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.” 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…

The “Anxiety Light” Version

Legal Eagle spells it out much better than I could… and with 99% less emotional exhaustion. 😏🤷🏻‍♂️

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. 😟 Indoor show, general admission, standing room only. 😬 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 hours (Alter Bridge was performing as well) just wouldn’t have worked. 😕

(But I also know that I’d feel even more disappointed if I made an attempt to go – and then ended up having to leave before the concert was even over because of my oush. 😐🤷🏻‍♂️ Sigh… it is what it is.)

Finding the positives… 🤔 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… 🤫 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. 📹 So I now have five active security cameras keeping an eye on my house. 😏 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. 🤓 Touch wood. 🤞🏻

But I kept today low-key, much like yesterday. I did start watching more of the political news coverage… and woo boy… 😯😅 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. 🔥🍊🔥 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. 🏁🚗🚕🚙💨

I’m not even sure what track they’re at this week. 😏🤷🏻‍♂️ (… said the formerly enthusiastic fan of the sport.)

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 him  – 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 the (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.

Ranter’s Gotta Rant

Woke up today and checked Twitter to discover that Republicans and Trump supporters are losing their damn minds over an incident that Senator Al Franken was involved in about a decade ago. People are calling him disgusting, repulsive, a predator, a monster, and of course – almost all of them are calling for his resignation. This is the “blood in the water” that folks on the right have been waiting for, and they’re going to attack whether it is justified or not. And just like the accusations against Trump and Moore, it’s not up to me to decide whether or not the claims are truthful.

But what I will say, is that two of the main complaints from Tweeden are that he kissed her – while rehearsing a scene from a USO skit where the two would be (you guessed it) kissing… and that he “groped her” while she was sleeping, with her evidence being a photo where he was cheezing for the camera and acting like he was going to grab her and startle her awake. It appears that he wasn’t even touching her flak jacket, let alone “groping her breasts in her sleep” as she claims.

If she was actually asleep, and he thought it would be funny to do that pose, then obviously, if the two weren’t the type of friends where goofy shit like this was the norm, it was a bad idea. I only say that because I know plenty of people who pull tasteless jokes and gags on each other, but it’s never more than just that… a joke. I’m sure that I’ve joked like I was going to grab someone’s ass, just as I’m sure that someone has joked the same way towards me. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention that when Franken wanted to rehearse, her reply was “Okay, whatever.” Why is he the bad guy when the skit was written that way and she agreed to rehearse it?

But anyway… it’s not so much that I’m trying to excuse the behavior, it’s that I’m finding it hard to equate the things that Franken is alleged to have done to the things that Trump and Moore are alleged to have done. (And in Donald Trump’s case, bragged about doing.) The GOP pitchforks and torches are now out for Franken… meanwhile President Pussy Grabber is in office, and the wagons are being circled around Roy Moore in hopes to protect that senate seat. They are both accused of preying on women or girls (and many of them), getting them in situations where there were no people around, and then forcibly touching their genitals or otherwise molesting them. There was no skit that was being rehearsed, there were no cameras around to cheeze for, and if the allegations are true – you know exactly what Trump and Moore were doing to those women. I’m sorry, but that’s significantly different from rehearsing a scene that involved a kiss and then taking a dumb faux “grabby” pic that never went anything beyond that.

I understand that right now the politically correct thing to do is to always believe any accuser/victim that comes forward. Especially if many of them come forward about the same person. That’s the way it is, because you certainly don’t want to be the person that doubted the claims of someone if they end up being verified as true. And if you believe someone, and their claims end up being false, you still look good – giving someone the benefit of the doubt, and then having become a “victim” yourself for believing them and getting played. But when someone claims they were groped, and not because they know or remember that it happened, but because they saw a photo of someone pretending to sneak up and grab them – you can call it tasteless, but I don’t see how you can call it sexual assault. It lessens what those words means for the women (and men) who have been through much worse. And when you’re complaining that someone kissed you without your consent, you can’t then say that the kiss was part of a scene that you were rehearsing and that you agreed to that rehearsal.

I know, I should just keep my mouth shut about all this so I don’t offend anyone myself… but hell, everyone is offended by everything now – to the point where people are afraid to say or do anything because of the social shaming risk involved. I’m sure more info will come out about the Franken incident, and there have already been unconfirmed reports that Tweeden was “in on the photo” at the time, and that it was some gag that they mutually decided on. That’s scary if it ends up being true… and again, nobody likes to doubt a “victim” but there’s always a possibility that even if he wasn’t being set up at the time, since she’s a frequent guest of Sean Hannity (Fox News) – so it is possible that something relatively innocent is being turned into something much more sinister for political reasons.

People really need to stop forming their beliefs based on political affiliation though. Investigate every one of these incidents that have happened, and punish people accordingly if the facts call for it. If you’re a Republican and you haven’t been outspoken about the allegations against Trump and Moore, then take it down a few notches with all of your outrage against Al Franken. And if you’re on the left and you’ve been vocal about Trump and Moore, you can’t just ignore the incident with Franken. And whether you’re a Republican, Democrat, Independent, or whatever… you have to acknowledge that every “case” isn’t the same, that none of these things are black and white, and they can’t be treated as if there should be a “one size fits all” way of handling them. And you have to understand that if these folks truly believe that they’re not guilty, they are going to take a stand against the accusations – just as anyone would do if they were being falsely accused. It looks awful if you don’t believe them, but what choice do they have?

I probably wouldn’t have even bothered making this entry if it wasn’t for the dozens and dozens of sanctimonious politician assholes that are speaking out about Franken, with all of their hyperbole and incredulousness – as if all of them have been 100% straight shooters their entire lives, and have never done anything that someone might find objectionable. The “holier than thou” bullshit that everyone sees for what it is, just another way to further their party and agenda. It’s all fucking sickening.

But yeah, investigate the Franken thing… and investigate the Trump and Moore accusations with just as much enthusiasm. Let the chips fall where they may with any/all of the people who appear to have been caught doing whatever sketchy thing that they’ve been accused of – and if the facts dictate that they be punished, let the punishment fit the actions regardless of political party. Fuck… nobody should even have to say that last part, but sadly it does need to be said.

Alright, I suppose that’s enough rambling to give everyone a reason to angrily disagree with me. 😏

An Awful Human Being

Over the past many months we’ve all become somewhat numb to the (insert negative adjective) things that come out of Donald Trump’s damaged old brain, but it’s like he has a superpower… the power to blurt out or do something even worse than the week before, which shocks, saddens, and angers the majority of the people in the USA and world despite the understandable Trump fatigue. 😞

Like a majority of the voters in the last election, I was one of the 65,844,610 people who knew ahead of time what we were going to get if he got elected. But even with all of the expected (and unexpected) awfulness that has come from him so far (whether through intention, indifference, or ignorance), waking up today and seeing what he’s tweeted… how can anyone not see him as anything but a horrible, irredeemable waste of flesh after today?

Through his own admission, which oddly sounded like boasting, Trump has accurately described the devastation to Puerto Rico from the recent hurricane. He’s talked about the destruction in a way where you can tell he doesn’t even really think it’s worth or able to be repaired or rebuilt, while (for some reason) talking about the billions and billions of dollars of debt the island has. 🤔😧 So, the scale of the tragedy is not in question, even by him.

Any news channel that you turn to, you see the nightmare. No power grid, hospitals unable to help or relying on generators with little fuel, food and water shortages, gas shortage, no AC, etc… you can obviously go on and on. The federal government has a lot of resources and people in place, and they’re doing what they can, but the mayor of San Juan has literally been begging for more help any time she’s been given the chance… because that’s what you do when you don’t want people to die.

But Donald Trump woke up in an apparent rage about it, and decided to attack her on Twitter. Claiming the problem isn’t a lack of resources or logistics to get it to the people, but because of her poor leadership abilities. 😐 But he didn’t stop with just attacking her. 😑 He praised his part of the response, the federal first responders, but then berated the people of Puerto Rico who are suffering – saying that they weren’t willing to help with the work, and that they wanted everything to be done for them. 😧

He continued to whine the she was “nasty” to him, which he said “the democrats” had told her to do, and then did his normal “fake news” complaints, apparently trying to make people believe that we aren’t seeing all of the things that we are seeing on all of the news programs. This is a sick, sick man. No joke. Sick. He’s tweeting these things from the comfort of his luxury golf club, while the mayor of San Juan has literally been walking through sewage-filled flood waters as they continue to look for stranded people.

The federal response was slow rolling out, he barely had anything to say about the hurricane damage for days after it hit, and once he did start talking about it – it wasn’t in the same “come together” way that he spoke about Texas and Florida. You could feel it… it was more like “Wait, they’re Americans? Fuck. I guess I won’t be able to get out of fixing up this third-world island for all of these poor brown people.”  He keeps bringing up their debt, he keeps talking about passports and visas for some reason… like he almost thinks they’re going to become undocumented immigrants or something. 🤔 Everything about his response has been disgusting.

An island with over 3 million people living on it has been nearly destroyed. People have died… people are still dying… and “our President” attacks them, their leaders, and pretty much everything about who they are. 😣 Oh, and he wants it both ways. On one hand he wants everyone to think that the roll-out of disaster relief is going perfectly, and what we’re seeing on the news is all fake somehow… but on the other hand he’s admitting that the situation is a giant clusterfuck, by trying to put the blame on the leadership in San Juan and the unwillingness of their people to work or help themselves. I wish I had more eloquent words, but it’s just fucking astounding. 😔 I didn’t think I could have less respect for that man, but boy was I wrong.

In His Own Words

  • “Why do you think CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?”
  • CEOs are not taking their job seriously, they have a lot of their product made outside of the country, we want products made in the country, they’re leaving out of embarrassment, I’ve been lecturing them that they have to bring it back to this country.

The CEOs are taking their jobs seriously, as production outside of the US is often more cost effective. Also, most of Trump’s products that he sells are not made in the USA, and ZERO of Ivanka Trump’s fashion line is made in the USA. So if he’s been lecturing anyone, it’s as a hypocrite, and the CEOs likely tired of it. They didn’t join a council to be ordered around, and they certainly didn’t leave from embarrassment… other than embarrassment of being associated with this clown of a president.

  • “Why did you wait so long to (condemn the racist groups by name)?”
  • I didn’t wait long. (Narrator’s Voice: He did.) You don’t make statements unless you know the fact. (sic) It takes a while to get the facts, you still don’t know the facts. When I make a statement I like to be correct. A lot of the event didn’t even happen yet. Making the statement when I made it was excellent.

What?? You want people to believe that you didn’t know that the assembly had members of white nationalist, KKK, and Nazi supporters? What?? Also, when he makes a statement he likes to be correct. Heh… okay. And folks were literally waiting, and waiting, and waiting for his first statement. Enough had happened that he could and should have commented. Very few people thought it was “excellent.”

  • “Did you miss a critical moment where you could have brought the country together?”
  • I’ve created a million jobs, the economy is booming, the stock market is setting records, we have the highest employment numbers we’ve ever had, etc, etc… so the head of Walmart was making a political statement.

*long sigh*  …  also, WHAT?? It’s like he has no human concept of “bringing together” that doesn’t involve money or tangible things.

  • (he continues) … Everyone said my statement was beautiful. Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. The second statement was made with knowledge.

What other facts do you need to know before you can condemn racial hate groups by name?

  • You can call it terrorism, you can call it murder, I would just call it as the fastest one to come up with a good verdict.

*blank stare*  …  more word salad

  • “Senator McCain linked the alt-right to the perpetrators at Charlottesville”
  • (After bashing McCain for a bit) … What about the alt-left that came charging at them? Do they have any semblance of guilt? Do they have any problem? I think they do. I watched it much more closely than you people watched it. I’m not finished, Fake News… they came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.

Immediately attacking the side that is widely supported by the general public = not the best idea. Also, if you were watching it more closely than anyone else, how did you miss the “fact” of who it was that was hosting the rally?

Ugh… I can’t even watch any more of this spectacle in order to do the play-by-play like this. In terms of PR this was a complete shit show, a dumpster fire… whatever horrible metaphor you want to use. Now he’s talking about millions of jobs helping race relations. This makes my head hurt, seriously. He’s spending on inner cities, far more than anyone before him, blah blah blah… okay, I’m done here.

Heh… d00d just bluntly said “What makes you think you’ll get an infrastructure bill when you couldn’t get a healthcare bill?” Good on the press, for not letting him walk all over them anymore. To their credit, they didn’t let up on him.