People Are Fucking Stupid.

If you read one of my previous posts, you know that I rejoined Facebook. I have kept it simple and only a few people are on my friends list (I think I broke into the 30’s); however I have joined a few groups for my home town. One of which is a grievance page.

Now a little history before we begin.

My home town was formed in 1846. In 1920 it had a whopping 150 residence. Now it is a “massive” 8.8 sq miles and has approximately 9,600 residents.  As of the last census, the racial makeup of the city was 95.90% White, 0.22% African American, 0.66% Native American, 0.51% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.41% from other races, and 1.29% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.20% of the population.

So, basically a rural town with a bunch of white people and a Wal-Mart

Now to the point.

While I was browsing the Facebook page for ” Grievances, bitches, moans, and complaints” I came across this post:

Redkneck_Jackass

Now, when I see shit like this, I usually just shake my head and go on with my day, but this hit me a bit differently.  While reading the comments I noticed that no one spoke up against this. Not a single person. Most of them gave “likes” and kudos in the comments. Some even gave tips where they could drive to “piss more people off”. People also encouraged one member to fly her flag outside instead of living in fear of retaliation.  I couldn’t believe the obliviousness of these people. The pure disconcern for other people and the sense of fucking entitlement. It was this that made me angry, not the flags.

If a person wants to fly these flags because they have the political ideology of a state’s rights being over the rights of a centralized government’s rights and this is how they express this, then great! Good for them! Its when the only reason that this is done is to “piss of[f] liberals” and cause further animosity between races that I find the point of this ridiculous. This guy went out and probably spent $30 – $60 for the flags, and $80 – $100 for the mounts and poles, just to piss people off and make his truck nothing more than a dick-wagon. The fact that someone would spend this much money and energy just to be an asshole astounds me.

Then again, this is Texas.

So, good for you cunt-servative flag guy! Way to use your time and money wisely. You show your support for a form of government that completely failed in its meager 4 years of existence. You support not only slavery, but overwhelming inflation, bread riots and complete economic ruin. Because that’s where the Confederacy was heading (actually it was already there during the last 2 years of the civil war) and (as most historians have found) even if it would have won the war, the Confederacy would have economically collapsed in just a few years and would have probably been taken over by  The US, Mexico or a European country. But hey, it’s your right to express your love for a fallen way of government and the degradation of an entire race of humans; however it is my right to not like it at all.

Like I have said before, you have the right to say whatever you want, but that doesn’t mean that people are going to like it.

Personally, I hope your truck confederate dick-wagon catches on fire.

Bad Words.

So, let’s talk about Political Correctness and mainly how it is absurd.

 

Still reading? OK, good.

 

I think people have blurred the line between “Being PC” and being a decent human being. I believe that we as a people have to get back to the point of “being decent” instead of being politically correct.

I hear people say this phrase all the time:

“You can’t say that!”

And, frankly, yes I can. I believe that a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth. I believe that we need to focus on what we say. We need to weigh our words. To quote my mother: “Think before you speak”; however people should do this out of their own free will and not some form of social dogma, then the world would be a better place.

Who am I to say this? I am someone who (usually) thinks before they speak. I also keep two quotes in my mind at all times:

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

– Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“No one has the right not to be offended. Just because you’re offended, it doesn’t mean you’re in the right.”

–  Ricky Gervais

If everyone just thought about what they were about to say before they said it, we wouldn’t have the issue of “Political Correctness”. We would just have people thinking, and showing genuine concern about what they say. We would also probably have a lot more silence.

But wait! Aren’t you a liberal/progressive/democrat? 

Well, yes to 2 of those things. I am liberal/progressive when it comes to most social issues and I feel that humanity should be open to new ideas and we should be moving to improve our society rather than stagnate in tradition. We need to constantly be reforming the way we act and think towards ourselves, each other and the world around us. If we just keep doing “the same old shit” then we will stop growing as a race (by race I mean humanity) and we will eventually die off. I do not consider myself a democrat, however. I don’t really see eye to eye with any political party. So, two out of 3 aint bad.

One point to note is that the term “politically correct” is actually a Communist term.

According to the International Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, Kremlin advisers were the first to widely use the term. They did so without a trace of irony. Calling someone “politically correct” in Soviet Russia meant they toed the party line.

Now days it just means that we should not use words because of their effect on people or it’s a pejorative term that means policies or ideas are excessive. The term was used in the 90s as a pejorative term that basically meant censorship and today it is a label that conservatives like to use as a pejorative against liberals and liberal policies as an excuse to say things that are offensive. So, again it’s a blurred line of manners vs. political correctness.

And being politically correct, or promoting political correctness,  is just that: censorship.

An article by NPR had a good explanation of why “being PC” is just the wrong way to think about things.

The danger inherent in attempting to speak in a “politically correct” manner, is that in an effort to avoid offending the most sensitive members of our society or audience, we ban the use of perfectly good, accurate descriptive phrases for fear of running afoul of a small group of people with a political agenda. Hence the phrase “politically correct.”
At its worst, political correctness can be a form of Orwellian newspeak in which non-pejorative descriptions that accurately convey clear unambiguous thoughts are demonized, and banned in favor of bland replacements. A “war-lord” becomes a “faction leader.” Words are drained of their meanings.

– NPR newscaster Jamie McIntyre

So, we should be ANTI-Politically Correct then! Right?

Nope.

People that are Anti-PC (generally conservatives) find that being Anti-PC means you can say whatever hate-fueled garbage comes out of your mouth and people have to like it because of free-speech and it isn’t PC, so it’s cool if they say it (Again, manners vs. political correctness); however, like I said in the beginning: “…a person can say whatever they want; however that doesn’t mean that everyone else is going to applaud whatever comes out of your mouth”. If you go around saying hateful & hurtful things, someone is eventually going to to tell you to shut the fuck up. Either in a polite respectful way, or with a punch to the face. So, go ahead and be “anti-PC” just don’t be anti-manners and expect everyone to like it.

So, what do we do?

Think before you speak, weigh your words and have some empathy; however don’t just say and think things because they are (or aren’t) politically correct. I am not PC, but I believe in things like LGBTQ+ rights, the disuse of fossil fuels, (actual) science being taught to our children in public schools, feminism, and equality. Not because it’s politically correct, but because they are good ideas. They progress us as a species and add to our general wellbeing.

Also, because I am not an asshole…Well, that big of one anyway.

I believe that a person can say or think whatever they want. That is a right that we all (should) have and no one should be able to force a way of thought or morality on you. It is my hope that one day we will all use empathy and understanding to choose our words, thoughts and actions because it is the right thing to do and not the politically correct thing to do.

I’m not going to hold my breath, however.

 

 

 

Let’s Get This Out of the Way.

Now that I am done with being depressed and anxiety ridden, let’s talk about Trump and this election outcome.

Grab a snack and soda, this may take a minute.

First, let me be clear, I didn’t vote for the guy. My initial support was with Bernie Sanders but the DNC decided to anoint a different candidate for the primary. I did flirt with voting 3rd party but decided to choose the more logical choice of backing the candidate that had a shot at actually winning (Sorry, but until 50% or more decides to become a Libertarian or a Green; they just aren’t going to win).

Now, the biggest issue with him winning is “what now?”. The Republican Party platform is filled with horrible ideas and policies that they are wanting to make into law. The NY Times has called it “The Most Extreme Republican Platform in Memory” because it includes such things as:

making no exceptions for rape or women’s health in cases of abortion

requiring the Bible to be taught in public high schools

selling coal as a “clean” energy source

demanding a return of federal lands to the states

insisting that legislators use religion as a guide in lawmaking

appointing “family values” judges

barring female soldiers from combat

rejecting the need for stronger gun controls

The platform also wants to gut Medicare. Instead of having Medicare done at the federal level, each state will receive a “block grant” and the State’s will decide on what to do with Medicare. And the entire platform is heavily Anti-LGBTQ and was even called so their own party’s LGBTQ community, The Log Cabin Republicans. Of course there are promises of walls and deportations as well. The platform also wants to make Christianity the official US Religion and English the official language, along with a few other shitty Tea-Party wish list items.

This platform and the election along with the appointment of a known “white nationalist” as an advisor and a evangelical zealot as the VP has spurned not only protests across the country (Even some here in the “deep red” state of Texas) but a rise in hate crimes not seen since the day after 9/11. To prove my point, the KKK has planned a “Trump Victory Parade”.  Now on top of all of this, you have his VP that is so radicalized by his faith that he caused a major HIV outbreak in his home state when he was the governor. He let this happen due to his “moral stance” on needle exchange programs. When he quit funding and took those programs away, the use of opioids and heroin didn’t stop as he thought they would, but the sharing of dirty needles started. It wasn’t until the caseload reached outbreak proportions and that there was so much pressure from local and national agencies (including members of his own party) that he “prayed about it” and let the program continue in affected areas. On top of this he has been quoted as saying:

“Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.”

Now, Pence has never come out and said “I support Gay Conversion Therapy” but that is pretty much what he just defined in the quote above.  Remember, Mike Pence is the same governor that signed the 2015 Religious Freedom Act into law for the state of Indiana that started the whole “Religious Liberties” debate across the nation and almost cost Indiana thousands of jobs and millions in revenue due to boycotts and relocation threats from companies and groups like Angie’s List and The NBA. That same year, the following month actually,  a bill was passed that gave protections to LGBTQ  “customers, employees and tenants” but the original bill still stands as law in Indiana.

So, the separation of Church and State is a little foggy with VP Pence.

We also have another election that was fucked up due to our voting system. The Electoral College is outdated and needs to be abolished. It’s overdue and the system isn’t needed anymore due to the increased population and expansion across the country and also the fact we have forms of  communication that our forefathers never dreamed of. These advances in technology and social evolution have made the Electoral College irrelevant.  Even Trump says that the popular vote should prevail in his recent 60 Minutes interview when asked about the Electoral System:

“I would rather see it where you went with simple votes,” he said. “You know, you got 100 million votes, someone else gets 90 million votes…”

– President-Elect Donald J. Trump

[NOTE: To be fair, he later tried to CYA and add that he “respected the current system”, since it won him the presidency and all.]

But let’s talk about election influence.

The Trump campaign had/has ties to the Russian Government. It was found that Trump has a “secret server” of his own that was in communication with a Russian business called “Alfa Bank”. The server was shut down when investigated and then re-activated under a different server name a short time after it was found.  Now this has been “unproven”, but is still a bit sketchy since it is known that Trump has done business in Russia and has business ties to them; however, server or not, when a Russian Diplomat states that his government has been in contact with the Trump campaign, that should be a huge red flag (no pun intended), but the Russian Foreign Ministry cleared things up (or performed CYA) and stated that they:

 “…had been referring to American politicians and supporters of Mr. Trump, not members of his campaign staff.”

The FBI stated that they found no evidence of “hacking” or any “financial connections” between Russia and Trump.

Speaking of the FBI. Let’s talk about their influence on this campaign.

Director James Comey needs to be fired, at the very least. His action violated FBI Protocol and The Hatch Act. The “new evidence” found was nothing more than CC & BCC emails from the original investigation that was concluded. That should have been investigated thoroughly before making any form of an announcement. The FBI doesn’t have to give Congress updates regarding ongoing investigations. He used his position to influence this election and this was found to have seriously impacted the Clinton campaign. Don’t get me wrong, she made the mistake of setting up a private email server all for the reason of not carrying two phones and basically being lazy. This was a bad judgment call on her part. I didn’t see it as a “crisis” or anything, but it did call into question her work ethic; however I will take a person that finds ways to work smarter that maybe a bit sketchy that someone that drags a radicalized theist into one of the most powerful offices in the US and spouts off nothing but hate and ignorance on Twitter every 5 seconds any day of the week.

But now we come back to my original question: “What Now?”.

Now we let the guy try to be president. We hope that he goes with what he said in 1998 ( Not the Republicans are dumb thing, he apparently never said that) but that he was liberal on social issues. If that’s true; then when something that he doesn’t agree with comes across his desk, he should veto it.

We progressives/liberals/democrats (or whatever we are) also have to organize. We have midterm elections in 2 years. That means we have to get out and vote. We have to talk (constructively) about politics in with people that don’t agree with us. We have to find commonality with “the other side” and try to spread reason.

“But I got out and voted!”

Yeah, a little over half of us did; however the other 45% of us stayed at home and even some of the 55% that did vote jerked-off their vote and did some form of write-in or voted for a political party that no one has even heard of (and no, I am not talking about The Green or Libertarian parties); however it is up to the Electoral College to actually elect the president and not us. So, we ALL need to get organized and go vote this midterm. Why the midterm? Because enough seats for both the House and the Senate come up for grabs and we can get those put in more progressive hands. We can get more Democrats (and if you want to try to get a few Greens or Libertarians that’s fine too) in the Senate and the House that can affect policy and legislation.

For the most part, I say we see what the GOP can do and when (or if) they fail miserably then I think everyone will have learned their lesson. Right now, they have no Democrats to blame as opposition. They control the whole show.  So the what now is plan to vote in mass for the midterms and hope for the best.

Right now, I am now going to sit back and watch  “America Become Great Again”; because that’s really all I can do at this point.

 

 

(And if you didn’t vote at all, then you don’t get to say shit. STFU)

 

Stay Tuned for Our Halloween Special.

If you have ever read this blog you know my feelings on religion and you know that I “did time” in the church. One of the things that I would do usually for the church happened around this time of year.

Before I was “saved” I was a witch.  I practiced Wicca. A fun religion built on Welsh, Irish, British and other European pagan traditions that involves a lot of accessories and the delusion of the supernatural. Because I was a witch turned christian, I was always asked to speak out against Halloween & because I was a good little christian soldier, I always did (I now feel shame for it to be honest).

However…

I fucking loved Halloween and I still do!!

I loved the costumes, the pranks, the scary movies, and the whole idea of halloween! I know that Halloween comes from pagan roots, ALL OF OUR HOLIDAYS DO; however it isn’t satan’s night or the night where kids are sacrificed in some pagan rite. It’s a night where kids do more cardio than they do all year and get more candy than their parents know what to do with so they take it to the office the next day and all of their co-workers get to trick-or-treat throughout their cubicles (Adulting is awesome).

But, to keep with my old tradition of speaking out against things that occur on Halloween, I do want to go on a bit of a rant about some practices that do occur on this most awesome of nights.

Stop with this fucking Trunk or Treat bullshit! If you don’t know what this is, it is a stupid ploy to “make Halloween safe for kids” by having people come to church (sometimes a school, but usually a church) parking lots and open up their trunks and have kids just wander around the church parking lot and get candy. Of course there is also a catch at the church based ones:

 Churches are expanding on the original idea of trunk or treat by adding food, music, games, and rides. Their goal is to reach more of the community with an alternative to trick or treat. It not only has become a way to provide an alternative for children in the church but to the entire community. They have also found that it opens up opportunities to invite parents and children to other events or services going on at the church. To this end, some church groups hand out tracts or other information on the church at a Trunk-or-Treat.

Now I get it in the rural based communities where neighbors are 20 miles apart, but in my town there are suburban communities everywhere. We also have 30 churches that are in the 10 sq miles that make up our city limits (Welcome to Texas) and they all do the trunk-or-treat thing. The past 2-3 years that I have carved a jack-o-lantern, left the porch light on, signed my house up as a designated trick-or-treat house, I have gotten less than 5 trick-or-treaters in all 3 years combined. Its heartbreaking to see this tradition go away.

But, I would gladly let it die if it meant that a swift death would come to the other tradition that the church has on Halloween.

Every year almost every church puts on a spectacle called a “Hell House“.  They are like haunted houses you see pop-up around Halloween, but based on “sin” and “hell”.  They show melodramatic scenes of teen drug use, domestic violence, suicide, abortion, and homosexuality (amongst other evangelical christian issues). Now some of these things are serious topics, but the hyperbole comes in because the scenes are all caused by demonic influence. Yep, satan and his minion caused the depression that led that (always female actress) teen to suicide. Satan caused that girl (it’s usually always the same actress as the suicide teen) to go out to that party and get raped (notice there wasn’t any demonic influence over the guys that did the actual rape), and abortion is always caused by the devil; however at the end of the trip through this christian psychological shit-show, Jesus (or sometimes an angel if no one in the church looks like Jesus) pops in like a superhero and saves the day by leading the tour group out of hell and into heaven; however sometimes there’s a twist and not everyone gets in and you end up back in hell.

Here take a look, there was actually a documentary done about these a few years back:

 

In these attractions, you are basically subjected to psychological torture (Almost like Alex in “A Clockwork Orange”). You are made to see horrific images played out with sounds and lights (sometimes smells) to give a further discomforting augmentation to a distorted reality  and then given an out: Salvation through Jesus. At the end of these you are given a chance to pray with members of the church and be “saved” (and also join the church mailing list of course). Like the kid in the video, I would have given them the finger as well.

Truth of the matter is, I have only been through one Hell House (and that was enough). It was more horrific, and unsettling than any actual haunted house that I have been to. Mind you,  I have been to a haunted house as a kid/teen where the group was chased by a dude with a chainsaw. AN ACTUAL FUCKING CHAINSAW (sans the chain on the blade of course) and that was less horrifying and damaging than the 1 hell house that I visited in my 20s as a “saved christian”.  Honestly, I laughed at the chainsaw guy. I loved every minute of the normal haunted house. Because they are there for entertainment. Hell Houses are there to subject you to a psychological torment, distort your thinking, and then convert you you at the end. Basically, you are herded like cattle through this “morality play” and processed at the end.

And of course it’s all for your own good.

Richard Dawkins, noted atheist, has condemned Hell Houses, saying that using fear to convert children is child abuse, and that the children only leave with nightmares and soiled underpants.

My largest problem is that these are aimed at kids. They will usually let children as young as 12 into these psychological slaughterhouses and that is one of the most frightening things I find about them. That and the number of them. There is one, or more, in every town and usually the ticket prices are cheap. So, instead of going to an actual haunted house a few towns over or in the nearest metropolitan city, kids will usually end up at these. Plus, they are ran by a church.

Nothing could possibly be that scary to the kids at a church, right?

classroom-shooting

Nope. Go on and take the kids, be sure to hit the Trunk-Or-Treat afterwards.

 

Happy Halloween.

 

Unequal. 

From time to time I go to the largest time wasting site on the Internet: Youtube.

I have a few Youtubers that I follow and some channels that I subscribe to. A lot of the time I will find a video that is attached or suggested by the algorithms that are conjured up by the wizards at Google and find myself deep into a rabbit hole that I had no intention of going down. While in this wonderful land of HD video eye candy, I come across a video that an intelligent person posted, and makes a comment that I disagree with; however I can also see their point (to an extent).  But, much like the community that this Youtuber is a member of, I also do not like being labeled and lumped into one broad category.

One of the topics this person discussed is the fact that followers from other channels will mob other Youtubers and sink their ratings. This person stated that these people call themselves “Attack Helicopters”. So, to be safe, I am not mentioning names or posting links.

The subject of this video is “Anti-Feminists”. During the video this person and their co-host state that most (if not all) anti-feminist videos that they see are Atheist channels and more or less allude that atheists are anti-feminist. They go on about because atheists claim to be intelligent and logical, we are all anti-feminist because they have seen multiple videos from other Youtubers that cross their “Social Justice Threshold”.

Hang on a minute.

I am an atheist and I am about to use some logic. If you have seen multiple Youtube videos from atheists that disagree with your social justice views, this does not make them anti-feminist; however let’s say that these atheist Youtubers were professing anti-feminist views. So the idea that some atheists are anti-feminist means all atheists are anti-feminist is not logical. At the same time, I know that there are a lot of atheists out there that are on Youtube that are complete assholes. They try to live strictly by logic and that is no way to function as a human. Here’s why:

A strictly logic based man is sitting and watching TV. His wife comes in the room and asks him to go to the store. She tells him to buy a loaf of bread and if they have eggs; then get a dozen. About 30 minutes later the man returns home with 12 loaves of bread.

His wife asks: Why did you buy so much bread!

He answers: Because they had eggs.

To function rationally we have to have critical thinking.

Critical Thinking
noun
1. the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Other than this one issue, the video that I am referring to was on point about a great deal of things. I believe that some people do not and will not address issues that are “too social justicey” and I believe that we do have a society that has cultivated a toxic Outrage Culture that gets offended over stupid shit and it goes both ways. The “Left” will get offended over something and SJWs will hop on it just like the “Right” will get offended over something and the “Fundamentalists” will go apeshit over it and then they will get mad at each other for getting mad at the thing that they are mad about. A lot of times I hear people talk about Free Speech but then get mad when they find out that it doesn’t only apply to them.

“You’ve got to be allowed to say things that [potentially] everyone might find offensive, I think offense is the collateral damage of freedom of speech. But just because you are offended doesn’t mean you’re right.”

Ricky Gervais

I can say that I was somewhat offended by the labeling of atheists as anti-feminists. Simply because I consider myself a feminist. I believe that a woman is equal to a man and that there is no such thing as “women’s work” or a “man’s job”. I know that there is wage gap and that women in the workplace are not equal. I worked in IT for years and the few women that we had in that field had to be smarter, faster, and 20x more adept at their job than I did, or they had to be on par with the male techs and be hot. IF they did one or both of those two things, they maybe made as much money or maybe even got a promotion. I believe that if you are as qualified, and perform as well as your male co-worker; then you need to earn dollar for dollar and promotions need to be based on merit and not your dick. I believe that a woman should have full say over what she wants done with her body. Whether I agree with abortion, whether you agree with abortion doesn’t matter. It’s not either of our bodies, so it shouldn’t be our decision. Whether you agree with the sex industry, again, it’s not our body. We don’t get a say in the matter. It’s that simple. I believe rape is a detestable thing. Some people say that we have a “Rape Culture” and I can’t argue with that. When I see college frat kids getting short sentences for rape, or grown men that rape children getting only a few years in prison. When we ask questions like “what was she wearing?” or “Did she lead you on?” this leads me to believe that we do view rape as a minor offence. When a kid with a computer violates a network, they get a minimum sentence of 35 years for computer hacking, but a kid with a boner violates an unwilling female and rapes her, they get 3-10 years and are usually out in half of that time, I think that something is fucked up with that.  I believe that LGBT+ rights are a major issue and that is another issue of inequality in our society. The feminist movement until recently (Thirdwave Feminism) really didn’t include LGBT+ rights or women of color in its agenda. As a husband to a beautiful black woman, I want equality for her. As an awesome uncle to 4 strong and beautiful girls,  I want equality for my nieces. I also want them to be/feel safe and have the right to make any choice that they feel is right for them. 

I am an atheist, and I am a feminist, and I have a “social justice threshold” where I find things to be too “social justicey”.  So, sorry Youtuber whose videos I actually enjoy, but I think that you are being over general in the statement that most atheist are anti-feminist. Especially, since your topic was Social Justice. While feminism is a Social Justice topic, Social Justice does not equal feminism. So, the definition of the label of “anti-feminist” is incorrect. Honestly, I just believe that a lot of atheists may just disagree with your social ideologies and this is prompting a reaction.

But, again, that may just be that atheist logic of mine kicking in.

 

Dallas.

Less than 24 hours ago I posted about how my anxiety is partially fueled by when I see violence, specifically police violence, in the news. My reasoning is that I am in a biracial marriage and that I fear for my wife’s, niece’s and nephew’s, brother-in law’s and practically all of my family’s safety with all of the non-sense that I see going on with the police. This one factor has made me understand what white-privilege is all about. When I get pulled over by the cops, I don’t worry about getting killed. I’m a white guy.

But that’s not what I am here to talk about today.

Last night at about 9pm my phone started going off. Message after message started pouring in. At first I ignored it as I was trying to get an early night’s sleep; however finally it started to annoy me enough that I opened up Telegram to see what the hell was so damned important and read the first message:

Just confirmed one DART [Dallas Area Rapid Transit] officer dead.

4 shot

The conversation then went on about how there were snipers in downtown Dallas shooting police officers during a peaceful protest regarding the recent police related shootings of Alton Sterling, Philando Castile, & Dylan Noble.  Before the night was over it ended up with 12 people being shot, 5 dead (4 police officers and 1 civilian) and the other officers wounded. 4 suspects were found 3 are in custody, one was negotiated with and eventually “neutralized” via a bomb disposal robot with a bomb attached to it.

Dallas Police Chief David Brown said one suspect is dead after a long standoff with police. Negotiations were underway when Brown says the suspect told police he was angry over #BlackLivesMatter and was mad at white people. He wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.

He also mentioned “the end was coming” and that he was “going to hurt and kill more” officers. He said bombs were planted all over the garage and downtown.

After negotiations went sour and gunfire was exchanged, Chief Brown says officers had to use a bomb robot to detonate the area around the suspect and kill him.

From what I have seen in the news this morning, none of the suspects in custody are talking.

This has been called the largest assault on law enforcement since 9/11.

And of course, people have offered their thoughts and prayers for the fallen officers and there will even be a statewide moment of prayer at noon today.

So, now we’re back to the question of what to do about the gun violence in America. The NRA’s stance of “More Guns” obviously isn’t a logical solution because EVERYONE HAD FUCKING GUNS. We’re an open carry state here in Texas! So, even if people in the march had guns to help the police out (or help the snipers out, depending on where their moral compass was pointing that day) that obviously wouldn’t have solved the fucking problem, but made the whole situation more problematic. Hell, one man that was exercising his 2nd amendment rights and carrying his (unloaded) AR15 openly in the anti-violence march was a POI  (person of interest) and he had surrendered his weapon to police when the first shots rang out to make sure he wasn’t considered as a suspect, but guess what? His picture was plastered all over social media, and the TV as a suspect. So, again, more guns doesn’t help.

What about no guns? Well, if no one had any guns (other than the snipers obviously) then the cops would have been even more screwed and that definitely would not be a logical solution. What about less guns? Well, apparently our lawmakers can’t fucking figure out what to do about that one because some people think that the 2nd amendment is chiseled in fucking stone. So, we are back to square one with in the on going gun debate in America.

Just for clarification:

amendment

[uhmend-muh nt]
noun
1.

the act of amending or the state of being amended.
2.

an alteration of or addition to a motion, bill, constitution, etc.
3.

a change made by correction, addition, or deletion:
So, the 2nd amendment can be altered or changed by adding ANOTHER AMENDMENT.  At one point we had articles in the constitution that allowed and regulated slavery (the three-fifths compromise, the slave trade clause, and the fugitive-slave law); however we got rid of all of these with the 13th Amendment! Now some people say that we would be entering a slippery slope if we start editing the bill of rights with new amendments, but I don’t think that our Founding Fathers, nor The Framers of the Constitution really meant for us to use the 2nd Amendment for gunning down innocent people and police officers in the cold blood. I am pretty sure if it were possible to travel back in time and bring them to this time period, they would shit themselves, take a shower, and then go and beat the living fuck out of each and every member of our legislative branch of government (possibly the supreme court as well).
I will be curious to see what the political vehicles do with this latest breakout of gun violence and what, if anything, that will come from our geniuses in DC. Because now it’s not a mass shooting of High Schoolers, or College Kids, or a Military base, or Elementary Schoolers or LGBT Club Goers but our police. Maybe now this will make them act. Maybe now we will see some form of common sense gun laws passed and see some results.
Maybe now this will be enough.

A Letter in the Mail.

In the words of the great Chuck D: “I got a letter from the government the other day. I opened and read it…” . Unfortunately, it didn’t say they were suckers. After almost a year of sending in medical information, speaking with my attorney and going to see State Appointed doctors and psychiatrists, the letter I received from the government said their decision.

I was denied.

“Based on the review of your health problems you do not qualify…This is because you are not disabled under our rules.”

So, according to their rules:

The evaluation of disability on the basis of mental disorders requires documentation of a medically determinable impairment(s), consideration of the degree of limitation such impairment(s) may impose on your ability to work, and consideration of whether these limitations have lasted or are expected to last for a continuous period of at least 12 months… (12.05); anxiety-related disorders

I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder and anxiety back in 2007, so I definitely meet the 12 months mark and I have been in both inpatient and outpatient facilities throughout those 9 years, plus been through multiple shrinks and therapists.

Here’s the funny part. In the year that they have been examining my case. The evidence that they used to determine this decision was based on:

  1. My primary care physician
  2. My therapist’s notes
  3. Their psychiatrist
  4. Their doctor.

Despite the fact that I submitted all of my hospitalizations, my past psychiatrists, my past therapists, and that they have had a year to call or fax these people, they only use their shit and two sources that I submitted to make their decision?

 

To me this does not satisfy Paragraph B of these rules:

B. Need for medical evidence: We must establish the existence of a medically determinable impairment(s) of the required duration by medical evidence consisting of symptoms, signs, and laboratory findings (including psychological test findings).

They did not weigh all of the evidence submitted that shows the existence of my impairments and symptoms by their own admission. So the next section is not even completely measured correctly.

C. Assessment of severity: We measure severity according to the functional limitations imposed by your medically determinable mental impairment(s). We assess functional limitations using the four criteria in paragraph B

You didn’t use all of the evidence submitted in paragraph B; however lets’ look at this anyway.

1. Activities of daily living include adaptive activities such as cleaning, shopping, cooking, taking public transportation, paying bills, maintaining a residence, caring appropriately for your grooming and hygiene, using telephones and directories, and using a post office.

OK, some of these I can do. I clean like a beast because I am manic/hypomanic and I have OCD and I obsess about things “looking right”.  Shopping? Only if its during off peak hours, I have popped a clonazepam and chased it with a red bull.  the wife pays the bills but I could if needed, I can shower and wipe my own ass; however I admittedly do not shower every day and my hygiene is a bit laxed. Yeah, I can use a phone and look-up a number. Going to a post-office would actually be a challenge because it involves people as well as public transportation.

2. Social functioning refers to your capacity to interact independently, appropriately, effectively, and on a sustained basis with other individuals. Social functioning includes the ability to get along with others, such as family members, friends, neighbors, grocery clerks, landlords, or bus drivers. You may demonstrate impaired social functioning by, for example, a history of altercations, evictions, firings, fear of strangers, avoidance of interpersonal relationships, or social isolation.

Yeah, see here is the one that I would fail at. I don’t get along with people. Right now I am supposed to be going over to my friends house, which I am late for because all of my friends went to a “music in the park” thing and I said a big nope to that because of the crowd. I can stand family members to an extent; however my wife has a large family and when we have large family gatherings I get anxious. I have been fired a few times, and laid off a few times. So, this is a big thing. I fail at social functioning.

3. Concentration, persistence or pace refers to the ability to sustain focused attention and concentration sufficiently long to permit the timely and appropriate completion of tasks commonly found in work settings. Limitations in concentration, persistence, or pace are best observed in work settings, but may also be reflected by limitations in other settings.

This is another place where I noticed that my anxiety and my depression were taking a toll. I was getting to a point where I was not able to concentrate on my work and not able to close as many cases as I used to. I was having to take more frequent breaks to deal with my anxiety or because I just didn’t have the energy to do the job due to my depression. I was also getting more and more frustrated with my co-workers and leads and lashing out.

4. Episodes of decompensation are exacerbations or temporary increases in symptoms or signs accompanied by a loss of adaptive functioning, as manifested by difficulties in performing activities of daily living, maintaining social relationships, or maintaining concentration, persistence, or pace. Episodes of decompensation may be demonstrated by an exacerbation in symptoms or signs that would ordinarily require increased treatment or a less stressful situation (or a combination of the two). Episodes of decompensation may be inferred from medical records showing significant alteration in medication; or documentation of the need for a more structured psychological support system (e.g., hospitalizations, placement in a halfway house, or a highly structured and directing household); or other relevant information in the record about the existence, severity, and duration of the episode.

The term repeated episodes of decompensation, each of extended duration in these listings means three episodes within 1 year, or an average of once every 4 months, each lasting for at least 2 weeks. If you have experienced more frequent episodes of shorter duration or less frequent episodes of longer duration, we must use judgment to determine if the duration and functional effects of the episodes are of equal severity and may be used to substitute for the listed finding in a determination of equivalence.

Basically, this to me just means have you gone into the hospital a lot? Have your meds changed a lot? Well, they apparently didn’t review mine enough.

So, this list of what is covered and how it is covered goes on and on and by these rules and criteria, I meet the demands; however these geniuses just didn’t weigh the evidence. Now I have to call my attorney on Tuesday and we start the appeal process. It looks like this is probably going to go to a hearing and my nightmare is going to come true.

Now, I have to go get in the shower and go see my friends.

I think that is what I need right now.

 

 

 

 

 

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)

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.