remembering…

She was like a second mother, my sister Ruby. While it’s difficult to remember all the details of that time, I can distinctly recollect her being warm and understanding where my own mother was sometimes gruff and exacting.

Misc July 2010 00069The event that remains permanently etched in my memory was when Ruby allowed me to help run the wet clothes through the wringing rollers in her old-fashioned washing machine. I was probably 7 or 8 years old, and very conscientious it seems. Wanting to do it correctly, I hung onto the piece of clothing a tad longer than I should have as it made its way through the wringer. In seconds my hand was being dragged along, all the way up my forearm. Screaming bloody murder, I was rescued by my sister who came running to unplug the machine. I’m sure I steered clear of that fandangled contraption after that.

As a youngster I spent a good deal of time with Ruby and her cowboy husband, Steve Autry. I’ve no idea what brought him to Maui back in the ’50s. Perhaps he was lured by the image of roping horses and riding Brahma bulls in the annual rodeo held at the base of Haleakala, the island’s dormant volcano. Or maybe he thought he’d work at what he knew best…being a cowboy and whatever that entailed.

My sister and her husband made an unusual couple in those days…a lanky, 6 footer whose mischievous, blue eyes peered out from beneath strands of blonde hair streaked by the island sun. His tanned face, deeply lined and freckled. Standing alongside him, Ruby was inches shorter. Hair cut short in the natural ebony color of the island women. A jaunty smile compared to her husband’s. A crooked one that partially hid his tobacco-stained teeth.

Watching my brother-in-law roll cigarettes was always captivating. First came the crisp, creamy-hued slip of rectangular paper, followed by the tobacco pouch. With deft agility he’d tug at the strings of the pouch so that a slim rivulet of tobacco dribbled onto the paper. Taking the strings between his front teeth, Steve would draw the pouch’s opening to a close. Returning it to the shirt pocket over his heart, he’d take the nearly finished cigarette between his thumbs and index fingers. Using his pointy, long tongue he’d spread just enough saliva along the length of one side of the paper allowing him to fasten it to the other side. Slipping the newly-minted cigarette between his lips, my brother-in-law would light it with the strike of a match along the underside of his boot.

To a clueless kid like me, it was pretty cool stuff.

A few years younger than me, my niece and I would often accompany her dad, as he scoured landfills and roadsides for stuff to resell, especially scrap metal. Growing up poor meant not having many toys like friends who did. So climbing over piles of junk in search of hidden treasures was fun. It was kind of exciting to see what I’d find under the rubble. One discovery turned out to be more than I bargained for. Watch for that story in a future post.

They might have made it as a country singing duet. With Steve on the guitar and Ruby singing harmony, they sounded like the real thing. Not that I’d had much opportunity to hear country music, but I knew what I liked and I liked what I heard. My favorite was a haunting lullaby which included some yodeling. My sister yodeled beautifully. Imagine that! An island gal yodeling as naturally as though she’d been born on the range. I’m certain my love of singing blossomed during these impromptu song fests right there on the front steps of their house. 

 Sadly for Ruby and her daughter, the cowboy didn’t remain a permanent fixture. He and my sister divorced when I was a preteen. Since they’d moved to Honolulu, the islands’ designated “big city,” I would spend part of my summers with them. And much later when I returned to attend the University of Hawaii, my sister Ruby’s apartment was where I went the first couple of summers after I vacated the college dorms.

My sister didn’t have an easy life, raising a child on her own. In fact, my young niece lived with my mom and me for a couple of years on Maui while Ruby sought to earn a living. I’m not certain, but it may be that she continued to struggle until the end which came on July 27. She died of lung cancer, a result of decades of cigarette smoking.

I will remember Ruby as a soft-spoken mediator, a comforting presence, humble, self-sacrificing and perhaps easily overcome by stronger personalities, like my mom. I truly believe she would give the shirt off her back if someone needed it more than she. I’m sorry we’d not been in touch later in life, but she seemed content with where she’d finally landed…living with her daughter and her family. Secreted away from the turmoil she’d known, it felt right to let her be, to let her live in peace and quiet, no longer saddled by the burdens of others. At least I’m hoping that’s how it was.

…blessed are the peacemakers…

…for they shall be called children of God.

………hugmamma.Miscellaneous Pictures July 2010 124

 

 

 

 

 

 

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…as it should be…

As excruciatingly messy as it might be sometimes, democracy is still preferable to autocracy. Each person speaking his and her own voice is still preferable to one voice speaking for all.

The difference between the RNC and the DNC is stark. Last night, apart from the megawatt speeches delivered by Michelle Obama, Corey Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, there were equally moving speeches delivered by ordinary folks like Cheryl Lankford. She was one of many trumped by the man himself when she enrolled in Trump University to the tune of $35,000.

I understood Lankford’s embarrassment at feeling she was the fool for being duped. I understood her inability to tell anyone about how dumb she felt. I understood how as a woman, we are primed to think it’s our fault if we’re stupid enough to get “taken to the cleaners.” Especially up against billionaire Donald Trump. Who would believe Cheryl Lankford if she spoke up against a man of his celebrated, moneyed stature?

Today, I was moved to tears by the story of Na’ilah Amaru.

“I was born on a dirt floor to a woman whose name I will never know. What I do know is that she loved me enough to give me up, so I could live the life she wanted for me. A life without hunger or despair, filled with hope, education, and opportunity.

As a baby, bundled up in the hopes and dreams of my mother, I began a new life in a faraway land called America. I was raised by two women, and learned early on about intolerance and hatred. But I also learned about the power of love, faith and hope.

The first time I saw Hillary, she was on TV addressing a panel of men with such confidence and ownership of self. Her poise and presence fundamentally changed how I would claim my own space in the world. I was 11.

Seven years later, my belief in America inspired me to raise my hand and solemnly swear to defend her ideals with my life. I joined the army as an ammunition specialist and gave the best of myself to a country that had given me so much. I returned from Iraq deeply committed to restoring the faith of America’s Promise—for everyone.

Tonight, in the birthplace of our nation, I renew our commitment to democracy with an historic step toward gender equality. Reflected in broken shards of glass, and Hillary herself, we can see the dreams of our daughters. This is America’s promise.

Along my journey, I have called California, Texas, Georgia, and New York home. And I know that what connects us runs far deeper than what divides us.

So, if you can hear my voice tonight, join me and everyone in this hall, by texting HILLARY to 47246—as we move forward, together.

As an immigrant, a combat veteran, a woman of color, and my mother’s daughter, I am American. My story is our story. The story of America.”

(PRNewswire, 7/26/16)

Ordinary women standing up FOR…

…an exceptionally, extraordinary woman.

…Hillary Clinton.

………hugmamma.

 

interchangeable…

…Trump and Sander supporters.

Those continuing to protest Hillary Clinton’s nomination as the Democratic party’s candidate for the presidency look and sound like those of the Republican candidate. From what could be seen by way of the media cameras, they were mostly white.

What comes to mind first and foremost is that the opposition is not only directed toward Clinton, but seems to reflect an underlying disdain for Obama.

As the first, black president Obama continues to be held to a higher standard than any occupying the office before him. He is blamed for the unraveling of the Middle East, even though George W. is the one who declared war on Iraq despite being told that there were no weapons of mass destruction as originally claimed. The result? We are now facing the disenfranchised Iraqi military in the form of…Isis.

Further evidence that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s promise to undermine President Obama’s efforts to succeed is the fact that he is given little, if any, credit for saving the country from another Great Depression. Trump supporters forget that once again, George W. is to blame for that economic fiasco. It looks as though dissatisfied Sanders supporters who promise to vote for Trump, also discard the fact their economic predicament is the fault of a Republican president.

Aside from the decades long, nonstop vendetta directed at Hillary Clinton by the conservative establishment, it is obvious that a majority of her supporters do not fit the typical Republican profile. For the most part, people of color support Hillary’s vision of an inclusive, democratic America.

In a speech before supporters this morning, Sanders’ request that they vote for the Democratic ticket was met with opposition. His call for party unity is falling upon deaf ears. No surprise since Sanders himself doesn’t seem to want to give up his campaign.

Rather than hi-jacking their respective parties, Trump and Sanders should have gone their own way. Even children know, you can’t force…

…a square peg into a round hole

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

nurturing Thursdays: coloring…outside the box

My new son-in-law is a blonde, blue-eyed Texan. It’s obvious he adores and cherishes his new Mrs. …my brunette, brown-eyed, beautiful daughter. He’s already said he’d like their children to inherit only one of his traits, his blue eyes; otherwise, he’d prefer they inherit their looks from their mother.

Who could find fault with a man who loves my precious, only child as I do?

What in his DNA makes my son-in-law so unlike others who see people of color as unlovable? And what in my daughter’s DNA makes her color-blind to someone so opposite in appearance to her? I can only reason that they have both known the kind of love and support which looks to a person’s heart, and not to the circumstances in which he or she was born.

Hugging my daughter’s new mother-in-law when we first met, I could see how alike we were…so utterly and totally in love with our children. And so “over the moon” that they had found one another. Neither of us noticed that we too had nothing physically in common…not our skin color…not our hair color…not the color of our eyes…nor the drawl, or lack thereof, when we spoke. Enveloped in a comforting hug, our hearts beat in unison. Two moms whose precious children had found a safe haven in one another…and dropped anchor, creating a home of their own thousands of miles away from those who love them so much.

Love does conquer all…if we allow it.

Allowing ourselves to love others unlike ourselves is the task set before us by God. Many more have succeeded than have failed. It’s in the media’s best interests to focus upon the failures rather than the successes. They seem miniscule by comparison, and perhaps they are since most go undetected, flying under the general public’s radar. However in the grand scheme of things, it’s really the little moments that add up to the greatness of our lives.

For two families celebrating a momentous occasion, the marriage of our children, all is right with the world. Granted, it’s not a perfect one. There is no Heaven on earth, after all. And yet God has given us the tools with which to create one that comes close to approximating the real thing. Whether or not we take up the challenge is up to us as individuals. And as individuals, each of us will face God with our own stories on judgment day.

We are all storytellers, everyone of us. How good we are at it…

…god will decide.

………hugmamma.595

(For more inspirational words, click on the following…
https://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/nurt-thurs-embrace-yourself/

 

history repeats itself…

After leaving the White House, President Johnson said: “I don’t believe you would have had any Wilkinses, Thomases, or Eatons [the murderers of Viola Liuzzo] if you didn’t have leadership that gave them that idea that they could do what they did with immunity.”

Many white Alabamans had made their peace with integration and a new kind of South, but George Wallace was not one of them. In 1970 he had won election as governor for a second time applying an overtly racist strategy an aide described privately as “promise them the moon and holler nigger.”

As Wallace campaigned for the Democratic presidential nomination for a third time in 1972, he continued to deny that he was a racist. The governor blamed the press that “got folks believing now that I’m against certain people just because of who they happen to be.” Out on the campaign trail, he was on his best behavior, but sometimes things would just creep out, as when he referred to United States senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass.) as a “nigger.”

Wallace had risen to power on racial issues, and wherever he spoke on his presidential campaigns, his audiences were full of people who feared or mistrusted black people. Now in the last years of his political career, he played the race card again, but in a different way.

Thanks largely to the 1965 Voting Rights Act that Wallace had fought against, black Alabamans had won the right to vote, and the day was coming when it would be impossible for a Democrat to win an election without their support. The governor had not even wanted black Alabamans to attend his first inauguration. Yet now, when he needed them, he went to Tuscaloosa and crowned a black woman the University of Alabama homecoming queen, and he appointed black officials throughout his administration.

In 1974, Wallace won reelection as governor for the third time with 25 percent of the black vote. In his fourth and final gubernatorial campaign in 1982, he received around 35 percent of the black vote in his victory.

Wallace sent out one of his new black appointees, Delores Pickett, to campaign for him among her people. “Forgiveness is in our Christian upbringing,” she told her black audiences. “It’s something that Martin Luther King taught us.”

Black Alabamans were for the most part churchgoing people who were taught that redemption comes from forgiveness. They wanted to believe the governor had changed, and if he of all people had changed, then the world had changed.

As he sat in his wheelchair filled with pain, Wallace said he had found Jesus. But that faith never led him to face up publically to his long-held beliefs. He claimed his actions were driven by a belief in states’ rights and that he had never felt prejudice toward black people. He might have taken the lynching of Michael Donald and the conviction of the two murderers as a moment to talk about the wrongfulness of so much he had said and how words led to deeds, but he remained silent.

Despite the limitations of his public apologies, in private Wallace was beginning to grasp that he shared moral responsibility for so many reprehensible acts. One evening during his final full year in office in 1986, one of his aides, Kenneth Mullinax, was over at the governor’s mansion. Cigar smoke wafted down from an upstairs bedroom, and Mullinax went up to chat with Wallace.

“I have a lot of regrets,” Wallace said, “and I really worry about my soul.”

“But you’re born again, Governor,” Mullinax said.

“I flew all them runs over Tokyo dropping bombs, but that don’t worry me none. It’s my words. They kilt a lot of people. That’s why I’m worried I’m going to hell.”

Wallace had spoken the most provocative rhetoric. Then he had stood back and taken no responsibility for what his words led people to do. Now after all these years, he had come to an understanding of what power he truly had possessed, how profound his impact had been, and how tragic the results.

This was taken from THE LYNCHING…THE EPIC COURTROOM BATTLE THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE KLAN by Laurence Leamer

…trump…wallace, all over again.

………hugmamma.

 

…only ourselves…

…to blame.

We are a changing democracy, whether we like it or not. America was never going to remain as it was in the “good old days.” What were the “good old days” for some, was a living hell for others. At best we are in the purgatory phase of our country’s evolvement, on our way to the heaven we all deserve.

The mass shootings that are occurring more and more frequently are not the product of any one group or individual. The tone of hatred for others different from ourselves is being promoted and yes, even tolerated, by many of us. Just as the world stood by during the Jewish Holocaust, so too is the world looking heavenward as hateful rhetoric spews forth from every corner of the world, including America.

God is not the answer to our problems, we are. He gifted the earth with enough bounty to share among ourselves; instead, we have evolved into a world of haves and have-nots. It was only a matter of time when the tide would begin to turn against those who have greedily hoarded more for themselves.

The ability to stop the inevitable is within our power. It’s never too late because we are a forgiving and resilient species. We just need to love all others as we love ourselves. Picking and choosing who can partake and who can’t is no longer an option. Not if we want to realize…

…a heaven on earth.

………hugmamma.Nashville 09-2010 00063

 

…the dilemma…

…is a moral one.

Absorbing the headlines and then digesting all the spinning by both media pundits and politicians is a full time job. What rises above the din, for me, is how conservatives are willing to sacrifice their principles in support of Trump and what he professes to uphold. Recently, a supporter of his said it best…Trump is voicing what many have been afraid to say publicly. That’s why the KKK supports him.

While Trump supporters, including Governor Christie, proclaim that their presidential candidate is not racist, he refuses to step away from making comments which indicate otherwise. Calling attention to the ethnicity of Judge Gonzalo Curiel and Senator Elizabeth Warren, and doubling down on it when interviewed or when rallying supporters speaks to Trump’s preoccupation with people’s backgrounds. It may not rise to the level of David Duke but race definitely matters to the Republicans’ presumptive nominee. He readily extracts it whenever he reaches into his ever-present bag of tricks to incite the crowds. While supporters defend him as not being racist, Trump uses the “race card” as readily as he accuses Hillary Clinton of using the “woman card.” The difference is Clinton embraces the accusation by exclaiming…”Deal me in!” Trump, on the other hand, whines that the media “misconstrues” his words.

Trump’s attitude toward women is a double-edged sword. He appreciates beautiful women to the point of surrounding himself with them. Melania, his wife, and Ivanka, his daughter, are prized trophies. Not only are they gorgeous, but they are smart. Trump prizes such women. As a smart businessman, however, he understands the value of smart women working in his organization, even if they lack physical beauty. What’s nauseating is Trump’s obvious patriarchal attitude toward women. Very telling is when he remarked that his mom was the ideal woman because she was completely devoted to his father. The implication being…his mom never questioned her husband’s actions.

“The Art of the Deal” is Trump’s modus operandi in all areas of his life. It’s not likely to be any different were he elected president. Knowing that he acts and reacts “on the fly,” means Trump’s operating principles flex accordingly. It may be that in his heart, Trump is not the persona he puts out for public consumption. At least that’s what he claims. The problem is we, the people, have to take him at his word. Attempting to do just that is difficult, when Trump’s words keep changing according to the landscape in which he finds himself on any given day.

Trump reliant solely upon Trump is another scary prospect. It reeks of authoritarianism. According to Donald Trump…he will return America to greatness….he will build a wall between Mexico and the U.S…he will bring jobs back…he will force companies to fall in line with his demands. As though monuments to honor a great man, Trump may be fashioning himself after North Korea’s Kim Jong-un or Russia’s Putin…strong men using strong-arm tactics.

I’m an Independent who usually votes Democratic. I don’t usually align with Republican principles. In the current presidential election it’s obvious that those principles are founded upon shaky ground. For the highest political prize, the presidency, even Paul Ryan whom I considered highly principled is willing to “hold his nose” and vote for stinking Donald Trump. On the other hand, I applaud the Bushes, Mitt Romney and George Kasich, among others, who will NOT compromise their moral compasses for the sake of a political party.

To stand with a man who publicly recognizes the KKK, known racists, is to deny all that America has strived to achieve since our forefathers fought to win their independence from England’s tyrannical rule.

Actions do speak louder than words. In Trump’s case, he is both telling us AND showing us his true colors. And in my judgment, they are not truly RED, WHITE, and BLUE. They are only…

…a facsimile thereof.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

 

 

…gives me the creeps.

Trump is showing himself to be…the bogeyman. And in the process, he’s scaring the heck out of me. Could anyone be scarier? Maybe Hitler in his rise to power.

During my annual eye checkup with our ophthalmologist today, he reassured me that there was no way Trump would be elected president. He cited as proof the fact that 83% of Hispanic women and 91% of African American women are against Trump. As comforting as that may sound, he has until November to wear voters down.

Americans are driven by advertising. Most don’t research the pros and cons behind their purchases. TV ads that keep making the pitch to buy their products usually hit their mark. We are bombarded every day by subliminal messages to buy this or that. And we succumb, time and again. Even against our better judgment in some cases.

If voters hear Trump sound bytes over and over and over again, they might eventually be sucked into believing he’s speaking the truth. In fact, he is a grand manipulator of the truth. It’s what he calls…”the art of the deal.”

Young and old alike smoke, do drugs, drink to excess, and eat junk food. So why wouldn’t they vote for Trump? He’s bad for America, but he tells it like it is. That’s a “high” for a lot of people. They enjoy getting high on Trump’s belly-aching. There’s never been anything like it, so it must be good…at least until after the high wears off. And believe me, it’ll wear off pretty fast if he’s elected.

The really scary part is Trump didn’t expect to win. His was suppose to be a message campaign. The same can be said for his democratic counterpart, Bernie Sanders. Now that Trump is at the top of the Republican heap, he doesn’t know how to lead except to continue denigrating all his would-be detractors, including Speaker-of-the-House Paul Ryan.

Trump’s only asset is making deals. So until he sits at the president’s desk in the Oval Office, Trump will only know how to mouth off from the bully pulpit. Don’t look for substantive policies on how he’d fight Isis, or reduce the deficit, or send millions of immigrants back home to Mexico. Trump hasn’t figured that all out yet. He’s having too much fun scaring the bejesus out of everyone…his supporters, his forsworn enemies at home and abroad, parents and their children, women who aren’t candidates for Miss Universe or who serve as media mouthpieces for him, people of color and non-Christians.

We may watch in disbelief as Kim Jong il, North Korea’s leader, dallies the threat of nuclear warfare in front of the world, but we may be facing our own despot in Donald Trump.

…be careful what you ask for.

………hugmamma.


hard to believe…

…it’s been 50 years since I graduated from high school! Jan 14 024

I don’t think I’d have remembered if I’d not received an email reminding me. Unfortunately my daughter’s wedding precludes my attending the reunion.

Half-a-century ago the island of Maui was my entire world. As a youngster, I only knew mainland America as it was reflected in TV sitcoms, like I Love Lucy or variety programs, like The Ed Sullivan Show. Anything beyond the United States might as well have been somewhere out there in the universe.

Today, Maui is one of the most sought after destinations in the world. Oprah Winfrey calls it her home-away-from-home, with a beautiful spread in Kula.

The Maui I knew was small-town USA, in the middle of nowhere. Actually, it was in the middle of the Pacific Ocean…still is. Kids were kids, trying hard to be seen but not heard. Entire neighborhoods were ours to explore. We were allowed to wander as far as our small legs could carry us, to and from. Walking to the local library, 45 minutes from home was not a big deal. Lugging a bag of groceries home from the supermarket was a fact of life for me.

Scoring a dime from my mom for an ice cream Dilly stick at Dairy Queen’s was a rare treat. Joining my best friend and her dad for a Saturday morning cartoon, and having him pay my 25 cent theater admission was a huge deal! And waiting outside the local bakery’s back door for hot-out-of-the oven butter bread, was well worth all the kneeling and praying I’d done at church just prior.

For 12 years, St. Anthony’s School was my life. And while my feet were firmly planted in Maui, the nuns who taught me helped grow the wings I would use to one day leave behind my idyllic, island life. Much to my chagrin at the time, the good sisters would prod me on to do better academically. It was easier for me to dance the night away, than it was to recite correct algebra answers. Pranks were more my style, like the time I squirt dish soap into the fish tank. Sister Dominic, the biology instructor, was not too happy at having to empty the tank of all the suds and refill it with fresh water.

I learned about boys, even dated a few…in spite of the nuns. Although I’m certain they had a hand in keeping me virginal until the right time…and man…came along. Thank you, Sisters!!! My husband thanks you as well…

Periodic newsletters arrive from my old alma mater. Images of fresh-faced, young students rekindle a flood of memories reminding me of simpler times. When folks lived simpler lives…enjoying one another…and being thankful for what we had.

Then, as now…

…getting back to basics…is life in a nutshell…no matter where I live.

………hugmamma. 

 

 

a deserved dilemma?

Wow! Republicans are running away from themselves. Trump and his followers are turning on the “establishment,” and the “establishment” can’t distance themselves fast enough…albeit a little late…from their presidential front runner.

Perhaps the Republican “establishment” have only themselves to blame for being done in by rogue candidate Trump. Former House Speaker, Bill Boehner, and current Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell, could not control the right-wing extremists in Congress. As a result these mostly junior congressmen were able to unhinge the proverbial Pandora’s Box. And what did they find inside? Donald Trump!

Even Ted Cruz, the Tea Party’s darling, could not imagine anyone wresting the Oval Office away from him, least of all Trump, the darling of Wall Street investors. Evidently, Tea Partiers and others, among them White Supremacists, have combined forces to carry Trump all the way to the White House. They see him as the man who gets them what they want, once he’s ensconced in Washington. If, and that’s a big IF, they succeed in crowning Trump president, the Republican “establishment” will have a bigger fight on their hands than they did with President Obama or that they would even get from Hillary Clinton. Trump will steamroll any opposition to his agenda. Diplomacy is not his style, and negotiation is tolerable to a point. And as he has demonstrated time and again, Trump has a low threshold for opposition. He escalates to the “boiling point” pretty quickly.

“I’m going to get along great with Congress. Paul Ryan, I don’t know him well, but I’m sure I’m going to get along great with him,” the front-runner for his party’s nomination said during his Super Tuesday speech. “And if I don’t, he’s going to have to pay a big price.”

(Ben Kamisar…The Hill, online)

Showing himself to be a man who talks out of both sides of his mouth…while Trump was kind of disavowing David Duke and the KKK…a known racist leaves no doubt as to Trump’s campaign reaching out to white supremacists.

James Edwards, a notorious white supremacist and radio talk show host, is promoting a recent interview with the son of Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump that’ll air on Saturday.

Edwards talked to the real estate mogul’s eldest son and campaign surrogate, Donald Trump, Jr., last Saturday for his “pro-white” radio show, “The Political Cesspool.” Previous guests on the show have included Neo-Nazis, Holocaust deniers, and Ku Klux Klan leaders.

Edwards heralded the 20-minute interview in a blog post flagged by Little Green Footballs, that boasted about his access inside a Trump rally in Memphis, Tennessee, last Saturday, where Edwards was broadcasting his show live. He said Trump’s campaign gave Edwards and his co-hosts full press credentials and “VIP” parking near the event.

“We’re watching history in the making,” Edwards said at the start of his three-hour broadcast from the press area of the Memphis Trump rally.  “Donald Trump will be the first Republican nominee that I have ever voted for.”

Edwards said he and his co-hosts have attended three different Trump rallies in recent months: One in Illinois, one in Arkansas, and the rally in Memphis. With press credentials from Trump, the white supremacists feel “every bit as legit” as members of the traditional media, he added.

A spokeswoman for the Trump campaign did not respond to questions late Tuesday about how Edwards was credentialed, or why Donald Trump Jr. gave an interview to a white supremacist talk show. 

The question is…will the Republican “establishment” bend to the will of the people for whom Trump stands? Including…

…the KKK and white supremacists?

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

passion…

One of my sister-in-laws recently told me that she reads my blog, except for the political posts. I chuckled, and changed the subject.

I understand that politics turns most folks off. Sad, but true. Washington’s current chokehold doesn’t help. Who among us wants to watch our supposed-representatives in a war of words, while…mass shootings continue…terrorist threats continue…narcotics continue to flow across our borders…millions of immigrants await their fate…and on and on.

Everyday politics fails to grab my attention, unless there’s some big brouhaha in Washington. When Barack Obama hit the national scene in 2008, that all changed. Like the rest of America, I was glued to my TV. Since then the presidential election has become a staple. My passion for it might wane, however, if it ever becomes humdrum. Obama’s presidency has never been that and the current campaign is anything but ho-hum.

If there’s any wisdom I can pass along to younger folk…anyone under 66…it’s to find something about which you’re passionate. Something that gets your brain buzzing long before you open your eyes in the morning, nags at you throughout the day, and keeps you up at night. This is life…not passing you by. This is being relevant…no matter your senior citizen status.

Passion takes many forms.

After my daughter’s birth I was an exercise fiend determined to rid my belly of excess fat. When I got hooked on antiques, I was forever on the hunt for that next best deal. The day I saw a ballerina blossoming before my very eyes, I was on a mission to help make my daughter’s dream of a career come true. Decorating and/or remodeling each of the places we have called home, 9 in all, over four-and-a-half decades, has kept me happily occupied. And the collection of pets that have shared our lives…one guinea pig, 2 dogs and 10 cats…have required lots of passion to keep them thriving. Gardening is a passion rooted in childhood, inherited from my mom. Later in life, books and writing absorbed my waking hours…minutes here and there really…whatever could be spared from more pressing business.

And from now until the election in November, my passion is the presidential campaign. My decision continued to evolve as I listened to what the candidates and pundits had to say. I didn’t wake up one morning deciding to vote for Hillary Clinton. She has earned my vote, just as others have not. Aside from the obvious reason of electing the next president of the United States, the stunning revelation that millions of Americans are right-wing extremists is a sobering fact.

Today’s endorsement of Trump by David Duke, spokesman for the Klu Klux Klan, is proof. Trump’s popularity is riding the waves upon which the KKK is founded. That Trump hems and haws about distancing himself from the Klan is because he wants them on his side. Trump is adept at sidestepping principles when the prize is great. And he desires nothing more than to be the most powerful man in the world.

Another endorsement today by Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, was wholeheartedly welcomed by Trump. According to an online article…

…a black former assistant U.S. Attorney in Alabama named Thomas Figures–testified that, during a 1981 murder investigation involving the Ku Klux Klan, Sessions was heard by several colleagues commenting that he “used to think they [the Klan] were OK” until he found out some of them were “pot smokers.” Sessions claimed the comment was clearly said in jest. Figures didn’t see it that way. Sessions, he said, had called him “boy” and, after overhearing him chastise a secretary, warned him to “be careful what you say to white folks.” … he too had heard Sessions call various civil rights organizations, including the National Council of Churches and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, “un-American.” Sessions denied the accusations but again admitted to frequently joking in an off-color sort of way.

There’s passion and then there’s…

…trump’s brand of passion.

………hugmamma.

(photo…breitbart.com)

from where i stand…

Every 4 years I’m a media pundit, right alongside CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Anderson Cooper. While I’m not glued to the TV, I’m always within earshot of it. For those of you who just recently tuned in to hugmamma’s mind, body, and soul I’m referring to the U.S. presidential campaign.

I never mean to get so wrapped up in politics, it’s just that every nerve in my body cries out for relief from the insanity that’s reported nonstop. This time the man in the middle of the hurricane is Donald Trump. Eight years ago it was his female counterpart, Sarah Palin.

Buddying up with Russia’s Putin, Trump gives us an insight into his would-be presidency. If Trump likes somebody, he’ll do business with him or her; if he doesn’t, he won’t. Good place for billions of Americans to be…behind Trump’s eight ball. Something to think about.

As ridiculous as a president Trump would be, having Ted Cruz in the White House would be downright scary. He would take his Tea Party fight from the Legislature to the Oval Office. A stalwart champion of right-wing extremists, Cruz is a major player in Congress’s perpetual inability to act.

While Marco Rubio seems the lesser of two evils, what he and Cruz have in common is their strong Cuban pride. While Obama kept his promise to be president of all Americans, I have to wonder if Rubio and Cruz would be able to keep that same promise should the interests of their Cuban constituents ever conflict with those of our country. That’s a question only time could answer.

Ben Carson‘s tendency to speak his mind, while at times commendable, often reveals his naivete about politics and the world in which we live. It’s also difficult to imagine his soft-spoken demeanor in mortal combat with Putin, Isis, or even House Speaker, Paul Ryan. God Himself would have to fight those battles for Carson.

Jeb Bush is just not presidential material. He seems nice enough, in fact I’d probably like him better than his brother George W. Despite that I’m just not a fan of the Bush dynasty. I’m with Barbara, enough is enough. Let somebody else have a turn.

Carly Fiorina exudes potential presidential material, however her stiffness is somewhat off-putting. She reminds me of Dorothy’s Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz…in need of a heart.

During the Republican presidential debates, I’ve liked some of what I’ve heard from Lindsay Graham, Rand Paul, John Kasich and former NY Governor George Pataki. While I would never vote for Graham or Paul, I might consider Kasich or Pataki if the Democratic choice were as incorrigible as Republican Trump.

After watching last night’s debate among the Democratic presidential hopefuls, I’ll most likely cast my vote for Hilary Clinton. Unlike Fiorina, Clinton’s image has undergone enough of a transformation so that her softer side is glimpsed. Thankfully, she can still call up her muscular side as needed. After all, politics…as well as the rest of the world…still belongs to white men. It’s for sure however that Clinton would continue chipping away at the crack in the glass ceiling already begun by Obama.

As blustery as Trump is, Bernie Sanders is the Republican candidate’s match. Although everything Sanders says is substantive and rings true. The problem is he leans too far left to be viable for all Americans, namely the Tea Partiers. And while I may not agree with their politics, they deserve fair representation. My hope is that Sanders continues to fight the good fight for the poor and the middle class, unlike Trump who will continue to line the pockets of the wealthy. Something his followers overlook as they clutch desperately to a false god.

While Maryland’s Governor Martin O’Malley is a good option for president, he lacks the strong presence of Clinton and Sanders. It’s possible O’Malley could grow into the job, but in the current global turmoil we need someone who can “hit the ground running.” And for me the person most qualified is…

…madame secretary…clinton.

………hugmamma.

(Photo credit…Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

…new “normal”…???

Politicians and the media are now calling gun massacres…the new “normal.” Unfortunately once our self-appointed mouthpieces put it out there, it sticks. Their favorite catch-all being…”the majority of Americans think.” I hate when they say that. None of them ever asked me for my opinion.

What’s scary is the fact that the new “normal” will become fodder for statistical data…namely racking up deaths of innocent folks in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s like a death lottery with names appearing on a draft list of the unlucky ones.

I don’t mean to sound morbid, but those who poison the atmosphere with sensational rhetoric make light of a horrific anomaly.

Personally I think President Obama has the right attitude. His focus is upon solving problems as they occur. He’s done it time and again, beginning with the financial crisis at the start of his presidency almost 8 years ago. The President is a deliberate problem solver which unnerves those wanting instant gratification which, in our current society, is just about everyone.

Since it first exploded on U.S. soil in 2011, terrorism has metamorphosed into what we are now witnessing…”mom and pop” type store fronts popping up willy-nilly all over the place. What Trump and others like him seem to overlook is that these types of terrorists have proliferated among us in the guise of white men, mostly young. Lee Harvey Oswald killed President Kennedy. James Earl Ray killed Martin Luther King. Sirhan Sirhan killed Robert Kennedy. Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon. John Hinckley tried to assassinate President Reagan.

Then, of course there was Columbine, Sandy Hook, the Arizona Safeway attack…which almost took the life of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords…and the Umqua, Oregon shooting. In these mass shootings James Eagan Holmes, Adam Lanza, Jared Lee Loughner and Christopher Harper-Mercer were considered societal misfits. Their cases propelled mental illness to the forefront of America’s collective consciousness. Eventually however they, along with their victims, disappeared from view, resurfacing only annually on the anniversaries of those events.

By comparison with these forerunners of terrorist attacks upon American society, the recent San Bernardino massacre was the first carried out by a man and a woman…who HAPPENED to be Muslims. First and foremost as with the others mentioned above, this husband and wife were obviously societal misfits…even within their own Islamic community. Many of that faith, including those born in America, have decried the killers as abhorrent. Why then should the entire Muslim population world-wide be denigrated because of those pledging allegiance to Isis, a group as deranged as Hitler?

Consider that not even the brothers Tsarnaevs who carried out the attack during the Boston Marathon were railed against as Muslims, which they were. It’s clearly the timing in that the San Bernardino massacre occurred shortly after the Paris attacks…and in the midst of a contentious presidential campaign. It might also be Trump’s presence on the national stage…namely his big mouth…which has pointed the finger at Muslims in general. It served his purpose of keeping media attention, and free publicity, on him.

Mental illness and gun control are not high on Trumps agenda…getting elected to the White House is…and he’ll do ANYTHING, including lambasting an entire population…to serve his interests.

We shouldn’t be the dummies…

…in trump’s ventriloquist act.

………hugmamma.

 

 

 

hiding…mr. hyde

Police work is a double-edged sword. We entrust these men and women to take care of us in the face of adversity, all the while on the turn of a dime they themselves could become our adversarial foes. The catalyst to being friend or foe is the human element.

Given the right circumstances, police are compassionate heroes. Given the wrong circumstances, police are the devil incarnate. Most tend toward keeping their wits about them in all circumstances, but there are an inordinate number who reveal their Mr. Hyde when their Dr. Jekyll would be better suited. That’s where personality most likely plays a role.

It’s more than likely that those police who give in to their baser instincts have an underlying defect with respect to their being suitable for the job. Perhaps there’s a tendency towards bullying. Or maybe they had themselves been victims of bullying…in the home, at school, in the workplace. It might be that they served in the military and are therefore predisposed to pulling the trigger, and asking questions later. Worse case scenario is that they are prejudiced toward people different from themselves.

Sometimes in the heat of the moment, police can simply lose control and go absolutely berserk. I often think about this when I remember the lickings my mom would give when I was a child.

One time in particular when she, a 200 pound woman, lunged at my teenage brother. With both hands around his throat, I thought she was going to choke him to death. I remember screaming for her to stop. She finally did, I guess realizing she was going too far. Whether my brother had done something so heinous which drove my mom over the edge, or whether he sassed her back…I don’t remember. What remains permanently carved into my memory is my brother struggling to get out from under the full weight of my mom as she lay on top of him across the bed, her hands squeezing the breath out of him.

My mom’s church-going friends, even the pastor himself, never, ever saw this side of my mom. Her Mr. Hyde. Only her children witnessed the ugly side of an otherwise upstanding, law-abiding, religious citizen. And we all kept her secret from the world beyond our front door. What else could we do? We were too scared to tell.

Police are human. Sometimes they can be scary humans. How do we prevent their Mr. Hydes from taking over…

…and killing???

………hugmamma.

 

reality tv is not…reality

If you’ve ever watched The Housewives of Beverly Hills…Orange County…NYC…or NJ…you know those folks are larger than life. They’re not the real deal. They’re like the super-sized balloons flying overhead during the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. All blown up with…mega-sized eyeballs, lips, hair and bodies.

The same applies to Donald Trump. Followers enamored of him imagine that as President of the United States, he will fire and hire employees exactly as he did on The Apprentice. That’s the individual they want running the country. They further fantasize that President Trump will stop illegal immigrants and incoming Muslims singlehandedly. They don’t ask how. They just know he’ll do it because he says so.

Trump’s presence in the presidential arena replicates exactly what has happened in Congress. Moderate Republicans and their extremist counterparts cannot see eye to eye. A President Trump would tip the balance of power in favor of the Tea Partiers. Where we escaped the same fate with a President Palin, we will now come face to face with an egomaniac far more maniacal and lacking in knowledge than Sarah ever was.

If Trump doesn’t like Mexicans and Muslims, how will he govern those who already live in this country as American citizens? Will he backtrack on his inflammatory rhetoric? Probably not enough to satisfy those groups. And it’s unlikely that the extremists who devour the “red meat” Trump holds out in front of them on a daily basis are going to allow their candidate to renig on his promise to cleanse the population of racial and religious misfits.

Today Trump’s focus and those of his Tea Party followers are upon the Mexicans and Muslims, is it possible that tomorrow they might want to distance themselves from Blacks? Asians? Jews? Catholics? Who knows. Once extremists gain momentum, America could be facing its own Hitler and the evil he wrought upon millions. What happened then in a land far removed, could happen here.

The KKK and the Skinheads are surely smiling at the turn of events…

…and their good fortune.

………hugmamma.