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Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Joe Hill post. Resist and Organize.

Structural factors that facilitated the election of a man who demeaned almost every marginalized demographic in this country are being re-examined.  The Women’s March was an outpouring of grief and anger, and a large rock that sent waves of hard examined thought across this country. In the last year no boulder so large has been launched, but rocks and stones continue to resonate.

(I love adult magazines that so clearly state positions it takes me a morning to write up! Thank you Slate, Huff Post, etal. The papers I dropped ten bucks apiece to for subscriptions are pretty good, too. I really like digging down to the local papers through the national papers. Attributions done, on with the essay.)

This weekend is an anniversary march, and I made plans to put in an appearance. We started a small scheme, a friend and me, to get to Cleveland, deposit me somewhere obvious and appropriate and retrieve me when it was time to go home. My new opiod does not facilitate marching, but, by damn, I can stand in one place and yell for more than a few hours.

Near selecting an appropriate corner in Cleveland, I remembered my daughter is coming Saturday, for the morning. From Cleveland. But, her son’s rock climbing team practices out of Appalachian Outfitters, here in the township. The same ones sending Laura’s team out Polar Bearing this weekend. Or, life is involved. I’ve already sponsored someone to go to the march; I’ll sponsor another one and be one ahead. Perhaps my job is mouth and phone. I’m facile with both, and we know I have nothing but time.

The strongest tree of resistance that has grown from that nearly spontaneous march a year ago simply is that: Resist. All the branches are organized groups across this country that have formed to act on local issues, local politics, local elections Actually, issues with a capital ‘I’. Voting rights, pay and wage rights, women’s rights, religious rights, race rights, it’s going on.

It’s astounding to me to see the scope and memory of institutionalized discrimination, violence, bullying. My history predates sexual molestation at age 18; I remember coming out swinging at a fellow fifth grade classmate bullying my five year old, kindergarten brother. My seven year old brother, ever the quiet peacemaker, at my shoulder, had my back. I took Ray Curly down, and might have buried him in the mud, except Walt picked me up and gave Ray a hand up. This year the history of so much inequity has been thrown in our faces. Our creative minds and abilities are devices and schemes to move forward.

Now I need to call congressmen about DACA and CHIP. Hard to believe, isn’t it. Obama’s CHIP, that made me quit smoking because it was a costly cigarette tax, is on the block. All those CHIP monies to go toward reducing the income taxes of the one percent. We surely have a lot of work left to do. 

My brothers, Walt and Mel. I think I've nailed the ages here. I know that is Mel in kindergarten, and see how Mom has them in matching shirts for school pictures.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Lovely week detoured

I had a breakfast engagement this morning, with a friend. She had a one p.m. appointment, so we not only settled on 9:30 for breakfast, I set my alarm for 7:30.  My feet encountered cat, who waited impatiently for his spot in the agenda. Mr. Cat amuses me. He knew his bowl was empty; he knows nothing happens to the bowl until the tall person is dressed. Why doesn’t he leave some bits to the side and not have an empty bowl? Why can’t he sit by the bowl and wait? It’s not like I even have coffee before cat.

Lynn’s husband called at eight, so setting the alarm was a smart move. Lynn was sick all night and would not be at breakfast. Not good, and may she be well, soon. Another friend in town had a cold I last knew had taken possession of her chest. I have to stop and see her today, be sure she’s wearing wool socks and the cold is better.

This week, commencing with the snow days last Thursday and Friday, has been full of teen age girls occupying half the house and all of Laura’s bedroom. Meredith was long term; her mom is out of town on a business trip, until tonight. Mom is in for a surprise. Meredith tagged along for shopping, and looks over Laura’s shoulder at the cooking, but I doubt she’ll engage with those back at home.

Meredith also tagged along to the Venture Crew meeting last night. She left with a completed membership application for her mother to sign. In her defense, she was recruited on coming through the door. Crew wants three more members to rise in the qualifications standards. Don’t ask, I haven’t a clue. Some other adult with children drives Laura to half the meetings. The last I knew, they were practicing knots and building outdoor shelters in the basement of the Methodist church.

The operative word is shelter. Note, tent is not mentioned.

Last night the members discussed February elections (Laura volunteered to be secretary), and began reviewing requirements for this weekend’s Polar Bear camp out. “Meredith, I am so sorry,” I said to the teenage guest by me, with a sheaf of paperwork in her hand. “No, it’s OK. I love this stuff!”

I did know Polar Bear weekend was approaching, as if waking to sub zero every morning for a month were not enough. I checked Weather Channel yesterday, to see how miserable the weather might be and wonder if Laura’s enthusiasm might dwindle, after these several months of preparation.

Saturday and Sunday, forty degrees. Go figure.

From the Washington Post this morning: The 2018 election season kicked off Tuesday with an upset in rural Wisconsin, where Democrats flipped a state Senate seat that had been held by Republicans since the start of the century. 

Just one foot in front of the other. I think of Paul Ryon's pile of post cards on the end of his drive, and smile.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

Living dissatisfied

This has been a rough and tumble year for this country. My life has settled into a comfortable routine that includes disseminating my political opinions at most opportunities. It’s nice to have a “grown up” conversation with a friend, or someone I recognize as a “dissenter”.

It’s satisfying to throw a politically disturbing thought into a group, friends, acquaintances or strangers. It’s over the top to foment heresy among the opposition. But then, my opportunities to drive my car up a twisting township road in an ice storm are limited. It’s about maintaining “the edge”, as well as potentially replacing weeds with crops in new minds.

The latest statement from the projection artist Robin Bell, and his mobile projector, is the Sunday headline. Shithole, emblazoned across the front of Trump’s DC hotel for profit. The dichotomy emphasizes Bell’s subsequent projection, “We are all responsible to stand up and end white supremacy.” A strongest average citizen sentiment this past week  is, Shitholians will be at the polls in November.

Descriptors of the worst presidents of all time include corrupt, inept, oblivious, irresponsible, criminal, ignorant. That last, GW, is not two decades old, and I thought the worst of my lifetime. That just was the wake up call. Ignorance is our crime, as is civil irresponsibility, complacency, silence.

Living dissatisfied is not a big job, not consuming. Mine resembles carrying a handout in a breast pocket and using it if opportunity arises. Except, I carry issues and opinions. My arena is the place I see the most people, the gym. Trump is a big help; he makes it easy for me to keep up a conversation.

My former trainer, now a certified cardiopulmonary rehab specialist at a different Cleveland Clinic facility, is a former Republican. I did have the advantage of her undivided attention for an hour a week for the last two years. Had I tried the same tactic with my late brother, for instance, he would have left the room. Pick your battles. After the November general election my trainer flashed her I Voted sticker, grinned, and said “You would be proud of me.” ‘Nuff said.

Another ground is right here in my trailer park. I have neighbors. I see people at the mailboxes, in the office. I am more than happy to give an explanation of health care changes if the opportunity presents. That’s coals to Newcastle here, however. The object is instilling the importance of voting, especially by mail. It all starts with registration.

Jen Hoffman has a lengthy gratitude list this week. It will keep me busy. I may even borrow Laura’s sparkle pens. Resist.