Friday, July 10, 2015

Politics, Freedom, and You

Recently, a young woman named Kathryn Steinle was killed by an illegal immigrant, who also happens to be a convicted felon, with an illegally obtained handgun in one of the so called "sanctuary cities" (San Francisco), in a state with gun laws so draconian it's on par with Chicago, Washington, D.C., and New York.

Also recently, nine people were shot to death in Charleston, SC by someone who claimed they wanted to start a "race war".

Two days ago, Nancy Pelosi, the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives and past Speaker of the House made a statement to the press regarding the need for more stringent gun control, especially background checks.

More and more, day after day, we see more insanity come from our elected officials, more attempts at control. Let's look at some of the pieces here, shall we...?

  1. Kathryn Steinle's killer is a convicted felon...not someone that is apparently fond of following laws to start with.
  2. The weapon used to kill her was obtained illegally, meaning gun laws FAILED to keep the murderer from getting it.
  3. Steinle's murder happened in San Francisco, California, a "Sanctuary City" in the only state I know of that is on par for draconian gun laws with New York state...and a city designated to make the illegal immigrant murderer safe from Federal laws that would allow deportation...speaking of which...
  4. The murderer is an ILLEGAL immigrant...I dunno, perhaps keeping him from being here might've worked too, y'think?  He was deported five times.  Yeah, you read that right...FIVE TIMES.
  5. Pelosi doesn't focus on perpetrators.  She focuses on the GUN.  To quote from her press release on July 8 (linked above):  "Last month, as we know, we witnessed an act of brazen racial terrorism in Charleston – nine lives taken by a gun."  "Taken by a gun"....not by a demented race-hater using a gun, taken by a gun.  She pushes for background check legislation...does anyone not actually use their goddamned brain?  The murderer in Charleston LEGALLY owned that weapon...a background check failed in the face of willful, murderous intent.  Kathryn Steinle's murderer ILLEGALLY owned his background check done due to full bypass of the system.

So, what's the play?  The Narrative would have you believe our elected officials are working on our behalf; if so, they're failing miserably.  This kind of thinking exhibited by Pelosi indicates either gross nonfeasance, gross stupidity, or malignant's certainly not effective, nor has it been helpful.

More laws...laws laws laws laws laws.  Why would elected officials push for MORE laws when they:
A.  Don't enforce the ones we already have.
B.  Can't agree at state and federal levels on how to interpret the existing laws.
C.  Can't agree on what should and shouldn't be illegal, either.

It's enough to make some people untrusting.  It's enough to make some people just want to get away from it, go off the grid, get away from the insanity of political correctness, social justice judgement, and oppressive society...and if they do, the government calls them "domestic terrorists".

You're damned if you do and damned if you don't.

The two biggest failures for our nation were started by The War on Drugs and The War on Terrorism.  Each is a noble idea, certainly...but the overreach and abuse of the system that resulted from them is staggering.  From spying on citizens, militarizing local police forces, "no knock" raids for drugs or serving warrants to appear in court, to life sentences for simple possession, impugnment of the exercise of civil rights both negative and positive, and civil forfeiture, the loss of quality of life due to governmental interference is growing more staggering every day.   People today are not aware of how intrusive our government has wormed into our daily lives; they live from blurb to soundbite, headline to Facebook status update, and hardly ever fact check, research, or educate themselves.  Americans are seen world-round as fat, dumb, and happy, and lately, "happy" has fallen off the apple cart.

Everyone is perpetually offended and eternally incensed.  I could easily imagine the other peoples of the world sitting back with popcorn, fascinated and entertained by the sheer inanity of our nation's antics, but, instead they're waiting for us to fall apart or tear each other down from the inside, and will probably swoop in to pick up whatever pieces remain.  The world does not like us.  America has NOT been at war for roughly 20 years of our total existence as a nation...222 years out of 239.  It's bad enough we're the bully on the block for much of the world, but it only takes a few minutes of casual research to see that the government is just as much a bully to US as well.

Ok, sure, a lot of good gets done by Americans, too.  Some of the biggest relief and aid organizations started here.  That's failing due to narcissism and a culture obsessed with celebrities and selfies.  Medicine and healthcare were at one time hallmarks of American more.  According to a 2000 poll by the World Health Organization, America lags behind 36 other countries.  A recent Forbes article has us dead last out of the top countries in the world.

A common rallying cry is, "But we've got freedom!  Americans are free!"


  • Economic freedom?  12th place
  • Political freedom and civil liberties?  Oooh...not so good.  47th place.
  • Freedom of speech?  Ok, better....Fourth Place!
  • Religious freedom...ok, I can't find a scale, because the government doesn't really get into this--NOR SHOULD IT--but most religious persecution comes from citizens claiming the freedom of others to worship or believe as they wish somehow, SOMEHOW, affects them.  No, really.  Yeah, I don't get that either.

An article from 2012 summarizes much of this very well, and gives 10 reasons we're not as free as we used to be.

So, what to do.

  • Educate yourself.  God only knows the schools are agenda mills these days, what with Common Core, liberal professors, and Social Justice reform.  You're going to have to do it yourself.
  • Once you're educated, VOTE.  Get those teat-sucking pork-barrel sycophants out of office.
  • KNOW. YOUR. RIGHTS.  See "Educate yourself" up above.
  • Spread the knowledge; Darwinism is fine in principle, but when it comes to our survival as a nation, I'm unwilling to trust all to natural selection.  Homo Sapiens have brains and opposable thumbs--a truly staggering advantage over the rest of the world's species--but sadly only use a fraction of it, and that most often narcissistically.

Lastly, have some faith.  No, not religion....FAITH.  Most of humanity is like that saying regarding arguing with stupid people: Don't.  They'll wear you down to their level and then beat you with experience.  Sure, some will take this to extremes (see above about stupid), but really, it can all be summed up with two phrases: Love God with all you have.  LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.

That's it.  I challenge you to present a natural or legal right of the individual that isn't covered by that.

Why is treating others decently so damned hard, people?

I know, I know...wake up, right?

Yeah.  WAKE UP, people!

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Tattoos, Punctuation, and You

I'm considering getting a new tattoo.

I'm not the type to get ink just because I want ink, though.  I generally want it to have some meaning.  The dragon on my right foot had more meaning 24 years ago when I got it, and not so much today.

The entwined bass clef and treble clef on my left shoulder still has meaning, because music is still very much a part of my life.

The right shoulder is more a bit of a personalized statement and a subtle affiliation marker.

But, it's time to get a new one.

A very close family member has dealt with depression for most of their life.  As part of my family, that's taken a toll on not just them, but on me and the rest of the family as well, but we've endured.  Sometimes, we just took a step back, took a deep breath, and pressed on.

Yesterday, someone posted a link on Facebook that nicely summarized this idea that has kept us all going in a very unique way, or at least I believe it so.

It's called the Semicolon Project, and I heard about it from the blog of a young woman at hpwritesblogs.

It tells the story of depression and how it has affected her life, and how she has learned to cope, deal, and live with it, because it doesn't just "go away"; rather, it's a relentless engine that never quits...but it can be paused.  It's become, for her, her normal way of living.

Now, "normal" is a societal construct that is, ultimately, meaningless. "Normal" is the roughly 90% of humanity between the (again, roughly) 5% endcaps of aberrancy that prevent someone from safely functioning in society...and by that I mean the clinically insane, violent psychotics, serial-killing sociopaths, etc., the ones you can't cure but only lock up for their and everyone else's safety.

Depression isn't as "abnormal" as society likes to stigmatize it; MANY struggle with it to a greater or lesser degree. I don't mean a passing "blue mood", but a real invisible illness that can utterly control and destroy your life. Doubtful? Most people wouldn't know what a CPU is or have even seen one...but many know there's one in their computer. It's the "brain" of the computer. If it has a problem, NOTHING works right, even the physical parts.

That's depression, folks.

Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it can't break someone down and destroy them, and even those around them when they fall apart.

But it's treatable. Don't dismiss odd signs, or cries for help. "Oh, he seemed so happy!" But after, there's always signs that people ignored, dismissed, or simply didn't recognize for what they were.

Support. Avoid platitudes like, "Oh, it'll be fine", "Just get over it", "it'll pass", or any other such. They. Don't. Help. In fact, don't you think they've TRIED to just get past it?

LISTEN. Absorb what they're saying; you may not be able or trained to fix anything, but you can be there for them to lean on, be a shoulder, be a FRIEND. Don't judge or condemn; if ever "walking a mile in someone's shoes" applied, this is certainly it. If they don't have the strength, lend them yours. It's hard enough living in today's world without adding in something like depression; don't make it harder on someone with it.

Help them take that little "pause", and BE that little "pause" if need be.

I'm going to look into getting one, to remind me to take the pauses I need to continue being supportive for those that need support, and to remind me that sometimes others need that pause too.  If someone is suffering from depression and never speaks to me, if they know of this project and see it it might just be the pause to let them know they're not alone, to take a deep breath, to take a step back, and when ready to press on with the rest of their life.