This & That

It’s been a while since I’ve written. Lots going on. Most of it VERY good. In no particular order:

–Kaela has been ROCKING it. That kid has gone on a personal fitness crusade and Take-Care-0f-Kaela crusade (with a little help from mum) and MAN has she been hard core! She’s lost (what one barn lady described as) “a sh*t-ton of weight”! She’s doing it right, in moderation and with exercise so no worries there. She’s just taking good care of herself, and that’s awesome.

One of the horse’s Kaela cares for. She sent it to me with the text “Look at that face!” LOL.

At the other barn where she works, she’s had a one or two hiccups that were pretty serious (nothing serious-serious, but serious enough) and I mention that only because it’s not just that’s she doing great at her job, she’s doing great at RECOVERING from some MISTAKES she’s made at her job which says (to borrow a phrase;) “sh*t-ton” about her! It’s one thing to be good at your job. It’s next-level to recover exceedingly well from mistakes at your job. I couldn’t be more proud of her, and happily, her boss feels the same way.

Her friend invited her to join a summer theater group at her church so she’s doing her first musical! She’s having a blast. I cannot tell you how proud I am of her. Her job, the theater group, all of it is her doing, her choice, done on her own without mom and it’s a joy to see.

Coryne has returned from her first year away at school her lovely self, as even-tempered and kind as always, and pretty clear and what she wants to do with her life. It is, as one would expect, uniquely Coryne! She’s decided it’s a life of psychology for her, but with a twist! She wants to do comparative psychology, with her time split – somehow – between animal-assisted counseling, specifically canine, and – this is the really Coryne part – studying wolves in the wild.

Now, before you roll your eyes, this is actually a thing. Obviously we all know about dogs assisting humans, like therapy dogs for vets with PTSD, that kind of thing, which is the kind of counseling Coryne would like to do, but more with a focus on young people who have had traumas, or have regulation issues that can be assisted with a therapy dog, that kind of thing. But the wolves-in-the-wild thing is part of it, since, obviously, they are canines – sort-of the purest canines we have, living in the wild as they do. Seems Coryne had a talk with some girl, a recent graduate of her college at a 3-day seminar she went to near her school. The way she described it so Coryne! “If you Google ‘wolves’ and click ‘images’ this girl knows every wolf by name – most of them personally!” Seems this girl’s career path involved doing a winter internship at a wolf sanctuary in Minnesota.

Winter. Minnesota. Wolves. Outside.

My kid actually wants to do this. LOL. Like I said, “uniquely Coryne!”

So she’s a kid with plan. She knows she’s got to go all the way; to Ph.D. And she’ all-in. She may even decide to do her Masters in… Texas.

Which brings me to Leigh!

Leigh has had herself QUITE the summer! She got a KICK-ASS internship in Texas. (Speaking of weather extremes…) She has been having an ABSOLUTE BLAST. They have been so, so, so, so good to her! She’s working mostly with veterans, in a very small group of graphic design interns, doing things that are directly related to her major and learning tons, making great friends, and growing up. I said to Mike that this feels like a transformational summer for her. That this was a very big deal for her, emotionally, and really in every which way. It’s had a real effect on her. In a good way. And she was a great kid to begin with. I’m so proud of her I could bust. So proud of ALL my girls. I keep waiting for the other shoe to drop and it never does. I can’t possibly raise three girls and not have SOME disaster, right? <<keeping fingers crossed>> 😉

Oh! I forgot to mention that Leigh & Coryne are talking about how cool it would be if she did her master’s there because it’s all but certain Leigh will be moving there for a job resulting from her internship (this isn’t mom being mom – it truly is all but certain she’ll be going) and there’s an *excellent* university literally minutes from where Leigh will be working so they are very excited about the prospect of rooming together while Corynee does her post-graduate work. We’ll see!

That’s all for now. There’s more. But that’s all for now.

Royal Birth, Commoner Death

(See Saturday, April 28th update at bottom.)

I won’t write at length about this (it physically hurts, it truly, physically hurts me to think about this too much), but it’s too important to go without notice. It regards little Alfie Evans, a gravely ill 2 year old British boy, and the royals’ newborn son.

The same day a royal baby was born a commoner baby’s life support was withdrawn against the wishes of his parents. The  stories coming out of the last few days are absolutely soul-crushing: Alfie’s father has given his 2 year old son mouth-to-mouth when his lips turned blue from lack of oxygen. He wasn’t fed for nearly 2 full days. The doctors said they didn’t expect him to last 5 minutes off the ventilator, but 5 days later, he’s still going. (They finally allowed him to be fed. The state’s decided he’ll just suffocate himself to death, evidently.) The Vatican says they’ll take him. The hospital won’t let them remove him from the hospital. They won’t let the Vatican take him. They won’t even let them take him home to die.

There is nothing – NOTHING – more important than the ability to have the last & final word on the care of your own children. If ever there were a more clear example of why our ancestors fled England for freedom it’s this: there, you are a subject. Here, YOU ARE FREE. The STATE is not your child’s parent. YOU ARE YOUR CHILD’S PARENTS. It’s ASTONISHING that EVEN NEEDS TO BE SAID! To come between the most basic, primal, sacred space between a parent and child is monstrous.

This is what happens when you put your literal lives in the hands of the state. The state doesn’t give a sh*t about you. They care about the collective. And the collective cannot afford to care for this hopeless blob of defective flesh.

Do you understand? Do you understand what that means? YOUR CHILD ISN’T YOUR OWN.

Now I ask you: if one of the royal children were so afflicted, do you think they’d insist on pulling the plug and letting this child starve/asphyxiate to death?

Of course not. I can’t stand it. I cannot stand this. But I had to note it. It’s monstrously evil and I thank GOD we are in America and PRAY we never ever let Obamacare fully bloom. The damned thing’s tripled our monthly insurance rates as it is, and I know we’re not alone.


— UPDATE Saturday, April 28th: RIP little man.

From Comrade to Rocket-Man

(**UPDATE added below)

It’s hard to overstate the magnitude of what just happened on the Korean peninsula! And how fast!*

In 1989 I was 24 years old, had just moved to San Francisco, and had just gotten my first on-air job out there at KTID in San Rafael. I remember living in North Beach, just up the hill from the Trattoria Contadina, and marveling at the happiness of the East German people breaching the wall to greet West Germans on the other side.

I didn’t fully understand or appreciate it then, but I do now. I knew enough to know they’d lived in what I perceived to be a dark, cold, grey place, largely cement, and un-free, a relic of the old Soviet Union, also a dark, cold, grey place, largely cement and un-free. Being American, it didn’t require any esoteric knowledge to know freedom is better, and what they had in East Germany was not freedom, so obtaining it would, of course, be a joyous event!

I remember Tom Brokaw anchoring the coverage. I don’t remember a thing he said but I remember the young people, my age at the time, taking sledge hammers to the high, ugly wall, and pulling their new friends up to stand victoriously on top of it.

It took two and a half years from “tear down this wall” to the wall actually coming down. Reagan’s advisors were literally begging him to not say it in the limo on the way to the speech. They feared a “red line” (as it were) that, should it not happen, would make Reagan look weak. As we’ve learned from recent, bitter history, a President’s words mean something: you can’t put down a “red line” or a line in the sand unless you a prepared to back it up, or the Office is harmed, we’re ALL harmed as Americans. It weakens the presidency, and the country, quite apart from the man.

Reagan knew the Soviets were on fumes, he knew it was an enormous risk, but he’d basically spent them into oblivion. He did a more subtle version of Trump’s “my rocket is bigger than your rocket” by actually, well, building rockets! Where Trump said it, clumsily, audaciously, Reagan just went quietly about the business of making Gorbachev win the pissing contest – with Gorbachev spending everything he could beg, borrow or steal to have bigger, better, badder rockets than Reagan did – and it worked.

To borrow a phrase popular today, he “broke him.” But in Reagan’s day, when you “broke” someone, that meant you bankrupted him. And two and a half years later, the cold war, having lasted Reagan’s entire adult life, ended, not with a bullet, but a handshake.

It was an extra-ordinary moment. When people say “war is just diplomacy by other means” Reagan “diplomacy-d” Gorbachev into peace by making him buy weapons of war until he ran out of money. “Peace through strength” indeed.

And now we have “Rocket-Man,” the 3rd generation of the 68 year reign of the Kims, crossing into South Korea as the first North Korean leader to do so since the Korean war “ceased hostilities.”

This all just happened in the last 24 hours. I don’t know how it will end, but it damned sure skippy looks like a rock solid start. The BBC called it a “seismic” event.

I’m speechless. *Fingers-crossed.*

*”Fast” meaning from Kim Jong-Un shooting off rockets & threatening the nuke the world, to “Hey howdy! Let’s be friends!” Less than a year! You’d think there would be some period of peace, some looooooong transition away from three generations of that kind of thinking, but here we are.

**UPDATE: A few hours after I pub’d this blog post, I came across this video. Seemed worthwhile to add it.

3 Years Gone

It will be three years tomorrow since my mother passed. There’s not a day that goes by I don’t think of her. I miss her laugh so much. I miss looking at catalogues with her. I miss asking her advice on thorny issues, she had a great radar about people and what the right thing to do was, always. I miss calling her about recipes. I miss sharing news about the girls. I can’t tell you how many times my impulse has been to pick up the phone when something great’s happened with one of them and… I don’t. She’s not there.

I miss going out to lunch with her. The first few months after her death I couldn’t go to lunch alone without crying. I felt like such an idiot. For instance, I was coming down from a doctor’s appointment in Boston just a short time after she passed and I stopped at Chateau in Braintree to get take out for dinner for the family that night. So I sat in the bar to have a salad to wait for the order and I started crying. The tears just stung my eyes and I couldn’t stop it. It happened a handful of times after that too. I’d just look across at the empty seat and remember how many times she’d be there and it just tore me up. Same thing with clothes shopping. We’d stop by Nordstrom and just going through a rack and she’s say something awful or I’d say something awful and we’d start laughing and I’d remember us doing that and I stood there a couple of times like an idiot just crying. I didn’t make a spectacle of myself or anything. But I couldn’t stop it. The tears just stung my eyes and I felt gut-punched at the thought I’d never see her again and they just came. I haven’t been able to go to lunch or go through a rack of clothes for three years without thinking of her. At least I’m not crying like an idiot anymore.

It took me until summer of the year she died to finally take her name off my iPhone. I remember where & when I did it like I remember where I was on 9/11 for crying out loud. I was in the parking lot at Stop & Shop in Pembroke when I finally decided it was time. I sat there in my car crying my eyes out. It felt awful. Just… erasing her like that.

I just miss her. ❤💔❤

“The Red Hats are Coming! The Red Hats are Coming!”

“Jeff Flake is a fraud. Bob Corker is a fraud. …Only a progressive could say they’re going to quit the game – but not yet, later – and in-between trash-talk the ref! That’s what Flake & Corker are doing!” 

There’s no CRYING in BASEBALL!” That movie line has become part of our national vernacular because it’s funny and true and so widely applicable to any situation in which adults find themselves swinging & missing.

There’s been an awful lot of swinging & missing going on in our civic life of late. And it’s come with a heavy, damned near oppressive dose of sanctimony. Like a traffic-stopping blanket of fog, all commerce comes to a halt so you can watch this strange manifestation of nature envelope the ordinary, the mundane, and obscure it into something unseeable, unrecognizable.

Jeff Flake is a fraud. Bob Corker is a fraud. But to hear the garbage media tell it, they’re fcking Paul Revere, warning us “The Red Hats are coming! The Red Hats are coming!” What a NOXIOUS load of codswollup!

Jeff Flake & Bob Corker have both announced their intentions to not seek re-election then immediately went on to lament the leadership at the WH. Had these bastards done this when they were at risk of being called a racist, I might be impressed. My difficulties with Trump are well known. But I’ve come to appreciate the creative destruction he hath wrought. He’s ripping the scales off these bastards and they’re revealing themselves. Gleefully. Self-righteously. And they don’t even realize that they’re just confirming everything we’ve always known about them: THEY’RE PROGRESSIVE REPUBLICANS.

Only a progressive could say they’re going to quit the game – but not yet, later – and in-between trash-talk the ref! That’s what Flake & Corker are doing!

Conservative Review’s Daniel Horowitz column here – from August – is my primal scream. I can’t say it better. Please read it and know my political soul!

No, Jeff Flake, YOU are How We got Trump
August 02, 2017 by Daniel Horowitz via The Conservative Review

What do you call someone who lectures players on how to play ball but then grounds into a double play every time he’s up to bat? A Jeff Flake. Or maybe just a plain flake.

If Senator Jeff Flake would expend a fraction of the energy he spends on sanctimoniously promoting his work on giving a forceful vision for conservatism on the Senate floor, we would have a different party. Most ironic, if not for the disgusting posturing and vacuous vision of those like Flake, we wouldn’t have Trump as the leader of the Republican Party in the first place. Flake is the embodiment of the intellectually bankrupt party that gave rise to Trump. Flake is so worried now about the effect of Trump on the party he never had a vision for before. If he wants to know how we got here, he should look in the mirror.

This week, the GOP media machine has been promoting Jeff Flake’s new book, a smug and sanctimonious polemic about his concerns over the future of conservatism. Except it has nothing to do with the authentic concerns all of us have about the party — the party that has stood for nothing on social, fiscal, or national security issues while the left has marched on, more truculent than ever in its pursuit of cultural and economic Marxism.

Jeff Flake is the poster child for the frustrating dynamic many of us have been confronted with in the past two years — the false choice between the status-quo failed GOP establishment and Trump. For those who were seeking a true American revolution built upon the timeless principles laid out in the original “Conscience of a Conservative,” written by Barry Goldwater, the debate over Trump has been a distraction. Most traditional conservatives are neither for nor against Trump; we are for the same agenda we have always supported, always seeking innovative strategies and tactics to promote timeless ideas. This distraction has been allowed to consume Republican politics because the voters got fed up with people like Jeff Flake.

When Jeff Flake was originally confronted with his failure to abide by his term-limit promise, he joked, “ I lied … I don’t know what else to say.” At a later event, Flake explained that the term-limit movement was still alive when he took office and it was the thing to do. But, he said, he quickly realized that it would take longer to get things done and that limiting his time in office was a mistake.

This sounds similar to an excuse given by a recent pledge breaker, Markwayne Mullin, after he got promoted to a leadership position.

So what has Flake accomplished for us that was so worth breaking his term-limit pledge?

Flake fails his state

After spending too much time in Washington, rather than changing the Senate, Flake got changed by it. Rather than giving a vision for judicial reform, a workable immigration plan, a foreign policy that puts America first, or a health care system that functions like a healthy market, Flake served as a rudderless lord of his small fiefdom in the Senate, always operating within the policy universe set out by the Left. His only major accomplishment was joining the Gang of 8 open borders initiative, which was a colossal betrayal of his state and of the first responsibility of a public servant.

The first responsibility of an elected representative is to represent his constituents and his state. As of 2013, it was estimated that there were 630,700 illegal aliens residing in Arizona. That is a population of foreign invaders larger than the total population of any single colony at the time of our founding. Over 10 percent of the state’s public school population is composed of illegal alien children. When coupled with the fiscal strain of health care and incarceration, the total cost of illegal immigration is $2.4 billion a year. As a result, Arizona has become the drug capital of the country. Yet, instead of relentlessly advocating for the sovereignty of his state with at least as much gusto as the California senators advocate for sanctuary cities, Flake spent the lion’s share of his time putting the priorities of Mexico’s government ahead of the security and economy of his own state.

That issue alone encapsulates why so many people flocked to Trump in the primary and wouldn’t even hear some of the legitimate conservative concerns about the future president. The only alternative presented to them was people like Jeff Flake, who only assailed Trump from the Left. Voters figured, “Well, if he’s against Trump, I must be for him.”

Being a social liberal invariably leads to fiscal liberalism

From day one, even when he was a fiscal conservative in the House, Flake agreed with the Left on cultural issues. But as many of us have warned, when you operate exclusively within the universe of the Left on cultural issues, it’s only a matter of time before you throw fiscal issues overboard as well. Flake has proven the truth of that theory. He was an ardent opponent and saboteur of Cruz’s effort to defund Obamacare in 2013.

Ironically, Cruz was proven right in his premonition that failure to defund the law in its incipient stage would result in acquiescence to its expansion. Jeff Flake, and his utter silence on the issue, is living proof that Cruz was correct. While Cruz was doing everything possible to compromise with people like Flake to get some sort of repeal on the table, even to the point where many of us disagreed with him, Flake long ago gave up on that fight. Nor is he providing the sort of supply-side health care reform people like me have been championing in recent months. Nope, Flake is too busy selling books. And anyway, long ago he told us, “Obamacare is the law of the land.”

What about his work on the Energy Committee?

In 2009, Flake, along with Bob Inglis, became the first Republican lawmakers to introduce legislation imposing a carbon tax on producers and distributors of fossil fuels, which would lead to higher fossil fuel costs for consumers. The bill, co-sponsored by Democratic Rep. Dan Lipinski of Illinois, would have set a tax of $15 per ton of carbon dioxide produced in its first year in effect, with the tax rising to $100 per ton over three decades

Some fiscal conservative there!

What about Flake’s work on the Senate Judicial Committee? While people like Ted Cruz have been proposing judicial reform ideas, Flake sat idly by and rubber-stamped many of Obama’s liberal judges.

So what exactly does Flake feel passionate about, and why must I read his book to ascertain something that should be obvious from his six-year tenure in the Senate? This is true of some other senators who are busy selling books but have never gotten their fingernails dirty on a single major policy fight, as Cruz and Lee have. The rule of thumb is that if you haven’t shown us a vision when you are actually on the playing field, there is no reason you should be taken seriously when you’re shouting in the bleachers.

Recently, President Trump downplayed the role of Jeff Sessions in winning Trump the primary. In a future tweet he might want to upgrade the role Jeff Flake and his compatriots played in electing him. Without feckless Republicans, Trump would have never found an audience.

Many of us are concerned about Trump’s lack of a coherent vision for some conservative priorities. But even more disconcerting is that as much as he’s not a conservative, most Republican senators find a way to outflank him and “out-flake” him … to the Left. A party where a man like Trump has become the “right” flank is a party that will not last much longer.

Jeff Flake is why we have Donald Trump. The vacuum of leadership had to be filled at some point. Many of us caught in between are disappointed because we have always stood for bold ideas — ideas that have been overshadowed by the clown show — but the last person who has the right to complain about Trump is Flake.

Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.

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