Politics

Censorship is Good, as Long as You’re Not Censoring Me

I wonder how different this conversation would be going if Twitter and Facebook were censoring Democrats and the far left. I’m betting they wouldn’t be calling for MORE censorship if that was the case.

Be careful what you wish for.

This is a hearing summary according to my interpretation. I’m not saying my interpretation is correct, or even accurate, but I will try my best to remain fair to both sides of the argument as I feel it’s important for people to start looking at all sides of an issue, not just their side.

I would highly recommend that you watch the entire hearing and LISTEN to both sides. What are their arguments? What are their proposals? What is the evidence to back up their claims? Are they speaking factually or emotionally? However, I get it. It’s dry and it’s four hours long. So I watched it so you didn’t have to.

All. Four. Hours. Of. It. (Not all at once – took me two days to get through it all).

You’re welcome. ūüôā

But again, this is my interpretation and you can’t assume my interpretation, or opinion, is the same as yours. Again, I would encourage you to watch it and form your own opinion.

I think we as American citizens need to start training our brains to LISTEN to all sides of an issue so that we have all the information we need to form our own opinions. That way, we are making decisions, moving forward, based on facts and intentions, not emotion. Emotions are fleeting, facts are forever. It’s time to recognize and acknowledge that fact.

That is the goal of our podcast, as well.

Let’s get started:

Senator Graham – I appreciated his comments. He strove to be fair to Facebook and Twitter by explaining that their platforms have been good, overall. That they have served to bring people together and give them a platform to voice their opinions, thoughts, goals, etc. However, it appears they have gotten out of control, whether intentionally or not, and that they do not have the right to censor what groups of people can, and can not say. This applies to both sides, not just one side. They do not have the right to censor the left, they do not have the right to censor the right. And whether their intentions to do so is unclear. It might simply be they struggled to control something too massive to control. And this is where the hearing comes into play. It’s time to call a halt to the “fact checking” and “false claims” and silence groups of people that dare to disagree with the platforms goals, thoughts, agendas, or special interests groups that donate large sums of cash to the platforms. Senator Graham is hoping that this hearing will modify business practices so that decisions moving forward are transparent and fair to all points of view.

Senator Blumenthal – He opens his turn by cautioning the American people about the dangers of President Trump using social media by posting lies and incendiary rhetoric. I sort of agree with this. There have been time when President Trump has tweeted something and I actually cringe in response. Though I understand the message he’s trying to convey, the way he says it is off putting and awkward. And in a world where people do not bother to read between the lines but take everything at face value, it’s counterproductive. However, the reason he even posts on Twitter is because he can’t trust the MSM (Main stream media) to accurately report what he’s saying. They take snippets from what he’s saying and thread them together to make it sound like something completely different. They routinely cut him off and do not allow him to fully flesh out his thoughts before jumping in to “argue” with him and “fact check” him when that is not the duty of the press. They exist to provide a platform to the American people and to report on the news, not opine their biases. Sure. they can offer opinions and predictions, i.e. talking points, but to not allow the full message to get to the American people is disingenuous and dishonest. Senator Blumenthal acknowledges that, after getting his hatred for Trump out of the way, that Twitter and Facebook have become too big and something must be done with the power they find themselves wielding. He also points out that Google is absent from the hearing, “they were given a pass and rewarded for their timidity.” Ah, but then he goes on to say that what they are doing is not censorship but it’s their “moral and civic responsibility” to stop the flow of hate. No sir, I disagree. That is NOT Twitter and Facebook’s responsibility. That is the responsibility of the user to block or delete that rhetoric. It’s hateful and vile but the authors of that have just as much right to post it as I do posting this blog post. And that’s the fundamental difference between the left and the right.

Dorsey and Zuckerberg’s opening statements – Dorsey’s was decent. He expressed what I think was a genuine desire to do the right thing. He struck me as a man who is over his head and is floundering trying to figure out how to please everyone.

Zuckerberg, however, fairly admitted that they took actions to suppress “hateful” groups and praised their efforts and decisions. He even went so far as to say “this is what people expect from us.” He went on to tout their efforts to promote registering to vote and to provide information for people to learn more about various political races around the country. I would be interested in knowing how that information provided was divided – was there more democrat links than republican? I suppose it doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things, but it’s something to consider. Then he basically tooted his own horn to say that he and his wife donated large sums of money to political candidates to “ensure they had the political platform needed for their campaign.” Again, great for you. But what does that have to do with Facebook’s platform? Nothing. It was said to imply “gee, look at me guys. I’m actually a good guy. I give back so don’t be too hard on me.” He goes on to agree that we should update Internet regulations such as privacy, content, data portability. But then he goes on to say, “who should be responsible for what people say online?” That is where he lost me. It’s not YOUR job, Zuckerberg, or your platforms job, to decide what may, or may not be said online. I get there are certain topics and situations that that might be warranted, calls to violence, child sexual exploitations and other heinous topics, but it is NOT the platforms job to decide on what normal Janes and Joes say or the opinions they express.

Blumenthal then asks both Dorsey and Zuckerberg to do MORE to “fact check” and “disallow” false information for the special election in Georgia that could decide on the majority party depending on results. In his opinion, they need to do MORE. Well of course he would say that because Facebook and Twitter were so successful at suppressing opposing views for the presidential election, he would want them to continue doing what they are doing to try and suppress information from Georgia voters. How disgusting that he’s openly calling for MORE dishonesty, but let’s face it, is anyone surprised by this? I guess I’m more disappointed than anything else.

Senator Cornyn – The Internet has outgrown section 230 and he’s relieved to hear Dorsey and Zuckerberg are willing to discuss ways to improve it. Some committee members have proposed a private right of action so that individuals have the ability to sue the companies for suppressing their opinions. Though I’m all for giving individuals rights to protect their speech and the companies need some accountability, I fear allowing individuals to sue would be counter productive. I could see people posting speech they do not necessarily agree to all in order to sue the companies and make some quick dough. I’m not saying it would be EASY to sue the companies over any little thing, but it would open an avenue for constant litigation. It’s hard to classify Twitter and Facebook’s business model as they don’t really fall into a clear-cut category. He feels they should allow more speech and not less as more speech leads to more conversations and information. I would agree with this. The more information you have, the better you can make an informed decision. It would soon become apparent who spouts nonsense and who spouts thoughtful opinions but again, it would be up to the user to weed out that information and make his/her own decision on something. It’s not the right of Twitter or Facebook to make that decision for us.

Senator Feinstein – She asks show soon after the tweet goes online does Twitter label, or “fact check” the tweet? I’m not sure why she is interested in the time frame of this. What difference does that make? The point is, they ARE being labeled and the fact that they are being labeled at all is the point of this hearing. However, to be completely fair to Dorsey and Twitter, I understand why they would feel compelled to label these tweets providing a link to more information. They want to give people an opportunity to learn more about the situation themselves as opposed to taking someone’s word for it. However, who decides where to send these people who are seeking more information? And are they being directed to impartial news or to a pre-determined news source that only serves to further a specific agenda? Feinstein is concerned that opposing viewpoints will “stir people up,” which in essence implies that she does not want people to be given information that will potentially make them think something other than what her party wants them to think. She wants to control what information is given so they are ensured to get the response of want. I find that highly objectionable because it implies that want people to only be given the information they want to provide. How insulting to thinking people of any party. Feinstein’s bottom line – she wants the tech companies to do MORE. I wonder if she would feel that way if the tech companies were favoring Republican comments and “fact checking” the Democrat comments. I’m betting no. A “Stop the Steal” movement cropped up on Facebook shortly after the media declared Joe Biden the winner. Feinstein is concerned that this movement provoked violence because some members of this movement showed up to rallies armed with guns. Senator Feinstein, gun protection is still legal in this country, no matter how much you wished it weren’t so they have a right to carry and bear arms (provided they have the correct documentation). Also, they likely showed up to these rallies not to provoke violence because have there been any examples of people rioting, looting or burning anything down since the media crowned themselves kings and queens and announced Biden the winner even though it’s not official yet, but to protect themselves against the BLM movement that has repeatedly been showcased to attack Trump providers. The fact that this movement exists to begin with, and that thousands of people agreed and joined this movement irks Senator Feinstein because again, they are not playing by the rules of THEIR game.

Senator Lee – He provides examples of “hateful” tweets that caused the account to be suspended to Dorsey to ask him exactly how it was hateful. Dorsey admitted the tweet in question was flagged in error and that the account should not have been suspended. However, to be fair to Dorsey, he’s not personally responsible for his program or algorithms. However, it does serve to showcase what is wrong with the algorithms and to correct their computations. Senator Lee points out that those these “mistakes” are eventually caught and he appreciates Dorsey and Zuckerberg acknowledging these mistakes, it’s a fact that 93% of Facebook staff donated to Democrat candidates and 99% of Twitter staff donated to Democrat candidates so it warrants a closer look at these “mistakes” since most of these “mistakes” happen primarily against Republican voters and ads that dare to implicate Democrats of any wrong doing. Seems like a pretty big “coincidence.” Senator Lee requested a list of people that have had their content removed or accounts that have been suspended sent to him for review. Of course, he’s trying to prove that the majority of accounts that have been compromised comprise mainly of right-leaning voters. I’d like to know what those lists look like, too. He also pointed out one of his own posts on Facebook getting flagged and he talks about how that may be construed as false information in Palo Alto, which is where Facebook headquarters is located, I presume, but it’s not false information to the rest of America. He is implying that Facebook operates within their own bubble of self interest and really has no interest in anything outside their bubble of self awareness. He states he’s finding it harder to believe that these “mistakes” and imperfect algorithms not not intentional.

Senator Leahy – As expected, he calls on Twitter and Facebook to do a better job of censoring “hateful” and misleading information. Again, I’m quite confident he would not have this opinion if the information that was being censored was mostly Democrat-related issues. He claims that President Trump is the leader in giving false information. I would like some examples of this, please. What exactly has he said that was patently false or misleading? Does he come across as egotistical and an ass sometimes? Yes, yes he does. But what information has he given to the American people that has been false? They, the left, has said, over and over again that he continues to do this and has done this throughout his presidency and yet, no one can give any specific examples. I think that is where we, as the people, need to start holding feet to the fire and demanding they start providing specific examples of these claims instead of blindly accepting their “truth” about this. He brings up the claims that Trump makes about the election being rigged and that there is election fraud. What do you think these hundreds of sworn affidavits that people have submitted and initial investigation into the Dominion software used in many states country-wide that have shown discrepancies is about?? The fact that we even HAVE these questions should be the bare minimum reason to investigate. I would have this same opinion if Biden made these claims. Because this goes way beyond this election, it sets a precedent for upcoming elections as well. We MUST investigate these claims if we hope to have any kind of fair election in the future. Because if these claims are true and we continue down the path we’re on now, the voter is deemed obsolete. Why vote when the flawed system will provide the candidate of the crooked party time and time again? So. Trump’s claims may be upsetting to many who don’t want him in the office four more years, but again, it’s not all about YOU. It’s about a fair election that the PEOPLE choose. He brings up calls to behead Dr. Fauci and the director for the FBI. Yes. That’s disturbing and that hateful rhetoric has no place on these platforms. And I will go on to say that allowing Madonna to post that she wants to blow up the White House and to allow Kathy Griffith to post a picture of herself holding up a bloody, severed head of President Trump should not be allowed either. Again, these rules need to be applied ACROSS THE SPECTRUM. Not just to one particular party. He brings up a good point – though these platforms are successful in taking down hateful content, the user just goes and makes new accounts. I don’t know what the platforms have any control over this and I’m sure that stuff happens all the time and becomes a full-time job for someone to monitor. But that kind of thing is the small price we pay to retain our freedoms of speech. He says that this hateful rhetoric results in “systematic genocides’.” Really. That’s a pretty hefty and serious claim. What are you examples, sir?

Senator Cruz – He calls senate Democrats out for wanting more. This is a dangerous road to travel if we want to maintain a free democracy and free speech. Twitter and Facebook “exercises massive power while also enjoys massive corporate welfare through effect of section 230 with special immunity.” He goes on to ask the owners if their corporation is a publisher. He grilled Dorsey asking him if his company is acting like a publisher if they are deleting and editing content. He goes on to use an example of an account that was locked. Dorsey said their account wasn’t suspended and once the “offending” tweet was deleted, they got their account back. “Once we have silenced you, you may allowed to resume to speak.” This is such a dangerous road to travel. He calls Dorsey to commit, in writing, a list of all of the Republican candidates and support teams how many times they have been blocked or labeled on the platform. After all, Dorsey claims to want to “embrace transparency” so now would be a good time to put his money where his mouth is. Dorsey speaks about committing to looking at the “broader” picture, in essence, he answers no. Zuckerberg says yes, he will see if he has that data. In other words, gentleman, proof is in the pudding. I appreciate Senator Cruz asking for hard proof that the platforms have been biased to Republican candidates and issues and if he actually gets this data, I think it will add credibility to the censorship claims. We’ll see how serious these companies are about “transparency.”

Senator Durbin –¬† ¬†He starts off his time by softly chastising the people who called the committee stating that their time would be better spent on COVID, the re-counts and other various topics – spending time on “alleged” censorship is a waste of time. Well of course he would think that, because they are not censoring HIM. He talks about Facebook taking down hate speech groups, such as white supremist. I agree. There is no place, on any platform for hate speech groups, period. However, I would also like to point out, this same rule applies to Antifa and BLM, both groups that have increasingly become more and more violent and tout hateful speech as well. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Again. Be fair to ALL groups, Senator Durbin.

Senator Sasse – He brought up a good point, he’s not sure why Republicans are so eager to re-write section 230 knowing that there is a good possibility that the incoming party will be the ones writing the new rules and that the other side seems almost giddy at the prospect of yet another government entity overseeing these public platforms. He states he’s not sure government should be involved in this process for privately owned companies. Even though these privately-owned companies are massive and have such a far-reaching audience. He also brought up the fact that since such large percentages of these companies’ employees are Democrat supporters, do the owners of these companies think their “fact checkers” can be an impartial judge and jury when deciding on whether the information in question should be allowed to remain. Zuckerberg responded with an acknowledgement of this potential bias and stated they could do better on making sure they are more diverse in their hiring practices, but Facebook employees are across the world and he feels that alone is enough diversity to offset any potential biases. Dorsey responded with, they don’t really have people that make these decisions but rather it’s the algorithms that do the job and they can do a better job of making sure the algorithms are more precise and accurate.

Continue reading “Censorship is Good, as Long as You’re Not Censoring Me”

Politics

Unity Does Not Mean Submitting to Group Think

Do you think we’re beyond uniting? Have we reached a time where it’s impossible to come together and work toward common goals?

Sadly, yes, I think we are beyond that point.

Why do I think this? Because we can’t even agree on fundamental things. For example: We can not agree on what a freedom and a right is. We can not agree on the fundamental values of life, let alone the details on how to ultimately achieve that goal.

And if unity means asking people who have different values or opinions from your own to sacrifice their convictions and beliefs, then no, I’m not interested in unity.

Unity, Mr. Biden, does not mean I succumb to your agenda. Unity does not mean accepting and abiding by your group think. That is not unity, that is being a dictator. And history has shown nothing good comes from that type of leadership.

So if unity is not possible, and I don’t believe it is, does this mean we will forever endure the violence, the hateful language, the name calling and the overall hate pit that our country has fallen into?

Not necessarily. I believe it’s possible to peacefully coexist but some things must be done first before that can happen.

And it won’t happen overnight and it certainly won’t happen because the party calling for unity is allegedly in charge. We should strive to peacefully coexist regardless of which party holds the executive (olive) branch.

Justin Haskins, from his opinion piece on The Hill, has this suggestion:

“Biden has repeatedly claimed, as he did during an address on Saturday, that he will ‚Äúserve as a president who seeks not to divide, but unify, who doesn‚Äôt see red states or blue states, but only the United States.‚ÄĚ

Forgive me for being a little skeptical. Biden has done little in his career to show that he is interested in bringing the country together or addressing the concerns of ‚Äúred states.‚ÄĚ In fact, during the 2020 campaign, he spent far more time trying to alleviate the worries of the socialist wing of his party than reaching out to conservatives and Americans in ‚Äúflyover country,‚ÄĚ who mostly rejected Biden on Election Day.

Biden didn’t try very hard to bring the country together during the presidential campaign. But let’s assume he sincerely wants to bring the country together. How can he go about doing that?

The only way Biden can restore a sense of national unity and alleviate the legitimate fears of conservatives, libertarians and others that a Biden-Harris administration will try to expand the power of the national government and limit individual rights is to finally put an end to the century-long strategy of attempting to force a single party’s will over a vast and diverse nation.

There is a solution, though, one that would garner support from people of all political persuasions. Instead of trying to pass gargantuan, partisan laws in Washington, D.C., that at least half the country will hate, Biden should pursue an agenda that grants to each state the ability to chart its own course. This could be done by only supporting legislation that block grants most federal funding to states, so that each can decide how best to craft policies that will fit the desires and needs of its residents.

So, for example, instead of trying to fix the health care system by imposing a ‚Äúpublic option‚ÄĚ and some expanded version of ObamaCare, Biden should back legislation that would allow states to create their own policies.

By giving states the ability to make their own policy decisions, everyone can win. Under such a system, not only would public policies more closely align with the desires of the entire electorate. It would also give the country an opportunity to see which policy ideas work and which fail. States could then learn from the mistakes and achievements of their neighbors and continuously improve public policy.”

I see where Mr. Haskins is coming from here – it’s a hybrid approach – leave it up to the federal government to iron out Bill of Rights and Constitution issues but give individual, area-specific policies to the states to figure out but it will never work. Biden, and the Democrat party are not interested in giving up power, they want it all. They want to dictate every aspect of our lives. They want to be able to tell you where to work, how much money you are allowed to make, how much money you are allowed to keep, what doctor you may, or may not, see, what car you can drive, and how much money you are required to pay them simply by “owning” your home. They want to have a thumb on every part of your life and if you’re okay with that, if you are willing to forfeit your individual freedoms to allow an entity to dictate your life and essentially “take care of you”, (though they really aren’t – they are controlling you through tax breaks, incentive programs, tax refunds that aren’t really refunds but a program that legally STEALS your money from you and then they grants you permission to get some of that back every year – but only if you didn’t strive to be successful or break any of their restrictive rules), well, I guess you have the freedom to live like that.

But that doesn’t mean everyone has that same desire. In fact, there is a large part of the population, pretty much half if the election results are any indication, that vehemently disagree with that premise. I’m one of those people. I work very hard for my money and I believe I should have the right to keep what I make. I want freedoms to CHOOSE from various options what is best for me and my family. I prefer to be left alone so that I can live my life. If I make a wrong choice, then I will deal with the consequences. I don’t need, nor want, an entity to “take care of me.” I’m perfectly capable of doing that myself, thank you very much.

And just because we disagree on how we want to live our lives, does mean my way, or your way, is better overall, it just means it’s better for ME as an individual. We are not a collective. We are individuals and a one size does not fit all solutions, which is what the Democrats strive to achieve every time they are in office, is not effective, is repulsive, dangerous and quite frankly, insulting.

I have a brain, I am not afraid to use it. I do not need an entity to guide me through life. I will make my own choices and I will learn from failures and I will celebrate my successes. If I choose to share my hard-earned successes with those less fortunate, then I will do so, but it’s wrong to MAKE me re-distribute what I’ve worked very hard for to someone who has chosen not to try as hard. It’s unfair and wrong. This does not mean I’m not willing to give to charities and help people, far from it, I just believe in hand ups, not hand outs. I believe consistently giving people hand outs is demoralizing and insulting, not to mention, it promotes dependency. How can someone take pride in their life if they are never given an opportunity to succeed on his/her own?

From the article Unifying Our Country on Psychology Today:

“What is constantly being demonstrated is that it is much easier to divide than it is to unite. It is possible, however, to unite our country through the systematic implementation of positive interdependence. Interdependence exists when two or more people (or entities) depend on each other so that their outcomes and fate are correlated. Morton Deutsch, in the late 1940s, noted that there are two types of interdependence, positive and negative. Positive interdependence is the perception that a person depends on others in a way so that he or she cannot succeed unless the other persons do and vice versa. Negative interdependence is the opposite; if a person succeeds, all others fail. In order for a democracy to function, citizens must perceive positive interdependence among all citizens. Societal members have to know that they “sink or swim together.”

Today, many Americans seem to have lost the sense of positive interdependence among citizens. Many of our politicians are more concerned about dividing citizens and creating animosity among them than uniting them. In order to unify our country, widespread positive interdependence must be reestablished and reemphasized. There are a number of ways to structure positive interdependence among citizens of our country.”

The author suggests the following things:

  1. Unite the country by establishing compelling goals that all members of our society willingly commit themselves to achieve. Positive goal interdependence exists when citizens commit themselves to mutual goals that are compelling enough to ensure that all citizens will work together to achieve them.
  2. The country may be united through establishing a national identity¬†as an ‚ÄúAmerican‚ÄĚ that binds all citizens together.¬†¬†An identity is a consistent set of attitudes that defines “who you are.”¬†¬†Identity interdependence¬†may be created¬†by establishing a mutual identity through group symbols such as a pledge of allegiance, flag, or national anthem.
  3. Resource interdependence exists when citizens realize that in order to achieve their goals they must depend on the resources of others. Building a national economy, ensuring all citizens have the ability to communicate with each other, traveling from one part of the country to another are all examples of goals that require the resources and contributions of many citizens to achieve them.
  4. Citizens may be united through perceiving that they all receive the same rewards and benefits when national goals are achieved (i.e., reward interdependence).” (example: celebrating national holidays, receiving stimulus checks during a pandemic, tax cuts. We all benefit from a common goal – my words).

You can read the article for the rest of the points.

“In summary, if leaders and citizens wish to unite the citizens of our country, they must establish competing joint goals, a mutual identity, awareness of dependence on each other‚Äôs resources, awareness that one is rewarded only when all are rewarded, divisions of labor involving all citizens, giving citizens complementary roles, and encouraging all citizens to participate in the processes of democracy. It is through ensuring such positive interdependence exists that citizens can become aware of their unity.”

Again, lofty goals. And when those circumstances occur, I think it has the potential of uniting people but I think in order for these things to occur, the leaders in charge have to want it to happen – I don’t believe most of our leaders are interested in unity. They are more concerned with dividing us because if we are divided, then they have a platform in which to swoop in and “save” us. It is not in their best interest to unite us – chaos and fear leads to control, which is the ultimate goal of many politicians.

Be honest.

So where does that leave us?

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, and again, and again – I believe it all starts with communication and adjusting how we use language. There is no “us” or “them” or “those people.” That automatically puts us in different corners. That implies we are starting out as divided and many times people will not be open to listen to anything outside their opinions or beliefs. We need to start saying “us, “we”, “Americans”, “humans”. What is the purpose of bringing up color? Or sexual preference? Or race? When we label people and put them in a box they are automatically ostracized. We immediately feel superior to “those people.”

We have to accept the fact that the media is all about agendas and further dividing us. They epitomize groupthink. Don’t believe me?

It’s the same message, over and over and over again. And not just in print, but on news stations. There is very little independent thought. They all regurgitate one another – groupthink. We are repeating this same message because we want to brainwash you into thinking this is the ONLY way to feel about something.

And sadly, it works on a large portion of the people. Because if you read/watch people who feel differently than you, they nearly always spout off “these talking points.” And that’s it. If you dare to ask questions or ask for examples, it’s like groupthink people’s brains short circuit and they call on emotion and anger to call you names or do anything really to distract you from the fact they don’t really know what they’re talking about – they only know what they’ve been told. Nine times out of ten, they don’t even know why they believe what they believe.

If we ever hope to unite as a country, outside a catastrophic event like 911 or this overblown pandemic (because let’s face it, when the pandemic first started and we didn’t know what it was, we all united for a brief moment), people will have to learn to communicate with one another more effectively. Which means, LISTEN. Practice EMPTAHY for one another. It’s not all about you. It’s not all about me. We all have individual needs and desires, RESPECT that difference. Be WILLING to listen to possible solutions and then COMPROMISE on a mutual solution.

Again. It’s not my way or the highway.

And our officials in charge HAVE to, HAVE TO, call for an end to the violence. It’s NOT OKAY to attack someone in the street because he/she believes differently than you. It’ NOT OKAY to paint a group of people as racists when there is very little evidence to back up that claim. Officials HAVE to start condemning these actions and show “their” people that their behavior is not acceptable. If Biden is truly interested in uniting us, then he has to recognize that BLM’s activities are wrong and not acceptable. By NOT condemning their actions, it only serves to embolden them to push their violence just that much more.

The bottom line – IT’S OKAY TO HAVE DIFFERING OPINIONS. Just because I think a certain way, you think a certain way, doesn’t mean it’s the ONLY way to think or tackle a problem. It’s NEVER okay to belittle, or attack, either physically or verbally, someone else for his/her opinion. Have the maturity to stop, listen and learn. I’m betting the person who has a different opinion than you presents an aspect of the topic that you may have never taken into consideration before. And there is always more than one way to tackle any problem or issue – THAT, my friends, is DIVERSITY – Different opinions and different approaches to the same problem.

If you made it to the end of this post and you know you think/feel differently than I do, congratulations. You have taken the first step to unifying this nation – you dared to listen to a differing opinion without losing your temper or becoming violet.

Who knows who will really win this election, but if the new president is truly interested in uniting people, then it’s time to start making people accountable for their behavior.

By the way, I stumbled on an interesting website, it’s called Unify America. And you can actually get paired up with someone who thinks differently than you do and talk to them as a human being and see if you can agree to disagree. I think it’s an excellent tool to not only practice interacting with someone who thinks/feels differently than you do, but also serves to show others that it CAN be done. Check it out. (Not sponsored).

Life-condensed, Writing Mechanics

Tips for Writing a First Draft and Life Update

I was too tired this week to contribute to my word count so now I’m playing catch up. If you haven’t participated in word sprints, I would highly recommend that you do it. They are super fun and super productive. I’ve been hooked on the Word Nerds word sprints – they are doing a four-hour word sprint today that I fully intend to participate in. I’m figuring out what I want to write for that time period.

I just finished a short story which I will post tomorrow. It’s a long one – over 3000 words. It’s amazing to me how I can look at a prompt, close my eyes and my imagination just takes over and before long, I feel compelled to write. Then I go into a writing trance and it’s almost like a high – I am transported to a world of my making. It’s a pretty powerful feeling, not gonna lie. Anyway, if you’re stuck or you need some support I would highly recommend you type in word sprints into YouTube and you’ll find a bunch of fun sprints to take part in.

I spent the first half of yesterday getting my hair done. I’m determined that I will NOT go gray any time soon. I feel like coloring my hair takes ten years off my appearance and I will continue to color my hair as long as it doesn’t look stupid – i.e. I’m trying too hard and people look at me and say, “wow. Look at that old woman trying to look young” then I’ll stop.

But I’m not there yet.

Anyway. I went to my salon and we’re chit-chatting and I ask her how things are going for her. They were shut down for six(ish) weeks during our lockdown in .. April (I think it was April) and that really took a toll on them. I had an appointment with them in May and they were just beaten down. It nearly destroyed them and they were working hard to play catch up. I tipped her $20 bucks back then just to try and help her in any way I could.

Fast forward to today. When I asked her how they were doing, she said not very good – they were closing their doors on December 16th. I was sick to my stomach for her. It breaks my heart that their business, and so many other small businesses, simply couldn’t sustain the insane reaction we had to this damn virus. It’s unfair and criminal, in my opinion, to strip someone’s livelihood away from them like that.

I asked her what she planned on doing next. Both her and her business partner (they have been best friends for 10 + years) had already gotten jobs in phlebotomy. I have no idea what drew them to that field but they both got a job at clinics with different medical facilities. One of them is actually going to be working for the same hospital that I work at. I told her that she should think of becoming a medical assistant. She said she had thought of that and is interested but she didn’t want to go to school for it. I told her that it wasn’t necessary to go to school for it, though of course the hospital would prefer that you did. However, we have hired several people who have not gone to school for it and have been trained on the job so she should definitely keep her eyes out for openings and apply. She asked if I was certified, which I am, and I told her that if she gets a job as a medical assistant, she has to work for one year before she can take the test. The hospital pays a bonus and you get a significant raise if you become certified because it looks good for the hospital to have CMA’s on staff. I’ll have to keep my eyes open for her and let her know if anything becomes available. With her phlebotomy experience she will be a strong candidate even without formal training.

She said she went into phlebotomy because she was tired of working in an industry that didn’t offer any security. It’s too stressful to always wonder if today will be the day she doesn’t have a job. And I can’t blame her. That’s the biggest reason I went into the medical field – because that’s a field that will ALWAYS need people and I figured the insurance would be decent. (The benefits are … fine – not that great – but not that bad, either).

It makes me wonder how many other people out there have had to rethink their professional careers because of this damn virus. And now there’s talk of shutting down again. I heard through the grapevine that my hospital is working very hard thinking of ways NOT to shut elective surgeries down again. It’s true that we have a lot of COVID cases in the hospital and that a lot of employees have been tested for COVID and that entire departments have been shut down because there hasn’t been anyone to work them, but what’s the alternative? Go into hiding and go through this again and again every time cases go up? It’s like Ground Hog day. When does it stop? No. We can’t continue to hide from this thing – we have to grit our teeth and get through this. We need to urge the groups of people that are vulnerable to COVID to stay home while the healthy get out there and live their lives. I know herd immunity is sort of a dirty phrase right now, but that is exactly what we must do to get back to normal.

And any COVID cases overflow? Let’s designate large facilities and turn them into a MASH unit and take care of them that way. That has to be a better alternative than shutting everything down further destroying the economy. We can’t sustain this insane pattern. At some point, cases WILL go down, they have to. We just have to ride this high.

The vaccine is available but thank God the hospital is not going to make us get it. I would rather continue wearing a mask than get the vaccine. You just don’t know what sorts of poisons are being injected into your body and I would rather not have any unknown long-term effects, thank you very much. No job is worth my health. Period.

Moving on to a different topic ..

I bought a new Christmas tree. We have literally had our Christmas tree for over 25 years and I noticed, for the first time last year, when I took a picture of it how ragged it looked. It’s been losing more and more needles every year and now it just looks like a six foot Charlie Brown tree. I stumbled across a Black Friday deal on the Target website and bought a 7.5 foot tree for $100. We just got it last night and I’m excited to put it up after recording our podcast. It comes in three pieces – I’m looking forward to spending a fraction of the time setting it up. Our old tree was the kind where you had to put every single branch on and then fluff. It took forever.

Not sure what we’re doing for Thanksgiving this year. I know one of Kevin’s sisters will not be joining us as her children don’t feet comfortable getting together because COVID. They only want a get together of just their immediate family. I know it’s disappointing but you gotta do what you gotta do.

Since we’re short staffed at work, management has approved over time. I will DEFINITELY be taking advantage of that these upcoming weeks. Of course, it would be happen during NaNoWriMo but that’s okay – I’ll just get less sleep. I can sleep in December, right?

Enough with the life updates, let’s get back to writing. I thought you all might enjoy Jenna’s tips on writing a first draft. I like her style – she’s informative but funny and doesn’t take herself too seriously. I have watched A LOT of writing videos and some of these writers are so snooty I can’t even stomach it. We all have different styles and ways we approach our writing – there is no wrong or right way of doing it. It takes trial and error before you find your groove. I’m finding my groove. I’m starting to understand how my brain works and what my creativity needs to be coaxed out of the recesses of my mind. I’m being a NaNoWriMo rebel this year and I’m really enjoying myself. My rule is there are no rules. I write when I want and what I want because ultimately, I’m writing and that’s all I care about, no matter what that looks like.

(warning if you’re sensitive: language)

Video Summary:

1. Accept it will be bad
2. Outlines save lives
3. Don’t read it
4. Don’t edit
5. Edit if you can’t stop thinking about editing
6. Habit over motivation
7. Set goals
8. Understand your distractions
9. List your weaknesses
10. Calm down – refer to #1

My thoughts:

  1. I think this is a very important point. It’s true. Your first draft will be bad. You will re-read it and think, “wow – I suck.” But that’s normal. You can’t edit and revise something that doesn’t exist so just write it. Give it a few days before you read it and then work on making it “pretty.” I post my short stories without editing them – and I know they are not my best work, but every time I write a short story, an angel sings. At least, in my head. lol And it becomes easier for me to write the next one, then the next one. I have to exercise my writing muscles and I can’t do that unless I WRITE.
  2. Yes / no. It all depends on how you approach your writing. Remember – there is no one size fits all when it comes to writing styles and preferences. For me, I like outlining to a point, write it, then re-assess my story and where I need to go depending on where my characters took me to begin with. Then I will outline a bit more, write those bits, and so on. This works for me because it gives me just enough material to write but it doesn’t feel stale and boring.
  3. I 100% agree with this. I write it, then don’t read it again for quite some time. Then when I go back and read it, I think, “hhmm, this is not half bad.” I need some distance from my creativity – she can be an all-consuming bitch. Not to mention, people who write, then go back and edit .. I could never do that. To me, that’s like taking one step forward and two steps back – ugh, just no.
  4. I’ve never really gotten to this point because I’ve never stuck to a project long enough TO edit it. So I guess this tip doesn’t apply to me … yet.
  5. N/A
  6. This is me, hands down. I rarely have motivation to write, unless it’s NaNoWriMo and only then it’s because there are thousands of other people in the same boat and I love rewarding myself. I am working hard to make writing a habit and I hope to have that habit firmly in place in 2021.
    1. By the way – my weekly writing rewards to myself are: 1. new glasses 2. new Christmas tree 3. Rhodia bullet journal (because I’m about halfway through my first one – yes, I’m still journaling!) and 4. wireless earbuds – because my earphone jack on my phone is on the bottom and it’s super annoying trying not to yank my earbuds from my ears whenever I’m walking)
  7. Long-term goals, like quarterly goals, do not excite me. It excites me to see a daily blog post go up so that is my goal for this upcoming year – to write daily, or nearly daily, blog posts. But how many times have I said THAT in the past. (Hint: a lot).
  8. Jenna likes noise when she writes, I’m the complete opposite – it has be absolutely dead quiet when I write. I have honed my skills to always be aware of my surroundings with my job so focusing on one thing with something going around me completely derails me. I know my distractions – YouTube. But, I also think YouTube helps me because I get a lot of ideas and inspiration by watching YouTube. I love YouTube because it’s real people with real thoughts and real problems as opposed to paid actors that like to lecture me. No thanks.
  9. I know for me, writing descriptive prose is a weakness. I’m great with dialogue, not so great at describing the setting. I really need to work on that. And when I do describe a setting, I absolutely have to have a picture, or some sort of visual aid, to help me write it. Knowing this, I know that when I go back to edit, I will have to pad the story with description in order to give the reader a sense of where my characters are interacting. I hate to write setting, but it’s a necessary evil. Otherwise, my characters are in a green screen and that’s not fun to read, I’m sure.
  10. Your first draft will suck. Refer to point one.

It’s the saggy middle, ya’ll, pull your pants up and keep writing!

Politics

The Constitution Does Not Grant the Legacy Left-Wing Media the Right to Call an Election

Please remain calm. This is not over. It will be investigated and reviewed in the courts for quite some time.

“Nothing has changed on the political front, nothing has changed on the campaign front, the only thing that has changed is on the media front.”

The media does not have the right to call an election. And if it’s determined that Trump is the winner, the media is once again setting the stage for violence and more riots. I can’t even blame people’s naivete anymore. I mean, people do not critically think for themselves and they only listen to what they want to hear, but the media is the entity that warped them. We have GOT to do something about this out-of-control media. They blatantly lie, censor opposing opinions and purposefully broadcast their own agendas and people STILL trust them. It truly amazes me that ANYBODY still listens to anything they have to say anymore. And this includes Fox News.

What a colossal disappointment Fox News has become. That anchor had NO RIGHT, NONE, to call Arizona for Biden before all of the votes came in. Even CNN acknowledged that fact.

 

Anyway. Social media has gone absolutely crazy with the assumption that Biden has won. Do not let that get you down. It will be days, if not weeks, before this is sorted out and the truth is finally revealed. My advice? Get off social media. Stay away from Twitter. In fact, get off Twitter and Facebook altogether. They are corrupt organizations who exist solely to suppress you. Sorry if that sounds dramatic, but it’s true.

If Trump wins, this is going to be get so ugly. People will feel embarrassed and confused and they will lash out as they only know how to do – with violence. I fear left-leaning folks have not been taught self control and they will lose their minds if that happens. Do not be afraid, but be cautious.

One last thing – have you SEEN the number of people spilling out into the streets across cities all over the country?

There are pictures of people passing bottles of alcohol around to each other as well. Strangers, directly sharing germs.

I guess COVID is over??

Did we not predict COVID would be over if the Democrats won?

You have to see, YOU HAVE TO RECOGNIZE, that we have been set up! This has all be a set up from the first of the year for this very moment in time. The pandemic, the chaos, the mail-in ballots being sent back in weeks before election day.

Please wake up. Please. I don’t know about you, but I don’t appreciate being played a fool.

Anyway. The fat lady hasn’t sung yet. Be patient. Let’s see how this LEGALLY plays out.

ADDED: By the way, I would highly recommend that you start downloading some of these opposing view, or “evidence” videos. YouTube is deleting this stuff left and right. I would also recommend you screen capture Tweets as well because Twitter is also “censoring” this stuff. I’m starting a folder because I can’t trust the media anymore. I want PROOF when shit hits the fan.

I downloaded the 4K downloader to download YouTube Videos. So far, it’s been working pretty well. I ran it through Malware to make sure it didn’t have a hidden virus before installing it on my computer. Anyway. It’s time to compile “evidence.” Just sayin’.

Politics

Massive Voter Fraud Setting the Precedent for Future Elections?

I don’t even know what to say right now.

The voting fiasco is taking up too much of my brain space leaving very little room for my characters.

I feel I must talk about this – I need to purge my thoughts and hopefully clean house so that I can focus on writing more fiction – however that looks for me right now. (I’ve come to terms with the fact that I can’t simply stick to my story – I have to go where my creativity leads me – she’s a fickle bitch).

Can you even believe we are where we are right now? Regardless of what party you support, this is a mess. The fact that we still don’t know the outcome, nearly a week later, is mind boggling. I know we had a similar situation with the Bush/Gore race but that was one state, we have SEVERAL states that have not submitted final totals and “mysteriously” keep finding more ballots to add to the count.

Something is definitely going on. And regardless of whether you want Biden to win or not, this nightmare goes way beyond this race. This is potentially setting a precedence for EVERY election and if we allow cheaters, whether it’s on the Republican or Democrat side, voters as individuals will become obsolete. Because if either side can cheat their way to a win, why do they need us? Just fabricate votes and put who you want in the White House or Congress.

And don’t you find it strange that ALL of the votes that have “mysteriously” appeared are for Biden? And why haven’t those same ballots affected the outcome of Congress? You mean to tell me, that the ballots they are finding ONLY marked Biden and NO ONE else?? How strange is that? THOUSANDS of ballots were discovered with only one mark? Hmmm … and if they DIDN’T arrive with only one mark, then wouldn’t those “mysteriously” found ballots affect the outcome of the Congressmen/women and Senate races? How can we definitely call those winners BEFORE these “mysteriously” found ballots have been called? Wouldn’t these “mysteriously” found ballots affect those races too?

And the “news” outlets – we should call them something else because they are no longer “news” organizations – they are propaganda machines, are touting that President Trump has NO evidence to back up his voter fraud claims.

He may not have evidence at this time, but there are enough shenanigans happening that it warrants enough for him and his team to legally investigate. Hell, it’s enough for the American people to demand an answer because again, what good are we if the left and the propaganda machines pick whomever they want in the end anyway? We HAVE to investigate what is going on if not for this election but for elections to come! And you can bet your BOTTOM dollar, if the shoe was on the other foot, Democrats would be going BERSERK trying to get to the bottom of these suspicious activities. Don’t deny it.

Again, it goes beyond this race. I know Trump can be off putting, he gets on my nerves as well, and I don’t necessarily like his presentation but the man gets shit done. He doesn’t simply speak, he DOES. And we need that type of leadership. We don’t need fancy words, flowery phrases and pacification, or someone who flip-flops on issues DAILY depending on the audience he/she is speaking to. We need someone in the White House who will put the people before politics. That’s why we need someone like Trump. Biden is a puppet. And puppets can be manipulated and made to perform for whatever audience will pay the most.

Biden will destroy this country. Or at least, he will try. Thank God Republicans kept the Senate and we gained some seats in the House – if nothing else, he will propose crap and it will filibuster. But again, NOTHING will get done – we’ll continue to kick the can down the road and the next Trump-like person, if anyone is brave enough to endure the shit storm from the propaganda machines, to deal with.

I don’t know, I want it to be over, as well. But I want a fair election ALL elections moving forward, too. If we don’t put a foot on the neck of this deceit now, it will only get worse in the years ahead.

Here’s why it’s acceptable to be concerned about this election:

  1. This race is extremely close. In some states, it comes down to 1% and that alone justifies counting the votes again.
  2. Record number of mail-in ballots – there’s never been anything like it. We should ONLY allow voting ON election day – you vote when polls open, you stop voting when polls close – PERIOD. (Except for active military who are not even on American soil and for those with a REALLY good excuse to not be able to make it to their polling site on the day of election. And I mean really good reason. You know when an election is for YEARS, if you can’t plan to be available on voting day then too bad so sad. Plan ahead). And conspiracy theory or not, it’s suspicious that Democrats fought hard to promote mail-in ballots all in the name of “safety” before the election. They were gearing this up to use in case the election didn’t go their way and VOILA! Here we are. How convenient for them.
  3. States keep “finding” ballots. Windows are papered over not allowing court-appointed ballot watchers to monitor the count. If there is nothing to hide, then why hide?? There are documented software glitches in Michigan, more than 40 counties used this software – pretty sure that justifies recounting the votes. My sister-in-law sent Kevin a link to a video showing this on YouTube – guess what, that video is no longer available. Hell yes this is suspicious. (And that’s ANOTHER alarming trend – censorship!)
  4. North Carolina won’t update total vote count until next week. What is going on? Are they taking a Sabbatical to contemplate life?? Why?
  5. Pennsylvania – allowing ballots to arrive three days AFTER the election – even if they’re not clearly marked before the deadline. These officials are openly rooting for Biden, they’re not even trying to hide it – think they are fair and unbiased? I would wager not.¬† It looks like they’re determined to make Biden win no matter what. Is that not a reason to at least suspect something is not right? Of course there is.

Count very vote and make sure it’s legal. Throw illegally obtained votes out. Period.

Here are some more things that make you go Hmmmmmmmm…

Rush Limbaugh: How could country vote for GOP but against Trump?

Corrupted software used in 30 states including ALL swing states

Michigan USPS Whistleblower Details Superior’s Directive to Back-Date Mail-In Ballots For Acceptance

Democrat Poll Watcher Alleges Corruption At Philadelphia Polling Place: ‚ÄėThis Is A Coup‚Äô

These things, if nothing else, call for recounts. And again, if the rolls were reversed, Democrats would be RIOTING for a recount. Don’t deny it. And honestly, if the rolls were reversed and there was this much suspicion, I would also think it’s fair to recount. I want a president who won fair and square, regardless of the outcome. If Biden wins, he will win because he cheated. What a legacy!

It’s no secret I’m NO Biden fan. And the thought of him being the president (notice I didn’t say MY president), worries me. I’m trying not to freak out and don’t worry, I won’t be one of these emotionally-stunted crazy people who falls to my knees and screams to the sky if Biden is confirmed, but his agendas worry me. I don’t want to rely on another country for oil. I don’t want socialism. I don’t want to give over half my paycheck to government programs that exist solely to make people dependent on the government. And I want a president who will be strong, not one who will kowtow to dictators and lick their boots all in the name of “please don’t hurt us, Mr. Bad guy!” However, if that is what happens, then that is what happens. I am encouraged by the fact that we have the Senate and enough House members to (hopefully) keep the crazy in check. And it’s only for four years, I hope. And I hope whoever our Republican candidate is in 2024 is strong and determined to uphold the constitution.

I also have my faith. And I trust God and take great comfort in knowing that He’s there.

I don’t mean to offend anyone reading this and I’m not referring to “normal” Democrats because I feel like the Democrat party today doesn’t even really represent “true” Democrat ideals nowadays, but I feel like the Democrat party has become a cult. Group think. And any time they are provided with an opposing viewpoint it’s like they short circuit and lose their minds because how dare you not agree with me?!

We have reached a very scary place in our history, folks. And according to the Bible, this is just the beginning. I shudder to think what our country will look like when our grandkids are in their 50’s. If we have grandkids, but you know what I mean. Our society is slowly circling the drain and before long the sink will be empty and we will cease to exist – at least, as we know now.

Wow. What a dark way to end this. lol But honestly. We live in dark times and there is a section of our population that are determined to keep it dark and hopeless. It doesn’t have to be that way. But we have to be strong and have the bravado to stand up for what is right, no matter the screaming, the accusations and the manipulation.

Whatever happens, this is a set back, no matter who wins. Keep your eyes on the prize (which for me is peace) and ignore the chaos that surrounds you. It’s all we can do right now.

Politics

We Are Not All the Same, We Should Not Strive to Be All the Same

This is a really good break down of the Biden-Harris campaign ad about Equity vs Equality. On the surface, it sounds great, as most of Liberal philosophy initially sounds “Yeah! Equality for all!”, but as usual, when you scratch the surface and start asking questions, the meaning is in fact, not well intentioned, and in fact, sounds like a scary place to end up.

 

How was your election day? Did you vote? Did you have a hard time voting? I know when I was getting ready for work this morning I heard on the radio that there were traffic jams and lines not only out the door, but along the building and down the street. That was before work. I don’t know what it looked like after work.

I was actually able to vote at the hospital. That was nice. It was nice not to have to leave campus and stand in line for an hour. But I was surprised at how long the lines were that I stood in. It was encouraging to see so many people take time out of their days to vote.

I was proud to hear our oldest son Blake voted. I don’t know if our youngest voted or not, I haven’t heard from him.

I tell you though, I’m SO ready for this election to be over. I know you probably feel the same. It’s been a brutal year with COVID and the riots but the crazy that came with the election drama was nearly too much.

Oh 2020, when will you be over??

By the way, did you guys know that a meteor came close to Earth on 11-2-20? I mean … why not!? I’m sure we’ll be visited by the zombie apocalypse will be next. In fact, Kevin, who is a numbers guy, text me: “Hi. The meteorite didn’t hit today at 8;33 AM so I guess we are going to have to vote after all. It was a .41% chance of it hitting the Earth. So, in other words, you are about seven times more likely to die of getting hit by a meteorite than by dying from the virus.”

Ha! Nothing like math to bring things into perspective!

Anyway. I’m sitting here now, too scared to watch any of the election coverage. It just stresses me out. I know life will continue as normal no matter who wins but I can’t help thinking how it will change, again, depending on who wins. Will we be better off? Or will we have to fight tooth and nail for every right we still retain? Will people even WANT to fight to retain our rights? I feel like people are giving up. I know we were a punching bag to a big, bad 2020 bitch, but we can’t give up! We have to keep fighting the good fight.

Or the bad fight, again, depending on who wins.

Let’s change the subject – I can’t think about the election anymore tonight. All I can do is pray that we keep Trump in the office four more years.

I’m tired. Like bone tired. It’s because I’m so focused on writing and increasing my word count I’ve been staying up too late. And I really need to get to bed early tonight because I’m in clinic with my doctor tomorrow and I’m in clinic with another doctor on Thursday and when I’m in clinic, I feel like I need all of my mental capacities.

We’re still doing Telemedicine, by the way. We haven’t stopped doing Telemedicine. I don’t think Telemedicine is going away any time soon, to be honest. My doctor LOVES it and to be fair, I think a lot of patients are digging it. It took a little getting used to at first, and I still run into people who are flat out against Telemedicine or who can’t participate for whatever reason but I think people are starting to get used to the new normal.

And that’s really the theme of 2020, don’t you think: Finding our new normal. I hate that phrase though. I feel like finding our new normal is not usually a positive thing and God knows, I don’t want to make wearing masks our new normal, but I’m afraid that’s where we’re heading. I can’t tell you the number of times I forget my mask at work and when I realize my face is naked, I feel embarrassed and exposed. I get a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach when I forget to wear my mask. It’s so commonplace now I’ve forgotten what some of my coworkers look like without a mask! How sad is that??

But life is starting to settle down at work. We have indeed found our new normal and we’re pretty much back up to full capacity as far as seeing patients and doing surgeries. Our volume is still not all the way back though. Usually, by this time of the year, by the end of the year, we are scrambling to find places for people on our schedules because people want to get in before the end of the year in order to meet their deductible. But not this year. Our schedules are spotty at best.

Speaking of meeting deductibles: Kevin was looking over my work benefits and it looks like our insurance is going to change the date on our yearly cycle. For example, our deductible won’t start over at the first of the year, but in fact, in April. I think this is a great idea because if we stagger everyone’s “end-of-year” deductible resets that will prevent bottle necks of people wanting to do whatever before their insurance resets.

Oh, and speaking of deductibles, our premiums are going up, again. You would think I would have great benefits working at a hospital but that’s not really true. I mean, it’s not terrible but it’s not as great as you would think. I guess I should just be thankful that we have insurance. Hell, I’m grateful I still have a job, considering the environment we live in now.

My team is throwing a luncheon to celebrate PA week, MA week and my birthday. It was a weird time for all of us and now that the dust is settling, we are playing catch up. I spent a considerable amount of time on the doctor’s schedule, re-arranging people so we could carve out an hour so we could all eat together. It’s a lot of work, but we really enjoy being able to stop, break bread together, and have some laughs. I brings us closer together as a team and recharges us a bit.

Sorry, I realize I’m rambling. I’m seriously half brain dead right now and I can feel my eyes at half mast. I really need to go to bed early tonight but I’m about 500 words shy of making my goal for today so I’ll trudge onward.

What else can I talk about? What else is going on in the world right now besides the obvious?

Oh. Just read that Trump won the state of Florida and 29 electoral votes. I really hope he wins Wisconsin and California. Those are traditionally Blue states and it would be very satisfying, especially with California, if he won those states.

What the actual hell …

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) released new guidance over the weekend explaining that voters who have tested positive for COVID-19 can still exercise their right to vote, even if they are currently sick or are undergoing quarantine.

‚ÄúCDC‚Äôs recommendations for isolating someone who has Covid-19 or quarantining someone who was in close contact with a person with Covid-19 would not preclude them from exercising their right to vote,‚ÄĚ a CDC spokesperson told¬†CNN in an email Monday. Source

We live in madness, folks. Complete madness. I guess COVID is taking a break so people can get out and vote but as soon as this is over, GO BACK INTO HIDING BECAUSE COVID WILL GET YOU.

Gads. I can even roll my eyes hard enough at the sheer stupidity.

Okay, uncle, I need to get some sleep.

__________________________________________

(The next morning)

Well. I’m at a loss for words. As of this writing, Biden has more electoral votes than Trump. There are still some states that haven’t finished counting votes, so there’s still hope as it’s a very close race but I can’t help but be discouraged. I will not, however, turn into one of these lunatic people you see recording themselves having a screaming fit because they didn’t get their way, but I’m not going to lie, I’m disappointed and worried. I honestly thought, in my heart of heart, that Trump would win by a landslide. And if you look at the breakdown of states Trump won the midwest and Biden won the coastal states. That’s not surprising.

I’m going to go to work now and distract myself with that and … well, I guess life goes on, right?

Have a lovely day, Blogfam.

Politics

Another Lockdown?

The thought of another lockdown makes me physically sick.

If you haven’t heard, France, Germany and I think Belgium is locking down for a 2nd time. It’s because the number of COVID cases has risen substantially. And hospital admissions have gone up.

Here’s the thing …

So what?

I don’t mean to sound callous, that is not my intention, but COVID is not going away. Neither is the common cold or the flu. It’s something we must live with and thankfully, thank GOD, contracting COVID doesn’t mean a death sentence for most people, in fact 99.9% of people fully recover.

But when the media reports on such-and-such number I think people automatically assume that means deaths. No. That means these people test positive for the illness, it doesn’t mean they have died or are going to die. The numbers are not great. But I’m betting the numbers for cancer, heart disease, pneumonia are not great, either. It’s another sickness that we must learn to adapt to and live with, unfortunately.

I get why these governments are locking down, especially if the hospitals are close to capacity, but instead of shutting everything down, how about we erect temporary units to house the overflow? Because hiding from this thing only prolongs the inevitable – IT’S. NOT. GOING. AWAY.

I even talked to a patient the other day who said he has had COVID twice. Apparently, there are six strands of COVID, so it’s possible to get this thing again. So logically, does it make sense to hide from six different monsters? Eventually, you’re going to be caught. And since it’s not as deadly, overall, as the “experts” first thought it was, how about we go about living our lives and allow this thing to burn off? Why must we disrupt people’s lives again?!

And I want to know who the hell is testing for COVID? It annoys me when I hear on the radio a call to action – “come to the fairgrounds and be tested for COVID – FOR FREE!” What? Why? Are you curious? If you feel sick, stay home. Why must anyone test for COVID? The only time I understand being tested for COVID is if you’re gearing up for surgery, or you’re sick and your doctor recommends it. Who are all of these people getting tested?? To me, it sounds like this: “Come on down and get tested for COVID! Our numbers are down and we must get them up so we can continue scaring the crap out of people and we need to keep this momentum going so that we can more easily control them.”

That’s what I hear whenever I hear announcements about “free” testing. I just don’t get people going to a drive-in testing spot to be tested. I’m not that curious, thanks.

I hope I’ve had it. I want to have had it so that I can go about my business. But unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

It’s likely a matter of time before someone from our clinic gets COVID. Actually, that’s not true. We’ve already had a few people in my clinic come down with the virus. They stayed home and they are back to work.

As with any sickness, it sucks and no one wants to be down and out but being sick is part of being alive. I don’t understand our unwillingness to just treat COVID like we do the flu. Be careful. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face when you’re out. Stay away from people who are hacking out a lung or sneezing. We should all be doing these things anyway. COVID is really not that special. Not now. And again, I’m grateful for that. But we need to stop thinking of COVID as a death sentence. It’s no more a death sentence than coming down with the flu. Here is what to look out for:

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
Trouble breathing
Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
New confusion
Inability to wake or stay awake
Bluish lips or face

Sound familiar?? That could literally apply to any other disease out there. Now, if it was common to bleed from your eyeballs or you were expected to die within 24 hours of contracting it, we would be having a vastly different conversation, but those are not the symptoms. We are destroying ourselves for THIS??

France has gotten so strict with this new lockdown that you must present a certificate of permission to leave your house.

Dude, what the hell?! Who wants to live like that?? Well actually, most of the French people don’t want to live like that, as a matter of fact. And they were so anxious to leave the city after the announcement that traffic was blocked and backed up for 400 miles. People were rushing around getting their haircut because hair dressers, once again, will be not allowed to operate. And the stores were ransacked because people once again went to the stores in a panic to buy toilet paper. Which sounds stupid on the surface but dude, if you have to have a certificate to present to the police, if stopped and questioned and you want to avoid jail time or a fine, I would be buying toilet paper, too, because who knows when you’ll have permission from the almighty government to go out and get more.

This is madness. I don’t know what else to call it. We have crossed over the threshold and are now living in the Twilight Zone.

And you can bet your bottom dollar if Biden wins, America will be implementing the same Draconian measures as the French have done.

If that doesn’t concern you then IT SHOULD.

Roman Catholic Archbishop Carlo Vigano wrote an open letter to President Trump where he warned of an initiative of the World Economic Forum that has emerged in reaction to COVID-19 for a “Great Reset” of capitalism and a “health dictatorship” to combat the virus, warning the plan threatens the sovereignty of nations and religious freedom.

“Vigano wrote a letter to Trump in May warning that the COVID-19 pandemic was being used to user in a “world government” stripping people of their freedoms. We see heads of nations and religious leaders pandering to this suicide of Western culture and its Christian soul, while the fundamental rights of citizens and believers are denied in the name of a health emergency that is revealing itself more and more fully as instrumental to the establishment of inhuman, faceless tyranny, Vigano wrote.” Source

In other words, Vigano is saying that government leaders, from all over the globe, are using this pandemic as an excuse to get rid of capitalism and to implement a world government. And they are continuing to use fear to manipulate people into submission. It’s sick and wrong and it frustrates me that we the people have been reduced to a rat running a maze waiting for the next buzzer to train us how to react and where to go.

It must stop.

I don’t know the political climate enough to give advice to France but here in America, we have to start putting our foot down. Stand up and say NO MORE. Stop allowing these power-hungry politicians to dictate our lives. COVID is not that bad – again THANK GOD – but we know enough about it now to learn to live with it and combat it if it happens to come knocking on our door. Hiding from it and living in fear does nothing but destroy us. And for what?? The virus remains and will continue to remain for quite some time.<

It’s not going away any time soon.

I don’t say that to frighten anyone but we have to face facts.

And Dr. Fauci says the first vaccine will not kill the virus, it will only prevent symptoms. Again, let’s be realistic about this. The flu vaccine? It doesn’t kill the virus, it simply tricks your body into thinking it’s already had it so if you’re exposed, the symptoms you experience will be minimal.

The same thing with COVID.

And by the way, I know Dr. Fauci is simply doing his job but I’m OVER his continued fear mongering. Give it a rest, Fauci.

The Daily Mail reports: US reports single-day record of 88,500 coronavirus cases with states like Illinois nad North Dakota reporting all-time highs – but one NYC hospital says death rate for severely ill has fallen by 70%.

Again, GOOD NEWS. And that 88,500 record number of cases are CASES, NOT DEATHS. I really think that is what people are seeing when they see headlines like that. And the death rate going down makes sense to me because we know more about the disease and we have medications for treatment.

Let’s take a breath and stop allowing the media to scare the bejeebus out of us.

And if you want to wear a mask, wear a mask. I don’t care. However, again, what’s the objective here?

Control.

Continue reading “Another Lockdown?”

Politics

Judge Barrett’s Confirmation Hearing

I’ve been distracted lately….

Have you been watching the confirmation hearings?

If not, why not? I know it’s terribly time consuming. I watched the second day of hearings, (I’d like to make time to watch the first day), and it took me three days to get through it all – it was an eleven-hour YouTube video after all. And I know it’s terribly boring for a lot of people out there¬† – all of questions, exaggerations, speeches, pleas, disappointment and most of all, legalese that most people don’t understand – myself included.¬†

And yet, I couldn’t look away. I was transfixed to the hearings. It was utterly fascinating to me. And when I asked myself why I thought it was so interesting, I think it came down to a few things: 1. I’ve always been interested in the law – I think my ideal career would have been a law clerk or a paralegal. I love research, I love language and I love to write. So listening to Judge Amy Barrett speak with precision, confidence and watching her exude utter confidence was fascinating to me. 2. Watching and listening to the various senators ask questions or opine on their hot button topics was eye opening. Watching the two sides alternate speaking and confronting Judge Barrett was an excellent example of how the two sides think and approach their beliefs.¬†

The right was methodical, kind and understanding that the Judge could not offer a hypothetical opinion on a “what if” scenario. It would have violated an oath that active judges must take when they occupy a bench. They focused more on the laws and asked her to explain the laws, in layman terms, so that the rest of us poor saps could attempt to follow along. They highlighted what a judge’s responsibilities are and the steps she would take to dissect and opine on a case. They wanted to show viewers that the role of judges is not to make or break policies, but to interpret and enforce laws that Congress make. If we want laws changed, then we must appeal to our elected officials – yet another reason it’s important for people to be engaged in politics and/or at least be aware of what is happening with our country.¬†

The challenge, of course, is to wade through the rhetoric and the muck in order to FIND the core of the issue being debated. 

The left tried, repeatedly, to trick the judge into being inconsistent with her answers and they were terribly frustrated because she wouldn’t commit to being pro-life/choice, to expressing an interest in overturning the American Care Act (Obamacare), or repeal same-sex marriage. They kept emphasizing, “but laws effect people and people are important. Don’t you care that this gay couple could lose their marital benefits? Or what about a woman’s right to do as she wishes with her body? Or what about the MILLIONS of Americans that will lose their health insurance if you take the ACA away? [They won’t, by the way] Don’t you CARE what happens to these individuals? Don’t you CARE about these posters we have presented to you in an attempt to evoke empathy and appeal to your pathos? Are you that cold blooded that you would make these poor people suffer?”

Though I understand where the left is coming from, the laws do affect millions of people, in all walks of life, and when the laws are made, they should absolutely be considered and helped in any way they can, people should also be allowed to live their life however they choose to live it, God granted us free will after all, but, that is NOT the role of a supreme court justice. The role of a supreme court justice is to UPHOLD THE LAW. And let’s not forget, CONGRESS makes those laws. So if CONGRESS wants to change those laws, then CONGRESS will have to make those changes.¬†

The supreme court justice simply dissects those laws and makes rulings on the expressed meaning of those laws in cases of a dispute. Either the left doesn’t understand that concept and/or, more likely, they understand they just don’t care enough to follow those guidelines and instead, used their uninterrupted time to make an impassioned speech to the American people to try and further push their own agendas.¬†

It’s not really about the law with the left, it’s about ensuring their agendas are massaged and allowed to grow allowing them the opportunity to control large groups of people to make sure they vote for them the next go around so they can push more agendas and continue manipulating even more groups of people who have neither taken the time, nor have been educated enough, to see through their lies.¬†

I’m not saying there are not people on the right who do the same thing, but it’s the exception, not the rule, with the right.¬†

Senators on the committee were allowed thirty minutes to either grandstand their agendas (i.e. the left – because when you watch the Liberal senator sessions they didn’t actually ask Judge Barrett very many questions but spent most of their time quoting the nasty Republicans and putting up posters of gay people), or ask questions. Senator Ted Cruz had one of the more impressive speeches of the bunch.¬†

Granted, he is not asking Judge Barrett very many questions here, he spends most of his time responding to the idiocy of the Democrat Senators’ claims, and that was par for the course throughout most of the hearings. One senator would make his/her speech, and then the senator on the other side of the aisle would dispute and or “fact check” what previous senators claimed. It was interesting to see them debate THROUGH the hearings.¬†

At any rate, I was moved by his speech and thought I would share it. 

As far as Judge Barrett herself. I can not imagine the patience and control it must have taken to endure these hearings. She remained completely poised and steadfast in her beliefs and answers. She was impressive to watch. She is clearly highly intelligent and intimately knows the law. She was clearly an excellent law professor as she was very thorough in her explanations of what the law is and how it’s intended to be applied.¬†

I think Judge Barrett should be what little girls aspire to be when they grow up as opposed to wanting to be Beyonce or Kim K. THIS is an example of feminism at it’s best.¬†

Politics

Are Republicans Finally Fighting Back?

I know a lot of people feel like the orange man currently running our country is bad, and though I intend to vote for him, I appreciate the fact that he is willing to be criticized and crucified by the media in order to get things done and make tough decisions. True, Trump is not the most eloquent speaker and he could use a large dose of diplomacy, however, I appreciate his toughness. He’s a New Yorker, so take what he says with a grain of salt. New Yorkers are brusque and sometimes rude in their presentation, but Trump is refreshing in the fact that he doesn’t play politics as usual. This, of course, drives the radical leftists and the media crazy because they are used to the right kowtowing to their thinly veiled hatred for all things constitution and how DARE someone backtalk them and/or display a backbone when they are criticizing Republicans and slashing the “antiquated” Bill of Rights.

I agree with D’Souza – the game has changed. Republicans can not approach politics the same way anymore. The rules have changed in that, there are no rules anymore. The left will spew and lie about anything and everything they can because they are desperate to regain the mindless control of the people like they had when Obama was in office. Now, people are starting to wake up and realize, the radical left is all smoke and mirrors. There is no substance to their “ideals or beliefs.” This is evidenced by the fact that NO ONE can tell you what they stand for, what policies they want to implement or how they would implement these phantom policies. And that’s primarily because they want a socialist country – they want to control everything and everyone but they haven’t quite figured out how to relay that agenda to the American people without coming right out and saying it. Which they can’t, because there are still enough red/white/blue Americans out there that DON’T want that for our country …. yet. So instead, they focus on pointing out how racist and evil Donald Trump is. The kicker is, they do it without providing evidence of these claims and people, being the sheeple they are, gobble it right up.

If the Republicans want to win and/or take/regain control, they have to fight back. I’m not saying stoop as low as the Democrats but they definitely have to stop allowing the left to walk all over them. They have to stand up and provide examples of the Left’s hypocrisy. Which shouldn’t be too hard to do as most leftists change their stances as often as they chance their underwear. Republicans must be the adults in the room. They must be strong, firm and calm and stop worrying about if they are perceived as “mean.” When you’re dealing with toddlers, SOMEONE has to be the adult in the situation.

Step up, Republicans. Take a lesson from Trump and fight back. He has been doing it for four years and that’s the reason the silent majority backs him, because he’s not afraid to stand up and fight for what’s right . It’s time to take the kid gloves off and give tit-for-tat.

 

Politics

Analyzing Racism – What is Happening?

“Police officers have become the targets of violent activists who are seeking to upend America as we know it. Heather Mac Donald, senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and author of The War on Cops, is in the studio this week to break down the myths behind ‚Äúsystemic racism‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúpolice brutality.‚ÄĚ

By the way, I have a serious girl crush on Candace Owens. Just sayin’.

We HAVE to stop this violence. We HAVE to stop this narrative that is tearing our country apart. There is talk of another Civil War. And for what? Do YOU even know the whole story? Take a listen and decide for yourself. There is ALWAYS two sides to a story. Always.