We haven’t lived in Missouri very long, and it took me awhile to figure out what congressional district we live in.  Unfortunately, we live in the Eighth, and are “represented” by a man named Jason Smith, republican.

It’s funny, but I’ve only ever lived in republican districts.  Justin Amash was my previous “representative”,  he of the “freedom caucus” that shuts down the government whenever they are pissed.

I have, of course, googled Mr. Smith and learned that he’s only ever worked for the government he despises, other than owning a puppy mill with his mother.  He’s 37 and single (read closeted and self-hating gay man).  A truly marvelous human being.

Because I like to know what is going on in our hallowed oligarchy, I signed up for his weekly letters.  This one is the most recent, but by no means unique.

Psychiatrists could have a field day with this.

I consider this hate speech and will eventually unsubscribe from him and his hatred.


Dear Friend,

On Friday, with the confirmation of our newest Supreme Court member, Justice Neil Gorsuch, the American people were finally able to claim victory over liberal obstructionists in the United States Senate. With Gorsuch behind the bench, we have a Justice who respects personal freedom and liberty. He knows our Constitution is a document that defers power from the federal government to the states, and puts the rights of individuals ahead of the interests of bureaucrats in Washington.

Throughout his career, Judge Gorsuch has consistently stood on the side of religious freedom and the right to life of the unborn. One of his most notable decisions came in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, in which Gorsuch upheld that the federal government could not force businesses to offer coverage for abortion services.

Judge Gorsuch echoes the qualities of Justice Scalia, making him the perfect replacement to restore conservatism and balance back to the Supreme Court. Justice Scalia’s seat on the court does not belong to any president or any political party, but to the American people.

But if you’ve watched the news over the past week, you already know that liberals in the Senate have treated Justice Scalia’s vacant seat as an opportunity to put politics ahead of what the American people rightfully asked and voted for in November when they elected President Trump.

The Senate’s work on everything from Trump’s Cabinet to filling Justice Scalia’s seat has been halted by the actions of liberal obstructionists. And you know who loses in that situation? The American people.

Unfortunately, obstructionism is a pattern of behavior from the left. Instead of investing in an agenda that’s best for the American people, liberals in the Senate have given us the longest Cabinet nomination and confirmation process in the history of an administration. President Trump still does not have an Agriculture or Labor Secretary and it’s because the left is continuing to obstruct the process. Right now, President Trump only has 22 of his nominees confirmed. At the same time in the last administration, Obama had a whopping 54 nominees confirmed – more than TWICE the amount President Trump has.

Political tactics from the far left were meant to prevent one of the most qualified judges of all time from being confirmed to the Supreme Court. For purely partisan purposes, they tried to stop the guy who in 2006 had zero opposition from the Senate and the support of senators like Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Gorsuch’s nomination should come as no surprise to the left, but they seem to forget that during the campaign, Trump shared a list of people he would nominate to the Supreme Court if he won. The American people took this into consideration, and voted for Trump’s plan when they elected him in November.

The left threw up roadblocks at every turn throughout Gorsuch’s confirmation process. Before this week, there had never been a successful partisan filibuster of a Supreme Court nominee in American history. But the liberals tried this anyway, using a filibuster to prevent a vote. I applaud conservatives in the Senate for showing leadership and changing the rules to go around the liberal’s filibuster and bring Judge Gorsuch’s confirmation up for a simple majority vote.

It is time for liberals to move on from obstructing the government and work to advance the agenda Americans voted for in November. With the election of President Trump, Americans proclaimed their desire for a smaller government and less intrusion. They want a healthcare system that actually works, not one with premiums that are higher than their mortgage. They want the IRS scaled back and their tax returns to fit on a single postcard. Most importantly, they want the government out of their business and out of their pocketbook. We must deliver on what the American people have asked.


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Profile in Courage

DSCN2729I’m just going to say it: Bambi has a strange little body. She’s built sort of like a swimmer. Her chest is the widest point. Her front legs are bowed and her feet are pigeon toed. She has a long neck and long back. Her feet are tiny.


Her ears are quite expressive. When she’s alert, they stand up straight and tall. If she’s confused or suspicious, they go back. My favorite is when they go sideways. I have no idea what it means, but she resembles a donkey or Yoda, and it makes me laugh.

She is quite yogic. She stretches and stretches, usually ending with downward dog.

The Chippet does not like storms one bit. The Thundershirt helps (and I would like a full length one for myself) but she still will pace and fret. With our last storm, she approached Mr. Nobody for some soothing. Big step for the little one, to trust a man. She consistently shows more courage than many members of Congress.

We are surrounded by macho male dickheads that are constantly shooting or shooting off fireworks. This stresses her, but a little less these days. I have explained MMDs to her, apologized for them, and she seems a bit more accepting.

She has more good days than bad days now, I think. She has utterly conformed to the system whereby we go outside, she produces some kind of waste product, and gets rewarded. There have been no accidents for months. And, if I have somehow forgotten the schedule, she reminds me now.

Often when we go outside (and Bambi must have a human bodyguard), Buddy will stalk her. He’s about twice her size. She resembles a teeny deer, and he resembles (at least in his own mind) a tiger. He’ll get flat, his tail will twitch while Bambi is innocently sniffing something. Then he pounces. And Bambi just sidles out of the way. I don’t think Buddy has much concept of a dog this small.

There are two different happy dances. One is sort of just wild running in circles or figure eights, and the other is a series of twirls. She does the best twirls. I get to see these more than once a day. Sometimes, she twirls down the hallway when we get up in the morning because she’s so excited to get breakfast. And she loves bed time and will dance on the bed.

I still haven’t figured out all of the shades of meaning in her shivers. Some shivers are fear. Some are of excitement or anticipation. There is a cold shiver. I think she has a nightmare shiver.

She sleeps up against me. It varies from night to night exactly where she will curl up….sometimes it’s against my chest, or head or shoulders. I’m not certain what all her requirements are from night to night, but we’ve learned through experimentation that she doesn’t like being under the covers with me. She needs an escape hatch. Her flight response has been finely honed over the years. So I cover her lightly and trust that my body heat will keep her warm all night and usually it does.

She loves to sunbathe. She loves riding in the car. The best is to sunbathe while riding in the car. And she knows when I’m going out. Right now, the weather is cool enough that taking her along is a pleasure for me as well as her. But I know from last summer that soon enough, I’m going to have to trick her to get out of the house without her. I hate doing that, but I cannot quite justify leaving the car running with the air conditioning on while I grocery shop or whatever. Maybe I’ll get there yet. But the car lulls her, soothes her. It’s when she is most relaxed.

I marvel at this dog. That she can love me, mostly trust me, after all she has been through is amazing enough. But that she’s extending that to Mr. Nobody (who has been very patient and kind and gentle with her) is more than most could expect.

People can learn a lot from animals.

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Predictions for 2017

Every year since I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve made predictions for the coming year.

So let me just take the swan dive into the depressing mire and get it out of my head.

2017 will be hotter than 2016, which was the hottest on record, beating 2015, which was hotter than 2014, which was the hottest ever recorded.

First prediction is the safe one. We have passed the point of no return on climate change. Storms, floods, droughts, wildfires, all will increase in intensity and destruction.

The ice continues to melt at both poles; betting on when the Larsen C ice shelf will calve is brisk. The blue ocean event looms. The US Navy predicted 2017 as the time and I’m nothing but patriotic, so I’ll go with our Navy. Our coasts are toast.

Methane releases will surprise and amaze scientists.

Say goodbye first to the Affordable Care Act, then social security and medicare and medicaid. Our new president is not going to fund a single thing that does not directly benefit the one percent. All of the safety nets will have yuge holes in them by the end of this year. Health care is going to cost more money, so the mortality rates in the US will be rising.

Since the middle class is the only one left to loot, we shall be looted. A financial crash is certainly on the horizon; but I frankly don’t understand the craziness enough to know whether it will happen this year or the next.

All of the pipelines currently under protest will be approved and the protesters will be locked up, with the key thrown away, assuming they aren’t killed. All of the mining, all of the drilling and logging and other extractive industries will be ramped up, polluting our air and water. This will contribute to the climbing mortality rates. But, jobs.

Protesting itself will be made illegal. Four states have this under consideration right now, only two of which I can remember: North Dakota and Michigan. My guess, because I just don’t have the energy to research it, is that these laws are being written by the same people who brought us Stand Your Ground and Right to Work, aka ALEC and the US Chamber of Commerce folks, aka the one percent.

Invest in for profit prisons, because they will be growing and hiring. Of course, they won’t pay well, because, well, you know. What the one percent really wants is for slavery to be legal again. So kiss all of the minimum wage increases goodbye. States will tell municipalities what they can and can’t do, and the states are run by the butt boys for the one percent….meat puppets, prostitutes, whatever you want to call them.

Somewhere in here, the United States will be declared a Christian nation. As I’ve said previously, 2017 is going to be an irony rich year.

Suicide will increase dramatically.

At the micro level, we are a more divided nation than ever. I confess, when meeting a new person, the first thing I want to know is who they voted for. This is not all that new for me….I’ve always been accused of taking politics too seriously. It’s funny that people are now starting to catch up to where I was years ago.

In short, this year is going to suck quite a lot.

As the endgame nears, I give less and less energy to the idea that change can happen. Sure hasn’t in my lifetime. Everything I’ve marched for, protested against, written about…..it’s all still happening and now, thanks to Obama, the surveillance capabilities have grown. Dissent is about to be severely curtailed, which will be wasted energy because dissent hasn’t changed a thing in the last 50 or so years.

Human beings are killing the earth. Instead of trying to save it, we’re going to look for a new place to destroy.

As a species, we have been proven to be incredibly stupid. I don’t expect that to change.

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Ice ice baby

The ice storm started Friday night.  It didn’t melt until Sunday night.

dscn2702It was beautiful and spooky.

No neighbors were out with the chain saws.  Very little shooting, either, so it was a human quiet.

dscn2695The ice crackles.  Limbs broke.


At night, it drizzled off and on, with fog and mist hanging in the air.  Everything seemed muffled, except the ice.dscn2698

We were well provisioned with the necessities and the wood stove added its warmth.


As we listened to the crackling ice, and as I watched the ice laden and terminally ill trees, I wondered if a tree would hit the house.  As I walked around taking pictures, I wondered if a tree would fall and take me out.

Beautiful.  Spooky.  A little terrifying.

It’s home.

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Thoughts on Standing Rock

At this moment, it appears that the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies have won.

I have admired their campaign. They framed their message and kept it simple. They used social media brilliantly. By remaining peaceful, they performed sort of a jujitsu move on their opponents, in this case, the Morton County Sheriff’s Department, the tool of choice of Energy Transfer Partners.

I doubt the Morton County Sheriff’s Department even today understands what hit them. Every decision they made was the wrong one. Maybe it’s the hangover of the election, but they apparently thought that simply saying something was enough. But when the “water protectors” (and, jeez, how simple is that?) broadcasts live what the police have become in America, I think it shocked the shit out of people.

People like Wesley Clark Jr., for instance.

I’m hopeful that this is a great awakening. I’ve been hoping for a resistance to the constant nibbling and outright whacking away at the Constitution. And again, timing might be in play here. President Elect Trump has not, so far, demonstrated any understanding or appreciation for our Constitution. And a resistance will be needed.

What cannot be underestimated is the extremely high moral ground of Native Americans. Their constant reiteration of non-violence and prayer; their clear message of protecting water, their clear willingness to put their bodies in jeopardy, their constant “join us” invitations…..they were brilliant. That is leadership. That is exactly what is needed. Simple. Direct. Inclusive. Creative.

I hope for follow through. I hope evidence is looked for of collusion between the fossil fuel industry and the Dalrymple administration. I hope indictments, trials and prison time follow. I hope government gets the message that we would like for them to disconnect from industry. None of that will happen, of course.

I fear our government far more than terrorists. They allow threats to our food, air, water every day, in the name of business. We should have resisted this years ago, back in the 1980s.  It might have made a difference then.

Obviously, I hope that the Dakota Access Pipeline, and others, don’t get built, or at least don’t get built near major water sources.

It’s been very educational watching this happen. I’ve been checking the Morton County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page, and this department’s unofficial motto could be “Conspiracy is unnecessary when everyone thinks the same.”

They all look alike. They all sound alike. Heavy authoritarianism, lots of testosterone, lots of swagger. This is racism, folks. Institutionalized racism. They need to do some recruiting outside the mold. They need new leadership. They need to study the Constitution. They need to understand what groupthink is.

When it was announced that vets were coming to Standing Rock to protect the protectors, there was a moment when the Sheriff’s department tried to discredit the leaders of that group.  That lasted about ten seconds.

The Military Veterans who have stepped up surprised the shit out of me. I did not see that coming. As a child of the 60s, I’ve viewed our military as an extension of our industry. When our industries need something, be it oil, rubber, or whatever, we go to war to get it. The military has allowed itself to be used as a force of capitalism over and over again. So, I don’t generally get all misty eyed over our troops sacrifice. I don’t have close friends who have served.  I’ve sat during the national anthem.

But this action, and some others, have made me re-evaluate my thinking.

I was stunned and yes, awed, by something I saw on Facebook. A small group of veterans felt called to apologize to the Native Americans at Standing Rock for the part their units played in the past of genocide and forced relocation of our First Americans. They had an audience with tribal leaders. They humbled themselves by taking a knee, acknowledged the past, mentioned a few specific crimes or sins, and asked for forgiveness. By their presence at Standing Rock to protect the water protectors, they atoned.

Maybe it’s the Catholic upbringing, but that just killed me, to see that. White men, humbling themselves voluntarily. Has to be one of the most rare, beautiful and moving things I’ve ever witnessed. I could be proud to be associated with that group.

We are going to need a resistance.


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Water is Life

I really don’t recognize my country anymore. Nothing feels normal, nothing feels safe. I go to bed at night, worried about the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. I wake up in the morning, worried about them. I check Facebook way too much, just to see if the water protectors are okay.

Energy Transfer Partners is building the Dakota Access Pipeline. First, they were going to run it through Bismarck, North Dakota*. But the white people there said, “um, no, we don’t want to be the next Marshall, Michigan or Mayflower, Arkansas”.  So Energy Transfer Partners decided to run it right near the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation. The tribe said, “um no, we don’t want it, either”. But, for some reason, Energy Transfer Partners didn’t listen.

Energy Transfer Partners is funded by all of the big banks. President Elect Donald Trump has stock in the project. They’ve brought in their own mercenaries with dogs and mace, and Morton County Sheriff’s Department is also at their beck and call.  This department has brought in other law enforcement as well.  Price tag is north of $20 million so far.   North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple is also on board, as well as most of the media.

There have been various confrontations between the two groups, with injuries sustained on the Native side. The National Guard has also joined on the Powers that Be side of things, as one might expect.

And now the US Army is getting involved.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been joined by other natives and other allies from across the nation. The Oceti Sakowin camp has been set up on unceded (ie., stolen) land. The government that stole it calls it Federal land.

Now the US Army says that this village (numbering some 8,000 water protectors) has to move. The US Army has designated a free speech zone where they can stay. Isn’t that special? I just love the idea that the US Army has the right to declare where free speech can occur!

2016 has been an outstanding year for irony. I suspect 2017 will surpass it.

Once again, the US Army wants to relocate Native Americans. Or, at least, try to, since the water protectors have said that they are not moving. They have also issued a call for more warriors.

President Obama has done little to intercede.

United States veterans are traveling to Standing Rock to protect the water protectors from the Powers that Be. They arrive the day before the eviction notice goes into effect.

People from all over the world have been watching the live streams. We’ve seen unarmed people being maced. We’ve heard the sound cannons and seen water cannon being deployed in freezing temperatures. We’ve seen live streams interrupted by electronic “sting rays”.

We’ve seen photos of injuries. The Morton County Sheriffs Department first denies using these means of control, then accuses the “protesters” of being violent. Their evidence doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

Battalions of police in riot gear are being deployed to protect an oil company. Usually, it’s the US Military, going to a different country, to protect “our interests”. Today, it’s on home soil. This is as it should be, as Americans should see with their own eyes what we do to others every day. This answers the question “why do they hate us?”.

This is America.

All of the lies about standing for freedom from tyranny, liberty and justice for all…they stand exposed as the lies they have always been.

This is on President Obama’s watch. This is his legacy, as our first black president. Because, of course, he must stand with the Powers that Be. He is one of them, after all, or he never would have been allowed to take office.

One must always keep precedent in mind. Resistance must be firmly put down. Otherwise, it grows.

Mussolini called the merging of industry and government fascism. Never before has it been so clearly seen, so blatantly transparent, than today out in North Dakota.


*I misidentified the state, saying it was South Dakota, in previous posts. Sorry.

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Fight or Flight

Well. I didn’t see this coming.

I went to bed on election night before anything was decided and woke to a different country than I thought I was living in. And, these days later, I’m still trying to get my head around it.

How bad is it going to be? Given that the physical world is crashing, it’s going to be even worse than I thought.

Internally, a war is being fought. My gut is in full rage (ie. fight mode) and my heart is in full fear (ie. flight mode). Every person I know, the ones who didn’t vote for the Big Cheeto, has experienced a physical reaction to this “election”.

The Nobody household is discussing a move to Canada.

Canada is no panacea. It’s got people there, too, and people generally suck. What is has, that America doesn’t, is healthcare and people who didn’t vote for Trump. And, no mass shootings. Alas, this may not be so easy. Canada does not encourage old people who are not rich enough to invest $2 million or more.

I’m fighting, desperately, to keep my sense of humor and some perspective intact. I’ve been amusing myself with various scenarios of Trump being briefed by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As they discuss the threats, climate change will come up quickly. Will the generals be able to keep a straight face when Trump learns that it’s not a Chinese hoax?

The Republican platform calls for America to be declared a Christian nation. I wonder how that will go. Catholic or Protestant? If Protestant, which brand? There are so many because people can’t agree.

How bad is it going to get?

As near as I can figure it, being a middle brow and all, it’s going to get worse faster.

At minimum, with Trump and Republicans in both the House and Senate and with an open Supreme Court seat, we can expect environmental destruction to proceed. Soon enough, our water quality will resemble Flint’s, our air quality will resemble China’s.  China’s air quality is so bad that it is poisoning the soil, thus poisoning food.

I suppose black and brown people will be rounded up and put into detention centers, run by profiteers. Torture will proceed. Renditions of political dissenters is on the table, of course.

It’s going to be great!

So, fight or flight?

As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve done the marching, the picketing, the letter writing. Now that I’m pushing 60, I’m tired. It didn’t work before and it’s not going to work now. With the surveillance capabilities of today, any insurgency will be infiltrated. Resisters should be prepared for jail with long terms, assuming they even get a trial. Suicide by cop may be the only way to avoid jail.

Democrats are taking a conciliatory approach (or is it appeasement?) to our new leadership. These people are wrong, wrong and wronger.

And, I’m aware that there are people out there who say this is an over reaction. They say he won’t be so bad. But, as people learned in the 1930’s, it’s wise to take people at their word. When Hitler was elected, all kinds of rationalizations went on. Humans are absolutely supreme at denial and hopium.

Trump promised to build a wall, to deport Muslims and Mexicans, to dismantle Obamacare, to deregulate. I think we should believe him.  It’s really not hard to see him at Hitler 2.0.

Nothing he has done since the election makes me feel any better. I just love the idea of Ivanka, Donald Jr. and Eric the lion killer both running the Trump empire and helping daddy rule, don’t you?  No conflicts there!

I was so hoping for a few years of peace with my husband before the world crashed.

Alas. Not meant to be.

I think, without any hyperbole, that this country is headed for another civil war.

Prepare yourself. You will have to choose a side. Soon.

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