I am an immigrant

My tagline is now a single word: immigrant.

I am saddened this is now a political statement, but there it is.

Maybe you think I’m a “good” immigrant because of the color of my skin or my religion or the nationality or citizenship of my parents when I was born. Or maybe it’s the country where I was born. Or maybe how little time I spent in that country. Maybe even because I wasn’t a refugee?

If you’re excusing my immigrant status for any of those reasons, I think you need to ask yourself why.


I have to imagine a huge sense of freedom comes with no longer being president.

Yes, this is the third time I’ve used this image. It still makes me smile. :-) Godspeed, President Obama!

How to survive Thanksgiving

I’m studying these suggestions for surviving Thanksgiving from Sally Kohn so I can respond appropriately tomorrow. May you have a blessed, maybe apolitical, Thanksgiving!

Update. It’s good to have a buddy system. Friends don’t let friends feel attacked. Have an exit strategy. Forgive everyone you possibly can.

Random thoughts on the election

Yesterday I said I just wanted the election to be over. That was a lie. I wanted a certain result, a different result. I just couldn’t imagine this result. To help myself process, I jotted down a few random thoughts.

  • The pollsters missed on Brexit and now this election. Are we in a post-poll world? I know we never answered a poll this entire season. “Sorry, we don’t do polls here. Thanks for your call…” I imagine others did the same or maybe just lied for kicks. If we can prove with an election that pollsters get it wrong, how much credence should we give them for other opinion issues that are not validated with an election?
  • That surveillance state some trusted Obama with? We just gave the keys to Trump, a man with a history of striking back for even the slightest slight. Watch those who stand against him—they are being very brave.
  • Racism is about to get much worse. As I was recently told with a wistful tone, “I remember when being black was wrong…” Or, as I was just told at Starbucks, “It’s good that a white person is the president again.” What?!
  • All the ‘isms are about to get much worse. We must stand up for those who are different.
  • Pray for the health of our supreme court justices. And their stamina. ;-)
  • Those that are expecting checks and balances to operate need to realize that the Republicans also control congress.
  • Many have said that Trump doesn’t mean what he says, that it’s bluster or negotiation or hyperbole. Now we will see. And hope they were right.
  • I remember when Evangelicals questioned whether they could vote for Romney, an honorable man, but a Mormon. The religious test is clearly gone. And maybe that’s a good thing.
  • Both parties nominated candidates so disliked that they only had a chance of winning because of who their opponent was. Expect soul searching by both parties as to how to run a primary. Maybe the primaries would experiment with different voting systems.
  • The Republicans proved that they could win, at least one more time, with just the white vote. That’s a small tent that needs to fold.
  • Trump promised to put Hillary in prison. This could get very ugly and would set a bad precedent in American politics. Obama could pardon Hillary, like Ford pardoned Nixon. But what’s the quid pro quo? Hillary can’t resign. I know one thing: the healing can’t begin if Trump is prosecuting Hillary. And do only losers ask for the healing to begin?
  • Trump who has only recently shown the ability to take advice. Now he has a job that will be impossible to do without taking a lot of advice. May he choose good advisors and listen to them. Based on who he chose to help run his campaign, I’m not hopeful.
  • I’m proud to be in Oregon, where we have 100% vote by mail. No long lines, no voter intimidation. Just lots of time to research the candidates and issues and feel confident that we voted for the best available. It’s time for the rest of the nation to follow suit.

Elections have real results. Here they come…

It’s time to vote!

I'm with her
I’m With Her

It’s election day eve—most will vote tomorrow. Many of you have already voted. That’s great! I voted a few weeks ago.

If you have already know who you’re voting for, you can stop reading right now. I don’t have anything for you other than encouraging you to go vote.

If you’re still undecided after months and months of campaign coverage, I’m not sure I can help you. It’s not you, it’s me. I just don’t understand.

When I originally wrote this post, I tried making three main points:

  1. The presidency is not an entry-level position;
  2. Trump has done and said a laundry list of bad things; and
  3. Trump’s temperament is not right for someone leading the largest military on Earth.

But I deleted it.

My first point doesn’t seem convincing. Obama had little government experience when he ran eight years ago, yet he was elected. This time around, Trump, with no government experience was nominated by the Republicans. At least Obama went to Harvard Law School, became a law professor teaching Constitutional Law, was a three-term state senator in Illinois, and then a U.S. senator. And Hillary’s done a lot, too. Probably even more than Obama. But people don’t seem to think being president requires any prior government experience or legal training. So, hey!

The press and many other influential people have documented Trump’s egregious behavior and how he gives comfort to the worst in our society. I can’t imagine how any listicle I might write would tip the scale on my second point. So, ignore that, too. After all, you’ve been doing a good job of that so far. Maybe you believe the press is biased, even Fox News. Maybe you think it doesn’t matter—because emails. Whatever.

My third point was maybe best made by Hillary herself:

Hillary should know. She baited Trump with Khizr Khan and Alicia Machado. And he bit—hook, line, and sinker. Yet, people who should know better don’t seem to mind, including most of the Republican elites. And they’re experts at military stuff, so maybe the commander in chief’s temperament doesn’t matter. Besides, Trump claimed to have the best temperament. Maybe that confused them.

So, I give up.1There is one point that I haven’t heard much that means a lot to me. Trump operates in a win-lose world, not a win-win world. He doesn’t feel like he’s winning unless someone else is losing. That might work fine in the business world, when you can keep finding other, new customers, but it doesn’t work in the geopolitical world. America doesn’t win because Mexico or China loses. In fact, America might do better because Mexico or China do well. Maybe this resonates with you, too. I don’t know. It was worth a shot. I can’t imagine what I might say that would finally help you make up your mind.

But still, you should vote. Vote for Hillary. Or The Donald. You can even throw your vote away to a third-party candidate or a write-in. Maybe that would be best. You could say you didn’t vote for either “evil” and feel good about yourself, yet not having made any real choice or difference in the election.

I believe our democracy is best served when people vote. So, at least do that. If you can… :-/

I voted!

Yesterday I checked the mail to find our ballots. Woo hoo!

I love Oregon’s 100% vote-by-mail system. I didn’t expect to. Before Oregon changed its system some years back, going to the polls was a near-religious experience for me, fulfilling my civic duty and all. Then, the first time I tried voting by mail I got hooked. With my ballot, a voters’ pamphlet, and my laptop on my kitchen table, I researched each vote until I was comfortable with it.

No worries about not having done enough research before going to the polls. No worries that I won’t have time on election day to get to the polls. No worries about what polling place to go to. No worries about long lines at the polls. No worries that taking my time was preventing someone else from being able to vote.

Just plenty of time to do it right.

I voted. Now it’s your turn. Don’t throw it away.


The straw that breaks a camel’s back is significant only to the camel.