Tag Archives: politics

Post-election thoughts (Those five people are not your enemies.)


1.  It’s over.

2.  When will the next election hoopla begin?

3.  Will our country be saved?

4.  Will our country be ruined?

5.  Will our country continue to plod along with some brilliant moves interspersed with awful decisions?

6.  Will all wars ever end?

7.  Why can’t we people get along?

8.  Let’s be grateful for what we have.

9.  Let’s vow not to attack the opposite viewpoint.

10.  Let’s vow to get more sleep on election night.

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Some day, politically speaking


Some fine day I will not ever again rise to the bait of beloved family members or dear friends who express opposing political opinions.

Some day I will allow them, totally 100% allow them, their beloved opinions (whether I like their opinions or not.)

Some day you will not hear me defending my candidate, oh no.  At least not against your candidate.

I will merely listen to you, fully be present with you, allowing your words to sift down to my heart, like the way we once sifted flour to separate grain and chaff.

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My enemy

Once upon a time I had an enemy.  It’s hard to believe when enemies appear in our lives, isn’t it?  I mean, congenitally don’t-rock-the-boat smiling people shouldn’t have enemies, right?

However, in this fairy tale called life we sometimes meet an enemy, such as the evil witch in Hansel and Gretel, or the evil stepmother in Cinderella, or perhaps even Attila the Hun (although I know nothing about Attila the Hun, it just popped out of these typing fairy tale fingers.)

Back to the story, which is 100% true, except for minor fabrications, such as the name of our Villain.

In real life he has a nickname which is completely absurd, so I shall call him Goosey.  (Ha ha, private joke, wish I could tell you his real name but I am congenitally nice and that would simply be mean because he’s no longer my enemy, but we are getting ahead of the story.)

Goosey hated me.  I am a two-bit rural politician serving as township treasurer for this teeny-weeny township in the middle of the woods.  I collect taxes.  Try to make informed political decisions.  Have never yet made a full-fledged enemy of an ordinary taxpayer because I don’t care if people pay their taxes or not.  (You know why not?  Because if they don’t pay, they have to deal with the county treasurer.  It is her duty to deal with delinquent taxes.  I will commiserate with anyone about our crazy society where we have to pay taxes, and our crazy economy where folks can’t afford ‘em, but that’s another story for another day when we’re not pondering enemies.)

Back to My Enemy.  Goosey would come to the meetings just to find weak spots in our board policies and mannerisms.  He was one of those citizens who keep politicians on the ball.  You daren’t decide to let the sexton keep the township shovel in his truck because Goosey would write a Letter to the Editor.  He’s that sort.  We politicians need to be kept in line, you know.

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Please, Newt, do not call!

Dear Newt Gingrich, USA presidential candidate, please quit calling us.

We are on the do-not-call list.

Please do not say that you can telephone every day because you’re a political candidate or a non-profit agency.

I am a registered and elected Democrat and usually do not vote for Republicans.  Although that might be questionable if you show me a Republican who stirs my heart.
Why are you calling us?

What have we done to deserve it?  Continue reading

The invitation to truly “occupy” ourselves

The day I "Occupied" Wall Street

As any hermit in the woods knows–there’s a big “Occupy” movement going on in the world.  Even though I’m sometimes oblivious to national politics surrounded by Upper Peninsula trees without a TV that works, I know this much:  people seem to be sick to death of big banks, a feeling of powerlessness, and a sense that we’ve lost our moorings as a society.

First there was “Occupy Wall Street”.  (Because that’s where the big banks–and maybe the stock market–has its proverbial home.)  Then the movement spread to the cities.  There’s Occupy San Diego. (Our son and his wife went to a rally downtown San Diego back in October.)  There’s Occupy Atlanta.  There’s Occupy Marquette, for goodness sakes.  And, are you ready for this?  My friend, Bertha, went to an Occupy L’Anse group.  Four people showed up down at the park. She swears it happened.

The Occupy movement is supposedly–among other things–and I suppose you’ll correct me if I’m wrong–a response to the Tea Party movement.  The Tea Party folks are mostly right-winged conservatives and the Occupy folks are more liberal, although you have Libertarians in the Occupy movement and maybe a few liberal tea lovers in the Tea Party, so who am I to generalize?

The bottom line:  people on the right and left, and probably points in-between, want things to change.  They want things to get better.  Less unemployment, more happy faces, more money, less capitalism, more church-goers, less church-goers, more joy, less banks, more government, less government.  People point their fingers wildly in every direction saying “This is wrong, no, this is wrong, this is right, this should be changed.  Get out of my park!  No, we’re going to stay here because SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE!”

Sad panda

There are at least two kinds of people in the world.  “Innies” and “Outies”.  (You know, like when you’re born, whether your belly button sticks out or sucks in.)  Outies are those who try to change things externally.  They look outward at what is wrong and attempt to alter it.  Then there are the Innies.  They look inward and try to change themselves first.  They believe that by changing themselves–the world will reflect that movement and change along with it.

Of course, I’ve simplified things like crazy in that preceding paragraph.  Because we all know we have both Innie and Outie tendencies.  We work both angles.  We work on ourselves, and we work on the world.  Just like the terms “liberal” and “conservative” are often polarizing words that create war and anger.  If we look deeply within ourselves, we’ll find places where we are liberal and where we’re conservative.  We’re BOTH, unless we’ve repressed ourselves into an ideal, which we often have.

Back to “occupying” ourselves.  I am 69.9% an innie.  Raise your hand if you knew that.

I believe in attempting to occupy myself.  It has been a quarter-century effort and it’s the most important thing I’ve done in this lifetime, even if full occupation never occurs.   Instead of going west like the pioneers, I’ve chosen to go inward to the mind and spirit, and it’s been more challenging than stampedes and arrows and getting lost in the Rockies and eating your fellow travelers.


As human beings, we rarely occupy ourselves.  We rarely occupy this precious sacred life, this precious sacred moment we’re experiencing.  We’re lost in mental and emotional worlds which attempt to describe, label, justify, judge, lasso, discern, understand, impress, destroy and re-create.

Our human wars are outward reflections of inner confusion and wars.  The big banks of our inner world are the belief structures which run the energy of our days.  The stock market is our investment in what we choose to think and do.  Our government is that which determines and runs our ideas and lives.

Ladies and gentlemen, in the human condition, we are so often out of control!  We have voluntarily given our allegiance to our inner banks and governments and stock markets instead of our innate inner knowing–what some people call “God” and what others call the “Higher Self”  or “awareness” and others argue doesn’t exist.

There is an inner sense in each and every one of us that knows.  It knows what we must do.  Before our first thought touches down into a cemented belief, it knows.  We cover up this knowing with a hundred–no, a thousand– beliefs which sometimes serve and sometimes don’t serve us.  This knowing exists even before we’ve labeled ourselves a separate individual self.

The invitation to truly occupy ourselves is our birthright.  We can continue to live in the “mold of man”, our mold created from childhood, or we can determine to discover what lies beneath what our thoughts attempt to convince us, day in and day out.


There are many paths to help us occupy ourselves.  Religions from time immemorial have pointed different ways.  Meditation–the act of witnessing the mind while concentrating deeply on a sole object–loosens our rigid definitions of the self and world.  Non-duality teachings point toward ways of fully occupying this present moment, this one and precious life we’re experiencing.

Zen folks often point toward having a Tea Party:  slowly mindfully preparing and brewing and sipping your tea.  If you do this consciously enough, you’ll begin to realize that so many of the arbitrary thoughts and beliefs which keep us “unoccupied” in our life are simply not true.  After many years, you may even discover the boundaries between “self” and “tea” begin to weaken.

But, enough of this!  Choose to Occupy Wall Street or Saint Louis or Chicago or L’Anse.  Choose to have your Tea Party.  But whatever you choose–choose the truest invitation of all.  The invitation to truly “occupy” ourselves and this blue-green spinning planet fully.

Reluctantly turning from health care back to the woods.

The Rapture

Christopher, dear son, pardon me.

I know I just told you–not a half hour ago–that I wasn’t writing a blog for a long time.


People could just read my health care rant over and over and over again. And then maybe someone–somewhere–would do something about it.  I would leave the healthcare blog up forever.  Never write another blog for weeks and weeks.  Because this issue is so very darn important. 

But alas.

Here comes another blog.

Birchbark curl

Here are some more woodlands photos from the Day of the Ticks.  I am still scratching and itching and feeling their crawling even though the last one I spotted lounging on my shirt occurred during a meeting Wednesday night.  I casually arose from the meeting, went outside the board room, and crushed the unsuspecting wood tick.  Shame on him!  (or her.)

Look at how this tree didn't shed the old leaves. New leaves on top; old leaves on bottom of branch.

Christopher said he read my health care rant twice.  That makes me proud.  Good boy.  He suggests I write more political blogs.  As a sociology doctoral student, he approves of political blogs.  Alas.  I usually can’t keep steam arisin’ in the political arena, even though I am a politician.  (Yes, she said, in hushed tones.  I am a township treasurer.  I run for office.  Even though our population numbers less than 482 citizens.)

Field of forget-me-nots

I am more of a woods-dreamer than a politician, actually.  Someone who loves the earth, the trees, the moose, the bear, the waves of Lake Superior, a field of forget-me-nots.

Close up of one of OUR flowers from the perennial garden. I forget its name.

So, sorry, my dear son.  I hope you and Seunghye have a wonderful couple of days down in Mexico.  Stay safe in your beachfront hotel.  Enjoy your time together. 

I loved talking with you.  I loved hearing your news.

Sorry the health care blog didn’t remain center stage forever.   In my heart it will, though.  Until every single person in our country–no, make that the world!–is guaranteed the basic right of health care.  Amen.