Wonder and Woe

Soapbox LogoI am caught between wonder and woe; nearly every single day, these warring emotions capture me and tangle me up. As I scroll through social media, the various news media I regularly read and television news, there are days I am simply unable to process the entirety of our national tragedy. I am seized by the images of where we are as a nation and as a people. As I said, I am stuck between wonder and woe.

Woe, what is it really? How to describe woe, I don’t use the word lightly or simply for effect. The word is one that describes profound sadness, grief or distress. Is this what I feel when I scroll through all my sources of information each day? Do I sink into a miasma of distress at the state of our union, the answer is yes I do more often than not. My grief at what is lost is deep and sits on my heart with great weight. All that came before this moment in time seems to have been for nothing, though I know this isn’t the truth; it is how it feels right now.

Woe, as if an assassin was sneaking in and burying a stiletto in my spirit. It is impossible to avoid the ugly. From the foolishness of elected officials placing dollars over citizen lives to the citizens practicing their 2nd Amendment Rights without a care in the world for their or anyone else’s life. While most of us watch in awe at the sacrifices of first Health care workers stand in the street as a counter-protest to those demanding the stay-at-home order be lifted in Denverresponders and medical care providers, some would stand before them and scream they are the problem; they are part of the conspiracy to destroy the nation and their right to a haircut. I am brought to my knees; I am terrified, sickened and heartbroken by the horrifying examples of heartlessness demonstrated in the halls of power and the streets of our cities.

Woe is all I can feel some days Hell most days. Where once we had giants now, we have simple boors, villains who were lucky enough to align themselves with the party du jour and take advantage of a corrupt system. We are in a feedback loop of massive proportions, one where we are the energy that feeds the terrible and keeps it cycling. We, the people, we have created the monster by turning our heads, tying on our blinders and not standing up to the corruption so blatantly before us. Now we are paying the price for our disinterest with a POTUS of massive ignorance, massive ego surrounded by obsequious toadies willing to say and do anything, including let us die to feed themselves and their need for ‘more‘.

Wonder, yes I always have those moments in a day where my heart stutters and I smile. Sometimes it is a young child singing. Thank you to everything Holy, young children 20200315_114015have not been corrupted by the world yet. Sometimes it is looking out my kitchen window and seeing my Lavender is still in bloom. Then there are those unique moments when I realize this will end and we will be together again.

Wonder at the resiliency of our human nature. We have been brought so low a pandemic is sweeping through this nation, through the world. A virus we have no control over is killing our loved ones and we are not able to offer comfort or even gain the comfort of true mourning. We have been overwhelmed; emotionally, financially and systemically. We are teetering on the edge of the abyss, yet there is hope in the everyday small things.

Wonder at the ability for humans to find thankfulness and grace even in the worst of days. I have read articles and watched mini-documentaries from the front lines. Each time I am struck by the compassion of those who must face the dying every single day, without aid or solutions. Every day I look for stories of kindness and I find them. The small restaurant that feeds those in need, despite being in need themselves. The coffee shop that gives away coffee and pastries to healthcare workers and first responders, despite operating in the red. The small clothing manufacturer that converted his operations at his own cost into making masks and scrubs, selling to hospitals at cost just so he can keep making them. I am uplifted every single day by these stories; by these proofs there continues to be good people in this world and most especially in this nation.

Wonder and woe follow me every day, piercing my heart. I often wonder what we will be when we finally conquer this virus and truly return to an open nation, not what we once were simply open. Will we be different in our spirit? Will we look at our behavior both before and during and shun the ugliness that brought us to that point that allowed our nation to be brought so low? Will we question our standards, morals and ethics as a screen-shot-2014-11-25-at-4-34-05-pmpeople? Will we demand better of ourselves and those who seek high office?

Me? I believe we must start now to consider what it is we want to be and how we want the world to view us as a nation. We will be starting over; we have been brought low and our recovery will not be the work of one man or woman but of all of us. It truly is the right time to demand sweeping change, not the type of change Bernie Sanders and his acolytes were proposing. Certainly not the type of change Donald Trump proposed. But real change to who is in government, how they govern and for how long they govern. The grassroots of this nation must step up, must see beyond all our differences and begin to build true alliances if we want real change in this nation. We must stop he said / she said and start the what do we want, together. The only way anything will ever change for the better for all of us is if we agree to look toward a better future and agree on what that looks like, we cannot fix historical injuries only agree they occurred and are the root of many of the evils this nation has perpetuated.

Wonder? Yes, I stand in awe and wonder at the towering strength of our shared humanity. I have a great belief in us, all of us that we can fix what is broken in this nation. I know it will be hard; truthfully, it will be the hardest thing we have ever undertaken. But I believe there are enough of us who truly want this nation to succeed that it is possible for us to overcome all the differences and make it happen.

Fallen Apart

soapboxpileTo support one thing does not mean I am against another. I want to make certain all who read my words understand this, to support one thing does not place me at odds with another thing. I can be for both, I can be in support of two seemingly different things. How you might ask, it is simple and I will tell you in as simple as terms as possible.

I am for humanity. I am for human dignity. I am for justice, fairness. I am for all of us, together as a people, as a nation finding solutions that will move us forward toward sanity and peace. I am at a loss, not just for words but my spirit is seeping away, hiding in a dark corner and refusing to seek the light any longer.

We are a people of disquiet and terrible, tragic division. We are not a single people, joined together by our desire to become stronger through our diversity and our shared history. Instead, we have sought the lowest common denominator, sought the very worst in ourselves and celebrated these most terrible and violent traits that drag prejudice and fear. Some of us protest the violent and senseless loss of life, we march and raise our voices demanding justice and change, yet the only thing that truly changes is the divide widens, the chasm of mistrust grows between us and violence increases. In our demand for recognition, our voices raised seeking justice that has not been ours in the past we say with one word, allies and friends be damned and cheer as innocent blood runs in the street.

The language of divisiveness has torn us down and apart. A mirror has been held up and we have seen ourselves, the worst of ourselves and embraced it. We have forgotten that good exists in abundance. We have chosen instead to ratchet up the hate, the vile rhetoric that will incite fear and violence on both sides of the ever widening abyss. Our leadership, whether elected or otherwise,5-signs-from-last-night-s-game-of-thrones-that-point-to-the-rise-of-daenerys-the-derange-996054 uses every opportunity to politicize death and mayhem, to feed our fear and fury. We are spiraling down the rabbit hole toward anarchy and those who would be king, they sit and rub their hands together gleefully as we fulfill their mad desire.

We watch in horror as another Black man is gunned down in the street or in his car as his child watches. We listen in horror as amateur journalists put their deaths on Facebook live, rather than offer them comfort and we justify their actions, we understand their actions because we need to know we need to see the bad acts. We forget to weep, we are immune we have seen this all before replayed over and over, these deaths simply cause our fury. Another senseless death. Another child, father, husband murdered by those sworn to serve and protect, murdered by those who will not be held accountable.

We blame the victims, searching for any misstep they might have made in their past, smearing them in public to justify their death. We tsk tsk as their death is replayed, over and over and every pundit tells us what we should think of them, depending upon what side of the chasm they speak from. We see the pain of their family, the fury of their loved ones and the demand for justice sends us to the street, more and more often with terrible results.

DALLAS, TX - JULY 11: Dallas Police Chief David Brown

We pay men and women to put on the blue, to ‘protect’ and to ‘serve’ us, the people. We demand they do so and without them Anarchy would rein in the streets. Yes, we must demand they be held to a higher, more perfect standard. We must require they be fit for the job they perform. DPC David Brown had been doing that, going against what many believed would work in Dallas, he charted a new course.  Dallas has become a model city, proving community policing and modern ideas can work in large diverse city. We cannot ever be good with the mayhem, the chaos and misery they cause in our cities, our communities. We must not turn away, thinking just so long as it isn’t at our doorstep and so long as we can justify it with a good old fashioned smear campaign of culture, people or individual we can ignore it as ‘not our problem’.

Last week seven people lost their lives senselessly to violence. We do not know all the details surrounding the deaths of Alton Stearling and Philando Castile, but we know enough. We watched in horror as they died. We have also watched in horror as their lives have been dissected and their characters smeared.

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Their deaths have led to nationwide marches, demands for justice, demands for change and unfortunately in some cases demands for the blood of police. Which was finally met on Thursday night at a peaceful #BLM demonstration, with shooting of twelve Dallas police officers, resulting in the death of five. Not just any twelve, not just any five, but in retribution specific targets were selected based on race and their wearing of the Blue.

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Dallas mourns their fallen. I mourn the fallen. I mourn with the families of Alton Stearling and Philando Castile, their loss is devastating. I mourn with the families of the fallen officers, their loss is also devastating. In truth, how can we mourn one while celebrating the other? Yes, to all of those who have said ‘good’, to the loss of those five police officers I say shame on you and truthfully ‘fuck you’. We cannot mourn one without mourning both to do otherwise is ignorance on our part and shows a lack of compassion that strips us of our humanity.

Why don’t we know by now, we are one people born of struggle, fire, blood and tragedy. We are one people, born of spiritual poverty and horrify mistakes. But one people generations removed from our beginnings yet it seems still mired in the ignorance of our ancestors, still clinging like Velcro to our history it seems we will continue to refuse to climb out. If we do not learn to reach across the divide we are doomed. So yes, I can and do support both. I can and do see both and desire reconciliation, change, justice and the creation of a better more perfect nation. This, this tragic and terrible one, it has to end. But violence, bloodshed, hate and bigotry this will not end well for any of us.

Save Your Prayers For The Living

angry-godThey profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work.

Titus 1:16

 

Your prayers are useless. Your prayers are insulting, always coming after the fact and as an afterthought. Want to pray? Pray for a change, pray there are no more victims of gun violence, pray the NRA becomes known as a criminal enterprise, and pray Congress finds their heart and starts to do something to change the vicious and violent nation we live in. Then when you get off your sanctimonious knees find your heart and demand change, do something, take action.

I am tired of it all. Aren’t you?

I am weary as hell of turning on the news and seeing another mass murder, another report of a school, church, theater or mall shot up and dozens dead. I am mind numb with the senseless death 11202102_486110584889188_3832410922166378229_nin every city, of the thousands of our youth, lying on cold streets in pools of their own blood. I am shattered by the number of guns bought and sold daily in this nation without a single thought to how they will be used, without a background check or any other validation or identification. I am stunned that we still can’t do even the simplest of things, a national background check versus what we have today the useless state by state checks that allow for loophole after loophole to be casually meandered through by those who would do grave harm.

I am exhausted by the excuses presented by the media, government Representatives and of course those spokespersons for the gun manufactures the NRA, for why yet another mass killing has happened.  Everything from ‘Beta Male Syndrome’, just what the hell is this anyway? Boys don’t feel they are getting enough female attention so they buy guns and blow shit up?  To the random, mental health issues; okay everyone has a bit of crazy these days. Then we have the easy to identify, my wife left me so I am going to kill her and everyone else around her, there are a few of these. Of course, we have the failing to make the grade so let me kill those professors and students who might be better than me. Finally we have the just plain old racist, bigot assholes who think there is a need to kill those ‘not like them’ out of what, fear and hate.

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The face of the mass murder from 1984 to today

It isn’t getting better, it is getting worse. This ignorance, the pure unhealthy love affair this nation has with violence is making our small bit of this world a terrible place to live and to raise our children. From mass murders in theaters, churches, classrooms and malls to the random murders on the streets; it is getting worse. Fear and violence, children lying dead, by the hand of a parent, classmate, cop or random drive-by. Truly does it matter how a child dies? I can tell you it doesn’t matter to the parents who must search for a small casket to bury that child.

Your prayers are useless. Who needs or wants your prayers? Surely, though they might be polite and thank you, not those who are left behind. Not those who must bury their beloved family members, their children, siblings or spouses because some asshole with access to a guns and more rounds of ammunition than a platoon needs on maneuvers decided today was the day they would kill human beings. Not the walking wounded who must live every single day with the nightmares and physical results of the shots fired by a random stranger or loved one, who must face their changed circumstances and the even in some cases their shortened life expectancy, not because of their poor choices but because they were in the were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

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Your offer to pray for any of us, yes us, without action is an insult. If I hear one more person tell the victims of gun violence they are praying I believe I will scream.

For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.

James 2:26

Let me help, please let me help your understanding if there is any confusion at all. Guns have no purpose but to kill. Killing is the only purpose of a gun. Don’t try to make it out to be anything other than what it is, those who want to paint lovely pictures about skeet shooting, range shooting and target shooting need to step off, you only do this so you are better killers with guns. Guns, allDomestic-Violence-9Women-1_Meme-noURL guns from the smallest ladylike pistol to the biggest cannon have one single purpose, to kill; whether killing people or animals for food. Guns are designed to kill as efficiently as possible, depending on their design they kill one thing or have the potential to kill many things with a single pull of the trigger. Guns are tools of murder and destruction, this is their single and only purpose. They cannot be compared to anything else, nothing else at all. I have seen in social media guns compared to many other things over the years as the debate for gun control rages, let me try to set the record straight:

Cars ≠ Guns

Knives ≠ Guns

Baseball Bats ≠ Guns

Explosives ≠ Guns

Fire ≠ Guns

Poison ≠ Guns

Water ≠ Guns

Narcotics ≠ Guns

Hammers ≠ Guns

All of the above have been cited as things people use to kill with, things people would use to kill with if they didn’t have access to guns. This is true, these are all things you might use to kill another human being with if you didn’t have access to a gun or guns. The difference between these things and guns? All of the above have a purpose other than to kill another living creature, all have a reason to exist, yes even poison has a purpose other than to kill a living creature, in some cases it is to kill weeds in your yard, in some cases it is to alleviate pain. It is impossible to make the argument that guns and any of the above are in any way, shape or form equal any of the above they are not.

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Save your prayers, they are useless pandering. Save your tears, they are frankly too damn late.

Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psalms 34:13

http://timelines.latimes.com/deadliest-shooting-rampages/

http://www.gunviolencearchive.org/

http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/09/us/the-loneliest-club/?sr=sharebar_twitter

The Names

This is stunning in its horror. Something has to change.

Hope and Apathy

soapboxpilePlease read here for the best synopsis of Fridays mass killing, my friend Jueseppi has done a spectacular job of putting it all together: http://theobamacrat.com/2014/05/25/university-of-california-santa-barbara-isla-vista-shooting-rampage-7-reported-dead-including-22-year-old-shooter-elliot-rodger/


 

I had planned to stay silent over the killings in Isla Vista on Friday, what is one more voice after all. The truth is I planned to stay silent because it is impossible for me to write through my heartache at more young lives lost. As I write this, my heart is cracking, tears periodically leak from my eyes and stream down my cheeks. I cannot help but think of the families of those who lost their lives. I cannot help but think of those who will have the long road ahead of them toward recovery, the fears they will face, the triggers they will have to overcome, the nightmares that will awaken them in the future all because we failed them, because one man with a gun decided to take retribution for his failure with women.

I think this father’s grief says it best:

Twenty-two years ago, I got lucky. I lived when I wasn’t supposed to. Friday night six young people lost their lives. Yes, I am aware the killer also lost his life, frankly I do not care that he is dead. I am sorry for his parents, they lost their child but he took the lives of six others before he died, he attempted to take the lives of seven others. Had he been successful his minimum body count would have been thirteen, had he achieved his true aim it would have been much higher.

Already in much of the mainstream media, this mass murderer is being referred to as a ‘child’ with psychological problems, trying to excuse his behavior, trying to give him an out for his spree. Not only will I not name him, let the Devil do that while he burns in hell, I will not excuse him or anyone else I blame for the lost lives on Friday.

So let’s clear some of the excuses off the table, first this is not a ‘child’ this was a twenty-two year old man, a fully grown man, in college, living in an apartment, with a car (a BMW no less) and an income, albeit likely one he didn’t earn. The next thing we should be clear about is the childhood diagnosis of High-Functioning Asperger Syndrome, while he might not have been as socially adept as his peers due to Asperger Syndrome; his family had the means to provide him the very best treatment and education throughout his life. It is unlikely he was that far behind unless the diagnosis of High-Functioning was incorrect, based on his videos and his ‘manifesto’ he was simply selfish, spoiled and self-centered. I accept the diagnosis of Asperger, it appears he wasn’t a ‘normal’ twenty-two year-old, this does not however, make him mentally deficient, insane or otherwise incapable of knowing right from wrong.

Let’s be really clear, he was a twenty-two year-old man who believed the world and women in particular owed him something, in this case owed him ‘sex’, the fact that he remained a virgin at his age bothered him immensely. That he believed he was a ‘god’ compared to others who he saw with the women he wanted, as seen from a quote from one of his videos:

“I see so many beautiful, blonde haired girls. So many beautiful blonde-haired girls walking around everywhere. In your revealing shorts. Your cascading blonde hair. Your pretty faces. And I want one for a girlfriend… I’m 22 years old and I’ve never had a girlfriend. I’m still a virgin. I’ve never had the pleasure of having sex with a girl. Sleeping with a girl. Kissing a girl. I’ve never even held a girl’s hand,”

Or another quote:

“Girls gave their affection and sex and love to other men but never to me”

Now, six young people are dead and seven others will have to live with his actions, because this man, believed he was owed and took it in his head to follow through with his threat:

“If I had it in my power. I would stop at nothing to reduce every single one of you to mountains of skulls and rivers of blood,” adding “You deserve to be annihilated, and I will give that to you,” he said, speaking of what he termed his “day of retribution.”

When it all goes wrong, this is what happens. This is the aftermath, this is what happens to communities.

How many must die before we get right with our children? How many times does this have to happen before we stop the insanity of out of control gun laws that allow massacres on the streets of our nation to happen indiscriminately? When are we going to demand change and why aren’t we asking the relevant questions such as, where did he get a gun?

That last question isn’t as obvious as it might sound, as someone with a ‘disorder’, not insane but not entirely normal either, he would be on a list that would bar him from gun ownership in a sane world. We don’t live in a sane world though, do we?

Three Stooges

Three Stooges

We live in a world where Ted Nugent, Sarah Palin and Wayne LaPierre have more power to determine whether our children will be safe on the streets and in their schoolrooms than the majority of Americans.

Please note, none of them are elected officials, I can tell you what all of them have in common though:

RACISM, NRA, SYG and a complete lack of intellectual discernment.

Worse yet? Most recent polls show their messaging is getting through to the ignorant and uninformed, their constant flow of misinformation is having an impact and more citizens of this nation are leaping on the bandwagon. More Americans believe gun control laws should be ‘less’ strict rather than more strict, this coming from the most recent Gallup Poll. As gun deaths rise, as mass murder rises, as our children lay bleeding in the streets, the school yards and even in their own homes; Americans look and shrug their shoulders and say to themselves fuck it, open the floodgates.

How many more must die? How many more mothers and fathers must bury their children in the cold earth?

Twenty-two years ago, my father got lucky. Mr. Martinez and the other parents of Friday’s mass killing were not as lucky. I am heartbroken for them, shattered for them. My friend said the following to me, knowing I sign my e-mail ‘helplessly hopeful”:

Well, in “Hopeland”, things are OK. Here in reality where I live, this shit ain’t ovah. There will be many more shooting rampages to come. Get yo popcorn and get ready for the show.”

It was somewhat cruel, I know the monsters are out there, he isn’t wrong though is he; until we, as citizens get up off our apathetic asses and demand change we are lost and the victims will continue to pile up. Hope, it isn’t enough and it will not stem the tears of all the parents who lose their children. We must take our nation back from those who would destroy it. We must stand up and say no more.

What soothes my heart at times like this:


 

http://everytown.org/

http://www.webmd.com/brain/autism/tc/aspergers-syndrome-topic-overview

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/aspergers-syndrome/basics/definition/con-20029249

http://www.autismspeaks.org/what-autism/asperger-syndrome

http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2014/05/24/the-nra-s-all-out-assault-on-accurate-information-about-gun-deaths.html

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/homicide.htm

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/crime/2012/12/gun_death_tally_every_american_gun_death_since_newtown_sandy_hook_shooting.html

Remembering Chris Keith, aka “The Adventures of a Thrifty Mama”

Another woman, a mother and her son touched by violence who ultimately lost their lives, leaving three other children behind. This is the face of domestic abuse. Please read and if you can help, please do so.

Poor as Folk

I “met” Chris through my Facebook page for my personal blog crazy dumbsaint of the mind and I in turn become a fan of her blog Adventures of a Thrifty Mama in the City ‘Stead, and then later we got to know each other outside of blogging. For those  who don’t know how online friendships work, they might be confused when I call Chris my friend. Online friendships are funny things and sometimes it happens that the people you trust online with your experiences  and thoughts are these people you’ve never even had so much as a cup of coffee with.

Chris & I had a lot in common. We were both struggling to feed our families real food on a food stamp budget and defied being stereotyped as “welfare mom living off the system”. We both were striving  to create a sustainable  and secure food sovereignty for ourselves…

View original post 366 more words

Standing By

soapboxpileThere are times when the world seems to be a terrible place doesn’t it? For those of us who have soapboxes we climb on, sometimes those ladders get a bit shaky we fall on our asses more often than we would like. Those of us who follow the world of dreadful and ghastly, from the halls of the Hill to the streets of any city USA, sometimes we grow weary of the sheer volume of ugly. I know I do, it is my suspicion others do as well.

This morning as I was perusing the wise words of others, three wonderful bloggers poked my soul, my conscious and my self-respect. I am reminded constantly why I am grateful for all the friends I have made in the blogosphere these women are brilliant!

http://fiftyfourandahalf.com/2013/09/19/whoah-what-happened/

http://mommasmoneymatters.com/clyde-try-dammit/

http://deborah-bryan.com/2013/09/19/i-am-greater-than-my-fear/

For very different reasons these three entries into my morning touched off my thinking about what I have been doing lately. Why I have been remiss in talking about what bothers me about the world we live in. It isn’t I haven’t had time, I have had more than enough time; truthfully I have had more time than I would like. It isn’t that I can’t, I of course can if I choose to do so; my problem is I have become unwilling to face the storm. This leads to fear, I have become afraid of what others think and of conflict, my ability to withstand the conflict is much lower these days than it has been in the past.

This feeling of dispiritedness, it doesn’t bode well for our nation. So many of us feel this way as we stare into the future and consider our options and the world our children will inherit if we do not move our asses. What do I mean by this? I don’t know that I can fully answer my own question, what I do know is I will not give in to fear or apathy, that road leads to dead ends, obstructionist governments and failures. This is what I believe; I have been failing myself lately. I have, as my friend Red pointed out so well been saying, “I can’t” not because “I can’t” but because I was afraid, maybe I will explore this one with you all in a later post.

This is what I know, I have to stop being afraid, apathetic and foolish. With this thinking in mind, I am going to pick my mantle back up, drape it around my shoulders and start to talk about the things that matter. Maybe some of these things won’t matter to you, they matter to me though and so I am going to talk about them. I am going to stomp my feet and raise my fist and stop being afraid I might offend you or others, I hope I don’t offend you, I hope you will talk back, tell me why you disagree or spread the word if you do agree. Either way, I am going to put my boots back on and return to my roots as a wonk, an activist and someone who actually gives two shits about what happens in the world.

Today, the thing I want to talk about is one of the things that troubles me the most about this country, this is not the only thing that deeply troubles me, there are many more. Nevertheless, this is one close to my heart that plunders my spirit, so let’s talk about Guns –

Yes, I could talk about the Constitution and how most people stomping around waving it as their justification for their personal arsenals have it wrong. I am not going to do that today; I have been down that road and it isn’t necessary to repeat myself I hope. What I am going to do is talk about just one aspect of our deep love affair with violence and guns, the increase in mass murder and spree shooting. What this means for us, how we are becoming increasingly unsafe, how our children are becoming increasingly less safe:

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Thirty-one years of killing. Mass murders and spree killing.

Look at those numbers in the past thirty-one years. What does that mean? I don’t know, beyond the idea the more easily accessible high-powered guns are, the greater capacity of rounds the more damage and the more likely the body count.

Some of the leading pro-gun lobbyists’ and spokespeople say it is just crazy people doing all this damage, committing all these terrible crimes. Look at this next graph though, it tells a very different story.

MentalHealth_gunpurchase

The known mental health of individual, whether their weapons were purchased legally and how many weapons were used during the commission of their mass / spree killing. This graph is telling, here are a couple of important facts to take away:

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 23% were obtained illegally.

• Out of the 149 guns used in the mass murders and spree killings of the past thirty-one years, 52% were purchased legally by persons with known mental health disorders.

Finally, there is an issue of gender and race; yes, this is important because we should understand who is committing these crimes so we can begin build an accurate profile of the mass murder and spree killer. Maybe with this profile we can identify them before they kill rather than after.

MassKillers_Gender

We have to stop turning away from the issue of violence on our streets. We must stop pretending it isn’t real, isn’t dangerous and isn’t affecting our quality of life. Every single bullet has a dollar sign engraved in it. Every single American citizen buried due to gun violence is money in the pockets of the NRA, munitions manufacturers and legislatures with their hands out for more. We are as guilty as they are if we continue to passively stand by and accept the excuse, “nothing can be done”.

Something can be done, we can do something; we can refuse to stand by a watch more of our citizens die.

ValentineBullet

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Other interesting sources, including the source of the data for the graphes.

http://www.motherjones.com/special-reports/2012/12/guns-in-america-mass-shootings

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-mother-jones-full-data

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/pro-gun-myths-fact-check

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/09/mass-shootings-investigation

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2012/12/mass-shootings-victims-2012

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/01/nra-board-members-selleck-nugent

Civility Lost

‘My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style’. Dr. Maya Angelo

Have you noticed our language seems to be getting uglier? Is this just me, am just getting more sensitive in my advanced age. It seems within all the mediums of communications we regularly use, our social interactions, especially where we enjoy anonymity our language and the way in which we speak to one another has a greater level of toxicity than ever before.

wizards6__span

Wizards, a lesson in toxic behavior

The greater  the anonymity the more toxic the language, right from the start. Where once we had at least the veneer of civility, now we are all in with the ugly; cannonballing into the pond, name-calling and nastiness, no regard for the human on the other side of the screen. It is damned near a contest to determine who can be the most offensive within a single exchange, who can pull the bully mantle across their shoulders and strut their obnoxious faster.

I have to ask, what got us to this point? How did we fall so far in our ability to communicate? Did we simply decided to shed our entire veneer of civility and pick up where we left off in grade school? Many of us shake our heads in dismay at the bullying in public schools across the nation; we are concerned our children are damaged by the name-calling and violence in the halls and playgrounds. We should be concerned, but let me ask you; just where in the hell do you think they learn this crappy behavior? Our children don’t pull this out of the air; they do not learn it from television, video games or on the radio! No, they learn it from you and I, they watch us acting like ill-mannered five-year-olds and think, what is good for my father / mother is good enough for me.

Off they go, to pull the hair, trip the nerd or otherwise make life miserable for someone weaker or different from them.

Let us take a quick look at some of the more polite terms we call each other in some of the political discussions I have been in recently, shall we?

  • Rightard
  • Righthug
  • Teatard or Teatarded
  • Repulicant
  • Racist
  • Libtard
  • Dumocrat
  • Environ-mentalist
  • Libturd
  • Libtroll
  • Femnazi
  • Baby killer
  • Race Baiter

Those are just a few after a quick glance through my own page. Nice right?

Don’t misunderstand, I am passionate about the things I believe in and even enjoy a good debate. I find many of the positions of the other side abhorrent, even morally reprehensible. I find many of the people who support them to be equally offensive, their words are a sometime deafening clamor to me.  Despite my personal feelings though, I find the name calling even more offensive than the positional differences. I would rather have a civil debate, one based on facts and even our personal historical context than simply this constant nastiness.

As an example, this is a part of a conversation I had some time back. The context of the conversation was whether the portrayal of the current president (Obama) as a Chimpanzee is the same as the portrayal of the previous president (Bush) as a Chimpanzee. My position was it is not the same because of the historical context of the portrayals. I have had this conversation previously with the person who started the conversation (my brother), on another thread. In this thread, another person jumped in, for context I have frequently bowed out of conversations with him because of the toxicity of his style. He is my nephew though I have never met him, he is in his twenties; both he and my brother are professed Conservatives with a very real hatred of the current President and all things “Liberal”. Despite my brother and my positional differences, we can usually carry on a civil discussion without name-calling. My nephew is not my brother’s son. These are my biological family members who I was not raised with, thus the reason I do not know all of them.

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When I tell my nephew to get historical context I do not simply mean about me but also to learn the history of this nation. He is not educated. He is also, as noted, mean spirited and nasty in his communications. Feel free to tell me I was ugly as well, I may have been.

I find myself more often these days, simply bowing out. I no longer have the emotional wherewithal to support these conversations, to defend positions when I am attacked on a personal level. There was a time when I could see past the personal attacks, rhetoric and focus, now I simply say thank you and good-bye.

What is wrong with us?

I ask this of all of us, no matter what side of the fence we sit on what is wrong with us. What part of our compassion, empathy and civility did we drop off at the local Waste Station in the past ten years? I know there have always been issues that fired up our passions, now though it seems just the mention of what side of the very deep chasm you reside on is enough to get those guns roaring.  Nothing it seems can tap down this roar; nothing can extinguish the fires burning across this land setting families against each other in all out battles as if they didn’t share blood, friends in battles of witticism which in truth are nothing more than school yard taunts.

I tell you, I weep for us all. I weep for the lost art of communication, civility and even common courtesy. I weep for us all.

Design Flaw

sistinevirtualWe are made incorrectly, there is a design flaw a huge, glaring design flaw and it proves the God Entity is absolutely of the male persuasion. There is no doubt in my mind as I consider the obvious imperfection in our design this must indeed be the truth. It is likely you are reading this and thinking to yourself, what the hell is this woman blathering on about, what could she be talking about? God Entity, male persuasion and bad design simply do not go hand in hand, at least not in any religious tome you have ever read. Let me be clear, not any tome religious or otherwise I have ever read either. In fact, everything I have ever read God, all the angels and anything else slightly resembling ‘Holy’ were always not only perfect but MALE at least on the surface where it mattered.

The few exceptions to this rule were always in pantheons of Gods, the Goddess’s rarely had starring roles and were frequently depicted as nasty, vengeful and well let’s face it evil bitches or dumb as a box of rocks. Even they were ‘made’ incorrectly, R&D simply failed in the design. Of course look what those ancients had to work with, fatal flaws in their understanding of our bodies and how they work despite their advances in medicine and science.

So back to my discovery and how I realized both the fatal flaw in the God design and mans’ very real intent to model God (no matter the faith) after himself.

This fateful discovery of mine came about in one of my early morning calls with the sister of my heart, the wise and wonderful Red of M3. Our conversations often skip blithely across topics both weighty and flighty, causing us to ponder the philosophical nature of life and then laugh hysterically when we discover where our explorations have led. This was just such a discussion, don’t blame Red I am nothing if not irreverent now and then about religion. For those of you who hold true to spiritual paths, I am most respectful, it is man’s religion and the great harm it has done in the past and today I am disdainful of. So back to my discovery of the great R&D flaw.

For thousands of years, for as long as man has formed religions and societies around those institutions we have seen with overwhelming consistency men rising to the forefront and women being forced into lives of fear, degradation, servitude; cast as Lilith the daughter of evil, forced to give birth from first menses to menopause. Never mind, our bodies tired, we have one at hip and one at tit, one screaming for dinner one dragging at our heels. In earlier times not only did we reproduce with great frequency we maintained hearth and home, sowed seed and gathered all but the dangerous beast for the table and when the man of the house came home we acted as the sexual vessel even half dead from our labors.

With no thought to our comfort or joy in the act our husbands flipped us over and made do. Grunting their own satisfaction we were lucky for a pat on the ass or a kiss on the cheek in return for our exhausted compliance. Our exhaustion, often interpreted as disinterest gave permission to our spouse to seek elsewhere for their joyful satisfaction leaving us even more alone. Thus religion having taught us, and them, we could not be more than brood mare and workhorse we waited. We waited for the next time they wanted us or the next pregnancy neither of which could be avoided.Temptation_and_Fall-Sistine_Chapel_Ceiling

Had anyone considered we were just the same, our simple joys just alike this flaw in thinking could have been avoided. The design flaw is obvious, if an orgasm were required by both parties to achieve that oh so wondrous of things, procreation men would stop flipping their spouse over for their own satisfaction and try a bit harder. If both men and women were held of equal value we wouldn’t be in this mess we are today. We certainly would not have the world population problem we have, would we? But instead what we have is a design flaw; women are the receptacle of men’s sacred sperm, men made in the image of the God Entity, women made from their rib an after-thought. Women, blamed for every bad behavior including seeking knowledge. Men excused sometimes encouraged to every bad behavior including killing their children, rape, giving their daughters to crowd’s intent upon rape and all sorts of other pillaging and violence.

Man made in the image of God Entity, gets away with all sorts of nasty and evil things including controlling the choices and life of women who frankly prove time and again they are competent and capable of living life without them. There truly does need to be some redefinitions and corrections in this design flaw, some very real changes to both behavior and thinking. It isn’t enough that some men have learned to parrot politically correct language, it is time to blow a cold wind through the world and take out those who continue the ignorance of 2,000 years of patriarchal bullshit. It is time to correct the design flaw.

Peeking Out of My Cave, PII

soapboxpileThe world spins in the same direction and at the same speed, every day of the year. Don’t you just wish it would speed up and fling a few of the Neanderthals out into orbit, I know I do and these days that wish seems to be the one most often at the forefront of my mind. I seem to be keeping a roll of pennies in my purse for fountains and wishing wells, just so I can make that wish as often as possible. Do you think I need to up the ante, change my roll to nickels, dimes maybe even quarters?

I only know one thing for certain, the Neanderthals are exponentially increasing in number and space has not seen any of them, not a one in independent orbit. Clearly, my wishes with pennies are not doing the trick.

So let’s talk about Washington’s, hang your heads in shame day, perhaps this should be a national holiday or a new game. The day those who have sold their votes and their shriveled souls voted against 83% the people of this nation, yeah that day. Most of us were focusing on, just give us one thing we have been so beaten down we all focused on one small thing. We would have danced naked in the rain if these Azzhats had voted YEA on Expanded Background Checks (715) in the Senate. We would have celebrated in the streets knowing the long fight ahead, if those prickless wonders would have just grabbed their shriveled balls and stood up to the great and powerful NRA and their money. But no, they couldn’t even give us that one small thing, not even that one small harmless thing. These ideological Stand Your Ground Azzhats said no, we aren’t going to do a damn thing, not one thing to keep you or your children safer on the streets or in their schools. With the parents of Sandy Hook watching from the Gallery they said Nay, to Amendment 715 and a host of other Amendments. We didn’t even know about most of them, we hadn’t even heard about most of them, they had so little chance of getting past the Senate no one was talking about them.

I say, why the hell not?

Well that being said, let us examine all the other Amendments to Senate Bill 649 Safe Communities and Safe Schools, these soulless bastards (and this is an insult to bastards everywhere of which I am one) spent their time debating and voting on. Ready for a ride? Hang on, get your hanky and be ready to gnash your teeth.

Amendment Description

Yea

Nay

Status

711 To regulate assault weapons, to ensure that the right to keep and bear arms is not unlimited, and for other purposes 38-D, 1-R, 1-I 15-D, 44-R, 1-I Rejected
713 To increase public safety by punishing and deterring firearms trafficking. 53-D, 2-R, 2-I 0-D, 42-R,0-I Rejected
714 To regulate large capacity ammunition feeding devices. 43-D, 1-R, 2-I 10-D, 44-R, 0-I Rejected
715 To protect Second Amendment rights, ensure that all individuals who should be prohibited from buying a firearm are listed in the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, and provide a responsible and consistent background check process. 48-D, 4-R, 2-I 5-D, 41-R,  0-I Rejected
717 To withhold 5 percent of Community Oriented Policing Services program Federal funding from States and local governments that release sensitive and confidential information on law-abiding gun owners and victims of domestic violence. 22-D,   45-R, 0-I,   3-D NV 28-D, 0-R,  2-I Accepted
719 Ensuring those who have a conceal carry from one state can carry in other states without having to re-apply or confirm eligibility. 13-D,44-R, 0-I 40-D, 1-R,  2-I Rejected
720 Extending mental incompetency to specific persons, not defined in amendment. 9-D,45-R, 2-I 44-D,0-R, 0-I Rejected
725 To address gun violence, improve the availability of records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, address mental illness in the criminal justice system, and end straw purchases and trafficking of illegal firearms, and for other purposes. 9-D, 43-R, 0-I 44-D, 2-R,2-I Rejected
730 To reauthorize and improve programs related to mental health and substance use disorders. 50-D,43-R, 2-I,   2-D NV 2-R Accepted

Yes, that is correct, you read it right two Amendments’ passed this week, but we didn’t hear much about them did we? The first passed will protect ‘law-abiding’ gun owners by withholding funds from states that release information, please note they also don’t want information released on domestic violence victims. Why is that? Could it be because it is likely this might tell someone who his or her abuser is? This might tell someone, who that likely ‘law-abiding’ gun owner is who is likely to kill them.

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By the end of the week, the Senate had ensured the gun nuts ‘law-abiding’ gun owners would continue to buy and sell guns without restrictions. No restrictions on how guns are sold, no restrictions on what kind of guns are sold, no restrictions on to whom guns are sold, no restrictions on ammunition or clip capacity. By the end of the week the Senate, despite every single legitimate poll in the nation saying the American people wanted change, supported Expanded Background Checks, supported restrictions; this Senate pissed on America, pissed on the parents of Sandy Hook, pissed on every victim of gun violence.

Since Newtown and as of April 19, there have been 3,531 deaths by gun in America. Of these fifty-seven (57) have been children under twelve years of age. It is hard to get these numbers; Slate compiles them as no agency has them.

This week just proves we, the people have no voice. Again I weep for us, I weep for each death, each family who buried a loved one, each child who will not achieve their potential.

What now? Where do we go from here? My fury at the tone deaf Senators is boundless, what about you?

Read the debates here:

Debates, April 15 part 1, Debates, April 15 part 2, Debates, April 15 part 3 .Debates, April 15 part 4

Debates, April 17, this one is worth a read, Debates, April 17 the amendment debates

Debates, April 18 Debates, April 18 and let me say I despise this coward Senator John Cornyn, Texas

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