condescending twatbags, funny stories, politics, silliness, Trump

A one way trip to Dumpsville! Population: You!

The weekend is already over! What a bummer that is! Actually, I’m glad another week of August is over, as I’m looking forward to less hot and muggy weather. This year, we’ve had a pretty mild summer. That’s a blessing, when you live in a country where air conditioned buildings are not the norm. However, it’s still pretty warm, and I’m tired of sweating just for sitting outside.

You might be wondering about today’s blog title. No, it’s not about Bill and me. We’re still pretty tight. Actually, today’s post refers to a funny comment someone left on a recent advice column article in The Irish Times. Some poor woman had written that her marriage of 20 years was breaking up, and though her husband was still living with her, he was refusing to be affectionate. She wrote that it was an especially bad time for this to be happening, since she’s also caring for someone who is dying.

Lots of Irish folks chimed in, writing that the husband was cheating. One especially clever man wrote “Welcome to Dumpsville! Population: You!”

That struck me as funny, so I posted a comment… It went something like this. “I visit Dumpsville for a long, stinky stay every morning.” Sorry, but when anyone mentions anything involving the word “dump”, my mind goes straight down the toilet.

This is kind of my mood today…

The Irish Times is always good for a laugh, if only from its readers. Sure, it’s disturbing how many of the folks who read that paper are far right leaning, but some of the comments are wickedly funny. In fact, this morning, I was reminded of a comment from last year that had me rolling so hard that I posted about it on Facebook. It showed up in my memories this morning.

This just goes to show you that if you need amusement, just consult the advice columns posted by the Irish Times. Check out the Facebook comments. You’ll probably laugh.

Most newspaper comment sections can be infuriating, though. Take, for instance, an article posted on The New York Times about Tropical Storm Hilary. Note the spelling of the storm’s name… only one “l”, not two. But that doesn’t stop all of the MAGA Cult #45ists, coming out in droves!

Here’s Donald Trump, indicted multiple times in different jurisdictions, battling lawsuits out his substantial ass. And as a side note, I’ll bet he spends plenty of time in Dumpsville, too. You’d think people with normal intelligence would understand that even if you are politically conservative, he’s BAD for America. The man is deep legal trouble. It’s time to move on and find someone else to be the Republican nominee. But those damned MAGA morons will NOT let it go, and they show up to spread their goddamned political manure everywhere, even on a news story about a fucking tropical storm in California!

Here’s what a person named Sue observed:

This article is about a tropical storm NOT politics. Some of these comments are ridiculous!!! Just my thoughts. Everyone has a right to their own thoughts.

I’m with you, Sue. I wish the MAGA extremists would give their Trump obsession a rest. I’d like to have some faith in more of my fellow Americans. But it’s not to be… Behold!

I didn’t comment on this, but if I did, I’d say that the fact that she’s still championing Trump tells me all I need to know about her. He’s deranged, and so are his followers.

If you’re so spun up about the presidential election happening next year that you have to turn a news article about the weather into something political, we don’t need to know you personally to know that you’re not too tightly wrapped. I think the guy who responded to Rhonda is correct. Her mind is not her own. You know that old Beach Boys song, “Help Me, Rhonda?” Well, I think it’s time someone helped Rhonda out with a clue. I actually have a soft spot for people named Rhonda. I used to have an awesome cocker spaniel/English setter mixed dog named Rhonda. I think she was wiser than Trumper Rhonda is… It’s pretty bad when you’re so stuck up Trump’s ass that you turn a weather story into something political.

Poor Rhonda. She really needs help.

If I felt like wasting time, I could respond to Rhonda at length about how much I think life is so much better without Trump in office. For one thing, it’s nice to see someone in office who doesn’t spend all his time golfing, tweeting, and setting up stunts designed to convince people that his dick is much larger than it really is. For another, I don’t have to read about Trump’s ridiculous policies that literally hurt people. And I don’t feel ashamed when I tell people where I’m from, like I did when Trump was president. Do you know how many Europeans asked me about how I felt about him? A whole lot of them… and they used my answer as a barometer of sanity and good sense.

I don’t think Biden is the best president we’ve ever had, but he’s certainly not as bad as Trump was. He’s basically competent and decent, even if he is elderly. I wouldn’t be sad if he decided not to run for president again, but since it’s clear he’s going to run, I’m going to support him. Why? Because Trump literally doesn’t care about anyone but himself, and it’s an outrage that anyone with a functioning brain is still considering him fit for office. There was a time when a politician’s simple misspelling of the word “potato” would end with endless ridicule from the citizenry and personal disgrace. Now, we put up with presidential candidates who have a real shot at scoring a spot in prison.

Actually, I doubt Trump will ever go to prison, but I think a lot of his minions will be going. And he won’t do a fucking thing to help them. But maybe he’ll throw some more ketchup at the wall while he demands a goddamned military parade.

I just want to see normal people running for office. I want the three ring circus to end. I want people to stop bickering with strangers on social media and turning every news item into political bullshit. It’s time we came together and functioned as a country. But I don’t think it will happen again in my lifetime… which is why I’m avoiding doctors and hoping to be beamed up soon. I’ve lost a lot of my optimism and I fear the hellscape is getting closer by the day. At least I can take comfort in knowing that my particular branch of the family tree will end with me.

Anyway… it’s a Monday, and that means another week of whatever comes. So, I guess it’s time I signed off the blog and got to work on my chores. Hope you have a good day… or, at least the day you deserve. ūüėÄ

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Biden, celebrities, humor, narcissists, politicians, politics

More than I bargained for… and blonde jokes are stupid!

It’s Thursday already! And although it’s early August, it feels more like mid September. As I write today’s post, it’s about 59 degrees outside and overcast. I don’t normally like to include weather reports in my posts, but this is kind of unusual, even for Germany. Not that I’m complaining. This year, at least we have a nice, green lawn in the backyard.

I just checked my spam folder for my Hotmail account. I got another one of those “I’ve infected your computer” emails. This time, the message was different, though. Sure, there were the usual threatening words about how, if I don’t pay them, they’ll send my contacts pictures of me doing unmentionable things. But this time, they included several graphic dick pics of some balding guy with a beard and the threat that next time, the photos could be of me. Trust me, it wasn’t what I wanted to see… especially first thing in the morning.

It’s funny, though, because they would never get such graphic photos of me, even if they could video me doing “nasty” things. It just plain isn’t possible. Was sending those nasty photos supposed to convince me to pay them? I don’t know. But it didn’t work, and it was really gross. I reported the email to Outlook, not that I think they’ll do anything about it.

I also came across a stupid blonde joke this morning. Check this out…

I don’t understand why it’s funny to make fun of blondes…

I think blonde jokes are stupid, mainly because I’m a blonde, and I’m not dumb. I mean, some people might call me dumb, but I know I’m not a dim-witted person. I have blonde friends– natural blondes, mind you– who are also not deserving of the dumb blonde stereotype. I spell it with the “e”, because blonde jokes are always directed at women. You rarely hear someone making fun of a blond man.

Among Dolly Parton’s first hits… but she didn’t write it. At least the words are sort of bucking the stereotype.

Wikipedia tells me that the “dumb blonde” stereotype comes from 18th century Europe. Blondes were supposedly more desirable, but less intelligent than brunettes. It’s sad that in 2023, people are still promoting this idea through lame jokes. I was a big fan of the old sitcom, Three’s Company, back in the 70s and 80s, and Suzanne Somers played a “dumb blonde”. When she left, her character was replaced with a clumsy blonde, Jenilee Harrison,‚Ķ then came Priscilla Barnes, who played a smart blonde. But, Priscilla’s character didn’t do that much to change the stereotype.

I’m back to natural blonde…

When I was younger, I did have sort of light brown hair for awhile. But I started getting silver hair when I was 24 years old. I’m now 51, and I don’t use haircolor anymore. My hair is now naturally blonde again. Not only am I not dumb, but I never had that much luck with men, until I met Bill. Then, I really hit the jackpot. I think he married me for my mind, rather than my looks. When I ask him, he says it’s because he felt comfortable with me. It wasn’t because of my blonde hair and blue eyes… although my big boobs probably did play a part.

Dolly is no dumbass… that’s for sure. Is she a blonde? Who knows… but the end effect is the same.

The funny thing about the above interview is that Barbara Walters is acting like Dolly looks like a “freak”. I guess in 1977, Dolly’s appearance was pretty extreme. But then, I can think of other people from that era who were also pretty extreme in the way they looked. In 2023, that look is nothing, though. Now, so many people seem to be covered in tattoos and piercings.

In 1977, we couldn’t conceive of some of the stuff that is going on today, with some folks trying desperately to take us back to that less liberated era, and other people fighting desperately to keep evolving. It certainly is a strange time to be living… but I guess that could be said for almost any time in history. Imagine how people felt during World War II, when Hitler was trying to take over Europe. Maybe then, it also felt like the strange times would never end.

Watching the news every day, as Donald Trump gets into an ever deeper legal pit of quicksand, I wonder if his reign of the absurd will be ending anytime soon. I don’t think he’ll be president again, but I do think his influence is going to make life more challenging for a long while. He opened a Pandora’s Box of delusional weirdness that may never again be squelched in my lifetime. I have to admit, though, it is kind of satisfying to watch his legal woes pile up.

I am also quite proud of Joe Biden for telling Alabama to stick it and deciding to keep Space Command in Colorado. Fuck those anti-choice people. In Colorado, the whole force will be more ready, because females and LGBTQ folks can get the healthcare they need in PRIVACY. This is about military readiness. In Colorado, it’s more likely the military will be ready to deploy than they would be in Alabama, where politicians want to force people to gestate.

Fuck you, Tommy. You shouldn’t be in office. I love how he’s whining about Biden playing politics, as if Trump wouldn’t do the same thing or much worse.

In any case, as the old saying goes, “nothing endures but change.” This weird stuff isn’t going to last forever. I do wonder, though, if I’ll live to see the end of it. It’s got me feeling a little unsettled.

Yesterday, as I was writing my blog post, I was looking for a clip from the show, Avenue Q. I didn’t end up finding what I was looking for, but I did watch a very reassuring video of the original cast singing the last number, “For Now”. “For Now” is a comforting reminder that everything in life is temporary. Times will either get worse, or they’ll get better, but the one thing we can all count on is change. Just as I had platinum blonde hair as a child, that turned kind of dishwater blonde, then light brown, and has now gone back to platinum blonde, change is a given, and it’s a constant. I’m sure eventually, my hair will turn white. If I manage to live that long, that is…

I’ll admit listening to this made me a little emotional. There’s a lot of truth in this song. I see they made this during the hell of 2020. It was a message we all needed. I still need it in 2023.

Speaking of change… my life changed when I saw the video below. I had never seen it before today, but it’s been around for 16 years.

Don’t be put off by the name of the channel. This is a pretty funny song. Matt Lucas is also in this video!

I’m all over the place with this blog post today. I had meant to write about a different topic entirely, but I got sidetracked by that disgusting spam email with the actual dick pics. And now I’m a bit traumatized. I need some eye bleach, because I can’t unsee those pictures.

Then, I saw the dumb blonde joke, and wondered why so many people think women with light colored hair are dumb. I think it’s a mistake to underestimate people… especially those who are beguiling. There have been many blonde performers who have milked that stereotype all the way to the bank. While I congratulate them for making money, I also think it’s sad that some people feel compelled to promote a negative stereotype to make a living. No one should be encouraged to act “dumb”… at least not unless it’s being done for a very good reason. I don’t think getting rich is a particularly good reason to act dumb.

Anyway, if you managed to follow me through this convoluted morass of a post, I offer my congratulations. Maybe I am a dumb blonde, after all. But I would never park my ass in first class when I paid for economy. ūüėČ

Well… I suppose it’s time I closed this post, and got on with the day. It’s Thursday, so that means vacuuming. Yecch. Maybe Noyzi will get a walk. He didn’t get one yesterday, because of the rain. I’ve also got to buy some new dress shirts for Bill. So… I’m off to tend to my chores. Have a good one, y’all.

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communication, condescending twatbags, dogs, rants, social media, stupid people

Welcome to my block list, fool!

Be warned, y’all. I’m in the mood to rant. There will probably be some profanity, and yes, I’ll be spelling out all the words. I don’t like the practice of using asterisks in swear words. Fuck that noise. Proceed with caution.

Some time ago, I got tired of George Takei’s Facebook posts. I decided to unfollow him, because too often, I’d find myself having hostile interactions with his followers. A lot of Takei’s followers are of the left-wing variety. I’ve got no issues with that, until they try to ram their opinions down my throat. If a stranger responds to my comment with anger, I don’t usually bother to read what they say. Sometimes, I’ll even use my block button.

Now… I’m not referring to someone I’ve directly addressed and pissed off in some way. What I mean is, if I’ve written a stand alone comment and a total stranger immediately responds to me with vitriol or mocking, I consider that offensive. Chances are good I won’t bother to read what they’ve written. Same thing goes for people who respond to me with condescension or derision. It’s poor communication, and I don’t have time for it. Gotta think about my blood pressure. Would rather clean the lint out of my belly button than read that.

Here’s my reasoning for this. I don’t wake up in the morning and deliberately decide to write something that is going to piss someone off. I’m a decent human being and I deserve basic respect. If I leave a comment, most of the time, I’m being serious. I’ve usually given thought to what I’ve posted. So, if your response is to “laugh” at me, or try to tell me off, I’m going to turn off your ability to interact with me. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit. Go troll someone else.

I need this t-shirt.

Somehow, even though I had unfollowed George Takei some time ago, I ended up being resubscribed to his posts (which I suspect aren’t his posts anymore). Like a lot of other formerly good pages, lately George Takei’s Facebook posts now mostly consist of “Am I the Asshole” stories from Reddit. Some AITA posts are entertaining. Some are infuriating.

A couple of days ago, there was a post about a guy whose sister took his kids out and bought them a puppy without his permission. The guy didn’t want a dog and the sister knew it, but she bought the puppy anyway. The kids were delighted, of course, but their father was furious. He demanded that his sister take the dog back, but she refused. She claimed that her landlord wouldn’t let her have another dog. So the guy immediately took the innocent dog to the pound!

I just went looking for the post on my personal Facebook feed, but I couldn’t find it. My original comment for my “friends” is that taking a dog to the pound immediately makes the guy an asshole. But I also think his sister is an asshole for bringing the dog home and refusing to find it an appropriate home. So, in my opinion, they’re both assholes. Maybe it’s a genetic thing. Who knows?

On Takei’s post, I simply posted “Give the dog to a rescue!”

Now… I do understand that giving a dog to a rescue is not always that simple. Sometimes it takes time to arrange that. However, I was reacting to the AITA poster’s very profane and mean comments about the dog, a defenseless creature who was not at fault in that situation. The guy was saying things like “I don’t want a fucking dog.” and “No way are we keeping the fucking dog.” And, then, he didn’t care at all about potentially sentencing that poor creature to death by dumping it at the pound, hence my response that he (or his sister) should find a rescue. It was mainly a comment of disgust, more than anything else. I know the guy isn’t going to read my comment, and it’s too late, now, anyway. Most people are bright enough to understand that, right?

I wonder about the decency of people who dump dogs at the pound in places where they might be euthanized simply because they’re taking up space. In fact, I wondered, given that man’s insane and profane comments about the dog, if he was even a decent parent. He seemed abusive and cruel to me. But I do know that not everyone likes dogs. He was rightfully pissed that his sister had tried to dump a dog on him, so maybe cussing about it wasn’t totally wrong. It WAS wrong to just dump the dog at the pound, though… in my humblest of opinions, of course.

Anyway, a couple of days passed, and last night, I got this comment from some woman who, not knowing a single thing about me, decided I needed a good schoolin’. She left me this condescending lecture response about why contacting a rescue is the wrong thing to do. I didn’t bother to read beyond the first sentence or two, because she was insulting my intelligence, and that was offensive. I was in no mood for that shit, so I gave her the orange emoji and wrote “I know. I’ve rescued six dogs myself. Spare me the lectures.”

Her response to that was to employ the laugh reaction emoji. So I immediately blocked her. I figure, I don’t need to have anything to do with an asshole like that. Ain’t nobody got the time for that bullshit!

Maybe that seems like an extreme response to something insignificant. I know it’s an indication that I need to quit bothering to respond to most things, because there’s always a chance some idiot out there in Internetland is going to feel the need to engage me in a disrespectful way. Moreover, the vast majority of people you run into on Facebook are people you won’t ever again be having any other interaction with at all in life.

On a different day, I might have been more in the mood to politely engage with the woman. Yesterday, I wasn’t feeling up to it, and I didn’t appreciate her ignorant comment to me. If she knew me offline, she’d know that I’m really into my dogs. But she doesn’t know me, and yet she felt emboldened to try to school me. It’s a waste of time, and I definitely ain’t got the time for that.

I don’t know this woman from Adam. She might be the most wonderful person, ever. But I truly didn’t feel like having an interaction with her, because I honestly didn’t think my comment needed her “correction”, and her approach was patronizing and obnoxious. When I responded to her, I was clearly annoyed. Any idiot could see that, based on the orange reaction. Most normal people, when they’re offline, don’t feel the need to keep “poking the bear” when it’s clear the person they’re talking to is irritated. Especially when it’s a total stranger.

ASSHOLE!!

I mean, what the fuck is wrong with that person? I don’t owe anyone a polite conversation, particularly when I wasn’t responding to them in the first place. When I do address people, I try to be civilized, at least at first. Anyway, because the fellow Takei follower mocked me, she took her place with all the scammers, abusers, real life idiots, and MAGA trolls who currently populate my block list.

This morning, I got to use the block button again. This time, it was against someone I don’t know in person, but with whom I have had a few unfortunate past encounters on Facebook. He is a very conservative friend of someone with whom I went to high school. I don’t enjoy engaging with the guy, but because I sometimes comment on my old friend’s posts, I’ve occasionally run into him over the past couple of years. I’ve even blogged about his stupidity a few times. After today, I probably won’t do that anymore, because like the Takei post idiot, he’s now on my block list.

The interaction that caused me to use the block button involved politics. My old friend from school had posted about Mitch McConnell’s apparent “mini stroke”. Someone posted about Joe Biden being a “criminal”. I did not directly respond to that person, but I did leave a general comment that I hate it when people call Joe Biden a criminal when Donald Trump is so much worse. I mean, he just got indicted again yesterday. I’ve lost count of how many times Trump has been indicted by federal and state governments, and yet people still champion him and would love to see him return to power. Why put someone in power who has no respect for the law?!

Anyway, my friend’s conservative “$1.89 gas loving” friend laugh reacted at me. So I decided to use the block button. I ain’t got time for that shit. He wants to laugh at me when I’m being serious? That just shows he has no respect for others. I don’t want to waste time interacting with him. I don’t have time for it. He can stay in his echo chamber with the rest of the red hat wearing cult crowd. I’ll engage with people who still have actual brain activity.

To be clear, I don’t necessarily have a problem with conservatives. I have lots of conservative friends and family members, and for years, I identified as one myself. I value other people’s opinions, because that’s how a person can develop a well rounded approach to living. But a person who laughs at those with whom they disagree is disrespectful, lacks an open mind, and doesn’t value other viewpoints. I take that as a sign of someone with low intelligence. So why bother interacting with them? I figure I’ve already lived half my life. Time’s a wastin’. Don’t need to be trying to mesh with someone who feels the need to mock others.

I mention my school friend’s “friend” because I want to show that I generally don’t block people willy nilly. I’ve had a number of interactions with that guy when I was in less of a “mood”. I’ve repeatedly tolerated his stupid comments about how great Trump is because gas prices were lower when he was the president (presidents don’t control gas prices). I’ve repeatedly read his dogged attempts to sway people to his MAGA cult, yet I’ve really tried to maintain basic respect for his rights to his own opinions. I don’t try to argue with him about his deeply held beliefs. It would be a waste of time, not to mention disrespectful. Even after blocking him, I still believe he has the right to his opinions. I just don’t want to read them anymore. We are not going to be “friends”, so he might as well not exist in my world. ūüėČ May he go with God, and all… and enjoy a fulfilling, fruitful life… far away from my Facebook feed.

To the half dozen or so people I expect might read this, you might be wondering why I have these extreme reactions. Call it a “psychological sunburn”… or maybe it’s more like an allergic reaction. I’m allergic to people who don’t take me seriously. It probably comes from being the youngest child of four, with many years between me and my next sibling. For most of my life, people have treated me in a demeaning way because I’m younger than they are, or I giggle a lot, or I’m female, less conservative, have blonde hair, or some other dumbassed reason. They have failed to realize that I’m a responsible, basically intelligent person with feelings. I don’t deserve to be insulted or mocked, particularly by strangers.

Before the age of social media, I wouldn’t have anything to do with the vast majority of people who find their way to my sphere today. But, because of technology, and my choice to use it, here we are… dealing with idiots who don’t know how to behave with basic decorum. So I use the block button to protect my sanity. Honestly, I’ve gotten this way with my own family members, too. When they are blatantly disrespectful to me, I put more distance between us. Because fuck that. I’ve had my fill of disrespect, thanks.

I decided to write about this today, because I haven’t seen it addressed that much. I found one thread on Reddit by someone who wrote that he thinks people who use the block button are immature. He wrote that he thinks it’s better to just ignore them. But isn’t that what blocking does? If you block someone, you’re putting them on ignore, so you don’t have to be exposed to their bullshit. It’s like a vaccine against aggravation. Nobody owes anyone else access to them, or their sense of peace.

Besides… I doubt the vast majority of people in the world care about having communication with me, anyway. I seem to annoy most people simply by being alive. So I might as well spare them, and myself, the pain of an interaction. Some people think blocking people is weak and immature. I say, if blocking irritating people is wrong, I don’t want to be right. I’ve got enough issues. So, if you want to be an asshole, be one somewhere else. I’d rather go wash my hair.

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book reviews, politicians, politics

Repost: Reviewing The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents…

Happy Sunday, y’all. It’s already creeping up at 2:00 in the afternoon, and I find myself a bit uninspired after I wrote a fresh travel post. Since I’m a little blocked and don’t have a fresh topic in mind, I’m going to repost a book review that somehow never got put up in the earlier days of this blog.

This book review was written for the original Blogspot version of OH on November 23, 2015. I’m keeping it mostly as/is, so please pretend it’s 2015.

I just finished reading Ronald Kessler’s 2014 book
The First Family Detail: Secret Service Agents Reveal the Hidden Lives of the Presidents. ¬†Although I’m not usually one to follow politics, I do think celebrities are interesting. ¬†Let’s face it. ¬†A lot of high level US politicians are really celebrities more than anything else. ¬†Ronald Kessler is an investigative journalist who has written for¬†The Wall Street Journal¬†and¬†The Washington Post. ¬†Many of his books are about politicians and government agencies. ¬†The First Family Detail¬†is Kessler’s book about what it takes for Secret Service agents to protect presidents and vice presidents and their families. ¬†Kessler interviewed Secret Service agents who worked with all of the most recent presidents, throwing in some anecdotes about US history and what it was like for earlier presidents who didn’t have Secret Service protection.

According to Kessler, the Secret Service is underfunded and agents have no home lives. ¬†They work long shifts and don’t get much time to sleep, let alone spend time with their families. ¬†Many of the people who work as Secret Service agents are the type who are instinctively protective. ¬†It’s their job to take a bullet for those they are tasked with protecting. ¬†However, sometimes protectees don’t make it easy for them. ¬†In fact, sometimes those being protected by the Secret Service deliberately sabotage their efforts to safeguard them from those who might do them harm.

Kessler includes stories about Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Bush and the hellraising they did, particularly when they were in college. ¬†He writes of Joe Biden and his frequent expensive trips to Delaware, requiring agents to stay well out of sight. ¬†Hillary Clinton gets a lot of mentions as well. ¬†She is supposedly very difficult, something that one of Bill’s co-workers, who once had some dealings with Mrs. Clinton, verifies. ¬†Nancy Reagan is likewise reputed to be very hard to work for. ¬†By contrast, Laura Bush and Barbara Bush are supposedly much loved and respected by Secret Service agents.

There are some times when Kessler repeats himself. ¬†For example, he writes several times about Mrs. Clinton and her famously nasty disposition. ¬†He writes more than once about how Secret Service agents work all the time and are underfunded. ¬†He repeatedly writes about Bill Clinton’s trysts with mistresses. ¬†On the other hand, I did learn a lot about presidents as I read this book, including a few I forgot ever existed because they didn’t last very long. ¬†

I also felt that sometimes Kessler was too political. ¬†To me, he came off as being pro Republican. ¬†Everybody knows that George W. Bush was a very polarizing president. ¬†A lot of people dislike him intensely. ¬†Kessler makes him out to be this great guy who isn’t how he seems in public. ¬†By contrast, Bill Clinton was a very popular president, but Kessler depicts him as a complete scumbag. ¬†While these characterizations may have truth to them, they also make Kessler seem a little biased. ¬†It seems to me that this book should have been more objective. ¬†Kessler should have made the observations more obviously those of the agents working with the presidents and less like they are his personal opinions.

A number of reviewers on Amazon.com have noted that¬†The First Family Detail¬†is much like an earlier book Kessler published. ¬†One reviewer went as far as to comment that this book is more like an updated version of Kessler’s¬†In The President’s Secret Service, which was published in 2009. ¬†I haven’t read the earlier book, but enough people have mentioned the similarities between the two that I probably won’t bother with it.

Overall, I thought this was a good read, though it would have been better with a thorough editing to remove the redundancies. ¬†It held my attention and informed me, though I will admit that some of the revelations are a bit gossipy. ¬†I would recommend it to those who haven’t already read the other book and those who find presidents interesting. ¬†This book puts a human face on people the vast majority of the public will never meet in person. ¬†At the same time, the look Kessler gives to presidents and their families confirms to me that anyone who runs for president must pretty much be a narcissist. ¬†And, if I am to believe Kessler, Hillary Clinton is likely the antichrist. ¬†He as much as flat out says he hopes she won’t be president… or, at least many folks working for the Secret Service hope she won’t. ¬†

ETA in 2023… I wonder what he thinks of Trump. He probably thinks Trump is awesome. Obviously, this book is a bit outdated by now.

As an Amazon Associate, I get a small commission from Amazon on sales made through my site.

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communication, complaints, Duggars, LDS, politics, religion, YouTube

Sometimes it’s okay to be a “karen”… but we really need a new term for that!

Guten Morgen, y’all. Two more days before we jet off to Norway. I will probably bring my laptop with me, but I don’t know how much or how often I will blog. I expect to be busy, and I may not have the best Internet access. And anyway, it probably would be a good idea for me to take a break from blogging. Maybe it would improve my outlook on things.

Yesterday, I recorded a couple of new songs. I think they turned out pretty nicely. I mainly did them because I felt like it. Singing makes me forget my troubles and helps me express my creative side. It literally makes me feel physically better to sing, especially when what I’m doing turns out nicely. This week’s songs are pretty good, if I do say so myself.

I got a comment on one of the songs from someone I “know” from the Recovery from Mormonism messageboard. I have been actively avoiding that site since March, when we lost Arran and I had an unpleasant interaction with a couple of people on the board. Although it certainly wasn’t the first time that had ever happened on RfM, I was feeling a bit “fed up” with being disrespected by total strangers. That was kind of the straw that broke the camel’s back.

I decided to take a break from ex Mormons for awhile. To be honest, I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be back to RfM, since there are a few people on that site that I find insufferable and it’s hard to avoid seeing their posts. I did need the break, though, because I was finding RfM a toxic place to be at a time when I couldn’t handle the toxicity. Still, it was hard to stay away from that site at first, since I’d been lurking there for about twenty years. After a couple of weeks of concerted effort, I did fall out of the habit of wanting to visit RfM. I won’t say I completely forgot about the site, but I did find other places to go, and other things on which to focus my energies.

Anyway, I figured that since I got a comment from a prominent RfMer, someone must have mentioned me there. And, because I was feeling pretty strong yesterday, and because I’m about to go on vacation, I decided to take a peek. I noticed that someone did, indeed, link to one of my new songs on YouTube.

One person said they’d thought of me recently, which I found kind of surprising. I don’t think I was one of the more popular posters on RfM, especially recently. Mormonism means somewhat less to me now, even though Bill’s daughter is still a very active member of the church. I used to blame Mormonism a lot for Bill’s situation with his ex wife. I still think she misused the church in her parental alienation campaign, and some of the church’s policies facilitated her ability to do that. However, I no longer feel as angry at the Mormons, because ultimately, it was church members who helped Bill’s younger daughter get away from her abusive and manipulative mother.

On the other hand, although I no longer really care as much about the LDS church as I used to, I have noticed a lot of traffic on an old book review about an ex Mormon that I reposted here, on this blog. I had originally posted my review of Lynn Wilder’s book, Unveiling Grace, on Epinions.com. There was a time when I read and reviewed a whole lot of “ex Mormon lit”, and I had a huge list of book reviews with brief synopses and links to full reviews. When Epinions went defunct, so did many of those old reviews that I worked so hard to write. But I did manage to preserve some of them through the magic of reposts.

I reread that book review yesterday and thought it was pretty good. I guess the book’s author has launched a somewhat new Web site. She’s an evangelical Christian now, and thinks that people who are LDS are deceived. I disagree with her, but I respect her right to share her views, and I appreciated being given the chance to consider and express how I felt about her story. And lot of people do agree with her opinions, even if I don’t. That is certainly okay… especially in supposedly free thinking countries. Unfortunately, I don’t think the United States will be considered a free thinking place for much longer.

Which (finally) brings me to the title of today’s blog post…

I have never made it a secret that I don’t like the trendy “karen” moniker. I think it’s a very stupid and tacky thing to take someone’s first name and hijack it, turning it into an insult. And the “karen” insult now gets thrown around “willy nilly”, to describe anyone who has a complaint, whether or not it’s valid. You don’t like someone’s take on things? Just call ’em a “karen”. I think it’s a lazy, unfortunate trend that ultimately isn’t going to lead us to better places. Silencing people who speak up about issues, whether or not we agree with their viewpoints, is not productive. Moreover, it kind of goes against the spirit of freedom, doesn’t it? Aren’t we supposed to feel free to express ourselves?

Yes, I know that in a free society, a person is always allowed to react as they choose regarding someone else’s opinions, even to the point of name calling. I just think that it’s unproductive to issue a response that is intended to squelch freedom of thought and expression. Instead of having an honest examination and discussion, leading to considering whether or not the views have any merit, a lot of us simply call the person a “karen”, and call it a day.

I think we should be allowed to maturely examine and discuss all viewpoints, even the ones that are extremely unpopular or distasteful. Of course, people should do their best to consider the appropriateness of the time and place when they speak up. But sometimes, speaking out at an inappropriate time and setting is a person’s only opportunity to be heard.

This morning, I was in the Exploring Virginia Facebook group. Someone had shared photos of old coins he found while using a metal detector at a Civil War campsite. I own a few very old American coins from the 1800s myself. I inherited them from my dad. I don’t know where he got them, but he had them when I was a very young child. I was interested in the guy’s coins, since I had a few myself. Then I read the comments.

Quite a few people wrote that it’s illegal to take things from state and national parks. The guy hadn’t indicated that he got the coins from a park, so I have no idea where he actually found the coins (if it was on public or private land). The people who made the comments about the parks– maybe they were “party poopers”. But they were also labeled “karens” for speaking out about the laws regarding taking things found in parks. I don’t even think that was an appropriate use of the “karen” insult, as “karens” are supposedly middle-aged white women of means who act in an entitled way, and demand to “speak to the manager” over something considered trivial. There was nothing entitled or trivial about speaking up about laws regarding national parks. I guess if I were going to criticize, I’d say that the comments about “theft” from the parks were kind of negative, which was a pity in a group about the beauty of Virginia. But the people who made them weren’t being “karens”.

Note the rampant “karen” accusations… so pointless and unproductive!

But then it went further south, when someone brought up Joe Biden. Below is a sample…

Um… why does EVERYTHING have to be about politics? This was a post about Civil War era coins. I wish people would keep more of their political bullshit to themselves in discussions that aren’t about politics. Maybe that makes me a “karen”.

Another example of this “anti-karen” no complaining trend has to do with Christians. Over the past couple of days, Katie Joy on Without a Crystal Ball has posted two videos about reactions to the new Amazon docuseries, Shiny, Happy People. I get the sense that Jim Bob and company are terrified that more people within their repressive belief system are going to wake up to the truth about the IBLP and abandon the movement that keeps them in power and money. So, in response to the new docuseries, “pastors” within the IBLP movement– one of whom is Jim Bob’s son-in-law, Ben Seewald, are preaching about how it’s wrong to “gripe”, “complain”, or “whine” about problems in the church, or life itself. However… that message is one of “toxic positivity”, which is the idea that a person must be positive at all times, even when a situation doesn’t warrant it.

I dare say that being a child sexual abuse victim of one’s perverted brother is something to complain about! But these folks in the evangelical movement are saying that the abuse should be forgiven and forgotten and swept under the rug. As I have pointed out before, sweeping stuff under the rug will eventually make a mess that people will trip over.

Speaking up about being mistreated or abused is NOT being a “karen”. Being silent about abuse is not a sign of strength, and it isn’t helpful. These pastors in the IBLP are saying that good Christians turn the other cheek and maintain a “contented attitude”. But when doing that means submitting to being exploited and harmed, it’s simply WRONG, and it allows abusive predators to keep doing evil things to good and innocent people. It amazes me that, to these supposedly Christian people, Jill Dillard is “toxic” and “dangerous” for speaking up about being abused, but Josh Duggar deserves grace and forgiveness for doing the abusing!

Even people who follow Duggar Family News have criticized Jill for speaking out, claiming that what she and her husband, Derick, are doing is just a “money grab”. Well, first off– what the fuck is wrong with that? Jill and her siblings were exploited for YEARS by her avaricious father, who didn’t even deign to pay them for their work! People need to make money to live! Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar did NOT prepare their children to be able to have thriving and fulfilling careers. They were trained to be Jim Bob’s SLAVES! Most of Jill’s siblings are still practically enslaved by Jim Bob.

I have absolutely NO ISSUE with Jill making money off of her story. She totally deserves whatever windfall comes her way, especially since she and Derick had to live on food stamps for awhile, thanks to her greedy father. I don’t understand people in the USA– especially those who are Republicans and all about making money– calling what Jill is doing a disgraceful “money grab”. Isn’t that kind of the way of Republicans? Especially the Christians!

Anyway… I’ve ranted for awhile now, so I guess it’s time to close this post. I just wanted to point out that sometimes it should be perfectly okay to complain. No one should fear being called a “karen” for speaking up about legitimate issues, even if speaking up does spoil someone else’s fun. That doesn’t make someone a “karen”. But “karen” is a stupid insult, in any case, and it needed to go out of style yesterday. People should be allowed to complain if they feel so inclined to do so. And then we can all determine for ourselves if we believe their complaint has any merit. We can’t make any progress if everyone acts like things are always “hunky dory”, when they’re clearly NOT!

If you want to see someone who epitomizes the stereotypical “karen”, you can watch the below video… I wouldn’t call her a “karen” myself, because I hate that term. But she sure is acting like an entitled bitch.

Dreadful…

Have a good day, y’all.

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