And I Didn’t Even Receive One Card.

Yesterday appareantly was “Hetrosexual Pride Day”, according to Twitter, and all of the oppressed hetrosexuals were to come out and show that they were here, they were not queer, and that we were already used to it.

So, basically, nothing that wasn’t already blatantly obvious was addressed and pointed out.

People on Twitter couldn’t understand why we, “the hetrosexual community”, didn’t have a “pride day” and why we couldn’t celebrate our sexuality. Well, first:  we don’t need a pride day (and I will tell you why here in a sec) and second: you should celebrate your sexuality. If you are straight, go be straight. Find you another straight person (or persons) that shares the same sexual turn ons that you do and get crazy! No one is shaming you for being straight, and if they are then they are the ones that are in the wrong.

However, we still do not need a hetrosexual pride day. Why? Because we didn’t fucking earn it.

Sit back, you are about to get another history lesson.

Now first, some clarification. Pride, Pride Month, and Pride Day are not the same as LGBT Pride.

Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT)people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance. Pride, as opposed to shame and social stigma, is the predominant outlook that bolsters most LGBT rights movements throughout the world.

When I talk about Pride here, I will be talking about the event, not the stance.

LGBT Pride Day first started in June of 1970  one year after the Stonewall Riots. The Stonewall riots are what most consider the start of the LGBT civil rights movement. The Riots sparked organization and inspiration throughout the LGBT community, and it brought their struggle to the national spotlight.

Pride day used to be held on the last Sunday of June to commemorate this event in LGBT history. Soon, Pride Day became Pride Month and celebrations, parades and memorials are held all over the world to celebrate it.

So, why don’t we, hetrosexuals get to have parades? Why don’t we get to have a “Pride Day”?

Because, like I said, we haven’t earned it and we never will.

We will never have the police raid a “straight bar” (Which for some reason I keep picturing as a Buffalo Wild Wings)  or because appearing straight in public is a criminal offense. We will not have to deal with police or public harassment for looking straight, sounding straight, or walking straight. We will not be beaten or killed for just being straight. We will not have to fight for “Straight Equality” for 40+ years and even when we make some major advances, we will not be at risk to lose our jobs or housing, be asked to leave a business, denied service, or be refused medical care because we are straight. LGBT people have had to battle this, and are still at risk of these things daily.

That’s why they get to have a Pride Day. They have bled, hidden in fear, been disowned by friends and family, and have been/are being denied the right to be treated as a human. So, yes, they get to have a Pride Day, they get to come together and have a parade to celebrate victories, mourn loved ones, remember tragedies and what it’s taken to get them to this spot in history.

We do not get to have a hetrosexual pride day, because we haven’t earned it and we don’t need it. If anything, we should have a day month of humility.

Hetrosexual Humility Month, now there is something that we need.

Fade Away. 

I have a superpower.

My superpower is the ability to write people off that I no longer see as beneficial to have in my life. It’s an amazing superpower to have,  you just basically blink people out of existence. Sure,  there are times that it hurts to use and there are times when it’s SUPER EASY; however I really wish that I just never had to fucking use it and people wouldn’t be assholes.

With events that are occurring in my life right now, I feel that my superpower is about to be used. Unless that person shows up with a bucket of apologies and some sugar-free red vines. Then things may be negotiable.

Until then, I may be a friend short in the future.

(Not you,  though. You’re cool)

Ben Franklin was a Dick. 

There’s pros and cons to everything. 

Being bipolar usually means that you can operate on  less sleep or that you sleep less. I usually only sleep about 6 hours without the use of medication. Last night, I was tired and went to bed early with the wife at about 10pm and decided that I didn’t need to take my sleeping pill. I was good, didn’t need it. 

We all make mistakes. 

So,  I woke up the first time at about 12:45am and told my brain to STFU and go back to sleep. It obeyed (to my surprise) and I drifted off back to sleep. I then woke up again at 3am. Again I told my brain to STFU and go back to sleep. It did not comply this time. I got another 15 minutes and then I was awake. 

Stupid brain.

So, now I have been up for a little over 2 hours. I am 1 macchiato in and have exhausted the reading material on both Reddit and Twitter. I am about to deploy macchiato #2 and possibly make some toast (I know, exciting stuff). 

Hopefully I can stay awake all day and this doesn’t fuck up my sleeping schedule. 

Stupid brain. 

Texas Our Texas.

*sigh*

I knew that this would come up.

With the “Brexit”, it has stirred up the whole “Texas seceding” talk again (Just search #Texit on Twitter). People thinking that Texas would be better on it’s own and that we don’t the Federal Government up in our shit, taking our tax money and giving it to those Damn Yankee Liberal Socialists States, yet fail to remember that Texas is the quickest state to cry out for Federal Aid when any disaster hits and bitches the loudest when we don’t get it, or don’t get it quickly enough.

The problem is that we can’t leave the U.S. legally; however there’s a multitude of people here that think we can. The popular theory meme is that we can legally leave the union and split into 5 separate states. This is false.

It’s time for a history lesson.

When Texas won its independence in 1836 it was in shambles. No infrastructure, no monetary system, no schools and no industry. It was all farmland and everything had to be imported from the US. Basically, Texas was broke as fuck; however because Texas originally expanded through parts of New Mexico, Colorado, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Wyoming:

Texas1836map

It blocked the U.S.’s  westward expansion, it was also an insertion point for any still ambitious European powers that wanted to come back into North America through the Gulf of Mexico. The main reason why Texas wasn’t quickly annexed in as a State is that the U.S. knew the moment that they did, it would start a war with Mexico. So, in 1844 the US Senate rejected an annexation treaty with Texas and then later in 1845 accepted it. In 1846 we had the Mexican-American War. Now, here is where that divide into 5 states thing comes in. When we were annexed in on 3/1/1845 we jacked up the Missouri Compromise because we would be adding another “slave state” (despite the fact that 90% of Texans were neither slaves nor slave owners) and our northern border crossed  the 36°30’N line of latitude which had been established as the demarcation point between free territory and slave territory by the Missouri Compromise. So, the powers that be came up with this:

New States of convenient size not exceeding four in number, in addition to said State of Texas and having sufficient population, may, hereafter by the consent of said State, be formed out of the territory thereof, which shall be entitled to admission under the provisions of the Federal Constitution; and such states as may be formed out of the territory lying south of thirty-six degrees thirty minutes north latitude, commonly known as the Missouri Compromise Line, shall be admitted into the Union, with or without slavery, as the people of each State, asking admission shall desire; and in such State or States as shall be formed out of said territory, north of said Missouri Compromise Line, slavery, or involuntary servitude (except for crime) shall be prohibited.

Basically, the states that would have been made above the line for the Missouri Compromise would have been “Free States” and the ones below it would have been “Slave States” because Texas was a lot bigger at the time; however we SOLD THAT EXTRA LAND in 1850 for $10 million dollars in the Compromise of 1850 and we used that money to pay off our debt to Mexico. Also, we kind of fucked off any real chance of dividing into any number of states when we ACTUALLY seceded from the US in 1861 and joined the Confederacy. We were then formally re-admitted to the United States after 1865 (1870 to be exact) when the 13th Amendment was passed and abolished slavery and informally made us a state again due to the Confederacy’s surrender. Article IV,Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution already says specifically that we cannot divide into multiple states:

New states may be admitted by the Congress into this union; but no new states shall be formed or erected within the jurisdiction of any other state; nor any state be formed by the junction of two or more states, or parts of states, without the consent of the legislatures of the states concerned as well as of the Congress.

When were re-admitted back into the US by Congress, there was no, repeat NO annexation treaty which reserves the right to secede from the Union without the consent of the U.S. Congress. Even before Texas formally rejoined the nation, the U.S. Supreme Court declared that secession was not legal, and thus, even during the rebellion, Texas continued to be a state. In the 1869 case Texas v. White, the Court held that individual states could not unilaterally secede from the Union and that the acts of the insurgent Texas Legislature — even if ratified by a majority of Texans — were “absolutely null.”

That’s the history of it.

Let’s get a little more current though.

“If there was any constitutional issue resolved by the Civil War, it is that there is no right to secede.”— Antonin Scalia, late Supreme Court Justice

So, while some Texans may want to secede and others may want to see us go, we simply legally cannot. The United States isn’t the EU. The EU is a group of countries that have agreed to be together and actually have protocols for leaving, where we are a group of states that make up a country and only have protocols for adding new states. It’s a different concept.

My advice to Texans that want to secede: Become an immigrant to another country and start a new life there. It’s like secession, only on a more personal level.

My advice to people that live outside of Texas that want to see us go: Come down here and head to Austin. Then go to Trudy’s and have a couple of Mexican Martinis, go hit up 6th street and just see the town. The next morning, head over to Juan in a Million and have a Don Juan. You’ll see that Texas can be an awesome place. (Just stay the fuck out of Houston).

So, we’ll keep seeing y’all. We ain’t goin’ nowhere.

 

This Happens Everytime I Watch This Movie.

I was watching “The Giver” (again) ,which was also one of my favorite books, and … wait, if you have never seen or read “The Giver”:

The Giver is a 1993 American young-adult utopian novel by Lois Lowry. It is set in a society which at first appears to be a utopian society but is later revealed to be a dystopian one as the story progresses. The novel follows an 11-year-old boy named Jonas. The society has eliminated pain and strife by converting to “Sameness,” a plan that has also eradicated emotional depth from their lives. Jonas is selected to inherit the position of Receiver of Memory, the person who stores all the past memories of the time before Sameness, as there may be times where one must draw upon the wisdom gained from history to aid the community’s decision making. Jonas struggles with concepts of all the new emotions and things introduced to him: whether they are inherently good, evil, or in between, and whether it is even possible to have one without the other. The Community lacks any color, memory, climate and terrain, all in effort to preserve structure, order, and a true sense of equality beyond personal individuality.

Basically, there is no love, not even any touching outside the “family unit”, children are all genetically engineered and birthed by “birth mothers” then assigned to family units. Any that do not meet The Community standards are “released” (aka: euthanized; however people have no memory or concept of death or murder, so they do not realize this) to “Elsewhere” (as are old people), which means no sex, even between spouses (again, because there is no memory or concept of what sex is). There’s also no music, art, literature, or any creative expression. The Community is of pure logical functionality and has no emotional depth. Hell, they literally do not have any memory or concept of color, not just skin color, but actual, chromatic color. In the movie, The Community members literally see in monochrome. On the other side, there is no pain, jealousy, anger, betrayal, war, death (in concept), loss, racism, discrimination, inequality, poverty, or Donald Trump.

So, it makes me wonder: Would you want to live in this type of society? Imagine that you know nothing of “The Receiver of Memory” and that all of the 3rd party omniscient parts of the story. You are just one of the members of The Community wrapped up in “Sameness”. Would that be a life worth living? No depth, but no strife and struggle either. You are assigned a job that is best suited for your skill sets, and you have no worries regarding finances. You are assigned a spouse (which, unfortunately the book does have a strong sense of heteronormativity) and two children, so there are no worries about dating and starting a family; however there is no love for any of them, you just enjoy them and take pride in their accomplishments. Again, no poverty, hunger, war…etc.

Everytime, I read this book or watch this movie I ponder this question. Honestly, my answer is usually always different. When I look at the world today, with all of the hatred coming out of people, people being discriminated against or murdered in the name of religion, financial markets in current turmoil, poverty, rampant mass shootings, and our own government at a slow pace to do anything about any of it because of party ideologies. I almost think “Sameness” wouldn’t be such a bad idea; however how long would that last? If we did receive our memories back, would we start this cycle of violence and hate all over again or learn from our mistakes?

At this point in history, I think we may need to give “Sameness” a shot; however we may just need to tweak its parameters a bit.

What do you think?

Justice (Revisited).

“I think offence is the collateral damage of freedom of speech. But just because you are offended doesn’t mean you’re right.

– Ricky Gervais

 

I have a confession to make. I go on Tumblr and I am not a SJW. Matter of fact, I cannot stand 90% of the SJW posts that I see…well, anywhere. This doesn’t mean that I am pro-MRA, anti-feminist, anti-LGBT, transphobic, xenophobic, racist, or a bigot. This means that I hold my own views and stand up for what I believe in without giving into the current SJW movement and into the current Outrage Culture.

Why am I bringing this up?

Because I just went through my Tumblr and cleaned up my feed and eliminated some followers.

Look, if you have views that you believe in then that’s awesome. I would love to have an open and rational discussion about them (preferably over coffee); however ,when & if I do not agree with you, it will not be OK to shout “PATRIARCHY” at me or go on a tirade of how I am wrong and a horrible person that needs to check my privilege.

If you don’t have any idea of what the fuck I am talking about let’s get caught up:

2 definitions of Social Justice Warrior (SJW) that I found that pretty much sum it up.

Social justice warrior is a pejorative term for an individual promoting socially progressive views; including feminism, civil rights, multiculturalism, political correctness, and identity politics

social justice warrior
A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice on the Internet, often in a shallow or not well-thought-out way, for the purpose of raising their own personal reputation. A social justice warrior, or SJW, does not necessarily strongly believe all that they say, or even care about the groups they are fighting on behalf of.
(pejorative: expressing contempt or disapproval.)

Apparently the term was once a positive title used by progressives until its decline between 2009-2012.  The term “social justice warrior” was first used as a pejorative in the blog “Social Justice Warriors: Do Not Engage”, launched by Will Shetterly on 6 November 2009. Its further decline has been accredited to “Gamergate” (I have no idea) and to the rise of Men’s Rights Activists (MRAs). Its perjoration is also due to the SJWs themselves.

One “issue” that SJWs took up that lead to their decline was to combat “manspreading“. Apparently some men were on buses, subways and other forms of public transportation and sitting with their legs open wide and taking up too much space, like an asshole. Now, the campaign was not only because guys sitting with their legs spread can take up more room, but because it is a form of sexual harassment.

Because, in case you hadn’t noticed, it is women, not men, who are constantly being harassed and assaulted — by men — on the bus. It is women who must spend their entire commute to work in a panic because some man has decided to sit next to her with his hand purposefully touching her thigh, it is women who have to worry about being flashed or groped by a man who is sitting next to them on the bus, it is women who are sexually harassed and “chatted up” by men within a confined space from which they have no escape.

Now, I refuse to even dismiss the fact that women get sexually harassed EVERYWHERE; however if I am sitting on a bus or a subway or whatever, I am not going to cross my legs (mainly because I can’t) and no amount of leg crossing (since it doesn’t reduce the size of my hips and thighs) is going to significantly reduce the amount of space that I take up. Now, I do think that it is a dick move to just get on public transportation and take up as much space as you possibly can, no matter what your gender is. I think in general everyone needs to respect personal space and just be respectful to one another, period.

I have read posts on Tumblr were SJWs were dogpiling on a white girl that got braids and claiming cultural appropriation. SJWs call back to the days of colonialism and talk about how “privileged white people” just take from other cultures. Apparently, these SJWs don’t understand how cultural integration works. Cultures meet and share things. We share food, art, fashion, technology, knowledge and literature.  So, when I read another similar post regarding white people eating Mexican food as appropriation and colonialism, I just blew off the whole SJW movement. It’s misguided, uneducated, and has an almost segregated, totalitarian view which I find hilarious since a lot of SJWs call others facists. Basically, SJWs usually take shit WAY out of context and create their own outrage, like this:

This little “Patriarchy Smasher” took a quote from Emmeline Pankhurst during the women’s suffrage movement in the UK and equated it the US Civil War. This caused such a backlash that Time Out London had to print this statement regarding this matter:

For a recent photoshoot to document ‘Suffragette’, the first feature film to tell the story of the violent and historic struggle of women in the UK for equal rights including the right to vote, Time Out London invited the lead actresses from ‘Suffragette’ to wear t-shirts with the slogan: ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave’.
This is a quote from a 1913 speech given by Emmeline Pankhurst, one of the historic British suffragettes whose fight for equality is portrayed in the movie. The original quote was intended to rouse women to stand up against oppression – it is a rallying cry, and absolutely not intended to criticise those who have no choice but to submit to oppression, or to reference the Confederacy, as some people who saw the quote and photo out of context have surmised.
Pankhurst’s full quote was: ‘I know that women, once convinced that they are doing what is right, that their rebellion is just, will go on, no matter what the difficulties, no matter what the dangers, so long as there is a woman alive to hold up the flag of rebellion. I would rather be a rebel than a slave.’
Time Out published the original feature online and in print in the UK a week ago. The context of the photoshoot and the feature were absolutely clear to readers who read the piece. It has been read by at least half a million people in the UK and we have received no complaints.

They didn’t receive any complaints because they know their history. How does my Texas born ass know it too? I watched “Horrible Histories” on Hulu. Yeah, a kids show from the UK with a puppet rat on CBBC, but this SJW had an overwhelming sense of self importance on US History, that a movie or anything else couldn’t possibly be made about another country’s history. I think it’s even more hilarious that this SJW was actually leading a campaign against a movie that was telling the story about the women’s suffrage movement in the UK (The Suffragette Movement).   Funny thing is, in the barrage of tweets that the SJW sent out, a guy actually told her this:

@FergusMason1 Feb 3
@OpinionessWorld It’s about middle-class Englishwomen in 1912. How many “women of colour” do you think were involved, you fucking plank?

Of course, he probably would just be dogpiled for mansplaining things anyway.

Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a difference between an activist and a SJW. One has an educated viewpoint and can eloquently skillfully debate their views the other cannot and just starts outrage on social media. Activists are people like Malala Yousafzai, Joan Baez, or Medgar Evers. People that ACT to make change in their world. Not cause outrage in the hivemind that is Twitter, Reddit and Tumblr. Then there are people in between that have their own views and are not going to give in to the Orwellian INGSOC ways of the SJW and the current Outrage Culture that has spawned forth from them and honestly are too scared to go to a protest rally and face arrest or violence. I am one of those “In Betweeners” and I am a feminist, I believe that there is a gender wage gap, that women are not treated equally in this society, they are objectified, and (IMO) psychologically tortured by being made to think that their worth is based on their appearance and that does need to change immediately. I do believe we live in a Patriarchal society brought on by the dominance of Abrahamic religions around the world and that mindset also needs to change. I believe that LGBT people are also not fairly treated, protected and represented in this country, they are a target of violence and that definitely needs to change now; however  I will be damned if I am going to be bullied by what I believe is the liberal/progressive version of the fucking Tea Party into believing in things and following mindsets that I do not believe in or agree with.

Some of the SJW points that are made are relevant ( a lot are not), but their methods are not constructive and they just fuel the outrage culture that is in America today. Outrage Culture kills dialogue and closes minds. If we silence the voices of people that hold different views from us, then we kill our ability to learn and our ability to teach. New viewpoints, and being challenged is what makes us smarter, makes us (actually) tolerant, and helps us learn to thrive and survive. The definition that we have of tolerance now days is “get on board with my ideals or fuck off”.  President Obama even talked about this at a college speech that he gave. Between the SWJs of the Left and the Fundamentalists of the Right, it’s no wonder why we can’t get anything done around here about the major issues that plague this country today.

Why am I writing this? Because when I see some SJW post that is beyond stupid, or smug, it pisses me off. It pisses me off almost, if not more than when I see some conservative nonsense that gets posted. I mentioned earlier that I have my own views. Want to know how I got them? By listening. I listened to the SJWs, and to the Conservatives, and to everyone in between and then I thought about what was said and then I came to my own conclusions. When the topic would come up I would express my views and would either get into an argument, a debate, or a discussion and if it was a topic that I was passionate about, I would look into activism and see what I could do to influence change. No matter which of those occurred, my viewpoint either was reaffirmed or changed in some way.

Having an ideology and sticking to your guns for what you believe is never a bad thing. Jumping to a conclusion on a subject that you have no knowledge on is always a horrible idea.

Just remember that new information can become available at any time.

 

 

His small heart grew three sizes that day.

Remember that book I was reading, The Art of Empathy? I haven’t picked it up in several weeks and I will tell you why. I came to a section that confused me and I needed to think about. The section was on emotions.

Now, I may have posted about this a  before ; however I think that I have finally had an eureka moment regarding this subject. I had already learned that there are no “bad” emotions and that there are multiple complex ways to have and deal with them, but I was still baffled by a lot of the mechanics of the whole thing.

I have seen a few friends/acquaintances go through some emotional turmoil (some IRL and some online) and I have wanted to reach out to some them, but I honestly don’t know what to say to them or if its even my place to do so. The empathy is there and the want to help is there, but the understanding of emotions is still kind of a roadblock; however I think that I have made an observation that helps me understand a little more.

Here’s what hit me:

In the book, the premise of emotions being “action-requiring neurological programs” is introduced. So, if this is true then an emotion requires an action. The book goes on to give some ideas on how to look at emotions and how to channel them. One of the emotions that I see is sadness:

Sadness arises when it’s time to let go of something that isn’t working anyway

Let me say this clearly: People are allowed to be sad. You are allowed to cry. You don’t have to “man up”, big girls can cry, and there is nothing to apologize for or be ashamed of if you are sad and you express it. My advice is to let it out, don’t be ashamed of it, make sure you breathe and don’t tense up and just cry and let it out; however you have to let go of what you are sad about. That is what your brain is telling you: “This isn’t working, so let it go”. Is it easy? Nope. Can it be done? It sure can.

Now, sadness is not grief and I think grief maybe another issue that I am seeing.

Grief is a lot different and doesn’t always relate to death. It relates to loss. The loss of a job, a treasured possession, a relationship, or your health. Those can all be something that you can lose and that can cause grief.

Grief arises when something has been lost irretrievably…

Now, unlike sadness, there is a mourning process to grief and that is the action that is required. We have all probably heard of the “5 Stages of Grief”  and it encompasses multiple emotions (FYI: Not everyone goes through these exactly in order and stages can be repeated). This is how I now have started to view these:

  1. Denial – You will try to convince yourself that what has/is happening isn’t really happening and that you can “make a comeback”. You will deny the current reality of the situation and substitute your own to rationalize the overwhelming emotional state that you are in. Don’t worry, this is, for lack of better terminology, “normal”. It is our fear throwing us into a mental feedback loop and we just have to work to get ourselves re-oriented. Once we recognize that this is our fear working, and our brain panicking, we can start to come back to reality.

  2. Anger – When the reality of the loss does set in, anger will soon follow. Anger is the best emotion we have. It’s real and it tells us where we are. Anger tells us what is broken and what needs to be restored. It also helps us set boundaries. In the case of mourning, anger helps us start to restore reality. It gives us the energy and strength to set boundaries with people and to keep on going during this entire process. It’s OK to be angry, just be sure you are channeling that anger and using it wisely throughout this process.

  3. Bargaining – This is where we play the what if game. Sometimes it’s with g-d, sometimes it’s with the past (G-d, if you will <insert impossible/improbable thing here> for me/my loved one; then I will do <insert thing that you probably will not do here> or If we had only done X this wouldn’t have happened). Another thing that is done here is people “should’ve” all over themselves (We should’ve <insert act or task here> or I should’ve <insert act or task here> and then <loved one’s name> wouldn’t have <insert horrible event here>). The root of this stage is shame. As the book mentions there are no bad emotions and shame can actually be healing. Shame shows us what is unauthentic within our emotions and can save us from being hurt, from being dehumanized, destabilized and embarrassed by ourselves and others. Through that shame we finally realize that no amount of bargaining is going to make this right, and we must continue to let go.

  4. Depression – This is the tough one. Depression is anger turned inward like an implosion. Depression is almost all of your emotions hitting you at once and then putting the boots to you while you’re on the ground; however there is a phrase that, once you master it, puts depression on its ass.  DEPRESSION LIES. When you are depressed, the depression itself will try to use your emotions against you. DEPRESSION LIES. You may not feel like it, but getting up and moving around will help. A hug will help and something that I do that helps me is I find something that will bring me “instant joy” and I run to that stronghold. At this point self-care is very important; you have to take care of yourself. Friends and family are also important, don’t isolate and lean on them for support and remember: DEPRESSION LIES.

  5. Acceptance – This does not mean that you are suddenly going to start walking with a bounce in your step and start smiling and whistling. You aren’t going to start high-fiving people when you accept the loss that has occurred in your life. You will just notice that you have a little more peace regarding the loss than you previously did. You may start to open up about it more. You may start to move forward with a sense of closure and contentment. You may still feel sad or angry when that memory comes up, but you will know that whatever it was is now gone and you have accepted it. Acceptance is different for everyone.

My PSA: There is no time limit on how long it takes this cycle to complete and sometimes grief doesn’t end. If that happens, you will need to seek psychiatric treatment, be it a therapist or a psychiatrist ( or both). Again, you have to take care of yourself and that means getting mental health care. Sometimes, you just need help getting through these stages and through all of these emotions. It’s not a sign of weakness, and if you feel shame then use it to see that something is trying to keep you from being hurt further. Knowing you need help and getting it is a sign of bravery and intelligence. So, if you are stuck in the grief cycle, go get help.

So, there it is. I had this eureka moment, and now I will be reading this book again. Whether I  say something or not is still unknown. Part of me has the notion that I am just seeing something broken and I want to try and fix it, yet another part of me sees people that are going through situation that I have gone through and can empathize with. Maybe there’s a part of me that is hoping that they will stumble onto this blog post and find some solace.  However it works out, I feel that I have grown emotionally and if I do ever reach out to someone, I feel that I could actually make a difference. Now, I feel that I can continue and begin to learn more and be a better human.

 

Hey, at least I am not just offering up my “thoughts and prayers”, right?

 

 

A Broken Watch and Civil Disobedience.

So, I am currently sitting here, trying to fix my smartwatch because it’s constantly powering off and not wanting to reboot.  Let’s just say I learned that you can crack into a bootloader of a device that only has one button.

Anyway, that’s not why I am here.

Again I am watching a battle being fought on C-Span, well the part that wasn’t cut off by the current speaker of The House of Representatives, Paul Ryan when he ended the session with a motion on the floor and killed the video feed.

Right now 75 democratic members of the US Congress are literally sitting on the floor of the House of Representatives in protest of there not being a vote on any form of gun-control legislation today. When the cameras were cut-off by Paul Ryan, they took to Twitter, Periscope and Snapchat to keep the message going. At the time of this post, the protest is going on it’s 11th hour. At 10pm ET, Paul Ryan tried coming back to the floor with the GOP reps and moving forward with “business as usual”…

Yeah, that didn’t go over well.

There was chanting, songs from the civil rights movement were sang and general civil misconduct ensued. Which makes perfect sense, because they have a civil rights icon leading this occupation. Rep. John Lewis (D – GA) was one of the “big six” leaders of the civil rights movement during the 60’s. He organized sit-ins at segregated lunch counters, organized voter registration drives, and helped lead 600 marchers in Selma, AL on the day that would become known as “Bloody Sunday”. He took a billy club to the head that fractured his skull and before he could seek medical treatment, he pleaded on camera to then President Johnson for help in Alabama. He still has those visible scars to this day.

So, rallying 75 fellow Democrats to sit on the floor and chant and sing is a walk in the park for this man.

While Republicans say it’s a publicity stunt and that they want to move forward with a bill to combat Zika (To protect pregnant women as one GOP member stated) and a veto proposal before they all go on summer vacation. The real matter is, this is something that should have been addressed after Columbine, or after Aurora, or after Virginia Tech, or after Fort Hood, or after Sandy Hook. You have had plenty of fucking time to get this fixed. To debate, and to look into it, and to talk. Instead, you give us “thoughts and prayers”.

Fuck your thoughts and prayers.

It’s time to put down the golf clubs, quit taking the NRA’s money, and fucking do your job. It’s time for all of you tea party fucktards to start thinking like rational humans and work with your fellow representatives and find a solution that will offer some form of protection for the people. Because what we have now, isn’t working and what you are doing now, isn’t considered working. It’s time for you to also get down on the floor and get to work. Because thoughts and prayers are no longer enough.

It’s time for these GOP douche-nozzles to either put-up or shut up.

See you at the polls.

[Post-Note: I know that I have been writing a lot of political stuff lately; however it’s an election year and also people are getting shot with large guns over here. So, it’s kind of been on my mind. Hey, at least I don’t support Trump, right?]

There’s One in Every Group.

Everyone wants to be different. Everyone wants to be special. For the most part, you are unique; however the laws of probabilities and averages weigh in and there is probably someone else out there that is just like you. Now, I am not saying that you have an evil twin with an eye patch; however there is probably someone that is like minded, dresses almost the same, likes the same food, and may even appear almost the same (sans the eye patch).

This is also true of ideologies and beliefs within religions, which are themselves ideologies and beliefs. Here in the U.S. we hear a lot about Christians and the “war on religion”.  Recently we had a local pastor in the small town of Samson Park, TX make a few headlines as he gave a sermon after the Orlando shootings about the “50 sodomites” and how “they’re the scum of the earth, and the earth is a little bit better place now.”. This Arizona native came to Texas just a little over a year ago and after his church was only open for that 1st year, he managed to make it on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Active Hate Group list.

This local asshat aside, I want to talk about another group that has drawn my attention today. A group that I usually try to stick up for because they are demonized in the western media and they tend to keep to themselves when it comes to indoctrination and evangelism. I am speaking about Muslims.

Now before you start going into the “Another Stupid  American”, “He’s a Texan Republican” (Which I am not, FYI), or the “Dude, you are going to get bombed” spiel, let me be clear. When I say that I am an atheist, I mean just that. Theist meaning  the belief in the existence of a god or gods with the prefix “a” meaning not or without ( Examples: asymmetrical,. asymptomatic, apolitical). So, I am not “anti-Christian”, I think all of them are non-sense.  You may hear me talk about Christianity a lot but that’s because I live in a north Texas town that is approximately 9 square miles in size, has a population of roughly over 10K, and has 20 churches  in it (of which the majority of are either Baptist or Evangelical). So, that particular belief system is on my radar, a lot.

What has made me take a look at the Muslim community? A guy named Ahmed Muhammad Ahmed el-Tayeb. He is the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar, which is a very high position in Sunni Islam. He is also a well educated man and holds a Phd in Islamic philosophy from the Paris-Sorbonne University, and has been president of Al-Azhar University since 2003. OK, so he is well educated in his religion and it’s philosophies, but I am sure he took a few other courses.

He took to the airwaves, on his nightly TV show, and started telling the viewing audience:

…that atheists developed their opinions in the 18th century with some degree of politeness and respect toward those who believe in God but contemporary atheists, particularly after the events of September 11, have declared war against all religions, especially Islam.

Wait…What?

First, yes atheism historically did  formally start during the early 18th century and we were polite about it because of all of the persecution of heretics going on at the time. The rise of toleration and enlightenment only started because people were sick of the Spanish inquisition, the witch trials, the civil wars of England, Scotland and the Netherlands that had previously occurred. People were sick of all of the bullshit that had been done and that was being done by the church. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1700’s that tolerance of  other religions and beliefs was finally accepted in Europe, and atheism would be even tolerated to any degree. So yeah, we were kind of polite because we were afraid of that whole death or imprisonment thing. Oh, and post 9/11 it wasn’t just atheists that didn’t like Muslims. It was pretty much every bigoted asshole on the planet. Some atheist, some theist, and all misguided; however I thank you for proving my point.

No matter what the religious view, there’s always “one of those guys”.  Even the religion of Islam is declaring that there is a war on religion; however the muslims are stepping up the game:

Trending on Arabic #Twitter is this hashtag #نطالب_بقتل_الملحدين which translates to “We demand the killing of the Atheists”. scary times.

I tried translating this, and I got “We demand the transfer of atheists”; however when you isolate بقتل and translate that, it means killing. Now, some people are stating that this is just in regards to Atheists in Saudi Arabia and/or the Middle East, but it really isn’t clarifying that. The hashtag doesn’t say “We demand the killing of the Atheists here in the Middle East. Everywhere else is cool”. Also, it’s not just the middle east and it’s not just the religion of Islam. In 2015 2 men were murdered for speaking out against religion and superstition and the violence associated with it in India. Govind Pansare and his wife were attacked and he later died from his injuries, M. M. Kalburgi was shot dead at his home, a third man, K. S. Bhagawan was only sent a threatening letter, the leader of the militant Hindu organization that allegedly killed the other two men was caught and arrested.

Back to our friend The Sheik:

 He added that one of the major causes of the spread of irreligiosity and atheism in the Islamic world is that some Muslim youth do not have the support for firm thinking and belief and cannot assess what they hear, especially since those who spread atheism spread their ideas with simple and comprehensible explanations for the youth.

I searched Google to get a definition of “firm thinking” and I had to laugh at this:

Did you mean:
free thinking definition
formal thinking definition

I did find a site called firmthinking.com which is a “strategy and marketing consulting firm” but I don’t think that is what the sheik is talking about; however I do think that he means strategic thinking.

Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving success in a game or other endeavor.

Basically, I read this as: “Our kids need us to think for them, because if they think for themselves, then they won’t buy into our religious beliefs because the atheists are talking clearly and rationally.”.  But he goes on to say:

“Experts in psychology and large financial institutions support these ideas and the danger of these institutions is that their ideas can be considered as the weapons of the West,” he stressed.
OK, there it is. It boils down to atheism (in the form of psychology and money?) being linked to “The West”. I am sure when he says “The West” he doesn’t mean Canada or Brazil. Because all atheist are American. He goes on to blame international humanitarian groups for abusing religious freedom and blaming most of Europe for recognizing LGBT rights that “are hated and uncomfortable in the Islamic world.”  He then pushes for the idea to have religious classes taught in all of their schools and universities (and I don’t think he means as an elective) to “to ensure the culture of society against deviant thoughts”.
And we all know my thoughts on deviants.
Here’s my point, I don’t care what book you are claiming is “infallible truth” or what imaginary friend you talk to at night or 5 times a day while bowing and stretching. Every religion has a bunch of nutjobs in them. The guy 12 miles away in a small ass Baptist Church or the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar several thousand miles away are both the same guy.  They are both misguided by the ideology and dogma that comes from a book that was written thousands of years ago and has caused pain and bloodshed for thousands of years since.
And they are both afraid.
They are afraid of their culture, their religion, the meme that has lasted thousands of years dying. So, they are both acting out. One is throwing a tantrum and saying stupid hateful shit and trying to get his 15 minutes and attract the dregs to fill the pews. The other is hoping that his position and power will lead people to further his ideology of his religion and he is also saying stupid things and acting out. That’s what all of these things are: tantrums.
The world is changing and some people don’t want to change with it. So, they will become assholes, bigots and just full of hate and try to ruin it for everyone else. In the unfortunate case of these two, one has a Youtube channel, and the other has a national TV show. Then someone has a twitter hashtag that is trending, but not in a great way.
Regardless of what you believe, or don’t believe, can we just try not to kill each other?
Please?

Thanks For Nothing.

Monday afternoon going into evening I read the news that made me exclaim “You have to be fucking kidding me!” in my living room in a volume that startled my wife and dogs.

“Senate rejects series of gun measures”

“Senate Rejects 4 Gun Proposals Inspired By Orlando Attack”

“Senate Rejects 4 Measures to Control Gun Sales”

That’s right our senate after another mass shooting, the worst in our history, failed to do fuck all about anything. Just like they did with Virginia Tech, just like they did with Sandy Hook, just like they did with Charleston, and now with Orlando. The only thing that they are doing  is the one thing that they have done after every mass shooting, and every failure to pass any form of legislature that would prevent this type of senseless bloodshed: point fingers and blame each other the failure.

The most baffling part is that these collective asshats, this gathering of 100 useless idiots, could not do what the public is already telling them that want them to do:

…support for specific gun control measures was very strong, with 92% saying they wanted expanded background checks, 87% supporting a ban for felons or people with mental health problems and 85% saying they would ban people on federal watchlists from buying guns. Among Republicans, that number is even higher — 90% say they favor preventing people on the terror watch list or “no fly” list from buying a gun. That number is at 85% for Democrats.

Damn near the entire country is saying that we want stronger gun control. That we want stronger regulation and background checks. We are basically saying that we wanted what was up for you all to vote on yesterday and you failed. Why did it fail? Don’t these people have common fucking sense? So what happened?

“Partisanship and the power of the gun lobby played a large role in the amendments’ failure.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/06/21/us/politics/gun-vote-senate.html?_r=0

The measures Monday each went down in succession on largely party line votes. The 60-vote threshold required for passage prevented even Republicans, who control the chamber, from pushing through their favored measures.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/20/politics/senate-gun-votes-congress/

Republicans and their allies in the NRA gun lobby said the Democratic bills were too restrictive and trampled on the constitutional right to bear arms. Democrats attacked the Republicans’ two proposals as too weak and accused them of being in the thrall of the NRA.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-florida-shooting-guns-idUSKCN0Z61BS

Legislation to protect a population from violence shouldn’t be a team sport with a booster club. The only losers are the people,  and the families that lost their loved ones. So, while these asshats continue to point fingers, more guns are going to get into the hands of the wrong people and we will all just wait around for the next headline. Once that happens, this will all repeat in the same fucked up cycle that it always does.

Enough is enough.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

However, in 2008 there was a Supreme Court case “The District of Columbia vs. Heller” that redefined the 2nd amendment:

The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home…The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia, enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms, so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved.

Basically, because history shows that our forefathers didn’t want a disarmed population, it was interpreted that anyone can carry a gun despite being in a militia because guns are needed “for defense of self, family, and property”.  Unless you are an ex-con or mentally ill, then you don’t get to defend anything of yours.

…prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.

Here’s what they are talking about:

When the bill of rights was ratified in December of 1791, not even a year after (May, 1792) an act was passed detailing what standards the national militia would go by:

[E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States, resident therein, who is or shall be of age of eighteen years, and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia…[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified, shall, within six months thereafter, provide himself with a good musket or firelock, a sufficient bayonet and belt, two spare flints, and a knapsack, a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges, suited to the bore of his musket or firelock, each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle, knapsack, shot-pouch and powder-horn, twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle, and a quarter of a pound of powder; and shall appear, so armed, accoutred and provided, when called out to exercise, or into service, except, that when called out on company days to exercise only, he may appear without a knapsack.[117]

Now, obviously, this wouldn’t hold up by today’s standards because of obvious reasons; however this act clearly shows that the militia was set up to be what we would look at as the National Guard and also a police force (which didn’t exist at the time). The point is, the right to bear arms  in order to maintain “A well regulated Militia” was created for just that. For qualified people to keep a gun (notice I used “a” meaning single and not an arsenal) in order to defend the country. At the same time the founders believed that an armed population was the best natural defence against tyranny, domestic and foreign.

Because of this case we can all carry guns and the ruling is based on historical interpretation, but what about common sense? There are laws that need to be implemented to make sure that guns are only used for “traditionally lawful purposes” and that only “well regulated” people can access them!

We also need a new, more relevant, definition of “well regulated”. Because, if we are all the militia, we the people, then we need to be regulated because right now we are in chaos; however this debate has apparently been going on since the late 1700s, just the names of the debaters has changed.

Hopefully, it won’t go on another 225 years.

 

See you at the polls.