Whatever is True, Whatever is Noble, Whatever is Right

So, I’ve been trying to get back to writing and posting regularly —kind of an unofficial New Year’s resolution. When my family headed back home, I started to reorganize the house as well as my approach to writing.  It was right then that January 6th happened.  All these months, while I’ve been home, I tried to stay out of politics, but I’ve become one of those folks on social media. You know, the one who tries to knock some sense into perfect strangers who are happy living in their irrational state of mind.  It’s hard to ignore the rhetoric when you care about our country and have seen social injustice grow stronger and unchecked in the last 4 years. I try to keep it down, to limit my posts and tweets, but quite frankly, that doesn’t work very well for me.

I thought about starting a second blog dedicated to the events of our time but decided there are already many others doing a fantastic job with that topic. My blog would probably be little more than a rant. I don’t mind putting my thoughts about politics out there, but I don’t want to get caught up in that madness. I have many friends and extended family with very conservative views, and I find that I am always careful about what I write. Being cautious though, has no substantial value because it takes away the freedom to say what is honestly on my mind.  Even with a self-censor, I’ve had to take social media vacations from some people that can not accept that I will never be a fan of DJT. The break usually starts with me saying, “Let’s shake on it, and peace be with you.” In my mind I add, “hopefully, we can regroup after the election.”

However, after President Biden and Vice President Harris’s Inauguration, I’ve decided to write at least one blog post in response to all the gloom and doom that I found on social media the day after. Just for the record, I thought the Inauguration was impressive considering all the limits well-defined by recent events. I thoroughly enjoyed the mix of music, which highlighted the message of unity, diversity, and of course, the tradition of peaceful transition of power.  I felt President Biden’s address to the nation was heartfelt and sincere. 

Many other Americans, though, were devastated. I saw posts of people grieving, afraid of the unknown, questioning their faith, questioning our democracy. The broadcast of this time-honored tradition was put out there for the world to see. It was as if watching it was anathema; many could or would not hear the message of hope and healing transmitted for hours across the networks.  

Sadly, the narrative playing in their heads was that DJT was pushed out of the White House by socialists and communists. They “stole the election.” What happened to the promises, the prophecies? In the other world of DJT, I read that the “Proud Boys” were mad because he gave up too soon. Reports are that they call him “weak,” “a total failure.” The truth is that after the call to arms, the threats, and violence, DJT rode off into the sunset apparently without looking back. He provoked their toxic patriotism, then just walked away, and left them holding the bag. He went back to his 128-room mansion, back to his golf course, back to his exclusive club where these “patriots” are not welcomed.  He never conceded, never told his supporters that the lies about election fraud had been another of his smoke and mirror stunts to confuse his followers and stay in power. I read that instead, he appeased them by declaring that he would be back with a new party – The Patriot Party.  In doing so, he sent a veiled threat to the GOP for not supporting his “Stop the Steal” agenda and confirmed to his followers that he was not done.  As of today, it seems to have worked. 

But really, before I get carried away, this post is not about DJT. Neither is it about the extreme radical conservative, white supremacist movement, for which he proudly takes full credit. Far be it for me to tell him that he is just a symptom of this movement, like a cold sore or herpes. This post is for people who may have gotten caught in the crossfire, if you will. 

It’s for the people I grew up with, people who stood by my side after my kids’ dad died. It’s for people in my family who continue to carry the conservative, fundamentalist values that our parents taught us. It’s for those, like the widow at the Temple, who give generous offerings of what little they have because they believe. It’s for those people who have genuine and pure faith in the God of the Bible but are so confused by what they hear, which is often in contrast with what they see.  

I am reminded of many Bible passages where Jesus is recorded to have given warnings to those who would lead his followers astray.

Mathew 7:15-20

 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire… Therefore, by their fruits, you will know them.

Last Thursday, I started to see negative posts and comments on social media in response to my optimistic expressions about the inaugural activities. I don’t fool myself to think that we are creating heaven on earth or a eutopia. I didn’t expect everything was going to be Peachy Keene on the morning after. Nor did I imagine I would sing Kumbaya with my gun-toting, confederate flag bearing neighbors. However, I didn’t expect the genuine level of sorrow and despondency from some of my Christian contacts.

This is not Nirvana, but I am confident that it is an opportunity to continue working on the principles and the ideals that I believe were intended by the founders of this great nation. I consider that in the last four years, the country strayed from the fundamental principles of “we the people,” not to mention any semblance of honesty and decency.

I was not bothered by the social media responses but rather sad that people were so blindly disheartened by the election outcome. It seems unfortunate to me that honest, decent, hardworking people would be swept up in this “movement” of hate and destruction.  I keep thinking of a passage in the Bible where Jesus calls out the religious leaders.

Matthew 23:27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but, on the inside, you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.”

This uprising in the name of God and traditional values not come as a surprise to us who were paying attention. We have seen such history repeat itself for generations. After all, wasn’t it Caiaphas, the high priest in Jerusalem, that organized the plot to kill Jesus? Wasn’t it the council of the Sanhedrin that turned Jesus over to the Roman courts? Tradition gave these high priests lots of power and prosperity. They were charged with interpreting the ancient scriptures and keeping the law as they had done for centuries.

When they saw that Jesus had quite a following, outside of the Temple, they accused him of blasphemy because he taught the community that He came to fulfill the laws and the prophecies. He said, “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you also must love one another. By this, everyone will know that you are My disciples if you love one another” [Gospel of John 13: 34,35].

Crowds followed Jesus for three years. The people received spiritual and physical healing. Yet, when Pontius Pilate offered to spare Jesus from death, the high priests incited the crowd to demand crucifixion for Jesus. Likewise, they called out instead for the release of Barabbas, an insurrectionist imprisoned by the Romans for his revolutionary activities.  And so, it was, that despite everything that the people had heard and witnessed with their own eyes, in that moment of pandemonium, that multitude in Jerusalem turned against Jesus and His teachings.  They forgot about the promises, about Jesus’ message of a loving God, and the beauty of the Spirit.

Let me pause a minute to review. “Picture it:” Jerusalem, AD 50-85, a group of powerful men in robes, afraid to lose their high paying jobs with benefits, plotted to kill a young Rabbi who was teaching the Children of Israel about God and the scriptures.  According to the law, the Jews had to come to the High Priest to reach God.  

Some of the charges as I understand them were:

  • He told a young man faithfully following The Commandments, that to inherit eternal life, he had to give ALL his money to the poor and follow Him. Not to the Temple or the High Priests, but to the poor.  
  • A couple of times, the High Priests caught Jesus healing the sick on the Sabbath!  One of those times, Jesus healed a lame man and told him to pick up his bed and go on his way, he was healed. Imagine, he told the man to pick up his bed – on the Sabbath! It didn’t matter that the man had been afflicted for 38 years, and on this day, Jesus came to him with compassion.  The Priests were the keepers of the Law.
  • Jesus stopped a legal stoning of a woman prosecuted for adultery. Then he dared to turn to her accusers and tell them “Let the one without sin throw the first stone!” One by one they left.
  • Jesus used a Samaritan as an example to teach them that our neighbor is anyone in need to whom we show love and kindness.  He encouraged his followers to visit the sick, those in prison, and to care for the widows.

There are many more examples like this, but these are enough for now.  You can always read more about this on your own.

 In the centuries that followed The Crucifixion, wars raged to secure the places sacred to Christian values and traditions. Since then, Christians brought with them the mantra of the “love the sinner, hate the sin” as they forced Muslims and Jews to accept Christ as Savior or else. These nonbelievers lost their lands, material wealth, and sometimes their lives.

When we remember Jesus’ words to Pilate, that if his kingdom had been of this world, his followers would have already physically saved him from this fate.  These wars and abuse were not in His plans. As a matter of fact, when Jesus was arrested, the story was that the Apostle Peter took up his sword and chopped off the ear of one of the guards. Jesus told Peter to put away his sword, he who lives by the sword, dies by the sword. Jesus had to complete his mission.

In the Sixties, we sang a folk song that said, “They will know we are Christians by our love, by our love, by our love” – not by our sword – by our love.   We also sang, “Not by might and not by power, but by my spirit…” I still find comfort in these melodies that continue to lift my spirit.

How simple it is to believe that all good comes from God or the Spirit of a Higher Power.  And yet, in witnessing the past four years, it baffles me how people -Christians especially, can compare the 45th Administration to all that is good? Anything that appeared to be “good” quickly vanished in the light of the truth.

Examples that “came to light” just over the last week were:

  1. Although DJT had used Warp-Speed to get vaccines out. The Administration misrepresented how much was actually in stock and how effectively the plan was rolled out.
  2. No matter how many court cases were brought to overturn the election, NOTHING in the reports reached a level of credibility.  Not even judges appointed by DJT for this very reason, were able to confirm widespread election fraud.
  3. These last two examples shed light on DJT’s character and his narcissistic patterns of behavior. Let me start by clarifying that I am not a fan of Mike Pence, but if anything, he has been loyal to DJT.  If Pence is the kind of Christian he has led us to believe he is, standing by DJT must have been quite a challenge. It almost reminds me of the Biblical account of King Saul and David. David, according to the story, knew he was to be king after Saul, but given the opportunity, he refused to take the life of God’s anointed.  In contrast, however, the moment Pence publicly disagreed with DJT about certifying the election, he sent his goons after him at the Capitol where Pence was doing his job. DJT’s people chanted in the streets and up the steps of the Capitol about death to Pence and even put-up gallows with a noose. All because DJT put his loyalty in doubt before this crowd of radicalized militant extremists.
  4. NOT ONCE DID TRUMP DISANNOUNCE THESE ACTIONS AGAINST HIS FAITHFUL VICE PRESIDENT.  WHEN HE SAW WHAT WAS HAPPENING, NOT ONCE DID HE CALL TO STOP WHAT HE HAD UNLEASHED ON THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE. Instead, watch it unfold on TV and dawdled, hemmed, and hawed in deciding if he should approve the National Guard deployment to the Capitol.  

 As I am writing, I can almost hear – “but this, but that.” I know I am only touching the surface with these observations.  Maybe in the days to come, I’ll continue with more in-depth commentary of how I see things in the light of “non-fundamentalism.”

I’ll just leave you with one last verse for your consideration. Perhaps it will help someone measure by faith what they are witnessing with their eyes. It is a verse from a letter credited to Paul and Timothy to the congregation at Philippi.

Philippians 4:8-9

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

(Photo from pixabay)

My color is Ecru Cream

Alternative title – A Roze by any other name is still a Roze

I Have Been Weary

The other day, Jill Dennison of Filosofa’s Word posted “A SHARED OPINION …” in which she shared an article by Charles M. Blow of the NY Times, titled “You Have a Right to Weariness.” As usual, Jill’s comments to this article echoed my own thoughts.  It is a great opinion piece for our time of unsettling barrage of news stories. I have been weary.”   It’s not in my nature to ignore world events around me.  My eighth grade Social Studies teacher taught me, “Those that fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.” Winston Churchill.  Unfortunately, watching current events unfold makes me feel like I’m watching a train wreck about to happen, but I’ve no superpowers to stop it.

I thought I was Over It

As I attempt a smooth transition to my “Third Act of Life,” I am dealing with feelings and frustrations that I thought I had overcome or mastered years ago.  You see, I am a woman of color, I like to say it’s “Ecru Cream.” I describe Ecru Cream as a very light beige, like raw linen- almost white, but not quite. I lived most of my life that way-almost white.

I  am No One’s Anchor

I was conceived in Puerto Rico, and when my grandparents found out that their 22-year-old, unmarried daughter was pregnant; they sent her to Pennsylvania to stay with her married older sister, Evangeline.  Evangeline had migrated to the States a few of years before when her husband returned from his tour of duty for the US Army.  They bought a house and started a family.  My grandparents decided that Evangeline would be a good role model to help her sister in this situation, and so my journey of life began just outside “the City of Brotherly Love.”

No, I was not an “anchor baby.” My parents were born American citizens in Puerto Rico, and my grandparents were granted citizenship as young adults in 1917.  My grandfather was drafted to the US Military shortly after, just in time for WWI. Brooklyn

Nuyoricans “Passing” for an Opportunity

After I was born, my father came to see us at Aunt Evangeline’s house, and since my mother was “the love of his life;” we moved with him to New York City.  We joined his older sisters and brother who migrated and settled in Brooklyn. My parents seemed to quickly become accustomed to the new culture and way of life while maintaining and blending the traditional customs of the major holidays. We used to tease my mother that she learned how to be “American” by watching “I Love Lucy” and Days of Our Lives.”

My parents socialized very little with friends outside of work so that we spent our weekends and holidays with family.  For the most part, my family is very light skinned; my cousins and I grew up without accents, and our last names did not end in “Z.”  These characteristics gave people an opportunity to get to know us before realizing that we were just an illusion of whiteness.  Yes, we were “passing” as a means to have a chance.

In school, at the church and in the neighborhood, our friends were not Puerto Rican. Our friends were the first or second generation of immigrants.  They were Italians, Irish, French, English, Polish, Canadian, Brazilian or Middle Eastern. Most spoke a second language at home.  Together we navigated the Melting Pot culture of NYC and were absorbed into the American Dream.

Celebrity Magic Shows and Miracle Excelsiors

It wasn’t all easy peasy as my granddaughter likes to say and when I hear the rhetoric, I can’t help but feel a bit of fear and frustration.  I continue to say that DJT is not the problem. He is who he is and who he has been. He didn’t get more obnoxious on the campaign trail. He did gain more visibility. I was not a fan of his before, not as a businessman or as a celebrity. I never watched his reality TV show and rolled my eyes whenever he did a cameo in a movie that took place in NYC.  I was one of those that would have bet my last dollar that he would not get into the White House.  The American people would never vote a con-man into the highest, most powerful office in the country.  By Election Day, I had changed my mind.  I watched how Americans adored his bravado and his magic displays with smoke and mirrors.  I was not surprised by his win at all.  Mostly though, I was hurt.  I continue to feel betrayed by friends and family.

A Christian Education 

I knew race tensions existed, and I was aware the KKK was still alive and well, but the events of the past couple of years reach me at a very personal level. I am reminded of my years as a young adult, my first year away from home in a Christian Bible college.  It was a small Bible College in the North East, about an hour outside of The City.  In was presented as “interdenominational” in promotional events and material.  The leader of my city wide “interdenominational” Christian high school club recommended it highly.  Interdenominational meant that all Christians around the world were welcome. Even though Baptists founded it, the school welcomed students from Presbyterians to Pentecostals in all shapes, sizes, and color.  We had to include a photo with our application.

By the end of my first semester, I learned that indeed all that glitters is not gold and whitewashing walls is a quick, effective way to cover up dirt and imperfections.  We learned that the school accepted minorities and international students of color in pairs, one man and one woman.  It was preferable if they were already married.  One of our friends was “spoken to” because people saw her around campus accompanied by a Brown student.  To be truthful, I don’t remember what country he was from, but in my memory, I recall him as perhaps from India or Pakistan.  The girl was so upset by this situation that she did not return next semester.

The Founder and President of the school taught a class on Dispensations. It was in his class that I decided not to come back after my second semester. I did not go back to my local church either.  His beliefs did not resemble the Christianity I learned at home.  His lessons were peppered with digs and condescending, derogatory remarks about other denominations that were not entirely in accord with Baptist dogma. I questioned my beliefs, my faith.  It was years before I returned to an organized religious community.

Who Are My Friends?

There were many other things about the school that made me uncomfortable,but the most hurtful thing occurred after I left the school.  I had become close friends with my roommate and a few of the girls in my dorm.  Gwen, Margaret and I were inseparable.  Margaret and I made plans to visit our boyfriends at a Christian College in New England next semester. I continued to correspond with the girls by snail mail.  One day I received a letter from Margaret.  One line in the message hit me like a gut punch.  “Gwen and I miss you so much; we had to adopt another inner-city girl.”  Wow! I thought we were friends, real friends.  I thought she was my friend because we had a lot in common because I was smart, witty and fun to be around.  She saw me as an inner-city-girl who went to her school on a partial scholarship and lived in her dorm.

Disguised, They Came For the Immigrants…

Years later, I was working at a psychiatric day services program is a New England city nicknamed “The City of Immigrants.”  One day, after the clients left, and we were meeting to review the day’s events and planning.  There was construction going on around us, and the noise prompted a co-worker, Doug, to make some awful comments, similar to DJT’s views, about the men who were working on the project. 

The workers were mostly brown men if I had to guess they were probably from countries in South America and the Caribbean.  “I can’t believe you just said that,” I told him. His response to justify his words was worse. I explained that these men could very well be my cousin, brother, or father.  While he had never been disrespectful to me or made racist comments of our clients in front of me, it hurt me that he thought this way of these people he didn’t even know – just because of the color of their skin and their accents.

Doug was a man that I worked with for several years; we co-facilitated successful groups, we walked together at lunch, had our coffee together, I considered him a close friend.  He finally said, “I’m sorry, I  just wasn’t thinking.”  It didn’t make it any better if anything, it made it worse that he wasn’t thinking about the impact of his words.  Things were never the same between us.

Then They Came for Me…

People forget I am not “white,” I am a woman “of color,” Ecru Cream is my color.  If our country were to continue to erase all the progress made regarding equality for all people; if as a nation we lose respect for basic human rights what is left for us?  What becomes of me, of my family?  If someone comes knocking on my door and drags me away because of a flippant comment I made on Twitter, will my friends stand up for me?  Will they say, “Well, you shouldn’t have said that after all, he is our President.”  I remember the words of Martin Niemoller, “… Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.”

All this rhetoric brings all these emotions to the surface. DJT did not get to the White House on his own merits.  Witnessing day after day that our lawmakers condone and defend his actions is very draining.  I am reminded again: “…and when an experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  — George Santayana

Hope for Rational Government

The recent elections bring some hope that people realize that the current events are not just politics and business as usual, nor are they healthy for our Democracy.  On the flip side, the recent election shows that there is still lots of work to be done. The numbers were too close for comfort, and there were too many mistakes and too much irregularity at the polls. Yes, I am weary, but I am hoping that tempered and rational thought comes with the new legislators to Congress before we resort to “Hunger Games” for the dignity and survival of the 98%.  

Dem Majority can set useful goals in the House

Great opinion piece by Ronald A Klain of the Washington Post.   Now that elections are over, the democratic party needs to focus on prioritizing the needs of the people to restore some kind of balance in our Democracy.  Its time now to “resist” the negativity by getting to work regardless of what Twitter spews from the WH.


Why it Matters

The Question

During Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Senator Kamala Harris asked Judge Brett Kavanaugh the question that crossed my mind while hearing his opening statement.  “Do you agree that men can be friends with some women and treat other women badly?”  To which the Judge responded, “Of course, but the point I’m trying to emphasize is…” At which time he brought up the 65 signatures of women who have been his friends since he was fourteen. 

Here is a segment of Judge Kavanaugh’s opening statement:                                                  “Dr. Ford’s allegation stems from a party that she alleges occurred during the summer of 1982, 36 years ago. I was 17 years old between my junior and senior years of high school at Georgetown Prep, a rigorous, all-boys Catholic Jesuit high school in Rockville, Maryland. When my friends and I spent time together at parties on weekends, it was usually with friends from nearby Catholic all-girls high schools: Stone Ridge, Holy Child, Visitation, Immaculata, Holy Cross. Dr. Ford did not attend one of those schools. She attended an independent private school named Holton-Arms, and she was a year behind me. She and I did not travel in the same social circles. It is possible that we met at some point at some events, although I do not recall that.” Judge Brett Kavanaugh at Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.

The Belief System

For several years I co-facilitated groups on Family Violence Prevention, specifically working with men who batter.  The educational model centered around the dynamics of power and control in relationships.  As part of the curriculum, we explore belief systems that present one person as inferior to the other and as such may imply permission to abuse another person whether physically, verbally or emotionally. 

One of the belief systems we addressed centered on the Christian teachings of the two Marys of the mentioned most New Testament. The belief dominates cultures based on strong Catholic traditions which include the Catholic Mariology dogma of a pure virgin, the Mother of God – Blessed Mother Mary.  The New Testament also highlights the story of Mary Magdalene, who according to tradition was a prostitute until she met Jesus Christ, and she became a vital figure in the community of believers.

During the educational sessions, our groups explored how these traditions are passed down through generations creating a belief that categorizes women in two roles; chaste, sober women as mothers and wives, while every other woman is of less value. One group of women is protected while the other is dehumanized. Strong language I know, but I think that during the past century we continue as a nation to figure out the boundaries and social norms in response to recognizing a women’s equal human rights.  I think the people in power feel threatened on many levels and in the effort to turn back the clock, we have lost that vision of justice for all.  

It is my opinion that this deep-rooted belief system may be the reason why there is a detachment from the events in Judge Kavanaugh’s memories; the reason he has no recollection.  In his introductory statement, he mentions the kinds of girls he chose to socialize with, girls from other Catholic Schools in the area.  I’ll bet that these probably were also the daughters of his parents’ friends or the sisters of his “brothers” at Georgetown or Yale.  He added that Dr. Ford “did not travel in the same social circles.”  One could wonder if that perhaps that made Dr. Ford a “non-person” to young Billy Kavanaugh and his social group.

Point of View: Privilege or Tradition

My theory can explain why her name did not get noted in his calendar and why he says he does not remember.  We tend to keep memories that are important to us.  It was a significant memory for Dr. Christine Baisley Ford but not for Judge Kavanaugh or any of the others.  The others did not feel trapped or fear for their lives.  It seems that for the others at the gathering, it was as Dr. Ford described it, just like any other “spur of the moment” gathering at someone’s house.  The other teens may remember it vaguely one of many chances to have a few beers, and if one got “lucky,” maybe get a piece of a$*.  Dr. Ford’s friend, Leland Ingham Keyser, came forward in support of her friend although she didn’t remember the event. We don’t know what she experienced that day. There were, after all, enough “friends” left in the house for another “triangle” –two boys and a girl.

During his testimony, Judge Kavanaugh made excuses for underage drinking.  Reports say he lied about the drinking age in Maryland at the time of the incident in question. Various online news sources point out the law was changed seven months before he turned eighteen in January of 1983.  A couple of times he mentioned that seniors at Georgetown Prep could buy alcohol because they were of age, but didn’t own the fact that he was seventeen when enjoyed his beer.  Is his view based on privilege or traditions and beliefs that “Boys will be boys?”  He avoided many questions with indirect answers, and instead repeated practiced statements to take up time.  Do we remember that he had coaching sessions before the hearing?   

Emotional Response

The Family Violence Prevention program also had an educational unit that discussed how people use angry outbursts to intimidate and get situations under control and to turn in their favor.  We see that displayed with Judge Kavanaugh and Senator Lindsay Graham, who I believe had additional reasons for his show of unbridled rage.  Kavanaugh started the afternoon as I saw many men in our groups, angry, blaming others and indignant that they were accused of such terrible things.  I would have had more respect for him if he had at least owned the allegations from his friend or his roommate, that he drank severely and that these circumstances presented so often, it was difficult to tell one from the other.  Instead, he belittled his friends in an attempt to make their recollection of him void, without importance or significance.   One he described a drug addict and the other disgruntled roommate – so much for loyalty.

How about those tears?  Was he ashamed or remorseful?  I’ll bet, not because he hurt these women, but because his future and the persona he worked hard to create was getting challenged.  The world was learning about another side of Judge Kavanaugh.  I believe Mark Judge’s testimony is in his book Wasted: Tales of a GenX Drunk, in which he described what life was like in the elite schools in the suburbs of Maryland.  In it, he has a character named “Bart O’Kavanaugh.” As a writer, I rename any character based on a friend or family member.  I play around with the names, leaving clues for some readers to recognize the person.   I believe Mark Judge did the same but put little effort into concealing the name to protect the innocent.  I wonder why?

Why it Matters in 2018

He was just a teenager in high school, a red-blooded young man in college, why does it matter now? Has it been an issue in his professional life before now?  Somehow the Judge Kavanaugh that we see now, managed to effectively play the game he was trained to win early on.  Could it be that his character was never questioned because he had the right credentials or the right pedigreed?  The current line of questioning centered on his professional experiences, until the allegations were made public.  After so many years in Washington DC, he was privy to the types of questions and then like a good athlete or debater, he began to practice and build muscle.  Besides the fact that there appears to be a cover-up of his character flaws, if we look back at his decisions in lower courts, we will notice patterns of consistent rulings or dissentions based on his beliefs and conservative politics.  In my opinion, they are not necessarily based on the merits of cases in front of him.  

blur close up focus gavel

I will briefly summarize points that caught my eye as they pertain to issues that are important to me.

-He has demonstrated that he does not favor separation of church and state. A 2015 dissent indicating ACA infringes on religious freedom and that organizations should not be mandated to offer contraception to their employees.  He has suggested that he is open to widening the flow of public funding to religious schools and during a CNN appearance in 2000 he predicted that the court would one day uphold school vouchers. 

– He wrote a 2016 opinion saying employers can require workers to waive their right to picket in arbitration agreements. 

-In 2014 ruling over an EPA rule on toxic mercury from power plants, he wrote in a dissent that EPA had acted wrongly in not weighing costs when it first decided to write a regulation. 

-He said the 2010 Dodd-Frank law had wrongly placed “enormous executive power” in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s single director, which Republicans and the banking industry want to replace with a multi-member commission. 

-In 1999 wrote on behalf of the Center for Equal Opportunity, a group that opposes race-based affirmative action in college admissions.

Character matters

I believe our core-self develops early on.  Definitely, by high school, our personality and character can reflect how we deal with what life brings our way. I am a firm believer that people can change. We mature, we evolve we come to terms with our beliefs, our strengths, and weaknesses. We remove or replace behaviors and make modifications in our lives to become better persons.  Likewise, of course, some people go in the opposite direction based on personal experiences that negatively mark their lives, but I have found they live with hope to change.  In either direction, in order to improve, we must acknowledge there is a problem.  There must be something we want to change. 

Here is another way to see what I’m trying to say.  rosalind.life/2018/09/29/with-the-mouth-she-kisses-my-kids/

Will he be confirmed if nothing catastrophic shows up in the investigation this week?  All things are possible.  After all, DJT is President, MRP is his Vice President, and the country is littered with government-sponsored zoos that exhibit human children in cages for their safety. 

Get out and vote on November 6th!