Send Before Midnight… Tonight

Not too long ago, I made the mistake of sending money to a political campaign, and then sometime after that, a little dough here and there to other campaigns, but nothing extensive in terms of frequency or amount.

As a result of my political generosity, I now get email every day from someone who is running for a government office, or someone who is representing them—mostly Democrats, because I lean that way, but not always (see image).

At one time I thought that votes won elections, not money. Yet, given the amount of email I receive everyday asking for funding, I guess this isn’t true—at least not to the people running those campaigns.

Here’s a small sample of the many pitches I receive everyday:

You haven’t made a donation yet this year. Ahead of Friday’s deadline, can I count on you to split a $25 donation between my campaign…

So please, can you chip in a donation of $5 or more to help me…

Make no mistake, by donating to support my campaign, you played such an instrumental role in building our movement—and I couldn’t be more grateful.

There’s so much riding on this close race, and I can’t win without your help, so I’m asking: Will you donate $5 now to help me…

Whatever happened to “I can’t win without your vote.” And, what’s with these random deadlines?

Recently I started getting emails from the campaign of Val Demings who is running for the Florida Senate seat now held by Marco Rubio. I’ve never sent her campaign a dime, but I know how these things work. Once you give to one, they all find out about you. And, I get it—I’m sure she’s a much better person than Rubio, but her campaign is downright relentless in petitioning the world for money via email. At least four emails today and four yesterday (a Sunday) alone, and 23 emails for all of last week.

Back when I first heard about her in one of those earlier emails, I remember thinking to myself, “Well, that seems like a reasonable campaign that I could support.” But now, I can’t get past the blitzkrieg of emails to find my checkbook.

It’s all a bit of a turn-off.

And then I think about that self-proclaimed billionaire and former President who is standing up in front of his supporters asking them to send him money for his political wars. At least I’m not receiving that kind of bullshit.

I’m finished with sending money to political campaigns. I’ve never really believed in it anyway. From now on, it’s only my vote they will be competing for. Something tells me I won’t be getting many emails asking for only that.

Crimes in Social Media

Over the years, I’ve often told friends that one of my more odd bucket list items is to spend a night in jail, even if I haven’t worked out a plan to actually pull it off with minimum consequences beyond the actual night in jail. Public intoxication would likely do it, but I’d like to have a clear memory so I can write about the experience afterwards.

Recently I experienced something like this in more of a virtual setting as I was blocked from posting anything on Facebook for 24 hours thanks to some anonymous tattletale. But as my punishment set in, it felt more like standing in the corner during 1st grade then an overnight jail stay.

What did I post? It was actually a short comment on a friend’s post regarding the Trump shutdown. So, here it is in all it’s glory:

Trump needs to do us all a favor and resign but in a way that best suits him—hanging himself in the Oval Office.

Yeah, I suppose it’s a bit distasteful if you’re a Trump fan, but isn’t suicide just a glorious (or “gory”) version of resignation? Besides, I know many that find this particular sentiment as pleasant as a good meal. The truth is, I have several fantasies of Trump’s demise—my favorite version is that he is convicted of treason and tickets are sold for his public beheading on the National Mall where so many people show up, that ticket sales pay off the national debt. In that setting, Trump would finally draw the crowd he wished he had for his “record-setting” inauguration.

Let’s face it, over the course of his life—not just his presidency—Trump is nowhere close to being a model citizen as he has brought pain, misery, and suffering to many, and God knows how many lives he has compromised in a lifetime of underhanded “art-of-the-deals.” And, all of it is well documented along with the greatest collection of lies by any high-level politician. So, the idea of his suicide, public execution or some rogue Secret Service agent greasing him sits just fine with me. There’s nothing redeeming in him as a person or as a president.

• • •

As long as I’m here, another incident came about a couple weeks ago as the result of another Fuckface von Clownstick remark I made on Facebook. Although it didn’t get me banned, a Trump-ass-kissing tattletale sent an email to the college president about my post.

Tim Sedlacek, a resident of North Dakota working in the oil and gas industry (according to his Facebook page) wrote the following:

I am writing you this email about something I find very concerning and very disturbing. You have a professor employed at your institution that is publically (sic) calling for the assassination of President Trump on his Facebook page. I have included a screen shot of said Facebook post. I think the taxpayers of your great state would find it very interesting that they are paying the salary of someone with such radical political views who is not afraid to convey those views publicly. As a professor at a public university he should be held to a higher standard. I hope you take appropriate action on this matter. I will give you a few days to reply to me with your course of action and if I do not hear back from you will be contacting your local newspaper and also other newspapers in Wyoming to inform them about this very disturbing post by an employee of your college.

This sent me to FB Jail

My offensive post: “Impeachment, incarceration, bullet-in-the-brain… whatever it takes, Trump must go.
First of all, a couple responses on my part:

Hey Tim, why be such a tattletale? You could have taken it up with me if you found it so disturbing—after all, you were my FB friend. You could have left a comment, could have sent me a private message, but instead you responded like a screaming little girl with mud splashed on her Sunday church dress. What an asshole.

Secondly, I was not calling for Trump’s assassination. In fact, immediately after the post, I left a link in the comment section to the Black Key’s “Bullet in the Brain” song/video. It’s about suicide. That said and historically speaking, bullets in the brain have been one of several ways Presidents have been removed from office—those well loved and those not so much. Fact! So, if Trump or someone else were to actually pull that off, it still comes off as a working solution for me. But, for the record (and the vapid intellect of those like Sedlacek), I’m not interested in doing such myself, nor do I even have the ability, know-how, or energy to pull off such a feat. I’m simply open to any means it takes to remove this persona non grata (and his ilk) from the White House.

In deciding to take the post down (although not required), I responded to the college president with the following:

I received notice about my personal FB post on Dec. 21 regarding Donald Trump. I’m sure you are aware, this was not a threatening message of any kind—I was just speaking of the various ways past U.S. Presidents (those well-loved and those reviled) have been or could be removed from office. Distasteful as it may be, I suppose it is what it is depending on one’s political views. Further, I had posted immediately after (in the comment section) the song by the Black Keys “Bullet in the Brain,” which is a song about suicide and what I was referencing in the original post should someone like Sedlacek come along and attempt to spin it otherwise.

Nevertheless, I have removed the post from my public feed in hopes that this will be of no more bother to you. I apologize if this put a crimp in your holiday away from the work place.

The other day, I was having a discussion with a colleague about “spending too much time on Facebook.” In light of these recent events, my hope is that this little expulsion will be an impetus to get away from that platform where tattletales and pollyannas like Sedlacek lurk, and perhaps put more effort into my posts on dissidence. So, I’m thankful even if I still haven’t spent the night in jail.

And one last thing, fuck Facebook and its harboring of Russian trolls and its secret love for Trump.

Curing mental illness vs. gun laws with teeth

“This American carnage stops RIGHT HERE, and stops RIGHT NOW.” —Fuckface von Clownstick. (And the people clapped)

It’s been well over a week, so it would seem now is good time to start talking about gun laws—before another mass shooting shakes the country to its core again. (Never mind the everyday mass shootings that injure and kill only a handful of our fellow citizens.)

As authorities in law, psychology, and other professions sift through the evidence more than a week after the Las Vegas shooting, everyone remains dumbfounded in the case of Stephen Paddock, the Las Vegas shooter. Even those closest to him (family, the gambling and gun-selling communities) are clueless and never had a vibe regarding his character of darkness that he kept from everyone so well. He certainly was an anomaly, but that’s how distant we are to addressing mental illness as a solution to mass murders. Think about it: its been over a week after the Las Vegas massacre, and we still have zilch.

Its odd that those who advocate curing mental illness is the solution to preventing mass killings, have no particulars when it comes to how we get there. It’s just this vague, clouded idea—much like asking for directions to a location and your told, “Yeah, I know the place, but I’ve never seen it, but if you go up the road a distance, I’m sure you’ll find it.”

This seems like a good place/time to ask why gun violence is always linked to mental illness? I think our society has a tendency to make the two synonymous. As to say, gun violence is the result of mental illness and mental illness is the result of gun violence. One thing to keep in mind—based on research—the overwhelming majority of people with mental illnesses are no more violent than the overwhelming majority of people in general.

Simply stated, the mental health discussion to a safer community that carries firearms is nothing more than a smokescreen for the gun advocates of our society. It’s simply a diversion with an impossible solution that keeps as many people away from talking about real solutions. This is a quintessential example of “kicking the can” down the road.

Can you imagine what advances in mental health it will take to reach a point where outward-appearing everyday guys can be found-out before they reach their inward critical mass to do the unthinkable (which has materialized far too many times)? It will be nothing short of placing mind-readers in gun stores, the workplace, and the homes of everyone who is suspect.

And how far do we go in lumping the various attributes that lead to violence with mental illness? Most agree that things like schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and major depression can fall under the mental illness umbrella, but what about those with a history of child abuse, binge drinking, or simply being male—because those things are also linked to violence. Then there are those who have experienced resentment, revenge, social isolation, a tendency to externalize blame, a fascination with violent video games, and a passion for weaponry.

The immediate answer to reducing the number of mass murders in America  isn’t in wrestling and sorting out the far-off mysteries and fuzzy-logic of mental illness, but rather in implementing concrete, extensive and tougher gun laws that mirror the requirements of other dangerous operations such as the various levels of licensing in the operation of a vehicle.

When it comes to mental illness warning signs, it seems fair that anyone who has over, x-number of guns (a number agreed upon by a rationale-minded group) and a bunch of ammunition is a candidate for some kind of mental illness screening. And, short of legitimate gun collectors, those who possess vast arsenals of guns and ammo, might this passion be an extension of their army-playing days in their youth. (If that isn’t a form of mental illness, I don’t know what is.)

Should we make drastic improvements in mental health that allow us to identify a mass-murderer before they act, then we can talk about the elimination of gun laws. For starters, if you want to stop mass murders, require every person who has x-number of guns and ammo, or owns an “assault-style, non-hunting” gun to get regular screening.

Getting a driver’s license, a car license, and insurance is a true inconvenience when it comes to driving. However, it doesn’t prevent us from securing our right to drive, it’s just a precautionary to ensure that we can carry out the task without being a great risk to society. And so, owning a gun should be the same kind of inconvenience for anyone wishing to possess a firearm and/or ammunition. Besides, if you’re a “good-guy-with-a-gun,” you shouldn’t object to a little inconvenience, right?

Despite all of this, I’m reluctant to believe that if the day should come when we can identify people with mental illness quickly, the NRA-gun lobby will likely still resist anything that prevents people from getting their hands on guns.

For the time being, America has long since disqualified itself when it comes to “greatness” in its tolerance for continuous massacres of its innocent citizens. Any great country would have addressed and solved this problem by now. Australia… now there’s a great country. New Zealand… another great country. Japan… yes. Etc.