Archive for the ‘Rambling Thoughts’ Category


I’d like to clarify something that most writers are missing right now: in order to grab headlines, they’re losing readers interest from even glancing at their very valid points by turning the Civil Rights issues this nation is dealing with into a Liberal and Conservative war. These protests are not Democrats and liberal voters versus Republican and conservative voters (and yes, let’s please assume all other American voters are included in here in the spectrum, okay?).

This is about a majority of Americans who:

  • recognized from the very beginning how dangerous Trump’s vision for a “great” America is
  • recognized almost too late how dangerous he is
  • recognized after they voted for him how dangerous he is

and they’re identifying early on that yes, Mr. Trump is doing everything he can to negatively affect Human Rights and Civil Rights in this country and around the world. They’re speaking out immediately, visibly, and with just cause. They’re showing that even if our votes didn’t count, thanks to GOP and Russian vote tampering and election tampering, our voices count for something now and won’t be turned away.

This country is unifying, even against those who are still whimpering and whining over wondering why all of those millions of marching losers don’t seem to understand that “their” candidate lost and why they just don’t accept it and get over it. That number of whimpering whiners is dwindling.

The reason is because unifying against Trump is a non-partisan issue for the American people. That’s the reason these marches are working. It’s the reason Republican leaders are listening. Their constituents, especially their Republican voters, are marching and writing to them in tandem. They have a reason to pay attention, especially considering many of them are coming up for re-election in only two years.

Now… when it comes to the nominations Trump is putting forth and confirming them, it’s partly partisan, but mostly bigotry and anti-science plus some KKK white supremacy thrown in, but there are Republican officials speaking out more and voting against the nominations. This is important. It means that we’re being heard. It means that maybe they’re afraid of losing votes, sure, but some of them really do see that these are Constitutional issues. Most of the nominations are getting in, but we can hope that the Senate keeps out the rest.

It’s definitely changing regarding the ever-increasingly unstable, unvetted, illegal, unconstitutional, un-American “executive orders.” For the record here, I didn’t like everything President Obama did with his EO’s, but I never once believed he did anything illegal, unconstitutional, or un-American. I believed him to occasionally be misguided and that he needed to be more bi-partisan (or rather non-partisan), as the job of President is no longer partisan. No president is perfect.

Back to the marches.

The marches are non-partisan. These marches are unifying our nation, not splitting it, in spite of the efforts of Mr. Trump and his team of spinners to convince the nation otherwise. His support is dwindling except in the echo chambers of die-hard fans, where they have self-built self-sustaining walls created with years of willful self-denial. No other president in history had, within a week of inauguration, a 51% disapproval rating… the highest disapproval rating for any sitting president.

Anyway, to suggest that the protests are “liberal protests” is divisive. We’re all involved from every party because we’re all invested… at least those of us who voted. I’m still hearing people say,

“He’s not my president. I don’t really care what’s happening. I didn’t even vote. I just have to wait out all of this craziness from all sides for four more years and then everyone will vote for sanity in a third party.”

Yeah… no.

And of course I’ve heard,

“He’s not my fault. I voted Democrat/Third Party. He’s not my president.”

Yeah… no. We kind of did this, granted with the help of Russia and Trump’s team being complicity in all of it. Plus the gerrymandering of the GOP with election sites, and other forms of trying to defraud people out of their right to vote. Oh yes, and in addition to fixing machines in favor of the GOP. Yeah. That’s the kind of president we have. A criminal, a cheater, and a traitor.

During W.Bush’s second term, I was really upset that he was elected that second time. Not nearly as upset as Trump being “elected” because at least W.Bush was actually elected, and I wasn’t livid. I wasn’t depressed or anxious. I got over it, for the most part, in spite of having fits of anger on occasion for the occasional jackass things he did and said. I was pissed about the warmongering of VP Dick Cheney. Even then, W was still my President. He wasn’t a traitor, at least.

Trump… he may be our president, but he didn’t earn it. He didn’t win it. He’s certainly failing at the job and it hasn’t been a month. We’re practically at war with every nation he’s interacted with except for Russia. I mean, for fuck’s sake, Mexico, China, Yemen, and Australia are ready to bomb the shit out of us. Fucking Australia, people. We’re like, BFF’s with Australia and England and here we are, on the outs with Australia. Who’s next, Canada?

Marching in resistance to Donald Trump physically and verbally is about as American and Patriotic as it gets. It’s standing up for ethical and moral values of the highest standard, including Christian values, morals, and ethics. I thought it was kind of ridiculous when people marched against Obama, but that was their right. It WASN’T their right to burn him in effigy. That was just disgusting. Notice, though, no one is burning Trump in effigy. That’s what peaceful protest is all about.

I can assure you, the state of Resistance has nothing to do with crybabies being poor losers that their candidate didn’t win. If that’s what you think this boils down to, then it’s time to start paying attention. It’s time to re-evaluate your ethics and values. If it turns out that the reasons for the marches offend you, then it’s because you’re on the wrong side of history. You’re on the wrong side of patriotism, what it means to be American, and yes, what it means to be Christian and follow in the footsteps of Jesus.

It has everything to do with losing Constitutionally ensured rights; losing rights that are Federally protected. Rights of those who are discriminated against, and need the protection of law in the Constitution. It has to do with the fact that our new pseudo-president is trying to write executive orders, orders that he hasn’t thoroughly vetted or researched or even consulted with the proper specialists and heads of departments over, that would violate the Constitution in order to revoke Civil Rights, health rights, Human Rights, education rights, Disability Rights, Women’s Rights, Veteran’s Rights, Elder Rights, and more.

People who are opposed to these marches, who are offended by them, don’t realize that these marches are for their benefit. They only see that “their” candidate is being “attacked” and still, the tired old,

“What a bunch of losers, just get over it already. Move on.”

and the ever lovely,

“Obama wiped his ass with the Constitution every day.”

Of course what they really  mean by that little gem is that President Obama clarified people’s rights and made certain that people’s rights were protected under the Constitution. When that happens, it’s a good thing for everyone. It’s unlawful actions that try to revoke rights.

It’s incredibly difficult to obtain rights. They must be fought for with sweat, blood, and tears by those whose rights aren’t recognized. It takes more than decades of literal fighting and fighting in the courts… it takes centuries. Actual, literal centuries. And when those rights are finally recognized and then protected in our Constitution, we have this deranged faux president with absolutely no morals or ethics, who has stated that they simply get in the way of what he wants, who thinks he can write executive orders to take away anyone’s rights that he pleases. He thinks he can simply dismantle whatever he wants, and everyone will be pleased as punch.

When that’s not the case, he attempts media blackout. He gaslights the media and credible journalists. He tries to discredit every single well respected individual that speaks out against him so that his fans call them traitors.

Traitors. Which is funny, since he’s the one who committed and is committing treason. That alone is a Federal offense. But hey, we’re living in an alternate universe this year.

“Speaking out against criticism of the President is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.” Theodore Roosevelt

 

Which is why it’s so damned funny to me that people are offended on Trump’s behalf that men and women are marching against Trump. It’s funny that his voters fell for so much of his obvious lies and ignored his crimes. He proved throughout his entire campaign just how incompetent he was. Daily. He proved it even more AFTER HE WAS ELECTED, and it worsened day by day the closer we got to that farce of an inauguration. Since the election, many many many of his voters are regretting what they did to this country, their contribution to the damage… but there are too many who are still willingly stuffing their mouths with sawdust flavored with arsenic, and calling it Apple Cinnamon Cheerios.

The traitors are those who still defend this deranged traitor that calls himself president. So no, I’m still not over it.

Otherwise, great opinion piece below.

 


Source: Think the liberal protests are big? Just wait. Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus noted Sunday that the huge protests at some of the nation’s airports over the weekend were out of proportion to the practical effect of President Donald Trump‘s executive order on immigration.

“The fact of the matter is 325,000 people from foreign countries came into the United States” on Saturday, Priebus told NBC’s “Meet the Press” host Chuck Todd. “And 109 people were detained for further questioning.”

That number grew slightly by the end of the day, but reflected a general truth that ought to be sobering for the administration — the vast majority of protesters didn’t know the detainees and didn’t have friends or family connected to one of the seven predominantly Muslim nations targeted in the crackdown on immigrants and refugees.

They descended by the thousands on international terminals coast to coast mostly to raise alarm on behalf of strangers and to object to the abdication of key American values that a ban on refugees represents.

Similarly, none of the millions who marched and rallied for women’s rights the previous weekend had yet lost anything or suffered a single deprivation on account of Trump. How could they have? He’d been president for only one day.

In other words, most of the anti-Trump protests so far have been over symbolism and omens.

So just imagine what’s going to happen if or when the largely hypothetical becomes real and the abstract becomes personal.

•If or when the numbers of people turned away from our borders, detained or deported grows from the hundreds into the tens of thousands.

•If or when millions of people lose their health insurance policies after Obamacare is repealed.

•If or when Roe v. Wade is overturned and states begin outlawing abortion.

•If or when we begin to go backward on LGBTQ rights and anti-gay discrimination is enshrined as a religious right.

•If or when prices or taxes rise to pay for an unnecessary border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and for Trump’s misbegotten trade wars.

•If or when public education begins to disappear in major urban centers.

•If or when strict voter-ID laws, with their racially discriminatory effects, sweep the red states.

If any of the above hypotheticals become reality, these recent protests will seem quaint in comparison.

I wouldn’t go so far as to call this the Liberal Spring, but make no mistake: After eight, sleepy, nearly torpid years of hoping that President Barack Obama and his wealthiest supporters would protect their interests, members of the left — progressives, Democrats — have awakened with a roar.

Critics complained that the Women’s March on Washington was incoherent and diffuse, an airing of various concerns without an identifiable set of demands. Actually, though, the message of those rallies was quite clear: We’re not cowering in the face of the Trump agenda. We’re determined, we’re energized and when Trump crosses the line, we’ll be right back out here with demonstrations that’ll make those tea party rallies of 2010 look like Tuesday morning gatherings at the dog park.

Don’t miss the idealism. Many of the marchers, like many of the airport protesters, don’t feel directly threatened by Trumpism. They’re straight, white people of some means who have decent health insurance and probably won’t be alive long enough to be mortally sickened by the poisonous air and water in a deregulated America.

These protesters organized, made signs, traveled and took time out of their lives to make a show of their beliefs on behalf of others now that they’ve been poked by Trump’s statements and his early moves in the White House.

After ineptly playing defense and squabbling internally during Obama’s two terms, the left is back on offense, angry and activated.

The evidence is not just in the crowds and first-time protesters. The American Civil Liberties Union reported taking in $24.2 million in online donations over the weekend, more than six times the total of online donations the organization usually gets in an entire year!

And the real action, the real outrages, haven’t even really started.

Trump likes to talk about leading a “movement” because he galvanized just enough disillusioned, credulous voters to eke out a victory in the Electoral College over an opponent nearly as unpopular as he is.

But he’s about to see what a real movement looks like.

 

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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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There’s a reason I haven’t blogged in the past week, and it’s because I’ve been struggling in being gracious inside my head and on paper regarding the results of the 2016 Presidential Election. I’ve been having some very difficult conversations with my daughters and others regarding realistic expectations, graciousness, positivity, advocacy, self-advocacy, fairness, how to deal with life when things don’t go your way, legitimizing their feelings, etc. It’s hard having those conversations when in your head, you’re thinking,

“Fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it fuck it oh my gosh just fuck it awww look my dog loves me.”

I’m having some difficult conversations with myself, as you can see. 😉 I’m not a poor loser. I’m struggling with what it means to be gracious, and how not to throat punch those who are pompous enough to believe they can order others to “be gracious losers” and “accept the results already” when in fact they haven’t learned to be “gracious winners.”

I’ve mastered “gracious loser,” you see. I haven’t mastered grieving on someone else’s timeline.

The difficulty lies in the fact that it has nothing at all to do with a lack of acceptance over the election results. I accept him as the president, and I’m willing to give him a chance. Well, I was until he hired a well known white supremacist, but even I can suppose a second chance is on the table.

Anyway.

The difficulty lies in the fact that I, like so many others, am in a true grieving process. There hasn’t been one single day that I haven’t cried over the results. It doesn’t mean I’m a crybaby. It means I grieve for what our nation has become when 46% refused to turn out to vote. It means I grieve for the clear message that the misaligned in our nation don’t matter to most of the country.

I grieve because I know what’s ahead.

I may be part of one or two or more privileged segments of American society, but I’m part of multiple significantly marginalized groups. I paid attention during the campaign season to what all of the candidates said and what their platforms were, and I’ve been living in this body experiencing what it’s like fighting against the Republican ideal for years now.

I’ve paid attention over the past several decades regarding what the various political parties have been doing to marginalized groups or for marginalized groups. I’ve paid attention to how the parties have been evolving or devolving. I’ve paid attention to how various individual politicians have evolved or devolved over time. It’s how I came to choose “my” candidate.

It’s why I’m in genuine mourning now. I get to grieve over the loss of stability. I get to grieve over the worldwide embarrassment that the election results have given the U.S. We outdid Brexit, after all. We thought no one could do that. America has to be the best at everything.

We had to outdo England, though, didn’t we. So for 2016 we outdid them at Most Embarrassing and Dangerous Political Fiasco of All Time. We fucked up. In the most disastrous way possible. Every nation except Russia, and maybe the Korea with that crazy ass dictator that wants to nuke everyone, recognizes it. And ISIL and al queda welcome it.

It’s why I support the peaceful protests.

The protests aren’t against the results of the election. They’re not a bunch of whiny babies. They’re marginalized individuals and groups speaking out against the proposed policies of the Trump campaign, and the moves that have already been made during the transition that’s begun.

The protests are a reminder that those of us who are marginalized, and those who are our allies and those who are advocates alongside us, will not be quiet regarding rights and protections. A Trump Presidency isn’t acceptance for bigotry, misogyny, violence, bullying, racism, religionism, spiritual abuse, physical abuse, anti-immigration, acceptance for the KKK and white supremacy. The protests are a reminder of the ideals that this nation is supposed to uphold, and the people we’re supposed to protect. The protests are supposed to be a reminder of everything we are prided for, and everything that other nations have been envious of us over.

The protests aren’t so much protests as they are a reminder that the voices for freedom, advocacy, and equality will always be there to hold back the hand of abuse and suppression.

And that will not, absolutely will not, go away graciously.

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Tomorrow is Election Day, and Ladies, we have a lot at stake in this election. The purpose of this entry isn’t to try to force you to vote one way or the other. No. I’m pleading with you to simply vote tomorrow. Recognize the Feminist in yourself and exercise your womens right to vote.

Please Don’t Refrain From Voting

I’m speaking to all of you amazing women out there who are eligible to vote and are registered  but are choosing not to vote.

This isn’t about choosing a female President. Thats not what makes this about feminism or women’s rights. 

This is about making the most important decision of your life: using your civic duty to vote, a right we had to fight nearly 100 years to obtain legally. A right that took us 132 years, from the conception of our nation, to obtain.

That, my amazing Ladies, is what makes this a Women’s Right issue.

That’s what makes it a Feminist issue.

Nothing could be more Feminist than exercising our right to vote.

I know that we’ve heard for the past 18 months just how. very. important. this. election. is. We’ve been telling each other how important Donald Trumps fuckery is. We’ve been telling each other how Gary Johnson’s lack of education and personality is. We’ve been telling each other how Jill Stein’s general anti-science whackadoodly-ness is a problem. We’ve been telling other that Hillary Clinton’s e-mails are a huge conspiracy and somehow… criminal? And she personally murdered people in Benghazi? Anyway.

We know the choices in the election that we’re expected to make are important.

Yes. We know.

We’re going to be voting for ourselves, for our own personal benefit, sure… but we’re also going to be voting for our mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins, best friends, nieces, neighbors, and most especially our daughters, granddaughters, and great-granddaughters. If they don’t or can’t vote; if they’re voting for who we believe in our heart is the wrong candidate, then we really are voting on their behalf.

We’re going to be voting to maintain the right to decide what to do with our own healthcare; our bodies; how we’re treated in the workplace; how we’re paid; if we’re viewed with respect or as sex objects, and disposable. 

It’s not drama or cliche to state that our lives, as women depend upon voting. Not just for voting day, and not just for four years or eight years. Our lives depend on the outcome of this election for decades to come. That’s not a cliche.

If you’re feeling disenfranchised, I get it. If you’re feeling as if there isn’t a candidate that represents you in any way, I get that too. If you’re feeling as if each candidate is saying something you can understand, but none of them are “perfect enough” I really do understand. I commiserate wholly. I understand all of those feelings, because I’ve cycled through them myself at various points in this election season.

Every election is important, and every single one seems to cause increasingly bad anxiety, but I realized that anxiety has much more to do with the increasingly horrible hate and anger I see among the people around me. It’s become more entrenched than ever that there’s a My Side versus Your Side in politics, with people convinced that the Other Side is not only not their cup of tea but evil. There’s this idea that if someone opposes your political views, or they voice a dissenting view it’s a declaration of war and a relationship destroyed . 

Over the past two weeks, there’s been an increasing frenzy and panic from those who think their “side” is losing. I see that happening, and I see women who have always voted stating that they’re not voting in this election… at all. Not just in the Presidential Election, but the General Elections as well.

Your Vote Matters So Very Much, Ladies

So many people, so many women believe that a single vote… their vote doesn’t mean anything. 

Ladies… oh my gosh, it does. It’s your voice!

It’s your individualty showing through, the one way to make sure your opinion and thoughts are given a voice to say that you  matter. 

It’s really intense, and the best ways to make a positive difference. We don’t have to like the fact that we have government, or how it runs. We don’t have to like the system. We’re part of it whether we like it or not and if we want and plan to ever change the parts of the system that aren’t working properly or fairly, then the only way to do that… to enact change is to vote. Get involved.

Back in Time…

Rich white Christian men have always known these things. They know that every single vote has power. Why do you think they denied women, all women, the right to vote until 1920?  

The first time the United States ever used elections and voted was in the United States presidential election of 1788–89; it was the first quadrennial presidential election. It was held from Monday, December 15, 1788 to Saturday, January 10, 1789. Some men, an elect few, were allowed to vote. In the 1830’s the vote to extended to ALL white men, and in 1868 it was extended to Black men. 

But it wasn’t until 1920… 132 years after elections and voting were established as a fair way to establish leadership, for women to obtain the right to vote.

Women Were NOT “Given” the Right to Vote

History will say that all who were born in the United States have been, by right of birth, U.S. citizens from the very beginning. 

People frequently say things like American Women (all women in all demographics) were GIVEN the right to vote. Black Men in America were GIVEN the right to vote.

That’s not the truth. We had to fight for it, clawed ourselves bloody and bruised, literally, through public speaking and the court systems to obtain the right to vote.

The problem is that when citizens who were born in the United States are not treated equally, are not given the same rights, or the laws that ensure equal rights are not upheld in courts or by law enforcement, then we are not really all considered citizens. We are Other. We are Less Than. We are Property. We’re disposable and not worthy of tthoughts or consideration. 

Any perceived threat to those in power is met with intimidation and creation of loopholes in the laws that are intended to protect those who are being discriminated against. The perceived threats are smote out early, fast, and without mercy. It’s how American men learned to deal with the British when Independence was fought for and won. Those same tactics were used against Native Americans. They’re used against all Federally Protected Classes. There’s a reason they’re protected… and yet those in power, those with extreme prejudices, still try to break those laws and create laws in direct violation.

Right now? 240 years after The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4th 1776? 

The rights of women as equal citizens worthy of respect has not progressed for many men… and sadly, for many women. There are women who are perfectly happy to let men decide their fate and rule their lives. Back in the colonial days it was a throwback to England’s customs and traditions to have women be the “wards” of their fathers, and then property of their husbands. This is an idea that still permeates our culture today. Some claim it’s Biblical or just a desire to have a “traditional marriage when life was good in the 50’s.”

The Women’s Right Movement began as far back as 1848 in the U.S. Women recognized the injustices including and especially upstanding women in the community and their religious communities. 

“The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • Married women were legally dead in the eyes of the law
  • Women were not allowed to vote
  • Women had to submit to laws when they had no voice in their formation
  • Married women had no property rights
  • Husbands had legal power over and responsibility for their wives to the extent that they could imprison or beat them with impunity
  • Divorce and child custody laws favored men, giving no rights to women
  • Women had to pay property taxes although they had no representation in the levying of these taxes
  • Most occupations were closed to women and when women did work they were paid only a fraction of what men earned
  • Women were not allowed to enter professions such as medicine or law
  • Women had no means to gain an education since no college or university would accept women students
  • With only a few exceptions, women were not allowed to participate in the affairs of the church
  • Women were robbed of their self-confidence and self-respect, and were made totally dependent on men

Now, in view of this entire disenfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation, — in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.” ~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

In the 1830s, the vote was extended to all white men, in 1868 to black men. Except in the South especially, there were disenfranchisement laws such as Grandfather clauses that said if your grandfather could vote, so could you. If your grandfather didn’t vote, where did that leave the black men who had just won the right to vote? There were also literacy tests. If someone couldn’t read, they couldn’t vote. At the time black men won the right to vote (won, not given) most were not free men, they were slaves, and many slave owners severely punished their slaves if they were caught reading or learning to read. Nice, eh? Such a lovely history of voting disenfranchisement.

When the 19th Amendment was passed in 1920, it legally enfranchised all women to vote, white and black. 

However, within a decade, state laws and vigilante practices managed to disenfranchise most black women in the South. Additionally, there were expensive poll taxes. Yes you had to pay a poll tax in order to be allowed to vote and if you were poor, or poor and black, then you couldn’t vote. 

It took women nearly 100 years from the start of the Women’s Movement to win a bitter battle to vote against staunch, hateful adversity and yet now, not even 100 years after women won that most tedious of fights, there are women ready to give up their votes? 

Shameful. I’m sorry, but it’s shameful.

The Disdain Is Not One of Moral High Ground

By refraining to vote in the General Elections and/or the Presidential Elections of 2016, the worst of us… our apathy, impassivity, disdain, show a clear negligence and clear disregard for accountability in the well being of our local and state governments as well as our national government. 

You’re not making a statement, not even one that states how weary you are of it all. The only disdain that you show is to your fellow women, and those who fought, were imprisoned, and died for your right to vote.

By refraining to vote, Ladies, I can’t help but notice a clear lack of empathy. I can’t help but notice your choice to ignore the very real issues that face every single individual in this country, but especially those that will affect those closest to you.

If you refrain from voting, you’re not making a statement of any kind. Your voice won’t be heard in any way. Not politically, not socially, not morally or ethically. The vote is your voice, and the vote is how you make your voice count. 

Refusing to vote, whether out of frustration or to make a statement, stifles your voice in every way possible. You lose a right, willingly, that was fought for very heavily… a right that women before us died for and were imprisoned for while fighting.

If you want to protest, if you want your voice to be heard, then get to the voting booth! That’s where it happens! The more of us that vote, the more of an effect we’ll have!

It ought to enrage you, Ladies, no matter what your political affiliation, that Women’s Rights are even debateable and in question

We need to make sure that we send the message that Women’s Rights are not actually on the table, to be discussed seriously as to whether we have a right to be treated with human decency.

Trust Me, There Won’t Be Enough Good People Voting

Unless you vote, there won’t be enough good people voting.

We can’t give tacit permission for any government to red pen the Constitutional Amendments that ensure women have Equal Rights, Civil Rights, Human Rights. If we don’t vote, that’s exactly what we’ll be doing. 

Choosing not to vote, and the apathy that would show, that choice you make gives  lawmakers the ability to continuously and regularly vote against Women’s Rights… and it doesn’t impress me. It disgusts me. Because when enough people decide that their votes don’t count, then enough good people don’t show up at the polls to vote in good people. And then the good people who would enact better policies and laws than the “other guy” end up screwing over everyone… especially women.

My fear here is that too many women are in the frame of mind that there will be enough other voters to “make up for” their vote, and therefore their candidate will make it in. Or that there are women who are throwing away their vote by allowing their significant others to tell them who to vote for rather than allowing them to make up their own minds. Or that there are women who really do believe that their vote won’t matter at all so why bother because “the election is rigged.”

No, no, and no.

Nifty Fact

I love it when I stumble on neat little facts because I can always use them at some point. For instance, this one:

There were about 125.9 million adult women in the United States in 2014. The number of men was 119.4 million.

My math skills aren’t fabulous, but I think that’s 54%. In fact, I believe that I’ve heard we do make up 54% of the citizenship of the United States of America.

That makes women a very powerful force in this country. That makes us an important force

One would think that the Women’s Rights Movement, a Human Rights Movement to be clear here, would have moved our rights and how this nation respects Women along much further than it has. It’s been moving at a snail’s pace and America’s Daughters are taking the rights we have fought for and won for granted.

One would think that for all of the talk we do, Ladies, we’d recognize our true power. It lies in the fierceness of not backing down, and using our power to vote.

Why? Because it’s historically inaccurate, and it’s not how it really happened. There were Civil Rights Movements. There was Women’s Suffrage and a Women’s Rights Movement that is still ongoing. This nation is still going through multiple Civil Rights and Human Rights movements in multiple areas right very now… yes in 2016.

To throw your vote away as if it means nothing, to throw it away in protest, is disowning responsibility for anything that may go wrong later. It’s not a way out. You will still be culpable.

Your vote is YOUR vote as long as you use it. Don’t make excuses to abstain from voting. It’s not only your civic duty, it’s your ethical, moral duty. 

What I really, really do care about in your vote? Please be sure to educate yourself from unbiased sources; fact check. So if you’re going to Fact Check Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, don’t go to either of their web sites. Don’t go to any politically based sites either. Choose neutral sources, and by that I mean “not Facebook memes or info-graphics.”

There ARE unbiased resources out there where you can find the actual facts for each candidate. All of them, all of the political parties. It’s how I narrowed down my choice. I know many of you disagree with my personal choice and you know what? THAT’S OKAY WITH ME!!!! You know why? It’s your opinion, and it’s your vote. YOUR VOTE.

You just have to make sure that you’re there at the polls! We have to use our rights to vote that we fought so very hard for, not so very long ago, or we risk losing all of the rights we’ve fought for. Every single one.

Doing nothing, being complacent, is the same thing as knowing there’s evil about to enter and do evil things and doing nothing to stop it.

VOTE. Just vote. Disagree with me until the cows come home regarding my personal politics. That’s awesome. I don’t care! The election is tomorrow and then it’s over! Then we get to deal with fallout! But for now, for now we just have to commit to voting!

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I have a request. If your opinions and feelings are different from those of your friends, family, and neighbors please remember that they’re people just like you. I don’t care if they have a different political viewpoint; a different religion; different ethnic cultural background; a different parenting philosophy. Chances are that you still have something in common with those people.

People are not disposable. It’s so easy for us to click a button online and stop seeing them in our newsfeed; block someone; or “unfriend” them if we dislike them enough. It’s a lot harder in real life where you have to face consequences for your own contributions to the negativity in the relationship.

Treat people the way you’d like to be treated. It’s not a difficult concept. It costs NOTHING to be kind to other people. It costs nothing to cast a smile to someone who may be having a difficult day. It costs nothing to give an initial benefit of the doubt before turning your back.

I don’t really care if anyone has a differing opinion than I have. That’s great. Have it. It doesn’t hurt my feelings that there are ideas, thoughts, emotions, opinions, ideations, needs, wants, wonts, etc. that are different. Other points of view are important. There can even be valid points on both sides of the same argument. Not everything is a competition. Choosing sides doesn’t mean one side is good and one is evil. I believe that most people are inherently good, and that only a rare few are actually literally evil.

There ARE times when we have to take a stand and do what’s right, but destroying relationships isn’t the way to do it. Becoming the very thing you claim to hate the most isn’t the way to do it. There are ways to stand up for yourself and your causes that aren’t harmful to others and make a good example to those others and to your children. Be kind and respectful in how you express your difference in opinion to others, and show respect for others’ differences. You don’t have to feel it, but you still need to show it. You live in society, and you therefore agree to live by the rules of society.

Free speech? It doesn’t mean what you think it does. Just as you may be able to speak your mind, so do others… and when you speak your mind, how you speak your mind matters and that means that other people have the right to respond to you. You have the right to speak, but you also have an obligation to receive whatever consequence comes from it from friends, family, coworkers, acquaintances, and others in society even if what you say or do isn’t illegal. There are still some things that are socially wrong, morally and ethically wrong… and sometimes that might actually mean that you should consider that your side isn’t the just, right, good side. I know that I’m not always right. Hey, I can accept that. We do all make mistakes. Not all sides are always valid, even in my world view. Some points of view shouldn’t be tolerated and yet… and yet there’s still a way for those points of view to be rebuffed.

If you want to change the world you live in, then you must enact change in a way that is meaningful. Violence, whether physical or verbal, is never an appropriate way to enact positive change, and it’s never a path to peace. What leads to peace is a change in conversation and a willingness to change attitudes and behaviors. Social change leads to peace. That starts within each and every one of us. For me, that’s maintaining a conversation and connection with God.

You may still believe anything you choose, but be peaceful. Respectful. Use meaningful conversation. Behave in a way socially so that others trust you. These things are so important.

So, you don’t have to be “with” me on several issues. That’s okay. I’ll still love you. We’ll likely agree on many, many other things.

 

Mahatma Ghandi quote

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I woke up with a feeling this morning, attached to a phrase:

Purple Rose Inside Dew Drop; found on Google images, no original credit was found

Purple Rose Inside Dew Drop; found on Google images, no original credit was found

A single dew drop can affect the entire blossom. Such is the effect of Fibromyalgia.

I wish I could remember where I first read that; all I remember is that when I did, I cried. I’ve never forgotten it. For some reason it’s been on my  mind today. I wish I could give that quote proper credit.

While thinking about that single dew drop, it made me think of this poem by Issa, also known as Kobayashi Issa, a Japanese poet known for some beautiful Haiku.

 

 

 

 

 

A world of dew,
and within every dewdrop
a world of struggle
Issa 

 

In the cherry blossom’s shade
there’s no such thing
as a stranger.
Issa

 

I found this one below on a site called HaikuGuy.com where he’s compiled 10,000 out of 21,000 of Issa’s poems. This one makes me think of Leo, my dog:

1806

.草の露先うれしさよ涼しさよ
kusa no tsuyu mazu ureshisa yo suzushisa yo

dewdrops on the grass
at first so happy!
so cool!
Issa

Since I’m sharing quotes I enjoy here’s another one:

“Where flowers bloom so does hope.”
–  Lady Bird Johnson

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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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