We Will Always Share This Bond

We’ve learned a lot about ourselves
in the last four years, haven’t we?
We’ve learned what we’re made of,
what needed to be fixed, what’s
important to us, and what we love.
We came together, worked shoulder-
to-shoulder, side by side,
bolstering each other up,
sharing inspiration, sharing the ride,
sharing a good laugh now and then,
letting Love guide.
We’re maybe not looking our best –
we’re battle-weary, battered, bedraggled –
but we’re not beaten.
And look at all we’ve done together!
We will always share this bond, my friend.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

Karen, Did You Watch the Debate?

Friend: Karen, did you watch the debate?

Karen: Every f***ing minute of it.

Friend: What did you think?

Karen: “Stand back and stand by”?!! If 40% of my fellow citizens are fine with that then we are in real trouble here.

Friend: No, he just misspoke.

Karen: If he misspoke then he needs to clarify that. He needs to very clearly say, “I denounce the Proud Boys. I denounce white supremacists. White supremacy has no place in our nation.” And he needs to say this without having his fingers crossed behind his back and without a wink-wink nudge-nudge. He has had two days now to denounce the Proud Boys and he has not done this. I think we can assume he’s not going to.

Friend: But did you notice Biden didn’t answer any questions?

Karen: No crap! Trump kept interrupting him!!!

Friend: Well, Biden should be able to handle that kind of pressure if he’s going to be president.

Karen: Biden is not a pre-school teacher. He shouldn’t be expected to placate toddlers having tantrums. Presidents move on the world stage – dealing with other international leaders who are grown-ups – dealing with pre-schoolers having tantrums is not Biden’s area of expertise, and we shouldn’t expect it to be.

– Karen Molenaar Terrell

(I wish I’d taken a photo of the faces of the PBS commentators at the end of the debate to paste here. They looked like they’d just been through a battle – eyes wide, faces drawn. I felt tremendous sympathy for them and empathy with them.)

Okay. Here Goes…

Reply to a friend who tagged me in a comment –

I’m guessing that any dialogue we have about this is just going to be frustrating and futile for both of us. I love you – but I do not agree with your assessment of Mr. Trump’s abilities to lead this country. If you’re really interested, here is my response –

Yes, I’m glad Trump used 35 million in Justice Department grants to help aid human trafficking victims – but I think we need to be clear that this wasn’t his personal money – this was actually OUR money – as tax payers – that he used for this. (As we don’t know if Trump has ever paid taxes because he refuses to show us his tax returns – it might be assumed that he, personally, contributed NOTHING to helping these victims.) You mentioned Bill Clinton – I did not vote for Bill Clinton the second time he ran for president because he struck me as dishonest (I voted for Ralph Nader). Trump has shown me he is dishonest, also – time and again his actions and words have proven this.

Mr. Trump could care less about protecting women – he is himself a sex predator. He has bragged about entering the rooms of teenage beauty contestants as they dress. He has bragged about “grabbing pussy.” He has been accused of rape and sexual harassment by dozens of women – and no, there is no excuse for any of this. I wonder if all those who shrug Trump’s behavior off as “locker room” antics would be shrugging it off if Mr. Trump were Black. If a Black man had bragged about “grabbing pussy” and entering the rooms of teenage beauty contestants – if a Black man had been accused of sexual harassment by dozens of women – would it be shrugged off?

How anyone who is against sex trafficking can support Mr. Trump is beyond my understanding. Mr. Trump is not an honorable man. If he has some secret to ending sex trafficking then he should have let us all know about it long ago so the sex trafficking would end. You have been totally focused on this one thing – sex trafficking – for months now. And sex trafficking is evil – of course! – but what about the children separated from their mothers and still locked in cages?! What about Mr. Trump’s mocking of the disabled?! What about the disrespect he’s shown to our veterans?! What about the money he stole from his charity to use for himself?! What about the way he sent in military police to push aside peaceful protesters so he could hold a Bible in front of a church that didn’t want him there?!

Mr. Trump is not worthy to lead this nation.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

America Isn’t Trump’s Private Corporation

No, it is not his decision to make. It is up to the voters. He can’t just ignore what the voters decide. That is what happens in a dictatorship – not in a democracy. For him to suggest we ‘get rid of the ballots’ is traitorous to our nation and an attack on our Constitution. America isn’t his private corporation. It doesn’t belong to him. It belongs to us.

And if any of my friends tries to justify this, excuse this, explain this away – or tries to say that this is not a big deal – you are wasting your time here. I was a history major, remember. Cum laude and all that. I’ve TAUGHT American history. Trust me – THIS IS A BIG DEAL.

Because Business and Politics Don’t Mix

See? This is why we shouldn’t put business executives in charge of our schools, prisons, courts, military, environment, or nation. Business executives think in terms of financial profit, rather than social progress; competition, rather than cooperation; what we can do for THEM, rather than what they can do for US. They aren’t going to go out of their way to help you if your home is burning, your family is sick, you’re being attacked by racists – unless there’s some way for their company to gain something from it. A CEO’s goal is to beat out and squash the competition (anyone who doesn’t work for their financial company) and win the race for the most wealth accumulated. Their goal is to prepare students to serve them in their corporations. Their goal is to privatize prisons, health care, schools, parks, and the postal service to make a profit. Their instinct is to use the natural environment for short-term financial gain, rather than to conserve and preserve it for future generations.

Are business executives “bad” people? Nope. But if they want to work as public servants, they can no longer be business executives – they need to give up their positions, wealth, and instincts as business people and shift their perspective – look at the world in a whole new way – because business and politics don’t mix.
-Karen Molenaar Terrell

“All guys are like that, right?”

I’ve been debating all day whether I should address this or not. I still don’t know. I guess what I’ll do is type out my thoughts and then decide at the end if I want to hit the “publish” button or not.

So. At first the folks who liked Mr. Trump were excusing his misbehavior by saying “no one’s perfect – we all have our faults – what president hasn’t made mistakes?” Trying to make it sound like he was just like the rest of us – no better and no worse. So what if he said he could grab pussy whenever he wanted? That’s just locker room talk – all guys are like that, right? So what if he didn’t pay taxes – wouldn’t you not pay your taxes if you could get away with it? So he’s maybe not always “politically correct” – but he’s honest, right? He’s funny, right? (The answers to the questions are – no, not every guy is like that; no, if I could get away with not paying my taxes, I would STILL pay my taxes – I have no problem contributing to the infrastructure and well-being of my fellow citizens; being “politically correct” just means being kind and thoughtful – mocking disabled people is not being honest – it’s being cruel; no, he’s not funny.)

Now his supporters are telling me that they don’t really like him, either – they know he’s a narcissist, a jerk – but he’s so “effective” that they’re going to vote for him, anyway. Which. Wha…?

He’s so effective that the Russian government put a bounty on the heads of our military personnel in Afghanistan and he’s not done anything to stop it. He’s so effective that our country is in a lockdown, our economy is going down the toilet, our allies are no longer allowing us through their borders, our postal service is under threat.

Mr. Trump is not a good human being, and he is certainly NOT a good president.

His Rival’s Revival Rap

He thinks of the post office and his
constituents as his business rivals –
competition to be overcome and
not responsible for their survival –
But come November his “rivals”
will know a revival
and our country will go beyond tribal
survival.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

GunsandGod

Why do folks put guns and God – “gunsandGod” – together in the same breath like they’re somehow connected – somehow equivalent? It makes no sense to me.

Ed Mazza wrote a story in “The Huffington Post” that talked about our president’s attack on his political rival, Joe Biden – an attack that appeared to include the “guns” and “God” equivalency. Mazza relates: “Although Biden is a practicing Catholic who has for years talked openly about his faith, Trump claimed he was ‘against God,’ then launched into a rambling attack on Thursday: ‘Take away your guns, destroy your Second Amendment. No religion, no anything. Hurt the Bible. Hurt God. He’s against God. He’s against guns. He’s against energy. Our kind of energy.’

Mazza continues: “Biden later defended his faith as the ‘bedrock foundation’ of his life.’It’s provided me comfort in moments of loss and tragedy, it’s kept me grounded and humbled in times of triumph and joy,’ he said. He described Trump as ‘shameful’ for the attack. He added: ‘My faith teaches me to love my neighbor as I would myself while President Trump only seeks to divide us. My faith teaches me to care for the least among us while President Trump seems to only be concerned about his gilded friends. My faith teaches me to welcome the stranger while President Trump tears families apart. My faith teaches me to walk humbly while President Trump teargassed peaceful protesters so he could walk over to a church for a photo op’.”

Guns and God. Turnips and God makes as much sense to me. If you love God, you must love turnips, too, right? Or… if you don’t love turnips, you must not love God? Or… if you love turnips you must love guns…and God…? Eesh. Maybe it’s all too deep for me to understand.

Anyway. Here’s some of what The Bible actually says about weapons:
“Wisdom is better than weapons of war.”
– Ecclesiastes 9:18

“They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.”
-Isaiah 2:4

“Then said Jesus unto him, Put up again thy sword into his place:for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”
– Matthew 6:25

And here’s what Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of Christian Science, has to say about “the cannon’s mouth”:
“A few immortal sentences, breathing the omnipotence of divine justice, have been potent to break despotic fetters and abolish the whipping post and slave market; but oppression neither went down in blood, nor did the breath of freedom come from the cannon’s mouth. Love is the liberator.”

-Karen Molenaar Terrell

(Photo of cannons at Antietam by Karen Molenaar Terrell.)

 

Trump Not the Answer

Originally posted in The Skagit Valley Herald (7/29/2020)
The political signs are up now. Every time I drive by one of Trump’s “Keep America Great” signs I have a deep visceral reaction. I mean — seriously? — keep America great?! I don’t know whether to laugh or cry. Or scream.

My country is in serious need of not keeping things as they are. We are in the midst of a pandemic — caused, in part, by Trump’s lack of leadership, and lack of concern for his citizens.

We have government agents in our streets — rounding up innocent protesters, beating and detaining them unlawfully as they try to practice their First Amendment rights. We have an environment that is being poisoned relentlessly by corporate greed. Racism is running rampant.

Our constitution is threatened by the very person who took an oath to protect it. We are in deep trouble here. And no, Trump is not the answer.

Karen Molenaar Terrell

Response to Friends Who Talk About Rioting

A couple of my Facebook friends have talked about the rioting and violence that have occurred concurrently with some of the Black Lives Matter protests. I’ve been responding individually to their comments, but I thought it might save me time if I just did a copy and paste of my last response to a friend and saved it here:

Yeah. I hear you. CHOP in Seattle was a mess – I ain’t going to disagree with you there. But… if you scroll down my wall you’ll see an interesting post about who’s actually been causing the mayhem – and, according to a story in the Washington Post, it is apparently not “antifa” – it’s been caused mostly by ‘local hooligans, sometimes gangs, sometimes just individuals that are trying to take advantage of an opportunity.’ According to the article, the alt-right “Boogaloo” movement has played a part in the violence, too.

From my own experience participating in the local BLM rally in Burlington, the only maybe threatening and intimidating element I saw there were the half a dozen Trump supporters standing off to the side with their rifles, self-appointed to “keep the peace.” The actual police officers there – whom I thanked for their support – were very calm and friendly – and the protest was entirely peaceful.

The racism and hate crimes in this country need to end. Now. None of us who are true Americans can allow it to continue for even one more day. And when the bulk of our president’s Fourth of July speech is loaded with division and hate for his own constituents – instead of the compassion and understanding we all sorely need right now – we need to call him on it.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

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