Home > Love, politics, Social Justice > Our lives mattered

Our lives mattered

My husband, Anthony, is a good man.

Anthony recently urged me to volunteer. He recognized that my heartbreak at the plight of refugees forced from their homes by American actions needed an outlet bigger than writing.


My kids get home, food, water, relative security, and lots of toys. Refugee kids get temporary play on two little rocking horses.

I volunteered twice last week, and quickly understood that Anthony was right.

I told him I’ve wanted to delete this blog. “I wrote it when I was asleep!” I told him. “Now I’m no longer asleep and the whole blog just bugs me. What am I supposed to do with it?”

“Be patient,” he told me. “I think you’ll find you have things you want to say there. Different things than before. That’s okay.”

My birthday’s this weekend. Two particular pieces of news are all the birthday present I could possibly want.

“Hon,” I asked Anthony, “is it okay if I gloat just a little about today’s news?”

“No,” he replied swiftly. “Gloating turns you into Trump.”

I trust him, so I won’t gloat. I will, however, explain–and I’ll do it here, because (1) Anthony’s been right many times over and (2) this is outside the little bubble I’ve built on Learning to Speak Politics.

When I saw Hillary Clinton speak with Black Lives Matter activists a few months back, I recoiled from her transparent loathing.* While her words sounded respectful, every other facet of her demeanor screamed, “I don’t even see them as people.”

I tried explaining this to some of my Hillary-loving friends. Impressively enough given all they know about my turbulent youth, they indicated my privilege (and potentially misogyny) blinded me to the wonders of Hillary.**

I read more about the Clintons. As I read, I became more and more horrified. I saw that my fact-averse friends were acting out the same role as wives of predators I knew in childhood: denying because accepting would shatter their relatively comfortable worlds.

A few days ago, one of my friends posted a picture of herself in a sweatshirt proclaiming how it’s about time we had a woman in the White House.***

Immediately after I unfollowed her, Anthony got to hear a lot of really unpleasant reflections about my historically derived basis for translating the sweatshirt’s text to, “We need more poor brown-skinned people dead in this world–there’s too many alive already!”

(The rest is not fit for printing here. I’m trying to work through my rage about how these self alleged “enlightened” friends prop up violence worldwide, stealing countless lives as I type this, but acceptance is a slow process.)

I mentioned my birthday’s this weekend, right? And that today’s news was like a birthday present for me?

Two pieces of news in particular filled me with hope.

First, a 2006 recording of Hillary Clinton advocating voter rigging in Palestine came to light. That the words were spoken is horrible; that they were released, a gift to the future of democracy in the United States.

Second, the FBI indicated that it had received access to new Hillary emails requiring further investigation.

How exactly were those emails derived? Funnily enough, through the husband of Hillary’s top aide, Huma Abedin. Huma’s husband, “disgraced former New York congressman Anthony Weiner,” was being investigated for issues related to illicit messages he sent to a minor, investigation of which led him to hand over a laptop containing what one federal official described to The New York Times as “tens of thousands of [previously undisclosed] emails related to the Clinton case.”

You know what people don’t delete before handing over some portion of subpoenaed records? Yoga schedules.

Many who desperately want a woman in the White House have adamantly avoided any inspection of Hillary’s history. They’ve steered far clear of WikiLeaks, despite (1) its ten-year pristine track record and (2) ample confirmation outside invested Beltway punditry that Podesta Leak contents were not only valid**** and unedited, but not likely obtained via Russians. (Podesta fell for at least one phishing scheme, and used easily guessed passwords such as “p@ssword.” Indeed, after emails began being released, Podesta’s Twitter account was accessed by someone who gleaned his password from the leaks.)

There’s still a good terrible chance Hillary will become president, given how late this news is coming.

Still, I’m hopeful. Late is better than never, and if this news helps Americans see their votes for Clinton count as endorsement for her backing numerous murderous coups*****, past, present, and future, there’s hope that fewer people will be bombed or starved by our kindly Democratic leaders in the months and years ahead.

‘Cause, let me be clear: If I’d been born in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, or Libya, my mom, my siblings, and I would have been among those bombed or starved to death thanks to Clinton. We’d have had no resources to escape, and no hope … save the tiniest sliver of hope that Americans might, before me and mine died, learn to see and join together to speak up in a way that reflected their acknowledgment that


kids outside 792

* Hey, at least something about her is transparent.

** The same “privilege” also made me more receptive to documented historical fact, thank goodness.

*** Totally agreed if that woman is Jill Stein or Gloria LaRiva.

**** Some great articles have derived therefrom, including some highly damning ones about how the Clinton Foundation was a tool to personally enrich the Clintons. Since I didn’t make note of the articles that caught my eye, here’s a list of the 100 most damning situations uncovered so far.

***** So very, very happy to provide links to anyone interested. I’ve mostly omitted them here because they’re really time-consuming to add and only 4-5% of them ever get clicks here.

****** There’s no corresponding text for this, but if you’re thinking about whining here about how your Clinton-supporting heart is hurt by this post, go jump off a cliff and save some lives. The purported tragedy of your bruised heart doesn’t rank on the scale of tragedy of the Muslim genocide you and I are helping perpetrate.

  1. October 28, 2016 at 5:46 pm

    I’m glad you are sharing and finding your voice on these crucial current events–keep it up, even though I can see the growing pains. Happy Birthday. Small steps still move us forward!

    • October 28, 2016 at 5:55 pm

      Thanks, Patti! The last couple months have been some of the most uncomfortable of my adult life, but Rache warmed my heart with something she said when we talked earlier–nothing we’re seeing now is new. We’re just lifting the curtain, to let the sunlight in to truly eradicate the things that’ve grown outside the reach of the sun. It was so heartening to see it all in that light, instead of just experiencing the suffering as suffering. ♥

  2. October 28, 2016 at 6:42 pm

    I am chilled and stomach-droppingly disturbed by what you are writing. I want to know the truth and I don’t know where to turn, where to look. Looking over the wikileaks thing you linked to (thank you, by the by), even if a few of them are true, what a terrible force HRC would be in our world. Yet how can I support DJT? So discouraged. Thanks for writing this.

    • October 28, 2016 at 7:21 pm

      I’m still not sure whether I’ll vote for Jill Stein or Gloria La Riva at this point, but it’ll be one of the two. (I’d consider Johnson, but he’s pro-TPP, which eliminates him from the running for me … though I’d certainly rather vote for him than the top two contenders!)

      That question about where to find actual news? That was one that made it hard for me to sleep for at least a month. I knew I wasn’t seeing actual news, but I didn’t know where to find news. Now, I check out these sites in this order:

      * counterpunch.org — This site is amazing! I just donated to them, because it’s critical to have non-corporate news such as they provide.
      * theintercept.com — This was my jump-off point. After I got the funny feeling things were very, very wrong, I read Glenn Greenwald’s With Liberty and Justice for Some. He’s the author who worked with Snowden to release PRISM+ documents, and helped earn The Guardian the Pulitzer. Everyone here practices adversarial journalism, and it’s a fantastic reminder how little news is now available on “news” sites.
      * theguardian.com/us — Some hit and miss, but usually much more hit than miss. Definitely worth my subscription, IMO.
      * ibtimes.com — I read almost everything by David Sirota, though I haven’t read much else.
      * democracynow.org — I listen to this on the radio each morning, but they also have video and text on the site. The DN folks are sometimes reluctant to point out Democratic shortcomings, but I ultimately decided that their coverage is too insightful to bypass for these two- or three-minute forays into ignoring.

      Apart from these, I really like Twitter’s Adam Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) and Michael Tracey (@mtracey). Following them and a few others on Twitter helps connect me to the almost inadvertent occasional news articles on otherwise no-longer-news sources.

      Having these connections makes a world of difference! Reading Greenwald, too, helped me breathe a sigh of relief and go, “Wow, now I have words for what all I’d witnessed but couldn’t articulate …”

      If it’s helpful at all, I think of my vote as a tiny seed of love. I could cast it for a winner, but I’d be growing a plant I wouldn’t want to see grown. I can’t change what plant others choose to water. But I can choose which one I want to water, and I can and will keep watering it after the election. The idea is hearsay to many, but it’s okay if they don’t get it. It’s okay that they choose based on one set of criteria and I another. I cannot vote for bloodshed or war, and making peace with that choice is part of making peace in the future.

      Please, please let me know if you have any questions. If you’d like me to send an email in reply to this comment (since I get emails dropped into my inbox), let me know that. Those first few weeks of going, “Everything I ‘knew’ was wrong!” were atrocious. I’m happy to help ease that, if desired.
      *big hugs*

      • October 28, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        Greenwald is great (at The Intercept) and International Business Times, too. UN News is also a great way to keep informed. their reports are longer and are unbiased, so you have to interpret for yourself, but if you want just facts, it’s great.

        • October 28, 2016 at 7:33 pm

          I love all the “Intercept boys”! (That’s a WikiLeaks thing–Neera, I think?) Zaid Jilani and Lee Fang are among these.

          Awesome about UN News! Could I get a link for that?!

          Also, I love about Twitter how you’re able to see live news as it’s happening. Ten years ago, I would’ve had to rely on newspapers to understand what’s happening in Yemen. Now I can go to Twitter and read Yemeni themselves describe their plight.

          Thank goodness for social media, used well. ♥

          • October 28, 2016 at 7:40 pm

            I agree re: Twitter. It’s taking me a while to get used to it, and the viral memes go by much faster, but Twitter doesn’t suppress news like Facebook does now, so I’m loving it! For UN, I actually downloaded the UN News app, which breaks things down into categories “Human Rights” “Security and Peacekeeping”, etc.

          • October 28, 2016 at 7:43 pm

            Rockin’! Since I have the app store disabled on my phone, I’ll see if I can find something on Twitter to highlight new articles.

            I, too, love that it doesn’t censor like Facebook. It does occasionally alter trending hashtags that are, say, HRC detrimental (for example, #podestaemails will begin auto-generating as #podestaemials, suppressing new attention to a trending topic), but that’s pretty uncommon. Overall, it’s a much less controlled/controlling forum. 🙂

          • October 28, 2016 at 7:49 pm

            Yes, you can follow UN, too

      • October 30, 2016 at 10:40 am

        This Is a fantastic list of sites! You should do a post just about where you go for news now, for real news.

        • October 30, 2016 at 4:33 pm

          I think I will, thanks! I wrote a super short address of media on my blog, but it doesn’t touch at all upon my criteria for ranking news from more to less credible. That’s coming soon, thanks to you. 🙂

          • October 30, 2016 at 4:37 pm

            Sweet! I’ll bookmark and it will be me go to starting point when I want to find out what is really going on in the world!

  3. October 28, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Happy almost birthday!!!! 🙂

  4. October 28, 2016 at 6:56 pm

    Happy Birthday. 🙂 I hope you receive a belated gift. I’m glad you didn’t delete your blog. I am terrified to wake up on 11/9, or 11/10 or whenever this forsaken thing is over, bc it is likely just the beginning 9f the real nightmare.

    • October 28, 2016 at 7:30 pm

      I agree about the nightmare. The more I read, the more I understand that … we are in a very precarious place, and that our chance to ensure safety and good for our children is diminishing rapidly. The actions taken by the next president will have a huge impact on that, and neither primary party candidate is poised to make a positive impact. One says nice-ish things, sometimes, but her record shows these to be mere triangulation–her representation of her “public” stance, not her “private” stance.

      I wish to God I’d seen this sooner. I’d never have voted for Obama had I understand how many innocents he murders, how many whistleblowers he’s imprisoned, how much he’s expanded unilateral executive power above and beyond even Dubya the Terrible. I’d never have voted for him if I understood he’d bomb more than a half-dozen countries, all Muslim, and that a member of his staff would say, after he droned a sixteen-year-old U.S. citizen, that his dad should have raised him better.

      Obama talks about preserving his legacy, and oh man, I wish I hadn’t played any part whatsoever in building that terrifying legacy. Alas, what’s done is done, but I’ll not do it again, empowering someone who thinks Obama is weak to kill even more innocents with even less transparency.

      I do have hope, but it is nonpartisan, for Republicans and Democrats together have deeply screwed not only the nation but the world. (Oh, my God, to read about the brutal regime changes we’ve exacted across the world … over and over again, we have killed masses so our corporations could earn more money.)

      I’m hopeful.

      I’m hopeful.

      I’m hopeful.

      I just have to remind myself, often.

  5. October 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Happy Birthday Deborah 🙂

  6. October 28, 2016 at 8:58 pm

    Wow! Thank you! I’ll look into these, and ask if o have other questions! I also look forward to other thoughts you share!

  7. October 29, 2016 at 6:15 am

    Happy Birthday! As far as choosing between the two, I’m writing in Bernie!

    • November 3, 2016 at 4:26 pm

      This got stuck in “Pending,” so I just saw it a few minutes ago! The timing was great … since I’d just realized moments prior I’d be writing in Bernie myself. 🙂 🙂 🙂

  8. October 30, 2016 at 6:43 am

    You made good points to ponder. I don’t like any of the candidates! I want to write in Bernie but probably would not help!

    • October 30, 2016 at 6:52 am

      I so hear you! I’m leaning toward voting Stein while being unsettled by some things about Greens and the Green platform. Still, goodness knows I’d love to see more third parties capture federal funding for the 2020 elections, what with the two-party system principally benefitting those leading the two parties.

      And yet … Bernie’s approved for write-in in a dozen states, including CA. Voting what I feel is best for the country would mean voting for him. I’m holding out a few more days to see if new facts are revealed that swing me more definitively toward Stein or Sanders (or La Riva, for that matter).

      • October 30, 2016 at 6:54 am

        How would I find out if voting for Bernie is approved in New Hampshire?

        • October 30, 2016 at 7:03 am

          One of my favorite Twitter folks lists New Hampshire as an approved write-in state: https://twitter.com/MichaelSalamone/status/792449463524659201

          Poking around a little further, it looks like New Hampshire is one of the few U.S. states where anyone may be written in. (Most states have pretty stringent requirements to enable specific individuals to be written in–yet another way the two-party system benefits to the detriment of the people!)

  9. October 30, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    Much respect and Happy Birthday. I worked in politics for many years; I guess it has deeply jaded me because I never saw clean hands. I saw lots of folks trying to make a difference, and lots of folks trying to maintain the status quo or even go backward, but I never saw clean hands and that manifested itself in any number of ways.

    I’m not enthusiastic about Hillary; I’m deeply disturbed by Trump. I’m not a third party believer, I bleed blue even if I I have occasionally voted off ticket for a variety of reasons. Hillary–meh, I am not shocked by any of what is being found; she is what she has always been–right down to “super predators.” #sideeye In politics, there’s landfills worth of garbage if you look for it and when timing and opportunity collide, you don’t even have to look hard. It said a lot about where things are in our country that we as a nation produced the choices we have–there’s blame and responsibility to go around.

    I deeply respect folks who are really wrestling with what to do outside of the dominant choices. I don’t envy that position. Good luck! ❤

    • October 30, 2016 at 4:31 pm

      It’s Libya, Honduras, and Haiti that make a vote for Hillary impossible for me. Other things–like “superpredator” and the ripple impacts from that–are terrible, but these are the top three.

      Laughing on camera over the sword-rape murder of a truly democratic leader (Qaddafi, whose murder the recent Chilcot Report advised was on no credible basis) whose death caused countless deaths rippling outward? To help Obama in the polls?

      No way I can vote for that.

      Fighting to back a murderous coup in Honduras while the rest of the world advocated for the return of the democratically elected president, leading to extreme poverty and death by paramilatary in one of the now most activist-hostile countries in the world?

      No way I can vote for that.

      Ensuring Haitian people aren’t paid a living wage so her friends can get bigger profits? Taking millions of dollars in aid money to leave a few moldy, toxic trailers?

      No way I can vote for that.

      Supporting TPP, and fracking, and standing silent while militarized police forces attack Native Americans in North Dakota?

      I can’t vote for that.

      The U.S. is currently bombing seven (Muslim) countries. President Obama kills nine innocent people by drone strike for each person he targets. His administration said one 16yo American target’s dad should have raised him better if he wanted his son to live. Hillary considers Obama weak. She wants to kill more people in Syria and Yemen, and is happy to go to war with Russia … sending our sons and daughters alike to expand American power for the benefit of a small few the military-industrial complex.

      I can’t vote for that.

      A recording of her advocating rigging Palestinian elections was just released. In short, she supports rigging elections for other genocidal regimes.

      I can’t vote for that.

      I understand some people live and bleed blue. I understand the demographics behind that, and certainly the horror of Trump.

      But, for me? My country helps even more murderous regimes bomb and starve countless innocents every day. Clinton wants to expand that. I bleed red blood, and I cannot cast a vote for someone who doesn’t seem to understand or care that poor Muslims are still people.

      I won’t try forcing anyone else to vote as I do, but I feel neither chagrin nor doubt as I continue my forever walk away from the Democratic party. I’d thought it was the party of peace, but now that I understand it’s just another face of the corporatist genocide faction, my time with it is done.

      I hope you and others committed to returning it to what it once was are successful. It doesn’t seem possible to me, but I would love to be proven wrong.

      And I will be glad, so glad, when this election season is over, and committed no matter the results to changing the world for the better through means other than voting!

      Here’s to a better world, however it is we work to achieve it. There are many different paths. ♡

      • October 30, 2016 at 5:38 pm

        Yep, will be glad when this chapter is over.

        So many paths. I hear you on your concerns. No arguments from me; just a vastly different list of priorities. And that’s it’s really, right? Sometimes folks don’t necessarily disagree on the laundry list, but how the list is prioritized.

        Much respect; see you on the other side of the election; I’ll also be committed to changing the world. ❤

  10. October 31, 2016 at 2:01 pm

    Happy belated birthday ❤

    What gets me on the emails is how widely ignored they are. "Well, Russia, WikiLeaks, Donald Trump, whoever shouldn't be hacking." I don't like invasions of privacy (although, since these emails pertained to her job, it's not the same), but when something is out there, it's out there, you can't (or shouldn't be able to) close the door on that knowledge. And if knowledge of that — someone at that level, with that much protection, that much money to buy herself out of any trouble — is ignored, where do people draw the line on ignoring something because it's not convenient to know, because it doesn't make them comfortable? One of those things that gives me a sinking feeling in my stomach.

  11. November 1, 2016 at 8:44 am

    You go, girl! 🙂

  12. November 2, 2016 at 7:18 am

    Happy belated, Miss Deb.

    Your passion and commitment shine through whatever you write. Thank you for going to all this work and providing such valuable information, especially the sites.

    I wish this damn election were over, one way or the other. I’m afraid to express any opinions, because those who disagree land on you like a ton of bricks. How can we expect our country to be compassionate and civil on the world stage, when we the people who make her up don’t show those values, even among ourselves?

  1. October 29, 2016 at 3:18 pm
  2. November 3, 2016 at 5:55 am

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