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Blog Description:

Part personal, part political, part observation. I'm not quite a bleeding heart liberal, but I won't hesitate to call people out if deserved.
Blog Added: December 14, 2017 04:02:55 AM
Audience Rating: General Audience
Blog Platform: WordPress
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Blog Rating: 3.00
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I Don’t Know How to Explain to You that You Should Care about Other People

I started seeing this statement sometime last year, I think. Probably during one of the many attempts to yank healthcare out from under Americans. I don’t know to whom it should be attributed, or I would certainly give credit. I’ve decided that this is one of my mottoes, although I hate that it’s necessary. I … Continue reading I Don’t Know How to Explain to You that You Should Care about...

I started seeing this statement sometime last year, I think. Probably during one of the many attempts to yank healthcare out from under Americans. I don’t know to whom it should be attributed, or I would certainly give credit. I’ve decided that this is one of my mottoes, although I hate that it’s necessary. I see SO many people who only want what they want, and to hell with anyone else. Tax breaks. Healthcare. An end to Planned Parenthood. Good schools. A nice retirement. And it doesn’t matter whom they step on along the way to get those things.

And that’s just not me. I count my blessings for being able to live a fairly comfortable life. And I want other people to have that kind of comfort. I don’t want to cut people out of the possibility of having those things. I want to *help them get those things. I wasn’t in favor of Trump’s tax reform because it has virtually no benefit for lower incomes. The idea that big corporations will create more jobs, which will in turn, benefit people in lower income levels is laughable. Every single person in the US should have access to decent healthcare. Healthcare is a right, not a privilege that can be bought. Or it should be. If I could turn my monthly premiums over to the government, for the guarantee that everyone would have decent healthcare, and not have to fear going bankrupt from an ER visit, I would do so gladly. Instead, I’m in a state that punishes women in lower incomes and/or without health insurance by not allowing state tax dollars to be used for Planned Parenthood. And that doesn’t even touch the way those women are treated for going into a Planned Parenthood. If you’re pro-life, that means you want to HELP that woman. Not harass her and wave disgusting signs in her face.

I recognize my privilege in that I was able to choose a residence in a good school district in South Carolina (hey, don’t laugh, there are some!). Every day, I hear at least one person gripe about property taxes going to schools when he/she doesn’t have kids. If you’re a South Carolina resident, you have no business griping about your property taxes or an increase of $50 for the year. Talk to me when you live in a state like Connecticut or New Jersey.

I’ve seen firsthand what it’s like for regular people to try to live out retirement. The average social security monthly benefit is about $1,400 per month. Think you can live on that? Oh, but what about their savings? Their 401k? LOL, that’s pretty funny. The median retirement savings for all families, in their late 50s? About $17,000. That $17,000 is supposed to last for 20+ years. Right.

So I don’t know how to explain those things to someone who doesn’t care about other people. And I don’t know how to explain that they SHOULD care about other people. And frankly, I’m not even sure I want to do it.

 



He Tricked Us and Stole Our Hearts

For a very brief time, we were a two-cat family. Our senior citizen cat, Sophie, seemed to get more neurotic as she got older, and we had hoped that bringing a younger cat home would give her some company when one of her “kids” was missing. That kind of turned out to not be the case, … Continue reading He Tricked Us and Stole...

For a very brief time, we were a two-cat family. Our senior citizen cat, Sophie, seemed to get more neurotic as she got older, and we had hoped that bringing a younger cat home would give her some company when one of her “kids” was missing. That kind of turned out to not be the case, as Sophie saw him as more of a nuisance, lol. The much-loved, super awesome cat Sophie passed on several weeks ago, at age 15. img_0813

The younger cat, Doug, made those following days much lighter, because really, it’s hard not to laugh at a cat who attacks people’s feet, chases his tail, and carries a toy around to look for someone willing to play with him. The younger kiddo and I came across Doug at Pounce Cat Cafe, which is partnered with the Charleston Animal Society. He sort of tricked us, though. It was mid-afternoon, and he was snoozing in a curled-up ball. He *looked little and cute, and he liked to snuggle.

Turns out, he’s not little, lol. He has some crazy long legs, sort of like a newborn foal. And he’s verrrrry long. Between his legs and his length, he barely squeezes into the carrier that held Sophie, who weighed about 6 pounds more, lol. img_0864Oh, and mid-afternoon, it turns out, is his usual naptime. When it’s not naptime, it’s chaos time. We now have cat toys all over the house. Doug loves to play. Bells are his favorite. BTW, those things hurt about as much as Legos when you step on them. He loves the screened balcony and will wake from a dead sleep if he hears someone open that door. He’s a food thief, but only with meat. In his own cat way, he says, “No, thank you,” to vegetables. Doug has a knack for finding candy wrappers, which we then have to try to take from him without losing any fingers. As we’re fond of saying, he’s like a small child. He may also be slightly defective, as he squeaks instead of meowing, lol.

And we love him. He makes us smile, makes us laugh, and still loves to snuggle. Each morning, after his preferred human leaves for school, he curls up in my lap and stretches his paw out to get my attention. Chin rubs, of course. And to think this little guy was once on the Time’s Up list at the Colleton County Animal Shelter. The Charleston Animal Society retrieved him and sent him to Pounce.img_0889



Kentucky Governor Matthew Bevin, AKA the Devil Incarnate

I may live in South Carolina, and we certainly have our share of batshit crazy stuff here, but I grew up in Kentucky, and I still keep tabs on it. Which is how I know that the Dishonorable Governor Matt Bevin is one of the most hated men in that state. Bevin was a precursor … Continue reading Kentucky Governor Matthew Bevin, AKA the...

I may live in South Carolina, and we certainly have our share of batshit crazy stuff here, but I grew up in Kentucky, and I still keep tabs on it. Which is how I know that the Dishonorable Governor Matt Bevin is one of the most hated men in that state. Bevin was a precursor to Trump, elected in 2015. I don’t know anyone who likes him, which makes it all the more puzzling that he was elected with a margin of victory of 9 points, not exactly a close election.

Bevin made no secret of what he wanted to accomplish. He *said he wanted to cut Medicaid and get rid of the healthcare exchange, he *said he would withhold funds from Planned Parenthood and would restrict abortion, he *said that he would cut the pensions of state employees and teachers, and he *said he would dramatically slash the budgets. And apparently 53% of voters were okay with those things.

Matt Bevin has continually taken aim at education. He’s cut education budgets. He’s badmouthed teachers. He wanted to make cuts to the teachers’ pensions retroactive, meaning that retired teachers might owe the state money. Who does that? He finally got his wish recently, with a pension reform bill that was tucked into, of all things, a sewage bill. Teachers will now have to contribute to their own pension plan, making their paychecks even smaller. Matt Bevin has called teachers greedy and says that they want more than their fair share. The reality is that they want what they were PROMISED. Kentucky teachers start off making about $36,000, before taxes. Before health insurance. Before they contribute to their retirement pension. Which is pretty funny, considering how much the governor makes (6 figures).

But the crowning touch was last week, when the wonderful governor, in response to teachers rallying at the Capitol, said that he could guarantee that at least one child had been sexually assaulted after being left home alone because the schools were closed due to teachers calling out and going to Frankfort to rally.

And then he pretended to apologize, after backlash from virtually everyone. He says he was misunderstood. Misunderstood. Right. Because it’s really hard to misunderstand a direct quote, not even taken out of context.

There’s a reason I won’t live in that state again.



Hey, Chinese Space Lab! A little to the left!

Updated on April 2…. unfortunately, the space junk fell into the South Pacific. Too bad, maybe next time! I’m a reluctant landlord. Long story short, we became homeowners right before the housing market tanked, and 12 years later, we’re still underwater on that house, and we don’t even live in the same state now. We’ve … Continue reading Hey, Chinese Space Lab! A little to...

Updated on April 2…. unfortunately, the space junk fell into the South Pacific. Too bad, maybe next time!

I’m a reluctant landlord. Long story short, we became homeowners right before the housing market tanked, and 12 years later, we’re still underwater on that house, and we don’t even live in the same state now. We’ve rented the house out for about 5 years, and no one’s destroyed the place yet. To keep ourselves from mourning that money that flies out the window each month, we have a running joke that maybe the house will be struck by lightning. Or maybe an unmanned plane will fall out of the sky and crash into it. Or a Chinese space lab.

When the news about the Chinese space lab that’s going to fall out of orbit came out, my first comment was, “Maybe it’ll land on the house.” Then we saw the map where it’s most likely to enter the atmosphere, lol.  The house is in the higher probability area.chinese

So if you hear someone chanting, “Please, please, please fall on the house!”, you know why, lol. Appropriate disclaimer: I’m not wishing injury on anyone else or property damage to any other properties.



Don’t Tell Me We Can’t Restrict Rights. We Already Have.

To date, the United States Constitution has been amended 27 times. The Amendments are not meant to be taken in order of importance, each is considered as important as the others. Each Amendment has been scrutinized for its legality, with restrictions and extensions placed on each one. Therefore, to say that it’s wrong to restrict … Continue reading Don’t Tell Me We Can’t Restrict Rights. We...

To date, the United States Constitution has been amended 27 times. The Amendments are not meant to be taken in order of importance, each is considered as important as the others. Each Amendment has been scrutinized for its legality, with restrictions and extensions placed on each one. Therefore, to say that it’s wrong to restrict the infamous 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms, is ridiculous. We’ve allowed certain restrictions on almost half of the Amendments specifically, so don’t sit there and tell me that it’s your God-given right to own an AR-15 rifle.

1st Amendment – Freedom of religion, speech, press, assembly, and petition

Separation of church and state. In theory. However, we’ve seen the Ten Commandments in courthouses, complaints that kids can’t pray in public school, and people refusing to do business with gay people. And those aren’t even the court-allowed infringements.

Freedom of speech. Guess what? You *can’t say whatever you want. Libel and slander are not legal. Certain obscenities are not allowed under free speech. Child pornography, also not legal. You can be held liable, possibly even go to jail for inciting someone to commit suicide.

Freedom of press. While the press is largely unrestricted, there are some circumstances that lead to restrictions. Defamation, obscenities, inciting violence… all not allowed. I assume you’ve all heard the “fake news!” attacks happening with the current administration. Enough said.

Freedom of assembly. You can’t assemble wherever you want, whenever you want. Many states and cities require that you obtain a permit before any gathering. Permits can be denied. Some states have even started legislation allowing violence against protesters, such as releasing a person from liability for hitting a protester with a vehicle if he doesn’t move.

2nd Amendment – Right to bear arms.

Yes, you have an established right to have a gun. I’m pretty sure our founding fathers never imagined semi-automatic weapons, bump stocks, or high-capacity magazines. To be fair, there are some restrictions on purchasing guns, such as background checks. However, those background checks don’t apply to things like gun shows and person-to-person sales. Oh, and while you have to be 21 to purchase a handgun, you only have to be 18 to buy an AR-15. Go figure.

4th Amendment – Unreasonable search and seizure.

Once upon a time, police or federal agents had to have warrants to conduct searches of cars, homes, and businesses. Technically, they still do, at least most of the time. But legislation such as the Patriot Act has eroded that protection. There’s also this thing called civil asset forfeiture, which basically means that anything in your possession or vehicle can be confiscated by the police if you’re arrested. And you won’t get it back just because you’re not convicted.

5th Amendment – Due process and the right to avoid self-incrimination.

American citizens can be designated as enemy combatants and effectively lose their right to due process.  People who have been arrested may not be read their rights.

6th Amendment – Rights of criminal defendants, including the right to a speedy trial, the right to a lawyer, and the right to know the evidence and accusers against you.

See the previous Amendment, with comments about enemy combatants. Don’t forget all the people who spend a year or more in jail, awaiting trial. Oh, and some states have cut the public defender budgets so much that there aren’t enough lawyers to go around.

8th Amendment – Freedom from excessive bail and cruel and unusual punishments.

Well, at least one South Carolina legislator wants to bring back the firing squad. Any other questions? Years in solitary confinement have somehow also become acceptable.

9th Amendment – This Amendment specifically includes the right to privacy, a basis of abortion rights.

I think we all know how much those rights have been eroded over the past 10-15 years old. To the point where women in some states can no longer even obtain abortions in their states.

12th Amendment – The Electoral College.

Superdelegates didn’t exist at first. I’m pretty sure most Americans don’t understand how this works.

14th Amendment – Citizenship. Equal protection under the law.

People, we still have all kinds of discrimination happening in the country, much of it approved by courts. Women are paid less than men. Restrictions on abortion. Health insurances even had to be mandated by law to cover birth control for women, when some denied coverage, but covered Viagra for men.

15th Amendment – The right to vote shall not be denied on the basis of race.

Hahaha! Voter ID laws. Do I have to say more?

24th Amendment – Banished poll taxes.

Except for those states with Voter ID laws. When you have to PAY for the ID.

25th Amendment – Deals with the President’s ability to well, be President.

I’m not sure what the point of this one is, since Congress seems to choose to ignore it, with he who shall not be named.

Let me make myself clear. I don’t want to take away the right to own a gun. *I* own a gun. Whether you want one for protection, for hunting, or just because it’s fun to shoot a target. But there’s one gun that’s the common thread through most of the mass shootings in the US, the AR-15. Why do you need a semi-automatic weapon? Because the bad guys have it? That’s a lousy reason. The bad guys have lots of things that I don’t feel the need to go out and buy, just so we can be “equal.” I saw a comment today, that the mass shootings in the US “are a heart problem, not a gun problem.” Bullshit. The US is the only country where this happens on a regular basis. Unfortunately, if 20 small children being gunned down in an elementary school didn’t get something to change, I’m not hopeful that 14 teenagers and 3 adults being gunned down will, either.

 



South Carolina and Head Shaking

It happens. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, it’s really just a hazard of living here. Over the past few weeks, it’s been a lot. South Carolina is the only area where I’ve lived that just makes school days, missed due to weather, just vanish. Our district missed 2 days because of Hurricane Irma in … Continue reading South Carolina and...

It happens. Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot, it’s really just a hazard of living here. Over the past few weeks, it’s been a lot.

South Carolina is the only area where I’ve lived that just makes school days, missed due to weather, just vanish. Our district missed 2 days because of Hurricane Irma in the fall, and then 5 days because of the inability to handle 6 inches of snow here in January. There are a couple of makeup days built into the school calendar, so those were used for the hurricane. The rest? Poof, gone! The local school board has the authority to waive 3 days, which they did, and they’ve petitioned the state superintendent to waive the other 2. So in all likelihood, those 2 days won’t be made up, either. Now, South Carolina has a pretty poor record with education, usually ranking pretty close to the bottom. You know what doesn’t help with that reputation? Spending less time in school. I like this district, I feel that my kid is getting a pretty good, well-rounded education, but there’s a reason that most states have a mandated number of days for school. South Carolina, if you want to be taken seriously with education, then show that *you take it seriously.

In another example of why South Carolina education system ranked so poorly, the new draft of South Carolina Social Studies standards, set to take effect in 2020, is out. There apparently is no mention of Martin Luther King, Jr, Rosa Parks, or Malcolm X. Seriously? In the state where the Civil War started, you’re going to ignore major players in the Civil Rights movement? And it looks like some liberties are going to be taken with Native Americans, too. From the Post & Courier, “the new standards say that students should be able to ‘analyze the changes and continuities of the Native American experience as a result of settlement and colonization.'” As if they were willing participants, lol. Come on, South Carolina, quit trying to whitewash history.

And one last headshake for today. South Carolina does not have an official flag design. The state has multiple vendors from which flags can be purchased, and they all have slightly different flags. The idea that after 157 years, there is no uniform flag design for this state… I’d like to say I’m surprised, but I guess I’m not. Get your act together, South Carolina, so we can move on to bigger issues like fixing your terrible roads and making sure your people have access to healthcare.



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