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Marthe48's Journal
Marthe48's Journal
December 3, 2023

They will be unhappy with the result

President Biden and his administration is working with other groups of people that hate each other, who want to see their enemies wiped off the face of the planet. Can anyone with an opinion about this heartbreaking destruction take religion out of the equation? See Israel as a nation? See Palestine as a nation? Because as long as religion is the dominant theme of the conflict, devout people will put their emotions in front of their pragmatism and the terrorism, defense and destruction of life and property will go on and on.

If Muslims in America think that withdrawing their support from President Biden will bring peace to the Middle East, their course of action will open the door to far worse dangers to all Muslims everywhere. If their are agnostic Arabs and Israelis, we need their presence in the negotiations and decisions. Religion has failed to solve the problems.

December 3, 2023

Isolationism has been a theme in American politics for a long time

We had an exchange student in the 90s. Her American history teacher decided to teach from modern times back, because previous classes complained they didn't get time to study what happened nearer to the present, which they thought was information they wanted. I helped the student with her homework, and got to go through our history present to past. It is amazing how isolationism pokes up like a rock in a river, not once, but over and over. The US dragged its feet getting into WWI and then again when WWII broke out. Once the US overcame the isolationists, our country jumped into both wars wholeheartedly. Now we jump in with the idea of "What's in it for me?" Totally different motives and really bad outcomes. Isolationism is still in the game, but is generally used strategically to avoid humanitarian use of the U.S. and support causes that end up doing more harm than good.

In my own opinion, after the U.S. had a defined presence in the world, our country was like a helpful big brother, donating time, money and resources to the world. Then when people like kissinger ascended into power, we became a malignant force in the world and went from the benevolent country we had been in the past, to the World's peacekeeper, to an oppressive superpower. Absolute power does corrupt absolutely.

Isolationism kept the U.S. out of the League of Nations. Of course, it fell apart, because the nations that did join had longstanding differences among them and the effort to unite the world fell flat. Maybe if the vibrant and optimistic young American had been a member, the League of Nations would have survived and made a difference in how the 20th Century played out. I liked America's effort more when we established Peace Corps, Care Packages and other humane programs. I have never seen anything benevolent about Iran/Contra, the October Surprise, Mai Lai Massacre, the Abu Ghraib Prison torture, the dirty tricks in politics that rev up the cruel and evil to even worse acts.

November 25, 2023

I have Jewish friends, I have Palestinian friends

I know how my friends feel about the situation. I haven't and I'm not going to discuss the events in the Middle east, out of respect for the people who are much closer to the countries that are once again torn apart by violence.

Someone posted on DU that we should be against war, and I saw at least one sarcastic reply about the post. I've always been against war. I'm also against the grinding anxiety every human who watches news feels every single day because of the ceaseless threats, aggressive action by one faction of humans against another, and the death that is preventable, if only humans would share what we have and what we need. But it isn't like that and it won't be like that.

I am a member of DU, and plan to remain a member. To make it a pleasant experience, I have a few guidelines I follow. If I don't like a post, I'll scroll on by. If I don't agree with a post, I don't feel the need to reply. I'm here for a shared experience with a like-mined group of people, why argue over things we're basically in agreement with? Finally, if I am not informed about a post, I try to get more information in case I do decide to reply.

The other day, there was a terrible accident on The Rainbow Bridge. I made a comment right after the news broke, that in case it was an act of terrorism, thankful that the border patrol was alert. Updates revealed that it was an accident, not terrorism. I had the insight that like every other event not in my immediate view, I don't know what's going on, and until I do, I'll wait to comment.

I do think that what we see on the news is manipulated, either the raw information, or the way it is presented to us as news. To stay sane, I think of weather reports. If the weather reporter says the sky is blue, that is a fact. If the weather reporter says that it might rain later, that is speculation. I keep that in mind as I see, hear or read news, and that helps me avoid presenting my opinion as a fact, or taking someone's post as a fact, not an opinion. We are all entitled to an opinion, and even if we don't agree, we should do our best to respect an opinion. Knowing that people are dying in horrible ways as we write posts doesn't make easy to refrain from blasting others, but as we watch the new horrors in the world unfold, let's all try to remember, we are on the side that is trying to improve the relations between people, even when the people hate each others' very existence.

November 23, 2023

Thank you for the advice!

I started using a bigger pillow recently, to prop my arm. Seems to help me sleep better, less chance to wake up with back, shoulder pain.
I hurt my shoulder again recently. I thought I bookmarked this thread and I couldn't find it. I finally remembered what I did to get relief.
I am so glad you offered more ideas to relieve this particular ache. Brought the thread back to view.
Happy Thanksgiving!

October 29, 2023

Women's rights are on the ballot

Reproductive rights are the tip of the iceberg. For 50 years, women were gaining autonomy, not just for their personal finances, family life and reproductive choices, but also becoming less like objects and more like living, breathing people.
Women don't need to be bossed by anyone. If it takes a state constitutional amendment to make the point, then we need to pass that amendment.
If the amendment fails, it isn't just reproductive rights. Women will once again become chattel, at the mercy of men soliciting them for sex, either with or without marriage, targets of men who think they can take what they want without asking, without respect. As employees, women will have to accept less pay, less benefits, less recognition. The road we're on is bumpy, but with more signage, we'll get where we need to be.
The antiabortionists don't give a damn about the zygote, if they even know what that is. No, control of born women is the goal here. If we go down the slippery slope, at some point men will lose their freedom to have sex outside of marriage, because the people behind antiabortion movements are not comfortable with their own bodies and their own needs and want to impose their sick worldview on everyone else. I don't know how many people here are old enough to remember that if you were caught having sex and you weren't married, you could be arrested. In the U.S. prostitutes could be arrested, and there was some talk of arresting the men who solicited them. Being a pragmatic country, sex for money was regulated, if not legalized. Do we really want to go back to that kind of world? Or maybe go back even further, when women joined the nunnery to avoid the worldly alternatives?

October 21, 2023

Jesus walks into a bar

Leaves the door open behind him. Somebody yells, "You born in a barn?"

October 20, 2023

I believe in God

But not the deity written about in the Bible. There are natural forces and there are human standards of ethics and morals. The Bible describes the flaws of humanity, and offers ways to mitigate the flaws. Leaves up to humans what to embrace and what to ignore. Books like the Bible give humans an idea of the best and worst of what our species can do, and maybe gives people a sense of security in this endlessly changing world. There are natural laws. Humans can try to level the playing field, but Nature will win.

I pray every night, but in the last year, maybe the last couple of years, I feel like I pray to keep my ideals in front of me, and my prayers remind me of who I care about, their struggles, their needs, their comfort, and my prayers remind me of the world I'd like to live in.

Years ago, I was a chaperone on a bus. I was behind the driver, and we talked about things. We were passing through an industrialized area of our county and the subject of pollution came up. The driver said, "The planet will keep going. Humans might not be here, but the planet will be." I liked that a bus driver gave me that vision about where we are headed.

I do believe in a creative God. I think about the saying that God is in the details. I think of details such as ocean tides, and sandy beaches. Had I created the ocean, would I have thought of tides? Would my beach be sand? Or wet dirt? There are other details of nature that make life on this planet exquisite and practical, and I love the idea of God as an artist and craftsman.

I have accepted that life isn't fair, and no one escapes setbacks or grief. A lot of times there is no balance, and one other comment helps me get on: some things are unacceptable. Does it make living easier? It is a question that, like praying, comes up every day.

July 17, 2023

I've been petsitting

for my daughter. Dogs, cats, one indoor, one outdoor, a kitten and a guinea pig. She has chickens, but she had them set up for while they are gone. I checked on them yesterday, to be sure they still had food and water. I don't let them out when I'm there, because I'm scared to death a predator will get them. There are coyotes, bobcats, foxes, and hawks to watch for. I went in the caged coop to check the food. I hadn't thought about it, and was wearing sandals. I painted my toenails before I went to Maine. As I added food to the feeder, several of the hens started slam pecking my feet. They put a lot of effort into each poke. Ow. Luckily, they were more interested in food and after a couple of seconds of toe frenzy, they came to their senses. While I was filling the feeder, I was surprised to see a tiny chick pop out from under the coop structure, and disappear right back under it. I feed the chickens once in awhile, but had to figure out how to get into the coop. After I figured that out, I gave the chicks (at least 2) and the hen that was in with them food and water. I texted my daughter and she had no idea. I knew she thought a hen was hiding a nest somewhere, but she hadn't found it. I think they'll be okay in the coop till tomorrow. I thought about trying to catch them, and putting them in the smaller section of the coop, but it'd probably be hard on them. Always a surprise over there

July 11, 2023

Glad somebody says it out loud

Bullies and jerks have been part of the human race forever. They were in view and status quo for most of the time I've been on the planet. We got a break the last few decades, because they got told to sit down and shut up. But when the crap about 'real men don't eat quiche' started up, it gave new life to the bullies and jerks. At no time ever is it okay to be a bully or a jerk, and people have a choice to grow, or remain a yahoo. Thanks to my Dad and his buddies, I know every ethnic slur used about every racial and cultural group in or near Cleveland. I chose not to emulate his blind acceptance of bias and hate.

I am old enough to know that too many people judge a book by its cover, not because they don't know how ro read, but because it is easier. But I do hope that the current acceptance of bullying and rudeness is beaten down, back under the rocks where it lurked. It will never die, but maybe it'll be less acceptable.

July 9, 2023

I was recently visiting with people in my age group

(70s+) I think 2 or 3 groups of people over the last month. Conversation often turns to death, with several people hating the idea of their mortality and what if the point of living, when in the end we all die. I usually say something like we are the only species that know we have an expiration date, and so we can pack as many experiences, relationships, anything really that makes our existence meaningful.

I think it is a damn shame that even if we are the only species that is aware of death, when it comes to the environment, we are no better than any other species on the planet, and since we know we are causing harm, causing disaster, we do nothing to change course. The entire planet's future in in our hands, and we are doing the least possible to head off the calamity that is just down the road. There are many caring individuals laying awake at night wondering what else they can do to save the planet. There are just as many individials that don't give a damn, and do nothing to reduce the throttle. And even if companies and countries say they will do things, they don't. They just keep saying they'll do things, like words will be actions.

I flew to Maine last week, invited to join my family on their vacation. When I see mile after mile of forests, and rivers flowing, and all of the other positive signs of life and living, it is easy to think that the planet will survive the horrific abuse we keep piling on. The Earth might survive, but how about the passengers? There have been regional disasters in the past. Campi Flegei probably wiped out the last of the Neanderthals. Thera destroyed the Aegean culture. Droughts in South America destroyed the Mayan civilization. There was a mini ice age that brought famine and plague to Europe. Humans have been here before and we handled it as humans do: with opportunistic survival of the fittest. And even with proof from our own history, mindlessly we go on, and damn the torpedoes. I didn't think I'd live to see the crash of the environment, but when I read articles like this, I dread what is ahead, for all of us.

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Hometown: Ohio
Home country: U.S.A.
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