I’m So Tired

I was chatting with a friend, and she asked how I was. “Meh”, was my reply. “What’s ‘meh’?”

Meh. Meh is – I’m tired. So tired of fighting for peace (it’s not an oxymoron), and freedom, and the same rights that others have, and now I’ll have to fight just to survive. I’m tired. For over 20 years, I was on the front lines of bringing American paganism to the public eye. Taking it “out of the broom closet” and helping to educate the general public; showing that we’re not scary, evil, devil-worshipping freaks; that we’re just your neighbors with a different religious view. Some of that time was spent dispelling the views that all Witches are Wicca, that Wicca stands for all Pagans, and trying to live my life as a mother and wife and just plain human being while still working to stay safe from the very people I was trying to educate because crazies exist and I had a young child to protect.

Meh. Meh is – I’m terrified. The incoming administration is specifically tailoring itself to dismantle everything our country once stood for. Everything we’ve worked for, everything we thought we’d outgrown or moved past – tossed out like a quick Tweet from the fat fingers of the Orange One himself at 3 am. I don’t need to go into everything Trump is doing – many others have covered it better than I – but it’s utterly horrifying to wake up each day and see another way in which the United States of America is being dismantled before he’s even taken office. And what’s worse is that even should the Electoral College prove faithless and decide to elect Hillary Clinton: the damage is done. Trump’s candidacy has riled up a base of support so vile, loud and obviously willing to harm their fellow citizenry that a civil war is sure to break out. Pence? A Pence Presidency is sure to be as bad if not worse, as he actually BELIEVES everything he says. Trump is ignorant and insane but Pence isn’t. Pence is, to borrow a line from “Serenity”: “Because he’s a believer. He’s intelligent, methodical and devout in his belief that {…} is the right thing to do.”

Either way, our entire way of life is over. The new “normal” is waking up and seeing what disgusting thing ThePutz has tried to put over on the American people. Watching as fascism creeps into our democracy and some of the country cheer, some cry and yell and declare “never again” and some don’t seem to care either way. Hate crimes have risen since the election, and it’s not going to get better. It’s going to get worse. I’d like to say that it’s all going to be OK — but it’s not. No matter what happens, it’s not going to be OK, not for a long long time. Scholars will analyze this election and it’s ramifications for years to come; it’s going to rank up there with the rise to power of all those other awful people we learned about in school. And we’re going to be the ones LIVING with the fallout.

Meh. Meh is that fallout. Meh is the memory of a dream I had way back when I was 15 or so. A vision I thought was just due to all the nuclear bomb drills we had to do because it was the 1980’s and we were still in the the throes of the Cold War with the then-USSR and there was a very real fear of an actual nuclear war and we had to know how to survive it and live after the radiation burned out. We had movies and bomb shelters and I thought this dream was just my subconscious working out the fear of all that. But now I wonder if it’s another of those prophetic dreams of mine that come true (as far too many have. I hate that. I hate more that I have no knowledge of WHEN). But at this point – I’m too old, broken and tired to do anything more than stand outside and watch as the rockets come overhead if that’s what is to come.

Every single moment of every day is a chance to say: THIS IS NOT OK. THIS IS NOT NORMAL. THIS IS NOT HOW IT WORKS. Jailing people or revoking citizenship for burning the US Flag is a violation of the First Amendment of the US Constitution. Jailing women for a miscarriage is a violation of human rights. A Tweet storm by the President Elect decrying his win was rigged is NOT SANE. Wanting to hire the General that was fired for selling state secrets as Secretary of State is NOT NORMAL.

This is not OK. Not one bit.

It’s all so very “Meh”.

not-how-it-works

 

 

1, 2, 3, 1, 2, 3 drink

My theory on the Stein recount rigamarole. (I’m turning into a regular conspiracy theorist. I should start writing for the “alt-right” sites LOL)

(This was originally a comment on someone’s Facebook post. So it’s not as fleshed out as an actual blog post would be, but I’m not adding to it. It’s explaining what “CYA” means, and why I feel that Stein is doing it and thereby covering hers, and possibly Hillary’s. Trump’s ass is bulletproof at the moment. For now. Such is the way with politicians. Cover you own ass as the expense of those you purport to serve.)

The Stein campaign stands to gain nothing from this except perhaps some ground back from those voters they lost with her anti-vax stance and pro-Trump propaganda. I mean, the Green party went completely whacko there at the end. So by saying that the recount isn’t “for Hillary” or “against Trump” but “to make sure our election process is fair” or whatever is the claim — that’s how Stein’s ass is covered.

She’s not shilling for Hillary. She’s doing the country a service in general to verify the system works as it should and if it doesn’t, get it fixed.

Hillary’s ass is covered, because it’s not coming from her campaign, she’s not calling for recount and looking like a sore loser even though she has more popular votes than ANY CANDIDATE IN HISTORY.

Hell, even Trump’s foul orange ass is covered because you can bet he’s shitting in his didies that should this investigation turn up tampering, the calls didn’t come from his campaign. He already covered himself by SAYING BEFOREHAND that elections were rigged. He already said it, he told us, so he’s covered.

Everyone’s ass is covered, except the American people’s. We’re the only ones hanging out in the breeze, waiting to be shot straight through the keister.

We Survive, We Always Do

Last night, I started watching “The Man in the High Castle” on Amazon again. Consider it “research” on how to survive the coming years; and not just the next four, as the ramifications of this election will linger on well past my lifetime. Combine our political climate with that of Brexit and the resurgence of populist stances in France, the alleged meddling of Russia in our election and so forth…it just seems as if a sort of refresher course in how to survive under fascism seems prudent.

Sure, it’s fiction but science fiction writers like Philip K. Dick are astoundingly prescient in so many ways. Either that, or society seems to catch up to them making science fiction into science fact. (Personally, I really wish we’d catch up to Roddenberry. The world presented by Star Trek is my version of a utopia — I want to live in a future like that. Please Scotty, beam me up. Find a fold in the time-space continuum. I’ll even battle the Borg.)

In the episodes I watched last night, Season 1 eps 6-7, one of the characters Frank Frink, a part-Jewish man who unsuccessfully hid his Jewish ancestry and so his sister and her children were killed, meets with another Jewish man and his children. This family still practices their religion, which is forbidden (they live in the Pacific States, held by the Japanese) and they hold a Mitzvah for Frank, reciting the Kaddish, which finally allows him to surrender to his grief. At some point, Mark tells Frank that he is raising his children Jewish in defiance of the laws, because (I’m paraphrasing because I don’t remember it verbatim): This is who I am, this is who my ancestors were. You can’t live your life in fear. We were being murdered because we were less than human. We wrapped our weapons and buried them, vowing revenge, and ran. I’m raising my kids. Hitler, the Nazis…I don’t care how it looks. It won’t last. One thing about my people, we have a different sense of time. These may be dark years, but we’ll survive. We always do. You’ve just got to find something to hold onto. 

The bold part…that stuck with me. I’m not Jewish, not by religion. I wasn’t raised Jewish, I was raised Methodist. But on both sides of my family, I am of Ashkenazi descent. Both sides of my family have suffered as a results of WHO THEY ARE, because they were Jews. My mother’s paternal side: German Jews. My father’s paternal side: Russian Jews. The very idea that we survive, we always do rang out as if I was standing inside the Liberty Bell as it was struck.

Now the man was speaking about faith being what he holds onto. That’s not me. I have faith of a sort. But my Gods aren’t the kind that will comfort and protect me. I don’t have a book to look to for guidance or even a church/community to go to for words of wisdom. I’m the elder in some cases for many. I’m the one folks will often look to for comfort or guidance and shit, I got nothing right now. The High Priestess is just as angry and scared and utterly clueless as to how she’s going to manage to survive the coming storm, so yeah, I got nothing. Except a glimmer of hope from a reminder that came from a TV show that somewhere in my DNA is “we survive, we always do”.

It would probably be a lot more comforting if I knew the spiritual/religious rewards behind that survival. The “chosen people” and what that means but since I’m only ethnically Jewish but not a practicing Jew (nor do I plan to be – Yahweh hasn’t touched me but Lilith has…and I’m pretty sure Yahweh frowns upon that lol) it’s only my genetic makeup that will 1) cause me to continue to fight for survival and 2) be the reason that I HAVE to fight for survival should it come to the point where ethnic cleansing practices occur again. Because no matter how white I look, no matter how Gentile I can pass for…I have more than 50% Jewish blood. Plus you add in that whole “disabled, latinx, queer, pagan” thing going on.

These may be dark years, but we’ll survive. We always do. You’ve just got to find something to hold onto. 

Find something to hold onto. Whatever that may be for you … find it. Hold onto it. These are going to be some dark years, even if by some chance the election results are overturned and Trump ends up back under the rock he crawled out from under — his legions of white supremacist believers have been empowered and the fight against such darkness has just begun.

 

It’s Decided

I deactivated my main Facebook profile for a few days, as I really needed to get away from all the vitriol and noise. I have one that’s for managing my business page, and it has a few friends on it and I still have my Twitter account so it’s not been quiet per se — I just haven’t seen a lot of the back-and-forth between my liberal friends angry about all of Trump’s latest appointments to his Reichstag and the conservatives decrying “…whites discriminated against almost daily just for being white.” (I…can’t…even…)

So while it’s been quieter, it’s not been utterly silent. What HAS been silent are those conservative “friends” that voted for Trump for reasons other than the hateful parts of his platform. Not a word. I don’t see any of them decrying his appointments of white supremacists, or speaking out against the utter corruption being unearthed daily as he goes about mixing corporate business with National business.

The silence is deafening. Every day, my country is looking more and more like a modern recreation of Nazi Germany and the enablers are silent or worse — cheering for it or acting as if THEY are the ones being oppressed. It stops now.

I’ve made up my mind. All contact with those that voted for Trump and continue to support this incoming administration, either by overtly supporting it or by remaining silent enablers are out of my life for good. I cannot in good conscience keep them even at arms’ length — not because of rescue, or because I’ve known them for a long time or because I might need them for some reason. I don’t use people — if I have a need, I will find someone whose values and beliefs support me, not oppress me and pay/use their services instead. If my very very small business suffers, so be it. It’s called Collar KARMA for a reason and I refuse to stain that Karma by purposefully ignoring fascism just so I can make a dollar or two.

So — here’s your chance, “friends”. Say something.  Send a text, a PM, call me. Send me a smoke signal. Tell me you are just as horrified by what you’re seeing and you’re willing to fight and defend me and those targeted by the new Fourth Reich. You’ll be forgiven the mistake of making this tyrant our next President, if you fight the tyranny he attempts to put in place of our American values.

And for those that are saying, “You’re willing to let politics end friendships?” Yes, yes I am. Because a difference of opinion in how I view our country’s economy or education or military spending or college tuition is politics.  What’s going on right now and in the immediate future is beyond politics. It’s a fundamental difference in worldviews and values and MY right to live as a human being.  That’s definitely a friendship-ending kind of difference, y’think?

 

 

My Internal Struggle

As a Witch, I am used to being a person of action. We are those that Do. We create and weave the spells that Make Things Happen. Our Work is in connection with our feelings, or those for whom we are working for, so emotions aren’t suppressed or repressed but felt fully and embraced. Sadness, anger, happiness, love — all of them given equal reverence.

As a Witch, I can rage and scream and hurl curses and hexes if I so desire just as I can sing and chant and send healing and protection. As a Witch, my ultimate goal is balance – light and dark as One. There can be no light with darkness, no darkness without light. Together, they are Whole.

The Witch in me is raging. The Witch in me is still screaming. The Witch in me wants Action, wants to hurl curses and hexes or at the very least – DO SOMETHING.

The Buddhist in me seeks peace. The Buddhist in me seeks compassion and understanding and wants to find a way to look upon those that chose to harm me with that compassion. I’m *supposed* to love them, even though they hate me. I’m *supposed* to have compassion for their suffering, because their suffering is the reason they have no compassion for mine and why they are causing suffering to others.

The Buddhist in me wants to sit and contemplate ways to put more peace and love into the Universe in the hopes that it’ll fall where it’s supposed to go and light the way out of the darkness.

The Buddhist in me is crying. The  Buddhist in me is looking around and wondering, “how can I help, what can I do, why,”

The Witch in me is pragmatic, while the Buddhist in me is idealistic. Both of them ultimately hope and believe in love over hate, good over evil, giving more than taking.

Right now, the Witch side is winning. She is raging and angry, protesting and raring to fight back when threatened. She is telling my Buddhist side to sit down and shut up and let the Work happen that needs to happen.

I’m inclined to listen.

When I need to find peace and calm myself, when I need to find balance and quiet the storms — the Buddhist rises and drags me, occasionally kicking and screaming, to find a moment or two of Zen. So that I can rage again.

 

A Be(n)dtime Story

A few years ago, friends and I were discussing the increase of Islamic terrorism after the attacks of 9/11. (I am from NY and will spare you my 9/11 story. Suffice it to say, I still suffer the occasional PTSD from it.) Being pagans, we often talked about the “big three” – the Abrahamic religions and how they behaved toward each other, and I made the wisecrack that Islam was the newest and so, “it’s just their turn”.

“After all, the old pagan religions of pre-history fought with each other. But they had sticks and rocks. Then humans  graduated to swords and spears and catapults. The early Jews and Christians had their crusades and wars with those weapons. It’s Islam’s turn and it’s only more terrifying because the technology has advanced.”

What was meant to be sort of a light-hearted toss-off ended up being a sobering realization. And lately, the pessimist in me is seeing an even more distressing pattern.

Pessimist? You?? What? Wait. Yeah, me. I know, I’m usually the one that’s all,
“Go, go, gadget humanity. Peace love and happiness. Namaste, y’all.” But I’m going to be honest here, I really don’t have a lot of love for humanity as a species. Certain people are great. But as a whole? Humanity — Son, I am disappoint. We can be so incredibly inspiring, creative, kind, loving and uplifting. We’ve made amazing advances in medicine and technology and art … oh, the ART we have created. Music. So much music, so many kinds of music. Poetry. Literature. Paintings. Sculpture. Photography. We’ve explored SPACE for fuck’s sake. We have a robot on MARS sending back photos, and a satellite on the outer edges of our solar system still communicating with us.

There have been people like Siddhartha Gautama; Mahatma Gandhi; Jesus of Nazareth; Mohammed; the Dalai Lama; Confucius and Lao Tzu and  Desmond Tutu all singing the praises of peace and the belief in a higher consciousness and attaining enlightenment. And yet we still fall prey to the Genghis Khans, the Hitlers, the Kim Jong Ils, the Osama Bin Ladens and the Donald Trumps.

I tell ya, it’s hard to be a person of love and peace when faced by so much hatred and war ALL THE TIME. Humanity, as a species, are doomed. I’m truly beginning to believe it. It must be why I love movies about apocalypse and worldwide destruction. Even the awful Michael Bay ones. (Sometimes especially the awful Michael Bay ones — the louder and more bombastic the better. Blow it all up. Start over.) I can’t recall which movie it was (sci-fi) where the alien species told us that humans are the virus that must be eradicated for the Earth to survive. (The Day The Earth Stood Still perhaps? It’s probably more than one, really.) We’ve been trying to destroy ourselves since we learned to walk on two legs and we’ve been trying to destroy our planet as well.

Maybe this really is it. The Mayans were right. The doomsday cults are right. The end times ARE near. We just elected a President that doesn’t believe in science, that has a white nationalist as one of his main advisors, has the KKK supporting him and you know that ISIL is sure as heck going to use his election as their excuse (like they need one) to escalate their attacks and now the USA is no longer the nation the world looks to for inspiration or support but looks at with skepticism and fear.

Maybe it needs to happen. After all, massive forest fires result in massive growth. The cataclysm that killed off the dinosaurs resulted in the emergence of mammals and other species. Maybe it’s time that the dominant species on this planet finally kills themselves off, and the planet is given time to heal herself from all the damage we’ve caused to her and allow some other species to rise from the ashes. Cetaceans are smart. They might survive in the oceans. Or maybe some other type of critter would arise from the sludge that’s left and hopefully have some residual DNA memory and not make the same mistakes we’ve made. Over and over and over and over and OVER again.

Humanity. What a bunch of maroons. nfnet7yvtozx0cv7ze3mplzpo1_500

Obama Ringtones

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/zx3vjocyxi5wm0j/AAAmwPpIGqmZ6MUj2aOKW5E6a?dl=0

Originally posted from Regretsy (oh…how you are missed):
3 years ago, I made an awesome discovery: the audiobook version of Barack Obama’s Dreams From My Father.
The main draw of the audiobook is that it’s actually narrated by Obama. It’s interesting to hear him imitate the voices of some of the people that have been important in his life. Like Ray, for example.
Ray, a former high school classmate, was savvy and streetwise, with a new take on black culture and white America. Best of all, Ray had an extremely colorful manner of self-expression. In other words, he cursed. A lot.
That means the President curses. A lot.
In fact you’re about to hear the POTUS swear like a motherfucker.
When I first posted these, about 8 months before I started Regretsy, I got over 30 million hits and a lot of hate mail. So before you decide to write me a long boring email I’ll need help to read, ask yourself one thing:

Which one is your new ringtone? 
(I have added what they say in parenthesis so you can choose whether you really want it. Because when this comes out over your phone in mixed company…well…you can imagine.)

White Folks (“There are white folks, and then there are ignorant motherfuckers like you.”)

You Can Have My Number (“Sure you can have my number baby”)

Nothin’ on Me (“Now you know that guy ain’t shit. Sorry ass motherfucker ain’t got nothin’ on me, right? Nothin’.”)

Too Complicated  (“This shit’s  getting way too complicated to me”)

Buy Your Own  Fries (“You ain’t my bitch, nigga. Buy your own damn fries”)

 

If the Wind Will Not Serve, Take to the Oars

Reposted from http://www.notesfromberingia.com/if-the-wind-will-not-serve-take-to-the-oars/ as the server keeps going down due to traffic. So here’s a backup.

Destitutus ventis, remos adhibe (Latin proverb)

As a nation, we are embarking on—to put it mildly—an unfortunate political experiment. Through the electoral college, and against the popular vote, we have elected a president who is probably the least qualified ever to hold that office. And if that is not enough, the people with whom he surrounds himself are also questionably tethered to the realities of the world the rest of us live in. Some people are saying that the inmates are in charge of the asylum. The problem is that the majority of the rest of us, who clearly did not want to see Trump as president, are locked in here with them. Right now, the most important question to me is how badly will he and his cronies damage our country? And, next in importance, how much will we let them?

I respect the office, but I have zero respect for the person who is next to hold it. That respect has to be earned, and he’s begun in a hole so deep I don’t think he can climb out. I won’t waste time monitoring that progress. I am usually an optimist and look for the silver lining (lemonade and all that), but there are notably few here. Term limits would be nice to see, but I’m not holding my breath that Congress will pass anything there. Short-term market boosts from promises to cut taxes and revoke Dodd-Frank will appear. (Shouldn’t we be decreasing the likelihood of another global meltdown from the financial industry? And another round of tax cuts for the wealthy, another experiment with the utterly failed concept of trickle-down economics?) What suckers so many voters have been. I just wish that the forthcoming buyers’ remorse could be restricted to Trump’s supporters.

But I am not here to wag my finger at the voters who brought this about. We have bigger problems now. About 60.35 million voted for Trump; ~60.98 million voted for Clinton. 46.9% of registered voters did not vote, and the U.S. has a population of 324.97 million. Yes, ~18.6% of the U.S. population, less than one in five, has set us on this course. There are several big problems right there. But we’re here, and we all need to work our way through it. I’d like to say work our way forward, but that will be true only in a time sense; we are going to go backwards in many other respects. I am a man of no party, but I find myself strongly against one now, at least at the national level.

We will begin this experiment from a negative start, in several ways. First, consider the negativity against so many people and against government itself. There is a lot of good in both, but much of that will get squashed in an orgy of righteousness. Then there are the negatives inherent in the incoming administration with respect to reality. Many of the promises made and desires expressed are blatantly against the Constitution. If pursued, these will likely initiate constitutional crises, as explained here and here.

Also, I am a scientist, and I look at an incoming president who has stated that climate change is a hoax and a vice president who doesn’t believe in evolution. Those positions defy reality and are scientifically indefensible. Let’s hope we can find some common ground to build on. Otherwise we’ll waste a lot of time squabbling fruitlessly and more people will eventually learn that you can’t deny realities like climate change and evolution without real life-and-death consequences. In some distant future we can have more power over these phenomena, but right now we have to work on mitigating the negative effects of both.

With Trump’s character being so outlandishly poor in so many respects, attacks on that character (ad hominem attacks) will be dismissed by his supporters along with the more important issues we carry along behind them. So we have to bypass that path, however tempting, and focus on the issues themselves. There are a number of things looming on the horizon that were not there before.

Here are some of the big issues that come to my mind as things we need to watch.
(And by “watch” I mean pay close attention and fight like hell for what is right.)

who-lies-more-a-comparison

• This incoming administration plays so fast and loose with reality, truth, and social mores that we’re likely to see ethical and legal transgressions on an unprecedented scale. Holding everyone accountable to the rule of law will be critical. And, yes, I hear some of you thinking the “Lock her up!” chant. We all need to recognize false equivalencies for what they are. They got us into trouble and shouldn’t—we can measure this stuff. For example, people call out Trump for being a liar; others respond well, Clinton lies too. Yep. Unfortunately, it’s a human trait—we all do. But the scale is important, and Trump is far and away in the lead. This is going to be an ongoing problem for the rest of us.

• Womens’ rights, the rights of minorities, and the rights of people who are different (e.g., handicapped, LGBT) will suffer. I also worry about social standards and the normalization of behaviors that erode civility and tolerance. I am strongly opposed to seeing this erosion. We need to uphold our values and live them. I am not suggesting we need thought police. Think whatever you want. But those who are purposefully hurtful to other people need to be called on it and ostracized or jailed, as appropriate. We have these things called the Declaration of Independence (e.g., “all men are created equal,” etc.) and the Bill of Rights (“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.” etc.). In addition, we have over two centuries of subsequent progress on how we should treat each other.

• Further U.S. progress on mitigating the effects of climate change are on hold, exacerbating the toll.

• We’re already revisiting the re-implementation of torture.

• In ordinary times, a partisan FBI and Russian hacking would dominate the news and the to-do list of government. Oh, the good old days.

• We could be in another hot war, probably with Iran, in the next few years. It would be highly beneficial to large numbers of lives if our disagreements could continue to be settled through diplomacy. The likelihood of nuclear weapons being used just went up.

• We’re not getting most of those jobs back from China; the ones we can are already coming. And Mexico’s share of illegal immigration has been declining for years. Historically, these were important issues. Increasing the time and money focused on them now is probably wasted.

Natural gas killed coal. Technology has depressed manufacturing and other jobs. Trade can too, even while overall being a win-win for trading partners. Let’s do cost-benefit analyses, sure, but let’s focus on solutions, not try to wind the clock back. Markets and economies change. Let’s be proactive and train workers for the 21st century economy.

squires_oecd_exhibit_01

• American health care will get worse, not better. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is an imperfect attempt to curb the outrageous costs of the U.S. health care system. While it has slowed the growth rate of cost increases, we still pay more and get less bang-for-buck than any developed country. (In fact, we grossly outspend other developed countries and have lower life expectancy to boot!) Under the Trump administration we’re likely to remove the band aid and re-open the wound so more health-care dollars hemorrhage into the pockets of big corporations rather than make Americans healthier. So many other countries have demonstrated that this can be done with far greater efficiency than we do it; we’re almost certainly going to go backwards here. And among the first signs that buyers’ remorse is just around the corner is Paul Ryan’s proposal to privatize Medicare. Talk about skewering your loyal voters straight in the heart. Get used to it.

• Re-investing in our national infrastructure is much needed (but would have finally happened under either administration). Privatizing transportation infrastructure like highways and bridges is not a good answer, because we wind up paying more for it.

• We were not given a choice about having a look at Trump’s taxes. But we do know that his conflicts of interest in his businesses with foreign powers are huge, and those have to be dealt with because they can be effectively used by foreign powers to influence our government. Similarly, he and his family have major conflicts of interest in leading government and running their businesses simultaneously. Ideally, they would put their businesses into a blind trust while they governed, and at least that seems to be being discussed.

20_largest_defense_expenditure_countries_sm

We don’t need to increase our military budget. We should be looking for ways to decrease it. “The United States spends more on defense than the next seven countries combined.

• The vaunted Republican goal of lowering the deficit, conveniently abandoned during the last Republican administration, by the way, is much less likely to be achieved under Trump’s economic plan. Increasing economic disparities among Americans is not the way to square this issue, although these will be among the first solutions proposed.

• Mollycoddling of dictators.

• Further decline in sensible restrictions on gun ownership.

That’s a long list of big issues—serious headwinds. More than I think we would have had if the election had gone the other way. Despondency is not the answer for those who opposed this campaign. Nor is jubilation if your side won; it is unlikely you will get what you hoped for. And nor is sitting on the sidelines or not being informed or not voting. The answer is to fight every single day for what is right, legally and morally. Just because we’re headed into a dry spell of leadership in those areas doesn’t change who we are as individuals and as a people. Nor should we acquiesce to the Republican party’s platform, many planks of which are extreme and do not reflect the opinions of the majority of Americans. Reinstate Glass-Steagall? Absolutely. Overturn the Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage? Push for Bible study in public schools? No. Nobody’s religious views should be foisted off on the rest of the country, especially through government. Nor should we accept policies that increase income disparities in the country, one of the fundamental reasons people are so unhappy with the status quo (though things were finally improving).

I am not nearly as pessimistic as Andrew Sullivan. There’s a lot of drama out there (though to be fair, he is a member of a persecuted group). My feeling is that in a local respect our personal, tiny pocket of the universe here in Fairbanks, Alaska is not going to be hugely affected by this pending federal administration. Part of that is white privilege, and part is that our state economy is so terrible right now that we have much bigger problems at hand. But as engaged citizens of the country and the world, Rose and I cringe at the pending damage to our country and its institutions that we’re pretty confident this incoming administration will cause. Our resilience will be tested, as will yours.

So take to the oars. And remember that they can be used in many ways.