Of Course God Is Not Dead — Neither Is Goodness and Democracy

I was just talking to a lady on the sale pages on Facebook, and she commented that she was having a really hard time right now and she just kept hoping that her family would see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I commented and told her that I always remind myself that Tyler Perry was down to living in his car before anybody was willing to take a chance on his writing.  And that it always helps to keep in mind the old adage that
the way in which you view the world is the way in which you will meet it.  And that it’s just been my experience that if you constantly expect the world to be understanding and generous and good, they usually are.

No, that doesn’t mean that people can’t be assholes, and that selfish people who are miserable won’t attempt to use you or abuse you to get a rise for themselves because they are personally powerless and they know it — because they’re everywhere, and in abundance.  But it means that when you put out good energy, you generally get it back.

I remember a lady posted one day on the local concerned citizen page that she had lost a wallet at Kroger and she was so surprised that somebody turned it in. There were like 50 comments of people that followed saying how shocking that was. My response was something along the lines.of acknowledging that I know I’m an eternal optimist who can find the rainbow of sunshine in the middle of a tsunami shitstorm and who can eternally spot the unseen blessing  in anything — for example, I always feel like I’m one doctor visit away from a colon cancer diagnosis, and then I think, well maybe I would be qualify for Make-A-Wish Foundation and I might actually get to see a Broadway production before I die (although it won’t be Hamilton)  — but as that eternal optimist, it didn’t surprise me that people found a wallet in Dickson County, Tennessee, and turned it in.  Because that’s exactly what I would do!

The title of that movie “God Isn’t Dead” always bugged me, because my immediate response was,  “Whoever said that he was!?”

God is alive and present every day. But so is goodness.

A conversation I had with a friend once (who I missed dearly) always bounces around my brain in a moment like this. We had found some money on the ground and I immediately went on a mission to find out who the $10 belonged to. I told her that that was my granddaddy and my Uncle Chunky’s doings. My grandfather was so honest that he accidentally left the gas station with a candy bar one day that he hadn’t paid for a while getting gas, and he wouldn’t even eat it until he went back the next day and set it right. And that my Uncle would say that God was watching to see what I did with that $10.

Well, my dear friend Ms Sherry was raised by her aunt and uncle, and although she was old enough to be my mother and then some, we had so much in common, which meant her Aunt and Uncle were depression-era just like my great aunt and uncle. So they had a way of teaching life lessons that would stand the test of time. She told me a story about finding $20 when with her uncle, who she called her dad, and she queried her dad “what if God is just checking to see if we do the right thing,” and he responded: “Maybe, and what if it’s God’s way of buying our lunch?” 

We laughed for days at that, but I also told her — “And that’s why when I lose my purse, somebody turns it in, and  why when you lose yours, they use your credit card, because it’s “God’s way” of sending them some quick cash.”

We had such fun with that — God rest her soul, I think about her everyday — but it’s a lesson that sticks with you. One that goes back to what I truly believe. Of course bad things happen and honest people get taken for a ride, but I truly believe that if you expect goodness and honesty, and you put out goodness and honesty, it’s what you will find.

It’s why I could never understand the mentality of a man like Donald Trump.

I want to win the lottery just to give it all away. I keep lowering the prices on every piece I paint because I don’t feel right charging somebody for more time than it took me to make it. (And, also, I know how cheap I am. So, in turn, I expect a fair price for them.)  Because while I do believe that people are still good, I’m not sure that I believe that all business is good. The corporate greed that is taking over America is one of our downfall.  A nation that built our greatness and our success on hard work and labor unions, we’ve attempted to kill them for the sale of money in the pockets of rich men while teaching and persuading the working man that  it’s for “his best interest” — and we’ve used moral issues, like Jesus Christ, abortion, and guns to do so. So as to distract him from noticing that he’s getting stiffed. 

It’s sad. It’s sickening. It’s wrong.

Which is why it was hard for me not to tell tell that sweet lady to remember to vote on November 8th — and to remember to vote democratically. Because if we ensure four more years of the democratic platform, your family might actually begin to see the benefits of an economic turnaround spearheaded by the Democratic Party, and one that benefits the middle class.  But I try not to be political in every area of my life, but it’s hard — because I can’t separate who I  am from myself.  And I am someone who wholeheartedly believes in the government of the United States’ responsibility, and the obligation of those of us who’ve been given the right to live in the greatest nation on Earth to remember the government’s ability to better the lives of people. It’s not “everybody for themselves” as the allegedly ‘Christian’ party has been brainwashing us to believe. And it’s also a little bit troubling.

No man is an island. And while nobody gets sick by themselves, nobody gets well alone either. And if one baby in this nation goes to bed without milk in her stomach, it doesn’t matter to me if they suffer because their mama was lazy and could actually get a job, or if they suffer because their family couldn’t afford it, all that matters to me, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, is that a baby went to bed hungry.

And that’s all I need to know.

The national deficit isn’t increased because of food stamps. It’s increased because of billionaires like Donald Trump who don’t pay taxes. They took a third of everything my uncle worked his entire life for before they let me see a cent.  And do you think for one second I tried to find a way to get out of that?! No, I tried to see if I could roll it into an IRA, but my Uncle Chunky believed that that was the responsibility that came with living in such a blessed Nation.  (Now, I take mad issue with Dickson County’s mismanagement of property taxes and the way they are sticking it to us for a lawsuit they’re playing a game of semantics and lying about it — and the day they get honest about that is day I might care about paying my property taxes on time), but as a nation, my uncle believed in the Bible when it said “Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.”

And so we did.

That’s the difference in the Democratic Party —  and in one where we use our power for good to actually change lives.

Is government the solution to every problem?  No, but if it’s not the beginning — who the hell is? If government isn’t here to better our country for everybody, to ensure stability and goodness and growth — what the hell is it here for? For men like Donald Trump to make insane amounts of money by evading federal taxes while that woman at McDonald’s works 50 hours a week and still can’t pay the rent — while paying our troops and our officers and our schools every cent that she owes?

Much like my beloved  Uncle, Joe Biden’s father always said it best: “Joey, this is the price we pay for living in the greatest nation on Earth.”

If you believe in goodness and kindness and opportunity, please remember November 8th.

And if you believe our better days are in front of us instead of behind us, please remember to vote blue consistently.


Proud to be a ‘Nasty Woman’. And I’m not alone.

I’ve got a few minutes before I have to make my macaroni and cheese, get ready and paint signs, and watch Jason Heyward star in a World Series. (Scatch that, he’s benched. Whaaat!?) So let me take a minute to talk about politics, because I’ve been abandoning my Twitter followers and my bloggers because all I do anymore is paint, sell stuff online. Paint, sell stuff online. So here goes.

I don’t go to Walmart. I’ve made it up to six months before I stepped foot in a  Walmart.  But I needed cheap spray paint and there’s no longer a Kmart or a craft section at Big Lots and
Lowe’s spray paint — and paint in general — sucks, so I had no choice.

I ran in early Sunday morning through the garden section, and the very first thing I saw was a man wearing a “Hillary for prison” shirt. I went last night at 1:30 in the morning and the only other customer in there was wearing a “Trump 2016” one. Which was strange because when I got out of the car, I thought of another reason why I hate Donald Trump. Like many children from a small town, we were not raised to lock stuff. I mean, I don’t know many kids who used a house key after school. Most of us just left the doors unlocked. But as a product of the 90s, I  always locked my car door. I still lock my car door at Walmart at 1:30 in the morning even though there’s nothing in it worth stealing and it’s got a hundred eighty-six thousand miles and peeling paint on the hood. But I still lock my car door — even though I washed my keyless when I forgot it was in my pants.  So when I come out and I have to fiddle for my keys,  which I haven’t done since 1995 because I’ve always had keyless entry, I still lock my door. Because we were told that if a man wants to assault you, the first thing he’ll do is climb in your back seat and wait for you. We were told to always keep our dome  light on so we can see anyone if they were hiding in the back seat. We were taught to always have our keys ready and how to use them as a weapon if we were attacked on the way to our car.  Yet, I don’t remember anyone teaching boys how not to assault girls. 

Oh, that’s common sense, you say.

You would think.

But obviously not.

Oh, we teach people though shalt not kill yet people still murder, you say.

Well, yes, but murder usually happens for a reason. That’s why the first thing they look for is motive and who stood to profit from the death. What’s the motive behind sexual assault, what is there to profit from attacking a woman?

Power.  It makes the man feel powerful. And we can’t say that this isn’t specific by gender, dominated by gender, and aimed at gender because you don’t see larger men assaulting smaller man on the regular for the thrill of a dominance. You don’t see larger women violating smaller women to be powerful. But men, throughout history,  assault women for the thrill, the dominance, the adrenaline that they feel from doing so. It is a cultural thing.  Men feel entitled to take what they want from a woman.

There’s not a woman out there who hasn’t encountered  a man who thought “no” meant try harder.

And there’s no better example of that than the words we heard from Donald Trump. All his privilege, billions of dollars,  beautiful wives,  bragging about being able to grab women by the private parts and get away with it because he was.  So when I saw that guy wearing a Trump 2016 shirt last night it took all I could not to go over to him and explain why I had to lock my door and why men like Donald Trump are the reason for it.

Now,  that’s said: I’m both thrilled and amazed at the number of Hillary Clinton signs and Hillary Clinton stickers that I’ve been seeing in Dickson County. Now any day of the week I can go to Davidson County and see Obama stickers.  That’s because, like Austin, Texas,  Nashville is the blue dot of sanity in a deeply Red State. As are all of our metropolitan areas and areas where colleges and universities reside. But in a place like this, it’s rare. But there are Hillary Clinton signs all over Dickson and not a day goes by that when I’m getting my coffee I don’t get behind another car with a Hillary Clinton sticker. Here in rural red dot County!  And it only reaffirmed what the national media and political pundits have been saying all along, women — even Republican women — have had it with men like Donald Trump.

So listen up, Captain Tangerine.  I’m proud to be a “nasty woman.”  And there are a whole lot more  out there just like me. And they are coming over from your side of the house.  You know what they say, boys: “Bitches get shit done!”

And if Hillary Clinton is nasty, I’m freaking filthy.

The Mango Mussolini is about to find that out November 8th.

Cultural Assimilation Is Real, Y’all.

I was in town with my windows down because my air is out and
it won’t stop being 90 degrees.  And I hear this thumping and bumping of, very distinctly, hip-hop music. I look over and it’s a Hickman County white girl driving an older white Chevy truck with George W Bush stickers all over it. Now, I’m the biggest liberal feminist you’ll likely find in these parts and I don’t listen to anything to Dolly Parton and Miranda Lambert. I find the language that is used towards women in hip hop music insulting. It’s the same reason I’m aggravated with the.Bro country — the degradation of women and their portrayal as lesser beings. Until we get to the day where men are not disappointed by the possibility of having daughters, we still have  ways to go. And these female come lately conservatives that further the fabrication that you can’t be a “feminist” and feminine, can thank women like me later when we get to that time. There may be some genres of music where you talk to women like that,  but in mine, we feed you black eyed peas and go for a ride.

This is all further proof of the truth behind cultural assimilation. White boys running around wearing the jersey of black men with Trump stickers on their car or the girl whose daddy tells her she can’t be anything other than Republican, pulls up red light, windows jumping to Drake.
Why is it okay for you to appreciate black culture, but not black lives?

Why is it okay for you to respect the athletic contributions of peole of color but then bend your brain beyond what any reasonable person would searching for a reason why a black man had to get shot?  Saying things like, “Well, he shouldn’t have ran though…” like your white ass did didn’t run from the lawevery time the blue lights showed up at a country keg party. 

I know, I was there. Remember?

Running around with a Confederate flag flying off your truck and a Roll Tide! sticker like the tide isn’t rolling on the backs of black man while you’re simultaneously supporting the cause of those who went to war to keep owning people of color is still — regardless of how often I see it —  nauseating.

I will never get used to this ridiculousness, white people.

And in his defense, George W Bush and.the Bush family doesn’t have a racist cell in their genetic makeup. They are upstanding, honorable, good-hearted people who I just happen to disagree with.

Stop stealing black people’s contributions, Trump voters, if you’re going to continue to see black lives as so gosh damn disposable.

Lack of Election Elation, America?

For the majority of my life, I have looked forward to elections. The second one is over,  I start counting minutes to the next. They are the Super Bowl of politics, only you have to wait for them like the Olympics. I spend four years pining, waiting, obsessing over one of my very favorite things about the United States — that peaceful exchange of power.

But I’m just ready for this election to be over.  It has made me older sadder,  dumber.  We went in the gutter and we took the national conversation with us.  We’ve watched lie after lie with 50% of the nation not even noticing or seeming to care.  We’ve watched a man who believes that one person alone should be able to change our entire government like he doesn’t understand the branches or veto power.  Believing that
one senator from New York can change our entire government and totally remake America even if she’s not in consensus with the rest of the Senate and the house. Elections are for people like me who always dreamed of making a difference with their life. I know no matter what’s wrong in life, no matter how down, or how baffled I am that grown adults screen shot posts and act like children, no matter how unsure of everything I am or how much I feel like I’ve wasted my talent and my life, election night is America’s chance to shine. For one brief moment, we are connected to all the generations that have gone before. And candidacies are like underdogs in sporting events in that when a Barack Obama comes out of nowhere and pulls off an upset, we have hope that we can too. Dreamers like me view politics as an outlet for those dreams and elections give us the opportunity to witness change that we can’t effect on our own. We are stronger together; we have more power together;  our voices together are louder than they ever will be alone.

But this election has been a disappointment, to put it in the most severe form of understatement.

When the world looks to us to elevate conversation and to dominate global altruism, we just allowed the rest of the world to peer in on a shit storm. Some people dream of growing up and having children, getting married, bulding roots, I always dreamed of making a difference. I wanted to be the lawyer that saves the day, the politician that got it done, the civil servant who worked hard to earn her constituents trust, the writer who puts down words on paper that change the way somebody viewed life. I never wanted to be liked, I never needed to be liked, what I needed was to feel that I did something with all that I’ve been given, with my talent, with my voice, with my self-expression. And an election is when people like me get to see that reflected. And we get to hope for more — for change, for goodness, for making a difference that matters. Campaigns are the build up to the slow evolution that changes lives. This campaign hasn’t been about hope, it’s been about hate.

And I’m ready for it to be over.

These United States

This morning I was setting in the car at Dunkin Donuts, drinking my coffee, and thinking about how I need to be at home finishing my projects to sell before winter comes and it’s time to turn the gas on. But I needed to write for a minute. Because of the feeling I had when  I looked around at this blessed life we call America.

Everytime I see or have an interaction with somebody who has Down Syndrome, I just feel this calling on my heart to adopt a child that’s been given away because someone either couldn’t care for them or didn’t want to care for them because they were born with Downs. I mean, there is no joy in life quite like what can be experienced through having any interaction with someone with Down Syndrome. The joy in their hearts and spirit is just almost indescribable. And I set there with tears in my eyes watching this champion of life come out with his mom and his car keys, and I always go back to Donald Trump mocking the New York Times reporter on that stage. And it fills me with anger. Because bullies always pick on the weakest person. What Donald Trump failed to realize is how much stronger those with disabilities are than he will ever be.

That conversation last night was so infuriating, I seriously almost threw my cup of coffee at this lady.
To watch someone who claims to have a family member who is disabled defend the actions of Donald Trump — it’s just sickening.  Because there’s no excuse other than it’s rooted in race. If you sit there and say you have a sister who is physically disabled and then you make excuses for a presidential candidate that mocks people like your sister — simply because Donald Trump was outwitted by a man who walked a little different than he  did — there’s no other description for that, no other excuse for that, other than you are a racist white girl who likes what Trump has to say about Mexicans and black people so much that you’re willing to overlook his very clear and deliberate mimicking of someone with a handicap. You don’t have to like Hillary Clinton, but to go so far as to casually dismiss Donald Trump’s actions is unthinkable.

As I’m sitting there a little man walking in the coffee shop hollers at me, and he looks like my Pop except he’s carrying a book like my Uncle Chunky. And I recognize him.  He comes there everyday to drink coffee and read.  He hollered at me and said, “I like that Hillary sticker on the back of your car.  Did you see mine?”

And I just felt my heart smile.

“Yes, sir!” I called. “I saw your Hillary and your Obama one too. You’re my kind of people!”

The fact that he drives a Ford doesn’t hurt.

My heart was simply overjoyed. Seeing that young man with Down Syndrome with his mom, driving. Knowing it took every bit of nurturing that she gave him and every bit of belief and faith that she had in him when some people would have said you can’t, you never will.  And then seeing my Democratic buddy. I was happy, but sad. I just don’t know happened to our country. What happened to politics in this country. Why the division and  the rhetoric that you hear coming out of the anger in this most divisive of American elections is so fear-laden. When it couldn’t be further from the truth. We are in a better position than any other nation on Earth right now. The idea that we’re about to fold, or that nobody is afraid of or in awe of our military or country is just a scare tactic.

As I watched that young man get in his little Ford Ranger with his Mom and put it in drive, I looked through the window at my elderly friend drinking his coffee and reading a little bit of his political book, and I saw generations of Americans.  Young, old.  Black, white. Rich, poor.  Disabled or “normal”  — whatever the hell that is. And that’s the America I know. That’s the America I believe in.  The America public servants like Hillary Clinton dedicate their life to believing in. I can’t imagine, cannot fathom, the idea of getting behind the political prescription alleging to cure the diagnosis of America being a rapidly sinking shithole.

Do we have problems? Of course. Are we a dumpster fire where you’ll get raped by Mexicans, black people have no jobs or education and can’t walk down the street without getting shot —  because, you know, like there aren’t black people who live in the country and farm — and where we are vastly spinning into an oblivion of nothingness and despair and the only man that can save us is the great Donald J Trump alone?

Give me a break! 

The America Tump talks about is not the country I know.  Because the spirit of the American people is there everyday and it is tireless, even in the midst of the most divisive and ugly presidential campaign in American history. 

I see you, America.  I see your spirit.  I see your heart.  I see men like my granddaddy who worked at a Ford plant for decades so his granddaughter could fear S-words on the land he plowed, turn her nose up at the creek, lecture him about the cholesterol and dangers of eating the red meat of the cattle he sold and then gave us the cash, and sit back and read books.

The factory workers in Michigan, the coal miners in West Virginia, the bean farmers in Iowa, and the investment bankers in Charlotte. Everybody across America contributes to the fabric of who we are and it doesn’t stop with being white. I like cornbread and Yankee goulash as much as I like fried catfish and Mexican food. It’s the diversity of America that makes us so special. And it’s the goodness of who we are that makes us a superpower. If we lose that, what have we got?

Trump’s “America First” slogan was specifically derived from the same slogan used in World War II by the Americans who didn’t believe we should interfere with the Holocaust. Their descendants are likely the same ones who don’t believe that we should help Syrian refugees now. If America loses her way, if America loses her soul, if America loses her backbone,  if America loses her dignity, we won’t just be NOT great, we will be lost. Hopelessly.

Hopelessly. And that’s something America has never been. From the time Alexander Hamilton argued with John Adams, we have always known who and what we are and it’s very clear in those documents that our founding fathers sat down for us to govern and guide this great nation.

Some of us long for a time where politics resembled Tip O’Neill and Ronald Reagan. And a time when friendships were formed by men like the irreplaceable HW Bush and the man who defeated him,  Bill Clinton. Poppy Bush oozes goodness into everything he touches. It is possible to get back there again. To a time when we have more hugs between people like Michelle Obama and George W Bush. A time when you didn’t have to hate somebody just to disagree with them. But it starts with telling somebody like Donald Trump that his voice — his meanness, his cowardice, his gutter gab  — does not represent the majority of us.

And it never will. Not in these United States.

Mental Manipulation By Men Like Donald Trump

I’ve been doing a lot of writing recently. And it’s all been angrily profound and painfully insightful.

One of my favorite things that Doctor Phil says is that if it’s real to you,  it’s real.  I learned in a Twelve Step setting awhile back that you don’t get to determine someone else’s truth for them. Their reality; their perception; their story is theirs and theirs alone, and yours is yours. In one of my absolute favorite movies ‘Because of Winn-Dixie’ Gloria Dump says, “You just gotta let the child feel the way she feel.”  That instantly made her one of my favorite characters because that wasn’t something that I was familiar with. When we were growing up, parents told us they were going to give us something to cry about and that we better suck it up — and there’s times that sentiment is appropriate. But for those of us raised around depression-era grandparents and aunts and uncles,  there’s a mentality that kids don’t express emotion if it’s anything but happiness. Particularly in the church. While my uncle Chunky was certainly not like that, I still remember being told at my Aunt Polly’s funeral, “Don’t you cry when you go in there, now. He needs you to be strong. So don’t you cry. ”  My grandmother said it and I believed it. Like many in her  “Mama’s Broken Heart”  generation, she set down the pattern for a family where emotion wasn’t exactly on display. And that’s true to those raised in that time period. That’s what they were taught.

So I was almost 30 before I could cry without alcohol.

If you’ve ever studied Criminal Justice, you know that two people can witness the same event and come away with a completely different take and recollection. It’s the same thing with life. Two people can live through a similar experience and and internalize it in very different ways. What happens to one is not what happens to another.  And no one gets to tell someone else that their perception — their internalization of something that happened to them — is wrong or invalid.  Yours is yours and theirs is theirs.

I belive that’s another reason why I hate Donald Trump so much. Not only is Donald Trump a gaslighter and an emotional abuser of women and anybody who disagrees with him, but his recounting of factual events is as flawed as they come. He blatantly lies when corrected, and then attempts to mentally manipulate anybody who points out corrections. That’s abuse!  He’s gaslighting our country and though so many have written articles about this, there is still a section of America glad to be his victim. Correct the Donald on something we all know is inaccurate — you’re crazy,  you’re stupid, you’re fat, you’re ugly,  you’re wrong. When we all know our reality. Plus YouTube makes our reality undisputed truth with a simple click.

I think it’s sweet that every boy I went to school with driving by sees a toddler pumping gas and then says, “Oh, that’s not a toddler! That’s Candi!” And then honks and waves.

But if you’re voting for Donald Trump, country boys, there’s no need to wave at me because we’re not friends anymore.  It’s just that simple. Donald Trump is abusive to America.  He calls us ridiculous, insults our military and labels them weak and ineffective; verbally assaults our elected leaders; calls our people stupid; says our citizens of color don’t have jobs or education; and that our country is a shithole.  And when he gets called  on it — Bam!  Mental manipulation begins.  When we collectively know something  very realistically happened, he goes on the attack to tell you that everybody knows how crazy you are. That’s why one of Donald Trump’s favorite phrases is “you can ask anybody.”  Because he’s always attempting to convince everybody that HE is the only one that holds the truth and the answers; that he is always right, and when he’s not, he loudly begins to tell you that everybody else agrees with him even — even when they don’t — to get you to question your own sanity, perception, and reality.

So if you support a man that mimics people with physical disabilities, you don’t get to wave at me anymore. If you support a man that claims that he is allowed to grab women by the genitalia and he gets away with it because when you’re a star, you don’t even have to ask, you can just do it — then you don’t get the wave at me. Because you’re part of the rape culture that very presently still exists in American society.

One in four women are sexually assaulted on college campuses. 1 in 4. Like most women who have ever lived on or around campus, I know more about that than I ever care to talk about. Women have to go out in groups. They have to watch out for the young freshman that has never drank a drop in her life and the guy that is intentionally trying to give her so much that she doesn’t know what she’s doing so that he, and maybe others, can have his way with her. Hooking up with someone consensually and not remembering it is one thing. This is something else. And there are women that wake up from a blackout wondering how they got so drunk when their full bottle of wine is right there in their fridge. Women who begin having nightmares, flashbacks that explain the bruises and the sore bones that she can’t remember — and it’s men like Donald Trump that teach them to question their sanity when everything in them knows something not right happened the night before.  We teach women to look out for each other instead of teaching men — as a society — to do the same.  Women have to always have the one that is sober and has lookout duty. To not set our drinks down. To this day, I won’t even walk off and leave a Coke to use the bathroom at Dairy Queen for fear that someone will put something in it. Because experience has taught me that that’s reality. And it’s always the girl that grew up around a bunch of guys that look out for her, that learn the lesson the hardest way.

Donald Trump represents the worst qualities in men. He represents a culture that women like me have spent a lifetime suffering from or fighting back against. So I appreciate the beep beep and wave, but if you have a Trump sticker on your car, there’s nothing to say — because we’re done here. Donald Trump’s insults are personal to me in so many ways.

Any attempt to dismiss his penchant for bragging about sexual assault (he bragged about it on another tape, by the way,  where he boasted about going behind the stage at the “Miss Whatever” Pageant where the women are naked and that he gets away with it because of who he is) as locker room banter is disgusting. There are Tim Tebows in locker rooms. There are Matt Hollidays and Russell Wilsons.There are husband and fathers in locker rooms.  And men who talk about how to defend against Tom Brady and what their kids are up to this week. There are men in locker rooms who talk about whose going to kick whose butt on the grill.  Are there crude comments in a locker room? Of course. Do they  say the p-word in locker rooms?  Of course. But it’s usually about how they are trying to find some of it, not how they can grab a woman in hers without permission and nobody does anything.

That’s sexual assault. And it’s particularly offensive with today’s popular undercurrent of belief that athletes are the only men who assault women when there are fraternity brothers doing it every damn day. Rape is about power. Rape is about dominance. Rape is about violating a woman and making her feel defenseless. And rape is about control.  Are there athletes that assault women? Of course. No doubt.  But for the most part, an athlete gets his dominance, his high, his power, his kicks on the field. The profile of a man who assaults women doesn’t go with the personality of most modern day athletes — they are a portrait of self-control and restraint. They have to be to succeed at that level. So the idea that all athletes talk about assaulting women should be offensive and ludicrous to anybody who dabbled in criminology.  So adding fuel to that already blazing fire that athletes are the main perpetrators of sexual assault is disgusting on many levels.

And it’s one more example of when Donald Trump gets called on his bad behavior,  he begins to mind manipulate everybody who won’t stand for it.

You don’t get to take my truth, my reality, my experience from me, Donald Trump. Neither do your supporters. I’ve had attempts by men a lot more skilled than you and they haven’t succeeded yet.  And thankfully so has America. We know what to do with an abuser.

You’ll find that out November 8.

Make America Great Again — Stop Charging For Ice Water!

Dunkin Donuts charges $0.50 for a cup of ice water. That bugs the tar out of me. Since the day you’ve opened, me and about ten elderly couples come there everyday. Every day. For years. The same handful. And you charge $0.50 for a cup of ice water with my coffee when I ask for it? The employees that know me don’t charge for it, but the others do telling me it’s protocol. Still, I’ve been drinking a cup of ice water since I was in Jr High and people thought I was weird for not getting Coke. Now…is Burger King here in town the only place that gives you a cup of water with your meal? Without profiting off of it? That’s because, like Sonic, it’s a privately owned franchise. Burger King gives you a small cup of ice water for free and at Sonic, it’s like,  $0.22 and you get an extra large Styrofoam cup with the good ice for days. Because they just charge you for the cup!

Since I blame everything on Donald Trump, I will this! You want to “make America great again” let’s get rid of what’s wrong with it.  This:  America is all about profits over people. What happened to Mom and Pops?  What happened to taking care of your customers? What happened to the Kent Allsup behind every counter?  What happened to giving somebody a cup of water with their coffee when they get coffee from you every day for near 10 years?! I’ll tell you what happened — multi-millionaires and corporations. Where you refuse to pay your employees more than $7 an hour while your CEOs take-home multimillion-dollar incentives and bonus packages. On top of that lucrative salary.

Greed — that’s what’s wrong with America. You want to “Make America Great Again!” you could start by eliminating some of that. And I can’t think of anybody that embodies it more than a man like Donald Trump. How are you going to fix our nation, Donald Trump, when you’re a picture portrait of what’s wrong with it?

If we want to restore America to its “glory days,” you could start by rolling us back to a time when people were more important than money and gluttonous profit.