Mewsings from Lowecat (aka Indianacat)

My rants, ravings, and overall 'mewsings' on life, the universe, and everything.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

An Unpopular Decision That Preserves Freedom of Speech

Unless, like the proverbial ostrich, you've had your head in the sand, then you know that the US Surpreme Court ruled in favor of that cache of nuts masquerading as religious zealots under the name of Westboro Baptist Church.
In an 8-1 vote, the highest court in the land has opined that not only dose this group have the right to protest at military funerals with their particular brand of hate speech; it is protected under the tenets of free speech as guaranteed under the First Amendment.
To say that the decision is unpopular is an understatement. This is one of those Kobayshi Maru situations; no clear win. Damned if you do/damned if you don't. Unlike James T. Kirk, the court couldn't reprogram the computer in order to find a way to win.
It's a double edged sword. Just because the protests that the members of this so - called 'church' make us angry and are hurtful to already grieving relatives of fallen military heroes, who is to judge that their comments should be censored, and if so, by whom?
Yeah, these religious people piss me off with what they're sayin'; frankly, the God I know may be jealous, but their contention that God is allowing military men and women to die in battle because America accepts homosexuality is WRONG! Hell, all a body has to do is look at the rainbow. God promised millenia ago that He would never wipe out Mankind again like he did in the time of Noah. The rainbow was His on going reminder that He would keep His word. Since homosexuals and military men/women are part of that all mankind thing, their contention holds about as much water as a leaky sieve.
But, they have the right, according to our nation's highest court, to hold this belief, and to practice that belief, and to shove that belief down our throats. These nuts have already announced that they plan to escalate their protests, now that it is 'protected'. They still have to maintain that 1000 foot distance.
While the legal battle might be over, there are plenty of things that decent minded people can do about this. We can protest right back. The Patriot Riders are a prime example of that protest. They travel to military funerals to ensure that the bereaved aren't subjected to the Westboro hate. They hold the American Flag high so that the protesters can't be seen and will idle their motorcycle engines in order to drown out the Westboro hate chants.
I saw their presence first hand when my unofficial god daughter's best friend died in the line of duty; thanks to the Patriot Riders, the family, including my UGD, were able to mourn their loss in peace and dignity. If anyone from Westboro was there, we didn't see 'em. Thank God they were there, or I might've wound up in jail for takin' after the Westboro haters with my baseball bat.
As much as their decision is distasteful to me, I can see why they ruled the way they did. I don't like it, and don't agree with it in my heart. Yet, if they'd ruled any other way, then a dangerous president would be set. We already have problems with censorship these days. Remember the IN government worker who lost his job for comments he made on twitter on his personal time?
Remember the Moral Majority and other groups who attempt to enforce what they think is acceptible on the rest of us?
Perhaps all y'all are too young to remember it; WKRP in Cincinnati ran an episode about a religious fundamentalist who approached the radio station's General Manager (GM) about the music being played on the station, which was rock and roll. The fundamentalist was concerned about the music influencing the young to partake in sex and drugs, and he also had concerns over the language in rock music. Keep in mind that this was in 1978-79-80. The GM, a believer himself, thought the fundamentalist had a point, and asked his staff to not play certain music.
Well, as the weeks passed, the fundamentalist's demands grew. The banned song list became broader. It wasn't just songs about sex and drugs, but ideas. When the fundamentalist put John Lennon's 'Imagine' on the list of banned songs, the GM said 'But there are no bad words in this song."
The fundamentalist said, "But the words say 'there is no God."
The GM pointed out, "The song says 'imagine'."
The fundamentalist immediately replied, "It's banned."
The GM ended his relationship with the fundamentalist, who then invoked economic boycotts against the station.
Again, there was no clear winner in this scenario. The fundamentalist, rightly or wrongly, believed he was doing the right thing. The GM felt likewise. The end result, no one won or lost. The fundamentalist took his cause to the businesses that bought time on the station, demanding they pull their ads or face a lack of business. Some could afford to stand up to him, the ones that couldn't, pulled their ads out of fear.
So even though the nation's highest court has given the Westboro haters the freedom to protest, we have the same freedom to protest them. When you see the Patriot Riders, support them. Hell, grab a flag and join 'em. It's easy to yell insults at the Westboro haters. Sometimes fighting fire with fire doesn't always work. The fire just gets bigger. But fire can be fought by smothering it, and by dousing it.
So perhaps the best thing to do is let them make their little protests, and go on about our business of honoring our fallen military heroes. In the long run, the very blood given by that military man or woman allows idiots like the Westboro haters, as well as people like you and me, to give voice to our thoughts and feelings, no matter how popular or unpopular they might be.
A postscript. here in Indiana, a local county judge has ordered that anonymous internet posters must be given up by the web services hosting message boards when/if a person has been accused of something. here's the link:
Will that ruling stand up in light of the Supreme Court's ruling? It remains to be seen.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Shit! I Missed an Anniversary!

Some anniversaries you remember; your wedding anniversary; 9/11, JFK/RFK/MLK's assassinations. They are memorable dates. Something really major happened on those dates that changed life as you know it forever. Not all of them are happy events.
Well over a year ago, I ventured into the world of writing Sons of Anarchy fan fiction; it's an ongoing little enterprise now in its' third book. At the time I launched the story, I had no idea that it would get attention on the world wide web through a blogger - and negative attention at that. I wrote because it was fun; I was answering questions that came up during Season 1, and it was your classic 'what if' scenario.
Ironically enough, I knew nothing of the scathing blog written about my little foray into SOA fanficton. The blog came out Valentine's Day of last year, and I learned of it a week later. What I read made me sick to my stomach. A few friends who had read my work and liked it stood up for me with the blogger. Said blogger also put out a challenge to other fan fic writers. She seemed surprised that no one took her up on her challenge.
(One wonders much and ponders more if the treatment she gave my creative effort might've warned other authors away from her challenge? Hmmmm, but I digress).
Well, it's 1 March, 2011, Well over a year since that blog came out. I had kinda forgotten about that anniversary date. Kinda. Not completely. It was in the back of my mind that a monumentous date in my life was comin' up, and I had to go back into last year's diary to find out what was buggin' me. 'Fuck me! I missed an anniversary!'
Thinking back to learning of that blog brought a lot of memories back. When I was first informed of it, the person telling me about it intially thought it was a good thing. Then they read it in full and were afraid to tell me about it. They feared I might 'Tig out' on the blogger. Didn't happen. The blogger still blogs. In fact, I never directly confronted her. Oh, I commented on Facebook and MySpace (which I hardly use anymore), and on a few SOA message boards, but never directly to her.
Until now.
For awhile, I was really angry and upset over the blogger's comments. It was never the fact that she didn't like the story. It was obvious from her admission to hating fan fiction that she read it with a pre conceived notion/chip on her shoulder type of thing.
I considered writing a response to her blog, and demand that she take it down, delete it, remove it from the cyber world. However, she has the right to post what she wants about what she wants. If she wants to hate my work, that's her right, and who the Hell am I to demand that she retract?
I will credit her that she did have one (1!) complaint that held water better than a leaky sieve pertaining to Book 1. Never went back to change that, but will give her credit for that. Most of the rest of her blog about my work was a rant about why she didn't like it that never gave anything constructive to work with - other than that she didn't like it. Oh - kay.
In the year since that blog came out, I have completed and put out on the original Charming Pawse, which is now up to Book III for the third season. There was a Christmas Tail/imaginary story based on the CP characters, and also a CP/SOA/Rocky Horror Picture Show crossover. The on going series has both male and female followers, the youngest admits to being 18, the oldest - well, I ain't tellin'. After all, a lady never tells her age!
According to's traffic tab, the stories garner hits from the US, Canada, Australia, England, and other countries. The stories get a visit from someone, somewhere in the world on a daily basis.
Though there are not a large number of reviews at the site itself; the majority of them have been positive. There was one that wasn't; the person had valid points to raise as to why they didn't like the one chapter. It was a little too realistic for them.
People also leave word on my FB page and Twitter or on the message boards about the work.
I have been added as favorite author and the CP series has been added to other members favorite stories lists.
I still get a thrill to this day when I get an email from the FFbot telling me there's a new review and/or fav author/story add. Two writers honored me with a request to beta edit their own SOA fanfic. They are both now very good cyber friends.
Some might think I'm having a celebrity meltdown to do this, but I'm posting a link to that original blog. Let you read for yourself what was said. Not because I'm starting a war, don't have the time to do that. Nor do I have the inclination. But so that you'll understand that while I could do the Eric Cartman 'Screw you, I'm going home'.
Instead, I'm tellin her guess what, darlin'? I'm still here. You didn't scare me off. In fact, you may have done me a favor with your blog. So thank you for pissin' me off enough to keep the core characters true to their portrayers and the storylines plausiblea and for pissin' me off enough to say "Fuck you and the horse you rode in on. I'm gonna continue to write it in spite of - and to spite - you!"
if you google or otherwise search smalltownssmallscreens/2010/02/omfg-sons-of-anarchy-fanfic, you'll get to the link and can read the blog for yourself. Unfortuantely, it's a little hard to copy/past a link here. but I can write it out.
Happy Anniversary, Charming Pawse, and may it enjoy as many seasons as Sons of Anarchy!


Politics is a Dirty World

I've kept a little quiet about the current state of our Indiana Legislature, but have decided to weigh in with my feelings. I am pissed with our Democratic body of the state law making body.

A little backstory here. Last fall, the Democratic party suffered a loss in the majority after they pulled a few shenanigans in 2010 that really honked off the voting public, aka the people who elected them. (Frankly, I don't know why we have such high expectations of our elected officials, as they've been engaging in oneupsmanship since the days of the Revolution. Anyone who's seen the opening of the musical '1776' will realize this. But, we Rebels wanted taxation with representation, so we opted for a two - party system, which has been at each other's throats ever since)
Anyway, we voters in Indiana made some changes in our elected representatives. Unfortuantely, it wasn't a full scale house cleaning, as some floatsam and jetsam still exists (this is my opinion. There are just some certain long - term reps who have worn out their welcome and need to be nudged into a new career opportunity). Our legislative body is part time, meeting from January until the end of March or first of April, voting on bills that may improve the quality of life for Hoosiers.
Sometimes those bills make me hit my forehead on my desk several times; laws help keep society civil, but there is such a thing as over legislating. I mean, do we really need a law against texting while driving to know that it is a dangerous thing to do? Hello, McFly! Yet, there is such a bill being considered.
There is also a controversial bill called 'right to work', having to do with collective bargaining for goverment and education employees. I'm not gonna go into the particulars here. Any media outlet covering the story in the state can do a better job of it. WIBC - FM is one such outlet, or any newspaper in Indiana. Just run a search.
The Democrats last week high tailed it out of state and are currently holed up in a famous name hotel in the state of Illinois. They have, for nearly a week, abandoned their part time job for which they are paid a handsome base salary of $22k a year. I'll wax poetic more on that matter in a moment. Initially, they fled the state because they didn't want to vote on the right to work bill. They wanted it to die, quickly. They also feared that the long arm of the law, aka the police, would be called out to force them to go to work (novel concept). Gov Mitch Daniels wasn't going to take state police off their job of protecting the public to make these fat assed legislators (I'm not makin' a derogatory comment about their physical form here, just usin' it as a colorful metaphor) go to work.
By the end of the week, it was pretty evident that the right to work bill was dying and wouldn't get a vote, thanks to the mass exodus of the Democratic party. When asked if they were going to return to work on Monday, the minority speaker and former majority speaker of the house stated the equivalent of "not just no, but HELL NO!" The Democrats are now stayin' in IL in their swanky little hotel suites until or unless such time as several other bills they don't like die a similar death.
Huh? Sounds like a hostage situation to me. The rights of the Indiana voting public, who pay these assholes salaries, are being held hostage because a disgruntled few aren't getting their way? And they're not returning to work until they get what they want?
Insert eye roll.
These are business people - lawyers, bankers, and the like - who have businesses that keep them comfortable throughout the remainder of the year - on top of the 22k they earn (base) as a part time lawmaker. They get free parking downtown, they get free license plates, and many other perks for their position. They are wined, dined, and entertained by lobbyists. For three to four months out of the year, they are treated like kings and live pretty damn high on the hog.
The least these assholes can do is show up for work!
Now, if you and I pulled such a stunt on our jobs, we'd find our butts out on the unemployment line faster than we could say 'boo!' - do not pass go, do not collect $200. Rightfully so. As employees, we are expected to show up, on time, ready to work. If there is a problem, we are expected to take it to the proper channels for resolution. We aren't allowed to flee out of state, hole up in a hotel, and hold the workplace hostage until we get our own way.
Hell, we'd be laughed at. Then we'd be fired.
Yet, these fat cat legislators, who were trounced by the voters in November, 2010, are acting like spoiled little brats who are finally told 'NO'. They are having a temper tantrum in the extremist, and have basically caused the wheels to govenment to grind to a near halt.
"But the taxpayers aren't paying for it!" They cry. "The state Democratic party is paying for it!" Yeah, and up until Monday, all y'all were collecting your per diem payments for not doin' a damn thing but sitting on your posteriors in a hotel and granting interviews to the media.
Thank God, someone in the state had the sense to decide that since you weren't WORKING, you had no right to be paid. Guess what, there's no such thing as PTO in the state legislature.
I've coined a new phrase to explain my political leanings. I'm a conservbural. I'm liberal about some ideas, conservative about others. Some might call that straddlin' the fence. I call it what makes sense.
Back in 1978, when I was old enough to vote, I proudly registered as a Democrat, like my father before me, and his father before him. But as I watched what the two - party system was doin', I got fed up with the need to win over all that was goin' on. I became a GDI. I don't just blindly follow the party line, but vote for what makes fuckin' sense. Sometimes it's Democratic, sometimes it's a Republican, sometimes it's Green or Independent or Libertarian party.
I have a very long memory, and when November comes, and some of our representatives are up for re - election, I'm going to remember who went to work this quarter, and who acted like a spoiled brat. Guess who's getting my vote and my support. Guess who's not?
Maybe you can't fight city hall, much less the state legislature, but there are ways to send messages. And I'm gonna do that in November. And I'm gonna urge everyone around me as pissed off as I am about this situation, to do likewise.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Celebriy Meltdowns - A Sad Thing

I tend to ignore the celebrity news shows like TMZ, Entertainment Tonight, etc., because they seem to delight in catching celebrities in private moments that should be kept private.

It's bad enough that these shows, the electronic equivalent of The National Inquirer, The Star, and those other rags that aren't even good enough to line a birdcage encourage the paparazzi behavior out there; now we have the so - called 'legitimate' news shows following their lead.


Thanks to the ever changin' nature of Indiana weather, and the fact that a severe thunderstorm rolled through early this AM (or late last night, take your pick), I didn't watch the 'Today' interview with Charlie Sheen. So as soon as I signed into my computer's home page, what do I find in the news section? The latest melt down he had on live television.

He joins a long list of famous actors/actresses who have gone down the path of substance abuse. Some of them lost their lives to it, others lost their sanity and/or their standing.

I have to wonder what kind of manager/publicist Mr. Sheen has that would allow him to publicly destroy himself like this, first on radio, then on television. Those who are supposed to help guide/mold the career path should be able to stop the train wreck from happening, not hasten it, for cripe's sake!

There are gonna be so - called humorists out there takin' pot shots at Mr. Sheen's latest stumble. I'm sure the late night shows are going to be peppered with taunts about this. I suppose it's easy to take pot shots at the mighty when they fall.

After all, Mr. Sheen came from an entertainment family. (His father, Martin, has been an actor for many years; I've had a minor crush on him since the 1970s when he played in 'Sweet Hostage' with Linda Blair. I still like Martin Sheen's work, and can only imagine the grief and heartbreak he feels over seeing one of his children hurting like he is.( He makes mega bucks per episode for the now on hiatus program on CBS and Heaven only knows how much he gets while it runs in syndication. He has money, power, fame, the so - called American Dream. It pisses us off to see him - or anyone else 'lucky' enough to have achieved all that - pissin' it away.

Perhaps the better response is 'There but for the grace of God go I'. They say money doesn't buy everything, and 'they' are right. It doesn't buy happiness, that comes from within. I'm no shrink, but it seems to me that Mr. Sheen is a very unhappy person,. Instead of letting him publicly self destruct, his so - called handlers would be better off getting him help - forcing him to get help. It's obvious the man is a danger to himself, just by his behavior.

The only reason I can see that they don't is that they're afraid the gravy train will come to a screeching halt. Well, if this kind of thing keeps up, the gravy train WILL come to a screeching halt. And the bump is gonna hurt.

So pardon me if I don't join in the Charlie Sheen bashing parade. It's sad, and I refuse to kick a man when he's down.

BTW, I haven't forgotten to blog about my feelings on the absent minority of our IN state legislature, camping out in another state when they're supposed to be doin' the job for which they were elected. That rant may be comin' tomorrow.

Sunday, February 27, 2011


Today should have been a good day. The temp was up in the 50's though it's been cloudy. No rain yet, which is good, cause the creeks/rivers/lakes are high and the ground is saturated.

I just posted the second chapter of Book III of my fanfic and already got a positive review (always nice!), and another week awaits.

So why is my mood meh?

Daddy went into the hospital yesterday, he's been havin' a problem with bein' weak again and dehydrated. He kept sayin' the weakness was a side effect of medicine he was takin' for a leg infection.

The hospital is transferrin' him to the nursing home where my step - mother has been residin' for several years tomorrow. I'm hopin' he's goin' into the Physical Therapy wing. This is what happened last year about this time.

He says that at this time, there's no reason for me to make the three hour drive down. Guess we'll see what needs to be done in the next couple of days.

So I'm feelin' a little 'meh' on that point. It seems like for every step forward, he gets knocked two back. Course, when you've survived prostrate cancer for 27 years, I guess you're entitled to havin' moments when not everything goes well.

So sorry for the brevity of this post today, kids. There's a lot I'd like to say about our state legislative body not at work right now, but that's for another day.

Time to curl up with a woobie (aka, one of the cats) until the husband comes home.

Prayers, natch, are appreciated.