But Boy, Am I Tired

I’m tired. I am tired that we live in the world we live in right now. My latest release, a short story, was supposed to make me feel better about the social climate of the world right now. “How Not to Be a Bully: The Guide to Being Kind That We Shouldn’t Need” was inspired by this hatred we seem to have towards each other. It needs to stop. It has to stop. Our future generations are depending on this to stop now. They are going to be poisoned and the future will be full of people who think that a reasonable conversation is one where people hurl insults because the other doesn’t agree. What happened to that time when people could sit down across from each other and say “Well I believe this and this is why” and the other would say “Well, I don’t and this is why”? Is that really so hard?

Over the weekend, my family (I include my husband’s family as my own) took the annual trip up to this gorgeous orchard in the mountainside for apple picking. After having a great time enjoying the Pats game on my phone while picking apples, we went to the car to drop off the apples to sit around the stunning view and enjoy ourselves. (Even living in Massachusetts, the views here never get old.) As we were walking back, we heard screaming then saw a truck angrily pull over and everyone started piling out of the vehicle. I didn’t know what was going on until I noticed the signature red hat that we are all familiar with. That’s right, two grown men got in a fight about politics in a place where families are trying to enjoy their Sunday afternoon. Apparently the anti-Trump person said something to the Trump truck group and the Trump truck group felt the need to pull over, pile out of the truck, and get aggressive back. I told them to please not swear in front of my child and the Trump person turned on me. “It’s that f_ing snowflake’s fault. He disrespected me.” “When you got out of the car instead of ignoring it, you became just as guilty. Grow the hell up.” The very kind woman at the orchard apologized and asked the group to get back in their truck and to leave. The other guy, just as guilty in this for starting it and continuing it, should have also left for being a nuisance. He said it started over the other guy insulting his wife. My opinion: Ignoring people is a lot better for everyone. I again ask “Is being kind really so hard?”

Instead, we live in a world where people are constantly putting each other down. It is easier, I suppose, to lump everyone in with hateful words rather than being open-minded. We all are entitled to having a specific set of beliefs. I really like to hope that people can sit down with each other and have a reasonable conversation without the terms “racist Republicans”, “snowflakes”, or “libtard” ever being mentioned. It’s a foolish dream, but one that I have no less.

The thing is… this is not something that we can’t achieve. It can happen if people learn to put their pride aside, stop thinking that they are smarter or better than anyone out there, and just listen to another perspective. As the expression goes: “God gave us two ears and one mouth, so we ought to listen twice as much as we speak.”

I can start by making this very simple for you. No, not all Republicans are racist, uneducated, misogynistic white men. There are some but that does not mean all of them are. Not all Democrats are “snowflakes”, whiny liberals who are offended by everything. There are many people who are offended by everything, on both sides of the aisle and many “whiny” liberals but not all Democrats are any of those things. Independents are not wishy-washy people that can’t choose a side. These are people who realize that both sides have their flaws and would rather vote on political stances rather than a political party. I am a proud Independent and I know exactly how I feel on every political topic and that is what decides my vote. Not all Muslims are terrorists. Not all Catholics are pedophiles. Not all Puerto Ricans and minorities want to live off of welfare rather than work. Not all cops are corrupt murderers. However, all politicians lie. That is a fact that we can agree with. (Just kidding… there may be one or two out there that don’t.)

The point is that this is getting out of hand. We’re Americans, dammit. We have the right to an opinion without getting insulted for it. If someone is telling you something, you can fact check them. However, that doesn’t mean a person is insulting rather they are just trying to point out that you may be missing some information that can be helpful for making an informed decision on any topic. If you don’t want to listen, that’s your right but in neither case should anyone spend any effort insulting each other. What does that even prove? That the other person is right about their preconceived notion of who you are? We’re better than that. We have to be better than that. (Shameless promotion incoming) This is the whole point of my short story, which is now available in eBook format on Amazon.

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Taking the Knee

This may be a controversial stance to take, but this taking a knee thing has gone too far. With healthcare being a mess, a broken government body in place, and a risk of potential nuclear war facing us, we are arguing about how people can peacefully protest. Part of me even fears (the conspiracy theorist in me) that this is the goal to distract us. To divide us. I’m actually just bored with the entire thing. Maybe even a little fearful. But football is the one thing I look forward to and I just want to watch it without people telling me how I’m supposed to feel about it.

I think it’s a dangerous slope to be on when we start telling people how to peacefully protest. Would you rather people riot in the streets, destroying property and potentially lives or some guys kneeling in protest? Personally, I say let them. I don’t agree with kneeling for the anthem but I’m not in the business of telling people how people should use their constitutional right to protest if they are doing so peacefully. This does not determine how I feel about them. They are just football players that are voicing their opinion. I won’t be told how to be felt by anyone, celebrity or otherwise. What they are doing just does not register on “things to care about” list. I know there is racial injustice. I know racism is alive and well. I also know that there is more to it than that right now and if this is how they want to address it, it is their constitutional right. You know, that thing people throw in your face to prove their point but ignore it when it doesn’t suit them.

In fact, before this madness started I even stated that Trump was going to inflame the situation. He did. Now the entire league seems in solidarity just because the guy that is supposed to lead us to greatness and uphold the constitution can’t filter his mouth or Tweets. He’s not leading us to greatness; he is trying to divide and conquer us. Spoiler alert: I was right and it’s working.

Did I have issues with Kaepernick doing it? Sure did. I don’t like the idea of celebrities dabbling in politics and I think that the nation anthem is a moment to silently respect and honor our country. That’s not why I think he shouldn’t be in the NFL. Even before all of this started, I thought he was an overrated quarterback that was way overpaid. Do I think that’s why he’s still unemployed? Absolutely, you can’t want the big millions and not be worth it. Plus, your girlfriend posting pictures that imply racism about a team that was potentially about to sign you to get a contract deal ripped up on you probably doesn’t help matters. If that story is 100% accurate, good luck on that NFL contract. Twitter seems to be the place to upset the masses and ruin careers. In other news, if you are a Patriots fan, feel free to protest their games. I have never been and I would really love to afford a seat for me and my family preferably without having an anxiety attack for being so high up at the stadium.

Then there is the whole Golden State Warrior thing. Brady didn’t go to the White House when Obama was in office. But Obama also didn’t say “well screw all of you then. I’ll just party by myself?” Can you imagine the outrage that would have occurred? There would be a riot. “That was so childish.” They would say. “Dictator Obama is squelching the masses and their freedom of speech. Impeach him!” If you are denying that would be the case, you are really too far off the logic meter to even reason with.

I digress. The point is matters are only going to get worse unless someone can finally get the president managed. People look to him as an example of how we should be. He is (should be) the biggest representative of our country, leading us to even more greatness with grace. Instead, all of this transpired in a single weekend of tweeting and not being able to keep his mouth closed. For all you people who argue that Obama caused this, I ask “But what has Trump done to fix it? What has he done to repair our country and help us come together?” Well, aside from potentially joining everyone together in distaste of his actions.

The constitution doesn’t say “You have the right to a peaceful protest, with the exception of the following: kneeling at the national anthem, protesting at science/women rallies, tweeting opinions about the president, in any peaceful way that really doesn’t hurt anyone, or in any way the president disapproves of.” I’m pretty sure it does say “You have the right to peacefully assemble and protest.” America was built on the right to stand up to oppression and stand for your rights and beliefs. The minute we deny these things, the minute we lose those principles that make America so great.

Insert Controversial Political Title Here

I’m tired of hearing about the election. It ended. It’s done. Hilary lost, unfortunately that ended up meaning Trump won, and that’s the end of it. (Before I get “liberal snowflake” commentary, I welcome you to read my posts about the election where I was against both of the major party candidates. I did vote 3rd party and I’m not ashamed of that.) Do I want to hear about it being rehashed all of the time? Nope. There are certainly more important things that should be addressed in the media.

Instead, we have to listen to election stuff. Stuff that happened a year ago. Now, I’m not even going to touch the Russia thing here. If something illegal did happen, then I would hope that justice would take place. My issue is listening to news articles every day about “How Hilary Lost?”/”Why Did Hilary Lose?” I really don’t want to hear her rehash everything with excuses of why she lost. “I should have been more aggressive with Trump.” “Russia did it and I should have been president.”

The fact is that Hilary only got as many votes as she did because she was the Democratic candidate. That is a reality. I don’t think it had to do with women voting. It was a party line that people didn’t want to cross, especially not for Trump. “She was the qualified one.” Qualified means nothing when it comes down to making the American people decide. Just look at all of the past winners on reality television shows. Most of the time the most talented one doesn’t even win.

I can tell you exactly why she lost, as someone who has pretty much voted for every political party at one point or another. It had nothing to do with the fact that she was a woman. There may have been a bit of sexism but not enough to make her lose by that much. She lost because she ended up being a less likable candidate than a reality star that turns different shades of Cheeto. She lost because she seemed to act like she was entitled to the White House. She lost because she definitely did shady things with her emails and perhaps even shady dealings with her foundation. She lost because she thought the celebrities she had on her side were going to be enough to carry her to the win. She lost because she didn’t appeal to the everyperson. She lost for so many different reasons that you can’t even pinpoint exactly one that did it.

Do I think that Russia interfered with the election? I don’t know. I don’t know all of the facts and unlike some people, I refuse to make a judgement without knowing everything. They probably did, but they probably did 10000 times before and not just in America. Does it make it right? Absolutely not. The bigger question is “Did Russia interfere enough in the election to make her lose?” Maybe instead of getting mad at Russia for revealing the shady behind the scenes disaster that was the DNC, maybe you shouldn’t have rigged the election to put a losing candidate on the ticket. Maybe they thought the Clinton name would make the election a sure thing. Maybe they thought they would win because “Look at us, we’re the progressive party that put a woman on the ticket”. The 3rd parties have been doing that for a while, you’re not the special for doing it. Would the election have gone a different way if Bernie had one? I think so, but I’m just a writer spewing opinions rather than a political pundit that lives and breathes political theory.

So instead of complaining about the million reasons that you lost the election, do something else to create change. Volunteer at soup kitchens. Do backpack drives for kids who need school supplies. Support the arts in schools. Raise awareness of genocides, the need for vaccines and medical treatments across the globe. Do something instead of whining about what you could have done differently. Prove all of the doubters, including myself, that you would have been the better choice. (Though to be fair, I did think both major party candidates were awful choices.)

 

Loyalty is a Funny Word

What is loyalty? The definition of loyalty is as follows (from dictionary.com):

noun, plural loyalties.
1. the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments or obligations.
2. faithful adherence to a sovereign, government, leader, cause, etc.
3. an example or instance of faithfulness, adherence, or the like:

a man with fierce loyalties.

The concept of loyalty is pretty simple to understand. If you are loyal to someone, you dedicate time and energy to be there for that person. You consider things based on the best interest of the person you are loyal to. A person really is only as good as their loyalty.

What inspired this? President Trump’s Twitter, of course. He tweeted out in one of his latest Twitter fits about Republican loyalty, saying “Some Republicans were loyal”. What is that supposed to mean? It means being loyal to the party, of course. This is the big problem here. Politicians do tend to be loyal to the party, on both sides of the aisle. However, should a politician be loyal to a party or the constituents that put them into office?

They need to be loyal to the American people. They need to not just be loyal to the people that voted them in; they need to consider the needs and wants of all of their constituents. They (We) are your bosses. We determine if you get another term in office. We are the ones that you should be concerned with, not your pockets or your party. So when a Republican stands up against a bill, maybe it’s a terrible bill. Maybe they realize that they are going to hurt more of their constituents than the current option. But by doing what’s best for their people is not being disloyal, they are doing their jobs.

The Republican party really had around 7 years to come up with something great. If they worked together for 7 years to create something amazing, this would not be happening right now. They would pass a bill because they wouldn’t be rushing it. This seems like when you are sitting in class and the teacher says “Don’t forget, you have your 10 page report due in 3 weeks” and you ignore it until they remind you “Don’t forget, your paper is due tomorrow”. Sometimes you get lucky and turn in something passable. Other times, you get the dreaded “See me after class”.

Is Obamacare perfect? Not even close, but name some bill that is. In some places, rates have risen and that’s a fact. In some places, they may not get access to some of the best choices as far as insurance plans go. The idea of mandating insurance seems logical, especially if that money goes back into helping to sustain programs like Medicaid and Medicare. The idea that insurance companies need to offer pediatric dental care in addition to medical care is great because not everyone can afford dental insurance for their kids. Not having to pay co-pays for yearly checkups encourages people to go to the doctor because they don’t have to worry about where the money is coming from. As much as there is that is good about the bill, there are a lot of things that could be a lot better. America deserves better. And this bill is not it.

Politicians really need to learn their place and where their loyalties should be. Democrats are not only creating laws and bills for Democrats and the same goes the other way around. There needs to be compromise and there needs to be collaboration. Without either, this country is only going to continue on this path of divisiveness that is only going to break us.

When You Don’t Agree

Things seem to only be getting worse these days. Rather than reasonable discussions, if someone doesn’t automatically agree with another person they are labeled terms like “Libtard” or some other term that really should not be in existence. Being a liberal does not make you an idiot automatically, much like being a Republican does not make you a racist. There are idiots and racists on both sides; I assure you this is a fact. There are a lot of idiots everywhere and political affiliation has nothing to do with that. There are a lot of smart and talented people who are Republican as there are Democrats and Independents.

With the weather, the blog was delayed for a week but it turns out there is nothing new. America is growing even more divided and facts are few and far between. All there is right now is speculation, conspiracy theories, and mudslinging that everyone should be ashamed of. A person thinks that if you feel that instead of cutting free lunch programs (much like my school system offers, though they also offer free breakfast), that maybe the president should take less weekend trips to his Florida estate. Another person says that person is a liberal idiot who doesn’t know anything. Who is right? One could argue that the person who spells out facts and numbers would be right and the one who automatically turns to insulting the other is wrong. But it doesn’t matter.

Maybe this is done on purpose. Maybe the political parties want us to be divided and disagree so fervently that they can more easily control us. They each have their own media that brainwashes the masses, telling them that they cannot trust any other news source. If you turn to Fox News, you’re just a dumb conservative that follows blindly. Watching MSNBC? You are nothing more than a lemming. There has to be a reason for this and I will resign to there being some grand conspiracy that is going on. Maybe that television show “Braindead” had it right.

If that is the case, we are quickly falling into the hands of the people that want to control through a level of anarchy and discord that can only be achieved by not condemning this stubbornness to have a rational discussion among adults. I was always taught that people turn to insults in arguments because they have no valid point or because they are wrong and want to distract you from that.

We are better than this. We are the country that once stood proud and tall and those days are sadly no longer. We are being ruined from within and we are just sitting idly by while it happens. Don’t let anyone take the facts away from you. We are still a free country and you should do your research to decide things for yourself. The minute you let anyone else tell you what to believe, you have given in.

A Love of Facts

That is really what is missing in the world today: facts. With outrageous “news” organizations like InfoWars, BreitBart, Occupy Democrats, and the many other so-called news organizations out there, people don’t bother with facts. When I read a headline that strikes my interest on any topic, I immediate Google the information and search to see if any other reputable news sites have any information on the topic. If not, I assume it was just a fictitious story that was created for the sole purpose of pandering to their masses or to incite some fake outrage. If I do find that the story is something that is real, I read several different websites (CNN, Fox News, local news websites, etc.) to find out everything about it. I’m smart; I know each of these organizations are going to toss me an angle rather than the whole story, purposely omitting something to twist it to match their own agenda. Then I decide for myself, as a free-thinking individual what is likely the facts because I don’t trust anyone to just tell me what facts are. Everyone has an agenda.

When the whole thing erupted with Hillary, I was skeptical of the timing and wondered if it was more political than facts. Then the facts came out and you think, “well, that was dumb of her” and “how is she able to run for president after doing something that sketchy”. I like facts. Facts proved that she did do something wrong, whether it was in the gray area or fully illegal, she definitely did something wrong.

If you are going to rattle off any type of accusation, you better have proof. You cannot just say something like “Obama wiretapped me, Breitbart said so” and have that be a fact. You can however say, “I was wiretapped, as president I have definitive proof right here”, then show us the results of the wiretapping. Isn’t it as easy as that? Unless there is no wiretapping and he is just trying to divert the attention from the mess that is going on right now. If there are facts, they need to be released to the public so they can actually be outraged and then address how to handle what happened by legal action.

I have a big mistrust for people who just rattle off information for the purpose of outrage without backing it up with anything. Facts are everything and every day, facts are becoming less important to our daily lives. People just follow along like sheep, not caring about those pesky little details other people call “facts” (or alternative facts, as some will point out). The reason this still goes on is because we allow it to. Don’t just follow; educate yourself. Read as much news from the more reputable of websites as possible and please, please do not just read one website and call yourself educated. Opinion pieces are often masked by “reporting the news” rather than straight up facts. That is why it is so important to read everything.

Politics Making You Sad? Me Too…

The political atmosphere of your location should never get to a point where you feel defeated. It should inspire you to be the change that you want to see, in a peaceful and respectful manner of course. But, it is just making me sad and I almost feel like there is no point in fighting for what I believe in. I do feel defeated and I feel a little angry about that. But before you start judging me and berating me, hear me out.

I said it the minute the president was elected. I told my son “You can agree with his politics or not, but he is the president and that commands respect.” He looked at me, “But they never really respected Obama.” I nodded and I replied, “It is your job to be better than that.” As much as I feel angry about some of the things going on (among the biggest gripe, our Secretary of Education), I still stand by that. The title of president does command respect and there is a respectful way of disagreeing with him that does not include rioting, refusing to acknowledge him during a congressional speech (or maybe not even showing up) or trauma levels of therapy. Those things take away from the problems going on, causing people to focus on “babies” rather than the real issues that people have concerns about.

So why am I sad? The biggest reason is because there is no real place for political discussion today. People immediately ignore the other side because they are steadfast in their beliefs and you can either accept that the relationship is over. Whatever happened to the ability to debate using facts and logic to point out sides and then shaking hands afterwards? The answer is people are brainwashed by mainstream media on both sides and choose to just follow along rather than educate themselves. This causes misplaced passions and a “It’s me or them” mentality that is actually going to ruin our country. In fact, we are already going down this slippery slope and as much as you want to blame one side for it both share an equal amount of blame in this matter. You should be pissed off about this because this tells them that you are idiots that they can turn into their little puppets. We are not puppets; we are Americans.

Civil disobedience has been a staple in our history for decades. This is how change happens. Without this, the Civil Rights movement would have never succeeded and women would not be able to vote still. Now anyone who practices any level of civil disobedience respectfully is referred to as a “snowflake” or a “liberal”. Since when did your political affiliation become a slur rather just your political leaning? Sure, there are a lot of people who are not being respectful about it and they should be called out for it. But those who are doing it right, with marches to raise awareness for their causes or running rallies and raising money for charities that they believe in, why are they getting slammed for that?

This is exactly what is supposed to make America great: diversity. Everyone is supposed to be able to have their own belief system and that should be okay to have. But these days, people are judged unfairly because of what they believe in. If you think everyone should have the right to get married, you are a bleeding heart liberal. If you are worried about losing your healthcare or your public schools, you are a whiny snowflake. Rather than hearing each other out, everyone is dismissed because Fox News/MSNBC/CNN told me that you were wrong so you’re just wrong without showing you facts about how you’re wrong. And if someone dares shows actual facts? Fake news.

That can make a person not want to fight anymore. How can you fight if you are just going to be dismissed as an idiot or a wuss because you don’t accept your fate? Fate is not set in stone and we can change the outcome. But for now, are country is being torn apart because no one wants to admit that both sides have very deep flaws that really need to be discussed openly and without judgement or anger.