Victims, aren’t we all? a/k/a “Why-are-you-so-mean-to-us-We’re-entitled-to-our opinions!”

Trump supporters for real need to stop acting like they are the victims of their own CHOICE to support an awful human being.

No one wants to date us! Waaaaahhhh”

“We get dirty looks for wearing our red hats in public…waahhhhh!” (originally a typo had that saying “red hates,” instead of hats, and maybe I should have left it because it was ALSO accurate.)

“Liberals are so judgmental! Waaaaaahhh!”

“No one wants to be our friend! Waaaah”

In essence, the people who coined the term “snowflake” are, not surprisingly, the worst snowflakes of all.  They want, demand, their “freedom” to refuse service to gays, refuse help to refugees, force prayer in schools, deny certain healthcare to women, and the list goes on.  But then, when people don’t want to associate with them, because these things, these “opinions,” are abhorrent to us, they cry about how judgmental liberals are.

Here’s another common claim that gets bandied about:

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Because they believe they have the right to vote YOUR rights away and still call you “friend.”  After all, they are “entitled” to their opinion.

But thankfully, there are plenty of people with common sense who realize, yes, you ARE entitled to your opinion…and we’re entitled to think your opinion makes you look like an asshole. Now reap the consequences. And they fixed the meme for us.

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Before I go, because this could get extensive if I let it, let me just say one more thing.  Before the rise of Trumpism, never have I EVER cut ties with someone over who they voted for.  I hated Mitt Romney (who would have guessed he’d be the only Republican with sack enough to vote FOR conviction in Trumps’s impeachment, and I’m sure he had his reasons,) but I never argued with friends or family who voted for him.  I never “unfriended” Bush supporters.  But this is NOT politics as usual.  This is hate and lies allowed to permeate our daily existence.  Support of Trump IS support of belligerent defense of ignorance and hate, of bullying, of corruption and obstruction, and deliberate attempts to grind minorities under a white jack boot.  And if you support that, I don’t support you.  IF that hurts your feelings, own it.  You chose it, and by refusing to speak out for what’s right, you choose it every day.  Don’t give me some bullshit about Obama or Hillary.  Nothing excuses what is happening now.  Whether you are full on drinking the kool-aid and support racist policies and OBVIOUS, pathological lying, or are simply okay with these things “because the economy,” own your choice and own its consequences. 

To break it down as simply as I know how, if you supported a President Puppy Kicker, liberals would be perfectly within our rights to say, “That’s fucked up.  Go play in traffic,” and probably no one would bat an eye. But refugees and the poor are accorded less grace by Trumpers than furry animals, so there’s that.  I wonder now though if Trump claimed to kick puppies, how many of his supporters would say “But the economy is so ‘good’ and it serves the puppy right for coming here anyhow.”

Stop deluding yourself that he cares about farmers, the working class, the veterans. He doesn’t.  Because even IF Trump were boosting the economy, (and when all things are considered, he is most definitely not helping anyone but the already rich and powerful, while his supporters cheer him on like THEY won the lottery) NOTHING excuses how he behaves.   And NOTHING excuses lying, cheating, and stealing, and hurting others to get what you want. I thought that was something all our parents taught us as children.  I’ll even bet most of us teach THEIR kids this, (Republicans included, while voting out the other side of their mouths.) It’s a shame so many people have chosen to forget.

But some of us remember, and if we don’t want to be your friend because you don’t, go cry to someone else.  And die mad about it.

 

Republicans Be Like…

Modern Conservative Republicans be like:
 
“You can’t judge all gun owners by the actions of a few bad.”
 
They  also be like:
 
“You can’t let those Syrian refugees in here! One might be a terrorist!”
 
And like: 

“We can’t take any more immigrants, one might be member of a drug gang!”

Trump’s Republicans be like:  Six people died from vaping, so we need to outlaw flavors.

They  also be like:  “How dare Michelle Obama try to force healthy school lunches on our kids?” and “You can’t outlaw Super Big Gulps and cigarettes!  It’s our choice if we wanna risk getting cancer or getting fat!”

Modern Republicans be like:  “You can’t ban guns! Ban’s don’t work! Just look  at the ‘war on drugs!'”  and “Criminals don’t follow laws,”
But then:  “We need to ban abortion to protect the unborn babies!
And THEN: “If they outlaw guns, I’ll become an outlaw!”
And also like: : “If they don’t want to lose their kids or see them in cases they shouldn’t have broke the law”
And like:  “Sanctity of life!”
But also like: “Why didn’t he do what the officer said?!”
Modern Republicans be like: “Any guns we want in any volume is our second Amendment right!”

But also: “A woman gives up the right to privacy and to make decisions to her own body (14th Amendment)  when she gets pregnant!”
And: “OUR Freedom of Religion allows us to violate other people’s rights to not be discriminated against, and to refuse service to people whose lifestyle we don’t agree with.

But:  “It’s not fair that we get harrassed for wearing our Trump hats and expressing our political ideas!”

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And after all of that, they turn around and try to paint the left as melodramatic, pushy,  “politically correct” hypocrites.  Yeah, okay.
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A brief overview of research on “Mass Shooter” demographics

I was intrigued by the different narratives going around about “who” the majority of mass shooters in the US are.  Essentially there are two camps; the “most mass shooters are middle aged white men” camp, and the “no they’re not”, for lack of a better name, camp. The main source for this is an analytic three part series by Benjamin Radford of the Center for Inquiry, an online journal that “strives to foster a secular society based on reason, science, freedom of inquiry, and humanist values.”  Radford also includes links to other data sources within the body of the article. Below is my interpretation and analysis* of the info, and source info links (many of which can be found in Radford’s article as well).

The table below is sourced from an original research study by Emma Fridel and includes a lot of unvarnished and non-contextualized data.  But in the chart (and the portions of the article by Radford), there is general takeaway, which are that mass shooting data varies based on the type of shooting event. There are three categories; “Family” (family annihilators), “Felony” (this is usually referencing drive-by and gang or drug related type shootings), and “Public” (which is what people generally think of when they think of a “mass shooting.) The other takeaway, noted in the body of the article, seems to suggest that, for those arguing whether or not mass shooting is a “white male” problem, that this largely depends on the definition one is using for “mass shooting”. If Felony or Family mass killings are included in the data, white men are not overly represented. However, if we are only discussing PUBLIC mass shootings, then, yes, non-hispanic white men technically are the majority of mass shooters.)
Typically, although Family and Felony killings fit the technical description of mass killings that I learned in my criminology courses (3 or more fatalities in a single event/episode of killing), they are not in fact what most people think of when the words “mass shooting” are used.  

The New York Times noted (also quoted in the above referenced article, and worth mentioning,) noted that “As convenient as it would be, there is no one-size-fits-all profile of who carries out mass shootings in the United States. About the only thing almost all of them have in common is that they are men. But those men come from varying backgrounds, with different mental health diagnoses and criminal histories.”

And of course the media plays a big role in which events garner coverage, and the narrative that plays out around the events.(IV)  (VII) And “the media” is of course, not one big conspiratorial entity.  Which version of events you are served depends on the source, and all bets for “truth in reporting” are off since the revocation of the FCC Fairness Doctrine. (VI)  We are told mass shootings are not as common as we are lead to believe, and whether or not a given shooting garners attention often has to do with the “pitiability” and perceived “innocence” of the victims. Victims of a gang-related mass killings, for example, are generally viewed as less deserving of sympathy and less “marketable” by some news outlets (even if they are innocent victims caught in cross-fire), than, say, a bunch of hapless church or movie goers, or children in a school.

So to sum up, the who of mass shootings may depend on the definition one is using of “mass shooting”, and what’s more, the usefulness of any analysis of what leads a person to become a mass killer or the “causes” of mass shooting events may be limited unless we can all agree on context.

I) Fridel, Emma E. 2017. A multivariate comparison of family, felony, and public mass murders in the United States. Journal of Interpersonal Violence (November 1).
II) https://www.politifact.com/punditfact/statements/2017/oct/06/newsweek/are-white-males-responsible-more-mass-shootings-an/
III) https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/aug/04/mass-shootings-white-nationalism-linked-attacks-worldwide
IV)https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/how-common-are-mass-shootings-the-nature-and-frequency-of-mass-shootings/

V) https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/05/11/us/school-shootings-united-states.html

VI) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/FCC_fairness_doctrine

VII) https://centerforinquiry.org/blog/why-isnt-the-media-covering-this-story-or-are-they/

*Note: I did my best to offer a brief and unbiased interpretation of data,  based on the information I reviewed.  I hope you find it useful and that I didn’t botch too badly.

 

Related articles by ARQ:
https://alienredqueen.wordpress.com/2018/02/20/can-we-fix-whats-broken-here/

https://alienredqueen.wordpress.com/2018/02/19/conspiracy-theory-monday-or-how-the-govt-really-controls-us/

https://alienredqueen.wordpress.com/2015/10/03/umpqua-the-mental-illness-panacea-as-it-relates-to-gun-violence/

Summer Charlotte

*7/30-Hey blog family.  Sorry I haven’t posted much content lately.  Honestly, social media in the age of Trump has just really taken a toll on my desire to blog.  It’s weird…the more irritated I get by the cutthroat, Dunning Kruger attitude of hardcore Trumpers, and the more I engage in arguments on FB, the less energy I have for the longer , thought out, research supported arguments on the blog. Really, I can’t wait until this Drumpster Fire is extinguished and I can go back to blogging fiction and FB posting about my cats.

So for tonight, I started to post this as a FB blurb, but then thought I’d share on the blog instead…and now you can see it developed a life of its own, as my posts usually do.   But anyway, instead of more venting and frustration, here’s just a little something that has brought me bit of joy this past week.   (And I know not everyone would agree with my assessment of this circumstance as “joyful,” but here goes…)

For the past seven nights, the highlight of having to take Malachi outside to pee has been this big brown orb weaver camping out by my driveway.  (Attempts to capture her on digital camera were inadequate, but there should be a certain entertainment value in seeing a short, pajama clad woman taking flash pics of spiders at midnight.)  Anyhoo, she sets up shop in the same spot on the east corner of my house, after it’s dark, and then patiently sits in the middle (looking like she is hanging in thin air) to catch dinner. And every morning her web and any trace of her is gone.  She deconstructs and eats the old web sometime before day…and creates a new web each night, where she patiently sits like a giant, scary, patient, amazing work of art.

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Garth Williams‘ illustration from E.B. White‘s book, Charlotte’s web, a classic tale.

I know.  Spiders… not so magical to most people.  Big “nope” to most.   They’d squish one as soon as look at it. Well, I hate killing things for no reason.  When I find spiders in the house, unless they are venomous, I usually catch and release, or in the case of the teeny, tiny ones, ignore them until they go away.  Plus, “Charlotte‘s” outside.  Don’t get me wrong.  I wouldn’t want to share a bed with her, or anything.  But she stays in her spot, and I appreciate the creepy-crawly, ginormous miracle of nature she and her web are (“a given weight of spider silk is five times as strong as the same weight of steel” (source)) from a safe distance of several feet away on the sidewalk.  We don’t bother one another, and I actually look for her in her customary place when I take the dog out after dark.  And part of me is even a bit sad knowing that, like her namesake,  one day she won’t be there.

*Update: 8/7

She’s still there, just as big and beautiful.  She was even out there last night in the rain, scurrying down the web.  Twice, I saw what looked like a smaller, less bulbous version of her up in a corner.  Male visitor perhaps?  Wonder if she ate him after she was done with him.  Spider version of Netflix and Chill? lol

*Update 8/14

Well, Charlotte is entertaining more guests in her web tonight.  The male kind I think, not the food kind…At least, that was my interpretation of it. SO naturally then I had to Google what was essentially spider sex (click it, you know you wanna) and confirmed.

Sure enough, Char has her own little Garden Spider Dating Service going on out there.  She’s set up a little Pheromone Tindr profile and luring males in to vie for her attentions.

 Male spiders are generally much smaller than females in their species, making them easy prey. The male has to signal to the female that it is a spider of the same species, not food or a potential predator, and that it intends to copulate.

Once the female recognizes the male’s courtship behavior, she will position herself for sex, signaling to the male that she is receptive, or she will make it clear that she is not receptive. If the male is desperate to mate, because all the females in the area will soon lay their eggs, he may proceed anyway, with full understanding that the female might kill him.

Both the male and female reproductive organs are at the rear of the abdomen, but spiders don’t mate by coupling these organs. Instead, the male deposits some sperm onto a small web and picks it up on the end of his pedipalps. When the female is in position, the male deposits the sperm in the female’s genital opening. The female stores the sperm in receptacles near the ovaries. When she is ready to lay her eggs, months down the road in some species, she uses the sperm to fertilize them.

Well…turns out spider sex sounds kinda disappointing for all parties involved.

Anyway, I’m glad to see her still out there strutting her spider stuff or looking for dinner or whatever it is she’s doing.  I think I may have gotten attached to her.

Final Update:  The last night I saw Charlotte was the last night I ever saw her.  I don’t know if she moved on or if she had her eggs and died, or what, but I’m glad we got to share a tiny corner of the planet for a couple weeks, because nature really is amazing, even scary nature ❤

Us VS. Them VS. the US (a.k.a Feminism is not the Enemy)

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This. I hate that “feminism” has a acquired a taint because of a few militant feminists. When people make the argument “why is it called ‘feminism’ and not ‘equalism'” (or whatever name they think is more appropriate) if it isn’t skewed towards women, it’s  because HISTORICALLY, all the rights women have now are relatively new (DUH!). We never started on equal footing, so the movement to give us the same rights men have always had probably did seem female-centric. The beginning of feminism is basically when we started sticking up for ourselves.   And a lot of rights we now enjoy, we take them for granted because we have lost touch with the women (and in some cases, probably a few men)  in our history who had to fight for us to get those rights.

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It bugs me that even today, some WOMEN refuse to identify as feminist. It’s sorta sad, because it shows not only a gross misunderstanding of what feminism is, but also that in some ways, that the old social patriarchal programming is still in some ways in tact. They actually DISDAIN “feminists.” To me that’s like a mother of many, who hates kids.

And speaking of kids, what if you’re a woman who doesn’t want children, and especially not before you’ve had the chance to finish school…or go to college.53110672_814366642249280_3509339789545439232_n

or marry the person you love instead of someone who is chosen for you by family or religion or politics…

 

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Thanks to feminists, you have access to birth control.  You also have the right to divorce and leave a marriage that isn’t healthy or is not working out.

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If you are assaulted, you have the right to accuse your attacker.  If you have been impregnated by a rape, you have the choice to terminate your pregnancy.

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You even have this option under normal circumstances, if you are just not ready or willing to have a child…you get to make decisions about what you put your body through.  And there are people who want to take away that right, in the name of “religion” and their morality.  Personally, I don’t see anything moral about taking rights away from a living, breathing, autonomous woman, and giving them to an nonviable fetus.

The point is, as woman in America, we have access to tons of things we haven’t always historically been “allowed,” all because of feminism, and yet, sadly, in this country as of late, we are seeing a push to deliberately regress in social progress.  And not just for women, but for minority peoples, people of color, non-Christian people, immigrant people, and queer people (who are STILL fighting for all their rights.)  But all people are people, and they deserve the basic amount of respect and freedom to live their lives if they see fit.  We can NOT afford to be silent or apathetic to what is going on now.  Not to us, not to our other marginalized brothers and sisters, and not to our planet (because Mother Earth is suffering at the hands of the plutocrats too.)

I know I sound wacky, (and that’s what the people in power want you to think, because that narrative makes me the bad guy) but let’s be real… We all want comfortable lives, but more than that, we want comfort and happiness for future generations, specifically our kids.  OUR children, and America’s children.  But before we can get back to that, we have to reconcile our own fears and insecurities.  I know you’ve probably heard it before; Equality is not a pie.  There is not less for you if you share it with others.  We have to get over this competitive adversarial attitude towards our fellow Americans.  We can care about our own interests without feeling like other people need to suffer for it, but we need to start asking the right questions.

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There are a handful of very powerful and rich people in the US who only want MORE.  They want to have obscene amounts of money and power- to acquire it and to grip it in a death spiral, only the death isn’t theirs…it’s ours, it’s our future’s, it’s our planet’s.   I am sure I could expound upon this all day, but I will wrap up by suggesting you watch this short non-partisan video on corruption in America.  This video not only details some of the failings in our system, but ways we can start to address them I say “non-partisan,” but my guess is the people in power see it as very partisan; Us VS Them, and they use fear and insecurity to bait us into blaming each other instead of them so they can stay in power.  But it doesn’t have to be Us VS Each Other.  It is so hard, so,so hard, when we’re surrounded by bad news and hate and strife every day. I am just as guilty as anyone of feeling angry and adversarial at times.  But I want to try to do better too.   Let’s do better together.  Blessed be.

 

Edit: 3/16  I mention American a few times in here, us needing to be unified, etc.  I’m not trying to push any sense of overblown nationalism or “America First” BS here.  It’s just that this is where I live and I feel like under this administration, we’re actively imploding as a nation.  I don’t feel like we should be at odds or ‘comparing’ and competing with hardships of anyone, including refugees, immigrants, people of other faiths, etc.  All suffering matters and I just wish the people most likely to trot out the ‘all lives matter” phrase would start SHOWING it in their actions and their voting choices.

 

Friday Morning Poetry Special

Been a while since I have done my Monday Morning Haiku…or have written much of anything for that matter.  Today’s poetry is inspired, as always, by the trials and tribulations of being me.  My hope is that you might find some humor in it.

Spring is Sprung

Spring is sprung, the grass

is green.  Not really. It’s all

mud, and I’ve got hives.

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Seriously… (not a haiku)

March; “corned beef, cabbage

and tater” time.  All the ingredients prepared, and dumped into the pot.

Wait a minute…

There’s no seasoning packet in this package of brisket.

 

 

Nano2018

There will be nothing substantive in this post.  I’m doing NaNoWriMo again this year. I ‘finished’ in 2016, quit about halfway in last year, and I’m gonna try again this year.  My book is going to be a supernatural thriller in the vein of Stephen King and his “thinnies.” (shocker, I know).  Even if I don’t finish, I’ll have more on paper than I started with.  Any fellow WriMos?  What is your book going to be about?

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