A PTSD Election

I talked to a friend the other day, a fellow Bernie Sanders supporter (Berner), and we talked about experiencing a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

We have since the end of the primaries, since Bernie Sanders endorsed Hillary, since the DNC the last week of July – been bummed out from: Bernie not winning, his endorsement of “her”, the fiasco of the DNC according to many Bernie delegates, the blatant (to many of us) election rigging, DNCLeaks, voter suppression and disenfranchisement, potential election fraud, #ExitPollGate, seeing the Bernie vote split between Jill, Trump, Gary, Hill or even those who just don’t want to vote at all now.

And, it occurred to me that it wasn’t that simple. It’s not simply just a case of PTSD.

The reason people feel lost now isn’t just that Bernie lost. We feel, deep down, that WE, the United States and perhaps even the World lost. Not just because we spent our hard earned dollars supporting his campaign, not just because we phone banked and text banked, not just because we knocked on doors and talked to everyone who would show even a slight interest in Bernie’s campaign or even those who didn’t, not just because we feel we are more in-tuned (awake) to the truth of life in America and even life in the world now than perhaps others who we feel may be unaware, not just because of the wars and the military industrial complex, private prison industry, fracking, the rape of our planet, climate change (global warming), the oligarchy, the TPP, our sick government, but so much more we see wrong with the world.

No, what we feel is beyond sadness. It is almost a hopelessness. With Bernie, we saw and felt HOPE like we had never felt before. Because we felt and heard and knew, he was speaking a truth. Maybe it was just a domestic truth, but in our hearts we knew it was the truth of the world. We finally, after years of seeing what we felt was the downfall of our society, our corrupt government bought and paid for by the rich and national and multi-national corporations, lobbyists – that finally, someone was (still) fighting for us, finally, someone was truly “telling it like it is” (and no, it wasn’t Trump). Finally, we had hope that we could change the world for the better, and it wasn’t just Bernie, it was a political revolution, and it wasn’t just him, it was US. We had hope even though we knew that if he won, he probably would not be able to get all he talked about the issues accomplished, and we knew that, yet, we also knew that what was important was that he would continue to fight, and so would we – and that what was even more important than him winning was that his message, our message, would continue to be heard – and heard loudly – and that maybe not just us, but the U.S., and even the rest of the world, could hear and see and believe – the world from a humanistic standpoint, can be and will be a better place for us all.

And, so, now, we are feeling lost, dejected, quieted, afraid, sad, lonely, hopeless – because we wonder if his message has died with his campaign. We feel no one is listening as we see Hillary select Tim Kaine, a centrist, as her running mate; as she selects former Interior Secretary, Ken Salazar as the head of her transition team (a pro TPP guy); as Trump continues to make one political faux pas after another; as we hear of the native American tribes standing against the North Dakota pipeline to preserve their water; as we hear of the flooding in Louisiana which seems to have drawn little national attention; bombing in Syria with pictures of small children; the constant tirade of the DNC blaming Russia; wondering if Julian Assange will make it to his big revelation in October; having just heard Bernie will resume stumping for Hillary in September; and Jeff Weaver is now on Our Revolution though wasn’t he working will Hillary’s national general election campaign?

We wonder – is anyone listening? Are we defenseless against the oligarchy? Has Bernie sold out? Does Jill really have a chance given the split in votes and the polls? Do we, Americans, have to continue to deal with the crumbs that are fed us from the 1%, or continue to see the middle class and those at the poverty level or below continue to decline into abject poverty? Does it matter who is “President of the United States” if the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), and the Trade In Services Agreement (TISA) pass in our legislatures?  Is America, the United States really run by 8 (or sometimes 9) Kings, those who with judicial review decide if a law is upholding or against the Constitution with no government branch or even We the People to question their findings?  We even wonder, is our Constitution specific enough for 2016?  230 years after it was established?

I understand your frustration. This is not just a line palavered by medical professionals in trying health crisis. It isn’t some band-aid to make you feel better. Some platitude meant to give you calm, peace, or reassurance.

No, in this case, I don’t want your frustration to be diminished or minimized. In this case, I want you to do as Bernie stated, “Never, ever lose you sense of outrage!” Keep fighting the fight. We may have lost the battle, but we can win the war.

To see each step that happened – to see that maybe that is how it was supposed to have happened.  To see that if Bernie had won the nomination, would we be working towards a third party possibility? To see that, would we have been as incensed or outraged as we are now, further looking at the unjust wars in the world, the raping of our land for greed and profit, the atrocities being brought on people throughout the world in the name of “freedom” by the U.S. hand,  the fracking and pipelines that continue to rape our fresh water?

To see that, maybe, just maybe, all is right with the world, even though Bernie isn’t the nominee for the highest position in this land of ours, a land of supposed freedom and liberty.

To see that even as Bernie endorses and stumps for her, we KNOW what we have to do to take our country back.  That if he had won or fought the nomination, would we be where we are today?

I used to believe “everything happens for a reason.”  I got away from that thinking for a few years, maybe decades.  Now, I am revisiting this notion – because I have also, in these past few years come to believe this – if you believe you can, you are halfway there.  If you can visualize and imagine the world you want to be, see it, believe it – you, we, can manifest it.  The law of attraction is real.  Imagining and thinking something is the first step to it actually happening!

Will it happen today, in 5 years, in 10 years or in 20 years? There is a notion floating around that Seeing is Believing.  But there is also another notion that Believing is SEEING.  Is that where we are now?  We must imagine and believe it to be possible before it actually is not only possible, but reality?

No matter how you feel about Bernie today, can you see that he has made the idea of the POSSIBLE great, equitable, fair, just, tranquil, serene, enlightened REALITY a more likely possibility?

Can you see that it is not up to him?  That him, as he is now, as everything happens for a reason – that he is exactly where he needs to be, and that even if by some miracle, or is it by us believing it first, that he DOES become President of the United States of America, that even if that becomes our reality, everything has happened as it should?

Because now, we know, we see, we are aware – he needs us to be by his side, helping him and even reminding him, or perhaps he even needs us to take our OWN leadership and initiative – AND to remind us who we are, what we think, what we want -so that truly, we will finally be a country, a world – OF the people, BY the people, and FOR the people – for the highest good of all concerned.

BERNASTE!

#StillSanders

All the Democrats hating on Trump.  All the Republican hating on Hillary and Bernie.  Half the Dems hate Hillary.  Half the Dems  hate Bernie.  Half the Republicans hate Trump.

The Republicans fear democratic socialism, Bernie and fear Hillary, too.  One-half of the Dems fear Hillary, do the other half fear Bernie? Do all Democrats fear Trump?

Fear and hate – the two strongest emotions in the world.  Fear and hate only breeds more fear and hate.

What about policy and integrity?  Why don’t we speak of these?   Are we not all Americans?  Are we not all people of one world, one planet?

Change happens when the fear of staying the same is greater than the fear of change.

Which fear is greater for you now?

For me, it’s of things staying the same, as they have for thousands of years.  When will we be done with hate and killing for being a different skin color, sex, nationality, or any of the other reasons?

So, I try to look to our commonalities.  I seek to see the humanity in us all.  I work to love everyone – even if I disagree with their viewpoint.

My vow, from this day forward, focus on our sameness, our similarities.  And when our differences attempt to separate us and hinder our togetherness, I will hold up compassion, discuss to understand, and above all, show love and respect for my fellow human beings.

If we all do that – will it matter who our next President is?  If we all try to understand, sympathize and empathize, then will we be able to see LOVE MATTERS. Would it change the world?

LOVE MATTERS
LOVE CRUSHES FEAR
LOVE SILENCES HATE

I do not fear or hate Trump.  I find his policies and stance on issues to be poor choices that do not promote love, but divisiveness. I do not see by his words, past actions, and character that he is a man of integrity.

I do not fear or hate Hillary.  She aligns more to my thoughts on policy and issues, but I do not believe she is trustworthy due to her past actions, and I believe she does not have integrity.

Still today, my views and positions align the most with Bernie Sanders, and I find by his actions, his speech, and his life works that he has integrity.

He was and is my only choice – not just for me – for US!  Not just for democrats – but for Americans and even the world.

Because Bernie’s message isn’t just about policy and issues – his message is understanding and love.

I choose to be like Bernie – to do my best to show love, compassion, kindness and understanding to all my fellow human beings.

And, it’s not because I idolize him or see him as a hero.

It’s because I see in him more of what I’d like to see in myself.

Bernie makes me want to be a better person.

#StillSanders

 

 

Is voting a right?

Later this month, there will be both the Republican National Convention and the Democratic National Convention.  At these conventions, it is assumed, that the presumptive nominees will be named the official party nominees.

Although it may come as a surprise to many, about 1/2 of the people who voted in the Democratic primary (if not more, will explain) are not only not happy with the situation, but are downright outraged.  You see, Senator Bernie Sanders achieved about 45% of the votes in all of the Democratic primaries and caucuses, but could he have achieved more?  Many of these primaries were closed meaning you had to be registered as a Democrat to vote in the primary, with some registrations being due as much as 6 months before said primary.  This is a case of voter disenfranchisement.    And, there are more instances of voter disenfranchisement, voter suppression, or even election fraud in:

  • Wisconsin new voter ID laws and long lines
  • Arizona had polling locations in Maricopa County (Phoenix area) cut from 200 to 60
  • Oregon where they have mandatory registration which originally registers you non-affiliated in a closed primary state
  • New York with broken scanners and purged voters
  • Puerto Rico had many different issues the most important which may be reduced polling locations from 1510 to 432
  • Illinois votes switching from Sanders to Clinton,
  • Rhode Island having 144 polling locations as opposed to the typical 400+
  • California problems from voters getting provisional ballots instead of Democrat ballots and many lawsuits
  • and maybe more.

The Nevada Democratic Convention was a situation of rules of the convention being adopted BEFORE the set time in the program, as well as voice tallies only in a hall which held about 3,000 (as if you can tell if the Yay or Nay won in that situation.)  The potential corruption, or at the very least massive incompetence, is rampant and evident as noted if you look up the hashtag #ExitPollGate and I recommend reading this article by John Laurits explaining it.  Also, in some states, people mysteriously had their registrations change from Democrat or Republican to another party.

According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2014, one in four people identify as Independent, 39%.  Now, many of these Independents lean either towards the Democrat or Republican side, but if they aren’t registered as such, can’t vote in a closed primary.  29 states have closed primaries, although only 24 of them are closed for Democrats.  So, in effect, unless these Independents change their party, their voices are not heard as to the two party choices for the Presidential Nominees. Is this voter suppression or disenfranchisement, or both?

This is not a partisan issue.  This is an issue all Americans should be concerned about.

I understand the parties make their own rules.  I understand each state has it’s own rules. My question is – in a Federal election, shouldn’t the rules be the same for everyone?   Is it time to take another look at the Voting Rights Act, or maybe draw up another?

 

 

 

Less is more, 2016 sucks so far

I started this really long post about my year so far and decided to condense it.

Lost job first week of January.  Been looking ever since, many interviews, no offers.

I researched presidential candidates for about a month and made my choice the weekend before the Illinois primary.  I’ve never felt this strongly about a candidate or learned so much about politics, democracy, republics, fascism, communism, oligarchy, plutocracy, trickle-down economics, free-market, capitalism, mainstream media blackout and bias, conservatives, liberals, neo-cons, Benghazi, the Humanitarian Party, fracking, the upper 1%, income inequality, LGBT issues, Texas’ attack on Roe vs. Wade, etc.  Can you guess which candidate I voted for?

Hubby started getting sick mid-February.  1st full week of March off work, sick every day, by Friday, GI specialist and endocrine team worried due to increased liver enzymes and jaundice.  Next week, went to work Monday, the 14th, Tuesday morning in ER feeling extreme pain and just unwell.  Jaundice 12.1.  Released after 5 hours, antibiotic, pain meds, follow up with PCP. Stayed home from work Tuesday, half day Wednesday, off Thursday, He followed up with PCP and he said, why did they release you, go back.  Thursday, March 17 pm returned 2:00 to emergency room, released 7:30 pm, did a CT scan, more blood work – found a mass on his kidney, colitis, enlarged prostate.  Half day Friday at work and brought home short term disability papers.

Monday, the 21st, dropped those off to PCP who said, you look terrible, go back to ER, threw up in parking lot on the way out.  Went to ER, they finally admitted him, Billirubin now 20, ran MRI of liver, next day did liver biopsy, two days later did ERCP procedure to unobstruct major bile duct, which wasn’t obstructed.  Still jaundice Friday, the 25th, said they could do no more, transfer to liver specialist in St. Louis.  Finally got down there Sunday,  they hemmed and hawed mainly we found out by Wednesday, the 30th when he was released, because the images and liver biopsy slides were not immediately forwarded to them.  They did colonoscopy, couple small polyps, not cancerous, no other procedures, released.  Liver team was supposed to follow up with appointment, I called them Monday, the 4th, had slides and had scheduled appointment for May 17.  I said that’s not going to work, he’s getting weaker and sicker by the day.

Many calls on Tuesday and Wednesday, the 5th and 6th, to liver team and to GI doctor here, and by Wednesday, he was so weak, I had to take him back to St. Louis because liver team had to conclude their investigation that there was or was not liver damage and/or sign off on having the surgery for mass off kidney, which Urologist here in Springfield believed may actually be causing all his symptoms, it’s an extremely rare renal cancer called Stauffer’s Syndrome.

St. Louis did a few other images and tests and as of Thursday decided it wasn’t the liver, let’s see what the urologist says, get that mass off your kidney to be sure.  He sat in hospital all weekend, not much going on, liquid diet, saw urologist Monday, and was released Monday evening the 11th.

We have appointment next Monday, the 18th, with liver team and urologist in St. Louis, and hope to have a date scheduled for the surgery, as right now, we see the surgery as the beginning of the end, that he can’t start “getting better” or “recovering” until the mass is gone.

He’s home, weak, careful of what he eats so he doesn’t get sick or blocked up – and taking a variety of pills to address the symptoms, not the cause.  If needed, we have serious pain meds, but so far, hasn’t needed the super serious ones.

I still have to get our taxes done, as it’s been crazy for me going to hospital, staying at Dad’s when he was in St. Louis, driving a lot, and otherwise worrying WTF is going on and when we will have an answer and what will it take to get that.

That’s my F’ed up year so far, how about you?

 

 

Brush with Greatness – Cyndi Lauper

So, to continue my semi-random series on Brushes with Greatness, I will highlight my brush with Cyndi Lauper.

I don’t know how the ex scored these tickets, but at the time, we lived in Westborough, Massachusetts.  December 4, 1986, we had tickets to see Cyndi at the Worcester Centrum, about 40 minutes from where we lived.  I didn’t know many people attended, but we somehow lined up babysitting for the night and off we headed further west to Worcester – pronounced Were Ster.

Anyway, it was the True Colors tour, and I was then and am still a Cyndi fan, so it was awesome that we got to go backstage and meet her.  Many people lined up for pictures with her and the ex said I should do it.  I feel so silly now, but I noticed before hand and while standing beside her that she had lipstick on her teeth.  So, I told her, and she wiped it off, and we got a picture of that after.  I have it somewhere.  I still feel silly for saying, “Hey, Cyndi, you have lipstick on your teeth!” but in a way, I feel like she probably appreciated the candor.  I know I would have.

So, there is another brush with Greatness.  Do you have any?

Stitchin' together words and quilts.

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