Keeping up with why people care about Kim Kardashian

Why is it that we care so much about people we don’t even know?

 

Continue reading Keeping up with why people care about Kim Kardashian

Standing Up for the Ladies’ Room

Must parents now worry about some creeper peeking over the stalls just because he says he’s feeling like a woman today?

According to that defender of liberalism The Huffington Post, Americans aged 18 to 29 favor letting transgender people use the restroom of their identity by a 2-to-1 ratio.

Additionally, according to The Huffington Post and the rest of the liberal media, only states inhabited by slack-jawed booger-eating morons would deny transgender Americans their God-given right to use the restroom that corresponds to their gender identity.

Tell me something:  If a guy identifies as a man on Monday, does that mean he can identify as a woman on Tuesday?  Or does it depend upon who he watches walk into the Ladies’ room Tuesday afternoon at Target?

Seriously, what the hell happened to common sense?  You want to know why “Americans aged 18-29” are okay with guys going into girls’ bathrooms?  Because they don’t have kids!

Consider this:  There are far more pedophiles among the citizenry than there are people who identify as transgender.  And while it’s true that parents should always accompany their small children into a public restroom, there are those in-between years when parents should and do let their elementary or upper elementary-aged children go into a restroom by themselves (especially when it’s a mom trying to shake a crying preschooler off her leg while attempting to distract her toddler from grabbing the Pez dispensers in the checkout aisle).

Must parents now worry about some creeper peeking over the stalls at their little girl because he claims he’s feeling like a woman today?

I could paint the various scenarios for you to consider, but really, folks—it doesn’t take a forensic psychology degree to figure this one out.   Our children should not have to face a member of the opposite sex while they’re using a public restroom, no matter what age they are.  Furthermore, children lack the maturity to process the absurdity of seeing a male in a supposedly female and private setting, or a female in a supposedly male and private setting.

And no, it’s not a “good lesson” in tolerance for our children.  Like learning about the intricacies of sexuality at too young of an age, the complexities of transgenderism are hardly a topic any parent should have to deal with on the car ride home from Target.

Look, like their mother, my kids were never wimps about things like this.  My husband and I taught them to be aware that there are all kinds of people in the world, which, generally, makes our world a pretty cool place to be.  We didn’t shield them from delicate subjects, but neither did we expect them to handle situations or concepts that were not aligned with their level of maturity.

Furthermore, if my daughters had ever reported to me that there was a man present while they went in to use the restroom, that man better damn sure be wearing a cup.

Does this make me a homophobe?  I don’t see how.  This has nothing to do with homosexuality; rather, it has everything to do with the media grabbing onto the tail end of an issue and running with it because Donald Trump hasn’t said anything stupid in a few days, and what else are they going to write about?

(That’s not necessarily true, though.  I had to laugh when I heard Donald Trump say he didn’t give a crap [pun intended] if transgender folks use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity.  His children most likely never had to use a public restroom without their being accompanied by armed security and a retinue of nannies.)

So put away your rainbow posters and your LGBT placards, because this isn’t what this bathroom issue is about.  It’s about attaching an absurd concept—the “anything goes” restroom—to a cause that, frankly, I’m still scratching my head over.  My gay and lesbian friends are great people who appear to be living the American dream, as well they should.

And if you’re among the infinitesimal number of people in the country who identify as transgender—get over it.  If you have a penis, use the Men’s room.  If you don’t, use the Ladies’.  If you’re a “Dude (who) looks like a lady”, keep it in your panties until you’re behind a locked stall.

Using guilt to force the majority of Americans to bend to the will of a pocket-sized sampling of the population is hardly an example of doing the greatest good for the greatest number of people, no matter where or how you take care of your personal business.

I don’t know about you, but right now I have enough men in my life peeing on the seat.

Okay. We get it.

It really shouldn’t come down to voting for the candidate we despise the least.

Every time the man walks up to a podium, I cringe, dreading what manner of vitriol he’s going to spew forth.  Usually, it’s something along the lines of what I used to hear fourth and fifth graders hollering at each other out on the playground.  I’m kind of surprised that I haven’t heard him playing the dozens during the debates, as in, “Cruz?  Cruz’s mama is so fat, she has to …”

I hope that neither he nor any of the worthless sycophants who are advising him read this—the man doesn’t need any more bad ideas.

Chris FarleyWe get it, Mr. Trump.  You’re an “outsider”.  You’re not a member of “the establishment”.  You don’t have to “pander” and “suck up” to anybody because you’re “rich”.  You want to make America “great” again.  You don’t have to be “politically correct” or “polite” because you’re a “maverick”.

You know, Donald, you’re right.  You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to do.  You’ve no one to answer to.

Whether you like him or not, though, it appears that Trump is about to cross the Rubicon into uncharted land—for him, at least.  And though he may be a skilled tactician in the boardroom, he is shaping up to be many things as the Republican frontrunner for the candidacy of President of the United States, and not all of those things are good.

TrumpvsDisabledReporterHe’s a bully.  He’s rude.  He bloviates.  He hates.  He calls people names.  He makes fun of others for attributes they possess over which they have no control.  Frankly, he’s an asshole.  Worst of all, he offers simple solutions to complex problems (“Just build a wall!”), which resonates with Americans who are fed up with the status quo but have no clue as to how dangerous a man like Trump can become.

I’ve avoided this comparison so far; however, as much as I hate to admit to myself, the man is beginning to remind me of a certain dictator who also offered simple solutions to complex problems.  I say, “beginning” because so far, Trump has not blamed the entire population of any one ethnic group for the nation’s ills; nor has he called for the expansion of American ‘lebensraum’.  Not yet, anyway.

I pray that the remaining stability of our Republic would be enough to stop him or anyone from committing all out genocide.

Mr. Trump, if you are planning on seeing this journey through to the end, it’s time to stop acting like a snot-nosed spoiled brat and start acting like a statesman.  It’s time to man up—you’re better than this.  Because in a race between you and Hillary Clinton, it really shouldn’t come down to voting for the candidate we despise the least.

Cut the crap.  You’ve made your point.  Now it’s time to be presidential.

 

 

 

Trumpe-L’oeil

Trump’s campaign is the ruse of the century

It’s always risky to make assumptions only to find out later that you were completely off base in your assessment, but the prospect of a Trump presidency is so bizarre, I’m just going to go ahead and say this:

Trump is not in it to win it.

Pundits will argue that he sure as hell is in it to win it and it looks like he will, dammit.  Others will say that his unorthodoxy is part of what makes him the brilliant tactician that he is; that by making outrageous and seemingly offensive statements he is breaking the mold of the consummate politician thereby owning this election.  Another segment of the population is so offended by him and his Hitler-esque ideology (their words, not mine) that they’re predicting we’ll soon be goose stepping our way through a totalitarian dictatorship.  Still some, like me, just think he’s crazy.

Like a fox.

Do you really think Trump wants to make America great again?  Or is it something else?  When a guy’s got his name on more buildings than Sam Walton, it can’t be the fame.  Power hungry?  I get that, but there are other ways to be powerful without having to hoodwink the electorate all the way into the White House.  I know, Ronald Reagan was an outlier, too but who are we kidding:   Trump is no Ronald Reagan.

This isn’t my first assessment of the ruse of the century. In early August, and after Trump had announced his candidacy, I posted this vignette on Facebook.

august trump prediction

At this point, I’m not sure that this is exactly his motive, but I do think he has some O’Henry trick up his sleeve, you know, the surprise ending.  Because come on, you threaten to boycott a debate because you don’t like Megyn Kelly?  Really, Donald, if you can’t get along with the host of a cable news show, how are you going to navigate Putin?  Whining that you’re not coming to the party if Megyn is there rather emasculates you, don’t you think?  At the very least you sound like a petulant child who is picking up his toys and going home.

Most unbecoming, Sir.

His behavior is not logical, which is why some in the political sphere, like Rush Limbaugh, believe this is all part of his strategy.  To me, though, it appears as if he is setting himself up to be so reviled that he’ll either step aside and let someone else occupy his spot, or he really is a DNC plant.

Regardless, I both cringe and shake my head every time the guy opens his mouth, wondering what manner of cartoon character rhetoric is going to come out.  Would I keel and wail and render my flesh if he manages to get elected?  No.  Furthermore, I don’t think that’s going to happen.  This guy is too smart to resort to acting like an asshat, and he’s wily enough to fool people into thinking that he is.

If that circular logic baffles you, then guess what?  You’ve been Trumped.

It’s true because I read it on Facebook

Oprahs Book ClubIf you base your entire belief system on what you read on Facebook, you’re making yourself look like a real schlemiel.

Okay, so besides keeping up with friends near and far, selling a novel, and texting my sister via ‘Messenger’ because she refuses to buy a cell phone, I’ve culled some great stuff from Facebook. Stuff like, “8 things you didn’t know you could do with leftover bacon grease—number 4 will BLOW YOUR MIND!” or “Eliminate cat feces from your flowerbeds with ONE WEIRD TRICK!”

But what really boggles my mind is how people—individuals who are apparently intelligent enough to own a computer and create a Facebook page—can look at one meme or one story that’s gone “viral” and extract from that their entire political agenda. Everything from who they intend to support in the upcoming presidential election to their feelings on abortion, LGBT rights, and whether Donald Trump really does want to tattoo Muslims (he doesn’t) or build a wall and get Mexico to pay for it (he does).

Facebook is to the truth as Wikipedia is to research. It may be a good place to start, but if you base your entire belief system on what you read there, especially if you agree, like, share, or forward something about which heretofore you knew very little, you’re making yourself look like a real schlemiel. For crying out loud, you’re sitting at a computer with internet access (otherwise you wouldn’t have Facebook, but you knew that), so why don’t you do a little research and find out if Chelsea Clinton’s father-in-law really did serve time in prison for embezzlement (he did) or if Sarah Palin actually said, “I can see Russia from my house!” (she didn’t).

Even more misleading than actual Facebook posts are the memes floating among the flotsam and jetsam. These give the reader just a flash of an image or a set of carefully arranged words in an eye-catching font that are meant to completely change your opinion of everything you used to hold dear. This, for instance.

meme1

Really?  Says who? There is no identifying information within the image that I can research, just the words themselves.  Am I really supposed to believe this is true?  Or feel bad because I often identify with the GOP?  I submit to you that 80% of Americans don’t trust their grandmothers, either.

To further infuriate the masses, there are those pesky agitators out there—trolls, if you will—who will go so far as to post outlandish shizz  in order to stir up controversy; in this case (see below), to poke fun at or poke holes in certain segments of the population who refuse to use birth control, have their babies at home then eat their placentas, don’t vaccinate their young breed, and demand that you do the same under pain of hell-fire.

dotndI’ll admit that when I first saw this, I, too, said, “Bite me.”  But then I did a little digging and found that there was no “Disciples of the New Dawn”, the organization that allegedly created this Facebook page.  The page was the brainchild of somebody with too much time on his hands and a warped sense of humor.  It was specifically designed to get women’s panties in a wad (as if there isn’t enough of that going around). Apparently, somebody else was so offended that they created a Change.org petition to have site removed.

Guess who won Facebook that day?

Facebook is a platform for connecting with family and friends, for sharing ideas and showing me how to get the pee stains out of my mushroom-colored carpeting, and especially for posting cute pictures of babies and toddlers (however they are born and regardless of whether their moms ate their placentas or if they are vaccinated).  It’s also for watching videos of puppies doing cute things and kittens romping about and being clever.

And just in case you were über-impressed with the fact that Oprah Winfrey is clutching a copy of my novel in the first image, just remember that she left her venerable talk show in May, 2011, and my novel was published in March, 2014.

But I had you there for a second, didn’t I?

Don’t believe everything you read on Facebook.  A lot of it is simply fiction, just like The Gym Show.

 

Mother of the Year

I couldn’t get out of my mind the picture of her son crying out for help without thinking, why wasn’t she there?

Wife and mother Helena Richards Colby resides in a tony suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio.   Helena lives a life that most of us dream of—she’s wealthy and reasonably attractive, with a well-appointed home that includes plenty of space for entertaining, a large back yard with a pool, and a gorgeous lake view.  But what Helena wants most is the envy and adulation of her peers, and to a greater degree (though she would never admit it) she wishes to climb the proverbial social ladder to become a select member of Cincinnati’s privileged elite.

Helena stepped on the first rung of that ladder in January 2012, when she talked her husband Will into nominating her for the title of Greater Cincinnati’s Mother of the Year, the promotional brainchild of Cincinnati City magazine.  Nominees (who pay a ridiculous fee just for the faux honor of being nominated) are fêted for an entire year at various magazine-sponsored functions throughout the city in an effort to promote themselves as the quintessential mother, giving Cincinnati’s well-heeled a chance to vote for their ultimate Madonna.  Helena never missed an event.

In September, 2012, Helena and Will were scheduled to attend an event at Cincinnati’s Contemporary Art Center (once home to the infamous Robert Maplethorpe exhibit, but I digress).  It was a Tuesday night, and Helena’s regular sitter, her 16-year-old daughter Hailey, was unfortunately unable to watch the couple’s seven-year-old son, Christopher.  Hailey had a party to attend.  On a Tuesday night.

Never one to say no to her daughter, Helena figured that Christopher would be fine by himself at home.  Hailey would have her cell turned on, of course, and Helena and Will would each have their respective cells on vibrate but within “feeling” proximity.  Hailey assured her parents that she would be no fewer than five minutes from their house, and though Helena and Will would be downtown, Helena was certain that Christopher would be fine for the few short hours that he would be alone.  After all, isn’t teaching children the virtue of self-reliance a hallmark of a Mother of the Year?

Christopher wasn’t so sure.  He didn’t like it when Mommy and Daddy were gone at night, even when Hailey was there with him in the house (she never really was in the same room with him, but at least she was there).  He still slept with his light on in his room most nights, and he didn’t like this time of year when the leaves were starting to fall off the trees outside his bedroom window because they made scrape-y noises that were scary to him.  Christopher didn’t say much at dinner; Mommy and Daddy didn’t notice, and Hailey was busy playing on her phone.

Always in a nervous flurry before these types of events, Helena rushed through dinner and began barking orders to Will in an attempt to get him to hurry.  She didn’t notice that Hailey had already left the house and that Christopher was sulking on the sofa watching a rerun of South Park.  The couple left the house after Helena hastily scrawled hers, Will’s, and Hailey’s phone numbers in big Sesame Street-sized numbers on a piece of loose leaf paper she found in Hailey’s backpack because, well, that’s what good mothers do.  She trusted that Christopher would call one of them if there was an emergency.

Once Helena and Will arrived at the venue, all thoughts of her children were blissfully erased from her consciousness because it was here that she would be introduced to Cincinnati’s preeminent citizens.  Not for her were the hoi polloi that she ordinarily ran into at Kroger or while waiting in the carpool lane at her son’s school.  No, it was among these majestic faces she was meant to rub elbows, to mingle and chat, to exchange dinner invitations.  Helena was in her element.  So transfixed was she that she never felt the phone vibrate in her small reticule clutched in her left hand.  Will’s phone buzzed, too, but after several trips to the bar, so did he.

It wasn’t until she had excused herself to go into the restroom to check on her lipstick that she felt the phone in her purse vibrate.  It was Hailey.  She told her mother that she had had several calls from Christopher who said that he was scared and that he was hearing noises.  Although Hailey offered to go home and check on him, Helena reminded her that Christopher often made up stories about hearing strange noises, and that a good mother would teach him a lesson about crying wolf.  Besides, Helena had it on good authority that the party Hailey was attending was at the home of a board member of one of the city’s most sought after charitable foundations, and she couldn’t wait to hear from Hailey about what the inside of the house looked like.  After all, isn’t encouraging your daughter to develop relationships with influential people part of being a good mother?

Though it doesn’t really matter at this point who arrived home at the Colby residence first, it happened to be Hailey, who would, for the rest of her life, have seared into her brain the image of her little brother’s body as it lay broken, bloodied, and beaten on the cold, bare floor of the empty garage.  At this point in the story, I lack the vocabulary to describe what actually happened at the Colby home that September night—Google it for yourselves if you like.  Suffice it to say that after four armed intruders broke into the home, burgled it, and murdered seven-year-old Christopher Richards Colby in one of the most brutal attacks ever investigated by the first responders and homicide detectives on the scene, Greater Cincinnati’s candidate for Mother of the Year was down one child.

Oh, there was quite an investigation.  The family was questioned repeatedly about the events surrounding the break in and Christopher’s murder.  The day after the murder, the local television affiliate interviewed a tearful Helena who blamed the tragedy on a violent video game she had read about online and suggested that it was this that was the impetus for the killers’ vicious actions and the eventual death of her son. Days, weeks went by with the entire community both mourning alongside the Colby family and expressing outrage at the killers’ murderous rampage.  Ultimately, the killers were caught, and the community and the family could rest a little easier.  But there was nothing that would bring Christopher back.

Even in her grief, though, Helena found a way to turn this heartbreak into a triumph.  After all, she was still in the running for Greater Cincinnati’s Mother of the Year, and with a senseless tragedy to add to her repertoire of virtuous deeds, influential friendships earned, and exposure among the city’s most celebrated citizens, there was no reason to abandon her quest for social acceptance and virtual aristocracy.

The tragedy was too much for her husband, though—he put a gun to his head a month after his son’s murder.  Well, that’s how it was reported anyway.

After a socially acceptable period of quiet mourning, Helena began making the circuit of local and national talk shows, sharing her grief over the murder of her son and the loss of her husband, and used her platform to promote her new raison d’être as the new voice for all mothers out there who have lost a child.  Not surprisingly, after her well-crafted and heavily articulated year-long campaign, in January 2013, Helena Richards Colby was named Greater Cincinnati’s Mother of the Year.  She had endeared herself to nearly everyone.

But not to me.  I couldn’t get out of my mind the picture of her son crying out for help without thinking, why wasn’t she there?  Why did she leave him home alone, helpless and frightened?  Even when her daughter had expressed concern over her brother’s pleas for help, this mother was more concerned with her own social position and that of her daughter’s than she was about the safety of her son.

I am outraged that anyone lacking the fundamental judgement of a parent would deign to promote herself as the arbiter of parenthood.  After she all but fed her son to the killers who ended his life, how can she even consider herself worthy of any praise or accolades, let alone the title of Mother of the Year?  I am outraged that more people, not only in the Cincinnati area but throughout the country, are not as sickened by this situation as I am.  Some are even going so far as to defend her actions and feel that those of us who dare question her motives are engaging in a 17th century witch hunt.   But I don’t care about that.  I’m more concerned about the starry-eyed boot-licking sycophants who are looking at Helena Richards Colby as the gold standard of motherhood.

Any cold-hearted excuse for a human being who can demonstrate this much arrogance, negligence, and lack of judgment and still manage to become the Democratic nominee for President of the United States Greater Cincinnati’s Mother of the Year will stoop to the lowest level imaginable in order to further her self-serving agenda.

We’re dying to hear from you

If you are one of those good Muslims among the faithful who is angry, hurt, resentful, disgusted, or otherwise offended by the anti-Muslim rhetoric you are hearing, why don’t you speak up?

Most of the stupidity that has left Donald Trump’s pouty potty mouth in the months since he’s decided to run for king of the world president has truthfully gone in one ear and out the other.  I’ve never regarded him as a serious candidate; in fact, I once opined that his candidacy was a ruse—once he’s gained enough momentum, he’ll drop out just so he can sit back and laugh hysterically while he watches the next guy in line get his balls busted by Ursula the She-Monster.  So I guess I haven’t been too worried about ol’ Donald.

Until yesterday.

Yes, he went there.  Donald Trump made a statement to the effect that the U.S. should immediately close its borders to all Muslims, regardless of their status.  He not only went there, he doubled down when asked again if he wanted to retract anything about his most provocative statement to date.  Trump has no finesse; his sledgehammer bull-in-a-china-shop rhetoric makes me question his sanity.  Here’s a tip:  Simple solutions to complex problems make people very nervous.  Just ask the average Jew living in Germany in 1933.  Ahem.

It’s not that I completely disagree with Trump.  I think it’s only prudent to be ever-so-vigilant about who’s coming and going through the revolving door of our ports of entry, but to say that all Muslims should be locked out is going a bit too far.  Because there are good Muslims out there, right?

Before I join the millions of Donald-shamers, I think an important question needs to be asked:  If our citizenry, made up of a veritable kaleidoscope of cultures, races, religions, and ethnicities, is so concerned about those who label all Muslims as a collection of like-minded individuals out to commit jihad against the West, then help us out, good Muslims.  Tell us about your religion.  Share with us who you are, what you believe, and why your faith is being maligned all over the world.

Most importantly, state, in no uncertain terms, just us how angry it makes you that radical Islamists are ruining it for the rest of you.

I follow news; that is, I read, listen, and react, hopefully with an open mind.  But just as everybody’s baby is the prettiest, every news outlet and every talking and typing head has an agenda.  Every blogger, every columnist, every pundit is out to market their brand—themselves.  Using provocative rhetoric is how you get folks to pay attention, I get that.  But isn’t there someone out there who is in this for the greater good and can tell us the truth?

Likewise, isn’t there someone in the Muslim community who can share with us the virtues of their religion?

Allow me to put this in terms that may help you understand where I’m going with this:  I am first a Christian by faith, Catholic by denomination.  Michelle Duggar, mother extraordinaire, is first a Christian by faith, and an Independent Baptist by denomination.  We have very little in common lifestyle-wise (probably to her everlasting relief).  What we do have in common is that we have both accepted Jesus Christ as our Savior and Redeemer.

It is ridiculously naïve to lump all people of a set religion into the same group.  I’m sure Michelle would agree.  If such benign differences exist among Christians like Michelle and me, isn’t it reasonable, then, to assume that the of the 1.6 billion Muslims in the world, there are some good people among the faithful who may practice their religion in different ways and in varying degrees?

In contrast, whereas the Ku Klux Klan and the Westboro Baptist Church would like to call themselves Christians, their principles and actions, their rhetoric and practices are anything but Christ-like; ergo, they are not Christians, no matter what they’d like you to believe.  They pull scripture out of context from the Bible and twist it into evil sound bites in order to justify their sins.  In many ways, they are just as bad as radical Islamists, and their actions are reprehensible, especially when committed in the name of their warped brand of pseudo-Christianity.  True Christians would never stand up for them.  Ever.

And like the pseudo-Christians out there, isn’t it also reasonable to assume that among that 1.6 billion Muslims in the world there exist Islamic jihadists whose sole purpose in life is to destroy western civilization—radical Islamists committing terror in the name of Allah?

If you are one of those good Muslims among the faithful who is angry, hurt, resentful, disgusted, or otherwise offended by the anti-Muslim rhetoric you are hearing, why don’t you speak up?  Why don’t you tell us why you and people of your kind do not want to bring terror, death, and destruction upon the United States of America.

To stay silent will guarantee that all we’ll ever hear, see, or—worst of all—experience are the voices of the jihadists who want us all dead.