What I see from here

This blog may be about anything - ranging from the mundane to highly charged. Really, it's an outlet for whatever happens to be burning a hole in my mind. It's about ideas or thoughts that occur to me when I'm not sleeping at 2:11 a.m., taking a shower, driving around, reading, or sitting in a meeting letting my mind wander because the meeting is boring and/or stupid. What you and I share is that neither of us knows what it will be about. But, hey, stick around and we'll see what happens.

P.S. There may will be curse words. Deal with it.

And another thing: Yes, I am aware that it is sometimes a long time between blogs, and here's the thing. I don't care. If you do, I cannot help you with that.

P.P.S. oh yeah, I erroneously deleted some stuff I didn't want deleted, so I've put that back in with its original publication date shown. In case you care.

October 5, 2015

The Gander, the Goose, and the Goober Patrol

For years women have pointed to the fact that conservatives really don't give a damn about rights. They (conservatives) like to carry on about the importance of rights in 'Murica, but the truth is, they don't care about rights. They care about THEIR rights. More specifically, their right to bear arms. And controlling women and preventing them from making their own medical decisions. They care about that. Because truly, there's nothing more dangerous and scary to a man (and some women) than a strong, independent woman who does and says what she wants and thinks is best for her.

This is never so evident as the 3 - 5 days following each public shooting. During this time there's a vicious volley around gun control, gun laws, mental health etc., and it all settles down until the next slaughter. Gun owners stand firmly entrenched in their right to own a gun. You know in case shit goes all Red Dawn up in here. They take that "cold dead hand shit" serious, so I say fine. Let's let them have their guns. Yes, it requires a bit of gun control, but hey - rights is rights and whatever...  So, let's be fair. They can have their guns, but they'll need to submit to a process very similar to what women who seek abortions go through.  (A reminder here for the self-proclaimed constitutional goobers in the group: abortion in this country is LEGAL.)

Note that I did not write what you see below and it seems to be a mystery who did. However, William Hamby wrote an excellent article for The Examiner in 2013 that for which this could be the cliff notes. He does not take credit for what follows, but you should definitely read his piece (and his other writings as well. Good stuff.)

How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion:
  • Mandatory 48-hr waiting period
  • Parental permission
  • A note from his doctor proving he understands what he's about to do
  • A video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence
  • An ultrasound wand up the ass (just because) 
Let's close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. 

Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun.

It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care, right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?"

Let's do this.

October 3, 2015

Another massacre, another ignorant meme

"God and prayer in school would not stay the hand nor slow the bullets."  (a quote my friend Teresa Walker let me borrow, 10/03/2015)

It's inevitable that after every massacre - and yes even at points in between - that ridiculous meme about God not being allowed in schools and that's why the shootings happened starts popping up on Facebook.

That shit just pisses me the fuck off.

Before you click that share button on that meme in the future, here's something for you to consider:

Neither God nor prayer would not have stopped the shooting in Roseberg, Oregon or anywhere else. The lack of prayer in school and the fact that everyone in this country is not a Christian has not ONE god damn thing to do with this shooting or anything else. If you believe that the presence of Christianity would stop the violence, answer these questions:

- Where was God when soldiers sewed crosses to their chests and waged war, killing hundreds of thousands in HIS NAME during The Crusades?

- Where was God when Columbus raped, pillaged, and slaughtered men, women, and children across continents?

- Where was God when his servants the Priests tortured, brutalized, raped, and killed tens of thousands of people during the Inquisition?

- Where was God when men decided they wanted women's property or they were afraid of their power and made up stories about witches so they could kill several hundred thousand women over the period of about 80 years, take their property, and destroy their power?

- Where was God when the Pilgrims landed on the shores of this country and immediately began killing the indigenous people, slaughtering millions and destroying untold cultures and languages?

- Where was God when thousands of Africans and Chinese people were enslaved, tortured, and murdered in THIS fucking country?

- Where was God when the Nazis killed 6 million people?

- Where was God when the Jim Crow laws continued to destroy Black lives?

- Where is God when his churches are bombed and the believers inside killed?

- Where is God when young children are burned, beaten, screamed at, raped, assaulted, and abused by parents across the world?

- Where is your fucking God when hundreds of thousands of girls as young as 9 are sold into sex slavery annually worldwide and raped 30 - 40 times a day for the pleasure of men with enough money to buy them?

- Where is your God as women are brutalized and killed in their fucking homes, sometimes by assholes who cite the bible?

DO NOT DARE to claim that your imaginary friend would stop the shooting of innocent people in yet one more mass slaughter in this country. Stop and think about this you assholes: What you are doing is implying that all these people who were killed in these murders were killed because they were not good enough for your God. What, those that were praying for mercy weren't doing it right??? They somehow DESERVED to die because they didn't believe enough?

Fuck. You.  

What. the. FUCK. kind of God do you worship?

Here's a thought:  look in the mirror and ask what part you with your precious fucking free will play when you can but won't do anything to stop the destruction of living breathing humans.

Yeah. That's what I thought.

September 23, 2015

Oh Glenn, Really?

So, today the weirdest thing happened: I got an e-mail from Glenn Beck asking me to donate to FreedomWorks.  It sounded like this "blah blah bad DC ruling class; blah blah think about the founding fathers - they would want you to donate $15; BLAH Blah blah!! if we don't - hell in a handbasket; sad blah blah bad Boehner, bad McConnell; BLAH!! BLAH BLAH BLAH!!!! bad Black man in the White House; And finally - Blah fucking blah save America's soul. (All of which I imagined in the voice of Jerry McGuire yelling SHOW ME THE MONEY!! but without the "I love Black people part, because we know Glenn & crew would choke to death if they tried to say that.
And I was thinking:
A. What. the. bloody. FUUUUCCCKKKK?
B. How the hell did the e-mail address of a bleeding heart liberal feminist get on THAT fucking mailing list?
C. HELL NO Beck, ya fucking pig.
D. WOW. There are people who actually FALL for this shit.
E. BWAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHA. You're an idiot. Let me just write back.

Dear Glenn,

Thanks so much for your e-mail. And thanks for asking me what I've done and if it's enough. It's not as much as I'd like, because much of it was on the micro and mezzo level, but let me tell you what I have done:

I've spent years working in fields classified as social justice, supporting organizations that not only improve but - in some cases save - services to women, children, the poor, immigrants, victims of violence, and people of color. Here's a short list:

  1. I've spoken with women who can live with pain so immense you would likely not be able to get out of bed, yet they find a way not only to get  up but to continue living their lives. These are the very same women you and your policies seek to destroy through cuts to health care, foodstamps, and social security.  I've given them an ear and helped them find their voice to tell their stories.
  2. I've worked one-on-one with victims of rape and domestic violence, and I've helped direct programs and fight for policies and legislation, like the Violence Against Women Act - a vital source of funding for everyone who experiences sexual, physical, mental, emotional, fiscal, and spiritual abuse.
  3. I've worked with formerly homeless seniors with mental health issues, some of whom are immigrants. I've heard their stories and witnessed their pain and confusion. There was one man in particular in NYC I'll never forget. He was a refugee from Somalia who was beaten and then forced to watched his wife and children be raped, beaten, tortured, and then slaughtered. He almost never spoke, and you could see the shadow of that soul-wrenching pain in his eyes when and if he looked at you.
  4. I've worked with women and girls facing unintended pregnancy with no hope, no money, and a job that pays at or below minimum wage. Unlike Bristol Palin, they don't have support from an entire party of hypocrites who make excuses for them, and they don't have a wealthy family to provide for them. They aren't offered jobs that they then turn into a laughing stock.
  5. I've worked to improve care for Veterans from all eras who cannot get the care and services they desperately need because the GOP refuses to properly fund care for them. I've seen their anger and despair as they realize that their country only cared about them going to war, but they don't care about them when they come home.
  6. I've had discussions with my friend who was a 9/11 First Responder about the fact that people have indeed forgotten - especially the politicians and conservatives - that they, the responders rushed into the collapsing buildings and rubble to save people, and now, because they've forgotten,  the Zadroga Act  likely won't be reauthorized. I've rallied signatures on petitions and phoned legislators.
  7. I've sat in anger and shock as the GOP focuses their energy on defunding and shutting down Planned Parenthood in a sweeping act of misogyny and desire to control women - all based on a lie - while they ignore the fact that millions of women, men, and adolescents receive health- and life-saving care, tests, and services every single year from Planned Parenthood. And I've written letters, signed petitions, made calls, and donated funds to ensure their continuance.
  8. I've worked with the unemployed who lost perfectly good jobs in the economic crash of 2007 - 2008, a crash brought about through Republican deregulation and greed, which threw millions of people into poverty while lifting up thousands of the wealthiest people in this country, providing billions of dollars of relief to those responsible for the crash while turning a blind eye to the millions losing homes, lives, retirement accounts, and livelihoods.. All of this while the Republican Party and conservative mouthpieces demeaned the poor and unemployed as if it were their fault. To add insult to injury, while all this was going on, I watched in disgust as the Republican Party voted against jobs packages all because they couldn't stomach the idea that there was a Black man in power.
So, I've been busy doing quite a lot to fight you and your friends at that joke of an organization you call FreedomWorks, while your idea of doing something is to destroy the fabric of this nation because of your fear of and disdain for women, the disabled, the elderly, veterans, people of color, non-Christians, the poor, and immigrants.

It might behoove you all to pay attention to whom you are writing with your fear-mongering, because those of us who actually think are disgusted by what you do and wouldn't give you a penny if you were dying.

Not your pal (he actually signed his e-mail "Your Pal, Glenn Beck")

Elizabeth A. Estabrooks
p.s. I'm laughing at you not with you.

September 11, 2015

What does it mean to say We Will Never Forget? The Zadroga Act.

It is the 14th Anniversary of 9/11. I remember clearly how so many people swore never to forget that day, those who died in the buildings, those who fell to their deaths, and those who rushed in to help - not just that day but in the days, weeks, and months after.

The following is from CNN September 11th Fast Facts:
  • 2,977 people died in New York City, Washington DC, and outside Shanksville, PA
  • Of those who died,  343 were New York City firefighters, another 23 were New York City police officers and 37 others were officers at the Port Authority
  • As of September 2015, 1,640 of 2,753 WTC victims' remains have been positively identified
  • Families of those killed had until December 22, 2003, to apply for compensation. Families who agreed to get compensation from the federal fund agreed not to sue the airlines. 
  • It was June 2004 before The Victims Compensation Fund finished its work processing death and injury claims from families and relatives of Sept. 11 victims. 
  • Of 7,408 applications for both death claims and personal injury claims, 5,560 awards were made.
  • On January 2, 2011,  President Barack Obama signed the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010, reopening and expanding the scope of the VCF. When it passed there were 206 Yay votes and 60 Nay votes.

1,700 additional people have died since 9/11 of related illnesses.