Sunday, August 4, 2019

what are they thinking?

I wonder about the thoughts of law enforcement.  I am told that there is a higher percentage of conservatives in law enforcement than liberals - however the word "liberal" has been vilified so much that I doubt anyone with a law enforcement job would use that word to describe themselves in any way.

Is law enforcement a culture of conservatism?  Mostly?  How much?  I have been looking for hard numbers, a survey, anything, but I'm coming up short.  Media leads us to believe law enforcement skews right, but I'd like to see some stats.

Robert Mueller's team is an interesting example.  The claim is that most of the team are Republicans.  Are most of law enforcement - police, FBI, state police, etc. - conservatives/Republicans?

And if they are, what are they thinking when they ever so gently arrest someone like the murdering white supremacist in El Paso yesterday?

When a trump supporter is faced with apprehending a mass murderer who is a trump supporter, what are they thinking as they take him in? Are there enough hard-right law enforcement that we need to seriously worry about what's happening underneath all the so-called "lone-wolfing"? 

How many white supremacists are there operating actively?  And how many law enforcement are part of the network?

Because the internet has made it easy to have that network. Because we know that network exists, and a lot of it is right out in plain sight, like the vast majority of these mass murderers being white supremacists.  There's more than this commonality, and if it's a pattern, which I think it is, there's no such thing as a lone wolf.  You're seeing a white supremacist terroristic effort, aided and abetted by the words of trump and the inaction of McConnell.  Full stop, this blood is on their hands.

We had a second scenario happen within hours of the first.  Armed to the teeth and covered in body armor, another man opened fire on the public, this time in Ohio.  Within hours.  Hours.  This scenario ended with law enforcement killing the shooter.  The murderer was wearing a face mask, so his race and affiliations are unknown at the time of this writing, but witnesses have stated the murderer was white. 

The El Paso murdering white supremacist was taken alive.  We assume he will answer for his crimes.  The thoughts and prayers from the instigators and enablers in our government ring particularly hollow.  After blocking all legislation that could do something about this, McConnell will have a hard time pretending like he can't do anything about it.  He's already done something about it - he failed to act on behalf of the people to protect them, and protected the money he receives from gun lobbyists instead. 

The occupant of the white house laughed at a rally of his when a supporter said we could solve the migrant problem by shooting them. 

The occupant of the white house who has been stiffing law enforcement the bills for protecting his klan rallies.  He doesn't pay the cops the money he owes them.  The (allegedly) mostly-conservatives cops.  He. Doesn't. Pay. Them.  Are they cool with that?

So, when that happens, when trump screws his own supporters on the bill, does a trump supporting member of law enforcement think maybe he's not their guy?  Or do they double down on thinking he's their guy, because finally there's a racist just like them occupying the white house?

What are they thinking?

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

not one, but two

PTSD fucking sucks.  I have it, but I wasn't officially diagnosed with it until I was 48.  This is my story.

"Not one, but two" refers to the people that (my first impulse is to write "ruined my life" here, but that's not the whole truth, it's just my first impulse) molested me before I was ten.  It's significant because for a lot of my life I was unaware of the second.

The first was a judge.  I don't know what kind of judge he was, I don't know really how to accurately spell his name, but he was known in the (white, suburban, upper-middle-class) neighborhood as a bit creepy. An older neighbor friend of mine told me he always made women uncomfortable at neighborhood functions because of his "open-mouthed kisses."

What he did to me I will not detail here because the thought of providing wank material to pedophiles on the internet makes me physically ill.  But a point that a lot of people like to make is that I was not technically raped.  It is often repeated to me by people who learn what happened. Therapists, friends, family. They all like to point out that I was not penetrated by his penis, therefore I was not raped.

I was a child of six.  The distinction is fucking meaningless.  I'm glad I was not brutalized further, but trying to box my trauma into being not so bad because he didn't force his penis inside me is sickening.  What he did to me has obviously scarred me for life, so the idea that I should be fine because that specific thing did not happen is, plainly and simply, wrong.

He's dead now.  Neighbors called me the moment he died.

And I got on.  I moved on, I built a life, got married, got (almost immediately) divorced, I roved from place to place, I got a degree.  I moved a lot.  I've lived in five different cities.  I never grew moss.  I never committed to anything - friends, lovers, locations - for long.

Then, when I was thirty-eight, on a trip back to Pennsylvania to visit with the family, all hell broke loose in my mind.

We - my immediate family and their various spouses and children - were at an Elvis impersonator show.  I remember how much fun we were having and how great the impersonator was (I particularly loved when he changed outfits - which was often), and how great it was to be out with my family - of which most members are ridiculously hilarious, so being with them is always a great time.

I remember.  I remember the sun shining, the shirt I wore (a loaner from mum), I remember sitting with mum, my sister, my older brother, and maybe dad... I think my younger brother was corralling the kids.

When my sister told me a friend from childhood had committed suicide.

What happened next was like a explosion in my mind.  My mouth barked, "I know why" even before I knew what I was saying or what happened to me.

And the memories, what her father did to me, it all came like a punch.  Not like a flood.  It was all there, suddenly, all at once, everything my mind had shut away for thirty years.

What her father did to me.

How when I looked around for help, they had all turned their backs on me.

I was at a sleepover.

Her name was Lynette.  She was new, and I was always a sucker for the new kid.  She wasn't always nice, but I was naive and forgiving.  She had me and another friend over that night.  We had pizza, I think.  I don't remember much about the night itself - I don't, to this day, remember much about that particular time in my life (my sister has informed me that Lynette had two older sisters, but to this day I don't remember them at all, not their faces, not their names, nothing) - but I remember now, doing the dishes.  I remember him coming behind me and pressing his erection against my back, over and over as my chest bruised on the sink.

I was doing the dishes.

I looked up at him and smiled because my little eight-year-old brain did not know what was happening other than what could I do? What could I do? What could I do?

Looking behind him to see everyone in the room with their backs turned.

The smile, and the backs, and the pain, I remember.  I hate myself for that smile.  I have never forgiven myself for that smile.  I have locked this entire portion of my own life away inside my own psyche over that smile.

And the backs.  I looked for help, and there was none.  It was worse.  Not only was there no help, but I thought help was in reach.  It was right there, but it turned it's back on me.


Mental health is stigmatized.  So much so that I still battle explaining wanting to spend money on therapy to members of my family.

I learned that certain types of abuse in childhood stunts portions of brain growth.  Brain damage, essentially.  Learning this was woeful - will I ever learn to use parts of my brain that might be lost?  Are they lost?  Will I ever trust?

But I still haven't had proper therapy.

I'm looking.

I do have a psychiatrist, but he's more about the prescription than about therapy.  And I need that prescription.  I spent most of my life in an inexplicable rage, and I was lucky enough to find a drug that worked (without wooziness or fogginess or feeling like a robot) almost right away.  It released me from almost fifty years of rage that I didn't even know I had.

Finding someone who can treat PTSD caused by childhood sexual trauma has not been easy.  But I continue to look.

Every day, every single day, I am happy that I finally got on the medication that removed the rage. It's not enough, it's not nearly enough, but I am trying to get the rest.

Mental health impairment can happen to you - to you - it's not necessarily what you are born with.  And those cases are important, too.  But my story, my mental health, that was done to me.  By not one man, but two.

Now that I know it wasn't one, but two, I want help more than anything.  I want therapy more than anything.  I want to know how to deal with this, how to trust people, because I am holding the world at arm's length.

What I want, is to state that what happened to me isn't unique.  Repressed memories happen, that's what my brain did, but other brains are different.  Nobody's journey is invalid or less than anyone else's.

And mental health isn't to be stigmatized.  There are many, many, people out there that need help.  Not vilification, not condescension.

It is far more common than you think.

Friday, March 22, 2019

the A word

I have not yet heard an anti-abortion argument that doesn't fall apart on examination.  Most are baldly incorrect on their face.  It really shouldn't even be an argument at this point, but I'll tell you why we are having this argument.  I'll tell you why this is such an issue for so many conservatives.

It's a foundation.  It's a first brick to build on.  It's cracking the door open to get back to what they really, really want in their dark little hearts:  slavery.

The beginning is this, codifying woman as a second-class citizen.  That is why they fight to give a fetus more rights to a woman's body than the woman has.  It's the first step, the wedge, the thing that they can nurture and grow like foul little weeds.

A question not pondered by the ignorant, mostly religious, base pushing giving more rights to a potential human than to an actual human:  what's to stop you, once you've done this, from doing more?

Once they have codified in law that a woman is a second-class citizen, that a fetus is considered more human than women, what's to stop them there?  Do you trust your leaders to just stop there?

Never-mind how you propose to regulate these laws once you've removed all clinics, because I'm going to go ahead and assume you've already planned to regulate internet purchases of abortion drugs, etc.  Let's stay focused on the question at hand.

What happens to women now that a law is made that declares them as second-class citizens?

Would current conservative leaders stop there?  Would they?  Once a woman has no say about her body, what's to stop them from more, from worse, from abuse because now it's ok by law?

Anti-abortionists:  do you think your goals will stop with your goal?  Do you believe that rendering women as second-class-citizens won't result in atrocious abuse?  Murder?  Do you believe that rendering women as less-than other citizens will result in anything other than horror?

A brick in the wall of slavery, they're just dying to build again.  They want women slaves, they want men slaves, they just want slaves again.  It's kinda what's behind a lot of the bullshit now - libertarian values on down. Totalitarian rulers with a slavery citizenry.  It makes them drool at night.

More success with bricks is being made with laws and judiciary.  This excellent summary from Senator Whitehouse explains other ways the bricks are formed and put into place.

This idea that the goal is slavery is the idea.  Those that drive it, pay for it, have been making it happen, don't actually admit it to each other, or indeed speak it aloud.  Horrible word!  So they discuss instead every step along the way, every brick formed and placed, and all comes to the same result anyway.  Enslavement.

Another excellent bit of reading on the subject is this book.  The true Libertarian believes in liberty, all right - for the "property owner".  You must be wealthy to have political power and say.  In the United States, that's how the government largely ran, in a time when property included slaves.  Property included human beings.  These ideas that drove the civil war haven't gone anywhere.  That's America's story, anyway.  Other countries have other stories, but most, if not all, countries have a slavery history somewhere back there, as well.

Owning people, enslaving people, is spectacularly profitable.

Consequently, the ideas that drive these shifts in our politics is a desire to have power concentrated at the top.  Only voting rights and policy shaping for the elite few, and the rest of us be damned.  It's how they avoid specifically stating they're hankering for slavery, by instead rather blithely stating that they want what they want, believe what they believe, without a thought as to how it affects anyone else.  If other citizens are not as immensely wealthy as they are, it's their own fault, and that wealth is the only way you get a seat at the table, the rest of the world be damned.

And when the rest of the world be damned, what you get is slavery.  Oh they might pretty it up, they might call it something else, they might provide just enough meager sustenance to the rest of us to keep up a work force, but not enough to provide strength to fight back.  Tale as old as time. Boils down to slavery.  Hitler did it, and he didn't even bother providing sustenance to his slaves.  He wanted - and achieved - a slavery workforce that he simply replaced as they expired.

I am unabashedly pro-choice.  I'm somewhat of a cheerleader for abortion, but that doesn't make me anything other than pro-CHOICE.  If you feel abortion is morally wrong, then you do not have to have one.  But relegating women into second-class citizenry - codifying it into law - is just plain wrong.  Abortion should not be anyone's business but the person that wants one and the qualified medical person providing it.

Removing the choice from a woman - making it law that we have less rights to our own bodies than any other humans - is wrong.  It.  Is.  Wrong.  Our bodies should be sovereignty - every born and living individual human on this planet.  Potential people should not have more rights than actual people.  This should not be a question.  And no matter what any anti-abortionist tells you - THIS IS THE REAL GOAL.  Their support of laws and bills and regulations that damage actual children's lives shows how little they actually care about children.  The real goal is to make woman less.  The first step to enslave her.