John Oliver takes on Housing Discrimination

Just another woke liberal delivering 30 minutes of mind-boggling history lessons. I haven’t yet sought out a personal dive into this topic, but if this is scratching the surface, holy shit. Tina and I watched this episode the night it came on and, man, we weren’t planning on being moved, but Jeez.

But America isn’t built on continued racism. No sirreee bob.

The difficulty of a head soooo far up its own ass.

Ms Stefanik is a shining example of the right demonizing one thing while embracing that thing.

I’ve been told many times that all people have access to healthcare, regardless of income level. That, dear reader, is the Emergency Room. Anyone can enter and be cared for. And if you’re like me, your deductible is sky high. So a simple wasp sting last year cost me over $5,500 for a 3-hour visit.

Now, if I were poor, I could just avoid paying the bill. That’s what I have been told, anyway. My fellow friends who vote R tell me that hospitals assume that up to 1/3 of its patients aren’t going to pay their bills. Which means higher bills for rubes like me who will pay the tab and move on.

What has been described to me as “just the way it is” hoists a garden full of red flags.

Think about it: the version of healthcare that I’m expected to appreciate in this country is one weighted down by the inequities of poor people. I’m expected to pay more for my ER visit, because some people don’t pay, essentially having me and any other hard working boob to shoulder the burden of poor people who needed stitches or had a heart attack.

So either we all pay into a socialized version of healthcare and everyone gets a version of healthcare that is not only emergency related but preventative, and we all win. Or I only get healthcare when it’s an emergency, and I have to pay for it through the nose.

Which is it? I would prefer the socialized version that everyone who can pays into it and we all benefit.

Meanwhile, the people feeding other people with the misinformation that has convinced them that the ER is the right answer to our capitalistic society of amazingness, receive THE best healthcare options in the world, including but not withstanding politicians and people of great wealth.

People like me, with no worth to their overarching dreams, aren’t worth the time or effort to help. So the they love to let us all dream of better lives, whilst they swim in pools of unknown piles of cash.

Be best, y’all. Be best.

Thirty-one year old sorry he didn’t take advantage of avoiding this shit

Hospitals are forced to take care of determined ignorance.

Is that sweat on your cheeks?

While in the south of France a month ago, Tina and I sat down on a park bench overlooking a vista. The view was a landscape that seemed to end in the Palace of Popes situated in the walled city of Avignon.

We sat quietly for about 3 or 4 minutes. I looked over at Tina and noticed a water droplet on her cheek near her jawline. “Are you sweating?” I asked.

“Yeah,” she said sarcastically.

We laughed. The view had taken her. And she couldn’t help but let it move her.

Above is a still I pulled from a phone video I took.

Between the two of us, it seems that one of us is more frequently moved to sweaty cheek syndrome. We are two emotionally connected people, internally and externally. And when something with substance moves us, we don’t hold back.

There are any number of impetuses for sweaty cheeks. Both silly and not.

For instance this video (below), as soon as the woman tentatively steps onto the dance party decal and sees the impending dance party professionals approaching, my cheeks start sweating.

Sometimes I sit and watch our oldest dog, Talulah. She’s been at my side or around me for 11 years. I watch her slow down. Her fur is graying. She can’t hear me approach her to cuddle her. But when I do, she seems to love it more than anything in the world. I stare at her and my cheeks sweat.

Or watching Ted Lasso and his radar-laser focus on helping others. It gets me every time.

I read this Jason Kottke post this morning about Ted Lasso and his curious idiot syndrome, and it moved me to tears.

Kottke posted a portion of an interview with the Ted Lasso team. Jason Sudeikis talked about the approach to the antithesis of the stereotypical man, who is arrogant and un-intouch with his emotional side. He said:

What if you played an ignorant guy who was actually curious? When someone used a big word like “vernacular,” he didn’t act like he knew it, but just stops the meeting like, “Question, what does that mean?”

Kottke then pointed out that author/artist/blogger Austin Kleon responded with this:

That last point might be the most important: care is a form of attention, and unlike talent or expertise, it can be willed into being at any time.

If you care more than everybody else, you pay better attention, and you see things that others don’t see. To ask the questions that need to be asked, you have to care more than others about what happens, but care less about what others might think of you in the moment.

Care in the form of attention.

Wow.

Sweaty cheeks.

Continue reading “Is that sweat on your cheeks?”

A house divided

A Newsmax host heralded US loses at the Olympics:

“It’s not often that I’m happy a U.S. team loses in the Olympics. It makes me sad to say it, but I found myself rooting against not just Megan Rapinoe and her merry band of America-hating female soccer players,  but I took pleasure in the men’s basketball team, USA’s, first team loss since 2004. 

“The collection of whiny, overpaid social justice warriors are very hard to root for. The team is filled with anthem-kneelers, and I find it ironic they are willing to put USA across their chest, but in the not-so-distant past, they would kneel for the anthem. 

“Somebody ought to go up to them and just rip USA off their chest. I don’t want them wearing it, personally.” – Newsmax host Grant Stinchfield, who was once the host of the now-defunct NRA TV.

When politics separates America that much. When we can’t look at our fellow Americans with respect and dignity, we are truly in trouble.

Let’s overcome the media hype. Let’s join hands at our dinner tables and denounce all division.

If your news shows are dividing Americans, consider pushing it to the side in honor of your familial love.

VICE: I’m a Parkland Shooting Survivor. QAnon Convinced My Dad It Was All a Hoax.

This is horrific:

But Bill also had to deal with his father’s daily accusations that the shooting was a hoax and that the shooter, Bill, and all his classmates were paid pawns in a grand conspiracy orchestrated by some shadowy force. 

Bill had worked hard to get over his survivor’s guilt after the shooting, but for the past five months, his own father has been triggering it all over again. 

“He’ll say stuff like this straight to my face whenever he’s drinking: ‘You’re a real piece of work to be able to sit here and act like nothing ever happened if it wasn’t a hoax. Shame on you for being part of it and putting your family through it too,” Bill said in an anonymous post on Reddit last week.’

Bill first posted his story on QAnon Casualties, a Reddit thread dedicated to helping family members and friends of QAnon believers. 

VICE News spoke to the poster and confirmed the author’s claims about being a survivor of the school shooting. Bill is not the student’s real name as they only spoke to VICE News on the condition of anonymity, citing concerns about attacks from members of QAnon forums if his identity was revealed. 

As is true for many who fell down the QAnon rabbit hole in recent years, Bill’s dad’s descent coincided with the pandemic.

The problem with this story is how it’s creating a clear case of conspiracy theorist parents. There are many more people who have fallen for Qanon conspiracies but wouldn’t label themselves as conspiratorial.

The distrust in “big media” and “big tech” is a striking development in people falling for Qanon without becoming a full-fledged card carrying member.

I want more of those kinds of stories.

Suspect set house on fire because family didn’t follow Bible

From KTSM.com:

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – A 40-year-old man arrested for allegedly setting a West Side home on fire is charged with capital murder after his brother was killed in the incident.

The El Paso Police Department says Philip Daniel Mills set fire to a residence located at 6001 Fandango Place on Thursday at 11:30 p.m. He was arrested after police suspected him of causing the blaze.

An affidavit written by an EPPD detective says Mills allegedly admitted to setting the house on fire. And, in a recorded statement, claimed to have used gasoline from a weed eater to fuel the fire.

The affidavit claims Mills caused the fire because he was upset with his brother and mother because they did not follow the Bible. The document states Mills intentionally broke a television in the living room and threatened to burn the house down.

David French: Structural Racism Isn’t Wokeness, It’s Reality

A believing best friend shared this article with me this morning about a pastor in DC who is being sued by his congregants for his take on race. This is the kind of pastor we need more of.

Take a look:

One of America’s most influential pastors is facing a crisis. No, it’s not the crisis of personal scandal. It’s the crisis of church division—over race, ideology, and minutiae of church procedure. Putting aside the procedural arguments, that division is a microcosm of the racial conflicts that are dividing the larger American church and the nation itself

David Platt is a bestselling author, the former president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board, and the pastor of McLean Bible Church (MBC), a huge and influential church located outside Washington, D.C. Platt is facing a revolt from self-described “conservative” congregants, a revolt that culminated in a lawsuit filed against the church by a group of its own members, demanding that a Virginia state court intervene in the church’s elder selection process to, among other things, preserve their alleged right to vote in those elections and to mandate a secret ballot.

I’m not going to address the church’s procedural disputes. (Though I will note that it is contrary to basic principles of religious liberty to ask an arm of the state—a judge—to intervene in matters of church governance.) I am going to deal head-on with the prime underlying complaint that has triggered outrage and national media coverage of a struggle for control in one of America’s largest and most influential churches. The charge against Platt and his team can be summed up in one word: wokeness.

The congregants object to what they perceive as a pastoral embrace of critical race theory, and they assert that the Bible alone contains teaching sufficient to address America’s race problems. You can read the comprehensive complaint against Platt and his team here and the allegations of teaching or advocating CRT here

Without restating all the contents of these lengthy documents, they include complaints that Platt and his MBC colleague pastor Mike Kelsey marched in a Christian black lives matter march and that Kelsey has endorsed the “CRT concepts” of “systemic racism” and “white privilege.” They also condemn Platt for this comment, which argues that the absence of overt prejudice doesn’t absolve one of the problems of racism and racialization: 

A disparity exists. We can’t deny this. These are not opinions—they’re facts. It matters in our country whether one is white or black. Now, we don’t want it to matter, which is why I think we try to convince ourselves it doesn’t matter. We think to ourselves, “I don’t hold prejudices toward black or white people, so racism is not my problem.” But this is where we need to see that racialization is our problem. It’s all of our problem. We subtly, almost unknowingly, contribute to it.

Read the whole thing here including the comments.