Freedom Of Speech?

The ignorance of some people is mind blowing.

I guess that’s what happens when you’ve never had to actually fight to have the same rights or to be treated equally as other people. Being treated as a second rate citizen makes you view our country differently.

For example:

1. Women still face inequality (you can even rape them with minimal to no jail time!).

2. Black people have faced oppression/discrimination for hundreds of years and still do so today.

3. Gay people JUST got the right to get married last year. We can still be legally fired for our sexual orientation in many states.

Don’t think the irony of “the land of the free” was lost on any minority group of people standing for the national anthem.

You’ll have to forgive some of us for being upset by inequality. We had just wanted liberty and freedom, like others who already had it. Women just want to be treated equally, receive equal pay, and stop having their bodies dictated by men. Black people want America to stop being racist and forcing them into a caste system, and also for the police to stop killing them. Gay people just always wanted to marry the person they love and stop having America target them and creating “religious freedom” laws that promote hate.

When that national anthem plays, it can cause rather conflicting feelings. On one hand, you feel patriotic. It’s that other hand..when you start to think about that patriotism, but then remember this nation treats you as less equal than some of your counterparts. That part stings. Sure, we could pretend to be patriotic. What does that really accomplish? It is fake patriotism. It is sweeping the current issues listed above under the rug. We do live in a country where we are actually and legally allowed to express our dissatisfaction at the country and government.

It’s also amazing to me that exercising your First Amendment right to express yourself is ridiculed and judged. That’s not how this works. If you don’t understand how freedom works, then you are part of the problem. Yes, you can absolutely disagree with someone who has a different viewpoint than you. Lately, I have seen some disturbing posts from people where they more than disagree, they find this type of expression offensive and think that anyone like Colin Kaepernick should be punished. Why is it better to play along than speak out? Why should someone be punished for speaking out? Because harsh truths are being brought to light? That is exactly what we need!

Telling people to be grateful for what little they’ve been “allowed” to have (by people who never had the right to “give” those scraps) or comparing us to other countries that discriminate even worse is wrong. If a gay Muslim man is murdered by other Muslims for being gay (which happens and is completely fucking vile), do not compare us to that and say “well at least you aren’t being killed.” That is even MORE infuriating because we are supposed to be PAST shit like that! Black, white, gay, straight, Muslim, whatever.. we should all be considered equal and have liberty in the United States. But we don’t, and that is why people choose to kneel down instead of stand for the anthem. We have not done anything to warrant everyone WANTING to stand for the flag.

Lastly, not standing for the flag is not a diss against the veterans who have served this nation. They fought, and gave their lives, for our freedoms. Speaking out against social injustice and protesting peacefully is not an attack on those people. It is living up to the freedoms that those amazing men and women have protected by sacrifice. I think using this as an argument against protesting the national anthem or the Pledge of Allegiance is just a tactic used to guilt people speaking out and to make them look like anti-American monsters.

It is more America to speak out and express yourself than it is to silence those who are trying to change the country for better.

Respect and celebrate other people’s expression of themselves. This is a right.

Bill Cosby vs Violent Cops

If I see one more of these ignorant posts, I am going to lose my shit on someone.

When you compare the police murdering innocent people on camera to the Bill Cosby case, you are shaming rape victims. How the hell can anyone even compare this case to what is going on with the cops? This fucking post isn’t even correct. Bill Cosby JUST got arrested for drugging and assaulting a woman that was within the statute of limitations. Those women who were attacked before, including 30 years ago, were not able to press charges due to the length of time that passes since the attacks occurred.

Women have been the main targets of psychotic/sadistic rapists and murderers throughout most of history. Look at the serial killers of just the past century. There is a certain fear that women have had to live with. When you post shit like “they stand to gain money,” you’ve undermined their traumatic experience and also force other women to never speak up about their rape so they aren’t treated the same.

Those women (and men) who have been raped and were too scared to say anything could be a relative or friend of yours. When shit like this gets posted on your social media, or you make disparaging remarks toward these women and this situation, your friends and family are reading that.

The police are killing people. That is the issue. That is what we need to focus on. Authorities seem to be above reproach when it comes to killing innocent people. Why is this happening? Why can no one break through? Who is protecting them? Spend your time digging into that instead.

Mass Shootings In America

There was yet another mass shooting recently. The 264th mass shooting of the year to be exact. This time it was at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. Some lunatic with mommy issues gunned down 19 people, killing ten and injuring nine.

How is a supposedly civilized nation like the U.S. allowing this to happen? It is disgusting just how mainstream mass shootings have become for us. I’m afraid that we are just becoming desensitized to it. Look at GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush. When asked about about mass shootings, he said “stuff happens.”

One of the things that Jeb Bush said was that we try to react quickly when something happens. Why is that a bad thing? Are we not supposed to do something when something bad happens? Doing NOTHING leads to NOTHING.

Look at terrorism. There was a great meme that totally nailed our reaction to terrorism versus our lack of reaction to gun violence (John Oliver is the man!):

Between the terrorist attacks on 9/11 and failed terrorist attacks that have occurred (like the shoe bomb attempt mentioned above) the nation went into Code Orange. Security got tight and we had to start doing things like taking off our shoes during security checks. Yet, the same Americans that are being protected by these security measures are left helpless to gun violence.

The craziest part is that when these mass shootings do happen, and politicians talk about stronger gun control laws to protect citizens, the pro-gun party lose their minds! “How dare they politicize this?”
“Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!” That last argument kills me.

I have three words for you: Port Arthur massacre. Not familiar with it? In 1996 this lunatic, whose name is not worth mentioning, went on a shooting rampage in Port Arthur Australia killing 35 people and injuring over 20 more people. After that tragedy the Australian government quickly moved to ban guns. They have never had another situation like that again. So tell me again how guns don’t kill people? Apparently politicizing and acting on change to prevent tragedy is quite productive.

Here is a fun fact for the pro-gun camp: We can stop politicizing mass shootings in the U.S. when we actually put an end to them!

Jim Jeffries, Australian comedian, totally nails that concept:

I am aware that our Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment so that we could legally protect ourselves with firearms. That means no one will be able to fully amend that to take away guns now. However, I highly doubt they were able to imagine what the evolution of guns would be like or how they would be used. They most certainly did not write that Amendment so that people could legally gun down other people in public places. The Second Amendment does not prevent us from having much stricter gun laws.

It’s time for us to stand up and do something. We need to completely overhaul and regulate the gun laws in this country and the actual guns floating around. We need more in depth and tougher background checks for everyone. I read in several places that we now have more guns than people in the country (also proof that more guns doesn’t equal safety). We need a massive sweep across the nation of all unregistered guns. How we are going to do that? I am not too sure. There are a lot of moving pieces to this that would require career lawmakers (not some blogger) to look at and figure out.

What we also need to do is stop giving attention to the shooters.The more notoriety they get, the more that influences other deranged people to act out and become famous. When the next shooting happens (because it will), we need to focus on victims and their families since they are who are really important. Let these would-be shooters know that they won’t get famous for committing such horrible acts.

Speaking of deranged, I do believe that mental health reform is also greatly needed here. We need to have a system in place where people who need help get help instead of letting them fester in their own madness. At least if we regulate guns and someone has a neurotic episode, they will be less likely to get their hands on a gun.

Look, I totally support your right to have a registered gun for protection since it is your Second Amendment right. As a single man living alone, I get the need for protection. Do I think you need to have an assault rifle or any high caliber gun? Not really. But if you do and you are into guns just be safe about it. Keep them locked up so kids or mentally disturbed people can’t get access to it. And for fuck’s sake, if you have to have a gun, teach your children about gun safety!

Check out President Obama’s amazing speech on the mass shootings in the U.S. and the stats on how many people have been killed by guns versus terrorism. It’s staggering to say the least!

In the end, this shit needs to stop! We are losing way too many innocent lives over this. If we all make our main goal to keep America safe from mass shootings, we can come up with the change we need.

If we don’t make changes to end these tragedies, we will definitely be the land of the free…free to die at school, the movies or at church.

Danny Pintauro comes out as HIV+

Danny Pintauro, former child actor who played Johnathan Bower on the show “Who’s The Boss?” came out as HIV positive in an interview with Oprah last week. You can check out the interview here:

I think that it is great that he is coming out and admitting he has HIV. It will help give a face to gay men who have HIV and what it is like to live with it. But there is more to this than meets the eye…

After that interview, Danny went on The View and had what could only be described as the most painful and ignorant interview I have ever seen.

Candace Cameron Bure and Raven-Symone (both former child stars as well) interviewed Danny where they asked him some incredibly asshole questions.

Candance asked Danny if he took responsibility for his “lifestyle.” Are you serious? She basically just blamed him for having HIV! He knows he made some mistakes, but that was shitty! Then Raven awkwardly asked Danny’s husband about their sex life. IT’S NOT YOUR BUSINESS! Then Candace Cameron, in the spirit of ignorant Kirk Cameron, blasted Danny and his husband for having unprotected sex.

This whole fucking thing was a complete train wreck! Who wrote and approved those questions? Is there not someone auditing the questions and taking out the shitty ones?

I actually have a bone to pick with Danny Pintauro. I appreciate giving visibility to HIV, really I do. However, I think Danny’s motivation is purely fame and money.

Hear me out. In his interview with Oprah, when he was asked about how being gay affected his life, he couldn’t really think of anything and just made up some shit on the spot. He also talked about some jobs he had, including selling Tupperware with drag queens. I still don’t know why he had to bring up the fact they were drag queens, it had nothing to do with anything.

In the second interview, Danny stated last job was a manager at PF Changs. I think he was tired and over that whole life and wanted to go back into the limelight. When asked about what charities he was going to work with, he said he wasn’t currently working with anyone but he had a list. That excuse of “having to keep it quiet” didn’t fly with me. He currently isn’t working with anyone because he just quit his job and decided to be “famous” again.

That is just my opinion based on what I saw. Whatever his motivation, I hope he does not waste this amazing opportunity to help the LGBT community take on HIV and drug addiction, both HUGE issues in the community!

Caitlyn Jenner and Courage

I learned something new from the conservatives regarding Caitlyn Jenner. Apparently there is only one kind of “courage” in the world. You’re only brave if you served in the military. That’s it.

I always thought of courage being more like a color. There are different shades of colors, not just one. I thought a person going through an intimate process so publicly and giving hope to thousands of people silently suffering and facing hate for who they are is a type of courage too. Imagine how stupid I feel.

No one owns courage. No one has the right to police courage or define it. Everyone is facing a different journey in life which requires a different courage.

Also, don’t believe everything you read (especially memes). ESPN confirmed that this story below was false. Click on the pic for more details.

noah galloway arthur ashe award

Bombs VS Guns

One would think that when a crisis like the Boston Marathon Bombing happens, everyone would ban together and put aside all issues until everything is settled and the lost have been mourned.

Nope. Not in America anyway. It wasn’t very long after the bombing that gun enthusiasts began using it as a platform for their anti-gun control beliefs.

Let me make this clear as possible:

Bombs and guns are two DIFFERENT things!

Gun control is an entirely different argument from bombs. Bombs are illegal and guns are legal… but both kill people. Guns are readily accessible and easily attainable. Bombs aren’t. You can’t really compare the two.

If our death rate was really high due to bombs I could understand “tighter bomb control.” But it isn’t. Gun violence is the leading cause of violent death in the U.S. So naturally that is what we need to tighten the controls on.

The actual suggested tighter gun control laws are only to make it more difficult for people to get their hands on guns.  I would imagine that even gun enthusiasts would want tighter control on who can have a gun. It would really behoove them to support it so they can argue that they are responsible enough to carry a gun.

We do have the 2nd Amendment right allowing us to bear arms. I do not believe that anyone has the right to take away that away from us. However, the right to bear arms seems to mean something different now.

The right to bear arms means that we can arm ourselves to protect ourselves or others. That indicates to me a gun or two. That does not mean military style weapons that civilians have no business owning. We were not meant to have semi-automatic machine guns. They serve civilians no purpose. We are not fighting in an army. We are the average Joe Smith who works the 9-5 and miserably pays bills. We are not action heroes.

Let’s not even get into the all the shootings that have happened just recently. Adam Lanza shooting up Sandy Hook is a great example of too much firepower readily available. James Holmes in the Aurora shooting is also a prime example.

Or is someone going to tell me that in order to defend their home/self from an intruder/attacker that they need an assault rifle to do it?

Yeah I don’t think so.

I think that we just need to make the safety of the American citizens our first priority.

Get over yourselves and realize that your hobby/pride is killing people.

Boston Marathon Bombing

At this point I am pretty sure anyone with contact to the outside world heard what happened in Boston. But I am just going to sum it up real quick:

April 15, 2013 is known as Patriots Day in Boston, Massachusetts.  The Boston Marathon is normally held each year and all the business and schools close so that everyone can celebrate the holiday while spectating or running in the marathon.

That state holiday was turned into a nightmare when two bombs went off and killed 3 people and brutally injured 130-170 people. The bombs went off a few seconds apart and were near the spectators. Many of the injured lost their limbs. The fatalities were a young 8 year old boy, a woman in her late twenties, and a Chinese student in town for the race.

You can see the video of the tragic event here:

At the :19 second mark you can hear the second bomb go off a few blocks away.

When this happened, people started to speculate who the culprit could be and what their motives were. It was domestic terrorists, it was foreign terrorists, it was the right wing, it was the left wing, it was religious, and so on.

I don’t want to pretend that I didn’t have my own ideas on who could have committed such a heinous attack on innocent people. I certainly did. I just didn’t really voice them because I actually did not know who did it and speculation would get me nowhere closer to discovering the answer.

For a few days all social media, especially Twitter and Facebook, blew up with support for Boston. Many sports teams stopped to pay respect to Boston before there games. Most importantly was NY who has a rivalry with Boston. I thought this was amazing. As a native New Yorker, I am so proud of this!

As the country was pulling together, along with other countries, for Boston and this horrendous act, the FBI and Boston Police were diligently, and rather quickly, working to investigate who was behind this.

It was quickly discovered that the bombs were makeshift bombs made from normal household materials. They were made with pressure cookers, remote batteries, and some other materials. Thanks to the digital age where everything is recorded, pictures of possible suspects quickly emerged. The police had asked everyone who had video footage or pictures to send them in to be analyzed for clues. It turned out that the damning clip came from a department store. Which one currently escapes me. But here is that picture:

These two managed to escape after the attacks without being discovered.

That was until they got sloppy and decided to rob a 7-11. The pictures from the camera helped identify them as brothers Tamerlan Tsarnaev who is 26 and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev who is 19. I am not 100% sure what ensued, but I do know that they gunned down a 26 year old MIT officer, carjacked an SUV and held the driver at gunpoint, then after releasing him they were involved in a gun fight with the police where Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed. Dzhokhar managed to escape however. I am not sure how true this part is, but I read that Dzhokhar ran his brother over with a car. I don’t know about that one.

Since the suspect escaped, Boston, specifically Watertown and Chamberlain have been on lockdown. All public transportation has been shut down and the police have requested that everyone stay home and keep their doors locked. Honestly, I cannot even imagine what the citizens of Boston must be going through. This stuff usually only happens in movies!

The suspect:

As I am writing this there seems to be an update. I am following the CNN This Just In blog and saw this last post:

[Updated 7:34 p.m. ET] Authorities have engaged the possible remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Watertown, Massachusetts, a senior federal law enforcement official said.

I hope that they get this lunatic! I can’t even begin to understand what the motive was behind these attacks. From all accounts, these two seemed like pretty decent guys who came to the U.S. in 2002, went to school, made friends, played sports and all that. If they were messed up then, they managed to stay below the radar.

In my opinion, which is not fact, they either both shared the same psychotic delusions or this is something bigger than them. I am not trying to start a conspiracy theory since that is the last thing anyone needs. And we all know when a crisis occurs the first thing that happens are conspiracy theories. I just can’t think of a reason as to why two guys who grew up here and became citizens would just attack like that. I hope that this guy is arrested and illuminates us with the truth.

As of right now, at 8:00 p.m. on April 19, 2013, there are shots being fired in Watertown, Massachusetts. Someone is on a boat and he is bleeding. he was discovered by the boat owner when he saw blood on the boat. It is believed that it is the suspect and he was in fact injured from last night’s shootout. It looks like the public helped authorities find this kid.

He is not a man. Men don’t kill innocent people.