Lay Down Those Arms…

Seeing how this is generally my quiet place when it comes to politically-charged op-eds, I thought I’d vent a little here and save myself the digital ridiculousness that will most definitely ensue if I were to post on Facebook or elsewhere.

The recent Valentine’s Day school shooting down in Florida. Yeah. Where oh where to even begin. I wonder what it says about the person I am…or just humanity in general…that it’s getting harder and harder to be sensitive to these tragedies anymore. Not that I don’t have sympathy for the victims, their families, friends, and loved ones…I do. It’s the general aspect of it happening. How does one not become desensitized to the news when it’s happening at such a frequency that you can’t turn on a TV, open a newspaper, or go on social media without hearing of something happening here or there practically every other day? Honestly, I don’t know if there’s something in the water or the air or what…but people are seriously fucked up these days, and more and more. I mean, what the hell. Columbine. Aurora. San Bernardino. Virginia Tech. Sandy Hook. Orlando. Las Vegas. And now, Parkland. God, where does it end? When does it stop? When are we going to stop killing one another? When are the laws and these idiots we’re electing going to look past the money and the power (or the promise/expectation of it)…their own fucking egos and ambitions, and actually DO something to stop the bloodshed? When are we as a nation going to put the politics and bullshit aside to sit down and figure something out TOGETHER, as one… to reverse this fucking monstrosity, freak-show, SHIT-SHOW of a cycle? WHEN? How many people…how many CHILDREN must die before we say you know what, FUCK the system, it’s broken, something’s OBVIOUSLY not working…and do something. ANYTHING. But nope. Instead we want to keep wasting time pointing blame and fingers, bickering like a bunch of fucking CHILDREN ourselves. It’s un-fucking-believable.

Personally, I don’t get it. I don’t comprehend how a human being can just wake up one morning and decide to kill 17 people…or 58…or 20 first-graders for fucks sake. I just don’t. That goes beyond mental health or some fucking chemical imbalances, if you ask me. Honestly, I think some people are just plain fucking evil. Maybe they’re born that way, maybe that’s the mold society created or pushed them into…I don’t know. I just know that it’s EVIL. Pure and simple.

As a society, we have a duty to our countrymen…to humankind. To ourselves. But we’re slacking. So badly, we’re slacking. We should be doing whatever we can or could possibly do to make sure that what happened 10 days ago doesn’t happen again. EVER. But we’re not doing that. We’re not doing a damn thing. Mistakes were made. Big time. But instead of owning up to it…people are bitching and trying to place blame. Well…the way I see it…we’re all to blame. We as a society FAILED those 17 victims. We failed their families and loved ones. We failed all those traumatized teenagers and teachers that slid and ducked and hid from a spray of bullets. They survived, but their lives will never be the same. Never, ever again. Could we have prevented what happened and saved them from the sounds and images of hell they heard and saw that day? Hell fucking yes we could have. But we didn’t. And so here we are… left to make sense of something that by definition, makes no fucking sense… left to clean up and struggle through and move on…somehow. Left to place blame and albeit in some warped, fucked up way…try to find justice for those victims, families, and survivors. But who(m) or what exactly is to blame? Is it the fault of that cowardly school security officer who waited OUTSIDE for FOUR FUCKING MINUTES while bullets were flying and terrified KIDS were running out of buildings… running for their lives? Is it the fault of the NRA for advocating/promoting the purchasing and prevalence of weaponry that I think it’s safe to say is rarely being used anymore for what/how it was initially intended? Is it Senator Rubio’s fault for taking said proverbial blood-money from that organization (among others) to push his political agenda(s)? Is it the blame of our forefathers for writing that tricky 2nd Amendment that’s causing all this trouble we’re seeing/experiencing now? I mean, surely… they had to have known that it wouldn’t be long before we’d start slinging guns and using them on each other instead of our enemies? Surely, they would have. Is it the fault of that pitiful orange excuse of a President who’d rather spend his days twittering his thumbs away…literally… and jet-setting every weekend to play golf …and making empty promises and ridiculous proposals …than doing something productive or god-forbid—good for the country? Seriously, what the fuck. I get not wanting to piss off the super pacs that helped you (big-time!) get that cushy job and pretty white house down on Pennsylvania Avenue. Do I agree with it—hell fucking no—but I get it. But repealing your predecessor’s initiative on mental-health effective/related gun reform, only to turn around and spout the same damn idea as it was yours all along…yeah, no. And what kind of idiot would even SUGGEST that we arm our educators and turn our classrooms into—essentially—war zones? Seriously…I don’t know what the fuck this guy (TRUMP) is thinking…but I wish someone would just put some duct tape over that idiot joker’s mouth and tell him, for once and for all, to please just SHUT THE FUCK UP. Seriously, President Idiot, shut up.

The legal and moral blame is on that sicko that’s sitting down in that cell as we speak… for sure. I’m not denying that. In fact, I hope he gets everything he deserves and has coming to him. If that just so happens to be a guilty verdict and lethal injection…then so be it. He killed 17 people. Does he deserve to pay for his crimes? Without a doubt, yes. Moreover, those victims and their families deserve justice. If the price of that is his life in return then again… so be it. He owns the majority of the blame, definitely…but it’s not all his. He was a ticking time-bomb, from all accounts. I mean, he was beyond trouble. People knew it. The school knew it. The authorities knew it. Everyone fucking knew, it seems. Hell, he was expelled from the very school in which he chose to unleash his terror upon. He was self-harming and had tried multiple times to kill himself over a span of YEARS… and people knew it. He clearly had issues…BIG issues. He warned people. He was reported numerous times to the authorities…hell, even the FBI had been warned that he intended to shoot up a school and they just ignored it. They did nothing. The system really failed him. Not that that’s an excuse. He knew what he was doing. He rationalized it. He legally bought a gun that no ordinary civilian (or 19-year-old one, for that matter) could possibly need but was allowed to keep it under his bed in the home of the people that had taken him in when his own flesh and blood had put him out. Whether the media is purposely glossing over or unmeaningly quashing those supposed rumors that he’d been mistreated and bullied…but I think there’s something there…and it deserves consideration. There’s the fact that this kid planned for months what he was going to do. Also, there’s the fact that he was obviously targeting one or several targets. I mean, why would he take the time to go to the 3rd floor when if it was just a matter of a body count and numbers? If that were the case, I’m sure he could have had the time and opportunity to do more damage right there on the ground floor of the building he shot up, especially with how many would-be victims would have been running right in his direction for the limited exits. Some people are saying he probably thought he’d have more time to keep shooting if there were three floors between himself and law enforcement…and thus a matter of quantity over quality…and that we probably didn’t care because he likely planned to kill himself before being captured. Now that… I’m on the fence with. He didn’t turn the gun on himself. He completed the attack, disguised himself as one of his peers, and attempted to run…all of which gives no indication that he wanted/thought he was going to be caught. So why make it harder on himself by going up to higher floors? It seems illogical to me. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not condoning his actions…and it’s inconsequential really whether he had intended targets or not… but it’d certainly clear up some speculation into what I and others, I’m sure, have into wanting to understand/know why he did what he did.

Bullying is at hard-core levels these days. It’s not like the old days where the taunts existed mainly in those halls and lockers and bathroom stalls. Back then you only had to dread going to school… but knew you could always leave it at the door. Kids are fucking assholes these days. Thanks to the amazing invention we call the Internet and social media—there’s no escape. Bullying HELL is 24/7. The statistis on bullying and suicide are overwhelming…and understandable. I mean, of course, when you’re 14 and 15, etc. we all think we’re so damn grown… but we’re really not. Sure, you’ve seen and have probably endured more than those back in the old days might have at your age…but having grown up and been immersed in this fucked up mentality and environment basically from birth…it’s more of a common place feeling than a “special” one. Kids/teenagers these days are being raised by screens and trendy gadgets. They’re being desensitized by video games that reward them for virtual murders and rapes and attacks, etc. I’m not saying it’s the video games…but they sure as hell don’t help matters any. It’s that naiveite that leads to tragedies like Parkland. I’m no medical expert, but even I know that teenagers’ brains are still developing. They’re only just learning at that age how to cope with realities they don’t understand/accept. And sadly, they don’t really have a grasp on time so they literally don’t know how to process the idea that it won’t always be the hell like it is. That one day it WILL end. That high school isn’t forever. They don’t get that and since they can’t see past the very limited near future, they think there’s no way out and choose suicide as a means to solve their problems. I feel so sad for all these kids. I just want to hug them and tell them that it gets better. Because it does. I mean, it’s not always easy. There are some hairy parts and bumps along the way…but it does get better. And it IS worth it. They might not see it or feel like it will now…but it will. I just wish someone could have told all those kids that didn’t make it that. But I can’t do that. We can’t do that. But we can do something today or tomorrow or the tomorrows after that. We can change. We can put down the guns and enact some REAL gun reform once and for all. But we must act quick. All of us. Together. That’s how we do this. That’s how we stop the bloodshed. We open our eyes and we do what’s right…simply because it’s right and not because we’ve been forced to do it. And we have to WANT it. We have to come together for the common good now. For our sakes. For the sake of the children. For the generations to come. Maybe it’ll happen in this lifetime. I for sure would love to see it in my lifetime. But I’m not holding my breath. If that makes me a cynic, well…so be it.


To Protect & Serve…

America. The land of the free. Or so they say…

Trust the system, they say. Trust that justice will prevail. But it didn’t yesterday. Hell, that seems to be the case with most things these days. Philando Castile was an American citizen. He was 32 years old and worked a menial job as a nutrition services supervisor for one of Saint Paul’s public schools—a job, I might add, that he’d held down since shortly after he graduated high school. He wasn’t some gangbanger or deadbeat (though it wouldn’t matter if he had been). He was an innocent, up-standing citizen, from all accounts, and aside from numerous traffic infractions, his record was clean. Like so many persons of color and/or minority, he was singled out because of his ethnicity and color of his skin. You can’t tell me any different. Circumstantial and/or lack of evidence aside, he was murdered. A man in blue and with a badge killed him in cold blood…and thanks to Facebook Live, it’s out there forever—imprinted in the minds for those that had or have seen it. It’s sickening.

Like Michael Brown, Alton Sterling, and the dozens of other victims at the hands of the police, he did nothing wrong. He informed the officer of his permit to carry a concealed weapon from the start, just as he was required to do. He did everything he was supposed to do…and yet, he was still murdered. Live. In front of and watched by hundreds of thousands of viewers.

His killer was just acquitted and is walking around free, among us all. Mr. Castile wasn’t given that luxury…because he’s dead. And for what? Because his skin happened to be dark and not white? Because he supposedly fit the description of a burglary suspect with a “wide nose”? Because some officer jumped the gun and pulled the trigger without affording him the benefit of the doubt that is often automatically afforded to individuals that are white?

The system dropped the ball on this. The fact that he shot Mr. Castile on a live-stream—how much more proof do you need?!—makes it that much more fucked up that they acquitted him. Innocent on all counts…but that’s not exactly true, as we all know far too well. He isn’t innocent. He discharged his entire service weapon into the vehicle, seven bullets to be exact, at Mr. Castile from outside the vehicle—while Mr. Castile was still wearing his seat belt and gave no impression or intent of violence. No threats were spewed. No sudden moves were made. But the officer claimed (and still claims) he was in fear for his life? Yeah, no–that’s total bullshit. Even if that were the case, did he honestly need to shoot the guy seven times? Wouldn’t one bullet have sufficed? What’s even more fucked up is that the officer fired into that vehicle seven times with a passenger and a 4-year-old child in the backseat. Who the hell does that? Murder/manslaughter aside, he should still have been charged with and convicted for using excessive force, and endangering the welfare of a child, at the very least. Hell, a man is dead, but his murderer gets off scot-free. What kind of twisted shit is that? It’s not justice, that’s for damn sure. Had it been an ordinary civilian that shot him, he/she would have been charged and likely convicted for manslaughter ASAP. It wouldn’t even be a question or thought. But because that officer has a badge and chose to shoot first, ask questions later…a man is dead. And now, despite those very reasons, he gets to walk away without reprisal or consequence. How is that fair? To answer in simple terms, it’s NOT.

Something—the system, the courts—needs to change. Someone needs to do something. This hostility can’t last indefinitely…this war between the police and civilians must end. We need better laws that protect the victims, and not the perpetrators. This shit with these gun-happy, (often) racially-motivated cops getting away with their crimes has got to stop. And if they don’t do something soon, I predict that all hell is going to break loose. People are rioting and marching in the streets because they’re sick of it all. They don’t trust the police, but then, why would they—especially what with everything that’s happened recently. There’s so much anger brewing between both sides and eventually it must combust. And no one wants to be there for that. I sure as hell don’t.

What pisses me off about all this news and these cases is that it’s only adding the proverbial gasoline to the proverbial fire, making things worse. The marches, the riots…people are demanding action-demanding change. The Black Lives Matter movement is stretched thin and people are on the edge. The movement has strayed so far from its original intent that it’s barely even recognizable. Granted, I think some of it is exaggerated. If there’s a black person(s) involved—in any way—innocent or guilty—it breeds hostility and becomes a case for racism. And that’s not fair. Yes, sometimes it is racially-motivated. But what many fail to realize it’s that that’s not always the case. Sometimes it has nothing at all to do with race, but people make it out to be. I hate that…how quick people are to assume. Most people are good. Most don’t have a racist bone in their body. And still, people like to jump to conclusions based on history from decades before—experiences and injustices that they, themselves, have never even encountered, most of the time. You can’t play the victim card when you’re not really a victim. It’s hard to see through the bitter fog of misery some times, that much I do know.

I’m not even going to get started on the Bill Cosby disaster, but I will say that it’s a bun. The man admitted under oath that he’d drugged and assaulted several women, and now whole onslaught of victims are coming forward claiming the same, and yet…the guy gets to walk. I don’t care if he is a TV icon for persons of color…he’s a rapist. They should lock him up and throw away the key. Let’s wait and see if the prosecutors have the nerve to try him again. Hopefully they will so.

We live in a sad, sad world. Such a shame. All that I can say (ask) is #WhereIsTheLove. Seriously. Where. Is. The. LOVE.




( Fair Warning – I apologize in advance for the language but well…with the mood I’m min, it can’t be helped… Sorry… )

All I can say is that it must be pretty damn icy down there in hell right. I never thought the day would come that I’d literally be ashamed to call myself an American and to live in this great country. And a certain orange Nazi can keep talking out of his ass until it turns blue about how apparently NOT great this country is, but at the end of the day, his talk is just as cheap as his morality. And completely baseless, for that matter. He’s wrong. WRONG. America is already great. Granted, it’s not perfect and there’s a ton of fucked up shit that’s happened and will–undoubtedly—continue to happen every day until the end of time…but it doesn’t diminish this country’s greatness. Not entirely, anyhow.

At least, that’s what I thought…until today. Now, my thoughts and beliefs and emotions in that statement are a hot fucking mess. I’m ashamed. I’m embarrassed. I’m in disbelief. I’m angry. I’m scared. I’m sad. My emotions are all kinds of fucked up. But on the bright side, I know for certain that I’m not the only one. It’s comforting…and yet really simultaneously terrifying.

Honestly, I don’t know how we got here…how it’s come this far. Not to sound bitter or anything (although I am) but I still can’t believe that Hillary lost back in November. I really can’t. I really thought she had this election and forthright presidency in the bag. I can’t believe that America actually put Donald Trump in the oval—to run a country and subsequently hold the fates of millions of people in his hands. This man is a joke and a disgrace to not just the office of the President, but to America itself, as a whole. Trump didn’t win this election on merit or luck or capability … he won it on FEAR and HATE. And that is an irrefutable fact. Not an “alternative fact” but an actual, documented FACT. Oh no—just used that scary word. God forbid. Oh and while we’re on the subject—a big fuck you Kelly Ann Conway. Seriously. Thanks BITCH – for being a part of the problem and NOT the solution. Really, thanks.

I was shocked then, that night back in November…and I’m still shocked, to tell you the truth. America really dropped the ball on this one this time. I’ve been seeing and reading these posts by people, telling anti-Trump supporters to “get over it already”, “to accept it”, and that “he’s still YOUR/MY President whether you like/want it or not”. Oh, and also the ones that takes it step further by mocking or disparaging those who before, had no real political interest, but now – according to and conveniently, they say — do. That really hits home for me. And as such, makes me peeved as hell. It’s true, I’ve never been very fond of politics and I’ve stayed away from involving myself, let alone actually advocating for it. But this time is different. You can ask any one, this wasn’t your typical election. From the very beginning, it’s been an absolute shit show. Trump and Cruz walking around with their chests puffed out and actually thinking they’re the solution the country desperately needs…Bernie with his civil rights’ protesting and straight-shooter plans and ideas…Hillary and those emails. Those fucking emails. Did she fuck up and make a mistake? Yes. Did that mistake contribute to the tragic deaths of good men and true Patriots? Sadly, yes. Did she lie? Yes. She did those things. But she also confessed and took ownership of those mistakes. Could her sincerity have been forged and/or did it take force in the form of a subpoena for her to admit those mistakes? Yes, to both. Should those mistakes destroy her career, her dreams, or her ambitions? I don’t think so. People seem to forget that she was cleared of any criminal wrong-doing. What she did might have been unethical and just a tad bit politically/morally-corrupt, but it wasn’t illegal. And it doesn’t and shouldn’t define her or who she is. That shouldn’t be her legacy. For Chrissakes, she lied, people! She just lied. People do that from time to time…not that that is an excuse…but it’s what people do. We’re flawed. We make mistakes. But come on people, she’s also a politician…and we all know what that means. Politicians lie. It’s ingrained in them, I think. So to hold something of such little importance or effect on the country on as a whole as that over her head…it’s messed up. Not to mention, completely unfair. But we have douchebag Trump and his merry band of identical douchebags who did just that. To hell with what it could/would have meant to and done for Women’s Rights and the Women’s Movement, just in general. She could have shattered the highest glass ceiling…and by doing so, could have set an example for all little girls and women, proving that all things and dreams are possible if you want it bad enough and work hard enough for it. She could have made history, changed it, and done incredible things for this country. I believed in her. Hell, I still believe in her.

Thanks to Trump and his little cronies, those are realities that sadly, will never be. A few emails are all it took to persuade the country to jump ship and take Trump’s side. To ignore the serious faults of a man who has proven repeatedly to be nothing more than an egotistical, impulsive, childish, ignorant, petty, hate-filled, pathetic resemblance of a man, hell even just a goddamn human being. A few emails have placated the clueless, resentful, and ultimately vindictive beings of this society. The result of this election only goes to show how naïve and illogical and just plain fucking blind people are. I find it absolutely incredible that anyone could possibly feel justified in thinking that a few emails and lies are more damaging and less conducive or more destructive to the survival of this republic and country than a man who openly defies the very constitution that he was sworn to uphold, thinks who he is and has taken it upon himself to declare authoritative, arbitrary, and sole power over the rights actions, beliefs, religions, and creeds of others—in direct opposition of everything this country stands for and believes in. He’s ignored and destroyed us to our human core and foundation. He’s a power-hungry tyrant in a fragile republic and political system, out for his own well-being and no one else’s—and certainly not the American people he promised to represent and protect.

Those that want to post and judge a person’s political agenda or “prowess” can quite literally kiss my ass. They don’t get that this election was unlike any other we’ve had. It’s not that I don’t care about politics or that I’m being picky or overly selective. I’ve simply chosen to stand up for and advocate for a country that needs and deserves a President worthy and capable of the power exposed to and responsibility placed in his/her hands. Maybe ideally, that wasn’t Hillary. Who knows. It sure as hell wasn’t and ISN’T Trump though. That man is morally-bankrupt and fill of nothing but hate. He has no compassion for the plight and suffering of others. He’s made a fortune literally on the backs and in the wallets of hard-working men and women. He’s put himself in an advantageous position against the women he associates and interacts with. He sexualizes women –his own daughter and wife included– and feels no shame in making unwanted moves against ANY woman he deigns to lust after. That jackass he calls a VP wants to take control and make decisions for women and their bodies by defunding programs that benefit women and their health. That fucking Pence. I can’t stand him. Him or all his little pro-life buddies who think it’s a mortal/prosecutable sin to terminate a pregnancy DESPITE not knowing the special circumstances or reasons or situations involved in the decision. I love how it’s the woman that is being judged and threatened and ordered to do or not do something to her body that will 100 percent effect the quality of life and plans for her future in inconceivable, innumerable ways. Pence and his idiot followers are all for this ban on abortions and punishing women for writing their own stories…but are they even the least bit bothered to do something—anything—to lowering the number of sexual assaults and violence against women in this country? Or the stigma that still comes with being a young mother or single mother? Do they concern themselves with the circumstances of a woman’s pregnancy? That maybe a rape victim doesn’t want to carry around a constant reminder of one of the worst moments/days/nights of her life for nine long months? Do they care if that child will go hungry and starve, have no shelter, have no love or care or receive no affection throughout his/her life? Do they consider any of those things before even considering turning over Roe vs. Wade or have Trump sign some executive order against abortions? Hell no. It’s fucking bullshit. And Trump–he’s ordered a steel wall to be built that will separate families and undo political ties with a bordering country that we’ve mutually benefitted from one another at points in time.

And now with this Muslim Ban? I swear, that orange fucking POS is batshit crazy. Banning travel into and out of countries that practice the Muslim religion, thereby stranding hundreds of people, dividing families, keeping desperate refugees literally fleeing for their and their family’s lives from asylum and just a small semblance of safety, and increasing tensions world-wide in ways that aren’t favorable at all to the United States…is he for real? And the best part is that the countries he’s put his ban on aren’t either of the countries from which any extremists or terrorists who have struck on US soil in the past have immigrated from. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia—the country that has homegrown, trained, and sent thousands of terrorists to our shores with the sole purpose of taking as many human—American human—lives as they possibly can—nope, no ban on that country. Can you say oil?

I saw this quick clip earlier of the thousands of people that have gathered at Terminal 4 at JFK in New York to protest Trump’s latest ban and as ashamed as I of my country and the fucking shit that’s been piling up at the hands of that orange bastard…I was moved by their strength and perseverance at being there and speaking up and doing something to counteract Trump and to let the American people be the ones to define and write the country’s narrative (and NOT Trump’s!) and do so in a way that doesn’t alienate or create even more division within this country and around the world. There’s enough division as it is. So far, all of Trump’s so-called “great” plans have only worked to widen the division further…and nothing else. People keep saying that we need to give him a chance…but that’s now a terrifying thought. He’s gone way too far. Sure, he’s keeping his white-sheet-wearing buddies and billionaire suit cronies happy…but at America’s expense—both the people AND the country. It needs to stop. HE needs to be stopped. We need to take back this country and stick to the ideals we set forth in the past. I’m not saying there aren’t any things that couldn’t be adjusted or changed altogether… just that we need to stop this cancer at its start, before it spreads like wildfire, out of control and dangerous to all our well-beings. That’s really the only option we have at this point.

Image result for muslimban jfk

So I ask you…will you speak up or stay silent in your little bubbles of indifference? Will you join the movement to plot this ship back on its rightful course? America…we made a grievous mistake back in November. It’s on us to make that right. And we can. Together. We’re stronger when we’re together. We always have been. We always will be…<3


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