Hope, Change, Decency

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

I saw the footage of Joe Biden comforting Meghan McCain on The View: it was comforting, lovely & how every human being should treat another. Of course this is not always the case. But it was reassuring to see two people responding to each other simply as people, not as rivals.

On a purely political note, as a fellow human being I humbly request the Democratic Party to declare Joe Biden the Official Ambassador/Grampa of your Party. He is so needed in this dark world, giving us hope & as an example of the need to change back to common decency. All is calm, all is bright. Peace.

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Democracy Dies In The Darkness

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

One of my favorite scenes in All The President’s Men (1976) is when Robert Redford (as Bob Woodward) & Dustin Hoffman (as Carl Bernstein) sit in the Library of Congress, laboriously pouring over notes while researching a lead. Stories just don’t fall from the sky: much hard work is involved.

This Post is in tribute to the Reporters, Journalists, Commentators who do not cave under pressure; who did not make a pilgrimage to Trump Tower to ensure access; who do not wait for #45 to pivot. These individuals face daily tweets/onslaughts questioning their work from a regime full of bullies & over inflated incompetents. These members of the media provide an invaluable service to our country, our freedom, the world. Democracy dies in the darkness; here’s a Thank You to the people who daily shine a light for the good.

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I set the Twitter birdy free. And told him to crap on Facebook.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

The NPR show On Point featured an interesting interview Tuesday with guest Erick Erickson. He talked about how we can have hundreds of followers on Twitter or friends on Facebook but not know the name of our next door neighbor.


As a society we’ve lost the human part of humanity. This isn’t some evil plan by outside forces, this is by our own doing. Technology is grand but at what price?

I tweet very little nowadays, only when the spirit moves me, which isn’t often. Last year’s political hoodoo & ensuing ugliness soured me right quick on social media.

Facebook has no appeal to me. I dabbled just long enough to realize it equaled the worst aspects of the world’s biggest high school. Also the knowledge that many people I know are addicted to this stuff scares me  …. I got out before I really got in.

Do you know your neighbor? Take a walk & see the trees, hear the birds, notice the sunset? Is it too late as a society to realize what really matters: the people around us? The wall we have to worry about isn’t the one built on the border; it is the wall we build around ourselves.

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Living Outside The Gated Communities of Thought

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

Let me be upfront: I have voted since I was eligible & take my vote seriously. I thought carefully about what Party designation would be on my Registration Card & every thought always came back to one. I am a Non-Affiliated Voter who has never regretted my decision.

Valid arguments can be made about Primaries (though some states have opened up on such matters.) I understand this. It’s part of the deal.

Being Non-Affiliated gives me a unique perspective. I vote the Candidate, not the Party & can have a clearer vision on who these Candidates are. I have voted for the Democrat, I have voted for the Republican.

I vote for the best person to represent me & my beliefs. I like both Parties’ good points equally; I despise both Parties’ bad points equally. Having one Party dominant over another is anathema. We have to learn to work together because this is life, folks, & these are family members, neighbors. No one Party has all the answers.

One thing that amazes me is how the members of either Party can actively campaign for/defend their Parties and yet be insulting, condescending or dismissive towards potential voters (& their valuable votes.) Isn’t the whole point to win?

Since I’ll never be a Party Leader or Candidate this fact eludes me, yet I see it daily in many forums & circumstances. Ahhh …. why would I want to vote for Candidate X if her/his supporters are arrogant a-holes who know oh-so-much-better than me & revel in telling me this? Last I knew A + B = See, if you want my Vote, Respect Me. We don’t have to be buddies, just allies in the fight.

2018 is almost here. A bigly important election. The Republicans are cannibalizing themselves & the Democratic Leadership is stuck in the ’90s.

One thing to remember is that low voter turnouts favor incumbents. Which makes me & my fellow Non-Affiliateds really important. Treat us nice. Treat us with respect. Our numbers are growing. Dear Democrats & Republicans … you need us to win.

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Neighbor. Hood.

By SJWNY, a Trail Mix Contributor

I’ve thought about writing a Post on this topic for a while but have hesitated. Discussing the people who make up a neighborhood & how their actions influence it can be divisive. Black & White with no Gray seems to be the outcome. My side, Your side. We are both rubber, We are both glue.

This year marks 25 years I have lived in my neighborhood. The houses here were inexpensive & highly available in 1992. White Flight had taken hold & a good deal of this area was minority, African American & Puerto Rican. Crime was rampant: drugs, prostitution, gangs. HIV, AIDS. Why did we buy a house in this scenario? Because we got a big house with a big yard & a real honest to goodness driveway, which is a plus during the winter. Also the location is within easy walking distance of downtown & about a mile from the Canadian border. It was a chance taken not for the present but for the future.

There were many years the house was broken in to. Replacing doors, even metal doors with metal frames was a habit. Looking out the window at 3am to a view of hookers servicing clients in the front yard. Syringes littering the yards, stuck in the poor old maple tree. Used condoms dumped on the lawn. Coming home to find graffiti written across the front door in black magic marker. (Handy hint: Simple Green, straight out of the bottle, is a life saver in removing ink.) I will not let these bastards get me down was my mantra. This is my home.

Then about 10 years ago young professionals discovered what a bargain this area was. Beautiful homes waiting to be loved & restored. Great location to the downtown. And yes, they were/are for the most part Caucasian. The LGBTQ community is a strong presence; the next street over from me, which was a notorious drug & gang street, is now lined with restored homes & gardens. It is thriving. It is reborn. People want to move here, invest here. As a consequence, the value of my property has quadrupled.

There is a new wave of immigrants from Yemen. An abandoned theatre a couple blocks away is now a Mosque. These are quiet, law abiding people who keep their homes neat & make sure their children go to school. They are what we wish for in a neighbor.

Not long ago I drove through an area of the city that just a couple years ago was a dump. Homes that had garbage literally covering the yard, weeds up to my waist. Then a major hospital decided to build a medical campus nearby. Thousands of educated professionals would be employed there. Many looked at the cheap fixer-uppers (more like miracles needed) & bought these homes to live in near by. And guess what …. the local population is upset that they are being priced out. Priced out of an area that many could not find the gumption to bend over to pick up the trash or burn a calorie to pull a weed or scrub the graffiti off the buildings. I feel no pity.

Is this wrong? Or is it the fact that in getting older the realization of being responsible & taking responsibility for ones’ actions becomes ingrained, at least in those willing to listen?

How many of you have gone through the resurrection of your neighborhood? I like this area, I like the neighbors.

Is this bad?

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