America and Guns

I was writing a piece on “hate crimes” and then the Las Vegas massacre happened. I woke up at 1am, which is about 11pm Vegas time, and my television was on…I was in total shock. I remember screaming out “NOOOO!!!!” followed by a bunch of nonsensical stuff as I started to cry. I could not believe what I was watching; seeing happening in Las Vegas, it was just too much to comprehend.
I live in the USA and there is this thing called the Bill of Rights. The 2nd Amendment to this is the “right to bear arms”…meaning we have the right to own guns. And because the NRA (Naitonal Rifle Association) basically funds Republican candidates and pays off politicians we have very loose laws concerning gun ownership. Recently our “president” signed a bill allowing mentally ill to once again be able to purchase guns without question. Yes, it’s a very sad state of affairs we have concerning gun ownership and responsibility.
Our “president” refuses to call the Las Vegas shooting an act of “terrorism” – which is exactly what it is. What could BE more terrifying than being attacked by machine gun fire while at a peaceful music concert? But, because this was a WHITE man who wasn’t acting on behalf of any terrorist organization he refuses to label it what it is: terrorism. Most acts of terrorism in this country are committed by individuals just like this guy. Trump just doesn’t understand what it’s like to be terrified and in fear for your life. He doesn’t get it, because he’s a coddled old nasty rich white man.
I’m sick of all of the mass shootings taking place in America. It’s horrific that we cannot craft legislation to help possibly prevent some of these people from being able to so readily acquire these assault style weapons and ammunition that can pierce metal – such as a car door or plane fuselage. What individual person needs this kind of ammo? Only someone with very bad intentions would purchase such ammunition or assault rifles. There is no good reason to own such items. If you think I am wrong, you tell me the “good reasons”. Unless you are preparing to kill multiple people you do NOT need an automatic weapon. They aren’t used for hunting, hell you’d tear up your target and not get any good meat! They have ONE purpose: to kill people. Period.
I believe in the 2nd Amendment. I believe we DO have a right to own a gun. And I would never want our government to try to remove that right. BUT, be serious, we need some regulations to help curb some of the violence and deaths. We need strict legislation. We all need to stand up to Congress and demand to be protected by such legislation and regulations! MANY other countries have put strict gun ownership laws into place and have vastly reduced gun related murders and deaths in their lands. Australia is the prime example. In 1996 there was a terrible mass killing, they put new laws into place and have drastically reduced gun deaths in their country to date.
I fully understand that putting more restriction on gun ownership won’t completely solve the problem of gun related crime. And yes, like illegal drugs, you can always get an illegal weapon if you try hard enough and know the right people – BUT remember, locks only keep an honest man honest. It’s a mentality thing, responsible gun owners understand the laws of gun ownership are there to protect them and other people. Intelligent, responsible people have no issue with things like background checks and enhanced legislation that moves toward curbing the wrong people from obtaining guns. I truly believe that if we all work together we can find solutions that will appease all of us. I believe we CAN save lives and lower the gun death rate if we just focus on the issues, work toward solutions for those issues and work together to solve them. It’s not going to please everyone, because that’s just impossible. There will still be that rogue gunman who, most likely because he has penis envy, will need to own 50 machine guns and armor piercing bullets….God only knows what his real reasoning will be. He will be in a minority I hope.
I too pray for the families of the victims of the Las Vegas massacre, but prayers without action to back them up are fruitless. I will continue to speak out and be visible in my fight to have better gun laws in this country. I will continue to pressure my Congressmen and Senators. I won’t idly stand by and feel like my voice has no impact. And if we all speak up, and speak LOUDLY, we can change this world and make it safer for all.
Peace. ~MB

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Tuesday Thoughts…Puerto Rico

I have been pretty much confined to my house for the last 4-5 days because of the pain and discomfort in my right shoulder, collarbone and both arms.  It’s been driving me batshit crazy.  I’m not accustomed to being held down by physical limitations like this.  But, it has given me time to get some writing done, attend to emails, organize my paperwork on my desk and do much inner reflecting.  I’ve basically spent far too much time in my own head!  I can basically recite the news broadcasts because I’ve watched them so much, over and over.  Yes, far, far too much time alone and secluded in my house!

I’ve been consuming coffee and smoking way too much as well.  That’s one of the drawback of being at home, in one place, for too long a period of time.  I’ve done a huge amount of reading and studying, as I am trying to educate myself about some new stuff to write about and I’d like the article to sound intelligent at least!

I’ve spent some time looking into new investments and venues of enterprise.  I got a couple of tips on making some investments that I am seriously considering.  I will be sure to share more on that at a later date, once things are more finalized with it.  But I must say, it’s really exciting stuff!

I’ve been keeping up with Facebook and Twitter feeds, which have been inundated with stuff about Trump and the NFL.  What everyone SHOULD be most concerned with at this moment is Puerto Rico.  That poor country, which is also a US Territory and who’s citizens are American citizens, is really in bad shape.  Hurricane Maria, on top of Irma a mere few days beforehand, really devastated the country.  I don’t think we have seen the real extent of the horror there because it’s still very difficult to get TV crews onto the island nation to report on what’s going on!  Plus, there is a severe shortage of food, water, medical supplies, medication, and basic living needs.  Travel within Puerto Rico is very limited due to washed out roads, downed power lines, downed trees and debris.  So, until someone can really get in there more deeply to show us on TV what is actually happening we are pretty much left to guess and depend on sporadic reports and first hand accounts.  Our “president” (I use the title loosely) isn’t doing a damned thing for Puerto Rico, period.  His words yesterday when asked about it were very demeaning to the country, saying they were in debt, and basically they were on their own.  He said they would get around to dealing with sending federal assistance “maybe mid-October”.  Do you believe that?  Puerto Rico is an American territory and has 3.5 million American citizens living there….and he doesn’t care!!!!

This is a link to PBS article about how you can directly help Puerto Rico.  It lists the main organizations helping.  I urge you to read this and act if you are able.  They really need our help.  If I can get healthy soon I am going to try to volunteer with VOAD if possible.  I’m sure it will be a few weeks before I am healed from the surgery that I need right now, but once that is done I plan to do more volunteering of my time with agencies like VOAD.

Ah, yes, surgery.  The MRI and x-rays that I had taken last week came back and the results were not good at all.  It seems that my neck and cervical spine area thinks that I am 85 not 55!  Because of degenerating discs, arthritis and a narrowing of the opening where the nerves go through my spinal cord and nerves are being constricted.  This is causing me to have pain and tingling and numbness in both arms and hands.  I also am having bad shoulder pain, be until I see the doctor on Thursday to set up the surgery I won’t know if that is part of the nerves being constricted or not.  I’m hopeful that surgery by a specialist will help to fix the problem and eliminate this pain and discomfort.  I am also hoping that the procedure won’t disable me completely for too long.  I hate laying in bed and doing nothing.  I know there will be a recovery time, but I’m hoping it will be as short as possible.  It’s a bitch getting old.  Haha…no seriously, it is!!!

The weather here in Maine right now is as hot as southern Florida.  It’s been in the low 90’s the last 3 days…and we got 2 more to go the weather person says!  I’ve been keeping things cool with the help of my overhead fan in the living room and fans in each bedroom.  That along with keeping the shades half drawn has kept most of the heat outside.  I should mow my lawn – one more time – but it’s just too hot.  Maybe tonight after 6pm it will cool down and I can get it done.  Only takes me about 30-45 minutes to mow it all.  And it only requires me to steer and walk behind it.  I have a self-propelled mower, so it’s easy to mow.  I thought my last mow was going to do it for the season, but then we got a bunch of rain just before all of this sunshine and high temps, so the grass took to growing again, nice and lush green!

I have made my website public.  I’ve been working on a basic site with GoDaddy.  It’s not finished by any means, but it’s up and live at: http://www.butchperspectives.godaddysites.com if you would like to check it out.  I have a more “grand plan” for it in the long run, but right now I am just working on getting a working site up and running.  You can sign up on the site for updates, etc. if you wish.  And I appreciate any feedback you would like to offer up!  I’m always looking for new ideas, new products, and fun stuff to do, so please if you have suggestions let me know! Eventually the site will become a dot com site, but for now I am leaving it associated with GoDaddy for convenience in editing.

It’s early afternoon here now and I need to go do those errands I mentioned earlier.  Thanks for stopping by to read me and also Thank YOU for being a subscriber and reader of my blogs!  I truly appreciate every single one of you!!!

What would you like to see me write about?

~Peace~   ~MB

 

 

 

 

 

Just WHY???

I can’t wrap my mind around WHY anyone would support or try to defend the words, actions, inactions, lack of words, absurd behavior, rudeness, lack of tolerance, and blatant lies of Donald J Trump, our supposed “President” of these United States of America. I just am completely baffled by anyone who promotes this man and his hate-filled agenda. I see it occasionally from some people that I know on Facebook, and it just makes me cock my head in awe, and it makes me want to ask them directly “Do you NOT understand anything? Are you so blinded by his lies and deceitful tactics that you are willing – that you CHOOSE -to follow him like a stupid little, lost sheep? Would you jump off a bridge if he told you this was necessary for him to remain your president? Some of you would, I just know you would.”

No one likes Trump or his crew of evil doers. He is so concerned with “party” and not with “people” and it’s so very easy to SEE exactly where his loyalties and priorities lay – with the richest and his most wealthy donors. He has absolutely NO concern for the citizens of this country, or for the well-being of any part of this world – unless it directly correlates to his bank accounts. WHY is this so difficult for some people to see and understand? Do they seriously “believe” that Trump cares about them in some way??? Because, believe me – and all of the millions of others who see, understand and truly get it – he doesn’t give two shits about YOU or about “making America great again”…that’s not even HIS slogan, that was stolen from Ronald Reagan!!! Reagan is the one who used the “make America great again” in his campaign. Trump is nothing short of a total copy-cat. Anything he sees or hears that he can use, he uses. He has NO IDEAS of HIS OWN. It’s all just complete nonsense in his head!

Trump instigates Kim Jong Un, leader of North Korea, basically egging him on to do something that will give Trump the necessary reason to obliterate North Korea. Trump verbally threatened to “completely destroy North Korea” and I believe he fully intends to do just that because he thinks it will make him look “fabulous” and make more stupid people love his old ass.
Trump himself knows nothing about war or military service. He was a draft dodger, 3 times even! He didn’t have the fortitude, patriotism or guts to fight for or serve his country in the military. He only knows what he has watched on TV or in the movies, and he thinks it’s all glorious. He doesn’t consider the affect that a war of nuclear missiles will kill MILLIONS of innocent people – not just Kim Jong Un!

If Trump had ANY sense he would order a strategic removal of Jong Un…Obama did it to Osama Bin Laden, so we KNOW it is possible. But Trump can’t seem to do it with his buddy the “Rocket Man” as he calls Jong Un nowadays. Another “stolen” nickname originally given to Jong Un’s father by Newsweek magazine years ago. He’s just re-using other people’s words to make himself look good in some weird way. Like it’s very grown up and very “presidential” to call the leaders of other countries vile nicknames and speak of them in derogatory terms, yeah must make him feel REAL GOOD about himself.

Trump tries daily to convince his dead-brained followers that he has nothing to do with Russia. He claims Russia had nothing to do with our recent presidential election process. Yet, 16 security agencies of the US Government have VERIFIED this as a FACT. Trump does not even have confidence enough to believe his own security advisors. And THEY verified that Russia did INDEED interfere with our presidential election process. Whether this had any effect on the outcome is vaguely debatable, but it DID happen nonetheless. And how can you not believe all of the people who tirelessly work in our intelligence and security agencies who say this is a fact? All of them say it is so, and ONE man says it is not…and some people believe that one man? WHY??? I just don’t get it. It does not make sense.

And the new attempt by Trump to have Obama’s name removed from our healthcare is abominable. This “Graham-Cassidy” bill is the WORST suggested bill to date! All 50 state Medicare director has come out against it, the AMA is against it, doctors, insurance companies and most every health-related institution is against this bill. It is so horrendous that even some senators say they would not vote for the bill, except that they must because if they don’t they will lose the $$$ they get from their “donors” who are the ONLY ones who benefit in the form of the largest tax break for them in history if this bill passes. It is a very shameful thing when our elected officials choose “party” over “people”…just completely shameful. IF Trump is so fucking worried about Obama’s name being on the American’s Care Act (ACA) then just change it to Trump care and be DONE with attacking it and causing 30 MILLION people to worry about losing all practical healthcare and protections. IF they repeal the ACA as it stands the only ones who will be happy with the end result of a very, very poor standard of care for America will be it’s very wealthiest citizens, and no one else. Ordinary American’s WILL suffer and suffer very greatly.

Donald Trump is completely delusional. He is so focused on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama that he can’t see anything else past his nose. He is SO envious of those two that it’s pathetic. He can’t get over the FACT that Hillary Clinton garnered MORE POPULAR votes than he did! FACT!!! He can’t get by the FACT that Obama did more in his 8 years than Trump could even THINK of doing in his however-many years…let’s hope it’s a VERY SHORT number of years!!!

IF you believe Donald Trump, he is the ONLY one telling the truth here in America. He claims that EVERYONE else – every media source, including Facebook, and every government organization – is telling lies about him and promoting “fake news” as he so readily calls EVERYTHING he disagrees with now. The man just can’t get over himself! He’s a blatant LIAR, yet a few very naive people seem to want to fall for his lines. I am very sorry for those people; they will surely be very disappointed when Trump goes down in flames. And it IS going to happen – in one way or another!

There are SO MANY fucked up things going on here with Trump and his family and his cohorts that I can’t even scratch the surface. From the RNC funding the Trump family’s legal fees to Price taking government planes to watch the eclipse…it’s all so corrupt and illegal that it stinks to high heaven! And so many other things too! But, I shall leave you here with these paragraphs to ponder about what is going on with Trump and America right now.

Peace. ~MB

PS…as I was writing this Trump sent US fighter jets over the airspace of North Korea…now we wait for North Korea’s response – or World War Three – not quite sure just yet!

Ten Months…

Today I had my Groups: Recover Together meeting.  It’s basically weekly group therapy for opioid addicts trying to get clean, and in recovery.  I have been going to Groups now for over 6 months, and today got my 6 month token.  Its’ just a little pocket coin to fiddle with and remind yourself that you are in recovery and yes, you can do this!

2017-09-13 19.46.10I’m pretty proud that I have managed to kick my opioid addiction and stay clean for almost 10 months now.  Oct. 28th will be my 1 year anniversary.  It hasn’t been easy, I’ve had some really tough days and brutal nights.  I am currently in the Suboxone program. Suboxone is a drug used to curb the cravings and block the effect of opioids.  Basically, as long as I take my daily sublingual strips, which are paper strip that I put under my tongue and let dissolve for 7 minutes without swallowing — yeah, TRY to go 7 whole minutes without swallowing, it’s a real trick!  Anyway, as long as I take those I don’t have the hellish cravings for the drug, and even if I did do any dope it would be “blocked” by the Naloxone in the Suboxone strip.  Rendering doing it absolutely useless…I wouldn’t get high, so why bother?  It’s a phychological thing as well as a physical thing I believe.

Going to the weekly group meeting, where I am in a room with 8-10 other addicts all in the same boat, and all doing the same basic thing – trying to eliminate addiction from their lives.  We have developed a pretty tightly knit group at this point.  We’ve come to hold one another’s feet to the fire.  When you arrive at the office for the meeting you have to take a piss test, and they test it on the spot for any drugs.  It’s a 6 way test.  As long as you don’t test for any drugs except for the Suboxone (buprenorphine) you are good to go.  You go into the group meeting and when you are finished you pick up your weekly prescription from the coordinator on the way out.  You can test positive for marijuana also, it’s legal here so they don’t dock you for having it in your system.  Plus, many of us use it for pain relief, which is why many of us started using the opioid drugs to begin with.  Marijuana isn’t considered to be a problem in this program, and I don’t believe it’s a problem drug if used smartly.  If you test positive for any other drug you are pulled aside and have to meet with the counsellor before you can pick up your script.  You have to explain why you are positive and generally they will give you a break and a chance to continue.  If you habitually test positive, or have a “dirty” or “hot” result you can be tossed out of the program.  And no one wants that!  Going to these meetings in order to get your prescription, being tested weekly, and bein accountable has become pretty damned important to me.  I need the Subs, so I follow the program and it’s kept me on track very well.

The opioid crisis is a nationwide crisis affecting all communities regardless of age, race, gender, religion, social status, or wealth.  It doesn’t discriminate.  I know many very prominent people in my community that hide secret addictions to these powerful drugs such as Percocet, oxycodone, Vicodin, Heroin and Fentanyl.  Once the drug gets you hooked you are in a fight for your life.  Too many times I have seen that fight end in death.  I didn’t want to be another one of those statistics.  Maine has an unusually high number of addicts, and a very high over-dose rate.  It’s a rural state, and for some reason has become a very big state for the trafficking of these potent drugs.

Tonight on ABC television here in the US there is a show that’s going to be on that’s called “State of Addiction” which will talk all about the epidemic we are facing here.  I plan to watch it and have encouraged my family and loved ones to do the same.  I can tell them things, but I think that hearing them from people who combat this every day will be even better for them to understand.  I am very lucky to have a very good support network of family, friends and a very supportive and loving girlfriend.  Without them I don’t think I would have made it back to sobriety….I thank every single one of them, and especially my dear Mother who I put through hell and back with worry and angst.  I’m sorry for all of it, but an addict doesn’t see those things or the way they are affecting people around them when they are actively using.  It’s not til one gets clean that we can look back and realize the damage we have done, and just hope and try to fix it somehow.

Peace.  ~MB

 

The Insomnia Files

cropped-seacoast-sunrise-8-7-17.jpg

I’m awake. I should be sound asleep, dreaming of sex or something equally as deviant. But, hell no, I am wide awake and just wishing I could sleep some more; hoping that maybe after I write a little and just chill that I’ll be able to fall back to sleep for a few hours.

The news in America is just so troubling. From Trump’s continuous blunders and embarrassments to the devastation from Hurricane Harvey on Texas and Lousiana, you just can’t escape it. Every news channel is focused on these points; these topics of communal interest.

I, like everyone here, am so saddened by what is happening in Texas/Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast of Texas. From Corpus Cristi to Houston, and every small town and city in between there has been so much loss and destruction. This hurricane is the single largest natural disaster that the USA has ever witnessed or experienced on her own soil. And my fear is that we are only at the beginning of the losses – there will be so much fallout from the storm in the form of human suffering, pollution, ecological disaster, more fires, massive loss of personal property and real estate, and more. Yes, I think things will get much worse there before this is all over with.

The water is still mostly there, stagnant and putrid. The rescues continue with people still being IN the water, standing in it, sometimes neck deep. Animals are still being found, some lost, some abandoned at the last minute, and all needing food and care. Humane societies from around the country are trying to help out; some even taking in many animals to care for and help find homes for. I am sure there will be dogs headed up to Maine, I saw where the Maine shelter was preparing for them. I might even have to find room for one more little fur baby in my home for one of them.

My employer donated half a million dollars to the Hurrican Harvey relief effort; $250K to the Red Cross for use specifically for their efforts in Texas/Louisiana and another $150K to our company employee fund that will be used to help employees of the company who are affected by the storm. I thought this was very generous of them. And it makes me a little proud. At work, we are asking customers to join us by donating their change to the cause. I don’t mind asking knowing that the company themselves have made this huge donation as well. Basically, I ask each customer that comes through my line to donate the change rounded up to the nearest dollar, like if the sale is $5.47 I would ask that they donate .53 cents to the relief fund, rounding up so that the customer pays an even $6.00. Most say sure and are glad to do so. The money we raise at the counter there will go to the Red Cross’s efforts in the hurricane zone as well.

I can’t even bring myself to comment on Trump’s actions and behavior during this whole crisis. Let’s just say I believe it’s just plain – using one of his own favorite words – SAD.

Hopefully, our government will not make this a huge political battle to get funds to assist the victims and to rebuild the area.

Of course, the immigration debate and the government’s threat to deport all illegal immigrants will directly affect the rebuilding efforts. Ten percent of the population there is illegal, and most of them are construction workers. It’s just a shame that it will all become such a political battle that will severely affect so many innocent lives.

It’s turned very cold here at night. Temperatures are dropping down into the 40’s at night, brrrr…chilly willy! I wake up mornings and I’m damned near freezing! But I have yet to turn on my furnace! I refuse to start burning valuable oil, which has now skyrocketed in price because of the hurricane. They shut down all of the refineries in the Houston – Corpus Cristi area, which is where most of our heating oil and gasoline fuels come from. I ordered a load of heating oil this last Tuesday and got it at a price of $1.90/gal. Today, just a just 4 days later it’s up over $2.30/gal. And gasoline, OMG, that has gone crazy high! I paid $2.11/gal at the beginning of the week, and last night I passed the station where I usually fill up and it was at $2.67/gal.!!! That’s one helluva increase in just those few short days!!!! So, burning oil right now is a commodity that I can do without. I’ll just wear extra layers in the mornings and shed them as it warms up. The daytime temps have been up around 70-75.

With Fall coming in so early the leaves on the trees have even begun to change. It is pretty early for this to start happening here, which means that peak leave change and peak colors will be fairly early as well. I’m hoping to take a drive up to the White Mountains this season to see the foliage there. Maybe go over to Cathedral Ledge and check it out from the cliffs.

I finally got to the doctor for the pain in my arms and neck. And now I have a brace on my left wrist, immobilizing it pretty much. That seems to help. That and the addition of a non-narcotic pain reliever called Celecoxib. Between the two I’m considerably less pain and discomfort. The doctor ordered x-rays of my c-spine area, and I haven’t heard back on those yet. We’re not sure if the pain is being caused by nerve damage in the c-spine, or if it’s carpal tunnel type stuff that’s happening.

Also had my blood drawn for my quarterly level testing to make sure I am staying healthy and my medications are working properly to keep my HIV suppressed. I meet with my specialist about that this week. I’m feeling just fine, so I am not worried as I am sure the tests will show that I continue to be healthy and my virus is being kept in check.

I’ve been spending a good amount of time online and on Skype with my sweetheart. She was out of the country for a little while, traveling for her work. We managed to stay in touch thanks to Facebook’s messenger even during that time. I’ve really gotten spoiled by being able to Skype video call with her quite a bit. She’s really become the Rockstar in my life, and I’m so friggin happy about that!

Alright, it’s dawn here in Maine. Looks like it’s going to be a nice clear day, not much for clouds in the sky that I can see. I’m not sure what the day will bring, but probably some garden work and a run to the post office to mail a package to start off.

Here’s a new pic of the front of my house with the freshly painted porch and some new flower baskets and hangings.  The old place is looking pretty good!   Peace!  ~MB

2017-08-27 18.47.47

Harvey’s Devastation of Texas…

Harvey pic

Texas…the news coming out of Texas due to the direct hit by Hurricane Harvey is devastating.

We have a “president” that has not got the slightest clue as to what to do or how to act in any situation like this…He made an “appearance” in Texas, away from the actual disaster area, and he used it to once again continue to bolster his ego.  He spoke about it being “epic” (which it is) and about the affects on real estate and business, how bit his “turn out” was in Texas today and how “expensive” this was going to be…he showed NO empathy toward actual people or the HUMAN suffering that is happening there right now.  I was NOT impressed at all.  He has NO idea how to be empathetic toward human suffering; he himself does NOT know WHAT suffering IS or FEELS LIKE…he’s a rich, codified baby.

Trump wants to continue to worry about his rating and TV photo ops instead of worrying about what the hell he is going to do, and how he is going to react to this very devastating natural disaster.

Hurricane Harvey has devastated a large part of our country.  Tens of millions of people have been directly affected, losing all of their belongings, their livelihoods, and some their very lives.   It is horrible…beyond horrible.  There really are NO WORDS to describe this at all.  No words.

The positive side of this is that it’s other citizens, the people of Texas and beyond, that are heroically carrying out rescue mission after rescue mission.  These incredible individuals are stepping up to what is probably the biggest challenge of their lives.  And they are doing it honorably and without thought for their own personal safety.  People from all over Texas, and around the country, are going to Houston, Rockport and Corpus Cristi with trucks, boats, kayaks, canoes, rubber rafts, 4-wheelers, jet skis and anything they have that will help to rescue people and animals from the horror they are stranded in.  Even the American Cajun Navy has responded in full force.  Some are standing in water neck deep; others trying to live on the roof tops.  And these private citizens are flocking there to rescue them!  It’s EPIC alright, and epic show of human caring and kindness for their neighbors!  THAT is the biggest story of this whole catastrophe.  You can see many videos of these heroic efforts, hear interviews and see the devastation on YouTube and Facebook.

The poor animals that were left behind really tug at my heart.  To see pictures of dogs TIED up, with no way to get themselves to higher ground because they were LEFT tied up!  That should be a criminal offense in my opinion.  There were animals left in cages to drown. Horses left in stalls, with no way out.  And numerous other varieties of pets left in less than opportune conditions for survival.   Luckily, there are many that have gone to rescue these animals, hauling them out by boat and by simply carrying them through the high water.  It’s so sad to see the fear in the innocent animals’ eyes, wondering what is happening and where their owners went to.  I fear that many may never be reunited with their owners – and if owners left them behind to die then maybe they don’t need to be returned to those kinds of people anyway.  I’m sure you can give me excuses for it, but I find it unconscionable to leave a loyal pet behind…I would die with my dog rather than leave her to die alone and scared.  No matter how risky, I would take my dogs with me and chance it.

This Hurricane Harvey is going to push America to her limits.  We have never had a natural disaster here of this size, intensity or magnitude.  It will be a huge undertaking and challenge to handle all of the aftermath; all of the destruction, loss of life and loss of property.  It will take decades to rebuilt the intrastructure and for people to rebuild their homes and lives after the initial storm is over.

It will be many weeks before people get resettled into new living spaces, some temporary, some more long term.  And that is probably an understatement.  People lost EVERYTHING in this hurricane.  The lost homes, personal property and dignity.  They lost friends, relatives, children, grandparents, pets and everything beloved to them.  Businesses cannot function, most were destroyed by wind or water and will not reopen for weeks, months, a year or more — maybe never again.  This means thousands without jobs…maybe millions…the numbers will be staggering and are yet to be discussed here.  It’s a bit strange how no one is discussing numbers in all of this…except Trump exclaiming how “expensive” this is going to be.  He’s only concerned because it might cost HIM some personal money I bet.

Oil refineries are shut down.  No production.  Thus gasoline and heating oil prices are increasing daily here – and around the country.  No one knows how long they will be shuttered, or what it means to our national supply of these vital fuels.  And winter is coming here in New England.  This hurricane will affect ALL of America in some way or another.

Personally I have done several things.  I bought heating oil for my home today.  I saw it increase by 20cents in the last 2 days, so I figured I should fill my home heating fuel tank before it becomes unaffordable to me to do so.  I ended up paying $1.90 per gallon for #2 heating oil.  My tank is nearly full now, I will top it off full on Oct. 1st.

I filled my Envoy with gas today too.  Two days ago I paid $2.11/gal. and today I paid $2.33/gal at the SAME station, Irving.  So, gas and diesel pricing is on the rapid rise as well due to this hurricane.

Have written emails to my representatives, urging them to do whatever they can do to help get federal funding for Texas released as soon as possible.  Don’t play politics and make it contingent on “other” budget line items, just give them the goddamn money they need to rescue, recover, rebuild and deal with the repercussions of this horrific natural disaster.  It’s called Disaster Relief for just that reason – it should be used for those purposes and not held hostage by political in-fighting over budgets and line items.

I have remained actively vocal on Facebook.  Posting updates about the storm, photos, videos and sharing stories about the responders and the victims.  I’ve urged people to love each other more. To unite and help each other get through this.  I’ve raged against Trump and the horrible politicians of this country who are so callous about the hurricane and who are already balking at letting federal funds and other assistance go to these people.  I will continue to do all of this; continue to speak out and be vocal whenever and wherever I am able to do so.

I’ve considered trying to pull together a team to go to help in Texas  But I do not currently have a truck, boat or other equipment that they need so badly.  I would simply be in the way at this point. But in the future there may be a place for me there; something I can go and do to help them out.  Volunteerism is what is going to help these people the most over the long haul – that and federal financial assistance for food and supplies to live.  Donations are badly, badly needed there.  Everything was lost…so they need basically everything!  From toothbrushes to blankets.  Some have no shoes.  Most have just the clothing they are wearing when rescued.  They need dog food, cat food, litter and pet care supplies.  Everything we take for granted and use daily – they lost and do not have!  So, IF you can help; if YOU can do ANYTHING – even the smallest of things, like a $5 donation, please, please do it.  And keep doing it until they are out of the woods.

My heart goes out to Texas and all of her people, to my Texas friends and relatives, I send you all must love and wishes for healing and perseverance.  Stay strong. Texas Strong.

For donations and to offer help here are just a FEW places you can start:

Humane Society of the United States – Hurricane Harvey animal rescue/disaster relief

Save the Children – direct response for children affected by Hurricane Harvey

American Red Cross – Hurricane Harvey direct response

How to donate to victims of Hurricane Harvey

Peace to all.  ~MB

 

Current Reality.

I’m tired.  Tired of fighting all this hate in this country.  The last 7 months, since Trump took office, have really been very difficult.  I’m sure many feel that same weariness that I feel right now.  But I know it is so important to not give up just because we are weary.  I know I have to continue to be strong in facing the evil that is upon us right now.  I only pray that there will come better, quieter and more peaceful days.

What is starting to happen more frequently now is that people are starting to really come to logger heads.  The personal fighting and attacks have begun.  We are beginning to become more and more divided every day.  Just today, in my OWN HOME I had someone say some very pro-Trump, hateful and bigoted things.  Now, you KNOW I wanted to explode and go nuclear on the guy, but instead I got super mad – to the point of tears coming to my eyes – and retreated to my bedroom to try to simmer down.  This person is staying at my house and now I am equally angry about THAT.  I don’t want this kind of  hate and intolerance in my own home; in my personal space or in the place where I am supposed to feel safe.  I can’t have it.  So, I am now faced with having to tell him he needs to move on – out of my space.  This hurts me deeply.  I always considered him a good friend, and I never expected to hear such garbage from him.  He was insinuating that Trump pardoning Arpiao was the right thing, and that Arpiao was only rounding up Latinos because they are “all criminals anyway”…and he continued to say things I can’t repeat here.  It was disgusting.  It was terrifying.  I am a Butch lesbian, who KNOWS what his true feelings and ideas are about ME and my kind!  THAT is terrifying.  And I can’t have that fear lingering over me in my own space; space that is supposed to be safe, nurturing and comfortable for me.  Space where I can hide from the evils of the world.

So tomorrow I have to sit him down and explain to him that I cannot have him here any longer.  This will cause him some problems as he will have to go back to staying at a hotel and on couches.  But I can’t give a soft spot to land to a bigot and racist.  It’s not who I am.  And not what I wish to be associated with in any way, shape or form.  Let him take his sorry ass somewhere else, maybe go be with his own kind.  I don’t know what he will do, I just hope he’s reasonable about leaving quietly, because he has to go away from here; away from my HOME.

THIS is what all of this Trump inspired division is DOING to us here in the USA.  It’s tearing friends apart.  It is tearing families apart.  We do not – or CANNOT – trust each other anymore.  The feeling is very visceral.  It’s frightening to be in any minority group here.

I’m scared.  I don’t know where this is all going, but I want to go back to the Obama years.  I want to go back to when we felt like we were safer and moving in a good direction with the country.  I don’t want to re-enact Nazi Germany’s history here in the United States….but THAT is what is happening.

The way it’s forming up, 1/3 of the people here are willing to kill another 1/3 of the people, and the last 1/3 is willing to stand by silently and watch….

THAT is our currently REALITY.

Peace.  ~MB