Tag Archives: MSNBC

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

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

Hillary Clinton: The Gaffes That Weren’t There Part 2—Why The FBI Should Have Been Investigating State Department Work Culture, Policy Lapses Not Clinton Alone

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

; the republican spin machine utterly convinced the exposed records gap, former secretary of state Clinton’s, ‘hidden,’ ‘missing’ e-mail(s), were concealing critical information on their favorite pet obsession, Benghazi. Never mind it never materialized, after committee shake ups, embarrassing admissions this was actually an effort on the part of some to derail her presidential aspirations, whistleblowers denigrated as ‘damn liars,’ on national television, 11 hour testimony sessions that saw panel members responsible for said desired questioning bickering like children in a sand box while Clinton radiated calm; Tray Gowdy got one thing right in naming military failures, poor communication and poor security conditions on the ground weeks, months before those fatal, twin night attacks driving forces behind the death of 4 Americans in that volatile region of Libya. Still the cat was out of the bag so to speak, report not yet complete on one major congressional investigation, final price tag 7 million taxpayer dollars, they were vowing to begin another scrutinizing why and how Hillary Clinton had so successfully skirted government record keeping mandates, into what they were sure was her illegal private server. Assumptions made without having any foreknowledge of the state department’s polices, IT set up, probably having to eventually go through written laws detailing parameters on acceptable record keeping at that level; unable to adequately follow laws themselves threatening subpoenas they had no authority to issue in the process of their investigating Benghazi….Ink barely dry on one report, incidentally finding no wrongdoing by Clinton, fact lost in speculation of what wrongdoing they might have uncovered, amidst swirling hype generated by Hillary Clinton killed my friends t-shirts and the impassioned, misinformed speech of a mother whose son was lost in Benghazi. Already having touched off an internal review at state, a looming FBI investigation, congressional republicans soon unhappy with the FBI’s final conclusive finding of non-criminal recklessness striking just shy of gross negligence; they are demanding FBI documents and promising their own inquiry. While America has been titillated with regular e-mail releases, indicating personality quirks, favorite foods, TV shows, navigating her fax machine and titillated again with FBI releases of new e-mails, their investigation notes pulling away the curtain behind their findings, creating a trickledown, ‘dripping’ effect impacting her poll numbers, feeding perceptions of her ‘untrustworthiness’, accusations of criminality, questions of how can it not be prosecutable gross negligence? Based on FBI director James Comey’s unprecedented press conference, finger pointing calling the FBI either weak or in ‘crooked Hillary’s’ pocket, probably both; origins of further lock her up chants, shouted, usually at Trump rallies, Hillary for prison 2016 anti-campaign slogans. Beside salacious media reporting, who has never gotten this right, announcing DOJ (department of justice) investigations the actual department of justice never planned on initiating; even exonerated her from any maleficence in deleting deemed personal e-mails, had they been on the state department system or her own. Naming FBI just released e-mail contents some new revelation when it was instead merely continued release of information that resulted in their ultimate finding, turning it into horserace journalism about elections for the Whitehouse leaving off critical contexts, logical interpretations, countering politicians and known Clinton rivals who are fixated on her 30,0000 lost e-mails by reminding them there are no longer a mysterious 30,000 e-mails where could be found any number of criminal indicators; rather she turned over roughly 30,000 at various requests, FBI officials able to recover another roughly 30,000 from the hard drive they obtained off that infamous server. Absent, in either set of documents recovered, testimony given, their hoped for smoking gun either on Benghazi itself, evidence she knew she was ‘breaking the law,’ flouting procedure, going against standard policy. Worse they uncovered, aide questions and help desk confusion because Clinton’s e-mail lacked familiar .gov identifiers so people knew it was her, not spam; concerns failing to make it up supervisory chains of command. Conversations about keeping X topics secure, not to send her sensitive, classified materials at X time, explanations to follow; caution showing the opposite of a disregard for security. Continuing, despite accusations threats were made about questioning her e-mail set up, there has been no release of the threat maker’s name(s), anonymous John, Jane Doe equivalent pseudonyms denoting either threat makers or who those threats were supposedly made to within FBI internal documents released to both congress and the media. Or journalists would have reasonably used supplied anonymity markers FBI personnel chose in summarizing document contents during broadcast segments, as they have in similar case reporting…Often missed is why the FBI decided against a criminal indictment, legal precedent of there has to be clear intent to commit actions on par with treason, clear willfulness in giving classified materials to people unauthorized to have them, think David Petraeus giving materials to his mistress, aside, apart from people’s testimony they can’t produce, doesn’t seem to exist; they found a state department in complete electronic disarray for this being nearly 20 years into the 21st century. They found a lackadaisical work culture toward securing sensitive documents, subject threads that should have been some level of classified generated on a secure server, computer, began on un-secure state department computers, personal smartphones, blackberries or i-pads. They found a state department unaware people use those devices in a plethora of workplaces nationwide, used them at state to expediently communicate information between support staff and officials, official to official, unaware they needed secure, encrypted versions for staff and their top aides. And unaware of her non-government e-mail address use during her entire tenure as secretary of state; surely apprised of records gaps at the national archives, since a staffer from there spoke to varying news outlets, going all the way back to the 64th secretary of state, Clinton was the 67th. They found a history of government employees, former secretaries of state, ambassadors who used both personal and government e-mail, names included; they found the state department’s own categorized systemic weaknesses still present under a new secretary of state, independent 3 years having gone by and a should be evolution in policy to keep up with changing technology, to adapt to current, shifting situations namely continued hacks, hacking attempts on government systems; they found a state department equally as culpable in what Hillary Clinton did as Clinton herself…. Read More

Hillary Clinton: The Gaffes That Weren’t There—Her Basket Of Deplorables Remark Defined The Line Not Crossed It And Her Temporary Health Is None Of Our Business

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

People where so busy focusing on the purported ‘millions’ she called deplorable they forgot to check statistical math proving her 100% truthful; and, since when does being a public figure, running for office, even the highest office, mean candidates have to report to the world every time they get a cold, the flu or, gasp, pun intended, pneumonia?… Elaborating there is this basket of depolrables and to her point, Trump has lifted them up, given them a voice, placed them in the mainstream and made their views acceptable to the determent of America and the values it was founded on, values fought for through the generations. Also, coming on the heels of a bad week, including continued conversations about her e-mail and growing scrutiny around the Clinton Foundation, allegations of pay for play access; it’s seen as the last thing she needed. Her ultimately walking back the number quantifier, not its sentiment, saying she was grossly generalistic and that’s never a good thing, continuing; it was a mistake to put such a large number to it. Same could be said for her initial not feeling well at New York 9-11 memorial remembrance events and subsequent fainting spell, a horrible capstone to a bad week politically, not only that it served to confirm every right wing conspiracy theory about her failing health, age-ed condition making her unfit to hold our highest office as president. From Karl Rove’s brain damage speculation, rumors she suffers chronic diseases, MS to Parkinson’s, hither to unfounded by more than a persistent cough she attributed to seasonal allergies. A ‘doctor’ who believes she’s being systematically poisoned, doubtlessly by the Russians who share documented culpability in hacking networks such as the DNC database pointing to election interference, attempts to influence our outcomes. To clusters of YouTube videos saying at least one major network announced her death post collapse, calling her reappearance from her daughter’s apartment 90 minutes later after rehydrating and being seen by her doctor fake, along with appearances 1-2 days before. But setting off a torrent of questions about what little we actually know about our top candidates’ health, 2 of the oldest runners for president and what the American people should know, be allowed to know, expect to know before reporting to their voting booth in November…However, do we really need to know about running mate Tim Kane’s broken clavicle (collar bone), dislocated shoulder, removed wisdom teeth, plantar fasciitis (An inflammation of a thick band of tissue that connects the heel bone to the toes)? Do we really need arm chair medicine on top of arm chair psychology from entities like Dr. Drew blasting the kind of care she was getting because she was on Coumadin (blood thinner) after a blood clot not newer Xarelto, Eliquis, even though he has never examined or treated her, does not know her medical history in full? And, advertisements for the latter drugs themselves say in their own commercials there is no comparative data between patients on Coumadin and better outcomes if they switch to Xarelto, Eliquis. Do we really need to know more than we already do about her leg blood clot, her 2012 concussion, about her hypothyroidism, sinusitis? Yet she somehow committed an egregious political, public relations faux pa by being diagnosed on a Friday with a mild walking pneumonia, and didn’t immediately dial up news outlets; dido when she fainted, not collapsed, not was on death’s door, let’s cut the hyperbolic adjectives. Upon fainting, instead of seeing to Mrs. Clinton, aides were supposed to be contacting ABC, NBC CBS, MSNBC, HLN, CNN, Fox News, the Washington Post and New York Times, not a um, let me think, doctor; do readers, never mind perpetuators of this need to know everything, including every time public figure X goes to the bathroom, gets a hangnail, stubs their toe, understand how ridiculous that sounds?… Still Hillary Clinton has ratchetted up her untrustworthiness by incalculable exponents because she got pneumonia and didn’t rush to tell voters, the media, hold a national press conference… Question, who doesn’t think the things Secretary Clinton, candidate Clinton listed are deplorable; sexism, particularly considering concepts floated around like rape culture, high school and college campuses riddled with sexual assault, opposing republican politicians who don’t support equal pay for equal work, who however subliminally, want to punish women for having kids, taking time off to raise those children in critical years then complain when parents don’t take that time and the kid turns out a criminal, ordinary citizens who endorse both views, think women should just work harder, college kids should stop drinking and high school girls shouldn’t wear ‘booty shots’ if they don’t want to be called a slut and worse. But Hillary Clinton, by running for office, has lost her rights to free speech, to call those ideas, and them deplorable…Returning to violence, rhetoric consisting of if only they hadn’t been armed, had complied with officers, if only they weren’t rioting, looting and acting like animals held up beside a jail who put a mentally ill, developmentally delayed man in general population then shut his water off after he ‘tried to flood the cell,’ next giving him no drinking water for 6 days until he eventually died of thirst. Another man beaten savagely when he didn’t want to be put in the mental ward of a jail, fearing being viewed a monster, fracturing his face, breaking ribs, puncturing his lung, one officer taking his ripped out dreadlocks, wanting them as a trophy for his motor cycle, finally fabricating injuries to justify their beating…Homophobia, and let’s be clear the level of homophobia we’re talking about, reaching far past individuals who say homosexuality isn’t for me, people who find it unnatural and strange, people who want it kept away from them; still as long as you don’t try to foist your lifestyle on them, try to come on to them, they don’t care, pretty much subscribe to live and let live, they don’t really understand transgender, what it feels like to feel you were born in the wrong body, but to each his own. She was talking, at a LGBT gala mind you, about disingenuous authors of bathroom bills mandating transgender persons use the bathroom corresponding with the gender on their birth certificate, in response to select municipalities in North Carolina adding sexual orientation and gender identity to their discrimination statutes…Described down home American citizens who did things like what was done to Mathew Sheppard tied to a fence and beaten solely due to being gay; Bandon Teena born female, living as a male in a time when transgender wasn’t a word, surgery and mental health help lightyears from readily available, forget expensive, discovered by friends of friends, forced to strip down revealing his biological sex, forced into a car, taken to a remote area, repeatedly sexually assaulted and later murdered for filing a police report on his assailants. For people believing that was another time, we’ve expanded our tolerance since then, agreements to disagree, if the bathroom bill eruption didn’t convince you of the contrary, there are people like the Georgia man sentenced to 40 years in jail for pouring boiling water on his girlfriend’s gay son and his boyfriend merely sleeping in bed together while saying “get out of my house with that gay shit” (it wasn’t his house it was hers); afterwards telling authorities, “They were stuck together like two hot dogs … so I poured a little hot water on them and helped them out, they’ll be alright. It was just a little hot water, they’ll be alright,” oblivious to horrific injuries he inflicted. A man in Australia who replaced containers of personal lubricant with acid; thankfully they had been tampered with before so alarms had been place on containers so no one was injured… Islamophobia, again being clear regarding extent expressed by Clinton in her comments, understanding of people’s heightened fear of terrorism, ISIS, legitimately concerned about sleeper cell possibilities in their neighborhood due to seeing so many on the news, a little or a lot nervous getting on an airplane because you never know… New York City police searching for a man after he attempted to set a Muslim woman on fire only catching her sleeve she quickly put out because she was Muslim and wearing standard conservative dress; let’s stop and digest that latter story, that an American tried to set someone on fire for their religion while we call a nebulous them barbarians, heathens holding archaic beliefs we’re willing to fight wars over. Children can get dumped out of their baby strollers by whites upset they are in their country, because they are Muslims; people who would be apoplectic watching David Muir’s ABC special including children being taught the traditional Muslim/middle eastern greeting (their version of hello how are you) to welcome their 6 year old classmate Hala a Syrian refugee child, not terrorist who is here because her home, her country are little more than a rubble heap… No, Chris Mathews sorry, it isn’t disparaging millions of Americans, wrong for her to call deplorable, deplorable, to define what she means by that and stick to her guns; when moving from isolated incidents and speculative evidence to nearly 60 percent of Trump’s supporters who hold “unfavorable views” of Islam, and 76 percent support a ban on Muslims entering the United States. We know that some 40 percent of Trump’s supporters believe blacks are more violent, more criminal, lazier, and ruder than whites. Two-thirds of Trump’s supporters believe the first black president in this country’s history is not American. These claims are not ancillary to Donald Trump’s candidacy, they are a driving force behind it to quote Ta-Nehisi Coats…Trump renounced his bitherism claims years before he did, who called Black Lives Matter racist. Donald Trump, who literally something like the day before, stated he was troubled by the Tulsa shooting where video shows a man with his hands up still getting shot, not surviving, saying he didn’t know what the officer was thinking, didn’t know if she was choking (as in panicking) the man seemed to be doing what officers wanted him to, doing everything right; only to announce ‘solutions’ of more police, stop and frisk, later limited to extremely violent areas i.e. Chicago… While Hillary Clinton is talking about funds for implicit bias training, aimed at ridding police officers of their engrained subconscious prejudices so they don’t take it out on the public they are to serve, less people get shot, killed holding benign objects mistaken for a weapon; greater police accountability, so when instances like Tulsa happen officers responsible are charged, tried, convicted and put behind bars…Completely ignored, were the other half of identified Trump supporters highlighted by Mrs. Clinton, the people who feel let by their government, let down by their nation’s economy she tried to reach as more than a ploy to win votes, but to say I haven’t forgotten you, I understand why you might vote for Trump, want to vote for Trump, help me understand more…Once and for all Hillary Clinton got pneumonia, not the bubonic, pneumonic plague, TB, she was never diagnosed with a serious long term, ongoing medical condition, MS, Parkinson’s Lou Gehrig’s disease, even diabetes; she has not died, isn’t dead. Her contracting pneumonia not surprising considering background information many Clinton campaign staff had contracted severe colds, 2 of them, not Clinton, hospitalized with repertory infections. Yes she originally told press around her her noticeable cough was due to seasonal allergies; that wasn’t campaign spin to hide a larger, ongoing health problem, a chronic condition she didn’t want the public to know about. It was her doctor’s initial diagnosis when she came to her with fatigue, a low grade fever and cough, was given a short course of antibiotics, probably due to her history of chronic sinusitis (an inflammation or swelling of the tissue lining the sinuses) presumably told to come back if symptoms got worse, wanting to see her in X days, weeks for a standard checkup. Upon said checkup symptoms remained, doctor heard congestion, opted to do an advanced chest x-ray to rule out pneumonia, ended up ruling it in; diagnosing her with a mild walking pneumonia, called such in layman’s terms because individuals with it can usually carry on with their daily activities, may not even know they have it. Advised rest and modification of her rigorous campaign schedule; advice Clinton admits to ignoring until she couldn’t ignore it anymore feeling ill at the 9-11 memorial, trying to discreetly leave, as not to disrupt proceedings, and fainted getting into her car. Never taken to a hospital, rather her daughters nearby apartment because, recognizing what this was, there was no need to sit hours in an ER, disrupt operations at a local urgent care clinic when your name is Hillary Clinton and you’re that Hillary Clinton; her doctor willing to come to her. Evaluating her, finding her dehydrated and in need of rest, probably embarking on a lecture about self-care, listening to your physician; candidate emerging 90 minutes later appearing fine, cancelling a California trip for that Monday, returning to campaign activities that Thursday, short of the 5 days respite doctors recommended…. It should be reassuring we now have a recent health history on Secretary Clinton, many of her public knowledge heath issues explained..It should be reassuring candidate Clinton, possible future president of the United States, is being treated by a professional, someone who exudes professionalism, who can navigate the exposure, status, publicity of her patient; it should be reassuring secretary Clinton’s minor, age commiserate health issues are under control, scrutinized by the watchful eye of a doctor, versus who knows what Harald Bornstein could be missing with Donald Trump, what tests he’s not allowed to perform being awed or intimidated, manipulated by his patient…But Hillary Clinton has always been judged on a different playing field trapped in republican bizarre-o world where effect video editing, making her head bob around spastically imitating a bobble-head doll proves she’s prone to seizures; her fondness for muumuus is concealing medical devices not in evidence or on the market, i.e. Veterans for Trump’s deep brain stem battery pack that counters her tremors…Nor was there any cover up, attempt to mislead people about the state of her health in saying she was merely overheated as opposed to ‘coming clean,’ not waiting 7 hours to announce she had pneumonia; not to overwhelm the tiny brains of republican conspiracy theory spinners, the presumed tiny brains comprising America’s voting populous, it was both. At the 9-11 memorial she was dehydrated, overheated and thus fainted; said dehydration, overheating possibly due to underlying pneumonia, anti-biotics taken, but not necessarily or always…voters seeming to be on her side in developing pneumoniagate believing Hillary Clinton will be fine. Candidate Clinton’s forced sick days should have sparked a completely different conversation, set of conversations before she brought it back to the campaign trail—what millions of sick people, workers in the freelance economy, minimum wage job holders, to small business owners do in this country when they can’t take off from work to mind and care for their health, when they are already living paycheck to paycheck and they can’t afford to miss a paycheck or their rent won’t get paid, their lights won’t stay on, reality for multitudes of hard working Americans. When you, like she, can’t flake on a round table of foreign policy experts, a big product rollout, a months’ long prepared presentation, fundraising events if you want the financial capital to achieve your goals in getting to the Whitehouse to make a difference for average Americans, such as the one your mother was coming up for very little. Your boss doesn’t stop expecting you to make the company money because you’re sick; you can’t miss the region wide sales rep conference. What people do when they don’t have health insurance, when their employer isn’t large enough under Obamacare to be mandated to provide health coverage options, when you can’t afford to see a doctor; how minor infections and would-be simple outpatient, same day surgical procedures become costly ER visits, complicated surgeries, lengthy stays in the hospital, as whatever it is can no longer be ignored. Why people in stable jobs, budding careers or even long time workers at company X don’t take sick days in this country, even if they have them, let alone a vacation fearing for their job, being passed over for a promotion. Studies showing working overtime can kill you, shorten your lifespan, triples risk of major deadly diseases; heart disease, cancer, diabetes…many of those same health problems noted in the overtime story, especially again, for women. Salon author’s self-deprecating assessment he shoehorned Hillary’s pneumonia into a policy examination, policy article because he is an exclusive political writer aside, his question is valid and his answer just as important as her medical records, arguably more so, in terms of things that should be driving our election decisions this election cycle. What would the Trump health plan do to struggling Americans who have health coverage for the first time in their adult lives thanks to Obamacare, uphill battling millennials in the freelance economy who can look after their health while young potentially avoiding huge problems down the line, but that all goes away with his promised repeal of the Affordable Care Act, whose largest selling point is then insurance companies’ ability to sell insurance policies across state lines…. Uniquely ironic Donald Trump talking about transparency whether it be Clinton’s health or his taxes, the hiding behind an audit every expert says doesn’t prevent him from disclosing past, current tax information, then telling people what it doesn’t tell readers about a person’s finances, lastly settling on people just aren’t that interested in his tax returns. Secondary to why we need to see his tax returns, investigative journalists want to know and the public needs to know about any potential conflicts of interest, particularly with say Russia, documented business holdings in China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates weighed beside legal fact he is not required, should he win the presidency, to set up a blind trust…Coating on another layer of shady adding to stories on contractors and lower level workers not paid for building Trump buildings, numerous lawsuits being the final outcome, accusations he encouraged models to work in America illegally, to skirt immigration laws, questions about his own wife’s immigration to America, work status when she first came into this country…. When the barest minimum investigative journalism turned up tangible wrongdoing in which Trump donated to the attorney general campaign of one Pam Bondi in Florida fined by the IRS for his trouble, fine failing to address optics he did so to preempt her investigation of Trump university affiliates there. Trump who hasn’t put any of his personal money into his named charity since 2008, him using other people’s money to make donations, causing them to think it came from Trump. Using funds from his charity to buy a Tim Tebow helmet for himself, a 6 foot portrait of himself, using charity funds to pay off business debts, even to collect debts from others, how people basically got duped into ‘giving’ so much to his foundation; things so bad the New York attorney general is opening an investigation. This is on top of a mirroring investigation into exposed Trump University running a for-profit model using predatory sales tactics to get people to go into debt, give up savings to attend near meaningless classes, where he famously insulted the judge for ‘being of Mexican descent’ despite being born and raised in Indiana…Whereas Trump’s former campaign chair Paul Manafort resigned when extensive ties to Russia were revealed and that’s not the one who just resigned for racist comments; his current campaign manager is a member of the alt. right, extreme right wing conservatives, white supremacies and was once accused of domestic violence…to quote one commenter on one of many articles about Clinton’s health, political optics and the absurdity this has all taken on, “Honestly, watching the response to this has shown me why she lies. There’s no longer reason to tell the truth.” More accurately reflecting expressed sentiment, we see now why she doesn’t disclose any more personal, health information than she absolutely has to; there is no reason to be that open, vulnerable, ‘transparent,’ ‘honest,’ ‘trustworthy.’ Because, people are going to make it up, draw their own conclusions, create their own reality no matter what you tell them or don’t. Read More

This Is The Future Of Our Elderly, Disabled And Hearing Impaired To Be Beat Up, Shot At And Killed By Police

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Public awareness of these frightening, horrific and uncalled for encounters with police by the differently abled, possible dementia cases, developmentally delayed and deaf persons really began on a national scale highlighting what happened to Marlene Pinnock, 51 at the time, allegedly stopped by California highway patrol for walking unsteadily and too close to busy freeway traffic; savage beating by patrol officer caught on passerby cellphone initiated when she purportedly would not comply with instruction to come with him, taken in for her own safety. Short while later released from mandatory psychiatric hospitalization, exhibiting no signs of cognitive impairment, dementia, mental instability, emotional distress, no evidence there had ever been such symptoms; making the officers claim seem bogusly made up, an excuse to beat her for non-compliance. Independent having broken no laws, not being found violating any city, county, municipality ordinances, sans having any outstanding warrants and no real danger to self or others, there was no legal obligation for that compliance. Next galvanized in an Indian grandfather visiting his son thrown to the ground and partially paralyzed owing to he fit descriptions reported to 9-1-1 of a suspicious person and didn’t speak English well…It both follows and is followed by cases like an older homeless man in Florida harassed and assaulted by law enforcement for simply trying to use bus terminal public toilets, including an open handed slap loudly heard on captured cellphone video and literally shoving him into brick pavement, officer getting more belligerent than his ‘loitering perp’ swearing when the latter asked not to be touched, then roughly hauling him away….Nothing seen as more despicable ordinarily than picking on the mentally ill, developmentally delayed; equally understood, challenges faced by officers dealing with mentally ill individuals in potentially dangerous situations. Yet that doesn’t explain how unarmed Ezell Ford, known throughout his neighborhood by everyone to be a bit slow, have mental health issues, ended up shot in the back, if he was such an overwhelming threat to police. Especially when they encountered Ford doing standard neighborhood patrol, deciding he was suspicious, for avoiding them and having his hands in his pockets, hiding behind cars present area wide when scrutinized; cops then chase and grab Ford, him grabbing back, wrestling match ensues, officer statements alleging Ford tried to pull one officer’s gun resulting in both officers firing their guns, one being a back-up weapon. Eye witnesses contradicting polices’ story saying he was shot while laying down, another claiming to have heard an officer shout “shoot him” before Ford was indeed shot 3 times; encompassing noted controversial single shot to his back, found to be at close range evidenced by its distinctive gun muzzle imprint on/in the wound….Unexpected dangers encountered being a cop certainly doesn’t nullify hearing about the unnecessarily lethal outcome of a man, suspected schizophrenic and bipolar, whose mother called police during pre-dawn hours of one morning because his behavior increasingly scared her; when they arrived he began wielding a broom, standard household variety, and confrontation ended with him shot dead. Surpassing what threat Lavall Hall represented waving around a described old red broom with straws against cops carrying guns and perhaps tasers, is police weren’t unfamiliar with Hall, the home or family address; why, Hall was documented mentally ill, had been out of a psychiatric facility barely a week. In fact they had been to her home and escorted him to that mental health facility the week before, him having been properly released from in-patient care which is how he came to be back in his mother’s home. Worse his mother calling them believing, not that her son would be shot, arrested, manhandled, merely taken back to the previous facility, perhaps kept longer this time… Family lawyer’s hope, to see changes regarding how the mentally ill are treated; equally hoping law enforcement there will adopt the FBI’s standard system approaches when confronting, handling emotionally disturbed, mentally ill individuals. Those high on drugs representing a persistent problem for law enforcement, carrying the same unpredictability, penchant for possible public and officer injury, such as the woman who frantically dialed 9-11 driving on a highway in her car because her son was hallucinating, violent, threatening to both self as well as others after taking synthetic marijuana. Strangely 1:48 seconds into physical efforts on the part of officers to control him, restrain him he says ok, I quit; as in I give up, still tased another 4 minutes…. Only after he stopped moving completely did they notice he wasn’t breathing; her son ending up dead at that very scene, simultaneously an officer heard on body cam footage saying dude, I’m fired man, at another point high fiving fellow officers once he’s loaded into an awaiting ambulance. Worrying about your job not the 30 something year old person, who was conscious and physically well when you arrived, if not coherent, who is now not breathing, soon to be pronounced dead; story breaking May 20, 2016. Officers facing no suspensions, hailed to have done the right thing since Chase Sherman, death ruled a homicide by virtue of the number of taser activations and crushing weight compressing his torso, remains an identified perpetrator, not the victim, police officials naming officers and his parents victims of him having taken illegal/unregulated drugs… Overshadowing core issue of drugs doesn’t unravel what police were thinking handling transpired events unfolding in final video here, also surfacing this year, showing Virginia man Linwood Lambert in route to a local hospital for evaluation after responding officers found him in a trashed hotel room hallucinating and acting paranoid… Things go wrong however at the hospital entrance area where he kicks out the police car’s window, begins running to escape police, making it to hospital doors, banging his shoulder into them before being tased repeatedly, falling to the ground, admitting to having done cocaine, asking why they were trying to kill him, complies with instructions to roll over, tells them as he moves he’s trying to roll over, remember he’s handcuffed. But instead of being escorted into the hospital for medical treatment, mental evaluation, given a room/bed in which to come down, sober up (medical version of the city/county drunk tank) they load him back into the car, tase him at least once more, upset he refuses to sit up, despite both hands and feet being bound, in route to the precinct; plan, book him for their car’s vandalism, Lambert having stopped breathing at some point during his ride. Prosecutor calling police actions incompetent and negligent still deciding against filing charges predominately because his cause of death is listed in autopsy documents as acute cocaine intoxication, not noted taser wounds implicating police conduct in his death. Nor did they show intent to commit felony level crimes, misconduct…Chronology of police inexplicable, jaw dropping behavior culminating in footage of a black man lying on pavement, on his back, hands exaggeratedly up in the air announcing he is a behavioral therapist for a group home and the autistic man he is attempting to help, bring back to his care facility is merely holding a toy truck, only to be shot anyway. Even more astounding is why, both why police were called to the scene and why an officer took a shot at the man trying to help his developmentally challenged charge, how doing so got him shot in the hip….Ultimately the officer firing his wounding shot doing so because he thought said autistic man represented a threat to the prostrated man on the ground… shot fired partially due to confusing, conflicting information regarding what was actually happening on the side of that road, in that parking lot; audio revealing one officer thought, the autistic male 23, was loading up his ‘weapon,’ scene chaos and consequences resulting in the scene commander’s expedient firing compounded by fabricating his police report… Mirrored in stories like our next one, police shoot deaf man who leads them on minutes’ long chase to his front door, then as he tries to use ASL (American Sign Language) to communicate is fired upon, killing him; that’s their story and they’re sticking to it in North Carolina where the young father’s family and community want answers. Daniel Harris’ alleged heinous crime, mandating he be shot dead in his own driveway feet from his home, failing to stop, be pulled over for a speeding ticket….Unknown is if officers tried to use a bull horn, turning their lights on and off to get his attention, as opposed to the familiar rotated flashing of those light-bars affixed to hoods on traditional police cars, important considering somewhat common knowledge flashing lights are adapted to phones, doorbells, smoke alarms to alert deaf persons to incoming calls, visitors, and fire providing another way to get his attention. Did the car that pulled over Daniel Harris have a routine bar of lights or was it newer configurations with flashing lights in a different place, similar to where they would be on police motor cycles, built into the headlights of an SUV type vehicle, making them less likely to be seen when you can’t hear. Did they pull up alongside his car, letting him see the lights, uniforms, motion for him to pull over, try to pass him, get in front of him, lights flashing, alerting him maybe cops need to talk to him, are trying to interact with him, before just following him?… By this time you were probably shouting orders for him to put his hands up, get down on the ground, answer your questions; did you not catch minor details e.g. he was dazed, confused, clearly not comprehending what you wanted from him, translating in your mind to he was either drunk or high, which would also explain the speeding. Indicating you should slow down, be patient, cautious yes, but defaulting to your gun, no? Did he at any time point to his ear trying to tell you he either couldn’t hear you, didn’t understand you, perhaps, though he appeared Caucasian, default assumption automatic US citizen, he doesn’t speak English? Educated guess no on every count because it never entered their mind the person driving could be deaf/hearing impaired, that hearing impaired people do drive…Beyond the pallor attached to ideas exposed in the previous paragraph, police now shoot drunk or high people, those they merely suspect of being drunk or high, as they did with Daniel Harris, because they don’t want to deal with them, they are at fault, guilty, underserving of being treated like a human being, let alone a citizen, due to being drunk/high, are worthless drains on society due to their intoxication/addition, forfeit their rights by abusing alcohol, being addicted to drugs. Understanding that’s not how policing should go, officers are not to be judge, jury and executioner, drugs aren’t new, difficulties in handling persons high on an ever changing array of substances isn’t new; what is new is police impatience, defaulting to their guns in handling people obviously impaired, the social narrative resurfacing past ‘the war on drugs’ making that impairment why misdemeanor criminal X is dead during routine interactions with police, graduating to upstanding members of our citizenry…. Nevertheless Chase Sherman and Linwood Lambert are dead because both had a bad drug trip in the presence of law enforcement, also not new occurrences for police to come across; one continued to move trying to escape pain and discomfort from a taser, being cramped in a back floorboard, at one point sobbing. And the other, already observed to be paranoid, got scared, broke a car window and tried to escape into the hospital he was being escorted to, taser deployment making him think you were trying to kill him and he still follows instructions, but gets tasered again because he won’t (can’t) sit up trussed up like Sunday chicken, mainly because you are annoyed, he represents an inconvenience, more paper work you have to file….Drug addicted, influenced and impaired people can be brought in alive, safely to either face trial for use, possession of illegal substances, criminal acts to support a habit, violence, vandalism, property damage committed in an altered state, or better still, receive help; we saw that when the DJ Avicii concert devolved into a bunch of molly hopped up kids too intoxicated to get into the venue who were then taken to Boston hospitals, none died unless it was from chosen drugs, despite one person it took 4 cops to subdue, as little as 2 years ago. Bath salts ‘excited delirium’ cases who were successfully apprehended alive and only suffering effect of the substances ingested do exist; as do K2 users rounded up by the cops, like the 30 odd zombie-like people wondering Brooklyn New York… Pepper spraying an 84 year old grandmother, we can all agree on how over the top that is can’t we; especially when she’s not even the target of police investigation, arrest, when officers kicked in her door, the door to her rightful residence. Try telling that to Oklahoma police, heightened absurdity looking for a man who ran a stop sign, then fled police running into her home. Even if they thought his running a stop sign meant he was a wanted criminal on a much greater crime as opposed to he just didn’t see it, being black knows the reputation of police nationally, locally and doesn’t want to die tonight, even if they though he ran into her home looking to barricade himself, take hostages, which sounds like something out of an action movie, not reality, saw it as a rescue mission for home owner X… Assuming police get it right in the first place which they always don’t; how many times have they gone to the wrong house for a drug raid, bounty hunters looking for a bail jumper accosted the Arizona police chief. In another case police got the wrong house answering a 9-1-1 call about a woman screaming; according to occupants police didn’t announce themselves, shone a light into the couples bedroom window, their dogs were ‘going crazy’, husband grabs gun, goes to open his garage to see what has his dogs upset, thinking potential intruder no doubt, is shot by cops. Or the man who calls 9-1-1 to report an attempted car-jacking, robbery against his wife, grabs his legal pistol to defend her, is shot by police mistaking him for the perp, despite giving a clear description…they didn’t (get it right) in Victoria Texas circa 2014 when an officer pulled over, then tased a 76 year old man for a non-existent expired sticker violation accusing citizen X of getting nasty with him even though citizen X was driving a dealer car exempt from current inspection sticker statutes, realities he tried to point out to the then 23 year old officer fired early 2015, planning appeal. Only to be hired approximately 2 months later by a different police department…Policing doesn’t have to be, shouldn’t be shoot first and ask questions later, nor does it have to be a constant nerve racking set of unknowns once you are on scene…Read More

Schaquana Spears, Shanavia Miller And The Dangerous Precedent Of Non-Punishment For Parental Domestic Violence

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Update, no charges for Schaquana Spears not that there was much hope to start with news anchors recording area prosecutor’s blatantly biased view on what transpired from the very beginning…Child services at least somewhat smarter than Louisiana’s graying prosecutor noting they did see fit to remove the 13 year old placing him with a relative, yet what about her other 5 kids, particular attention given to her 12 year old who had lacerations that broke skin? You’re just going to leave him there, his 10 year old brother too; he escaped with a scratch on his hand this round, what about next time both DA and child services? Isn’t it basic procedure to remove all children when investigating potential abuse; charges not pursued doesn’t mean no evidence of abuse since child services apparently had solid grounds to remove their 13 year old brother, state mounting no objection. Why not relocate with relatives, into foster care, at minimum, the other 2 children she hit, regardless stated reasons why referencing physical evidence? Where are the mandated parenting classes giving this woman more, obviously much needed tools to manage her kids, regular CPS checks ensuring hers remains a safe home for her younger children as they age, community supports to local Boys and Girls Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, places her older children can go while she works and be supervised, engaged, mentored? Maybe someone should beat you with that same RCA cord, based on the decision you made, until you have lacerations on both your arms, linear marks on your legs shoulder, back and stomach, sure to break skin on one of your arms like the 12 year old you sent back there DA Moore, child services caseworker who had this come across your desk, see if it constitutes abuse to you then… But Ms. Spears is just a mother, a mother who should be put up for mother of the year awards not labeled the bad guy, a criminal, all that legal common knowledge going out the window, DA’s choices according to readers, commenters deemed reasonable when cataloging specific facts denoting Spears’ family situation; children’s father not in the picture because he is serving time in prison, her desire to keep them from walking the same path, making the same wrong choices. Media helping that trope right along, doing it again: watering down, sanitizing what Spears did to fit national perceptions of its acceptability; anchor saying she swatted her kids for what they did refusing to see them in jail or dead. Except A- her children aren’t flies, insects you swat away, B- she wasn’t using a flyswatter, her open hand when she hit them, nor were they spanked exclusively on the buttocks with a belt indicative of punishment, steep punishment related to burglary. What she did carries all the markers of learning her kids took something from a lady’s home, herding them to their house and, moment doors were closed, ranting, raving, charging through her house looking for anything to hit them with, locating that infamous RCA cord, later the belt, hitting them indiscriminately wherever she could reach; surprising there weren’t marks on their faces. Schaquana Spears you are “the bad guy” because what you thought discipline crosses the line to abuse; your approach to handling your kids, instilling right from wrong only sets them up to act out more….Concurrently for all we know, upon learning the father was in prison, they miss him, they did this to go see him, they want to stay with him, even in jail because, for whatever reason, they don’t like mom; stupid from our point of but exactly how a child’s mind works. What do we want to bet the other strong, strong likelihood in their house is that every time they didn’t clean their room, fought with their siblings, got in minor trouble at school, did poorly on a test, despite her assertions they were in gifted programs, on honor roll; facts that are perplexingly incongruent with their breaking and entering, adding more suspicions other things are going on here, they got differing variations on ‘do you wanna end up just like your daddy, locked up just like your daddy, in jail/prison like your daddy?’ Every time she saw a personality trait reminding her of their father same scenario, they get lectured at for being who they are, put down for traits they’re still learning to hone through the difficulty of adolescence, hearing that for years. Twice as impactful because it came from mom, reaching their spirit, souls because it’s mom disparaging their dad to their faces, telling them not to be like him in any way, shape or form not just his mistakes, bad decisions; divorced parents advised never to badmouth the children’s non-custodial parent to them, infinitely more important here. Leaving the child’s mindset: well if that’s what mommy thinks I am/where I’ll end up, might as well…Further elaborating on previous paragraph statements her approach to discipline will cause more, not less, acting out; we know, from the same school research, constant harsher punishment, scrutiny, harassment and degrading by school officials throughout every level, creates fear, fear of the minor infraction, translating into running from cops later in life, fearing those same minor infractions, traffic tickets, child support, loose cigarettes. Carrying that over, how high are chances spankings, let’s call them what they are, beatings like the ones documented in police reporting are regular in Spears’ home causing fear of minor infractions, not so minor infractions; child’s mindset being if I’m going to get hit for every tiny thing I do wrong, might as well know what I’m getting hit for, be hit for something I want since it doesn’t seem to matter either way. Assuming she’s right about her children’s academics, this is the first serious thing they’ve done beyond breaking house rules, did something happen to 1, all 3 of them; were they beaten up, molested, wrongly accused of stealing reviving our recurring theme: of, you’re going to accuse me, I might as well do it….We don’t know and neither does Schaquana Spears. Problem neither does she care; not cognizant enough, possessing the wherewithal to conclude anything on that list could be part of the problem… Shanavia Miller another in a long line of social media shaming parents alerting us to just how bad America’s collective parenting is becoming, who think it is perfectly ok to shame, humiliate and abuse their children on the internet, who have zero qualms about making their business public to prove they are a bad ass parent, they got this, show all their friends what happened to their kid when they ‘defy’ mom or dad. Striking, in every one of these is, it’s what you don’t hear or see in the video, references not made to prior conversations on the topic at hand, whether it was fair distribution of chores in relation to laptop shooting dad, recognition of what his daughter does do at home. There’s woefully lacking any indication there will be a rational, instructive conversation on what not to post on social media and key, why, sexuality, safe sex, whether discussing One Direction ticket mom or Miller’s 16 year old daughter’s posting pictures, possible sexual activity, that there will ever be a rational, calm conversation about subjects presented in said YouTube, Facebook films. Instead what we do hear is a series of easily discernable ignorant, uneducated statements you’d be more apt to hear from a 16 year old than her parent, Spears’ 13, 12 and 10 year old boys, not their mother… Instead of primary focus being her daughter, what she’s missing at home causing her to do this, what’s really going on in her head when posting that type of picture, what will be done to mitigate damage caused by it, it’s all about the parent; from almost the very beginning it’s about you wanna embarrass me on TV, on social media, you forget I know motherfuckers proving her concern is not her daughters online reputation, possible solicitation from older men, predators based on what she put up, future ability to get into college, her boss, her school finding out, it’s about her and who she knows, who will think less of her because of what her daughter did… We will do anything but send a message to parents if you do this, it’s abuse for which you will be prosecuted; standard for all extreme and more traditional methods, hot saucing for lying, swearing, ass whopings going a step further and cravenly tacking it up on social media oblivious to you might be called a child abuser, so convinced of their own rightness, shocked they could under basic penal code statutes, stretching back decades, none of the new ‘outlawing spanking nonsense’ wind up in jail. Encouragement to do it but keep it behind closed doors is not only sick, wrong, twisted, it will not protect you from the law if you are guilty of abusing our future not just yours.Read More

Dallas was Wrong But Completely Unsurprising

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Echoing, Baltimore, Ferguson what did you expect; 2 people gunned down savagely by police with badges and you didn’t think there would be a reaction, a response, predictably a violent one, retaliation aimed at officers? commiserating with citizens over their justifiable anger toward police after a grand jury declined to indict the lead officer responsible for the chokehold ultimately killing Eric Garner. Where we had video showing exactly what the officer did: initiating the pile up atop a man trying to walk away, saying please don’t touch me, asking over and over why police were bothering, harassing him, later smiling and waving to present cameras after seeing the man he arrested carted off in an ambulance unresponsive, exactly what Garner did: passively pulling away, growing agitation not violence, his labored statements repeating 11 times I can’t breathe while officers continued to kneel on him, hold him down, press his head and body into the sidewalk. And again no charges; replacing charges, the unmitigated gall of a police union representative trying to insult everyone’s intelligence by calling what one of their own had done a seatbelt maneuver. Going back a short ways again to Ferguson, when bumbling Mayberry-esque law enforcement top brass couldn’t even get their stories straight on why they stopped Michael Brown, was it jaywalking or was it he fit the description of robbery suspects potentially guilty of stealing $4.88 in mini cigars, let alone why a lone officer pelted him with bullets, the last literally blowing off his forehead. Didn’t stop them from releasing an inflammatory video of a person committing a strong armed robbery speculated to be Brown; then seeming genuinely confused regarding why they had people looting everything that wasn’t nailed down… The only reason Michael Slager was charged in the savage, man with a badge, induced death of Walter Scott was because civilian video shows him running away and Slager lying through his teeth about administering CPR, rifling his pockets instead; the only reason the other South Carolina officer, who shot a man in the hip, was removed from his department and charged is because his own dash cam shows the man non-violent, actually following officer instructions to show license and registration. Both arrests the products of public pressure, intense scrutiny and protest to hold police accountable than an inherent understanding what they did was wrong, should never have happened. Video not always working to bring justice, glaringly obvious in the death of Tamir Rice, independent of a patrol car rolling up on him and within quite literally 3 seconds they open fire, despite 12 year old Tamir being alone in that gazebo, only after video came out did they say they told him to put his hands up, drop his ‘gun’ from the car; one guesses because there was no audio and other people in the public park it gave the grand jury reasonable doubt, translation the redundant no indictment… Speeding us toward right now Baton Rouge Louisiana, Alton Sterling suddenly tackled to the ground by police, held down to the ground by 2 officers, one pointing a gun at his chest yelling, using expletives, threating him not to move until the other officer yells gun, 2 distinct pops and Alton Sterling is now expediently dying on the parking lot pavement…A single day later Philando Castile’s deadly traffic stop live streamed on Facebook by his girlfriend as it happened, as Castile groaned in pain and bled out right there while the officer continues to point his gun at her awaiting backup. Why, because the officer mistook Castile for a possible robbery suspect and panicked when he reached for his ID as instructed all while trying to tell the officer he was licensed to carry and had his legal firearm on his person, in his vehicle; Minnesota, like Ohio, home of Tamir Rice, being an open carry state presence of a gun shouldn’t have ended like that. A day after two more black men succumbed to the looming danger of jittery patrol personnel former Army reserve Micah Johnson takes up multiple sniper positions killing 5 police officers present in solidarity with protesters, wounding 7 other police members and 2 civilians in Dallas Texas…. Compartmentalizing for a moment getting serious about the ongoing wars we fight, waged for years, seeing no end in sight and the toll it takes on good people sent to fight them, scars left on them not erased by returning to their home geography, reentering civilian life, lasting effects we don’t have a process for mitigating, treating or have outlandish expectations as to how well it works….are police always so unprepared; by the time we had gotten to the Eric Garner grand jury decision paralleling the death of New York officers Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu police retaliation wasn’t new or unheard of in the wake of video gone viral putting on display police brutality, excessive force adding up to needless civilian death? At the same time the named officers were ambushed in their patrol car L.A. had already seen a cop shot at, Ferguson had already erupted once, would again when Darrin Wilson faced zero incitement and a Florida officer was killed under similar circumstance; far from random, New York and Missouri explained, L.A. a direct response to the released autopsy report of one Ezell Ford developmentally delayed, shot by police, medical examination finding one shot was to his back, at close range leaving powder burns in the wound and inciting the public, nation too focused on Michael Brown to string together the pieces… Further Dallas is a huge metropolitan metropolis housing exponential numbers of tall buildings and it took it happening before you look up and think someone might do this, aptly named skyscrapers make ideal, prefect sniper perches; compounding what can only be called police shortsighted stupidity at our reading juncture, you have Dallas police chief David Brown scrutinizing positions of his dead officers calling the landscape adjacent to the shoot out a fatal funnel meaning their sniper took more time analyzing the area than they did when it came to where they should place officers, precautions they should take in the event of a protest disturbance, actual riot or active shooter situation—huh?.. Why are police always so flummoxed when confronted with criminal work arounds to achieve their goals, not necessarily in the heat of the moment believing there was more than one shooter, but in the immediate post analysis, the mistaken idea no one would ever take up a sniper perch at a protest, there aren’t civilians who possess requisite training to pull off such a plan and the persons who hold aforementioned training are not unstable enough to do so, earnest in their assessment nothing like that would happen during a protest scenario? Every assumption utterly false considering the sheer amount of returning soldiers, and all their problems, coming home in the last decade…. And in light of extensively listed facts and practical realties regarding scenarios various police divisions, law enforcement specialties should be fully aware of, the best thing they could do to disarm, neutralize the threat this guy presented to cops, protesters and citizens below was to, for the first time ever in U.S. policing history, send in a robot armed with a bomb to blow him apart?… Reading up to our current paragraph illustrating it goes beyond black lives matter, really incomparable to all lives, blue lives matter because it isn’t just coming to the understanding black, minority lives are also human lives, not the animals they have long been portrayed as, the understanding black, minority lives are important, more so now with them continually under siege…about correctly identifying, to a reasonable standard, what is a threat and what’s not, what is a deadly threat and what is a more moderate type of threat; it is coming full circle reaching the realization when shown a picture of a black person, seeing a black person walking down the street they are not a thug, they are not a gangbanger, drug dealer, shifty criminal about to commit petty theft, simple assault, because they sag their pants, wear oversized clothes, have necklaces around their necks and name brand sneakers. They are not, if female, a prostitute working the corner based solely on her clothing and location, they did not steal it, i.e. the car they’re getting into, because they have nice things, they aren’t necessarily out of place in that neighborhood because it is upscale and they are black, they are just people going about their business like you do when off duty, during a traffic stop, legitimate questioning by police, even situations as deadly as Dallas, they are not an exaggerated, elevated threat because they are black… Alton Sterling wasn’t a thug, a gangbanger, drug dealer, a hood rat, a hardened, habitual criminal; he was just a guy trying to earn money the only way he could, money intended to support his children not buy drugs, get high, spent on booze. Philando Castile had no criminal record absent a sizable collection of traffic stops and citations, half of those 52 amassed in the maximum 16 years he possibly had a driving license dismissed once reaching court…Philando Castile wasn’t violent, a thug, a gangbanger, miscreant, had a job, as a school cafeteria supervisor where students described him as Mr. Rogers with dreads…Prevailing attitude remains, there’s no need to change police culture regardless of we have a man, a civilian putting out video on how to survive a traffic stop, not departments nationwide who have seen this, unfortunate in their eyes, type of shooting happening with alarming frequency….When Senator Tim Scott, singular black republican, must resort to testifying on the Senate floor about times he has been pulled over throughout his life focusing on the 7 times in one year because police did not believe him to be the elected official he was to get his fellow republicans to comprehend then contemplate the clamors for mandatory and immediate criminal justice reform, reigns put back on our policing…Then over the weekend following one thwarted attempt to kill Baton Rouge police a man succeeded in ambushing, killing 3 cops and wounding at least 3 others; president Obama making clear it can’t be open season on police, there is no justification for targeting police and justice on their behalf will be done. Quick rebuttal being why not Mr. president, it’s been open season on us for years going all the way back to Rodney King…
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This Is Not Parenting Round What Are We Up To Now: Louisiana Mom Arrested After Disciplining Her Kids For Breaking Into A Neighbor’s Home

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

The Baton Rouge mom telling police openly she spanked 2 of her children with an RCA cord and 1 with a belt after a neighbor informed her the 3 had robbed her house, her witnessing them cart belongings from her home. Police report detailing the eldest son “had lacerations to both his arms and linear marks on his leg, shoulder, back and stomach…” The 12-year-old had “lacerations to his left arm that did break his skin,” and the 10-year-old had “a small scratch on his hand.” Comment summing up brilliantly why this woman was formally charged by police for alleged discipline, “Louisiana mom could face felony charges after punishing sons for robbery” What idiot wrote that headline??? She’s not facing felony charges for punishing her sons-she’s facing felony charges for CHILD ABUSE. Her ‘punishment’ consisted of whipping them until they bled. That’s blatant child abuse. This is not about the punishment, it’s about her taking the punishment way, way across the line into physical abuse. So let’s get the damn headline aligned with the facts here, and not write headlines like they’re click-bait stories.” [Sic]… Actions have consequences a favored line when extoling the acceptability of spanking the virtues it allegedly instills, fosters in young people, defending it as cultural tradition, particularly in the south, part of the American fabric like apple pie, the 4th of July Christmas and Mardi-Gras. Easily forgotten actions have consequences also applies to adults; it isn’t largely dismissed when you come of age, when you reach 18, 21, achieve middle age. Your parenting shouldn’t be making headlines but when it does, when your parenting crosses the line, you better be ready to accept those consequences. Consequences exactly what Schaquana Spears experience in both being booked into jail and having her children taken; consequences one final time not for, spanking, attempting to discipline her kids but for the brutal, physically damaging, abusive way she elected to do so…. Understanding one last time the people charged here, convicted here including Spears were charged under long standing statutes pertaining to child abuse not newer rules outlawing spanking; Adrian Peterson avoided jail time with a plea deal and counseling, Demecio Powel’s abusers are in jail. Video, police photos solidifying in the public mindset what too many call discipline is instead abuse. The will of the majority resoundingly saying they want to end barbaric spanking a gateway to child abuse in some cases sexual more than they want the purported benefits, better behaved kids it, evidence in the modern era has yet to materialize, it produces. Read More

No You Can’t Blame the Press For This One It’s The Candidates’ And The Public’s Own Mess

Current Trends by Natasha Sapp

Oh yes when we don’t like something reach for that old go to— blaming the media after all it takes the heat of you and is a convenient story almost anyone can believe, especially cozied up next to its twin bias in the media exhibited by the dueling networks of MSNBC and Fox News, rival print media The New York Times and the Washington Post, missteps at say CBS’ 60 Minutes, hosts still thriving in talk radio pushing one political side alone; a phenomenon that started, hard for some to comprehend, before this election cycle, even before the days when Britney Spears and Lindsay Lohan’s latest shenanigans hit the morning shows, Alek Baldwin was assaulting photographers, LeBron James’ choice of professional basketball team warranted mention on a national news program and Mel Gibson garnered as much of a name for himself as a celebrity fallen from grace prone to drunk driving arrests and racist rants over his extensive acting, directing body of work. And it worked for Ben Carson deflecting questions about the veracity surrounding events in his autobiography, Ted Cruz used it to get through more than one debate boiling serious questions facing Americans regarding the candidates down to the satire of “are you a comic book villain,” Ben Carson can you do math” exc., simultaneously democrat Bernie Sanders told the entire world he was sick and tired of hearing about her (Secretary Hillary Clinton’s) damn e-mails plainly wanting to focus on voters issues…Enter an article posted on Salon.com allegedly exposing 3 big ways the press, reporters of news and information to the people, have failed us this election cycle including a brief history citing other media egregious leanings to one glaringly skewed side of partisan politics, misshaping the truth by sidestepping, omitting whole sections of the situation, subject under discussion, bad, by that meaning incompetent, irresponsible reporting using that other modern stock go to— 9/11 and it’s coverage. Despite clear, fact supported, implicating of Fox News in the staggering percentage of disinformation permeating the American public about U.S. military conflict, vis-à-vis the Iraq war, specifically imaginary links between Saddam Hussein and al-Qaeda, they expand that to all news outlets, print as well as television in discussing the press’ significant let down of voters approaching 2016. Accusations they essentially covered Trump too much…endless election coverage especially on primary and caucus election nights leading to show anchors on CNN, MSNBC counting votes before they’re cast, calling it, election results too early, causing voters, yet to cast their ballots, make their decision on paper to stay home believing the election already over. Finally ignoring real, bona fide news related to the election, voting and how inherently rigged our system is—valiantly exposed by Bernie Sanders, surprise, surprise according to writer, Sophia A. McClennen…No the mainstream media is not responsible for making Donald Trump the republican nominee, unduly helping, never mind creating, any presidential nominee to date…“This time we witnessed a race called before any votes had been cast. On June 5, the Associated Press called the Democratic nomination for Clinton based solely on the interviewing of super delegates, who do not cast their votes until the Democratic Convention on July 25.” Except, though super delegates aren’t ever going to be the whole story, their opinions were simply confirming the blatantly obvious acknowledging Clinton won by an overwhelming margin of pledged delegates (being those assigned to a singular candidate), not merely super delegates alone… Under the subheading ignoring the real news Ms. McClennen meant news pertaining to the election and election outcomes noting subsequently listed items encountered upon continued reading, but again she’s thinking only of the cable news opportunities where they cover this for hours and hours a day; still they have to cover other breaking, up to the minute happenings. Some other needed to be covered topics, events: shootings in a Colorado planned parenthood, San Bernardino’s terror attack, Orlando’s nightclub attack hate crime and terror fueled massacre, Egypt Air flight 804 going missing, weather, tornados, floods, fires ravaging the west, terror attacks in both France and Bustles, the shocking shooting of UK parliament member Jo Cox, the UK’s brit-x vote, to name only a fraction of headline worthy things taking place around the nation, across the globe people would wish to know about, seek information concerning…. These 2 paragraphs up to this very line showcasing an abject failure to understand the primary process, primary, voting rules…And please stop saying there was no follow up on voter suppression stories to favor Hillary over Bernie Sanders who would have won but for voter suppression engineered by the DNC… chief reason we haven’t heard anymore is in both Arizona and New York a decision has been rendered…levance may have been a key player too as it began to matter less in terms of delegate math whether or not Bernie Sanders could have won any massively voter oppressed state mentioned…Remember it wasn’t that Trump supporters hadn’t heard his controversial statements, hadn’t heard a better candidate from either, any party better speaking to their issues and certainly not because of skewed media coverage, it’s that they liked what he had to say and appeared to drastically down play negative implications of his rhetoric and policies even when presented with it; issues not fixed by changing media coverage, format, content. 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