What’s happened to us?

What’s happened to us?

I don’t know what’s happened to the human race over the past few decades. They don’t seem to have the ability to put themselves in someone else’s shoes. What has happened to the human capacity for compassion? Are we, as a species devolving? Are some of us losing some of our mental capacity to apply emotion to situations that don’t involve us personally?

Think about your last doctor’s appointment. Did your doctor tell you that you have to start doing anything differently? Did he tell you to start getting more exercise? To cut out salt or sugar from your diet? Did he tell you that you have to stop smoking and/or drinking? Did he change or prescribe medication to help treat health conditions you have? Are you able to pay for those medications? Have you ever looked into what a medication costs through your insurance company vs not having insurance? Could you afford them without insurance? Do you feel justified in judging someone for their inability to pay for prescribed medications? Are you willing to sentence them to death for the inability to afford prescribed medications?

Do you have any chronic illness that requires you to take regular medication? Asthma, heart disease, Diabetes? Have you ever become immune to the benefits of the medications you were prescribed and had to have the dose increased or the medication changed? Have you ever had a bad reaction to a medication? Have you ever had no improvement with a prescribed medication? Do you think people should be denied healthcare coverage for “not following doctor’s instructions?” How would you know if they didn’t? Is it even possible for you to know if you didn’t know that person personally? Would you want someone you didn’t know making that kind of decisions about your healthcare?

Have you ever lost a job? Have you ever worked a job that required special skills that eventually became obsolete? When utilizing said special skills, did it make your wages higher? When those skills became obsolete, did your pay plummet? Was the job outsourced? Or was that job eliminated through the use of automation machines? When you lost that job, did you receive unemployment benefits? Did your bills get behind? Did you struggle to put enough food on the table for your family? Would your kids have gone hungry without unemployment checks? Would you deny your neighbor that assistance if he or she were in the same situation? Would you refuse them for yourself and your family? Do you realize that unemployment benefits are among the entitlements you have supported being eliminated?

Have you ever been injured on the job? Did you have to be out of work for an extended period of time? While you were out, did your bills get behind? Did you struggle to put food on the table? Did you receive temporary disability during that time? In either of these situations, would you consider yourself and your family living beyond your means? Do you believe people should be punished for living beyond their means? Do you realize that these benefits are also considered entitlements?

The thing is, we as a species tend to judge by what we see and base it on personal experiences. The problem is that past experiences vary widely. So what you judge someone else for is not the same as your experience. You don’t know what they’ve been through any more than they know what you’ve been through. So no matter how you judge them, you do so unfairly because of your ignorance to what got them where they are. We all come from different places and different experiences and perceptions.

Bottom line is that we need to go back to live and let live. We need to fully educate our children in public schools, funding those schools fully with our tax dollars and providing all necessary tools and resources to do so. Then we need to trust that those who have been through that public educational system to have the knowledge and resources to make suitable decisions for their own lives and quit assuming they are either stupid or immoral. Because to make such assumptions says more about you than it does about them. And you know how you judge others. Try and imagine what they’d say about you. Do Unto others as you would have them do unto you.

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Slavery or States Rights?

It was all about Slavery
I am the most liberal person on the planet. Or so I’m told at least. In an attack by someone I thought was my friend, a friend with potential, perhaps not so much. The red flags were there. He set them on fire with that attack. That was only the beginning, but that’s another story.
The debate was initiated in that way followed by asking my opinion of the question of Confederate Memorials. It may or may not be a popular opinion, but my stance is that if it’s just honoring the dead, and was erected right after the war, there is no reason to bring them down. But if its celebrating the actions of a Traitor to the United States, it should come down and if it was erected as a protest against segregation and the civil rights movement, they should come down immediately. The motives behind putting it up should be a factor.
So the next assertion he threw at me was that the Civil War was not about slavery, that it was about States Rights. Wrong. It was about slavery. And that can be proven by reading the Cessation declarations of the Confederate states. These declarations can be found at http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~ras2777/amgov/secession.html . Note that the site is a Southern college. Each declaration from Georgia, Texas, Mississippi and South Carolina all mention the elimination of the fugitive slave laws and the nullification of their “property” because of the banning of slavery. So these primary states of the Confederacy all specifically name Slavery as one of the primary reasons for their leaving the Union. This solidly establishes slavery as one of the primary political issues that led to the Civil War.
The first argument of all conservatives in answer to such a response is that the source is not dependable so I offer another. http://avalon.law.yale.edu/subject_menus/csapage.asp also displays yet another exact copy of these declarations. Yale University and UCS Louisiana. The story is also backed up on https://www.civilwar.org/learn/primary-sources/declaration-causes-seceding-states and also https://www.tsl.texas.gov/ref/abouttx/secession/2feb1861.html . Note that’s a southern and a northern college and a historical organization and a government website and that they all agree. I’m sorry Mr and Ms Conservative, your argument is invalid.

What We’ve Become

It is common knowledge that politicians lie, and we all, as citizens of this country accept that as a common truth. But those who vote choose the politician who seems to agree with them on the issues that matter the most to them. Sometimes to their own detriment they unknowingly vote against their own best interests. Human nature leads us to assign importance to issues that we feel passionate about. In doing so, we often ignore the issues that don’t spark any sort of emotional response in us. By doing so, we miss things that have a big impact on our wellbeing.

Politicians are well aware of this trait of human nature. They realize that they can appeal to these passions and distract voters from other issues they don’t assign as much importance to. This is why many politicians claim to be “Pro-life”. The issue sparks passion in many people but does not really affect most of those that are passionate about it. Those people are so passionate about eliminating a choice for other people that they miss how their own rights are being trampled. Politicians use it as a diversionary tactic. And people buy into it without bothering to even look into the voting habits of the candidates that they think they agree with. They make assumptions that if they agree with the candidate on the one issue they assign the most importance to; the candidate must be the one that has their best interests at heart. But the problem is….they don’t.

It’s time for a new age of enlightenment. We need to reawaken our minds, renew our ability to think critically and do so on all public policy issues. If we don’t, we will most certainly lose our country, if we haven’t lost it already. We’ve allowed our laziness and lack of drive to think and to question the motives of our public representatives and because of it; we have allowed ourselves to be led down the path to the deterioration of our country. As a result, we have an administration that wants to re-write our Constitution to fit the purposes of said administration including, but not limited to eliminating our freedoms of speech, press, and to petition for redress grievances. This can be validated simply by reading the president’s twitter account. This sort of behavior was previously seen in the rise of one of the most evil men in world history, Adolph Hitler.

As citizens, why are we not questioning this connection? Are we so focused on wanting “the American Dream” and our desire to have no hurdles between us and the prize that we don’t care what else politicians are doing? Why are we not questioning EVERYTHING they propose to make a law that affects us all? Do we not realize that ever y single law has an impact on all of us, regardless of whether or not it’s direct?

It’s perfectly normal and natural for people to want what’s going to allow them to maximize their own financial stability. And to focus on what affects one’s own life is normal. But when one loses the ability to critically think, they tend to miss important details. Its common to hear the old adage that “if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is”. Politicians tell the public what the bill they propose is intended to do, but if we look at every bill proposed, politicians add other things to the initial bill. It doesn’t just do what they say publicly. They add things to it that they don’t talk about. This is why transparency is so important. We need to pay attention to every single word included in each bill.

Republicans and Democrats demonize each other for not agreeing to approve bills proposed because they keep good things from being accomplished. But they suppress the fact that there was something else in that bill that would make life more difficult for a sizable portion of the population. Both sides have agendas that they try to accomplish covertly. If we are to recover the freedoms this country was founded on, we must hold them all accountable. How do we do this? We show up. We show up at not only the Presidential elections but also the primaries, the special elections and the local elections. We ask questions. We do our research. If our representative votes against something we think they should have voted in favor of, show up at a town hall meeting. Ask them why they voted against the bill. Perhaps there was a small phrase or a couple of sentences in it that went against all this candidate stands for. Perhaps he or she wants to talk about that. And if that’s the case, we the people need to know if that decision is in our best interest or not and make our decisions on who we vote for accordingly.

We can’t just keep voting on one or two issues anymore. We can’t take politicians at face value and listen to what they have said in their prepared speeches. We need to ask questions. We need to catch them off guard and ask for answers they weren’t prepared to discuss so we can see how they think on their feet. We need to drill them about their stance on any topic that affects us personally. We need to know how they’ve voted in the past on the issues that affect us. And most importantly, we need to re-teach ourselves to think critically. We need to open up communication again with those who disagree with us and work on finding middle ground and elect only those open to that middle ground. We need to stop judging each other on those same single topics that got us here. Abortion does not need to be a solitary issue voted on because many of those voting solely on a politician’s stance on that issue are devastated by the financial decisions those very same politicians make. Pay attention folks. Ask questions.. Not only questions of your state politicians, but your local ones too. LEARN how their decisions have affected you in the past. Learn how the issues impact you personally. READ the bills proposed. Ask questions about what they mean. Consider how those bills can be misinterpreted or used to obliterate someone’s rights. Because if a bill says you can discriminate against someone based on your religion, they also say someone else can discriminate against you based on theirs. THIS is what thinking critically is.

Thinking critically has been played off as being a bad thing for our kids but it’s not. Thinking critically is learning to think for one self. It’s a very good thing that keeps people from being taken unfair advantage of. Politicians don’t want Americans to think critically because they want to continue to destroy the fabric of this nation for their own financial benefit. But ladies and gentlemen, they work for us. They should be doing what is in OUR best interest, not their own. They are not our leaders. They are our employees…they should be working to make our lives better, not to get rich off our tax dollars.

So we need to regain our ability to think critically and start holding our elected officials personally accountable for their actions and make sure they act in our best interests and if they don’t, we need to vote them out.

Lastly, we need to reverse the bad precedent set when Nixon was pardoned and start prosecuting for treason and corruption. And those who commit heinous acts to climb the political gains ladder must be punished for doing so, up to and including prison time, asset stripping and loss of benefits. A President that commits treason through collusion with a foreign adversary must be prosecuted for treason, be stripped of his assets, lose his lifetime retirement benefits as a former president and be imprisoned for his actions. The same goes for any elected official who participates in the conspiracy to commit treason for personal and political gain. If we don’t, we will never be able to trust our political system again.

Be Weird

2weirdplay
adjective \ˈwird\
Definition of weird
1
: of, relating to, or caused by witchcraft or the supernatural : magical
2
: of strange or extraordinary character : odd, fantastic
weirdly adverb
weirdness noun

Be Weird
Every human being is weird. We all feel that out of place feeling at some point if not all the time. Many of us never really grasp the fact that those feelings are not unusual. The fact that everyone feels them and that our own feeling of detachment does not make us any different from anyone else. And yet we are. Everyone is different from everyone else and that makes us the same as well. That is the essence of the human condition.

That being said, every human finds his own definition of what is normal and what is not. This means that every one of us makes a judgement as to whether or not you’re normal or weird. But what is weird? Weird is anything that is out of the ordinary or unusual or abnormal. But if that’s the case, then what is normal? The truth is that all of these terms are relative. Everything we see and experience is relative to our previous experiences. So when we experience anything that isn’t consistent with that which we have experienced before, we perceive it to be weird. But that perception is based on prior experience. Therefore, weird is anything that is outside of our definition of normal, but my normal may not be the same as your normal. So what’s normal to me may be weird to you.

So we have to ask ourselves with each new experience if the weird or abnormal if a new experience is something we’re willing to attempt to understand or to accept at face value or even embrace as a new addition to our perception of normal.

So when it comes to reconciling whether or not something or someone is weird, we should consider the circumstances and what led to those circumstances or that person’s reaction to those circumstances. Is it weird or is it normal? It could be your weird, AND that person’s normal or vice versa.

And finally, we should consider this. If you have been living your life day to day and starting to feel that its monotonous, perhaps a little weird is what you need to break up the monotony. Perhaps is the ‘weird’ that has been missing from your life all along. Or perhaps it’s weird to NOT have any weird in your life.

Think about it.

What are you afraid of?

What are you afraid of? I only want to know you. Have you forgotten how friendships are built? Shallow small talk goes nowhere. Strangers make small talk. They know they’re only passing through. Imagine how knowing that feels given what we share and how long we’ve been acquainted.

Is it love that you’re afraid of? I can see why you might be after what you’ve been through. I’ve been on that road too. But have you forgotten that the best friendships are built on love? Remember the first friend you ever had? The one you woke every morning excited to see again? Why? Because you spent time together, talking, laughing at the same silly things and finding commonality. What’s so scary about that?

While we are on the subject, remember the first time a friend hurt you? What did you do? Did you go home and tell Mom or Dad all about it? And after that conversation, did you feel better? So why are you afraid to talk about hurt?

When did life get so complicated? Was it when you stopped talking your way through it? Was it because you started bottling up your feelings? Were you afraid others might take you as weak or less than the tough guy society has told you to be? I would never ask you to chose between your passion and me, but i would ask you to choose between being alone and having someone who loves you in your life. 

Life is about human interaction. If you cease to embrace that humanity, do you give your humanity away? Is that something you feel you no longer need? I’m sorry, but I beg to differ.

A Letter to the Abused

To the abused,
There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. Yours is a human, normal reaction to a fucked up situation, or a fucked up person. If there is anything wrong with anyone, it’s your abuser, not you. Normal people don’t tear down other people. Normal people don’t destroy a person’s self-confidence or self-esteem. Normal people don’t destroy other people.

We all have damage. Anyone who has lived any amount of time has been hurt somewhere down the line. But we all have to face our damage and deal with it head on, alone. I’m not saying you can’t seek help, you should. I’m just saying you have to come to terms with it in your own head in order to heal. No amount of counseling can do that. You have to do that part yourself. The first step to healing is to first acknowledge that your mistakes are not who you are. Your mistakes are only part of what shapes you. There is so much more to you than that.

You have to stop over-thinking. To over think is to let negative thoughts take hold of you. When you start to feel like that’s where your thoughts are going, redirect your mind to something else. Something your passionate about will help you focus on something much more productive. Or start exercising. I found that walking helps me, especially when that walking is at a local park where nature surrounds you and eases your thoughts into beauty and life.

You will know you have finally healed when you start to recognize the signs and protect yourself form them before they can work their way in. Know when someone is displaying abusive behavior and put a stop to it, or remove yourself from that environment. You don’t deserve to be mistreated. No one does. Demand respect and kindness or walk away.

And whatever you do, don’t inflict your own damage on someone else. Don’t become the person who hurt you.

Love yourself

She

“She was warned, she was given an explanation. Nevertheless, she persisted”
She insisted on being heard
Her opposition put on the record
She was scolded like a child.
Nevertheless she persisted. -Senator Elizabeth Warren

She was going to learn.
Education is important.
Then they shot her in the head.
Nevertheless, she persisted. -Malala

She wrote the Equal Rights Amendment.
She protested, was arrested.
Abused, she went on a hunger strike.
Nevertheless, she persisted. -Alice Paul

She was born blind and deaf.
She was abandoned as a lost cause.
Yet she learned how to communicate.
Nevertheless, she persisted. -Helen Keller

She opened an illegal birth control clinic.
She was shut down in a raid.
She tried again and again, was even evicted.
Nevertheless, she persisted. -Margaret Sanger

The List goes on and will go on, because women who can be silenced don’t make history.

You can try to stop us.
Nevertheless, we will persist.