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Thoughts Of Suicide

Confession: March 24th was going to be the end for me. Months with no car, pain, painful treatments, meds screwed up, isolated, low on cash...

Friday, November 7, 2014

I'm in the Same Room with Who?

Maryville College held its "Best in Blount County" awards ceremony last night honoring various achievements, citizens and veterans. It is a wonderful event at a beautiful campus in East Tennessee with a featured speaker that normally gets a little coverage on the local news but by the time the event actually started the guest speaker we were going to hear went from "motivational speaker" to "the man who shot bin Laden."
I thought there was a mistake. HAD to be a mistake. There just HAD to be more than one man by that name, right? How many 'Robert O'Neill's are there anyway? There was no way that the man named on the national news was the same one we were going to hear a bit later. Besides, hadn't someone else already claimed to have been the shooter? What difference would it make anyway?
As word spread about the man's identity, the event was taking on an different feel. A strange feel. Focus wasn't exactly on the awards anymore. How could it be? Honoring people while ignoring the 'elephant in the room'? Especially the 'elephant' who shot Osama bin Laden. Thankfully, the man was not going to address the question of who he was after all so nothing in the program was changed. Everyone was properly honored and not cast aside in favor of a secret identity having been revealed. It was like "we know but we're not going to say anything." At least his motivational speech had a lot more people paying attention.
Security seemed to be everywhere. Police. Dogs. Checking bags. What? Why do we need security? Oh right, the guy who shot bin Laden is here. Ok, Veterans Day is next week. Maybe that's why this information came out. Wait...is he in danger? Probably. Who knows that he is here tonight? Wait. Could we be in danger? Are we in danger? Have I seen too many movies?
Fact is, the majority in attendance that night were elderly veterans who'd served us in ways we both don't realize and take for granted. There seemed to be a dignity in these men and women that is reserved only for their generation. Honor. Service. Sacrifice. Humbling to be in their presence. While the outside world scrambles to get a look at the latest SEAL in the spotlight, these heroes are just as deserving.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Midterm Vote 2014

The burning question for me this midterm election was "should I or shouldn't I vote?" My state is overwhelmingly Republican therefore voting doesn't seem to do very much for me or my country. Cleverly worded ads tell me "everything I need to know" without saying a damn thing definite about the candidates and issues in question. The "buzz words" like "safety," "family," and "freedom" are used to make me believe the candidate "desperately seeking my vote" is just like me. Some of the ads make concessions: Okay, he's a man but that shouldn't matter because we are all God's children and he personally is for equality but "changing Washington takes time" and why should you ladies worry about laws providing equal pay for equal work when such issues are too difficult to explain, blah, blah,blah. Or: Aren't you concerned about your safety? Okay, TN politicians voted against the Violence Against Women Act but, Sweetie, that's not the point. Their "Nay" wasn't an actual 'nay' but you just don't understand how government really works so you can't take it literally when they voted against the Violence Against Women Act but if you'll vote for them they'll make sure your voice is heard...again--blah, blah, blah.
I vote because years ago a guy named Harry Burn promised "Miss Febb" that he'd cast a "Yay" giving women the right to vote in TN and across the United States. "Miss Febb," Burn's mother, wrote that he (to paraphrase) "should be the 'rat' in ratify and give women the vote." So because a good son listened to his mother--I vote whenever possible.
Incumbents win here. Challengers come but quickly go with an occasional, "bless their heart, they tried." Issues are presented as if they "really don't apply to everybody and we'll word them in such a way that you'll get confused and frustrated so vote if you want but you could do more with your time than concerning yourself with this."
Amendment One........................
The law making men in my state want to get rid of abortion clinics and women's reproductive rights that came from Roe v Wade. They know they can't just come out and say "We are doing this to outlaw abortions in this state," so they manipulate words in the ads their audiences hear to get the vote they want. Don't you care about safety?  Shouldn't abortion clinics be regulated? For safety, you gotta have regulations, right? You want to protect the family, right? Then vote 'Yes" on Amendment One and when you're not looking, instead of burdening TN with all kinds of safety rules and regulations...we'll just get rid of abortions altogether. Bait and switch. That's politics.
I voted.