Friday, July 6, 2018

My one man crowdfunder... and crazy wingnuts

Today's post is about two things-- money and religious wingnuts who are trying to convince others that we're in the end times.

As is my habit, this morning I was reading my Statcounter log and I noticed that someone read a post I wrote four years ago.  It was composed during July 2014, one of the worst months of my life thus far.  I published it on July 26th, about eight days before Bill and I boarded a plane to Germany, where we planned to move.

The post was about a young woman named Julianna Battenfield, a graduate of Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina.  Ms. Battenfield had decided to attend law school at Regent University, but claimed that God didn't want her to go into debt.  Because she wanted to obey God's command, she launched a crowdfunding campaign, asking people to donate to her law school fund.  At the time of the pitch, it was May 2014.  Ms. Battenfield needed $12,500 before August.  Many people posted about how ridiculous and offensive it was that Ms. Battenfield was asking strangers for help with her law school tuition.  I must admit, I also thought it was quite a ballsy and ridiculous idea.  Battenfield later discontinued her crowdfunding campaign.

As it is now 2018, I'm guessing Battenfield may be a graduate of Regent by now.  Or maybe not.  Let's Google and see if we can find out where she is...

Mmm'kay...  well, it appears that Ms. Battenfield is now a prosecutor for Florence County in South Carolina.  I've been through Florence many times, as I went to graduate school at the University of South Carolina in Columbia.  I had to drive up and down I-95 to get to school from my home in Virginia.  I-95 passes right by Florence.  I'm glad to see she was able to finish her education and get a job.  Looks like she was also in AmeriCorps, which is certainly admirable.

I see from her LinkedIn profile that Ms. Battenfield also attended North Greenville University.  She was seeking a master's degree in secondary education and completed all but one course and student teaching.  She left to go to law school.  Interestingly enough, I have a connection to that school, too.  The current president of North Greenville University is Dr. Gene Fant Jr.  When I was a sophomore in high school, Dr. Fant, then known as Mr. Fant, was my homeroom teacher.  He was also a very popular (and super cute and young) English teacher.  I wasn't fortunate enough to have him for English class, but he is now a Facebook friend.  

I don't know how Ms. Battenfield paid for her education.  I don't really care, either.  What's prompting me to write this post and titling it as I have is the realization that four years ago, I still owed over $40,000 on my student loans.  I mentioned it in that earlier post.  Today, in 2018, I owe just $4,928.  In ten days, that figure will drop to about $2,400.  A month from now, I plan to have the rest of the balance paid off.  I will be finished with student loans forevermore.  I am amazed that in the four years past Bill's retirement, I've been able to make huge progress on my student loans.  Consider that my original debt was $57,000 and in 2014, I had been paying for 12 years.  It just goes to show that paying more than the minimum will get you ahead.

I suppose I can't be too hard on Ms. Battenfield for her crowdfunding plea.  My education was mostly paid for by my very kind and generous husband.  I guess I could call Bill my one man crowdfunder... or maybe my patron.

Four years ago, Bill and I were extremely worried about our futures.  He had just left the Army and was job searching, finding nothing in Texas, which is where we were living at the time.  I had been out of the work force for a long time, mainly owing to all the moving we did over the end of his military career.  When he got the job in Germany, it took a few months to recover what we paid to move here.  Once we did that, I set to work on retiring my debt.

When I got down to a balance of about $15,000 or so, I really ramped up my efforts and started throwing huge payments at my loans.  I'd become determined to be done with them, once and for all.  Every time I read another horror story about someone defaulting, I'd bump up the payment.  I found that we never missed the extra money and it really made a difference in the speed at which the principal diminished.  Now, it looks like the end is in sight, nine years ahead of when we were planning to be done paying.  I could not have done it so quickly without Bill's cooperation and the fact that we live abroad.  

I'm glad to see Ms. Battenfield was able to achieve her dream of becoming a lawyer.  I hope she's practicing law with mercy and compassion, as well as competence.  And I hope she's not buried in student loan debt, like too many others are.

Moving on...

Pro-choice people are "wicked", according to Mr. Wiles...

And Democrats are now stalking Trump's people... they are going to shoot people!  Arggghhh!!!

Last night, I read a very strange and disturbing story about End Times broadcaster, Rick Wiles, who has a program called "TruNews".  I'm not at all familiar with the man, but apparently he has a following.  I'd immediately be suspicious of a program called TruNews, but that's probably because misspellings annoy me.

Anyway, Mr. Wiles is convinced that God is watching closely, and if soon to be retired Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy is not replaced by a pro-life jurist, God will rain fire and brimstone down on America.  Wiles apparently believes that overturning Roe vs. Wade is the most important issue in the world.  If it's not overturned, and women are not forced to stay pregnant if they don't want to be, God will punish all of the living babies by killing everyone. Apparently, God also only cares about the United States.  He's not going to punish other countries that allow abortion.

Wiles has also claimed that Democrats will soon start murdering Republicans in order to prevent them from voting.  He seems to believe that Democrats are desperate and, because many Democrats are pro-choice and abortion is akin to murder, Democrats are also willing to kill people who have already been born.

Wow...  I just can't even wrap my head around the sheer lunacy of this character.  It appears to me that Wiles is guilty of a bit of projection.  He claims that Democrats will stop at nothing to prevent Republicans from voting, and yet Republicans have done their best to make it harder for Democrats to vote.  Gerrymandering, anyone?  How about onerous identification requirements and disallowing early voting or other measures that make it easy for working people to vote?

I notice one comment that makes a lot of sense.  Here it is...

Someone IS killing the republican voters. We call this thing "old age".

I honestly would like to see the average age of the members of the republican party compared with the average age of members of the democratic party. Can someone find that for me?

I'm not going to spend too much time reading Mr. Wiles' ridiculous right wing rantings.  Suffice to say, I think he's either completely crazy or he's preying on the dumbest people in America.  It makes me sad that there are so many in the United States who will listen to this man's drivel and suffer stress because of it.  No, of course Democrats are not going to start murdering Republicans.  And no, God is NOT going to destroy America if we maintain a woman's right to have an abortion.  That is a completely ridiculous notion.

Why people waste time on this bullshit when there are so many other, much more urgent situations going on, is beyond me.  But I see by Rick Wiles' TruNews Facebook page that he has a lot of admirers.  Nonsense... who's really been going insane?  I don't think it's the Democrats.

Photo by: Anthony Crider; cropped by Beyond My Ken (talk) 20:37, 9 April 2018 (UTC) on Wikipedia.  

Do you think the guys pictured above voted Democrat?