Only Two

Where is the horror?  Two innocent people have been murdered… a teacher and an 8 year old child… IN A SCHOOL

If you blinked, you may have missed our most recent school shooting.  It was yesterday, when a man waltzed through the front office, signed in, went into a classroom and opened fire in front of children, killing the teacher, her eight year old student, and injuring a nine-year old.  I heard about it in one on-line story about an hour after the incident and then again on NPR as I was driving home.  By the time I settled down with my glass of wine and grading to do, CNN was covering Trump’s excessive golf habits, the doctor being dragged off of a United flight and the Syrian bombing… I watched for two hours and there was no mention of the shooting… WTF?

I guess domestic violence does not get ratings… not to mention that both the victim and shooter were black, the slaughter happened in a brown neighborhood, and only one child was killed…. I am disgusted to think that we only care about Islamic terrorism, violence that is racially driven, mass murder, or manifestos.  We SHOULD care about this…

They were newly weds, he was a church going blessed man, she was a special ed teacher… but things were going wrong, she tried to leave a man that was scaring her and…  HE HAD A GUN… HE HAD A GUN… HE HAD A GUN…

Where is our RED LINE, our 59 missiles, our repeal and replace of gun regulation, our metal detectors in every school across the nation, our extra funding for mental health (or marital health), our wall against gun violence…

Those two innocents meant the world to the people who loved them… but that crime didn’t play into our narrative of things we need to rally against… really?  Here in ‘Make America Great Land’ you are more likely to be shot by a fellow American either by accident or because he is a bit ‘off’, than you are to be killed by a terrorist… let’s put America first by taking care of THIS business…. domestic violence and access to guns needs to be addressed… the end

Minor Inconvenience

Only a minor inconvenience… 90 days… that is nothing… people can be properly vetted and go back to their regular life… I am not sure why the country is making such a stink.  Okay, folks, here we go…

I am sure you have heard the stories of the Fulbright scholarship student whose plane was turned around, the Iraqi translator who worked for the US military, and the man (with an MBA) with his wife and three children who had waited two years to be vetted, sold his house and was pulled off the plane in Cairo… they have all been inconvenienced by this new policy and how it is being enforced across the world.  We are only protecting ourselves, keeping America safe… why should anyone be upset? This all because we have built up a collective fear of terrorists… they kill, on average, 120 Americans a year over the past 20 years (that is including 9/11)…  But wait a second… domestic gun violence kills, on average, 12,000 people a year… cigarettes kill, on average 480,000 people a year… and 2,200 Americans die EACH DAY from heart disease…

So, until we get a ‘handle’ on THIS situation, let’s put a 90 day ban on the sale of any new firearm, a 90 day ban on the sale of cigarettes, and a 90 day ban on the sale of animal products like beef… it is only a minor inconvenience… let’s keep America safe…

Oh, is that going too far?  It is only 90 days, and I don’t own a gun, smoke cigarettes or eat meat… so how bad will that really be?  It is really for your own good and the good of our country.

And if you think that this new Trump executive order will have any effect on our safety, I hope you realize that it will… we are in far more danger after this stupid move than we were Friday morning.  This just fuels the flames of radical groups, gives Muslims and Muslim countries reasons to fear and distrust us and puts our citizens and country in jeopardy…

This ‘minor inconvenience’ is just the tip of the iceberg… Stand up against hate, fear and tyranny… Trump has already proven he is unfit… continue to resist and speak out! His whole presidency is an inconvenience…

Wear Your Hat!

Okay, it is Day Two… we are all searching through FaceBook to look for pictures of marches across the world, find out how many were there in support of LOVE and denouncing Trumps hateful ways, and basking in the glow of rallying millions to stand together.  Now what?  Perhaps, like me, you live in a town where the majority of people have a different idea, that you are more alone in your opinions than you were as you marched yesterday.  What can YOU do to keep the movement going and to create a dialogue?

Wear your hat!  If you didn’t have a pussy hat at the march yesterday it is not too late.  Make one today… it is so easy.  Just a long pink rectangle folded over and sewn up the sides… I’ll attach a link to the pattern… if you can’t knit or crochet, you can just get some pink fleece and make two seams.  Wear it when you go out, show that you are in solidarity with the marchers without saying a word.  You don’t have to wear a shirt that says something controversial ~ it is just a hat… and if people watched any news yesterday, they will know what it means and if they have a different point of view, it just might spark a conversation (hopefully not a confrontation).

People who were on the fence or didn’t vote in the election will be the most easy to talk to… they are the first people to begin that conversation with…

So, on Day Two start talking (or keep talking)… keep wearing your hat! I have to dry mine out first… it is soaked from the pouring rain at the march in Eugene!

https://www.pussyhatproject.com/crochet/

 

 

What Can You Say?

The events of the past several days have left me almost speechless. I was dumbfounded watching as four young people were shown to have live streamed the torture of a mentally challenged teen.  I wondered how anyone who saw that stream as it was being broadcast live didn’t contact authorities.  I wondered how anyone watching could not have taken action immediately.  And I wondered what could possible be wrong with those four young people.  How could they think that any part of this was an acceptable way to handle anger and frustration ~ and on an innocent person?  and live stream it? and not one angry person, but four, working together and all agreeing that this was okay?  How did we get here?

One way I think we got here, is by everyone feeling they have the right to do and say whatever the hell they want.  Tote guns around willy-nilly, shove past you and saunter through intersections. Decorum and civility have been left to the wayside and trolling, slamming, and denigrating others is commonplace.  Many of us have ceased to hold children to a high behavioral standard and expect that they learn things like that in school when, at five, it is almost too late.

The tragedy in Florida seems almost acceptable… the alleged shooter was obviously mentally unstable and had tried to get help… it does not make the horror or loss any easier to bare because it was a senseless horrible crime… but the torture in Chicago, it was not done by four mentally unstable people who all happen to know each other.  It was done by four people who knew what they were doing and didn’t care about the pain and hurt they were causing.  It was done by people who thought there was an audience for their actions.

We have created a climate where someone (many someones) think that being hateful is acceptable, even encouraged, and is part of our freedoms as Americans.  You see it when people post horrid things on the internet, when people shout at you for riding your bike, when people forget to check themselves, and when people do what these four young people did.  It is not.  Freedom should mean that we are free to live our lives without fear, where people treat each other with kindness and respect, and where a difference in opinion is not punctuated by violence.  We are all better than this and we must stand up to this hate… this action does not need to be condemned by one particular group… it needs to be condemned by all of humanity… Violence and hate are never the answer… believe it, teach it, stand up for it… and when someone strays… believe it, teach it and stand up for it that much more

What can we say?  Enough is enough!

Breathe, People

Every day, all day long, Trump is showing the country new ways in which he is not fit to govern.  But wringing our hands and beating our chests at each of these crazed tangents only make us seems unstable and stretching to rally against an issue that is still not even a clear thought.  His presidency has not even begun to take shape and all of his ranting (and our responding to it) is only adding to the fear we have for the future.  We can take action today, contact our politicians, plan to protest… but we cannot live in the future… we cannot, I cannot survive in the ‘what-ifs’…

Remember to breathe, and for now take what he says with a grain of salt… it seems that there may be more level-headed people around him who will rein him in and keep him from stepping too far over the line… things will change, but don’t let the fear of that consume you… yes, act now, but wait to react until the future is upon us… nothing has really changed yet but our perception of the future… so just breathe and make today the very best it can possibly be… for yourself, for your family, for your friends and for us all… Happy Thursday!

The World is Watching and Waiting

Tuesday is the big day and people around the world are watching and waiting.  They are more involved in our election and are more informed than many Americans. And, they certainly know more about our two candidates than we have ever known about leaders around the globe.  They are wondering what kind of country and people we are… and their answer will come Tuesday night.  Because Tuesday night we, as Americans, will decide which person best represents us – the big US – the U.S. – and people around the world care.

Now, I know you may not like your options…. tough

You can point to recent ‘leaks’ as proof that what you thought was true has been proven – those ‘leaks’ have shown nothing but the fear of retribution for being on the wrong side of history… Our two candidates are still who they always were, their commitment to their own beliefs has not changed in this past month, their devotion to what they hold dear remains the same.  One candidate continues to try and draw us together as a nation, supports families, women, children, and cares about where our country is going.  One is a mother, grandmother, devoted and loyal wife, looks to do good not only in our country but in countries around the world, a champion of the less fortunate, supported by the educators of our nation… and one is not

One will be like having a supportive boss who is looking to lift you up… make you the best you can be, catch you if you falter, and  improve your situation, because if your situation is better, if you are supported this will help your family, your neighbors, your community and your country… the other is like the boss who is out to get you… waiting for you to show your weakness and fire you on the spot to line his own pockets and protect his number one… himself

The world is watching America… who are we?  Are we that supportive parent, that thoughtful and caring boss? Or will our president’s most famous words be ‘You’re Fired!’ Send a clear message on Tuesday… Kindness, love, compassion, strength in diversity, lifting others up, cradling those in need of comfort, routing for the underdog… I hope that is the message we send to the world… that is the message I sent when I voted for Hillary and I hope we all send it loud and clear!  The world is watching…