Celebrity Bullying is NOT OK!

Lately there have been incidents in which people feel that it’s OK to bully Celebrities, and that is something that I find very disturbing these days.  It’s brought about by these so-called “Social Justice Warriors,” or SJWs for short. These are the very same ilk that will cry foul whenever someone says or does something offensive to their delicate sensibilities. They get upset and up in arms over bullying, and will in fact create anti-bullying campaigns, yet for whatever twisted reason, they think it’s ok to do it to someone else. These people are completely lacking in reason and common sense due to some psychological misfire. Their target of choice these days is usually of celebrity status because it’s easy for them. They see people on the big screen or on television and forget that the image they are seeing are real living people just like you and I.  When a celebrity says something a little off color, or does something the SJW populace doesn’t agree with, they are hit with a barrage of hateful comments and boycotts.  Why are these SJWs so easily offended? In my opinion (and yes, I am actually allowed to have one), it’s because there is something within themselves that they are unhappy with and as a result, they feel that the world needs to share in their misery.  These are people who seem to share in a bizarre collective consciousness that programs them into thinking everyone MUST feel, think, and act the same way they do.  They oppose any original thought and will sometimes lash out in violence if the offending party doesn’t conform to their ways. It’s political correctness gone wild, because people don’t seem to understand that we as individuals have different thoughts and feelings than everyone else, and that (again I reiterate) celebrities are HUMAN BEINGS.

So you might be asking yourselves by now, why I am writing all of this?  Recently there was an incident within the Supernatural Fandom that was designed to hurt one of our fellow family members, Mark Pellegrino.  You might have figured out by that sentence that this is a small follow up to the open Fandom letter I wrote the other day regarding the online bullying that has taken root on Twitter.  Someone thought it would be “cute” to start a petition to have him removed from the Creation Conventions for 2018, which was designed to not only hurt him, but his fans as well because they didn’t like something he said.  Luckily, the Supernatural Family have circled the proverbial wagons around him in order to protect him.  He was quite literally victimized in a very vicious manner because there are certain people who don’t seem to understand that he is a person with very real feelings.  I can pretty much guarantee that most of the people who attacked him have never met him, spoken with him, or have even gone to a convention.  If they had, they would know that he is probably one of the sweetest, patient, and most genuine individuals out there.  When I saw his Podcast talking about him breaking down in tears over this, it broke my heart because I HAVE had the honor of meeting him a couple of times, and have spoken with him on Twitter (yes, he even gave me a few pep talks to get me through some harrowing crap), and even though I haven’t spoke with him recently (which admittedly, I have had my Mark “withdrawals”), I can tell you from personal experience that he’s exactly the OPPOSITE of what this handful of SJWs would have you believe. They have intentionally taken some of his tweets out of context, editing out the supporting thread (which thankfully, someone rectified), to make him sound like this horrible person that people should be wary of! I even spoke to someone who called him “xenophobic,” and said they would feel “unsafe” if he was at the convention when she goes…. This was after she admitted she had never been to a convention, BTW. After I told her it sounded like SHE was the one who was xenophobic (a word 90% of these people had never heard before Hillary’s gang said it) and gave her the definition, she deleted all of her tweets. I guess the truth hurts, doesn’t it?

My point to all of this, is that until you actually meet someone in person, you really shouldn’t try to place misguided judgement on them because something they said in a conversation that had nothing to do with you hurt your delicate “feels.”  To me, this sounds like some bored college dope trying to cause drama where there shouldn’t be any just because she was bored.

Maybe I should have put this little disclaimer at the top of my blog, but if I had, I’m sure it wouldn’t have been read.  I am known to write things that people might not like simply because I’m tired of seeing people being treated like shit for no other reason than the fact that they have a mind of their own. Step outside of your little safe space for a moment, and see that the world is indeed a big scary place, and be thankful that there are people like Mark Pellegrino who champion out there for you to make the world a little less terrifying.  Try to find a little modicum of decorum when speaking to someone or about someone whether you agree with them or not, because the beauty of people as that we are all different and can have an intelligent exchange of ideas.  Stop being so close minded that you are putting yourself at a disadvantage where learning something new is concerned, and by ALL the Gods, please stop trying to inflict harm on people just because you don’t see them as being “real.”  You really all should be ashamed of yourselves for your actions in trying to hurt a good man, who has a good heart, and who has done many wonderful things while saving lives in the process.  Yes, there are people that are alive right now quite LITERALLY because of Mark, and I am happy to say that I have become very good friends with a few of them.  Can you say the same?

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OPEN LETTER REGARDING THE LAS VEGAS MASSACRE

It has taken me a few days to gather my thoughts and truly wrap my head around the tragedy that happened in Las Vegas, NV on October 1st, 2017 at 10:08 pm during the end of the Route 91 Harvest Festival near the Mandalay Bay. To start, on Sunday night, I received a phone call from my landlord since his sister, brother in law, niece, and his niece’s friend were all in town so that Melanie (the niece) and her friend (Amber) could go to the Festival. My landlord owns several houses in the community where we live, so the house that he puts his family up in when they are in town is literally about a 7 minute walk from my home.  I always keep extra inhalers and other first aid supplies on hand sine my oldest daughter has asthma, and it just so happens that Melanie has asthma as well.  So you can imagine my shock when I got a call from my landlord telling me to run over to the house where his sister was staying and to take a couple of inhalers over to Melanie because she was having an attack.  As it turns out, the attack was caused by severe anxiety, stress, and A LOT of fast running. Luckily she and Amber were toward the back of the venue, and as soon as the first wave of bullets were fired, they ran to the back exit and across the street to where there was a gas station which they hid behind for cover. Melanie was white as a freshly laundered hospital sheet when I got there and she and Amber were shaking and in tears, understandably.  After I gave her the inhaler and the albuterol calmed her breathing, she started telling me about the people dropping around her, the blood soaking the street, and a woman who also ran for cover behind the gas station who had a gunshot wound to her thigh, which was gushing blood. She told me about how it was complete carnage out there with 22,000 people running for their lives and trying to save the lives of those around them. While she and Amber were thankfully unharmed, they will both be looking at medical bills for a long while for therapy sessions, since this will most definitely be a factor for PTSD, which having it myself I was able to let her know that she may not even know she’s having Post Traumatic Stress for several more days after the shock wears off.  It took me a full week before I was diagnosed after seeing the state that my Godson was in after a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head, and seeing him before the Paramedics took him to the UMC Hospital Trauma Center.  That was in 2012, and I STILL have trouble some nights when I’m falling asleep because of the images from that night, so I can only imagine what Melanie and Amber will be going through after that reign of terror!

So then I found out that a friend of mine from Cedar City, UT, Heather Alvarez, was also at the concert and she was one of the (now) 59 fatalities.  I had just seen her in June of this year when I went to Cedar City for my 25th High School Reunion, and she was married to one of Cedar City’s firefighters. This came as a complete shock to me, since I didn’t even know she was in town this weekend.  I still have no clue if anyone else that I know are among the fatalities or if they are one of the 527 wounded that are currently spread out between five Valley Hospitals. This is one of those times when you hear about it happening around the country, these mass-shootings, but you never expect that it will happen in your own town and you CERTAINLY don’t expect to know any of the victims! 

Now we cut to where I take personal issue (and I’m certain I’m not the only one, as 59 families are without their loved ones now) with the Politicians and the Hollywood Elite immediately crawling out of the woodwork to use this tragedy as their on political platform to try and push their “gun control” agenda through, rather than spending that energy trying to actually help the victims and the families thereof. At the time the shooting happened at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Florida, there were nothing but prayers, well wishes, fundraising campaigns to help the victims, etc.  Even our own Supernatural Fandom (the SPN Family) and the actors of the show worked to help the victims by way of tee-shirt campaigns, well wishes, and the like. Jared Padalecki had devised a campaign through Represent with a special design for the Orlando victims, complete with a special rainbow colored design specifically for the victim’s fund. Ironically, the only REAL comment from ANY of the cast and crew regarding the Las Vegas Massacre came from Jensen Ackles on Monday morning to let us know that his thoughts are with us here in Vegas. I checked on the other cast members’ Twitter accounts, and they have been very silent with our tragedy. With Orlando, Tweets were flying and campaigns set up within 24 hours. With Las Vegas? It is now Wednesday, October 4th at 10:50pm (soon to be October 5th) and we still haven’t seen anything. There have been ideas for fundraisers, sure, but not for the victims… the funds would go to gun control advocacy! It’s almost as though Las Vegas is insignificant to them suddenly, which is a major letdown and very disappointing because there are a lot of SPN Family out here that are hurting and we feel almost forgotten even though the shooting on Sunday night is officially the most deadly mass shooting in modern US history, so far surpassing Orlando by 9 deaths, and considering the amount of wounded people in the hospital, that could easily rise in the coming days since we don’t know how many of those are on life support right now. 

The victims in Las Vegas are hurting, physically AND emotionally, and we could definitely use the support of our heroes.  Yet we are all people who are being treated as though we don’t matter either because we live in “Sin City,” or the people who were here for a country music festival were probably “Republicans and Trump Supporters,” (as was mention by the now EX-VP of CBS who said the Vegas victims don’t “deserve” sympathy), even though at that concert there were many Democrats, minorities, men, women, children, Republicans, etc. We are talking about a crowd of twenty-two THOUSAND people who were there to enjoy music and share a common interest as AMERICANS regardless of race, religion, creed, or political affiliation. 

Now, let’s do some math… the average “Pauper’s Cremation,” which is simply cremation of the body where the ashes are send home in a vinyl covered hard cardboard box, and doesn’t come with use of the Mortuary facilities for a viewing, funeral, or memorial, along with a Minister of some sort, costs on average $3,000. I know this first hand from when my ex-roommate’s husband passed away.  You then have to pay the entire fee for the cremains to be released to the family. Now, multiply that by 59 people, which comes out to $177,000 provided NONE of those families want any extras, which will be HIGHLY unlikely. Our County Commissioner, Steve Sisolak, and Sheriff Joe Lombardo set up a GoFundMe account for a victim relief fund, which has a goal of $10million (which I’m certain will be surpassed). This relief fund is to go to funerals, medical bills, future surgeries, etc. This has LITERALLY been the ONLY fundraiser that I have seen so far to help the victims and their families. If they ONLY raise $10m, minus the cost of the funerals, there will literally only be enough money to help a mere handful of people out of 527! This will only be enough to cover hospital bills and Ambulance bills that have already been incurred, and not enough to cover any future surgeries, physical therapy, and mental therapy… and the Politicians want to turn this into a gun control agenda and politicize this?? The left has completely gone off the rails! In fact, they have gone SO far left, they have fallen completely off the playing board and have lost ANY modicum of a moral compass they may have had, which shows me they could care less about human lives at this point. Their only agenda right now is to disarm Americans so that we can’t protect ourselves against a tyrannical Government, criminals (who by the way will get their hands on guns regardless of gun control laws), and take away American’s ability to hunt for food in some areas where that’s a means of survival. Do I believe that assault rifles belong in the hands of average Americans? No I don’t, I believe those particular firearms should stay within the military, since nobody needs THAT much fire power to protect themselves… but that’s my own PERSONAL opinion, and has no bearing on my support for our 2nd Amendment right to bear arms, and I will NEVER try to infringe on someone else’s Constitutional Rights because I personally don’t like it. That’s just ridiculous! EVERY individual has the inalienable right to protect themselves, their families, their property, and their country. 

That being said, can we stop it already with all of this political nonsense and concentrate on helping Las Vegas heal? The radical regressive left needs to be reigned in, and the far right Bible thumpers as well. The only people creating this division in this beautiful country are the people THEMSELVES. It’s time to start taking responsibility for your own actions, and stop trying to place the blame on others when we fail.  If you screw up, you OWN it. 

We are Vegas Strong, we need to heal, and we need HELP with that WITHOUT being used as a political pawn in your twisted game of “Stratego.”  

Why Full Socialism Is A Bad Idea

Lately, I have been reading and hearing the same rhetoric coming from the regressive left. What frightens me about this, is that these are the people who despite all proof that a Socialist Society incites a boatload of trouble down the road, want to live in one. They have been so brainwashed as of late, that they say the same things over and over like some sort of twisted mantra from a script they have been given to memorize. I’ve been hearing this on talk shows such as Tucker Carlson, where he invites a far leftist onto the show to explain their point of view.  The problem is, they either refuse to answer a simple question because they don’t have a logical rebuttal and were caught off guard, or they simply ignore the question altogether and continue their memorized script as though it’s some sort of “proof of life” video where they are being held for ransom and told to recite their lines verbatim. I have yet to determine whether this is intentional, or if they even realize they are doing it. It’s really no wonder Tucker always has a perpetual look of confusion on his face! I have taken to watching his show for the sheer entertainment of different guests saying the same thing over and over. 

Here’s something that really puzzles me, especially since there seems to be this population who wants a Socialist Utopia of sorts. First of all, they are starting to call the reality of the world we live in an “illusion.” I can’t help but wonder if they fell down a rabbit hole and are being mentored by the Cheshire Cat!  Did they choose “Drink Me” instead of “Eat Me?” Or do they think they are part of the Matrix, and took the wrong pill? It’s become quite apparent that they don’t watch the news or even pick up a newspaper, because if they had, they would be reading about places like Venezuela (the one I most like to cite because their society, which has ultimately become a violent dystopia has been broadcast on just about every news station out there), where it became a Socialist country that is now falling apart at the seams.  You see, it’s great to have SOME Social programs such as Social Security, Medicaid, Medicare, Foodstamps, etc. America has had these programs for decades.  However, we as taxpayers, pay money into these programs because they are set up as reciprocity programs, meaning… you pay into these programs, and they are there to help you through the hard times.  Yet this new generation that’s going into their early adult years see it as a free ride. Free medical, free food, free money, and in some cases free housing, rather than seeing it for what it’s meant to be: a helping hand when times are hard financially. These programs were never meant to be a way of life, and that’s what the Socialist mindset it turning it into because they simply don’t want to work. They feel that IF they work, they should be getting a managerial paycheck complete with the benefits packages that come along with the jobs, even though they don’t have the work experience NOR the work ethics to be deemed worthy of such pay. 

Let’s face it, Socialist countries set themselves up for failure in many ways from the beginning, because they don’t think of the long term consequences.  These programs cost money, and A LOT of it, to keep them running.  That money has to come from somewhere, which is generally gained through trade agreements by selling resources to countries that are at a disadvantage because they don’t have the same resources, yet need them. So then, what do you do when you have tapped out on your resources (which by the way, your OWN people also need), and no longer have any to sell?  You effectively have a country with no economy wherein people starve, crime rates go through the roof, you can’t repair your infrastructure, your roads are full of potholes, your buildings start falling apart, your educational system collapses… all of this and a plethora of other problems. This is happening right now in Venezuela (which again I cite because it’s the most recent to fall). Die-hard Socialists also have a very bad habit of throwing temper tantrums when their freebies are taken away because the Government can no longer afford to support them. The end result is a bunch of hungry pissed off people who work to overthrow the Government because it’s no longer working for them, which effectively solves nothing and only creates MORE problems. 

THIS is what WOULD have inevitably happened had Bernie or Hillary changed their address to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. They are already wealthy people who want to accumulate MORE wealth by taking advantage of their political positions.  So now, I can quite literally hear everyone saying “Trump is wealthy, and he will do the same.”  Bear in mind, that I am not defending Trump when I say this, but he was already a Billionaire when he decided to run for President. He opted to do this job for the next 4 to 8 years WITHOUT Presidential Pay, although he does have to take $1 per year by law.  The $400,000 per year is being donated into causes that help people, and he’s the first President since Kennedy to do this.  Yes, he’s trying to put a halt to the ILLEGAL immigration (not just from Mexico, as MSM would have everyone believe, but from everywhere) because illegal immigrants (meaning people who are in fact here illegally and have taken ZERO steps in starting the citizenship process) are working for lower wages, which means if and when they DO pay taxes, they are paying very little, and usually getting huge child tax credits back on their returns, they are on Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security (because not being able to speak English has been deemed a disability thanks to one of the addendums made by the previous administration), cash benefits through Welfare Programs, in many cases they are getting free housing or discounted housing vouchers, and guess what? They are living quite nicely off of YOUR tax dollars.  At this rate, by the time most of us are ready to retire, or we have something happen to cause us to go on disability, that money isn’t going to be there for the LEGAL citizens (both natural born, and naturalized) even though WE are the ones who paid into the system and programs. When they make money, they aren’t spending it here in the United States where it will go back into OUR economy, but they are sending it to their families in their respective countries of origin. I go to a place here called “Check City,” which is a multi-service cash company that provides money orders, Western Union, check cashing services, prepaid debit cards, and tax preparation. EVERY time I go in there, the windows are filled with people doing financial wire transfers to Mexico, El Salvador, Columbia, and many other Central American countries, and these Western Union transfers average around $3,000 that’s being sent out of the United States.  Conversely, here in the Southwest, it is MUCH more difficult for non-Spanish speaking people to find and keep jobs because most places now require you to be bilingual (although in the classifieds, they simply say “bilingual preferred” or “bilingual a plus”)  I have spoken to Human Resource people around town and have actually been told that if an applicant isn’t bilingual, their application is generally tossed in the “Circular File” (garbage can).  They aren’t even taken into consideration.  How does this help Americans?

Although I don’t agree with a lot of what Trump does, there are things I do commend him for.  Not many Presidents actually try and follow through on the campaign promises that got them elected.  A lot of people say “he doesn’t have any experience to be President.” Well my dear readers, I’m going to let you in on a little secret: NO first time President has the experience.  The ONLY Presidential Candidates that DO have experience are those that are running for a second term!  Yes, a Presidential Candidate might say something on the campaign trail, and flip their stance once they are in the White House. Why? Because until they are actually IN the Oval Office, they don’t have access to most of the information needed to back up certain claims or keep to certain promises.

In closing, I am going to revert back to my original intent behind this blog. America simply wouldn’t work as a Socialist country for the reasons I’ve stated, and many more. Why people don’t understand (or don’t WANT to understand) the economic mechanics of it is beyond me. I’ve tried explaining this to people every which way from Sunday until I’m ready to beat my head against the wall, but the far left just keeps wanting to talk in circles, asking the same questions over and over thinking that wording it differently will yield the answer they want to hear.  It’s not going to happen that way… ever. You will always get the same answer from people with critical thinking skills, because for the most part, it really is common sense no matter how hard you try to rewrite the script.  Not to mention that in light of everything I have said here, and with our country already being so insanely deep in debt, can you honestly say that creating your so-called Socialist Utopia would be a good idea at this point in time?  I would HOPE the answer would be “no.” Under a Socialist Government, we certainly wouldn’t have the freedoms we enjoy now, because everyone would be forced to conform and share everything in the name of “equality.” I would say that borders on Communism, but I will say flat out that it sounds more like slavery to me. Being told what you’re allowed to think, say, and do?  We are already seeing a ton of censorship from the left and their Politically Correct “Police.”  It’s my job to take care of my family and see to it we have a roof over our heads and food on the table.  It’s NOT my job to protect your delicate feelings because I say what’s on my mind and it might make you cry in a corner in the fetal position with your binkie, blankie, and puppy.  To 50% of today’s Americans, I say: GROW THE HELL UP!

Humor at the DMV

My husband and I went to the DMV today to renew the registration on one of our cars. Before we went, a friend of ours had asked me to pick up a driver’s handbook so that she can study for her written test so that she can get her provisional license. So we put my cell phone number into the system in order to receive a text message to alert us when a window opens up for us, and went over to see if they do the written tests all day or just during certain hours.

Keep in mind that this is a large DMV in Las Vegas, so they have various ammenities such as a snack bar… because what DMV doesn’t need a snack bar? After getting the information on the hours of testing (which incidentally is any time during the hours of operation), we started walking back to the general waiting area. My husband told me he was going to call our friend to have her go down there and take her test, until I said to him, “she will need to look at the handbook first.” Well… SOMEHOW he heard it as, “she will need to lick a hamburger first!” We both had a good laugh at that, and sat in our seats.

Joe nudged me and said, “where do we get a handbook?” I responded with, “I believe they have a snack bar here.” He looked at me for several seconds increduously and finally asked me, “what does the snack bar have to do with getting her a handbook??” I busted up laughing and realized that I did the EXACT same thing he did a few minutes before. “I thought you were asking where to get a HAMBURGER!” We were both laughing so hard at the misunderstanding that we literally had tears coming out of our eyes! 

Lesson learned… APPARENTLY “handbook” and “hamburger” sound identical in a Department of Motor Vehicles setting! Either that, or we are both getting old! Haha!

The Reason I Am Alive!

This blog is going to be a little bit different than the tangents I generally find myself on. I’m not going to rant, I’m not going to point out the absurdity of the world. I’m going to bare my soul for the first time in a very long time, in the hopes that what I have to say might hit home with someone. If I can save just one life, or give them a new outlook to find help after they read this, than I will feel that the time spent working on this and cutting myself to the quick as I relive this was worth it.

As most of you know, there is a new series out on Netflix called “13 Reasons Why.” I just finished watching the first season, and I found it really well written. The cinematic artistry of this show was wonderful because it didn’t confuse the subject matter, as it took one character into the mind of another. I won’t go into too much detail here in case there is someone reading this who has yet to see it. I know I hate spoilers, so I am not going to share too much so that others may watch and get the full scope of the story without knowing what comes next. 

As a parent, I am always worried about my kids having issues in school. High school was extremely difficult for my oldest daughter who is now 24 years old. Partly because of bullies, and partly because they had this bizarre dress code called “Standard Student Attire,” which is KIND of like having uniforms but not really. As a result, the teachers spent less time teaching and more time acting like fashion police because they liked changing the dress code without telling the parents, so what was fine one day ended up getting the child sent home the next and visa versa. Granted, the high school my eldest went to wasn’t the greatest, and it was quite literally connected to a charter school for children with behavioral problems. When it got to the breaking point of her not learning anything substantial, I supported her decision to drop out and get her GED (which she did almost immediately).  My 22 year old went to a magnet school, so she didn’t have to face the same issues her older sister had to endure. Luckily, my 12 year old hasn’t had any problems at all so far, and with her being the only remaining child in school, she’s the one I tend to worry about the most. 

Anyway, after watching “13 Reasons,” I sat down with my 12 year old and we talked for a little while about school. I let her know that she can ALWAYS talk to me if she ever has any issues with another student or a group of students, and that whatever she has to say will never fall of deaf ears. I will always do whatever I can for her to make sure her school years go as smoothly as possible, and we made a pact that if a problem does arise, I will take it to the highest possible position I can get a hold of and kick some ass if I need to. She promised me that she will never hold her feelings inside, and will come to myself or her father for help.

Now to my story. I was raised in a household with a Pagan mother and Atheist father, and was essentially surrounded by what some would call magick (For those of you not in the know, the “k” at the end of magick is not a misspelling, but rather a literary way of differentiating between a magician’s tricks, and ritual magic in which the forces of the Universe are harnessed… think of it as a super strong prayer, if you will). Needless to say, having been raised in Southern Utah, it made it very difficult to make and keep friends because the parents of the kids in my school were predominantly Mormon, and would call me everything from ‘Wicked Witch” to “Demon” to “Satanist” and my favorite, “Devil’s Spawn.” I was also raised with the Cedar Band of Paiute, who at that time looked down on the study of the occult. They viewed witches as evil entities that could change form, and they were very superstitious. Luckily for me, most of the Rez kids were rather rebellious and didn’t mind my odd upbringing. Their parents were a different story, although they kept it to themselves.  I was criticized for everything from my height to my choice of music (which was mostly classic rock and heavy metal). I did finally embrace my “dark side” in the end, and used it to my advantage. However, until that time, I was accused of seducing guys and being a slut, even though I was a virgin (I didn’t even get pregnant with my first daughter until after I was married). I would be lying if I said I never considered suicide, because believe me… I did. So much so that I actually sat in my parent’s closet one day with one of my dad’s pistols, broken and in tears. I looked at that gun, studied it, thought the world would be better off without me. Until I came to the realization that if I were to follow through with that, I would destroy my parents and the kids at school would win. I wasn’t about to become the reason that the popular girls put together a memorial at school for me just to show how “caring” they were as they vied for votes for Homecoming Queen. I made my resolve then and there that I would live, and I was NOT going to let them kill me. You might call it my moment of enlightenment.

My home life wasn’t exactly roses either. As much as I loved (and still do) my father, he terrified me! I was the youngest of 4 kids… two half brothers and one half sister. I was the only child of my mother’s. My siblings were raised with their own mothers, so I got the brunt of my dad’s temper. He drank heavily, and although he never told me what happened while he was in the Army, I still suspect to this day that something terrible transpired when he was stationed in France that he drank to escape the memory of. When he was sober, he was an amazing father, and would go out to the yard and play volleyball with me or watch as I exercised the horses. I would go on trips with him when he did his inventory control for the National Parks in the summertime, and we were on the road a lot. When he was drinking though, all I had to do was look at him wrong and I was making excuses for my clumsiness the next day at school. He passed away 11 years ago because of his drinking (the main reason I no longer drink, and haven’t touched a drop of alcohol in almost 15 years now), and I do miss him terribly. As it turns out, I finally began to have a functional relationship with him in my adult years. I moved out of my parents house ON my 18th birthday, and right in with the guy I would end up being married to for the next three years. Oddly enough, I don’t regret that time, even though my first husband almost hospitalized me multiple times, and almost killed me the night that I finally left. It took 3 years to make my escape, because every time he even got the notion I might leave, he would take off with my children, so I learned that I had to be savvy about my departure. It’s easy to say to a battered woman “just leave him,” but the truth is, it’s much easier said than done. Especially when the man is twice your size. I’m a very small woman at 5’1” and 110lbs, and he was 6’1” and almost twice my weight. I can’t begin to tell you how many times he would “detain” me until I became compliant. Yet I don’t regret that time in my life as I look back on it and pain I went through, because from that marriage I had my two oldest daughters. They ultimately became my reason for living. 

Through all of the rocky moments and financial hardships I’ve endured over my 43 years on this planet, I can now look back and know that every bit of it helped me to grow into the person I am today… and I’m stronger for it. With every joke made at my expense as a kid from wearing second hand clothing from the thrift shops (something that becomes very apparent in a small town), every bruise to both my skin and my emotions, every person I have had to bury and say goodbye to over the years, including my beloved Godson who took his own life at the age of 21 with a pistol and took his last unaided breaths in my arms, and every financial sacrifice to make sure my children ate, I became a force to be reckoned with. It took four decades, but I am finally comfortable in my own skin. I know I would have missed out on so many things had I followed through that day in my parent’s closet so long ago. I have three beautiful and talented daughters, a gorgeous granddaughter, a wonderful husband, and a new direction in life. I have also found the most amazing and supportive extended family in the Supernatural fandom!

Much of what I have said in this blog I have never disclosed to anyone, but I know now that I can use it to teach others that no matter what curveballs life throws at you… you can hit it out of the park! Up until 24 years ago when my oldest daughter was born, my life seemed hopeless and pointless. I still have moments of self doubt, but I have learned to go with the flow and trust that whatever I am put through in life, there’s a reason behind it. For every door that closes on you, another one opens. You just have to be brave enough to walk through it and not let the actions of others hold you back, because in the end, it’s your life and no one else’s. After all, tomorrow IS another day, and believe me when I say that it’s truly something to look forward to! Have fun whenever you can, and if someone tries to criticize you for it, tell them to fuck off because more likely than not, they are miserable with their own life… don’t let them make yours equally miserable. We are already here for a short enough period of time, so make the most of the time you DO have, and don’t be afraid to talk to someone when life does get you down. The one thing that I have cultivated from this existence is that I have a much larger support system than I ever thought possible. So always keep fighting, know that you are not alone, and above all remember that it’s true: family don’t end in blood. We are all one big happy dysfunctional fun-loving family, and we all have something in common… that most of us have been through a lot of the same heartbreaking bullshit, and are here to give you a shoulder to cry on and share our wisdom on navigating this rollercoaster called life! 

~Kristi Sustrick

*** NOTE***                                          Credit for AKF artwork goes to        Deviant Art! 

Political Correctness Gone Mad

Political Correctness gone mad… That’s what has been going on in the United States lately. It’s getting to the point to where I no longer recognize America as the beautiful free country I have grown up with. People are becoming far too sensitive over just about everything these days, and it’s exhausting! 

I have been combing over news articles over the past several days, and the things I have been reading have really gotten me into a mental twist. To be fair, it’s been further fueled by some of the ridiculous comments over social media that have been posted mainly by the far left, some of which have been real head scratchers. 

The first thing I take issue with is a story I read regarding a public high school in Michigan, which is allowing the Muslim girls that attend to have their own private “Muslim Girls Only Prom.” Now, while I generally don’t mind a specific group having their own event, this is a little bit different since these girls are only allowing girls belonging to Islam, and to my understanding, it’s being held on the high school campus. I read a few highly obtuse comments when someone pointed out that the school is condoning racial discrimination, and someone posting that it’s not a racial thing but a religious/cultural one. This is fine and well, except…. I spoke with a few people who are of Middle Eastern descent, and this is what I was told: True followers of Islam do not view Western converts as being true Muslim. In fact, they actually have a word in Arabic for converts that effectively translate to “dogs of Islam,” and they consider them “reformed infidels.” Sorry to burst the bubbles of those Americans and Europeans who did convert, but you will never be put on the same social level of the Middle Easter Muslims in their eyes. They feel that the only TRUE Islamists are of Arabic descent like their prophet Muhammed, so yes… this actually does fall into the category of racial discrimination.

There was a guy in the thread regarding this story who actually said “Jewish Orthodox Schools” have Jewish only dances all the time. Yes, this is true, but you must realize that the Orthodox schools are parochial schools, which are not part of the public school system. They are private religious schools which are privately funded by way of tuition. There is no problem with this, as the students are enrolled their in order to not only learn the regular required curriculum, but also they learn the respective religion that the school was founded for and they learn the language of the founders of said religion. When a public school begins to favor one religion/culture over others, that’s where we have a problem. You see, a public school is paid for through the school district by way of tax dollars. To favor a religion/culture that is completely incompatible with the American way in a public school actually infringes on the beliefs and feelings of each and every individual tax payer, because they are being forced by the Government to pay for an event for a small group of people who are raised from day one to hate the American way and want to eradicate us from the face of the Earth. Yes, the Muslims in the Western World say it’s a “religion of peace” in order to catch Americans off guard. Yet it’s their Q’uran that says to convert the world to Islam, and kill those who will not. I can pretty much guarantee that if any other religious group demanded their own non-inclusive “prom” so that they could let their hair down and be themselves, they would be denied because it has no place in the public schools. Now think about this: When a public school, which is funded by tax money, does this… 95% of the individual tax payers (for argument’s sake) are being forced to fund an event for about 5% of the population who belong to this certain group that most Americans don’t agree with, we have a major problem. By testing the waters with what seems to be a harmless “prom” in which ONLY Muslim girls are allowed to attend, their group as a whole will start doing other things that American tax payers will foot the bill for. This is called a “silent invasion,” and the people on the far left will go right along with it, until it’s too late! It won’t be long until our freedoms and women’s rights start to be stripped away little by little.

My second issue is a little bit different than the first. Recently New Orleans removed a statue of Jefferson Davis, and Robert E. Lee is next on the chopping block along with other memorials, because a few people are “offended” by these images of American history. The fate of these memorials are not put to a vote by the people of the South, but are being decided by a small handful of only a few people. One thing they do not realize is that the men depicted by these statues were in fact regarded as heroes of their day. They were not just historical figures of a dark time in American history, but are also visual memorials to men who still have living descendants today. This is NOT ancient history… this only happened a few generations ago. Not only have the Southern people had their voices taken away at the whim of some City Officials, but the families who like seeing a life-like image of their ancestors have not been consulted about the removals of these statues. If you want to take them out of town squares, at least have the decency to give the direct descendants of these men the opportunity to have these statues! 

I understand that they might be painful to look at for certain groups of people, but the fact of the matter remains that these serve as reminders that America was not always a friendly place to all of the people residing within her borders. By removing them, you are depriving our youth of American history! Taking the statues down because a few people are “offended” and never speaking of the Civil War again will not erase history. In fact, you can’t simply erase history because the fact remains that it DID happen, and you can’t go back in time to change that! Sit in front of these statues with your kids, teach them about the Civil War in all of it’s atrocities, and remember that this historical event helped to shape this Nation into the country we have today! Don’t take out the visuals and simply ignore it! To do so is irresponsible and just plain stupid. You can’t rewrite history… what you can do is learn from it and be thankful for all you have today. Removing these visual reminders is a major cop-out, is disrespectful, and does a great disservice to your ancestors who had to overcome major obstacles in order for you to even be here today. You must learn so that history doesn’t repeat itself in a mere two or three generations, which it will if you just stick your head in the proverbial sand. Shame on all of you who are doing this! Again, to you these visuals represent slavery and other terrible things, but to others they represent family and where they came from!  You are hurting the descendants of these men because you are offended and overly sensitive. Yet, if someone were to remove a statue of Martin Luther King Jr., or Rosa Parks, there would be a major uproar! Honestly, I am so sick and tired of people trying to hold our generation accountable for things that our ancestors did over 150 years ago! Grow up, learn, and use the grey matter between your ears for something other than hair fertilizer!

Flag Burning Fad

I have been reading many posts today about people burning and desecrating our beloved United States flag. Honestly, I don’t know why anyone would be so crass as to think that’s even remotely okay. I completely understand our younger generation especially is frustrated with the Government right now. Millennials don’t seem to comprehend how the political machine functions, which is really sad and something I blame on the school system. In fact, I just asked my 12 year old daughter today (who is in the 6th grade) if she even has a history class. She informed me that they don’t start teaching history until the 7th grade! 

I remember when I was in school. History was actually one of my favorite subjects… next to English, of course. I especially loved ancient history and learning about human civilizations pre-Christianity and pre-Muslim. We learned about the two World Wars, Vietnam, the Korean War, the Civil War, the War of 1812, and of course… the Revolutionary War. I learned about the history of the American flag and it’s very powerful symbolism when it comes to the freedoms we enjoy today in America. When you see our flag, you feel safe because you know how much blood was shed so that She could fly free and proud over this land. Before you start asking things like “What about the people who were here before who had their land stolen.” I will head you off right now by saying that is NOT the point behind my writing this, and that’s a story for another day (not that I don’t take Native American history seriously… I do. In fact, I have Native ancestry myself and advocate on behalf of that heritage, because I know the Tribal injustices that still continue to this day). This story is about our flag and the punks who take it for granted in this day and age.

It truly does hurt my heart and soul when I see photos or videos circulating showing people…. Our OWN people… burning, stomping on, maiming, defecating on, urinating on, or treating it in various other disrespectful manners. 95% of the time (possibly even more) it’s our youth doing it, too. As if it’s some new fad in order to get their video or photo to go viral! I’m almost certain that because the schools focus less on history these days, to our youth, the flag is nothing more than a piece of cloth that flies over schools and other Government buildings. These kids equate the flag with the Government, and while this is true to a degree, it’s so much more! I’m hoping that just cleared up the beginning of this post, and why I was speaking of schools and history class.

My father was in the Army when he was 19, in 1955. He would tell me very little about his days in the Army, and I know something traumatic must have happened to him there with as heavily as he drank and the fact that he would always change the subject when I would ask him about those days. He had started college to become a Pharmacist at USC (his nickname was “Trojan Man,” haha), when he was drafted. He told me that every morning at bugle call, and 04:00 hours SHARP, the men in his barracks had to be up, dressed, and ready for Flag Duty. This was during Boot Camp, of course. He wasn’t on the Color Guard, but he WAS responsible for helping to gingerly unfold the flag, attach it to the pole, and raise it as everyone saluted it. Every night at 20:00 hours (8:00pm) they would go back to the pole, lower the flag and dismount her from her rope, and with a lot of pomp and circumstance he and another of his barrack mates would just as gingerly fold the flag in a triangle. That flag had to be folded just right, meaning that there could be ZERO red and/or white showing. Just a blue triangle spangled with stars. If the stripes could be seen, they would have to unfold and refold until it was exactly correct, otherwise it would cut into everyone’s mess time. For those of you who aren’t familiar with some of the military terms, the mess hall was where you were generally served SOS (aptly nicknamed “Shit On a Shingle”), which was chipped meat in a white gravy sauce slopped over a piece of toast. My dad would tell me that the more you cut into the men’s mess time (which was already short to begin with), you would usually wake up in the middle of the night sans pillow, blanket, and socks! So yes, they took flag duty VERY seriously. Why? Because it was an honor and a privilege to be charged with such a duty. If it touched the ground at all, the men were taken for disciplinary action which usually consisted of scrubbing the bathroom with little more than a toothbrush.

As far as I know, my dad never saw active duty, even though he was stationed in France and could be called to fight in Korea at any given time. In fact, my oldest brother was born on the base in Verdun to my father and his first wife, Donna. Since my dad had to be over there for 2 years, the second Donna found out she was pregnant with my brother, my dad arranged with the Army to fly her to France to stay with him until he was sent back home to the US.

As you can see, for ME, the flag holds great significance after learning this from my dad, and I was always taught that no matter how upset you may be with the Government, that flag represents the free world. So yes, I get very upset when I see videos of these little thugs doing unspeakable things to Her. The way they disgrace the flag tells me that they really don’t understand how free we really are here, even though at times it may not seem like it. We are the one country on this beautiful Earth where we can worship who and what we want, and aren’t forced to be members of any one religion. Our women can vote, run for high office positions up to and including the Presidency. Our women can drive, wear skimpy clothing, drive cars, walk the streets without a male chaperone, and even raise a family on her own. It is not against the law to be Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, or Transsexual. Our people can hold office no matter their sexual identity (I.E. Harvey Milk). Our Government doesn’t intrude into our personal lives unless there is an actual reason (I.E. suspected of having ties to terrorist organizations). Yet we do have people in this country who wish to take away those freedoms, or suppress our Constitutional rights. As a registered Democrat, I am sad to say it seems that the Liberal side is the one who wants to stomp out those rights, which to me is very disturbing. I see it more and more on social media with the attitude of “do and say what you want, unless you disagree with me.” The Liberal side appears to be the flag burning instigator, which strikes me as bizarre because in doing so, they are “protesting” the Government, while wanting BIGGER Government along with all of it’s freebies. I honestly think that these people are less Liberal and more Socialist, which means they want to be guided and told what to do by Government structure while at the same time speaking out against it. I have come to learn through observing what’s going on in the world that more often than not, Socialist countries have a foothold in Communist ideals. It’s really not that much of a leap when you think about it. Socialist and Communist countries alike will have Socialized programs such as healthcare… effectively, they take your tax money and then tell you how to live, where to work, when to work, how you can travel, where you can travel, how many children you can have. The Government has ultimate control over the lives of the constituents. While yes, we do have socialized programs in the United States, we have found a way to maintain them without forcing it on everyone. Welfare is meant to get you back on your feet during tough financial times, but it’s not mandatory. That’s what was so scary about the Obamacare (AKA The Affordable Healthcare Act), by requiring everyone to maintain health insurance or else pay the tax penalty at the end of the year. 

Our Millennials reached adulthood during the 8 years of President Obama. They went from mom and dad taking care of them to the Government taking care of them, so naturally they don’t want anything to change because that would mean they have to stand on their own two feet just like the older generation had to. Now that they are facing the reality of a smaller Government, which would force them to fend for themselves, it’s no wonder they are freaking out and protesting because they weren’t raised with the tools and values we had in order to make it in life. I would love to teach these kids what real Socialism and/or Communism is like, and what it would be like to live under one of those regimes. We need more people to speak in schools who have defected from countries like Russia, North Korea, or pretty much ANYWHERE in the Middle East so they can teach these kids that it’s not the Utopian lifestyle they have fantasized it to be. Perhaps then, they would learn to have a little more respect for the flag and what She stands for. They would realize that She flies over this land as a symbol of the blood that was shed to become a Nation where we had our own Government, women can walk and talk freely and be independent, the LGBTQ Community doesn’t have to fear death under State sanctions…. Christians, Jews, Pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Sikhs, Atheists, Scientologists, and Satanists can all worship (or not) freely either at home or a Temple, without fear of persecution. They would have more understanding as to WHY some of our freedoms have been scaled back; not because of a power trip, but because countries who don’t like the Western way of life has put us at risk and our Government is trying to keep our country safe. I don’t necessarily agree with everything that goes on in D.C. myself, and I think that things could be done in a more intelligent manner with the right leaders, but I’m not going to disgrace our country because I’m having a temper tantrum to get attention.

So if you are thinking that burning the one symbol of the things we have, think about the countries that DON’T have what we do. Just the other day, I was reading an article from a North Korean defector who has now been in the USA for a few years and is proudly working on his citizenship LEGALLY. His story was horrifying, because North Korea is basically a country that has been turned into a minimum security prison that houses millions of innocent civilians, complete with Concentration “Death” Camps for those who don’t follow the rules. Every home is REQUIRED to have a picture of the regime’s founder on display in a clean and well kept picture frame. Military Police come do a weekly house check, and one little crack in the glass on said frame will land you in one of the Concentration Camps. Sometimes, that little crack is punishable by death! No religion is allowed… it’s an Atheist country. You are ONLY allowed to worship the founder. Food for the people is rationed out, and outside of the capital city of Pyongyang, people are literally starving to death. A very minor infraction means you may lose your food rations for the week. Dictator “Fatty Kim” makes WWII Germany (and even the Middle East) look like summer camp! Trying to leave the country for ANY reason outside of “State Sanctioned Travel” means death by firing squad, and if you happen to be lucky enough to make it out, you may as well consider yourself as having no family, because they will be massacred. Hell, even with all of their inhumane practices in the Middle East, those countries even have more freedoms than North Korea with it’s Totalitarian regime.

Please think very VERY hard about this next time you want to say you are oppressed in America, because believe me when I tell you, you most certainly are NOT. Think about this next time you want to control what other people think, say, or do. Definitely think about this next time you want to burn our beautiful flag, because THAT symbol means that you do not have to mind your P’s and Q’s every second of the day with the constant threat of a long and painful death hanging over your head or the heads of your loved ones. As much as some people want to play the oppressed “victim” here, the only true “oppression” is in their minds. With that being said, I bid you peace, and I hope I have given you something to think long and hard about.

~Kristi Sustrick~

Racism Within Sovereign Nations

​Just in case you all are wondering about my rant a short time ago, it is because of this… I have basically been told (in not so many words) that I should completely forget about my mom’s side of the family and only claim my father’s. You see, this was never a problem UNTIL it was found out that my mother recently married an Israeli/American man! Why? Because APPARENTLY these people dislike Jews! This is the same mindset of the American minorities who voted for Obama because he was black, and it’s well known that his mother was white…. making him HALF WHITE. However, he completely tossed her side of the family under the bus in order to gain favor with the minority groups. I find this highly dishonorable and insulting, because it takes BOTH parents to make you, and they may both be from different cultural backgrounds from entirely different parts of the world! I don’t give a flying fuck whether you think I should choose one parent over the other, because I love them both equally. My own father passed away some 10 years ago, so is my mother to never find happiness in her life again just to make MY life less complicated? No. I was told I was taking away from the Siksika people… HOW, exactly? I’m not enrolled, I don’t get benefits, I don’t plan to live on the Rez, and I never plan to be in that part of the world. It doesn’t change the fact that it IS part of my blood heritage, and it’s something I am very proud of. My great grandmother passed away right before my 10th birthday, but not before she told me the stories of her people and how her own mother was a young survivor of the Marias River Massacre at the age of 12! She watched as her entire family was slaughtered, and held her younger didter in her arms as she died. So you know what? I am damned LUCKY to be here right now, because if ANYTHING had changed in that point in history, I would not be here today. I have learned her language, and was happy to finally have someone to speak it with. I’m tired of this racist nonsense! I have settler blood yes… so what?? I live in the Southwest, so there is only so much I can do from here, especially being poor. I was accused of profiting from my blood claim. Again…. HOW? I take NOTHING from the Niistitaapii, yet I help out when I can by sending things like money and clothing anonymously when a tragedy happens such as the displacement of people when there was a huge flood. With most of my dad’s side of the family gone, I have noone else to teach me anymore than I already know except by my own studies. I don’t need an enrollment card to tell me who I am, and after experiencing this bigotry from people I have talked to for years just because my mother who has no indiginous blood married a man who is part Israeli, I don’t know that I want to further persue finding out who my blood relations are on my father’s side. I have no time for that bullshit, and if you don’t like it, then unfollow me. I AM Aamskaapiipikanii, but I am ALSO Celt. Deal with it and move on! I didn’t choose who I was born to and I didn’t choose my bloodlines! The more I think about this, the more pissed off I get. How DARE you? I HAVE given and have asked for NOTHING in return, so again, how exactly am I taking away from the people? I can only do so much from where I live. I am comfortable in my own skin and I have honor, and that’s what counts. I don’t need racist, anti-semetic, stuck up people around me. I can’t change my blood, but I can change who I associate with. I have better things to do with my time than squabble over who has a larger amount of First Nations blood. You speak of how offensive it is that I come from three different bloodlines because two are settler bloodlines? I find it HIGHLY offensive that you only have a problem with it when you find out my settler mother married an Israeli! Suck it up, buttercup, because us mutts are out here. Oh, and have you ANY clue how difficult it is finding information from a Native torn adoption from over a CENTURY ago? It’s VERY difficult! Do you know why that is? Because most of the time there were no records… just “here you go, rename and raise this one as white.”  

A Philosophical Conundrum Regarding Today’s Politics

In this blog, I am not going to add any fun pictures. I am not going to rant. I am simply going to compose my thoughts on our recent political situation, which seems to have vastly mutated over the past 8 years… and certainly over this past election season.

I have been educating myself on many different things, and politics became a very interesting topic to me because I have been watching events unfold where people are trying to supress our basic 1st Amendment Right to Free Speech if they do not agree with our views. Often with violence, which in and of itself is puzzling to say the least. 

As a registered Democrat, I am actually embarrased by the behavior of the far left “Liberals.” I try to keep in mind that the vast majority of them have grown up into adulthood during the Obama Adminstration. When Obama ran (and yes, I’ll catch Hell for this), I saw through his charismatic facade as he was “Uniting  the People.” The oddity became apparent when I noticed that he wasn’t uniting, but in reality he was dividing… by race, social class, giving leeway to the BLM, sexuality, and religion. In the beginning it actually became apparent that his views on religion were skewed to say the least by being spotted at both a Mosque (in the beginning of his Presidency) and a Christian church. Then his birth certificate came under intense scrutiny. You see, I actually do know the difference between a “Live Birth Certificate,” and a “Certificate of Live Birth,” because my stepfamily (Sister, neices, nephews) reside in Israel. My Step-Sister has dual citizenship between the United States and Israel, as does my Step-Father, who actually resides in the US. Before my nieces and nephews turned 18, they had to come to America, and go to the State that my Step-Dad lives in, in order to get the “Live Birth Certificate.” (I may have the two mixed up, so I will confirm with my Israeli family and edit when I can). One says you were born on US soil. The other says you were born in a foreign country, but have confirmation of birth to a United States Citizen living abroad (generally equating in a dual citizenship). When my oldest nephew was taken to the State Capitol, he was sworn in as a US Citizen, and granted a US Birth Certificate, even though he was born and raised in Israel. This included his photo on the Certificate… I still suspect this is what Obama has. This first hand knowledge alone was enough to make me raise the proverbial eyebrow, especially since the press had leaked that Obama went to College on a Foreign Student Scholarship right before his school records were sealed. Again, whether this is true or not, I cannot confirm myself and therefore is based on pure speculation. The end result was that I did not vote for him either time because he lost my trust.

Now, after his two terms are up, I am watching these college aged “Liberals” wreak havoc, as they had grown up under the most basic Socialist Ideology. Again, they do their damndest to supress other people’s Freedom of Speech when they do not agree. They refuse to engage in healthy debate, and effectively parrot (almost verbatim) what the Liberal Mainstream Media was saying about Trump. I can guarantee you that 90% of those people had never even HEARD the word “Xenophobia” before this, and probably never bothered to look up the meaning. It literally means an unfounded fear of strangers! Now they toss around their shiny new word (along with the “Islamaphobia” which was literally created by the far left. It would mean an unfounded fear of Islam, but if you read the Q’uran, you will see this fear is NOT unfounded, but a very real concern based on the texts of Islam itself according to people who were raised in and converted from Islam).

Therefore, I decided to further look into the political machine and peel back it’s layers. I never really identified with the Republican party because they have lost touch with the meaning of Conservative. They have tweaked it into something very Christian and also oppressive. However, I agree with some of it… smaller Government, conservative fiscal spending, etc. Then I found a kindred spirit in Mark Pellegrino as the Co-Founder of the Capitalist Movement. I listened intently to an interview he had with Dave Rubin of The Rubin Report, along with some personal guidance and explanations, and what he laid out actually made sense to me in it’s entirety, because it’s rooted in individual accountability (and yes, much more that I’m still learning. Im relatively new to this realm). It literally takes the best of both parties and forms something that creates a Political Balance… a very “middle of the road” approach. It taught me that I no longer fit into today’s version of the Democratic Party, because the FAR left (or “regressive left,” as Rubin called it) has become in and of itself oppressive and frightening. Almost Communistic/Marxist in it’s ideology… political correctness (having to carefully choose every word so as not to hurt delicate feelings), supression of the 1st Amendment, rioting, vandalizing property, and becoming violent toward other individuals when they don’t get their way.

So after a long explanation, I will now get on to my question. Has the Democratic Party mutated into something unrecognizable in the last decade? Or has this always been there, and I’m just now seeing it as I get older, wiser, and more educated on the political front? Yes, I am a registered Democrat… yes, I still have Liberal ideals that lay somewhere in the middle of that and Conservative… and yes, I HAVE been paying more attention to what’s going on and no longer living in my own little bubble. However, I am embarrased by what it’s become, and I will more likely than not be changing my party affiliation to Independent. I have come out of my little hermit crab shell, and looking for something that has a better fit. 

With all that being said, I will close this out by saying that in order to truly be at peace in this country, we need to accept each other… Not within the circles of social labels given to us (right, left, liberal, conservative, LGBTQ, Christian, Athiest, Pagan, Muslim, Black, White, Brown, or Red), and unite as individuals. We need to accept people for who they are, because to do anything otherwise is dangerous to our civilization. Don’t live your life to be a label, but live it for YOU. Peace be with you all!

~Kristi S~

In the Wake of the Pro-Life March… An Emotional Journey

​I am about to embark on a very touchy and controversial subject in the wake of the Pro-Life March that was held in DC…. My thoughts on abortion. I feel that it is my duty as a woman to put a few things into perspective for both sides based on my own opinion, observations, and life experiences. I always try to put a great deal of thought and rationale into these subjects because each side wants to control individual rights and morals. There has got to be a middle ground on which both sides can agree, and I intend to try and find it by standing on the fence and looking at both sides. 

You see, the Pro-Choice people want to force the Pro-Life people to fund things via their tax dollars that they find morally abhorrent. On the other side, the Pro-Life people want to force the Pro-Choice people to give up their freedom to choose what is right for them, even in extreme cases. We can only live the life that was given to us, and do what we feel is right for ourselves. Nobody, on either side, has the right to dictate what should or shouldn’t happen to another person, because everyone lives a different life with different lifestyles. 

I consider myself Pro-Choice, but with moral restrictions because I don’t seem to fit in with the “social norm.” I feel this way based on my own life experiences because to be honest, I am extremely lucky to even be alive right now… I should have been dead twice over, but I am here because I do have that choice and freedom. I went through not one, but two terminations in my 20’s. The first one was when I was finally free of my ex-husband who I already had two girls with. He was a very drunk and very abusive man 95% of the time, and one night when my daughters (who were VERY young at the time) were up north with my mother, he had raped and beaten me so brutally that I was almost unrecognizable. He had pretty much left me for dead as I lost consciousness and he ran out of the apartment. Luckily, the downstairs neighbor had heard the commotion and called the police, who arrived very quickly. I came to find out later that the sirens were the reason for my (then) husband running out. I woke on my living room floor to the faces of cops and paramedics shining a light into my eyes to make sure I didn’t have a concussion. Finally they sat me upright, and let me call a friend I worked with to come and take me to the hospital since I didn’t want to go in an ambulance and I had to answer the officer’s questions anyway. My friend arrived as the officers were finishing up with their “photography session” to document every cut, scrape, and bruise on my body. 

We arrived at the hospital an hour later, and the doctors stitched me up nicely. They didn’t do a rape kit since 1. I knew my assailant and 2. “marital rape” wasn’t taken seriously then. Believe me, it IS a thing… and something I wouldn’t wish upon my worst enemy. Shortly after that, I went to spend two weeks with my parents in Southern Utah, and they tried to no avail to get me to stay there with them for six months to establish residency and file for divorce. I couldn’t do that, however. I had a support system in Nevada, and I knew I had to come back to face my demons and get my life together, so back I came, and stayed with my friend while I went through the divorce process. It was during this time that I found out that I was a couple of weeks pregnant, and also found myself in a position to make the most difficult decision of my entire life… do I go through with this pregnancy that was a byproduct of terror, knowing that it would tie me even more to the man I was fighting tooth and nail to sever all ties with? I already had to children with him, and as a newly single mother, I most likely would have ended up going back for the duration of the pregnancy since I wouldn’t be able to work and cover my living expenses while raising the kids I already had? Or do I terminate the pregnancy and eliminate the risk of one day being the victim of murder? I chose the latter because in finding myself well and truly on my own for the first time, this was the right decision for me at the time. In hindsight, I can’t hold any regrets due to the circumstances at hand. Had my (now) ex found out that I was pregnant, there’s no way he would have let the divorce go through uncontested, and I most likely would have ended up back at square one. I would NOT become a victim again. Period.

The second time was a year and a half later with my 2nd husband, which surprised us both, since he was a Naval Veteran and had a mishap on his ship, thinking he could never have kids. We were quite shocked and happy, since we had just gotten married. Granted, he never wanted kids, and was gracious enough to be a father figure to my girls since they were a little bit older by now. My oldest was 4 at the time, and the idea of an infant terrified my (then) husband, but he started getting used to it. Then things took a turn for the worst with my health, and I started hemorrhaging and lost A LOT of weight. This was very dangerous considering my size, since I’m only 5’1” and 110 lbs. I lost ten pounds and my hip bones and ribs were starting to show. So we rushed to the OB/GYN only to find out that the fetus had not connected properly to the womb, and I would be lucky if I made it to 5 months… no doubt losing the baby AND my life. The thought of my two girls growing up without a mother made this decision a no-brainer for me, and I took the doctor’s advice and terminated. Of course, this put a major strain on my marriage, and after only being married for a year, we divorced and we each went our own way.

I look back on all of this now, and while on one hand, I will always wonder how these kids would have turned out… it weighs on me every single day. Then I met a good man, with whom I have been with for almost 20 years now. A little over 12 years ago, we found out that we were going to have a little girl, and although it was a difficult pregnancy toward the end, we had our beautiful and brilliant Cheyenne on February 4, 2005! She will be 12 years old next week, and she blows me out of the water every single day. I look at her and know that my past decisions paved the way to my bringing this wonderful and talented girl into the world, and therefore I find that I can’t dwell on things that happened 2 decades ago.

You might be wondering why I am opening up about this now with my dark past, but I am hoping this will shed a light on why I feel the way I do. Women go through things like this every day in every walk of life, and can do so safely with the decision of Roe v Wade. However, I also feel that a termination should not be used as a form of birth control, nor should a woman terminate past 12 weeks. Life is truly a gift, and should be treated as such. Should Roe v Wade ever be jeopardized, I hope that other women who have had similar experiences step up, speak out, and tell their stories, because let’s face it… without this protection, the loss of life will be much more than anyone might think.

Now on my thoughts of Pro-Life people. I fully understand and respect their stance as well, because with Government funding of places like Planned Parenthood, those funds are taken out of taxpayer’s dollars, thus forcing people who are strictly against abortion to fund something they find morally reprehensible. I can completely understand. Taking Federal funding out of the equation does not mean that PP would have to close down or go away. It does not mean that they can no longer practice. It merely means that they need to find funding through private donations. They provide some great services, which seem to conveniently be forgotten about. They provide annual screenings for women, they DO provide short term prenatal care at a very low cost for new mothers who are pending on their insurance (whether it be Medicaid or Private), then they refer them to an OB/GYN when their insurance is approved to cover it. My oldest daughter, who is now 24, had to go to them when she first found out that she was pregnant with my granddaughter, and they provided her prenatal care and ultrasounds until her insurance went into effect. My beautiful granddaughter will be two this April! I add this because I want you to understand that places like this can also be detrimental to female health and wellness.

I just read that the Chili’s Restaurant chain was going to donate proceeds from their sales to Planned Parenthood, and they ended up having to squash the idea, because they were losing business. Again, it was forcing people who are against the idea of abortion to put their money to the one thing they do not want to pay for. Granted, the idea that Chili’s had was a good one, as they were only trying to help, but instead of donating proceeds from their entire menu, the better strategy would have been to put one or two items on their menu that would go for donations, so that Pro-Life people would have the choice as to whether or not they wanted to order those items. 

In my honest opinion, I feel that both sides have become too politically motivated in their movements. I understand both sides because I have been there. The more I think about it, the more I realize I’m not on EITHER side, because I have been through extenuating circumstances and I know how it feels post abortion. I have come to a peace with myself that I am not the strong person I have become despite the things I have been through, but BECAUSE of them. This is why I wish both sides could come to a middle ground… almost a truce of sorts, and an understanding of each other. The group mentality doesn’t work for me, because I could care less about what one group or the other may think about me. Each side is trying to force their beliefs on one another, and that creates a social divide that in time if not addressed, will be beyond repair. 

This is the first time in almost 20 years that I have allowed myself to relive the horror and fear I felt in both instances, and it cuts me to the quick as I type this. Let me be clear in saying, this is the raw reality that will hopefully get both sides to understand the repercussions of overturning Roe v Wade. Live and let live, and remember that you do not live in another persons situation. You live in your own. Respect one another and their personal choices. If you don’t believe in abortion for any reason, that is perfectly fine and your decision… but you don’t get to choose what I do with my personal rights, choices, and beliefs… because that, my sweethearts, is called “Dictatorship.” 

~Kristi S~