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Category: Living

Fake Spies, Too? Really?

While we’ve all been tripping over ourselves (understandably) defending our free press from our attack dog commander-in-chief and his cadre of ill-informed followers, we’ve mostly overlooked the other maligned entity: our intelligence community. “The President’s comments today, again casting doubt on whether Russia was behind the blatant interference in our election and suggesting — his own intelligence agencies to the contrary — that nobody really knows, continue to directly undermine U.S. interests,” said California Rep. Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee. Our President is abroad ripping on the American press and intelligence agencies. How do you call yourself a patriot, let alone the leader of a patriotic nation, and undermine the people serving this country in an intelligence capacity? Is he kidding me? Does he have any idea what they give up? Sacrifice? Go through? AP writer Ken Thomas reminds us that when Mitt Romney criticized President Obama during the president’s 2012 trip to South Korea for making overtures to improve relations with Russia, it drew a stern rebuke from then House Speaker John Boehner, a fellow Republican, who said that “while the president is overseas, I think it’s appropriate that people not be critical of him or our country.” What is happening? And we thought it was egregious when members of the Bush administration outed CIA operations officer Valerie Plame in 2003. Let’s talk...

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Woohoo, Time to Choke on the Stuffing

If you add my first cousins and siblings together, you get a total of nearly 40 people. Add in spouses, cousins’ kids, aunts and uncles and I think you can see how big my Italian-American family is. More than 90 percent are in New Jersey. About the same percentage are Republican. I am a proud political black sheep. For a long time, I felt like the quirky sideshow. “Meet Nan, can you believe she’s a liberal?” Then something started changing over the last decade-plus. Our political conversations became people talking at each other instead of to each other. That wasn’t just about us not listening to each other. It was about the formation of bubbles courtesy of our media. We had to come to an understanding that political discussion was off the table. It became too frustrating. I had one family elder come gunning for me at a graduation party five or six years ago and I had to steel myself to walk away and hit the dance floor. Fast forward to now. Next week is Thanksgiving. As I write this, I am clearly in the doghouse for publishing some thoughts in a piece called “The Ugly Reflection in the Trump Mirror” the day after the election. In that essay I used specific examples of comments some of my family members have made in discussions about race. They weren’t...

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My Dichotomous Selves, Volleying

In the Sunday Review section of The New York Times recently, a headline asked: Will Sanders Supporters Come Around? My response, out loud, to my apartment walls — Who gives a fuck? This is when I knew something in me had shifted after two weeks of political conventions and the ensuing shit-storm on social media and television. Because prior to that I was in the strategic place, hoping the math was there for a Hillary win in November. Now? Who knows? Who am I? Where am I in all of this? **** Next to me the Bible is open to Isaiah chapter 58. It’s been on my desk like that since yesterday when I tuned in to a livestream of Marianne Williamson at a church in Manhattan. I’ve seen her speak in person a handful of times, but this was more impassioned than I’ve ever seen her. After the minister on the pulpit prior to Williamson read Isaiah beginning with verse 6 and spoke of being the “repairer of the breach” in these stormy political times, Williamson came to the microphone and said she’d like to go back to verse 1: Shout out, do not hold back! Lift up your voice like a trumpet! Williamson railed about complacency. She spoke of how other nations were asking, “What are Americans thinking?” and then said forcefully, “It ain’t midnight yet.” We...

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Jesus on a Bicycle

The other day, the first of the Republican National Convention, I started having a little snarkfest on Facebook. Sometimes I love snark. It’s smart, makes me laugh. It’s particularly gratifying when my creations bring out the laughter. But as the day wore on, something shifted in me. Posts I wholeheartedly agreed with by people I think are terrific started seeming petty. They were coming at me at such a rapid rate I had to step away from my computer. I even deleted my own sarcastic post about Antonio Sabato Jr. in a flurry of remorse. What? Hadn’t I just been participating in this? Am I a hypocrite? Actually, what I am is awakened about 90 percent of the time. The other 10 I fall into that abyss where I join in a (mostly) subconscious superiority one-off like it’s sport. I’m a dichotomy. There’s the side a dear friend calls my “girl gang” side and then there’s the one who thrives in the meaningful. Nancy in all her glory, I suppose. Today I was sitting by the water contemplating writing about this, forming some of the very words you’re reading now. I was thinking about New Thought teachings I’d learned and about vibrating at a higher level and how I strive to do that. Then this happened. A guy on a bicycle stopped in front of the bench where I...

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