Slow Burn

Rachel Jacobs:

Perfect for anyone going through a major physical change.

Originally posted on I'm Not Blind Yet.:

Lately I’ve been seeing many of those ‘feel-good’ articles in relation to vision loss. So-and-so has [insert genetically inherited eye disease] and despite this is [insert super powered feat of magnificence.] Like these lovely people, Blind woman climbs mountain in Maine, Blind man to tackle seven marathons in seven states over seven days for Aussie kids, Visually impaired Alexandria resident set to take on the Ironman world championship. Don’t get me wrong, I do enjoy these stories from time-to-time.  Reminding me that there is life after blindness, one can overcome so many things and dreams can come true.

However, there are times when their stories make me angry. These people are not like me. They do not choose to do things like me. The very idea of running for more than the time it takes to run from the bathroom to the bedroom without a towel or…

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A Little Compassion

“The mentally ill do not “commit” suicide. It makes it sound like they did it on purpose or that they had a say in the matter. But they don’t, really. Their illnesses were in control.

The entire concept of “committing” suicide, as it relates to mental illness, is nothing short of tragedy. Your son died by suicide. More specifically, he died from his mental illness, which caused him so much torment and suffering that he ultimately succumbed to it. It was not his fault, nor was it his desire. Most importantly, it wasn’t his choice.

Your son didn’t kill himself; the illness killed him.” – Gabe Howard

Lately, there has been a lot of talk about suicide and mental illness. While the death of Robin Williams is nothing less than tragic, the discussion is one that we, as a society, need to have. One we have needed to have for a long time. Sadly, we always seem to wait for a tragedy before we talk about the taboo.

It is apparent that few people truly understand what depression is and how it affects someone’s life. I have seen a lot of commentary along the lines of, “He should have gotten help.” After all, Mr. Williams was privileged, had access to the best healthcare system in the world…so why didn’t it work? Coming from our society I find this ironic. We shame those in death for not getting help just as we shame those in life for daring to seek it.

Truth is, mental illness is something that we do NOT speak of. A dark and dirty secret that needs to be stomped out and forgotten. We sit upon our high thrones and pass judgement upon those who take their lives just as we do for those who try to prevent it.

Those who loose the battle are characterized as weak, selfish, cowardly. And yet, how many times we all had this conversation:

    “Did you hear? Lala is going to therapy.”

    “Figures, I always knew she was crazy.”

Mental illness is not seen as a disease, and it is not treated as a disease by far too many in the medical community.

It is a weakness, a choice, an exaggeration, done only for attention, an excuse. We treat mental illness with such stigma and dirision, then we act surprised when someone succumbs to it. Imagine if we treated cancer with the same lack of depression and disbelief.

Truth is, mental illness is real, and it is just as deadly as cancer. Suicide is merely a symptom of a much larger problem. A problem that is highly underestimated. After all, Mr. Williams had everything, what did he have to be depressed about? Or like this moronic comment: “most of us have suffered from severe depression in our lives. We need to stop making this a mental illness conversation and make it a “everyone has the capability of getting really, really, really sad for an extended period of time. I mean, there are only about 10,000 books written about how to get out of an emotional slump. But no, apparently everyone individually thinks they are part of some suicidal expert club because their depression was somehow deeper and more meaningful than everyone else who disagrees with them. Ridiculous.”

 

Statements like this are a giant neon sign flashing that the speaker has no idea what he is talking about. I blame this on the fact that there are two types of depression…and the human ego. So, let’s talk about depression. First, there is depression with a specific cause. The death of a loved one, loss of a job, stress, exhaustion. These can all cause a person to feel depressed. An emotion, really. This type of depression is felt by nearly everyone. It is temporary and usually resolves itself with time or the elimination of the trigger. And, naturally, because everyone experiences this from time to time, many assume that this is what we are talking about when it comes to depression. That if a,b,c was true for them then it must be true for everyone. Ah, the glories of human self-importance.

 

However, there is a deeper, darker version. One with no external cause. One that doesn’t simply pass with time. It is not something that you can just ‘get over.’ It is not an ‘emotional slump.’ Not something that you can talk your way out of. Nor can you just ‘decide to be happy’ any more than you can decide NOT to have cancer. It permeates everything, diminishes everything. It is something that those who have not experienced it can ever, truly, understand.

 

The real bitch is, those of us with clinical depression are still prone, like all human beings, to situational depression. In this case, it serves to make a bad situation worse and can be the tipping point that leads to suicide. I find it oddly humorous that we praise those with terminal illness for stopping treatment, leaving the hospital, and choosing to die at home. We praise them for their strength, for fighting so hard, for so long. We cast no blame or shame upon theme for choosing to stop fighting. The same does not hold true for those battling severe, chronic depression. If they stop fighting; if they can no longer stand the pain. They are weak, selfish, and cowardly. Not worthy of our empathy and sorrow.

 

Is suicide a selfish act? Perhaps, on some level, and it certainly appears that way to those on the outside. But what many seem to overlook is that depression twists a person’s thoughts so much they often think those they love are better off without them. To a severely depressed person, suicide may actually seem like the most selfless thing they can do. If you think that sounds completely irrational, you’re absolutely right. But the fallacy at work here is the assumption that the person is capable of rational thought. Think about this for a moment, we blame those who commit/attempt/contemplate suicide for making ‘poor choices.’ But one of the first thing that is done when an attempted suicide arrives at the ER is begin the process of having them declared legally incapable of making their own decisions. On the one hand we criticize their decision making process, while at the same time, working to have them declared mentally incompetent. Care to explain to me that little bit of cognitive dissonance?

 

Is suicide a ‘permanent solution to a temporary problem?’ Not really. Another logical fallacy, for suicide is neither a solution, nor is the problem temporary. Is suicide a tragedy? Always. The problem, is the thought that the person you knew and loved chose to die. This is an assumption based on the premise that the rational mind was in control. It’s not. It never is in the face of suicide. (I will pause here, briefly, to state that we are talking about suicide as part of a severe depressive disorder. Like many things, not all suicides are created equal. For example, murder-suicide or mass suicides, are entirely different monsters.)

 

All humans have two voices inside their heads. The one that holds your true self, the rational self. The one that is positive (generally) and tells you that you can achieve anything. Then there is that other one. The little voice at the back of your head. The one filled with doubt. The one that tells you, ‘you can’t.’ For persons with a depressive disorder, that ‘little voice’ is actually a roaring, raging, controlling demon. (I am being metaphorical people, I am not saying that persons with depressive disorders (or any mental illness) are possessed by demons. Though, sadly, I have the feeling that I would have a greater chance of convincing the majority of Americans of that idea then I do of convincing them that depression is actually a disease.)

 

The demon is always there. Raking, clawing, rending. Constantly pulling you toward the jagged abyss. The rational self, clings to the walls, fighting. The rational self knows the demon lies. The rational self knows that death is not the answer. The rational self knows that you, the REAL you, doesn’t think that way, feel that way. But as the disease of depression worsens, the demon becomes stronger. Battering, cloaking, masking the rational self, sometimes manifesting in very real, physical pain sometimes eliminating all feeling at all. The demon continues to tear you away from your rational self. The rational voice becomes quieter and quieter…until it disappears all together.

 

I know. I have stared into the abyss. A terrifying, swirling blackness of pain and anguish. If you haven’t, you are so truly blessed because you cannot possibly understand that level of pain. Physical, mental, emotional. I wish that kind of pain upon no man. The kind of pain that eliminates hope and covers the world in a thick blanket of darkness. I have felt myself fall, only to be pulled back at the last second. This doesn’t make me somehow stronger, braver, better than those who do fall any more than the cancer survivor is somehow superior to the cancer victim. It just makes me lucky.

 

I haven’t won my battle, because my battle is never-ending. And I am keenly aware that the next fall could be my last. As for now, I am lucky that we have been having success with medication. Because after 16 years, I can finally admit that I need to continuously be on medication to control my condition. And that does not make me weak. I have a condition that requires medication to treat. The same as those with diabetes, heart disease, asthma, or any other chronic condition. And like any other condition, a failure in treatment can prove fatal. The only difference is the way my condition is perceived.

 

Many people with a major depressive disorder often become addicts. The reason is simple, we self-medicate (in part because a bottle of whiskey is more socially acceptable than an SSRI). We turn to drugs and alcohol because, for a brief moment they give us an enormous high or make us feel nothing (depending upon the manifestations of our depression and the drug of choice to combat them). Mr. Williams also suffered from addiction and was recently in rehab. Unfortunately, society has the same problem with addiction as it does with depression. It doesn’t understand it. The typical rehab facility treats all addiction as equal. It treats addiction as a disease, in and of itself (and sometimes it is). Or worse yet, a product of poor decision making. But not as the symptom of something more serious. Very rarely does rehab ever treat the actual ’cause’ of addiction. That’s the reason that rehab fails so very often.

 

Some medicate to feel. Something, anything. Sometimes the cloak of depression is so heavy that the body is constantly in a state of horrifying numbness. As though the entire world is cloaked in a fog. Sometimes this sensation is so great and persists for so long that the person will begin to cut themselves. The intent is not to harm themselves but simply to feel something. The fog is so pervasive that even pain is preferable to nothing. It is not that the person, necessarily, likes pain. But, more often than not, pain is the only thing that can break through the fog. It should be pretty easy to surmise that this type of behavior could very easily be taken too far. A cut too deep because it took that long to feel something. This is not a choice, this is the disease.

 

Sometimes, ironically, the pain is so great that feeling nothing is preferable, despite the inherent risks. Sometimes we cave the nothingness. We yearn for oblivion, even for only a short time, because the pain is just too great. You need that relief or the pain itself will kill you…or so you think. I have been there. I have been racked with pain so great that I prayed for it to end, not caring how that ending came.

 

The pain blinds you. Nothing else exists but the pain…and the pain is never-ending. You hear, but you don’t hear. You see, but you don’t see. You may be vaguely aware that other people are present, but feel entirely alone. Even if people are trying to help you, your perception is that they are there only to watch you suffer. To allow you to suffer. Had I been able to move (google: dystonic storm) I would have done ANYTHING to make it stop. I can easily see myself having taken the entire bottle of Valium had I, rather than my husband, been in control of my medication in that moment. But my goal would have been to stop the pain, not death. Death is rarely the goal of suicide, but more of a side effect of ending the pain.

 

I believe in God, believe in heaven (hold on, this is important). I believe that this life is temporary and the next life will be far, far better than anything I can imagine. Therefore, in my rational state I do not fear death. However, neither do I welcome it. In the words of Tyrion Lannister, “I like living.” A better world may await me but I truly love this one. I am nowhere near ready for it to end. (Note: Faith is great, it can be a light in the darkness of depression. But, it is also not a cure. It’s not a magic bullet. Faith can also be the enemy. The demon, (remember metaphorical) can use that against you just as it uses anything against you. Nothing and no one is immune to the disease.) I am happy and yet I am severely not happy. If that is confusing to you, then imagine living with it.

 

It’s like those old cartoons, with the devil on one shoulder and the angel on the other. The angel tells the truth, is the moral compass, then the devil comes along and beats up the angel. So the only voice is the devil’s…and it lies. Yeah, it’s kind of like that. It is confusing, because sometimes reality fades so much that you are not sure which voice is which. It is annoying. It is frustrating. And in its worst moments can make you feel as though you are going ‘mad.’

 

And you are NOT supposed to talk about it, ever. After all, “It’s all in your head.” Not a single line, in all human language, infuriates me more. Most of the things I have to say about that are not suitable for print. This is ‘victim blaming’ in its highest form. No one ever tells the diabetic, “It’s all in your pancreas.” I don’t want this, no one wants this. It is not a choice we made. Depression is a cruel bitch that can either make you feel nothing or it can twist you up in so much pain you can’t think straight.

 

Like all disease we have good days and bad days. Sometimes we can even find something akin to remission. But the possibility of the next fall is always, always at the back of our minds. The demon waiting in the shadows. Make no mistake, Mr. Williams has not become some ‘hero’ to the depressed community. But rather, just another tragic victim. His death, perhaps, affects us so deeply because, for many of us, his comedy helped us through some of our depressive states. Laughter really is an awesome medication, a fantastic high. Perhaps it is the best medication because unlike the others it has no side effects. Comedy can be the thing that shakes awake the rational self. Allowing it to rise up, kick the demon in the ass, and say, “Screw you, that’s funny. I’m going to laugh.” Comedy can become a tether to reality. But, sadly, like all medications and treatments it doesn’t work all the time. Sometimes, even the laughter isn’t enough to beat back the darkness. Sometimes nothing is.

 

If you think that you are stronger than that, would be stronger than that, then you understand nothing. The human body can only withstand so much pain before it begins to shut down (we call this shock). Likewise, so too, does the human mind have its breaking point. No one, anywhere is immune to that. You can break, and if put under the right pressures for long enough, you will break. Depression doesn’t see race, culture, gender, religion, socio-economic background. It exists across every culture. So too, does cancer. Every year billions are spent on cancer research, looking for a cure, a cause, a better treatment. We have awareness ribbons, months, campaigns, runs, walks, fundraisers. Yet, we have none of these things for depression. Even though it is just as pervasive, just as deadly. But, to this day, mental illness, for some illogical reason, is something that we still can’t talk about. Well, we are talking now.

 

I do not presume to know what Mr. Williams was thinking at the time of his death. But I do know that within him raged a battle of epic literary proportions. Coming back from a fall is like climbing out of a deep dark hole. It’s exhausting. It hurts. You desperately cling to the walls, dodging the things that would knock you back down. Pushing yourself ever higher, begging your body to hold out. Then, your arms give way. You don’t want to let go, but you just can’t hang on anymore. You fall. Sometimes, something catches you. And sometimes you slip through its grasp. Sometimes, the demon wins. And it is always, always tragic. But it is never a choice. It is a deadly symptom of a very fierce battle raging quietly within.

 

 

“There is nothing selfish about suicide. What is selfish is those of us who are left behind thinking that our loved one, who experienced such debilitating pain, somehow owed it to US to live.”—comment on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hey, SCOTUS, Thanks For Nothing

The Hobby Lobby ruling is a slap in the face to all human beings, especially those who proclaim to be a part of a religion. The reason why is this: SCOUTS just gave a non-living entity the same rights and privileges afforded to me and all other human beings BY GOD. God did not give these rights to tigers, rocks, treesor businesses but solely to HUMANS. By giving these non-living legal entities the same rights and privileges afforded to humans SCOUTS has effectively demeaned the entire human race. We, especially those of us of faith, should be appalled and offended by this ruling. Faith, and thus the exercise of religion, is a gift given to us by God… it is not something that can be granted by a court of man. For those who would argue towards the owners religious freedomthis is not about that, they are free to exercise their religion as they see fit. This is about the corporation of Hobby Lobby. The owners made the CHOICE to incorporate their business making it a SEPARATE entity from themselves. This was never about the owners paying for anything, but for the separate legal non-living entity of the corporation complying with legislation. What SCOTUS has done is given rights to a non-living entity above the rights of actual human beings. SCOTUS has taken the gifts, given solely to the human race, by God, to a non-living entity created solely by man. Congratulations, I hope you are happy.

Wild West

So, a story has been floating around the internet for a few days now. I have seen a few posts on my wall from some of my conservative friends. I have pretty much ignored said posts because they didn’t peak my interest. Until today. A friend posted a link from the LA Times and a phrase caught my attention. “Range War.” Now, that’s something you don’t see every day. At least, not in the 21st Century. Naturally, my interest was piqued and I followed the link to discover this little nugget.
Here’s the lowdown. A Nevada cattle rancher named, Cliven Bundy, disagreed with a 1993 provision from the Bureau of Land Management and promptly stopped paying his grazing fees. I guess in ’93 someone, somewhere became concerned about some desert tortoise and thus the number of cattle Mr. Bundy was allowed to let graze on ‘Federal Land’ was reduced. For the past 20 years Mr. Bundy and the BLM have been battling it out in court. Well, last year, a federal court ordered Mr. Bundy to remove the cattle from the land and gave him 45 days to comply. Nearly a year later, Mr. Bundy had not complied with the court order and so the BLM came to confiscate the cattle (nearly 900 head) that were illegally grazing on federal land.
So, those are the facts. The information that is the same regardless of whether or not you get your info from the LA Times, Washington Post, Fox News, and The Blaze. The facts without bias. When looked at it that way it shouldn’t be a big dealexcept Mr. Bundy is crazy. His argument is that since his ancestors worked the land before Nevada was a state and before the BLM existed, he has ‘pre-emptive rights’ to said land use. “My ancestors created the rights to that land one hundred and some odd years ago,” Bailey Logue (Bundy’s daughter) said. “And we’re not giving them up.” (LA Times) I am no expert, but I am pretty sure the Paiute may have something to say about that. Not to mention, I have never heard of an individual ‘creating’ rights. Never in my life have I seen such a blatant example of ‘white privilege’ being displayed. My family has worked (key word, worked not owned) the land for 140 years, but screw the people we took the land from in the first place. Not to mention, Mr. Bundy’s blatant confusion over how federal law works.
In his own words, “”I’ve got to protect my property,” he told The Times last year. ”If people come to monkey with what’s mine, I’ll call the county sheriff. If that don’t work, I’ll gather my friends and kids and we’ll try to stop it. I abide by all state laws. But I abide by almost zero federal laws.” (LA Times) I am not sure Mr. Bundy realizes how the law works. In his view, it is a states’ rights issue. He said he doesn’t recognize federal authority on land that he insists belongs to Nevada. (Fox News) Mr. Bundy’s ignorance and delusions are apparent in his own words.
“I have raised cattle on that land, which is public land for the people of Clark County, all my life. Why I raise cattle there and why I can raise cattle there is because I have preemptive rights,” he said, explaining that among them is the right to forage.
“Who is the trespasser here? Who is the trespasser on this land? Is the United States trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Or is it Cliven Bundy, who is trespassing on Clark County, Nevada, land? Who’s the trespasser?” (The Blaze)
And then this one:
“It’s a freedom issue. It’s not about cows. It’s a state rights issue. I really hope that we can learn and defend our liberties here and keep on fighting until the end,” he said. “I don’t when the end is going to be, but I believe that America is the greatest land in the world and it needs to be protected.”
“Our rights and liberties need to be protected and we’re going to stand for that,” he added. (The Blaze)
Except there is no such thing as pre-emptive rights. Except it is federal land, not state land, regardless of how Mr. Bundy views it. “I know without doubt that our Constitution didn’t provide for anything like the federal government owning this land… (Fox59). The federal government does have a constitutional right to land (Article Four: Clause Two) that has been repeatedly held up in court. According to Mr. Bundy because his family has been here since before the BLM existed, he does not have to abide by the BLM’s regulations.
It doesn’t work that way. Having had my family here since the 1600’s does not give me any pre-emptive rights against the federal government. I cannot just decide which rules I will or will not follow simply because my family has been here a long time. If that were the case, my sleepy little Iowa town should belong to the Sioux. I have been here longer. My rights are before the BLM even existed. (Fox59) Mr. Bundy is clearly delusional. And oh, how I wish, it ended there.

For years, Bundy has insisted that his cattle aren’t going anywhere. He acknowledges that he keeps firearms at his ranch, 90 minutes north of Las Vegas, and has vowed to do “whatever it takes” to defend his animals from seizure. (LA Times)

Mr. Bundy threatened to use force against any BLM agents that were removing his property (from federal land). Mr. Bundy’s own words indicate that he would not follow the ’98 court order that prevents him from interfering with the removal of the cattle. So, the BLM came prepared with armed forces. They overreacted a bit and brought way too much manpower to remove a few hundred head of cattle.
Now, there is a huge uproar amongst some conservative and militia groups. Hundreds of people flocked to this area to protest the BLM’s actions. The spin, overreach of federal power. Now, I am not a paranoid conservative, therefore I cannot see how this is federal over reach. If anything, I can’t believe it has taken 20 years for them to take action.
In short, a guy refused to abide by federal regulations and refused to pay for his cattle grazing upon federal land. He fought for his right to not pay and not abide by these regulations for 20 years and lost. Now, he is paying the consequence. It should be a non-issue, barely a blip on the news radar. Except that’s not how it’s being played out.
Somehow, this has been twisted into an individual’s rights issue. A states’ rights over federal rights issue. And for whatever reason I cannot understand, a gun rights issue. Which wouldn’t be so bad if it was just the usual blowhard rhetoric. But it has become much, much larger than that. And much more dangerous. At this moment, militia groups from Nevada, Arizona, Utah and other states across the nation, have decided to congregate near this area just north of Vegas. Armed groups protesting the right of the BLM to enforce its regulations.
Already, there has been an incident between protesters and the BLM, in which Tasers have been used. Now, with hundreds of armed militiamen flooding the area I can only see this going one way. And it is not good.

A Heinous Violation

The past several weeks have been flooded with ‘violations’ of constitutional rights.  In fact, the past year has shown that a vast number of people have no idea what the constitution is, what it says, what it means and its general purpose.  Not to mention who it does and who it doesn’t apply to.  I am here to correct a few misconceptions.

First and foremost it is important to understand that the constitution (and the included Bill of Rights) does not, in any way, shape, or form, give us any rights at all.  Zero.  The rights enumerated in the constitution are natural rights.  These are things that we have a right to simply because we exist.  It has nothing to do with being an American but more so with simply being human.

When the documents were created there was a huge debate about enumerating our human rights.  Jefferson was against doing so because he felt that it would have two consequences.  One, that people would come to believe that it was the document that provided the rights and to only a select group of people (i.e. citizens).  Two, if a ‘right’ didn’t make the document then it must not exist.  In other words, Jefferson was concerned that future generations would suffer because something wasn’t written down. Wise man.

So, why were some of the founders concerned about people assuming the document gave those rights? Because that would negate the purpose of the constitution.  See, the constitution does not apply to you, or me, or any one person (or corporation) on the planet.  It applies ONLY to the federal government.  The constitution is a list of rules and regulations for the government to follow…nothing more.

This is why Phil Robertson being suspended for something he said was not a violation of his ‘constitutional rights.’ First, let’s just ignore the fact that the constitution doesn’t give rights.  And, to save my sanity, let’s skip over the vast number of politicians who fail to understand the constitution.  For now, let’s just go over what the  first amendment is, what it means and who it applies to.

The first amendment actually enumerates a number of rights but let’s start with freedom of speech.  The founders believed that you had the natural right to speak your mind without fear of persecution from the government.  The last bit is the essential part.  The belief was that any human being should be able to say, “King George sucks,” without risking imprisonment.  The amendment gives you nothing.  It does not protect you from criticism.  It does not protect you from repercussions from the public…such as, losing your job.  So, what does it do?  The first amendment tells the federal government that it cannot make any laws restricting the speech of its citizens.  That’s it.  All it does is prevent the government from persecuting, imprisoning and executing citizens for saying something (the primary purpose was to allow citizens to speak out against the government).

That being said, the amendment is not all inclusive.  Thus, the government does have the power to restrict certain kinds of speech.  These include things like revealing state secrets, yelling fire in a crowded room, slander, libel and threats against human life and wellbeing.  Hence, why it is illegal to threaten to kill or hurt someone.  So, the first amendment protects you from the government if you want to call the President a ‘lying, cheating n—’…or even if you want to tell him to go ‘f— himself.’ However, cross the line and say, “I’m going to kill that lying, cheating n—,’ and you risk being investigated by the government.  And, in doing so, the government is NOT violating your rights.

So, do we understand now, that only the federal government can violate the first amendment?  If you call your boss an asshole, he can fire you.  This does not violate your rights.  If you say the President’s economic policy sucks and as a result you are arrested…that is a violation of your rights.  See the difference?

Actions have consequences.  Nothing in the constitution protects you from consequence.  Accepting that your actions have consequences is part of being an adult.  Making the choice to say or do something means accepting the consequences that may arise from said action.  Saying something and then whining or complaining because what you said or did got you fired or ridiculed is childish and stupid.  Vocal disagreement (and in some cases, public shaming…though I don’t always agree with this tactic) are the consequences of speaking your opinion.  This is not a violation of your rights.  Claiming such is extremely childish and you should probably grow up a little.

While we are on this subject, I am going to quickly address a pet peeve of mine.  So, let’s just say we are debating free speech and religion.  You think this means that Mr. Robertson’s rights were violated.  I disagree.  You then proceed to tell me that we are a Christian nation.  That the first amendment protects you from providing birth control, seeing gay people be married and gives you the right to say whatever you damn well please.  I disagree.  You cannot follow up with ANY of these arguments: “Well the gays need to stop being so sensitive and just shut the hell up,” or “That’s the way it is and if you don’t like it, get the hell out.” Reason: The argument puts holes in your own logic so large I could drive a mid-90’s hummer through it.  If you say, ‘God hates f—,’ and I tell you that you are wrong, you believe I am violating your rights.  However, you then telling me to shut up and get out, by your own logic, is you violating my rights.  (That is not, in reality, the case but if you do believe that the amendment protects you from criticism then such a comeback is logically impossible.)  These arguments do nothing for your cause.  All they do is show the world that you are one giant hypocrite.

You are telling the world that only things you agree with are valid and any form of disagreement you see as a potential threat to your sad, pathetic and isolated worldview…and thus it must be a violation of your rights.  By telling someone to leave if they don’t like it you are telling the world that you are a bigot because you only want people who think and speak like you to be an American.  You may be a perfectly nice person but these arguments make you appear to be nothing more than a hypocritical, bigoted asshole.

The fact that we can debate our differences in a public forum is awesome.  It is one of the greatest aspects of our society.  The debate.  Do you have any idea how many countries would imprison us for doing so? The fact that Americans disagree on issues and debate them is not only one of the greatest thing about this country but also the very reason we have progressed as far as we have.  The debate is the reason we don’t have slaves, women can vote and that we have civil rights.  All thanks to debate.

You know who wants a country full of people who only share their views and opinions…despots.  Now, I am not saying that you are a despot.  What I am saying is that all despots want to suppress the ideas, opinions and beliefs of those that differ from their own.  Now, if that is the type of country you are looking for I can give you hundreds of examples throughout the annals of history as to why that is a bad idea.

I don’t think that is what you really want but that is what your words imply.  This is why people don’t take you seriously.  I am not saying that you have to agree with my opinions and beliefs…just accept the fact that I can have a differing opinion and we can still occupy the same country.  If you disagree with me, debate me.  Please.  Tell me why you disagree.  Don’t just tell me I am wrong and walk away.  We cannot possibly solve our problems that way and we have a lot of serious problems to solve.

Wow, ok.  So this post kind of got away from me.  We will stop there for now but I promise we will continue to discuss constitutional issues and the intents of the founders throughout the year.

2014

So with 2013 nearing a close and 2014 about to begin it is once again time to review the past and imagine the future.  In the next few weeks we will be covering a few topics that I, unfortunately, feel the need to revisit.  Like: what does the constitution mean and who does it apply too (everyone seems to get this way wrong), who qualifies to be president (more birther crap), people and their secrets (NSA), freaking common core (again), and most importantly, why telling people to either like it or move is not an ‘American’ ideal…nor is it in any way tolerant.  But we will also be touching on a few more recent topics along with some things that are not part of the national discussion but which I think should be.  Such as: The Pope v. Christian Right (I cannot express how much I am loving this), What Islam really is…and what it isn’t (the majority gets jihad wrong), who the media shouldn’t be paying attention to (seriously, wgaf about Miley), the meaning of Christianity (IMO), and a thoroughly nerdy post as to why more people should watch Dr. Who and other Sci-Fi/Fantasy shows.  My resolution this year is to write more so hopefully (fingers crossed) you will see these and many more posts in the upcoming weeks and months.  Of course, if there is a topic I am missing that any of you (if anyone does read my rare musings) wish to see covered that I am missing just drop me a line.  Though I can almost guarantee that this year will be rife with things that either make me angry or hurt my head enough to warrant a post or two.  It is after all an election year.