If You Stand For Nothing…

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If you stand for nothing, what will you fall for?

Football was quite interesting today.

On Mondays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays, the sport of Football reigns supreme. Whether it is college, high school, or professional, people are glued to their television screens to watch their favorite teams win whatever game they are playing. Normally, the only thing you have to worry about as a football team is whether or not they win or lose the game they are playing today, You worry for the offensive and defensive lines of your favorite teams, and that is the only thing that stresses you out on a normal Sunday afternoon and evening. Unfortunately, given a certain political figure’s social media posts, the focus and purpose of today’s athletic events changed.

Today, football got political.

In the past forty-eight hours, Donald Trump has tweeted his opinions regarding a quarterback’s refusal to stand during the United State’s National Anthem that plays prior. I won’t get into my own opinions regarding his stance on their stance during the national anthem and whether I agree with their refusal to stand during the national anthem, but I am impressed by the protest nonetheless.

The response from the football community has been overwhelming.

At the start of every single American football game across the country today, players of various race, creeds, and beliefs stood together in protest. The Pittsburgh Steelers and other teams remained in the locker room  in solidarity for the political climate of the country. Other members of various teams kneeled instead of normally standing, while others locked arms with their teammates to show support for the injustices that seem so common in this country. No angry words were spoken, and no violence was performed. People just acted in silent, peaceful protest.

It was heartwarming.

This world is an absolute mess nowadays. Everyone is angry at the angry world around us.  Today, protest against the world’s ills was made, and it was made correctly for once because no one got violent.

I get so sad with the way the world is sometimes.

The statement made by so many professional football players today gave me so much hope.

At the start of each professional NFL football game, as the national anthem of the united states played or was sung, most players either linked arms with their fellow players or took a knee.

No violence, no words.

I was moved by how impactful such a quiet act of defiance was.

It was my kind of protest.

Violent acts and hateful words, no matter what side of the argument you may find yourself on, are so easy to find these days, As an anti-political party citizen of the United States of America, I try to see both sides, and I hate how angry the world has become.

Today, the NFL gave me hope.

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Good and Evil

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Well this has been quite the week in the world we live in hasn’t it, America?

To call this week a rollercoaster would be a bit of an understatement.

Let’s start with the positive, shall we?

This week, we saw a shift in the turmoil that is the political climate in the United States of America. For the past few weeks, we have been force fed the increasingly disturbing details surrounding the senatorial race in Alabama. The Democratic candidate Doug Jones seemed like a decent enough guy, but the traditionally republican state seemed unwilling to vote for someone who was not in their chosen political party. However, the details surrounding the republican candidate Roy Moore complicated matters so greatly that the whole country stopped and took notice. Apparently, Moore engaged in multiple moments of sexual assault with multiple minors. Along with some moments of racism and some sexist remarks, the man did not seem like the type you would even let around a school, let alone the senate. Still, people seemed okay with voting for an accused, seemingly racist sexual predator instead of a democrat. All seemed lost on election night as the results put Moore ahead of Jones for what seemed like hours. Then, the two men tied. Then, the final results came in.

Doug Jones, the democrat, wins the senatorial seat.

There has not been a democrat in that seat for a quarter of a century. Whatever political party you find yourself agreeing with, you have to admit that is kind of impressive.  With the election of a democrat who is replacing a republican, the senate is now almost at a fifty/fifty split between democrats and republicans. Hopefully, this will allow more issues to be felt with in a more bipartisan way. Maybe, we can finally work together to fix the multiple problems in this country.

Things seemed great, and then they weren’t.

Barely a day after the Jones victory, the FCC announced that they were going to repeal the policies of Net Neutrality, much to the chagrin of people of all walks of life across the country. So many freedoms regarding the world wide web will be taken away and given to the corporations to use at their leisure. While this still has to through the senate for approval and so many have called out in opposition for this bill, it has still given the country cause for concern.

It’s a bit of a mess.

Suddenly It Snowed.

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I’ll say it once, and I’ll say it again.

I love the snow.

When the winter seasons comes around, it is hard to get excited or feel motivated. The grass on the ground is dying from the frost. The air is so cold that it can cut your face like a hot knife on butter. People all around you are catching colds and getting you so sick that you stay in bed for most of the season. The time between fall and winter is basically a sad season that makes you feel like everything around you is dying or already dead.

Snow makes everything feel and look better.

Think about it. On a lazy Saturday morning, you wake up, get out of the warm comfort of your bed, and go to the window to just see a sea of white blanketing everything with more of this white, icy fluff falling from the sky. Freshly fallen snow, before dirt and car emissions dirty it and make it an uncomfortable shade of brown, is absolutely breathtaking. Everything just looks simple, pure and peaceful. You can just grab a cup of coffee and sit in a chair or on a couch by the window and just watch the snow fall, or you can go out and play in it as you have snowball fights and make snow angels.

I love seeing snow, just not when I leave the parking garage once I am done with work on a Friday after pulling overtime every single night this past week.

Sure, I heard whispers and news reports about getting a little snow, but all of the updates seem to indicate a slight dusting of snow on the ground and that it was supposed to stop an hour before I was even supposed to leave. I figured, seeing as I live in the north where snow is a normal weather event, that the area would have prepped the roads prior and during the supposedly small storm. The roads would be merely wet when I left to go home for the weekend.

Well, I was wrong.

The streets of the city showed far too much evidence of the snowfall that had occurred earlier, and it was very clear that this small dusting was more like three inches. The roads looked like the only plowing done was by the cars brave enough to drive through them. They were sloppy and slick, and there was still some snow falling.

…and I had to drive home in this in the dark.

There are two types of snow drivers: the overly cautious like me that go twenty miles an hour as they clutch the steering wheel for dear life and the “what snow?” type of people that speed through the streets like there isn’t a layer of ice and snow covering the ground. Driving with these types of drivers both on the road is frustrating. The speeding drivers grow impatient with the slow drivers, and the slow drivers driver slower with the speeding drivers going past them.

My love for snow is falling.

The Fellas at the Freakin’ FCC

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…and within twenty-four hours, our joy at the senatorial victory in Alabama that seemed to indicate a shift to better times and a better United States of America is dashed as we begin the process of losing one of our freedoms.

Dear *insert your deity of choice here* America, can we not go one week where nothing goes wrong?

If you have been on any social media site within the last few hours,  you probably would have read the news that Net Neutrality has been repealed. You may have seen your various friends, neighbors, and favorite celebrities posting non-stop about how bad the world will be if this is allowed to occur and who you should call to get keep this policy in place. You are angry that this travesty is going on and want to fight desperately with everyone else to keep Net Neutrality in place. You may also be asking yourself another particular question.

What is Net Neutrality?

Basically, this was something that prevented the consumer, basically us, from being taken advantage of by internet providers and services who would be able to charge whatever they wanted to charge for the speed and quality of your internet experience. So many people will lose access to opportunities because they can no longer afford to be on the world wide web. Jobless and seeking a new career? Good luck finding a job in your field without the access those job sites. Looking for love? You’re going to have to just head off to the bars and hope the guy or girl you are flirting with is not some sort of creep or predator. Trying to better your education and need to do a research paper with the latest information on your chosen subject? Better hope someone wrote a book within the last few year. Unless you can pay handsomely for your internet services, you will have to suffer.

Yes, we should be angry.

If I am being honest, I am more annoyed that this is what gets my generation fired up about the circus the government has become. There have been multiple incidents of sexual assault from men in power, minorities getting shot by police sworn to protect the public, people getting deported and losing their rights because their parents brought them over here as young children, and people banned from entering the country because the government says their country is bad, but it is the possibility of losing the internet that is getting my generation to take a moral stand.

This is such a millennial thing to do.

If this is what gets people to stand up and take notice of the America they now live in, then so be it.

Write letters to the FCC. Compose editorials in print newspapers. Call your senators and congressmen to get them to take action. Take to the streets and march for your freedom. Show the FCC and anyone that is trying to take our freedoms away that taking away the internet will not silence us.

Make them hear you.

A Voice in a Chorus

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I am one single person in a world of billions of people.

My life is just one of many that will pass by on this earth during the course of its own existence. My life and the characters that will play parts in the narrative of me will be forgotten to the future as time goes on. No matter what I am able to accomplish in my lifetime, no matter the type of person I end up being in the end, I will not make more than a tiny little scratch on the surface of the world. I am only one of many.

Basically, I do not matter to the universe and its operations at all.

Over the last twenty-four hours or so, we’ve seen a shift the political world. The normally  republican state of Alabama has fallen to the democrats with the election of senator-elect Doug Jones. As the voting for this historic election was taking place, there were rallying cries on both sides of the political divide that every vote matters on this historic day. People were being told that a single vote could shift the balance to one side or the other. In the end, the results were fairly close, but one candidate did manage to gather more votes than their opponent.

That’s votes. As in, more than one.

The reason Doug Jones won, other than his merits as a candidate and the allegations against his opponent, was that groups of people game together and made an impact. Groups of people came to the polls ready for change in the state they lived in. It was not just one vote; it was several votes that saved the day for Alabama. People cried out in unison for the person they believed would help their state the most, and they became a chorus of change that could not be ignored.

How can I see that and hope to make a difference in the world as just one person?

I have always had a desire to make the world a better place for myself and the people of the world. I would like to think I have a pretty solid moral compass and clearly know what is right and what is wrong. Currently, the world is on fire, unfortunately literally for some places like California, and there is so much in the world that needs to be fixed.

I know what I want to do, but it feels like I am standing at the blaze of world’s fire with a dollar store water pistol.

Can one person make a difference? I’m a non-republican, too conservative to be democrat but too liberal to be a conservative, and I live in a republican area with my republican family. I try to make small changes and plant the seeds for ideas for a better world, but it is hard when you are the only one.  How does a pebble motivate the mountain to move? It just seems impossible some days.

I’m not one in a million; I’m just one of a million.

One Vote

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Well, today has been an anxiety provoking day.

Hasn’t it, America?

Ever since last year’s intense and volatile presidential election, people have seen the effect of large groups of people coming together to fight hard for the candidate they believe will best help craft the United States of America of their dreams. After the strictly conservative right became the majority in the government, the Democrats have worked tirelessly to attempt to tip the balance more towards their own favor. While people can protest and march in an attempt to oppose people and policies that they view as negative, one of the more effective ways of creating change in the current government seems to be by influencing particular elections to go in a different way. Small elections across the country have been won and lost for the Democrats and Republicans, but it is in the larger state elections where the entire country, including civilians and celebrities, take notice and do everything in their power to try and force the elections to end in a desired result.

The fight seems to have come to a bit of a head in the normally republican state of Alabama.

I live in Pennsylvania, but the senatorial election in Alabama has been flooding my various social media news feeds for months now. Being a typically republican state, some conservatives viewed this elections as an easy win. Democrats saw this as an opportunity to flip a seat. The normal political mud slinging started as usually, but then the story took a weirdly dark and creepy turn. Republican candidate Roy Moore started getting accused of sexual assault of multiple minors. The story began to spiral out of control, and suddenly, the easy seat was not so easy as the Democrats produced seemingly decent candidate with little scandal found to his name. Even with all of the accusations and a few questionable quotes from various campaign rallies, some republicans still believed that Moore was better than voting for a democrat. The election came very close to night with each candidate spending some time at the top of the polls. However, when the smoke cleared, the results would shock the red state of Alabama.

Doug Jones, the Democratic nominee, wins in the end.

Celebrities who identify as democrats rallied hard for this man, and I genuinely think this largely helped Jones gain a following. From volunteering their time in the state whether they were native or otherwise to promoting the election and how to vote of their own social media accounts, people gather together to support the candidate they thought best represented America.

Time to say goodbye to Roy Moore…

…and the horse he rode in on.

(Look it up; he came to the polls on horseback)

When Giants Fall

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The New England Patriots are losing, and the game is almost into the fourth quarter.

Better yet, they are losing to the Miami Dolphins.

Watching football always makes for an entertaining evening. There is action, uncertainty, hope, fear, excitement. There are hits that happen so hard that careers are ended, and there are fines so high that they are more than I make in a year. The game’s outcome is left uncertain until the final second of the last fifteen minutes of the game. Even then, they can apparently still run a play or two with no time on the clock. It can be exciting, but it can also drive you absolutely insane when your favorite team is playing. If your team is down well during this particular season, than you watch for a win to better your chances of making it to the Super Bowl. If your team has not been performing well, than you are just looking for some indication that there is still some life in your favorite teams.

I am an Indianapolis Colts fan, so I am just all out of hope and just want to make sure there is still a shred of the former Super Bowl champs still left.

My team has not done well in the past couple of years. We have struggled with injuries and poor play calls. They just are not the team I grew up watching. When I watch a Colts game, I am proud until we reach the fourth quarter when I have to hide under a blanket, leave the room, or turn off the game as they always end up falling apart in the last fifteen minutes of the game. Their games are exciting and then disappointing, and it is getting exhausting to watch as a fan.

It’s nice to watch a game where I do not have a true care in who wins and to see a team I do not necessarily care for lose.

Sure, the Patriots will probably pull a win out of the air as there is still a quarter left. They have proven themselves to be able to do this before. I cannot say whether or not I think the team is actually good or whether quarterback Tom Brady deserves the hype he always gets, but the Patriots always seem to pull out a win. They have a good system in place and have five Super Bowl rings. Unfortunately, they also have a history of playing a little dishonestly.

Maybe I am rejoicing because the giants of the National Football League are being defeated by a team most people do not always think of as good.

Oh never mind, I started this post when before the game ended, and finished just as the game has reached its finale.

How about ‘dem Dolphins!

Miami wins.

Winter has Come

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Apparently, I am less like Elsa from Disney’s Frozen than I had initially thought.

The cold does in fact bother me.

It bothers me a lot.

Right now, during the middle of December, I am wrapped up in a knitted blanket and covered by about five more blankets. My bed has become my evening resting place in my attempts to combat the cold in the air. My feet are currently wrapped up in a new pair of slipper socks, and I am sipping a hot cup of tea trying in vain to warm up from the icy grip of December. I have been trying my absolute hardest to find some way of raising my body temperature, but I am still catching the worst chill.

I hate this cold so much, which is weird if you knew how much I actually love winter.

Normally, I am an absolute ice princess. Part of the reason for that is my normal body temperature. You know how there is always that one person in a group that cannot get warm. It can be the middle of June, and this person will be bundled up in scarves and jackets. Well, I am normally just the opposite. I am usually someone who always runs a little hot. I always have to dress in layers at work because I will always end up taking as many off as I can and still look work appropriate. My air conditioner in my bedroom is almost always on at full blast at the highest setting, and I will still wake up in a sweat. Typically, I run hot and prefer it to be a bit cooler.

I finally took out my air conditioner two days ago.

The first major snow storm finally graced northeastern Pennsylvania, and I am hating it. It hit on a day when I was about an hour from home at a resort water park. While I should have left the idea of the cold and the snow covered landscape outside until I was leaving, the idea of my new car attempting to venture back home kept my from fully enjoying my water filled day inside. As I left, the chill of the air mixed with my anxiety of my brother attempting, successfully I should add, to maneuver my car home. I tried to take in the beauty of the snow covered landscape because snow in the mountains is always a sight, but all I could worry about is my new car getting destroyed and how cold I still felt even when I was inside a warm car.

It makes me sad because snow usually brings me such joy.

I think I am finally growing up when it comes try this time of year because I am not seeing the wonder in the season as I once had. Usually, I rejoiced when there was a blanket of snow on the ground. Now, I worry about the roads and my car. I used to enjoy the cold weather as it set in.

Now, I freeze.