Addendum: Five long years….

MomAtMarys

A brief entry; a quick mention.  My mom passed five years ago today.  I can’t believe it has been that long.  It feels like yesterday.  I’m still not used to her not being here.  Now I need to go out and fill my bird feeders so the cardinals will come and I can feel like she is visiting me.

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End of Week 301 – Wild and Wooly in Washington…

Zalmy Wainhaus photo

This week’s picture is one I saved from a recent Facebook post. It may have been shared by my cousin, Carol, in Arizona. I’m afraid I do not know the photographer’s name, but it is one of the most beautiful and peaceful images I’ve ever seen. We need some peace and tranquility now.  Since nothing much is happening in the diet and exercise front (except we finally got the treadmill going again), I’ll jump right into the reasons we need some quiet.

The Winter Olympics are over and this has left a news void that SCROTUS has been only too happy to fill.  This week the news has been filled with (in no particular order):

Lots of discussion about Jared Kushner’s lack of security clearance. Turns out there are lots of people in the White House who deal in classified material, but do not have complete security clearances.  However, Kushner’s big project was supposed to be brokering a Middle East peace involving Israel and Palestine, which definitely involves classified material.  But as several sources noted, the White House Calligrapher has a higher clearance than Kushner.  We are still waiting to see how long it takes Jared and Ivanka to leave – SCROTUS won’t do it himself; he’ll get Chief of Staff Kelly to do the dirty work.

SCROTUS rocked the US political landscape when he held a televised meeting from the White House with legislators, the press, and students and parents involved in the Parkside, FL school shooting.  At that meeting he supported banning “bumpstocks” and raising the age for buying a gun to 21.  He also said something about taking guns from dangerous people first, and then going through due process.  At the time my thought was that it isn’t enough, but it’s a start.  Every effort starts somewhere.  That was on a Wednesday.  Then, on Thursday it was announced SCROTUS and our bible-thumping VP had a meeting with the chief lobbyist from the NRA, and that they do not support any “gun control” measures.  SCROTUS can get whiplash reversing direction that fast.  I know the rest of us did!  He is a disingenuous prevaricator who says whatever he thinks will benefit him at the time and with whomever he is speaking.  Truth be damned!

Another serious subject this week was SCROTUS beginning trade wars with the rest of the world.  He announced that the US will be imposing a 25% tariff on imported steel and a 10% tariff on imported aluminum.  In anticipation of this announcement, China and other countries have already been dumping their cheaper products here.  Most of SCROTUS’ advisors who have anything to do with this have advised him it is not a good idea.  He actually said trade wars are easy to win.  HE HAS ACKNOWLEDGED THAT HE IS DELIBERATELY STARTING TRADE WARS!  How irresponsible can one person be???  He seems to think US action will not be answered by actions from other countries.  News flash, SCROTUS – nothing happens in a vacuum.  Of course, domestic steel and aluminum companies are thrilled.  I wonder if they realize that products dependent on those materials will probably be priced right out of the reach of the rest of us.  I can’t decide which is better – the baby and bath water analogy, or the nose and face analogy.

And tucked down under the rest of this news is the fact that apparently SCROTUS has no “red line” when it comes to the Assad regime in Syria using chemical weapons against his own civilians.  It has been confirmed that chemical weapons have been used recently and that scores of children have been injured and killed.  SCROTUS hasn’t even mentioned it, and definitely has not taken any action.  My opinion is that he is afraid of offending Putin, who is Assad’s biggest supporter – to the point of bombing schools and hospitals in Syria for Assad.  Putin has both Assad and SCROTUS in his pocket.  We will suffer for it eventually.

Finally, on a lighter note, this weekend SCROTUS had a richbitch GOP donor dinner at Mar a Lago. (100 days at his properties instead of governing) First, the news noted that SCROTUS is beginning to campaign for 2020 re-election.  Where have they been??  SCROTUS has been campaigning for re-election since the day after inauguration!  He campaigns each time he travels to one of his adoration fixes that he likes to call rallies.  Adoration is a drug to him.

Second, at this dinner he made a speech.  In that speech he praised China’s leader, Xi, and said he liked that Xi is now president of China for life.  SCROTUS then stated that he hoped the US would give that plan a shot someday.  I don’t really think there is any danger of that here, but the statement itself made me laugh because it confirmed what I’ve always said about SCROTUS.  He thinks he should be an autocrat; a dictator; a sovereign head of state.  Someone in the federal government recently and accurately described it as “autocratic envy”.  He dreams of consolidating all the power, just like Xi.

All this does not even count that Putin announced he has a new nuke that cannot be intercepted and can reach anywhere in the world.  SCROTUS didn’t say much about that either.

I hope next week is calmer.  Not sure we can sustain this pace for long.

Until next week….

 

End of Week 300 – No shortage of political fodder….

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I can’t believe I’ve been journaling for 300 weeks!  This week’s photo is in honor of the beginning of spring training for major league baseball.  I am a lifelong and diehard Cardinals fan.  My son loves the Orioles.  My husband’s opinion of baseball is similar to my opinion of football – who cares? LOL!  Well, he’s had his football, and NASCAR has started, so I can’t wait for my baseball!  That, and March Madness in college basketball, are my favorites in the sports world.

I’ve been trying to work out a schedule for getting to the gym.  I really want to go MWF, but those are my husband’s dialysis days and they have a tendency to call him in early, so it is difficult to plan.  I may just try M – F, all 5 days, and try to get there early enough that it doesn’t interfere with dialysis.  If I plan on all 5 days then missing one once in a while won’t hurt.  Eating is changing.  I find I don’t eat as much now that I’m home.  I’ve always been a stress eater, and even with my husband’s medical problems I find I am much more relaxed now that I’m retired.  It is a good feeling.

The news this week has been pretty much taken up by either the Winter Olympics or the NRA/CPAC convention on the heels of the shooting in the high school in Parkland, FL.  I’ve enjoyed what I’ve seen of the Olympics.  The US came away with some surprise medals.  What I really love is that you can watch and appreciate all the good performances even if the athletes aren’t from the US, and no one says “you’re unpatriotic!”  Sorry to see them end.

Last week I mentioned the courageous students from Parkland, FL who have decided enough is enough when it comes to guns and school shootings.  Well, they are still active; making the talk show rounds, trying to meet with legislators, etc.  Point is, they are committed and determined to make themselves heard.  This is a good thing.

In contrast, also last week, the lowest of the low (LOL) met for a convention of political conservatives, supported mostly by the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) and the NRA (no translation needed).  Now, not all conservatives belong in the exclusive club of the lowest of the low, but the LOL (which is also my reaction to them when the subject is trivial) is extremely vocal and can make it appear that everyone who claims to be conservative is just like them.  They tend to bully, dominate, and drown out.

Reasons the LOL are despicable: 1. The NRA is an organizational member of the LOL. During the convention speakers from the NRA attacked mainstream media.  Ok, so what? That in itself is not the problem.  However, a particularly horrible female NRA member stated that “crying white mothers” are ratings gold.  First, bringing race into a discussion of losing children shows a complete lack of character. Second, as someone who has found herself in the role of the crying mother due to a gun-related event (not a school shooting), I am outraged by the NRA’s trivialization of these parents’ suffering and this community’s anguish.  Reducing the tragedy and those 17 deaths to a media trick definitely fits the requirements of the LOL.

2. The LOL have been busy trying to discredit the student activists from Florida.  They have called the students “actors” and claimed they have been “coached”.  This may not have originated with the convention (I think it started before the convention), but those in the convention encouraged the campaign.  Frankly, anyone who thinks teenagers who, after going through such a horrific event, need to be coached to have strong opinions about what happened either has never raised a teenager or has not been around many of them.  Their honest and self-determined opinions are hardly in short supply!

Regarding the students being outside actors; the teens being so described are the ones who were right there when the shooting happened.  They were interviewed immediately.  So are the LOL saying some liberal talent agency knew the shooting was going to happen and planted actors among the students right then and there?  That is exactly how ridiculous that accusation sounds.

Again, not all conservatives belong to the LOL – just the really loud ones.  I believe the volume has been turned up because they are frightened of the student’s potential. Even SCROTUS has made some minor suggestions for gun reform – not  enough, but a start.  This tells me they are running scared, and their suggestions sound like attempts at appeasement – give them a little and maybe they will calm down and go away.  Don’t count on it!

I am looking forward to seeing how much these young people can do working together.

Until next week….

End of Week 299 – Sadness, but with a difference…

Hummingbird

Diet and exercise are happening. Not sure if they are helping yet, but I’ve been to the gym 3 times this week which is not bad considering how much medical travel is required.  We are 6 weeks into 2018 and I can’t remember a sadder, darker beginning to a year.

It started with the loss of my cousin Linda (mentioned in an earlier post).  That actually happened December 29th, but I consider anything after Christmas as part of the following year.  Then a man with whom I worked passed away in January.  Then another man, one with whom I worked closely and actually supervised, passed away last Thursday. This passing hit me particularly hard because he died of complications associated with Multiple Myeloma, the same disease that took my mother.

Just about the same time, we heard the news about the mass shooting at the high school in Parkland, FL.  Students and teachers lost – 17 in all.  Others injured.  We are still experiencing the fallout from this event.  In some ways this shooting was just like all the others – most of us feeling powerless; politicians sending “thoughts and prayers”; the inevitable reheating of the gun control and mental health debates; blazing social media.  All that has happened before.

But miraculously, wondrously, it didn’t end there this time.

This shooting is different.  It is different because these victims refused to take this quietly.  They refused to retire into the background and simply accept everyone’s good wishes.  The survivors, the parents, the teachers’ families – THEY GOT MAD!  Parents appeared on the news networks, grabbed the microphone, and yelled at the politicians (even directly at SCROTUS).  Surviving students are making their opinions known through the news, holding rallies, making future protest plans.  This time the idiots in Washington DC are going to know what the victims want.  The GOP is saying it is not right to discuss the politics this soon after a shooting.  Really??  Tell that to the protesting students in Parkland.  Tell that to the parents expressing their anguish on the news.  If it’s time for them, IT’S TIME FOR YOU!!

Been a busy week for SCROTUS.  There was the school shooting; then there was the announcement of the indictment of 13 Russians in Mueller’s investigation – charged with election interference.  First, SCROTUS claimed that the indictments vindicated him and his campaign because the 30 page document did not mention the campaign or any collusion.  I guess SCROTUS thought this ended the investigation.  WRONG!  Mueller is just getting started.  But that reaction was predictable.

What wasn’t expected was SCROTUS using the Florida shooting to undermine the FBI, saying they missed signs and clues about the shooter because they were too busy trying to prove his collusion with the Russians.  Using the shooting for his own political gain is despicable.  The man is a monster.  This cannot be overemphasized.

Until next week…..

End of Week 298 –

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This is a shot of my back yard.  Every once in a while deer will drop in for a meal.  I love it because I can see them from where I sit to write.  In fact, this picture was taken through my dining room window.

Seems most of my time now is taken up by my husband’s medical needs; mostly due to transportation.  He’s not an invalid, or someone who has to have 24 hour care, or anything like that.  It’s just that he’s dealing with so many different places, and they all say “have someone drive you”.  Frankly, it irritates him.  Getting him started on dialysis followed by 2 weeks in the hospital.  Now dialysis 3 times a week, reconnecting with the surgeon to fix his fistula, and an upcoming appointment to be evaluated for kidney transplant.  And I have to be available to chauffeur him to all these places.  This is retirement for me.  I guess it’s good that I no longer have the concerns of an office.

I’ve dropped about 5 pounds.  Being home makes it easier to eat less.  This surprises me.  I honestly thought it would be the opposite.  I’m going to the gym as much as I can, but I’ve had to put my personal sessions on temporary hold because of an unpredictable schedule with all the medical places.  Ultimately, I want to be sure I can take care of my husband so I can be sure he hangs around for a long time!

In my last post (which I just published – where was my mind last week??) I mentioned a memo that originated from US Senate republicans on the Intelligence Committee (specifically Nunes).  It was released to the public despite the objections from SCROTUS’ handpicked FBI director.  I also mentioned that the republicans on the committee refused to declassify a memo written by the Democrats.  It appears that memo was sent to SCROTUS so he can decide whether to release it.  I still have not stopped laughing at that.

This has to do with FISA warrants.  It stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.  I’m no expert, but apparently there are rules to follow in getting warrants associated with this Act.  The GOP memo alleges the Dems violated those rules in getting FISA warrants.  Some of what it said has already been proven false, and even the GOP-led FBI warned that the memo has significant material omissions.  In other words, the GOP senators cherry-picked the information they would release.

Now SCROTUS has returned the Dems’ memo to them saying he will not release it because it contains classified information.  That did not seem to bother him when he considered the GOP memo.  He said the Dems need to return the memo to him “in proper form”.  To quote Rep. Adam Schiff (D – CA), the hypocrisy of the situation grabs you by the throat.

What it boils down to is SCROTUS and the GOP are hiding something.  Just what are they covering up?  We may never know.

I’m watching the Olympics.  I prefer the summer games, but these are fun too.  I enjoyed the opening ceremony and loved seeing the two Koreas marching in together.  It may not lead to anything else, but for now it is inspirational.  I just don’t think the leader of NK is going to be willing to do anything that makes him seem less powerful, but we’ll see.  His sister certainly looks defiant – not very friendly.

Until next week….

End of Week 297 – Good Riddance to January…

MindAndHeart

(I can’t believe I didn’t hit “publish” on this one!! This is last week’s.)

Seldom have I been happier to see a month go.  January was full of cold, rain, snow, and medical emergencies.  I spent it going to the hospital instead of the gym, and now I feel like I’m starting all over in my workouts.  However, my husband is home and feeling much better so I’m hoping this week will have a few more trips to the gym.  I’m also hoping that I’ll be able to eat better now that I’m away from the food at the hospital.

Today the Philadelphia Eagles play the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LII.  The game will be played in Minnesota (in a dome of course).  Kickoff is around 6:30 and the only reason I’m glad is because my son, his fiancée, and her son will be here to watch, and maybe one of my son’s friends.  I ignore football for the most part, but am very glad to see the end of the season.  I’m counting the days to baseball spring training.

The big political news this week was a memo.  A memo by Senator Nunes (R – CA) (SCROTUS sycophant) that had to be declassified by the Senate in order to be released on SCROTUS’ authority.  Nunes wrote it and serves on the Intelligence Committee.  The importance of its contents depends on whom you ask, but I think how this is being handled is more important than what the memo actually says.

First, the FBI and the DOJ both objected to declassification and release.  In fact, the loudest objection came from the FBI Director, who was HANDPICKED by SCROTUS. He stated there are material omissions in the memo’s information.  Then the release was authorized anyway, at which point TwitterLand lit up with SCROTUS claiming it completely vindicates him in the Russia probe.

The Democratic members of the committee drafted a rebuttal that explained what was missing, but we still don’t know what that is because the GOP members will not agree to declassify the rebuttal so it can be released.  It boils down to the GOP telling the country what they want us to hear, and then deliberately keeping us from hearing the whole story.  And it’s really obvious.  I mean, they aren’t even trying to hide what they are doing!  It’s like the GOP Senators are the muscle men for a dictator!

Quick mention of SCROTUS and his first State of the Union Address.  It was full of lies, and most of the time only half the audience was standing and applauding, as expected.  Standard for SCROTUS.  What struck me was how SCROTUS looked while speaking.  I do not like being “talked down to”.  SCROTUS “talked down his nose” at everyone the whole time, and between talking points he grinned while looking down his nose and placing what can only be described as a smirk on his face.  Later he claimed the largest audience of any State of the Union in history.  Not true.  You can read about that from news sources.

The game is on.  Guess I’ll join the family.

Until next week….

End of Week 296 – What Day Is It?

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Ok, it’s another picture that I just like.  Been a rough 2 weeks, so I’m treating myself.

Today my husband has been in the hospital for a week with that infection I mentioned in my last post.  I actually ended up having to call 911 for him last weekend.  We now know what it is.  We still are not sure how he got it.  It is an infection of the lower digestive system called C. Diff.  The bad news is that if it is not treated the consequences can be dire, especially for older people.  The good news is C. Diff. is bacterial, so it can be treated with antibiotics.  His white cell count is back to normal, so I suspect he can come home once his symptoms subside.  The question is, how long will that take?  He is discouraged and frightened. Good thing I retired.  I can take care of the home front, go to the hospital, and not have to worry about what is happening at the office.

The disadvantage to all this is that I’ve made it to the gym only once since all this started. I do some walking at the hospital, but not nearly enough.  I had dropped about 4 pounds, but it is slowly coming back, despite my watching what I eat.  I’ve always needed exercise to lose.

Of course, it has been difficult to follow the news while dealing with these health issues, but I’ve seen enough to know SCROTUS is up to his old tricks.  He always is.  He has now done an about-face on DACA, saying he would be open to giving the Dreamers a path to citizenship.  Before you start thinking this is a change of position, you should realize this “concession” comes at a price.  SCROTUS wants much tighter border security (which is ok) and at least 25 billion for his border wall (which is NOT ok).  The wall would be a complete waste of money.  Historically, the success of physical border fortification is questionable at best, but especially in these modern times.  SCROTUS needs to read up on Hitler’s Atlantic Wall of 1944.  Hitler tried to fortify the northern French border to prevent an invasion from across the English Channel and into places like Normandy.  It wasn’t a continuous, one-piece wall.  But it was a series of physical fortifications using small towns, bunkers, etc. all along the coast.  Plus, Hitler had an army.  As people are fond of saying these days, “Yeah…how’d that work out for you?”

The Atlantic Wall didn’t do much to stop D-Day and that was during WWII.  If SCROTUS builds his wall, it may stop a few individuals for a short time, but it will not even slow modern-day drug runners.  There are just too many ways around that type of barrier.  Air, sea, technology – all give the advantage to those trying to get themselves or some product in the US.

Also, do you remember when SCROTUS was campaigning and he promised to build a wall?  That was not all he promised.  He also promised, many times, that MEXICO would pay for building it.  Now he wants the US taxpayers to spend 25 billion for it.  Basically, SCROTUS is holding the Dreamers for ransom.  I want to hear how he plans to collect from Mexico.  Not some indirect plan where Mexico ends up paying tariffs and other stuff.  That won’t work – Mexico will just trade elsewhere, and will charge us more for other things.  If he cannot get Mexico to pay for it directly, I think we should raise a stink.

The other big SCROTUS news was his trip to Switzerland to talk to other filthy rich business people (mostly men).  Was I the only one who noticed his speech was basically a rehash of one he made earlier in the year?  Some of it was verbatim, like the part “America first does not mean America alone” and the part about putting Americans first just like other leaders should put their citizens first.  He spoke very slowly.  I guess that’s how he stays on script.

The news said he was applauded.  Of course he was – they were all rich business people.  Oh well, at least he got an adoration fix.

Until next week….