Trump to double down on trickle-down

I keep seeing the word “elites” in articles about politics, and also hearing it from Donald Trump and his supporters. Who are these elites and why do we call them that? Because they have more money and power than we do? Does that make them smarter or better than any of us? Isn’t Donald Trump one of these elites? (You know, those elites who have the power to grab strange women by the pussy.)

Google defines elite as “a select part of a group that is superior to the rest in terms of ability or qualities.” The elite Wikipedia page says: “In political and sociological theory for a small group of powerful people that controls a disproportionate amount of wealth, privilege or political power in a society.”

The “elites” have made a mess of politics, so maybe we should stop calling them “elite.”

The greatest bogeymen of the moment are the shadowy, yet weirdly ubiquitous “elites.” (Or perhaps they come a close second to Muslim migrants.) If you listen to the political conversation on either side of the pond, it’s these elites who are the problem. The establishment in Washington and their media cronies, claims Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, have colluded to make America not that great anymore…

Donald Trump spins a pretty similar story. In a speech Tuesday, he hailed the outcome of Britain’s E.U. referendum. “Our friends in Britain recently voted to take back control of their economy, politics and borders,” he said… Trump projected the same narrative onto the United States at the event in Pennsylvania. He bemoaned “a wave of globalization” that gutted the American middle class, sent jobs overseas and brought immigrants, and then he let loose at the custodians of the status quo…

The “elites” have become a stand-in for the prevailing international system. And for right-wing populists, they provide the easiest punching bag…

But that still doesn’t get at the most searing irony of the Brexit movement. It’s championed by elites themselves, funded by billionaires, and intimately connected to influential media. The comparison to the Trump campaign, the latest career move of a business mogul and reality television star, seems pretty clear…

A campaign characterized by airy promises and a consistent dismissal of the concerns of experts and pundits now is struggling over what to do next. Some of its main figures have visions of a deregulated, privatized state, while the bulk of its voters want something altogether different — a return to a world with fewer foreigners, more jobs and the revitalization of their forgotten communities.

“The idealists want pure sovereignty; the hedge funds want deregulation; the voters voted for the welfare state,” writes Applebaum. None of this adds up… They now admit that they have no plan for Brexit…

I don’t know why Trump supporters think that closing our borders will help bring back middle-class jobs. The immigrants who take middle-class jobs are not from Mexico. And we’ve already seen that when jobs do come back, the pay and benefits are a lot less. I guess you could blame this on immigrants who take jobs for less money, or you could blame it on the corporations who pay employees less money for the same work.$46_trillion_in_wealth

In 2010 a dozen major companies, including GE, Verizon, Boeing, Wells Fargo, and Fed Ex paid US tax rates between -0.7% and -9.2%. Production, employment, profits, and taxes have all been outsourced…

“Leaders of Cigna, Humana, UnitedHealth, WellPoint and Aetna received nearly $200 million in compensation in 2009, according to a report, while the companies sought rate increases as high as 39%…

As health insurance companies admitted, they have been reaping windfall profits because people with health insurance plans still cannot afford to go to the doctors and have stopped going unless it is an absolute emergency… 75 percent of the medical bankruptcies filed are from people who have health insurance…

We don’t need to dismantle Obamacare. We need to get rid of the insurance companies — the middle-managers that take a cut of every one of our healthcare dollars, and for what? When did drug prices begin to significantly rise? After Prescription Benefit Managers (PBMs) came into existence.

Back to Trump supporters… Why would anyone think that getting rid of immigrants and bad trade policies would make a difference in how corporations are allowed to treat their employees and customers?

Why would anyone think that Trump could create better jobs? Because all of the jobs he’s created are so great? People selling steaks over the phone. Trump University. A couple of golf courses. How many employees work for Ivanka selling jewelry?

I’m getting to my point, I swear. Republican majorities are getting ready to take us back to the era of Reaganomics, not that we ever left it. Trickle-down economics, which guarantees that all of the profits and benefits go to the “elites” at UnitedHealth, GE, and FedEx. Because the middle-class employees at these corporations are not seeing any benefits trickle down.

Republicans in many states are now free to pursue their agendas on taxes, labor and social policies without Democrats standing in the way.

My comment:

“…states that were already under Republican control will have to step up their game when it comes to matters such as lowering tax rates, if they want to stay competitive with their neighbors.” This is called a race to the bottom. Both Republicans and Democrats in New Mexico have approved tax cuts for years. Maybe other Republican governors can ask Governor Martinez how that failed economic theory has worked out for her. The same failed economic theory that Trump will double down on for the whole country. Maybe we can ask a failed casino owner how that will work out.

The main difference between federal and state governing is that federal law says it’s illegal to discriminate, while state lawmakers are always looking for ways to get away with it. The only bright spot right now is that states are no longer getting away with discriminating against a plant.

What happened to middle-class America?

President Obama promised jobs and he delivered. But these were 21st-century jobs, like in a call center or an Amazon warehouse. Trump has promised jobs by negotiating better trade deals and building a wall to keep out job-stealing foreigners, but these are only pieces of the puzzle. It’s not the whole picture.

Obama saved part of the auto industry, but this year, I’ve seen lay-offs in just about every industry. Americans want good-paying jobs with adequate benefits, but they don’t really exist anymore. Corporations don’t have to pay good wages or supply benefits when they can go overseas for cheap labor, no benefits, and no environmental regulations. Even China is talking about raising prices so that wages can be increased. (China!) Many Americans haven’t yet realized that they’re competing for jobs with people from all over the world. This is the digital age, where concrete walls and borders don’t exist.

Republicans convinced Americans all over the country that unions were anti-business, so Americans destroyed the only power that could save middle-class jobs. Who else was gonna do it? American workers have had to fight for themselves, which obviously doesn’t work. Especially after Republicans destroyed the different ways Americans have used to fight back, like capping legal damages. Maybe some people think it’s a good thing that the legal industry has shrunk so much, but who’s left to fight?

If Trump is even able to bring back good-paying jobs, who will fight to keep them? (Many years ago, New Mexico paid Intel to open up a location in this state, but the relationship didn’t last. After many rounds of lay-offs, the city where most of the workers lived is now a ghost town.)

What kind of jobs will Trump help to create in this country? Could a President make Intel stay in New Mexico or is all of this going to be business that’s left up to the states? In other words, nothing will change.

This from Rudy Giuliani on CNN today:

“You’re forgetting his campaign promise of increasing dramatically the size of the military and doing away with the sequester. We’re going to go up to 550,000 troops… we were going down to 420,000… and we’re going to increase the size of the Marines… So he’s going to be facing Putin with a country that’s not diminishing it’s military, but a country that’s dramatically increasing it to Reagan-like levels, so that he can negotiate… he’s going to negotiate for peace, but with strength…”

I suppose dramatically increasing our military will put more Americans to work. (There are probably not very many foreigners or immigrants in our military taking jobs away from Americans, but since Bush’s wars, the military hasn’t had that high of a bar for admittance.) Are these the jobs that Trump supporters want, to work for the government, specifically the military?

As far as I know, it’s mostly corporations that outsource contractors from other countries, not the military. Thing is, the military relies on contractors from the private sector quite a bit. I guess it will be poor Americans who fight on the ground, while the “elite” work at their desks from around the world — the type of job that pays well and has good benefits. (The recession caused a lot of job loss in state and local governments — but not so much in Washington.)

I recently saw a billboard advertising for the Marines. It talked about honor. There may be honor in serving this country, but I can find no honor in war. (And just because I’m anti-war, that doesn’t mean I’m anti-military.)

Every day is veteran’s day because America can’t stop fighting wars. Trump wants to increase our military when we haven’t even financially recovered from Bush’s wars. How many women and men will he send into danger? How many will come back broken beyond repair?

There are men and women who will suffer for the rest of their lives with medical conditions caused by their military service. It would be one thing if the healthcare system took care of our veterans, but that’s not always the case.

This country has been cutting back on spending for services we depend on just so we could pay for Bush’s wars, like infrastructure and education. Americans have been cutting back to pay for 9/11 for the last 15 years.

Here in New Mexico (as reported on 11/4/16 by the right-leaning and financially-in-trouble Albuquerque Journal):

“With New Mexico in the middle of a budget crisis, cities and counties around the state are going to have to look for new ways to boost behavioral health services and fight the effects of opioid abuse. Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins made the comments while visiting Washington, D.C., for a meeting hosted by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Hart Stebbins and other officials on Thursday talked about the potential of pay-for-success programs in which local governments make payments to contractors and other service providers only if they meet certain milestones and outcomes…”

It appears that government has embraced the idea of corporations proving success before they get paid. But is this a good idea in the healthcare industry? What kind of successes are they expecting in addiction programs? What will clinics do — how far will they go — to make their patients “succeed”?

The drug war costs billions of dollars. States can’t afford to provide adequate healthcare. We’re in a gigantic financial hole from Bush’s wars — wars that Obama has continued, albeit at a much smaller pace. Military spending was out of control for so long. Americans have given their military a blank check, with very little accountability. Obama reigned in the spending, but just in how fast it was growing. Military spending has always included an annual increase. Can’t say the same for Social Security. In fact, presidents have stolen money from Social Security to fund the military.

And now Trump wants to make our military even bigger. We already have the biggest military on planet Earth. Maybe even in the whole galaxy. Our military is everywhere. Why do we need to make it bigger? As a show of force? Does Trump need a gigantic military at his back so he can negotiate with other countries? Well, guess what? He already has one.

Let’s hear from Trump’s new national security “guru”:

Luckily, there are some answers to Flynn’s views in a book he published in July, “Field of Fight: How We Can Win the War Against Radical Islam”. Flynn claims that the United States is in a “world war” with radical Islam, a war that “we’re losing” that could last ‘several generations.” He also asserts that “political correctness forbids us to denounce radical Islamists.”

American Islamists, Flynn claims, are trying to create “an Islamic state right here at home” by pushing to “gain legal standing for Sharia.” Flynn cited no evidence for this claim.

In particular, Flynn portrays Iran as the source of many of America’s national security problems…

Flynn advocates going after the “violent Islamists wherever they are,” which doesn’t sound much different than what the Obama administration is already doing, given that it is conducting various forms of warfare in seven Muslim countries…

Looks like Trump and his cronies are gonna pick a fight with Iran. Will we never stop fighting over oil? Hey, Trump supporters, if we had more solar and wind power, we wouldn’t have to depend on other countries to supply our oil addiction. Or do all you gun-lovers enjoy wars that last forever? As Trump’s new cabinet member says, we’ll be fighting radical Islam for “several generations.”

Trump, the New Face of War. How appropriate. I guess the best we can hope for is that he doesn’t push the button.

My Pledge

As an old woman who happens to be white, I’m not proud of what other members of my race (and the electoral college) have done in electing Trump. What can I do?

I pledge to stand up with every group that Trump has denigrated. I pledge to be vocal about my support for the LGBTQ community, people of color, women, veterans, the disabled, those who suffer from mental health conditions, the homeless, and of course, pain patients.

If you want to be a racist or a bigot, you cannot do so if I’m around. This has nothing to do with political correctness. This is about being a human being.

On the internet or out in public, at Walmart or in Walgreens, if you behave like a racist, sexist, or homophobe, be warned that I will call you out on it. I’m not afraid of you. You think Trump has given you the freedom to act like an asshole and a bully? Think again.

This is my country, too. I may not love it, but I’m not leaving.


I blame religion

Democrats have been sliding right for decades. Instead of joining Democrats in the middle, Republicans ran to the far right. And now we have President Donald Drumpf.

Pundits will place blame for Hillary’s loss on things like fear, anger, and apathy. I’m sure there are a myriad of reasons that America voted for a racist, homophobic misogynist.

Some say that women voters were the reason that Obama became president. Some say it was black people who put him in office. Now it appears that men, as a voting block, are the reason that Trump is now president. But, there’s more to the story than that…

A large majority of Republican women voted for Trump. Does that mean these women are ignorant? (Like, do any of them even know who Angela Merkel is? Do any of them believe that a woman can be president?) Does it mean that party affiliation is stronger than common sense? Why would any woman vote for someone like Trump?

Chelsea Handler: The only person with more respect for women than Donald Trump is Bill Cosby.
7:57 PM – 19 Oct 2016

I’ll tell you why: religion. If you think about the divisions between Democrats and Republicans, all of them can be traced back to religious beliefs. The only groups that Americans dislike more than atheists are Muslims and Mexicans.

Funny thing is, I think Trump is an atheist, not that he’d ever admit it. He will always worship money and power over anything else. And perhaps that says more about the Republican party than anything else. It’s all about the worship of money. Not that the Democrats are any different.

Yes, the Republican party is full of racists and bigots, but it’s also full of people who don’t believe in science. People who believe more in their own religion than in the facts. Hypocrites who say they believe in individual rights, but not the right to smoke pot or the right to die. These people are now in power with no one to stop them…

Dude, that’s some scary shit.

The only thing I’m wondering right now is which group Trump will pick to shit on first. Is he coming for Mexicans or Medicare? Women’s or gay rights? Republicans voted him in, but will they have any control over him? (My stomach hurts.)

Donald Trump was declared the winner around 1am. He said in his victory speech that it’s time for us to become “united.” How long has he spent trying to divide us? That’s what you call hypocrisy at it’s finest.

I live in a state that voted for Hillary, but if I lived in a Trump state, I’d be looking suspiciously at my neighbors. Which one of them voted this asshole into the highest office in the land?

To everyone who doesn’t live in America, from this very sad American:  I’m so sorry.

I can understand how news like this might trigger someone who is depressed into thinking about suicide. If you’re thinking about suicide, please click on the candle widget on the right side of your screen.

Thanks for listening, everyone. 🙂

Trump needs money from poor people

I got an email from Donnie Trumpery asking me for a contribution to his campaign. Trump, begging for money from the poor, how funny is that? Here’s an excerpt:

Here’s what I’ll do during my first 100 days in office:

Appoint judges who will uphold our Constitution – this is so important;

Which parts of the Constitution are you talking about, Donnie? Guns, right? And removing women’s rights, no doubt. Here’s a clue: People who talk about upholding the Constitution are using that piece of paper (written on hemp by rich, white men during slavery) to defend beliefs and actions that are usually indefensible.

Lift the job-killing Obama restrictions on energy production;

I think anyone would agree that there are too many government restrictions on a lot of things. The thing is, these regulations are not always followed by corporations, with little punishment doled out for breaking the law. So, you want to get rid of regulations that aren’t always followed or enforced? Where is the logic in that? The regulations were created for a reason and that reason doesn’t go away when the regulations go away.

Repeal and replace Obamacare – it’s been an absolute DISASTER for families and small businesses.

And then what? You think a healthcare market without Obamacare would be better than the one we have now? I can see that the part of Obamacare which increased Medicaid enrollment has been a success for a lot of poor people (even though it hasn’t helped me). But I can also see that Obamacare hasn’t helped as many people in the middle-class. Who’s fault is that? Look at insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers, not President Obama.

Getting rid of Obamacare means that insurance companies would have even more power. Right now, patients are supposed to be protected from being abandoned by their insurance companies for a pre-existing condition. Mental health coverage is supposed to be protected. Discrimination against women in healthcare is supposed to be illegal. Which of these parts do you want to repeal?

Obamacare was a Republican plan, first enacted by Mitt Romney in Massachusetts. And now, Republicans think that Donnie Trumpery will replace it with something better? I think almost everyone knows that something better does not exist, unless you’re a Republican and think that a “free” healthcare market is the solution. Go ahead, destroy the healthcare industry. Doctors will become obsolete that much quicker.

Change federal immigration rules to give our people the opportunity to fill good-paying jobs, and cancel regulations that send our jobs overseas;

Sure, immigrants are the reason for all of our problems. They take all of our good-paying jobs (as if those even existed anymore). And the regulations against hiring immigrants without documents haven’t stopped that practice, so what good are they?

Which regulations send our jobs overseas? Regulations about safety for employees and the environment? Should we hang suicide nets around manufacturing buildings, like in China?

If you’re an informed person, you’d know that the jobs which have come back to this country are not the same. Far from it. Why would anyone think that Donald Trump could fix that?

It seems like this whole election is really about jobs. Let’s look at how things were in the past, when people had good jobs.

My father worked for the same large corporation for his whole career as an electrical engineer (with a two-year degree provided by the military). My mother raised 6 girls, while making money on the side selling arts and crafts. While growing up, we had everything we needed. Today, there’s no way a family of 8 could support itself with one job.

Unfortunately, my father’s job couldn’t provide any of us with a college education. Only one of us went to college (and just recently paid off her college loan).

The benefits from this corporate job, along with government benefits, have provided my parents with a good retirement. They have everything they need. But it’s a different story for their 6 children.

The president cannot make corporations offer good jobs with good benefits. We cannot go back to the past. It’s gone. Get used to it.

How much longer will men rule the world?

What’s the difference between Trump and Bill Clinton?

Trump says Bill Clinton has “abused” women. One of the comments on the linked article says:

“However, just prior to the 1992 election it was well known in certain circles that Bill Clinton was a womanizer, adulterer, and sexual assaulter.”

Yes, Bill Clinton is a womanizer and an adulterer. Kinda like President Kennedy. Seems like there are plenty of women who will throw themselves at men like this. On the other hand, there have been plenty of popular and charming men who also turned out to be abusers. So, has Bill Clinton ever raped a woman?

Breitbart “News” has released an interview with a woman, Juanita Broaddrick, who says that Bill raped her when she was 35 years old. She even has her own Wikipedia page:

“Broaddrick said she was neither a Democrat nor a Republican, but she supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign: ‘He says the things I like to hear.'”

I can’t judge this woman’s credibility about her past with Bill Clinton, so I can’t say that he has never raped a woman. But I see a difference between Trump and Bill Clinton.

Bill Clinton loves women. Too much. Trump loves women, but more like possessions. Decoration. I don’t think Hillary would’ve become the woman she is today if her husband thought that women were mostly ornamental and belonged at a beauty contest.

Trump is also a cheater, just like Bill. It’s hard to believe that Bill would resort to rape, but power corrupts. I don’t find it hard to believe that Trump would resort to rape, not only because he has the power, but also because he’s not as charming as Bill Clinton. He’s rude, crude, and boastful. Trump is an egomaniac, while Bill is more of a narcissist.

Urban Dictionary defines an egomaniac as: “A person whose ego exceeds both his intelligence and his capacity to see beyond his own personal interests. Dictionaries of the future will define ‘egomaniac’ with a photograph of George W. Bush in a flight suit.”

If Bush was an egomaniac, what does that make Trump? A super-predator egomaniac?

From Google: “Narcissistic personality disorder is found more commonly in men. The cause is unknown but likely involves a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Symptoms include an excessive need for admiration, disregard for others’ feelings, an inability to handle any criticism, and a sense of entitlement.”

Perhaps both men suffer from narcissism and egomania. But how do they treat women?

As a woman, I’m not afraid of Bill Clinton, but I can’t say the same about Trump.

So many people who are making comments about this latest Trump scandal are making the argument that this is just locker room talk. That a lot of men talk just like Trump when they’re among other men. Some even say that women are just as bad.

From the comment section:

  1. Please by a showing of hands (at home) how any of you while joking with friends have said something totally stupid, outrageous or lewd? Trump has an image to uphold in the Business World. This HORRIBLE comment was made among friends…
  2. The hypocrisy over Trump’s comment is incredible. The politicians and newscasters pretending they have never used the same type of language and the women pretending this is some shocking talk they have never heard. I’m 77 years old and I have worked in construction, mining, energy, and legal businesses. Everywhere I have worked and everywhere I am where men are alone, that type of talk goes on…
  3. First of all, don’t deny that most men at one time or another have not made lewd comments about some woman, and that many women have made comments about men as well…
  4. He did indeed do us all a favor which is the message that I give the young men that I coach on a daily basis. That being said, I also coached young women in the same sport and what I heard coming out of their mouths will just plain floor you. So to all the manhaters out there it goes both ways…
  5. Yes, Trump may be a sexist, racist and sometimes irrational human being. Is hillary this wonderful pillar of social and political righteousness??

I wasn’t shocked by Trump’s language. I’m not even shocked by the sexist attitude that Trump displays wherever he goes. Powerful men are known to take advantage of those with less power, oftentimes women.

The thing is, I don’t think Trump was boasting. I don’t think it was locker room talk. Trump is a liar, but was he lying in this unscripted moment about grabbing women’s genitals? About using his powerful position to take advantage of everyone around him (even the tax code)?

It’s not like Trump would ever grab Angela Merkel’s pussy. But what would stop him? Would Trump think Merkel wasn’t good-looking enough to harass, or would the power that she holds be a deterrent?

Will women do a better job of ruling the world? Only time will tell.

Do you know a bully?

“One of the worst things he said was about a woman in a beauty contest,” Clinton said. “He loves beauty contests, supporting them and hanging around them. And he called this woman ‘Miss Piggy’ — then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Alicia Machado, Donald — she has a name.”

Machado was the 1995 winner of the Miss Venezuela pageant. She went on to be crowned Miss Universe the next year, when she was 19. That’s when, according to Machado, she began to be bullied by Trump, who was then the owner of Miss Universe Inc., the company behind the pageant.

In an interview with Inside Edition in May, Machado said Trump bullied her “all the time,” mocking her weight and calling her “Miss Piggy.” According to Inside Edition, Trump wasn’t shy about confirming Machado’s story at the time, giving interviews about how he was taking her to the gym to encourage her to lose weight.

Speaking to the New York Times in May, Machado said Trump’s treatment of her left her with lasting harm.

“After that episode, I was sick, anorexia and bulimia for five years,” she said, speaking about Trump’s public admonishment of her weight. “Over the past 20 years, I’ve gone to a lot of psychologists to combat this.”

As Clinton said Monday night, Machado has become a U.S. citizen — just in time to vote in November’s election.

Do you know a bully? They’re very hard to deal with, even if you try to understand them. Best thing to do is walk away from a bully. Of course, if Trump becomes president, we won’t be able to do that.

Thinking of Terence Crutcher, Keith Lamont Scott, and Justin Carr

Oh no, GMO

I have a talent for seeing the details. I think it’s from always watching out for bugs. That’s something you learn as a child in Texas, where roaches are freaking huge. And they fly!

Anyway, I noticed a new detail on my bag of Nestle’s semi-sweet chocolate chips:


Oh no, GMO. I don’t really care too much about what’s in my food, only how it tastes. (Because constant pain.) But it appears we’ve been eating GMO food for years, whether we knew it or not.

I can’t gather enough interest to learn the science behind GMOs, so don’t leave me any comments about how GMOs are the devil’s work. I’m old and I happen to enjoy the devil’s work. 🙂

Anyway, I’m still waiting for my favorite mayonnaise to switch to cage-free eggs. Many years ago, they began putting a label on their jar that says they’re working on it. I don’t believe them anymore, but it’s not like I have a lot of choices in mayonnaise. And I just read that most of our water contains a bunch of bad shit, so why worry about GMOs?


Kaepernick ignited a firestorm last Friday by refusing to stand during the national anthem when it was played before the 49ers game against the Green Bay Packers.

“I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color,” Kaepernick explained to NFL Media in an interview published Saturday…

“I think it’s — personally — not a good thing,” Trump said on the “Dori Monson Show” on Monday, as BuzzFeed reported. “I think it’s a terrible thing, and you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him…

What Donnie The Hypocrite is really saying:  “I’m gonna run for president and complain about how we need to make America great again. But if others want to make America great again by standing up against racism and discrimination, well then, fuck you.”

#DonnieTheHypocrite #ISitWithKaepernick #NoMoreDrugWar

Acetaminophen, Sugar, and Kids

Prenatal exposure to acetaminophen was linked with a subsequent increased risk of behavioral problems in children, even after controlling for multiple confounders, a small cohort from a U.K. study found…

If a child eats cotton candy, a chocolate bar or any other kind of sugary treat, will a hyperactive frenzy follow? While some parents may swear that the answer is “yes,” research shows that it’s just not true…

Protection or threat?

My daughter and I are from San Francisco, on vacation, traveling through the Southwest. Today we were driving from Hoover Dam to the Grand Canyon in a Toyota Camry we’d rented from Fox Car Rental in Las Vegas. In Williams, Arizona, as I exited Interstate 40 to head north toward the Canyon rim, I was pulled over by an AHP officer who’d been tailing me for a couple of miles. I hadn’t been speeding, so I wondered if perhaps the car had a broken taillight or something. I rolled down my window and waited.

Suddenly, the officer rapped on the rear passenger side window with his pistol. My daughter, who was sitting inches from the barrel of his gun, jumped with fear as the officer yelled at me to roll down the front passenger window, his service weapon pointed directly at me. I knew something was terribly awry and I tried to remain calm, keeping my hands visible as I slowly fumbled for the window controls in an unfamiliar car. My daughter rolled down her window and I explained that we were in a rental car, that we had no weapons, and I was having trouble figuring out how to roll down the front passenger window from my driver’s side door. The officer didn’t listen, and kept yelling louder and more insistently, ordering me to comply with his request as he leered at me down the barrel of his pistol. My daughter panicked and tried to get out of her booster seat to reach forward to roll down the front window, and the officer screamed her at her not to move as he pointed his pistol at her…

Then, as I had my hands in the air, he yelled, at the top of his lungs, in a voice I will never forget, as my daughter looked on in terror, “Get your hands away from your waist or I’ll blow two holes through your back right now!” My hands were high in the air as he said this, and I was not in any way reaching for my waist. I was utterly terrified…

Why was I arrested? The car I was had rented had previously had its front license plate lost or stolen, so the car rental company reported this to the Nevada DMV. The Arizona highway patrol officer, who looked up my plate number while he was tailing me, misinterpreted this Nevada DMV report as meaning that I was driving a car with a stolen license plate, and somehow this prompted him to approach me at gunpoint and threaten to kill me in front of my little girl…

If you are a person who has ever looked skeptically at the claims of Black Lives Matter, or others who talk about police violence, I urge you to consider what happened to me and put yourselves in the shoes of others. I just survived a bizarre gunpoint situation in which I was as innocent as Philando Castile, who was not as lucky as I was…

Under comments:

Oneal Isaac: I’ve a B.R. policeman pull a gun on me when I approached him to ask for directions. I was on my way to yoga class. Once you are facing a gun, it changes how you see things.

I’m not sure anyone can understand this kind of terror unless you’ve experienced it. I’ve never had the barrel of a gun pointed at me, but I have been threatened with a gun by a police officer. And it does change how you see things.

At that moment, you realize that as far as society is concerned, the bully’s life is far more important than yours. That he could use that gun to end your life, make up some story about how he felt threatened, and everyone would believe him. Really, your life means nothing, especially to a gun.

Being threatened with a gun is like finally understanding that your life is meaningless and could end in an instant — a hair-trigger of an instant. That life isn’t precious, it’s precarious. That life is chaotic and violent, so aptly illustrated by the presence — and under the threat — of a gun. A gun says, “You don’t matter. The End.”

I guess to those who like guns, they represent protection and sport. I can understand that. But for me, guns will always represent violence. Violence and death.

FedEx scam

From:  FedEx 2Day A.M.
Re:  Problems with item delivery, n.00280037

Dear Customer,

Your parcel has arrived at July 22. Courier was unable to deliver the parcel to you.
Shipment Label is attached to this email.

Allen Fry,
FedEx Delivery Manager.

The problem is that I didn’t order anything, you stupid, anonymous, scum-of-the-Earth scammer.


Can you be arrested for something you might do?

You have to watch this video of a very large group of police officers forcing their way onto private property, just because they thought that some of the people attending a party at this person’s home might also be thinking of attending a protest. It’s a matter of being automatically guilty (of wanting to protest) and having to prove your innocence.

And the number of police officers used during this little show of force? Fucking amazing. And freaking scary. I can’t believe this is happening in America. These officers are obviously very busy trying to arrest potential protesters, rather than look for people who are actually committing crimes.

This looks like war to me.

Yesterday in Baton Rouge, police in riot gear stormed into a woman’s backyard and arrested Black Lives Matter protesters—even though she had invited them to be there. Officers claimed the arrests happened because the protesters were planning to go block the nearby interstate highway…

Why is WordPress so slow?

One some blogs, it can take up to a minute for me to download a single post. And before you blame my computer or internet provider, I’m not finding this problem on the other websites I visit. Anyone else having this problem?