10,000+ Children and Counting

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Over 10,000 migrant children, some of them seeking asylum on their own, and others taken from families seeking asylum, are now being held in various places in the U.S.  This is an increase in numbers, and they are being held in a variety of places.  Some are being held in tents in the desert of Texas, other are being crowded into other shelters which were never designed to hold the amount of people they are now being forced to hold.

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Some of these facilities are being paid upwards of $750.00 per day, and someone is making a lot of money from this.  Not only that, but the money trail leads directly to the Trump administration, including one company paying half a million dollars toward Trump’s inauguration.  Other companies making millions on these practices include Betsy DeVos (Secretary of Education), and Jim Mattis (Secretary of Defense) as part of their investors.  Vice President Pence also has ties through his brother to other of these providers.

I’ve left some links for you to follow if you want to find out more.  The reporting is not only from highly respected new outlets, but I’ve also included a Snopes link. Let me know your thoughts on this matter.

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/21/us/migrant-shelters-border-crossing.html

 

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/12/us/migrant-children-detention.html

 

https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/14/politics/immigrant-children-kept-detention/index.html

 

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/are-10000-children-in-u-s-detention-centers/

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Don’t Be Silent

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It’s important to speak out when there are injustices being committed.  Right now, in the U.S. there are forces gathered against many of our rights as citizens.  Not only are we treating asylum seekers as criminals, but we are allowing the murder of unarmed civilians be overly aggressive police.  Racism and bigotry are running rampant, and an entire gender is being told to “sit down and shut up”.

Who are the perpetrators of this?   For the most part it is angry white men.  Whether they identify as “incel”, white supremacist, or simply Republican, the message is always the same.  Whatever it is that they want, it’s so much more important than what you want/need.  The rest of us, and yes, there are more of us than them, are being divided by race, gender and sexual orientation.  It’s time to join hands and stand together.

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If you believe in “liberty and justice for all”, do whatever you can with what you have.  Sign petitions; write your congressperson; register to vote (if you haven’t done so); join a protest/march; give a donation to an organization that follows your own morals.  Do what you can.  But most importantly, do not be silent!

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Who Are We – Do We Know?

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I can’t let silence speak for me.  I don’t want to stay quiet on what is happening to children in this country.  I do understand that the U.S. has a long history of genocide, slavery, stealing children from indigenous peoples, stealing children from slaves, separating Japanese families.    This is who we have been, but I had thought that we’d finally grown up and learned from our mistakes.

I have been proven wrong once again.  We are continuing to our past in our present, and most likely into our future.  This is appalling, and against all human rights.  The U.N. council was correct in condemning this outrageous behavior.  Not only are we taking the children, but we are refusing to tell the parents where the children are.  (And, in many cases the government has simply lost children).  We are at a point in our history where there are two paths we can go down.  One leads to less rights and justice for everyone, and the other leads to empathy and compassion.  Please don’t tell me you are a Christian while also telling me that taking children away from their families is an okay thing to do.  The two do not go together.  “If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well.”  James 2:8. Many of the people coming to our borders are seeking asylum, they are not illegal.  Yet, we are treating them as such.  By the way, illegal entry is a misdemeanor, not a felony, so it is comparable to getting a speeding ticket.  Did you lose your children when you got a speeding ticket?  No, of course not.

If you are upset and outraged by this policy, please let your congressmen/women know.  Make your voice heard.  Don’t be silent, lest your silence be assumed to be agreement.

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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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Hermits and Stuff

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I recently read the non-fiction book The Stranger in the Woods – The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel.  This is the true story of Christopher Knight, the man who lived alone in the woods of Maine for 27 years.  I don’t know about you, but I often consider the option of running away from civilization and living by myself in the middle of nowhere.  Of course, I’d have to be self-sufficient, including growing my own food, etc., which would require tons of work, and that’s the main reason why I haven’t done anything like that…money being the other compelling reason.

But this account brought up a lot of issues for me.  Do I really consider someone who stole for survival a hermit?  What about his watching t.v. (yes, he stole a t.v., and watched it frequently), he also played hand-held computer games, and listened to a purloined radio.  While living alone and not speaking to anyone for 27 years (with one exception of saying hi to a hiker in the 1990’s) is an accomplishment, it’s not really what I think of when contemplating my own hermitage.  If I were going to become a hermit, I’m pretty sure that I would not want any interaction with civilization.  Actually, to be honest, this is something that I’ve thought about since I was a child and read a National Geographic story about a Park Ranger who lived in the middle of Yellowstone (I think) during the winter and was so isolated that his supplies were helicoptered in for him.  He spent the time that he wasn’t working reading and writing.  That was the life, I always felt – being paid to be alone, and to read and write!  A dream come true!

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At some point I understood that jobs like that just were not available, then I got married and had children.  Even though I am an introvert, I can tolerate being around others for a period of time.  As an aside, my children had the earliest bed-time ever, mainly because I’d had enough of “togetherness” by the end of the day and knew my limits.  I need time alone to “de-compress” after a day with others, although my patience for being with groups seems to be getting smaller and smaller as I age.  Do any of you daydream of the day when you just might turn into a full-time hermit?  How would you go about it?  Let me know in the comments below.

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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