Military, modern problems, true crime, Virginia

Mass shootings in the United States have become almost banal…

The featured photo was on Facebook last night. There was a time when I would have found it funny, but I have to admit that I was actually a little triggered seeing it… Given all of the gun violence these days, it’s hard for me to laugh at jokes involving weapons, even if the actual joke is about men peeing and missing the toilet. But at the same time, I no longer feel “shock” when I read or hear another story about someone dying due to another person’s hatred, rage, and inability to control their violent impulses.

Yesterday morning, I was reading about the terrible mass shooting incident at Club Q in Colorado Springs, Colorado. There were many people at the club, there to have a good time watching a drag show. Suddenly, 22 year old Anderson Lee Aldrich burst into the venue and started shooting, eventually killing five people and wounding at least 19 others. He was tackled by Richard Fierro, a man who spent fifteen years as an Army officer and went on four combat tours to Iraq and Afghanistan. Mr. Fierro left the service in 2013, just a few years before he would have been eligible for retirement. I don’t know the circumstances of why he left the military. My guess is that the repeated war zone deployments had a lot to do with it.

On Saturday, November 19th, 45 year old Mr. Fierro had gone to Club Q with his wife, daughter, and his daughter’s boyfriend, who would sadly perish in the chaos that erupted that night. The family was having a good time watching Fierro’s daughter’s friends perform in a drag show, when Aldrich ruined everyone’s evening with his AR-15. Without a single thought, Fierro leapt out of his seat and charged toward the hulking young man, said to weigh at least 300 pounds and wearing body armor. The combat veteran tackled the gunman, throwing him to the ground as the AR-15 clattered out of his reach. Aldrich pulled out a pistol, which Fierro immediately relieved him of and began beating the shit out of Aldrich with the gun until he was bloody. Another man grabbed the AR-15, while a drag queen stomped on the man with her high heels.

As the wife and the daughter of men who went to war, I have seen what time in a literal war zone can do to a person’s psyche. Fierro went into action because of his training, and because he spent a long time in combat, training himself to go on autopilot when violence erupts. He didn’t think. He simply reacted to the indoctrination that he had to kill or be killed. This is an instinct that never really leaves a person. I saw it in my father, who went to Vietnam and came home with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). My husband, Bill, also spent time in Iraq during the war. Fortunately, he wasn’t involved in any war zone violence; he just had to work with a malignant narcissist, which was certainly triggering enough. But there were still some lingering effects from his time downrange. War changes people.

In this case, it was a lucky thing that Mr. Fierro had been to war and had the reflexes and will to take action. He is a genuine hero. However, I know that this incident will traumatize him. He’s not at home enjoying his hero status. I know that all he wanted to do was go out with his family, and have a good time. He never should have had to use those sharply honed war zone skills again. He did enough for his country, having earned two Bronze Stars. And now, he’s going to have to live with the trauma of what happened at the Q Club, where people had just wanted to dance and have a good time. I fear that he’s never going to feel safe again… not that he necessarily did before this tragic incident occurred. I pray that he’s able to access adequate mental health services. I’m sure he’s going to need them.

Bill and I talked about Mr. Fierro over breakfast yesterday, not knowing that today, November 23, 2022, we’d be hearing about another incident. This time, it happened at a Walmart in Chesapeake, Virginia. I happen to know Chesapeake, because I grew up about an hour away from there. I have friends who live there now. This morning, my friend Mary Beth posted on Facebook about a shooting in her town… and then I saw the news.

Not to be outdone by Anderson Lee Aldrich, a man believed to be the store manager at a Walmart in Chesapeake, opened fire in the store and killed six people and injured more before killing himself. The man who did this has not yet been named, as, at this writing, the crime happened only a few hours ago. It does appear that, at this point, the man acted alone. Naturally, there are a lot of “thoughts and prayers”, which do fuck all to stop the violence. I guess it sounds nice to offer up prayers… but what good are prayers when someone suddenly loses their parent, child, or friend to gun violence?

Leo Kosinski, a spokesman with the Chesapeake Police Department, said “I mean it’s sad, you know we’re a couple days before the Thanksgiving holiday.” As if it wouldn’t be just as sad in the middle of September or March? Okay, I guess a mass shooting does cast a sad pall on the holiday, especially for those who lost loved ones in these horrific attacks. Still, I find that statement kind of shocking in its banality. I think a lot of us are just numb to the violence. I haven’t set foot in the United States in 8 years. I haven’t seen most of my family in the time I’ve been away. You’d think I’d miss being “home”, but home is becoming less recognizable by the year, as more people go off the rails and kill perfect strangers with high powered weapons.

Meanwhile, there’s a whole contingent of people who are hellbent on forcing women to gestate, no matter what. And there’s no shortage of internet based idiots who want to argue– even with board certified OB-GYNs like Mama Doctor Jones– about what constitutes abortion. I ran into one of those idiots last night. She was relentlessly arguing with people about this subject… shaming Mama Doctor Jones for correctly referring to treatment for an ectopic pregnancy as an abortion. That is PRECISELY what it is, by the way. Abortion is not a dirty word. But these folks refuse to understand that, and they want to pass barbaric laws that will KILL women. Or force them to birth babies they aren’t ready to raise… which will lead to a childhood potentially full of poverty and abuse, as well as escalating violence from gun toting right wing nuts. Below is what one idiot posted to Mama Doctor Jones’ Facebook post about treating ectopic pregnancies. She was taking on all comers, berating them for pointing out her lunacy.

Abortion is directly related to the uterus. Literally. Once you started with that lie that treatment for ectopic pregnancy is abortion in order to minimize actual induced abortions, I stopped watching. Do better.

Reading these kinds of moronic comments enrages me… but still, even as angry as I get at people who want to deny freedom of choice to women and spread LIES, I don’t wish for them to be blown away by the gunfire from an AR-15. How is it that the people who claim to value the lives of the unborn so much, are so unwilling to do a fucking thing about the gun toting wackjobs? And they want to send people like my father, my husband, and Richard Fierro into war zones, so that they come back traumatized to the point at which they willingly hurl themselves into violence?

I haven’t even addressed the recent gun violence at the University of Virginia, where three football players were murdered by a former football player who opened fire in a garage. Yeah, I saw the headlines and the photographs of three smiling young Black men, wearing their orange and blue striped neckties. But again… I feel so numb. Because there have been SO MANY shootings. A person in the United States can’t even go to the damned grocery store nowadays without having to worry about being shot! And yet, some folks want to bring more innocent souls into the world, with no plan for supporting them, nurturing them, and protecting them from crazed lunatics with guns, invading churches, movie theaters, nightclubs, schools, and grocery stores.

When did our society become so incredibly hateful and violent? More importantly, WHY are people like this? It’s just so sad. People just seem to hate each other so much now. I kind of wonder if it’s because of social media, to be honest. It’s like we can’t stand to be so exposed to people who are different than we are… and that somehow translates to feeling like murder is the answer.

Anyway… I think I’ll take care of some chores so that we can enjoy Thanksgiving, such as it is celebrated among Americans in Germany.

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social media, Twitter

I just quit Twitter… and it feels so good!

I wasn’t planning to write another post today, but I decided it was necessary to share the news that I quit Twitter. This is mainly because I have a regular reader who communicates with me via Twitter’s DM system, and she may want to know what happened. I’m sure most of the rest of you don’t give a shit that I shitcanned Twitter, and that’s fine. I never had much of a following there, and found it to be mostly a toxic waste dump, anyway. And although I got an account in 2009 or so, I almost never used it until this year, when I was tweeting at USAA… another outfit I’d like to ditch at some point soon.

So what happened?

I recently loosened up my Twitter settings, because after some rather unpleasant sessions a few months ago, I found having Twitter so “locked down” was boring. But I didn’t like it wide open, either, because the platform is truly full of people who are apparently completely vile and uncivilized. So, I was marginally happier with a less restricted Twitter, but I was still seeing tweets from unhinged MAGA folks. Frankly, I was appalled at what was allowed to be posted on Twitter, and Elon Musk just bought it, vowing to bring back “free speech”. Meanwhile, he’s also talking about charging a subscription fee for some users, which will probably become all users at some point. He says he wants the company to be less reliant on advertising revenue.

Well, given that there’s so much vitriol and nastiness there already, I can’t imagine wanting to pay for the privilege of reading someone’s MAGA bullshit. Besides, I didn’t find the platform to be very engaging. When I had it wide open, I mostly interacted with people who were rude, insulting, and abusive. When I used privacy settings, it became boring. I mean, yes, I could read tweets and laugh at some of the witticisms and memes. But I didn’t feel connected or engaged, and save for a few “stars” who were regularly entertaining, I mostly found people on Twitter to be obnoxious… even worse so than they are on Facebook.

And then, it happened. Today, I got “disciplined” by Twitter’s bots. If you’ve read some of my recent rants about Facebook’s annoying bot overlords, you know that this is a feature that I find extremely irritating and useless. Bots tend to crack the moderation whip with a lack of context… not unlike KFC’s bots who invited Germans to celebrate “Kristallnacht” with some fried chicken. Kristallnacht, as you probably know, isn’t a day that is to be celebrated by anyone. But it is a noted day in Germany, and the bots were programmed to push out notifications on noted days in Germany… and apparently, no one notified the AI system that it’s not appropriate to invite Germans to eat fried chicken on a notoriously tragic day in history. Kristallnacht is the day in November 1938 when massacres against Jewish people in Germany and Austria were initiated. Many people consider Kristallnacht the beginning of the Holocaust. So… this is a pretty terrible public relations SNAFU for KFC.

What got me “disciplined”?

Some guy posted a tweet along the lines of “I’m voting for Trump and there’s nothing you can do about it.” My initial thought was to tell him I don’t care who he votes for… but then it occurred to me that by responding to him, I was indicating that I do care. So I posted that he might as well pour sulfuric acid on his genitals, too. Note, I didn’t invite him to do it. I didn’t write that I wanted him to do it. The phrase “might as well”, according to the dictionary, means “to suggest doing something, often when there is nothing better to do”. Like, for instance, when my second grade teacher used to moan, “I might as well be talking to the moon,” when she was annoyed by our class’s lack of attention and talkativeness. She didn’t mean she was actually going to talk to the moon. She meant that talking to the moon would be just as ineffective as trying to talk to us. Likewise, I didn’t mean to imply that the guy should actually pour sulfuric acid on his genitals. I meant to say that it would be just as effective to do that as it is to vote for Donald Trump, who is definitely not the future of Republican politics anymore. In my opinion, obviously. I was being facetious.

I will admit my tweet was vulgar and crass. It was not nearly as awful as some of the tweets I’ve seen posted by others, or even directed at me, personally, before I blocked a bunch of people. It didn’t sit well with me to immediately get an email from Twitter letting me know that they had locked my account for twelve hours (it was the first time it ever happened). I was even less impressed that the email directed me to “proceed to Twitter” to fix the “issues” with my account. I was invited to appeal if I wanted to, but they wouldn’t unlock my account while the tweet was examined. What really annoyed me, though, was that in order to start the clock on the ban, I had to give them my “real” phone number so they could send me a code and verify my identity.

Um… how ’bout you fuck off, Twitter? I am not your ass monkey.

Just to get into my account to deactivate it, I had to give them my phone number. And then they wanted me to delete the tweet, so I could start the process of “learning my lesson” with a twelve hour ban on posting. I don’t post very much, anyway, so it’s not like the ban is much of a hardship. That wasn’t the point of why I quit.

Like I said, I’ve about had it with bot style discipline, especially when I read reports of Elon Musk totally fucking up the company the day after he buys it, firing a bunch of people and then asking some to, temporarily, come back, indicating to the world that the rules won’t apply to him, and wanting to charge a subscription fee. I figure Twitter is going to go down in flames soon, anyway. So I’m proud to join the ranks of Sara Bareilles and Whoopi Goldberg and the rest of the woke celebrities who are fed up with Twitter. I suppose I could have just not bothered to log in again, but I figured that would just prompt Twitter to send me emails. I suspect that if enough people do what I did, they won’t survive for long. Elon Musk has already said the company is in a death spiral from a financial standpoint. Pissing off casual users is one way for Twitter to hasten its extinction.

Leaving Twitter might make it harder to watch Ex, but you know what? That may not be a bad thing, either. I’m always going to be getting updates about her, regardless, whether or not I want them. As long as younger daughter is talking to us and her mother, we’ll continue to hear about her antics. And most of what she posts just makes me cringe and causes anxiety.

So here’s to one less social media platform to keep up with… I’m down with being a troglodyte. Why not? Alexis, if you’re reading this, I’m sorry to bail… Maybe we can find another way to chat. I’m sure there are options aplenty. And the bonus is, I don’t have to be there when Donald Trump is allowed to tweet again, with all the other losers. 😉

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condescending twatbags, language, modern problems

“Using that word to describe the woman in this article says a lot about you… and none of it is good.”

Last night, I read a post on God’s Facebook page that is very timely, as kids all across America head back to school. The article was derived from a lively Reddit thread, where poster BlueCarrot002 asked if she was the “asshole” for getting personalized stationery for her daughter.

I must admit, as a childless child of the 70s and 80s, this trend of parents being asked to buy extra supplies for classrooms is a strange idea to me. In my day, everybody brought their own supplies to school. And parents would put their child’s name on their stuff, so it wouldn’t get “borrowed” or redistributed. I’m sure it sucked back then for kids whose parents didn’t have a lot of money. But, if you think about it, we all knew whose parents had money, and whose didn’t. Hell, I used to be jealous of my classmates whose parents bought them Trapper Keepers for every subject, while I had cheap plastic binders with shitty plastic rings. Or they had those cool erasable pens, while I had some cheesy ballpoint pen my dad got from some business. My mom wasn’t one to pander to my desires for fancy school supplies, and we would usually shop for that stuff at AAFES. And AAFES, at least in the 80s, was not a high end store.

This was THE status symbol, when I was in the 4th grade.

Unfortunately, life isn’t fair. Some kids are more athletic than others are. Some are more attractive or musically talented or funny. Some kids are academic geniuses. And some have parents who have money, and can buy them pencils with dinosaurs on them, personalized stationery, or lefty scissors. Or they have parents who are willing to deal with the child’s sensory issues by getting them notebooks with plastic spirals instead of metal ones. Some people prefer to write with certain types of pens and pencils. If that helps them succeed in doing their work, what’s the big deal? Part of growing up is learning to accept that life isn’t fair, and doing the best you can with what you have.

I don’t remember this ad, but we liked our Paper Mates, too.

I can understand the reasons teachers might have for asking parents to contribute supplies. I also understand why they would want the parents to get things that are generic. However, based on God’s article, it doesn’t sound like the teacher specified that the supplies should be the cheapest available. She was likely fine with genuine Crayola crayons over the generic ones that are found at the Dollar Tree. It sounds like the mom in this instance simply wanted to provide the best available supplies for her child. I don’t blame her for that.

What really got my hackles up, though, was the fact that the teacher sent home what the Redditor describes as a “very passive aggressive note” inviting her to come in for a “talking to” with the teacher. Now, it could be that the teacher’s note wasn’t actually passive aggressive. Maybe it was a friendly note. But since the actual note isn’t provided to Redditors, I will just assume the mom’s assessment of the note’s tone is correct.

I don’t blame the mom for refusing the teacher’s request. I would do the same thing.

Generally speaking, I am very pro-teacher. I think they are underpaid and disrespected. I know they have a tough job, and they literally put their lives on the line working in education these days. I still think it would grind my gears to have a teacher dictate to me that I must buy extra supplies for the classroom, to cover the kids who don’t have what they need, and then tell me that I can’t provide the school supplies that work best for my own child. And I would not take kindly to a “request” to come in for a discussion about my kid’s perfectly good school supplies, especially after I contributed the “generic” extra supplies that were requested. In fact, I would probably end up complaining to a higher power. My response to the teacher’s “request” (which sounds more like a demand) would likely be a resounding “NO.” However… It does seem strange to me that the mom would buy “personalized stationery”. In my day, we all just used college ruled loose leaf paper.

No more chalkboards!

Most of the people on God’s page were all about the mom providing personalized supplies for her child. I see on Reddit, the commenters are offering good reasons why the policy of redistributing supplies is potentially traumatic, as well as unfair. One person wrote about how they were going through tough financial straits and sent their child with used supplies from their older siblings. The teacher sent the used supplies back, explaining that they weren’t appropriate. Why not? The used supplies work as well as brand new ones do. And then the poor kid was humiliated in front of their peers.

Others wrote about how they were asked to buy tons of supplies every year that never got used, or were items that should last for years, like scissors, protractors, rulers and compasses. Specifically, one poster wrote “those things will last for years, if you take care of them.” Exactly… and part of the experience of being in school should be teaching children to take care of their things, and maintain possession of their own stuff. So yeah, if I were the mom in this scenario, I would be raising some hell.

A pretty good representation of what it was like for us in the 80s.

I read some of the Facebook comments… and then I had to stop. I must be turning into an old lady now, because one comment literally made me cringe. A man from Minnesota (I checked to make sure he wasn’t a Brit or living in Britain), wrote something along the lines of, “That woman is just a cunt. She just wants to show off how much money she has. Fuck her!”

Wow. I’m not sure what prompted this guy– name of Ryan– to leave such a misogynistic and completely inappropriate response to that article. However, against my better judgment, I felt compelled to respond to him with what I think is a gentle rebuke.

I wrote, “Ryan, using that word to describe the woman in this article says a lot about you… and none of it is good.”

I fully expected Ryan to come back and call ME a cunt. Usually, that type of person has no qualms about spewing their nastiness on anyone in the strike zone. I did pause before I commented, because I don’t want to be called a cunt. Especially after I’ve had a beer or two, as was the case last night. But then I realized that I can always block Ryan if he lobs verbal abuse at me. Lately, I’ve been blocking people I haven’t even engaged with, simply because I can easily tell that they aren’t people with whom I wish to interact.

After I commented to Ryan, I had to sit and contemplate for a few minutes. I must be getting old. I have often stated, and I do actually believe, that all words are useful sometimes. I do think there are even some times when the word “cunt” is appropriate. However, in the United States, that’s generally a term that is saved for the end of an argument. Sure, if you’re a Brit, you might use it to describe a silly fool, or something. But that article was written for and mostly read by Americans, and to Americans, the word “cunt” is among the worst of the worst insults, especially to women. We would all be up in arms if someone casually dropped the n bomb on social media. So why is it okay for Ryan to call some mother he doesn’t know a “cunt”, simply because he has unresolved issues regarding women? I mean, I know I’m assuming, but why else would he go there so early?

Anyway… I was surprised at myself, because after I read Ryan’s comment, it turned me off of the comment page. I had to click off of it. I shared God’s post on my own page, and a few friends who are teachers chimed in. Most seemed to think the teacher’s policy of redistributing school supplies is ridiculous. I mean, I guess some teachers pass out and collect the supplies at the beginning and end of each session. I still think there’s value in teaching children that they have to keep up with their own stuff, and that labeling things, especially when you’re working in a group, is a smart policy.

Count me among those who also think that if a stranger’s behavior seems wrong or unfair, it’s better not to call them a name that connotes so much hatred for a group of people. The fact that Ryan felt perfectly fine in referring to a concerned mother as a “cunt” who is “showing off” her money, tells me that he has some serious issues with women, and probably people with money, too. It’s not a good look, as the orange turd would say.

Reading this story makes me glad I don’t have children.

Bonus video… this one is pretty funny!

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condescending twatbags, controversies, narcissists, politicians, politics, social media, YouTube

It was fun while it lasted… and pointless political conversations…

Yesterday, I noticed that someone hit one of my recent posts about H.G. Tudor and his YouTube channel about narcissism. H.G. Tudor is a British guy who says he is a narcissistic sociopath, and claims to provide a service to the world by explaining narcissistic behavior. Last month, he posted many videos of himself, reading Tom Bower’s book, Revenge, about Meghan Markle and Prince Harry. I enjoyed listening to the videos, as H.G. Tudor mostly uses static images, rather than slideshows or video. He read aloud from the book, then explained his interpretations of (mostly) Meghan’s behaviors in an often delightfully saucy way.

Anyway, I often visit the posts that people click on, and when I did so yesterday, I discovered that all of H.G. Tudor’s videos were taken down. When I clicked on one of the absent videos, I noticed that H.G. Tudor had posted an explanatory video on one of his other channels. It seems that CBS Viacom, or whomever holds the copyright for Revenge, had issued a copyright claim. H.G. Tudor says he and CBS Viacom worked it out amicably, and he agreed to take down all of the videos regarding the book. However, in spite of having worked it out, and both parties having notified YouTube, they didn’t remove the automated mechanism that shut down his Ultra Narcissism channel. So, that’s why the videos on that post no longer work.

So this is what happened.

When videos go dark, and I am aware of them going dark, I usually take them down. I don’t know if I’ll do that this time, since I wrote a few posts about H.G. Tudor and I’m pretty sure I always included videos. And sometimes, the text doesn’t make sense without the videos. If I leave up the “ghosts”, at least those who read the posts will know that there used to be more there. I don’t know if I have the time or inclination to go back and edit a bunch of posts that aren’t particularly popular and might only get a few hits henceforth.

I do think H.G. Tudor puts out good content. It’s interesting, entertaining, and informative. And I agree with him that he probably is a narcissist, although he’s remarkably introspective for a narcissist. He may claim to have a severe diagnosis of narcissism, because as a narcissist, he no doubt wants to be the “best”… or the “worst”, as the case might be. It’s not unlike someone with an eating disorder wanting to be the sickest. If you’re healthy, you might think that sounds crazy. But, some people with certain eating disorders take pride in the behavior. Many of them see it as a badge of honor– a testament to their will power and level of control. I would imagine narcissists have similar issues, because part of being a narcissist means wanting to be above everyone else. I can see how the ones who know what they are would want to “worsen” their diagnoses, even if they don’t actually warrant a worse diagnosis. But personally, I have a hard time believing that he’s as severe as he claims to be, simply because he genuinely seems to care more than the worst narcissists would.

I am grateful to YouTube content creators who put out content about narcissism. I do think that listening to an actual narcissist is educational. However, I think I appreciate the therapeutic takes on narcissism more, simply because the people who make those videos understand the behavior and empathize. A lot of people who come into contact with a narcissist are left wounded and bewildered. The non-narcissistic therapeutic approach is edifying and uplifting, a reminder that it’s not the victim’s fault that the narcissist does what they do. It’s part of their nature. I still shake my head when I think of some of the narcissistic people I’ve encountered in my life, wondering what I did to deserve that kind of treatment. And now I know, at least intellectually, that I didn’t do anything to deserve that shit. That’s just how narcissistic people are. It’s their nature– just like the frog and the scorpion, or Lucy Van Pelt pulling the football away from Charlie Brown before he can kick it.

I’ve also learned that when you know someone is a narcissist, you don’t want to get close to them. You won’t be an exception. They WILL eventually do something hurtful or hateful, and deep down, they won’t care that you were injured by them. In their mind, it’ll be your fault, because it’s NEVER their fault. It can’t be. Narcissists believe they are above all reproach.

I’m not surprised there were copyright issues with H.G. Tudor reading the book on YouTube. As compelling as the videos were, the bottom line is, he was still reading a book to thousands of viewers who might not have decided to buy the book themselves. I did buy the book and read it on my own, which I’m glad I did, since Tudor didn’t read the whole thing. And now that I’ve read it, I’m reading to move on to the next topic.

Edited to add: I am now watching a video H.G. Tudor just put up, saying that his channel has now been reinstated. Glad to hear it!

Moving on…

A couple of days ago, a childhood acquaintance who happens to share my liberal proclivities posted about Jared Kushner. I try not to comment too much on his posts, since he has some pretty obnoxious Trump supporting friends. It doesn’t surprise me, either, since he lives in Roanoke, Virginia, and that’s close to where a lot of my relatives live… and they’re all Republicans. I’m sure it’s not easy watching Trump go down in flames, especially since they all believed in him, voted for him, and assumed that they were right to do so. For some reason, when it comes to voting for politicians, some people are willing to overlook a lot of stuff they would never accept in someone they know in person. Many people will simply vote for parties, and they trust that whomever their party has chosen to run for office is going to be the better choice for them than their opponent will be.

Of course, having studied narcissism and having been around for a few decades, I knew what Trump was when I saw him. I didn’t think he was as bad as he turned out to be, but I knew that when he proudly spoke about grabbing women by the pussy, and being ALLOWED to do it, because he’s a “star”, that he would NOT be a good leader. It had nothing to do with his political party. It was all about him. I knew he wasn’t a good husband, father, or boss, and that meant he would be a terrible president. So I didn’t vote for him.

Then I saw Trump’s acolytes coming out in the form of loudmouthed, ignorant, obnoxious, extremists, both in terms of politicians, and rank and file citizens. I knew I couldn’t vote for Republicans again. At least not until this current crop of miscreants is driven out of politics. I don’t agree with all liberal agenda. I’m more of a moderate. But, I do think the Democrats, for now, have put out candidates who are more acceptable to me. You’d think this would be my right to come to this conclusion, as a “free” American, right?

Well, I left my old childhood friend a comment, and sure enough, one of his Trump friends came at me. I could tell this guy was sucking hard on the Q Anon teat, as he kept trying to tell me what a pervert Biden is, and how his family is “sick”. I told him I wasn’t interested in his conspiracy theories. He kept coming at me, so I asked him if he thought it was “effective” to try to engage in arguments with people he doesn’t know. How many people does he know who have changed their political beliefs because of anything he’s posted?

Do you really think it’s effective to argue with people you don’t know in comment sections? I get that you don’t like Biden. I don’t really care. 

As far as I’m concerned, Trump is the worst president we have ever had. He never should have been allowed to run, in my opinion. I have a lot of reasons for feeling the way I do, just like you have your reasons for not liking Biden.

Let’s just leave it at that. H and I are politically on the same page, so my comment was mainly for him, anyway.

He kept trying to goad me into a debate. He even wrote that he wouldn’t argue with me if I would just tell him why I prefer Biden to Trump. It was a request, or even a demand, to explain myself– which I didn’t feel inclined to do. I knew that explaining it would not change his mind, because he is already very convinced of all of the things he’s read and heard from far right sources. He strongly believes that his views are the correct ones, and all other perspectives are 100% wrong.

I finally posted this:

No, because if I do that, you will just tell me I’m wrong, and that will inevitably lead to an argument. I have a right to my opinions, just like you have a right to yours. Moreover, it’s a beautiful Saturday here in Germany, and I want to spend it with my sweet husband.

I would rather frost my pubic hair than get into a political conversation with someone whose mind is as made up as yours obviously is. It’s an exercise in futility, and liable to be more painful and pointless than chemical burns would be on my private parts. 

So I am going to fuck off of this conversation and go have a beer. Have a good one. 

It used to be that people could have different opinions. It used to be that politics and religion were taboo topics for polite company. Social media has changed that, of course, and now people seem to think it’s incumbent on them to change hearts and minds to whatever their political persuasion is. Like I said, I know that people have their reasons for their beliefs. I might agree or disagree with them. But, if we live in a free society, people should be allowed to vote their consciences. I wish that the parties who put forth politicians would put forth humane, ethical, decent people to lead. But those people are often seen as “weak” by a significant number of voters. So then we get charismatic, but cruel and incompetent, people like Trump to run. He has proven to be as corrupt as they come. Some people will never believe it, though. They can’t believe they chose someone who is so fundamentally awful… or they just don’t want to admit it. That’s okay… and it’s understandable, until they try to deny the rest of us the rights to come to our own conclusions.

I have a pretty good brain. I’m logical, reasonable, and sometimes even insightful. Some people don’t like me, or what I have to say, but few of them who actually know me would call me “stupid”. Those who would call me “stupid” are not exactly good judges of intelligence. I know some intelligent people who prefer conservatism. I’ve got no problem with that. I just wish they would champion conservatives who aren’t total narcissists. Because I know that real narcissists don’t care at all about anything or anyone but themselves, and that inherently makes them awful leaders. I won’t willingly vote for that, no matter how high gas prices and inflation get… and, by the way, those problems are global– they aren’t Joe Biden’s doing.

I don’t know if my friend’s right wing, Trump supporting, Biden hating friend is “smart”. I don’t know him at all. But I’ve had a couple of run ins with him, and he’s always beating the same fucking pro Trump/pro Republican drum. I suspect he does it to me because he has a penis, and I don’t. It’s like talking to my cousin, who thinks that his dick and his experience selling life insurance overrules my education and experience in public health/healthcare management. If I were a man, I doubt he’d be so insistent about correcting my “silliness”. For the record, I’m not in need of “special help” from a man who thinks his mind/viewpoint is superior to mine. Most of them quickly prove that’s not the case at all. And anyone who still thinks Trump is innocent and deserves another chance to be a good president is probably in need of some IQ testing themselves… or maybe a psych evaluation.

Well, it’s time to close this post and play some guitar. Hope y’all have a good Monday. Catch you later.

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music, politicians, politics, social media, Texas, weather

“At least I’m not in Texas…” Did I actually have the cojones to say that out loud?

The featured photo comes from Wikipedia and references a popular slogan that tough talking Texans like to bandy around about their (or should I say *my* state)… but Bill tells me it was actually an 80s era slogan they used to discourage littering. This post is full of cussing, so if you don’t like that, you know what to do and where to go… preferably not to Texas.

Yesterday, there was an article in The New York Times about Europe’s current heat wave, which I’m sadly enduring here in Germany. A woman went to the Czech Republic, Poland, and Hungary, and offered tips on how she stayed cool during her trip. I decided to leave a comment. I will admit, I knew on some level that my comment would probably attract trolls and other assholes, because most comments somehow do… but I decided to leave it anyway, because why not?

Thank God for that! I am a proud native Virginian… which is also where the most famous Texan, Sam Houston, was born. In fact, he was from Rockbridge County, which is where most of my people come from… once they left the British Isles and Ireland. I love Lyle Lovett, anyway… even if he IS from Texas.

My comment was that I live in Germany and I’m so tired of the heat and the drought conditions here. But, “at least I’m not in Texas.” That was ALL I posted. I made no mention of politics. I didn’t bring up the lack of abortion rights in Texas, or any of the other anti-woman or racist policies and attitudes that are so prevalent there. I didn’t post about the crappy power grid and how it failed many Texans during the winter of 2021, causing people to die earlier than they should have. I had no words about the religious fanatics who want to impose their ways of life on the whole population and control everybody. And I wrote nary a word about all the ammosexuals in Texas. All I wrote is “at least I’m not in Texas.”

At this writing, my comment has well over 125 likes, which is unusual for me. It’s also attracted comments from jerks. Or, so I assume, anyway. I only bothered to read one comment, from a guy calling himself “Jay Smith” and claiming to be living in Istanbul, Turkey. He basically made some crack about how Texas isn’t my problem, and I should just enjoy Germany. There was more to it than that, but I’m not going to quote it verbatim, because I don’t want to read it again or see anyone else’s rude responses. The main idea is that I should STFU.

I bet “Jay Smith” of Istanbul talks like this in Texas.

So I responded that while I live in Germany, I am, in fact, a Texas resident, and I still vote there. So Texas actually IS my problem… and I can comment on Texas if I want to (which I’d be allowed to do regardless, as a *still free* person). Then I advised him to fuck off, which I normally wouldn’t do on a Facebook page for a newspaper. What can I say? The heat is making me CRANKY. My house is warm all the time, even when I use the portable air conditioners– which are helpful, but only cool individual rooms. The grass in the backyard is brown and crispy. I sweat all the time. I know that very soon the weather will change, and it will be glorious… but for now, it’s pretty yucky here.

I wonder what made that guy decide to leave me that comment. It genuinely fascinates me. My guess is that he’s probably some right wing turd in a red state– perhaps Texas itself– and he can’t abide anyone making the slightest negative crack about the beloved Lone Star State. Especially when it’s an apparently “liberal” (horrors!) woman who lives in another country. But there’s actually a lot to dislike about Texas, as far as I’m concerned. I didn’t necessarily hate Texas when I lived there for a year, but it’s gotten really weird and dystopian since I left. There were some things I didn’t like about it when I did live there, but I didn’t see it as weird-o-rama as I do now. Ever since Greg Abbott became governor, it’s gone down a very dark and climate challenged road. I sure as hell don’t want to move back, especially if Beto doesn’t win the governor’s seat from Greg Abbott.

But, like I said, I didn’t actually write anything bad about Texas. I just posted that at least I’m not in Texas. For all Jay Smith knows, I was simply posting about the weather there in August. And, in fact, that’s literally what I had in mind when I made my comment. I well remember what August is like in San Antonio. We had a pool in our backyard, but in August, the water was as warm as bathwater. Central air conditioning was an absolute must for a good portion of the year.

We had two air conditioners for the house we were renting, but they hadn’t been serviced in a long while, and the filters were absolutely DISGUSTING. I actually have pictures of how coated in gunk they were when we moved in and changed them. It had probably been years since anyone had done that. Energy prices were insane, too. Just to be comfortable, we had to pay out the ass. And, as my old friend Weird Wilbur sings in his song, “Down in Texas”, it’s always “summertime” down in Texas. I know that’s not actually true. I do remember some chilly days when we lived there. But it’s usually hot and uncomfortable, and not a place where I’d particularly want to endure the onset of menopause, especially when I start having hot flashes (which haven’t happened yet).

My spelling challenged pal, Weird Wilbur’s funny song about Texas… or one of them, anyway. I don’t talk to Wilbur much anymore, because as funny as he is, he’s also a right wing crackpot. I used to have much more tolerance for them, before the days of Trump. Wilbur’s song “Fuck You, Texas”, is the very best, and my absolute favorite Texas song…

All day, I kept getting tagged in more responses. Some of them might have been kind responses, but my guess is that most were probably more like Jay Smith’s, the obvious troll. So I haven’t read any of them. I keep asking Facebook to turn off notifications, but as usual, Facebook doesn’t care about my preferences. So here I sit, deleting notifications, and fruitlessly asking Facebook to stop sending me comments from right wing Trump supporting jerks.

I’m probably a little crankier about this than I ought to be. I guess it’s because sitting over here in Europe, watching how oppressive and dystopian the United States is right now, gives me a weird sense of survivor’s guilt. It’s so much more NORMAL in Europe, all things considered– even with this relatively oppressive heat and lack of cooling systems due to the fact that Germany doesn’t often get this hot. I don’t routinely see people walking around downtown with huge firearms slung over their shoulders, like I often did in San Antonio. I don’t hear or read about people being shot up, or trying to attack the police for doing their jobs. Leaders here actually seem to care about people, and their jobs… or, at least they put on a convincing show of it.

There’s a much better video of this song, but I can’t share it here. If you search for it by using the properly spelled word, “fuck”, you can find it.

But… for all of my grousing about the Lone Star State, I can see why some people like it. It’s huge, and its populace has a certain bravado. My husband went to high school in Texas… but then that’s also where he met his ex wife, and we know how that turned out. Bill’s mom still lives there, as do some of my relatives. I guess it’s a good place if you like BBQ beef brisket, rodeos, margaritas, and Tex Mex. We have a bunch of friends who live in Texas, and none of them are batshit crazy. There’s even some pretty good wine in Texas Hill Country. But… unlike Tanya Tucker, I hope I won’t be in Texas when I die…

Nein, danke… Germany would suit me. So would Virginia. I’m loving Virginia more these days, although I’m not quite ready to move back there. It is a truly beautiful state, though… and decidedly purple, which I never thought I’d see.

Even if Texas was the most progressive, “woke”, politically correct place on earth, I’d still rather be here than there. For one thing, I’m not that excited about woke or politically correct places. I just want to live in a “NORMAL” place, where all people get basic human rights and I don’t have to worry about being shot. But for the main thing– and the most obvious reason– Texas in August is FUCKING HOT AS FOUR HELLS… and I don’t like that kind of heat, or paying for the energy required to have basic comfort in it. So, for that reason, I am glad that “at least I’m not in Texas.” And I should be able to write that in a comment section without having to deal with stupid trolls who try to tell me to shut up. I’ll thank you to fuck off, because I will never be your ass monkey, mmm’kay? Texas is uniformly HOT and unpleasant in August. For that reason alone, Germany is naturally a preferable location for me, especially at this time of year. It’s perfectly logical and acceptable to state that, and I should be able to do it without crap from Jay Smith and his right wing buddies.

In other news…

Marjorie Taylor Greene is a fucking moron. Sorry, it’s not a nice thing to state, nor is it particularly constructive, but she is embarrassingly stupid. And way too many similarly stupid people follow her. There, I said it. Blame it on the heat and my aging reproductive system, which thankfully will NEVER be forced to birth. Yesterday, I became aware of her recent diatribe about the evils of solar panels, wind turbines, and other “green” energy solutions that might help stave off climate change. She made some outright wrong statements, confidently speaking as if she was a comedian delivering an hilarious routine. And it WAS hilarious, but not for the right reasons. Sadly, her audience was into it, and laughed with her, while the more informed of us were laughing AT her.

I’m not going to go too far into this, because a lot of people are already posting about it… but, I live in a place where lots of people have and use solar panels. And there are wind turbines aplenty. We can’t take a trip on the Autobahn and not eventually pass a wind farm. You know what? We very rarely have power outages in Germany. When we do have them, they are usually fixed within an hour. I did not have that experience in several areas of the United States. Moreover, Marjorie’s district actually hosts the largest fucking solar panel plant in the United States! So… she’s out of touch with her community and reality, and she’s leading more people down the dark rabbit hole of ignorance and stupidity. As her hero Trump would say, “Sad…” But at least she’s not in Texas. They’ve got enough problems.

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