Tag Archives: CNN

Pepsi Ad Controversy: It’s Black Hermione, CBS’ Pledge Of Allegiance Debate All Over Again Race And Issue Batting We Don’t Have Time For

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Proof you’re damned if you do, damned if you don’t whether you try to stay above the fray as CBS did or try to make a statement, be culturally relevant, positively impactful even while selling soda, candy, entertainment, foods. And no, America doesn’t need a better, more attuned emotional quotient unless it involves not falling for these non-scandals, but certainly not in terms of avoiding the ‘Kendal Jenner’ ad as it has since been dubbed or immediately recognizing why it is offensive. Because just as fans, the internet’s debate of a black Hermione for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child stage production had nothing to do with race and everything to do with J.K. Rowling’s constant additions, revisions, inconsistencies and incongruent information sessions during, but especially post, series following in the unfortunate steps of George Lucas and Star Wars, leading to a situation making casting a black Hermione the way they did completely silly and untrue to the character. Dawning comprehension CBS’ rejection of a cute little girl reciting the pledge of allegiance had absolutely nothing to do with the unpatriotic, un-American sentiments of network bigwigs, an attempt to appease secular humanist liberals, social justice whine-o’s who want to annihilate America’s cultural history, generate a forced utopia as fake as reality television with twice the devastation, and was contrastingly centered around its ill-fit to sell real estate, varying kinds of insurance for those properties even to a local audience viewing an annual rodeo event. Because they knew where opinions would fall on both sides, the further likely spawned uproar regarding using patriotism to sell a product, any product versus say giving to charity; lively discussions talking about using a child in such a shameless way, not to mention the added, special permissions needed to use children in such commercials, particularly scrutinizing known exploitation revealed running wild in Hollywood on top of the droves of lost young stars, ruined young talent chewed up and spit out by too much pressure too soon. All detracting from the goal: to sell insurance, draw business to your firm, agency, group, bring in dollars for the TV network; CBS, reading the landscape tealeaves, shrewdly said no thank you. Returning us to the latest hot button, trending topic, social media explosion cranking out article after article, warranting a nightly news mention, Pepsi’s gamble arguably should have been worth it offering a totally different message that should have resonated rather than making people feel patronized, their struggle cheapened, angling a bid for unity, defacto providing recognition in a more vibrant, lasting form than endless protest footage on wall to wall cable news….
General consensus seems to be Pepsi should have just stayed out of it, found another way to sell their product without being utterly tone deaf to the mood of the country; belying to ridiculing the seriousness of resistance and what it means to the activists, people fighting for life, livelihood, the lives of their children, justice for unfathomable wrong those who’ve never experienced it simultaneously can never understand. Situations sufferers already feel the rest of America doesn’t see, white people pre-privileged out of the womb, handed opportunities as their defacto birthright wouldn’t know how to live, function or succeed without and why are you making it worse in the process of selling soda, something you have a thousand other ways to sell it might be added? Recurring theme here, aren’t we putting too much stock in a soda ad, what people could possibly get out of aforementioned soda ad, giving it their maximum attention and let’s face it who does that today with anything forget a commercial, not part of the super bowl set meant to grab and keep your rapt attention costing millions to make and the only consistent time throughout the year you can get a mass audience focused on the same thing at the same time. Commercials, shock and awe, drawing attention to something they, viewers, may not particularly like, won’t necessarily buy, may prefer Coke, Mountain Dew, Doctor Pepper or Root Beer over Pepsi, the unique beverage not the brand…. Further tackling the accusation Pepsi used other people’s pain to sell a product, a particularly crass product in the form of soda with no intrinsic value, hold it; you mean they did what advertisers every one have done for decades going back to the first newspapers, traveling salesmen peddling elixirs, tonics throughout the old west laced with every kind of drug and not fulfilling half their claims, shock everything seen in a commercial isn’t real? Perhaps people need a reality check on the fundamental nature of advertising then along with a twin dose of recognition Pepsi’s advertising tactic is no different than funds solicited for St. Jude or Shriners hospitals, the ASPCA, religious program documentation of abysmal conditions for faith X and needing viewers’ financial help to change it, pictures of the drought induced famine underway in Africa; equally the links to donation options posted on ABC’s website, the donations accumulated from something billed an informational newscast segment. Few see anything wrong with that excepting possibly televangelists bilking grandmas out of social security checks if that wasn’t a stereotypical slanted trope to begin with; quite the opposite argument, the segment was done in hopes it would both make people aware and elicit donations to help save lives. Unhindered and widely un-objected to products do the same too from hair removal wands to bathtub and sink scrubbers, specialty mops whose top selling point is either no need to visit a doctor, pay for expensive electrolysis treatments to remove unsightly hair or clean your home with ease sans bending to reach shower corners, be on your hands and knees to effectivity clean floors. What about specially tubs ideal for elderly persons permitting them to stay in their homes, life alert and adjacent systems of wearable devices connecting elderly disabled persons to emergency help; again granted mentioned causes, attempts to sell certain products are for their target audience’s good making it possible to stay at home safely, mitigating fall, bone breaking hazards for our growing elderly population, convenience cleaning items holding positive implications for older individuals, those with disabilities, painful injuries, but isn’t that always advertising’s angle, even soda can enhance your life with a better tasting drink? Additionally, despite the current political climate, data surrounding the election of president Trump, emboldened hate groups of all stripes, first and foremost white supremacy, spewing their views at every turn, feeling justified in saying what they’ve sadly been thinking for quite some time, directed hate toward African Americans, Muslims, LGBT persons; our activist climate, numerous protests are proof more people want diversity, inclusion than don’t… Too blaming Kendal Jenner, who it has to be pointed out between laborious character assassinations, independent who her family is, the sizeable wealth she stands to inherit at some juncture in her life, may have already inherited since 21 is the standard age for such inheritances to activate chooses to work anyway, unless working in some aspect is tied to receiving inheritance monies, continuing to receive said monies. Kendal Jenner, who regardless of unknown stipulations placed on her in reference to accessing family wealth seems to enjoy the work she does, has several modeling, business venture and writing gigs to her name, belying her fame and popularity comes exclusively from appearing on her family’s reality TV show. Jenner who technically, theoretically, if she ‘truly wanted to work’, be a ‘normal’ contributor to society could have become a doctor, lawyer, teacher, social worker; however, in the longstanding climate of who you know outpacing, outperforming what you know when it comes to career entrance and mobility, she arguably did the right thing parlaying her family knowledge of the business, not just name connections, into opportunities for herself. Nor is she unique in doing so the Olsen twins did the same thing both during and post their Full House years, Hillary Duff, Miley Cyrus, several former Disney stars including Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Selina Gomez branched out significantly from their beginnings; neither is she responsible for the current state, the longstanding state of the industry she elected to work in because it made the most sense, she appears to have a talent for, worthy to keep in mind she is new and just works there. To that end, she showed up to do a job, unknown is if she petitioned Pepsi for the gig, maybe her agent did; stars of her caliber, looking to gain jobs routinely have one, at which point he’s merely doing his job in securing his client meaningful paid work. And, everyone in acting, modeling, TV, show business, by the way, puts in their time, pays their dues doing small parts, underwear ads, TV commercials before hitting it big, moving on to better, greater projects. News at 11:00, bashing Kendal Jenner for being white, privileged and successful all at once is not only reverse racism personified, it will not change race dynamics in this country…. Never mind who exactly is paying that much attention to commercials, who would see it anyway calculating the number of households steadily cutting their cable cords, trading in expensive cable packages for a Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime subscription combo giving them better quality programing and a distinct lack of ads, Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast creating similar effect, internet purposefully crafting ads based on user search histories virtually eliminating ads for things that don’t interest that specific person…. . When all else fails, you actually are dealing with old school audience members the invention of the mute button and the fact we all know watchers head for the refrigerator, the bathroom as commercials start takes huge chunks out of the body of persons you’re reaching; before going off shelves entirely VCR’s held an auto-fast-forward activated during commercials no one wanted to see, common knowledge people pause shows using their TiVo, TiVo usage reducing ads seen as well multiplying the fold reduction of people viewing the ad, translating into, again why are we talking about this period, still talking about it?…. Talk about a distraction, wasting ink, talking points, news segment space over Pepsi or Kendal Jenner in this instance is a trolls and the Trump agenda win; because while we were talking about Pepsi’s bad ad in the context of anything other than this is what gives so called social justice warriors a bad name, remarking it leaves them open to being called ‘snowflake,’ pansy ass real things were happening that effect broader swaths of the American people in much realer ways than perceptions from a soda commercial. Setting aside ongoing escalations with North Korea, how the French election impacts Europe, reshapes functional parts of the world, what Russia is doing today to manipulate us, someone else, undermine democracy globally there’s what’s happening here at home, local legislation going on behind the national scenes. Example, do you live in South Carolina, are you of child bearing age; then you might be interested in their latest push to outlaw abortion with hot off the presses incarnations of a personhood bill. For or against LGBT rights, issue neutral: North Carolina you voted out Pat McCrory over the bathroom bill backlash costing the state millions if not billions in revenue from lost advertising, canceled concerts, celebrity and other boycotts, business withdraw, not to mention the NCAA, NBA and every other national basketball organization fleeing the state, so shouldn’t you be more upset they are spending legislative energy trying to overturn the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage at least as far as North Carolina is concerned?… Everyone should be paying attention to the flurry of executive orders, regulation rollbacks issuing from the Whitehouse including ones allowing coal mines to dump their waste in rivers, slash safety regulations for workers not to mention potentially their overtime pay, a new religious liberty order greenlighting religious institutions’ foray and monetary donations into politics, possibly streamline with ease discriminating against both contraception and LGBT persons when it refers to religious landlords and employers…Zika funding may end by summer 2017 for want of funding for tracking effects, devastating birth defects i.e. microcephaly and the documented 58 cases, prevention; Zika on track to wreak more havoc as there is an outbreak in Texas ahead of traditional mosquito season even for such a warm area. Stoppage of Zika funding removes too mosquito control that could cut down on other health effects, viruses and sickness carried by the insects, end patient education about the virus, its transmission, potential devastation on pregnancy and the resulting infants. Major headlines are focused recently on healthcare, tax cuts as they should be; sadly meanwhile republicans are likewise very quietly doing all they can to erase precious few gained financial regulations enacted post the financial crisis—chipping away at Dodd/Frank , weakening the consumer protection bureau behind banking regulations, controlling credit card fees, revoking rule preventing commercial banks from risky speculative investments, shrinking the too big to fail test, elongating timeframes between tests to discern health of financial institutions posing a risk to the entire system, paving the way for increased debit/credit card fees. GOP tax proposals released to media beyond projected to explode the deficit, amounting to little more than massive tax cuts for the rich, consisted of one page double spaced bullet points in more fonts than most knew were available in standard word processing programs, extremely light on details pushed out just prior to Trump’s 100 day mark embodying a play on the saying Jesus is coming look busy; this time constituents are watching look busy…What offends me more than any celebrity, white celebrity doing just about anything, let alone seen in an ad for whatever product racist or no, is minorities paying greater premiums, greater amounts for car insurance for no conceivable reason other than they weren’t born white. Held up alongside people who don’t understand, nor want to understand, initiatives like affirmative action continuing to insist our race problems nationally are in the past, and anyone speaking out about race issues now, it’s all in our heads. Collective society concurrently doubling down on the portrait, narrative black people are Hulk Hogan sized monstrous thugs who need to stop going out committing felonies if they want to be seen otherwise while minorities in F towns like Ferguson Missouri are targeted for traffic stops, jay walking, breaking hardly known ordinances on old cars situated on your own property in order to fill city coffers. And poorer minorities or whites are victims of court systems only open 1 day per month, are miles away from where the ‘defendant’ lives; such persons forced to languish in jail, unable to contribute to their own defense because they can’t afford bail. Cops are caught on tape telling their subordinates to arrest more black people coupled with a jury who couldn’t convict cold blooded murderer, laughing former police officer Michael Slager for the life of them or 50 year old Walter Scott…Offending more still, police manage to avoid charges in the brutal slaying of Alton Sterling though they had him on his back and shot 2 bullets point blank into his chest while kneeling on him; gun he bought to protect himself from area muggings during the course of hocking CD’s out of his car trunk giving what little monetary support to his kids he could after amassing a ‘criminal record’ under previously described F-town conditions, found in his pocket. Officers plainly appearing to panic the moment they emptied his pockets discovering the gun, somehow forgetting as pinned down as he was he couldn’t have reached it anyway. The enraging case of 15 year old 9th grader, honor student Jordan Edwards gunned down by police leaving a party where police allegedly were called to a noise complaint; why, the car came towards the officer in an aggressive manner, claims proven false by body cam footage, as was apparently reports by responding officer(s) of shots fired. Escalating my offense level is, the proms that weren’t desegregated until double digit years of the 21st century because they were hitherto held in private venues, the Mississippi school courts ordered in 2016 to desegregate deemed acceptable until then due to railroad tracks dividing essentially 2 area middle and high schools, not race exclusively ending a legal fight began in the 1960’s. The Alabama school allowed by federal court ruling to return to what is basically segregation or the Florida principal of a largely black school who instructed staff to put all white students in the same class…What offends me more is our society wide failed understanding why personalities a-la Ann Coulter and Milo Yiannopoulos never should have been invited to speak on any college campus anywhere, anytime; yes, we know college campus violence, mass protest is rare, most college students are worried about being awake for their first class, passing professors’ pop quizzes, doing well on finals and that Berkley has always been a flashpoint through previous decades, times of national upheaval, unrest for protests. However, problems with the named persons, other headline making commencement addressees, event speakers is not owing to they are conservative and campuses are primarily liberal, not that the term ‘safe space’ has gone so far students think they have the right not to hear viewpoints, different, opposing from their own, coopting too many administrators and professors into believing the same, willing to desecrate free speech by not allowing them to speak in the process. Converse to all that millennial gen Z stemming drama, it’s said speakers behavior, prior, present statements disqualifying them the same way revelations about Bill O’Reilly, Rodger Ailes, Bill Cosby and Shawn Hannity mark them undesirable. The same way we wouldn’t invite a holocaust denier, 9/11, Sandy hook truther to spew their hate; it’s one thing to not impede freedom of speech, it’s another to hand hate, vitriol, inciting of violence and obnoxiousness a podium. The same way climate change deniers, all/most birth control is abortifacient champions would be unwelcome, because the things they are saying are factually inaccurate. Highly offending under listed criteria is why people are confused at uproar over Condoleezza Rice’s Rutgers commencement speech invite years before or Betsy DeVos’ days ago, blaming the students for protests, trying to ban speakers the antithesis of the event they are scheduled to speak during when that falls to, talk about tone deaf, administrators; administrators who should have been cognizant that Rice receiving an honorary doctorate in law hypocritically, not only could be viewed but was, inappropriate. Considering her prattling on beside her boss George W. Bush about WMD that very probably did not exist, her support of water boarding, themed attitude leading to incidents like Abu Ghraib; her actions, support of actions taken during aforementioned administration leading many far removed from social justice warrior college campus snowflakes to believe she should be tired for war crimes. Astute protesting students stating had she been invited to a panel on ethics during war, her administrations, presidential administrations in general’s response, declarations of war, modern warfare as seen in Iraq, Afghanistan Syria, Yemen exc., ethics in modern warfare vis-a-vis the preceding instances she would have been both welcomed and respectfully heard, even if profoundly disagreed with. DeVos on the other hand represents something distasteful to the institution of education itself, incompetence, a job achieved by deep pockets and cronyism while knowing nothing about it; evidenced by her confirmation hearing where she couldn’t answer the most basic questions regarding debates in approaches to education, achievement measuring, is totally clueless on the challenges facing public schools, has never attended one herself, allowed her children to attend a public school, even plagiarizing senate questionnaire answers, irony lost only on her. Provoking legitimate fears, understanding her religious background, she will privatize, monetize through tuition fees, charter schools now public K-12 Ed.; also unsettling her financial support for gay so called conversion therapy and the largely religious institutions who practice it, a practice one state has taken steps to outlaw on persons under 18 cataloging the devastating psychological effects. Sealing her dunce like fate in the minds of even high school flunkies, never mind college educated students set to graduate admonished at the ceremony where DeVos tried to speak, scenes from her confirmation hearing where, when asked about guns in schools and do guns have any place there, presumably in the hands of security guards, conceal and carry authorized teachers to prevent, mitigate loss of life if confronted with an active shooter situation she suggested guns were needed in Wapiti Wyoming to protect students from grizzly bears, footage readily available to mildly tech savvy persons on the internet. What offends me more is looking at the march for science, the climate march, going back to the women’s march beginning of the year comprehending we’ve needed a march on each one of those subjects plus many others besides in growing pockets of the nation for a solid decade or longer when Texas schoolboards decided to whitewash history books translating to the whole nation because the largest maker of textbooks manufacturing facilities are concentrated there, when one state tried to craft an AP history class solely out of the 10 commandments and Reagan speeches, scaling back biology, physiology at the high school level to accommodate abstinence only sex ed. And we’re just now getting national attention to what’s been happening when president Trump was elected? Read More

Why Black Hair Matters—Head Scarves, Turbans And Coverings Too

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Everyone remembers the adage don’t judge a book by its cover, larger meaning don’t judge people simply on how they look; we know it was an idealistic, unattainable dream but we were always supposed to try, that trying making us better people… And in the era of Donald Trump, where his election seems to signal to his voters, his supporters, those non-confrontational individuals just going along to get along permission to hate, disparage, harass or attack people, fellow citizens, fellow human beings they don’t like it surfaces all the more important we refresh our memories about that old adage and its intrinsic value in our lives… Happenings in America representing a confusing duality when we’ve had a black president and first lady, both exuding class, grace, fortitude and no shortage of exemplary parenting under the withering scrutiny of the public eye only for there to be constant references to their race, repeated comparisons to gorillas, apes, negative references to exotic native rainforest women in grass skirts, political operatives are in hot water for telling her to go live in Africa with said apes, someone holding a job as important as teacher’s aide has to be fired for calling our just departed the Whitehouse first lady a gorilla. When Sikhs were just granted the ability to wear turbans in the military and NYC police forces have implemented similar policies regarding head scarves and turbans for Sikh and Muslim officers. But still the select few in ever dwindling numbers cling to immigrants, people wearing different types of dress, legal U.S. citizens, born U.S. citizens whose heritage is from elsewhere across the globe being a bad, dangerous other to be avoided, demand total assimilation and unique cultural annulation because we can? In 2017 blacks still don’t get a chance because even fewer portions of the population can’t leave their 1750, 1850’s and 1950’s mentalities behind?… Routine readers of my work know my repeated articles on education in multiple facets, none more so than on the patently ridiculous bans, restrictions and codes surrounding otherwise benign, everyday activities, clothing, jewelry, footwear hardly anyone would say anything about except it’s in a school, worn by a student. Know my personal mantra schools should adopt immediately to the betterment of educational institutions everywhere; are they wearing clothes, then they can come to class. Logical distain for backwards priorities filtering out into small towns, tightknit communities nationwide who seek to ban flip flops on tourists to important monuments, not as a safety concern but a class issue; how dare you show up here wearing those, kind of thing. Outlaw see-through clothing worn over not see through clothing rendering indecent exposure null and void; outlaw the wearing thong underwear, underwear implying it won‘t be seen. Quite literally foaming at the mouth they might see the top band of said underwear when a woman bends over to get things off low shelves at the store wearing low rise jeans, a little hard not to buy when you need new outerwear and that’s what’s in the store available. Pajamas worn in public, many times indistinguishable from yoga pants, exercise, workout gear, jogger wear, no more and a host of other personal preferences slated for the chopping block wholesome America wide; seeming to be the hallmarks of wasting time, paper and legislation often earning us lower and lower rankings on freedom scales evaluating westernized, emerging westernized nations…. Policies overly, purposefully targeting multiple ethnicities dress, accessory, hair stylings versus standard Caucasian trends. Notable the headline making Kentucky school drawing unwanted attention to itself even misspelling one, known for decades, predominately African American style, calling it corn rolls instead of corn rows. Further barring ‘afros,’ poof-ed hair longer than 2 inches, two toned hair and on, and on, and on; adding to the national debate on natural hair public figures, celebrities embracing it, not hiding, changing it, to fit 50 plus years of previous cultural norms. Another Chicago parent was incensed by a letter sent home with their child asking them not to put so much oil in their female child’s hair alleging it stunk wanting to prevent teasing from other students; anyone who has dealt with African American hair knows it must be regularly moisturized, usually using oil because that heritage has no oil in their scalp as Caucasian and other peoples’ do, the longer it is the more treatment it requires, coconut oil, their preferred method having no discernable smell, forget an obnoxious one. Her daughter being the only black child in class, with a probable white teacher, raises secondary issues regarding display of complete and utter cultural ignorance; come to find out there was no bullying of the child, conversations with administrators revealed the teacher is known as a complainer, foreign themselves, from Russia, resulting in unspecified discipline for her, again not firing, not review of her fit, alignment with the values of the learning center. Similar to the African American high schooler abruptly facing expulsion over her natural hair when she reported bullying because of it; the school’s principal, as opposed to addressing the bullying going on told the student to change her, suddenly concluded against policy, hair….How about a 9 year old suddenly told by her soccer coach to remove her hair beads citing safety, previously playing for years, same beads no mentioned problem; several parent commenters and child sports league players agreeing on the potential hazard posed. More than total unawareness it takes an hour to put in and take out said beads and braids accompanying them eliminating perception she could take 5, remove them, then play, the arbitrary nature of said enforcement undercutting any argument presented on player wellbeing. Reasoning they could smack fellow players in the face, put out an eye, injure the player themselves doing a head strike on the ball, if hit with a fast moving ball beads are essentially trapped between persons head and the ball creating an abrasion, possibly embedding beads(s) into skin; except tell me, readers, not when the last time that happened was because you instituted a rule about no hair jewelry, adornments, earrings, in professional soccer apparently these rules are standard, but when was the first time this happened necessitating ‘the rule’? And of course because it’s designated a rule it must be followed without question, though both American Youth Soccer Organization and FIFA had nothing on their websites until this incident… Employment, fitness for a job should be based on credentials, experience, aptitude, positive attitude, interview performance, overall appearance in terms of appropriate attire for position sought, not stereotypes about ethnic hair, not nagging a tech jockey to remove his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, negative about his tattoos when he isn’t regularly interacting with the public, does solid work behind the scenes in an industry regularly welcoming of less mainstream individuals. Why millennials especially insist on being judged for their work product not wardrobe, because no one should be told the rolled down waistband of nurse, dental student scrub pants is scandalous, next to be told by their employer while wearing the standard uniform, available scrub outfits to please dress in more adult, professional attire, then after complying told the colors you chose are too bright, forced into blacks and greys for a dental hygienist, assistant job. Millennials notorious for abandoning traditional jobs; above tech jockey treated like crap for his lip/nose, ear ring(s) and Goth metal t-shirts, black Tripp NYC shorts/jeans, tattoos began his own business to rousing, self-supporting success. Clothing debates that always end with the students winning either when they transfer out of the school bringing the issue, them, their parent enacts clever revenge wearing the objectionable outfit out among the public to positive compliments, no comment, when national attention alerts people nationwide to what localities, school officials are doing with their tax dollars, public pushback forces schools to drop/change policies, procedures, topics they never should have brought up in the first place…. .’ Lastly here the seriously dangerous implementations, ramifications of listed ordinances, rules; take Ervin Leon Edwards’ story, police called to a gas station to break up suspected domestic dispute, when they arrived whatever fight was already over, but because Louisiana passed a baggy pants ordinance banning the style he was taken into custody, later died in jail post being beaten. Adjacently Kevin Moore out of upstate New York who was savagely beaten by prison guards due to telling them he didn’t want to be housed in the jails mental health ward fearing being seen as a monster; one corrections officer was stealing his ripped out dreads to decorate his motorcycle. Moore subsequently hospitalized 17 days suffering 5 fractured ribs, a punctured lung, numinous facial fractures, multiple contusions to various body parts; cost of the officer’s ‘trophy.’ Why black hair is important, why head scarves, turbans and coverings are making the news, because no one should be arrested over their style of pants, injured anywhere because their hairstyle is an easy target, certainly not die for them… Interestingly enough we say we want African Americans to be and do better than gangs, becoming street thugs, public housing dwellers, ‘breading’ welfare recipients who keep popping out children for increased public assistance benefits, but consistently refuse to believe it when they achieve, live up to our best, not worst expectations. Most recent examples, a black OBGYN resident, Tamika Cross, who says a flight attendant requesting help from any doctors onboard to aide an ailing passenger told her when she stood up offering to respond, “Oh no, sweetie, put [your] hand down. We are looking for actual physicians or nurses or some type of medical personnel, we don’t have time to talk to you.”… Paralleling a black, again female, architect who had similar encounters at her bank double and triple checking her account information, grilling her about her work, googling her architecture firm to see if it was real, even calling her companies HR department to confirm her employment; ratcheting up the racial component is they first deposited her check, then after it cleared, they called her back in to answer questions, go through the verification process described. Funny, like rotten in the state of Denmark kind of funny we, society consistently say we want, particularly black people, to get off welfare, stop using food stamps, stop creating situations mandating the need for either, namely keep their legs closed, cease having children they can’t afford, prone to calling democrats the party of give me, give me, condoning irresponsible behavior only to discover the David Packman Moster.com job experiment story. Where an African American woman, Yolanda Spivey, had an uncomfortable hunch about why she wasn’t getting any job offers despite 10 years experience in insurance, applying for 300 open jobs, going back to college and finishing her degree causing her to compile results the alluded to during her employment site trial. For which she first changed her profile’s race to decline to identify (the sites only opt out option) nothing; next she created a mirror profile changing her name to the less distinctive Bianca White, changed her profile ethnicity to white, transferred the phone number to her cell versus home, input identical application materials as herself and offers poured in. Incongruent realities on social issues staring us in the face be it the skinny person versus the fat person and who offers help, the black person versus the white in a whole host of scenarios, male versus female, Mr. Packman’s co-host wondering what would happen if she changed her gender to male, if her job offers would multiply yet again; still we, society in general, continue mistaken beliefs blacks are fundamentally less qualified, wholly dependent on affirmative action to achieve and overly rewarded for markedly less success. Problem this isn’t new… . Many have daughters across America and what little girl, budding teen doesn’t love to dance; picture this, your child eats, sleeps breaths dance, she has 2 very competent dance instructors in the type of dance she loves and excels, who happen to be African American. Best place got her to learn more is out of town, out of state requiring a plane ride; well she’s kept up her grades, earned your trust, you feel confident they can take her to the dance tutorial no problem. World being what it is, you take the pains to draft a legal document stating unambiguously for the purpose of said trip they are her legal guardians; only to be stopped, adults handcuffed at the airport, because someone though it strange 2 black men were traveling with a teen white girl. Put aside alternative, same sex families where it might be 2 mommies or 2 daddies, adoptive families, people traveling with extended relatives, biracial families, relatives, even ignoring momentarily they had the legal document explaining what was going on, if the adults had been white and the teen black, Hispanic, middle eastern no one would have said anything, forget handcuffed them…. But we relentlessly blame black people when they can’t get jobs independent countless stories like those above, a lawsuit filed late 2016 alleging MVP, one of the largest job placement organizations nationwide, passed over black applicants in favor of Hispanics because most were undocumented, less likely to complain about working hours, wages or conditions. Agency countering they were just focused on meeting employer demands or anticipated demands; sadly there is too much truth to that statement. We double down scrutiny on black people’s lives, choices, accomplishments measured in money earned, street address, net worth, notable lack of it when attempting to get off welfare, better oneself, totally support oneself is treated the same way as a person getting out of jail/prison, on parole requiring a patient, forgiving, second chance minded employer; while we would applaud and offer a hand up to the white person in the form of an increased chance of getting a job. We talk an awful lot in this country about blacks and work, usually how hard we think they don’t work; not talked about is the harassment, fear, berating, assault they can face once getting a job, holding a job with any authority oversight. Case in point, woman hired to supervise hurricane Isaac rebuilding in Louisiana yelled at and threated by what appears to be a construction worker, perhaps a business owner, who when he saw she was filming the altercation on her phone became physically aggressive charging the petite, African American woman, spitting in her face….Why black hair is worth normalizing, head scarves, turbans, coverings should be treated as no big deal, because even in Donald Trump’s America where it is now run of the mill to repeatedly shout n*gger at black persons in broad daylight with no shame, people think their support for Trump means they can resort to racial slurs against blacks simultaneously complaining about their coffee taking too long during a rush, can claim white discrimination after losing it in a craft store while bystanders dared film the crazy. When popular millennial created, millennial used services like Uber, Lyft and Airbnb succumb to the same continuing cycles of harassing women and denying patronage to minorities, African Americans, attracted to our exotic beauty or lusting after captive audience young, supple students and all specific drivers can do is hope to get, actively try to get in their pants, into their bed. Contrary to popular belief every black person you meet, walking the streets is not a thug, a drug addict, a gangbanger, a welfare recipient, a hood rat, an irresponsible woman popping out kids for benefits, a baby daddy unwilling to support his offspring; every minority isn’t looking to take, be handed something rather than give back…. It seems all we’ve heard during the campaign, the election cycle, even after is about solid, good, American staple manufacturing jobs going to either Mexico or China; rarely noticed by flocks of Trump voters cheering on election night, clapping, crying inauguration day is the invaluable service both legal and illegal immigrants provide to America. They, decade after decade, do the jobs Americans, decade after decade, by the same token, are unwilling or unable to do; they pick the vegetables and fruits lining our supermarkets, gracing our dinner tables due to expertise, willingness to work for wages cash strapped farmers can afford to get their crops picked, packaged and sold as opposed to rotting on the vine. Harsh truths learned post 2008 and state by state immigration crackdowns; Trump proposed immigration management only going to intensify difficulties exponentially, already struggling famers losing crop they can’t sell due to spoilage, out of pocket costs to bus legal workers to fields too afraid to drive themselves, consequences seen in very recent years past. Worse these vegetable/fruit picking migrants are willing to come here, do backbreaking work, get paid a pittance and go home, singularly returning when the picking season is back on; they don’t want to live here, consume resources here, buy bare necessities while here. Regularly use milk, yogurt, cheese thank an immigrant for keeping Wisconsin and other dairy farms nationwide running; immigrants the only ones willing to muck stalls, put milking machines on cows, short and sweet be surrounded by cow dung all day…. But immigrants, legal, illegal who do stay, generate lives here remain responsible for billions of dollars flow through the U.S. economy, immigration policies not immigrants themselves costing Americans money; so called papers please immigration laws also serve to frighten legal workers from their jobs, purchase of goods, can cause a mass exodus seen in rulings like the Missouri Valley decision, parts of Arizona vacated leaving behind largely empty classrooms, abandoned apartment complexes, vacant jobs across all sectors of local economies. Consensus thinking good, more for us hardworking, small town whites, except that’s not how this works; school funding a prime instance of just the opposite, based on students in the classroom when immigration changes force mass move outs schools lose that funding. Suddenly vacant apartments, homes mean renters are equally suddenly out money, may file bankruptcy rendering those properties vacant, vulnerable to squatters and vandals, drug addicts driving down property values and inviting crime; bitter lesson of the great recession persons in Trump country never fully learned unwaveringly supportive of ridding America of its immigrant populations all, ignorant the inherent consequences. State policies barring illegal immigrants from getting a driving license not only prevents them from getting employed, putting back into local and national economies when they buy goods, services, rent apartments, their children attend school, it drives up the cost of car insurance almost $20, figure circa 2009 assuredly gone up in 8 years. Adjacently it drives away foreign investment spelling more jobs for individual states, pocket local communities; reason E- verify, the widely used system meant to determine if the persons applying for jobs are U.S. citizens, possess the proper work visas, permits, legal resident status, green cards naturalization papers. Problem, not only is E-verify every expensive driving down employment, it has curious results on the labor market specifically white working class persons concerned about immigrants snatching their jobs; “E-Verify lowers wages for unauthorized male Mexican immigrants, raises wages for US-born Hispanic men, increases the labor force participation rate of undocumented Mexican female immigrants, raises employment for Mexican-born naturalized citizens, and has essentially no effect on whites’ earnings.” Further research shows they, immigrant workers independent status, complement current employment environment, legal or illegal, not detract, negatively take from it. Forgotten or willfully ignored, dismissed by people wedded to their anti-immigrant narrative like a husband, wife or recurring bad habit, politicians rooted to their convictions and decidedly low on actual information about immigrants; beyond our history as a nation of immigrants famous immigrants that made incalculable contributions to America’s standing as a global leader over the past 2 centuries of its existence, not all immigrants are Mexican, Latino, Hispanic, Latin American, not all immigrants are illegal, not all immigrants are low skilled. Think the co-founder of google Sergey Brin, who is described as a soviet born American, Elon Musk business magnate, engineer, inventor is a South African Canadian America, WhatsApp creator Jan Koum is Ukrainian-American, John Catsimatidis is a Greek-American billionaire owner of the largest grocery chain in Manhattan. People who haven’t just successfully assimilated into our culture, gotten a job, paid their taxes, obeyed the law, been the stereotypical expectation of a ‘model immigrant’ but who have created countless thousands of jobs, made other businesses possible, more productive, profitable and functional…. . Why the sound of your name, notions it conjures in readers, employers/landlords heads should be outweighed by credentials, because no one should be obstructed from employment on their speculated origins, skin color; José in the opening shouldn’t have had to drop a letter to get the job, there was no indication he was an immigrant, illegal. Hispanic populations growing exponentially from legal immigrants having families, born U.S. citizens producing offspring; never mind if there wasn’t a white American to fill the job he applied for, José had to lose his heritage to participate in the American dream, sad reality of Trump’s emerging new America…. American fears for refugee welcoming cities fueled by fake Syrian passports used in terror plots across Europe engendering speculation the same could happen here indicates Europe has a problem not necessarily us. No one stopping to compare notes on vetting processes used there versus here; political skewing, conservative news to say nothing of president Trump’s hastily thrown together Muslim ban, promises to overhaul vetting procedures, ban indefinitely refugees from Syria like little Halla (videos 2&3) giving off the mistaken impression the vetting process for people from these countries, where terrorists might try to slip though is lax, haphazard, totally untrue. Fear, once described by a prominent Christian pastor as false evidence appearing real, ignoring many of the displaced are children, children who’ve already been injured in war, seen friends, relatives die, not old enough to pronounce the word terrorist never mind embody it. Refugees represented by Halla, her sister and this group of older boys and their parents more than the Bowling Green insurgents who slipped through, the nonexistent ‘Bowling Green massacre’ Kelllyanne Conway misspoke about; those persons stopped via sting operation and vetting process adjusted to prevent future entries like theirs. Refugees seeking residence, visas to enter, live in the United States are first screened by the U.N., surprisingly have identification documents for adults 97% of the time, next subjected to relentless, repetitive interviews, then checked against UN complied terror watch lists, nationally compiled watch lists, homeland security making final decisions at times pulling families off their plane; a vetting process that can last up to 2 years. Refuges once settled here who, if you examine closely the links below, didn’t, according to a Salon article, rape a 5 year old in Idaho, didn’t hold her at knifepoint, didn’t urinate on her, fathers of the mythical Syrian rapists didn’t congratulate them when learning of what they’d done. In fact this properly identified right wing urban legend is based on people who literally don’t exist because the few Syrians living in the area did not come here through president Obama’s demonized refugee program, and instead is on par with related right wing stories, causes: transgender bathroom bills, vulnerable little girls in public bathrooms, fitting rooms, recreation center locker rooms surrounded by men pretending to be women to hurt our kids, rape/harass actual women ring a bell?… ban implemented so poorly it held students back from continuing their educations, had one sports star tweeting to his son he couldn’t come home and why, held a mother, legal resident, green card holder at the airport post visiting her other teenage child in Egypt, a doctor holding a job here, working in an American hospital holding a license to practice some form of medicine also detained. Another family caught in Trump’s travel ban confusion Syrians holding green cards, valid visas waiting for 6 relatives to come who had been in the immigration process 13 years, 13 years; Christians Trump prioritizes over Muslims in instituting the ban also turned away. Yet out of hundreds of thousands of immigrants, refugees, people seeking life away from war-torn homelands marked by regime change, ousting of dictators, who have come to American searching for stability a measly 1% have been tied to commit terror acts on U.S. soil; rather innocents continue to be the victims of crime far more than perpetrators of it….Who remembers the Muslim woman a deranged man tried to set on fire, fortunately he only used a lighter, no accelerant and succeeded in damaging her clothing not her skin; sounds an awful lot like the Trump supporter kicking a traditionally dressed Muslim woman in JFK airport shouting “president Trump will get rid of all of you.” Immigrants, an Uber driver, targeted by individuals who they have no idea how long they’ve been here, could have been in the country years, subjected to a profanity laced tirade as he drove his ride service vehicle, just for being Arab. Another white woman knocking over a baby stroller, containing among them a 15 month old toddler, of Muslim women; shooting of the New York Imam in the same category. Never mind that Imam (Islamic religious leader akin to Christian pastors or priests) shot and killed in New York City is dead for no other reason than he was an Imam, was Muslim, practiced Islam. Though he was not a radical, that mosque visited by practicing Muslims from Pakistan, Bangladesh, the former producing 1 terrorist the latter none; never once people, countries largely associated with terror. Crime against select minorities that spills over from ‘Muslim terrorists’ to other immigrant nationalities, ethnicities, religions having settled here doing nothing but living peaceful lives, holding jobs, raising families; easy targets because of their distinctive headwear, out of place here, traditional clothing… Hatred, violence, harassment, sadly far from reaching some born and bred American persons too; like the lupus patient who wears a scarf to keep the sun from her head, sunlight damaging to lupus suffers, mistaken for Muslim finding her car broken into while on a nature hike complete with nasty not stating in part the following: “Hijab wearing bitch this is our nation now get the f— out.” The Somali-American elected official who ran for office, won her election only to be called ISIS by her cabbie returning from a trip to the Whitehouse where he also threated to rip off her head covering; both instances highlighting profound prevailing ignorance since the scarves in question look like what numerous African Americans wear in every corner of the country easy, simple hair management, likewise seen throughout Africa to keep hair clean, keep sweat out of eyes, off your face, even removed from your head to carry items, what an older white lady might wear on a cold day, wear to church, not strictly associated with Muslims. American born Muslim persons who’ve rightfully earned positions of authority, chosen to be police officers, to protect and serve, attempting to show the positive side of Islam, that Muslims can be and are good people, harassed by a man for their headscarf…. Contrast this to actions taken to include Muslims, Sikhs and others, each allowed to wear their respective head coverings on New York City’s police force, Sikhs in the U.S. military, military colleges considering the hijab in applicants who want to come to their institutions; when a mother was suddenly shown hate in her neighborhood for being ‘obviously Muslim’, despite residing in the city 17 years, her community responded with love, children in one area put up posters, signs welcoming refugees. People across the country and the world donated to a go fund me page dedicated to rebuilding a Texas mosque vandalized by arson, including a Midwestern couple on vacation who hand delivered their donation personally, local entities pulling together to restore what was lost. An American boy reaching out to a little Syrian boy capturing the world and president Obama’s attention when he pleaded with him to let the little boy come live with him. Count the thousands who showed up at every major airport in the country changing let them go, holding signs saying refugees are welcome here, sentiments expressed long before president Trump’s actions; months before the ban, shortly after Trump’s election a Texas man stood outside of a mosque holding a sign not in protest, not it hate, fear or bigotry but expressing solidarity, telling Muslims you belong. Shattering every stereotype he is an older white man, gray beard, requisite cowboy hat, bringing us finally to something else, the Christians Trump says he’s prioritizing, doing this for, the values he claims he’s upholding in addition to our safety; they tellingly don’t like it, find it goes against their faith, the love they are meant to show to their fellow man, their fellow citizen, more than one harkening back to history, the Nazis what happened to Jews in the 1930’s—hmm….

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What Actually Happened: Why Recounts Aren’t A Frivolous Waste Of Time, Simply The Left’s Inability To Accept Election Results

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Worth underscoring too is Jill Stein was the perfect person to demand recounts be undertaken in strategic areas chiefly because she wasn’t Hillary Clinton, wasn’t part of the Democratic Party machine, was the image of an individual without an agenda save electoral integrity for the American people. As mentioned recounts were only asked for in meaningful areas, not ridiculously say nationwide, pointing to someone who was being genuinely realistic about what they were asking to be done, what they could feasibly get done. Add in documented problems and irregularities surpassing detailed voter suppression, long lines, limited polling places, minorities unexpectedly dropped from voting rolls, voting roll name mix-ups, voting machine issues topped off with a good smattering of human error and Jill Stein had beyond a right to champion, see to a recount, but a mandate to do so… Irregularities continuing to grow exponentially as time goes on, we learn more and more about issues running the gambit from Russian hacking, voter suppression, in new and different ways, to basic counting errors… . Now there’s a dossier becoming the subject of high level presidential briefings alleging Russia stole gathered personally damaging, embarrassing evidence on Trump completed via a British spy originally commissioned by never Trump republicans, then democrats; that the crux of the information centers around sexual indiscretions engaged in by Trump while visiting Russia, not just Russian collusion in the Trump campaign, Russian interference should deem it less easy to dismiss noting the double digit number of American women accusing him of sexual assault, battery, harassment, most seriously rape. Foreign women from at least 2 countries, former Miss Universe pageant members also making twin allegations; one sexual assault accuser here countersuing Trump for defamation after he repeatedly called her a liar among other despicable things. Solidly substantiating Russian collusion claims minus the dossier, a timeline put together via the David Packman Show illustrating Trump’s U-turn language change on the soviet communist regime country, formal requests to the GOP to change language on Russia for which it appears Trump, his campaign received quid pro quo in the form of WikiLeaks releases damaging Hillary Clinton funneled to the rogue hacking organization through a currently discovered intermediary working on behalf of…Russia, the presence of Paul Manafort as campaign chair considering his pro-Russia work in Ukraine. Breaking, information Trump aides and Russian state liaisons were in constant contact while president Obama was expelling diplomats, response to hacking’s confirmation and its extent; national security advisor Michael Flynn texting them as they were being told to exit the country…. there were the shots fired at a California polling place, scene out of a 3rd world country or bad movie, 27 states where the interstate crosschecking system purged minority voters on grounds they registered with intent to vote in multiple states, no proof they actually were and no definitive answer on whether or not 7 million eligible Americans were blocked from voting, but the winners want to balk at Jill Stein’s insistence we carefully count solid votes we do have?… more votes than there are voters in the city of Detroit according to one tally indicating voting machine errors continuously showing up in such pockets of the country. Wisconsin’s vote margin in favor of Trump evaporated by 20% as the result of a discovered counting error, many places’ exit polling data doesn’t match electoral vote outcomes suggesting indeed the election was rigged, the opposite of what candidate, president elect, now full-fledged president Trump relentlessly insinuated, against Hillary Clinton not him. Discrepancies between voting machines and paper ballots, paper ballot utilizing areas overwhelmingly going to Clinton causing scientists to champion recounts; speaking of voting machines, the congressional organization created to certify voting equipment was, you guessed it, hacked, hacker trying to sell pilfered information to foreign countries, still think Jill Stein was out of her mind to ask votes be recounted?…. Stacked complications upon complications with the election process held up alongside his, our president elect’s, response to recount petitions, reaction to those attempting to verify election results—calling them a green party scam, touting they need to accept election results and move forward. Simultaneously alleging he won the popular vote if you deduct all the people who voted illegally, providing no proof that definitively happened, railing against 1.8 million dead people registered to vote, though no evidence they truly voted Election Day; then utterly illogically tweeting about ‘serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California,’ predictably states that went profoundly for Clinton. A judge soundly rejecting his claim polling stations in Nevada stayed open well past voting hours to admit illegitimate ballots; never mind as we learned from 2012’s long line mess if there is a line of persons waiting to vote, they must stay open until everyone has had an opportunity to cast a ballot, that is your right as a registered voter. Trump lawyers filing suit against the Michigan recount calling it a 1% temper tantrum that cannot go unchecked to the local elections board, once more defying logic countering Stein’s request with a lack of evidence signaling election fraud; begging the question if the vote was so legitimate, as to be beyond reproach or a request to confirm numbers, double check people’s math, you won so easily there is no need for a recount then what are you afraid of?…We aren’t supposed to stand up and say, the 3 million more of us who voted for someone else, this isn’t the democracy we want, that a liar, a con and a person possibly in cahoots with foreign powers is the textbook definition of unfit therefore we have a few processes by which to keep him from our highest office, recounts being one?…
Impending threats, silly, serious or no, Electoral College delegates had an obligation, a responsibility to, in light of what they knew then, fulfill the lesser known portion of their mandate— keeping the unqualified from the presidency, from forever hobbling democracy; and, they responded the exact opposite of the way they should have, the way citizens desperately needed them to. Not because of threats, some death threats, rather due to loyalty holding almost sacred votes their state cast, an, anywhere else it would be viewed as admirable, sense of duty to administer their task the way voters declared they wanted it done, maybe defiance thumbing their nose at aforementioned death threats and implied pending retaliation against delegate family members detailed in individual anti or pro-Trump hate mail they received, clearly crossing the line… A big enough gap in democracy, in protecting the integrity of our country form hidden, unusual dangers to be sure, but a much more troubling problem came instead from Electrical College members who didn’t seem to have a rudimentary grasp of why they were there, what their function was. You had electors, surpassing ignoring who their state voted for, going against their state’s documented choice interested in serving the greater good, ‘defecting’ from Hillary Clinton to Bernie Sanders and submitting names, putting forth votes for persons not on any ballot anywhere including Colin Powel and a Native American who thought the story was fake news when her name was called as a vote; John Kasich famously telling Ohio’s electors not to try and vote him to the presidency. Absolutely electors should be free to vote for whomever they choose, dissolving faithless elector laws precisely because of situations exposed by the 2016 election process; caveat, electors should know what they are doing, know ahead of time that selecting oddball, out there names of people who didn’t so much as run in the first place, have expressed no interest in the presidency, forget have made no preparation for stepping into it doesn’t get a candidate closer to 270, give us a firm answer on our next president, promote the peaceful transfer of power… Electoral College convening apparently going far deeper, it wasn’t just what The Young Turks’ interviewed faithless elector said, viewing link 19 below, about why he wouldn’t vote for Hillary Clinton, what he wanted from her before making his final decision that should be riveting our attention, his split vote lo and behold voting John Kasich for president and Time Kaine for vice president rendering it a virtually meaningless vote; however, the jaw dropping errors, maneuvering orchestrated to strong arm a singular, already probable outcome. Disputes over oaths electors must sign, a judge, deliberating, ruling right there the new oath chosen by the state official was unconstitutional, oaths signed under protest, duress, failure to separate ballots according to constitutional law for president and vice president; 23 out of 31 delegates for Trump guilty of this, out of that 31 only 8 abiding by constitutional 12th amendment law. Findings in the same report listing other laws actually broken top down throughout the process, beyond the unsavory appearance of Pam Bondi as an elector; returning to the duel office holding in states disallowing it, a whopping 34 tallied, not living in the districts they were called to represent a total of 16 tallied penitential for over 100 improperly selected delegates, improperly filed Certificates of Vote, 50 enough to change Electoral College final results…. but recounts are frivolous and the Electoral College shouldn’t have so much as been asked to vote their conscience, in the best interest of America, not panicked, deluded, alternate reality believing voters shystered by a shyster…. If we want to talk about something wholly undemocratic look no further than North Carolina and what currently seated powers tried to do when the opposing party won; things deteriorating to such a degree democracy watchers, the EIP (electoral integrity project) internationally have named the state no longer a democracy. Receiving a failing score on par with developing, pseudo democracies in Cuba, lesser notoriety African continent nations, Indonesia; speculations justifying that score included their voter ID law struck down by the Supreme Court as deliberately discriminatory to minorities, their bathroom bill rightly depicted as something a democratic government shouldn’t do and the shameless power grab attempted when sitting powers lost… Forcing state senate confirmations for all cabinet appointees, merging election and ethics panels, adapting a rules change stipulating the governor’s party cannot hold the majority it does under existing law. A proposed 80% slash in the number of employees reporting to the governor doubtlessly impacting staff available to assist him in expediently, efficiently executing his duties, overseeing things in his state, even snatching away his power to appoint University of North Carolina board of trustee members. Things no one batted an eye at the governor doing before the election just passed, in sweet, sweet irony they do this; where 4 years prior, truly exposing republican intentions then and now, under McCrory lawmakers increased10-fold the number of state government, adjacent entity positions subject to his jurisdiction….Battles nothing out of the ordinary for forward thinking tar heel state residents pushing back against GOP spearheaded legal maneuvering to curtail voter initiated hikes to their minimum wage, denial of Medicaid to half a million persons, gutting social programs, protesting hate in the form of HB2 the state’s bathroom bill… Remembering North Carolinians voted out McCrory in favor of Cooper because national entities symbolizing business, tourism and economic growth voted with their feet, their capital exc. saying if you insist on anti-LGBT practices I won’t conduct concerts in your state, I won’t continue my business plans in your state, pro/college basketball franchises will find a more accepting place to play playoff games, tournaments. Revisiting too that HB2 commonly known as North Carolina’s bathroom bill forcing people to use the restroom, locker room, department store fitting room corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, not their gender identity, wasn’t about rehearsed rhetoric on keeping children safe in public toilets, rec center showers/locker rooms, aforementioned store fitting rooms, shock to young children seeing opposite gender anatomy, upholding student safety in k-12 or college universities. Bill having exactly the reverse effect making things more dangerous for LGBT citizens, especially kids; it was expressly about preventing select municipalities, cities, counties from enacting LGBT protections… Going back to states no longer deemed democracies, receiving low scores on their scale determining strength of that democracy 11 other states fared worse; Wisconsin where privatization and school funding schemes have gutted one bright spot in education. Michigan where the Flint water crisis was caused by a business man republican and whose response to their own failing schools is an attorney who doesn’t believe literacy is a right. Ohio where governor Kasich many hoped would be the next president, radiating calm sanity during chaotic primary debates quietly, another word for sneakily, deliberately trying to fly under constituency forget national radar, banned voters from raising Cleveland’s minimum wage. Arizona once home to papers please immigration legislation, brain freeze governor Jan Brewer who used non-existent Mexican drug cartel beheadings on U.S. soil to justify said legislation, controversial sheriff Joe Arpiao who cost the state millions refusing to comply with federal orders on civil, human rights violations in his prisons, illegal, illegal immigration arrests, legal fights against those orders; the copper state’s score the absolute lowest. Kentucky joining a flurry of states passing abortion bills banning pregnancy termination after 20 weeks adding to legislation mandating the burial of fetal tissue either in cases of abortion or miscarriage. Seemingly oblivious to the devastating toll visited upon North Carolina for its anti-LGBT choice an equally growing group of states are pushing to replicate their disaster Virginia, Alabama and Texas among them… North Carolina also glaringly shows who exactly needs to ‘get over it,’ who needs to accept election outcomes; reiterating for all the disappointed liberals, progressives and democrats are, all the vows to fight president elect Trump on his more audacious policies is about protecting America rather than partisan backbiting, personal revenge. Proposed polices that could devastate trade i.e. a trade war with China, avoiding a Muslim registry, a Muslim ban because it is A- discriminatory to innocent, non-radical Muslims and B- could spark another 9-11 like attack, pushing back against social media usage that could tweet us into a nuclear war. Confirmation battles, they are slowing down confirmation hearings to properly vet appointees the way they weren’t by Trump, standard procedural, disclosure paperwork yet to be submitted needing to be reviewed ideally before hearings take place, forced to question them thoroughly due to many nominees showing up to hearings vastly unprepared and unqualified for positions they’ve been asked to fill mandating in-depth scrutiny about fringe plans, ideas, past statements, financial holdings, issue stances… We don’t have a democracy we can trust less because of outside interference whether it’s Russia, 4chan, Anonymous, WikiLeaks and more because we keep shutting out bigger and bigger swaths of the citizenry, the ordinary people, average public, making it harder for them to vote, purposefully marginalizing voters who don’t agree with, usually conservative, ideologies and ideals, making voters feel their voices are insignificant, forcing them to choose between the lesser of immoral, tainted, who cares candidates; sentiments Trump played into and amplified to win. We don’t possess continued faith in our democracy because people stopped paying attention to core issues that matter nationwide not limited to your backyard, town, state, stopped taking voting as seriously as they should, for some bothering to vote at all… Parts of the electorate eligible to cast a ballot, registered to vote who don’t know, are so uninformed, ill-informed, misinformed they literally are in the dark that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Obamacare are the same thing who, when presented with facets of the ACA meant to benefit consumers, health insurance purchasers throughout the public, insure their families, their children they like them, support them, think them good polices to have; call it Obamacare and they instantly hate it. One man bragging on social media he got his healthcare from the ACA not Obamacare shocked he’s in public bashing his own insurance…. . Bigger than people who don’t possess the faintest idea about sources of their ‘news’, don’t vet it for satire, hyperbole or comedy, know if it’s conservative, liberal, progressive, independent, mainstream, geared toward young millennials, senior citizens, middle-aged persons, working class individuals, professionals exc., are those who don’t take time, think, putting it through their own internal logic filter asking does this make sense, is this real, is it plausible? No one seeing the ‘news story’ on Facebook about Pope Francis endorsing Donald Trump, allowing it to impact their voting decision the least little bit bothered to ask themselves why the pope would endorse a candidate for elections half a world away from him, utterly outside his political system; further seeing Pope Francis’ dedication to the poor, rectifying global income inequality, prescribing compassion and help for the most destitute and economically effected, even if he were inclined to endorse a candidate, make international public comment on America’s election, why would he choose Donald Trump, praise Donald Trump?… Pizza-gate, again total lack of stopping to think how would that even work running a child sex ring out of a pizza parlor, not in some foreign country, South Asia catering to American, western world tourist with sick proclivities, but in America? And even if every twisted, crazy thing ever said about Hillary Clinton was true, none of the 90’s BS files, purported scandals encompassed harming children, marketing pedophilia for cash, ‘her greedy motivation;’ continuing, why would her former campaign chair, already having lost the election, and the owner of the pizza place go along with it? Doesn’t the real story make much more sense, carrying much more probability that it was a possible campaign stop abandoned, e-mail correspondence supporting that conclusion? Or assuming there was allusion to a child sex trafficking ring, illegal activity, the thing to do would be call the police either in your home state, in D.C. where Comet Ping Pong operates, attempt to contact the FBI presenting them your evidence; not travel hundreds of miles with your AR15 rifle shooting in an open business potentially hurting bystanders for something that wasn’t remotely real, epic logic failure strike 3… Similarly not only allegations millions of illegal immigrants voted, but voted because president Obama said they could; woman who brought that up to a CNN reporter couldn’t pass a basic litmus test of correctly identifying the network she heard it on, claiming the interviewer’s network had provided coverage on the story when they plainly had not. That story came from Info Wars news channel run and hosted by Alex Jones; identical Alex Jones who believes Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama smell like sulfur therefore are demons, conveniently without ever having been close enough to smell either person confirming the suspicion, relying on second and third hand accounts from individuals who think B.O. is an indication of spiritual standing, health. Forgetting there are logical people on the planet who don’t believe in the very existence of demons, if they did smell by virtue of medical problem, poor hygiene wouldn’t it have become mainstream media information, enfolded into exclusive interviews by news outlet X, not relegated to something solely hear on the internet? Illegals voting rumors simultaneously undergirded by an unethically edited interview chopped up by, surprise, surprise Fox Business, to make it seem like that’s what president Obama said, implied: undocumented persons could cast ballots without anyone watching the whole interview in its entirety…. It’s time to change some laws in this country, few liked that independents were shut out of voting for Bernie Sanders in states with closed primaries, accused DNC officials of rigging things they actually didn’t, chaffed at voter roll mix-up’s in closed primary states putting people in the wrong party; even less liked, Donald Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, his vague plans to detangle himself from his businesses if he achieved the presidency, that he got media circus weird on something as uncomplicated as releasing his medical records, a standard summary of major medical information about you. Populous failing to grasp you correct that using legal statutes, demanding the creation of new ones…; law changes explored above implemented so we can have a democracy we trust, everyone’s voice is heard, each person’s vote matters and it’s significance can be seen, people again fell empowered to affect their government in ways that benefit them, their families. Read More

The Problem With “Female Bodies and Alcohol”: Stop Framing Campus Sexual Assault As A Drinking Issue—Agree To Disagree A Critique

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

We will do anything but teach alcohol education, consent education, legal definitions of rape… Also addressing changing public attitudes on key social issues like criminal responsibility while under the influence of substances, ‘I was high’ uttered by defendants or victims in court meant to explain why the gas station clerk was heinously shot during the commission of a robbery you admit to participating in, doesn’t cut it anymore. ‘I was high’ is no longer an excuse to why you can’t account for your whereabouts on the night in question for a crime to which you have pled not guilty, no longer explains away the vicious beating of your girlfriend. Bad trips, laymen’s terms for bad illegal drug reactions, have ceased to be an acceptable reason eliciting leniency from judges, jurors for extreme vandalism or otherwise seen as random attacks of persons on the streets, stopped being a blanket understood concept of ‘how can you expect me to be responsible for what I did,’ years ago. ‘I was drunk,’ long abandoned as a believable defense when causing death or injury to people with your car, motorcycle or boat, any kind of motor vehicle. And following historical lines in the modern era is fast becoming less of an excuse why it is ok to be judgmentally impaired enough to think raping someone is ok, then actually doing it. But equally for victims, it is unacceptable they can’t remember significant events surrounding the incident due to, not the drugs in their system, not the thing someone slipped into their drink, rather their alcohol consumption, again not liquor they were plied with by a predator, even coerced into drinking via peer pressure, ever popular drinking games everywhere you turn in college, instead willing alcohol ingestion, type of liquor (usually hard liquor) they indulged in. Nor is it wrong, seeing what’s clearly going on, to put out pamphlets talking about alcohol, even one titled ‘Female Bodies and Alcohol’ bullet pointing facts that weighing less, having less muscle mass than men and a different hormonal makeup, more hormonal fluctuations than men you metabolize alcohol differently may, and probably will, feel it’s effects sooner and more acutely, therefore need to drink accordingly. Neither is it overly condescending to begin a guide “We like to think men and women are equal in all things, right,” because they’ve been brought up all their lives to believe this, which socially is true and a message very much needed; however, that doesn’t apply to science, physiology, the basis for their information. Men and women are not equal when their bodies process alcohol…Gaging then campus response, appropriateness of that response is to likewise remember, even post Todd ‘legitimate rape’ Akin, how many high profile sex assault allegations, on campus rapes have been proven false, utterly made up. Going all the way back to the Duke lacrosse case to present day stories like Jackie’s, subject of the since retracted Rolling Stone article…And when it comes to athletes, high school, college and beyond they are natural targets due to their social status, wealth; Duke’s accused played lacrosse, Brock Turner was what, a swimming star, Steubenville assailants later convicted played what, football, the Massachusetts case receiving similar sentencing and attention involved a high school basketball star mirroring Derrick Rose, following in the dubious footsteps of Kobe Bryant off the court and found not liable in is on sex scandal case plays what, basketball. Now this could just as much be about athletes who think, because they are brilliant with a ball, gifted in a sport they are god and have narrowed their perception to seeing women as objects, or it could be some women are looking to be with an athlete, mad about rejection, seeking money. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle differentiated on a case by case basis. Prime example, convoluted story of Brian Banks, charged, tired and convicted as a promising 16 year old up and coming football star, sounds an awful lot like Steubenville doesn’t it; eventually cleared after 10 years, 5 in prison, 5 on parole, contact with the Innocence Project and an accuser recant, finally getting his dream football chance. Welcome to what victims, authorities and the, trying to discern it all, public are up against…. There are a thousand and one things wrong with how universities in general, Stanford specifically, handle sexual assault, handle under age, binge drinking, any issues cropping up involving mass student safety, learning and enrichment; this guide wasn’t one of them. Discouraging fellow members of the swim team, counterpart members of the women’s swim team from writing their own victim impact statements to the judge describing their own strange, creepy, uncomfortable encounters with Brock Turner, possibly speaking to sexually predatory behavior, evidence society may need to watch him long after this incident, proof he perhaps belongs on the sex offender registry rockets to the top of the list… UVA’s ‘don’t go to frat parities’ mandate stands out as the most condescending and offensive to women. Or officials blaming the campus newspaper for their decreased reporting in sexual assaults post their publishing stories of an associate professor’s sexual harassment and assault of students; University of Kentucky staff at The Kernel (the publications name) put forth it’s the exact opposite, more people are coming to Kernel staff because they distrust the university, awareness and reassurance it’s not their fault, they can speak up and receive support, justice helps too… But backing up a step, where are the fundamentals of personal safety, party safety, bar safety, concert safety we’ve tried to drill into our citizenry, focused on this age group, people who regularly frequent above venues? Let’s too dismiss the notion general party, personal safety rules, regardless of the guide’s wording, what it covered, is sexist; watching your drink, monitoring it being poured, not leaving it alone, applies to anyone looking at the increasing numbers of homosexual, bisexual, transgender, non-traditional encounters, situations showing that as the increasing norm… . To that end what were you doing, in the case of Brock Turner’s victim, unconscious behind a dumpster; not because you had been hit over the head, physically assaulted, robbed, not because you had something dropped into your drink, suddenly had a medical episode, heart attack, seizure, asthma attack, succumbed to meningitis you thought was the flu, are homeless and want a place un-harassed by the mean public to sleep, but because you had had too much to drink, have/had no awareness of alcohol’s effect on your unique body?… Massachusetts high school basketball player convicted of raping 2 girls and receiving only probation depicted 2 girls having gone to a bedroom to lie down, reading in between the lines, to sleep it off, and being penetrated with his finger as they slept. He denied touching one girl at all, apologized to the other as well as telling the court when she didn’t protest, he thought it was ok; victim precipitating his light sentence via her impact statement saying he didn’t want to ruin his life, didn’t think jail time was necessary, hints the light sentence everyone is blaming everything from bad judges, to ‘rape culture’ to ‘white privilege’ for. Except, rewind what were you doing sleeping in some strange house, post a house party, crawling off to a room surrounded by people you barely know, don’t know at all, drunk people you barely know, don’t know at all, likely without telling a soul where you were going to sleep thinking you would be safe?…Bringing us to St. Paul’s prep school and Owen Labrie, less about alcohol and more about non-existent safety instincts…You met a boy you were chatting online with, who went to your school true, on the roof of your school; online to real life meet up’s 101 meet in a public place, then later go on a date alone once you are around person X, sense if he is a threat or not, if he is who he says he is unlike the BYU student who met with and was then raped by a guy who lied about everything—age, marital status. Agreeing with the Salon link below, it has to be about women trusting their gut, young women developing that gut, those sets of protective instincts… lone felony related to using a computer to lure a minor, divulging the path to his lighter sentence. Vanderbilt’s headline making rape case, unquestioning these young men were despicable, especially confronted by accusations an ex-boyfriend orchestrated the whole thing, the 2 photo takers didn’t step up and ask what are you doing, hey stop this, sentence more fitting for the last one to be convicted, seeing the singular reason we know about this is surveillance footage. Yet we come around again to the redundant question of what were you doing so drunk you passed out to the point they could carry you around, drag you back to his room and not once did you wake up; remembering there are accusations the former boyfriend orchestrated and manipulated things, part of that manipulation however wasn’t drugging her drink…. common denominator alcohol, way past too much of it combined beside terrible instincts; underscoring the crystal clear, none of these excuse rape, should never excuse rape, but going back to dissecting the base article, certainly explains why there is such a guide, why Stanford is trying to limit alcohol and focusing on alcohol at all. It bolsters it was written exactly as it should have been, sexist, condescending or not, judging by behavior exhibited here…. It’s blatantly obvious we will do anything but talk to our kids about culturally relevant developments regarding drinking, particularly binge drinking, dangers of alcohol poisoning, party culture, sex, consent, even what constitutes a healthy relationship then we want to come down with the fury of god’s own thunder on young people, young boys/men repeatedly for things they didn’t do or say proliferated by social media in addition to legal charges they face…. First seeing widespread evidence of just that when the Steubenville saga began; Michael Nodianos’ sickening ranting video about an incident he wasn’t part of was attributed to both him as well as Ma’lik Richmond and Trent Mays, though they never said any such things. Likewise every mean tweet calling her a wh*re, death threats for daring to charge her attackers that came from others landed on their shoulders….amplified when Ma’lik Richmond got out and his lawyer said patently offensive things upon his release from juvenile detention talking about how hard things had been for him…Forgotten, that’s his lawyer and part of his lawyer’s job in a high profile case like his is to present his client in the best light while he Ma’lik Richmond kept his head down and his mouth closed, no hint of criminal activity ever again years later. Identically Bock Turner’s father makes a comment about his son’s sentence, sex offender status, lifetime ban from swimming exc. being a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action and all the sudden we see the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, exactly where he got his views on women and sex, but he’s held accountable for his father’s words, he doesn’t control, the judge’s sentence he didn’t have anything to do with other than writing a statement, something every defendant in his position has the opportunity to do; no he’s not. He is solely responsible for what he did and the impact it had on his victim, society, more than enough to contend with… Because it’s not as if we’ve ever misconstrued a situation, more information through greater investigation trumped admittedly preliminary speculations on crime X committed by teen Y featured on the nightly news; wait that’s every modern case for 2 plus decades if it involves the latest heinous, depraved thing done by children/teens, drunk/high college students… On the other side a court just found Rolling Stone liable for the defamation of UVA’s college dean in reference to their story later retracted story “A Rape on Campus” and what happened to Jackie…. We will do anything but teach whether that’s sex education that includes conversations about healthy relationships, consent, too many conservatives afraid what students will actually learn about their own bodies… In direct opposition to alcohol education and how what you drink, what type/kind of liquor you consume affects your impairment level, we would prefer to stick to don’t drink your underage, don’t drink and drive you’ll die, because it’s simpler for us, doesn’t cover nuance or conflicting messages; never thinking to teach responsible drinking in preparation for when they are legally able to drink. In light of legalization in an increasing number of states marijuana education a-la what Colorado is doing, broadening it to a comprehensive explanation of the differences between all illicit drugs, their addictiveness, their danger to your body, impact of prescription drug abuse, instead of treating all illicit drugs equally, as the same kind of off the charts horrible, when teens find out that’s not true discarding every other thing you said. Oh no, absolutely not, on the contrary one California mother and police officer didn’t want her state to legalize pot because it will be more prevalent and challenging for kids to say no, though the legal age for recreational use will be identical to alcohol 21, most states have decriminalized 1-2 joint amounts, “there will be more people driving DUI, losing their lives”… Stanford bans alcohol in X quantity for select younger students, no one ever putting together k-12 education stops at 18, college students will turn 21 before graduating, maybe we ought to educate them on the differences in types of alcohol, gender differences and alcohol. Floating so much as the idea people getting sick, falling down, slurring their words is not responsible drinking; responsible drinking… returning again to the base article critique the author talks angrily and incredulously about, “What is frustrating in these ongoing campaigns, however, is the tone is almost always focused on what women can do to not get raped instead of how men can conduct themselves to not rape people.” As if it’s the simplest thing in the world, as if no decent person should ever have to be told this and it’s a sad commentary on society we do, when it’s so much more nuanced than that; here being where feminists and women’s rights activists earn parts on their bad name… 99% of the time we aren’t dealing with future sexual predators, budding serial, habitual rapists as much as drastically uninformed, misinformed young people; even Brock Turner whose behavior points to that possibility, it’s hard to know if he would never have done those things with a father who said more than his measly sentence was a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action. Ma’lik Richmond told the ABC interviewer what he thought rape was, jumping out of an alley and attacking a girl, forcing yourself on her in that context, saying he didn’t do that, elaborating later he didn’t rape anyone, see a rape going on and if he had seen one he would have stopped it. David Becker the Massachusetts high school student found guilty of rape sincerely told the judge he thought his victim’s lack of protest meant it was ok; if we want men, young men specifically to stop raping people, not to be rapists we have to give them an accurate definition, picture of what that is in all it’s facets, something we have yet to do, never mind effectively… We don’t have a rape culture in America we have a consent ambiguous culture whereby rape remains a crime on the books that is dutifully enforced, cases prosecuted and rapists put in jail every day; our problem is narrow social definitions of rape that haven’t caught up to real life scenarios, federal definitions and recent court cases…We operate on the ignorance is no excuse understanding to ensure ‘I didn’t know that’ doesn’t become a legal defense for any number of obviously illegal actions, stealing, killing, physical assault, rape where the person is fighting you, screaming, no, begging you to stop. But is it time to reexamine that in the shadow of Zach Anderson, what really happened in Steubenville, details surrounding David Becker producing that impact statement and persecutors went ahead with the rape, not a lesser degree charge, anyway, when adults are as unaware as their teens and teaching them wrongly, when education systems don’t, won’t teach these issues from a legal perspective believing it’s a family thing, the province and purview of parents to teach these values according to their moral compass, religion?… Surely we can and should do better by both women and men.Read More

The Voter Fraud, ‘Election Rigging’ We Need To Be Worried About

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

To republicans and likeminded citizens, voter fraud is neatly summed up in illegal immigrants, namely Hispanic, Latino ‘Mexican’ illegal immigrants somehow casting ballots, liberal, progressive candidates who want voting rights for said illegal immigrants, completely ignorant to how many Mexican, Hispanic, Latino and similar heritage persons are here legally, possess their citizenship or were born her in the first place. Same liberal, progressive, social justice warrior, advocate types who want to restore voting rights to convicted felons; what’s next giving voting rights to actual inmates while incarcerated, oh the horror. Voting errors where rolls of dead people are casting ballots, non-residents of specific cities, counties or states are voting there, people are voting multiple times, coming in 10 times, assumption skewing the vote in one candidates favor… In reality nothing could be further from the truth, their stereotyped version of voter fraud is so minimal it has little or no impact on voting results at all and is patently racist to boot; however, voter fraud serves a dual purpose these days providing a convenient excuse for why, usually republican, tea party, conservative candidates, 3rd party outliers didn’t win. Donald Trump uses it all the time to energize his rally crowds and to provide cushion when he inevitably loses post alienating key voting blocks women , minorities and young people; the election was rigged, the system is corrupt, there is a conspiracy against me personally, larger policy, issue X launched by the nebulous opposition. Not say your candidate’s antics, ill-preparedness and utter unfitness for office, traits we saw long before Donald Trump, Gary Johnson and to a lesser extent Jill Stein; like the guy who made his dog chief of staff , Delaware candidate Christine O’Donnell who told Phil Donahue back in the day condoms wouldn’t prevent HIV/AID, recorded an MTV abstinence ad that compared masturbation to adultery and, running on a conservative platform, had to issue an ad assuring voters she’s not a witch after admitting to dabbling it witchcraft as teenage rebellion…Then let’s look at the ones who got in, those who achieved enough votes to hold political offices on a local, national level: Jan Brewer fighting for reelection when she had, not 1 but 2 ‘brain freeze’ moments at her crucial debate, who bungled opening statements both there and at a press conference a-la 2010, including totally awkward pauses when asked about supposed beheadings of Americans on U.S. soil by Mexican drug cartels, how she justified Arizona’s ‘papers please’ immigration law, and couldn’t identify one single case. Yet Hillary Clinton and her muumuus are concealing a ‘brain stem battery pack’ to control Parkinson’s tremors, if you say so…. Still, our biggest obstacle to republican won seats and a ‘return to traditional American values’ is vast voter fraud, leading to unfavorable outcomes like LGBT rights, keeping abortion intact so women don’t die if something goes wrong with their pregnancy, more insured Americans receiving healthcare, state by state legalization of marijuana to keep people from serving jail time for our biggest hysteria driven petty drug crime, one joint, single persons smoke-able amounts of a natural substance, federal funding for public schools producing the highest high school graduation rate to date; again oh the horror…. But there is actual voter fraud worthy of concern and its source, as stated above, is primarily republican politicians; by contrast their efforts to stop nearly non-existent voter fraud result perpetrating the biggest fraud against the people. The American people who have the majority’s will regularly subverted via strategically drawn lines, comprising voting districts whose main goal is winning over the competition; that’s called gerrymandering. Easily then answering the echoing question why, why these eyebrow raising candidates won their primaries, why we had to endure Ted Cruz reading Green Eggs and Ham during a government shutdown to impede the implementation of Obamacare is to understand they got there by gerrymandering, a practice well in full swing as the tea party came on scene in 2008; gerrymandering only ramped up since the last election. After their voter driven gut punch in 08’, giving us the first African American president much to their angered dismay even post their huge Palin debacle, their own shellacking in 2012, seeing their least favorite person reelected, they resorted to an anything to win mentality. Best illustrated through the Missouri case where ‘districts’ were so crazily and unfairly drawn one student comprised a district and they weren’t in favor of voting for the proposed business venture said districts were drawn to pass…. Voting restrictions, handed a big boon via the Supreme Court’s ruling removing huge sections of the voting rights act circa 2013, giving carte blanche to forcing people to provide a birth certificate or passport upon voting such as Alabama, demanding photo ID‘s when showing up to vote, limiting early voting, removing same day registration, states accepting gun permit ID’s, fishing licenses but not student ID’s from local universities and students who can’t fly home to cast ballots there. Rural citizens having to go several miles from home to register to vote in offices only open once or twice a month, closing polling places altogether, remaining places having to be told why polls must be kept open past 5:00 PM (people need the opportunity to vote after work) explain long lines seen in 2012, people in line well past closing just to cast their ballot, an elderly disabled woman in line 3 hours to vote. Voter ID laws that aren’t based on when you register to vote, provide proof of residence, usually a utility bill, local pay stub, your picture will be taken, you sign it, similar to a driver license, and that photo and signature are compared to your face, you signature when you sign in at your polling place; rather voter ID laws meant to ‘authenticate whose reporting to vote, prevent duplicate voting, felons, criminals, illegal persons from using some else’s name to vote’ end up disenfranchising older persons past driving age (most common form of ID) and many who are legitimately not be able to locate documents such as a birth certificate to obtain state ID’s, homeless people residing in city, county, state X but who can’t afford a state ID, can’t pay to receive a copy of their birth certificate from say another state, afford expensive transportation to appear in person as is routinely required…. Jim Crow era southerners born outside a hospital who never had a birth certificate, lived somewhere with public transit systems mitigating state ID necessity, working menial labor, who are American citizens, who do reside in area X and have every right to vote, just can’t prove it to the new ‘standards’ blatantly designed to exclude individuals like them… “He’d spent $200, visited two states, and made seven trips to different public institutions, but still couldn’t vote in Wisconsin;” here describes Eddie Lee Holloway Jr. who move to the badger state in 2008 voting without incident until their 2011 restrictive laws went into effect. Yet because of a clerical error on his original birth certificate even with his previous states’ expired license and social security card Milwaukee’s DMV would not issue him the ID; attempting to fix the error required a nearly $200 bus ticket, $400 to 600 he couldn’t afford to verify and reprint his birth certificate, and numerous phone calls, social security statements people couldn’t fax to the appropriate office, rendering him unable to vote in the April primary. Welcome to document hell after a federal appeals court kept the photo ID portion of Wisconsin’s restrictive voting law also demanding they simplify the process to getting said photo ID; obviously it didn’t work…Yet voter fraud is something miscreant citizens are trying to perpetuate on candidates and the law abiding portions of America…. We’ve now added to gerrymandering and voter suppression, in previously seen senses, voter intimidation under the guise of preserving the integrity of our election; hardly surprising when Trump rallies have been marked by fisticuff altercations, calls to beat people in the face, haul those with loud opposing viewpoints out on a stretcher and when 2 white, drunk brothers decided to beat up and urinate on a homeless Latino person, and our GOP candidate for president’s response was my people are passionate. Fast-forwarding to right now, Trump supporters and probable Trump voters, Daniel Parks and friend, are standing outside democratic offices holding fire arms saying they are protecting the election, but clearly making staff, visitors uncomfortable. One Trump supporter, Dan Bowman, vowing to ‘be a patriot’ if Hillary Clinton gets in, ‘doing what he has to do if she is elected,’ thinly veiled allusion to planning her assassination; an outgrowth of his repeated second amendment people rhetoric attacking the legitimacy of the presidency in a whole new way, a sinisterly perfect follow up to his pre-candidacy years dogging president Obama’s birth certificate….New Mexico republicans rather than having faith in their ideas, policy platforms, polished delivery to voters and how it will better their lives resorted to mailers ‘warning’ Albuquerque residents people would be made aware of their voting choices; threats encapsulated in ominous phrases you’d think were movie mafia grade if violence hadn’t been a central theme dominating 20l6 election politics: “your neighbors will know if you vote democrat or “your neighbors will know if democrats win.”…average citizens such as Steve Webb practically giddy describing how he plans to defend his polling place election day, methods: admitted racial profiling, creeping up behind “Mexicans, Syrians, people who can’t speak American,” swearing to do things legally, not do anything illegal, but “I’m going to make them a little bit nervous.” Guess no one told him voter intimidation, interfering with an election is illegal…threats a-la the bombs people want to send to the newly opened civil rights museum when they denied Donald Trump a photo-op. Done so upon encountering rude and disrespectful campaign staff who thought they could bully museum personnel on behalf of a candidate, who didn’t want a tour, just a photo as he breezed through town on a campaign stop then audaciously demanded it be close significant portions of the day during his desired photo-op….You shouldn’t receive death threats being a credible newspaper, publication deciding on a candidate to endorse representing any given election cycle, especially weighing the significance of general elections wherein is chosen a president, the next leader of America, determining our direction for 4 years. Nevertheless that’s the perceived comeuppance doled out to the Arizona Republic for endorsing Hillary Clinton, first democrat in it close to 2 centuries…. interestingly shrugged off, dismissed, downplayed by Trump growing potential threats to our democratic system via hacking, manipulations by foreign powers into our election choices, serious fears Russia may be hacking ballot terminals, is confirmed suspected of distributing documents to WikiLeaks including the Podesta e-mails, causing so much trouble for the Clinton campaign, breaching the DNC, the New York Times and other media outlets. Instead he was concurrently begging Russia to find Hillary Clinton’s 30,000 e-mails alluding to big rewards from U.S. press and using dubiously uncovered ‘documents’ for propel his campaign forward. Lavishing praise on Vladimir Putin, alternating between, we don’t know if there is any hacking and, assuming there is, we don’t know it’s the Russians, it could be a 400lb person sitting on their bed; said despite a double digit number of U.S. intelligence agencies saying concretely yes there is hacking and unanimously naming the Russians, said despite national intelligence briefings where we know he’s being to it is the Russians. Meanwhile substantiated hacks have been successful in cracking voter registration systems circa Illinois and the secretary of states’ office circa Arizona; prime suspect, you don’t need a crystal ball for this one, you guessed it the Russians… Adding to a climate of should be unease, hacks doled out to some of the most known entities in cyberspace shutting down Netflix, Twitter; a Russian traced hack on LinkedIn lead to an on camera arrest of a Russian citizen. Oh and let’s not forget Russia wanted to monitor/observe our elections and was promptly told no way, whatever’s Russian for get lost and don’t come back…. Lost in the clamor about what Mr. Podesta’s emails reveal regarding Clinton campaign tactics, inner workings, her speeches to Wall Street, Clinton Foundation intermingling with the state department, jobs given to former president Bill Clinton stemming from a supposed to be charity doing good work, and long held speculations on ‘crooked, criminal’ Hillary who belongs in jail are incidents of real criminal behavior presenting a real, not manufactured, threat to national security. Another Edward Snowden-esque situation where an NSA contractor walked out of his workplace with classified materials for NSA hacking code to be found on the ‘dark web’ a corner of the internet frequented by criminals; originally though weird-o not whistle blower now facing coming espionage charges. Retired general James Cartwright, who pleaded guilty to giving classified information to the media, 2 journalists at the New York Times and News Week respectively, then lied to investigating FBI agents about it; he says he was just trying to talk them out of publishing top secret information they already had, going to jail regardless….Instead we’re focusing on the contents of WikiLeaks released e-mails no standard news agency can verify, taking them as gospel playing right into a Russian propaganda campaign that starts giving credible facts and slowly slips in fictitious material towards their agenda…. , John Podesta hack-gate ‘Better than Podesta’s creamy risotto recipe! WikiLeaks dumps an email about Nicki Minaj’s butt;’ WikiLeaks is releasing cooking recipes and comments on Nikki Minaj’s behind, don’t leave out thoughts on Cecil the lion, and we’re supposed to take them seriously?… Now the FBI is reopening their investigation into Clinton’s e-mails and private server based on new e-mails uncovered in the unrelated investigation into disgraced congressman Anthony Weiner, who shared a laptop with wife Huma Abedin close Clinton aide…. When both sides, from libertarian Bill Weld to Karl Rove, republicans Chuck Grassley, Joe Walsh, Jim Jordan, John Cornyn, John Weaver, and a legion of democrats, Eric Holder, Harry Reid naming just two, down to Fox news host Jeanine Pirro are angry and clamoring for more information, saying they made a grievous error in judgement. When FBI director James Comey defied FBI and DOJ (department of justice) protocols with his ominous letter to congressional members Friday, defied his own boss, Loretta Lynch or no. Why, firstly they don’t usually comment on commencement of investigations, ongoing investigations or conclusions of investigations; immoveable guidelines prevent FBI personnel from disclosing derogatory information unless charges are filed; once charges are filed, only negative information directly listed and relevant to the charges is mentioned otherwise they don’t talk about it. Why, the FBI is given incredible access and power to look through our personal papers, find out intimate details about our lives, financial status exc., therefore the FBI should be a safe place to put classified, confidential information, leaks shouldn’t be happening and that expands to Paul Manafort and preliminary inquiries into him and Trump campaign person Carter Page both with suspected of Kremlin connections; they don’t belong tried in the court of public opinion, they belong tired in the designated court of law. ‘You don’t get to be a smearer at large with derogatory information,’ why the rule exists; former prosecutors, the attorney general and Whitehouse ethics lawyer under George W. Bush collectively gasping at violations of their most basic rules, telling news outlets Comey had zero obligation to congress precisely to keep politics out of it, not to go down the rabbit hole of what congress thinks appropriate. Ratcheting up stakes even higher credible interpretations he violated The Hatch Act preventing government employees from doing anything to help or hurt partisan political entities in a partisan election; most glaringly we are 7 days out from the election, as this goes to press, 11 when the story broke, FBI, DOJ normally refraining from making public investigations 30 days, preferably 60 days, before an election due to easily seen influencing opportunities. Millions already having cast ballots in early voting permitted states, millions more doing so daily as the election draws closer; a majority telling news media Hillary’s latest e-mail saga chapter didn’t/won’t affect their vote, but divides are on partisan lines and not applicable to everyone; some individuals wanted more information before voting would like to know what it’s about before solidifying their final choice….Read More