Bird Bullies

Some birds are just hard to love. One of those is the Mockingbird, the State Bird of Texas. They are quite versatile, easily identifiable, readily located and as their name implies, they are very capable of mocking or imitating other bird calls. They sing, sing, sing during the day and sometimes even during the nighttime hours. Mockingbirds are territorial and they will aggressively dive bomb humans, cats, dogs or just about anything and anyone to protect their territory. Some might call them the bullies of the neighborhood.


Remind you of anyone? The Donald has spent the past 18 months or so, imitating others, generally being a bully, name calling and tweeting out falsehoods in his attempt to aggressively conquer a large field of Republican aggressors who were also vying for the coveted Presidential nomination. He apparently spends a large portion of his time tweeting during the wee hours of the morning much as the male Mockingbird might sing during the night. Mockingbirds seemingly are more prone to sing during the night when the moon is full. Might be an interesting scientific experiment to document if his early AM tweets correspond with the full moon cycle.

Another garbage bird is a goose. Aggressive, unruly at times and they usually leave a tremendous mess in their wake. They honk and make loud noises about nothing. Some people find them annoying and others are actually afraid of them. The Donald is similar to the gabby goose. He spouts words with very little thought, if any, to the consequences of

Canada Goose

those words. He attacks when he feels threatened even if no threat exists. America’s goose may be cooked if the Donald doesn’t start taking his responsibilities more seriously  as leader of the most powerful nation on our planet.

I keep waiting for my world to normalize. I read about other’s concerns and worries regarding the future of our nation and of democracy itself. As I have mentioned before, I sincerely hope that for the good of all Americans, I am terribly wrong. But….so far his choices for cabinet positions and his inability to “act” presidential are not instilling any confidence into my world. I worry for the future of my grandsons and granddaughters…will they be drawn into another senseless war? Will our planet be destroyed by the greed for monetary wealth from climate change deniers? Will public education continue to be available to all? Will freedom of the press continue or will our nation begin to disintegrate as our freedoms are stripped from us one by one. Will America continue to be the free nation envisioned by our forefathers? Bottom line….I cannot find it in my heart to accept a sexual predator, as my President. My flag, my country, but Never My President!

Hoping your world is peaceful and free from the bullies of the world.img_1353

Con Artists of the Bird World

Con artists have permeated the world probably since the beginning of time. What is a con artist? How is a con artist defined in the dictionary? Con artist – a person who cheats or tricks others by persuading them to believe something that is not true. Or another definition…a person adept at lying, cajolery, or glib self-serving talk. Or another….a person adept at swindling by means of confidence games, a swindler. All of these definitions from describe people who use others for their own gain. But humans don’t have a lock on con artistry. In the bird world, con artists exist as well.

One of those bird con artists is the Shrike Tanager. A group of shrikes is known as a “watch” or “abattoir”. One bird in the “watch” of shrikes is supposed to be a “watchman” of sorts for the entire collective “watch”. So they trust their safety to one in the “watch”. If a predator approaches, the watchbird is supposed to sound the alarm so all the other shrikes can flee to safety. But sometimes the “watch” bird for the group of shrikes falsely sounds the alarm with the predictable result of a general exodus of the other shrikes leaving behind a plethora of food for the “watch” shrike to steal.white-throated-shrike-tanager-10

Our President Elect is supposed to be the watchman for all of America. All of America includes people of different color, different religions, different walks of life. All share one large common denominator…we are Americans. We live here, work here, play here and enjoy all the freedoms afforded to us by our Constitution. A Constitution that has been challenged and defended for hundreds of years by the willingness of journalists, protest marchers and military personnel who fought and many times succumbed, making the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives, so the American democracy, our privileged way of life so heavily endowed with freedoms, can endure.

Freedom isn’t free. It must be paid for. The price all too often requires a sacrifice….writing letters, protests, calling legislators, defending against social injustice and sometimes loss of life. It is hard work, this job of defending freedom, defending our Constitution, defending democracy. It is challenging, time-consuming and exhausting. Just like a chronic or acute disease, it must be vigorously fought on a daily basis to win the battle. Our democracy has stood the test of time because of the willingness of citizens to make sacrifices to “preserve, honor and defend” not only from exogenous aggressors but also endogenous ones.

To sound false alarms about different ethnic groups or religious groups, to perpetuate lies and untruths, to demean the freedom of the press or protesters right to protest, is to undermine our Constitution and America’s promise for millions of Americans. Just like the shrike who distracts and falsely sounds the alarm, our President-elect tosses falsehoods to distract Americans from perhaps his true purpose…to undermine our democracy and establish an autocracy. He appears to want all for himself but at the expense of others and like the “watcher” shrike he will grow fat on the lives of hardworking Americans who just want to enjoy all of America’s promise, the American dream.

Another bird that is a con artist is the cuckoo. Cold hearted and ruthless, they frequently usurp the nests of other birds, lay their own eggs and then leave their progeny behind to be raised by the surrogates who worked hard and built the nest stick, by twig, by leaf. They are the “users” of the bird world.cuckoo-bird-sitting-on-wood

Our President elect has a history of being a user like the cuckoo. He borrows money to build, hires workers to do the job and then abandons them without compensation for their work. All the while he is moving forward on projects to further his self-worth and aggrandisement. Like the cuckoo, he is a swindler, refusing to pay for goods received, spending his life short-changing the other hardworking Americans and leaving in his wake a mess for others to clean up.

Con artists are the “takers” in our world. In the bird world, little damage is done by these tricksters. But in our America, in our world on this planet called Earth, the cost might be catastrophic. Only time will tell if our cuckoo bird manages to destroy us or will rise up from the ashes of his incompetent, racist, misogynist, xenophobic narcissistic self like the mythical Phoenix and actually step up to the plate and begin to think and act as the office of the President of the United States demands.



What is Your Job?

I am a nurse. I sometimes think I was born a nurse. Of course that is silly, but always within my heart, I have felt empathy for people who may be hurting, embarrassed, or simply disadvantaged.  I guess I was destined to take that career path. So as an adult, I immersed myself into studying for just that purpose.


I began my nursing journey after a serious life threatening illness. The two private duty nurses that oversaw my care during my recovery, inspired me to go back to school and acquire the skills and knowledge base that would launch me as a Registered Nurse. So, I was formally trained from books, had the pathophysiology pounded into my brain in college, and clinically overseen by my professors to make sure I learned the practical part of my nursing job without putting any of my patients in danger. Mistakes I could have made were never allowed to be life threatening and the burden of knowing that my decisions and actions might adversely affect a “real live” human being, weighed heavily on me. I took it seriously, always rethinking and prioritizing my choices, asking colleagues for their opinion and double checking to reassure myself that first I would do no harm. I didn’t want to be that “clear and present” danger to my patients. On any different work day I might have 3-8 patients under my care…each depending upon me to do the right thing, make the correct decision. And after almost 40 years of nursing, I look back and can be at peace because I held myself to that high standard and delivered the best care to my patients on a daily basis. They were and still are my highest priority.

Now imagine if the fate of a nation and 300+ million humans depended on the balance of your knowledge and decision-making skills. Scary, right? This is our President-elect right now. And so far, I am frightened, very frightened because he seems to have little interest in schooling himself in the very things that will protect us from danger. Refusing daily security briefings, exhibiting signs of seeking favors from foreign governments to enhance his own business profits, choosing people for jobs who have lurked on the fringes of society instead of making choices from a well-qualified, educated and experienced pool of candidates who might help him guide our nation through the daily chaos of world events. We should be afraid and cautious. For our very lives depend upon it, just as your life depends upon the physician making the correct diagnosis, or the surgeon making the right incision, or the nurse giving you the right pill or chemotherapy infusion. All very basic. Would you be concerned if this was going to directly affect your body? Absolutely. You may not be poor, or homosexual, or elderly or Muslim, or a person of color, but that does not mean that you can just turn a blind eye to what is happening to those around you. We are and should be our brother’s keeper. It is simply the right thing to do.

Anguish, pain, despair, fear! They all have a smell, a taste and it is sour! I’ve witnessed this in many patients throughout my years as a nurse. Today and everyday since November 8, 2016, our nation is screaming in pain, anguish, despair and fear. It is palpable. It is visible in the protests occurring in cities across our nation and the world. I am one small voice, one small cog in the wheel of our great nation. It is my job as a nurse to try to sooth the pain, calm the fear and replace despair and anguish with hope.

What is your job?