Posts Tagged ‘politics’

I was taught, when I was growing up, that it wasn’t polite to talk politics. But perhaps it’s time “nice” people should start doing it. — Photo by Pat Bean

“I want a kindle, gentler nation,” Geroge W.H. Bush

I Agree

Where are all these hate mongers coming from? People like the 18-year-old guy who just killed 11 people because he believed only whites should occupy this planet.

As a former journalist, it goes against my grain to call him a killer instead of an alleged killer before a jury convicted him, but this sadist filmed himself committing the murders.

And I’ll probably read in the news tomorrow something just as horrible. It’s disheartening.

There is no one in my circle of friends who spouts such hate as that coming from the mouths of some of our politicians and white supremacists these days – and they’re not all bleeding-heart liberals either. While I consider myself a moderate independent, I have friends – and family members – who lean far to the right. They’re still nice people.

Maybe it’s time we threw this partisan bullshit into a garbage bin and started basing our voting choices on whether candidates believe in the Golden Rule or not — the only one in my opinion that matters. Even if they support our own political agenda, we shouldn’t be electing bullies, racists, liars or narcissists, especially those who encourage, or commit violence to get their way.

I can’t help but think that we nice people are handing over control of this planet – I say planet because America isn’t the only country being destroyed by hateful actions. It’s way too easy for those of us who don’t have goals of a world ruled by a single class of people to just go about our daily business, hoping things are going to change.

It’s time for nice people to let their voices be heard. And for those of us who are nice, which the optimist in me still wants to believe is the majority of us, to take back control.

Pat Bean is a retired award-winning journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon (Free on Kindle Unlimited), and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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Joy is taking pleasure in little things, especially in nature. — Photo by Pat Bean

Political foolery, political bullying, political lying, political egotism, political shenanigans and political partisanship favored over what’s in the best interest of this country make me want to scream. And scream, and scream! I feel this way partly because I feel helpless to change things for the better.

Joy is my canine companion Scamp. — Photo by Pat Bean

What this country needs is a political party that’s not so far right, and not so far left, and is devoted to truth and facts. I would call it the Common Sense Party. All in favor, please stand up and say AYE!

I’m assuming the idea passed, so now all someone has to do is create it.

Meanwhile, since I need to stay sane during these chaotic times, I’ve started a list of things that give me joy. I try to put something on it daily. Here are a few recent joys from my list.

Joy is my third-floor balconies that look out on the Catalina Mountains, proving me a daily show of their changing moods

Joy is the almost daily phone call from one of my sons who tries to keep up with his old-broad mom, and the daily email chat I have with a daughter-in-law who has taken on the responsibility of being my guardian angel.

Joy is a hot bath in a deep tub, hot enough to turn the skin pink and send warmth and ease all the way down to my bones.

Joy is a call from a 10-year-old grandson who is reading the Dr. Doolittle books I so loved as a child, and who is loving them, too.

Joy is me getting to hold my great-granddaughter Cora. — Photo by T.C. Ornelas

Joy is getting a snail-mail letter from a friend, or from one of my grandchildren.

Joy is playing a competitive game of Frustration with my oldest granddaughter and her wife, and cussing and laughing a lot as we play.

Joy is solving and fixing a computer glitch all by myself — after an unsuccessful hour on the phone with a computer expert.

          Joy is my dog Scamp, who is my companion, bedmate and exercise trainer. Having to walk him up and down three flights of stairs daily has become my foolproof exercise plan.

Joy is listening to the gurgling sound of coffee brewing, and smelling its toasty aroma while it is still dark outside.

Joy is sitting my butt in a chair and writing – or reading.

Bean Pat: Watching birds is one of the things that always give me joy, like watching these West Texas humming bird feeders on one of Cornell University’s live bird cams. https://www.allaboutbirds.org/cams/west-texas-hummingbirds/

Available on Amazon.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining


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“You can’t escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.” – Abraham Lincoln.

A small bit of protection for monarch butterflies is my silver lining for today. If I’m going to face reality, I will also need to find a bit of good in the world to keep me sane.

If not wearing a mask while carrying an American flag in a crowd of Black Lives Matter protesters, and then purposely coughing on one of the peaceful protesters, is considered patriotic, then I am living in the wrong country.

The above incident actually happened here in Tucson. What has this world evolved into?

When did so many Americans become so hateful? As a person who is always looking for a silver lining, will I be able to find one among the current cacophony of hateful voices? These are questions I’m asking myself this morning.

I’m also asking myself what can I do as an 81-year-old former journalist to halt the hateful acts I see going on around me. Since beginning this blog 11 years ago, I have written nearly 2,000 posts. With rare exceptions, they have all been upbeat and positive.

Perhaps it’s time I lost my Pollyanna persona, which truly is the majority portion of my being, and dipped into the part of myself that writes about the darker side of life that goes on around me – the side I didn’t ignore as a working journalist,

Perhaps I should now take this blog to the political side.

But I am not going to blame Trump for the actions of the American people. I don’t believe in the blame game. While our president often makes me cringe because of his behavior, and even ashamed to belong to the same human race as he, the woman who coughed on another person in these days of the coronavirus virus, is the only one responsible for her bullying, despiteful, hateful act.

But you can bet your life on it, I will not be voting for Trump.

Bean’s Silver-Lining Pat: A partnership of 45 companies and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has been formed to reduce the loss of monarch butterfly habitat in North America. Perhaps a drop in the bucket to the loss of other wildlife protections these days, but any step forward is one that I consider a silver lining.

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.



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Blue Herons on a cold morning at Farmington Bay in Utah. Nature is what helps keep my blood pressure in check during these days of isolation, even if it’s just remembering past moments spent in the outdoors. — Photo by Pat Bean

“The survival of democracy depends on the ability of large numbers of people to make realistic choices in the light of adequate information.” – Aldous Huxley

From a Moderate Independent

I’m sick and tired of the blame game, politicians’ personal and hateful attacks on their opponents, and no one standing up and taking responsibility for their own acts when they’ve made a mistake.

I don’t expect the leaders of this country to be perfect, but I do think they should put what’s best for all of this country’s people ahead of their own welfare and personal agendas.

And I want to hear exactly what today’s candidates for office would do to improve things if they do gain leadership power, not just that they think their opponent is a slug, or whatever else name-calling they decide will get them elected.

As a former journalist who believed that it was not my duty to change the world but to inform the world, I’m sickened by those in the media today who distort facts, repeat lies, and take sides. These tactics weaken the real media’s role as a government watchdog, a role which some journalists still take seriously.

I’m also quite sick of slogans that mean absolutely nothing but are just words that sound good or patriotic.

To quote a well-known rant, I’m mad as hell and not going to take it anymore — even if all this old broad can do at this point in her life is to speak out against hate and lies and in favor of justice and kindness.

Anyone else out their want to join me?

Bean Pat: Isolation is getting to me. This blog, which looks to nature as a resource for these days, inspired me. https://windbreakhouse.wordpress.com/2020/04/16/spring-in-the-time-of-coronavirus/


available on Amazon

Pat Bean is a retired journalist who lives in Tucson with her canine companion, Scamp. She is a wondering-wanderer, avid reader, enthusiastic birder, Lonely Planet Community Pathfinder, Story Circle Network board member, author of Travels with Maggie available on Amazon, and is always searching for life’s silver lining.

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The view out the rear window of Gypsy Lee at Yogi’s in the Smokies. — Photo by Pat Bean

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.” – Franklin D. Roosevelt

Adventures with Pepper: Days 37-45 

            I was ready for some days away from being behind the wheel of Gypsy Lee after finishing the 469-mile drive on the Blue Ridge Parkway. I also needed to plant myself somewhere for my vote-by-mail election material to reach me.

Pepper and I walked this trail every day while at the park, but never went as far as the falls. –Photo by Pat Bean

While I avoid politics as much as possible, I do keep up with what’s going on in the world, and being aware of how hard my sisters fought so women could vote, I repay their efforts by voting.            I feel strongly that anyone who doesn’t vote has no right to complain, and while I don’t talk politics much – frankly it’s usually too depressing – this is an issue I’m always vocal about.

And just for the record, since I’m far ahead of my blog in my travels, I will tell you that the presidential election results pleased some of my five children and displeased some of them.

Here’s a view of Mingo Falls, which I did get to see in my armchair travels. — Wikipedia photo

That’s the kind of family we are, and the fact that everyone can be vocal about it regardless of which side of the fence they’re on says a lot about America.

And for the sake of my own serenity in the family picture, I ain’t saying who I voted for.

And, yes you can be jealous,  while all the pre-election day chaos was taking place, I was nestled beneath a couple of big trees right by the river that ran through Yogi’s in the Smokies campground in North Carolina, where I sat in perfect serenity for a whole week.

I slept each night to the gurgle of river water as it flowed past my camp site — and was rejuvenated.

Book Report: I spent an hour writing on Travels with Maggie this morning, but cut more than I rewrote. Word count is 61,162.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day.

Bean’s Pat: Thought for Today: http://tinyurl.com/b88qq2s This made me laugh, and it’s oh so true.

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“Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” – John F. Kennedy.

Adventures with Pepper: Day 34

Old cars and political observations were the highlights of this day on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

It was quite windy the day I drove the Blue Ridge Parkway from Meadows of Dan in Virginia to Julian Price State Park in North Carolina, a mere 117 miles away but which took all day drive.    Mother Nature’s bluster plucked fall’s leaves off the trees and sent them swirling across the parkway like pieces of colored glass in a kaleidoscope.            Along with listening to the hum of the wind as it glanced off Gypsy Lee, I heard several conversations this day that put my mind outside the parkway and tuned into the bluster of politicians’ blowing promises around they probably wouldn’t keep.

This tangled mass of leaves claiming this tree trunk reminded me of the tangled mass of people who together are America. Hopefully we can all learn to co-exist as peacefully. — Photo by Pat Bean

There was the conversation I overheard at the High Piney Spur Overlook. The guy doing the speaking had been showing off his shiny red restored vehicle, one of several I saw this day on the parkway. I suspected there was an old car rally being held somewhere along the route – or perhaps the parkway is simply a place old car enthusiasts like to drive their vehicles.            Anyway, the proud owner of the red vehicle was saying: “I don’t think the country’s as bad off as they are saying. People are eating out and buying new cars,” then with hardly a breath in-between thoughts, he added “It was that Iraqi war that caused all the problems, we didn’t need that.”

The night before, I had overheard a fellow sitting around a campfire at Meadows of Dan ask: “What do you think about where this country is heading?” I didn’t hear the answers because I was walking Pepper at the time, and she, not as big an eavesdropper as me, was pulling me along at quite a fast pace.

Later this day, when I bought some snacks after buying gas, I handed the clerk a dollar too much. He quickly handed it back to me, noting that he always tried to be honest.

“I guess that’s why I could never be a politician,” he then noted, before telling me to “Drive safely now.”

     Book Report: Travels with Maggie is up to 60, 424 words.

The Wondering Wanderer’s blog pick of the day

Bean’s Pat: Morning Mist http://tinyurl.com/azmp3vw I like the idea of each morning holding a mystery in waiting.

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Great Egret

Snowy egret

 If you just see the photos of the two egrets on the right, you might think they were the same size, or even that the one on the left was the largest of the two. It’s all a matter of perspective — as you can see from the picture  below of the two of them together. 

                 — Photos by Pat Bean


“You have your way. I have my way. As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.” — Friedrich Nietsche

Travels With Maggie

One of my proudest accomplishments when I was a journalist was to get comments about a story I had written from people representing two sides of a polarized issue, each claiming my article had taken their opponent’s side. It was only then did I pat myself on the back for getting the story “mostly” right.

How each of us view life is colored by a unique perspective – our own. Truth is usually somewhere in the middle.

Eyewitnesses accounts of events can vary so greatly they sound like two different happenings. I see this frequently when I read accounts by two different reporters covering the same speech.

As you can see when you get the full picture, the snowy egret on the left is quite a bit smaller than the great egret on the right. These two were sharing a log at Estero Llano State Park in Texas' Rio Grande Valley.

For example, an environmental reporter might lead with a lumber industry spokesman’s quote: “A tree can produce enough oxygen to keep five or more people alive for a year.” But a business reporter’s lead would more likely be: “Logging is the life blood of hundreds of small communities; stop cutting trees and people will starve or turn to welfare.”

Both reporters, in the space they were allowed, quoted the speaker accurately. And the speaker was correctly quoted both times. The stories just came from different perspectives.

Travel has broadened my perspectives. I’m constantly reminded it’s a very complex world out there and that answers to problems do not come easily, nor without compromise.

Even through my camera lens – when indulging in my birdwatching passion – things aren’t always what they seem.

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