2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #172-184

Just a few more reasons to oppose the Talking Piece of Candy Corn Trump.


172. Didn’t correct audience member who called Obama Muslim before ranting about Muslims. Right after an audience member stated, “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims. You know our current president is one. You know he’s not even an American.”, Trump said, “We need this question. This is the first question.” The audience member went on to ask, “When can we get rid of them?” Instead of correcting the audience member on both the ethnic cleansing idea and the Obama’s religion and nationality, Trump gave a vague answer about how he would look at and do plenty of things. After receiving a lot of backlash, Trump said he wasn’t “morally obligated” to defend Obama. Okay. How about being morally obligated to say that ethnic cleansing is awful? How about that?

173. Tweets sound like an adolescent. If you haven’t noticed, you haven’t been paying attention. It’s even become a joke.

174. Would shut borders on Day 1. During a Twitter question and answer session in September 2015, Trump said, “The first thing I’d do in my first day as president is close up our borders so that illegal immigrants cannot come into our country.” This was before his “total and complete shutdown” of borders to Muslims proposal after San Bernardino and the renewed call after Brussels.

175. “Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants?” On 60 Minutes

Scott Pelley: We’re at war with ISIS as we sit here. How do you end it?

Donald Trump: I would end ISIS forcefully. I think ISIS, what they did, was unbelievable what they did with James Foley and with the cutting off of heads of everybody, I mean these people are totally a disaster. Now, let me just say this, ISIS in Syria, Assad in Syria, Assad and ISIS are mortal enemies. We go in to fight ISIS. Why aren’t we letting ISIS go and fight Assad and then we pick up the remnants? Why are we doing this? We’re fighting ISIS and Assad has to be saying to himself, “They have the nicest or dumbest people that I’ve ever imagined.”

Scott Pelley: Let me get this right, so we lay off ISIS for now?

Donald Trump: Excuse me, let —

Scott Pelley: Lay off in Syria, let them destroy Assad. And then we go in behind that?

Donald Trump: –that’s what I would say. Yes, that’s what I would say.


Donald Trump: If you look at Syria. Russia wants to get rid of ISIS. We want to get rid of ISIS. Maybe let Russia do it. Let ’em get rid of ISIS. What the hell do we care?

Scott Pelley: OK, that’s Syria. What do you–do in Iraq–

Donald Trump: With that–

Scott Pelley: –with ISIS?

Donald Trump: Look with ISIS in Iraq, you gotta knock ’em out. You gotta knock ’em out. You gotta fight ’em. You gotta fight ’em. You have to stand–

Scott Pelley: On the ground?

Donald Trump: –if you need, you’re going to have to do that, yes.

Scott Pelley: Troops on the ground.

Donald Trump: Yes.

176. Says Muslims believe America should be governed by shariah. Trump cited a highly flawed poll that found that 51% of American Muslims should have the choice of being governed according to shariah. That poll had come from an organization known for dubious claims and studies about the threat of shariah and used unreliable methodology. Trump used the poll’s findings to base his ban on Muslims entering the United States. Trump has also allied with individuals like Roger Stone, who accused Khizr Khan of wanting to initiate shariah and oppress women & gays, and kill Christians. If elected, Trump would be the first Facebook meme to be elected President of the United States.

177. “We have places in London and other places that are so radicalised that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant.” London’s Metropolitan police responded, “We would not normally dignify such comments with a response, however, on this occasion we think it’s important to state to Londoners that Mr Trump could not be more wrong.” The Met thought that Trump’s claim was also potentially damaging, and Downing Street also criticized his message. Even Boris Johnson, who is basically a British Trump, thought the comments were “complete and utter nonsense” and remarked that “crime has been falling steadily both in London and in New York–the only reason I wouldn’t go to some parts of New York is the real risk of meeting Donald Trump.” Apparently British Trump occasionally has better sense than Donald Trump.

178. Did not say anything about Jo Cox’s death, but comments every time a story of murder linked to Muslim extremists breaks. When Jo Cox was assassinated by a man yelling “Britain first” who had supported far-right groups with similar ideologies to Trump, Trump said nothing. When fans of his celebrated her death, he said nothing. She’s been dead for over a month and he still hasn’t commented. But whenever there’s even a slight possibility that a crime has been committed by someone he thinks is Muslim, he’s won’t stop talking about it. Gee. I wonder if he’s only seeing one group as actual terrorists. What would he do if far-right terrorists here attacked left-wing advocates & politicians?

179. Called Libya Hillary’s baby, and wasn’t referring to Benghazi. On Face the Nation in January, Trump said, “She has caused death. She has caused tremendous death with incompetent decisions. I was against the war in Iraq. I wasn’t a politician, but I was against the war in Iraq. She voted for the war in Iraq…Look at Libya. That was her baby. Look. I mean, I’m not even talking about the ambassador and the people with the ambassador.” I wish someone would explain to him that his opinions on Libya don’t matter, especially since he wants to raid it for oil.

180. But he hates her for Benghazi, too. Six days after Mary Stevens, mother of Ambassador Chris Stevens, told Trump and the GOP to stop using her son’s name & death in their Benghazi witchhunt, and a month and two days after Dr. Anne Stevens said that the family doesn’t blame Clinton & requested the investigations stop, Trump said this in a written statement about Khizr Khan, “Hillary Clinton should be held accountable for her central role in destabilizing the Middle East. She voted to send the United States to war against Iraq, helped lead the disastrous withdrawal of American troops years later that created the vacuum allowing the rise of ISIS, and has never met a regime change she didn’t like (which have all been disasters) – not to mention her invasion of Libya and her abandonment of American personnel in Benghazi. The loss of these lives in Libya is directly traceable to Clinton, but their families’ testimonials were rejected by the media.” He had already used the Republican Convention as a blame-Hillary-for-Benghazi fest. Any time that he can find a way to blame her for Benghazi, he will. He doesn’t care who he hurts or ignores in the process. And he will even do so while defending his own callousness and xenophobia.

181. Once said that he loved predicting violence because you “need somebody with vision” at a rally for his campaign. “Remember this, I’m pretty good at signals and I see a lot of things happenin. One thing I see out there, just happened today, in Tehran, they’re burning down the Saudi embassy, you see that? Now, what that is — is Iran wants to take over Saudi Arabia, they always have. They want the oil, okay, they’ve always wanted that. You watch, I predicted a lot of things, you have to say, including, get the oil, take the oil, keep the oil. Right? I’ve been saying that for three years, and everyone said, ‘Oh, I can’t do that, this is a sovereign country.’ There is no country, they have a bunch of dishonest people, “>they’ve created ISIS. Hillary Clinton created ISIS with Obama; created with Obama. But I love predicting because you know, ultimately, you need somebody with vision.” Not only is his statement on the creation of Daesh incorrect, his love of predicting violence is disgusting and he sounds like a cult leader when he talks about the signals that he can see. Or, he’s just an asshole. Either way, don’t vote for this guy.

182. Says Hillary & Obama created Daesh. Long before Katrina Pierson re-wrote history and blamed Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama for the death of Humayun Khan as well as the creation of Daesh, Trump himself was touting it. The quote from the previous reason was all the way back in January. He’s blamed one or both: herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here.

The third person stuff he does must stop.

183. Wants Hillary to disarm bodyguards. He’s repeatedly stated that he wants her Secret Service detail to be unarmed based on her gun control stance. A statement that makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. Clinton could easily say that since he actually doesn’t believe in Freedom of Speech, Press, or Religion, he shouldn’t talk, do interviews, or go to church. I bet he wouldn’t like that.

184. Calls Mexico the new China. One of the lesser known Netflix shows. No, wait. It’s just a Trump claim.

Photo credit: B.C. Lorio via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #159-171

And now the post-Opening Ceremonies of the 2016 Summer Olympics edition of 2016 Reasons–I actually did stop the previous post to get ready to watch the Opening Ceremonies.

At this point, you know the drill about how I’m doing this to show all of the reasons to oppose Donald Trump for President of the United States and just about any other position he could ever want. He deserves nothing but shame for these things.

159. Calls undocumented people “illegals” and American-born children of undocumented people “anchor babies”, thus diminishing their humanity and allowing people to feel better about mistreating them. He also claims that no one was talking about immigration by undocumented people before his campaign, which is completely false. He’s called protesters “thugs” and accused them of being here illegally. When referring to himself by his full name, such a douche-tastic thing to do, he said he will strengthen the military and borders and get rid of “illegals”. He’s linked undocumented immigrants and and Syrians. He’s questioned the vaccination status of “illegals”, while defending white people who are anti-vaccination–a blatant for of racism and hypocrisy that has plagued the vaccine movement since its early days. His description of American-born children of immigrants as “anchor babies” is cruel and encourages racism against children of immigrants–something that is odd considering his mother is an immigrant and four of his five children have immigrant mothers. The statement was, of course, applauded by Fox and Friends. He has also called Ted Cruz an “anchor baby in Canada”. He claimed that “many” scholars say that these individuals aren’t covered by the 14th Amendment and vowed to continue calling people by the term. There is no question why he wants to use these slurs to talk about immigrants. He wants people to view them as enemies of the country; he wants them to beg the country to get rid of them. Despicable.

160. Claimed undocumented immigrants and women being raped were by criminals coming to the country “somebody’s doing the raping”. Donald Trump misread a Fusion article about migrant women being raped. He was called out on this online and by Don Lemon on CNN. He told Lemon:

“Well if you look at the statistics of people coming, you look at the statistics on rape, on crime, on everything coming in illegally into this country it’s mind-boggling! If you go to Fusion, you will see a story: About 80% of the women coming in, you know who owns Fusion? Univision! Go to Fusion and pick up the stories on rape. It’s unbelievable when you look at what’s going on. So all I’m doing is telling the truth.”

When Lemon tried correcting him, he responded with, “Well, somebody’s doing the raping, Don! I mean somebody’s doing it! Who’s doing the raping? Who’s doing the raping?”

Completely. Out. Of. Touch.

161. Exploited death of Kate Steinle. Brad Steinle, Kate’s brother, accused Trump of sensationalizing his sister’s murder when Trump’s campaign began. Trump used Steinle as an example of why we shouldn’t allow undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States; he didn’t reach out to the family beforehand and the family was upset about it.

162. Calls his followers the Silent Majority. It’s a bit odd since they aren’t silent and who wants to co-opt things from Richard Nixon?

163. Wants to get rid of gun-free zones. In January, Trump declared that he would get rid of gun-free zones at schools & military bases on his first day if elected. He continued to speak in favor of ending gun-free zones in May, though many of his properties don’t allow guns on them. He also claimed in May that he thought he’d get rid of gun-free zones in schools “in some cases”, with only trained teachers and resource officers carrying them. So he’s opposed to them, if they don’t impact him personally and if he’s not asked to clarify how he really feels about them. Getting rid of gun free zones would not increase the safety of those places, and encouraging more guns could actually lead to an increase in violence.

164. “If you can’t get rich dealing with politicians, there’s something wrong with you.” If you’ve ever wondered if Donald Trump has engaged in corruption, there’s your answer.

165. Sees himself as a uniter. Unless Trump means that he’s united Republicans and Democrats against him, then he’s definitely not a “uniter” of anyone. But he’s claimed it multiple times, like in 2015, when he said, “I think that I would be a great uniter. I think that I would have great diplomatic skills. I think that I would be able to get along with people very well. I’ve had a great success in my life. I think the world would unite if I were the leader of the United States.” Yeah, no.

166. Opposes treating people with respect. At the Republican National Convention, he said, “We cannot afford to be so respectful anymore.” At Liberty University in January 2016, he said, “We’re going to protect Christianity, and I can say that. I don’t have to be respectful.” In 2015, he told Jake Tapper, “You can be respectful if you want, but are you trying to say we don’t have a problem?…Most Muslims, like most everything, I mean, these are fabulous people…But we certainly do have a problem, I mean, you have a problem throughout the world…It wasn’t people from Sweden that blew up the World Trade Center.” He told David Brody of The Brody File, “They’re tired of respectful stuff. I mean I could have said, ‘Oh absolutely not Bill, there’s no Muslim problem, everything is wonderful, just forget about the World Trade Center.’ But you have to speak the truth. We’re so respectful that this country is falling apart.”

167. Claims Clinton was worst Secretary of State ever. In 2015, he said Clinton “is easily the worst Secretary of State in the history of the country. She’s going to be beaten and I’m the one to beat her.” That’s a pretty big clue that he doesn’t know American history very well.

168. Believes military is weak. He thinks reductions in funding show weakness. He suggested that we roll over and deal because of weakness. Trump doesn’t respect the American military or American leaders.

169. Thinks everyone should speak English. He “joked” that Spanish-speaking people couldn’t hit Google translate while viewing the Obamacare website because it was too complicated. He told Tom Llamas, “Well, I think that when you get right down to it, we’re a nation that speaks English. I think that, while we’re in this nation, we should be speaking English.” He’s said it at debates. He’s even retweeted fans who think Jeb Bush “speaks Mexican”. Nope.

170. Thinks migrants aren’t assimilating. He’s accused Muslims of not assimilating and suggested that non-English speaking people don’t assimilate. He’s pushing a perspective that is actually making immigrants less safe by encouraging Americans to otherize them; opening up the risk that they will be discriminated against, attacked or even killed. Immigrants feel they’re no longer being respected if they don’t act American enough. Ignoring facts and promoting an ideology of intolerance is the kind of thing that we need to be moving away from.

171. “I don’t think it’s [going to] end up good. The fact is all lives matter — that includes black and it includes white and it includes everybody else, and we have people, Democrats, that are afraid to even say that. They’re apologizing because they say, ‘White lives matter and all lives matter.’ These are people that are unfit to run for office, in my opinion.”  There are no words.

Photo credit: Darron Birgenheier via VisualHunt.com / CC BY-SA

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #64-84

Only four posts in and I’ve already touched a nerve.

It’s “biast” for me to express my own opinion. Oh my goodness. How dare someone have an actual opinion!

So, if you didn’t read my first, second, or third set of 21 reasons to oppose Trump, consider reading those before you read the next 21 reasons. After today’s post, there will be 95 more posts. If they were bottles of beer, this could be a song.

64. Donald Trump lied about witnessing Muslims celebrating 9/11 on a rooftop in Jersey City, New Jersey. I’ve mentioned Trump’s mocking of Serge Kovaleski, but not how he earned the ire of Trump. Kovaleski had covered a story in 2001 that suggested that there were people in Jersey City partying on rooftops. Donald claimed to see thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating on rooftops after the World Trade Centers collapsed. He claimed there was video of it on television all the time. When he was asked about it by George Stephanopolous, Trump said:

“It was well covered at the time, George. Now, I know they don’t like to talk about it, but it was well covered at the time. There were people over in New Jersey that were watching it, a heavy Arab population, that were cheering as the buildings came down. Not good.”

Except it wasn’t, because it didn’t happen. The story was never about thousands of Muslims. There was no video. It’s all in Trump’s head.

65. Trump insulted Seventh-Day Adventists. While speaking to supporters at a campaign rally in Jacksonville, Florida in October 2015, Trump, after talking about how he’s a Presbyterian, said, “Boy, that’s down the middle of the road folks, in all fairness. I mean, Seventh-day Adventist, I don’t know about. I just don’t know about.” While Trump’s dig may not sound that vicious, it was meant to be very vicious. You seem, some Christians don’t believe that Seventh-day Adventists are even Christian. This is a group that also refuses to vote for non-Christians. This was a time when Trump was behind Ben Carson by 9 percentage points; Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist. It was personal.

66. Trump hired Manafort. When Donald Trump dumped Corey Lewandowski and replaced him with Paul Manafort, very few people in America knew of the background of Manafort. Most stories touted him as having ties to the Republican Party. A few brought up some recent jobs of of his. Manafort has ties to Viktor Yanukovych, who was the the prime minister of the Ukraine at the time, as well as an ally of Vladimir Putin. In 2010, Yanukovych became the president of Ukraine, but had to flee to Russia during the 2014 revolution. Manafort was also a consultant of Yanukovych, helping Yanukovych’s first run for the Ukrainian presidency in 2004. When Yanukovych hired him after the first results were invalidated, Manafort was meant to improve his images. He was unable to in the time given, but Manafort continued to work within Yanukovych’s Party of Regions. Manafort was still working with the administration when Yanukovych fled and continued working within Ukrainian politics after he’d fled, including his reported involvement in the 2015 election campaign of Vitali Klitschko, who ran for mayor in Kiev. Now, Manafort is working with Donald Trump and was even used on July 27th on CBS This Morning to argue that Donald Trump had no ties to Vladimir Putin’s regime, which may have ties to the hacking of the DNC by Russians and subsequent Wikileaks email release.

67. Trump called Hillary Clinton “shrill” at a rally. A lot of people don’t like Hillary Clinton, but most don’t call her “shrill” at campaign events. Actually, he didn’t just say it once, he said it twice–over-pronouncing it the second time. I guess he wanted to make sure that everyone at his half-empty rally heard him correctly. He tried to suggest he calls men shrill, but if he has, it hasn’t been on Twitter. And he should know that the term “shrill” is meant to shut women up. My guess is: that’s why he said it. Luckily, it didn’t work.

68. Trump mocked Fiorina’s physical appearance. No, really. He did and managed to do it while being interviewed by Rolling Stone.

When the anchor throws to Carly Fiorina for her reaction to Trump’s momentum, Trump’s expression sours in schoolboy disgust as the camera bores in on Fiorina. “Look at that face!” he cries. “Would anyone vote for that? Can you imagine that, the face of our next president?!” The laughter grows halting and faint behind him. “I mean, she’s a woman, and I’m not s’posedta say bad things, but really, folks, come on. Are we serious?”

When asked on Fox News if he really said something like that, he confirmed, saying, “Probably I did say something like that about Carly.” But he tried to walk it back with, “I’m talking about persona. I’m not talking about look.” Donald always has an excuse.

69. Donald Trump believes that John McCain shouldn’t be considered a war hero. While speaking at the Family Leadership Summit in Ames, Iowa, Trump said of McCain, “He’s not a war hero. He was a war hero because he was captured.”

70. Donald Trump also stated that he doesn’t believe that people who are captured are war heroes. In his words, “I like people who weren’t captured.” He’s walked those comments back, because they didn’t go over very well, but they were still said. And his reframing of his comments (“If somebody’s a prisoner, I consider them a war hero.” and “If a person is captured, they’re a hero as far as I’m concerned. … But you have to do other things also.”) didn’t really explain the difference between McCain’s capture and the POWs who he actually sees as a war hero.

71. Trump comes up with childish and offensive nicknames for opponents. Little Marco. Lyin’ Ted. Crooked Hillary. Crazy Bernie. Goofy Elizabeth Warren. Pocahontas. Donald Trump is less witty and original than a third grade bully.

72. Trump wants to end Freedom of Press as we know it. Conservatives love to talk about how they have First Amendment rights and how they love using them to offend; they “don’t care about your feels” and want to “trigger” people with the words. Well, Donald Trump doesn’t feel the same. He wants to open libel laws up to sue the press for things that upset him.


73. Trump mocked Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When Ruth Bader Ginsburg expressed her distaste for Trump, he responded with “her mind is shot.” Classy to the end, RBG didn’t fire back challenging his mental state.

74. Donald Trump not only wants a wall, he wants Mexico to pay for it. For some very odd reason, Donald Trump believes that his sacred wall should be paid for by another country. I’m fairly certain that the Constitution requires the United States to provide for its common defense, but apparently Trump has gotten a new copy of the Constitution that is missing the Preamble and the First Amendment. His planned wall is one of the best ways to tell that Donald Trump doesn’t know how to be the President of the United States.

75. Trump called for a ban on Muslims entering the United States. If ever there was a way to show that Mr. Trump is a bigot, it’s his proposed ban on Muslims. Trump has stated he wants to ban Muslims from traveling and immigrating to the country until we get terrorism under control. Terrorism isn’t something that can be controlled and denying people the ability to get to this country based on their religion or, as he’s also suggested, their country of origin will not stop it. If you look at the most recent “acts of terror” that have been “linked” to people who were born in America decades ago. You cannot define a terrorist based on the country they come from or the religion that they believe in.

76. Donald Trump gave Robert Pattinson dating advice. After Kristen Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson, and ended the sacred, beloved ship known as Robsten, Donald Trump, a serial cheater, gave Rob some advice. For almost a month, he gave him unsolicited advice.

77. Donald Trump is a cheater. He holds himself to be a moral man. He considers his beliefs on marriage and its sanctity to be a representation of traditional values. And, like it or not, he is the now standard bearer for a party that obsessed over his opponent’s husband’s adultery to an extreme. His own running mate wanted to make adultery illegal before joining Trump on the ticket. So how do the Republicans justify nominating a man who has never respected marriage vows or women.

78. Trump’s campaign lied about the plagiarism by Melania Trump. When Melania spoke at the Republican National Convention, people were amazed that this brilliant, beautiful woman gave a touching speech. People on the left and right had joked over her brains for months, and had suggested that her modeling career made her unworthy of being the First Lady. Their misogyny towards this woman was grotesque, but, for a moment, it was forgotten, until people realized that they’d heard the speech before. The campaign denied it. They suggested that the words could have come from My Little Pony or John Legend. Eventually, after days of denial, they said it was just a mistake. Why couldn’t they have admitted that earlier? Mistakes are forgivable. Covering them up is less so. The Trump campaign and members of the Republican Party knowingly attempted to deceived the public. Their little, lyin’,crooked, crazy, goofy cover-up was pathetic and deceitful and shows the character, or lack thereof, of the campaign and the Party.

79. Trump said that the Charlie Hebdo victims should have been armed. Donald Trump believed that the victims of the Charlie Hebdo slayings would be alive if France didn’t have strict gun laws. Like with several other mass murders, there was a cop who tried to stop the attack, but couldn’t. Donald Trump didn’t know what he was talking about then and he doesn’t know what he is talking about now.

80. Donald Trump claimed that every woman on The Apprentice flirted with him. Donald Trump wrote in his 2004 book Trump: How to Get Rich, “All the women on The Apprentice flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected. A sexual dynamic is always present between people, unless you are asexual.” No, Mr. Trump, it isn’t to be expected and it isn’t always present.

81. Trump repeatedly suggested that vaccines cause autism. He’s wrong.

He thinks scientists are lying to you about the causes of autism. Maybe he should have picked Jill Stein as a running mate.

Blaming Obama for autism sounds like something that Trump would say, but that’s because it is something he said.

Trump doesn’t understand autism. He doesn’t understand medicine. He doesn’t understand science. Discouraging well-tested medicine that prevents deaths from infectious disease in favor of fear of autism? We don’t need to give him more authority or influence in our lives. It would literally be sickening.

82. Donald Trump praised Saddam Hussein. Trump said of Hussein, “He killed terrorists. He did that so good. They didn’t read them the rights — they didn’t talk, they were a terrorist, it was over.” It wasn’t the first time that Trump appreciated Hussein’s tactics. While he admitted that Hussein was a bad man, it isn’t enough to say that Hussein, a brutal dictator who terrorized his own people, was just a bad guy.

83. Trump said that an airplane above a rally was a Mexican attack. It may have been a joke, but it was a pathetic one meant to scare and incite people to be more xenophobic and angry.

84. After the shooting at the Pulse nightclub, Trump took credit for talking about terrorism. When 49 people died in Orlando, Donald Trump thought that the responsible and respectful reaction to the event was to take credit for having talked about terrorism. Donald Trump claimed credit for the actions of Mateen before Daesh ever had a chance to.

Pathetic, Mr. Trump. Really pathetic.

Photo credit: DonkeyHotey via Visualhunt.com / CC BY-SA
Photo credit: WFULawSchool via Visual hunt / CC BY-NC-ND

That’s Not How Tolerance Works

Tolerance is something we should all support. It promotes the idea that we are all equal. It helps establish that the rights that exist for the majority also apply to minorities. It is something that must exist because we can no longer have a world where oppression is acceptable. Tolerance is a good thing. 

But some people don’t like the idea of ending hatred. They want a world where they’re allowed to attack or degrade someone based on their race, religion, disability, sex, etc. They feel empowered by that hatred, by the oppression that results from it. 

But some take their hate to the next level. They try to ruin the meaning of tolerance by appropriating the word itself. They like to make the “tolerance goes both way” statement. In my experience, it’s only the bigots that say it. 

They’ll claim, “I don’t like gay people getting married, so I’ll keep it from happening by not letting them get a marriage license. You say you believe in tolerance. You have to tolerate me. You have to accept me.” 

They’ll say, “Liberals like to call me a bigot because I believe in white genocide. They’re not very tolerant of opinions they don’t like.”

But that’s utter bullshit. No one has to accept this kind of behavior. Ever. 

What they’re wanting is for people who are facing actual intolerance to be complacent about that intolerance. They don’t understand how disgusting their desire is. But if they expect a marginalized group to smile and take it when they’re being intolerant, then they’re sick fucks. 

Photo credit: tedeytan via Visual hunt / CC BY-SA

Daily Debate: Oct. 2, 2015

With the shooting yesterday at Umpqua Community College, do you think that America is any closer to stopping mass shootings? What could be done to prevent shootings like this? Is this an issue requiring stricter gun legislation? Is it one requiring better mental health screenings? Is it an indication of a broken mental health and/or criminal justice system? Is it an indication of something wrong with our culture in general? Why do you think violence is so prevalent in America?

Pot Meet Kettle

A mental illness is a medical condition that disrupts a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others and daily functioning. Just as diabetes is a disorder of the pancreas, mental illnesses are medical conditions that often result in a diminished capacity for coping with the ordinary demands of life.

Serious mental illnesses include major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), panic disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and borderline personality disorder. The good news about mental illness is that recovery is possible.

Mental illnesses can affect persons of any age, race, religion or income. Mental illnesses are not the result of personal weakness, lack of character or poor upbringing. Mental illnesses are treatable. Most people diagnosed with a serious mental illness can experience relief from their symptoms by actively participating in an individual treatment plan.1

I’m mentally ill. This isn’t really news. I’ve never been ashamed of being mentally ill. I’ve never felt the need to say that I am embarrassed by what’s wrong with me. I’ve been open about my experiences. I’ve made a fool of myself a few times because of my mental health issues. I don’t feel that my issues are all that makes me me. Even though they impact most aspects of my life, they aren’t all that there is to me. I know other people don’t feel this way.

Meet one of these people:

@Crimefile on Twitter

At first I thought that I was misunderstanding Paul’s response to Marci on the issue of gun control. He brought up mental illness as part of his argument against gun control. He was very big on his interpretation of the Second Amendment2 and how his right to bear arms was somehow the most important thing in the world. He wasn’t so big on other Amendments and how they might impact other people. For example, the Eighth Amendment3 or the Sixth Amendment4

First, it was a Twitter discussion. Then, Paul deleted the tweets and decided to blog about it instead, so here are the responses I have to what he has said:

Los Angeles, CA—There is little doubt that every mass shooter in the USA suffered from severe mental illness, usually schizophrenia. Most or all have rejected taking anti-psychotic medication and accordingly they went on deadly rampages.

Nope. Not true. The Washington Post actually addresses this myth in a recent article by Dr. Dewey G. Cornell, a forensic clinical psychology.5 And it’s time that we stop blaming every single one on the mentally ill, okay?

We used to put these people in mental hospitals that were more tolerable and comfortable than our jails. After our medical community determined that wonder drugs were more humane that hospitalization they convinced government officials to close the asylums.

Now the same people are simply sitting in jails and prisons without treatment. The effort to be more humane has backfired.

The solution offered against violence by the insane is to eliminate gun rights for the sane and law-abiding. They seem to forget that the insane use knives, clubs or brute force to murder. They can’t seem to understand that before the Oklahoma Bombing and 9/11 attack on America that the most significant mass murder was committed with a single gallon of gasoline at the Happyland Social Club taking nearly 100 lives.

Bringing up those events within the context of a discussion on mass murder has me wondering what all we’re considering to be mass murder. Oklahoma City was a bombing committed by an American anti-government, right-wing extremist. The events of 9/11 were 20 non-Americans using planes as weapons because a terrorist group didn’t like American foreign policy. The Happy Land fire was an arson committed by the jealous ex-boyfriend of one employee that ended up killing 87 people because the business blocked the fire exits. She survived the fire. We have two acts of terrorism with political motivations and the act of a guy who thought he could get revenge on his ex and the place she worked.

Are we going to include other acts of terror? Perhaps since 9/11 led to one war directly and another indirectly, we should include things that happen within wars. Perhaps we should also include things that lead to wars. Should we include acts of terror against other countries that were perpetrated here? Should we include other anti-government acts, or do the reverse and show acts of violence perpetrated by people on behalf of the government that ended in the deaths of other people? Since we’re talking about a fire started by a jealous ex-lover, do we include all acts where an ex kills or attempts to kill someone because that ex feels jilted in some way? Do we include school shootings? Do we include workplace violence? Do we include spree killers? Do we include family annihilators? Do we include serial murders? Do we include genocidal actions towards the indigenous population of America? Are we going to talk about all mass killings or just the 1-in-6 that are known by the public?6 Or that 25% of mass killings that don’t involve strangers, gangs, or robberies are due to a breakup.7 Or how 57% of victims knew the attacker, even if they weren’t that attacker’s initial target.8 Or how some are from being fired9 or being evicted10.

Now, I don’t know Paul’s experiences in the mental hospitals of old or the jails that exist, but from what I know, they were not “more tolerable and comfortable” than the jails and prisons in this country.

I’m guessing that he didn’t realize that compulsory sterilization laws impacted people in institutions for criminals and ones for the mentally ill, as well as outsiders, the poor and minorities. The eugenics law craze started in 1907 in Indiana and spread to 30 other states. People who were seen as defective underwent sterilization procedures. I’m guessing he also was unaware that between 1936 and the late 1950s, an estimated 50,000 lobotomies were performed in the United States. Between 1953 and 1957, in Athens County, Ohio, there were 200 frontal lobotomies performed at Athens State Hospital during 7 visits by one doctor, Walter Freeman. His technique was different from the type performed by Egas Moniz, in that he did his quickly, outside of an operating room, and without anesthetic drugs. Instead, he used electroconvulsive therapy. Basically, this guy used electricity to induce seizures so that he could then destroy part of that person’s brain more quickly. Screw the pain. Screw the suffering. And he didn’t just do this in Ohio. He did it in around 50 state hospitals all over the country. After he took part in a recommendation to the VA for lobotomies, 2,000 veterans were lobotomized by the US government. Other doctors suggested he enjoyed doing the procedure a little too much.11 Freeman was also the doctor behind the lobotomy of Rosemary Kennedy that led to her being physically and mentally disabled.

Mentally ill persons were also given electroshock treatments without having lobotomies, too. It was considered a valid treatment for schizophrenia and other issues. Though it is still done now, it is not nearly as dangerous, in part because the dose is lower and the procedure is done under general anesthesia. Previous uses of it included extremely high doses of electricity and a lack of anesthesia. It caused memory loss, fractured bones, and other serious side effects.

So, yeah, I’m not exactly feeling the warm fuzzies towards the mental hospitals.

It’s impossible to keep deadly weapons out of the hands of the insane that are driven or determined to kill. We must face that fact and deal with it.

I don’t have the answers to or mental health problems of America anymore than I have for the millions of Americans using street drugs and alcohol. However taking the rights of the sane, sober and law-abiding is no answer.

If we really care about the mass killings we have to address and revisit the real issue behind these massive catastrophes. If we refuse to consider reopening the mental hospitals we must accept that we will continue to have these unthinkable tragedies.

Let’s not use the word “insane” or “crazy” or anything like that. Also, let’s not pretend that the mentally ill are less human because of their illnesses. You don’t look at a patient with a brain tumor or with migraines or with epilepsy as being less-than-human, right? Well, the same goes for the mentally ill. Each of those issues involves the brain. Each can cause a person to act in a way that is not necessarily consistent with their behavior or with what is considered normal for the place that they live in.12 The mind and the brain are the same place. It is time we stop treating mental illness like it is less of a physical problem than it actually is.

And if the solution to this problem is to strip a person of their freedom so that you can keep your guns, then I’m going to say no. More than 1% of the country’s adult population is incarcerated, with a quarter of those being seriously mentally ill. That means that 75% of the adult prison population in America is not seriously mentally ill. It seems like if we were going to put a bunch a people in jail for potentially being a threat to lives, we’d choose the ones who weren’t mentally ill. The odds that they would commit a crime seem to be higher. But that probably wouldn’t be very popular because those are people who are not disenfranchised because of a disability.

The horrible massive shootings were unheard of in America until we ended hospitalization of the mentally ill.

This is not true. Aside from being factually inaccurate, it makes it sound like deinstitutionalization was some quick process. The deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill and intellectually disabled took place over about forty years.13 The peak number of mental institution patients was measured in 1955. President Kennedy signed the Community Mental Health Act in 1963.14 By 1977, there were 650 community facilities and they served 1.9 million patients. If the number of cases of severely mentally ill patients grew at the same rate of growth as the country’s overall population, then there were only around 749,674 people who would have been in the hospital.15 Three years later, Jimmy Carter signed a bill to restructure the mental health care system to improve services for the chronically mentally ill. The next year, under President Reagan, that legislation was repealed and established block grants for the states, which ended federal funding of services to the mentally ill.16 In 1985, the federal government dropped its funding of community mental health care from 30% to 11%.

The Happy Land fire17 happened in 1990. There were mass murders and mass shootings before 1990. Or how several of those mass murders are still among some of the worst in the history of the country.181920212223242526272829

And not all of the mass murders since then involved a mentally ill person. For example, despite what a lot of people think, Adam Lanza was not actually diagnosed with a mental illness. Then there are people like Wade Michael Page, who committed the shooting at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin. He was a racist, not a psychiatric patient. There are no indications that Sonny Enrique Medina was mentally ill, but there are some that he was abusive. Mental illness didn’t cause Lawrence Myers to set a building on fire to cash in on the $250,000 insurance policy; greed did, though.

Is it fair to allow the dangerously mentally to roam free and force the law-abiding to surrender their right to keep and bear arms? Disarming people does not make them safe. Not only is it unfair it’s absolutely unconstitutional.

Roam? We aren’t fucking deer or buffalo, dude. We’re people. People who deserve to be treated just like all other people. We have rights, just like you do. The same exact ones. And to suggest that all people who are “insane” need to be locked up to protect the rest of the public is a truly fucked up idea. Who decides what meets the characteristics of “dangerous”? Do we put everyone in when they’re first diagnosed? Or do we wait until they actually express a desire to harm other people?

I won’t get into the whole “that’s not what the Second Amendment really means” debate thing right now because I’m pretty sure I’ve covered that before. I will point out that putting a person into a psychiatric hospital that you cannot say for a fact is dangerous is unconstitutional. It is a form of imprisonment. It would be considered a cruel and punishment. And it could be a violation of that person’s due process. These rights are no less precious than your belief in owning guns.

We need a sea change in our approach to threats of violence. The police are hamstrung by an antiquated model which requires them to either arrest someone for a crime or determine that they are mentally ill and imminently about to harm someone. Most cases do not fit into either pigeonhole. Locking people up in a jail or a hospital to prevent violence is not the answer.

In case after case of mass shootings, we learn later that family members, friends, and even mental health professionals were concerned that someone needed help. Predicting violence is difficult, but identifying that someone needs assistance is not so difficult. This is where we need to readjust our focus and concentrate on helping people in distress. This approach requires not only a change in police policy but community mental health services that are oriented around prevention.

You’re right that we have an antiquated model for treatment. We’re back to 1850’s standards of using jails as psychiatric hospitals. We need to increase funding to the mental health care system. People who need to be treated don’t necessarily need to be hospitalized. People need to have access to medication and to therapy that they need without having to worry about costs. They need to be able to secure treatment without having to worry that they will lose their job or their kids. If you want to advocate for a better mental health care system, then I’d get behind that. If you’re just going to advocate locking up other people because your rights are more important than their rights, then I’ll just point out how hypocritical you are being.

  1. NAMI 

  2. A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed. 

  3. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted. 

  4. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense. 

  5. It seems intuitive that anyone who commits a mass shooting must be mentally ill, but this is a misuse of the term “mental illness.” Mental illness is a term reserved for the most severe mental disorders where the person has severe symptoms such as delusions or hallucinations. Decades of mental health research show that only a small proportion of persons with mental illness commit violent acts, and together they account for only a fraction of violent crime. Some mass shooters have had a mental illness. Most do not. 

  6. 51% of mass killings are family related. 

  7. A breakup is the trigger behind 1 in 4 mass killings that do not involve strangers, gangs or a robbery gone wrong…And often, that violence occurs in families that otherwise seemed normal. 

  8. 1 in 4 were closely related. 

  9. UAH shooting by Amy Bishop Anderson 

  10. Stanley Neace in Breathitt County, Kentucky 

  11. In 1948, one senior VA psychiatrist wrote a memo mocking Dr. Freeman for using lobotomies to treat “practically everything from delinquency to a pain in the neck.” – WSJ 

  12. Yeah, even migraines can impact behavior. 

  13. Deinstitutionalization began in 1955 with the widespread introduction of chlorpromazine, commonly known as Thorazine, the first effective antipsychotic medication, and received a major impetus 10 years later with the enactment of federal Medicaid and Medicare. Deinstitutionalization has two parts: the moving of the severely mentally ill out of the state institutions, and the closing of part or all of those institutions. The former affects people who are already mentally ill. The latter affects those who become ill after the policy has gone into effect and for the indefinite future because hospital beds have been permanently eliminated. 

  14. President John F. Kennedy signs the Community Mental Health Act to provide federal funding for the construction of community-based preventive care and treatment facilities. Between the Vietnam War and an economic crisis, the program was never adequately funded. 

  15. The number now would be around 1,068,483. There are 43,000 total beds in this country to take care of patients, though. There was also another $4.35 billion in public-mental health spending cuts from the federal government in 2009. 

  16. Three years after that the study from Ohio about 30% of homeless people being mentally ill came out. 

  17. The Happy Land fire resulted in the deaths of 87 people. Many of those deaths might have been prevented if the club had not blocked fire exits. 

  18. 1989: Louisville, Kentucky – Joseph Wesbecker. 

  19. 1989: Stockton, California – Patrick Purdy. 

  20. 1988: Sunnyvale, California – Richard Farley. 

  21. 1987: Palm Bay, Florida – William Cruse. 

  22. 1986: Edmond, Oklahoma – Patrick Henry Sherrill. 

  23. 1984: San Ysidro, California – James Huberty. 

  24. 1984: Manley Hot Springs, Alaska – Michael Silka. 

  25. 1984: Dallas Texas – Abdelkrim Belachheb. 

  26. 1982: Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania – George Banks. 

  27. 1982: Miami – Carl Robert Brown. 

  28. 1973: New Orleans, Louisiana – Mark Robert James Essex. 

  29. 1966: University of Texas – Charles Joseph Whitman. 

30 is the New 20

The day has finally arrived. I am thirty. So far it feels like any other day. I didn’t get to watch what I wanted on television. I was woken up early by Amy. Basically, same old same old. Oh, and one of the aunts who hates me still hates me. (Actually, all the aunts who hate me probably still do.) And this one didn’t hold back just because it happens to be my birthday.

Aunt Phyllis may love me, but Judy doesn't

Aunt Phyllis, who does seem to like me to some degree, posted a Happy Birthday greeting to me. Sweet, right? Well, her baby sister Judy1 couldn’t stand for that. Almost immediately, Judy had to speak out over the grave injustice that is recognizing my birthday. I think I’ve mentioned that Judy is a rather interesting figure in my family on here before. Yep, there was the time that she accused my parents and me of abusing my grandfather…when I was only 12 at the time of his death, and when she had refused to take him in for any length of time when we needed much-deserved respite from caring for his multiple ailments, including dementia. (Not to mention that he was an abusive and scary SOB.)

Phyllis is right, I didn’t know their father. He died about 7 years and 2 months before I was even born. I do know what my father and others have told me about their father. I also know what my grandfather used to claim, that he was his father’s whipping boy and that that was part of why he left home at the age of 15.2 As for their mom…I did meet their mother. She died when I was about 2 years old, so I don’t actually remember her. And what I know of her is also stuff that I was told.

But their brother, who Judy once tried to make sound like a saint, I knew him. I knew him well. I knew the man who liked to scare us with his guns. I knew the man who went to prison for being part of a car theft ring. I knew the man who called in a bomb threat to a media outlet. I knew the man who would tell me how I was ugly and how I would never be loved. And I knew the man who molested toddlers. I knew that man very well. Probably better than Judy ever did, since there was almost 20 years difference in their ages and they never lived in the same house as each other. I knew that man and I know that even with just anecdotes about his family that there had to be a certain kind of environment to produce that kind of individual. (And considering that his older brother Johnny was even more of a “character” in many ways, chances are pretty good that their home life wasn’t as idyllic as they remember it.)

At some point, there was something that happened in that family, because happy, healthy families do not end up the way the Morris family has ended up. And if you grow up to be so great of an adult that you hold things that didn’t even happen against someone who was between the ages of eight and twelve at the time that you think they happened, then something is messed up with you. Yeah, there are children who are shitty, but most of the time those shitty 8-12 year old kids turn into actual full-on criminals, instead of people who’ve only been written up for having tall grass.

I have one thing to say to my beloved Aunt Judy about her attitude and her crashing a birthday greeting to make some snarky remark:

You're tacky and I hate you.

Actually, what I said was a little wordier and, hopefully, more tactful:

Your brother was actually the one who talked about being abused by his/your father. I’ve never met your dad, since he died 7 years before I was born. All I know is what has been told to me by my grandfather, my father, and other family members. But the issues surrounding how your brother may or may not have been abused and any negative feelings that you may have toward me probably aren’t exactly appropriate to bring up on this sort of post. Judy, if you want to talk about how I’m a horrible human being or object to my existence in the world, why not wait until it isn’t my birthday?

I get that she thinks that her family was perfect. It’s sometimes difficult to accept that bad shit went down at some point in your life, especially in a family with such a vibrant history of pseudologia fantastica.3 It’s something that I’ve talked about in therapy a lot over the years. It’s something I’ve talked about on here before. I get it. I understand wanting to pretend that your childhood was perfect, but if her life was as perfect as she claims, then the whole family would not be as messed up as it is now.

And I get that she thinks that my talking about any of this is a bad thing. Anything that makes her feel the slightest bit uncomfortable is bad. It’s like when she was claiming that she came from a long line of Republicans. No, she didn’t. Back in the fifties, sixties, and seventies, her father was a Democrat. Back when southern Democrats were racist twats, her father supported them. And so did my grandfather. If he hadn’t been an über-conservative by his father, would he really have had this:

Aunt Phyllis may love me, but Judy doesn't4

The good thing about the objection being from Judy is that it doesn’t actually hurt my feelings. If it had been someone who I thought actually liked me, then that might have been upsetting. Also, if I hadn’t just spent about 18 hours Saturday and Sunday crying about how my life was a failure and how I would rather be dead, then this might have been more upsetting.5 Basically, I’ve made myself feel shittier than she could ever make me feel. (Not that that’s something to brag about.) I quit really caring what this woman thinks of me around the age that she said I was hurting her brother.6 The only thing I care about is the blatant narcissism of turning a perfectly nice remark into this opportunity for her to just attempt to bring me down.

And all of this drama just means that my life is staying the same way it was in my twenties. I guess that in order for life to change, I have to make it change.

UPDATE #1: She’s posted her response to my response.

  1. Judy is the sister who is a month younger than my dad’s sister; Judy was also better treated than her because Judy was the baby of the family. 

  2. When he left, Phyllis would have been about 5. Judith wasn’t born yet. 

  3. She could probably even say that I’m the one making stuff up. 

  4. It probably makes no sense why I would bring that particular button or politics up, but it actually was a big part of why she started making the comments about my family. In their discussion of politics, he told her that her father supported people like Wallace and was a mean man, and how he didn’t understand how she could pretend he was anything but. That was when she came back at him with some comments and she also made comments about how his dad would be appalled at how my dad was talking because he hadn’t been raised to be that way. This was around the time that I chimed in and said that her brother couldn’t have become the abusive asshole that he was if their family was as bright and happy and shiny as she suggested. And that was when she accused me of abuse. 

  5. There is no person in the world who can hate you more than you can hate yourself unless you live in a country with a dictator that wants to kill you. 

  6. If she was so convinced her brother was in danger, why did she flat out refuse to take him in? Why didn’t she try to find a better place for him?