In February of this year, I finally got around to reading about Lori and Chad Daybell, when I reviewed John Glatt’s 2022, The Doomsday Mother: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and the End of an American Family. For a long time, I had purposely avoided reading about this horrific murder case, because it was just one of those stories that had the potential to give me nightmares. But I finally got around to reading the whole, comprehensive story about Lori Vallow, who was born Lori Cox. She’s a woman who has had many husbands, all of whom have eventually ended up alienated. More than a couple of them are now dead. In fact, many people with dealings with Lori and Chad Daybell have died, either due to medical conditions, or foul play.
Lori Vallow Daybell’s daughter, Tylee, was one of the two children who were allegedly murdered by Lori’s current husband, Chad Daybell, and buried in a pet cemetary on Chad’s property. The other murdered child was Lori’s adopted son, J.J., who was her ex husband, Charles Vallow’s, grandnephew. Charles Vallow was killed by Lori’s brother, Alex Cox, who shot him twice in the chest. Chad’s first wife, Tammy, was poisoned until she died. As I mentioned… a whole lot of people who have had dealings with Lori and her associates are now dead or suffering.
Even a woman who had taken part in a 2007 radio contest run by Alex Cox, who had been a morning disc jockey at the time, wound up dead because she “held her wee for a Wii” and became afflicted with water intoxication. Alex Cox is now himself dead, having died of natural causes just a couple of weeks after getting married. His alleged crimes against Charles Vallow were still being investigated when he perished. There was some speculation that Alex may have also been involved with the murders of Tylee and J.J.
It seems like most everything that has been touched by Lori Daybell has turned into tragedy. That includes her one living child, Colby, who was born to Lori and her second husband, William Lagioia. As was Lori’s habit, she alienated Colby from Lagioia, then got her third husband, Joe Ryan (father of Tylee) to adopt him. Ryan, of course, was later alienated from his biological daughter Tylee, when he and Lori split. After surviving an attempt Alex Cox made on his life, Joe died alone of heart disease. Of course, if there is such a thing as an afterlife, perhaps Joe Ryan and his daughter have reconciled in the great beyond… Who knows?
This morning I read that 26 year old Colby Ryan is now in jail in Arizona, having been arrested for sex crimes. According to county public records, this past weekend, Ryan was booked into Maricopa County Jail on two counts of domestic violence sexual assault.
The woman who complained to the police about Colby Ryan’s alleged sexual deviances, explained that he had visited her last week, two days before she went to the police. They had watched television, and Colby had apparently decided he wanted to have sexual intercourse. The victim tried to rebuff him, but Colby was determined, even after she clearly said “no”. She claims he forced her to have sex with him. After the assault, the woman locked herself in her bedroom, and Colby slept on her couch.
The next day, the victim secretly recorded a conversation she’d had with Colby Ryan. In it, he admits that he raped her. She later sought medical attention and a nurse completed a rape exam kit. The victim’s clothing was tested for DNA. On Saturday evening, police arrested Ryan, who allegedly admitted several times that he had sexually assaulted the woman after she had said “no” to his advances more than once.
Colby Ryan is expected to appear in court next week. He’s now in jail on a $10,000 cash bond. Given that most of his immediate family is either dead or incarcerated, my guess is that he’s going to be sitting in jail for awhile.
I’m not sorry to hear that Colby Ryan in in jail for what he allegedly did. The woman did all the right things, particularly in seeking medical attention promptly and reporting the crime to the police. Clearly, if what she’s said about Colby’s behavior is accurate, he belongs in jail. Rape is a felony, and it’s important that rapists are held accountable. The judge did tell Colby Ryan that if he is released, he will have to wear an electric monitor.
On the other hand, it does make me kind of sad to read that another member of Lori’s family is going down a dark road. I know some families have their share of tragedies, and clearly Lori’s has, even though most of the tragedies have been caused by her incredibly selfish and criminal behaviors. I do think Lori Vallow Daybell is mentally ill, but I also think she’s a criminal. And unfortunately, sometimes criminals share their proclivities with people who are close to them, either through genetics, or by setting a very poor example. I don’t know why Colby Ryan did what he did. It does sound like he had some remorse. However, he still has to be punished.
I feel sorry for all of the children who were raised by Lori, even Chad, who was the only one to survive, but has apparently turned into a criminal himself. His start in life was racked with instability, to include being alienated from his biological father, adopted by his stepfather, and then alienated from him, too, as his mother moved on to Charles Vallow. Chad has lost so much in his 26 years– his bio dad, his stepdad, his sister and adopted brother, and another stepdad, are all dead. His mother and current stepdad are now sitting behind bars. And now Chad is behind bars, and will likely do some time in prison.
I’ll probably keep an eye on this case, even though the whole Lori Vallow Daybell drama gives me the creeps. Talk about a fucked up family…
A few days ago, The Washington Post shared an article about two cops in Montgomery County, Maryland, who have just been part of a lawsuit stemming from their actions on January 14, 2020. A five year old boy at East Silver Spring Elementary School had a meltdown shortly after lunch. He became upset and threw a clipboard at a teacher and a fellow student. Then he ran out of the classroom, outside of the school, and toward a congested section of Silver Spring, Maryland. Having been to Silver Spring myself, I know that this is basically a suburb of Washington, DC, and there’s a lot of traffic.
School officials called the police, and officers Kevin Christmon and Dionne Holliday arrived on the scene. They quickly located the boy, who was hiding nearby. At first, the cops were pleasant toward the boy, but when he refused to cooperate with him, the police officers became very controlling and, many would say, abusive. Christmon’s voice turns stern as he demands that the boy look at him, then asks why he’s out of school. When the boy doesn’t willingly emerge from his hiding spot, Christmon grabs him by the arm and yanks him toward the other officer. The boy starts screaming “No, no, no, no…” as the police order him into the back of their squad car. By that point, an assistant principal had arrived, and managed to get the boy to calm down enough to get into the car.
Bodycam footage was released on Friday, hence the news article I read. I watched the raw footage, and I was pretty shocked by the way those “peace officers” were berating that child. According to the Washington Post, the following exchange occurred:
“I don’t wanna to go,” [the boy] said, his voice shaking and coughing.
“I don’t care!” the officer replied. “You don’t make that decision for yourself!”
Holliday spoke to the child through an open door. “Does your momma spank you?” she asked, adding, “I’m going to ask her if I can do it.”
Naturally, the harsh words and threats served to upset the boy even more. He screamed and cried. The officers described his behavior as “headstrong” and “defiant”. Christmon said that he felt his actions were justified, because the boy was being “non-compliant.” Holliday said that she threatened him to “get him to shut up.” Both officers screamed at the boy, trying to overpower his screams with their voices. At one point, Holliday “primal screams” a couple of inches from the boy’s face, which only served to cause him to scream louder.
At one point, Officer Christman holds the boy down in the chair for 80 seconds. Later, Christmon puts a handcuff on the boy’s wrist and tells him that handcuffs are what people who don’t want to listen end up wearing. The cops call the boy’s mother, who later comes to the school and complains that she has trouble disciplining the child. She says she fears using corporal punishment, because she doesn’t want child protection services to take him away. Officer Holliday then advises the boy’s mother on the level of corporal punishment that will not result in his being removed from her custody. She tells the mom, “We want you to beat him… All I can tell you is to beat that ass.” At one point, Holliday also made a comment about how “animals should be crated”, adding that that’s what should happen to boys who want to “act like a little beast.” And she referred to the child as “a shepherd for the devil.”
I wasn’t originally planning to write about this case, as I’ve found that a lot of times, people involved in these situations go looking for opinions and then get angry or upset when they disagree with mine. Regular readers might recall that I recently disabled my official Facebook page for this blog because someone contacted me through Facebook with abuse, threats, and insults because they didn’t like an old blog entry I reposted. I have a feeling that this case could inspire similar attempts to berate me, simply for having and sharing an opinion.
However… against my better judgment, I’m going to write about this. My heart broke for that poor kid, even as I have empathy for the adults who were trying to deal with him. I was never as out of control as that boy was, but I do remember being very small and emotionally immature, crying and screaming, and being threatened, bullied, and hit by some of the adults in my life– particularly, my father. I don’t remember anyone ever speaking to me calmly and trying to redirect the tantrum– which is a pretty normal thing for kids to have, by the way. I remember hyperventilating and being terrified. And when I saw and heard that boy’s screams, it took me back to that place, many years in the past.
Not surprisingly, the boy in this story had nightmares in the wee hours of the next morning. He woke up at 3:00am and cried to his mother, saying that he was afraid the police were going to shoot him. The mother filed a complaint with the police department and later sued. Her suit was settled out of court for $275,000, which according to Dr. Todd Grande, who also analyzed this case, the boy will get when he’s an adult.
Dr. Grande notes that the police, who are trained to “take control” of a crime situation, lost control in dealing with this child. Cops, as I have observed from watching many Bodycam videos on YouTube, are used to being able to get as physical as they need to with non-compliant adults. But this is a five year old child, so obviously, it would not have been appropriate for them to wrestle him to the ground, put him in handcuffs, and Taser the shit out of him. Instead, they tried to act like “stern adults” and browbeat the child into submission with screaming, yelling, threats, and insults. But, as we can all see, that technique only made things a lot worse.
Christmon later said, having watched the video footage, “Honestly, after looking at this, we should have dropped him off and left,”
I agree. Because it’s clear that these two officers don’t have much expertise in talking to children, and their methods were abusive and inappropriate for a young child. I believe that, even though I have worked with children myself, and I know that dealing with them can be frustrating. Kids don’t have the same situational awareness that adults have, and they often lack self-control. This child, who apparently has a record of acting out in school and at home, needed someone with more experience dealing with troubled children. From what I saw in the video footage, it appeared that the cops weren’t behaving much better than the boy was. However, the boy has his age and maturity level as an excuse.
The two officers did face discipline for the way they handled this case. Officer Christmon was suspended for almost two weeks. Officer Holliday got four weeks’ suspension. Both suspensions occurred without pay. The officers were also administratively charged with a number of infractions, including neglect of duty and failure to be courteous. The police officers agreed with the punishments, did their penance, and the matter was closed. Both remain employed as police officers today.
Many people seemed to think that these two cops should be fired for their bad conduct, especially since it’s cost the county $275,000. I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. It does sound to me like the officers recognize that they did wrong, and handled the situation poorly. They seem amenable to learning from the incident and doing a better job in the future. I’m not a big fan of canceling people’s livelihoods for one mistake, even when it’s a whopper like this one. In this case, the boy suffered significant mental distress that he’ll probably remember from now on. But no one was physically injured or killed, and it does sound like some learning happened.
I am not a fan of “beating children”, as most of my regular readers probably know. I had a teacher in the 80s who employed corporal punishment. He once carried it out on me, in front of my entire class of peers. Forty plus years later, I still haven’t forgotten it, and it still really pisses me off to think about it. That punishment was inappropriate. I also had a father whose methods of discipline involved force, yelling, insults, and physical abuse. He’s been dead for eight years, and I still have bad feelings toward him. That kind of “discipline” doesn’t teach anything but fear, and tends to make things much worse. Sadly, some school districts in the United States still use corporal punishment. At this writing, 19 states still allow corporal punishment in schools, although happily, my home state of Virginia no longer does. The state of Missouri has just now brought the method back to schools, reportedly at the request of some parents.
I understand that inflicting physical pain on someone who is out of control with emotion can sometimes “shock” them into compliance, especially when they are young children. However, in my experience, relying on that method of discipline leads to laziness on the part of the adult, and is ultimately disrespectful to the child, who is a human being and worthy of basic respect. We would never advocate for a husband slapping or spanking his wife when he became angry with or frustrated by her behavior. Many people would consider that “domestic violence.” And yet, a lot of people think it’s perfectly fine for a much larger human being to terrorize a child with threats of being hit or beaten, personal insults and comparisons to animals, and screaming and yelling. I promise, yelling and screaming at children doesn’t tend to inspire them to calm down and be quiet.
Police officers have a very difficult job, dealing with dangerous people who carry weapons. This was a case of a small child, obviously unarmed, and clearly much smaller and weaker than the cops were. The level of control the officers tried to inflict on the child was inappropriate, and clearly, very abusive. The boy wasn’t a threat to them. He was simply having a tantrum, which young kids often do. It seems to me the appropriate thing for the cops to do in this case was simply to see that the boy got back to school safely. And then, they should have allowed a professional who has much more experience working with children handle the boy’s meltdown. I don’t know if either of these cops have children, but their conduct offers a glimpse at how their children could be disciplined. It’s disturbing that one of the officers advocated for “beating” the child, even if she meant it in the vernacular. It’s really not a good look.
There’s been a lot of news lately… and so much I could tackle on this blog. It probably comes as no surprise that I am delighted that Donald Trump’s home has been invaded by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, otherwise known as the FBI. It’s about time that Trump got a reminder that he’s not above the law, and there is no doubt in my mind that Trump has done a lot of illegal things. Things, I might add, that he once accused Hillary Clinton of doing. I read Trump’s whiny lament about how his “beautiful home” was under siege by the FBI, who were looking for documents that he allegedly absconded with from the White House.
There were photos that surfaced with pictures of toilets with torn up pieces of paper in them. Trump, it was said, has had a habit of flushing papers down toilets, causing the plumbing to back up. My guess is that he does it because the papers have some shit on them that can land him in legal hot water. What better place for shit than a toilet? In any case, the FBI was looking for something that they must have known he had… because as we’ve seen in other federal cases, the feds don’t play. They didn’t play around with Josh Duggar, and they certainly wouldn’t with Trump. Being wrong about him would have much higher stakes. I have my doubts that they would have raided a former president’s home if they weren’t certain that they knew what they’d find there. And, of course, they weren’t going to wait for an invitation or announce their visit. Why would they? But Trump is whinging about that, too.
I’m looking forward to hearing what was found during this search. It’s my guess that in spite of all the complaining Trump supporters are delivering right now, the upper level Republicans welcome the investigation. Because I think those who have devoted their lives to politics would rather not see Trump trying to be president again. A lot of them would like to be president themselves, or they would prefer someone who is easier to influence and control. Trump doesn’t listen to others, and he doesn’t take orders or direction. Some people find that refreshing and admirable; others think it’s dangerous. I wouldn’t necessarily assume that those in the Republican Party who dislike Trump are any better than he is, either.
Of course, plenty of moronic white supremacist types are issuing threats of violence online, as well as in person. It grieves me to see these folks emboldened by Trump, especially since I know that he doesn’t care about them at all. Once they no longer are of any use to Trump, they will be discarded. Some of them will be humiliated by that, but I suspect others will turn on Trump. He’ll probably have an ugly end. But, for now, there are creepy Trumpers out there who are making threats and calling for violence against Attorney General Merrick Garland. On the other hand, lots of Trump supporters have nothing to say, and aren’t doing anything at all. See the above video.
Trump supporters are REALLY excited about the idea of a civil war. Some of the responses to today’s FBI raid:
“I already bought my ammo” “Civil war! Pick up arms, people!” “Civil War 2.0 just kicked off.” “Let’s do the war.” “One step closer to a kinetic civil war.”
Count me among those who think it’s a good thing that Trump is still not above the law. I hope the long arm of it comes crashing down on him as soon as possible.
In other news…
I sort of paid attention to the news regarding the trio of Georgia men who are responsible for killing Ahmaud Arbery in 2020. Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael, and William “Roddie” Bryan Jr. all had their days in federal court this week. Both McMichaels got additional life terms in federal prison, while Bryan got a 35 year sentence. They won’t see the light of day as free men again, and they have to do their state time first, which means there’s a good chance they’ll come to harm. I love that it was a woman, U.S. District Judge Lisa Godbey Wood, who handed down their fates.
I don’t have a lot to say about this, other than I think it’s good that they’re going to be locked up from now on. I’m not a big fan of prison, but I do think it’s the right place for violent racists who take the law into their own hands. On an additional note, I can’t help but notice that every time Bryan is photographed, he looks like he’s about to burst into tears. I’ll bet he wishes he had stayed out of his neighbors’ business and just called the cops or something. Now, he’s going to be hating the rest of his life. I have never not seen Bryan look like he’s just miserable, though. And rightfully so. Too bad… so sad. /sarcasm
Well, I don’t have much else on my mind today. I think I’m just overwhelmed by all the stuff in the news. But I did want to write a post for those who are paying attention to this blog. I’m just sitting here in Germany, wishing for cooler weather. I actually watered the grass yesterday, because I felt sorry for it. It’s all dried out and brown. I know how it feels.
I just finished watching the latest YouTube video by Fundie Fridays, a great YouTube channel hosted by Jen and James, and dedicated to exposing the fuckery related to evangelical and fundie Christianity. I don’t watch all videos by Fundie Fridays, but I have seen a lot of them, and I almost always find them interesting, entertaining, and funny. This week, they covered a topic I’ve written about and studied myself a lot over the past twenty years or so… Behold!
I’ve mentioned before that I used to follow a forum run by former students of Pensacola Christian College. Some of the participants were graduates; some were people who dropped out; and quite a few were people who were expelled. I don’t know how it is at PCC nowadays, but back in the early 00s, a person could get expelled at the drop of a hat. In those days, the school wasn’t accredited at all, and a lot of young people went there because it was cheap, and their parents wanted them to go to a college that was as strict or stricter than they were at home.
Of course, these schools have a lot of issues, and in fact, they aren’t necessarily any safer than a secular college might be. I mean, sure, there’s a lot less drinking and casual dating, but as Jen points out in a Patheos blog post she featured, there are certainly sexual assaults on these campuses. And the sad thing is, the victims are usually treated like terrible sinners. You can follow this link to read the blog post I’m referring to, but I will issue a warning that it’s got some pretty traumatic stuff in it. The post was written in 2014, but I was reading about what was going on at places like Bob Jones University and Pensacola Christian College as early as 2000 or so. I think policies have changed a bit since then, and I do know that they have pursued some Christian type accreditation now, since students place a value on that, especially if they want to go on to another university for graduate level studies.
Jen didn’t mention Christendom College, in Front Royal, Virginia. That’s a Catholic school, and famously boasts that it’s one of only 15 colleges recommended by the conservative Carson Newman Society. Last year, William Luckey, one Christendom’s most celebrated retired professors, was arrested for soliciting a child under age 16, and two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child. After he retired from Christendom, Luckey taught at Padre Pio Academy, a homeschooling co-op started by his wife, Julie. Julie has since resigned from the school, due to her husband’s arrest.
In 2018, several alums of Christendom College claimed that sexual assault was mishandled there. According to the National Catholic Reporter, Christendom, like some of the other extreme “fundie” colleges, does not accept federal funding. Therefore, it is not required to abide by Title IX rules that most other colleges and universities in the United States must follow. The schools that don’t accept federal funding are determined to run the way they believe their faiths see fit. Often, that seems to mean espousing racist, sexist, or discriminatory principles, and treating victims of assault as though they were in the wrong for being in the situation that got them assaulted. One alum, Adele Smith, has been very vocal about her experiences with sexual assault at Christendom. She has said that the school’s strict rules regarding fraternization and dating actually increase the risk of sexual assault on campus.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Jen does a follow up on her “fundie colleges” topic. It’s a hot one– and one that I have been very fascinated with for many years. It ranks right up there with so-called “teen help” brat camp facilities, which, not surprisingly, are also often affiliated with strict religions. I’ve been reading and writing a lot about that topic, too.
Jen did mention another Virginia school– yes, she talked about Liberty University, but I’m referring to Patrick Henry College, in Purcellville, Virginia. Patrick Henry College is very small– only about 300 students– and Christian based. It’s where Congressman Madison Cawthorn went to school, and where many of his female classmates claim that he harassed them. According to Buzz Feed:
Four women told BuzzFeed News that Cawthorn, now a rising Republican star, was aggressive, misogynistic, or predatory toward them. Their allegations include calling them derogatory names in public in front of their peers, including calling one woman “slutty,” asking them inappropriate questions about their sex lives, grabbing their thighs, forcing them to sit in his lap, and kissing and touching them without their consent.
The women also reported that he would get the women alone in his car and “entrap” them, taking them on long drives on country roads and asking them humiliating and inappropriate questions about their virginity and sexual experiences. Cawthorn is paralyzed from the waist down, owing to an accident in his teens, but that apparently didn’t stop him from being a disgusting, misogynistic creep when he was studying at Patrick Henry College, if the women interviewed for the Buzz Feed story are to be believed… and given the party he represents, and its worship of Donald Trump, I am inclined to believe them. Last year, over 160 former classmates of Cawthorn’s at Patrick Henry College signed a letter accusing him of sexual misconduct.
But– Patrick Henry’s problems didn’t start with Madison Cawthorn, who arrived on campus in 2016. Twice, back in 2014, Kiera Feldman, writing for The New Republic, reported on the sexual assault issues at Patrick Henry College that dated back to 2009. The school has only existed since 2000, and many of the students were homeschooled. There’s no drinking, smoking, gambling, or dancing (except for dance classes) allowed. Students are required to attend chapel daily, and they must wear business casual attire to class. It sounds much like the rules at Pensacola Christian College and Bob Jones University, where women have been required to wear skirts and pantyhose every day, and men have to wear ties to class. According to Feldman’s article:
The self-policing that courtship culture requires, however, is not egalitarian. Responsibility falls disproportionately to women, who are taught to protect their “purity” and to never “tempt” their brothers in Christ to “stumble” with immodest behavior. “The lack of men’s responsibility or culpability for their own actions and the acceptance of male ‘urges’ as irresistible forces of nature is the understructure of Christian modesty movements and their secular counterpart,” the journalist Kathryn Joyce wrote in Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement (an excellent book, by the way). These movements, she noted, see “women’s bodies as almost supernaturally perverse and corrupting.”
At Patrick Henry, one alumna remembers a chapel lecture that compared women who have had sexual contact before marriage to used cars. “You want to be a Porsche,” was the message, she says, adding in an e-mail, “They basically at no point accounted for sexual assault/rape etc (cases where girls’ ‘purity’ was taken from them) and left many girls who’d been victims in the past feeling ashamed.” According to a current PHC junior, the school puts the “burden” on female students to ward off the male gaze—be it from students or professors. She remembers being called in to talk to the residential director, who told her that a male professor had informed the Office of Student Life that her shirts were too revealing when she bent over.
In a follow up article for The New Republic, Feldman wrote that Patrick Henry College had come up with a new policy regarding sexual assault. However, given that Madison Cawthorn was a student there in 2016, where he was a notorious sex pest, the issue apparently continues. It continues at other conservative Christian schools, too, like Visible Music College, an institution I had never heard of until just now. The Memphis, Tennessee Christian college was the subject of an article by NBC News in April 2022. Student Mara Louk reported that she was choked and raped by a male classmate. She had expected that administrators would help her file charges and get support after the assault. Instead, they kicked Mara off campus. They also tried to prevent her from speaking to anyone else on campus about the attack.
Later, after they told Mara Louk that they wouldn’t be helping her, the student who allegedly assaulted her reported Mara to campus administrators for having sex with her ex boyfriend. That went against the school’s rules against premarital sex. Louk denied the accusation, but officials wanted her to sign a “pastoral care contract”, in which she confessed to breaking the premarital sex rule. She would be required to finish her degree online, barred from campus, and not allowed to speak about the assault. Louk refused to sign the contract, finished her semester online, and then withdrew from the school, just nine credits shy of earning her bachelor’s degree.
And finally, just yesterday, Christianity Today reported on the abusive culture in The International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. I know from my many years living in Virginia that there is a Christiansburg, Virginia based college that adheres to the Foursquare Gospel movement. It’s an eastern satellite of the religion that is based in California. It appears that the school in Virginia, once called Life Bible College, but now known as Life Pacific University- Virginia, is being investigated because of its controlling environment that included sexual harassment from a high ranking administrator. The administrator asked female students probing questions about their sexual histories and made inappropriate comments about their appearances. He also shared private information about students, to include stories about their mental health issues or other personal details that weren’t for public consumption.
I think it’s pretty plain what I think of religious based colleges and universities. Some are not as bad as others are, of course. However, I think when it comes to higher education, it’s better to go to a school where freedom of expression and the exchange of ideas is celebrated and encouraged. And I think that people should not be lulled into the idea that a college is safe, simply because it’s religious and there’s not supposed to be any “fun” but sinful activities, like drinking, dancing, gambling, smoking, or… dare I say it? Consensual sex.
Besides… I went to two publicly supported universities and I managed to graduate from both with my virginity intact. I didn’t need any rules imposed to do that. It was a choice I made. If I can do it, anyone can… but no one should feel like that’s something they have to do, especially when they are adults, and especially when they are PAYING to go to school. Just my two cents.
Anyway, I hope you’ll watch Fundie Fridays’ video about Fundie Colleges. Jen and James did a very good job on it.
In other news… Bill told me that actress Anne Heche is in critical condition because she evidently drove her blue Mini Cooper into a someone’s Los Angeles area home at a high rate of speed. As Bill was telling me about Heche’s accident, I couldn’t help but remember how, back in 2000, she was in the news for wandering into some guy’s house wearing nothing but a bra and a pair of shorts. She was very disoriented and said she needed a shower. The guy ended up having to call the police to take her away, and she was brought to a psychiatric hospital, where she spent a few hours. I remember at the time of the 2000 incident, she and Ellen DeGeneres had just broken up. She later married a man named Coleman Laffoon, had a couple of kids, and then got divorced. She sure has had an eventful, and often very sad, life. I hope she recovers from this latest setback.
And finally, here are two videos I put up yesterday. I think they turned out very nicely. I need to explore Doris Day’s catalog more. I especially like “Dream a Little Dream of Me”, although that one is getting fewer hits.
I’ve had an idea for a satire story rattling around in my head for the past few days. I shared it with Bill the other day, and he was enthusiastic about it. In fact, this morning, he offered an idea of his own– characters I could create and flesh out for the story. In the past, that would have been enough for me to sit down at my computer and start typing. I would compose the story as it came to me, and I would do it not for money or fame, but because it was a lot of fun.
Now, I’m finding it a bit harder to be motivated about creative writing. I’ve already written about this trouble I’ve been having recently, with having the desire to sit down and focus. But, at least the ideas are coming back to me. I do think I would enjoy writing something snarky, funny, and fictional. I don’t know who would read it, but I think I would delight in writing it… especially if Bill helped me. We can be pretty entertaining when we’re working together. I think I’ll take some more time to come up with more of a plot. If one ever develops, I may put up yet another one of my fictional stories in this blog. Maybe it will be a good way of escaping the horrors of the news cycle today.
I noticed, as I was waking up, that there was yet another shooting in the United States. This time, it was at Greenwood Park Mall in Indianapolis, Indiana. Four people died, including the shooter. At this point, I see that two people were injured during the attack, which was evidently stopped by a “good guy with a gun”. The “good Samaritan” was a 22 year old man who was lawfully carrying a weapon and managed to stop the shooter just as he was getting started.
I’m glad that there was finally a “good guy with a gun” who was available and willing to use his weapon to stop the latest gun toting freak from killing more innocent people than the three souls who were unlucky enough to be in his range. At the same time, I’m horrified that people feel like they need to carry guns wherever they go, because we have unhinged nut jobs who want to hurt and kill people. I don’t see how anyone can feel relaxed in the United States right now. There doesn’t seem to be much of a rhyme or reason to these incidents. They are completely unpredictable, and that is terrifying.
In other news, a friend of mine commented on a pretty cringeworthy video of Donald Trump dancing at a rally held in May of this year.
The comments on the above video were divided between the willfully ignorant Trump supporters, who can’t wait for him to be re-elected, to people like me and my friend, who are devastated at the idea that he might win again. Personally, I doubt Trump will ever be president again, although he won’t stop trying to be re-elected until he’s dead. Why do I think this? It’s because I think the most powerful people in the Republican Party don’t want him to be re-elected. They’ve already seen what he does when he’s in power, and they don’t like it.
Trump doesn’t take direction from more experienced or smarter people. He doesn’t follow orders. He acts on his own whims. He’s a loose cannon who thrills people who don’t really care about his shortcomings, but just find him entertaining and charismatic. Yes, that crowd can bring in the votes to get Republicans in power, but there’s a price to be paid for their loyalty. Quite a lot of those folks are willing to break the law to force their wills on everyone. I don’t think the likes of Mitch McConnell or Lindsey Graham necessarily want to consort with the Proud Boys. They want rich, compliant, religious people who will believe their lies about family values and less government overreach, as they hide the real motives for their policies behind noise that keeps everyone distracted.
Besides, Trump has proven that he’s not loyal to anyone but himself. If he gets back into office, there will be no controlling him. He would like to be a dictator who never leaves office. I don’t think that’s what the Republican Party really wants. They want someone who will do their bidding. I think they would rather have Ron DeSantis as president. I also think DeSantis would really suck as the POTUS… but at least at this point, I think he would be more willing to cooperate with other politicians. Trump just wants to be the most powerful man on Earth again. He doesn’t give a fuck about anyone but the man looking back at him in his gaudy, gilded mirror. Moreover, he would certainly not perform better than Biden has. He would just bluster more. People want to hold Joe Biden responsible for all of the bad things in the world right now. But the fact is, inflation, high gas prices, and violence are global problems.
It makes me sad to see how blind people are to who Trump really is. And if he was terrible in his first term, he will be absolutely insufferable in his second. What I hope happens is that he will run as an Independent. People will vote for him, and that will take votes away from DeSantis. I also hope that the Democrats have a different candidate, other than Joe Biden. I appreciate Biden’s work, and I don’t blame him for the problems we’re having right now, which are clearly global issues, but we need someone younger, more dynamic, and with more courage. Biden is simply too old to handle the job.
But mostly… I sit here thinking sometimes that the people who wind up getting murdered might be the lucky ones. They don’t have to sit by and watch this colossal shit show anymore. It’s depressing to see how messed up the USA is, and how it’s not getting any better. But… I try to maintain some hope, since I know there have been many very dark eras in history. They eventually passed. This will, too.
I think the whole abortion debate is keeping everyone distracted from the big picture. While we’re all outraged, arguing about women’s rights, which I agree are very important, there’s other stuff going on that we aren’t paying as much attention to right now. I fear that those things will become more apparent later, as people start to realize how the abortion bans are going to make huge problems that will affect everyone. The bans are going to lead to higher healthcare costs, more provider burnout and shortages, more incarcerations, and more mortality and morbidity. Moreover, people will not stop fighting or arguing over this issue, so it will keep a lot of folks distracted from the big picture– you know, things that will make life more equitable for everyone, not just rich, white people.
Ah well… at least I’m 50. Before long, I’ll be old enough to exit this nightmare. For now, I think I’ll enjoy beautiful music, Bill’s company, and whatever else brings me pleasure. And maybe I will get around to writing that satire piece that is stuck in my head. Usually, these things end up being so compelling that I just sit down and do it. At least there are still boys with beautiful voices around, to remind us all that the world is full of wonders. But it’s easy to forget that, when we have people like Donald Trump refusing to ride off into the sunset or to Hell, where he belongs.
I sure do miss the days when I was complacent about politics. I miss the days when I didn’t care about politicians, because they all seemed to be the same, regardless of the party. Donald Trump is a completely different beast. He’s done criminal things. He owes billions of dollars. He would never get a security clearance if he were a regular person, looking for a government job. Why so many so-called God fearing, red blooded Americans want this obvious morally deficient con man and criminal back in the White House, I will never know. I wish they would wake up. You want to vote Republican? Fine. But let us, please, get someone in office who has a moral compass, for the good of EVERYONE.
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