Category Archives: Politics

Not Again!

When the stock market takes a 600 point dive and there is no depression and there is no war… and there is also NO REASON… EXCEPT????

Time to get out the old movie from 1997, Wag the DogSimply put it is about a President just prior to election time becoming embroiled in a sex scandal.  The brilliant spin doctor of the administration and a major Hollywood producer collaborate to create and promote a war against Albania.  This will take the heat off the Scandal and the oversexed President will be elected.

It is a brilliant movYou think I'm lying_Why would I do that_ie and ridiculously relevant.

From the door of the Saudi Arabian Embassy in Turkey, which the Crown Prince’s assistants walk through with their body saw in full view, to the Campaign of Bombs on Broadway, to accusing Democrats of doing-in Democrats.  

They’re coming at us along with every other trickster.  Wait a minute! Two weeks before the mid-term election???

This is very familiar.  Did this happen before?  Wait, let me think!  Two weeks before the election 2016, the guy from the FBI… forgot his name. Didn’t he do something similar concerning Hillary Clinton which the next day he took back… something like that.

If you remember what it was, would you remind me?

Could it be happening again?

If you believe you cannot fool all the people all of the time, please, have a good laugh, and then go out and VOTE!

Love ~ Sally-Jane

Humanity Doesn’t Mix with Politics (so far)

As I watch the leaves change and fall, mostly fall without changing this year, I hear two questions consistently from friends, relatives, and passers-by:

  1. How did this happen?
  2. Are people ever going to be nice again?

There are plenty of pundits that give chapter and verse concerning both of these questions. Answers are about economics, racism, politics as given reasons for the way the vote went and for the lack of civility. Yes, I think they are connected… somewhat. But that is not all of it.

Alright already, so what happened??? Phew! I never thought you’d ask.

Sub-CMS_VietnamV2The following thoughts were provoked by my viewing the PBS series by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick – The Vietnam War. And over the course of very intense viewing, my thoughts began to brew and now they are spilling over. Ready or not, I want to share because I believe we can be better and nicer, no matter who we voted for.

My thoughts before viewing: I was a 30-year-old unpolitical wife, mother of 3 babies, and a professional actor, singer, dancer living in Washington, D.C., a city that had no rights and an 80 percent black population. In this city of political shenanigans, I was innocent, which is another word for dumb. I read newspaper headlines and scripts. Viewing this series  began my late education of Vietnam. My passion for movies gave me somewhat of a head start.

Two films. Indochine, a French movie starring Catherine Deneuve and an American cult classic, Medium Cool. The French film gave me a history of Vietnam – brilliant and devastating. The second was shock treatment for this American, thinking it couldn’t happen here – the 1968 Democratic Convention in Chicago with the world watching as Mayor Daly’s storm troopers beat the anti-war demonstrators. I remember running around the house screaming “This can’t be happening! This can’t… someone is going to stop it… Isn’t someone, please, going to stop it?!” I was awakened from a deep sleep. And it wasn’t by anything as gentle as a sweet kiss. It was the rudest awakening ever!

To begin with, I began my viewing with one chapter (2 hours) a night. However, after the first five chapters, I had difficulty sleeping. I also noticed I was holding onto my chair like I was being sent to the moon. Such tension! And though at this point I knew what was happening and what was going to happen, I kept talking to the television and telling it, “No, don’t let it happen, please, don’t!”

I fell in love with all the foot soldiers – American, North and South Vietnamese – that were interviewed so many years later. Every one of the grunts, airmen, seamen… and all the others who, as Westmoreland and Lyndon Johnson kept increasing the draft, were being sent to Vietnam and I wondered how Ken Burns had found them. They came to do what their fathers did in World War II and when they got to Vietnam, recognized this wasn’t Europe or even Japanese occupied islands… this was a Political Swamp... Having nothing to do with helping anyone except politicians in their quest for elected office. Sound familiar???

And that’s when I decided I had to pace myself. From number 6 to the last of the series, I watched one every three days. Not only was I able to sleep, but I was able to think through each one I had seen and slowly, as I said at the beginning, my thoughts took me to new places that connected dots in a way I had not previously been aware of.

nixon_thieu

As Nixon became the spokesperson of The Silent Majority, (I had forgotten that one), everything I believed in, all the brilliant history of The Founding Fathers, our Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, were being used as kindling for a fire that is still raging.

Then there was Kent State. The National Guard and State troopers shot and killed college students on their own campus during an anti-war demonstration. I don’t think I was the only one who walked around afterward in a disbelieving daze. But did you know that in a poll 58 percent of the American people approved of the shooting?

All of this and more came out in this series. And I am thinking, “This is not new.”

Here’s what I need to know…  how do these beautiful soldiers, sailors, airmen, POWs on all sides… how do they make sense of a war where so many died, were wounded and when they returned were shunned and shamed. These are the true poets of this series.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, in the last installment, throw us a life raft. And if you choose to, you can climb into it with me… It involves the selection and building of the Vietnam Memorial.  The meaning of it to the veterans who make a constant stream of visits to touch a name, to say a prayer, to be where a buddy they lost can for the moment be found. And even more thrilling, the story of the many Vietnam veterans who returned to Vietnam to redeem and reconcile their tours of duty to help rebuild a destroyed country.

Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu created an environment in South Africa of reconciliation and truth-telling.

The first President of the first all-German Parliament after World War II, Richard  von Weizsäcker had this to say,

“The desire to forget prolongs the exile, and the secret of salvation is remembrance. We cannot save ourselves, nor can we undo what has been done. We have lived through unfathomable and abysmal events and take part in them. But one thing we can and must do. Look at our past steadily, recognize its truth. We owe it to ourselves and to future generations.”

OK guys… all praise to PBS, Ken Burns, Lynn Novick, and all who made it possible to help us look at our past without punishment or judgment.  Yes, you can disagree with various points in this series, but you cannot disagree that it is time to look at this most divisive war and how it ruptured the country.  With the direction our country is moving, along with the lack of civility I referred to at the start of this blog, it’s worth looking at…

Do not look away.

Do not say that was then.

Do not say now is now.

Because, my dear friends, now is then.

The men and women in this film give new meaning to forgiveness, redemption, reconciliation.

If they can make nice, what’s your problem?

Love, Sally-Jane

 

A July Weekend of Streaming Thoughts

My Friends,

  • Churchill and Orwell by Tom Ricks
  • Reckless Endangerment by Grethen Morgenson and Joshua Rosner (And old/new story of the 2008 Financial Debacle)
  • Texas in The New Yorker

What do these three subjects have in common?

My brainball!

These disparate topics indicate (and by the by, something I have always known but kept hidden from friends, family and passersby) that this mind of mine is a gathering place for wool, webs, and much flotsam on the jetsom.

It is also a repository of eclectic interests and sadly, there is no connective tissue.

~~~

First, let us look at the new book Churchill and Orwell by Tom Ricks. I must admit I stared at it on my coffee table for a good two weeks before I picked it up to read.

Talk about no connective tissue… Orwell… Churchill… The author was surely stretching the point by putting them together in one book. And yet, as I read further, it was there.

They were as distinctly different. Churchill was a public school, inherited wealth product and supporter of The Empire. Orwell, on the other hand went to fight along with the communists and Republicans against Franco’s Spain. They both almost got themselves killed. They were politically divided, but brilliant wordsmiths and extraordinary writers; they believed in freedom of expression, both of them willing to put their money where their mouths were.

It was interesting as I read the book, approving of Churchill and then disapproving. And following the same pattern with Orwell. The pages of the book came alive as Rick wrote their stories.

In this day and at this time, I don’t remember reading any modern writers equaling the passion and commitment of these two men. To make a difference and to persuade people to our way of thinking or allow others to persuade us, we might consider doing so not with loud words and name calling, but with arguments, reason and  most of all, WORDS.

Novel idea, isn’t it?

~~~

Reckless Endangerment

OK, in 2010, Michael Lewis wrote what I had thought was the defining book on the 2008 financial debacle, The Big Short. I barely understood the book and I loved the movie but I had to see it twice to only begin to understand how they did it. (They being the financial community…banks, investment houses, and everyone else from Wall Street to Washington to strip mall storefront financial entities.)

In 2011, Gretchen Morgenson – New York Times business reporter – and Joshua Rosner – expert on housing and mortgage – finance issues wrote Reckless Endangerment, a detailed report on the cast, characters and plot of the worst financial crisis of our time.

I am asking you. Have you ever heard of the book? I never heard of the book. I was in a discussion with a friend… all right it was a heated discussion – about the 2008 debacle. Not to worry, we kissed and made up. But in response to our discussion, he sent me this book. Now I love Michael Lewis… great writer, interesting subjects, but Morgenson and Rosner…. they nailed it.

They started at the very beginning – 1995 – and probably even before that. You do not know the heroes and heroines of this saga. Why? Because they were unknown Government watch dogs that took their jobs seriously and had to pay the price for that dedication when they went against the big guys. Their work was buried. The shocking revelation of those who were supposed to be our heroes… Clinton, Barney Frank, and many more, were asleep at the wheel or were looking out a different window. Facts and shocking. Why? Because they got away with it.

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to find out about where Larry Summers, Tim Geithner, Robert Rubin, and hundreds of others are in the world of finance today. None of them had to pay the price for their collusion and corruption.   Hey, guys, it’s 2017… if not now, when?!?!

~~~

Texas in the New Yorker

The latest New Yorker July 10-17 contained an article by Lawrence Wright titled, America’s Future is Texas. Many things, events, people and Presidents have been frightening me. I have been trying to bring my heart rate and blood pressure to normal levels. So I have devised different plans to hold back on the rhetoric and calm the spirit. As a reader of history I try to understand that nothing that is going on hasn’t already happened at one time or another in the very short history of this country. Different cast, different hair cuts, different inventions, but essentially naysayers, rumor and hate mongers. Bile is bile. That’s the truth of it. From the Old Testament to Twitter, nothing new.

And then I read the article. And I am thrown. So if you decide to read it…. (which I really recommend you do) you will understand why I am back being frightened again.

In 1961, I went to Houston, Texas to perform in a cabaret. Now, I’m a Brooklyn girl. And way back in 1961, I thought everyone thought the way I did. What can I tell you guys… I was young… very young. I had never been to Texas. I checked into the hotel where I was staying in the evening and when I awoke in the morning and looked out of the window of my room there was this big billboard with a huge sign that read, “IMPEACH EARL WARREN”.

At first I thought I must have taken a wrong turn and ended up across the border in some foreign land. Once it was established I actually was in Houston. I silenced my head and got to work rehearsing for the opening that night.

The show seemed to go well. There was an opening night party. I was talking to a very nice Houstonian and before long I just had to share what I saw that morning. I asked her if she saw the sign outside the hotel that said, “IMPEACH EARL WARREN”. She said she had. I asked her if it wasn’t illegal. She asked me why. And I said, it’s almost as if Texas isn’t part of the United States. She took another sip of her bottle from her paper bag and with a big Texas grin said, “It isn’t!”

My friends, that was 1961. It is now 2017. Nothing has changed. I mean nothing.

~~~

I am always telling my friends, “The human condition doesn’t change. History doesn’t repeat itself. People do.”

But secretly I want someone to tell me I am wrong. A leopard can change its spots. A human can change his or her mind.

I am trying to figure this one out!  It isn’t easy!

July Blog Pic

And I can’t afford to lose any more hair.  Any suggestions???!!!!

Love, Sally-Jane

Testing Congress

It’s happening! I am degenerating!

Right before mine and everyone else’s eyes. Bit by bit, piece by piece… slowly but surely falling apart. I thought there was time left to be a degenerate. There isn’t! Whatever time I have left is only for degeneration.

Am I blue?  You betcha.

Yesterday I had an MRI. Having an MRI is not about regeneration. It is about degeneration.

It’s amazing what I put myself through only to be told I am falling apart. Sliding into a metal tube that emits sounds that can be used in any horror film. You definitely don’t want to hear those sounds when your plane is taking off. No one would need to be ejected. We’d all be running for the exit.

What was I thinking as the MRI machined hummed and belched and screamed and roared its way up and down my spine?

I’ll tell you…

Get those recalcitrant Senators and Congressmen and women… you know the ones I mean.  The ones who support power, and their next re-election and party loyalty over justice and fairness and slide them one by one into one of those machines.  Yes, it would take a while but since we have 4 more years (oh, say it isn’t so) it would be worth it.

First, I would place them all on their back in the machine.  Right there, we have a great alternative news story…

newspaper-generator-4

Then, I would set up a movie camera that would play back to back Frank Capra’s Mr. Smith Goes To Washington and Meet John Doe.

Hey, someone has to remember what it was supposed to be like. It’s not as if we haven’t had congresses that played only by their own party rules…of course we did. But there was always someone who would listen… someone you could talk to… someone you could have a dialogue with. And not by digging up dirt or threatening to reveal secrets.  Someone or someones who would break the log jam of ego and party bigotry.

Hello!  This applies to both parties.  Please get out of your own selfish way to make room for a better world.

Oh, how the mind doth progress and regress… I began this by writing about my degeneration… in short, known as aging.  Well, I think my aging, my degeneration, my being blue is being helped by this Congress’s lack of responsibility to the citizens of this country.

No matter what my party affiliation is, I do not see anyone of either party moving towards (here comes the dirty word) compromise or meeting to work out solutions instead of creating more problems.

I do not expect this reconciliation to come from an executive with the lack of experience and comprehension that exists in his administration. After all, his entire career is based on creating conflict.  His name and reputation were made because he shouted and… Oh, yes, almost sounding like the sounds of the MRI.

I don’t know how I did it.  But I am ending this blog how I began it  with my journey to get an MRI…

IMG_5453

Sense or nonsense!  I’m glad I am still here to try and make a difference.

Love, Sally-Jane

Repetition is the Human Condition

Maria Popova’s blog, Brain Pickings, continues to open my world to the many artists who commit themselves to the fight to preserve freedom and other precious awarenesses. We forget, but she reminds us in her article, “Rachel Carson’s Brave and Prescient 1953 Letter Against the Government’s Assault on Science and Nature that new administrations have previously attempted to destroy the free world for their own agendas and profit.  I am reminded of the Voltaire quote that I use in my show,

quote-history-never-repeats-itself-man-always-does-voltaire-39-24-40

To understand that we have a commitment, too and that we can and will make a difference is very important right now.  We don’t have much in the way of assurance.  We need to know that what we are going through is extreme, but also that we have overcome things like this before and will do so again.  It’s just that we live in a tech world that has taken us speedily and in shorthand to another dimension.  Too fast. Too quickly.  Too across the board.

I know it is against the modern ethos of society, but it really makes a difference when you can stop and think and think and pause and sometimes just STOP.  Not give up, but realign our thoughts to make the difference we all want to make to correct what appears to be an apocalyptic trajectory.

Love (the greatest power of all) – Sally-Jane

BEING SILENT IS AN ALTERNATIVE FACT

All you need to do to lose your freedom is to be silent.  It is no longer possible to remain inactive.  Not after the airport debacle.  And, personally, I can no longer turn the other cheek.

HE KNOWS NOT WHAT HE DOES…bull shit!  He knows!

What is truly most discouraging and, yes, heartbreaking… HIS supporters do not see anything wrong with what HE is doing.  It is not our job to change their minds.  Most of THEIR reactions are defensive.  After years of being low man on the totem pole, you can almost hear it coming from the kindergarten playground, “NA, NA, NA-NA,NA!”

But enough about THEM.

Following this post is all the information you need to get it up, get it out, and shout your freedom, as long as you still have it.

Make no mistake, this is not ye olde Drama Queen, Sally-Jane, sounding the clarion call.

If I could ride a horse holding the reins in one hand and a lantern in the other I would proclaim as I rode:  “THEY are coming, THEY are coming”.

Like I said, being Silent isn’t an alternative  for any true American who believes in

FREEDOM AND JUSTICE FOR ALL.

Love ~ Sally-Jane

 

Please click the link below to get connected to this group, begun by a bunch of former Congressional staffers who, after Trump was elected put together this “Indivisible Guide”.  See their to-do actions for the week.

A Woman’s Place…

not-my-president

“Not My President”, Santa Fe

My Friends,

Yesterday it was clear that a woman’s place is wherever she chooses to place herself and around the world she chose to be seen, to be heard, to be counted.

Count yourself in and if you’re like me, who can’t figure out how to continue to be seen, to be heard, to be counted, here is exactly what you can do:

Love, SJ

My Friends and Family Yesterday