Another Look at the ‘War on Religion’

Inspired by some ridiculous Ben Stein meme containing more of the popular “I’m a poor repressed religious person in America” crap, I decided to do some quick research. It took all of two minutes to see if, in fact, religions were being scarce in the US.  If you look at the chart in this link, (the source of which is Wikipedia) America is still mostly religious people, mostly still Abrahamic…the religions have just shifted. The number who identify with no religion have grown, but are still only 16% of the total US population.   So really if I hear one more repressed [Christian/religious person] whine I might. Just. Explode.

You know, Ben, I was with you on the Christmas tree thing.  Who cares what they call them? I am an atheist, however if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, I quite heartily wish them the same.  We still celebrate the love and family and spirit of Christmas season and put up a Christmas tree in our home.  (Did you know the Christmas tree was actually a pagan symbol of Yule anyway?)  I don’t care who erects a nativity scene or who has a Menorah on display.

What I take issue with is the assertion that you are “pushed around” because of your religion; it sounds kind of like so many sour grapes that religion is no longer top dog in public arenas (schools, etc) in America.  That’s about as bad as saying white people are tired of being “pushed around” by affirmative action. They just hate that the status quo is changing and it’s no longer acceptable to force others to conform to their way of life.

Stein allegedly claims:

” I have no idea where the concept came from, that America is an explicitly atheist country.”

As to the  “decline (1)” in Christianity in the past few years, it has dropped from 78% to a “paltry” 71% .  *sniff*  My heart breaks for your plight.

The United States still remains home to more Christians than any other nation, with roughly seven-in-ten continuing to identify with some branch of Christianity.

The fact that the majority of Americans still identify as Christian does not, however, negate the idea that the church is not supposed to have a role in government. What I would tell Ben is, this whole country is neither atheist NOR Christian. It’s SUPPOSED to be free.

Not even gonna touch the idea that disasters happen because we “took God out of schools.” That is utter, baseless tripe. There have always been natural disasters. Used to be “God had a plan” or “the devil” caused the disasters. There always WILL be disasters, only you want to tell me now it’s because not everyone wants to have to pray to your God in school?

As to in very transparent inference that kids have no morals without religion, that is also so much bullshit. You don’t “need” God for morals. You need compassion and empathy, and plenty of people have God and still no morals, just a fear of the “consequences” of afterlife. If you ask me, THAT is what’s missing in todays’s society. CONSEQUENCES.

Okay, anyway, I know I’ve written about this before, but I guess it always gets me stoked up again to see people passing this shit around, all like:

images (1)

No!  And even a billion people “liking” it won’t make it true.   

This article could be so much longer, but I will end with this:

Can you pray in peace?  Can you worship in public? Do you have to worry about being arrested or killed or harmed by identifying yourself as religious?

Okay, so stop whining.

Oh, and hope everyone had a Merry Christmas. 😉

 

 

G*ddammit, just STOP it already!

The above title could refer either to my need to check comments and notifications on Huffington Post, (where some moron has inevitably said something too dumb to ignore, or purposely picked a fight with me) OR it could, and DOES, refer to how very fucking tired I am of seeing all the race (and sex) hate online.  I sometimes wish I could go back in time to when I did not have constant internet access, and hence, was not nearly as aware of all the horrible things going on in the world, and subsequently, the horribly misguided and moronic responses of scared and ignorant people.  I’ll admit, I’m scared too.  I have a child, and my fear for her safety and happiness is all encompassing; no matter how vigilant you are, you can not protect against the senseless and amoral.

So, I’m scared.  But I’m also pissed!  I need to get off Facebook and the internet news for a while, because if I see one more person blame Obama for all the woes in this country and then support it with inaccurate “factoids” they picked up somewhere I might just explode.  If I see one more forwarded article posted by one of my Facebook friends whining about “why does Trayvon get all this attention but black on white crime goes unobserved?” I might just throat punch someone.

I have noticed an increase in my own political posts and replies in an attempt to combat all the rampant ignorance going around, and frankly, to some people, I am probably becoming one of those political posters that annoy me!!!  I don’t want to be that person… because it doesn’t do any good anyway.  It seems like most people either agree with your views or disagree.  If they agree, you haven’t really “enlightened” anyone.  And it feels like most people that disagree are loath to make room in their personal philosophies to consider any new info on the topic.

But back to the race thing, which is what today’s post is about… I ask you… I BEG you…

[Some**] black people… please stop threatening to riot when shit doesn’t go your way.  It doesn’t do anything to help your cause.  It’s basically like trying to bully people into action by threatening violence.

[Some**] white people… please stop playing the whole “reverse” racism card.  You are not helping “spread awareness” about the perceived plight of white people.  You just sound like a toddler whining, “it’s not faaaair…”

It’s bad enough there are still people who are comfortable being openly racist, basically acting like a bunch of uneducated hillbillies, but the rest of us, who think we’re “fighting for the underdog” or standing up for our rights are not helping.  Some people claim Obama is trying to divide the races.  Let me tell you, he doesn’t need to.  We do it all on our own.  And to me, the barely veiled racism of today is in some ways just as bad as the racism of yesteryear.  Passive aggressive, misguided…

Yes, both sides (and believe it or not, there are more races in America now besides black and white) are still seeing instances of inequality.  Both sides have victims.  Both sides have perpetrators.  The problem is not black and white.  When the race of a perpetrator is mentioned in the title of an article, unless there is specific evidence the crime was racially motivated, to me that’s a red flag.  That’s propagating hate.  And then if you go to the comments section of just about any news outlet online, someone will inevitably find a way to dredge up and grandstand on their particular beliefs, whether said beliefs have anything to do with the article or not.

So if you want to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem, for the love of God, or whoever, just stop with the “righteous indignation” and forwarded crap about race crimes…on both sides!!!  Isn’t people killing people bad enough???

okay...end rant...have to go mop up my brains...

okay…end rant…have to go mop up my brains…

(ps…and a note to myself…  JUST STOP ALREADY! Stop letting morons you don’t even know piss you off.  Stop posting political stuff on Facebook or being bated by others’ political posts. Slactivism is not activism, so.  Just.  Stop.)

**If it’s not already obvious, I qualify these statements with the word “some,” because I would never dream of impugning a whole group of people based on the actions of only some.  However, it’s apparent to me that the number of people spouting the nonsense have enough of a voice that they are still causing trouble.

All A@@holed Out

At least once a week now, I ask myself the same question, usually prompted by some ignorant, separatist redneck post or some anti-abortion self-righteous meme…posted by my “friends.”  Some of these are people I haven’t actually “seen” since high school, and even then, they were more like acquaintances.  Many are people to whom I used to be closer, and time and/or distance has come between us, but with whom I would like to keep in some sort of contact.  And then I’m realizing I just never knew some of these people to begin with.  And I actually like some of these people…I mean, except for the unfortunate fact of their intolerance…

Um...yeah, okay.

Um…yeah, okay.

Shall I attempt to point out the many ways this meme is ridiculous?  Firstly, the only people who have a problem with secularism are people who feel everyone should be their religion.  Secondly, pretty sure many of the “lazy, unproductive” people were that way before Obama got into office.  I can only assume this is a jab at people who are on some type of public assistance.  (These are also likely the same people who post memes like “before we help the poor in other countries, we need to help our own” and then go around bitching when any laws that actually attempt to do so get proposed.)

Thirdly–  Ow! I stubbed my fuckin’ toe!  Thanks, Obama!

But anyway, the question I have been asking myself is this:

At which point do I draw the line between respecting my friends’ views and differences of opinions to You’re just an asshole and I don’t think I wanna be your friend?”

Generally I would say, the difference would be whether or not their “views” encourage hate or discrimination of any kind.  But seriously…have you seen  some of the memes going around now?  The line between expressing opinion and attempting to insult/control the opposition seems to be becoming increasingly blurred.

And especially in lieu of the George Zimmerman verdict and all the “moral outrage” and barely concealed racism going around, I am SO sick of seeing hateful, ignorant posts about “reverse racism” and white victims of black killers.  How about we direct some of that moral outrage and righteous indignation towards the things that really matter, and maybe realize that all these posts are just widening the racial divide?

But, back to my original question, how do you personally decide when to accept differences, and who to cut loose because they are just too different (aka, an asshole)?  Frankly, I’m all “assholed” out.

“Your assumptions are your windows on the world. Scrub them off every once in a while, or the light won’t come in.”
― Isaac Asimov

Before the verdict…

Okay, so before the verdict, and the ensuing deluge of blog posts about the trial and race relations, here’s my piece (piece of opinion, that is) on the Zimmerman/Martin thing.  And first, let me stress that I am not one of those people who has been reading every article and transcripts of the trial on the internet, and my opinion comes from just what I have read and heard, which is by no means everything.

I think both Zimmerman and Trayvon Martin contributed to the events that happened that night.  If what Martin’s friend, Rachel Jeantel claimed is true, and Martin referred to Zimmerman as some “creepy white dude” following him, does that not make him guilty of contributing to the “racial” cast of the situation? That said, IF Zimmerman thought the guy was dangerous, when he followed him (with a gun and against orders from police dispatch) he put himself in a situation where he may have had to “defend” himself. Zimmerman, IMO was looking to be deputy dog or something.  And as to race and racial profiling, it DOES go both ways, and contrary to many may think, white people don’t automatically “get justice” if the crime is white on white. There is so much more to it (like money, for instance!)

The fact that this trial may result in a riot seems a bit ridiculous.  People (ANY people of ANY color,creed, or race) can’t just riot every time a jury trial doesn’t go their way.

 

Conflict or “Equilibrium”

My regular readers know I’m becoming quite the misanthrope in my old age (that’d be 31.)   The world is a lot smaller now that we’re all virtually connected via the internet.  Everyday that I’m online, I’m bombarded with information, a lot of it bad news.  War, famine, rape, death, abuse, injustice.  People doing horrible things to the Earth, animals, each other…their own children.  It’s always been around, but now we’re ever more aware of it, and it seems to be getting worse.

Becoming a mother has made me hypersensitive to the atrocity.  I hate this world we live in.  I hate these people who can’t see past their own id.  My heart breaks for the innocents, and I’m often afraid for my child, who has to grow up in… a sea of crazy people.  I wonder what we can do to effect a significant change in people…   It feels like there’s nothing we can do.

And then today,  I started watching Equilibrium.

The film follows John Preston (Bale), a warrior-priest and enforcement officer in a future dystopia where both feelings and artistic expression are outlawed and citizens take daily injections of drugs to suppress their emotions.

Based on the concept that emotions are the root of all strife in the world, the logic is that by eliminating these basic emotions, conflict is eliminated.  And the concept seems to have merit, if you don’t consider the immediate execution of any persons committing “sense” offenses, as well as the incineration of any emotionally stimulating material– art, music, and apparently, puppies–  to be “conflict.”

I'm sure this was the director's intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

I’m sure this was the director’s intention, but is it any wonder the insignia for the dystopic powers that be looks like a swastika?

But as you may well have guessed, it is a colorless, pointless, and dull existence, devoid of any happiness…or empathy And in the end, isn’t the absence of empathy the root of the problem our world already faces?

The problem with the film…  Sean Bean.  Goddammit! Is there any film in which he doesn’t die ?

31674L

Sean Bean_Stay Alive

Just Sayin’

Came across this on Facebook this morning.  In the interest of brevity, I edited some of it out, but you can see the whole thing here.  Also, it should be noted that the validity of some of the facts contained in the following have been called into question. You can check out one guy’s rebuttal here.

Wal-Mart vs. The Morons
1. Americans spend $36,000,000 at Wal-Mart Every hour of every day. 2. This works out to $20,928 profit every minute!
4. Wal-Mart is bigger than Home Depot + Kroger + Target +Sears + CostcoK-Mart combined.
5. Wal-Mart employs 1.6 million people, is the world’s largest private employer, and most speak English.
6. Wal-Mart is the largest company in the history of the world.
7. Wal-Mart now sells more food than Kroger and Safeway combined…
8. During this same period, 31 big supermarket chains sought
bankruptcy…
11. This year 7.2 billion different purchasing experiences will occur at Wal-Mart stores. (Earth’s population is approximately 6.5 Billion.)
You may think that I am complaining, but I am really laying the ground work for suggesting that MAYBE we should hire the guys who run Wal-Mart to fix the economy.
To President Obama and all 535 voting members of the Legislature…
a. The U.S. Postal Service was established in 1775. You have had 234 years to get it right and it is broke.
b. Social Security was established in 1935. You have had 74 years to get it right and it is broke.
c. Fannie Mae was established in 1938. You have had 71 years to get it right and it is broke.
d. War on Poverty started in 1964. You have had 45 years to get it right; $1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to”the poor” and they only want more.
e. Medicare and Medicaid were established in 1965. You have had 44 years to get it right and they are broke.
You have FAILED in every “government service” you have shoved down our throats while overspending our tax dollars.
AND YOU WANT AMERICANS TO BELIEVE YOU CAN BE TRUSTED WITH A GOVERNMENT-RUN HEALTH CARE SYSTEM??
AND I know what’s wrong. We have lost our minds to “Political Correctness”
Someone please tell me what is wrong with all the people that
run this country!!!!!!
We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless, etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks.
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill without treatment, etc.

What I want to point out really has more to do with the attitude of the piece than with any specific “facts” represented within.  One passage in particular really rubbed me the wrong way.
Let’s look specifically at this passage:
We’re “broke” and can’t help our own Seniors, Veterans, Orphans, Homeless, etc. and the last months we have provided aid to Haiti, Chile, and Turkey and now Pakistan ( the previous home of bin Laden). literally, BILLIONS of DOLLARS!!!
Our retired seniors living on a ‘fixed income’ receive no aid nor do they get any breaks.
AMERICA: a country where we have homeless without shelter, children going to bed hungry, elderly going without needed medicines, and mentally ill without treatment, etc.
This would mean so much more if the people purporting this supposed injustice actually gave a shit. I don’t think it’s that we “can’t” help our own people… I think the problem is that many people in this country (specifically the “haves,” as opposed to the “have nots”) have just as much disdain for and issues with helping “our own” people as they do those of other countries.  There’s this perception that if you’re poor in American, it’s because you are lazy.  It’s evident in all the snide remarks about people on “welfare” and food stamps I see all over social media.  Don’t believe me?  The writer of this piece expressed some of that disdain with his claim:
$1 trillion of our money is confiscated each year and transferred to”the poor” and they only want more.
I’d like to take his little air quotes and shove them up his ass.  Sure, there are many people that milk the system.  But there are just as many people who try to do things to improve their situation and are rewarded with a reduction in help from the government.  If you’re pissed that people are being lazy, maybe you should re-examine the way the government rewards the laziness more than it does people who are trying to get out of the hole.   You can go to work, make a pittance, and lose your food stamps, yet if you stay home and sit on your ass, you will keep receiving the full amount.   So why would someone who is poor and needs all the help they can get want to be penalized for trying to do the right thing?
That aside, let’s take a minute to examine the self-important attitude and complete lack of compassion directed towards the poor in this country, as shown in just that single statement.  Apparently the writer has a better idea of how to decide who is worthy of help in this country and who is not.  The very “poor” people he decries for sucking up all the “confiscated” money may well be the parents of the “children going to bed hungry,” or the “elderly without needed medicine.”
Anyway, that said, I believe the article has some valid points.  The amount of money congress makes (and they can approve their own “automatic raises”) is obscene, and yet this country’s budget is in the toilet.   Maybe we should focus on changing that before passing judgment on and withholding aid from “the poor,” less fortunate people of our country.  Just sayin’.

Low Blow…and Not in the Good Way

I really hate to admit when someone gets under my skin…especially if it’s someone who is unimportant to me in the grand scheme of things.  But after a Facebook “conversation” that devolved rapidly into mud slinging, I got to thinking about it, and discussing it with friends, I decided to write a little bit about it.

Aside from being irritated and disappointed by the fact that it seems many people are no longer capable of having a conversation with anyone who does not agree with or validate their own point of view, I am so fucking tired of people judging me based on my life choices.

Tyler Durden said it best: “You are not your job.”

DrlJP.jpg

I guess some people do identify with their jobs, especially if their line of work is a career, rather than just a “job…”   And especially if their career is one that corresponds with their hobbies or pleasures.  For instance, writers likely internalize their career as a part of their personality; cashiers likely do not.

At this time in my life I have found myself in role I hadn’t necessarily foreseen when I was growing up.  I am a stay at home mom.  That’s right.  I said it.  I have a double degree from a University college and I stay home and watch my kid.  And I think it’s awesome!  Sure, I have put off my own career for a bit (however, I am considering going back to school soon.)

What really galls me though is the ever-widening gulf between “women like me” and the opposite extreme of career women.  Aside from the backhanded “advice” I have received from a few of my friends and family about how I “have a degree but haven’t done anything with it,” there often seems to be a sort of implicit judgment that because I do not work outside the home right now, I can’t possibly find my life fulfilling, let alone be a productive member of society.  Today, I regret to say someone I once considered a friend (in high school) attacked me personally when I dared to weigh in on the subject of women in the work place.  Flat out told me to come back to the conversation when I got out in the real world.

What I want to know is…what makes her world more real than mine?

What about the fact that I have a family (and a child with whom I am lucky enough to be able to stay home, during the precious and  formative years of her life) makes me less qualified to have an opinion?

What about the fact that she is single and has a career makes her superior to me, or more informed than me?  I have worked.  I don’t live in a hole in the ground.  I even happen to be a woman.  (Imagine that.)

This world takes all sorts to go around.  Not everyone can be a high-powered business executive.  Not everyone wants to.  Furthermore, projecting your own bitterness or insecurity about your life onto someone innocent is not cool.

Basically, my message for today is two-fold:

1) Think before you type speak.  Even if you think your words are benign or you “mean well,” that does not give you license to judge someone else for their life’s choices, especially when they don’t impact you.  If you really care about and respect the person to which you are speaking, you don’t want to hurt their feelings or insult them.   Even if you don’t know them (ie: random people or mutual friends on social media,) how about remembering some basic fucking manners???

2) If you are one of those people who does believe you are somehow superior to someone else because of your life choices (or theirs,) please do them a favor and take their name out of your phone.  Take them off your Facebook “friends” list.  Don’t mail them any Christmas cards.  They don’t need you in their life, and, since you clearly have your life “together” enough to judge your friend’s, you don’t need them in yours either.  

I think these two principals could conceivably have very wide applications.  Religion, sexuality, appearance, parenting styles. Just about anything you can think of… I might even go so far as to say they’re genius. 😉

And if all else fails…

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Can We Make Our Schools Safer?

*edited 

Oh, look.  Another school shooting.  Dismaying, but not surprising.  If you’re a regular reader, you may have already read a bit about my feelings and theories on Newtown and similar senseless and sensational crimes.  People are tempted to bring all sorts of political opinions  to issue, even if they have little (or nothing) to do with the crimes in question.  Many people spout rhetoric as an almost knee-jerk reaction, but a lot of people are just plain scared and are looking for an answer- any answer- to the problems plaguing our country and the world.

I don’t know what to do about guns.  I do believe access to guns is too easy.  People that don’t have guns of their own seem to be able to still procure them with relative ease, sometimes simply by stealing or “borrowing” one from someone they know.

Kern County sheriff Donny Youngblood said at a news conference Thursday night that the 16-year-old used a shotgun that belonged to his brother and went to bed Wednesday night with a plan to shoot two fellow students. (source)

I don’t think Mental Health Care reform is the problem, and at any rate, that seems to take the focus off the victims and hand the perpetrator an excuse.

Letting “God back in the schools” won’t do it either.

But one thing I think we can focus on is making our schools safer.  I don’t want to hear that it’s expensive.  The money that goes to inflated Congressional salaries and frivolous expenditures can and should be re-routed to make our children safer.

One thing that would help is to “treat schools like we treat courthouses,” as my hubby says.  I think metal detectors would be a great investment.  Every unsecured, public entrance to the school should have one.  (Really, ALL entrances should have one, but let’s not give the guys that write the budget simultaneous coronaries just yet.)  And a security guard posted at each entrance, especially during the hours of the day when there is high volume traffic.  If a metal detector is triggered, the guards can be on hand to handle the situation, and if a metal detector goes off at any given time during the day and is not immediately shut down, there should be a school-wide protocol that directs all teachers to lock down their classrooms.  Any students in the halls during a lock down would be directed to hide or make their way to a predetermined safe location.  Security officers should be specially trained to handle crisis situations.  We’re not talking a supermarket cop collaring people for trying to smuggle candied hams out in their drawls, we’re security personnel with the training and the will to take down a kids with a gun.  These little punks aren’t playin’ around and they need to know that the schools and the cops aren’t either.

Garrett-PD6500i-walk-through-metal-detector pic-11

Speaking of which, I know I can’t be alone in calling for stricter laws on media reporting, especially in the first few hours after a crisis.  One of the reasons that these freaks end up doing things on such a massive scale, shooting up schools and killing their whole families and whatnot, is because they think they can make a mark on the world, hurt people with their rage,  wrong others the way they’ve been wronged (in their pathetic little minds.)  I realize that people want to understand why these people do the horrible things they do, but the answers are usually more complicated than blaming guns, video games, music, or bullying.   Aside from whatever deranged, disturbed thoughts might pop out of the killers’ mouths if we were to ask them why, we usually don’t get that opportunity, because they often end up dead.  And it doesn’t really matter anyway.  What matters are the victims, and the media needs to take steps to keep the focus on them instead of glorifying the killer by validating his actions and intentions with exhaustive media coverage.

Well, the media will always cry “1st amendment “ and “the public has the right to know! so I’m sure I might as well just wish in one hand as far as media accountability, so back to the metal detector thing…it may not be a perfect solution, but it is one concrete step we as a community can take to try and make our schools safer for our children.

*see some of the stupid things the government could cut from their budget to make our schools safer!

STFU- Violence and Taking Responsibility

We are living in a world I almost don’t recognize.  Or maybe I just wish I didn’t recognize it.  We live in a world where parents can murder their own children and then lie about it while a whole country looks on.  We live in a world where a man can murder his pregnant wife, and where kids go to school and shoot up the place, with reasonable expectations, or even plans, of dying.  A place where people do drugs they know could lead them to acts of cannibalism and violence and kids feed firecrackers to dogs.

And if everybody whines enough- about their jobs, their parents, society- there’s even a chance of getting away with these horrible crimes.  Or being paid money.

All of us “normal” people are clamoring for an explanation, an end to the violence.  So, after quite a few conversations in this vein, I have decided to blog my ideas on the topic.  Now let me start with a disclaimer:

The following is my opinion and is based on all my education, experience, discussions, and observations.  While I do have a BS in Psychology and Sociology, I am by no means an expert.  Nor is my opinion rooted in theology. I’m not going to tell you everything would be “fixed” if we put God back into the schools.  The problem facing America (and many other industrialized nations) is complex, therefore the answer will also be complex.  For each act of violence there may often be “mitigating” circumstances.  Sociological causes (basically, how society influences the behavior of individuals) and psychological causes have been suggested.

I was abused as a child so I … [blah blah blah]

or It’s because we are so poor that I had to [blah blah blah]

I’m not even going to say these things aren’t sometimes factors.  However, I think there is way more flagrant violence than can be accounted for legitimately with these excuses.

And I can’t tell you how it burns me up, every time some school kid goes on a rampage and then it comes out “he listened to heavy metal,” or “he played violent video games.”

So let me tell you what I think a BIG part of the problem is…

Lack of accountability.   Yup.  That’s it.  Every time a parent sues someone over some little transgression, they are teaching their children that if you don’t get your way, you can basically bully someone into doing what you want.  Really, what are frivolous lawsuits but attempts to legally bully someone?

And any time a kid shoots at someone or kills his parents or a sibling, there’s a whole league of people waiting hand the kid his excuses on a silver platter.  I feel like this kid who took a shotgun to Perry Hall High is a perfect example.  He has seen on television how he can walk into a school and shoot it up, make whatever inane point by doing so, and then escape facing any consequences by killing himself or having the cops kill him.  I’m not saying TV is at fault.  I’m saying he has learned that he can “make a statement” dramatically because others have done it before him and there have been no real consequences.  After all, what consequences can you expect if you’re dead?  But the whole point is that people have been led to believe that they are entitled somehow.  I am all for equality and compassion and tolerance of others, but the country has gone so far down the Politically Correct road, that now everybody feels like they are owed something, and every time someone wins a lawsuit over some dumb shit, it reinforces the idea of non-culpability and entitlement.  

Every time a burglar gets bit by his victim’s dog or cuts himself on his victim’s kitchen knife and then wins a lawsuit about it, our own legal system is enforcing the idea that you can not only escape responsibility for your actions, but actually profit from them.

Casey Anthony is another example (barf.)  This bitch led a whole nation on an emotional hunt for a child she already KNEW was dead.  At this point, let’s even assume she didn’t intentionally kill the baby.  She willfully covered it up and lied repeatedly about it.  And really, she’s basically gotten away with it, with a slap on the wrist, a butt-load of attention (which I’m sure she loved in all her sophomoric twisted-ness), and probably an even bigger butt-load of offers for made-for-tv movies and interviews and whatever.  It’s sick.

How about the newest thing, bath salts?  After several documented cases of cannibal-like behavior resulting from the use of bath salts, this asshole  is deemed “not competent” to stand trial for being found in his bedroom with a dead pygmy goat.  A pygmy goat he stole, allegedly raped, and then butchered.  Well, by all means, let’s cart him off to a mental facility for 6 months, let him out, and then when he does the same thing to a human victim, maybe THEN he’ll be competent to stand trial.

My bad. I thought if you willingly ingested mind-altering substances, you were held responsible for any illegal actions you might commit while on said substances…

So, basically, he was crazy before he ever took the drugs?  Oh, well than that’s different.  Next time, just don’t let him out without his leash and everything will be fine.

And please can we just stop with the over-simplistic and ignorant answers to the problem?  It’s not Marilyn Manson or violent video games and movies.  I am a 31 year old mother and a wife and I have listened to metal, watched horror movies with a passion, and played video games since…forever.  I’d not stomp a spider, let alone kill a person in cold blood.  By the time a child gets to the appropriate age for such games and films, he/she should be old enough to know right from wrong and real from imaginary…and if the kid is still young and still learning these delicate worldly ideas, then maybe the parents should be held responsible for allowing said child access to media that is too mature (violent) for them in the first place.

It’s not lack of God in the schools.  Thanks; I’m not religious, yet my code of ethics and my level of tolerance is undoubtedly stronger than many so-called religious people.  God hates fags?  Really?  Did he tell you that himself?  Didn’t he also say “judge not…”?  Last time I checked, God doesn’t preach hate.  

(And here’s a real mind-fuck… How many church “people” have you heard of who disparage the violence and sexuality in today’s music and TV?  Okay, now, how many church officials have you heard of who have been caught molesting children? My point here is not necessarily to disparage religion, but to point out that there are many good people who are not religious, and many religious people who are not necessarily good.   Also, as indicative of the above passage, a lot of people hide behind religion as a way to justify hate.)

It’s not our DNA or our “killer” instinct…  And even if it was, the whole idea behind being human is that we have higher thought processes, and here’s a novel idea– the ability to exert self-control and make conscious decisions.

I’m not saying my theory holds the key to the ultimate solution.  The things that drive people to violence are varied and often complex.  Violence could never be completely eradicated.  But we can start by adopting a lower tolerance to it.  This starts at home, and it’s up to the legal system to enforce the idea of consequences and accountability out in the “real world.”  Let’s not forget that the rules appear to be different for folks with fame/and or money.  Kids see their pop culture icons getting away with all sorts of crap.   The little girls who used to be in the Mickey Mouse club are crashing into people with their cars while they’re drunk and yet some people are worried about a video games corrupting kids?

Get your head on straight, people.

And this may sound counterproductive in combating violence in society…but have you ever met teen that was so obnoxious you couldn’t help but think maybe their parents should have smacked them around more during their formative years?  I know I have.

For instance, if I ever saw MY kid run into a pregnant lady and then give her lip when she said something about it, I’d cuff ’em right in the ear (this happened to me at the public pool when I was pregnant.)  The other day I saw a lady (and I use the term loosely) allowing her dog to shit in a common public area.  When I asked her if she planned to pick it up (she had no bag or anything with her) she gave me a raft of shit (no pun intended.)  How hard is it to understand that I don’t need my small child trampling through your dog’s mess?  Is it untoward for me to request she pick up after the nasty little beast?  This woman, this huge she-beast who lives with her adult daughter on HUD assistance had the nerve to tell me I needed to get a job!  All because I called her out on something she knew was wrong in the first place.

Apparently, as there are no consequences for being an asshole (you’d get sued for knocking the teeth out of someone being disrespectful to you now,) people feel free to throw courtesy right out the window.

Seriously, ignorance aside (even though it drives me absolutely batshit,) I fear for my child in this world.  It makes me want to move my family to some isolated mountain in Montana or something.

Anyway, sorry if I sound preachy.  This stuff really irks the piss out of me, and I pretty much feel helpless to do anything to change the majority of it.  I can teach my kids solid values and responsibility, but there’s no way for me to force the rest of the world to act like civilized human beings.  I just have to arm my kid with knowledge and then hope for the best.  And that scares the crap out of me.

English: McDonalds' sign in Harlem.

By the way, while we’re talking about “responsibility,” it’s not McDonald’s fault that you’re fat.

The Hunger Games: Hungry for More?

*a review of Catching Fire, this article may contain possible spoilers for this novel and the first novel, The Hunger Games

So, pursuant to my last entry, I just finished reading the second installment in the Hunger Games series (okay, I don’t know if that’s what the series is actuallycalled, but by now, everyone who isn’t living under a rock has probably at least seen that name on a book or movie poster somewhere.)

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