Friends & Differing Political/Moral Opinions

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For about a year I kept seeing this meme float around Facebook & Twitter:
Politics and Friends

Fucking wrong. This shit irritated me any time I saw it.. because what it’s essentially saying, is that you should respect someone even if they believe in taking your rights away. That you should continue to remain friends with someone who has vastly different morals from you, or even no morals, despite the fact that it makes you uncomfortable. It essentially says that you should shut up if one of your friends believes in some horrible shit.

It’s fucking wrong.

You do not have to be friends, or hell, even tolerate someone who is morally corrupt, or actively working to/or voting for politicians who are taking away your rights. You do not have to be friends with, or respect someone who is racist, homophobic, sexist or is literally cheering on the concentration camps at our border.

You also don’t have to be friends with someone who slut-shames, someone who participates in class warfare, or someone who doesn’t believe that the poor deserve healthcare and education.

You should not be friends with, respect, or remain in contact with someone who is actively demeaning a social class, race, sex or anything of the sort. You know why?

  1. You’re enabling them.
  2. You’re letting them know it’s okay to be homophobic, racist, classist, sexist etc.
  3. Because you do NOT have to respect, stay in contact with or even be around someone who is in favor of stripping your own rights, or rights of those you love. You are not obligated to love, like, respect, or be around ANYONE. Period.

There’s a clear difference in differing opinions and having polar opposite morals.

I am friends with a few conservatives, but there is a clear understanding that A. They don’t have to be friends with me if they don’t want, and B. That their opinions do not effect my autonomy. I am however NOT friends with people who are racist, homophobic, who wouldn’t support me if I ever needed an abortion or who are blatantly classist. I will not be friends with someone who instead of talking with me about women’s healthcare rights, accuses women who need abortions of being sluts. I will not be friends with someone who believes that just because you can’t afford healthcare, that you don’t deserve it. I will not be friends with someone who hates someone else just because of the color of their skin, who they fall in love with or their accent.  I will not be friends with someone who supports life in jail for a woman who gets an abortion, but not only lets a rapist go free, but ALLOWS THEM VISITATION OF THE CHILD. (FUCK YOU ALABAMA).

By “respecting” someone who is literally striping the rights and lives away from others, you are just enabling them.. and thus you are part of the problem.

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Early 2019: The Political Climate & Creeping Towards Fascism

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Disclaimer: I am not fully discussing the Mueller Report, but I have read it. If you would like a PDF copy of it, you can find it on the DOJ website, or you can comment and I’ll send it to you. 

I’ve been screeching about Fascism & the United States Government for months now. I’m not the only one, although a lot more people are now also alarmed recently. In my opinion, our government, under the Trump Administration, is straddling the fence between our distinctive form of Democracy and Fascism.

Of course there is the uptick in hate-rhetoric and general nazis, but that’s not entirely what I’m screaming about today.

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I’m referring directly to President Donald Trump and his administration.

As I’m sure you all know, the Mueller Report was released yesterday. I quickly obtained the searchable PDF version from friends (the one on the DOJ website is NOT a searchable version) and sat down with coffee, a notebook and a pen and started reading. 8 hours later I got through 4/5 of it. Yes, it’s that huge.

Inside of it, is tons of information in each volume, which there are two. The first volume covered Russia influencing our election and the idea that Trump committed conspiracy. They did NOT find evidence that Trump committed conspiracy, but there were several others whom they looked into, from the top of the food chain to the bottom. Donald Trump Junior was not charged because he purely didn’t understand or was ignorant of what he was doing and was involved in. (I had a good chuckle at that, he was essentially too stupid to be charged!) Most importantly it detailed just how far Russia went to infiltrate our elections.

Volume two covered obstruction by the President, and cited 10 examples which were then followed with how they did or did not qualify to the legal requirements of obstruction. It was damning. However, the special counsel did NOT make a judgement and left it open to congress and the AG. Posted below is a photo of the conclusion (I did not take it, but am posting this as I’m refusing to open that damn report again today) where you can clearly see that the report does NOT exonerate him.

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Either way. The report has been released (granted it is SEVERELY redacted in parts) to both the public and congress, and outside of Trump’s base people are horrified. The report lists 10 examples or “keys” that if nothing else show Trump attempting to cover up, lie, or misconstrue information as well as trying to get Robert Mueller removed from the investigation and to close the investigation.

Which if you didn’t know, is shady.. as fuck.

People are outraged (and frankly they’re not all “libtards”.. it’s pretty far across the board) and an article of impeachment as been introduced into the House.

Now that that’s stated, (and don’t argue, I’ll just send you a copy of the report) here’s why I’m especially alarmed today.

Since the investigation concluded and we were made aware of it back in March, Trump has been parroting “NO COLLUSION – TOTAL EXONERATION!!”. Almost a full month of the same crap. Which whatever, is essentially what AG Barr had stated in his original presser, and then again yesterday morning before he released the report. (I do want to go ahead and point out that he’s NOT supposed to be acting in Trump’s best interest, but the country’s. Yet, he came out and attempted to spin it in favor of Trump, which people are still dissecting and disproving.)

However, once the report got released, and not only painted Trump, his family and his administration in a very bad light, but stated he was NOT exonerated by the report, Trump has gone into a rage. One that I consider very scary.

(Also, screenshotting Trump is HIGHLY annoying as he still hasn’t figured out how to create a thread on twitter after all these years.)

The last tweet, with the highlighted part, is what I’m concerned about. He has spouted this kind of rhetoric before, and his supporters cherish it (they’re still suggesting hanging anyone who was part of this investigation on Reddit, Twitter & Facebook). However, he has actually used the word “justice” in regards to all of this, purely because his administration was put under the microscope, and he came out slightly dirty.

We cannot label investigators “dangerous” yet. Do you know why?  We are lucky enough to still have a working government. We are lucky enough that when the suspicion of corruption/conspiracy came up (complete with enough proof to get the S.C. looking into it) our government actually INVESTIGATED. That’s more than a lot of governments around the world, and we should embrace what little we get out of ours. The Special Council did exactly what it was supposed to do, and proudly. Many people forget that Mueller is a card-carrying Republican, ex-director, and veteran, yet a lesser version of him could have potentially swept all of this under the rug. Mueller works for the law and for us. Which is something that Trump seems to miss, the government does not work for HIM. (<- See Mueller report: Trump states that the next AG should protect him. Barr comes into the picture.)

As Mueller clearly states throughout his report, his service is to the rule of law and that is not something we need to deem dangerous or “sick”. In fact, even remotely applying the word “Treason” to a legitimate investigation, one that fought for our country and it’s citizens, making sure that nobody “is above the law”, is deranged. That is exactly the opposite of what the president should be parroting.

He should be using his ridiculous Twitter Platform and his rambling speeches at events to champion our justice system, instead he makes comments about how “This should never happen again”.

What Donald Trump is proposing, and has proposed in the past is that our government and citizens should NOT be allowed to investigate a sitting president or his administration. That essentially gives full rule allowing a government to descend into dictatorship. If a government and it’s head of government is allowed to do whatever they please without the threat of an investigation, our country is doomed.

United States citizens need to remember it is our right to investigate our government. They work for us, not the other way around. We are lucky enough to still have a government that will turn its eyes inward to police itself. (Of course my friends, our government still has its MANY issues.. but today is about holding on to what little we have.)

To have a sitting president threaten anyone who investigates him, or speaks against him, with the full weight of his office behind him, is a heavy foot into fascism.

To have him call anyone who speaks out against him, or reports information that is not favorable to him, treasonous is a heavy foot into fascism. 

We need to wake up America, we’re getting closer and closer to a place we won’t be able to come back from, and nobody seems to care.

Disabilities & Chronic Illness : Swept Under the Rug

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So last month a few articles broke and were shared on social media. I found it first on The Mighty. (If you haven’t checked out The Mighty, please do!) I read it and shared it but got virtually no response by anyone who is “healthy”.

How Social Media Monitoring Would Harm People on Disability Benefits

It also made other sites, but it wasn’t readily seen on Facebook, Twitter and the like, not like the Kardashians or Trump.

U.S. Government Wants to Use Social Media to Decide Who Is ‘Disabled Enough’ for Disability Benefits

However, Forbes picked up the story, and republished it about a month later. Better late than never I guess.

How A Trump Proposal Could Reduce ‘Happy’ Disabled People

Now before going on, I do ask that you actually read the above article, that way you’ll see the point of this blog entry, and why I’m so irritated. Either way, the sum of the article is that it has been proposed to monitor the social media of people who receive disability benefits from Social Security.

All of the articles I posted are very nice, and point out the downfalls of why it’s a horrible idea to judge whether or not someone is sick or disabled based off of their social media. Ie: Cutting someone’s benefits off because of a smiling selfie, or family vacation photos. It’s very hard to post “sick” pictures on social media. I’ve been chronically ill for almost 12 years now, and I can count on my hands how many pictures I’ve posted while I was sick. It’s hard to show your vurnerability on the internet. Instead we post pictures of us smiling, doing the things we are able to do, pretending.. we are healthy, or in the very least drawing attention away from the very things that plague us. Anyway.

Unfortunately how I found this article was not in a way that I liked.

Disclaimer: I believe that every honorably discharged veteran deserves any retirement, healthcare or disability they have earned. I also believe the VA needs vast improvement, and that the Trump Adminstration has stated shameful things re: veterans & VA disability. This blog is NOT to defame veterans who receive disability benefits through the VA or SSI. 

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Now Dylan Park is a veteran, and an activist who has spoken out for and against some very worthy causes. He has quite the following on Twitter, as well as pretty much anywhere liberal or veteran related.

However. When he saw an article that was relating to SSI and every day disabled citizens, he took it upon himself to use his platform not for voicing how dispicable the Trump Adminstration’s proposal is for disabled persons, nor how disabled or chronically ill people face many obstacles in trying to receive their disability payments.

He instead misconstrued the article in many tweets to say that the adminstration is doing as the article says but to veterans regarding their VA disability payments and pensions. Which while the first is simply untrue, pensions aren’t altered by your health. Maybe he meant payments? Or benefits? Either way. None of which, nor the VA or veterans for that matter is brought up in the article.

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Again, I’m not arguing that Veterans do not deserve disability from the VA regardless of the percentage, nor am I arguing against veterans who get SSI. I’m arguing that you shouldn’t use your platform to steal what little awareness of an issue disabled persons, every day citizens who have not served, have to face and potentially will have to face when they are applying for or being reviewed on SSI.

I commented on the thread pointing out that it wasn’t about the VA or Veterans but rather SSI, and beyond two responses from random people, everyone just kept commenting things along the lines of “Trump doesn’t care about vets!” or “Respect veterans!!” Nor has he even revised his original statement, because he’s getting his Twitter fame. As of right now that thread has been favorited 9.8k times and retweeted 8k times.

The problem with that, is not only that he has stolen awareness from the chronically ill and disabled, but he is pointing the finger at the Trump Administration using an unrelated article. He is making an accusation with no sources. He is spreading fake news. Fake News. He is living up to what the Trump Supporters chant, and feeding into it the longer he doesn’t correct his statements and continue using his platform to misdirect all of his followers.

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I guess I’m just disgusted. The proposal by this administration has been weighing on my mind as eventually it’s something that I will have to face. Like a lot of other ill people, I’ve been told “You don’t look sick” or “should you be doing that? I thought you were sick.” and I don’t want the government deciding how sick I am based off of selfies. I’m disgusted that someone who is priveledged enough to have such a large platform is using it to spread misinformation and generally ignore that actual issue the article is about.

I’m sure I’ll catch some flak for this post, as I will my posts on Twitter.. but I write for and speak out for people who are sick. I write for people who are chronically ill, and I write for my own struggle with my health. When I saw this parroted over Facebook and Twitter, it bothered me enough to write about it.

Hopefully I’ll be able to update with a correction of mentioned tweet, but I’m doubting it. Disabled persons & the chronically ill tend to be just swept under the rug.

 

Nationalism, Fascism & the USA

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My stance on the government has been the same since I was a teenager: The People control government. We are allowed to question, investigate, and even disapprove of our government and our politicians that hold seats with in it. Always.

This includes any investigations into the president, secretary of state, all the way down to local treasurer. The government works for the citizens, period. So now, after the conclusion of the Russia Probe by Robert Mueller, before the results have been released, our president and his cronies are cawing that the report was “Treasonous”, and in r/the_donald, people are literally calling for the Republicans and Democrats that took part in the probe to be hanged for treason. 

These are the same people who cheered when Hilary Clinton was investigated, who chant for her to be investigated again, who demanded she be locked up, even after she was found innocent of such accusations.

Yet, when the President, (who seems an awful lot like their messiah) is accused of treasonous activities and miscellaneous crimes those same people are screeching. They are convinced that it’s unconstitutional, treason, and unpatriotic. The President of the United States keeps calling those investigators and anyone who reports on it the Enemy of the State. The only thing that is different? Who is being investigated. When it’s the President? We start hearing rhetoric that sounds an awful lot like fascism.

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I don’t understand, and to be frank, I’m scared. You should be too. There is a certain kind of government that demonizes those who speak against it. When any sort of opposition becomes “an attempted coup”, we start toeing the line we fought an entire war to avoid. When the President starts talking about silencing the media, whom risks their lives to bring us current events and information, we goose step right into a fascist state.

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Another footstep towards this is the conversation about Nationalism and White Nationalism that is taking place now. If you’ve read my recent blog post, you’ve seen what I’ve written about White Nationalism thriving in the USA right now. Hell, all you have to do is turn on the tv. From within the MAGA camp, from senators to Fox News, you have the argument that Nationalism is a needed component of being a US Citizen. Yet Nationalism often leads to racism, which leads to all sorts of nasty things we learned in the 1930s and 1940s. To justify Nationalism (which is one of the first steps into fascism) they ignorantly confuse patriotism with it.

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All of a sudden it’s “patriotic” to want to keep immigrants out (notably it’s only the brown immigrants). You hear the arguments that “they don’t know english” (we don’t have a national language), or that they don’t assimilate to our customs and culture. Make America Great Again, seems to correlate directly with Make America White Again.

When Nationalism = Patriotism, the end result is Fascism.

EDIT: I took a break from writing, scrolled twitter and found this:

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Regardless of whom you agree with on border security, it is DANGEROUS territory to accuse people of treason because they disagree with you.

So here we are folks. We are stepping over the line into Fascist territory, and something needs to change. Now. I’m sorry this blog is so scatter brained, but I just don’t know what to think anymore. What I do know, is that our children will read about this era in their text books, and it’s going to rival the civil war. Most importantly, that a large number of our citizens will be on the wrong side of history.

Support the Younger Generations

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High School Senior Running for Mayor in Palos Park

A high school senior is running for mayor in a town about 45 minutes south of me. I came across this article on good ole’ Facebook yesterday and was thrilled. Someone that young, still in school, is running for mayor. That’s impressive to me, even more so that the current mayor had congratulated the 18 year old, and is happy he has an interest in and wants to get involved with politics.

I clicked on the comments and was taken aback to put it lightly.

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I don’t know. Everyone is always dogging kids to do something with their lives. Be a doctor, be a lawyer, be a politician! Yet once the younger generation actually DOES something, the older generations dogs them down. Then I came across this one, don’t mind the font change because as usual I was switching between my chromebook and my phone. I had also blocked out her name as one of my friends pointed out, I’m used to posting on Reddit.

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As you can see, especially being in a relationship with a veteran who joined when he was pretty young as well as living next to a naval base complete with bootcamp, I was a little bit irritated. My parents generation cheered loudly as their children enlisted pre and post 9/11 to defend our country and go to war. Recruiters came and enticed high school kids regularly, and in smaller towns the military sometimes seems like the only option. There’s freaking parades, banners, and occasionally the flag draped coffin of a young man or woman who didn’t make it home alive.

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Lets go ahead and touch on her next comment first. When people were married and raising families at 21, they also could work part time at McDonald’s to make it through a 4 year degree at college. Hell. You could work full time at McDonald’s to support your entire family and buy a house. I hate that comparison. It is a literal FACT that pay rates have NOT risen in tune with costs of every day life and education. (My $57,0000 in student debt, despite TWO jobs is proof of that.) Then of course you have the social constructs of today. Years ago, my parents and their parents and further back, if you wanted to get married at 18 or 21, your parent’s just kind of shrugged. Now a days? Our parents, and those of the younger generation EXPLODE if we think of getting married at 21 (rightfully so.. as my ex-husband from when I was 21 sets a great example). So by the urging of HER generation, this generation is already failing her standards.

Now on to her next comment. “If this is the old enough to go to war results…. can I laugh now as most are”. What. The. Fuck. To say I lost my fucking temper on her, is putting it mildly. It ranged from calling her an “armchair warrior” to telling her to shut up and wish she had done something as useful with her life as our men and women and the man running for his local public office.

I am so god damned tired of the older generations shitting on my generation and and the ones younger than me. Nothing we do is ever good enough. Nothing. After my generation was pushed into college because “that’s the only way you’re going to make good money as an adult” and graduated with thousands of dollars of debt, some of us not even able to find jobs above $15/hour, we were told we were stupid for getting degrees we couldn’t afford. Or worse, degrees in things our generation has no business being in. When my generation and the ones after us enlisted to serve our country, to protect windbags like the lady above, they came home with PTSD and worse to face scrutiny from the same people who cheered them on. So when the younger generations finally get off our collective asses and decide, hey! We deserve a say in politics too! This woman hops in her stuffed chair, gathers her toy poodle and trashes them.

We have a 29 year old woman in CONGRESS. We have an 18 year old running for mayor. That is absolutely AMAZING! Where else are they going to get political office experience? My Mom put it best last week. “It’s time for your generation to vote out the old men and get people your own age in there!” (fact: she is a staunch conservative) So we do it! Our generation is getting involved in our own future, and dickbags like those above shit all over it.

You shouldn’t care if they are in the opposite party of you. You should care, you should be proud that young people are doing something more meaningful with their lives, you should be proud they are getting involved in their own communities. If you don’t, I’m going to start punching people who ask why we aren’t doing anything if we don’t like the way our country is going. I will throat punch the next person who says my generation and the ones below me does nothing but eat tide pods.. because every time the “kids” try.. we get shot down.

We should be encouraging our children, like the young man from my state’s parents are. We should be cheering them on from the sidelines! Not making comments on whether or not he knows how to do his own laundry (side note: holy shit, can we go ahead and point out how many men didn’t know how to do laundry in our parents generation, their parents?!). We should be helping them campaign. We should be encouraging more to run!

If anything, Trump did prove one thing. You don’t have to have any experience in politics to jump in. Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s time people start respecting the younger generations, and encouraging them. After all, we all will inherit the world.

Blind Leading the Blind, Bigoted Encouraging the Ignorant

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What strange times we live in now. We have a (unsuccessful) TV personality for president (shout out to The Arnold, we took you for granted as a politician!), literal Nazis that are marching the streets, right-wing media bashing the people who stand against them, and a prospective wall to be built at our southern border reminiscent of the infamous Berlin Wall.

I’m strangely nostalgic for the days where all I had to complain about were drone strikes and whether it was appropriate enough for the president to wear a beige suit. (Jk about the last one) Who knew that a few short years later we would have a president who calls the media (who is important enough that we included them in our constitution) and a large section of our citizens an Enemy of the People or an Enemy of the State.

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When all of this started, I immediately looked around to my peers, expecting outrage and was shocked to see just under half of them, just under half of our citizens cheering. At first, I figured Trump’s rhetoric would die down when he won* the election. When David Duke publicly came out in support of Donald Trump, I wondered if that would be enough. When Donald Trump referred to the Charlottesville protests which included LITERAL NAZIS, and ended with a wonderful girl losing her life with this:

“I think there is blame on both sides,”

“You had some very bad people in that group,” Trump said, referring to the white nationalist groups rallying against removal of a Confederate statue. “But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.”

I looked around, I looked at the generations before me who had literally FOUGHT Nazis in WW2, and was simply.. shocked? Shocked that they were applauding this man as president.

(*via electoral college, which some including myself believe needs to be abolished. Trump lost the popular vote.)

We are in the times where our country’s figurehead name calls his fellow politicians, congressmen and other nation’s leaders on TWITTER. This is the day and age, where we find out that his administration is enacting a “National Emergency” on our southern border via a tweet, with a shotty screenshot of the Notes App on an Apple Device.

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Of course people are speaking out about it. However, a portion of our country isn’t. They are perfectly content in their armchairs while our sitting president is using the guise of a National Emergency to get funding for a border wall that congress (the purse) didn’t grant him. These people are okay sitting back and letting this man misuse that option because he didn’t get his way and 2 years in, hasn’t fufilled some stupid campaign promise. These are the same people who had a stroke over every move President Obama made, ranging from his declarations of National Emergency, to the First Lady wearing a sleeveless shirt.

(I’m going to go ahead and include a link with information regarding previous presidents’ national emergencies: NPR.com)

These past few years we’ve gone back further in time than we ever had before. Women’s right to choose, equal rights for LGBTQ+, and many other things are all in danger. Our country has become a laughing stock for the rest of the world, we have people literally laughing at our president, to his face, at conferences. We have Nazis holding public office and every day people retweeting far right, extremist, racist, sexist groups like The Proud Boys. It’s the blind leading the blind. The bigots leading the ignorant.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not sure voting is enough anymore.