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.

Advertisements

Chained

Am I chained by gender rules
To this private womb
Made public by morals
Not my own.

Imprisoned in femininity
By a public entity
Poisoned by power
Demanding dominance

Am I to be
Prisoner to pregnancy
Denied choices, living
In forced dependency.

The Rights We’re Fighting For

The Rights We’re Fighting For Are Yours Too
The First Amendment

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

I have recently made a comment about a meme I saw in which it compared the women at the Million Woman March and sister marches all over the world to women in the military. It was belittling the women of the marches. It struck me as a complete fallacy and I pointed it out, to which the poster completely missed my point. She was one who doesn’t want to hear anything contrary to her own views and got defensive immediately. I wasn’t insulting her; I was merely stating that it was comparing apples to oranges. The reasons for the two groups marching are completely different. The soldiers are sworn to defend the Constitution, yes, but their marching is a part of the job they signed up for. The Million Woman March was about the rights our own government is trying to deny us under this new administration. So the only comparison I see is that they defend the very rights we are exercising. You would think they would feel good about the fact that we’re actually using the rights they defend instead of letting them lie dormant and unused. If we do that, we will most surely lose them. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I will state that no, I don’t understand conservative thought patterns any more than they understand liberal ones. I don’t understand how any woman could support donald trump when he has been very vocally anti-woman and has even bragged about committing sexual assault and getting away with it. Did you not learn at any point in life that sometimes a man just says what he thinks you want to hear to get you to do what he wants? To listen to what someone says and not pay attention to what he does is putting yourself in a vulnerable position to be taken unfair advantage of. And of course when that happens, you get the blame for putting yourself in that position. That is where rape culture was born. And chalking it up to “locker room talk” encourages the behavior because they got away with it, so they’ll continue to do it. And believing that something never happened because they told you so and ignoring that fact when someone shows you video proof is willful ignorance. You become the victim of gas-lighting when you do that because you’re buying into the illusion of innocence. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I see so much out there that is critical to the protesters in that they are being judged. Another commenter said that half the people out there didn’t even know why they were there. I was there and everyone there except perhaps the little ones knew exactly what they were doing there. Even some of the little ones did. Between signs, conversations, t-shirts, buttons and chants, everyone had a valid reason to address during that march. There were many, but all of them were born of the acidic vitriol that came out of the trump campaign. There is much fear and rage out there over the things that he promised his followers that put us all at risk. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

To assume that the marchers were all out there for the same reason is to make an assumption with no facts. Try a Google search of the protest. There are literally hundreds of signs posted on Facebook alone that were at the actual protests that address a multitude of reasons for protest. All of those signs all boil down to one thing. The protesters fear that they’re losing rights under this administration. More than just reproductive rights. More than just equality. More than just one issue. I alone made signs for multiple reasons. All of our concerns should be addressed. All of our voices should be heard. Not just by the new administration but by the supporters of it as well. Pay attention. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too. You might think we’re fighting for something we already have but you’re not paying attention if you think there is no threat to them. The truth is, trump has threatened the first amendment multiple times already. If we allow him to attack a primary constitutional right specifically mentioned first in the Bill of Rights, they will slowly pick away at the others as well. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

I know the first argument will be that his threat to the media is only those reporting lies, but the ones reporting lies are not the ones he’s attacking. He is attacking the respected media outlets that have earned their place as respectable reporting entities. He is attacking those who report anything he dislikes, even if there is documented proof of it. And 6 reporters have been arrested and charged with a felony for rioting because they were on protest sights reporting on those protests. We can’t allow this to happen. (https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/business/media/journalists-arrested-trump-inauguration.html?_r=0) that’s the NEW YORK TIMES ladies and gentlemen, not just some fly by night organization that just popped up over the last few years. Not just some tabloid on tv organization. The New York Times….The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

The first amendment gives us the right to free speech, free press, peaceful assembly and the right to petition the government for redress of grievances. All of these things are involved in our protests. To arrest people for exercising our first amendment rights is a violation of the Constitution of the United States. Yet there are states that have bills on their agenda trying to criminalize the right to peaceful assembly and petition the government for redress of grievances. (http://www.snopes.com/lawmakers-criminalize-peaceful-protest/) Yes, Snopes is a legitimate source. They are a fact checking organization. And the article does say they are definitely on the agenda, but that none have passed into law. These are the things we need to pay attention to. This is a FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT they’re trying to criminalize. They’re trying to chip away at the foundation of the Constitution ladies and gentlemen. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.
Yes, we have a problem with the right trying to criminalize and ban abortion. You can’t legislate morality because morality is subject to individual interpretation and some of us believe it to be more moral to spare our offspring a short and extremely painful death than to force it to feel that pain. YOU DO NOT KNOW what leads a woman to the decision to have an abortion. You don’t even know when you see a pregnant woman going to a Planned Parenthood office if her fetus is even viable. A D & C is also performed at Planned Parenthood. This is done after a fetal demise, yet people who insist on judging these women stand outside of Planned Parenthood offices and brutalize these women for their decisions without knowing the first thing about them. Stop judging when you don’t know what’s going on. And stop supporting legislators who want to force these women to risk their lives to carry out a pregnancy without knowing the circumstances either. These decisions need to remain between a woman and her doctor, NOT her legislator. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

Stop trying to force your beliefs on everyone else. Science is real. Scientists have made a career of studying their choice of scientific field. They have devoted their lives to it. Just because you don’t know the difference between a theory and a scientific theory does not give you the right to discredit their research and make assumptions about it, much less to allow lawmakers to make laws governing it. Science is responsible for every advance to improve human life. Open a book. Not just any book. Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly don’t know anything but their right wing propaganda. Open a book by A SCIENTIST. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Open a medical Journal. Learn about genetics. Explore how genetics works and learn that there are genetic variations that people might find to be odd but they recur in nature more commonly than you might think. Like genetic mutations that cause a human being to be born with more than one set of reproductive organs. If that can happen, then being born with a male identity in a female body and vice versa is also not only feasible but occurs often. Quit making assumptions and do some research. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Ask yourself this question. Look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself if you think everyone you meet sees you the same way you see yourself. If you have any critical thinking skills whatsoever, you know that they don’t. So do you want people that don’t know you making assumptions about you and condemning you for it and stripping you of your rights based on an assumption? That is exactly what is happening. Pay attention. The rights we are fighting for are yours too.

Stop assuming that because it gets cold, Global Warming is not real. ALL scientists agree it’s real. The only people that say it’s not are politicians. And if we let it go and continue in the direction we’re going, we will kill ourselves when we kill our planet. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.

Multiple species of animals are dying due to the actions of humans. This is not natural selection; this is human beings becoming the cancer that is killing the whole planet. We have to do the right thing for all of us, for our children and future generations. The Bible doesn’t defend your denying what’s happening. We’re supposed to be stewards of our planet. The rights we’re fighting for are yours too.
Start paying attention….before it’s too late.

Declaration

To be free is to be able to live as I choose;
To decide who I am;
To decide who to love and be allowed
To marry my choice.

To be free is to be able to plan
How to build my future;
To educate myself where I choose
And in what field without restriction;
To choose when, how and how many
Children to bear.

To be free is to do as I please
And go where I will
Regardless of the color of my skin,
The religion I choose or lack thereof,
Or the origin of my heritage;
To not be judged and restricted for these choices.

If we allow regulation of our personal choices
We are not free.

Endangered Species

Watching the outrage on Facebook is often frustrating. It amazes me how many people make assumptions that are complete fallacies and they have no idea they’re doing it. They think they’re using logic. Fallacies however are not based in logic. They are a stretch at best.


The recent outrage over the death of Cecil the Lion has spawned a whole new wave of such assumptions and conclusions. On the one side, you have those who are outraged because a hunter took unfair advantage of an animal, depriving it of its life with a man-made weapon in a simple Peta-esque sort of way. On another side of it, those who are enraged that a man who by all appearances seems to think he’s entitled, killed an endangered species without regard to the fact that the species is dying out and contributing to that fact. On a third side, there are those who assume that those who are outraged over Cecil’s death are not outraged over the deaths of black women in police custody or black men being killed in the streets by cops for non-death penalty offenses or trumped up offenses.


The truth is that those of us outraged over Cecil’s death are also outraged over the deaths of black men and women who should not be dead. And while this fallacy was presented by one or more sources on Facebook, its comparison is not really that far of a stretch. It involves the fact that neither the people, nor the Lion did anything that warranted their deaths. And in this liberal’s humble opinion, both are endangered species of a sort.


Now don’t go assuming I just called black people animals. I have way more respect for human beings to do such a thing. The truth is, however, that black people are in danger at all times by the simple reason that they have dark skin. Sadly, this is true of being inside their homes as well as being out in public. They’re endangered by the system itself. People who have not lived as black or lived among them and witnessed it for themselves don’t fully grasp it, and most who HAVE lived among them don’t see it either. At least those incapable of empathy can’t see it, but when you watch a friend mistreated just because of the color of their skin, it tends to change you. It opens your mind to just how much they’re mistreated. You start seeing other ways that other people mistreat them.


I had a friend in Syracuse who was pulled over because she was black and in a nice new black SUV. The officer pulled a gun on her for taking the time to calm her very sick sister down before letting down her window. She even asked the officer nicely to please be patient as her sister was hysterical. He wasn’t listening. She survived the incident without being shot, but it could have gone much worse. This same girl was being abused by her white nurse coworkers and was told by the union she went to in order to seek help with the situation that it wouldn’t be worth fighting because they’d make her miserable until they pushed her into quitting. When is it enough? How far will they take it before they realize they’re contributing to the problem?
During the 4 years I lived in Syracuse, a black toddler was killed in the crossfire of competing drug gangs. The toddler was sleeping in his own bed, in his own room when a bullet penetrated the wall by his bed. As I said, not even safe inside their homes. And none of them are safe.


Our society has taught white people to be afraid of black people. They’ve done so through the use of the media. They report on black on black crime and racial tension events, ignoring the indiscretions, crimes and discrimination of white people toward black people. They create an illusion that black people are lesser people by using their success rates in life itself all while creating the roadblocks that contribute to their failures. And Heaven forbid a black man or woman be successful. It can’t be because they’re very intelligent and worked hard, it MUST be about the laws in place that force companies to hire equally, to admit to colleges equally, to treat black people equally to whites. Sorry to burst your bubble GOP, but some black people are just smart and work hard and break the stereotypes you’ve created and feed on a regular basis. The right wing insists on believing Affirmative Action is the only way black people can get into good schools and get good jobs and that their abilities have nothing to do with it. But it is just as common for there to be intelligent black people as intelligent white ones. And it’s just as common to have ignorant white people as black ones. The fact is, intelligence has nothing to do with race or gender. So the right wing has fabricated these ideals to appease their insecurity. And those not smart enough to create these stereotypes buy into them and parrot them; all to make themselves feel superior to people that don’t look like them.


It is possible to end these systemic issues but it will take more than black people standing up and fighting for their rights. As a single black person, they put themselves in danger just suggesting their rights are being violated, which is what got many of these men and women who have died in police custody killed. There are those who suggest that #blacklivesmatter protests are just black people demanding more rights than others, but all they’re asking for is the very same rights so many white people take for granted. And they’re asking for justice that they’re not getting. And these protests are a people trying to stand up and say ENOUGH. They’re trying to be heard in a system that suppresses and oppresses their voices and their very existence. What it’s going to take is for people of all races to come together and say THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE. It’s going to take us voting together as one to eliminate those who feed these stereotypes and eliminate the laws that are designed to protect them, to remove those who refuse to enforce the laws that are still on the books evenly, fairly and correctly. It’s going to take white cops standing up to other white cops and saying “what you’re doing is wrong”. It’s going to take us standing together and saying we are all human and as such, all deserve to be treated fairly and equally. We can no longer remain silent and ‘not get involved’. To do so is to condone these behaviors that cost black lives. To do so is to allow cops to continue to murder people and cover it up by calling it justified despite video that says otherwise.


I’m not saying that as a white woman with only daughters that I understand what black mothers face when they have children. But I know that I would be devastated to lose one of my children and cannot imagine what it must be like to have to teach my children to just do as they’re told and to avoid any kind of confrontation with the law because their lives are at risk in any given situation. I can imagine what it’s like to worry about what the adults and adolescents in my own neighborhood are doing because their actions put my children at risk. I’ve lived among them and that part I fully understand. But I did not live with the fear that desperation would drive my children to join their ranks. I didn’t have to live with the fact that hormonal teenagers harbor resentment for that kind of life and that surviving with those resentments is a major hurtle for many of them. I can see why so many of them are so angry. They have every right to be. I’ve also lived among rednecks who are quick to say “they’ve never been slaves themselves so what are they angry about?” How can one be so sure of that? They may not be calling anyone master and they may not be living on a plantation. They may be getting paid when they do work, but that doesn’t make them less of a slave to the system. That’s not to say that none of the white working poor are any less of a slave to the system but it’s much more common among black communities. And the system feeds the poor white communities the idea that it’s in their hands to change their situation but that they’re poor because blacks or immigrants are taking their jobs when that’s simply not true. Good paying jobs are not being taken from poor whites and given to poor blacks or immigrants, they’re being outsourced. Yet these poor whites believe the lies they’re being told and continue to vote against the best interests of all the poor in this country because they’ve been force fed these lies and believe them because their education has been cut to the bare bones. They’ve been taught to pass tests instead of to question what they’re told and to think for themselves.


The only way to change is to come together as one and speak in once voice. The best way to do that is to vote. But it can also be done by participating in community events. We can stand, black, white, Hispanic, Asian, Native American hand in hand and speak in one voice ENOUGH. We as a nation must stop fighting amongst ourselves and stand together to fight for all of us against a system controlled by Corporations. This is the only way revolution can happen. It’s the only true path to change. We must realize and accept our differences but to stand together in our similarities. We all want the same things; peace, fairness, opportunity, stability, and better for our children. And if we decide that animals are suffering and dying at the hands of the same people that humans are, we stand up for them too.

Marriage Is What You Make It.

MARRIAGE
[mar-ij]
noun
1.
(broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example, opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, and arranged marriage:
Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.
See Word Story at the current entry.


2.
1. Also called opposite-sex marriage. the form of this institution under which a man and a woman have established their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
See also traditional marriage (def 2).
2. this institution expanded to include two partners of the same gender, as in same-sex marriage; gay marriage.


3.
the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock:
They have a happy marriage.
Synonyms: matrimony.
Antonyms: single life, bachelorhood, spinsterhood, singleness.


4.
the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of two people to live as a married couple, including the accompanying social festivities:
to officiate at a marriage.
Synonyms: nuptials, marriage ceremony, wedding.
Antonyms: divorce, annulment.


5.
a relationship in which two people have pledged themselves to each other in the manner of a husband and wife, without legal sanction:
trial marriage.


6.
any close or intimate association or union:
the marriage of words and music in a hit song.
Synonyms: blend, merger, unity, oneness; alliance, confederation.
Antonyms: separation, division, disunion, schism.


7.
a formal agreement between two companies or enterprises to combine operations, resources, etc., for mutual benefit; merger.

Politically, we’re talking about words as legal terms, and some are trying to ban one demographic from the right to utilize the term in the way they deem best for themselves. However, all words are subject to interpretation.

We didn’t have courthouses in the beginning, nor did we have church buildings. Man built churches and courthouses and even religion itself. Now I know many would be offended by those words, but think about that for a moment. According to the bible and multiple other religious texts, people were directed by a deity to live a certain way. Man created the structure of religion as much as he did churches themselves. The one aspect of religion man did not create was faith. Everything else man created around that faith. And when man decided that those he put in charge were straying from what he believed to be the right way to run things, he branched off into a new variation of religion.

And so it is with every aspect of life. Things are how we interpret them to be. So it is with marriage. Even before recorded history, marriage was a contract. As such, women most often did not have any say in this contract. Often the marriage was of a child to someone that could advance the bride’s family in social, political or financial standing or all of the above. Her feelings on the matter did not factor in. She was nothing more than chattel, and love had nothing to do with it, nor did religion. This idea does not fly in the United States of America, though some would like to go back to that. The laws in this country do not support such a regression, nor does the general population’s mindset. And that cannot be reversed. People will not move backward no matter how hard well paid politicians push.

Each human being lives life and believes in his own perception of life based on his experiences. His perception changes with each experience. For this reason, man, as he evolves with these experiences is capable of changing his mind and his views. With knowledge and experience, views and perception can go in any direction. Unfortunately, some hold so strongly to what their past perceptions led them to believe that they refuse new information. They refuse the natural progression of evolution. And no, evolution is not an evil concept that says we evolved from monkeys. It’s much more than that. It says we change with knowledge and that we adapt to our environment. As time goes on and we continue to overpopulate our environment, nature will do whatever is necessary to adjust to these changes.

Those of us with our eyes wide open can see these changes as they happen. We are open to these changes and accept them and adjust accordingly. To adapt to change is essential to survival and the changes happening right now in politics and in society are reshaping what we are as a society. Those who do not adapt will begin to flounder as they’re left behind. As nature has taught us, they will soon become the minority and eventually will die off.

Opponents of same sex marriage talk of the idea that procreation is impossible in such a union and therefore a factor in the validity of the union. But people marry every day that can’t have children for one reason or another. Are the marriages of people who are too old to procreate to be nullified because they’re “too old”? Are the marriages of people who are infertile to be nullified? Too many people in this country get married for the wrong reason and wind up divorced. A large percentage of those same sex couples that want to marry have been devoted to one another for many years. Not allowing them to marry does not keep them from having sex. It keeps them from being able to take care of one another like other caring couples do. To be married means that they will be each other’s legal representation in the event they can’t speak for themselves. It affects their being able to be present for and sign for treatment for their loved ones in the event of an Emergency. It keeps them from preparing for the event of their death and allowing their loved one to be taken care of after they’re gone. These are legal protections that hetero couples take for granted. Who are we to deny them access to these same protections?

Those most vocal against same sex marriage call themselves Christian, but nearly every single argument against homosexuality they offer as testament to their hatred comes from the old testament, not from the teachings of Christ. Therefore, that hatred does not come from Christianity nor does that opposition. Christ taught love thy neighbor as thyself. He taught caring for the sick and feeding the hungry, not judging whether or not they deserved the help. He taught tolerance and acceptance of our fellow man.

And then we need to consider that while opponents of same sex marriage often support their arguments against homosexuality as that it’s not natural, sex among same sex animals is often seen in many species. There is nothing unnatural about any living creature. Nature creates an abundance of diverse beings and it does so based on the environment. But these very same people turn around and argue that science is a hoax so nature doesn’t really do the things we have documented it doing. I often wonder if they’re ever going to wake up to the reality of what life on earth is. These are human beings who have the same wants, needs and desires in their lives as anyone else. And they’re being denied the right to act as two hetero people do in taking care of one another because they don’t fit into the ‘normal’ range of what someone they don’t even know thinks they should fit into. But here’s the thing, its normal for them.

Marriage is what you make it. Over the years in the western world, marriage has evolved into a legal arrangement, a binding contract between two people who love one another. For many, religion and religious beliefs do not come into play in their relationship. They go strictly to the legal end of the union and the loving aspect of the relationship. They put more credence in the relationship’s emotional connection and the legal aspects of it. They devote themselves to one another and promise to take care of one another. One does not have to be religious to experience such devotion. That’s not to say they can’t make religion a part of their marriage, but it’s not something that is an essential part of the relationship and many relationships survive quite well without it.

People in the United States are supposed to be guaranteed life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It is not our decision to make as to what makes our neighbor happy any more than it is their decision as to what makes us happy. If you don’t want someone else’s ideals of what your life should be forced on you, don’t force yours on others. Let your neighbor make his marriage what he wants it to be and you focus on your own. We’ll all be happier when we can find our own happiness without the interference of strangers.

Freedom of Speech

Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

– This is the first amendment as written by James Madison under the tutelage and encouragement of Thomas Jefferson in 1789. Little did he know that Thomas Jefferson’s suspicion that the bill of rights would become so important and so necessary was dead on the money. – Freedom of speech and press are as deeply important to me as all the other rights combined and perhaps more so. These rights are being trampled lately and by many of the ones that complain the loudest. In light of the press being pursued and prosecuted for reporting what they find that contradicts what many politicians don’t want the American Public to know,( like the actions of the NSA as reported by Edward Snowden as well as what’s being exposed by Wikileaks) my fears of losing these rights has increased. But we must use these rights responsibly.

– The Freedom of speech is the one I want to address at the moment though. We must remember that with that freedom comes responsibility and the fact that it doesn’t also grant you the freedom from the consequences of your speech. There are always consequences. Everything one says or does has an equal and opposite reaction, and there are at least two sides to every story but more likely as many sides as there are witnesses. And there are many perspectives on every event, issue or circumstance. For this reason, I have been making a stronger effort to think before I speak, not only on this blog but also in public.

– Recently I was in a place of business, a souvenir store called Alvin’s Island in Panama City Beach, Florida where my friend was having t-shirts airbrushed for her children. The artist was making conversation with his customers as is their habit and it’s often a good habit. However, one must always take into account who he’s talking to and who else can hear him, considering a business is a public domain that depends on its customers for survival. This particular air-brush artist failed to take this into consideration. He took the care to ask my friends (who likely disagree with me but are polite enough not to insult me over it) “You didn’t vote for Obama, did you?” When they told him no, he proceeded recklessly and without care with “Good because people who voted for him are just too stupid to talk to.” Being the well raised Southern Lady I am, I quietly walked out of the store. Pacing outside I contemplated what to say that would hit home and send the message I wanted to send without compromising my own dignity or stooping to his level. I calmed myself down and awaited my friends and I did come to a conclusion as to how to respond.

– So when my friends left the store, I excused myself and assured them I’d be back. I entered the store and he cheerfully greeted me with “Yes ma’am?” I responded with “I just wanted to let you to know that those of us who are too stupid to talk to at least know to think before we speak in a place of business.” I said it with fire in my eyes that betrayed my barely contained rage. I spoke in a low and clear voice without a crack nor shake and his response was a shocked speechlessness that was quite satisfying as it told me I hit home with the message I intended to send. I sent the message loud and clear that his insult to me and those who think like me will be spread far and wide and that many of you, like me, will never set foot in Alvin’s Island much less spend any money there. That’s not to say Alvin’s Island is responsible for the actions of their employee. Just that his actions turned me off on their store.

– Freedom of speech, you see, comes with responsibility. If you shirk that responsibility, you suffer the consequences of that untethered speech. You receive the responses of others who take offense to your speech. You pay the price. I am quite certain that the artist in Alvin’s Island will never forget me nor that incident because you may forget what people say to you but you never forget what they made you feel. I made him feel shame and chagrin wrought by his own words being thrown back at him from a vastly different perspective. Say what you will, but you might want to consider the possibilities of their consequences, because once said, they cannot be retracted.

– This lesson is going around lately. And it’s going to make its rounds before it’s done in a karmic thoroughness. Not just a response to spoken words but written words and their passage into law. Indiana is currently learning this lesson in that it’s losing business as a result of its passage of its harshly worded religious freedom restoration law. And now, Arkansas has followed suit and will soon follow with the consequences. This country has a history of fighting for equality and against discrimination. Laws like these gut discrimination protections and those of us who support them and fight for them even now are not happy about it. And the best action we can take is to let them suffer the consequences of their actions by taking our business elsewhere.

– And then there’s Georgia, where Josh McKoon is dead set on forcing his pro-discrimination legislation disguised as a religious freedom protection bill through and get it on the books despite the protests by the locals and the warnings from the NFL and other businesses who have withdrawn their business from Indiana already and have warned that they will take their business elsewhere if Georgia passes this bill into law. Indiana’s economy will suffer for their new law as will Arkansas and if it’s passed in Georgia, we will suffer too.

– I am an American through and through. And I will fight for our right to the freedoms guaranteed by the bill of rights regardless of whether I agree with you or not. I understand that freedom of speech is the right to say anything you wish. It does not, however, guarantee protection from the consequences of said speech. And I’m not going to stand in the way of those consequences. You bring that on yourself with your speech choices. So you might want to think before you speak. And you might want to consider the consequences before you pass laws designed to allow the denial of rights to others, because the rights denied may eventually be your own. Because you might consider your business to be an extension of yourself and entitled to your opinion and the freedom to express it, but it’s also public domain and as such can sink or swim based on how the public sees it, and you