Trumpism Tweets

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Now more than ever in the internet age,  the old adage of “once a word is spoken it leaves its mark behind” carries great significance. Young people should be very cognizant of this since just one inappropriate post on social media might mean the difference between advancement in their chosen career field, termination from a coveted position or rejection from admission to a college of their choice.

Donald Trump obviously has no filter on his social media tweets. There is the real world and then there is Trump’s world as evidenced by a series of tweets and interviews throughout recent years. They are enlightening and relevant in today’s world since he was elevated to the Presidency. His past postings are evidence of the hypocrisy which floods his world on a permanent basis.

A few examples would include:

Travel tweets: “The habitual vacationer, @Barack Obama is now in Hawaii. This vacation is costing taxpayers $4 million+++while there is 20% unemployment”  December 27, 2011 

Fact: Obama’s travel cost over 8 years $97 million…Trump travel costs over 3 months-$21 million. At the current pace, Trump will outspend Obama travel costs in just one year

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Golf Tweets: “Can you believe that with all of the problems and difficulties facing the U.S., President Obama spent the day playing golf.” “President Obama not busy talking to congress about Syria..he is playing golf…go figure” October 13, 2014

Fact: 100 days  into presidency…tRump 19 golfing trips,  Obama 1.

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Syria Tweets: “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime.WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OR LIVES AND $BILLIONS? ZERO” June 15, 2013

“AGAIN TO OUR VERY FOOLISH LEADER, DO NOT ATTACK SYRIA-IF YOU DO MANY VERY BAD THINGS WILL HAPPEN & FROM THAT FIGHT THE U.S. GETS NOTHING” September 5, 2013

Fact: Obama in response to chemical warfare by Assad goes to Congress to request permission to punish Syria militarily. Republican congress refused. Trump doesn’t ask Congress and proceeds to fire 59 tomahawk missiles into a Syrian airbase… excuse…”vital to United States National Security.”

Transparency Tweet: “Why does Obama believe he shouldn’t comply with record releases that his predecessors did of their own volition? Hiding something? and “He is the least transparent President –ever–and he ran on transparency.” October 30,  2012

Fact: Early in his term, Trump announced that White House visitor logs would no longer be available for public review, but kept secret for five years past Trumps’ time in office. Pennsylvania Avenue sidewalk in front of White House is closed to visitors. He also refuses to release his tax records.

Experience Tweet: “Obama is a disaster at foreign policy. Never had the experience or knowledge. He is not capable of doing the job.” September 12, 2012

Fact: tRump has zero military or political experience and I challenge anyone to define his foreign policy. He is delegating his Commander-in-Chief position to his generals.

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Diplomacy Tweet: “Obama has picked fights with our oldest friends”. Campaign speech April 2016.

Fact: tRump insulted Australia”s Prime Minister, bombed Syria and Afghanistan, alienated Mexico, fanned the flames of a nuclear war with North Korea, acknowledged Turkey’s self-proclaimed dictator wanna be, and embraced Putin as a great person he is “honored to meet” to mention just a few.

Obama Tweets: “President Obama is losing on so many fronts, in fact all fronts, that I am concerned he will do something totally irrational. He can’t lead!”  4:01 PM, 25 April 2014

Fact: Never in the history of the Presidency has the world thought so little of our leader. He has made America a laughing stock, is currently baiting North Korea into a nuclear confrontation and threatening military action in Venezuela. Listening to his unscripted “speeches” is like being immersed in a humongous word salad. With the vocabulary of a fifth grader at best, he is totally incapable of expressing his thoughts in a dignified, thoughtful, cohesive manner. The fate of our nation and perhaps of our planet lies in the hands of a narcissistic, bigoted, racist, misogynist sycophant.

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Stay tuned. Until he is removed from office, alternative facts and tweets will be the order of the day.

 

Fire & Fury, Locked and Loaded

 

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How has it come to this? History will not be kind to those in positions of power who are sitting idly by and doing nothing to stop the ignorant madman who indiscriminately uses fiery rhetoric to inflame distrust and chaos within our homeland as well as globally. His stupidity and childish insecurity may lead to a nuclear holocaust at the worst or at the very least, to the death of hundreds of thousands of innocent people. And if all of this is contrived as a distraction from the Russian probe, like some sort of reality television program, shame on him for creating stress and playing on the emotions of millions of people worldwide. Abuse of power is a horrible thing. Our Constitution has a provision for stopping this from happening but the spineless Republicans in Congress continue to make excuses for the inexcusable. In fact, we have moved from “no contact with foreign agents, to well maybe collusion but that isn’t illegal, to coordination with a foreign enemy, to do we really care if it is illegal since everything is wonderful” No way is this normal in a democratic society. We are witnessing the snail-like progression of a coupe, the demise of democracy and an attempt to move to an authoritarian government.

I miss the days of awakening free of angst that war may be imminent, that healthcare may be ripped from millions, that environmental protections are removed. I want normal again. I crave it.

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This man-child has been systematically dismantling the norms of common decency and with his filthy mouth has succeeded  in unleashing the scum hiding under rocks to spew their vile hatred towards anyone who may be slightly different from whom they perceive to be the only “blessed and chosen” people of their God.

I am sick of the professed “Christians” who are so un-Christ like in their behavior.  No way would Jesus condone what is happening to people of color, immigrants, children, the poor and aged of our nation. How is it “Christian” to blithely vote to remove healthcare from millions, eliminate programs that feed hungry children, and foment violence? These actions do not exist in my wheelhouse as examples of christian behavior.

Like so many others in the Resistance, I am exhausted by the daily assaults on my psyche. So we wait, with fear in our hearts, to see if the two man-child demagogues will launch the missiles heard round the world. Please wake up America and realize the dangers that are eroding your right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Make sure you end up on the right side of history!

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Expressions of Grief

Road trips can be adventurous. I am dreaming of a moment in time when I can take an unplanned road trip with a gypsy attitude, traveling wherever the road leads me based on road signs, whims or just the desire to take “the road less traveled”. I have this desire to climb into my car and to start driving west, or north, or east to see parts of America that I have yet to experience. No reservations, no definitive plans, just drive and spontaneously do whatever feels right at that moment in time.

All the road trips of my life have been planned…to the beach, to baseball tournaments, to cities within easy reach of home or long adventures over seas to other lands. And along the road I have always been fascinated with roadside monuments erected to honor loved ones who perished as road warriors.  I find myself slowing, imagining the pain their families experienced and the love that spurred them to erect a monument to their lost loved one. These beautiful expressions of grief are reminders of the preciousness of life and how quickly circumstances can change, how quickly what matters the most can vanish. A reminder of just how fragile life really is. A reminder to take time to enjoy life’s journey.

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Safe travels everyone!!!

 

Two all beef patties,special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun or a “Nothing Burger”

How do you like your burger? Fully loaded or just meat and bun? We have a new type of burger in America now…a “Nothing Burger”! Lately this new term has taken the television waves by storm. I think if I hear one more Republican call the spy novel we are inhabiting right now a “Nothing Burger”, I may be nauseous. Just what is included in a “Nothing Burger”? Their so-called “Nothing Burger” includes an awful lot of Russian ingredients. It is loaded with alternative facts, prevarications, flat-out denials and a perverse refusal that any of those Russian secret sauce ingredients are present. My personal favorite, the “Fully Loaded Burger”, comes with true indisputable facts, evidenced based science, reality over perception…dates, times, players, secret meetings exposed, actual true information, a regular Snopes of the culinary world .

How does one forget a meeting with a Russian official? How does one forget a meeting with a Russian official where an interpreter is needed? Why has Trumpulthinskin never acknowledged Russian interference in our presidential election? Why does he appear to embrace Putin as his best friend? An autocrat who has robbed the Russian people of billions of dollars, Putin arranges the deaths of dissidents, invades other countries to promote the Russian agenda, eliminates media threats and rules with a heavy hand, all while added to his own personal coffers.  These are but a few of his transgressions. His agenda is always about rebuilding the power and might of Russia and what better way to do this than to destroy the credibility of American democracy.

Democracy is the Fully Loaded Burger. This burger makes your mouth water just at the sight of its “beautifulness”, full of wonderful pleasures that meld together to give one a satisfactory belly full of goodness and happiness throughout a lifetime. When you are the best, the competition is always trying to land a knock out punch and take your place. Trumpulthinskin and his minion’s collusion with the “Nothing Burger” are willing to do anything for a win even if that win means the death of morality, ethics, the demise of truth, the elimination of all that is so cherished by Americans. He is and continues to be Putin’s puppet.

I still believe that eventually the “Fully Loaded Burger” will prevail, that truth will triumph over lies, that goodness will deal a death-blow to evil, that “love WILL trump hate”. The competition is fierce though and we will have to be vigilant and strong, persisting and resisting to keep our “Fully Loaded Burger” the best of the best and assure the survival of truth.

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Always seek the truth, examine all sides of an argument, read to educate yourself about just what is at stake when we walk into a voting booth to choose the guiding hand for our nation. It may be painful to watch a news channel that may not support your beliefs but being uncomfortable can lead to enlightment or at least a better understanding of all sides of an issue. Your very life may depend upon the choice you make.

Happy bird searching followed by two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles onions on a sesame seed bun!

 

Death of Democracy and Common Decency – The Criminality of Corrupt Politicians

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My tears are flowing again like a river flushed with the melting snows of a heavy winter. I cry for the lack of humanity exhibited by elected officials who believe that removing healthcare from tens of millions of Americans is the right thing to do, the moral and ethical thing to do. What motivates these people, these beasts from Hell, to think that a tax cut for the richest top 1% of our population is worth the loss of health care for millions of poor, sick, mentally ill or disabled Americans? I cry for all the elderly who will be uprooted from nursing homes, for their children who must reconstruct their lives to care for  Mom, Dad, Grandma or Grandpa, for the elderly who must make choices between food or life saving medications and for the parents of an infant born with multiple congenital birth defects who must bankrupt their lives to provide major care.

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Medicaid is the largest healthcare provider in the United States insuring 75 million Americans. I encourage everyone to watch the Rachel Maddow show of June 22, 2017 to understand the full scope of the criminality of what is being attempted by the Republican party led by the meanest toad of a man Mitch McConnell. Medicaid provides healthcare for 50% of all babies born today in the United States, 60% of all poor children, and helps the disabled to remain in their home rather than in institutions. In other words, protection for the most vulnerable members of our society.

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There are a multitude of cartoons and comic skits on television about tRump and his best friend Putin. Laughter is medicine to help us survive untenable things. They may temporarily relieve anxiety, but unfortunately what is happening to our democracy is no laughing matter. We may be witnessing the death of “truth” in our nation and moving to a world of lies and falsehoods. Daily tRump and his minions attack the media as “fake news” and as America watches, we are witnessing the dismantling of the democracy our forefathers fought to ensure when they penned the Constitution, the bedrock for life and liberty, that was fought and paid for in blood hundreds of years ago.

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As Americans we have come to expect and enjoy, in fact take for granted, the safety of our water supply, the assurance of clean air to breathe, the guarantee that the food we eat is free of harmful pesticides . The environmental and health protections achieved for over 40 years are being systematically swept away. The food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe may be suspect in the near future if the deconstruction of the EPA continues at this alarming rate.

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The constant barrage of “unimaginable” things that this administration is  trying to  implement  is numbing our senses and lulling us into the beginning acceptance of this behavior as being the “new norm”. This acceptance or complacency is the beginning of the decline of democracy as we know it.  Sadly, this loss of “truth” or the normalization of “alternative facts”  is to watch America sink into an Orwellian “1984” society where what we believe is dictated by the “Big Brother” government, driven by the elite few seeking wealth and power to the detriment of millions of everyday hard-working citizens.

I cry for my nation as it writhes in death throes. I cry for the millions of my compatriots, fellow citizens, that will succumb to death if this administration is allowed to dismantle all that is good and wonderful about our way of life. My tears flow freely trying to wash away the pain of what I am witnessing on a daily basis.

Are you crying yet?

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The Cycle of Life

 

 

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Osprey

Today I was reminded to check out the Cornell University bird cams to revisit Ezra and Big Red, the Red-Tailed Hawks at Cornell University and Iris & her new mate Louis, the Ospreys, in Missoula Montana. Tearfully, I was saddened to learn that apparently Ezra the great Red-tailed Hawk provider and father of at least 15 nestlings, was euthanized after a fatal wing injury received in the wilds of nature where he lived his entire life. And his mate for all those years Big Red was soaring the skies over and around the Cornell area in mourning for her lost mate yet driven by instinct to find another. Will she be successful for this season is anyone’s guess. But nature has a way of balancing the uneven. And in Montana I was heartened to see that Iris is protecting her nest as Louis continues to reinforce it with huge sticks that they meticulously weave into the perfect home for their nestlings. So hope followed despair much as it does throughout life.

The hardship of living life is not confined to humans alone. Birth, Life, Drama and Death are an integral part of all life on our planet. Most human and other animal and bird species just want the basics…a place to nest, raise their young, food for their brood and to live peacefully to a ripe old age enjoying the bounties of our universe.

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Fortunately for most species, life is rhythmic and very mundane filled with the ordinary tasks of daily survival. For birds, it is a cycle of hunting food, mating, raising young, protecting the home nest, teaching their young and then launching them into flight. For humans our days are filled with chores, learning skills, making choices, buying and cooking food, birthing our children and schooling them in the ways of life prior to launching them into their own life cycle. Along the way tragedies happen…events that may scar us emotionally or physically… and we will either succumb or survive.

Our Democracy is under assault right now. A war is being waged….one which threatens to interrupt the cycle of human life as well as bird and animal life. With the elimination of the EPA, our environment might become a more hostile place. Threats may be present in the air we breathe or the water we drink or in the destruction of our homes as glaciers and polar caps melt giving rise to ocean waters. Climate change is real and denying it only proliferates the harm to both man and beast. Democracy will either survive or suffer the fate of many nations throughout history and fall.

Promoting unrest, fomenting racial strife, using alternative facts, fleecing America and mounting a continuous assault on the many institutions that have so valiantly sustained our government and America’s position as a major world leader on our planet is treasonous.

As we sit on the brink of perhaps the most dangerous threat to nuclear war since the Cuban missile crisis, our life cycle is interrupted with worry, stress, uncertainly, depression. Our nation has become divided and it has become increasingly difficult to decipher fact from fiction. In a world where trust is needed most, it exists less.

We have no control over most of these events except to never forget…

Nevertheless we must persist!!! And I will survive!!!

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Sure Signs of Spring

On my way home from work last week, I stopped in a sports complex parking lot to take a peak at the Monk  (AKA Quaker) Parakeet colony where these beautiful birds were busily building and reinforcing the colony nests that look like condominiums. They are busy, very busy right now preparing to procreate their species. They are noisy, messy and fun to watch. And appropriately a group of parakeets is known as a “chatter” of parakeets.

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Nest building time

A recent trip to my sister’s home in Burton Texas rewarded me with some beautiful flowers bursting into bloom as Spring arrives in full force.

Climbing Pinkie Rose

Climbing Pinkies bursting into bloom
A new arrival in Burton – A friend for Burton Ernie!!

A short stop at LadyBird Lake found a few year round and some winter residents.

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Opportunities to enjoy Spring rituals abound. Turn off the cell phone, take a deep breath, go for a walk,  become aware of all the wonders that Mother Nature provides for our enjoyment if we only pay attention. And just like Spring which is a renewal, you will begin to fill invigorated by the beauty that surrounds us all in our ordinary lives.

Happy bird searching!!!

A Real Spy Thriller

American “Spy” Horror Story

I love a good thriller. A spy novel makes by blood rush with the intense dangers of the situations, secrets, murder, and mayhem. I love a good mystery, a page turner that I just can’t put down. Few of us expect to be active participants in a spy thriller. Espionage. CIA agents, MI6 and even the old KGB lived in this world where intelligence, counter-intelligence and double agents were everyday real life experiences during the Cold War.

Fasten your seatbelts and hang onto your hats, because each and every American right now has the opportunity to observe up close and personal, a true spy story. Fiction be damned! This is the real McCoy. All kinds of spyish words are floating around out there now. Words like:   testify, alt right, fake news, misinformation, partisan, non-partisan, treason, immunity, murder, suicide, assassination, collusion, intelligence committee, InfoWars, Fancy Bear, Brietbart News, classified, scam, con artist, grifter, Russia, Turkey, RussiaGate, Kremlin, Kleptocracy, useful idiot, FISA warrant, nepotism, Emoluments Clause, impeachment, WikiLeaks, bankruptcy, money laundering.  And there is a cast of spy characters: Julian Assange, Paul Manafort, Steve Bannon, Christopher Steele, Putin, the Freedom Caucus, Gang of Eight, Guccifer 2.0 spread across our planet in exotic lands like Turkey, Russia, Cyprus and Ukraine. Phrases like “deep state” and “active measures” and “kompromat” and alternative facts. These words are like crack cocaine to the spy novel bibliophile.

Seriously folks….this is history we are living, a true, real life spy story being played out in the highest levels of our government the likes of which hasn’t been seen for years, perhaps centuries. A spy story like none other and the antagonists are Democracy vs Autocracy. Who will win? How many casualties will there be….not just in humans, but in ways of life, moralities, ethics, norms? It unfolds slowly like a carefully crafted mystery plot, the suspense is mind-boggling, and we want the pages to turn faster, faster, and faster so we can know the ending. It will end. Soon.

Happy bird searching and sleuthing!!!

How do we define “Access”?

Access. Just what does that small little word mean. I went old school and dug my old dusty Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary from my bookcase to investigate its meaning. As defined by Webster “access” means:

1) Onset  2) permission, liberty, or ability to enter, approach, communicate with or pass to and from 3) freedom or ability to make use of. And apparently in 1962 (and yes my dictionary is verrrrry old!) this definition was added… 4)to get at or gain access to.

Access is a favorite word of the Republican Party. For that matter I think it is a great word. I “access” information everyday from books, the internet, colleagues, the environment, family. I have access to my automobile, to stores, to food. But when we use that word in reference to healthcare, it becomes a little more ambiguous. I have heard tv personalities and politicians say things like…”we have access to a Ferrari but that doesn’t mean we can afford it.” And therein lies (pun intended) the rub.

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The new healthcare plan, the glorious long-awaited replacement for the Affordable Care Act, AKA Obamacare, is big on access if you make big bucks. This new piece of garbage legislation will strip healthcare benefits from approximately 24 million people by 2026 and provide big tax cuts for the upper 1% of our population. It would defund Planned Parenthood, the reliable provider for poor and uninsured women’s healthcare. Medicaid would be reduced by approximately $880 billion. Yes, that’s billion with a “B”. If this comes to pass, emergency rooms across our nation will once again become the “go to” health clinic for the poor. The American Medical Association, AARP,  the American Academy of Family Physicians, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Nurse Association, the American Hospital Association are but a few of those opposed to this assault against the American people in the guise of better healthcare. Does the opinion of so many healthcare organizations matter to the Republican politicians trying to force this healthcare law down our throats?

Access has become a dirty word for me. Designed and used by Republicans to trick their constituency into believing that things will be better with their plan. I sincerely hope that their chicanery doesn’t work, that they are unable to pull the wool over the eyes of millions of Americans who have tasted “healthcare for all” and are coming to realize that a universal healthcare system is what our country needs now more than ever.

The time is right. It is time for America to join the other progressive nations that provide universal health care with better outcomes than we do with our outdated, expensive, poor results system that neglects to provide for the poor or less fortunate in our society. There…I have returned to my basics. We have a duty as human beings to help one another… to lend a hand to the less fortunate, to provide shelter, food and safety to the “huddled masses” whether they are immigrants to our shores or native-born Americans.

Now look up the word “afford”. According to my dictionary ….”to have enough money to pay for”. 24 million Americans won’t be able to “afford” basic healthcare. Instead of taking what we currently have and streamlining it to make it better, the Republicans are writing a prescription for a new American disaster….the death of millions of Americans because of lack of access secondary to affordability.

I frequently educate my patients to the fact that “sugar-free” does not necessarily mean “carb free”. “Access” does not necessarily mean “affordable”. Persist, Resist and make your voices heard. Demand Universal Healthcare for All! It is a right, NOT a privilege of the wealthy.

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Loss

 

 

Loss is a terrible, painful, lonely thing. It brings with it change whether we want it or not….sadness, anger, emptiness and a whole range of other emotions that are unsettling to deal with because they rock our world. They interrupt the rhythm of our life. As a nurse I frequently ask patients to measure their pain on a scale of 0-10. Zero is no pain and 10 is a wild dog ripping your arm off. Loss is a vicious rabid wolf ripping your whole body apart.

There are many different kinds of loss…death of a loved one, the loss of a job, estrangement from a friend or family member, the loss of a pet, illness or the realization that our body has incrementally changed  throughout the years and has left us a shell of our former selves.

As difficult as it may be to deal with loss, it has to be dealt with, it demands it and life frequently changes course during the process. The impact of loss varies from person to person and unfortunately there is no set sequence of events that get one through it. And, there is also no time frame within which it must be accomplished. A horrible tragedy with many variables becomes an enemy that must be vanquished in order for us to survive and move on.

So time-tested rituals take over…funerals are planned, job resumes are refreshed, we mourn the loss, tears are shed, remorse for harsh words haunts us and we learn to adjust to the loss. Father Time suddenly becomes a friend. Nothing seems to take away the pain. Whatever your loss, it leaves its mark and little piece of your self will forever be gone. But as the minutes turn into hours and the hours into days and the days into months, slowly the patch on our wound begins to heal a little and the immediate pain begins to recede so it is no longer crushing and moves toward being tolerable. And we begin to live again.

Our heart beats, our lungs expand and deflate, we move, we talk, our brains function, but always present is the “loss”. The level of pain has simply become tolerable. And we wait. Wait for a new pet to fill the void, a new job offer, a medication to ease our physical pain, a cure, a reconnect with the estranged friend, or for the ultimate end to our pain.