WE PAW Bloggers E-zine — Issue 65

Let us be the clarion call for a better future.

Writing Challenge: Reflecting Crisis In an Unprecedented American Post-Election Crisis; Crisis During the Pandemic; In Support of Racial Equality

We face unprecedented crises in the US election 2020 aftermath — A POTUS wages war against American democracy, inciting a siege on the nation’s Capitol, while a major party’s political leadership continues to enable him. And still, we continue to drag on and on through this period of the global pandemic with with more than 375K dead in America and nearly two MILLION dead worldwide. Even as these upheavals clutch and grasp at our world, trying to snatch hope from our fingertips… we still dare to hope. This is why we writers and creatives write to cope.

The “Write to Cope” prompt is open only to WE PAW Bloggers group members on Facebook. Member contributors were asked to submit ANY writing about our multiple crises. Each contribution is limited to 1000 words or less and may be written only submissions, or may be spoken word readings under seven minutes in length (but with text transcriptions included).

This is why we “Write to Cope” — What we writers, poets, authors, and artists of all types do reflects the joys and turmoils in our societies in which we create. We creatives are the mirrors of our society in the midst of our the still growing global pandemic and a new generation of righteous struggle for civil rights and equal justice.

Hands and hearts and minds and voices committed to working for tolerance, peace, and social justices everywhere, always. ~MomzillaNC

Enemies of America — A Nest of Vipers Bred In Our Midst

The insurrection, directed by Trump, is the snake eating its own tail. He is the head of the snake. These people are scared of our changing world — so scared that they have made themselves enemies of democracy — demonstrably the most dangerous enemies of America. His base is a nest of vipers bred in our midst; they are anti-democracy domestic terrorists.

Trump recited the Al Wilson lyrics of “The Snake” and has shown himself to be the snake in his quoted fable. And the GOP bred the snake and the viper’s nest, spendking decades sewing doubt and fear in our democratic process and institutions. They framed the chaos in which Trump revels. He ignited a conflagration of anti-democratic furor in his base… fear and anger at a world looking less like them with every generation. They live in fear and fury — white fury. Only the privilege that comes with white skin can express such a level of white fury and not be felled in a bloodbath. (Is there any doubt their siege of the Capitol would have ended in a bloodbath if the rioters had been Black and Hispanic?)

There needs to be is substantive legal repercussions — for the rioters, certainly — but also for the public officials who’ve been inciting them since 2015. The GOP public officials who helped incite insurrection on 06 January 2021, and who continue to stoke that chaos, must be finally held accountable for their decades of political malpractice, of making opinions founded in lies the agenda of the Republican Party. Legislatures, both Federal and state, need to craft new laws — in my estimation, it should be a new amendment to the US Constitution — making political malpractice by public officials a prosecutable crime. Medical and legal malpractice are prosecutable. If you lie to Congress or the courts or law enforcement, it’s Federal crime. If public figures promote a deliberately mendacious agenda to the voters, it should also be a Federal crime. NO MORE OPINION POLITICS!

Opinion politics is deadly. Six people died in Trump’s insurrection, two of whom were Capitol Police officers. Four American insurgents died, committing treason because they chose war against the democratic republic for which they claimed to stand. Bombs were left behind. To cameras insurgents proclaimed “We’re storming the Capitol. It’s a revolution, man.” Consider those two officers; one died from the physical injuries inflicted by the insurrectionists; the other later took his own life because of the injuries to his soul. Think about that officer who died from his injuries. He went down at the hands of Americans, under “Blue Lives Matter” banners and “Thin Blue Line” flags.

As the UK’s ITV News Washington Correspondent, Robert Moore said, “America’s long journey as a stable Democracy appears to be in genuine doubt.” Why? Because the POTUS — the president of the United States — is waging war against America. Pipe bombs and plastic restraints and other weapons and bombs found in the Capitol — INSIDE the Capitol building. A truck load of bombs and guns left behind. The Trump Army haven’t gone away. They wait with enthusiasm to do his bidding. His lies are become mother’s milk to them.

For this, at long last, Twitter permanently banned him for life. Facebook and Instagram suspended his accounts indefinitely. Social media platforms have finally done what the GOP and the Cabinet should have done long ago.

McConnell wants to wait for the Impeachment Trial until January 20th, one hour after the transfer of power to Biden — or until January 21st, 25 hours after the transfer of power. McConnell will no longer be the Majority Leader in the Senate… one last act of craven cowardice. Plan A, B, or C — Get him out of office NOW! Then, make his people see the lies and betrayal.

GOP “leaders” who still — returned to the Chamber after the storming of the Capitol and STILL — voted against confirming the Biden/Harris electors are auditioning for Trump’s Army and still want to convince that army they would lead them, that they are patriots and revolutionaries.

How can anyone still defend Trump?

  • Trump… the man who demeans and degrades women and people with disabilities?
  • Trump… the man who bragged he could “grab them by the p*ssy?”
  • Trump… the man who bragged, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters?”
  • Trump… the man who defends Putin agains ALL of our intelligence and law enforcement agencies?
  • Trump… the man who had babies ripped away from their parents and locked in cages — then lost the tracking information to reunite them?
  • Trump… the man who called our service people “losers” and “suckers?”
  • Trump… the man who defended Putin when we learned of Russian bounties being paid on the heads of OUR soldiers?
  • Trump… the man who solicited foreign intervention in our national elections?
  • Trump… the man who has caused literally hundreds of thousands of Americans deaths to Covid?
  • Trump… the POTUS waging war against America and inciting the storming of the Capitol?

I fear we cannot really do anything about his base. However, we must move forward to build a nation of more equal justice and economic equity — and we must, must, must educate the children of his base. But especially, and most importantly, we have to end the notion that lies as “opinions” are protected free speech. The 1st Amendment was NEVER intended to protect lies. We will never educate people if we cannot teach them to first believe quantifiable and repeatedly provable truths.

BYLINE: D. Denise Dianaty

Why the confederate flag is the perfect symbol for hardcore tRump supporters…

Image created by Arthur Browne, using photos from the public domain

It represents an old, outmoded way of thinking that most Americans, and indeed, most of the world, consider to be deplorable.

It represents a system that tried to destroy America, but was defeated, even though some people refuse to believe that fact.

It represents white privilege and dominance by the use of force.

It represents America being divided by violence.

It represents the idea that your freedom is more valuable than that of anyone else, and that you are willing to kill those people, who believe in their freedoms just as strongly as you do.

It represent the complete inability to compromise, to bargain, to be reasonable, to debate, to not get your own way every single time.

It represents a past history that everyone else is trying to move past and beyond.

It represents the few trying to force their views on the many.

It represents American soldiers in blue uniforms dying in battle to preserve the Union.

It represents a lost cause that never should have been a cause to begin with.

BYLINE: Arthur Browne

Republicans are the party of fascists

I think this sums up all my feelings on the subject. I am exhausted.

To even mention BLM in the same context as this insurrection yesterday is nothing more than gaslighting whataboutism. Black people — and many, many white people, including myself, marched, FOR racial justice and equal treatment under the law, regardless of the color of your skin. When a few hundred people looted or destroyed a business (some of which were Proud Boy agitators), the entire BLM movement was deemed a bunch of thugs.

Image from the public domain

THIS was not a march, this was not a protest, this was not for anything resembling justice, this was a riot AGAINST American Democracy. This was the first skirmish of a civil war. These were fascists attempting to overthrow the US government. And today, some Republicans want to dismiss them as extremists and outliers.

If a couple hundred people at a BLM march can condemn thousands by their actions, then why not the Republicans who descended on the Capitol yesterday; why does that not make them all traitors? I think it does. Aided and abetted by the entire Republican party for the last four years — coddling Trump, ignoring his lies and violent rhetoric — the Republican party has committed high treason.

I never thought I would live to see the day that US citizens marched on the Capitol in an effort to overturn a US election.

If Democrats are the party of socialism, then Republicans are the party of fascists.

BYLINE: Renea Dearing Dijab

Gerty Looks Both Ways

Not long ago, we stood at the nexus point between the years 2020 and 2021, a moment of great vulnerability according to some traditions. With hoopla including cheers, noisemakers, popping champagne corks, and, in our neighborhood, firecrackers, some people chased away evil spirits ready to exploit the weakness of that moment. Other people retreated if possible to the coziness and reassurance of their homes, perhaps with champagne, or more likely a little radio or CD music and an early bedtime. Still others suffered the cold, loneliness, and deprivation of a life on the skids.

Gerty had a quiet New Year’s Eve. She used to host a pot luck supper for a few friends. This year, her friends agreed to use Zoom and meet while they ate together. Gerty shared her recipe for vegetarian lasagne and each friend made her own version. When eight o’clock arrived, they met, ate, and drank some sparkling wine ‘together.’ The gathering was fun, but it wasn’t as pleasurable as the little parties they had shared in the past.

What a year, that 2020!

It began with great hopes, travel plans, plays to see, lunches with Maysie or Clarice but…

Collage of the cartoons described in this article, by Susan B. Marcus

Although in early March, she’d had lunch with Maysie, by the Ides (3/15/20), they agreed to connect by phone and email.

The Pandemic raged and Gerty stayed home most of the time. Her local grocers tried their best to limit customers and guard staff and customer health, but Gerty realized she was ordering deliveries more often than not.

She did write now and then. Staying focused was difficult. She realized she was spending much more time–hours, actually–on the couch with Rodney and a good book.

But books were a temporary distraction. Sleep was the best escape. If she could fall asleep.

She was thankful for her cat’s company. Rodney was warm and snuggly. Caring for his needs distracted her from many of her own worries. Awake she tried to relax. She did wish she could live in her dreams a bit longer. However, lingering in bed was like eating doughnuts–delicious but not as healthful as getting up and moving.

Gerty will carry on, into 2021, determined to make the best of it, but wishing her best dreams–of peace, kindness, and justice–would become a reality.

BYLINE: Susan B. Marcus

Year Has Past Like a Decade Gone

A lone whitehorn tree that is never cut down is colloquially called a “Fairy Tree” — the tradition has it that if it is ever cut down, it will anger the wee folk. Photo Credit, by Thomas Carty.

A year has passed, like a decade gone,
It feels we have aged,
Every one has a different take
On the new normal against which some raged

As if there were no lockdowns
Out of control it grows
When will it end or if it ever will
It seems that no one knows.

Still some deny it exists at all
There is no talking to folk like that
But we must be kind to those of such a mind
Coping is where they are at.

The staff who returned from far away
At own cost, yet were not hired
Selfless, putting themselves in the front line
They a whole nation they inspired.

Now we have no trained staff, play catch up
We are grateful for any progress made,
Sad for those who died who need not have
Sad for those who of the future are afraid.

A new year dawns, the frosty sun
Shows light, is bright with hope…
Whatever happens, as in times of old,
We somehow sure will cope.

BYLINE: Tomás Ó Cárthaigh

Pretty Freaking Awesome Pt. 9

How have you been coping with all the changes and restrictions?

For someone who used to go to Costco every week for entertainment and relaxation it’s been quite a change. I suppose I could still go but why expose myself to more risk than necessary? So I had to figure out a new way to entertain myself, relax, and get fresh fruits and vegetables.

Photo by Cathy Langer

Enter all the delivery services now available!

Maybe it’s because I grew up pre-internet, pre-cell phone, pre-fax even but the fact that I can get everything from bananas to fast food delivered within a matter of an hour is pretty freaking awesome. Think about it for a minute. How much riskier and less convenient would this whole pandemic be if we had to actually go to the store to get everything we needed?

Of course, I’m not writing this for those of you who are dismissing the risk and go about your business as if nothing has changed. This is for those of us who are trying to stay safe, keep others safe, and like to err on the side of caution.

And if you haven’t tried any of the plethora of delivery services for one reason or another please give it a go. Most of them run deals, wave fees, and offer other incentives so you’re not really paying much more than you would if you actually went yourself. Then, of course, there’s the question of how much your time is worth.

I was reluctant at first to have anything delivered and I know that if the pandemic had never happened I probably wouldn’t have even tried it but now I am so very grateful we have this option. It’s not just about convenience anymore. It’s about creating jobs. It’s about public safety. It’s about adapting to an ever changing and challenging landscape of society.

The implications and consequences of this past year are going to be felt far into the future and there’s no telling what they’ll be. But for now I can be grateful for the pretty freaking awesomeness of delivery services!

BYLINE: C.J. Langer

How to Deal With the Trauma of This Past Week

Photo credit: Tyler Merbler CC BY 2.0

PHIL: So, it’s been quite a week. It’s Friday as we write, impeachment and the 25th Amendment are hanging in the air, and we have been unable to focus on writing this post. The shock is like an earthquake — sorry for the stale metaphor, but it is like having something that you always thought was solid move from under you.

We don’t want to write about the politics of this because you’ve probably been exposed to too much of that by now, and that’s not what we do in this blog, yet of course we can’t ignore it, so I’d like to offer some views about how people are. People have split into two camps and it’s no longer a question of facts, it’s a question of rationality itself.

Here’s the challenge: Do you see other people in terms of their similarities or their differences? Because if you look at the differences, then multiple factions are inevitable. If you look at similarities, then detente is possible. I call this the one world position. But there is an exquisite paradox here. If you hold this one world position, you have to include people who don’t believe it, otherwise you’re back to different factions. This acceptance of diversity is precisely what saves a one world view from the fears of conformity.

This is not as easy as I make out. It avoids the question of the extent to which one person or group can make demands on others. Abortion? Environmental controls? Gun control?

Having to choose between similarity and difference is a mirage. They coexist, and the question must be which one is uppermost, or which one we choose to look at.

Maude and I have a very clear view of what makes up a successful relationship, and that is, in order: individuality, core values and acceptance. Applying these to the world at large, individuality means accepting that other people are different, both in how they behave and how they think society should be organized. You think you have the perfect answer and everybody else is wrong?

The idea behind core values is that behind individual desires, we have deeper ones, and below that, deeper needs still, and for a compatible couple, these meet at some point and a peaceful resolution can be found. For people as a whole, we all have needs for food, shelter and social contact, so surely, we can find somewhere to meet about thos.

In a relationship, once core values are aligned, you can then practice total acceptance; that whatever the other person does is not a cause for conflict because there is always some place where you can find agreement. And so that should be the case in general, that we can find common interests with other people if we look deep enough.

Now that may seem very idealistic in the face of what we are seeing today in politics, but the way to get there is to communicate without anger and to seek understanding. Yes, that’s a huge challenge in the face of separate realities and a history of wrongs, but if you want one world, that is what you have to do.

MAUDE: Amid the turmoil and trauma of this past week, it has been challenging to write a blog about relationships. And yet, in the end, that is what it is all about. How will we all decide to relate to each other?

Some of the thoughts that really struck me as I listened to broadcast after broadcast were that words count and the acts that we take matter. And so I call upon you, each in your own way, to participate with us in words and actions that further spread peace one relationship at a time. How, you may wonder? In this time where hatred and confusion are promoted, many others are asking the same question.

The choice that faces us is whether we come from fear or love. In the end, it is that simple. Are we going to act as agencies for fear, or will we live and spread love as we pass by? We wish for the best possible outcome for all. And here lies another one of the issues at the crux of real change. Are we acting alone, only concerned for ourselves and our own little group, or do we believe and act upon the understanding that we are all connected, all part of one big global family. If the latter, then we must put that in the forefront of all our decisions and choices. Hope Can Dawn With The New Year

The cornerstone of peaceful conflict-free relating is the practice of mutuality: the certainty that it is possible to find mutual solutions and the act of creating them. This requires the ability to search beyond differences to find the matching values. It requires the desire to understand and honor the needs of the other…Just as it is necessary to believe in and desire mutuality, concomitant aspects are also required: not seeking out argument or division, not being driven by a need to be right, not looking for power dominance over others or always wanting your way (not seeing that the ‘other’ way might actually be the same only dressed up in different details.) Why is Mutuality Important in Your Relationships?

I know that what we are all facing together is huge, as many have come to believe that the divide between people and belief systems is so great that we cannot breach it; that basic morality is at issue here — opposing core values that cannot be accepted. Yes, this is a great challenge. It is by growing through these challenges, and through finding our way to love and learning how to respond with love in these challenging situations, that we lay the groundwork for peace. What each of us does matters!

BYLINE: Phil Mayes and Maude Maureen Amato Mayes

Editorial statement

We write to cope because we see a world leadership leading us to our worst inclinations with mendacity and cruelty. And, we see our fellow humanity following, supporting that leadership. We write to cope because the world is broken and we hope our words may help the healing begin.

“If you must support or do wrong to achieve what you believe to be good, then there is no good in your achievement.” ~MomzillaNC

If you wish to contribute to this ezine, please join the group on Facebook. All writing creatives are welcome.

D. Denise Dianaty, Editor and Graphic Designer for the WE PAW Bloggers E-Zine. Administrator for the writers forum “WE PAW Bloggers” group and its sister group “Pandora’s Box of Horrors” on Facebook. In addition to being a self-published author and poet, artist, art-photographer, and administrator of the group, “WE PAW Bloggers,” Denise is a graphic designer with 25+ years experience, predominately in print media.



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