Great Again

You know what I hear when people say, “…make America great again”? 

  • I hear white people who want things to go back to the way they were when they could blithely ignore the racial injustices in the world because of white privilege. They want the ability to keep pretending racism doesn’t exist because they never see it (Or want to see it).
  • I hear white men who want women to go back to being home bound and barefoot. They don’t like the idea of a strong women or that women deserve equality in the workforce.
  • I hear white people who want gays to go back to pretending they don’t exist. They don’t want to be faced with the soul-chilling idea that a religion they were institutionalized into since birth might be flawed. They pretend gay-bashing or deaths of the LGBT community are their own fault for being so ‘different.’  They don’t want to be faced with the idea that Trans people are real and just want to feel safe in society.
  • I hear white people who suddenly notice the world, society, and media no longer features them as the primary representation of America. Deep down I think they are afraid they might end up going thru what minorities or gays have gone thru for decades. 

I hate to break it to ya white people but America wasn’t always great for everyone. Many of us faced untold hardships, harm, and even death at the hands of your indifference. Even a poor white person has a leg up on many minorities and gays. And guess what? We aren’t going to go back to hiding or pretending we don’t exist. Minorities are not going back to separate but equal.

America is great. It is also horribly flawed. We aren’t perfect, we aren’t even a role model in many areas anymore. Our greed and indifference mixed with rising anti-intellectualism is slowly leading to our undoing. It’s not the ‘blacks, gays, muslims, women, etc’ that have ruined this country, it is your willful selfishness and blind indifference to the injustices faced by others not like yourself.

And if being faced with the idea that you bear indirect (and direct) shame for said actions is too much to bear, try walking in a black man’s shoes for awhile. Try to have a normal life as a minority, a gay/lesbian/Trans person. Tyr being a Muslim women in an oppressive fundamentalist country. You have no idea what makes America great because you aren’t part of that equation. If you think America needs to be great again, here’s a news flash for ya, YOU are the problem.

 

Scared? Welcome to our world.

Kaepernick

I’ve gotten a few requests for my thoughts on this whole faux scandal. I say faux because I love how people go out of their way to “out American” others. It is just another in a series of sad stories showing our growing ignorance as a nation. Anyway, since I work for a law-enforcement related agency, people often assume I’m always gonna side with the police. Wrong. While I certainly have insights that others might not have at times, I always strive to be on the side of fairness and truth. 
First, Kapernick has the right to not stand. He has that right because of the men/women who have fought for it. Being a free American means you can criticize your country’s failings, perceived or otherwise. Actually calling out your leader’s failings is as American as one can get if you read our constitution. As to Kaepernick, he certainly isn’t immune to fallout from said behavior, but stop trying to shame him for it.

As to the man himself, I find his behavior a bit hypocritical. For someone who often uses racial slurs,1 it seems a bit disingenuous to suddenly find a moral compass now. And considering his influence and place in society as a famous football playing millionaire, I’m struggling to find the sincerity in his actions. Rumor has it his new girlfriend is big in the BLM movement and I can’t help but wonder if that has influenced his ideas, not that her influence is necessarily a bad thing. Being enlightened by others is perfectly fine; however, what else is he doing? Is he meeting w/local police agencies? Is he donating money to community groups? Is he doing anything besides his now infamous ‘sitting’ exercise? I don’t need to disparage the man to show the contrast of his actions. 

At the end of the day, there is a very real problem between minority communities and police agencies. But it isn’t always about racism. There are many social, cultural, & economic variables affecting the divide. Trying to conflate it all into one giant polarizing idea of black & white2 is simplistic and often the tool of the biased. As I’ve said before, acknowledging failures by law enforcement doesn’t make me support law enforcement any less. Nor does calling out the bad players within the BLM movement make me any less supportive of fair and equal treatment for minorities.  And  speaking of the bad players, am I only the only seeing the irony here? We proclaim loudly that BLM and others can protest peacefully w/o resorting to violence and the moment someone does, we attack him as anti-American. So what we really want is to completely avoid the inherent problems still festering in our society. 

The sensationalized style of our media and news consumption only lends itself to dividing all sides even further apart. The focus isn’t on truth or even honest reporting. It’s solely on generating outrage which turns into ad-clicks. 

So I accept his right to sit and protest. Just as I accept he probably isn’t doing it for the right reasons. Either way, those are my feelings on the subject. 

  1. He has been fined for them before []
  2. see what I did there? Hehehe []

Dump

​Dump

I usually avoid talking a lot about politics on da blog as a rule.  I do often encourage folks to get out and vote. However, this year is just insane. In previous years, ideologies might have been at work, but this year I honestly feel like our very democracy is at stake. If “He Who Shall Not Be Named” were to win, I fear we wouldn’t have another election. Our devolution into chaos would be complete. It still astounds me that such an absolutely insane man could even win the nomination much less have a chance at the presidency.1 

Facts mater and he seems to not care about facts or reason. That should concern everyone, regardless of party affiliation. He says whatever occurs to him and then just denies or recounts it later. He has even admitted in interviews he often just says whatever he thinks the crowd wants to hear. I’ve yet to hear a sound well-reasoned argument as to why this man would be a better choice than anyone, much less Hillary. 

I get there are some reasons many feel he will ‘shake things up’, but the overwhelming cognitive dissonance involved with such reasoning cannot be denied. You cannot make misogynistic, racist, homophobic, sexist, bigoted, and/or just plain ignorant comments on a regular basis and follow it up with “oh, you misunderstood me.” He has yet to put forward a single explanation on how he will get anything done. “Just trust me”, he says. Uh, no. I don’t trust you because you haven’t given a single reason, other than rhetoric, why you should be trusted. He has never held any sort of political office. He has run basically every company he owns in bankruptcy, and then brags about it. And that is the tip of the iceberg. The only claim to fame he has is his daddy’s trust fund and a reality TV show. That is not a qualification to be President. And frankly, I wouldn’t let him be president of my fan club.2  

You may not like Democrats as a rule. Or you may not like Hillary as a rule, but voting for this man would be a vote for chaos. And if you think that would be good for America, you clearly haven’t thought the real world ramifications through very well. The idea of having a child, prone to wild tantrums, in control of our nuclear codes scares the shit out of me! Don’t even get me started on the damage to the world economy or our own. 

As for Hillary, you don’t have to particularly like her, but you do have to respect her years of service. After roughly 30 years, she is still in public service and has not only survived as a woman but thrived.  She is by far the most qualified candidate for president I’ve witnessed in my lifetime. And while I do not agree with all her policies or decisions, she is the only choice to Trump.3  

The lining on the cloud here is that Trump’s insanity is turning away most centrist voters. Hell, he is even alienating a huge chunk of his own party. His campaign is becoming more and more chaotic and his rhetoric is off the rails. First the Japan comments and now the sad ‘Obama founded ISIS’ nonsense.  What a maroon! He might appeal to the crazies and fundamentalists in the base, but that won’t win him an election.  Right now the election is Hillary’s to lose. And that is a good place to be. Let us all hope it stays that way. 

  1. It is fun watching the extremist and hypocrites inside the Republican party eat themselves alive []
  2. If I had one mind you. Hehee []
  3. And throwing your vote away on the Anti-vaxxer, wifi-kills-you Stein or the bizarre Johnson is not a moral stance no matter how one might try to twist it that way. []

Politics

I have reached my limit with all the back and forth attacks on social media over politics. I’m not even joking a little. I’m done with the the never ending attacks on [candidate you don’t like].

No, I won’t unfriend you anymore.

No, I won’t even unfollow you.

What I will do is tell your smug ass off.

I don’t want you sharing or posting nonsensical biased articles on my feed. Share it on your own page. I’ve deleted and blocked 3 people today for drive-by "shares" on my page. Friend or foe, you are not immune. Just knock it off.

I want you to ask yourself how many of your smug, snotty, over-top, and condescending comments have helped? How many minds have you changed? Zero? One? Two? The answer is most likely none. People don’t like being told their wrong for believing something. I know shocker, right? They also don’t like to be talked down to over a difference of opinion, even if you feel their opinion is wrong. Finding a quick hit-piece online doesn’t make you an expert or even that well informed, it just makes you a jerk. I won’t even go into the idea of successful discourse because it’s pointless. No one cares about debating anymore. They just care about their own personal bias and how far they can extend the reach of their super ego aka social media.

I follow politics and have for some time. While I certainly wouldn’t say I’m an expert I do keep up. Frankly, I don’t need your opinion on who I should vote for. I don’t need your insinuations or snarky comments either. The only thing I want to know is that you did get out and vote when the time comes. Especially since the last election was the lowest in over 50 years.

I’m happy to see my small circle of close friends isn’t engaging in this nonsense. I might revisit the idea after the primaries are over, but I am so over it for now.

Destroy

I’m in a mood today.

Why is it anytime something happens the so called "devout christians" don’t like god is going to destroy America?’ Every other day now there is some hypocritical blow-hard declaring we are going to be destroyed if [abc person] gets elected or [xyz law] passes. SMDH

Out of all the atrocities occurring in the world on a daily basis ‘god’ is going to smite us because they don’t get their bigoted way? I guess having a monopoly on the idea of what a god would/wouldn’t say means one gets to deftly ignore everything else in favor of cause de jure. These folks always ramp up their rhetoric during elections. They can’t use common sense or logic so they fall back on fear and ignorance. They are utterly predictable now.

What is sad in all of this is they are gaining influence. As we let our children continually be deprived of a decent education in this country, ignorance and anti-intellectualism are on the rise. The ignorant are often easily swayed by emotions. Add in the mind-numbing influence of social media these days and it is a perfect platform.

Here’s a newsflash for said folks. Your god isn’t going to do anything. We; however, will most likely wipe ourselves out. It won’t be because of who won/lost an election or what law passed or didn’t. No, our blind indifference to the devastation we are causing this planet will mostly likely be a contributing factor. And we’ll never do anything about it because our greed is too powerful. Our never-ending obsession with wealth and control will be our end.

In brighter news, [insert choice] sports team won something! That is totes more important than any tree-hugging hippie news right?

Bash

I can understand the Repugs eating their own but I’m struggling with the Dems doing it now as well. More and more lately, I’m seeing vitriolic and viscous attacks online between the Hillary and Bernie supporters. Even more surprising is seeing a lot of it from within the LGBT umbrella.

I don’t get it. Since when is it ok to disrespect people because they like a different candidate than you? Having a difference of opinion or even a healthy discussion on the pros/cons of [candidate] is great. However, resorting to baseless accusations, name calling, and personal attacks is counter productive at best. Last time I checked this was still a free country where every citizen had the right to freely vote or support the candidate of their choice. And for the few I’ve seen making comments like, "well if [candidate] wins, I won’t vote", you don’t deserve a vote. Voting is a privilege for adults not petulant children. And how is it helping the situation by alienating people who might be convinced to support your candidate of choice? I know I sure as hell don’t feel sympathetic when someone tries to shame me into changing my opinion. If anything, it solidifies my thoughts. I blame the lack of face to face interactions that social media creates. People are emboldened to behave poorly w/o fear of retribution.

I rarely unfriend or unfollow folks but I’m reaching a point where I just don’t care anymore. And it’s never folks I know personally because they honestly wouldn’t remain in my life as a friend with such behaviors. Anyway, I unfollowed several folks today and even unfriended two who were just awful. The comments ranged from insults, personal attacks, and even threats. I just don’t have time for that. Rather than starting a flame war, it is easier to just unfollow or unfriend said folks.

Politics is always a sensitive subject because most folks often project their own views onto others. When they abruptly discover said view isn’t shared, discord arises. That’s perfectly fine and acceptable. However, when your behavior is in question, you take away any chance of success at winning your case in the minds of others. And if you really really really want your candidate to win, get off your ass and join their campaign. Get out and shake hands, talk to people, share your thoughts on how great said candidate is. Don’t whine and bash others on social media who don’t agree with you. Frankly, said behavior does way more harm than good.

Contempt

Poor Kim, she is being played for the victim and being left out to dry. Once the crazies are done fund-raising off of her, they will leave her high and dry to pick up the pieces of her broken life. She will scuttle back into obscurity to be randomly evoked as a bad joke.

Of course, a simple civics lesson might have helped educate her on how her job role and the government actually works. She then might have avoided be played for the fool. Sadly, that isn’t the case. And her willful ignorance is not going to save her, no matter how the crazies spin it. They want her to lose so they can hold her up as their new martyr.

As an elected clerk, she took an oath to uphold the law. You have the right as a citizen to have a religious belief. You have the right not to be persecuted by the government (and your employer when different) for that belief. You can even request a reasonable accommodation for said belief. However, you do not have the right to refuse to do your job based on belief. An important distinction the people taking advantage of her are deliberately obfuscating. The moment the SCOTUS ruled on the Obergefell vs Hodges case, it became defacto law. If she now feels she can no longer follow her duty/oath of office because it violates her "god’s law," then she should resign. You are not guaranteed employment if you feel your personal religious belief conflicts with your employment requirements.

Not only did she refuse to do her job, she also refused to allow any of the deputy clerks to do their job. The judge gave her a way to save face and not be in contempt and she still refused.1 This negates any possible resolution through accommodating her belief. She has repeatedly and steadfastly projected her bigotry onto her subordinates. In the best possible twist of ironies, her employees could now sue her for religious discrimination. Wouldn’t that be lovely!? hehehe

Of course, the fundies might take her on as a spokesperson after she loses. Like previous made up martyrs, they’ll trot her around until the money-making dries up and then she’ll be abandoned. She’ll be the punchline of memes and jokes for awhile and after that forgotten completely. The annals of history will not remember her. And their failed (and marginalizing) attempts to align her with such great civil-rights activists such as MLK and Rosa Parks are frankly insulting.

  1. again, it appears based on advice from her representation with an agenda []

UnFriend

I discovered recently someone I know personally has unfriended and even blocked me on FB. We weren’t close friends but I can’t ever remember having a falling out of any sort. Granted, I didn’t even notice said person had unfriended me for quite some time.  The only recollection I have is that he and I often had slightly different political views. We disagreed a few times but it was never mean or rude. He would get rather upset with anyone who didn’t agree with him. I’m left to assume he got mad because I disagreed on something and blocked me. Oh well. He was clearly missed. /sarcasm

This last week I noticed I’ve also been unfriended a few times by folks who didn’t agree with my views on current events. It seems to be a growing theme on social media. Basically, people don’t want debate, they only want supporting comments or views that reinforce their own. Then they get super upset or bent out of shape if someone disagrees with them. If you don’t want comments from people who might disagree, either don’t allow comments or don’t post it.

For myself, if you can’t handle debate then I’m sure we wouldn’t be friends in real life anyway. Successful discourse  requires two way communication not just pontification of your own thoughts. I usually try to keep my discussions to the topic at hand without any personal attacks. I also try to refrain from name-calling and inflammatory comments. I say ‘try’ because even I lose my shit sometimes.

Anyway, I’m off topic a bit. If you friend someone  you don’t really know on social media, you shouldn’t be overly surprised if they don’t always fall in line with your view of things. Barring said personal attacks mentioned above, you should try to converse and debate vs just writing them off and unfriending them. You, or they, might learn something. You also have the added benefit of developing a deeper understanding of your own belief. Teaching or explaining concepts to others forces you to better understand it for yourself.

Rants

For a long time I tried not to talk too much about politics or current event sort of subjects on le blog. I just didn’t want to beat a horse that everyone else was beating. I go off on some things from time to time but I’ve always kept the focus of the blog squarely on myself.

These days, I find less and less need to fight my personal demons in this space. And while I’ll continue to blather on about my personal development, I feel it is time to start branching out. I think I have a good perspective on much of the happenings in the world. And as I love to harp, I’m good at seeing subtle but often important distinctions in things.

I guess what I’m saying is you, dear reader, should expect to start seeing more current event type rants here. Not everyday and certainly not the focus but I like to think it will add a good mixture to the chronicle that is my life.

Freedom

image

The recent fallout over the PR lady poking fun of AIDS in Africa and the phoney character from that stupid duck show both illustrate my point.

First of all, freedom of speech in our constitution is meant to protect citizens from government censorship. The first amendment is not relevant to either of these situations so whining about their ‘freedoms’ being violated just shows a lack of understanding. It also shows cowardice in trying to hide behind biased comments as “freedom of speech” in an attempt to avoid any repercussions for said speech.

If you’ve been living under a rock, a PR lady for a rather large umbrella company posted a tweet making fun of going to Africa and inferring she wouldn’t get AIDS because she was white. She was fired from her job for it. Many felt she deserved it, others felt she didn’t really say anything wrong. The latter being based on an erroneous belief that Africa has a large percentage of HIV+ individuals that are black. As if that makes her heinous comments about being white ok.

The other example, a completely contrived character from a ‘reality TV’ show went on a long nasty tirade about gays and religion in an interview for a magazine. He was kicked off the show for it. Several side drama stories have ensued as well. The show might even get canceled because now the other phoney characters are threatening to boycott filming. Oh what a tragedy to our national IQ that would be. /sarcasm

Getting fired from your job for making racist or homophobic comments, however innocent you might have meant them in your ignorance, is not a violation of your first amendment rights.

The moral boys and girls?
Words have consequences, good and bad. Think before you speak.