Unfortunate Necessary Warning:
Today… was A DAY so this is pretty damned long.
What a world. Woke up this morning and had an interesting idea for a fun entry (will still post eventually), took a shower, cuddled with the puppy… not bad. Then a heaping helping of “You are out of your element, boy!”
Driving down the street to the Cop Shop; I am in the right side lane. At an intersection where my car is pointed south; a large pickup truck approaches from the west with his right turn signal on. So far so good. Better, even as turn signals are less than optional around here. Yet, this oversized pickup makes his right turn and almost plows right into me. At which point, my immediate thought was, “One of these guys.” Because in the area where I live… one’s masculinity and sense of belonging comes from owning a pickup truck. If you are a male under the age of 40; your pickup truck may be the most important status symbol you possess. A male over 50; the status symbol alters to be “how long have you kept your pickup truck running.” Thus one problem in using pickup trucks as Status Symbols is that how one wishes to peacock can vary. Some make sure their pickup truck is as shiny as can be. Others, the exact opposite. These two types are, obviously, opposed. One believes that the truck should be shiny as evidence of taking care of your possession; the other believes that the truck should be “muddieran hell” as evidence of proper truck use and weekend fun. Then you have those who view the truck from a more phallic perspective and always have to get the biggest. Whether that means wide or tall or long isn’t as important as making sure it is bigger in some way than the Shiny Boys or the Mud Boys. And thus, why I thought when this unnecessarily oversized pickup truck failed to even get close to making a proper legal right turn, “One of these guys.”
As I continued my drive to the Cop Shop, I reflected on my own vehicular needs, wants, and desires. I have no qualms and seek no apology for being comfortable in who I am. My vehicle needs and desires are simple. A reliable fuel efficient vehicle that can equally take me to and from work as well as take me to and from Des Moines, Independence, Omaha, St. Louis, Chicago, Kansas City, Louisville, Indianapolis, Rapid City, Denver, or wherever else I would wish to go. If I were to get a second vehicle for any reason; I would select a van or SUV or CRV… something that could be used to efficiently move many people or many objects should I have need. If I were to get a third vehicle for any reason; I would select the sporty expensive piece like an Audi or Aston Martin. Which feels like significant proof that I am an outlier in my community. My “peacock piece” would come only as a third option and even then… sporty, small, and foreign.
I arrived at the Cop Shop and made sure to put my face mask on. The farthest away from anyone you can be in that building is 3 feet (narrow hallways, small rooms) and I’m not going to pretend that the virus simply doesn’t exist. I mean, our county has 17,000 people and we are averaging 6 new cases per week… and accelerating (not slowing down). So… I mask up and enter the building. I wait in the “break room” with two other officers while the chief collects the evidence I am there to retrieve. Instantly the two officers shift topics… not to include me in the conversation, but to discuss the controversy I have brought into their work. Were it not obvious prior; their conversation proves them both to be passionate Trump Alt-Right Fox News cultists.
First topic: Masks. Masks are inappropriate, dangerous, and a signaling device for liberals to find out who they can manipulate. Nothing easier than seeing “This person wears a mask, so they’ll believe whatever we tell them to!” Though of course, it is about personal choice. If you want to wear one, wear one. Especially if you’re at particular risk. But Pelosi wanting masks to be mandated is absolute bullshit! I mean, we’d have to wear them for the rest of our lives and that’s unAmerican. Cuz, y’know, COVID isn’t going away. This is here to stay so people better go back to how they were living otherwise we never will!
THEN the floodgate opened. The hypocrisy of the Democrats! They pretend to care about COVID, meanwhile they’re celebrating the murder of millions of babies with this damned abortion supreme court bullshit… and they want to take away all of our guns and abolish the police. Fucking… sure, scary virus but fighting for murdered babies and vicious murderers. I’m not much for conspiracy theories but Rush Limbaugh’s been making a lot of sense lately tying how all of this comes together for those people.
At that point… I just couldn’t anymore. I can’t speak up. I can’t argue against this lack of nuance, total misunderstanding of everything, white privilege Alt Right bullshit. AND being in an area where I can’t fight for intelligence, logic, and actual facts… I had to excuse myself and weight for the evidence collection outside.
Significantly displeased with that encounter, I decided I was just going to get to the office… fart around for a few hours… go home and just exist. Because when surrounded by those who constantly opt for ignorance… perhaps it really is best that I should keep my own counsel. I arrive at work, power on my computer, and check my e-mail. Donald Trump was bringing attention to “Ken and Karen” as the internet has dubbed them. The obscenely wealthy white people in St. Louis who decided to post up outside of their homes with guns as BLM walked past their home peacefully. Because… do remember… according to Trump… the BLM individuals who were walking by in the middle of the daytime are the terrorists and the white wealthy homeowners brandishing lethal weapons are the patriots. THIS little e-mail tidbit was enhanced by the “adjoining story” about Laura Inghram. Apparently on her long-openly racist program; she declared that BLM terrorists will “take everything that matters to America” and that “they will bring more chaos” and are “being encouraged by Democrats in order to keep power” so that true patriots in this country… here’s the full quote there:
We have one chance to stop it. If you love your country, if you love Western civilization, if you want to save the rule of law, you must stand now! You must be willing to suit up for this battle,” she concluded. “In school board meetings, town council meetings, maybe even a parent/teacher conference and, of course, state and federal elections. It is time to do or die!”
SO… there you have it. The President wants to encourage MAGA to take up arms against their fellow American Citizens and FOX News is saying that it is time to suit up for war and be prepared to “do or die”. Do you know what that sounds like to me?!? THE PRESIDENT AND HIS PROPAGANDA ARE CALLING FOR CIVIL WAR. AND based, again, on race. This is disgusting. This is sickening. This is the kind of bullshit that should make every true American furious that a malignant narcissist tyrant-wannabe is calling for Americans to be violent while he hides in bunkers and golf clubs. But the more sickening thing? The more dreadful thing? The more painful thing? Not enough Americans are against this idea. Not enough Americans are even appalled at the idea. Too many agree. Too many are willing. Something… bad is happening in Oz.
Wanting to at least put some positive distraction in my life today… I went to visit a friend’s facebook page as he is typically good for humor and cosplay photos. But what I was first alerted to is that he had shared a picture I had posted. One describing how other countries will/have/are going to treat the United States much like we’d treated West African nations during the Ebola outbreak. Coolness. The one and only comment: “If ‘my body, my choice’ is wrong for COVID, why the hell is it acceptable for abortion?!” sigh. Fucking… of course, goes without saying, that this individual is a 35 Year Old White Straight Cis Male. In other words… the perfect person to dictate that Viral Epidemiology is the same as Pregnancy.
I… perhaps shouldn’t but… I’ve kept my tongue all day, dammit.
I responded: “Not to weigh in on a discussion I wasn’t invited to… but the best response I’ve seen yet to this is: My body, my choice doesn’t work for viral epidemiology because YOUR choice to not wear a face mask may not impact you at all; but could potentially spread the virus to thousands of other people and kill several. My body, my choice works for Pro-Choice because the WOMAN’s choice to get an abortion affects the WOMAN’s body… it doesn’t potentially spread virus-like to everyone she’s been in contact with for 12 days.”
To which the response: ” I personally disagree cauz if it’s one it should be both in my opinion. Agree to disagree. Have a good one”
RARGH. RARGH! RARGH! RARGH! EVEN IF YOU ARE PRO-LIFE, THIS ARGUMENT IS STUPID AS SHIT WTF?!
So FINE… fuck it. LUNCH. I’ll go nuke my fucking lunch and at least just… eat food. Eating food better not create some fucking controversial bullshit issue in my life! But… you know me. You know the likelihood of that, is apparently, nil.
As I am walking down the hall… all of the offices are empty. What?! When I got to work, everyone was in their office. The lunch siren hasn’t sounded. What’s going on? I get to the break room and see everyone staring out the window. Blargh. What’s going on?
Black Lives Matter Rally at the Courthouse. Our staff is laughing at how ridiculous (their word) the notion is. I… actually struggle with a response! You see, my knee jerk reaction is to agree. A BLM Rally in our county… our county is 97.14% white. 2.42% is Latinx. So… Asian, Arabic, Native American, East Indian, and Black all together make up 0.44% of the population. I just… from that perspective… this is a rally for less than 100 people county-wide. So from that perspective… it may seem silly. THAT BEING SAID I am quick to understand that this isn’t a OUR COUNTY Rally. This is a State Wide, Nation Wide Movement to try to shake up populations that think “status quo” is good enough for everybody. And the topics that BLM were discussing at the rally? (1) Abolish ICE; (2) End Police Brutality; (3) Legalize Marijuana for Racial Justice. Of course… my boss thought it was all ridiculous crap. HEAVY SIGH
(1) Abolish ICE… our jail is almost 80% ICE Detainees. This is the right place to have that discussion. ICE and our current Immigration Laws are a fucking mess and need to be addressed. And (honestly, no offense intended) an attorney that has never worked in Immigration Law is tragically unqualified to judge that statement. If you’ve never gone through it in any way… you don’t know how immensely fucked it is. It NEEDS to be reviewed and fixed. So yes… “ABOLISH ICE” is another semantic debate where the hashtag/protest sign is an extreme statement thereby allowing both sides to ignore any and all practical nuances… but as a protest point, it is valid.
(2) End Police Brutality. While we don’t experience much of that here; the idea that ANYONE let alone people in Government, stand against this issue is mindbogglingly bullshit! IF ANYONE DIES IN POLICE CUSTODY; THAT IS A PROBLEM should not receive a shrug or an argument!! Are there people abusing this? YES, truthfully. We’re investigating an issue right now. Officer, in uniform and in his personal marked car, leaves his home to drive to work; decides to stop at Casey’s to grab a beverage. As he gets out of his vehicle, he sees a black man filming him and screaming at him. Officer ignores him until the black man blocks his way to Casey’s. THE EVENT DOES NOT END IN VIOLENCE AND DOES NOT END IN AN ARREST. The Black Man shares the video and claims racism. The black man claims that the officer followed him unlawfully, followed him into the Casey’s parking lot, and never flashed lights. This was racial profiling where the officer was following a black man looking for a reason to arrest him. That’s the claim. Any claim of racism against an officer is (by our long standing policy) investigated by a separate law enforcement unit (sheriff for us) and the County Attorney’s Office. YES, the black man has no case. Yes, he is either being hyper vigilant (understandable) or trying to be Internet Famous (also likely). SO… things like that… I get why people are upset at BLM’s “End Police Brutality” if it is going to create situations like this. BUT honestly wanting to end police practices that result in the deaths of civilians SHOULD BE A GOAL FOR ALL LAW ENFORCEMENT!
(3) Marijuana as a matter of racial justice. Duh-doy! If you read me in Law School, this is already a topic I’ve discussed. My belief: Eric Holder massively fucked up by not invoking Federal Supremacy on Marijuana Laws. Due to the commerce clause, Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution; Congress has the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, and among the several states, and with the Indian.” A brief primer:
“Dormant” Commerce Clause
The “Dormant Commerce Clause” refers to the prohibition, implicit in the Commerce Clause, against states passing legislation that discriminates against or excessively burdens interstate commerce. Of particular importance here, is the prevention of protectionist state policies that favor state citizens or businesses at the expense of non-citizens conducting business within that state. In West Lynn Creamery Inc. v. Healy, 512 U.S. 186 (1994), the Supreme Court struck down a Massachusetts state tax on milk products, as the tax impeded interstate commercial activity by discriminating against non-Massachusetts
The Meaning Of “Commerce”
The meaning of the word “commerce” is a source of controversy, as the Constitution does not explicitly define the word. Some argue that it refers simply to trade or exchange, while others claim that the Framers of the Constitution intended to describe more broadly commercial and social intercourse between citizens of different states. Thus, the interpretation of “commerce” affects the appropriate dividing line between federal and state power. Moreover, what constitutes “interstate” commercial activity has also been subject to consistent debate.
In Gibbons v. Ogden, 22 U.S. 1 (1824), the Supreme Court held that intrastate activity could be regulated under the Commerce Clause, provided that the activity is part of a larger interstate commercial scheme. In Swift and Company v. United States, 196 U.S. 375 (1905), the Supreme Court held that Congress had the authority to regulate local commerce, as long as that activity could become part of a continuous “current” of commerce that involved the interstate movement of goods and services.
From about 1905 until about 1937, the Supreme Court used a narrow version of the Commerce Clause. However, beginning with NLRB v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corp, 301 U.S. 1 (1937), the Court recognized broader grounds upon which the Commerce Clause could be used to regulate state activity. Most importantly, the Supreme Court held that activity was commerce if it had a “substantial economic effect” on interstate commerce or if the “cumulative effect” of one act could have an effect on such commerce. Decisions such as NLRB v. Jones, United States v. Darby, 312 U.S. 100 (1941) and Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942) demonstrated the Court’s willingness to give an enequivocally broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause. Recognizing the development of a dynamic and integrated national economy, the Court employed a broad interpretation of the Commerce Clause, reasoning the even local activity will likely affect the larger interstate commercial economic scheme.
But my argument has always been that through NLRB, Darby, and Filburn Congress retains sole jurisdiction over marijuana via the Commerce Clause. This is because (AS HAPPENED CONSTANTLY IN LAW SCHOOL)… when Colorado has legal weed… people travel there to buy it, then take it with them elsewhere. So Iowa and Nebraska become Weed Corridors for people trying to get to Colorado to buy weed. Thus, interstate commerce!
SO… I’m not a big fan of Eric Holder doing nothing to begin with. THAT BEING SAID, I still argued that the history of marijuana is fundamentally racist. It was primarily outlawed for economic protection reasons (government favoring Big Paper) and racist reasons (to quote one FBI report, “We could not make Jazz music illegal any more than we could make the Black man illegal; but the propensity for the Black Jazz musician to smoke marihuana (ref. reefer) provided an opportunity.” Fast forward about 75 years and marijuana is no longer the sole property of Black Musicians or subversive hippies… it has entered the mainstream to become a drug popular among White People even among the Upper Class. THAT is when it became okay to legalize. Furthermore, drug charges prior to the disaster that is Meth, almost always carried heavier sentences for black defendants than for white defendants. SO.... also a valid point.
Except, and this may not surprise any, my boss is PASSIONATELY opposed to legalizing Marijuana because he is convinced that it will lead to the destructive and immoral path of legalizing all narcotics. He isn’t interested in the idea of making marijuana legal ever because it is the surest sign that they will then legalize heroin and cocaine and then continue on from there! And then I mentioned that… at the very least, the Nation needs to come together one way or another on the issue as this is clearly a Commerce Clause issue. ::face slap:: That was stupid of me. My boss took that comment to open the door to the reason HE believes the Commerce Clause should never have gone beyond Dormant Commerce Clause. Which… I suppose as a dry legal argument isn’t as upsetting but… in practice? The expansions of the Commerce Clause ARE THE VERY CASES PREVENTING RACIAL DISCRIMINATION BY PRIVATE ENTITIES. Without the expansion of the Commerce Clause; you could still see signs today that proudly said “Whites Only.”
SOoooooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO… that was my day up to 2:00 p.m. Central/Standard Time. I have 2.5 more hours at work; then walking the dog, doing dishes, doing laundry… probably some video games tonight. Honestly… it’s… the world burns, hate wins, and MAGA gains momentum.