The laws, the violence and our new President…

I have long contemplated writing my own take on what is going on in the USA, especially with regard to Trump, his policies, and the violence going on in many cities.

I voted for Trump, I will admit that, even if I can’t discuss this with friends and co-workers. We talk about many subjects, except for politics, and I turn to my stack of work while they talk amongst themselves. I have some nice friends, but politics is where we separate. My family and I aren’t even on the same page, with varying ideologies. I believe in laws, I believe in the U.S. Constitution, and I believe in the exchange of ideas. I don’t agree with the notion that if you supported one candidate you are a racist, and that  if you supported another candidate that you are a good person in support of rights.

Some people will read this and think I am heartless, insensitive, a racist, etc. I am not. I am, however, sick of being blamed for all of the ways every group outside of my ethnicity has been wronged, and I am sick of the ways each group has allowed ourselves to be manipulated to fight each other over bullshit.  In reality, those in power made bad decisons for a very long time, and now we have a bad economy, lack of jobs, a skewed sense of justice, wars still being fought in multiple countries, and a restriction on the rights of Americans.liberty_and_justice_for_all_poster

I have worked with and befriended people from all walks of life, as I have written about before. I have gotten to know them and learned from them, even while not agreeing with all of their views or decisions. I have worked with diverse backgrounds of people, and I have seen the choices families have may have made out of desperation which have long-lasting negative effects on their children and on their communities . First off, because the parents broke the law, they have shown their children that it is ok to break the law… And we as a country have shown these young people that they might have to follow some laws but not other laws. We have shown them also that, not only do they not have to follow the rules, but that not following the rules allows you to get stuff that other people pay for, and that it is ok to bash people while they are helping you.

I understand that people can fall on hard times. I have had my share of hard times, where I had to figure out how much food to buy  because I was broke. I had poor credit at one point because I couldn’t pay my bills, and I have slept on the floor and washed my clothes in the bathtub because I had a low paying job. I rented an apartment in a neighborhood drug addicts and rundown buildings because it was I could afford, until I could afford to move to a better environment. Boyfriend has also had very hard times, but the only people who could pull us up and out of the hard times was us because we are white, childless people, rather than minorities or foreigners or people with children.  People think that being white exempts people from struggling or suffering or being broke.  Struggling is struggling regardless of race, color, sex, or creed.  People of all walks of life can struggle and suffer, regardless of what the politicians tell you, right Bernie Sanders?

Being that I live and work in Central Texas, I am very aware of the policy battle raging between the governor and the Travis County Sheriff. I follow the local news and the real (alternative) news very closely. I see people walking into my work building to handle their business and I have met some very nice people, while also meeting some people who don’t get it, don’t want to get it, and who will never get it… they don’t want a hand-up, they want a hand-out, expecting someone to let them keep breaking the rules, not assimilating, and taking no responsibility for their actions.  scales-of-justice-glass-effect-800px

I am not against people coming to this country legally and lawfully. My ancestors came to this country from Europe through Ellis Island, including my grandmother, whose family made three attempts before successfully escaping the czars nearing Russo-Poland. I am an Irish/English/Scottish/German/Russian/Polish/Lithuanian/Texan-American. One of my proud moments was visiting Ellis Island 15 years ago to see where my ancestors entered this country.

So,  I am not against foreigners coming to the U.S. and wanting to become Americans. I do not appreciate my country opening the door to people who tell us what is wrong with our country while we give them food, shelter, clothing, etc., while they say it in their language, don’t follow our laws, and while their country(ies) tell us what to do. These countries would not give me or any other American the option of crossing their border and setting up camp in their country because things didn’t work out for us in the U.S. Rather, we would have to have money to afford living there and would still have limited rights, or we would be imprisoned for trying to live there illegally.

I understand helping someone in a truly desperate situation. I have done that many times without a thought, but that would not give someone the right to take over my house, eat my food and tell me what the rules in my house should be. Other countries have laws and rules and procedures that visitors must follow, I don’t think my country should be any different. Other countries get to decide who comes in and who doesn’t, who stays and who doesn’t. I also think that we as a country should be able to protect ourselves against intruders and enemies, foreign and domestic, by way of personal defense and keeping enemies out. I hope to never see another event like 9-11-01, 0r 9-11-12, or what happened in San Bernardino, Ft. Hood, Orlando, Boston, or the events that have taken place in Paris, Berlin, and so many others. I believe that people having the ability to defend themselves would have lessened the loss of life in most these and other terrorist situations. wp_20151108_002

We have started to hear a lot more about the violence that has plagued Chicago for years from Donald Trump and the news media, but society has blamed the guns rather than the criminals and gang members who shoot with reckless abandon, often striking the wrong, innocent target(s).Oh yeah, and the guns are often illegally obtained through straw buyers or on the black market, not usually through legal means (going through a background check and purchasing at a legal firearm distributor). However, it’s perfectly OK  for people angry that their candidate lost an election to destroy property, assault innocent bystanders, burn up vehicles, smash in windows, loot businesses, commit hate crimes, and fight the police. That’s just normal. And, again, I am pro-Constitution so I fully support free speech and peaceful assembly. What I don’t support is for anyone to lash out at other people just because you are pissed off, because you are might be held accountable for breaking the law, or because someone has simply offended you. I get offended everyday and I learned to deal with it, and I have learned to use effective means to hand my grievances or other situations.

I hope that things will get better in this country, and in the world. I hope people do their own research rather than be spoon-fed propaganda by the mainstream media… the same media that covered up some politicians’ crimes, indiscretions, bombing of Middle Eastern countries, political affiliations and business dealings, while openly trying to sway an election, dig up mistakes and oversights, and distort information. I am not saying that anyone who has made it in politicians is an angel, and I would dare that say that each and every one of them has made deals, justified behavior, and done things that most of us could not rest well with. I am saying that for all we have heard about someone’s marriages, flirtations, inappropriate language, and dalliances, we didn’t hear much about similar or worse behavior from other candidates and/or their spouses. poorunclesam

My intention in writing was not to piss people off, but done so in the hope they will realize that there are two sides to every story. So people will realize that the truth is not being told, and that the people who voted for Trump are not all angry, hateful people but are people who want things to improve in this country for all Americans. We can’t help others until we can truly fix our own problems.

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What the future brings… Can it get better?

I have not yet posted anything with regard to the fairly recently 2016 Presidential Election in the United States of America. I have been busy settling into our new home, but also kind of waiting to see how everything will turn out… it’s apparently still not over, not until the Electoral College votes and/or Congress chooses our President. I hope it doesn’t come to that.walking-to-the-future-orange

I have become fairly well informed in the past six years, but there is always more to learn and still a lot that I don’t know.  I feel more informed than the so-called average American, though that doesn’t say much. I was one of the people who did not know that the Electoral College vote is more than a month after the actual election. I followed the election closely, even stayed up until 1AM hoping to hear the outcome, which I got the next morning while getting ready for work. I was pleased and continue to be slightly optimistic that, by the expected candidate not winning, things will improve for the economy, the decent hard-working citizens, and for industries that have suffered by the policies and actions of the past 20 years. Yes, not just the past eight years.

If you have looked at my blog at all, you can probably guess that I am not a Hillary supporter, or a supporter of Sanctuary cities, and that I am for upholding the U.S. Constitution, free speech, securing the border, and avoiding the continuous wars around the world. I can admit that I voted for Donald Trump to break the status quo, in the hopes that he would make good on improving our country, taking care of the Veterans, focusing on the good of our nation, and fixing our problems rather than being the policeman/social worker/handyman of the world. I hope that the powers that be do not take over and create the same problems/ environment/opportunity  for the powerful Elite to take over, not that they haven’t been trying lately and that they haven’t been succeeding for a very long time.

I know people who are on the other side of the political fence, probably a bad pun to use, and I have not been able to take about the election with them. When necessary, I have kept to general news and facts in the mainstream. I can understand where they are coming from, given some of their backgrounds/cultures/family history, but I also have trouble understanding why it would make sense to replicate failed decisions/policies/countries. People are leaving other places that are being ruined by violence, socialism, globalism, etc. but come here and expect to benefit from America while still championing for the U.S. to adopted said policies. If you don’t believe me, watch “There’s No Place Like Utopia” , a documentary by Joel Gilbert. He talks to a group of Hispanic men from Mexico, El Salvador and other Central/South American countries, and they say as much. They came to America for jobs but still want the same policies that killed jobs in their homelands.  Also in the film, Joel interviews residents of Chicago.  It pains me to see people similar to the clients I used to  help continue to be not only hoodwinked by the political machine in Chicago, but also to be continually stuck in the hamster wheel of poverty, welfare and rundown neighborhoods, poor economics, and ignorant of how they have been manipulated. I write this during the weekend that Chicago broke their 701st homicide of 2016, highest since 1996.

donald-trump-cartoon-3I am always hopeful that things can improve, whether its my family’s behavior, that a bad situation can turn around, that people can learn from their mistakes. I am hopeful that people can see the truth, whatever that may be, really the facts. I am hopeful that the Election will peacefully resolve itself without a criminal really winning, and that the guy who made a lot of promises keeps even half of them. I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

 

 

 

It’s just sad… Chicago, etc.

So, as I sit down and type, it is 8:28PM CST on Friday, March 11, 2016. Boyfriend and I browse the news online and see that the Trump rally in Chicago at UIC has been shutdown because Chicagoans don’t know how to act. From the few articles I browsed next, it appears that conflicts broke out among Trump supporters,  Bernie Sanders supporters, the Black Lives Matter group, and other groups of people in attendance. I next decide to look at the Chicago Sun-Times Website for local reports and see the news wire feed, which shows that four people were shot in a four-hour time span in four different neighborhoods, with one dead so far.

Reading this news, all of it, really annoys me. I am no longer a citizen of the Chicago area but I grew up there, lived there for most of my  life, and still have family and friends there. I still keep track of the major Chicago news and know that the state of Illinois, which couldn’t figure out how to pass a budget, is broke; that the Chicago Public School system is broke and will likely end up like Detroit, who will soon be unable to pay their teachers; and that the violence problem, which has risen to the murder rates likes of 1999 in the first 80-something days of 2016, will not be solved by protesting Donald Trump nor by inventing more gun laws.

I understand that there is a lot of anger going on right now, but violence is not the answer. Going to an even with the sole intention of starting sh*t with the other people at the event doesn’t solve anything. Chanting “Hail Satan”, which was reportedly heard by Bernie Sanders supports, doesn’t solve anything either – it just shows that you are evil or ignorant. And, I’m confused by the protestors with the flags from neighboring countries… how does that show that you want to be an American or considered an American?   I feel like everyone wants to blame someone and that no one really cares how to solve our problems at large, or even cares what is REALLY going on. I watched a video posted by Kelly Bauer  of DNAinfo.com/Chicago  with a guy dressed like the pope, and the man observantly states that people at the rally are accusing Donald Trump of hate but then turn around and stated that they hate him. RT America’s report include several pictures and video links regarding what took place. Everyone’s anger should be focused on why cities like Chicago are broke, why our politicians continue to lie while selling us a bill of goods, and why we are being manipulated to fight each other.

Every time I look at news involving Chicago I find negative news. I realize that negative news gets reported more often than positive news in general, but the Chicago news reads about the same regardless of the day, with only names changing. I don’t know that Trump is the answer to problems in the U.S., or  in Chicago for that matter, but I know that more violence is not. Oh, and by the way, two more people who shot in Chicago by the time I finished this post, at 9:30PM.

 

Road trip!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Trains, Planes, and Automobiles.”

On my own to one destination across the country, I would likely opt for an airplane as I did for my recent NYC weekend trip. It made sense to keep the travel as concise as possible on a relatively short visit with my Brother and his girlfriend, especially with the real possibility of crazy rain or snow between New York and Texas. Also, for this reason, I fly nonstop, as I don’t which to be stranded at an in-between spot due to bad weather somewhere else.

However, I see the value of a road trip, especially with someone you love AND get along with. this very important when you are driving through the middle of nowhere confined to an enclosed space! Boyfriend and I have taken many road trips, some for fun but also for family reasons and moving to Texas.  Also, it is important to like driving because the trip will not enjoyable if driving is a chore. Taking periodic breaks helps.

Two of our road trips lasted about two weeks and involved multiple states. The Southern Road Trip took us to Louisville, KY;  Lynchburg, TN; Atlanta, GA, Hattiesburg, MS; New Orleans, LA; Houston, TX; San Antonio, TX; and Austin, TX before we headed home. That road trip taught me lessons about planning with friends you haven’t seen in years and involving them integral parts of your trips because this trip should have included Columbus, MS and didn’t because we left Hattiesburg unexpectedly and kept going. The details need a post of their own, enough said. The Mountain Time Zone Road Trip took us to Colorado State University/Fort Collins, CO; The Royal Gorge/Canon City, CO; Billy The Kid/Fort Sumner, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Moab, Arches National Park/ Moab, UT; Utah State University/Antelope Island/Salt Lake City/Ogden/Logan, UT; Bear lake and Idaho State University/Pocatello, ID; Grand Tetons National Park/Jackson, WY; and South Dakota State University/Brookings, SD. Whew!

Two months later, we took a short trip around the Midwest to Mankato, Minneapolis, and Duluth, MN and to Winona, WI. The Mountain Time Zone and the Midwest trips were taken to help Boyfriend and I determine to where we wanted to move but we chose the Great State of Texas over the rest for many reasons. If we had not driven to and around some of these destinations, we have missed out on some really cool things and also the things that would help factor into the decisions we made.

I like having a semi-structured plan on our road trips with room to add destinations we hear about or to re-route if needed, which is easier to do driving than it is with coordinating flights to multiple locations. Boyfriend is very good with a map and he has navigated us through a good portion of our American adventures.  In fact, we have only been lost using printed directions from MapQuest and Google. So much for technology!

We technically took a road time this past summer but it was just to the Chicago area and back to Texas due to Boyfriend’s mother’s death and for him to tie us loose ends. I only hope we can plan another fun road trip for summer 2016, but I know we plan to take a few short trips around Texas to state parks or to Fredericksburg.  We have only lived in Texas for a little more than two years and there is much left to explore!

How do you like to travel?

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell

The real tragedy… the Chicago Violence problem

I grew up in Chicago and lived there for most of my life until a little over two years ago. As I have written before, I was a Juvenile Case Manager that worked for seven years with clients living in many of the neighborhoods you hear about on the news or read about in the newspapers, including Englewood, Lawndale, Back of the Yards, Gresham, Fuller Park, Washington park, Kenwood, Little Village, Humboldt Park and Chicago Lawn, to name a few. My hometown reports shootings EVERYDAY!!! In fact, it reports multiple shootings almost EVERYDAY!!! I still check the news regularly because  I have family and friends there, living and working in some of those neighborhoods disrupted by crime and violence on a daily basis.

With a simple search of “Chicago shootings this weekend”, I found these three links that show the amount of violence in the past few months:

October 4, 2015

Ten Injured In Weekend Shootings Across Chicago

September 21, 2015

2nd worst weekend of 2015 for Chicago gun violence: 8 dead, 45 wounded

July 7, 2015

Report: 82 shot, 14 fatally, over holiday weekend in Chicago

Going back a year and a half, there’s this report from April 21, 2014, Report: 9 dead, 36 injured in Chicago weekend shootings

The list of stories of loss of life resulting from gun violence goes on, and on, and on, and on. I have two friends that were affected by gun violence in Chicago in the past year, losing relatives. I can assure you that most of the violence affecting my friends and the families you hear about on the news was not carried out by law-abiding, legal owners, it was carried out by criminals and street terrorists. I could tell you more stories of past clients who lost family members, friends, and neighbors to gun violence. Often, the violence is gang-related and drug-trade related.  We keep hearing about the need to strengthen gun control, but the problem is most often not caused by law-abiding legal gun owners. Criminals obtain guns through “straw purchases”, underground sales on the street, or by stealing guns from law-abiding legal gun owners, all of which are illegal on top of the crime for which the gun is used. Many times “straw purchasers” are not prosecuted. I have to say, though, that I disagree with someone not being able to pass a background check to purchase a gun for recreation or self-defense due to a minor charge many years again, which happens frequently. I’m talking about people who are seemingly upstanding people who may have made a mistake, though some people are denied gun ownership, and not told why.

So much is said and written about the Mass Shootings but Chicago’s violence problem has killed and touch more people, in my opinion which I believe is true, than all of the recent Mass shootings, not to say that they are not all tragedy. They are for sure, but I really bothers me that so many people are hurt and killed in one of America’s biggest cities every day and no one REALLY talks about the problem or the issues attached to the violence, including illegal immigration, Mexican drug cartels doing business in Chicago, and poor economic conditions that prevent business growth and promote high unemployment. Chicago has very high unemployment, especially in the Black community and also has a high rate of Black on Black crime/violence. These issues are talked about  individually but not together in an open and honest manner. A lot of the violence in Chicago is tied to gangs and drugs, which are connected to many things, including the Cartels, which are known to be active in Chicago.

With regard to the Mass Shootings, I believe that law-abiding citizens intervening in potentially violent situations would save lives. I believe that Gun-free zones prevent people from defending themselves and others if needed, and that Gun-free zones provide opportunities to criminals. I fully support law abiding citizens being armed and able to protect themselves, their loved ones and their neighborhoods. I wish the best for my hometown and for my country, and I hope people eventually see the true causes of violence in this country, a lot of which comes from pain (loss, violence, broken families, drug abuse, etc.) and desperation due to poor economic conditions, which leads to youth joining gangs, violence over drug sales and turf, and people resorting to criminal activity to survive. I know this from my work with youth and families who faced these circumstances. These youth and families were mostly good people who made bad choices but were looking better options, and attempted to utilize the opportunities available to them. It’s a big world, and helping the youth I worked with to see past their neighborhood hopefully allowed them to better themselves and their neighborhoods by helping them look to the future. Helping people to see that they are not their mistakes and that they can repair the damage helped them and their families heal.

All I ask is that we as Americans consider what is really going on before we take all the propaganda in the news on both sides as gospel and the answer to violence. People who want to commit crimes will, and laws don’t prevent people with bad intentions from following through with their actions. We need laws so society has order but more laws are not the answer.

© 2015 blogdaysofchrell