Justice System


In case you haven’t figured it out yet, I loathe Donald Trump and don’t want the man to be President. I’m in the process of publishing a list of 2016 reasons to oppose him. Trump’s followers have a tendency to ask for reasons why people don’t like them and they tend to dismiss them as having no basis in reality. They even suggest that Mr. Trump has been misunderstood by the media and by people who’ve watched his speeches live. This list will hopefully show that Donald Trump has been advocating for some pretty awful stuff throughout his career as a real-estate-developer-turned-reality-television-star-turned-presidential-candidate. His “gaffes” aren’t new, nor is his bigotry. And alleging a 43 year campaign by the media to smear him and ruin his chance at becoming President is a big clue that he is the one who is saying things that are not based in reality. 132. Opposed to a living wage, then for it, then opposed to it… I don’t even know if Trump knows how he feels about raising the minimum wage at this point. He can’t keep his story straight if asked twice within a twenty-four-to-forty-eight hour period. I wonder if he contemplates raising the minimum wage while sitting on his gold throne. 133. Blamed concept of climate change on China. He now claims his 2012 tweet about China creating a climate change hoax was a joke. You know, like his hacking joke and his “blood coming out of her whatever” joke. It’s a good thing that Donald didn’t go into stand-up comedy because his comedy career would deplete the world of its tomatoes. Anyway, the supposed joke is something that he’s referenced repeatedly, even before he joked about it. If it’s really a “joke”, and “it isn’t, then even he doesn’t get it. 134. Taxing Chinese exports. He wants to put a forty-five percent tariff on Chinese exports. In other news, the zombie form of George III is planning on suing Donald Trump for using his shtick of supporting outrageously high taxes. 135. His claim of beating China in trade deals. He backed it up by saying that he owns part of a Bank of American building that he got from China in a war. Actually, it was a result of a relationship between Hong Kong billionaires and Trump after they helped rescue him from having to file another bankruptcy on a property; when the property was sold without his support, Trump waged a legal battle with them. That chunk of the bank building he bragged about getting was something he had to settle for after he lost the legal battle. 136. Said US leaders would invite El Chapo to become a citizen. Someone in his family or his campaign needs to take his Twitter account away from him. 137. Calls himself the least racist. Considering his lack of understanding of how even the simplest things work, it’s unsurprising that he considers himself to not be a racist. 138. Bragged about a former employee calling him the least sexist boss she’d ever had. Apparently, he didn’t realize that she didn’t say that he wasn’t sexist, just that he was the least sexist. 139. Stacie J. While Trump wants to capitalize on his fame from The Apprentice in this election, it’s important to remember every single time he did something flat-out-wrong on that show. Case in point, his treatment of Stacie J. Other competitors portrayed her as mentally ill because she consulted a Magic 8-Ball toy before her team did their tasks. He called her a “loose cannon” and fired her, violating the Americans with Disability Act of 1990. He fired her simply for behaving in a way that was perceived as being due to mental illness. 140. Trump stigmatizing the mentally ill. This is a continuation of the Stacie J situation. Because of Stacie’s quirky behavior he said, “This comes from two people, Stacie, that don’t like each other at all. The first thing they’ve agreed on is that you’re crazy…Stacie, if you have a problem, I don’t want you running my companies.” This suggests that Trump refuses to hire or continue to employ mentally ill people. This is backed up by his use of ableist terms like “nut job”, “crazy” and “wacko” to demean Jeb Bush, Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, and Elizabeth Warren. He conflates mental illness with crime and said that gun-free zones that gun-free zones are “target practice for the sickos and for the mentally ill.” A man who willingly tears down the mentally ill should not be in charge of a country where 25% of the population is believed to have a mental illness; and at least two-thirds are either unaware of it or are going untreated for it. 141. Painted himself as the hero of NYC in New York Times article in 1983. According to Trump, he alone is responsible for Grand Central being renovated and hotel jobs being saved. 142. Doesn’t like compromise. He told Life magazine in January 1989, “I’m not big on compromise. I understand compromise. Sometimes compromise is the right answer, but oftentimes compromise is the equivalent of defeat, and I don’t like being defeated.” 143. He suggested success/deal-making is genetic; that people who don’t succeed are afraid to or are “life’s losers”. In 1984, he told Lois Romano of the Washington Post, “Some people have an ability to negotiate. It’s an art you’re basically born with. You either have it or you don’t.” In The Art of the Deal, Trump said, “Most people think small, because most people are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.” He also said, “One of the problems when you become successful is that jealousy and envy inevitably follow. There are people—I categorize them as life’s losers—who get their sense of accomplishment and achievement from trying to stop others. As far as I’m concerned, if they had any real ability they wouldn’t be fighting me, they’d be doing something constructive themselves.” 144. […]

2016 Reasons to Oppose Trump: Reasons #132-158


“The problem the WRP faced in connecting pregnancy to their line of sex-discrimination was this: Even if a man could take care of the kids and the elders, and a woman could join the air force and handle the family finances, only one of them could get pregnant and give birth. RBG and her team had to convince the justices that pregnancy too was a matter of equality—or inequality—and not just something special that women indulged in, off on their own. Even more radically, RBG wanted the Supreme Court to recognize that women would never be equal if they could not control their reproductive lives, whether they wanted to be pregnant or not. That meant the right to an abortion, and it meant the right to be free of discrimination for staying pregnant.” – Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon & Shana Knizhnik via Tumblr Photo credit: national museum of american history via VisualHunt / CC BY-NC

“The problem the WRP faced in connecting pregnancy to their ...



“Treating men and women differently under the law, RBG told the justices, implied a “judgment of inferiority.” It told women their work and their families were less valuable. “These distinctions have a common effect,” RBG said sternly. “They help keep woman in her place, a place inferior to that occupied by men in our society.” – Notorious RBG by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik via Tumblr Photo credit: WFULawSchool via Visualhunt / CC BY-NC-ND

The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory in an American City by Laura Tillman My rating: 3 of 5 stars I don’t know how to explain my feelings toward this book. It is an extremely compelling story, but the writing quality is poor. There seemed to be no real outline or backbone to it. The purple prose only highlighted this flaw, as did the repetition of unimportant things and the lack of refreshers given for details that seemed more important. If all you knew about the case was the manner in which Julissa, John Stephon, and Mary Jane died, then it would seem impossible to feel bad for John Allen Rubio and Angela Camacho, but what happened to them within the justice system is awful for other reasons. This is a case where a man with a severe mental illness (paranoid schizophrenia) and an intellectual disability (IQ in the low 70s) and a woman who had a shared psychosis with this man because of her own intellectual disability (IQ in the 50s) end up imprisoned, and, for him, end up on death row, but the writer is busy talking about superstitions & personal fears. It’s almost like she doesn’t completely perceive the gravity of the situation, the level of injustice that’s going on. As lovely as it is to learn about regional cultural beliefs, I was more concerned about the fact that this man who should be in a hospital will probably face lethal injection. The writer could only view this as horrible once she met Mr. Rubio, but it seems like anyone with a basic sense of compassion would figure out after learning about his background. Instead, she was oblivious to it, which made her seem callous. It made the whole book feel callous. Also, the stalking of Ms. Camacho’s family was a bit disturbing. I understand she felt that she needed to hear from them for her newspaper article and her book, but her behavior was quite creepy. I’m surprised that they didn’t issue a restraining order after the second or third time she showed up outside the woman’s front door. The writing honestly reminded me of what you’d find in an essay by a bored, uninformed student who waited until the last minute to do an assignment. I have a hard time believing that this is something the writer was encouraged to get published, at least in its current form. I have no doubt that she has talent, but the fixations on pointless details within the work are distracting and annoying. I wish she had explained more about Rubio’s mental health than how a superstitious grandmother convinced her to throw away a perfectly good pair of tennis shoes. This wasn’t her memoir. This wasn’t even a memoir for the building. It was an unfocused work of nonfiction that was rather disappointing. View all my reviews

Review: The Long Shadow of Small Ghosts: Murder and Memory ...



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?

Daily Debate: Oct. 2, 2015


Should Kim Davis, Rowan County Clerk, be in jail for refusing to grant marriage licenses to LGBTQ couples? Was her refusal to do so an example of injustice? Should she be applauded for standing up for what she believes in? Is it hypocritical for her to oppose marriage equality when she has been married four times?


Milton Mathis, Convicted Killer, Executed In Texas Despite Evidence Of Retardation zainyk: A man convicted of slaying two people and critically injuring a third in a drug house shooting was executed on Tuesday evening by Texas officials, despite evidence that he suffered from mental retardation. Milton Mathis, 32, was sentenced to death in 1999, three years before the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that execution of the mentally retarded violated the Constitution’s prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment. Intelligence tests, including one given by the Texas Department of Corrections in 2000, measured Mathis’s IQ in the low 60s, well below the threshold for mild mental retardation as recognized by almost all states. The argument used by the prosecution is that he was “street smart”, it’s a argument I have heard DA’s use about clients I have worked with during my time in NC. To be clear, the man had an IQ in the low 60’s, this gives him a mental age of 8-10. According to court records, Mathis began smoking PCP and marijuana soaked in formaldehyde, known as “fry,” as early as age 12. There is no excuse for what Milton Mathis did. He was convicted of murder. But what purpose is served, what good is it to society, other than vengeance, when you kill a man with the mind of a 10 year old. He was killed by the state, with the sanction of the people. His mind was that of a child, could he have not been locked away for life, as punishment? Could he not have been allowed to live yet deprived of his freedom as a result of what he did? What difference would it have really made to the people and to the state? I thought that the Supreme Court had ruled that it was unconstitutional to do executions of people with MR.