Christmas Kit

This is great advice for those of us attending demanding Christmas festivities. You can’t pick your blood family…but you can demand their respect!

Queer Talk

Christmas is a time of year that can be difficult for queer folks. Big family events are often tumultuous times of a queer person’s calendar and it can be scary facing family members who may not be so accepting of your sexuality or gender. We’ve put together a Christmas kit to help you through the holiday season so that you can enjoy a mince pie or two without worrying what your conservative Uncle will say about your rainbow socks.

Patience

Chances are, you’re going to have to put up with at least one family member who has views so outdated Moses thought they were chic. A simple subject like pride marches or how many genders there are can go from polite dinner conversation to all-out screaming match while your Aunt Sue tells you she doesn’t hate you, just your ‘lifestyle’.

The best way to deal with these kinds of family…

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The War on Women…Be Aware.

I just read an article in the Atlantic titled “The Authoritarians Are Waging War on Women.”

Keeping up with world affairs is daunting to say the least. I am one who strives to know as much about what’s going on in America and around the world. I particularly research political corruption, hate crimes/groups, humanitarian crisis, political murder (such as Jamal Khashoggi’s) and women’s oppression. So much is happening all around the world and it’s very hard to keep up and to distinguish what is most important.

Right now, I personally feel that we are in the midst of worldwide political upheaval, power grabs, and the installation of corrupt leaders in many countries -often by whatever means necessary, skewing the vote, voter fraud, coups, etc. Trump may be the USA’s biggest issue at the moment, but in reality, he is only copy-catting those leaders that he sees and admires who act in brutal, authoritarian ways to enact the harshest conditions and expectations on their constituencies.

So many fractions are happening. This is intentional by these authoritarian heads of state, such as Trump, Bolsanaro, Duarte, Putin, and Mohammed Bin Salmon (MBS) to name just a few of the obviously more prominent. They work to pit one group against another, like blacks against whites, gays against straights, Christians against Jews/Muslims until they have fractured the population into the smallest in-cohesive groups possible. There is no chance of a cohesive movement to rise up against an authoritarian leader if he fractures his constituency into the smallest possible groups who hate one another. Hilter did it very successfully and we all know how that turned out for 6 million Jews and hundreds of thousands of soldiers and innocent other civilians.

Trump is very anti-woman. And if you will take 10 minutes to read the article highlighted above about the authoritarian war on women globally you will possibly understand just a bit more of why. He has NO respect for ANY woman. He views women as 2nd class citizens, as “stupid”, and as objects only good for pleasure when he so desires it. He does NOT believe in women as leaders of anything. He fears all powerful women especially and works diligently to undercut their authority and disgrace them, degrade them and slander them. His treatment of women is disgusting to say the least. Just remember his visit to England and how rude he was to the Queen, cutting in front of her, speaking nonsense and belittling Her position. He believes that women should NOT be in any position of power and should always obey men in every instance. 

Women that work for or follow Trumpy with enthusiasm are agreeing with his anti-women in power ideology. Sadly, for them, they are fine with allowing the men around them to lead the way and to do whatever those men direct them to do. Even lie for them like Sarah Huckabee-Sanders, Trumpy’s press secretary at the moment.

Of course, as a woman, I am quite concerned by these tactics and with the disregard we women are being treated with around the globe. Women are literally threatening men of power, and some will lose their lives over it in some countries. We must all stand together to fight this sexism and stop the hate. 

I wanted to post this tonight because of the article in the Atlantic. We get so riveted on the headlines of the day that we forget to watch for things we should also know and understand. By creating “big” headlines opposition directs us away from the important underlying issues and situations. We must keep our eyes and ears fully open; to know all we are up against in this fucked up world right now. My dream is to leave this world a little bit better than when I entered it…one word at a time if it takes that. 

What did you do to celebrate yourself today? 

Peace & Kindness ~ MB 

Modern day John the Baptist, where are you?

I really liked this blog, and it’s theme/idea. “The effect that a conscience-driven person has on society is immeasurable.”

Smart City Perth

Why, in such a modern technological world are we still riddled with political and religious fervour?

Mankind is bent on the few controlling the masses and no political or religious entity is immune to its intoxicating grip.

While religion likes to consider John the Baptist as their own and the militant atheist disregards the supposed mad man in the desert, John the Baptist walked to the beat of a different drum.

In a time where the political and religious power were carving up lands, holding on to positions of privilege and controlling the masses, John the Baptist starts a movement in the desert.

The politicians and the religious establishment dismissed him as a non threat, with no land or political sway, UNTIL?

You and I as world citizens are free to be open, to share what we believe, especially in the western culture which many consider to be the free…

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Democrats Succeed at Mid-Terms

Trump has gone into hiding and is having a full-on meltdown. 

It’s a weird and scary time to live in the United States.

What I mean is it’s weirder and scarier than it had been before the 2016 presidential election! The US always seems to have some undercurrent of things to be wary of when you hail from a marginalized community – mine being the LGBT community. While 2018 isn’t anything like it was in the 1970’s when I was a teenager, as far as being out and gay, it’s beginning to remind me that my being out doesn’t and hasn’t come without a price to pay and a fight to continue fighting.

Our mid-term elections were held November 6th and the lead up was very heated between the parties and due to all of the division that Trumpism has brought to the surface here, as evidenced by the massacre at the temple in Pennsylvania and the bombs sent to major players of the Democratic party. Our televisions were abuzz with hateful advertisements accusing this candidate, ridiculing that one and spreading out-of-context misinformation. I personally hate political advertising like that. Any candidate that has to resort to cutting down their opposition because they don’t have a decent platform of their own to tout will never get a vote from me. Voting for anyone who runs that type of ad is just condoning it and feeding their hatred. I choose to ignore it, note who did it and not to vote for whomever it is running the ad.

I wish we would do some campaign reform here in America. Starting with getting PAC money OUT of all politics. Then requiring candidates to pay for their own ads and media content and they should not be allowed to accuse, ridicule or point at anyone else, but only talk about themselves and what they will bring to the table if elected. Get the hate out of political advertising. And no one should be allowed to lie – it’s false advertising!  And it’s just unappealing because it’s just gone too far. We also need major campaign finance reform, i.e. do away with PACs and outside funding. Make the playing field more even for everyone. The PACs and other donors give this money and pump their chosen candidate so that they can get a “foot in the door” so to speak by holding their candidate up to do their bidding in legislation and regulation. It’s all about the money. Fucking money sucks.

We had record voter turn out on both sides of the slate. Democrats really put a ton of effort into getting out the vote and getting people psyched up to get to the polls. There is no duty more important, in my opinion than showing up and voting when you’re called on to do so. Elections are how we the people have our say in governing the country and steering it in directions that are good for us, not just for the politician and their donors. A prime example is the Trump Tax plan of 2017. He was put in office by money and outside influence and a sheepish base who believed he would be “different” somehow. HIs tax plan gave trillions of dollars to big corporations and the uber-rich across the board. It did nothing for the middle class, working stiffs of America. Wages remain stagnant and profits of corporations are skyrocketing while our national debt is through the roof and climbing by the minute. This will be Trump’s legacy – the financial ruin of America.

Just over 113,000,000 people turned out to vote. I am pleased that Democrats did very well all across the country.  We elected 235 Democrats to the House and 47 to the Senate.  This gives Dems majority control of the House of Representatives while leaving us as the minority party in the Senate. This is really very good for now. It means that the Republican party is no longer in full control of our federal government and Trump no longer gets a blank check. Across America, Democrats replaced 335 state-level Republican legislators. We turned many formerly red states and areas blue. Yes, we got our Blue Wave regardless of what Trump says because of course, he’s claiming victory despite major Republican losses in key states.  Here are some of the outcomes explained more specifically.https://www.politico.com/election-results/2018/

Over 100 women were elected to go to Washington DC; as well as many men and women of diverse backgrounds, minorities, and LGBT are going to be serving us. They are younger, more diverse, enthusiastic and ready to bring progress and civility back to US soil. This is a sign of the future of government in America; a very positive, incremental sign. Congress is finally starting to look like a representation of the population. We really have some terrific people now in office! I have high hope that they will serve us wisely by putting forward a positive agenda and doing much-needed oversight of our government workings.

I was impressed with Democrats as a whole. There was no huge celebration or a big gloating party upon their wins. Calm and classiness has been maintained and the only people suing and complaining are the sore-loss Republican candidates in some particular states, such as Florida. Florida’s elections were overseen by the Governor, who also ran for re-election – talk about the referee playing in the game!  Their voting machines broke down, they tried to suppress votes, discouraged voters, as well as threatened and frightened people. It’s a real mess, but it was mostly expected and primarily was a Florida issue. I don’t understand what it is about that state that they can’t seem to get their electoral system up to par and always seem to have problems, but I hope that someone will pay attention this time and FIX the freaking problem! The state, as well as many others, is also gerrymandered to death. Hopefully, now that Dems have majority control across the country we can remedy this issue when the district lines are redrawn to make it a more fair and balanced system. Gerrymandering has cost us dearly and must be stopped. 

Here in Maine, where I reside, we turned the state blue again. We have one single Republican left – Senator Susan Collins. We elected a Democratic governor, Janet Mills from Farmington Maine, and now our state house is also filled with Democrats. After 6 years of LePage and his Trump-like antics and personality, we were sick and tired of all of the hate and of him disregarding the will of the people. He would go against things we voted to do and try to prevent laws from being enacted after the people voted to enact them! It’s been very aggravating for us here. We voted to expand Medicaid here, and he refused to enact it. He withheld the funding and just wouldn’t allow it to happen – even after a court order to do so! So, his hateful ass is out of here. I hear he’s moving to Florida! Hahah…they can HAVE him. I’m hopeful that Gov. Mills will stick to her promises and start with addressing the opioid crisis here, then healthcare, the environment, and education. It has to get better.

Of course, Trump has been freaking out. He’s gone into hiding, for the most part, Tweeting outrageously about the Mueller investigation and that people are changing clothes to vote twice. He’s not doing his presidential duties, is brooding over his loss of control and the possibility that his kids are going to prison for bilking America. Plus a whole lot more…but I’m tired of his shit show. And he somehow feels less threatening at the moment. The fact that his own party has been pretty much silent since the mid-terms is great too, although it does make them complicit in his dirty deeds in my opinion. But they are peeling off slowly, starting to whisper behind his back that they need to distance themselves from him. America voted on Nov. 6th and HE was the main reason his party lost. America stood up and said NO to Trumpism. 

In 721 days we vote again. This next time to replace Trump. I’m sooo looking forward to that one!!!

Peace & Kindness!  ~MB

Veteran’s Day

Today is Veteran’s Day and also the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, 11/11/1918, the end of World War I.  As a US Army veteran, and the offspring of a US Marine, born on a Marine base even, I honor all Veterans on this day – and every day.  Thank you to those who served, and those who supported them and especially to those who gave all and their Gold Star families.

 

WSMR 1984 SP4Angela Lawrence

Me, at White Sands Missile Range in White Sands New Mexico circa August 1984.  I was 22 yrs old and full of hell.  I really liked the Army, and had it not been an issue that I was so out and proud I may have chosen to make a career out of it.

Peace ~MB

#YouAreEnough Challenge Day 2-5

Due to the mid-term elections and my obsession with them, I have not kept up with the 30-day challenge #YouAreEnough.  I am about to do days 2, 3, 4, and 5 here.

Day 2: A special encounter that almost felt like an angelic experience.  An interesting thing to think about.  I once got into a taxi in Gaithersburg MD after working painting a house that day and the taxi driver was an older white gentleman.  I was a bit down and he seemed to notice and struck up a conversation with me.  The 20-minute ride really made me think, he seemed very intuitive to my plight – I was struggling with whether I would stay in DC or move back to Maine at the time.  He gave me some good advice.  The next day I needed a taxi so I called the same company and requested him…they told me they had no one by that name working for them…I swear this guy was an angel in disguise.

 Day 3: Share a time you felt lost and how you got found.   When I left the military in September of 1984 I never realized how difficult it would be for me to reintegrate into civilian society.  I had a really tough time adjusting and was very lost. I drank heavily, got my first DWI within 2 weeks of my discharge, resulting in a broken leg and a concussion plus loss of my license and dignity. By January of 1985, I was miserable. I missed the Army, the organization and always knowing what was expected of me. I missed the discipline and at 22 I still NEEDED that discipline in my life. I re-enlisted for 2 more years of active reserve duty. I was legally in the reserves, I just got them to assign me to duty that I had to report to every day for a couple of years. Once I put that uniform back on I refound myself and my purpose for that time. In 1986 I finished and the second time I didn’t look back, but I do wish today that I had stayed in and done 25 years.  I would have been finished and collecting a nice pension right now.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Day 4: Share a time you received life-altering news, good or bad, that impacted your life.  It was August 31, 1992, I went back to the clinic where I had gone to be tested for HIV – everyone was being tested at the time, so I figured what the hell and got myself tested (also at the urging of my therapist at the time).  The counselor saw me come in and quickly got me into a private space where she blurted out “I’m so sorry, you are HIV positive”.  I will never forget that day, those words, or her pained look when she told me. Come to find out I was the first woman she had had to tell they were positive. Back in 92 we still didn’t have good drugs to suppress the virus and stop it from becoming AIDS. My entire life changed during that minute. I felt like I had an expiration date stamped on my forehead.  Since then I have come great strides. It’s been 26 years, I am happy, healthy and my viral count is Zero – undetectable – meaning the virus is not active in my body and the drug cocktail I take every day is working well. I am lucky. I lost many friends early in the discovery of this epidemic. I still miss them and grieve for the lives that they missed because of this horrible disease. I fondly remember the days before we knew anything about HIV/AIDS and how wild and crazy they were. I live a safe, sane life now and I take care of myself and my loved ones because in the end, that’s all you really have in this life.

Day 5: Share a time when you felt unimaginable loss and how you came to realize that you were ENOUGH to handle it.  The only thing I can relate to this one is the break up of my 14 yr relationship with my ex. I never thought we would split; I seriously thought we’d be together to the end. So, life without her and without all that was entailed – the farm, the horses, the animals, and the money – seemed very foreign to me. It took me a couple of years to adjust to my new circumstance of being single and having to look at rebuilding my life as such. I went through all of the emotions, from grief to anger to acceptance and then I moved on and have put together a pretty comfortable life for myself today. I dated a few other women along the way and last year I found the right woman to compliment my life.

There! I am now caught up. I will write the Day 6 blog after dinner tonight.  I hope you enjoyed this quick one, as there will be more coming!

#youareenough

Peace!  ~  MB

Hi! I’ve resolved to write more — I decided to commit to a 30 day blogging challenge entitled “You are enough”. Day 1’s topic is about tattoos that are meaningful to me. Since, as of now, I remain un-inked, I will detail tattoo ideas that have caught my eye, both in the past and presently. […]

via A meaningful imprint — A girl with grit.