Defining Who I Am- And What I Believe In

Defining Who I Am- And What I Believe In.

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Defining Who I Am- And What I Believe In

No one with a pulse has missed the horrific murders of journalists and Police in France by Islamic terrorists.  From this, a movement began- “Je Suis Charlie”- I Am Charlie as in Charlie Hebdo- the paper who chose to publish its satirical views of EVERYTHING… including Islam.

I had to think a long time before I decided that I didn’t deserve my Freedom of Speech if what I needed to do was censor myself.  Is the pretense of safety worth the cowardice?  Am I okay with deciding that my right to free speech is worth the potential for risk?
YES.  Yes it is.

Before my husband was diagnosed with terminal cancer, my goal in life was to write.  After he died, I’ve made numerous false starts.  You may be reading one of them, I don’t know.  What I DO know is that I try to practice this craft every single day.  Do I publish everything I write?  No.  Not yet.  I’m still trying to figure out what in hell I’m saying and how to say it.  Not unusual and not unreasonable.

What I think I always believed but never fully comprehended was that I would always have the ability to speak my mind without regard to who liked it or not.  I have a new comprehension.  Today I realize that my opinions- controversial or not- could lead to people taking a ‘tude and hunting my ass down.

Most of what I write is fill for other, better writers.  I research like a shark and have an odd array of subjects that I know a whole ton of stuff about because I got interested.  Ebola is a good case in point.  I started researching Ebola in the early 80’s and just never stopped.  Not a subject relevant to my work in IT,  just one I became intensely interested in.  Today I have a wealth of knowledge on the subject that I don’t need to research.  I can write the historical information based on my own knowledge.

I save my opinion for Facebook posts or my blog.  I try to make sure that my opinions are identified as opinions and that my opinions are no rule for anyone else.  While I recognize that not everyone will agree with my opinions, I reserve my right to have them.

Given everything, I have to decide who I am and what I believe in.

I am a 52 year old widow with COPD and the life expectancy of your average cicada.  I am an American with no hyphen and no apology.  I am one of five children of my loving parents, now deceased.

I believe in America.  I believe that this is the greatest country in the world and the greatness of this country is based in it’s willingness to embrace ALL comers- ALL origins, ALL religions, ALL creeds.  We ARE the melting pot- the amalgamation of everything.

In this country, we have chosen to allow an expression of all truths.  In doing so we enable discussion- if we are wise enough to discuss.

Very unfortunately, we choose instead to scream at one another to little effect.  That’s always “productive”.  Whatever.

I am not Charlie.  I haven’t had the guts to be Charlie.  Charlie Hedbo proved for years that there is a value to questioning everything.  I can’t claim those chops.  What I can do, what I am doing today, is saying that I will not write in fear.  I will not edit my beliefs in order to make them more palatable.  I refuse to relinquish the freedoms granted to me in America.  PERIOD.

The recent atrocities in Paris, the murders of the journalists of Charlie Hebdo in the name of Islam must be identified and rejected for what they are- Islamic terrorism.  Are all Muslims terrorists?  Hell no!  But these asswipes don’t get the honor of being called anything but thugs.

I don’t care at all about their “religious” leanings.  What they are- what they chose to become- is terrorists.  They murdered 12 people in cold blood.  For what?  Editorial cartoons?  Seriously???

As I write this blog, I am following International news sources.  The gunmen are currently holed up in an industrial park near Charles de Gualle Airport.  A stand-off has ensued.  A hostage has been taken.  Lovely.

Fuck you terrorists.  There will be nothing for you in Paradise.  The pooch?  Yeah, you screwed it.

Choosing To End The Madness

Choosing To End The Madness.

Choosing To End The Madness

Since I was a kid, I have lived in the middle of “racial tension”.  I use the quotes only because the name we have called the reality of figuring out the racial landscape has changed time and time again.

Right now, we are living in what looks like a world gone mad.  Our “Freedom of Speech” has gone down the toilet as we kowtow to the people who assume that they are the most recently aggrieved.  There are things we can’t say, things we can’t do, people we can’t talk to- and an unlimited list of things we shove down deep.

Worse, our leadership seems to have chosen a side… and if your skin is the wrong color, that side isn’t the one you’re on… if one judges by appearance only.  Very unfortunately, the recent issues are only about appearance.

I’m odd.  People looking at me tend to see a Latina.  Some see a native American.  Others see a mulatto.  I can tan seriously under a 30 watt bulb.

Oh wait.  I’m none of the above… ish.

Today, the local Mall was closed down by a “die in”.  What protestors thought they would gain by this is a mystery to me.  What was accomplished is a whole lot of pissed off people.  A whole lot MORE pissed off people.  People who would otherwise support the cause now hotly debated… but also have lives that they believe to be important- even MORE important.

Today in New York, two officers were murdered in cold blood by a man who murdered his girlfriend earlier in the day.  To many, the death of these officers is acceptable.  The officers were white, the murderer was black, the cops “deserved” it… for reasons that I simply don’t understand.

So now what?

Is there a way to describe the issues that separate the police and the communities they serve without protest?  Is there a way to actually communicate?

I believe there is.

Stop screaming!  The louder you yell, the deafer I become.  TELL me your issues so that I can hear them.  I can’t hear a damned thing as long as the repetitive chants are drowning out any way to discuss the issues.

Stay the fuck out of the roads!  Trust me- I can hear you and sympathize with you when I am not being blocked from getting to work.  I live in snow country- blocked roads should only mean that the plow hasn’t been through.

“No justice, No peace” is stupid.  You aren’t defining either justice nor peace.  “Hands up, Don’t shoot” NEVER happened- according to testimony.  “What do we want, DEAD COPS!  When do we want it? NOW!”  Umm, so no cops should be available to anyone?

“I Can’t Breathe”.  I say that once a week.  Why?  I have COPD and I use my rescue inhaler at least four to six times a day.

Can we maybe think in terms of discussion?  Or do we still need to destroy things and people?

Do we sanction murder as long as the right color people are the ones being killed?

Or do we challenge that which is wrong.  Define it, clarify it, and speak to it.

Martin Luther King is one of my heroes.  As a child, my father taught me to love the process of discrimination- to love the process of thinking about all the sides of the question.  To think about what the outcomes might be, to think HARD and to be DISCRIMINATING.

Discriminating isn’t about race.  It’s about choosing.  I choose red over green,  I choose fine over coarse, I choose wine over beer.  At a finer level, I like a bright green, not a dark red, I like a silky fabric over burlap, I choose a fine wine over a harsh beer.

Check your Dictionary.

As a child I was taught that prejudice is evil.  To “pre-judge” a person is to not consider that person.  That is wrong.  A man comes to the court to be tried for a crime.  It is PREJUDICE for me to assume that the person committed the crime.  I must DISCRIMINATE as I look at the evidence- what looks most like the truth?

I have opinions abut the recent “racially” bent cases.  I dare not utter a sound on any of them.  I don”t care to be targeted and I am certain my neighbors would prefer I shut up.

We MUST decide that we want to FIX the challenges in our neighborhoods.  We MUST reject bloodshed.  So many great people have gone before us seeking only peace.  Are we so shortsighted that we can’t consider all they have done?

My First Post In This Space!

I know, I know.  The excitement just never ends, right?

I decided that I needed to start this blog in addition to a blog I already write about ADHD.  Partly because I have more than one dimension, partly because I was beginning to bore myself.  I’ve had ADHD for over 50 years and after awhile, you just gotta wonder if you have more to talk about.

The other thing that drove this choice is that I’m boring the people on Facebook to death.  Let’s face it.  Facebook is NOT the best blog vehicle.

If you come here looking for the wisdom of the ages, prepare to be heartbroken in despair.  I don’t do wisdom.  I write what I want- often a collection of letters that no one will ever read.  I’m kinda pathetic like that.

Who do I write to?  My last letter was to Santa.  Let me share…

Dear Santa,

I hope it isn’t weird for 52 year olds to write you with Christmas wishes. Unfortunately, by this age the things I want are probably not manufactured by elves. Heck, even the Chinese elves don’t make this stuff.

The wish I wish most of all isn’t something you or anyone can give me. I want my Mike back. I can’t have that and I know it. So I thought I would make it somewhat easier on you- but not a piece of cake.

You see, sir, what I want most of all for Christmas is a moment. I want a place in time when racial tensions aren’t being kicked to a higher gear. That won’t solve the problems we have. Only rational discourse can do that.

I want both Democrats and Republicans to remember that we are all people first. In America, we are a people with a Constitution. That Constitution is a beautiful document, one that informs how we in America choose to live together. How about we all READ the darned thing and choose to live by it?

Asking for “Peace On Earth” is lovely but not real specific. I want to be specific here- we need desperately to quit trying to kill one another and figure out how we can live together. Can you help us with that Santa dear?

While I’m asking for the impossible, I might as well ask for what I think we need- a sense that we CAN achieve better things. I believe this but so many people can’t see how to get there. Can you help out with this?

You see, Santa, I know I can’t have what my heart desires. I can’t have my beloved Mike back. But I’m hoping you can grant my wishes. I know I’m asking for the world… but why not try?

From this you know that I am a widow.  If you follow this you will discover that my late husband was Superman.  If you have opinions about his secret identity, I will thank you to keep them to yourself.

So here you have it.  My first post using WordPress.  There will be more.  Trust me.