You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Tea Party’ tag.

This year I got into knitting because it’s one activity that tends to calm me down, especially whenever I go through extreme stress (such as finding money to pay the bills or dealing with my mother’s latest health issues). One day I would really love to knit (and maybe even sew) my own clothes. I decided to start small with making doll clothes just so I can train myself for the day when I will finally try knitting a human-sized sweater or some other type of clothing. I came across this book written by Nicky Epstein called Knits for Dolls, which focuses on knitting clothes for American Girl and other 18-inch dolls.

I found one pattern that was intriguing called “Alice’s Tea Party.” It’s obviously based on the Tea Party scene in Alice in Wonderland but this doll looks like she’s dressed like a 1920’s flapper who’s ready to go to a party featuring a live jazz band.

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I changed the colors from the original pattern. I ended up using pink and black, which made the out seem much bolder.

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Most modern 18-inch doll clothes tend to use velcro, including even the expensive American Girl doll clothes. I decided to use snaps instead because I know what it’s like to get a doll’s hair tangled in velcro and it’s such a pain.

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Here are the various American Girl dolls modeling the same outfit, which gives you an idea of how the outfit would look against various hair and skin colors.

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I even made a short promo video for this outfit.

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Here is the third in a series of computer animations called The Unicorn With An Attitude that I did back in the 1990’s in an ill-fated attempt to show off my abilities as an artist and a computer whiz in the hopes of either 1) get famous or 2) get a higher paying job than the office administrative work that I was frequently offered.

I did this animation on the heels of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which led to a whole flurry of media stories about the rise of the militias, which came about because of this extreme hatred for President Bill Clinton and the U.S. government. I based the public park where the animation took place on the real-life Hyde Park Speakers’ Corner in London. I’ll never forget how some of the militia people interviewed talked about how the U.N. is going to take over the government and they are going to send black helicopters to oppress the people. I even remember an interview with a woman who says that using zip codes is a form of oppression, never mind the fact that zip codes were set up by the U.S. Postal Service in order to ensure a more accurate delivery of the mail and not some nefarious plan to round up people and send them to internment camps.

Sadly, this clip is still as relevant as ever. Even though the extreme right wingers went quiet when George W. Bush was in power, they resurrected themselves when President Obama was sworn into office starting with some elements of the Tea Party. This year alone there has been incidents like the standoff at Cliven Bundy’s ranch, a Sunday service at a Unitarian Universalist church in New Orleans being disrupted by an anti-abortion group, a young couple went on a shooting rampage in Las Vegas in the name of “revolution,” a former Ku Klux Klan member named Frazier Glenn Miller shot and killed three people outside Jewish facilities in Kansas, and a group of adult protesters hounding a bus full of immigrant children in California.

I created this animation way back in 1995 and I actually uploaded it on various BBS as well as CompuServe. I originally created it as an animated gif using cheap software for a 386 PC. I later imported it into QuickTime and uploaded it on my own site. I have totally remastered it in high definition video using Apple iMovie and I also created the music using Apple GarageBand.

So here’s the original write-up I did that accompanied the third animation, “Speaking Right.”

The Unicorn With An Attitude confronts a very racist rat who is so racist that he even wears his whiskers like a Hitler mustache.

Well, anyway, without further ado, here’s “Speaking Right.”

You can view the other animations that I’ve uploaded right here.

I knew that a recent blog post I wrote on the Federal Government shutdown (which is now in its third day and it will remain closed tomorrow and probably next week as well) was strong stuff. But I got this comment that have me alternating between laughing and shaking my head. This person who identifies herself as Sandy Perrine posts her comment on my About Me and My Blog page instead of the actual entry I wrote about the Federal Government shutdown. I could’ve deleted her comment before allowing it to go through but I decided to allow it to go through so that her name will show up on any Google searches other people who are considering using her services could do before deciding on whether to hire her or not.

This comment also provides an example of the mindset of a Tea Party supporter, many of whom wanted a government shutdown. I’m going to do a point-by-point rebuttal of Sandy Perrine’s comment. Sandy’s comment will be in italics (like this) while mine will be in regular print (like this).

As a designer looking for other artist blogs I came tonight to see yours.

I did a Google search under "Sandy Perrine" and "designer" and found several designers named Sandy Perrine located all over the United States. One can only guess whether her name is really Sandy Perrine and whether she really is a designer.

First, your vitriol concerning the tea party, which you obviously know nothing about…….

Wrong, Dearie. I know plenty about the Tea Party based on what I’ve read in newspapers, on websites, and on television. I’ve heard views on the Tea Party from both liberals and conservatives. Based on everything I’ve heard, there was originally a legitimate protest movement which called itself the Tea Party that arose from the economic meltdown of 2008. It was originally created as an independent non-partisan protest movement. Then this happened:

Although the Tea Party started with a “pox on both your houses” approach to the two political parties, it focused its electoral activity at reforming the Republican Party, ridding it of RINOs (Republicans in Name Only). It ousted several well known establishment Republicans, starting with former Utah Sen. Bob Bennett, giving Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch a run for his money, and turning out six-term Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. But the Tea Party stayed Republican, and with the help and guidance of entities such as FreedomWorks, chaired by former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, it has gravitated much more to the mainstream of the GOP—or perhaps the GOP has drifted ever closer to its extreme right wing Tea Party element.

The final trend in the evolution of the Tea Party has been its transformation from a secular, populist movement to something closer to the religious right. That actually might be the most disappointing part of the Tea Party movement as it now stands. Despite its allegiance with the Republicans, if it had remained relatively secular, it would have presented something of a Paul Ryan “big idea” challenge to the Democrats and fomented a productive debate in this country about the roles and financing of government. But scratch the Tea Party surface now and you’ll find the resurgence of the belief in the supposed Christian motivations of the nation’s founding fathers and increasing opposition on social issues such as gay rights and protection for women (see the candidacy of Todd Akin in Missouri).

I can remember when the Occupy movement sprung up, that movement was determined not to make the same mistakes as the Tea Party did and allow itself to be usurp by any of the major political parties. I remember last year when I saw statements coming from the various Occupy groups where they declined to publicly support any politician for any political office because it was committed to remain non-partisan. Anyway, back to the comment.

First, your vitriol concerning the tea party, which you obviously know nothing about……..and your public condemnation of political issues (very unprofessional) will continue to infect any and all people who might have been interested in getting to know you as an artist.

If Sandy Perrine really thinks that artists should never express anything about politics, she is totally ignorant about art history. It’s obvious she has never heard of Pablo Picasso’s statment about the Spanish Civil War, Guernica, or Ben Shahn’s painting about the infamous Saco and Vanzetti trial. In addition, there are artists, such as Jon McNaughton, whose paintings promote a conservative political point of view. Would Sandy Perrine also condemn Jon McNaughton for his political message just as much as she condemns me?

She condemns me for being "unprofessional". Well what about the fact that the Federal Government is now closed simply because there are certain Tea Party Republicans who are so opposed to affordable health insurance that they are willing to shut down the government no matter how much it affects people? Why is it that she has denounced my opinion as "unprofessional" while being silent on those politicians who are so irresponisble and unprofessional that they are willing to risk tanking the economy of not only the United States but possibley several other nations as well. (Anyone who has ever taken Economics 101 would know that the economies of many nations are interconnected.)

She may think my opinons are "unprofessional" but my opinions are in the mainstream majority. According to numerous public opinion polls, most respondents blame Republican congressment for the Federal Government shutdown. (I provided a link to an article on the Voice of America site as my source in the previous sentence in order to show that it’s not some heavily liberally biased article that’s posted on a left-leaning site like MSNBC.com or the Daily Kos.)

I live outside of Washington, DC. My ex-husband and several of my friends are federal employees. They are not a bunch of lazy hacks. These are people who love their jobs, are devoted to the concept of civil service, and only took those jobs in order to make their country and the world a better place. These are people who could’ve made more money in the private sector. Yes, they have better benefits (such as more vacation and sick leave) than the private sector but many of them genuinely love their jobs and they hope that they could eventually retire from the same agency if their jobs don’t get eliminated due to budget cuts.

On top of it, I have other friends who work for federal government contractors. The longer this shutdown goes on, the more likely their jobs will be affected. I also have artisan friends who are worried about being able to actually sell their stuff at future street festivals because these government employees are being furloughed without pay and it’s uncertain whether Congress will give them backpay once the shutdown ends so these furloughed employees have less disposable income to purchase pretty things. There are also tourists who had planned to visit DC but are changing their plans since many of the area tourist attractions (such as the Smithsonian and the National Zoo) are closed because they get federal funding.

Too bad……….your loss.

Actually, no. In fact, in the past I’ve sold the following items through either Etsy or at various craft festivals.

President Palin
Matthew 19:24
Where's My Government Bailout?

Actually, my work is far above yours, so I don’t feel deprived at all.

Yet she doesn’t seem to have a website or Etsy shop where she has posted her work. The real talented artists I know don’t brag like that. Her argument is about as convincing as the guy who claims to have had sex with dozens of women but is still frequently seen in public alone.

And……..any of my clients I can steer away from your etsy shop is all the better.

And any of my readers I can get to read the following online identification of the person who made this obnoxious post claiming to be a "desinger" named "Sandy Perrine" is all the better.

IP: 174.106.202.145, cpe-174-106-202-145.ec.res.rr.com
E-mail: sknp2000@yahoo.com
URL:
Whois: http://whois.arin.net/rest/ip/174.106.202.145

I even did an Internet search under that IP address and found that it was sent from Southport, North Carolina. North Carolina is definitely a Red State area that the Tea Party Republicans have infiltrated on the state and local levels.

Aaaahhhh!!!! It can be fun taking on a troll. But I don’t intend to make a regular habit of it. I really feel that I had to respond because I’m literally living on the front lines of the Federal Government shutdown and I’m seeing real people being adversely affected as a result. I’d like to see those Tea Party people actually talk to people who are actively scared of what could happen if they have to go without paychecks for a long time while facing mounting bills for things like rent, utilities, and groceries.

The Federal Government has been shut down thanks to the radical Tea Party wing of the Republican Party. The country is starting to go to fiscal hell. If this goes on for any length of time, the economy of the entire world will go down with the U.S. economy.

I remember when the Republican Party under House Speaker Newt Gingrich shut down the Federal Government for a month in 1995 due in part to Gingrich getting into a snit with President Bill Clinton over how he felt he was snubbed by the president while they flew aboard Air Force One to Jersusalem to attend the funeral of recently assasinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Polls later showed that voters blamed the Republicans for the shutdown and some of these politicians later lost at the polls. Newt Gingrich’s political career never recuperated from this debacle and he left public office not long after this incident. (Last year Newt Gingrich made an ill-fated run for the Republican nomination as Preisent of the United States.)

Thanks to these Republicans, my continued ability to get monthly alimony from my ex-husband is in jeopardy because he works for NASA and he will probably end up being furloughed. I currently have my work on display at an art show and, as part of this art show, this weekend I will have my home opened where I will have more of my arts and crafts on sale. In addition, I am going to sell at the upcoming Acorns A Go-Go Groovy Vegan Fest on October 12. My efforts to sell will be in serious jeopardy because there are a lot of federal employees who live in my area and if a lot of them are furloughed, they won’t be as likely to buy anything from me or any other artisans and crafters at that show.

People like me won’t be the only ones affected by the shutdown. Many stores will be affected as discretionary spending is severely limited to just the basics (like food). This will set off a chain effect on the economy that could possibly be catastrophic on the entire world.

At times like this I feel embarassed to admit that I live outside Washington, DC. For years I’ve heard interviews from average Americans complaining about how those inside the Capital Beltway are totally out of touch with the rest of the country. I have to say that the previous statement is unfair to average working people who live inside Capital Beltway areas like Arlington or Suitland. I think it’s more accurate to say that those politicians who live on Capitol Hill and their lobbyist allies who have offices on K Street, Northwest are the people who are totally out of touch with the rest of the country. These people are hell-bent on going their own way while dragging down the rest of the United States with them. They refuse to even think about people who aren’t living or working in this bubble that they’ve built for themselves because they are more into rigidly adhering to ideology than in finding pratical and pragmatic solutions to the many social problems affecting the U.S.

Sometimes I feel that it seems like the Tea Party is dominated by older white versions of Beavis & Butt-head who are determined to destroy something just for the hell of it because their personal lives are so pathetic that they feel that doing something that could harm others would provide the only major excitement they’ll ever have in their lives.

If you were to make a comparison between those on Capitol Hill and those who live in Baltimore just 30 miles north, you would be totally shocked by the stark contrasts between the two.

I’m hoping that it will be a short-lived shutdown and cooler heads will prevail but I’m not optimistic given the fact that the radical Tea Party has completely dominated the Republican Party at the expense of moderates who would be more likely to try compromise in an effort to keep the Federal Government open.

What’s even worse is that I’m hearing that members of Congress will continue to get paid despite shutting down the Federal Government. That’s not right that federal employees will have to stay home without pay while those reponsible for the shutdown will continue to enjoy their paychecks.

If this bullshit goes on too long, I hope people will take to the streets because this is no longer a case of typical Washington political grandstanding but going on a very destructive course that could adversely affect the lives of average ordinary citizens.

I think that rationality will ultimately prevail over far right-wing extremist dogma but it looks like the entire country will have to go through pain first before this will happen, unfortunately. 😦

When I was married to my husband, we had to endure the occasional threats of a federal government shutdown for a variety of reasons. The worst one was in the 1990’s when my husband was off from his NASA job for a month. He and other federal employees later got retroactive backpay that was enacted by Congress.

Here we go again. There are certain Republican lawmakers who have appeal to the very radical Tea Party activists and they are so opposed to implementing the new Obamacare legislation that they are willing to shut down the Federal Government. They don’t give a damn about how it could impact the already weak domestic economy or how it could wreck havoc on the rest of the world. They don’t give a damn about providing affordable heath insurance to everyone. They seem to hate people who are less well off than them.

How much do they hate Obamacare? They hate Obamacare enough to have one of its members—Senator Ted Cruz—give a marathon 21-hour speech that included a reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham.

If those Tea Party people had been as young as Yippie activists were in the late 1960’s, I could forgive them for not remembering what happened when the government did shut down for a month in the 1990’s. However, based on videos I’ve seen of various Tea Party rallies, these activists seem to be at least 40 so they are old enough to remember how devastating a government shutdown is on many Americans. From military personnel not getting a paycheck to senior citizens having to forgo Social Security checks, a lot of people were financially hurt the last time the government shut down. All I can infer is that these people know that a Federal Government shutdown would hurt a lot of their fellow Americans but they don’t give a damn.

I am especially scared for the following reasons. While I was married I long enjoyed being covered under my husband’s health insurance, which he gets through his NASA job. After my divorce became final, I had to file for something called a Temporary Continuing Coverage where I would continue to be covered for three months while those at the Office of Personnel Management decide on my case. Last month I got good news: I would continue to be covered under my ex-husband’s insurance. The bad news: I had to pay a large $1,600 bill for the three months that I was covered while OPM was deciding on my case. This had cut into both my alimony and savings. On top of it, I haven’t had many orders on my Etsy and Zazzle shops, the last couple of shows I took part in were financial disasters for me, and a craft show in Annapolis that I was scheduled to take part in last Sunday was cancelled by the organizers at the last minute, which really devastated me because I could’ve used whatever money I raised through that show. I’m now living off of credit cards until the next alimony check arrives.

I currently have to pay around $520 per month in order to remain on my ex-husband’s health insurance. If Obamacare starts up on October 1, I would at least have a chance of possibly getting cheaper health insurance. But those Tea Party politicians are hell-bent on getting rid of Obamacare to the point of shutting down the Federal Government.

Of course if the Federal Government shuts down, this could adversely affect my getting alimony from my ex-husband. (Right now I’m looking at options for getting revenue streams so I won’t be as dependent on my ex-husband as I am now but I can’t go into it here.)

If I was to beg those Tea Party politicians to stop being so obsessed about stopping Obamacare and trying to shut down the government, they wouldn’t give a damn. If I was about to talk about my plight to them, they wouldn’t get any sympathy. Many of them are Objectivists and they believe in everyone for him/herself and even helping someone else would be altruism and altruism is bad.

These Tea Party Republicans would probably wonder why I would ever divorce my husband so my health insurance and finances would be at risk while implying that I was reckless with my life. Here’s the thing. My husband was the one who never indicated that he was unhappy with the marriage until the night he came home, announced that he was moving out, shoved a couple of letters at me (one a timetable that he devised that would lead to our divorce and the other that gave reasons why he felt the need to leave and it was 100% my fault while he didn’t express any of his faults—in that letter he presented himself as being totally faultless and perfect while I was the bad and evil one), and ran out the door. I never told my husband to leave me while I was recuperating from undergoing hip surgery just three months earlier. I never told him to leave me three days after Christmas in 2011. I never told him to hook up with another woman who was not only a friend of ours but also has severe personal problems that has led to her going on disability. I never told him that he should get engaged to that woman in August, 2012 (8 months after he left me) while he was still legally married to me. I never told him to send an e-mail on Christmas Eve 2012 that included a copy of a divorce petition in a .pdf format. I never wanted to face him in divorce court in April, 2013 but I only did because he was totally obsessed with divorcing me as soon as possible. I never told him to marry that other woman in August, 2013 (19 months after he walked out on me and 4 months after our day in divorce court).

In short, no one held a gun to his head and told him that he had to do these things.

In fact, I had repeatedly offered for the two of us to undergo marriage counseling. My husband refused that offer because, as he wrote in one of his e-mail messages, he never saw us reconciling. Never mind the fact that he was the one who resisted any kind of reconciling. Every time I tried reaching out to him in a friendly manner in the hopes that I would get back into his good graces and he would consider returning home, he always responded with something like "Thank you for your concern but I still intend to seek a divorce." I had even threatened that I would have nothing more to do with him if he succeeded in shoving this divorce down my throat to no avail. Every effort I made to salvage the marriage resulted in failure because of my husband’s stubborness in refusing to consider any kind of alternative.

So, Tea Party Republicans, what would you have me do with a husband who suddenly decided that he was going to go from one marriage to another in less than two years while leaving my finances and health insurance in jeopardy? How would have handled the aftermath of this if you were in my shoes?

The media has totally erupted over what happened last night in Colorado during a midnight screening of the latest Batman film called The Dark Knight Rises. It really sucks to hear that people were killed or injured simply because they wanted to see a movie and they were unlucky enough to pick the time and place when some gun-toting jackass decided to fulfill some kind of twisted fantasy he had and he didn’t give a damn about how it would affect others. It especially sucks to hear that one of the dead was a woman who had previously survived Toronto’s Eaton Centre shooting last month.

As of this writing, the worst response to the tragedy I had heard is from Tea Party Republican Congressman Louis Gohmert, who said that this attack is on “Christian-Judeo beliefs” and seemed to imply that atheists were to blame. The White House had to issue this statment to quell rumors that the shooter is an Islamic terrorist or a part of organized terrorism.

If the guy had been an athiest or an Islamic terrorist, it wouldn’t make the incident any less horrific nor would it make the victims any less wounded or dead. Additionally, just because someone is not a formal member of an organized terrorist group doesn’t lessen the fact that what he did was a terrorist act. If he did it on his own, what he did is still terrorism. If he had no real reason why he did it, it’s still terrorism. If he is a devout born-again Fundamentalist Christian or a fanatical Zionist with a deep love for Israel or a fanatical Hindu/Buddhist/Pagan/etc., it’s still terrorism. It’s terrorism. Period. End of discussion.

I’m just going to end this post with a video of a newborn cheetah being bottle-fed. At least it proves that, despite the shooting in Colorado, life goes on.

I’ve been so down regarding my hip problems that I ended up focusing on just one handheld game: Angry Birds. It all started when I discovered that there was a version of the game for the Droid Smartphone that was free. (In contrast, I had to pay 99 cents for the iPod Touch version.) I was curious so I downloaded it and found that this version had ads in it. It didn’t distract from the game itself and I even enjoyed this version despite the ads. In addition, I went ahead and downloaded the Droid version of the sequel Angry Birds Seasons (which I never purchased for the iPod Touch because the reviews complained about how you had to make additional in-game purchases in order to play the entire thing) and I basically alternated between the original and the sequel.

Hell Angry Birds is a perfect metaphor for these times. Not only do I have to deal with my hip issues I’m bracing myself for the possibility that the U.S. could default on all of its debts on obligations. I could understand the latter if the U.S. is a poor country that didn’t have much money in the treasury but it is a very wealth country and it’s literally being held hostage by extreme right-wing Tea Party Republicans who want the U.S. to default on purpose in order to punish President Obama. It’s really insane.

In a way it’s a bad time for me to require surgery because my husband is a federal employee and I’m on his health insurance that he gets through his government job. If the U.S. defaults on all of its financial obligations, we will have to face shelling out more money for the health insurance because it’s iffy if the government will continue to pay it or not.

These right-wing extremists want to cut their noses off to spite their faces and the rest of the country could suffer for it, which is grossly unfair. To me they are little better than those green pigs in the Angry Birds game.

Tomorrow is the day that I’m getting a second opinion regarding my hip. I’ll admit that I’m nervous about it and I’m hoping for the best.

The weather last weekend—with those record high temperatures of 100-105 degrees—was unbearable enough but it’s especially agonizing when you have an injury of some kind. I’m grateful that I had air conditioning even though the high heat really pushed the air conditioning to the max.

I’ve been slowly playing around with my new smartphone. Last night I downloaded a free app that got it to recognize those square codes that are popping up in print everywhere. Here’s a photo of one that I took when I was in Ocean City a few weeks ago.

Carousel Entrance, The Boardwalk, Ocean City, Maryland

So I ran that new free app and put my photo of that code up to the camera that’s in my smartphone. For those of you without a smartphone, I’ll explain what it did next. It brought up this URL: http://vimeo.com/oceancityevents/trimpers I hit the "Go" button in the app and it took me to this page that includes a short video explaining the 1902 carousel that’s still running at Trimpers Amusements in Ocean City.

I was sad and horrified over what happened in Norway last weekend. The fact that a right-wing Norwegian did it is so reminiscent of the time when Timothy McVeigh did that horrible bombing in Oklahoma City. I really feel sorry for the victims and their families. I’m also fuming over what Glenn Beck said on his radio show. He compared the youth camp where the gunman killed so many people to a Hitler Youth camp. Can you believe it? It’s like he’s blaming the victims or something. I’m glad that he isn’t on television any more and he has to confine his hate to his radio show and his new online subscription video web service.

I’m still bracing myself for economic calamity over the fact that there are people in this country who are willing to let the United States go into default to score cheap political points and they place a higher value on making sure that President Obama fails over the long-term economic health of the United States. They also don’t seem to care that if the U.S. defaults, it’ll take down the economies of numerous other nations with it. Haven’t they learned from history? When the Great Depression hit, not only did the U.S. economy went south but it took down the economies of many other nations in Europe with it. This led to the rise of the fascists in Italy and the Nazis in Germany, which led to World War II and the Holocaust.

Or do the Tea Partiers want to see a rise in fascism all over the world? If that’s the case, they’d better be careful of what they wish for.

I’ll just end this entry with a video of a song by Amy Winehouse, who passed away this past weekend at 27. In a way I’m not shocked that she died because she had a very public struggle with drugs and alcohol. I saw paparazzi photos of her at her worst that reminded me of the mentally ill homeless hanging around in the streets of downtown Washington, DC. It’s a shame because she was a very talented singer who could’ve have had a long and prosperous career had she been able to keep her personal demons in check.

Donald Trump doll

For the past few weeks I’ve been hearing all about how The Donald is thinking about running for president in the Republican primaries. In fact, Donald Trump is currently stalling renewal of his NBC contract while he is mulling over the idea of running for president. Okay, I have no beef with that since it’s his life, he can do whatever he wants, and it’s up to the American people to decide whether he should occupy the White House or not. But I definitely have a beef with how he’s running his preliminary campaign for the 2012 Republican primary campaign for President of the United States.

From day one, he has aligned himself with the birthers to the point where he’s fanning the flames of what should’ve been a dead issue in mainstream American politics. But this strategy is actually working. According to this recent poll, Donald Trump is leading the list of potential GOP contenders. At this point I would say that I’m totally disappointed that someone who is well known in the business community should stoop to such birther nonsense for the sake of exploring a possible run for political office and talk about how disillusioned I feel towards him.

Except for one thing: I never held Donald Trump in high regard in the first place.

During one of my many trips to New York City a few years ago, I remember my husband and I were stuck in the usual traffic jam coming into Lincoln Tunnel when we came across a billboard advertising the Trump Taj Mahal hotel/casino resort in New Jersey and there was Donald Trump wearing an arrogant shit-eating grin being flanked by two flashily-dressed chorus girls young enough to be his daughters. He looked so ridiculous that I pointed at the billboard to my husband and I said "He’s a buffoon!" My husband’s response: "But he’s a rich buffoon!"

I remember when Trump hyped his first book and he would brag about how rich and successful he is, I was totally turned off by him. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are other rich and successful people in all kinds of other fields and some of them court the media. The big difference is that, unlike The Donald, they rarely talk openly about their wealth to the media. He also struck me as an attention whore in that he was always courting the media for any reason. I remembered rolling my eyes when The Donald, who once bragged about his successful marriage to Ivana, left his wife for Marla Maples, then dumped Marla in turn. He didn’t seem to care how much of a joke he appeared to the public since he really only cared about his one true love: Money.

Donald Trump doll clings to a twenty dollar bill

When Donald Trump filed for bankruptcy in 1991, I felt a sense of schadenfreude since I thought that it would be the last time I ever heard from The Donald. Well, like a weed that bounces back soon after it is pulled from the ground, The Donald managed to make a comeback.

Ever since the 1980’s I’ve kept on hearing about the trials and tribulations of The Donald. I even watched the first few episodes of the first season of The Apprentice and found myself pleasantly surprised as how absorbing it was. (I eventually stopped watching that show when the product placements were so frequent that it became annoying. I have watched various episodes of The Celebrity Apprentice but it really depends on which celebrity is competing. ) One year I even purchased a 12-inch Talking Donald Trump doll as a gag gift for my husband for Christmas. (Yes, those are the photos of that doll you see in this blog entry.) He’s the only celebrity doll I have in my home. I usually tend to be creeped out by dolls based on famous people but I didn’t have that kind of squeamishness when it came to Trump because, in my mind, he has made himself to be a cartoon character so buying a Trump doll is no different in my mind from buying a Mickey Mouse doll.

Donald Trump doll

Okay, it’s obvious that he’s an attention whore but why the media holds him up to be a successful New York businessman is beyond me. I’ve been to New York City enough times and spoken to New Yorkers to know that, despite the numerous buildings bearing the Trump name, he is not loved by many New Yorkers. There are many reasons but I’ll just mention one here. I know a couple who lives in a condominium on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. They have a balcony in their condo that overlooks a parking lot and three other condo buildings that circle that parking lot. Once upon a time, one could look a little bit to the left of the condo building opposite the building where this couple lives and get a tiny glimpse of the Hudson River. Okay, so it wasn’t exactly waterfront property but this couple was happy with just getting a tiny peek at the river. The reason why they had that view of the Hudson was because there was an open green area—one of the last open green areas in the Upper West Side.

All that changed when Donald Trump expressed interest in building this gigantic project that would be the latest to bear the Trump name. This couple and other people in the affected areas were against that idea and so they organized lobbying efforts to the New York City Council and other agencies against Trump’s plans.

Unfortunately they lost and Donald Trump went on to build this behemoth of a building that has totally obstructed the couple’s tiny view of the Hudson River. To say that they are totally bitter and peeved at The Donald is a total understatement. I understand why they don’t watch either The Apprentice or The Celebrity Apprentice nor do they visit any building that bares his name. I can also safely say that if The Donald somehow gets his name on the ballot for president, this couple will vote against him.

So now The Donald is going all over the media talking about how he maybe running for president while saying birther bullshit about President Obama not being born in the U.S. He may be ahead in the polls for now but, in the long run, he’s making an ass of himself. He is relatively ignorant about how the American government works while talking about how he has this great "relationship with the blacks".

For his attention whoring efforts he has been derided as The Wigster, has become fodder for comedians like Lewis Black and Jon Stewart, has been the subject of his own comedy roast, and is generating laughs from as far away as Taiwan. There is even a contest for sending in the most absurd Trump campaign slogan that you can think of. With so many people who don’t like or respect him, I can’t imagine him ever winning the Republican nomination, much less occupying The White House. If he runs the United States the way he runs his businesses, I would definitely fear for the future of the U.S. as a viable nation.

I’m hoping that my fellow Americans will eventually wake up and realize that Donald Trump is basically an attention whoring buffoon-in-chief. I find it hilarious that The Donald is siding with Tea Party, a movement whose rank-and-file members (I’m not talking about people like Michele Bachmann or Dick Armey) are in a kind of the social class The Donald would never willingly speak with if he didn’t have to mainly because they lack the one thing he values the most: Money.

I don’t think The Donald will ever read this but if he does, I have this message for him: Shut up before you humiliate yourself further. Wait a minute. On second thought, keep on speaking freely. The more you speak, the more irrelevant you’ll become to the point where just mentioning the Trump name will bring on lots of laughter. In fact, I have a new slogan. Donald Trump: Attention Whoring Buffoon-in-Chief.

Donald Trump and the Pirate

NOTE: This entry has been cross-posted on The Daily Kos.

Last night, while I was watching a live episode of Real Time With Bill Maher on HBO, Bill Maher interrupted his show to announce that he got word that there was a last-minute compromise between the President and both houses of Congress so there won’t be a government shutdown after all.

My husband and I felt relief because that potential shutdown was hanging over our heads like a stubborn rainy weather system that refused to leave the area. I’m sure that other federal employees all over the United States has felt that way as well.

I was in a light-hearted mood today despite the cold and cloudy weather and I even attended the Sakura Matsuri street festival in downtown Washington, DC that is usually held on the last Saturday of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

I have to admit that it was a miracle that the National Cherry Blossom Festival actually happened this year despite two obstacles. First there was the devastating earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster that hit Japan right before the festival started. The organizers decided to go ahead with the festivities while dealing with the challenge of celebrating the blooming cherry blossom trees while trying not to be too celebratory since Japan is still reeling from the ongoing tragedy. They dealt with it by turning the festival into a fundraiser for the American Red Cross in its efforts to help with the relief effort in Japan. What’s more, none of the scheduled Japanese performers have cancelled and only one organization had to pull out of today’s street festival because that group is based in Sendai, which got the brunt of the disaster.

If that wasn’t enough, the National Cherry Blossom Festival had to deal with another obstacle—the potential government shutdown. The organizers had to deal with the headache of either cancelling today’s parade (which precedes the street festival) or make last-minute alterations in the parade route because part of it went along a part of Constitution Avenue that is directly controlled by the National Parks Service. I later learned that the DC Metropolitan Police Department stepped up and offered to provide security in place of the Park Police in case of a shutdown.

Well the National Cherry Blossom Festival will officially end tomorrow and I have to say that the organizers did an excellent job despite the drama and tragedy. While I was at the street festival I saw booths urging people to donate a few dollars to the American Red Cross and every single live performance act I caught made heartfelt speeches about the tragedy in Japan.

I’m glad that things are okay for now although I’m sure that there are a few Tea Party people who are disappointed that the government wasn’t shut down. (I still remember seeing television footage a few nights ago about a small Tea Party rally outside the U.S. Capitol Building where the people were literally chanting "Close it down! Close it down!")

But this drama isn’t over yet. Next up is the issue of whether the U.S. should raise the debt ceiling or not. The Tea Partiers say "no" but I’ve heard that if the U.S. doesn’t raise the debt ceiling, there could be a global depression that would make the threat of a government shutdown seem like child’s play in comparison.

Here we go again! <sigh!>

NOTE: This entry has been cross-posted on The Daily Kos.

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