Racisim: It’s baKkKed in…

Racisim: It’s baKkKed in…

This post has been brewing since the end of May, but I didn’t have the words until last night. Not until I sat through BlacKkKlansman, Spike Lee’s new Joint. Continue reading “Racisim: It’s baKkKed in…”

Changes…

Changes…

And these children
That you spit on
As they try to change their world
Are immune from your consultations
They’re quite aware of what they’re going through…

–David Bowie

A little under two years ago, I wrote this post in reaction to Philando Castile’s murder:

Storm’s here.

In that time, nothing changed, until last February, kicked off when a series of white males took up arms against their social circle and inspired a movement in the aftermath of their destruction. Except, that’s not the whole picture.

Compare and contrast.

Four articles from The Guardian, a somewhat left-leaning source with roots in the United Kingdom:

1. Florida shooting: suspect escaped scene by hiding among students as they fled
Nikolas Cruz, 19, charged with 17 counts of murder as officials confirm the AR-15 rifle used to commit massacre was purchased legally

(Incident: February 14, 2018. Dead: 17, injured: 17)

2. Austin bomb suspect left video ‘confession’ before he died
Police say footage portrays ‘a very challenged young man,’ but nothing to show he was motivated by hate

(Incidents: March 2-20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 5)

3.  ‘They executed him’: police killing of Stephon Clark leaves family shattered
A young, unarmed black man was shot 20 times in his grandmother’s backyard. Now his brother is fighting through grief to demand justice

(Incident: March 18, 2018. Dead: 1)

4. Maryland student who shot classmate dead killed himself, officials say
Austin Rollins, 17, fired a fatal shot to his head just as he encountered the school resource officer at Great Mills high school

(Incident: March 20, 2018. Dead: 2, injured: 1)

Wait. Did I say four? I meant five.

5. Alton Sterling shooting: two police officers will not be charged with any crime
Blane Salamoni and Howie Lake II won’t be charged for incident that occured [sic] in July of 2016 that sparked unrest throughout Baton Rouge

(Incident: July 7, 2016. Dead: 1)

Two of these incidents are not like the others. In fact, the victims in those two incidents stand in stark contrast to the others, even though they are connected by the way in which they died. And in how the victims were described. And in the accountability of those who perpetrated their murders.

On March 22nd, I wrote this piece, after the Associated Press put out a horrendous article describing the Great Mills murderer as a “lovesick teen.” The phrase AP used seemed completely tone deaf, wholly inappropriate given the reality that, according to the Violence Policy Center, 11 murder-suicides happen every week, and that 9 out of 10 murderers use a gun.

As the article above shows, the Resource Officer originally credited with stopping the murderer actually hit him in the hand, and that the kid died from a self-inflicted gunshot.

The hand.

Think about that.

In contrast, Stephon Clark was shot twenty times in his own backyard, murdered in cold blood, and the only thing the cops could find after the dust settled was a cellphone. And nobody could explain why they had to turn off their body cameras.

When Alton Sterling was shot, he did have a gun on him. And it shouldn’t have mattered. After all, Louisiana is an Open-Carry state, and Sterling was within his legal 2A right to possess and carry the gun.

According to an eyewitness report from his friend inside the store, near where Sterling was murdered, the gun was in his waistband, not in his hands.

What Sterling and Clark, and Castile, and Brown, and all the others have in common is an abundance of melanin, which most of the cops and all of the civilian murderers listed above, lack.

People of color have been targets since the first of the slave ships landed on these shores. And cops have proven that lynching isn’t necessary as long as they feel free to pump lead into any individual they view as a threat, regardless of reality.

Being born with dark skin isn’t inherently threatening unless one wants an excuse to pump the entire contents of a gun clip into a human being and call him a target, to exercise summary justice outside of the legal system, to shut down any possibility of accusations of police brutality or corruption.

Any excuse will do, regardless of whether the victim’s legal and civil rights say otherwise.

I’ve been writing about racism since the first few posts I wrote in this blog, way back in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, when the Bush family turned a blind eye to reality and cost the lives of almost 1,500 people and displaced a huge number of poor families, many of color, in New Orleans.

#BlackLivesMatter, which started as a hashtag on social media,  came into existence in 2013 in response to the acquittal of Trayvon Martin’s murderer, George Zimmerman.

Zimmerman’s acquittal finally drew attention to the massive disparity between being black and being white in America.

But not enough. Not nearly enough.

No, it took a major tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in a privileged part of Florida’s Broward County, to focus the movement like a laser. These students are articulate, driven, privileged kids. They have finally, firmly, seized that banner of truth and anger and sadness, raised it high, and reached out to their siblings across the country who have been targets far longer.

Inclusive, determined, driven by force of will, these kids who founded the March For Our Lives movement, who have declared #NeverAgain in places across the country, are defining the future in their terms.

Now that they’re coming of age, their movement looks a lot like the Vietnam War protests of our past. And no wonder.

We ARE at war.

We are deep into Civil War, and we have no idea where it will lead, but the children…OUR children…have declared in more than a million clear, strong voices of all ages, ethnicities, genders, and cultures, that #EnoughIsEnough.

Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Cameron Kasky and their friends speak not just for the students at MSD, but for kids across the country, and they will sit in silence no longer.

It’s no surprise that they have welcomed their siblings of color, who are considered “at-risk” merely for existing. After all, they’re theatre kids. They understand diversity in ways only some of us fully understand.

In a time and place where our people of color are maimed or killed in disproportionate numbers, simply because they’re not white, these kids see only one thing: Themselves.

In our gun-saturated society, there’s a reckoning coming. It’s coming at the ballot box this year.

This is just the start.

May these children succeed where we have failed, in the ten years since the District of Columbia v. Heller  decision, to force change. I only wish David Bowie was still here to see it.

David Bowie – Changes (Olympia)

Language means something…

Language means something…

My friend on Facebook says: “This kid was a domestic abuser. His girlfriend had broken up with him, so he SHOT HER. This headline is BS.”

Boy, howdy, is it ever. Entitled asshole with access to deadly weapons. But this isn’t the first time I’ve had trouble with headlines.

What headline?

From the Associated Press via all sorts of media outlets, but notably the New York Times earlier this afternoon:

Police: Maryland School Shooter Apparently Was Lovesick Teen

Here’s a link to the original article, via Time.com, because the New York Times has updated the title and removed the above (which I suspect was a wise move on their editor’s part): Maryland High School Shooter Was Lovesick Teen, Police Say.

But that’s not all:

Select articles from multiple sources using the word “lovesick”

This afternoon, as reactions to the article’s original title lit up my FB feed, a different friend asked a question that generated the hottest post I’ve had on my wall in a long time. The post is here. It’s still active.

This article is the result of that conversation, and so here’s my take on it. Buckle up.

The cops and the press have GOT to stop painting these kids as forlorn and pitiful. If the kid had been any better at aiming, or if he’d had access to anything more deadly than Daddy’s Glock, this would have been much more than attempted murder / suicide with collateral damage.

Just stop it.

It’s a bullshit line. Imagine the headline if this wasn’t a teen: “Heartbroken man shoots ex-girlfriend and then himself.” The only difference is the age of this entitled little shit.

First off: This is domestic abuse taken to its extreme conclusion. Don’t know what I mean? Here are several places to read up:

Second, does premeditated murder get a pass because of arbitrary chronological age?

Kids as young as 16 are allowed to operate vehicles in Maryland. And while I loathe the false gun/car dichotomy, in this case it proves a point.

I was a lot younger than Austin Rollins when my dad took me to the shooting range the first time. Rollins couldn’t buy the gun he used on his own. If you’re under 21 in Maryland, it’s illegal to buy a gun like that anywhere. Instead, he used a deadly weapon that belonged to his dad when he exacted punishment on his ex-girlfriend for leaving him.

Who should be held responsible? The kid holding the weapon or the parent who bought it and left it accessible? Are the parents punished enough by losing their child? We still don’t know whether Rollins took his own life or the Deputy on the scene did the job, and now we will never know the complete motivation for the incident, because that died with Rollins.

See, I come at this from two directions: I have kids in high school who could be likely targets of this sort of abuse. I also have a brain that still thinks I’m only a couple of years removed from high school myself. Because of these things, I harbor an overwhelming level of empathy with the kids who are the targets of these violent offenders.

Rochester isn’t a small town, but it had plenty of places for gun shopping when I was a kid, and I can still smell the gunpowder and oil inside the last gun shop I visited with my dad. His collection included two .22s and a repro Kentucky musket for which he cast his own ammo. He had other guns that were higher caliber, which hurt to shoot. The .22 rifle was sweet, though. And I could hit the center of the target with it when I still had access to it. I’m still here. I haven’t shot anyone.

No, it’s not about the guns or the location of the individuals in question. And I’m sorry, but I have no stomach for any of this crap. I’ve seen more eyerolling article titles in the last three weeks because cops can’t figure out the motives for the Parkland shooter, or the serial bomber, or the kid down in St. Mary’s County. Why?

I have a guess: I think it’s because they’re afraid if they give any credence to the possibility that easy access to guns makes these incidents possible, they’ll get a raft of shit from the gun lobby and all those “my guns are legal so why hurt me” people who love the NRA, and you know what? They’re probably right. We can’t admit we have a problem or we’ll be forced to do something about it. And so we go another day or two, or maybe a week, and Great Mills will be old news as we turn to the next entitled asshole with access to weapons and an axe to grind.

I am truly sick to death of all this soft pedaling of white violence. All these armed snowflakes are a lot more dangerous to our society because of this crap language. We have GOT to stop protecting people just because they have a melanin deficit. Call them what they are and stop finding excuses for why we couldn’t see it coming.

Let me tell you: I listened to the hateful rhetoric against members of the Obama administration while I sat in the bleachers during a rodeo way back in 2011, in Logan, UT (with my kids in earshot). I watched a couple of guys get two wheels off the ground in their pickup as they exhibited road rage against my liberal bumper stickered car outside of Cheyenne during that same trip. And that was years ago, before Sandy Hook even happened. Years before the current administration in the White House that gives white violence a pass.

I can tell you exactly what this sounds like.

We are broken.

“But if he’d had a knife…”

Sure, Rollins could still have tried to kill his girlfriend, but it’s also possible that he might also still be alive and she might not be fighting for her life right now. Yes, it would still have been violence, but it’s far less likely that it would have been fatal.

Bottom line: The police need to change their methods and their language.

Pretending that the motive for violence is unclear–that we have no idea why a kid would do such a thing–has the effect of giving violence against women a pass. It’s the same willful ignorance that lets people describe a domestic terrorist who plants serial bombs as a troubled youth.

I’m talking about language. When we soft pedal with words like “lovesick teen” and then can’t figure out that a kid is dangerously close to murder, is it because we give kids the benefit of the doubt or because we soften the language? How is it that Trayvon Martin was a thug but these kids were just misunderstood?

The Parkland murderer was after his girlfriend and chose Valentine’s Day on purpose. And now 17 kids are dead.

When the discussion is “walk up” instead of “walk out” and women are told to be nice because otherwise they could be dead? Why is a stellar black musician with a bright future dead, blown up?   Police can’t imagine. Why is a black man shot dead in his own backyard for holding a cellphone? We have no idea. That’s what I’m talking about here. Body cameras won’t fix this.

The police can’t imagine why Rollins would do something like this? So why can all the women on the aforementioned thread come up with a reason?

You’d better believe if these kids were anything but white, there’d be different language in use and we’d be in a state of emergency trying to figure out how to get the kids and their guns off the street.

“Shooter.” Too subtle. Too polite. Let’s use a new word: Murderer. That’s what these kids are.

These kids assassinate the people they think have hurt them. The culture in which they live gives them access to the tools they use and tacit permission to use them at will by making them available and telling them they’re entitled to whatever they want. And god forbid we should try to make it harder for them to get access, or to hold their adults responsible for the aftermath.

We’re not talking about a temper tantrum. We’re talking about death.

When men stop solving their relationship problems with gunpowder, talk to me.

Endarkenment…

Endarkenment…

Guardian.com: If Donald Trump wins, it’ll be a new age of darkness

We are almost there. The countdown says two days. This time Tuesday, we’ll be minutes away from the closing of the last polls, except for Alaska and Hawaii (IIRC). We should already know how things look in the East. We might know the Central states. We will start to have an idea of how the Mountain states are doing.

My kids and I will bear witness to history, because this will either be the election when a woman finally steps up to the helm of my country, or we tip over the cliff to full-on fascism.

You can go back and search on the keywords to the right to find all the posts I’ve written concerning our drift to the extreme right. You can look at the photos, read the articles aggregated here, and you can see much of what I’ve written (though not all of it, because I’m still merging two blogs and a lot of material I posted on my FB account).

What you won’t see, at least not for a couple of months, is the effect this campaign season has had on our country. We ought to thank Donald Trump for outing all the hatred, misogyny, and racism that some of us have known about for decades.

Hidden in the crevices, spoken in whispers, quietly shared in dark meeting halls and on gun ranges all over the country, the nastiest, most dreadful schemers have stockpiled millions of weapons, just waiting for the signal to tell them it’s time.

Whether or not Hillary Clinton overcomes the dark money plot to divide us, the damage is already done.

I know I am standing on the right side of history, but what that history will show in fifty or a hundred years is anyone’s guess. I’ll probably be long gone by then.

It’s no wonder that Lin-Manuel Miranda’s gift to the modern American musical, Hamilton, centers around the gun. There has never been a better time to witness, firsthand, what civil war will do to a nation at odds with itself. We are overripe, and overdue, for our own war to end all wars.

I’m not a praying woman, by and large. I came late to a faith tradition and my current circumstances keep me from attending weekly services, so it’s easy to forget the process, but I am hoping with every fiber of my being that come Tuesday I won’t have to figure out how to survive in the new regime.

I want to know that my friends in same sex marriages, with kids or without, on the big, beautiful heritage, gender, and intellectual spectra, will still be welcome in this country come Wednesday.

I will bear witness on Tuesday, and I will post the results as they come in, so that I can continue to bear witness to history.

And I will remember. All the lies, all the slander, all the hatred and intolerance, all the righteous indignation that somehow we are something other than that which our founding fathers envisioned over 200 years ago, all that and more, for all of that I will bear witness.

We are the product of 240 years’ worth of fighting for independence.

If only we knew what to do with it.

#ImWithHer #Election2016

Storm’s here.

Storm’s here.

In December of 2014, I wrote this post as a placeholder for further exploration. I never got back to the subject because I was trying to juggle the holiday performance schedule and the last semester of classes before graduation in May. It isn’t that the problem had gone away, but it seemed quiet for a time.

The primaries have come and gone, the presumptive nominees are digging in and preparing for their party conventions, and we are reaping the rewards of decades of toxic repressed racism and anger, combined with a rhetoric of hate from the Right that promises to throw our supposedly inclusive society out in favor of pre-war fascism, just as I’ve been predicting since 2012.

Go back and reread the posts I’ve made since I launched this blog, way back in October, 2012, just prior to the election. Every word, every warning…it’s all there.

White Fragility

In March, 2015, articles began to surface that identified a serious problem. The problem, outlined in several useful articles, suggested that white people are so privileged, so clueless about what it means to be a person of color in this country, that any approach at all voids the conversation because people are too entrenched in their beliefs to see what that privilege looks like.

These articles include the following:

America’s white fragility complex: Why white people get so defensive about their privilege The author of “What Does It Mean to Be White?” on Black Lives Matter and our biggest misconceptions about racism

White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard to Talk to White People About Racism

Race is difficult to talk about. And that’s exactly why we keep talking about it. Here are some of our best posts on the subject.

As I said at the bottom of the post I made in December, race is fiction. Racism is real.

But that’s not all. Not even a fraction of reality.

Aftermath

In the wake of three horrific events that are currently in the news, people who care are seeking answers, trying to come to grips with retaliation and looking for someone to blame. Stories, like clockwork, are coming out again. They describe similar circumstances, near misses, lucky escapes that depended on the gun holder’s ability to put it away instead of using it without thinking first. And they will not go away. They MUST NOT go away.

What we have learned in a short 72 hours is this:

  1. Police still fire on unarmed men because they believe their own lives are at risk.
  2. Going armed is, in fact, a privilege reserved for white people, because by definition a black man is guilty, regardless of due process.
  3. The right to bear arms is …also to defend yourself from the government should it become tyrannical.

Except, of course, when you’re a person of color.

How has this become a thing in our country, where freedom is supposed to be prized above and beyond all else? This shit’s not new. 1968 was only 48 years ago. And in just that brief generation or two, look at what we have done.

Here’s why this matters: The Counted People killed by police in the USYou’ll notice right off the bat that the cops are doing this to all sorts of people, but based on the statistics, Native Americans and Blacks outnumber the rest of the dead by 2:1. Make of this statistic what you will, but why are good guys with guns doing these things, when due process is supposed to do it for them?

Cops don’t wait. If you’re packing heat, you’re guilty until proven innocent. Doubly so if you’re not white. Here’s why: Shooting to kill: Why police are trained to fire fatal shots

After last night’s events in Dallas, they may have a point. The attack on Dallas cops who were there to help, not hurt, has drawn the attention of everyone, and for various reasons. It was, on its face, a horrible event. Anyone who appears shocked that it happened has clearly missed the point, though, about rhetoric that says our guns are intended to protect us from oppression and tyranny. How are these identified? By the shooting of unarmed men by hair-trigger cops with axes to grind?

What do you do when a good guy with a gun can’t stop bad guys with guns?

Where’s the NRA on this?

The NRA includes talking points that boil down to Number 3, nine times out of ten, in an argument over gun rights. I’ve heard plenty of this crap since I started making noise about it online. But when the tyranny is aimed at people who don’t look like us, and when those numbers seem to be invisible except for a few high profile incidents where someone was in the right place at the right time to shine a light on the truth, the argument evaporates in a puff of white privilege.

It is the same with the open carry policy. It’s okay to carry a gun for protection if you’re white. If you’re not, it’s a ticket to the grave. The NRA is still largely silent on the subject, because on the one hand, this is the bed they made, and on the other hand, they can’t condone violence against the police or they risk unmasking themselves as the hypocrites they are.

Justin Cohen, in a piece from July 6th that predates both Philando Castile‬’s murder and the Dallas shooting, lays it all out. If we want justice for all, if we truly want a nation where all men, women and children are created equal, then it is on US to make this happen. Accountability starts and ends with the holder of the weapon. It should not ever require chance or accident to see these acts of murder for what they are.

If we don’t do something, Dallas will be just the start of the ugliest summer on record in the United States of America since the American Civil War.

Storm’s not coming anymore. It’s here.

#BlackLivesMatter #SayTheirNames #AltonSterling #PhilandoCastile #DisarmHate #Enough

 

Orlando…

Orlando…

In January 2013, after the Sandy Hook massacre, I was moved to write this post. Last night I attended the Orlando memorial and vigil, combined with the movie Pride, which my art house theater showed for free. I held one of the candles early on in the evening, before the movie, to honor the dead.

While I was watching Pride, some things boiled back up to the surface, not the least of which was my time at New Paltz as part of the theatre community. The scenes where the wives of the miners go to the London scene could have been right out of my own experience.

I tried briefly to call up all the names and faces of the people I met then, to remember my high school friend Eric, the first guy I knew was out and proud, and all the people I’ve met in between. I can’t count them all.

Before I got through the movie, I knew already how it would end, at least in part. And I wept, not just for those killed or injured at Pulse, but for every one of the people I’ve met or been friends with in my life.

Even without my theatre experience, I knew I was always an ally. The community that the shooter violated is in part my community. If this had happened 1984 or 1985, in the bars where my friends and I went to dance, it could have been me.

Empathy. That’s what this is.

Any 2A argument that this could have been solved with a good guy with a gun fails to understand the nature of these safe havens. Guns aren’t necessary when you’re home. And if you think they are, I feel sorry for you, because you have no safe place.

That is why I weep for my country, for my brothers and sisters, wherever they fall on the spectrum. AIDS wasn’t a punishment or divine retribution. Neither was the attack last weekend. If you think otherwise, I feel sorry for you because you have lost the ability to empathize.

May you come to your own peace. I am still working on mine.

( i )


GOP Congressmen Offer “Thoughts and Prayers.” Here’s How Much the NRA Gave Them to Offer Nothing More.

Is your Representative in the NRA’s pocket?

Gingrich: Let’s Create New Version Of House Un-American Activities Committee

NRA breaks its silence and blames ‘Obama administration’s political correctness’ for Orlando shooting

STONEKETTLE STATION: The Seven Stages of Gun Violence

Obama Had This Haunting Confrontation With A Pro-Gun Activist Just Days Before The Orlando Massacre

Democratic senator frustrated by inaction on guns wages filibuster

Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

Guns? No. Radical Islam? No. LGBTQ Rights? No. Insanity? Close…

UPDATED: 7:49pm

 

I didn’t want to go there, but I sure had a sneaking suspicion, and I’ve just been proven right.
According to Gawker Magazine, the shooter was a regular at Pulse. This was no random attack. It was cold blooded, premeditated murder. Daesh had nothing to do with it.

 

Orlando Shooter Was Reportedly a Regular at Pulse and Had a Profile on Gay Dating App

 


There are plenty of words for what happened in Orlando but I promised not to say any of them yesterday because the families and friends of the dead deserved that much.

It’s disgustingly typical of Conservative America that the 2nd Amendment remains more important than human life, but how will the deluded reconcile too many guns with radical Islam and manage to keep the dialogue from devolving into “more guns would fix this?”

Make the problem into a self-righteous rant that they must have deserved it because LGBTQ? (Nope. No cognitive dissonance there.)

No. Not quite.

Whether the lone wolf shooter, who will remain anonymous in this post, is or is not an actual member of DAESH is truly irrelevant here. He was born in New York City, was not even observing Ramadan (the holiest month in the Islamic year), and in the usual 20/20 hindsight that comes after these events, was unstable, violent, threatening, and still employed despite a co-worker’s warnings that he was dangerous. The shooter was licensed and fully able to acquire the firepower he needed to do roughly a third the amount of damage as took place November 13, 2015 at Le Bataclan in Paris.

The problem lies not in the shooter’s actual affiliation but in the dialogue that will come from this horrific event. It lies in this statement, posted by WTOP at 5:50 a.m.:

The Islamic State’s radio has called the Orlando mass shooter “one of the soldiers of the caliphate in America.”

Al-Bayan Radio, a media outlet for the IS extremist group, on Monday hailed the attack that left 50 people dead [including the shooter], saying it targeted a gathering of Christians and gays and that it’s the worst attack on U.S. soil since the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Authorities say [the shooter] opened fire with an AR-15 rifle at a gay nightclub early Sunday before being killed in a shootout with police. Another 53 people were wounded in the shooting.

The broadcast is apparently an opportunistic statement as IS has not officially claimed responsibility for the Orlando attack.” [emphasis mine]

You want to see how this stacks up against reality?

Have you been reading my posts? I’ve explained this already. And I’m not alone.

As mass shootings plague US, survivors mourn lack of change

There can be no rational discussion ever again about common sense gun control, because GOD NRA FORBID we exercise control of our emotions long enough to realize we’re talking about human lives, of people with the same exact rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, whether it’s the brand of happiness we think is acceptable.

When single issue voters choose the Second Amendment over anything resembling sanity, this is what we get as a result: “The state of Gun Violence in the US, explained in 18 charts.”

In 2009, when there were still enough Democrats in Congress to make a difference, the House and Senate finally passed the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act, which President Obama later signed into law. It would never have passed today.

According to Vox.com, the bill, which added perceived gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, and disabilities to the list of protected classes under existing federal hate crimes law, was passed as a rider to one of that year’s Defense Spending bills, no thanks to the following individuals, who voted against the bill.

[The names in RED are running for re-election this November. Remember that when you go to the polls this year. Again, emphasis mine.]

In the Senate:

Sen. John Barasso (R-WY)
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC)
Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS)
Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID)
Sen. Mike Enzi (R-WY)
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK)
Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-GA)
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ)
Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
Sen. James Risch (R-ID)
Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)
Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL)
Sen. John Thune (R-SD)
Sen. David Vitter (R-LA)
Sen. Roger Wicker (R-MS)

 

In the House

The following are ALL up for re-election, except where noted, and you can vote them out in November:

Rep. Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)
Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL)
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN)
Rep. John Boozman (R-AR), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA)
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX)
Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL)
Rep. Ken Calvert (R-CA)
Rep. Dan Camp (R-MI)
Rep. Shelley Capito (R-WV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Carter (R-TX)
Rep. John Chaffetz (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Cole (R-OK)
Rep. Mike Conaway (R-TX)
Rep. Ander Crenshaw (R-FL)
Rep. John Culberson (R-TX)
Rep. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jimmy Duncan (R-TN)
Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who’s now a US senator
Rep. John Fleming (R-LA)
Rep. Randy Forbes (R-VA)
Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE)
Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
Rep. Trent Franks (R-AZ)
Rep. Scott Garrett (R-NJ)
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX)
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA)
Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO)
Rep. Steven Guthrie (R-KY)
Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS)
Rep. Dean Heller (R-NV), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX)
Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA)
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA)
Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-KS)
Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX)
Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC)
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH)
Rep. Steve King (R-IA)
Rep. Pete King (R-NY)
Rep. John Kline (R-MN)
Rep. Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
Rep. Bob Latta (R-OH)
Rep. Frank Lucas (R-OK)
Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO)
Rep. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Rep. Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA)
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX)
Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA)
Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC)
Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA)
Rep. John Mica (R-FL)
Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL)
Rep. Candice Miller (R-MI)
Rep. Jerry Moran (R-KS), who’s now a US senator
Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA)
Rep. Randy Neugebauer (R-TX)
Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA)
Rep. Pete Olson (R-TX)
Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN)
Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN)
Rep. Joe Pitts (R-PA)
Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX)
Rep. Bill Posey (R-FL)
Rep. Tom Price (R-GA)
Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN)
Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL)
Rep. Hal Rogers (R-KY)
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)
Rep. Tom Rooney (R-FL)
Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL)
Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA)
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI)
Rep. Steve Scalise (R-LA)
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI)
Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
Rep. John Shimkus (R-IL)
Rep. Bill Shuster (R-PA)
Rep. Mike Simpson (R-ID)
Rep. Adrian Smith (R-NE)
Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ)
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX)
Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-TX)
Rep. Pat Tiberi (R-OH)
Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH)
Rep. Fred Upton (R-MI)
Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)
Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY)
Rep. Joe Wilson (R-SC)
Rep. Rob Wittman (R-VA)
Rep. Don Young (R-AK)

 

What are YOU doing on November 8, 2016?

But you have to stay…

But you have to stay…

Ya know, since I started posting about this election cycle, the rhetoric has gotten increasingly difficult to take, from both sides. For those of us who are all #VoteBlueNoMatterWho, it’s a no-win scenario.

From either side, I hear that I’m supporting someone disingenuous or incapable of winning. Hillary supporters think Bernie can’t do the job, that his plan is lacking, and that all he has is momentum, and not as much of that as he ought to have. Her supporters think I’m somehow less of a feminist if I support Sanders instead of Clinton.

Bernie supporters think that she’s a pathological liar, she’s in bed with Wall Street and not interested in serving MY needs, and all sorts of other things besides.

Never mind that the press and politicians haven’t touched Bernie and his Democratic Socialism yet because until he’s a real threat (which they’re denying as hard as they can because they would rather continue to smear Hillary). This crap isn’t new. In fact, it’s nearly 40 years old, and ought to be recognizable as a historically embarrassing time in our history. Except, of course, that the history books bear NO mention of what those years really looked like. And haven’t been taught. If the student never studies and never sees what happened, did it ever happen at all? That’s the core of 1984, and the whole of the GOP’s strategy against Hillary Clinton.

Meanwhile, there’s…Trump. Three times married, crude, lewd, greedy narcissistic jerk that he is, he’s garnering the Christian Conservative vote, the White Supremacy vote, the Never Hillary (and Bernie won’t get there) vote, and the Narcissist vote. He’s got the backing of the NRA, and pretty soon, the Koch brothers will line up behind him because it’s the only way they get their way in politics.

Someone asked if anyone else was sick of the rhetoric. I raised my hand, with a link to this article on Rawstory.com regarding Trump trolls posing as Clinton/Sanders supporters, and the link to the stories out of West Virginia talking about the open primary there and who actually crossed the line and why.

BUSTED: Trump-loving comment trolls pose as Sanders and Clinton supporters to divide Democrats

(Note that 4Chan is NSFW, but you can still see the original trolling posts there.) I got back a comment that it was just one guy.

Sigh.

Every time this subject has come up, I’ve said that I won’t stay in the US if Trump wins. I have no desire to live in a fascist theocracy or dictatorship, and I’m absolutely certain that’s what’s coming, with the certain replacement of three to four Supreme Court justices within the coming presidential term.

And the response? You can’t leave! Who’ll fight the battle for the US?

Well, let me tell you, it won’t be me.

I don’t love my country so much that I’m willing to die or be maimed for it. If that makes me a heretic, so be it, but I know for a fact I’m not alone here. I chose not to serve in the military for a reason, and I’ll be damned if I’ll make cannon fodder out of my kids because I opted to stay and fight.

The last post I made, You say you want a revolution…, got a *crickets* response. People really think that revolution is actually a bloodless, painless affair. They truly don’t understand history, have no frame of reference for what freedom fighters did and what it cost them to do it. They can’t fathom what life was like for Anne Frank, or how concentration camps actually worked because teachers don’t teach the history anymore. They’re too busy making sure their students can pass the Pearson tests that fail to cover these aspects of history, whitewash what slavery was truly like, and promote ignorance over reality and historical fact because it’s inconvenient.

No, it’s NOT my job to stay here, take up arms, and fight for my country. It’s my job to protect my kids and to raise them in a safe environment, to ensure their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Nowhere in that language does it say I have to wield a gun to make that happen, no matter how many 2A apologists want me to think otherwise.

If that’s all the US has left, to give itself over to misogyny and hate, I’m out of here. My passport’s current. Is yours?

If you want me to stick around, make sure Trump doesn’t win.

That’s YOUR job.

If you can’t say it to my face…

If you can’t say it to my face…

I woke up this morning at 2:30am after a fitful night’s sleep. I was trying to concentrate on homework before I crashed, but there was an incident last night in my favorite restaurant/hang out that bothered me on a level I failed to interpret properly, and I woke up and realized I needed to unload before I could go back to sleep, so I turned on my computer.

That led to a variety of things, including more work on the homework and, more importantly, some solidifying of my thoughts on what happened.

A few days ago, I posted a link to a quote on FB that appears to have grown legs. The quote appears to be a paraphrase of this article on Examiner.com, written by William Hamby: What if gun laws were like abortion laws?

My post, with a paraphrased version of the comparison Hamby made, continues to generate likes and has also attracted a couple of trolls who would rather point their flamethrowers at anyone who thinks pregnancy choice is a problem (read: Pro-Birth) than discuss the actual issue: Gun control.

 

I could address an anti-choice rant and get involved in a days-long fight with someone who’s only interested in posting on FB to generate arguments and feed the hate, who’s largely impervious to reason, employing logical fallacies rather than discussing the actual problem and identifying solutions, or I could eliminate the source.


I’ve been told that one of the individuals in question is a “professional troll” and I’ve got a clearly stated policy against such behavior on my FB page. Posting inflammatory rants borne of logical fallacy for the sake of pissing off the liberals is reason enough to eject someone from my space. I don’t tolerate trolling behavior and I try not to derail the conversation with straw man arguments or false equivalency, but the simple summary that generated the latest response struck me as a concrete analogy and that’s why it was important to share. 

 

Too often, 2nd Amendment supports see their right to guns as trumping any other rights to life, liberty or the pursuit of happiness. The trouble is, with today’s all-too-often climate of “shoot first, ask later” and doxxing as a means to settle arguments, you actually can’t be too cautious about who you invite to the conversation.

 

Maybe that’s wrong, but I called the police tonight on a guy in my local favorite restaurant (which, by the way, is run by a Muslim family) because the ass wipe was behaving in a manner that threatened him and his family. So when I say I won’t tolerate behavior and I’ll say it to someone’s face, I back that 100%.

 

Why did I call the cops? He was harassing the chef’s daughter, who does not speak English and was wearing her hijab. She was sitting quietly at the end of a long day, and he wandered through, heaping verbal abuse on a guy he called a “f**king queer (who packed up and left in a justifiable huff) and attempting to start a conversation with the daughter. I was unable to keep working on the homework. I felt threatened, and he wasn’t addressing me at all.

 

Two days ago, an American shot up his workplace after leaving angrily. This guy was wearing a cammo coat and was clearly drunk. What was going to stop him from going to his car, hauling out a pistol and exercising his 2A rights, as he saw them through a haze of alcohol? So, I called the cops, because it was necessary. It’s sad that I had to go there at all, but it was clear from where I was sitting that he was unloading all that hate just because she was wearing something he could identify as a target for abuse.

 

It’s the same hate I’ve seen filling the arenas where Trump and Carson and the rest of the bigots in the GOP try to pander to their racist, homophobic, xenophobic base, out of fear they will become irrelevant if they can’t control all the branches of government.

 

It’s the same hate that made the GOP vote to repeal the ACA (Obamacare), and defund Planned Parenthood (even though the federal government is banned from financing abortions).

 

And now that we’ve finally seen Daesh on our own shores, maybe we’ll finally see some action regarding control of weapons, even though the vast majority of mass shootings occurred with a Christian or Atheist at the trigger. The irony hasn’t escaped me, but the question is: Why now? Why not back when Lanza shot all those children in Sandy Hook? Or when the kids shot up their classmates and teachers in Columbine?

 

You are entitled to your opinion, but you are not entitled to force me to risk my health for your firmly held belief. That includes your opinion of Planned Parenthood facilities, semi-automatic weapons, medical Mary Jane or anything else. And you sure as hell aren’t entitled to say whatever you want on my FB wall or here, with no consequences to your actions.

 

I’m not going to waste my time arguing with you. Deleting the hate-filled spew on my wall and blocking the source is as much a self-defense mechanism as anything else. If people can’t be civil, they can leave. I’ve said as much on FB, right here. And if they won’t leave, I’ll eject them. It’s really, truly, that simple.

Theme: Elation by Kaira.