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On the Saturday during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, I decided to check out this toy show that was being held at the Maryland State Fairgrounds.

It was such a feast for the eyes as the toys and various other vintage items were displayed at various vendor tables. The whole show took on the air of a flea market with an emphasis on vintage stuff dating anywhere from the 1900s to the 1990s.

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Someone had a jukebox for sale, which reminded me of my childhood when many of the local restaurants had them and people could choose songs to play for about a quarter each.

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The jukebox played music during the entire event. (Which proved that it definitely still worked.) I couldn’t help taking pictures of the songs that were available on the jukebox. The majority of them were hits when I was a kid.

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And speaking of music players, here’s a vintage 8-track player with an Elvis Presley 8-track tape. I once had a stereo system that included an 8-track player but I never owned one like that. But I could’ve sworn that one of my friends or maybe one of my cousins had a player just like that but I don’t know for sure. (Memory is one of those funny things where you remember something but you don’t remember when, where, or how you remember it.)

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Late last year I did a series of blog posts with accompanying photos known as A Tabletop Christmas (so-named because I limit my Christmas decorating to just a single tabletop in my living room). Among the items I showed off was a small plastic Santa Claus puppet that I’ve had since I was a child. I didn’t know anything about the origins of this puppet. It wasn’t until I went to the toy show when I saw a tiny plastic Santa puppet on sale that’s identical to mine.

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The only difference between the two is that this Santa still had its label at the base while mine doesn’t have any labels at all. (I suspect that whatever label it had must’ve fallen off a long time ago.) My Santa puppet is currently stored in a box with the other Christmas decorations in the attic but here’s a picture of my Santa puppet that I took last December.

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At first I thought the animal in the next picture was a stuffed animal until I saw the dog move his eyes around. He laid there the entire time I was at that show.

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This show also had examples of how the mighty had fallen. I found this book by disgraced former Fox News talk show host Bill O’Reilly on sale for only $1 at one of the tables. (LOL!)

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There was one token of something new that I found. Someone was selling glow-in-the-dark versions of the hottest toy of 2017: Fidget Spinners.

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By the way, you can check out a video I shot recently where I unboxed and played with one of those Fidget Spinners for the first time (and, no, the one I bought didn’t glow in the dark).

Everywhere there were visual treats, many of which harkened back to my own youth.

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As I was walking back to the light rail stop I shot this photo of The Cow Palace building because it had a nice small garden.

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I didn’t buy a lot of stuff at that toy show due mainly to tight finances. But I managed to snag a couple of things at bargain rates. I found the second season of The Simpsons DVD set for only $6.

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I bought a Monster High doll for only $5. I was attracted to her pretty winter-themed clothes. At first I thought I may have purchased a relative of The Snow Queen until I did an online search and I was able to make a definite identification. Based on this web page, her name is Abbey Bominable and she’s described as the 16-year-old daughter of the Yeti.

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Here’s a closeup of her hair, which looks like it has glittery plastic pellets weaved throughout the strands. It gives a really cool ice/snow effect, especially when the light reflects off of her hair.

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As everybody knows, today is Inauguration Day where Donald Trump gets officially sworn in as the 45th President of the United States. Rather than focus on that event, I’d rather talk about dolls instead.

First of all, I want to announce that I no longer own the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure.

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I sold it last month on eBay. When I first purchased it years ago (which was sometime during either the first or second season of The Apprentice), I bought it as a gag gift for my then-husband. We both became hooked on that show because it was so hilarious and campy to watch. (This was a guy who was giving business advice on that show despite the fact that he had gone through multiple bankruptcies.) I figured that it was no big deal to buy a doll/action figure based on someone who was basically a buffoon but was essentially harmless as far as I was concerned. (Granted he wasn’t harmless to anyone who actually did business with him but to everyone else who had nothing to do with that guy, he was harmless.)

When my husband left me, he left the doll behind. It was no big deal because he was only 12 inches tall so I kept him among the other small dolls I own (such as Barbie, Volks Dollie Plus, Monster High and, Ever After High).

But then there was the initial flirtation of running for president back in 2011 and he did so by catering to the birthers who were questioning President Obama’s U.S. citizenship and contending that he was really born in Kenya. I felt that what he did was so reprehensible that I no longer could stand to watch his reality show after he decided against running and just continue with his reality TV career. I also began to ignore the doll. I would press the button in his back to hear him speak every now and then but I basically didn’t bother with it much.

When Trump decided to really run in the 2016 elections while saying horrible things that were racist, sexist, and anti-Islamic, I began to rue the day I actually bought that action figure as a gag gift. I finally decided to sell the doll on eBay because I just didn’t want it around my house anymore. I like dolls that make me feel happy and put me in a good mood and that Donald Trump action figure made me feel the opposite. I didn’t get a lot of money for the doll (I only had one bidder who was willing to pay the $20 minimum bid and I didn’t get that bid until the third and final week that I ran the auction) but I felt relieved to finally get it out of my house.

At least I’ll have these two videos to remember the doll by. The first is my “Trump” poem that I wrote for a local poetry reading event in 2011 and I later made a video featuring the Donald Trump doll. The other is my demonstration video of the Donald Trump doll that I made when I was preparing to sell it on eBay.

Now I’m going to switch gears a bit and talk some more about some other dolls that I have.

I recently came across this campaign on Instagram, known as #westandwithalldolls, where American Girl doll owners were urged to post pictures of their dolls (especially dolls of color) in solidarity with all women and minorities who are currently being maligned and even attacked by Donald Trump and his supporters. I chipped in with the cause by uploading pictures of my three American Girl dolls.

First, here’s Addy Walker holding a sign this quote from Martin Luther King.

“Again we have deluded ourselves into believing the myth that capitalism grew and prospered out of the Protestant ethic of hard work and sacrifice. The fact is that capitalism was built on the exploitation and suffering of black slaves and continues to thrive on the exploitation of the poor, both black and white, both here and abroad.”

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Here’s Ivy Ling holding a sign with this quote from Confucius.

“To put the world right in order, we must put the nation in order; to put the nation in order, we must first put the family in order; to put the family in order, we must first cultivate our personal life; we must first set our hearts right.”

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Even though the #westandwithalldolls campaign specifically requested that everyone post pictures of dolls of color, I decided to use my one white American Girl doll, Julie Albright, because I found this one quote from the late Frank Zappa that pretty much says it all about race relations, especially among whites who aren’t bigoted towards people of color or anyone else who’s different from them.

“Hey, you know something people? I’m not black. But there’s a whole lots of times I wish I could say I’m not white.”

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I got that quote from the lyrics to the song “Trouble Every Day,” whose video you can watch below.

Here’s one group photo of all three of my dolls with their signs.

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If you want to contribute to that Instagram campaign, or see all the photos that have been uploaded so far, check out the hashtag #westandwithalldolls.

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Every day I hear news about Donald Trump and they become more horrifying by the day. From his cabinet choices (such as appointing Rick Perry head of an agency that he once called for its abolishment) to Trump’s refusal to read the daily intelligence briefings on the grounds that “I’m, like, a smart person”, it is so obvious that he is the one person who had no business of ever running for president in the first place—let alone finding people who were willing to vote for him. Donald Trump is the first president-elect in history who has no prior political or military experience. If all that weren’t enough, there are already divisions within Trump’s organization and the man hasn’t even taken office yet.

Donald Trump can’t take the time to read the daily intelligence briefings yet he can find the time to meet with people like Kanye West and Anna Wintour. He also finds the time to complain on Twitter about Alec Baldwin impersonating him on Saturday Night Live.

There have long been accusations of Trump being too cozy with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. Now there are accusations that Russian hackers may have somehow thrown the election to Donald Trump. These allegations are so serious that members of the Electoral College are demanding to see the evidence before they go to their scheduled meeting on December 19 to give the final vote on who will become the next President of the United States.

I don’t even know what to think anymore, other than the fact that I agree with the headline of this article that appeared in Teen Vogue (of all places): Donald Trump Is Gaslighting America. I am especially worried because I live pretty close to Washington, DC so I have a bird’s eye view of whatever fuckery will come down. Donald Trump is making me feel nostalgic for George W. Bush—and I thought Dubya was the worst president ever. If Donald Trump actually makes it to the White House (and that’s a big “IF”), I don’t know if the United States of America as I’ve known it all my life will survive. I’m especially not heartened by Trump’s history of multiple bankruptcies and his numerous failed companies.

By the way, I read this interesting article on Politico.com on how Hillary Clinton’s campaign totally blew the election by ignoring working class areas like Michigan. I still maintain that if the Democratic National Committee hadn’t gone out of its way to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination, Donald Trump would be going back to being a full-time celebrity pretending to be a real estate developer working in Trump Tower.

Thanks for nothing, DNC!

It’s that time of the year where people are crowding the shopping malls in an effort to buy gifts for Christmas, Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa. Instead of fighting surly drivers for a parking space, how about staying home and buying some unique things from me? Here is what I’m highlighting for sale this holiday season.

Do you like adult coloring books? Looking for something different from the usual ones that are currently on the market? For some NSFW fun, try my adult coloring book, Burlesque Beauties, which definitely puts the “adult” in adult coloring book.

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Purchase Burlesque Beauties right here.

When I originally created my first (and, so far, only) item for my new RedBubble shop, President Trump, I honestly thought that it would be something that was going to be hot for a limited time until Election Day then it would be obsolete. Thanks to the outcome of those elections, it looks like my President Trump line will be hip and relevant for at least the next four years (unless he somehow gets impeached or killed).

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You can buy this design on a variety of products ranging from leggings to bedcovers to cases and skins for your favorite electronic device. Check it all out right here.

I also currently have the following items available for auction on eBay through December 29 or until someone makes the highest bid (whichever comes first). There are no hidden reserve prices or anything like that and I have set relatively low minimum bids on these products.

Doll Couch Made From Recycled Dance Dance Revolution Pad

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This is the same couch that I displayed at the 2014 Greenbelt Mini-Maker Faire and the 2014 DC Mini-Maker Faire. While this couch came from a pattern that was made for American Girl dolls, I found that it can also fit Mini Super Dollies and Ellowyne Wilde dolls as well. Bid on this couch right here.

Barbie Doll Customized as an Unbeatable Squirrel Girl Action Figure

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I recently made a series of DIY videos on how to customize a Barbie doll (especially the Made to Move Barbie) into Marvel Comics’ off-beat superhero known as the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl. I decided to sell the doll that was featured in that video series. I figured that anyone who is looking for a Squirrel Girl doll/action figure to give to someone else (especially a child) but doesn’t have the time to customize a doll would want to buy her. I’m basically taking advantage of the fact that, as of this writing, there are no officially licensed dolls or action figures based on this character by making my own customized version available for sale. You can bid on my customized creation right here.

Knitted Fur Coat Made Especially For Barbie, Blythe, Pullip, and Other 1/6 Scale Dolls

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I wrote about the making of this one a few days ago. I decided to put it up for sale. Keep in mind that this piece is hand-knitted (by me) using fur yarn so it’s definitely not some cheaply made Third World sweatshop crap. I sewed hooks in the front so you can close it and keep it closed. It’s perfect for people who are itching to dress their doll in something appropriate for this time of the year. Bid on this doll coat right here.

Knitted Outfit for American Girl Dolls and Other 18-Inch Dolls

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Like the smaller knitted coat, I also wrote about this outfit in this blog recently. I decided to sell this one as well. This is a one of a kind outfit that was hand-knitted by me. I sewed snaps in the back instead of using velcro, which is convenient because you won’t have to deal with the hassle of getting your doll’s hair stuck every time you change into this outfit. (Even though most of the official American Girl outfits cost around $30, they still use velcro just like the manufacturers of cheaper doll outfits. If I was going to spend that much for doll clothes, I would expect something nicer than velcro.) Bid on this outfit right here.

In addition to my handcrafted stuff, I will also have a couple of other items available on eBay. I didn’t make either one but I decided to list them here along with everything else.

Talking Donald Trump Action Figure

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This is the same action figure which I gave as a gag gift for my then-husband sometime during the first or second season of The Apprentice, long before Donald Trump’s foray into politics. I used this one in the video for my “Trump” poem back in 2011. Now that he’s the president-elect, I’m going to see how much of a collector’s item this doll really is. (If some hardcore Donald Trump fan wants to offer me a huge amount of money for it, I’m willing to accept the offer.) So if you’re shopping for gift to give to someone who voted for Trump and is a true believer, here’s your chance to surprise that person with an action figure that not only has realistic articulated joints but can also say phrases using The Donald’s own voice. I made a video demonstrating the action figure’s talking and posing capabilities.

Bid on the Talking Donald Trump Action Figure right here.

Card Set Featuring Reproductions of Vintage Betty Page Pinup Photos

The cards in this set are about the size of baseball trading cards. They all feature vintage photographs of 1950’s pinup model Betty Page, who inexplicably underwent a popular revival in the 1980’s (while many of her other 1950’s female pinup contemporaries still remain in obscurity to this day) and she still remains a cult figure today with plenty of male admirers. I purchased this card set from a catalogue as a Christmas gift for my then-husband because I figured he would like it since he used to purchase the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue each year. It turned out that I was wrong. He told me that Betty Page didn’t really excite him all that much compared to Cindy Crawford or Paulina Porizkova. I think he only went through that card pack once or twice then left it alone. Of course he left it behind when he walked out on me five years ago this month. I tried donating it to the yard sale that was run by my support group for people who are separated or divorced by the organizers told me that I would be better off selling it on eBay because it might be a collector’s item. So I’m selling it for very low minimum bid mainly because I just want to get rid of it. You can view a few sample pictures from this set and make your bids right here.

That’s it for the auctions. I’ve set each one up so it’ll be relisted two more times if I don’t get any bids the first week. But the entire auction will end on December 29 regardless of whether I sell anything or not so don’t delay and bid today!

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I found this action figure in a local Staples of all places several years ago. I purchased it as a gag gift for my then-husband sometime during the first or second season of The Apprentice (which would’ve been around 2004 or 2005). I had no idea that one day he would actually run for president, much less even fathom the idea that one day he would really become the president-elect. (If only I had a time machine, I would’ve gone back to my past self and tell myself to either keep the doll in the box or purchase a second doll and leave that one in the box. I would go to great lengths to tell my past self that having a boxed doll will be really valuable one day even if my past self would probably laugh at the absurd-sounding idea of Donald Trump actually being elected President of the United States.)

My husband and I took him out of the box and we discarded the box. We both laughed as we pushed the button on the back and listened to him say stuff like “You’re fired!” and “Have an ego. There’s nothing wrong with ego.”

A few years later I wrote a poem called “Trump.” This was back in 2011 when Donald Trump was hinting that he would run for president. I performed it live on Poetry Night a few times at a local cafe and it got a lot of laughs each time I did this. Later that year I did a video version of it where I used that talking Donald Trump action figure.

When my husband left me in late 2011, he left the action figure behind. A few days ago I finally got around to making a video that demonstrates both his talking abilities and his articulated joints. (He is able to achieve relatively realistic poses because he has joints at the neck, shoulders, arms, wrists, leg, knees, and ankles.) Here’s the video below. Have fun with this one!

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Yes I’ve written in the past about how I decided to cast my vote for Jill Stein of the Green Party. I had no illusion that she would win. I was hoping that she would get at least 5% of the votes so the Greens could get federal funding and actually build a real political party complete with Green candidates running for state and local elections. I was hoping that, further down the road, there would eventually be a real political alternative to both Democrats and Republicans. The main reason why I decided on Stein is that I really disliked both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and I felt that the Green Party platform was the one that best resonated with me and my personal values.

Ever since Election Day I’ve been reading messages on social media where people are blaming Jill Stein’s supporters for Clinton’s defeat. The argument is that Jill Stein had siphoned voters away from Hillary Clinton and Clinton would’ve won had Stein not continued with her campaign all the way to Election Day.

The only thing wrong with that argument is that it’s false. Pointing the blame finger at Jill Stein voters like myself is the wrong thing to do, especially since Stein ended up getting only 1% of the vote, which means that the Green Party won’t get federal funds after all. You are barking up the wrong tree when you blame Jill Stein voters for President Donald Trump.

So don’t you DARE blame Jill Stein voters for the Tuesday night debacle. If you need to blame someone, blame the fact that the Democratic National Committee decided to ignore polls that consistently said that Bernie Sanders was the one candidate who could defeat Donald Trump and went to great lengths—both legal and illegal—to make sure that their chosen one, Hillary Clinton, got the nomination instead. I wrote at length about this yesterday so I’m not going to elaborate any further but I highly recommend reading this article, which fully documents the extent of the corruption within the DNC.

Blame the fact that Hillary Clinton has long been considered to be one of the most detested politicians for reasons that have less to do with sexism and more for the fact that she and her husband Bill have been involved in one scandal after another. It’s no wonder voters decided that they would rather take their chances on a celebrity who has never held public office before than someone with a long history of corruption.

Blame the fact that Hillary Clinton was a lackluster campaigner (which I also wrote about yesterday) who felt that she could just coast on name recognition and the fact that she’s a woman to get women voters to automatically vote for her because she would be the first female president. This morning I read this Guardian article about how many Donald Trump voters were women who voted for him despite his infamous “grab them by the pussy” comment and the numerous sexual assault allegations against him because they simply did not like Clinton.

Blame the fact that Hillary Clinton got more of the popular vote than Donald Trump but, thanks to the outdated Electoral College that was put in place by the original Founding Fathers to prevent rule by popular vote, Donald Trump got more of the electoral votes so he reached that mythical 270 electoral votes that he needed to win. (Personally I think the Electoral College needs to go the way of the dodo bird in favor of a straight popular vote but that’s another rant altogether.)

Blame the fact that Donald Trump (along with Bernie Sanders) was among the few candidates who actually talked about jobs leaving the United States and being shipped to Third World countries and he even said that he was against the proposed TPP. That resonated among workers who are still angry that Hillary’s husband and former President Bill Clinton had signed NAFTA, which accelerated these jobs being shipped overseas, and the fact that Hillary had selected as her vice president, Tim Kaine, who is pro-TPP (which as been described as “NAFTA on Steroids”).

Blame the fact that, sadly, there are still plenty of white racists whom Donald Trump catered to by talking about Mexican rapists, the threat of taco trucks being parked on every street corner, and Islamic terrorists. These white racists are willing to blame non-white immigrants for the bad economy instead of corporations outsourcing jobs overseas and Wall Street people tanking the economy back in 2008 and they were willing to vote for a man with a history of multiple bankruptcies because he literally spoke their language.

Blame the fact that people are weary of political nepotism after recent memories of suffering through eight years of George W. Bush (the son of President George H.W. Bush) and they simply did not wish to vote for the wife of a former president.

Blame the fact that 46% of eligible voters didn’t even bother to vote this year.

Blame the corporate-owned mainstream media, which did shenanigans like the Associated Press declaring that Hillary Clinton was already the Democratic nominee just hours before the primary polls opened in California and the rest of the media widely circulated that AP story, which literally discouraged would-be Sanders voters from even bothering with voting. If that weren’t enough, the corporate-owned mainstream media was so dazzled by Donald Trump that they literally gave him more free air time than all of the other candidates combined (including Republicans, Democrats, and third parties) while not questioning some of the more problematic parts of his campaign pledges (such as building a wall along the border with Mexico and forcing Mexico to pay for it). The media treated Donald Trump’s campaign like it was some kind of extra-special extended episode of The Apprentice at the expense of actually providing serious coverage (including a deep discussion of the issues) so voters would be informed enough to vote for a candidate based on the issues instead of being a big celebrity. Jeff Jarvis discusses the media’s complicity in elevating Donald Trump from fringe candidate to president in this article, which I recommend reading.

You can blame any or all of the above for the election of President Donald Trump. But don’t you DARE blame Jill Stein voters for Hillary Clinton’s defeat.

A few days ago I made what I thought was a funny video where I had a Talking Donald Trump Action Figure (which I originally gave my then-husband as a gag gift years ago during either the first or second season of The Apprentice) stand in front of the mirror. I activated his talking button a few times while I filmed it with a smartphone. Then I brought it into iMovie where I edited it to make it look like the action figure was talking to his reflection as he said stuff like “I have no choice but to tell you ‘You’re fired!’”, “You really think you’re a good leader. I don’t!”, and “I should fire myself just for having you around. This one’s easy for me: You’re fired!”

I was inspired to make it because I read polls that said that it would be a close race but Hillary Clinton would ultimately emerge as a victor. It didn’t take long to make and I edited the video down to less than a minute. My original plan for Election Night after the polls closed was to go to the local movie theater with my laptop, which was providing free admission to its PBS broadcast of the election results on the big screen around 9 p.m., watch the proceedings for about an hour or so, wait until Hillary was so far ahead in the electoral results that there was no way that The Donald could ever win, then run outside to the STEM center located next door (which would’ve been closed for the day but it offers free wifi 24 hours a day), sit at one of the outdoor tables, brave the dark November cold as I upload that video on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram, then head home.

As I watched the proceedings and saw that Trump was ahead and stayed ahead, I knew that there was no way that I could upload that video last night. I would’ve risked having that video being the modern-day online equivalent of the infamous “Dewey Defeats Truman” photo and I would’ve ended up being a total laughingstock online. (And that’s not to mention that I probably would’ve been attacked online by pro-Trump trolls that would be way similar to the Gamergate incident.) I just sat there in the theater and watched as Trump raced ahead only to have Clinton make some gains but they weren’t enough to pass him. It was so surreal to see. I remember the audience laughed when one of the PBS anchors announced that a website set up by the Canadian government on how to legally emigrate to Canada had crashed.

Unfortunately there were a few states that were still up in the air when the theater cut off the broadcast around midnight and announced that they were closing.

So I went straight home after midnight. I was finishing doing the last bit of laundry when I made the mistake of getting on Facebook and I read all kinds of posts from people who were expressing all kinds of drama stemming from the election results. As a result of reading all those posts, I didn’t get to bed until it was nearly 1:30 in the morning.

As I went to sleep I still had hope that Hillary Clinton would’ve barely won and I could still upload that video. But then I turned on my smartphone and saw all of those push notifications that we now have a President Trump and I knew right then that there is no way that video I made could ever see the light of day. My only consolation is that I didn’t put too much work into it, I made it pretty quickly, and it was a short 59-second video. I ended up deleting that video.

I’ve been reading Facebook and Twitter and I’ve seen all sorts of finger-pointing being made. I’m going to briefly give my opinions as to why I feel that Hillary Clinton deserved to lose and the Democratic National Committee brought this upon themselves.

1. Every single poll that was made during the primaries said that Bernie Sanders was the one candidate who had the best chance of defeating Donald Trump. Despite that, the DNC, under Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s leadership, was determined to make Hillary Clinton the nominee against the will of the voters. Debbie Wasserman Schultz did all sorts of things like cutting the number of debates and scheduling them at odd times (such as one that took place just days before Christmas). There were reports of voter irregularities in a number of state primaries as well as the hiring of professional trolls who wrote pro-Hillary comments on social media and picked fights with anyone who disagreed with Hillary for any reason. The DNC went through great lengths to make Hillary Clinton the nominee and shove her down the voters’ throats only to have it blow up in their faces. If Debbie Wasserman Schultz was the coach of a professional sports team who kept on fielding the weakest player in a game instead of the best player and, as a result, the team kept on losing game after game, she would’ve been fired by the higher-ups.

2. Hillary Clinton was a lackluster campaigner. After she got the nomination she kept on saying that people should vote for her because she’s not Trump. During the first debate that I saw, she kept on saying that people should go online and view her website for details about her policy positions. I can’t even recall an instance where she said what she would do for the American people if she got elected in terms of what programs she would like to implement or how she would help marginalized groups. Consider this: a presidential debate is basically like a job interview on steroids. You have to sell yourself on what you can do for the company that’s hiring and how they can benefit from your experience and expertise. Except the “company” in question is the United States of America and the people doing the “hiring” are the voters. If I was in a job interview where I only told the interviewer that he/she should go online to look at this blog (which you’re currently viewing) if he/she wants to learn more about me and I deserve to get the job because I’m not like the other candidates who are also vying for that same job, I would’ve been eliminated immediately.

3. Hillary Clinton’s past came back to not only haunt her but to also bite her in her pantsuited ass. It wasn’t just Benghazi or Whitewater or overlooking her husband’s affair with a White House intern named Monica Lewinsky. It was also her past comments like how people of color needed to be “brought to heel” that she never explained, repudiated, or even apologized for—thus alienating her from potential voters.

4. Hillary Clinton ignored the plight of working class voters who saw their jobs getting shipped to Mexico, China, and other Third World countries as a result of her husband’s pro-NAFTA policies. I saw the pro-Hillary people say on social media that it’s not fair to bring up her husband’s policies while he was president because he wasn’t running for office in 2016. Granted that’s true but it’s also true that Hillary Clinton was married to Bill Clinton while he signed NAFTA and not once did she say anything on the campaign trail where she indicated that she now regrets what her husband did or even if she would pursue any policies that would bring well-paying jobs back to the U.S. and/or provide training or funding that would lead to the creation of new industries that would provide new jobs for the working class. Donald Trump reached out to those disaffected working class voters and that’s why they voted for him.

5. Hillary Clinton remains one of the most detested politicians in the U.S. The late political blogger Steve Gilliard said this back in 2007 and it remains true today. She seemed to either have no realization that people really dislike her so much or she refused to face that fact. Nor did she do anything to address what she could do to reach out to those voters who are turned off by her. Her supporters say that it’s due to sexism and I know that it’s true to a certain extent. But she is disliked in ways that other female Democratic politicians simply aren’t (such as Tulsi Gabbard and Tammy Duckworth) and a lot of it is due to the numerous scandals that have swirled constantly around her and Bill for decades.

6. Hillary Clinton lost the 2008 primaries to Barack Obama but she was undeterred by that loss because she was so determined to become the first woman president at all costs. She got her friend Debbie Wasserman Schultz to use her DNC chair job to do whatever it took to give her the nomination. If those persistent rumors that Bill Clinton had asked his friend Donald Trump to run as a Republican in an effort to throw the election to Hillary are true, then she deserved to lose. (While those rumors can’t be 100% confirmed, this leaked email confirmed that the Clintons were hoping to cultivate so-called “Pied Piper candidates” who would run as Republicans, inflict damage to the Republican Party while encouraging voters to choose Hillary Clinton instead. The only silver lining to yesterday’s election is that this “Pied Piper” strategy literally blew up in Hillary Clinton’s face.)

7. There were the really expensive fundraising dinners held at the homes of rich people, such as the one that was held by George and Amal Clooney at the home of venture capitalist Sherwin Pishevar, that she attended that only further alienated the less deep-pocketed 99% and led them to believe that they matter less to her because they aren’t rich.

8. She could’ve reached out to dissatisfied Bernie Sanders voters by giving the vice president slot to either Sanders or Elizabeth Warren. Instead she gave that slot to Tim Kaine, who is pro-TPP, which has not only alienated Sanders supporters but also working class people whose jobs have been lost due to NAFTA and the TPP promises to deliver more of the same. (The TPP has been described as “NAFTA on steroids”.)

9. There are her close ties to Wall Street, including those who tanked the economy in 2008. I remember during one of the Democratic debates against Bernie Sanders, while Sanders said that he would actively prosecute those Wall Streeters who were instrumental in tanking the economy, Hillary Clinton only said that she would simply tell them to “cut it out.” The fact that she had refused to make her paid speeches to Goldman-Sachs public made a lot of people wonder if she had something to hide.

10. Then there is the issue of nepotism. Last year I wrote about why the media’s clamoring for a rematch of the 1992 Bush vs. Clinton election was bad for American democracy because it favored only people who were related to a former president, cuts out a lot of other very capable people who would’ve made good presidents because they aren’t related to a former or current president, and it’s bad overall for democracy. The American people had already gone through dealing with the son of a former president (George W. Bush) who was a major disaster in many ways and they were asked to elect the wife of a former president (Bill Clinton) who has a history of scandals. It’s no wonder why so many Americans said “Thanks, but no thanks” and decided that they’d rather take their chances on a rich celebrity with a history of multiple bankruptcies who has never held public office before and who is not related to a president.

In a nutshell, the DNC and Hillary Clinton had no one to blame but themselves for this debacle. It’s the main reason why I don’t regret joining the #DEMEXIT movement and I’m now registered as an independent.

The stock markets all over the world are going down because of the election of President Donald Trump. (Oh, man, I have to get used to saying it. Ugh!) The weather outside is raining as I’m typing this the day after Election Day. Sometimes it feels like they are tears from heaven over what happened. Tonight my Unitarian Universalist congregation is holding a special meeting for people to express what the hell happened last night and how we as a community could respond to it. I’m going to go mainly because I feel this need to commiserate with other people right now.

Yesterday I decided to check out a new hotel that has Donald Trump’s name on it the day before Election Day. I’ll admit that I was curious as to what it looked like. I’ve been to the Trump Tower building in New York City and I remember it was incredibly over the top. The lobby had this large waterfall that was cascading down a tall wall of pink marble. Plus there were these huge chandeliers and gold fixtures. I’ve always thought that it was tacky.

The new hotel is located in the historic Old Post Office Building. I used to go there a lot back in the day when the historic building was originally converted to a shopping mall and food court known as the Old Post Office Pavilion. I would go there a few times a year. I remember the stores were a bit pricey but I could usually find something affordable to eat in the food court. I remember there was a stand that had nothing but wind-up toys and there were always kids trying out those toys. I also remember a store that sold Russian matryoshka nesting dolls. Plus there were clothing stores selling expensive upscale clothes. Most of all I remember the lovely architecture and it was such a treat to take it all in while sipping a soda in the food court.

The Old Post Office Building had a tower, which was run by the National Park Service, that you could go up to the top in an elevator. I took the elevator up to the top once and I was treated to a lovely bird’s eye view of Washington, DC. Many guidebooks mention that this tower is one that tourists frequently overlook because they tend to crowd into the more popular Washington Monument in order to see the city from up high.

I remember I last went inside that building in 2001. The only reason why I remember the year is because the following year I had gone to the annual Sakura Matsuri street festival that was held outside the Old Post Office Building. It was a few months after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. I wanted to get something to drink but all of the food stands were crowded. I initially decided to go to the food court in the Old Post Office Building only to encounter this newly-erected airport-style security system where you not only had to go through metal detectors but also have to put your bags through a conveyor belt that went through an x-ray machine. I found it totally off-putting to say the least. I just wasn’t into putting up with this much security just so I could go into what had been a glorified shopping mall and getting a soda. I ended up going to the nearby CVS and buying a bottle of soda there instead.

I wasn’t the only one who never returned to the Old Post Office again. The shopping mall eventually failed and all the stores closed. The GSA decided to turn the Old Post Office into a luxury hotel and they awarded the contract to Donald Trump, a decision that has created controversy. I remember these pictures I took at the Justice For All March back in December, 2014.

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

A brief moment after I took that last photo, this guy jumped in front of me (and next to the Anonymous guy) wanting his picture taken. So I obliged him.

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

Then his friend also jumped in and I took a picture of both of them as well.

Justice For All March in Washington, DC

After I took that last picture, they were noticing that they were getting attention from people along with the Anonymous man. I mentioned that they were underneath that giant Trump sign. They looked up and said “Donald Trump? Fuck him too!” I got a laugh out of that.

That march took place six months before Donald Trump formally announced his presidential campaign.

Lately I’ve been hearing that not too many people have chosen to book at that hotel since it opened. I’m not surprised. In the past year-and-a-half since he announced that he was running he has insulted nearly everyone except for white Christian heterosexual men with no disabilities who have never been POWs during wartime. If I had extra money and I was in the mood to treat myself to a weekend stay at a luxury hotel in downtown DC, I could choose to stay at the Trump International Hotel while overlooking the fact that Donald Trump has denigrated women like me as people whom he feels entitled to forcibly kiss while boasting that he has to “grab them by the pussy.” Or I could choose to stay at the Willard InterContinental Hotel, located just a few blocks away from the Trump International Hotel, whose building is not only just as historic as the Old Post Office but it’s notable for the fact that Julia Ward Howe wrote the lyrics to “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” while staying at the hotel in 1861 and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote his famous “I Have a Dream” speech in his hotel room at the Willard just days before the 1963 March on Washington. On top of it, the people currently running the Willard haven’t been publicly saying outrageously offensive stuff and they have pretty much focused on running the hotel.

Well, DUH! The Willard InterContinental Hotel would get my business. I’m willing to bet that other people would choose the same.

I have a feeling that the new Trump International Hotel will eventually end up going the way of the Trump Taj Mahal, the Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, the Trump Plaza, the Trump Castle, Trump Hollywood, Trump Ocean Resort Baja Mexico, Trump Tower Tampa, the Trump Shuttle airline, Trump Mortgage, Trump Vodka, Trump Steaks, and Trump University—bankrupt. Yesterday, the day before Election Day, I decided to check out the hotel and take a few pictures for posterity.

I took the Metro to Federal Triangle (the closest stop to the Trump International Hotel). I initially went out the exit that led to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, where I took these pictures.

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Next to the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center is the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building, which houses the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Post Office. As you can guess, this building is named for ex-President Bill Clinton, who is also the husband of one of the candidates running against Donald Trump. It’s also pretty ironic that the building is named for Bill Clinton when you consider that it’s located next to…the Trump International Hotel

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A statue of Benjamin Franklin still stands outside the Old Post Office Building. (Among his many accomplishments, he was the first Postmaster General.) Although I seriously doubt that he would’ve wanted his statue to have any kind of connection with Donald Trump no matter how slight or tenuous.

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I noticed that there’s a Starbucks at this new hotel, which is ironic because I remember when Trump called for a boycott against Starbucks last year over that idiotic hoopla that broke out over the design of Starbucks’ coffee cup for the winter holidays.

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I had thought about going up the clock tower again just for old times’ sake. I was looking forward to taking pictures of the amazing vistas of the city with my smartphone. But I discovered that, unlike the old days when you can enter the Old Post Office Building then go to the tower from the inside, the clock tower can now only be accessed from a door in the back. Worse, that entrance is currently closed, which is a bummer. I have no idea if it’s a temporary thing and it will be reopened in the future or if the clock tower is no longer opened to the general public.

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The only consolation is that I peeked through the windows and saw this amazing marble floor.

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In the old days one could enter the Old Post Office Building using any of the doors in the front, back, and sides. After the 9/11 attacks people were allowed to enter only from the back where they had to stand in line and put up with the airport-style security. Even though the Trump name is over all of the entrances, there is only one way to enter that building and it’s definitely not through any of the side entrances.

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I thought that the front entrance would be the way to get inside the hotel but no. There are signs with a map posted of the fact that one can only enter this hotel using the 11th Street entrance on the side.

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Next to the front entrance is a side door leading to something called the Trump Townhouse. I rolled my eyes at that sign thinking, “God, there are no limits to that man’s ego!”

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I finally made my way to the 11th Street entrance.

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I’ll admit that I was bracing myself for something totally gaudy and tacky a la the Trump Tower in New York City. But when I went in I was pleasantly surprised. The lobby of the hotel was tastefully decorated.

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Most of the couches and chairs are royal blue and all of them are very elegant looking.

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The skylight provides a lot of natural light during the daytime.

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The carpeting is nice looking and it is incredibly comfortable to walk on.

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The food carts are made from wood.

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This hotel has the tallest bar I’ve ever seen complete with rows of shelves full of various bottles of alcohol and four large screens that are each tuned to a different channel.

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I had to use the bathroom and I saw that even the bathroom is tastefully elegant.

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I saw only one store during my time there. It is called Brioni and it specializes in men’s suits.

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Everything about this building had an air of being very tastefully elegant, which is a welcome contrast to the more overblown Trump Tower in New York City.

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This next picture shows the skylight with a view of the now-closed clock tower.

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I have to admit that this hotel is quite lovely. Yes, it’s obvious that it’s a luxury hotel but the interior design is understated yet elegant. I later read that Donald Trump’s eldest daughter, Ivanka, was the one who worked most closely with the DC hotel and she was in charge of the hotel’s design. It’s pretty obvious that she doesn’t share her father’s garish tastes in making everything gold (such as his penthouse at the Trump Tower in New York City).

If it weren’t for the now-poisonous Trump name, I’m sure people with deep pockets would be staying there because it is a nice looking hotel. But, thanks to The Donald’s antics, that hotel has been the target of protests and vandalism. At one point an employee asked me if there was anything he could help me with. I mentioned that I was just checking out the hotel because I used to go to the Old Post Office Building back when it still had the shopping mall there. The employee smiled and said, “Oh, yeah. That’s where they had the food court.” He let me go on my merry way. Even though he was probably expected to offer help to anyone in the hotel, I have a feeling that he was also probably told to be on the lookout for any protesters or vandals who are trying to attack the hotel from the inside while offering help to people.

I brought along my Talking Donald Trump Action Figure (which I gave to my then-husband as a gag gift a few years earlier sometime during either the first or second seasons of The Apprentice and it was among the many items he left behind when he left me) and posed him next to one of the Trump International Hotel signs.

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Near the hotel is this little piece of sidewalk graffiti courtesy of Anonymous.

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After my jaunt around the Trump International Hotel, I walked around a bit. I ended up at Ford’s Theatre, which is a centuries-old theater that’s still thriving despite its historical notoriety. The next photo shows its modern-day facade.

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Next to the modern building is the older building. That’s the same building where Abraham Lincoln and his wife, Mary, decided to check out a local production at Ford’s Theatre when John Wilkes Booth assassinated the president in front of his wife.

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There is a museum inside the old section but I would’ve had to purchase a ticket and I’m still dealing with money crunch issues so I really didn’t feel that I could splurge on something like this. I managed to visit the gift shop, which is loaded with all kinds of Lincoln books and other souvenir items.

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After John Wilkes Booth shot Abraham Lincoln, Booth managed to escape by jumping from the balcony where the Lincolns sat directly to the stage in the middle of a performance. Booth broke his leg but he managed to hobble off the stage and escape. Meanwhile people brought Lincoln’s dying body over to a townhouse located across the street from the theater. Lincoln died in that house soon afterwards. Today that townhouse, known as the House Where Lincoln Died, is also a tourist attraction. I didn’t go in because it also required a ticket that one had to get at Ford’s Theatre.

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This particular area of DC has long taken a notoriously tragic event like the Lincoln assassination and used it as a tourist attraction while local businesses have also tried to hype that notoriety as well, such as this building featuring Honest Abe’s Souvenirs and the Lincoln House Restaurant. Yeah, I know it’s tacky to use a sad event to attract tourists but it could’ve been worse. I’ve been to Salem, Massachusetts—site of the notorious Salem Witch Trials—and there are literally witch motifs everywhere from the sides of police cars to the Salem Witch Museum (with its tag line “Stop by for a spell”) to local stores carrying various witch products to even seeing a witch on the logo of the YMCA.

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I found this campaign sign where someone named Russell Hirshon is running for President of the United States. I’ve never heard of the guy, although I have to admit that I like his “Make America Sane Again” slogan.

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I took this picture of some people setting up one of the windows at the H&M store.

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This shared entrance to the Forever 21 store and the Metro Center station has this really interesting colored trim that I liked.

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Ramadan

Previous Entry in This Series

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
Part 6
Part 7
Part 8
Part 9

Last summer I attempted to work of a special book that was based on a series of free tutorials that artist Ady Almanza was posting on her YouTube channel. The gist was that each week she would put up a new tutorial and viewers would follow along. All we needed to do was to get one of those baby board books and various materials. I was eager to do it in an effort to learn something new. There were challenges early on because I realized that the board book I used had more pages than the one that Ady Almanza used in her videos. So I compensated by having two-page spreads.

There were supposed to be ten lessons in this series. Well, anyway, I watched the intro video to learn what materials I needed for the project. The following week I followed along with the first lesson as I painted the entire book cover. Then I spent the next two weeks following along with lessons two and three.

On week four I looked online and I found that she hadn’t added any new lessons. I assumed that she was taking a week off for some reason. Since I had more pages than the book she was using, I decided to improvise by just making two-page spreads. The next week there was still no new lessons but I saw on her Facebook page that she was on vacation so I wasn’t too worried. I made another two-page spread. The following week there were still no new videos so I did another two-page spread. Another week came and went with no new videos. Finally I posted a notice on her Facebook page asking if she was going to post any new tutorials soon since she said that she was doing a ten-part series. She responded the next day saying that she had been on vacation for a few weeks but now that she’s back she’ll post new videos online soon. So I waited another week with no new videos and I decided to do another two-page spread.

So it got to be a cycle where, each week, I would look on Ady Almanza’s Facebook page and YouTube channel only to find no new tutorials so I would end up doing another two-page spread where I winged it with my latest art page. Eventually it got to the point where I had only one extra page left to fill in then I would have exactly the same number of blank pages that Ady Almanza had left in the book that she was using in her video tutorial series. So I did one last mixed-media work in August, 2015 and I decided to put that project on hiatus until Ady Almanza resumed her tutorial series.

Except she never resumed her tutorial series. I see her post new work on her Facebook page all of the time. (She’s a very prolific artist. She seems to churn out one new work either every day or every other day.) But she has yet to post any new tutorials in her ten-part series and I have a feeling that she abandoned it for whatever reason.

So my own project was left uncompleted for the next eight months. A few days before the Memorial Day holiday weekend I scheduled an appointment to speak with someone regarding a potential art-related opportunity that I originally found on Craigslist. I responded to the ad and the person immediately emailed me back because he really liked the samples of my work that I submitted to the email address that was listed in the ad. We agreed to meet on Memorial Day itself at a Panera Bread in Silver Spring to go over the details about this potential opportunity, which ultimately fell through when I never heard back from the guy I met with despite the fact that he seemed to like my work when we met together in person. Anyway before that meeting I decided to bring smaller samples of my art that I could carry in a bag because I was traveling via Metro. (I wasn’t able to drive to Silver Spring because, at the time, I had a flat tire that needed either to be fixed or replaced and my car had one of those temporary tires that I was not supposed to drive on too much.) I found a couple of smaller paintings to bring then I found my incomplete Doll Dreams book from last summer.

I decided to bring it despite the unfinished pages in the back until I came across the last completed work I did that was based on my Pinkie Cooper anthro doll. I saw that it was a one-page work and it was facing a page that was covered in white gesso and it was completely blank. Here is what the page looked like before I covered it in gesso last year.

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For some reason I thought that showing someone a book with a completed page facing a blank white gesso page was even more embarrassing than having a few blank pages in the back so I decided to rectify the situation by quickly covering that blank facing page with more art.

Since Pinkie Cooper is an anthro who’s supposed to be a mix of a human and dog, I thought doing an anthro feline would be the perfect compliment to the previous facing page. And I happened to have the proper doll that I could use as a model for that page. I have a Monster High doll known as Toralei Stripe, who’s a werecat. So I did this page using only acrylic paint.

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I showed this book to my contact at Panera Bread on Memorial Day and he liked it but then I never heard from him again after that meeting. As for the rest of the book, I’m definitely going to fill in the rest of the blank pages because it would be a shame to leave this book unfinished. I haven’t yet decided whether I’m going to re-do the three tutorials that Ady Almanza posted online before abandoning this project altogether or if I’m going to use free art tutorials made by other people or if I’m going to simply improvise. I’ll probably do one or two pages a month until I fill in the book.

Subsequent Entries in This Series

Part 11
Part 12

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I’m not the kind of person who casually hurls labels like “fascist” or “the new Adolf Hitler” at people whose views I personally disagree with. That’s because I can remember when various Republicans hurled those labels at President Barack Obama simply because he championed health care reform and their Tea Party sympathizers held signs at various protest rallies depicting President Obama with a Hitler mustache and swastikas. (Never mind the historical fact that Adolf Hitler would’ve sent someone like Barack Obama to be gassed at a concentration camp because he had a white American mother and a black Kenyan father.)

I’ve long considered Donald Trump to be a total buffoon. There are his multiple bankruptcies. There are his campy reality shows (The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice) that I used to watch for laughs. (I still remember one episode that took place in the Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City where Trump spoke at length about how huge and state of the art it was only to have that hotel file for bankruptcy soon after that episode aired.) There is his amazing feat for tanking an entire sports league. There is also his huge ego. I’ve long thought he was overrated as a business genius and celebrity who has this total knack for attracting media attention even though he doesn’t offer much substance. (There are other real estate developers who are far more successful who get only a fraction of the media attention that Trump gets mainly because they are more focused on doing their day job well than being attention whores in the public eye so the media can report on them.)

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While I still have the talking Donald Trump action figure that I originally purchased for my then-husband as a gag gift for Christmas while the second season of The Apprentice was on the air, I began to really loathe The Donald back in 2011 when he flirted with running as a Republican only to decide against running when NBC told him that he couldn’t continue with The Apprentice and The Celebrity Apprentice shows while being a presidential candidate. He blatantly catered to the birthers by saying stuff like “How do we know President Obama’s Hawaiian birth certificate is real and he wasn’t born in Kenya instead?” It’s one thing to attack a sitting president based on his policy but it’s something else to cater to the conspiracy theorists, many of whom are racist white people who are totally aghast that a person with brown skin is currently in the White House.

It was also around this time that I started reading this poem that I wrote about Trump in late 2011 at local poetry events. I later made a video using that Donald Trump action figure and other dolls I had. Sadly, the words in that poem are just as relevant in 2015 as they were four years ago.

While Trump ultimately decided to continue with his reality show, I stopped watching it entirely because I was so turned off by what he did in that campaign that I could no longer stand watching him every week.

When Donald Trump first ran for public office this year I heard people compare him to Hitler because of his horrible racist rhetoric towards Mexicans. I held off from joining that crowd because, while I think the critics are correct in branding him a racist, I really believe that he would have to stoop way lower before I would give him the fascist label and start comparing him to Hitler. I also didn’t want to be like those Tea Party types who casually hurl the fascist and Hitler labels at someone whose views I simply disagree with.

I initially considered Trump to be such a joke that I even created this graphic that I’m currently selling on t-shirts and other printed stuff in my RedBubble shop.

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Over the past few months Donald Trump has campaigned for the president by displaying misogyny, racism, ableism, anti-Semitism, classism, homophobia/transphobia, and xenophobia. Trump even had the gall to insult former POW John McCain while claiming that his years at a private military academy provided him with better military training than what most people get when they join the military. For a while I thought that all of those outrageous statements that he kept on making on a daily basis had all the hallmarks of “LOOK AT ME, I’M AN ATTENTION WHORE!” While those antics proved to me that he’s a despicable human being for whom I would have lost all respect if it weren’t for the fact that I never had any respect for him in the first place, I didn’t feel that they prove that he’s a 21st century Adolf Hitler—until this week.

Donald Trump definitely crossed the line with his call for a total ban on Muslims from entering the U.S. (including even U.S. citizens who happened to be traveling abroad at the time the ban is instituted). What’s worse is that Trump also said that he wouldn’t rule out warrantless searches and ID cards for Muslims living in the U.S.

Okay, now he’s done it. I now consider Donald Trump to be a fascist and a 21st century Adolf Hitler. Those proposals he has for Muslims are way similar to the program that Adolf Hitler outlined for Jews in his book Mein Kampf. The only difference is that Trump hasn’t called for concentration camps—yet. But if he gets elected president, I wouldn’t be surprised if he manages to establish concentration camps because, sadly, the Republican Party seems to be dominated by the extreme right wing whose ideology is a bizarre mix of Fundamentalist Christianity and Ayn Rand’s Objectivism (despite the fact that Ayn Rand was a very staunch atheist).

The only good thing about this is the amount of condemnation that Trump has received. An online petition to ban him from the UK has gained so many signatures that Parliament is set to discuss the issue. The White House has issued a statement saying that Trump’s Muslim policy should disqualify him from even occupying the Oval Office. Trevor Noah called Trump a “White Isis” on The Daily ShowEven Dick Cheney has found Donald Trump too extreme.

Despite all the condemnation, Trump is still among the top Republican contenders. This New York Times headline says it all: Donald Trump Solidifies His Lead, but Leaves Many Nervous. I’m not surprised that Trump is able to keep his followers despite his outrageous statements because I’ve witnessed some of this first-hand. A few weeks ago I had volunteered to do some phone banking for the Bernie Sanders campaign where we went to someone’s home, divided up a list of registered Democratic voters in New Hampshire (which is an early primary state) while using our cell phones to call those voters. We were to identify anyone who would be interested in volunteering for the campaign in that state and, if the person couldn’t or wouldn’t do so, we would encourage them to vote for Bernie in the primary. Most of the numbers we received were either disconnected or went into voice mail. There was one guy I called who actually indicated that he intends to support Donald Trump. I quickly ended that call when he was proclaiming his support of Trump just so I wouldn’t give in to the temptation to say something like “What on Earth could you possibly admire about an attention whoring buffoon like that?”

CNN has a story about some of the people who actually support Trump and the reporter found that these people tend to be far to the right of the Republican Party. He has the support of white supremacists. One Black Lives Matter protester was beaten by Trump’s supporters with Trump himself saying that “maybe he should have been roughed up.” There are so many parallels between Donald Trump’s supporters and Adolf Hitler’s brownshirts that it’s totally alarming.

What’s even worse is that Donald Trump’s nasty rhetoric regarding people who aren’t white heterosexual Christian men is becoming fashionable among certain Republicans. Like this headline says: Sorry, Media, Trump-Style Racism Is Mainstream In Republican Party. Think Progress has a list of equally outrageous quotes from Trump’s Republican competitors. Even a Supreme Count justice has recently said that black scientists would benefit from a “slower” academic track because regular school is just “too advanced” for their inferior minds.

And Trump’s hateful rhetoric is spilling over into other areas as well.

In New York City, a shop owner was savagely beaten Saturday by a stranger promising to “kill Muslims.” In California, a man was playing volleyball and praying in a park on Sunday when a woman accused of him of being a terrorist, struck him and splashed him in the face with coffee. And in Philadelphia, a severed pig’s head was tossed outside of a mosque on Monday.

Here in DC someone sent a letter to the Council on American-Islam Relations (CAIR) containing a white powder just a couple of days ago.

But that’s not all. Sikhs in the U.S. are also bearing the brunt of the Islamophobia because the haters assume that they must be Muslims because they are brown-skinned people who wear turbans.

Basically Trump is serving as a role model for uncivil behavior and it could have a potentially damaging impact on the U.S. for years to come—especially in the treatment of anyone who’s not a white Fundamentalist Christian heterosexual man. I find it sad that this crass hateful behavior has become so mainstream in the Republican Party. This is the same party who once championed ending slavery and changing the Constitution to give African Americans the right to vote. While I’ve never been a Republican, I’m old enough to remember when that party was dominated by moderate level-headed people like Gerald Ford and Nelson Rockefeller and their supporters were civil middle of the road types. Now that’s no longer the case. As the last paragraph in this New York Times article makes clear:

He is dangerous, but only because he has enough followers to make him dangerous. Without them, he would be what he has always been: another crass man saying crass things to which few serious people listened.

After all, Adolf Hitler was only able to achieve the slaughter of six million Jews with the help of his numerous like-minded followers who also shared his extreme form of anti-Semitism. Without that help, he would never have gotten as far as he did before the Allies stopped him.

I’ve also heard persistent rumors that Bill Clinton had urged Donald Trump to run as a Republican in a ploy to damage the Republican Party so much that people will ultimately vote Hillary Clinton into the White House. Those rumors are so persistent that even the BBC has done a story on it. It’s an interesting rumor and it’s even plausible given Slick Willie’s past escapades. The only issue I have about this rumor is this: What would Donald Trump gain by running a fake campaign that would ultimately benefit Hillary Clinton? Trump is already wealthy so money wouldn’t necessarily be a lure. It’s not to increase ratings of his reality show because Trump had to give it up when he began his latest campaign. Trump could possibly gain a cabinet position in a Hillary Clinton Administration but the thing is that Trump has alienated so many people with his campaign that appointing him to anything would result in fierce opposition in the Congress and the general public that giving him such a position would be too much trouble. Donald Trump has always struck me as the kind of man who wouldn’t do a favor for others unless he would directly benefit from that favor. So much about that rumor just doesn’t make sense.

If there is hard evidence from less partisan sources (other than the right wing extremists who have long hated the Clintons with a burning passion) that Trump’s campaign is nothing more than a conspiracy that was cooked up by a collaboration between Trump and the Clintons, I will be among those to denounce it. I would not only urge Hillary Clinton to get out of the presidential race, I would even urge a lifetime ban on both Bill and Hillary from ever running for any kind of public office no matter how local or minor that office is. (Including being elected to a local part-time school board/mayor/city council in a small town located in a rural part of the country.)

As for me, there is no way in hell that I will ever accept a modern day Adolf Hitler in the White House. I feel so strongly about this that I’ve decided that I will no longer associate with any of my friends or relatives who express any kind of support for Donald Trump no matter how minuscule. To me, anyone who supports Donald Trump in any way (no matter how minor) is for fascism and against the U.S. Constitution and I consider such support to be a slap in the faces of all those who fought and even sacrificed their lives during World War II in order to stop fascism. In short, as this Rolling Stone magazine headline says, if you support Donald Trump, you are unpatriotic.

If Donald Trump somehow gets elected president, I will either join a resistance movement similar to the White Rose and French Resistance movements during World War II or I’ll be among the first wave of American refugees crossing the border into Canada. (I have three acquaintances who live in eastern Canada. Two of them live in Montreal while the third lives in Ottawa. All I have to do is inquire about temporarily sleeping on one of their couches until I can get back on my feet after I cross the border.) I’ve read too much history of what Germany went through with Hitler’s Third Reich and, to be blunt, I refuse to be a party to anything like that. Just reading the words of Pastor Martin Niemöller is enough for me to refuse to ever do anything that would benefit a fascist Trump Administration. Even Uncle Sam the Eagle doesn’t want anything to do with Donald Trump.

I was heartened to hear that the hacktivist group Anonymous is going after Donald Trump in a way that’s unfolding in real time on Twitter under #OpTrump and they’ve even released this video.

This all brings back memories of last year’s Justice For All March in downtown DC where the protest route went past the Old Post Office Building, a historic building that the GSA, in its infinite wisdom that will have you go “WTF?!?”, decided to let Donald Trump convert it into a very expensive luxury hotel. Someone who was dressed like he was an Anonymous sympathizer made his own mark at the giant oversized Trump sign that now covers the front of the Old Post Office Building.

Justice For All March in Washington, DC
Justice For All March in Washington, DC

Justice For All March in Washington, DC
Justice For All March in Washington, DC

It’s so surreal that I’m putting a lot of my hopes on Anonymous to stop Trump from ever reaching the White House but these are not normal times. I’m hoping that they succeed in stopping Trump in his tracks so—in the event of a Donald Trump election victory—I won’t have to make the hard choice of whether to stay in the United States and join a resistance movement or flee to Canada as a refugee.

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Well, anyway, if you need a gift idea for someone who doesn’t like Donald Trump this holiday season, check out my RedBubble shop.

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