Something’s Rotten in America
I just read an article about a 11 year old Uvalde student who covered herself with the blood of her slain classmate in the hopes that this would fool the shooter into believing her already dead. Her quick thinking paid off, and she lived to tell the story. Her surviving is, of course, wonderful news, but I can't begin to fathom the psychological toll this trauma will have. She will be forever changed.
At 11 years old, I had no concept of mass shootings. The Columbine High School massacre wouldn't occur until two years later. My thoughts were consumed with which Backstreet Boy I would inevitably marry and how to be less terrible at math. These are the kinds of things 11 year olds should be worrying about, but not in today's America.
Hate crimes are rising at staggering rates, with the 10 largest metropolitan areas in the U.S. reporting a record 54.5% increase in incidents, and the year is not even over. There have been over 1.5 million gun deaths in this country since 1968 - that's higher than the number of soldiers killed in every U.S. conflict since War for Independence in 1775. And, as all of us know, mass shootings are becoming deadlier and more frequent nearly every year. While we did see a decline in 2020, the cause is not because of legislative or community action, but likely due to the global pandemic. What a wild concept - too many people were dying from a highly infectious virus to be able to commit and/or die from a mass shooting incident.
While the motivation behind Uvalde is still unknown at this time, we do know that the recent mass murders in Buffalo and Laguna Woods were motivated by hate against Black and Asian Americans, respectively. These horrific acts were also committed against the backdrop of the impending overturning of Roe vs. Wade, which will effectively result in women being forced to give birth, and will inevitably hit Black, Brown and impoverished communities the hardest. All this amidst a seemingly never-ending pandemic and a new Monkeypox virus that sounds like something too cartoonish to be true. Living in this moment is exhausting at best, dangerous and unsustainable at worst.
What's most maddening is the hypocrisy, willful ignorance, radical hate and simple lack of humanity that "Christian" Republican conservatives continue to show through all this. It is simply unbelievable to hear these people rant about the sanctity of human life, when every action they take or advocate for goes against its preservation - anti-choice laws will only result in dangerous, back-alley abortions that will lead to injury and death. Women and folks with uteruses will not only be criminalized, but they will die from dangerous pregnancies that could have otherwise been aborted. Children will be forced to have their rapists' babies, and swaths of people will lose access to live-saving, gender-affirming healthcare. The Republicans in Congress voting against emergency funding for baby formula while at the same time shouting that they are the pro-life party is so absurd you would think it's a tongue-in-cheek scene from The Simpsons.
What's more, in the wake of the shooting that killed 19 children and two adult teachers, the Republicans in Congress responded by voting against a Domestic Terrorism bill that would have set up special offices with the goal of better preparing the federal government to identify risks in order to take preventative action. The bill would have also called for assessments of the threat posed by White supremacists and neo-Nazis, which, when I think about it, would likely result in taking out a significant portion of Republicans in office...so I guess I can now see why they voted it against it after all.
Ted "Lucifer" Cruz is happily waddling to the NRA convention as we speak, because he loves NRA money as much as he loves Cancun, and he wants his blood stained dollar bills to be the only ones in circulation after voting against raising the federal minimum wage and the $1.9 trillion Covid relief bill. Of course, he will inevitably use that money to order some Chinese food from underpaid restaurant workers while he gleefully recalls the time he was one of only six Republicans to oppose strengthening the US government’s response to rising anti-Asian hate crimes in the wake of the pandemic. He'll probably wear an "I'm glad RBG is dead" t-shirt while doing it and reminisce about the Mexican border being full of brown babies in cages in between chews.
I digress, but it's motherfuckers like this that walk around in the wake of mass shootings saying things like "now is not the time for politics" when people ask them simple questions like, "Why does an 18 year old need an AR-15?" "Why can a person legally buy a gun before they're legally allowed to drink?" "Why is the U.S. the only nation in the world that has this problem?" "Why do you think abortion bans and book bans and critical race theory bans and 'say gay' bans would be effective, but gun bans wouldn't be?" "Did your mother not love you as a child?" "How small is your dick, actually?"
Cruz has literally run away from reporters asking these questions in recent days. He also said the solution to this issue is requiring all schools to have one door for entry and exit so we can add fire to the list of leading causes of death for children. Meanwhile other Republican cult members are out here talking about arming and training teachers for these situations when #1, trained police officers have proven that they cannot handle these situations (and in the case of Uvalde, made the situation worse with their cowardice, prejudice and seeming lack of humanity and brain cells) and #2, we are supposed to reconcile the fact that they don't trust teachers enough to make their own curriculum, but somehow trust them with guns?
I'd be remiss if I didn't also mention how absolutely rich it is that these elected officials act as if "talking politics" is some grand affront in the wake of mass shootings when politics quite literally is THEIR JOB. You are supposed to shape and enact laws that will help address horrific societal ills like these. The reality is, they don't actually care about their constituents or other human beings - they care about power, being re-elected and getting lobbying money. They will do whatever it takes in the name of wealth and self-preservation. As for the more backwoods among them, literal campaign slogans include things like, "I believe in Babies, Guns and God."
Speak of the big G-O-D...all these right-wingers seem to talk a lot about the dude while advocating for hate, bigotry and sexism and rallying against any measures that would give communities in need more access to basic human needs like food, shelter and healthcare. Have ya'll really not asked yourselves what would Jesus do? I'm pretty sure this isn't it.
What's worse is that there seems to be this idea that religions deserve respect simply by existing, which makes zero sense. If you know anything about history at all, you know that religion has been one of the main driving factors behind the oppression and murder of people across centuries and continents. Holy wars, honor killings, suicide bombings...not to mention other extremely weird and gross shit like marrying your 12 year old to a dude old enough to be her grandfather and genital mutilation - all in the name of some imaginary peeps in the sky. None of that sounds particularly worthy of respect to me.
And it's not like we automatically respect other belief systems, like racism or homophobia, (though some religious zealots may be fervently on board to do so). We interrogate them because they're based on sheer falsehoods. So why don't we have the same ethical and intellectual responsibility to interrogate religions? You can believe whatever you want to believe, but that shouldn't mean no one gets to criticize you or work to stop practices that are actively harming people.
When religious people say religions deserve respect, what they're really saying is #1 their specific religion (Christians, looking at you), #2 they actually don't mean respect, they mean deference. They want to have a privileged position that exempts them from taking accountability for their own actions and their churches actions. Organized religions essentially train their members to lie to themselves and everyone else, rather than to use science and observable reality to make informed opinions. They advocate for a blind faith in and authority to God and their religious leaders, resulting in dire consequences for democracy and public health and safety.
Organized religions are manmade institutions. They function in the same way that for-profit corporations do - their goals are to build wealth and power so that they continue to exist - by any means necessary. They're in the game of self-preservation too, society at large be damned. Salman Rushdie said it best after the Charlie Hedbo shooting - " ' Respect for religion' has become a code phrase meaning 'fear of religion'. Religions, like all other ideas, deserve criticism, satire, and yes, our fearless disrespect."
With that, I think I will end my rant for today. Until the next mass shooting or human rights violation...
TL;DR: America is a dumpster fire. Conservative Republican fundamentalist Christians are heavily to blame. Hate and hypocrisy are at an all time high. The #1 cause of child mortality in America is now gun violence. Organized religions are dangerous. Everything is rotten here.
A harmless rant
I daily listen to podcasts.
One podcast a day.
My favourite topic is
serial killers and what makes them tick.
From cannibals who love an exotic taste to those with a weird hobby in creating human skin lamps.
I‘ve listen to them all.
there is one thing bugging me.
All these killers get caught and end up in the court.
Pleading for less time with a golden ticket.
A plead of insanity.
How can they associate mental health with these monsters.
I am offended that my condition
bipolar is compared to a serial killer.
Oh they must have mental health, no one in their right mind would kill.
Excuses after Excuses.
They had a shitty childhood blah blah blah.
Lots of sane people have had shitty childhoods but they don’t have the urge to kill.
Stop making excuses.
Admit it’s part of you, your personality that made you a killer.
Stop with the excuses.
You make people with mental health feel more isolated in a world where we are still misunderstood.
A plead for insanity is looking for the easy way out and not confronting the monster within.
Today my 5th graders had their graduation. Seated on the stage I sat looking into the audience at this happy occasion. Smiling faces of proud moms, dads and grandparents. I also saw a different sight...our school police were on campus patrolling inside and outside the auditorium. Every campus in our district had active monitoring. My heart just sank. At the start of the ceremony we stood in silence with broken hearts remembering our fellow Texans who senselessly and tragically lost their lives in Uvalde.
Babies...just babies... gunned down in what should be a safe place. Teachers dying while trying to protect their kids. We just went through the terroristic act of people being targeted while shopping in a Buffalo grocery store. Oh. My. Lord. Enough.
I am a Texan who grew up around guns. I was taught at an early age not only to respect them but to go through safety training to be a responsible gun user and owner. I believe in our right to bear arms. I don't believe in assault weapons and I don't believe in someone being able to walk in and buy two AR Rifles just after his 18th birthday. I do believe in extensive background checks and longer wait periods for any weapon. We are very broken in this country. Broken in so many ways.
There has been far too much bloodshed of innocent lives. No other country experiences what we do at such alarming and horrific rates of occurrences as what we witness. Enough. We have to do so much better. What is the answer? I don't know but "this" is not working.
May God bless and embrace the broken hearted in the community of Uvalde.
ranting about grammar woohoo
I don't actually care that much about this. I'm not mad at anyone for using incorrect grammar.
It bugs me when I see people using incorrect grammar, especially when they use perfect caps and punctuation or correct other people's grammar, which gives off the condescending impression of "look at me, I'm so smart, I know what periods are and I'm better than you", all the while they can't tell the difference between "are" and "our". (I'm mainly talking about chill things like texting or video games. Of course, it's good to use capitalization and punctuation for long passages or formal writing.) I don't mind people not using punctuation or capitalization if they have a relatively short writing where it doesn't hinder readability. To me, it gives off a chill, laid back impression, which I like. It does bug me when people say "how it looks like", use incorrect dialogue punctuation, use the wrong your/you're, use the wrong they're/their/there, and many other homonyms. I understand some people have teachers that just don't teach them grammar, and that sucks. I'm not annoyed at people for using wrong grammar, just the wrong grammar itself.
Evolution But I was Still Sad
He was happy when he was with his beloved and his closest friends. He would smile, laugh and often joke around the stupidest of things. People would consider him as someone friendly, but somewhat distant in certain topics and occasions. His smile was not that beautiful and underneath his joking self, he was clouded by dangerous thoughts. He wanted to give up. He really wanted to.
On that day, the sun was shining brighter than usual and his wallet was, unsurprisingly, empty. His money was not that much due to an incident at the road when he was driving his family car. He was sleepy and exhausted. Well, the rest was totally his fault, but strangely enough, he didn't feel guilt. It was strange for everyone, but he wasn't.
On his motorcycle, the sounds of music from his earphones sounded quieter than it should. His eyes were tired and his head felt like it was hit by a sledgehammer. His hands were too tired to hold the throttle and his legs were bruised due to another accident whilst playing badminton.
He sighed and continued his 30-minute journey to the office. An office not too far away and not too close; the perfect distance. Sadly, the traffic was awful and it was honestly torturous. He wasn't in a particularly good mood, but he didn't have any other choice than what he got. If they would just gave him the proper compensation for his work, this feeling of desperation, depression and fatigue would just slightly dissipate. A little while of peace would be great.
The office was empty in the morning and everyone was late, even him. His laptop was sleeping neatly on top of his desk and he forgot to pull the curtains down yesterday. His work for today was still a mystery but his guess was it would be done late at night. It was 11 AM and his usual schedule would let him go home at 6 or 7 PM. Unfortunately for him, that was never the case.
He sighed deeper this time. He put his head on the edge of the table, face looking on to the wooden flooring. He tried his best not to shed a tear or even hit the table with enough force to bruise his fist. He tried his best to endure and be patient. He tried his best to become a better person, but why did it felt like it was all in vain.
This pain of existing and surviving almost disappeared after he met his then-beloved a year ago, but as time went on, this pain just came and hit him just as hard. He wished if there was a God laughing at him at that moment, please do give him a break; a minor success would make him overjoyed, but even that was science fiction.
He hoped that it would be a great day. He really hoped that things would get better as soon as he prayed, but even the act of praying meant nothing if his mind was already on the process of giving up. He thought that his epitaph would be just a laughing crying emoji. He thought it would be funny and hopefully, it won't even come to that.
He wished. He could only wish.
Goodnight. We hope that he would be as happy as the story said.
you can't claim to be pro-life when all you ever do is offer thoughts and prayers when children are being murdered in schools. standing idly by when you have the ability to do something; you rapacious, cravenness monsters. democracy is dead when the leaders we elect chooses to whore themselves to make a profit over lives.