Hard to Watch

Trump held a rally near my city the other day and I debated going to the protest for it. Ultimately it didn’t work out for me to attend (several mitigating factors) but as part of my decision making process I had to take into account the possibility that my attendance at a Trump protest rally could expose me to a dangerous situation. I could be hit, pepper sprayed, trampled, run over, or even shot at. As I contemplated that, it made me sad, and angry, that I had to even consider that in my decision to attend. Fear is a tactic weak people use to try and intimidate others from speaking up.

I also know that if the protest remained peaceful the entire time supporters would claim everyone was paid to be there, or that the protesters weren’t very energetic/enthusiastic/authentic, that it was a “weak” turnout, etc. If there were any moments of violence, it would be used to as fuel to portray them in a very negative fashion. Thousands went, I watched live streaming of it, I messaged with people during it and for the most part it was peaceful. Until the supporters started to exit the rally. That’s when there started to be issues. Immediately there were portrayals of the protesters being the aggressive ones, and I sat in my house wondering just how accurate that message was. I’m not saying I believe that only Trump supporters would/could be violent and protesters would/could only be peaceful, because when you get a crowd together violence is always a possibility and there are always people (no matter what political affiliation they have) who will escalate a situation and ruin it for the rest of us. The difference is in the actions, cumulatively speaking, in the overall rhetoric of the majority, in what they allow and condone as acceptable behavior. Before the rally ended and the protesters started getting pepper sprayed I had already been observing the general opinions being posted on the old social media sites. While it sure seemed like each side was convinced that the other side was the violent delusional ones, I found significantly more negative comments from Trump supporters (disparaging the Minneapolis mayor, and/or any protesters) than I did from protesters or protest supporters. One comment even talked about needing “ethnic cleansing” of democrat supporters. Right there, with no shame. I took a screen shot to remind myself how much society has back peddled. While I don’t discount the existence of an equally troubling comment from a protester somewhere, I never found one that was vicious or hateful like that.

To also see so many thousands of Minnesotans embracing Trump’s message of hate and being stubbornly oblivious to the hypocrisy, corruption, and destruction of it all was absolutely painful. For a brief moment I had been hopeful that the stipulation of the city of Minneapolis and the statement from AEG requiring Trump to pre-pay for costs associated with rally security and road closures might actually hold, but as per usual, he refused, there were no consequences, and he used it as more fodder in his constant efforts to divide the nation. I will not hold my breath waiting to see if his campaign eventually pays the bill, especially after his “twitter fight” with the mayor. As to the argument about the bill being much higher than Obama’s back in 2009, not only has the cost for everything increased in the last decade, the propagation of hate and violence towards others that has been encouraged by Trump leads to needing way more security as well as more street closures since the level of protesters are higher, plainly put, it’s comparing pomegranates to bananas…just because they are both fruit doesn’t mean they cost the same. Not that anyone’s going to point that out.

Every single day it gets harder to watch this shit show go on. I don’t understand how anyone who thinks they are a decent person could support him, and if they aren’t claiming to be decent people I would be really scared, because then it just means they are super ok with no accountability, mass destruction of the planet, zero regard for other people’s lives if they happen to be even slightly different, alienation of our allies, the reverence of authoritarian dictators, personal gain over everything and everyone, racism, sexism, and the degradation of liberty. I seriously hope they impeach him, and Pence, because this cannot go on, not if we want America (as a land of the free, home of the brave) to survive.

 

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Profit over People

Yet another mass shooting in the US, and still the government does nothing about it.

People demand action but due to the dysfunction of the divided parties all they get is bickering until these situations become normalized.

Is it really just the fear over 2nd amendment rights being violated that keeps any gun law reform from actually happening, or is because there’s no profit in gun law reform?

When a mass shooting happens, gun manufacturing stock rises and more guns and ammo are sold. More news is consumed (paid for) and there’s an increase in advertising prices. Local funeral homes have a rush of business. Hospitals are able to charge thousands for critical care. Therapists have a rise in new patients and often more medication is prescribed. Security systems, self-defense, and other related products/services see an increase in business. Fund raising happens to help families with expenses. It is incredibly profitable for numerous parties, not to mention that it also  distracts the public from laws being voted on and other scandals previously dominating the news. Additionally, these events increase a sense of fear, grief, and anger (all emotions that make you easier to manipulate) in the general population.

There are numerous ways to protect 2nd amendment rights and still regulate gun ownership. If the lawmakers truly cared about the well being of their constituents we wouldn’t be stuck in this loop of violence. 

I’ve written about this before but the topic remains relevant. As the divide grows from the hate fueled stoking of the current president so does the number of white men who think they have the right to go shoot everyone different from them. Apparently no one seems to want to do the work to change the underlying belief system regarding the right of all lives to exist as equals and since there’s no profit in stemming the tide of bloodshed this epidemic of unnecessary slaughter will continue. How long until there are no people left to profit from?

Why Is This Still a Debate?

As I read about and hear about the onslaught of laws they are passing (or at least trying to pass) that restrict a woman’s body autonomy it makes me wonder just what it is that has men so afraid of women they have to pass legislation to try to and control them.

These men, who are clearly terrified of women having the same level of freedoms they have, spout nonsense about how they are simply following the will of the people. They argue about the sanctity of life and how someone has to stand up for the rights of the unborn. They claim women are wantonly aborting babies up till the time of birth, that it’s murder and done with no remorse. Yet, they refuse to take any sort of accountability for their part in creating the life that takes hold inside a woman’s body. They don’t care about the nature of how that egg got fertilized. They’ve never had to face making that choice themselves, and the small number of women who go along with the laws that attack a woman’s right to choose have perhaps never had to face that either, or they must not enjoy having the ability to make their own decisions when it comes to their bodies, some people do enjoy being subservient after all.

Because what is the difference between forcing a woman to use her uterus against her will to save a life and demanding that every single person donates blood, or their organs when they die, because it could be used to save lives? Where do you draw the line? Even if they created synthetic wombs to put all those embryos in that they don’t want aborted, why should a woman be forced to have their offspring, their genetic material, out and about in the world? These laws selectively limit only women’s body autonomy and only in regards to reproductive health.

Logic argues that since the people drafting, voting for, and passing these laws are not willing to have men take responsibility for the eggs they fertilize, provide no support for the babies once out of the womb, and do not address the already existing children all over that are being abused, killed, starved, etc than their motivation is not driven by a moral imperative to protect innocent lives. If their motive isn’t what they claim it is, I would argue that it’s simply coming from a place of fear. Fear that if women can make their own decisions they will decide things that men don’t like. Well, it’s only those who are insecure that feel the need to control others and impose their will upon them.

Quite frankly I think it’s high time that women are allowed to run things, look at the utter mess men have made of this world, chasing after control over the natural order of things, as if nature ever could be controlled by the likes of us. Power, status, money…it’s all just a form of control and in their pursuit of it our planet, and the living organisms on it, have been decimated.

Blue Splash It Is

Not exactly the blue wave one could have hoped for across the country, but there was a blue splash and the congressional house will now allow for the faintest hint of checking upon the current government.

My current local district flipped from red to blue and we flipped the state house as well, so that we’re now the only state in the country with a divided house/senate. Blue, blue, blue across the major seats open so I can take my anxiety level down a tiny notch, even if I don’t think the battle is close to being over. I wish I didn’t have to use words like “battle” and I wish we could go back to being able to support third party candidates without worrying that by doing so we were helping other candidates that openly support hate and fear and divisiveness.

Also, can I say how pleased I am to have 2 awesome ladies as my state senators and to have my near future district being repped by a passionate and engaging Somali woman. Our country, our states, our districts, our cities…they are made up of more than old straight white christian men and to see more and more diversity in government is AMAZING.

Let’s keep the momentum going. Can we stop fear mongering and start problem solving? Can we stop focusing on profits and start focusing on people? Maybe if we started really addressing the global climate crisis and reversing all the damage we’re doing to the planet people wouldn’t have this underlying fear and anxiety that is being tapped into for exploitation by rich assholes. When there is enough to go around, people don’t feel the need to hate their neighbors, or start wars, or rally against anyone seeking asylum. The hate, the wars, the sense of scarcity…those are all tools used by people that want to profit from and control others. Don’t give them that power.

 

Last Vestiges of Hope

Tomorrow, November 6th, 2018, America has the opportunity to try and halt the growing divide of hatred that has permeated the country. One of three things will happen.

Voting percentages remain as low as usual and result in things continuing on as they are.

Almost everyone votes and we get the blue wave that restores a bit of check and balance to the government.

Almost everyone votes and there isn’t a blue wave, maybe only a blue splash that doesn’t quite restore any checks or balances and shows that the problem of hatred and greed extends far deeper than anyone was willing to admit.

Right now we can still have hope. I just hope my hope isn’t dashed the same way it was back in November of 2016.

VOTE, no matter who you’re voting for, because I either want to see the majority accurately represented in government or I want to know without a doubt that I am surrounded by assholes.

Shenanigans

I am voluntarily watching C-SPAN today because I want to see the supreme court hearing on Kavanaugh. I am finding it difficult to stay quiet as I sit at work listening to such bullshittery. Even if you didn’t do any personal research on the man, even if you think he should get confirmed, you can’t deny that the way this hearing is being conducted is not on par with the processes in place. The double standard is clearly evident. I’m not watching democracy at work. I am watching democracy being spit upon, being mocked, and it makes me furiously sad.

Watching republican senators get angry about the public using their right to free speech should be concerning. Refusing to acknowledge or vote on motions that have been seconded should be considered a failure on the part of the chair. Continuing to conceal thousands of documents even after releasing thousands of documents last minute with no time to review them prior to the confirmation hearing doesn’t show “transparency” like the republicans are claiming they are doing.

As the week goes on and more and more questions are asked of Kavanaugh, if we get no real answers, if we get no real transparency, and this confirmation gets railroaded through without following the path of integrity it will forever taint the role of SCJ. It will set a dangerous precedent that goes against democracy and the very principles this country was founded on. This needs to matter, otherwise what is the point of American freedom?

I’ll Be Your Neighbor

I went and saw the movie, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor” the other day. It’s about the life and legacy of Fred Rogers, better known as Mr. Rogers, to generations of kids. I had watched the show when I was younger but since it was mostly in the late 80’s I never knew about all the timely lessons/messages he helped to explain to children about war, assassinations, grief, and numerous other important topics that are glossed over in most children’s programming. In my memory, the show was mostly about being accepted as you were and to show kindness and love to those around you.

I was mildly surprised to see how much backlash and personal attacks were directed at a man who devoted much of his life to helping children learn and grow into decent human beings who felt loved and appreciated. I didn’t understand what would motivate people to spew hatred at a message of love. They didn’t appreciate a minister who would accept and befriend members of the LGBT community so they protested at his funeral. He wanted children to feel safe and confident enough to be themselves and accept others as they were and people wrote articles condemning him for “creating an entitled generation,” which confuses me as I never got that from his message. Acknowledging that there is something special about a person without them needing to conform to standards of the day doesn’t mean they are entitled to everything they want with no effort on their part.

I really related to Fred, I completely understood his vision and I openly cried several times during the movie because his message was so close to my heart. I have long advocated for acceptance, for building others up, for kindness, and for leading by example. I wish I could’ve met him and had a chat, I think it would’ve been one of those amazing conversations you almost never get the chance to have.

With Fred no longer around to spread the message of love and acceptance, maybe it’s up to us to carry on in his stead. Will we be viewed with suspicion, ridicule, and anger…probably. However, much like how I feel about the political atmosphere right now, some things are worth speaking out about.