Michael Brown, David Sweat and Racism

Christopher McCaleb.clipular

Fear & Bigotry has become Our Culture

I’m heartbroken by recent events. The terror attacks in Beirut, Paris, Mali… the state of affairs in the Middle East… our own country’s failed policies where “fighting terror” is concerned… the racial strife I see everyday here in the US… the fear mongering and outright bigotry I see from many of our own elected “Christian” officials.

My views aren’t popular, and as soon as I speak them, people tend to tune me out. That’s ok, though. It won’t shut me up. Small as it may be, this is my forum. My place to say what’s on my mind.

Our hands – the hands of the United States – are not clean where any of these tragedies are concerned. We cultivated wars in the Middle East, we worked with others to kill millions in that region, and we now have the audacity to act confused, scratching our heads, wondering, “What caused so many people to hate us? Why are so many in the Middle East so radical these days?”

Those are stupid questions. The US didn’t consciously create ISIS and its sympathizers, but to pretend our foreign policy of the last 20 years had nothing to do with it is dumb.

Yes, dumb.

We made orphans of a lot of kids in the Middle East over the years. Those babies aren’t babies any more, and now that they’re grown, they have an axe to grind.

I don’t defend ISIS, I don’t defend evil, and I for damn sure don’t defend the death and destruction of innocent people. The thing is, I don’t defend those things in any circumstance. I don’t defend it when it’s ISIS chopping off heads, or deploying suicide bombers in crowded arenas, and I don’t defend it when it’s government-sanctioned drone attacks or boots-on-the-ground action in the Middle East either.

As a nation, we’ve messed up. That’s not an anti-American sentiment. It’s an honest opinion. I love my country. I love being an American, and I wouldn’t choose to be anywhere but here. That doesn’t mean I can’t speak out when I believe our government has acted foolishly, and it doesn’t mean I have to agree with or support the current climate among my fellow Americans.

What’s happening overseas is depressing enough, but that’s not the full story, either. Our own nation is turning against each other. Turning against fellow citizens of the United States of America. Racial turmoil is the highest I’ve seen in my 37 years of life. In some places, such as where I live, we seem poised for all-out war. A civil war, with sides chosen based on the color of one’s skin.

The hypocrisy of it all is astounding. Just. Astounding.

In one breath, I hear people taking rioters to task after the killings of Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner and others. Screaming about how vile, vicious and violent the black community is. In the next breath, these same people are cheering Donald Trump’s stump speeches, while he deliriously yells that we should “bomb the shit out of Syria!”

We have people doing their best to refuse Syrian Refugees in their states, but those same people support the NRA. This wouldn’t be surprising, except that the NRA wants us to continue allowing people whose names are on the No Fly List to legally purchase assault rifles in this country.

Let me get this straight: You don’t want the refugees in this country because they might be terrorists… but if they happen to make it here, you want them to have the ability to purchase weapons?

What kind of sense does that make?

The answer is that it makes the same kind of sense that allowing people deemed too dangerous to board a passenger jet to purchase assault weapons makes.

As in, none whatsoever.

The common thread in all of it – whether ISIS and refugees from the Middle East, or people of color in our own neighborhoods – is fear. We justify our hateful, bigoted policies – domestic and abroad – by pointing to our fears. Fear of a religion we don’t understand, fear of people we don’t respect because their skin color is the wrong hue.

My heart is heavy.


5,000 Steps


St. Louis, Arsons and Churches

A suspect has been arrested in the St. Louis church fires.

These fires were long seen as a sign of the racial turmoil in the St. Louis area, as the churches were burned in predominantly black neighborhoods.

With that in mind, I wonder how many are surprised to learn the suspect is a black male.

I have long worried that people against peace in our city will stoop to such lows as to manufacture racial disparity in an effort to spearhead some sort of revolution. Not just black people, either.

The facts are still a long way from being sorted out. Maybe this guy did it, maybe he didn’t. We don’t know much yet, other than he’s been arrested.

Our city needs peace.

Fitbit, Honesty and Lore

I took a walk today.

For most people, this would have been no big deal. For me, however, it’s huge. Monumental, even.

After a recent life-changing ordeal, I made the decision to stop fucking around and get healthy. My family needs me, and they deserve to have a healthy, happy and engaged me. Not that tired, lazy hag they were getting before.

I set my Fitbit goal to 3,000 steps a day, with the intention of increasing the goal by 500 every Sunday. Sooner or later I’ll be at 10,000 steps per day. I have an activity goal of 20 minutes per day, planning to increase to 30 minutes gradually.

Gotta start somewhere.

So today, I decided to take a walk. I walked for 24 minutes, and while my shins are on fire, I have to admit it was really nice. The leaves have all changed to their fall colors, the temperature was perfect, and there was just enough of a breeze to keep things feeling fresh.

I strapped on my headphones and queued up an episode from my new favorite podcast “Lore”, and got to steppin’.

Walking around the neighborhood is probably the best choice for me right now. I could go to the gym, or walk up and down the stairs in my house (which I’m known to do if I’m this close to my step goal). The thing is, walking around the neighborhood keeps me honest.

Accountability and all that.

If I decide, 10 minutes into a 20 minute walk that I don’t want to do this any longer, that’s too bad. I’m stuck in the middle of the damn neighborhood, and I can either be stranded, or keep walking, until I eventually make it home. At the gym, in contrast, I can just step off the treadmill if I decide I’m too tired or bored to keep going. At home, I can just flop onto the couch.

No, this is the best option, because when it comes to exercise, I am devious and deceiptful in my attempts to avoid it at all costs.

All I can hope is that I’ll come to really enjoy it in time.

Mike Tyson, Donald Trump and the ’80s Icons

Oh. Ma. Jesus.

In the “this election cannot be for real” category, we learn Mike Tyson has endorsed Donald Trump for President.

He’s confident Trump is just an “average guy, like everyone else” who needs “time to grow”. He also doesn’t think The Donald means what he says about immigrants and Latinos.

Trump obviously meant every word he said. When someone shows you their true colors, believe them.

Looks to me like this is just one ’80s icon giving support to another ’80s icon, giving no thought whatsoever to any actual political issues and social challenges we’re facing today.

As in, 2015.

Tyson & Trump in the days of yore

Exercise, Weight Loss and the Five Mile Journey

After years of swearing (and believing) that I am allergic to exercise, I realize I have to get it together and get moving. I have a bike in my home office, but I never use it  I use it as more of a clothing/purse collector than an actual piece of exercise equipment. That’s a typical use for such contraptions, right?

So, we go to plan B.


I dragged my husband to Best Buy with me, and we purchased the FitBit Charge HR.

FitBit Charge HR

This device will track my resting heart rate, the number of steps I take, the distance I’ve gone, how many hours of sleep I had, and the quality of my sleep. With the corresponding Android App, I can track my food intake, and compare calories in vs. calories burned.

I told you. I’m serious, folks.

I plan to lose 70 lbs with a low carb diet and exercise.

In doing my research, I learned that the number of recommended steps per day is 10,000, which seemed like a lot of walking. I googled it and realized it’s freakin’ five miles.

Five. Miles.

I get winded just thinking about it.

Needless to say, this will be a bit of a journey. Slow and steady.

I’ve committed to 1,500 steps per day for now. Each week, starting on Sundays I’ll add another 500 steps. I’ll get to 10,000 per day eventually.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 799 other followers