What Are You So Mad About?

I haven’t posted a blog entry since all of the chaos started in the country. I didn’t (and honestly still don’t) have the words to truly express all of the things that it has made me feel. I’ve been spending a lot of time on Twitter though, basically in astonishment at how many people are willfully ignorant, blatantly lying, or a combination of both… and from all sides of the issue. Emotions and tensions are higher than I’ve ever seen in my lifetime, so I understand that people will initially be speaking mostly with their anger. But anger can’t be an indefinite excuse for spreading false information, false narratives, and generally trying to make things worse rather than better.

My frustration comes from most people digging their feet in when it comes to their own personal take, and they won’t even listen to anything that doesn’t fit their narrative, let alone acknowledge and learn from any of it. It would be one thing if it was just random Twitter assholes, but I’m also talking about politicians and people in power who are acting the same way. Tom Cotton says “The riots have nothing to do with the death of George Floyd.”ย It doesn’t seem like the best idea to dismiss the pain and rage of those rioters who have obviously gone too far, but who are still upset with police abuse.

It’s amazing to see how many people who don’t want to be generalized or lumped together into one group, how they feel totally justified in doing that to people who aren’t on their side. “All cops are corrupt, murderous assholes!” “All protesters are violent, thieving arsonists!” Many people can’t or won’t admit that there are differences between peaceful protesters, the rowdy-but-non-criminal activists, the looters, the vandals, the people causing physical harm. It’s just easier for people to label them all as rioters so they can dismiss them as not worthy of being heard.

And then of course there’s a huge amount of people on the opposite side who can’t or won’t acknowledge that there are many different types of cops within law enforcement, including naive / optimistic officers seeking change, cops that just see it as a 9 to 5 job, officers who are on a power trip, ones who absolutely abuse their power, and then ones that can calmly kill detained suspects. And I’d think the one thing that both “sides” could agree on, is that we’re seeing far too many examples of the worst at both ends of the spectrum – and all it does is damage the message that they want to be heard. Yeah, everyone is mad, but if you take it too far then people are just gonna roll their eyes.

The second most widely spread bullshit take when it comes to this stuff, is that “If you aren’t breaking the law then you don’t have anything to worry about.” First of all, this is demonstrably untrue… and even if someone is breaking a law, are we as a society ready for law enforcement to commit physical violence in realtime for those offenses? What would those people think is a “fair punishment” for crimes such as stepping off of a sidewalk, being out 15 minutes past curfew, walking near people who are causing a disturbance, flipping off or cussing out a cop? Do we really want law enforcement to be able to kick, punch, drag, or choke people for those things? How about tear gas, rubber bullets, flash bang grenades, pepper spray projectiles? All of that is fine? If you’re only gonna watch one video on this page, make it this one – and put yourself or one of your children in the place of any of the folks who are taking the abuse…

And on Twitter, some chuckle fuck would immediately reply with “Well it wouldn’t be me or my kids in their shoes because we wouldn’t be participating in that!” And to that, I say… participating in what? Exercising your first amendment rights because you’re angry that police keep killing people without consequence? How about the people that are simply walking near someone who’s causing trouble? You could never be one of those people either? Those folks need to spare us all from their bullshit “it could never be me” crap.

One of the worst things that I’ve seen was in Austin TX. A college kid was shot in the back of the head with a “non lethal” projectile while cracked his skull and caused brain damage. The cops wouldn’t help him “in the street” and told people to take him to the police station. And when those people carried that critically injured man to the police department, they were immediately shot multiple times with pepper spray balls. And yeah, I’m being more hard on the police in this blog entry… because we should be able to expect more from the police. The people who vandalize, loot, start fires, etc… of course they should be arrested, charged, and prosecuted. But when cops act like criminals, that’s when “all” starts to get lost.

President Obama gave a wonderful speech yesterday, and among the things he said – he sent out a message to the mayors of every city across our nation, challenging them to review their “use of force” policies when it comes to the police departments and other law enforcement that they’re in control of. But then Donald Trump almost immediately issued a statement on Twitter, distancing himself from the idea of law enforcement reform – and instead saying the only thing he has in common with Obama is that they both fired the same army general. (Because Trump was being salty about being called out by that general, and that’s more important than the safety of every citizen in the country.)

At least national sentiment does seem to be finally turning against Donald Trump. He has never acknowledged the reason that people are protesting, and instead keeps doubling down with increased law enforcement presence, calling in military troops and vehicles, and threatening to send them to every state in order to “dominate” with force. Talk about lack of self-awareness. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting against abusive law enforcement, and Trump’s response is essentially… “You wanna see abusive law enforcement?” I mean, his troops were using violence and pepper spray to clear the streets of humans as Donald Trump was giving a speech just yards away, claiming to be this amazing ally to peaceful protesters.

He knows that everyone knows he’s full of shit. He also knows that while plenty of people will call him out and be rightfully upset by his actions, he knows that there’s a massive number of people who simply won’t care that he’s a violent, self-serving liar, threatening the country with his military dominance. (I’d swear that a lot of people want to be him in that instance.) The same vibe that the abusive cops give… DO AS I SAY OR FACE THE CONSEQUENCES, NO MATTER WHAT YOU’VE ACTUALLY DONE OR NOT DONE IN REGARDS TO THE LAW.

Okay, I better start wrapping it up, because I could obviously go on and on and on about it. But my take on this doesn’t feel like it should be controversial or objectionable, but boy is it to a lot of folks. George Floyd was murdered by those cops, and they should be charged and prosecuted accordingly. I absolutely support the protests. Everyone should be outraged, not just POC or people who are more likely to experience police brutality. I’m not even upset when those protesters break curfew, block roads, or protest in “scary voices” right in the face of law enforcement. If cops react to those actions with violence instead of simply arresting folks, then it just makes it that much easier to see which ones are the bad ones, and which ones will stand by and do nothing as the bad ones inflict pain and suffering on US citizens.

Yeah, I’m fucking heated about this stuff… and for the same reason as a million other people. The folks in power know what the protests are about, but they’d rather dismiss everyone as vandals, trouble makers, criminals – so that way they don’t have to acknowledge the problem of law enforcement abusing their power. The way the cops seem to be increasing their abuse, it appears that they’re scared of losing that power. Same thing with the political leaders. If law enforcement no longer has its knee on the neck of society, that makes the sketchy people in power really fucking nervous.

Politicians, police unions, etc have been praising many police departments for the way they’ve “shown amazing restraint” during all of this. And yeah, in a lot of instances that’s probably true. Shooting people “only” with rubber bullets, knee knockers, pepper balls, tear gas canisters… instead of live ammunition. But I hope the people offering that praise to the cops… I hope they realize that the people on the other side have been showing remarkable restraint as well. How many days in a row will our society watch innocent people getting the shit kicked out of them by out of control law enforcement officers? How long will they be okay with Donald Trump unilaterally deploying the United States fucking military into the streets to control us all? Yeah, there’s a lot of restraint all around, but I wouldn’t count on that lasting a whole lot longer…

One Day at A Time

Fox Sports did a great job with the “virtual” race that they put on today. I forget what the official name was, but it was an eNASCAR / iRacing / Invitational / Exhibition race… that they somehow managed to get on TV with an impressive presentation. Sure, there were more wrecks than in a real race, and a few glitches here and there… but overall, if you were just walking in and out of the living room, only half paying attention, you wouldn’t have even noticed that we were all watching a video game.

A nice little escape for a couple of hours today. Back in reality, Mike DeWine declared that Ohio will have a stay-at-home order starting on Monday. We’re all basically doing that already, but I think this may actually affect folks who were still wanting and trying to work. Only certain jobs are on the approved list, so here’s hoping that the government comes through with unemployment or another form of relief quickly – ‘cuz as if the virus itself doesn’t cause enough anxiety, now people are gonna have to worry about utilities, rent, car payments, food, etc.

The problem is, the way they’ve worded things, the way they’re going to enforce this order… it’s way, way too soft – and the people who want to be out, or just don’t want to be told what to do, they’re gonna find and use all the loopholes. I’d give it a week or two before DeWine gets fed up with the lack of cooperation and puts something stronger in place. But right now, you can still go out to the park, walk around, walk your dog, drive to shop, visit family, go to doctor appointments… I mean, I don’t know what the right amount of “enforcement” would be, so maybe that’s why it’s starting off light.

I didn’t watch Trump’s press briefing today, and I’m probably a whole lot better for it. I’ve seen a couple clips, and have read things that he said or did… and yeah, as many, many people and journalists are starting to say on Twitter – there’s no reason that these things should be carried live, since there is so much misinformation that causes fear and anxiety. So my day was a bit better than I was feeling last night. Honestly, I don’t really know how I feel at the moment… it’s almost like anticipation… not knowing how I should feel until we start seeing things happening closer to home each day.

I’m probably still right on the edge of that same anxiety that I had last night, so after I get off of here I’m gonna seek out Airplane! (the movie) so I can kick back and absorb some stupid, clever, dumb comedy as I hopefully get sleepy. I hope everyone out there made it through the day as uneventfully as I did today.

The “Anxiety Light” Version

Legal Eagle spells it out much better than I could… and with 99% less emotional exhaustion. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Disappointed, But It’s Alright

Made it through most of the day without thinking about it, but tonight was the night that Skillet performed at Express Live in Columbus. ๐Ÿ˜Ÿ Indoor show, general admission, standing room only. ๐Ÿ˜ฌ It’s those last two bits that got me. (I hate to admit it…) But I made the right choice by not going. Today hasn’t been a great day when it comes to my neck bothering me. Standing, getting bumped around by an appropriately enthusiastic crowd, for a few hoursย (Alter Bridge was performing as well) just wouldn’t have worked. ๐Ÿ˜•

(But I also know that I’d feel even more disappointed if I made an attemptย to go – and then ended up having to leave before the concert was even over because of my oush. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ Sigh… it is what it is.)

Finding the positives… ๐Ÿค”ย Okay… I’ve seen Skillet plenty of times, and there’s always the possibility of seeing them again at the right time and right venue, so it’s not like I missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. And the show? They’re touring on their newest album, and don’t tell anybody… ๐Ÿคซ but this album isn’t exactly one of my favorites. And if I don’t count “missed the Skillet concert” then I’ve otherwise had an okay day.

Genesee and Sarah upgraded their security system, so a couple of weeks ago she sent me an extra camera that works with my home security setup, and today I found a place for it and added it to the network. ๐Ÿ“นย So I now have five active security cameras keeping an eye on my house. ๐Ÿ˜ A house with hardly any visitors, and even fewer “suspicious” people coming anywhere close to stepping onto my property. It’s the same theory as having the dashcam in my car. Having video cameras installed somewhere almost magically prevents anything worth capturing on video from happening, and that’s a good (yet boring) thing.ย ๐Ÿค“ Touch wood. ๐Ÿคž๐Ÿป

But I kept today low-key, much like yesterday. I did start watching more of the political news coverage… and woo boy… ๐Ÿ˜ฏ๐Ÿ˜…ย Whether you believe that the fuss is all justified, or you believe that it’s a witch hunt that’s wasting the government’s time, energy, and money – stuff is sure heating up quickly. ๐Ÿ”ฅ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿ”ฅย It makes you wonder how any normal, functional, useful “government-ing” gets done. But I think my DVR also caught today’s NASCAR qualifying for me, so after O’Donnell I’ll click over and see how that went. ๐Ÿ๐Ÿš—๐Ÿš•๐Ÿš™๐Ÿ’จ

I’m not even sure what track they’re at this week. ๐Ÿ˜๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธย (… said the formerly enthusiastic fan of the sport.)

Weaponized Stupidity / Willful Ignorance

At the Donald Trump rally earlier this evening, the President was even more of a nutjob than usual… and in a way where I can’t even figure out what his goal actually was. With only two days left until the election, he decided that tonight was the right time to start making fun of and antagonizing Antifa, the often-violent left-wing group of protesters. Of all things, he made fun of them for having little arms – not big ones – and saying that that’s why they have to use clubs.

Yes, the President of The United States… taking a situation where plenty of people have been violently attacked by Antifa, and turning it into some kind of joke about how puny their arms are, and that their weakness requires them to use clubs. In the same breath he then asked where the police were, where the border patrol was, where ICE was, and where his “Bikers for Trump” were. So, if I’m following…

He made fun of a group of angry left-wing people who are known to attack people with opposing views, doing so in a way that will only make them even more angry, and then made it clear that he was concerned at the lack of law enforcement to do anything about it. He even seemed confused. But who exactly was that message for? And what was he trying to say? Because to me it sounds like he emboldened Antifa, who now know they can club whoever they want – because even the President doesn’t know where the law enforcement is that could do something about it.

If that message is meant to concern anyone, I’d think it would be his own base as they go out to the polls on Tuesday. He’ll take care of making Antifa angry, so they’ll attack even more people, and don’t count on the cops to save you. If I’m wrong and someone can explain it to me, please do.

After that he told the crowd that if Stacey Abrams gets elected, the 2nd amendment will be gone. He repeated that claim. He even said that her people will knock on doors, demanding that your guns be handed over. He also said she would turn her district into Venezuela. He also lied about being on Oprah Winfrey’s program during its last week on the air, because that week featured the five most important people. He said she’s burning the tapes so that nobody knows about it. He said that Democrats will raid Medicare and give the money to illegal immigrants. He then said that Elizabeth Warren couldn’t deal with leaders of other countries due to her DNA test. He boasted about creating the Veterans Choice program, which was actually signed into law on Obama’s watch. He said when he meets with “kings and queens” they come into the Oval Office and congratulate him on the job he’s done with the economy. He says that Democrats are encouraging “caravan after caravan” to invade our country. He says Dems want to take away people’s health insurance, that only the GOP will protect people with pre-existing conditions, and that under Dems, benefits will go to illegals instead.

It just goes on and on… completely fucking insane, or full of shit, or both. And sadly, you can tell that most of the idiots in the crowd believe most, if not all, of what he’s saying. And yeah, he technically didn’t get the popular vote, but still… if we had enough people that were stupid enough to believe this man’s lies and give him their votes, then we deserve what we’ve gotten. I just hope his hardcore follower base is dwindling, and this bizarro world President we see at these rallies, with Jim Bob and Sally Sue Jackhole laughing, cheering him on, and waiting for a free t-shirt to be thrown their way… let’s pray that they’re the exception to the rule after two years of Trump in office.

(*No edits, no bold, no italics, no emojis… just wanted to barf this all out and publish it.)

The Pot vs. Sins of the Kettle

It’s surreal what we’re getting to see from our government these days, and specifically from our President. Donald Trump, who has been caught on tape bragging about how he can (and does) sexually assault women, how he can’t even control himself or stop himself from doing it… the same man who has at least SIXTEEN different women who have accused him of sexual assault of one kind or another… again, this man is President of The United States… but there he is on Twitter, trolling Al Franken for taking an inappropriate photo with an allegedly sleeping woman – and giving him shit for lecturing other people on not being the type of person who sexually assaults someone.

I know, that’s a little hard to follow… but yeah, Donald Trump, proud sexual predator, focus of a dozen+ sexual assault claims including the alleged rape of a 13 y/o girl and the rape of his own wife – he’s lecturing another man accused of sexual assault, for lecturing others on sexual assault. I’m not joking when I say that this is legitimately making my brain hurt and my eye twitch.

I don’t know if Donald Trump forgets that he’s on tape bragging about how he grabs at women’s vaginas without consent, or if he remembers but just doesn’t care… but whatever is going on in that man’s head, there’s no doubt that he has some serious psychological problems. Perhaps he knows that some new information is coming down the pipe tomorrow, maybe regarding his son-in-law who was once again caught withholding Russian communications from the Senate – or perhaps it will be about his biological son, who was recently caught having secret communications with Wikileaks for months despite everyone in the administration denying it. And let’s not forget about Jeff Sessions and the perjury charges that he could be facing for the many lies that he has told congress.

Because if he didn’t tweet what he did in order to distract from any or all of those topics – then the man is simply psychologically damaged, because all that this is going to do is bring all of the negative attention back on himย  – along with reminding the world about all of the women who have made accusations against him. Oh… and it took him less than a day to tweet something inflammatory about (Democrat) Al Franken, when it has been more than a week since theย (Republican) Roy Moore scandal came to light, which (instead of just being about a tasteless photo) includes allegations that Moore sexually assaulted a minor, otherwise known as child molestation. But of course Trump hasn’t said a word about that, and being the coward that he is – he wouldn’t say anything about Franken in front of reporters, but instead waited until he was back at home, sitting on the toilet, with his dick in one hand and his phone in the other. (How’s that for some mental imagery?)

Good lord… this is what we are now. This is what the world sees when they look to America as an example of how people and countries should be. It’s fucking disgraceful, and has me going from being completely speechless – to where all I want to do is rant about it, because it’s disgusting, shameful, and it makes me sad that kids growing up these days will think of this as the normal way that people in government function.

I’m honestly getting sick to my stomach as I type this… but this is our inescapable reality.