You are not worthy of such a stage…

I’m just going to start this off with a quote from somebody currently running for President, in reference to Bernie Sanders, the self-described Democratic Socialist.

“It amazes me and it actually kind of scares me, I’ve been spending more time going after Bernie and socialism because I don’t want America to succumb to the notion that there’s anything good about socialism. I think it’s not an accident of history that most of the times when socialism has been tried that attendant with that has been mass genocide of people or any of those who object to it. Stalin killed tens of millions of people. Mao killed tens of millions of people. Pol Pot killed tens of millions of people. When you have a command economy, when everything is dictated from one authority, that’s socialism, but it doesn’t come easily to those who resist it.”

Can you guess who said that?  If you answered Donald Trump, you’re wrong.  This was Rand Paul.  Rand Paul is stooping to new lows and essentially saying that if we elect Bernie Sanders that there will be a genocide.  Are you kidding me?  Rand Paul is just one of the many who does not deserve the stage to be running for the highest office in the United States.  The United States has officially shown the world that we are absolutely mad.  Do you not think the rest of the world looks at us, looks at our current Presidential race, hears the comments coming from some about different ethnic groups, about homosexuals, about foreign affairs and Iran?  We are an embarrassment to our own selves and we are all collectively allowing it to happen.

First off, I’m going to list off some countries that currently follow the Democratic-Socialist structure of government: Denmark, Finland, The Netherlands, Canada, Sweden, Norway, Ireland, New Zealand, Belgium.

Now, tell me where the massive genocides have been in those countries in the past 500 years.  Please.  I beg you.

Thing is though, Rand Paul spewing this kind of garbage isn’t anything new.  We’ve had eight years of hearing about an imaginary Muslim who was going to sell the country to Al-Quada and introduce us all the Sharia Law.  There are people out there who ate all of that up and have had 8 years of being in honest fear of somebody coming, taking their guns and giving them a homosexual to marry.  We, as a country, have allowed it.  We have failed as a society.  Those who run the media have given us this and we have taken it from them, as a society.  Just because you don’t personally watch Fox News doesn’t mean that you haven’t allowed this to happen.  We’ve openly allowed lies to be told without taking action against them.  We’ve allowed those lies to be told and believed; and if not by ourselves we’ve allowed it to be told to our family, our friends, our neighbors and everybody we interact with.  Yes, those of you who are not insane thinking that Obama is a Muslim coming to take over the country are still at fault.  We might laugh at that crazy uncle who rants on about Mexicans or guns but we’ve never challenged him to back up his views with anything other than Fox News.  Why?  Why are we so damn afraid to stand up to people who are misguided?

People like Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump, etc. have essentially turned this election into reality television and we have allowed it.  Donald Trump spewed about how boring the 1st Democratic debate was.  Guess what, that is politics!  Politics isn’t always fun and games, Mr. Trump.  You don’t need to turn everything into a big showy event that will turn heads.  This country wasn’t founded on that.

Some speculate that Ben Carson’s main motives behind running is partly so he can get more book sales.  I wouldn’t doubt that.  We all know that Trump is an ego-maniac who craves the spotlight.  Trump possibly fears that he’s becoming less noticeable in the world but now he’s the first story nearly every day in the news.  We’ve allowed this.  Where do we hear about Bernie Sanders in the news?  Where do we hear about Hillary Clinton, aside from hearing about Benghazi and emails (two things that have been admittedly wastes of time to try and slander Clinton).

I understand one of the best freedoms we share in this country is the freedom of speech.  Anybody can truly say what they want (minus a few things, such as making open threats… that will get you arrested) to whatever audience they want but since when has the freedom of speech also meant the freedom of consequences?  As children we always had that one kid on the playground who thought he could insult others, then when confronted said he had the freedom of speech.  We wouldn’t allow our mother, our father, our crazy uncle, etc. to lie right to our faces about something important in our lives and just let them get away with it, would we?  So why on Earth are we allowing these people who are seeking the highest office in the nation to do it?  Why on Earth are we allowing Fox News to do it?  Honestly, their “Ex CIA operative” whom they called an expert is facing criminal charges for making that false claim.  When do we hold others within that organization and others accountable?  If Brian Williams can damn near lose his job for lying about being in a war zone, why can’t people within Fox News lose their jobs for blatantly lying about the state of the nation, about the president, about presidential candidates… for lying about stuff that actually matters in our lives?  We allow it.  We always have allowed it.  When do we demand action?

The race for the Republican nomination has turned into a circus.  Eight years ago we heard people complaining that a man with only one Senate term couldn’t be President.  Now there are three people running for President on that same side who have never had ANY governmental experience.  One has filed for bankruptcy 4 times, one was a CEO who wasn’t even regarded as having good business sense, and the other a doctor.  All three of these candidate have made at least one ridiculous or bigoted or outlandish claim about an issue that is extremely important to our country, while the rest of the world watches.  We’ve allowed it though.  If Barack Obama made one of their claims we’d all be demanding his resignation, what is so different here?  You might not think any of this is a big deal, but there is a very real chance that one of these people get elected.  Eisenhower, Reagan and Nixon would all be denouncing these candidates if they were still alive.  The sad thing is that Jeb Bush appears to be the least of the evils, and the thought of four more years of that should keep some awake at night.  So you can continue sitting there, watching cat videos and posting your lunch on Instagram OR maybe, just maybe you can start being a part of the solution.  Follow a campaign that you support.  Make a small $5 donation.  Talk politics with your crazy uncle and challenge his views.  Change doesn’t have to be big, if we all are more mindful about the country we live in and where we want it to go, then we can all make a big difference together.

Some Personal Ramblings

So I guess I do write about non-political things.  Woot!  Woot?

So lately I find myself doing many things.  I am teaching full-time as a long-term sub, I still also am doing my nights at the bar and the liquor store I work.  What I am not doing is taking any time for myself.  I finally gave up my weekends at the gas station just so I wasn’t working 7 days a week, despite some family members warning me not to.  A wise quote I’ve read many times was to never get so tied up in making a living that you forget to make a life.

I started this year off wanting to make changes in my life.  Big changes.  Some changes so personal I won’t even talk about them.  Despite that I’ve become a better person this year than I was last year I cannot, for the life of me, remember anything I put on that list, but one thing.  The funny thing is that even though I’ve had the desired outcome I wanted in the creation of that list, the only thing I remember from that list is the one thing I won’t be able to complete.

I’ve been getting so completely tied up in work that I haven’t hardly had time to just be me.  Tonight would have been my only weeknight off this week had I not gotten a night shift covered on Thursday.  Saturday morning, I am still on at the liquor store, however.  Having to juggle so many different hats can just be over-whelming.  I don’t miss my old days in the finance/accounting industry one bit but what I do miss about that was the time I had.  I felt like I just had more time in general despite the fact that I still worked a full-time job that kept me 8-5, I still had a part-time job (that wasn’t necessary, financially) that had me 2-4 nights a week, too.  I never felt like I just didn’t have free time though.  Yes, the part-time job was working with a rock wall/outdoor rec/boathouse, which just so happened to be a huge passion of mine, but even despite that I was still able to have relationships, go places, see things, do things without having the financial or spatial drag on my life.  These days, despite working so many jobs I don’t have that luxury.  I’m always worrying about bills, rent, etc.  Sure, I don’t make the same money I did in the financial/accounting industry, but honestly even with that job I didn’t make that much.  Sure, I lived in a town that was relatively inexpensive, but I also found myself in Minneapolis nearly every single weekend to spend time with my significant other I was with at the time.  I know that has been nearly 5 years since I left that life behind, packed everything, closed my eyes and took a huge step into my new life, a life of being back at college in my mid-twenties which has now led to my current life as a 27 year old, but what has happened in that time?  I feel like I am just living in a completely different life, it is hard to imagine any of that anymore.

I love my jobs, really I do.  Subbing at an ALC can be an extremely stressful job.  I keep going back there day in and day out, however, not because of the paycheck, but because I actually feel like I belong there.  Sure, I’ve got nothing good to say about the current position teaching math, where I feel like I was just thrown into a pit of lions to fend for myself, but I’m making it work and being successful with it.  Even with all that, there are still days where I just feel like I belong and know that I am making a difference, even if it was just in one person.

Time

Time is a very important thing.  I’m trying to relearn this thing called life.  This time, however, I feel I will do a much better job of it.

Some of you may ask,”Why are you writing this?”  For that I think I have a very simple answer.  Venting.  I often times tell others that sometimes you just need to vent, even if its not a big deal.  Sometimes just saying the words helps you understand what it all means, more.  There have also been times where I’ve found I learn the most about myself by allowing somebody else to vent towards me, even if I have no advice to offer them when they’re done.

Resistance to Gun Control or Resistance to Reason?

So with yet another mass shooting in the U.S. I find that everywhere I look I see the worst in people coming out on the news and the interwebs.  Yet, somehow, when it comes to having a face to face conversation people worry about what words represent them, but I digress.

I am just going to list out some of the most basic of argument we’ve been hearing lately when it comes to gun control, or lack there of.

  • We start with my favorite argument of. “but criminals will still get their hands on guns!  Why punish everybody else?!”  First off, I find that the same people who make this argument are far too often also the same people who say we need to ban abortion.  Going by this very same logic, they’re being hypocritical in their argument.  So because people will illegally get guns to kill others we shouldn’t try but when it comes to people risking their lives to get back-door abortions it doesn’t matter?  I’d rather we ban something that works to save lives (you know, actual lives… lives that live and breathe in the world) rather than ban something that will ultimately take those same living, breathing lives in the real world.
  • Also, going off the banning argument not keeping things away from criminals.  Now, you can currently go into a Cabela’s and purchase a number of Semi-Automatic Centerfire Rifles for under $2,000.  Many people also call these assault rifles.  I’m not going to split hairs on definitions, however, but these are guns where even a person with little to no training, who has a few days to become acquainted with the gun, can become extremely dangerous.  Now, I know some of you might be saying in your head, “But you can kill somebody with a hunting rifle, too!”  Here’s the thing though.  A hunting rifle doesn’t carry as many bullets and is also slower to reload.  If you’re trying to do a mass shooting (you know, the kind of shooting where there is a mass of people around to shoot) then that mass has a greater chance of being a mob that takes you out before you can do more damage.  An assault rifle is designed for this kind of mob control.  One person with an assault rifle can fend off an entire mob for quite some time.  We’ve seen war movies where this happens, this is why we love Bruce Willis.  Now if those guns were no longer able to be purchased at stores such as Cabela’s, Gander Mountain, WalMart, etc. they would in turn have to be purchased on the black market.  I’m no expert on the black market, but I am pretty sure that your average college student isn’t just going to be able to walk into a dark alley and yell, “I want some guns!” and walk out happy.  Also, those prices will increase exponentially on the black market.  What once costs you $1,500 will now easily cost more than most vehicles we see these sort of madmen driving.
    Cabela’s Assault Rifles
  • “The government/Obama/Muslims/Communists/Space Aliens are coming to take our guns now!”  Now, being realistic, any gun control will not ban all guns from U.S. citizens.  It would only ban certain types, generally the types that will make it easier for any ordinary citizen to inflict a large amount of damage in a small amount of time.  This would include things such as extended clips for handguns, assault rifles, and even guns with modified stocks for maneuverability.  Keep in mind that any guns you want to own for sport hunting wouldn’t be touched, period.  Also, handguns generally wouldn’t be touched.  I would still be owning my two guns (a rifle and a shotgun) and I would still be able to use them legally.  I repeat to all sportsmen and hunters, YOU CAN STILL OWN YOUR GUNS!  Here’s the thing, there are many in the GOP at the state and federal level who want to make it easier for you to buy a gun than to vote.  They want to do away with the most basic of defenses, such as background checks.  They also want to throw loopholes in there that make background checks essentially useless.  How is this even reasonable?  Do me a favor, go see how much the NRA contributes to elections each cycle.  Just, please, you can easily Google that.
  • “This is in our constitution!  You can’t mess with the constitution!”  Well for starters, those rules in the constitution, what do we call each one of them?  An amendment right?  Amendments have been added.  Amendments have been removed.  We, as a country, have added amendments as we’ve realized times have changed and we need to change with them.  We need to only ask African Americans and women how well this has worked out for them.  Then again, you can now go to a bar and drink, too, thanks to an amendment that abolished another amendment that abolished drinking.  But tell me again how amendments are so permanent?  Yes, they’re hard to change, the founding fathers set them up to be hard to change that way we had to be damn sure we wanted change.  You also know what the founding fathers knew?  They also knew that a gun in the hand one one man could maybe kill 5 people in ten minutes if held by the most expert of shooters.  You know what that expert couldn’t do?  He couldn’t kill or injure over 20 people in less than 5 minutes of shooting.  He would be overrun by the angry mob that ensued and maybe kill 2 people if he was completely lucky.

By the end of the day the people who are against any form of gun control only have 2 arguments for their position.  The first argument is the one they don’t realize they project on a daily basis, and that is that. “Hey!  I am just too damn ignorant to think for myself and am just spewing the same vile filth I read/heard somewhere that I didn’t bother to think about myself.” or “Hey!  I like guns!  They’re fun to shoot!”  That is it.  Don’t give me the, “I’m a law abiding citizen!  Why should I be punished!”  Nobody is punishing you, we’re just realizing that society can only move as fast as it’s slowest member in order to keep from falling apart.  Keep in mind that we were all law abiding citizens until the day we flipped.