Monday, March 13, 2017

When he won't answer you...


Please, pay attention.  I know. You're tired of hearing about Russia but Rex Tillerson is still there, quietly not saying anything.  A man who, for years, has wanted to make it easier to do business with Russia and get his hands on Russian oil is now our Secretary of State and isn't talking.  He not only has no deputy, he's fired most of the experienced State Department officials.  Yes, of course this is a new administration and you can hire who you like but that's the thing.  They've fired much of the staff, some people had been there thirty and forty years but they have not been replaced.  He didn't fire them to bring in his own people--he isn't bringing people in.  Why?

Rachel Maddows is much better at this than I am.  Please give her a few minutes--especially at the 3:20 mark:
http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/trump-tillerson-weaken-state-department-as-putin-would-want-893658691850

(Rachel Maddows is MUCH better at this than I am.  The Advocate noted her work, here:
http://www.advocate.com/politics/2017/3/09/rachel-maddows-dogged-reporting-may-take-trump-down)

Thursday, February 02, 2017

He's just not that into you, America

He wants your love.  He wanted your vote.  He's just not that into you.

You know the old adage, "Once a cheater, always a cheater,"  but your guy is different.  When you suspected, months ago, that there was a secret server in Trump Tower communicating only with Alfa Bank in Moscow, he reminded you of Hillary's private server.  Her emails are the ones you really want to see.  Sure, he was attracted to Russia, but he never pursued her.

He behaved.  That forgotten, extra server in Trump Tower that was just sending spam marketing for his hotels stopped all communications.  So you let it go.  It was probably all in your imagination, anyway.  But one day, you had that nagging feeling.  You just couldn't let it go. After a little digging, you found another, brand-new server with a new name in the same location and only receiving sporadic communication from one other address: hers.  Russia just won't leave him alone.  But when you confronted him, he stood up in front of all your friends and dared Russia to hack Hillary's emails!  He wouldn't have said that, in front of everyone, if he had anything to hide.

You tried to make it work.  You prayed.  You read.  You wondered if your mom was right and Bernie was the guy for you, after all.  When Hillary tried to tell you she isn't your enemy and she can help you get away from this guy, he became very passionate about babies!  Finally!  He was ready to commit to you and have all of the babies with you.

So you're in!   Sure, it's complicated but what relationship isn't?  His friend Rex is around all the time but that's okay.  It's a tough adjustment making this big commitment and the pressure of all of the babies and their healthcare, you aren't going to make him stop spending time with his guy friends.  It's just, well, this friend Rex has also had a thing for Russia.  So you're not thrilled.  He didn't have an affair with Putin but...Putin's second-in-command?  That guy is totally infatuated with Rex.  Rex wants to spend more time with them but everybody is always against him.  It isn't fair.  If only he knew someone who could relax a few regulations or change a law but don't worry about that.  Russia just sold their biggest oil "jewel" without having to name who they sold it to so there is a whole international mystery there for the world to solve when they aren't watching the Tillerson-Sechin love story. It's like a double-feature.

Try to relax.  Rex is getting ready for his new job, anyway so he'll be busy with that.  Other friends are here, all the time, too.  His friend Bannon?  Of course, you have to keep an eye on him.  He keeps cautioning your guy to be wary of at least half of your friends but he doesn't even know them.  Bannon keeps saying he can tell, just by the looks of them.  You're afraid though, to put any conditions on this fresh, new relationship so you're giving it time.

Your guy just started a brand new job, after all and he is already making his mark!  He is going to be so great at this new job!  He will be the best! We're all going to have tough days, of course but just surround yourself with positive people.  Ask that Louisiana guy out for coffee.  David something.  King? Knight?  Duke.  I think it's Duke.  Try him.   He has some really good things to say about your guy.  That other group trying to keep his attention? Congress?  They're super busy so you'll still be able to distract your guy.

He wants your attention.  So give it to him.  Pay attention.

.





Saturday, December 31, 2016

A toast to our new chapters, or at least a new page!

Happy New Year's Eve!  I haven't posted about writing in a while but have been trying to actually write more.  Now is the time to pour a glass of wine and send some of send those new creations out into the world.

As my kids have started to look towards their futures, I have been reminding one artistically-inclined teen to test the waters by sending his work out or entering contests.  It's been easy for me to SAY, while my novels and novels-in-progress sit safely in their Scrivener folders because they just "aren't ready."

So as 2016 winds down, I'm submitting the first page of the latest novel to this contest!
http://www.writersdigest.com/editor-blogs/guide-to-literary-agents/29th-free-dear-lucky-agent-contest-historical-fiction

Any other historical writers out there, you still have time to do the same!  It's open until the end of December 31st Pacific Time!  Proofread once more, if you must, take a deep breath and hit "send!" Then pour a glass for yourself and trust that I'm toasting you, from here!
Happy New Year!

Sunday, November 06, 2016

God doesn't care who wins this election.

He exists outside of time.  He already knows how Tuesday will turn out.  He isn't worried about this election.

He cares about you.  He created you. He wants to know that you care about Him, your neighbor, your enemy, your family and the stranger you haven't met yet.
He created and cares about Hillary.  He created and cares about Donald.

Pray.

A few months ago, I posted a similar thought on Facebook.  I mentioned that as I sat in Adoration, flipped through the Bible and prayed, I asked God about this election.  What I heard in response was to "tell everyone to pray."

Keep it up.

If you haven't yet cast your ballot, pray.  Even if you've known for months or all along who you will vote for, ask for His guidance, anyway.  Not to justify your choice but to make His will known to you.  I believe one particular candidate will destroy this nation.  Some of you believe another candidate will do the same.  We have the same hopes and fears, have the same access to information and we both believe we're right.  But this isn't about me and it isn't about you.  This is about us.

Listen to what your religious leaders say but don't follow blindly.  Listen and pray.
Look at what your government has done but don't react reflexively.  Think and pray.

And then have faith.  God is forgiving and can bring something good, if not great, out of every situation.

A couple thousand years ago, religious leaders were fearful and took their concerns to the government.  Political leaders saw no legal wrongdoing but were concerned about popular opinion and allowed the people to decide.  The people chose Barabbas.

As much as I'd like to end with that, I prefer to go with hopeful endings.  To do that, you need to remember what happened next.  Jesus, nailed to a cross, asked God to forgive his tormentors.  If the people who put nails in Jesus's body were forgiven, I feel a little less stress about this one election.  Don't let it keep you up at night--we're almost done with this.  If you've already voted, pray.  If you've not yet voted, pray.  This is a little blip compared to eternity.  This matters but really, this isn't what really matters.  Breathe. Pray.

Monday, July 04, 2016

“Independence forever.” --John Adams

Both John Adams and Thomas Jefferson died on July 4, 1826.  In memory of two great men who worked to obtain our Independence as a nation and ensure our continued freedom, I thought I’d share some of their wise words, today!


“Independence forever.”
John Adams, last public words as a toast for the celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1826.


“Government is instituted for the common good; for the protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness of the people; and not for profit, honor, or private interest of any one man, family, or class of men; therefore, the people alone have an incontestable, unalienable, and indefeasible right to institute government; and to reform, alter, or totally change the same, when their protection, safety, prosperity, and happiness require it.”
John Adams, Thoughts on Government, 1776

“The moment the idea is admitted into society that property is not as sacred as the laws of God, and that there is not a force of law and public justice to protect it, anarchy and tyranny commence. If `Thou shalt not covet' and `Thou shalt not steal' were not commandments of Heaven, they must be made inviolable precepts in every society before it can be civilized or made free.”
John Adams, A Defense of the American Constitutions, 1787

“Children should be educated and instructed in the principles of freedom.”
John Adams, Defense of the Constitutions, 1787

A morsel of genuine history is a thing so rare as to be always valuable.
Thomas Jefferson, September 8, 1817

A rigid economy of the public contributions and absolute interdiction of all useless expenses will go far towards keeping the government honest and unoppressive.
Thomas Jefferson, letter to Lafayette, 1823

But with respect to future debt; would it not be wise and just for that nation to declare in the constitution they are forming that neither the legislature, nor the nation itself can validly contract more debt, than they may pay within their own age, or within the term of 19 years.
Thomas Jefferson, September 6, 1789

Cherish, therefore, the spirit of our people, and keep alive their attention. Do not be too severe upon their errors, but reclaim them by enlightening them. If once they become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress, and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves.

Thomas Jefferson, letter to Edward Carrington, January 16, 1787

Friday, October 09, 2015

Gunning for a fight

I was gunning for a fight I just didn't get the one I was looking for.
I'm very angry about the number of guns showing up in schools. What do we do about it?
ALL life IS sacred.  
I started a fight on Facebook. As we've proven in my fb posts, people get FIRED UP when it comes to the rights of the unborn and you should! I promise I can sympathize with both sides and will continue that discussion if you want but I want to know what we are going to do, as a nation, to protect the people who have already been born and should be SAFE at school!
A few weeks ago, a student at an alternative high school near my teens' high school brought a gun to school. No one was hurt and it was a blip in the local news.
Last Monday, a student at a large high school very near the alternative brought a gun to school in his backpack. Still just blocks from my kids' school. No one was hurt, thank God, so just another blip in the news. Two days later, at that same school, two students spray-painted threats in a school bathroom saying there would be a shooting "like Columbine." They were caught and hadn't planned actual violence but after hearing about the gun at their school, thought their threat would cause school to be closed for a day. They just wanted a day off and over 300 students were kept home, just in case.
I'm angry that CHILDREN have GUNS in their BACKPACKS.
I am very angry that CHILDREN HAVE GUNS IN THEIR BACKPACKS.
No one was hurt in these cases and no one made a big fuss.
But CHILDREN have GUNS in their BACKPACKS.
In a Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, people were killed. They weren't "children" but every one of them was someone's child. My oldest attends our local community college in the mornings before she goes to high school. It's far away from Oregon but the tragedy still hit close to home.
Today, we had two school shootings. TWO shootings on college campuses on one day.
If you bother to look at the national statistics, somebody's child is shot every day in this country. Every day. Shootings on a school campus should be shocking! Any shooting should be a wake-up call but TWO in ONE day? We cannot afford to just shake our heads and light candles. We should pray, of course! All of us should be praying right now but my prayer includes a plea that someone has an idea. Maybe not THE answer but AN answer!
A bunch of moms got together after too many children were killed as a result of drunk driving. MADD is now a national organization that has saved countless lives. Yes, we still have drunk drivers. But they didn't ignore the problem. Someone stood up and did something.
We need to do something. Gun registration for all is a start. My car is a lethal weapon and I must register it and have a license to drive it, even though I don't plan to run anyone down with it. People buying handguns may hope they don't use them but they aren't buying them for any other purpose than to aim them at another human being. Register those suckers. Lock them up. I'm not trying to take them away from you but I want you to keep them from your children. Please!
I'm not asking hunters to give up their rifles. I'm not asking people who have that gun by their bed to give it up. I am asking you to put it away. In the unlikely event an intruder enters your home, it is far more likely that you or your family will be hurt by that weapon than the intruder. But that is another argument, too.
Children have guns. Teens have guns. Young adults have guns. America, our children are armed and dangerous. It is time to take action.


Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Second Guessing, Parenthood

     Journeys down Memory Lane are full of speed bumps, curves, detours and bridges but it's cool to look back and see how even perceived forks in the road were still part of the same main path.   On my road, I see how the billboards and road signs were clearly there but I must have been speeding by too fast to read them or too busy looking for my exit.

     No.  I am not second-guessing parenthood.   With three children in school (most days), one of them being home sick today, it's a little too late to wonder if we're up for the job!   I'm thinking of R.E.M.'s song, Second Guessing.  If you're going to take a drive down Memory Lane, it's a good one for your road-trip playlist!  I loved the song back in high school.  I didn't own the album but had great memories of listening to it in friends' cars.  I said as much to a guy on our first (second) date.  I've mentioned both the date and the song here, before.  Our very first date was a lunch date in the dining hall so our second date was the first time I got into a car with him.  It wasn't my first time in that car.  I dated a friend of his the prior semester and they'd both borrowed the same car from yet another friend!   I was in a familiar car, with a fairly un-familiar guy, on a date I was pretty sure I didn't want to be on when he popped Reckoning into the tape deck.  As Michael Stipe started singing, I relaxed a little and looked at this guy, again.  First impressions being what they are, I was surprised.  He was dressed for a date, not just coming from class so he was no longer wearing a  t-shirt and a white baseball cap.  Guys who wore white baseball caps didn't listen to R.E.M.  Did they?  Maybe dinner wouldn't hurt.  We went to a little Italian restaurant where he gave the host a fake name, with a grin.  He made me laugh.  By the time we finished dinner, he asked if I wanted to go home.  I didn't.

     We agreed to go see a movie and ended up at Parenthood.  Who goes to see a movie titled "Parenthood" on their first date?  Halfway through the movie, he asked if he could "have" my hand!  No weird stretching to get an arm over the shoulders,  no slipping his hand over mine but actually asked first.  Who does that?  Still holding hands as we walked out of the movie, he asked if I wanted to go home.  I didn't.

     While trying to figure out what to do next, I think he noticed my glances at the daiquiri stand and suggested we go back uptown for drinks.  We went to O'Henry's, had long island iced teas and talked and talked until the bar closed.  Then we said we should probably call it a night.  We didn't.

     We drove down to the French Quarter.  Along the way, at a red light on Canal Street, he kissed me.  The guy who, when sober, politely asked if he could hold my hand, simply leaned over and kissed me.  He will deny that. He told everyone that I looked over and kissed him.  I didn't.

     We parked the car and walked down to the river.  We sat on a bench and talked until the sun came up along the Mississippi river.  By then, we were getting a little tired and decided it was time to go home.  A full twelve hours after the date-I-wasn't-going-to-go-on began, I made it back to my dorm room and shut the blinds so the morning sun wouldn't keep me from going to bed.  I didn't have to worry about waking my roommate as she was out-of-town for Labor Day weekend.

     The thing about these trips down Memory Lane is that they're pretty quick day-trips and you can read the signs when you're going this direction.  The signs letting me know that second-guessing was available with each and every exit?  The flashing caution sign announcing Parenthood Ahead?  There they are.  There was a point along this road, almost twenty-two years ago where I married that guy that asked for my hand.

     This was the point, twenty-six years ago, where two roads merged.   I only remember it was the Saturday before Labor Day but now we have Google, which tells me that back in 1989, that would have been September 2.