Saturday, May 13, 2017

My Mom is Awesome

Normally on Mother’s Day, I like to repost the story about the time she and I managed to clog the entire plumbing system of a Greek island.

This year, however, has been a different sort of crapfest—one I would not and could not have survived without her. I figure she deserves a little more of a write up this time than an embarrassing bathroom story (no matter how epic and hilarious it may be). 


When I was little, the prospect of going underwater for any amount of time terrified me. This wasn’t due to an inherent fear of drowning or anything normal like that. It was because I thought that Monstro, the whale from the 1940’s Pinocchio animated movie, would eat me.

Considering all the childhood nightmare fuel that film contains, I’m not sure why I latched onto the whale like I did. Perhaps it was because the story of Jonah and the Whale is one of the first stories used to introduce kids to the Bible. There’s plenty of debate about whether or not stories from the Old Testament are to be interpreted literally. But to my four-year-old mind, the tale was church sanctioned confirmation that a whale could in fact be an evil, man-eating creature…and this one had an appetite for children.

In an effort to help me overcome my cetaphobia (a fear of whales…and yes it’s real thing), my mom said that if I managed to go underwater at a YMCA swim lesson, she would reward me with a Bossk action figure.

At the time, I had no idea I would eventually become obsessed with both the Star Wars movies and the tiny pieces of plastic that went along with them, which now adorn multiple shelves and wall areas in my office. I didn’t even know who Bossk was back then besides being “the cool lizard man” that showed up onscreen for a few seconds in The Empire Strikes Back.

“Didn’t he have elbows in the movie?”

I also knew there was no way my mom would let me go underwater at the YMCA if it wasn’t safe. Still, the prospect of Monstro showing up to devour me continued to wage war with my desire to own a real life piece of my favorite film. Then, as we got in the car to leave for the pool, my mom played the ultimate trump card: She took Bossk out of her purse and showed him to me.

She’d already bought the toy. That meant that as soon as I conquered my fears, the action figure would immediately be mine.

When my turn at the pool came, I took a deep breath, submerged myself under the water, and discreetly went ballistic. I say “discreetly” because I was still under the illusion that the space beneath the pool’s surface constituted a different world. As far as I was concerned, the only thing that could hear or see me screaming into the chlorine-filled abyss was a giant two-dimensional whale. The poor girl running the swim lesson probably thought the geyser of bubbles I’d created was from my bowels emptying.

Fortunately, both my sphincter and my mom’s assurances of safety remained true. I’d gone underwater and survived.

I don’t actually remember the moment my mom gave me that cherished Bossk action figure. You’d think such a momentous occasion would be burned into my memory, but what really stuck with me from that ordeal was the fact that my mom believed in me. Despite my crippling fear of a cartoon whale, I wasn’t oblivious enough to think she would buy and show me a toy if my success wasn’t a safe bet. She not only knew I could do it, but she knew I would do it, too.

In the grand scheme of things, that terrifying dive into a highly controlled environment constituted an exceptionally small victory in my life. My mom’s faith, however, would end up being more valuable than I could possibly imagine.


If the world ever becomes boring enough that the story of my life is written, it will be severely lacking in the absent and/or abusive parent portion that makes for a more compelling narrative. I’ve been extremely lucky to have two loving parents who were both heavily interested and involved in my life.

As far as interests go, I definitely take after my dad. If there’s a good story/franchise involving monsters, aliens, malevolent spirits, or anything can just plain scare the crap out of you, we’re 100% on board.

You think Mom would let us keep this in the house?

We like to suit up in our customized paintball gear and hunt each other on various playing fields in Georgia and South Carolina (which sometimes ends with us squealing like terrified kittens after we ambush one another at the exact same time).

Together, we can wonder the hallways of a large comic con or watch financial news shows and become equally enthralled.

Despite my father having no affiliation to the University of Kentucky (besides the fact that I attend school there and graduated from it), he reacts to the athletic programs’ results with the same elation or despair that I do.

We call each other to complain about how bad The Walking Dead was this past season or how Stranger Things might be the greatest television show ever made.

Mom’s interests, on the other hand, do not often align with ours. When Dad and I react favorably to a promo or trailer for some new action/horror movie, she will usually roll her eyes and say “You guys can see that one without me.”

Where I do take after my her, however, is in my personality—particularly with regard to my sense of humor. We are both the type of people who will walk onto an airplane wearing neck pillows on our heads like hats, smiling and waving to the strangers around us as if we’re greeting a throng of adoring fans. We can also laugh at one another’s embarrassing-yet-harmless misfortunes—like when I forget what the safety key on a treadmill is for.

One area where I strive to take after my mom (but cannot possibly match her) is her ability to nurture people’s hearts. I know lots of folks think their mom is the most loving and caring person on the planet, but my mom’s so good that she’s made a volunteer career out of it as a Stephen Minister.

In addition to her uncanny knack for showing love and empathy to an unfathomable degree, she’s also great at helping people find strength and potential within themselves that they didn’t know they had. While I was growing up, Mom never allowed me to retreat into my introverted shell for unhealthy amounts of time. Despite my general (and often severe) lack of self confidence, she still managed to convince me that I needed to try new things—and that I could actually be good at some of them.

Sometimes, she was right…like with band, which started as something I had to be convinced was worth sticking to and soon grew into a passion that eventually become a beloved career.

Other times, she wasn’t…like with soccer.

The kid playing goalie in the gif isn’t me.
I was actually much worse.

This wasn’t some helicopter parent demanding her kid try things until they succeeded at something so she could brag to other moms at the PTA meetings. When my mom got the sense I really didn’t like something (like soccer…and tennis), she didn’t push it. But when she saw me struggling or losing hope in something I loved, she refused to let me give up. Instead, she would gently but firmly push me to face down whatever new Monstro I’d concocted inside my head.

If I succeeded, we’d celebrate. If I failed, she would pick me back up and help me try again. No matter what happened, though, I knew that if my mom was supporting me and refusing to let me give up, then at least one person in the world truly believed I could do it.


On March 19, 2017, my life took a substantially drastic and severe turn. I won’t get into it here (yet), but let’s just say that it was a shock I was in no way, shape, or form, prepared for. What started out as a relaxing day watching Kentucky win an NCAA tournament game turned into arguably the worst night of my entire life.


When it happened, part of me didn’t want to call my parents. I was so embarrassed that my life could implode so spectacularly without me having a clue it was coming. But my parents had always been there for me when I needed them—and now I would need them more than ever. I also knew that my mom wouldn’t let me drown even though all I wanted to do was sink and let this new Monstro, which bigger and more terrifying than any of the others before it, swallow me whole.

Despite both my parents being similarly shocked and heartbroken over the news, Mom immediately shifted into warrior mode, packing her bags and preparing to tear asphalt from Atlanta to Charleston. In one of the very few moments of levity from that evening, my dad nervously described her as having gone “full mama grizzly bear.”

“It’s actually pretty scary,” he said.

If we’d both been thinking more clearly at the time, we probably would’ve said that mom had actually gone “full Ripley.” Like the badass hero from one of my dad and I’s favorite movies, mom was ready and willing to combat any danger to her child’s wellbeing…

…except instead of going to rescue Newt, a plucky pint-sized survivor with an adorably weird way of saying the word “mostly,” she was going to a son in the midst of a full-blown, Hudson-level meltdown.

My face was locked in this expression for 24 hours before she got here.

When my mom arrived, she hit hard with love and support. Lots of hugging, lots of holding me while I cried, and plenty of reassurances that I would make it through this. She also assured me that she would be here as long as I needed and make sure the dogs were okay when I wasn’t home.

Then she got to work.

Sometimes it was little things, like making me promise to open the blinds every morning to let sunlight into the house…which actually made a much bigger difference than I would’ve expected. Or insisting I eat healthy meals—together—instead of going off by myself to gorge on comfort food. She helped me get the house clean and keep it that way (although my resistance to properly folding t-shirts remains a hill I’m willing to die on).

Other times, it was simply having someone there to talk to and joke around with. Laughing and smiling were not actions I’d expected to do for a very long time. Now it was my general state of being before I turned in most nights.

Most importantly, my mom refused to let me to wallow in my own despair. This wasn’t a simple matter of cheerleading or steady positive messaging, either. There were plenty of times I really did just want to give up. No day has been worse than March 19, but I’ve had a couple since that came close. Each time I started to sink, my mom was there with all the love and support I could ask for along with a firm resolve to not let me drown. No matter how much I wanted to give in and let the depression swallow me into a void isolation and defeat, she refused to let me to do it.

She didn’t plead or cajole. She didn’t offer me an action figure, either (in case you were wondering). Instead, she would give some variation of “I love you and you are not worthless. Now get back up off the mat and fight.”

I think she might’ve also called me “Rock” and
forced me to chase a chicken around the yard a couple times, too.

I realize that the “fight” part of all this might not seem like much, especially since it’s mostly inside my own head. But as someone who already suffers from clinical depression, dealing with the sudden and unexpected implosion of my life on top of it has been by far the hardest battle I’ve ever fought…one I couldn’t still be fighting and surviving right now if it wasn’t for my mom.


Sometimes, heroics are erroneously linked to physical or lethal force. One reason I love the movie Aliens so much is because its protagonist, Ellen Ripley, completely turns this common trope on its head. She’s not at all like the heavily armed, gun-ho soldiers surrounding her at the start of the film. But when the poop starts hitting the fan, and when the life of her surrogate daughter Newt is directly threatened, Ripley’s motherly instincts kick in, turning her into one of the most badass characters in movie history.

Chances are that my mom doesn’t see any sort of connection between her and the characters from a lot of the movies and TV shows my dad and I like. She can’t wield a katana blade like Michonne or fire a pair of pistols like Black Widow. She doesn’t have super powers like Jessica Jones or Eleven (I think).

But I hope she knows that to me and Dad—along with the countless others my mom has counseled over the year—she’s one hell of a warrior. The type of person you can depends on not only for comfort and protection, but to be a source of strength, as well. When it comes to the wars waged by the human soul, there’s no person I’d rather follow into battle than her.

And if monsters like the Alien Queen did exist—and ever threatened to harm me or my dad—I have no doubt that my mom would find a way to step into a power loader, utter some variation of Ripley’s most famous line, and smash the creature into submission. It wouldn’t matter that she was scared out of her mind (like anyone else would be). My mom is the type of person who does whatever is necessary to protect and defend the people she loves, especially her family. I consider myself incalculably lucky to be considered part of both those groups.

Thank you for everything, Mom. I’ve always known you were a great parent, but these last two months have proven it once again. I love you and appreciate you so, so much…even when you get mad at me for how I put my clothes away.

PS: Because it’s too good not to share—and a bit of a tradition at this point—here’s the story about us clogging the entire plumbing system on the island of Naxos. 

Saturday, November 12, 2016

7 Good Things For Everyone (Yes, Everyone) About a Trump Presidency

No, this is not another straight white guy telling you that a Trump presidency won’t affect you. Women, people of color, and the LGQBT have legitimate reasons to be terrified about the what our country will be like during the next few years.

But believe it or not, there are a few things about a Trump presidency that will benefit everyone.

1. No ‘Going Rogue’ Remnant

Although I voted for Barrack Obama in 2008, I still thought that John McCain was a pretty solid guy. In the years to come, however, I began to despise him. Not just for becoming a full-fledged obstructionist (bad) or thinking that gay people were not capable of effectively serving in our military (worse), but because of this:

Sarah Palin, America’s walking bowl of vinegar-soaked word salad, was spawned from the ashes of McCain’s failed (yet otherwise dignified) 2008 presidential campaign. Her time as our country’s potential vice president was rife with pitfalls and confusion, which included:

- Saying that she had foreign policy experience because Russia could be seen from certain parts of Alaska.

- Refusing to name any specific news sources when Katie Couric asked what newspapers and magazines she read.

But it wasn’t until she quit her job as Alaska’s governor and attempted to become a political pundit/brand that things really went off the rails. Freed from the shackles of a campaign cycle, Palin abandoned whatever remained of her word-to-mouth filter and went full bore stupid.

A few highlights:

- Claimed that Paul Revere was “ringing those bells” to warn the British (?) that they couldn’t take the Americans’ guns (and steadfastly refused to admit that her version of history was grossly inaccurate).

- Invented new (and painfully dumb) words.

- Morphed into a full blown a parody of herself by telling immigrants to the United States that they should “speak American.”

It got so bad that she was actually fired from Fox News for being too stupid, which is like being kicked off a rugby team for being too aggressive.

But despite Palin’s clear lack of mental fitness, she still managed to become a key member/instigator of the Tea Party, an ultraconservative political movement which aggravated a large portion of humanity even most Republicans.

Part of what allowed a person like her (and others listed below) to ride the Tea Party to prominence was their gospel of false disenfranchisement. What Palin and her ilk lacked in smarts, they made up for in sound and fury. They were able to get people to protest tax increases after Obama cut middle/low income taxes to their lowest level in years. Palin herself was one of the “masterminds” behind making people believe that the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) would include “Death Panels,” which would decide if seniors and critically disabled people were worth receiving medical care.

Most egregious, however, was their 8-year long scream that the country’s economy was spiraling down the toilet as it was actually grew at a consistent (if unremarkable) rate. Considering the near apocalyptic state our economy was when Obama took over for Bush, I'd say should have qualified as a clear win.

But now that the Republicans control the White House and both houses, the economy should be even better, right? I mean, there’s absolutely no way this turns out like a dog finally catching the car its been chasing down the street for eight years only to get rolled up under the wheels.

It’s all fun and games being the underdog until you’re handed every single tool you need to succeed. Then it’s time to put up or shut up. Add in the fact that Trump is getting a significantly better starting point than Obama did in 2008, and Republicans have a whole lot of “putting up” to do. 8 year’s worth, in fact.

And whether they succeed (unlikely) or not (heh), people like Palin—who’ve been telling us that this very scenario would lead to OMG YOU GUYS THE GREATEST ECONOMY EVAR—don’t have anything to protest anymore…or for the next two years, at least.

2. Alex Jones’ Head Might Explode

Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones has been predicting the imminent end of civilization since 1996. More specifically, he claims that the world’s political and economic elite will reduce the global population by approximately 80% while they continue to live forever via advanced technology and/or dark magic.

As you might have noticed, their plan doesn’t seem to be going very well.

Jones also has a penchant for claiming that everything is a conspiracy, from the Sandy Hook Massacre (never happened) to Justin Beiber (wish it never happened). Don’t believe me about The Beibes? Watch below—and make sure your sound isn’t turned up too high.

He can even create conspiracies out of things you didn’t think were possible—like his claim that the United States is dumping Prozac in our drinking water, which is making shrimp suicidal and causing fish and frogs to turn gay.

Lest you think he’s not taken seriously by anyone, Jones’ concerns about the Department of Homeland stockpiling ammunition inspired Congressional action to prevent it. He was also one of the main proponents behind making people believe that a recent large military training operation (Jade Helm 15) was actually a government takeover of Texas…including the actual governor of Texas.

"I don't care who this 'Marshal Law' fella is, 
he's not getting anywhere near my guns or my freedom!"

But to Jones’ credit, he has remained steadfastly consistent in his condemnation of the United States presidency. Whether it was a Democrat or Republican occupying the office, Jones fervently declared them to be a part of the “New World Order” that would soon enslave and/or kill us all. He has supported presidential candidates before, but always ones who were on the fringe and not in any way close to the popular vote.

When Jones hitched his wagon to Trump, he probably thought (like the rest of us) that The Donald had no shot at the White House. Trump’s lack of political experience, brash nature, and constant criticism from the “establishment” made him the perfect spoiler candidate. Add in the fact that he was running against Hillary Clinton—who is arguably the ultimate Washington insider—and Jones probably got so excited that he didn’t even need the boner pills and vitality juice he sells on his website. Hillary would win, Trump would claim it was rigged, and he would have four years of solid shadow government conspiracy material to pull out of his ass.

But to the surprise of almost everyone—including Trump himself—The Donald won. Now Jones finds himself in the precarious position of supporting a man who occupies a position he has consistently called a puppet of the New World Order. How can Jones claim to be fighting the good fight against the Illuminati when he unwittingly gave one of its new figureheads his full-throated support?

Paradox shut down initiated...

And in case you think Jones might admit his "mistake" and turn on Trump, that’s not happening. He never apologizes for any of his growing list of failed predictions. Ever. The closest he ever came was telling Eddie Bravo he was “just joking” when he tried to live broadcast the end of the world during Y2K.

Yep. Poor Mr. Jones might lose all his tinfoil hat street cred, forcing him to close up shop and slink back to his $1 million gated community home.

3. Sean Hannity & Rush Limbaugh 
Will Have Nothing To Talk About.

Remember that beautiful silence we got from Michael Moore after Obama was elected? Oh sure, he emerged from his luxurious mansion occasionally to decry the evils of capitalism. But for the most part, both liberals and conservatives were free from having to hear his stream of sanctimonious half-truths and outright lies.

Unfortunately, he’s probably going to be around a lot more now, especially after predicting Trump’s win). But for two of his equally idiotic conservative counterparts, the political cycle of silence has finally come.

They’ll likely fight it for as long as they can, but without the opposite party in power, the pair will see a significant decrease in both audience and media attention.

Or maybe they’ll both do what Glenn Beck did and admit it’s all just an act. Probably not, but we can dream.

4. A Renewed Emphasis on Critical Thinking

As a liberal trying to reconcile Trump’s ascent to the presidency, it’s easy to take an elitist stance and declare that his supporters are stupid. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Remember the Sarah Palin-led Tea Party we talked about? There’s a decent amount of evidence that many Tea Party members are pretty well educated. And even though Trump was ferociously backed by his beloved uneducated supporters, he got a substantial amount of votes from (white) college educated voters

Also, I’m sure all of us have at least one anecdote about screaming at a smart acquaintance, friend, or family member for supporting suchan objectively terrible candidate. For me, that person was Brett J. Talley, one of my favorite authors. He’s also a Harvard Law graduate and a hell of a lot smarter than I am. So when Trump tried to deny that he said global warming was a myth created by China, I decided to ask Mr. Talley what he thought.

"...probably thought it sounded good when he said it?" Seriously?

And lest you think this cognitive blind spot is limited to conservatives, here’s another personal anecdote from the other side of the political aisle.

Last year, one of the smartest and most accomplished educators I know—who is also an unabashed Hillary supporter—challenged people to provide him with any documented evidence that Clinton was dishonest. Despite my detest for Trump, I couldn’t help but recall Clinton’s infamous (and fake) Bosnian plane landing story, which she told during the 2008 campaign until it was exposed as an outright lie.

My friend was taken aback at first. Then he collected himself and claimed that this act of blatant dishonesty was “no big deal” because it was “just a tall tale.” He ended his justification by saying “even my own grandmother does that sometimes.”

Both of these people would wipe the floor with me in an IQ test. The one place I may have them beat, however, is the ability to fight my gut when evidence is presented for something that runs contrary to my own personal views/bias. It is a learned skill, which started with my own father and was carried on by various teachers and mentors.

I often joke that I used to be a conservative until I started reading more, but the reality is that my shift toward the left began when I was asked to examine my conservative viewpoints from every possible angle. I eventually learned that many of the beliefs I held were based on nothing but rhetoric and absorbing the same ideas as the majority of people around me. It was a hard lesson, but it opened my eyes to how it important it was to put logic before politics.

Want to see it in action? Here are a couple examples you can try out on your own that never fail to give even my smartest conservative friends pause:

- Next time someone rants about how we need to drug test welfare recipients, ask if they believe that executives at corporations receiving government bailouts should be drug tested, as well. If/when they dismissively say “sure, them too,” ask why they aren’t posting memes or rants about it, as well…especially since drug testing welfare recipients has proven to be a waste of tax dollars.

- Next time someone says they are pro-life, ask them this series of questions:

1.) Do you believe abortion is murder?

2.) If so, then what have you done to stop thousands of murders happening in your own state, town, or county? (Besides making Facebook posts and voting for prolife politicians who don’t do anything about it).

3.) If you refuse to try and stop abortions from happening because “it’s the law,” doesn’t that make you just as bad as Germans in the 1930’s who saw what was happening to the Jews—and didn’t act for the same reason)?

4.) Look up the distance to the nearest clinic that provides abortions. Then ask your prolife friend if government agents were executing unwanted (and fully born) children at this proximity, would you still be able to live your life the way you are now—and continue to do nothing?

5.) If so, then what is the difference?

You may not change many minds, but you will get them thinking beyond their gut level entrenched viewpoints.

It’s also on us to teach our children to think critically. Notice that I didn’t say “indoctrinate.” Teaching kids to examine and process information into their own ideas means that inevitably, they won’t agree with you on some things—and that’s good. 

Would you rather they inform themselves based on entrenched and repeated mantras? Then have them watch Fox News. Would you rather have change their ideals and principals based on whatever they feel that moment? The have them watch any other media outlet.

But if we want our children to form ideas based on evidence and genuine beliefs, then lets teach them to sift through the noise on both sides of the political spectrum. I think that one generation may already be starting to do that….

5. Millennials Finally Get Some Respect

Millennials are mercilessly gaslighted by every generation behind them, including mine. While some of the criticism may be warranted, it’s usually very unfair. For starters, the generations criticizing them are the same ones who:

- Lost their damn minds over white and black people having to share a school or even a water fountain together.
- Polluted the environment so much that we’re past the point of no return on climate change.
- Turned the American college/university system into a profit center and debt generator.
- Ignored A.I.D.S until it became an epidemic.
- Obliterated the economy and housing market.
- Invented capri pants.
- Put Trump in the Oval Office.

You know who didn’t vote for Trump? Millenials.

While many from my generation believe a man who consistently stiffs his contractors and routinely fails at running businesses can improve the economy, they saw through the rhetoric.

Still think millennials are stupid and coddled? Then someone please explain how Newt Gingrich can straight up admit that Trump’s promise to make Mexico pay for the wall was only a campaign tactic—and my parent’s generation just shrugs their shoulders.

Or how about my grandparent’s generation, who are currently pleading for everyone to unite now that Trump is the president when they spent 8 years refusing to except Obama was even a U.S. citizen.

While us old folks continue to allow climate change deniers a voice, pretend the gender wage gap doesn't exist, and ignore institutional racism, millennials aren’t buying it. All the jokes about participation trophies ring hollow when many of us can’t be bothered to participate in making the world a better place beyond offering “thoughts and prayers” in our Facebook statuses.

It’s also worth noting that millennials are not as liberal as you might think. Plenty of my former students (who are now adults and make me feel super old) have embraced core conservative values while still being able to call a spade a spade.

Maybe it’s because they grew up with the internet and know their way around the Google machine—or maybe they’re smart enough to see that filling your presidential cabinet with Washington insiders is the exact opposite of “draining the swamp.”

But whatever the case, they seem to have a much better grasp of that whole “critical thinking” thing than a lot of us do.

6. Passive Support Becomes Active Work

As a straight white dude with a steady income, it's unlikely that I'll experience any significant fallout from Trump’s presidency—unless a world leader insults him on Twitter and triggers a nuclear war. But aside from that terrifyingly real possibility, I'll be fine. I might even get a lower tax bill.

Everyone else, though? They’re terrified, and rightfully so. Even if you believe that Trump won’t do anything extreme, put on your empathy pants for a minute and imagine the following:

- Being a woman in a country being led by a man who said “Women…you have to treat them like shit.”

- Being a Muslim in a country led by a man who believes your religious beliefs should require you to be registered like a criminal.

- Being a black person or any person of color in a country led by a man who was endorsed by the KKK, trumpets endorsements from white supremacists, and was sued by the Justice Department for refusing to rent apartments to black people.

- Being a gay or trans person in a country where the Vice President believes that how you are is a mental illness that the government should invest in trying to cure.

It’s easy for straight white guys like me to think that Trump won’t actually do these things—or to offer “thoughts and prayers” that his emboldened supporters will eventually calm down. But for the people listed above, the potential for violence and violation is not an abstract concept—it’s their lives. Lives that were already filled with daily struggles both big and small that are now about to become at best more stressful and potentially/likely a lot more dangerous.

Look, I’m not one of those “check your privilege” types, but this is Basic Human Empathy 101. Imagine going from having a black president to a white president who allegedly said to one of his closest advisors that blacks are inherently lazy. Or being a gay person who went from having your right to be married FINALLY recognized to having a Vice President who believes you are a walking abomination.

Ask a Muslim how often they’ve had people call them a terrorist or assume they hated America simply because of the way they chose to worship. Then ask if that type of behavior has increased or decreased since Trump won the election.

Do you know a woman who has ever been a victim of sexual assault? Then (very carefully) ask what she thinks about having a president who was RECORDED bragging about his ability to grab a woman “by the pussy” whether she wanted it or not.

These are our friends, coworkers, neighbors, and students—and they are under attack. Even if you don’t believe the reports about a surge in hate crimes since the election, it takes a lot of damn nerve to tell people they shouldn’t worry about their rights being stripped away until those in power go through with their pledges to do it.

And chances are that you will see people any one of these groups being harassed verbally or physically. Don’t be a bystander. Don’t make an empty promise to “vote for a better world” in two years. Step in and stand up. Right here. Right now.

And speaking of “two years,” start doing your research, become an informed voter, and show up to the midterm elections for once so you can make a difference…and for the love all that is good and holy, please stop writing in Harambe.

7. Ted Cruz Will Finally Stand Trial for the Zodiac Killings

Just kidding.

...or am I?

Please feel free to leave a comment below. If you'd like to sing my praises or tell me how terrible I am directly, I can also be found on Twitter. 

To get updates on when new articles or podcasts are published (and occasional random musings) 'Like' the official RamblingBeachCat.com Facebook page. Every time someone does, Ted Cruz sends another clue to the San Francisco Police Department.