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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Biden, politics, social media, true crime

Step into my Parler…

I have not given in to the temptation to check out Parler or any of the other “alternative” social media platforms. I have many reasons for not taking the plunge. The main one is that I have absolutely zero desire to add more social media to my life. Facebook already annoys the fuck out of me, even though I am hopelessly entrenched. But there are other reasons…

First of all, I’ve noticed people cabling posts from Parler and, quite frankly, a lot of what I’ve seen is very negative. There’s a lot of scary right wing shit on there, posted by nutjobs who still think Trump won the election and was unfairly ousted from Washington. Naturally, if you have followed this blog for more than a few minutes, you know that I am DELIGHTED that Trump lost the election. I believe the election was fair and free, and Trump is by far the worst president in the history of the United States. Not only did he suck donkey balls as a leader, but he also inspired people to be violent and stupid.

Secondly, I’ve noticed that a number of my relatives have apparently abandoned Facebook. While I think a couple of relatives blocked me, I also think most have simply moved over to Parler, where they can spew their nauseating Trump worshiping crap in relative peace. I would not want to be on Parler to see what my relatives are posting. Some of them have legitimately scared me over the past few years… and some have just made me sad. I feel like I’ve lost a bunch of loved ones, thanks to Donald Trump. I’m not sure the rift will ever be healed.

And thirdly, I am really tired of writing about politics. I’d like to move away from that subject. I probably will, if Biden succeeds in making the country less crazy. But if I hang out on Parler, I know I will fall down several rabbit holes and feel compelled to keep writing about things I read over there. Facebook provides way more than my recommended daily allowance of political craziness.

Speaking of families being divided by politics… I recently read two different stories about parents and children going through significant strife thanks to Trump. The first one involves Claudia Conway, whose mother is Kellyanne Conway. I wrote about her a few months ago, when she was in the news for going off the rails a bit online. Claudia’s rants against Trump and videoed meltdowns were the reasons cited for Kellyanne’s exit from the Trump administration. Kellyanne had famously remarked that her family needed “less drama and more mama”.

A report from October 2020. Claudia was 15 at the time. Now she’s 16.

Well… according to recent news reports about the Conway family, things haven’t improved so much since Kellyanne came back to the nest. Claudia recent shared videos of her mother screaming profanities at her. A police officer came over to do a wellness check and told Kellyanne that she should take away her daughter’s access to the Internet. Claudia then said that she pays for her phone and her computer belongs to her school. Claudia’s dad is George Conway, who has publicly trolled his wife. George Conway is not a Trump fan at all. So I’m sure there’s a lot of stress in that household. There would be anyway, since Claudia is going through major growing pains at her age. But add in the rest of the shit– politics and a mother who apparently has quite a temper to match her public persona– and it can’t be easy for any of them.

I don’t envy Claudia OR her mother. Claudia is not at an easy age… And although I don’t like Kellyanne Conway, it can’t be easy to have children who air dirty laundry the way Claudia is. I think it will be a long two years before Claudia is a legal adult.

The second story involves a much less famous family in Wylie, Texas. 18 year old Jackson Reffitt, is the son of Guy Reffitt, a man who toted at least one firearm to the Capitol on January 6th and allegedly told his son, Jackson, if he told the authorities, he would be a traitor. And then, Guy allegedly told his son that traitors “get shot”. Wow…

If this story is 100 percent true as reported by Jackson, I think he’s a hero.

Jackson told the FBI anyway, and Guy Reffitt was arrested. Jackson says he did it because he felt it was his duty to his country. He also says he “knows” he and his dad will make up at some point. I truly hope that will happen for him, although Jackson’s sisters have said Jackson took their father’s comments “out of context”. Frankly, I have a hard time imagining how someone can take those words “out of context”, particularly when they are said by a father to his son.

Jackson is also at a tough age. It’s not easy being 18. His dad is my age, which makes me feel old. Anyway, Jackson has a GoFundMe going, because it appears that he’s no longer welcome in his father’s home. At this writing, he’s gotten more than $129,000 in donations. Apparently, he’d only hoped to raise a few thousand dollars. Personally, I think he should probably stop collecting money, lest people turn on him. Everybody loves a feel good story, but when GoFundMe fundraisers go crazy, sometimes people have a tendency to get skeptical. Besides, that amount of money is enough to get him through college and help him with his expenses as a young man. It’s crazy that we feel like we have to reward people for simply doing the right thing. But I know it was hard for Jackson to turn in his father. He will probably pay a heavy cost for that.

Anyway… it wouldn’t surprise me if Guy Reffitt is on Parler, too. I don’t want to be rubbing virtual elbows with people like him, even if some of my relatives are probably also there, commiserating about how we’re all “doomed” because a sane, rational, decent man is now the president. Yes, Joe Biden is 78 years old, but he looks pretty vibrant to me, and he is definitely a better role model and a better person than Trump will EVER be.

I hope to God that we all learn from history– look at the rise of Hitler, for instance— and stop Trump from doing any more damage. I am fucking serious. Be a conservative if you must, but keep it sane. And I think insanity abounds on Parler, so I won’t be stepping in over there, no matter how curious I get.

In other news… Arran had his surgery yesterday, later in the day than was planned. He has a cone of shame on his head and an incision in his left thigh, where the mast cell tumor was removed. He seems to be feeling better today than he did last night, poor guy. He woke us up at 3:00am because he was ravenous.

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