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Only in America

October 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Only in America do people have to set up GoFundMe accounts to pay for medical costs, with the hopes of preventing a complete financial crisis.

If we could pay 2.2% of our income, and completely get rid of the health insurance racket, we could save ourselves roughly $5,000 a year, personally, and save every company about $12,000 a year.

Of course, to republicans, this just smacks of socialism, and we can’t have that in the greatest country on Earth, right? So we’ll just continue to pay increasingly outrageous costs, and hope our friends will bail us out when we need it. That’s the ‘Merican way!

Personally, I have donated to friends and family to help them out. But I’m going to be honest, when I know a friend voted for, or is a supporter of, the politicians who do everything in their power to screw over middle- and lower-class Americans financially, I won’t help them out. Let them suffer the consequences of their own stupidity.

blog-cartoon-expensive-diagnosis

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Jim Wright’s Deleted Facebook Post about 9/11

September 11, 2016 Leave a comment

Jim’s post was removed by Facebook for violating community standards. Most likely, some butthurt RWNJ reported it. There’s nothing wrong with this post, except that it contains the truth, that many people clearly can’t handle. So I’m re-posting it, and would suggest that others do the same.

 

Jim Wright
1 hr · Pensacola, FL ·

You’re expecting some kind of obligatory 9-11 post, aren’t you?

Here it is, but you’re not gonna like it.

15 years ago today 19 shitheads attacked America.

They killed 3000 of us.

And then … America got its revenge for 9-11.

Yes we did. Many times over. We killed them. We killed them all. We killed their families. We killed their wives and their kids and all their neighbors. We killed whole nations that weren’t even involved just to make goddamned sure. We bombed their cities into rubble. We burned down their countries.

They killed 3000 of us, we killed 300,000 of them or more.

8000 of us came home in body bags, but we got our revenge. Yes we did.

We’re still here. They aren’t.

We win. USA! USA! USA!

Right?

You goddamned right. We. Win.

Except…

Every year on this day we bath in the blood of that day yet again. We watch the towers fall over and over. It’s been 15 goddamned years, but we just can’t get enough. We’ve just got to watch it again and again.

It’s funny how we never show those videos of the bombs falling on Baghdad today. Or the dead in the streets of Afghanistan. We got our revenge, but we never talk about that today. No, we just sit and watch the towers fall yet again.

Somewhere out there on the bottom of the sea are the rotting remains of the evil son of bitch who masterminded the attack. It took a decade, but we hunted him down and put a bullet in his brain. Sure. We got him. Right? That’s what we wanted. that’s what our leaders promised us, 15 years ago today.

And today those howling the loudest for revenge shrug and say, well, yeah, that. That doesn’t matter, because, um, yeah, the guy in the White House, um, see, well, he’s not an American, he’s the enemy see? He’s not doing enough. So, whatever. What about that over there? And that? And…

Yeah.

15 years ago our leaders, left and right, stood on the steps of the Capitol and gave us their solemn promise to work together, to stand as one, for all Americans.

How’d that promise work out?

How much are their words worth? Today, 15 years later?

It’s 15 years later and we’re STILL afraid. We’re still terrorized. Still wallowing in conspiracy theories and peering suspiciously out of our bunkers at our neighbors. Sure we won. Sure we did. We became a nation that tortures our enemies — and our own citizens for that matter. We’re a nation of warrantless wiretaps and rendition and we’ve gotten used to being strip searched in our own airports. And how is the world a better place for it all?

And now we’re talking about more war, more blood.

But, yeah, we won. Sure. You bet.

Frankly, I have had enough of 9-11. Fuck 9-11. I’m not going to watch the shows. I’m not going to any of the memorials. I’m not going to the 9-11 sales at Wal-Mart. I don’t want to hear about 9-11. I for damned sure am not interested in watching politicians of either party try to out 9-11 each other. I’m tired of this national 9-11 PTSD. I did my bit for revenge, I went to war, I’ll remember the dead in my own time in my own way.

I’m not going to shed a damned tear today.

We got our revenge. Many times over, for whatever good it did us.

I’m going to go to a picnic and enjoy my day. Enjoy this victory we’ve won.

I suggest you do the same.

Human Jellyfish

March 11, 2014 1 comment

When did we become a nation of spineless wimps, unable to emotionally cope with perspectives different from our own?

Was it when social media became so popular? Maybe now that we see so many differing perspectives, we’ve shut down mentally and cry “that’s offensive!” at every turn. No, people were offended before Facebook.

Maybe, then, it was the invention of the internet? Connecting with people outside of our usual circles exposed us to things we’d never even heard of before. No, television and newspapers accomplished that long before the World Wide Web.

Was it in the middle of the 20th century, when people were frequently admonished with, “those things aren’t polite to talk about in mixed company!”? Maybe that was the start of it. But no, that admonishment is much older than the 1950’s.

Perhaps it goes all the way back to the start of our country? Clearly people were getting into serious trouble for speaking their minds back then because it conflicted with the powers that be, making the 1st Amendment necessary. No, people were getting into serious trouble long before then!

Maybe it’s not just our nation, but all nations! We have the Puritans, and before that the Spanish Inquisition, and before that a thousand years of medieval times to show us that different viewpoints were often met with harsh punishment. Before that, we have the biblical times, and the ancient Roman civilization, and the ancient Chinese dynasties.

So maybe the question isn’t ‘when’ but ‘why’. Why do people become so troubled about information that doesn’t fit their preconceived ideas and ideals? Why are people so uncomfortable with different political or religious viewpoints that they figuratively (and sometimes literally) stick their fingers in their ears? What is it about pointing out differences that makes people so angry?

Why do people get so offended by things that they’ll cast aside a longtime friend or family member who doesn’t agree with them? Why are there a hundred psychological diagnoses for people who just can’t deal with things that aren’t familiar, or who can’t cope with experiences that are outside of their realm of reality? Are we really so mentally fragile and emotionally stunted as a species that we can’t speak our minds without someone crying foul?

Difference of opinion are what progresses us as people. If we never heard anything that challenged us, we’d still be living in caves, grunting at each other. If we didn’t speak up when something was wrong, we’d never change for the better. If we never questioned anything, we’d never learn anything.

We’re devolving, losing our spines. We’re becoming human jellyfish, and that’s not ok with me!

Speak up! Allow yourself to be challenged. Question everything! And when someone whines because you’re offending their delicate sensibilities, tell ’em to grow a spine.

An angry sort of pain

October 4, 2013 4 comments

Today, we buried my step-mother.

And I’m angry.

Not angry because she died. Not angry because of the illness that precipitated her death. Not angry at any number of things that I will probably be angry about at some time in the future, distant or otherwise, while going through the stages of grief.

I’m angry primarily because of the funeral service. Or as the Quakers call it, a “memorial meeting”. They don’t have a church, they have a meeting house. They don’t have services, they have meetings.

Prior to today, I would have said that Quakers were the most sane of all the christian religions. I had attended Sunday school there as a teenager (aged 13 until 17, when I figured out how to get out of going without pissing off my father). I had even once or twice attended a meeting with the adults. I thought they were the most boring things ever. But I thought that was because I’d been brought up in pentecostal, methodist, baptist and other denominations (my mother flitted around from church to church), and had a biased view.

Today, my opinion was changed, and not for the better. I’m now wondering who the sadistic fuck was who came up with this idea of how to remember a loved one. If I had a time machine, I’d travel back in time to punch him or her squarely in the gut. What I experienced today was easily the most brutally painful memorial service of my life.

They even print out a pamphlet to warn people about what they’re about to experience, and leave many them sitting a couple feet apart on the benches, along with a travel-sized package of tissues. Ok, the tissues were a nice touch, I’ll give them that. The pamphlet reads:

“The Religious Society of Friends holds as the basis of its faith the belief that every human being is endowed with a measure of the Divine Spirit which may be directly experienced. Our manner of worship embodies this belief. We gather in quiet assemblies, mindful of the words: “Be still, and know that I am God.” We come together in reverent silence with the desire to draw nearer to God and to understand God’s will.

For Friends a memorial meeting is similar in many ways to a meeting for worship. It is not only a time for sharing feelings of loss, but a time for celebrating the life of the departed person. We reflect on the value of that life as it relates to the lives of all of us.

All present share in the is process. We sit quietly; at times an individual may be moved to speak, to offer a prayer or a message that has come out of the silence. All are welcome to do this.

The responsibility for the spiritual depth of the meeting rests with each attender. Those who keep silent as well as those who give a vocal message do their part when they yield their minds and hearts to the guidance of the Spirit.

Friends hope that in the meeting for worship a consciousness of the Divine Presence will be felt by every attender, and will be a source of direction, strength and comfort after leaving the meeting.”

Let me be perfectly clear. For those who have chosen this religion, and who choose to attend weekly meetings, this might be of some comfort for them. But for the rest of us, it’s downright painful.

The magnitude of how painful is not fully comprehended by just reading the warning pamphlet. It sounds nice, even quaint, to the reader. The reality is very different. I’ll now attempt to convey the awfulness of it.

When the meeting starts, there are a dozen or more elders seated on benches facing the rest of the room. Not one of them appeared to be under the age of 60. Men and women with nametags. It felt very imposing. Sort of like a jury, and we were all defendants being judged. I don’t even know what their purpose was, or why they were sitting in this position of authority over the rest of us.

One of the women rose to speak to the room, which, by the way, was packed with about 100 friends and family. She explained how things would proceed, and laid out what can only be described as rules to be followed. We were to sit in silence unless someone felt compelled to speak. After a person spoke, we had to allow a few minutes of silence in order to let everyone “reflect” on their words. No exact number of minutes were given, and I naively assumed that it was meant that up to a minute – 2 minutes, tops – would pass between speakers.

Oh how wrong I was! In the 75 minutes that this meeting lasted, only 7 people stood up to speak. Between each speaker was at least 5 minutes of dead silence. The kind of silence that makes your ears ring, because it’s so loud. The kind of silence that makes you aware of the beating of your own heart, and occasionally the beating of the heart of the person sitting next to you. The kind of silence where every breath is heard, every shuffle of body on seat and foot on floor. And not a comfortable silence, either! It was an incredibly painful silence. The kind of pain where you realize that many other people might have gotten up to speak, had they not felt so intimidated by the silence.

It was brutal. In my head, I shifted between willing someone, anyone!, to get up and speak, and just wanting it to be over. I knew my father intended to stand up and speak, because he had printed out what he wanted to say and was holding it for the majority of the time. I don’t know what he was thinking during all that silence, but I imagine it didn’t feel very good for him to sit for such long periods in abject silence, wondering if the reason nobody stood to speak was because they didn’t have anything to say. I wish I could have whispered some words of comfort to him, but a whisper would have sounded like a megaphone, and I wasn’t sure if the elders would reprimand me for disturbing the silence.

I figured (correctly) that he was waiting to be the last person to say something. I assumed that when he was done, he would end the meeting by telling everyone to go into the next room for refreshments and socialization. I was wrong. He sat back down, and left it to the elders to dictate what came next, whenever they felt enough silence had passed.

When one elder finally did stand and address the room, I was starting to feel almost panicky, as if she was going to tell us that we had to sit until a specified time before we would be allowed to leave, or if we’d be allowed to leave. This feeling wasn’t unwarranted. Before the meeting even started, my Husband received an emergency phone call (my girls were involved in a car accident) and had to leave. He returned just before my father stood to speak. When he moved to walk in and resume his seat next to me, one of the elders, stationed at the back of the room, grabbed his arm and told him he couldn’t enter. I watched this unfold in utter astonishment.

What the hell kind of person keeps someone from going to their loved ones at a time like this?! I have been to far too many funerals in my life, and never have I seen someone be physically restrained and told they couldn’t enter. NEVER!

As soon as we were given permission to leave (after another “moment” of silence), I bolted out of the room. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough. I didn’t even take the time to turn and hug my father, I was so freaked out and angry. I wasn’t alone, either. Many people rushed out of there, either to the adjoining room where refreshments were being served, or outside.

I spoke to one of my step-sisters a little while later, and partially confided in her how excruciatingly painful the whole thing was. I jokingly told her that, when my father died, if this was the kind of “service” he wanted, that I’d kill him all over again! I never, ever want to experience anything like that again in my lifetime!

At some point, I will have to discuss this with my father. I’m not sure exactly how to bring up the subject, or when, so if any of my readers have any advice, I’d be happy to hear it! Has anyone ever experienced anything like this before? Is this typical of all Quaker memorial meetings, or was this an anomaly? Is it something I should bring to the attention of the elders?

All I know right now is that I feel my step-mother was robbed of a beautiful memorial service. I’m angry. And that’s not how a person should feel after a memorial service.

Food stamps in restaurants!?

April 28, 2013 2 comments

Lately there have been quite a few memes popping up regarding food stamp usage in America.  Most of them are shared by the ignorant and bigoted people who feel the need to try to shame people who are using such benefits.

Why they do this, I don’t know. Maybe it’s because it makes them feel better to put down those less fortunate than themselves.  Maybe it’s because they are truly ignorant of what it’s like to be poor enough to have to use programs like these. Maybe it’s because they’ve been brainwashed by their favorite politician, news program or religious leader to think that people on welfare are lazy and selfish.

No matter what reason they use, the people who post these memes are the ones who are wrong. Wrong for not bothering – or outright refusing – to fact-check. Wrong for lacking compassion. Wrong for not using common sense.

The most recent meme that’s been floating around is the one complaining about restaurants accepting food stamps. Again, those posting it or “liking” it are guilty of not fact-checking and not using common sense.

Federal SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) policies allow each individual state to determine whether or not to allow food stamps to be used in a restaurant. Some states do, some don’t.

Now before you get your panties in a wad, or start screaming, “See, I told you so!”,  there are a few things you should know about how it works, who qualifies, and the reasoning behind the policies.

You can’t just walk into any restaurant willy-nilly and use food stamps to pay for a meal. There are restrictions.

The restaurants have to be approved to accept food stamps. That approval isn’t handed out to just any restaurant. There has to be a reason that restaurant gets approval. Most of the time, it’s because it’s in an area where there are a high number of people who are qualified to use food stamps in restaurants, or in an area where there aren’t many other options for qualified food stamp users.

Then there are the qualifications for food stamp recipients. The only people who qualify are the elderly, disabled or homeless, and rarely, those who don’t have functioning equipment at their homes (refrigerator, stove).

According to the USDA website:

“With very few exceptions, SNAP benefits cannot be used in restaurants – less than one-tenth of one percent of SNAP benefits were used in restaurants in FY11. The law permits States to authorize restaurants to serve meals to some elderly, disabled, or homeless SNAP clients, who are unable to prepare meals at home. Only four States have chosen to do so.”

In the Pennsylvania SNAP handbook, section 503.3 describes what is and isn’t allowed:

SNAP benefits may also be used to pay for meals prepared and served by any of the following:

  • Authorized meal-delivery services
  • Communal dining facilities for the elderly or SSI households
  • Rehabilitation centers for drug addicts or alcoholics
  • Group-living units
  • Shelters for battered women and children
  • Authorized providers of meals for the homeless
  • Authorized restaurants serving meals to the homeless, elderly, or disabled   7 CFR § 271.2(9)

Only homeless persons may use SNAP benefits in qualified restaurants. The CAO must issue a PA 2SP to the eligible client. The CAO must make the case record show that a PA 2SP was issued as a controlled document and include the name of the person in the household who is eligible for the qualified-restaurant program.

The reasons for allowing such provisions are because “homeless individuals don’t have kitchen spaces to cook meals, so buying unprepared foods at a grocery store may not be all that helpful. Those with disabilities might have a harder time cooking. And lastly, studies have shown that seniors are less likely to eat if they don’t get hot meals.” [source: Findlaw.com]

Anyone who disagrees with food stamps being used in this manner are also guilty of lacking compassion. If you continue to post these memes, do so at your own peril, because I will call you out on being willfully ignorant, bigoted, heartless assholes.

 
*definitions*:

ig·no·rant

[ig-ner-uh nt]

adjective

1. lacking in knowledge or training; unlearned: an ignorant man.
2. lacking knowledge or information as to a particular subject or fact: ignorant of quantum physics.
3. uninformed; unaware.
4. due to or showing lack of knowledge or training: an ignorant statement.

big·ot

[biguht]

noun

a person who is intolerant of any ideas other than his or her own, esp on religion, politics, or race.

Common courtesy

October 15, 2012 2 comments

The past couple of weeks have been pretty rough for me. More than a few times I’ve been let down by several people. I normally keep up a bit of a wall so that I’m not so disappointed by others, but I started to break down that wall, and now I regret it.

The first time it was pretty minor. I belong to a FreeCycle group on Facebook. One of the group members expressed an interest in something I was giving away, and made an appointment to pick up the items. Then she never showed up. This occurred several times over the course of a week. When I finally told her that she had one last opportunity, or I’d put the item back up as available, she finally did show up to pick up the items. Not a big deal, but an annoyance.

The second time was with another person from the group. We arranged to meet at a place halfway between us at 7p. We waited … and waited … and waited. I called several times, left text messages, and never received any response. And this was after speaking to her at 6:30p to confirm our meeting. Luckily we didn’t waste any gas money, since we were already heading that direction, but we did waste a good bit of time. We waited over an hour before leaving the location. Later that night, I got a text message saying she’d had a medical emergency and went to the ER. She apologized profusely, and asked to schedule another time. After a week of messaging her and never getting a response (all the while she was responding to other posts in the group), I finally gave up trying.

The third disappointment came from a “friend” (and I use that term loosely now) who offered to sell me a TiVo she no longer wanted, and I desperately wanted. We agreed on a price, then we agreed on how to ship it and how she would receive payment. Very straightforward … she sends it COD, I pay for the item and shipping costs. No games; no worry that either one of us gets screwed in the deal. She tells me she’s sending it one day, but then doesn’t because of the weather. Ok, I can understand that; not a problem. She says she’ll send it the next day. Later the next night, I send her an email asking if it was sent. No reply. A week – and several emails later – and still no reply. But I know she’s still alive, since I see her posting stuff every day. I respond to one of her posts, asking her to check her email. I know she saw my comment, because she responded to it. But still no email. Nothing from the Post Office, either. This one really pisses me off since it concerns money. Thankfully I didn’t send her the money first, which is exactly what I was thinking about when I decided on having it shipped COD. But ya know, when you say you’re going to do something, at least have the fucking decency to do it or explain why you’re not. Don’t just leave someone hanging!

The final knife in my back happened a couple of days ago. A good friend of ours was in desperate need of financial help. Being who we are, my Husband and I decided we could pitch in and help our friend. We don’t have a lot, and we struggle financially most of the time, so we know what it feels like and try to help people in any way we can. We were in just such a position to help when our friend said he needed help, so we loaned him $100. A few days later, I noticed that he was distancing himself from us. I chalked it up to his feeling a sense of shame that he had to ask for help. But then he decided to pick a fight for no apparent reason. That’s when I realized exactly what he was doing – trying to dissolve a friendship, expecting that we’d just write him off and he wouldn’t have to pay us back. A couple of days, and a couple of conversations later, I had confirmation of this. And ya know what … KARMA is a big ol’ bitch! And I have a memory like a fucking elephant!

So, for the foreseeable future, my wall goes back up and The Bitch comes back out. I trust no one. I give money to no one. I don’t go out of my way to help anyone. I will fulfill any commitments I’ve already made, but I won’t be making any more for a very long time.

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” – Maya Angelou

“Behind every bitch is an asshole that made her that way.”

What goes around comes back around

People helping people

September 8, 2012 4 comments

At the beginning of July of this year (2012), a Facebook group was started by a friend of mine (I’ll call him AF) and his two friends. The idea came about from a conversation between AF and his friends, to try to help people locally with some “free-cycling” and food collection/distribution for those in need.

About a week after the group was started, AF invited me to join, explaining what it was about. I loved the idea of a community coming together to help where Welfare, food banks and other charity services couldn’t or wouldn’t, and I was more than happy to help out wherever I could. Many people are turned away from services because they make “too much money” (she says while rolling her eyes).  This group’s purpose was to fill in those gaps by people in our community.

After a few days, things started to get really organized, with several people in a 50 mile radius becoming drop-off/collection points, each with their own designated list of nearby towns. AF and I teamed up for our local area, since he has transportation at all times (I don’t), and I have storage space (he doesn’t). I was pretty excited to be helping out, especially since our family has been in that “gap” for quite some time, and I know how frustrating it can be to not have any money, yet not qualify for help.

Things went great for about 4-5 weeks. We still weren’t perfectly organized, but we’d started to gain members, and people were coming out of the woodwork to help, and to be helped. We made some emergency deliveries of food for a family that had nothing, and people were working together nicely to help each other out. Items were being posted that were available, and people were posting items they wanted (known as ISO=in search of, or INO=in need of).

Unfortunately, as these things so often go, people started abusing their privileges, and even worse, the admins running the group started abusing their power. I’d had some clues that this was coming, but I tried to ignore them, as I thought it was just “growing pains”.

The first clue was the apparent illiteracy of one of the admins. Sometimes it would take reading a post 2-3 times just to understand what she was trying to say. I kept my grammar nazi in check, because this was for a good cause, and I understand that some people have serious problems with spelling, grammar and punctuation. But as time went on, it started to bother me that the “face” of the group – the one everyone had to interact with – couldn’t communicate clearly.

The second clue was that both admins seem to revel in drama. Whether it was good, bad, angry, happy or sad, it was like watching a badly written school play. If there was good or happy news, there was gushing and crying. If there was bad or sad news, there was pouting and crying. But the absolute worst drama (I could overlook the other two) was the drama that played out when someone got their feelings hurt, or when people weren’t “playing by the rules”. That’s when the page-long sob-fest would happen. It usually went something like this: “I started this so people could help others, and now people aren’t obeying my every command, and someone has hurt my feelings, and I want everyone to feel sorry for me, so I’m gonna sit here and cry and threaten to shut down the group, until I get 20 comments that I feel sufficiently give me the credit I so rightly deserve!”  And people ate it up! Comment after comment would pour in, giving them them the attention they craved.

And speaking of attention, the 3rd clue was when people started to say thanks for creating the group. Instead of just saying “you’re welcome”, the admins lavished upon themselves all the admiration they could muster. Each admin would heap praise on the other for their wonderful idea. I couldn’t help but wonder why AF was left out of this praise-fest. Remember him? I did, but apparently neither admin did. He hadn’t even been made an admin for the group, and was never mentioned at all. So I sent him an email and asked what happened, thinking maybe he’d had a falling out with them or something. He confirmed that he was just as confused as I was, and was actually getting a bit angry at the behavior of his friends. So I posted a comment in the midst of the praise-fest, asking whose idea the food collection/distribution was, since I knew that was AF’s idea all along. Imagine my (and AF’s) surprise when they took THAT credit, too!

It was at this time that I started to lose a major amount of respect for the two admins. One or two of those clues I could have over-looked. But all three? It was just too much. So I pretty much went quiet, and just read what was posted for the next couple of weeks.

Then something even worse happened. Clue #4 for me. Because a couple of group members were abusing the group privileges, the admins took an extreme hissy-fit, made quite a few drama posts, and completely changed the rules of the group. The new rules are as follows (group name, and individual names blocked for privacy):

No longer were people allowed to post INO or ISO. People now just had to sit and wait, and hope that something they needed was posted by someone else. Or they could go to another group to ask for things. Because, you know, only people who are giving things are important to this group now. Group participation took a drastic slide. All of the posts that were INO or ISO were deleted. When asked why, one admin said it was “clog[ging] the room up” and that it “took me over an hour to delete all ISO it was bumping down many things that folks offered to give an noone seen so it was time for the ISO to go”.

I really started to dread being a part of this group. But I’d made a commitment, and I intended to follow through on it.

Over the next couple of weeks, things progressively got worse. The admins weren’t following their own rules, but would chastise others for not following the rules. Sometimes very rudely. But mostly treating others like they were children, not capable of an intelligent thought. People started posting “prayer requests”, and pictures of their newborn babies, and information about their family, and sob-stories. Every day, my notifications were filled with these things … these things that have nothing to do with what the group was created for. I started to disregard the notifications altogether. If someone tagged me in a post, I didn’t see it, because it was too much to wade through. I started scrolling through the group, to see if there was anything truly important posted. It started to take me forever to scroll past all the prayer and drama nonsense, and find an actual post where someone is giving something away. In case you think I’m blowing things out of proportion, here’s a look at my scroll-bar:

I went back to the rules again, to see if anything had changed that they neglected to tell people. Nope, everything was still the same. I carefully read the rules, thinking I’d missed something. I hadn’t. And it started to grate on my nerves. My time is valuable, too, and I felt the admins had lost respect for their members by allowing certain things.

  • The group was now for ONLY posting things you are giving away, and no ISOs would be allowed. It’s very clearly listed at the top in ALL CAPS, and again as rule #6, so you can’t miss it. Yet, the admins themselves would post ISOs, and give “special permission” for their friends to do so, as well.
  • No rude comments, or treating others without respect. Yet, the admins were frequently rude to those “breaking the rules”. They weren’t respecting others’ time. They certainly weren’t respecting others religious beliefs (I wonder if they know that Jehovah’s Witnesses and other religious groups don’t publicly pray? I wonder if they know that not everyone is a Christian? I wonder if they’ve ever read Matthew 6:5-6 ?).
  • No private information? I now knew all sorts of private information about members. Stuff that hackers could easily use to break into accounts. Baby names and birthdates, peoples’ whereabouts, etc.
  • Rule #8 says that “bumping” is allowed once every 24 hours.  Presumably, this is to make it fair to everyone, so their posts aren’t always at the top of the page. Which is great. Except that every time someone comments, it “bumps” the post to the top of the page, AND creates a notification. So for all of those INO prayer requests, and the dozens of comments on each one (where everyone has to announce that they will pray, so everyone can see that they’re such good Christians), all of the other legitimate posts get pushed farther and farther down the page, and everyone is inundated with a ton of notifications.

So, I’d had enough. I decided to behave like an adult, and bring my concerns to the admins, in private. I thought the best course of action was short, sweet and to the point, showing the rules and the breaking of the rules, and offering a suggestion. I probably wasn’t as calm and collected as I could have been, but I wasn’t mean or rude.

What I got in return didn’t surprise me in the least. It was basically the same response I’d get from a 12 year old having a temper tantrum because she didn’t like what I was saying. I was, however, hoping for a bit more maturity, and maybe seeing things from outside her own little bubble.

I figured I’d just let things go, and if it continued to bother me, I’d just leave the group without saying a word. But then, the inevitable happened. I should have seen it coming a mile away. I knew the admins were drama queens (remember the clues?). I guess I naively thought they could handle things like an adult this one time, since it wasn’t brought up in the group itself, but in private! I was wrong.

The other admin (the one I did not send the email to) posted this in the group:

After a whole lot of confusion by other group members, the admin that I emailed responded with this:

If they had told the entire story, instead of what you see posted here (which is the only thing either of them said), I might not be as upset as I am. But they both managed to twist things around, omit details, and once again start their drama and crying to garner support and accolades for themselves. Ironically, the drama queen that I emailed is the one that says, “i am so not into drama”.  Oy!

So you might be wondering – why did I type this all out, and go through all this trouble? All I have to do is leave the group, right? Well, it’s not that easy. First I have to explain to AF why I’m leaving the group, and leaving him with my end of the commitment as well as his. And since I had to explain it all anyway, I figured I’d just get it all off my chest at once.

And to be quite honest, I’m quite pissed off! Even though my name wasn’t specifically used, I don’t appreciate being dragged through the mud and used as just one more way for these admins to get attention. And because I’m sick and tired of hypocritical Christians, and this was the straw the broke the proverbial camel’s back. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, perhaps you might want to brush up on your Bible reading:

Matthew 6:1-4

“Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,

so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

I also want my story to serve as a lesson to others who are thinking about doing something similar. Please, by all means, create a group, a community that cares! But if you’re going to admin the group, there are a few things you might want to consider.

  • Have a clear plan ahead of time. Know what you will or won’t allow. Some of the ideas from this group were fantastic! Some just made no sense at all considering the purpose of the group.
  • Don’t make rules and then enforce them willy-nilly. Most definitely don’t make some people follow rules, while others are allowed to do whatever they want. In other words, don’t be a middle school clique.
  • Listen to your members. Don’t just react in a knee-jerk way, having a temper tantrum when you don’t like criticism. Realize that most people want what’s best for the group, and may bring up points that you never considered.
  • If you’re easily offended, or can’t keep your emotions in check, find an admin that can!
  • Make sure your admin(s) are literate, and communicate clearly.
  • Keep the drama out of the group! That includes the admin(s)!
  • Unless your group is specifically a religious group, whose sole intention is to ask for prayers, keep it out of the group! Remember that all those prayers and prayer requests cause notifications, and push everything else way down, thereby eating up group members’ valuable time. Also remember that not everyone shares the same religious beliefs. Respect ALL of your members, not just those that believe the same way you do.

I hope that this group flourishes. But I have serious doubts that it will. It seems to be too great a stress on the admins, who can’t control their emotions or attitudes.  I still think the idea for this group is a great one, and hope that others find inspiration from it.