Say What You Want About Hillary…

At least she had the courage to testify when asked to do so.

Where are you Donald Trump? There’s a seat waiting for you as soon as you summon the courage. Which we all know will never happen because you are a coward–a corrupt coward.

Round after round, for eleven hours, Hillary Clinton was pounded with questions from overzealous Republicans, pining desperately to catch an erroneous statement from her. But she answered each and every question with the composure and certainty of a fearless leader.

She was a cool glass of water, and the hearing ended with the Republicans unable to find her guilty of a thing. But they had the opportunity to try because Clinton had the balls to show up and President Obama didn’t try to stop her, nor did he withhold any requested documents.

I’ve spent more time than I should have this week trying to get a Republican, any Republican, to explain to me why, if Donald Trump is innocent of the accusations against him, isn’t he testifying? Why has he also tried to block all those who have testified from testifying?

Why won’t he, Rudy Giuliani, Mick Mulvaney, Rick Perry, Mike Pence, and Mike Pompeo, all raise their right hands and put their words under oath? If everything the president did was so perfect, then why is he trying so hard to hide everything? Why won’t the State Department release all the documents and witness’s notes regarding the phone call with the Ukrainian President and all relating communications?

When I ask this, I don’t get a direct response from my Republican friends. One friend answered by claiming that all of the people who have testified are Never Trumpers filled with raging hate for the president. Her disregard for the men and women who have served their country honorably for decades in nonpartisan, diplomatic roles is disgusting.

Instead of defending Trump by offering a valid defense, they attack the people who work to keep this country safe, with no desire for fame or fortune. The people who do their jobs on a government salary with no need to sprawl their names across buildings.

These diplomats are the enemies of this country?

If you watched the hearings, it’s easy to see they are the saviors of this country/

Also, if you watched the hearings, it’s easy to see why¬†Donald Trump is trying so hard to hide everything.

Say what you want about Hillary Clinton, but at least she showed up.

 

 

 

A (Not-So) Tiny Sacrifice

I had IVIG treatment today. For the next couple days I will feel fuzzy and foggy — a small sacrifice to endure for a treatment that has given me my life back (and will continue to for years to come because I’ve been doing this for fours years, every four weeks, and there is no foreseeable end). Four hours of lying in a bed with an IV stuck in my arm is a tiny sacrifice to endure to live again.

How did it come to be known that IVIG (Intravenous Immunoglobulin) would help immune deficient patients battle whatever disease is attacking their body? This therapy has taken the body that has fallen off a couch, too weak to lift itself up off the floor, the body that has fallen down stairs, legs not strong enough to reach the top, and has transformed that body into one that can walk, do yoga, and swallow with no fear of choking.

I’m so grateful, but today, I lay in that hospital bed and wondered about the animals, chimpanzees, in particular.

I volunteer at an animal shelter. I feel empathy for neglected, abandoned, and abused animals. I want to take them all home with me and show them what love feels like. I want them to know hands that comfort, and not hurt. I want the dog who has lived its life tied to a tree to know the feeling of the warmth of a bed with soft blankets. I want the dog who almost died from thirst to know there’s a bowl of fresh water, in the same place, anytime he wants it.

I want all these things because I hate suffering. I participate in protests against puppy mills, and those pet stores who by from those horrible places (which is most pet stores) because I hate suffering. I changed my eating habits to a (mostly) compassionate diet because I hate suffering. I research companies who test on animals and buy a different brand because I hate suffering. I do all of this because I hate the idea of contributing to the suffering of another living being, and yet, I don’t know if the treatment I go for every month has been tested on animals.

A chimpanzee has a 98% genetic similarity to humans. If the therapy I get was tested on an animal to see if it would benefit patients with my disease, (I haven’t yet checked because I don’t want to know. I’m not ready to know. I’m a coward like that) it most likely would have been a chimpanzee. Ironically, my most beloved animal growing up. Stuffed monkeys crowded my room as a kid. My favorite was one where the hands velcroed together so you can sling the arms around your neck and pretend like the monkey was clinging to you. I carried this chimp around my hip all the time.

So how fitting would it be if the suffering of a chimpanzee is the reason I feel better?

Not fitting at all because the only way a company could test if IVIG would work for my disease (and any disease) is to take a species with a similar functioning healthy immune system and make it sick. Yes, make a healthy and vibrant animal sick for the benefit of a human life — my life — possibly.

I don’t believe that animals are here for humans to do with them what they will. Maybe the Bible states Man’s dominion over animals, but I don’t believe everything in the Bible anyway, so I’m comfortable disagreeing. They are not our trophies in a one-player sport, or our entertainment performing a display of tricks while enduring cruel treatment, and, some argue, they aren’t even here to be our food.

They are living creatures who know pain and fear, and experience joy and sadness.

I’ve heard the heart-wrenching screams of a mother cow as she watches her calf being dragged away only seconds after birth. I’ve watched terror take over a pig when it knows it’s about to be killed in a brutal way — thumping — the industry calls it. I’ve seen cows and Beagles, who have spent their entire lives in cages inside factories, without ever once feeling the sun on their skin, frolic joyfully in the grass for the first time. And when given an option to lay on the floor or a bed piled with pillows, my dog will always choose the bed. Why? Because it’s more comfortable, and animals, even farm animals, recognize comfort over discomfort.

Which one do you think they prefer?

Today, I lay in a comfortable hospital bed while receiving the fluid that will help my body function as normally as it can, but what conditions were the chimpanzees living in when they were (are) experimented on? I imagine they were forced into small cages, in a bland and cold room, locked up like a prisoner, frightened and sick, not knowing why they are there because they’ve done nothing wrong — except to have the unfortunate luck in sharing enough DNA similarity to perhaps the greediest, self-entitled, and morally inept race alive today.

And cowardly, too. That’s my race. That’s me. And maybe some day I’ll be brave enough to know how much suffering (sacrifice) a living being endured so I can have my life back.

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Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net