Tuesday, November 22, 2016

What I want to hear from Donald Trump



Given all the things that have happened in the past couple of weeks, I have some things on my mind. Mostly about Donald Trump’s silence on the hatred being spewed across this nation in his name.

Mr. Trump, here’s what I want to hear from you. Not in a written statement. Not through one of your surrogate proxies. Straight from your oddly-shaped mouth speaking to the American people. Speaking to ME.

I want to hear you personally denounce the neo-Nazism, racism, antisemitism, Islamophobia, and white nationalism that has spread so boldly across the nation since your campaign started, and that has grown more zealous since your election.

I want to hear you say that painting swastikas anywhere is wrong.
I want to hear you say that raising the Nazi salute and yelling Heil Trump is wrong.
I want to hear you say that questioning whether Jews are really people is wrong.
I want to hear you say that ripping the hijab off of women and yelling slurs and telling them to get out of America is wrong.
I want to hear you say that schoolchildren shouldn’t be subjected to hatred from their classmates telling them they will be deported, or be called nigger by their teacher.
I want to hear you say that you don't want the support of the KKK or Nazis or white supremacists.
I want to hear you say that threatening to rape women is wrong.
I want to hear you say that spewing hatred at your fellow Americans in the street is wrong.
I want to hear you say that torturing human beings is wrong.
I want to hear you say that fear through intimidation is wrong.
I want to hear you say that the media has a duty to report when hate crimes are committed.
I want to hear you say that yes, Obergfell is the law of the land, but Roe is as well.
I want to hear that you understand why so many Americans are fearful, terrified, anxious, scared for their very lives.

I want to hear you say that your cabinet will not reflect all of the above things that are happening in America. Like the racism & antisemitism from Steve Bannon. Like the racism and anti-immigration rhetoric from Jeff Sessions. Like the Islamophobia and hatred from Michael Flynn. And so many more.

I want to hear you say that you don’t approve of any of this being done in your name, or even at all.

You say that you want to be President for ALL Americans. So far, your actions don’t reflect this. I know it’s cliché and all, but actions speak louder than words.

I want you to act like an American President.

Hell, I just want you to act like an American.




Thursday, November 10, 2016

Check your privilege at the door please

One of the themes that has started to emerge after Tuesday's horrible election is the idea of "It won't be so bad. The Pres doesn't have that much power. The world isn't going to end. Why are you all freaking out?"

These comments that I've seen are mostly being made by white men. I noted yesterday how difficult it was to explain to my husband about how I dread having a president who views me as "less than", and how difficult it is for white men to fully understand this concept, no matter how much they may sympathize.

And I'm well aware that there are so very many groups who have been far more marginalized than I, but that doesn't invalidate my own feelings. And while I will likely never fully feel the negativity that so many of these groups face on a daily basis, I can certainly understand it and call out behaviors that marginalize them even more - intentional or not.

It was in this spirit that I did something I rarely do. I engaged a friend on social media when he pulled the "It won't be so bad, the Pres doesn't have that much power, really" crap.

I won't quote his entire post, but it was quite lengthy and intellectually very accurate in listing all the reasons and things that generally hold a President in check. The post ended with this:

The bottom line: I am not happy with the result. But despite the focus on the election, the federal government is limited, the President can only do so much within that limited federal government, and Trump did not win the popular vote. There are all sorts of good reasons to think the real damage he could do is limited.

Caveat: I am not saying the result in this election is good (it is not) or that Trump cannot do harm (he can). I am simply saying that this is bad news, but the world is not coming to an end and there is plenty that we and others can do.

Again, factually accurate. Although the point about not winning the popular vote doesn't matter in the slightest. If you need a specific example, I present George W. Bush. Moving on.

No matter how accurate your assessment, it's very easy to look at this from the vantage point of a white man. Very few of the things that Trump advocated for during the election will affect a white middle class man. I countered with something along these lines.

From your position as a white man, your words are well said. The problem comes for the rest of America who don't have the same privilege. Because of a majority in the House & Senate, plus the WH, and likely the SCOTUS, so many of the freedoms we enjoy are threatened. It is hard for white men to fully grasp the concept of being viewed as "less than", and I'm not trying to be an asshole when I say that. But the fact is that aside from a few inconveniences, you may not be personally affected.

White men are rarely personally affected by Supreme Court cases that affect personal liberties and freedoms. This is not just about Trump, but everything that surrounds him, including Congress, his cabinet, & his future SCOTUS picks. We know at least 1 vacancy will be filled, and the potential for 1 or 2 more may arise. To so many marginalized people, that is terrifying, and very may well signal the end of life as they know it.
The response was again, very intellectual and ended with this:
I made a more general argument about the non-governmental aspects of our lives, federalism, the role of the President in domestic and foreign policy, internal checks on both his power and his stupidity, and the role of the American people in all this. .Agree, disagree, or ignore me. But it is not about white male privilege. I don't know why the argument has to be made subjective....

I admit I am selectively editing the response, because I want to highlight again that although his thoughts are intellectually correct and very spot on, they fail to take into account two major things.

First, yes it's true that there is not a lot, historically, that a limited federal government can do. However, our limited federal government over the last 8 years has held a rampantly bigoted, prejudice, classist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic set of red state governments in check. We're insulated to much of this in California. But so much of the country is already fighting these battles on a daily basis. And President Obama's federal government has held much of this in check through the Justice department. Trump has already threatened literally millions of Americans. A Trump Justice Department that sides with these red states will surely not hold them back from implementing so much of their agenda.

And secondly, on the subject of why the argument has to be made subjective:

It's subjective because human emotions aren't objective. They depend on the human experience.

And no offense, but a white man's human experience isn't the same as a child who has been told they have to leave their country or that their parents will be deported and they'll be parentless and too bad for you, or a child in school who is bullied by classmates that gleefully tell him he's going to be kicked out of the country, or a woman who has had her hijab pulled off and is spit upon and called a whore, or a black man who knows that the man who will be President embraced endorsements by the grand wizard of the KKK and by white supremacy groups, or millions of Muslims who fear for their lives and the outlaw of their religion, or a woman who now must understand that their president-elect believes men have the right to assault women whenever the mood strikes because he's rich and that if a woman doesn't like being sexually harassed she should just find another job, or an LGBTQ person who the VP and Congress have said should not have equal rights and will actively work to suppress and revoke those rights, or a journalist who has been threatened with jail because you publish something that the President doesn't like.

None of those things directly affect straight white men.

Yes, there are plenty of things that might or might not happen, and we'll have to wait and see. So much will depend upon the cases that come before a (likely, now) conservative leaning SCOTUS and how willing they are to balance law and ideology. Or how much of Trump's rhetoric he actually believes and how much was said to get elected. His choices for cabinet members suggest he truly believes his rhetoric.

But all of these issues beget emotions brought on by the human experience.

And the emotions brought on by human experience are valid.

And yes, they are subjective.

And the inability to acknowledge that is mired in the privilege of being a straight white man.

I'm not angry with white men, but I do wish they could see and acknowledge their privilege in not being personally individually affected by much of this, and understand why some people believe that yes, the world - their world - may indeed end.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

You willfully elected Trump. Don't talk about how Hillary lost.

Continuing my day of grief and anger...

For me, the issue isn't that Hillary Clinton lost. Ok, it is, but hear me out. The issue is more that Trump won.

Trump won because half the people in this country voted FOR what he stands for.

You can claim all you want that you voted against Hillary. But you had to know that a vote against Hillary is a vote FOR Trump. FOR hatred. FOR divisiveness. FOR racism. FOR misogyny. FOR intolerance. FOR anger. FOR anti-semitism. FOR white supremacy.

You willfully voted FOR a man who believes you, or any woman or girl you know, does not have a right to her own autonomy. To consent to sex, or for her reproductive rights.

You willfully voted FOR a man who mocks the disabled.

You willfully voted FOR a man who condones, and even gleefully incites, violence against his fellow citizens.

You willfully voted FOR a man who cheats on his wives.

You willfully voted FOR a man who stokes racism.

You willfully voted FOR a man who disparages our military and our military heroes.

You willfully voted FOR a man who has promised to extort our allies.

You willfully voted FOR a man who very likely worked with Russia to undermine our elections.

You willfully voted FOR a man who lies.

You willfully voted FOR a man who cheats his employees.

You willfully voted FOR a man who refuses to pay his contractual obligations and then threatens to tie those people up in court to bankrupt them in their attempts to get paid.

You willfully voted FOR a man who lies about donating to those in need.

You willfully voted FOR a man who exploits our differences to create disharmony.

You willfully voted FOR a man who denies scientific fact.

You willfully voted FOR a man who refused to accept any precedent or standard of conduct for a national candidate.

Many, if not most, of you did so while at the same time talking about praising Jesus. And bragging about what a great Christian you are.

Don't tell me you voted against Hillary. Don't tell me what a great Christian you are.

Like the man you willfully voted in, you are a liar.


Election reflections

I guess it's time to resurrect ye olde blog. We have work to do. But first, I need to reflect on what this all means.

For those of you who say you believe the majority of Americans are good, decent people... I believed that too.

Until last night.

When the majority of our country willfully and deliberately chose hatred over love. Bigotry over tolerance. Racism over equality. Anger over understanding. Assault over consent. Religious intolerance over loving inclusion. Conceit and arrogance over human decency. Insanity over Constitutional rule.

Donald Trump says he want to heal us and be a President for us all. He said "I won't let you down." He's got a lot of work to do for me to believe that. And while I'd like to believe he'll do the right thing, I lost my faith in America last night to do the good and decent thing.

The hypocrisy of calling Hillary Clinton a liar but saying that Trump didn't really mean his lies. The hypocrisy of calling Hillary Clinton an elitist even though she's worked her entire life to make things better for those with less, but not acknowledging that Trump is a billionaire who hasn't lifted a finger for anyone other than himself. The hypocrisy of the media, who spent last night desperately looking for a reason for this outcome without acknowledging their complicity in vilifying Clinton and normalizing Trump. The hypocrisy of holding Clinton to an unattainable standard while not holding Trump to even the most basic of standards.

Although I still want to, sadly I no longer believe the majority of Americans are good, decent people.

I enthusiastically supported Hillary Clinton. I have never viewed her as the lesser of 2 evils. She is highly qualified. She is well respected around the world. She is stable. She has spent her life in public service. And yes, she's a woman. A woman who gets shit done. Who knows how to do her job, but is now just another women who is more qualified but passed over for a man who doesn't have any qualifications other than a dick.

I need to sort through my own feelings of having a President & a government who views me as less than. Then I'll be able to deal with the "I told you sos" from all of the other folks whom I KNOW have felt this their whole lives. My Black, Latino, Muslim, disabled and LGBTQ friends. And so many more.

As a white person, I'm well aware of my privilege. And that so many of my friends, colleagues, and fellow Americans have felt like I'm feeling right now and have known this reality forever.

Now, as a woman and a Jew, I truly understand that feeling.

Last night, America embraced a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, misogynist who had the support of every hate group, including the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Who has the support of world leaders whom we as Americans typically view as enemies - Russia and North Korea.

He also had the overwhelming support of evangelicals - and this is a man who clearly is not religious, doesn't understand the Bible or any of its major principles.

How those evangelicals can reconcile themselves to the fact they shared the same beliefs as the KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists is beyond me. How they reconcile themselves that they chose a man who embraces hatred and fear over love is beyond me. How they chose a man who has unrepentantly and gleefully cheated on 2 wives is beyond me.  A man who calls for the expulsion of immigrants while parading his immigrant wife around. A man who lies without remorse. As they like to say, I guess their day of reckoning will come.

I tried to explain this to my husband last night. What it feels like to be considered less than. It's hard for a white man to truly get what that means. No matter how much he wants to. The feeling of utter despondency. Knowing that the majority of America willfully & deliberately chose someone who wants to take away your rights as an American citizen. As a woman. As a Jew. I just can't.

To my family and friends who voted for Trump: I see all these statements floating around about how politics shouldn't get in the way of relationships, and I believe that. We've held different political beliefs for a very long time, and have always managed a warm, loving relationship. Because politics don't matter over family.

But this isn't politics. This is world view. This is about decency over indecency. Humanity over inhumanity. Laughingly calling for a diligent public servant to be killed, jailed, or otherwise tortured.  The glee with which you celebrate the hatred and divisiveness. It's not ok. And it says far more about you and your character than do your politics. You preach love and Jesus and all that bullshit, but last night you deliberately voted for racism. For hatred. For misogyny. For anger and hostility. You deliberately voted for someone who wants me to be and believes me to be less than. And that is what I cannot and will not forgive.

I am going to continue working my ass off to get these hateful people out of our government. I'm going to work for 2018. And then for 2020. I am compelled to do so.

But I do it without the belief I had yesterday that most Americans are decent human beings.

Today, that belief is gone.




Friday, July 8, 2016

Clickbait headlines are undermining democracy


Because the only way I can function today is to focus on something other than the Dallas shootings and the seemingly unwarranted killings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, I thought to comment on something else. Our inability to get anything DONE about the problems we're seeing.

But today I really want to focus on the media's role in public perception through their use of headlines and how that influences those in power.

Every time I see a clickbait headline on what might be an excellent article, I want to cringe. In fact, I have stopped sharing these articles on social media, even if the article is wonderful and full of facts instead of journalistic integrity, as I believe that they encourage divisiveness rather than cohesion. Titillation rather than decency.

Clickbaiting has had a detrimental effect on our democracy. Yes, practicing your 1st amendment rights as a free press is sometimes not good for our democracy.

You know the articles I'm talking about. The articles with the headlines in all caps - "Congress CAVES..." "Obama EXCORIATES..." (also, ewww), "So-and-so OBLITERATES...". Do a google search for "congress caves" or "gop caves to obama" and you'll see what I mean.

If every time that Congress decides to actually get something done, they are accused of "caving" to another position, nothing will ever get done. If they are worried that they won't ever get re-elected because their headlines all talk about them giving up everything they believe in to the evil empire, why would they ever want to partake? And that is pretty much where we find ourselves.

I'm resolving to create better headlines for my own tiny piece of the internet. Granted, nobody reads my silly little blog, and very few ever actually see my headlines, but I'm going to try to make my headlines a little less riot-inducing and more explanatory.

As it relates to our gun problem, I had a few thoughts.


We need to be able to have discussions and compromise without being SLAUGHTERED in the media headlines. Because America is far too lazy to click through and actually READ the articles. And far too uneducated to actually understand the nuance in many articles.

Compromise is not "CAVING" to demands. It is what our country was founded on. Nobody gets everything they want.

For instance, I would love to see the 2nd amendment repealed. I believe it's completely irrelevant in today's society. Will that actually ever happen? Nope. I'll have to compromise and be happy if and when we get progress that includes restrictions on military-grade weaponry. Restrictions on who can own a weapon (ie, convicted dangerous felons, who aren't even allowed to vote in some states, but can purchase firearms in those same states). Background checks for every purchaser on every purchase of weapons and high-grade ammo.

These things don't mean I have "CAVED" on my original position. They mean that I am an adult who can see that a better solution that is not perhaps the best solution is better than no solution at all.

Congress refusing to hold a vote on a gun legislation because they want to punish Democrats for their "bad behavior" in protesting that there is no vote on gun legislation is idiotic and infuriating. It's retaliation for exercising 1st amendment rights (the GOP loves their constitution - what's up with the retaliation?). It's freaking childish, and we should expect more from our elected leaders.

Congress refusing to discuss how we can make policing more effective for both the police and the communities they serve because they don't want to reward the BLM movement's "bad behavior" is ridiculous. We would never have a Civil Rights Act if someone wasn't willing to listen to reason and learn and act. Educating someone on issues is not bad behavior. Learning about issues and being able to change your view on them is not CAVING. Fixing problems is not CAVING. Fixing problems means finding solutions. Finding good solutions is never caving.

The media highlighting all of this in titillating ALLCAPS is not journalism. It's impeding our democracy. Do I wish our elected officials were above letting it influence them? Of course I do. But do I understand that headlines will always influence them? Of course I do.

Additionally, you are only cementing public opinion, not educating the public. Each side clings to their ALLCAP headlines like lifeboats in an unstable sea, and they provide the opportunity less for learning and more for childish retorts. "SEE? I TOLD you my way was the best! They CAVED!" You are not educating, or changing any minds here. You are cementing often-ignorant opinions with headlines that incite rather than educate.

So media, please stop EXCORIATING people when they CAVE to DEMANDS. Because you're making the problem worse. You're encouraging it. You're not reporting the news. You're reporting style is as childish as Congress is. I understand that in this world of rolling twitter timelines you want to stand out. I get it. Really. But you do a total disservice to your profession.

Write responsible headlines that indicate what the article is TRULY about, not what will rile the most people. Write articles that are insightful, not inciteful. Educate us. Help us form our opinions - don't simply cement our existing ones.

So just stop it with the clickbait. I beg of you.


In the meantime, I continue to pray for peace and for those injured and for the families and loved ones of those killed - both in Dallas and in cities around America every day.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Anger and/or compassion after Orlando - is one right or wrong?

A conversation on Facebook, as well as two perfect monologues last night in the wake of the Orlando mass murder has me thinking. As we all should be.

Which is the appropriate response? Anger? Compassion?

I contend that either is fine. As an initial response. (see yesterday's post on thoughts and prayers). But what about those of us with the power to create change?

Everyone grieves in their own way. There is no right or wrong way to express honest grief. Last night, Jimmy Fallon perfectly expressed my sorrow in his opening comments on The Tonight Show. Sam Bee perfectly expressed my anger in her opening of the perfectly brilliant Full Frontal. (see both below)

Are either of them right or wrong? Nope. Everyone grieves in their own way.

I have grieved and cried in private over the loss of 50 beautiful young lives and for the horror and pain that the 53 injured and all those who were there will live with the rest of their days. And the shock and sorrow their families and loved ones must feel. If there was anything that I could personally do to ease their pain, I would do it in a heartbeat.

But I also believe we are at a point where in addition to being loving and caring to those families, and offering our thoughts and prayers, if we don't take decisive action this will never stop. Action that says what kind of a people we are. What kind of a society we choose to live in. One where we value inanimate objects over children? Or one where we value the lives of our citizens?

We should value our people more than a document written by imperfect people who had the best intentions and declared how things should be in a perfect world in 1788. The framers of the constitution also thought slavery was hunky dory and that blacks were worth only 3/5 of a human being. So we know they were wrong on some things.

The constitution is not absolute.

We cry "Freedom!" when anyone talks about "taking our guns away." But none of us are truly free when we live in fear every day of our lives. That is not freedom. That is tyranny. A tyranny of our own making.

So yes, I am angry. Furious. That we as a nation have so little compassion. That we allow words written 240 years ago to be more important than human life today. That we are so enamored of money and power and politics over human life and dignity.

So yes. I grieve. Every single time this happens. Which is more than once a day, if you only  count those with 4 or more victims. Add in those with 3 or fewer and I would spend 24 hours a day grieving for the unnecessary loss of human life. As a human being, I simply cannot do that and still survive.

I can only grieve so many times before I have to speak out.

And try to DO something to stop it.

All I have is my voice, my vote, and my dollars.


Sam Bee on Full Frontal


Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show

Monday, June 13, 2016

The power of prayer on public policy (hint: none)

Prayer is great for introspection, but it does not get anything practical done. It's the only option many of us have in horrible situations, other than our vote. But make no mistake. It doesn't accomplish anything concrete other than to make us feel better and let others know we're thinking of them. Sometimes, that's all we have and all we can do. But other times, it needs to be used in conjunction with other things - like meaningful public policy.

Prayer doesn't stop people from buying assault weapons. It doesn't create rain in a drought. It doesn't fix floods. It doesn't stop the decay of our atmosphere from overuse of fossil fuels.  Do you know what fixes these things? Policy. Money. Governments. Commitment. People.

In the wake of another mass murder using assault weapons legally purchased (even though the murderer was on the terror watch list at one point, was a domestic abuser, and had been interviewed by the FBI 3 times for terror) all politicians had to offer up was their thoughts and prayers.

Igor Volsky called them out as hypocrites on twitter for their thoughts and prayers. It's not that thoughts and prayers aren't important on a personal level. For many of us, they are. But incessant thoughts and prayers when you are in a position to change outcomes eventually become meaningless.

Do you know what would have kept Volsky from calling those politicians out? Had those hypocritical politicians said "Sending thoughts and prayers for the victims. This is unacceptable and I will work to fix our flawed gun legislation."

When you are in a position of power to make meaningful change, thoughts and prayers only go so far before they become meaningless.

via sandyhookshame.com

If you want those thoughts and prayers offered up by politicians to mean something, then we as a nation need to do a few things.

1. Speak with your vote. Elect representation that supports curbing gun violence with assault weapons bans, universal background checks, putting terrorists and felons and domestic abusers on a no buy list, and a constitutional amendment regarding campaign finance reform that takes special interests (like the NRA) out of the equation (thanks for Citizen's United, SCOTUS).

2. Demand that your representatives do their jobs. Call. Email. Write old fashioned letters. @ them on social media. Tell them that you expect more than thoughts and prayers. You expect them to ACT.

3. Get involved. Join a legitimate organization, volunteer. Make your voice heard and help others to make their voices heard.

4. Elevate the discourse in this country. Ensure that we don't allow super-nationalism, xenophobia, homophobia, racism, and religious zealotry to have a legitimate voice in public policy.

5. Speak with your wallet. If organizations promote hatred, don't shop there. If you don't agree with an organization's political position, it's ok to not give them your hard earned dollars. Here's some examples: I don't agree with Chick-Fil-A's homophobic position. I have never eaten there. I haven't bought food from Domino's since I discovered in the early 90s that they gave $0.10 of every dollar to the Right to Life foundation. It may not mean anything to those organizations individually, but if many people do it, then it has the chance to work. Even if it doesn't, it makes me feel better to know that I am not personally funding hatred.

6. Promote public education. Insist your states & localities fund it. We had a wonderful public education system until ignorance and religion, as well as budget crises, underfunded it. This is why our government collects taxes.

Speaking of taxes... government does not exist to be run as a business. It's not a for-profit entity - no matter how much some people think it is. It exists to take care of its citizens. Tax dollars are important and are the primary way the government takes care of its people. Among other things, they keep our roads drivable and our bridges crossable, our people healthy and sheltered, our children educated, and provide disaster relief.

From the Preamble to the Constitution (bolding mine):
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
From Article 1, Section 8:
The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States
If you feel like your government isn't taking care of you, then insist that it does. First and foremost, with your vote. Then by being a vocal advocate.

One other note: we have freedom of speech in this country. However, freedom of speech in public does not free you (or me) from the consequences of that speech, especially when it comes to your employment or your reputation. Example: Using your employment platform to spout your personal beliefs.

So continue your thoughts and prayers. I'm sure that they make you feel like you are doing something to fight back in a violent and uncertain world.

But if you are in a position to do effect meaningful change, your thoughts and prayers are not enough.




Sunday, June 12, 2016

Guns... guns... guns... and more guns

AP Photo / Brennan Linsley

As of the writing of this post, there are still no final conclusions as to the motive or group affiliations of the terrorist that killed 50 people and injured 53 more at a nightclub in Orlando. Some things are known:
  • He had a history of domestic violence.
  • He hated gays.
  • He was Muslim.
  • ISIS claimed responsibility.
  • Politicians who have actively and openly hated on the LGBTQ community are now sending "thoughts & prayers".
  • Except asshat Lt. Gov Dan Patrick of TX

    (who then put out this press release after a shitton of backlash)
       
  • Also except asshat Donald Drumpf.

    (who then did not put out a statement after a shitton of backlash)

  • POTUS likes Rush
  • None of this is due to the easy availability of guns. Of course it's not! How could you even think that?! That's blasphemous!

And once again, the requisite Facebook replies:
  • Guns didn't kill people, people killed people. - Yes, WITH GUNS.
  • Bad guys don't follow laws. - It's usually these people who are quick to want laws surrounding so many other things (regulating my uterus being at the top of the list). Also, they have no answer for the "why have laws at all, then"? Other than "RIGHT! We shouldn't have laws - we should be able to whatever the hell we want, because Murica! Freedom!" 
  • Even without guns they will find a way to kill people. - Sure, but it's pretty tough to kill 50 people in a few seconds with a knife.
  • But... the gun was bought illegally. I'm a LAW-ABIDING gun owner. - See above ^. Also, if we didn't have > 1 gun for every human being in America, maybe illegal weapons wouldn't be so damned easy to get.
  • 2nd Amendment, yo! - The 2nd amendment argument is pretty null and void in my mind at this point - muskets couldn't kill 50 people in seconds. Also, the founding fathers definitely meant the Constitution to be a living, breathing document that changed with the times.
click to enlarge

PS: President Obama didn't add this quote to the Jefferson Memorial to justify his treasonous, Muslim, Kenyan activities. It was there long before he even became a glimmer in his daddy's eye. President Roosevelt dedicated it in 1943.


I've talked about guns millions of times before. Frankly, I'd like to repeal the 2nd amendment altogether. I'm past the whole "responsible gun owner" shit. I'm past "let's regulate guns like cars - with forced registration, insurance, written & proficiency tests every 4 years, safety regulations, etc". I don't frankly know what else the answer could be. Other countries have figured this out and don't have the number of mass murders we do. In our nationalistic zeal, we refuse to admit that another country might do something better than us.

That this happened during gay pride and was an attack on LGBTQ people in one of their safe spaces is getting lost in the shuffle, and I don't intend that at all. It's huge. And awful. And needs to stop now. There are so many others more qualified to talk about the impact on the LGBTQ community than I am. I just hope they know they have an ally in me.

What happened in the early morning hours in Orlando is horrifying. I'm beyond shocked and have moved directly into anger. I storified my tweets & RTs from this morning about this.

Our President is right. Thoughts and prayers mean nothing if we don't take action. There is an election coming up. Please get involved. If this amount of gun violence is unacceptable to you, vote out your gun-loving congress-idiot.

Not sure who's taking money from the NRA or other gun-lobby groups to vote down gun control legislation? After the San Bernardino shooting, Igor Volsky of Think Progress put together a series of tweets calling those folks out. He did it again this morning.

Enough is enough.



Thursday, June 9, 2016

The patriarchal society that perpetuates rape, AKA Idiots on social media

This is one of those times where I would say, "Cover your eyes, Mom - there's going to be a lot of swearing." Sadly, my mom passed away last week. But I know that she is cringing wherever she is, so I'll say it anyway. Cover your eyes, Mom. There's going to be a lot of swearing.

Rape has been back in the spotlight this past week, with the offensive sentence given to yet another athlete student convicted rapist who would have his whole life ruined if he went to jail for a long time. *wrings hands* Think of his future!

Who cares what the victim went through. That poor boy. SMH. His life ruined over 20 minutes of action. His father is despondent (see below). Such a shame.



So... as seems to happen every time a rapist goes essentially free, there is a chart floating around social media, declaring (accurately) that the only cause of rape is rapists. My husband (oh, how I love him) posted it on his Facebook page.

Of course, this always seems to bring out the misogynist nut cases who insist that if only a woman would act like a lady, they wouldn't get violated.

I usually try to stay out of these because it makes my blood pressure go through the roof, but I was seething last night. SEETHING.

First, this comment by a former student of the hub, in response to the "rediculous chart":
"All of the rape victims I know share a few common threads....flirtatious nature, inappropriate attire, drinks to excess. How many conservatively dressed, well-behaved, sober women out there are getting raped? Just saying."
First off, if "all of the rape victims you know" incorporates that many women, I wonder why you aren't more sympathetic. Or are they all sluts who are asking for it? Also, if you generalize in such a way, I'm guessing that all the rape victims you know don't really want to know you.

Second, there are millions of women each year that are raped, who were wearing jeans, t-shirts, stone cold sober, sleeping in their own beds minding their own business. Also, it doesn't matter if the victim was stark naked and drunk as a skunk. You don't stick your dick (or anything else) into someone without permission. The end. Her clothes, or her drink, or her smile do not imply "Please stick your dick or some other object into my body."

Let me repeat that:
You don't stick your dick (or anything else) into someone without permission. The end.

Third, it doesn't matter to these people how the woman acted.

If she was smiling, she invited it.
If she wasn't smiling, she's a bitch who deserves what she got.
If she was drinking, she deserves what she got.
If she wasn't drinking, she's an antisocial bitch who deserves what she got.
If she wore a short skirt, she invited it.
If she wore jeans, she's an uppity feminist who deserves what she got.

See how this works with those folks?

So I posted a link about rape myths, complete with citations, to try to educate this idiot, because that's how I (try to) roll.

His response?
"I saw nothing in that article to dispell my claim. Let me be clear. I'm not condoning rape. I'm just saying that it can be avoided. Just the same, it can be encouraged."
No. NO. Rape is NOT encouraged. Not by what a woman wears, not by what she drinks, not by smiling and laughing with another person. Just NO. Comments like that try to turn rape into just a sexual encounter. Rape is a crime of violent power. It is not about sex - it's about exerting your power over another human being through violent sexual assault.

To which I got the stock answer about teaching your daughter to be a lady. Fucktard.
"If you had a daughter, would you condone her drinking, dressing provocatively, being flirtatious, and hanging out at wild parties and bars or would you encourage her to dress conservatively, choose her friends wisely, and conduct herself like a lady?"
Here's the thing. I did many of those things in college and during the years after, and interestingly, not one single solitary man decided it was his right to rape me because I wasn't living up to his definition of "a lady". Shocking, I know.

Instead of the offensive suggestion that I should make my daughter conform to patriarchal definitions of what should define a woman (or as he so condescendingly put it, a "lady"), my husband and I decided to teach our sons to respect all people, to never take advantage of people, and to help people when they need it. What a concept, I know.

I had my son (and his friend - heh) read the letter from the survivor in the Stanford rape case. It is powerful stuff. I also had them read the statements from the 2 men who stepped up and did something. Who stopped Turner and caught him, and held him until police arrived. Because that is what I would expect of my sons. Of anyone who witnessed such a crime.

Until we stop this idiotic centuries-old notion that women are asking for it, that if they would just act or dress or behave like a lady, well golly gee - men would protect and defend them, rapists like Brock Turner will continue to get 6 months.

And don't even get me started on the privilege and entitlement that Turner and his family exuded. What do you suppose the sentence would have been if he was black? Pretty sure we can all agree that it wouldn't be 6 months.

Women are not complicit in their rape.

Rape is a violent crime, an abuse of power, perpetrated by a criminal onto a victim.

Get that into your big fat head and shut the everloving fuck up.




PS: Learn how to spell.


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

I have feelings about the Democratic primary and Bernie Sanders

I have feelings about a man who has admirably spent his entire political career as an Independent coming in as a Democrat, bitching about the Democratic party, and then criticizing the policies of the Democratic Party when they don't support his agenda. For that, Bernie Sanders wins today's You've Got Balls award.

Don't get me wrong, I like many of Bernie Sanders' positions. I disagree with many of his positions as well. But he'll never get anything done in Washington as President. Congress is a real thing in our world. The President doesn't get to make all the laws. We have a Constitution. And a really stupid Congress. And if Sanders really thinks he can get an obstructionist, stupid Congress to even do anything but laugh at his agenda, well.....

I've said this about the Republicans, and I'll say it about the Democrats as well (and the pretend Independent Democrats). This country was founded on compromise. None of the Founding Fathers got everything they wanted. They had to give a little to get a little. Bernie Sanders has drawn a line in the sand. That's not going to get him anywhere. Hillary Clinton is willing to work for the best deal that works for the majority of Americans. And that's what will chip away at the impasse in Washington. President Obama has accomplished a tremendous amount by doing just that. I'd like to continue progress and work our way toward your vision. I believe in your end-vision - I just don't believe that it can be done all in one fell swoop. Unfortunately, it's got to be a process. And you aren't willing to let it be a process.


My point really is this simple, though. You come into the Democratic Party to run for President, which really isn't your party, but is the party that provides you the best chance to get yourself elected. That's pretty opportunistic, if you ask me. Kind of like the manipulation of the system you're railing about in your campaign.

Anyway, you opportunistically decide to run as a Democrat, even though you're an Independent. Then you complain because the Democratic party rules don't suit your purposes. No. It just doesn't work that way.

And then, if you don't get the nomination, you might just go back to your old party, because then you can really disrupt the system and get your supporters to ensure that Trump is elected president. So basically, you're pulling the little kid practice of - "You're being mean to me. Boohoo. I don't wanna come to your stupid birthday party anyway. And I'm gonna tell all my friends not to come to your birthday party either! I'm gonna have a party of my own so nobody comes to your dumb old party. So there!". Thus, ruining all the parties for everyone.

So here's a thought. Then don't hijack a political party for your own gain and then complain about that political party when it doesn't work for you. Time to learn how to play nice with the other kids on the yard.


Monday, June 6, 2016

More on guns and school violence

When I mentioned to my kids that there had been a shooting at UCLA, the following words actually came out of my mouth:

"It was just a murder-suicide."

Just.

That's what we've been reduced to, courtesy of Wayne LaCrazysauce and the NRA.



I once again began thinking about the WHY.

Why have school shootings become an epidemic?

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, “Since 2013, there have been at least 186 school shootings in America — an average of nearly one a week.” The rate of mass shootings has tripled since 2011, according to Harvard School of Public Health.

In the past 10 years, there has been an increased narrative on a few fronts.

First: teachers are the worst. They are lazy, work part time, and are solely responsible for this generation of uneducated young adults and children.

Forget the fact that it's state legislatures and the idiotic House of Representatives that have put a decreased emphasis on education - increasing funding in many instances for "school of choice", for vouchers, for charter schools, and for parochial school and homeschooling - where frequently there is no monitoring of standards, and religious beliefs are given more weight and importance than actual facts.

We not only need to excel in math and science - we need to give students a well-rounded education in all areas. Expose them to art, and music, and history (god yes, please! teach history for chrissake). They need PE - something which is all but disappearing in the elementary and middle schools. And teach them that facts are important! Teach them to question the world around them and to develop their own world view. Not to just accept as gospel the world view of their parents and teachers.

Second, and this is mostly since President Obama has come to take our guns away -  the idea that simply being a US citizen allows you to carry a weapon, concealed or not, anywhere you want. And to use it any time you want. Well, President Obama hasn't taken our guns away (much to my sadness). And yet, the idea that guns are an anger management tool seems ingrained in not just a new generation, but in their parents as well.

You're mad at your teacher? That lazy, do-nothing who didn't give you the grade you want deserves to be shot. Because we haven't told kids that it's wrong. We've taught them through the laws being passed for Stand Your Ground, and no-permit concealed carry on campus, in bars, and in churches is how we can settle arguments. How we defend ourselves from all evil.

We've forgotten to teach a new generation and their parents that we start with words. And that the pen is mightier than the sword. In our immediate gratification society, I want you gone, so I make you gone immediately. Each month, Parents Against Gun Violence posts a list on their Facebook page containing the reasons people were shot in the previous month. They are all idiotic and stupidly selfish anger management tools.

We've taught people that it's ok to kill to get what you want. Don't like my constitutional right to have an abortion? Fine. Blow up the clinic. If you die, you deserved it.  Don't like kids playing their loud music? Fine, shoot them. Don't like your grades? Fine, kill your teacher.

Of course, these only apply to white students, or more specifically, white men. Because if a black woman were to use a gun to stand her ground, she gets sentenced to jail for 20 years. When a white man does it, he gets off scott free with a huge outpouring of donations and a big dose of asshole.

Anywhooo... my original point is this: stop devaluing education in the name of the 1st & 2nd amendments. The more we educate our society (REAL education, people) the less this crap will be tolerated. And the fewer uneducated idiots will get elected to Congress.

Because my hope is to never have to say again, "It was just a murder-suicide."


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

The truth about women's restrooms

In the wake of so many anti-LGBT bills sweeping across the country, there are a few that have made national and even international news. Looking at you, Tennessee, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Indiana.

The latest controversy is about allowing transgender individuals to use the restrooms of the gender with which they identify. The argument for these anti-trans laws is that "Oh my stars! *fans self* Men will be sharing a bathroom with mah little girl!"

Former baseball great and now sad shell of a human being Curt Schilling was fired from ESPN for unapologetically posting a meme showing a dude playing girly dress-up and derisively talking about him sharing the bathroom with your daughters.
Seriously? Just shut up Curt Schilling and everyone else.

The truth is that trans women don't consider themselves men. They consider themselves women. So men are not sharing a restroom with your precious daughter. Women are.

I will say this, however. I could give two shits even if men were to share public restrooms with women. Hey - do you want to know what goes on in women's public restrooms, men? I'll let you in on the truth of the ladies' room.

First off, women are disgusting. They seem to forget every bit of manners they ever learned when they hit a women's restroom. I'd be more worried about a trans woman's sensibilities as they entered this disgusting place than any cis woman or girl in the place.  So... here's how the women's restroom experience goes:


  • Take a deep breath (trust me on this one)
  • Enter the restroom
  • Find a stall (hey - they all have doors! That lock!)
  • Pray there's one where the disgusting woman who would never behave like this in her own home actually flushed.
  • Avoid all the puddles (I DON'T want to know!) and the toilet paper all over the floor that's sure to stick to your shoes.
  • Sit down and pray you don't get any gross diseases because the disgusting woman before you didn't actually hit the bowl.
  • Do your business.
  • Flush (if you're lucky, people do this. If not, well...)
  • Unlock your locking stall door that gave you privacy to do your business.
  • Wash your hands (PLEASE PEOPLE! FOR THE LOVE OF G-D WASH YOUR HANDS!)
  • Look in the mirror and primp.
  • Judge yourself in the mirror.
  • Look judgmentally at all the other women in the mirror.
  • Leave.


That's it. That is everything that happens in a women's public restroom.

In all of my years on this planet using public restrooms, I have never encountered anyone - female or male - that felt the need to flash their bits at me, touch me, or make unnecessary sexual comments at me.

On the way in and out? Sure. Because men are pigs. But once I'm in the restroom? Nada.

Frankly, women's restrooms are so gross that we all are just trying to get in and out as fast as humanly possible while touching as few surfaces as possible and taking as few breaths as possible.

So when you worry about your precious daughter sharing a bathroom with some horrible monster that you probably never even knew had a penis because they look like a woman, act like a woman, and ARE women, and are using the restroom IN A LOCKED STALL so that you can't see their bits as much as you don't want them to see yours, I suggest that you suck up your bigotry (but not with too deep a breath because ewwww, public restroom) and shut the fuck up about something you know nothing about.

Trans women and men are far more likely to be assaulted than to assault. And guess who assaults them? YOU, BIGOTS. The same bigots who force these "anti-everyone but cis white male" laws down our throats (hey, you dudes LOVE that analogy).

So stop all this rhetoric and learn facts (I know that goes against everything you stand for, but seriously). Live and let live. Stop with the I hate government until I want to discriminate then we neeeeed government shit.

Grow up.

Be a human being. Kind, compassionate, caring. All those things your Jesus tells you to do. And you luuurrrve the Jesus.

Stop using your religion as a weapon of hate.





Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Quote of the day and how our presidential politics are out of control

"We've just seen Hillary Clinton go through 11 hours of questioning, and these guys can't go a couple minutes of questioning?"
~ former Reagan advisor Bruce Bartlett on the GOP complaints that debates are haaarrrdddd.


I've been pretty quiet as the crazy shit that is the GOP primary has swirled around us. I've been watching the train wreck of American politics with my jaw on the ground and a large bottle of alcohol, wondering how we have allowed stupid to become the norm. (thanks W!)

It seems that having to answer questions about policy, their campaign tactics, the truth of their statements and so on is really hard for the GOP presidential candidates. So they basically delivered a list of demands to the networks that wrap up to letting them have an infomercial without any questioning in a nice cool room with potty breaks for all. And if the network doesn't like it, they'll pick up their ball and go home.

Even Fox's Megyn Kelly asked if they'd like a foot massage to go with that. (Shhhhh, little lady. She must be bleeding from somewhere again today.)

They have pulled out of the NBC debate because CNBC was mean to them. I say good riddance.

If the GOP candidates can't handle a few unwelcome questions from the media in a controlled setting, how the hell do they expect to handle the media post-election? Because, hello. The media (and fellow politicians) have not exactly been kind to President Obama. In fact, here was Pres Obama's reaction, and it is spot on (re the debates, it starts at 5:00 in, but watch the whole thing):

"Every one of these candidates says, 'Obama's weak, Putin's kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he's going to straighten out.' And then it turns out, they can't handle a bunch of CNBC moderators. If you can't handle those guys, I don't think the Chinese and the Russians are going to be too worried about you."

Oh, SNAP.

I love that he is starting to fight back. I just wish he had done it 7 years ago. But now that he has literally zero fucks left to give, he's starting to tell it like it is.

He is spot on. If the GOP candidates can't handle the tough questions now, how will they like it when they are treated like they treat President Obama? I'm thinking they won't like it much.

Back to Bartlett's quote. The GOP candidates love seeing Hillary Clinton put on the spot for 11+ hours. In fact - the GOP loves it so much, they're gonna do it all over again (because if the outcome of 7 investigations that didn't turn out the way they wanted, maybe the 8th time's the charm). It's the "Repeal Obamacare" rule of politics. If at first you don't succeed, try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try try again. For 60+ times. Maybe the 61st Benghazi committee will find something!

Love the party of "fiscal responsibility". Yeah, not really pleased about them wasting my tax dollars this way.

Moving on... what the hell is the matter with America that we think "I like his attitude" makes a person qualified to be president of the United States? How is it that we blindly accept "I'm gonna build a wall and make Mexico pay for it, because WINNING!" and that is "good enough for me!".

Journalists also bear a large burden of the blame. They refuse to question and call out candidates' blatant lies. Their corporate owners are so afraid of losing GOP money and appearing left-leaning that they allow these folks to get away with anything. They report "Donald Trump said xyz", but they don't go on to say "and xyz is flat out bullshit and here's why."

Yet they seem to have no issue reporting negatively about Hillary Clinton (who has a last name, BTW). Interesting how she seems to be the main competition, she's a woman, and we have no issue making her look bad, and calling her only by her first name - minimizing her to the "little woman" role. Stop it. She is an amazingly accomplished woman. She is a gifted attorney, a former first lady, a former senator, a former Secretary of State. Treat her with respect. Or don't expect us to do the same for you.

And we have a nation of ignoramuses that thinks this is just grand. Because we don't want to educate our children. It might interfere with them being raptured. It might make them think for themselves, instead of blindly accepting what we tell them. I've spoken about this before - we are a nation that doesn't value critical thinking. We don't want anyone questioning our world view or forming a world view of their own. We are threatened by education.

And nothing makes that clearer than the field of GOP presidential candidates.




Thursday, September 3, 2015

Why #AllLivesMatter is not all or nothing

I've seen this making the social media rounds. It's actually what prompted yesterday's post.


We are very black & white in this country (heh - excuse the pun).

Understanding the #BlackLivesMatter movement is not the equivalent of an anti-law enforcement agenda. Understanding that there is an institutional pattern of applying the law inequitably does not negate the good that law enforcement does. Is this the time when I use the cliched phrase "I have friends that are police officers, firefighters, etc"?  Well, it's true. I do. The woman I consider a daughter is in the Army. And I firmly stand behind their exemplary service.

But standing behind good law enforcement doesn't negate those who let their personal prejudices or fears infringe on their ability to perform their public service job effectively and fairly.

Yes, some things are black & white - no middle ground. However most things in this world are not. Because I support a woman's right to choose to have an abortion, or use birth control, or get equal pay for equal work, or breastfeed in public, or not be raped, or any number of other things - it does not mean I hate men. In fact, I love men! I'm actually married to one, and have chosen to spend the rest of my life with him. I've given birth to two men. I'm even willing to put up with those grey areas - like having to listen to them fart, or scratch their genitals, or watch my husband pull his own finger because it amuses him, or courtesy laugh at his silly jokes because it makes him happy. And because I love my husband and sons, I can actually find these traits amusing and endearing and lovable. Wow. Men are actually pretty freaking awesome!

See? I can support one cause without being against the other.

I fully support providing the tools to our law enforcement officials to allow them to do their jobs effectively. But by virtue of the fact that they are publicly funded by my tax dollars, it also means that they must comply with the law at all times. Actually, even though I'm not publicly funded, I am held to the same standards. Huh. Can we hold them to an even higher standard? I say yes. Those entrusted with public safety and security must be held to a higher standard in their professional lives. That also includes not just law enforcement, but policy makers, and other publicly funded professionals.

Every person carries their life experiences into their job. It's what you do with that experience and how you control its hold over your actions that makes you a better (or worse) human being and makes you accountable for your actions on the job.

Just because you have a difficult job and times right now are making that job even more difficult, doesn't mean that you get a pass on accountability. Swearing an oath to uphold the law means something. And if we can't hold you accountable for that, then we have a lawless society. We've done this before. The wild west was a crazy place, filled with vigilante justice. As a society, we decided that didn't work for us, and so we began to develop laws to deal with how justice should be served. Equally. Through the courts. Nobody gets to determine guilt or innocence, or prounounce and carry out sentence without due process.

And what many law enforcement officials have chosen to so is exactly that. They have made themselves judge and jury for people of color and pronounced and carried out a death sentence on people of color in this country.

Yes, you may be an asshole and an idiot if you talk back to law enforcement, or run from them, or don't comply with their orders. But that is not a crime punishable by death in this country. And guess what? Neither is approaching a home after an accident for help, or playing music loudly in your car punishable by death in this country. It's what makes us better than terrorists or dictatorships. It's what makes us American.

So yes, I will continue to support law enforcement - those who are doing it right. And I will also continue to call out injustices where they exist, including supporting the root cause of #BlackLivesMatter. Because it's not black and white. We need to call out the injustices against specific groups in order to wipe out those injustices.

Black people and women did not win the vote by  claiming "All Votes Matter", even though, hey - that was true. They won the vote by calling out the injustices against them and working to fix them. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes by being rude. Sometimes with violence. Usually legally. Sometimes not. But the bottom line is by calling out the injustice, they proved that all votes do matter.


And so, if that's what you really want, I'll be happy to unfriend you. It might make our holidays a little uncomfortable. It might make band gigs equally uncomfortable. It might cause a rift in the core values of our country - that we all have a right to be heard and that laws apply to everyone.

It also means I have 1 less person to suck my time up on social media. Well, ok then.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Guns, and the killing of police officers

I mourn the loss of the officers who have been murdered this past week (and ever). It's deplorable, and awful, and horrific. My heart aches for their families and loved ones, and the people who killed them should be swiftly apprehended, tried, convicted, and punished.

Guns can not only be used in the hands of Good Guys With Guns to protect Good Guys, but hey - people also use them to commit violent, disgusting crimes. These would be the Bad Guys With Guns doing Bad Guy things. Who'da ever thunk it? This applies whether the victim is a law enforcement officer hunted down because of their uniform, or a group in a church hunted down for the color of their skin. Bottom line is that we need to change how easy it is for anyone to get a gun in this country so that we can begin to discern who is the Good Guys With A Gun and who is the Bad Guys With A Gun. (More coming up in a different post on all the "gun laws don't work so we should just get rid of them all" bullshit.)

I find it interesting, though, that there is no "lone wolf" narrative associated when the gun violence is against law enforcement. No, this is obviously the work of an organized effort, probably the (whispers) black people in the Black Lives Matter group. It couldn't possibly be a single individual breaking the law. But all the other "isolated", "lone wolf" incidents against citizens couldn't possibly be the organized efforts of a single group (ahem, NRA) or groups (ahem, skinheads, racists, etc).

We all agree (supposedly) that All Lives Matter. But by highlighting injustice against a single group, all other groups don't automatically become null and void. Just like when extending the right to get married to homosexual couples in this country, we didn't automatically render the right to heterosexual marriages null and void - no matter how much certain Kentucky county clerks and Congressional idiots would like to think it actually did.

There is a growing desire to pin the premeditated murders of police officers on the Black Lives Matter movement. The bottom line is that law enforcement deaths in the line of duty are not on the rise. It's been a shitty couple of weeks for the law enforcement community, and by extension, the country. And that needs to stop. Immediately. But this year overall is no different than any other year, except that the number of on-duty law enforcement deaths by gunfire is actually down, not up.

According to Daily Kos (and their stats are all linked in the article):
Often, people who are sympathetic to police will quote that 83 police have died in the line of duty in 2015. And that is true, but what they aren't telling you is that 13 of those officers had heart attacks or that 19 died in car accidents or that three died because of 9/11-related illnesses.
A total of 26 police officers have been shot and killed in the line of duty this year. Each of those is tragic and a reflection of the violence in our country. This, though, is not some race-based dramatic uptick in police shooting deaths. Forty-seven officers were shot and killed in 2014 and we are on pace to have fewer than that this year. Comparatively, 662 people have been shot and killed by police in America as of September 1 and a total of 792 people have been killed by police altogether this year.
Not only that, but as the media attempts to blame black activists for these deaths, the truth they aren't telling you is that half of all police who've been shot and killed this year were actually African Americans. That, though, is inconvenient for their narrative.
I have no doubt that many, many of the people killed by police had been actively attacking police and that the use of force bby police was completely justified. I also don't doubt that many, many of those killed by police were simply standing with their hands in the air, being transported from one place to another, or smoking a cigarette in the car.

The argument that you get what's coming to you if you don't automatically obey the police goes against every law relating to due process we have. In this country, the fine for mouthing off to a police officer is not death. This is one thing that differentiates us from those terrorist nations we like to rail against. When we give law enforcement the keys to be judge and jury in the field, we violate everything this country was founded on.

Do I think you're an idiot (and probably a bit of an asshole) if you mouth off to the police? Indeed I do. Does that mean you're breaking the law? Nope, it does not.

To those of you in my social streams telling me that you don't want to be my friend anymore if I don't believe ALL LIVES MATTER, I say of course they matter. But I also say that calling out injustice is what this country was founded on. So I will continue to say that Black Lives Matter. Because that is the area where we sadly seem to disagree. So if you don't want to be my friend anymore, I will suffer through the loss like a good little martyr. The fact that we refuse to understand that we can have conversations and agree to disagree escapes so many of us. There is ALWAYS common ground (ok, almost always - pretty sure I don't agree with Ted Cruz on anything. Even if it's just that today is Wednesday). Our country is founded on the right to disagree with each other, but it' also founded on common sense. No, seriously.

However, if you allow disagreements to completely define who you associate with, then you will live a pretty lonely, unexciting, homogeneous life. And that makes me sad for you. *sadface* I will miss you if you unfriend or unfollow me (probably not, actually), but that is your choice. I hope that you eventually learn that it's ok to disagree. It's how you handle those disagreements that makes you the person you are.