healthcare, law, narcissists, Trump

“PLeaSe DOn’T AbORT! wE wIlL aDopT yOuR bAby!”

Recently, I started paying a lot more attention to Twitter than I used to. I never liked using Twitter before, because I don’t like having character limits on my posts. Also, I just never got into it. When Trump was president, he was constantly on Twitter, and I didn’t want to be exposed to his constant stream of shit. I actually blocked Donald Trump on Twitter before he got banned.

But lately, I have slowly been warming up to Twitter and posting more tweets. Most of my tweets are autogenerated by Untappd– a beer tracking app, but I have been making a point of sharing links to blog posts. I’ve also been following the musician, Anthony D’Amato, whom Bill and I had the pleasure of seeing open for Keb’ Mo’ last month. He’s very intelligent, witty, and shares my perspective on a number of issues. I like his music. He’s also pretty responsive.

I probably got more into Twitter in March, when USAA got me extremely pissed. I would go on Twitter to read comments from other outraged customers who have been let down by them lately. Bill and I are trying to divest ourselves from USAA, but it’s proving to be difficult for a lot of reasons. But we did manage to move our car loan and open another checking account at a different bank. As that gets more established, we will be moving more of our stuff out of Texas… USAA is based in Texas, of course, but Texas is also at the root of the abortion access crisis we’re facing now, thanks to the ridiculous decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade. I spent the weekend reading a lot of reactions to this decision, and I am truly frightened for the future. I am pretty sure women will DIE because of this nonsense.

This morning, I got an email from Twitter with a digest of people it thinks I want to follow (but I don’t actually follow). In the email, there was a link to someone named Matt Oswalt. I don’t even know who the hell Matt Oswalt is. I should probably find out, since his tweet that appeared in this morning’s Twitter email is the inspiration for today’s blog post. According to his handle, Matt Oswalt is a comedian, and further research shows that he’s the brother of Patton Oswalt, who is also a comedian. And look at that! They’re from Virginia! Okay… now I feel caught up on things.

Cool.

So, this morning I saw the below tweet from Matt Oswalt.

Keep in mind, I didn’t know who or what Matt Oswalt was when I first saw the above tweet. I started reading the responses from people. Some of the comments were pretty funny. Some were outraged. A lot of people were engaging in a conversation that I’ve had with a few strangers myself, lately. Like, for instance, it shouldn’t be up to women who are unintentionally pregnant and unable to access abortion to provide babies for infertile people. Pregnancy and parenting are different issues. Giving a baby up for adoption is an extremely difficult and complicated decision. But, aside from that, there’s something really creepy about this couple…

Eeew.

And this one…

No thanks.

I mean, they could be wonderful people. They sure smile big and pretty. But they also look like the kind of people who would send their kid to a church where girls are routinely taught that having sex before marriage makes them akin to a shattered vase, a chewed piece of gum, a wilted rose, or a licked cupcake. Or maybe they’d “lovingly” kick the kid out of the house if he turned out to be gay, or preferred to be an atheist.

I can understand why a lot of women don’t want to give up their babies, even if they are ill equipped to raise them. Adoption may be a very loving and mature thing to do, or it could be a disaster. At least if a woman has an abortion, she knows what became of her baby. If she does it early enough, there’s no chance to bond. But going through nine months of pregnancy, feeling the fetus grow and kick, watching her body change irreversibly, and putting her life on the line has a way of creating a bond. And when the baby is born, those hormones kick into full force. The prospect of handing one’s baby over to a woman with a vacuous stare and the personality of mashed potatoes and her hungry looking husband is not very appealing. Like anything else, adoption is a crapshoot.

I know some adoptees, because when I was born, abortion wasn’t available everywhere. A number of people in my generation were adopted. Some adoptees had really good experiences and were raised by excellent people. Others had terrible experiences and felt rejected by their birth parents. The psychological injury that resulted from that rejection led to significant character disorders.

For instance, Bill’s former wife was adopted, and her childhood was a disaster. She didn’t know her adoptive father until she was seven years old, because he was a Merchant Marine and went to sea a lot. According to Bill, Ex’s adoptive father was comparably decent compared to her adoptive mother. That doesn’t mean he was a really great guy– he was married several times, and once reportedly got his marriage annulled from a woman he’d been married to for two days because he didn’t like the way she smelled. But at least he provided for his kids, and wasn’t extremely abusive to them. I guess he was just guilty of abandoning and neglecting them– or, at least he was guilty of abandoning Ex.

Ex’s mother divorced Ex’s father when Ex was very young. Ex’s mom then married a wealthy but evil man, with whom she later had a couple of bio children. For the first few years of her life, Ex reportedly believed her stepfather was her dad, because her adoptive dad wasn’t in her life. Ex was horrifically abused by her stepfather, and her mother turned a blind eye to it because it meant her husband left her bio kids alone. The end result of that upbringing was, in part, a woman who exploits her children and uses them as weapons against their own family members. That upbringing resulted in a woman who tweets celebrities, begging for money and narcissistic supply. She was rejected by her bio parents, and abused by her adoptive parents, and the reality of that is crushing. It’s the house of horrors that built Ex.

Here’s another example of an adoptee who went wrong. In 2007, Bill went to war in Iraq with a narcissistic man who was adopted and hated his adoptive mother. Actually, he seemed to hate all women, as he would openly deride and disrespect them. He would not let female doctors or dentists examine him, and he would be openly disdainful toward female officers. I have a female childhood friend who recently retired as an Air Force colonel. She is extremely well respected in the Army and Air Force, especially in special operations and military intelligence. She once had to report to Bill’s former boss, and he was openly rude to her, simply because she does not possess a penis. This man did not think women had any place in the military, and he behaved accordingly.

A few years after they deployed together, this colonel who had been Bill’s boss was very publicly fired for abusing his troops in Iraq. He had been on track to be a general officer, but too many people reported his egregiously horrible and dangerous leadership. He was relieved of duty and sent back to the States where he was forced to retire as a colonel, instead of the brigadier general he had been slated to become within weeks. There was a huge, embarrassing article about it in the Army Times. A quick Google search still shows plenty of mentions about what an absolutely terrible boss he is and how he disgraced himself in a war zone, abusing his troops and putting them in danger.

I remember Bill would call me from Iraq and talk about his boss… a man who delighted in abusing people. My blood would boil as I heard my husband talk about how his boss reminded him of Ex, and how my husband was in a war zone, which was stressful enough, and having to endure psychological abuse from his superior. I took comfort in knowing that I had warned his boss not to get my husband killed, because I would be coming after his ass if he did. I had said that in a joking manner, but Bill told me his boss took what I said very seriously. He was clearly not used to being spoken to in such a way by a woman, and since I wasn’t his underling, there was nothing he could do about it. He probably figured that if I had the nerve to say such a thing to him, I would follow up on my threats if he didn’t bring Bill home to me. Also… the colonel the narcissistic boss was replacing was killed in a helicopter crash a week before he and Bill arrived in Iraq, and his narcissism would not allow a similar fate to befall him or Bill. So he did take care of Bill, and made a point of not putting him in very dangerous situations. But that care came at a cost. He often mentioned my comment to Bill, and harassed him about it.

I remember asking Bill in 2007 why he wouldn’t report his boss. Bill said that if he reported him, he would be the one who would be punished. In Bill’s situation, it was just him and the colonel, not a brigade of troops, as the colonel was commanding when he got fired. So if Bill had complained, he would have looked weak and whiny. But… if Bill had complained, he would have done his part to try to stop an abuser from staying in charge. It might not have worked in the short term, but they would have had some precedence– a record of his abuse toward an officer in a war zone. Maybe things would have turned out better. Unfortunately, the military still has a long way to go in dealing with abusers.

I’m not at all saying that all adoptees turn out the way Ex and Bill’s former boss did, or even that being adopted was what caused them to be the way they are. I’m saying that adoption is a crapshoot, and sometimes adopted children have hellish childhoods that can turn them into terrible people. A lot of people like to talk about how adopted children are lucky because they were “chosen”, and of anyone, they should be the most in favor of the “pro-life” argument. But I have read comments from people who were adopted and wound up very conflicted, confused, and damaged by the experience. It’s not always a happy ending for those kids.

I do know a number of adoptees who grew up healthy, strong, and mentally balanced– including Bill’s half sister, who was adopted by his father and stepmother. It’s just that in both of the cases I presented in this post, it seems that being adopted had wounded the adoptees in some way. They didn’t feel the unconditional love and acceptance that all humans need to develop normal empathy. If their bio parents had raised them, they might have still turned out to be narcissists. Plenty of non adopted people are narcissistic. But in both of these cases, the adoptees reported not being loved and accepted when they were very young. Ex was used as a source of sadistic pleasure for her stepfather, in exchange for leaving his bio children alone. I’m not sure why the colonel hated his mother– Bill just told me that he had no regard for her, but he worshiped his father. And, in fact, the colonel was fired after having gone home to the States for his mother’s funeral. He probably hates her even more, now.

Adoption causes a lot of issues that the pro-life crowd wants to ignore. Aside from that, people who want to adopt usually want babies… preferably healthy white ones with no intellectual, physical, or psychological defects. Considering that we don’t offer universal healthcare in the United States, it stands to reason that a lot of women who will be forced to gestate won’t have access to the best prenatal care. Or, maybe the woman who is being forced to birth might deliberately neglect herself, hoping for a miscarriage… until the laws are made that force pregnant people to “take care of themselves” or risk being imprisoned, where pregnant people are also treated very poorly (and I’ve noticed lots of conservative men cheering about the prospect of jailing women over pregnancy– why are Americans so in love with the idea of warehousing humans in prisons?).

I mentioned recently that the foster care system in the United States is full of children who desperately need families. As red states gleefully ban abortion, some people are delighted at the prospect of a bumper crop of babies to adopt, as poor women with no means to travel to less misogynistic places will be forced to gestate. But many of those women still won’t choose adoption, so a lot of those babies will be raised in terrible circumstances that will trap them in abuse and poverty.

Yup…

The adoption thing isn’t the only issue to come up after the Supreme Court’s disastrous decision on Friday. Women’s lives are already in jeopardy in red states, because now doctors are feeling that they have to be especially careful in dealing with pregnant women in crisis. Last night, I saw this Tik Tok video from a nurse with a platform. Another nurse had written to her, explaining how a woman had come into the hospital with an ectopic pregnancy just after the ruling was overturned and a trigger law went into effect. The doctor would not treat her until he had spoken with a lawyer about how to get around the law and not lose his license. By the time she got surgery, nine hours had passed, and she had 600 ccs of blood in her abdomen. She had almost bled out and died, when a week prior, the doctor would not have hesitated to immediately do the necessary surgery to save her life.

@travelingnurse #greenscreen I hate it here #nursesoftiktok ♬ original sound – Lex RN BSN

It’s terrifying to be a woman who can get pregnant these days.

Meanwhile, we have moronic Republican representatives like Mary Miller of Illinois, praising Donald Trump for the overturning of Roe v. Wade as a “historic victory for white life”. Her exact words were “President Trump, on behalf of all the MAGA patriots in America, I want to thank you for the historic victory for white life in the Supreme Court yesterday…” What a stupid woman. But she’s probably only echoing what a lot of very ignorant people in the United States are thinking… until they or their loved ones are the ones whose lives are in danger because of this situation.

And then there’s Utah’s Republican Representative Karianne Lisonbee, who said this:

“I got a text message today saying I should seek to control men’s ejaculations and not women’s pregnancies,” Lisonbee told reporters during a news conference, adding that the message suggested: “that I clearly don’t trust women enough to make choices to control their own body.”

“And my response is I do trust women enough to control when they allow a man to ejaculate inside of them and to control that intake of semen,” she said.

She should be deeply ashamed of herself. What an asinine and CRUEL comment. She’s a traitor to women.

Well, anyway… I am pissed off about this. I am one of many people who are pissed off about this. I’m not sure what I can do, other than to keep writing, tweeting, and voting. We are indeed living in “interesting times”.

Standard
law, politics, wingnuts

Some people really don’t think guns are a problem…

In the wake of last week’s heartbreaking school shootings, I’ve been seeing a lot of people opining about why there’s so much gun related violence in the United States. Many people, myself included, think that there are way too many guns available, they are too powerful, and they are much too easy to acquire. There are also a lot of very angry, disillusioned, mentally ill people in the United States. And since it’s easier to buy a gun than access competent mental health services, there’s a lot of violence. Too many people are being killed. Too many CHILDREN are being killed, or permanently affected, by angry young men with guns. That’s what I think, anyway.

A screenshot of The Second Amendment…

But there’s another side to this issue. There are so many other people who don’t think guns are a problem. They love to spout off that old trite saying, “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” And they say things like, “People have been killing each other forever.” They hold the Second Amendment near and dear to their hearts, as if the right to keep and bear arms is the most important thing in our Constitution. Many of these folks actually believe that owning guns will keep them free.

I grew up near Yorktown, Virginia, which is where victory was declared in the American Revolution. I know the origin of the Second Amendment, which was ratified December 15, 1791, along with the other nine articles of The Bill of Rights. In those days, for many reasons, owning guns made more sense. But the right to bear arms has gotten out of hand. A whole lot of innocent people are being killed, not just because there are enraged, unhinged people who go crazy and spray bullets everywhere, but because people get careless. I’ve read many heartbreaking stories about children killing or hurting themselves, or other people, because they’ve had access to someone else’s improperly stored weapon. Somehow, we never seem to learn from those stories. Americans are still crazy about their guns.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of apologists coming out against gun control. They all seem to say the same thing. The reason why people are being killed isn’t because of easy access to guns. It’s because of poor parenting. It sounds crazy as I hear it in my head, and it looks crazy as I type out those words. But there are apparently a lot of people who believe that if people would just be better parents, there would be less violence.

About twelve years ago, Bill and I lived in rural Fayetteville, Georgia. We liked living there, especially since we found a house in a remote area, where we had a lot of privacy. Not surprisingly, a lot of people near where we lived were staunch Republicans who loved their guns. I minded conservatives less in those days, so it didn’t bother me much. That was before so many other children had died, although Wikipedia tells me that even in 2010 and 2011, a whole lot of kids were killed at school by gun toting “ammosexuals”. But, the truth is, I probably just didn’t think about gun violence as much back then.

While we were living in Fayetteville, I subscribed to the local newspaper. I still get emails from that paper every week, even though we moved to Sanford, North Carolina, a similar community, in April 2011. Yesterday, I got the latest issue of The Citizen out of Georgia, and I noticed a letter to the editor written by a man who asks, “Instead of fewer guns, how about better parents?” When I saw that headline, I inwardly groaned. Yet again, just like the “Q guy” I wrote about the other day, this guy was actually blaming “bad parenting” and “lack of respect” on the extreme gun violence in the United States.

The author of the letter to the editor fears “big government”. He begins his screed by lamenting about how Democrats want to take away his guns in the name of “safety”, and fears that if he loses his guns, he will be “vulnerable” to government overreach. Once again, I have to shake my head. Does this man actually believe that the government can’t and won’t take away his guns now? Does he really think he can outgun the government? I don’t see it.

A gun might be useful to have if a wild animal invades your home. It might also be a great thing to have a gun if someone breaks into your house. But guns cannot and will not protect anyone from government overreach. If guns could do that, maybe women who don’t want to be pregnant wouldn’t have to worry about being forced to gestate, and potentially prosecuted if they miscarry. If you get caught breaking the law, and your crime is serious enough, the police will come and arrest you. Your guns won’t save you in that situation. And if the United States is successfully invaded, say, by Russia, China, or North Korea, it’s not likely that your arsenal of guns will prevent that from happening, either. Maybe you can pick off a few people, but eventually, you’ll probably run out of ammo and you’ll be saying goodbye to your guns.

Shared by a Facebook friend, some of the ludicrous issues we’re arguing about in the United States. One of my right wing former relatives shared the Clint Eastwood meme.

Against my better judgment, I kept reading this man’s rationale as to why he must be allowed to keep his guns, even though so many innocent children have been killed by them. And I have to say, I found his reasons why gun violence is such a huge problem to be pretty offensive. He says that “liberals” who are “woke” and obsessed with inflicting “socialism” on the United States are the reason why people are killing each other. He thinks religion– specifically Christianity– and strict parenting can solve this problem. I wonder how the parents of the dead children in Uvalde would feel reading this letter, which basically blames THEM, for the fact that an 18 year old kid was able to buy a rifle on his birthday and shoot up their school.

I’m reminded of what I used to hear when I was a small child, and hated wearing seatbelts in the car. I still hate seatbelts, mind you, but I do wear them. If I don’t, Bill turns into Pat Boone. 😉 But anyway, my childlike logic back then was that I knew my parents were “safe drivers”. After all, they always wore their seatbelts, even if they didn’t often make me wear one. I don’t remember my mom ever being in an accident. My dad was in a car accident, back in 1979, but he never was again after that. So, being a kid with so much vast life experience, I figured I had nothing to fear. But later, when I married Bill, he said “I could be the safest and best driver on the road, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a nut out there on the road who could ruin our day.”

Seems to me, the same logic applies to “good guys with guns”. You could be the safest and most conscientious person in the whole world, when it comes to firearms. You could be the best and most attentive parent, too, and teach your child to always be respectful, courteous, and kind. But that doesn’t mean there won’t be nuts out there who could ruin your day, because THEY aren’t safe, conscientious, or attentive.

Speaking of cars… I see on the above letter to the editor, people have left comments. One person wrote this:

Do you know what the common denominator to any shooting is? Guns.

And sure enough, someone argued that people kill people. They wrote:

Do you know what else is a common denominator? An idiot or idiots who make the choice to take out their anger in a horrible way and take human lives. That denominator is also the reason for the Wisconsin car massacre where a deranged black man drove through a mostly white parade crowd and killed multiple people. Should we take cars away to prevent this from happening again?

Ah yes… the “people kill each other with cars” argument. Well, let’s analyze that for a moment, shall we? In order to be legally allowed to drive a car, one has to be properly licensed. Getting a license requires training and testing, being old enough, and registering with one’s local Department of Motor Vehicles (there’s that darned government overreach again). Why do we have those rules? Because they promote safety and accountability. Automobile manufacturers are also required to install safety features in their cars. Drivers are required to have liability insurance, in case of an accident or negligence that hurts someone else. And if you get caught driving under the influence of a substance, even if you don’t actually hurt or kill anyone, you can get in serious trouble.

It’s true that people can be killed in creative ways, such as the one described in the above comment. Hell, twenty-one years ago, thousands of people were killed when lunatics took over four airplanes and deliberately crashed them into buildings. And you know what? After 9/11, laws changed worldwide, so that such a tragedy might never happen again. So why can’t we do something about the gun violence in the United States? Why should almost any “idiot” over age 18, who can’t even legally buy a beer or a pack of cigarettes, have the ability to buy a gun? Especially guns that can kill twenty-one people– nineteen of them, innocent children– in a matter of minutes?

I love this man’s work, but wouldn’t it be much better if he could use his talents on something else? Children should NOT BE DYING in the numbers they currently are, all because of our “right to keep and bear arms”.

I would imagine that most of the parents of the children killed in Uvalde, Texas, last week, were good parents, doing the best they could. But being good parents didn’t save their children from a gun toting madman. Maybe Salvador Ramos should have had better parents, but he didn’t. Besides, plenty of people have had “bad parents” and not gone on shooting sprees. Simply having had bad parenting is NOT why people kill. I seem to remember Sue Klebold, Dylan Klebold’s mother, being, by all accounts, a good parent. I even saw her interviewed in a documentary, during which she described what it’s like to be the mother of a school shooter. She came across as a warm, caring, conscientious woman. But her son still teamed up with Eric Harris at Columbine High School in April 1999 to shoot and kill 15 people and injure 21 others. They certainly didn’t resort to that kind of horrific violence simply because their parents failed to raise them properly.

I have been living in Germany now for almost eight years. It was never our intention to live here for so long. In some ways, I miss “home”. I haven’t seen my family in a very long time. But I have to admit, I am very grateful that I can live in a safe country with “socialist” laws (eyeroll). Why? Because I never feel the need to worry about people like Salvador Ramos killing me while I’m out and about at the weekend market. I like that Europeans have more respect for communities as a whole, and I don’t agree that having the right to carry a gun makes me “freer”. I certainly don’t think that owning a pistol will save me from “government overreach”. Dammit, I’m really tired of reading the bullshit “thoughts and prayers” apologetics from ignorant conservative people who don’t see the forest for the trees. Guns are a huge problem. We really need to fix it.

And telling people they just need to be “better parents” is about as effective as pissing in the wind.

Standard
disasters, Duggars, modern problems, politics, YouTube

Careful, guy… your “Q” is showing.

It’s quite understandable that a lot of people are still expressing outrage and grief over the most recent school shootings in Uvalde, Texas. I have a lot of friends who are teachers, and every day, they face the reality of school shootings in the United States. I also come from Gloucester, Virginia, a rural, southern, down home kind of town, which means that I’m affiliated with a lot of southern, conservative, White people. Some of them are still my friends, even though I departed the Republican mindset a long time ago. Some are my relatives. And some are friends of friends.

A couple of years ago, a woman with whom I went to high school died. Her death was during the thick of the pandemic, although she did not die because of COVID. The way I understand it, a few years ago, she had been in a car accident that caused significant injuries. Infection somehow set in as she was healing, and it never completely went away. The infection eventually got out of control, and she went septic, which caused her death.

I remember this woman in high school, as we ran in peripheral circles. The last thing I remember of her when I knew her, was when she sang a song called “Love Will Be Our Home” at a talent show. At the time, I wasn’t a singer myself. I remember her telling everyone that she was nervous, just before she sang her song in what I thought was a pretty soprano voice. Years later, I was surprised when I heard of her death. Then I noticed where she was living. Her husband, who also went to our high school, evidently was originally from Lexington, Virginia, which is about ten miles from where my parents grew up. It’s also the town where Bill and I got married in 2002.

My high school classmate and her husband, also apparently a classmate, though I don’t remember him, were making their home in tiny Natural Bridge, Virginia, which was where my dad grew up, and where I still have lots of relatives. I never knew we had this connection. I remember that when my classmate died, there wasn’t enough money for her funeral. I donated a couple hundred bucks to her family’s GoFundMe to help bury her, even though we weren’t really friends. No one ever said “Thanks” or anything, which is no big deal, I guess. I’m sure they were overwhelmed by the sudden and tragic loss, and the fact that they weren’t able to be with her when she died, thanks to COVID precautions.

And what has this got to do with my opening paragraph? Bear with me.

One of my friends from my hometown, now a schoolteacher in North Carolina, is absolutely devastated by the school shootings in Uvalde. Even as someone who isn’t a teacher, and doesn’t have children, I am sickened and horrified by the details coming out about this terrifying event. What makes an 18 year old teenager so consumed with rage, hatred, and contempt for others that he storms into a school and kills innocent children and teachers? The colossal mistakes, made by law enforcement who failed to act decisively, are especially egregious. The more I hear about what went wrong, the angrier I feel for the victims, and the sadder I feel for the people who were left behind. This shit has been going on for over 20 years! When is it going to stop? When are we going to learn from these dreadful events and do something that STOPS angry boys from getting access to weapons and killing innocent people?

My friend, the teacher, posted the photo below.

No kidding!

A couple of her like minded friends added their agreement to the above sentiment. I’ve been saying this myself. How can our government presume to force people to have babies when they don’t want to be pregnant? But then, we do NOTHING to make sure those babies grow up into functioning adults? It makes no sense. And then I saw this beaut of a comment, made by the husband of our classmate, who died a couple of years ago… this guy, living in my father’s hometown, who needed GoFundMe to pay for his wife’s burial. This is the exchange they had:

Careful, guy… your Q is showing.

Wow… First off, what he wrote is kind of hard to decipher. I think what he’s saying is that he thinks having access to weapons keeps people “free”. But how free are you, if you constantly have to worry about your child being blown up by a crazed, angry, 18 year old kid with a semiautomatic rifle? How free are you, if you only feel safe when you’re packing heat, even if you’re at church or shopping for groceries?

He also seems to think that we should just accept that people are going to be violently killed, because “people have been killing people forever”. So, he thinks that we should all be able to arm ourselves, so that when some nut with a gun comes at us, which is, according to him, “the way of the world”, we might have a prayer of killing them before they kill us. Next, he seems to think that the fact that more people are realizing that violent discipline methods, such as “whopping ass” (as he puts it), aren’t very effective and cause children to suffer psychological damage, is actually making people more violent. Because what we really need, when we’re much younger and smaller than the adults in our lives, is someone to knock the hell out of us. That, according to this mental giant, is the way to “instill respect”. Jesus Christ.

I really felt like responding to him. I wanted to say, “Careful, guy… your ‘Q’ is showing…” But I didn’t want to get into an argument on my friend’s page. I also didn’t think it would accomplish anything, other than make a few people laugh. As we have all found out with heartbreaking clarity this week, life is SHORT. It’s a lot shorter for some people, than it is for others of us. And I don’t have time to argue with idiots who can’t or won’t be convinced that their logic is seriously flawed.

I already annoy enough people on Facebook, particularly when I disagree with them or point out logic failures. One lady named Miriam got annoyed with me last night, because I disagreed with her comparison of ultra pious people, like the Duggars, to kids in high school who take harder classes. She wrote that she gets a kick out of seeing religious people get knocked off their high horses. I can see that. It is kind of satisfying when people like Josh Duggar, who presume to try to tell other people how to live, and preach to them about family values and so-called “high Christian lifestyle standards”, turn out to be lying hypocrites.

But I disagreed with the analogy she made– and she specifically stated that this was her analogy. She likened upstanding Christian types, like Josh Duggar, holding themselves out to be above reproach as needing to adhere to higher standards. Like high school students taking AP courses. The work is harder, so smarmy religious people who think their shit doesn’t stink need to “step up”. When they fail, it’s kind of satisfying to see. But do we like to see brave high school students fail when they try something harder? I hope not.

That comparison struck me as nonsensical. Hardworking high school students should be encouraged to take harder classes. They should be commended for challenging themselves, and trying to get a better education, especially if they are blessed with a fine intellect. Yes, the work is more difficult, and the expectations are higher, but there are rewards for that kind of hard work.

Besides, most people I know with keen intellects are not ultra religious or pious; that is the opposite of being logical, right? On the other hand, it doesn’t take a great brain to accept some of the batshit religious dogma peddled by fundie Christians and their ilk. A lot of weak people, looking for a blueprint to Heaven, will swallow all kinds of ridiculous bullshit to achieve what they think will be that end. So to me, comparing ultra pious people to high school students taking harder classes is a poor analogy, and I dared to say so.

Her snippy reply to me was, “It was an analogy, Jenny.”

To which I responded, “Okay, Miriam.” Because I didn’t feel the need to argue with her. I thought her analogy made little sense. Maybe I could have couched my comment in some nice, flabby language to comfort her ego more, but as I just wrote a few paragraphs ago, LIFE IS SHORT. It’s much too short for that mess.

In light of that exchange with Miriam, and knowing how I tend to get carried away with overthinking when I engage in those kinds of discussions, I decided to exercise some self-discipline. I didn’t engage the Q guy from my hometown, who now lives in my dad’s hometown, and is pretty much EXACTLY like the people I know from both places… including people in my own family. I know, by this point, that trying to discuss these things with them is pointless, and will only lead to pain and frustration.

I can understand why a lot of conservative people don’t like liberals. Liberals can be condescending and rude, and some of them lack any understanding for what the “salt of the earth” types live with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, a lot of conservative people, who are also sometimes lacking tact, have poor or absent critical thinking skills. They mostly just think about what affects them. They don’t often consider how thinking about all people can make things better, and safer, for everyone.

Like, for instance, the “Q” guy quoted above, who needed a GoFundMe campaign to pay for his wife’s burial, and didn’t even think to say “Thank you” to those who donated. That guy is probably against welfare. He probably doesn’t like the idea of universal healthcare. He’s probably pro-life, and he’s definitely pro-gun. He sees these ideas as just and moral… we should all be responsible for ourselves. The government needs to stay out of it. Except public safety is certainly within the domain of the government. Especially if the government expects to force women to stay pregnant and birth babies. I wonder if the government is going to force women to take care of themselves while they’re pregnant… or even capable of being pregnant. It makes little sense to me that some people will do ANYTHING to stop women from accessing abortion services, but once that baby is born, they don’t want to do ANYTHING to make sure the baby turns into a beloved child, a happy teenager, and a healthy adult, who is ready to have a career and a family.

Nope… I think a lot of these Q types are interested mostly in controlling women, and making more babies for fundies to indoctrinate into religion and conservatism. It’s disgusting, and it’s quite frankly, deadly. I will end today’s post by encouraging everybody to have a look at the video below, posted by Fundie Fridays.

She pretty much says what I think… and also offers some interesting backstory on Roe v. Wade.

I wanted to also include an excellent video made by Dr. Les Carter of Surviving Narcissism. I watched it yesterday, and I thought it was very insightful. He talked about his frustration as a mental health professional, watching how our system emboldens people like Salvador Ramos. Unfortunately, Dr. Carter made the video private. I guess he got some heated comments, or maybe YouTube flagged it. It’s a shame. I really appreciated his thoughts on this crisis we’re all experiencing. Maybe he’ll repost it at some point. Or maybe not. I’m glad I watched it, though. Since that video isn’t available anymore, here’s one Mr. Atheist did. I think he did a good job with his video about the school shootings.

I wish I knew.

Other than that, I wish you a pleasant and safe Saturday… may God protect you and yours from the likes of gun toting whack jobs and perverts.

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bad TV, disasters, Duggars, narcissists, politicians, politics, poor judgment

Jim Bob Duggar makes another run at state politics… this could get entertaining fast!

The featured photo is being posted on the Duggar’s Facebook post about this event… I think it could quickly turn into a shitshow.

It’s another foggy morning in Croatia. I’ve just learned the latest hot Duggar news. In the wake of the scandals that have plagued his famous family ever since it came out what a sex pest eldest son Josh is, Boob has decided to run for public office. Below is the “exciting announcement” that appeared on the official Duggar Facebook page…

What could be prompting Jim Bob to run for Arkansas State Senate District 7 at this time? In about a month, his son, Josh, will be put on trial for possession of child pornography. Josh could go to prison for a very long time. Jim Bob knew about Josh’s problems, which became apparent over 19 years ago. His solution for dealing with Josh’s obvious problems was to shave the lad’s head and send him off to do pointless physical labor for a friend. As we can see, Josh’s time doing hard labor did nothing to curb his perverted appetites. And now, the father of seven is likely to lose his freedom.

Given all of that… NOW Jim Bob thinks he should run for office? Is he doing this to take attention away from Josh? Boob does have some rather self-centered proclivities. He would probably enjoy the spotlight, since the Duggars aren’t on reality TV anymore. And I’m sure there’s money involved… and definitely power. But does he really think that this won’t be a total shitshow? And why can’t he just enjoy what he has?

Years ago, on my old blog, I wrote a post about the Duggar family that was called “Why don’t you eat what you’ve got?” I titled it as a nod to my mom, who used to say that and give me a look of disgust when I wanted more food and hadn’t enjoyed what was already on my plate. I compared my mom’s irritation and disgust to the irritation and disgust I experienced when I saw the Duggars announcing another pregnancy and reminding everyone about how God kept “gifting” them with more children. I found that sentiment extremely insensitive and narcissistic, especially since so many people who want to be parents can’t be due to situations beyond their control.

Not long after I wrote that post– I think it was written after the news came out about Michelle’s pregnancy with Jubilee Shalom– the Duggars announced that Michelle had miscarried. One of my friends, then a Duggar fan, got upset with me because she thought I was making fun of the Duggars after their loss. I wasn’t making fun of them. I don’t wish miscarriages on anyone. But I do think that when you have many children under 18, and you almost died during your last pregnancy, and your last baby was born extremely prematurely and almost died, you might want to consider whether or not you need to keep accepting God’s “gifts”. And I wondered why Jim Bob and Michelle couldn’t simply enjoy what they had? Why did they need more?

Well… I think we know why they need more. Jim Bob Duggar, like Donald Trump, and all the other power and money hungry men who want to control women, craves fame and power… and money, of course. They can’t simply enjoy what they have. They have to keep going for more. And it doesn’t matter that the family has been disgraced by a son with obvious sexual perversions who is about to go on trial. It doesn’t matter if the adult children in the family never got paid for being on the reality show and one of them had to sue to get minimum wages for her part on the show. It doesn’t matter that there are still children under 18 in the house who need their parents… but their parents have abdicated that responsibility to the older siblings. And it doesn’t matter that conservative politics are literally killing people.

Jim Bob says he’s “pro-life”. Then he says he’s “pro-gun”, which means that he cares more about his guns than the already born babies and people who died due to gun violence. He doesn’t want to force his constituents to get the COVID-19 vaccine, because “people should be able to make that choice for themselves”. But he has no empathy for a young girl who has been the unwilling recipient of a rapist’s sperm and winds up pregnant… He has no thought for the young girl who was raped by her big brother or uncle or grandfather and gets pregnant. Pregnancy isn’t contagious. COVID-19 is, and it doesn’t discriminate.

But even without all of that… I just think it’s crazy for Boob to re-launch a political career now, when his eldest son is about to be tried by the feds. I know he’s not Josh, but it does seem to be an extremely tone deaf thing to be doing. But then, I’ve come to expect that from the tone deaf Duggars. One only has to listen to Josh sing “The Loyalty Song” to his wife, Anna, at their wedding and then look at recent history to see that.

Ugh… just dreadful! I know some of his sisters play piano well, but they’re still tone deaf.

Well… we’ll see how this goes. I’m sure some people will vote for him, just like some people will vote for Donald Trump again. I just think this is proof positive that Jim Bob Duggar only cares about himself. It’s pathetic and embarrassing, and I think this could be a decision that he ultimately regrets. But he’ll never show it to the masses… because that would entail showing people that he has a soul and empathy and the slightest scintilla of shame. He’s been in the public eye for a long time now, and I have yet to see any evidence that he has any of those qualities.

The Duggars are like an unusually virulent case of herpes… and they just keep erupting at the most embarrassing and inconvenient times…

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healthcare, politicians, politics, rants

The Party of Family Values, my ass!

Last night, I read a New York Times article about how the Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to block the Abortion Law in Texas. The Biden administration is planning to challenge the law, giving the Supreme Court Justices the opportunity to take another look at it.

Not surprisingly, there were a lot of people commenting about the article. Quite a few comments came from conservative white men, many of whom wanted to know why women didn’t simply “abstain” from having sex. I had to have a laugh at that. In my experience, it’s usually not the women who are wanting sex the most. I mean, yes, there are lots of women who enjoy having sex, but I think men are the ones who are mostly driven to have it.

As we all know, when a woman gets pregnant, she’s usually pregnant for nine months. A man, on the other hand, can do his part in creating babies with a woman, then do the same thing with another woman the next day… and the day after that… and the day after that…

So why are we so focused on women when it comes to stopping abortion? Why aren’t we more focused on the men?

No… I don’t support forced vasectomies, just as I don’t think women should either be denied or forced to have abortions (and when I was a social worker, I did have a minor client who was forced to have an abortion she didn’t want). But I do think a lot of men need to be shaken up a little bit and reminded that if they’re so against abortion, there are things that they can do to stop them. For one thing, they can stop having sex for fun. Do you think that’s extreme? It’s what the men often tell women when this issue comes up. So many of them seem to think pregnancy should be punishment for what they deem as immoral, “slutty”, behavior. They don’t seem to think of the aftermath of what happens to the poor child who could be born into that situation.

A lot of men want to blame women for “getting themselves pregnant”. But no woman gets pregnant by herself. I’ve never seen a man’s name on a medical bill for a pregnant woman’s care, though. And I’ve never head of a biological man having to be on bed rest during a pregnancy. And when the baby is born, the man often has an easier time of going back to work. There’s no healing involved… no breastmilk coming in… no postpartum health issues.

Anyway, I managed to restrain myself from commenting too much on that particular piece, although I did comment that sometimes abortions are medically indicated. I added that at no time is it anyone’s business when someone else chooses to have one. A lot of women were adding their thoughts, and one guy was taking them on, one by one. He asked me what medical conditions might require a woman to have an abortion.

Seriously, guy? My response was that I wasn’t wasting my Friday night to teach this dude about obstetrics and gynecology. Instead, I directed him to the excellent video by Mama Doctor Jones that I’ve already shared in this blog more than once. She very clearly spells out why this new law, Senate Bill 8, is very bad news. Here’s the video again for those who missed it.

As Mama Doctor Jones pointed out, people who are pregnant are always at a higher risk than people who aren’t.

But, in short terms, someone who is pregnant and happens to have any kind of chronic disease, like diabetes, or lupus, or cancer, or someone who has mental health or addiction issues, or someone who can barely support themselves… those are all people who might benefit from having the choice to have an abortion. And there are other situations that may make someone consider terminating a pregnancy. At no time is it anyone else’s business.

I finally navigated away from the infuriating comments from the men on that thread and went to sleep. Then this morning, I woke up to this headline from the Washington Post— “Republicans fault Buttigieg for time off with newborns. Democrats say he’s showing the need for paid parental leave.“. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and his husband, Chasten Buttigieg, became parents of two newborns in August. They spent over a year trying to adopt the babies, often coming close to success, only to have their hopes dashed. They finally got their wish, and now the couple is rightly taking parental leave.

Republicans, who often refer to themselves as The Party of Family Values, apparently don’t think it’s cool that Buttigieg is taking time to bond with his new babies. Tucker Carlson, of Fox News, actually mocked Buttigieg for taking paternity leave, saying

“Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it, trying to figure out how to breastfeed. No word on how that went…”

So… basically, the Republican Party is all for family values, as long as they’re “traditional”. All of these Republican men are so against abortion, but then they mock two dedicated parents for taking time off to nurture their new families? Republicans want to force women to give birth, but they object to allowing new parents time to actually care for their babies? That doesn’t seem very “family friendly” to me.

Many Republicans probably just don’t like the idea of homosexuals raising families. That’s a real shame, since most of my homosexual friends and relatives are some of the finest people I know and are wonderful parents. They certainly understand the importance of a loving and supportive family. Too many of them have been cast out of their families simply due to who they choose to love.

Now… I’m not saying that all Republicans are homophobes. I’m sure there are plenty of people who identify as conservative, but aren’t actually homophobic. The trouble is, too few of them are in public office. The United States is unusual among developed nations for not recognizing the need for parents–both male and female– to be able to take family leave. Slowly, things are changing. Bill told me this morning that even the Army is allowing new dads to take leave. I’m sure the positive effects of that policy will become apparent in the future.

President Biden is trying to introduce new policies that will make the United States a more family friendly place. Maybe if we had more policies that made having babies and raising children easier, there would be fewer abortions. Just a thought.

Republicans want women to have babies no matter what, but they don’t support allowing parents to actually take care of those babies. So what does that mean? The baby goes to a child care facility while the parent goes right back to work? Aren’t these the same people bitching about socialism and government overreach? Okay, so maybe the child care facility is privately owned and run… and super expensive! Wouldn’t it be better if we allowed the parents of babies to actually take care of their babies when they’re super young?

Recently, Buttigieg has been more present on the job. He recently commented about his new role on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”:

“It’s been wonderful,” Buttigieg said during that appearance. “It’s everything people tell you to expect and more. I think the biggest thing that has surprised me is just how much joy there is, even sometimes in the hard parts. Don’t get me wrong — it’s the most demanding thing I think I’ve ever done, that Chasten and I have ever taken on, but it’s just amazing.”

He sounds like a good dad to me. A good, and present, dad makes for a healthier family.

Even Fox News gives new parents six weeks of leave– which is not enough, in my opinion. But, in March of this year, “Fox & Friends” co-host Todd Piro took six weeks of paternity leave after his daughter’s birth. Piro was grateful for the time to spend with his new baby girl.

“I cannot thank Fox enough for providing all fathers who work here with such a generous paternity leave,” Piro wrote in an op-ed in April. “This experience has changed me in a profound way and in ways I won’t fully comprehend until my daughter is older. But for now — that smile coming from the crib each morning, immediately followed by morning snuggles — is what I will cherish the most.”

And other Fox hosts have also praised having the chance to take leave. When his third child was born in April 2021, Fox News host Jesse Watters admitted that he now supports paid paternity leave.

“Now I am pro-paternity. I used to mock people for taking paternity, I used to think it was a big ruse, but now, you know, I wish I could take six weeks,” Watters said.

But Republicans are still bitching about Pete Buttigieg’s “gall” at taking parental leave. They’re criticizing his leadership potential and making personal insults instead of working with him to make policies that actually benefit American families. They’re trying to force women who aren’t ready to have babies to stay pregnant, while denying them any assistance that would help them have healthy babies and actually raise those babies into well-adjusted and well-prepared adults.

Meanwhile, Democrats are lauding the idea of parental leave, as well as leave that would allow people to care for their sick and aging parents. Bill and I are in the “sandwich generation”– that stage of life in which we might have been really squeezed if we’d had children. So far, we aren’t affected the way many of our peers are– I have friends who are caring for their children, as well as their elderly parents. It really puts a strain on middle aged people and, frankly, makes them vulnerable to chronic diseases themselves.

I don’t think Republicans actually are the The Party of Family Values. I think they are The Party of Greed, Sexism, and Racism, and trying to control women’s bodies. There’s much more to living than working and making money. The conservative men, many of whom are drunk on their own toxic masculinity, ought to step aside and think about this for a minute. They say they’re against abortions because it’s an assault on the “sanctity of life”. They say adoption is a better choice. But Pete and Chasten Buttigieg have adopted two babies, and now they’re getting their chops busted by Republicans who mock them for wanting to have a family…

I guess “family values” for Republicans only apply to traditional couples. What a shame. I think Pete and Chasten Buttigieg are going to be fabulous parents. I wish them well, and I’m glad they took some time to adapt to their new life roles. All Americans should have that opportunity. Republicans should embrace the idea, especially if they’re serious about wanting to curtail abortions. Stop the slut shaming and moralizing and actually make some policies that would make the prospect of having children more workable and feasible.

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