narcissists, politicians, politics, true crime, videos

Gabriel Sterling is outraged. So am I.

My friend Andrew shared the below video this morning. Well, it was probably night where he is, but it was morning when I saw it. I must say, I’m very impressed with the speaker, Gabriel Sterling, an elections official in Georgia who is outraged. Why? Because he and his staff are getting threats over the election results!

People who are just trying to do their jobs are being threatened, all because some people are angry that Trump has lost the election.

I really think this video is worth watching, not just because Mr. Sterling speaks so eloquently about how wrong it is that elections officials are being harassed and threatened, but also because the guy doing the sign language translation is amazing. He expertly conveys the outrage coming from Sterling’s words through his facial expressions and gestures. In fact, the interpreter in this video is one reason why I hope face masks don’t become permanent. He would not be able to do this work so effectively while wearing a mask.

But anyway, back to the original subject at hand. Donald Trump has lost the election. With every passing day, it’s more and more clear that the people chose Joe Biden. I know Joe Biden isn’t perfect, and plenty of people have pointed out why he’s “unsuitable” to be president. Frankly, I think Biden is leagues better than Trump is, if only because he’s not nearly as delusional or narcissistic as Trump so obviously is. I’m clearly not the only one who feels this way. Biden won, fair and square. It’s time for Trump to do the right thing and concede, but I doubt he ever will. To Trump, concession is admitting fault and showing weakness. The reality is, a strong person would admit that he lost, condemn violence and threats against the election workers, and do whatever he could to make things seamless for his successor, for the good of the country.

I watched the video before I saw any of the news articles about this impassioned speech. I hear the pain and frustration in Gabriel Sterling’s voice as he frets about people possibly getting hurt or killed over the election. I sense the total dismay and shock Sterling conveys as he implores Trump to at least say something to the unAmerican whack jobs who are promoting violence against people who are simply doing their duties. The very fact that these folks are being targeted for doing what they’ve been employed to do is one major reason why Donald Trump has to go. He’s done nothing but encouraged division and uncivilized behavior among the American people.

I know it’s not one-sided. Emily Murphy, who is the administrator of the General Services Administration, basically the person who controls the funds that would allow Mr. Biden to set up his affairs as he prepares to take over the White House, has said that people have been threatening and harassing her, too. She refused to grant Joe Biden the funds to start the transition to power in spite of mounting pressure to do her job and growing evidence that Trump’s complaints about corruption and a “stolen election” are false. Murphy finally did her duty, but sent Biden a letter complaining about being threatened. She wrote that even her pets have been threatened with violence.

I don’t remember any other election fraught with as much chaos and polarization as this one has been. It’s absolutely batshit crazy. And I don’t know how or where people have gotten the idea that it’s appropriate to threaten people with violence for any reason, but particularly over something like a presidential election. The president doesn’t have all of the power… and thank GOD for that.

What good does it do to try to intimidate people? Who taught these people that promoting violence and issuing threats are the ways to make the United States a better place to live? Do the people who have resorted to threats and intimidation really think that is what will make American “great” again (not that it ever really was, our whitewashed history lessons notwithstanding)? Is that what they would like to happen to them someday if someone disagrees with them?

I do think it’s funny, though, to see how some Republicans are finally turning on Trump. It’s like watching rats jump off a sinking ship. Yesterday, I watched a video of Arizona Governor Doug Ducey letting a call from Trump go to voicemail as he was certifying his state’s election results in favor of Joe Biden. Ducey had once bragged that he had a special ring tone for Trump and Pence. Whenever his cell phone rang with “Hail To The Chief”, he knew it was a call from Trump or Pence and he needed to be sure to answer promptly. On the video I saw yesterday, one can see Mr. Ducey signing paperwork as his phone rings with that ring tone. He doesn’t answer. Instead, he glances at the phone and ignores it. Maybe that’s what we should all start doing… although Trump has gotten so big for his britches that doing so could be disastrous. If there’s one thing narcissists can’t stand, it’s being ignored.

Yup… they are all the same, when it comes down to it. There’s no real loyalty in politics. Looks like Doug Ducey has moved on.

Well… it’ll be interesting to watch what happens as the inauguration approaches. Hopefully, not too many people will get hurt or killed by violent, unhinged, and frankly obsessed people. It’s bad enough that people are dying of a dangerous virus. Do we really need crazy Trump supporters running around with weapons, threatening innocent people who are just doing their jobs?

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Biden, rants, Trump

I’m so sick of willfully ignorant Trump supporters…

I get it. They don’t like Joe Biden. They claim he has dementia. They repeatedly bring up his son, Hunter, and Hunter’s “shady dealings” in Ukraine. They’re tired of virtue signaling, holier than thou, politically correct liberals who want to tell them what to do, how to speak, and the “right” way to live. I get it.

Believe it or not, I don’t like a lot of the liberal mindset, either. I, for one, am super weary of reading shaming social media posts about everything from wearing face masks to what constitutes proper character. I think most people are who they are and believe what they believe, and no stale Facebook meme or falsely attributed wise quote is going to change their behavior. BUT…

I truly don’t understand why so many people are so wedded to having Donald Trump as the leader of our country. As far as I can tell, his leadership has been a complete and total disaster. Every president in recent times has been somewhat moderate and had some sense of decency. Trump doesn’t care about ANYONE but himself. How can you be a good person and support such a man as a world leader?

I get being conservative and identifying with the Republican party’s stated values. It wasn’t so long ago that, I too, identified with being politically conservative on a lot of issues. Trump isn’t really a conservative, though. He doesn’t make decisions based on a fiscal or moral compass. It’s all about being in charge and stroking his massive ego, satisfying his libido and insatiable need for admiration and regard from his minions. He would not deign to spit on you if you were on fire. He literally DOES NOT GIVE A SHIT about anyone but himself… and maybe Ivanka, whom he has said he’d like to date if she weren’t his daughter. Ivanka, for her part, appears to be following in Trump’s footsteps, albeit in a slightly more polished way.

Last night, I read the article I linked immediately above– it’s from Vanity Fair, written by Lysandra Ohrstrom, who attended prep school with Ivanka in Manhattan in the 1990s. For years, she considered herself Ivanka’s best friend. As they grew older, it became clear that they didn’t share the same values. This happens a lot as children and teenagers develop into adults. It happened with me and my former best friend, although I also determined that she wasn’t a good friend in general. I know what it’s like to face the painful realization that someone you counted as a loyal friend turns out to be a fraud. Based on this article, that’s what happened with Lysandra and Ivanka. But, just as it was between my former friend and me, the signs were there. And the signs that Donald Trump is a vile, inappropriate, uncaring person were also there. Consider this anecdote from the Vanity Fair piece:

Bear in mind, the author was just a young girl at the time. How would you react if your father, brother, son or husband treated a fourteen year old girl like this?

I’m not surprised by this anecdote. There have been plenty of others over the years. If there had only been one or two stories about Trump being so gross, maybe I could dismiss them the way some of my friends and relatives have. But there have been so many stories of Trump’s piggish behavior toward women that I just can’t turn a blind eye. He’s even said he enjoys grabbing women by their genitals and kissing them, even if they don’t consent to his attentions. I don’t think a person with such a low opinion of other people ought to be leading them.

I am delighted that Joe Biden won the presidency. It’s not because I think he’s a fantastic candidate. I don’t actually know that much about him. But he’s clearly a much more decent person than Trump is and will think more about the people he’s been tasked to lead rather than himself. And, you know what? If something happens to Biden and he can’t complete the term, I would support Kamala Harris as president. At the very basic level, a world leader should care about other people. Trump does not. A man who can treat a teenaged girl like a feast for his eyes isn’t worthy of running the country.

I’ve seen a lot of people doggedly championing Trump, though. I don’t understand why. If you just want a conservative leader, why not champion someone who is conservative, but doesn’t treat others with such obvious contempt? Why not expect your leader to be a basically decent person who has respect for other people? What is so incredible about Trump, other than the fact that he emboldens white supremacists?

A couple of days ago, I was chatting with one of my sisters and I remarked that one of our cousins recently unfriended me. My sister asked me why. I wrote that it was probably because I am vocal about despising Donald Trump and I cuss a lot. But then I added, “Anyone who has a problem with my language, but supports a man who explicitly brags about grabbing women by the pussy is a hypocrite, as far as I can tell.”

Yep. Eric Schwartz is right on point with this. Don’t call yourself a Christian if you are still hoping Trump will remain in the White House, even though he LOST the election and is clearly a LOSER.

I know this cousin is a devout Christian. I have always known her to be a decent and good person. But she admires Trump, despite his obviously unChristian, inhumane, disrespectful and outright cruel behavior. It makes me wonder if, deep down, she’s hiding a dark side I never knew. How can any decent person support Trump?

I have another cousin who grew up a Jehovah’s Witness. JWs are famously anti-government. They aren’t supposed to join the military or salute the flag. Her family left the JWs, ostensibly because the local church leaders wanted to install a child molester as a leader. Since leaving the JWs, they’ve become rabidly Republican, and this cousin of mine who is a mother of five and has a beautiful daughter, has posted a lot of political crap about how the election was “stolen” from Trump. I have to wonder if she’s intellectually disabled.

How can anyone accuse Joe Biden of “stealing the election”? He wasn’t the one who installed political appointees who did everything they could to suppress voters. He had nothing to do with appointing Louis DeJoy, a Trump supporter with no post office experience, as the Postmaster General, who apparently did everything he could to suppress mail in ballots during a global pandemic. Even if Biden “cheated”, it seems to me that Trump is also guilty of cheating. But I don’t think Biden cheated. I think a lot of people are just fucking fed up with Trump’s embarrassing shitshow and want him gone, so they legitimately voted for Biden because he could actually win. We all want our lives back, and Trump’s policies don’t facilitate getting things back to normal, nor do they inspire respect from other citizens of the world.

I really do try to respect people’s opinions. I do think it’s important that people vote their consciences as much as possible. I understand that everyone has their reasons for feeling the way they do. I just don’t understand how anyone with a conscience can ignore just how awful Donald Trump and his family are. It’s not just gossip or hearsay. The proof is abundant, and if he weren’t a filthy rich, famous white guy with powerful friends, he would probably be sitting in prison right now for rape.

I read an article in the Army Times last night and noticed the comments… some ignorant woman mentioned Joe Biden’s “dementia”. He does not have dementia. If you ever spent any time with someone with dementia, you’d know just how awful it is to joke about it or speak about it in an ignorant way. Dementia is devastating. My father had dementia, and I saw it change him from a vital, intelligent, strong-willed and strong-bodied man, to a feeble, frightened, helpless shell of himself. I didn’t always have a great relationship with my dad, but I would not wish what happened to him on anyone. It’s truly heartbreaking to watch. How can any decent person make the claim of dementia about Joe Biden, especially if they don’t know him? How can they joke about it? Believe me, it’s not a laughing matter. Dementia is nothing to joke about.

So I posted that Joe Biden doesn’t have dementia, which earned me a bunch of “laughing” reactions from the moronic Trump supporters who refuse to see that their hero is a morally bankrupt buffoon who wouldn’t deign to offer them a squirt of piss if they were dying of thirst. From what I’ve read about Mr. Biden, he lives a healthy lifestyle and does not have dementia. He does make a lot of verbal gaffes. He has issues with stuttering, which only shows that his brain works faster than his mouth does. But I have seen no evidence that he has dementia, and to make light of that condition is reprehensible and disgusting. This is a good read regarding Biden and his non-existent “dementia”…

Anyway… I’m getting to the point at which I’m having trouble separating my Trump supporting friends from their beliefs. I’m still trying to understand, but it’s getting harder and harder. I look forward to Joe Biden taking office. At the very least, maybe he’ll bring some civility and dignity back to the office. If he manages to accomplish anything good, I’ll count it as a bonus. The bar for success is set very low at this point.

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true crime

Executing Lisa Montgomery… perhaps one of Trump’s last “achievements”.

It’s now abundantly clear that Donald Trump is soon about to be a president of the past. But he’s still trying to leave an orange skid mark on our lives or, in some cases, our deaths. Take death row inmate, Lisa Montgomery, for instance. She is currently the only woman on federal death row. In 2007, Montgomery was convicted of strangling pregnant Bobbie Jo Stinnett, cutting out Stinnett’s fetus, and kidnapping the baby, who survived the attack unharmed.

Montgomery’s execution date was recently announced. She currently has a date with the federal execution chamber in Terre Haute, Indiana on December 8, 2020. Montgomery’s official death date was announced last month, giving her just a few weeks to prepare. Normally, prisoners on federal death row get about four months notice before they meet the executioner. Montgomery’s two public defender lawyers are currently both bedridden with COVID-19. They seek to delay Ms. Montgomery’s execution on those grounds.

If Montgomery is executed next month, she will be the first woman in 70 years to be executed by the feds. Trump probably sees that as a feather in his cap– or, perhaps it’s Attorney General William P. Barr who is so eager to see Montgomery killed by the government. Since July 2020, Barr has reinstated federal executions, which had been on a 17 year hiatus. Consequently, seven federal inmates have been executed since then. Lisa Montgomery would be the ninth federal inmate to be put to death this year. President-Elect Joe Biden has vowed to end the federal death penalty.

I’m not a fan of the death penalty. I won’t say it’s never appropriate– there are some cases in which executions should be done in the name of public safety. For instance, I fully believe that Timothy McVeigh, mastermind of the Oklahoma City Bombing, would have killed again if given the chance. I also believe that the DC Sniper, John Allen Muhammad would have killed again. In their cases, I think the death penalty was justifiable. However, I don’t think most death penalty cases are like that. I mostly think the death penalty should be abolished in the United States, as it has been in all of the most civilized countries around the world. But I especially think it’s wrong in Lisa Montgomery’s situation.

Lisa Montgomery is 52 years old and the mother of four children she had with her stepbrother, whom she married when she was 18 years old. She suffers from extreme mental illness. She had a mental illness when she attacked Bobbie Jo Stinnett. Montgomery told her husband that she was pregnant, but she’d been faking it. In fact, Montgomery, who was 36 years old at the time of the murder, had undergone surgery that rendered her unable to have more children before she’d ever met her husband. So when it came time to produce a baby, she determined the only thing she could do was resort to murder and kidnapping. Of course she was absolutely wrong to do what she did. She definitely belongs in prison. But there are mitigating circumstances in Lisa Montgomery’s case.

Lisa Montgomery has severe mental illness brought on by many years of childhood sexual abuse. Both of Montgomery’s parents were alcoholics, and her mother drank heavily during her pregnancy. Montgomery’s older half sister, Diane Mattingly, a product of an earlier relationship of their father’s, now works as a state employee in Kentucky. She has testified that Lisa Montgomery’s mother was extremely abusive to both girls and would beat them constantly. Mattingly has claimed that Montgomery’s mother would psychologically terrorize the girls, and they got no help from their father, who was in the military and gone for long periods of time. While their father was gone, Montgomery’s mother would bring men home. Sometimes, they would have violent fights in front of the girls. On occasion, the girls would be left with male babysitters who would sometimes rape Mattingly in front of Montgomery.

When Mattingly was about eight years old, her father and Montgomery’s mother separated. Mattingly was removed from the home by child protective services. For some reason, Montgomery was left behind. While Mattingly ended up being placed with loving foster parents who taught her self-worth and helped her recover her dignity, Montgomery was left in a cesspool of violence and depravity. There was no one there to protect her. Diane Mattingly was able to recover from her horrifying childhood because she had nurturing from kind adults who showed her a different way to live. Her sister, Lisa Montgomery, never had that.

After Mattingly left the home, Lisa Montgomery’s mother remarried and had three more children. Her next husband was a violent man who regularly beat the children and psychologically tortured them. He would force them to strip naked and then whip them. The family also moved a lot; by the time Montgomery was a teenager, she’d moved sixteen times. It was hard for her to form connections to other people who could have helped her escape her nightmarish home. But when she did tell people she was being molested– including her cousin, who was a deputy sheriff– no one did anything to help her. In fact, her stepfather used to allow her to be used as payment for services rendered when plumbers or electricians would fix things in the house. When her mother finally divorced her second husband, she told the court that she’d walked in on her husband raping her daughter. She was admonished by the court for not reporting the crime, but no one did anything about the abuse. Her stepfather was never charged. And according to a therapist who worked with Montgomery briefly during her mother’s divorce, Montgomery was left with the idea that it was her fault she’d been repeatedly raped.

Montgomery is an incest survivor who was also a victim of sex trafficking. She has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder with psychotic features, complex post-traumatic stress disorder, temporal lobe epilepsy, and cerebellar dysfunction. There’s also evidence that Montgomery is genetically predisposed to mental illness, and the abuse she suffered during her childhood made that predisposition much worse than it might have otherwise been. Mental health experts assigned to her case have concluded that Montgomery was suffering from psychosis when she committed her crime. And finally, once Montgomery was appropriately treated for her mental illness, she became deeply remorseful.

Although Lisa Montgomery is clearly responsible for killing Bobbie Jo Stinnett in a truly horrific manner, it’s also clear that she won’t kill again. I would not put her in the same class as someone like Timothy McVeigh or John Allen Muhammad or Ted Bundy. I don’t believe she killed Bobbie Jo Stinnett because she got off on killing people. I believe she was out of her mind. And based on what I’ve read about her history, I certainly can’t blame her for being out of her mind.

I think Lisa Montgomery’s execution date has been settled so quickly because Trump is about to leave office and it’s clear that a lot of Americans are changing their opinions about capital punishment. Some people will always be in favor of taking an eye for an eye, and want to see Lisa Montgomery put to death. Frankly, I think a lot of people enjoy the spectacle of the death penalty. But the larger portion of Americans are finding capital punishment barbaric and repugnant, and wouldn’t have a problem with seeing it go away for good.

Lisa Montgomery may not even know she’s about to die. Her mental state is so poor that she’s not very lucid. She spends her days doing needlepoint while her lawyers fight to try to save her life. She has exhausted her appeals to stay her execution. She’s had a hellish life so far. No, she should not be excused for her crimes, but the circumstances in her case are so absolutely terrible that I think she should be granted the chance to have her sentence commuted to life in prison. It’s not ethical to execute someone as mentally ill as Montgomery is. But then, I don’t think it’s ethical to execute most people on death row. I truly believe it’s a punishment that should be reserved for the most extreme cases that involve many people’s deaths.

Unfortunately, I think it’s likely that Ms. Montgomery will be put to death next month. She’s the victim of an administration that doesn’t care about anyone, but especially people like her. Lisa Montgomery’s life has been incredibly tragic and there was no one there to protect her when she needed it the most. The system failed her spectacularly, and now it will be responsible for her death.

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politics

Remember John Edwards?

Yesterday, as Bill and I were enjoying our Veteran’s Day celebration at home, I had a random thought about former 2008 Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards. Edwards was also Democratic nominee John Kerry’s running mate for Vice President in 2004. He was also a former senator in North Carolina. I remember thinking he was a very handsome man. He seemed to have a lot going for him besides his looks, too.

John Edwards had four children in his marriage to his wife, Elizabeth. There was Wade, who was born in 1979 and tragically died in a car accident in 1996. Daughter Cate was born in 1982, then came Emma Claire in 1998 and son, Jack, in 2000. Tragically, the children’s mother, the former Elizabeth Anania, had breast cancer and it killed her in 2010, when she was 61 years old. While Elizabeth was dying of cancer, John Edwards was having an affair with a woman named Rielle Hunter. And with Hunter, Edwards fathered another daughter named Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born in 2008.

For years, Edwards denied having an affair with Hunter, a former campaign worker. He denied that he was the father of Frances for two years, before finally admitting it in 2010. Elizabeth Edwards published a book in June of that year entitled Resilience. In the book, she never mentions Rielle Hunter by name, but refers to her as “pathetic” and a “parasitic groupie”. When John Edwards finally admitted that he’d been sleeping around, Elizabeth separated from him. She intended to divorce him after the one year waiting period required in North Carolina, but died before the time was up. She and John were still legally married when she finally passed away of metastatic breast cancer in December 2010.

John Edwards’ political career was left in a shambles after this affair was made public. It wasn’t just that he’d been unfaithful to his seemingly loyal wife. He was also accused of fraud. Edwards supposedly used over $1 million in campaign contributions to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter. A few years later, Edwards was found not guilty on at least one the fraud charges and mistrials were declared against the others, but the damage had already been done. Edwards hasn’t been back on the political scene. Instead, he’s gone back to being a lawyer. His daughter Cate is now the managing attorney of the San Diego office of his Raleigh based law firm, Edwards Kirby, which, I believe, specializes in malpractice suits.

Why am I bringing up John Edwards today? Because, for some reason, his story popped into my head yesterday. For several years, he was a political golden boy who seemed to have everything going for him. He had an affair, which is not uncommon among people who work in very challenging, powerful positions. The affair, along with the alleged fraud, eventually ruined his career in politics.

And yet, here we have an obvious scumbag like Donald Trump, who has a long history of extramarital affairs and fraud attached to him, and half the U.S. population wants to see him continue his destructive presidential reign. Why was John Edwards so quickly tossed out of the political arena, his reputation effectively ruined, but Donald Trump is still a hero to so many?

I think about John Edwards and, while I would not condone his actions, I think he is a lot more decent than Trump has ever been. He’s certainly better looking, anyway. Maybe he doesn’t have Trump’s charisma, although over half of us in the United States and probably many more people beyond have found that his charm has worn off entirely. It’s amazing what was unacceptable in 2010 that is apparently okay in 2020.

Also… I think of all of the ordinary people who have been “canceled” on social media just for being shitty. Ordinary people who get caught on video being bad for a few minutes can wind up getting death threats, losing their jobs, and being publicly shamed to the point of wanting to commit suicide. And yet we tolerate a president who has mocked disabled people, bragged about grabbing women by the genitals, and has a long history of ripping people off and bullying them into letting him steal from them. Why are so many people willing to give Trump a pass for being the bastard he so obviously is, but more ordinary people wind up “ruined”, at least temporarily, for being caught on video being a “Karen” (a term that needs to die quickly)?

The mind boggles. Well… another day has passed, bringing us closer to January 20. Although I don’t look forward to the drama yet to come as the day draws closer, I am relieved that Biden won. And he did win, y’all. There was no fraud on his part. If anyone was acting unfairly, it was Trump. He and his cronies pulled all sorts of devious and illegal shit to ensure that he wouldn’t lose the White House. And, guess what– he lost anyway, didn’t he?

I can’t wait until he’s gone. It’s been four years of non-stop circus show theatrics coupled with soul crushing embarrassment and moral degradation. It made me rather sick to see Trump honoring veterans yesterday, saluting when he’s not a fucking veteran and can’t claim one tenth of the honor any basic servicemember has. He needs to go.

In other news… aside from losing his father a few days ago, Bill also lost a great aunt yesterday. He didn’t know her well. She was in her 90s and had Alzheimer’s Disease. I have heard stories about her. I hope she’s resting in peace, too.

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politics, Trump

I feel like someone poured water on the Wicked Warlock of the White House…

Who would thought a good little girl like you could destroy my beautiful wickedness?

Well, it’s been four days since the U.S. election and we’re still waiting for the winner to be announced. It’s beginning to look more and more like we’re about to say goodbye to the Trump era. If Trump does, in fact, lose the election, and it looks an awful lot like he will, there will be a long recovery from his disastrous stint in the White House. But it does sort of inject some hope into a year that has been very strange at best, completely heartbreaking at worst.

I’ve experienced a wide range of emotions this week. I was disgusted on Tuesday, as Mitch McConnell and Lindsey Graham were both re-elected. I was especially disgusted to see that Mitch got another term. I think he’s worse than Lindsey Graham, even though I met Mitch’s wife once. Back in the 1990s, Elaine Chao was briefly the director of the Peace Corps, and she visited Yerevan (after she’d left the post) when I was a Volunteer. Because I lived in Yerevan, I was invited to visit the Ambassador’s house and talk to her about what we were doing. I didn’t know who she was, nor did I know who Mitch McConnell was. I didn’t care about politics in those days. What a blissful time… I remember her to be pleasant enough, although I find her husband’s politics completely disgusting.

I was also disgusted to see just how many Americans apparently don’t care about Trump’s incredibly bad behavior. They don’t care about his constant tantrums and lies, nor do they care about the way he blatantly cheats as he bleats about having his power stripped. He’s just another one of those people who thinks the rules apply to everyone but him. But still, many people I thought were basically decent, caring, kind, and fair people are willing to give Trump a pass for this obvious disrespect for the American people and the world at large. Check out this post my German friend shared:

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted his father should open an “all-out war” around the election. Even Goebbels was more polite and at least asked.

The comments on the original post by Germans are very interesting. I’m glad to see that a lot of them realize that not all Americans are for Trump. And although many more Americans still accept Trump’s disastrous behavior and catastrophic failures as a leader than I expected, in the end, it does look like the better man will prevail (not that it’s hard to be better than Donald Trump is). I truly hope Joe Biden will help mend all of the relationships Trump has done his best to destroy. Especially with Germany.

Then, someone was mean to me. It’s always upsetting to me when someone is deliberately mean. I don’t react to mean people the way I used to. Now, when someone is really blatantly rude to me, I just cut them off. It makes me sad to do that, but I don’t have time for unapologetic assholes. If someone feels emboldened enough to be blatantly horrible to me without any reason or remorse, that’s a sign that we don’t need to be in touch. So, while I’m a little sad and disappointed to say goodbye to this person, I’ve resolved to come away from that experience a better person. In this case, I also hope to become a better guitar player. I doubt he’ll even notice, anyway.

At least Kanye was gracious enough to concede.

As the week wore on, things improved. I became reacquainted with an old college friend. And then the mail in ballots were counted and it became clear that Biden got more votes, even as Trump continued to wail, threaten, and complain about corruption. If anyone knows about corruption, it’s Donald Trump… and now it’s time for him to pay the piper. But he is determined to make the process as painful, complicated, and expensive as he can, and he’s going about it all in the least dignified way possible. Really, it’s pathetic. He’s talking about calling in favors to the Supreme Court, which is now stacked with justices he selected. There’s no doubt that they will be pressured to do what he wants them to do. Hopefully, they will uphold their responsibility to be fair and impartial and follow the law. No matter what, I anticipate many weeks of a shitshow as Trump and Biden duke it out over who will lead the country.

Now it’s Saturday, and Bill is cooking our usual Saturday breakfast. Looks like the weather will be nice, although thanks to the COVID-19 lockdown lite, we probably won’t do anything. We did have a fire last night– first one of this side of 2020. The weather is finally chilly, too… Winter is coming.

It’s disturbing to watch a world leader melt down the way Trump is, kinda like the Wicked Witch of the West did. But it’s more disturbing that people with supposedly normal intelligence can’t grasp why he so badly needs to go. If he doesn’t go, I have grave concerns for the future. Everybody says that. I know many Trumpers feel the same about Biden. But in this case, we’ve already had four years of life under Trump. He may not have directly made my life worse, but his seagull leadership style has definitely affected many people who aren’t as privileged as I am. Below is a copy and paste job shared by my cousin’s ex wife… She’s obviously out to lunch on this.

People are so scared. Anyway, wasn’t it Republican George W. Bush who got us into those “endless wars with the Middle East”? And aren’t Republicans more interested in making money than treating their workers fairly? This thing confuses me.

Sigh… and the final thing that has happened this week is that an elderly close family member is very ill and on a ventilator, although not because of COVID-19. We’re a bit concerned about that, especially since it’s not so easy to get back to the United States. But with any luck, the ventilator will help more than it harms. Unfortunately, when it comes to the elderly and serious illnesses, sometimes these situations can go south rather quickly. In 2014, my dad went to the hospital with an inflamed gallbladder. Most people think of gallbladder removal as pretty straightforward. The gallbladder was successfully removed, but my dad was unable to recover from the anesthesia. That was his exit. I kind of knew it was going to happen, too, but at least I was able to see him one last time before he passed. I’m not sure that can happen this time, if it comes down to that.

Bill will be back to teleworking next week. COVID-19 is getting worse here. Fortunately, Germany is led by people who mostly care more about people than money. And although Bill works for the United States, we’re obliged to follow the host country’s rules. And that suits me fine. Germans enjoy a better lifestyle anyway.

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