On Media and Personal Responses 

*Disclaimer: This blog post is in no way a defense of Donald Trump, nor is it a condemnation of him, or of Hillary Clinton. Rather it is a call to honesty, and thinking for oneself.*

Probably no one is ignorant of the comments revealed to have been made by Donald Trump in regard to women, which have, deservedly, landed him in hot water.  His words and his attitude in this respect are despicable. There is no excuse for it. This sort of attitude toward women is absolutely not acceptable, not now, not in 2005, not ever.

Since this story broke, there has been plenty of condemnation directed at Donald Trump. Fine. He’s earned it. There is no question about that. Now, conversely, First Lady Michelle Obama has come to the forefront of the news with her response to Trump’s latest controversy. I have seen, not only in the media, but from people I respect, these glowing, praise-filled responses to Mrs. Obama’s speech. Ok, fine, good speech. Yes, I think we all agree that we want to protect our daughters from the disgusting attitude displayed by Mr. Trump.

But can we be honest, for once, with ourselves and one another?

Are any of the people who are both disgusted by Trump’s comments and openly praising Mrs. Obama’s speech, also concerned by some of the Obama’s invited guests to the White House?
Rick Ross, for example, was invited as part of a “Youth Empowerment Program” – a hip hop artist whose accomplishments include a felony charge for pistol whipping someone he caught on his property who shouldn’t have been there. (Ok, I would have made the person leave too, but I’m not sure pistol whipping would have been my first instinct.) In fact, he was still wearing his stylish ankle bracelet monitor during his visit to the White House with the purpose of “empowering youth.”  Ross is also known for a song he released in 2013 entitled U.O.E.N.O. which includes the lyrics, “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it. I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”  The song also has multiple uses of a racial slur beginning with the letter N, and multiple references to women (presumably) as “bitches.”

Huh.

So, this kind of thing IS what we want for our daughters? Not mine, Mrs. Obama. And I sincerely hope, not for yours either. This is not “music” I want my daughter listening to, implying this behavior is acceptable.

Hear me on this, those lyrics are no more acceptable or excusable than Trump’s comments.

Ross apologized later for the lyrics which dealt with putting date rape drugs in a woman’s drink. Apparently he didn’t realize until AFTER releasing the song and capitalizing on it that those lyrics were offensive and disgusting. So, I guess it’s all ok now.

Hillary Clinton’s response to Trump’s outrageous comments have been praised in the media as well. Possibly worth noting, though, it has been documented more than once by people who have known and/or spent time in the presence of the Clinton’s, that Hillary has a penchant for some salty vocabulary and a sincerely unkind attitude toward those she deems lower than her. There are even stories that she allegedly referred to a group of special needs children at the White House Easter Egg Hunt as “f***ing retards.”

And then there are those women who claimed to have been victimized by Hillary’s husband, former POTUS, Bill Clinton, not to mention the fact that his behavior toward women led to plenty of ugly scandal during his time as president. Are his actions more forgivable than those of Donald Trump? I mean, Bill was married at the time, AND had a young daughter, but I don’t see much being made of the fact that Hillary has obviously enabled and supported him through all of those allegations, the hearings, and the impeachment. What kind of example does that set for young women?

Finally, and just briefly, there are the issues about Hillary Clinton’s tens of thousands of “lost” emails, her failure to protect our national security, and, oh yes, these 4 names: Christopher Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone S. Woods, and Glen Doherty.
Benghazi is already Mrs. Clinton’s legacy. But her supporters and a huge percentage of the media have either forgiven, forgotten, or decided to turn a blind eye to that.

Let me be clear – I am in no way defending Donald Trump. I am simply calling for a bit of honesty from people, both in the news and in the private sector. If nothing else, be honest with YOURSELVES.

Donald Trump’s attitude and comments toward women are inexcusable and indefensible.

As are Bill Clinton’s attitude and actions toward women.

As are Hillary Clinton’s alleged actions toward people in general, and as Secretary of State.

As are the lyrics of some of the Obama’s supporters and perhaps, friends.

If you want to condemn disgusting behavior, fine, have at it. In all likelihood, I will wholeheartedly agree with you. But at least be honest about the fact that it isn’t just coming from one person involved in our current politics.

 

 

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I Loathe Election Time (more than usual)

In general, I’m on Facebook to keep up with my family and friends, to share amusing stories, funny cat videos, and random nerdy facts that no one cares about, but they make me happy anyway. I’m afraid Facebook and I may need to break up, or at least take some time away from each other.
I really hate election time anymore.  Honestly, I don’t want to know who you people are voting for, I really don’t, but from the looks of most of the posts I see, you’re not so much voting FOR someone, but voting AGAINST someone else. 

Have you thought about how pathetic that is? That is what our “great American political process” has become. We are reduced to THIS? 
The most terrifying thing to me about this election, is that a majority of American people went to the voting booths in the primary, and THIS MESS is the best our country came up with. 
The two main candidates (because heaven knows we can’t consider that just maybe the two-party system isn’t working), are, to be blunt, lousy. But according to a majority of voters, they are the “best” we have to offer. 
Really? 
If these are the best we can do, we are in so much more trouble than any of us want to admit. 
I do not trust either of them. There is so much self-serving corruption, so much in-your-face lying, so much disrespect, so much hunger for power, so much WRONGDOING on both sides of this that literally the only way I can cast a vote for either Trump or Clinton is to make a list of all the things I DISLIKE about each of them, all the things that make each of them untrustworthy, and vote for the one with the shorter list, because I have next to NOTHING to put on a list of positives about either of them. (Off the top of my head, I can’t think of any.)
I’m intrigued by Johnson, and in truth, probably line up with his platform more than anyone else. Is he a good choice to lead us, to be our Commander-in-Chief? I don’t know, but I’m convinced he’s no worse than either of the main party candidates. Again, that’s a poor way to vote, for one that’s “no worse.”
It’s obvious to me that the two-party system our country is so comfortable with is not working. 
I am so proud of the America of the past. I am so thankful for every patriot who stood up to tyranny. I am overwhelmed with gratitude to those who sacrificed everything to protect me and others. I am indebted to every single person who believed whole-heartedly in life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and to those who refused to ignore injustice, choosing rather to seek, and to fight for, liberty and justice for all. 
But I don’t know where that America is. 

I know the IDEAL is alive and well in the hearts of individuals – teachers, and parents, and clergy, and farmers; students, dry cleaners, and soldiers, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and other first responders; managers, cooks, nurses, bankers, and bus drivers – in every day people from all over. But from what I see, those people now make up a small percentage of our citizenry. 
And that breaks this Yankee Doodle Dandy’s heart.

What I Learned on My Summer Vacation

It’s been my Mom’s dream for a while to get the whole family together for a vacation. Her 3 girls, 3 sons-in-law, grandkids, and great-grandkids. That’s a lot of people. And a lot of togetherness. But we did it. Just got home last night, and was thinking back on the trip. It was a wonderful experience and we made lots of special memories. 



Things I learned (or was reminded of) on my summer vacation:
(In no particular order.)

– If you have friends willing to keep your 3 inside cats at their house for 7 days, and friends willing to go to your house to feed your outside cats and two dogs, hold on to those people! (Thanks, guys!)

– Savannah, Georgia is as beautiful as any city I’ve ever visited.

– I would put up with the horrible humidity if I could live in Savannah. 

– My family is loud. I am the loudest. Or maybe Kayli. 

– My brothers-in-law are pretty ok guys. (Just don’t tell them I said so.)

– I have smart, funny, kind, crazy, strong, stubborn, lovable nieces and nephews. And I really enjoy spending time with them.

– My sisters are amazing women, and they inspire me with their strength, love, resilience, and kind hearts. 

– Texas Hold ‘Em is seriously so much fun to play.

– I’m always going to be the one who says out loud what everyone else was thinking, but filtered enough to keep to themselves. 

– They grow some big spiders in Georgia.

– Cobblestone streets are wicked dangerous.

– As beaches go, the Gulf side is my favorite, but southern, coastal, Georgia has me wanting to go back for an extended stay.

– British style pubs are some of my favorite places to enjoy.

– I love and appreciate my husband for many things, but the way he treats my mama is way up there on the list.

– As aunts go, I’m alright. And pretty cool.

– An extended family trip, including kids, grandkids, and great grandkids is occasionally stressful, chaotic 97% of the time, and almost impossible to coordinate. It’s also entirely worth it.

– My kiddo is a good sport. 

– She was also born for the water. 

– The ocean makes me feel very tiny and very much in awe of my Creator. 

– Mimosas and bologna sandwiches are a perfectly acceptable breakfast when you really need to clean out the fridge before leaving.

– My mama has the biggest heart, the humblest spirit, and the most serving hands, I will ever be privileged to know.

Attacks on law enforcement in Milwaukee and in Baton Rouge today. At least three officers dead. 

 Dear God.
Can someone please explain to me how this makes things better? How does this express anything about any life mattering? 
Obviously ANY PERSON who will kill another human in cold blood does not believe life matters, I don’t care what color they are, what nationality, what career, or what their upbringing. The person who murders this way can NOT then turn around and preach about any life mattering. 
Explain this to me. Can you? Can you tell me how this is ANY different than the profiling police are accused of? 

You say it’s wrong to lump all members of one group or race or ethnicity together because of the actions of a few. Isn’t that PRECISELY what’s being done to law enforcement? Right there is your hypocritical thinking. 
At what point does someone decide they’ve “gotten even,” or “got justice for so and so?” 

It. Does. Not. Work. That. Way. It never has.

Hurt & Hope

For the last 36 hours, I’ve been hurting, right alongside so many others, because of all the anger and hurt that I’ve seen. It’s been spewed in every direction. I’ve been hurt by having my own words and feelings dismissed as if they aren’t important – and the thing is guys, I don’t say HALF of what I want to. I don’t respond to nearly the things that I’m tempted to address. And I try extremely hard to stay tough in the face of all that I see. 
But today, I’m tired.

I’m tired of the anger and hatred.

I’m tired of news outlets. 

I’m tired of politicians and their empty words.

I’m tired of knee-jerk reactions and assumptions.
Most of all, I’m tired of pretending it doesn’t hurt. I keep that mask on to protect my husband. If he sees that I’m fearful or a blubbering mess, he has to carry that along with the rest of the weight of his job. 

I keep that mask on to protect my daughter. She’s just beginning to understand how much ugliness is in the world and when she sees it directed at her Dad, her heart is damaged a little more each time.

I keep it on to protect my mama from worrying about me any more than she already does. 

I keep that mask in place because that is my job, that’s how I am a partner and a help-mate to my husband. 

Besides, sometimes, honestly, denial is easier. There. I admit that.
But today, I’ve been an emotional mess. There’s barely been any mascara, much less a mask. 
Here’s the thing, friends – I want to love people. I honestly don’t care about your skin color, your orientation, your ethnicity, your religion, or your lack of religion. (Just don’t hate on cats, sweet tea, or college football. Come on, people, you gotta work with me a little.)
I want to love because the non-cynical, optimist buried way down deep in some dark corner of my heart, wants to. And I want to because, regardless of what you think, or think you know, or have experienced about Christians, this one believes and holds tight to what Jesus says are the most important things – love God, love people. Love people because He loves them, because He loves me, even at my most unlovable. 
I want to be hopeful. I want to believe that we can be better than we are. I want to believe that people will TRY. And I want to try.

But lately, I have felt so beaten down. I’m just tired. My heart is tired. My soul is tired. 
I’m going to choose hope, though, because I must. I’ve had this conversation with folks before, and I just can not live in darkness. 

If I give in to the cynicism that threatens to take over my heart and the darkness that tries to engulf my mind, I’ll never survive. I can not live without hope. 
I’ll give my handsome, police hubby a kiss as he walks out the door for his next shift, and I’ll tell him to remember why he does this job. I’ll remind him that the sheepdog is misunderstood and unloved, but is the one the sheep will always depend on when the wolf comes. And I’ll thank God that I married a man brave enough, compassionate enough, resourceful enough, and resilient enough to do the job he’s called to. 
I’ve cried one more time re-reading these lines tonight – they’re from one of my favorite characters, in one of my favorite passages in all of literature. 

I’ve cried a whole lot of tears today. But I’ll get back to being tough one way or another. And somehow, I’ll choose to hope.

Words

It’s not terribly often that I get serious here, but humor me for a moment. (See what I did there? 😉)
Please think about your words. Not just the ones you say TO people but also the ones you say ABOUT people. Sometimes we forget how powerful words can be, and once said, they WILL be repeated, and remembered. 

I spent too many hours last week worrying about something that had been said about me. Now, it’s very easy to say, “You shouldn’t let that bother you,” but the fact is, sometimes it just does. It’s hurtful when you feel like your character is called into question, even when it’s something rather trivial in the grand scheme of things 

I’m over it now. And I’ve realized it wasn’t intended the way it seemed. But let me tell you, it made me think. 
The words we say definitely have a way of getting around. Sometimes what we say about someone in a moment of frustration or stress, gets back to them and it can hurt, even if we don’t mean it to be hurtful or to question their character. 
I’m as guilty as anyone and I’m working on kindness, I really am. We aren’t in grade school anymore. Back then we could say, “I’m sorry. I take it back,” and make it all better. That doesn’t work anymore, so please, people, be nice.

  

My Issue with Issues

Interesting conversation at our house this morning. Having seen this question posed on a political stance survey,
“Do you think women should be paid an equal wage as men for doing the same job,” I told my husband the issue lies in the fact that we even have to ask that question.He agreed, the job should pay what it pays regardless of who is doing it.

Pay should be based on merit, ability, and performance, as well as the type of job it is. PERIOD. That question is insulting not only to women, but to every person with a little bit of common sense. (The problem here perhaps being that common sense is not all that common in our country.)

He said he had been thinking about the same idea in light of the “black lives matter,” movement. And I think, by extension, we can say the same for all the rest of them, with whatever else has been pasted onto the phrase; if we have to SAY that ANY specific life matters, we’re already missing the issue.  (Being a LEO family, this hits especially close to home.) 

ALL lives matter. 
All of them.  

These so-called “movements” are, in reality, nothing but shouting matches, each side trying to yell louder than the other about this life or that one or the other one. These movements may give an illusion of solidarity to some people, but it is an illusion. The sad fact is, they only result in MORE division.

The truth of the whole situation is this: Either all lives matter, or none of them do.