Trevor Noah Rocks The House

Few celebrities would draw a crowd as large as Trevor Noah during a busy Friday lunch hour in the workplace.  However, thousands of folks jammed the room for a chance to hear Trevor passionately speak about his atypical childhood living in South Africa, a time filled with challenges that few of us have experienced.  Born to a black mother and a white father, who left the family quickly, his tough upbringing in a society where he didn’t quite fit anywhere shaped who he is and how he views the world.  He was a fascinating and animated storyteller describing scenes from his new book, “Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood”, a memoir of the observations of his childhood in a country when apartheid was unraveling.

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Drafting off the “celebrity” status of a friend of mine who scored us front row seats, I got to view the talk up close and personal with no obstructions.  Thank you my friend!  Being that close allowed me to really observe the facial expressions and hand gestures of a wildly entertaining comedian who not only elaborated on his book but also shared his views on the craziest election any of us have ever seen but one that he predicted.  How might you ask could anyone foretell the “Coming of Trump”?  Growing up in a third world country, Trevor saw first hand how leaders would prey on people’s fears and anger, championing their darkest prejudices out loud in simple-to-understand sound bites.  Trevor told colleagues early on that Trump would go far in the election process given that he was a reality TV star of questionable morals who knew how to speak and connect to these uninformed voters, lying and promising them whatever they wanted, playing the “outsider” vs. the government who has forgotten about them and their economic struggles.

Similar to what Gloria Steinem told the audience when I saw her recently in Boise, Trevor also was emphatic that this segment of society that is following Trump won’t go away after the election no matter who wins and will need to be heard and their issues addressed for the country to heal and move forward.  He also suggested that what the U.S. needs is more than 2 parties to allow for more choices.  Should Bernie run as a Democrat?  No-he’s a socialist.  Should Trump run as a Republican?  No-he’s a nut but also probably a nationalist or alt-right candidate.  I get it but not sure this change will happen anytime soon.

Trevor elaborated on his other observations from this election cycle:  watching Trump move forward in the primaries was like having a front seat row to a “charismatic car crash” and that if he were elected, it would “press pause on all progress” that Obama has made the last eight years.   That people like Trump can “create” facts on the internet that people believe as gospel is flat out scary to Trevor.  The public is “engaged in a bubble of misinformation” the likes of which we have never seen before in the U.S.  Trevor takes his job seriously on The Daily Show because, as one attendee related during the Q & A, most millennials get ALL their news from The Daily Show.  To that comment, Trevor said,  “Comedy is the spoonful of sugar to make the news go down.” and “Laughter is the medication to get through it.”

While I enjoy comedy and, God knows we all need to laugh more, the stress of this election has been hard to take even when delivered by a comedian as smart and funny as Trevor.  Tuesday it will all be over.  Vote.

The Seattle Times review today of Trevor’s book was very flattering-read here:  Book Review

Gabby & Chelsea-Great day to enjoy Seattle politics!

How lucky I am to live in a progressive city like Seattle where citizens rally to prevent gun violence and support the election of the first woman President.  Unlike the small crowd that turned out in Boise to see Gloria Steinem last week, the liberal folks in Seattle were out in force on Saturday as I went from rally to rally.  As I remarked to my friend Whitney who joined me at the Clinton rally, it was nice to be with people that share a similar passion to make a difference in our crazy world.  Communities united!

First up, I found buried deep in the newspaper an  article alerting me that at my local church, First United Methodist, there would be a rally to support the I-1491 initiative restricting guns access to those who threaten violence.  Too often teachers, parents, etc. see tragedy coming and don’t have the tools to stop it. The I-1491 initiative is just complete common sense and gives us a chance to prevent tragedy like what happened to the children at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  Speaking at the rally was one of the Sandy Hook moms who founded the Sandy Hook Promise that helps people recognize warning signs and intervene appropriately with potentially violent offenders as they are allowed by law.  After she lobbied all the Senators to pass a background check proposal in 2013 and it failed, she didn’t quit.  Just like Hillary, she kept right on working for laws that would protect us from those who would harm others and themselves with guns.  Ultimately, this is all about saving lives.  Common sense, right?  Not to the gun lobby who would arm anyone and everyone no matter the cost.

After Governor Inslee voiced his support, he introduced Gabby Giffords who walked right up to the stage in the narthex and strongly urged us all to come together and make a difference with I-1491.  “Be bold, be courageous.”  Gabby is a true inspiration to us all to put aside our petty daily distractions and take on a bolder, wider purpose to help others.  wp_20161022_11_46_20_rich-2

Walking to the Clinton rally afterwards, I saw Gabby, who was sitting in the front of a black Suburban SUV at a stop sign.  After I gave her two thumbs up, she blew kisses to me and clapped in response.  Wow, what a strong and wonderful woman she is to never give up and keep bringing her energy and positive attitude to this important fight to help so many people.  I hope this initiative passes in Washington State and spreads to other states.  We must give everyone the tools and power to prevent violence wherever they live.

Luckily I got to the Clinton rally early as the line was already forming, full of passionate supporters.  I grabbed a spot for myself and two friends, which allowed us to sit right behind the girl scouts near the front as Chelsea spoke from the heart about her mom.  An excellent speaker (she comes by it honest from both parents), she told stories of what it was like to be the daughter of the President and her mom, the soon-to-be President.  She was low key, authentic and full of love for her topic of the day-electing her mom to be the first woman President.  Not dwelling on the antics of Trump, she focused on the good her mom has done in her career and what she would bring to the White House.  Taking many questions from the audience, primarily from the youth there, she didn’t deflect like they do in the debates and thoroughly answered the questions asked.  When asked how her mom has coached her to take all the negative criticism about her family, she responded with sound advice for anyone:  “When serious people give serious feedback, take it seriously.  When not serious people give not serious feedback, do not take it seriously.”  Well said Clintons!wp_20161022_15_29_47_rich-2

Today, I voted for Chelsea’s mom.  For me, this is the most important vote for President that I have ever made.  Never before did I think that the “other” candidate I did not vote for would be a disaster and ruin our country.  I do feel that way about Trump.  He just CANNOT be our leader.  He doesn’t represent the kind and good people who live in America.  He has brought out the racist, divisive and disgruntled demographic that Hillary will need to work with to improve their economic situation, to understand their anger and to ultimately move them forward to prosper in this great nation.  I believe in her and know that she will represent ALL the people, even the Trump supporters.  She is a better person than me and smarter than me and that’s what I look for in a President.  That’s why #IMWITHHER

 

An Afternoon with Gloria Steinem

Gloria Steinem showed up in Boise, Idaho on Monday afternoon.  Amazing.  Sadly, there aren’t a lot of Dems who are courageous enough to live a Blue life in a Red state so the crowd to see her was small.  It’s hard and it’s discouraging to fight the tidal wave of Red.  We did it for 14 years in Coeur d’Alene and while there are more Dems in Boise, especially in the North End where we have a house, Dems are still a major minority.   For the few who showed up yesterday, they were treated to an intimate hour with an awesome woman who has and always will make a difference.wp_20161017_15_49_19_rich-2

As Mayor Dave Bieter, a Dem, announced to the audience when introducing Gloria, we were all in a “safe place” for the next hour spent together surrounded by Hillary election signs.  Let’s enjoy it.  “How many of you have been in a room where you were the only Democrat?”  Hands up EVERYWHERE.  Just as I have often been the only women in meetings at work, you learn how to snap to the norm of being the outsider and understanding no one will listen to your ideas.  Just the way it is.  You never give up and you keep working hard.  That’s what Hillary does and I respect her for it.

Gloria spoke of the election and how Hillary is the most qualified candidate there ever was or probably will be but, since she is a woman, she has always had to justify her desire to do good work and aspire to be a First Lady, Senator, Secretary of State and now President.  A man with ambition like that would be regaled as a strong leader, the woman a pushy bitch.  Not fair but true.  As far as her views on Trump, he is “a con man and not a successful business man” as he would like to boast and have everyone believe.  Gloria comes from NYC and has seen his shenanigans up close and personal.  She knows.wp_20161017_15_54_45_rich

When I asked her how we would need to heal as a country after Trump has brought out the violent, racist rhetoric that has frightened us all, she gave an interesting reply.  The people supporting Trump are revealing their truth about themselves so we can have the opportunity to address the real underlying problems–their feeling of white entitlement and living in the past waiting for jobs vs. proactively preparing for the jobs of the future.   Gloria quoted Gandhi, “The truth is revealing itself.”  Those well-paying but hazardous coal mining and logging jobs aren’t coming back to Ohio and Pennsylvania and Idaho.  We need to train those workers to take on new roles and spur the economy.  Let’s not lie to them that once Trump makes America great again that he can restore those jobs.  He can’t and he won’t.  Period.

Gloria reminded us that Trump doesn’t represent the majority of the people and has always had a hard time polling above 40%.  We can’t give him power to speak for the people of this country.  We can’t let hate trump love and kindness and real conversation about what we need to do to further our America that is already pretty damn awesome.  Thom and I often reflect that if more people had passports and travelled widely that there would be a deeper appreciation for how great America already is.  Once you have seen the pollution in China or seen how hard the citizens of Hanoi work to just eat and have a roof over their heads, you can thank God that we have laws and regulations here that keeps Americans safe to breathe the air, eat the food and work in a healthy environment.  We are blessed and our government system, while not perfect, protects it’s citizens.

When asked by a former Bernie supporter how to vote in this election, she encouraged him, as a lifelong socialist herself, to follow Bernie’s lead and support Clinton.  Bernie did what he felt he had to do and was successful in raising important issues like college debt. Together, he and Hillary have found a compromise with a real chance of working to reduce debt for those in need.  That’s Hillary’s strength and why she will be a good President.  She understands mediation and finding a middle ground to get shit done.  God love her and let’s get out the vote to make sure that a President Trump never happens in his or our lifetime.  I’m.  With.  Her.  wp_20161017_15_27_22_rich

Crazy American Political Race as Viewed by an Irishman

“I’ve got 300 euros bet on Hillary.  She’ll win.”  The Irish vinyl shop owner filled us with confidence after a hearty political debate.  “Hope to God you are right!” I replied.  ireland

Thus ended a very spirited conversation that began the moment we walked into Spindizzy Records in the heart of Temple Bar in Dublin.  (http://www.spindizzyrecords.com)

I overheard a customer and the shop owner reflecting on the crazy election race we find ourselves in where a reality show guy could be President.  “Are you people out of your fauwking minds?”  Why, yes, in a world where Trump could be elected as our leader, a basket of the voting public is obviously uninformed and looking to be saved by Cheeto Jesus.  Like he cares about anyone but himself.  Not.

I weighed in and said that realistically he could win and then Mr. Vinyl made a mistake.  He said that Hillary wasn’t much better than Trump so it didn’t really matter.  Oh NO he didn’t!  Thom took up the conversation then stating Hillary’s qualifications and defending her honor.  Is she perfect?  Nope.  Neither am I but seeing that Trump is a psychotic, pathological lying racist among other things, while Hillary has the skill and the ability to be our leader, it is very much a clear choice who to vote for.  Trump can not and should not win.  Period.  Mr. Vinyl listened and agreed reluctantly and reinforced that Irish politicians are incompetent so he shouldn’t be talking about American politicians as being any better. He watches the election results like he watches our Super Bowl-both with bets placed.

With a good selection of vinyl to browse and politics to discuss, we stayed awhile and enjoyed the conversation.  He recommended a good pub and then another customer weighed in with her choice of a “real” Irish establishment we could go to for music and some spirits later.  Hopefully my jet lag will subside by then-last night I went to bed at 6 p.m., got up at 1 a.m. for an hour or two and then back to sleep until 8 a.m.  Damn.  Missed out on the Irish music last night but am determined to go out tonight after a long nap, of course.  Cheers!

 

Go Hillary Go!

Go Hillary Go!  Please just win this thing and let’s be done with all the drama and stress and childish behavior.  It’s frightening me.  Seriously.  I have nightmares about Trump leading our nation.  What an embarrassment!  There is no telling what the hell he would do but there is NO WAY it would be good for us.  He is promoting violence, racism and truly resembles the rise of Hitler.  What are the people that support him thinking?  I understand there are masses of uneducated voters but do these people not have any heart or soul?  Why can’t we just love all humans regardless of race or religion?  So, so sad.

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Too bad I live in a high-rise or I would have taken one of these home with me!

 

Anyway, enough of my Trump rant.  I’m seriously trying to stay away from the news because it is so disturbing and the media just allows him so much air time to promote his hateful ideology because it drives up their ratings.  I will do what I can to support Hillary including making calls to voters, donating money and praying.  A lot.

The night her headquarters opened up in Seattle, I was there dialing up caucus support on an ancient flip phone provided by the young lady running the volunteers.  She was truly dedicated and passionate.  She quit her job and has been moving all over the country to work for Hillary.  Oh to be young and such a direct contrast to the age of the voters I was dialing with an average age of 70.  I did have a few great conversations convincing folks to go to the caucus on May 26th and have their vote count for Hillary.  I worry that these “seasoned” folks won’t understand the importance of everyone showing up because the college crowd will be there in spades.  And not for Hillary.   The “feel the Bern” is strong here with even my son supporting him–promises of free college tuition and waiving college debt are speaking loudly to these students’ empty bank accounts.  How you goin’ pay for it all, Bern?  Nice dream but get real and stop smoking that weed, dude!

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Opening night at Hillary’s headquarters in Seattle. 

 

November can’t come soon enough for me.  I can only pray that folks here come to their senses and vote someone into the Presidency that won’t ruin our economy, start a race riot or piss off other countries who want to kill us now when we are friendly let alone when we are saying and doing crazy stuff.  God help us!  Go Hillary Go!

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Cupcakes not violence is my motto!