Toxic Comments: Normalizing Atrocities, a Resistance Post

Bomb-Cool-iconHave you ever been in a public place minding your own business when a stranger makes a rather loud offensive statement?  They didn’t make a statement pertaining to you, but it was a sexist, prejudice, or propagandist statement.  It’s a statement so offensively toxic that it even offended you!

Words were on the tip of your tongue.  You wanted to tell them their rhetoric was hurtful, wrong, and disrespectful of those around them.  Yet, you didn’t say anything.  You think they had a right to voice their opinion.  Besides, if you confronted them, something bad could happen.  Then you have the worst thought of all:  It wasn’t your problem.

Guess what.  It was your problem.  Furthermore, if you’re an American in the age of 45, it’s most definitely our problem.

As it happens, I heard an educator (unrelated to my academic institution) talking at a Starbucks and she made a horribly disagreeable comment:  I make students stand for the Pledge since my husband fought in Vietnam for their right to say it.

I forced myself not to comment, and yes, it was the worst thing I could have possibly done.

Bio-hazard-icon

In the current climate of highly charged hateful rhetoric and actions, I’m learning from my inaction, and I encourage people to calmly and logically shut down ignorantly toxic comments.  Call them a gateway drug to homegrown terrorism (or for a man to stab their fellow countrymen and call it Patriotism).

~Continued after video~

While the educator’s comments aren’t hate speech per se, it’s still a dangerous comment specifically for pure ignorance, which happens to lead to dangerous nationalism, authoritarianism, indoctrination, and even brainwashing.

Paraphrasing from the above Huffington Post video, Americans let those comments slide, we are helping to normalize such thinking.  Kids who hear it will think that toxic perspective is fine, or normal, and we encourage those few of like, small-minds to voice the same opinions.

Here is why that educator’s comments are so disagreeable.

First, the part claiming her husband fought in the Vietnamese war so American students can say the Pledge of Allegiance is revisionist history and has absolutely no basis in fact.

France-Flag-iconThe Vietnamese War had nothing to do with American freedom nor the Pledge of Allegiance.  America entered the war to help the French retain control of their Indochina colony.  When the French lost control and Communists took over Northern Vietnam, the American government found the situation disagreeable and stayed to help Southern Vietnamese take back the North.

Second, anyone who claims they, or their spouse, fought for the American right to say the Pledge drank the crazy people Kool Aid.  Our government’s Enlightenment Era Creators in the American Revolution were those who truly fought for our freedom.  They fought for the colonists’ right to have an equal say in government as part of a living document that also includes instructions for two methods of revolting against those in power.  Not of the idiocy to say a simple Pledge.

Hypothetically, in some bizarre dimension the Vietnamese War had been about American freedom, that freedom would encompass a wide range of freedoms we enjoy in the real world.  They would include the freedom to choose to say or not to say the American Pledge of Allegiance.

As Americans, we take pride in our First Amendment:Paper-icon

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

These days, Americans refer to the First Amendment as freedom of speech or freedom of religion.  In the 80s and 90s, I remember it was referred to as freedom of the press.

The original Thirteen Colonies were formed on the promise of religious freedom and a haven from political upheaval.  Basically, their own countries persecuted (i. e., imprisoned or penalized) them because of their beliefs either in religion or politics.

Even today, there are countries – a few more liberal than America – that still penalize people for criticizing their leaders.  Here are twelve of them:

  1. Azerbaijan
  2. Lebanon
  3. Venezuela
  4. Poland
  5. Turkey
  6. Netherlands
  7. Cameroon
  8. Bahrain
  9. Kuwait
  10. Thailand
  11. Iran
  12. Indonesia

The American Constitution was written so all American citizens have governmental say without the threat of persecution, which is also covered in the First Amendment (…to petition the Government for a redress of grievances).

We have the right to protest peaceably.  If Americans wish to take a knee during the Pledge of Allegiance, they can without penalization.  Hell, even in the 20th Century, people burned the American flag at protests without legal repercussions.  Why?  Because that is also covered under the First Amendment.

When I substitute in a classroom, I don’t force the students to stand and recite the Pledge.  Any students who choose to sit, respects the rest of the class by staying quiet through the Pledge.  Those who choose to say the Pledge, respects the classmates who choose to sit – as in not shaming those who sit through the Pledge.

Personally, I stopped saying the Pledge because I disagree with the under God part, which wasn’t added until the 1950s as a convoluted way to combat the political concept of Communism.  (Anyone else confused by that?)  Plus, I don’t recite the Pledge as a protest against the current political stupidity in the White House and Congress.  Although, I still stand and face the flag out of respect for my family history.

(By the way, anyone else think it’s overkill to say the Pledge everyday in school?!  Why don’t we say it once at the beginning of the Academic year or each semester?).

Typically, I resume working after the Pledge and ignore the moment of silent reflection.  I think taking a moment to silently reflect – which is code for pray – is a waste of time when people should do that in the privacy of their own home before going to school or work.  In addition, the Pledge of Allegiance is a prayer since it incorporates under God and was originally written by a minister.

I’m not saying the misguided educator was a follower of the Far Right, but I’m going on the assumption based on her comment.  Aside from the confusion over the term freedom, the Far Right (who proclaim themselves Patriots) get a lot of things wrong.

The Far Right likes to take their Nationalism to the extreme.  Perhaps, they believe the Pledge was always recited by school children at least once everyday across the country dating all the way back to America winning independence from England.

bag-books-iconActually, the Pledge wasn’t a classroom ritual until 1892, and America didn’t have an official pledge until the first half of the 20th Century.

It was not until 1942 that Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance. One year later, in June 1943, the Supreme Court ruled that school children could not be forced to recite it. In fact,today only half of our fifty states have laws that encourage the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance in the classroom!

Forcing children to say the Pledge in school is not Patriotic since it’s considered a form of authoritarianism in a country that’s supposed to be a Republic.  While forces are attempting to change the foundation of our government to an oligarchy and 45 treats his position as a dictatorship, I believe wholeheartedly that this country will always remain a republic, one nation, indivisible with liberty and justice for all.

I wish I would have said something to that educator, yet I would have done more harm than good.  Unfortunately, I would have yelled at the woman instead of calmly explain to her the wrongness of her statement with logic.  Perhaps, it would have been a futile attempt.  At least, I would have demonstrated that there are Americans who won’t stand for a dictatorial revisionist history.

However, I’m mainly writing about this experience to encourage other fellow Americans with cooler heads to curb both hateful and blind nationalist propaganda.  The more we make these comments abnormal, the less we have to deal with open hate, Patriotic stabbings, and the fear of homegrown terrorists.

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A Resistance Post: Is anyone else scared?

star-trek-the-next-generation-iconFrom people displaying memes of the character Jean Luke Picard from Star Trek the Next Generation that reads “Every morning I wake up, I’m like ‘Damage report'” to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s epic Trump burn saying if he were president, maybe most Americans can once again sleep at night.  There is truth in both those statements.  Since Mr. Trump has taken office, the sale on sleep aides has likely skyrocketed.

Tea Partiers always seem angry and negative.  Before the inauguration of Mr. Trump, they spent most of their days listening to blow-hards peddling false news to an audience who lapped up every word.

Then there are other Americans who simply spend their lives in a constant state of negativity.  Unfortunately, that is life.  Unless they find the courage to change it, negativity will always be a part of them.

So far this president has worried Muslims (Americans and immigrants alike), refugees (at home and abroad), Latinos (legal and illegal), most women, the LGBT Community, and other American’s for various reasons.  Unlike some of my fellow Americans, I can still sleep at night, but reading the daily news keeps me in a near constant state of anger and worry.  An American president, his cabinet, and Congress should not cause the American people sleepless nights, anger, worry, sadness, and any other strong, negative emotions.

dazzled-iconI am sure that past presidents have caused these emotions.  Former President Andrew Jackson creating the Federal Banking System likely caused some American negativity along with Abraham Lincoln overseeing troops during the Civil War, or Franklin D. Roosevelt prior to World War II.  Have they done it to this heightened extent, or to so many American people?  It seems the only people who are not worried are apathetic Americans and Tea Partiers.

Monday (February 13,2017), I gained a new, intense negative emotion caused by Mr. Trump:  Fear.

America has come close to nuclear war before.  There was the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and close calls with the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) now known as Russia.  How many times have we come to nuclear annihilation by our own missiles?

As a former GOP candidate, Mr. Trump stated he would not take vacations.

“There’s just so much to be done,” Trump said after winning the presidential election. “So I don’t think we’ll be very big on vacations, no.”

Not only was the weekend before last his third straight weekend taking a vacation, his trips cost the tax payers $3 million dollars each time he travels via Air Force One to his Mar-a-Lago golf resort.  I do not care if he calls it his “Winter White House,” he is playing golf, which – to me – definitely counts as a vacation.  Perhaps he thinks it does not count because he brought the Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe with him.  Although, dragging a Prime Minister around a resort to show off to his Super PAC mega donors, schmoozing with his one-percenter pals, and rubbing elbows with other CEOs willing to “pay to play” for a top government position (Betsy DeVose anyone?) is known as a huge conflict of interest.  Do not forget the $200,000 membership to Mar-a-Lago includes an up close and in person view of Mr. Trump being “president” on the weekends.  They can pull Mr. Trump aside to have a say on policy and who he should choose as a Cabinet Member.  If they are super lucky, Mr. Trump will ask their advice on how to cheaply build his pointless wall.

Real estate executive Bruce Toll told the New York Times that he does occasionally discuss national policy issues, particularly when it comes to Trump’s plans to increase spending on infrastructure projects, when he sees Trump at Mar-a-Lago. According to Toll, Trump sometimes receives advice from other club members about what to do policy-wise.

Developer Richard LeFrak, a close friend of Trump’s, recounted a discussion at Mar-a-Lago last weekend during which Trump asked him for help with the proposed border wall between the United States and Mexico. Trump was unhappy with the projected cost of the wall, wanted to come up with a way to build it more cheaply, and suggested that the head of the Department of Homeland Security would give LeFrak a call to talk about it.

And according to an audio tape obtained by Politico from one of Trump’s New Jersey clubs that was also published on Saturday, Trump has asked his club members for their guidance selecting his cabinet appointees.

Smilie-money-iconA member can even take pictures with his cabinet members out on the scenic patio.  If a member is really lucky, they might watch Mr. Trump handle a National Security crisis usually requiring the White House Situation Room, or a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility (SCIF).

SATURDAY EVENING, NORTH Korea launched a ballistic missile that traveled over 300 miles before crashing into the Sea of Japan—far enough to hint at the ability to drop a nuke on one of the US’ closest allies.

Naturally, President Trump discussed the matter with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who was visiting the US, and National Security Adviser Michael Flynn. But here’s the problem: He did so in full view of guests at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, with smartphone cameras and flashlights pointed at presumably sensitive material.

It was perfectly fine for Mr. Trump to discuss matters of National Security with the Prime Minister of Japan since it does involve his own country, and we are allies.  What is not okay are the Mar-a-Lago civilian guests who were present with their cell phones, flashing pictures, and possibly capturing sensitive material for the world to see.  That is correct.  Not only are there pictures, but they were posted to Facebook.  I will give my readers a moment to reread that last sentence.  If that was not bad enough, a guest also posted a picture of him and someone who should never have his picture posted on social media let alone his name.

…Mr. Trump’s military aide responsible for carrying the nuclear “football” — the briefcase that contains codes for launching nuclear weapons.

So there is now a picture of the guy in charge of carrying our nuclear weapons codes floating around the internet.  It does not matter that the photo is now “sanitized.”  When it was first posted, it was not.  What is placed on the internet will always be on the internet.  Several media organizations and – I am sure – nefarious people likely took plenty of screen shots of the original picture.  (Anyone else notice that it was an old rich white dude who posted that picture to Facebook?!)  I do not know about you, my dear readers, but after reading the above quoted line I turned white from shock.  Later, I definitely felt a fair amount of fear and extreme anger.  I am not even afraid to admit I cried over the egregiously blatant disregard for our Country’s wellbeing.

Mr. Trump appears to enjoy presenting the spectacle of his presidency to those at his privately held club…

Mr. Jackass Trump is basically putting us all in danger to make a buck.  I feel completely justified in my fear when an idiot and his rich (also morally questionable) cronies are leading the country.  (I guess you have to be severely stupid and greedy to have more money than most of the globe).

Smiley-grumpy-2-iconWhat makes my blood boil are the aides, cabinet members, Secret Service, National Security Members, Speaker of the House, other members of Congress, and even the civilian guests.  None of them thought this was a problem?  Not one person spoke up.  No one said, “Gee, this is a national security issue, those documents and the whole scene I’m witnessing seems serious so I really shouldn’t take a picture”?  Not one security member or aide thought to mention to Mr. Trump, “Hey, this deals with the security of the American people.  Maybe we shouldn’t discuss these things outside?”  How about the aide carrying the nuclear “football?”  Why did he not say, “No you cannot take my picture because of National Security” and perhaps, “I don’t want to die”?  Whatever happened to the power of a simple “No”?

More and more people are losing respect and trust in Mr. Trump.  Those last two quotes I presented are from the New York Times.  Notice they use “Mister” as Mr. Trump’s title and not “President?”  It is not just corporate print media (excluding Faux Fox News) have little to no respect and trust in Mr. Trump.  Neither do American Intelligence agencies.  We are talking the spy community, people.  They alert us to potential threats so we can be ready.

There is more consequential IC pushback happening, too. Our spies have never liked Trump’s lackadaisical attitude toward the President’s Daily Brief, the most sensitive of all IC documents, which the new commander-in-chief has received haphazardly. The president has frequently blown off the PDB altogether, tasking Flynn with condensing it into a one-page summary with no more than nine bullet-points. Some in the IC are relieved by this, but there are pervasive concerns that the president simply isn’t paying attention to intelligence.

Everything I have laid out is worse than a horror movie or a particularly chilling thriller.  If this does not make most Americans more concerned, apathetic Americans start to get concerned, or raise a flag or two to the white supremacist Tea Partiers, maybe a nuclear fallout with our own weapons will.  That is, if anyone other than the one-percenters survive.  (Seriously, people might have found money to build bunkers in the 50s, but who can find that kind of cash laying around these days)?

Furthermore, there is the issue of the potential Russian ties to Mr. Trump, his cabinet members, and the Republican party.  On Valentine’s Day, Michael Flynn was “forced to resign” (a. k. a., fired) from his National Security post for calling the Russian Ambassador the day former President Obama placed sanctions on Russia for hacking an American election.

Mr. Trump blamed news media leaks for Michael Flynn’s dismissal.  He might think media leaks are bad, but in this budding “worse than Watergate” situation, media leaks are my new favorite thing in the world.

This whole circumstance brings up one big question:  How many of America’s top government officials are involved in the Russian conspiracy?  The government is controlled by the Republicans who, I suspect, also have ties to Russia.  The Senate did launch an inquiry into the Russian hacking allegations, which will take a while.

Republican leaders are not promising a quick turnaround.

Burr surmised that it would take months to “aggressively” comb through all the intelligence pertaining to the suspected hacking, given that the scale and extent aren’t yet clear. And Republican leaders are clearly waiting on the intelligence panels to take the lead.

As for the Michael Flynn case, Senate Republicans are oddly reluctant to investigate.  Now, the American people are starting to ask who knew about Flynn’s Russian involvement.  Enter Rep. John Chaffetz (R-UT).  Last post I mentioned his accusations that his town hall meeting constituents were replaced with liberal organization paid rabble rousers.  Their main purpose was to bully him.  Surely, none of his constituents would be disappointed in his work?

House Oversight Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) said Tuesday that his panel won’t investigate the circumstances that led to Michael Flynn stepping down Monday as President Trump’s national security adviser.

Instead, Chaffetz deferred to the House Intelligence Committee, which is already investigating Russia’s attempt to influence the presidential elections, a scope that includes campaign communications with the Russian government.

“I think that situation has taken care of itself. I know that the Intel committee is looking into the hacking issue,” Chaffetz told reporters.

Since the House Intelligence Committee is already looking into the Russian hacking case, why not give them more work?  Where is the passion and drive?  Where is the righteous indignation that Russia might have a big influence on top officials within the American government?  No worries, “that situation has taken care of itself.”

What does Senator Rand Paul have to say about the situation?  Surely, he would have something scathing to say about the Trump administration and demand swift action?

Republican Sen. Rand Paul said Tuesday an investigation into the resignation of former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn would be excessive and it would not make sense to investigate other Republicans.

I guess not.  Lately, Sen. Paul has been going against his Libertarian leanings by voting for Sen. Jeff Beauregard Sessions as Attorney General.  Sessions is for the “War on Drugs,” and he is a staunch supporter of mass incarceration (which means he is likely being paid by the private prison industry), and Libertarians are generally against the War on Drugs and mass incarceration.  I thought they would also be against a Russian influence on the American Government.  Apparently not.

While growing up, American children learn a lot of things:  Respect the flag, American military service members are heroes (even though the government does not treat them as such), and Russia is bad (even though the Cold War ended in 1991).

Now we have a president who ignorantly endangers the safety of the American people for money, has possible ties to Russia, has aides communicating with Russia, Republicans obviously unwilling to investigate any of these travesties appearing to aid and abet these treasonous people, and people staunchly supporting Mr. Trump.  None of them see any reason to “Drain the Swamp” the 99-percenters live in.  Please tell me I am not the only one concerned.

The argument against apathy in a time of Resistance.

anger-iconIn the past, I have had problems regularly writing a blog post for my readers.  It was due to lack of passion and motivation for any topic that entered my mind.  Lately, it is too much passion and far too many words crowding my reeling mind.

Since the Oval Office Orange (changed from White House Orange because alliteration is cool) started his dubious dictatorship, my anger has been inspiring as it has been for millions of Americans.  I am not the only one inspired by his questionable leadership.

Saturday Night Live has made an impressive come back from comedy that rarely inspires a chuckle to laughter that leaves a person gasping for air.  The Orange’s administration has helped Trevor Noah fully integrate into The Dailey Show.  While Jon Stewart retired from the show because – face it – politics was frustratingly depressing topic, he appears sporadically with Stephen Colbert to make us laugh.  The passion of these comedians is felt in their jokes (especially Alec Baldwin), and they are fueled by the same anger that fuels me.  Furthermore, comedy is their entertaining way of protesting.

Most other Americans have the ability to march, protest, and literally stand against the fascist pigs in the process of tearing our government down from the inside out.

In my last post, I stipulated some people were not able to get out and physically protest for various reasons (i.e., job, physical disability, children, etc.).  They are people who want to help, but do not know another way other than walking the streets with a sign.  I used my own experiences and readings to provide a handy list, which I would like to add a little something to that list now.  Every little chance to resist helps the greater cause.

If it seems like I am writing about a war, I am.  It maybe a metaphorical war, but it has all the makings of a vicious fight.

USA-Flag-iconWritings from the 18th Century Enlightenment Era Founding Fathers exist to emboldened the reader as they are the very foundation of our country.  It is important to hear their voices when we need them most and learn from them.  I always thought and felt their patriotic passions and beliefs flow in the veins of all Americans whether they are natural born or naturalized.  The words life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness echoes in our hearts because it is our right.

Apparently, that was most Americans.

There are some Americans (e.g., Matthew McConaughey) who do not seem to feel that calling, who are not angered by the actions of our government.  Those particular Americans are not happy about it, and they only seem to care about anything that pertains only to their existence.

At least the Oval Office Orange’s base, The Tea Baggers Partiers, are patriotically passionate albeit woefully misguided and embarrassingly undereducated.  I can find a sliver of admiration for that despite their crazed white supremacist attitude.

What I cannot stand are the clueless Americans who – in my livid and most valid opinion – stand aside and simply do not care to understand because of their indifference.  Either that or they think that skimming the surface of American life is fine.

Apathetic Americans are the people who compare the Muslim Ban to locking the doors of a house at night.  Not to keep people out, but to keep your loved ones safe (per some deranged meme going around Facebook).  They never bother to look at the exact details or realize that “Muslim” is a religion and not a country, which makes the ban obviously unconstitutional (1st Amendment).  Apathetic Americans must also think that the Ban will solve our terror problem most of which stem from American terrorists.  Furthermore, they do not read enough news to realize that Muslim Americans are not the only ones who are targeted by this administration.

Illegal immigrants from Mexico who have lived here for a few decades are targeted.  Then there is the issue of an environmentally dangerous wall proposal that will cost billions and be paid for by the tax payers – not Mexico.  The Mexican President pretty much told the Oval Office Orange to f**k off (in the most diplomatic way possible).

Apathetic Americans breezily wonder why their fellow Americans – in their opinion – needlessly leave their homes almost every weekend to protest these horrifying changes the administration’s attempting to enact.  They ask why people do not work with the Oval Office Orange rather than fight against him (see the link attached to Matthew McConaughey above).  Apathetic Americans do not want to understand that working with him is equal to allowing a near treasonous administration the right to create an American style Nazi Regime.

For those fellow Americans, I give you the words of Patrick Henry who said it best in On the Resolution to Put the Commonwealth into a State of Defense, which was delivered before the Virginia Convention on March 23, 1775.

They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.  But when shall we be stronger?  Will it be the next week or the next year?  Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?  Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?  Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?  Sir, we are not weak, if we make a proper use of those means which … nature hath placed in our power.  Three millions of people, armed in the holy cause of liberty, and in such a country as that which we possess, are invincible by any force which our enemy can send against us.  There is a just God who presides over the battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave…

It is in vain, sir, to extenuate the matter.  Gentlemen may cry, Peace, Peace, but there is not peace…  Why stand we here idle?  What is it that gentlemen wish?  What would they have?  Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to slavery?  …I know not what course others may take, but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

UK-iconFirst, note that this was written in the 18th Century Enlightenment Era.  It was a different world not only for the obvious lack of electronics, but for the blatantly unchecked patriarchal mentality and racism.  Most of the written works of the Founding Fathers (and the Constitution) are white dude centric since the Founding Fathers were – ironically – rich white dudes.  They were amazing Enlightenment visionaries when it came to building a government, yet unsurprisingly short-sighted in other areas (product of the times).  While the Founding Fathers were painfully aware they were all from mostly European immigrant and outcasts, people of color were not considered as a factor and slaves were PROPERTY.  Besides, the landed gentry considered themselves British citizens until Benjamin Franklin was laughed out of Parliament.  Then it became painfully clear that New Englanders (us) would never be afforded the rights of citizens from the Mother Country.

Second, the most published and read book at the time was likely the Bible.  I would not be surprised if 18th Century children learned to read from it.  The Founding Fathers were very much for the separation of church and state, but still have reference to God in their writings.

Third, America was gearing towards a battle with the British (for those of you who attended a school where Social Studies was considered “expendable”).  In the 21st Century, we call the epic underdog story the American Revolution.  At the time they referred to it as a Civil War between England and New England (us).

As we have grown as a country, our Constitution (a living document) has grown to be inclusive of all sexes and races.  I would like to think our Enlightenment Era Founding Fathers would be straight forward thinkers – despite being rich white dudes – if they were alive today, and I will interpret their writings as such: inclusive.

They tell us, sir, that we are weak, unable to cope with so formidable an adversary.

In this section of Patrick Henry’s speech, he says the people are not as weak as, likely, some of the world – including the British – believed they were.  Today, this nation is still not weak.  The Oval Office Orange and his Legion of Doom (i.e., Cabinet Members) believe most Americans are weak because they equate power with wealth.  The more money in the Cayman Islands account (the one they all have to avoid taxes), the more political power.  Additionally, the Galactic Empire (i.e., Republicans) that currently controls the House of Representatives and Senate are using the Orange’s antics to ram through governmentally corrosive and populace-hurting legislation thinking no one will notice.  (I am channeling comic books and Star Wars as an analogy.  Sue me).

Henry goes on to tell people to not be fearful or apathetic.  Sitting down and watching events unfold will not make anything better, having their fellow country people march and cry out in their stead while they shrug it off makes the Apathetic American, in my livid opinion, an awful person.  I would go so far as to call Apathetic Americans, Un-American.  Unfortunately, it is their constitutional right to be a jerk.  While I disagree with their idiotic mentality, like I said – our Constitution gives them that right and I must defend it as I denounce their idiocy.

Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard shall be stationed in every house?  Shall we gather strength by irresolution and inaction?  Shall we acquire the means of effectual resistance by lying supinely on our backs and hugging the delusive phantom of hope until our enemies shall have bound us hand and foot?

agt-runit-iconHe likens inaction to submitting to slavery, which still holds true since the Orange and the Galactic Empire are interested in Right to Work legislation.  This law is known as the Union Killer, or Right to Work for Less.  Unions are responsible for the wages we currently earn, decent working conditions, and weekends.  Without unions to arbitrate, employers could lower wages and demand their employees work weekends.  Why do you think fast food workers want to unionize?  Because, among other things, they want to put in a 40+ hour work week and not rely on food stamps and Housing and Urban Development assistance.  Either way, without the protection of Unions, we would be very close to slaves.  It also does not help that the Orange’s Secretary of Labor pick CKE CEO, Pudzer, is known by his employees for wage theft and sexual harassment.  He also has law suites pending from those hard working employees.

As Henry so passionately states, we are not weak.  Already, the Galactic Empire has temporarily backed away from repealing the Affordable Care Act (famously known as “Obamacare”) because of the public backlash.  Although, that backlash is continuing since the Galactic Empire still vows to “repeal and replace,” which every replacement idea sounds exactly like the system we had before the Affordable Care Act.  They insist that Americans should have access to healthcare.  As the lovely Sen. Bernie Sanders (I – VT) stated, every American has access to healthcare we cannot afford.  What we need is affordable healthcare.  Fortunately, most Americans are not accepting the Galactic Empire’s dog and pony show anymore.

Bully-Scholarship-Edition-1-iconThe Republican Congressmen have full voicemails from angered constituents.  They are canceling or running away from Town Hall meetings because they cannot face those angry constituents.  Even though, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R – UT) is convinced the angry town hall attendees are not his constituents, but pretenders who were paid to bully him.

For a short time in December, the Native Americans convinced the government to stop building the environmentally dangerous Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL).  Then Orange took office and ordered the immediate easement for the pipeline violating more laws.  These are admittedly small victories, but they are still victories which can lead to bigger victories.  The American people will have a long hard road to get those big victories, and some of us may feel a little fatigued yet we will keep fighting.

The American Revolution was fought with muskets and cannons.  Our war is fought with protests and social media.  We are using the Judicial system as our front line, and we are pouring money into the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – who are recently getting impressive donations – for that purpose.  This is the beginning of our fifth week of fighting, and we will not back down till we win.

It is clear the Orange and the Galactic Empire would like us to lay down so they can peacefully trample us and enslave us.  Yet, we refuse to make anything easy.  Some of the American people may remain apathetic.  I choose to fight with the weapons of sharp words and vicious rhetoric.

I will not abide a president who is worse than a child, one who is obviously illiterate and lead by an undereducated white supremacist who walks around with a never-read pocket Constitution.  Even if he tried to read it, he would not understand it.

It is repugnant for billionaires, Congressional Republicans, and spineless corporate Democrats to expect the American people to stand aside as they ruin our air, drinking water, and the ground beneath our feet.  All for the corporate bottom line and appeasement to their so-called friends.

Last, the efforts of the Galactic Empire in attempting to force women into, or maintain, a subservient role is beyond disgusting.  The “men know best” attitude is harmful to the women of our nation.  They refuse to realize that while women’s bodies have a few things in common with theirs, there are still vast differences.  They specifically shut down women for having an opinion like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) on the Senate floor when Struggle-iconshe attempted to read Coretta Scott King’s letter in opposition to Sen. Jeff Session’s U.S. Attorney General nomination.  Meanwhile, two other white male Senators who read the letter were allowed to do so without reprecussions. 

This is why it is more important for women to lead the charge, especially women of different races and ages and transgender women.  We should be seen as equal and not be defined by our sexuality and race for we are all Americans.

Alternative names for Trump (More fun than Alternative Facts)

Want more?  HERE is a site that lists much more and nicknames for his friends, family, movement, etc.

Men, Religion, and My Ovaries…

Gavel-Law-iconAs if Thursday’s Supreme Court (SCOTUS) ruling was kick in the vagina lady parts to women’s rights, today’s was a punch to the ovaries.  Understand SCOTUS is made up mostly of women hating men.  It should have come as little surprise to me that in a 5 to 4 vote SCOTUS upheld the stupid religious rights of employers who believe that most forms of birth control are a form of abortion.  Basically, the employer also has say over a woman’s reproductive organs – something that should only be between a woman and her physician.

What gives these goons the right to have a say in the type of birth control women should use especially when they have never done research over various forms of birth control and how they work in the bodies of women.  Birth Control, Plan B, and IUD’s are not forms of abortion.  Anyone can Google or go straight to WebMD for the answers.

I’m so angry that I don’t know what else to say.  Instead, I’ll say that the men who ruled in favor of “religious freedom” for corporations are a bunch of misogynistic f*$&% nuts who are free to pop their insurance covered viagra.  To make things more entertaining, here’s Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s dissent in song format.

A Nightmare to Most a Winter Wonderland to the Rest

As I sit in my bed, casually reclining on fluffed pillows, I sip hot strawberry green tea and watch the snow outside my window.  I’m not bemoaning the prolonging of winter, I’m not pouting at the loss of sun, and I’m not throwing a hissy fit because summer’s not here yet. igloo-icon

Winter is my joy, my comfort, and my salvation.  Summer is my oubliette.

If you think that’s backwards, then this post was meant for you.

Most Americans forever love summer.  They worship it, enjoy it, and revel in it.  While it makes me highly uncomfortable for months out of the year, I spend those months yearning for the cold bite of winter.

Yet, winter isn’t my complete solace.  I must share it with most Americans who cry over their absent summer sun.  When I walk into a public room (i.e., a dental office, workplace, or store), I walk into pits of utter despair and hopelessness.

My enjoyment of frosty windows is eclipsed by the pleadings for the golden rays of summer sun.  When I expound on the positivities of winter, I get looks of disgust and scorn.  Suddenly, I become the embodiment of winter they hate so much.

I’m not the only one who’s encountered this phenomenon.  Others who love winter as much as I do have suffered the tragic fate of social pro-summer hatred.

This post is not asking for summer worshipers to quit their childish whining.  It’s a plea for perspective, perhaps sympathy, as for why some fellow Americans and I love winter and hate summer.

I understand people love summer because they can run outdoors, have richly wafted BBQ’s, and cool dips in the pool.  When I was younger, I used to understand their enjoyment.  I played softball in scorching heat without worry or bother.  Summer provided other things to do than sit in a quiet corner and read.

Now that I’m older, my perspective and body has changed.

I’m not as active nor do I want to be.  My joy is no longer an active pastime, it’s pleasantly passive.  I love reading and writing in quiet spaces among smells of musty pages and warn leather covers.  A warm cup of tea, or a cup of hot chocolate, helps my thought processes to coalesce in a series of riveting prose that grace page after page of white printer paper.  All this is best done in the alluring quietness of winter.

It’s hard to create works of literary art or to convey brilliant literary criticism when children are screaming outside and working mischief on your front porch.  Instead of wondrous inspirational ideas, I get a headache listening to the constant droning of lawnmowers from dawn to dusk.  My creativity is drowned out by summer hijinks.

Yet, snotty children and manic lawn mowing neighbors are minor summer annoyances compared to my massive problem with summer.

On my twenty-fourth year, my arms constantly itched and I noticed I developed a rash.  It was curious since I never came in contact with poison ivy and I never had an allergic reaction to any material that interacted with my arm.

The development stumped my doctor too.

The rash continued once a year for three years and always during summer.  I visited my doctor on each occasion and he prescribed ointments and pills.  Nothing seemed to work.

The third year, I was examined by a visiting doctor from India.  He took one look at my arm and immediately knew what was wrong.  “You’re allergic to the sun,” he casually said.

“Huh?”  I replied.  It’s not a diagnosis a person expects to hear.  Although I imagine most diagnosis aren’t expected by patients.

“Make sure to completely cover up and wear lots of sun screen,” sang the doctor as he waltzed out the door.

Thus began my hatred of summer.

On good days, I cover up when I’m outside, which is only for a few minutes while I’m walking from my car to a building, and I don’t itch at all.

On regular days, even when completely covered, I have to be outdoors for at least thirty minutes and I itch.  I apply ointment and wrap my arms to keep the ointment on the infected area.  Then I walk around for two days with mummified arms.  Most people who see my bandaged arms think I severely burned myself.

On bad days, I have to be out in the sun for prolonged hours.  I itch and I get hot and cold flashes at night while attempting to sleep.  It feels like a fever without the high temperature, sweats, and aches.

The sun during winter doesn’t affect me.  It’s low intensity allows me to walk uncovered without itching.  Although I still cover up in forty degree and blow temperatures.

When I tell others of my affliction (mostly sun worshipers), they view me strangely.  Some doubt that sun allergy is a real diagnosis.

It’s an affliction that affects twenty percent of the world’s population.

While it’s not common, there’s no reason to deny it’s existence nor think a person is lying about having the allergy.

I often wonder why people might disbelieve my claims.  Perhaps they’re so in love with that golden orb in the sky it’s hard for them to believe other’s don’t love it.  Maybe they’re selfish beings when it comes to their summer obsession.  They really mean to be more sympathetic yet can’t because they’re “suffering” the doldrums of winter.

Reasons aren’t important, yet it’s the tolerance of others that matter.  I admit that I should practice this too.

Instead of reacting negatively to someone’s declared love of winter, ask why they love winter.  While listening to them, you might find there are things you like about winter too.  In the future, I will refrain from anger upon hearing a sun worshipers winter whining.  I’ll satisfy myself with the knowledge that I’ll look far younger than my age while the sun worshipers will have leathery skin and age disgracefully.

The Tea Party Perspective: Religiously Driven Stupidity

I was watching yesterday’s Rachel Maddow Show and she ended on a segment about perspective.

Personally, perspective is awesome from a writer and reader standpoint.  Stories from a different perspective than your own help you gain understanding about other people and the world around you.  If a rich kid picks up a book about an inner city kid or a farm kid, he would gain understanding about their lives and how they differ from his.

I love trying to see the world in different lenses to try to gain understanding.  Yet, I must admit that there are perspectives that my mind seems to reject.

Travel-Airplane-iconRachel, in her awesome nerdiness, used pilots and airplanes to introduce the segment.  She explained that in World War II, there were pilots who didn’t know they were flying upside down without the horizon to guide them.  Sometimes, if they flew into fog, they would come out flying upside down and not know it.  That’s why we put instruments in planes to help guide pilots.

She likened the upside down phenomenon to the Tea Party.  When they say crazy things (the default isn’t economic apocalypse, Obama’s from Kenya, or this country was founded on Christian values), they really believe it.  That’s how they’re able to have a following.  Those people believe everything the Tea Party tells them.  They’re flying upside down.  In their minds, they’re flying correctly.

While in the real world, we see them as insane people who are killing our nation for archaic ideologies.  I work with people that share some of their mentality.

When the government shutdown began and the breadwinner of the family received the call not to go into work, I freaked out as I drove to work that morning.  It was terrifying to me that our financial flow was suddenly reduced to my incredibly small paycheck.

I’ve built a daily routine.  When I walk into the building, I take a certain route to say hi to certain people before going to my assigned position.  The first person I saw that morning had to witness my unfortunate mini-breakdown.  (I knew the world wasn’t ending, but I was releasing frustration that our government would actually shutdown due to the negligence of our leaders.)

While she listened to my frustration, she lent me a sympathetic ear.  Then I reached the silver lining of my cloud:  I could finally sign up for affordable health insurance.  Starting January 1, 2014, I’ll be able to walk into my doctor’s office to finally figure out what’s going on with my digestive system.

She said that the Affordable Care Act was the worst thing that could happen to this country.  Then continued to spout off many false Fox News, Tea Party lies.  Sure the Affordable Care Act isn’t perfect.

There are loopholes that need to be closed.  A family of four could pay ridiculous premiums under employer insurance.  Employers are to provide their employees with affordable insurance, but the law doesn’t address providing affordable insurance for their dependents.  Stuff like that will take time to find and fix.  Don’t spout lies about death panels to me and expect me to see your point.

While I like to say I’m a person that sees all sides in an argument, the Tea Party mentality is where my brain draws the line.  I literally stopped all nonessential thought processes to figure a way out of her diatribe.  It was a messy situation.  I like her as a person, but we obviously can’t speak to each other about politics.

There are a few perspectives that my mind literally rejects, where my brain halts all thought processes and throws up a warning sign to run.  I told her that I had to get to work, ran out of the room, and didn’t bring it up again.

dazzled-iconTea Partiers were elected by their constituents, people who obviously share the same view as the Tea Party mentality.  It’s a scary thought that there are more than a few people in our country who think like this.  Compared to the American population, they’re only a handful, but they’re enough to bring our government to a halt.

What angers me more is that they don’t even try to adopt another perspective.  They have an it’s my way or the highway mentality that I loath.  Pilots use instruments to keep them from flying upside down.  Tea Partiers already believe that the Affordable Care Act gives the government leave to install chips into the minds of Americans.  Maybe we should install a chip in the heads of Tea Partiers to keep them from their own religiously driven stupidity.

Birth Control Intricacies and Whiney Corporate Politicians

Honestly, I didn’t think I was going to post anything for my loyal fans this week.  There was nothing sufficiently inspiring.  Not that I didn’t have some idea on what I would like to write.  Yet, for a decent sized post, I needed more stimulation.  Now I have it.

What has sparked my irrefutable infuriated muse?  The answer is incredibly simplistic:  Fox News and women’s issues.

I love to spend my nights on MSNBC until a certain time when I switch the channel and watch my favorite shows (Royal Pains, Eureka, Suits, etc.).  Fortunately for me, Ed Schultz is on to stave off the boredom until then and I make it a point not to miss him.  He’s so passionate in his simplification of intricate facts so everyone can understand.  As Ed says, he fights for the common person.  Evidently, he has a talent delivering facts that the common person can digest.  Let’s face it, not everyone has a college degree that can easily understand the intricacies of politics or the language.

I digress.  I have a friend who watches TV with me and she loves to switch the channel to Fox News during commercial breaks “to hear what contemptuous vitriol the ‘other side’ is spewing.”  Personally, I could care less since Fox News invokes a little spewing of my own in the form of literal bile (delicate gag reflex).

During one of these sojourns into forbidden territory, we happened upon the Bill O’Reilly Show (gagging just thinking about it).  Bill has a few days of the week off and in his place is this blond woman with an annoyingly nasal voice named Laura Ingraham.

She’s the woman who insists women can go to the Wal-Mart pharmacy and buy birth control for $9.99.  This statement is incredibly complicated.  A woman can’t walk up to Wally World’s pharmacy section to easily grab accessible birth control like a pack of cheap condoms.

When a woman is considering birth control, the first thing she needs is to visit her doctor’s office – if she’s lucky enough to win the health insurance lottery – or a clinic like, you guessed it, Planned Parenthood.  A woman needs a prescription for birth control because she must go over her options with a medical professional.  Not all birth control is created equal.

When you’re choosing which birth control to use, you have a lot to think about. “Age is one of the first things to consider,” says Dr. Thomas Migliaccio, a gynecologist in Hoboken, N.J. “But you also need to factor in your menstrual and medical histories, convenience, and cost.”

If a woman is in the 20-30 age range, her birth control options are a little broader than women who are over the age of 30.  While a vast number of women would like to remain under 30 for the rest of their lives, they can’t stop time.

This means the generic $9.99 pill that Laura word-vomits like clockwork is not a viable option for women over 30.  The cheapest viable option for those women cost $50 and there’s no less expensive, generic version.

Where did I get the information and quotes (if you haven’t clicked on the provided link already)?  On the Fox News website!  Laura can’t complain that I wasn’t fair when her own network is providing information that she obviously isn’t reading.

Let’s explore that $9.99 Wally World version a little.  The $9.99 birth control cost is only a small part of the total cost.  I reiterate that every woman needs a prescription for birth control.  Women who are lucky Health Insurance card carriers have to shell out a co-pay anywhere from $25-35.  The rest of us have to go to clinics (if they’re available) that operate on a sliding pay scale based on a patient’s annual income.  If they don’t insist on examining you, then the cost might be ~$35-40.  Factor in an exam for women who haven’t been on birth control in years, it might be ~$55 and up.

Now add the cost of birth control to the doctor or clinic appointment and the total cost of birth control for women is $35 and up.

If the woman is working with low income and happens to have access to Planned Parenthood, the cost could be $0 depending on the State you reside.  Some Planned Parenthood area web sites provide an estimate calculator to give you an idea of what a woman might pay…or a MAN…for a visit.  Yes, they do cater to the sexual health of men.

It’s a sad, sad day when women are against women.  I try very hard not to utilize odious stereotypes…except the insane Conservative stereotype that’s mostly true.  Unfortunately, the blond Laura Ingraham is not doing any favors for women, especially blonds, when she plays into the stereotype.

I find it incredibly hard to imagine that she graduated from an Ivy League college like Dartmouth.  She should know the intricateness regarding birth control and the health benefits they have for women.  It’s incredibly obvious that she’s grandstanding for ratings and money.  There’s a special place in her Christian hell waiting for her.

Laura displays an alarming lack of perspective a lot of Conservatives are adopting.

There’s a Republican Wisconsin U.S. Senate candidate Eric Hovde who deserves to have his head examined because

he is exasperated with media coverage of “sad personal stories” about Americans who have been affected by the Great Recession. Evidently tired of reading about low-income or homeless individuals unable to access basic needs…

He wants them to cover more important issues include lowering the corporate tax rate and the national deficit.

There’s a reason why media highlights those “sad personal stories”.  The media is giving a voice to the “low-income or homeless individuals” who are “unable to access basic needs.”  These people usually don’t have a loud enough voice and are often forgotten.  Yet, why the influx of stories?  Because middle class families are losing their jobs due to offshore outsourcing, hence finding themselves among the ranks of the low-income or homeless for the first time in their lives.

The media wants the average American, and Conservatives, to understand that most people who need help aren’t “welfare queens” or people “taking advantage of the system.”  Media is attacking the negative stereotypes and brings to light the truth of the people who need social services like food stamps.

Hovde, the media doesn’t need to cover lower corporate tax rates because corporations can afford to tout their own propaganda on TV.  It’s called “commercialism” and they’re easily taking advantage without the benefit of media…with the exception of Fox News.  Just look at this propagandist commercial that insists fracking is “clean” and “safe” for the people and the environment.

Of course fracking is safe…and fun!  Fracking is so safe that those chemicals they inject at a high velocity to break up the shale escape into the drinking water of nearby residents and makes it flammable.  If you’re a certified firebug, than you can have hours of fun turning your faucet into a flamethrower.

Want to commit suicide?  You don’t have to worry about different methodologies when fracking makes suicide amazingly simplistic.  Go ahead and take a shower with a lighter!

Sorry, Hovde.  Corporations have no problems using their own money to blatantly lie to the American people.