Today is the last day of my 30th (I think) summer break. Life as a teacher is full of challenges, but June, July, and August are not three of them. NO, we DO NOT get paid for doing nothing… They paid us for 183 days of service, but they spread it out over 12 months. What this actually means is that my district and hundreds like it profit off of the interest they make on MY money instead of giving it to me when I earn it. It sucks. There are also plenty of articles etc. about the time teachers put in during the school year, trust me, we are working as many hours in those nine months as y’all are working in 12.
So, Monday I head back to my classroom for the first time since February when my leave of absence started. I’m going back with what The Wife and I are calling my “good-bad brain” (Thanks to Alie Ward’s husband for that term!) dTMS has changed my life in ways I’m just understanding and I can’t wait to see how it impacts my classroom. (For more details on dTMS, see my earlier posts)
This is the first year I can remember where I’m not riddled with anxiety and apprehension as we head back. I’m calm and collected. I’m mentally ready to do this!
The Wife and I like to day hike. There are a surprising number of places around Central Ohio to do so. Ohio is not exactly the epicenter of outdoor life in the states. In fact, it’s really boring… but there are so real gems if you know where to look. Maybe I’ll write about them sometime, but for now, they are staying hidden… at least to us.
Is Donald Trump a fascist? Well, the jury seems to still be out on that, but I’m convinced that he is. Here’s a little gem to ponder. There are many columns like this out there. The fact is that we were once sort of whispering the term “fascism” and “national socialism” but we are now screaming it from the rooftops. How did we get here will be the topic for years, but mostly, it’s happened in plain sight.
Look to the actions of American conservatives who embraced the abortion issue as a righteous cause in order to hook the Christian evangelicals and bring them on board.
Look at the beginnings of the conservative media movement in the United States and how it’s pushed an entire generation of seniors so far right that it radicalized them into blind obedience to Fox News and now Trump. This movement started with the first America First movement, the one that tried to keep the United States out of WWII and supported Germany.
Look at the state level gerrymandering that the GOP has been putting in place for over four decades so that they can have assured majorities even when they are the clear minority of voters in those states.
Look at the actions of groups like The Federalist Society who have worked for decades to fill the Federal benches with ultra conservative judges and stacked the Supreme Court the same way.
Look at the actions of those conservative judges and justices as they roll back the clock on every progressive case that comes their way.
Look at the actions of the super wealthy like the Kochs. They sponsored The Tea Party, and they have sponsored The Convention of States, which is working behind the scenes to force Congress to call a second Constitutional Convention. The newly established conservative majority of states would dominate that convention, to rewrite the Constitution, stripping the Federal Government of much of its power, and giving that power to states to abuse as they choose.
What I’m saying is that we have a much bigger issue to address than whether Donald Trump is or is not a fascist. We are looking at the radicalization of an entire political party that has openly embraced Christian Nationalism. We are looking at the culmination of decades of work by the GOP to shore up white supremacy and the rule of the elite in the United States and we are watching all the pieces fall into place.
I wish I had something wonderful to write about but other than my undying love for The Wife, my amazing kids, the continued health of my extended family, my amazing recovery from a terminal illness, and the joy of living depression free, It’s all bad news. The climate is spinning out of control, the Christian Nationalists are taking control of the United States, and the clock is being rolled back at least a century on progressive reforms. It’s hard to have a positive outlook on a world going to shit. At least there’s still pizza and beer.
The Wife and I are already planning our next trip to Ireland. Just thought I should give my kinfolk a heads up. We are headed back next summer and are already making plans. This time, we will spend our time in County Cork, Clair, Limerick, Kerry, and Galway. We had such a wonderful time and can not wait to return.
Here is a picture I took from the top of The Hill of Tara in County Meath.