Amanda’s Social Media Round-up – 30Aug2017 – Hurricane Harvey

Due to being an avid user of social media, much of what I write is not on my blog.

This is a little of what I’m writing when I’m away.

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I hope homeowners in the flood areas are protected during recovery. We must work to protect those who are the most vulnerable.

Come on! Feel free to pray and send good thoughts, but also send those $$$!

Again, send $$! No funeral home will bury family members using only prayers as payment.

25 inches of rain in one night!! This is an insane amount of water.

I’m saving this one here, because, it’s crazy! A highway turned into a full river!

Important rescue numbers to call if needed!

 

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, be happy, and take time to love one another. We’re all in this together.

 

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(Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine & chocolate induced updates you can handle. Plus, if you’re feeling extra froggy today, go ahead and jump on that Twitter share button too! It doesn’t even hurt! 🙂  )

*Copyright statement for art, photos, or memes located in “about” section.

SecDef Mattis protects his “children” – Delays Trump’s Transgender Ban

SecDef Mattis protects his “children” – Delays Trump’s Transgender Ban

I can’t even begin to say how happy I am about this. knows 15,000 transgender troops serve in the military. The “Monk General”, who claims the military as his family, won’t abandon those who are already serving.

I’m not saying he won’t implement this plan sometime in the far future, but Mattis isn’t going to follow POTUS Trump’s plan to ban these military members immediately and uproot their careers and families. All of these transgender military members have served in battle and/or served supporting the war cause.  To uproot them from their careers and homes would not only do a disservice to them, but also negativity affect morale and combat readiness in their units.

Mattis Says Panel Will Study Trump’s Transgender Ban

Mattis - Transgender

What Mattis has done with his delay, based on future planning and talks with those already serving, is put into place options for those serving. It gives them breathing room to decide what they really wish to do. Some transgender military members may make other plans  in the civilian sector, put in a retirement packet, or continue serving and see what happens in the next election.

Some people say he should do more and stop POTUS Trump in his tracks. That would only lead to Mattis being fired for a more Trump friendly general. This would do nothing but harm any LGBTQ in the military and no one wants that.

Mattis has agreed to some of Trump’s plans, but not destroying the careers of those serving. It’s unfair to those who want to join. I’m totally on board with that cause, but in such an ugly anti-LGBTQ environment, this is a compromise which saves the careers and families of 15,000 service men and women.

No matter what happens in the future, this delay helps everyone take a breath, step back, regroup, and decide a plan which is best for everyone.

Any delay to help those already serving is a good victory in my book.

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, be happy, and take time to love one another. We’re all in this together.

 

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(Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine & chocolate induced updates you can handle. Plus, if you’re feeling extra froggy today, go ahead and jump on that Twitter share button too! It doesn’t even hurt! 🙂  )

*Copyright statement for art, photos, or memes located in “about” section.

Happy Easter 2017

As we approach Easter 2017 – I offer some cute MEMES.

easter (9)

I’ve never owned a snake, but if I ever get one, I promise to do this with various animal ears. 🙂

easter (8)

The Platypus has so many different animal traits combined in one body, it needs it’s own holiday.

easter (7)

 

And of course, what is Easter without a cute little furry nose to curl up to. I wish for you and all your furry friends a very Happy Easter.

easter (6)

Until next time…Be safe, be kind, be happy, and take time to love one another.

(Shhh Here’s a secret. There’s a “follow” button near the top right of this page. I know you want to click it. It’s okay. No one is looking. Go on. Press it. You will receive all the wine & chocolate induced updates you can handle.

*Copyright statement for art, photos, or memes located in “about” section.

American victories since the election of 2016

The reason I’m sharing this is to show people what’s been accomplished in a very short time. It’s going to be a very long 4 years so we must keep our spirits up.

For fighters to keep their spirits up through a very long battle, they must see the victories which are taking place all around them. During this battle the victories are piling up daily and we must take the time to celebrate these victories!

America is great and we’re only going to get better and better. We’ll keep fighting every day.

Progress since the election:

  1. Unprecedented levels of ongoing civic engagement.
  2. Millions of Americans now know who their state and federal representatives are without having to Google.
  3. Millions of Americans are exercising more. They’re holding signs and marching every week. (FITBIT users are using protest matches to increase their steps).
  4. Alec Baldwin is great again. Everyone’s forgotten he’s kind of a jerk.
  5. The Postal Service is enjoying the influx cash due to stamps purchased by millions of people for letter and postcard campaigns.
  6. Likewise, the pharmaceutical industry is enjoying record growth in sales of anti-depressants.
  7. Millions of Americans now know how to call their elected officials and know exactly what to say to be effective.
  8. Footage of town hall meetings is now entertaining.
  9. Tens of millions of people are now correctly spelling words like emoluments, narcissist, fascist, misogynist, holocaust and cognitive dissonance.
  10. Everyone knows more about the rise of Hitler than they did last year.
  11. Everyone knows more about legislation, branches of power and how checks and balances work.
  12. Marginalized groups are experiencing a surge in white allies.
  13. White people in record numbers have just learned that racism is not dead. (See #6)
  14. American people in record numbers also finally understand that Obamacare IS the Affordable Care Act.
  15. Stephen Colbert’s “Late Night” finally gained the elusive #1 spot in late night talk shows, and Seth Meyers is finding his footing as today’s Jon Stewart.
  16. “Mike Pence” has donated millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood since Nov. 9th.
  17. Melissa FREAKING McCarthy.
  18. Travel ban protesters put $24 million into ACLU coffers in just 48 hours, enabling them to hire 200 more attorneys. Lawyers are now heroes.
  19. As people seek veracity in their news sources, respected news outlets are happily reporting a substantial increase in subscriptions, a boon to a struggling industry vital to our democracy.
  20. Live streaming court cases and congressional sessions are now as popular as the Kardashians.
  21. Massive cleanup of Facebook friend lists.
  22. People are reading classic literature again. Sales of George Orwell’s “1984” increased by 10,000% after the inauguration. (Yes, that is true. 10,000%. 9th grade Lit teachers all over the country are now rock stars.)
  23. More than ever before, Americans are aware that education is important. Like, super important.
  24. Now, more than any time in history, everyone believes that anyone can be President. Seriously, anyone.” – Susan Keller
  25. The White House has never in modern history had so many phone calls or letters (citizen involvement does work).
  26. The sales & download of The Constitution have increased.

 

This list was not mine, but I did make a few changes. I can’t give *45 any credit for any of this. *45 did not do this. The American people did this. The American people decided they were not going to let their country fall into fascism and they created these victories! Many more to come!

Please copy and paste to share. ** Add new positive things as they occur **

6 important stories: The 75th anniversary when the US GOV imprisoned American citizens based on their nationality. Never forget!

The American government stole their land, homes, stores, and life all in the name of protection. These were hardworking American citizens, not terrorists, not criminals, not the enemy, but true Americans. With the current administration, this kind of attack on Americans can happen again. Please learn from the past so we do not let history repeat itself.

1. 75 years later, Japanese Americans recall pain of internment camps

75th Anniversary of Japanese internment camps in America

2. What Happened to Japanese Americans 75 Years Ago Is Newly Relevant

We can’t rely on ethnic or religious tests for citizenship or admission to our country. It’s the kind of racism that ripped families apart during World War II.

Learn about the relavance of the camps to today’s politics

3. Executive order that incarcerated Japanese Americans is 75 years old

Executive Order to treat Japanese Americans like prisoners

4. When Japanese Americans Were Caged: 75 Years After Executive Order 9066

When American citizens were cages like hardened criminals

5. Letters From Camp by Frank Chi

Letters from children in the camps

And the bonus link — George Takei gives a first person account of Japanese Americans being arrested for the crime of being American citizens of Japanese heritage.

6. George Takei: On this Remembrance Day, I hear terrible echoes of the past

George Takei – Memories of his childhood in the camps

Thank you for reading. Until next time…

Be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

John Barron: The very odd story of Donald Trump’s alias

John Barron: Exploring the connection between Trump’s Alias & the real Russian KGB journalist named John Barron.

How did a real Russian KGB journalist’s name become the alias for Donald Trump? Does this possible connection also explain how the name “Barron” became the namesake for Trump’s youngest son only one year after the real elder Barron passes away?

As you read this, remember, I have zero proof these two men met.

Even though the timeline fits well and the Russian connection can’t be ignored, I’ve never found a real connection b/w the real John Barron; the Russian journalist, and “John Barron”; Trump’s alias. But, I’m not going to ignore it either. I’m saving this information in case a connection pops up.

My first question was; why would Donald Trump, the man we knew in the 80s, pick a name like “John Barron” as an alias?

Sure it sounds good, but if you want to pretend to be someone else for an interview, most people would pick a NY sounding name. A name which was common enough the people on the other end wouldn’t be able to look it up in the phone book. Remember, before the 90s, reporters had to use huge phone books to locate names & finding a common name in a place like NY was almost impossible. For this instance, John would have been a good pick, but Barron seems out of place. Donald Trump had the entire NY phone book to pick from, yet; he used John Barron? It could be a huge coincidence, but in my mind, it didn’t seem like a good choice.

Let’s start with the background of this story. Back in the 80s, President Donald Trump was known for using an alias when talking to reporters or looking for real estate. The first use of John Barron by Donald Trump was June 6, 1980. He used the name when discussing tearing down Bonwit Teller department store to make way for Trump Tower. There were issues around tearing down the building and Trump kept his distance by using an alias. Using an alias to conduct business isn’t abnormal and this coincidence may have gone unnoticed had Donald Trump not run for president.

The first connection I found of John Barron being a real person was on @JoyAnnReid’s page. She posted a tib-bit which stated there was a real John Barron, who wrote about the KGB/Russian spies in the 80s. Well, that got my ears perked up. I knew during the 80s Trump spent time in Russia, so I went digging.

Here is the Wikipedia page for the real John Barron.

John Barron / WIKI

During the 70s and 80s, the real John Barron wrote extensively about the KGB/Russian spies. He was fluent in Russian and spent a lot of time researching his stories around the world. Between writing his spy stories and books (he published his first book in 1974) he also wrote a story about Mary Jo Kopechne’s death at Chappaquiddick in a car driven by Ted Kennedy. He wrote this story in in 1980 (the same year DJT started using this name).

This is important. This was a huge scandal back then.

People forget, Trump spent his life as a Democrat, and even donated plenty of money to the Kennedy’s. They all ran in the same circles. Donald Trump and the younger Kennedys were close acquaintances. The Trump family and Kennedy family may not have been “best friends,” but they ran in the same circles, supported each other in politics and business, and partied with the same people. The death of Mary Jo hurt the Kennedy family and their extended circle for some time.

During the 1980s, Ted Kennedy was rumored to have connections in Russia, especially during Reagan years. What is even stranger about this timeline is the story that Ted Kennedy tried to convince Russia to help him (a Democrat) throw the election to the democrats in 1984. “Kennedy would lend Andropov a hand in dealing with President Reagan. In return, the Soviet leader would lend the Democratic Party a hand in challenging Reagan in the 1984 presidential election.”

Ted Kennedy asks Russia for help with 1984 election

On top of all of this, who else was in Russia in the 80s? President Donald Trump spent a lot of time in Russia in the 1980s. His family was always searching for new ways to expand their business there.

It would not be out of line to suggest the Trump families and the Kennedy families crossed paths while in Russia at various times. Where does John Barron come into play here? Did they ever cross paths at the same time, or did Trump learn the name “John Barron” from his friend Ted?

Another oddity of this story, and what grabbed my attention concerning the connection between Trump and Kennedy, were the odd remarks from President Trump himself. While running for president, he spoke directly about the car accident involving Ted Kennedy.

“DJT spoke about the accident on October 10, 2016 5:31 PM EDT – Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump discussed Sen. Ted Kennedy’s 1969 car accident in which a colleague was killed during a rally on Oct. 10 in Ambridge, Pa.” (The Washington Post)

Donald Trump speaking at rally referring to Ted Kennedy car wreck

I find that speech very odd, because of all the political deals between the Kennedy’s and the Trump’s he choose to speak about the car wreck first. By this point he would’ve known about Ted asking for help from Russia in 1983, and even though it would have been the perfect “dig” into the democratic party, Trump doesn’t speak about it, instead, he speaks about the car wreck. It didn’t seem like the correct topic to choose from when campaigning for against the same party who colluded with Russia against the Republicans. Why would he not bring that topic up?

Where does this leave us?

Through his diligent work, the real John Barron would have been well known to the KGB, Russian citizens, and of course, to Ted Kennedy and the Kennedy family. The Kennedy family spent time in Russia, with Ted asking for help from Russia to throw the 1984 election to the Democrats. Donald Trump was close to the Kennedy family and spent time in Russia.

If Trump picked up the name “John Barron” through those sources, it’s very possible he pulled the name from memory and used the alias by mistake. We know he, and his family, have a habit of taking ideas and using them as their own. Maybe he thought he created this name from his memory, but in reality he had run across this name during his time in Russia or talking to the Kennedys. No matter how he decided to use the name, he had to retire the name in 1990, when he had to admit the name in a court case involving his businesses.

But one issue still bothers me about the name “John Barron.” One year after the writer John Barron passes away (2005), Trump’s youngest son is born (2006) and Trump names his youngest son Barron. I thought about this, and maybe it’s a coincidence, but something seemed off.

Trump’s two oldest sons are named Donald JR and Eric. Obviously, Donald Jr. is named after Trump Sr. and its very possible Eric could be named after his grandfather; Frederick (FredERICk) Trump, but Trump’s youngest son is named Barron. I can’t find that name anywhere in his family. Maybe Trump liked the name so much he named his son his own alias, or maybe, at some point, he crossed paths with the real John Barron and liked the name well enough he used it for his son’s name.

Maybe this whole thing is one big coincidence, but with all the connections leading back to Russia, and the connection of Ted Kennedy working with Russia to try to throw the 1984 elections, I felt the need to publish what I found.

I know there are a great number of “maybe” statements in this story, but in the vast resource of social media, maybe someone has the key to this puzzle.

Until we find the key, this story will remain an interesting mystery.

I’ve added some articles for you to read about the information I’ve included.

Since our country is in the middle of facing questions dealing with Russia, I suggest watching the video. The video is very interesting.

John Barron Video

Remembering Communist Conspiracy Fighter John Barron

John Barron Obituary John Barron Obituary

Thank you for reading. Until next time…

Be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

America was attacked by terrorists in 2001. Sadly, we’re now destroying America from the inside.

— Originally written in 2016, I stand by these words more than ever. — 

15 years ago today terrorists set out to destroy us. People from all walks of life lost their lives or were severely injured in the attacks. It didn’t matter how much money a person made, or what race, religion, job, or gender they were; everyone was affected. Stockbrokers, secretaries, firefighters, police, Soldiers, waiters, and many more died in this senseless attack. For once, this wasn’t a white or black problem, it wasn’t a male or female problem, and it wasn’t a rich or poor problem.

This was an American problem.

Please understand, I’m not blind to the issues we faced as a nation before 9/11. In fact, as a female with bi-racial children, I’m well aware of the gender and racial inequalities in our country. These issues always seemed too big of a mountain to conquer, but for a very brief moment in time, there was hope as we all came together for the good of each other.

There was the sincere belief that this attack shook us out of the daze of everyday issues.

It was the beginning of a new decade and a new millennium. Life seemed pretty mundane after surviving the infamous millennium computer virus and a heated presidential election. It was September, school just started, and many parents were beginning their Christmas shopping. Sales papers were already floating around preparing families for the annual Black Friday squabble over this year’s version of Cabbage Patch Dolls and Elmo toys. Except for a few military missions around the world, we were experiencing a time of peace. As Americans, we lived our regular routines. A Bush was back in the White House, and fall was in the air.

Then, at 8:46 am, on September 11th, 2001, hijacked plane American Airlines, flight 11, hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center.

Nothing would be the same after this day.

In the aftermath of disbelief, mourning, and very slowly moving on, there was this hopeful belief that in rebuilding our structures, honoring the dead, and helping the affected families, we could use this time to restore our nation into something new. The terrorists may have attacked us, but this was our chance to show the world we could rise from the smoke with a new outlook on life and a new appreciation for each other. We could be better than who we were before.

For a little while, this was true. We figuratively, and very literally, stuck our middle finger to our enemies. We came together for a common cause to rebuild and work together as a people.

For years we worked hard to bring the country back to some state of order, and it felt good. It gave us hope for a new tomorrow. We showed the world we were one family, separated by differences, but bound by the American spirit. We would not be destroyed.

Unfortunately, the love and compassion built during these troubled times would only last a short period.

Soon after the war began, Soldiers were being attacked in ways we had never seen before. The IED (Improvised Explosive Device) was basically a pipe bomb on steroids. In every war, there are standards and rules most fighters abide by. Two sides go to war, and they fight each other, working very hard to avoid civilians and national landmarks. But the enemy Americans faced in the early years of the war had studied our fighting tactics and our equipment for many years and used this information in ways we had not encountered before. They hit us where it hurt, under our vehicles.

We were fighting a force which did not typically face their enemy in battle. After many years in various wars, fighting in many countries and circumstances, they perfected guerrilla tactics. They planted explosives for American and allied Soldiers to run over and cause confusion, leaving Soldiers as sitting ducks. A sniper, or a small group of enemy Soldiers, would then pick off US Soldiers one by one. The US had to respond to these new tactics with new equipment quickly, but the number of deaths and injuries of US Soldiers and allies kept growing.

The enemy also hid in towns, hiding in homes of women and children. This had a tremendous mental impact on American Soldiers. Not since earlier generations had we seen blatant disregard for civilian life during major wars. Obviously, many American Soldiers had deep turmoil when women and children are used as shields in battle. These Soldiers remembered the stories from older generations of WWII veterans when they spoke of giving candy to children and supplies to women, and how these small tokens of kindness kept them going through the war. The new generation of Soldiers started their journey with the same generosity, but as the fight wore on, and the death toll rose on both sides, the trust between Soldiers and citizens became strained.

Americans wanted answers. None of this was supposed to happen. America was the highest rated military in the world, but we couldn’t win a quick war with a few rag-tag guerrilla fighters? We were supposed to go in, kick butt, come home, enjoy a few parades, and everyone have hot dogs and apple pie. That’s the way Desert Storm ended, and this war was supposed to end the same way. The older generation was looking for one more hurrah, and the younger generation wanted to follow in their parents’ footsteps.

War isn’t glamorous and should never be looked upon as such, but the new generation wanted their own stories to tell their children and grandchildren. They yearned for the title of “The greatest generation” for themselves. Once the war was declared, all of America anticipated a quick declaration of Victory in all the newspapers bringing our hero fighters home. Sadly, none of this happened. Large victories came with high prices, and small battles were not won easily.

The American people expected to invade Iraq and win as quickly as we did back in Desert Storm, but that would not be the case. Some of the bloodiest battles occurred in Iraq, and even after Saddam Hussein lost power, the battles for smaller regions still raged on.

The enemy Soldiers were more prepared then the American government anticipated, and the price tag of the war was staggering. Six years after the twin towers were attacked, and still, the war continued.

Reports of enemy abuse by American Soldiers were reported around the world, sexual assaults of female Soldiers became rampant, millions of dollars of cash (sent to help the war effort) went missing, and in other areas, American officers were caught rigging contracts to pocket millions of dollars of money. Massive injuries to Soldiers became the standard news stories, KIAs were named weekly on TV and radio, and citizens were ready to move on.

This war was slowly becoming less like WWII and more like Vietnam.

Back home, brewing under all the patriotism, goodwill, and tax breaks for families, there was trouble just on the horizon. Many people saw the storm coming and even sounded the alarm, but their voices were drowned out by the noise of the continuous war effort. In fact, some people who sounded early alarms were fired or removed from their jobs. These firings did not stop the storm, it only delayed the truth, and this delay contributed to the most significant economic crises since the great depression.

Through the fog of war, when we were shopping to save America, making comfort packages for the Soldiers abroad, and waving the American flag during parades, our banking institutions were stabbing us in the back.

Banks and mortgage companies used the war effort as a reason to push the boundaries of laws and policies to approve subprime mortgages, investors moved retirement money from trusting people to these new investment accounts, and many people were encouraged to purchase homes to flip for big bucks right away. Wall Street created a bubble so big that very shortly it would be the burst that was heard around the world.

The ripple effect of the housing bubble bursting affected all economic institutions like a tidal wave. This recession might as well have been the planes hitting the World Trade Center again. Just like individual floors in the Twin Towers, as soon as housing debt crumbled, other intuitions fell one by one, taking people and small businesses out along the way.

Only the ones who left the real estate market early were able to escape unharmed. All others were scarred for life, or their lives were utterly shattered in ruins, some even resorting to suicide to avoid the pain.

The economy collapsed, the war dragged on, many companies failed, and people lost their jobs. When they lost their jobs, they lost their medical benefits, and in many cases, these same individuals became homeless. American’s stress levels soared, and we turned on one another. The love affair we had for one another ended shortly after the economic collapse.

With so many people struggling to keep their families fed and clothed, America became physically and emotionally exhausted. Many Americans had no hope left for themselves, and they certainly didn’t have energy or resources left for others. Many called to bring our Soldiers home. The money was needed to fix our economy, not the economy of enemy nations.

President Bush put into place a date to leave Iraq, and President Obama honored that timeline. In 2011, it was time to pack up and come home. There was very little fanfare about leaving. No declaration of victory or victory parades. There was some progress for Iraq citizens, and many did not want the Americans to go, but it wasn’t up to the Soldiers. It was an agreement between two countries, and that was that. It was time to let Iraq care for themselves and let our Soldiers and country rest.

Sadly, we now know the time between America leaving Iraq and a new enemy force taking over Iraq was very short. ISIS came in right behind our Soldiers and destroyed most of the accomplishments and progress we helped put in place.

In the despair of a recession, and ISIS taking over Iraq, all the money Americans invested in Iraq, all the deaths and injuries suffered by American and allied Soldiers, and all the time spent making progress, seemed a huge waste now. Americans poured their hearts and souls into Iraq, only to be left wanting and homeless. Of course, the broader economy is more complicated than this, but how do you describe the details of how this happened when middle-class parents lose their homes and can’t provide for their children? You can’t.

American Veterans, citizens, politicians, and families of the wounded and dead were outraged. Eight long years of time, money and blood were poured into Iraq, yet in a matter of months, ISIS erased that progress from the face of the Earth.

With this new information and the economic crises still fresh in their minds, Congress turned on one another, and the American people divided themselves down hard lines of politics.

With the war still raging in Afghanistan, and many battles requiring American military presence, there were talks of Soldiers entering Iraq again. Soldiers and civilians alike became weary of war. Too much money and lives were lost to a war effort which barely made bleeps on the evening news.

Jobs were scarce, and money was tight. Racism, sexism, and nationalism rose so severely people started killing each other in movies and the streets for no other reason than not liking how the other person lived and looked.

Protests for racial equality became so heated, and destruction so complete, many of our cities began to look like war zones in our country.

Anger, hatred, abuse, and death followed. We no longer needed a reason to be angry with each other. We no longer needed the terrorists to tell us to pick up arms and fight. We no longer saw each other as Americans. We saw each other as individuals fighting for the same pot of money and the same plot of land. We started tearing each other up from the inside.

An attack on our soil didn’t tell us to do that; we did it all on our own.

Now, in 2016, not only do we now live in a country divided not only by political lines, but we have divided ourselves down so many lines of anger the lines of love and hate have become blurred, and it’s difficult to know who to remain angry with anymore.

The planes are no longer there, the buildings are rebuilt, families are slowly rebuilding their lives, and even though the war may continue, the economy is slowly bouncing back.

So, why are we so angry with each other? Where is the constant hate coming from?

The honest answer is Americans have been told to hate for so long, it’s really all Americans know. Racism is growing at a breakneck speed, hatred of LGBTQ is on a rise, sexism is not only promoted in business, but voted into offices across the country, and hate of “others” because of different religions is a constant theme in the media.

The catalyst of our anger is no longer there; The only people making us angry is the media and ourselves. Yes, it took the 15 years for their plan to work, but it looks like the terrorists won. They didn’t need planes to destroy America. No. They tapped into the dark places of America and nourished those places with the fuel of hate.

They set out to destroy who we were, and the plan worked.

The enemy played the long game. They worked hard for hundreds of years to destroy love, freedom, and happiness. To our enemy (and we have many), 15 years is just a drop in the bucket of time for their plans.

I’m not talking about Islam; I’m talking about those in the world who hate light. They hide in the dark corners of the world, in caves, in basements, and in dark alleys, festering and muttering to themselves while shackled to the darkness of hate. They live in darkness and grow angry with those living in the light. They make plans to destroy beauty, reading, science, math, travel, and great pieces of art.

These are the people who destroy the beauty in our world. These are the ones who hate the light. They hate those who smile. They hate those who hold our gay brothers and sisters close. They hate when women succeed in the worlds they can’t touch. They hate when different races are married. They hate mixed children who can easily put their feet in two worlds and bring peace. They hate everything America stands for, and they hate us because we don’t give up.

Those who live in darkness hate the light, because no matter how dysfunctional we are and no matter how many times we fall, we smile, give the world the middle finger, drink our beer, pray to our individual gods (or not), and then we drag ourselves up, dust ourselves off, lick our wounds, and we continue to fight like never before.

We fight together for the good of others. All people and all religions can stand together under one flag, including, Christians, Buddhists, Jews, Wiccans, Hindus, Muslims, Atheists, and more.

We used to work together making this land a place to raise happy and healthy children. Sure, most of the time, we disagree and fight within our own groups, but what siblings would get along perfectly for over 200 years without fighting?

That was until recently. Our family has been wounded like never before. We don’t care about each other any longer. There is no respect for our fellow human. The scary and sad part is, the empathy for those who are different than us is almost gone. Even when we strongly disagreed with others, there was always a certain level of respect for other humans. For the majority of people, there were lines which should not be crossed, and now, it seems, those lines are not just blurry, they are no longer there. Respect for each other as humans is gone. It’s frightening to watch humans turn on each other like animals.

We no longer experience the typical dysfunctional family issues. What we have now is something entirely different. We have hate, greed, murders, divisions of family, and groups sliced so thin it’s impossible to know who is friend or foe.

The darkness of our enemy was sent to destroy the essence of America; the caring, open-armed, free, loving country, who accepts the sick, poor, and downtrodden of the world, and their plan worked. It took 15 years, but the plan worked. It’s a sad state of affairs when we are doing more damage and killing more of our own people than the attackers did who started us on this path.

15 years of war has created a world we’ve never known in the history of our country.

As a parent, is has been so sad to raise my children in a world where all they’ve known is war. They’ve never known a time of peace.

The same war their parents fought in is the war the children are dying in.

15 years of hate and war has got to have an effect on our young children and our young adults. There is no way they can come out of this unscarred. No wonder some of the children have lost their way.

With the upheaval of the world, the economic collapse, the insane election, and not knowing what the next four years will bring, they have no idea how the world will look when they grow old or if they will even have a world left to grow old in.

How long will the war go on? Will we see our grandchildren pick up arms and fight the same enemy? I don’t know. I just don’t know. I’d like to know the answer, but the way our country is headed, I’m afraid we’re going to tear ourselves apart before we end the wars in other nations.

At least I can take some guilty comfort in knowing we are on this side of the war and I’m not trying to raise my children in a bombed-out shelter with no running water. As a mother, I’m sad that I’m glad I’m not living in a shelter when I know this means other mothers in this long war are.

What I can’t take comfort in is worrying if my children will die in a random shooting, if my children will go off to war themselves, and most of all, if my children will find happiness and comfort in a country which looks much different than it ever has. Each generation has their burdens to bare (my generation faced Vietnam, the Cold War, Desert Storm, and many others) and they survive and thrive. I know my children’s generation will be okay too. But what about America as a whole?

What about America? Just like I said in the beginning, I’m not blind to the problems of our nation. We still face racism and sexism just as we did before 2001. We still face prejudices over different religion, culture, and moral belief. I’m certainly not denying that we still face enemies who would like to see us wiped off the face of the Earth and use our bones as toothpicks.

The thing is, we’ve always faced enemies, just like they face us, but we used to actually get things done and live our lives while dealing with these other issues as needed. Now, it seems, the country has become stagnated. It’s gotten to the point where everyone is so angry about everything and spending so much time yelling at each other and killing each other, no one is actually focused on changing anything. People are so frenzied in anger, people aren’t doing anything to move the country forward – or, is that the point?

Just because we’ve been told to hate and just because we’ve hated others for 15 years, doesn’t mean we have to hate another culture just because we’re told to blindly.

We no longer need to tear each other apart. Why hate others for their race, religion, or culture? We have plenty of enemies who wish to do America harm, there is no reason to invent enemies based on bigotry.

It’s time to lay down arms and rebuild our relationships, rebuild our communities, and rebuild our nation. It’s time to stop the hate of others based on bigotry and start the healing. It’s time to come together and openly talk about our issues while moving forward to a stronger country and a brighter tomorrow for our children.

Don’t let their darkness spread through the soul of our nation.

Don’t let 9/11 be the day the enemy won.

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and take the time to love one another.

 

 

** The article was edited from the 2016 original for length, clarity, and grammatical errors. 

 

How do you grow as a writer? Work hard on the basics by collaborating with others.

In today’s installment of “Amanda isn’t an island” or “Amanda can’t create an award-winning epic in a vacuum,” I’m focusing on identifying weaknesses (some of us have more than others), creating a professional product (something to be proud of), and learning to collaborate with others to help a whole team move forward.

Working with other writers, especially those from a different background than yourself, is so vital to maturing as a writer. We must create a trusting team who will tell us the ugly truth and kick us in the hind-parts when we really need it.

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Donald Trump Naked Statue Photos: Just say no!

To the people who created naked statues of Donald Trump,

I’m pretty sure my words will mean nothing to you, but just in case you ever read this, just know you are a terrible group of people. You just sexually harassed a professional man due to his political position and made reference to his “man hood.” How does that make you better than him?

I get that making fun of a man’s genitalia is the butt of many jokes on every college campus in America, but if we expect Trump to take this race seriously, pulling college level pranks on him certainly does not bode well for the future of the next generation.

I’m certainly not a Trump fan. Not even close. But I do not agree with the naked statues of him. That is just wrong and too far. We all get the book reference, but this is real life, dealing with real people. What you did is a disgusting show of immature behavior.

The entire female “body positive movement” has been waged so everyone feels positive about their body, including men…And yes, that includes even Donald Trump.

I know he refers to women in a negative light all the time. I know he calls women pigs, tells them they look better on their knees, and refers to bad attitudes being because of “that time of the month,” but those are words and your actions are much harsher than words. Do I get angry with him? Of course I do. But sexually harassing him back, in a much worse way, is the worst way to handle this issue. I’m not even sure how your team came up with this idea, but your idea person needs to be voted out of your group. This is just sad.

Yes, Trump is a bully. He is full of words, lots of words, all the words, but what you just did should be a crime (I’m hoping it is anyway).

This is not how you handle a bully. You do not strip the bully naked and run him down the hallways of the school, allowing everyone to take photos of him. Not only is that illegal but that is facing one immature action with an over-the-top reaction which causes second and third consequences for everyone.

You can’t go around making naked statues of every person you don’t like, including politicians. There is something seriously wrong with you if you think your actions are acceptable.

I certainly do not condone what you “artists” have done to Trump. I would never condone a conservative group creating naked statues of Hillary Clinton, then placing them all over America.

I would hope most people would not like it, even if they disagreed with her.

Do I think he’s a total ass? Yep. I sure do. Do I think he is diabolical? Yep. Right again. Will I ever vote for him? Nope. Not even close.

Do I think people should show his naked body all over the world without his permission? No way! No way would I ever think this is a good idea. What you did was wrong. Had he been a female, this would be considered a crime (again, I hope it is).

His naked body will be on the internet for the rest of his life. These photos will follow him, his children, and his grandchildren, forever. He did not give his permission for these creations or these actions. He is now a victim of sexual harassment and body shaming (and in some states, online sexual bullying).

* Now, replace the word “his” with “her” and “he” with “she” and see how bad this feels.*

It makes me sick seeing all the people taking photos with those statues and putting them on the internet. Some of these people would be the first ones to stand up against female harassment or naked photos of ex girlfriends being handed out to millions of people around the world. These photos will never go away. Even if they are taken down from search engines, people will have them in their homes and on their computers. I’m asking everyone to stop and think what you are doing.

Would you take photos with an unapproved naked statue of someone you loved? I know it’s hard to imagine, but Trump is a father, a grandfather, and much more to many people. Please look at those statues for what they are and think about what they represent.

Many females are bullied off the internet because of men putting naked photos of them on social media or creating naked photos of them on social media, and yet, your group is trying to the exact same thing to Trump. You are trying to circumvent the political process by sexually harassing someone. I don’t care if it’s Trump or anyone else, this is never okay!

Not only is this action totally against raising people up, but you just undercut the real progress females have been fighting for while promoting positive body image and trying to decrease sexual harassment.

If none of this concerns you (and obviously it doesn’t), then at least think about this, your actions could actually work in his favor. He *is* a victim of sexual harassment and he *will* gain sympathy votes due to your actions and this stunt. I really hope you can live with yourself.

What makes me more livid about this is you didn’t do this for the good of the country or the voters. You did this as a social media stunt.

I did not see one video of anyone in your group handing out voter registrations while you presented your “work of art.” You tried to destroy another human being only to create news for your own self interests. You did nothing to help the cause of the nation. You did this to help yourself by hurting someone else. You provided your group name and even the name of the artist.

If you have been truly doing something for a good cause (not this), the names of your groups and the name of the artist would have been irrelevant. You did this for followers and fandom, not for social change. Trump is known for tricks like this. What makes you any better than him?

Instead of body shaming someone you disagree with, I’ve got a better solution for you, get out and vote! I can see you have great talent, so focus that talent on something a little less shameful and a little more constructive. Don’t shame people for the body they have. If you don’t like a person for any reason, then use your creative brain and get people to vote. Create a project which will inspire more people to vote to your side.

Get your school to vote. Get your whole family and friends to vote. Get strangers to vote.

Let’s all take a lesson from Donald Trump’s actions. Let’s not sexually harass and body shame people, including the people running for POTUS. It’s not very nice.

Also, let’s not forget, this is not a political statement and it’s not art. This is sexual harassment and I really hope Trump sues you.

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy (focus on the kind part today).

Written by;

A Never-Trump voter

(…who would never approve of Trump being harassed like this)