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Have you seen enough? Is there any question left in your mind? Can you condone the direction this administration with the complicity of the GOP is taking our once proud country? Do you feel shame at the actions of our government? Do you tolerate racism? Do you support the enrichment of the “One Percent” and corporations at the expense of the middle class and poor? Are you okay with the possibility of the elderly losing their Social Security, a fund they have paid into their entire lives? Can you tolerate the war this government is waging against the most vulnerable among us? Can you excuse babies and toddlers or a child of any age being taken from parents en masse for political purposes? Are you ok with putting entire families indefinitely into what amounts to concentration camps? Do you have any compassion for anyone besides yourself?

You can’t bury your head in the sand in the face of overwhelming facts, not “alternative facts,” not opinions, but hard, verified facts! This is no longer a matter of being conservative or liberal, even Democrat, Republican, Libertarian or Independent. It is about who we are going to be as a country going forward. Will we choose hate and fear over love and hope?

I know it is overwhelming and more than a little depressing, but you must be strong and raise your voice for what this country was founded on and has strived to stand for – at times poorly – for the almost 242 years since the signing of the Declaration of Independence. We haven’t gotten it right all the time, but we have always found our way clear of those times. It is our fortitude and resilience that has seen us through in the past. We can do it again, but we must VOTE. It is the one true tool we have against tyranny. Yes, tyranny . . . “cruel, unreasonable, or arbitrary use of power or control.”

The first step is to make sure you are registered to vote. Do it now. Don’t wait. Then you will have to endure until November. I know it is a long time off. The outrage and anger will diminish, but you cannot become complacent. You may even tire of being told over and over to vote.

Plan now. Make a commitment to yourself. Then in November, send packing those that have supported and been complicit in the tyranny you clearly see now. It’s your right, exercise it. It’s your voice, use it.

 

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Today should have been triumphant. I should have been writing a post all about my adventure finding a marvelous addition to my landscaping. I stumbled across a magnificent piece of driftwood on the beach. It’s huge and beautiful and perfectly flat on the bottom. (That’s it next to the four-foot high fence.) It is as if the ocean had given me a gift and all I had to do was get it home.

Needless to say, it was an entertaining escapade and no small undertaking. It is mind-boggling how many strangers offered assistance but had bad backs or other maladies prohibiting them from actually helping. I’m going to go with . . . it’s the thought that counts. No worries. I had help with me as it was a trip designated to gather more driftwood for garden edging. This wonderful piece of nature’s art is now proudly displayed out by the street next to the bird feeders and lily bed dedicated to the Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ (which has 7! bloom spikes developing). But no . . .

I have long acknowledged the trouble I have getting all the parts of my life sync’d to be happy with everything. If my work life was good, my love life was a disaster. If my love life was humming, I was facing imminent financial doom. If somehow everything was excellent, my house caught fire! Seriously, I’ve had a house fire . . . twice! I was pretty much resigned to that being my fate . . . until recently. My personal life is great. I’m happy in all its aspects, so . . .

The house isn’t burning; nobody is sick; a volcano hasn’t sprouted in my yard; an asteroid isn’t racing through the sky towards me (that I know of) . . . No, the government of my country has lost its flipping mind. What the hell? Is my personal curse now being inflicted on the world at large?

I should be gaily munching tacos and sipping Margaritas on my front porch enjoying my ocean-created sculpture with the person I love and that loves me. Instead, I feel heartsick, anger, outrage, shame, disgust, helpless and even more than a little guilty for even having such a fantastic life when others are suffering so at the hands of my nation.

I don’t understand how there are such horrible and cruel acts being officially committed in this country. You know . . . “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” How do such wicked actions make us free or brave? How can anyone with a soul be happy and content while such evil is perpetrated on the innocent? I know I’m not alone in how I feel. They have to be stopped . . .

Stop harshing my buzz!

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Children in concentration camps? I guess it is true that those that forget the past are destined to repeat it.

The concentration camps of Nazi Germany are well-remembered and reviled. We seemed to have conveniently forgotten Germany was not the only country to imprison people based on their heritage during World War II.

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I don’t know if it is taught now, but it wasn’t when I was in school. I do believe it is fairly common knowledge although much sanitized and rationalized. The US condemned people of Japanese descendent to concentration camps at the same time in history the Nazi regime was defining and implementing its “Final Solution.”

No, the Japanese in America were not exterminated. They did have their homes, their businesses, their freedom taken from them. Most of these people were native born US citizens incarcerated without due process. It was a scary time in America. Japan had attacked Pearl Harbor killing 2,403 . . . all but 68, American service men. National Security was the justification for this action.

In 1980 (not so long ago), the Commission on Wartime Relocation and Internment of Civilians found little evidence of Japanese disloyalty and their imprisonment had been due to racism. The Civil Liberties Act of 1988 admitted the government actions were based on “race prejudice, war hysteria, and a failure of political leadership” and apologized. More than the equivalent of three trillion 2017 dollars in reparations were paid.

So, it’s not my judgement that what happened was wrong. It was the judgment of the US government. Did we learn from our past? I fear we may not have. Today I heard “National Security” used to justify for our current crisis at the Mexico border. No, not illegal immigration, rather the management of those trying to enter this country. I’m horrified in general by the treatment of these people crossing our southern border (both “illegals” and those requesting amnesty), but I am heart-sick and outraged by what is happening to the children.

I don’t care what the excuse(s) . . . I don’t care whose legislation or policy is responsible . . . I don’t care why it is being done . . . IT MUST STOP NOW. This is evil!

So, I ask again, it this who we really are?

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I suppose it couldn’t be helped. Perhaps I should have been more careful. Maybe its destiny was to end its life in a vase. Regardless the cause and effect, I have a lovely lily gracing the kitchen peninsula for now. I will likely admire it more often than its fellows still in the garden.

I can’t wait for these guys to multiple to the point I will feel no guilt cutting them to display in the house. I’ll just make do with the “oops” for now. I do so love flowers.

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Why do people insist on limiting art? The definition of art: the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination . . . Stop right there! No further delineation is necessary. Anything more limits art in all its forms.

Just a bit of personal history here. I was once in a conversation with a group of women. One was a “painter.” The others dabbled in what is often referred to as “crafts.” The discussion was about starting an artist support group. Long story short . . . Ms. Painter announced I won’t fit in since I was not an artist as all I did was write. Seriously? Who was she to judge writing thus? It was also obvious she considered “crafting” to be an inferior form of art to her own. Unfortunately, sometimes there is an elitism about art.

It hurt my feelings and it made me a little angry. It also made me think. What is art, really? Is the person that grows a beautiful garden or cooks a perfect soufflé or crafts an exquisite piece of jewelry any less an artist than a watercolorist or sculptor? How about the screenwriters, camera men and women, stunt crew, special effects teams, film editors or director on a movie? Are they any less artistic than the actors? Is the maker of a musical instrument less inventive than the individual that plays that instrument?

I have been privileged to know some highly creative people in my life (many from the blogosphere) . . . some with very unusual artist output. I knew a brick mason by trade that did amazing work restoring historic buildings. He even crafted a gargoyle one time as the original could not be saved. I dated a chef whose creations delighted the palate as well as the eye being literally art on a plate. You almost felt guilty eating it, but you knew it was going to be so good you couldn’t stop yourself. I knew a mechanic who took simple cooper wire twisting it into charming figures and scenes. Cartoonists! They are double threats both drawing and writing to produce their handiwork.

It doesn’t stop there. Who knew how gorgeous fishing flies could be? Handmade quilts . . . how can they not be art? The elegant code required for all those apps on your phone, can you exclude those programmers for the category of artist? Is there not artistic beauty in architecture? Even before a building is erected, a draftsperson draws the plans. Artist? AND let us not forget the rare and extraordinary allure of any creation by an innocent and uninhibited child. I dare anyone to deny such as art or the child an artist.

Art IS the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination in ALL its forms. I could never list all the art there is in this world or all the people who should be deemed artists, but maybe . . . just maybe . . . I can get one person to look at something they never considered “art” and appreciate there was an artist behind it somewhere.

That’s my art.

 

 

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