Sunday, May 27, 2018
I have been thinking a lot about athletes lately. Well, not just athletes, employees in general. (You have a great deal of time to think when you're hooked to an intravenous tube for six days).
In my 50 years of working, I've been a bartender, a punch press operator, a solderer, a secretary, an executive assistant, an insurance underwriter and many more. I will admit that over that time, I developed a somewhat contentious relationship to management. It always seemed to me that, in general, the head offices had all the power and didn't hesitate to use it to unfair advantage, not all of them, but most of them.
So, the question is: how much of you does your employer buy when they pay you to work for them? If we are going to have a hard and fast rule, then it should be the same for everyone. If your boss essentially owns you from the time you clock in (rhetorically speaking) until you punch out, then that's the rule If they say, you can't take a knee during the national anthem, there you go. If they sayyou must provide contraceptive products to customers (against your conscience), then so be it. If they say you must marry gay people, you marry them. Refusal to play by management rules is automatically grounds for dismissal.
Forget all that stuff about free speech and civil rights. It doesn't exist when you're on the clock.
And politicians should keep their noses out of these issues and not take sides either way, putting an unfair thumb on the scales.
Okay, Done deal. Seems rather draconian and undemocratic to me but the rules are the rules.
What about on your own time? If your boss loves Donald Trump but you wear a prominent "Impeach Trump" button when you're off the job, can he forbid you to wear it? What about talking at work? I was once employed in factory where we were trying unionize and some people were terminated for discussing it on the assembly line. (Only the pro-union people, not those who were opposed).
What brought this up, of course, is NFL players (most of whom are black) taking a knee during the National Anthem. Something that had absolutely nothing to do with patriotism or the military but tried to highlight injustices in the black community. It offended many football fans (most of whom are white) and they boycotted the games. Trump initially brought up this controversy and he revives it whenever it starts to flag as a way to keep his base stirred up.
Naturally, being all about the bottom line, the NFL caved and decided to ban taking a knee during the anthem.
A friend of mine posted a meme on Facebook saying, "he died for my freedom, the least I can do is stand for the anthem" seemingly unaware of the irony of that word freedom in that sentence. He died for their freedom too, the freedom to protest injustice where they see it.
I wonder why this offends people so much? The players harm no one. They don't slow down the game; they don't stop work It affects no one in any impactful way but it make many Americans livid because they conflate it with patriotism. And these are rich black spoiled babies. They should be grateful, not protesting. Who do they think they are? In the immortal words of Laura Ingraham, "shut up and dribble" (or punt or whatever the comparable football term is). Maybe, as the president says, they shouldn't even be allowed to live in this country.
I've always hated the way we unconsciously say owners as if these rich white men own not only the sport but the players themselves.
But then American have almost always submissively accepted the concept that the boss who pays you, owns you while you're on his clock and even sometimes when you're not.
Sunday, May 13, 2018
I went 72 years without being a hater. My motto was "to each his own". That's not to say I wasn't critical in my writing of things I disapproved of. I could be sarcastic and snarky. But I never hated, not Ronald Reagan or George W Bush, though they were two of my least favorites. I never doubted their patriotism even when I vociferously fought against some of their policies.
When my candidate lost an election, I shrugged it off and said, "life goes on, there will always be another election."
But that attitude has collapsed in the face of Donald Trump and now I am a full-fledged hater. In fact, I'm not sure hate is strong enough. I despise this president and detest his administration for its lies and its cheating and its cruelty. I loathe the Republican party for the sycophantic and gutless ways it is letting Trump get away with what he's doing without resistance. I despair over all the ways I see my country being dragged down to a level I never remember before.
I have so often read that hate comes from fear. The right-wing fear Muslims, African Americans, gays, Latinos, women who speak up. Their fears result in tyrannical and vicious laws - Muslim bans, taking immigrant children away from their parents, refusing to allow gay families to adopt the babies who need them. Legislation that denies kids sex education, denies women contraception, denies them abortion, then want to deny them the subsidies that help them raise those very children.
Fear is what has inspired me to hate too. I don't deny it. I'm terrified of what Trump is doing to this country. All our principles - from the Rule of Law to Due Process (Lock her up!) are in danger. All the agencies we once trusted - from the Justice Department to the F.B.I. - are being undermined and condemned as "deep state" traitors. Our free press is being attacked as fake news.
At this point, I am honestly not sure that our democracy can survive Donald Trump and his Swampy cronies.
I am stunned that so many of my fellow Americans don't see it. They hear him call people demeaning names and they laugh. They chant "lock her up" without charges, indictments or convictions. Just their hate is evidently enough for them....and more and more I hate them back for their blindness and their ignorance. And it seems, the more Christian they claim to be, the more they jump on the bandwagon.
I know this is not a good road to go down. Mutual hate leads to no place positive. But I don't know what to do about it. As long as they are in charge, I think I will be a hater.
Thursday, May 3, 2018
Really, if we'd been paying attention, wouldn't the situation with Dr. Harold Bornstein have told us everything we needed to know about Donald Trump right up front?
I thought Bornstein was a total fruit loop the first time I ever heard him speak. I never believed for one minute that he came up with the exaggerated claims about Trump's superior health on his own. I don't consider him a legitimate doctor and I don't consider Trump a legitimate patient. Now Bornstein admits that Trump dictated his own report. The good doctor explains it away by saying it was "black humor". Seriously, lying to the American people about their president's health is supposed to be funny? It should be criminal on both their parts.
Forget all the other scandals that are going on in the Trump administration. Let's just consider what this relatively small incident (in the wider scheme of things) reveals about Donald Trump.
1) Lying. We learned from the git-go that Trump has absolutely no compunction about lying if he feels its in his best interest. All this time later, he has proven it over and over again. We just seem to accept that we can't trust him now....about anything.
2) No respect for his office. I can't think of any other president we've ever had who would brush off their own medical examination as a big joke. (In fact, I can't imagine how anyone would have Bornstein as their doctor for decades. wonder how many times he's treated Big Don for a sexually transmitted disease?) It shows us that Trump has nothing but contempt for the gravity and dignity of being president.
3) No ethics. At the very least, it is unethical to fake a medical report.
4) No loyalty. Presumably, Dr Bornstein was willing to go along with Trump's deceit because he wanted to move into the White House as the President's Physician. But after their many years of association, Bornstein made a fatal mistake- he let it out that Trump took Alopecia for hair loss. And questioning the vain Trump's swoop of orange hair, just could not be borne. So Bornstein ended up under the bus, (where the President's Physican, Admiral Ronny Jackson, ended up as well along with so many others in the administration).
5) Preference for bully tactics rather than the Rule of Law. There is a legal process for obtaining the president's medical records. Instead, according to Bornstein, the president's body guard, an attorney and another man he didn't know swooped in in what was more a raid than a transfer of records. They also demanded Bornstein take a picture of Trump off his wall. This all sounds a little hinky because Bornstein never reported it. He said he was frightened and intimidated. Still, it is in keeping with how we know Trump behaves.
So, the whole Bornstein episode sums up Donald Trump in a nut shell...if only we'd taken it seriously
Wednesday, May 2, 2018
Here's the difference between liberals and conservatives: liberals just can't get over having a conscience. When conservatives say vicious things, try to call them on it and they just double down. And they call us snowflakes if we complain about unfairness or hatefulness. We need to retreat to our safe place with our coloring books, don't you know?
Then along comes the White House Correspondent's Dinner and we discover anew that they can dish it out but they sure the hell can't take it. Conservatives are indignant, they're feelings are wounded, wounded, I say!. And what do liberals do? Why we rush to apologize. We were too nasty to poor Sarah Huckabee Sanders. Even Mika got in on it - she doesn't like seeing a MOTHER criticized so harshly. Well, cry me a freaking river about Dear Sarah, who gets up and flat out lies to us every time she has a briefing. She's high on the food chain of the White House. Are we now saying she is beyond reproach because she's a female? Come on, Ladies, let's toughen up, shall we, or maybe we really don't deserve those jobs after all. You can't have it both ways.
Meanwhile, as Michelle Wolf was pouring it on (did they really not know the type of humor she specialized in before they booked her?), Trump himself was in Michigan doing what he does best - trashing the media, trashing the Democrats, trashing immigrants, trashing Muslims, trashing Mueller, trashing anyone who is not a fan. He's the president of the United States - the most vile, ugly, filthy-mouthed president we've ever had and WE are mea culpaing all over the place about Michelle Wolf. Are you serious?
Did Michelle Wolf say the former president wasn't even an American as Trump claimed? Did she say he wasn't a Christian but a Muslim as the right claimed? Did she chant "lock her up" about an opponent?
I thought it was a set-up from the git-go. Trump knew what he was going to do. Skip the dinner. Send a couple of surrogates who would probably get roasted, then claim the high ground. Oh, those liberals are so awful.
And we fell for it like we always do.
Who should really be apologizing here. I say - "go, Michelle"!