Things Kids Are Doing and Saying Because of...Trump

It's beginning.

I come from the view that everything Trump said during his campaign was a "dog whistle" to supporters to come out of the woodwork and declare their bits of white supremacy and separatism.  

His racist and the support from white supremacist groups are documented and were just non-negotiable for me because it's just a stance that not only he, but ordinary people will feel comfortable in going to antagonize certain groups of people just because of their perceived identities. 

I've been followed conversations on my online community of choice (an NBA team's message board) to get some kind of pulse on feelings of the election.  It's not a representative sample by any means, but I feel like since I "know" the posters in some manner I can learn a lot more.  For the most part, it's not like the snarky world of Facebook, Reddit, or newspaper commenting --- there's a lot more chance for civility and thus, depth in any given discussion.

There were a bunch of these reasonable discussants discussing how "racism had nothing to do with the outcome of the election."

What one (respected) poster actually said was this:  

This election had a race based component, but that isn't what flipped it. As I have been saying, what flipped this election was a number of democratic strongholds that strongly went for Obama (meaning they aren't racist) switching to go for Trump. It was largely economic based.

Instead of having a discussion about the real why's and policy directions, we have this constant discussion about racism that had virtually nothing to do with the outcome of the election.
The guy didn't vote for Trump (Johnson) and is very sharp when discussing trade and economics.

However, I was still a bit unnerved by the last sentence because I don't think it's accurate at all.

I understand that quite a few Democratic Trump voters went to Trump based on what they thought he could do for the economy (or maybe because of the prospect of locking a person whom they were made to believe belonged in prison;  re:  Hilary for prison), but he'd made a lot of noise in his media coverage about banning Muslims, calling Mexican rapists, building walls to keep out said rapists.

For a lot of people like me, that noise was as I said, 'non-negotiable', but I guess for some people the vitriol towards Muslims and Mexicans was something they could tolerate compromise on, as long as it meant a different economic prosperity and/or an "end to corruption."

And now for some instant reaction, we go to America's classrooms. 

1.  Today, my wife told me about how one of her co-worker's sons, a third grader, a 9-year old Mexican-American kid, received a letter from a friend.  The friend, saddened, wrote, "I'm sorry you have to go back to Mexico."  The son was freaked out, and his mother had to reassure him that he belonged here.

2.  Middle-schoolers in Michigan chanting "build the wall."

3)  Shitload of shit:  Trump! being written on a prayer room door, Graffiti reading Whites Only, Car being stolen from a Muslim student, graffiti written that neither black lives nor black votes matter, Nazi graffiti found in the city of brotherly love, a black doll being hung, a man yanking off a hijab, deportation letters being passed out at a school

Another Election, Another Edition of Who The F Are These Other People Not Named Trump, Clinton, Johnson, Stein, Barakaaaa....

I do not advocate ignorance at all, but my real-time social environment keeps me away from researching more thoroughly. 

The social environment consisting of local television, radio, social media (Facebook, Twitter), billboards, chain-link fences, residential lawns, etc. 

There isn't much in my current day job that actually forces me to look at politics, local or national, so it isn't a focus at this point.  I'd been unconsciously even blocking the information that did come my way about local propositions and candidates.

As of now, about 8AM, election morning 2016, a day off for me, I have just finished researching candidates and propositions.  It was a 4-hour long process, extending from yesterday as I sifted through the 200+ pages elaborating on the various ballot measures.  And by 'sifted', I mean I skipped to the "Quick Reference Guide Sections", read pros vs. cons, and looked at who was supporting what.

Of course, the research yesterday was not about Trump vs. Clinton or Clinton vs. Trump (that I decided long ago), I am talking about the local stuff that does immediately impact me.

The guide-book mailed to me was fairly comprehensive with propositions;  I used the internet to cross-reference a few things, but overall, I think I was able to get a fair reading for who what to vote for/against.

However the guide-book does not give you information on your local district representatives, such as your Congressional representative, your State Senator, your member of State Assembly, and of course your Nonpartisan Offices.

For local representatives, were all on our own, and that's when I relied on the internet:  an exercise in cross referencing Ballotpedia, KPCC's interviews of judges, LA Times endorsements, metnews. 

KPCC's interviews give some insight into personality;  though brief, they gave me a sense of whom I could relate to.  I particularly caught on to Kim L. Nguyen's story, though her opponent, David A. Berger seems alright too. 

LA Times endorsements I imagine carry a lot of weight for voters, especially in low-information battles.  However, the reasoning on a few of their endorsements wasn't satisfying.  Why?  They do not supply much if any supporting evidence of the strength of their choices or even the weaknesses of their opponents.

Especially when it comes to the choice between Berger vs. Nguyen.

Nguyen received a "Well Qualified" rating from the LA Superior Court whereas her opponent received a "Not Qualified."

The LA Times immediately disqualified this rating when it came to this race because...he can express his opinions?

Here's what they wrote
As a deputy district attorney, and as a candidate for Los Angeles city attorney, Berger was never shy about expressing his opinion, including about his rivals.

He has a long and successful record as a prosecutor, and his free expression of opinion in that capacity do not make him less fit to serve impartially as a judge.

Deputy Attorney General Kim L. Nguyen is keenly intelligent and capable and would also make a good judge, but could benefit from another few years of experience before taking the bench.


They don't elaborate on his "long and successful record", they don't tell us why the ratings by the County Bar don't matter in this case, or why Nguyen needs "another few years of experience before taking the bench."

My cynical reading is that whoever wrote it just likes him better because he's older and deserves it, though the LA County Bar thought otherwise, for some mysterious reason.

Second example of less-than-satisfying reasoning, for Office 11, they wrote this about their endorsement of Steven Schreiner:

Deputy District Attorney Debra Archuleta brings a combative style that may serve her as a prosecutor but would not translate well to the bench. Deputy District Attorney Paul Kim may someday make a good judge.

Of the four candidates, Steven Schreiner — also a deputy district attorney — has the most experience. He also is the one with the calm demeanor that a judge must have, and that is somewhat ironic, given that the knock on him when he ran two years ago was that he supposedly lost his temper when making his argument to a jury that couldn’t reach a verdict. Given his record in his many other trials, it seems more likely that he didn’t lose his temper at all, but was just going for effect. It wasn’t a great tactic, but it was a departure for a candidate who would likely make a model judge.

They endorse someone based on his temperament against someone with a "combative style", but they then note that he's supposedly lost his temper.  They like him usually, but man can he melt down?  It's befuddling.

They don't really put any substantiating evidence for anything:  why he would be a 'model judge', what his 'record' is in his many other trials, why his opponent's combative style would make her suck.    

Another election, another cram session.  I just wonder if there's ever going to be a time in future elections when we'll have as much information about these local candidates as we do these national ones.

Stores I Can Only Find in "Certain" Areas of Town (Special Santa Barbara Edition)


I have been working in the Santa Barbara for a few weeks now.



On the night that I was (superstititiously) following the Cubs (in my car in the motel parking lot using Facetime with the wife who showed me our TV screen after deciding that watching the TV in the hotel room was bad luck after turning on the TV to see Aroldis Chapman give up the 2-run home run to Rajai Davis to make it 6-6)  welcome their first World Series victory, the first thing I did was converse with my motel neighbors who had seen and possibly heard me react to every little event.



Turns out that they were from LA too, the San Fernando Valley specifically.  They too were here for work.  They do/did floors.  They’d been in Santa Barbara for months, commuting home to LA every Friday.



After trading talks about me being Filipino, them being Mexican, being married to a Mexican, me being born in Chicago, one of them actually living in Chicago, me living in Compton, them living in San Fernando, they asked me about where they could find a few stores.



Like a…



Home Depot.



Lowe’s.



Food4Less.



99 Cents Store?



My work area having been more towards Goleta, I wasn’t sure where I could direct them (though on reflection there is an Orchard Supply Store on the Fairview exit in Goleta).  Stores that I also gravitate towards and have lived on.



Not being able to find these stores within Santa Barbara didn’t surprise me at all.  I joked that they would have to drive all the way to Oxnard to find those stores.  We all had this somewhat implicit awareness of class and race associations with various brands.



They had searched for these stores, turns out that there was a Home Depot on Calle Real, though about 6 miles South from the Motel we were staying at, around Exit 101 on the 101 Freeway.



Even Autozone is coded as something associated with being Brown and working class.  I don’t find them in Beverly Hills, but I sure as hell find them in Compton.



I needed coolant/antifreeze for my car whose engine thermometer was scarily reaching an unsafe level while I slowed to 40 on the freeway.  I don’t know a ton about cars, but I know that I just wanted the Autozone brand because it had been the only coolant that I used.



I asked the local Santa Barbaran whom I was training, just where I could find an Autozone.  He is a recent college grad who looks and talks like any other white guy, but apparently has some kind of Hispanic in him.  

He knew of an O'Reilly's (which I know is around in Compton), but for Autozone, I searched the phone and found something in Santa Barbara.  

He asked what area.  

I showed him my phone.

He said, "is that downtown?"

I said I don't know.

He took a closer look.  He said, "Oh yeahhh..."  He knew what part of town it was.

I took a closer look.  It said, "East Side."  

Guess I'd located the part of town to get the good stuff cheap.