Tuesday afternoon rant

Every day Facebook reminds me what a depressing place this country is becoming lately.  New bullshit every day.

And yet in the comments sections of practically any political post (and plenty of non-political posts too) remarks from the ignorant, the deluded, the angry, and the downright degenerate faction of the country, that portion that is disproportionately vocal to the sane people, but (hopefully) isn’t as big as it seems. (It’s still big enough to make me depressed there are this many assholes in the world.) So pretty much, the more stuff changes, the more it stays the same.
Today’s rant is brought to you by the “It  has nothing to do with race; Obama was an awful president/Trump is a way better President” comment crew.

Lyin’ ass motherfuckers … Which policies of Obama’s specifically didn’t you like? Was it how he wanted everyone to have healthcare and take care of the earth? Gee, what a dick *eye roll*.  Lemme guess. That’s code for  you were mad caring about others and the environment might cost you more? *bigger eyeroll* And now that Trump is President you claim the rest of us should “accept” it and respect the office.  *eyes roll out of head and down the street*
First of all, the right bitched and moaned the ENTIRE time Obama was president. You didn’t accept or respect him. There were plenty of the n-word and lynching references being thrown around, cries to impeach, and it’s on record how McTurtle (McConnell) filibustered Obama’s supreme court nominee. So stop being fucking hypocrites. Secondly, Obama was a LAW SCHOLAR. Trump is a FAILED business man. Obama was articulate, impartial, and smart. Even tempered. Social minded. Just because he gave attention to the racial divide in America doesn’t mean he was putting down white people . Trump is reactionary, immature, petty, ignorant of policy, and (it seems) half illiterate. And Trump has been named (literally tagged in graffiti) and referenced in various incidences of racial hatred since his election. He has emboldened race hate. His lies can be directly fact checked (and HAVE been. He is reported to have already uttered over 3000 lies since his campaign, Maybe since Fox didn’t report it you all missed it.) You are fully entitled not to like Obama, but don’t even try to pretend Trump can hold a candle to him. Don’t pretend he isn’t a dumpster fire set on catching fire to everything around him if it gets him more money or power. Don’t pretend Trump cares about you. If you believe that, you’re a bigger for than you sound like (and you sound plenty foolish when you say dumb shit like this). And we are just as entitled to NOT like Trump because of the way HE runs this country, (we can actually cite examples and their fallout too.) which is quickly turning into a cesspool that feeds on and is a monument to Evangelical white male fragility.
I understand SOME of you are too proud to renege or backpedal (although best believe backpedaling is one of the thing Trump does best.) I understand you would hate to have been “wrong” or admit that the man you backed so loudly and proudly is a charlatan. But do the rest of us a favor, if you insist on dying on this battle field. Take that “Trump is a way better President than Obama was” shit and tell it to one of your fellow Trumpers. They are the ONLY people who believe it. The rest of us, (including and not limited to people watching from other countries) are sick of your denial, sick of your bullshit, sick of your President, and frankly no longer have the energy to argue abject reality with people who choose to remain deliberately ignorant.  But thank you all for having the courage to band together and vote your heart, even if it is simply to fuck up an entire half century of social progress.
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Are we still bitching about Kaepernick?

A while ago (at least over a year ago,) USA Today reporter Brent Schrotenboer created a database that included arrest data for NFL players dating back to at least the year 2000.

Now I don’t follow football and I don’t give a tin shit about the NFL (or Nike, for that matter) but I DO care about all the thinly veiled racism, deliberate ignorance, and privilege I see being bandied about.
Of course many of these crimes are misdemeanors and the player list includes all players going back to like 2000. But you can check by year, team, and position.
This is a good source. It is, legit, just stats, no partisan opinion one way or the other. But you can draw your own conclusions. These are mine.  I am not suggesting every person who commits a crime, even a “small one,” should lose their jobs or positions.  BUT …. the fact the players who committed more serious crimes like domestic violence, bomb threats, and eluding police are still allowed to play is one thing. The fact that they are also able to do so without the “patriotic” public making a stink, boycotting the NFL, or calling for their individual blackballing of the players speaks volumes to me.  Only a week or so after the Nike ad featuring Kaepernick dropped, tantruming adult-toddlers are calling for boycotts of Nike, burning their Nike gear (prompting one online comedian to troll that he was a  Trump supporter who had burned his own Nikesto his feet).  And all of this petulant floor stomping actually may have affected Nike.  (Then again, some sources are reporting a rise in Nike’s online sales since they announced Kaepernick as the new face of Nike.)
Either way, all the fuss and anger of a man kneeling for a song in the “land of the free” is such hypocritical bullshit.  All of this over a black man who dared not stand for an anthem?  I am tired of people making excuses. Is domestic violence more “American” than kneeling in peaceful protest? Because that’s how these very vocal band of boycotters and complainers make it seem.  These people are ragging on athletes who “get rich for doing what they love”, are “ingrates”, and are “not being paid to protest.”  It almost sounds like they like their strong black men playing sports for public entertainment but otherwise keeping their mouths shut.
Now I have already touched on my opinions on this “to stand or not to stand” issue.  But what I forgot to mention in that post was that I have heard the argument that it is disingenuous for a rich, successful black athlete to protest an issue that many people see as not being “their problem.”  But to me, that logic is fallacious on two levels.  Firstly, this is usually spoken by a white person who has no idea of the black experience, rich OR otherwise.  And for them to assume that just because a person is wealthy that they may not face discrimination is …well, not their goddamn place for one thing.  The second reason this argument falls short is just this:  for EVER we have had famous or wealthy celebrities and athletes as spokespersons for everything and anything.  Obviously paid spokesmanship for a product is different from a cause, but many celebrities have lent their voices (and often their money) to charities and causes dear to them, from Alicia Silverstone for PETA, Alyssa Milano for UNICEF, Arnold Schwartzenegger for Special Olympics to Lebron James and Kaepernick himself (once and for all putting to rest the assertion by bitching flag worshipers that he doesn’t really care about the cause, that he isn’t “putting his money where his mouth is.”)
Anyway, as usual, I digress. The bottom line is there is nothing more American than protest, and the people pissed about Kaepernick and Nike are also exercising their right to protest, in the form of boycotts.  But wouldn’t their time and energy be better spent is “putting their money where their mouths are” to help come up with a solution instead? Or even if (in their infinite privileged wisdom) they don’t believe in the cause or “problem”, focusing their energy on one of our country’s many other plights?  Perhaps they could give away all their Nike gear to all the homeless vets they only ever seem to care about when they (the vets) can be used as an excuse to keep out immigrants or “reform” welfare.
Lastly, I’m sorry to my regular readers that I haven’t blogged in a while. Part of it is really just mental exhaustion.  I think about this stuff a lot of the time, but the idea of sitting and slogging though my thoughts and feelings in order to articulate them is overwhelming.  I could say I have been busy (I have) but there is always time for writing.  I just haven’t felt motivated to do it.   Also, pardon me for turning off the comments for this post.  I just don’t have the mental bandwidth for the inevitable trolls that follow posts like this.  It’s overwhelming enough dealing with people in our lives daily who think what is going on now is not a problem.
As always, thanks for reading and have a blessed day. ❤
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To Stand or Not to Stand…is not the question

Okay, no fancy pics or cool links, just uncut, unvarnished opinion.

This NFL anthem ruling:

 I am sure I have touched on this before, after the initial “scandal” of Kaepernick kneeling for the national anthem, and I know people on both sides of this “anthem” debate. I have heard people say “it’s a job, and you follow the rules of the job or suffer the consequences.” I have heard, said, and still agree with the idea that freedom of speech does not guarantee freedom from consequence. However, I would say there are a few important questions or ideas we need to acknowledge in regards to this debate. 
1) Where do we draw the line between “consequences” of free speech at one’s job and one’s job violating one’s rights? For instance,a person’s job could put anything they want in the handbook, and the employees can sign that handbook. But that changes nothing in regards to actual law. A company can’t violate worker rights just because it’s in their handbook and workers theoretically “agree” to it. To relate this to the current issue, the opinion that “if you play for the NFL you agree to stand for the anthem” is suspect at the least, because, in my opinion. forced patriotism is only one step less tacky (and unconstitutional) as forced religion. But I guess that’s what we have to nail down. Are forced expressions of patriotism unconstitutional?
Secondly, I understand patriotism and love of country is an important issue for many, but I disagree with idea that because someone chooses this as a form of protest, it means they intend to disrespect their country, veterans, etc.   I have quite a bit of military family and friends, so I would not take disrespect to them lightly.  A lot of the veterans I have encountered claim they “fight” for the country, not the flag, and they fight for a man’s right to “kneel” even if they don’t agree with it.  THAT is freedom.  But for all the people determined that protesters and those of us who support them are intent on disrespecting vets, the second pertinent question in regards to this topic for me is,
2) WHY are so many people more riled up about “disrespect to the flag” (an inanimate object) than the disrespect to the people that are part of the make up the country which the flag supposedly represents? Maybe if more people were as vocal about cases of police brutality as they are about players kneeling, this would not even be an issue.  I have an idea why…but I doubt there’d be any more people willing to cop to it than there are the existence of white privilege.  But if people who say “Well, you can protest, just do it another time” aren’t a perfect example of white privilege, I am not sure what is.  To think we have the right to tell someone else when they should protest about something that doesn’t affect us, (blissfully unconcerned by the possibility that we could be shot or beaten to death by a cop on a routine traffic stop or call out) is a shame. 

Can We Fix What’s Broken Here?

This is about more than just mass shootings.  This is about how sick our society has become, and it’s not because of violent video games or music, or “lack of prayer in school,” or even “broken families” or “millennial entitlement (lawd knows there is plenty of entitlement on all sides.)

For those of you who may think I am talking out of my ass (so I have been told recently, and by someone who was actually talking out their ass), I actually did study some of this stuff in school and hold a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology as well as Sociology, with a concentration on Criminal Justice.  My point is, I am simply asking for a little faith, or at least forbearance, that my opinion is somewhat informed.

So…

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So let’s start by addressing this meme… or rather what this meme doesn’t say.

“Throughout Canadian history, the social policy framework has been composed of efforts to address the sociopolitical rights of marginalized segments of the population (such as laborers, Aboriginal people and other visible minority populations, women, disabled people, and sexual minorities), along with addressing the negative conditions in which people live through the creation of national and provincial programs of social support (such as community programs of support directed toward new immigrants or disabled people) and economic support (such as unemployment insurance or family allowance payments)” (source) Oxford research encyclopedias
Basically, it seems their government has always tried to lift people up instead of keeping people separate. I really feel like we need a multi-part solution to this mass shooting issue. Studies show that if guns are available, they will be more likely to be used. So, first, we don’t want angry, frustrated, or violent mentally ill people to be able to access them as readily as they can, while we fix the other issues.  It’s common sense, really.  You don’t hand pissed off people large mag weapons.
But more importantly, we need a political and social system built on lifting our whole society up and unifying them, instead of dividing them for the benefit of the oligarch.  People will always compete for resources; it’s human nature.  But it is not intractable! And the social structure of a society makes a difference.

 For this reason, there is a tendency to attribute wars to “primordial” ethnic passions, which makes them seem intractable. This view is not correct, however, and diverts attention from important underlying economic and political factors.

Although a person’s culture is partly inherited it is also constructed and chosen, and many people have multiple identities.2(source) NIH

With a small percentage of the population controlling most of the wealth  (namely big business and politicians), they then toss their scraps into the ring and the rest of us fight over them.  Maybe if we weren’t fighting for scraps, we would feel a little more generous and have a little more room for compassion and consideration for those less fortunate.  Maybe we’d be less frustrated, less likely to look to one another for someone to blame or resent.

Group motivation hypothesis—Since intra-state wars mainly consist of fighting between groups, group motives, resentments, and ambitions provide motivation for war. Groups may be divided along cultural or religious lines, by geography, or by class. Group differences only become worth fighting for, however, if there are other important differences between groups, particularly in the distribution and exercise of political and economic power. (source) NIH
It has long been acknowledged in social sciences that it is poverty, not race or other facts, have a significant effect on crime, and many, many books have been written on the subject.  It’s the reason “ghettos” exist in most cities and states regardless of the demographics.
So in summation, if we want to tackle the issues of violence and social injustice in our country, first we need to loosen the financial stranglehold on our people, and contrary to what the current administration suggests, this is not done by giving corporations tax breaks, cutting welfare for poor people, or denying affordable healthcare (especially mental healthcare) to millions of Americans.  It is not done by controlling who prays where or what bathrooms people use.  It is not done by ignoring social injustices or calling people “snowflakes.”  I think we’ll only be able to do it if we all accept that it’s going to get worse before it gets better, and take steps to fundamentally change how our government works, from the kleptocracy it has become, to once again being by the people, for the people. 
Please, if you have any hope for our nation to heal, think about it.

Conspiracy Theory Monday, or: How the Gov’t Actually Controls Us

Whelp, the gun control debate is open and heated again in the wake of yet ANOTHER school shooting.  There have actually been MANY shootings since the last time I wrote about all the shootings, but let’s just set that aside for a moment.

In response to one of my FB posts about this most recent spate of shootings and the ensuing discussions of whether to blame guns, mental illness, or violent video games *eye roll*, I received the below “comment.” Not only did it have little or nothing to do with my original post, but there it was, so obviously copied and pasted, all by itself, as if it was somehow a valid rebuttal to anything I said.

A LITTLE GUN HISTORY

In 1929, the Soviet Union established gun control. From 1929 to 1953, about 20 million dissidents, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

In 1911, Turkey established gun control. From 1915 to 1917, 1.5 million Armenians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Germany established gun control in 1938 and from 1939 to 1945, a total of 13 million Jews and others who were unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

China established gun control in 1935. From 1948 to 1952, 20 million political dissidents, unable to defend themselves were rounded up and exterminated.

Guatemala established gun control in 1964. From 1964 to 1981, 100,000 Mayan Indians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Uganda established gun control in 1970. From 1971 to 1979, 300,000 Christians, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

Cambodia established gun control in 1956. From 1975 to 1977, one million educated people, unable to defend themselves, were rounded up and exterminated.

56 million defenseless people rounded up and exterminated in the 20th Century because of gun control:

You won’t see this data on the US evening news, or hear politicians disseminating this information.

Guns in the hands of honest citizens save lives and property and, yes, gun-control laws adversely affect only the law-abiding citizens.

Take note my fellow Americans, before it’s too late!

The next time someone talks in favor of gun control, please remind them of this history lesson.

With guns, we are “citizens”. Without them, we are “subjects”.

During WWII the Japanese decided not to invade America because they knew most Americans were ARMED!

If you value your freedom, please spread this antigun-control message to all of your friends.

SWITZERLAND ISSUES EVERY HOUSEHOLD A GUN!
SWITZERLAND’S GOVERNMENT TRAINS EVERY ADULT THEY ISSUE A RIFLE.
SWITZERLAND HAS THE LOWEST GUN RELATED CRIME RATE OF ANY CIVILIZED COUNTRY IN THE WORLD!!!
IT’S A NO BRAINER!
DON’T LET OUR GOVERNMENT WASTE MILLIONS OF OUR TAX DOLLARS IN AN EFFORT TO MAKE ALL LAW ABIDING CITIZENS AN EASY TARGET.

Spread the word everywhere you can that you are a firm believer in the 2nd Amendment!

It’s time to speak loud before they try to silence and disarm us.

You’re not imagining it, history shows that governments always manipulate tragedies to attempt to disarm the people.

Now this piece of…fluff…has been making the rounds since the nineties, and it is little more than scaremongering on the part of gun nuts, who have been convinced for YEARS that Obama and Democrats and whoever else want to “take their guns.”  Never mind it hasn’t happened yet.  This bit of specifically harvested, cherry picked factoids with little to no historical context is still circulating, with people citing it as proof that the government is set on taking over.  Sounds paranoid, right?  There’s more of that around than you think.  I live in a rural area that is fairly, by the standards of where I USED to live, safe…but you have never met a more paranoid population, clutching tightly to the idea of their guns as some safety totem… because you never know when someone might break into your trailer.   I’m not saying it can’t happen, but these people would surely die of fright if they had to spend a week in Baltimore, or even drive on 695 is all I’m sayin’.  Most of them do not know danger with any regularity.
But anyway, let’s take a closer look at the main theme of the piece, even though its individual elements have already been addressed and largely put into context (thanks SNOPES, you save me time typing.)
Basically, in periods of social or economic instability, this is when a country is most susceptible to the rise of a dictator.  Hitler’s ascension to power in Germany was a prime example.

Meanwhile, we have President Cheeto-dick in office wreaking absolute havoc on all manner of common sense regs on the environment, healthcare, gun regs, basically anything he lay his grubby hands to, especially if it undoes an Obama-era policy.  This is a DISASTER…and yet, his supporters not only still refuse to see it, they call the rest of us delusional.  (A fine example of the Dunning Kruger effect if ever I’ve seen one.)  Did we have racial tensions before? Of course, but Trump has seemed to take savage glee in stirring them all up and pandering to the ever-growing and more vocal streak of white nationalism in this country, as well as to the judgy Evangelical set who are bent on writing laws for all of us.  In effect, we have started going backwards in social progress.

It may sound like I am just ripping on Trump…and I also have a point, so bear with me…

The US government is NOT worried about a bunch of militant nationalists or red necks with guns and their “militia.”  Okay?  Let me repeat it.  They are not afraid of US citizens and their guns. IF they wanted to “take over”, they could just lay tanks or bombs on us.  They actually have…a well-regulated army.
No, if the government, or certain PEOPLE in the government wanted to take control, they’d do it the way it is happening now.  What we have in office is a literal recipe for disaster …and it seems to be working.  So here it is, ARQ’s take on the:

The Trump admin recipe for Takeover:

Start with struggling middle class and add one part old-angry white guy who can’t say the n-word anymore.

Stir in a heaping cup of militant patriotism  and a few dashes of irrational misplaced anger at kneeling football players.

Shake that shit up!

Next, take away health care access and any federal aid that  “those lazy bums” might be using to, you know, eat and stuff. Take away money from middle class, (in the form of sneaky new tax laws) but don’t forget to tell the middle class the poor people are using their money.

Sprinkle in some self-righteous gay hate and unrealistic fear of “being persecuted” for being Christian, (all while claiming this is a Christian country.)

And finally, remove regs barring mentally ill people from obtaining “legal” firearms.

Now, add heat and agitate the fuck out of it, then watch it explode, like a lit pipe in like a meth lab.

Then swoop in and heroically pick of the pieces, writing any policy you want because people are too shell shocked to fight you.

The End…

no, really.  It will prob be the end of the “United” States as we know it.

Sound paranoid? Any more paranoid than thinking our government is bent on taking our guns so they can commit genocide?  Doubt it.  After all, how would they make money off of us if we were dead?

Some haiku about being a “Husky mom”

No individual titles, just poetry…  Think of them as haiku verses in a giant single poem. 😉

 

I love writing silly haiku. It’s more fun than trying to be serious. XD

 

I wake up to hair.

In the kitchen I stand and

Sticky roll my pants.

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Malachi © alienredqueen

No, you can’t have this.

No… Stop talking back to me

Complaining won’t help.

 

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© alienredqueen

Oh, here’s some dog hair.

I wear my dog everywhere*

Dog hair in my bra.

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Malachi © alienredqueen

Time to brush the dog

I put the hair in a pile

Look, another dog.

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© alienredqueen

He digs in the snow

And flips it over his head.

But doesn’t like rain.

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Malachi ©  alienredqueen

 

*  I wasn’t sure if “every” was 2 or 3 syllables.  I did some quick Googling and apparently most dictionaries list it as two.

 

 

 

The Beautiful Brain

I don’t even know what to say.  I am humbled and amazed.  My friend Ruby* attempted suicide twice before Christmas.  Everyone thought she would die.  He doctors thought her brain damage would be fatal, that she could not survive off life support.  She hung on with help from a breathing machine, but then we were told she’d never regain consciousness.  Sometimes she’d breath on her own, sometimes the trach would have to take up the slack.

At first I was getting all my info second and third hand, from a friend of the family.  That’s how  I heard that she had “woken up.”  But I couldn’t get enough details second-hand to be sure if she was actually cognizant or if her family was seeing autonomic responses.  I am extremely skeptical in medical miracles involving brain injury.  I had to see for myself.

I drove an hour and got lost twice going to see her and I was not encouraged by what I saw.  She had been sedated but still she moved constantly, tossing a leg over a bed rail, sliding down in her bed.  She coughed and gagged constantly, she was out of it.  Her mother told me she had developed a fever.  I sat with her for several hours, talking to her (whether she could hear me or not), to her mother, to her father, but when I left, I was not convinced she would ever come out of it.  I felt like I didn’t know much more when I left the hospital than when I had arrived. And then the next day her mother confirmed what we had feared; Ruby had pneumonia.   I thought, That hospital won’t be happy until they kill her.  It was their fault the second suicide attempt even happened.

I have not been able to go see her again yet.  The antibiotics had managed to help her pneumonia and I wanted to go back and sit with her some more.  But it is one thing after another here, as usual.  No one said life is easy, right? First a snowstorm had us housebound, then our furnace went out right after the storm, while there was still half a foot of snow all around.  We had to call emergency HVAC to come out at 2am.  We were losing about a degree of heat an hour, and our house got down to 50 degrees before a temporary  fix.  The permanent would end up costing us over $400 dollars.
And then our car started misfiring left and right and throwing codes.  We haven’t got to fix it yet, but you can bet it will cost more money.

And through all of this, Ruby’s mother would post on Facebook from time to time.  She said Ruby looked at her…but her eye contact wasn’t direct (I didn’t read that as a good sign).  She said Ruby sometimes cried.  (I thought it was autonomic.)  She said that Ruby smirked at her once when she said she’d shut up if only Ruby would smile.  (I wasn’t convinced).

I have never been so happy to be wrong about something.  Today Ruby’s mother posted that she heard her daughter’s voice.  

I got more secondhand details from a friend that Ruby told her sister she loved her.  Her trach will be removed soon.  She has a long road of rehabilitation ahead of her, in addition to still needing to conquer the depression and anxiety that laid her so low.

After my visit with her, I had Googled  “recovery from brain death,” already knowing there was not supposed to be such a thing.  Of course there were the usual smattering of “miracle stories,” but ever the skeptic, I wondered if the loved ones of those people misunderstood the diagnosis of their loved on. I think the terms “brain death” and “vegetative state” probably get thrown around a lot, and not everyone may understand the different types of brain injury.  Without talking to a doctor myself, I’d never be certain of what they were told. I only know my experiences with brain injuries in my family.  To me brain death is my cousin after he shot himself in the head and pieces of his brain were on the floor but a machine kept him alive.  I think of Terry Schiavo.

I don’t pray to a god for miracles; I don’t believe in those kind of miracles.

But I also know the human body and brain is an amazing, fragile, resilient thing.  How could something be fragile AND resilient?  I don’t know, but it is, and now I get to see first hand, and I also get to hear my friend Ruby’s voice again. ❤