What’s Equality?

I’m opinionated. I know this. So if this offends you, well. It happens.

So. I have this problem. I care about equality for all human beings right….I do. I believe we are all equal and made in God’s image. Okay. So. The government has a certain degree of say in things. Gotcha. And people follow suit. Well. Here is some things to consider about Barack Obama…All things I gathered from speeches and Twitter. He uses pictures to tweet messages

Before Barack Obama became re-elected, he was all for women. Women’s health. Women this. Women that. Good. Okay. Well. I’m a woman, and I don’t have health insurance and when I apply, I have gotten denied. And the prices of most plans to cover what I need are so astronomically high that I would need to spend about $300 dollars to get what I need. On his Twitter feed, there are about six or so photographs related to women’s health, and those were all before he got elected. There’s virtually nothing about healthcare on there. Basically because he’s done nothing but ruin it for me and other people I know. So. I’ve seen no change that was promised. The current minuscule health plan that I do have has seen such a decline in coverage that all it covers is one gyno appointment and my birth control. It doesn’t cover if I get sick or need an antibiotic. It covers one gyno appointment and birth control.

I saw one violence against women picture, perhaps two. But no more that two. And that was before the election. I thought for sure with the Steubenville Rape and Rape culture we live in that he would have posted something. But, sadly, not a damn thing came out of his mouth about this rape case or what can be done to stop things like this from happening. Mmkay. So I was mad about that. Nothing about it on his twitter page at all.

About ten were devoted to the military, merely thanking them for their service.  Nothing about how they don’t get taken care of after they have served the country. The veterans health benefits aren’t that great. In fact before my grandpa passed away he saw such a decline in his health coverage that he ran out of benefits and had to wait until the first of the year to get medication he needed. Again, and insurance issue. A good amount of veterans are unemployed. But. that’s not something I hear about every day on his twitter page.

Gun control took up about 100 photos on the president’s Twitter feed. About facts of gun violence. How everyone should have a right to be involved with the gun debate. Okay. Well. It’s an issue because you’re making it one and you haven’t actually accomplished anything. Everyone knows how I feel about guns. I think the laws are pointless because they can’t stop criminals anyway. About 100 photos were devoted to gay marriage. Which, okay. Fine. I get it. People want gays to marry. Gays want equal opportunity to marry. Go for it.

My problem is the inequality of the seriousness of these issues. It infuriates me that he can focus on what is convenient for him. Two hundred pictures tweeted and devoted to guns and gay marriage. Ten tweets devoted to veterans. A couple of tweets devoted to violence toward women.

Do we see an unequal pattern here?

 

I want health insurance. That’s a basic human right just like loving someone. And I can’t get it because I either can’t afford it or they give me a “get well soon card” I mean, have any of you actually priced health insurance for yourselves? IT’S INSANE NOW. I feel like it’s a basic human right to feel safe and not have rapists able to get minimum sentences for their crimes. I feel like that’s a basic human right too.

I want equality for everyone. Every single person in the world. I think we need to weigh all of these issues. Seriously. I think they are all issues that need to be dealt with. I saw nothing but green for the Newtown shooting and I see all red today to support gay marriage.

So are we going to put up a color for the rape victims and women’s violence? How about the millions of uninsured American people? How about the veterans that don’t get paid nearly enough or get the care they deserve?

We need to make everything a priority. And this includes the president who as of late only focuses on guns and gay marriage. I’m not saying he shouldn’t, but there are many other things to focus on as well. Focus on the fact that some people think rape is okay. Focus on the fact that your healthcare plan isn’t helping everyone and is costing a crap ton of money. Focus on those things too. That’s all I want. There is entirely too much hate in the world to not care about all of the issues. I mean, God, My hometown has to bury a Marine this Thursday. His name was LCPL Josh Martino. There have been rumors that the Westboro Baptist Church will be coming to picket his funeral. This world is full of hate! We need to stop all of it! We need you, Mr. President to make some decisions.

Because, quite frankly Mr. President, I don’t feel very “equal” to a lot of people right now.

RIP to LCPL Josh Martino and those other Marines that died last week. Semper Fi. May peace come to your families.

Once Should Be Enough

Earlier this year I posted a bucket list on my blog. I had posted it right after my grandpa passed away. You can view it here. Well, it’s been about a month since we buried him, and I have already done some of the things that I had said I would do.

Last week I got my second tattoo. It was rather simple but powerful; it is the infinity symbol with the word faith written in the symbol. Along one side is a cross and on the other side is two birds.

I have a lot of faith in God and what he has done for me. In fact, I think I have more faith than most of the people I know. If there is one thing I have learned, it’s that the amount of times you go to church has absolutely no bearing on the amount of faith you have. I look up at the moon and I can see God. I can see him in the sunsets at the ocean. I see power and mystery; I would much rather praise God in his natural habitat than in a building that people made to worship him in. It seems quite counterproductive to build a building to be “in the presence of God” when God made nature. That is why I had the word faith written into the infinity symbol. The cross also represented God as well as Jesus. Jesus died for me as he did for all of us. It is my belief that we owe it to him to love one another regardless of religion, race or sexual preference. My Jesus was that guy that hung out with lepers and whores and loved them anyway because no one else would (Of course I mean whore in the sense that Mary Magdalene was painted as a whore by certain people. Personally I could care less how many people she slept with). That man died for me, so I owe it to him to try to love everyone. Finally, I got two birds, one to represent Kimmy, who I have written about before on here, and one for my grandpa. Birds represent freedom and peace. They are at peace and they are free. They are always with me and someday I will be flying with them. I know it’s rather simple, but it meant a lot to me. My sister also got her first tattoo with my grandpa’s date of birth and date of death on her back.

A special thanks to Josh Slovinsky of Dark Star Tattoo in Punxsutawney, PA.

A special thanks to Josh Slovinsky of Dark Star Tattoo in Punxsutawney, PA.

The second thing off of my bucket list, which I’m not entirely sure I actually mentioned in the first blog, was to buy another gun. After my initial experience with my Smith & Wesson .38 Special, I realized I was more suited to semi-automatic hand guns than I was suited to revolvers. My boyfriend and I went to Grice Gun Shop in Clearfield, Pa. for their annual gun sale. We initially had went for ammo because Lord knows that since all of these rules have been implemented, ammunition has been scarce. Which, I find to be extremely ironic because crazy ass people are STILL killing people. So guess what? It’s PEOPLE that need help with their mental problems. PEOPLE kill people, not guns. Anyway, I went to the hand gun part of the store, even though I saw a tactical rifle that I really wanted but could not afford on the wall. I walked around the cases when I saw it: the Beretta Px4Storm. It was on sale, and no it’s not a Glock, but Beretta’s are still highly reputable around the world (I mean, come on, they are made in Italy and my moms family is from Italy, so obviously I knew it was well made). I was lucky enough to have a Beretta representative wait on me and hand me the gun. It fit so well in my hand. It was larger, which I liked because I’m not the stereotypical “small-gun” female. In fact it was molded and crafted so well that my boyfriend was like, “Hell, I want to buy this, but I’m not going to.” So I surprised him.

I told the guy to give me a form to fill out for my background check.

My boyfriend was GREEEEEENNN with envy because I wanted it bad enough to purchase it on the spot. I assured him I would let him shoot it, despite him trying to convince me to trade him for his Ruger SR9. I decided to get the 9mm model instead of the .40 cal because I didn’t think I was ready for .40 cal yet. Also, I knew I wanted him to get the Glock in .40 cal because of its good reviews and high reliability.

And within ten minutes I had my full background check complete and headed to the cash register. Which, was surprising to me because the first time I bought a gun, it took them 2.5 hours to get my background check completed. But nonetheless, the people at Grice Gun Shop are the friendliest and they know their stuff; never hesitate to ask them a question.

This Thursday I will be going out to shoot my new purchase and I am extremely excited because I already know I will like it more than the revolver, and I shot well with Kyle’s Ruger. I will probably post a picture of my target when I am finished because I am that excited. I wrote in my last blog how I feel more and more confident that I can take care of and protect myself, and this gun will provide me with such confidence. See, gun owners don’t have to be psycho. In fact, most of the gun owners in the USA are not, but psycho people steal respectable gun owners weapons. I am not planning a mass killing nor do I want to kill myself, I simply want to know that if someone ever tries to steal my purse, rape me or kill me that I have the capability of severely wounding and incapacitating them (Yes. My faith in the human race is so HIGH that I will carry a weapon because I know monsters exist and refuse to be anything less than evil. And that’s a serious issue that needs to be dealt with. Screw gun control. We need people control).

That’s two things: A new tattoo and a new gun. I have many things on my list left to do this year. They say you only live once,

And if you do it right, once should be enough.

Stand By Me While I Save Myself

I own a Smith & Wesson 38 special.

I prefer my boyfriend’s Ruger 9mm. I hit a zombie target in the head during my first time shooting the Ruger.

In that moment when I held both weapons, I felt empowered. I didn’t feel empowered in the sense that I was going to go out and kick ass and take names, but empowered in the sense that I was capable of using force to take care of myself. I have two knives that I carry with me as well as a pink stun-gun that bursts approximately 7.8 million volts.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I do have a 6’4″ boyfriend that is a prior Marine that can easily defend me.

But, there is something special about a female that knows she is capable of taking care of herself. There’s something empowering about a woman who can look an assailant in the eye and evade him or her, or perhaps make them regret ever trying to cause harm to anyone.  I’m talking about thieves, murderers or even rapists.

Yes rapists.

Now, I’m not going to talk about rape too much strictly because I have not gone through it. I feel those stories should be reserved for those brave enough to share their stories. However, I will gladly support and start a conversation involving rape because it is a SERIOUS issue in the world. If you would like to read REAL stories about that, then check out this Tab I contributed to here. You will find more stories there.

With that being said, there are sick and twisted individuals in the world that prey upon women. Let’s face it; women aren’t built the same way as men physically and that can lead to overpowering issues. I’m also not saying that women get attacked only by men either. My point is that we women have every right to defend and protect ourselves as well as our loved ones. Some people may think me paranoid for carrying all of the weapons listed above. I find myself to strictly be using my resources wisely so that no one can think they can hurt me.

I’m not encouraging all of my female readers to go out and buy handguns, though I will admit I am glad that I did purchase one. I’m not saying that you need knives or stun guns either.

I am saying that you can be just as deadly with your hands if you choose to be, but the key is to preparing yourself.

I strongly suggest to my readers to take self-defense classes. One maneuver could be the difference between life or death. If you want a small hand gun, any attacker would think twice, especially if they are unarmed.

Women, I want you to empower yourselves to stand by one another. Don’t depend on a stronger person to be with you all the time. Don’t let a man (or woman) stand beside you and save you.

Let them watch while you save yourself.

We live in a sick and twisted world; just today I saw on CNN that people were making fun of the victim in the Steubenville Rape Case. People said she deserved it because she:
1) shouldn’t have been partying with older guys
2) shouldn’t have gotten drunk and passed out

and my personal favorite:
3) boys will be boys.

I also saw on Facebook today that someone posted that rape is not important because there are “more important things to worry about in this world.”

It made me want to vomit and throw my cell phone at the screen. How can people be so heartless, crass and stupid? HOW?

The sad thing is, that now I realize that saving myself is of the utmost importance. I will always be able to depend on my boyfriend to save me when he is around. But with the way the world is today and with how shallow and ignorant some people are….

I know that I will always be able to save myself because I won’t be able to depend on people like the ones above to help me. Those people would leave me to be raped and murdered if they could.

It’s time the country gets educated and it’s time that we all start learning how to protect ourselves. I feel safe knowing if someone ever tries to attack me that I will either stun, stab or shoot them.

I wish for all people, women especially, to feel secure as well.

Check out all of these amazing articles. Mine was titled “Prude” and I’m happy to be among all of these empowering writers.

Shaunanagins

The Taboo Tab is a a community of writers and readers bravely putting faces and stories to subjects society seems to skip over.

This month, that subject is sexuality. Whew. Not exactly a small topic. And it’s a serious one, too–just look at what has been in the news this week.

This is a powerful group of stories that together show the complexity and diversity of a notoriously challenging area. There are stories about judgement, outlooks, and experiences. Slut. Prude. Abstinence. Rape. Conversation. Diversity.

As Alex Crane writes in “The Zombie Effect“:

I live and work in a world where sex seems to be both capitalized and whispered at the same time. “Look out, the SEX is coming!” (pun? maybe.)

These twelve writers are moving the conversation into the real world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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An Open Letter to the Government of the United States

Dear President Obama and the government of the United States,
My name is Alexandria (Ali) Prescott. I graduated college from Penn State University in May of 2011 with a Bachelor’s in Journalism. I pay my student loan back on time every month, even when bills are tight. I do not have a job in my field, though I do have a job bartending at the bar my mom owns. This means that I live off of the tips that customers give me; sometimes I get tipped well, but sometimes I also get tipped nothing at all. Companies constantly tell me that I do not have enough experience and that is why I have not been hired. I live with my mom, boyfriend, little sister, two dogs and one cat. We all work hard to make ends meet. I don’t have health insurance because I can’t afford it and I am trying to qualify for medical assistance. I have a lot of health issues right now that are progressively getting worse because I cannot get them taken care of. The insurance I was on kicked me off when I turned 21 and put me on this other insurance for “female only” problems. And since the new Obamacare proposals, I have seen such a decrease in my coverage that even my doctors and pharmacists cannot keep up.

I am writing this because I have one question: why? Why did I have to pay for my education when people sitting in prison get free education? You keep saying that children need to be educated, but yet, you freely educate criminals and make college kids have to pay back their loans. Why don’t I have insurance when people sitting in prison and jail get taken care of? Why does the government give drug addicts the ability to “get back on their feet” but it doesn’t afford that opportunity to people like me? Why are people like me working to “spread the wealth” when we are struggling on a day-to-day basis to make ends meet? Why do I see people in Sheetz using their ACCESS cards to buy cigarettes and specialty coffee? Why do so many people cheat the system and you don’t catch on? How can someone be on disability, have a job, collect food stamps and welfare all at the same time? How can drug addicts get put into programs where they get free housing and healthcare? And they do, because my father is one of them.

Why government? Why are you ripping this country apart by punishing the people who work hard to make it a great nation? Why is all this fairness you speak of fair to no one at all?

Why?

I used to be proud to be an American and now I’m not sure what it even means to be an American in this day and age.

And you wonder why people go crazy and kill other people. Well.

I think I found your answer, and it’s you, government, that is driving this nation of greatness to a nation of shambles.

Sincerely,
Ali Prescott

Go With Your Whole Heart

How many times are we told that time waits for no one? And how many times do we put off things we should do because we think we have more time? It’s easy; everyone thinks they have time and they do not ever use it wisely until something tragic happens.

The year has barely started and I have already had to bury my grandfather. He was a man who I considered to be timeless until I realized that time would inevitably run out. He lived a good, and rather long life. Now, my family and I have to move forward.

If there is one thing certain about life, it’s that it has to move regardless of what tragedies may occur during our time on this planet. That means that it is time to start living. You must live every, single breath of every, single day. You must live with purpose and with fiery passion that way when you die, you have no regrets. You must love with your whole heart, not just part of it.

I have been inspired to make a two-year bucket list. Some things on this list are going to be wild and crazy while others are going to be simple. But nonetheless, I have a life to live. I have a life to live for myself. I may have my better half, and he will be involved in many of these adventures, but I still have to live these things for me.

Go to Hawaii 
My grandparents went to Hawaii and while they were there they met the Pittsburgh Steelers  like Lynn Swann and Franco Harris. I know I won’t get to hang out with celebrities like they did, but I want to see the mountains, waterfalls and beaches.
Get more Tattoos
I’ve always been fascinated by artwork in its various forms. And I have the idea of what I want next, I’m just baffled by the placement I want it.
See Wild Horses on the Beach
I hear it is possible in the northern part of North Carolina to see wild horses on the beach. I have wanted to see them since I saw “Nights In Rodanthe.” It would quite a beautiful sight.
Get a Job in My Field
I have learned so much from bartending at the place my mom owns. But I ultimately do want to find a job in my field. I would love to find one in Florida and I am confident that within these next two years I can make that happen. Until then, I am content slinging beers and mixing drinks.
Take Kyle to Disney World
I have so many memories from my childhood at that place: all with my grandparents. I think it is about time I show him why I love the place so much. Oh, and he has never been there either.
Read Every Book on my Bookshelf
I have many books. In fact when I have my own house I want many shelves to house these books. However, one would be surprised how many of these books I have started and not finished. I need to finish a lot if them, and there is no time like the present to do so.
Make a Difference in the World
I do not particularly care how it happens, but I will be performing one random act of kindness a month at least for the next two years to make the world a better place. It will increase to probably once a week until ultimately I try to do one random act of kindness per day.
Travel Abroad
I’ve only ever traveled to Canada. Other than that I have never been out of the states. That needs to change. I feel a few European countries are calling my name and seeking my visit. I want to see Sicily because it is where my grandpa’s family is from. Italy in general is my goal, but I want to see both places. I want to see the whole continent.
Take Lots of Pictures
I originally got my Nikon D5100 to take pictures of my grandparents. Unfortunately, I did not get to take any of them together  basically because taking something that large as a carry-on on the plane is virtually impossible without paying the baggage fees.  I was hoping I would get to drive down with my boyfriend and drive back with him as well. We were supposed to go this week actually to surprise them, but God had other plans. Thus, it’s only fair that from now on I try my best to capture every moment that I can because I will not ever know which moment will be my last.
Eat One New Food a Month
My grandpa was always trying to get me to eat new foods and most of the time I hated it. Well, now I am going to expand my food palette and try new things.

I know it’s not much, but I want to try to get all of these things accomplished. And if I have any new ideas, I will inevitably be writing about them in future blogs. If anyone has any suggestions, feel free to comment them.

As one of my favorite songs says, “Forget regret or life is yours to miss. No other road. No other way. No day but today.”

Live in the moment. Live every day like it was your last day. Love every love like it will be your last love. Surround yourself with happiness.

Love.

Boldly go. And go with your whole heart.