Quoting: Your Attitude Toward Insults

Some people mistakenly say, “He hurt my feelings,” or “He made me feel bad.” But in actuality, no one can hurt your feelings or make you feel bad — unless you allow their words to affect you. Your attitude toward an insult causes you pain, not the insult itself.

The emotional pain of an insult comes from what you add to it.

-from Rabbi Zelig Pliskin’s “Gateway to Happiness,” p.294

These messages appear in a newsletter I receive daily from Aish.com, so I don’t choose the content. That said, the message above is exactly what I’ve been trying to communicate about people and their visceral reaction to the current political climate, and particularly the guy who is now sitting in the Oval Office. No one can “hurt your feelings” unless you let them. Yes, I know, we all let others take control of our emotions at times, including me, but it doesn’t mean we have to, and it never means we have to give our power over to others.

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The Art of the Deal

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Found at NBC News – image credit not listed

Cass was a nightmare in white silk and pearls. Unfortunately, the mysterious figure was also the only way out.

“Are you bitches in or not?”

“You know we’re in, Cass. You don’t have to act so hostile just because you’re the only one to be able to speak to the Strundrun.” I was never sure if Cass was a man, a woman, or something else, and it was murder trying to constantly construct sentences without using personal pronouns.

“Then your group is the last, Carter. I never thought so many Idahoans, or is that Ida-hoes, would buy a ticket.”

Oh yeah, Cass was flirting with me, and right on the floor of the state senate. I’m supposed to call Cass “they,” and just then, I felt like “they” wanted to put me on the floor and do something to me that involved lubricant and swim fins.

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On Elizabeth Warren, DNA Tests, and Native American Heritage

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Senator Elizabeth Warren – Image found at the Washington Examiner – no credit listed

As many of you know, I’ve gotten “political” on this blog from time to time, and have occasionally taken criticism for it. Fair enough. If I couldn’t take a little criticism, I should probably stick to safe subjects such as cute kitty videos.

Thus, we come to Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D – Mass) statements that she has Native American ancestry. These claims began in the 1990s when, according to this CNN story:

Harvard Law School in the 1990s touted Warren, then a professor in Cambridge, as being “Native American.” They singled her out, Warren later acknowledged, because she had listed herself as a minority in an Association of American Law Schools directory. Critics note that she had not done that in her student applications and during her time as a teacher at the University of Texas.

In the same article, Warren is quoted as saying:

“I am very proud of my heritage,” Warren told NPR in 2012. “These are my family stories. This is what my brothers and I were told by my mom and my dad, my mammaw and my pappaw. This is our lives. And I’m very proud of it.”

“As a kid, I never asked my mom for documentation when she talked about our Native American heritage. What kid would? But I knew my father’s family didn’t like that she was part Cherokee and part Delaware, so my parents had to elope,” she said.

Admittedly, Warren has taken a lot of heat over these claims, especially since 2012 when Scott Brown, who, at the time, was running against Warren, accused her of lying about her heritage, and things got ugly from there.

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Kavanaugh Protests Right Here In River City

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Screenshot from my Facebook page – Kavanaugh protests in Boise, Idaho

Since my grandchildren are coming over soon, and since the vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh won’t be held until between four and five this evening Eastern Time (two to three my time), I was going to give this a rest, but a friend of mine on Facebook (and in real life) posted the question above.

Here’s the link to the full news video courtesy of the Idaho Republican Party’s Facebook page. It’s not very long and I encourage you to view it before continuing.

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Has a New Civil War Been Declared?

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The man everyone loves to hate.

Warning: This essay discusses issues of Donald Trump, racism, physical assault, and other forms of violence, hate crimes, and whether or not people are ultimately responsible for their own actions. If you think reading about all that might be upsetting to you, please find something else with which to occupy your time. By the way, I’m sure I’m not going to win any friends by writing and publishing this essay. Thanks.

A few days ago, I wrote a fictionalized version of an incident where 25-year-old Chloe Wright allegedly used her car to deliberately attack a man, nearly hitting him and significantly damaging his car, all because he had a “Trump” bumper sticker on his vehicle and, in a verbal altercation, admitted to voting for Donald Trump.

I fact checked the heck out of the story, and that was the only motivation I could discover as to why she would risk seriously injuring or even killing another human being. He didn’t threaten her, he didn’t cuss at her, call her names, or do anything to her other than having a bumper sticker on his car and telling the woman who he voted for.

He’s fine, and I’m sure his insurance will cover the damages to his vehicle, but Ms. Wright, if convicted of all the felony charges against her, is facing several years in prison, and even once paroled, will forever have a criminal record as a convicted felon.

I wonder if she thinks it was worth it?

This isn’t an isolated case, but I could spend days and days chronicling similar incidents, although (hopefully) none of them were equally as potentially lethal.

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Are You Sure You Want to be a Cop?

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Vehicle of a woman charged with assault with a dangerous weapon – attributed to Boston station WBZ-TV.

“But why are you arresting me? He’s the racist!” Melissa Becker was struggling and putting up quite a commotion as Police Officer Irene Atkins pressed her against the side of her car and handcuffed her.

“Need any assistance?” Atkins’s partner of four years Mike Shelton paused while taking a statement from the victim, 37-year-old Preston West.

“No, I’ve got her.” If it had been any other male officer, Irene would have taken the question as condescending, but Mike was one of the few in the Department who cared more about doing the job right than whether a cop was a man or a woman.

“Watch your head.” She eased the 25-year-old Becker into the backseat of the patrol car, holding the top of her head so she wouldn’t bump it as she entered. She’d already read the younger woman her rights and wanted to get this circus over with as fast as possible.

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The First Woman President of the United States

chelsea clinton

Chelsea Clinton introduces her mother, Hillary Clinton, on the final night of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, July 28, 2016. (A. Shaker/VOA) )

“You see, Hillary? It worked this time.”

“It should have worked last time, George. Then, I’d have been re-elected by now and have had a second term in the White House.”

“Don’t complain so. Your health is none too good as it is. The strain of the Presidency would have probably earned you a stroke or heart attack years ago, and then Kaine would be President.”

“Even running against Trump, he’d hand him his ass.”

“Don’t be crude. You’ve just become the mother of the President-elect, and all thanks to my behind-the-scenes work.”

“At least Putin couldn’t pull a rabbit out of his hat a second time and get Trump re-elected.”

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The Target

Taxi

Photo credit: Kai Pilger pexels-photo-462867 Taxi

Peter took a taxi from JFK into Manhattan, seeing the driver frown in the rear view mirror when he gave the address.

Anna had met him outside Terminal 4 where she’d given him the item secured in a laptop case. He was the only one in the organization who could deliver it to the target, but it would mean his death as well. It hardly mattered, He had stage four liver cancer and would be dead soon anyway.

Arriving at the Trump Tower, he paid the fare adding a generous trip. He had more in common with the driver than the man might expect.

Showing his ID, he was waved through every level of security except the Secret Service. Fortunately, the laptop was a working model.

“Donald, how good to see you again.” He shook hands with one of his oldest friends. They exchanged pleasantries in the President’s private suite, and then, “Let me show you that information we have on the FBI.”

The explosion killed them both instantly, raining debris onto 5th Avenue.

Listening to the news, Anna felt both grief and joy. Now maybe the government would reunite all of those poor babies with their parents at the border.

I wrote this for the Flash Fiction for the Purposeful Practitioner – 2018 Week #25 challenge. The idea is to use the photo above as the inspiration for crafting a piece of flash fiction no more than 200 words long. My word count is 200.

No, I’m not advocating assassinating President Trump or hurting or killing anyone. However, Trump’s “zero tolerance” immigration policy, which has been blamed for the separation of parents and children who have illegally attempted to enter the U.S., is all over the news and social media. Also, all you have to do is search twitter for the hashtag #resistance, and you can see the tremendous response to this policy in specific, and President Trump in general.

So I thought I’d create an extremist form of that resistance, one in which even some of Trump’s closest friends have joined, and one that is willing to use lethal force to enact political and social change.

It wouldn’t be the first time.

Oh, “Peter” and “Anna” are totally fictitious and is not based on any actual people.

To read other stories based on the prompt, visit InLinkz.com. Remember, this linkup still needs a lot of love, so please consider contributing a story. Thanks.

There Are Worse Things Than Being A Tourist

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The Palace of Versailles, France

“But I was just explaining the subtleties of the brass and tortoise shell…”

“It is forbidden, especially in English. We have paid guides and audioguides for that sort of thing, Mademoiselle. I must ask you and your party to leave.”

The museum guard then called reinforcements and escorted Julia-Sophie Dansen and her American friends out of Sun King’s grand apartments and the Palace of Versailles.

Once outside, the specialist in 18th century French art and curator of one of Amsterdam’s most prestigious art museums whirled back toward the Palace entrance and at the retreating guards. “You arrogant pricks. The French are worse than the American President!”

They could see the guard’s stiffen and momentarily slow their pace but then they re-entered the museum.

“Don’t you think that’s a little harsh, Julia-Sophie?” Henry gently tried to calm his host.

“They can’t do this to me. I’ll burn them alive on twitter!”

I wrote this for the What Pegman Saw writing challenge. The idea is to take a Google maps street image and location and use it to inspire the creation of a piece of flash fiction no more than 150 words long. My word count is 150.

Today, the Pegman takes us to The Palace of Versailles in France. This location has a very rich history making the selection of a specific topic very difficult. Of course I thought of some sort of historical piece, maybe involving time travel, but I’ve done that so many times before.

Then I looked up recent news articles about the location and hit the jackpot.

I decided to base my tale on a news story published on 31 October 2017 titled Versailles Palace accused of throwing out art historian for ‘commenting on works in English’ to friends .

It seems that Marie-Noëlle Grison, a specialist in 18th century French art and junior curator of graphic arts at Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum was visiting the Sun King’s grand apartments with three “American friends” and was explaining to them the subtleties of brass and tortoise shell marquetry by André-Charles Boulle, the King’s illustrious furniture maker. A guard stopped her saying it was “forbidden” for her to do so stating that there are “guides and audioguides for that” (Oh, and other museums and similar establishments in France are guilty of similar behavior according to the story).

He then called security and had Grison and her party ejected (I made up the part about her yelling at them afterward).

This whole thing seems pretty unreasonable from my rather limited American perspective but apparently on top of the general admission, the museum charges €7 (£6) per person for a group guide and a private guide costs €15 per person, so perhaps this is a matter of economics and not just whether or not Grison was disturbing other museum patrons.

That seems kind of greedy and certainly arrogant to me, so I thought I’d have a little fun teasing the French along with Donald Trump just a bit. The news article certainly did nothing to improve my perception of the French but then again, the average French person might be quite different from museum guards (I can only hope).

By the way, this did create a small social media storm on twitter and the museum eventually offered an apology, though from my point of view, a rather half-hearted one. Go figure.

To read other stories based on the prompt, go to InLinkz.com.

Redefining Reality

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Donald Trump on season 13 of the All Star Celebrity Apprentice live finale – Getty Images

Michael Flynn's lawyers have told other defense lawyers in the ongoing Russia probe, including President Donald Trump's legal team, that they're no longer able to share information, a source familiar with the matter told CNN.

“What channel is this, Johnny?”

“CNN, dear.”

“Can we change to something else? I’ve seen this already.”

“Sure, Mandy.”

John Norton picked up the remote from where he’d laid it near his crotch, pointed the device at the new 55″ Samsung they’d fought long and hard for at Wal-Mart’s Black Friday sale last week, and pressed a button.

Trump criticized the NFL for the third time this week -- Friday's tweet took aim at the players and commissioner Roger Goodell. Trump wrote that Goodell has lost control and added that "players are the boss."

“Really, Johnny. Isn’t there anything else on?”

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