It’s Time for Election Talk!

Does the thought of politics make you audibly groan? Do you think to yourself that it can’t get much worse than it is right now? Then I’m here to make your day: Election 2020 is not so rapidly approaching which means we get a full year and a half of election discussions! Yay! I know… so exciting. I’m here to add to that excitement.

That entire first paragraph was all sarcasm, in case you couldn’t gather that. There is nothing exciting about this. When I was a kid, getting to the age where I could vote, there was an episode of “South Park” about the election. The premise: You could vote for the Turd Sandwich or the Douche, joking that there are never any good options for president so you just have to stick to the one that is the least awful. Unfortunately, this seems to be a reality today where you go into the voting booth and think to yourself “which of these is the least terrible option”. I’m sure that’s exactly what our Founding Fathers had in mind when they came up with this system.

That’s exactly how this 2020 Election is shaping up. I groaned when Elizabeth Warren announced her intention to run. Then a couple of other people did too, and honestly I couldn’t even tell you what they look like or who they are because they are that unknown to me. If the Democrats have any intention of winning, they should probably learn from the mistakes of 2016. Hilary Clinton was the choice that they wanted, not the people. Not the rational, more centrist Democrats. The celebrities did. The ones who desperately wanted a woman president did. Imagine how progressive we look if we did? It would have worked if they had chosen someone more universally likeable. As an Independent, there was going to be no way I was going to vote for her. (And fortunately, thanks to the Electoral College, I didn’t have to.) There was no way I was going to vote for Donald Trump. I went 3rd Party and no regrets. My conscience is clear. I didn’t vote for either of these shady people who I felt had no business representing our country.

By the way people have already thrown their hats behind Warren, it will be a Hilary 2.0. She will be shredded by the conservative media for her need to do anything to make her more likeable/relatable and the fact that they can’t let her live down the whole Native American thing. She will be eviscerated. She’ll lose, probably big time. Unless people are that sick of President Trump by then that they just say “eff it”. Again, I’m glad I can go 3rd Party without worrying since Massachusetts will never vote for him and the Electoral College decides elections.

If the Democrats were smart, the would worry less about putting up candidates that make them look like the “Progressive and Diverse” party and more about putting up a capable candidate that has a shot of winning. They practically handed President Trump the election by putting Hilary up there. And they are certainly going to make that mistake again.

None of this would matter if people realized that there are other options. Instead of wishing for a change in the politicians, make the change in the politicians. You’re the voter. You’re the boss. You don’t have to vote for someone because they are the “same party” as you. You don’t have to vote for someone because they are a woman. You are supposed to vote for someone with the same ideals and vision as you, or at least as close as possible. You are supposed to go with someone who you feel could put together the broken pieces of what’s left of our country’s solidarity. Vote your conscience; not a letter.

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The Fear of the Uprising

Last year, prior to the inaugural season of the Overwatch League starting, the Boston Uprising was pegged as the underdog. Being a lifelong Boston fan like most other Uprising fans, this wasn’t unfamiliar territory. We have tempered expectations until we see even a flicker of hope, which we cling onto in hopes for victory. (Like in the Super Bowl… against the Rams… Go Pats!) The preseason venture didn’t help Boston’s case: they just didn’t look like a promising team. Still, they were my team and true Boston fans are nothing if not loyal to a fault.

While the 1st Stage wasn’t overly impressive, it wasn’t entirely depressing. They were a team that could hold their own out there. You win some, you lose some. At the end of Stage 2, they had a 4 game winning streak that offered the momentum that they desperately needed. This momentum led them to a historic undefeated season, the only team in the Overwatch League to accomplish this. Despite losing a talented DPS that I won’t mention. They may have fallen in the Stage Finals against NYXL, but it was the principle: they went into the inaugural season as a 10 seed at best, but most people pegged them at the 12th spot. But there they were, putting up a fight for a Stage Championship. This was a place that some people didn’t think would happen, even their fans. They broke records and made history that stage.

Stage 4 was a rough one. They finished in 8th. The dive meta was dead thanks to Brigitte and the Uprising just couldn’t keep up, especially since their DPS team centered around an insane Tracer. (Tracer + Brigitte = Instant Tracer Doom.) Still, their solid performance in Stage 3 gave them a spot in the overall Playoffs. They fell to the Fusion, but they did still get a 3rd place finish. That was far more impressive than where the experts placed them in the rankings before the season began.

Now we’re at season 2 and back in an underdog position. It’s no mystery why. The debates about HuK and how he runs his team. The fact that we lost our star DPS Striker to Crusty and the San Francisco Shock. The fact that we no longer had Neko, an insane Zenyatta. The fact that one of our DPS players (Colourhex) is suspended for 2 games for boosting and we only have 1 other DPS signed at this point. (Which may not be all that bad, if GOATS is still the way to go and we have extra tanks and supports to fill in.) Will there be a last minute signing? Is HuK just planning to let things play out with GOATS and hope that they win those 2 matches without an extra DPS player? In HuK we trust?

The February 14th start day is fast approaching and I’m like every other Uprising fan who is looking for some big signing soon. We know it’s not going to be some big name like Mangachu, but there’s still hope right? Either way, 3rd place was a respectable place to be when everyone thought you would be all the way in the 12th spot. I’m just happy to support my team.

Beggars Can’t Be Choosers

I am proud to come from a big military family. I have so much respect for the military because these are men and women who go out there to answer a call within themselves to serve. They risk the ultimate sacrifice. Their families risk the ultimate sacrifice. These men and women are something greater than the rest of us mere mortals. I cannot properly express the admiration I have for them. Everyone should have this same respect for our military.

I could go on to discuss how mistreated this group is, this group that we owe so much to. They get crappy pay, sometimes terrible housing. And that’s while they are active. Afterwards, they struggle to get adequate medical care and often end up homeless. They become forgotten. They may be disabled, physically or mentally or both. They went over to protect our country and the people within it and they don’t get a damn thing in return. It’s awful and disgusting and a story for another day.

People who willing want to serve in the military and meet the mental and physical capacity to should be able to have that opportunity. Isn’t this the type of freedom we’ve been fighting for? People in the LGBT community who want to protect and serve their country should be able to. I don’t understand why they shouldn’t be able to. Especially with military recruitment in a consistent downward spiral, beggars can’t really be choosers. Even a revered General Mattis said of this topic “Can’t they hold a gun?” Is it really more complicated than that?

So when you say that transgender people can’t serve if they want to go under gender reassignment surgery, why not? How much money is actually paid for this type of medical care in the grand scheme of the military budget? Spoiler alert: According to what I read, a lot less than 1%. Not even 0.50%. The budget concerns isn’t the issue. If it were, maybe you should spend that $5.7 billion you want for a wall and put it towards the military so that they have adequate care while they are serving, and after.

Let whoever is capable and willing to serve and protect do that. You could be missing out on a soldier that could go on to do great things, then look back and credit the military for shaping their life for success. That type of story sells itself and recruitment would be right on track. Instead, people prefer to squabble about “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” or letting Transgender people in the military because of their own personal bias. I don’t throw around accusations like “homophobic” or “racist”, but policies like this are discriminatory. Next, women won’t be allowed to serve because their medical care costs too much and men can’t control themselves not to sexually harass or assault them.

I stand by my military. I stand by any person who wants to serve a cause bigger than the rest of us. I know I don’t have it in me to do what they want to do, so I admire them greatly for it. I don’t care about if they are LGBT or not. They deserve admiration for doing what so many of us are unwilling to, not become the topic of court cases still trying to fight for their rights.

The Funny Thing About the News

Over the weekend, you may have seen something about the Native American veteran and the kids from the Catholic school. While most mainstream news organizations reported the same exact news story, the more fringe “news” sites on either end of the spectrum reported vastly different “news”. Then the people who follow those news sites yelled at those who posted articles from the more mainstream sites about how they should apologize for spreading false information. For the record, if you use the website “Twitchy.com” as your news source, I will take you as seriously as I would if someone posted something from Occupy Democrats as their “source”. Those are both propaganda sites with an agenda, lacking any journalistic integrity. Not that the mainstream media has much of that anymore anyways.

The thing about all of these organizations is that they took small clips of the event, using whichever clips best suited their needs. Even editing the video to make it better fit whatever agenda they wanted to spread. The truth about what happened? Only the people there know it and they won’t say either way. Because in many of those cases, each side probably had something to be embarrassed by. Again, this is a topic I’ve discussed far too many times on this blog: the media lies.

After seeing several videos posted about this event, it looks like it was something even more simple than what anyone talks about. Two groups seemed to be yelling slurs back and forth to each other, being generally obnoxious, and the group of Native Americans came in to stop the fighting. Something seemingly so simple turns into “racist kids yell at Native Americans” or “Liberal gets in face of teens who don’t know any better”. Again, just my interpretation of what I saw on the videos. Yes, those kids were yelling slurs at people who were yelling slurs at them. Yes, they should have known better to not engage if the other group started it. Yes, they are teenagers and teenagers do dumb things sometimes. This “story” shouldn’t have lasted more than a day of people arguing about it. Honestly, there are far more important things we should be arguing right now. Like fighting for honest, pure, and unbiased media coverage of everything.

Do I think Trump is treated unfairly by the media? There have been some things that made me go, “really, that’s the issue you want to take with the man?” There are a lot of things that man brings on himself. Like tweeting before thinking, then having people quote his tweets, then saying he didn’t say that while the tweet is still up. The right media holds him up on a pedestal while the left vilifies him. I don’t like the man or his policies or anything he stands for, but lets get him on the lies and idiocy not stupid nitpicking things. Then there’s the left equivalent of AOC. She’s a grandstander who loves the media attention. Does she deserve everyone calling her an idiot all the time? Depends on if she says something insane. But she also doesn’t get a fair shot. The right mock her every chance they get and the left have made her their new rising star. There are plenty of things that she says that you can nab her for. But a video of her dancing or that fake meme about her talking about how you have no right to own guns is distracting from the issues.

Reading the stories and feeding into the agenda without educating yourself completely on the topic is exactly why the media gets away with this. Knowledge is power and right now the media is waving this around as if they think we are all idiots. And we are if we hang on their every word as if it’s a complete fact rather than a partial one that furthers their agendas, then we are part of the problem.

Will This Patch Bring BFA Back to Life?

Tides of Vengeance Part 2 is coming out tomorrow. While a casual like me probably won’t get into a raid until LFR opens up later on (especially since Uldir was boring to me so I only did the first wing before saying “nah”), there are some exciting changes that I can’t wait for. For instance, being one step closer to the Zandalari troll that I so desperately want. This also brings me closer to earning flying in the expansion, something I desperately need to start leveling up those pesky high level alts. Yes, I’m addicted to alts. They are fun and I enjoy the grind more than I ever enjoyed raiding.

BFA does seem like a dead spot. It started off strong with an interesting story, but because of inconveniences and the coolness of new features like island expeditions wear off, it seemed to fizzle out. I liked the story, but there are so many unanswered questions. Will Sylvanas be locked away when Saurfang and the Alliance finally beat her? Will she join forces with Queen Azshara to continually plan out Azeroth’s demise? Will the resurrected Calia Menethil take rightful command over the Forsaken and Lordaeron? It could be interesting to see where these still open story lines go, but they need to make sure the game stays interesting enough for people to stick around for the answers.

This new patch, being touted as “Season 2” seems exciting but it seems like a much needed attempt to bringing this game back to life. This expansion did fizzle and while the Night Warrior new design and story was interesting enough, it was quick and over with. Then you were just left to farm Darkshore for new items that you’ll probably never get. The final question remains then: Will this patch be the one to bring Battle for Azeroth back to life?

The Internet Lies

You see the funny memes, witty comments on things that they want to pass off as facts. Rather than taking these funny memes as what they are, people tend to take them as facts. The big one going around right now is about lettuce killing more than illegal immigrants. If you took it as a funny meme just like I did, you laughed and ignored it. But then… there are the people who share this as a fact. Then their friends share it thinking it is facts. Both “sides of the aisle” are guilty of doing this. (Remember the toilet challenge that didn’t exist?) The sad truth is that the internet lies and people still believe it.

It’s our fault for not educating ourselves. We get upset when people point out that the meme is a lie. We ask for facts, then dispute the facts because it didn’t come from a news source that you recognize as news, aka whichever one you believe is biased towards the other side’s agenda. I agree that there is a major bias in the mainstream media. That will never be addressed because news organizations like CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News are businesses. They do what it takes to get ratings, regardless of their job as journalists. The ones on those channels that do the unthinkable, you know reporting the news, get called names or are ignored because people may not like what they are saying. They get dismissed as “the other side”, and their facts are dismissed as bias.

To help with this, I figured I’d let you in on a little secret: memes are devices of humor, not fact. If you think there may be truth to the meme, do yourself a favor and research it. If it’s fact, then you can pass it off as such. If not, don’t get surprised when people call you out on it. I’ve done it to my friends on social media. And they haven’t unfriended me yet for it. The world is complicated and divisive enough as is. We don’t need to add to it by resharing lies. This brainwashes the masses and it isn’t a good look. We should be focused on what we can do to improve the future.

So remember: the internet lies. Trust no one and educate yourself because no one else will. Don’t be a lemming that follows blindly. Be your own, kind and intelligent individual.

Those Pesky Mid-30s

Is 35 even a milestone? I guess since it puts you closer to the dreaded 40s, maybe. But at least I can take comfort in the fact that some of my older brothers are closer to 50 than they are 40. It pays to be the baby. I don’t think I dreaded that number any more than any other year. But I have heat this year on my birthday and I haven’t been vomited on yet, so we’ve already improved since last year.

Everyone seems to reflect on their life on their birthday. It’s normal. Did I accomplish what I wanted to? Am I closer to my goals than I was last year? These are those nagging questions that just need to be answered on your birthday, especially as you get older. We want to make sure that we leave some sort of legacy behind us. What will people say when we’re gone? I’m sharing these answers with you.

Did I accomplish what I wanted to last year? I finally published my first children’s book, which is something that I’m very proud of. I even finally figured out how to make a physical copy of the book. (Shameless plug: Check out “Dear Child” on Amazon. See the sidebar for links to my Amazon Author Page.) That was a feat, considering I’m one of the least tech savvy people I know. I didn’t complete NaNoWriMo, which helped lead me on a dark, downward spiral that lasted a few months. I finally got out of that funk and hopefully I won’t go back down there anytime soon.

Am I closer to my goals than I was last year? I think so. I think that I’ve started to grow a presence online. I created more plans to help further boost my site. I can’t wait to get started on some of these new projects and finish some that I’ve already begun. It takes time and patience to breakthrough, I’m just hoping it’s going to be my time soon. I don’t want to make celebrity author money (though that would be sweet), I just want to be able to better provide for my family. Even if I make $20,000 a year doing what I love, I’ll consider that a success.

What will people say about me when I’m gone? That’s a loaded question, but I’ll give it a try. I’m sure a lot of them will say I was a terrible human being, and that made them either love me or hate me for it. I accept that. I’ll have some of those closest to me mention about how I was always there for them when they needed someone. They’ll remember my dark sense of humor. My kids will remember me singing and dancing around the house. They’ll remember that no matter what, they were loved and supported. I don’t care if I don’t have a greater legacy; I care that the people I care about know that I cared about them.

That is my birthday blog. I hope that you enjoyed reading this and I hope you guys have a great day!