The Democratic primary result in New Hampshire makes at least one point--with me, anyway--that nobody has mentioned:
Bernie Sanders' complete evisceration of Hillary Clinton (60-38 percent) with the majority of women voting for him, shows a real maturity, at least in New Hampshire, of the women's movement. Women are no longer voting for a woman because she is a woman, but because they agree with her (or they vote for Sanders because they disagree with her).
I like the sound of that. It means female candidates for office can more readily concentrate on all the issues, especially those that interest them and about which they have expertise. Being a woman is a good thing, but being a well-rounded political candidate is pretty damn close to novel.
Now, we go to South Carolina (and then to the SEC primary week), where people are not quite so evolved. We may well see George Wallace emerge in full form (he has been showing up as Cruz, Trump and a couple of others).
Wednesday, February 10, 2016
|Hillary Clinton: The Supreme Court is the key.|
Robyn Morton in the Huffington Post (here)
Of course, as I have said many times, if it comes down to Clinton and any of the Republican nominees, I will vote for her without hesitation. I think our country can survive another politician like her. I am not sure it can survive Trump/Cruz/Rubio and the like.We already have a Congress full of people like them and we're struggling mightily just to be here.
Clinton will appoint two or three Supreme Court justices, perhaps with an opportunity to tip the balance against Roberts and company and if she does nothing else during her presidency--provided she wins--that would have major impact for decades.
Tuesday, February 9, 2016
That's where the pigs come in.
Margie loves pigs. She has a pig screen cleaner for her computer screen, a stuffed pig (named Elbert, after me) to snuggle with when I'm occupied and now--Ta Dum!--she has what you see above: piggie slippers.
She found them on the sofa this afternoon when she got in from work and her mood became instantly sunny.
Thanks, pig. Got my Margie back.
The New Year's celebration was sponsored by Local Colors, the wonderful organization my friend Pearl Fu took over more than 25 years ago (most of us feel like she founded it, but she didn't; she just made it). Anything Pearl is involved with becomes a celebration almost instantly, but the Chinese New Year didn't need any help. It is already over the top and the three groups of dancers added the exclamation point.
Here are some of Susan's photos. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.
Monday, February 8, 2016
|Ironically, this service choir sang "America the Beautiful," While Lady Gaga sang the National Anthem.|
"I wish to god that we could de-militarize the National Anthem. I just watched the Super Bowl version of the NA and, except for Lady GaGa, whom I adore, I was left nauseated with the thought that my country is only about the military. Wouldn't it be lovely if our national colors were carried out onto the field by physicians from Doctors Without Borders, indicating our deep concern for the people of the world?"
My buddy Mark Dearing wrote that the simple paragraph was "about as big a can of worms as when you were bitching about the confederate battle flag?" Indeed.
Response, while mostly supportive, was quick and occasionally angry. My friend Whitney Hollingsworth summed it nicely: " I disagree with you - as always. But I like your optimism. The world needs people like you - people filled with hope that a better world is at least possible. I don't have that. I know that the meek might one day inherit the earth. I also know with absolute certainty that they won't stay meek once they get it."
|Let's honor Doctors Without Borders|
Others were hateful and nasty. Teresa Brummer wrote (ungrammatically, I'm afraid), " Well when this country gets taken over because of pussy ass Jerks like you. please don't call on us. Stop taking money from us too." Not quite sure where the money reference comes from. She also wrote that "if it wasn't for the military, there would be no doctors." I'd love to hear that explained.
My conservative buddy, Phil Chitwood, wrote, "'...Doctors Without Borders....'" Didn't we recently bomb them??" Yes, we did, Phil. Indeed, we did. It was called an accident.
Ric Walters wrote, "You should be ashamed of yourself disrespecting military. Shameful."
Kirk Musick called me an idiot. My pal Mark Layman had a good suggestion: "Maybe we need a less-militaristic national anthem. 'This Land is Your Land,' anyone?" "America the Beautiful" is already the unofficial national anthem (and it preceded the militaristic anthem last night, in fact). 'Course I always liked Paul Simon's "America" ("And we all came to look for America ...").
Kristi Meador Doolan gave me a history lesson that included references to the War of 1812 and 9/11, among other things, but failed to mention that "The Star Spangled Banner" is the love child of an old Irish drinking song and Francis Scott Key's homage to the beauty of war.
|Lady Gaga: Red, white and blue|
Roy Sutton asked me if I "would fight for those colors." No, Roy, I would not fight for colors of any hue, but I would risk my life for ideas that support freedom (real freedom, not George Bush's Republican version of it).
Diana Christopulos wrote, "As the daughter of a career military officer and WWII combat veteran... the fewer people who serve in the military the more those who know nothing about war think it is great and that they have done their part by saying, 'Thank you for your service.' It is nauseating and hypocritical to me."
Mark Dearing, who always seems to bring in pearls of wisdom, wrote, "Really want to stir the pot? There hasn't been a justified since WW2 , also the USA has been the cause of 200 wars since then and have caused the deaths of 15-30 million people. None of these wars have been about our freedoms or rights as USA citizens." Those are very difficult truths that people supporting militarism want to ignore. They see John Wayne in "The Green Berets" watching the sun go down (in the east) on the South China Sea.
Now there's a picture I can live with: John Wayne celebrating war as the sun goes down in the east. That's about the way it would work for some.
|John Wayne in the final scene of "The Green Berets".|
Saturday, February 6, 2016
(Photo by Janeson Keeley.)
|Mom in about 1956|
This note was so very Mom. She's excited about going to a thrift shop in downtown Asheville, The Next To New Shop (which still operates on Biltmore Ave. downtown). She's looking for some boots and Jennie reported this in her FB post:
Today is my grandmother's birthday! Happy birthday! I post this card from her, because it makes me smile. She is so excited about Jackie's pregnancy. She writes that Jacquie is taking her to the next to new consignment shop and about a pair of Aigner shoes that she bought there for $3. She gives me advice on being a thrifty shopper.
I remember Grandmother and I taking the bus into downtown Asheville for a shopping trip. She found a pair of tall white leather Aigner boots at the consignment shop. How awesome is that. I really miss her. Throwing her birthday kisses.
|Jennie at 2 in 1970|
I would love to be able to take Mom to Goodwill for a couple of hours. But, I'm afraid I missed my chance.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
This is my friend Janeson Keeley and me jumping a creek on a hike this past weekend. It was taken by my friend (and coach) Susan, who was giving her new Nikon camera a test run. I just love this shot. It captures the energy and enthusiasm that marked this special hike among good friends.
You will notice that Mr. Multi-Tasking is taking a photo, mouth wide open, even as we take the short leap. It was a pretty good shot of Susan.
|This is my shot of Susan, taken jumping the creek. Pretty good, huh?|
Monday, February 1, 2016
|Oz finds some balls he can't throw; so he climbs them.|
|Selfie: Kara, Madeline, Oz and Evan in Malaga.|
|Maddie tests her balance.|
|Evan pushes Maddie in the cool circular swing (Oz plays at the base, left).|
|It is never this cold in Southern Spain.|
|Oz tries it the other way.|
|Wish I had one of these.|
Sunday, January 31, 2016
|That's me kicking off the conference Saturday.|
|Greg Trafidlo sings for us.|
There were a few surprises, one of them the quality of keynote speaker Terry Maggert's 10-minute kickoff talk. It was simply dynamic and caused a buzz all day. There were a number of business deals made during the conference and at least one young--very young, like 14--writer was discovered among us. I tried to chat with her at one point, but I think I terrified her. Several of the women writers came to the rescue.
The writers conference is quite a breakout for people in a profession who work alone in dark places. This is an annual recess for something like 120 of us. And we have fun. Promise.
|Janeson Keeley and me teaching a class on billing (Yaaaaaawn).|
Here is some of what it looked like (photos by Anne Sampson and me.
|Leah Weiss' class drew a full house.|
|But Leah had some technical problems, which were fixed.|
|Annie Woodford, a teacher, made a lovely student.|
|Todd Ristau of Hollins taught playwrighting.|
|Minister Joe Cobb's class was popular.|
|Storyteller Saundra Kelly in the middle (left).|
|Ed Falco of Virginia Tech teaches fiction in the auditorium.|
|Indy author Liz Long.|
|Author Diane Fanning seeks peace.|
|Not everybody listened all the time.|
|Professor emeratis Paul Sorrentino of Tech.|
|Ran Henry (left) with Floydians Neil Sagebiel and Sarah Beth Jones.|
|This shot in the auditorium will make you dizzy.|
|Leaning into learning during class.|
|Joe Cobb and Tom Gerdy chat.|
|Me pretending to be a teacher. (Note my unruly hair. That's why I wear a baseball cap.)|