Still I Rise

Maya Angelou - 1928-2014

You may write me down in history

With your bitter, twisted lies,

You may trod me in the very dirt

But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?

Why are you beset with gloom?

’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells

Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,

With the certainty of tides,

Just like hopes springing high,

Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?

Bowed head and lowered eyes?

Shoulders falling down like teardrops,

Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?

Don’t you take it awful hard

’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines

Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,

You may cut me with your eyes,

You may kill me with your hatefulness,

But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?

Does it come as a surprise

That I dance like I’ve got diamonds

At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame

I rise

Up from a past that’s rooted in pain

I rise

I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,

Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear

I rise

Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear

I rise

Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,

I am the dream and the hope of the slave.

I rise

I rise

I rise.

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The Afghan army collapsed because Trump (ignorant asshole) pulled all support for them in his agreement with the Taliban. May he and his self serving Republicans all burn in hell.

RIP Brothers and Sisters.

Semper Fi

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August 26, 2021

What a sad day for America and for all Americans. My heart goes out to those soldier's parents and families, "the solemn pride that must be theirs, to lay so costly a sacrifice on the altar of freedom". The effort and scope of the Kabul airlift is a historic one. Its somewhere between the Berlin Airlift of 1948-49 and Dunkirk 1940, but it is even more noble as it is about saving non combatants/civilians. I am only comforted by the fact that as we leave, sacrifices are being made to protect and evacuate as many American and Afghani civilians as we can. There is a lot of pride and honor in that. A marine hoisting an infant above the crowd and above barbed wire. The faces from Ramstein's tarmac of our Army Nurses smiling through masks, handing out bottles of water, welcoming Afghani refugees. The stories of Afghan babies being born on transport planes. Amongst the pain, these are all things to feel some pride for.

While the new terror isis-k is a serious problem, I am more concerned about the terror afoot at our own doorstep. Throughout the South and here in my home state of Idaho, hospitals are full. This week a friend's grandson, not even a year old, reported not eating, not drinking, a fever, then trouble breathing was treated for covid/viral pneumonia at our local ER with an IV, steroids', and monoclonal antibodies. Then also sent home early. There just was not room for him to stay in critical care at the largest hospital in 126 miles. The image of an American baby in the hospital, treated but asked to leave contrasted with the marine hoisting the Afghan baby over the barbed wire in A-stan leaves me with a profound sense of foreboding.

And even as the rationing of care has begun here, and Idaho Covid cases climb, in a straight up curve, just like in Texas and Florida, our Governor Brad Little and Health Director Dave Jeppsen can not even mention to the public, nor even ask citizens for the one simple and short term sacrifice that could help, especially in our schools, they just can not mention nor ask the public to wear a mask. The Republican Pandemic strategy is ignorant, nefarious, and cruel.

Kevin McCarthy is right about something. We should be aware of terror and terrorism. The domestic terror of disease, the terror of not being able to get a hospital bed for grandson with so much fluid in his young lungs he can not breathe, the terror of a loved one dying alone either at home without proper care or rationed care... IN A FIELD HOSPITAL ... or in some TENT... or PARKING GARAGE!

At least in the Army, the families have something the red states do not. At least the families of the fallen have a Commander and Chief and officers, leaders who care enough to acknowledge their sacrifice, their pain, their suffering, and their loss of loved ones. These red state's, as with the Republican party are leaderless, staffed by demagogues, sado-populists, and now clearly bio-terrorists.

"It is nothing short of perfidy to place a higher priority on humoring the kind of people who threaten doctors and nurses than on protecting the health and safety of schoolchildren and their families. Some 1,200 children every day are getting sick with Covid in this state, and Mr. Lee’s response is to tie the hands of the people who are actually trying to help."-Margaret Renkle



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"Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) blamed Biden for the attack".

"Appearing on the Fox News Channel last night, DeSantis blamed Biden for the crisis. “He said he was going to end Covid,” DeSantis said. “He hasn’t done that.”"

Dr. Richardson, why are you taken aback? You are a historian and know that......

These two sentences point to the real culprit: Profound American ignorance that has resulted in Fox News and One America News being able to say any lie and have it immediately lapped up like warm milk by ignorant, poorly read, Americans. Profound ignorance in America is not new and has been present in every wave of immigration from the bottom of Europe's economic class system and maintained for generations, with some tiny fraction of the population drawn to reading like John Adams. But, he was the rare case exception, not the rule.

Remember the Salem witch trials where folks would believe any crazy accusation against a poor 14 year old girl? Then get in line to watch her literally burn?

The problem is not Republicans. They are the symptom of the problem. Like burning teenagers.

The real problem? Americans are so profoundly ignorant and so well trained in methods of belief, without critical analysis, that if they look up and see a blue sky, and some loud blowhard on Fox News says that is a yellow sky, they believe it!! This state of gullible ignorance has ALWAYS been part of America.

Unfortunately, this problem is not really solvable by Joe Biden. The people looking for the return of a Messiah, willing to believe that night is day, etc., are looking for, well, someone like Trump to tell them HE is THE ONE.

Of course, Americans, having been schooled in the art of believing the white man at the front of the church on Sunday morning, no matter what he says?

Well then, when Trump says he is the Messiah?? And their preachers get behind him? Americans will believe. (anything at all).

Probably NONE of Trump's supporters even knew about Trump's surrender agreement with the Taliban. So, Republicans blaming Biden??

Easy as looking up at that yellow sky.


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I did not realize until now that DeSantis and his ilk are actually trying to increase the number of dead in their state(s) in order to blame Biden for the delta variant. This is so evil and so wrong. He ought to be impeached. (I assume governors can be impeached.) DeSantis actually IS a threat to the citizens of his state. And to the rest of us because he wants to be prez.

Afghanistan is such a sh*t show. Yet Biden is doing precisely what he did in the very early days of his administration—soldiering on amidst the chaos—an approach that has gained my respect and support. While I question the wisdom of some of the administration’s actions regarding the withdrawal, I do not doubt his quiet but sustained recognition of the situation, and his sense of responsibility and commitment. I feel as though we haven’t had a president like this in a very long time. Possibly decades. I trust Biden. As much as I have liked some former POTUSes, they did not garner the sense of trust this man evokes in me. The Rs will seek to destroy him because they have no other method of governing. We are a sh*t show of a different kind.

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Joe Biden is taking flak for acting honorably - for having the strength to leave a foreign civil war where the US was never wanted- for following the science on covid to bring an end to the pandemic and he is being sabotaged by Republican perfidy. It's more than frustrating to watch these false narratives propagated by the Republicans have so much impact. I rely on Heather's daily communications to keep the faith that sanity will prevail in the end. Thank you.

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[From the "Don't Let Fox News Shape Your Perspective" department]

Opinion: Putting ‘America First’ would require keeping our word to Afghan allies

Opinion by Catherine Rampell


<start clip>

To be clear, the most compelling reason to take in military interpreters and other vulnerable Afghans is the moral and humanitarian one. These people helped us and are now in grave danger. They have targets on their backs precisely because they helped us, and we have made a commitment to protect them in return. This commitment is enshrined in U.S. law.

A related reason regards our national security interests. If we break our word to protect these allies, then the next time we need people in another part of the world to take a risk by cooperating with us, they’ll be less likely to agree. Our reputation matters.

There’s another, even more self-interested argument: that refugees are good for the U.S. economy.

In 2017, while casting about for excuses to choke off refugee admissions, the Trump administration commissioned a study on the economic and fiscal impact of refugees. Much to Miller’s chagrin, it found that refugees are a net positive for the U.S. economy. Yes, refugees often arrive penniless and in need of public services, such as food assistance. Within short order, most get jobs and become self-supporting.

As a result, over the decade that the Trump administration examined (2005-2014), refugees paid $63 billion more in taxes than they received in benefits, across all levels of government.

<end clip>


(We must never forget to remember the attacks from the right are meant to cover over past failures of GOP politicians, Presidents and right wing media.)

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Appearing on the Fox News Channel last night, DeSantis blamed Biden for the crisis. “He said he was going to end Covid,” DeSantis said. “He hasn’t done that.”

Conservatives love to say that we can't have socialized medicine or gun control or Universal Basic Income (never mind an increase to the minimum wage) because it's all so complicated, isn't it? It's just so complicated. Too complicated for the ken of we lowly mortals.

But apparently DeSantis is pissed off that Biden isn't using the magic wand he got from Hogwarts to deal with (wait for it) a complicated situation that's made all the more complicated by the cruel neglect of politicians like DeSantis.

Something something, party of personal responsibility, something something pro-life something something something think of the children.

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I never thought the day would come when some of my own countrymen ((Republicans) would be more despicable than the hated Taliban. That day is here.

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DeSantis has no right to blame anyone but himself about the Delta deaths on his watch! Not.One.Single.Person.But.Himself! He has blood on his hands and he's attempting to wipe that blood on Biden's hands. No way, DeSatan! Those bloodstains are yours and yours alone!

As for the bloodshed in Afghanistan, we must all take the blame for that. Very few people stood up against the invasion of Afghanistan! Very few people attempted to stop our involvement there. How can we even begin to pass on the blame to anyone, but to the government and people of the USA? Would it be even logical to envision a bloodless exit? It's a miracle that planes haven't been shot down and that more haven't died to date! The deaths break my heart, but we must stop the blame game and recognize our own two-decade silence and/or approval.

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One very Republican associate posted that the activity in Afghanistan is a smoke screen to cover up problems elsewhere such as the covid problems. I couldn’t believe the irony of her thought process! They never let up. No matter the mess trumpty made, they always blame the other guy.

Eleven students at my elementary school are out with positive covid tests. Four staff. This is our second week back f2f. Parents wanting their kids in masks are trying to keep them safe. There aren’t any pediatric ICU beds left in our area. Virtual school is not being funded so it’s all f2f. Abbott has us back to square one.

Like Heather said it’s ideology over the safety of our children.

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So heartbreaking to have our dedicated soldiers and fleeing Afghan families suffer yet more deaths, more mayhem by ISIS and their young offshoot. The horrendous attitude by the so-called leaders of the Republican Party is infuriating. Day after day, they adopt the former guy’s tyrannical language to spit on Biden. Shameful and inhumane is what they are. In the meantime, they take no responsibility for over 635,000 Covid deaths. I am ready to pull my hair out.

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As usual, I am disgusted by the callousness and outright lies of the Repugnant Party leaders, but moreso by the ignorant cult following that believes them. Yesterday on twitter, I have taken TN Sen. Marsha Blackburn to task for her insensitive attacks on Biden, instead of joining in the national grief for our lost soldiers. Had to remind her that Biden is stuck with the mess her cult leader left. I know it is a useless gesture on my part, but venting helps me, and apparently many others with the same message. IDK why these Repugnant Party leaders even post this disinformation on twitter, as there is usually a bunch of us telling the facts on their timeline.

As for our deluded and downright evil governor RegeneRon DeathSantis, telling his easily refuted lies on Faux Noise about how well he is dealing with COVID, while our hospitals are at a breaking point, both in supplies and burned out medical staff and we still lead the nation in infections, what can I say? Half the ppl in Floriduh are idiots and believe him. Very disheartening for those of us with critical thinking skills having to endure this sea of ignorance of which we have no effect.

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Every day I wake up and think “things can’t really be as bad as I thought they were yesterday, it surely can’t be any worse”. Then I realize it indeed can get worse, every d*** day.

A photo was published yesterday of President Biden, taken at his news conference, where he is holding his folder, and his head is bowed. My very first thought was “here is a deeply grieving man, feeling the pain of the families who will soon learn that they have lost a son or daughter, and remembering the pain of losing his own son”. My heart ached for him, and I was so moved by his compassion and empathy.

Then I began reading comments being left about the photo, and was utterly and completely gobsmacked. Most all comments were from people who saw nothing but weakness and defeat in the photo, and were calling for him to resign.

I know it is only human nature for two people to look a the same picture and see two different things. But for one person to see/feel nothing but love, and the other to see/feel nothing but hate takes me to a place of utter despair that this division in our country can ever be healed.

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Thank you, Heather. I've appreciated, in the past week or so, the nuance that you've incorporated into your writings about Afghanistan. I retired from the Army in '16, spent 4.5 years at USCENTCOM, and while I never fought in AFG (I went to Iraq twice), I went there twice on Advisory visits and spent considerable time dealing with policy & strategy there. Just listing the factions of power and their range between "good" and "bad" would take several classes (hint: it's a lot more than "The Taliban" and ISIS-K). Of course, the Republicans are criticizing Biden here. They are 1) going to the already-bone-dry well of foreign policy because they still feel (well, hope) that is an area they can get some degree of resonance and 2) the one gift that kept on giving for them last decade was the Canine & Equestrian Show, AKA Benghazi...they're desperate for an encore (they won't get it. America's 5-minute attention span is already waning. Back on your mask-less, plan-less heads, GOP).

Then, of course, there is Florida. If this were happening in 1998 Serbia, we'd have added it to Slobodan Milosevic's supposed crimes against humanity (I say supposed because, while we had him to dead-to-rights on War Crimes, we never did on CAH--so we played the long game, dragged out the trial, and let him die in prison). Seriously--I think history WILL condemn DeSantis in those kinds of terms...and they should.

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Stefanik is a worthless little piece of shit who should be taken out behind the woodshed and given a good "what for" for being such a worthless little shithead. She's further proof that actual intelligence and the ability to go to the vastly-overrated Hahvahd are two different things. Given too many of the rest of the graduates of that brickpile, it needs closing.

As far as the rest of the scum that jumped-up conscienceless little shit's part of, Harry Truman was right 73 years ago: "The only 'good Republicans' are pushing up daisies." The current crop are so far beyond redemption and so rotten their stench can be smelled across the continent.

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