Trump

Be careful when you play “Follow the Leader”…

Maybe COVID-19 will be Trump’s downfall… If it is, I would consider that a silver lining to a real nightmare. I am blessed not to have to listen to Trump, since we don’t get local TV and I don’t click on videos in which Trump speaks. I do see the neverending news articles about him… the dumb things he says and asinine things he does… and people who listen to him and do things that make them sick or kill them.

Did you see the news article about that couple in Arizona who drank fish tank cleaner because Trump mentioned chloroquine phosphate as a potentially promising cure for the virus? The couple heard Trump touting this chemical– calling it a “game changer”– and decided they should use it. I’m not sure if they even had the virus, or if it was simply something they decided to do as a prophylactic measure. The fish tank cleaner poisoned them. Husband went into cardiac arrest and wife wound up in critical condition, but is expected to survive.

I posted about this on my Facebook page, and one of my friends who rarely misses a chance to be a Trump apologist, posted this:

Trump is probably right on the malaria drug. It’s irrelevant. He didn’t tell people to pre medicate. These are the same people that eat tide pods. 

I am glad there are promising treatments. Good news right now is a great thing.

To which I responded:

I don’t see anyone here blaming Trump for their stupidity, although I don’t think he should be talking about such things. He’s not an expert on anything healthcare related, especially treatments for the COVID-19 virus.

For better or worse, Trump is a role model to many people who aren’t very deep thinkers. If he were a decent person, he’d realize that. But he’s not, so he won’t… and apologists will talk about how it’s not his responsibility that people who make up his base listen to what he says and act accordingly… sometimes with disastrous results.

Like it or not, when someone becomes a world leader, there will be people out there who will listen to what he or she says. If the leader is a good one– someone who is compassionate, intelligent, decent, humane, and reasonable, it’s not a bad thing to follow the leader. If a leader is greedy, corrupt, dishonest, narcissistic, and irresponsible, following the leader can be fraught with danger. Donald Trump isn’t a good leader. From day one, he’s been making choices that only benefit a small segment of society– people who are filthy rich and politically powerful.

Meanwhile, his base, which consists of a lot of people who may be basically good, but terribly misguided, are listening to what he says and making bad decisions like drinking fish tank cleaner. I have already written about Trump supporters who have done really dumb things. Last year, someone got pissed off at me because I wrote about two guys who were sitting around drinking beer when they decided to don a bullet proof vest and shoot each other. I commented that I could tell they were Trump supporters. I found them on social media, and sure enough, I was right.

I just checked the Facebook page of one of those guys. He’s still posting praises for Donald Trump while lambasting “communism” and “socialism”. He still thinks Donald Trump is awesome, despite the fact that Trump has made some very embarrassing and improper decisions in his handling of the COVID-19 virus crisis. This guy and his buddy, who chose to shoot each other with a rifle while drinking, are exactly the type of people I’m writing about. Just like the couple in Arizona who listened to the president, much to their detriment, the gun wielding beer drinker thinks Trump is infallible. Can you see how taking that attitude can be dangerous to one’s health or even end one’s life? Edited to add: Charles Ferris got sentenced to 27 days in jail for his part in the bullet proof vest/gun stunt.

I don’t necessarily blame Donald Trump when people make bad decisions. It’s just that I notice that people who make really stupid decisions are overwhelmingly Trump supporters. They lack critical thinking skills and seem to have trouble making choices that are in their own best interests. Yesterday, someone posted this on Facebook. It made a lot of sense to me, so I decided to share it. I’m sharing it here, too.

Now, I’m not necessarily a Bernie Sanders fan. I like some of his ideas, but I don’t know that they’re practical. I also think that his election would be dangerous to my husband’s career. However, I do agree that a lot of Trump supporters are hypocrites. Right now, people are in real trouble. Many people can’t work, which means businesses are losing money. Stocks are down, and people are worried about getting sick and dying, or losing everything and being tossed into the street. So folks are calling on the government for help. And Trump is offering $1200 per person. It’s a one shot deal that will help a little bit. However, he’s also calling for everything to get back to normal next month. I don’t see it happening.

Other governments are doing a lot more to take care of their citizens, while Trump wastes time discounting the virus and dickering with New York State over ventilators. He seems to lack the critical insight that we must all work together to get past this pandemic. He’s only concerned about big business and keeping the economy rolling. Why? Because a lot of voters can look past his disgusting misanthropy if it means they have a little extra money in their paychecks and he says things that make them feel empowered and vindicated. People like Charles Ferris, who thinks Trump is “da fuckin’ man”, have no thought for anyone who isn’t him or his. But when shit starts to affect him personally, I think he could end up changing his tune. Sooner or later, most people do.

Just for shits and giggles, here’s what is publicly posted on that beer drinking, gun toting, Trump worshipper’s Facebook page:

Yeah… I know not all Trump supporters are this dense, but a lot of them are. Even as a businessman, Trump isn’t particularly successful. He inherited his money and played dirty to make more of it. He has no personal honor, and if not for that inherited money, probably would have been a failure. Although narcissists are very good at hitching themselves to successful people and riding coattails… so I don’t know. They’re sniveling ass kissers when they need to be– just long enough to get ahead. Beyond that, fuck everyone else. And people are attracted to them because they are charismatic. Spend some time around people like Trump and you can quickly spot the signs. Spending time with narcissists is kind of like getting a vaccine, especially when they are as grandiose about their narcissism as Trump is. The stupid fall for it repeatedly… although in fairness, many politicians are narcissistic. I think Trump is at the top of the heap, and that enthralls his base. Such a shame.

I just hope more people wise up and take an interest in their own well-being. Trump is not good for America… even those who have drunk the Kool-Aid and make up his base. But maybe COVID-19 could be a good thing in the long run. I often like to say that every cloud has its silver lining. Some good comes out of almost every situation… even if it’s just a cautionary tale. Many people will die because of this scourge, but a lot of people will also be born. Medical science will advance out of necessity, and there will probably be some progressive policy changes… and if a few hearts and minds are changed to be more humane, that’s also a good thing. So I’m hoping for the best. I hope you are, too.

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condescending twatbags

Waiters who “know what’s best for you”…

Twenty years ago, I waited tables. It never occurred to me, at least back in those days, that I should do anything more than take my patrons’ orders and deliver their food to them. I even remember serving a glass of champagne to a visibly pregnant guest. The reason I remember it was because her companion had asked for strawberries to go with the champagne and our kitchen didn’t have any whole ones. I got punished by the guests for that, but I still served the alcohol. Things must have changed since the late 1990s. I keep reading stories about meddlesome restaurant servers who think they know better than their guests do.

Several years ago, I read a news story about 28 year old mom Tasha Adams, of Toad Suck, Arkansas. Toad Suck is a “dry town”, which means that you can’t buy alcohol there. Adams and her friends had gone to Gusano’s, a restaurant in Conway, Arkansas, where alcohol is not banned. They had just been to a funeral and were having dinner. Adams had her eight month old baby, Ana, with her and was drinking alcohol. She was also breastfeeding Ana.

Jackie Conners, an off duty waitress, decided that it wasn’t right for Tasha Adams to drink while breastfeeding. She claimed the party was “having a good time, drinking” and ignoring the baby, whom she said was fussing. Conners spoke to the manager about the party, but the manager decided not to cut them off. So Conners called the police, who showed up and arrested Adams for “drinking while breastfeeding”. Adams stated that she didn’t know that was illegal. It turns out, in fact, Arkansas law did not forbid drinking while breastfeeding. The charges against Adams were dropped and Conners was fired from her job. Still, Adams and her baby had to go through an ordeal before the matter was settled. I’m sure it was distressing and humiliating.

I was interested in this case because I find it disturbing on many levels, watching random strangers getting involved in the personal choices pregnant or nursing women make for themselves. Indeed, even if someone just thinks you might be pregnant, they might make a comment or even call the authorities if you do something they think might harm a developing fetus. When the police come, they could end up arresting someone. In Tasha Adams’ case, the cops weren’t sure if what she was doing was illegal, so they made a judgment call and ran her in, anyway. Adams likely can’t forget the experience of being arrested simply for enjoying adult beverages with her friends. She had no idea what she was doing was wrong and, in fact, it wasn’t wrong in the eyes of the law.

It’s chilling what can happen when someone makes a judgment based on incomplete information. I wrote a comprehensive article on my old blog about this case from 2014. Things haven’t changed in five years. In fact, it seems like they’ve gotten worse.

In fact, I just read another story about a waiter who made an “executive decision” on behalf of a woman he or she simply believed might be pregnant. The tale, which originally appeared on Reddit, was from someone who has been waiting tables for three years. A party of four women sat at the server’s table. They were “a pleasure” to serve, and started off with a round of cocktails, then perused the menu. The server, whose gender identity is never clear, overheard one of the women mention that she was “14 weeks along”. He or she got the impression that the guest was pregnant, based on what her or she had overheard and observed.

The server figured one drink was “no big deal”, and went about his or her business. But then the group ordered another round, which caused the server some concern. The waiter went to the bartender and asked him to make one of the cocktails a virgin. When the bartender questioned the server, the server just asked him to “trust him or her”. The party had several cocktails and got “rowdy”, including the supposedly pregnant woman. The server figured the woman didn’t notice that she’d been drinking virgin cocktails all night. Obviously, he or she thought they were going to get away with their deception.

But then the women asked for separate checks. The bartender had identified the cocktails for the “pregnant woman” as virgins, since he had to account for the alcohol, and it was too late for the waiter to edit the receipts. The “pregnant” woman and her party left, but then they looked at their receipts and noticed the word “virgin” on hers. The supposedly pregnant woman came back into the restaurant and asked what “virgin” meant, and the waiter explained that virgin means “non-alcoholic”. The guest asked the waiter if she had ordered non-alcoholic cocktails, and the waiter said he or she figured that’s what she’d want, since she was pregnant. Naturally, the guest was wicked pissed. She demanded that her part of the tip be returned. Then she spoke to the manager, who then yelled at the server.

The server said they didn’t want to be responsible for causing fetal alcohol syndrome. The restaurant manager said that the server had made them liable for discrimination charges and that they could get into serious trouble.

Once again, for those who came in late or are sitting in the back…

While servers certainly can and should cut people off when they get noticeably hammered, it’s not their place to make executive decisions for other people’s orders, particularly without their consent. Moreover, someone who is at a real risk of having a baby with fetal alcohol syndrome is not going to be deterred by a well-meaning but intrusive server. Someone who is pregnant and doesn’t care about what they will look like drinking alcohol in public will certainly drink at home. Aside from that, the customer apparently never verified that she was pregnant. It’s possible that the server misunderstood the situation. He or she was not a party to the conversation that was overheard and it’s very likely the information received was totally out of context.

I understand moral dilemmas regarding serving alcohol to the pregnant people among us, especially in the United States. In the United States, healthcare professionals do not recommend drinking alcohol while pregnant. However, the booze free pregnancy mantra is not necessarily practiced worldwide. Interestingly enough, in some areas, it’s not drinking booze that is frowned upon for pregnant women.

When Bill and I visited France a few years ago, a waiter thought I might be pregnant and was concerned because I’d ordered beef. He had nothing to say about the red wine I was drinking. Needless to say, I was really pissed off that he had questioned my order based on an assumption he made due to my appearance. Yes, I do have a gut, but it’s caused by beer, not baby. And no, you don’t need to ask me about it. If I want to eat beef or drink wine, it’s entirely my business… but I did take heart in knowing that at least I still looked young enough to conceive. I probably don’t anymore, since I let my hair go natural.

Most pregnant people are adults with the same rights every other adult has. They can make their own decisions without input from non-involved people who don’t know the situation. It’s not for another person to preemptively decide for another person what is best for them. It usually doesn’t happen to people who aren’t pregnant, but for some reason, society seems to deem pregnant women as needing special help and “parental guidance”.

Personally, I think the waiter in this story should have been fired immediately. I also think people need to mind their own business when it comes to situations like these, unless there is an obvious need to intervene. I hope the customer got a full refund for those mocktails, since they were not what she ordered. Also… I am really glad I have retired from waiting tables so I don’t have to deal with these situations.

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Trump

America threw up all over her wedding…

Silly beagle Zane woke me up extra early this morning, needing to go outside and pee. I couldn’t fall back into sleep, so I started looking at the news. I had seen this headline yesterday about a couple who had a MAGA (Make America Great Again) themed wedding. When it came across my feed again, I decided to read about how Jeff and Audra Johnson celebrated their wedding Trump style in Kalamazoo, Michigan on July 4th.

The new Mrs. Johnson wore a wedding dress with Trump’s last name emblazoned on the train. She says it’s an “Andre Soriano original”, and was actually made out of a MAGA flag. Andre Soriano, for your edification, is a celebrity fashion designer and reality TV star who is known for his provocative, custom made Trump gowns.

The bridesmaids wore bright blue dresses and red MAGA hats. Her husband wore his Marine dress uniform, while his groomsmen looked a bit like they just got off work at a True Value hardware store. They all wore matching red vests, MAGA hats, and red ties. The bride had her nails done like American flags, while the groomsmen wore “Don’t tread on me” cufflinks.

The maid of honor, reportedly not a fan of Trump’s, declined to wear a MAGA hat and, instead, wore a simple red ball cap. Audra Johnson’s father declined to attend the wedding at all, texting the couple with the message “As long as you support that racist in the White House, I won’t be attending your wedding.”

They didn’t confine the Trump theme to their outfits, either. The tables at the reception were decorated with anti-abortion “heartbeat bills”. Mrs. Johnson reportedly said, “It looked like America threw up all over my wedding and I’m not sorry.” How classy.

Far be it for me to criticize how a person decides to fashion his or her wedding, although I guess I do find it kind of an odd idea to turn one’s wedding into a love fest for a president, especially one as horrible and polarizing as Trump is. I’m not sure if this event was intended to be funny or if the couple really thinks Trump cares about veterans (or anyone else, for that matter). If that’s what they honestly think, they aren’t very bright. Just look at how he treated John McCain… or, if you need a more recent example, Myeshia Johnson, wife of fallen soldier La David Johnson, who received a tone deaf phone call from Trump telling her that “her guy” knew what he signed up for and was doing what he wanted to be doing. I’m sure being killed in Nigeria instead of being at home with his wife and children was at the top of Johnson’s favorite things to do.

It does look like the celebrants had fun, and I have nothing against that. I don’t know if they’re religious people, but people who vote Republican often espouse Christian beliefs. It’s strange that Christians would align with a man who has been married three times, has openly boasted about sexually harassing and assaulting women, has no tolerance for non-whites, mocks prisoners of war, and is taking away anything in the government that doesn’t either give him more power or make rich people even wealthier, while gutting benefits for the poor. It sounds to me like this couple is extremely misguided. Also… I think Mr. Johnson should remember that he’s not supposed to wear his uniform to promote politics or advocate for a particular politician. Since Johnson is described as a “veteran”, perhaps he’s no longer in the military, in which case he probably shouldn’t wear the uniform at all… unless he actually retired from the military.

A couple of days ago, I happened to see a clip of Donald Trump when he was on Saturday Night Live. It was well before his “presidential” days. He wore a piss yellow colored suit as dancers sang a mock jingle for a fictional chicken wings restaurant…

I think people like the Johnsons probably like Trump for things like the above clip. He was a reality TV star who rubbed elbows with Howard Stern and “fired” people on The Apprentice. A certain segment of the American population think Trump is cool because he says what they’re thinking. A lot of them aren’t actually bad people… they’re simply ignorant. I’m sure Jeff Johnson would not be so hot on Mr. Trump if Trump decided his new wife, Audra, was “his type” and tried to grab her by the pussy. And yet, Trump has done that to other men’s wives on multiple occasions. He’s even admitted to doing it, and with much pride.

I’m sure if Mr. and Mrs. Johnson decide to have a baby, and Mrs. Johnson or their fetus has some kind of problem that necessitates terminating a pregnancy, but the procedure is outlawed due to the “heartbeat bills”, they might think twice about their blind support of such a law. Perhaps if, God forbid, Mrs. Johnson suffers a miscarriage and is criminally investigated for potentially causing her miscarriage, they might think again about whether or not Trump is so awesome. And when the medical bills come, and certain procedures aren’t covered by health insurance because they’re “immoral”, or if the Johnsons don’t even have health insurance because the Affordable Care Act is abolished, will they still think Trump rocks as they slide into bankruptcy?

I know some people don’t care about things Trump says and does, particularly when it doesn’t affect them personally. Some people only care that he’s a “Republican”, even though he really wasn’t a Republican until he decided to run for president. Americans love entertainers, and we seem to have a love affair with shiny narcissists, even if they have no empathy. Too many of us get blinded by glitz and smoke and mirrors. We don’t see what’s under the bullshit until it’s too late, and everything starts to stink.

I get why some people don’t like liberal politics. I didn’t consider myself a liberal until I had been voting for years. I just can’t stomach Trump’s policies, and I don’t understand people who continue to admire him. To me, at best, he’s just a very tacky entertainer and a completely incompetent politician. I think it’s sad to see how many people have been taken in by his dog and pony show and haven’t looked at his character… or lack thereof.

As for the wedding… again, it’s certainly their right to celebrate as they see fit. I just think history will one day make them ashamed that they used their special day to celebrate Donald Trump. In my view, that wedding really should have been about THEM, and their partnership, not the orange shitstain in the White House. I think there may come a day when people look at Trump the way the world looks at people like Adolf Hitler and Kim Jong Il. And even if that day never comes, I think people will one day see that Trump is not someone worthy of the honor of inspiring someone’s nuptials.

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education

Gaming the system… a couple of moms flunked the test.

I suppose it’s about time I offered my opinions about this college admissions scandal involving Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin. If you haven’t been living on a distant mountain top, you’ve probably already heard about it. Apparently, both of these well-known actresses are in deep shit with the feds because they paid bribes to get their daughters’ college admissions packets shored up so they could attend elite universities. Huffman is married to actor William H. Macy, who apparently wasn’t involved or arrested when federal agents showed up to take Huffman into custody. Loughlin is married to fashion designer, Mossimo Giannulli, who was reportedly complicit in the affair.

Huffman and Loughlin are probably the best known of the dozens of people caught in this sting. Both are beautiful, successful, and most importantly, wealthy, actresses who live in California. Loughlin reportedly wanted her daughters, Isabella and Olivia, to attend a top flight college because she’d never had the opportunity. As for Huffman… I really don’t know what the motive was. I guess she just wanted her daughters, Sofia and Georgia, to have the “best” education. Unfortunately, these parents all resorted to cheating and bribery to get their daughters ahead. Sadly, I think their tactics have backfired spectacularly.

I read in one article that Lori Loughlin and her family would probably suffer more from this than Huffman and Macy will. That’s because besides Loughlin’s acting gig, the family is heavily tied to corporate America. 19 year old Olivia Jade has a very successful Instagram gig with millions of followers, as well as a burgeoning YouTube channel. She has publicly stated that she doesn’t even care about going to college and, in fact, isn’t available to attend classes due to her work schedule. Why she couldn’t just work, instead of taking away another student’s spot at a top tier school, is beyond me. She’s absolutely gorgeous, and obviously making more than minimum wage… at least for now. There is no shame in working and/or skipping college. It looks like Olivia Jade is about to learn a hard lesson, Paula Deen style. Brands are already distancing themselves from her. What’s more, if she ever did decide to pursue a more “normal” profession, are people going to take her seriously? She’s been publicly outed as an academic fraud! Lori Loughlin has been dropped from Hallmark and will not be making any appearances on next season’s Fuller House episodes.

What is especially sad to me, though, is the idea that the children of Lori Loughlin, Mossimo Giannulli, Felicity Huffman, and William H. Macy feel like they even need to attend a school like the University of Southern California. There are so many great schools in the United States. It just seems like a shame to me that they had to resort to fraud to find one that suits their needs.

I have written in depth about my college experiences before on my old blog, but here’s a very quick recap. When I was 18, I wanted very badly to go to James Madison University. I didn’t have the grades or the SAT scores, so I went to less competitive Longwood College (now Longwood University) instead. It turned out to be a fabulous place for me. That’s where I learned to sing. Discovering that gift and having the chance to develop it changed my life. If I had gone to JMU or Virginia Tech, I sincerely doubt I would have ever had that opportunity. Mike Pence, who debated Tim Kaine at my alma mater in 2016, might have helped put Longwood on the map. Alas, he called my school “Norwood” instead. For that gaffe alone, I’d never vote for him, not to mention his penchant for calling his wife “Mother” and obsession with controlling the uteri of all women.

Twenty-five years after I graduated, there are still professors there who remember me. My husband, who graduated from much better known American University, often marvels at how close-knit and nurturing Longwood obviously is. I keep in contact with several former professors, thanks to social media, and still have so many friends from those days. To me, that is a big part of what college is supposed to be about, besides learning. If you don’t care about college, why go? Especially if you’re already gainfully employed!

Olivia Jade Giannulli is only 19 years old. She’s legitimately beautiful, and simply being that beautiful will open a lot of doors for her. Add in the fact that she has very successful parents who are obviously interested in seeing her succeed and you have someone who really didn’t even need to be a Trojan. Maybe she could have gone to college later, if she wanted to, but she’s clearly not even ready for college and doesn’t want to be there.

And then there are the schools themselves. Clearly, this is something that has been going on for a long time. How seriously can a person take the colleges that were identified in these scams? Obviously, the admissions staff lets these frauds through. I have mentioned that I once worked as a temp at the College of William & Mary’s admissions office. I know how overwhelmed those offices are, particularly at this time of year. But the whole reason for having an admissions office is to find the best students. Somehow, Olivia Jade and her sister got into USC as “athletes”, even though they weren’t actually athletes. How does that happen?

I read that Lori Loughlin and her husband paid about half a million bucks to get their special snowflakes into USC. I bet she’s going to pay a hell of a lot more, once all of this is said and done. Felicity Huffman supposedly paid about $15,000 to help her daughter cheat on her SATs. Although she was considering helping her younger daughter in the same way, she ultimately decided not to. I think Huffman has done her older daughter a huge disservice, since it will now be harder for people to trust that her accomplishments are her own. In her desire to “help” her daughters get the “best”, she has saddled one of them with the stigma of public humiliation. That will probably be difficult for her to overcome.

Well… everyone makes mistakes. This mistake is definitely a “whopper” for Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin and all of the other people out there who felt they needed to cheat in order to get their kids into the “right” college. Maybe I haven’t set the world on fire with my own post collegiate endeavors, but at least I know I got into my school entirely on my own merits. There’s a lot of value in that knowledge. I think Huffman and Loughlin would do well to watch some public television or something… they need to be reminded that cheaters never win.

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