A Nation’s Broken Heart…

It’s taken me some time to gather my thoughts; make some kind of sense of them. There’s been so much on my mind lately…

It started with the NFL.

But things have gotten so much worse, haven’t they?

I digress. This blog will be about the Flag, the Anthem, and the NFL.

I had taken some time to talk to a few of our Nation’s honored Veterans, to get some insight into how THEY are thinking. Whether they are young or seasoned, the consensus is the same.

Colton, a 20-something, a Millennial, who served in the Army as a Sergeant, and is currently a deputy sheriff, gave me some food for thought on the Anthem protests:

“The first amendment does not extend to private employment situations. Wish the clowns would shut up about these players rights to freedom of speech. It never has, it never will pertain to private employment.”

“The NFL didn’t let the cowboys honor the victims of the BLM cop killer by sporting a decal because Roger Goodell said they don’t want to voice any political opinions. They can’t honor dead cops, they can’t honor 9/11 victims, and on top of that they have a specific rule that outlines how they act during the National Anthem. It’s great to protest, but not at work. No one want to go sit down and eat, and have the waiter start a conversation about global warming, or their opinion on North Korea. Where was everyone caring and kneeling before Donald Trump made the statements? These owners, coaches and players are only kneeling because Trump made the statement about the owners firing the “sons of a bitches”.”

I also spoke with, Brian, a 40-something, a Gen X-er, like myself, who served as a U.S. Army Combat Medic, 3/17th Infantry, shared some of his thoughts, not only on the flag and Anthem protests, but a great many topics. We’ll start with the flag and the NFL:

“I, and many like me, fought for the right to fly our flag. Granted, there has been very little threat—serious threat—to our nation’s sovereignty. I have, and shall forever have, the right and privilege of flying our Flag in our yard until my last days. I’ve seen men, shrouded in that flag, that no longer have the ability to express their patriotism. I think it’s an absolute disgrace that ANYONE, as a citizen of the U.S., would even think to disrespect our Nations Flag. I understand the claim from the first millionaire wannbe athelete/politician—protesting the violence against blacks. Fine. However, doing it in that manner, unacceptable. You want to actually make a difference, choose the platform or avenue that would actually carry some weight. Doing it for your own personal gain, against, in essence, the founding symbol of this nation—disgraceful. The recent support that has spread, the black power fist; Roger Goodell praising those that are kneeling in protest—my last NFL football game was the second half of the Monday night Cardinal’s game on the 25th. I refuse to support an organization that so blatantly disregards the symbols of our Country that has given them so much opportunity.”

I myself, have never had the honor of serving. But I understand how these guys feel. I grew up in an America where you LEARNED the words to the National Anthem, you held your hand over your heart and said the Pledge of Allegiance, you felt that swelling sense of pride as you did either one. What has happened to the patriotism of the American people?

Sound off, drop me a line, comment. You know where I am.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Censorship-the good, the bad, and the ugly…

What is censorship? The definition is as follows:

the suppression or prohibition of any parts of books, films, news, etc. that are considered obscence, politically unacceptable, or a threat to security.

Understand, I grew up in the era of the Parental Advisory label and my moms thinking Bon Jovi were devil worshippers (my mother is 80 🙃, and now she likes Bon Jovi, BTW). I remember when the PAL was first introduced. The first cassette tape I bought that had the PAL on it (yes, I said CASSETTE TAPE, give it a rest, I’m getting old) was Guns & Roses, Appetite for Destruction. I remember my mother FREAKING out because the label was on the front. The first one got thrown away. I hid the second.  I think I turned out ok listening to that damned rock n’ roll…

Then came rap. Now, I’m not a big fan. There’s a few I like. I remember the PAL was giving itself aneurysms over rap lyrics. But, voices should be heard, no matter the message. It cannot be stopped. And heard, they were. 

Getting more to the point, by definition alone, a MAJORITY of our music, books, films, etc, are obscene, politically unacceptable or a threat to security. That’s part of what makes living in America so righteously awesome. The freedom to speak your mind. 

Let me give you some examples. For instance, one might be offended by this: 

You and your husband have a fight/One of you tries to grab a knife, and during the struggle/He accidentally gets his Adam’s apple sliced (No!)/And while this is going on, his son just woke up/And he walks in, she panics/And he gets his throat cut (Oh my God!)/So now they both dead, and you slash your own throat/So now it’s double homicide and suicide with no note-“Kim”-Eminem

Or perhaps this:

I got blood on my hands and there’s no remorse, and got blood on my dick cause I fucked a corpse-“Bring Ya Whole Crew”-DMX

Now, personally, I don’t particularly care for the subject matter, but to each his own.

NOW, how about this?

Hold back the anger and hate/Let love lead the way/Take back our dignity/Let every voice ring free/’Cuz we know if we don’t watch out/We could all go under and drown-“Make America Great Again!”-Joy Villa

Or THIS?

I’m on this train moving way too slow/Where it stops, ain’t nobody knows/And they say I just gotta let it go/ But the heart can’t want what the heart don’t know-“What the Heart Don’t Know”-Kaya Jones

I guess my point is, if one is ok, then why not the other? I don’t see anyone censoring the likes of DMX, Eminem or Snoop. Nor would I ask anyone to. 

You see, one of the fundamental principles of America is our right to free speech. The ability to freely speak your mind and express yourself openly. 

But, what I see happening to artists like Joy and Kaya, simply because of their political beliefs, is tantamount to book burning.

I believe in free speech. Do I think there are lines that can be crossed? Yes. I don’t personally think inciting violence or hate is productive or creative in any way, BUT, that is not for me to judge. I can choose to listen…or not. I simply choose not to. The point is, that each individual has the right to express themselves, however they choose. Music, writing, sculpture, painting, dressing boldly, green hair, body piercings; these are all different forms of expression. No one should be judged by that form. 

Thoughts?Arguments? General comments? Hit me up. You know where to find me. 🙃

Let’s talk Amendments…

OK, so with all the hoopla about the rights afforded us by the Constitution and the Amendments, let’s take a look, shall we?

Let’s start with numero uno…the First Amendment. According to Cornell Law School, the First Amendment is as follows:

The First Amendment guarantees freedoms concerning religion, expression, assembly, and the right to petition.  It forbids Congress from both promoting one religion over others and also restricting an individual’s religious practices.  It guarantees freedom of expression by prohibiting Congress from restricting the press or the rights of individuals to speak freely.  It also guarantees the right of citizens to assemble peaceably and to petition their government.

For further information, you can go to the link here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/constitution/first_amendment

Seems pretty simple & straightforward, right?

Well, we all know THAT isn’t the case.

Now, honestly, here’s what prompted me to start this to begin with:

Joy Villa.

If you haven’t heard of her, here’s her website: https://joyvilla.net/

Most of you will remember her as the girl in the Trump dress.

Her new song, Make America Great Again, is being censored. Why, you ask? You tell me.

If all people have to right to free speech, then, why Joy? If all groups of people, whether right, wrong, or otherwise, have a voice, then why not her?

Being a musician myself, this sickens and offends me, hence my desire to take some sort of action, albeit a small one.

So, what do you think? Do some investigating, THINK. Comments and discussion are welcome…

 

 

 

 

A new look, a new attitude 

Hi everyone, sorry it’s been so long…there’s been an awful lot going on lately. I’ve decided to update the ole blog, and change it’s function. With so many things going on, I really want this to be more about the things I’m passionate about. Food, politics, music, society, whatever. So, that being said, let the games commence! All comments and opinions are welcome here,  I don’t offend easily. 

It’s been a long time…

A long, long time….but, I digress. I want to share some thoughts. Some of you may agree; some of you will not. That’s okay, it’s all part of the human condition. Part of what makes us who we are.

I’ve had a lot of opportunity to sit and reflect on my life, as of late. Not just on a personal level, but a spiritual one, as well as a political one.

Here’s what I see. 

On a personal level, I’ve battled some of my own demons; made peace with some others. I’ve tried to look inward and take a good long look at the person I AM. I recently watched a show, a reality series, the title doesn’t really matter, but it made me take a larger look at people in general.  Made me think. About love, and loving your fellow man. Bottom line? Be a good human. Period. End of story. You never know what someone else is going through. 

Spiritually? My walk with God, or whatever you may call your particular diety of choice, is MINE. I do not need anyone to tell me if how I do it is right or wrong. 

Politically? I’m a Deplorable. Not a secret. I love Trump. But I am, in no way, a racist, misogynist, homophobic, Islamaphobic, or any other phobic you wanna throw at me. I am a human being, with fucking feelings. Just.Like.Everyone.Else. I don’t need a celebrity to tell me it’s okay.

At the end of the day, I’m a human being, with feelings, desires, dreams, and wishes. Like everyone else I know. We just need to remember to be good to one another, or we lose something that makes us unique. Compassion. 

WOW…has it REALLY been THAT long???

My last post..October…Freakin’ really???? OK, OK, so I’ve been neglectful of my little ole blog….There’s been a lot going on, ok..OK? 😉 But I digress…..<Ahem> I do hereby solemnly swear to be better about posting on my….oh look…a parakeet….

 

ANYWAY….’Nuff about that….Haven’t really been reading much..I know, you’re thinking “REALLY? YOU…not reading? WTF is WRONG with you?” BUT,I have been editing, altho’ it has slowed down a mite or two.

Just recently reconnected with some old, dear friends, George Newberry & Randy DelTurco. As fate would have it, George is an author, & I just recently finished the edits on his newest book, which we’re hoping with our heart of hearts, goes somewhere BIG (read between the lines, people….s’all I’m sayin’). If it does, & I truly do believe in my heart it will, George is blessed that way, there’s big things in the works…..Looking so forward to working on this project!!! Super excited!!! But again, I digress….

Life, as we all know too well, has a tendency to get in the way. I know mine has. Any of you who really know me, know what the day to day is like for me, & let me tell ya, it ain’t pretty. But I truck along, what else can I do? Anyway, just a quick update to let you know I’m still breathing, at least for the moment, and that all is as well as it can get in my world….;) I promise not to let 7 months go by before I post again….

 

😉

Susan

A little more conversation & a whole lotta action…

I’ve had so much going on lately. I know, I’ve neglected my blog….Just to give you, my loyal followers, some updates on the life & times of Susan:

I finally launched my own professional editing company, Top Shelf Editing & Publishing. Yes, it also has publishing in the name. I have (perhaps delusions of grandeur) plans to open up a publishing division at some point. It seems as though, and maybe I’m just crazy, since I did this, my editing gig has really taken off. It’s almost like people are taking notice. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I was ignored before, but it just seems like I have authors coming out of the woodwork now. And I am so very thankful for that. I have three new authors that I’m supposed to start working with, one of them as soon as tomorrow, Derrick LaCombe. I’m so excited to get started on his book. He’s very passionate about it, & I have no doubt in my mind, that it’s gonna be great!!

Zombies Eat People. It’s a fact, yes, but I’m talking about the organization. LOL. CW Beier, owner of ZEP, came to me & asked me to join the team. What does that mean? Hmm, good question. I now work for ZEP, as well as their magazine publication, BRAINS Magazine. I’m a featured writer & copy editor for the mag, AND I’m a social networking representative. If you want to check it out, go to either one of the links below. Trust me, it’s well worth the peek.

http://www.zombieseatpeople.net/

http://www.zombieseatpeople.net/brainsmagazine

Zombie Walk Palm Springs, October 25, 2012. Found this on accident. Decided I wanted to go. I’m going as a journalist for BRAINS. How fucking cool is THAT? I’m doing photos, interviews, all that crazy shit that a normal journalist does. The guys who put it all together are super stoked about me coming, and have pretty much told me they’ll give me whatever I want. Again, how cool is THAT? Greg & I are spending Halloween in Las Vegas this year, with our good friends, Jeff & Laurie Dill. It’s gonna be a blast!!!! We were in Vegas once before, when Patrick was about six, and it was, by far, the coolest Halloween I have ever had. Sooooo looking forward to it. It’s gonna be da bomb!!!

Other than that, kids, life is as it always is; SSDD-same shit, different day. The band is playing, the business is good, & everyone is healthy & happy. I appreciate each & every one of you for hanging in there with me, being my friends, and listening to my ramblings. Much love to you all!!!

🙂 Susan

 

 

Review of Zombies of Iwo Jima by Dane Hatchell

5 Stars-This just reinforces why I’m a Dane Hatchell fan!!-Zombies of Iwo Jima by Dane Hatchell successfully combines history & zombie fiction, to make a wonderfully frightening and superbly gory little tale. Our boys are fighting the war, stuck on Iwo Jima, trying to survive the visciously cruel Japanese. As if that isn’t bad enough, toss in Japanese zombies, munching away on their enemy. Hatchell does an amazing job of integrating zombies into historical facts, to make another new twist on the genre, and makes for a very entertaining, and even educational, read for all lovers of the genre. Way to go Dane!!! Here’s the link:

http://www.amazon.com/Zombies-of-Iwo-Jima-ebook/dp/B008MG46CW/ref=sr_1_10?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1349118673&sr=1-10&keywords=dane+hatchell

🙂 Susan