politicians, politics

And now I feel like Pam Ewing after the Dream Season on Dallas…

Pamela Ewing wakes up to a surreal surprise…

Well, we did it. Donald Trump has lost the election and will be moving out of the White House in a couple of months. I’m sure the next couple of months will be pretty crazy, but it’s so nice to see a light at the end of the Trump tunnel. As I was watching the news last night, and hearing the bells that pealed all over Europe (though not in my town), it dawned on me that I have not set foot in the United States since November 2014. And since I have no plans to visit the USA anytime soon, that means I have pretty much “missed” Trump’s presidency.

Oh… I don’t mean that I missed being affected by his leadership. It’s more that I’ve been watching it from afar, in a weird position of being an American thousands of miles away from my homeland as it became more bizarre and dangerous by the day. It saddens me somewhat that the race was so tight and so many Americans were fine with Trump’s hateful rhetoric. But I am delighted that Biden prevailed and that may mean a return to decency. I even sent Bill to buy the bubbly in the photo above when it became clear that Biden was going to win.

I remember in 2016, when Trump won. I felt sick to my stomach that morning. I tried to be brave about it… and I posted this video in my blog post for that day, because Trump reminded me so much of Ming the Merciless.

And I must say, Trump is really not unlike Ming the Merciless…
And now Flash Gordon has finally arrived to save the day.

I consoled myself with this song from Avenue Q, comforted by the idea that everything is only “For Now”… and realized that kvetching about the election was pointless, since there was nothing I could do about it.

So… if you’re unhappy about the results of the election, just remember that everything is only “for now”… That’s what I told myself in 2016.

Donald Trump is only for now… just like Joe Biden will be, once he’s installed in the White House.

Until Trump came along, I mostly didn’t care about politics. I paid little attention to them, even when I had a job tracking healthcare policy. If there is one thing Trump has done, it’s made people much less complacent about politics and politicians. More people got out and voted this year because of Trump. Some voted because they wanted him to go. Some voted because they wanted him to stay. What’s important is that people exercised their rights to choose.

I don’t usually feel elated when we get a new president, as I do today. In fact, don’t usually vote for either of the main candidates, unless the election is particularly important or I’m living in a swing state. This year, I decided I would vote Democrat because it was important to me that Trump left office. I think he’s been a terrible leader and a wretched example of Americans to the rest of the world. I’ve been horrified to watch the hatred and violence from afar.

This Golden Girls storyline worked in the 80s because kids could write to world leaders back then… Imagine a kid writing to Trump!

I kept thinking about how, when I was a child, Ronald Reagan was the president. Kids would write letters to him and he’d answer them. We all knew about his love for Jelly Bellies. He was a Republican, and some of his policies weren’t popular. But– I don’t remember him representing hate and divisiveness the way Trump has. I remember being in school, learning about Reagan and seeing him as someone I could look up to, even though I was a kid and knew nothing about politics.

10 year old Samantha Smith, now sadly deceased, famously wrote a letter to Soviet leader Yuri Andropov, because she was so concerned about the prospect of nuclear war. She went to the USSR and made many friends there, doing so much to foster goodwill and friendship. I can’t see this scenario with Trump.

Samantha Smith spent two weeks in the former USSR, being shown that people in the Soviet Union aren’t that different than Americans are. Her visit in 1983 was groundbreaking, and she became a heroine to people all over the world. Sadly, Samantha died in a plane crash a couple of years after she visited the Soviet Union. I guess nowadays, we have Greta Thunberg… who very wittily trolled Trump by advising him to go see a movie with a friend as he melted down over the election results. Trump had advised her to do the same last December.

Seems kind of tone deaf to talk about the military while standing next to the Easter Bunny…

If I had a child, I wouldn’t encourage him or her to write to Trump. I can’t see Trump caring about answering a letter from a child, the way other presidents have. I remember him talking to children at Easter, remarking about how none of the children had a weight problem as he gave them candy. And the above clip shows him talking about the military and money while the Easter Bunny just stands there, mouth agape. It’s pretty surreal.

I can see Joe Biden enthusiastically answering letters from children. I can see his wife, Dr. Jill Biden, working to get education back on track and improve literacy in the United States. I can see Joe Biden engaging with people of all classes, races, and creeds, and actually caring about them. Will he be perfect? No one ever is… but he’s chosen a dynamic Vice President in Kamala Harris. I have great hope that things will get back to some semblance of normalcy… or at least basic decency. And I feel a lot better today than I did four years ago. The Trump nightmare is about to end at last! Or, at least, for now…

Well, it’s time for breakfast, so I’m off… Enjoy your Sunday!

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politicians, politics, Trump

“Twin bed Jed”… pro-life and pro-gun, and can’t hold a candle to his opponent, the queen…

I had a good laugh this morning as I read an admittedly fluffy news article about state politics in Arkansas. Jed Duggar, aged 21, is running for a Republican seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives. This young man with a cheesy grin and a soul patch, has taken on the Democrat incumbent, Dr. Megan Godfrey, who is 35 years old, a mom, and worked as a schoolteacher before she ran for office.

Jed, who sleeps in a twin bed in the same room as his twin, Jeremiah Duggar, is being slammed for calling Dr. Godfrey a “princess”. Godfrey’s young daughter, obviously astute like her mom, reportedly said “But Mama, you‘re the queen.” Indeed, Megan Godfrey is not only very smart and experienced, but she WAS also homecoming queen at the University of Arkansas. And she had a very witty retort for Twin Bed Jed.

You go, Megan Godfrey! I truly hope she kicks Jed’s ignorant ass.

Jed Duggar, on the other hand, is a graduate of the School of the Dining Room Table and says he wants to “grow jobs”, although he’s never had a job that didn’t involve working for his father. He’s been called out for accepting illegal campaign donations from a guy who lives in Louisiana, and his own dad, our very own Jim Boob, only donated $300 to his campaign, while some of his brothers and brothers in law each donated $500.

Jed never went to college and will never be pregnant, but he thinks he knows what’s best for women and wants to force pregnant women to give birth. He champions denying women the right to have abortions as he encourages people to buy weapons that may put already born people who have an actual concept of life and death at grave risk. Yep, he follows that well-known Republican mantra that the only lives that matter are those of the unborn. As Carlin said of Republicans, “If you’re pre-born, you’re fine. If you’re pre-school, you’re fucked.” Jed is following that observation to a tee. And as a Republican, Jed doesn’t support helping those pregnant women, especially once they’ve given birth.

“I grew up in Springdale all my life”… I don’t think the job is quite done yet, Jed. By the way, his channel has only 44 subscribers! That’s nineteen fewer than I have!

Sadly… the fact that Jed Duggar can’t hold a candle to his political opponent in terms of education, experience, and class is meaningless to a lot of people. He’ll get votes because he’s a young white man who is “pro-life” and “pro-gun”. He’s from a famous fundie family that is on reality TV. He’s somewhat good looking, I guess… the cheesy smile and relation to a notorious sex pest is somewhat of a turn off. But he’ll still get votes.

Many people don’t even care if a political candidate has any real experience. In fact, many people have no idea who or what they are voting for when they hit the booths. At least if you vote absentee, you can look up the candidates before you choose, right? Unless you’re fed up with Republicans and just vote straight blue, like I did. It isn’t the wisest strategy, since there are presumably decent people who are Republicans… but right now, I am super pissed off at the Republican Party for giving us Donald Trump and his ilk and voting blue is the only way I can make my point… besides writing another pointless blog post.

Moving on…

Something kind of funny happened yesterday. Thanks to the sudden rise of COVID-19 cases in Germany, Bill has decided to do his part to help stem the tide by working at home yesterday and today. At around lunchtime, I went down to the dining room and was looking at Facebook. A woman was asking about living in Stuttgart and taking care of the dog she was bringing. Since Bill and I spent six years living near Stuttgart, I responded to her.

I said, “I just advised a woman to…”

And Bill cut in with, “Fuck off?”

I had a good laugh. Obviously, it’s time I cleaned up my language! We’ve been married awhile, too, so he knows me well. But no, this time I didn’t use the f-word. I told the woman she should join Stuttgart Friends, which is a local Facebook group that has a lot of information for newcomers. It didn’t exist when we lived down there the first time (I actually joined Facebook when we lived in Germany the first time), and was the source of much irritation for me when we were in Stuttgart the second time. But it is a good place to learn about moving to Germany, and it’s also a good group to leave once you get the hang of things.

I do enjoy having Bill at home during the day. I’m glad we still get along so well, especially since our anniversary is coming up.

And… in fairness to Bill, I DID just tell one of his ex friends to go fuck himself. So I guess it makes sense that he thought I’d tell some random lady on social media to fuck off. But this time, I swear, I’m innocent!

As for Trump and the presidential debate… I missed it. I wouldn’t have watched it even if I had been in America and not sleeping while it was going on. It doesn’t matter what either of them say because I’ve already voted. If it weren’t so glaringly obvious to me that Trump needs to be ousted, I might have tuned in. But, in my mind, Trump’s time in the White House has been about four years of sheer embarrassment and foolishness, and I truly fear for the future if he wins again. The man is becoming more and more unhinged as the days pass and his followers are becoming more emboldened and entrenched in fascism.

I know not everyone agrees with me, but I think anyone who still supports Trump is some combination of crazy, stupid, and selfish. Sadly… there are many people like that in America who will keep voting for him and his ilk, so I’m steeling myself for what happens in November. But, at least Bill and I will celebrate another anniversary! Hopefully, I won’t tell anyone else to go fuck themselves.

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politicians, politics, true crime

Terrorism isn’t the answer.

This morning over breakfast, I read yet another news story about someone who is in trouble with the law for cyberstalking a public official. A 40 year old man from Virginia took it upon himself to threaten Tulsa, Oklahoma Mayor George T. Bynum. The Virginia man, name of Adam Maxwell Donn, sent dozens of menacing emails and made as many abusive phone calls to the mayor, warning him to cancel Donald Trump’s rally last June.

Donn implied to Mayor Bynum that harm would come to him and his family if he didn’t put a stop to the event. He also threatened to publish the official’s home address, cellphone numbers, and computer passwords. According to The New York Times:

“You are putting everyone in Tulsa at risk so Im gonna put your family at risk,” Mr. Donn wrote in one email, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Tulsa. “Maybe show up to meet at your next bible study??”

The threats began on June 11th and police were summoned June 18th. In most of the emails Donn sent, there were vulgarities and insults. Donn wrote that he hoped Bynum and his family were infected with the coronavirus. The family eventually moved to a different location because they were so rattled by Donn’s continued harassment.

Trump’s planned rally event, held on June 20th, went on as scheduled. Most of the attendees dispensed with wearing face masks. We all know how that turned out for the unlucky among them who got COVID-19.

By now, a lot of people have already read about how six men in Michigan and Wisconsin, angry with Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to shut down businesses due to COVID-19, plotted to kidnap her, try her, and leave her alone in a both in the middle of Lake Michigan. There was also discussion about kidnapping Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Ralph Northam, who has similarly pissed off people over COVID-19 restrictions.

Just yesterday, a man in Maryland was arrested for plotting to kidnap and kill Joe Biden and his running mate, Kamala Harris. 42 year old James Dale Reed decided to leave a threatening note at a home in Frederick, Maryland which had many Biden signs in the front yard. Fortunately, the homeowners had a doorbell camera and managed to get a picture of the unhinged man, who now faces up to five years in prison for threatening a major political candidate. Reed’s note read, in part:

“We are the ones with these scary guns, we are the ones your children have nightmares about,”

And finally, a woman in Wichita, Kansas was arrested for threatening Wichita’s Democratic Mayor Brandon Whipple with kidnapping and murder. Meredith Dowty, aged 59, sent the mayor a descriptive and detailed note vowing to locate him, slit his throat, hang him and turn him into fertilizer.

Although I’m sure that threats against politicians aren’t anything new, especially during election years that involve changing the presidency, they seem to be a lot more widespread this year. People are decidedly unhinged. There are a lot of reasons for people to be on edge. We have a global pandemic that has been poorly handled, resulting in many thousands of deaths and even more people who are sick and may stay sick for a long time. We have a lot of people who are hungry and unemployed, and a president who doesn’t seem too concerned about them. At the same time, a group of people are fretting about the idea of a new president, who will roll do his best to roll back the changes brought forth by Trump.

I know a lot of people like Trump, for whatever reason. I’ve found that a lot of the people who like Trump the most are folks who can’t stand the idea of more taxation and what they see as “government overreach”. A lot of them are people who don’t travel. They don’t see a need to visit other places and see how other countries work. They believe the United States is as good as it gets. To them, that is reality, and Joe Biden represents changing something they think is the best. They ignore Donald Trump’s obvious shortcomings because they see him as the best way to change the country to what they think it should be, even if cheating, threatening, and outright sabotage is unfair and unAmerican.

While I personally believe that travel is the best way to erase prejudice and expand one’s perspective, I get that not everyone likes traveling. That’s fine. What isn’t fine is threatening to harm or kill people who are running for office because you think they’re a threat to your way of life. I understand the frustration that comes with the power public officials have. But is the satisfaction of threatening them really worth going to prison? Because those threats are going to be very difficult to carry out, especially when they are made against people like Donald Trump or Joe Biden.

2020 has definitely been a strange and somewhat horrible year. It hasn’t been entirely horrible for me, personally– but a lot of it has really sucked for many people. People are pissed off, fed up, and some are just plain mentally ill and have no way of getting any help or finding hope. So they lash out in extreme ways. I’m sure some of the people who have been arrested are not entirely bad people. They probably think, on some level, that making these threats are reasonable and even heroic. They might believe that stopping “evil” leaders from ruining the country is worth the risk of losing their freedom.

While I’m not at the point of desperation myself, I can empathize somewhat with how some people might be feeling right now. There have been times in my life when I’ve been broke and scared. I’ve been frustrated and felt like I’ve had no options. I’ve never gotten to the point of sending threatening letters to anyone, but I’ve definitely had fantasies. I think a lot of people have. But ultimately, I’ve always concluded that no person was worth going to prison. Besides, I am not a violent person. I’m just cranky.

I’ve heard from my friends and a few family members in the United States who tell me I’m lucky to be in Germany. I have to agree with that. It’s been great to be spared the political shitstorm that always spins this time of year and hits a fever pitch when the race includes new candidates for president. I’m sure it’s way worse this year than it’s ever been. I just think it’s a shame that people are sinking to threats, intimidation (vote for a certain candidate or you might lose your job), and outright efforts to cheat (burning collection boxes for votes). Those measures will not amount to anything good.

I think we should try to have more faith… I know it’s hard, given what happened the last time America voted for a new president. But taking matters into your own hands won’t work and may even land you behind bars. Take a deep breath and go do something that isn’t illegal. If you have to write a note, write one you’ll never send. Then burn it or delete it or otherwise destroy it. Terrorizing people isn’t the answer.

Unfortunately, I think that no matter who wins in November, things will probably get worse before they’re better. I have to admit, sometimes I think my cousin’s spouse, Dustin, was the lucky one getting to “peace out” a few days ago rather than continue to endure the weird dystopian times we’re in right now.

On the bright side, thanks to The New York Times, I just discovered jazz pianist, Keith Jarrett… but sadly, I discovered him because of an article about how he can’t play piano anymore due to recently suffering two strokes that have left him partially paralyzed on his left side. He can now only play piano with his right hand. His left hand can barely hold a cup of water. Sigh… well, at least I can listen to his older recordings, even if his days of making new music are probably over. That brings me a little bit of joy.

If you like jazz and don’t know Keith Jarrett, I recommend checking him out. He’s inspired me on many levels this morning… and in ways that are more positive and hopeful than sending threats to public figures. Lots of videos are on YouTube.

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condescending twatbags, politicians, politics

Fun with trolling men who have “correctile dysfunction”…

I don’t often troll people online. I think it’s disrespectful to screw with people, even strangers who ask for it. However, sometimes I do get a bug up my ass… or a bee in my bonnet. And I must admit there are times when fucking with the stupid among us is a lot of fun.

Yesterday, I was reading The Washington Post and ventured into the Facebook comments section. There, I ran across a man named Justin who referred to Kamala Harris as “kameltoe”. Below is the comment that caught my attention and provoked a response.

The mental illness joe biden has, will prevent him from being president and We will reject kameltoe like a bad glass of milk.

So I wrote this:

Don’t be a misogynist, Justin. It doesn’t suit you.

This isn’t a really mean comment. I figure Justin must be really scared, though. If you have to refer to the future vice president as “kameltoe” instead of explaining rationally why you don’t think she’s a good fit for the office, I figure you’ve got nothing. Moreover, he clearly doesn’t think women belong in leadership positions. He probably mansplains a lot.

Justin didn’t like my response. So he wrote this:

…neither does a pedophile dementia case for a president. Trump2020. You will see and I’ll make sure i remind you I said that in a few weeks.

Hmmm… Justin must be scared. He’s clinging to that bullshit Wayfair conspiracy theory like it’s Linus’s blanket.

Then he continued with this… not even two minutes after his last comment:

 I mean Nancy is already using the 25th to remove him. Geez 30+ nominees and down to creepy Joe, now Nancy wants to replace him with kamala who is a complete political failure. Your party has killed itself.

I must admit, I didn’t bother to read his comments as he was posting them. In fact, I am just now actually reading what Justin wrote. I was drinking wine and feeling sassy, so I just kept egging him on. This type of person can’t stand it when a woman backtalks him. There’s no point in actually addressing their non-sensical posts, either. And… he makes an assumption that I am a Democrat. I’m actually not registered with any party affiliation. I just decided to vote all blue this year because the Republican Party deserves it. So I responded thusly:

You really are drinking the KKKool-Aid, aren’t you? Poor baby.  😞

This is neither an original or particularly clever comment. I mainly posted it because, in my experience, Trumpers can’t stand it when you call them racist, even if they obviously are. I don’t actually know how Justin feels about people of color, but he made it quite obvious that he disdains Kamala Harris, who is a very bright, capable, black woman who could mop the floor with his feeble minded retorts. In any case, anyone who supports Trump obviously doesn’t mind racism, classism, or sexism. Justin bit on the KKK comment with this:

joe biden has direct ties to the KKK. He even read a eulogy at a klansmans funeral. There are dozens of photos of joe surrounded by KKK klansmen. Keep trying silly woman.

Really Justin? I don’t believe you, with your “correctile dysfunction”. So I wrote this:

Personal attacks… what a weak argument. Why not just see who wins?

Seriously. What good does namecalling do? Does Justin really think that being insulting is going to change my mind? He comes off as scared and desperate, and more than a little bit pathetic. Poor baby, indeed! But he still thinks Trump is a winner… and he can’t walk away gracefully.

we will, and I’ll remind you I knew that outcome already.

What if he doesn’t, Justin? What if Trump loses by a landslide? What will you do then, little boy? I was getting tired of chatting with Justin, so I decided to shock him. I wrote this:

Keep on commenting. It makes me wet.

Crickets! How do you respond when a woman you’re arguing with says something like that? Twenty minutes later, I wrote this:

Funny… I guess the prospect of making me wet was too much for the guy who referred to our future VP as “kameltoe”… I guess I don’t know my own strength.  😉

I decided to look up my new friend. It appears that he lives in Texas, is eight years younger than I am, and graduated high school. He really admires Donald Trump. He doesn’t seem to realize that Trump wouldn’t give him the time of day. Trump would think he was “disgusting”. In any case, here are some choice screenshots from Justin’s page. He’s not exactly a mental giant.

Anyway… I did think it was funny that telling Justin he was turning me on was enough to get him to fuck off. I don’t know what he’s doing reading the comments on a Washington Post article. He clearly isn’t a thinker. He hasn’t read this, from The New York Times

Several people who have dealt extensively with Mr. Trump have suggested that he takes a dubious, even disdainful view of his most loyal followers. He takes them for granted because he knows they would forgive him for anything: “I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose any voters.”

“The people Trump despises most love him the most,” said Howard Stern, who hosted Mr. Trump on-air for years, in May. His voters, Mr. Stern said, are people he would not want in his hotels. “He’d be disgusted by them,” he said. “Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.”

Special thanks to the cartoonist, whose name I can’t read…

Yeah, that means you, Justin. Your hero thinks you are disgusting. So do I. Nothing about you makes me “wet”. I just enjoy messing with people like you.

Now… Donald Trump might very well win re-election. But if he does, you can count on him being impeached again. And honestly, people who continue to champion Trump will get the leader they deserve, although unfortunately, it will be at the rest of our expenses. I hope and pray enough people in the United States have wised up since 2016. I truly get being Republican, but we need someone competent and caring in charge. Almost anyone would be better than Trump is.

But… I must admit, it’s kind of fun watching Trump melt down every day, just as his ardent followers are. His ego can’t take the prospect of losing… and if he does lose, he may very well end up in a place he really doesn’t want to be. Either way, November 4th will be a hell of a day. Either way, it’s going to be rough going. I hope Justin is prepared.

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healthcare, politicians, politics

If this story is true, we’re getting even closer to Nazi territory.

This morning, I read a very disturbing article about Irwin County Detention Center, a privately run ICE facility in the U.S. state of Georgia. The center, run by LaSalle Corrections and located in Ocilla, is about 200 miles of Atlanta. It’s in the news because of whistleblower Dawn Wooten, a licensed practical nurse who worked in the detention facility and observed some horrifying conditions.

Wooten alleges that staff members at the ICE facility are not taking proper precautions against preventing the spread of COVID-19. She claims that cases are being underreported; detainees are not getting proper medical care, nor are they being tested; and, most shocking to me, women are having unwarranted hysterectomies without proper consent. Wooten claims that some women have seen a gynecologist for somewhat minor conditions like heavy menstrual periods, and the physician has been “treating” them by removing their uteri or ovaries.

In a letter she sent to the Inspector General Office at the Department of Homeland Security, Wooten claims that she was asked to triage a man with COVID-19, even though she did not even have a face mask for protection. She also says that warden David Paulk told a staff member not to let anyone know that the man with COVID-19 had tested positive because he “didn’t want people to panic” (where have we heard THAT before)? Wooten reports that nurses were claiming to have seen patients who complained of COVID-19 symptoms when they hadn’t, and that she had actually seen nurses shredding a box of detainee complaints without even looking at them. Two $14,000 rapid testing COVID-19 machines were purchased by ICE for the facility, but Wooten says she only saw them used once. No one was trained to use them.

When Wooten complained to the powers that be at the facility, she lost her full-time position and was demoted to an “on call” job, for which she was only offered a few hours of work per week. Wooten, who suffers from sickle cell anemia and is at an elevated risk for COVID-19 was deliberately exposed to patients who had the virus. Management at Irwin neglected to tell her that detainees she had contact with were symptomatic and, in three cases, had tested positive for COVID-19.

Wooten’s claims were corroborated by other medical staff at Irwin who did not want to be identified because they fear reprisals. It was also verified by people who are currently or had recently been detained at the center. As of Sunday, 42 people at the facility had tested positive for COVID-19, but no precautions were being taken to try to stop the spread of the disease.

Because the first article I saw about this was from Yahoo!, I started checking to see if more reputable sources were sharing this story. Sure enough, I found articles in the Washington Post and the Guardian, as well as the Atlanta Journal Constitution. The emphasis in the other papers seemed to be less focused on the mass hysterectomies.

It’s horrible enough that people are locked up in a prison with no way to protect themselves against a deadly virus that spreads through the air. But what got me to read about what’s happening at the center was a news article from Yahoo! that a friend shared. The headline for that piece was about the forced hysterectomies, rather than COVID-19. That, to me, just screams human rights violation– akin to the horrors of the Holocaust and awful eugenics policies that were carried out in another, somewhat recent, era in the United States. Have we learned NOTHING from our past?

The “doctor” who allegedly did these hysterectomies, along with removing the wrong ovary from one of his patients, rendering her sterile, has not yet been named. I would be interested in hearing his explanation as to why he’s doing these operations, especially since the women are apparently not being informed of the purpose of doing them or the risks. While it would be easy for me to conclude that he’s doing these procedures to prevent the women from having “anchor babies” (and he probably is), I would love to hear that there’s a reasonable explanation. The doctor who is performing the hysterectomies is being referred to as a “uterus collector”. To me, this practice conjures up an image not unlike veterinarians who desex animals and release them to the streets so they are rendered unable to breed. Maybe that makes sense when the subject is feral cats. It does not make sense when human beings are involved. Again… it reminds me of the dreadful eugenics programs that ran in my home state of Virginia as recently as the 1970s.

I doubt I will ever hear a reasonable explanation for the gynecologist’s practice of doing the mass hysterectomies. I’ll bet he’d say he’s somehow doing those women a “favor”– or, at least he’s doing the United States a favor by not allowing them to have babies that would be U.S. citizens. It seems to me that ever since Donald Trump took office, people who hate others based on their skin color or country of origin are incredibly emboldened to carry out barbaric acts motivated by their ignorance and hatred. These racists don’t see immigrants or migrants as fellow human beings. Instead, it’s more like they see them as akin to vermin who need to be exterminated, or at least no longer able to “breed”, a positively disgusting and horrifying mindset.

My heart goes out to the women who have permanently been rendered sterile because they had the grave misfortune of landing in the detention center in Georgia. Even if they are locked up for justifiable cause– not just because they were born in the wrong place and rounded up by ICE– there is no excuse for the cruelty that has been alleged by Dawn Wooten. I am also very sorry for everyone else who is incarcerated in that facility, completely helpless to protect themselves against what could be for many of them, a deadly virus and a potential death sentence. They must be terrified.

I think a lot of us are terrified right now. Yesterday, Forbes.com ran a story about Donald Trump saying that he will “negotiate a third term, because he’s entitled to it.” Clearly, Trump has not read the Constitution, but many of his supporters harp about that sacred paper whenever they justify voting for him. Their fervor seems to be mostly about their right to bear arms, which is, indeed, the Second Amendment. The rest of the Constitution apparently matters much less to them, as well as the humane and freedom loving image that Americans have always tried to disseminate, at least for as long as I’ve been living.

Four years ago, I might have laughed off Trump’s comments about a potential third term, which I hope will be rendered moot when he’s soundly defeated in November. But now that I’ve seen how much he admires dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim Jong Un, I find it terrifying that Trump is in office NOW, and that people are still championing him. Many of the people championing him are folks that I love and respect, but I feel very certain that they are going to be on the wrong side of history. They don’t seem to understand that Trump is not just a political joke. He’s done some real damage that will take many years to undo… and that’s if COVID-19 or the many natural disasters we’re facing don’t wipe out civilization. I worry that when the inevitable end of his tenancy in the White House comes, there will be actual bloodshed.

Anyway… I remember the days when I truly believed that the United States was the “best” country in the world. I don’t believe that anymore. In fact, I find myself feeling more and more empathy for refugees who feel forced to flee their homelands. I know my situation is not nearly as dire as theirs is, at least right now, but I do feel like I have an inkling. I really don’t think that fearing another four years of Trump is an overreaction. To me, it looks like he’s destroying the country and maybe even parts of the world. I can only hope that one of those Big Macs he’s always shoveling in his big maw causes him to have a massive stroke… preferably on live TV. But aside from that, I fear that there are worse people than Trump waiting in the wings, ready to pick up where he will inevitably leave off… whether by defeat, death, being being forcibly dragged out of the White House by a coup.

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