circus

All We Need is a Ringleader, & a Few Less Clowns…

Well, here I am, fashionably late. I know you’ve probably read all the GOP debate recaps you can possibly handle, but give me a chance to rock your world… or waste a solid 10 minutes of your life. I wrote a debate recap for another blog earlier today, and I reserved some of my meanest criticism for this post. I’m sure that everyone else who blogs there is probably happy with that choice. However, I’m going to put a little twist on the situation and discuss the entire race as a whole, and mainly note a few things I’m mulling over now that this debate is in the books.

Okay, let’s be honest, this is going to be one giant – albeit fun – rabbit trail.

So here we go:

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MLK

Of Mice and Martin Luther King

First and foremost, before I even begin this blog post, I am going to address the fact that I don’t know what happened to Freddie Gray. I’m not privy to information that would give me the definitive answers I would need to make an accurate judgment call. Freddie Gray died in police custody after his spine was severed, and while it sounds questionable, I’m not interested in making assumptions. That said, I have opinions on the debacle that stand regardless of the outcome.

I saw a multitude of Martin Luther King Jr. quotes, but for now I’ll note two in particular:

A riot is the language of the unheard.”

“Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.”

The former was by a Baltimore protester; apparently this was some form of approval for her and others to burn, loot, and destroy that which isn’t theirs. The latter was posted by someone who had used their previous 10 tweets to promote the #BlueLivesMatter hashtag, and share other nifty quotes similar to, “Don’t like cops? Next time call a crackhead.” Both individuals backed their personal opinions with the words of Martin Luther King sitting in their proverbial holster. The former seems to forget that the quote contains more than just their choice words, specifically, “I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt.”  The latter clearly skipped that all important day in school when he was supposed to learn that MLK believed that civil disobedience was a responsibility in the face of unjust laws and actions. MLK Jr. wrote some of his greatest words behind jail bars after being hauled away by police officers, and spoke some of his greatest words in an act to diffuse violent uprisings. Ms. Former and Sir. Latter have cherry picked the words of MLK without understanding his message, and as an avid fan of MLK, well; it makes me a wee bit irate.

In both instances I felt shame. I went on to find a multitude of people on Twitter, from both sides, sharing Martin Luther King quotes… The quotes were mere snippets taken out of context by the ignorant, used for their own political gain. In reality, MLK would be shaking his finger at both sides. So, here are the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that desperately need to be heard today (I chose this large quote because it contains many of the lines I saw used today):

“Now I wanted to say something about the fact that we have lived over these last two or three summers with agony and we have seen our cities going up in flames. And I would be the first to say that I am still committed to militant, powerful, massive, non-violence as the most potent weapon in grappling with the problem from a direct action point of view. I’m absolutely convinced that a riot merely intensifies the fears of the white community while relieving the guilt. And I feel that we must always work with an effective, powerful weapon and method that brings about tangible results. But it is not enough for me to stand before you tonight and condemn riots. It would be morally irresponsible for me to do that without, at the same time, condemning the contingent, intolerable conditions that exist in our society. These conditions are the things that cause individuals to feel that they have no other alternative than to engage in violent rebellions to get attention. And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? It has failed to hear that the plight of the negro poor has worsened over the last twelve or fifteen years. It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

It’s time that we embrace his words, all of them. There is a problem, but rioting is not the answer, nor is silence.  This is not a race issue. The majority of the police in Baltimore are black, they aren’t targeting blacks, it just happens to be the case that the majority of crime in Baltimore is perpetrated by blacks. I’m not in the same camp of people who would say that racism is dead. Racism exists, on both sides. If you don’t believe me, take a stroll through East St. Louis with a group of diverse ethnicities. The diversity in the Baltimore PD is exactly what everyone was desperate for in Ferguson, yet Baltimore PD has a history that I suspect few would label as expected. Regardless, the rioters/protesters in Baltimore and Ferguson have no right to compare themselves to the civil rights movement.

When Martin Luther King spoke the words above to those fighting for civil rights, and when Malcolm X spoke his, the individuals their words were geared towards were people facing segregation and prejudice. Law abiding citizens were suffering at the hands of another race simply because of their color. A church was burned to the ground in Alabama, with four innocent girls of color trapped inside; burned alive because of their skin pigmentation. Black men were being brutalized simply for speaking to a white woman, and women of color were being treated as dogs by their employers. They weren’t dealing drugs on the street corner, they weren’t burglarizing homes and assaulting the innocent, the audience they were speaking to were law abiding citizens who were facing persecution for the way God had designed them. The color of your skin determined if you could vote, what restroom you used, and what school you attended. It was inhuman and unfair. Their plight was so astronomically different from those in Ferguson and Baltimore. In fact, King was arrested multiple times for leading non-violent protests. His quote, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” is among my favorite. He believed that civil disobedience is a moral responsibility in the face of unjust laws. One might shake their head at that ideal when they face a law that doesn’t tug on their moral heart strings, i.e., the due process that victims of police brutality have a right to, but then they’ll read the stories of German families who hid Jews in their walls with feelings of admiration. King’s reasoning is and was sound in the face of such disgraceful laws, and he didn’t choose, as many do today, who was worthy of rights based off of which victim he personally liked more.

King found the platform for his stance within The Constitution, and without such platform would have had very little leverage since other countries followed our lead in the civil rights movement. He didn’t take the approach of “This is what other countries are doing,” but instead knew that the United States was unique in that our founding documents gave him the ammunition he needed. King wasn’t fighting to equalize us with other countries; he was fighting to make America the first of its kind. We have been a country that others emulate. In 1963 a young black protester in Britain was moved by the actions of Rosa Parks and staged his own bus boycott, awaking his country to move towards their own equality laws. In 1972 a strict law was put in place that denied immigration to those without a strong heritage in Britain, which wildly limited any increase in a diverse population, hence why in the UK the African American population is 1,148,738 vs. roughly 42,240,000 in the U.S. All over this world we find prejudice against race, religion, and opinion, but America is unique in that we are the first to overcome and support the rights of all people. We all have the same rights in America; the problem is that they are being abused by authority more frequently. That doesn’t negate issues that we need to work on, but it does put things in perspective. So many posts have been talking about the failures that we had in the past, and that we have today, yet they dismiss the fact that every other country has that same horrid history; we are the outlier; we are the country that has done the most about our issues, and it’s because our Constitution demands it.

The very people in the streets of Baltimore screaming for their equality continually vote for politicians that King would be ashamed of, politicians that raise black unemployment, give more power to the government, and fuel race relations. Baltimore has been under Democrat policies for 50+ years. They’re, in essence, paying for their own prison. They do not utter his same cries, nor even relate to the struggles and aspirations of that time period. I’m not one to list the wrongs of those killed in police custody, because as I’ve said before, they deserve due process and I find it ignorant when people justify a wrongful death with a criminal record that involves crimes that do not carry a death penalty… However, the criminal record of King included peaceful protests and civil disobedience, the criminal record of Freddie Gray is made up of 18 arrests; including burglary, drug charges, second-degree assault, etc… Would King have fought for his right to due process? Absolutely. Would he compare their criminal records and act as though their struggle is the same? Not likely. Is that to say that Gray deserved to die? Absolutely not. That is to point out that the struggle of today is not the same as the struggles of the civil rights movement, and the comparisons are DOA to those that know the difference. There is a difference in demanding the right to vote, and demanding the right to confiscate tampons from a burning CVS without police intervention.

To give an example of such outlandish comparisons, I’ll tap into the current feminist movement. I was watching Mad Men the other day, and I found myself getting angry at how the women were treated. Sexual Harassment was rampant, women had little say, and their objectification can only be described as horrific. Don has numerous affairs while Betty gets to be chastised by her philandering husband when his boss is too flirty with her. During that time, women without husbands were to be pitied outcasts, and women with abusive and cheating husbands were expected to smile and cope, and don’t even get me started on the shame that followed you if you divorced your husband. With actual ads stating things like, “It’s true! The harder a wife works, the better she looks!” and “Even a lady can learn….” etc. But I can look around our world today and see that those ideals have changed, that we are treated as equals. The false “pay gap” narrative is perpetuated by those who emulate the vaguely disguised beliefs of the old sexist ads and assume that a lady doesn’t have the ability to think beyond her own body parts, much less research the farce data they used to fool her. If I go running around naked in the streets and complain that men were objectifying me and doubting my sensibilities like they did innocent fully clothed secretaries in the 60s, people would tilt their head and advise me of treatment facilities available in my area, and rightfully so.

However, there is indeed a struggle, a struggle that has been silenced by the acts of obnoxious protesters and looters. They expect those who possess the same rights as them to bend their lives around their own prejudice. The rioters in Baltimore have silenced the sane. In the above quote, King said that a “large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.” While I don’t believe it is just a segment of white society anymore, I believe that there are a disturbingly large number of people in the United States, of all colors, that can see what has happened to many individuals and dismiss both justice and humanity in their reactions. Look at the white man (I can’t even think of his name because he hasn’t been in the news… Imagine that) who was kicked numerous times by a handful of officers, even after he surrendered. 11 officers stood around him as he was needlessly beaten. They dismiss justice and humanity, not because of their color, but because of the custody they were in. I happen to believe that Freddie Gray deserves an investigation, and that Police throughout the U.S. should be subject to external investigations when someone dies in such a horrific manner on their watch, whether it was caused by police or not. Countless cases have been filed under a fancy title for “oops,” well that doesn’t fly when someone ends up 6 feet below. If Freddie Gray was taken on a “rough ride,” and they find that it caused his injuries, action should be taken. Unfortunately, that is where the system fails us so often. The officers involved do not break code on one another, and while they may have witnessed a wrong doing, it is unthinkable to rat on your brethren – especially in Baltimore.

Protests in Baltimore have been necessary for a while now. Actually, I think many of the very public police custody deaths this year and last were worthy of protests. Not because all cops are bad, but because the majority of cops are good and deserving of a better image. Justice should be blind to color, as well as the badge. The city of Baltimore has had to pay out nearly 6 million dollars to victims of brutality since 2011. Civil rights cases are being won; cases involving a Grandmother, church deacon, and even a pregnant woman. The Grandmother had her shoulder broken because she refused to let officers in her home without a warrant; she refused to let officers of the law violate her 4th Amendment rights, and for that she was abused. That could be any of us. The brutality cases towards people and pets, as well as corruption cases during a 4 year span in Baltimore should revolt anyone. We can all be stirred by emotion when we see a photo of an officer lovingly working alongside a black child in the streets of Baltimore (I know I was), but it shouldn’t mute a very large underlying problem. A problem that costs taxpayers millions of dollars in settlements, and a problem that has removed rights away from hundreds of individuals; rights you claim to support.

In one case, a police officer was cooperating with prosecutors on a police brutality case and found a dead rat on his windshield. The good cops can help their image by showing the true nature that we know they possess. Sure, we hear stories all the time of hero cops who help the needy, play with underprivileged kids, and purchase groceries for those struggling. Those are all incredibly commendable acts, and I share their stories… but I would really like to see cops start calling each other out on cases such as those listed above; there are other citizens who desperately need them. When will we stop seeing the police as a group, and start seeing them as individuals? We don’t silence rape cases because the majority of men are decent. We don’t protect soldiers from prosecution because the vast majority of them are selfless heroes. Why do we shield bad cops because the majority are good? It makes no sense, not even in the slightest bit. There are two cops, at minimum, in those police vans during “rough rides,” at least one of them has to know that they’re doing something barbarically inhuman. The fact that “rough rides” is a well known term in the Baltimore PD speaks wonders to the fact that a lot of good cops know what is happening, but remain silent. 16 Baltimore officers were convicted in a kickback scheme with a towing company. Others have been found guilty of lying on search warrants, selling heroin, and protecting drug dealers. Another case involved an officer that threw a man down so hard that his spleen ruptured, Yet good officers are subject to bully tactics, and manipulated into believing that their guilty “brother” is above the law. Gray was allegedly given a “rough ride” in the back of a police van (investigation is pending on whether that caused his death), these same “rough rides” have caused other citizens to become paralyzed. The “rough rides” are not a rare occurrence, hence the coined term. This type of malicious behavior happens in other cities as well, and should not be tolerated. The brave officers who step up should not have to face dead rats on their windshields, yet that is where we are. It reminds me of a quote from The Chicago Code, the officer was telling a story about how he used to be bullied, and says that being bullied is why he “joined the biggest and toughest gang in the world.” That’s the mentality we want to share with kids? What happened to Andy Griffith? I don’t know about you, but I want Andy to show up at my house if I need an officer. I want Andy to be the one that my nephew looks up to and trusts.

Unpopular opinion: If peaceful protests were taking place around our country to curb police brutality, bring in independent investigations (as Republican Scott Walker did), and require all police to wear body cameras, I would be marching along with them. Maybe if Democrat Mayor Rawlings-Blake would have supported body cameras like Republican Sen. Tim Scott, we’d know exactly what happened to Freddie Gray; unfortunately, Blake vetoed a bill that would have made them mandatory. My opinion doesn’t even come close to saying that all police officers are bad people – nor that I’m anti-cop – it is to say that the good need to start speaking out, and the bad need to be stripped of the protection they currently have from our state and fellow officers. If this took place, I guarantee that we would see the relationships between officers and citizens take a positive turn, and it would rebuild trust. Yet, we are so scared to even touch this subject that our friends and families act like we’ve just told them that we’re joining the Nazi party when we demand responsibility from those who deal in life and death situations. Families – white families – in Wisconsin faced persecution for their political leanings, officers rushed into homes following orders for absolutely no reason. One even saying, “Some days I hate my job.” Yet he still did it. Friends – I can’t stress this enough – police officers work for the state. Wonderful, decent, hardworking, heroic, brave men and women in uniform work for the state, and it is our job to control the state.

Now, some have said that there weren’t any peaceful protests in Baltimore… Well, that’s just silly. Of course there were peaceful individuals trying to protest respectfully, but they were muted by the mob of thugs who victimized an entire city with no remorse. They were victimized by a mob that pretends to know the first thing about rights as they trample on the rights of others, and harm officers that did nothing to them. They are wrong, and we’ve been wrong and uncaring. Americans are short sighted; we see the debacles in Ferguson and Baltimore and think that increasing the power of the state is the answer, when really the answer was to decrease the roll of the state long ago.

So, to the point: #BlackLivesMatter perpetuators, King didn’t encourage this kind of “communication,” but instead said it harmed the cause. In addition, #BlueLivesMatter perpetuators, he didn’t preach on supporting police custody “rough rides,” “nickel rides,” etc… His words were the words of a man who wanted justice for all people, punishment for crimes committed against all people, fair investigations for all victims, blind justice for all. #EveryLifeMatters! Refusal to admit that both sides are capable of having issues has annihilated sanity. Yesterday I shared a post that said, “Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, she didn’t trash the bus.” Rosa Parks didn’t harm the innocent, burn down buildings, attack police officers, etc. but she also had a darn good reason to stand her ground.

Buildings are burning, lives are ruined, and many will accuse me of callously bringing up some of the issues in my post when officers are lying in hospital beds. I will return the favor and accuse you of callously disregarding the rights of individuals which set the stage for innocent people to be maimed or killed and innocent officers to be put in hospital beds. You’re absolutely right, now is not the time to talk about this, the time to talk about this was years ago when we laid the foundation for the destruction, death, and pain we are seeing today. The disaster on the streets of Baltimore is not just the fault of rioters, it is the fault of those who shaped their ideals. Does it make you feel better to blame their parents? Our political silence and refusal to care about a wrong has created a society that devalues human life. What could we have done to avoid this? I’m not letting the rioters off the hook, but I’m not letting you off the hook either. We approach issue in this nation with a new level of cowardice, and if we expect to change our nation, well, that must to change.

I’ve found that if I post something on police brutality I have just as many views in the stats, but the interaction is low. Why? Because people are scared of their friends seeing that they liked or shared a post that hinted at the idea that all of the men and women in uniform patrolling our streets are not gods. That we do have an issue that needs to be taken care of, and that officers of the law are human and still need to be held responsible. I would argue that I support the police more than you do, that I care about their well being more so than you, because I know that to improve the relationship they have with the people, we need to remove the gang mentality and remember that they are all human beings. We are a nation that thrives when we have mutual respect, but we will be a nation that falls if we only govern on fear tactics. I would also argue that those encouraging thugs to loot and harm innocent individuals are as harmful, if not more so, to the black populous than those who fought against equal rights. You are encouraging men and women to degrade themselves, attack the innocent, and embrace the hatred and pain involved in the racial narrative that you have perpetuated for your own gain. You should be ashamed.

Our hearts do not truly bear the resemblance of barbarians when we accept that Freddie Gray was an unrepentant criminal, but they will do so when we accept the idea that he never mattered, when he becomes a number. The hearts of the peaceful protesters that were involved, those who were truly seeking change, will not be hardened because a life was lost, they will be hardened when they see we no longer care.

FYI – Do you know who would be talking about both the obnoxious rioters and police overreach despite the cries of foul from the masses? Martin Luther King Jr… Remember that the next time you quote him.

May I Propose A New Year’s Resolution For Everyone?

Every year in December we all start making goals in our heads: Lose 20 pounds, walk more, gym memberships, new cars, buy a house, etc. and rarely do any of us actually stick to our grand plans. So, I have a resolution to propose, one that we could all use, and one that will greatly benefit our fellow man.

Be rational.

That’s it! No gimmicks, no memberships, and nothing out of your pocket, but it might be the hardest thing you’ve ever done. It might challenge you, it demands that you remember what your Faith stands for, what your convictions stand for, and it means you have to question where your allegiance should lie. We have become reactionary, and not reasonable. Passive, and not compassionate. Quick to defend, slow to mourn.

Years ago I watched as someone on a show trained one of their dogs to respond to clicker training. Upon hearing the sound, her dog would respond by doing whatever her master requested of her, and immediately she would be rewarded. At first she questioned it, she was confused, but eventually the response was automatic. Eventually she would respond with or without a reward, because it had become chiseled into her mind that upon the “click” she needed to heed the request of her owner.

In this post, I’ll show you how we are all just a bunch of clicker trained dogs. That’s what this is all about, not just the actions of our government, but the reactions of the people. I’m going to touch on multiple topics, today’s blog is my alphabet soup of opinions, and I’ll probably say enough to offend everyone at least once. Fingers crossed.

This week two large, news worthy topics took center stage: Gruber was questioned about admitting to the fact that the architects of the ACA lied to the people in order to pass a bill that harmed the people. Then arrived the – suspiciously timed – release of the Senate report that detailed CIA interrogation tactics. Last week Ferguson was still in the news, followed by the news about Garner, pouring gasoline on an already thriving fire. It seems as though it is one thing after the other, and very few people have been rational.

Issue #1: CIA Interrogation Tactics

I’ll go ahead and rip this band-aid off first. I was challenged by a post that I read by Matt Walsh. He made an incredibly good point concerning the release of the Senate report, and by “Senate report,” I mean Democrat Senate opinion report. I digress, the point was, if we are going to say we have the moral high ground, we should stand by it. This is something I need to think about when it comes to torture. I’ve never lost sleep over the idea of water boarding a man who would murder my family without a care, but at the same time, can I justify calling America the moral high ground when “rectal rehydration” and “hypothermia” are practices we use on our enemies? Like I said, this is something I need to mull over. This is not to say that the report should have even been released, but it was, so I’ll think it over.

I believe that torture has the potential to save lives, I’ve held that position for quite a while, and will probably continue to do so, regardless of what the “findings” say. The report was written by Democrats, by cherry picking through 6 million documents, and they didn’t interview anyone with the CIA. Personally, I don’t want to hear the bleeding hearts on the left preaching about the suffering of terrorists. I noticed that there were a few practices that we don’t use. For example, we don’t behead them, we don’t fly planes into their buildings and force their innocent family members to burn alive or jump to their death, we don’t steal, rape, torture, and behead their women and children, etc. So my questioning has nothing to do with whether they deserve it, but rather who we wish to be as a country, and what techniques we want to put our stamp of approval on. Let’s all be honest, the level of care that a terrorist deserves would probably be something worse than what Jack Bauer could deliver while armed with a towel, hack saw, and table lamp.

Democrats: “Those poor terrorists!”

Republicans: “Yeah, those poor tortures, beheaders, rapists, and child slaughterers. Give me a break.”

While I might agree with the Republican viewpoint, I have to mull over who we are, not just what they deserve. For example: I’ve studied Calvinism vs. Arminianism (I don’t align with either), but I always hear the same thing from the New Calvinist perspective, “But we ALL deserve hell, Marybeth, so it’s not unfair to say that God made some people with no hope.” My reply has always been, “It’s not about what we deserve, it’s about what He promised.” I see interrogation tactics as the same type of issue, it’s not all about what they deserve, it’s about what we stand for. Put a bullet in their head, I’m not going to lose sleep when the terrorist that looked into the face of a child while he took off their head loses his life. It’s not about how evil he is, it’s about how good we claim to be.

That said, CIA, playing a Janeane Garofalo audiobook as torture? You’ve gone too far.

Like I said, my mind is not made up by any stretch of the imagination, but I am willing to think outside of the box. I’m willing to question the response I’m supposed to give upon hearing the “click.” I love having my position challenged, we all should, and that’s the reason for this post. We have become accustomed to spitting out a canned response before thinking. We hear a news report, a certain politician we support, a tagline, etc. and we don’t even take the time to think through our convictions and responses, we just go dig out that over baked one-liner, or that thoughtless opinion, and throw it back at the world. We become one huge food fight, where nobody even cares what the fight is about, they just want to defend their own.

Issue #2: Gruber & The Really Stupid Voters

Someday that will be a movie title. What can we all take away from this? The Democrats in charge do not care who they hurt. Their reactions are not based off of logic, but are instead based off of defending their own side. They don’t care if you lost your insurance, they don’t care if your Grandparent was denied chemo, they don’t care if you can’t afford groceries AND healthcare at the same time. They don’t care. They care that they were caught, but they don’t care about what this bill has done to families across America. When questioning Gruber, Trey Gowdy dropped the mic, threw down the gauntlet, and made Gruber wish he was never born, and every Conservative cheered and fist bumped over the much needed take down. Rightly so. But I think Issa won the show with a very important question to Gruber, one that I believe was widely overlooked by both Liberals and Conservatives. Issa asked Gruber if anyone at any of the events he spoke at (vast majority, if not all, were democrats) ever stopped Gruber to say, more or less, “Wait a second! You’re openly calling those that vote for our agenda ‘stupid?’” Of course Issa worded it differently, but the point was made, and Gruber said that he had not been corrected by anyone. That, to me, speaks wonders. This wasn’t just an opinion by an MIT Professor going off the rails, this was more than likely the opinion of the room, and anyone who felt differently and didn’t speak out concerning such a detrimental topic to the American people, is nothing but a coward. Period.

Let’s just take a moment here to pretend that the President didn’t know and agree with Gruber’s opinion of the average Democrat voter. Okay. Moment over.

The immediate response is not anger over the lies, as it should be, it is simply anger over the fact that this was made public knowledge. Do you see how heartbreaking that is? We as Conservatives shouldn’t just be attacking Gruber, we should be asking Democrats why they betrayed their own people, why they lied to their own voters. Gruber doesn’t need to apologize to us, he wasn’t talking about our stupidity, we didn’t vote for the bill, but the average Democrat voter did, and we should be using this opportunity to show them as such.

The world we live in today is fogged by our own lack of compassion, we have been thoughtless about choosing our allegiance, and both sides of the fence have failed the people, as well as law enforcement, and our moral compass. We have put individuals in power that have hurt our neighbors, just for the sake of padding our own pockets.

Issues #3&4: Michael Brown & Eric Garner:

Concerning my comments above about immediately choosing allegiance, immediately upon hearing that Michael Brown was killed, the majority of responses were similar to those listed below:

“I’m sure the police officer felt his life was in danger, this kid was probably causing trouble.”

“Hmmmm…Black kid, white cop. Explains everything.”

Days later Darren Wilson had a support page, and the responses changed to this:

“Brown was a criminal, a thug, and didn’t respect authority. #ISupportDarrenWilson”

“Brown was an unarmed black child!!! #BlackLivesMatter.”

No one was in their right mind. No one. Those who right off the cuff supported the officer without having facts just seemed, well, cold. Plus, now everyone knows that you are going to support someone with a badge, with or without facts, and with or without cause. That’s called a gang mentality, friends. Those that immediately jumped to preach on race did nothing but follow the path laid out by the media and an incredibly corrupt Government. So what was the right response? Well, in my opinion, it would have been something like this:

“Wow, heartbreaking news about a guy that lost his life. Praying for all involved, and that the truth, no matter who it benefits, prevails.”

That statement doesn’t condemn anyone, it doesn’t defend anyone. But see, we’ve lost compassion, and as soon as the “click” takes place, we all jump to our own side and defend whichever person we hope is innocent. Basically, we are well trained. Recklessly we pledge our allegiance, not realizing that there isn’t a side to choose. Unfortunately, this happened with Garner as well, and both cases give us the opportunity to see both sides of a horrific coin. In the Brown case we find that Brown’s death, while tragic, was because he gave the officer a legitimate need for self-defense. In the Garner case we find that he should have never been killed, and that the police overused their power.

There is no side to win, and I don’t understand why people don’t grasp such a horrid reality. 2 men are dead. The declaration of innocence in the Wilson case is only justified because the facts were foggy, and the witnesses were conflicting. The majority said that Brown was attacking Wilson, and this gives Wilson the right to exercise self-defense. The Garner case, however, was an entirely different story.

If you are friends with me on Facebook, or you have read my Twitter, you’ll find that I didn’t reference the previous acts of Michael Brown, nor the “thug” mentality that everyone was touting. Why? Because it was irrelevant in my mind. Just like the emotional declarations of dedication from the Wilson followers, and the Police apologists who step over bodies just to defend a badge. I also didn’t base my opinions on the Eric Garner situation on whether or not he had a clean record, or had been arrest 436 different times. I didn’t, and don’t, care. None of it matters.

Last week I once again watched the video of Eric Garner, for what I would guess was the 8th time. It didn’t get any easier to watch, but I kept watching because I honestly wanted to see if I had missed something, I wanted to make sure that I had come to the right conclusion. Each time that I heard him say “I can’t breathe,” my heart broke a little more, and I can honestly say that I cried each time. Then I saw him lying there in the second video, and as the cops did not do anything to assist Garner, other than tap his shoulder and talk to him while he was unresponsive, I questioned what had happened to my country. As Pentaleo waved to the camera like a child while this man lay dying on a gurney, my stomach turned in revolt.

So today, with every bit of disdain that I have for this entire debacle, I’m going to debunk not only the worst excuses that I’ve read, but I’m also going to discuss why the past of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant to the discussion, and once again note why we have become a nation of automatic responses with little regard for life. In addition, I’m going to chat about the false narrative that is the race issue.

“Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die.”

Not only is it sad that this is the first defense that most people fly to, it’s also incredibly stupid. Not the kind of stupid that people should have to call you out on, but the kind of stupid that calls for immediate realization and regret. That’s the kind of thing you say and then 5 minutes later think, “Man, that was really stupid.” Not something that the rest of the country should pick up and race around the podium of badges like it’s the most logical sentence proclaimed since Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream. It’s stupid, and if you said that, you should be horribly and deeply ashamed of yourself. Notice, I’m not calling you stupid, I’m calling that statement stupid. Beyond that, if you said that before saying ANYTHING else about the human being that lost his life, you should really evaluate your soul. Not in a, “Hmmm…I wonder if that was hasty” sort of way, but more in a “Hmmm…I wonder if I’m desensitized” sort of way.

Let’s break down the issue here:

The death penalty is different in each state, but the main reason it is used is for premeditated murder. In some states, treason, kidnapping, trafficking, espionage, rape of a child, etc. are also listed as reasons, but those are not widely known reasons since the vast majority of the time we hear of someone on death row, it is for premeditated murder. It’s your butchers, your serial rapists/killers, it’s the parasites of society that prey on the innocent, the monsters that give the horror film industry their wild ideas, the father of six selling loose cigarettes on the street.

Oh wait.

This is why the past transgressions of Michael Brown and Eric Garner are irrelevant. Michael Brown was killed in self-defense, and I support the right we have to protect ourselves. If someone breaks into my house, I’m not aiming to wound, I’ll leave it at that. They pose a direct threat, and I am in fear for my life. If you believe that any cop in the Eric Garner case feared for their life, I have a farm in Kentucky that I’d like to sell you. See, Michael Brown’s past was irrelevant to me because I KNOW that people can change, and I pray that they give up a life of crime and be productive members of society, that they find peace. While I hope they are held accountable, I would never say that the death penalty is optional for the crime of being a cigar stealing thug. What matters in the Ferguson case is that Michael Brown went after a police officer, another human being, and that person defended their life. That is what matters to me. How saggy Brown’s pants were does not matter. What matters is that Wilson, badge or no badge, had a right to defend his life.

When you justify manslaughter by saying that he simply shouldn’t have committed a crime, you automatically make the death penalty a logical choice for EVERY crime. Resisting arrest is NOT punishable by death. Period. So stop using that incredibly stupid tagline. If you attack a cop while resisting arrest, then you might have a case.

“I stand in solidarity with the protesters! Because I’m against a police state.”

Since when is burning down buildings a way to lessen the police state? Actually, you’re just giving people a reason, or at least they think it’s a reason, to support a police state, or what they don’t think will turn into a police state. You might not be out there lighting buildings in Ferguson on fire, but supporting those that do is not only dumb, but you should ask for a job in government since you’re currently helping them for free, you might as well get paid. Staaahhhhhhppppp.

“Fact: Garner was arrested multiple times before.”

Fact: So were many high profile pastors, CEO’s, and other productive members of society. People do dumb things all the time, that still doesn’t justify the death penalty. We hope that people change, and until they do, we hold them accountable for their actions, we don’t kill them. He could have been arrested 30 more times for the same crime, and guess what, IT STILL WOULDN’T JUSTIFY THE DEATH PENALTY. They don’t execute people for selling cigarettes. Apparently the fact that due process is for all people, even those with a criminal past, comes as a surprise to some people.

If you need more information on this issue, please see the section dedicated to “Well, don’t break the law and you won’t die” again.

Moving on to “He had a heart attack, the cop didn’t kill him.”

Have you ever been so amazed by what someone has said that you tilt your head sideways and give it a couple seconds so that maybe their brain catches up with their mouth? This kind of reminds me of that. I’m sure that choking him, cutting off his oxygen until he passed out, smashing his face into the ground and creating positional asphyxiation, leaving him to lay there unconscious, etc. had nothing to do with his heart attack and death. Nothing at all. By the way, what’s the price on unicorns in your world, have they gone up with inflation? The coroner ruled it a homicide for a reason, and I don’t think it’s because he owns a Guy Fawkes mask and moonlights as an anti-cop protester.

Prison guards are trained to avoid positional asphyxiation, even with larger inmates. I know this comes as a shock since they’re criminals, and jumping on their back and choking them out should be totally copasetic to the masses, but apparently the people who train Prison Guards realize that even inmates have rights. So those saying that positional asphyxiation just happens, that’s why rules are put in place in terms of force. Accidental abortions happen when you push your pregnant wife down the stairs too, maybe it’s a good idea not to push your pregnant wife down the stairs.

“If he said “I can’t breathe,” clearly he could still breathe at least a little.”

*Blank stare* If you can watch the video and have this response, you’re grasping. That’s like watching a house burn down and having the insurance company refuse to pay you because the microwave was still usable.

“It’s because he was black!”

Are there racial issues in this country? Of course. It’s on both sides. Do either of these instances have to do with race? Of course not, and no one can prove that they do. I could dig up multiple videos and news stories that involve caucasians being the victims of police overreach, but then I’d have to deal with receiving a bunch of pictures telling me to call a crackhead the next time someone breaks into my house.

Beyond that, you do realize that a black superior officer stood by and watched Garner be taken down like an animal, right?

“1,501 law enforcement officers have died in the line of duty in the last 10 years.”

Heartbreaking number, truly, it is. Whether it’s 1501, or 1, it is a sad number. We should always mourn the loss of an officer. We should always mourn the loss of a father, mother, sister, brother, daughter, son, etc. The problem that I have with this statistic is what it is being used for, and that I found this line on a Conservative site, mocking the “I can’t breathe” case. First we see a cartoon with a grave marked “Police: Killed in the line of duty,” followed by the caption: “We can’t breathe.” So because these 1,501 law enforcement officers have died, somehow Eric Garner’s death is irrelevant. The article then went on to call American neighborhoods “War Zones,” it was at this point that I stood completely still to see if I could feel the Founding Fathers turning in their graves.

Beyond that, this Conservative site is the same one that houses writers who will take Mom’s Demand Action to the cleaners for bending statistics to fit their narrative. Shannon Watts is constantly taking gun statistics and fitting it into her agenda, and we all, myself included, rip her to shreds. She even has me blocked on Twitter, which I consider to be a badge of honor. I, a responsible gun owner, don’t appreciate her false and damaging numbers, and I, an American who cares about our freedoms, don’t appreciate it when a Conservative site does the same. They tout 1,501, but they don’t give you all the facts. Nowhere in the article does it say that more than half of those officers died in automobile or motorcycle accidents, another group from heart attacks, etc. and it is misleading to not mention this information. Especially since the number of cops killed by perpetrators per year was, as of 2013, at its lowest point since the late 1800’s. You mention the facts behind the 1,501 number and all of the Conservatives say, “Well, they were in the line of duty.” but we all know that’s ridiculous, they were going for the shock value. They wanted you to imagine 1,501 officers dying at the hands of people like Michael Brown and Eric Garner, but the reality is that cops usually defend themselves with lethal force when the situation calls for it.

“Well, at first I was mad when I watched the Garner video, but then after the legal definitions were explained to me I realized that what the officer did was justifiable under the law.”

Hmmm… Please add on to that. How about, “I watched the video, and if what the officer did is justifiable under the law, we need to change the law.”

Seriously, is anyone not concerned with the fact that people watched that video, were horrified, and then calmed down after being told that the cop was within the law? Like “Well, I watched that woman get stoned by her husband, freaked out a bit, but then calmed down when I realized that he is allowed to do that.” What, shouldn’t that raise the concern level, not lower it? Everyone was spouting off over whether it was a chokehold or not, really? Like you’re going to watch the video and think, “oh, well, this is not a big deal if his arm is situated like this.” “I just watched a man die tragically, for selling loose cigarettes, but it’s okay because of a definition.” So, after being told that I need to wait for the entire story, that I need to look at the law, and that I need to understand his past and health conditions, I’d like to throw my blanketed response back at you: If you watch that video, and for ANY reason, think that it is okay, I’m going to disagree with you, vehemently. If that is allowed by law, I want the law changed. If we are going to allow this in the name of not paralyzing cops, then we need to embrace the label of “cold barbarians.” If we can’t find a happy medium between this and sitting back and forcing the police to do nothing, then we have finally succeeded at allowing our Government to become that obnoxious kid on the playground who refuses to play unless you let him change the rules.

This happened in Ferguson too. We said that having every cop look like the terminator was bad, and that military equipment should not be allowed, and then suddenly when law enforcement stands back and watches looters burn buildings, people look at me like, “See…I guess you got your way!” I’m to the point that responding to such ridiculous statements is a waste of time.

“People just need to comply with police. Period. It’s not that hard, do what they ask you to do.”

Said Soviet Russia. My problem with this statement is that it’s blanketing ALL issues. If a cop wants to see my ID, sure! If that’s the law, I’ll hand it over. If he wants to search my car without reason and warrant, ummm…no. People need to learn their rights.

“A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty.” – James Madison

“It is the first responsibility of every citizen to question authority.” – Benjamin Franklin

Our Founding Fathers did not only warn of armies that attack other countries and destroy them, the majority of the time, they warned about armies that destroy their own country. Does that mean that I think every law enforcement officer is going to turn on the people? Don’t be silly. But it does mean that I believe the Founding Fathers wanted power over the people to be limited, very limited. Like not choking a guy out over a cigarette tax limited. As the saying goes, absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Many people feel that giving government more power will somehow make those who enforce such power side with us if anything were to go awry. People don’t seem to understand that law enforcement officers across our country – good, decent, brave law enforcement officer – are upholding laws against guns that go against our Constitution and tax laws – ahem – that support the nanny state ideals. Why? Because it’s their job. Sure, if the chips fell some of them would not do the government’s bidding, but friends, the reason why the Founders said that it was detrimental to keep control over such institutions is because the vast majority will follow orders, and will even use violence over taxes. Look no further than every other country that has ever welcomed such tactics. When/If gun control is enforced, guess who knocks on your door to collect guns? Do you think that everyone that lived in Russia and Germany were barbarians who didn’t care about their neighbors? You can’t possibly be that foolish. No, they were controlled by a few barbarians who demanded that those beneath them do their job, and guess what, they did.

“Let’s see who you call when someone breaks into your house!?”

I nominate this argument as the worst yet; the champion, the incomparable, the unparalleled. It’s horrible, ignorant, and downright silly. It’s overused, abused, and not even close to logical. It’s like poor rationale on steroids. I’ve covered this before, so now I shall cover it again…

If someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the cops. Because it’s their job. If someone mugs me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone rapes me, I’m going to call the cops. If someone steals in the store, I’m going to call the cops. If someone hits my car, I’m going to call the cops. Heck, if I want to, I might just have the police on speed dial on my phone, because they’re the first people I’m going to call if I catch someone doing something illegal.

So, I have a wonderful doctor, he is one of the best doctors I’ve ever been to. (I have a point, don’t worry.) He’s a lung specialist, and a darn good one at that. As a chronic asthmatic, he changed my life. I can’t say enough about the man, and I honestly appreciate doctors more than most people because I spent a lot of my life in their care. I don’t care if they own yachts and large houses, they’ve earned them! Years ago, my doctor was on vacation for 2 weeks, but I had what I thought was a particularly bad cold and had to see whoever was available to get some help so that I didn’t step into overnight stay territory. The doctor I saw, in my opinion, was not just a mediocre doctor compared to mine, but she didn’t even deserve to be measured on the same scale. She had no idea what to prescribe me, I basically told her what to give me after she shrugged her shoulders. She wrote me prescriptions, didn’t listen to my lungs, and sent me out the door with access to more medications than the pharmacy could hold, but none that actually did any good. I walked out the door with what my doctor would diagnose as whooping cough 3 weeks later. I was miserable for weeks, couldn’t work, couldn’t sleep, and sick from self-medicating because she didn’t do anything to diagnose the issue.

My point in all of that is to say that I had no issue calling out this doctor, even though it’s a profession that I highly respect. She failed to do her job, and made the hospital look bad. My doctor found out who she was and wanted her location and information so that he could make a call to whoever was in charge that day (I had gone to a local hospital since I knew he was out), that instantly made me trust my doctor even more. Doctors are humans, and just like the entire human population as a whole, there are going to be some people that excel at being good, many that are decent, and some that wear see through Cheetah print pants, a pink sports bra, and curlers to Walmart.

I have something I need to tell you guys: Police officers are human. I love them, I respect them, and I appreciate them, but they’re human. Some of them are going to be outstanding at their job, some deliver Christmas trees to kids, some bring groceries to single mothers, some care about criminals and Mom’s that steal because they can’t feed their kids, some are really sweet and let me go with a warning, some work at homeless shelters, some give homeless men boots during the winter, and some may have grown tired of seeing people hurt and now have a hair trigger personality, and a few others joined simply because they have a superiority complex (They can usually be seen with shirts that say, “Police Officer, because bad-a** isn’t an official title”). Balance is found when we remember that every profession – even those who save lives in the medical world, those who fight wars, fight fire, patrol the streets, and restock your cantaloupe in the produce department – is going to have both good and bad individuals. If you limit their power and remove the government overreach attacking our nation like a plague, you’ll lessen the opportunities to use lethal force, which means you’ll lessen the chance of those few power hungry police officers getting in over their head, which means you’ll lessen the chance of a horrible situation. Add in the fact that we could use more training, and less warrior mentality type attitude encouragement, and we would begin to see a change.

I have something else to tell you: Scrutiny is not attacking. Holding an institution responsible for their actions is not anti-that particular institution. Limiting is not paralyzing. Respecting does not mean I need to worship.

So, when you ask me who I’m going to call when someone breaks into my house, I’m going to call the police, and I’m going to expect them to do their job. Sending videos to my inbox of cops doing good things after I ask us all to be vigilant of how much power we give law enforcement is like me sending you clips of Dr. McDreamy saving someone with brain cancer after you complain about your recent ER visit. It’s irresponsible, and has NOTHING to do with the problem. You heard the click, and you responded by bowing down to your idols. You didn’t do what the Founders told you to do, you instead tried to make me feel unpatriotic, uncaring, and anti-cop while you bounced on the body of a victim with a pogo stick. When in reality, my way creates a positive relationship between the people and law enforcement. So, now that I think about it, maybe you’re the one that supports a system which causes the police to be viewed in a bad light with the public. Chew on that one for a bit.

Do I share videos of the awesome things many cops do? Of course! Am I thankful for the police? OF COURSE! Are they who I am going to call if someone harms me? Of course! Am I going to ignore issues in law enforcement to fancy your narrative? No. I’m not.

And remember who we are. We are not Europe, we are not China, we are America. Our country was Founded on individual rights, self-protection, and a Government that is supposed to run on a hands off approach. The same rights that gave Wilson the right to protect himself, and Garner the right to live and face due process. Respecting the police is pertinent; not fearing what they can become with too much power is dangerous. That means we are ALL responsible to hold ANY guilty party responsible. Badge or no badge. Michael Brown was responsible for his death, Eric Garner was not responsible for his. So, where should your allegiance be placed? Right now I’m talking about politically, of course I know that God is the blanketed answer, but right now I’m talking about us as a country. Look to your left and your right, no matter what they are wearing, be it a police uniform or a waitress apron, they are who your allegiance should be dedicated to. The People of this country. Your first response should be to protect their rights, at all cost. Countless soldiers have given their lives in the name of our freedom, it is our job to respect that freedom. It is our job to protect that freedom from our Government.

So this year, I challenge you to think. Think about who you defend, are you defending the rights of the man behind the badge, or just the badge. Think about who we are, are you putting your opinions to the challenge and ensuring that they can face fierce scrutiny? Think about your neighbor, if they lost their home because their already impossible budget was stretched to the limit because of the ACA, would you care more about Gruber’s remarks? Until we start seeing people, and stop seeing color, uniform, and political party, we will never heal this country.

– MBnew-year-resolutions2

From One Feminist to Another

I’ve seen a lot of both positive and negative responses to Emma Watson’s UN speech. I was asked for my opinion of her speech by a few people on Facebook and Twitter. So, here I am, typing away.

So, without further ado, here is my bucket of thoughts on the matter –

I didn’t hate it, I didn’t like it, personally I felt it was much like my favorite stuffed bear I had as a child. Not Emma Watson, mind you, but her speech. I loved that bear. My bear was soft, fluffy and comforting. It somehow made me think that the Boogeyman would avoid my room. Well, in reality, the Boogeyman never existed, and my bear would have been completely useless if an intruder broke in to kidnap me. My bear would have just sat there in its adorable clown outfit while I was raped and murdered. Emma’s speech was adorable, and completely useless. It was a teddy bear pretending to be a Rottweiler. Not only that, it furthered the idea that us civilized people are ridiculously narcissistic.

Example: The woman living in the Middle East being stoned to death after she was raped is not so concerned about Obama’s White House paying their female workers less.

Example: The homosexual sentenced to death in Saudi Arabia is, I’m guessing, not so concerned about whether your male friend can feel free to let his emotions floweth.

Example: The little girl suffering through genital mutilation is probably not worried about the fact that Emma was called “bossy.”

To quote Justin Timberlake, “cry me a river” came to mind.

Now, I’m not saying that little issues shouldn’t be addressed, but addressing them in a room with world leaders – a large portion of them still allowing women to be brutalized – is wildly silly. It’s like sitting in a room with Michael Vick and his followers and trying to encourage them to support a Tempur Pedic dog line because your buddy Fido seems to be a bit achy in the morning.

“When I was 8, I was called bossy because I wanted to direct a play we would put on for our parents. When at 14, I started to be sexualized by certain elements of the media. At 15, my girlfriends started dropping out of sports teams because they didn’t want to appear masculine” she boldly proclaims to the man that thinks women should be held down and mutilated so that they don’t feel pleasure during sex.

“At 18, my male friends were unable to express their feelings” she tearfully says while trying to convince a world leader that thinks homosexuals should be beheaded.

“Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive” she says to a world leader who let dogs eat his uncle.

Side note: For people that claim to respect science more than anyone else, those that applaud the idea that men and women should be treated the same emotionally have completely rejected biology so as to create their own overarching moral system. Period. Men and women are different, suicides and depression increased when we started denying this.

So, in the end you can say, “It was meant for the world, not just for the men and women in the room!”, and yet it will still be about as effective as Obama’s hashtag diplomacy in getting anything done. It is ivory tower theatrics, Thurston and Lovey Howell-esque rhetoric. No offense, Emma darling, but the way I feel about your speech is similar to how your side would feel if Romney complained about money. It’s like a pageant contestant saying that they want to end world hunger while standing in a $2000 gown with a cloud of hairspray looming above their head. It’s adorable, it’s predictable, and “powerful” according to a magazine that will spend more than I will make in a lifetime ensuring that they get the first photo of the next celebrity baby named after a piece of fruit. Excuse me if I don’t raise my glass of Dom Perignon to their ability to relate to the little people and decide what is “powerful.”

Sounds harsh? Yes. Yes it does. Life is harsh.

Moving on…

Emma cited Edmund Burke saying, “all that is needed for the forces of evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” In actuality, that wildly popular quote was never found in his writings, and for the sake of the discussion I’ll post his exact words:

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”

Same meaning, but interestingly enough, I doubt that she would use Edmund Burke as a point of reference in any other way. Why? Well, when he was making these statements, he was simultaneously saying that the preservation of citizens and the success of a country are intrinsically linked to Christianity. He spoke on the rights of ALL men, and the need for restraint of passions frequently. Not to put words in his mouth, but I’m going to go out on a limb and say that he’d have quite a few words for women dressed in vagina costumes fighting to remove rights from innocent infants. He wouldn’t support the various government programs that are aimed not at equality, but at giving the weaker sex as many handouts as possible so as to keep them enslaved (I didn’t call them weaker, liberals did by their actions). That’s not equality, Emma.

She spent a good portion of time discussing why she believes feminism has lost its zest. She claims that it is all about the false man hating rhetoric. I would challenge that position. I would say that it is because we have stripped feminism of its purpose. We have lost sight, Emma. I would say that we traded principles for weapons grade stupidity. There is a woman that sent her child to school with vagina cookies, Emma. Vagina cookies. Then she told the teacher that didn’t particularly appreciate them that she wished her future husband would abuse her for not happily accepting the vagina cookies. There is a woman who changed into a man, and then fought to teach breastfeeding AS a man. He won. A major part of the 2012 election revolved around the words “free contraception.” We call Beyonce empowering for prancing around in a thong and doing sexual favors for her man because she  “just wanna be the girl you like.” The word “feminism” is rejected by women with brains not only because so called “feminists” act like man haters, but also because they’ve dumbed us down to petty, weak, ignorant, drama loving toys who don’t care about what is happening to our own sex in other countries.

See, Emma, back in the day women’s rights meant something. We started off saying, “WE ARE MORE THAN OBJECTS!!!!” and have now moved to “LOOK, WE ARE SHINY OBJECTS!!!!” and we pretend that it has something to do with loving our bodies. We started off by saying that life in the womb was sacred, now we are just vending machines that can be emptied and reused. The feminist movement started off by saying that we have minds, that we have individual opinions, and that we should have the right to voice those opinions and be taken seriously. Now we have moved towards the idea that if we don’t support Sir Nurses-A-Lot we don’t care about female empowerment. Emma, I can’t take the lady that sent cookies decorated as vaginas to school with her 2nd Grade daughter seriously. Honestly, at this point I wouldn’t be surprised if she finger paints on her walls with peanut butter and calls herself Picasso.

Feminists of today do not deserve the title. Say I take a can of Spam and slap the label “Steak” on it… Would that make the Spam a steak? No. It would make me desperate to sell you Spam under false pretenses so as to get a higher profit that I shouldn’t receive. This is what feminism has done. It has taken what the original feminists believed to be oppression, and labeled it by a familiar name that makes other people think that they are doing something worthy of their accolades.

Emma spoke of being sexualized, as though it was unwelcomed. Yet she took home a paycheck from Burberry and Lancôme. That’s not an issue in need of calling in the feminist brigade to save her from the grimy hands of men, that’s an issue that feminists themselves have created. They are not consistent in their complaints. They don’t want to be sexualized, but when they get paid to be sexualized it is beautiful because then it is somehow taking pride in their body. They have decided when they get to be a victim, and that doesn’t work.

The problem is that feminism works kind of like a 5 year-old child left to clean his room by himself. Mom comes to the door and suddenly he’s cleaning, Mom walks away and then he is playing again. Emma Watson steps up to a microphone and suddenly it’s all about respecting ourselves and equality, Emma steps away from the microphone and it goes back to being reruns of the vagina monologues and genital pastries. They fight phantom monsters because going after the real monsters are too scary. They don’t have the ability to be a voice for brutalized women because they are too scared to step out of line and be labeled an anti-feminist. The feminists I know are only as brave as their edgy t-shirts and tampon earrings will permit them to be. Heaven forbid they say something that Wendy Davis, Sandra Fluke, and Hillary Clinton wouldn’t agree with.

Feminism hasn’t become a negative term because it has been given a bad rap, it has become a negative term because the current leaders and voices of the movement are idiots.

Some people may be reading this and thinking, “Well, Emma never said that she blatantly supported abortion, nor did she go into detail on her own personal beliefs.” I concur, but that is irrelevant. What is relevant is who is absorbing her message, and what conclusions they come to. What group did this empower? That matters. As much as I’d love to think that there will simply be a bunch of little girls running around saying, “I’m not bossy” – while I hope they one day grow up into someone that isn’t rendered powerless or weakened by a 5 letter word – I know that it won’t end there.

I know that the people doing a fist bump were the individuals that wish to allow little boys into little girls rooms because they “feel different,” without taking any care to evaluate what that might do to the little girls. Because the child that feeds their rhetoric is important, the other children aren’t. A confused little boy shouldn’t have to use the little boy’s room, but the vast number of little girls who will now be confused just need to “get over it” and learn tolerance.

I know some of the individuals who screamed “AMEN” during her speech are the very people that think slicing an infant’s spine at 8 months along is acceptable.

I know that some of those rejoicing over this speech are the very individuals who have turned their back on women, called Islam the religion of peace, and ignored the screams of the millions of brutalized women. All in the name of the cause though, right?

I know that many of those giving Emma accolades are the very same people that don’t think that I should have a gun to protect myself. They fight on behalf of men that may wish to brutalize me, and yet call themselves feminists.

THAT is what matters.

I would have been more impressed had she pointed to her audience and said something similar to the following:

“We as women will give a voice to the child brides and the victims of sex slavery. We will fight for the women that you have allowed to be brutalized. We will ask good men to join us, and we will stand up to men like you. We will stand strong, we will be powerful, and we will be heard. We will show you that we are not mere objects, that we are not weak, and that those silenced by your governments will be remembered. We will not support a porn industry that has aided in the slavery of women. We will no longer let you insult our intelligence. We will be valued. We will not fall for propaganda that leads to us electing leaders that have empowered you. Leaders that have helped you to continue harming us. We refuse to adapt the victim mentality.”

I know I sound like I’m being hard on Emma. I am. I think she means well, but I don’t agree with her on many points, and I refuse to pretend like I do. I support the original goals of the feminist movement, and I support my ability to come to a conclusion that is not spoon fed to me by the religion of feminism. Because THAT is what feminism was originally about.

– MB

Who Will Guard the Guardians?

“This and no other is the root from which a tyrant springs; when he first appears he is a protector.”
– Plato

This morning I read two different stories involving police officers, and both speak wonders. The first story rightly labeled a local police officer as a hero after he bravely rescued a woman from drowning. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the article and left a “thank you” to the brave police officer in the comments section. It was nice to read something positive after all of the negative that has been filling my timeline lately. Then a comment made by another woman on that same article made me doubt the human race once again. This peculiar commenter made it known that she would love to see people that post police overreach articles face this brave young hero. Basically, she dared anyone to say anything negative about any other police officer because the man that saved a woman from drowning had a badge.

I can’t wait to start posting articles about heroic civilians and follow it up with, “I’d love to see those who speak out against child abuse and rape face these heroes.”

“Please remove this article about sex trafficking, my husband just so happens to be a man, and this paints all men as sex addicted monsters.”

“Please remove this article about Andrea Yates, my Mom is a mother, and this paints all mothers as psychopaths.”

“Please remove this article about how bad aspects of the public education system can be, my wife is a teacher.”

“Please remove this article about being careful when getting in a stranger’s car, my husband picks up hitchhikers and delivers them home safely.”

Do you know why bad things happen to people? Because bad people usually use the same techniques that good people happen to use, just for different reasons. Don’t justify your silence on issues by saying there are good people, it just allows the bad to continue deceiving, sometimes even turning the good people into tools for bad. Hence this blog post.  

The second story I read was revolting and should leave everyone outraged.

In 2012 a police officer was arrested for planning to kidnap, torture, rape, kill, and eventually cannibalize his victims. He had used the NYPD database to track his potential victims, and had detailed out and established his plans in chat rooms and phone calls. He had even brought on coconspirators to help him be successful, he even brought the idea of harming his wife into the debacle. His google searches included “How to knock out someone with chloroform.” Yet, the acts of this monster amazingly have nothing to do with today’s blog post; however, what happened to him does indeed relate to today’s blog post. He walked this week. He was sentenced to 1 year, time served, for using the perks of his job to hunt down his potential victims. 1 year. *taps on microphone* 1 year.

He faced less time for conspiring to barbeque a woman while she was still alive, after the brutal rape he had planned for her, than an 18-year-old would spend for having sex with his 16-year-old girlfriend. I’m not justifying statutory rape, I’m just demonstrating how the magic a badge holds in the courtroom can make David Copperfield look like a hobo playing shell games on a street corner.

So, to the point: I’ve let the idea for this blog post mull around in my brain for a few months. I wasn’t sure how to approach such a divisive topic, I wasn’t sure how to avoid being offensive, etc. but honestly, at this point, I’m not going to squander time designated for perfectly good sleep worrying about whether people can have an adult conversation about a legitimate issue, or if they’re going to go Stephanie Tanner stompy foot on me. Life is short, I have a lot of opinions, and this isn’t going to be the last viewpoint that makes enemies.

Topic: Police Overreach (Insert Jaws theme music here)

So, I kind of feel like I kicked a puppy just by flirting with the idea of going towards this topic. Immediately upon reading this many people will say, “Oh yeah, well let’s see who she calls when someone breaks into her house!!”

I’m going to go ahead and answer that question: The cops. Because I’m not anti-cop, I’m anti-Police State. Oh, and that’s sort of their original purpose, as opposed to being suited up like The Terminator to go investigate a joint.

No, I’m not going to apologize if adults can’t talk about real issues without a bias that causes them to lash out at people, even if what those individuals are saying is logical. I’m not even going to back down when confronted by those who want to voice their frustrations because they have friends and family in law enforcement, because I do too.

Hey, finish reading, and if you disagree, I would love to discuss it with you via email, or in the comments section.

The barricade that keeps us from solving issues:

Conservatives have a tendency of behaving like liberals when it comes to certain conversations that need to be had; guarding certain topics better than they would the holy grail. I was blocked by a police officer after having a discussion concerning police brutality, apparently discussing a legitimate issue is no longer permitted. This is like men getting mad if you discuss the issue of rape, because they have the same tools that were used in the crime.

Quite frankly, I’m getting sick and tired of saying anything about our need to reduce the police state mentality only to have people assume that I have a Guy Fawkes mask in my purse, and that I belong in zip-tie handcuffs. Come on now, People… Now I finally understand why I rarely find a logical article on the subject! Either you have articles worshipping law enforcement, or you have articles showing complete distain for law enforcement, or you have the articles that are never written because sane individuals approach the topic only to be taken on a guilt trip to the land of heroic stories, where the rivers of bravery floweth, and the dangerous changes taking place in our society are forgotten.

Seriously, I love the police. I appreciate the police. I just want to request that our law enforcement simply do what they were originally designed for before 1984 becomes prophetic.  

On that note:

In 2011 Jose Guerena was shot 22 times while standing in his kitchen. The 26-year-old man was an Iraq veteran who had returned home and was now working the night shift at a mine. After seeing a suspicious person by their house, he put his wife and child in a closet and took his gun out to investigate. A SWAT team riddled his body with bullets while in search of drugs throughout the neighborhood. His home did not have any drugs, and the only marijuana found by the SWAT team was a small bag located in another home.

Reminder: A cannibalistic police officer is unencumbered, and probably fantasizing and enjoying a beer right now while this veteran is in a grave.

In 2010 a 7-year-old little girl was badly burned by a flashbang grenade that was thrown into the window of a her home, landing on her blanket. She was instantly disoriented and unable to hear and follow orders, a member of the SWAT team then entered the home and her life was ended with a single shot in the wake of all the madness.

Just this past May, a no knock SWAT raid ended with a 2-year-old child being thrown into a medically induced coma after have a flashbang grenade land in his crib. A search for drugs that weren’t even found in the home, a home that the suspect didn’t even reside in, ended with an innocent child having a gaping chest wound.

That’s just a sampling. All around the United States the Fourth Amendment is violated because people don’t know their rights, and men in uniform are either ignorant of those rights themselves, or they are taking advantage of the fact that many citizens are oblivious.  Yet if you mention this fact, you might as well have said that dogs don’t go to heaven, and baby ducks should be thrown in wood chippers.

In a press conference held in February of this year, concerning the ridiculous arrest of a jogger that was “resisting arrest,” or in reality, wearing headphones that made her unable to hear the cop shout at her after she jaywalked (no joke,) one police chief actually said, “In other cities there’s cops who are actually committing sexual assaults on duty, so I thank God that this is what passes for a controversy…” This girl was placed on the ground and handcuffed while she cried and begged them to understand that she didn’t do anything wrong.

I followed the comments section of an article on the jogger story and was amazed by the support from other officers for this, well, thug-like arrest. But it’s acceptable that the pigtailed jogger was a victim of police overreach, because well, she’s just lucky that she didn’t get sexually assaulted? That’s a logical defense? I mean, maybe in Soviet Russia, but here? Yes, the chief eventually admitted to the fact that he could have worded that better. By I’m going to throw “worded that better” out into the cold and replace it with, “should’ve never tried to justify it in the first place.”

I hate to go here, but…

No, that’s a lie. I’m pretty ok with going here. The greatest weapon that the Gestapo had in their power was fear. The people thought that the Gestapo had ears everywhere, could do what they wanted without repercussions, etc. and that fear gave the Gestapo the ability to actually do what they wanted without repercussions. Imagine that. They fed off of the ignorance of the people. They even leaked stories of brutality by police so as to put fear into the people. The “it could be worse for you” mentality was rampant, and the people simply wanted to stay safe, so they blindly complied.

I was listening to a video of a gun owner talking to a police officer. The police officer was in full agreement with the man concerning the fact that it was his right to carry his weapon. When the man asked the police officer why he didn’t just explain our rights to the concerned caller that had called the police, the officer eluded to the idea that they would rather not see a lot of people knowing that they can exercise those rights. The police are to blame for much of the anti-gun propaganda, they have aided in fueling so much of the fear surrounding guns…

SIDE NOTE: I’m not justifying the actions of those that are carrying long rifles into restaurants. My opinions on that will be in a different blog post.

Countless videos of civilians refusing a vehicle search are all over the net, and yet those conducting the searches find the ignorance of one’s own rights to be a benefit for the thousands of other cars searched without question. Unfortunately, even GOOD cops are being led down the road of the police state mentality. It’s the ends justifying the means again…But is that who America is? Is that what we want our country to be like? I’ll pass.

The video of a police officer supporting the rights of gun owners made the rounds as well, I shared it excitedly, and then realized that this shouldn’t be considered a “good deed,” it should be considered “their job.”

Let’s look at some facts:

Civilian body counts are rising:

In 2013, 33 police officers were killed in the line of duty. This is a horrid statistic, but it is also the lowest number since 1887. Facts are, crime is not increasing; actually, it is the contrary. Yet in 2012 (couldn’t find 2013 data yet) over 400 civilian deaths occurred, and that unprecedented statistic has continually been increasing since 9/11.

Crime has always existed, and shockingly, homicide rates are down! Taking into account population increase, technically the wild west – well before gun control laws – had the lowest homicide rate between 1880 – current day. Suddenly in the late 1890’s, early 1900’s, union-led gun control laws were enacted and the homicide rates skyrocketed, decreasing once again when prohibition was ending. Then after the JFK assassination, gun control laws were enacted again, and homicide rates skyrocketed.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, as of 2013, the percentage of non-fatal gun crime victims dropped 75% since 1993, going from 725.3 victims per 100,000 in 1993 to 181.5 in 2011. Gun homicide rates dropped by 49%, going from 6.5 victims per 100,000 in 1990 to 3.6 in 2010. All in all, there has been little change in crime, there are some ups and downs, but it’s pretty clear that people have been breaking the law for a very long time (I mean come on, the first born human committed murder…). Funny enough, they tend to do it less when individuals carry weapons. Unfortunately, the numbers indicate that crime is not on the rise, police fatalities are not on the rise, and are actually on the decline, but police are more frequently resorting to violence.

Point being, we’ve been living in a corrupt society with psychopaths for quite a while, nothing is going to make that fact go away. The difference is simple – Now we have social media monitoring every move that societal bottom dwellers make. Stories that once upon a time didn’t even make it to a breaking news report across our TV, or the newspaper for that matter, now have a twitter hashtag before an ambulance arrives. Don’t get me wrong, staying informed is beneficial, but understanding the impact social media has had in our ability to hear about the crime is essential for our perspective. Crime is in your face more than ever, that doesn’t justify police overreach.

Scary statistic: More individuals have been killed by Police in the United States than soldiers have died fighting terrorism in the Middle East since the World Trade Center attacks.

Unwarranted Searches & Knowing Your Rights:

After the Boston bombing, Tsarnaev was on the loose. The police proceeded to search homes in Watertown, without warrant, and the occupants of said homes appeased them out of ignorance. This was a direct violation of our Fourth Amendment rights, but our government sold it as an attempt to protect us. As people answered their doors with their hands over their head (little too fearful???), law enforcement began their in-depth searches.

Everybody says, “If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear.” And to those people I kindly ask that they get a history book.

According to the Department of Justice, you are 8 times more likely to be killed by a police officer than a terrorist. Yet we actually have people defending no knock raids, and complete violations of the Fourth Amendment through unwarranted searches. They support the legal assaults that take place in airports on children and Grandmas. I live in a country where I can’t take my hairspray on a plane, but someone can troll the NYPD database looking for women to victimize and only serve a year in jail.

I’m going to need to blackout for a minute and digest that.

Alright, I’m back.

So, what changed? Police departments have become militarized. Originally, police officers were armed citizens who took on the responsibility of having arrest powers to protect the people. Now, they are more like a paramilitary organization. People fear American police more now than they ever have, and I had my concerns validated when a police officer said “Good!” when I mentioned that very fact. Officers have adopted a warrior mentality, and have assumed that the rest of the population consists of ignorant sheep. Looking at those they swore to protect and serve as enemies, or weaklings. Yes, many police officers give their lives in the line of duty, and many civilians are also killed recklessly. Could it be that it is everyone’s fault? If we are teaching officers to look at civilians as below them, or enemies, are we not just fueling the separation?

I’ve heard from many good hearted and conservative police officers that sincerely wish for civilians to be less armed. That’s not ok. It just means that we are failing the police officers being trained, because we clearly aren’t teaching them to respect the rights of citizens. Amazingly, when I talk to retired police officers they say the exact opposite. So, are we currently encouraging police officers to behave irresponsibly, to see innocent civilians as the potential enemy? I once heard a cop say, “I couldn’t care less what their rights are when I’m in the heat of the moment.” I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that this particular police officer probably should’ve chosen a different career path.

Police officers do not face the same justice system that civilians do:

If you kill a police dog, you will be charged with taking the life of an officer. Yet if a cop comes on to your property without a warrant and kills your animal, you’ll get to pay the vet bill to have them cremated.

I personally take great issue with this. I have a German Shepherd that is trained to guard my home, and she stays inside all day. She doesn’t know the difference between a cop breaking in, or Jeffrey Dahmer (apparently it could be both,) she just knows that it is her job to keep my home safe. I don’t like the idea that a police officer can get off the hook for slaughtering my dog  if for some reason they decide to illegally enter my home, only to escape the justice system because they have a badge. If that’s the way it’s going to be going forward, law enforcement is going to become the career of choice for aspiring criminals, similar to how it was for the Gestapo.

SIDE NOTE: Yes, I read the adorable story of the cop that saved a dog and found its owners. Once again, that cop deserves a thank you. Interestingly enough, he recognized the poor image that the police now have with civilians concerning pets, and he made it a point to say that they all don’t behave that way. I give a sincere kudos to that officer.

My recommendation:

If you are a police officer that is easily angered during police overreach discussions, you’re just increasing the chances that those listening will learn not to trust the police. Don’t defend criminals, even if they wear a badge, because that only gives us a substantiated reason to doubt whether your loyalty lies in protecting the innocent, or protecting whoever has a matching outfit.

If a group of mid-20’s blonde women with brownie batter addictions break in and rob a jewelry store, I’m not going to defend them because I’m a mid-20’s blonde woman with a brownie batter addiction. If you don’t want the world to act like the police are the largest gang in the United States, Hint: stop acting like it by pulling the gang loyalty card with the “Blue Code of Silence.” I get it, there is loyalty there, like in the military; However, let’s draw the line at say…oh, I don’t know…An unreasonable raid that left a 2 year-old with a gaping chest wound from a flashbang grenade. A woman that was stripped nude and pepper sprayed multiple times even after they had her in control behind bars. Or, maybe the unreasonable search of vehicles and homes without warrants?

I hope to see police officers bringing up these issues. If you are dedicated to protecting the people of the United States, why not call out those that are harming them, or those that are violating their rights?

Police, I want to work with you, because I am a law abiding citizen that hates crime. I want to see us be friends again, I don’t want to fear you when I don’t have a reason to do so, I don’t want to have to fear for my rights, I want you to know and understand them, and I want you to want the people of this country to know and understand their rights so that we can build a safer tomorrow. A tomorrow where we realize that a SWAT team is not necessary to apprehend little Billy’s weed stash.

To all of the police officers that respect the rights of the people, please let me express my gratitude. We need people like you on our side, I respect you, and I am thankful for your sacrifice. I appreciate the few that commented on some of those posts calling out your fellow brethren for violating the rights of the people. I don’t want the police to go away, I just want them to know their place in a free society. Contrary to both sides of the debate, respect and restraint are not antithetical.

Alright…I’ll take my lashings now. If by lashings you mean a piece of cake….or pie…I’m not picky.

–  MB

Bobbing For Scandals

First off, I must apologize again for the amount of time between posts. So far it has been a crazy year, but I promise that I am getting back on track. 

So, on a scale from 1 to Black Friday in Bath & Body Works, how overwhelmed by all of the Obama scandals are you?

Seriously, I sat down and made a list of all the current topics I could blog about, and the list grew so long that my brain shut down. I found myself spacing out while staring sideways at my list, similar to how I speechlessly stared sideways when I encountered that lady in Walmart that asked me where the milk was while I was shopping on the complete opposite side of the store….in the paint aisle.

So, my friends, I’m going to blog about some of the topics on my list, but this blog post isn’t really about them; it’s about you.

*Pulls first topic out of the bucket labeled “Facepalm”*

Lois Lerner Emails:

My phone contacts all have the name of my actual contact, and also “& NSA” attached to them:

“Mom & NSA”

“Beth & NSA”

“Chris & NSA”

Etc….Get it? Ha ha ha. Ha.

At first it was just a joke, an ironic joke, but a joke nonetheless. The funny part about this “joke,” is that it was entirely possible. Why? Because our country is technologically savvy, to a fault. That’s why when I heard that Lois Lerner had 2 years’ worth of emails lost, I laughed. Then I laughed even more. Then I cried from laughing. Then I cried for the people that believed this unmitigated rubbish. Then I worried about the offspring of those who believed it, and the possibility that their parents were the type of individuals who thought that the milk was over by the paint. Then I started laughing again. This cycle continued for at least 4 hours, it was exhausting. So I laughed myself to sleep, then after my nap I proceeded to laugh again.

I’m not even going to explain WHY this made me laugh so hard. If you need an explanation, I just want to inform you of a useful fact: The milk is NOT by the paint in Walmart. I think Paul Ryan said it best, “This is unbelievable…Nobody believes you.” I don’t believe that ANYONE can be that simple minded. You know that the emails aren’t lost. I’m giving the human race the benefit of the doubt by assuming that everyone knows this is a lie, and that those that are saying it’s not a lie, are in fact lying themselves. Kind of like how I gave the lady in Walmart the benefit of the doubt, maybe she’s never been in my Walmart…or any other Walmart.

All in all, we should be deeply offended. They actually think we are that stupid. That says a lot.

*Sticks hand into the “Facepalm” bucket and pulls out another topic.*

Bergdahl Swap:

Is this in any way defensible, People? I love how all of the individuals that are free after this debacle, yet shouldn’t be, see America as the big bad bully of the world. They all feel that our Country needs to be taken down a notch. They all find our principles, Constitution, and way of business to be flawed. That includes the 5 terrorists released, you know, the people that want us dead, and Bergdahl.

Oh. And our President and all the manipulating, cheating, treasonous bureaucrats that supported him during this dangerous and illegal trade.

There’s no excuse. None. Zip. Nada. Nein. Nai. And for our friends who speak Swahili: “Hapana.”

We’ve reached that point in time when those we elect are giving more trust to deadly terrorists than they give us. No seriously, let that stew in your prefrontal cortex for a while.

*Hand dips back down in “Facepalm” bucket*

ISIS & Weapons of Mass Destruction:

So, ISIS stole the non-existent weapons that Saddam never had, because they never existed, because that was all just a Republican conspiracy theory. (Insert axis of evil joke here.)

Any questions?

Oh, and I know that right now you’re wondering why that all matters, thinking to yourself, “Let’s get to the important questions when it comes to Iraq…Like, are the tortured and beheaded civilians of Iraq fully educated on Climate Change?”…Have no fear, John Kerry and Bill Nye have all of those bases covered for you.

*In order to save time, Marybeth pulls out 4 topics from the “Facepalm” bucket*

Koch Brothers:

Can we please stop picking on innocent American citizens and the First Amendment? Do the American people realize that some of those we elected to represent us are now actively trying to silence us?

Dear Harry Reid, Stop. Just stop. You show more distain for the Koch brothers than you do for the recently released terrorists who prefer a death penalty that involves rape, torture, and beheading. Let’s treat the philanthropists just a bit better, eh?

SIDE NOTE: There’s a VERY thin line between politicians protecting you, and getting the chance to have them sic the Gestapo on you for a thought crime. Remember that very important detail when you don’t think that a Conservative blogger should be able to say that Obama is irresponsible.  

Redskins Logo:

Everyone is screaming about how we can’t blame Obama for what the Patent and Trademark Office did. Alright, I’ll go to the special land of Selective Verbiage with you. You’re right, Obama didn’t throw down his gauntlet and demand the change, but the government that he has empowered has figured out that they can weaponize government agencies, and that’s basically the same thing. Patent and Trademark Office, IRS, Department of Education, etc. are attacking the people of the United States because they hold different beliefs than the Left.

Sgt. Tahmooressi:

Bergdahl is home after betraying the United States, and it cost us a considerable amount of danger. An uncountable number of lives could potentially be lost because of this switch in the years to come. Yet, our government will sit silently while a dedicated American Sergeant is held captive in Mexico. Revolting.

VA

Wow. Just wow. THIS is what you get with socialized medicine. Period. We can do better, and there is SO much more to say on this topic, enough to get a blog post of its own, and it will. This is just proof that our government is violently out of control.

Maybe in the near future I’ll give detailed views on these subjects, as well as many others, but for now I just wanted to give an overview.

As for this being directed at you, it’s directed at you because the mid-term elections are coming up. I would say that they are even more important than the Presidential election. It is time for you to speak up, it is time for you to care, and it is time for you to find your voice before it is silenced. This isn’t about your wallet, this is about the fact that people are dying because of the policies that these politicians are pushing. It’s about them being too weak to even bring up the LONG OVERDUE idea of impeaching our President.

Show them that you are willing to do what is right for those you love, and for those who NEED you to be their voice.

Do something.  

–          MB

!!!!!BONUS ROUND!!!!!

*Pulls paper from the “Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Shouldn’t be President” bucket*

1975 Audio Recording:

We now have a tape of Hillary laughing about the 1975 case involving the rape of a child. Hillary also attacked the credibility of the 12 year-old rape victim, saying that the 6th grader fantasized about older men, and wanted the inappropriate relationship. So, in other words, the 12 year-old child, who probably still had dolls and read Nancy Drew, wanted the 41 year-old man to force himself on her in his car, parked on the side of the highway.

By the way…Feminists are defending Hillary.

I’m going to go ahead and black out for while… *blank stare*

A Rose by Any Other Name…

When I was 9 years-old I attended a private school in Pennsylvania. Stiff upper-lip teachers, uniforms, and all. We read a great deal of books while at school; in addition, we had to list off a number of books that we would read during the year at home. The part I hated most would grow to be the part I appreciate most now: comprehension tests. After each book we had a set of rigorous questions to answer, each pertaining to intricate details found within the book. With the glaring eyes of a teacher staring through you as you stumbled around for the answers to the multitude of questions, you quickly learned to actually pay attention when you took to reading your books.

Could my teacher have simply taken us through the areas that answered the questions? Of course. We would have passed the tests with flying colors, received a good grade, and the clouds would have opened up and beamed a heavenly glow around a highly approved teacher. But what good would it do for our actual education, not just the grades on a paper? Nothing. You can teach a child to pass a test, but the result will not be the comprehension of the materials.

Welcome to Common Core.

I could go on a six page tangent over the idea that classic literature and personal writing is somehow deemed irrelevant to those who add their approval to such poor standards, but alas, I won’t only focus on this one issue since it is simply one large missing portion of a widely flawed initiative. Okay, for the sake of being honest, I’ll probably focus a lot of this post on said portion. Our society would rather have kids droning on about vampires and Anastasia Steele than topics and stories that challenge the reader to create within their mind a space welcoming of creativity, and that’s the sad fact.

Common Core attempts to prepare kids for the workforce (emphasis on “attempts”), not for college. By high school, common core will place kids years behind the education level in other countries. Can schools do anything about that? They can modify the standards by an additional 15%, but the standards themselves are under a copyright by NGA Center, and the Council of Chief State School Officers; regretfully, they are the only group that has the legal right to change the standards. So if your school says “we modified and only partially adapted” in an attempt to bring levity to the change, realize that they are grossly misleading you, or they have no idea what they’re talking about – both of which should concern you.

Why did states welcome Common Core with open arms, many knowing the issues it would cause? The almighty dollar. Money trumps the future of your child’s education in today’s world, it’s as simple as that. Money and waivers are given to those that welcomed Common Core standards and testing.

Sandra Stotsky, Professor of Education Reform, had the following to say about Common Core standards when she refused to sign off on the standards:

“As empty skill sets, Common Core’s ELA “college readiness” standards weaken the base of literary and cultural knowledge needed for authentic college coursework, decrease the capacity for analytical thinking, and completely muddle the development of writing skills.”

She goes on to note that English teachers are being asked to teach on materials that are beyond their skill set. At minimum, 50% of the curriculum must be filled with informational nonfiction material (questionable material at best); reducing literary material to dismal levels, occasionally minor quotes and sections are substituted instead of allowing students to absorb the full material.

Maybe now is when you might question the importance of literature. “What’s the big deal?”… As infuriating as it is to even hear it be questioned, I believe that we should seize the opportunity to explain.

If not for the works of Mary Wollstonecraft, the original feminist movement may not have been born. No, not today’s feminist movement, the feminist movement that would be revolted by today’s feminists and their ultimate goal of objectifying women across the globe.

“…and women, intoxicated by the adoration that men (under the influence of their senses) pay them, don’t try to achieve a permanently important place in men’s feelings, or to become the friends of the fellow creatures who find amusement in their society…

…as blind obedience is ever sought for by power, tyrants and sensualists are in the right when they endeavor to keep women in the dark, because the former only want slaves, and the latter a play-thing.”  – Mary Wollstonecraft

Literature is an important key to understanding moral customs and cultural differences. We learn about the beauty of a free society and the struggles highlighted for our minds to analyze. We are forced to contemplate good and evil, acknowledge the differences between our fellow man, and imagine for just a time that we are struggling with the lost. Our emotions are challenged, and our compassion developed. It teaches us the benefits of metaphors, comprehension, and depth of character; every person, every stage, every smell, every scene is custom to the reader. Building it inside of our minds while the story unfolds. They are not just a people spoken about in our history books, the characters become a being that we know and care for; we develop a logical response to both good and bad actions through our connection to the character. You may choose to toss it out with the pile of what you deem to be useless art, but I fear that the societal decline that has accompanied the lack of reading and writing is of no coincidence.

Let’s also not forget that our failing vocabulary could use a substantial lift.

See “bling,” “twerk,” “cuz,” “totes,” “peeps,” “adorbs,” “realz,” “dat,” “haz,” “luv,” “YOLO,” “swag,” “outa,” “dat,” “whatevs,” etc…. I rest my case. Do you realize that many of those words won’t even be corrected by autocorrect? Dat should totes make you weep 4 humanity, Peeps, 4 realz.

Our education system is encouraging/forcing kids to waste much of their time on not using their mind to contemplate morals, use critical thinking, or build worlds inside their imagination. If time is the true currency, what our schools are doing is as frivolous as flushing your money down the toilet. In reality, it is more so. Once again Stotsky reiterates:

“Teachers and parents are regularly being told that more technical and persuasive writing will boost students’ critical thinking.  But little analytical thinking is apt to appear in letters to the principal about cafeteria food that kids are often encouraged to write in order to practice writing a “persuasive” letter. Reading researchers know there is absolutely no research to support the idea that increased study of “literary non-fiction” or “informational” texts in the English class, or increases in persuasive writing, will increase students’ level of analytical thinking.  There is every reason to believe they will, instead, lower the level.”

To read her full statement, click here.

I would be remiss if I also didn’t note that we had already experienced the failures of universal testing with NCLB (No Child Left Behind). Schools in low income neighborhoods became what Common Core wishes for all schools to become: test preparation programs. NCLB disciplined high performing schools and children on its war path to lift poor performers up. This never works. It has never worked. Why do we keep trying such doomed experimental programs with education AND economics???

So then we take billionaires and politically motivated organizations and give them the reins to dismantle a democratic institution that has done more to bring equality than any other democratic institution in the USA? We provided opportunity to those who made the choice to seek it out, now we are punishing those who strive for success. Since NCLB & Common Core, there have been an increase in charter schools; meanwhile, thousands of public schools have been forced to close. Public schools that while in poor neighborhoods were the bridge that offered hope and freedom to children that, despite their circumstances, created within themselves the ability to survive & accomplish. Years later we now have increased child poverty, and the continual widening of achievement gaps due to standards that were backed by both sides of the aisle.

Well done, Ol’ Chaps!

Back to Common Core – Not only will children suffer in their reading and writing, but in a world where comprehension is not a priority, math and various other studies will take a detrimental blow. We are already seeing arithmetic problems in grade school students turned into 100+ steps of wasted time. It is making children feel like failures, when in reality, their minds should be built to solve the problem in the most logical way. Horrifyingly, these practices have never even been tested! They’ve turned the United States education system into a giant experiment. The weakness of the Common Core math standards were even noted by the creators of the standards themselves.

But then it gets even better!

We have a nation of kids who have constant entertainment. Video games, television, movies, etc. fill their days. Constantly being fed the narrative. Constantly being mind numbingly entertained. Then we send them to school and expect them to pay attention to the mundane, the redundant, and the unimaginative, then drug them because they are “hyper.”

Historically we didn’t have the issues that we have, and many other countries don’t either, so what gives? Clearly changes in the last 50 years have led us to this point, what were they? Do they have to do with chemicals? Food Dyes? Education? Shouldn’t those be the first questions we respond with before we start pumping children with more pharmaceuticals than an 80’s rock band?

If you or your child exhibit 6 of the 18 ADHD behaviors, you/they can be labeled as an individual who suffers from a “biologic abnormality of the brain” and handed a prescription. Read the behavior list sometime, you’ll likely come to the same conclusion as me: every human being at some point has suffered from ADHD. Imagine the entire population of Nicaragua, that’s roughly how many children in the US alone are on Psychotropic drugs. Kids are diagnosed at an alarming rate. Once signs of a hyper personality are found, parents, teachers, and doctors flock to the easy out like starving castaways who have just come upon a Pizza Hut.

Maybe I’m just primitive in nature, turning from my cave art to watch the spectacle and shake my club in mumbled revolt, but those “symptoms” seem to me to be an epidemic of both the mind and the heart. I’m not a doctor, but I am an observer of society and the downhill slope it’s taking that leads directly to a lava pit.

In a world filled with sensory overload, we’ve lost a huge part of who we are. With every advancement made in video games, the entertainment industry, and now faulty school standards, we slam another nail into the casket of creativity and imagination.  Now I’m not saying that all movies, games, and shows are bad, I’m just saying that as time goes on, our hearts become more invested in things that require little thought process. God created our minds to be used, and when kids are scratching on the walls of conformity we’ve now decided they need a pill instead of a change. They don’t require self-discipline because it’s not expected any longer, and then we have to deal with ADULTS that have no self-discipline.

And isn’t that a peach….

Welcome to the new America. Start standing up against the change, or conform to the new thought standards, perpetuating a system that creates robots that simply obey the government agenda. Educators & politicians can call what they are doing education, but indoctrination by any other name will destroy as swiftly.

“What appalls me most about the standards is the cavalier contempt for great works of human art and thought, in literary form. It is a sheer ignorance of the life of the imagination. We are not programming machines. We are teaching children. We are not producing functionaries, factory-like. We are to be forming the minds and hearts of men and women to be human beings, honoring what is good and right and cherishing what is beautiful.” Dr. Anthony Esolen – Providence College