Tag Archives: Politics

What is on my mind today? Job Opening for White House Communications Director…..

9092615_orig

What is on my mind today….I hear there is an opening at the White House for a Communications Director.

What an opportunity for professional and personal growth! And, here I am with experience working with national, state and local press; both political parties; elected officials at state, county and local levels; and military generals. I confess, I liked the generals best.

I have written over a hundred press releases and can pump one out in minutes, in plain speak, while on the phone fielding press calls, with management standing over my shoulder.

My customer service remains professional and excellent even when subjected to a profane diatribe. I enjoy a certain amount of—goal orientated—chaos, and I have been known to successfully meet complex and difficult challenges that would arrest most folks in their tracks.

With my background as a preschool teacher, legislative staffer, assistant communications director and press secretary, I know from personal experience that the difference between toddlers and politicians is….height.

Where do I sent my resume…my country needs me!

Oh, that’s right, I’m multiple myeloma broken….darn.

What is On My Mind Today: Pintos, “The Magnificent Seven” and Marching Band

Pinto
The horse I had as a teenager looked much like this one.  Beauty was an Arabian-Pinto. 

Since I am now officially sick of hearing about politics, especially Russian hacking, instead of watching the morning news, I explore YouTube for videos of really beautiful horses.

This morning as I was watching YouTube videos about pinto horses, one video had music playing in the background.  At first the tune did not catch my attention, then, a memory from long, long ago came back.  I knew that tune and I knew it well!

While I was growing up, my parents would farm in Minnesota in the spring, summer and fall months. Then, in the winter they would move our whole family to Arizona. Minnesota winter’s were hard on my dad’s chronic rheumatoid arthritis. So from the time I was in 4th grade until I graduated from high school, I was the new kid in school… twice a year.

My class in Grove City, MN was just over 30 Scandinavian kids. My class at Cholla, High School in Tucson, Arizona was in the hundreds and Scandinavian students were an endangered species.

Now, transferring in and out of schools twice a year was sometimes a challenge, especially in the areas of math, band and choir.  It never failed that whatever math I was learning in Minnesota was never even close to what was being taught in Arizona.  Then, if I wanted to get my music credits, every year the music instructors in Arizona, made me try out to first just make the team, then, I had to perform a solo…vocal and with my clarinet….to determine chair placement.

As a very pale-skinned young white girl who literally just came off the farm, I stuck out like a sore thumb from among my Arizona peers.  I will never forget my first time in the Arizona Junior High School locker room, standing there buck naked waiting to shower after a physical education class, only to hear one of my African-American friends yell, “Girl, you is white, you is white all over!.”

After a confidence boosting experience like that,  imagine having to stand in front of your AAA class talented peers, whose choir performances more often than not brought home the state championship, and sing a solo your first week in a new school.   At least the clarinet playing was only in front of the band instructor.

My first solo for my choir instructor was the, Carol King song, “It’s Too Late.” When I finished, and before I had the chance to start to cry, my teacher hugged me, and asked if I planned to be the next Linda Ronstadt. He then made me a first chair alto.

The band tryout was easier, I usually practiced the song that I was given the night before and sailed through.  I didn’t like playing the high notes, so I generally aimed low….for third chair.  Eventually, the band instructor figured out my game, and switched me to the bass clarinet.  I loved playing bass clarinet.

The band in Grove City was probably no larger than my class, just over 30 students.  My band at Cholla was over one hundred students.  Every year we would march in the largest non-mechanized parade in the United States, the Tuscon Rodeo parade.

Each year we’d have to learn a new marching song with a western theme and go out onto the football field to practice our marching moves. Marching in rows and doing perfect pinwheel turns while in step with a hundred other young people came quite naturally to me.  I should have gone to West Point.

band 1

Our band was  huge.  We had rows and rows of clarinets, flutes, trumpets, trombones, french horns and a whole row of just tubas.  Our drum section was amazing, the head drummer was named Abel Hernandez.  He was in charge of the other drummers and was the best looking.  When those guys pounded all of their drums, it felt like the turf beneath your feet moved.

Our marching uniforms were always the same…blue jeans and a white shirt, tennis shoes and cowboy hat.  I loved this outfit, due to the fact that my mother felt that girls should never wear blue jeans.  So, this pair of blue jeans were the only ones I got all year.

Since, wearing blue jeans was the “in” style in those days, I wore them constantly.   Of course, going bra-less in peasant tops was also the thing in Arizona at that time, however, that did not workout for me.  As it turned out, my white Scandinavian skin was eventually offset by other assets attributed to my ethnicity.

band 2

At one Tucson Rodeo parade our band played the song that I heard this morning.  It is the theme song from the movie, “The Magnificent Seven.”  I will never forget marching next to Barbara Clark, playing my clarinet, having the instrument’s bell fall off, get chipped and be picked up by the gals behind me.  None of us missing a step!

Masterful steppers we were, and we had to be!  We started off with a high “kick step”, then spent the next several miles and hours trying not to step in horse manure from over a thousand horses and step around the dead horse that dropped in the middle of the parade route.

When I listen to that song, even all of these years later, I still can picture Abel thundering on the on his kettle drums, hear all of the guys hammering on their woodblocks, see Tim’s dancing trumpet leading the brass section, and feel the power and magic of all of our woodwinds playing that beautiful melody.

I think it is safe to say that a good time was had by all…well except for the dead horse.

Here is a link to the theme song from the movie “Magnificent Seven” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iteRKvRKFA

 

What is on my mind today? Special Prosecutor…..Damn!

 

Election 11I do believe that this whole Russian business does call for a special prosecutor.  It is time to have an adult in the room and the issue settled.  I frankly am sick of hearing about it.

That being said, the gleefulness of the mainstream media and Democrats, as they convict the president almost daily with hearsay, reminds me of a story a veteran once told me, about himself and his best buddy.

These two young men were both stationed in Germany.  They enjoyed going out and having fun.  Heavy beer drinking and obliging women filled many an evening.

As it happened, on one of these occasions, the boys drank a bit more beer than they probably should have.  As they stumbled around dead drunk in the dark, trying to flag down a cab driver, they ran right into a very old, very ugly, very large woman.

The gal, while not having been created easy on the eyes, more than made up for that deficiency by having been blessed with a kind heart and a giving nature. She immediately offered to help the uniformed lads get a ride to her home where they could spend the night.

The boys did not remember another thing from that night.  When they awoke early the next morning they were in bed together with the ugly woman laying naked between them.

As she snored away in peaceful slumber, the soldier’s friend vigorously pointed at him and mockingly mouthed, “You did her, you did her!”

Well, my veteran friend, thought for a second about the situation.  He then decided that the best way to find out the truth was to just pull back the covers and reveal what was underneath. As he lifted up the blanket on his side of the bed, it was discovered that he still had all of his clothes on.

Then, his gleeful friend very slowly peaked under his side of the blanket only to shout, “DAMN!.”

 

Election 2016: The Alamo and American Voters

Today, is a good day to reblog this post written before Trump was even the Republican nominee for president. The tone of our nation’s politics certainly did not improve after November’s election.

However, contrary to the media hype, this White House is not the Alamo. Even a politically embattled president is considered innocent until proven guilty and has the right to face their accusers.

No, this White House is not the Alamo. Nor will it be. Too, many experienced generals in the cabinet. Besides, what do Republicans really have to fear? After all, if President Trump is hounded out of office, the next three in line are also conservative Republicans.

Its always important to be careful what you wish for, especially in politics. Oh, there may be a political massacre. Who ends being massacred, is the question at hand.

For the sake of our great nation…may truth will out and justice be done.

The Swedish Farmer's Daughter

2016election

I have been reading a book about the battle of the Alamo.  It is a sad tale of a besieged and surrounded fort near San Antonio, Texas. There in the early morning hours of March 6, 1836, its brave defenders all gave their lives for their state and country.

The over 160 American men, of diverse ethnicity, that held that small fort from February 23 until the final assault by Mexican troops on March 6, knew that the Mexican General Santa Anna did not take prisoners and that their time on this earth would shortly and violently be over.

There were several famous American frontiersmen, including Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett who died at the battle of the Alamo.  Accounts recorded later by Mexican officers and an officer’s widow and a male black slave, the only adult lives spared, are filled with the horrors of kissing a young husband goodbye as he ran out to meet certain…

View original post 722 more words

What Is On My Mind Today? Power Without the Destruction.

st g painting
2016 Painting of St. Genevieve Church in Centerville, MN. 

For weeks and weeks I have painted and repainted the sky on the same canvas.

Whenever I start a painting I have the exact image in my mind.  I can actually see it on the white canvas. As an artist, my job is to make the image appear for others to see.

I like painting landscapes especially ones with vivid skies.  I have always had a fascination with clouds.  I remember spending many hours as a small child, resting on the lawn just watching them change shapes.  Quietly watching clouds on a calm summer’s day is a very peaceful and relaxing activity, which I highly recommend.

For me the peace of clouds disappeared in an instant when I was about eleven-years-old. Cloud watching changed forever on a stormy day while traveling in a car on Highway 12 just east of Litchfield, Minnesota.  At the precise moment we were along side a huge metal factory, a tornado dropped out of the sky and shredded the big building.  Huge pieces of metal ripped through the air and rained down all around our car.   The destructive power of that small tornado was horrible, yet so very awesome.  From that moment on, I had a very healthy appreciation for power, especially power that originates in the heavens.

After experiencing that tornado up close, instead of looking for the peace in the clouds I looked to find evidence of their power. It is exhilarating to stand in an great empty field and watch a thunderstorm explode on the western horizon and come barreling at you.

It was even more exciting to stare down a menacing mesocyclone astride my Arabian mare.  Animals are naturally much better forecaster’s of weather that humans. My mare could sense stormy weather hours before it developed.  Her restlessness and whinnying told me it was time to saddle up.  Down to the edge of farm we’d gallop and wait for nature’s big show.

Radiant white clouds billowing upwards with great speed and purpose announced that the guest we were waiting for so impatiently was on its way.  Just as the first gust of wind rushed up to make our acquaintance, I would pivot my  mare and give her, her head and we’d race the storm home.

It was all speed, wind, water and…..power. Intoxicating!

I like power.  I love the power of storms.

So, my goal for this canvas was to paint a beautiful powerful mesocyclone with all of its whirl and swirl.  No matter how many skies I painted none of them seemed to meet the vision of my mind’s eye.

Since, I don’t tend to give up, I had to just keep trying and trying to succeed.  Becoming more and more frustrated with a process that is usually as easy for me as falling off a wet horse.

Last week a very good friend of mine, who knows me extremely well, called to say hello. I told her about my canvas of perpetual repainting and how frustrated I was not being able to  produce the image I wanted.  I explained to her that my goal was to capture the winds and the beauty of a great storm, but I wanted it to be a friendly storm.

As always she listened to my concerns very carefully and then responded, “So, you want all of the power without any of the destruction.”

Yup, that would be it.

 

 

What Is On My Mind Today? Auto-correct and Too Few Dictionaries

I think that one of the major problems of auto-correct is that many folks use terms or words for which they do not know the meaning.  For example the term “rule of law”  or the words, “hate”, “fascism” or “intolerant”.

As a public service, I have provided the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definitions  for these terms.

Definition of rule of law


a situation in which the laws of a country are obeyed by everyone.  The courts uphold the rule of law.

Definition of hate

intense hostility and  aversion usually deriving from fear, anger, or sense of injury

extreme dislike or disgust :  antipathy, loathing.

Definition of fascism

a political philosophy, movement, or regime (as that of the Fascist) that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.

Definition of intolerant

unwilling to grant equal freedom of expression especially in religious matters

unwilling to grant or share social, political, or professional rights

Using political propaganda or “spin” to advocate a policy or personal position with the intention of shaping or changing personal or public opinion has been around since the Garden of Eden.   I have sat in political meetings where the goal was to use language to confuse the voting public.  I expressly did not approve of that tactic then, nor do I now.

“Spin” terms are chosen because their connotation is perceived as more positive than the word or term being replaced.  Examples of this would be: “undocumented immigrant”  replacing the term “illegal immigrant;  “gentrification” replacing “urban renewal”; or “white privilege” replacing “white guilt”.

Some words are chosen because they are intimidating and people have a natural aversion to them.  Their calculated use is intended to bully, shame or scare. Excellent examples of this propaganda tactic would be the words fascist and hate.

The cry of fascism produces instant mental pictures of history’s most brutal tyrants. Our government is a republic with a constitution that includes checks and balances on executive power.  I have no fears of American’s ever tolerating a king. However, the use of fascist tactics to shut down opposition speech has reared its ugly head. Anyone who has or plans to shut down free speech from opposing political view points through intimidation or violence has become the monster they claim to fear.

“Hate” was chosen to replace “disagree or dislike” because of its intense intimidation  “wow” factor.  It’s overuse has numbed its sting and only succeeded in promoting greater divisiveness.  Name calling is rarely a good idea. Sugar has always been known to attract more flies than vinegar. Like the school rhyme said, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me.”

So, whether you are politically on the left or right, when on top of your loving tolerant democratic religious pedestal you use these terms to bully, condemn, confuse, shame, or scare, any reasonable person would then have to provide one further definition:

Definition of hypocrisy

a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not :  behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel:  the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion