On This Veteran’s Day

Normally, today would be my “Gaming” blog day. However, this is a special holiday that requires special attention. Tomorrow will be the “BluishOblivion Goes Gaming” day.

Today is Veteran’s Day, meaning that it’s time to recognize how we needed to celebrate our veteran’s by expressing gratitude to our veteran’s for their service. Some are lucky to return, but some aren’t as lucky. The families of these soldiers also do a service, supporting their loved ones as they answer a calling to defend their beloved country. However they end up in service, they serve and protect our rights. They risk the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that we can act like idiots when it comes to politics or dishonor them by showing disrespect by spitting on them or mocking their service. We have those rights because of our veterans.

Our veterans deserve better. The lack of healthcare, the high incidence of homelessness in our country, and the lack of mental health care for these people who sacrificed so much for us is appalling. I feel as though the biggest disrespect we give to our soldiers when they return home is how we seem to turn our backs on them. “Thank you for your service. If you need medical care, you need to wait 6 months. If you need housing help, good luck kiddo. But thanks for your willingness to die so we can do absolutely nothing for you when you come back home.” Isn’t that what ends up happening in a lot more cases than should happen?

I take this very personally. I’m lucky enough that I had family serve and come home without too much of an issue. I know people who weren’t as lucky. I’m even more fortunate that they didn’t have as many struggles as others have. They have jobs, homes, families, living normal lives. But what about the ones who don’t have that? What are we doing for them?

I remember when I found out my brother was going to boot camp after enlisting in the Army. I was only in elementary school, but I remembered being upset by that. He used to take me out to McDonald’s and to roller skating lessons. He was over 10 years older than me, but as a kid I just knew that I had a cool brother that bought me roller skates (blue and white, because I loved blue) and hooked me up with lessons. I nailed them, by the way, which is shocking considering how uncoordinated and accident prone I am. I remember being pretty inconsolable when he left.

It was a long time ago, so memories aren’t too fresh. I remember when he came home from boot camp, I couldn’t stay up late enough to welcome him. But I do remember making a sign. Then I remember waking up to him making us French toast. I stood next to him as he taught me the secret recipe to make the perfect French toast. We ate together. It’s moments like that you remember. He wasn’t home for long. He went out to see the world, even visiting Korea for a while. Eventually he ended up going to Texas where he was going to be stationed. We didn’t see him a lot back then. I also remembered when my sister-in-law would come up to visit and he bought all these toys for us, including an Army Barbie for me. (Though, I’m very certain now that it was my sister-in-law who bought that for me. She’s great with gifts.)

I was much older when he came back. But I remember how happy I was about it. That meant he was going to be safe. That I didn’t have to worry about something happening to him. It’s that worry that every person who has a loved one overseas has to be concerned with. You want them to come home safe and be the exact person you remembered. That doesn’t always happen. It’s a fear that’s constantly in the back of your mind. Today on Veteran’s Day, remember that. Remember to salute a soldier in uniform and thank them for your service. Thank their families for their service as well. Think about what you can do to help. Donate to the USO or write thank you cards to those who served. Write Christmas cards to soldiers overseas or in hospitals this holiday season. Donate to soup kitchens or volunteer time there because a lot more vets visit these places than should have to. Donate to help veteran’s get service dogs. Fight for their rights by talking to your representatives to see what legislation they are working on to improve the lives of these men and women who fought to protect our lives. These are seemingly small acts that will take only a little of our time, but will have such a significant impact on the veterans and their family. I’d like to also personally thank our veteran’s for their service. We can never repay the part of you that you gave up serving, but we can show you that we are grateful.

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Things to Remember on Election Day

Today is Election Day, a day where we celebrate our freedoms and go out and vote. We vote for change if we are unhappy. We vote to keep things the same if we are. With a simple stroke, everything can potentially change because of your vote. It’s a heavy burden to carry, when you think about it. But it is one you shouldn’t take lightly. People fought your right to vote and other countries may not offer you those same freedoms. But you know what? You also have the right not to. But don’t complain if things don’t go your way if you decided against voting.

That being said, I’d like you to remember a few things today.

Not Everyone Votes the Same Way… And That’s Okay

Probably easily the most important point I am going to make. I promise, your world won’t end if your friends and family don’t vote the same way as you. You can still be friends, it’s okay. It’s very hypocritical to tout American freedoms and patriotism while bashing someone else for how they vote.

It’s actually quite amazing how this works. There’s this thing called “political discourse”, where people calmly discuss their political views without the other spouting hateful insults that the other party wants you to say. Believe it or not, once upon the time people could talk politics without calling the other person a “libtard” or “racist”. In fact, in those amazing times people often would come to a logical point where the other side would hear you and see things from another perspective that makes them change their minds. Even more amazing, if they didn’t they would still be friends. It’s crazy, right?

Don’t Be a Jerk

But Brianne, didn’t you just cover this point? This is one of those points that needs to be emphasized. It still shocks disgusts me at how bad things have gotten. Any logical person can see that we are worse to each other than ever. We are more divisive than ever. The hate-fueled vitriol is spewed from both sides. “But Obama started it”. “But Trump started it”. As something that every mother has screamed repeatedly at their kids: I don’t care who started it, you need to end it. Did things get bad under Obama? Sure. Did things get a hell of a lot worse now? Abso-freaking-lutely. Why? Because rather than stopping it, both sides are going bat-poop crazy trying to out insane the other side. And they wonder why so many independents avoid politics? And they wonder why so many people have started to consider 3rd party options, thus hurting elections because we live off of an out-dated 2-party system that only seems in control to further brainwash the masses? I needed to take a deep breath after that one.

I will make a complete rundown on how you can not be a jerk today.

“Vote on Tuesday if you’re a Republican; Vote Wednesday if you’re a Democrat.”

This isn’t being clever; this is being a jerk. You must feel pretty proud of  yourself for coming up with that, despite the fact I have seen this exactly phrasing probably 100x since yesterday. I’m sure the Democrats have said this too, but every time I have seen it over the past couple of days it has been a Republican to do this. It’s dumb. It’s not funny. What if a person is new to voting? That’s called “voter suppression”. You’re being divisive and unoriginal. And being a jerk. This genuinely makes me angry to hear it, because this is exactly what I’m talking about when it comes to how divisive we are.

“Vote Democrat if you’re not a discriminatory racist.”

I can assure you there are plenty of non-Democrats who aren’t racist or discriminate. However, I can assure you that saying that exact phrasing actually makes you a discriminatory jerk. I didn’t just vote Democrat, and I’m certainly not a racist. I voted for a couple Republicans, I fully support Governor Baker, and I voted for a Libertarian for State Auditor. I voted for some Democrats. I voted for people who I liked for the job (or really the best option I was given). How you vote doesn’t automatically make you a racist any more than it makes you an idiot snowflake. Crazy, right? (Yes, I’ll probably say this a few more times. No promises that I won’t.)

“If you vote Republican, you hate women.”

Here me out. Republicans don’t “hate” women. There are people who make crude and discriminatory remarks who are also Republican, but I refuse to make a sweeping generalization about the party as a whole or any group for that matter. If those people are saying cruel and hateful things about women or anyone else, they should be voted out individually based on that. But it’s always a bad idea to lump the entire tree with a few bad apples. You may be surprised at what other apples may be on that tree.

“Snowflake libtards should just stay home on Election Day.”

It has been my observation that the people who are most likely to use the phrases “snowflake” or “libtard” are generally an overly-sensitive unreasonable person themselves. They are the equivalent of the people they are making fun of. Think about that next time you say this phrase or one similar.

Don’t Be a Jerk

I cannot stress this enough. It’s pretty easy to not be a jerk, I promise. Instead of berating someone for how they voted, understand why they voted that way. More often than not, you may be surprised at what you find out. And if their answer is just because someone had the right letter next to their name? The problem isn’t them; it’s the divisive world we live in where people are happy to follow like lemmings rather than form their own opinion. The world created those voters and unfortunately they won’t change. So you can change how you view them or you can bite your tongue because that is much better and easier than just being a jerk. Crazy… right?

 

 

 

Finally, Question 2 on Mass. Ballot 2018

Are corporations people? That seems to be the question behind the thoughts on Question 2. As you probably have learned by now, I have a distaste for the current political process. I always discuss about how our politicians lack any concern for the every day person but rather sell themselves off to the highest bidder. The highest bidder is generally corporations that know that the best way to get ahead in the world is by fixing the game to your advantage. That’s how it’s been done for a long time. Maybe I’m a skeptic or maybe I’m just a conspiracy theorist that thinks this way. I’ll leave that opinion to you.

What is Question 2? Per usual, I have this up here for you to see for yourself. I will summarize, of course, but using my understanding of the law. The point of this question is to create a commission about voting in the Commonwealth and whether contributions can impact the political process. A report would be made, using people from various demographics, which would be presented to the political powers of Massachusetts so that they can determine their next move. One of these remedies would be to limit how much a corporation can spend in elections.

What this ultimately means is whether or not you agree that corporations should have more of a say on laws and regulations than you do. If you think that corporations should be able to pour millions into political campaigns and the government, than you will likely want to vote “No” on this. If you don’t, than you will likely want to vote “Yes” on question 2.

My thoughts? Much like Question 1, I’m a bit torn on this. (Though I did decide to vote “Yes” on Question 1 after getting the opinion of people who I trust and are more knowledgeable on this topic than I am.) On one hand, I agree that by allowing corporations to dump so much money into the elections that they are really just buying advantages for their business not trying to help us lowly peasants. I feel as though allowing this to happen does give unequal representation and that their should be limits imposed on spending. On the other hand, this is all about Citizens United which is a federal matter not a state one. Even if you vote “Yes”, it may not even matter because the federal government needs to change the law. It’s really just a symbolic vote of what you believe rather than one that will actually have a meaningful impact on the grand scheme of things. This is another call that I will probably make last minute, but I should decide soon because I am participating in early voting. (By the time this posts, I may even have already voted.)

I’m Brianne and I’m Undeclared

And there it was. I became an Undeclared (Unenrolled) voter on the National Voter Registration day. I couldn’t do it. I just couldn’t be a part of any party in this corrupt 2 party system. I’m not a follower. I don’t like being told what to think. I’ve never been very good at being told what to do. I don’t follow blindly. I march to my own little beat. I believe what I believe and I don’t change that unless I have an eye-opening experience that has informed me that I was wrong. I accept that I can be wrong. I’m open-minded enough to consider that I’m wrong. I’m apparently a rarity in this country right now.

Ultimately, that designation on the voter registration form doesn’t matter. I still have to choose a side when I vote in a primary. Maybe I’ll decide to vote in a Republican primary to put in a decent candidate for once. Maybe I’ll opt for the Democrat party in hopes that they don’t pick Elizabeth Warren ever for their pick. I mean, ever. It’s bad enough that I have resigned to the fact I have to vote for her in the Senate race on the grounds that I’m morally opposed to the stances of Geoff Diehl on social issues. I cannot in good conscience vote for someone like that, as much as I despise everything Elizabeth Warren stands for.

Unfortunately, that’s the big problem these days. Quality people that care aren’t successfully running  for office. You have people that are either mad with power or want the financial incentives of kickbacks by the lobbyists. They get to live their cushy lives while screwing the American people. They’re okay with that. Elizabeth Warren is content on her soap box fighting for the cause of the day. Grandstanding, even. But honestly, I’d rather her grandstanding over LGBT rights rather than voicing how much they want to silence that community. Aside from being against bathroom laws, it’s hard to say what his real opinions are on the topic as I was unable to find his beliefs on the topic. But being against Transgender discrimination is enough for me to not cast my vote for him. I’m a proud ally and I stand by the LGBT community.

The two “major” political parties need to stop this pattern of becoming more radical every election cycle. I remember once that someone said the Republican party was better because they had their own opinions and didn’t follow blindly as the Democrats did with Obama. Only now that Trump is in office, you see that they are there following blindly being led by a man who is both blind and deaf. Those who scream the loudest though…

I wish I had the ability to start a revolution in this country, one of thought not violence. Where I could let people know that their “major” political party is lying to them, it doesn’t matter if you’re a Republican or Democrat. Both of these parties use extremism and fear-mongering to get your attention. They lead by fear because fear is a powerful motivator to keep people in line and following the pack. It’s a great way to mind control the masses and spoiler alert: it’s working.

This year when you go into the voting booth, think about what you know about every candidate and issue you will be voting on. Educate yourself because you can’t trust the mass media to educate you. They have their own agendas, ones that have been bought by the highest bidder. Think about what you stand for and refuse to compromise that for anyone. If you believe it, vote it and to hell with everyone else. I just want people to educate themselves on a topic or person before just voting for whatever letter happens to be next to a name.

Pondering Question #1

In my last election day post, I passionately discussed Question 3 and what it meant. It was easy to write about that one. I’m very passionate about a person’s basic human right to dignity. I’m very passionate about supporting the rights of the LGBT community. I could write 1000 posts on why transgender discrimination is something that is a big problem. I’m also against fearmongering. So, I was eager to explain what the yes or no vote meant on Question 3. Here is the post, in case you were interested. I also promised that I would address the other questions on the ballot. There are only 3 this year, so it isn’t too bad.

Well… except that I’m still not 100% clear on what I’m going to do about Question 1. What this law aims to do is to limit the amount of patients that are assigned to registered nurses. There are a lot of complexities to this law, as seen here. By voting “Yes” on Question 1, you are voting for officials to regulate how many patients a nurse is responsible for while a “No” vote changes nothing. It seems pretty straight forward.

The problem for me is that I see both sides of it. More personalized care is better for the patient. This could help prevent mistakes. This helps nurses better do their jobs, which is not just about being a medical professional but a caring and empathetic professional that can take care of their patients on a deeper level than a doctor often will. My best friends are in the medical field: one is a nurse and one will be (but may as well be one already). I know no matter what, they will help me through anything. And I know that this is something that they share with every one of their patients. Nurses are more than the glorified secretaries and assistants to doctors like you see on television. They are on the front lines every day, making every patient feel as comfortable as they possibly can be. They certainly deserve a lot more credit than they seem to get. I feel like this will also help to ensure that patients get the attention that they need, which can only help to save lives.

I also see the downsides. I don’t like forcing a lot of regulations, though I’m not so against them that I don’t see the need for them in a lot of cases. A nurse should know their own personal limits. Everyone has their own limits. Some are capable of taking on more patients while still offering stellar care while others may not be able to. It doesn’t mean that one nurse is better than the other. I can only handle so many article assignments every day, but that doesn’t mean that I’m a terrible writer (Maybe a bad example). I just know the limit before my work becomes a hot mess. Letting nurses make this decision for themselves on a case by case basis could be a much better approach. There is also the fact that this could easily cause wait times to increase and for costs to rise. Maybe if the millionaires running the hospital took a cut, they could afford the nurses without making patients pay more. However, they are greedy and like being multi-millionaires who run a business. Because to them, a hospital is a business.

Since I can completely get both sides of the argument, I’m completely lost. I’m a logical person, but I feel like the flaw here is that the logical choice is going to get ruined by people. Because people ruin everything. I’ll gladly listen to arguments on both sides to help me come to a decision, but it may be a gut instinct vote as I get into the election booth.

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.

Today’s Controversial Political Post: The Supreme Court

I’m a writer. I’m a student of literature. I’m not a Poli-Sci major from an elite school. I’m just a writer with an opinion. That’s a scary thing to be in such a divisive world today. While some pass their opinions (often ill-informed ones, at that) off as facts, I very clearly point out that I write opinions. If I had to separate myself from personal bias to write a piece, I could easily do so unless I’m told to write something that is absolutely against my beliefs. I won’t lie and I won’t lie about something I so passionately believe in. These scruples are what led my journey away from the world of journalism.

Today, I’m theorizing based on my own opinions about the recent events in the Supreme Court. I’m theorizing what I think the Supreme Court should do and be. Opinions. These are opinions that you don’t have to agree with. I’m certain that some will be angry and post about how I’m just a dumb writer, a pawn for the liberals. I’m not a pawn for the liberals. You may have a point with the “just a dumb writer” thing though. I concede that point.

I watched part of the Brett Kavanaugh testimony. I watched enough to pick up on tells, where he was obviously lying. The thing about writers is that they have a keen eye for observation, something very useful when you are delving into creating characters. Every sip of water, every bit of body language sang like a bird. I won’t argue whether or not he did it. If he did, he has no place on the Supreme Court. (If you want my opinion, my instincts tell me he definitely did it. Still opinion.) This is about whether or not he was lying, which I could say with a fair amount of certainty that he was. When asked a question he was nervous about answering, he sipped from his glass of water. In the short time I watched, he easily drank 3 bottles of water. (exaggeration, but that was a lot of water.) He resorted to yelling and evasion tactics when he was trying to avoid the lie. Then when he lied, his face contorted. He lied. I don’t think that innocent people can’t lie. But a Supreme Court nominee is held to a higher standard, as should anyone in such a powerful position including our President should be held.

If this was a temporary position of power, I probably would let the lying thing slide. It’s not. The problem with the Supreme Court is that it is a lifetime appointment. If he goes through, we will have a (again, my opinion) questionable human being who doesn’t seem to have any concern about the law on the seat of the highest court in our country. If the people of the Republican party were smart about this, they would have cut their losses as soon as they found out (potentially months ago) rather than back a sub-par choice. They would have found someone better fit for the position. I would have respected it if they did that. The Supreme Court justice is not supposed to represent a party; they are supposed to represent the constitution. More and more, the job that they are supposed to be doing is coming down to party lines much like the rest of the country. It’s not supposed to be that way. It wasn’t intended to be that way. This fact makes it even more important to consider maybe not having lifetime terms.

The end result, and I could be very wrong here, is that they push Kavanaugh through and rile up the masses. Some, not as logical as I am, would be pissed based on the fact that Occupy Democrats told them to be pissed. Me? I’m bothered because I think he is unfit because of how this whole thing happened. The masses will fight and any Republican that was teetering on the edge of losing will probably lose. In fact, that may be exactly why they are rushing this anyways because they know that things may not be looking so great for them right now and they need to get a guy in before midterms take place. Ultimately, this could be a huge downfall in a country were people are already getting bored with the current way things are getting done.

As an independent who has been very vocal about my stance on getting rid of the 2-party system in place, this does make me a little happy to watch the world burn. Maybe now people will realize that maybe this 2-party system isn’t working out, that neither party gives a crap about. them. 3rd party candidates might not either, but at least then you have more viable choices than some talking head from one of 2 parties. I hope Kavanaugh doesn’t get confirmed not because he was nominated by Trump but because I want someone that is trustworthy, someone who upholds the law of the land not a party’s agenda. I fear that Kavanaugh is a party man, not a law man.