Beto O’Rourke Has Had It With The Media’s Stupid Questions About trump And Racism/Violence

Many journalists still don’t acknowledge how racist trump is, or how his hateful rhetoric serves to inspire acts of deadly white supremacist terrorism, such as the recent attack in El Paso in which 20 people were killed by a gunman who expressly stated in an online manifesto that he was going after Hispanic immigrants.

So when Democratic presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke was asked a stupid question about what he thought trump could do to help the United States’ white supremacist terrorism problem, he went off.

Beto Lets The Media Have It

For me, Beto had become somewhat lost in the crowd in terms of who I would most like to see win the Democratic nomination for POTUS. I’m sure he will get some criticism from the civility police, but his candor in this exchange has definitely scored him some points with me.

This Is How A Decent POTUS Addresses Gun Violence

We once had a POTUS who was decent, caring, compassionate and empathetic.
About as far away as you can possibly get from the classless, degenerate, white supremacist, stochastic terrorist garbage we currently have in our White House.

Here are excerpts from a January 2016 press conference, in which President Obama breaks down in tears while recounting numerous instances of gun violence, including Sandy Hook.

Flash forward to August, 2019 – things have only gotten worse.

That Time When trump Laughed Off Someone In His Rally Crowd Yelling “Shoot Them!” About Immigrants

In light of today’s white supremacist terror incident in El Paso, let’s revisit this moment from a trump rally in Florida from a few months back, in which trump laughs off a comment from someone in the crowd yelling “shoot them!” about immigrants, and follows it up with a joke.

MAGA is hate and violence.

trump laughs and cracks a joke after someone in crowd yells “shoot them!” about immigrants.

Five Very Damning Minutes From Robert Mueller’s Russia Investigation Testimony

There were several key moments and admissions during Robert Mueller’s testimony to Congress regarding the Russia investigation. Congressman Adam Schiff’s closing remarks and questions of Mueller stand out in this regard. When asked to confirm that accepting foreign help during a presidential campaign is unethical, Mueller agreed, and even added that doing so would be considered a crime under the given circumstances. Schiff also made sure to pound home the point that all of the lies from the trump campaign opened key trump team members up to potential blackmail. In all, a quite damning five minutes.

CNN Anchor Victor Blackwell’s Passionate Response To More Racist trump Tweets

trump likes to tweet racist things. It keeps his idiot white supremacist base fired up and angers decent Americans who oppose him. CNN’s anchor Victor Blackwell has apparently had enough. After trump tweeted out a racist attack on Baltimore, referring to it in his choice Hitler-ian language as “infested,” Blackwell offered up a passionate and emotional response.

CNN’s Victor Blackwell addresses trump’s racist tweets about Baltimore.

Rep. Eric Swalwell Read’s Trump’s Racist Words Aloud, Prompting Objection To “Shithole”

Democratic Representative Eric Swalwell read the many racist trump statements that have been made over the years on the floor of Congress. And that’s a good thing, considering that trump loves to lie and deny things that he has said and done.

Representative Eric Swalwell reads trump’s racist words on the floor of Congress.

Republican Doug Collins objected, supposedly over the word “shithole.” I wouldn’t be surprised if his true objection was to trump’s racism being read aloud, though.

Here’s Proof That trump Did Not Discourage Racist “Send Her Back!” Rally Crowd Chant

trump lies. About everything. Even when there is video or audio proof that shows that he is lying.

The most recent, glaring example of this is his recent attempt to distance himself from one of his racist rally crowds (this one in North Carolina) chanting “send her back!” – in reference to Congresswoman Ilhan Omar, who is a favorite target for trump.

trump’s rally crowd chants “send her back!”

The day after this disgusting, fascistic and racist display happened, trump attempted to gaslight the nation once again, and said that he had started speaking faster in order to discourage the chanting. As you can see in the video, trump does not do this. He pauses and allows the crowd’s chanting to continue.

This is America. 2019.

If You’re Enjoying Cannabis Legalization, Stick With Licensed Dispensaries

On the surface, it seems obvious to say that if you’re in a state that has legalized recreational cannabis and are enjoying it, you should only give your business to licensed shops. Although shopping at unlicensed black or “grey market” dispensaries is completely fine with some people (it’s much cheaper in many cases,) there are many users of cannabis who, like myself, would want to limit their business to legitimate dispensaries, for ethical and safety reasons, among others.

The problem is that currently, in cities like Los Angeles, the unlicensed shops blend in quite well with legitimate ones, and they are everywhere. They are significantly less expensive, because they don’t collect taxes or deal with regulatory fees like licensed stores. In addition, sites like Weedmaps allow illegal dispensaries to advertise alongside the legal places, and just by browsing the various menus, one can’t ascertain which stores are legit and which are not. In fact, for several months I purchased vape cartridges and edibles from shops that I didn’t know were unlicensed. It wasn’t until I noticed certain key things, such as the hours that places were open, as well as the availability of edibles labeled as having more THC than is legally allowed for a single product due to newer regulations, that I figured out that some of my go-to shops were most likely not licensed.

There are several reasons why it’s better to frequent legit shops. The products there will have been lab tested and include exact dosage information on the label, including stickers with the potency (% of cannabinoids such as THC and CBD,) as well as confirmation that the products have been checked for pesticides. The products bought at underground shops don’t have these lab test labels, so there is no way to know exactly what you’re getting. In addition, over the past several months, counterfeit vape cartridges have flooded markets, even in legal states. And who knows that could be in those. You’re also more likely to find bunk edibles on the black market.

There are also the inherent ethical reasons for not spending your money in underground shops. Cannabis may be cheaper there, but your money is not supporting legitimate business, and is instead going to people who are willing to skirt the law. As no taxes are collected in black market stores, there is no benefit to the communities in which they are located. In addition, illegal shops compete with legitimate stores and make it harder for the latter to operate successfully, by offering prices that are difficult to compete with and cutting through their profits. When you spend money at licensed places, at least you know that your dollars are supporting legalization and not undercutting it.

As mentioned earlier, there are signs that a dispensary may not be licensed. One obvious one, if you’re in California, is if they are selling edibles that are over 100mg. This is because of newer regulations that limit potency of cannabis products. Another big clue is if the store is open late. Cities impose restrictions on business hours, and most legit dispensaries in Los Angeles or surrounding areas close by 10 p.m., if not 8 p.m. If a place is open until midnight or later, chances are it’s unlicensed. Also, you won’t find the testing labels/stickers on products found in underground shops. You can also try searching for licensed shops in directories such as this one.

Marijuana legalization in California has been a wonderful thing. I am thoroughly enjoying the ability to run down to the nearest dispensary and pick up my favorite cannabis strains. There are stretches of the 10 freeway near downtown Los Angeles where it literally smells like weed. There’s no question that buying from legal shops is more expensive than black market locations. However, by giving your business to legit dispensaries, you’re helping the industry and its supporting communities to grow. Hopefully in the coming years, we will see prices of legal cannabis come down, so that there won’t be as much of a temptation to skirt the law and buy from black market shops. In the meantime, spend the extra money if you can. On top of the other reasons already mentioned, I think the peace of mind of knowing what you’re getting is well worth the higher price.

Photo by: Pixabay.com/DavidCardinez

#NeverHillary People Were Wrong. As Are The #NeverBernie Crowd

It’s happening once more. In fact, it never stopped. But it has seemed to ramp up recently. All of the online fuckery that kept us in a nearly constant state of anger and agitation in 2016, while simultaneously creating an opening for Trump to get into the White House, is upon us again. Several news reports have indicated that Russian troll-farms are filling social media with disinformation meant to keep Americans divided, attack Democratic candidates, and sow chaos in the run up to 2020.

One particularly insidious concept has been simply flipped and re-applied in reverse. In 2016, Twitter and Facebook saw frequent use of the #NeverHillary hashtag. The idea was that Hillary Clinton was such a monster (she wasn’t) and that Bernie Sanders had been cheated out of the Democratic nomination (he wasn’t – he lost) that people could not in good conscience vote for her. Even against Trump.

It was bullshit, and it’s happening again. Only this time it’s #NeverBernie folks who are pissed off at Bernie for various reasons, including how long it took for him to finally endorse/stump for Hillary, as well as the damaging political narratives that he espoused during the campaign.

Look, I’m not happy with Bernie these days either. Although I supported him early in the 2016 race and he was by far my first choice, I ultimately voted for Clinton. Because that’s what reasonable people do. But the point is, since then, a lot of things have changed. I no longer see Bernie as someone I will throw my support behind. Does this mean that I would not vote for him, should he become the Democratic nominee? OF COURSE NOT.

This is not a game. Trump and Republicans are taking us down a road to authoritarianism. They are fascists. The lot of them. Not to mention, they are part of a larger scheme by Russia to install Trump as an authoritarian puppet of Vladimir Putin. No matter how odious people might find Bernie, he is by far – BY FAR – a better choice than Trump. Unless the 2020 race reveals Bernie to be a serial killer or something along those lines, I refuse to buy the argument that he even remotely comes close to Trump’s incompetence and complete void of human empathy, compassion or values. We have to remember that there is a good chance some of those “#NeverBernie” hashtags are generated and/or pushed by Russian bots or trolls. We have seen what can happen when people in large enough numbers stomp their feet and fold their arms on election day. If the choice comes down to Bernie or Trump, the right thing to do is obvious. As it was in 2016. Let’s not repeat the same mistakes. Our country and democracy depend on it.

Photo credit: Pixabay.com/PDPics

To The Person Who Still Struggles With Alcohol – Hang On.

In January of 2010, I made a decision to stop drinking.  Looking back over the positive events that have transpired since then, and seeing the direction I had previously been heading with my abuse of alcohol, it is clear to me that it was one of the best decisions I ever made for myself.

I am absolutely convinced that, if I had continued down the path I was on with heavy/binge/blackout drinking, there is a very good chance I would either be dead, in jail, or otherwise would have had my life in a shambles.  In deciding to quit, I had finally come to a point where I could see very clearly just how destructive the alcohol was to my overall well-being, and to that of the loved ones surrounding me.  I realized that, if I wanted positive things in my life, alcohol couldn’t be part of that equation.  So I stopped.  Like that.

But it wasn’t easy.  In fact, it was fucking HARD.  But, let me tell you, if you currently struggle with drinking and want to stop – as difficult as it is, and as much as it SUCKS – you can do it.

I remember thinking “how am I going to do this?” when it came to quitting.  I just didn’t see any way that I could enjoy life the same way that I did when I was buzzed or drunk.  It always seemed like there would forever be a part missing from my life.  But I was wrong.  What I couldn’t see at the time, what seemed impossible – was the notion of being alcohol-free and comfortable at the same time.  This is because the main, fundamental reason I drank was that I wasn’t able to be comfortable in my own skin without booze.

So, when I stopped, even though I cut out the negatives of drinking to excess out of my life (the hangovers, the lack of memory about what happened the night before, etc.) – I still had this idea in my head that life was going to forever be missing an element of enjoyment that I just couldn’t seem to experience while alcohol-free.

I’m telling you, it gets better.  The expression “one day at a time” may be cliché, but that’s for a reason.  It’s true.  Getting off alcohol is hard.  It is critical to maintain perspective, though.  Tell yourself, each day – “just today, without alcohol.”  And stick to that, every day.  At times it will seem insurmountable.  It’s not.  Don’t let yourself think that.  When you start thinking that, tell yourself it’s bullshit.  Because it is.  And here’s the cool part – every day that you don’t drink, every day that you don’t rely on alcohol for a sense of comfort or peace, it gets a tiny bit easier.  You might not see it or feel it, but things are always changing.  And in time, you will find that it gets easier.  And easier.

It was a struggle for years.  And in rare moments, sometimes there are echoes of cravings.  But the amazing thing that happened a while back is that, while I was reflecting on things – it occurred to me – “wow, I don’t think about alcohol anymore.”  As hard as it was to believe that was possible at one time – it had happened.  I didn’t need it anymore.  I wasn’t lacking for having it out of my life.  In fact, it has been quite the opposite.  I am able to appreciate and experience things on a much deeper level now.  Whereas I once thought I would always resent not being able to drink anymore, now I am grateful for being free of alcohol’s chains.  I never thought I would be able to say that.

Hang on.

Photo credit:  Pixabay.com/geralt