With everything going on, there hasn’t been a lot of good news. The protests have been a shit show marred by police violence, looting, property destruction and injury. It’s gotten worse since my last post, but there is good news there, but we’ll get to that in a moment.
First, this past weekend SpaceX launched Americans into space from American soil for the first time since the shuttle launches. It’s a huge thing for science and for the future of space travel. It was awesome to watch, and like people have said, those astronauts had the right idea getting off the planet for a while.
Next, today is my 25th wedding anniversary. I left the house for a second time since March to go to breakfast at a local eatery. Seeing as how I’ve stayed home this whole time, this was a big deal, and brought a little bit of normalcy to very abnormal times. My wife is amazing, and I can’t imagine life without her, much less during these times. She has held us all together, even though she herself had moments of falling apart. She’s an amazing partner, mother, and friend and I so look forward to the next 25.
The next thing, I’m especially proud of. My 16-year-old daughter came out as bi-sexual to the world this week to coincide with the start of pride month. We’ve known and have been supportive for quite some time, but for her to take that step of letting everyone know publicly was a big deal. Both of my daughters have stood up for equality of all types, but Claire has gotten pushback from people for her support of gay rights. She finally decided that she was through hiding that part of herself and I couldn’t be more happy, or more proud of her.
Lastly, today the murder charges against the officer who killed George Floyd were upgraded to second degree, and the other three officers have also been charged with aiding and abetting him. Finally, some movement on this that everyone wanted to see.
One of the rallying cries have been NO JUSTICE, NO PEACE. I hope that now there WILL be justice, and I hope it brings people some peace.
Part of this stems from the White House. Stephen Miller is one of the president’s top aides and is, by all accounts, a white supremacist. He’s been feeding the president his talking points and lies for some time. Charlottesville was 100% a white supremacist rally a couple years ago, and he called them “good people.” The orange fuck’s own racism has emboldened his followers to crawl out from under their rocks and be openly racist.
We have seen nothing at all change in these four years other than racism has gotten worse.
And don’t feed me your bullshit about people losing credibility because of riots. Riots seem to be the only mechanism for people to actually get their point across. They have tried peacefully protesting, they tried taking a knee during the national anthem. Now a cop took a knee on the neck of an unarmed black man for over 8 minutes, two of those being after he was unresponsive. He told them he couldn’t breathe, he called for his mother, yet this disgrace of a human being murdered this man, and his police colleagues did nothing to stop him.
Once again, all police are not like this, the vast majority are not. But those four should burn for what they allowed to happen. Accountability. That is what is needed. Police need to stop just getting away with this wanton murder of black and other minority communities.
Then in the wake of protests (before they turned into riots) police used tear gas and rubber bullets on protesters. Where were those when the white people, armed to the teeth, were at the Michigan capital? Imagine if the entire BLM protest group showed up armed. There would be slaughter of those protesters because of their skin color.
A CNN crew was arrested live on air for reporting. The person they arrested, a black cameraman.
Another crew from an NBC affiliate were shot with pepper bullets for simply capturing the news, which is their fucking job. It’s not like the cop with the pepper gun didn’t know, he shot a fucking cameraman with a huge rig on his shoulder. That cop should never work again either.
And if you don’t believe in white privilege, fuck you. Seriously, go fuck right off. My 16 year old has been going jogging through neighborhoods during the pandemic to get out of the house. She doesn’t have to worry about two rednecks murdering her for that. Me and my wife and my daughters don’t have to worry about being pulled over by the cops and then being murdered. We can wear hoodies without being perceived as menacing. And we don’t have to worry about a cop kneeling on our necks and killing us. If you are a person of color, particularly black, you do. You worry about that every day of your fucking life. No one should.
Let’s give you another fine example. These past couple of weeks a white University of Connecticut student murdered two people and went on the run. There was a huge manhunt and when they caught him, he wasn’t harmed in any way. This was a FUCKING MURDERER. He was captured, no injuries, because he was white. If he were black, that would not have happened. This echoes my post from 4 years ago where a terrorist white male who shot up an abortion clinic and MURDERED a police officer was also captured without incident. Holy Shit, if the guy murders one of your own colleagues and you still bring him in unharmed, you can’t say it would be the same if the suspect was black.
The suspect in Minneapolis? He was accused of passing off a fake $20 bill.
So, for fuck’s sake, POLICE NEED TO STOP KILLING BLACK PEOPLE. And when they do, they need to be held accountable. At least the cop in Minneapolis is arrested and charged with murder. Not sure why the other three still walk free as they were definitely accessories to that crime, but it’s a start. When you start holding cops and racists accountable, every time, maybe this shit will stop. The guys that murdered the jogger walked free for months until the video surfaced. We shouldn’t need video evidence for this. And it’s been seen that even when there IS that evidence, cops get off. That cannot happen any longer.
I’m very proud that my daughter and wife are currently at a protest in the suburbs of Chicago. I should be there too, but sadly my paranoia over the virus is keeping me at home, so to everyone risking their very lives out there to decry this systemic injustice, I thank you, and I am with you.
Brett Kavanaugh was confirmed to the Supreme Court today. He had very credible accusers of him sexually assaulting women. Women (more than just Dr. Ford) that would risk a felony to testify to what he had done. Several of them weren’t even allowed to testify or included in the FBI investigation. Then to top it off he was a complete asshole in his defiant, crying testimony for the job. Testimony that in ANY job interview would get you shown the door.
Yet he was just confirmed.
Forget about the complete bullshit bi-partisanship of people simply pushing their nominee through, and it is bullshit. I’m going to focus on what the country and those senators did to assault victims. Making them relive their own pain, just to vote to push him through.
They basically said, we might believe you, we just don’t care.
I saw people state that all boys act that way in high school. I didn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I did drink, and to excess, but I never forced myself on anyone.
Stating that all boys do that is normalizing rape culture and it’s horrible, and wrong, and so against what good self-proclaimed Christians should be for. It’s just another checkbox in a long line of things that make me despise religion.
I also saw folks state that what you did in high school shouldn’t follow you around forever. Well guess what, if you sexually assault someone, maybe it fucking should. People who abuse children, murderers, and rapists should all face scrutiny and consequences, no matter when it took place.
Now I’m just one guy, but here are some of the women who I dated who have confided in me.
A high school girl I dated broke down in tears when we were in the middle of sexual activity, and confided in me that her grandfather and father had both sexually abused her.
Another woman was sexually abused by an adult neighbor as a child.
Another woman was gang raped by two members of the college football team.
Another was raped by a student who had been known to rape more than one woman.
Another was abused by her father to the point that family members rescued her and took the girl to safety in another state, not telling the parents where she was and that they had done so.
Another was abused physically and mentally by her coked up ex-husband.
A colleague was sexually and mentally abused by a boss, and her speaking up helped take him down.
A colleague was raped in the military, reported it, and there were no consequences.
These were all women whom I dated, loved or worked with. And these are just the ones that confided in me. This doesn’t even cover all the friends online who came forward with their own stories, and those were legion.
Now some assholes will state “then why didn’t they say anything when it happened?” Well just look at Dr. Ford. She came forward now and was doubted, derided and had actual death threats. Women have been afraid to come forward because they always get demonized in these situations. They dressed too sexy or got too drunk, or why did they put themselves in that position? All things that shouldn’t fucking matter in the least. They were attacked, and saddled with something that breaks a piece of them for the rest of their lives.
None of these women confided in me nonchalantly, it was always with deep pain and uncontrollable sadness. It changed them forever. It didn’t change the abuser. They simply got away with it. Like Brett Kavanaugh.
I have two daughters, and I hope they never have to experience anything so horrific. We teach them safety, and what to do in those situations, but for fuck’s sake we shouldn’t have to.
I wish I had sons so I could teach THEM that it’s not acceptable, and that women aren’t their property or their right to conquer. If you have sons, please, talk with them now. Tell them what is right and what is not. Instill in them the respect for others that everyone deserves. That’s where things have to change.
I have never been more angry or upset with our government as I am right now. Physically sick at how this all came down.
Some assholes say this was just a Democratic tactic to bring down the Supreme Court pick. But if that’s the case, why didn’t anything like this surface when Gorsich was nominated? Could it be because he didn’t fucking assault anyone?
And why would someone like Dr. Ford come forward? This doesn’t gain her ANYTHING, it just gave her more to lose. Every time she teaches a class (if she can even continue) everyone there knows she was sexually assaulted, and she’ll feel shame about that. She SHOULDN’T, because it wasn’t her fault at all, but she will. Some people will judge her, probably verbally abuse her, and like I said, the family has already received death threats.
None of this is right, and if you support Kavanaugh, fuck you. Unfriend me and never speak with me again. I’ve tried to remain friends with people in this cesspool of political crap, but this is a bridge too far.
Have compassion, have empathy, believe women, vote.
I’ve seen quite a few of my friends and family post with the hashtag #alllivesmatter. And for the vast majority of those people, it’s with good intentions. They are saying that black people, and police officers, and gay people etc. all matter. And they do, absolutely, I agree. But there’s a problem with simply saying #alllivesmatter, it tends to dismiss the real issues that black people face in our society.
#blacklivesmatter rose in response to the killing of black people by the hands of police officers where the suspect was unarmed, or not being confrontational, or already subdued by police. This has happened at at alarming rate. I really think the BLM movement should have labeled it #blacklivesmattertoo because that would cause less controversy.
The problem isn’t just that it has happened, it’s that in a lot of cases, the officers in question never get punished. Take the Eric Garner case, they had an officer ON VIDEO taking down Eric with a chokehold that is prohibited by the NYPD. There’s no disputing any of it. That banned chokehold killed that man, but the police officer was never charged. It was fully documented on video, and you couldn’t even press charges then.
That’s why Black Lives Matter exists, to try to help right these wrongs when and where they occur and to bring awareness to the fact that there is still a real problem when it comes to race.
I have friends and acquaintances who are (and who were) police officers, and I know that they are decent, awesome people who would never commit these kinds of acts. In fact the majority of police in general never would. But when it happens, all I want to see is that the bad cops who perpetrate such acts are brought to justice. And that doesn’t happen enough.
And if you don’t think this is about race, google for pictures of white people with guns around police. You can find lots of pictures with white gun advocates armed to the teeth where police aren’t flinching and killing them. In fact take the guy who shot up an abortion clinic not too long ago. White guy, who killed a police officer, wounded several more, and killed two civilians was taken alive. If there’s ever someone who should have died in an incident, it should have been him. You shoot at police officers, all bets are off, you SHOULD be gunned down. But he wasn’t.
So there IS still a problem, and that’s what BLM is about. I still really wish they were called #blacklivesmattertoo as I think that’s really the point they are making. They aren’t saying that ONLY they matter, they are saying they should matter as much as a privileged white person, of which I am one.
So please, don’t use #alllivesmatter even though your intentions are good, because it sweeps the real problems black people face to the side and it’s still a very real issue.
So in case any of this is unclear, my stance is the following:
I support law enforcement
I support the rights of people to protest injustice
I want to see bad cops face consequences for their actions
I want to see actual criminals face consequences for their actions
I want unnecessary killings to stop
All lives do matter, but there is still a racial problem in our society
The Black Lives Matter march in Dallas was peaceful, no incidents, in fact the Dallas PD twitter account was posting pictures including ones of protesters and police officers shaking hands and posing together. The attack was a disgusting, horrible thing perpetrated by a sick mind. It’s not anything anyone in BLM wanted.
Right now I’m scared for our country. I’m scared that violence will escalate and we’ll see more of these incidences. I fear for the safety of my police officer friends, and I fear for the safety of my black friends. It’s not a good time, but maybe, just maybe this incident will help people come together. People will support police, and also weed out injustice when it happens. We can only hope, and hope is a commodity that I have precious little of nowadays.
Last week, I was called upon to fulfill my job as a citizen and report for Jury Duty. Basically, you get called to a courthouse and do a lot of sitting around. Then, a group of 45 or so of you get corralled like cattle into a courtroom. You get to answer answer awesome questions like:
Do you have any religious objections to alcohol? or
Does anyone here NOT believe in the US system of Government?
Once you’ve answered the questions, then the attorneys get to dismiss people they think might not be good to their case. Those of us who seem fine to both the prosecution and defense get picked to be on a Jury.
I’ve actually been called quite a few times, but never actually picked. Well last week was my lucky week. I was part of the twelve (and two alternates) who were chosen to choose the fate of a man who was up for felony aggravated battery.
The defendant had struck a man with a large plastic BB gun at 2AM in the parking lot of a taco joint. When it broke, he then grabbed a baseball bat. Luckily for the person who was struck (and the defendant) there was an officer that saw him strike a victim the first time, and got there in time to keep him from striking with the bat.
The officer saw the defendant strike the victim. Everyone on both sides agreed that happened. They also agree it was in public. The thing they didn’t agree on was whether or not it was self-defense. Did the defendant feel threatened enough to have to defend himself? If we had even a shadow of a doubt whether it was self-defense or not, we had to proclaim him innocent.
Now the defendant was too drunk to drive (his fiance drove) and was known for starting fights when drunk (his fiance’s words.) The victim did NOT want to testify and had to be subpoenaed. The victim never struck the defendant, and also did not speak English. What the victim did do is stop the car, get out, and confront the drunk guy. For many of our jurors, that act of stopping the car (and possibly blocking the defendant in) and then coming around the car meant the defendant could have gotten scared enough to grab the first thing he could get his hands on and defend himself. He was found by us, a jury of his peers, to be not guilty.
I had to be convinced. I think this guy instigated the whole thing and was acting tough and as soon as someone got back in his face he hit him. But, I had to feel that beyond a reasonable doubt that he didn’t feel threatened to act in self-defense. Eventually, as one of the only dissenters, I caved, because there was the wee bit of doubt.
There were lots of screwed up things in everyone’s testimony and no one was really believable. The original officer who witnessed the crime that night was actually off duty, so rather than pay him overtime they brought in another officer to process the scene. That officer basically skated through the investigation and only wrote a one page report. The report didn’t have key info in it that could have been bad for the defendant and good for the prosecution.
Also, through testimony the defendant said he only had five or six beers and stopped drinking at 10PM. So some folks thought he might be fairly sober at 2AM and just had the fiance drive to be safe. Also they say he was really remorseful in the police car and very apologetic.
During your Jury Duty, you cannot research the case outside the courtroom, and you can only listen to the testimony. You are also not allowed to talk about it with anyone including other jurors. I followed the rules. But after the case was over and this man was set free, I did some research and found some news articles. The article from the night in question had his mug shot. He looked completely plastered and he was laughing and defiant. He didn’t seem remorseful and didn’t look the least bit sober. If we had been shown the mug shot, it’s possible folks might have had another opinion.
Despite my misgivings, I really like that it takes a unanimous vote of 12 people to convict someone in this country. I also like that people in the jury are really supposed to have not heard anything about the case and not have any knowledge of the situation. I think it’s a decent system, and it was nice to see it from the inside. Our case was fairly laughable, and there were so many mistakes that we had to proclaim the defendant not guilty. That said, I’m really glad that I didn’t end up on a trial that was more serious or deadly. I can sleep at night with this decision, I think a more serious case would be much harder to put behind me.
But I leave you with words of advice. If it’s 2AM, and you really want tacos, go to bed, you’re drunk.
Wow. Fox News Channel cannot rag on Obama enough! If you trust what they are saying, US citizens cannot hate Obama and his socialist agenda enough, yet Obama’s popularity remains fairly high. Hmmmm, funny how those things seem to contradict.
I don’t think MSNBC is any better on the other side, but that is the problem for me. We have two networks that are zealots for political parties. It’s laughable that Fox says they are fair and balanced, neither they or MSNBC are at all. All this does is divide the American people more, and quite frankly it’s bullshit for NEWS organizations to act this way. News should report news, not spin it through their vast conservative or liberal filters…
All the conservatives are up in arms because the Obama regime released CIA memos that showed that America tortured prisoners. They aren’t up in arms that Bush flat-out lied about it, and they aren’t up in arms that we actually are barbaric enough to torture people. They are pissed that Obama released these documents to make Bush look bad. Really? Bush couldn’t look much worse and this is just another in a huge laundry list of items. As per usual, the Daily Show nails it.