Donald Trump and the new GOP are still continuing to show just how short-sighted they are with their policies and proposals.  This time we’re talking about trade!  Donald Trump is imposing tariff’s on imports of aluminum (10%) and steel (25%), thinking that it will lower costs and create jobs here in the United States.  This is just brilliant, at least if you’re a Trump supporter who believes everything Fox News and the Donald tell you.

On the surface, what isn’t there to celebrate?  This will encourage companies within the U.S. to “buy American” and help create jobs in the steel and aluminum production sectors!  YAY!  What could possibly go wrong?

According to Donald Trump, this is in retaliation for China flooding the market with cheap steel.  Yes, let’s blame the Chinese for our steel and aluminum import problems.  We all know the top place we import steel is… wait a second… Canada?  Well, the 2nd biggest place we import steel from is… hold on… Brazil?  Cutting to the chase here, China isn’t even in our top 10 of where we import steel from.  After Canada and Brazil the list goes South Korea, Mexico, Russia, Turkey, Japan, Taiwan, Germany, and India.  I tell you what, though, putting a tariff on steel imports will certainly stick it to China, won’t it?  Here is a link on the matter.

So what will really happen with this steel tariff?  Well, a couple of things:

  • Steel prices in the U.S. will go up.  True, this will help the steel industry in the United States.  They will be able to sell their steel for more money, therefore more profits, which could even lead to more production and more jobs.  There is, however, a downside to this which is…
  • Manufacturers within the United States will have to pay more for their steel and aluminum.  Steel costing more to be shipped into the U.S. doesn’t mean the price of steel in the United States (produced locally) will go down.  Steel prices (much like the prices of all commodities) act on global supply and demand scales, not just United States supply and demand scales.  If this, in turn, means the U.S. imports less steel, then there will be less supply of steel in the United States.  Anybody with a basic understand of economics know how supply & demand works.  If supply goes down, a product is more scarce, therefore the price will go up.
  • This will then lead directly into the consumer having to pay for those tariffs.  If your vehicle, appliance, hardware, building supplies, etc. cost more, as a company you then charge more for your product.  If you’re charging more for your product, demand for your product will increase.  You also won’t necessarily see more profit, as a company will increase their price for the consumer based on their profit margin.  (i.e. if it costs me $10 to make a product, and I want to make $3 per product, I charge a consumer $13 for my product.  If it now costs me $12.50 to make my product, and I still want to make $3 profit on my product, I now charge the consumer $15.50 for my product)

Ultimately by the end of these tariffs it will be us, the consumer, who have to pay for it.  Sure, if you work in the steel industry you company might hire a couple more people.  Sure, you might even see your pay increase, if ownership deems your living expenses as more important than their bottom line.  For the rest of us, however, we’ll see demand for finished products go down as prices go up.  This means manufacturing jobs will start to fall.  This means more jobs will be lost.  Yay short term gains!  We’ll pay for it with long-term losses.  Thank you Mr. Trump!

The other long-term effect, which isn’t too long term anymore, that we will see is the U.S. effectively pissing off all of our trade partners!  Donald Trump is essentially blaming the entire world for economic issues within the United States.  Listening to this blubbering man-child go on about how the U.S. is the victim of bad trade deals would be laughable, if it wasn’t so god damn scary.  What is going to happen when other countries retaliate to our tariffs we impose on raw goods and start implementing tariffs on our manufactured goods?  The same manufactured goods that we create with those (now more expensive) raw goods?  Demand will continue to plummet.  Jobs will continue to be lost due to decreased demand.  Dammit though, at least we’ve created a couple of good steel jobs, haven’t we?

Donald Trump and his GOP followers continue to show just how extremely stupid and short-sighted they are with their policies, one after the other.  We voters need to make sure we’re watching the long-term game, especially when November elections come!  If not, the United States’ standing as a global leader might be irreparably damaged, all thanks to the symptom of being a Republican.

Stay tuned for Part IV, as this current administration has given plenty to talk about.


Is Being a Republican a Symptom? (Part II)

I’ve had some time to reflect.  I’ve had some time to take in some opinions from various people, from various walks of life, and also with various political leanings.  Some of you have commented, and I enjoyed hearing your responses to the first part of this.  To also address the elephant in the room, a massive school shooting has happened since the last time I posted about this, and I’ve heard a whole lot of short-sighted, self-absorbed arguments from Republicans.

I’ve already spoken a couple of times about my thoughts on guns, gun controlgun violencepolice gun violencemore police gun violenceetc.  Hell, even my virgin post was about guns.  I hope that in this time I’ve grown not only as a writer, but also as a person.  It’s hard to think that I’ve been writing this blog since August 2015, and here we are in 2018.  I initially made this WordPress account so I could make snarky comments on the NBC sport page, mainly the MLB side of things.

Anyways, on to the beef, right?

We, yet again, have had another school shooting.  We, yet again, have had another mass shooting.  We yet again tell ourselves that we’re going to send “thoughts and prayers” while being told that, “It’s too soon to talk about gun control!  Let people mourn first!”

My biggest question to this is ultimately when will the right time be?  Now that Florida has happened, can we talk about Sandy Hook?  Really, the only difference between Florida and Sandy Hook is the age of the children.  They’re all still children, however.  Isn’t all life precious?

The short-sighted, MAGA hat wearing fanatics, are now taking up the usual, “Guns don’t kill people, people kill people!”  This is short-sighted argument number one.  Yes, guns don’t kill people.  Yes, spoons don’t make people fat.  Yes, you can also kill somebody with a baseball bat or a knife.  We know this, we are not stupid.  Thing is though, when you take your short-sighted, self-absorbed thought away from this, take a step back and see the bigger picture you will realize that people kill people, and guns make it the easiest.

Back when the 2nd amendment was drafted, guns could fire maybe 2 rounds in one minute.  Back in these days, perhaps a blunt object, a knife, a saber, etc. was a more effective way of killing people in larger quantities.  Today, however, the AR-15 (which is commonly referred to as being very user friendly) can allow any untrained person with access to a Walmart, Cabelas, etc. access to a military styled weapon, that has been described by some veterans and being close to a M-16 or M-5.  Regardless of your opinion, I am going to state that an AR-15 is a military styled, semi-auto rifle.

Let me preface this next paragraph by stating that I do own guns.  I have been known to be a hunter from time to time, as well.  There is absolutely no need for any civilian to own an AR-15.  Even in the military, they do not let soldiers bring their M-5 or M-16 into the barracks.  They keep these locked away from these men and women.  The military realizes that these highly trained individuals have ZERO need for these weapons, except for on the target range or the battlefield.  If the military can realize this, why can’t our NRA backed lawmakers?  I do not need an AR-15.  Don’t get me wrong, if you gave me an AR-15 I would take it to the range and put a lot of holes into a lot of sheets of paper and have a blast.  I would be a responsible gun owner.  Every person starts out as a responsible gun owner until the day they flip.

Another short-sighted argument I’ve been hearing is, “Let’s put armed guards in every school!” or even better, “There are thousands of unemployed Vets, let’s give them jobs protecting schools!”  Schools are already heavily under funded. Who would pay for it?  Also, as a teacher, I’d rather that money be spent to update our curriculum, update our technology, and perhaps give paraprofessionals a raise so we don’t have most of them quitting after one year, among other things.  More guns shouldn’t be the answer to a gun problem.  Who would pay for the training of these vets or guards?  Also, as anybody in education will tell you, dealing with children is hard.  Having a man or woman in my school with a semi-automatic rifle dealing with teenagers scares the living hell out of me.  Kids can be mean.  I’ve seen professionals who have been in education for years lose it and walk off the job.  We’ve been trained to deal with children.  Would these armed guards have the same training to deal with children?  Also, do you really want your child at a school where they walk past a man at the door wearing body armor and holding a military grade rifle?  What kind of mindset does that student bring to math class?  How can a child learn in that environment?

More importantly with that argument; why is it that Canada, U.K., Germany, Japan, Australia, etc. do not have armed guards in their schools, yet we don’t hear about school shootings from them every year, and nearly every month?  Think about it.  They had a problem, they solved the problem, instead of throwing money and guns at it.

Another favorite short-sighted argument we always hear once a month when these events happen is, “Gun laws only affect law-abiding citizens!  Criminals won’t follow them!”

This is stupid, short-sighted, and self-absorbed for a number of reasons.

First off, by that logic, why have any laws?  Why have anti-discrimination laws if people will still discriminate?  Why have speed limits if people are just going to speed?  Why have laws against assault, battery, domestic violence, etc. if people are still going to be violent?

The U.S. started to notice that there were many traffic deaths with automobiles, first mass produced in 1908.  This was a new thing.  We literally had zero laws to regulate these horseless chariots.  Eventually localities started setting up regulations about where and how fast automobiles could drive.  We saw a change in our transportation technology, and we decided to protect our citizens against it.

Here is the thing.  I consider myself a great driver, despite my driving record which is full of speeding violations.  When I drive, I am in complete control of my car.  I can drive fast and not destroy property or put lives at danger.  Do I feel like I am the victim of an over-reaching government for keeping my speed to 30 mph in the city?  Absolutely not.  I realize that even though I am responsible, not everybody is.  We need to protect citizens from reckless individuals, and also from their own self.  Do people still break these laws?  Every f**king day they do!  Does that mean we should not have them?

Speaking of protecting people from their own self.  Seat belt laws!  When we first enacted seat belt laws in 1984, the statistics showed that requiring drivers and passangers to wear a seat belt lowered the number of vehicle deaths.  Crazy concept, right?  Are there still people who break this law every single day?  Yes, I’ll be honest… I am one of them.  (Mom, if for some reason you’re reading this, please don’t text me and tell me to buckle up.)  Despite people still breaking this law, this law started saving thousands of lives every single year!  Whether it saved your life directly, because you were an idiot and drove your vehicle into a wall, or saved your life because some other idiot drove his car head-on into your car doesn’t matter.  Lives were saved by creating a regulation.  Do you feel like your liberties have been infringed upon?  No.

Note: Please don’t tell me that cars aren’t in the Constitution and Bill of Rights.  I f**king get that, really.  That would, again, be you being extremely short-sighted and self-absorbed.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created we did not have cars.  Please also remember that when the Bill of Rights was created, guns were muskets that were not very accurate, and could maybe first 2 bullets in 1 minute if you were really f**king good at it.

Secondly, if there is an issue, does that mean we shouldn’t try to fix it?  Let’s just throw our hands in the air and accept that this is just life, and nothing can be done about it.  I’ll dig to the bottom of my “thoughts and prayers” barrel and throw more of those at the problem.  I warn you, however, my barrel is rather empty these days.  Will Costco have a sale on these soon so I can stock up?  I fear that if we cannot fix this problem, and we’re taking the approach of not doing anything about it, I might need some back-ups.

Lastly, and this goes a little bit with the first, criminals will still get guns.  Yes, this is true.  If we have any sort of gun control, or gun reform, or a ban on certain types of guns, however, it will make it harder and more expensive for criminals to get guns.  Let’s talk about marijuana for example.  Marijuana isn’t cheap.  Why isn’t it cheap?  Well there is a certain amount of risk to buying and selling marijuana, as it is illegal.  There is a certain risk for transporting marijuana, as it is illegal.  You get the point.  Funny thing about marijuana, however, is that it grows like a weed.  If that were legal, and marijuana could be mass produced, you’d find it is a very cheap plant.  Because it is illegal, however, it is harder to obtain, and more expensive to obtain.  Same goes true for lots of illegal things.  Creating a black market for guns by making laws and regulations can go a long way in cutting down on some petty crime.  That pissed off father isn’t going to go out of his way to buy an AR-15 that now costs $10k on the black market to threaten his family when he’s drunk.  That 17 year old will no longer have access to his dad’s unlocked AR-15 to shoot up a school, but instead might grab his bolt action hunting rifle, instead.  Now instead of killing 15+ people, and injuring another 20, he’s maybe shot 5 people, as his rifle only holds 5 rounds and is slower to reload.  Lives. Would. Be. Saved.

I’m sorry to say to you folks that there will have to be a Part III to this post.  Please continue to give me comments, whether you agree or disagree with me.  Please feel free to ask questions.  Please feel free to bring up points (for or against) that I haven’t written about, or perhaps haven’t even thought about.


Is being Republican a symptom? (Part I)

I’ve been debating on writing this post now for some time.  This post is going to be a lot of pondering, especially in potentially anecdotal evidence, some of which I’ve seen first hand.  Please keep that in mind while you are reading this.

If you are reading this, you probably know that I am a high school teacher at an underprivileged school.  I have a coworker, whom I have the highest amount of respect for, who is largely conservative.  (Note: I hold this man in the highest regard as an educator, the way he interacts with his students, the passion he has for being a lifelong learner, and the passion he has for educating children is immense.)  In his classroom, however, he has a t-shirt that states, “I built my business, not the government.”  This is obviously a point of view held by many Republicans.

This is where I start to get into my point of this post.  Is this point of view not extremely short-sighted?  Is being Republican not potentially a symptom of somebody who is perhaps self-absorbed and cannot think about the bigger picture?

When I see that shirt, I have a lot of strong feelings come up.  I ended up typing a word document that I am debating on printing out and hanging next to his t-shirt, which states:

But the Government did build…

  • The roads that helps to transport your product and employees
  • The schools that taught your employees basic education
  • The infrastructure that helps your business have water and electricity
  • The police station that houses the government paid police officers to keep your business and employees safe
  • The fire station that houses the government paid firefighters to potentially keep your business safe from an emergency
  • The post office and postal service that your business utilizes
  • The regulations that keep the banks from enacting predatory practices that protect you when you were first starting up your business.

Just because the government didn’t have a direct hand in the creation of your business doesn’t mean that business owners do not greatly benefit from our government and the tax dollars they spend.

Is my colleague wrong to state that the government didn’t build his business?  By the way, this colleague is also a business owner in the community.  True, business owners are the ones who have the spark of entrepreneurship and ultimately make that dream a reality, but did they not receive some help along the way?  To think that they could have the success they have, without the government, is an extremely short-sighted, self-absorbed point of view.

One of the main arguments I hear when people are defending things that Donald Trump says is, “Well he is just saying what people are thinking!”  That statement is true, as well.  Donald Trump states a lot of things that his base supporters think every single day.  Are those statements, however, not the same short-sighted and self-absorbed thoughts from my colleague?  Let’s break it down.

Let’s talk about The Wall.  Donald Trump, and many of his base supporters, feel it is of utmost importance that we build a border wall with Mexico.  The short-sighted theory of this is that it will stop the giant majority of illegal immigration.  While it is true, and factual, that immigrants do illegally cross the border and/or the Rio Grand where there are not any roads, buildings, cities, etc., it is also not the only way illegal immigrants arrive here.  Hell, the image in the heads of many Trump supporters of brown people sneaking across the border in the middle of the night isn’t even the main way people come here illegally.  The unfortunate fact is that over two-thirds of people who come here illegally don’t sneak across the border.  They actually come here legally, initially, with student visas, tourist visas, temporary work visas, etc.  What ends up happening, is that they ultimately over-stay their visa.  The short-sighted, self-absorbed view cannot explain how a border wall, costing billions of dollars, is going to solve the larger picture.  Ultimately it turns into a question of, is it worth it?   You’ll notice that I’m not even going to get into how a wall/fence won’t even be 100% effective, as there are such things as ladders, ropes, tunnels, etc.

I’ve not given two different examples of how being Republican might be a symptom of somebody who is either short-sighted and/or self-absorbed.  What else is there?

Let’s talk about the economy and these great tax cuts we’ve been hearing about.  We heard a lot of words that ultimately could be wrapped up by stating, “Tax cuts on businesses will create jobs!”

Is it true that businesses need money in order to pay employees, absolutely!  Do giving businesses money via tax cuts, however, create more jobs?  I disagree.  Again, I see this as a very narrow and short-sighted, self-absorbed thought.  What is it that ultimately drives the creation of jobs?  Demand.  Walmart getting 20 million dollars in extra revenue from tax cuts will not create any extra demand that Walmart doesn’t already have a workforce to handle.  If a business gets 100 million dollars every month of profit from their product/service, with no gain or no loss, do they need to hire or fire more employees?  If that business the next month gets 100 million dollars again, but also receives an extra 35 million dollars in tax savings, do they need to hire anymore employees to keep up with any extra demand?  The answer simply is no.

Money to a corporation does not equal demand.  If a business starts getting more money, but demand stays the same, then why do they need to hire anymore employees?  They do not.  If we’re going to fix the tax system, we need to build from the bottom up.  Consumers having more money means that consumers have more spending power.  This ultimately means consumers will purchase more goods and services, therefore create more demand.  The government cannot change what a business pays it’s employees, except through a minimum wage requirement.  A business getting more money does not mean that business will doll out more raises.  We’ve been seeing business put up record profits, yet we hear nothing about employees receiving more.  So again, the concept of tax breaks for the richest corporations (given by wealthy politicians who receive campaign donations from those very same corporations) is very short-sighted, narrow-minded, and self-absorbed.  It doesn’t truly look at the roots of why jobs are created.

I’m slowly realizing just how long this post is becoming.  I will continue this on soon, but for now I am going to wrap this up with calling it Part I.  Please feel free to comment and give your thoughts and opinions.  Feel free to share this, as well.

Take care and have a lovely day.

Minnesota Twins Offseason

As many readers of this blog may know, I am a school teacher.  One of the classes I teach is the Student Newspaper class, where my students largely run it while I just supervise.  Every once in a while, however, I like to throw an article out there for the student body.  Below is the article I just cranked out, and felt it was enough to add to this blog, to swing things away from the political, ever so slightly.  Regardless below, I hope you enjoy:

Now that the MLB off-season is in full-swing, it is time for teams to start thinking about what went well last season, and what needs to be improved upon.  For the Minnesota Twins, despite making the playoffs, there was a lot to be desired, namely with pitching.

Last year’s starting rotation was often a game of musical chairs that saw many journeymen and AAAA starters making the rounds.  This was a list that included guys such as Dillon Gee, and even the 44 year old “Big Sexy” Bartolo Colon.  The only two players of consistency were Ervin Santana and Jose Berios.  Outside of that, the other 3 spots were often times an opportunity for the opposing team to get a good BP session in.

The other half of our pitching situation saw largely ineffective relief pitchers cycling in and out of the team between AAA and the MLB.  The Twins traded Brandon Kintzler when the season appeared to be a complete wash, therefore shipping out our only consistent and competent reliever, as well as our 9th inning man.  After this trade, however, the offense started clicking, despite a Miguel Sano injury, and the Twins started winning.  Relying on journeyman Matt Belisle, who couldn’t seem to keep the ball in the park, to often times close out games for us left fans frustrated, watching leads dwindle in the late innings.

So what can the Twins do about this?  General Manager Thad Levine has recently gone on record that saying top free agent Yu Darvish will be a top priority for the Twins to sign, despite the knowledge that he will receive the richest contract for an SP for this coming season.  Darvish is coming off of a season that saw him struggling in the playoffs, and struggling after a trade to the Dodgers, but he still was able to amass 10Ks per 9 innings, which is something the Twins have been lacking for years.

The Twins have also made it known that they’re interested in Shohei Ohtani once he is posted by the Nippon Fighters over in Japan.  Ohtani is an interesting player, as he has had success both as a power bat but also an effective starter.  This is largely unheard of in the MLB, to have a duel threat batter/pitcher.  It is thought that many teams would rather make him either pitch or bat, but Ohtani has made it well known that he intends on doing both and will make his team choice not based on the size of the contract, but the ability to have some freedom in his position play.  The Twins are in a great position to be able to accommodate for this, as we have no clear player set for the DH position going into next season.  Could that be a plus for landing Ohtani?  One can hope.

As for the need to acquire quality relievers, we have not alluded to any plan or players, yet.  There isn’t a strong crop of top end relief pitchers on the market, so we might have to make a trade.  Teams such as the Marlins are looking to cut payroll, so they’d be a good place to start.  Other teams, such as the Reds are in sell-mode, as well, so they could be looking to trade established RPs, as well.  Hopefully Levine and company are able to string together a deal or two to help secure the final innings of a ballgame.

Regardless of what should happen this off-season, the Twins should be an interesting team to watch next year,  Nobody expected that a team which lost over 100 games in 2016 could make the playoffs in 2017, especially without having much roster turnover.  Paul Molitor definitely will have his work cut out for him for 2018 as he manages this Twins squad for another season.

My Short and Sweet Response to Vegas.

The same constitution that houses that 2nd amendment people love to defend also states how slaves are only worth a fraction of a person. We’ve since reformed this part of the constitution to become a better society.

We used to have zero traffic control laws. Our travel technology, however, has greatly improved and updated. We reformed this area of our legal system to now include copious amounts of regulations to protect our citizenry.

Please tell me how we cannot do anything about guns…

Was it worth it…

We officially have a sitting POTUS who has said both sides of a conflict are to blame, when one side is the KKK/Neo Nazis.  Yes, this is real.  Those were the remarks straight from the horse’s mouth.  Furthermore, David Duke (former Grandmaster of the KKK) not only verbally used Trump’s Presidency as reasoning for such violence, but is even proud of the fact that Donald Trump hadn’t condemned them in his many chances to do so with the media.

I have a few questions for anybody who voted for Donald Trump, regardless of your current feelings:

  1. Do you condemn the KKK, Neo-Nazis, and even racist bigots in the U.S.A.?
  2. Do you feel our POTUS should be verbally against racism and bigotry in America?
  3. If you could have a “re-do” would you not vote for Trump?

Also, for you people who couldn’t bring yourself to vote for Hillary Clinton, so you either voted for Jill Stein or Gary Johnson, I have only one question for you:

  1. Was it worth it?

Also, Donald Trump is considering pardoning Joe Arpaio, in case you’d like to know where his priorities are.

My Castile post…

After some recent Facebook conversations with a few people I’ve decided to bundle all my thoughts through all my comments and replies into one concise post.  Although most of what I say here will be my thoughts about systematic racism in our justice system in general, there will be a good focus on Castile.

The question/concern came up about a police officer’s right to protect their self and their duty to protect the public.  This was also coupled with the argument of us civilians will never fully understand/appreciate the positions that police officers get put in:

Police officers who kill unarmed people are not protecting the public. What is the point of all that training as a police officer if you’re just going to kill an unarmed person? What is the point of carrying a taser if you’re going to kill an unarmed person? Rare is it the crime is worth the death.  A lot of this boils down to having better police training.  This could be de-escalation training, training in non-lethal methods of restraint, better conditioning of officers, etc.  The main point would be to take the focus off the firearm and to turn the firearm into more of a last resort than a first option.

Police officers do get put in situations you and I will hopefully never face. Thing is, they know that going into the job. Police officers are expected to be able to operate under stress and duress. I am a teacher, I am expected to operate under stress and duress. If a child cusses me out and I cussed him or her out in return, I wouldn’t keep my job. That comes with the territory. An officer needs to be able to keep a level head when the heat is on, period. An officer shouldn’t have a light trigger finger that goes off so quickly, as in the Castile case.  Again, much of this can be fixed via better and more thorough training of officers.

With Castile, there was nothing threatening or intimidating about a man informing an officer that he was legally carrying a firearm. The officer asked him for his ID, which he then reached for. I’ve seen the video. It is disgusting.  It is so disgusting that I won’t even link it to this blog.  If you truly feel the need to view it, please do, however.  Keep in mind that you are watching a man die, however.  Nothing in Castile’s voice or demeanor appears to be threatening in the officer’s dashcam. Even after the shooting, Castile’s girlfriend remains cool, calm, and collect and still refers to the officer as “sir”.

For Yanez to go from 0-60 in literally half a second is absolutely disgusting. Yanez has no right to wear that badge. He used absolutely none of his training and recklessly fired multiple bullets into a car with at minimum two civilians, one of which was a young girl. There were bullet holes in the back seat of that vehicle, where that small girl was. Even if you firmly feel that Castile was a threat, there is no justification for emptying a firearm recklessly into a vehicle with two innocent lives, one a woman and the other a child. That child is never going to know what a “normal” life is thanks to Officer Yanez. That child had to watch a father figure be gunned down by somebody who was suppose to protect her. That is just disgusting and there is zero justification for it.

Another argument brought up was the Milwaukee case, where a black officer shot an unarmed black man:

Yes, sometimes a black officer shoots an unarmed black man. It isn’t okay, but to try and compare that case to the many cases of white officers killing unarmed black men and boys for selling cigarettes, playing with a toy gun, walking towards them, walking away from them, or even being pinned to the god damn ground is just perverse.  The larger picture shows that black males are targeted by ANY law enforcement at a much higher rate.

Even our court system does the same. Statistically, black males serve more time or have harsher punishments than their white male counterparts for the same damn crime. Doesn’t matter if its a black judge, white judge, female judge, etc.

Point is, to try and focus on just one or two cases isn’t doing justice to the larger picture.  Yes, we focus on Castile, Rice, Garner, Crawford III, etc. despite being just one case because ultimately those cases are a part of the larger picture of systematic racism.  There isn’t a system of systematic racism towards whites in this country.  When was the last time you heard a white man complain about being called a cracker?  When was the last time you heard a white man complain about not being able to get a cab?  When was the last time you heard about a white man being followed by a police officer for 5 blocks while out on a jog?  You just don’t hear it, but this is something that black people live with every day of their lives.  You might be sick of hearing about it.  You might be sick of seeing Black Lives Matter stuff around your city or social media.  If you’re so sick of hearing about it, imagine how sick some people are of living it?

The marijuana aspect gets brought up a lot, too:

First off, how would Yanez immediately know that Castile had smoked marijuana within the last 30 days?  If you smoke marijuana, it can still be detected in your system, like it was with Castile, up to 30 days afterwards.  This has been one of the largest defenses of this.  This was even used as a defense to my asking why the NRA doesn’t care about Castile’s 2nd amendment right, as he was legally carrying a firearm in an open carry state.  He was following the law.  Somebody’s rebuttal was, “if under the influence you cannot legally carry.”  Okay, that’s fine.  I’ve still seen the NRA protect the 2nd amendment rights of others, despite being under the influence.  You see pictures and videos of gun toting white guys at pro-gun/NRA rallies, beer in hand, gun in tow.  This has never been an issue.  With John Crawford III he was gunned down in a Walmart for carrying a bb gun he intended on purchasing.  Nothing illegal here but where was the NRA?

Back to marijuana.  Even if Castile had been under the influence at the time, Yanez has no way of assessing that.  To my knowledge there was no visible marijuana nor was there a smell of marijuana in the car.  Where was the perceived threat?  Nothing in Yanez’s demeanor says he felt threatened up until about 3 seconds before he starts shooting into a vehicle with innocent lives present.  Even if Castile had a joint hanging from his mouth, does this still justify the response from officer Yanez?  Castile was still being honest and informing the officer he had a legal permit to carry/had a gun in the car.  He wasn’t making any threats and was complying with Yanez’s order of producing an ID/insurance, but Yanez still shot him.

Please feel free to comment to this post or share it.  I would love to engage in some discussion if anybody has any additional points they’d like to bring up.