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Giselle Minoli
I write about life.
I write about life.


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Trump wants teachers to deal with the issue of boys going on shooting rampages...instead of insisting the GOP deal with assault weapons.

“When I had those hundreds of terrified children that were running at me, my question to that is, am I supposed to get extra training now to serve and protect on top of educate these children?” Kurth asked. “I mean, am I supposed to have a Kevlar vest? Am I supposed to strap it to my leg or put it in my desk? How am I supposed to go on that way?” Ashley Kurth, a teacher who sheltered nearly 70 students during the attack, addressing President Donald Trump’s suggestion earlier that day that educators in schools be armed to help prevent more shooting deaths.

What a fool TROTUS is. The claim of assault-ownership loving Americans is that they need their guns to protect themselves and others. But...none of them showed up at Columbine or Aurora or Sandy Hook or Virginia Tech or Charleston or The Pulse in Orlando to prevent a lunatic from murdering innocent people. None of these gun-ownership loving Americans showed up in Las Vegas either. And none of them showed up in Florida last week. Where are they when we need them?

Now this man, who sits in the White House with the permission of the Russians Putin, has come up with a plan to arm 'teachers,' those people who get an education so they can spend their lives educating our children. He is actually suggesting that they divert their energies from academics to learning how to handle a 9mm.

We can't afford to pay our teachers decent salaries, but we'll give them bonuses for marksmanship? And, what? A week of vacation if they happen to kill the right guy? And what if they miss and kill the wrong teacher? A student in the line of fire? Then they get to go to jail for the rest of their lives because suddenly they are murderers?

What a fool on the hill, living in his glass house, having never had to deal with reality this fake President, whose own daily life is so shielded from harm he doesn't even have to pick up a fly swatter.
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Wow...some real hate for kids standing up to adults going around. Particularly in Florida, which won't consider a ban on assault weapons. Wow. Just Wow.
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The point at which money is out and flipping is in? A prison sentence...
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Curling is Zen

I'm obsessed with Curling. And I don't even care that the US Women's Team lost to the badass Canadian Women...who are awesome. Go Canada.

P.S. Had I ever had the opportunity, I'd be an awesome curler. I can Swiffer better than anyone. Just sayin'.
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The word is finally in...

For those of us who never believed the real fake news being hawked on social media prior to our election, Mueller's indictment of Russian operatives directly responsible for flooding the United States with bunk comes as no surprise at all. Hillary Clinton warned about it early on in the debates with Donald Trump, and no one wanted to listen. Because so many people don't want to do their own research, her warning sounded like so many sour grapes drying uncomfortably on the vine.

Given yesterday's horrific school shooting in Florida, yet another in a long string of mass murders by assault rifle that Americans are being told is part of what it means to live in a Democracy, and scientists having gone absurdly beyond any reasonable Sound the Alarm state about our climate and the dangers facing our planet and its living peoples and flora and fauna, there is nothing surprising about the Republican Party not wanting to wrap their collective minds around the reality of how Russia meddled in our 2016 Presidential Election.

It is a party wholly in thrall to making money, and making it however one can possibly make it, and at whatever cost - to child, to candidate, to Democracy, to the very future of our Constitution.

Yesterday, after the shooting of 17 men and women in Florida, Bess Kalb, the comedy writer, not so humorously called out the GOP on Twitter (@bessbell), tweeting "God have mercy on your NRA-kept souls" to all those candidates who took campaign money from the NRA.

Today I would say the same about those who fell for, believed in, wanted to believe in, shared, promoted, enhanced, championed, and dug their poorly shod heels in about Russian financed fake bot news:

"God have mercy on your Fake Russian news-kept souls, and the danger you have willingly done to our Constitution, our elections, our country."
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Daphne Merkin, who has written extensively about the impact depression has had on her life, ought to take a moment and reflect on the words she has used to describe women who are publicly coming forward to discuss the impact sexual harassment has had on their professional and personal lives. Thus, taking the liberty of rewriting Merkin's words from an interview in Slate titled The Raw Nerve of Pain, we would have:

"Yeah. This is again going to maybe sound reductive, but when you’re really, really depressed, you've been really, really, harassed, you’re sort of embattled in yourself. One thing you can do is coax yourself along in a form of self-talk. I think one thing that helps even in these times is to try and focus on meaningful work could help would be immersing yourself in meaningful work, if you can get it of course because often your career is threatened or stymied if you reject the advances of your harasser(s)."

This is the original quote: "Yeah. This is again going to maybe sound reductive, but when you’re really, really depressed, you’re sort of embattled in yourself. One thing you can do is coax yourself along in a form of self-talk. I think one thing that helps even in these times is to try and focus on meaningful work..."

It would do Merkin some good to get to know how women who have been harassed experienced it on a core, gut, visceral and intimate way - the way Merkin experienced depression:

"You can’t. I think the kind of severe depression I was trying to describe in the book comes with a lot of stuff. It’s essentially enervating. It’s hard to function, hard to focus. You don’t eat. You don’t talk much. You withdraw."

I cannot fathom telling someone who is Jewish that anti-Semitism is 'real life,' anymore than I can fathom telling someone who is black that racism is 'real life,' anymore than I can fathom telling any person who suffers from depression that it is 'real life.'

Some people suffer from depression. Some people don't. Some people have been harassed. Some people haven't. A person who doesn't suffer from depression, or hasn't been harassed doesn't have the right to tell someone who has how they should process those experiences, what they should feel, or how long those feelings should last.

The Raw Nerve of Pain
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Begin 2018 by donating to a cause that is meaningful to you and helpful to others.

My mother was a member of Common Cause, an organization formed in 1970 because its founder, John Gardner, believed that “The citizen can bring our political and governmental institutions back to life, make them responsive and accountable and keep them honest. No one else can."

I share John Gardner's and my mother's view, that only by directly participating in our Democracy can we assure its future. This year I have donated to four organizations whose work on behalf of our Democracy and our citizens is meaningful to me, whose work on behalf of others is powerful and productive.

The newest of them, Time's Up, was formed in response to women around the country whose lives have been directly affect by sexual harassment of one kind or another. This organization's Mission is paramount if we are to move toward a future in which the work, creativity and productivity of our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, sisters, daughters, nieces and best friends is to be encouraged, championed, supported and welcomed in our culture. It is paramount if we are to achieve equal pay for equal work and to secure the financial independent of the women of this country.

It matters not which organizations you yourself choose, but please choose one, or two, or three, or four, or however many you like, and donate something. Even a small donation makes a difference and sends a message. You will be joining men and women from around the country whose intent is to safeguard our Democracy and stand in solidarity with their fellow brothers and sisters of all religions and races who believe in democracy and peace.

We need organizations like the four I have listed here. For they help so very many Americans who cannot afford to get assistance when they most need it. There but for the unpredictability of the Universe go you and I...and all of us. Sooner or later we all need assistance.

Join me.

Thank you.


Time's Up Now:

"Research has shown that women in male-dominated occupations, especially those in male-dominated work contexts, are sexually harassed more than women in balanced or in female-dominated ones." Source: Berdahl, JL. (2007). The Sexual Harassment of Uppity Women (p. 427).

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union):

"For nearly 100 years, the ACLU has been our nation’s guardian of liberty, working in courts, legislatures, and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and the laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country. Whether it’s achieving full equality for LGBT people, establishing new privacy protections for our digital age of widespread government surveillance, ending mass incarceration, or preserving the right to vote or the right to have an abortion, the ACLU takes up the toughest civil liberties cases and issues to defend all people from government abuse and overreach."


"Planned Parenthood is one of the nation’s leading providers of high-quality, affordable health care, and the nation’s largest provider of sex education. We offer compassionate care, backed by medical experts and more than 100 years of research in reproductive health."


Common Cause is a nonpartisan grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. We work to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process.

In this spirit, Common Cause serves as an independent voice for change and a watchdog against corruption and abuse of power. Together with our sister organization, the Common Cause Education Fund, we employ a powerful combination of grassroots organizing, coalition building, research, policy development, public education, lobbying and litigation to win reform at all levels of government.
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The Dreaded Political Tie, and I don't mean the kind you wear.

Yes. It is 2018. When an election that is literally a tie, can be decided in its finality by flipping a coin, drawing straws (you know, one shorter, one longer) or flipping a coin, you know, as in an athletic competition. In this case it was fishing a name out of a bowl. I wish they had chosen a hat, a nice Borsalino in honor of the ages old Italian hat maker. There would have been an elegant twist to the fate of a delegate decision being pulled out of the soft bowels of wool felt trimmed with a wide grosgrain ribbon. But then they would have had to decide whether it would have been a woman's Borsalino or a man's. Another argument there, no doubt, and we couldn't have that, not with having to make such a serious decision in such a serious way and all.

No. Indeed officials settled on the faceless, graceless, nondescript and thoroughly unthreatening glass fish bowl. And went fishing. For a name. That would put an end to who really, officially, truly would control the House of Delegates in Virginia. Strike that. Oops, I did. Who would in reality control the House of Delegates. Did I say its 2018? And a political race was decided by drawing a name out of a fish bowl? As I wrote. It's a sport.
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Happy New Moon, Everyone!

It matters not that Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks that there is nothing 'super' about a supermoon. Size isn't everything. Ahem.

Every single day that the sky isn't cloud-covered I look forward to the moonrise and I'm equally affected when it sets. So I'll howl at it all by myself to usher in the New Year if I have to.

But company is good.

Even if I can't see you doing it.

I've copied the link below to the Times article from which I blew up these photos about Blood Moons, Blue Moons, Black Moons, Strawberry Moons, Harvest Moons and the dreaded Super Moon. Sometimes scientists should 'un-science' themselves and imagine what it would have been like to look up at the sky on a night when the moon just seems bigger than ever, without haven't the fainted idea what an apogee or perigee is. You know. Imagine what it would have been like to be alive thousands of years ago before we started pooh poohing such things.

And Happy New Year, too!

2018’s First Supermoon and Other Moons That Are Super in Their Own Ways:
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Maria Callas as Floria Tosca

Went to bed last night, cozied up against the cold, my headset on, inspired by this article in the Times about "the best opera recording ever made" being the 1953 one of Puccini's Tosca, conducted by Victor de Sabata, with Maria as Tosca. Dug into my music library and listened until pulled under sleep's spell. Woke up this morning at 5:30, dreaming about escaped prisoners, poor artists, jealous lovers, conspiratorial secret police, Mary Magdalene, churches, religion, passion...and the gift to opera and art that was, is and always will be the sublime Maria Callas. Listened to the rest of Tosca this morning while the sun rose.

Here's to an entire year of going to bed and waking up inspired by art.

There are excerpts to listen to within this article if you don't have the entire recording, but it's only $9ish on iTunes. A bargain for such beauty. Listen. Gorgeous.

Puccini: Tosca:
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