What are “Incels”?

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After the attack in Toronto, I began seeing the term “incel”, and I was curious, since I’d never heard that word before.  So, I decided to find out more about these people (men), who identify as such.  The term “incel” is a combination of the two words involuntarily celibate.  These are men who no matter what they say and/or do, cannot get women to have sex with them.  They have many forums on-line where they share their frustration and hatred toward women.  Their views toward women includes the belief that women are shallow and only interested in “alpha men”, thus, the fact that they can’t get any women to hop into bed with them is due to failings on the part of women.  There is no  failure on the part of the men, instead the failure is the women’s as they are shallow and lacking.  This is a great way to blame other people for your own failures.  These men are under the impression that women “owe” them sex, just for the very fact that they are men.  Women are put here on earth in order to “service” them whenever and wherever.  The unfortunate fact is, there seem to be a lot of sites across the internet that feed into this misogynist thinking.

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This is an example of Incel thought.

There have been a few mass murders committed by men who are a part of this community.  Alek Minassian (Toronto) and Elliot Rodger (Santa Barbara).  Both of these men have admitted they are part of the incel movement, specifically what is known as the “Incel Rebellion”.

I’ve left some links for you to read for more information regarding this community.  What do you think of this?  Do you feel that women should be worried?  Do you feel that this the men who act out by committing murder are terrorists?

https://www.vox.com/world/2018/4/25/17277496/incel-toronto-attack-alek-minassian

https://thinkprogress.org/incels-are-wildly-celebrating-the-toronto-van-attack-c57d4702d196/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=tp-letters

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Thoughts and Prayers?

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We’ve been hearing a lot (too much) about thoughts and prayers.  It’s a nice sentiment, but what do these thoughts and prayers actually do?  Do they help the grieving and the injured?  Do people stop grieving and get “better” once they know their government officials are sending them thoughts and prayers?  Do these kind sentiments help?

As anyone who has suffered grief and injury knows, thoughts and prayers do nothing to help.  Making sure others won’t suffer the same injury and grief would help, but since sending sentiments doesn’t change anything, there is no way they “help”.

Blaming video games, music and lyrics, even movies is ridiculous.  Other countries spend more money on more violent video games and they don’t have the same problems we do here in the U.S.  As a country we export all our music (along with the lyrics) all over the world, and the rest of the world doesn’t have the same mass murder problems.  And, last, but not least, our movies also are sent out to be viewed all over the world and again, the rates of mass murder is much higher in the U.S.

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However, there is one BIG difference between the U.S. and the rest of the world.  Guess what that is?  Gun ownership – and the kind of gun ownership.  There is a difference between what kinds of guns may be owned, and how people can obtain them.  The conditions are much more stringent in the rest of the world than in the U.S.  Also, there is a limit on what kinds of guns may be obtained, along with the amount of ammo that can be bought.

But hey, let’s not discuss that, we’ll just send out our “thoughts and prayers”.  And then go and collect our bribes from the NRA.

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Religious Freedom Division in the Federal Health & Human Services Department

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What in the heck is “religious freedom”, and what does it mean to your health?  Here is a definition of “religious freedom” from the people who want the legal right to “practice” it.

“… is the right to use religious beliefs as a license to discriminate, and to provide special protections for Christians that fly in the face of the First Amendment.”  https://newrepublic.com/article/140645/trump-republicans-redefining-religious-freedom-favor-christians

So, now that we have the definition down, what is going to happen to you, if you need to go to a health provider?  Well, the following may happen to you if you are the following:  the child of a gay couple who needs health care; a LGBTQ+ person in need of health care; another religion, including but not limited to: Muslim, Hindu, or something other than Christian.  How will you be denied care?  Well, if your health care provider does not “believe” in contraception, he/she need not offer it to you as part of your health insurance, because their beliefs are more important than your care.  The same holds true if you need the “morning after pill” regardless if that is because of rape, incest, or another reason – no need for you to take it, since an unwanted pregnancy is a “silver lining”, or even an “unexpected gift from God”.   Because this is the “belief” of the health provider, you don’t get a choice.  Another problem with this new law is that if a woman needs an abortion, and there are a variety of medical reasons for this, including a dead fetus, the hospital or doctor can deny them the choice, leaving them with a) having to endure an induced labor and a still birth; b) carrying a dead fetus and hopefully not dying herself due to a septic womb.

Another item to take note of here, this “religious freedom” is used to control women and their health decisions along with anyone who is not a cis man.  I don’t see anyone worrying about prescriptions for Viagra, or even prostate examinations.

However, the most interesting question is this – whose religion is it that we must worry about with this freedom of religion?  Is it only the Christian religion, or does this also include:  Hindu, Muslim, the Church of Satan?  Is there a line, and if so where is it?  This opens a huge legal can of worms, and it will be interesting to see where it leads.  I’ve left some links for you if you want to know more about this subject.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administration-could-narrow-affordable-care-acts-contraception-mandate/2017/10/05/16139400-a9f0-11e7-92d1-58c702d2d975_story.html?utm_term=.8d7198460d17

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-religion-legal/trump-move-on-healthcare-religious-freedom-prompts-discrimination-fears-idUSKBN1F800L

https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2018/2/6/1737656/-A-Trump-official-wanted-to-forcibly-reverse-an-unaccompanied-teenager-s-medical-abortion?detail=emaildkre

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U.N. Expert – Extreme Poverty in the United States

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The UN sent an expert in poverty to tour the United States and look at the rates of poverty here.  Just so you know, the level of poverty in the US is sky-high.  So, where did Philip Alston go to check out the conditions of those living in poverty?  Alabama.  That’s right, Butler County to be precise.  What did he find?  Raw sewage flowing from homes into open trenches and pits.  Is it any surprise that an epidemic of hookworm has recently been reported in Butler County?  No, no it’s not.  By the way, hookworm is usually found in third world countries.  Alston also visited California, Georgia, West Virginia, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico.  Alston also said that he’s never seen this level of poverty in a First World country.  Huh.  Wonder why?

The U.N. has also concluded that the U.S. is the most unequal society in the world.  So much for the “American Dream”.  What has been concluded in the report is that along with having the highest level of poverty, that poverty hits white people more than minority people.  Not only that, but the viewpoint that has been sold to the American people is that poor people are poor for the simple reason that they are lazy, and refuse to “help themselves”.  This is a falsity, since most of the poor are working people, and many of them work multiple jobs.

Please educate yourselves by following the links that I’ve provided below.  With all the cuts that will be coming to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the CHIP program, Food Stamps and Fuel Assistance, the social problems are only going to get worse.

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http://www.newsweek.com/alabama-un-poverty-environmental-racism-743601

http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=58300#.WkvOzTdOnIV

http://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/DisplayNews.aspx?NewsID=22533&LangID=E

 

 

Education and Learning

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As usual, I’ve come to the party late, however, I’m here and I’ve paid attention.  I’ve recently read the Young Adult novel, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas.  This is an extraordinary novel.  To prove it, it’s already been banned in more than one location in the United States.  A book being banned only means that it will make you think, something too many people don’t want to do, especially if what you learn from it is in opposition to what it is that you may have been taught.  The novel follows the life of Starr Carter, who by the age of sixteen has held two of her best friends in her arms as they lay dying after being shot.  This is not only her story, but the story of too many.  The poor, the over-looked, and the reviled.

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For those of you who may not have read this novel, I hope that you will.  Go out and buy it, or borrow it from your local library.  It covers so much of the experiences of children growing up as part of a reviled people.  The poverty, the inability to “rise above” due to lack of livable wages, poor education systems, and the grinding down of an entire segment of society.  Poverty is hard.  How can it not be when you are choosing between food and rent?  We need to understand, choose compassion and help our neighbors.  Only then will our country be better.  Together we stand, divided, as we are, we are falling.  And in this falling, it is all of us, not just a few of us.  Everything is interconnected.  We are all one.

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I’m Tired

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I am simply tired.  In fact, I’m sick and tired.  I’m tired of signing petitions.  I sign on average, ten petitions a day, and sometimes more.  I sign petitions telling my congressmen to: protect the earth, protect the poor, protect the sick, protect minorities; protect those who have been impacted by the weather; protect workers and consumers; protect people and the animals.  The number of petitions I’ve signed just since January numbers well into the hundreds.  I’m tired of being upset, depressed and overwhelmed with bad news and bad behavior on the part of people who should know better.

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My question is, why the hell do I even have to do this?  Doesn’t it simply stand to reason that people have a right to clean water, clean air?   Don’t we have a right to healthcare?  How about a right to equality?  How about a right to not be lied to and mislead by the companies that we do business with?  How about just helping the citizens of our country when disaster strikes?  Isn’t that what their taxes have paid for?   Why do I have to keep reminding the government what their job is?  Their job is not to enrich themselves and their corporate donors.  They are supposed to be working for the good of all, not just the rich and powerful.

Of course, I’m lucky.  I’m not sick, I’m not a minority.  While I do have Fibromyalgia, I don’t take medication for it, I’m coping on my own, and doing okay.  I’m not a victim of a disaster.  Of course, that could change at any time, and many of  us are one paycheck away from financial disasters, not to mention one caused by sickness, accidents or nature.   I actually live in a state that, while we have our problems within our state; our federal representatives do vote on the behalf of the people who actually voted for them.  I feel sorry for those of you who don’t enjoy the same representation.  Of course, the “powers that be” are hoping that we will all get too sick and tired and simply stop paying attention.  Hell no, it’s not going to happen.  While I may bury my head in the sand for a day or even two, I’ll pick myself up again and make my voice heard.  For all of you out there who also are tired, take a breath, take a small break, and then continue plodding.  After all, you’ve got justice on your side.

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What are “Family Values”?

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As we all know, the Republican Party of the United States claims to be the party of “family values”.  So, I was wondering what, according to the GOP are these “family values”, and how this political party is supporting them.  Here is the official statement from the GOP, link provided.

“The family is the bedrock of our nation. When American families flourish, so too does our country. Our Party’s economic and social policies, including tax reform, education, health care, and the sanctity of life, should always promote and strengthen that most sacred bond.”  https://www.gop.com/issue/family-values/canonical/

My next question is how is the Republican Party supporting these family values?  My answer is not too well.  Let’s take this consecutively.  As far as economic reform is concerned, the Republican party has worked overtime to decrease the economic power of the regular wage-earners.  Minimum wage increases have been over-turned; many republican politicians have stated that they would like to get rid of any minimum wages and let corporations pay whatever wage they feel like; and corporate welfare has been running rampant while at the same time individual citizens who are on welfare and/or food stamps have been demonized.

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As far as social policies, minorities, whether classified by ethnicity, race, or gender/sexual orientation have again been demonized, denied legal standing and/or been violently oppressed.  There are cases where legal citizens have been picked up by ICE and detained, sometimes for months with no legal representation allowed.  Other examples are the ability of business owners to deny service to those who don’t follow the owner’s beliefs; and corporations to deny employees access to certain types of health care.

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/14/republicans-cuts-programs-food-stamps-welfare-veterans-238314

As far as tax reform is concerned, the agenda that has just been introduced to Congress contains the biggest tax cuts of all to businesses, corporations and the richest 1% of people in the country.  The rest of it still seems unclear.  I’ve included links for you to look this up for yourself. However, while lowering taxes on corporations, businesses and the richest of the rich, this is going to increase our total debt by anywhere from 1 to 2 trillion dollars.  That’s okay though, because of the fact that these tax reductions on the rich will “prime the pump” and create a “trickle-down effect from the rich to the poor”.  Unfortunately, we are now deeply in debt because that did not work before.

http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/tags/tax-reform

How does the party of “family values” help regarding education?  Well, we can just go ahead and say that they’re all for getting rid of public education (the bedrock of a democracy), and pushing public money into for-profit (charter) schools.  These schools have been found to have various questionable practices from segregation to non-college educated “teachers” to not teaching science or higher-level mathematics.  Here is a quick link for you on problems with these schools.

http://www.businessinsider.com/john-oliver-charter-schools-2016-8

The health care issue is quite interesting.  According to the “family values” quote above, the Republican Party claims to worry about health care for families.  However, as the last few months have shown us, they “care” by trying to take away health care from as many families as they can.  Just one example of that is the refusal to renew the CHIP program.  Now, up to 12 million children will have no health insurance.  I’ll leave this paragraph at this point, since my post is getting quite long.

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/8-million-kids-lose-health-insurance-chip-program-isnt-renewed-heres-looks-like-one-state/

As far as the sanctity of life is concerned, the family values party seems to believe that such sanctity ends at birth.  Why would I say that?  Well, as we have all become aware, through health care reform, the GOP has pushed for denying people who have almost any pre-existing condition off health insurance; along with taking welfare and food stamp programs away from the disabled and poor.  Also, if we add in the effort to dismantle any form of minimum wage, there doesn’t seem to be a value for life after birth.

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So, what are your views on this?  Let me know in the comments below.