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Russia Russia Russia

Welp, that Mueller report finally came out. It wasn't the bombshell many had hoped it would be. This was what I was sadly expecting.

I tried to follow this tedious investigation, but I did find all of the various legal terms confusing. Seriously, what is meant by collusion or obstruction? There was always the question, can a sitting President be indicted? It's all new legal territory that is very much open to interpretation.

It would be great for the full report to released, but I don't know how much it would help. What I've been able to gather so far, is that basically him and his campaign were a bunch of boobs. The bar was set quite low for them. A lot of this Russia shit could have all just been coincidental and they gladly took any assistance, unknowingly. The sad thing is, I think he is too stupid to knowingly conspire with Russia. Ignorance is bliss, right?

Look at all of the lying too, just to protect his precious ego. But still, very few people probably actually care about the shady dealings and lies of those in his campaign.

My fear is, that he now gets sympathy points for those that are on the fence about him. Poor him suffering from 2 years of witch hunt investigations and harassment. Boo fucking hoo. I mean, how long was Hillary investigated for Benghazi bullshit?

I fear 4 more years of him. I don't want a Recession to happen, even though it may be likely, as the consequences for those that make less than me will be dire. But it could fracture his base, unless they buy his bullshit of only he can fix this because he has such a good brain. Ugh.

2020 seems so far away. I just hope the Democratic candidate is strong, progressive, and has enough charisma to win over voters. Sadly, moderate candidates or policy based campaigns don't cut it anymore. The Democrats need a candidate that is loved and adored, and have an almost cult like following. I also hope that the Democratic party doesn't get split either. There are a lot of candidates so far. I've read a little bit about a few of them. But I just don't have the energy to follow it too closely. My primaries are a year away.

Virality

Preface: I have to stay objective, and sadly, a bit unemotional in these politically charged times, or else, I'll probably go crazier than I already am, with the current state of USA politics.

So the latest hoopla, is a viral video of Catholic male teens caught up in the midst of some DC protests, and the teens acted inappropriately. Imagine that.

I watched the video. I did interpret the teens being inappropriate and I dare say racist. Then again, I'm also more in tune with that stuff. But there was too much chaos and noise, so I couldn't make out what any of the other kids were saying. I didn't hear any "Build the Wall" chants.The video was shocking, but I didn't give it much thought when it made the rounds on social media. Especially, since the people who were sharing the video, had links to websites that I wouldn't consider reputable news sources. I didn't pay too much heed, until sources like NPR or the New York Times started covering the story. Even then, I didn't really share those new stories or even comment. At best, I gave a react emoji.

Given the number of protests that are going on right now, there's bound to be some crazy video of interactions between protest groups. I guess it depends on who all films it and who it's shared with, to become viral. I'm glad this one was non-violent to say the least. But it was visually disturbing, and seemed like a glaring example of what's wrong with this world today. Privileged, white males in MAGA hats, being jerks.

Eventually, some more information came out about the incident, and there was media over correction. There was even a PR statement on behalf of the boy with the smirk. It was a smirk, not a smile. It was weird, but that look does make you want to punch him in the face. As for the PR statement, it came from a group with Republican ties. Imagine that, a conflict of interest.

I watched a few more videos, that showed a more complete picture. Still, I think those boys are in the wrong. What is the appropriate punishment for them? I don't know. How do you punish people for being jackasses?

So, there was a small protest group spewing hateful stuff at the boys. It's an occurence in many big cities. I've been told I'm a sinner who's going to hell because I drink in New Orleans or go to science fiction conventions. My hardened city self, knows to not pay them any attention, keep on moving, don't make eye contact.

My first question is, where were the fucking chaperones for these boys? They were obviously standing there for some time, in the cold. Perhaps, instead of riling the boys up with school chants, tell them to wait somewhere else, away from the hateful protesters. What if those boys had been girls instead? Would they have tolerated the nasty words as much, or because they're delicate girls, they would have been sheltered better from the hate? And what if those boys had been black, instead of white? What would the racists be saying about it all?

Then, there's the Native American protester, who somehow gets in the middle of it all. I still find it and the reasoning to be bizarre. But at least the Native American protester is getting a good 15 minutes of fame to help promote his cause.

Just so much chaos, in one short video.

I also question why teenage boys are protesting abortion? Where are their purity rings or weird / creepy pictures with their mom?

Perhaps the Liberal media did come down too hard on those boys. I still think what they did was terrible. Maybe not the most terrible thing in the world to do, but definitely completely inappropriate.

I grew up in the upper middle class world with male teens like that. They were at my high school, and college. They're giant, entitled douchebags, and I tried to avoid them, and still do, in my adult life. They are the future Brett Kavanaugh's of this world.

I also question, why is this even news? Or is it meant to be a distraction from the government showdown clusterfuck. But I guess when such clips go viral, the public does want the press to report on it. Let's face it, we want to know the ins and outs of it all. But usually, a lot of stuff can't be summed up in tiny paragraphs or a news article. I've actually enjoyed reading the commentary about this incident. It's been enlightening and thought provoking. I wish more people did that vs. relying on the news.

The Wall

*sigh*

Another government shutdown. I remember the last lengthy one. It was over Obamacare funding. Ugh.

Now, it's the longest government shutdown in history. I'm tired of these politicians bickering like children. Who is going to be the mean mom and put an end to this? I don't blame the Democrats for not funding a wall. But I also feel for all of the Federal workers who are going without pay. Although, I'm pretty sure the small government folks will say this means those people aren't necessary. Well, we'll see when things start to turn to even more shit. I get how our government can seem like it's too big and bloated, with greedy people lining their pockets. There's always going to be that sort of stuff, but usually those programs / people get caught and stopped.

I blame 45 for this. There was bipartisan funding, and he was even going to sign off on it, despite the lack of Wall funding. Then he got criticized by his base, and then all hell broke loose. With only a few weeks left of Republican control in the House, it would have been the only feasible time to get Wall funding approved. But I also question, that why wasn't the Wall funded during their control if it was so damn important?

Well, in 2017 they tried to repeal the ACA and thankfully failed. Then, it was those tax cuts, which haven't paid off. And you know that Republicans don't like spending money. I'd much rather see tax money spend to repair our crumbling infrastructure, but that has yet to happen. I guess we won't act until some bridge collapses and many people die. If Republicans can't justify infrastructure spending then why would they even vote for wall funding? Then 2018 happened, aka election time. The Republicans campaigned on the Wall, to appeal to 45's base, because they need those votes. But as this country has become more and more polarized, there's no such thing as moderation. You're one way or the other.

The more I've read about the Wall, the more it seems like a bad idea. The facts are this.

It's too expensive.
How do you acquire the land?
What about environmental issues?
Roads will need to be built to even access certain areas with construction equipment.
Is it a wall or a fence?
What about maintenance costs?
Drugs make there way in through other means. Hello catapults and drones.
The opioid epidemic started with legal drugs acquired at pharmacies.
There are still undocumented people in the USA.
Applying for asylum isn't illegal.
Mexico isn't paying for it.
Tariffs aren't the same as taxes.
People still climb over the existing walls or tunnel under them.
El Chapo has proven that Mexicans can build great tunnels.
People climb the walls and then get hurt coming down. They then get expensive care at American hospitals. Such a great use of taxpayer money and hospital emergency services.
Most bleeding heart Liberals aren't even for open borders.
You're statistically more likely to be a victim of violent crime by someone of your own race. We still self-segregate as a country. Violent crimes against women are usually done by a partner.
Illegal immigration is down.
Most illegal immigrants come here legally by overstaying visas.
Immigrants aren't taking your jobs. They're usually doing the jobs Americans can't or won't do.

These are the facts of the situation.

Unfortunately, facts don't seem to matter anymore. It's nothing but emotion based debates. Either you're worried about dangerous illegals, even if you don't live near the border. Or your heart strings are pulled by the pictures of children in cages.

Also, the Wall has now become more symbolic than anything else. It was one of his main campaign promises. Well, I'm still waiting for my Obama change. Gitmo is still open. The US healthcare system still sucks ass.

But his base was very energetic about that damn wall. I guess it's a good phrase to chant when you're hepped up on racism. His base is all he has. He doesn't govern for all Americans. His priority is his base supporters. I would even argue that not all Republicans are his base, but I'm finding that harder and harder to do now. If he doesn't get the Wall funded, his base will leave him, at least some will.

Also, isn't kind of peculiar that he never seemed to have a solid plan on how to get the Wall built? No proposals to Congress. Just tweets and pictures of wall prototypes. I guess I can be thankful that his administration is woefully inept. It's annoying and frustrating, but in hindsight, I'm happy for it. Could you imagine if his administration was actually competent and could get shit done? Where are those dealmaking skills he bragged about?

In actuality, I'm personally not opposed to 5 billion being spent on border security. I'm guessing things such as increased staffing, more immigration judges, more technology, money to add more shelters for families seeking asylum, would be a good use of that money. Heck, if border patrol even suggested building barriers in certain areas, with appropriate justification, then great!

But if you look at his campaign promises, it definitely sounded like this huge concrete wall to be built from sea to shining sea.

My prediction is that the Democrats eventually cave. Not because they want to, but because they have to, to get Federal workers their paychecks. Hopefully they do in exchange for something good, and hopefully they can delay any wall building. It's terrible that they have to deal with a Presidential toddler who throws temper tantrums. I also can't imagine the blowback the Democrats would get for that from their base. They're definitely a rock in a hard place right now.

It Takes A Village

I was too young in the 1990's to get the controversy about "It Takes A Village". Recently, I was reading about that controversy, because you know anything Hillary Clinton does must be uber criticized. Apparently, many Republicans thought that it takes a family vs. a village. I guess, but no. Not everyone has that supportive family, or a family at all!

I'd say it does take a village.

My neighborhood is a "diamond in the rough". I was attracted to the mid-century modern homes and accessibility to the city core. Plus, when I bought my home in 2009, it was also quasi-affordable. My neighborhood itself is nice enough, but once you leave the boundaries, you see a different reality. It's something I didn't think too much about, considering I don't have children and don't have to worry about things such as schools. The surrounding area definitely isn't "ghetto". I actually looked at homes in the "ghetto" during my home search, and considering that there aren't homes with boarded up windows or random piles of tires, I live in a somewhat nice area.

Still, the surrounding area is quite impoverished. Apartments that offer your first month's rent as $1. You're still stuck paying $1000 / month for a shitty apartment, with a bunch of crime near you. There are even shady hotels, where families are stuck living at, because they can't save up enough cash to get into a proper apartment. These same hotels apparently also are homes to drug dealers, prostitutes, and sex traffickers. Unbeknownst to me, one of these hotels was even featured on a CNN special about sex trafficking in Atlanta. Very sad. Thankfully that hotel shut down, but I'm certain that was problematic for the families stuck living in such shit holes.

Neighborhood online message boards can be helpful, but you also see the worst of your neighbors. For the most part, I adore my neighbors. Most of them are lovely people. But there are a few shitheads amongst them, and they have nasty things to say.

The neighborhood elementary school has its issues. The 1960s school isn't big enough to hold the current student population, which sadly doesn't consist of many neighborhood children. It's mostly kids living the nearby apartment complexes. Since the school was trying to become STEM certified, I offered my assistance. The first time I walked in there, I was shocked. The kids definitely don't represent my mostly white neighborhood. I was taken aback seeing so many black and brown kids in one place. I guess that's what I get for growing up in a mostly white area. But they're kids and they need help, probably more so than the white, privileged kids.

The science teacher had started some sort of Go Fund Me but for teachers, so that this animal truck could come to the school. Many of these kids are in homes, where their parents can't have pets or can't afford them. Their parents also don't have the time, money, transportation or other resources, to even take them to the zoo. My neighborhood funded that shit in 2 days. It was lovely. But one jerk had to comment and bitch about "where are the parents". Seriously, fuck that person. I get it, but no. I grew up way fucking privileged. I had pets, my parents took me to the zoo almost every year. I got to go on vacations and go to museums. These kids don't get that. It would be great if their parents could provide that, but they can't.

Talking to the teachers at the school, I've heard so many horror stories. Kids that don't get to eat outside of the free meals at school. Holiday breaks or weekends, could mean not eating for days. Kids that are living with a grandparent or aunt / uncle, because their parents are locked up, too busy working somewhere else, or dead. Kids that don't have jackets for the days it does get cold in the South. It's truly heart breaking that some kids have to endure so much. And it's quite the contrast, compared to my upbringing.

There used to be this us vs. them mentality in my neighborhood. Us vs. the surrounding, poor community. It made me sad. But I'm happy to see that changing.

Let's face it, these poor people aren't going to become rich overnight. Many are immigrants, and are probably limited by education and language. No matter how hard they work, they're not going to escape poverty. The kid is going to have an ER visit for a broken arm. The car is going to need an expensive repair. A relative gets sick and you have to help out. I guess I'm lucky that I have the means and money to throw at those kinds of problems. Spending $600 on my car isn't going to hurt me. Same goes for expensive medical bills.

It's great that some of my neighbors have stepped up to help. One neighbor even created an "Angel Tree" the past 2 years. This year, the neighborhood came together to help 100 kids have an awesome Christmas.

It does take a village.

Faux Outrage

I'm over fake outrage. It seems like it's getting worse every year, every holiday season.

So far this year, it's been whether or not you can say Merry Christmas (you can), whether or not "Baby It's Cold Outside" is about rape, Santa should be gender neutral, the gender of gingerbread cookies, and Rudolph's dad is racist. Oddly enough, no controversies about the color of Starbucks coffee cups, at least I haven't heard of one yet.

It would be fucking awesome if these were the worst things that happened to humanity. Someone uses a holiday wish / greeting that was for the improper holiday or too inclusive. I sincerely wish that was the world we live in, but it's not.

Sadly, this feigned outrage seems to divide more than anything else.

For example, with the Rudolph's dad is racist controversy. It was some stupid story about tweets, fucking tweets, in the partisan Huffington Post about how Rudolph's dad was racist, in the Rankin-Bass Christmas special. Maybe, but no! Imagine that, a Christmas special made over 50 years ago doesn't always age well. There's a plethora of Christmas shit to watch between YouTube, Netflix, Amazon, etc. Watch something else.

So of course, the partisan Fox News picked up this story to make Liberals seem like these silly, triggered snowflakes.

Here's the thing. I'm pretty Liberal, and I know people even more Liberal and Left than me. They could give a flying fuck about some minor character in a Christmas special. I'm much more outraged about diabetics who can't afford insulin, immigration woes, starving kids in Yemen, heck, starving kids in my own community. Talk to any Feminist that I know, and they don't care about some silly Christmas song. We're pissed off that rapists get off with small fines or can become Supreme Court Justices.

In that same vein, I know some Liberals want to paint ALL Conservatives as redneck, racists, and that's not always true. Just because there was a viral video of some lady yelling out Bible verses at a Target over transgender people using the bathroom, doesn't mean that ALL Conservatives are that way.

Such "news" seems to divide more than anything else. I hate it. But I guess it's what drives up outrage ad clicks.

Key Word "Just"

Unfortunately, immigration has become this horrible wedge issue with all sorts of terrible, divisive political rhetoric around it. It's a very complicated issue, and even my most Liberal / Democrat friends aren't advocating for open borders either. My Republican friends always want to say that they have no problem with immigrants if they "just" come here legally. I liken that to someone saying that they're not racist because they have black friends.

Let's get to the knitty, gritty boring facts and details about immigration.

My naive self used to think, how difficult can it be to legally immigrate to the USA. All you have to do is fill out some forms, pay some fees, and wait, right? How cute.

Thankfully, there's this thing now called the Google, and it will take you directly to the US government website (https://www.usa.gov/enter-us) on how to do this. I spent a few minutes clicking through this website, and learned quite a great deal. Immigration laws have changed quite significantly the past few decades. I wish more people would take the time to read about the process, before they share some sort of divisive meme about immigration. It's actually quite difficult to come here legally.

Legal immigration now takes sponsorship, either via an immediate family member (it can't be an aunt, uncle, cousin, etc) or an employer. And if an employer is sponsoring you, it's probably because you have some sort of desirable, technical skills or you're season based farm workers. If you are coming from a country with very low rates of immigration, think one of those countries no one knows about between Eastern Europe and the Middle East, there's a lottery you can apply for. The other options is applying for asylum as a refugee.

Many of the immigrants coming from Central America probably don't fit any of these requirements, except for applying as an asylum seeker, which is legal to do.

So let's talk about some legitimate criticisms about the current immigration "crisis".

We can't take in everyone. I agree with this. I don't think the USA could nor should take in every immigrant. I also don't know of any bleeding heart Liberal types that are saying we need to accept everyone either. There needs to be a good process for determining the number of immigrants this country can absorb. But I can see that being difficult to calculate. It depends on where they move to, what jobs they get, etc. I'm certain our government has all sorts of statisticians that figure this sort of stuff out.

We don't know who some of these people are. They could be criminals. Statistically, I'm going to assume that there are some criminals in this caravan. It's going to happen. But that's what the vetting and background check process is for, right? You could say, that in some of the countries these immigrants are coming from, doing a thorough background check may be difficult to nearly impossible. These are countries that probably don't have the best kept records. And can you truly find the truth in someone's claim that they are fleeing a violent ex or a gang? I say quarantine the immigrants / asylum seekers in a humane way for a certain period of time. Enough for a medical examination, fingerprinting, and whatever else background information can be found. Release them with an ankle monitor, if a thorough background check can't be completed. I know some will say that's giving these immigrants the stigma of being a criminal. However, I don't know if there's a better way. We may not know who these people are. They could be dangerous, and this is a large country where they could easily disappear, never to be found again. The ankle monitor can be removed after the background check is done, or you've passed some sort of grace period with no legal troubles.

Even if someone is squeaky clean at the point of entry, it's still quite possible for them to be corrupted later on in life. Doesn't that happen to US citizens all of the time? You always see neighbors, relatives talking about how sweet some child was before that same child turned to a life of crime. It happens, unfortunately. I don't know what can always be done to stop such corruption, but it's unfortunately how things sometimes are. Besides, how many criminals are born on US soil anyways?

I say we need to do some sort of due diligence when it comes to evaluating immigrants. We can't have another Ellis Island, especially given modern day record keeping and technology. I do think there are many benefits from having immigrants in this country. It's quite unfortunate that this immigration problem has been ongoing for way too long, and our do-nothing politicians haven't bother fixing it. There was a slim chance in 2013, 5 years ago. A bipartisan immigration reform bill got passed through the Senate. Unfortunately, the Republicans in the House poo-pooed it. I could see some of their criticisms. But instead of trying to improve or fix it, they decided to not do anything. Fuckers. And the problem has gotten worse ever since.

I say we need immigrants. US birth rates are in decline. And if it hadn't been for immigrants, the birth rate would have been in decline much sooner. The "world is too populated" folks, will say that's a good thing. I can see their view point. However, aging populations aren't so great either. Japan and parts of Europe are already seeing the beginning stages of this. An aging population may not seem like a big deal now, but give it a few more decades, probably around the time I become elderly, and it will be a problem. You need a healthy, young population, to not only take care of the elderly, as well as the tax monies to fund programs such as Medicare and Social Security. People are living longer than ever, thanks to modern day medicine. That is going to put an increasing burden on these programs for the elderly. Perhaps, we've all forgotten the reasons why these programs came about. It's been a long time ago. All I remember hearing were horror stories about old people being forced to eat dog food, as they couldn't afford anything else. Now, they can go to the doctor for any little ailment, and it's paid for by us young, tax payers. I say make these immigrants citizens and start taxing them.

There are also all those stories of immigrants stealing jobs from hard working, deserving Americans. Honestly, I blame the employers for that shit. And it's just not immigrants taking low paying, unskilled jobs. It's Indian IT workers, replacing Americans, because they'll take a significant pay cut. Blame the employer for doing that, not the immigrant. Immigrants are also doing the unskilled labor that many Americans don't want to do, like work in fields, cleaning toilets, mowing yards. It's back breaking, dirty labor, that doesn't pay very well. And quite frankly, I didn't go to college, just so I could make beds at a hotel or wash dishes. Those are jobs that can't be done by robots, yet, but someone has to do them.

Also take a look at dying, rural America. Those small town are rapidly aging and declining in population. They no longer have the population density to support hospitals, or even a Wal-Mart. Any remaining young people move away. Or the ones that stay, are riddled with health issues and addiction. If there are jobs, Americans can't or won't do them. It's the said truth of it. All we have to do is look to the successes of Hazelton, PA, (https://money.cnn.com/2016/09/02/news/economy/hazleton-pa-latino-immigrant/index.html) to see what good immigration can do.

I myself used to think bad things of immigrants. I blame my white bread, Midwest ways. I grew up around very few immigrants. They were all "others" in my eyes. The only immigrants I was probably exposed to, where a few Middle Eastern or Indian families. Usually the father taught at one of the nearby universities, brought his wife over, and had kids in the USA. They kept to themselves, and some were actually Christians. At college, I got exposed to some of those immigrant professors. There were always gripes about being able to decipher through their thick accents. But most of the international students kept to themselves, and didn't intermingle with the white, American students.

Even as I left the safe confines of small towns, to big cities, I still only got small exposure to immigrants up until maybe a decade or so ago, when I bought my house, in a part of Atlanta with a large immigrant population. I used to think why can't these immigrants learn English. Why do they dress so weird? Why is their food so stinky? Again, it's complicated. I worked alongside a gal whose parents were from the Middle East. Despite the fact they had been in the country for 15 - 20 years, the parents still spoke somewhat broken English. They could probably get by at the grocery store, but you probably couldn't have in depth conversations with them. That's because they lived in a community with other people that spoke their language. There wasn't a huge need for them to be THAT fluent in English. They knew enough to get by, and quite frankly, that should be good enough. I remember when I visited Germany, my 4 years of studying the language, only got me so far. It would take years of studying and immersion to become truly fluent. And who cares about the clothes, especially when you consider the "People of Wal-Mart". And the stinky food, well, I've come to love it myself. Being in my immigrant community has definitely expanded my horizons. Even if I'm at the local taco or pho joint, and there are people not speaking English, doesn't necessarily mean they aren't US citizens. I relish the fact that I get to eat some of the best Latin and Asian foods Atlanta has to offer, and it's all in my backyard. I'd take all of these restaurants over an Applebee's any damn day.

Police Violence

We're Americans and therefore have short attention spans. The Nike / Kaepernick controversy has already turned into hilarious, parody memes.

The sad thing is, many have forgotten about the true reason for the protest in the first place. It morphed into all sorts of crazy, whether the protest was unpatriotic to anti-veteran to people boycotting the NFL. Heck, the protests even became anti-45. And now we've forgotten about all of the minorities that have been murdered by police.

In fact, I had one asshole Conservative try to tell me me it's made up stuff by the media and not really true. It's just there to rile up the Democrats. So nasty and ugly for a person to say that. And when I gave him a a Facebook react "haha" emoji, it definitely triggered the poor guy, to the point where he started slinging insults at me. What a fucking turd of a person. This is the same neighbor, who thought that the neighborhood school principle should worry more about mildew on the side of the classroom trailers, because looking at that fucked with his delicate sensibilities, instead of the principle worrying about a poor student population, where kids are homeless and don't get fed on the weekends.

Anyways, I do think the police are overly aggressive, especially when it comes to minorities. Police do have a very dangerous job, that has them see the worst of humanity. I can see how that may make one a bit jaded, or reliant on violent aggression. But it's still no excuse for the death of innocents.

In fact, there was an incidence not too far from my neighborhood, at an apartment complex. A guy was running around naked and screaming. Apparently, he was a veteran with mental health problems, and had a mix up with his medications. Clearly he was unarmed, unless somehow he had a gun shoved up his ass or was able to turn his penis into a gun. The claim was, the naked guy lunged at the police officer, which caused the officer to feel threatened and therefore shoot the poor guy, dead. I mean, couldn't the naked guy at least been tased? I'm sure there are non-lethal ways of subduing the crazy.

Whenever these incidences of reckless police violence come up, there's always statements along the lines of the need for more police training, or that officer was just a "bad apple". It would be one thing if these incidences were rare, but they seem to happen even more frequently. It's terrible.

I don't consider myself to be a racist person. However, it was ingrained into me as a child that black men are dangerous. I did grow up in a sterile, white, middle class environment. The only black people I came across were at my public school, and they usually weren't in my AP classes. My parents did try to shelter me. I wasn't allowed to drive through certain parts of town or go to certain places by myself, for the fear that some homeless guy would rape or kill me. And by homeless guy, it was insinuated that it was a black person. I have even found myself when walking the streets of cities by myself, that I hold my purse tighter when I come across a group of black men dressed in hip-hop type clothing. To be honest, I had no idea if these gentlemen were thugs, but I assumed so because of their clothing. How hypocritical of me, because I used to get terribly upset by people judging me for my appearance. I have since checked my biases and I'm not so fearful when coming across groups of people who don't look like me.

We've seen such biases hold true in other viral accounts. Apparently, if you're black, you can't BBQ peacefully in public parks without white people calling the police on you. Or if you're a black politician canvassing door-to-door, the police will be called on you. So sad. I've seen such incidences in my own neighborhood. Every 6 - 9 months there's a rash of home break-in's and everyone goes into high alert for every stranger coming through the neighborhood, which is majority white. Basically, that means if you're a minority, there's a higher probability some scared white lady is going to call the cops on you. A few months ago, someone got video of some black teens running across their yard. It could just be them being asshole teenagers. But a few neighbors panicked, and started hunting these black teens. The reason being, that police response is sometimes slow, so they felt the need to take matters into their hands, which is probably not a good thing is this scenario. My neighbors chased down these teens with their car, which freaked the teens out anymore. The entire situation sickened me.

I have called the police twice for 2 incidents involving Hispanic men. The first time, it was a teen, going into people's yards looking through the windows. A few hours later, his buddy broke into a house across the street and broke his leg doing so. The other incident, was a guy knocking on our window, early on Sunday, demanding that we give him a ride to Church after he had been walking all night. This guy still seemed drunk from the night before. These were peculiar scenarios that warranted police interference. Minorities have every right to walk the public streets in my neighborhood, peacefully. But if I see something truly suspicious or unusual, I'm calling the cops. And even with the first incident, my husband did approach the teen and asked him what the fuck he was doing. The story about the teen being "lost" didn't sit well with us. If he had a better story, then perhaps we wouldn't have called the police.

Police work is thankless work. Most people don't go into it because they love it, now. They do it, because they think the benefits will be good. My county has a depraved police department i.e. too few officers and too much area to cover. On top of that, pay is low, and benefits are no longer what they used to be. Officers maybe get 6 - 8 weeks of training. And often times, they'll stay with the county just long enough until they can go to another city or area, with better pay or benefits. Such a revolving door of inexperienced officers isn't a good thing.

And it's not like many of these police officers are getting an Associate's degree in law enforcement at an university. Many are ex-military, looking for a way to support their families. You're not getting top people taking these dangerous jobs. A neighbor of mine is a lawyer for the county, and she's always amazed if the police reports she gets use correct grammar and spelling. Apparently, that's rare. And one of the factory workers, I work alongside, is ex-police. He's a nice guy and probably one of the better workers. But what does it say that if you leave the force the only kind of work you can get is factory work?

We need more thorough and comprehensive training for our police force. We need bias training and ways to de-escalate situations without violence. I get that these men and women have difficult jobs, that no one wants to do. Still, I can be critical yet supportive? I not saying that blue lives or black lives matter the most. It's complicated. However, our police force can do better.

Bad Reputation

3 tell all books and a scathing, anonymous op-ed later, #45 is becoming even more looney, if that was even possible.

The thing is, he only has himself to blame for his bad reputation.

For example, there might be this Russian hooker pee-pee tape out there somewhere. Could you imagine any other POTUS be involved in such a crazy scenario? Maybe, Bill Clinton, but it would have been more of a sex thing vs. revenge. But #45 has a history of being petty, hanging out with prostitutes, and being an all around terrible human. This was well known even before 2016. If the pee-pee tapes are fake, he's going to need lots of proof trying to fight off that reputation.

Just look at the tweets, incoherent speeches, you'd see a mad man, ranting and raving. Then the copious amounts of resignations of White House staff. It's insane. Friday has become the news media day where you're wondering who is going to get fired or leave next. All of this is unprecedented.

Even if the stuff in those books or op-ed are embellished or taken out of context, the scenario they paint is sadly quite believable. If there were similar anonymous op-eds about other Presidents, no one would believe it. Could you imagine aids stealing papers off of Obama's desk so he wouldn't start WWIII? Nope. The most scathing thing about Obama was he smoked, wore a tan suit, and liked Grey Poupon mustard. I'll take that if that's the worst crimes you can find for that guy without delving into conspiracy.

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Protest Season

Welp, it's protest season again aka football season. And it started off with a kicker, Kaepernick is now the new spokesperson for Nike.

Good for him. Good for Nike.

Now there are a few viral pictures of Conservatives burning their Nike shoes or cutting the tops off of their socks. I don't know of any Conservatives doing this.

It's all re-damn-diculous. Nike got their money, and will now get free publicity, and people buying their stuff out of counter protest.

And how does this help the problem of police violence against people of color?

The original protest and message has now been perverted even more so. I don't see anything about that outside of Liberals suggesting that Nike shoes be donated to homeless veterans instead of being burned.

No one is talking about the the dead black people due to overly aggressive police. Instead, we're calling Conservatives snowflakes or stupid.

The original message, which was quite important, is now lost. And I find that horribly disgusting.

I'm for awareness. Some people aren't aware of the biases and violence people of color face, for the color of their skin. That message does still need to get out there. A peaceful protest during the Anthem at a football game, seemed like a decent way of doing that. I mean, the NFL dons pink everything to make us all the more aware of breast cancer. Maybe this issue of violence against black people needs their own special color?

Then again, who isn't aware of breast cancer by now? The NFL will make special pink crap, stating that some small percentage of proceeds goes to breast cancer research. There still is no breast cancer cure, but we sure do feel good buying pink shit in October. I'd much rather see real action. Young black men are still being shot by the police. People of color still face extreme biases. And what was once a good idea, a peaceful protest for awareness, have been morphed into something else, fueled by the deepening political divide in this country.

New Lows

When I think that the current administration can't go even lower, it somehow does. Separating immigrant families was pretty fucking low, and many of those kids are still separated from their parents. But going lower again, seriously?

Senator John McCain passed away a little over a week ago. I didn't necessarily care for some of his politics. Back in 2007 / 2008, when he was running for President, I wasn't as politically aware as I am now. But I did watch the debates, and he seemed somewhat alright, moderate, until he started to pander to the more Conservative factions of the GOP. Same thing goes for Romney in 2012. He was alright, until he started to pander to the more extreme parts of the GOP. Because of McCain, we got Sarah Palin. At first, I thought this was someway to get a few of the Hillary voters, who desperately wanted to see any female in the White House. But I don't vote for people just because of what they have between their legs. As Palin got more and more exposure, the more I realized how moronic she truly was. But so many people fell for her folksiness. Hey, she's just like me. I was fine with that. US politics could use more down-to-earth politicians. But outside of the folksy schtick, she didn't know that much. Or not at least what I'd want someone that could possibly become POTUS, to know.

I didn't think McCain was all THAT terrible. He had his faults just like any other US politician, but he seemed to have integrity that newer politicians lack.

Even though his passing was sadly expected, the response from the Right and Left has been interesting and shocking. Many of my Liberal friends posted about it on Facebook, lamenting the death of a good man. Only 2 Liberal friends shared criticisms instead of tributes. While I do think their criticisms were valid, I did think it was asshole-ish to share them, upon the news of McCain's death. Give it a few weeks to say that shit. Not one of my Conservative friends, shared or said anything about McCain's death. Telling...

Once I heard the news of his passing, I decided to see what POTUS had to say on Facebook. His response was surprisingly, brief and generic. I wondered what was up, especially considering other political figures of either party, had much more to say. And then the comments, I know you're not supposed to read them, but I was curious. Instead of nice comments, like I had seen for Obama's eloquent response, it was mixed with a lot of nastiness. Lots of stuff along the lines of how they were glad that this RINO or traitor was dead. Appalling. To be fair, they could be Russian bots, but still, shocking. Later on I read that McCain had a higher approval rating among Democrats than Republicans. Seriously, what kind of bizarro world do we live in?

The next day, my suspicions about POTUS's canned, generic response were confirmed. Like many other politicians, an aid will write up something, the politician will make some edits, and then post the response. What's so damn difficult about doing that, the right and appropriate thing? Then there was the flag controversy. I guess to be impartial, POTUS technically did the "right" thing, but the bare fucking minimum, which also goes against prior political precedence. I get that these 2 politicians, didn't particularly care for each other. That's A-OK. But to be such a petty cunt about it, is so shameful. He truly couldn't put his pettiness aside for a few days and be a decent fucking person for once. SAD!!

What I find sad about all of this, is that instead of the news media focusing on the life and legacy of John McCain, it became the T-word show. Perhaps he couldn't tolerate, not being the center of attention for a few days. So, so shameful.

This should have been an easy win for him. A notable person in your party dies. Don't be a petty cunt about it.

I was shocked by the level of pettiness. I shouldn't be, given his history of being awful, but I still have this crazy idea that if you're POTUS, you at least behave better when someone dies.