Tuesday, September 25, 2018

How I Got Where I Am - Part II

As I recall, I left on a partial sentence:

I first began having some small doubts during the Clinton

I'm continuing that thought process today -

... years. Yes, the economy was, generally heating up. In some sectors, it was OVER-heating - banking, risky investments, housing. We didn't benefit much from that - we lived in a modest home, and limited our investments to TSA's - what are called Teachers Saving Accounts. Those are tax-shielded investments in mutual funds, controlled by various companies. Most districts gave little choices to which companies could set them up for automatic deduction from your paycheck. More suspicious types might wonder whether there was a little - um - kickback to give favored status to certain companies.

Not me, of course. I was a wide-eyed innocent then.

So innocent, that I honestly believed in the 'vast right-wing conspiracy' against the Clintons. Oh, I occasionally had my doubts - the Travelgate brou-haha did lead me to question the story. No matter how much you wanted to believe HRC, the Travel Office's employees' stories rang true. And, eventually, they were vindicated.

But, my doubts were not enough to overcome my husband's strong support of the President. We both thought the worst thing would be for a Republican to take over again. In our defense, we did not gain from the rising stock market or housing appreciation of the Reagan years. We didn't even own our first house until 1988. As renters, all we saw was rising rents. It took a long time for us to stabilize our income, and begin pulling a LITTLE ahead.

In some ways, we were lucky. We didn't overpay for our education, and we lived frugally.

But, the Clinton years were good for us, financially. We were - finally - both working, and began to pull ahead. Eventually, I went back to teaching, which, despite what you hear in the news, DOES pay well compared to other jobs (and considering the good benefits), and we were able to begin saving for our retirement. It was a good thing, too, as we had 30 years to squirrel away our little pile that - hopefully - will last our lives.

Frugal living has outlived the need. We still live in a modest house, and, as a consequence, have few debts.

Little things, though, started bothering me. Hillary's role in the attempted Health Care Reform was underwhelming. I, like Congress, was not impressed by her report and the demand for Universal Health Care.

She 'retired' to play First Lady, but, even in that role, made one blooper after another, and they displayed her tone-deafness to those who held contrary opinions. And, during those years, we started a business, and began associating with people who didn't view the co-Presidents with admiration and approval.

In fact, that group of people thought of the Clintons as NOT as smart as they thought they were. So, I listened, and began questioning - not openly anti-Clinton, but - willing to listen.

Then, the Starr hearings began.

Frankly, I tuned out a lot of it. I was busy, and had little appetite for hearing stories of sexual sleaze. My husband, like many Democrats, argued that it was all just about sex. And, because it was a private sin, not an impeachable offense. It's an argument made by many, and it did have some justification.

But, when the story was everywhere you looked, even in the magazines at the supermarket, I started wondering. My sympathies were not so much with HRC, as with Monica. She looked and acted like a big dumb kid. Nothing about her said seductress. It said goofy, fun-loving kid.

She still is known by a stupid kid mistake.

She looks older now, but still quite pretty. From recent interviews, she is finally willing to acknowledge that the power differential between Bill and her made this still consensual, but...maybe less her fault than his?

She is right about one thing - she was the first person slut-shamed across the Internet. It truly has ruined the life of a young girl who seemed poised to become a contented wife and mother - which, she may never be.

It's sad. Just sad.

I really hated the public hearings. My family was glued to the TV. I made excuses to do other things. I didn't want to sit in the same room with my kids, and listen to the details. I had no interest (nor, do I now) in hearing about other people's sex lives.

The Democrats played for BLOOD when Bill was impeached. They forced Newt Gingrich to step down (he was having an affair), forced Robert Livingston into resigning (another adultery issue), and finally settled on Dennis Haskert - who COINCIDENTALLY was later charged with having sex with underage boys.

Hmmm. Could it be that the Dems had maneuvered Haskert into that position, so that they could control him with blackmail threats?

In the Senate, giving Clinton their Not Guilty Votes:

  • John Chafee - a Rockefeller Republican (according to Wikipedia)
  • Susan Collins - a long-time RINO, who appears to be also be playing a scripted part in the Kavanaugh hearing
  • Slade Gorton - ditto - he's long gone from the Senate, but he did endorse Evan McMullin in his failed attempt to Stop Trump
  • James Jeffords - voted Not Guilty, then left the Republican party (formally) to declare as an Independent. He did so after being returned to the Senate as a Republican.
  • Richard Shelby - no idea what motivated him to vote Not Guilty on one count, Guilty on the other
  • Olympia Snowe - always a waffling RINO
  • Arlen Specter - another RINO
  • Ted Stevens, Fred Thompson, and John Warner all split their vote as Shelby did, on the Perjury article.
That's TEN Senators. Even if ALL had switched their votes, Clinton would NOT have been gone. You need 2/3 of the Senators to agree.

So, in essence, as long as Dems would vote as a block - and, they ALWAYS do, conviction on the impeachment charges was NEVER gonna happen. Sometime, I wonder why the Republicans bothered.

I didn't see all of this at the time. Even 2 years later, I waited, on pins and needles, for the Bush-Gore outcome. I had voted Gore. I found myself wondering about the process, seeing that the Gore forces' arguments were not as logical as the Bush arguments. When it got to the Supreme Court, I accepted it, and moved on.

What I started noticing was that many Dems could not. They were re-visiting the Supreme Court decision every day. By this time, I had 4 computers in my classroom, and one on my desk. I got into the habit of reading my news on the web. At first, I was primarily CNN and other mainstream sources. I put search terms into Yahoo and other search engines (before the Monster That Took Over the Searches arose from Sergey Brin's and Larry Page's minds to crowd out nearly all opposition). I'd used the Internet since before WWW, so I had little trouble navigating it.

Then, I found Andrew Sullivan. And, eventually, many other bloggers (few are still around - heck, I don't even remember most of them). The counterpoint they provided to the 'regular' news had an impact on my thinking. I began to think about other points of view - up till then, I was barely aware that there WAS any other POV.

I started bringing up information that I'd learned from these alternative sources. I also started becoming aware of just how much NEWS is left out of the News.

You would have thought I'd sprouted devil's horns. My friends and family responded, "WHERE did you hear THAT?" as though I'd been reading the National Enquirer for the news.

Funny, given the role that NE played in the Edwards' uncovering.

We plodded along, my Progressive Posse and I. Just about every word out of their mouth derided Bush as stupid, Cheney as evil, and the rest of the Bush administration as both corrupt and inept. They were truly rooting for Bush and the Gang to fail.

Then, I woke up on September 11, 2001. I've written about this before, and I won't add to it now. That's a post that needs some time to reflect on.

And, life as we knew it changed. I upped my blog reading, and found I was not alone. I developed a truly massive blog habit. Then, something funny happened - a blog that I regularly read, RightWeAre!, sent out a call for another blogger.

And, I put my hand up.

The blog I started out on was Right We Are! in 2003. Here was my introductory post (first time blogging).

Like the Pointer Sisters, I'm so excited!

I’m the new girl (Woman? Chick? Old Lady?) at Right We Are!. I’m still in a state of shock that Maripat accepted my offer to help. It’s a little like seeing A-Rod sitting on a park bench, off-handedly saying, “Wanna toss a ball around?” and hearing back, “Sure.” Panic time!

I’m a science teacher, formerly teaching in urban schools, currently unemployed, and completing my master’s in technology. I have 3 children and 2 grandchildren, and a husband who:

· Cooks most of the time
· Picks up after himself (most of the time)
· Does laundry
· Still rings my chimes

What more could you ask for?

I am another used-to-be liberal. I was born in 1951, so that makes me a Boomer. I was too cautious (OK, I was chicken) to participate in drugs or random sex, but I seldom questioned the Boomer orthodoxy, either social or political.

Then came 9-11.

Two of my children were in the service that day (Navy and Army National Guard). I was worried about their safety, but my view about military response was the same as it is today. The terrorists crossed the line, and I’m going to open a can.

What gets me hot? (Not hot sexy, but frothing at the mouth kind)

· Most teachers – willing to blame anyone for student failure other than themselves. And don’t get me started on educational theory.
· Women who believe that all men are awful, and all women are wonderful, and everything would be perfect if men could just be more like women.
· People who sneer at “Christian values”. It’s those values that led us to end slavery and child labor, provide for the helpless, treat women with dignity, etc. Show me the Wiccan or New-Ager who’s had that kind of impact.
· People who laughingly say “I can’t do math”. Maybe you can’t today, but you could learn. 

That's it for now. I'll add to this story as I have time to think about it.