Bett Norris


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Kickin’ Rocks

  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Bywater Books (July 30, 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1612941532
  • ISBN-13: 978-1612941530
I’ll be writing a proper review, but I want to let you know my personal, visceral reaction. It “woke” me. I have been up and down like a yo yo since 2016. Hopes crushed at the outcome of the election, uplifted by the Women’s March, crushed by the firing of Comey, uplifted by the appointment of Mueller. Crushed, uplifted. The Muslim ban, the military transgender ban. The 2018 election results. Crushed by no real change. Release of the Mueller report, disappointment at inaction. Up, down.
Kickin’ Rocks reminds me that it’s always  a ragged journey, a two-step, a win, a setback. The line on the map toward progress is zigzag, not straight.  Thank you for reminding me.

It really hasn’t been that long. I came out and lived through the seventies and eighties. This novel reflects on those times, as well as shining a light on these current times that try our souls. How do we live through this? How do we contribute to making this better, not worse? As the character Dusty asked, “What can I do?” This book, yes, it’s a romance, does a lot to answer that question.

A young millennial couple meet, share mutual interests, fall in love. They also meet Dusty, an older lesbian who has been through the wars: the civil rights movement, the women’s movement, the fight for Roe v Wade, for the Equal Rights Amendment (it still hasn’t passed 38 state legislatures), AIDS funding. Dusty has been there, done that. She’s retired to the country, spends her time rescuing strays and fostering animals until they get adopted. The young couple, Jada and Amie, don’t think there is a fight to be fought in this new, shiny millennium. Until they are confronted with the same, tired old bigotry that they thought was consigned to history. So they turn to Dusty, the expert in resistance.
Well-written, as are all Marianne K. Martin’s books, the story changes deftly from Dusty’s story to Jada’s. So you get two romances for the price of one.

Down in the dumps. Bummed out. Burned out. Tired of it all. These phrases describe me, and a lot of other people, in the long stretch of time since the 2016 election. At first, I couldn’t stop watching the news, stayed angry and worried, and angry some more. The results of the 2018 midterm elections gave me hope again, and I eased up on the obsessive news consumption, relaxed a bit. Nancy was back in charge. Mueller’s report was coming. Things would work out, and I didn’t have to feel so personally burdened with single-handedly firing up all voters in America to oust the man who has taken over the White House.

Then, nothing happened. Nothing really changed. Democrats side-stepped, back-stepped, back slid, hemmed, hawed, hacked up hair balls every time that man said or did something to further embarrass and demean the entire country. My relaxed period turned into anxiety-ridden hopelessness. What should I do, personally, politically? Is it really up to just me?

I got an advance copy of Martin’s latest book, Kickin’ Rocks, and discovered that just about everybody feels like I feel. Everybody is sick and tired of the dysfunction. All of us need a booster shot to our fire and enthusiasm. That’s what this book can do for you. That’s why you really need to read this book, and press it into as many hands as possible.

Marianne, trailblazer

Now let me tell you a little about the author, Marianne K. Martin. She has written eleven novels, five of which were Lambda Literary Award finalists. She has been honored with the GCLS Traiblazer Award, and inducted into the Saints and Sinners Hall of Fame. She belongs to those places. A writer of extraordinary ability she writes more than romance novels. (Read Under the Witness Tree and Tangled Roots).  Or you could read Love in the Balance and The Indelible Heart. 

A graduate of Eastern Michigan University, Ms Martin taught in the Michigan public school system for twenty-five years, has worked as a photo-journalist, a photographer, and coached both high school and collegiate teams as well as amateur ASA teams. Her coaching career produced many Tri-County and MHSAA championship basketball and softball teams and championship ASA softball teams. She was founder of the Michigan Woman’s Major Fastpitch Assoc. and its president for ten years. In 1973 she won the precedent-setting case in a Michigan court establishing equal pay for women coaches.

Super Majority



I’m not ashamed of the deplorable vote in my home state of Alabama. I’m angry. Why do we elect men who know nothing, and who do things so opposed by the majority of voters, who are women? Get motivated, get educated, and vote for legislators who know who we are and what we want. Vote for women who will get things done. Men have run this country for almost 250 years. Surely it is our turn now. Women are in the majority in this country. It’s only fair that we take over and set things right. We can’t do worse. You really believe women would separate babies from parents at the border? If they did, don’t you think women in charge would keep track of those kids? Feed them, get medical care to them, and get them back to their parents? Don’t you think women in the majority could find a way to find day care, pay for good health insurance, get a massive infrastructure project going, kick the Russian interference to the curb, ensure every vote counts, pass a strict law prohibiting money from corporations, PACS, and lobbyists in campaigns, pass a law requiring disclosure of tax returns for all candidates, legislate stronger and clearer regulations regarding specially appointed prosecutors, and making certain that Congress must act on any evidence of wrongdoing by the executive branch,? And while we’re at it, let’s require 60 votes to confirm with Supreme Court justices and cabinet posts. There is a way to fund Green New Deal projects, and expand Medicare and Medicaid to cover more people, absorb college student debt, publicly fund elections, and bring down prescription costs. Oh, and pay down the deficit. Yes, it can be done. The federal government is not a business. It’s not supposed to turn a profit, or break even. It can impose budget restrictions, simplify the tax code, reinstate taxes on corporations and the wealthy, regulate drug prices, raise the minimum wage to a living wage.women legislators could do this. Why don’t we vote for people who will do the things we want done? Actually, there are some good men with good ideas who are welcome to help. The water in Flint MI should have been cleaned up years ago. There should be no leaking oil pipelines through indigenous land. Every person should get registered to vote, attend seminars on voting, running for office, campaigning, and how to participate. Every person who wants a gun for hunting or self defense should pass a background check, take a course on gun safety, gun laws, and pass a proficiency test demonstrating proper handling, cleaning, loading, shooting, and unloading the weapon they purchase. Their background check should be repeated every time their license to own a weapon is renewed. This is not hard stuff. So haven’t old white guys screwed it up long enough? It’s our turn.


This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

I’m tired and so weary 

Stupid    Republican

Can't have nice things

I will vote

I’m tired. I have begged. I have tried to stress the importance of participating in democracy. I have railed against the outrages of the current administration and the complete failure of the legislative branch. I’ve posted funny videos and heart-rending ones.

Democracy depends on an educated, informed, and active electorate. It’s my theory that elected officials work for us. They stay in office as long as they do what we want them to do. They get voted out if they ignore us.

This election, this time, it’s not about them versus us, not red against blue, Democrat  against Republican, Pelosi versus Trump, liberal against conservative. This is not a game, not a contest, it’s not Survivor or American Idol.  It’s not Alabama against Auburn.

This time, this election is about all of us, this entire country. It’s about the people, not the politicians. Not to be disingenuous, I state here that I am broken-hearted, angry, and determined to do everything I can to put a hold on the current president. But this is not about my standing as an infuriated progressive. It’s not about your fervent support of the president.

If we all vote, we win, not them.  We get to say who stays and who goes. If everyone votes, then we control them. I don’t care if you are a Republican, conservative evangelical, white male. I know that if we all vote, then there are more of us than them, the craven politicians, the do-nothings in Congress. We rule, we say what our country is going to be, to stand for, we say what our country won’t tolerate.

In the 2016 election more people did not vote than the number who voted for either Clinton or Trump. More people didn’t vote. If everyone, every single registered voter, participates and votes, then nothing and no one can stop the working of our democracy, not Russian interference, not voter suppression, not gerrymandering, not lies, not PAC money or corporations as people, nothing.

There are more of us than there are of them. More voters than politicians. More votes than lobbyists, more voters than the NRA, more of us. If we all vote, we win. More voters with level heads and good hearts than the ones who follow a personality cult.

There are more minority voters, if you add all minorities together, than there are white voters. More African American, plus Latino, plus LGBTQ, plus Jewish, plus newly registered eighteen to twenty-five year-old voters, more of us than them.


Know which group has never been in power, but is not a minority group? Women. There are more women in this country than men. More women registered to vote than men.  So why is Congress made up of mostly old white men? Why do we women keep voting for men who do nothing for us, in fact who do nothing at all?

How many old white men entered Congress young and not wealthy, but are now millionaires? How did they grow so rich working on a Congressional salary?  Why does Paul Ryan get to “retire” at age 48 with a lifetime pension? He grew up poor, depended on Social Security, and is leaving Congress with a net worth of several million dollars. How does that happen? How did Mitch McConnell who grew up poor, become a millionaire, net worth around 27 millionaire?

McConnell is 76 years old. Maxine Waters is 80. Orrin Hatch is 84 years old, worth around 4.3 million, Chuck Grassley is 85, net worth 3 million. Nancy Pelosi is 78, with a net worth of around 26 million. Bob Corker, age 66, retiring Senator, 69 million. To be fair, some of these legislators acquired wealth the old fashioned way, before entering politics. it s an annoying and alarming, consistent fact that most of them have not a penny to their names when they enter Congress, and leave with guaranteed pensions and health care that most of us will never see. (See

To recap, if we all vote, we win.

Can't have nice things     Vote


Let Freedom Ring, Let the White Dove Sing




Independence Day

Women should take charge. Men have run this country, the government, the economy, the workforce, the court system, for over 200 years. Women can’t possibly do worse that they have done, making a nomination to the Supreme Court into a farce; allowing a person like Trump to rule by temper tantrum and greed; abdicating responsibility for the status of society where people scream at each other instead of listen; where compromise and cooperation are dirty words. Men have run this country where women did not get the vote until 1918; where Japanese Americans served honorably in WWII while their families were locked in internment camps and their property confiscated, where native Americans were systematically stripped of their land, their culture, their languages, and their dignity. A country governed by men did not allow African Americans equal citizenship until the 1960’s, and still today tries to suppress the right to vote. I agree with Ruth Bader Ginsberg when asked how many women should be on the Supreme Court, and she said nine. Men control a country where 27 years ago, a witness before a Senate Judicial committee was humiliated and denigrated, and where today, that same committee, with some of the same Senators, worked to push through a nomination without giving a female witness even the pretense of investigation, without calling for corroborating testimony, refusing to release more than 90% of the papers of the nominee. So, yeah, why not let women run things for a while. Do you really think they would allow the country to reach this state of incivility and division? Do you think women would allow this country to be the only one, in the entire world, to pull out of the Paris Accords? Do you think women would allow mining and drilling on national preserves? Would women allow hunting of endangered species? Would women allow, for even one minute, guns to be purchased by mentally ill, or violent people? Would women call for universal background checks for anyone who wants to own a gun? Would we want military assault weapons in the hands of citizens? Would women restrict free speech? Would women act on universal healthcare? For a fairer tax code? Women would get a balanced budget passed. They would insist on a woman’s right to decide about their own health. If all women everywhere voted, women could attain a majority in state houses, in Congress, on the courts. Women would get rid of the ridiculous Citizens United fiasco. Women could, and should, restrict all political donations from individuals, from corporations and PAC’s, to a miniscule amount. Women could, and should, raise the minimum wage. Women make up the majority in this country. What’s the worst that could happen if they had control of the reins of power for a while? Do you believe that women would separate families from their children at the border? Do you think women would insult NATO allies, start trade wars with Canada?


Pride and Pedantry


n. Pedantry is an excessive attention to the rules or paying strong attention to the minor points of learning.

You all know Jane Austen, right? Sparkling, witty conversation about the most mundane of social situations. And you know literary fiction. Maybe you don’t know Ann McMan, yet.

First, may I say what a pleasure it was to hold and read a real print book, with a wonderful cover, a blurb on the back cover, and did I mention the real paper? I try to be both egalitarian and open-minded, to embrace the best of twenty-first century technology, so yes, I have a Kindle. It has advantages. One can carry an entire library in a pocket, read in the dark, have books instantly installed. The downside for me is that there is no battery life that can live through a beginning-to-end reading of an entire novel. The love I developed as a child for books, libraries, the heft and feel and smell of it all has not yet downgraded to nostalgia. I’m just saying.

Next, a small word about the basic plot, which does not do the book justice, but here goes. Beowulf for Cretins, A Love Story, is set in a small New England liberal arts college, and focuses on Professor Grace Warner, who plows through a heavy load of Freshman lit 101. After seven years of this drudgery, she is set for tenure, breaks up grading theme papers by working sporadically on her first novel, which accomplishment is also many years in the making. Enter Dr Abbie Williams, newly appointed college president, and to Grace’s embarrassment and dismay, her partner in a one-night fling some time before. Now Grace believes she will never make tenure, never finish her constantly rewritten novel, never find true love and a lasting relationship. Populated by quirky characters, like a student stalker, an academic rivalry for the one open tenure position, her life philosophy of nothing-ever-works-out seems certain to be reaffirmed.

Next a word about college English classes, wherein I languished, having my writerly soul crushed by a freshman lit 101 instructor who simply bled red ink over my every profer, and who called me her “little enigma” because my first drafts were so very bad, and my rewrites so much better. (But really, where did I have to go but up?) Did I ever have a stalker crush on my nemesis? Hardly. Her name was Atlanta Ashby and she was very old, always dressed in glaring black and white, reminding one of a railroad crossing. Still I could sympathize.
As I could and did sympathize with poor, hapless Grace, whose Catholic upbringing left her with that same, vague fear of the nuns who taught her life lessons in platitudes, with the same inbred Catholic guilt that only affirmed her lifelong habit of underestimating herself, and her ability to affect outcomes more satisfactory than had been manifested thus far in her life.
One of the benefits of forced early retirement means I no longer have to lie and take a sick day when I stay up all night reading. Some books are just too good to be read in stops and starts. Beowulf for Cretins is so well-written, so funny, and so smart that I felt no shame at all when I simply kept reading. Also, the book proceeds at a brisk pace, with rhythm and timing.

So, a love story, wherein the humor is embedded in discussions of things like “Cartesian dualism, eucatastrophe, (that’s a real thing, look it up) and the quantum mechanics of free will– these are the supreme triumvirate of love and longing.” So states author Ann McMan. There is also the comparison of the constructs in Beowulf to The Lord of the Rings, (I could write that paper, I really could) and the jokes are organic to the characters, so believable with their weighty philosophical pondering about self determination, the existence or not of God, the concept of deaus ex machina, and the situations that Grace succumbs to, including rescuing and neglected and emotionally needy dog, her endless ability to keep running into the woman of her dreams, her inability to believe that things could work out well.

At its heart, Beowulf for Cretins poses questions, and responds to those queries with the possibility of joy. Like a catechism, like a call and response, the push toward love, the pull of fear, McMan, with dead-on writing, convinces us that the possibility of happy endings can become probability, nd she does it with such a deft hand that we want to meet CK and Grace and Dean, Grady and Lorrie and Abbie for drinks in one of those ubiquitous coffee bars that simply must exist next to those ivy colleges.

Beowulf for Cretins

Beowulf for Cretins


Bourdain: Part Known

Anderson Cooper Remembers Bourdain

I’m sad. I watched his shows for years, and his irascibility, his lack of patience, and his joy, his love of food and ideas and people, all mixed together into a stew I could chew. It took me a long time to understand that he wasn’t a snob, though he was a jerk.

Bourdain was a writer, the real thing. He was a connoisseur not just of food, but of the people and cultures that produced the food. I watched “No Reservations” and thought, what a talented jerk. I watched Parts Unknown, and thought, wow. Just watch the episode about the Congo. Or Saudi Arabia. Some of the things I saw and heard through him were startling.

an expert judge in matters of taste.
“a connoisseur of music”
synonyms: expert, authority, specialist, pundit, savant;

Anthony Bourdain

Even when he smiled, his eyes looked sad.  He also looked tough, rough, like he’d had enough of the bad stuff. His pure delight in the good things shone through every episode he produced, his real interest in the people and places he explored.

joie de vi·vre
ˌZHwä də ˈvēvrə/
  1. exuberant enjoyment of life; a delight in being alive; keen, carefree enjoyment of living.
    I don’t know how to reconcile that joy that he displayed, that he gave me, with his death.

What Your Country can Do for You

I was a free lunch kid. Although I never knew there was a free lunch program. My mother sent a note to my teacher, asking if there were chores I could do to earn my free lunch. I dusted erasers, swept, washed black boards. I don’t know how my lunch was paid for before, but by the time I was in fifth grade, the shame set in. I remember my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. McKee. She seemed as uncomfortable as me.



My way of saying thank you has been to never complain about paying taxes. I remember once, a random guy on work break saying he hated paying social security, that he personally would never get to claim that retirement, because the government took the money and used it for other things. I said to him, “You know, I don’t mind paying my share, even if I don’t get the benefits. Maybe the portion I pay in goes to help my grandparents, who live on their Social Security retirement. They have nothing else. If that is the only way I can contribute to my parents and grandparents, or to future recipients, I’m okay with that.”

High school was better. After my father died, my mother got a social security check from his benefits. I may not have had lunch money every single day, but we had enough. I was the first in my family to go to college. I had a scholarship, a student loan, and a Pell Grant. I worked. It took several years to pay back the loans. I simply don’t know how to pay back all the support and sacrifice my family gave to me. When I published my first book, I inscribed a copy to my mother, trying to thank her for all she had done, the example she set. I remember writing that she was my hero. I remember my older brother, a long distance trucker, stopping in my college town, meeting him at a truck stop, and he gave me fifty dollars. I remember my sister Jean, who worked at the local newspaper, helping me type a research paper during a break in the summer session. We edited and wrote, while shelling peas all day for our mother. It was typed on a manual typewriter. I will always remember.


I am grateful for a nation that makes a way for people, kids like I was, poor, not quite in the welfare system, not quite out of it. I will always remember that this is a great country, that we have always looked out for the least among us. Having been one of the least, I am proud to now give back in the only way I can, through taxes, through voting.  I consider it the least I can do for a country that always remembers the least among us. Out of many, one. In a larger sense, this nation that I love was built from the least from other countries, the tired, poor, hungry, wretched refuse from other shores.  We took those tired, hungry poor, and here they became railroad workers, teachers, firemen, policemen, settlers, farmers, explorers, engineers, scientists, entrepeneurs, and they built this country for us.


This country is not perfect. We allowed slavery. We decimated entire native populations, we once fought a civil war. No, this country is far from perfect. But from its roots, from its birth, it has always stood for the individual freedoms. “To form a more perfect union” is the foundational statement of this nation. To strive for perfection, to see what a person can make of themselves with their own two hands.

Yes, I was born here, white, poor, female. I don’t think that makes me any more worthy of what this country offers than immigrants from other countries, nor does it make me less worthy than white, privileged males. It makes me equal, and being here, a part of this country, should make us all equal.  I get so tired of  fighting against those who try to make this country less than it is. Smaller, meaner, enclosed. That is not how this country came into being, it is not how it grew, and it is not what we are.   Register to vote. Educate yourself. And vote. It should be a requirement. It’s one of the greatest things you can do to repay the country. Participate in its democracy. Be its democracy.

Flannel Shirts

So, I’m doing something that is so stereotypical, so much a part of the lesbian brand that I am ashamed. I am reduced, is you will, to writing about my pets. Still, writing is writing.
We have a cat, Boo Boo, ten years old, smarter than we are, a Norwegian Forest tuxedo cat with Ninja skills of such magnitude that she appears and disappears at will, much like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Boo is superior in every way, and frequently saves our lives, simply by alerting us when anyone comes near. Her personality is silent, stand-offish, reclusive. She would prefer not to need us to tend to her most basic needs, (food, water, clean litter) and begrudgingly allows some petting, some brushing, and insists on bedtime treats.


We also have a rabbit, named Buddy Rabbit, who is about two years old, soft, brown, long ears, very polite, very quiet, very appreciative of all we do for him. He is extremely solicitous of our happiness and well-being, and wants to love us as much as we love him. He feels the same way about Boo Boo.

Another Buddy
Boo is not interested in expanding our family. She officially ignores Buddy’s existence, but she does play with him, when she thinks we are not paying attention. Any little sign of acknowledgment sends Buddy into joy and delight.

Sandy and I had this exact conversation this morning, remarking on how different Boo and Buddy are, yet how well they get along. I went even further, stating that Boo Boo has my personality, stand-offish, introverted, in her own mind quite ahead of everyone else, and preferring to be left alone. Buddy, on the other hand, is happy. All the time, he’s happy. He’s happy to see you, happy to meet new friends. Buddy is more like Sandy, in that he simply exudes love. He loves you even before you know him. He loves you into loving him. He’s a lover. Everything is good in Buddy’s world view.
Things could be better, is Boo’s somewhat jaded outlook. (And really after this year in U.S. politics, who can disagree?)
Buddy and Boo Boo

Why can’t we all just get along? That is all I have.

Rise Up

There is this country music program, syndicated to country FM stations every Sunday morning, called Rise Up. The host plays the song list, and in between takes calls from viewers who tell their stories of how they were changed by the Love of the Lord. Traveling long distances, stuck between FM stations, you hit this show, and it will make you cry like a children’s hospital telethon. (No I don’t have Sirius, are you serious?)
MSNBC used that phrase, rise up, for their ads. Rise up is the cry of the revolution, the call of the oppressed. There hasn’t been much rise in me since the campaign and the election. I’ve been going through the five stages of grief. I have been mentally and spiritually ill. I have been angry and heartbroken. I have been defiant, and I have been tired in my soul. Trump fatigue.
It’s been six months now, and we passed the Fourth of July, celebrating our independence. As a country, we are two hundred and forty one years old. And on Independence Day, many people took their oaths as newly minted American citizens. People like the doctor and the pharmacist who emigrated from Afghanistan thirteen years ago, and proudly claimed their citizenship, even as they remarked that now, they wouldn’t have been able to get visas, under this administration. Even so, despite the oppression, they are still happy to be here. I want to thank them.
Rise up, America. That’s the word we passed, from one to another, in 1775, in 1776, rise up and throw out the tyrant. Let us all hang together, or we shall certainly hang separately. Put your John Hancock on the line, and pledge your lives and your sacred honor. Give me liberty, or give me death.
Still. Even so. Despite everything. This country has always been one of contrasts, of vast differences, but bound indivisible by blood. What about the “liberty and justice for all”? That hasn’t always been the case, and yet it is right there, in our pledge of allegiance: “indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.” It’s right there in the Declaration of Independence: “. . .that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, that among those are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Rise up, Americans. That’s something we take for granted, that when rising up is needed, someone will answer the call. Contrasts, differences, bound by blood. Yes, we have an ugly history, but also a quite beautiful one. There were indeed the Salem with trials, but we also produced Nathaniel Hawthorne. His great-great grandfather was one of the judges in those Salem witch trials.
Yes, we engaged in the systematic genocide of Native Americans. In WWII, some of those Native Americans became code talkers, calling in artillery and air strikes in their native languages so the Japanese couldn’t intercept and decode.

There was Stonewall, and the Pulse nightclub tragedy. Matthew Shepard and Micheal Sam.
There were Jim Crow laws to keep black Americans from voting, and the opposition to the Civil Rights movement exposed Bull Connor, and Jim Clark, and George Wallace, but that movement also gave us Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr, one of the most moving speakers in all our history, and a great writer as well. The movement gave us Fannie Lou Hamer, and Rosa Parks, and John Lewis.
In WWI, when black men were not allowed to vote, they served with distinction in the 369th Regiment, known as the “Harlem Hellfighters” who served six months on the front lines under French command. One hundred and seventy one members earned Legions of Merit from the French government.
Women were oppressed, of course. They were thrown in jail, beaten, held without bond, for demanding the right to vote. They persisted, and they won.
Then there was Joe McCarthy, an alcoholic, a mean man with a tiny soul, that led the witch hunt of the 1950’s. But that era also produced Lillian Hellman “I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year’s fashion.” That era produced Joseph Welch “Have you no sense of decency, sir?”
We get all embarrassed by passion. But really, what is love of country? Did the Navajo code-talkers serve the country that slaughtered and suppressed their elders? No, they served the country they loved, were born to, and what they wanted to believe it stood for, freedom, simple human decency, and a stubborn grasp on the promise of what it could and should be.
When NPR tweeted the full text of the Declaration of Independence, some Trump supporters did not recognize it, and took it as an attack on Trump. “A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.” Trump supporters disavow Declaration of Independence
Why did the Harlem Hellfighters sign up to fight for a country that lynched their fathers and refused them the dignity of full citizenship? Why did the Red Tails do what they did? The same country that produced the massacre at Wounded Knee also gave us also produced Freddie Stowers, the only black soldier awarded the Medal of Honor for his service in action in WWI. The country that beat down Emmitt Till, a fourteen-year-old boy, also gave us Abraham Lincoln and Juneteenth. The country that almost destroyed itself in the Civil War came together to defeat Japan and Germany in WWII. The country that created the nuclear bomb also instigated every treaty to limit the spread of nuclear arms, to reduce our stockpiles.
We blew up a church in Birmingham and killed four little girls, and we landed on the moon. With the help of black, female mathematicians. The country that refused a ship of Jewish refugees liberated Nazi death camps. The country that destroyed much of Europe also, through the Marshall Plan, fed and rebuilt Germany after its defeat.
The men that stormed the Normandy beaches went home and took jobs that women had worked admirably during the war.
This country, our country, gave women the right to vote, and decimated the first woman candidate for president. The country that passed the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act, and on July 30, 1965, passed into law Medicare and Medicaid, steps to insure old, disabled and poor Americans, also tries now to repeal the first attempt since 1965 to insure more Americans, and to deny 32 million people who now have health insurance.
To quote a Joni Mitchell song, “Every pictures has its shadows, and it has some source of light.” That source of light that throughout our history has served as a homing device, a beacon toward doing the right thing, “not because it is easy, but because it is hard.” That source, that light, bends toward justice, for all.
Take this not as a call to arms, but a call to our better selves. We have done it before, many times. Roosevelt interred Japanese in camps, and he appointed the first female Cabinet member. Time after time, we have risen up and met the challenges that faced this country. We in America know that our vote is sacred, that it is every citizens right and duty. That right has been attacked by an outside force. We can rise up, and join our local town councils, become poll workers, march door to door toplead with people to vote. That is our weapon. Over seventy million registered voters did not participate in the election of 2016. If everyone, every single registered voter, pledged to go to the polls in 2018, do you think Russia, or and other group colluding with Russia’s goals, could stop us? Hell to the no. Stop insulting voters who voted for Trump. They showed up, didn’t they? Grab anyone you know who didn’t vote and look them in the eye like a wild-eyed revolutionary, and demand that they participate in the process before voting becomes an historical artifact, instead of an organic element that keeps democracy alive.

We observed the inauguration, and the next day, watched the Women’s March.
What kind of country do you want to live in? Do you want one where political party affiliation is not so important any more, where serving the country in Washington for a limited time is seen as service, not entitlement. Do you want a country where getting re-elected in not so important as getting something done? Do you want a country that treat refugees with compassion? How about a country that once raced to the moon once again leading the world with renewable, safe energy advancement? How about a country that agrees to do its part in cleaning up the mess we make, like our mothers taught us? Would like to see a country that limits campaign donations, limits the length of time elections take, gives people a paid holiday to vote, retrains its local police forces often, sends elected officials to Congress to get something accomplished, and sends them home when they don’t? Do you wish to spend less money on a faster, meaner, more powerful military, and more on State Department initiatives that save lives and make allies instead of enemies? Do you believe that it is time women step to front to lead? Men have held the majority in power since the beginning of time. Do you really think women would do worse?
What do you really want, America? If you want your vote to mean something, first you have to cast it out there. If you want our elections to be free of outside interference, then vote. They can’t stop us all. Not we, the people. We hold the power. Let’s start using it. You want to clean up Washington? You really think that we can’t do it? Go look at those cliffs on Omaha Beach.

Omaha Beach

1040, Good Buddy


Okay, since the inauguration, I have tried to keep my ranting to myself. Every once in a while, a serious danger-to-himself wingnut says again, “stop being sore losers.” Posted after an article about Rachel Maddow’s news about the 2005 tax return. I totally understand if you are not up for another takedown of the misinformed malingerers who support Trump.  If so stop reading now, take some deep breaths. Maybe that will help.

What she did was not illegal. Do some First amendment 101, some freedom of the press study. Publishing documents that were unsolicited is not criminal. Possibly whoever stole them originally should be prosecuted, and as the docs are stamped “client’s copy” I’d start looking close to home, like his tax people, close family, etc. The facts from the return make him look pretty good, so I believe he may have leaked it himself. He has accepted his first 2 paychecks. Says he will donate at the end of the year. Want to bet me that he donates it to the Family “charitable” foundation, from which account he wrote checks to fund campaigns of several state attorneys general, bought expensive sports memorabilia, paid for a life size portrait of himself (who else?) He uses it as his personal slush fund, and hasn’t donated any of his own money to it since 2008, so essentially, he is stealing from honest donors. So you keep thinking he will donate his salary. We are not sore losers. I’ll concede graciously as soon as we find out who won this election, Trump or the Russian government. Trump, or all the Wall Street hacks he appointed to ruin the Cabinet? Who really won, Trump or those among his staff that pull his strings like Steve Bannon, who believes in taking down that entire structure of the government? Who won so far, Trump or the millions who will no longer have health care? Where’s his “massive” infrastructure bill? Rex Tillerson, who negotiated millions of acres in oil leases with Putin, and now has simply gutted the State Department, Betsey at the Department of education, who doesn’t believe in public education, but who donated millions to that “self-funded campaign? Steve Miller, who is little more than a lap dog neo Nazi? Who really won the election? That man who said he likes to grab women by the pussy, because he can get away with it since he’s a celebrity? You mean that guy who cried so hard about Clinton’s private email server (which was never hacked) whose White House staff all use private servers? The man who publicly encouraged Russian interference in our democratic process? You tell me. To whom should I concede, a bunch white Nationalist, money grubbing Wall Street rollovers, a man named Attorney General who does not believe in enforcing voting rights, a wealthy socialite who knows nothing, a former Congressman who made illegal stock trades on inside information? To all the White House staff who are terrified that we elected a mad man, and who have been leaking like a sieve? You seriously want to call me, a gay woman, a sore loser? You want me to accept him as President? Tell you what. I’ll accept him as president just as graciously as everyone accepted President Obama. You go whine about sore losers some more. Maybe you will soon discover that he is out to defraud you too.

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