Thanksgiving: Giving Thanks Not Only for the Food and the Friendship but the Peaceful Transition of Power

We can celebrate. Yes! Ok, maybe there are restrictions and shadows, big ones at that. But we can do it. Smile. Dance. Step #2 towards a revived future and a revived nation has been taken.

 

Step #1 was the election day⎼ or days. In some states, early voting started a month before November 3rd, and then counting went on, in some places, until this Monday. Actually, there are a few states still counting. And it is clear Biden won, or clear to anyone not wearing DT colored or white (nationalist) colored glasses. Biden won by 5.3 million popular votes and 74 electoral votes, 306 to DT’s 232.

 

Step #2 came 16 days after election day when Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, a DT appointee, declared President-elect Joe Biden the “apparent” President-elect. DT managed to freeze, incite chaos and anxiety, try to blatantly undermine or cancel the election, for almost a month. Then, on November 23rd Murphy contacted the White House and sent a personal letter to Biden. Resources as well as information and access, will now be granted to the President-elect. He can officially start the huge effort to take control of the executive branch of the government and begin planning how to safeguard this nation.

 

An adult with the inclination and ability to care about the well-being of others is now President. We can celebrate. November 23rd should have been declared a holiday. It might be the day that saved our nation from the Civil War that our present and soon-to-be past President drove us toward.

 

Step #3 will be January 6th, when the Electoral College will officially meet and certify the winner of the election. Step #4 will be January 20th, Inauguration Day. Step #5 will be when the tough process of executive actions and legislation to end the pandemic, improve health care and the economic position of millions of Americans, and create democracy is clearly underway.

 

DT was the first shadow on the holiday. COVID-19 is the second. This year, Thanksgiving needs to be masked and social distanced and attendance limited.

 

For 42 of the last 43 years, my wife and I had Thanksgiving with the same group of friends despite living in 3 different areas, all in driving distance of each other. Three of us went to college together, were on the same floor of the same freshman dormitory at the University of Michigan. We became close friends. Two of us shared an apartment for the last 2 years of college. We had almost no classes together, but many discussions, protests, social events. And the friendship has continued after we left Michigan. Others have joined us, most notably and joyfully our wives.

 

I looked forward each year to our time together. Looking forward to Thanksgiving gave me life and breath over many years of working long hours. But this year it can’t happen.

 

Instead, we invited 2 friends, a couple, former co-workers of my wife who live near to us, to join us. Actually, the invite was more synergistic than one couple inviting another. Although it took planning, it also took checking the weather report so it would be warm enough to leave windows open. We had to think about what would be safe. We brought out 2 leaves for our kitchen table to make it so we could sit more than 6 feet apart.

 

So, I wish us all, everyone, a wonderful holiday. I wish us all not only wonderful food but wonderful discussions. For those who can’t do it this year due to the necessary health restrictions or for whatever reason⎼ I wish that our new President, with our help, will not only end the coronavirus pandemic but the pandemic of hate and economic injustice. So we, more of us than ever, can share such a holiday in the future.

 

Happy Thanksgiving to us all. And may the transition of power be even less anxious and more peaceful and constitutional than it’s been.

“Read the Eternities:” Who Knew There Was Such Meaning in the Flight of a Bird?

It’s morning. The sun is hazy. So many Blue jays, Mourning Doves, Woodpeckers, Cardinals, Chickadees and a few Evening Grosbeaks feed at the bird feeder outside the window or on the seeds scattered on the ground. Their movements are first individual, one move here, another there. Then all at once, like a wave, they all take off. They’re here, then gone.

 

I find it tremendously soothing to put my attention on the birds, plants, and sunlight. The view feels sacred to me. Calmly focusing on it helps me gain some clarity in troubling times and to find something beyond the obvious in what I see. It helps me to find answers to the questions, fears, and confusions that powerfully arise or that I barely know are there. It reveals the moment has depths not to be missed.

 

We can let our eyes rest on the whole scene and then our body⎼ shoulders and belly especially⎼ relax; our hands at ease on our lap. Take a few slow, deep breaths. And then we watch individual movements, distinguish which birds like the feeder, which the ground. Who is aggressive and who can share a meal? Or we can listen to the calls of the different birds, hear one, then another, or listen to them all, together, like a concert. Standing by the window, we can feel the warmth of the sun shining on our face.

 

James Shaheen, in a Letter from the Editor of Tricycle Magazine, The Buddhist Review (Winter, 2020) titled “A Time for Eternities,” speaks to this point. He writes about Thoreau saying, “Read not the Times. Read the Eternities.” Not to totally withdraw from what is happening around us, no matter how challenging or frightening⎼ the often-disturbing news headlines, for example. When times are chaotic and frightening, it is helpful to stay attuned to what endures, “to the knowledge that illuminates the deepest matters of human meaning.” He is referring not only to Buddhist teachings, but the wisdom, “through which consciousness is deepened,” the caring for others in our best traditions.

 

This wisdom is what reveals the truths in what surrounds us. In a synchronous fashion, I by “chance” read or listened to two other authors and teachers who gave similar messages, or maybe I just saw a similarity in what they said. Heaven is not divorced from the earth; enlightenment is not separate from ordinary mind. The birds and I are not as separate as we might think….

 

**To read the whole piece, please click on this link to The Good Men Project.

 

Preserve the Constitutional and Peaceful Transition of Power

Now that DT has lost the election, I⎼ and so many others⎼ would like to just ignore him and starve his malignant narcissism of attention. Ever since 2016, there was always the desire to just turn him off. And this is the best time to do so. Last Saturday and Sunday the headlines were filled with faces other than his, of Joe Biden, Kamala Harris—and Stacey Abrams.

 

We wish we could just turn him off, but we can’t. He won’t let go or concede. He is so desperate; he could put our whole nation at risk. DT and his GOP followers are blatantly working to undermine the heart of the U.S. constitution, by grasping at the power to keep himself in office. At a news conference, DT’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo called for “a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.” At the very least, DT aims to seize the headlines, and whine “I am the victim, here. I have been defrauded once again.” He has committed so many frauds, corrupt acts and crimes, so many malignant actions, they must fill his mind so entirely he sees them everywhere.

 

Despite no evidence whatsoever of there being any voter fraud, a fact proclaimed by his own Federal Election Officials, DT continues with his inconsistent and false claims. For the past week, his legal team has been suing several states, at first to stop vote counting, then to dismiss or invalidate the results. He has demanded recounts, for example, in Wisconsin and Georgia. His suits have mostly been thrown out, because they have no evidence to support their claims. He made similar false claims after the 2016 election, when he proclaimed, also without any evidence, that he would have won the popular vote if “millions of people” hadn’t been allowed to vote illegally, a fact his own commission proved false.  Why stop lying now?

 

So, if anyone has interfered in the legal voting, it was DT and the GOP. He called the Governor of Arizona last week, and Rupert Murdoch who owns FOX News, to complain about news that Biden was ahead in the count and that Fox had called the state for Biden. DT supporters tried to interfere or pressure the vote count in several locations, including Arizona, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Watching the scene in Maricopa County, Arizona, I couldn’t help but flash back to the scene in Florida, during the 2000 election, and the GOP supporters flown in to interfere in the counting of ballots.

 

DT started interfering in the election months ago, falsely claiming mail-in ballots were fraudulent, stopping states from sending them out, and stopping the USPS from delivering them. In California, the GOP put up fake drop-in boxes. And let’s not forget efforts to confuse or disenfranchise voters.

 

His appointee, Emily Murphy, head of the General Services Administration, has so far failed to recognize Biden’s win and release the funds and other resources so Biden can officially begin the peaceful transition of power.

 

Peaceful⎼ for Murphy to hold up the transition, she pushes the election into a chaotic situation that encourages anger, distress, fear and outrage, the emotional feeding ground for violence. The nation has been on edge for months, or 4 years, and this additional stress on our political system just further undermines the safety of this nation.

 

Meanwhile, DT is firing government officials, anyone who has ever said “no’ to him that still has a government post⎼ a move that could make the situation in the U. S. even more volatile. For example, he fired Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense, who opposed DT’s desire to send active-duty troops to quell street protests in Portland and other cities. DT fired other officials in the Defense Department and there is evidence he plans to also fire Christopher Wray, the F. B. I. Director, and maybe Gina Haspel, the C. I. A Director.

 

And while Covid-19 cases and deaths continue to mount (yesterday 145,000 new cases, the highest single day total since the pandemic began), DT continues to lie, to fail in protecting, or caring for the health and lives of the people of this nation. He will leave the new administration with the worst health crisis this nation has faced in over a hundred years, one he did little to contain.

 

And when Biden finally succeeds in entering the White House and being inaugurated, who would be surprised if DT tries to pressure the GOP into resurrecting the “party of NO” and interfering in every government function they can interfere in? Especially if the GOP hold on to a Senate majority, they can refuse to confirm cabinet nominees as well as judgeships and hold up the filling of other vacant positions. This could force the Biden administration to be more “centrist” in order to get anyone confirmed and make it extremely difficult for Biden and Democrats to actually do anything positive for us, the American people.

 

DT fears Biden showing voters that a Democratic (or democratic) government can improve the everyday lives of Americans. He wants to continue to divide the Democratic party as he has the nation and make anger and fear stain Biden as it stains him.

 

We would all like to take a breath, and we need to do that. The last few weeks have been exhausting. Let’s give ourselves a needed break, clear our minds, assess information⎼ and act effectively. We can make calls, write postcards and get out the vote for the two Senate positions up for grabs on January 4th in the run-off elections in Georgia. If Democrats win both these seats, the Senate will be evenly divided between parties.

 

Eight GOP Senators and six House members have already broken with DT⎼ let’s energize a movement. Make calls and protest to get more of the GOP to actually honor their oaths and protect the constitutional and peaceful transition of power.

 

And we need to both support and pressure President-elect Biden to issue executive orders as well as push legislation that will foster justice, economic security, and caring for the health and well-being of Americans⎼ good health care for all and a scientifically based response to the coronavirus pandemic and the climate emergency. Then maybe student debt relief, protecting voting rights, releasing immigrant children from DT’s cages and re-uniting them with their parents. Who knows where we can go from there? We can do this, just as we won this election.

 

What A Week: His Foot Is Lifted Off Our Necks⎼ Let’s Keep It Off!

What a week, wasn’t it? I can hardly believe it’s over. It was one that will long be remembered by each of us, in our minds and hearts, and history books. A time and an administration that hopefully will never be repeated and will soon, hopefully, come to an end. I don’t think any week of my life was consumed by so many moments I felt almost sick from anxiety.

 

Last night, I had a dream. Thousands of people in long lines were climbing down a steep mountain. I could see myself having to find footholds and lower my weight very carefully. There were people all around me. Some were disparaging, seemingly ready to trip people up. But most were helpful, giving each other tips about where to place a foot or get a good grip. Our attention was absorbed by the climb.

 

We have hopefully succeeded in climbing down from the height of anxiety and holding off dictatorship. We have hopefully made it to a point where, for a moment, we can breathe. Where one man’s malignant ambition, supported by thousands of followers, no longer presses its foot against our necks. Where we can and will celebrate. And then go back to work.

 

But almost immediately, before a winner of the presidential vote was clear, some were already laying blame, casting doubts, dividing us even further. I understand the followers of the wannabee dictator making false claims. They have been immersed in DT’s universe and will not, for a while, give up on their fantasy of a white nation, or their fears that Democrats are the red (or black or brown)  horde coming to steal their freedom.

 

What is more disturbing are a few Democrats claiming the election was so close because the Democratic Party went too far. They, we, were too extreme.

 

Congresswoman Abigail Spanberger (D, VA) was one of the loudest voices. She was angered by the fact that she barely won re-election and Democrats lost seats in the House. CNN labeled her message as speaking a “hard truth to her party.” She blamed two main “extreme” Democratic messages for the losses and cited the stated concerns of people in her district as the source. The first was “defunding the police.” The second was the talk about ‘socialism.’ But was she speaking a “harsh truth” or something else?

 

Alexandria Octavio-Cortez responded to her fellow member of the House in a tweet, “You can’t tell the Black, Brown, and youth organizers riding in to save us every election to be quiet or not have their Reps champion them when they need us… Or wonder why they don’t show up for midterms when they’re scolded for existing.”

 

Spanberger and others do express a truth, but it’s not the one they think they’re making. They’re expressing a truth about the success of the GOP messaging with certain audiences. Spanberger, and the voters in her district that she references, are just repeating back to us GOP propaganda, maybe Russian disinformation. They took ‘Democratic’ out of Bernie’s ‘Democratic-Socialism’ and demonized ‘socialism’ so the message would be obliterated. They turned “Defund the Police” into “destroy our defenders and let the hordes of chaos loose.” Or letting thousands of brown and black people speak to the truth of their lives?

 

But since the word ‘socialism’ is so distorted by the GOP branding, why not speak of a democratic economy? Wouldn’t a government of, by, and for the people care about the health of all its citizens? It would be interesting to hear GOP speak in opposition to a ‘democratic’ economy. And “defunding the police” is what? Re-thinking policing and how we treat each other? It certainly includes stopping the killing of black and brown people.

 

Democrats, or people who want to turn this nation into a true democracy with more equity in the economy as well as the political structure, need to work on including in our thinking and speaking not only those who agree with us but those who might agree with us if they listened. Not the committed White Supremacists, but others. A democracy requires a very diverse group of people to work together. That means everyone speaking their needs and viewpoints, but no one demanding their view or nothing.

 

On Friday, I listened to a Zoom panel discussion on “Where do we go from here?” with Naomi Klein, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor and Astra Taylor. They clearly agreed with and expanded on AOC’s response. Although I have a slightly better view of President-Elect Joe Biden then Klein, Taylor and Taylor, I totally agree with their analysis of how he gives us a clear opportunity to move forward.

 

We are in a very fragile situation, said Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. We don’t have time to change everything. We need to first increase our cohesion and collaboration. The Democratic response to the GOP cries about socialism, the economy and the lockdown due to the pandemic was weak. Naomi Klein spoke to the intersecting emergencies we face (agreeing with Biden on their centrality) ⎼ COVID, racial injustice, climate, and the economy.

 

And all three panelists made clear the way to move forward is to show people that Democrats, and the government, can deliver, can create laws and institutions that meet their needs. We need to bridge urban and rural. We need things like the Civilian Conservation Corps to both get jobs and help the environment. We need to revitalize the care economy. People need their housing, food and health care to be covered. We do that, and we show the nation what our words mean by letting all of us live their truth.

 

Without this living example, then after two years of Biden we might see an increase not of democracy but of DTism, hatred, and division. We need to use this opportunity of a Biden presidency to pull together as the community of care, of 75 million people or more, so we can show ourselves as well as the rest of this nation what is possible.

 

*This post was syndicated by The Good Men Project.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Embracing the Whirlwind, Finding Depths in Ourselves We Didn’t Know Existed

The next 2 or 3 days might be a whirlwind, a hurricane of historic proportions. Who knows what will go on. Hopefully, on Wednesday or Thursday, we as individuals as well as we the people of this nation, will still have a mind and a voice left, after watching and listening to the news storm through our hearts. Hopefully, the physical world will still be intact. COVID might still be raging in our communities but the rage that DT embodies, his emptiness of care for others, his lies and hate will have been exposed and, at least politically, for now, defeated. Our efforts to form a “more perfect union” advanced. But if not, if even more is needed, we will continue the fight. We can discover depths we didn’t know existed in us. We will be the people we want to see in the world, the friends and neighbors, creating the world we need and dream about.

 

So, be alert and safe. I will be, in mind and body, air hugging all those I love and care about. Hoping everyone I know has or will vote. If you see me wandering around with my arms out, don’t be alarmed. It is just hope and love trying to embrace the world, wishing for myself and all of us that we soon have something wonderful to celebrate.

Being Ready to Stand Up and Speak Out: Vote and Turn the Tide

Last Wednesday, DT issued a sweeping executive order to strip career federal employees of their civil service protections. I didn’t hear about this until Saturday afternoon. Amidst so much news, about the pandemic, polls on the last debate, the GOP disenfranchising voters while abusing their power in the Senate in order to turn a sycophant judge into a justice, and the election⎼ this move by DT went almost unnoticed.

 

I doubt what he did is legal, but that hasn’t stopped him before. What this order does is allow him to dismiss, without any cause or recourse, anyone in the bureaucracy involved in helping make public policy. He is invalidating laws and policies meant to protect these workers and the integrity of government operations and the rule of law and making the federal bureaucracy totally dependent on one man for their job. And their job would no longer be to serve the American people and this nation, but to serve DT. The federal bureaucracy would join the DOJ and the Supreme Court as a division of the DT Empire. We can’t allow this to happen.

 

And this follows years of him firing any head of a government agency, including the FBI, or any Inspector General that could hold him accountable.

 

DT has talked about voting as an “honor,” not a right protected by the constitution. On several occasions, including the first debate with Joe Biden, he speculated he possibly would not honor election results (or repudiate the white supremacists who support him). He earlier threatened to withhold government funding to Democratic states which allow those fearful of getting COVID-19 to request mail-in ballots, and has called for indicting and imprisoning not just Hillary Clinton (“Lock Her Up”) but any political rival, or anyone who protests for justice or against him. This is a president who, at a rally in Wisconsin on Sunday, stood not before the American flag but the “thin blue line” flag that has become a symbol not as much for law enforcement but racism enforcement. So we oppose him.

 

Our legal system has favored the white and rich forever. There was always a “two-tier” system, one law for whites and one for people of color⎼ one for the wealthy, and one for the rest of us. In fact, the legal system might be doing what it was intended to do⎼ protect the position and property of the white and rich.  But there was still a principle of rule by law, not by the whim of people in power. The legal system might have even been improving due to the justice and civil rights movement that began in the mid-1950s, and due to the Voting Rights Act of 1965. But no more. Not since the Supreme Court in 2013 nullified the most important protections in that act; not since the Citizens United decision in 2012 allowed the rich to exert overpowering influence in our elections, and certainly not since DT’s assumption of office.

 

Most of us understand how dangerous the situation is right now. We have seen or heard about other nations where no one but the rich and connected can depend on the government, to get permits, passports⎼ anything. Where paying bribes or depending on the pressure of the influential is commonplace. If DT is allowed to continue as he has, our laws and environmental regulations will be used even more not to serve the community but those in power. This is where we’re headed. The level of corruption in this administration was frightening even before his order to remove civil service protections. He campaigned on draining the swamp, but instead he’s stuffed it so full it’s flooding the nation. So we oppose him….

 

And we must vote. Vote early, if possible. If not, we can vote on the third of November and bring friends, neighbors, and family (in a safe manner) with us. Dress up in Revolutionary War costumes. Make it a neighborhood event. But vote. On Tuesday, the whole political landscape could drastically change. This is our opportunity to turn the tide and stop the devastation wrought by DT….

 

To read the whole post, go to The Good Men Project which also published it.

 

 

Using Humor to Take Down A Wannabee Dictator: The Importance of Joy and Playfulness in Our Lives Today

We hear that Joe Biden is ahead from 3 to 12 points in almost every national poll and we want to jump for joy and act silly. But we know we can’t trust polls. His victory won’t happen unless we make it happen.

 

Other than polls, there is little in the news to bring most of us joy, not after we hear about a plot by white militias to kidnap, maybe murder, Gretchen Whitmer, a sitting Democratic Governor, attack police and incite a civil war.  Not after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg⎼ and instead of passing legislation to help the millions suffering from the pandemic, the GOP in the Senate rush to replace her with a sycophant judge and turn the Supreme Court into an extension of DT’s court. Not after over 219,541 deaths and when 28 states are experiencing a spike or second wave of the coronavirus. And instead of leading the nation in dealing with the pandemic, DT leads the nation in trying to hide and deny it.

 

DT claims to be the “the most perfect person”, “an extremely stable genius” but he is the liar-in-chief, more like a red-faced, malignant ostrich with sticky hands trying to hide his head not in the sand but in a tv set. He has assaulted almost every aspect of this nation, from Social Security, Medicare, the USPS, school children, workers, especially those who are brown and black, the air we breathe and water we drink, our right to protest for justice or to vote.

 

Considering all this, who has the inclination or energy for joy? It would be inconsiderate, or sacrilegious. Fear, depression, anger and outrage seem more appropriate.

 

Or anxiety. I am so anxious about the election I can barely stand it. But we need relief, ways to relax and let our minds clear, and mindfulness and nature walks can only do so much. This is true not only at home, to keep our relationships with family and friends fresh and caring⎼ but also so we aren’t manipulated by DT’s tweets, lies and actions, which are often based on, or are the source for, Russian disinformation. I’m surprised he hasn’t developed a Russian accent. Especially after an unwatchable “debate”, humor can release us from fear and introduce us to compassion. It can help us more clearly perceive our ties to others, our power, and better understand the necessity and the means to act effectively.

 

For the first few years of the DT era, comedians were a prime source of humor and relief. Jimmy Kimmel and other late night comedians helped influence the effective fight against the GOP attack on our health care in 2017 (although there were some who blamed comedians for making the divisiveness in this nation worse. Humor can be used to oversimplify and obscure, as well as to grasp the complex and reveal what is hidden. Intent is important.)

 

In the 9/26 Sunday New York Times, Nicholas Kristof wrote a piece called “To Beat Trump, Mock Him. The lesson from pro—democracy fighters abroad: Humor deflates authoritarian rulers.” Before DT, we in the U. S. didn’t have much experience confronting authoritarian rulers and so are often stumped about what to do to hold DT accountable. The more normal frontal attacks, and revelations of his corruption and malignant actions don’t work as we expect. As Kristof points out, the impeachment hearings seemed to elevate him in the polls….

 

*To read the whole article, please go to the Good Men Project.

This Is Our Moment: Giving Breath to the Government of, by, and for the People

Our problem is that we don’t believe it, or don’t want to believe it. It’s too incredible. We know it intellectually. We can see it and feel it. Every time DT’s face appears on the tv screen or we hear his voice we have a stress response. We feel our stomachs fall to the floor or we shout out curses involuntarily.

 

Or we hear numbers of new COVID-19 deaths or of states experiencing spikes of illness or disenfranchising voters or of the incredible concentration of wealth in the hands of the .1%. Or we hear the name of a brown or black person murdered by police and we get angry. We demonstrate. We make phone calls. Or we wonder⎼ what can we do?

 

Or we hear about a plot by white militias to kidnap, maybe murder, Gretchen Whitmer, a sitting Democratic Governor, attack police and incite a civil war. And what we don’t hear from the President and his party is outrage. Instead, DT tweets attacks on the threatened Governor. He supports the terrorists. Even though one of the terrorists called him a tyrant, it was DT who augmented and manipulated the extreme division in this country that helped incite their actions. And we wonder⎼ how can this be? It is too incredible. We have moved to a state called shock.

 

Democracy is a government of, by, and for the people, and must be about maintaining a quality of relationship amongst all its members. We must recognize the need for a diversity of viewpoints and the rights of others, and all can, must take part.

 

But politics, like any competition, can become, like Mao Zedong said, war without bloodshed. Right now, one group is trying to divide the nation into two exclusive and conflicting sides. One group is trying to remove the restraints on violence, not only to frighten both sides but to stroke the flames of frustration, fear, and enmity into murdering democracy itself. They are trying to set the constitution in flames. They are not trying to win an election but to eliminate them.

 

They are trying to make us feel that ‘order’, and the ‘rule of law’ are impossible, mere dreams, and the words are meaningless sounds, by calling themselves the law and order party or their leader, the “law and order President”.  They are the enemies of the rule of law. For them, ‘order’ or ‘rule of law’ is twisted to mean rule by one side, one person, only. For them, the only time there will be peace is when all opposition is terminated, all diversity of viewpoint has ceased. …

 

To read the whole post, go to the Good Men Project.

 

 

The President is Sick

Reports tell us DT is sick with COVID-19. After he disdained and lied about it for 10 months, it is not surprising that he now has to face those lies. I don’t know when (or if) he will recover or how he will try to spin his illness, or even if or how badly he is sick.

 

But if he or his followers try to use the illness to feed some narrative of martyrdom, we must remember it will be a martyrdom that he executed on himself. Or if he continues to claim the virus is no big deal, “Don’t be afraid of Covid,” or that, due to his sickness, “I get it”– we need to remember who he is and that he does not get it.

 

If any of us have forgotten, he:

 

Saturday morning, I was listening to Scott Simon on NPR’s Weekend Edition. He said it beautifully:

 

“There is so much suffering in America now. More than 200,000 people have died in this pandemic, tens of millions of people are out of work, and lines of people waiting for food stretch across this famously abundant country. Millions struggle just to keep going, as the list of aides and admirers who have been close to the President recently and tested positive grows almost hourly.

Maybe President Trump’s diagnosis, and that of so many around him, can remind Americans, in a way his denial has not, that the coronavirus is real. It won’t just disappear. We have reported on the lives of so many people who have died in this pandemic, and each time you grieve for a good life lost, and the hole they leave in so many hearts.

The president will get the best care possible. The American people deserve the same.”

 

We do deserve the same. We also deserve the truth. We deserve a President who cares for the people of this nation and cares for the democracy that he took an oath to protect. But DT is not that person.

 

Although his illness has captured media attention and distracted many of us from his disastrous debate performance with Joe Biden, his failure to pay income taxes, etc. polls have so far shown that a majority of the American people recognize the threat DT poses to us all. He has been losing in the polls since the beginning of the campaign, but the debate put him further behind. And polls taken since his illness have shown that a people tired of and angry at his malignant myopia are not so willing to give him the sympathy he expects.

 

In a now infamous quote, in 2016 DT claimed he could “stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue [in New York City] and shoot somebody” and not “lose any voters.” He was that confident in the support of his base, and crass and uncaring enough to brag about it. Well, now he is responsible for thousands of deaths, through his malignant refusal to listen to scientists, to care about others, and to act responsibly to fight the pandemic. I hope the American people care enough to hold him responsible.

 

Reports say he is sick, and I am sorry if he has the illness, but he has been sacrificing people to his own greed, and contributing greatly to making the nation physically, psychologically and politically sick for years. As I wish for his recovery from the coronavirus, I also fervently wish for the nation itself to recover from him⎼ and overwhelmingly vote him out of office.

 

Speaking for the Majesty of An Eagle Taking Flight: Even the Rain Is Threatened

Listen. It’s raining. It hasn’t rained for more than a few minutes in weeks. In fact, it hasn’t rained steadily for months, but at least there have been no forest fires. The sound is beautiful. Too often, the rain comes like a storm, harsh, or like a shadow, here then gone. But not this, now. Like the sound of crickets and cicadas, it is absorbing and surprisingly comforting.

 

Even the muted light is soothing today.

 

I notice the fallen leaves, yellow, burnt orange, a bit of startling red. The leaves almost cover the grass which looks deep green, like it’s eagerly drinking the rain. The earth is thirsty.

 

I close my eyes and just listen. The sound gets more distinct. There are currents in the rain. The pace of falling water speeds up, striking the gutters, trees, creating a wind of rainwater pushing against my body even though I am in my house. Then it softens, slows to barely a whisper. There is an occasional bird call. What before seemed steady and continuous is now revealed as something else, something unique. When I simply listen, there is more to hear.

 

We were driving into town 2 days ago. From the opposite side of the road, just before the farm stand where we often buy corn, an eagle rose out of the tall grass. It majestically and ever so slowly took flight right in front of a dark van. Its wingspan was wider than the van, yet somehow the eagle wasn’t hit. It flew off right in front of my car window, unhurt. But the driver of the van pulled off the road and stopped….

 

To read the whole post, please go to The Good Men Project.