Monday, August 31, 2020

Oh, What Fresh Hell is THIS? lol

Update - 9/1/2020:  Since this post was written, Trump shockingly defended 17-year-old Kyle Rittenhouse by saying "I guess he was in trouble, he probably would've been killed."

Of course that's what you would think -  if the only video you'd seen was the one with people running after him (which is the only one certain conservative press is showing)  - but there are more -  which are what police used to make the charges.

To include one prior to that event, where you can partially hear Kyle call the police on himself, saying, "I just shot someone" after shooting Joe, but before being chased, when Gaige and Anthony were shot.  

Trump either hasn't seen those videos or he has, but is denying,  for political reasons.

"Law and order" my ass - and how exactly are you supporting police by undermining their own criminal charges filed against Kyle Rittenhouse, of reckless endangerment, unlawful possession of a firearm, and homicide?

But I digress - in all seriousness now, like I said, spending the next day or so in prayer.  Because defending breaking the law and defending murder for just one political side, over politics is a whole new level of sickness and immorality. 

I still believe people "jumped the gun," quite literally, in Kenosha - Kyle thinking he was dealing with potential rioters and them thinking he was an active shooter - Trump is only condemning/defending one side to win an election?

But if nothing else,  that untrained child had no business carrying an assault rifle into a strange neighborhood - nor shooting his first unarmed victim - BEFORE HE WAS CHASED - simply because he yelled at him to leave and threw a plastic bag.

I always thought Trump's followers would never turn from him unless they actually saw him shoot someone himself - unless there was murder involved.

Well, this is close enough - but it still doesn't matter :(

So I'm afraid like never before.

I'm afraid of what people will look past, justify, and do, just so their party wins elections - even murder?

I'm afraid because remember that Hitler was able to convince an entire country, using propaganda, that the Jews were out to take over and do them harm, but it wasn't true - in fact, it was projection of his/their own motivations -THEY wanted to take over and do harm - and then the atrocities they did, or overlooked, out of this belief. 

Is that happening here? 

It's pretty close - literally like a severely dysfunctional family or even a cult believing propaganda - or like Nazi propaganda.

God help us ... this is wrong, grossly immoral, and sick ... and the fact that people are believing it based on what Trump said and only seeing the one video only is frightening. 
But you are a God of justice, truth, and mercy - despite people believing rumors without proof, not caring about facts, I believe that though it may take some time, years perhaps - the truth will come out.
In the name of the father, the son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit,



First of all, I have removed all but one of these self-purported Christian brothers and sisters from my reader and bookmarks, but I decided to return, through my history cache, to leave this reply to the Brit-Turned-Australian - in the off chance he was just being sarcastic, or perhaps he wasn't aware that Kyle wasn't attacked until AFTER he'd already shot Joseph Rosenbaum.

My comment ...

"Not sure what info you're getting in Australia, but Kyle wasn't "attacked" until after he'd shot Joseph Rosenbaum (for yelling at him to get out of their neighborhood, carrying an assault rifle illegally, then throwing a plastic bag).


AND - I don't care if it's never published, and later word-twisted again - that only proves how dishonest and divisive modern "conservatives" have become.

Even Kenosha PD has released public statements corroborating that Kyle shot Joe before people tackled him, as well as that it was Kyle who called Kenosha PD after he shot Joe, but before he shot Gaige in the arm and shot and killed Anthony.

I can't tell whether you're being sarcastic, you're that uninformed about what happened in Kenosha in Australia, you're that deep in denial about someone sharing your politics being capable of doing something like this, or you think you're fooling anyone, with this 
"Kyle was an innocent victim, just minding his own business walking down the street, when he was viciously attacked" nonsense - because it's COMPLETE BULLSHIT. 

If you're not joking/being sarcastic, I hope you DO realize that though Trumpers don't agree with us about what's causing the increased unrest and violence in America - or perhaps even the Jacob Blake incident - they DO agree with us that the Kenosha/Kyle Rittenhouse shooting situation was tragic all the way around, on both sides.

In fact, even most American Trumpers will tell you that those still holding onto this "innocent-hero Kyle" perspective - especially after Kenosha police corroborated the timeline - are only the most delusional, morally-depraved, mentally effed up, white-supremacist, "overthrow the government," violent far-right-fringe whack jobs that they have in their voting base, much like we Democrats view Anti-Fa.

But TBH, I don't care what you meant - it's easy to joke about/judge when it's not happening in your country - and you don't have all the information and don't care to find out, as long as it supports what you already want to believe - isn't it?

This subject is far too critical and sensitive to be brought up as an afterthought joke, during an already oddly-focused discussion about "women and neighborhood safety" - which was clearly just a transparent distraction from what happened in Kenosha - instead of addressing, discussing, or even taking a look at the underlying issues causing the current unrest and violence in our neighborhoods - racial and political tension and frustration - which Trump is only making worse!

However, we all know y'all will never do that - because it goes against Trump's narratives that all protesters are "violent thugs," and his warped sense of "law and order," and you've proven yourselves repeatedly to be incapable of independent, critical, or even original thought, needing to be spoon fed what to think about everything from other people, swallowing even toxic sewage without even the slightest hesitation, if someone from the political right told you to.

Plus, you wouldn't have a scapegoat to blame for these problems anymore, and then you'd have to take a look at yourselves - and then y'all would have to admit the rise in "violence in our streets" is the direct result of being at an all time frustration level of having a double-standard justice system based on race, poverty, lack of opportunity, and economic deprivation - one in which our cops have denied them the constitutional right to due process of law, pronouncing themselves both judge and jury, taking the lives of predominantly black men on the spot!

Regardless, quite frankly, I'm tired of making excuses for the Brit-Now-Australian, apologizing for "misunderstanding" him or "over-reacting" - when sometimes, what he's saying IS socially irresponsible and downright nasty.

Not to mention, HE overreacts based on only half the information (or dysinformation) - even if he didn't this time (but I suspect he did, and thus my comment).

For example, the "it's not all about a pretty face, some men like tits and ass" comment evaluating the worth of women based on physical appearance only, just a couple of weeks ago.

Or commenting about the minister from Harry and Megan's wedding as "stopped just short of going full on black retard preacher."

Or that "the Qu'ran says to kill all infidels," when it doesn't - and though Jesus isn't considered the son of God, in Islam, he IS considered a prophet, and anyone could cherry pick our bible and twist it to say the same?

No - I did NOT "misunderstand" those comments - and those things would never even be a part of Christ's thought process, let alone come out of Christ's mouth!

Not helping this perception is the fact that he continues to support and enable a known dishonest propagandist.

If he didn't, then there'd be less chance that anyone would "misunderstand" him, based on the company he chooses to keep!

So nope, like I said - I'm done trying to understand him, done making "trauma" excuses for him, and done apologizing for my misunderstanding him.

It's way past time for him to take some responsibility, for a change, and be held accountable - for both the nastiness that sometimes comes out of his mouth as well as the company he enables and keeps!

And upon my return to leave that comment, just in case he didn't know/was being sarcastic- what fresh hell is THIS, pray tell? Lol

Are you kidding me? 


The most upsetting thing you people can find in that thread was the point being made about "women shouldn't go out alone?"

Of course that's effed up, but we know already know that guy is effed up, especially when it comes to women! 

Could you really not see the entire post was a red-herring distraction from what actually happened with Kyle Rittenhouse in Kenosha not fitting his political narrative, being that all shooters and victims were all white and the dead were lefties?

(This is also why Trump has never mentioned the Kenosha shootings at all, but hopped on the Portland killing right away, mind you ;) 

And sorry, I'm a woman, too - but it's not all about me and MY safety.

And why IS it always women's fault/responsibility to prevent men from getting violent and to protect ourselves from violent and/or perverted men who lack any semblance of self-control?

Regardless, what does any of that have to do with the most pressing issue - which is why a bunch of male idiots with guns are killing each other with assault rifles in our streets, grabbing a gun as their first and only idea of "conflict resolution?!?"

I don't even understand why the discussion is even about women going out alone, on the heels of what happened between a bunch of men in Kenosha!

And by the way, I'd bet you 100 bucks that if Kyle was black, Mexican, or Muslim, the same people making a victim/hero out of Kyle would change their story real quick, now wouldn't they? ;)

And therein lies the problem and proof that the reason people are protesting has merit - the double-standard justice system and morality that we have, based on race.

At this point, I am at my quota - literally sick to my stomach with the kind of stuff I'm reading from Christians: Your "suspension" of morality in favor of yourselves and your over-privileged, out-of-touch-with-reality concerns only for for yourselves, showing mercy only to yourselves, and making only yourselves the victims.

In short, your political propaganda to win elections has gone too far - people are getting killed!

And yet you blame everyone else for the resulting violence from it but yourselves and make yourselves the victim of every situation!

I am sick to death of your BS, fellow Christians - allowing your political narrative to outweigh your conscience, your morality, and Christ himself.

It literally grieves my spirit an my soul to see Christians supporting and enabling such darkness :(

You guys want people to be more "merciful" towards white Christian males - yet you, yourselves, show no mercy - you have none to give to anyone, besides people who don't look, think, and believe exactly like you :(

Well, you know what Christ had to say about THAT in Matthew 18, don't you, merciless servants?

So in addition to removing my reader entries and bookmarks last night (with the exception of one dear friend from there), I have cleared the cache history and do not know the names of the domain websites.

However, I WILL add that the one dear friend currently does have me scratching my head, at the moment, about why she would address one delusional statement, but left alone the worse delusional statement made about a 17-year-old being viciously attacked, as if he was innocently just walking down the street?

Perhaps just because it was found in a statement that somewhat supported her point the lack of safety regardless of gender -  or perhaps she thought he was being sarcastic, that's all I can think of - and yet it's still out of balance?

However, I'm quite sure I make her scratch her head too, when I get out of balance, at times, but that's what friends do for each other, who love each other - disagree, or scratch their heads - with love :)

Regardless, again - with her being literally the only exception - I won't be returning to this little group of self-purported "Christians" - ever again.

I actually will also be taking mini-break from blogging, right now, just for a day or so - because the merciless attitudes people are taking over Kenosha - refusing to address, confront, or even take a look at the underlying issues causing the current unrest - is some dark-hearted shit - perhaps the darkest I've seen yet since Trump was elected.

Mostly, it's a prayer break, for a day or so - because our nation, and our world, is very morally confused and very sick - and NOT in the way that many Christians think we are!!!

In fact, many of my fellow Christians seem the most morally confused out of anyone, about what issues should upset most Christians according to scripture VS. their politics.

In fact, mark my words - not only will time prove you're on (or enabling) the wrong side of history, but the wrong side of Christ's warnings in scripture as well.


PS - FYI - you know the Trump tweet today, claiming he was ahead of Biden by 2 points?

More misleading, deception and lies :)

Real Clear Politics is the most trusted polling aggregator that even the politicians use themselves.

As you can see, he's only quoting the conservative publication's poll, where he gained 2 points:)

However, when aggregated with the other Michigan polls - both a Democratic publication and an independent one - Biden gained 10 points overall - and Biden is still ahead in Michigan by 3 points overall LOL.

Not that polls matter, considering what 2016 taught us - or that any of his voters will research that, because, like I said, they don't look at anything that doesn't support what they already want to believe ;)

Like I said, morally depraved, liars, cheats, cons, and power abusers  support/enable/love other morally depraved, liars, cheats, cons and power abused - and that's the best explanation I can find for continued support of Trump and his BS.

So if you're hanging out regularly with them - not to counsel them in love, as Christ did his worst-of-sinner disciples - but to actually enable their dark hearts and motives, never openly condemning the darkness - no one should be faulted for "misunderstanding" you and judging you by the company you keep ;)

Sunday, August 30, 2020

Once Upon a Time, My Faith Was Dependent on How Other "Christians" Behaved ...

... but I thank God that I learned, a long time ago, to separate Christ out from most Christians - and that if my Christianity were dependent on how most self-proposed Christians act, especially today, I wouldn't be a Christian anymore  - and that Christ is nothing like most of the people that claim to be Christians :)

My therapist gave me some links to some Christian bloggers a few days ago, I've been checking out - and by that I mean Christians that don't support Trump's very ugly, very anti-Christ political narrative that's being supported and enabled by so many self-purported Christians, in Christ's name.

Thus, tonight, I just dropped some really "ugly" people off my blog reader and bookmarks.

Not physically ugly, of course - ugly in soul -  despite claiming to be Christian.

There's only so much "ugly" you can read from people - especially those proclaiming themselves to be Christians - before your soul grieves, ya know?

Like I said, my therapist gave me the links a few days ago - but I made the decision to drop these people off my radar entirely, after reading a comment by someone who still reads my blog (site stats) and almost seemed to be specifically zoning in/targeting my specific point in the two posts prior to today, nearly using my same language about the "17-year-old with an illegal assault rifle"-  except he was praising the boy as some sort of hero, and calling the people he shot "vicious attackers" -  when that wasn't what happened. 

IMO, I think what happened in the Rittenhouse shooting situation was a pretty clear-cut case of both sides misinterpreting/misreading the intentions of the other side, which escalated the situation out of control - both sides considered the other side a threat and may have "jumped the gun" - quite literally.

*HOWEVER* - considering our country's recent history of young teenage boys being mass-shooters - if an untrained 17-year-old boy suddenly showed up in MY neighborhood with an illegal assault rifle -  white, black, brown or whatever - I'd probably think he was an active shooter, too.

Regardless, the order of events is important here - and no one tackled or "attacked" Kyle until AFTER he'd already shot Joseph Rosenbaum, for yelling at him to leave their neighborhood and throwing a plastic bag.

The last time I checked, yelling at someone to leave your neighborhood and throwing a plastic bag is NOT a justifiable reason to shoot and kill someone - and I don't blame anyone for tackling him and trying to get the gun away then.

This is why Kyle is charged with homicide.

(And I dare say that the same people making a hero out of Kyle would being saying the same thing if Kyle was a black kid, in the same situation.)

Now you know dang well, if a kid showed up with an assault rifle to a school or concert hall or picnic, he'd be under suspicion for a mass shooter immediately.

And then if he shot someone for telling him to get out of there/threw a plastic bag at him, people would of course tackle him to get the gun away - and no one would be calling it a "vicious attack" - they'd be making a hero out of the people who tried to stop him.

There were no easy answers to this one, people panicked - as they often do with guns  - but this commenter imagines himself as having one anyway - even though he has the order of events wrong, either because he doesn't know them because he's in Australia, and gets his information only from right-wing sources, or because he DOES know and is not being honest about knowing Joseph was shot first before Kyle was tackled.

However - I wonder if Christ would agree with this synopsis of the situation and approve of what happened, and consider Kyle an "innocent" victim and hero, even with the story told your way?

I don't think so.

I'm not sure what bible you're reading, but where in the gospels can it be found that you should go into other people's neighborhoods carrying an assault rifle illegally?Or shoot the first person who yells at to leave their neighbor, throwing a plastic bag at you?

Or to shoot somebody else's arm off, and kill another person, just because they tried to tackle you to get the gun away after you had done so? 

In fact, as gently as I can - even outside of what Christ would do -  not only is that a grossly (intentionally?) inaccurate version of the events, but I don't think it's sane - in fact, it's alarmingly disturbing. 

Because regardless of how you twist the story, I can't imagine any sane parent who'd be okay with letting their untrained, 17-year-old son go into someone else's neighborhood with an assault rifle illegally, whether he was white, black, or purple.

I'm sorry - but either some people have allowed themselves to drink so much political Kool-Aid propaganda that they can no longer tell right from wrong anymore -  or they were already pretty sick tickets  - or both.  

Oh well, I stopped hoping for mutual understanding, common ground, and unity with this crew years ago.

However, this particular commenter,  I used to sometimes see Christ in, and what he had to say sometimes - but I have to be honest - I actually haven't seen any mark of Christ on him whatsoever, in a very long time.  

I still checked in to see if he was okay, especially during COVID, especially considering his age.   

He used to remind me of a great uncle, a WW2 vet, who used to jokingly call me a "commie pinko,"  but kissed me on the cheek at the same time.

However, I think I just realized today - my uncle, though harsh-languaged sometimes, very non-PC - in the end, he would still do the right, honorable thing -  and was actually a much more honorable, empathetic, merciful person, under all that harshness and pain and war trauma - and this guy unfortunately just - isn't. 

What they don't know is, I still prayed for all of them, on occasion, any trials they'd mentioned they were going through.  I also gave them the benefit of the doubt  as much as I could, because that's just what I do - give others the same benefit of the doubt I'd like them to give me - even though they may never do the same. 

And I know we all sin and fall short of the glory of God, right? 

Yeah - but there's a point where it's a regular-basis thing and actually grieves your soul to have to watch, when it's not good/healthy for anybody. 

Thus, I've also learned, just over the past two years, not to give so many chances/benefit of the doubt to people, like I used to.  

I mean, there's just a point you just have no more benefit of the doubt to give, ya know?

Thus, I'm done caring - how they're doing during COVID, clearing up any miscommunications, misreads, or misunderstandings that happen with text-only communication via social media, and trying to find common ground with people who aren't interested in your perspective unless you agree with them, vilifying/demonizing you as the "enemy," just because you don't agree with them politically.

I tried - I have listened to their perspectives and given every benefit of the doubt I could, but after this sick narrative on Kyle Rittenhouse, I have no more excuses to make for them.

Because they're aren't any good reasons or excuses for them anymore  - they're just a small group of self-righteous, arrogant, hateful, miserable old assholes - and they've mistaken misery loves company for meaning they're "right."

I'm sorry, but - I don't want to become an arrogant, miserable, self-righteous old asshole in Christ's name - assholes who have become increasingly paranoid, dark-hearted, and merciless, as well as sounding less and less sane, as time goes on - only they don't realize it, nor that they're bringing out the worst in each other.

That negative energy is contagious - and I'm quite sure it's not from Christ - no light, no love, no good will, and no mercy and heart of Christ coming off them at all - so I removed them from my reader and bookmarks.

In fact, the only "evidence" that they are fellow Christians at all is occasionally mentioning they are, railing against about LGBTQ, abortion, and feeling persecuted by non-Christians.  And I don't mean sometimes "falling down" and sinning, like we all do - I mean, chronically ugly people.

Not only nasty rhetoric like Trump, but stuff like intentionally trying to personally provoke/create strife/upset people/get reactions, either dishonesty or enabling dishonesty, and putting down/making fun of others nearly daily, rarely showing empathy, mercy, or benefit of the doubt - just to feel/look superior to each other - all done in Christ's name.

I mean, they make me not only lose hope in humanity, but almost "lose my religion," as the Southern saying goes - and I don't want to lose my religion lol.

I hate to say that about anyone, but I'm not Jesus - and they just make my soul hurt lol :(

I'm pretty sure they're the sort of believers that Jesus was talking  about, in Matthew Chapter 7, who will approach Christ in the afterlife and say ...

By the way, despite newer translations changing the word "iniquity" to mean "sin" or "lawlessness" - that's not what the word means. 

The word "iniquity" actually means "grossly unfair behavior, to an immoral degree."

But who knows - like I said, that's for Christ to sort out, I have enough of my own issues to worry about :)

And I'll pray for them, when I think of them - IF I think of them - but otherwise, I let go and let God - because I'm done viewing dark souls and dark hearts, from people claiming to be Christians.

But you know what the good news is?

When you view these types of "chronically ugly-souled Christians" - it makes you appreciate Christ himself even more :)

It makes me MORE grateful to God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit - for not even remotely resemble these people lol.

However, I know they still read me - so I'd just like to say this to them ...

That if Christ even remotely resembled who you people have proven yourselves to be on most days - I'd never want to be a Christian.

You're lucky - because though I'm strong enough in my faith not to turn away from Christianity because of your chronic lack of mercy, arrogance, dishonesty, and general ugliness towards anyone not exactly like you (or who doesn't fit your OT-law checklist "do's and don'ts" version of Christianity, negating Christ's grace) - unfortunately, not everyone can separate out the Christians from Christ and Christianity itself.

Thus, you have no one to blame for people leaving the churches in droves but yourselves - because it's 'merciless servants' like yourselves, who are responsible for causing so many others to stumble on their way to Christ and leave the church..

And you know what Christ said about being responsible for causing anyone to stumble on their way to Christ, right?

Buh-bye, former fellow "Christian" bloggers - I hope you're as right and righteous as you think you are - for your own sakes :(

Cobra Kai Comes to Netflix - With Mercy :)

So being that we were receiving much of the rain fallout from Hurricane Laura, yesterday, we stayed in and binge-watched seasons 1 and 2 of Cobra Kai, which just landed on Netflix.  

We have YouTube TV (streaming service), but the show was only offered through YouTube Premium, which we don't have; however, it was such a hit, Netflix bought viewing rights :)

My husband, who studied Muay Thai, was always a fan, and so was I because,  you know, I was a teenage girl in the 80s - and who wasn't Karate Kid fan, back then? :)

In fact, though Ralph Macchio wasn't my biggest teenage crush (that would be Sting, but more often than not, my teenage crushes changed as often as the color of my hair Scrunci),  my first love/boyfriend Ben, was very much like Daniel;  a sweet, principled, empathetic, charismatic Italian kid, whose family struggled - minus the karate  - he was a soccer star instead :)

Ben was never the small kid, but he had been "the fat kid" as a child, before getting into soccer and slimming down/muscling out - and never forgot what it was like to be bullied and struggle - and still never has, to this day :)

My husband now, of course is the same way.  Being shorter all his life, he had his share of bullying, and thus became the best all-around athlete and college scholar he could be - and he, too, never forgets what it was like to be bullied :)

And me?  

Well, I think I've mentioned I had my share of bullying - mostly in my own family and as a child in my family at elementary/middle school.

The school bullying stopped when I was in high school, but continued with my family - and returned otherwise outside of the home at age 37 online (and a couple of workplaces, while in a vulnerable place, it apparently was open season for sharks)  - but let's just leave it at that :)

Regardless, back to Cobra Kai, I gotta say - both Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny Lawrence (Billy Zabka) both look pretty good for their ages - 54 and 58 respectively, eh? 

Is it the best thing I've ever seen?  

No, but it's surprisingly entertaining.

It manages to recapture some of the magic, despite still mostly being in the vein of 80s cheese, by making fun of itself, but with an updated draw to millenial teenagers watching - and it show the characters through a bit more of a complex lens, rather than all good or all bad guys - it shows that humans can be both, especially depending on how they interpret - or misinterpret - an action that someone else took. 

And not only is it chocked full of 80s classic songs, but also incorporates the more WTF 80s soundtrack moments - ya know, where they pipe in garage-band songs with extended bad guitar solos at points that don't necessarily match the mood (and are sometimes inappropriate?

Like when a character is like ... staring at the sunset with teenage angst or after lost love lol.  

Or during an 80s-style mid-movie montage, of kids learning karate the old school way that Daniel did, "wax on/wax off" waxing cars and painting fences lol. 

However, these scenes are SO over the top, that's it's no longer intended to be a poignant moment, but an intentional LOL moment - never taking itself too seriously :) 

Or things that we did then, that would never fly now - like Johnny, trying to get the word out about the return of Cobra Kai cheaply, by passing out flyers the old school way instead of using social media, at the local basketball court, telling the guys playing they can get those 'hot babes' watching them, if they impress them by learning karate.  

The guys were like, "Well, we were just gonna go talk to them, but yeah ... instead we'll go with trying to impress them ... by learning karate from some old dude creeping around the park, we just met." 


And when he finally does agree to using social media, he tells the kids, "Put one of those hash browns, at the end, yeah. You know - Hash brown Cobra Kai."

LOL again.

As far as being updated politically, it's very diverse, yes - and finally accepts women (which was always stupid they didn't, because karate in Japan was always taught to both genders for self-defense, just not military-style karate for women). 

It's inclusive, yes - HOWEVER - it also kind of makes fun of both sides of politics, too. 

For example, Daniel's biggest competitor takes a swipe at him for not being a true patriot and unAmerican, because of his love and respect of both karate and Japanese culture that instilled in him by his father figure, Mr. Miyagi -  especially by giving away a bonsai instead of an American cactus with every car sale.

However, for exact same reasons, the political left accuses him of "cultural appropriation!" 

Sigh, the poor guy can't win lol. 

Daniel is now a car dealership owner, which you can totally see, actually, capitalizing on his charisma - but he is, in fact, an honest one (nod to Mr. Miyagi).   

He's still a great guy, but also shows his flaws, by becoming obsessed with a rematch with Cobra Kai, after misinterpreting some of Johnny's efforts to rebuild Cobra Kai (but differently) - and Johnny doing the same, at times, escalating the problem.  

And that's what's especially interesting about this series, is the it's insight into Johnny's version of events, and where he was coming from, at the time.  

We always knew that there was actually a heart under the bully, because he didn't want to "sweep the leg" at the end, his Sensei Kreese insisted - but Johnny initially blames his life on that moment of mercy, weakening him, instead of understanding lack of mercy was the problem. 

At first, Johnny's still driving around his old Firebird, listening to Guns N Roses, clearly stuck in the 80s, and you're like, "Oh, dear, like so many popular kids we all went to high school with,  he's still stuck there, reliving his glory days, every day."

However, you find out that he's NOT wealthy anymore, actually living paycheck to paycheck as a stucco contractor, has a drinking problem, and the rich family?  

It was actually actually his stepdad's money, who was very abusive to him, and thus why he turned to karate for self-defense and confidence - and the money wasn't accessible to him after his mother died, he was on his own. 

As he says to Daniel, in the movie, "Just because someone has a pretty house on the outside doesn't mean what's going on, on the inside, is so pretty."  


This conversation happens, of course, during a bonding/reparation scene, after Daniel replaces his car, with a 2009 Charger, for free - at Daniel's hilarious wife''s urging - because Daniel's cousin had Johnny's Firebird set on fire, without Daniel's knowledge) - right after they head bob and sing REO Speedwagon together lol.

Okay, I know ... REO Speedwagon had the kind of 80s rock sound that hasn't aged well/hasn't held the test of time/isn't respected now (and I get it) -  but I don't care who you are, or what background you came from, all children who grew up in the 80s will sing along with REO Speedwagon in the car, when they come around the radio ... LOL!

There are actually two scenes include this one, and at the bar, worth a watch: 

Daniel:  "So ... your stepdad was an asshole, huh?"  Back in the day, I just figured you were living the life.  Fancy cars, motorcycles.

Johnny:  "It had its moments.  But I used to come home and get bullied every day.  That's why I joined Cobra Kai.  Kreese gave me more attention than I ever got at home.  The guy was more than a sensei, I mean, he was basically a father.  You wouldn't understand." 

Daniel:  "My Dad died when I was 8.  Mr. Miyagi was more like a father to me.  It's crazy, man.  Both finding karate role models." 

Johnny:  "Yeah.  Except yours didn't break your trophy and try to kill you." 

Daniel:  "That is true."

And also, let's be honest - Daniel stole Johnny's girl - and he really was in love with Ally, and never quite got over her.  

Of course, the better man won, at the time, because Johnny WAS a asshole (and still somewhat is, while trying to change ) - but also, coming from the background that Johnny was coming from,  you can see how impactful that being in love was, to the kid that otherwise had been shown "No Mercy." 

This bonding moment is short-lived, however, because even when they bond for a minute, their warring students keep shit going, and the misinterpretations and distrust keep happening. 

And therein lies the biggest message to the movie:  When you're bullied as a kid - in school, your family, online, or in life - you now have a choice ...

... you can either use that experience to empower yourself to become a more honorable, empathetic person, that never does the same to anyone, and helps/defends others  ...

- OR - 

 ... you can become bitter and vindictive, trying to appear invulnerable, making others feel just as bad or worse then you did - essentially becoming an even bigger, scarier bully, yourself, imagining that you're justified. 

Luckily, though my husband, myself, and even that first love, I mentioned, went through a "be meaner than evil" in attempt to never appear vulnerable again, during our late teens and/or early 20s - it didn't take :)

However, important side note, here - that phase of mine was exactly the reason why I lost Ben, at age 22 - because I became "meaner than evil," in effort to try to not be bullied/mistreated by others anymore, trying to not appear so vulnerable :(

Not physically, verbally - I began to increasingly become bitter and shred people who even looked at me or my friends in a strange way, became selfish, demanding, and expected him, and the world, to make up to me what I didn't have as a child :(

He knew it wasn't the real me, the one he fell in love with - and who I was emulating.  He tried to warn me of what I was doing -  because he'd done it himself, for a brief time, when he went from the fat kid to "cool" soccer star - but at the time, I didn't listen - and broke up with me. 

In fact, I'll never forget what he said, the wisdom he had - though both of us were only 22:

Ben:  "Chrystal, I love you, I probably always will - but you're not the same person - and I need to end this because I love myself as much as I love about you - and lately, it's become all about you and what YOU'RE going through.." 
"That girl who wanted to save the world is now becoming the merciless bully, not wanting to feel like that skinny little "weak" girl anymore.  Well I fell in love with her, the sensitive, gentler one.  I like the sassy, smart girl, too - but I don't even know who THIS is - this is somebody else."

Me:   "But ... but ... you didn't have a life like mine ... you've struggled, sure, but your family loves you ..."

Ben:  "No.  No more.  No more excuses.  Yes, you were dealt a shitty hand, but the world actually doesn't owe you shit.  I don't owe you shit.  I DO know what you've been through, and I've put up with a lot lately because of that - but that's not an excuse.  What you've had to deal with was horrible, I'm not knocking it - but there are people have been through worse - remember that?  Remember the girl who wanted to get into social work to help people going through even worse than herself?  Where did she go?" 
"And I know what you're doing because I've done it for a while at first, in soccer.  I know it may feel powerful?  But it's not - it's weakness.  And in the end, not only are you hurting, but so are they.  You're becoming the people who made you.  They didn't start out as bad people either.  It's a choice, Chrystal. I love you, but ... goodbye."

Now, young ones reading - this was in person - not via text, email, or even even phone - never have this sort of conversation the coward's way - do it face to face, as gently as you can.

Because though it hit me like a ton of bricks, and at first, I tried to make myself the victim - which is, of course, what my parents and older sister did/do - I then quickly realized that is as gentle as he could say it, making myself the victim of the situation only proved what I knew to be true, which was - he was right.

However, we have spoken since - in the late 90s, and again, in 2017 on Facebook, after my husband's stroke. 

I apologized both times, repeatedly.  And even though he said he he forgave me when we spoke in 1997, I apologized again.

He said, even the first time:  "You were always too hard on yourself, even then, when you became that way.  I knew who the real you was, and I understood what you were doing and why.  And you didn't have the best role models.  But that isn't you.  Glad you realized it. I forgave you a long time ago - but you need to forgive yourself."  

I said, "Well, thank you for breaking up with me lol - because I wouldn't have, if you hadn't.  You gave me the biggest tough love lesson of my life, in the perfect way, I needed it - and you were right."

And he was also right about not forgiving myself for a long time, over it - because even though he had already said it in 1997, it wasn't until I met my current husband in 2011, that I understood it. 

Until then, I kept hooking up with losers who mistreated/abused me, as self-punishment for what I'd done - because I took this  lesson too far and thought that's what I deserved, both as punishment for Ben, and thinking maybe my family bullies were right about me.

But then I met my current husband - who is much like Ben - but also like other honorable men in my life, he's the BEST composite of honorable men  :) 

So we're both happily married now, by the way, but grateful for the lessons we learned and how lucky we both were to have such a beautiful first love as prototypes for our current spouses :) 

And don't get me wrong - I can still pull out verbally-shredding-but-funny girl, if the situation calls for it - but the situation rarely calls for it. 

Particularly, if I see other people being ganged up on/bullied mercilessly, rather than myself - although I have learned to pull out verbal-shredding girl for myself, too, if someone is relentless and just refuses to cut out their shit out towards me. 

I don't like to have to take the gloves off and do that - but there are still some situations that call for it, after everything else has been tried, too - including trying to walk away and they keep following ;)

And we're all tempted, at times - in fact, about two years ago, after being fed up with a few people's BS for too long, I came dangerously close to that again.

They honestly did deserve to be called out, but I took it too far - catching myself just shy of completely going off that cliff again.

But the point is, we figured out, pretty early on, that though this worked for other people in our lives, this isn't who we were overall, nor who we wanted to be, stooping to their level - and chose the former - but some people don't.

Because I've personally witnessed that happen - both almost to myself, but also a close childhood friend of mine, and that older sister I mentioned - both of whom, unfortunately, never passed through that "phase," but stayed stuck there. 

They still have empathy, but mostly for people they overly identify with (which is actually more accurately sympathy) -  but otherwise, over-compensated by becoming verbally abusive (and one of them physically), bullying bitches, towards certain others unwarranted, imagining they are still the victims of the situation and fully justified.

Essentially, they have both became the thing they never wanted to be, due to bitterness,  as well as never wanting to be seen as, or feel, that vulnerable again. 

Unfortunately, I hate to admit it - but  at least in my experience, the latter type of bully - the bullied-victim-turned-bully is most likely a fellow modern-day liberal - someone who for whatever reason, didn't fit in the white Christian, cool mode in some way - and was bullied - and became a bully, not wanting to ever appear that vulnerable again:(

But you're not off the hook, modern-day conservatives - because at least in my experience, it is most likely you who inflicted that pain as the original bully - because of your wealth, your privilege, your tendency to imagine yourselves superior, you're inability to relate to struggle, and your judging/bullying anyone different than yourselves - abusing power, but always playing the victim, later, and knowing people will typically believe you, if you have more wealth - and you know it ;) 

(Not always - but more often than not, at least in my experience - this is true/has been the case.)

However, my fellow liberals still have a choice of what to do with that pain - and they're facing that choice, right now, actually.

Do we want to become bullies, stoop to their level and fight dirty, being vindictive, after being bullied/oppressed - like Johnny once did and Hawk currently does?

- OR - 

Do we want to be like Daniel - who though loses close touch of what it was like to be bullied and struggle in his current over-privileged bubble, still always remembers his empathy, what it was like to struggle, and defending the side of the under-privileged, the oppressed, the poor, the marginalized, the minority, the underdog, and the bullied? 

Daniel is, of course, not perfect - he doesn't practice or teach karate anymore, he just used his legacy to sell cars and become wealthy (which he realizes that he's done, during the series).

So the bullied nerds, smaller kids, minorities, and/or marginalized kids are thus drawn instead to the broken and financially broke Cobra Kai instead, to try to empower themselves and be more confident ...

... and some of them use the old "strike first"  and "no mercy" methods Johnny at first regurgitates - to become monsters themselves.

For example, Eli, with the cleft-lip surgery car, chronically bullied - transforms into "Hawk" - who at first, is cool, but eventually becomes a merciless, amoral a-hole ... 

... even towards his former nerd bestie.

However, over time, Johnny watches this happen and begins to re-evaluate the message - which Daniel realizes at the same time, when he begins to cross the dirty line to compete with Cobra Kai - and that message is there's "No Mercy" to win - and there's fighting honorably, even if you lose - which kind of person are you?

Now, for the entire first season, Johnny is still pretty much a douche - but he begins to realize that he's a douche, and that maybe the way that he learned to deal with life, win at all costs, with a bad role model (Sensei Kreese) is his entire problem - that his inability to live up to the "No Mercy" mentality  while fighting Daniel didn't make him weak or soft - it made him honorable.

Johnny begins to realize maybe life isn't a series of calculated moves, and that people - especially women -  more often than not respond to genuineness rather than efforts to impress them - especially these days - as well as he realizes that showing mercy doesn't show weakness, it shows honorable character - which is true to the original form of karate. 

However, while in this state, he gives Kreese a second chance, showing him mercy, believing people can change and that everyone deserves a second chance like he needs - which is a big mistake - because it's case by case - some people truly will never change - and perhaps it's best to not fight them, not enable - just walk away.

And it isn't until his former HS buddy - played again by Rob Garrison - who was dying in real life from kidney and liver problems in real life, when he reprised the role   -  dies - after all of them having a talk about their regrets, and one final barroom fight - ironically considering their former selves - with a bully. 

(Rob Garrison - on the left -  died in real life from kidney/liver failure, not long after those scenes were filmed, by the way.)

Daniel, on the other hand, has life by the tail.

Though he does appreciate it, and is still a good guy, he has also lost touch with karate.

Although he still employs many of the life lessons Mr. Miyagi taught him with the people around him (he uses karate more as a selling tactic than a way of life) - until he realizes how much easier this is to do, when you're life is perfect and you have money - but that doesn't mean that you are in balance, either.

At first, he doesn't realize he's out of balance until his old high school rivalry to dominate his life -  and ends up abusing his money and power to try to crush Johnny's fledgling karate practice.

Daniel has begun to practice karate to restore work-life balance, and to teach it for free, to many of the kids that tried Cobra Kai, but realized Kreese was a psychopath, or caught Johnny during yet another confused moment between what he should do and what Kreese taught him to do.

He remembers that karate was meant to be self-defense, not offense, as well as it's intended to empower you to be honorable in both battle and in character.

His wife  - who is hilarious, by the way - constantly teases them both about their obsessions with what happened in high school, and how childish and absurd this rivalry is, 34 years later,  and makes a dent, but not completely - until he begins to lose touch with his family over it, too.

However, before that happens, there's bonding scene number 2, which comes again at the urging his Daniel's wife - especially because their kids and students are now at each other's throats ...

Though, I won't spoil it, Daniel is still out of balance by now ignoring his family and work, as well as still being partially motivating to re-practice karate to get at Johnny.

So Daniel doesn't really get it, until the final show of the last season - which actually, in my opinion, was actually fairly OTT and the most ridiculous episode yet - and not in a goofy, fun way -  until the last 90 seconds, when a main character is seriously hurt - and it's actually Johnny that first realizes what toll this ongoing karate rivalry has taken on the kids and the people they care about.

However, we will have to wait for Season 3, sometime in late 2021, to find out what happens.

Mark: "Doh, the end of 2021? Grrr." 

Me: "Well, what do you expect them to do, during COVID - karate over Zoom? lol Can you imagine what that would look like? ..."

Daniel: (on his laptop, via Zoom): "This is all YOUR fault. I'm going to crane-kick you, now, Johnny!"

(Daniel kicks at his monitor. A flash card pops up, not unlike an onscreen "Pow" from an episode of 1960s Batman.)

Johnny: (On his laptop, via Zoom): "Arggggh!" (Falls back) "You kicked me in the face, Broheim! No, this is all YOUR fault. I'm gonna sweep the leg ...." 
"Wait ... how do I make the screen bigger?"

Hahaha! Yeah .. though hilarious, I'm not sure that works :)

And sorry to disappoint you, fans - Billy and Ralph are, and were, actually really good friends, having maintained a friendship over the years :)

No, we're not talking Ozark, here - but a fun trip down memory lane with an updated twist, if nothing else, and worth a watch :)

Friday, August 28, 2020

PS - Video Shows Kyle Rittenhouse Was Encouraged by Kenosha Police Before the Shooting: Given Water, Thanked, and High-Fived

So ... the Kenosha Police Department not only did not care - but actually encouraged - an untrained 17-year-old with an illegal assault rifle, who later that same evening went on to shoot 3 unarmed people, killing two of them. 

The officers gave , thanked, and high-fived Kyle and others for their "protection" just hours before he shot two unarmed men - and was released and got to go home on the same night he was arrested for homicide.

Meanwhile, until 3 hours ago, Jacob Blake was handcuffed by the ankle to his bed in ICU, despite being paralyzed from the waist down, after being unarmed and shot in the back 7 times by police officers (see video of the Jacob Blake shooting HERE.)  

Kyle Rittenhouse is now facing 6 charges, included two counts of homicide - but he is at home with family.

As I said below, there are many who are partially responsible for what 17-year-old Kyle did that should be on trial, right along with him.

That now includes not only the Kenosha police officers that shot Jacob Blake, but the adult civilian men who gave him the assault rifle -  despite knowing it was illegal for a 17-year-old to carry - but the Kenosha PD officers who encouraged the kid to carry around an assault rifle illegally, without training, into neighborhoods he didn't belong.

Now to be fair, not all law enforcement was on board with encouraging Kyle beforehand.

Kenosha County Sheriff, David Beth - said he was called the day of the shooting and asked why he didn't deputize citizens who have guns to come out an patrol the city of Kenosha - and he believes it was someone from the group Rittenhouse belonged to.

Sherriff Beth told them, "Oh, hell no."

He said this is the perfect reason why he would never do that, because things like this happen.  

Because they are not properly trained and become a further liability for law enforcement. 

Thank God at least one person in law enforcement in Kenosha who at least appears to be sane. 

Regardless, as of yet, nothing has been done about police officers that actually encouraged the 17-year-old kid illegally holding an assault weapon.

And of course, Rittenhouse's hero, President Trump, is partially responsible and should also be on trial with Kyle, for irresponsibly pushing the propaganda that all protesters are thugs and anarchists that want to 'tear down America and do us harm'  - saying absolutely nothing about this incident, though he talks about "lawlessness in the streets."

Jacob Blake's father, Jacob Blake, Sr. confirmed on CNN's New Day that both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris have called him, but he's not heard a word from Trump, and added that if Trump did it now, it's because people told him to, not because he wanted to - so it wouldn't be coming from his heart. 

“It’s two justice systems.  That 17-year-old Caucasian shot and killed two people and blew another man’s arm off on his way back to Antioch, Illinois. He got to go home. They gave that guy water and a high-five ..." 
"My son got ICU and paralyzed from the waist down (and shackled to the bed by the ankle with handcuffs, despite now being paralyzed from the waist down)." 
Those are the two justice systems, right in front of you.”

It's true, America - it's true. And you know it's true. And it's wrong.  And you also know it's morally wrong.

Fellow Christians, I don't know what you're telling yourselves, to justify your support and enabling Rittenhouse, certain cops, Trump, ignoring the justice double-standard that clearly exists in our society -  because your doing so cannot be found anywhere in our bible - especially in the words of Christ. 

And that is why tens of thousands of people are descending upon Washington D.C., right now, for a civil rights "Get Your Knee Off My Neck" march.