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.

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.

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.

Conflagration

The house is on fire
A slow burn
Threatens to reach
The gas lines

The flames lick
The windows
Breaking the glass
Gasping for air

Ashes and embers
Take to the sky
Free to alight
On the neighbor’s roof

We must regain
A tight control
Lest the neighborhood
Be reduced to cinders.