Was it Really about a Boo?

Criticizing presidents and politicians is the American way. It is our right as the people who these people are supposed to be working for. It’s our right as Americans to be able to express ourselves in a peaceful manner. We were given those rights in the constitution and we should be very thankful to have those rights, especially when you take a look at how people are being silenced across the globe. We shouldn’t take this for granted because I fear we may not have these freedoms for long.

When President Trump got booed at the Nationals game, it became a topic of discussion about how people should respect the office. I respect the office even if I may not respect the man holding it. But I don’t think that people should mistake blind loyalty as respect. There’s nothing respectful about blind loyalty. This is usually based on fear or ignorance, not respect. I get how an audience booing at a sitting president can be seen as disrespectful. I can see how chants of “Lock Him Up” can be disrespectful. But it’s not really about respect, is it?

When Obama got booed in public, conservative sites praised this. These were the American people using their God-given right to express themselves. These were true patriots. Now that Trump gets booed, these same people rant about the disrespect this president has received. The other side is just as guilty here because they have also flipped the script from taking one incident as disrespectful and the other as a proud moment for Americans. Make up your mind: is it disrespectful to boo a president or not?

It isn’t the act that is appalling; it’s the fact that these groups can’t get their story straight and the majority of people don’t seem to care. Would I boo a sitting president to their face? Probably not. But does that mean I don’t think other people should? I’m not entirely sure I like the idea of toeing that line of freedom of speech and disrespect. If it went to a side of violence or downright bullying, then I think there’s an argument for disrespect. Booing is something entirely different. You boo when you’re at a performance if you don’t like what you see; isn’t that all this president is? He performs on a daily basis, giving fodder to everyone around him through his unleashed Twitter account.

Now, what about the “Lock him up” chant? Was that disrespectful? I would argue “no”. I would argue that this is a precedent that he created himself when he did the same to Clinton as his political rival. This encouraged his followers to do the same. I’m all for the “what’s good for the goose is good for the gander” approach. If it wasn’t disrespectful that way, then it isn’t disrespectful when it comes back to you. If it was good enough to say to another person, it’s good enough to be said to you. The point is, when you open that floodgate, you should accept it. Just like people who “applauded” Clinton’s deplorable statement about Trump supporters should accept the “scumbag” label from Trump. I think both people should be ashamed of themselves for this insulting approach because I think these terms help to further divide the country. We need to start working together, not growing further apart.

The problem is as long as people rationalize and blindly follow, things won’t change. The world doesn’t need followers right now; they need leaders. They need to know that disrespect doesn’t change because of what party someone follows. They need to know that if they say something awful that they should suck it up when it’s used back in their face. The people should stop rationalizing those grown-ass adults who are supposed to be running our country when they sling insults at each other. They should stop applauding something as “so powerful” on one side, but slamming it when it happens to “your side”. There shouldn’t be “sides”. There should only be “Americans”. United we stand… divided we fall…

The Innocent Have Nothing to Hide

I live on the basic principle of “The innocent have nothing to hide”. Sure, it makes me a bit paranoid but this believe has served me very well in all my years. It helped me pick out the cheaters or weed out the friends that shouldn’t be trusted. This is probably what would make me a terrible juror as I would just assume that anyone lying or refusing to answer questions would be guilty. Though, we’re all guilty of something.

When the Clinton Email scandal happened, I said “The innocent have nothing to hide”. I didn’t trust her. I thought she was guilty of something. That’s why I didn’t vote for her. When Trump refused to release his tax returns as is customary, though not required, I thought this again. That’s one of many reasons why I didn’t vote for him. (#3rdPartyLife?)

Even today with subpoenas being ignored and other things that may be viewed as obstruction, all I can think is that innocent people have nothing to hide. It reminds me of something that I always say to the kids when they lie to cover up a misdeed: “The coverup is always worse than the crime”. I don’t care if you broke a plate but if you lie about it to my face after I stepped on the leftover glass shard that was missed during the cleanup, I’ll probably be really pissed and in pain.

While this is a much more important situation, the standard still applies. The coverup will always be worse than the crime. It wasn’t the fact that Clinton had the affair; it’s the cover up and blatant disregard of how betrayed others felt. He wasn’t impeached because he had relations with his intern; he was impeached because he lied about it and tried to cover it up.

Why would Trump hide his tax returns? Does he not want people to see what loopholes he used that all of the other businessmen use to keep more money in their pocket? Did he not make as much money as he bragged about and doesn’t want his poor ego shattered? Or did he do something shady? I think people would be less angry about using loopholes or that he isn’t a billionaire like he claims than if he committed fraud.

That’s really what this is about. Own up or stop complaining when people lose their trust in you. If you didn’t do anything wrong, then there’s nothing that needs to be hidden from the public. I don’t believe in blindly following anyone. I don’t believe in just trusting someone. Just because the Democrats say he’s guilty, doesn’t mean he is. Just because the Republicans call this a witch hunt, doesn’t mean it is. It just means politicians are more concerned about protecting their party than protecting the American people.

Eventually, the truth always comes out. That’s why it’s easier not to lie about it. Eventually someone will slip up or someone will blurt something out. But lies rarely stay hidden forever.

The True State of the Union

The State of the Union address is finally upon us. This is the day that happens every year, where we listen to our president give his propaganda lines and let us know what agenda he thinks is the best approach to running our country. We give them extra air time to lie to us, while some will follow every word blinding or dismiss it without listening depending on your political affiliation. Then a select member of the other party tells us why the first party is wrong. Both are vague with no definitive fact checks. No one cares. I’ve even considered playing a drinking game where I took a sip every time the entire party stands up to clap, making the thing a lot longer than it needs to be. I like my liver too much for that game. It does remind me of those handful of times where I attended mass though.

That isn’t the actual state of the union. This is a perceived state of the union based on a specific agenda that they want to push. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you all about the real state of our union. How both parties are failing our country and we’re complacent to this. This is my perceived state of the union.

Democratic politicians are boycotting the state of the union. What ever happened to the “When they go low, we go high” approach that Michelle Obama so passionately spoke to us? Don’t boycott the State of the Union address. You can disagree with him without being blatantly disrespectful. Respect the office, even if the President doesn’t seem to. If you want to seem better than the President’s childish antics, fight on another day in a respectful manner. Don’t also be childish. Do not make the divide even more fractured.

And then some Democrats are discussing that Howard Schultz shouldn’t run for president because he will take votes away from the Democrats in the election. First of all, this is a democracy and anyone who wants to run for president should be allowed to. On the same token, the rumors of the President trying to work magic to deter other Republicans from running for president is also something that leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I will again point out: This is a democracy and anyone who wants to run for president should be allowed to. If the Democrats are that afraid of losing, maybe they should put up a viable candidate that people will actually want to vote for. If you’re that afraid that another Republican will run against you, maybe do a better job so that people won’t want to replace you.

That is the state of the union. It’s a sad state. There is something that we can do about it. We can change it. We can stop blindly following career politicians that feign concern, passion, and ideals for votes. Then they forget everything that they stand for afterwards when lobbyists are tossing money at them. Educating ourselves is the best defense. That is the best way to make a change.

I Watch for Talent, Not Politics

Over the weekend, the talk of the town was how dare/how brave Taylor Swift was for finally speaking out about politics. How she has lost/gained fans for voicing her opinion. How awful/great celebrities are for using their platform to brainwash/inspire the masses. Taylor Swift is a disappointment/true role model for the masses. You can easily circle the way you feel on the topic. I, personally, take a route of “I don’t really care” and “This has no real impact on my life”.

I love Ron Swanson GIFs. Spare a few Gir (aka: the Best Part of Invader Zim) GIFs, I only use Ron Swanson GIFs unless I couldn’t find the perfect one. I usually do and it makes me very happy with life. One time, like usual, I nailed a perfectly timed Ron Swanson GIF on a political post. A family member responded back with “too bad he’s a total liberal IRL”. My response: “I don’t care what he is, Ron Swanson is hilarious. I watch things to be entertained and if I’m entertained than I don’t care.” A person’s political ideals outside of the context of a show has no impact on whether or not I like them. Do I dislike Kanye’s music and personality because he is Pro-Trump? Nope, I dislike him because I think he’s an arrogant, jerk and I think his music sucks. Do I hate “Last Man Standing” because Tim Allen is a Republican? I dislike it because it’s a rebranded “Home Improvement” only less funny. Do I agree with everything John Oliver believes politically? Nope, but I die laughing every time I watch his show. I didn’t want “Newsroom” because I found it preachy and poorly written. I don’t agree with a lot of Tom Selleck’s politics, but I love him in “Blue Bloods”.

Maybe I’m just weird, but I like to watch things that entertain me. I get enough of politics everywhere else in the world. That’s not to say I don’t like watching sitcoms address serious topics or express opinions. But I want to be entertained while they are doing it. The opinions themselves have no impact on me. (I suppose, to a point. If someone does something completely off the rails, like spewing hateful comments or proudly displaying their Nazi gear I may be less inclined to want them to support them in anything that offers financial gain.) In general though, I don’t care. I barely listened to Taylor Swift as it is, aside from maybe 1 song (unless I’m working out. She does some great high energy music.) Will I listen to her more now because she made a political stance? Nope. It has no effect on me.

Now, if Taylor Swift had gone on a tangent about how anyone who was a Republican should be lynched and white people should be ashamed of being white and formed a group that was just as hateful as the KKK but was violent against people who didn’t agree with them, then yeah I would totally be all about destroying her career. But who cares? I love seeing comments from 65 year old people going “Well Taylor Swift just lost this fan”. Seriously, you probably didn’t even know who she was until either your grand-daughter idolized her or you saw the article on Fox News about being outraged for her spreading the liberal agenda. On the other side, “This grandma is going to start listening to Taylor because she’s so brave” because of the praise from the left-leaning media. No… no you won’t. This won’t affect her career at all. In fact, more kids may like her because some households will actually ban their kids from listening to it and if Mommy hates her then I have to do whatever it takes to listen to her. Because we’re a divided nation that can’t separate opinions and entertainment.

She never said to only vote Democrat. She never said that you had to vote the same way she did. If people bothered to read what she said, she made a clear case on a fundamental level why she was voting the way she was voting. She used facts and said “She voted against this, this, and this and doesn’t stand for the same things I do”. She then went on to say that you should vote for whoever candidate best represents your ideals. If you’re going to go political, that’s the way you do it. You encourage people to vote however they want to, but they have to vote. They have to vote for their ideals, whatever they may be. Hers in this case happened to be Democratic. I don’t see them complaining too much when Republican celebrities do the same. In fact, I remember they applauded celebrities for their “bravery” when it suited them.

Am I more inclined today to listen to Taylor Swift than I was? Nope. I wouldn’t have even known had it not been plastered all over the news or social media. A celebrity is just as entitled to have an opinion as everyone else does. Should they tell their fans that they need to listen to them or stop being a fan? Absolutely not. That crosses a line. That shows they are interested in spreading an agenda. Telling people they need to go out and vote and then mention who you are voting for? I do that all the time. I don’t care if the person that listens to me goes out to vote and votes a different way. It just matters that they vote based on facts and conscience. This election season, go out and vote. I will vote for Republicans and Democrats on my ballot, based on the job they have done in the past and if they align with my beliefs just like I’ve always done. Maybe things would be a lot better out there if people did the same.

What We’ve Learned Since That Tragic Day

Tragic days are not the ones where your hair just won’t cooperate or when you can’t replicate that one good day you had a successful cat eye. It isn’t when your coffee order is wrong or they gave you a plain bagel instead of an everything. Those aren’t tragedies. Those are minor blips in the day that prove your self-fulfilling prophecy of today being the worst, most tragic day ever. Sure they suck, but I guarantee you won’t remember it next week, let alone 17 years later.

I could go into the events in detail. How we were in school thinking it was a joke until we saw the video being replayed in every class. Living in the “Era of the Internet”, you could see videos online that honestly still haunt me to this day. I remember how busy work was that day, being a MEPS waitress but also handling all of the military that was relocated there from the base for precautionary measures. They were somber, not the rowdy groups I was used to in there. I remember what happened after. I remembered a sudden hatred for not just the terrorists, but anyone who just “looked Muslim”. I remembered that everything was suddenly turned upside down. I remember that now as an adult who watched these events unfold my senior year of high school.

Those aren’t the important things to remember about that time. What’s most important is that in the face of the worst humanity has to offer, we saw the best in humanity. Our country always comes together in these times. The terrorists participated in these horrific acts on 9/11 or at the Boston Marathon hoping to break us. Unlike some things that are broken, we always came together stronger than ever. We helped each other through the madness. Emergency officials, both active duty and retired, joined forces to help with whatever they could. Our country stared back at these cowardly acts in defiance; no one was going to break us and if they tried, we would show them the strength in unity.

What we learned about ourselves during this time is a lesson that we seem to be forgetting again. That’s how history usually happens, right? We learn a valuable lesson and somehow keep losing it, only to relearn it again. We are stronger as one. No one can tear us down if we stay strong as a unified force. It doesn’t matter what political party you are, what religion you follow, who you go to bed to at night. None of that matters. We are Americans. We want our country to flourish and fight back from those who want to do us harm. We want to laugh in their faces. “You think you knocked us down? Think again.” The minute we forget these lessons is the minute that we become weak to these types of attacks again.

Today, remember all of that. Remember the lives that we lost today, especially the ones who sacrificed their lives to help others. Remember how strength in unity makes us unstoppable. Remember this now, in a world where people keep trying to divide us. This divisiveness will break us if we let it. We can’t let it.

The Internet is a Scary and Dangerous Place

The horrors that you find online are terrifying. They lurk in the shadows of anonymity. You don’t even know they are there until… that moment when.. you log into your social media account. That’s right, I’m talking about the keyboard warriors that feign outrage as the tides tell them to. The ones that you respect until you see their social media posts and you wonder, “Who is that monster?” I get it. I’m terrified also anytime I log onto social media. In fact, I would probably avoid the whole thing entirely if my livelihood didn’t exist in this scary, anonymous world.

See the thing is, I have never said anything on social media that I would say outside of it. My blogs, as boring as they may be to some, are me. They are genuine and authentic. Sure, sometimes they are so dripping with sarcasm and mockery of things that I find ridiculous. But I promise that I mean every word that gets typed up in this little box. I really don’t have any care if people hate me by the time I’m done saying something. That’s their problem; not mine. My mom always told me to never say something behind someone’s back that I couldn’t say to their face. Unfortunately for her, the lesson took too well. Because I do just say whatever the hell I want and I don’t care if I say it to someone’s face. Good thing I can defend myself if I need it because I’ve seen the look in other’s eyes when words just come right out of my mouth. Honestly, I wish I could say I felt bad afterwards. But, I usually don’t. I take it back. I just don’t feel bad afterwards. I’m pretty terrible.

Back to the original point. I see the way people talk to each other online. It’s sad. “deranged lib”? You can not be a deranged lib and still think Trump is terrible. I think Trump is terrible and I make no secrets that I thought Hillary was also a horrible idea for president. There is a middle road, just more people need to learn to take it. I didn’t even really like Johnson but by the time I went through my list, I decided to vote for the Vice President I’d rather deal with. No brainer: Weld all the way.

People hate each other. Hate. It’s not one sided. The so-called “deranged libs” are just as guilty as the other side… I’m not even sure what the Republican equivalent is… I only see the “deranged lib” or “libtard” on my social media. The minute you even correct someone for their blatant (or misguided) disregard of the truth or point out their hypocrisy on topics, you are automatically a villain. Sure, I’m a villain that’s a fan of facts. Yes, the Space Force is a waste of money when there is already NASA and the Air Force Space Command. Yes, the wall is a waste of money. What about people who tunnel in underground? What about the ones who manage to sneak by an underpaid border agent that really doesn’t care or the ones that get bribed to look the other way? How about the people that come by taking a boat? Walls won’t help any of these situations. I’m a realist.

If I correct you on social media because of any of these things, it’s not because I’m a deranged lib or an alt-righter. It’s because it’s about time people worry more about the actual facts of a situation without following blindly with an “it’s us or them mentality”. It’s because I believe in civil discourse. It’s because I believe name-calling is wrong on all levels, especially when it’s over who you voted for or what your personal beliefs are. I don’t hate you. I don’t even care about your political beliefs. I have some people who I wholly disagree with on so many levels on my social media. I don’t mock them for it. I add in a comment pointing out that they are factually incorrect on something and stand my ground and then leave it alone because apparently people hate reason. Friends are friends and they aren’t worth losing over a hopefully short-term trend of “if you’re not on my side, you’re the enemy”. I won’t stoop.

I don’t think the baker refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding is the same as denying a Trump employee service. Following your morals, whether I agree with them or not, is respectable. I can just choose to not spend money in your business. Refusing to serve Sanders in a restaurant? Petty, but it’s the choice of the business. If you don’t like it, don’t spend your money there. Spoiler people: things really are just that simple. I don’t purchase things from Hobby Lobby or Chick-Fil-A because my beliefs don’t align with theirs. I don’t make posters bragging about that. They have their rights and I have mine.

People say, “Well Obama started it..” blah blah blah. Guess what? You can stand on your adult feet and end it. Change only happens if you care to make it. If you’re not trying to create change, you are part of the problem and have no, and I mean absolutely no, right to call anyone else the problem. People are spending too much time stooping. You cannot call someone a “libtard” or “deranged lib” then get pissed if they return the jab. Be better. Everyone needs to be better. I’m actually really sick of writing about this. I’m sure I’ve written a very similar post at least 5 times already. It’s disgusting. I’m disgusted.

I hope I have successfully berated all of you, no matter who you voted for or who you follow. United we stand….

The Power of Words

Today’s post was originally going to be a statement on parenting children with “difficulties”. As a result of recent events, I’ve decided to postpone that post for a treat on Thursday. Maybe this means I can get back to this more often? No guarantees, but I’m really trying to be more regular with this. Back to the point. I’ve decided to finally talk about something that I will probably get hate responses for. Honestly, I don’t care. I’ve made it along just fine not really caring what people think and at 34, I don’t really see this changing anytime soon. I’m too old to change.

As a writer, I understand the power of words. I make a living off of this power. I try to use this power for good. In my books, I write about some issues that may be tougher to deal with but there’s something that you can relate to in them. It gives comfort to others reading something that resonates with them. For instance “A Special Place for Noah”, has a mother breaking down over her child’s issues. Even if you don’t have a child with developmental delays or other issues, every mom has been in that moment where they just locked themselves in a room and cried alone. Just saying this now, you may have nodded in agreement that you have been there. You just connected with those words. Those words had power.

That’s the thing with bullying, isn’t it? People use those words, that power, to hurt others. They use those words to control or harm. And those words do sting. Sometimes those words sting for decades later. I can remember every word a bully said to me back when I was younger. It’s the reality that words are more painful than a lot of physical harm that someone could do to you. Back then, I’d rather someone punch me in the face than use their hurtful words against me. I had no voice then. But I did have one powerful left hook and strong kicks.

I take freedom of speech very seriously. I understand there is a line that you don’t cross. I understand toeing that line of offensive and not. I understand that racial epithets are never okay. Most decent human beings do. I understand that other words take on different meanings to other people and they may find it offensive even if I find it ridiculous that it offends them. It’s not my place to judge. I spend too much time judging as it is, I don’t need more to add to the list.

I understand that there is a big difference between using the word “ape” against an African-American person and the “C” against any woman, though both carry an offensive nature to them. I don’t care to get into debates about which word is more offensive and whether or not celebrities on either side of the aisle get unfair treatment over words. Both sides push their own agenda. For instance, Roseanne was just practicing freedom of speech and it wasn’t racist at all so ABC was just pushing a liberal agenda firing her just like they did with “Last Man Standing”. It’s just another way the liberal media is taking down conservatives. No. Facts matter, people. Don’t just listen to mouthpieces pushing whatever agenda they are paid to push.

However, you cannot say that she was expressing freedom of speech using a term synonymous with racism while demanding that Robert De Niro should be boycotted for saying “F- Trump”. You can’t place freedom of speech wherever you want to make it fit your agenda. If racism gets a “freedom of speech” pass, so does saying “F- (insert a president’s name here)”. I don’t remember seeing those people voicing such disdain when people kept saying “F- Obama”. If saying “F- Obama” is perfectly fine, so is saying “F- Trump”. You can’t have it both ways. It’s either wrong for anyone to do or right for everyone. Me? I say that it’s a perfectly acceptable way to express your opinions. Also, I have been called the “C” word many times in my life and it never even bothered me. They’re probably right. I know who I am. And I can be kinda a “C” word.

Words are powerful. We should be teaching our children to use them wisely. In fact, we need to be better about how we use our words. Our kids are watching us. How are you going to use your words today?