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A fitting 2016 blog repost

Today I caught just a little of the latest Trump news and the surreal optics of Rudy Giuliani appearing on FOX News last night and admitting that President Trump reimbursed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, the $130,000 hush money paid to Stormy Daniels, the porn star, who alleges she had an affair with Trump juxtaposed to President Trump sermonizing this morning for the National Day of Prayer.  However, it’s as surreal as having James Comey, James Clapper and John Brennan, leaking sensitive information to take down President Trump and on a media blitz to gin up anti-Trump sentiment, hint at ominous “Russian collusion” committed by President Trump and cast aside any doubts about their rabid anti-Trump sentiments.  Added to the surreal optics is after 15 months of President Trump being in office, Hillary Clinton is still on her sore loser tour, putting forth endless reasons for her “I was robbed” takes on why she lost the 2016 election.   I believe most of America wants to move on and has adjusted to the reality TV presidency of President Trump, however there are plenty of rabid #Resist  partisans on the Left and a small segment of NeverTrumpers, who are determined to see President Trump impeached and work tirelessly unto that end, leaving America still stuck on this 2016 hamster wheel.  Round and round we go…

I’m reposting my April 19, 2016 blog post, Drumpfzilla vs. the Witch of Chappaqua, which holds up pretty well on both Trump and Hillary:

After almost a year of this 2016 presidential campaign, the endless Trump theatrics and bogus allegations, replete with vile, petty name-calling and endless spin (lying) makes me disgusted not only with Trump, but also with his big name enablers.  I lost respect for many public figures in the process, especially Rudy Giuliani, who could go on national TV and proclaim that Trump behaves gentlemanly and is a gentleman. That level of bold-faced lying for political purposes rests as something I expect from Hillary Clinton, not from Giuliani, a former federal prosecutor.  The Trump demolition of the GOP continues and  rather than beat a dead horse and repeat the same mantra daily,  I’m working on some other craft projects and also some other topics to write about – hence, not as frequent blog posts.

My fervent hope is that both Hillary and Trump get fired  – she  to face charges and he as a total lying, conniving fraud, but of course, due to the state of America and the worship of celebrity, my hope rests as, at best, a forlorn one.  She will not be held to account for jeopardizing national security on an epic scale and Trump, a TV clown act, who definitely does not possess the integrity, intellectual heft, work ethic or frankly good manners to be President, just might insult his way into the White House.

How smart people can excuse his petty stream of  “Little Marco”, “Lyin’ Ted”, Megyn bleeding out of her wherever and Carly’s ugly face taunts, well, I don’t get it.  Top that with the fact that the man does not hire the best people, he doesn’t bother to do his homework, he’s corrupt and worse than that he corrupts those who follow him.  They begin to believe his lies and convoluted excuses and worse repeat them.  No one stole his delegates – he was too lazy, too cheap and most of all believed  he could ride free media buzz all the way to the nomination, so he didn’t bother with setting up real state campaign operations.

Trump’s latest RNC delegate rants repeat the same Trump pattern – he didn’t bother to prepare for debates and when he ended up looking like an ignorant ass – he walked away from the debates.  However, for months, his enablers bragged that he was different, he didn’t need to know details or prepare, as he would hire the best people, and he even set out mocking Carly Fiorina for her obvious dedicated study and preparation as a negative – boring even.  Heck, I caught myself thinking she does sound very prepared as if that was a negative, until I realized Trump was sucking me into his amoral relativistic thinking – he does that to people.  He will find a little grain of truth and use it to sell a whole truckload of lies and bullshit.  He also connives people into becoming willing participants in his vile attacks and smear campaigns, as they repeat his sleazy dirt.  Her studying demonstrated she was worthy of the job she was seeking and Trump’s refusal to follow the rules or put any effort into policy research shows he is UNFIT for the job.  He perverts, not only the truth, but people’s moral compass, as he sells you on his entitlement, due to he is rich (successful).

Now, he wants the RNC to ditch all the rules to accommodate him, all because of his own lack of planning and cheapskate campaign tactics have left him without viable state grassroots organization.  His free ride with mass media collusion is about to end and he’s now having to pay his way, which he is whining about non-stop.  The man is a fraud and worse than that, he corrupts everyone who buys into his delusional conspiracy victim-hood tripe.  One can only wonder how he will fare, if  he does bare-knuckle his way to the GOP nomination.  The media sits poised to turn on him and will unleash the Clinton attack machine.  Assuredly, they want Trump to burn down the GOP tent, as they have given Trump billions of dollars of free air time, to that end.   However, their fork-tongued, flame-throwing swamp monster, Drumpfzilla, seems to have acquired land legs and he’s as adept at “scorched earth” as the Witch of Chappaqua.   The blaze from 2016 may be one for the record books, but let’s hope that America is still left standing and neither of these two vile creatures ends up in the Oval Office!

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Interesting list of strategic assumptions

Here’s a War On The Rocks article worth reading:

THE U.S. MILITARY’S DANGEROUS EMBEDDED ASSUMPTIONS

by David Barno and Nora Bensahel

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Angels among us…

Today’s Little Book of Virtues quote…

I don’t know if I mentioned before, that along with teddy bears and bunnies, I also like collecting angels here and there.  Here are a few of my favorites:

My October angel (my birthday is Oct. 17th)

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My “Norma” mother angel, which is special, because my mother was also a  “Norma”.  I asked my husband if it was okay if I bought 6 of these angels years ago, so that my three sisters and two brothers would each have their own special “Norma” angel .

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This small glass shelf is in my bedroom:

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Favorite items on that shelf:

Sweet little girl angel:

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My childhood Bible, given to me on Dec. 25, 1966, at St. Matthews Sunday School  in Kunkletown, PA – Jesus teaching children on the cover:

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A guardian angel given to me by a Wal-Mart co-worker, who is also a young single mother (she is living with her daughters’ father now, thankfully).   She is an inspiration, who proves that with faith, hard work, despite having a drug addict mother and all the odds stacked against her, she is succeeding at providing a stable, loving home for her two daughters.  She is a true inspiration to me and I am so thankful that I have been blessed to have her as a friend:

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Churning up old memories

Along with being a craft and needlework hoarder, I am, um, well just a hoarder, in general.  Today  I was sorting, okay, beginning to sort would be more accurate, old letters from my pen pals around the world endeavor:

Multiculturalism My Way

I came across a 1980 DOD publication that has a photo of me and my Army AIT boyfriend in it, at the Department of Defense Information School (DINFOS) at  Fort Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, IN..  The title of the story says it all:  Wizards who tell the story.  My boyfriend was a tall, handsome…… Marine;-)  Enough to make a girl’s heart swoon.

Ways to go on this blazing paper trails in my house.  Later…

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A couple links

Andrew McCarthy at National Review wrote an interesting piece on the Russian/NRA connection: Collusion 3-0: Russia and the NRA

McCarthy details the Trump/Russian collusion narrative and how so far that narrative keeps imploding, despite Democrats and the mainstream media maintaining over a yearlong stream of hysterical spin.  McCarthy also points out the larger point that keeps getting lost in the rabid partisan battle – we really do need to investigate and figure out the extent of Russian infiltration of American institutions.  By so politicizing Russian information warfare efforts in 2016 and turning it into a domestic partisan issue, it’s going to be very hard to even understand the full scope of the Russian efforts and even harder to defeat them.  The Russians will easily continue to manipulate and egg on the rabid American partisans.

On Twitter this morning, I came across this Weekly Standard piece on immigration that’s worth a read too: Why America Needs People from ‘Shithole’ Countries

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“A few leaves of grass” for remembrance

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We had a very quiet Thanksgiving and only one of our kids could come home.  I cooked the complete turkey meal and baked a couple of pumpkin pies that morning too.  By early evening our son had gone home.  All of the dishes were cleaned up and the leftovers put away.  I spent a few hours working in my sewing/craft room, then picked up a book that I like to read bits and pieces from often.

I keep War Letters:  Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll, on a small table by my recliner.  A few years ago, I mentioned General Pershing’s famous WWI letter to his young son, Warren, which I came across in this book.   General Pershing’s letter to his son was a father explaining the important values Americans fights to protect and preserve.  It’s probably my favorite letter in the book, but a close second is a letter written in 1918,  by Maude B. Fisher, an American Red Cross nurse.  She penned one of the most touching letters to Mrs. Hogan, the mother of a young soldier, Richard Hogan, who died of influenza in their hospital.  This wonderful nurse took the time to pen a very personal letter, so that a grieving mother would know how her son died.  The letter includes details of how brave and cheerful the dying soldier was, the care he received, and even more than that this nurse wrote the details of the soldier’s burial:

“He was laid to rest in the little cemetery of Commercy, and sleeps under a simple wooden cross among his comrades who, like him, have died for their country.  His grave number is 22, plot 1.  His aluminum identification tag is on the cross , and a similar one around his neck, both bearing his serial number, 2793346.

The plot of the grave in the cemetery where your son is buried was given to the Army for our boys and the people of Commercy will always tend it with loving hands and keep it fresh and clean.  I enclose here a few leaves of grass that grows near in a pretty meadow.

A big hill overshadows that place and the sun was setting behind it just as the Chaplain said the last prayer over your boy.”

page 171, War Letters: Extraordinary Correspondence from American Wars, edited by Andrew Carroll

No one required this nurse to write to this grieving mother, because the Army notified fallen soldiers’ families, but she cared enough to want this mother to have more details.  The book offers a few details about each letter.  Mrs. Hogan lost two of her other children back home in Woburn, Massachusetts, during the 1918 influenza epidemic.  It must have been a great comfort for her to know her son far away was dutifully cared for as he lay dying and that he was given a proper burial.  And imagine her relief knowing exactly where her son was buried.

Thoughtful good deeds, like Maude Fisher’s, used to be very common when most people were reared to put other people before themselves and when quietly doing the right thing was drilled into children and served as the cultural norm.

Almost every good deed now is posted on social media, hyped as some fake gimmicky publicity stunt for attention, or used to sell oneself as more caring than someone else.

Maude Fisher reminds me of the same kind of nurse my mother was.  My mother sent me a little book of Psalms and prayers in 1980, when I was far away from home and going through a hard time in my life.  My mother explained how she came to have this little book:

“… died in 1964 and this booklet was unclaimed by her relatives.  She was a lovely old lady and it was a rewarding experience caring for her.  I am giving this to you Susie, as over the years I found pleasure in reading psalms and prayers.

As you know I’m not a person to force religion on anyone.  I do have faith in God and you will find comfort in reading psalms in times when you’re distressed and unhappy.”

In 1980, I was young and considered myself more agnostic than faithful, but my mother was right.  Over the years, I have picked up this little book or my Bible and turned to the Psalms when I feel  “distressed and unhappy”.

In 2001, my mother was hospitalized for several weeks and I began to worry a great deal, even though she and my sisters assured me that she was improving.  My mother kept telling me there was no need to come to PA, because she would be out of the hospital soon.  Still, I worried and I mailed this booklet to PA and asked my sister to take it to my mother in the hospital.  My mother was happy to see it again and to read it.

My mother died suddenly and unexpectedly on the day she was supposed to be discharged to a local rehabilitation facility for some follow-on care.

My mother quietly helped as many people as she could.  She never talked about it, she just did it, because it was the right thing to do.  People like Maude Fisher and my mother used to be the rule, not the exception.

I don’t have the religious education to argue Christian theology and truthfully if something doesn’t make sense to me, like so much in most religions, I refuse to say, “I believe.”   However, I think having rules or guidelines to serve as guard rails in life, to keep you on track, and sign posts to keep from getting lost, are very helpful.  I reread the Sermon on the Mount often.  I can understand that.  Matthew 6:1-4 has served as the guide for how I try to live my life and it assuredly was how my mother and Maude Fisher lived theirs:

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%205-7

Watching America’s endless game of partisan one upmanship has caused me to reevaluate my own strident partisan views.   Truly, so much of the extreme emotional investment in these “political hills to die on” won’t matter at all if the country is filled with raging partisans, who hate each other.  The hate bodes poorly, with many Americans who refuse to even talk to anyone with opposing political views, some want those with opposing views silenced, and there are even some wishing those with opposing partisan views were dead.

We could all take a page from Maude Fisher’s and my mother’s book.  Caring about other people is about more than clicking “like” on social media feeds or posting about every shallow thought that pops into your head.   I wonder how many people attending a funeral today would take the time away from their smartphone to even notice that the sun was setting when a young soldier was buried or the pretty meadow.   Assuredly, I doubt hardly anyone would take the time to pick “a few leaves of grass” for remembrance and pen a letter like this to a grieving mother.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”

— Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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