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Confessions of a former Neo-Confederate.

Target to hire 100,000 temporary holiday workers.

“Bodega,” Silicon Valley’s newest idea, is an economic assault on people of color.

Here is everything wrong with “Bodega,” the startup that destroys bodegas.

How Bullwinkle taught kids sophisticated political satire.

The financial crisis created a precariat army of RV-nomad seniors who serve as Amazon’s seasonal workers.

On white identity politics and American terrorism.

One woman intentionally dressed like a self-described “idiot” at London Fashion Week to see how easy it is to get noticed by the style bloggers.

Survivalist soldering: Mend wires without using electricity.

Polaroid returns to its instant-film roots.

The long list of who Hillary Clinton blames for her defeat in last year’s elections.

We see you, fake service dog owners. You’re running it for people who actually need them.

Union power is putting pressure on Silicon Valley’s tech giants.

Why you should never do work for “exposure” instead of pay.

How to use LEGOs to hold your cables.

How corporate capitalism looted democracy.

Amazon’s new headquarters should be in hell.

Raw picture portraits of the transient kids who travel on American’s trains.

The day that destroyed the working class and sowed the seeds of Trump.

Online gaming must confront its pathetic, disturbing racism.

Trump tweets bizarre narcissistic painting of him saving America by pulling US companies across an ocean on a barge.

40 years later, Talking Heads’ most valuable member is still its most under-recognized.

Maybe recruiters are keeping people out of work.

If you want to be a Nazi in America, pay the price.

Christian Siriano’s diverse new Barbie collection features nods to Solange, Leslie Jones, and more.


Santa Claus

A long time ago I learned that going downtown on Christmas Eve is the best place to be on Christmas Eve because everything is relatively empty. That’s because so many people tend to pack into the suburban shopping malls doing last-minute shopping while the stores in the city are empty. I’ve spent previous Christmas Eves in both Baltimore and DC and it’s the same situation.

I thought about a lot of places I could go to on Christmas Eve. In Baltimore I could go to the Walters Art Museum, Fells Point, or the Ripleys Believe It or Not! Odditorium. In Washington, DC I could go to any of the Smithsonian museums, Chinatown, or Georgetown.

But then it rained on Christmas Eve, which put a damper on a lot of things I would’ve loved to have done (especially going to places where I would be spending a good bit of time outside) and I was not in the mood to do a lot of driving in such lousy weather. I ultimately decided to go to Union Station and the Smithsonian National Postal Museum mainly because both places were located next to each other so I could take the Red Line Metro to the Union Station stop. I exited on to the lower level, where I found that it wasn’t very crowded at all.


I hadn’t been to Union Station in a long time. I was looking forward to eating sushi for lunch at the Hibachi stand followed by going to Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry for dessert. Except when I arrived I found that half of the lower level where all of the fast food type places are located had been blocked off. While there are still places where one can get a quick bite to eat, there are far fewer choices than before. (That’s not to mention that both Hibachi and Vaccaro’s are both gone.) I ended up going to a Chinese food stand where I ordered orange chicken with two side dishes. But I ordered my lunch around the same time that they changed employees and I told the replacement employee that I had told the other one that wanted the orange chicken. She had me try the tofu and led me to believe that it was one of the side dishes. So I ordered the tofu as a side dish and told her that the orange chicken would be the main dish. Except when I got my meal and went to one of tables I found that this employee had given me the tofu as the main dish. The tofu was okay but I would’ve preferred the orange chicken. On top of it, the green beans side dish was undercooked. I made a mental note of never ordering anything from that place again.

After lunch I did some more walking around. I found out that the reason why the lower level had been cut in half was because Walgreen’s had moved in and opened this giant store.





There was one large aisle dedicated to purchasing every kind of Washington, DC souvenir that you could think of.


I’ve been to various Walgreen’s stores over the years but this is the first one I’ve ever been in that actually has a sushi bar that makes fresh sushi on the premises.


If it hadn’t been for that less-than-thrilling Chinese lunch I had already eaten, I would’ve tried the Walgreen’s sushi for the hell of it.



I made my way to the upper level where the upscale shops are located and I found that they were not crowded at all.







Since my last visit to Union Station I saw that the DC Lottery had opened its own store where anyone can buy—what else?—lottery tickets.


I decided to eat some dessert. Since Vaccarro’s Italian Pastry was gone, I thought about going to the Corner Bakery instead since I’ve eaten their desserts in the past and I found them quite good. But I found out that it was replaced by a French pastry place known as Le Pain Quotidien. I found their Christmas-themed dessert display to be quite charming.


I ordered the sea salted chocolate and caramel tart and it was wrapped up in this nice looking box. The tart was excellent.





I saw the Christmas tree that was a gift from the Norwegian Embassy.





There was also a special exhibition documenting the joint U.S.-Norwegian explorations of the Polar Regions.



There was a large toy train layout that I found to be quite lovely.





On my way to one of the exit doors I saw this pigeon who somehow may its way inside Union Station. It was walking around among the various people on the floor like it was going shopping or rushing to take the next Amtrak train. I thought it was quite a hilarious scene.


Outside of Union Station is this futuristic looking dome where one can rent a bike.


Right next door to Union Station is the Smithsonian National Postal Museum. It’s one of the newer Smithsonian museums that had opened in recent years but I never got around to stepping foot inside until Christmas Eve.



I don’t even know what took me so long to visit this place (especially since I’m a local resident). I’m glad I finally did because the interiors are absolutely breathtaking.



As you can guess by the name, this museum is dedicated to the history of the U.S. Postal Service and postage stamps. Naturally stamp collectors will get the biggest kick out of this museum but there are plenty of things on display to wow those who aren’t into stamp collecting.















This museum features Owney, a homeless dog who became the mascot of the U.S. Postal Service for a time until his death over 100 years ago. Here’s a bronze statue of the dog.


And here’s the real Owney, as preserved by a taxidermist.


Owney was the Grumpy Cat of his day—a beloved animal celebrity who received attention and presents (in the form of special tags indicating where he travelled to) everywhere he went. The next photo shows the many tags he received and are currently on display draping his stuffed carcass.


The gift shop also has a smaller stuffed animal version of Owney for sale.


I didn’t buy that stuffed animal but I did buy a short book on the dog’s life for only $4.


Since I arrived at the museum on Christmas Eve, I got a chance to see the museum’s Christmas tree with surrounding poinsettias.



The one exhibit that excited me the most was the one on PostSecret: The Power of a Postcard. That’s because, through my past involvements with Artomatic, I know that PostSecret originally started as an Artomatic exhibit that was put on by the writer Frank Warren. That exhibit was such a phenomenal success that it overshadowed the other Artomatic exhibits that were on display that year. That exhibit was eventually turned into a series of books and I remember the times when he held book signings at various Artomatic events mainly as Frank Warren’s way of showing appreciation for the event that started it all. (You can read about those book signings here and here.)


Now PostSecret has turned into a Smithsonian exhibit, which is pretty cool. The next photo shows just a small portion of the postcards that Frank Warren has received over the years.


Here’s something that was actually sent on a coconut.


I’m still amazed that something I’m familiar with from my involvement with Artomatic has become a Smithsonian exhibit.


The photos I took are just a small sample of what’s currently on display at that exhibit.






There was an area that was especially made for stamp collectors. One can view the various stamps currently on file in a special room. The stamps are in a case that one can pull out and they are organized by nation, year, and type of stamp. I can imagine a hardcore stamp collector spending at least two days in that area alone just looking at all of the stamps on file.


That area also had the world’s first postage stamp on display. It was a British stamp known as the Penny Black and it was released in 1840.



There was a hands-on exhibit where one can design a stamp on a touch screen computer. Here is the stamp I designed.


There was even an area that’s designed for anyone who’s thinking about starting his/her own stamp collection and one can get the first stamps for free. First you get an envelope like this.


Then you go through this bin picking out stamps you’d like to put in your envelope.


I have a confession to make. The rules of picking out free stamps basically said that each person was limited to six stamps in order to make the free stamps available for everyone. There were so few people in the museum the day that I was there that I actually broke the rules and picked out seven stamps. I wasn’t caught (mainly because there were so few people there) and I got away with it. I’m not saying that what I did was right or correct and if there had been a ton of people in the museum that day I would’ve obeyed the rules. But I fell into temptation because there were so few people and, besides, I only took one extra stamp and not like—let’s say—30 extra stamps.

Here are the stamps I picked out. I’ll admit that I was inspired by the recent elections and the incoming President Donald J. Trump Administration along with all the doubts swirling around him as to whether he will even follow the Constitution. So I chose this stamp commemorating the 175th anniversary of the U.S. Bill of Rights.


As a former Journalism major in college and current blogger, this next stamp really appealed to me. It features a quill and ink along with the words “The Ability to Write-A Root of Democracy.”


I picked out this stamp featuring George Washington since he was not only one of the Founding Fathers but he was also the first President of the United States and he set the tone for how the succeeding presidents should always follow the Constitution.


I picked out this stamp featuring Martha Washington because she was not only the first First Lady but I’m sure she went through her own trials and tribulations while supporting her husband first as a hero of the American Revolution then as President of the United States. It’s like the old saying goes: “Behind every man is a woman.”


I picked out Thomas Jefferson because he was also a hero of the American Revolution, a Founding Father of this nation, and he was instrumental in including many rights that we Americans take for granted (such as the freedom of the press) and could possibly be threatened under Donald Trump’s presidency.


I picked out Benjamin Franklin, another Founding Father who was the first Postmaster General. Plus I’m currently running the weekly Benjamin Franklin Fridays in this blog where I include quotations from his Poor Richard’s Almanack book.


I chose Susan B. Anthony because she was a suffragette who fought hard to win the women’s right to vote.


I chose one foreign stamp. This one is from France and it features Marianne, the French symbol of freedom who provided the inspiration for the Statue of Liberty.


I basically hung around the museum until it was closing time. By that time the rain had stopped but it was still cloudy outside and the ground was wet. I was treated to a nice Christmas Eve sunset as I took the Metro back home.



Santa Claus Baby New Year

In the wake of the recent presidential elections that resulted in Donald Trump becoming the next President of the United States, there have been concerns about his antics, especially regarding his tweets on Twitter, where he has managed to piss off China and declared that the U.S. will be creating more nuclear missiles and possibly using them. There are concerns about how suitable he really is to occupy the Oval Office.

The Electoral College was scheduled to meet on December 19. Usually they tend to rubber stamp the results of the elections. This time a movement known as the Hamilton Electors sprang up and they were urging the Electoral College to reject Trump in favor of a more moderate Republican like Mitt Romney or John McCain. On December 19 these Hamilton Electors had called for rallies to be held in every state capital in the U.S. urging the Electoral College to reject Trump in favor of someone more moderate and with more experience than Trump. (Donald Trump is the first president-elect in history with no prior military or political experience.)

Since I live in Maryland the rally was being held in Annapolis. I had thought about going there to make a stand against Trump. But then I remembered that Hillary Clinton had swept Maryland in the elections so Maryland’s Electoral College delegates had already pledged to vote for her instead of Trump or another Republican. On top of it, it was a cold day and I was less enthusiastic about freezing to make a public stand against Trump when my state’s delegates had already committed to Clinton. So I decided to skip the rally altogether and do something fun instead.

My decision turned out to be a good one for two reasons: 1) the Electoral College decided to award the presidency to Trump anyway despite the Hamilton Electors movement and 2) I went to a place that I hadn’t been to in two years and it was nice to go there again.

I went to Valley View Farms in Cockeysville. It’s a long commute from the DC area but it’s so worth it because it has one of the most awesome Christmas shops anywhere in the Baltimore-Washington, DC area. Here are some photos I took to show how awesome it is.


























And if you like these photos, check out photos I took of the same place in 2012, 2013, and 2014.

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 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!

Things have been getting pretty weird since Donald Trump was declared the President-Elect over two weeks after the elections. He has been making appointments to the Trump Administration. Among them is a man named Stephen Bannon, who has been accused of anti-Semitism and has actively promoted racists and anti-Semites. I’m still reading about hate crimes taking place all over the U.S. but I haven’t seen anything happening in my own neighborhood—yet.

The most election-related outrageous thing I saw in my area occurred on Thanksgiving Day. I was on my way to my cousin’s home when I saw a pickup truck driving along the highway while displaying a giant blue flag that said in white letters “TRUMP MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN.” I only saw that truck for a brief minute or so because I was stopped at a traffic light. Seeing that giant flag was really no big deal.

Meanwhile a video has surfaced showing Richard Spencer, who runs the National Policy Institute, a white supremacist organization, giving the “Hail, Trump!” salute.

That video was shot at a conference in Washington, DC that was recently held at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. What’s more, one of the conference banquets was held at Maggiano’s Little Italy, which subsequently issued an apology for hosting it. That banquet even drew a celebrity—Tila Tequila, who originally became a big deal on MySpace (back when MySpace was the biggest social media platform on the Internet) because she posted scantily clad photos of herself and later hosted a reality show on MTV for a couple of seasons. Since those days of fame she has developed a fascination with Adolf Hitler while dubbing herself as “Hitila.” The onetime “Queen of MySpace” appeared at that reception while making pro-Hitler posts on social media and she even posted a photo of herself giving the Nazi salute with two white men doing the same. Tila Tequila was suspended from Twitter for making those posts. Of course, she’s a Donald Trump supporter.

It’s kind of weird to see Tila Tequila being pro-Nazi for a few reasons. First of all, she’s not even white. She’s of Asian descent. While it’s true that Germany did ally itself with an Asian nation during World War II, that nation was Japan and Tila was born in Singapore to Vietnamese refugees. As for her family’s country of origin, Vietnam was occupied by Japan during World War II. That’s right Tila Tequila sympathizes with Adolf Hitler, the head of a nation whose big Asian ally had invaded and occupied her family’s country of origin during World War II. And I don’t recall Adolf Hitler ever publicly criticizing Japan for its invasion and occupation of Vietnam and other Asian nations.

On top of it, Tila Tequila has come out as bisexual while it’s well known that the Nazis persecuted LGBTQ people just as much as they persecuted Jews. In fact, the main reason why many LGBTQ activists wear pink triangles on t-shirts and buttons is because they had to sport them on clothes when they were sent to concentration camps. For an out bisexual to side with the same kind of people who would’ve preferred to see her dead is just totally bizarre.

What’s even weirder is what she said about being an Asian-American at a white supremacist banquet.

“And I think that’s why I’m also invited here because I bring a little bit more diversity to the movement.”

Diversity at a white supremacist event?!? WTF?!?

The cynic in me thinks that the real reason why she was invited to a white supremacist conference and was allowed to give the Nazi salute next to white men doing the same is because some of these white supremacist men have twisted fantasies of having her as their sex slave while they do anything to her they want. (After all, a number of Vietnamese women were forced to serve as so-called “comfort women” during World War II.) As a result, they are willing to tolerate having her around simply because she’s a petite woman with a cute face and breast implants who is willing to pose in sexy clothes and who has even made at least one porn movie. A less-sexy, less-attractive Asian-American woman would’ve either been driven away from that white supremacist conference or she would’ve been subjected to all kinds of physical and verbal abuse.

Living outside of Washington, DC, I’m getting a bird’s eye view of all the fuckery that’s going on in the wake of Donald Trump being declared as the President-Elect. The only thing I can say is that, so far, things seem relatively calm where I live. I’m just busy preparing for the upcoming winter holidays while looking into some potential job retraining programs. It’s stressful enough that I have to worry about finances and finding my next steady paycheck without having the added burden of the recent elections and what could possibly happen to my own country over the next few months.

On the two-week anniversary of Election Day I want to announce that I’ve done yet another screencast video. I was inspired to make it after I read that, on Election Day, voters in Maine approved a measure that would bring Ranked Choice Voting (also known as Instant Runoff Voting) to their state. In the video I explain what Ranked Choice Voting is and how it could encourage both the growth of third parties and more non-voters to actually go to the polls and vote. I also explain how Ranked Choice Voting could’ve affected the outcome of this year’s U.S. presidential elections.

Things are a total mess. I’m at the point where I have to limit my time on Twitter and Facebook because I see so many posts from people that basically says this:

If you voted for the candidate I voted against—UNFRIEND/UNFOLLOW ME NOW!!!

It’s totally emotionally draining to read posts like that. I wrote last week’s post titled A Message to All Those on Social Media Who are Blaming Jill Stein Voters For President Donald Trump because I saw so many posts blaming Jill Stein voters for Hillary Clinton’s defeat when, in reality, that’s clearly not the case because Jill Stein only got 1% of the votes. Even if the Green Party had decided against fielding any candidates for this year’s elections, Hillary Clinton still would’ve lost.

All I know is that there is chaos in the U.S. There have been an increase in hate crimes ever since last Tuesday. I can only imagine the fear that a Muslim or even a person of color feels ever time he or she walks out the door and that person starts to wonder whether he/she will return home in one piece.

Last Monday I visited the Trump International Hotel in downtown DC. I remember the streets were relatively calm and empty. Now, as I look back on that day, I have to admit that it was literally the calm before the storm. Today one of my friends who works in the William Jefferson Clinton Federal Building next to the Trump International Hotel posted some photos on her Facebook timeline of a protest that happened outside that hotel today. It turns out that the DC public school students staged a walkout and marched to the hotel to protest the election of Donald Trump.

Today’s protest is just one of many that have been breaking out all across the United States this week.

At one point I thought about fleeing to Canada if Donald Trump got elected. I’ve changed my mind for now. My Canadian friends have been urging me to stay and fight. (They are all spooked about what’s going on south of the border.) In addition I have to think about my mother, who’s struggling with multiple sclerosis and she has been in the hospital a few times this year with sepsis. There’s no way I can even consider taking her with me on an 8-12 hour drive to the Canadian border because I’m not sure if she would even survive the trip. And I would hate like hell to abandon her in the U.S. while I go off to Canada.

So I’m staying put while watching photos and videos of all kinds of protests. Tomorrow there’s supposed to be this new video by Keith Olbermann called The Resistance that’s going to premiere online at 8 a.m. Sounds kind of subversive to me. (LOL!)

Next week is the Thanksgiving holiday weekend so who knows what will happen.

UPDATE (November 16, 2016): Here’s the first episode of Keith Olbermann’s new video series called The Resistance.

One week ago today was the election that managed to make Donald Trump the president-elect who will be sworn into office in January as the 45th President of the United States.

As some of you may know, last summer I devoted a series of Throwback Thursday posts to reviewing the classic 1970’s comic book series Howard the Duck. Back in 2015 Howard the Duck underwent a reboot that lasted a few issues then it temporarily went on hiatus for a few months because Marvel was doing this huge storyline called Battleworld which crossed over into a lot of its comic books from The Avengers to The X-Men. Once that storyline was over, Howard the Duck started up again with the issue number being set back to #1. (In other words, there were two Howard the Duck #1 comic books that were released in 2015.) I know it’s complicated but that’s the comic book industry for ya! I never bothered with reading that huge Battleworld storyline (especially since most comic books cost $3.99 per issue these days) so I basically waited until Howard the Duck went back to printing new issues and bought that series.

The second Howard the Duck #1 that was released in 2015 had this panel that struck me as funny when I first read it. I remembered it after last Tuesday’s Election Day debacle and this Donald Trump throwaway joke is now not only no longer funny but it’s pretty ironic.


Not only can I now imagine that universe where Donald Trump is President of the United States, I’m now currently living through it.


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.

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