the Nazi mind but sub-humans, so it didn’t matter if they suffered. Some 200,000 people were able to leave the camp, but not without physical, emotional, and spiritual damage that has lasted even to today for the roughly 100,000 still alive.
Auschwitz is still fresh in our minds after 79 years on this anniversary day and, to many, every day. As it should be–so that we never allow that to happen to any group of people ever again.
Why is the news media (and late-night TV hosts) making so much of Kellyanne Conway’s term “alternative facts”? The poor lady just misspoke, didn’t she?
Doesn’t matter. She represents the President, as does the press secretary, who is official spokesperson for him. He doesn’t need people using terms that have this kind of connotation.
Which is, as many people are noting, awfully close to “newspeak,” seen in George Orwell’s book 1984. That term is defined in the Oxford Dictionaries as language that is “designed and controlled by the state in order to suppress free thought, individualism, and happiness.” It is language that totalitarian dictators use in the book to control the masses. Both that term and “alternative facts” twist the facts so that non-facts (we won’t call them “lies”) are touted as facts and then often blindly accepted.
President Trump has enough problems with unfortunate word-choice in his tweets. The people who most closely represent him (outside of his family) are adding to the problem. If he isn’t careful, people will start perceiving him as a self-centered, ego-maniacal, totalitarian dictator rather leader of a free, democratic nation.
Yes, words DO matter.
Meanwhile, copies of 1984 are flying off the shelves of bookstores.
Did you hear about the report (“An Economy for the 99%”) from Oxfam about where all the world’s money is? According to that international poverty-fighting group, it comes out this way: Add the wealth of all of the world’s 3.6 billion poorest people and it roughly equals the $436 billion held by eight (8!) men–not women or families but 8 individual men. Then add together the wealth of the 180 poorest countries and it does NOT equal the wealth of the ten largest countries.
And this inequality is increasing. Which widens the divisions in society.
Violence! Fighting! Rock-throwing! Vandalism! Fires! These are common events at marches and protests. There were 470,000 or so people in the Women’s March in DC (and many, many more in other cities, including my home town of San Jose, CA). And what did they do? The raised their voices to express their demands for justice, peace, and equality in our country. Women carried signs related to a multitude of social justice issues and expressed their displeasure with a President who has promised (and has already started) to set policies that they see as perpetuating social INjustice. They sang and chanted, gave and listened to speeches, discussed issues with those around them, became more and more determined.
They did not riot. Or destroy property. Or attack each other.
My daughter and granddaughter attended. My apolitical granddaughter decided that giving up a planned snow trip and enduring the several-hour bus ride from their New Jersey home to DC was worth it, that this was an historical and meaningful event she wanted to participate in. My daughter, more political, agreed, and off they went. See pictures below.
There are several lessons here. First, women united can light a fire that makes a difference. Second, the next generation of adults care about the human family. Third, protests can be peaceful, and they should be if participants are to be taken seriously.
I’m proud of my family’s involvement and of all the 470,000 people in DC and all the others who showed up and spoke up.
Love him or hate him, agree with him or not, trust him or not–as of noon today, Donald J. Trump is President of the United States.
We are all Americans, who pride ourselves on being fair-minded and willing to give people a chance. Let’s come together and do just that, give him a chance to demonstrate that he is truly a President for all the people and has our country as his top priority. Once we see what he actually does we can react by expressing our displeasure (and pressuring our lawmakers to do something about it) or give credit where credit is due.
Our nation is divided and angry enough. Giving President Trump the opportunity to prove himself and his intentions is not only less divisive but is also the American ideal.