Friday, March 03, 2017

Rant!

I'm giving you a warning. I am not going to be nice in this post. I'm going to be giving my opinion on this country and the people in it, and it will not be pretty. I will most likely be using words that my spiritual leaders have told me to not use (although, there are two truly profane words that I just can't get mad enough to use, so I'll spare you those).
If you are easily offended stop reading right now.
You have been warned.


A little over one month into his Presidency and Mr Trump, aided by his cronies in congress, has achieved one thing. He’s driven this country into chaos.
People are demonstrating and rioting.  Citizens in other countries are shaking their heads and wondering what the heck is going on over here. Government shock troops are attacking indigenous peoples who just want clean water and their sacred lands protected.  The Congress just passed a measure that will allow coal companies to dump their crap into rivers and streams. The borders are (or rather, were closed, a decree that was thankfully stopped by the courts) closed to a particular religious sect, in defiance of the constitution.  Republicans are trying, and probably will succeed, to take the teeth out of the EPA, because they must like dirty air and water, as long as it puts a few bucks in their offshore bank accounts.  The President and the Members of Congress don't believe that the people are angry with their actions and blame all the ruckus on “paid protesters.”  Liberals are angry. Conservatives are being mean. Those of us in the middle are frightened.
A quick scan of social media will show you three kinds of Americans: The Truly Crazy Dividers, The Come Togethers, and The Unpluggers.


The Crazy Dividers are those who post news articles that show how right they are or how wrong the other side is, all while proclaiming in their posts that the other side is the side that is dividing us. On few occasions, they actually get their news articles from real news sources. They don't seem to want to see, or are too blind to see how terrifying and crazy they sound. The other day, I got into a Facebook fistfight with some people over whether or not to run over protesters who are blocking the road. The consensus seemed to be, “I have places to be, they are in my way. Run them down!” We’ve seriously come to a bad place when citizens of this country should be killed if they are an inconvenience to others.
Disgusting and horrific.
The fact is, protests should be inconveniences, otherwise they'll have no impact.


The Come Togethers are the people proclaiming that we need to come together as a country to, either, fight Mr. Trump or to support Mr. Trump. In other words, what they are really saying is that YOU need to change YOUR ways and join THEIR side. They won't be the one to change. It's a kind of, “join us or shut the hell up” proposition. Don't get me wrong on this. It's happening on both sides.
Unite on Mr. Trump’s side or we'll run you over with our cars you unAmerican commies.
Or…
Unite with us against Mr Trump or you're nothing but a Nazi loving hate monger.


I admit, when Mr. Trump was elected, I was on a side. I never called anyone a Nazi. At least not to their faces.


Then there are The Unpluggers. (This is who I became, once I realized that nobody gave a shit about anything that I had to say, about anything.) They’re the ones on social media who are proclaiming that we all need to stop paying attention and get back to posting cat videos. Maybe if we ignore them, they'll all go away. (The politicians, not the cats. Cats never go away.)


The thing is, I believe that we need a 4th category. The Truthers.
The Truthers would be the ones to point out where Mr. Trump and the Republicans have done something good and where they’ve stepped off the reservation, without resorting to name calling. Unfortunately, I'm afraid that something like this would be impossible, for several reasons.  1) People on all sides don't want to hear the truth. 2) I’m afraid the truth is uncomfortable for people. 3) In politics, the truth can be quite subjective.


I am so digested by my country right now.
Let me clarify. I've been disgusted by my government for well over a decade, but today I find myself disgusted by my countrymen.  People advocating violence on the other side. I'm afraid that if we keep walking down this path it will change from talk into action.


I’ll tell you this much, in my mind, if you are advocating violence on another person because of their beliefs, feelings, religion, color, or anything like that, then you are a piece of shut and should be shunned from society like the scum that you are. I don't know how else to say it. Violence is NEVER good or justified. This includes bumping people out of the way with your car.

This morning, a song came on the radio, it was one of those patriotic country songs. It ends with the phrase “... we'll put a boot in your ass, it's the American way…”
This phrase disturbed me because so many of my countrymen believe that boots belong in the asses of people that have done you wrong, or more correctly,  they belong in the asses anyone that you think has done you wrong.


Before you tell me, “but that song is about 9/11.” Yes, I know that the song is about 9/11, but my point still stands. We were so pissed off about a small group of extremists that had done us a hurt (and we were right to be pissed off) that we didn't just go out and destroy the extremist bastards who did it; we invaded the country from which they operated, and then we invaded another country that had nothing to do with 9/11, but who had looked at us cross eyed or something. And then, after causing so much damage, and failing to put stable governments in place, we caused the rise of another group of extremists, and then we closed our borders to the very people that we displaced.
Have you ever seen the movie Better Off Dead? “Gee, I’m really sorry your Mom blew up, Ricky.”


“Gee, I’m really sorry your country blew up, Middle East. But you can't come to us for help.”


Like most Americans, my ancestors came here looking for a better life. At least two of them, that I know of, died during the crossing from Europe and we're buried in the Atlantic.  One was a baby.
They sacrificed because they believed that things would be better here. That they could practice their chosen religion in peace. That they would be able to have their own land, and live according to their beliefs.  What did they find here? Peace, for a time. And then they found mobs that drove them off their lands, who killed their church leaders, who burned their crops, and a government that would do nothing to stop it.
In fact one government leader, Governor Boggs of Missouri, signed an executive order that effectively made it legal to kill any Mormon in the state. An order that was in effect until the 1970’s.
My ancestors, were forced to walk 1300 miles, to leave the United States and enter, what was then Mexico,  to fund their peace once again.


But that's all ancient history and could never happen again. Right?


You can't see this, but I'm shaking my head.  I might even have a disappointed look on my face as well.


Just a few weeks ago a white house memo was leaked to the Associated Press that proposed that 100,000 National Guardsmen be activated to chase down and arrest undocumented immigrants.
POTUS and Spicy the press secretary categorically denied that the memo was real, but they have denied alot of things, so their denials don't really mean anything anymore.
“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
Where would they have put all these people, had the memo become an executive order?  Camps?
Boy there's a great visual.


For some reason, this has stayed in the news, I’m not sure why, because it should be a surprise to no one.


Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) decided that it would be good to have a town hall meeting in his district.  Over a thousand people came, so many that they could not get most of them into the building.  The people who came were so angry with Chaffetz’s actions and so frightened of the President’s executive actions, and they wanted answers.
Chaffetz listened to none of them.  I’ve seen the video.  He didn’t care about any of their concerns, he offered no real answers, and in the end, the Town Hall meeting became a shouting match between the arrogant politician and his concerned constituents.
In the end Chaffetz went to the media to complain about organized, paid, protestors.
He could have scored serious political street cred by saying, “You know what? There are some seriously upset people in my district, maybe I should listen more to them.”
But no! Chaffetz has the White House in his sites, he can’t be distracted by a little thing like his voters!  I really hope that the midterms are a wakeup call for people like Chaffetz and his voters, vote him out.
I live in Mia Love’s district.  Do you think that she is going to have a town hall meeting? Hell no! She’d have to interact with the people, she can’t be doing that.  She’s much too busy to even send out response mail to the dozens of comments I have sent in. Or maybe she's afraid.


There are times that I think that the Republicans are trying to not be in power for long. That if they screw this up well enough that we will all vote them out of power. There are times that I think that their losing power in 2 years is quite likely, and then I look at my conservative friends who are very likely to reelect them and think, yep, we're screwed.
We're screwed as a people and we're screwed as a world.


Am I defective as a person because I don't see the world as a bunch of borders?
That I can see how our actions affects other parts of the world.
That I don't give a shit if you are a Christian or a Muslim or a Jewish or an unbeliever. I only care if you are a good person. What ever happened to Christian love for our neighbors? We, here in America, are still (for the most part) a Christian country, but we treat people from other countries and faith traditions like dirt. We profess to worship a being who while on Earth was a refugee and yet we turn away the refugees of the world and pat ourselves on the back for doing it.


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