Saturday, October 21, 2017

Trump happened.

No one could say it better--as in S _ _ _ happens.

Thank you, LA Times.

Myeshia Johnson lost her husband La David Johnson in an ambush in Niger.

12 days later dt had not yet commented on the deaths of the four soldiers in that attack.

When asked by reporters, he claimed letters had been written.  And would be sent.  Signed by him.  He told a few lies--that other presidents such as Obama didn't make calls.  But dt would. 

Then he rushed to call the families of the four soldiers.

His chief of staff, former General John Kelly, advised him not to call--but then coached him.

When dt called Myeshia Johnson, she was in the car with her mother-in-law and her friend, Congresswoman Frederika Wilson of Florida, who had known her son.  She chose to put the president's call on speaker phone.

dt also had others listening to his call--Kelly and at least one other person.

He blew the call.  He didn't know how to convey compassion or sympathy.  He forgot the name of the fallen soldier, Army Sergeant La David T. Johnson, in both the call and his later defense of the call.

He said something along the lines of  "he knew what he signed up for, but I guess it still hurt." 

When Kelly later said similar words, they were clearly filled with patriotism and compassion.

But Trump's words caused the widow more pain.  Soon after she arrived at Miami International Airport and met the coffin of her husband.  She wept (photo above).

Rep. Wilson chastised dt in a tweet and speaking to reporters.

When Trump responded, he referred to Myesha Johnson as "that woman" and "the wife."  He didn't even use the word widow.

He has memory problems--probably Alzheimer's.  

We need to remove him from office before he breaks the hearts of any more Americans.


Keeping Track of Fallen Men

We need a timeline to follow all the steps that have led to women saying NO to sexual harassment.

Thank you to Meredith Blake for her comprehensive report leading back to Anita Hill's revelations about her ex-boss, Clarence Hill.  It's titled "Despite outrage, we've been here before."

The headline on the jump to p. A10 is "Fissures appear in a culture of silence."

Thank you to the LA Times for featuring this report on the front page of today's print edition.  Of course, finding it online is difficult--the headline is changed to "Everyone is outraged over sexual harassment, but will this moment bring real change?" without Meredith's byline, and it's stored in the category of Television.

Anyway, the history begins with the film "Nine to Five" in 1980, soon followed by Anita Hill speaking out about Clarence Thomas--to no avail.  

The LA Times also provides an online slide show of 27 accused abusers as of Oct. 18:

Here's the timeline I culled from Meredith Blake's report today:

1980 "Nine to Five" -- comedy about inappropriate boss

1985 -- Gilbert Gauthe admits to abusing 37 boys, gets 10 yrs; Fr. Thomas Doyle warns of sexual abuse problem--ignored by bishops.

1986 -- Supreme Court ruling that sexual harassment violates the Civil Rights Act of 1964

1991 -- Anita Hill outs Clarence Thomas "first big a-ha on sexual harassment" says Fran Sepler
1991 -- Tailhook scandal, US Navy, Las Vegas Hilton

1996 --  Aberdeen scandal, US Army, Maryland
1997-87 -- Paula Jones vs. Bill Clinton, then Monica Lewinsky

2002 --Boston Globe team uncovers sexual abuse by Fr. John Geoghan and other priests; Cardinal Bernard Law resigns because of protecting Geoghan.  (Spotlight film, Best Picture, 2016)

2003 --  US Air Force Academy sexual assault scandal

2007 March -- Women vets of Iraq War report PTSD, sexual assault

2010 -- Oksana Grigorieva vs. Mel Gibson
2011 --  Jerry Sandusky, football coach for U. Penn.
2013 -- Corey Feldman and Corey Haim vs. Charlie Sheen
2014 -- Dylan Farrow vs. Woody Allen

2016 January -- National Park Service sexual harassment in report by Dept. of Interior   

2016 Feb. 29 -- Spotlight film wins Oscar for Best Picture

2016 -- Gretchen Carlson outs Roger Ailes in July

2016 September -- Access Hollywood tape shows Donald Trump boasting of abuse

2016 December -- Roy Price cancels Good Girls Revolt, new drama about fight for equality and against inappropriate bosses 

2017 Feb. -- HBO's Girls, lead character confronts older male sexual assaulter
2017 April 19 -- Fox News Bill O'Reilly fired
2017 April -- Choate Preparatory School, CT
2017 May --  L.A. Reid, Epic Records vs. accusers
2017 June 26 -- Silicon Valley exec Justin Caldbeck resigns from Binary Capital
2017 July 3--  Silicon Valley exec Dave McClure resigns from 500 Startups
2017 August -- R. Kelly vs. several accusers
2017 September 9 --  Eric Bolling, Fox News host fired for sexual harassment
2017 Sept. 11 -- In One Mississippi show by Tig Notaro, producer masturbates in front of woman

2017 October --  Harvey Weinstein, accused and fired
2017 October -- NBC's Great News shows Tina Fey as network exec doing harassment to win a multi-million exit settlement "like Ailes or O'Reilly"
2017 Oct. 17  --  Roy Price, Amazon Studios chief fired
2017 Oct. 18 -- Gymnast McKayla Maroney vs. Dr. Lawrence G. Nasser

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Gen. Kelly: "When women were sacred..."

General John Kelly, born in 1950 

I keep the news on during the day while I'm doing the dishes or skimming email.  If any news breaks, I give it my full attention.

Today when I heard General John Kelly speaking earnestly about the loss of his son Robert in 2010 in Afghanistan, I sat down to watch.

But suddenly I couldn't believe my ears:

I thought at least that was sacred. You know, when I was a kid growing up, a lot of things were sacred in our country. Women were sacred, looked upon with great honor. That’s obviously not the case anymore as we see from recent cases. Life — the dignity of life — is sacred. That’s gone. Religion, that seems to be gone as well.
Gold Star families, I think that left in the convention over the summer. But I just thought — the selfless devotion that brings a man or woman to die on the battlefield, I just thought that that might be sacred.
(Thank you to the New York Times for printing the transcript of Kelly's words.)

 Gen. John Kelly, chief of staff for Donald Trump, was telling me that in the 1950s and 1960s, "women were sacred."

What does that mean?  They weren't raped or sexually harrassed?  They were respected in some abstract way, though they couldn't get into law school or medical school?  

When Sandra Day O'Connor  graduated from Stanford Law school:
"at least forty law firms refused to interview her for a position as an attorney because she was a woman.[20] She eventually found employment as a deputy county attorney in San Mateo, California after she offered to work for no salary and without an office, sharing space with a secretary.[20]" (Wikipedia)

I'm two years older than Kelly.  I too lived through those years when my mother couldn't buy a carpet for the house because she didn't have my father's signature.

What kind of "great honor" is it when you can't get a job?  When you can't get the same pay for your job as a man doing that job?

What Kelly meant was, "In the good ol' days, we kept women on a pedestal and out of public life."

I don't want to be "sacred."  I want to be equal.

Next: what does he mean by "recent cases"?  Last week's news of sexual harrassment and rape by Harvey Weinstein?  And by his boss, Donald Trump?  If General Kelly cares about treating women with "great honor," why did he support Donald and choose to work for him?

Why does he think the "dignity of life" is gone?  Because of the shooting in Las Vegas?  Or because abortion is legal?  99% of Americans live with dignity and consider human life sacred--not to mention animal life and forests and other forms of life.  To jump from shootings or abortions to the idea that "the dignity of life" is completely gone--that's not rational.  It's an emotional rant.

And "Religion--that seems to be gone as well"???  

Psychiatrists call that statement catastrophizing.  Logicians call it jumping from a few facts to an unbelievably broad conclusion.

All Americans who went to church last Sunday, who pray for their nation and their leaders, must have been surprised to hear that religion is gone.  I don't believe that for one second.  I know.  I was sitting in a pew of the First Church of the Nazarene, Pasadena, listening to a wonderful sermon by a woman, Pastor Tara Beth Leach.

You know, I had been starting to like General Kelly.  He and General H. R. McMaster and General James Mattis seem to be protecting us from this deranged president.

But today I am reminded that Kelly is out of touch with the real world.  He thinks women are worse off now than in the 1950s.  He thinks life is not respected.  He thinks religion is "gone."

I can only conclude that we need to get this whole crowd of cultural dinosaurs and disrespecters of women out of the White House as soon as possible.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

In Memoriam: Founder of SNAP

Barbara Blaine founded SNAP--the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests--in 1988.  It now has 20,000 members around the world.

The cause of her death Sunday was a condition resulting from a sudden tear in a blood vessel in her heart, her family said in a statement Monday.

Her work goes on though she is not with us.

The film Spotlight showcased newspaper reporters reporting on work by SNAP and others in abuse by priests, covered up by bishops, in the Boston area.

The documentary The Keepers, available on Netflix, reveals a similar abuse ring in Baltimore.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

More on the snake in the White House

Hard to say whether the White House is a rats nest, hornets nest, or den of thieves.

Thank God that Steve Bannon, Sebastian Gorka, Anthony Scaramucci, Mike Flynn, and others have been kicked out.

But we have one more who needs to go: Ralph Drollinger, the wolf in pastor's clothing who prays with our leaders one minute and tells them mothers should not work outside the home the next minute.

He preys on them as well as with them.

See this article by Evan Halper in the Los Angeles Times on August 3, 2017:

Halper quotes Judy Chu, then state senator from Monterey Park, as saying 
“I was a member of the California Assembly [ in 2004] when Mr. Drollinger told the women legislators with children at home that they were sinners...."

Check out this report by Halpern and Jordan Rau on May 21, 2004, when Drollinger's admonitions toward women lawmakers in Sacramento with young children was first making headlines.

Thank you to my new friend Kathy Barbini for citing the LA Times stories about this guy on her Facebook page, Baptizing Feminism.

She points out that his credentials as a pastor come from Master's Seminary, a one-building affair next to Grace Community Church, which sits on Roscoe Blvd. near I-5 in the San Fernando Valley.

This mini-seminary has all of 19 instructors--compare nearby Fuller Seminary with 100 full-time professors and many adjunct and part-timers, or Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas with 91 professors.

The seminary's main distinction is that it forbids women to study there or to become pastors--a hard line not found in the ministry and teaching of Jesus.

Some of the profs at Master's Seminary are not even full-time--such as John MacArthur, whose main job is preaching and managing his 8,000-member church.  

So how does a guy who comes from such a diddly-squat religious education make it into the White House to lead Bible studies with the staff there?

He leans on his history as a basketball player for UCLA--that's how Kathy Barbini explains it.  The old boys club likes athletes.  

And boys' clubs naturally like to keep girls out of things.

It's bad enough to have a sexual predator as our president--we don't need this misogynist convincing those surrounding dt that the Bible sanctions oppression of women.

First of all, the Bible doesn't approve of sexism.  See the FAQs at my favorite Christian feminist website,

Secondly, men have used religion around the world for millennia to keep women away from education, political rights, business opportunities, and economic equality.

Men like Ralph Drollinger have to be stopped.  I'm not sure how to do it, but using the dreaded Media is one method.

Progressive evangelicals and ex-evangelicals on Twitter are onto him.  @dianabutlerbass  @ julieingersoll @pastordan @slacktivistFred @antheabutler @annelinstatter.

In addition to the LA Times, The Huffington PostThe Independent (UK), Capitol Weekly, Politicus USA, and others have exposed his presence in the White House.

Shining light on evil is one way of exposing it.  

"The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it," we read in the first lines of the Gospel of John.

In Mourning for Women's Equality Day

I can't find anything to celebrate today, August 26, 2017, nearly 100 years after women gained the right to vote in the United States of America.

I can only mourn: 

  • Hillary Rodham Clinton should be our president.  
  • dt should have gone back to his golf and crooked real estate deals funded by his Russian buddies.
  • Heather Heyer should be alive.
  • ex-sheriff Joe Arpaio should be in jail in Arizona.
  • Muslim refugees should be here, hosted by the churches and NGOs reaching out to them.
  • Mexican and Central American immigrants fleeing gun violence and poverty should be respected for their contributions.
  • The Dar al-Farook mosque in Bloomington, Minnesota, should still be standing as a house of worship.
  • US participation in the Paris Accords to fight global warming should be making progress.

And more.  But no, we have to endure horror after horror since the pseudo-election of dt to the presidency.

Hillary would have been a competent, experienced president from Day One.  dt still doesn't have the sense or interest or compassion to be president at Day 218.

Every president since Nixon has honored Women's Equality Day, but dt, the man who proclaimed "No one respects women more than I do," didn't get around to it until Friday afternoon.  Guess he was too busy firing Seb Gorka, pardoning Arpaio, and worrying about the people in Texas facing Hurricane Harvey.

While every president from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama has proclaimed Aug. 26 as Women's Equality Day, the law does not require the president do so. This differentiates the day from official federal holidays, which are designated by Congress.

There's a She Persisted March in downtown Los Angeles today at noon to mark this day and keep up our fighting spirit, but I don't have the heart to go.

It feels pointless.  

Nauseating News

If you want to vomit, listen to this White House "Bible study," actually a propaganda session to keep women barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Thank you to Kathy Barbini on her Facebook page Baptizing Feminism for letting me know about this problem and providing the link.

Thanks also to the Los Angeles Times for a glimpse of who Drollinger is and how he got started at John MacArthur's Grace Community Church in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles--article by Evan Halper.

See also an earlier LA Times article by Halper with Jordan Ran.

And this report in The Huffington Post:

In Memoriam: Virginia K. Hearn 1930-2017

A sad end to a long life: my friend Ginny Hearn died last Saturday, August 19, at age 87.  She had suffered pneumonia and also a stroke.

Ginny was a member of the SF Bay Area Chapter of Evangelical Women's Caucus back in the 1970s and 1980s and attended several national conferences.  See I believe she also edited the EWC Update, a newsletter, for a few years.  

"Of course, we know it was a broken heart," writes her step-daughter, Christine Hearn.  Ginny's husband Walter had died on April 11, four months earlier.  He was four years older, born in 1926.

Ginny wrote and/or edited several books, including Our Struggle To Serve: The Stories of 15 Evangelical Women in 1979.  Reta Finger, Ruth Schmidt, Virginia Ramey Mollenkott and I are among those who wrote about the problems of trying to use our gifts in the church.

She was an adjunct professor of communications at New College, Berkeley, for 10-20 years; teaching journal writing was her specialty.  See the tribute on the New College site:
She also worked as an editor at His Magazine (InterVarsity Press), the Christian Medical Society, and Tyndale House Publishers before launching a book editing business with her husband.

I visited Ginny on July 11-12 in Berkeley when I was in town briefly to deliver my daughter's dog to her in Oakland (after caring for it while my daughter was traveling). 

Ginny repeated, "I am disconsolate.  I am broken-hearted.  Walter was the best of men."  She hadn't left her home more than a few times since April.  Food was brought to her.  Friends from First Pres Berkeley came (one per day), to check up on her, as organized by Christine, her step-daughter, who spent most of Saturdays and Sundays with her.

Ginny also said, "I just don't know what to do with my life."  "The future is a blank."  "Why am I still living?  God could have taken us both."

I argued with her, "That would be hard for God to do.  I don't think God could really do that."

"Yes, he could," she argued.

I asked her what the Westminster Catechism says about what we are supposed to do with our lives.

She answered correctly "We're to glorify God and enjoy him forever."



Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God,[1] and to enjoy him [sic] forever.[2]

Thus she still had her long-term memory even though she had gotten confused about some things and had very weak short-term memory.  Her sister Millie (b. 1932) had died of Alzheimer's a few years ago in a care center in Colorado.

Nevertheless, Ginny was seriously depressed and could not summon up enough energy to carry on in a new phase of her life.  I did pray with her and tried to point out small steps she could take.

When I asked her to name things she was grateful for, she said, "This sister K.J." [Katherine] and "51 years with Walt."

The service will be at First Presbyterian Church, Berkeley, in a few weeks.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

Grieving over the 10 young sailors...

The news broke on Monday night: ten sailors missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with a tanker near Singapore.

Ten sailors missing.

They had been sleeping in their bunks while others managed the ship.  I thought about them, mourned their loss all week. Then on Thursday their names were released and one body was found in the flooded interior of the ship.

Today the Wall Street Journal printed their photos on the front page and gave them this headline, taken from the hymn "Eternal Father, strong to save":  

".... calm amidst its rage didst sleep."

The second verse is about Jesus sleeping in a boat during a storm on the Sea of Galilee.  His followers wakened him, and he stilled the sea (Luke 8:22-25).

Other sailors tell about waking and evacuating their flooding room, trying to find others injured or not able to get to the ladder.

I stare at the sweet faces of these young men who suddenly, unexpectedly lost their lives.  

Amidst the constant hullaballoo over dt, these young men did not get enough credit this week.

May their remains be found.  May the their souls rest in peace.  May their families recover.

My nephew just completed about seven years in the Navy, serving in the Seventh Fleet and for several years on the USS John S. McCain.  He slept in about the same area as these men slept.  He survived his service in the Navy and now works as a recruiter in Orange County, CA.

Trinity Hymnal

Eternal Father, strong to save — Melita

Original Trinity Hymnal, #629

Eternal Father, strong to save,
Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Saviour, whose almighty word
The winds and waves submissive heard,
Who walkedst on the foaming deep
And calm amid its rage didst sleep:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Sacred Spirit, who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
Who badd'st its angry tumult cease,
And gavest light and life and peace:
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Trinity of love and pow'r,
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
And ever let there rise to thee
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Randall Balmer: Fiction & Family Values

Religious? And right? Really?

I've been puzzled over the way evangelical Christians have supported Trump since a year ago.

Randall Balmer shares my anguish and explains part of the truth in his op-ed in today's Los Angeles Times: "Evangelicals show their true colors."

"The 2016 presidential election, then, allowed the religious right finally to dispense with the fiction that theirs was a movement about family values."

I'm so grateful for his incisive words, especially the quotation above.

Professor Balmer teaches in the religion department at Dartmouth College. His website is

 I have his book Thy Kingdom Come: How the Religious Right Distorts the Faith and Threatens America.  Very important.  I wrote a pro-choice book on abortion in 1994, so I have been interested in how evangelicals suddenly swung from divorce as their issue to abortion--when they wanted to elect a divorced president, Ronald Reagan.

I've also read Franky Schaeffer's book on the subject:

It used to be that evangelicals didn't support divorced men running for president of the USA.

They didn't oppose abortion in 1973. They were okay with women making their own choices in he case of an unplanned pregnancy.

Balmer explains how and why evangelicals have come so far as to support a sexual predator and liar.

He notes that the members of economic advisory boards have abandoned dt, but members of the Evangelical Advisory Board have not stepped down.

We all have to work together to expose the indecency of born-again Christian support for dt.

Not just one "heritage"

It was great to hear Karen Finney speak on MSNBC today about her biracial heritage and her op-ed piece in the Washington Post on Aug. 15:

Also her follow-up on Aug. 17:

dt talks about defending "our heritage," but there are many heritages in the South and in the US.  Some need to be cherished.  

Others need to be pilloried and studied to correct our course today.

Thank you, Karen, for adding your voice to the chorus.

Murder in the Media

Andrea Mitchell, 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Winner
International Women's Media Foundation

Another journalist was killed Tuesday in Mexico, the ninth to die this year.

Cándido Ríos Vázquez, a crime reporter in the Gulf Coast state of Veracruz, was shot Tuesday along with two other men, according to the State Commission for Attention and Protection of Journalists.

Thank you to Kate Linthicum of the Los Angeles Times for this story:

Journalists die to report on their cities, their states, and their national governments, as well on drug cartels and crime of every kind--not to mention the arts, scientific events like the eclipse, sports, and other activities of people in their nations.  

Journalists face harrassment and rape as well as death.  Kim Wall of Sweden is the most recent example.

Yet dt constantly derides "the media."  Newspapers, radio, and television news shows are reporting on his misdeeds from his years as a landlord to his 2016 election campaign.

I for one will stand up and applaud the courageous journalists around the world who give their time, their energy, and sometimes their lives to find out what is really happening around us and to disseminate it to others.

To see awards given this year by the International Women's Media Foundation, go to their website:

In Memoriam: Kim Wall

Photo published for 'She gave voice to the weak': Mother of journalist whose body was found after disappearing on...

Today I'm grieving over the murder of Kim Wall, investigative reporter from Sweden honored internationally for her work.

Here's her website--partially locked:

She has reported from Haiti, Cuba, Sri Lanka, and China.

Kim graduated with honors from Columbia University, where she studied masters degrees in Journalism & International Affairs. She holds a B.Sc in International Relations from London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE).

The BBC gives this praise:
"She reported them deeply - she never made a spectacle of the characters. Her reporting was rock-solid." Kim Wall -- March 23, 1987 - August 10-2017

See also this report in The Independent including her mother's comments:

The International Women's Media Foundation has lost yet another of the reporters it has supported and honored.

I've attended many of the IWMF fundraising dinners in Los Angeles.  More than once a reporter receiving awards on the stage one year is killed the next year.

Mexico and Russia are the worst offending nations for media deaths.

dt chooses to overlook the number of "media" people who give their lives for the truth.  #notfakemedia

Kim Wall's Facebook profile picture

An earlier photo (from Facebook) of Kim.  

May she rest in peace, and may the fight for truth and justice continue.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What Happened: Hillary Rodham Clinton

I pre-ordered my copy of What Happened, the new book by Hillary Rodham Clinton with her inside view of the 2016 presidential election. To be released September 12, 2017.

I'm still obsessed with the injustices connected to the election.  I will read every word.

It's being released to press now.  Here are the comments of the publisher, Simon & Schuster:

“In the past, for reasons I try to explain, I’ve often felt I had to be careful in public, like I was up on a wire without a net. Now I’m letting my guard down.” —Hillary Rodham Clinton, from the introduction of What Happened

For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history. Now free from the constraints of running, Hillary takes you inside the intense personal experience of becoming the first woman nominated for president by a major party in an election marked by rage, sexism, exhilarating highs and infuriating lows, stranger-than-fiction twists, Russian interference, and an opponent who broke all the rules. This is her most personal memoir yet.

In these pages, she describes what it was like to run against Donald Trump, the mistakes she made, how she has coped with a shocking and devastating loss, and how she found the strength to pick herself back up afterward. With humor and candor, she tells readers what it took to get back on her feet—the rituals, relationships, and reading that got her through, and what the experience has taught her about life. She speaks about the challenges of being a strong woman in the public eye, the criticism over her voice, age, and appearance, and the double standard confronting women in politics.

She lays out how the 2016 election was marked by an unprecedented assault on our democracy by a foreign adversary. By analyzing the evidence and connecting the dots, Hillary shows just how dangerous the forces are that shaped the outcome, and why Americans need to understand them to protect our values and our democracy in the future.

The election of 2016 was unprecedented and historic. What Happened is the story of that campaign and its aftermath—both a deeply intimate account and a cautionary tale for the nation.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Children of Catholic Priests

Children of Catholic priests... the secrets are coming into the open.

Here's an investigation by the Spotlight team at the Boston Globe:

Lynching... and looking the other way

Thank you to Christianity Today magazine for this cover story in the September issue: lynching and the response of white Christians today to our sinful past.

We all need to do the reading, reflection and prayer to face the past and to recover from our own racism today.

Interactive Russiagate Timeline

How to follow the mess of dt, Russia interference in  our election, the case for impeachment, etc.

All the names and dates: the Interactive Timeline on Bill Moyers' website.

We stole their wealth...

Scene in Navajo Nation

Poverty in the Navajo Nation... This is the shame our grandparents and great-great... grandparents created.

We need to give back.  

"Indian givers" in my childhood meant people who gave you something and then took it back.

White people are the ones who pushed Native people back, gave them eveything west of the Mississippi, and then took it back--repeatedly pushing, confining, and then taking more.

The end of the photos tells where to donate.

Thanks for your tweet, Ava DuVernay and to Allen, who tweets as @lilnativeboy.

A Sign from Above

Image result

In Wallingford, CT... Thank you to my friend, Diane.

Actually, jokes like this aren't funny any more, after Charlottesville VA and the president's response. so I won't post it on Facebook.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Stonewall brings down Presbyterians

More evidence that love of the Confederacy was resurrected in the 20th C. to keep African Americans down...

The name of Presbyterian Cemetery in Lexington VA was changed to Stonewall Jackson Cemetery in 1949--report on MSNBC today.... Among other Jim Crow changes

Thank you, MSNBC.

Boston Strong and Safe

If Hillary had been elected, Heather would still be alive.

Hallelujah!  Praise to our God, to the state of Massachusetts, to the Boston Police Department, and to all the marchers for the peaceful anti-hate demonstration in Boston today.

Best birthday present ever!  What an uplifting contrast to the sadness that hung over all of us last weekend after the deaths in Charlottesville.

The gun laws in Massachusetts played a part in today's march remaining peaceful.

Thank you to Fox News for highlighting the gun laws in Massachusetts.

Susan Bro, Wise Woman

I admire Susan Bro for her courage and even-tempered words to the press this past week--after the murder of her daughter 7 days ago today by a white supremacist.

Initially she was extraordinarily kind to the prez, even saying on Thursday that she would be happy to talk with him but that his staff's calls to her had been during and after her daughter's funeral, while her phone was turned off.

Then later, on Thursday or so, she had time to listen to his press conference on Tuesday, Aug. 15.  

She decided not to speak with him if/when he called again.  She announced that decision on Friday.  All the media wrote pieces on her decision--but I didn't see any stories praising her unhateful words to Trump on Thursday.

Thank you to Vice for this report:

Trump called Heather Heyer’s mother during the funeral

President Donald Trump called Heather Heyer’s mom during Heather’s funeral, televised on a few networks, on Wednesday. She didn’t pick up.
And she won’t if he calls again, she said Friday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Susan Bro said she believes Trump compared her daughter, killed when a car rammed counterprotesters in Charlottesville last Saturday, to the white supremacists who sparked the violence.
Bro had gone easy on Trump earlier in the week. She’d thanked him for “denouncing those who support violence and hatred” on Monday — which the president then bragged about during his off-the-rails “infrastructure” press conference from Trump Tower on Tuesday, when he returned to blaming “both sides” in Charlottesville.
That’s what shifted Bro’s tone.
“I have not, and now I will not,” Bro said when asked whether she would talk to Trump if he called again.
“At first I just missed his calls. The first call it looked like actually came during the funeral,” she said.
“I hadn’t really watched the news until last night,” Bro told “GMA” host Robin Roberts. “I’m not talking to the president now. I’m sorry. After what he said about my child, and it’s not that I saw somebody else’s tweets about him. I saw an actual clip of him at a press conference equating the protesters like Ms. [Heather] Heyer with the KKK and the white supremacists.”
“You can’t wash this one away by shaking my hand and saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ I’m not forgiving for that,” she continued.
“I’m honestly a little embarrassed to say that part of the reason Heather got so much attention is because she’s white, and she stood up for black people. Isn’t that a shame?” she said, according ABC News. “That a white person standing up for a black person caused all this excitement? That should be an everyday thing, that should be a norm.”
You can watch the full interview here:

MORNING EXCLUSIVE: Full interview with Susan Bro, mother of Heather Heyer, victim from the Charlottesville attack: 

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Go Gary!

Gary Cohn, Goldman Sachs

I never noticed Gary Cohn before today, but now I know he was standing next to Trump during that press conference on Tuesday at Trump Tower.  Reports are that he was angry at Trump excusing white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

I've started reading posts on Twitter since January, now check MSNBC news and Twitter every morning. Because I'm 3 hours later, usually whatever is big that day has already happened.  

Today's big topic on Twitter was that Cohn was considering resigning from White House staff--top news until the van attack in Barcelona came along.

This report by Bob Bryan in Business Insider is one of the sources of the Cohn rumors:

I'm now hoping and praying that Gary Cohn will be the first to resign from the White House staff as I tweet and retweet.

Cohn can choose between being the first to resign from the White House or the last to stand there with his finger in the dike holding up the dt presidency.

In this household we all spend at least 3 hours per day reading news.  

I'm on Twitter while watching MSNBC and reading three morning newspapers: Los Angeles Times, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal

John's reading Twitter and the newspapers 24/7.  He has 1500 or so Twitter followers, as a retired newspaper editor.  I'm retired too--extra time--following 735 people on Twitter and finding 278 followers.

Our adult daughter holds down a full-time job in addition to checking news media on her cell.  She gets her links primarily from Reddit but also follows TMZ--which gives minute-by-minute news such as this story today:

A snapshot of one media-obsessed home in mid-2017--may the reality show in Washington, D.C., end soon so we can get back to normal life.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Black Sun over the USA

Nazi symbol used by far-right

Another horrifying day in this country.

I am paralyzed by constant jolting horrendous news reports of the latest things dt has said, as well as by grief over the murder of Heather Heyer, who is the same age as Ellen.  I feel for her mother.  Roz points out that Heather's chihuahua Violet is now motherless.

I'm finding it hard to concentrate on work at my computer or even paying bills and doing necessary paperwork.

Prospects of more white supremacist rallies in Boston, Seattle, Berkeley are disgusting and scary--will more lives be lost?

I will not go counter-protest anything.  They don't deserve my time.  I will go to impeachment demonstrations, women's rights demonstrations, gay rights demonstrations.

Here's the editorial in the Washington Post for tomorrow:

We weep for our nation.

Southern Poverty Law Center's explanation of the symbol above, in a report on symbols used in Charlottesville and their meaning:

Schwarze Sonne (Black Sun), sometimes called the sonnerad: symbol has become synonymous with myriad far-right groups who traffic in neo-Nazi and/or neo-Volkisch ideologies. The symbol is based on the ancient sun wheel artifacts that were made and used by Norse and Germanic tribes as symbol of their pagan beliefs. Those sun wheels, made centuries upon centuries ago, do not usually resemble the complexity of this particular version. The version above is inlayed into the marble floor of the Castle Wewelsburg, the castle that Himmler made the spiritual and literal home of the SS during the reign of the Third Reich, and has significance within the occult practices of the SS.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Charlottesville: Reflections Continue

In memory of Heather Heyer 1985-2017

The death of Heather Heyer in neo-Nazi violence in Charlottesville continues to weigh on my mind and on the country.

Well, dt said something at last, two days late, after tweeting angrily today against Merck CEO Kenneth Frazier the moment he announced his decision to leave the prez's American Manufacturing Council.

Thanks to my friend Sharon for sending me this quote:

“President Lyndon Baines Johnson once argued, ‘If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket.
Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.’”

Sharon points out that LBJ knew that in supporting civil rights he would lose the South for the Democrats--perhaps forever.  "And yes, he did both," she reminds us.

As a therapist, she then reflects on our apparent common need to find someone to look down upon.

She also sent me this link on the First Amendment protecting hateful speech but not death threats--and further distinctions.

It's so good to have friends to share our grief and introspection over the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville and elsewhere.