the privilege of (private) mistakes

We all make mistakes.

After the problem at the Oscars last night, mistakes are in the news, so I have been thinking about mistakes a lot today.

Most of us lead our lives in a small, mostly private sphere. When I make a mistake, it is usually straightforward to correct it and move on.

I’d hate to think of what my posts would look like if I couldn’t correct my mistakes…

A simple mistake of handing someone the wrong envelope last night led to a few minutes of confusion before the situation was corrected, but having millions of people viewing that mistake must have made it very difficult for those involved.

Still, the solution was fast and there was no lasting damage.

Other mistakes are not so easy to rectify.

Last night, 60 Minutes was re-showing a segment on people who have been exonerated after long prison sentences. Such grievously mistaken convictions are not so easy to rectify. Some states try to award money to the person, while others don’t even do that. Still, no amount of money can replace decades of lost life with family and friends, a chance for a career or for building a family, being able to choose what to eat and where to travel, to have contact with others on a regular basis, all the stuff that we take for granted as we build our adult lives.

One man, exonerated by ballistics testing after thirty years in prison, made his first stop after being released his mother’s grave. Nothing could ever replace the precious time he lost, locked away from her.

One of my current worries is mistakes from the White House, which can have massive consequences.

For example, mistakes with the executive order on immigrants and refugees sent some people back to dangerous situations. A mistake made in international relations could even lead to armed conflict.

People who are in positions of public authority don’t share the luxury that I have of making – and correcting – mistakes in private. Therefore, they must be particularly diligent to be thoughtful and considered in everything they say and do.

The new administration is not there yet.

a visit to a congressional office (door)

I had wanted to write last week about political developments, including the resignation of DT’s national security adviser, the failure of Republican leaders in Congress to step up to investigate the relationship between DT’s campaign/administration and Russia, the confirmation of Scott Pruitt as EPA chief, and DT’s bizarre press conference and continued attacks on the free press, which should be guaranteed by the US Constitution.

I couldn’t muster the energy to do it.

This morning, I attended a monthly meeting of the Catholic Peace Community, where we discussed a community health care town hall being held this evening. Our member of Congress has been invited to attend, but there has been no indication that she will do so.

She is a Tea Party Republican and wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act. I had already written to her about the ACA, asking that it be retained and improved, not repealed. Her reply to my letter was somewhat disingenuous, faulting the ACA for not solving problems that it was not designed to solve in the first place.  She also did not give concrete ideas on how a replacement plan would work.

Before the meeting, I had seen a post on Facebook about the town hall which gave the location of her new local office, which I shared with the people at the meeting. After we finished, I proceeded downtown to the new office, to ask that the Representative attend the town hall and to share my further thoughts on health care.

It was a bit difficult to locate the office. There was no listing on the directory, no arrow pointing down the appropriate hallway, and no sign on the door, although I knew it was the right place because there was a Congressional seal on the wall beyond the glass door.

The lights were on, but the door was locked.

Not having any idea how long it would be before someone returned and not wanting to waste a visit, I found a bench, pulled out some paper from my pocketbook, and composed a several-paragraph-long note.

I walked back to the office and slipped my note under the still-locked door.

When I returned home, there was a phone message from one of the staff members, so at least I know that my message was received.

Whether it, along with the opinions of many, many others in our district, has any impact on her Congressional votes remains to be seen.

reaction to the morning news

No torture. Not ever. Under no circumstance. It is immoral and illegal.

I can’t believe I even have cause to write this.
*****
There is still time to join in the fun with Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/26/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-26th17/

jjj-2017

 

making an attempt

2016 was extraordinarily busy, stressful, and unpredictable. My blog persisted, although with not as many posts as I intended. My blogging practice of reading and commenting fell off a cliff.

I am not a new year’s resolution person. Life has taught and continues to teach me that life is unpredictable and I don’t want to make promises I won’t be able to keep.

Last year, I did manage to post every day for Just Jot It January – January was before the first life-changing event of 2016 struck – so I thought I would at least start in again. Three days so far! But no promises for the whole month, which seems like a long time in the midst of winter.

I am also trying to reclaim a bit of my practice of reading and commenting on other blogs, albeit with no illusions of getting back to visiting dozens of blogs on a daily basis.

I am so thankful for my readers who have visited and commented when I haven’t been able to reciprocate. Your support has kept me blogging, however imperfectly.

I also want to thank Linda, whose One-Liner Wednesday and Stream of Consciousness Saturdays got me posting on some weeks when I didn’t have much time or mental energy to spare. Linda and her blog community rock!

Latest example: Just Jot It January!
*****
Join us for Linda’s Just Jot It January! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2017/01/03/jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-3rd17/

jjj-2017

 

SoCS: Christmas wishes

I am tired of people asking, “What do you want for Christmas?”

Whether or not this is an appropriate question is a moot point. However, I draw the line at the recent ad campaign in New York State.

The ad instructs us to tell our legislature that all we want for Christmas is Uber.

New York State doesn’t allow Uber to operate here. I can understand why some people would care about this and want it to change so that Uber would be allowed.

But let’s leave Christmas out of it.

It’s bad enough that so much of the focus of Christmas has become shopping and gift-giving and receiving – material gifts, that is.

What I most want for Christmas has nothing to do with Uber, or clothes or kitchenware or other things.

I want peace. I want safety for travellers. I want a return to good health. I want people to help one another.

Uber? Not so much…
*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is “moot.”  Join us! Find out how here: https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/16/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1716/

 

SoCS: Ggggrrrrrrr

I don’t know if I can bear to make another phone call.

Well, not any phone call, but one to the NYS Health call center.

I have been trying to get an insurance situation resolved for the coming year and have had several loooooong phone calls with them – plus some online chat sessions.

And we still don’t have the situation resolved.

Unfortunately, I’ll have to wait for Monday because I think I need to talk to the IRS.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?

Everything has to be resolved by December 15, so let’s hope they all have their act in gear next week when I plunge back into the fracas.

I knew there was a reason I have been a long-time advocate for single-payer…
*****
Linda’s prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday this week is bear/bare. Join us! Find out how here:  https://lindaghill.com/2016/12/09/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-dec-1016/

 

What I am voting for

This election cycle in the United States has often focused on what people are voting against but I want to focus this last post before the election on what I am voting for.

I am voting for:

  • candidates who want government to work to uphold the common good and to “promote the general welfare” as our Constitution states
  • candidates who have experience working together with others to accomplish goals
  • candidates who understand science, law, and history and who articulate their policy positions clearly
  • the most progressive candidates who have a chance of being elected, which in my state means voting on the Working Families party line
  • ground-breaking women candidates, including Hillary Clinton for president and Kim Myers for Congress
  • candidates who accept the climate science concensus and who will take action to protect the environment
  • candidates who are at least as smart as I am

My state does not have early voting or voting by mail except in very limited circumstances, so I will be going to the neighborhood volunteer fire station to vote on Tuesday. I am very confident in the integrity of our voting process, with experienced poll workers from our town ensuring that only eligible voters cast ballots, in our case, paper ballots read by optical scanners.

I hope that all registered voters will vote in this election and accept the results. Most importantly, I hope that all people will come together in support of a government that works to pass and implement laws and budgets that respect and support human dignity and community.

Our Constitution begins with “We the people.” As a democracy, we are pledged to each other and called to cooperate with each other, regardless of our individual differences, “to form a more perfect union.”  Hyperindividualism, greed, prejudice, intolerance, and bigotry are destructive to our country.

The United States has a lot of healing to do. We had best start now.

[I am writing this at an (obnoxiously) early hour on Monday before launching into what is likely to be an intensely busy next few weeks with a lot of important transitions and events happening simultaneously. I considered disabling comments because I am not sure of being able to respond in a timely way. I decided to allow comments, but reserve the right to close or delete comments if they get out of hand.]