Ebola, A Nurse’s Perspective

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coffeebreak411:

It is essentially common sense that this virus is easily contractible via bodily fluids given that’s precisely how many other viruses are contracted. The thing about this virus is that it’s much deadlier than the flu and yet we have a failure of leadership in dealing with it.

Originally posted on dtolar:

So a few months ago the country was enthralled with the idea of a few patients, infected with the Ebola virus, coming to the United States. Up until this point, we had been safe from Ebola due to the fact that bats can’t fly over the Atlantic. Some people were completely indifferent, while others had seen Outbreak one too many times. Most were a healthy mix, somewhere in between, but what bothered me the most was both the lack of education and the poor information that was spreading more virulently than the virus could ever hope to.

First, I want to stress that I am a nurse, not a virologist, and hopefully throughout my post you will see that I am not pretending to be one. I have a Bachelor’s in Nursing and am currently a graduate student. I have worked extensively with Infectious Disease Specialists. I have been exposed…

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Real Talk About Culture, The Female Vote, and Matt Walsh

I’ve heard a lot of opinions over the last few days concerning Matt Walsh and culture, but one thing has stuck with me that I feel needs to be addressed, and I intend to do that in short here and now so that I can return to enjoying my last day of vacation. 

The point that I saw, which was brought up in a Facebook thread, was that Matt writes primarily for a female audience and that if we (the right) are somehow overlooking this audience, then maybe we should pay a little attention to what this asshole is saying about culture (because he couldn’t possibly have anything else to teach us, amiright?).

To be quite blunt, yes, you are alienating women. It is your own fault. Matt is reaching this demographic in a way in which you scoff at, and instead of listening you simply try to marginalize him…and along with him, his following. The following that you, despite your best efforts, cannot seem to swing to your side in elections. That following. 

Let me get straight to the point, because I have a room full of eager girls who are chomping at the bit to go to the beach right now…

Matt addresses the broader culture. He speaks to the importance of family, Christian values, and the need to respect each other. It strikes at the heart. It also strikes at the problems (and solutions) of culture, whether it be pop culture or any other kind you may wish to “engage.” His delivery may leave something to be desired, but his message is sound. I won’t rant, again, about how ridiculous I think attacking a person over delivery is when you can’t refute their point, because I’ve done that countless times. The fact is that culture is like a long and winding river. We each experience it in different ways in our lives, we each engage it differently. Some approach it with more enthusiasm and excitement. Some with trepidation. But the river has a genesis: a spring from which everything else flows; the foundation of society- namely, the family. 

So if one more person tries to tell me that Matt Walsh is not interested in engaging the culture, I will be forced to slam your head into the nearest wall. Because UGH. That’s literally what he does every single frickin day. Just because he doesn’t employ your method, or even validate your method, doesn’t mean that he isn’t on the front lines of the culture wars. So stop already. It makes you look petty. 

Which brings me back to the point of how we are losing women and Matt is not…

To be perfectly honest with you, I’m disgusted with people on the right. I have lost respect for many of you. The reason is that the “big tent” is more of a frat house than a circus. Seriously. 

You are so freaking concerned with not being seen as “stuffed shirts”, prudes, “out of touch”, etc, that you have become as bad as liberals in your behavior. You are now the enemy. You are contributing to the cultural decay.

All you “conservative” (I use that term loosely) men, in your efforts to appear “hip” and cool and ALPHA (oh my GAWD how I hate that word now), you have become pre-pubescent boys. You have zero respect for women. You treat us like toys to be played with… until, of course, you need to reach out to women for votes. Just ease off your butthurt for a moment and think about it… you’re constantly, incessantly, obsessively, talking about BEWBS. OMG BOOBS. They’re so amazing and wonderful and SHOW ME YOURS, PLEASE, BECAUSE I’M AN ALPHA MALE RAAWWWRR!! 

Child, please. A man doesn’t advertise his masculinity by objectifying women, he does so by uplifting them. Guess who’s been uplifting women? If you guessed Matt Walsh, you’re right! He’s always praising his wife, his daughters, talking about how wonderful and talented and beautiful they are and how he wishes to shelter them from all the bad things in the world. THAT message speaks to women. The “I’m an alpha and I like boobs and bacon and hey let’s hook up” message? Not so much. 

As for you “women” (yeah, loosely) who feed into that “alpha” bullshit and bathe in the validation of having internet Romeos tell you how hawt you are? Yeah, you act like teenage girls. Think, for a moment, how difficult a relationship is in our current society. Think about what feminism has done to degrade women and turn us into sex fiends who want/need casual and meaningless sex. You are now a part of that. Men ask to see your tits (most of the time, they don’t even have to ask) and you oblige. And the panting masses drool and breathe close to their screens because APPARENTLY they’ve never seen a rack before. Yet they’re alphas. *eyeroll* And you alienate other women because really who wants their man drooling over you?? You know how hard a relationship can be, yet you continue to throw out roadblocks in everyone else’s. Why? Well, because being flattered feels good. So why not, right? After all, if she can’t keep her man… blah blah blah. Yet if it were your man who was having his ego stroked by random women because he’s an alpha and you’re just a jealous bitch.. well, the shoe doesn’t fit so well when you’re the one wearing it. 

So the short answer is yes, unequivocally, we do have a problem when it comes to women and how they vote on the right. But maybe, just maybe, if women felt they were valued and respected then we wouldn’t. And I get it, you want to undo the damage that liberal policies have done to turn men into whimpering pussies…

But how about instead of encouraging them to act like over-sexed frat boys we encourage them to act like men of good character? Which means, ladies, that you need to behave as ladies and exhibit some good character of your own. Respect yourselves and each other, build one another up with encouragement, keep each other in check with constructive criticism, and instead of living a life divorced from every personal belief you hold sacred, maybe start showing some fruits of your faith in your political walk as well. 

After all, if you want to change the cultural landscape, you’re going to have to stop polluting it. 

 

Discretion, Nudity, and The Mommy Wars

Okay, I have a bone to pick with moms. I try to avoid the Mommy Wars, because you can never win. There is always another mom who is more righteous, educated, experienced, etc. Nonetheless, I must weigh in on this topic: BREASTFEEDING IN PUBLIC.
This article from NY Daily News is the latest “awareness campaign” to educate the rest of us on the sorrowful plight of young mothers. The poor dears. It seems no one heretofore knew that babies had to suckle from breasts for sustenance. I know, I’m shocked, too. What’s more, these bastions of maternal caring have been relegated to toilets in order to feed their children. Oh, the humanity!
First, let me start by saying that I love babies. Babies are awesome and special and moms deserve respect for carrying babies inside them and going through childbirth. Virtual pat on the back, fellow moms. You’ve sacrificed for other tiny people and you are appreciated!
So, CLEARLY, I’m all for moms, and babies, and moms feeding babies. I don’t think people should freak out when moms feed their babies discreetly. I mean, kids have to eat, and while some babies eat formula, or mushy baby food, or gallons of goldfish crackers, the point is that they all eat. Feeding children is one of the primary jobs of a mother. Along with wiping their tushy and keeping them alive until they can do all these things for themselves. I have no problem with public breastfeeding, just as I have no problem with public any-kind-of-feeding, so long as it doesn’t diminish my enjoyment of my own meal.
HOWEVER, when you have a woman who is either 1) just classless or 2) wishes to make a statement: “I’M BREASTFEEDING. LOOK AT MY BREAST. LOOK AT MY SUCKLING CHILD. THIS IS NATURE. DEAL WITH IT.” then those women should not be surprised when they’re asked to take that out of the public eye. (Funny thing about the aforementioned article? They’re complaining about breastfeeding “where nature calls” yet the Exposed Breast Defenders will rant about how breastfeeding is “natural” and therefore protected under ALL THE LAWS.) It’s really about personal responsibility and what a business feels is best for ALL their clientele, not just the offended young mother (or fellow diner). A business owner should be allowed to say to a woman, “I’m sorry, but we’ve had some complaints. If you could take that into the restroom/outside/to your personal vehicle, we would appreciate it.” There are plenty of ways to breastfeed discreetly. There are entire clothing lines dedicated to it. There are blankets (and really, who takes a baby out without a blanket??). Heck, there are pumps and bottles with nipples designed to mimic the breast so that you never even have to expose yourself! You cannot tell me that the only option for a young breastfeeding mother is to be relegated to the toilet to feed her kid. Furthermore, everyone who’s ever had an infant knows that YOU HAVE A SCHEDULE! You don’t just decide to go out and then suddenly are all, “Holy crow! I totally forgot little Johnny needed his boobie time just now!” Like the need to expose yourself just sneaks up on you. NO. You have a schedule. You know that in (x) number of hours, you will need to feed your child. It’s parenting 101. So why, then, are you in a position to have to feed in a restroom? Poor planning, mom. Although I’m sure you would still not be asked to retire to the toilet if you didn’t whip out your boob in front of God and man and that table with the five year old and the twelve year old boy next to you. DISCRETION, people. Learn it. Live it. Teach it to your kids.

I’m sick of these endless “campaigns” and all the raising of the awareness. We’re all aware of where baby milk comes from. Are you aware, dear mothers, that we don’t all want a demonstration? You have a feeding schedule, and there are such things as pumps, yet we’re all still subjected to a graphic demonstration because AWARENESS! ZOMG! I mean really. We’re all sharing space out here in this world. I may feel entitled to do certain things, but I also have a responsibility to behave respectfully in a civilized society, especially out in public. I’m not even weighing in on whether “breast is best” or any of the other catchphrases of the Mommy Wars. As long as you aren’t poisoning your child I don’t care what you feed them. Every child has different needs, appetites, temperaments, etc. You can’t expect your experience to apply across the board. Having said that, you do have to live with the consequences of your actions, and if that means that your public nudity plants you firmly in the restroom, so be it. It also means that if a business owner overreacts to a normal, discreet action of a mother, then you and all your friends can happily take your money elsewhere. After all, businesses speak the language of profit. Use the power you have, just stop whining when you do something meant to provoke and are called on it.

Jesus didn’t care about being nice or tolerant, and neither should you

Originally posted on The Matt Walsh Blog:

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There is no shortage of heresies these days.

If you want to adopt some blasphemous, perverted, fun house mirror reflection of Christianity, you will find a veritable buffet of options. You can sift through all the variants and build your own little pet version of the Faith. It’s Ice Cream Social Christianity: make your own sundae! (Or Sunday, as it were.)

And, of all the heretical choices, probably the most common — and possibly the most damaging — is what I’ve come to call the Nice Doctrine.

The propagators of the Nice Doctrine can be seen and heard from anytime any Christian takes any bold stance on any cultural issue, or uses harsh language of any kind, or condemns any sinful act, or fights against evil with any force or conviction at all. As soon as he or she stands and says ‘This is wrong, and I will not compromise,’…

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You Matter

What is your value?
What is your purpose?
What sets you apart?

These questions enter the minds of most people during their lives and cause them to introspect and take stock of their goals in life. Everyone will answer the questions differently because no one has the same life experience, the same advantages, or the same ambition.

The same questions are asked by political junkies, but it’s less introspection and more general critique of one another. I’ve seen this especially in the conservative political set; we all seem to be measuring one another’s effectiveness by different standards.

There is the activist that believes true effectiveness is “boots on the ground”: knocking on doors, making calls, writing letters. The blogger believes in the advancement of ideas through media; making the case to support a cause or policy with thoughtful, well-researched articles. There is the pontificator that thinks gaining ground happens in the real-time free flow of ideas online and in person, the media maven who believes videos will reach more people in our entertainment-loving society, and the quiet soul that wishes only to stand in solidarity with his conservative brother and strengthen one another’s convictions and arguments so that they can better defend their positions.

So who is most valuable? Which one of those subgroups have more impact or purpose in the conservative movement?

According to many, I’m pretty useless as a political tool in the conservative shed. I haven’t worked on a campaign staff, I don’t knock on doors or make calls, and I rarely even blog. What value do I have? I don’t question my own value, but I know many people do. They may not know they’re talking about me because they’re usually speaking in very broad terms about another group of people that they feel aren’t doing as much as they themselves are, at least according to their own standards of effectiveness.

I don’t have to wonder if I’m making a difference because I know that I am. My life has pretty well been dedicated to my kids. I gave up many of my own ambitions to focus on being a mother. I have been blessed to explain current events and politics to my children in a way that they can understand and engage their minds in a topic that, quite frankly, not many adults can comprehend. I know that I have a duty to inform them so that when they are able to vote they can do so with some measure of understanding, giving serious thought to the gravity of their choices. I also want them to be able to make a compelling argument to their peers and be able to defend their positions to their teachers. We often talk about the heavily biased education our kids receive from public schools and universities, so I’m actively preparing my children to go out into a world that is not friendly to their ideas and to engage that world and hopefully change it.

Does that have no value?

I have changed minds about gun control and abortion through simple conversation. I’ve encouraged other conservatives by being bold enough to shout down the bullies. I’ve strengthened my friends’ arguments just as they’ve strengthened mine through discussion of ideas and the sharing of information. I know this because people have told me that I’ve made a difference in their lives.

Does my chatter have no purpose?

I don’t have to wonder if my small efforts within the arena of politics have value. I know they do. They may not be big, or public, or acknowledged, but they have gained us ground and have strengthened us as a group. Do I think I’m better than any other blogger or activist? No. We’re all working for a common goal here, or should be, so I’m happy to let you do what you do best while I make small improvements in the world around me. Your efforts help me, just as my efforts help you. If I can change a person’s mind, that’s another reader for you. That’s possibly another person knocking on doors. That’s another person to have your back when you’re under attack for defending the Constitution.

So don’t lose heart when you wonder if you’re making a difference. If you are making a case for conservatism, in whatever form it takes, then you are making a difference. You are helping others find their voice, you are encouraging your conservative brothers, and you are getting the message out one small voice at a time. A multitude of small voices is more resounding than a single person yelling into the void.

You matter. You have value. No go be awesome.

Race, Justice, and Civility

I’ve been watching all the drama of the Zimmerman case unfold for quite a while, and I have to say I’m beginning to despair of society’s ability to apply critical thought to an issue without clouding their judgement with emotion.
There are three points I’d like to make after giving lots of thought to this case:
1) Race was a factor in the events of that night.
The truth is that Zimmerman was following Martin that night in part because of Martin’s appearance.
Given the fact that there had been burglaries in the area, and that the suspect had been described as a young black male, it stands to reason that Zimmerman would view Martin with some suspicion. Other factors also fed this suspicion, not just race. Zimmerman might have over-reacted to the possible threat, but you have to concede that he was justified in reporting Martin’s presence to police based on the information he was working with.
Now the part where this case gets sticky…
Whether Zimmerman was justified in pursuing Martin or not, I can’t say. Up until this point, Zimmerman had been acting in the interest of the community. I believe he got a little over-zealous, but as with so much of the commentary on this, it’s speculation.
So race played a part in this drama in that Martin fit the description of a burglar, and before I hear any more hysterics over “profiling”, I’d like to ask this: why are black males responsible for such a high percentage of crime? If you want to not be viewed suspectly, then perhaps you should do something about the thug culture, fatherless households, or whatever else it is that leads your young men to behave badly in society.
2) Justice has prevailed.
Most of the furor over the “injustice” of the Zimmerman verdict is based on incorrect perceptions. There is an assumption, which is fed by race hustlers and the media, that Zimmerman shot Martin because he was black. NO. Zimmerman shot Martin because Martin was beating the hell out of him. Based on Zimmerman’s injuries he had a justifiable reason to use deadly force; he feared for his life. The escalation of events which led to this will continue to divide people over this case, but the simple truth is this: Martin could have responded to Zimmerman’s pursuit without violence, but once violence had been initiated the dynamic shifted. This was no longer an annoying and over-zealous neighborhood watchman and a teen on a late night snack run, this was a violent altercation between two men. The media have tried to turn favor toward Martin in this by referring to him as a child. He was a minor, for sure, but he was not a small and defenseless tot. It’s worth pointing out that young men a few months older than Trayvon sacrifice their lives daily in our military. They are young men, not boys.
3) Politicians, celebrities, and the media need to stop inciting incivility.
You may strongly disagree with me on one or both of my previous points, but breaking laws and attacking people is not going to bring about any sort of justice; on the contrary, it only breeds more hate for both sides of the divide. Just as it did the night Martin was shot, violence breeds violence. You cannot perpetuate the same crimes you accuse others of and call it justice: it’s not justice, it’s revenge. REVENGE IS NOT JUSTICE.
The media has been morbidly gleeful over the possibility of riots “for Trayvon.” The vast majority of rioters probably only showed up because the cameras were rolling in anticipation and people will do anything to get on tv nowadays. Celebrities have used their bullhorn of fame to stoke embers of anger in fans who have little knowledge of the case, but are easily swayed by opinion. Most repugnant to me is the way our political “leaders” have declared they want justice for this supposed crime , but have willfully ignored crimes of greater magnitude or with clearer evidence of racial hate. The seeds of division were sown and now they are all carefully tending their gardens of hate at the cost of true justice and civility. It’s maddening. Leadership should not produce such rancid fruit.
The thing to remember in all of this is that you do no service to humanity by continuing to stoke the fires of hate. The Martins have lost a young man dear to them. The Zimmermans have lost their peace of mind. Trayvon will always be missed by his family and friends. George will live with the terrible knowledge that he ended a man’s life, and the Zimmerman family will live in fear of revenge vigilantism. Each person who allows hate to fester will live without real joy.
Destroying property and attacking people will never bring closure. There have been revenge murders against whites and Hispanics for no reason other than revenge for a perceived injustice. Facts, laws, respect, and sanctity of life be damned. Is this how you honor your dead?? If so, you’re worse than barbaric. You’re petty and simple and full of evil.
I dearly hope that we can all stop talking at each other and insulting each other. We need a return of civility. Our country and our communities cannot survive without it.
“A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

This One’s for my Homies

As you well know if you follow this blog, I’ve been inactive for a few months. I hit a major rut and lost my inspiration. I don’t know why I felt so completely incapable of putting together a reasonably coherent post; perhaps a perfect storm of ADD, doubt, and self-criticism kept me literarily mute. (Yes, I just made that word up.) I was overwhelmed by the amount of news assaulting my mind and demanding my notice. I couldn’t focus enough on anything else to bother with an attempt.
Truth be told, I had plenty to say. I didn’t crawl into a hole and stop observing the world, but I’d gotten comfortable with pithy responses and began to doubt I could formulate a more well-thought out response than would fill a sentence or two. I would create a draft, do a bit of research, and then tell myself that this was all old news anyway and no one would care anymore.
That’s why, when prompted by friends and followers, I decided to grit my teeth and get back up on the blog-horse (to amalgamate some metaphors) and just break through the writer’s block by force of will.
I have no illusions that this will result in any devastatingly spectacular prose. For now it is enough to simply string words together and form sentences that result in a conclusive idea.
I know that the people who have encouraged me to return to this form of media and expression aren’t demanding Pulitzer-prize winning posts from me… yet, anyway. They simply missed, for some reason known only to themselves, my views on life, politics, spirituality, or any of the other topics that I sometimes opine on. Their encouragement is why I’m back in the writer’s chair (or bed, as it were).
So to those dear folk; the friends, followers, and fellow writers; thank you.
Thank you for nudging and prodding me back into using the written word to share my thoughts and experiences. Thank you for not giving up on me. Thank you for believing me capable of this when I doubted myself.
This one’s for you, my homies. I pour out these words on the fertile ground of the internet. Peace. ;-)