Reasons to Fight For Democracy: The Mass Graves in Ukraine and the Murder of Mahsa Amini

It’s easy to get discouraged about the state of democracy these days. But what we have to remember is that it is worth fighting for.

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia has been going on since the winter. In the liberated city of Izium, mass graves were discovered. So far, the number of bodies is over 400. Many of those killed were civilians and children.

Warning: the images may be distressing.

If this discovery is not enough to the world that Putin must be stopped and forced to stand trial, I don’t know what is. Unless we make it clear that this type of action is unacceptable, it will happen again.

In Iran, Mahsa Amini, a Kurdish woman, was killed by the morality police. Her crime was supposedly an issue with her headscarf. Since 1979, it has been compulsatory. As a result, protests have broken out. Many women have cut their hair and refused to wear the hijab in response to Amini’s death.

Religion of any kind is all well and good. But when the majority forces their beliefs on the minority and believes that one gender is superior or inferior to another, that is a problem we cannot ignore. If we do, it is at our own peril.

May Mahsa Amini’s memory and the memories of those murdered by Russia since the beginning of the war be a blessing. Z”L.

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The Comparisons Between Israel and the Conflict in Ukraine is Both Wrong and Dangerous

Comparisons during any international conflict are inevitable. What we have to remember is to ask ourselves if this correlation is being backed up by facts or lies?

The war between Russia and Ukraine is nearly a month old. Too many have been killed, millions have been displaced, and a generation has been forever changed due to the ego of one man. Instead of doing what they can to stop Vladimir Putin from doing any more damage, some people have decided to distort the truth to fit their perspective.

Antisemitism is being used once more to twist what we know to be true. The claim is that Israel is to Russia as Palestine is to Ukraine. In other words, Israel is (again) the big bad and Palestine is the little person trying to defend themselves. As usual, the reality is being ignored. Not only is humanitarian aid being sent, but both the Israeli government and its citizens have welcomed refugees of all faiths and backgrounds.

Truth is powerful. It transcends disinformation and forces us to face facts. But, in order to do that, we must be willing to put aside our prejudices and what we think we know. The problem is that too many are unwilling or unable to see the truth.

The Little Girl Singing “Let It Go” in Ukraine Gives Me Hope

It is easy to go down a dark rabbit hole when war is knocking at your door.

The war in Ukraine has been going on for more than two weeks. The images of death, destruction, and millions of refugees leaving the country are enough to make one believe that the future is bleak.

Then hope arrived in the most unlikely of ways.

Earlier this week, a video was released of a young girl in an air raid shelter singingLet It Go” from the Disney movie Frozen.

Her innocence is the light in the darkness that we all need right now. There is obviously no way to know when this war will end. But even with all of the heaviness, there is something to fight for and someone who believes in the possibilities that the future holds.

More Republican Fuckery: FL’s “Don’t Say Gay” Law, TX’s Anti-Transgender, Cowardly Kevin McCarthy, and MI’s Banning Contraception For Married Couples

It says something about a nation when one political party is focused on the future and bringing people together while the other one is focused on the past and pulling people apart.

In both Texas and Florida, laws against the LGBTQ community and LGBTQ kids have created a dangerous precedent that puts lives at risk. As of Monday, the “Don’t Say Gay” law in Florida is one step closer to becoming law. The details of the bill are as follows:

Should the bill become law, Florida educators would be barred from speaking to primary school students about certain LGBTQ+ topics that are not considered “age-appropriate or developmentally appropriate for students.”

Under the bill, parents would also have greater authority to take legal action against school districts they believe to be in violation.

In Texas, parents of transgender children who seek out hormone therapy to help their offspring become their true selves could be characterized as child abusers. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to foresee the potential mental health issues that may have a hugely detrimental effect on an entire generation. If we lose young lives due to these laws, the blood will be on the hands of those who wrote and supported these pieces of legislation.

Several weeks ago, Kevin McCarthy was asked by a member of the press about January 6th. Instead of answering her question, he ran away.

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Contrast this to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. When asked by the US if he wanted to get out of the line of fire, he said no and asked for ammunition. We should all be so lucky to have a President like him.

Finally, in Michigan, the three Republican candidates for State Attorney General were asked about the 1965 Supreme Court decision Griswold vs. Connecticut. The ruling states that married couples can buy contraception without the government stepping in. All three of them (who are all men, if it was not already obvious) state that they believed it was up to the state and not the federal government.

Who are they to make these decisions? When Roe V. Wade was ratified as the law of the land in 1972, it came down to privacy. That same concept applies to married couples. The choice to end a pregnancy and/or use contraception is one that belongs to those who are involved in that process and no one else.

Just another day of Republican fuckery.

P.S. I hope I was not the only was one who was offended and horrified by the outburst by Lauren Boebert and Marjorie Taylor Greene during last night’s State of the Union. It was akin to drunken idiots insulting the opposing team during a baseball or football game. What is worse is that they chose to do this when President Biden was speaking about his son who he lost to cancer. How much more disrespectful can they get?

From Russia With News: The Ukrainian Invasion and Kamila Valieva

When the Berlin Wall fell on November 9th, 1989, it was supposed to mark an era of peace and cooperation. Thirty-plus years later, that promise is nothing but empty words.

For the last few weeks, Vladimir Putin has been threatening to invade Ukraine. He also blamed the United States for opening the door to war and demanded that NATO not extend an invite to Ukraine to join this international organization. Thankfully, NATO did not give in.

Putin is not dumb, by any stretch of the imagination. He knows what he wants. He also knows the obstacles that stand in his way. If the Ukrainian government joins NATO, his bully pulpit is diminished considerably. Even if the invitation never comes, the support by the US, the rest of Europe, and NATO might be enough to keep his ambitions at bay.

The question is now, will this turn into the beginning of World War III, or is the rest of the world strong enough to stop Putin? The history nerd in me can’t help but see the similarities of the German occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1938.

While this is happening, a young woman’s life has been forever altered. Kamila Valieva was a favorite among the crowd at the recently concluded 2022 Olympics in Beijing. The expectation that she would return home with a gold medal seemed to be set in stone. During routine testing for banned substances, one was found in her system. This opened the door to questions of cheating and coming home without the highly anticipated first-place status.

My heart breaks for this kid. Getting to this level of competition requires more than talent. The drive that is needed to get to the Olympics is one that many would back away from. I don’t blame her, I blame the adults who were willing to cut corners to win, even if it meant sacrificing their star athlete in the process.

When this news broke, Sha’Carri Richardson spoke out about the obvious racial double standard. While she is 100% correct, what I think we have to remember is that Ms. Richardson is an adult. Ms. Valieva is a minor. It is possible that she may have been coerced or lied to about the reason for taking it.

I was in elementary school when the Berlin Wall fell. I can only hope that today’s elementary school kids will know a world of peace. But it looks like we may going to war, once again.

The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed Book Review

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words.

The Ravine: A Family, a Photograph, a Holocaust Massacre Revealed, by Wendy Lower, was published last month.

Back in 2009, Lower was shown a photograph taken during World War II. It shows the the massacre of Jews in an open pit (known as the Holocaust by Bullets) outside of a town in the Ukraine. The Ukrainian man holding the rifle is aiming for a woman who is holding the hand of a little boy. Taking the picture to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C., she was determined to find out the fate and identities of those in the picture.

I loved this book. It takes a moment within this time period and blows it up in a way that humanizes this very dark period in history. When most people think of the Holocaust, they think of the ghettos and the concentration camps. They don’t think of the millions who were forced to dig their own graves before being murdered.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Proof is in the Whistleblower Transcript

Every President has distinguished themselves and their administration over the last 200+ years. Our current President has distinguished himself and his administration by openly and repeatedly flouting respected political norms and laws, using his office for personal gain and leading America away from democracy.

But developments over the last few days may be the event that gets America back on track.

The complete transcript from the whistleblower was released today. The following lines stood out to me.

“There’s a lot of talk about Biden’s son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great,” Mr. Trump is summarized as saying. “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it… It sounds horrible to me.”

Here it is in, in black and white. The President of the United States of America is asking the leader of a foreign country to help him win the next Presidential election. Instead of being an adult and attempting to win the election by reaching out to American voters, he is cross legal and moral boundaries to get what he wants.

If this is not a reason to get him out of office, either by impeachment or by voting him out of office, I don’t know what is.

Malaysian Flight 17

In case you haven’t been reading any newspapers or watching the news this week, Malaysian Flight 17 was shot down in the Ukraine.

Nearly 300 people were killed.

Ukrainian officials are pointing fingers at the pro-Russian separatists, while the Russian government is pointing their fingers at the Ukraine.

Pointing fingers is not going to help the investigation. It only makes it more difficult. What matters now is that whomever aimed the anti-aircraft missile at the commercial aircraft carrying civilians is brought to justice.

I would normally end this post with RIP, but considering the way these people died, RIP only seems appropriate when the killers are brought to justice.

 

 

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