Biden, money, politicians, politics, YouTube

I’m intrigued by the timing of Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan…

Yesterday, I wrote about how President Joe Biden has announced a plan to forgive a portion of student loans for many American borrowers. Plenty of people are expressing their opinions about this idea. I’ve seen lots of people laud Mr. Biden for helping regular people who are struggling with student loan debt. And I’ve seen many people who are presumably angry that some people are getting “free money” when they’ve been “irresponsible.”

For the record, I don’t have a problem with Biden’s plan to forgive some educational debt. I won’t be benefiting personally from Biden’s “largesse”, but as I explained yesterday, the timing of my own school loans were fortuitous. I lucked into a low interest rate, which was very helpful for me. It was hard enough to get ahead of the loans even with that low rate. I see that now, a lot of people are paying significantly more in interest than I did. One friend shared the graphic below, which came from a longer, viral Facebook post:

Yes, I know signing for loans is a big deal, but how many 18 year olds– people we don’t even allow to legally drink a beer– understand what this will mean in the long run? Especially when they have been told since childhood how essential college is for a successful life in the United States.
The rest of the post… I think it makes a lot of sense… and cents.

As I mentioned before, I got my loans paid off after years of concentrated effort and gradually rolling larger payments into what I was regularly paying every month. After five years of paying the minimum, which barely covered the interest, I voluntarily started paying more and more. There was no penalty to prepay, and we could afford it, starting back in 2007, when Bill was in Iraq and temporarily got paid more. It wasn’t like I was spending money on anything exciting during that time, so I just rolled the extra money into paying off debts. I paid off Bill’s shitty high interest credit cards, too, and he was soon able to get a much better card. But if I’d had a higher interest rate, it would have been much harder to pay off the debts. I’d probably still be paying.

In any case, I am not upset that other people are getting help with their student loans that I won’t be getting. I’m just grateful that I don’t need the help, and that against all odds, I managed to pay off those loans. It makes no sense for me to be upset about this, either, because it’s a done deal, and there’s nothing I can do about it. There are plenty of other reasons to be angry right now.

For instance, I’m very upset about the fact that as of yesterday, abortion in Texas is virtually illegal. As of yesterday, a trigger law went into effect, making abortion a felony for those who provide the service. Yes, there are exceptions for when the mother’s life is at risk, but because of the political climate in Texas right now– and, oh, maybe the fact that it’s the number one death penalty state– physicians are reportedly committing malpractice and not giving pregnant women who actually need an abortion for medical reasons the care they need. Why? Because they don’t want to go to prison and be fined $100,000.

It occurred to me last night that the timing of Mr. Biden’s student loan assistance package is rather fortuitous, as the midterm elections approach. Lots of Republicans are positively GLEEFUL about overturning Roe v Wade. However, there is also evidence that a lot of people– Republicans included– are upset, worried, or even downright pissed that a political party is taking away a fundamental right from all women of childbearing age, not to mention their right to healthcare PRIVACY. If we learn anything from the results in Kansas, when voters were asked to vote on abortion rights, it’s that this is an issue that affects a whole lot of people. Some of the people who voted for abortion rights were, no doubt, Republicans.

I have also read reports of Republican politicians abandoning their party, because they simply can’t abide the cruel, intrusive, and downright stupid policies that today’s Republicans are pushing. Yes, there are still a lot of people who are vocal about supporting Trump and his ilk, but some conservatives are seeing the light. Some also don’t want to be associated with the likes of shady characters like Matt Gaetz, Ron De Santis, and, dare I say it? Trump himself.

I think that Biden’s decision to offer student loan help may sway some Republicans to vote blue in November. Not only would they be voting for women’s rights, healthcare privacy, and the right to have an abortion, but they would also be voting for much needed financial help with their loans instead of another corporate bailout. You can’t tell me, either, that Republicans who qualify for the $10,000 forgiveness of their student loans won’t take the help. Of course they’ll take it. Some will happily take that benefit as they loudly complain about it. I don’t remember hearing too many people from the Republican Party complaining about the temporary financial assistance Trump offered during COVID-19’s worst months.

Now, I could be completely wrong about this. Maybe the timing of Biden’s student loan announcement is completely unrelated to the cluster fuck being perpetrated by Republicans right now. However, I have a feeling I could be on to something. I also think the main reason Republicans are so upset about this development is because, ultimately, it will help a lot of the people they’d like to keep down… women, minorities, people who don’t identify as mainstream. This help will be useful to people who could use a financial leg up in order to improve their lots in life. For many people, the $10,000 will be a “drop in the bucket”, but some people’s loans will be completely paid off because of this help. And some will have their burdens greatly reduced. That simple fact will make Biden look pretty good to some of them.

On the other hand, the reverse could also be true. Some Democrats might not like Biden’s decision, either because it doesn’t go far enough, or because they agree that doing this “rewards irresponsible people”. However, my guess is that most Democrats who don’t like this plan will still vote blue, because they will still consider Democratic candidates better than the alternatives. I can’t imagine someone who supports progressive, humane, public policies voting for a Republican candidate over something like this. But then, much stranger things have happened, right?

I haven’t even mentioned some of the totally ridiculous and backwards school policies being enacted right now. I will never know why so many conservatives are so much more concerned about what’s in a teacher’s classroom library than they are about kids being killed at school by gun violence. I mean, they’ll do all they can to “save” a fetus from being aborted, even if the pregnant person isn’t ready or wanting to be a parent, but they don’t do anything about those same “babies” being blown apart in a classroom by some unhinged nut with a gun. And what if they happen to be reading a book about a kid with two dads when that happens? Personally, I just think that kids should be encouraged to read. I think teachers should be better supported for their efforts, because it’s not an easy job to educate kids, nor is it necessarily well paid or respected work. Every day, teachers put their lives on the line to see that children are properly educated, but we have elected officials doing everything in their power to make their job harder. No wonder so many good teachers are leaving the field. It seems that many Republicans just want the citizenry to be dumber.

So… kudos to Joe Biden for offering this help, especially at this point in time– as Trump is fighting many legal battles and people are in a tizzy over everything. Experience has taught me that money talks. A lot of regular people are fed up with the way the country is heading, and they want to see some real help and change. I don’t think it’s an accident that this student loan measure, controversial as it is, is being presented now, as Republicans are doing all they can to take away women’s rights, dumb down kids in school, and force us back into the Dark Ages. Some Republicans will appreciate Mr. Biden’s efforts enough to vote blue in November. And some of those people will become permanently former Republican voters, like I am.

Before I go… I want to share these videos I watched by Mr. Atheist yesterday. They were pretty infuriating. I will probably end up writing about “pro-life” activist Kristan Hawkins soon, but I won’t do it today, because this post is long enough. I’ve got laundry to fold and dogs to walk. But I do want to share them with those who read this post and need a new reason to be disgusted. Maybe, if anyone is interested, I’ll offer my thoughts about these videos tomorrow.

Mr. Atheist is right. I legitimately cringed when I heard Kristan Hawkins speak.
Yep… yikes is right.

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Ex, healthcare, law, modern problems, politics, social media, Twitter

The baby depository “drop box”…

Last night, I read a news story about how some conservative groups, post Roe v Wade, have decided that it would be a good idea to have “drop boxes” for unwanted babies to be placed in. These boxes are supposed to give people a way to surrender their babies with “minimal interference”. It’s seen as an expansion of the “Safe Haven laws”, which have already been around in all 50 states for a couple of decades now.

The Safe Haven laws were enacted to discourage people from dumping their babies in unsafe places, such as trash receptacles or public restrooms. Instead, parents who want to give up their babies are encouraged to take them to any emergency room, fire department, or a law enforcement agency. According to the link I provided, in four states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, only the mother is allowed to relinquish her infant. In the District of Columbia, infants can only be relinquished by residents of the District. Twelve states already allow so-called “drop boxes”, which are devices that would trigger a 911 call to emergency services when the box is opened.

Personally, I am not a fan of these “boxes”, mainly because I don’t think that people who are relinquishing a baby should be able to do so anonymously. Some of them simply need help, which they won’t get if they are encouraged to anonymously drop off their babies. I know the boxes exist in other countries and are supposedly “life savers” for the babies. But it seems to me that it would be better to 1. prevent unintended pregnancies in the first place, and 2. provide appropriate healthcare to women who want or need it. Sometimes, abortion is healthcare. Sometimes, it’s the kindest, most responsible thing a person can do. And all the time, it’s an extremely personal decision that should not involve anyone but the already born person who is directly involved. I agree with this point, which was made in the article I linked (and unlocked):

“Is this infant being surrendered without coercion?” asked Micah Orliss, director of the Safe Surrender Clinic at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. “Is this a parent who is in a bad spot and could benefit from some time and discussion in a warm handoff experience to make their decision?”

As I was reading up on “baby drop boxes”, I found this letter to Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson. It was sent by an adoptee rights group called “Bastard Nation”, which opposes use of the baby drop boxes. I think they make good points in their letter, as these are people who are adoptees and have to live with issues surrounding being adopted. I’m going to have to read more about Bastard Nation later, when I have more time.

Later in the article, Dr. Orliss is mentioned again:

Because of the anonymity, there is limited information about the parents who use safe havens. But Dr. Orliss, of the Los Angeles safe haven clinic, performs psychological and developmental evaluations on some 15 such babies annually, often following them through their toddler years. His research found that more than half the children have health or developmental issues, often stemming from inadequate prenatal care. In California, unlike in Indiana, safe haven surrenders must be done face-to-face, and parents are given an optional questionnaire on medical history, which often reveals serious problems such as drug use.

The article also explains that mothers who abandon their babies and have a change of heart may have a hard time reclaiming their infants. They are also not immune to being subjected to legal sanctions, particularly if there is evidence that the baby they drop off is unhealthy due to drug or alcohol abuse. It’s potentially risky for them. See below:

In Indiana, which has the majority of baby boxes, state law does not specify a timeline for terminating birth parents’ rights after safe haven surrenders, or for adoption. But according to Don VanDerMoere, the prosecutor in Owen County, Ind., who has experience with infant abandonment laws in the state, biological families are free to come forward until a court terminates parental rights, which can occur 45 to 60 days after an anonymous surrender.

Because these relinquishments are anonymous, they typically lead to closed adoptions. Birth parents are unable to select the parents, and adoptees are left with little to no information about their family of origin or medical history.

Mr. Hanlon, of the National Council for Adoption, pointed to research showing that over the long term, birth parents feel more satisfied about giving up their children if biological and adoptive families maintain a relationship.

And in safe haven cases, if a mother changes her mind, she must prove to the state that she is fit.

According to Ms. Kelsey, since her operation began, two women who said they had placed their infants in boxes have tried to reclaim custody of their children. Such cases can take months or even years to resolve.

Birth mothers are also not immune from legal jeopardy, and may not be able to navigate the technicalities of each state’s safe haven law, said Lori Bruce, a medical ethicist at Yale.

While many states protect surrendering mothers from criminal prosecution if babies are healthy and unharmed, mothers in severe crisis — dealing with addiction or domestic abuse, for example — may not be protected if their newborns are in some way affected.

The idea of a traumatized, postpartum mother being able to “correctly Google the laws is slim,” Ms. Bruce said.

But then… the article also points out that some of the babies do well, and turn out to be healthy. I have been thinking, though, that all of this focus on babies being born could lead to less freedoms for potential birth mothers. Are laws going to be changed that force potentially pregnant people to get prenatal care, since their bodies are basically being thought of as akin to vessels now? If a woman doesn’t regularly see her OB-GYN, is she going to be punished? If she does something considered unsafe, will she be at risk of arrest or incarceration? That’s another thing– why are so many Americans so hot on jailing people? We have so many incarcerated people in the United States, and some of the anti-abortion folks just want to put more people behind bars. What kind of life is that?

There’s something really sickening about the fact that drop boxes weren’t acceptable to many conservatives for collecting votes, but they are for babies. It’s like dropping off a book at the library, or something. There should be more to relinquishing a baby than simply dumping off a kid in a box. Maybe something can be done to make the situation less dire for the natural parents so that they don’t feel compelled to abandon their offspring. In any case, I would hope that people are made aware of the fact that there’s a window of time in which the parent can reclaim the baby, if the situation is such that they’ve panicked or had a change of heart.

Anyway, once again, I expressed my opinion. I immediately got an inappropriate laugh reaction from someone I quickly blocked. I noticed two other “laugh” reacts, both from obvious MAGA trolls. Then I got a nonsensical comment from someone. I wrote “huh”, because I genuinely didn’t get what they were on about. That person came back and said they didn’t have the time or crayons to explain it to me, so I blocked them, too. If your response to me is immediate rudeness and insults, I don’t see why I should waste any time with you. If you choose to interact with me unsolicited, and all you have is mockery, then welcome to my block list. I don’t have the energy for it. I wonder, though, is that the overall goal for these people? To be so insufferably obnoxious that they immediately get blocked by strangers on social media? I think a lot of them make rude comments for attention. If they get blocked right off the bat, they don’t get any attention. So what have they accomplished, other than looking like assholes?

I’ve decided to be a lot more aggressive about blocking people who deliberately annoy me. I think the current political climate calls for it. There’s no reason to engage with people who are disrespectful and immediately make personal attacks against others. That doesn’t mean I block people who simply disagree. It means I block people who are sarcastic, rude, insulting, or just plain mean. I don’t deserve to be treated that way. No one does.

This one guy was going on about killing babies in the “whom”. Seriously, that was how he was spelling “womb”, as he sanctimoniously lectured us all about how babies shouldn’t be denied all of the “wonderful and beautiful” things in life. Yeah… like climate change, poverty, housing shortages, inflation, gun violence, domestic violence, political nightmares, rampant crime, extreme debt, and every child’s special hell– abuse. There are worse things than not being born, and I’m so sick and tired of reading comments from pro-life (birth) men, whose lives will never be personally affected by pregnancy or childbirth. A lot of them are only “pro-life” because they are upset about not having the choice to opt out of parenting and resent being forced to pay child support. See this video from a West Virginia legislator for more on that phenomenon:

“Chris Pritt owns his own law practice, Pritt Law, where he specializes in divorce, custody arguments and child support. But standing before the state legislature in West Virginia, his argument was a linguistic pretzel to justify eliminating all child support for the parent who gets custody of a child. According to Pritt, there are fathers who don’t want to be involved in the lives of their children.

It’s not just the men, though. On Twitter this morning, I read some MAGA woman’s comments about how miscarriages that require D&C aren’t abortions. Except a miscarriage is LITERALLY referred to as a “spontaneous abortion” in medical parlance. She also went on about how necessary medical treatment for situations like ectopic pregnancies aren’t abortions. Except they are. If there is a heartbeat in the embryo that is lodged outside of the uterus, and the pregnancy is terminated for medical reasons, it’s still technically an abortion. Abortion isn’t a “dirty word”. But these MAGA people want to term it as “murder”, which it’s not, and refer to it as a specific action involving ending a “healthy” pregnancy. People get abortions for all kinds of reasons that are important to them, none of which are anyone else’s business. Calling abortion “murder” is just a way to rile people up and get them to think irrationally. Murder is a legal term that involves people who have already been born.

I didn’t engage the MAGA woman, but one look at her Twitter page was all I needed to know that she isn’t someone I want to have anything to do with. So I blocked her, too. I considered blocking a guy who was demanding “proof” of a Twitter user’s story about a friend whose pregnancy ended in the 7th month of gestation and she couldn’t get appropriate medical care before she got sick. The guy actually demanded that she “prove” it to him. So, she blocked him. He was whining about being blocked, but other people were telling him that she doesn’t owe him personal information about her friend. Besides, there have been enough recent news stories about people being denied appropriate medical care in deep red states when they are miscarrying. That is a situation that will only get worse. And this is a world we want to bring innocent babies into? Where the females will be obliged to stay pregnant or denied medical assistance when they are in trouble because doctors are now terrified of being sued or arrested? Or the babies can be anonymously “dropped off” in a depository box, instead of handed to a human being? Maybe the boxes have saved lives, but I still don’t like them. I should be able to state that without some stranger laughing at me or calling me “stupid”.

I am all for allowing people to have abortions when they want or need them. It’s a personal healthcare decision, and restricting it causes a whole host of slippery slope situations that will cause big problems down the line, as well as a loss of privacy and freedom for already born people. People don’t seem to realize that forcing people to gestate will result in a lot of social problems that will affect everyone on every level. Because those new babies being born will have many needs… and we don’t meet all of the needs of people who have already been born as it is.

Moving on… a little levity for Monday…

I suspect Ex must be starting a new cycle of abuse, as she posted a picture of a man who appears to be #3 on social media with the following comment:

Oh how this touches my heart. I was adopted; my reunion was like this with my birth father, except he then refused to acknowledge me to his family. I am fortunate to have had a real Daddy to raise me and love me. He’s passed and I miss him so much! Hubby has to fill in on hugs! (interesting how she values her adoptive father, who by Bill’s account, was kind of non-commital to her and was always out at sea, but she denies her children access to their fathers, or replaces them when she gets divorced with inferior models, like #3)

My guess is that she and #3 may have hit a rough patch and she’s now making up with him… the cycle of abuse is starting again. But who knows?

I was also amused to see this comment from Ex, who apparently hasn’t heard of Duolingo… Duolingo does, in fact, offer what she seeks.

[her favorite author] does her homework and makes us do ours!!! I want to learn Gaelic but cannot find a program, not even BABEL has it. Anyone know of a good app or website or person I can learn SCOTTISH GAELIC, not Irish, from?!?! I’m of Scottish descent and want to know my own tongue!!!!

Anyway… Ex was born in Texas, not Scotland. I have lots of Scottish ancestry myself, but I am an American. So is Ex. And plenty of poison has come from Ex’s tongue, whether it’s through speaking, kissing, or giving someone head. So I think she knows enough of her own tongue, and should keep it to herself. 😉

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healthcare, law, politicians, politics

Kansas shocks the hell out of me!

Good morning, folks! I woke up to the news about Kansas, and how voters there decided that they won’t tolerate abortion bans in their state. To that, I say BRAVO! I am pleasantly shocked to read that Kansans let good sense prevail and voted to allow individuals to maintain the right to make their own private, personal, healthcare decisions.

I know a lot of people think that abortion is absolutely disgusting and an abomination. If I’m honest, I find it pretty repulsive, too. But I also find many necessary medical interventions and tests repulsive. For instance, I wouldn’t be super excited to have a colonoscopy or a colposcopy, but I know those are procedures that save lives. Abortion can be life saving in many situations. No, I don’t cheer for them, but I do think that sometimes they are necessary, and I don’t feel it’s my place to intervene in another person’s decision to have one.

I think there will be some repercussions in the wake of this decision made by Kansas voters, which I know surprises a lot of people. I doubt that a lot of the Republican leaders in super red states will want to allow voters to decide on these issues, because they’ve seen that there’s a good chance that voters will vote to allow abortions. And now, there will be a lot of demand for abortions in Kansas, because people in red states who have banned the procedure will flock there for care. That will potentially make it tough for providers to keep up, and for Kansas residents who need care. Some people may decide to leave Kansas because of this decision, and some may decide to move there. That could mean a change in the local culture. Whether the change is positive or negative depends on the individual.

I read one comment from a 75 year old woman who is anti-abortion. It really irked me, because her opinion was based entirely on her religious beliefs. From the Washington Post:

Janice Dearinger, 75, a part-time alcohol and drug counselor in Shawnee, Kan., voted an early “yes” to the ballot referendum at Monticello Library on Friday.

She said that the media and the “Vote No” forces had used scare tactics and unfairly described the proposed amendment as a total ban on abortion; the Value Them Both amendment would have affirmed that there is “no Kansas constitutional right to an abortion” and given the legislature the power to regulate it. Some Kansas legislators have previously said they would sponsor bills saying life begins at conception, had the amendment passed.

“If you read what they’re trying to pass, it’s not about banning abortions altogether, it’s about limiting the ones that don’t need to be done,” Dearinger said. “They’re not saying you can’t have an abortion at all. That’s what the media is wanting you to hear.”

I want to ask Ms. Dearinger why she thinks it’s any uninvolved person’s place to determine which abortions “need to be done”, and which ones don’t? Why should anyone have to explain to another person why they want or need to have any medical procedure? It’s not her business. I presume that abortion will not be something she personally faces for the rest of her life. Why should someone of childbearing age have to ask permission of anyone to terminate a pregnancy if she is not prepared to gestate, for ANY reason?

I don’t trust legislators to make these decisions. I also don’t think they’ll stop at abortion. You know the old saying, “Give ’em an inch and they’ll take a mile?” That’s what I think could happen if we let lawmakers get a foothold in healthcare privacy rights, especially if they are Republicans. Republicans– or, at least this current incarnation of the Republican Party– are basically interested in MONEY. And while they don’t want to provide safety nets for the poor, it’s in their best interest to keep as many people poor and under control as possible. Poor people don’t have the freedoms that wealthier people have. They don’t have the voices or choices that people with money have. And a lot of people with money would just as soon keep the poor in their lot, slaving away for pittance wages while they get richer. Babies are expensive, and having one before one is ready can be financially devastating. Aside from that, sometimes abortions are simply required because without one, the mother will die.

Beau, as usual, making a lot of sense as he talks about why poor people aren’t nearly as free as wealthy people are.

I read another horror story yesterday about yet another young woman whose doctor told her she should have an abortion because of a health condition. Madison Underwood is a Medicaid patient in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where abortion bans are now in place. Her very much wanted 18 week old developing fetus had catastrophic developmental defects that were incompatible with life. Specifically, the fetus had not developed a skull, and the brain matter was leaking into the umbilical sac, which could make Madison deathly sick with sepsis. Madison was told that if she continued the pregnancy, her own life could be at stake. Her doctor advised her to go to Georgia, where at the time, abortions were still permitted, although bans are now in effect there. Abortions are allowed in Tennessee if the mother’s life is in danger, but doctors are now afraid to perform the procedure, because they don’t want to risk being prosecuted if their colleagues don’t agree with their medical opinions.

Underwood hadn’t even wanted to have an abortion. She had cried on her way to the clinic, and argued with her fiance as to what they should do. But there she was on the table, waiting for the procedure, and it was canceled. And then she and her fiance, already poor, had to travel many hours to another state so she could access necessary healthcare. They had to come up with gas money, time off work, and money for a hotel room, and all because of heartless, brainless, anti-choice people who hate women and can’t understand that sometimes abortion is very necessary healthcare. This should NOT be happening in the United States!

Adding to Madison Underwood’s sad story is the fact that her fiance’s mother supported abortion. Why? Because when she was twelve years old, she was raped and impregnated, and gave birth to a stillborn baby! As it was, Madison had to face throngs of protestors when she and her fiance went to the facility where Madison would have a D&E (dilation and evacuation) procedure. It would take two harrowing days. As they entered the facility to have necessary medical care, they had to tolerate overbearing idiots with signs and pictures of dead fetuses, demanding to know if they were “okay” with killing babies. When they said they were against abortion, but needed one for health reasons, one of the protestors asked if they trusted doctors over God. Whenever I think of people like that, I feel enraged. How dare they?!

I have just about had it with religious zealots. I’m tired of them imposing their moronic, myopic views on all other people, especially women. I’m tired of them interfering with personal, private, gut wrenching healthcare decisions that are NOT their business. I grew up hearing that Americans were free. We’re not free if legislators can insert themselves in a woman’s womb and force her to give birth. We can do better. I’m glad that people in Kansas showed the United States how things should be… and how people should vote, when it comes to abortion. I hope other states will follow suit.

In other pregnancy related news… Georgia has now declared that embryos can be listed as dependents on state tax returns. Residents can claim up to a $3000 deduction for any fetus whose heartbeat can be detected. On the surface, it sounds good… until you realize that a lot of people who want or need abortions are poor. So this provision won’t be helpful to them, because they don’t pay as much in taxes as wealthier people do. Moreover, I think this will open a Pandora’s Box that will lead to a lot of other issues, as people demand other privileges for the unborn, like driving in HOV lanes alone. 😉 Also… in order to qualify for the tax breaks, the person claiming an embryo will be obliged to provide relative medical records or other supporting documentation. That requirement– while not a violation of HIPAA, since HIPAA only applies to healthcare workers– will mean giving up healthcare privacy in exchange for saving a few bucks on taxes. And since a lot of pregnancies end in miscarriage, Georgia will be giving out a lot of money to people whose pregnancies never resulted in a live birth. That will not be popular with taxpayers.

Again… I am glad to be 50… and I’m glad to not be living in the States right now. We really need to straighten out this mess, and so many others.

Well… time to end this post and practice guitar. I made a new video yesterday, this time with me playing guitar. I don’t play super well, but I did play well enough that I got a copyright claim. Here it is, for those who are interested.

I should probably focus more on this instead of politics, if only so I learn to play better guitar!

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condescending twatbags, narcissists, politicians, politics, stupid people, Trump, Twitter

Matt Gaetz will never learn, will he?

It’s 9:00 am, and I’ve already had some excitement, thanks to the visitor in our garden. For those who don’t want to click the link, my dogs and I discovered a huge hedgehog in the backyard this morning. I have a feeling it’s probably a female who is about to have babies. After making sure it was living, I put it back where I found it and I just checked to see if it’s still there. It’s not, and I’m glad. I don’t want my dogs to end up with mouthfuls of quills!

I mentioned yesterday that Twitter is a toxic place, yet full of blog topics. Sure enough, I found one this morning, when I saw Florida Republican Representative, Matt Gaetz, tweeted the picture below, with typically misogynistic and insulting comments…

What a massive cretin Matt Gaetz is. He doesn’t learn, does he?

That’s the kind of remark I’ve come to expect from male Republican leaders who model themselves on Donald Trump. Donald Trump, as we know, is never averse to insulting people for the way they look and saying things like “They aren’t sending their best.” It’s funny, too, since Trump isn’t exactly attractive himself. Matt Gaetz might not be ugly in the conventionally physical sense of the word, but he sure seems to have an ugly soul. He’s campaigning on the pro-life platform, but why in the hell would anyone want to bring innocent children into the world where people like Gaetz are elected leaders?

Think about it. I know, as a woman who’s been around for half a century, that life can be cruel to those who aren’t considered attractive, particularly if they aren’t physically appealing. Gaetz claims to value life, but he tears down people he thinks are somehow unattractive. Does he realize how damaging those remarks are? Has he considered how many people– particularly young women– waste the best years of their lives obsessing over their bodies, starving themselves, spending scads of money on makeup and clothes, sitting hours in chairs at the beauty salon, just so they can impress “alpha male” types like Matt Gaetz? Or hell, they might not be wanting to attract Matt Gaetz and his ilk, but they just feel like they have to be “pretty” to get a good job, make friends, or otherwise succeed in life.

Or maybe Matt was trying to make a point about Peggy Schiller’s actual qualifications. If he was, though, I can’t find it in this tweet. To me, it looks like a dig about her appearance. And even if it isn’t about her appearance, he has recently commented about how “pro-choice” women look like thumbs and aren’t actually at risk of being impregnated. Does he think his tastes are the only ones that matter?

I don’t think Republicans are sending their best, either.

I think most people have at least a few attractive qualities. Some people’s attractiveness comes entirely from within. I’ve rarely met someone who was truly ugly inside and out. The women in the above photo probably have friends and family members who love them dearly. Peggy Schiller, the woman who is opposing Gaetz, probably doesn’t have criminal charges pending against her for trafficking minors. She probably doesn’t make disparaging personal comments about other people’s appearances. She probably sticks to the issues. Or maybe she doesn’t… but she’s for a woman’s right to choose, which I appreciate. That’s what I care about, and that’s who I would vote for, if I were a Florida resident.

I did like that someone on Twitter pointed out that every time Gaetz tries to insult women, someone donates money to the pro-choice cause. Olivia Julianna, the young woman Gaetz publicly insulted, reminded him that she’s sending $2 million to reproductive health funds across the country– and yes, sometimes that includes abortion. If anything, Gaetz is a poster child for the pro-choice movement, and every time he shows his ass in public, he strengthens their resolve to reclaim the rights to bodily autonomy.

But we are sending 2 million dollars to abortion funds across the country. Olivia Julianna, July 31, 2022

I also noticed that even the “pro-choice” men were trying to tone police the women. A guy named Greg posted:

I am 100% with you on this topic…. But our messaging is always bad, and calling these “abortion funds” is a poor label. It will come back to haunt us in the same way that the phrase “defund the police” became a huge negative phrase. Try “Pro-Choice Funds”….

I’m sure Greg thought he was just sharing his opinion on this and maybe felt he had every right to do so, but his comment pissed off a lot of the women, who angrily responded that he doesn’t get to tell women how to communicate. A few others posted that they want to destigmatize the word “abortion”. Frankly, I’m with that crowd. Abortions are medical procedures. Sometimes, they are natural events that happen in pregnancy. We shouldn’t be likening it to murder. Murder is a specific legal term that involves born people who are cognizant and aware, not developing embryos. I would focus more on getting people to stop conflating murder with abortion. They aren’t the same thing.

But yeah… enough with the mansplaining:

Oh please, no mansplaining necessary. It IS abortion fund. And we are NOT ashamed to say it. Abortion is women’s health care. THAT is the messaging . Got it?

Someone else posted this picture of Matt with some young ladies. I guess they are more to his liking, looks wise.

He has such a creepy smile.

Whenever I see comments from people like Matt Gaetz, I thank God for Bill. I’ve gotten rude comments from men regarding my physical appearance. People have said I look old, fat, ugly, or have called me the dreaded C word. Most of them, I’ve noticed, are Trump supporters. These are people who are supposedly “pro-life”. And yet, they have no regard at all for living people with feelings. They don’t value people they think are “ugly”, “unattractive”, “fat” (and they ALWAYS bring up weight), or otherwise not ringing their chimes somehow. I don’t really care if Matt Gaetz and his ilk think I’m ugly. The feeling is mutual, but it’s mostly because Gaetz is an unfeeling bastard who doesn’t actually care about anyone but himself. And I’ve found that most of the men who speak like he does are the same… the same boring, one track minded, power and money hungry, soulless, heartless cretins who are totally unappealing on a whole new level.

As my late father used to say, “Pretty is as pretty does…” He often directed that comment to me, the daughter he used to disparage the most… But I grew up to marry a wonderful, kind, loving man who adores me for who I am… ALL of me, fat rolls and everything. He values me for things beyond appearance. And those are the kinds of men who should be in power. Not garbage humans like Matt Gaetz who only value women for their reproductive abilities and appearances. I’d rather be fat and ugly, than have to be around someone like Matt Gaetz. I think of it as a personal insurance policy against creeps!

Representing the best of the Libs… 😉 I’d say I did okay.

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condescending twatbags, karma, politicians, politics, Uncategorized

It’s not such a good week for Matt Gaetz…

Years ago, the late comedian George Carlin made me roar with laughter when he mused, “Have you noticed that people who are against abortion are people you wouldn’t want to fuck in the first place? There’s such balance in nature!” A few more years passed, and he used the joke again in a later routine. See below.

This is from 1996, but he used this joke even earlier than that.

I couldn’t help but think of my old hero, George Carlin, when I read the news about vile Florida Republican Representative, Matt Gaetz, who twisted Carlin’s joke. Last weekend, Gaetz was at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, where he reportedly quipped “Why is it that the women with the least likelihood of getting pregnant are the ones most worried about abortions? Nobody wants to impregnate you if you look like a thumb,” Gaetz said to his conservative audience. “These people are odious from the inside out. They’re like 5’2″, 350 pounds, and they’re like ‘Give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest.’” I guess he figures the students at that rally weren’t around when Carlin did that joke much better than he did.

What a disgusting man Gaetz is. This clip has more of what Gaetz actually said, and it’s even worse than I realized.

Um… wow. This is the same guy who is being investigated by the Justice Department over allegations of sex trafficking and prostitution, including involving a minor. Mr. Gaetz also has a mugshot dating from 2008, when he was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. While he was evidently never convicted for DUI, his mugshot is still available online. Gaetz refused the breath test when he was stopped, and for some reason, his driver’s license was not suspended. The refusal to take the breath test was not used against him in court, and the charges were dropped. The officer who arrested him was forced to resign. It may be worth mentioning that Gaetz is the son of a prominent former Florida politician, Don Gaetz. In fact, then 26 year old Matt was driving his daddy’s car when he got pulled over after having spent the evening at a nightclub. The arresting officer smelled booze on Gaetz and noted his disheveled appearance. Gaetz said that the officer harassed and threatened him.

Gaetz now claims that he’s being targeted and harassed over the sex trafficking claim. He said:

“Over the past several weeks my family and I have been victims of an organized criminal extortion involving a former DOJ official seeking $25 million while threatening to smear my name. We have been cooperating with federal authorities in this matter and my father has even been wearing a wire at the FBI’s direction to catch these criminals,”

Yeah, I believe that Matt Gaetz is as pure as the driven snow… NOT. And he did make some really disgusting misogynistic comments at the summit in Tampa, prompting a 19 year old woman named Olivia Julianna to tweet criticisms of Representative Gaetz, a man currently being investigated for sex trafficking, as he calls out so-called “fat and ugly” abortion activists, whom he says need to march and eat more salad. I say “Clean up your own yard, Gaetz”.

In retaliation for Olivia Julianna’s tweets against his disgusting comments about pro-choice women, Gaetz body shamed Olivia Julianna, sharing a picture of her and his awful comments on Twitter. Then he encouraged his followers to harass her, and thousands of them did. Olivia Julianna responded by announcing a fundraiser for Gen Z for Change, a 500 member youth led non-profit group that addresses issues that disproportionately affected young people.

When it became clear that Gaetz’s bullying campaign against her was a big failure, Olivia Julianna tweeted this response.

And she didn’t stop there. Olivia Julianna also wittily tweeted, “Am I not a little too old for you Matt? I know you have a thing for targeting teenagers but 19 is on the cusp don’t you think?” 

In a subsequent tweet, she continued:

Olivia Julianna went on to raise over $1 million for Gen Z for Change. The donated money will be divided among 50 abortion rights funds. She did a pretty good job turning misogynistic hate into something useful.

I love how sassily Olivia Julianna handed Gaetz his ass, posting: “Dear Matt, Although your intentions were hateful, your public shaming of my appearance has done nothing but benefit me,” she wrote after his tweet about her spurred a load of harassment from Gaetz’s Twitter followers — as well as a flood of donations to her reproductive rights advocacy organization. She’s also gained thousands of new Twitter followers, including yours truly.

Why anyone is listening to Matt Gaetz, let alone voting for him, is beyond me. But I guess it’s proof that in the United States, if you’re lucky and hitch your star to the right people, being reprehensible won’t stop you from being successful at something. I think that’s especially true in places where there’s a lot of good old boy cronyism and nepotism going on. It’s especially telling that Gaetz can’t even come up with his own jokes. He has to twist and bastardize a classic joke from George Carlin, a much revered and beloved comedian, who, if he was still living, would have an absolute field day with what’s happening right now.

Gaetz really isn’t having a good week, anyway. At that same summit in Tampa, Gaetz went after Mike Pence, saying:

“Our America is proudly ultra MAGA, not some low energy roadside RINO safari,” said Gaetz, referring to a derogatory term for so-called moderate Republicans. “On that note, let me just say what everyone here knows: Mike Pence will never be president. Nice guy, not a leader.”

Bwahahaha… what Gaetz knows about “nice guys” would fill a thimble. I’m not a fan of Mike Pence’s in any sense, but I do love what, Marc Short, Pence’s former chief of staff said in response:

“Well, I don’t know if Mike Pence will run for president in 2024, but I don’t think Matt Gaetz will have an impact on that. In fact, I’d be surprised if he’s still voting. It’s more likely he’ll be in prison for child trafficking by 2024.

And I’m actually surprised the Florida law enforcement still allows him to speak to teenage conferences like that. So, I’m not too worried what Matt Gaetz thinks.”

Yes, that’s a pretty good burn… However, I am forever disturbed by the fact that reprobates like Matt Gaetz get into power and have political platforms that influence laws for all of us. He’s clearly not a good person. He has no honor. He’s not even nice on the surface. Naturally, he’s probably one of Trump’s favorite guys and biggest sycophants.

Gaetz has been vocal about his opposition to abortion and voted against two bills that would have ensured access to abortion. He’s been criticized for saying that those protesting the overturning of Roe v. Wade are “overeducated, under-loved millennials.” (ahem, I am a member of Gen X, thank you VERY much!) It surprises me that Matt Gaetz is so “pro-life”, yet he has no problem trying to tear down people who have already been born, and have thoughts and feelings that can be affected by what he says. Kudos to Olivia Julianna for having plenty of moxie and a sharp wit. I think she’s going to go far in her heels as she stomps all over Matt Gaetz’s pathetic, privileged, and perverted ass. I look forward to cheering her on!

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