What The Hell . . .?

Did Our President of Our United States just invite Vladimir Putin, former KGB power-man-now-Russian President, to the White House in Our Washington, D.C. to further talks after the debacle in Helsinki?

Really?

To do what? Further toady up to the Russian dictator (oh yes, he is!) and further make nice with the guy who denies any interference with  an American election? – and further, indicate belief  in that denial in spite of what his own American intelligence says?

I am not the brightest kid on the block, and I don’t make a habit of proclaiming my beliefs to anyone but my family and closest friends, but this is beyond the limits of being a Pollyanna who freely gives the other person the benefit of a doubt.

This is MY country being drowned. “Make America Great Again” my pussy-foot!

I don’t want to hear it about “fake news.” Everyone who watched the Helsinki summit and everyone who heard the groveling words that undermined American Intelligence and gave credence to Russian denial should understand we – this, our country – stands on a dangerous precipice. We have a president with a mega-ego besotted with men who wield total power and control. We have a president who would like that same control over we, the people, and we have a president who already wields a great deal of power as president. I might add, he has managed to gather those around him who don’t dare cross him, and has given them positions of power. Scary.

That I don’t like this man is well known through omission of saying nice things about him. I’ve never liked him as a human being, not since I watched two episodes of his TV show and thought, “wow, enough of this.” I believe he is a bully, not  nearly as intelligent as he thinks he is, definitely a womanizer (no, I don’t pity beautiful Melania, who, I think, is very smart and has her future well documented and secure) and I think he was more surprised than anyone that he actually flummoxed enough people to win the highest honor in our land.

For you who are still “Trumpers” — check with Snopes every time you think something printed or said is fake. They’re harbingers of truth and tell it straight. If you can’t find fact there, read. Watch. Look beyond what you think you’re hearing and seeing. I’ll say it again. Our country is in danger. A sickness is growing within us and few have had the courage to prescribe the cure.

This is MY country. As it is yours. For my part, I don’t want to be the ostrich who gets her backside burned because she didn’t speak out..

 

I BELIEVE!

Oh yes. I believe that change can happen. I believe we can make a difference. I believe in the young of our nation who have taken the reins and somehow, somehow, have done, are doing, what we adults have not been able to do.

Yes, I’m still talking about gun violence and the movement that sweeps our beloved country.

Today is the March For Our Lives. Across the country hundreds of thousands, maybe millions, of people, mostly school aged, rally to demand gun control, to demand that our congressional leaders take a stand, to demand an end to the inaction in Washington.

These eloquent young people know, first hand, the grief of losing family, friend,  teacher,  coach. They understand that our schools and streets aren’t safe havens. And they want change.

How proud of them I am. It fills me with hope, not just that we’ll see, finally, common sense changes in our gun laws, but it makes me glad for America’s future.

These passionate, caring children will have their voices heard. And I  believe that years from now, when these same children run for office, become parents, teachers, coaches, business men and women, skilled technicians and workers, they’ll remember what it took to make a true and good America and they’ll work hard to keep it that way. I believe they’ll make sure it stays a country of, by, and for the people.

All the people.

I believe.

 

 

 

 

 

Thorny Issues

CIMG0005

A couple of things have happened this last month that I really want to talk about. The first is the Brian Williams tumble from his prestigious anchor position at NBC News. The other is the release of the movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Brian made the mistake of enlarging some personal stories and being nailed for it.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” has broken every record for movie attendance and sparked every kind of comment and concern, from parents and church leaders, to those who say there’s a story beyond the sex.

About Brian. He made more of his personal involvement in incidents tied to actual news items than happened. (I remember him telling about the body floating below his New Orleans hotel window, and I was watching when he recounted the helicopter story. I was also watching the next evening when he apologized, saying he “mis-spoke.”)

Now he’s fodder for snide remarks by some who’ve forgotten that business about throwing rocks (Jim Carey, for one, former NY City mayor Rudy Giuliani for another. You remember the Biblical story about he who is without sin throwing the first stone?)

Should Brian Williams be held responsible for magnifying his personal role in major news stories? From my perspective, yes. Should he be villified? No. Enriching the ego seems a normal trait of human beings.

A more important question is did he ever distort the facts of a news story? Again, from my observation as a daily news viewer, no.

But here is the sticky wicket. Brian Williams has been an entertainment figure as well as a respected journalist. We’ve gotten to know him as a funny man, able to hold his own with the best of them, a story teller outside his role as NBC anchor.

When I watched him interact with David Letterman or Matt Lauer, I expected him to be entertaining. And when I watched him at his news desk, I expected truth and unbiased reporting.

So to the point: Can one person wear both hats? Should one person wear both hats? Are the corporate network leaders who bow to the ratings god responsible at all? Should journalists be kept in journalistic boxes instead of chasing an audience wherever it can be found? Seems to me that’s counter-productive and on a fast track to exactly where Brian Williams is, today. As to his future return to the news desk, I hope he does, though I don’t believe the network will allow it. Second chances and loyalty don’t seem to be part of their vocabulary.

And now to “Fifty Shades.” I admit, up front, I have not read the books nor have I seen the movie. Not because I’ve been told not to, but because I don’t want to. However, now that the movie is in theaters (bringing in more millions than any movie in forever) it has stirred a pot of controversy. Psychiatrists and psychologists are voicing concern about young people who see the movie and get the wrong idea about love, church leaders are advising congregations to stay away, and some parents have requested an age ban for those younger than seventeen.

I know the books were world-wide best sellers, and I’ve listened to some great conversations from friends who did read them and thought them worthwhile, not because of the eroticism, but because of the why behind it. The movie, however, has been panned by almost every critic who reviewed it, and by some outspoken movie goers, as well.

So, is this that tempest in the teapot, a worrisome thing that will go away as soon as people find another topic? Or will “Fifty Shades of Grey” develop a cult following among young adults still trying to decide what love is? And what happens when the second and third movies come out? (I’m assuming, here.) Repeat conversation?

Good grief. Maybe I shouldn’t even be talking about this until I read the books for myself and sit through the movie.

Horrors!