does character even count anymore

In the current news cycle we have witnessed the character of men in positions of power and respect that almost compels us to shield our kids’ eyes and cover their ears. Someone tell me please, when did it ever become okay for a potential Member of Congress to grab someone by the throat and body slam them to the ground because they are tired of being asked questions? Is this really acceptable behavior, as some Greg Gianforte supporters stated today while exiting the polls in Montana? They want a Congressman who will react with violence? Members of Congress too? Paul Ryan and others stated today to the public that the gentleman did a bad thing and should apologize but they still support his run for office.

Nearly just as concerning is Gianforte’s aide Shane Scanlon’s statement of what happened; which certainly does not sync with the actual audio tape or the account of the Fox News reporter who was in the room when it happened. In other words, it was FALSE. This is okay?

Today we watched the man who is the current President behave so boorishly at the NATO that he proved to be not only a national embarrassment, but an international one as well. Mr. Trump represented our nation today as The Ugly American in Chief. Can someone please stop his European adventure now? Ivanka? Please? Liz Gumbinner is right – kids, don’t grow up to be like this.

This last week, I witnessed first hand questionable character in some that, well, disgusted me. Daniel’s graduation day was fast approaching and we found ourselves short just one ticket for Daniel’s sisters and parents. Just one ticket – how hard could it be to find one more ticket? Hard! After asking classmates and teachers with no success, I took to local social media and the results really surprised me: just forge a ticket, it’s no big dealsneak in either by lying or waiting until after ceremony has started. I was also lectured about my family’s size and the over-population of the planet. Daniel, upon hearing some of this offered that this is not who we are. It isn’t. Of course, there was much kindness, encouragement and support from friends, a member of the PTA, a former teacher and Daniel’s principal. We managed to find one ticket more and yes, Daniel’s dad, myself and his four sisters all got to be in that auditorium as he graduated from Middle School.

A very good thing because Daniel, his parents and his four sisters all were very pleasantly surprised as he was called forward for a special award recognizing his character.

Courage. Kindness. Friendship. Character. These are the qualities that define us as human beings, and propel us, on occasion, to greatness. Yes, we all cried a little because this is the young man that is our son and our brother. It really was a Wonder moment right out of the book. Character DOES count!

Watching Daniel and his classmates up on that stage, hearing some of them speak and their teachers speak, I believe that the kids will be better – so much better.

Meanwhile, we must continue to persist and hold on. Hurry up kids!

the kind of day no quote can fix

And so how is everyone’s day today?

Really?!…Mine started with a call to my congressman. Check that, many calls…many, many calls dialed

yes kids, I said dialed

no kids, I’m not going to explain what dial is

Google it, okay

Anyway, I tried to get through to my congressman starting at 6 AM West Coast time and dialed repeatedly unable to even connect until finally:

Honorable Jeff Denham is not answering.

 

CLICK!

What the fresh hell???!!!

And so while I watched and listened to our Republican-controlled House ram this Trumpcare Bill through before their next seven day recess, along with so many other Americans, I did my very best to reduce all of the anxiety and stress.

Of course my form was as exquisite as Adriene’s. Of course it was! And it helped. At least I stopped screaming at CSPAN imagining that my congressman could hear me since his Washington and Modesto offices stopped taking constituents’ calls. But all the Nadi Shodhana and Downward Dog and Cobra and Warrior poses wasn’t going to stop my congressman and his GOP colleagues  from completely ignoring the will of their constituents, from their vote and from their post-touchdown end zone celebration in the Rose Garden because we have a POTUS that needs to be happy and smiling; nor was it going to stop me from thinking of how this could potentially harm my family – the ones who won’t get to stay on their parents plan forever.

What a day!

A day that calls for ice cream and laughter and singing along to pop songs on the radio and hugs and after they go home to mommy, wine

And no apologies for run on sentences. Not today.

I’ve had the kind of bad day no quote can fix ~ Richelle E. Goodrich

 

democracy remains messy

Today we find our master juggler attending her very first congressional town hall meeting. Yes, my first because there has to be a first time. I would offer the mommy card raising a circus act of babies but there was this beautiful mom there with her most adorable baby secure in her Mobi wrap and sometimes breastfeeding, which would shame me to even offer that excuse. .

But this mama is woke now and she was here tonight at her very first Congressional Town Hall event…eight hours after having lumbar and sacral joint nerves destroyed in her spine via radio frequency ablation. No, really that is the actual medical insurance code description for that surgical procedure that I had today on my spine. The local the doctor injected into my spine was wearing off at right about the start of the town hall too, which made sitting in a hard straight back chair in a crowded auditorium of my fellow California District 10 constituents all the more fun.

Heh.

It was. Fun, that is. It was loud and messy as democracy often is. Mr. Denham might not have appreciated it as much as I did.

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Oh well.

It was an education and, at times entertaining. Thank you to you for that. I doubt that you found it to be entertaining but I do hope that you found it to be perhaps a little bit enlightening because BIGLY SURPRISE your voting record and your positions on issues of importance to the people who live here in CA District 10 actually don’t represent many of us here in District 10.

You promise to see us again at the next town hall; which I do look forward to. Truth be told, I’m looking forward more to November 2018.

what she is wearing…again

Is there really anything more important than knowing what a woman, or a girl, was wearing? Because leggings on the plane offends. Obviously it offends much, much more than a guy boarding a plane wearing a t-shirt and shorts, with nothing under said shorts. Guys, you complain about our wearing yoga pants or leggings anywhere, especially if we are over age 20 or 110 pounds but trust me, dressed like that on a plane, in the coffee shop, at our friendly, neighborhood Safeway, at our kids’ school, and pretty much anywhere else is a big, fat eewww!

Dress codes, it seems, serve a purpose. Serving on jury duty here in San Joaquin County, I was mildly amused that the jury summons explains what is acceptable attire in a court room. The fact that they have to state no pajama pants means someone thought it was perfectly acceptable to wear pajama pants to Superior Court.  As for that United flight, while the young GIRLS were barred from boarding on their United employees and family pass because their attire was against United employees pass dress code, the adult male they were traveling with was allowed to board wearing a t-shirt and shorts  – gawd I hope that he was wearing underwear under said shorts! Unfortunately, dress codes also seem to focus overwhelmingly on what females wear as opposed to what males wear; which might possibly explain why dad’ shorts were acceptable “business attire” and the girls leggings were not. It’s policy, y’all. Leggings are inappropriate on a United flight when traveling with an employee pass.

We see your point, United.

And because prom season is coming upon us all, let us remember the importance of dress codes for high school formals. How else is one going to define a “good girl”?  Daniel will be graduating Middle School in two months and soon enough we shall be receiving similar dress guidelines that will expect boys to wear nice slacks, a button down shirt and optional tie under their graduation gowns. His female classmates will have a much longer list of fashion don’ts teaching the young teens that yes, what matters most is what she is wearing or how she wears her hair rather than what she does or says.

So it seems…still…in 2017.

Dear Congressman Denham

February 24, 2017

Dear Mr. Denham,

I wanted to write to you as the mother of a 15 year old developmentally disabled child about my concerns over HR 610 and how it will eliminate ESSA which provides among other things access to the general education curriculum, access to accommodations on assessments, provisions that require local education agencies to provide evidence-based interventions in schools for children with disabilities.

That’s what I wanted to write to you about until I was shown a letter you wrote to Karina about her request for a face to face town hall. Sir, I am well aware of your February 6 tele-town hall but was sorely disappointed that I could not get through…don’t tell my boss that I was trying to connect while I was on duty please. I am also aware of your Mobile District Offices and was fortunate enough to attend your Manteca MDO with my husband. We were a little disappointed with the less than warm reception we received from the Manteca Chamber of Commerce receptionist as she expressed concerns that we might be there to be rowdy. I do hope that she was relieved to discover that we, as well as the other two constituents of yours, were not as rowdy as she imagined us to be. Yes, I am aware that the MDO in Ceres later that day proved to be perhaps more lively as was the assembly in Modesto on Wednesday, February 15. The thing is Mr. Denham, people are a little bit fired up for good reasons and are frustrated with the feeling that we do not have your ear. I’m sorry but your brief little video mailbags, rare tele-town halls, MDOs, appearances at parades, schools, and such are not enough and we, the people you are supposed to be working for, are becoming a bit rowdy in our disappointments and frustrations. Many of us are not feeling like you are engaging with us.

I would hope that you do have the interests of the Central Valley at heart…ALL of the Central Valley. 52.4% of District 10 did vote for you; but you also are called upon to represent the interests of the other 47.6%. That is your job as a public servant. I’m not too sure what you are implying when you wrote that the Central Valley’s voice not be suppressed by the bullying cries of outraged Bay Area residents who want to impose their opinions and way of life on our community. Honestly, that sounds A LOT like the down with BATs (Bay Area Transplants) talk. Are you anti-BATs? My husband and I moved from the Bay Area in 2003 to Manteca to raise our five children. More than half of the people I interact with day to day here in the Central Valley also at some point moved from the Bay Area. So many of the people living in District 10, like my husband and one of my daughters, commutes daily to work in the Bay Area. Perhaps our Bay Area values might not agree with your values but you still must advocate for our voices too. Of course you would have to listen to them and, at least for me personally, I feel like you are not listening.

I do appreciate your meeting the local Mantecan farmers earlier this week after they prevented the levee south of us from being completely breached. That really was something. Thankfully they were so vigilant. Of course they have been for quite some time as it has been public knowledge for years now that levee improvements are desperately needed. Your visit made for a great photo opportunity and several glowing pieces written by Jason Campbell and Dennis Wyatt in the Manteca Bulletin. I do hope that you will follow through on the promises you made with that media opportunity. The farmers and the citizens of Manteca, BATs included, are counting on it.

When I had the opportunity to meet with your man, Pete Butler, at the Manteca MDO, I did not feel like you were listening. Mr. Butler was nice enough but much of our conversation was him telling us that he could not speak for you. He also reminded us a few times that our opinions, questions and concerns expressed at the Manteca MDO are nothing at all like the reception received at a MDO in Patterson or Newman. Perhaps it’s that Bay Area influence you speak of? Regardless, you still represent us and we deserve your attention too. One thing I repeatedly emphasized while talking to Mr. Butler is you and your office need to do a better job at communicating with us. You need to ANSWER BACK. At the very least you or your staffers can send a postcard, an email or, like POTUS, even a tweet acknowledging communications from your constituents – even the ones whose values don’t agree with yours – ESPECIALLY the ones whose values don’t agree with yours.

Thank you for your time. I could hope to hear from you but honestly given your lack of response to all of my previous communications to your office, you will forgive me if I don’t hold my breath.

Respectfully,

Laura A Scarborough

not a paid protester or anarchist but a nurse, wife, mother and grandmother who lives and works in District 10