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.
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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. ❤

The “Bomb”

Sorry for the lame title.  I am not feeling creative today, and this isn’t really a “creative” post.  This is one of my few and far between, but inexplicably popular, beauty posts.  Well, not so inexplicable I guess.  No matter what our tastes in music, film, politics, or fiction (the other stuff I write about), most of us need or want decent skin care.

So when I find products I absolutely love, I want to share them with you!  Today’s post features 3 new (new to me) products I have been using in the past couple weeks or months.  Now they all happen to be Garnier, but I want to clarify I am not affiliated with Garnier, nor do they pay me to promote their products (I wouldn’t mind if they did though. haha)  I just really happened to like these products enough to recommend them to someone else who may be searching for that perfect face lotion.

Okay, so first product: Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb

This is a light gel-type moisturizer with hyaluronic acid.  Hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer that has age and wrinkle fighting properties. It also helps draw moisture to the skin.

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(I do not own this image)

Hyaluronic acid works to keep every aspect of skin stable, safeguarded, and constantly renewed. It also has the stunning capacity to attract and hold vast amounts of moisture…

But what’s even more impressive is that hyaluronic acid can do this for skin without tipping the scales and giving skin too much water. Surprisingly, too much water is a problem for skin because it causes key substances holding skin’s surface intact to break down.

Hyaluronic acid’s moisture-binding characteristic is exceptionally important when it comes to skin aging. One of the qualities of youthful skin is its ability to hold water and retain a balanced amount of moisture.

(source)

My personal experience is that this gel is light, quickly absorbing, and makes skin feel soft with NO greasy after-feel.  I use it mostly at night before bed, and sometimes even use a heavier lotion afterwards around my eye and chin areas.

Complimentary to this product is Garnier Skin Active Moisture Bomb (Antioxidant Super Moisturizer SPF)

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(I do not own this image)

This, to me, is like the holy grail of SPF day lotions. It is my favorite so far and I will likely keep using it until I find something better for a comparable price.  It is light, smells nice, and doesn’t have that characteristic greasy feel so many SPF containing day lotions have.  Now, the one I have has SPF 30, while the one pictured here seems to only have SPF 10. I do not know if there are two different formulas or if they are simply changing the one to the other, but if sun protection is a factor, you can always get a foundation or powder that also has SPF protection (I like E.L.F.’s foundation serum for this.)

Finally, I have been using, about once a day, this face wash, Garnier Skin Active Cleansing Milk (with Rosewater)

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Not only does it smell lovely, it leaves skin feeling super soft and smooth.  However, I would note, there is a high glycerin content in this “milk” and there is a feeling of residual “grease” on the skin. However, I think that this makes this cleanser ideal especially for older women or people with sensitive skin, as it’s gentle and provides a sort of moisture preserving barrier on the skin.  And many of you already know, from my very popular (at least in regards to this blog’s traffic,) Rosewater and Glycerin post, that this combo has some powerful benefits.

A final word about cost.  These items are available at a lot of your local stores, from drug stores to Walmart.  I would recommend NOT getting them at drug stores, though, because as with most things, you will pay more than is necessary at a drug store.  I actually got mine online, and if you shop around, you can often find deals on sites like EBay.  Mostly, if you are a discerning shopper, these products will not break your bank.

Okay, so that’s it for today’s cosmetic post, (and prob a while.)  Cosmetic posts are not my favorite things to write. XD  Let me know in the comments if you have tried these products, if you liked them, and if you find these articles helpful

 

Cheer!