Praises be! It’s over. A desperately needed change. But isn’t this worse? Uttering his name cracks my teeth. I’m calling him gd Fumbling DT-Elect. Reject.

Election night. I sat up until 2:00 a.m. bearing witness to our failed State of the Union. I was glad I had when the next morning all the sleepers rose to drowning in a tsunami of shock. By then, mine had worn off—to some extent, because I wasn’t all that surprised. At one moment during the third debate, I turned to Patrick and said He’s going to be the next president.

Our country, in its desperation to depart from a bottomless rut of deranged establishment control, took the only route available. Within 24 hours, Canadian immigration’s Web site, overwhelmed by hits, crashed. The circulating joke became: They’re going to build a wall and bill us.

(And yet . . . in this weirdest of weird elections, it may still not be over. Unrest fills the streets, the jungle drums thump, votes are still being counted, with the popular vote climbing ahead for Hillary by more than 2 million, and Jill Stein raising millions for recounts in three swing states. And then various movements are afoot to sway the electoral college, which does not vote to make the election official until December 19th.)

Aaron P. Bernstein—Getty Images

Patrick and I are taking a class in pine needle basket-making! Here, he is stitching with waxed artificial sinew; the sewing needle is barely visible in his right hand.

Wednesday morning, as kudos for Fumbling DT-elect’s acceptance speech rolled onto the air waves, the corporate pundits—who, it will be remembered, daily, for more than a year, dished out free and plentiful press for this man, while at the same time royalizing Hillary and eviscerating Bernie with determined, ignorant, haughty distain—went back to it, now with a chorus of admonition: “We should give him [DT] a chance to govern.” (Obama would soon underline this plea, surely not from any succumbing to a trade for meal tickets but in an effort probably to keep the country from some sort of supernovic explosion.) At these scoldings, I, with my shame-riddled upbringing, experienced a few insane seconds of stupidity, of wishful thinking . . . Maybe he will grow up in the presidency. Everything will be all right. Then the list of selections for Cabinet appointments floated to the scummy surface, and, for me, the mud settled in a thud of exacting clarity. The acceptance speech—I’d noted at the time—was sculpted by speech writers and delivered via teleprompters in a contained nice-y-niceness. A sitting president, however, all day every day, must offer comments off the cuff. How long could he last at that?

Thursday, Michael Moore began sounding the extreme-resistance alarm and predicting a less than four-year term for this president-elect, because he will no doubt rapidly do something illegal and be impeached. (A Pence succession? No help for my staggering depression.)

Later, toward night, I noticed, in the narrow right column on my iPad, a small photo of Leonard Cohen in underwhelming mention of his dying. Following the trail of crumbs, I found confirming sites. “Trump is president, Leonard is dead.” Two days later, it became clear that Leonard departed on Monday, the 7th. A prophetic and timely exiting? Who knows. He was altogether ready, by the lyrics of his latest and last album You Want It Darker, released October 21st. The barn rang in steady tribute, for days, Leonard’s gravelly baritone suitable accompaniment to wider grim realities. His voice continues to send us to the depths of despair, but it somehow helps. Can we mourn fast enough to begin the resistance?

Saturday, Neil Young turned seventy-one and took his celebration to the water protectors’ prayer encampment at Standing Rock, ND, where, since April, demonstrations have been taking place to protect tribal water and burial sites and stop construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Young has a new pipeline protest song, with video: Indian Givers.

Sunday, Nov 13th, Leon Russell died at 74.

Monday, the “No DAPL” supporters across the nation readied for tomorrow’s “Stand with Standing Rock,” gatherings of organized solidarity outside offices of the Army Corps of Engineers. “Protect Water.” “Water is Life.” Tensions between water protectors and columns of Darth Vader-like heavily armed law enforcement ran crackingly high, amid more than 470 accumulated arrests and hideous human rights abuses. For many of us who are tribal outsiders and climate activists, the Standing Rock Sioux’s resounding grit and growing support can look like the seat of a heaven-sent, planet-saving revolution—there, for us just to jump on. For native peoples, however, there and elsewhere, this is a gravely deeper struggle: for indigenous rights; against colonial violence and long-reigning white supremacy in laws and treaties. Now is a time for utmost respect, a time for honoring diversity not trying for assimilation, a time to forge bonds through humility and around common goals. Find introductory enlightenment and ways to help in the following links.

Remember This When You Talk About Standing Rock, by Kelly Hayes, Yes! magazine, a national, nonprofit media organization that fuses powerful ideas and practical actions. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution.

12 Ways to Be an Effective Ally at Standing Rock, Uplift, Liam Purvis.

Before Monday runs out, Gwen Ifill, veteran broadcaster, news anchor, moderator, editor, and best-selling author, who covered eight election campaigns, has died at 61 of breast cancer.

Tuesday, Nov 15th, Moses Allison died at 89.

It was an impossibly lousy week.

Everything is on the chopping block, perhaps even Roe v. Wade. Ahead lies arduous, grueling resistance. Fierce activism. I’m too old for this, damn it. Per Leonard, “My hair is gray, I ache in the places that I used to play.”

My Brief Soapbox: With this bungled election we have shifted the world on its axis. The battle just became a hundredfold harder, and with time fast running out for the planet. I blame, yes I do, the DNC, PACS on both sides, Fumbling DT’s emboldening of national racism, sexism, and xenophobia, and indeed the corporate media . . . definitely not Bernie and actually not my DT-voting neighbors anymore than my star-struck-Hillary friends, save to mention that all citizens need to stretch past superficial news, especially in these times of big money’s ultra-manipulation. Democracy works only to the extent that “the people for which it’s by and for” are informed politically and willing to participate. Except that becoming informed these days—what with fake news, twisted campaign ads, outright lies, villainous Russian interference—requires effort beyond the realm of reason. As time goes on, I think we will also learn that, in crucially close states, the third party voters and stay-at-homers may well have sealed the narrow deal. But they were the last rock to be thrown.

Bedtime again for me, when news emerged of a joint statement by the Army Corps of Engineers and U.S. Department of Interior—an announcement to halt construction of DAPL, pending further review and tribal consultation. Too paltry an offer, I bemoaned. If we can’t get righted 500-year-old atrocities at this late, late stage, how will we ever get anything right? Yet I looked it up on the Internet: Indian Country Today Media Network relays that Standing Rock Sioux Chairman David Archambault II has reacted with acceptance and gratitude: “We are encouraged and know that the peaceful prayer and demonstration at Standing Rock have powerfully brought to light the unjust narrative suffered by tribal nations and Native Americans across the country. We call on all water protectors, as we have from the beginning, to join our voices in prayer and to share our opposition to this pipeline peacefully. The whole world is watching and where they see prayerful, peaceful resistance, they join us.”

“Not all of our prayers were answered, but this time, they were heard.”

Tuesday noon, we headed to the nearby valley town of Hamilton, which boasts no Army Corps office, to stand on a street corner. An amazingly huge turnout—counts of 80 to 100 people—in this thick conservative community. Stretching down the highway on both sides, we waggled our homemade signs. One woman brought a large American flag, hoping it woud keep us from being shot at. Three people pounded drums, a mega-phone lead chants. Heartening responses came from drivers: thumbs up, wild waving, hanging-out-the-window-hollering-cheers, upbeat toot-toots. On the downside, we gagged on the exhaust, a couple of massive pickups nearly ran over our toes, and one blaring horn wobbled our ear drums. 

Planted on this corner, I am again home. Happy among friendly, energetic sorts and familiar faces from thirty past years of marches, rallys, candlelight vigils, sit-ins, and sign-waving protests. Trust me, not a bad thing to get used to. Here we are . . .

Chairman Standing Rock Sioux Tribe David Archambault II

Meanwhile, Patrick, wanders the mountains in pursuit of the illustrious pine needle—picking them up, bringing them home to an elaborate system of washing and drying. He sits at the dining table each evening in quiet concentration, engrossed in tedious stitching, seeking a Zen-ish serenity. I, though, having somehow destroyed my middle finger—not in the manner you might imagine, but with an infected owie—can merely eye his magical ancient efforts. A return to the beauty of the simple. A direct cuddle with Mother Nature.

Evening November 21st. At Standing Rock, in below freezing temps of 26° F, water cannons were turned on peaceful demonstrators. The alternate news carried reports from on-the-scene medics of rubber bullets in the face, mace, and tear gas, and stories of the latter’s canisters starting the fires blamed on water protectors. Estimates of 300 injuries. Some critically severe injuries. There are visuals I sometimes wish all Americans could be strapped in chairs to watch. Sitting in a theater in 1984, The Killing Fields projected on the big screen, was the first I felt it. Now another, although this one contains no on-screen gore. Brave it, the horrific truth of life in the U.S. as a peaceful protester (my underline, with full awareness that this type of protesting cannot be compared to lolling on a street corner in Hamilton, and police savagery is, of course, not new to many of our brothers and sisters, aunts and uncles . . . ancestors.) by viewing this 12-minute interview with Wayne Wilansky, father of wounded Sophia Wilansky. Find the video halfway down the page: “People are going to Die.” Under gd Fumbling DT’s presidency, with his intolerance of demonstrations, his intolerance of anything less than adoration, we’d be dumb not to expect far worse protester assaults. Stay tuned. A good source is Common Dreams: Breaking News & Views for the Progressive Community.

My owie is getting better, but I am sloooow. This is the bottom of my first basket, stitched with green raffia, and laid out here with a Scotch Pine’s wee pinecone that might end up as a knob on top of a lid.

Hwy 93 and Main Steet, Hamilton, MT

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Our gratitude in these seasons of Thanksgiving and Peace On Earth must go to those on the front lines, those in the blood battle. The Standing Rock Sioux are heroically shining the way, just as did Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter, galvanizing our hearts and hopes and spirits—to hold ground, and push forward. This is spiritual warfare at humanity’s core, the earthly center, where the change must arise, through solidarity, love of one another, and love of Mother Earth. Maybe basket-making will get us through? I thought that last week, I don’t anymore. Greater method is needed. It’s called “fast-track grieving by immersion”: yell into the wind, sing loud, dance wild, revel in sunrises and sunsets, and commune on foot with Mother Nature. Then we’ll continue the good fights, the top one of which is to banish money from elections (after which—few folks seem to realize—everything else will slip easily into place).

Lastly, join me: I plan on following Bernie to the ends of the earth.

Watch, and begin to heal . . .

L-R: Old school bell, which was my great-grandfather’s farm bell; P’s second basket (unfinished); P’s first wee basket; P’s third basket, with green pine needles and poderosa pinecone on lid.

For size comparison, Susan B. Anthony dollar leaning up against wee basket on left.

For Mugwort!

Our Next First Lady?

By Kathleen Meyer

October 2016

This photo arrived from a friend in Nova Scotia. Then I found the original on-line. (Such meticulous Photoshopping!)

Now . . . for me, here’s the deal. Because Bill looks so perfect as First Lady, come November, I’m going to hold my nose, quit retching, and vote for Hillary. What else is a person to do?

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Looooooud for Bernie

By Kathleen Meyer

June 2016

(Enlarge by clicking or tapping on the blue Birdie)

My Favorite Cherry-Picked Press

Bernie & Rachel Maddow on corporate media. Thanks Rachel!

Bernie goes off on Andrea Mitchell Hooray!!!!

SNL w/Bernie & Hillary, YouTube  HA! HA! HA!

✭✭✭ CNN and DNC on superdelegates  Just published today, June 5th, by INQUISITR. Great article: “Navy Vet’s Response” to Puerto Rico’s disenfranchised primary. Then scoll down to second video for the real deal on superdelegates, finally.

4 Reasons Bernie Could Fight On, RollingStone. Bernie should fight on. This campaign is “bigger than the nomination.” It’s about “redefining who we are as a nation.”

. . . since the first dire indications of rising global temperatures and accelerating species extinctions . . . since big fat money moved savagely into elections . . . since a whole array of causes—environmental, economic, class and racial and gender-driven, medical, educational, law enforcement/incarceration—started spreading us too intractably thin for anything but scanty success . . . since a general malaise of hopelessness and impotence devoured our spirit to march en-masse, sit-in, rally, demand, scream for a return to democracy.

Wisps of impressive smoke, yes, did rise from Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, and Democracy Spring, stirring the buried coals of hope I remember from the 60s. AND THEN CAME BERNIE SANDERS! taking his convictions on the road, with no idea where his voice would carry his revolutionary politics, no idea he would ignite a prairie fire of animated sisters and brothers. In front of us now lies a chance—in this world fast-hurtling into havoc—to make some yuuuuuge progress on myriad critical issues of injustice, not the least of which those inflicted upon Mother Earth.

There is NO waiting . . . no 4-more, 8-more, 20-more years. NOW is the time. 

Obama, dear man, ended up lacking an enduring movement—his “Yes We Can” dumped him on the White House lawn with a “you do it.” Eight good years are nearly gone, with the Dem-Business-As-Usual fairly flattened beneath corporate steamrollers. It’s the system and campaign finance that has to change, assisted by an infusion of many citizen hands. That’s what Bernie is about, what he brings to us. Or, indeed, brings us to.

Coast to coast, the jungle drums are beating—ba-boom, ba-booom, ba-boooom. Every day louder! They’re saying capture California, Montana, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Dakota and South Dakota on June 7th; DC on June 14th; the July Convention in Philadelphia; and dance Bernie into the White House.

Hey-Hey, Ho-Ho! Old-School Dems Have To Go!

“My Bernie” Slideshow

—click on Bernie’s glasses—

(photos picked off the internet—if one is yours, let me know and I’ll publish the credit)

I’ve been waiting for this man-of-sane-convictions for forty years!!!

Now a few items to counteract mainstream media’s tremendously wretched coverage of Bernie, in their twisting, omitting, hounding, blaming, lying, and snickering, and the DNC’s carefully correographed slams after every Bernie WIN, and the Clinton endorsements, particularly sad to me, from three once-progressive Dems for whom I, years ago, wildly campaigned: Jerry Brown, Barbara Boxer, and Tom Hayden. Shame on all of you.

The Never-Ending Distortions

“Clinton needs only 71 more delegates to win the nom-ination.” Baloney! As of today, June 3rd, the pledged delegate count stands at: Bernie 1,501; Clinton 1,769. It takes 2,368 to seal the deal before the convention. Up for grabs in 6 states and DC are 704 more in the next two weeks. Plus, Puerto Rico’s confusing numbers. Hundreds of stalwart party superdelegates committed themselves to Clinton an entire year ahead, before Bernie entered the race. (Yet superdelegates don’t formally vote until the convention. In 2008, enough of them jumped the Clinton-ship to elect Obama.) 

“Clinton has 3 million more popular votes.” (This statement conveniently ignores any counting of all the caucus states Bernie won, and the masses of independents thrown under the bus.)Blog_Archives_2016_files/Add%20Books%20to%20Blog%20Page.docx

The Bernie Rally in Caras Park, Missoula, May 11th, was the first big outing for my new titanium hip—assisted by a hot-pink, four-wheeled walker, equipped with brakes and a seat. I wasn’t going to miss this. Full speech: Bernie in Caras Park (Bernie and Jane emerge from SUVs beneath the bridge at 1:40 minutes and climb into the stands to the strains of Willy Nelson’s “On the Road Again.” Bernie comes on stage at 33.55 minutes).

Keep the faith.

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Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem”    

Ring the bells that still can ring

Forget your perfect offering

There is a crack

A crack in everything

That's how the light gets in

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View it on YouTube:

Leonard Cohen’s Anthem, London 2008

Photo by Valeria Taliman