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Today is the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice between the Allies of World War I and Germany in Compiègne, France. World War I officially ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year. Today is officially Veterans Day but people are getting the holiday off from work tomorrow because Veterans Day falls on a Sunday this year.

I found out that the last surviving veteran of World War I, Florence Green, died in the United Kingdom at the age of 110 back in 2012.

I had a great-uncle on my mother’s side of the family who was one of the fabled American Doughboys who served in World War I. As my late grandmother used to tell it, her brother, Benjamin Karle (who was nicknamed “Buzz”), joined the military while he was still a teenager and went away to Europe towards the tail end of World War I. Buzz survived the war only to die of tuberculosis soon after he returned to the United States and made his way back to Baltimore, where the family lived. (My grandmother was one of nine children. She and her sister, Celeste, were the only ones who lived past the age of 25. All of their other siblings died at an early age from tuberculosis, including one sister who died at the age of two after tuberculosis settled into her bones.)

Needless to say, I never met my Great-Uncle Buzz but I used to visit his grave (along with the graves of my grandfather, great-grandparents, and other great-aunts and great-uncles who all died before I was born) at Loudon Park, which is located on Wilkens Avenue in Baltimore. My family used to visit that cemetery twice a year (once in the spring and once during the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas) where they would put flowers on the graves. Sometimes my late father would drive while other times my father would stay home and it was my mother who did the driving. My family was usually stoic when we visited the cemetery. My mother would put the flowers on the graves while my grandmother would pray for the souls of her family members. When I was a kid I used to sometimes walk on some of the low-lying headstones and I would end up getting scolded by an adult for doing so.

I still remember the time when we brought along my Great-Aunt Celeste, who was visiting from Ohio (where she moved after she got married and her new husband decided to move back to his home state where he was raised). Celeste hadn’t visited the cemetery in a number of years but when she saw the Karle family plot for the first time in a very long time she literally cried her eyes out while my grandmother tried to console her sister. I remember that was the only time that Celeste ever visited Loudon Park when I was growing up. She visited us a few other times but she never again asked to visit Loudon Park.

I haven’t been to Loudon Park in years but I found a photo of the Karle family plot online recently. It’s just as I remembered: A simple white rectangular marker on the ground that said “Karle” with no names or dates. My grandmother’s family were poor and they had so many family members who died of tuberculosis that they could only afford one plot with a simple marker. Basically the members who died were added to that plot as they passed away with the plot marked only by that white marker with the Karle family name on it.

President Donald Trump flew to France only to decide to skip yesterday’s planned visit to a ceremony that was held at a cemetery for the fallen American World War I soldiers because of rain. That’s right, President Trump, who’s also supposed to serve as the commander in chief of the armed forces, decided to stay in his hotel room because of rain. Never mind the fact that the leaders of other nations like Justin Trudeau, Emanuel Macron, and Angela Merkel didn’t let the rain stop them from attending commemoration ceremonies for the fallen of World War I.

The only legitimate reasons to cancel a scheduled visit would be if Trump had fallen seriously ill at the last minute or if he had suddenly dropped dead. Otherwise he should have been there—rain or no rain. He could’ve used an umbrella to help deal with the rain. For him to skip an important ceremony honoring the troops who served 100 years ago because of rain is unbecoming for a commander in chief. He has totally disrespected the memory of my Great-Uncle Benjamin “Buzz” Karle and the other men and women who served and even died in World War I. This is outrageous and, unfortunately, par for the course from the same man who has been recorded bragging about grabbing women by the pussy and has taken more golfing trips during his first two years in office than President Obama did during the entire eight years he served in the White House.

While you’re busy with your own lives, please take a moment to remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice over 100 years ago and don’t let the weather deter you from doing so like it did Donald Trump.

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There were good news and bad news with yesterday’s midterm elections. The bad news is that the Republicans were able to maintain their control over the Senate. The good news? The Democrats took control of the House and they also took control over many state and local governments as well. Additionally, many of those elected were openly gay, women, Muslims, and even Native Americans. As this headline puts it: “Younger, browner, and cooler.” These are the kind of people whom Trump has shown open contempt for so the next two years of his presidency is going to get very interesting. In fact, it has already started to get interesting just one day after the elections. Check out this video where Donald Trump literally lost his head at a press conference.

Just now, as I’m typing this post, I learned that Donald Trump has just fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions. As Michael Moore puts it on Twitter.

John Dean, who was one of the figures in the original Watergate scandal, puts it further.

Get ready for tons of drama because it’s coming.

Larry Hogan will continue to be the governor of my state (Maryland) for the next four years. I had saw that Hogan was ahead in the polls, which was why I made a big effort on Monday to upload online the photos and video I shot at that fundraiser for his opponent, Ben Jealous, that was held last month because I had a feeling that no one would care after yesterday. I had originally planned to plaster my social media accounts with this photo I was in where we all flanked Ben Jealous at another fundraising event that was held back in February. Given yesterday’s outcome, I won’t need to do that. Instead, I’ll just repost it in this blog and call it a day. (I’m the person wearing the blue Eeyore sweatshirt.)

Today is the mid-term elections. The polls are open as of this writing. I know some of you are getting sick of hearing others online tell you to vote. I admit that there are times when even I get weary of hearing that same “Vote!” message over and over again on Twitter and Facebook. But this year the incessant constant “Vote!” message is not hyperbole. The United States of America is at a dangerous crossroads that could have an adverse affect on the future of this nation and it’s imperative that all registered voters vote today, especially if you didn’t take advantage of the early voting that many states offer these days.

Don’t know where your polling place is located? This link will help you so you’ll know where to go. If you live too far away from your polling place, you don’t have a car, and/or public transportation is simply not an option, here is some good news. Uber and Lyft are both offering discounted rides to and from local polling places. If you don’t have either app, you can download them to your smartphone for free from either The App Store or Google Play. If you can’t afford either service even with a discount, CarpoolVote.com matches riders and drivers in an area where you can get a free ride to and from a polling place.

Have a friend, neighbor, or relative who is disabled and/or whose first language is not English and he/she is struggling with that language? The U.S. Election Assistance Commission has resources available to make sure that every voter is able to cast a ballot.

There’s one thing I want to warn you about. Once you reach the poll, keep in mind that some states do not allow you to take a photo of inside of the voting booth. Other states, such as state I live in (Maryland) have no clear policy. This link has a map of states that do or do not allow selfies at the voting booth. My advice is that if you want to take a photo of this big day, wait until after you’re done voting and you have left the polling place. When you return home or arrive at a different place (such as your job), just take a selfie of yourself wearing your “I Voted” sticker.

Now I’m going to get a bit more partisan and it may offend some of you. If that’s the case, you’re free to leave this blog right now. For the rest of you who are less thin-skinned, I have a message. Today we need to send a message to Donald Trump and the Republicans who control both houses of Congress that We the People have had enough of their antics. It’s bad enough that Donald Trump is acting more and more like a fascist dictator every day but it’s worse that the Republicans in the Congress are not even doing their jobs and providing a check and balance on the guy. At least the Republicans during Watergate had put country over party and stood up to Richard Nixon. Sadly these current Republicans are putting party and special interest groups over country and they have not lifted even a finger by providing the most minor question to Trump.

Trump started his recent political career in 2011 by catering to the birthers who questioned where Barack Obama was born and, in hindsight, that was a preview of things to come once he was elected. When Charlottesville happened last year, Trump blatantly catered to the white supremacists among his following.

Since that time things have deteriorated further. Here is what happened just in the last few weeks alone:

A pre-Halloween week of violence where a rabid Trump supporter mailed bombs to prominent Democrats and those who support the Democratic Party followed by two African-Americans shot by a white supremacist in a grocery store followed by 11 people shot to death by a white supremacist in a synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Instead of offering words of condolences, Trump complained at a campaign rally about how the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh have messed up his momentum going into the mid-term elections.

On the same day that the synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh was going down, a gun show in Kentucky had vendors that openly sold KKK robes and Nazi Christmas ornaments.

The Trump Administration has indicated that it will not support any efforts to fight white supremacy or domestic terrorism despite what happened the week before Halloween. 

The workers who voted for Trump who are now realizing that Trump has no intention of keeping his campaign promise to halt the offshoring of jobs and bring back the thousands of factory jobs that have been sent abroad since the mid-1970’s.

Trump has been acting in a manner that’s completely unbecoming to the office of President of the United States, as this video montage of all the times that Trump has called for violence shows. One research showed that Donald Trump has told an average of 9.8 lies every day since he became president last year.

Trump has survived multiple bankruptcies in his past. And it looks like he has reverted to going down the same path that has always landed him in bankruptcy court, except this time he’s trying to take America down with him.

Several prominent evangelical Christians have backed Donald Trump despite his multiple divorces and extra-marital affairs. More recently a billboard in St. Louis that was paid for by an evangelical group seems to imply that Donald Trump is a prophet or maybe that he is equal to Jesus.

There was a time when if you were a white racist or a white person who tends to look down on people of other races, you tended to keep your thoughts to yourself because openly dropping the “n” word or any other kind of racial slur was a sure-fire way of being ostracized yourself. Thanks to Trump and his frequent courting of white supremacists, these people are now emboldened to being openly racist assholes. What’s more it has even filtered down to the high school level.

Interior Department Secretary Ryan Zinke likens Robert E. Lee to Martin Luther King, Jr.

A Time magazine published this poll of Trump supporters that shows that nearly 20% think that freeing the slaves was a bad idea.

A Wisconsin conservative and fervid Donald Trump supporter openly admitted that he would shoot his own sister in her face for Trump.

Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., tweets out a Neo-Nazi dog whistle.

A list has been circulating of all of the Republican GOP candidates who are either Neo-Nazis or have ties to them.

A writer and former Republican named Shannon Dingle laments about how her fellow Republicans supported her pro-life stance and praised her for adopting children only to reject her when she began advocating against cutting funds for programs that would feed, educate, and provide health insurance for children.

A white supremacist group has been making racist robocalls that are targeting Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams and her celebrity supporter Oprah.

Right-wing militias are currently converging on the southern border to confront a caravan of migrants who are fleeing the violence in their homelands in Central America. 

What’s even worse is that Trump is inspiring other nations to go down this same horrible path. The Nigerian Army quoted Donald Trump when it justified shooting rock-throwing protesters.

Donald Trump has even affected people around me. I know a couple for many years whom I met through my Unitarian Universalist congregation. They have two young adult children, a son and a daughter. Last week they made posts on Facebook announcing that their son came out last year as transgender and she now wants to be known as Hazel. They kept quiet about this for the past year (I don’t remember either one of them talking about Hazel when I saw them in person) but they decided to make their recent posts on Facebook about Hazel after Trump announced a new policy targeting transgender people that will strictly define gender as biological and established at birth. My friends have enough on their plate dealing with what is going on with their child without having to face open hostile transphobia directed at their child and others like her coming from Trump and his fellow Republicans. (After all, the GOP is the party that have enacted those awful bathroom bills on the state and local levels over the past few years.)

After enduring this garbage for nearly two years I am fired up and ready to go to the polls. I plan on voting a straight Democratic ticket this time. If this nation is to have any glimmer of hope of turning around from this destructive course, you need to vote in this order:

1. Progressive Democrat—That is the best option because these people are more likely to stand up to Trump.

2. Corporate/Centrist Democrat—If you don’t have any Progressive Democrats running in your area, then just vote for a corporate or centrist Democrat even if they have this annoying tendency to cozy up to Wall Street too much. At least this type of Democrat is way preferable to a white supremacist Republican with fascist overtones.

As for third parties, I say don’t even bother this time around. (Yes, there are third party candidates who are running. A few Sundays ago there was a guy in my church’s parking lot who was campaigning on behalf of a Green Party candidate who’s running against Representative and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer and he was passing out leaflets as people were leaving Sunday service and going to their cars.) We need to elect the one party that will have enough of a majority that it can stand up to Trump. While I would love to see more political parties in the U.S. so the voters would have more of a choice, unfortunately we just don’t have the luxury of voting third party this time around.

When you have conservatives like Max Boot urging Americans to vote against every single Republican, you know things have become really dire in this country.

We need new people in Congress and on the state and local level who will stand up to Donald Trump and all that he stands for. This may be the last chance this nation will get to turn around from going into the disaster zone. If the Republicans prevail today and again in 2020 then you might as well kiss the United States of America good-bye.

The situation in the U.S. is deteriorating by the day. First there were those bombs that were sent to prominent Democrats (or ones who lean Democrat). The authorities managed to catch the white supremacist Trump lover behind those mailings only to have another white supremacist Trump lover go to a grocery store near Louisville, Kentucky and shoot two African Americans after he made an unsuccessful attempt to enter a African American church so he could make his deadly shooting spree.

But today a synagogue was shot up in Pittsburgh by a man who entered during a bris ceremony yelling “Death to Jews!” and then opened fire. Eleven people were slain in cold blood. That guy is probably another Trump supporter just like those two other cretins. As a young girl named Mari Copeny, who’s also known as Little Miss Flint, wrote on Twitter today.

I’m afraid that the answer is “No.” I’m typing this soon after I finished with loading my car so I could participate in my Unitarian Universalist congregation’s annual Halloween Trunk or Treat event after tomorrow morning’s Sunday service. As I loaded up the car and think about today’s events, I’m reminded of the incident that happened ten years ago where a UU church in Knoxville, Tennessee was shot up during Sunday service. The shooter targeted that UU church because one of his former wives was once a member and he wanted to attack liberals directly. Unitarian Universalism is a liberal religious faith so he felt it would be appropriate for him to attack his ex-wife’s former church. While I’m not anticipating anything happening tomorrow at my UU congregation, I know that, based on the past, all UU churches are just as vulnerable to a terrorist attack by a rabid Trump-supporing white supremacist as mosques and synagogues.

What’s even more appalling is this quote in this article about that same shooting.

The president had a campaign rally in southern Illinois scheduled for Saturday night. He said it would go ahead as planned.

How fucking ignorant! Of course he wouldn’t cancel his appearance at tonight’s rally! A normal president would travel to Pittsburgh immediately and try to comfort the synagogue members who were directly affected by today’s shooting. But Trump is not normal. He really doesn’t give a shit about anyone but himself and his immediate family (especially Ivanka). This proves that this man is definitely NOT suitable for the job.

We shouldn’t let these deadly instances deter us from voting for new politicians who will actually do their jobs provide a check and balance on Trump by standing up to him. The mid-terms are coming soon and these elections may be the last chance to save the United States from slipping into a Trump-style fascism that’s full of white supremacy, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia (Trump is currently making a move to take civil rights away from transgender people), Islamophobia, racism, and now anti-semitism. It would also be one where corporations have more rights than ordinary people and the 1% would get the bulk of power and money at the expense of the 99%.

If we elect new politicians, there’s a chance that not only will they stand up to Trump but they will attempt to get him removed from office. At this point removing Trump from office is the best way to put an end to the growing white supremacy in this country since he constantly caters to them. (I still remember his “Some very fine people on both sides” remark in the wake of Charlottesville where one of the neo-Nazis literally mowed down Heather Heyer with his car.) Look how the Nazis in Germany managed to shrink in power and dominance once the Allied forces invaded that nation and Adolf Hitler committed suicide soon afterwards. Just as removing the head is the best way to kill a dangerous animal, removing the top layer of officials is the best way to kill a movement that is a direct threat to national security and the continued future of this nation.

To be honest, Donald Trump needs to be removed from the Oval Office ASAP before this country sinks any lower into violence and hatred.

Hobby Lobby is one of the arts and crafts supply stores that I used to frequent on a regular basis until they started making an issue of providing birth control to their employees claiming that providing such employee benefits is against the place’s Christian values. (Never mind the fact that Hobby Lobby is an arts and crafts supply store and not a house of worship.)

Now there’s a class-action lawsuit filed against Hobby Lobby on the basis of its allegedly false advertising campaign. This video has the details about this lawsuit.

First of all, Hobby Lobby claims to be Christian yet it somehow missed one of the Ten Commandments that says “Thou shalt not lie.” Secondly, Hobby Lobby seems to have problems with luring customers into its stores if it has to resort to deceptive advertising like this. Perhaps its hardcore anti-birth control for its employees stance and its open siding with the far right-wing evangelical base of the Republican Party have alienated consumers so much that they have opted to take their business elsewhere to places like Michaels Arts & Crafts, A.C. Moore, and Jo-Ann’s Fabrics & Crafts.

Way back in March I did a job interview with an apparel shop that specializes in printing unique t-shirts and other accessories (such as bags) to the specifications of the client’s preferences. While one could order only one unique t-shirt/accessory from this place, this business was set up to cater to people who need uniquely designed t-shirts and related clothing to be bulk-printed for groups and events such as family reunions, sports teams, conferences, etc. I felt I did okay with the job interview. I felt confident with the test the store manager gave me where I had to demonstrate my design capabilities with Adobe Photoshop. I was so satisfied that I shot a photo of what I did on the computer before I announced to the store manager that I was done. I wrote a blog post about my test featuring that photo while I also uploaded that photo on my various social media sites.

I felt so confident about my interview because the store manager read my resume and asked me about Inkscape. When I told her that it’s a vector program that’s a free open source alternative to Adobe Illustrator, her eyes lit up and she became really interested. I explained a few more details about the program to her and she said “I need to look into this because I’m getting tired of paying Adobe for that subscription each month.”

She said that she had one more interview after me but she said that she would make her decision in about two or three days. The following day I sent her a thank you note and she responded saying that she will make her final hiring decision in a few days. She gave no hints as to whether I was close to getting the job or not. I never heard back from her after that email.

Now it’s late October and a couple of days ago I got an email out of the blue from that hiring manager. At first I thought that the person she hired instead of me didn’t work out and she wanted to give me another chance at working for her. But, no. Here is the email I received.

Wow. Just wow. She waits seven months before formally letting me know that she didn’t hire me (even though I came to that conclusion myself a week after I didn’t hear from her way back in March) then she entices me to purchase some of her merchandise by giving me a 20% off coupon as a “thank you” for interviewing with her in person. I have plenty to say about this. Here’s my personal breakdown of this letter.

I wanted to personally reach out to you and thank you for your interest in the Retail/Graphic Artist position at [redacted]. We have reviewed your application and I truly appreciate your inquiry. Your talents and skills are not an exact fit for this role.

It’s written in the language of a typical rejection letter that she waited seven months to send.

I truly wish you the very best of luck in your search for employment and want to thank you for applying with us by providing a 20% discount on a custom garment of your choice at my store.

That statement reads like, “We decided not to hire you but we’d like for you to buy something from us so we’re giving you this coupon to entice you to buy something from us. Even though we rejected you as an employee, we’d love to have you as a customer.”

Here’s the thing. This store specializes in creating unique customized clothing and printing these unique creations in bulk. Had she hired me, I could’ve used my contacts to drum up new customers for that store. I could’ve encouraged my church congregation to create unique t-shirts and sweatshirts that would be printed by that store and the church could’ve sold as a fundraiser. I know people in two non-profit makerspaces in my area. I could’ve approached either or both places to consider using that store to create and print t-shirts and other clothing apparel that could’ve been sold as fundraisers to keep these two makerspaces afloat. The support group for people who are separated or divorced I was heavily involved with after my husband left me (I haven’t been to a meeting in a few months) is another resource I could’ve tapped into. I think the organization might’ve been interested in some custom apparel that they could’ve sold as a fundraiser. I have friends who are have children who are involved in extracurricular activities such as recreational sports, scouting troops, and theater. I also have friends who are involved in a variety of civic and religious organizations (such as the local environmental organization that’s devoted to keeping the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries clean from pollution). I could’ve encouraged them to buy something customized from that store.

Instead of begging one person (me) whom they decided not to hire to buy something from them, they could’ve hired me and it’s possible that, by extension, the people I know and the non-profit organizations I’m involved with would’ve purchased more apparel from them in bulk and this store would not have to offer a 20% discount in order to drum up business.

It’s even quite possible that, had this store hired me, I may have purchased some customized apparel for myself based on something that I designed and even had the store make a few copies of the apparel that I could give to friends and family as presents. I may even have done this a few times.

In other words, the store could’ve made more money in the long run had they hired me instead of rejecting me then waiting seven months to let me know that I wasn’t hired and offer me a 20% discount in order to get me to purchase something from that store.

When you stop by ask for me, I would enjoy meeting you.

I already met her in person back in March when we both sat down for a job interview. It’s obvious she didn’t value me enough to hire me back in March but, seven months later, she suddenly decides to value me as a customer so her store could make more money.

Forget this store. If I ever have the desire to create my own customized clothing and apparel and have someone print them, I’ll go elsewhere.

Yesterday Donald Trump went to a rally where he declared himself a nationalist. Today a few package bombs were sent to Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, George Soros and CNN. These are the very same people that Donald Trump has frequently denounced on Twitter and at his rallies over the past two years. (Remember “Crooked Hillary,” “Lock Her Up!,” “failing CNN,” “fake news,” accusations of George Soros financing those who were protesting Brett Kavanaugh being confirmed as a Supreme Court justice, and open questions about whether President Obama was really born in Kenya instead of Hawaii?) It’s reminiscent of what happened back in June when Donald Trump frequently denounced the mainstream media and it inspired one of his followers to shoot up the offices of The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, which resulted in the deaths of five people. The fact that Donald Trump has been silent on this latest matter as of this writing is deafening.

Fortunately no one was harmed today. But we are in a situation where Donald Trump has gotten completely out of control and Congress, who is supposed to serve as a check and balance on the president, is not doing its job and openly confronting him (especially from his own party).

This is why the upcoming mid-term elections are more important than ever. If the Republicans prevail, expect to see more incidents like this. If the Democrats get elected and take control of Congress, there’s at least a chance of impeaching him and even removing him from office before 2020.

To be blunt, if the Republicans retain control of Congress this year and Donald Trump gets re-elected in 2020, you might as well kiss the United States of America good-bye.

UPDATE (October 25, 2018): Today a new set of bombs were sent to Robert De Niro and former Vice President Joe Biden. We Americans should not let these domestic terrorists stop us from going to the polls and vote for new people in Congress who will stand up to President Donald Trump and start taking steps to remove him from office. As filmmaker Michael Moore and Chaz Bono both put it so succinctly on Twitter this morning:

UPDATE (October 26, 2018): The bomb drama continued as two more bombs addressed to Cory Booker and James Clapper were intercepted. Donald Trump issued this totally tone-deaf self-centered tweet that’s totally unbecoming of someone who sits in the Oval Office.

Of course he hasn’t apologized for that one. In the meantime there were some conservatives who claimed that the Democrats were behind those bombings as a way of somehow framing Republicans and influence the outcome of the upcoming mid-term elections. The authorities have managed to capture and charge a Florida man named Cesar Sayoc in connection with the bombings. Contrary to what some conservatives claim, it looks like Sayoc is a Trump supporter, judging from all of those pro-Trump stickers he placed on his van.

Cesar Sayoc is going to get a rude awakening when he discovers that the object of his worship won’t be bailing him out of jail anytime soon.

When I first started this blog eight years ago, I wrote my first post that included this paragraph.

I plan on moderating all comments. Any comments that are spam, off-topic, harrassing, personally threatening, or just plain abusive will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be banned from leaving further comments on my blog. If you’re a hater or a spammer, then stay away from this blog because I don’t want to deal with you.

So far that policy had worked out really well for me over the past eight years. This past weekend I banned someone from making any further comments in this blog and I’ve deleted all of her comments. Here is how it went down. After I wrote my post about receiving that text from Donald Trump last Wednesday I received a comment from a fellow WordPress.com blogger in my comment moderation queue the following day that said this:

How is a system test “for his own personal use” ? It was a test of the system..

I thought I had explained everything in my original post about how this text could possibly set a precedent for Trump to use this emergency system for reasons other than a legitimate emergency. I wasn’t sure whether to let her comment go through or not. So I waited until the weekend to read that comment and I decided to let it go through because I naively thought that it wouldn’t be harmful to let an occasional comment from someone who disagrees with my personal viewpoint be posted online. So I let it go through then I provided this response to her comment.

Like I wrote in my original post, if anyone other than Trump—Republican or Democrat—had been in the White House, I would have no problem with this test. The government needs to periodically conduct tests so it’ll be prepared when a real emergency happens. It’s just that, given Trump’s history of frequent tweeting, there’s a possibility that he might use this for his own personal reasons other than legitimate emergencies. With Twitter, one can opt not to follow Trump’s account. With this Presidential alert, one can’t opt out of receiving them. Here’s a link from a conservative news site, The Washington Examiner, that has listed the concerns with this new system, how Trump could potentially abuse it for his own political ends, and how it’s up to Trump to prove all of his critics wrong.

So I provided what I thought was a thoughtful response complete with a link from a conservative news site expressing possible concerns about this new Presidential alert system. About five or ten minutes after I posted my response, I got another alert that she had made another comment to respond to my response.

Prove his critics wrong lolol guilty until proven innocent how typical. Seems like just another thing about the president to bitch about.

After that second comment I realized that I made a mistake when I approved her previous comment because it’s clear that she’s a Donald Trump supporter and nothing I can say will make her give up her defense of the president. Had I responded to her second comment, I’m sure she would’ve responded again while providing her passionate defense of the man who has been recorded as saying that he grabs women by their pussies and she would’ve constantly baited me into a full-blown argument in my own blog. She has proven herself to be a troll for Trump and I had to take the necessary steps to make sure she doesn’t make any more comments in my blog.

Between working on a new drawing every day this month for Inktober, dealing with my mother’s upcoming birthday later this month, finishing a few handcrafted items that I’m currently working on just in time for my church’s upcoming auction on October 20, following up on a few potential opportunities for myself that could possibly result in steady work with a steady income for me, getting ready for Halloween, and a bunch of other things currently going on in my personal life, I have a lot of things on my plate at the moment. I have no time for drama, no time for games, and no time to get into a stupid argument with a Trump supporter that I have no chance of ever getting her to at least listen an alternate view of Donald Trump with an open mind.

Some of you may wonder why I would deprive someone of her freedom of speech rights. First of all, the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution applies to the U.S. government only. My blog is not the U.S. government. It has never received any kind of government support whatsoever so I am not obligated to allow her to spew her toxic pro-Trump comments in my blog. In addition, the person has a blog of her own on WordPress.com, which I’m not going to link to because I don’t want to provide her blog with more attention because she doesn’t deserve it. If she really wants to defend Donald Trump from his critics, she should use her own blog to write her pro-Trump posts and leave mine alone.

Ironically, having looked at her blog, her posts indicate that she’s an atheist yet she defends Donald Trump in my blog comments despite the fact that he has aligned himself most closely with hard-right conservative evangelical Christians—the kind of people who look down on atheists like her. She’s also a vegan yet she supports a man who is doing everything possible to make it legal to go trophy hunting for all kinds of animals and his two oldest sons have gone on such trophy hunts themselves. I’m not a vegan myself but I have friends who are and they are horrified at the idea of people going on hunting trips where one kills animals simply for sport. They also do not support Trump at all.

I learned my lesson from allowing pro-Trump comments in my blog because these Trump supporters are more interested in provoking online fights than simply providing an alternative viewpoint. So I’m not going to allow any more pro-Trump comments in my blog because it’s obvious that they are trolls and I don’t believe in feeding trolls.

And to the Trump supporting WordPress.com blogger who made those comments in my blog, if you are reading this post, I have just two words to say to you: Bye, Felicia!

Today at 2:19 p.m. I was in the local library where, all of a sudden, many of the patrons’ smartphones suddenly went off with this high-pitched wail that usually accompanies an urgent message. My phone was among them. Normally when something like this happens, it’s usually because of a recently abducted child or an escaped prisoner on the lam or someone has just stolen a car or there’s the threat of a flash flood or a tornado.

When I looked at my phone, I saw this text message:

President Donald Trump decided to send this test of a text message labeled “Presidential alerts” over the frequency that’s reserved for emergencies. Here’s the thing, I don’t mind hearing that obnoxious screeching noise from my phone if it’s a legitimate emergency. In fact, if there’s an imminent tornado or flood in my area, I would want to hear that screeching noise so I would know to take shelter somewhere immediately.

But to have Donald Trump use that system for his own personal test is totally obnoxious and uncalled for. What’s even worse is that I can’t block this text since he’s sending it over the emergency frequency and that’s the one kind of frequency that can not be blocked.

It reminds me of the time I read the Hunger Games trilogy. There were times when the citizens were required to watch their TV screens because the government had a special message and the TV sets would even turn on automatically. This text could set a precedent where Donald Trump sends a text message that is not an urgent emergency for his own personal jollies over the emergency frequency because he wants Americans to pay attention to him. And he would get away with it because he’s the President of the United States.

The Atlantic had an article about this alert where it said that this personal message from Trump isn’t as nefarious as it looks because it’s part of an effort by the government to alert its citizens in the event of a legitimate emergency, especially if it’s of a catastrophic nature. If anyone other than Donald Trump had been occupying the White House right now, I would agree with the premise of that article. But even The Atlantic admitted this:

Even so, some worry that if any president would abuse the system, it would be this one. Trump loves Twitter. He sometimes uses it unwisely, and the short WEAs look and feel a lot like tweets. Is it possible? Even hypothetically, Trump would need FEMA’s aid to misuse the service, but in theory, a loyalist could help facilitate it. FEMA Director William Brock Long is under investigation for possible misuse of government funds for travel, a minor matter given the other fires burning in the Trump administration, but also enough to fan the flames of suspicion among those who fear that collusion is possible.

THIS! Donald Trump is so hell-bent on packing the government with his cronies, regardless of whether they have enough experience to even do their jobs or not, that it’s not a totally ridiculous scenario for Trump to call up William Brock Long over at FEMA whenever he’s in the mood to broadcast something that’s not urgent over the emergency broadcasting frequency. I’m afraid that this message may possibly a harbinger of things to come, especially if more Trump Republican loyalists get elected in next month’s mid-term elections.

If President Barack Obama had pulled something like this during his two terms in office, the Republicans in Congress would’ve denounced him and demanded an investigation into this incident. But the Republicans these days are so extremely deferential to Trump that they will just keep their mouths shut and let him do whatever he wants with the emergency broadcast frequencies. And we Americans won’t be able to block him because he’s broadcasting over the emergency frequencies that can’t be blocked.

For someone who claims to be good at sales and marketing, Donald Trump is incredibly dumb. The list of his biggest business failures proves this. Back in late December Trump had his lawyer unsuccessfully attempt to stop the publication of Michael Wolff’s tell-all book Fire and Fury. This resulted in the book rising to the top of the major bestseller lists all over the world for several months. That book was literally hard to find because stores would sell out quickly and even the libraries had a difficult time keeping it on the shelf. It has only been within the last couple of weeks that the library in my area has been able to keep copies on its shelves. (On my last visit I found that four copies were available for patrons to check out.)

It’s not unusual for journalists to write tell-all books about the first year or two of a new administration. Normally such books reach the top of the bestseller lists for a few weeks then quickly sink while the president generally ignores the book completely. Since we are not living in normal times, the president’s public complaint about the book had resulted in Fire and Fury becoming a bigger cultural phenomenon than it would have been had Trump simply ignored it while making Michael Wolff very rich in the process.

More recently Trump’s former White House staffer, Omarosa Manigault Newman, wrote a tell-all book of her very own titled simply Unhinged. Once again, Trump decided against ignoring it and had launched an attack on her and the book. As of this writing, the book is now enjoying its second week on The New York Times bestsellers list.

So far Trump is 0-2 when it comes to denouncing books into becoming financial failures for their authors and publishers. But, with a new book coming out soon, Trump is trying to make it into a trifecta hat trick.

Bob Woodward, The Washington Post reporter who uncovered the Watergate scandal along with Carl Bernstein, is about to release a new book about Donald Trump called Fear: Trump in the White House. Ever since the 1980s, Bob Woodward has written books about every single president in office. He has been doing this since Ronald Reagan occupied the White House. Usually the current White House occupant just ignores whatever book Bob Woodward has written about him and/or his administration.

All that has changed with Donald Trump. The president has publicly responded to the upcoming publication of Woodward’s book as a “con.” What’s more, check out what he has been spewing on his Twitter feed recently.

Way to go, President Dipshit! Thanks to your numerous public tweets denouncing the book, you have provided tons of free publicity to Bob Woodward and his book. Your denunciations will inspire people, especially those who would love to see you thrown into prison for the rest of your miserable life, to flood Amazon and/or their local bookstores pre-ordering copies of Woodward’s book, thus guaranteeing that it will reach number one on many bestseller lists all over the world. In addition, it’s very likely that many of the people who will buy Woodward’s book are people who have either never read any of Woodward’s previous books or who haven’t read any books that Woodward had previously written or co-written since the 1970’s book All the President’s Men. The new book, Fear: Trump in the White House, is destined to become just as big a cultural phenomenon as Michael Wolff’s earlier Fire and Fury book all because YOU couldn’t keep your mouth shut and stay off of Twitter.

For someone who claims to be a salesman and a marketing whiz, Trump is really screwing up his response to Woodward’s book big time. (Or maybe I should use the word “bigly,” one of the many words that Trump has made up since he started occupying the White House.) He could’ve followed the examples of his predecessors and ignored the book but, no, Trump had to openly tweet his disgust, thus drumming up more publicity for Bob Woodward.

Trump’s inadvertent marketing campaign is already having an effect. Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for Woodward’s book and it’s already number eight on Amazon’s nonfiction bestseller list. If I were Bob Woodward, I would just sit back and let Donald Trump handle the bulk of the marketing via Twitter then publicly thank the president for all of his help in getting the word out when the book makes its inevitable reach to the top of the bestseller lists all over the world once it’s released.

UPDATE (September 16, 2018): Bob Woodward’s book was released on September 11 with one million copies already in print before they had even reached the stores nationwide. In fact that book is now one of Amazon’s best-selling books of the year.

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