Archive for the ‘Prayer’ Category


I have a lot of thoughts that are combating the issue of palliative care regarding in-the-home versus in nursing homes. In the early-ish part of the summer we received the news that a nursing care home finally had an opening for both of my grandparents. I should clarify that the “finally” part is really due to the fact that it took a long time for them… well, I should clarify that “them” is really my grandfather agreed to the move and my grandmother threw the mother of all tantrums, but relented. Once my father and uncles made the decision for my grandparents, and once they informed my grandparents, it only took a month or so for a health care facility to open up space for them.

There was relief in this. A lot of relief, actually. The fact that they would have on-site 24-hour nursing care and a doctor on staff. Their doctor would be on call. Emergency care would be available instantly as needed. There are a couple of hospitals within minutes from the nursing home, if needed.

As soon as they moved in, my grandfather felt relief. He could see that he really wasn’t able to take care of her any longer. That was hard for him. Not being able to pick her up when she fell was something that had been normal for a long time, but the emergency paramedics finally told them that unless she agreed (or he forced her) to go to the hospital when they called 9-1-1 and she was clearly injured (she was) then they were going to stop coming to the house for her. Whenever he fell, he knew enough to go to the hospital. So that was the tipping point.

I spent my summer with the girls, off work and visiting my grandparents as they adjusted and took turns with one being upset at being there and the other saying how wonderful it was. Yeah. Being in your 90’s and married for 70 years can be like that.

A week ago we held a party for my grandparents at the nursing home for their 70th wedding anniversary, and it was beautiful. My grandmother looked beautiful. She held her rosary the whole time. As I was growing up, and let’s face it her entire life and mine since at 40-something I still feel as if I’m growing up, she always put herself last. She always put all of her focus on the person who was in front of her. She made everyone in that room feel special, and so when they came for her and my grandfather’s anniversary, they made sure that she felt special.

She wasn’t quite herself, and I could see that. The entire week prior, she’d been declining. Her mood shifted. She started seeing hallucinations. Night time was the worst. She hadn’t slept for two or three nights, and so the day before the party, when I visited, they made sure she slept. She was in a great mood for the party, but something had changed. She knew who we all were and why we were there but she heard music that we couldn’t. She asked and talked about odd things, for her.

And then this past week things got worse. My grandfather and uncle swore to me yesterday that she wouldn’t recognize me, but she did. She couldn’t move much, but when I held her hand she held it back as much as she was able, and even lifted it to point at my youngest daughter when she wanted to see her. She would pucker her mouth and move towards us when she wanted kisses. The whole time since being in the nursing home, that’s all she’s wanted, is kisses.

They swore she wouldn’t understand anything we said to her, but she did. She tried to talk to me, so I told her about my girls and my husband, how school and work were for them and how much I’m enjoying being a stay at home mom again. I knew she wanted to know about my pain levels too, but I avoided that topic. I told her that I finally prayed for what she had asked me to pay for, for her and that I’d done so at Church yesterday morning right before coming. She blinked a few tears and tried to nod, leaned for kiss, and I cried. I told her that I prayed for it even though I didn’t want it, because I know she needs it and she’s ready, and because I love her. I told her that I love her no matter what, and that I’ll be okay, that the entire family will be okay and she can let go.

We stayed, Darling Girl and I, for hours with her. It was very difficult to leave. We let the nurses know we were leaving, and then we saw my grandfather coming down the hall from his room with a priest trailing behind him. He told me that the priest just got there, and could I please stay. This was their parish priest. He was there for Last Rites.

So of course I stayed. We stayed. I held her hand. When she saw her priest, she gasped and said his name after not being able to speak for a few days. My grandfather was shocked because he had been 100% sure that she didn’t… couldn’t recognize anyone and nor could she understand what anyone said. It was beautiful from start to finish, and I never thought it could be. Maybe it was beautiful because it’s what she wanted.

Now it’s Monday morning, and my Darling Girl is sad. This is making her think about when my husband’s father passed away four or five years ago. It’s very similar, but she didn’t understand what was happening then. She told me this morning on the way to school that she’s remembering what happened to her Nonnu, but with a new understanding and so she’s feeling the experience of his death all over again as her great-grandmother is dying.

What she’s having trouble understanding is how my grandmother could be choosing to refuse to accept her medications, even the pain meds; how she could be choosing to refuse to accept any food or water. At 12 1/2 years old she knows how long a person can without food, and without water. I don’t know how to explain that to her, how a lifelong devout Catholic could choose, in her mid-90’s, to stop it all and to leave directions for the nurses, doctors, and family to refrain from any extreme lifesaving measures. It’s not rational to my daughter. I told her that as much pain as her great-grandmother is in from her illnesses, she’s in far more pain when she eats and drinks because her insides don’t work as well any longer, and she wants the pain to end. That didn’t satisfy her, and I know that nothing will. It sounds weak in my ears too.

Also this morning, Sweet Girl was having a really difficult time. She asked me last night to explain what was going on. She was more angry about getting up than usual, and complaining about everything that’s ever made her angry. I nearly lost my temper with her, and when I realized that my temper was shorter than usual I knew it was because of my sadness and the anxiety of the vigil. I realized my mistake, shifted gears and told her I recognized how sad she must be, and she could visit with me after school but that I won’t force her. She finally managed to cry, sad crying, and it seemed a relief to her to be able to identify with words what was wrong.

Dearest Girl, my eldest, turned 17 yesterday. She was amazing about me spending the day with my grandmother. She seems to be holding up well on the outside. In that way, she’s a lot like me. Being the eldest, like me, it’s natural. I know that she knows she can talk to me; she will when she needs to talk.

I don’t know how to do this. It just feels as if I’m doing it all wrong.

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Dear Kathy Griffin,

I hope today finds you, well, I hope it finds you well. I’m assuming that today, likely now to be known as Two Days After That Execution Video & Photo Shoot, you’re having some internal dialogue as you and your publicist continue with damage control. I’m not going to assume too much about your state of mind prior to that stunt; I’m not going to assume too much about your current state of mind either.  

I’m not interested in being part of your character assassination. I’m not going to flame you or try to hurt your feelings. My intent here is to try to bring you back down to Earth where the little people are. I’ve peripherally noticed your career, since I’m not a fan of your brand of comedy.  I do appreciate your activism and find your serious acting roles interesting.

So when Wednesday I only peripherally noticed your name in one or two vague Facebook statuses late in the evening, I assumed that you had simply pushed a sensitive political button for Republicans. I went to bed blissfully unaware. I had a nice balance of polite dislike-sometimes-like and respect.

Thursday morning (yesterday), the morning news and radio were kind enough to share all of the gory details of the “Execution Video” showing you holding the decapitated head of Donald Trump. They shared your interview about the video you made with Tyler Shields behind the camera. I saw the video with the blurred out “head.” Thanks to the internet, later on, I saw the more graphic images ie. no blurring. It drove the point home that the intended “joke” and the edginess, provocativeness of the juxtaposition between yourself and Trump and an ISIS terrorist and a hostage. They talked about your apologies, and mentioned how they’re not being accepted by organizations such a the VFW. They talked about CNN canceling your future job engagements with them.

It took a me a whole day to process what I had seen and heard. I’m appalled and disappointed. I’m sure you wish you had thought things through and considered that the only approving audience might actually be ISIS. I’m writing this because I’m not entirely sure that you understand why your apologies haven’t been accepted, and why many people won’t forgive you for a long time, if ever. Just think about the Dixie Chicks.

You’ve owned that what happened was wrong, yes. You say that you know it was wrong and won’t do it again. The tricky part here is that people aren’t convinced that you know why it wrong. I don’t think people are convinced that you know why people of all political persuasions and regardless of their opinions on Mr. Trump are as equally appalled. 

We’re already in a very precarious political situation. I know that I’m not saying anything new. It’s not a secret or anything even profound. It’s well known as a fact that it’s been a nonstop fiasco since this dumpster fire of a president announced his intent to campaign. I share the embarrassment over the fact that this man is sitting in the Oval Office. I share in the feeling of moral disgust and automatically-triggered rage and anxiety by simply looking at that man’s face.

We all want to have the balance of power restored. We all want to feel empowered in our lives, and to help others find that which makes them feel empowered.

This video didn’t come from a place of power or empowerment, and it doesn’t evoke those feelings in most Americans. There’s a shared shock, mortification, disgust, and genuine outrage across all party lines, and it’s one of the few things uniting those who support Trump and those who vehemently oppose him .

It doesn’t matter that he’s the most hated president in our history; that he’s made history by having the lowest approval ratings not only in his first 100 days, but of any president; He may be the biggest embarrassment in the international stage of leaders; He may be the most corrupt not-politician that ever politicked and the most corrupt individual to ever sit in that chair in the Oval Office; but none of that matters.

The problem is that what you decapitated wasn’t really Donald Trump. You didn’t figuratively cut off the head of the snake and speak out against his policies, ethics, morals, authority, or even his goings on in his personal life. Take Trump out of it. The decapitated head you held was not viewed as a symbol of removing Trump and his power and control. Those of us who are appalled could look at that head and blur out the features, and in our minds imagine any President in its face. We can imagine every President, past and future, in its place.

Because it’s not the current president whose head you decapitated.

It was the very notion of The President of the United States that you decapitated. You decapitated the very rich, full history, the respect, and honor of the Office of the President, and every other office. You decapitated the American People in a manner that was visually and morally repugnant; in a manner that was hateful, chilling, threatening, and violent. You decapitated the privilege, power, influence, giving the incredible potential and opportunity to do GOOD in that office, which is our right as The People under the Constitution.

We have problems in our nation, no doubt. That’s not news. Our country shares many of the same social issues and political issues as other countries. There’s corruption, racism, classism, ableism, and every anti-something you can think of. We have people that are anarchists and hate the government and authority. We have things to be embarrassed about and to apologize over.

But we are also a nation of advocates, allies, lobbyists, writers, artists, journalists, actors, parents, self-advocates, people that care and can make noise when our elected officials do and say things we dislike. We can speak out with our votes; writing letters; attending peaceful, non-violent protests; making phone calls; and anything else that’s protected by the Constitution regarding free speech. We want our messages to come from a true place of power, empowerment, peace, dedication, passion, advocacy, activism, patriotism, and non-violence as is our Constitutional right. This is what we take pride in, and what retains and maintains our Freedoms and our Civil Rights.

This is what Americans do.. we advocate, not decapitate.

I know it’s unlikely that you’ll stumble upon this entry, but if you do read it Ms. Griffin, I hope you read it with an open mind.

Sincerely,

Jessica

 

After The Press  Conference

EDITED TO ADD because I listened to that disaster of a news conference:

Back up the truck.

Kathy Griffin, you made a horrible mistake holding this press conference today. Justifying your actions and going on the attack and listing all of the horrible, disgusting things Trump has said and done as your excuse simply proves that you don’t understand why what you did was wrong. I’m no fan of Trump. I’m no supporter of the suppression of women’s rights. That doesn’t mean I can’t be appalled at that press conference.

It’s not appropriate to tell people to stop being angry because your feelings are hurt that no one “got” your joke and no one appreciated the art.

It’s not appropriate to accuse people of trying to suppress your right to free speech or violate your 1st Amendment Rights. You took offensive photos, and people are reacting. The nation is reacting. You say you don’t have a network behind you, you’re losing jobs. That’s not silencing you. It’s a business decision for them. It’s a consequence for you. People, men and women, have been fired for far, far less than what you did.

You have the right to free speech as long as it’s not hate speech; incites violence; can be considered a death threat or threat of violence upon someone else especially the president. You forget that people have a right to react to your free speech and what you believe is art.

I’m disappointed that you turned this into an equal rights issue for women. It would have been just as horrifying coming from a male comedian. It would have been considered just as inappropriate. This is what rich old white men say when they accuse us of “playing the woman card.” Turning on the tears and pointing out how you’re such a small frail woman doesn’t do any favors for you or for women. Your behavior in that news conference perpetuated every negative female stereotype, and as much as you want to claim Girl Power and pretend that this is about you being a woman, and there are some big bad good ole’ boy men silencing you poor little tiny female, you stomped feminism under your precious little feet.

There’s this thing where you tell a joke, and people laugh, and you know it’s funny. There’s this other thing where you tell a joke and no one laughs and you know it’s not funny. Then there’s this final thing when you tell what you think is a joke and literally everyone is angry and appropriately outraged, and you have to accept that maybe the problem isn’t everyone else.

Chastising others wasn’t the way to go. Humility was. Laying low and refraining from having a press conference where you said all of these things that you should have kept to yourself until you gained more perspective was the way to go.

You’ve only made it worse.

People don’t tolerate sorry-not-sorry nonpologies.

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Trigger warning for abuse; trigger warning for abuse of disabled individual.

Every morning as I get ready for work, I put our local news on the TV. It helps me keep track of time as I also get the girls up for school. I know that there’s always the likelihood that I’ll hear a story that’ll turn my stomach and make me wish I hadn’t turned on the TV. Most of the time, I can get through the local negative news without getting upset. It’s the national news that tends to upset me more lately. Not so this morning.

In Connecticut’s capitol city, a woman was arrested on a felony account of “cruelty to persons” charges after her 17 year old son died from severe malnutrition and indications of abuse. He was autistic. The case is being investigated as a homicide. The office of the chief medical examiner reported Matthew Tirado’s “suspicious condition” to police; he was 5 feet 9 inches tall and only 88 pounds. There were indications of abuse such as lacerations, broken bones, and bruises on his arms, face, and chest; they describe his body as emaciated and skeletal. The woman reported as his mother, Katiria Tirado, only called 911 when he was vomiting. He died on Tuesday morning past.

This young man is going to need justice. If Katiria Tirado dares to use his disability as an excuse especially when there’s a healthy 9 year old girl in the house, I hope that the Federal Court system sees through her. There’s no acceptable reason or excuse in what happened to Matthew. I don’t care if he would only eat McDonald’s fries, smooth fruit yogurt, and banana bread; I don’t care if had challenging allergies and self-restrictions with food. There’s always a way.

It’s a mother’s job to find a way. It’s a mother’s job to DON’T ABUSE and DON’T MURDER your children even when, especially when those children are disabled.

When a couple chooses to have children they choose to take on everything that means. There’s an implicit understanding that disabilities could be involved and thus there’s an implicit understanding that as parents, YOU’RE SIGNING ON FOR CARING AND LOVING FOR one or more children that may have disabilities and challenges that you may or may not have expected. You make a promise when you choose to be a parent, and that promise is that you won’t abuse or murder your children. You promise to always do your best to provide for your children.

The children in this home had a roof. But only one was well-nutritioned.

I’m sure at some point someone will tell me it’s not my place to judge this mother; that there were possibly or likely circumstances I haven’t considered; that I haven’t walked in this mother’s shoes; that I don’t understand disabilities and how they can affect a mother or a family especially Autism; that I need to put myself in that mother’s shoes; that you can see yourself in her position.

To those of you who don’t know me because you don’t know this blog, and you think those statements will fly here or anywhere else:

Those comments make you a murder apologist. If you wouldn’t excuse the murder of a non-disabled person, then don’t excuse the murder of a disabled person especially if that murderer is the parent. I don’t accept anyone identifying with the side of the murderer and abuser of disabled people. I don’t tolerate it.

If you don’t know me or this blog, you ought to know that I’m a disabled woman. I have a teenage daughter that’s autistic. I have another teenage daughter with severe ADHD and ODD. I know what it means to have to cope with challenges, and to have my family cope with my disabilities in turn. But disabled or not, with disabled children or not, I wouldn’t accept what’s happened to Matthew Tirado. And you shouldn’t either.

If I seem a bit impassioned here, it’s because I’m feeling emotional. I can’t seem to calm down. I wish there had been an advocate for Matthew. As the investigation goes on, I’ll be following closely. I realize that I AM making some assumptions here, but I haven’t voiced the great majority of them. I just know that a grave injustice occurred and I’m sad and angry and grieving.

 

#MatthewTirado #Justice4MatthewTirado

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It’s Inauguration Day 2017 in America. What’s the appropriate way to react, or how to feel when you’re not among those who voted for someone … well… for Trump?

It’s still not to simply accept it. It’s not to just move on. It’s time to defy all that Trump and Pence stand for.

Acceptance and moving on can never occur when Inauguration Day is placing a criminal and traitor as a dictator into the place of President. Someone who doesn’t value all lives equally; who doesn’t value anyone except himself.

The appropriate response is, I’m finding, to pray.

The inauguration is occurring right now.

And so I’m praying for my fellow Americans. I’m praying for my fellow Americans who did not vote for this unpresidential domestic threat nor the Russian threat that this criminal has invited into our nation.

I’m praying for all Americans that Trump doesn’t value. As he listens to Senator Schumer discuss America’s great values, Trump sits there with a frown, rocking back and forth, and instead of sitting up straight with rapt attention, he slouches and looks around behind him, shaking his head.

I’m praying as I discover that police are using pepper spray at peaceful protest marches.

I’m praying as Pence dares to stand up there and take the oath of Vice President to protect this country, even as he’s been leading the charge to dismantle human rights and civil rights in his very own country in the past weeks.

I’m praying as Trump has the utter gall to take an oath he’s never had the intention of keeping, as his entire campaign was about destroying the Constitution… his cavalier words that the Constitution means nothing to him during his campaign. His only allegiance to any country, to any god, is to his Trump Tower, himself, and money. I will not stand. I will not honor him. I will not accept.

I’m praying, because there’s no way possible that this is God’s will as so many dare to claim. This was the doing of GOP fraud, Russia, and Trump. I’m praying because to celebrate this farce would be to become an unpatriotic traitor to America.

This is a tragic, sad day. His words have no meaning. His oath has no meaning. He lies even as he gives his dictatorial acceptance speech. Even as his tiny baby hands look even more tiny and pudgy than usual, and his usual healthy day-glo orange is muddier than usual.

He dared stand up there and said, “Make America great again.” A nation that has always, always been great and now has a real stain against it. An unpatriotic criminal and traitor is now our fake President.

Only America and her most fragile citizens, her citizens that must be protected by Federal Laws must be prayed for. Those who are discriminated against regularly for their sex, gender, religion or lack of religion, their low income, their ethnicity, race, color, national original, disability, age, pregnancy, and even genetic information or political party.

I pray.

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Up front, I’m Catholic. This entry is about education and freedom of religion.

Darth Pence wants to do to “reform” our public schools. I bow to the fact that some changes ought to be made, the main one being to pay teachers what they’re worth and put more funding into education so that we don’t continue to have a nation that doesn’t value intellectualism or education. That’s not at all what Darth Pence plans to do in his reform of public schools.

Darth Pence wants to unschool our children and remove science classes. He wants to replace science with teachings from the Bible.

I kid you not.

Biggest headline: Darth Pence, with the help of Trump’s cabinet pick Betsy DeVos, plan to evict the Big Bang and Evolutionary Theories from the public school curriculum and replace them with Biblical Creationism.

This is offensive regardless of your political affiliation or religious affiliation. It’s offensive no matter the end of the conservative or liberal end of the spectrum you fall. In spite of the smoke and mirrors, this has never, ever been Democrats versus Republicans, nor has it been Liberals versus Conservatives. The value of keeping Church and State separate is a value of all major parties that are seen as legitimate except for one.

It’s a Tea Party value, the Tea Party who are a bunch of jokers that know nothing about politics and are trying to destroy it from the inside out (admittedly, especially since. A bunch of evangelistic biblical literalists who are destroying the christian faith and the reputation of all Christians.

For a person of faith, like me, it’s about being balanced, faithful to God, being a better mother, wife, person, being truthful in how I live my life, respecting the world I live in, respecting the people I share the Earth with, being in awe of the Earth my God created, and loving this life. And in order to do that and to teach my family how to do that, I don’t need some judgmental, creepy, selfish, criminal, vile, wannabe, fake-ass President and his sidekick VP dismantling our schools, our special education programs, and our religion.

 

How I choose to indoctrinate my children is my choice, with my husband. Where it occurs is our choice. I want them indoctrinated in our family church that we carefully chose, and in our home. Indoctrination is to be fully controlled by us. The separation of Church and State is to be held as a sacred value.

If my children wish to pray before a test, or they wish to pray during their free time, they’re allowed due to the freedom of religion. The key is that they don’t try to convert anyone or “witness” at school (well, as Catholics we don’t do that as a rule); during free time at school they can discuss each others religions to get to know each other, and they can pray together if they want. That’s fantastic. But no class led prayer. No indoctrination.

If children … students … are to learn about religion and their creation stories in a public school there are Humanities courses or World Religions courses, Social Studies, and they teach “This is what this religion is about, what they do,” ie. the facts of various religions without commentary of the validity of any of them. If it’s indoctrination and proselytizing, then that belongs in private schools.

For those who are devoutly Roman Catholic, there’s some good news

Numerous sources confirm that Pope Francis has stated that he accepts the Theories of Evolution and the Big Bang (go to article below, and then click it).

And that is awesome. Essentially, Pope Francis recognizes that behind the Scientific Theories, there is God. Behind all of the science, there is God speaking to us and guiding us. It means he’s continued to move the Church back into the light, back towards God and away from the Dark Ages that Benedict was so determined to plunge us into. Pope Francis is a beacon of hope.

 

The theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real and God is not “a magician with a magic wand”, Pope Francis has declared. Speaking at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, the Pope made comments which experts said put an end to the “pseudo theories” of creationism and intelligent design that some argue were encouraged by his predecessor, Benedict XVI.

Source: Pope Francis declares evolution and Big Bang theory are real and God is not ‘a magician with a magic wand’ | The Independent

 

 

Me again.

Science explains the “how.” Religion explains the “why.”

I’m sure some of you disagree with me. You might say,

“They’re ‘just’ theories. They can’t prove it. Science is its own religion, and you can’t trust it! You’re rejecting the BIBLE AND GOD! YOU’RE JUST A LIBTARD!”

When I’m feeling generous, I don’t assume that those people I hear that statement from are also rabid anti-vaxxers and give them the benefit of the doubt. 😉 I instead assume that they’re open to listening to reason. I don’t assume that they’re Sophophobic (have a fear of learning and being educated).

They’re actually not “just” theories. When someone dismisses a Theory out of hand, they’re forgetting middle school and high school science when they learned about the Scientific method and how to write a lab report. It was such a valuable experience learning those things, because it taught us how to approach the world. It was supposed to teach us how to be curious and question, how to touch things and be involved in the world. It taught us that we didn’t have to be scientists to value science.

Most people seem to think that a theory is vague and maybe possibly could be a fact if there were enough facts to support the idea… to support the opinion. They think that a hypothesis mean “to guess the result of an experiment.” I thought that maybe going back to basics would be a good idea for a minute or two.

A hypothesis isn’t an educated guess. It is a tentative explanation for an observation, phenomenon, or scientific problem that can be tested by further investigation. Once you do the experiment and find out if it supports the hypothesis, it becomes part of scientific theory.

http://www.sciencekidsathome.com/science_fair/what-is-a-hypothesis.html

A hypothesis doesn’t become a Theory, but can contribute.

Next we have Theories, with tested results that can be repeated and WILL BE repeated. A Theory is something that we know is true even if aspects of the Theory change due to obtaining new information, new interpretations, or a change in some information. A Theory can be voted on in the Scientific Community. A Theory IS NOT an opinion and takes precedence over opinions, as a Theory is in fact, factual.

A scientific theory is an explanation for why things work or how things happen. Scientists develop theories based on their observations of the world around them.Theories are based on ideas that can be tested. Theories are not speculative, or based on a guess.

kids.britannica.com/elementary/article-544886/scientific-theory?

 

Finally, we have the Scientific Law. A Scientific Law is so certain that it’s absolute and unchanging. You can’t vote on it, create a new interpretation of it, or change it in any way. It’s a description of observable phenomenon and doesn’t require explanation. It can be the basis of creating new Theories. Theories don’t become Laws, and neither do Hypotheses.

A scientific law is a statement based on repeated experimental observations that describes some aspects of the universe. A scientific law always applies under the same conditions, and implies that there is a causal relationship involving its elements.

 

If you’re Roman Catholic, and you trust in the plans of God and how he’s using Pope Francis, have hope. If you’re not Catholic, but Pope Francis is still a cool dude in your eyes, hopefully this gives you hope that Christians are not represented by those who claim christianity in the government. At least there’s something positive from 2016 moving into 2017.

The plans of Darth Pence for Education, and Trump’s cabinet pick for Education, Betsy DeVos, should upset you greatly no matter what. If you’re not upset, then you should at least be concerned or moved enough to want to write to your State Representatives, your Senator, your Governor. Be your own activist, be your childrens’ advocate. If you want the future of our country to be in the hands of godly, educated men and women then speak up. If you want your nation to be in the hands of educated men and women, speak up. We don’t have to just shut up and take it.

We don’t have to just accept it. We don’t have to just get over it. We need to do something, because he’s been following through with everything he said he would and he’s not even President yet. We’re not talking soundbytes. These are the “great things” and big changes he was talking about.

 

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Good morning. I’m writing with sunshine outside my window and my maniac dog in his crate or he’ll try to drink my coffee and eat the chocolate chip muffin. [Post has been edited for grammar and spelling]

After the events in Washington this past week, and after the behavior of our apparent Orange in Chief soon-to-be-fake President, I’m more angry than ever. Every day, as in the campaign, there’s something new and since the election, there’s been a worsening of the news that we get daily. My anger has turned to fury and rage.

I’m a proud American, but I’m ashamed of our government. The GOP is behaving shamefully because they’re enacting ey may no longer claim that they’re on the side of Pro-Life, just as for decades they haven’t been able to claim the righteousness of being “the Christian party” in spite of the many so-called Christians and christians that side with them and hang on every word. They are actually and literally anti-Pro-Life and anti-Pro-choice. They are anti-unborn babies; they are anti-children; they are anti-adults and seniors and teens. They are anti-disabled individuals, especially if you’ve listened to them spout how much of a burden we are. Let’s just open up the ovens again, eh? Go back to Eugenics. Apparently they believe Nazi Germany had it right.

Anti-freedom. Anti-American.

If you don’t believe me, you need to trust me when I say that you have been benefiting from the Affordable Care Act (the ACA) for years now. That’s its appropriate name. It was begun years ago [decades, in fact, even before the beloved Reagan] by Republicans and simply was refined and put into place by President Obama in a, “Why the hell did we wait so long? Now is the time,” effort.”

Revenge and Dismantling a Legacy, Simply Out of SPITE

And simply to be able to say, later what a failure his Presidency has been. Except no, the failure is theirs and the failure is the legacy of the GOP. As a white woman, as a woman, as a Democrat, I doubt I need to explain why the GOP feels they need to exact revenge.

The GOP has had a hissy fit ever since and attached the moniker “Obamacare,” because they didn’t get it out there first. Why? Well, in order to get those who already hate President Obama to hate the ACA. Their behavior has never to get people to vote in their best interests, but in the interest of the GOP and helping them obtain power. In order to try to get them to believe that something that would benefit the common Republican citizen and their families, even in ways that they didn’t understand, calling it Obamacare made it easier to get people to believe that it was actually harming them and costing them more. It was so effective that business owners who didn’t want to comply chose fucked up plans for their employees and then blamed President Obama. Even those who work in healthcare, especially die-hard Republican voters, swallowed the GOP Kook-Aid on this.

But as things have gone on, more and more people who have figured out that they needed the ACA and the good it’s been for them, even if it’s needed some tweaking, the more desperate the GOP has been to try to gain complete control. They allowed the Tea Party to take hold. They did whatever it took, including treason, to get someone they thought would be a puppet and just as corrupt as they, into the POTUS.

And now, overnight, the GOP voted to defund and block amendments of protection in the Affordable Care Act, protections that would remain while they gut the rest and “make it great” or create a new plan, a wonderful plan, a GREAT plan, a plan in the works, we just don’t know what it is yet, but it’ll be great. Things that should have remained no matter how they gutted it.

And so the Senate GOP blocked the shit out of:

  1. Protecting people with pre-existing conditions. Sorry, but you’re screwed. Remember how awesome it was when every single person who has a pre-existing condition, and was previously always rejected by their employer’s insurance plan, their spouse’s employer’s insurance plan, etc. finally got to obtain coverage because finally it was illegal to be rejected? It was illegal because it was unfair discrimination. It still is. Until now. Because the GOP has decided this protection shouldn’t be in place. Now, even if a company allows someone with a pre-existing condition and/or disability onto their plan as a non-elderly person, premiums for those individuals to be on the plan will be higher than their peers. That’s IN ADDITION TO co-pays and deductibles.
  2. Making it easier for younger people up to 26 yrs old living with their parents (like students) to stay on their parents insurance plan. Nope. Can’t do it. Disabled?Babies are only valuable and worth saving as long as they’re unborn. Don’t care. That protection was voted away. College students like my nephew, especially if they choose to go for higher than a BA. Or individuals that are disabled, need a better insurance than Medicare or Medicaid for a few extra years. This particular protection and expansion has allowed individuals with disabilities to have both Medicare and/or Medicaid as a secondary insurance rather than a primary insurance to their parents’ insurance, which has helped REDUCE costs of young people who require Medicare and/or Medicaid.
  3. Maintaining access to contraception coverage, which is essential for low-income families who couldn’t afford contraception any other way. Low income families who perhaps couldn’t even afford health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was effectively put into law. Even if you hated the fact that your (or any) employer or you as an employer was “forced” to cover contraception for employees, the overall cost of contraceptives DROPPED as access to them increased; and more people used contraceptives. That means that FEWER unwanted pregnancies occurred and FEWER pregnancy terminations occurred than would have otherwise just in 2015. Isn’t a goal of those of us who are Christian to prevent unwanted pregnancies? Don’t we want to reduce the termination of pregnancies? Don’t we want to prevent young women and in fact any woman from being forced into terminations they don’t want, but being able to have legal access to contraception that’s covered for them? And for instances when contraception fails, or when so-called “natural pregnancy prevention methods” fail, or heaven forbid there’s rape or a pregnancy with a failure to thrive and the baby dies… don’t you think it prudent that the woman have safe and legal access to doctors that SHE can make a decision with on how to handle her health and pregnancy? In sterile, safe clinics and hospitals? The GOP doesn’t think so. Because they blocked the shit out of that too. Because in case you didn’t know, they’re trying to get rid of Planned Parenthood entirely. The repercussions of that? I’ll address in a whole new post.
  4. Ensuring that the Medicaid expansion would occur. 11 MILLION Americans have benefited from this,  just in 2015…  and this is actually a positive. In 2015, Medicaid allowed people to become healthier and maintain their health versus being chronically ill (as well as the health of their children) at low cost or no cost. Most people on Medicaid don’t remain on it, and go off within two years or so. When people can maintain good health, that means that it’s easier for them to find work. When people don’t have to worry about the additional burden of excessive costs of healthcare and medical insurance, it allows them to concentrate better on presenting themselves in a professional manner for interviews. They can better afford a running car, haircuts, food, decent enough clothing. And so… During 2015 thousands of individuals who benefited from Medicaid were able to find jobs and finding jobs leads to no longer needing Medicaid. It also leads to fewer deaths.
  5. Ensuring children could keep Medicaid even if their parents weren’t on it. That’s right. They voted to defund and block the amendment to Medicaid and CHIP (Childrens Health Insurance Program) which provide comprehensive health care, preventative health care, and developmental services and care. To children. Babies. Preemie babies. That would include children in low income families that can’t afford healthcare any other way that have disabilities, chronic illness, cancer, diabetes, severe injury, or any other horror you can think of. They blocked the shit out of it. Babies lives are only valuable while they’re unborn. 
  6. Our veterans. Yes, they blocked the shit out of benefits for our supposedly “most valued citizens” and most heroic… American Veterans by blocking an amendment that would have made it harder to restrict their access to health care. It’s already difficult for our veterans to obtain/access services from the VA, isn’t it. And let’s not forget this tidbit: Trump has proposed to ELIMINATE the VA through privatization and a voucher program that 2/3 of Veterans oppose. A proposition that would increase premiums, copay amounts, and difficulty in finding doctors that would accept the various insurance plans that would then be in competition with each other as costs increasingly rise annually.

 

So really. Almost every individual that’s not a non-disabled rich white male that doesn’t have to worry about healthcare costs is being screwed over. The GOP made extra special Fuck You’s to:

  1. Women
  2. Unplanned babies
  3. Babies and Children
  4. Veterans
  5. Disabled Veterans
  6. Pretty much any Disabled Person
  7. Individuals with Pre-existing Conditions, especially if they have disabilities
  8. Young Adults trying to establish themselves with their parents help
  9. Poor people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  10. Poor disabled people who need health care, who may or may not be working
  11. Poor people, disabled or not, trying to get employed

 

We need to get out of the mindset that only healthy people and non-disabled people with stable, high paying jobs deserve health care. We need to get out of the mindset that disabilities and illnesses equal damage or a diminished individual. This has been a HUGE blow to disability rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that women don’t have the intelligence or rights to make decisions about their own health, about their own family planning, or about their lives. We need to get out of the mindset that women are lesser than men, and that women deserve fewer rights. This has been a HUGE blow to women’s rights.

We need to get out of the mindset that “It’s MY tax dollars paying for other people’s healthcare!” No, no it’s not. If that’s your justification for thinking that the ACA is too expensive, or why medical insurance is too expensive, it’s a strawman argument. The problem isn’t with sick people or injured people. It’s not even with poorer people than you. The problem is with the INSURANCE COMPANIES who believe that they can create any fee, any rule, and any cost whatsoever without justifying the cost without much regulation at all.

And if you think Your Money is paying for Other People’s Medicaid or Medicare, you need to learn how all of this works. Because that’s not how any of this works. There’s less than 3-to-7% fraud nation wide. The great majority of Americans are employed or have been employed. Even those who are in need of assistance. The great majority of those on assistance are white Republicans. You can go look up the statistic, but it’s true.

That means that even those of us who end up needing Medicaid and Medicare and any other form of assistance? We’ve already paid for it. We’ve contributed with taxes from previous or current employment. We deserve help… EVEN IF we didn’t have gainful employment. Every single person in America deserves healthcare if they choose to use it. If they need it. If YOU need it. This isn’t a bootstrap thing, It’s never about our bootstraps. It should never be about bootstraps. If you think it is, then you need to look up Eugenics and just admit that you support it. 🙂

We need to get out of the mindset that even if you really believe Your Money is helping others, it’s your Civic Duty to help your fellow Americans. I’m assuming you believe that you’re a patriotic American. It’s supremely un-American and definitely un-Christianlike to refuse to help others and turn a blind eye to their suffering.

If you’re not outraged, you ought to be. If you voted these people in, you should still be outraged because this affects you too. I don’t begrudge you the right to be just as angry as those of us who voted for HRC or one of the other candidates.

If you think healthcare was bad before the ACA… if you think it was “bad” during the ACA because you fell for the GOP propaganda… prepare yourself. Everything is about to get a lot worse. Like, fascist Germany and Russia dictator worse.

And please… stop telling people who didn’t vote for Trump to “get over it” and “just accept it, he’s the President.” All you need to do is turn on the news every day. Remember that the one trying to control the truth that the media puts out is him. Look at the media from other countries about what’s going on, and listen. They’re doing their own independent investigations and let me tell you…. it’s scary. They know and are sharing the information with their countries what our FBI, ie. Comey, won’t share about Trump.

Think about this. England is afraid of him. But even scarier, and you need to really pay attention to this: GERMANY is frightened of Trump. Germany is afraid of what will happen, in particular the things that Trump has said and is saying about Russia and the intelligence coming from intelligence agencies all over the world that the FBI is suppressing.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing.

But back to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

This isn’t a Liberal vs Conservative thing either. It’s about living. It’s about health. If you want to spend less, trust me, that won’t be happening. This isn’t the way. Making America HEALTHY again ought to be one of our greatest priorities. Staying healthy means preventative care. Staying healthy means access to healthcare that every single American citizen deserves to have in this already great country that we live in. Why in the world are we so eager to allow the GOP to dismantle something that everyone with healthcare insurance has benefited from, even when they haven’t realized it? Why are we so eager to believe that the ACA is “so expensive” just because the GOP says so? It’s  not the ACA. The ACA has allowed MILLIONS of families who couldn’t afford health insurance to obtain it for the first time because …. drums please… it was affordable for the first time ever. Does it work for everyone? No. And that’s because you can’t make everyone happy, and some things just don’t help 100% of all people. That will never, ever happen. For the first time EVER most people in America had health coverage and were able to see doctors and get life saving medications. Pharmaceutical companies and hospitals weren’t allowed to ream people, especially poor  Americans or even middle class Americans. It’s the Insurance Companies who had a hissy fit. And I can guarantee you that once the ACA is dismantled and new rules are in place, insurance rates will skyrocket.

Human Rights have just been violated in a major way,

and if we allow this to occur, it’s going to keep on happening. You want to know what’s next? The Americans With Disabilities Act. The Education Act. The Marriage Equality Act. Those have all been specifically targeted to be dismantled by Trump and the GOP. So don’t you tell me that none of what’s happening and going to happen doesn’t and won’t affect you, your families, your friends, your coworkers, or other loved ones.

If you voted this human garbage in, any of it, you can still protest peacefully. You can contact your lawmakers. You don’t have to accept anything. It’s perfectly okay for you to be uncomfortable and angry with the fact that you voted for this filth and the other pieces of filth that are voting away all of our human rights in health care.

For fuck’s sake, we have a filthy excuse of a human being about to be sworn, in as President, a known ACTUAL criminal. Denies and distracts as he commits crime after crime including treason. Crimes he ought to be in Federal prison for; actual crimes. I’m sorry if you think that Hillary R. Clinton committed any crimes… but you fell for GOP Propaganda with your eyes wide open, and you chose it. You knew it.

You fell for it like a suicide jumper.

The difference is that you can still come in off the ledge.

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It’s been a few days since Brad and Angelina publicly announced not only their separation, but their divorce. I wasn’t going to write about it because, well, it felt icky. There have been so many hateful people out there already contributing their two cents, and although I guess I shouldn’t be shocked the strength of the spite does shock me. People are… I don’t know… gleeful about the news.

I’ve seen the comments that are along the lines of,

“Well, she cheated on her boyfriend with a cheater and married him, so what did she expect?”

That was actually the most kind comment, and the most restrained.

I think that Angelina expected she would have a partner in her life who, once he adopted their children and fathered a few more, would also be a competent co-parent with her. I think she thought she found her soulmate, at least for a while. I think Jennifer had thought the same thing.

Brad must be really convincing.

Whenever I hear about celebrity couples divorcing, I don’t take it as an opportunity for entertainment. I mean, I don’t celebrate or cheer or joke when a friend or family member gets divorced. I might feel relief if it’s someone I know, and it’s something they wanted. But celebrating and being vicious about it… that’s wrong. I’d only celebrate, so to speak, if the loved one told me they were planning a celebration. To be honest, even then it’s uncomfortable. I know there’s this thing called Divorce Parties and some people celebrate the anniversary of their divorce every year. Those, I find amusing, but they have to be done by the individual. It’s their right, not ours. It’s they who get to trash the former spouse.

It’s a marriage ending. It doesn’t mean that how it began was in the best way. It doesn’t mean that the marriage was unsuccessful. It doesn’t validate or invalidate how the relationship began. It’s not a spike in the eye, driven by the wronged person in the previous relationship. All it means is that a current marriage is ending, and when that happens it’s sad.

It’s sad to hear that something terrible occurred during a marriage that’s caused one of the partners to file for separation and divorce. It’s sad because these people originally came together with feelings of love, joy, happiness, and passion even if others disapproved. In this instance, children have been involved from the very start. This couple has a large family by choice, and every  member of this family has been affected by whatever has been occurring and will now be affected by the divorce. They’ve all been through a lot together; loss of family, illness, trauma, and also a lot of joy. Think about that. Think about how this couple loved their children so much that while they were happy enough to remain common law partners, they legally married because their children asked them to do it. Then to show how important it became to them they included the children in the ceremony and the creation of the bridal gown. This has been a family that loves each other. They’ve tried whatever it takes to stay together. Let’s assume that. Let’s assume it because things like separation and divorce don’t come out of nowhere.

That makes this sad. This family has to find a new way to move on, and find a new normal. [Edit: If TMZ can be believed, Angelina filed for divorce because of how Brad was parenting. She cited irreconcilable differences, and her attorney stated she did it for the health of the family. Sources who she’s close to say she did it because of anger issues, alcohol and weed misuse, and that she requested full physical custody of all six children with Brad getting visitation. She did this for safety reasons for her children. Not because he cheated or she cheated. For the children. That’s SAD and it’s upsetting. But here we have people making jokes and saying how it’s somehow payback to Angelina for how Jennifer was treated. Payback? There are children suffering. What kind of God would inflict payback on children of a couple whose relationship began the way it did? How callous is it that people are making light of the split? And how can these children find a new normal where they can’t live without their dad because he’s not living in a way where he’s got their best interests in mind. He’s got his own best interests in mind.]

How many other typical American families ie. non-famous have had to go through very similar situations? Who can relate to this? Have we really lowered ourselves into believing that crushing those who are already at their lowest is entertaining? That it’s funny? That it’s acceptable?

I apologize for the tone of this entry. I’m sorry if this sounds Mother Superior. It’s just… sad. Sad to me that the viciousness is so acceptable. I know that my opinion is just a drop in the bucket, and probably not a very popular one. That’s okay. I just felt like someone had to step in for the children. I felt like I was defending a loved one who has been in similar situations. And I hate it.

*Disclaimer: This is not to say that divorce can’t be appropriate for some couples. While sad, it can also be liberating, a relief, better for a family, and other positive words… but there’s a reason for an end. And the reasons are most often sad. I’m not against divorce.

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