Shun Control

I broke silence, wrote about why I need to join the resistance on my YBWorks blog.

I expect negative feedback from family and friends who voted for Trump. Some will quietly unfriend me on Facebook, others will blow up my phone. I might get shunned again.

Oh well, shunning only works the first time… then you find yourself not willing to let yourself get too close again. Trust is gone… if they can shun you once, they can do it again.

It was my fault… I did the unthinkable… I survived and thrived without a husband and that, dear friends, set a very bad example for my married sisters.

It took awhile to connect the dots. 

I never really understood why I got shunned… the explanation given when my youngest sister broke silence was a vague excuse carefully worded so I wouldn’t ask any questions. She had to deal with some “personal” things.   

Okay, like that explains two long years of absolutely no contact, the bullshit story used to ensure that our paths would never cross, and the disconnect from other relatives who also shunned me as they took her side in our imaginary war.

Yes, word was that me and baby sis were fighting so much that we couldn’t be in the same room, so I was not invited to any family function that she planned to attend… even our family Christmas party was split into two events, held on separate days.

Two long years passed with absolutely no contact before our paths crossed at a family cookout hosted by other sisters to celebrate two birthdays: my 50th and mom’s 69th.

When I arrived, a big “uh-oh, aunt Nancy is here” flashed over faces on in the next generation down. Baby sis was in the house so I walked in… that’s when she hugged me and apologized with the weak excuse.  After talking, we were okay… but the young ones who had taken her side continued to shun me. I found that rather amusing, like who goes to a birthday party and doesn’t say one word to the birthday girl? One niece actually lifted her nose and turned her head as she walked passed me.

The weird thing about shunning is it intends to punish people by withdrawing highly desired contact and affection, as if the person being shunned will be thrilled to once again be welcomed back into the family fold. If too much time passes, the opposite effect is achieved. The shunned person is not so willing to fully embrace those who are capable of shunning people they supposedly love. The closeness once shared can never be restored as the trust is gone.

I know, supposed to let bygones be bygones, life goes on… but, seven years have passed since she broke the silence and we are not as close as we used to be. I still feel a distance between us. As for the young ones, time has made us strangers. We say hello on the rare occasions when our paths cross, but we don’t know each other anymore. Some have birthed babies who are now school aged children that I have never met.

It always bothered me that I never really knew why I got shunned. If there was a plausible why, I could understand. For nine years, I did not know why. Then a light bulb of illumination clicked on just a couple months ago, when I heard an older relative say, “Married women who want to stay married do not associate with divorced women.”

She went on to elaborate, explain the perils of such associations.

I had heard those words before, in regards to another sister with whom contact was limited after my divorce. I had blamed her husband… thought that odd idea came from his church.

Now it all makes sense… baby sis must have taken the old lady’s advice, abruptly cut off all contact with me while she was desperately trying to salvage her marriage.

So, why did I go off on this tangent?

Oh yes… the possibility of being shunned again, which raises a question: Is the possibility of being shunned for your opinion an effective deterrent used to silence voices?



Hail the Walrus

My personal opinion of the new POTUS as a human being can be summed into one word: despicable.

I almost feel sorry for his wife, as news clips and photos snapped on inauguration day revealed his lack of gentlemanly respect for his own spouse, but… she picked him. Same goes for this country. The voters, by the electoral college, picked him.

Time to come together as a nation, yadda-yadda… bull.

Sorry, I’m not ready to hold hands and sing Kumbaya… Trump ran on a campaign of hate and division, which sparked miniature civil wars between friends and within families. No, I am not one of those liberals crying because Hillary lost. I’m just dealing with emboldened idiots (including relatives) posting blatantly racist celebratory nonsense.

Did I ever mention Walrus men?

One of my observations from working in skilled trades for a global corporation was how the weathered old union men would stand shoulder to shoulder in solidarity across the back of the room, waiting and listening with arms crossed, as a company man up on stage painted another picture of the future. They reminded me of unmovable Walruses.

I am like one of those walrus men, waiting and watching, skeptical of what will come in the Trump administration. So far, it is not good. Thank God for term limits.

Thanks for reading.

Shutdown 101

An unauthorized, unsolicited opinion of what is happening in the United States government by a somewhat intelligent and semi-informed  grandmother in Northeast Ohio who considers all politcal news is like eating fish… got to spit out the bones.

Okay kiddos, remember High School Civics?  That chapter in the book on how a bill becomes a law?

That is what started all this nonsense.  A bill called the “Affordable Care Act” was introduced, debated, tweaked, and put up for a vote.  Both the House and the Senate PASSED the bill and it was signed into law by our President. 

The people who wanted the bill to become law were very happy and the people who didn’t want it to become law were NOT happy.  In fact, the “losers” were royally pissed, partly because most of the people who didn’t like the bill were still pissed off that the guy they wanted to be President had lost. 

Okay, so they started a corporate backed pretend grassroots movement called the Tea Party with some really wacked ideas… like ONLY people who think exactly like they do are “real” Americans, like the rest of us are all fake, hate our country, don’t shoot guns, and all sorts of other nonsense.

Anyway, they believe that THEY are the ONLY “real” Americans and they need to take “their” country back, so the corporate backers threw a lot of money into the off year elections (when only about a third of the voters actually show up to vote) and helped get enough tea party members elected into the House of Representatives for the Republican Party to seize control of the House.  Yes, the tea party ran on the Republican ticket, some as Independents, but most ran as Republicans.

There is an odd dance going on with Republicans and the Tea Party.  The Republicans need the Tea Party so they can be in control, but the Tea Party are freaking radical right wingers who may have slept in Civics classes as they don’t seem to understand HOW our system works. The Republican Party need them, but they cannot control them.

So… we have extremely bad losers elected by bad losers for the sole purpose of throwing a monkey wrench into the gears pretty much controlling the House of Representatives.  That’s what’s going on.

Okay, back to “Obamacare” as the Affordable Care Act is often called.  Remember how the losers were really mad when that bill passed? 

In our system, we CAN overturn “bad” laws.  There is a way to do that.  Usually, a new bill to repeal the bad bill (or to replace the bad bill with a better bill) is introduced, debated on, tweaked, and put up for a vote.  Same process as the original bill went through.

They tried that.  It failed.  So they tried it again.  And again. And again.  Like over 40 times!  Maybe 45, and every time, it failed. 

Do they give up?

No… remember we are talking about some very sore losers here.  They are so mad that they CAN’T overturn that law (at this time in history) that they found a way to BACK DOOR jam it ineffective by refusing to pass a routine “time to pay the bills” measure unless the bill they don’t like is defunded. 

Yes, after 40 to 45 FAILED ATTEMPTS to overturn or change it the “right way” per how our system works, now they are trying to FORCE what THEY want onto everybody else, to “win” by cheating.

Basically, they are holding the country hostage like bratty little kids screaming and carrying on, refusing to eat their veggies because they don’t like veggies, they want candy.  Unfortunately, we cannot spank them or make them sit in a corner. 

Our government is “shut down” because the funding measure was not authorized so they money needed to pay for things was not released. 

They talk on the news about how this will hurt the economy, but the bottom line is this nonsense will hurt the “we the people” and when “we the people” hurt enough, we will retaliate at the ballot box. 

So, of course there is a lot of propaganda circulating social media trying to spin it off as the Democrats and Obama’s fault.  “If only they would defund that bill or delay some of the requirements” spin on things.  They are like bratty little kids about that, too.  Finger pointing at each other saying, “he did it.” 

Anyway, you can believe whatever you want…

I will find it extremely ironic and somewhat amusing if that Affordable Care Act proves to be very beneficial for the American people.  Right now, there is too much scare tactic propaganda bull circulating about it and no one really know exactly how it works yet. 

The “mandatory” aspect IS a problem… we are Americans.  We don’t like it when people try to tell us that we “have to” do anything, even if it is beneficial.  We want to make up our own minds, decide for our own selves.  It may be better to just lay it all out, provide the opportunity to get “affordable” health insurance and let it go at that.  If it is a good thing, people will sign up for it.   If it is not for them, they will walk away. 

Ironic the tea party wants to mandate a law change over a law that make something mandatory.

Years ago, I gave an unplanned speech on another government program, something the State of Ohio cooked up in the way of welfare reform.  I called it “mandatory opportunity” – in essense, I spoke in favor of the mandatory distribution of opportunity information with the belief that the impoverished would take advantage of opportunities if they knew opportunities existed and were available to them.  At the time, imformation about opportunities was withheld as if it such information was a big secret that no one was allowed to tell. 

I also spoke out about the importance of owning your own achievements, how mandatory opportunity steals people’s sense of accomplishment.  The state program took credit for making people do what they would have done if they had only been provided information about opportunities in the first place.

I spoke out against mandatory opportunity when asked what I thought about applying for a grant to start a “Women of Wonder” program, a student organization with mandatory attendence for the anticipated increased enrollment of impoverished women forced by the state into education at the Salem Campus of Kent State University in the early 1990s.  The administrator who asked my opinion went ahead and got the grant for her “WOW” club, which everyone knew really stood for “women on welfare” and I found myself speaking out again about stereotypes because some of the proposed programs with mandatory attendance were downright insulting.  Must impoverished female college students be forced to attend workshops on personal hygiene?

Okay, so I went a little off topic, but the same thing is going on here… it is mandatory opportunity, only this mandatory opportunity is for health insurance.

That is the only “bad” thing I see about Obamacare right now.  I think there is a lot of good provisions in the law, that many people will greatly benefit.

If they took out the mandatory aspect, will information about available opportunities be distributed so people will know what options do exist?  Or will those who love to keep poor or working class people down just find ways to keep the information secret so people cannot take advantage of the good provisions?

I don’t know… fact is, its already passed into law. 

It needs to be tried and tested before we really know if it is a good law or a bad law.   If it proves bad, there will be enough support to overturn or fix it through the proper channels of how bills become laws in this country.  A bunch of sore losers holding the country hostage in attempt to do what they failed to do 40 to 45 times is flat out WRONG.

Okay, that’s my opinion.  Y’all can argue amongst your selves if you disagree.  Thank you.