Monterey Park

I’m sad to say that I woke up this morning to news of another mass shooting, this time in Monterey Park, California, near Los Angeles. Ten people are dead with ten more wounded and hospitalized.

The shooting occurred at a ballroom dance club, after an evening Lunar New Year celebration. Monterey Park is a predominantly Chinese-American suburb which hosts one of the largest Lunar New Year celebrations in the area. Today’s activities have been cancelled in the wake of the shooting.

As I write this, there is no suspect in custody and no idea if this attack was motivated by racial hatred.

It certainly casts a sorrowful shadow over the start of the Year of the Rabbit. May the year bring healing to all who mourn.
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One-Liner Wednesday: Speaker-less

Yesterday, for the first time in a hundred years, the United States House of Representatives failed to choose a Speaker on the first day of the new Congress, when Kevin McCarthy failed to get a majority of votes on three attempts, despite the fact that his Republican party holds a slim majority.

This update to my post from yesterday is brought to you by Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays and Just Jot It January. Join us! Details here: https://lindaghill.com/2023/01/04/one-liner-wednesday-jusjojan-the-4th-2023-courage/

celebrating the new year

When E and T were children, we started celebrating the New Year with them at midnight Greenwich Mean Time, which is 7:00 PM in our time zone. We would have a toast with sparkling cider or grape juice.

Not being night owls, we still follow that tradition at our house. B found an online feed from the BBC of the celebration in London, with the chiming of Big Ben and fireworks along the Thames, this year not only celebrating the New Year but also recognizing the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride, the death of Queen Elizabeth and beginning of the reign of King Charles, and support for Ukraine and for all those suffering around the world.

It’s especially meaningful to celebrate with London with daughter E and her family living there. While we were watching the broadcast, E sent us a video of fireworks being set off in her neighborhood.

For a moment, it made the distance between us feel smaller.

Happy New Year to you, wherever you are on the globe. May peace, love, and care for each other increase.

One-Liner Wednesday: truth telling

The heart of justice is truth telling, seeing ourselves and the world the way it is rather than the way we want it to be. More than ever before we, as a society, need to renew a commitment to truth telling.

bell hooks

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voting and violence

I try to keep up-to-date on the news, particularly in the US, and often blog about what is happening with politics and public policy.

I admit it has been daunting to write about the upcoming midterm elections next week. There has been so much disheartening rhetoric that I haven’t been able to make myself post about it but I feel compelled to post today after watching the continuing aftermath of the horrific attack against Paul Pelosi, spouse of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

For those of you not in the US, early Friday morning, a 42-year-old man broke into the San Francisco home of Paul and Nancy Pelosi. He had zip ties and duct tape with him and asked where Nancy was. (She was in Washington, DC.) He attacked the 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer, fracturing his skull and injuring his hands and arms. Pelosi is still in intensive care following surgery and is expected to recover over time from his physical injuries. The suspect is in police custody and will be charged soon, most likely for attempted murder among other charges.

The suspect had posted on social media his belief in a number of conspiracy theories, including those that demonize the Democrats as child abusers. While Democrats have been vocal and universal in the condemnation of the attack, Republicans have been much less so. Instead of recognizing this as political violence, some are saying it is just another example of increasing crime. They also fail to acknowledge that their political advertising, posts, and speeches featuring weapons and demonizing Speaker Pelosi and other prominent Democrats have any role in the increase in political violence.

The Republicans do a lot of “what-about-ism” in which they try to create false equivalencies and fear-monger on their talking points, all while conveniently dismissing any responsibility. In this case, they ignore things like the fact that most of the rise in crime is occurring in Republican-controlled areas that have relaxed regulations on guns. It’s likely that one of the reasons that Mr. Pelosi was attacked with a hammer rather than a gun is that California has a more rigorous system of allowing gun permits than Republican-led states, such as Texas. Republicans, including those in New York, blame bail reform for the increase in violent crime, even though the data show this isn’t true. There is also a much higher level of violent extremism on the far right than on the left. And, of course, we have recent and ongoing trials and convictions of perpetrators of political violence on January 6, 2021 at the US Capitol and the thwarted kidnapping of Michigan governor Gretchen Whitmer.

My usual way of determining for whom to vote is to look at the stand of the candidate and their party on a range of issues. Given my personal background, I place the highest priority on environmental and social justice issues. This is in keeping with the principles of Catholic social justice doctrine and with the call in the Preamble to the US Constitution to “promote the general welfare.”

I look at the candidates’ character, personal behavior, and integrity. I also look at their personal experience and intelligence. I want to vote for candidates who are smarter and more experienced than I. I don’t choose candidates on the basis of “who I want to have a beer with!” That comment may sound strange to those outside the US but there is recurring theme about this question as a gauge for likability/authenticity since about the year 2000.

In this election, there is an additional factor that I honestly never thought would be an election issue here in the United States. Do you believe in democracy? So many of the Republican candidates seem to be embracing anti-democratic, even autocratic, leadership and policies. They don’t believe in the outcome of free and fair elections, such as the 2020 election, even though they have no evidence to the contrary. They won’t say that they will accept the outcome of their own election if they lose. They won’t say that Biden was legitimately elected president. They have tried and sometimes succeeded in making it more difficult for minorities, elders, young people, and lower-income people to vote. They have broken up likely Democratic voters who live in a community into different voting districts to dilute the power of their vote.

What is most destructive is that they continue to support and perpetrate the lie that Donald Trump won the 2020 election and that he is not responsible for the January 6 insurrection, for illegal possession of presidential documents (including sensitive national security information), for obstruction of justice, and for other crimes for which there is ample, publicly available evidence.

Apparently, Republicans are into wielding governmental power for their own benefit – and the benefit of the wealthy people and corporations who underwrite them – rather than being public servants.

I won’t be voting for any of them.

I will vote for candidates who uphold our American values and who are serious about enacting and executing laws that improve our lives and communities, that try to heal our planet and climate, and that work with all people of good will to end conflict and disease.

I hope millions of others will join in this cause and remember that democracy is on the ballot.

Liz Truss or Lettuce

I was working on a poem to send to Rattle Poets Respond, which is an online series from Rattle in which poets submit new work based on something that happened in the news that week. I was literally on the last step to submit this poem when my daughter E, who lives in London, UK, told me that Liz Truss was about to make a statement. I delayed hitting send and, in those few minutes, the poem became moot. Still, I thought it was worth sharing here as a moment in time.

Liz Truss or Lettuce

Which will last longer?
asks the Daily Star.

On Day One, the iceberg
is unadorned, but soon

enhanced with googly
eyes, a smile,

sprouts a full head
of blonde hair.

While the PM dodges
questions, sheds

Cabinet ministers,
the lettuce tries to stay

fresh, despite the spotlight,
enjoys snacks, a glass

of wine, some tofu
on day six, a nod

to the departed
Home Secretary.

The bookies’ current
odds are 1 / 2

that Liz will outlast
the lettuce.

Place your bets
before it’s too late.

Rattle also requests an explanatory note and links to the news stories involved. This is what I had prepared:
With the government of UK Prime Minister Liz Truss in turmoil, the Daily Star has a livestream of her photo beside an increasingly adorned head of lettuce. Brits seem to have a special talent for finding humor in any situation. A clip explaining the Home Secretary/tofu connection can be found here.

If anyone is moved to share this post or poem, please include my name, Joanne Corey. I hope it will give people a smile or chuckle, however rueful.

Lettuce wins!

One-Liner Wednesday: Pakistan

A third of my country is under water right now – bridges, roads, schools, and other critical infrastructure sinks, and people run to evacuate their homes.

Anam Rathor, writing about Pakistan in this important post

Note: In the comments, there is a link to a post from Sadje with information on organizations that are helping Pakistan. Check it out here: http://lifeafter50forwomen.com/2022/09/07/my-country-needs-your-help/ and help if you are able.

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One-Liner Wednesday: This is scary.

A photo from Attachment F of the Justice Department’s court filing last night, showing a variety of secret government documents found in former President Trump’s home at Mar-a-Lago, which was searched under warrant earlier this month.
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One-Liner Wednesday: still COVID

Another of my occasional reminders that COVID-19 is still with us.

Join us for Linda’s One-Liner Wednesdays, which I occasionally use to shamelessly promote another blog post. 😉 Learn more here: https://lindaghill.com/2022/08/24/one-liner-wednesday-upon-the-throne/

One-Liner Wednesday: Liz Cheney

“Today, our highest duty is to bend the arc of history to preserve our nation and its blessings to ensure that freedom will not perish, to protect the very foundations of this constitutional republic.”
~~~ Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming) in her concession speech after losing her primary race because she is standing up for the Constitution and election integrity in the face of Trump’s lies

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