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I don’t have children. Sometimes I regret not having a child but these days I’m mostly glad because, after the hell that my ex-husband put me through over the past few years, I would’ve really dreaded having to face that asshole on a regular basis regarding the children. I also would’ve had to face the possibility of periodically going back to court over child visitation and custody issues because my husband left me for a seriously mentally ill woman and he married her just two months after our divorce was final. I would’ve been really concerned about exposing a child to whatever drama that would result from having a seriously mentally ill stepmother.

There are too many people who have no business ever becoming parents but they have one or more kids anyway and it’s the children who usually suffer. A case in point is a YouTube controversy that originally started last year but it has continued into this year. Here’s a quick recap.

A YouTube channel was created in 2015 called DaddyOFive. It was a series of videos featuring the real-life adventures of Mike Martin, his wife Heather, and their five children (hence the name). The videos were supposed to be light-hearted entertainment featuring a fun yet quirky family.

One regular feature of these videos had the parents playing pranks on one or more of their children. The videos began to gain popularity and the parents were able to make revenue from their videos.

As time went on, the so-called “pranks” took on a more disturbing tone and they became more and more controversial. The shit really began to hit the fan last year when popular YouTube commentator Philip DeFranco made this video questioning whether these “pranks” are actually child abuse. (This video have a few brief excerpts from the video where one of the kids was targeted in a “prank” that involved invisible ink.)

When DeFranco’s video went viral, there was more public scrutiny aimed at Mike and Heather Martin over allegations that their kids were being abused on video while profiting off of that abuse. The Martins responded to DeFranco’s video by blaming him for the public vitriol being aimed at them. DeFranco responded with a second video where he included more disturbing scenes from other DaddyOFive videos, which included the couple’s only daughter being slapped in the face by her brother after prompting by their father, one of the smaller boys being body-slammed to the ground by his larger brother, and one of the sons asking his father to leave him alone and stop filming him only to have the father continue putting the camera on the boy.

That second video only added fuel to the fire. It turned out that two of the children were Mike Martin’s from a previous marriage or relationship. (I wasn’t able to figure out whether he was ever married to that previous woman or not.) They were also the same two children who bore the brunt of those so-called “pranks.” The children’s biological mother soon got wind of the existence of those videos and she responded by getting a lawyer and filing for sole custody of the children, which she ultimately won. Here’s the biological mother’s brief interview on Good Morning America from last year, where she explained how she felt when she learned about her children’s appearance in those videos.

On top of it, the local authorities began to investigate the child abuse claims. What’s really embarrassing is that I learned that these two so-called “parents” lived in my state (Maryland).

Ultimately Mike and Heather Martin removed most of the videos from the DaddyOFive channel with the exception of a video featuring just the two of them where they apologized for their videos. A few months later they were sentenced to five year’s probation for child neglect. As part of the probation, Mike and Heather are not allowed to contact Mike’s two children in any way unless a judge authorizes it first.

So things died down a bit regarding DaddyOFive. There were no new videos uploaded and the couple seemed to keep a low profile for the rest of 2017. Sometime after the controversy and receiving probation Mike and Heather Martin took the remaining three children and moved from Maryland to West Virginia. Okay, I can understand that decision to some extent because that move gave them the opportunity to make a fresh start in their lives and put the recent past behind them. If they had stayed off-line, they probably would’ve eventually fallen into obscurity.

But that didn’t happen. The family re-emerged online just one year later with two new video channels—FamilyOFive and FamilyOFive Gaming. I can understand the name to some extent since Mike, Heather, and the three sons are now a family of five. But I find it mind-boggling that Mike and Heather would give both of those channels a similar name to the DaddyOFive channel that got them into trouble in the first place.

It wouldn’t be long before Philip DeFranco began to devote a video to FamilyOFive, especially since this new video series included footage of one of the sons being hit hard in the groin with a ball.

But, wait, there’s more. Amanda the Jedi made this video featuring more disturbing footage involving the three sons under the guise of “entertainment.”

In addition, local station WUSA9 started to extensively cover the story and they contacted YouTube and the local authorities in the couple’s former (Frederick County, Maryland) and current (Berkeley County, West Virginia) residences for their responses regarding the matter.

In any case, YouTube finally pulled the plug a few days ago and took down all of the DaddyOFive/FamilyOFive channels and banned Mike and Heather Martin from the platform. I applaud YouTube for making that decision. Child abuse should never be considered entertainment and people should not be allowed to profit from it.

While it’s great that Mike and Heather Martin are gone from YouTube, this story doesn’t exactly have a happy ending. If you conduct a YouTube search under DaddyOFive, you’ll see that many of the original DaddyOFive videos have been re-uploaded on to YouTube by people using names like Team Takedown, Post, DaddyOFive Re-uploaded, ToxicFaygo 29, Legendary Posts, daddyofive archive, That One Guy, Fire Phoenix, polly annner, and DaddyOfive ReUploading. And these re-uploaded videos are just the tip of the iceberg, which once again proves the adage that the Internet is forever and it’s the children who will suffer the most for years to come.

There’s something else that I also find concerning. If Mike and Heather acted atrociously towards their children in front of the camera, can you imagine what family life is like when the cameras are turned off? I really believe that the three remaining children should be removed immediately from their parents and placed either with other relatives or in foster homes so they’ll have a chance to lead normal lives without having a camera focused on them while they are being abused by their so-called “parents.”

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If Donald Trump has any sense after yesterday’s worldwide exposure of the fact that he basically prefers Vladimir Putin to his own country, he would stay out of the U.S. However, he is too blinded by his narcissism to consider moving to his buddy Putin’s country. While Trump is out of the country, the fallout continues, especially on YouTube.

And these videos I found are just the tip of the iceberg. I could’ve gone on all day and night embedding more videos in this post.

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I have long contended that I would not have been surprised if Donald Trump had gotten money from either Vladimir Putin or from someone in the Russian oligarchy. Trump had long associated with shady figures in his quest for personal power and to satisfy his constant never-ending need to have people admire him for being a wealthy man. It would make sense for him to continue this tradition by associating with certain sleazy Russians in exchange for money. It was just recently when New Yorker magazine published an article that suspects that Donald Trump had been tight with the former Soviet Union since 1987 and this association with the Russians continued after the USSR fell.

But now Donald Trump has really done it. He met with Vladimir Putin while saying that he backs Putin’s denial that Russia had intervened in the 2016 U.S. elections, despite existing evidence to the contrary and despite the fact that just a few days ago Special Counsel Robert Mueller have indicted 12 Russians for their role in interfering in the 2016 elections.

And it’s not just on the national level but it’s on the local level as well. I’ve just learned that my own state, Maryland, had its voter registration vendor financed by a Russian oligarch. It’s possible that other states may have encountered something similar as well.

To say that the Internet have erupted with cries of “TREASON!!!” is an understatement. Here is just a sample of what I’ve read online today.

Michael Moore’s Facebook post.

Wow oh wow. I’ve expected to see many things from Trump — but never did I think I’d see him standing beside the president of Russia and, as John King just reported on CNN, “surrendering to him.” That Trump would reveal himself as a traitor on worldwide TV — well, that was a mind-blower.

Trump is asked, Who are you going to believe—the Russians or your own officers? And he refused to choose! Do you support your troops or Putin — and he wouldn’t choose! So my first thought goes out to those who serve this country— I’m so sorry the Commander-in-Chief is a traitor.

Trump: “They (my intelligence officers) said, ‘I think it is Russia.’ I have President Putin (standing here). He just said it is not Russia. I will say this: I do not see any reason why it would be (Russia).”

Arrest Trump when Air Force One lands. I want to see him in chains.

But that’s not all. Here’s a tweet from John Dean, who was Richard Nixon’s lawyer and a figure in the Watergate scandal from a long time ago.

Former Republican Congressman Joe Walsh, who’s hardly what you’d call a radical left-winger, tweeted this out.

Here are some more tweets from people on all sides of the political spectrum.

All I’m going to say is this: If, after Trump returns to the U.S., Congress still turns a blind eye to Trump’s blatant breaking of the law overseas, then they are part of the problem. This goes for both Democrats and Republicans alike. It’s time for everyone to put country over party or ideology and stand up to Donald Trump.

I’ve had someone tell me that getting political online will hurt my personal brand. Here’s the thing, there are times when you MUST take a stand because a certain situation warrants it. Right now this is no longer a matter of whether you’re a Republican or Democrat. It’s a matter of whether you still support the United States of America as a nation or are you are now supporting Vladimir Putin. As for me, there’s no way in hell I will ever support Putin. If you’re an American who thinks that Putin isn’t such a bad guy, well, try telling that to members of Pussy Riot, who have not only been persecuted in the past for their video Punk Prayer but some of their members have just been arrested in Russia over their recent protest at the World Cup. Try telling that to the families of Russian dissidents who have been found dead under mysterious circumstances.

I don’t regret taking a stand against the Trump Administration’s current policy of separating children from their parents and throwing them in cages and I won’t regret making this post now. There comes a time when you will be judged based on how you react to a certain situation. For all I know, there may be a future opportunity for me that I may get based on the people who were found themselves delighted with me for not keeping quiet about Trump’s treachery as opposed to other people who decided not to say anything at all.

I still remember reading about how talented German filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl ultimately had her promising career cut short because she chose to make films glorifying Adolf Hitler and the Nazis. She had a choice of whether to make pro-Nazi movies or different types of movies that didn’t glorify the Nazis and she made what turned out to be the wrong choice.

If someone decides not to use my services because I spoke out against treason being openly committed by the President of the United States, I would be better off not working for that person. Because no opportunity is worth me being silent in the face of the treason that’s currently happening in my own country.

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Each summer people who want to make s’mores at a campfire generally bring the s’more making supplies in nondescript bags. They could either be recycled plastic shopping bags or the more environmentally-friendly cloth bags but the s’more supplies are brought in bags nonetheless.

Recently at Safeway I saw this item that’s an alternative to brining regular bags.

Hershey's S'mores Caddy

It’s a Hershey’s S’mores Caddy that’s shaped like a giant Hershey’s bar. It’s for people who want this make statement at the next campfire: “YES, I BROUGHT THE SUPPLIES FOR S’MORES!!!” What’s more, you can order it online through sites like Amazon.

As for me, I’ll probably continue to use regular bags if I feel the urge to bring s’more making supplies to a campfire.

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Filmmaker Michael Moore has just announced a new website called TrumpiLeaks, which is described as:

This site provides the most high-powered encryption technology to enable courageous whistleblowers to privately communicate with me and my team. Patriotic Americans in government, law enforcement or the private sector with knowledge of the crimes, lies and general misconduct committed by Donald J. Trump and his associates are encouraged to blow the whistle in the name of protecting the United States of America from tyranny.

It’s like Wikileaks but it’s for those who want to squeal on President Donald Trump. There’s already a Wikipedia page for this even though it’s so new that there’s very little content yet. I’m doing my part to spread the word about this site’s existence because I strongly feel that Donald Trump should be removed from office. Separating immigrant children from their parents and putting them in detention is horrible enough but when you compare to other things he’s done (such as siding with the alt-right protesters in Charlottesville despite the fact that one of them had used a car to literally mow down a peaceful counter protester named Heather Hyer, his continued coziness with dictators like Vladimir Putin and Rodrigo Duterte while openly showing contempt for democratic leaders like Justin Trudeau, and ignoring the plight of hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico), that incident with the immigrant children is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.

If Donald Trump was a real man, he would admit that it was a mistake for him to ever run for president in the first place since he had never held elected office before, he is now way in over his head because of his inexperience, and he announces that he is resigning effective immediately. However, doing something like that would take courage and a willingness to admit that he was wrong and Donald Trump lacks those qualities.

If TrumpiLeaks results in getting Trump out of the White House for good, then it would be a good thing. This is why I’m devoting this latest blog post to this site. I would only ask is that anyone reading this to please share this blog post or the link to TrumpiLeaks itself in order to get the ball rolling towards removing Trump from the White House once and for all.

Today is the last day that Toys R Us is in business. When it closes its doors at the end of the day today, the entire store chain will be history after being in business for 70 years. When Toys R Us began closing a huge amount of its stores in January, I took photos of the one in Annapolis because, at the time, it was among the stores that were NOT slated to be closed. I had heard rumors that the entire chain would eventually go kaput so I decided to take photos of what an average Toys R Us store was like on a typical business day. I purchased a Fingerlings monkey and I was given this free frequent rewards card.

I ended up never needing to use that card because soon after that trip Toys R Us decided to close all of its stores at once. I went back to the Annapolis store during the early phase of that going out of business sale in late March. I made one more trip to that same store in early April, mainly because I was visiting another place in the same area at the time and I decided to drop by the store. I made one impulse purchase on that trip—a 12-inch plush version of the store’s mascot, Geoffrey Giraffe.

Here’s a closeup of his hoof with the backwards letter “R”, which was part of the Toys R Us logo.

photo28

You can see more photos of Geoffrey in my April post.

That purchase of Geoffrey Giraffe turned out to be the last thing I ever purchased from Toys R Us. I wasn’t able to make any more return trips to any Toys R Us store after April due mainly to the fact that all of the last remaining Toys R Us stores are located at least a half-an-hour’s drive away from where I live and money was too tight for me to make too many long-distance trips. (It wasn’t always like this. At one point there were three Toys R Us stores located closer to my home but—one by one—they gradually closed until my only Toy R Us shopping options depended on taking long car trips.) So I’ve ended up experiencing the last day of Toys R Us virtually, thanks to YouTube videos like these.

 

 

Given what happened, I think it’s very appropriate that the Geoffrey Giraffe plush toy was the last thing I ever purchased from Toys R Us since he was the corporate mascot. He even appears on this latest melancholy update of Toys R Us.com’s website, which announced its farewell.

Toys R Us got killed off by Wall Street corporate greed while its workers are now out of a job. Adding insult to injury, Toys R Us has refused to give their employees any kind of a severance package and they are now organizing to fight that chain for what should be rightfully theirs. It’s a horrible situation no matter how you look at it. Too bad, so sad.

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Ever since his election Donald Trump has waged an all-out crusade against the mainstream media by calling certain publications “fake news”, ridiculing a disabled reporter, and even allowing the Justice Department to seize the phone and email records of a New York Times reporter. He has also encouraged his followers to be violent while saying that he would cover the legal fees of any follower who beats up an anti-Trump protester. And that’s not to mention how he said that both sides were to blame for what happened last year in Charlottesville and he refused to denounce the violence that came mainly from the alt-right.

But now his words and actions have actually harmed people and it all went down just 30 miles away from where I live. It happened today in Annapolis when someone walked inside the offices of The Capitol Gazette with a gun and fired a bunch of shots that killed five people and left scores of people injured.

I briefly did some freelance reporting work for The Capitol Gazette after I graduated from the University of Maryland with my newly-minted Bachelor’s degree in journalism in hand. I wanted to build up my journalism experience further but I soon left due to a pay dispute (I was supposed to get a stipend for each article published but that didn’t happen) plus my parents and my fiancee were all pressuring me to find a more steady job and they pretty much pressured me to take an office job. (The pressure started about two or three months after graduation. Those times were very stressful and I felt like I was being ganged up at times by three people who were supposed to be supportive of me and my goals but, in the end, they weren’t. When I discussed this with a therapist I was seeing at the time years later, she said that she understood the horrible pressure I was under. If I had found more steady work related to what I studied in college that paid well soon after I had finished my studies, I definitely would’ve moved from my parents’ house and into an apartment of my own with roommates—instead of accepting my fiancee’s marriage proposal—while waiting a few years longer before I got married but that’s another story.)

I haven’t worked there in years so I doubt I would know anyone who works there now. (And I wasn’t in the office very much to begin with since it was a very part-time freelance job.) But I am horrified at what happened. Imagine showing up for work only to get shot at.

The authorities have caught the shooter, who’s a white man with a long gun. Thanks to his leadership and the horrible example he has set for white men like himself, Donald Trump has blood on his hands. A nation’s leader sets the example for how his/her people behave. If a leader acts civil and dignified, especially around his/her own supporters, then the people will be encouraged to act civil and dignified. If a leader encourages violence while accusing various media outlets of producing “fake news,” especially around his/her own supporters, then we get situations like what happened in Annapolis today.

The fact that the U.S. has done nothing to curb gun violence on a national level doesn’t help at all.

So, yes, I blame Donald Trump for what happened in Annapolis today. He should be removed from office immediately but I’m not going to hold my breath on that happening, especially since there are too many sycophants in Congress who refuse to do anything about impeaching Trump, even though there are now several legitimate reasons why Trump can and should be impeached.

Today’s shooting in Annapolis is yet another reason why we all need to go to the polls in November so we can vote out of the Congress all those people who won’t stand up to Trump and replace them with new people who are unafraid of Trump and do what is right for the American people and the future of this republic.

UPDATE (July 2, 2018): Here is how much contempt that Donald Trump has for journalists. In previous mass shootings, he had ordered the flags to be lowered to half-staff. For The Capitol Gazette shooting, he has refused to issue any kind of calls to lower the flags. This indicates the zero respect that Donald Trump has for the news media, despite the fact that he only got to where he is today due to the same news media, which had provided far more coverage of Donald Trump in 2016 than all of his other rivals put together.

UPDATE (July 3, 2018): It looks like Trump has reversed himself and the flags are currently being lowered at half-staff in memory of the murdered journalists.

I’ve long felt that the battle for the future viability of the United States of America had to be fought on two different fronts. One is against the Trump wing of the Republican Party, which has an extreme right-wing Christian, anti-immigrant, anti-LGBTQ, anti-women’s rights, anti-worker’s agenda that heavily favors the 1%. The other is against the corporate wing of the Democratic Party, which has long cozied up to Wall Street and did everything possible to squelch Bernie Sanders’ campaign in favor of Wall Street-friendly Hillary Clinton despite polls that consistently showed that Sanders stood a far greater chance of defeating Trump on Election Day than Clinton.

Amazing things happened with yesterday’s primary elections. In New York a 28-year-old Democratic Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated a powerful establishment corporate Democratic Representative named Joe Crowley in the primary. Rep. Crowley was seen as possibly becoming Speaker of the House one day until yesterday. Ocasio-Cortez is a former Bernie Sanders campaign volunteer of Puerto Rican descent and, if she wins in November, she could be the youngest ever woman elected to Congress. It’s been touted as the greatest upset since Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost in the 2014 primary to a Tea Party activist named David Brat.

In my own state of Maryland, former NAACP leader Ben Jealous won the primary for Maryland governor. I saw him in person twice—at last year’s Greenbelt Labor Day Festival and a special benefit event for Jealous that took place at the New Deal Cafe. I was impressed with him both times and the fact that Bernie Sanders endorsed him made me glad that he won.

I have a confession to make. Soon after hearing about the DNC shenanigans (such as the reports of voter fraud in favor of Hillary Clinton in places like IllinoisMassachusettsKentuckyArizonaNew YorkCalifornia, and Nevada) that elevated Hillary Clinton over Bernie Sanders while disregarding the wishes of their own voters, I joined the #DEMEXIT movement and switched my party affiliation from Democrat to Independent. I was disgusted by the Centrist Democrats and the Republicans had long ago jumped off into the extremist deep end by catering to right-wing Christians, alt-right racists, and Donald Trump. I had thought about changing my registration back to Democrat so I could vote for Ben Jealous in the primary but I ended up not doing it because I’ve been having a series of personal problems that have overwhelmed me so much that I’m currently seeing a publicly-funded therapist associated with a non-profit group. I learned that the one disadvantage of being an Independent is that I couldn’t vote in yesterday’s primary.

I will vote for Ben Jealous in the general elections this November because I am so disgusted with the Republican Party and its alignment with the alt-right loving Donald Trump. Not one currently elected Republican Party official have questioned some of the more awful aspects of Donald Trump’s presidency (such as his policy of separating immigrant children from their parents and putting them in prison camps). If these elected officials can’t or won’t do the minimal required duty of upholding the Constitution, then they deserved to be replaced in November.

Both parties have been put on notice that the American people are fed up with seeing higher prices on basic items (such as food), stagnant wages, losing jobs (because they were either outsourced to countries with lower standards of living or, as in the case of the soon-to-be-closed Toys R Us, a company closed due to some financial shenanigans on behalf of overpaid corporate executives and other Wall Street people), and seeing the social safety net getting more and more frayed while the 1% gets richer and richer. This shit started when Ronald Reagan was elected president back in 1980 and it gradually continued under subsequent presidencies—both Democrat and Republican. We need to end this trend as soon as possible or else the U.S.A. will collapse completely just like the Soviet Union did in the 1990s.

Back in 2015 I wrote this post on why I feel that children and teens under 18 have no business being on social media. I mentioned that young kids are so much more vulnerable to being attacked by cyberbullies and pedophiles and I even mentioned a few real-life examples of young teens who were harmed by this. I haven’t changed my stance on this issue but the recent rise of Internet sensation Lil Tay provides a different perspective on this issue.

For those of you who haven’t been paying attention, Lil Tay is a nine-year-old aspiring rap star who became a social media influencer after she started posting videos of herself bragging about how she is rich and has spent much of her money buying expensive homes and a car that she legally can’t even drive yet. She claimed that she is independent and no one tells her what to do.

There were some cracks in her story about her online persona, which came to a head when it was revealed that Lil Tay’s older brother was the alleged mastermind of many of her videos and social media posts while their mother has done nothing to intervene in this enterprise. What’s more, many of the social media platforms that Lil Tay has accounts on all have 13 as the minimum age. Lil Tay isn’t eligible for her own social media account for another four years but these social media platforms have apparently looked the other way while Lil Tay and her brother have been making those posts. Not only have these social media platforms not bothered with enforcing their own rules but those non-enforcements have violated the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) as well.

But then the Lil Tay story took a dark turn when a recent video surfaced showing her brother pressuring her to smoke a hookah in front of the camera (even though she is still a nine-year-old child) while their mother can be seen in the background doing nothing about this. You can see it all in this video.

Someone in authority needs to intervene on behalf of Lil Tay because it’s clear that she’s being exploited by her own family. This exploitation is yet another reason why I believe that kids should not be on social media before they are 18. Even though Lil Tay’s social media accounts has been scrubbed clean since the hookah smoking video surfaced online, it doesn’t mean that all of her postings have been wiped away forever. Given her brief popularity, there’s a strong chance that copies of her videos and photos have already been uploaded elsewhere and Lil Tay will never be able to completely eliminate them.

There’s a reason why the saying “The Internet is forever” is absolutely true. Thanks to her mother and brother, Lil Tay will have to spend the rest of her life dealing with something that happened beyond her control when she was nine years old coming back to haunt her. Imagine being her as a middle school, high school, or even a college student years later only to have one or more of her classmates finding those videos and they start to circulate them in an effort to embarrass her. Imagine being in a job interview only to have her would-be employer casually mention that he/she had recently saw one of her old videos.

Let’s say that years later Lil Tay decides to make her own social media posts and videos of her own volition. Let’s also say that she’s taking her online persona in a different direction from what she was like as a child. She is going to have to overcome her previous online persona as the foul-mouthed nine-year-old rapper who bragged about having a lot of money, expensive homes, and lots of bling—a persona that was imposed on her by her older brother while her mother passively went along instead of stepping in and saying “NO!”

To sum it all up, young kids on social media are not only at risk of being cyberbullied or being preyed upon by a pedophile but they are also prone to online exploitation by the very people who should be looking out for their best interests. The Lil Tay episode proves my point, yet again, that kids should not be allowed on social media before they are 18 years old.

I usually don’t attack current First Ladies but Melania Trump is something else entirely. Just when you think that the Trump Administration had sunk to a new low with its policy of separating immigrant children from their parents and putting them into detention facilities, Melania Trump had to add fuel to that fire. A few days ago she decided to visit immigrant children at the Texas-Mexican border. When she left the DC area, she wore this hooded jacket that said “I really don’t care, do u?” Granted it was raining outside but the weather was the typical warm and humid day that the Mid-Atlantic region is famous for this time of the year. She could have just as easily not worn a hooded jacket and carried an umbrella instead.

To make things worse, this jacket was made by Zara, a fashion chain who had long made provocative and controversial fashion statements such as a handbag with swastikas and a shirt that looked similar to what Jewish concentration camp inmates wore during World War II.

The reaction has been swift and mostly negative. Jill Vedder, the wife of Pearl Jam’s lead singer Eddie Vedder, was photographed wearing a jacket that said “Yes, we all care. Y don’t U?” Teen actress Jenna Ortega appeared at the Radio Disney Music Awards wearing a jacket that said “I do care and u should too.”

All four former living First Ladies had condemned Donald Trump’s policies of separating immigrant children from their parents. But then Melania Trump had to go on a trip visiting immigrant children while wearing that Zara jacket on the way to and from Texas.

I had long heard from people saying that we need to cut Melania Trump some slack because she has zero influence over her husband’s politics and she was probably forced to go along with her husband’s decision to even run for president in the first place. I get this to some extent. Melania Trump has always struck me as the kind of woman who simply wanted to get out of the small town of Sevnica (which was then located in Yugoslavia but is now in Slovenia) by any means necessary. When she participated in local fashion shows as a child, she discovered that modeling was her meal ticket out of town and into a new glamorous life. She was smart enough to realize that her modeling career wasn’t going to last forever (especially since it tends to favor the young) so she was willing to start a relationship with Donald Trump, a man who’s several years older and far wealthier than her own family.

In a way it wasn’t unlike my own desire to get the hell out of Glen Burnie, Maryland except I used my natural writing talent to study journalism at the University of Maryland instead of my body. During my time there I met an older part-time graduate student who worked at NASA full-time. He wasn’t wealthy but he had more money than the usual broke college students my age. I was flattered that he was interested enough in me to want to marry me and I’m sure that Melania felt the same way about Donald Trump.

Melania had also struck me as the kind of person who was happy just living in her husband’s shadow while raising their son in New York City. She probably lived a life where she focused on just being Barron’s mother while going on shopping and spa trips and she probably had the occasional lunch date with her friends at some expensive upscale restaurant. She probably had to put out for her husband at times but I’m sure she made peace with that and she probably considers it to be part of the price to pay in exchange for her to maintain her privileged lifestyle. I heard that she only went along with it when her husband decided to run for office but there have been reports that she isn’t exactly thrilled with her current gig as First Lady.

I initially fell into the trap of giving her some slack. I know that being married to someone like Trump isn’t easy. She had to endure allegations that he has sexually assaulted and raped numerous women. I know it’s probably not easy hearing that her husband may have had an affair with a porn star around the same time that she gave birth to their son. And that’s not to mention the numerous times that Trump has publicly said about how he would have dated Ivanka if she wasn’t his daughter, which The Daily Show has helpfully compiled into the two-part series Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter and Again, Don’t Forget: Donald Trump Wants to Bang His Daughter. I’m sure that Melania had probably decided that enduring these incidents were also part of the price that she has to pay in exchange for her privileged lifestyle that’s a far cry from her childhood in Sevnica.

After this week, I’m through with cutting her any kind of slack. She chose to wear that jacket on her way to and from visiting the immigrant children who were suddenly separated from their parents. Of all the clothes available to her that she could’ve worn, she had to choose that jacket that basically exposes her as someone who really is THAT unfeeling towards others who aren’t part of her immediate family.

Melania Trump reminds me of another woman who had a relationship with the leader of a country—Eva Braun. Like Melania Trump, Eva Braun was into the more fun aspects of being the significant other of a nation’s leader (Adolf Hitler). By all accounts she was an avid athlete who was also into photography who could have cared less about her sweetheart’s interest in invading other nations or sending innocent people to their deaths in concentration camps. It was said that there was only one time when she ever expressed herself on a political issue—she protested a potential ban on women’s cosmetics and luxuries as part of converting Germany into a total war economy. (Of course this was around the time that World War II was ramping up.) Adolf Hitler quietly instructed Albert Speer, who was the armaments minister at the time, to halt production of women’s cosmetics and luxuries rather than institute an outright ban.

We need to stop cutting Melania Trump some slack or feel sorry for her. She’s not some helpless innocent victim who’s caught in circumstances beyond her control. As her recent fashion statement shows, she is no victim. She chose her life path freely and she should suffer the consequences of that choice. She’s made her bed so she should now lie in it.

The current First Lady is little more than a Slovenian Eva Braun. History has been unkind to Eva Braun and I predict the same for Melania Trump. After this week I feel that Melania and Donald Trump deserve each other.

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