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Archive for the ‘politics’ Category

I love my nieces’ chubby-knuckled hands. I know they’re growing into confident women with the strong grip necessary to lift a margarita and become margagogo staffers.

I like candle light reflected on a tin ceiling. It dances.

Alphabet pretzels (all 26 letters plus “@”) are endless party fun. They’re even better when they’re baked in butter. I’m hopeful that 2015 will see the introduction of the hashtag pretzel. #PretzelFun

Brownies, a treat that’s not quite a cake and not quite a cookie, are inspired. The person who invented them is a culinary genius and has contributed to my happiness too many times to count.

I appreciate a well placed curse word. Sometimes, it’s truly satisfying to let one rip.

Margaritas and chocolate. Chocolate and margaritas. This blog could have just as easily been called “chocagogo” and I could run around looking for the best chocolate to eat and share.

I’m lucky to have great role models and blessed to love and be loved.

I like snickerdoodles. They taste good but mostly I like them because “sinckerdoodle” is silly to say.

I have a really cool jacket that earns me tons of compliments every time I wear it. I’m lucky to have had the choice to buy it or not.

My parents are together, happy, healthy and busier than I am.

I like to make my bed with fresh, warm sheets straight out of the dryer. Then I like to get in it right away.

Volunteering makes me feel connected and I’m glad to lend a hand. I believe good intentions can start a domino effect so a small act might be bigger than I think.

Comfortable shoes are a relief.

Holiday lights and decorations and music fill me with a peaceful, warm feeling. Have you ever listened to a recording of Mahalia Jackson singing “Silent Night?” The first time I heard it, it moved me to tears.

I’m grateful for so many things big and small.

When the world becomes too scary, I count my blessings. Being grateful helps me catch my breath and soothes my soul. From Ferguson to Brooklyn to Peshawar (and lots of places in-between) there is so much pain and fear and confusion and many, many souls to soothe.  I wish I had some answers – any answers. I wish I had a broad and healing touch. It is so much. It’s so big.

So I take a deep breath and count my blessings.

And I’m grateful for my nieces’ chubby-knuckled hands.

Hope, Robert Indiana - NYC

Hope, Robert Indiana – NYC

 

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So it happened again. And again. In fact, it has happened about once a week since Sandy Hook.

Huffingtonpost.com lays out the stats. They report that, “including Tuesday’s incident at a high school in Troutdale, Oregon, 74 school shootings have taken place in the approximately 18 months since the Dec. 14, 2012, Newtown shooting. The average school year typically lasts about 180 days, which means there have been roughly 270 school days, or 54 weeks, of class since the shooting at Newtown. With 74 total incidents over that period, the nation is averaging well over a shooting per school week.”

The data indicates that school shootings drop in the summer when regular classes let out so maybe we won’t have desperate, tragic headlines about school shootings in the coming weeks. But any reduction in violence won’t be the result of political action or a cultural shift, it will be because there are fewer kids and teachers in schools and therefore fewer targets.

Shall we declare the opening of each school year the official opening of Hunting Season on our children and educators?

Anyone offended?

More than a year ago, after Boston and after relatively flimsy gun legislation was defeated, I used my little blog as a soap box and pointed out that the people who show the most grace in the face of violence are the victims and not our elected leaders. (Post here.)

Mr. Richard Martinez, after his son was killed in a mass shooting in Santa Barbara a few weeks ago, bared his raw anguish to the world and said, “Not One More.” He didn’t ask for the spotlight. He didn’t want that moment but when it came upon him, he faced it. His talk is plain and his point is clear. He’s a hero though this accolade is surely meaningless and infuriating to him as he mourns and lives devastated in the aftermath of his son’s murder.

I live in New York so I turned to Senator Chuck Schumer, a democrat from New York and funneled a bit of Mr. Martinez’s outrage. I asked Mr. Schumer to “do something.” And I received a response! Chuck Schumer tells me that he shares my anger and has in fact acted! But thinking yourself an agent for change because you introduced a bill that went nowhere is as effective as any of us sharing Mr. Martinez’s grief with a hashtag on social media. The difference, and what makes Mr. Schumer’s self-promotion intolerable, is that Chuck Schumer and all of our elected officials have The Standing and The Office and The Access to do something now.

In his remarks yesterday on gun violence, our “Yes We Can” President sounded more like a “I Can’t Do This” President. Is there no one who can lead our country to a future where it’s safe for our children to go to school?

Maybe the next Rose Garden press conference should be on the issue of gun violence. All of our elected officials who want to be part of the solution can stand behind President Obama, chins up, faces in the sun and on camera. Maybe everyone with a seat at the table can put their Big Boy/Big Girl Pants on, calibrate their moral compass and do something.

So here we are, many months and 74 school shootings later and we are asking the same questions and engulfed in the same outrage.  All those months ago I wrote:

“I think mass killings are acts of terror and the person who carries out the carnage is a terrorist.  And you, our elected helpers, must act with the same urgency and solution based thought to prevent the next school shooting as you do to prevent other acts of terror.  You asked us to make you leaders.  You can’t be less heroic than innocent bystanders who never asked for the role.  It can’t be too much to ask for you to be honest, to engage in fair dialog and to put your personal interest after the interest of the country.”

And I’m back at it. I will hashtag and share and blog till my fingers are blue. I don’t profess to have the answers. But I believe without a doubt there’s a solution if our leaders follow the example of the victims and are brave enough to face the moment.

Will what I wrote here make any difference? Maybe not. But maybe it will move a reader or two to write a letter or two. And if you’re moved, I want to help!

Here’s a handy tool to find the contact information for your representatives and any representative in the country: http://www.contactingthecongress.org/

The USPS has tools and options to automate the messaging and mailing of postcards: https://www.usps.com/send/create-mail-and-postage.htm

With my next post, margagogo.com will return to its regularly scheduled programming and be back to the business of drinking margaritas and eating and laughing. But today is for a pause and a plea to our elected officials (Republicans and Democrats): Do something.

Please.

 

 

 

 

 

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I worried that our endlessly hard-working congress might grasp the import of issues before them, end the stalemate and open the government before I could write this blog post.

Silly me.

Would sober-minded people act to jeopardize our economy?  I think not.  So there must be a little something extra in the Congressional Water Cooler.

Is the 3 Martini Lunch back in vogue?  Is a drink hat, fitted with a donkey or elephant logo, one drink holder over each ear with straws part of the congressional orientation kit?  Do members who bother to show up for sessions have round robin tournaments of beer pong during filibusters?

So with Big Bird still safely locked behind the closed gates of the National Zoo, I have time to wonder: “What was Congress drinking when they decided it was a good idea to bring government functions to a screeching halt and what are they drinking now?”

I threw the question out to my trusty Twitter friends who, despite the multiple policy decisions they tackle in the course of a day, are reliable and responsive.

  • @Create_Daily says, “They were sipping a little too much Fishhouse Punch when they pulled the plug.”  Now he’s sure they’re “…drinking Pepto by the bottle.”
  • @mscharlies suggests, “Then: Mescal Now: Rye”
  • @margaretomara believes congress enjoyed, “Long Island Iced Tea (Parties): easy to overindulge, with potentially disastrous consequences.”
I’m so glad I asked because this is all starting to make sense to me! Picture all 535 members of congress with Long Island Iced Tea or Fishhouse Punch or Mescal in their drink hats (their choice, free country) on big decision days and then alternating between Pepto and Rye to treat the hangover.
  • ‏@WarrenBobrow1 throws his hands up and calls for “mint juleps for all!!!!”  (I think the julep might be more for us than congress though.)

There is one person who doesn’t think congressional decisions are flavored by alcohol. He doesn’t believe our elected officials are drinking at all. And while I don’t agree, I’m including his response because I believe in the integrity of Twitter Polls.  @MacCocktail says, “They’re smoking the crack rock! That’s what they’re doing!”

So come on, be truthful, how many of you have said the very same thing? Of course you say it in jest. Of course, nobody really thinks our elected officials use crack. (Marion Barry is old news and Toronto’s Mayor is obviously a Canadian.)  But it would be nice to come up with an explanation for continuous under-achieving.

Maybe our Congressmen and Senators should come hang out at Gran Electrica (5 Front Street, DUMBO, NYC).

Gran Electrica continues to over-achieve in margarita mixing and taco making. I’ve written about them before and along with members of the Independent Panel of Judges, keep going back for more. They have a back garden and on a recent fall day, I sat outside with The Panel and made friends with the people next to us. Even though we were years apart in age, miles apart in home geography and culturally mixed, we figured out how to bridge the divide between tables.

Gran Electrica - Decisions made, bridges build, margaritas drank

Gran Electrica – Decisions made, bridges built, margaritas drank

Thank you to all who took the time to respond to this Twitter Poll. I appreciate it!

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