Why Can’t We Have An American Brotherhood? Or Sisterhood?

I can hardly stand Facebook anymore. The once user friendly social media app makes me angry every time I log on, yet I still do. They have convinced me that most people don’t count and those that do have angry agendas or are looking to scam someone. They allow pages that incite violence yet call the most innocent photo that shows a bit of exposed skin porn. I also believe they possess a progressive agenda and unfairly censor conservative viewpoint when they can get away with it. Unless you’re knowledgeable, financially powerful or courageous enough to fight them, they know most of the little people will just take the scolding. To me it’s become this microcosm that emulates the horrendous world state we have right now. There are no good guys.

I am so disgusted with the political climate in the United States. There are no good guys there either. There are some of the most reprehensible people ever in Washington DC. Harry Reid is the worst of the worst. Has he ever done anything truly good in his entire career? Diane Feinstein, who I once thought (years ago) was good, has proven she doesn’t even trust her constituents and would like nothing better than to stifle every single voice that disagrees with her. Then there’s “Nana” that addlepated Nancy Pelosi who talks out of both sides of her mouth when she’s not in her Obamacare dream world. Then on the other side you have the GOP ruling class that will do anything, honest or not, to prove a point while aligning themselves with the progressives (socialists) just to keep a good man or woman who truly wants to represent their country from getting elected. You’d think we could trust our government. But, they make it abundantly clear they don’t care what we think nor do they care about what the average citizen wants; especially white, freckled natural born citizens like me. I can’t change my color to make them happy. I can’t change that I was born in America. I am not going to change my gender either. So, I guess I am going to go down with the ship. But, guess what, so are you.

We need an American Brotherhood or an American Sisterhood comprised of people who want to make them listen. We could trademark the name and shout who we were and what we stood for from the rooftops, but we would have to watch out for the drones. We’d be called racist though. Still, we could establish our own Super Pac and beat them at their own game. Then we could finance each others campaigns in the name of saving America.

Alas, then they’ll call us terrorists even though we ARE the good guys.

My Era of Hoop-Jumping

Hoop-jumping is an art I have mastered. Essentially it’s doing anything and everything to ensure the safety and stability of my 3 grandchildren’s lives. Technically, they are foster children but have lived with me since October of 2010. They’re great kids. Circumstance and bad decision-making put them in the perpetual state of being parent less. No one died but their parents are far removed from them due to drugs, crime and the inability to choose child over addiction. Their parents love them, and I make every attempt to ensure these children get to speak and see their parents when it’s appropriate and safe. I am being appointed permanent guardian and believe me, that’s been a hard-fought battle. Between Child Protective Services (CPS), Court Appointed Child Advocates (CASA), Mental Health professionals and lots of court appearances I am finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Still, I am inundated with paperwork and I am poorer. I chose not to accept foster care money for purely moral reasons. Were we living in the 1800’s I’d be expected to take my grandchildren in, or even an elderly relative, because that is what families do. I don’t want to be paid for it. Yes, everyone says I’m dumb and should take the money. I wouldn’t have been paid for it in any century prior to this one so… . I love these kids. That’s what it’s about. They’re a part of me by DNA. That means something. I have been fingerprinted, background checked, enrolled little ones in schools, worked with medical decisions and providers, sat through counseling, got CPR certified not to mention appeared at court after court appearance. And, all this hoop-jumping is the price you pay for trying to save children you would’ve saved anyway. They tell me that many foster parents, even relatives, continue the cycle of neglect and abuse when taking in a child. I get that. And, it’s sad. This is why when you first enter into the system you must be raked over the coals and you must prove your goal is not just altruistic but trustworthy. I don’t understand why so many children are harmed. And, I hate that people have that goal in their hearts. So, hoop-jumping I must do. I pray I will continue to do it well. But, let’s place credit where credit is due. CPS has been very good to me and I have made ever attempt to return that confidence in me. I have even been blessed with a judge who at first I feared but now respect. I no longer have fear. This last hearing I watched my oldest grandson and my young granddaughter make the judge giggle. The cynical crust on my heart melted a little that day.

Forgiveness and the Longevity of the Heart

I am closest to my mother’s side of the family due to divorce, relocation and for reasons I don’t even know. We’re kind of a complicated bunch of intelligent, compassionate, judgmental and kind people. We all have faults we hate, some we have in common with other family members and some we have that compare to no other relative. That’s where the paradox I want to talk about comes in. I have three siblings, two by blood and one by heart. I adore them all for the qualities I see in them, yet I am also conflicted by the disproportion of qualities I see as crutches. I deal rather well with my brothers but have yet to reach a point with my sister where we can actually act towards each in a sisterly way. And, it has always been that way. Always. Even as a young child I was always her nemesis. I thought for years back then that it was because I preferred playing outside and getting dirty instead of staying inside reading books. Don’t get me wrong, I read a lot when the sun wasn’t shining or when it was too cold or if I was grounded. Being the middle child I was particularly mischievous and always seeking every extra bit of love I could get from my parents. My grandson, Nathan, is just like that. He is also the middle child. There were activities my sister and I did well together. We loved playing Barbies and would stand Mom’s hardbound books on end to make rooms for the Barbies to live in. Those are some of my best childhood memories. Nobody could play jacks better than her. And, she even threatened a bully when I was in the ninth grade who wouldn’t leave me alone. Still, we didn’t share many secrets or friends. I loved her. I envied her long straight blond hair being as I was the only brunette. I envied her ability to do math and retain information in her brain I still can’t do. At school, especially high school, I was proud of her, yet she seemed to be embarrassed of that. She help me find my love of writing. I know I should’ve included her more in activities with my friends but truly it worked out better than it would’ve had I. She was valedictorian and I was the kegger queen. So, all I have is an angry sister who I truly think loves me but doesn’t like me very much. I can’t figure out what the unforgivable part of me is that she can’t forgive. I offer insight and she sees it as something other. I try to be supportive and she thinks me critical. I want a good sisterly relationship with my sister, but she has to forgive me and everyone she is holding grudges against before that will happen. We’re getting older and there’s not a lot of time left to do that. For my part, I am sorry if I have let her down. I’m just being me. Maybe she’s just being her. If things stay as that there is no way I can find to bring us together. And, I am truly saddened by that. Truly.

My sister: I love you.

“The Paradoxical Commandments”

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you’ll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.”
― Kent M. Keith, The Silent Revolution: Dynamic Leadership in the Student Council

At Odds With My Antagonist

I want to be a protagonist but damned if auto-correct is my antagonist. Regardless of what I write, a word I had no intention of using suddenly appears in a finished project I have written. In my last post, ‘our’ became ‘are’. While not the fastest typist in the world, I am pretty good. So, this is to let you know that most errors are due to that damn auto-correct or spell-check (as they know best of course). If it’s a “I got nothing man mistake” I probably was angry or had imbibed a little happiness to make me think I am way smarter and more amusing then I am. That’s no easy feat since I think I’m pretty darn awesome at times. 🙂  So, judge me not by my errors. Judge me by the content of what I write. And, while your at it send this on to the man who thinks we dislike him for his color when we really dislike him for the content of his character. He has none. Character counts. When my grandchildren ask me why they have to work too, I tell them hard work builds character. It does and it’s all relative. 

When Jesus Said It Best

Reproduced with permission from Author Elizabeth Hagan 2014

When you run out of words, going back to Jesus can be oh so helpful. The one who said it best.

The one who never forced himself on anyone.The one who welcomed all people, no matter if they believed in him or not.

The one who gave us a way of seeing the world that reminds us that things are not always as they seem.

The one who shows us the suffering of our lives in a kingdom larger story.

The one who tells us we don’t have measure up or produce enough to be accepted.

The one who blesses the most unlikely of characters (and maybe that is us?)

The one who promises us joy even when things are bleak. The one who always surprises just as He did when these words were first spoken many years ago:

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.

Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.

Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Copyright 2014 Elizabeth Hagan

Time To Say NO MORE

1506900_10152414636617042_6975138420790843852_nWhere’s the real help? Democrats are embracing impeachment to incite the progressive left into ignorantly coaching the lackluster, obtuse and mostly unintelligent liberals into an anger that makes them vote democratic just for the purpose of voting democratic which in turn leaves them in the same sinking boat they’re already in. The only prosperity in America is with the 1%. There once was a time where if you worked long and hard you could reach some semblance of the American Dream. Now, if you’re lucky, you can work long and hard and put some food on the table, a few clothes on your back and maybe see a movie or two though that’s in doubt, and to my delight negatively hitting liberal Hollywood hard. What I want to know is where are defenders are. They sure aren’t doing anything on Facebook or Twitter except bitching, moaning, displaying, petitioning and pleading. I want to know where our military is. I want to know why they haven’t said “Enough!”

This administration has let them down in such a way that anger should be their only response. Alas, we don’t have any Gen. Pattons, or Eisenhowers. What it seems we have is a huge number of frustrated soldiers unable to come together out of fear. Most don’t know what it was like to live during the Cold War where we children were forced to hide under our desks in thoughtful tests to make us prepare for the next nuclear bomb.Most haven’t studied history the way we older folks have. I was taught to sing all the military hymns and our national anthem in the 3rd grade. I know the words to America the Beautiful. The pledge of allegiance was something we said every day until I moved north. It was an honor to raise the flag every morning and fold it correctly with a reverence not seen today. I see Oathkeepers posts and follow their blog. I respect what they write and stand for and pledge. I read the Minutemen statement of controlling the border situation by 2015. They may as well sit down and shut up. By 2015 it will be too late. I heard Attorney General Holder say people who believed in what our country was were domestic terrorists and that most people against the administration were racist. He is factually and ideology incorrect. Through out United States history we have bitched about administrations and they were all white men. George Bush was vilified. I wasn’t a fan of him. Reince Prince everyday posts a meme asking for our opinion. If he doesn’t already know, he is wasting his time. And, the petitions …all those redundant petitions. They don’t do squat. When you have an administration who declares he is defying a Supreme Court decision, who rules by the whim of Executive Orders a petition is nothing but a waste of time. We still have an American marine imprisoned in Mexico, an American Marine deserter and likely collaborator released and celebrated. Where is our military? It is way past time to stand up and say NO MORE. Even those esteemed Generals, active, retired and fired, need to do it to. Talking the talk doesn’t do a damn thing. Walking the walk does. I’m proud of the citizens (not backed by military) who are standing up and making their voices heard. I just fear it will continue to fall on deaf ears. Get off your asses Americans.


Rejecting Hope & Change

I just read a story titled “Let it Rip” published on the aggregate news sharing site the Drudge Report characterizing our president as taking the metaphorical gloves of speech off declaring him to be speaking openly now that he isn’t able to run for president again (which in itself infers he is only now speaking honestly). And, at the conclusion of the article all I could think to say was ‘what the hell was wrong with being honest from the get go?’ If one’s arguments can’t stand up to scrutiny then they are bad arguments. Doesn’t this man realize how badly he looks to the majority of the American people? How about to the rest of the world? Sure, he does. I don’t think he cares. And, all the time he has been president I truly believe he has only cared about doing the exact opposite of what would be good for this country. That is a travesty. It is such a travesty that if he doesn’t start a world war, history will review him as a monster. That’s sad. I’ve never troubled myself to look up his past learning only as I went along from others who had. Nothing that I have read could instill such a hatred against America. So, I often wonder where it comes from. Then again I don’t lose much sleep over it because the world is full of apathetic cold people. Maybe he’s just one of those.

I had a really rough time growing up. But, I still love my country. While living in the United States has never been perfect, there is no other place I’ve ever wanted to call home. Yet, the very institutions, traditions and freedoms that made America have systematically been eroded in the best country to ever exist where this man was fortunate enough to be elected to lead. Yet, lead he has not.

The Constitution, the Bill of Rights, the American Flag, our veterans, our once respected dollar among numerous other beautiful American aspects have gone unappreciated and become nothing more than talking points to him. I don’t feel led at all.

Many who voted for him feel misled, abandoned and lied to. I didn’t vote for him. I was raised by a charismatic talker. I saw in him things that were all too uncomfortably familiar. I can remember standing in front of my younger brother’s TV watching a speech he was giving just shaking my head wondering why people need idols. Because, that was what I was watching: idolatry. It seemed to me there were a huge number of desperate and clueless people. And, oh how bad it feels to know I was right. Truly there is no vindication in that. I just have a profound sense of sadness and an overdeveloped sense of outrage mixed with helplessness. So, I hope it’s okay if I let it rip. That seems only fair. So, here goes:

I love my country. I love its people. I love the way it was formed and the boundaries it thrived on. I do not like what has been done over the last 6 years. The very idea of America was based on the rights of the citizens to share rule; equally and fairly while protecting the rights set forth by its founders. The blessings of free speech, right to assemble, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, bearing arms etcetera didn’t need changing. They didn’t need tweaked. There is and never was one single thing wrong with what we had. I resent that it’s been destroyed by a teenage presidency and a teenage administration. I can’t find but one representative to truly respect in a forthright manner, and he is fighting an uphill battle. And, that’s Trey Gowdy. A few others, I believe are on the right track but they lack the courage and the conviction to stay on a course of true allegiance to the United States. Caving to the current populist view that giving up some rights is good isn’t ever going to be my mantra. I will be the Dietrich Bonhoeffer or the lone man (woman) standing in front of the giant tank in Tiananmen Square. At my front door, I will stand strong against anyone who tries to sway me from my devotion to Christianity or to anyone who tries to sway me to shut my mouth. I won’t. I won’t accept that I am living in a “Constitution-free Zone”. Never will I feel like “…all this for a damn flag”. My hand will cover my heart as I loyally and dutifully pay homage and allegiance to the flag in the memory of the men and women who made it cherished and free-flying.

Nor, will I pray for the inhumane purveyors of evil and hatred. There exists no common ground. I will rail against the open-border and growl most discontentedly at all that Americans are losing due to bad politics from narcissistic ideology. I just will not. And, I will not bow to a king. I owe these views and feelings not only to myself but to my children and grandchildren so that hopefully I can instill in them the desire to fight on where I leave off and to cherish what freedom means.

Finding Heroes in a Modern World Where Few Exist

I’m not Jewish but I am constantly slammed for being Jewish and for being a supporter of the Jewish people. It’s possibly because I am vocal. Mostly, I get slammed by sycophant progressives because of my last names. My birth name is Gilles. My ancestors are French. My married name is Lilovich which I kept for business reasons after my second divorce. I am a Christian. I love the Jewish people.

During my senior year of high school I had a teacher named Florence Shultz. She has passed now. But, as an adult I have learned she made a huge impact on my life. She challenged how I thought growing up and led me, in part, to the person I am and the beliefs I have now. In World War II, Mrs. Schultz was a member of the United States Armed Services during World War II. I believe she was a W.A.C. and had the distinction of being on the cover of either Life or Time magazine. She brought the magazine to school one day at the beginning of our lessons on the Holocaust. I can remember being so in awe of her achievement. I found myself being immensely proud of this woman I had just met. She was anything but a feminist, yet she was strong-willed, decisive and never afraid to tell you how she felt. And, she was tough. Exceptional study and work was what she demanded in her class and mastering that was no easy feat. She nearly failed me for misplacing my textbooks at the end of my senior year. Thank God, she didn’t since I found them a couple of days before she was marking grades. But, that’s another story.

During the course of that class she taught civics, government and history. Mrs. Schultz pounded into us the duty we as Americans owed our country. One of our assignments was to debate each other over the candidates for president. So, there I was, 17-years-old debating for Ronald Reagan during his run for election to president. And, I thought I was a democrat back then. Ronald Reagan just had so many good ideas that it was difficult not to want him to win. (He was the first president I ever voted for. After casting my vote at the Gary National Bank a block from my house in Gary, Indiana, I walked home feeling so proud.) Because of this woman, there were lessons I was learning that would help me hang on to my soul life-long. I am so glad that for such a tiny period in my life, she existed.

In her class, she showed us every news reel; every documentary; every historical account available (that she could find) on film about the war and the Holocaust. In that small portable building in mid-America we sat dumbfounded and in tears as we watched the horrors unfold. Then she spoke. She spoke about what the world was like when the battles were raging. She spoke about how we would be judged as a world by what had occurred. She spoke about how the United States entered the world long past the time it should’ve. While the bombing of Pearl Harbor was what actually is credited with dragging us into the conflict, she posed to us: “Would we have sat out had that not occurred?” I didn’t understand what she meant then. But, I now think she was asking because she hoped we would come to the conclusion that maybe we wouldn’t have. And, I think she wanted that to bother us. I always wanted to ask her if she was Jewish but I never had the courage. I just chose to believe she was patriotic and teaching from experiences she hoped we would never be forced to live through yet trying to arm us with certain knowledge in case history really did try to repeat. If that is why she asked, she was right. History is repeating right now. This is why I stand with Israel. And, to me Florence Schultz was a hero. She was an American hero and I want people to know that. Her mind and her heart made a difference for many young idealist teens for good. I often wonder what she would think of Benjamin Netanyahu. I think she’d like him. I know I do.

That brings me to my next hero: the leader of Israel. (I find it profoundly sad I have to find my next hero in a land I’ve never visited and know only from photos in history. It is doubly sad that we don’t have heroes like that in America.) This is a man whose dedication and loyalty to not only his country but to his religion is incomparable. Were it not for him, Israel might only exist as a memory. He is a man who understands people. He is a man who understands duty. He is a friend to America and that can’t be easy given the hatred coming out of the political arena these days. So, I must also consider that he is also forgiving and patient. Still he, and the Jews of Israel, moreover the world, need our support.

Most conservatives know we’re living in troubled times. Most Christians, true to the teachings of Christ and the bible, recognize we’re living in the end days. Regardless of what anyone feels about religion or history, the world has become a scary place. If there was ever a time to lead and not follow, it is now. If there ever was a time to discover a true hero, one that guides you or one who will stand by you, it is now. Heroes don’t have to wear capes. Heroes don’t plot the destruction of others who are different from themselves. Heroes embrace love, kindness and often justice in the name of saving us all. Find your hero.

Independence Day in the ” I Don’t Care Eye See You Era”

This fourth of July, Americans have more reasons to be concerned about their freedoms and independence than at any time in American history. I actually feel blessed to be an American, and I genuinely appreciate the fact that an established free America has withstood tyranny for well over 200 years. Yet, sadly, this is the first time I can ever say I am afraid. Why am I afraid?

I am afraid we have lost that “established free America.” I am afraid that we are governed oppressively. I am afraid we have no privacy and that our rights are being quickly snatched away from us in the name of security. I am afraid occasionally to be viewed as an American. By that I mean, I have run into people, mostly merchants, whose disdain and anger towards Americans have made me look over my shoulder as I walk away from their businesses. Often, I feel like there are daggers (metaphorically speaking) pointed at the back of my head as I leave the businesses they were so free to establish here in America. When I am home I feel ashamed that I was so fraught with fear. But it’s the truth.

Then I get angry. I get angry because I feel usurped in the last damn place on earth I should; The Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave. This is my country. This is the country my son served 7 years in the military for. This is the country my uncles served. This is the country countless wars have been fought for, and this is the country that countless sons and daughters have died to protect.

I share things on social networks, often redundantly. I do it because I don’t think enough people care about the direction America is going. And, if I am wrong, and more care; then I have to believe that not only are we a nation of sheep …we are a nation of cowards. So, I wanted to write this to say to all Americans: Find your pride. Find your conscience. Find your souls. Even if you find yourself dependent on one form of government assistance or another … this is YOUR country. It’s not your job to change it. It’s not your duty. It is your duty to protect and preserve it. Think of it this way. There’s a great joy in the freedom of knowing I can write this and still publish it freely. What happens when I can’t? What happens when you finally get the desire to write or say it, and you can’t? For those who are loving the Marxist ideology and think that free things and the ever watchful eye of Big Brother are better than liberty, you better wake up. Marxism always fails and it fails big. There is no time, no action and no place in history that will prove what I say wrong. You can try, but you will not succeed. Happy Independence Day. Think about it..