I’ve never heard of a contract law case getting so much press before…

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Mornin’ all.

Today I’m cutting my usual preamble short because I have a serious question to ask.

Why in the hell are people being so stupid?

…follow up:

Why are so many of these stupid people running for president?

I’m talking, of course, about the reactions to the Supreme Court FINALLY declaring that it is unconstitutional for states to ban gay marriage.

Now wait a sec. Hang on before you click away. People have been (and still are) making many debates against the governmental approval of gay marriage. However, those arguments are all fundamentally flawed, no matter how many famous people repeat them. I just want to look at the most prevalent arguments with a logical eye. If I can change your mind, cool. But even if I can’t, perhaps I can at least give you something to mull over.

Let’s look at the actual ruling. The supreme court did not say that all people have to be gay, marry a gay person, join a gay cult. They didn’t even say that people have to believe in gay marriage or support it personally. What they ruled was that marriage in the United States is a contract which binds two adult human beings in the eyes of the law.

One person decides to legally tie their life to another in terms of assets. They are each declaring the other person to be their choice for legal decisions made on their behalf should they become incapacitated. Should they die, the contractual binding means they have made a choice where all the worldly possessions would go, and also who would then step up and be responsible for debt they left.

As far as the government is concerned, that’s it. That’s all a marriage is. It’s all it ever has been, all it ever will be. It is a legal contract between two people that binds their lives together.

Now, that seems awful cold, doesn’t it? Well, it is. And it should be. See, what a lot of folks aren’t understanding is that this new ruling does NOT “support” gay marriage. It doesn’t go against “traditional” marriage. What it supports is the concept that two consenting adults have the right to legally bind themselves together. It supports the idea that ANY two consenting adults can do this, no matter race, creed, sexual orientation, height, weight, personal preference…

ANY TWO CONSENTING ADULTS CAN LEGALLY WED.

That’s all we’re talking about. THAT’S what’s got people in such an uproar. The government does not care about your squishy feelings when you look at someone. They don’t give a rat’s ass about your religious ideals. They couldn’t care less if you start to drool when you see a man, or when you see a woman, or even when you see either. They don’t care because that is NOT what this law is about. It’s not a law about love. It’s not a law saying you need to accept other peoples’ choices.

Now, let’s get into the arguments.

1) A marriage is between one man and one woman.

No. Not in the eyes of the law. Take all of your religious and emotional thoughts away, and you simply have the legal binding of two people. It’s a business partnership whose sole purpose in the eyes of the law is to join finances and assets, and the responsibilities of having (or owing) both.

2) …but it’s not. Marriage is so much more than that. Why can’t gays just have civil unions?

You’re not listening. ALL marriages ARE “civil unions” in the eyes of the law. Always have been. Always will be. That’s what this new ruling is pointing out. If you grant the same rights, privileges, responsibilities, tax credits, and legal protections for “civil unions” as you do for “marriages”, then THEY ARE THE SAME THING. The ONLY purpose calling the two unions something different serves is to create a caste system. It is saying that one is still more favorable in the eyes of the law than the other, which it’s not. By this popular argument, logically every “marriage” should actually be called a “civil union” since that term is far more accurate. They are the same thing in the eyes of the law.

3) But God says…

Nope. You can’t make a national law based on what you believe your God said.

4) But the Founding fathers…

Founded this country to do the exact opposite of what you’re trying to do. Many of them were atheist. ALL of them were firm in the belief that EVERY SINGLE PERSON should get to decide what they do or do not believe in terms of religion. That means that the government cannot make a law governing religions, nor can one religion dictate the laws that govern the nation. They can’t force you to believe anything, but YOU can’t make a law based on YOUR religion that forces ME to believe anything, either.

5) This country has a proud history of Christian values.

This country has a LOUD history of Christian values, I’ll grant you that. Has religion influenced the running of this nation? Yes. Is that how it’s supposed to work? No. And it’s not “attacking” your religion to realize we’re screwing up and try to set things right. We should never, ever have let religious beliefs influence our laws. Keeping the two separate is one of the founding principles of this nation.

6) But this law will force my church to perform gay marriages.

What? Have you been listening at all? No, it will not. This law has NOTHING to do with churches whatsoever. This law says that no federal, state, county, or town office can deny any two consenting adults the legal process of marriage. It says that if Bob and Phil, or Linda and Sue, go to a court house to get hitched, the clerk has to hitch ’em, the paperwork has to be stamped, the county has to adjust their census, and the IRS has to audit them if they don’t file as “married”. Your church plays no part in this process. A civil marriage is different from a religious union.

7) Then why is a church wedding considered a legally binding ceremony?

Well, it’s not. Not in and of itself, anyway. The pastor/priest/imam/rabbi/etc. has agreed to act as a certified witness in the ceremony. They have agreed to oversee the union on behalf of the local government and then certify that the two people involved went into the contract willingly and knowingly. That’s all they do in terms of the law. They then submit their paperwork, which has been signed by other witnesses, and the town clerk (or other government official) is the one to actually decide the legal validity of the marriage. The person doing the service is essentially just an overseer that has promised the government to tell the truth on whether or not these two crazy kids wanted to be married. The actual approval is up to a governmental official, and the marriage is NOT recognized until this crucial step happens.

8) Okay, so if that’s the case, then this law WILL force my minister to perform ceremonies.

Nope. Your minister is a governmentally approved overseer, but NOT the elected official that a town/city/county has tasked with the job of officially declaring two people married. That’s why religious people need to submit paperwork to the town/city/county. Your minister is the one who gets to decide if two people are married in the eyes of the church. But that’s where his or her authority ends. The ceremony your minister performs is ONLY for the church. The elected official in your town/city/county is the one who makes the marriage a legally binding contract. Your minister has NEVER decided the legal status of those who wished to wed, and NEVER will. He or she can’t…they are not a governmental agent, and thus will NEVER be held to the same legal standards as a US official. This gives your minister the right to decide which weddings to perform in their church.

9) You say that now, but I bet there will be lawsuits if my minister denies weddings.

Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s time for the country to follow the lead of most of Europe and make a clear line in the sand between legal marriage and religious rites. Many nations have handled this slippery slope by saying that people who want their marriages to be legally binding must have a civil ceremony in front of an elected official. In other words, those governments don’t just take the religious leader’s word for it and must oversee the actual legal union themselves. This does not mean that religious ceremonies are in any way banned. It just means it’s not enough. If you get married in a church ceremony, you need to then (or before…it’s often before) make your desire to wed official with a quick contract signing with a sworn government agent. Many people pay a representative to be at their religious ceremony to save time and hassle. I think this is the way we’re heading, and we should. Until then, though, while your minister might get push back from the community and heat on social media, or be threatened with a lawsuit, he or she is NOT a government official, and has the law on their side if they want to deny performing gay weddings. It is still your minister’s right to perform the religious ceremonies that your religion supports, and refuse any it doesn’t.

10) I don’t believe you. Mike Huckabee said, “The Supreme Court can no more repeal the laws of nature and nature’s God on marriage than it can the laws of gravity.”

First, why are you listening to Mike Huckabee? The man’s shoe size is higher than his IQ, as evidenced in that statement which makes no sense whatsoever.

Second, I worry that picking apart his statement will lend any credence to it…but it’s a common sentiment, so I suppose we must.

The laws of nature. Mike Huckabee, and those who echo this argument, are not actually talking about the “laws of nature”. Why? Because nature has always, ALWAYS supported all types of sexuality. Gay pairings have been observed in nearly every animal group, from other intelligent primates down to not very intelligent at all critters like mice and birds. And it’s not just animals taking what they can get when they’ve got an urge. In many animal species that mate for life, including chimps, orangutans, otters, penguins, beavers, elephants, whales, etc., longterm homosexual couples have been observed so often that science has fully accepted that the “laws of nature” absolutely include homosexuality. It has been accepted by the scientific community for decades. If Mr. Hucakabee wasn’t so afraid of the demon science, he’d know this. His entire argument is based on emotion, not science, no matter how much he’d like you to believe he was viewing this “logically”.

11) Well Jeb Bush said, “It is now crucial that as a country we protect religious freedom.”

I hate this argument. I hate it over any of the other nonsensical arguments as to why we can’t just call marriage marriage and be done with this idiotic “debate”. The people saying this are not actually worried about religious freedom. If they were worried about religious freedom, they would not place their religious views above anyone else’s. The people like Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee do not care a whit if you’ve got religious freedom. They want laws that support THEIR religious ideals. That’s not exactly freedom now, is it?

This ruling is not attacking freedom. This ruling is protecting it. FOR EVERYONE. Period. It is NOT impugning your right to live your life according to the rules of your God. It is simply saying that you can’t make laws that force OTHERS to live under those rules, too.

You can’t use your religion, your idea of God, to start drawing lines for other people. You just can’t. That’s not how this country is supposed to work. If you start drawing the line, where do you stop? Some religions can’t eat pork. Should we outlaw bacon? How about the religions that believe in arranged marriages? What if those religions began making federal laws that say we can only have arranged marriages? Or working on the Sabbath? In some religions, that’s a mega no no. Would you like that law to be in place and have your work grind to a halt?

“But those aren’t the religions we’re talking about. We’re talking about MY religion.”

I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your beliefs are wrong. To many folks in this country, your beliefs, whatever they are, are completely and utterly wrong. And so are mine. And so are his, or hers, or theirs over there. So who should get to choose? Who should get to make laws based on their religion? Why would that be right or just or fair?

That’s exactly why we cannot make laws that support one religion over another. That is why we need our government to look at people as people and marriage- at ANY marriage- as nothing more than a contract between two citizens.

One consenting adult legally binding his or her self to another consenting adult. No religion. No emotion. Just straight up law.

The rest? That’s up to you and your beliefs. No one is making you choose. They are just saying you don’t have the right to choose for anyone else.

Thus concludes a charged up Musing for Saturday, June 27, 2015. Sorry there were no jokes today. I’ll be back to my flippant self next time. I promise. Just sometimes, things need sayin’.

You don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…

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Mornin’ all.

So remember the washer battle? The latest one. The one I lost. I’m done gathering the fallen and nursing the injured back to some semblance of health and ready to look forward to a new dawn, a new day, a new washer.

Yes! A BRANDY NEW washing machine! We took a credit card that had been cleared for quite some time and used it. Not ideal. Not what we wanted to happen. But sometimes, you gotta do whatchoo gotta do. I’ve had three used washers in the last decade. They were all hand me downs and needed some level of limping along and my guy said, “You know what? If the little mama needs a real washing machine to get the woman’s work done, well I’mma git ‘er one!”

BAHAHAHA!!! Kidding. Jeez, how quickly do you think I’d give him the Ice Queen Laser Eyes if he said that?

Nah. He bought me a washer in a non-sexist-just-knows-I-LOATHE-laundromats-and-wants-me-not-to-have-to-use-them kind of way. Besides, he didn’t want me to do laundry at all. He pleaded a case for us to become nudists instead. *bland stare*

As soon as he heard the charge of the laser eyes spinning up, he ended the nudism crusade.

Smart man.

So I’m getting a washing machine. …maybe.

Local appliance stores are expensive as hell. WALMART is expensive as hell. And while I’m not looking for a top of the line model that will massage the garments with little robot hands, carefully picking out every particle of dirt and dried ketchup and flicking them away as if they are the most offensive molecules to ever exist, I *do* need one that can handle the clothing of 5 full sized people and one smaller Pigpen.

*goes to fistbump for the Peanuts reference, then pulls back at last second like Lucy. Boom. DOUBLE REFERENCE*

I go through washers because our household demand is higher than the average washing machine wants to handle. I’ll wear the same jeans for days. But the kiddies needs clean clothes for school and now work, and the man gets crazy grubby at his job. You wouldn’t think grocery is a grimey biz. You’d be wrong.

After looking at prices at the local box stores and smaller appliance places in the area, we began to wonder if we’d be able to do this after all or not. With hearts in our throats and our fingers crossed, we decided to check the wonderful bargain bin known as the internet. We scoured around, found a few models that fit our needs and will just manage to work in the budget in a bazillion easy payments.

Now, we’re not idiots. We didn’t look for “Bob’s Discount Warshers And Lectronics”. No, we went to Amazon, and let THEM select “Bob’s Discount Warshers” as our first vendor. Oh, that’s not what they called themselves. They called themselves something friendly, like “Home and Care” or some bullshit. But that was just a poorly pasted on label to hide their “Bob’s Discount Warshers” company logo. That’s what they are from here forward.

We ordered the machine last week. The machine was supposed to be here Monday.

The machine was not here Monday.

…are you surprised? Come on. This wouldn’t make a good story if everything went to plan, would it?

When yesterday rolled around and we still didn’t hear anything about our mystery machine that was clearly caught in some transdimensional vortex, we tried to contact the seller. We clicked on the seller profile and found that this seller actually has multiple names on Amazon. Hm. Now why would a reputable, honest vendor of expensive merchandise have multiple names? Wouldn’t you think that they would want to rack up satisfied customers and build ONE good name?

Should have done our research, folks. That’s what it comes down to.
We were contacted by Amazon saying that the vendor has not followed their obligations to Amazon and reported the details of shipping in the agreed upon time frame. Amazon recommended that we cancel the order. We contacted Amazon…surprisingly easy to do, actually, and the people there were very helpful both times we ended up calling.

Yes, both. Hang on. I’ll get there.

After a long chat with the helpful person on the other end of the line, we decided that if “Bob’s Discount Warshers” can’t follow the contract with Amazon, and they hadn’t answered our inquiries, either, then we’d cancel the order. Amazon said they would handle it on their end, and assured us we would not be held liable for the sale no matter what.

A little fuss, but in the end, no muss, and we washed our hands of “Bob’s Discount Warshers And Lectronics.” We went back on Amazon, found a washer that had been put on sale between last week and this, came out cheaper than the other, FREE SHIPPING!! from a company that had many excellent ratings, and a couple middle of the road like you’d expect any legit business to have. We placed the order, huzzah, new washer once again on the way!

…and then got an angry email from “Bob’s Yada Yada” informing us that wouldn’t you know it, they JUST shipped the discount warsher yesterday morning and it was too late to cancel the order since the warsher was speeding to us at the break neck speed of a snail.

Seriously, they said they just happened to ship it yesterday morning, June 24, and it would get here…July 17. I think the damn discount warsher’s planning on walking here, folks. Maybe it’s stopping to take a guided donkey tour of the Grand Canyon. Oh, I know! It’s dying to see the washing machine horror exhibit known as the “World’s Biggest Ball of Yarn.” Oooh scary.

Look. We didn’t sign up for this shit. So, we called Amazon back. Once again, extremely friendly, helpful, and really pissed off on our behalf. Hey, if you’re ever looking for a cohort, someone to be righteously indignant with you when no one else is around, call up Amazon customer support. I swear we could hear the dude lighting the torch and sharpening his pitchfork.

Long and short, not only were we assured that we would not be held responsible for the cost of the washer in any way, but they cc’d us a copy of an angry email they sent to “Bob’s” that included the other email they sent earlier showing that it wasn’t until the order was canceled that the company actually shipped the machine.

Yay Amazon! Thanks for stormin’ the castle with us! Now, just make sure this second one actually gets here. K, thnx.

No, I mean it. I HATE laundry. Hate it. I will do any other chore on the planet over washing clothes. And yet, now that I can’t just pop a load in and ignore it until that funky smell fills the bathroom and I say “Oh shit, that’s right, I have to actually take it out of the wash for it to get dry…” I must say, I miss having a working washer.

Come on, Amazon. Pull through this time. *crosses my fingers and hopes*

Great weather is dawning. Storms cleared out the humidity and it’s sunny with a light breeze. It’s the perfect weather for working on the car. And the lawn. And figuring out a place to store the Evil Washer of Non-compliance where it won’t get even more ruined. (What? No way in HELL I’m leaving a brand new washer behind if we can ever manage to move out of here! Gotta save this pathetic husk to leave here when we go.)

In order to do all those things, and the many more that need doing in bright, sunshiny weather, I need it to be a bit later. Neighbors and all. Right now in the neighborhood, we’ve got one asshole who has spent all spring desperately trying for the Worst Neighbor crown. I see no reason not to let him reach his end goal of being the most hated man on the block. I wouldn’t dream of doing anything that would challenge him.

I mean, how sad would it be for him if all that drunken yelling, screaming, and mid-week middle of the night fireworks shooting is forgotten because I carelessly fired up the side grinder before 9 am? All that rubber he’s laid peeling out of his drive EVERY. FUCKING. TIME. has GOT to mean something, folks. It just has to.

So while I wait for an appropriate time to make an appropriate level of noise, let us get wildly INappropriate, shall we? While it’s too early for some things, it’s never too early for a….

*cue the go-go dancers* *fire up the catchy theme music* *bring in the guest yodlers*

*** HEADLINE ROUNDUP!!! ***

Shh. Let the yodlers finish.

…or should I said, let them Finnish?

“No. Bad Bethie. Bad.”

…fair enough. A round of applause to our dancers and yodlers, and don’t forget the band! They had to learn some accordion riffs just for today.

Yes, headlines. While regular readers will recognize the segment, let me take a quick second to fill in the newbs. Every now and again I get a wild hare up my ass and scour the internets for headlines that are poorly worded, leave the wrong impression, or simply give me a funny image in my head. All of the headlines are bona fide legit. I just supply Bethie’s Discount Commentary.

– Surgical Team Mocks Sedated Patient–and it’s All Recorded

They’re mucking around inside his ass. IN HIS ASS. Was he hoping to catch them whispering sweet nothings?

– One-fourth of Americans Lie to Dentists About Flossing

I hate polls like this. Are they really expecting me to believe that a quarter of Americans actually admit to the dentist they don’t floss? Horse shit.

– Chinese City Defends Dog Meat Festival Amidst Criticism

I’m not going to be popular here, folks. Just because we’ve decided that dogs should play fetch doesn’t mean we have any right to deny a people a cheap source of meat. There are people who snuggle chickens. Cows are considered sacred to millions. I can’t tell a hungry person they can’t eat an animal just because I wouldn’t.

– China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

CHINA WHAT THE HELL. I just defended you!

– SC Lawmakers Agree to Debate Removal of Confederate Flag

Wait. What’s the friggin’ debate? Take down the flags. Not hard, folks.

– Amazon Joins Other Online Retailers in Banning Sales of Confederate Flags

There! See? No debate. Not hard. And about friggin’ time!

– Major US Flag Maker to Stop Making Confederate Flags

…are you getting the message, South Carolina?

– China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

Sorry, I just have to go back to this one for a sec because the longer I think about it, the more questions I have. Who the hell has a cache of forty year old meat lying around??

– New York Prison Break: Tailor Used Baked Goods to Help Escapees

Are you even kidding me with this shit?! If they actually, legitimately baked a file into a loaf of bread…AND IT WORKED….I give up on our legal system.

– Why Half of New Jersey was Pummeled with Storms While Other Half Spared

I’m torn between a horrible sinner joke and a Jersey shore guido jab. How about we make it reader’s choice? Think of your best Jersey burn. Come on, all together now. *think**think**chuckle* We just shared a moment, everyone. I feel closer to you now.

– China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

…like, frozen? I mean, it absolutely cannot be fresh. That would be…like…mummified, right? Maybe it’s jerky. Because if it’s jerky, I guess I can sort of see it. But do you even know how much it would cost to run a freezer for FORTY YEARS? I just…I can’t…

– Prison Seamstress Smuggled Tools to Inmates in Raw Meat

Two things: First, I think China should take comfort in the fact that other countries are dealing with their own meat smuggling crises right now. Second…the fuck are inmates getting RAW MEAT for?? Clearly this happens with enough frequency that the guard on duty saw nothing amiss with RAW FRIGGIN’ MEAT being handed over to inmates. This is somehow so much worse than the baked good theory.

– International Cult of Snowden Grows

Poll time: Cult of Snowden, better or worse than Scientology?

*editor’s note: We at the Muse are not seriously suggesting that Scientology is a cult. Cults are religions, and Scientology is simply a pyramid scheme. We apologize for any confusion.*

– Telescope Construction Set to Resume, but Battle Remains

Another relationship ruined from the arguments over ambiguous Ikea instructions. Come on, Ikea. Why you gotta hate love?

– Republicans’ Trump Debate Mistakes

Hiring people to root for you during the debate is probably high on the oopsie list…

China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

How does FORTY YEAR OLD MEAT still exist in an area of the world where so many people are starving? No one in FORTY FRIGGIN’ YEARS said, “Hm. You know what? They haven’t touched this meat in 28 years…guess it’s up for grabs?”

– Ford’s New Smartbike Vibrates to Warn You About Potholes

Because random jiggling and wiggling while you’re balancing on two small wheels seems so much safer than actually watching the road.

– Shark Bites 8-year-old Boy In NC; No Warning to Swimmers

It didn’t even give the kid a fair warning first? What a dick.

– Woman Gets Flesh-Eating Bacteria After Mud Run

Once again my decision to never run unless I’m getting away from tigers or zombies is confirmed as a sound life choice.

– New Era in Police Recruiting: Courting Hearts and Minds

The right candidate will be someone who likes long walks on the beach, is open to sharing feelings through song, and is comfortable enough with their personal identity that they don’t have to use their weapon as a tool of control. No Bronies.

– How Kids Became the Strongest Argument for Same Sex Marriage

“See all these damn kids? See how loud they are with their snarled hair and sticky candy fingers? You want even MORE of these little bastards running around?? Two men, or two women…in a world filled with bellowing brats, IT JUST MAKES SENSE.”

– China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

There are no pictures of the actual meat with the story. Is it weird that I really, really want to see pictures of what 40 year old top round looks like? We could call it “science” if that makes it less weird…

– Kansas Judge Weighs Nation’s First Ban on Abortion Methods

First ban? Someone at the AP needs a history book.

– Oklahoma Drilling Regulator Calls Spike in Earthquakes ‘Game Changer’

“We weren’t really expecting the earth to be this much of a challenge, but late in the second quarter there, she really jumped up and hit back. We need to double down. More drills. More oil tapping. More mining and blasting and fracking…”

– American Attacked by Shark off Australian Coast; ‘I’m Very Lucky’

“Of all the surfers in all the world, that shark chose me as its hors devour. *sniff* And while he only took a little taste before spitting me out and popping an Altoid, it was an honor just to be considered.”

– Lattes and Mars Bars on Sale at North Korea’s Gleaming New Airport

Lattes AND Mars Bars? Well, then. I think that puts to rest any lingering doubts the world has expressed over North Korea’s commitment to human rights and social justice!

Buckingham Palace Needs Repairs; Queen May Have to Leave

It doesn’t matter if you’re a prince or a pauper…if you throw a raging kegger and trash the joint, you’re going to get kicked out.

– China Arrests Smugglers Trying to Sell Meat from the 1970’s

Not to sound uneducated on the subject, but just how necessary is it to “smuggle” meat in China? This is a place that eats canine steaks. It doesn’t seem like they have the most stringent department of agriculture.

– Rand Paul Rolls Out 50 Supporters

…uh…good for you? I guess that’s a start? Now you just need a few dozen million more to really get this ball rolling.

– Moon Bears Rescued from Bile Farm in Vietnam

Shh. I’m closing my eyes and imagining what “moon bears” look like. They are fantastic.

– Dalai Lama to Speak at Glastonbury Rock Festival

Oooh snap. Your move, Pope.

– Shell Shocker: Triassic Reptile was ‘Grandfather’ to All Turtles

And for a super low, low price, you, too, can sample this rare delight at Bob’s Discount Vittles centrally located in beautiful downtown Shanghai.

…sorry, China. You kind of deserved that one.

Thus concludes a well Rounded Musing for Thursday, June 26, 2015. I can’t fire up the side grinder yet, but maybe I could get the lawnmower going. It’s just a little electric jobby and shouldn’t even put a hitch in my neighbor’s bid for the throne…

Let the circus begin!

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Mornin’ all.

I done went and got myself kitty trapped this morning.

Anyone with a cat knows the kitty trap. They give you that blinky-love look, roll over, purr, and offer their belly for you to rub. As soon as your fingers make contact with the fur, Kitty’s demeanor changes and her four paws close in on you with laser precision.

You know, kitties would be very effective bear traps.

“If you knew this was going to happen, Bethie, then why did you fall for it?”

Like every other cat owner in history, I’ll be damned if I know. She looked all soft and cute and cuddly wuddly. And in the morning, she usually *is* soft and cute and cuddly wuddly. See, this was no spur of the moment kitty mischief. This was a long term plan. Months of leg brushes and morning nose bumps and face purrs lulled me into a false sense of affection.

I use my scratched up hand to tip my hat to you, kitty. You win this round.

So there’s a shit ton of bad in the news this week, isn’t there? What a mess we’re in, America. People can blame the current administration. Or the one before. Or keep “the one before”ing ad nauseum. The truth is, our issues go back for a really long time. They’ve only actually seemed to come to a head because everyone can see them, thanks to the wonderful world of the internet.

For the first era in human history, I can sit here in my ratty old chair in backwards NH and take a peek at the rest of the world while sipping my horrible coffee and nursing my ragged flesh back to health. This tiny blip on the world’s timeline has made it possible for me to actually see for myself what’s happening in other places without having to rely on second and third hand accounts with their second and third hand slants. And with the great new tool, it’s become impossible for folks to deny certain societal truths that have been swept under the carpet for so long.

We’ve got problems, folks. Big ones. And the ONLY truly “American” way to handle it is to admit them and try to fix them.

Sweeping problems under the rug is not “patriotic”, it’s “idiotic”.

Did you get that? Let’s put that on a t-shirt, because not enough people realize that simple truth. When there’s a protest, THAT is American. When people gather to voice their concern, THAT was the founding fathers’ plan for us. It is NOT American to just shut up and take it.

“Well now that I’m thoroughly depressed and more than a little paranoid, what can we do about it?”

Realize the problems exist. Admit the problems are real. Actively work to fix the problems.

It’s been so long since we’ve actually *tried* folks. And the first step is ridiculously easy. We need to change who is in charge, and choose the next person who’ll keep those folks in line.

With that in mind, I think we should really start looking ahead to who might be the next governmental babysitter. Many have already thrown their hats in the ring, and I sent one of my reporters to give them each a brief interview so we can begin to know our candidates.

*author’s note: I don’t actually have reporters. And the photos were taken from various news sites, selected to highlight the most presidential looks of the candidates. I didn’t take them, just copied and pasted. I’m fairly certain that goes without saying. Also, the interviews didn’t really happen. I think I have to say that, even though this is about to clearly turn satirical, just to cover my own ass. Once again, the interviews below are what I imagine the candidates would say in answer to my questions. Not a single campaign has approved any of the messages.*

Jeb Bush

bush2

Party: Republican

Stands for: “Being a Bush.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Come on. Bush.”

Likes: “Vote Bush.”

Dislikes: “I SAID VOTE BUSH.”

If elected, I guarantee: “Another Bush will be in office. BUSH BUSH BUSH BUSH.”

Ben Carson

carson

Party: Republican

Stands for: “Being smarter than anyone else.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Peons. All of you peons.”

Likes: “Being right, which means I’m happy one hundred percent of the time. I’m sure it’s a concept you can’t understand. Because you’re dumb.”

Dislikes: “Let’s not drag this torture out. I have no desire to humiliate you with my superior intellect. You just need to understand that I am vastly superior in every way, and trust that I am the correct candidate.”

If elected, I guarantee: “A person with an IQ as high as mine doesn’t need to make promises. Can we just stop now? I feel as if I’m speaking to a brick wall.”

Lincoln Chafee

chafee

Party: Democrat

Stands for: “I was the Governor of Rhode Island.”

Ain’t got no time for: “People who’ve never heard of Rhode Island, only the best island in the country!”

Likes: “What do you mean Rhode Island isn’t an island? It’s called Rhode ISLAND.”

Dislikes: “Janice? Janice! This interview person just told me that Rhode Island isn’t an island.”

If elected, I guarantee: “…oh…oh my God. It’s…not and island? Then it was all lies? *audible sniff on the tape recorder* Oh, no! How can this be? Years, wasted! What…what have I done with my life?”

*Editor’s note: We at the Muse would like to issue a sincere apology to Mr. Chafee’s family and promise to respect their privacy as they deal with this life-shattering news. It was never our intention to break a presidential candidate.

Hillary Clinton

clinton

Party: Democrat

Stands for: “I’ve been in the game a long time, and if you don’t know this shit by now, you’re not very good at your job, are you?”

Ain’t got no time for: “Jokes about my age, my wrinkles, my saggy tits and un-lypoed ass. I’ve been too busy working for you to try to keep up with the Kardashians. Sue me.”

Likes: “Rights. All kinds of them. I’m a freakin’ equality rainbow.”

Dislikes: “Blowie jokes about the oval office. Honestly, people, grow the hell up.”

If elected, I guarantee: “That I’ll install a camera under the oval office desk if that’s what it takes to get you immature jackasses to let it go already and get down to work.”

Ted Cruz

cruz

Party: Republican

Stands for: “Equality for all people who are male, Christian, straight, wealthy, and love guns.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Anyone who does not fit into that bracket.”

Likes: “Er, hang on. I’ve just been told that if I only support Christian white males who are already God-fearing citizens with guns, I’ll only get a handful of votes. I don’t know that this is correct. Maybe we could table these kinds of questions until I get with my people and review the latest polls?”

Dislikes: “Oh, this one’s easy. No fact checking needed. I hate it when people ask me if I can introduce them to Tom Cruise. I mean, seriously? It’s not even spelled the same!”

If elected, I guarantee: “I’ll have my people get in touch with you once we figure out which platform is going to work the best. K, thnx.”

Carly Fiorina

WASHINGTON, DC - DECEMBER 18:  Carly Fiorina, former CEO of the Hewlett-Packard Company, speaks at the Heritage Foundation December 18, 2014 in Washington, DC. Fiorina joined a panel discussion on the topic of "And Now for a Congressional Growth Agenda".  (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Party: Republican

Stands for: “…hours in these heels! Let’s see a MAN do THAT!”

Ain’t got no time for: “Soft, jelly men who pretend to run this country.”

Likes: “Cigars and cognac. What? What’s that look for? OH, you think only MEN can enjoy things like a good cigar and an aged cognac? That’s what’s wrong with this country. You’re dick-whipped. Every last goddammed one of ya.”

Dislikes: “Abortions. If there’s one thing I can’t stand more than wimpy ass men it’s women who think they’ve got any right to say what happens to their bodies. And while we’re at it, no marrying other ladies, either. That shit’s weird. I say what happens to your bodies and who you love, got it? *snap* I have spoken.”

If elected, I guarantee: “To take the ‘dick’ out of “president”. Heh. See what I did there?”

Lindsey Graham
graham

Party: Republican

Stands for: “The proud heritage of the Dixie South.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Politically correct mumbo jumbo that ass kisser Lincoln started.”

Likes: “The swell of pride I feel when I stand in my stark white suit and salute the real Southern flag.”

Dislikes: “Lincoln. Anything to do with Lincoln. Pennies, in particular, are a symbol of oppression and control to my people.”

If elected, I guarantee: “To erase the abomination that was the sixteenth president from the history books and once again raise the true south.”

Mike Huckabee

huckabee

Party: Republican

Stands for: “THE NATIONAL ANTHEM. WHY DON’T YOU??”

Ain’t got no time for: “ABORTIONS, GAYS, SOCIAL PROGRAMS, CRACKHEAD WELFARE BITCHES, SLUTTY HOS, CORPORATE TAXES THAT MAKE THE SUFFERING BUSINESSMAN SUFFER, DINNER THAT AIN’T ON THE TABLE AT 5:00, THEM PORNO-GRAPHICS OF THE DEVIL, EVOLUTION IDEAS PLANTED IN THE MINDS THROUGH THE EVIL FORCES OF THOSE SATAN BOXES…”

*Editor’s note: In the interview transcripts, the reporter cited a break at this point where Mr. Huckabee was taken off stage for a half hour by his PR director and another unnamed man with a medical badge. When he returned, he was no longer shouting and his demeanor was far less aggressive. We at the Muse feel these facts are important to understand the key points Mr. Huckabee was trying to make.

Likes: “Long walks on the beach with my wife, whom I love and adore and forgive even if the towels are hanging slightly askew. Puppies are good. Squiffy widdle kitties are even better. I mean, is there anything better than a fluffy wuffy kitty kitty poo poo when you’re sad? Gobble gooble I could just eat them up!”

Dislikes: “Oh, you know me. I get along with almost everyone! Love and sunshine for all. Boy, was John Lennon right or what? Is he here? John? Oh, Johnny…where’d ya go my brotha from anotha mutha? Come jam with me.”

If elected, I guarantee: “Boy, wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just lay on the White House lawn together and look up at the clouds for awhile? Can we do that, Doc? I’mma good boy ‘an took the happy juice. Can I get a kitty and lay on the lawn now like you promised?

Martin O’Malley

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley takes a picture with his smartphone camera at photographers as he awaits the arrival of U.S. President Barack Obama to speak at Ellicott Dredges in Baltimore, Maryland May 17, 2013.   REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque   (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS)

Party: Democrat

Stands for: “Social justice. Down here in Maryland, we like everything and everyone to be equal.”

Ain’t got no time for: “People who think there are problems with my fine state.”

Likes: “This great state of mine! I’m the governor, you know. Of Maryland. Which is a state. A whole state, not just one city. A state. Keep that in mind.”

Dislikes: “Social injustice. It grinds my gears to think that anywhere in Maryland could be considered less than one hundred percent tolerant of all peoples and races.”

If elected, I guarantee: “…I see the way you’re looking at me. You’re accusing me of having something to do with Baltimore, aren’t you? THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!”

George Pataki

pataki

Party: “Republican. Honestly.”

Stands for: “Abortion rights, gun control, tax exemptions for businesses who use clean energy, tax incentives for private consumers who use clean energy, better charter school options for a quality education for all. You know. Classic Republican standpoints.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Those smelly Democrats. Yuck. Right guys?”

Likes: “Clean air, fair treatment of men and women, social justice, equality, lower tax…uh…I mean…God Bless America! Whoo-wah! Git ‘er…done? That’s what y- we say in the Republican party, isn’t it?”

Dislikes: “Liberal socialist hippies. P-yew. Who let THOSE freaks in here?”

If elected, I guarantee: “I’m totally a Republican. Sure.”

Rand Paul

U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) speaks at a session titled "The Changing Politics of Foreign Policy" during the Wall Street Journal's CEO Council meeting in Washington December 2,  2014. Paul is considered a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016.  REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque  (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS BUSINESS) - RTR4GFZE

Party: Republican

Stands for: “Financial independence from the status quo.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Taxes. Cut all taxes for everyone, rich and poor alike. No governmental spending on anything at all because cops and judges and postal workers and clerks and ambulance drivers and teachers will all work for free.”

Likes: “America.”

Dislikes: “Anyone who is not America.”

If elected, I guarantee: “To cut spending to zero, to let you keep all your money so you can use it to arm yourself when we close the borders to all foreigners. You know, as God intended. Don’t kill babies. Terrorists are bad. Teachers are good. Uh…did I miss any talking points there? No? I’m good, then. Run with that.”

Rick Perry

perry

Party: “Hell yeah!…Oh, wait, I misspoke.”

Stands for: “Guns ‘n bitches!… Oh, sorry. I misspoke again. That should say ‘nuns in britches.’…still wrong? My PR gal is saying that’s still wrong. You know what I meant.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Poor people. Hang on a sec. The little PR lady is waving at me and…what? Oh. Heh. Looks like I misspoke again. Did you get those cue cards in the wrong order, Carl? *gulp* Getting hot in here. Did you see my new glasses? I got glasses. I think they tell you how serious I am.”

Likes: “America. Freedom. A free America that’s free from Musl…*glrublpfffph*…*tap**tap*…on? Hello? That good? Okay, I’m back. Sorry, the little PR cutie just said my mic cut out for a minute there.”

Dislikes: “Blacks. Oh, hell. I just cannot talk today, can I? Silly me, I misspoke. I meant to say that I don’t like corduroy pants. I hate that ffft ffft sound they make when you walk. I mean, who doesn’t, right? That hot piece of PR ass is motioning for us to wrap this up.”

If elected, I guarantee: That I will proudly stand for some of the citizens and lead us to ultimate victory against those job-stealing Chi….*scramble scramble static*

Marco Rubio

rubio

Party: Republican

Stands for: “Men. Real men, too. None of this wimpy nerd shit. NOT ON MY WATCH.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Women’s rights.”

Likes: “You know, man stuff. I guess babies are okay, too, as long as they’re boy babies.”

Dislikes: “Sniveling women and their stupid girlie problems.”

If elected, I guarantee: “That I will build a boys-only fort at the White House for guys to hang out in. Wouldn’t that be so cool? No girlz allowed!”

Bernie Sanders

sanders

Party: Democrat

Stands for: “Farms, more food, better health care for the masses.”

Ain’t got no time for: “Cow tippers. Those little shits cause so much damage. Give the punks something productive to do instead of knocking over helpless cows.”

Likes: “Maple syrup.”

Dislikes: “So called ‘pancake syrup’ that contains less than two percent of natural maple syrup, and 98 percent artificial flavors. How these ne’er do wells can get away with calling themselves ‘syrup’ is beyond me. Don’t EVEN get me started on Log Cabin. Just…don’t.”

If elected, I guarantee: “Only REAL maple syrup will be allowed to show a maple leaf on the package. I’m looking at YOU, Aunt Jemima!”

Rick Santorum

santorum

Stands for: “America in all her fine Americanness.”

Ain’t got time for: “Screwing with a perfect system.”

Likes: “Bleeding red, white, and blue, bitches.”

Dislikes: “Mucking up America with progress.”

If elected, I guarantee: “Rise and sing the anthem with me.”
*Editor’s note: At this point in the interview transcript, the reporter makes note that she tried several times to actually get a real answer from Mr. Santorum, without success. In her words, “He just kept singing right over my questions, and when I persisted, he just sang louder, and shuffled sideways out of the room.”  

Donald Trump

trump

Party: “You will call me The Donald.”

Stands for: “I refuse to answer your questions until you call me The Donald.”

Ain’t got no time for: “…”

Likes: “…”

Dislikes: “…”

*Editor’s note: The reporter’s transcript indicates that at this point, she conceded, as it was clear the interview would not proceed if she didn’t. We at the Muse feel that this in no way compromises our investigative integrity.*

If elected, I guarantee: “To be the best president in the history of presidents. No, wait. Put that I’ll be the biggest and best. Oh! I got it. I’ll be the biggest, bestest, most God-like candidate the world has ever seen. Okay, scratch that all, and just tell people I AM GOD NOW. Oooh. Look at my arm. Look at it. Chills.”

Your candidates, folks.

Thus concludes an introduction to your presidential candidates for Saturday, June 20, 2015. I guess the real take away is that there is still plenty of time for someone else to step up and run. Someone. ANYONE. PLEASE.

I roamed and rambled, only without the pesky “roaming”…

Standard

Mornin’ all.

Family Holiday turned out fantastic! Great weather…perfect, in fact. Low 80s, but dry with a light breeze and plenty of shady trees to sit under. Great people. We had a couple folks pop in and they joined the revelry. Great kids, who didn’t have one single argument (except when they played a few rounds of Smash Bros. together, but with five kids taking turns smashing bros, that’s just part of the deal). The food came out awesome *toot toot of my own horn* and the stupid little games we had went over well. The teens at least tolerated most of them. That’s all I can ask! Sunday was perfect.

Yesterday, however, was not. I always say that life is a pendulum. Sunday was definitely the peek of the arc. Yesterday…yesterday was one of “those” days. I suppose if I didn’t have “those” days, I wouldn’t appreciate the Sundays as much. But jeez, Fate. I’m not stupid and you didn’t need to brow beat me. I could have inferred that lesson and still had at least one thing go right yesterday.

It started with the naive belief that I could emerge victorious from a battle with a mutinous appliance. I wrestled with my washing machine. AGAIN. Third time trying to fix it in less than a year. This time, it fought back.

Naw dude, you don’t even understand. It literally fought back. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but when I was unfastening the last bolt to remove the gear case, the whole internal assembly…shifted? Gained sentience just to eff me over? Harnessed the wisdom of a thousand Whirpool senseis to know the precise moment to launch a stealthy counter offensive? Dunno. What I *do* know is that I dragged myself out of the ring and hit the bell with a bleeding finger, a throbbing hand, and bruises on both my leg and my ego.

She won, folks. Long and short, I tasted the acrid tang of defeat. She sits there, looming uselessly in the corner. The outer casing that was sloppily slapped back together is slightly askew, tilting to one side in a sneer that lends an air of smug defiance.

I hate that washing machine. It’s a bubbling pool of loathing in the back of my throat that will not go away. Oh, my kingdom for a wrecking ball!

In the foul mood this clearly brought about, I went to the store. I hit a pothole so massive that I’m not entirely positive it wasn’t a portal to a different dimension. My beastie let out a blood-curdling scrape. I didn’t look. I haven’t looked. I’m too scared that I’ll get down and see a cartoonishly jagged rip underneath. We’re going with the Wile E. Coyote theory on this one and hoping for the best. As long as we don’t look, all is well.

Had to go to the school to pick up the youngest. He got out late, and we sat there. And sat there. And sat there, in the sticky and humid rain that was so hard we could only crack our windows, waiting for some selfless person to let us in the exit line. Didn’t happen. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my two decades of driving, it’s that rain erases all kindness on the road. “You want to get out? Well SCREW YOU! Can’t you see that it’s RAINING? What kind of moron would expect me to stop my three mile per hour escape to let them get to the road first in the RAIN? Pfft. Newb.”

It took twelve minutes. Twelve minutes of sitting there in a hot and steamy car in the rain watching the smirking faces of all the people who wanted to badly to flip me off and laugh as they passed, but knew they had to keep it together because the kids were in the car.

Did I mention the kiddo had to pee?

AND IT WAS RAINING???

Have you ever had to sit immobile in a steamy car in the rain for twelve minutes with a kid who had to pee? I’d rather not do that one ever again, Fate, k thx.

When I finally got out of the parking lot, I almost got pegged by my asshole neighbor who thinks every time he pulls out of the drive he’s suddenly transported to Talladega. He had the audacity to flip ME off for daring to drive on a public highway when HE wanted to peel out. I know. I’m such a douche like that. Then dinner was late, I knocked over an open soda can in the fridge (seriously, who leaves an open can of soda in the fridge? Either drink that shit or dump it out. Bad teenagers, bad.)

I guess what I’m saying is that it was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad…

“Achem, Bethie? As your legal advisor, I must interject and stop you before you finish that phrase. You do not have the licensing rights to use it, in whole or in part.”

Oopsie! Almost forgot. Thanks. Let’s just hope Judith Viorst isn’t reading this.

*Author’s note: DUDE I totally mean the exact opposite of that. How flippin’ amazing would it be if Judith Viorst actually IS reading this? If you’re looking, Hey Jude! Don’t take it bad…*

“BETHIE NO!! DO NOT even THINK of continuing THAT one!!!”

*Jeez, chill, man. I said it as an aside between asterisks. Everyone knows an aside can’t be considered in a lawsuit as long as you put it between asterisks.*

“*blink**blink*…you have no idea how the law works, do you?”

*Of course not. I wouldn’t dream of stepping on your toes. Hey, can we just get back to the Muse now?*

Okay, okay, I’ll admit that as bad days go, it wasn’t exactly horrible. It wasn’t even in my top hundred list of bad days. But jeepers, one thing after the other just grates on my nerves, ya know?

Today has dawned with clear skies. I’ll take that as a good omen. It’s also the last day of school for the little one, who is already up and raring to go on the couch, finding it impossible to contain his excitement. I don’t mind an excited kid, but he’s not sticking to Morning Rule #1: No talking to Mum before the first cup of coffee is down the hatch. I’m giving him a pass, because I know just how much he’s itchy for this school year to end. I’ve got my headphones on so I can’t hear him, but he’s bopping around just in the edge of my vision and do you have any idea how utterly annoying that is and…hang on a sec. I’ll be right back.

…back. I handed him his tablet and he is now watching hilarious YouTube videos.

“Digital bribery?”

Stop raising that eyebrow at me because it’s not going to work. I’ve been at this parenting thing far too long to look at bribery as a bad thing. First kid? Nope. Nuh uh. No way. By the book with strict limits and gentle pleading and reminders that he needed to behave for the sake of personal pride he’d feel at adhering to the rules of the house and…

Second kid? FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS RIGHT AND FAIR AND JUST IN THIS WORLD, TAKE THIS MAGIC BOX OF ELECTRIC AWESOMENESS AND GO IN YOUR ROOM AND LET IT ENTRANCE YOU SO MUMMY CAN GET FIVE MINUTES OF PEACE!!

You bet your sweet bippy I use digital bribery.

There were a couple news items I wanted to bring up today, but I’ve already rambled quite a bit, so I’ll be brief.

“Is that even possible?”

I’m going to ignore that remark since your legal guidance has been extremely beneficial this morning. But I’m putting you on notice.

Anyway, the first story is that Donald Trump is running for president.

Let me know when you’re done laughing. Or groaning. Or ranting. Or simply fed up with political stories already and the damn election is still so far away. This is not the first time Donald has claimed he was running for president. Anyone want to take bets on whether he actually sticks with it this time?

Even if he doesn’t, our options are getting broader and broader, huh?

Imma give you a list of our current official candidates:

On the Dem side, we’ve got: Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee.

On the Rep side, we’ve got: Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, George Pataki, Lindsey Graham, Rick Perry, and now Donald Trump.

As well as those, there are several people who are openly still “feeling out” the public before they decide. I don’t like this. I know it’s part of politics, but if you need to spend months publicly “feeling out” people before you decide if you’ll be president, I don’t want you in the oval office. Period. If you can’t make up your own mind on what you want, then I have no time for your ego stroking shenanigans. Someone who gets the job should want the JOB, not just a prom court crown for being popular.

I’m on the fence with who to like among the candidates, though there are plenty to hate. That’s good. I mean, if we didn’t have at least a few controversial scum puppies in the fray, the elections would be a very boring process indeed. Imagine turning on the tv and only seeing GOOD ads! How utterly droll.

“Bethie, did I detect a hint of sarcasm?”

NO-OHHH. None at all.

Too soon to back anyone, but at the moment, I’m kind of liking the cow tipper. MAPLE SYRUP FOR LYFE, HAG.

The second bit of news, which honestly really does relate to the first in a way we, as a nation, really need to consider, is that the border patrol on our south western quarter is now classifying undocumented babies as “illegal workers” in an effort to get them deported faster.

Look, I’m all the way up here in NH. Our neighbor country in my neck of the woods is Canada. Would you believe that we don’t really have a problem with Canadians sneaking over the border? In fact, up here, sneaking is often done the OTHER direction.

Because of this, my life in terms of living with and understanding the day to day effects of illegal immigration from southern nations is very, very sheltered. I get that. I do. And I’m not even going to pretend otherwise. Why should I? My truth is that I live in part of the country that does not deal with ANY aspects of it. So believe me, I know my opinion should most definitely be taken with a grain of salt.

…or should it?

We once painted my Grammie’s kitchen for her while she was away. She loved green, so my dad got a nice, bright green. The sample didn’t look garish or anything and we happily painted the night away. We let it dry and came back the next morning, pleased with how well we did. It wasn’t until someone else came in and saw it and said, “MY GAWD that’s HIDEOUS!” that we were able to step back and see beyond the hours of work we put in to the color itself. It was, indeed, hideous.

But while we were in the thick of it, we couldn’t see that. We were too focused on dealing with the paint and the rollers and covering furniture and masking off the woodwork…we were too focused on the details to see the overall picture.

Electrified gecko, by the way. That’s what I’d now call that color. Hid-e-ous.

Maybe me living in the US outside the divided “war” zone of immigration problems gives me not a sheltered view, but an overall look at the bigger picture that people who are in the thick of things can’t see for themselves?

The story about the babies being migrant workers goes like this. Classically, the forces that handle illegal immigration cases (from cops and agents, to lawyers and judges) don’t really consider babies to be threats.

Oh, how naive, right? I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: All babies are just a hair’s breadth away from shanking you with a binkie.

They’ve conned the nation, though, and since folks buy into the “helpless” persona, babies aren’t viewed as a threat, and classically, deportation cases involving babies have been pushed to the side in our system that is overwhelmed and bogged down. The system puts a low priority on deporting babies, and instead focuses attention on captured adults. (And of those captured adults, they really only have the time and resources to really pursue folks who have committed crimes outside of simply being here illegally, or those whom the government has deemed a threat.)

The US border patrol sees the problem differently. Since many people come to the US illegally to have their babies on US soil, thus making the infants US citizens, they believe that cracking down on deporting babies will send a message to anyone considering crossing the border illegally. To make the cases a higher priority and to get more attention, the border patrol has…upped (?) their game (I’m not sure you’d call it that, but they really did go from zero to a billion) by listing the babies as illegal migrants who have done other illegal things, such as receive fraudulent welfare/social service benefits and illegally obtained identification paperwork to seek work. This is a big no-no right now, because the only thing the US hates more than non-working undocumented workers is tax-paying working ones.

In a nutshell, in the minds of the border patrol, labeling babies as illegals looking to steal resources and jobs puts a big red flag on the cases and they’ll be fast tracked and dealt with so swiftly that any expecting parents in southern nations wouldn’t even consider hopping the border before Jr. is born.

There are a couple problems with their theory, though.

First, anyone who is desperate enough to get out of their current situation for a shot at a better life for Jr. will not- I repeat- WILL NOT follow the case law for deportation of babies. They just won’t. They do not care. These are people who are poor or scared or so strung out living the life they have that they are willing to risk death itself for a shot at something that might be better. The decision to come to the US illegally to have a baby is NOT about what they can get from the US, but what they can give their child. Period.

And secondly…THEY ARE BABIES, ASSHOLES. No one, not a single cop, agent, lawyer or judge is going to look at the “rap” sheet of an 11 day old baby (true case, folks. 11 days old. DAYS.) and consider the individual to be dangerous. No one.

We need reasonable approaches to immigration reform, and arresting babies just isn’t it. All this does is make the US look like even bigger douchebags on the international front. Serious problems need serious solutions. I think they just took a company poll, put the suggestions on the Wheel of Fortune, and gave it a spin. That is honestly the only way I can think this idea became policy.

Hold on a sec…this just in. We have a breaking news story. Donald Trump has made a statement on his ideas for immigration reform:

“When Mexico sends its people, they are not sending their best. They are not sending you. They are sending people that have lots of problems, and they are bringing those problems to us. They are bringing drugs and they are bringing crime, and they’re rapists.”

*crickets**crickets*

Donald Trump, ladies and gentlemen. Your latest 2016 presidential candidate.

“…you got any more of those Maple Syrup stickers kicking around, Bethie?”

Thus concludes a very long winded Muse for Wednesday, last day of school 2015. Honestly, if you stuck around this long, I’m duly impressed! That’s an extra hour of YouTube for you, my friend! Now be a good kid and don’t shank anyone with your binkie while Mummy goes and works on the car…

Oh what a beautful morning! And it won’t even be ruined by shitty coffee, either…

Standard

Mornin’ all!

Take a whiff. You smell that? Fresh blueberry muffins. They’re cooling before they get a salted vanilla glaze. I’ve got ribs drying on the rack before I rub them down to marinate all morning. And the coffee’s brewing. I actually measured it carefully today instead of just dumping half a can of grounds in and hoping the pot won’t disintegrate.

“Whoa now, Bethie. You…you…MEASURED the coffee? Like real people do?”

Yep! Sure did!

“What’s the occasion?”

Why, I’m glad you asked. Today just so happens to be… Family Holiday!

…hey. Stop flipping through your calendar in a panic and come back here. You didn’t have a brain fart and forget to buy someone a gift. You won’t find Family Holiday in any calendar, because it’s completely made up by us.

We’re a blended family. His, mine, ours. You know, 80’s sitcom fodder. When we were a newly formed herd, and the teens weren’t even close to being teens, there was some tension amongst the ranks. Shocking, huh? Turns out “Insta-family” takes a bit more work than simply adding water (still waiting for the class action suit against those 80’s sitcoms and their lies, btw).

One day after a particularly trying he said/he said/nuh-uh/yes-suh battle between the trio, my guy saw some toys on clearance at work. He bought them, then came home and we put our heads together and decided to make a whole day of it. A special day, that only members of our family could celebrate.

And thus, Family Holiday was born.

Corny? Yep. Desperate? More than a little…at first. We really stressed the fact that the kids would now be raised as brothers, as family. Though I’d like to say that was enough to cement the bonds of brotherhood, I am not a good enough author to make that lie sound even remotely believable.

However, it did give them a fun day, and it was a fun day that no one else on the planet got to have. Their very own holiday. All they had to do to be qualified to celebrate was to be part of the family. And the next year, we made it better. We added some activities and prizes…more the year after…yada yada…here we are. I fully intend to keep it going, too, even when they finish growing up and moving out. I’ve done a lotta screwing up as a parent, but this is one thing I think was a pretty good idea.

This year we’ve got to plan around work schedules, so it’ll be an afternoon event. I got a bunch of lame outdoor activities that they haven’t played in years. The young pup is thrilled. He’s still at the right age for the bubbles and badminton and water balloons. The older kids have shunned those baby activities for a couple years. But, with the teens getting older, they are re-entering the age of wanting to do those things again. They’re eager to hold on to what is probably the last real “kid” summer for the two oldest ones.

I also got a bunch of those long balloons. I’m thinking…balloon animal contest. And I got these sponge ball slingshots. You wet the sponge and let ‘er rip! *SPLAT*

“Uh…I think you may just have regrets at the end of the day, Bethie.”

It’s not really a holiday unless you end the day with a migraine! Right?

Right!

Besides, I’m expecting the beef-handed teens to rage quit balloon animal-ing, which I would find hilarious. Shouldn’t be too much squeaky-popping before they’re sick of it.

I also got some regular balloons. The young pup won’t remember, but another thing I used to do for the yet-to-gel Three Musketeers was randomly buy a pack of balloons at the dollar store and blow them all up when the boys were napping or at school. We called it Balloon Party, and I’d do it every couple months. One dollar and a good set of ear plugs, and the afternoon that *could* have been bickering and trying was turned into a joyous cacophony of laughter and frizzy hair.

I have been getting nostalgic as well. They aren’t the only ones who realize they’re getting too big too fast and will soon have lives away from me! I’m thinking that when the teens are at work or upstairs getting angry because the game is once again cheating on their fifth play through of Skyrim, I’ll break out the air compressor and make a surprise Balloon Party.

…hm. Just had a thought. We did not have a cat when we used to do Balloon Party.

This should be interesting.

We’re breaking out the ice cream maker. It’s my son’s, the 14 year-old. He won it as his prize for winning the math bee in 8th grade. He had his pick of any reasonably priced item, and he chose and ice cream maker. Now, I didn’t complain, not one bit! But, you gotta admit, it’s a bit odd of a choice for a 12 year old, right?

Ice cream. Ribs on the grill. I thought of corn on the cob, but holy mackerel is it pricey! They wanted corn on the cob and burgers. But there was a really good deal on ribs, and I just couldn’t swing burgers and corn. The way things are going, I don’t know if we’ll get burger cookout at all this summer.

I’m going to do it.

“NO BETHIE!”

I can’t believe I’m saying it, but I must.

When I was a kid…

” *groan* ”

…actually, scratch that. We don’t even have to go that far back. When my teens were kids, I could get hamburger for about a buck a pound and paid a couple bucks for a dozen ears of corn. You know what the stores are advertising those items at this week? Burger at $4.29/lb, and corn on the cob for $6/dozen. And that’s on special! Why aren’t burgers and corn on the cob still cheap eats? It makes no sense, folks. I thought this was America!?

“…uh…”

Oh. Oh, yeah. Heh. Sorry. Didn’t really mean to get on a soap box today. I just stood in the grocery store yesterday and it floored me that it would be cheaper to do a spare rib BBQ than classic burgers. Tirade over.

So it’s a holiday here in the afternoon. Some finishing work on the car this morning before the relaxing fun. Did I mention that we got those firework poppers? You know, the ones you pull the string and a blob of confetti shoots out the end? We saw them at the grocery store and they were dirt cheap. Snappers, too.

Remember snappers? They’re tiny little sperm-shaped paper packets that have a few rocks and a couple grains of gun powder in them that make an oddly satisfying snap when you throw them on the ground. Or at someone’s ass.

Here. Let me refresh your memory. I scanned in the actual box because you NEED to see this:

snapbox1

snapbox2

Is that not the most amazing box you’ve ever seen? I love everything that’s wrong with it. “It’s rappin’, it’s snappin’, it’s what’s hapnin’…” GUG. Cannot stop saying that!

And then the monster…I get it. The brand is “Monster Snaps”. But why the mohawk and drinking straw hairdo? Wouldn’t one or the other have sufficed? And can we just talk about those fingernails please? And those jorts. THOSE JORTS. And what the hell is up with his nicely tied sneakers? I’m sorry, but if I’m going for a kickass monster, I’m not looking for one with Lee press on nails and pristine sneakers. Or a beer gut that hangs over jorts.

I love it.

I love this box.

And I’m not just saying it. I legitimately ONLY bought these particular kinds of snappers so I could have the box to put on my fridge after the fun of snapping is over.

So that’s the story for today. A bit of work, then a lot of fun. I honestly cannot think of a better way to spend a Sunday.

Thus concludes a Morning Musing for Family Holiday 2015. I hope you all have a good day, even if you can’t be eating ribs and twisting epic balloon animals like us. Well, you *could*. Maybe your family needs a holiday, too.

If the newsman actually reported the news, would the internet break?

Standard

Mornin’ all.

Last night, I dreamed that I was a blacksmith who specialized in forging weapons for knights. Like, medieval knights. I never saw their faces. As I looked up to hand over the swords, they towered above, the golden rays of sunshine bleaching out any glimpse at the majesty of their beings that I could have had. Magic. Absolute magic. *fangirl sigh*

The weapons were giant, too. The shields I needed to temper were as tall as I was, and the swords were almost impossible for me to swing. And yet, I did it, because the kingdom’s fate relied on my skills.

How friggin’ awesome is that? Can I have that job in real life?

How exactly does one go about becoming a medieval weapon forger? Wait…are there even knights anymore? And where can I get a forge in the first place? There has to be a Forges ‘R Us somewhere…right? Do you think the constant *ting**ting*clunk**ping* of my hammers would piss the neighbors off? Do I have to file taxes if my job is “make weapons that shalt kick ye olde arse?” And would any injuries I suffer as a result of the process be covered under Obamacare, or is that more of a workman’s comp thing?

Hm. Perhaps this is not really suitable for an actual life goal. Maybe I should just settle for creating arms for gallant knights in the cloudy world of Dreamland.

Ah well. I know for a fact there are plenty of villains that need vanquishing there!

Today’s Friday…or as my kids are calling it, “The last Friday of school!” …usually followed by high-fives, back slaps, fist pumps, and the random, “Huzzah, chaps!”

Remember how great it was to be *almost* at summer vacation? I actually used to like the last few days of school more than the first few days of vacation. It was the final leg of a marathon, and the end was so close you could almost taste the icy bottle of Gatorade and feel the firm weight of your participation medal around your neck. Possibilities stretched out before you, your mind painting a picture of the golden days ahead. Would you relax? Go fishing? Maybe camp.

Or if outdoors wasn’t your thing, you’d sit in class on the last couple days of the school year and dream about finally beating your sister’s high score in Bubble Bobble…

*awesome fist bump to anyone rad enough to remember Bubble Bobble*

…or mastering the art of online insults while MMOing. Maybe you thought of the quilt you wanted to make, or the make up you wanted to master, or figuring out how to build the soap box car legends are made of. Maybe you were just looking forward to sleeping in so late that you couldn’t in good conscience say “Good morning” to anyone all summer long.

We all felt like we were going to reach life’s pinnacles, didn’t we? And the anticipation was, without a doubt, far more satisfying than the actual vacation. Don’t get me wrong. I loved summer vacation. But looking back, it was the impossible super hero I saw myself becoming while I itched to hear the final bell that makes me smile now. Everyone thinks they will have a perfect summer. Everyone forgets the bug bites and sunburns and hours of mindless boredom while your folks were at work and having nothing but Spaghetti-O’s and Muy Nachos…

*fist bump for fellow survivors of Muy Nachos crackers*

…for lunch all summer long. The dream was always better than the reality.

That said, as a parent, I won’t disabuse my kids of their excitement. It’s so fun to be on the other side, to watch the glimmer of hope pool in their innocent little eyes for what’s to come in the hot months. Even though I know reality cannot possibly live up to the Most Epic Summer of All Time that’s playing through their heads, it’s wicked cool to see them so giddy.

No, I won’t disabuse them of it now. I’ll wait until I hand out the summer chores list next week. Muahahaha!

Say, have you heard about the jailbreak? Unless you’ve been off the grid in the depths of the dessert with no internet, phone, or a even a view of one of those small message planes that drag informative and funny banners behind them, I’m pretty sure you probably have. I’ll recap, though, for those who need glasses and can’t see what the banner says.

Two inmates broke out of a jail in New York. Newsworthy in and of itself, but nothing like this media frenzy we’re seeing. Why is it so sensational? Because their escape is like something out of a movie. They cut their way out through pipes, and crawled to freedom like Andy Dupree in Shawshank Redemption. They may have had insider help, so there’s another twist of intrigue. And they left a note on the pipe next to the hole with a racially inappropriate drawing and the words “Have a nice day!”

“Oh those bastards!”

See? It’s got it all. I’m not surprised it’s getting so much attention. I am surprised, however, at what different news sites are grabbing onto and running with.

The breakout happened almost a week ago. People clicking their mousies have made this prison break story number one on the news sites, and the hungry fat cats in charge have decided they want to keep people coming back. Why not give them more of what they clearly want?

This becomes a problem quickly, because aside from the basic facts I stated in one paragraph, there isn’t much more that’s actually known. How many times can you say, “Two inmates escaped from jail through the plumbing system, potentially with inside help, and left a rude note to taunt guards on their way out,” before people get bored? The news sites spent the first few days reiterating that info, but there are only so many words in the English language, and only so many ways to coherently arrange them.

So now, with a desire to keep the public informed *cough*clicking on their site and pleasing sponsors*cough*, the news sites are desperately trying to scramble for any angle not yet covered.

Some have chosen to pick apart the lives of the inmates. Okay, they were arrested, convicted, sentenced, and escaped instead of serving their time. They kind of deserve to be under a microscope, and that seems like a legitimate angle for the story.

Some sites have decided to make wild accusations and delve into the lives of the prison guards that may or may not have had anything to do with the prison break. That’s shameful, media. Utterly shameful. The media is, in all likelihood, ruining innocent lives by doing this. No one has been arrested or charged with aiding and abetting, and it’s not “journalism” to throw out random guesses and present them as truth. It is, in fact, the complete opposite of journalism, and any reporters taking part in this unsubstantiated witch hunt should be fired.

“Well that’s a little harsh, Bethie.”

Wait a sec. Hold the phone. A reporter can get canned for saying he was shot at in a military transport when he wasn’t, a lie that literally harmed NO ONE, but we should give a pass to those who are completely making shit up out of thin air and potentially RUINING LIVES?

“…but I was offended by Brian Williams.”

OH. Okay. See, I didn’t know you were “offended.” That changes everything.

*squeak**squeegy* *squiffy noise of wiping sarcasm off the screen*

Aside from potentially destroying the professional lives of likely innocent guards, there’s another trend in the media at the moment that’s got me rolling my eyes and shaking my head. Some news sites have decided to take the ground breaking approach (pun most DEFINITELY intended) of telling people exactly how to cut their way out of jail using the tools that most jails have in their maintenance departments.

Let that sink in a minute.

This “responsible” news outlet has decided to educate the public at large on the best, most feasible way to break out of jail, should they ever find themselves locked inside that iron cage. They’ve spoken with power tool experts, dug deep and found supply lists for the average jail house, and combined the knowledge to provide us with a handy dandy breakout plan.

There are lines in journalism that have nothing at all to do with causing offense. What kind of message are they sending by doing this?

“Bethie, it’s just an article.”

…on a well respected news site, by people who are trusted to be journalists. There’s a responsibility in reporting the news that has slipped by the wayside. Are people interested in knowing how the convicts broke out? Of course! Should a site write a Jailbreaks for Dummies booklet that anyone with a basic education can follow? REALLY??

In situations like this, I like to ask myself, “WWWD?”

What Would Walter Do? Walter being Walter Cronkite, of course. One of the best newsmen of all time.

…OMG. You…you don’t know who that is, do you? Damn I feel old. *sigh* Google him. Watch the YouTubes. Learn. THAT, kiddies, is journalism. That is what the news used to be. Facts. Well researched facts presented by someone with integrity. Novel concept, eh?

And the other thing I wanted to talk about before I take my mediacentric soap box apart to make a summer derby car…

Fat in the media.

Fat asses. Fat guts. ‘Merican fat bellies. Fat faces. Double chins. Flabby arms and thunder thighs.

These things happen. They’re real. There are bodies out there which are larger than average.

My question is… If someone else is fat, what in the hell is it to you?

Why is there so much anger and hatred these days at someone who is overweight?

A celebrity puts on a few pounds, it’s the end of the world according to the news. Stocks will plummet, society as we know it will break down, martial law will be enacted and we’ll be forced to loot and pillage for the basic scraps needed to survive if the paps see even a hint of a belly on a popular actress. Jennifer Lawrence went up half a size…might as well say that Godzilla is rampaging for all the panic, fear, and hate that is lobbed her way.

And not just actresses. Average people on the street. How many times are we bombarded with articles and exposes that claim to want to help people get “healthy,” but are actually no more than a ploy to turn larger people into side show freaks? And to create an insurmountable chasm between you and them?

Do you know why people are fat?

No. No, you don’t. You can’t possibly, because each story is different. Each set of genes is different. Each metabolism is different. Each fragile emotion is different. Perhaps there was abuse, and the person found comfort in food. Maybe there was trauma, and the person got bigger to feel safe. Maybe there’s a chemical imbalance that makes it impossible for the person to stop eating. Maybe the person is struggling with deep depression. Maybe the person never learned proper nutrition. And yes, maybe the person is just lazy.

The point is, you don’t know. You have no idea what has led to a stranger having excess body weight. Dr. Oz doesn’t know. That annoying twat Jillian Michaels who yells at all fat people doesn’t know. And do you know what? You don’t NEED to know. Because no matter what the media tells you…

….hang on. This is important, so it’s getting it’s own line. With caps. And bold…

SOMEONE ELSE’S BODY HAS NO EFFECT ON YOUR LIFE.

Period. Fat or thin or average, it just doesn’t. It’s not something to get angry about. It’s not something to shame people for. It’s not something you should be concerned with if you aren’t overweight. The only thought you should ever have about a stranger’s body fat content is, “Not my business.” Because it isn’t. And when you jump on the current bandwagon and let the media whip you into a frenzy over someone else’s ass, you are just dancing like a puppet on a string.

“But they need to be healthier.”

Two points:

1) Anger at fat people does not stem from any desire at all to see them get healthier. It stems from miserable people who are miserable in their own lives and crave something that will make them feel superior to others. If it was about health, there would be sympathy and understanding, not anger and vitriol.

2) We DO need to be healthier as a society, but as long as the media is making someone else’s fat an “us” vs. “them” debate, THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN.

Because the truth is, it’s NOT an “us” vs. “them” debate. It’s not a “debate” at all! It’s a health issue. Is there “debate” about cancer? Strokes? Would you ever say, “Get off your ass and DO something and maybe you wouldn’t have gout, asshole?” No, you wouldn’t. That’s utterly ridiculous, because there’s so much more to curing those health problems than simply wanting to be better.

And the very same goes for people with weight issues. As with every single other health problem in the history of ever, it’s a complex and personal journey for the person affected. Complex and PERSONAL.

So why is the media telling us we need to be angry about someone else’s body weight? Why have they made it their place to encourage the public to shame people about their health problems? Why has the media decided to do it’s level best to make you fat monitors for everyone else?

I don’t get it, folks. I guess I just don’t understand the current trends in “journalism.” Telling us how to break out of jail….”exposing” people for wrongdoing that there is no proof they wrongly did…making health issues a point of anger and hatred…

Is this trend going to continue? Should we keep clicking and letting it continue? Don’t you miss logging on to a news site and just getting the news? Because I do. I miss the days when the news didn’t try to whip me into anger, or bring me in on conspiracies.
WWWD?

Cry.

Walter would cry.

Thus concludes an admittedly preachy Musing for Friday, June 12, 2015. I’m off to put my headphones on and listen to a podcast while I sand down a car. Don’t worry, I’ll wear a mask. Wouldn’t want to harm your life by getting a stuffy nose from the dust. That would be, like, totes irresponsible of me to put you through the trial of seeing me have the sneezes, and I’d hate to put you in the position of having to sneeze-shame me.

It’s icky out and I don’t wanna do anything I’m s’posta…

Standard

Mornin’ all.

Late start here at the House of Bethie. It’s a heavy, drizzly morning, and it’s taken two cups of coffee and a healthy dose of internet to get my ass in gear.

…which technically isn’t even accurate, since I’m sitting still. My ass is not at all in gear.

So I thought I’d pop in for a little chat for awhile.

“Ah. Then you’re procrastinating.”

*shocked gasp of indignation* Are you insinuating that I’m only using you as a means to delay the laundry list of tasks stretching out before me today, which fittingly includes actual laundry?

“I’m not ‘insinuating’ anything. I’m coming right out and saying it.”

I read something this morning that I thought you’d enjoy hearing about. But, if you’re going to sit there and act like our relationship is nothing more than a distraction for me, then I don’t know if I feel like sharing after all. *sniff*

“Okay. I’m calling your bluff.”

Er…what?

“Thanks for the offer of coffee and a chat, but I’m booked. Now you’re free to go do your chores.”

…FINE YOU WIN. You’re an entertaining way for me to avoid laundry and dishes and sweeping and I’m sorry but that’s not all you are! Our friendship is deeper than mere distraction! I value your time and your input and your sense of humor and….PLEASE DON’T LEAVE! If you go, I’ll be forced to act…*cringe* responsibly *shudder*. PLEASE.

“Okay, okay. No need to get desperate. I was only having a little fun at your expense. Besides, you’re MY morning distraction, too. Now, what was this about something you read…?”

*wipes sweat off brow*

Yes. Right. You scared me for a minute there, heh heh. *deep breath*

Getting on track…

There was an article in the news this morning that was completely and utterly innocuous. A baby deer was born on a deer farm…

“They have those?”

Yep. And a fawn was born with unusual coloring. The face is white, though the body still had the brown and white patterning of a normal deer, and its eyes are blue. The mother deer rejected the fawn. It’s sad, but it actually happens frequently in nature. Sometimes a mum takes a look at the baby and says, “Nope.”

This happens for many reasons, some of which we probably will never understand since Dr. Doolittle doesn’t actually exist. Sometimes the reason is clear; the baby was born with obvious defects, the mother is sickly and cannot care for the young, etc. Sometimes it seems like the mum is just a bitch. There are definitely female animals in the wild that are shitty parents from the get and either won’t, or simply don’t, care for the babies they pop out.

My point is, it happens, and happens with so much frequency that it’s usually not news.

This story made the news because the deer is cute as hell. Not only that, but it’s now being raised by hand by its human tenders. The rag needed some fluff to counter the stories of murder, rape, and corporate asshattery that fill up the rest of the site, and if there’s one thing the internet loves, it’s a feel good story of a cute animal. Move over, Grumpy Cat…make room for Dragon!

…er, did I mention the deer’s name? Dragon, chosen by a little boy. So it’s a cute reject with an epic name being cared for by humans with big, big hearts. I’m literally choking on the feels.

I figured I was not alone, and scrolled to the comments section to fan girl with others who were also wiping away tears of squee overload.

The world is a screwy place, folks. By this point in my life, little truly surprises me. I’ve passed firmly into the late 30’s land of jaded “whatever” attitude, and am usually pretty unflappable. However, if there’s one thing that never, ever ceases to amaze me, it’s the unflinching look into the thoughts and feelings of humanity known as “user comments.”

I know we’ve spoken on many occasions about the dangers of reading user comments. I’ve been sucked down that rabbit hole so many times I’m starting to have serious psychological damage. And yet, like a moth to a flame, I cannot resist. I try, people. I do try. I read an article and put my hand on my mouse to click the red “x” at the top of the page and safely back out before…

But then something happens. My hand moves the mouse of its own accord. I am physically incapable of stopping it from hitting the “show comments” or “expand” or “join the conversation” missives at the end of the article, and before I know it, I’m once again utterly floored by the inner workings of the Average Joe. I just have to know what people are saying about what I just read.

Am I looking for agreement with my own opinions? Am I looking for someone to second that emotion? Or, perhaps I’m actually seeking out the opposite. Maybe I’ve got this sick side of me that wants- nay, CRAVES- dissonance. Maybe it’s a bit of all of that.

Whatever the reason, it happens. It happens, and I cannot look away.

What do you think people were saying about this deer? I thought I’d share the comments with you in a new section I’m making a regular part of the Musing. Now, I don’t have any catchy theme music yet, or figured out the style of dance I want for the intro. But I think I’m going to go ahead with the debut, because I can’t think of a better article to use to roll out…

*humming generic intro music while tapping my foot and doing jazz hands*

*** YOUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS!!! ***

As I stated above, this segment will feature user comments on news stories. It’s the addendum to the Headline Roundup, the post script to all the weird, wacky, and woeful tales of our world. Like the Headline Roundup, I will only use real, actual comments, all the glorious spelling and grammar errors included. Through this segment, we’ll get to know the crazy loonies that live and work and play where you do. Some of them are trolls. Some of them are championing a cause where it’s totally inappropriate. Some of them are just insane.

Sounds like good times, right?

Just to recap what we’re discussing, the article was about a domestic fawn named Dragon who was rejected by its mother after being born with a white face and blue eyes. Let’s see what people think:

1) “I wish I could pet her just one time.”

Aww. Now that’s the kind of thing I was expecting.

2) “Would make a nice rug.”

…and I was also expecting that.

      – “*above poster’s user name*, while I would agree with the sentiment, I cannot disagree with the statement itself.”

If this makes sense to you, I think you should start worrying.

3) “Montana is probably all a-twitter to see if they can get the motherless animal so they save it with a dose of dynamite. After all it didn’t have collogen from the mother etc etc etc.”

Uh…come again? Is that some weird inside jab at Montana?

4) “He is beautiful.”

Okay, back on solid, reasonable ground here.

      -“So is Bruce Jenner.”

…wait…

      – “Bruce Jenner is an idiot. You can put a Chevy emblem on a Ford but its still a Ford. Now he is just a man without a pecker.”

WHOA NOW. I thought this was an article about a deer?

      – “You got the hots for jenner? leave it be, this has nothing to do with it.

Thank you! Now, back to deer talk…

5) “Beautiful eyes!”

They’re big, blue eyes. They are indeed, beautiful.

      -“Those eyes make it look like it is an albino. But the brown everywhere else doesn’t fit.”

Hm, good point.

      – “Albinos have red eyes not blue moron.”

Hey. No need for name calling.

      -“I know a albino and he has blue eyes not red so whos the moron now”

Well, judging by your lack of punctuation and grammar, the case is still stacked against you, pal.

      – “*original poster’s user name*, I thought so too, but albinos have red eyes I believe. Maybe some albinos have blue. I have blue eyes, but I’m not an albino, lol. But I’m not a deer either. (I think it’s bedtime for me, I don’t think that came out the way I wanted it to.)”

Uh, yeah. Nighty night, freak show.

6) “Cute little fawn. It sure is lucky it wasn’t born with a black face, some cop would come along and shoot it as it was running away, with the cop screaming, it s-s-c-cared me or, I saw it morph into a demon and had to shoot it. It was trying to attack me as it ran away.”

What just happened?

      – “OMG man! Are you a real person?! If so, you should be captured and studied. You sir, are a unicorn! This isn’t me being sarcastic, this is me being truthful! Bless you!”

I…I think that somehow made it worse.

– “*above poster’s user name*, I try to fight against the BS of many who call themselves human, but have no sense of humanity. :-{ Thank you.”

I’m missing something, here…

– “*above poster’s user name*– But mostly you spend your time in mommy’s basement abusing yourself, right *user name*? Can you point to having anything to do with “humanity” in YOUR post? Have your husband refill your prescription.”

Okay, now they’re just screwing with us. I’m starting to lose my sanity. WASN’T THIS ABOUT DEER??

7) “Sad mother shunned it, pretty animal!”

A comment I can really get behind!

      – “Natural- in nature the white would have alerted predators – the brown white spots blend in with natural environment – white does not. All animals reject those that don’t’ fit in native knowledge that they in the wild environment will not ever survive. Energy (hunting, defending so on takes great resources. Finding a mate, having another newborn does as well.) They move on. In a natural environment this deer would not have survived for long. So glad for the sanctuary.”

Oooh, so close to a coherent argument, yet so far away.

      – “*above poster’s user name*— Well, when you are wrong, you really hang it out there. All-or-partially white deer are in every deer herd, wild or tame. I have seen white deer in the woods, they are unusual. They are not “rejected” by their mothers at any higher rate than “normally” colored deer, and grow to adulthood like any other. Two or three are taken by hunters every year in MN and WI, and usually make the papers. If you hallucinate they “never survive”, you are full of deer berries. Where do you city basement dwellers get this crap?”

You tell him! Also, “you are full of deer berries” is now my new favorite insult.

8) “Dragon? Really? You couldn’t find a better name for such a beautiful animal? How about “Grace”, or “Snow?” White Beauty would do nicely. But Dragon? Come on. You can easily do better than that. This is the most beautiful deer I have ever seen, and I have seen many. To name it Dragon is an insult to it’s creation. Just sayin.”

Dragon is the sickest, most kickass name a lowly deer could possibly hope for. I honestly don’t see where this tool is coming from.

      – “Tell that to the little boy that named it.”

Yeah! A little kid! You just pissed on the hopes and dreams of a little kid, you unfeeling monster!

      – “*above commenter’s user name* I have raised children as well. And I teach them hot to do things right, not just let them do as they choose. If they make a bad choice, I tell them it is bad and explain why. That is part of being a parent. Just because a little boy picked the name for this deer does not mean that it is the right one. It is called a “teachable moment”.”

*blurrgghp* That was the sound of me, choking on this self righteous douchebaggery.

      – “dragons, at least the fictional and mythical types of dragons, while usually very large and intimidating, and frightening and deadly to humans, are also very fascinating, and very beautiful creatures. I think the name is extremely appropriate…”

IT’S A DEER. WHY are you all wasting so much of your life arguing about the name of a deer!??

9) “That deer is being discriminated against because its white…if it was a black deer, everybody would be jumping on the bandwagon to help it out, but because its white, it’s being treated in a discriminatory fashion…even the deer are being hurt by political correctness.”

*blink**blink* I changed my mind. Can we go back to arguing about the name?

– “Great to be in a sanctuary – in the wild the white would tip it off to predators – hence the “rejection”…The Blue Eyes on white are stunning! Glad to see someone took it in. Sorry to hear some states blow up sentient beings.”

It took a turn I was not expecting there in the end. Another reference to Montana? Just what in the holy hell do you have going on up there, Montana?

     -“Liar”

Wait. Which part? Confused.

10) “If I told you they would never have run this story if it had been a rejected black face… you would call me crazy… but, I know how the Lib mind works…and perhaps you don’t.”

Ugh. Back to race? Seriously? I know it’s a real issue that is truly important. But once again, THIS IS ABOUT A DEER.

     – “Really a shame that you have to bring your prejudice and hatred into a basically sweet story.”

Real talk!

     – “Heck! Could be even worse, *original poster’s user name*. What if it were a dad- gummed mooslim a-rab deer from Kenya?

What. The. Hell.

     – “*original poster’s name*, shut up.

Ditto!

– (from the original poster) “the writers of this article know! they are molding your minds like clay.

I am now confident in my gut reaction that the original poster of this thread is certifiably insane. Let’s move on.

11) “White fawns make great eating.”

*snort* …what? Like you didn’t laugh.

12) “I can’t believe something with a White face and blue eyes that hasn’t sacrificed it’s daughters to the diversity mud pit is even being considered as worth saving.”

I think we’re all sharing a collective “huh?” right now.

13) “If the deer was gay instead of albino, you people would be siding with the mother that abandoned it! =P”

Can we just discuss the fucking deer? Can we, internet?

     “*original poster’s user name*: That’s what’s going in in your little head.

*sigh* Nope. Guess we can’t.

     “*above poster’s user name* No, YOU’RE the one with the little head!”

Oooh snap? Now put away your fire truck and I’ll get your binkie for nappy time.

14) “He is beautiful! Luckily he wasn’t born in Montana.”

Oh for gawd’s sake. *mad googling* *scanning articles* OHHH. Okay. See, when certain large animals are put down in Montana, the large carcasses are then blown up. Now I get it. They don’t kill the animals with the TNT, but I can see how the internet has gotten it wrong and made MT the butt of jokes.

15) “I think it’s beautiful.”

Me too!

     -“Thank you.”

Wait…did you give birth to it? Because I gotta be honest…I’d MUCH rather be reading the comments on THAT article!

16) “That’s gotta be the cutest dang deer I ever did see!”

Make sure you compliment the poster above.

     – John Smith replied: “Rejected and left to die by its mother; I’m surprised it didn’t have a black face.”

Dammit. I thought folks were done dragging race into this. (And I’m saying his name because someone tries to make a clever reference in a bit. Tries.)

     – “John Smith your probably a reject yourself.”

Guess kindergarten retorts really are making a comeback.

     – “*above poster’s user name*- If YOU’RE going to attempt to insult me then YOU’RE going to have to do a better job.”

Aw honey no. I know you aren’t trying to play grammar police after that illogical bomb you dropped.

     -“Actually John Smith, nature knows best. Every animal tends to reject a white offspring which is what hue-mans should’ve done. The world would be a much more peaceful place to live.”

Yikes. I’m having a hard time keeping up with the critiques on this thread. Where do I begin with THIS piece of mental diarrhea?

     – “John Smith I hope you find Pocahontas, you need her real bad, most animals take care of their own, some do have strange behavior, lioness is one, then are animals like you John Pocahontas Smith, I am glad most white’s are not racist, thank God for good white people, they don’t see us as animal. John, John please get intouch with Pocahontas she could tell you a thing or two or three or four.”

And there we go, the aforementioned reference. I can’t understand most of what this dude is getting at, but in the end, his parting advice is the most sound thing in this entire thread. John Smith, you need to be told a thing or two or three or four.

…by Pocahontas.

Thus concludes a Muse for Tuesday, June 9, 2015. I’m off to start all those chores you kept me from starting earlier. Your slacking is rubbing off on me. You should work on that, or else my Mum won’t let me hang out with you anymore.