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#NaBloPoMo Advice politics WTF?

How to Survive the Trumpocalypse

November 10, 2016

If you’re like most of the American population you’re wondering what the hell happened yesterday. You’re also probably wondering how to survive the Trumpocalypse without losing your mind, dignity, friends, etc. You may or may not be wondering how the media and pundits got it so wrong. And if you’re like many people you’re busy pointing fingers and demanding that those who voted for him unfriend you right now.

I get it. I’m stunned too. I really didn’t think this was even a remote possibility. Of course hindsight is 20/20 and it’s actually pretty obvious why it happened, but that’s a discussion for another time. However, it is not because half the country is stupid and racist.

Today is going to be a difficult day for a lot of people. I see grief and fear all over social media. So much fear and so much hate. Hate for the uneducated who voted this buffoon into office. It is what it is. President Elect Donald Trump won fair and square. He’s got four years to do what he said he was going to do and that includes unite this country. If we aren’t happy with the way things are four years from now, we vote home out of office. That’s just one of the things that makes this country a great place to live.

Healing will happen, but it will take some time, some introspection and some humility. In the mean time, we need to survive the post election apocalypse. When I wrote that piece I was sure Hillary Clinton would be the winner and that we’d be counting hanging chads for months, and just in case you missed it, I wrote it with tongue planted firmly in cheek.

I didn’t foresee this outcome, but surviving the Trumpocalypse isn’t that difficult.

How to Survive the Trumpocalypse

  1. Take a deep breath, or two or there – Hell, take a drink or a toke. Whatever you need to get through these next few days. It’s going to be rough while we sift through the wreckage. Do what you need to do to make yourself feel better because we’ve got some work to do going forward.
  2. Stop pointing fingers – This is how our system works. Everyone gets a shot. The government is not guaranteed to just the elites on the east and west coasts of our country.
  3. Stop scaring your kids – Seriously, stop it. The world is not going to end. There will be no concentration camps and women and blacks will not lose the right to vote. Gays will still have the right to marry and raise children and every other right they currently have as American citizens.
  4. Stop unfriending people – If you wonder how this could happen it might just be because we’ve refused to even entertain a different idea. This divisive society we’ve created is so incredibly toxic that our children need Safe Spaces in school. That’s insane. School used to be where we tried out all kinds of new ideas.
  5. Be your best – The government has never been able to legislate thoughts. Keep fighting for equality and opportunity. Keep helping your fellow man and woman. Be the change you wish to see. A Trump win doesn’t mean that you won’t be allowed to do all of the things you think are virtuous. Be good, be kind, be excellent.

 

#NaBloPoMo Dumb Shit I Do politics Things that piss me off

Post Election Pledge

November 9, 2016

Now that the Great Presidential Campaign of 2016 is over (even if we don’t know the results yet) can we all make this post election pledge to get along with one another?

Post Election Pledge:

I promise to treat everyone with kindness, consideration and respect, no matter who they voted for this election.

I will not hold it against them if they voted for someone other than the person for whom I voted. 

I will let it go and do my best to mend friendships that have been torn asunder by this presidential race. 

I will no longer unfriend people for having a different opinion than my own.

This election has done more to divide our nation than anything I can think of. On the one side you have the people who worship the most seasoned politician (and not in a good way) ever, someone who is corrupt, reckless and more of an insider than anyone who has ever held office. Why they believe she is going to do anything different than the status quo is beyond me. On the other side you have all the deplorables who support a candidate who is vile, temperamental and so unfit to be President of the United States it isn’t even funny. It’s not. I know I’ve made all kinds of jokes about him not being fit, but it really isn’t funny when you think how close he came to being president.

Is it even possible to bridge this gap between left and right, red and blue, liberal and conservative, deplorable and corrupt?

What worries me most is that no matter who wins, this divide will remain.

I was looking forward to the end of the election because I want social media to be the fun place it used to be some 15 months ago. I’m tired of labels like racist, misogynist, xenophobe being thrown around so casually that they really have no meaning left. I’m tired of the words email, server, FBI, Foundation, Benghazi, pneumonia. More than anything I am tired of the hypocrisy and blind support from both sides.

I won’t lecture you that just because you support a candidate, you support their behavior. No, it’s much more likely you’re supporting their policies because you believe they will do more to make this country of ours a better place.

As it should be.

I’ve had enough. I’ve kept my mouth shut (for the most part) when people post misleading memes, articles and quotes attributed to the other’s candidate. I’m tired of the populace reposting anything that coincides with their belief without bothering to check if it’s actually accurate or true. I’m tired of the hatred, vitriol and downright stupidity on both sides of this coin.

The reality is they’re both horrible candidates. And I get why people talk them up and put the other down. It’s about winning the election. However, the election is over and now it’s time to get on with life.

Thankfully, we live in a country that has checks and balances. Our country will survive no matter who wins the election. I’m not sure we, the people, can survive if we don’t do something to actively stop this divided hatred.

Can we all promise that on Wednesday, after all the votes have been counted and a clear winner has been chosen, that we all do our best to put this horrible election behind us and get along with our fellow American? No matter who you voted for, can you promise to treat everyone with kindness, consideration and respect? Is it possible to stop judging others because they voted for a candidate who was not yours?

I know, I know, what was I thinking.

 

#NaBloPoMo Advice Events politics

How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

November 4, 2016
How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

It’s almost here, the day we’ve been waiting for a couple of years now – the end of the election. But wait, before you get too excited, have you figured out how to prepare for the post election apocalypse?

As bad as it is now with wall to wall coverage of emails and p*ssies, it’s only going to get worse on Wednesday morning when we learn  that Clinton won and she’s now the President Elect who happens to be under investigation by the FBI; or we wake up Wednesday morning to learn that Trump is the President Elect (I literally just shuddered as I typed that) and pretty soon we’ll be watering our crops with Brawndo because it’s got what plants crave (electrolytes).

Or worse than both of those scenarios – we wake up on Wednesday and there is no clear winner. The 2000 election will look like a cake walk compared to the mess we’ll be in if the election is close. Get ready to hear “hanging chads”, “pregnant chads”, and all kinds of new “chads” for the next three months.

No matter how it shakes out, we could be in for a rude awakening come Wednesday morning. If you aren’t a prepper now there’s not much time to prepare for the post election apocalypse. If you haven’t stored boxes and boxes of canned goods and freeze dried food you’re going to have to loot the nearest Target and Walmart like everyone else. So be sure to dress properly.

terrorwarning

Officials are warning of a possible terror attack on US soil this Monday.

For those of you who voted early, you have nothing to worry about. For the rest of us who put it off as long as possible – take comfort in the fact that at least it won’t be your fault if the wrong candidate wins.

While it is pretty late in the game to learn how to take care of yourself and your family, there are a few things you can do to prepare for the post election apocalypse.

How to Prepare for the Post Election Apocalypse

There are no Safe Spaces in the post election apocalypse – If you’re one of those people who needs a Safe Space, you’re probably screwed in the post election apocalypse.You may as well fix yourself into the fetal position and start rocking while sucking your thumb because people are not going to be able to keep their opinions to themselves in polite company anymore. Joseph de Maistre said – Every nation gets the government it deserves, so we have no one to blame but ourselves. It’s not about parties, or sides or left or right, we collectively made this bed and now we’re going to have to lie in it, all 318 million of us.

Get some decent boots – No matter what kind of apocalypse it’s always a good idea to have a really good pair of leather boots. If you’re vegan I don’t know what to tell you, but odds are you’re in a corner somewhere rocking back and forth so it really doesn’t matter. Boots are imperative because we’re all going to be walking through a ton of bullshit. Sandals, flip flops, Chucks or Uggs just aren’t going to cut it. While you’re at it, pick up some nice waders at Mills Fleet Farm.

Have a stash of good reading material – Recently, criminals have been emptying out Little Free Libraries and selling the books to used books stores. I’m not really sure how it’s a crime since it says free in the title of the library, but whatever. If people can sell all those second hand romance novels and knock off books of What to Expect when you’re Expecting… well, more power to them. Seems to me the books that end up in those Little Free Libraries were books that the used bookstores wouldn’t take. Anyway, hopefully you have some good reading material because when the shit hits the fan we’ll probably be under a much bigger DDS attack than we were a couple of weeks ago. This might not actually be a bad thing. After this election it might do us all some good to unplug and have a time out.

Food and Water – After Hurricane Katrina the government encouraged us to prepare for emergencies such as natural disasters, terrorism or political unrest. They created TV ads, websites, billboards and whatnot telling us how to prepare.  Sadly, most of us didn’t listen and the ones who did and actually prepared, were ridiculed. If you made fun of your neighbor for dragging cases and cases of bottled water into his basement while stocking up on months worth of beef jerky and taking lessons at the shooting range, he’s probably not going to do you a solid and share any of it with you. Ideally you should have a months worth of water and food for just this very thing. It’s probably just as well, we were over populated anyway.

Gold and Silver – For years William Devane has been telling us to buy gold in preparation for the end of the world. If you’ve followed his advice and are sitting on shitloads of gold you’re probably about to get robbed. This may be a wise investment, I don’t really know, but I can’t see society collapsing and those of us with gold or silver coins actually bartering. Odds are the things that will become valuable will be food, water, ammunition, guns and boots. Gold and silver are probably difficult things to lug around during the apocalypse.

Guns and Ammunition – If you don’t have them now you’re probably not going to find any. Walmart, Cabela’s and other sporting goods stores were the first stores looted after the liquor stores. If you need to protect yourself from those with guns you can always demand to see their license to carry permit.

Hopefully it won’t go down this way. Hopefully the populace will remember that we are a civil society that values differing opinions (I just laughed out loud when I typed that) and that we will get through the next four years the same way we got through the last four years, the four years before that, the four years before that, the four years before that and so on.

But just in case it does go down that way, I’ll be over here trying on boots and eating beef jerky.

politics Things that piss me off

Words that Should be Banned until the Next Election

October 30, 2016
words that should be banned until the next election

I am so sick of this election. I can’t wait for it to be over. Mostly so I won’t have to hear these words that should be banned until the next election. Of course the next election starts January 21st, 2017 so it’s not much of a break.

I keep wanting to type that I don’t have a horse in this race, and I don’t, but I should. I just can’t choose. I thought the 2000 election was one for the books, historical, a once in a lifetime thing. That one pales by comparison.

Both candidates are under investigations of all sorts. I can’t believe the bar has been lowered to where these two are the only options available.

While there a lot of words on this list, most of them in everyday conversation are just fine. It is the made up words, the obscenities, and the ones that make fun of both of them that grind my gears so much.

Words that Should be Banned until the Next Election

Pussy

Transparency

Tremendous

Surrogate

Yuuuuge

Orange One

Trump

Hilldabeast

Killery

Bernie Bros

Libtards

Racist

October Surprise

Misogynist

Alt-Right

Nazi

Clinton

Throw Away Vote

Hackers

Russia

Voter Fraud

Wage Gap

Pneumonia

Late Term Abortion

Bigly

Email Scandal

Systemic Racism

Putin

Obamacare

Implicit Bias

Carlos Danger

Illegals

Hitler

Server

Comey

Deplorables

Voter Suppression

FBI

Rigged

Scandal

Main Stream Media

I’m sure there are more, so many more, that I have blocked out. In fact, for the last few days, at least until the latest email scandal reared its ugly head again, I haven’t bothered paying attention to the election.

Feel free to add your least favorite words from this election to the list by leaving them in the comments.

I’ve had enough of it, they’re both crooks as far as I am concerned.

Don’t forget to vote November 8th!

politics Things that piss me off

Donald Trump and Late Term Abortion

October 20, 2016

If you watched the final presidential debate last night, the one between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, then you know that Donald Trump and Late Term Abortion are terms that don’t go together. In other words, Donald Trump has no freaking idea what is going on with regard to late term or third trimester abortion.

Last night Donald Trump blathered on and on about how how late term abortions are performed. He kept repeating the word “baby” as if that made the process even more tragic than it already is.

I can tell you for a fact that women are not lining up outside abortion clinics so they can terminate a healthy pregnancy hours before they would otherwise give birth.

I know this because when I asked my ob/gyn to terminate my pregnancy at 36 weeks he told me he could not do so legally and suggested I go to Planned Parenthood for the procedure.

At 36 weeks gestation I learned that the baby I wanted so badly would die either shortly before or shortly after it was born. A girl it turns out. She had both spina bifida and anencephaly. There was no way she would live outside of my womb. No way. Period.

You can read more about my daughter here.

Only the base of her brain had formed, she lived because of the umbilical cord that connected us. Once it was cut, she would be unable to live on her own.

While I desperately wanted to terminate the pregnancy, because it was so emotionally painful to be pregnant knowing she was not going to survive, I was not in any hurry to end my connection with my daughter. And, truth be told, I did not want to cross the picket lines that were so common at abortion clinics in my town. I had escorted a friend or two for their abortions (first trimester abortions even though it is nobody’s business) and knew I was in no position to withstand the abuse that would be flung at a woman with a full term belly.

I decided to tough it out.

And by tough it out I mean by drinking, smoking and crying for two weeks.

When I reached 38 weeks gestation I was told we could induce labor. I had to wait two weeks to induce labor for a pregnancy that was going to fail. I’ll repeat that – I had to carry a baby that was going to die an extra two weeks because a bunch of men making the rules in a city so far removed from me felt it was my moral obligation to continue this pregnancy.

How fucking insane is that?

I probably should have said this earlier, but I tend to lean to the right politically speaking, just not on this or other social issues. If the republicans want to ever win another presidential election, they need to stop sticking their noses in something that is none of their fucking business.

While I am not a fan of Hillary Clinton, I stand with her with regard to abortion:

“Under Roe versus Wade, women have this right to make this highly personal decision with their family in accordance with their faith, with their doctor.” 

“I think that the kind of late-term abortions that take place are because of medical necessity. And, therefore, I would hate to see the government interfering with that decision.”

Until Trump (or any politician) is pregnant with a baby that cannot live outside the womb, he needs to shut the hell up about the very difficult choice that thousands of women face each year.

 

 

Advice Dumb Shit I Do People politics Things that piss me off WTF?

OMG Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

October 12, 2016
Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

For the love of Pete, stop unfriending each other!! Every five minutes someone is challenging their Facebook friends and followers to unfriend them if they hold a different opinion about Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton.

If you support that lying, misogynistic, groping dumbass – well just unfriend me now“, or “If you think she actually supports women then you can just unfriend me right now, in fact, I’ll do it for you“, or “if you’re planning on voting for this douchebag, I want you to unfriend me” and on and on.

picard

Additionally, people keep posting how so much more qualified Hillary Clinton is compared to Donald Trump, as if that is even a consideration.

Let’s Break it Down

Let me first say — I don’t like either of them and I’m not supporting or defending either’s behavior — but here’s the thing:

It’s not about their qualifications or their experience.

You can argue it should be, and you would still be wrong.

It’s about their agenda and what path they want to lead this country on.

People aren’t supporting Donald Trump because they also want to grope women without permission, they are not supporting Trump because they are racists (though it is certain that some racists support Trump, just as some of them support Hillary Clinton), people support Trump because they don’t like the direction they think Hillary will take this country.

Conversely, Hillary’s supporters are not women haters and they are not necessarily liars (though, again, there are probably many people who support Hillary who lie), it isn’t that they are liars that make them want to support her. They support her because they like the campaign promises she is making and foolishly believe she might be able to keep them.

 

via SIZZLE

They’re Both Deplorable!

This is an interesting campaign because usually the candidate’s qualifications are pretty equal. At least they both, usually, have some experience in public office. Here that is not the case. Here we have a candidate who is probably more qualified than any candidate in history running against someone who has absolutely no political experience.

This is why many people can’t understand why anyone with a brain might vote for someone like Trump (among a whole bunch of other issues). It’s not even that they don’t like Hillary (even though so many people have some really intense negative feelings about her), it’s that they don’t like the policies she plans on putting forward.

It is precisely because they have different agendas (and different parties) that they can both be deplorable and people will still vote for them. Their actions don’t matter. It’s disgusting, but it’s the truth.

Here’s an excellent article about why people will vote for Trump.

Stop Unfriending Each Other!!

Telling someone to unfriend you because you don’t agree with them on one subject is incredibly arrogant. Do you really think you have that much clout that you can wave your Facebook friendship in front of them and believe it will motivate them to change their deeply held beliefs? Are you that self absorbed? Are we still in middle school?

God, it’s like Facebook has turned into Mean Girls. Do this or you are out of the club!

Unfriending someone because they don’t like Hillary or because they plan on voting for Trump is a waste of time, though it will cull your friends to a more homogenous list. And I suppose that’s always more fun – to have friends who think the exact same way that you do.

Events politics The Walking Dead Things that piss me off

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

October 5, 2016
The anticipation is killing me

The anticipation is killing me. I’m not even sure that’s the right word, but I simply can’t wait much longer to find out who will win this election. Sure, I’m almost 100% certain it will be Hillary Clinton, but by the way the internet is acting (and her surrogates and the media are overreacting) one might get the impression the race is a lot closer than it really is.

Each day there’s something different – Hillary is sick, Trump says something horribly offensive to everyone. The email scandal becomes the news, for a few days at least, with each email dump from Wikileaks, Trump’s old tax returns are dug up. Pay to play, Trump Foundation, Parkinson’s, small hands, immunity, bankruptcy, Benghazi, Russia… the lists go on and on (you can see both of their scandal sheets here and here.

The thing is, nothing ever sticks to either one of them, they never have to explain anything, we all just forget about the last scandal as soon as the next one becomes breaking news. Both of them are deplorable.

The Anticipation is Killing Me!

I notice that one of them pulls ahead in the polls after a debate or news dump and I think to myself “great, there’s no way they can win the election after this”. I’m happy for a few minutes and then I realize that means the other one will win, and then I’m nervous again.

This election, especially the last few months of it, has been just like waiting for find out who Negan killed in the last episode of season 6 on The Walking Dead.

I’ve spent months trying to discern who it is that met his or her bloody death at the end of Lucille*. I’ve read numerous blogs, watched the show over and over, and I’ve even started hanging out in forums to see if I can’t read the room. Certainly there must be some indication somewhere of what’s to come?

Except there probably isn’t. The writers fucked with us all season 6, even faked Glenn’s death once, presumably so they could kill him again at the end of the season**. For all we know, they haven’t even shot the scene where the victim is revealed yet.

And just like the election, it doesn’t matter who. Whoever it is, it’s going to suck.

*Lucille is a baseball bat used by Negan, the baddest of bad guys in The Walking Dead, who wrapped it in barbed wire and likes to bash people to pulp with it to prove who’s in charge.

**I’m not really sure why I thought that one needed a footnote, anyway, I’ve forgotten it now.

Advice People politics WTF?

Hillary Clinton is Not a Badass

September 12, 2016
EKG

Since it was divulged that Hillary Clinton has pneumonia, social media has lit up with memes about Hillary Clinton’s super human stamina. Hillary Clinton is not a badass, Hillary Clinton is just like every other woman on this planet who ignores her own health. And it’s a stupid thing to do.

This isn’t a political post, I don’t care for Hillary Clinton’s policies or much of her character, but this isn’t about Hillary the politician, this is about Hillary the woman, wife, mother, grandmother, friend and colleague.

Hillary Clinton is Not a Badass

I get that she is campaigning for the toughest job in the world, I also get that she is between a rock in a hard place when it comes to fessing up about her health. Donald Trump has been making an issue of her nagging cough for months and months. Prior to yesterday, I just thought it was more campaign rhetoric. She’s yelling each and every day, of course her voice is going to be horse and it’s not a stretch that she would have a cough. Flying around in a jet with its canned air isn’t doing her throat any favors either, I am sure.

I get it.

But she missed an opportunity here. Most women I know push past the pain so we can take care of the kids, the husband/wife, the parents, the job. Most women I know need a push to schedule that mammogram, appointment with the endocrinologist or the cardiologist. This past week my Facebook feed had too many to count stories of women who ended up in the ER with symptoms not unlike Hillary Clinton’s this past weekend. Overheating, dehydration, racing heartbeat (that’s the one that usually, finally gets our attention. And it should since heart disease is the leading cause of death for women), dizziness and confusion. Could be a heart attack, could be anxiety, could even be pneumonia. We won’t know unless we see a doctor. And we won’t get better if we don’t follow their advice.

Hillary was diagnosed with a pneumonia on Friday when her physician, Dr. Lisa R. Bardack, examined her. I assume an X-ray was performed.

“Secretary Clinton has been experiencing a cough related to allergies. On Friday, during follow-up evaluation of her prolonged cough, she was diagnosed with pneumonia. She was put on antibiotics, and advised to rest and modify her schedule. While at this morning’s event, she became overheated and dehydrated. I have just examined her and she is now rehydrated and recovering nicely,” Bardack said.

When diagnosed with pneumonia Hillary should have canceled her scheduled events for at the very least the next few days. Would social media have exploded because she didn’t attend the 9/11 memorial? Yes. But instead of pushing through the illness, like most of us do, she could have taken this opportunity to address this really bad practice among Americans. We take our health for granted and it shouldn’t take tripping into the Scooby Van to help us come to our senses.

Ignoring your health is not badass. Whether you are a mother who ignores her health because she feels as if no one else will step up in her stead or you are the President of the United States (or campaigning for that job). Being badass means you know when to say when and are thick skinned enough to let the insults roll off your back about it (something she has done rather well so far). Being badass means putting on your oxygen mask before putting it on those around you.

Events Minnesota politics Things that piss me off WTF?

Summer in Minnesota 2016: We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

September 5, 2016
We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

They say this decade, the 2010s, has been pretty crappy for those who came of age during the 80s, we’ve lost so many of our icons. If that’s true, then this summer has truly epitomized that sentiment, especially for Minnesotans.

This Summer We Lost Prince and Found Jacob

Summer 2016 has been a roller coaster ride. While not officially summer, it was warm (and that’s close enough for those of us who spend 6 months of the year shoveling snow and enduring temperatures below freezing) when we learned that Prince had died of an opioid overdose, alone, at Paisley Park. It was a horribly senseless and tragic death. Wasteful. So much talent wasted due to addiction. That he was trying to get help when it happened made it even more tragic. We mourned, with the rest of the nation, for all the gifts he gave us. We sang and we danced, and we grieved.

(from Wikipedia)

(from Wikipedia)

Many superstars have passed during my lifetime, some of the biggest in recent memory including Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson, but none seemed to sting as badly as the loss of Prince. While the rest of the nation, and world for that matter, moved on, in Minnesota we continued to honor Prince with tribute concerts and celebrations. On August 26th, we celebrated Unite in Purple at the Minnesota State Fair, a night of music, dance and fireworks to celebrate the life of a legend. A few days later The Revolution gathered one more time at First Avenue to pay tribute to Prince.

This summer our presidential election was in full swing. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump raced to the bottom of the election. They have both lowered the bar to unimaginable depths. It’s a sad state of things when you have to choose the lesser of two evils, you’re still choosing evil. God help us come November.

Two days after we celebrated the birth of our nation Philando Castille was shot by a police officer during a traffic stop that was anything but routine. The aftermath was posted live on Facebook by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, as her daughter tried to comfort her from the back seat. Protests, mostly peaceful, led the news this summer. Traffic was shut down on I-94 and in front of the Governor’s residence on Summit Avenue as people tried to change the world.

justice for Philando

(Jennifer Brown)

Ironically, it was a video game that got all of us outside this summer. Pokémon Go got the kids, and adults out from in front of their computer screens and into the streets looking for digital monsters. It has been decades since neighborhoods had been filled with kids outside playing. It was wonderful, and poignant.

Labor Day weekend we learned that Jacob had been found. Jacob Wetterling had gone missing 27 years ago.  A parent’s worst nightmare, he was abducted at gun point while riding bikes with his brother and a friend October 22nd, 1989. Jacob was one of the reasons kids didn’t play outside anymore. If a kid could go missing in America’s heartland, no place was safe. We kept our kids close.

We’d gotten our hopes up many times in the last 27 years, so many of us were skeptical that he had really been found. Sadly, within hours his mother, Patty Wetterling, confirmed what we had feared all these years.

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

(National Center for Missing and Exploited Children)

“Our hearts are broken, we have no words.”

There’s a chill in the air, winter is coming.

Advice Minnesota People politics WTF?

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

July 8, 2016
If you're like me, you're probably wondering what's happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor's mansion in St. Paul.

If you’re like me, you’re probably wondering what’s happening to our nation? Yesterday, following the killing of Philando Castile, I was moved to go to the protest at the Governor’s mansion in St. Paul. I’ve wanted to write about this issue for a long time, but have never known what to say. Witnessing the peaceful protest at the Governor’s mansion didn’t help me much. For the last two days, the internet has erupted with outrage over yet another (and another) black life cut short by a cop. And rightfully so. I’ve wanted to write about this, but I’ve been afraid to. I won’t bother addressing those fears here, they’re not irrelevant, but they don’t move the conversation forward. I probably wouldn’t have written about the protest for Philando if it hadn’t been for the events that followed later in Dallas.

What’s Happening to Our Nation?

Following the killing of  Philando Castile, which immediately followed the killing of Alton Sterling, social media lit up with all kinds of angry pronouncements about how white people can “help”. Helpful memes were created to unintentionally enflame race relations. White people proudly displayed their “white privilege” guilt as if it were a badge of honor. White people, some of us, became woke. Instead of simply coming together to mourn the lost lives, the injustice and the loss of what was left of our innocence, white people seem to be trying to gain the most points by proclaiming their privileged guilt. But there are no solutions in that.

I hate the term “white privilege”, mostly because I don’t believe the word privilege is an accurate description of the idea that is being put forth. I get it, I get the meaning of the phrase and I wholeheartedly agree it is a real thing. I also hate the term because it immediately shuts down any meaningful discussion about the problems we face. If we can’t discuss the issues, we certainly can’t solve them.

Think Differently?

We used to be able to hold differing opinions. Now, we must all be in agreement. If not, the internet reaction is swift and mighty. Don’t agree with me? Then you must be a racist.

As a white, middle aged, woman I never worry about being pulled over in my little SUV crossover while rocking out to the softer sides of the 80s. Even when I go above the speed limit by 5 or 6 mph, I know the odds are good I will not get pulled over. Broken taillight? I’ve never been pulled over for one, though I have had many. I don’t worry about being followed in department stores because the clerk is worried I will shoplift. And I certainly never worry about being shot dead by a police officer.

But privilege to me, has always meant something that was earned and that could be also taken away. I did not earn my whiteness and I cannot remove it. In these times, because I really do want to help make things better, my whiteness has become a burden. And yet, there are still so many things I take for granted because I am white.

I understand that.

Hands are Tied

I keep starting each paragraph with a story that exemplifies what I am trying to convey. And then I remember, sharing those stories is another way not to help. The thing is, it is a way to connect. And we need to connect more with one another if we want to change the way things currently are. I’ve been told over and over what not to do, as a white person, these past few days. I want to help be the change, I want things to be better for everyone in this great country of ours, I want equality for all. And yet I know that simply wanting something to happen rarely makes it happen. Action must be taken.

Philando Castile Protest

Privilege

The reason I was not compelled to write about my visit to the Governor’s Mansion was because I saw privilege at that protest. Not white privilege, but American privilege. There were a few hundred people at the protest. People of all color, age, gender, sexuality, and political persuasion. People were there with their children and their pets. Neighbors welcomed the protestors into their neighborhood with tables of bottled water, granola bars and even opened the doors of their churches for people to use the bathroom and get out of the heat. The police were there in large numbers. They were protecting the proetestors’ right to assert their first amendment rights even if the words they were speaking were against the police officers. There was no fear at this protest. People were calm, they were not worried that someone might start shooting at the crowd.

Philando Castile Protest

A similar protest took place in Dallas later that evening. It too was a peaceful protest, until it wasn’t. Someone did the unimaginable and started picking off cop after cop. 5 dead, 6 wounded at last count. And the cops continued to protect those that were protesting while getting shot.

Be the Change You Wish To See in the World

Frustrated, I don’t know how to change things. I do know I have no control over a cop and how he handles himself. I also have no control over a shooter who wants to kill as many cops as he can before he gets shot dead. I only have control over the way I react to these things.

Even though I don’t know how to change the nation, I still want to try. I do know that it starts with community, something that has changed so drastically in the last couple of decades. And I’m not even sure we can put that genie back in the bottle. But, I know this – spewing rhetoric on social media is not “community”. Sure, we may be surrounded by like minded people, but those aren’t the people who live on our block.

Unplug to Reconnect

I’m going to spend less time online in the coming months. That isolation and anonymity doesn’t do anyone any good. I want to have these important conversations, but I want to do so with people in real life. I want to discuss these issues with members of my community instead of on some Facebook thread of someone who lives three states away. I know I can’t solve this problem on my own, and I know I won’t change the world, but I can make a difference in my own community if I get out and get to know my neighbors.

We fear what we don’t know, so let’s get out there and get to know each other so we stop fearing each other.

What We Can Do

National Night Out is next month. If you haven’t already, start planning a block party.

Unplug from the internet. Get out and get to know your neighbors.

When online, don’t read the comments.

Think before you react or leave a comment.

Be kind.

Treat others the way you would like them to treat you.

 

 

politics Things that piss me off

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

July 6, 2016

The GOP better get their shit together, and fast. It should have been no surprise to anyone that there will be no criminal charges against Hillary Clinton for the very careless handling of classified information, and unless the GOP really prefers Hillary to Trump, they need to get their shit together. And fast.

Hillary was never going to be indicted. Never. The woman is a Clinton and that means she too, is teflon. Nothing will stick to her. Even when James Comey, the F.B.I. director, who spoke yesterday about the F.B.I findings said that she acted extremely careless in using a private email server he also stated that “our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

The sticking point seemed to be the word ‘intent’. The F.B.I couldn’t determine that it was her intent to act recklessly.

Not that it was ever an issue with other people facing similar charges. Basically, the law was reworded because … I don’t know why.

Maybe it had something to do with the meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch?

Maybe the powers that be are so afraid of a Trump presidency that they will do anything to have a viable candidate in the race against him. God knows the people already pissed off about Bernie Sanders and how he was screwed over. Maybe they realized they couldn’t bring in Uncle Joe without a revolt and thus decided it was simply safer to keep Hillary on the stump?

Maybe the F.B.I really doesn’t think they could reasonably prosecute such a case? Other cases have been dropped for the same reason, even when it is clear the person is guilty as sin.

Worse yet, it probably wouldn’t make any difference. She’d probably still win the election because the people willing to vote for her are already willing to vote for her.

Email, shmemail!

The GOP Better Get Their Shit Together!

On the same day it was announced charges would not be filed against Hillary Clinton for careless use of an email server and passing on over a hundred classified emails (even though she said she did not), Hillary Clinton and President Obama we on the campaign trail. The Obama campaign machine is getting fired up and the GOP better get out of the way because even though they had 8 years to prepare for this, they aren’t.

Nope, the GOP has been fighting losing battles about principle and doing the right thing and following the rules (everyone following the same rules), while the DEMs have been treating their constituency like idiots for decades. And it’s working. Dumming down society has been a brilliant plan for the left. It doesn’t matter that many of the core policies they push have done nothing to help the people they are meant to help. Though they certainly keep politicians employed.

The GOP needs to start using the left’s playbook if they want to win. Or, they should just let Trump completely off the leash.

Don’t get me wrong, I still can’t stand the idea of a Trump presidency. But Hillary is not the lesser of two evils in my eyes. She’s actually no different than Trump. While Trump seems to revel in the chaos he creates, he never backs down about who he is. He’s proud of what he has done in business and in this political race. As he should be.

Success used to mean something different than it does now. It used to be okay to be successful, in fact it was something most of had great hopes of achieving. Not so much anymore.

It’s okay for Hillary to be successful because she’s a public servant. It’s not for her, it’s for the kids.

Because Trump is in it for himself, his success is bad.

I don’t even know where I’m going with this. I did not expect criminal charges. I remember the 90s all too well. I remember driving through the Black Hills of South Dakota listening to the impeachment of Bill Clinton and thinking to myself – while this is horrible for the country, we should not tolerate an elected official who believes he can lie to the American people without repercussions.

I don’t know what the GOP should do, but I do know if they don’t get their shit together and fast they are going to be steamrolled by Hillary and the Obama machine just like they have for the last two elections. There’s no more whining, no more licking their wounds, no more excuses. Unless you want another 8 years of lies, carelessness and recklessness it’s time to get real about this election.