Month: June 2016
When Progressives Turn to Hate, Racism, Bullying,Tyranny, and Violence
Do you wonder at your fellow humans where those supposedly fighting for human rights, freedom of speech, freedom of thought, and against intolerance, racism, bullying, and violence exhibit intolerance and racism, promote the curtailing of human rights, doing it by employing violence and bullying to force their will upon those others they perceive as prohibiting these things?
Upon mentioning that irony to an activist the other day, I was met with froth-mouthed screaming and thinly veiled promises of assault upon my person.
Exactly my point.
Fighting human rights violations, intolerance, and racism seems to now mean singling out a target demographic and subjugating, even eradicating, them by force.
Ending bullying now means mobs of people bullying others to the point that they flee in fear for their welfare and even their lives.
Freedom of speech and thought now means only thinking and speaking as approved by mob decision.
Ending violence now means angry masses of people using anything at hand as a weapon to beat down those they claim as violent.
And, of course, these folks all claim themselves to be educated and intelligent, while those they declaim and disdain are labeled ignorant dolts.
Interesting, ironic, and, yes, frightening–a world torn apart by violence employed in the name of nonviolence, humanity, equality, freedom, and fairness.
It’s insane and it’s ugly, destined to become even more ugly, and I sincerely doubt, bearing human history in mind, that it will end well. The millennial crisis has gained momentum, and that momentum is founded on a complete refusal to accept less than total annihilation, by force, if necessary, of any perceived opposition, even if those perceptions of the opposition are inaccurate to reality and fly in the face of the very principles upon which the movement is founded.
And, yes, Progressives, I’m a Bernie supporter and Move-On member who’s saying this. Until and unless Progressives walk the walk and act the act, they are nothing but hypocrites and fakes, a petulant, hate-riven, hate-driven mob no better and, sometimes, worse, than those they claim as persecutor.
Part of an NF Book Series I’m Writing
The weather forecast predicted a low of 48°F. and a high the next day near 62° with partly cloudy skies. I sat on the cement apron under my awning, reading one of my manuscripts, a novel I was planning to publish the following month. Around me, a few wasps and hornets still sipped at the water saucers put out expressly for them. Others worked at the dried beef strips provided them because their normal fare of garden insect pests was long since depleted.
Out in the garden, my tomato plants were heavy with green tomatoes slow to ripen, everything else having been harvested, except for a couple of winter squash and pumpkins. We had yet to have a frost.
These were the lazy days of autumn, when you get a lull between the heavy work of a summer spent preparing for winter and the miserably hard work that ice and snow brings to the north country. It’s my favorite time of year, not too hot, but not yet cold enough to warrant wearing a shirt over my t-shirt. My mom calls them ‘gravy days’, and it’s an apt term.
Happily occupied on finding where reader flow could falter in the novel, I ignored the first nudge. And the second. When I got up to get a cup of coffee, though, the nudge became impossible to ignore. I groaned. I didn’t want to and reminded myself that NOAA (the National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) was predicting continued mild weather.
The nudge turned into an insistent pressure, like a nag, but silent, just known…like when your mom is watching you from across the room when you haven’t done your homework or your chores, yet.
Okay! Enough, already!
The pressure backed off, but its presence didn’t leave. I got dressed to go over to the local farm store where they keep a supply of straw on hand. Starting up the truck, I felt my usual, pragmatic terseness about giving up my afternoon for something that, while it needed to be done before the freeze, certainly wasn’t critical right now. The thought of the empty fuel containers came to mind, and I groaned. Got out. Got them. Tied them in the back. The neighbor was outside lighting his barbeque as I pulled past his place. He waved. I waved back.
I don’t argue with my nudges. I’ve had too many proofs of just how important it is to listen to them. So, begrudging the fact that I often get smirked at by neighbors and friends, I do what’s suggested, when suggested, regardless of how illogical and impractical it might seem.
At the farm store, the high school kid who loaded the bales of straw onto my flatbed wondered out loud to me on why I was getting a full load today instead of my usual handful of bales.
I thought about hedging. Decided against it. “Because it’s time to winterize the garden and stock up for a blow. Livestock can’t go without straw in the cold.”
He gave me what, locally, we call ‘the hairy eyeball’, pointedly looked up at the blue skies and sinking sun, then, more pointedly, said, “Su-ure,” sarcasm dripping.
I grinned, finished strapping the load, then followed him inside to pay, grabbing a couple of rolls of heavy plastic and some snow blower sheer pins, to boot. Then, I stopped at the gas station and filled my empty gas cans, bought some fuel stabilizer, and got some oil, just in case.
Once home, I spent the rest of the afternoon on into dark harvesting the green tomatoes and squash, pulling the houseplants in, winterizing the roses and banking the house, then loading the rest of the straw into the storage barn. Last, with the yard lights on, I stapled the heavy plastic up around the north end of the open air barn.
Exhausted, I fell into bed around 10PM. The thermometer reported the outside temperature at a pleasant 54°.
I rise early. And I don’t keep the furnace on all year. At 3:30AM, upon rising, the house felt chillier than usual. Not much. Just a bit.
I poked my head outside. It was brisk, but it hadn’t frosted. I shook my head. “So much for following nudges,” my surly side grumbled inside my brain. “Hey, the job is done, and I won’t have to do it later,” my ‘glass-is-half-full’ side shot back.
Not to be outdone, the pragmatic self responded with, “If it stays warm, the roses will rot. I’ll have to uncover them during the day, at least.”
I damped down all comments, moving to ‘not-think,’ the only sane way to deal with all the arguments and counters the rational, pragmatic brain will spawn.
Daylight showed gloomy overcast. By 8AM, a chill wind had started. By 10AM, the temperature outside had dropped from 42° to 35°. By noon, the grass was frozen stiff, a winter storm warning in effect according to the National Weather Service, and the wind chill put the outside temperature down near 10°. By evening, it was much, much worse.
If I hadn’t ‘listened’, which is another way of saying, paid attention to my instincts, my inklings, my nudges, I would have been scrambling to get everything done, working in miserable conditions to do it, and, believe me, it’s no fun stapling up plastic in the wind, to say nothing of trying to binder twine leafs of straw around roses to protect them from the bitter wind’s frost burn with freezing fingers. Instead, I prepped the snow blower, then, bundling up, went over to help the neighbor with his frantic winterizing.
That night, snow started, the wispy, nasty stuff that creeps into every crevice and burns your face like stinging nettle when it hits you. By the following morning, we were sitting at an ambient temperature of 3° F. with a wind chill of -26°. It stayed that way for three solid weeks, no breaks.
People ask me how I know when to do what. Above, I gave you a simple example, not life critical, certainly, and probably inconsequential to most, but very demonstrative of how following nudges, following ‘flow’, allows you the luxury of avoiding unnecessary panic, toil, and suffering.
Oh, and the next time I visited the farm store, that high schooler grinned at me. “You were right about the weather! How’d you know?”
I gave him the easy answer, one that doesn’t give people willies: “A little bird told me.”
The Radical Vegan
I sometimes give dinner parties. Some of those I invite only eat Kosher. Some only eat vegan. Some won’t eat gluten. Some won’t eat pork or shellfish. I respect that. And they all know I do. I cook accordingly. When I visit their homes, I eat what is served or politely decline and drink water.
When I visit their homes, though, they don’t go out of their way to cook to my dietary needs and choices. And I would never ask them to. And they, usually, don’t ask me to; I do it voluntarily, even when I don’t relish their choices.
Enter the radical vegan to my house, a guest of a guest. Upon seeing that meat as well as purely vegan offerings were present at my table, the individual launched into a tirade, then proceeded to spit on the meat dishes and into the plate of deviled eggs. into the casseroles and salads that were clearly marked as either Kosher or non-vegan.
The meal was ruined. I was shocked. I told the person to leave my house and property and never return. The guest with whom the vegan came escorted her out and saw that she drove away…which left him stranded. (They’d both come in her car. Later, someone kindly took him home.) Once she was gone, he came back inside. He was mortified, as were the rest of us, and he offered to pay for the meal. I took him up on his offer by asking him to order from a local good restaurant that delivers. The folks around the table were conservative in their orders, and, within forty-five minutes, we were seated to a fresh table of not quite as extensive a meal.
The point of me recounting this ugly little drama is this: Today, vegans seem to think that they have the right to dictate what I and others put in our mouths. But these same vegans don’t want anyone dictating to them what they put in theirs. Vegans, I ask you: what if some radicalized meat-eaters group coerced the politicians to legislate the enforced eating of meat upon vegans, just like vegans are attempting to do via legislation to others? You vegans wouldn’t like it. In fact, you would feel your rights were being violated. Well, radical vegan, you are violating the rights of others with your actions and demands. Please stop, because, just like you don’t want someone dictating that you must eat meat, omnivores don’t want their choices dictated by you.
What you put into your mouth is your business. What someone else puts into theirs is not.
Post Vacation Horror
I wrote about the beginning of Forrest’s week off, about how he went out of his way to try to make the newbie driver’s experience taking his run as easy and successful as possible. So, returning to his truck after his vacation, Forrest finds that said driver left the trailer with a driven-on flat that was ruined and off its bead, a larger-than-golf-ball-sized rock hit in the windshield, and the inspection reports falsified.
Added to that, there was spilled popcorn, candy, chips, and nuts, plus lots of cast-off, sticky, gooey wrappers all over the interior, including in the lower bunk. There was a bottle of this guy’s urine stuffed behind the driver’s seat. In short, Forrest’s clean truck was trashed, and it took hours to clean and disinfect.
Whatever happened to ‘return something in the same or better condition than when you received it’?
Two Images in Celebration of the Summer Solstice
“Could you play it a little less ‘white bread’?” Forrest asks, his eyes kind, but steady on mine, his fingers, as always, delicate in their grip on the neck of his newest guitar, a beautiful instrument that sounds as exquisite as it looks.
We’d just finished a run through of ‘Cheap Sunglasses’ and, despite it being a challenging piece for me rhythmically, I’d done a pretty darn near perfect, note-for-note performance of it.
I blinked, stared, blinked again. “Ah…oka-aay,” I said, hedging. “Which part?” I asked this because, honestly, I know I’d just done it as written.
He tells me.
He’s talking about two embellished notes, same pitch, the first three-sixteenths in length coming a sixteenth after the fourth beat and a quarter note coming on the one beat of the next bar.
He explains what he wants, then demonstrates it vocally.
I nod. He starts the riff; I come in when I should, mimicking his vocalization.
“Not really,” he says, stopping, again.
I laugh. “Okay. What, then?”
“Feel it more.”
He starts moving his fingers, playing out the riff, his head bobbing in that just-off-the-beat kind-of-way that seems pervasive among rock musicians. He looks at me, his eyes urging me to come in.
He stops …shakes his head. “Feel it. Don’t count it.”
“Oka-aaay.” I try again.
A huge sigh answers that attempt. “Could you try not playing it like a classical musician? …Try playing like a …a….” He shrugs. “…LIke you don’t have a rod up your backside.”
By now, I’m practically giggling in gleeful hysteria (Very inappropriate!). Damping down my giggles is taking supreme effort. “But I am a classically trained musician.” Then, more soberly: “And I’m really trying, here.”
“I know….” He groans. “…But it’s just so…’white bread‘!”
He’s getting exasperated. Perfectionist that he is, I know how serious he means this. Still, I can’t help myself: “I like white bread,” say I.
His eyes flash. “You don’t even eat bread.”
“That’s true.” (I’m grinning, and I know that exasperates him even more, but, honestly, I can’t help myself.)
“Then, don’t play white bread!” he practically bellows.
I sigh. Watch him fondly. Finally, I shrug a bit. “Hon-, I can only do me. I’m not a ‘bro-‘. I ain’t got no rhythm that way. But I did play with Santana for a few weeks long time passing, and they loved my playing.”
“It’s too ‘white bread’,” he repeats. Emphatically.
“Yes, dear. I’ll work on it.”
…Anyone know how to make white bread brown?
The Rise of the American Bully Tyrannists
There’s a complete and utter irony to it. It comes from all sides right and left–from the homophobes, bigots, and religious fanatics to the vegans, the anti-war, the anti-racists, the anti-discriminists, animal rights crowds…you name it. On the right and the left, we have calls to arms, calls to action against anyone perceived to be exhibiting any trait or tendency that one or another group fears, despises, or finds abhorrant and intolerable, whether in the name of human rights or in the name of outright extreme fanaticism.
The most ironic is to hear activists scream out their hatred and intolerance of anyone they consider to be … spewing hatred and intolerance. And all of them, including the self-named pacifists, are willing to wield weaponry and go to war to force everyone to comply with their vision of ‘what should be’ …which, of course, is exactly what tyrannical governments do, what slave-owners did and do, what every exclusionary group does and has done on down the line through history.
“But,” you scream, “our cause is just!”
So said the Catholics of the Spanish Inquisition, so said Robespierre of French Revolution infamy, and so said and says every dictator and tyrant the world has ever known. Can’t you see that you are only promoting the exact same system that you claim brought about the institutions you abhor?
Maybe you can. Maybe you don’t care. Maybe you think your version of tyranny is sanctified. But your version of tyranny is, in actuality, no different than the worst version of tyranny ever seen in human history–it subjugates, coerces, punishes, oppresses, and eradicates.
Do you realize that the only reason why you are free to repudiate those things to which you object is because you have the freedom to disagree, to choose differently for yourself? Yet, you want to take that right away from others. Don’t you see the danger in that?
Be careful what you promote, because the system you support and in which you engage to force others to bow to your agendas will, ultimately, enslave you, your children, your kin, your friends, your neighbors, your community, your country, your world.
Think about it. Then adjust what you support and how you support it accordingly. Tyranny is not the way forward to a better society.
Hate is Hate, whether it comes from the Right, Left, or Middle. Get Down Off Your Outraged Pedestal.
I just read an article linked to by a gentleman in my feed. Now, this gentleman and I don’t see eye-to-eye. At all. But, still, I like to read his viewpoints, just like I do folks who hold other perspectives which I might or might not share. Listening to different perspectives with which I might disagree allows me to learn and to constantly question my own perspectives. I like alternative narratives. I love it when some new viewpoint makes total sense to me and changes my mind…using legitimate arguments, well-substantiated by fact and logic.
I listened to Black Lives Matter…and wound up dismissing them as just more hate-mongers and racists. I listened to the new feminists and came to the conclusion that they were the Female Supremacists, just like, previously, I’d dismissed the Black Panthers, the Christian Coalition, the White Supremacists, and similar groups, finding in them just more hate and intolerance, advocating violence against those who didn’t share their faith, mores, ideologies, and/or perspectives.
I’ve listened to the [insert label of choice] and found, by and large, that most groups, most movements, are simply promoting hatred and unfairness toward some other group, using blame and scorn, encouraging castigation, excoriation, punishment, subjugation, and even eradication of whichever group they decide is their victimizer, responsible for all injustice in the world, all of their fervor fueled by self-righteous rage masquerading as righteous outrage.
The article I just read, concerning the murder of MP Jo Cox, used phrases like ‘toxic masculinity’ and blames homophobia, misogyny, the right-wing, and a basket-full of other buzz-terms as promoting hate and fear, never acknowledging that ‘toxic feminism’, heterophobia, misandry, and the left-wing are equally to blame.
The only thing in the article that actually speaks any fair truth is this, and we need to apply it INDISCRIMINATELY<Important!:
…that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her. Hate doesn’t have a creed, race or religion, it is poisonous.”
It’s not too late to pump this poison out of the system. One brave woman is dead. Others must work now to emulate her example: to place compassion above fear, hope above hatred, to fight against the intolerance tearing apart our communities. To work and speak and vote against bigotry and blame.
Sport Jock-Rapist Brock Turner & the Privilege of Wealth in America
I’m betting that “white male privilege” is being bandied around about rapist Brock Turner’s light sentencing. But it’s not. It’s about ‘wealth privilege’. Wealth gets you a lot of perks. So does being a sports jock, especially one with Olympic potential. Poor baby has no taste for prime rib-eye steak, now, he’s so upset about his conviction. Poor baby is depressed. Poor baby is going to have to register as a sexual offender the rest of his life. Oh, poor baby.
But the woman he raped? Oh, well. You know, it doesn’t matter that she’s going to suffer the consequences of his “20 minutes of action” as his wonderful dad put it for THE REST OF HER LIFE.
You know what poor little Brock Turner is REALLY upset about? That he didn’t get off scot-free. He was supposed to, don’t you know. After all, he’s a jock. After all, he’s a star athlete. After all, he’s the child of privilege.
But, then, he almost is getting off scot-free. Had he been poor White, Black, Native, Asian, or Latino, he’d be in for years, not mere months. And he certainly wouldn’t be staying at the county jail. He’d be in the state pen.
But, worse is Judge Persky. I can’t figure how a judge could even consider such a light sentencing. Maybe the Turners slipped him a bribe. Only thing that makes sense to me.
As for Brock-y-baby’s daddy, I’m very certain he’d be singing a whole different tune if it was HIS daughter who got raped by some jock having “20 minutes of action”. You think?