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There, now the site has an SSL, dang it

I read last night in a WordPress news bulletin that Google and, now, WordPress itself will soon be forcing websites to get those fancy SSL certificates (going from http to https).  Basically through shaming (Google flagging your site on Chrome if it’s not https), lowering your SEO ranking, and certain changes in the development of WordPress.

So, okay, I went over to Siteground to see if I could get one of these certs.  Turns out you can get one for free now, through a third party which wants the whole Web to be secure, even little sites like mine that have no direct sales, and Siteground makes it available through cPanel.

But forcing everyone’s browser to automatically use the cert?  Not so easy.

Turns out some WordPress sites have issues with being forced to go to https.  You can use it easily, but if someone types an old link into their browser, they go to http.

Hours upon hours of a days-long migraine getting worse, trying to fix it, none of the .htaccess codes are working, the cPanel fix is not working, and–

Hey, a plugin takes care of that.  Load it up, plug it in, and–

My site is secure now.  Yay.

So much trouble for a little “s.”

 

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Made the magic number: 200,000 hits

My website has been around since around 2005 and my blog since 2009, but I didn’t start using Google Analytics until 2011, so I don’t know my total numbers.  But ever since February 2011, I have now received 203,000 hits.  To the best of my ability, that does not include my own hits or bots.

It may not be as big as many websites, but it is bigger than many others, and certainly bigger than I ever expected it to be.

So many thanks to all my readers: I couldn’t have done it without you.  😀  (And that includes my two pet stalkers, my most faithful readers.  You know who you are.  😉  )

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FLASHBACK TO 2012: Richard the child choker

Richard the Mafia thug, potential lady-killer, child beater and child choker

This perfect friend, the saintly image I had of this person–

which was molded over the first two and a half years of our online/phone friendship–

diverges so much from the way he acted in real life, and the things which came out about him, and the way he treated me, over the two and a half years after that, that I wonder how much of this image was real.

The image I had in 2007, was not the kind of person to plan to assault a landlady, or choke a child and then act contemptuous of the cops who charged him with it.

Both things happened:

He called me up one day and said he was going to attack the woman who was evicting his family!  He would not let her see who was attacking her.  He would “make it look like I was never there.”

He claimed he used to be a Mafia thug, so he knew how to do this. 

It sounded like he was going to kill her!  And no, it was not a joke; he was serious!

He hung up, then called back a few minutes later to say his wife talked him out of it.

And a few months after our friendship breakup, he choked his eldest daughter until she passed out, and then she told police. 

He was convicted via plea bargain, declared guilty, put on probation for a year.  And this is on the public record, was published by the newspaper.

The saintly image was not the kind of person who betrays friends, bullies them, or threatens them with violence.  (He also betrayed Todd and wanted to beat him up.)

The saintly image was not the kind of person who puts politics higher than friendship.

The saintly image was not the kind of person to hang around with creeps online–

–and then tell me to “get over it,” and scold me for still being upset about them sexually harassing me.

The saintly image was not the kind of person to do various other things that caused me hurt and dismay.

Yet that’s what he turned out to be.

My image was of a righteous person trying to turn away from violence and sin, trying to stifle all the dangerous and destructive passions on his way to theosis.  Was any of this image for real?

The friend I knew in 2007 would never have choked his own child.  Yet there it is, plain as day, something he truly did and can be verified, can be proven with mug shots, details, newspaper reports.

For the past three months since I discovered what he did, my mind has been like the robots on the Harry Mudd episode of Star Trek, going in an endless loop between the truth and what I thought was the truth, until it finally blows up.

I knew by then that Richard still had a violent temper, though for most of the time I knew him, I thought this temper had been pushed down and dominated by Christian piety.

He had told me when he moved in with us that he had a violent past.  This scared me, and made me wonder if I should have let him move in, but I promptly forgot much of what he said.

I do recall something about his time as a border guard, and that when he was a kid he beat up another kid so bad that he still had the scar on his knuckle.

But he gave me the impression that much of this happened during a period of agnosticism long before he converted to Orthodoxy.  That he was using the tools of Orthodoxy to control his temper.  To me he appeared to have a very even temper.

One day I heard him screaming at his wife on the phone and found it very disturbing, but that was the only time I witnessed his own temper, except for the occasional rant against some annoying kid on the web forums.

He seemed to take in stride things that would anger Jeff, so I thought he was gentle now.

Orthodoxy has all sorts of writings and tools, such as fasting and prayer, which people can use to fight the passions.  He would talk or write to me about the books he was reading and how the Church was helping him fight his own passions.  I thought he was too hard on himself.

I thought his wife was the one with the uncontrolled temper, since he told me about it and I witnessed it myself, but rarely witnessed his own.

But then he told me in 2009 that he wanted to kill the apartment manager.

He told me he used to run around with Mafia friends as a goomba (or, as he defined it, “thug”). 

He helped out with their jewel smuggling.

He roughed people up (and was not sorry for it).

He told me in May 2010 that he’d been arrested more than 100 times for reasons I do not know.

Then he threatened Jeff in June 2010 and said he is easily triggered to physical violence.

Todd confirms this, that Richard told him he helped run smuggled Russian jewels from LA to Las Vegas.

I still have the printout of a chat in which Richard described the goomba activities to me.

He didn’t go into too much detail about what he did, but he was so well-known to the local Mafia in his home state (Italian and Russian) that they had nicknames for him.

The top of the chat got cut off before I printed it, unfortunately.  But in that part he must have described being involved somehow in the smuggling itself, because in the printed part, he talked about how much he knows about gems.

More from that chat:

Richard’s girlfriend and some best friends were in Mafia families which smuggled jewels.

They made him their “goomba.”

He hung around with other goombas who witnessed and spotted while somebody retrieved stolen items or got information.  He hinted that the information was gotten violently.

Since it involved jewels, not drugs, he felt he did nothing criminal–or which should be criminal, according to the Constitution and free market principles.

He never “killed” anyone while doing this goomba stuff.

Why did he put “killed” in quotes?  And what exactly did he do?  Not only that, but he saw it as something he openly and freely shared, not a secret.  He was surprised I didn’t already know about it.

He didn’t seem at all repentant about it.  He said his mother knew about it and didn’t seem to care, he did this while at Bible college (!), and he did worse things when he worked for the government (border guard).  He said that Clinton’s government did some terrible things that nobody knows about (which I won’t divulge here without proof other than his word for it).

But there were these hints at illegal activities when he was a thug, and it didn’t sound so harmless to me.  He hung around with Mafia people, Mafia people had nicknames for him, he helped them smuggle and rough people up, and he saw it as nothing more than a youthful lark?

He was also a dog with women back then, he says (which I’m not so sure has changed), but he saw that as worse than what he did with the Mafia?

But that is not the extent of his violence:

One day in winter or spring 2010, he even yelled in my face for taking out a wipe to clean something sticky (honey?) off his dinner table before setting down my D&D books!

In late 2007 or early 2008, he told me he put the kids in the closet once!  He said his father abused him as a kid but he “deserved” it because he was a little rat, and it made him a better person.  I still remember that conversation very clearly, and have written it down in detail as well.

You’ll often find such claims from the abused, that they “deserved” it, when their spirits are broken and the Stockholm Syndrome kicks in.  Then the abuse gets carried on to the next generation because the abused thinks this is the proper way to act.

He also hinted at some form of abuse he had done to the kids; Todd later told me that when the eldest child (whom he choked) was very small, Richard got so angry once that he beat her mercilessly.

I also have an e-mail from Richard in which he says Tracy kept throwing his own abusive episodes back in his face when he tried to get her to stop abusing the kids.

Just a week or two before the breakup of our friendship, he posted on Facebook asking for suggestions of how to get the girls to clean

without beating them into bloody submission which only gets them flinching when I raise a hand and gets them working far less than they already were.

At the time, I thought he was just joking with hyperbole.  Though when I mentioned it to Jeff, he said it was about time Richard learned that lesson.  Now I’m not so sure it was hyperbole.

And why, according to the newspaper, did Richard choke his daughter just a few months later?  Because she wasn’t listening or cleaning up.

Richard told me in October/November 2007 that he had to be around to keep his wife from abusing the kids, physically and verbally. 

But now it seems that he, too, needs someone to keep an eye on him.

I thought he was a gentle giant, reformed by the Church.  But then he said these things, and then I discovered the criminal case, that he choked his daughter on September 21, 2010, nearly three months after we ended the friendship with him and Tracy.

He was my idol with feet of clay.  And I’m left with this gaping hole in my life and heart where my idol, my perfect friend, once stood, with no clue how to fill it up again.

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FLASHBACK TO 2012: Why I could not get over this a**hole

You say, “Shouldn’t you easily get over this a**hole?”–Here is why I could not

You’d think what I previously described would be enough to make me wash my hands of Richard.  But it doesn’t help that I considered him my best and closest friend.  That he was the one I went to about religion.

He’s the one I found to help light my way as I searched for the True Church, the original doctrines.  He already found it before I did.

We had similar backgrounds, and similar views of the various churches.  We could sympathize with each other about suffering through contemporary church services.

We could discuss Orthodox theology with a similar base knowledge and interest.  We could discuss the meaning of original sin, or whether River of Fire is a good source of Orthodox doctrine.  We could discuss what it means to experience the Holy Spirit.

I could ask him about various things, such as why the English translations of the Latin and Greek versions of the Nicene Creed are so different, even the parts that come from the original Ecumenical Council that produced them.  I could share with him Orthodox writings, and give him Orthodox books and icons for Christmas or birthdays.

I could tell him what led me away from Western doctrines, without feeling judged for turning to “heresies.”

I simply don’t have another friend with whom I can discuss all these things, at least not from the same background, baseline knowledge, amount of interest and same denomination.

I asked him about difficult points of Orthodox doctrine or practices.  I asked him how to forgive people who had hurt me years before.  I lamented to him about Internet-Orthodoxy and its legalism.

He was my spiritual mentor.  He was the one to whom I always wrote details of church meetings or services which had been especially interesting.

Who else can I write these things to, who has the same level of interest?  I wrote to him about my church because he was the one who led me there.  And these things led to sharing about our life experiences and troubles.

I told him my secrets, and he told me his.  He was my counselor, as I poured out my heart to him about various issues I dealt with, details of how I’d been bullied growing up, and how I’d been used and abused by college exes–including private details which I normally told no one, because of their nature.

I told him these things because I trusted him completely, was comfortable telling him.

I told him funny stories of things that happened day-to-day, or dreams.  I shared with him thoughts about movies I watched, books I read, life stories.  We talked for hours at a time.

He lived with us for a time, so became like part of the family, like an adopted brother, so I could tell him things I didn’t tell other people.

We could joke back and forth with each other and play off each other so easily that one guy once said, “I love it when you guys are here!”

We went on religious websites together and defended Orthodoxy.

We also had similar tastes in music, both loving the obscure Goth genres, 80s, New Wave–and yet knowing some of the same Christian artists as well.

He had actually been a Goth, while I was interested in Goth culture, did as much “Gothyness” as I could do in a small city in the Midwest.

Because of our similar backgrounds, we both knew about the Thief in the Night series, Left Behind, and other such things.

We were even the same age, so had the same nostalgia for TV shows or movies we grew up with.  We both liked watching EWTN.  We were both interested in paranormal investigations.

It just seems impossible to replace him.  I found these elements of our friendship especially valuable and important, especially appealing, making me so attached to his friendship.

Every time something comes up that before I would write in a quick e-mail to him, I wonder, Is there anyone I can tell this to?

Sometimes I can, but many times, I can’t.  So I start wishing I could write that e-mail to him, because nobody else would understand, or nobody else is privy to those things.

Where else am I to find someone like this?

I try to remind myself of all the violence, the self-seeking, the betrayal, yet I’m left with this gaping hole that it’s impossible to fill with anyone else–

–as if he were a car or a computer that can just be exchanged for something new and better.

And that, more than anything, is why I just have not been able to get over our friendship.

That’s why I still haven’t let go of the hope that one day, somehow, some way, he will repent and come back to my husband and me, ready to abandon the violence and arrogance that pushed Jeff and me away, ready to start anew.

That’s why I’m filled anew with grief every time I see him at church, he says not a word to me, and I feel I must avoid him, push him away, because of his violence and betrayal, because I can’t trust him.

I barely make it through the service without collapsing in a puddle of tears.

Trying to keep in Orthodoxy has also become a struggle, because everything about it reminds me of him.  Sometimes I’m tempted to just give all of it up.

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Left Behind: Soul Harvest Review–Part 5

 

Previous parts

Ken’s response to Buck (p. 274, see above): “I know, Buck.  I’ve never seen anything like how you people take care of each other.”  Have we truly never seen anyone besides Christians take care of each other this way?

Later on, he says, “So once I join up I get the secret mark on my forehead?”  Earlier, Buck said, “It’s time you joined our team.”  What’s with the sports terminology for matters of faith?  Salvation is not a football game or business paradigm!

Starting on page 302, Chloe and Buck get into a little tiff: She was badly injured in the earthquake–er, the Wrath of the Lamb–and has been recovering at home, ever since Buck sprung her from that evil Global Community hospital.

She’s still not quite well yet, but her spunk has returned.  She insists on going to Israel with Tsion and Buck, but Buck insists that she stay home.

Buck also makes a few cracks such as, “Forgive her.  She’s going through a twenty-two-year-old’s bout with political correctness.”  Buck quickly gets into hot water for this, of course.

As they argue over whether or not Chloe can go to Israel, she finally says,

“Don’t parent me, Buck.  Seriously, I don’t have a problem submitting to you because I know how much you love me.  I’m willing to obey you even when you’re wrong.  But don’t be unreasonable.  And don’t be wrong if you don’t have to be.

“You know I’m going to do what you say, and I’ll even get over it if you make me miss out on one of the greatest events in history.

“But don’t do it out of some old-fashioned, macho sense of protecting the little woman.  I’ll take this pity and help for just so long, and then I want back in the game full-time.  I thought that was one of the things you liked about me.”

It was.  Pride kept him from agreeing right then.  He’d give it a day or two and then tell her he’d come to a decision.  Her eyes were boring into his.  It was clear she was eager to win this one.  He tried to stare her down and lost.  He glanced at Tsion.

“Listen to her,” Tsion said.

“You keep out of it,” Buck said, smiling.  “I don’t need to be ganged up on.  I thought you were on my side.  I thought you would agree that this was no place for–”

“For what?” Chloe said.  “A girl?  The ‘little woman’?  An injured, pregnant woman?  Am I still a member of the Tribulation Force, or have I been demoted to mascot now?”

Buck had interviewed heads of state easier than this.

“You can’t defend this one, Buck,” she added.

“You want to just pin me while I’m down,” Buck said.

“I won’t say another word,” she said.

Buck chuckled.  “That’ll be the day.”

“If you two chauvinists will excuse me, I want to try [reaching] Hattie again.”….

Er, um….Go, Chloe!  Except for the part where you say you’ll obey.  Even if you’re wrong, Buck’s not your “boss” or “daddy” telling you what you can or can’t do!

Oh, wait, or is he?  Even Chloe doesn’t seem quite certain about this.  I’ve heard and read plenty of Evangelical preachers/authors explain that a wife’s “submission” is NOT the same as “obedience.”  Yet here we see that LaHaye and Jenkins obviously connect “submission” with good little wifely “obedience.”

Somehow, in her conversion, Chloe has been turned into everything a domineering man might want in a wife–except, of course, that she argues before finally obeying.  But at least she’s standing up for herself!

Well, except that Buck gets to make the final decision.  She’s still spunky: She fights first, THEN submits.  And won’t be, er, bitter about it, even if it means she misses one of the greatest events in history, darn it!  (Does anybody else detect a little passive aggression in this?)

The passage goes on:

“I want to try Hattie again.  We’re going to have a telephone meeting of the weak sister club.”

Buck flinched.  “Hey!  You weren’t going to say another word.”

“Well then get out of here so you don’t have to listen.”

“I need to call [Ken] Ritz anyway.  When you reach Hattie, be sure and find out what name she was admitted under there [at the reproductive clinic].”

Buck went to follow Tsion up the stairs, but Chloe called out to him.

“C’mere a minute, big guy.”  He turned to face her.  She beckoned him closer.  “C’mon,” she said.  She lifted her arm, the one with the cast from shoulder to wrist, and hooked him with it behind the neck.  She pulled his face to hers and kissed him long and hard.  He pulled back and smiled shyly.  “You’re so easy,” she whispered.

“Who loves ya, baby?” he said, heading for the stairs again.

“Hey,” she said, “if you see my husband up there, tell him I’m tired of sleeping alone.”

Er, um, what?  What happened?  “Easy”?  How is he “easy”?  And why is Chloe kissing him all of a sudden?

On page 313, Chloe says about Ken Ritz, “Find out if he wants to arm wrestle.”  Buck’s response: “Aren’t you getting frisky?”  Frisky?  Who the heck says “frisky” in the younger generations?  Besides, I can’t hear that word without thinking of Mrs. Cunningham on Happy Days saying that Mr. Cunningham is “getting frisky.”  As in, for you younger ones who may not know about 70s pop culture, he wants to get his wife into the bedroom.

Which leads us right into page 314, when Ken Ritz enters the room, and everyone begins talking about the little crosses that have been popping up on the foreheads of believers, visible only to other believers.  Ken says, “Maybe it shows on my forehead.  I can see yours.  Can you see mine?”  Ooooh, I’ll show you mine if you show me yours!

To be continued

 

Remember Benny Hinn prophesying the downfall of Castro?

Many years ago now, I wrote the following on one of my theology pages:

Benny Hinn…once came on The 700 Club and said he’d been taken into a trance by God, who took his spirit over various parts of the earth and showed him things that would happen in the 1990s.

In naïve gullibility, I wrote these things down exactly.  I’m not sure where that paper is now, but I remember that few, if any, of those things came true.

  1. I remember him saying that two of God’s “great giants” would die in the 90s.  I thought this meant Billy Graham (or even Pat Robertson).
  2. I remember there was supposed to be a wondrous revival in which people would be in the parking lot on their way into church, and get healed.
  3. One of the prophecies I remember distinctly: “Castro’s Cuba will fall in the 90s.”  Well, that never happened.
  4. I remember a prophecy in the early 90s that there would be an economic collapse and only the givers in the church would survive.  Was that Benny Hinn?  There are accounts of him saying such things in 1999, so I wouldn’t be surprised if he said it on The 700 Club in the early 90s as well.  Or it could have been Pat Robertson, giving one of his own yearly prophecies.

So Benny Hinn is also a false prophet who, like Pat Robertson, has lots of followers and tons of money coming in.  And if they’re false prophets, then their faith healing, “words of knowledge”/prophecies, and religious teachings are also suspect.

Benny Hinn–False Prophet Extroardinaire by Jackie Alnor

Questions for Benny Hinn by Bill Alnor

This website lists many prophecies for the 90s, several of which sound like the ones on my missing paper.  (Also note that God destroying the homosexual community with fire in the mid-90s is greeted with a round of applause.)  He says that Fidel Castro will die in the 90s.  Um, no.: Benny Hinn Prophesies for the Mid-90s

(Well, Castro died in HIS 90s.  By the way, the above link is full of Hinn’s false prophecies for the 90s.  Read and be entertained by all that was supposed to have happened 20 years ago.)

A simple Google search on “Benny Hinn prophecy 90s Castro” reveals many more websites exposing Benny Hinn’s false prophecies.

Some Updates on Life etc.

It’s been nearly three months now since I switched from Bluehost to Siteground.  Remember the crap going on with the site during the summer?  You may have tried to come on and had problems: not loading, loading v e r y s l o w l y, various error messages.  It was even worse on the backend, as I spend days upon days trying to figure the stupid thing out, and very nearly switched to WordPress.com.  And yeah, I posted about that back then.

Well, it must’ve been Bluehost.  Nearly three months on Siteground, and my site is still running.  I used to get downtimes a lot; now, none at all.  Let’s just check and make sure the Jetpack Monitor is still turned on–Yep, it’s still on and working, but I never get e-mails anymore telling me the site is down.

I just checked my load speed with https://tools.pingdom.com/: My site, in the US at least, still loads at less than 3-4 seconds, MUCH better than with Bluehost.

I also now have my domain registered with a third party instead of my hosting provider, so I can take that with me anywhere I go.

So far, so good.  I can’t say much about Siteground’s customer service because I don’t know because I haven’t needed it!  😀

As for other issues:

–Yeah, there’s still stuff going on around the whole Trump thing, but I don’t want to post about that for now.  Like lots of people, I’m burned out by the election.  Even being scared has become too tiresome.  I might read what other people post, and keep up with the news somewhat, but, ugh, I don’t want to think about Trump much right now.

Though no, I still have not resigned myself to thinking of him as “President Trump.”  {shudder}  {throw up in my mouth just like Stephen Colbert}

Though I will note that unless the Wisconsin recount truly pulls up some kind of fraud (and so far it just appears to be human error), I don’t think it’s going to change anything.  I don’t think people appreciate that Wisconsin is not actually a bastion of Democrats.  It may look that way come election time, but that’s just because Madison and Milwaukee are Democrat.  Everywhere else is mostly Republican.  I feel alone, very alone….

Also, many voters were disenfranchised recently with the Voter ID law here in Wisconsin.  Many people don’t have IDs, and there was a lot of confusing back-and-forth about how to get one.  College students suddenly didn’t know where to vote because student IDs weren’t allowed.  This article explains how so many people, in a time when you need an ID for practically everything, can still have no ID.  Also here.

So if you couldn’t get an ID, you couldn’t vote.  And a lot of those who couldn’t vote, were likely Democrat voters (minorities, college students), and enough to have potentially tipped the vote toward Clinton.  A recount won’t change this.

 

–Does anybody else think Once Upon a Time has jumped the shark?  I feel like it should’ve ended a season or two ago, because now:

Interesting characters are going into the background and just acting as sounding boards (I’m looking at you, Hook).

There was so much potential for the Jekyll/Hyde storyline, but then it just suddenly ended.  Very disappointing.

The writers seem to be running out of ideas, so they keep screwing around with the characters.  And since the evil characters keep turning good, they have to either introduce a new one, or make a good one turn bad again.

Belle’s constant I-love-Rumpel-I-hate-Rumpel-I-love-Rumpel-I-hate-Rumpel is tiresome.  I wish she’d decide whether to accept him as he is or leave, and then stick with it.  She knew what he was like when she fell for him.  And this time around, I don’t really know why the heck she hates him.  She loved him, then all of a sudden hated him.

Unless there’s something I missed, because I really have trouble keeping up.  It doesn’t help that, since I watch it with Hubby, I can’t just back it up and re-run it whenever I zone out and/or get confused.

I often do this when watching TV or movies.  They move too fast, talk too fast, and next thing I know, somebody just died and I have no clue who killed them or why.  I’ve read that this is an NVLD trait.

It’s one reason why I HATE action movies, but LOVE slower talky-movies like Jane Austen.  That, and action movies suck for character development.

(No, I cannot stand Batman Begins or Guardians of the Galaxy!  I mean, seriously–no character development whatsoever in Guardians!  No depth.  Scanty backstory.  They’re just caricatures who argue and deliver lines that are–shall I say–pretentiously cool.  How to explain–I’ve noticed this as far back as Buffy, dialogue which seems to be trying too hard to be witty/modern/cool.  Like Zander must be delivering it with a smug look because he knows it sounds cool.  It grates on my nerves whenever I hear dialogue like that.  It doesn’t seem real.)

 

–We have a major home repair coming up!  Yay, more debt.  😛  But it must be done.  No more putting it off.  We don’t want the house to fall apart, after all, or hear more cluck-clucking from plumbers.  We’ve been here so long that repairs/remodeling are needed all over, but we don’t have the kind of $$$ to do that.

By the way, keep that in mind if you think it would be a good idea to own a house instead of rent: You can’t give repairs to the manager to take care of anymore.  You have to call the plumber, get the contractor, pay the $$$ all yourself.  And it’s a lot of $$$.

I’ve been watching One Day at a Time and often thinking, “I wish I had a Schneider to take care of repairs!”  I recently saw an episode of Mary Tyler Moore in which Lou had these exact same complaints, and was happy to sell the house and move into an apartment.

It’s the one and only hope I have for a Trump presidency, by the way: that the economy will pick up and make it so the middle class is no longer getting squeezed like this, unable to get anywhere.  Seriously, how is my generation even supposed to retire without pensions or a way to save AND keep up with expenses?  And now the Millennials can’t even find jobs in their field, or to pay their college debts!

 

 

 

 

 

Reblog: “Stomping on Eggshells” and “Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race”

A couple of good articles about the defensiveness we’ve been seeing when white people discuss race:

Samantha Field, stomping on eggshells: on white fragility and speaking up

Quote:

Which brings me to the topic of today, which is part criticism, part education, and part encouragement for my fellow social justice advocates and progressives. In speaking with people over the past two weeks about ways to get involved and stand up for vulnerable people– especially Muslims and people of color– I’ve been seeing a common theme. It’s certainly not new, and it’s something I’ve struggled with until relatively recently. People with privilege– white, straight, male, Christian, etc– frequently want to do what’s right, but they feel like they’re “walking on eggshells.” They want to be an ally, but they don’t want to say or do the wrong thing. Many of us feel anxiety or nervousness about racial issues in particular.

I would like to gently and lovingly and directly say that this feeling of “walking on eggshells” is based in a lie, and one we believe because our privilege has made us incredibly arrogant. I don’t say this to be mean or harsh, but because I believe it’s the truth, and one I had to learn for myself sometimes painfully.

Some notes in the comments do make sense, however: A couple of commenters–one who grew up fundamentalist, where any wrong thing makes you hellbound, and one who is autistic and often made to feel like her mistakes are “pathetic screwups”–note that arrogance isn’t always the reason we feel we are “walking on eggshells.”

This is my own situation, both as NVLD (socially like autism) and having grown up fundamentalist.  I’ve already been accused of horrible things because of my social ineptitude.  Also, being fundamentalist taught me that even cussing over a banged toe could send me to Hell if I didn’t ask for forgiveness right then.  So if somebody tells me I’m doing something wrong, it can immediately be heard as “You’re going to Hell” or “You’re a wicked, evil person.”

So I can understand the sentiments in the next blog post, on “white fragility”:  Sam Adler-Bell’s Why White People Freak Out When They’re Called Out About Race

Quote:

For white people, their identities rest on the idea of racism as about good or bad people, about moral or immoral singular acts, and if we’re good, moral people we can’t be racist – we don’t engage in those acts. This is one of the most effective adaptations of racism over time—that we can think of racism as only something that individuals either are or are not “doing.”

In large part, white fragility—the defensiveness, the fear of conflict—is rooted in this good/bad binary. If you call someone out, they think to themselves, “What you just said was that I am a bad person, and that is intolerable to me.” It’s a deep challenge to the core of our identity as good, moral people.

I see this very thing going on in my family, and it’s very distressing.  I have been open to rebuke about racism since my teens, however, and this has allowed me to avoid much of the “white fragility.”  But it also means I can get terribly uncomfortable around a certain family member who is very fragile–but denies his/her own fragility.

I try to avoid discussing race issues with this person as much as possible.  I try to avoid watching TV shows/movies featuring black characters, around this person.  (When this person walks through the room while I watch, he/she will make indignant little remarks that make me have to back up the recording because I could not hear the TV.)

I have seen this person get so defensive about race on Facebook, that I removed him/her from my newsfeed and notifications.  I even avoid posting anything on Facebook about race anymore, lest this person get mad in the comments, and embarrass me.

After this person argued with one of my friends about race and discovered I did not want to break off relations with my friend, this person became indignant and guilted me over it.  This person also became irate at his/her favorite cousin (who is mixed-race) after arguing with her over race issues.

This is definitely white fragility, which is not at all helpful, as written by Adler-Bell, above:

When I’m doing a workshop, I’ll often ask the people of color in the room, somewhat facetiously, “How often have you given white people feedback about our inevitable and often unconscious racist patterns and had that go well for you?” And they laugh.

Because it just doesn’t go well. And so one time I asked, “What would your daily life be like if you could just simply give us feedback, have us receive it graciously, reflect on it and work to change the behavior? What would your life be like?”

And this one man of color looked at me and said, “It would be revolutionary.”

Let me use my white privilege to tell other whites: Dealing with someone else’s white fragility is intensely frustrating.  I can’t express myself anymore.  I can’t be myself.  I’m afraid of hurting this person’s feelings if I speak up, and getting chewed out, because I’ve already tried, and that’s what happened.  I am very embarrassed to see this person behave this way on Facebook, so much so that I took this person out of my newsfeed.

This person doesn’t seem to have any regard for how he/she is affecting other people with this constant defensiveness.  And yes, others can see exactly what’s going on, that white fragility leads to hostile, bullying behavior–yet the person doing it thinks they’re the one who’s being bullied!

White fragility leads to fractured and lost friendships.  It leads to constant stress.

I can tell you that my own friendships are still intact, including ones with minorities, that I have very few arguments online, and that I can hear about racial concerns without feeling attacked and abused.  It is a much better place to be in, than to be on the defensive all the time.

Seriously, you’ll be much happier if you stop defending your whiteness, stop telling other people what their experiences really were (that’s gaslighting), and instead just listen to their concerns.  If you’re willing to be open to what minorities are trying to tell us, and reflect on things you may unconsciously do that are racist, it doesn’t make you a bad person.  It means you can grow and help make life better for everyone.

 

 

 

Neo-Nazis and KKK crawling out of their holes….

This is not just a problem in the US, but elsewhere as well, alt-right racist and xenophobic groups crawling out of the woodwork.

In the US, they’ve taken the election as their time to come out, but keep in mind that Republican leaders have denounced these groups.  Paul Ryan said they have no place in their party.

However, such groups have been growing in numbers around Europe.  This is a reason why EU leaders are freaked out by the election, because they fear his election will embolden the alt-right in Europe, and the EU will fall, leading to warring states again.

I remember the end of The Plague by Albert Camus:

And, indeed, as he listened to the cries of joy rising from the town, Rieux remembered that such joy is always imperiled. He knew what those jubilant crowds did not know but could have learned from books: that the plague bacillus never dies or disappears for good; that it can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen-chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks, and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and enlightenment of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.

As I research my novel, I keep finding Neo-Nazis all over the Net.  They are just as bad as the ones from old Germany, but society keeps them under control.  Just as we keep the Plague under control with sanitation, good hygiene, and medicines, free societies such as ours keep this Neo-Nazi plague under control.  But we have to be vigilant, lest they rise up again and take over.

Just look at what the American Nazis wrote here:

I can only HOPE that deep down inside, Donald Trump IS as “vindictive and nasty” as he was charged with being during his campaign – ESPECIALLY by those REPUBLIRAT traitors who did their utmost to attack and smear their own Party’s choice of candidate, IF I was him, I would be considering a “Night of the Long Knives” on these political whores. With the Republirat Party now controlling BOTH the House AND the Senate, along with the White House, AND possibly THREE new seats on the Supreme Court, – they OUGHT to be able to push through ANY and ALL of Trumps promised agenda, from “The Wall” and Rounding Up and Shipping the illegals HOME, to repealing all the “Trade Deals”, as well as the Obama-Care fraud etc et al…

…IF he IS for “REAL” – I hope that he REPLACES each and every “security detail” that has ties to the “PAST” – with folks he KNOWS and TRUSTS. For IF Trump IS for REAL, and intends to “ROCK the BOAT” on the world of this REAL “Game of Thrones” crowd of scumbags – it will be DANGEROUS…

…NONE of this “oh, let’s kiss and make up, and all unite together for the good…” that the defeated are now prattling on the boob tube. These ANTI-WHITE bastards HATE our Folk, and seek to EXTERMINATE our RACE, and have done a pretty good job over the past decades DOING just THAT! We MUST – BEWARE – of all the “TROJAN HORSES” from the SYSTEM’S “Con-Servative” poison peddlers, who under directions of the Zog will start this “can’t we get along” for the good of the country crap. REMEMBER and NEVER FORGET – it has been the ANTI-WHITE sell-outs in the “right-wing, con-servative camp” working with the blatant ANTI-WHITE forces of the “Liberal camp” who have brought us to the point of where we are in this country, as well as around the entire world!

…Comrades, it’s only November – there is still plenty of time to DO OUTREACH – time to REACH with our NS message, EDUCATE these White men AND women who rebelled against the system’s status quo, and then to ORGANIZE them into POLITICAL SOLDIERS willing to carry on the political struggle for the 14 Words and Social Justice for the White Working Class!

Don’t let them win as they try to use this election as license to rise up, whether here in America or in other countries.  Let them know they’re not welcome here.  Instead of panicking at how they’ve been rallying up the past week, let’s make sure they don’t succeed at their objectives.  Make them crawl back into their holes!  This election just means we have to keep fighting.

Sources:

Trump’s Election gives hope to Europe’s Far-Right

Der Spiegel articles cited here

For many years, I have been writing and speaking about the danger of the rise of an honest and charismatic ideologue in the United States, someone who could exploit the fear and anger that has long been boiling in much of the society, and who could direct it away from the actual agents of malaise to vulnerable targets. That could indeed lead to what sociologist Bertram Gross called “friendly fascism” in a perceptive study 35 years ago. But that requires an honest ideologue, a Hitler type, not someone whose only detectable ideology is Me. The dangers, however, have been real for many years, perhaps even more so in the light of the forces that Trump has unleashed. —Noam Chomsky

 

Shades of conservatism aside, the alt-right are cultural rebels and nationalists whose firmament is the Internet.
If defining them is hard, their political agenda is clearer. Liberalism is the dirtiest word, and its trappings — feminism, political correctness, multiculturalism, “social justice” — are to be resisted. The establishment is corrupt and full of political cuckolds, or “cucks,” who have failed America through their cowardice.
Below this, there bubbles a more insidious layer: white racial superiority, racism, anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim tendencies and a conspiratorial anger against the Jewish cabal that it claims runs the world.
…Last week, their “God Emperor” ascended the throne to raucous applause from his digital supporters. “We actually elected a meme as president,” wrote one centipede on 4Chan, echoing a feeling that somehow their digital campaign had swung it for Trump. Thousands delighted in the schadenfreude, sharing images of miserable-looking Clinton supporters. Thousands others turned their eye to the future.
…Dedicated forums for far-right candidates Geert Wilders (the Netherlands), Marine Le Pen (France) and Norbert Hofer (Austria) are in overdrive. “The American Meme Soldiers are here to help liberate France!!! Man your battlestations, fellow meme warriors!” goes one Reddit post. “Centipedes! We’re fighting on two fronts now. Get in there! Even if you don’t care about France, you need to care about stopping the liberal disease!” goes another. —http://www.cnn.com/2016/11/14/opinions/what-next-alt-right-krasodomski-jones-opinion/index.html

 

 

 

 

Took first chapter of my novel to Writer’s Club

Their response: “Wow.”

I was so nervous before I read it, almost wanted to just pretend I hadn’t brought it, hide it away.  As I read, I feared it was boring people, that they didn’t like it.

But then I finished and they said, “Wow.”  As in, a good wow.  As in, impressed.  A few helpful suggestions, but otherwise anxious to find out how the rest of the story is going to go.  It also excited the curiosity of our published author, who recently released a World War II novel.

Yes, this is the massive, complete rewrite of Unwilling Time-Traveler.  The reaction of the Club is encouraging, of course.  This story has filled my head for the past year, and still continuously drives me on.  I have to stop for a bit and read Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, but the ideas keep spinning in my head.

I have to get back to research to help put the puzzle of the ending together.  I know where I want things to go, but there are some details about the war that I need to get straight first.  It’ll also help me smooth out some difficulties in the midsection of the novel.

 

 

 

Now I read that Trump is terrified and Obama has to hold his hand….

…and it has me far less concerned that Trump’s the next “Hitler” (which is a common theme on the Net lately), than that he’s just plain unsuitable.  I don’t think he’s smart enough to be a new Hitler.  I think he just said that stuff to get elected.  I think he’s too incompetent to be President.

Maybe he’ll resign and Pence will take over.  Not that I want to see Pence in power, either, but at least he has some governmental experience.  There are concerns that Trump will not actually govern, but his staff will do it for him, basically like a child who inherits the office of king but can’t possibly govern a country himself yet.  And this is not how our country is meant to be run, by shadow figures not accountable to the public.

Ach, what a mess this country is in!  The Electoral College was supposed to protect us from the blind stupidity of the populace, since the Founding Fathers did not trust us, but nowadays just seems to sign off on whoever the public votes for.  Making you wonder, what’s even the point of it?

 

A song that fits the times: “The World Today” by Blue Ocean Dream

I can’t believe the world today

When understanding is all gone

When respect has lost its meaning

And the Ego is raised high

Also, Trump finally addresses the concerns of the protesters:

There is some hope here–assuming, of course, that we can trust him, which remains to be seen.  Of course, rolling back abortion rights and Obamacare are still on the table, which are HUGE concerns.