Market Correction

On Monday the market dropped 1175 points. On Wednesday it was back up about 500 points. Today it dropped again. It went down 1032 points. I think we can safely say we are in a market correction. Of course Trump won’t say anything about the market going down and won’t tie it to his horrible economic decisions. Congress is battling out a new spending plan. Sounds like they have one almost set…it will only last two years. It continues to be a Trump mess in the United States. We will continue to slide into a recession I’m sure.

In other news, Mardi Gras is next week. We are having a party on Saturday night. It should be fun!

1.55 miles today.

Trail Walk

Today I decided to take a walk on the trail and look for birds. I didn’t find any new birds but I did see some icy creeks. I thought it was beautiful.

In other news our horrible president said this about immigration: “Why do we want all these people from ‘shithole countries’ coming here?” Can you believe this is the leader of the free world? What a shithole racist he is. I don’t know how much more of this man I can take. Our country is so embarrassed by his words. It’s so sad. He really needs to be removed from office.

Total of 3.65 miles today.

Golden Globes

Last night I watched the Golden Globes. I had not seen any of the movies that won awards and many of the TV shows were new to me as well. I guess I need to catch up on TV and movies. The show itself was really good. Everyone dressed in black to show support for women who have been sexually harassed or abused by men in Hollywood. The #timesup hashtag was huge.

But the big deal from the show was Oprah. She won the Cecil B. DeMille Award. But her speech was simply amazing. She was very presidential. Everyone started tweeting Oprah2020. I did the same. I would love it if she ran for President. But I know she wouldn’t win. Our country is still too backwards to have a black female president. I still think she’s great.

I walked 1.45 miles today inside.

Phone Free Walk

Today was my first walk with only my new Apple Watch with Cellular. Because of that I didn’t get a picture anything along the walk. I walked 3.14 miles this morning. Here’s a picture when I got home using my new iPhone 8 Plus.

In other news, I am absolutely disgusted with our President for calling the NFL players SOBs for kneeling down during the national anthem. What Trump doesn’t understand is they have the constitutional right to not stand during the national anthem. Trump just shows his stupidity when he says things like this. But the bigger picture is he’s trying to distract us from the horrible health care bill going through congress right now. And from Russia! I won’t get distracted.

Foggy Morning Walk

Today I walked 2.21 miles at the track at American University. It was foggy out this morning and very humid. It’s gonna be hot today. Here are a few shots to show the fog.

Trump went off the rails again yesterday. He defended the white supremacists, the KKK and Nazis…you know, his base. He is absolutely the worst President we’ve ever had. He’s a disgrace. I’m saddened by his words. He’s an idiot.

Trump Is A Shithead

I just can’t even begin to describe how I feel today. When the President of the United States comes out defending white supremacists, the KKK and Nazis, there isn’t much else you can say. He clearly is trying to play to his base. I say keep talking Mr. President. You will talk your way out of a second term (crossing fingers) and possibly out of the White House during your first term. In case you are reading this at a later date, look up the news for his date and you will see what I’m talking about. The man is a true idiot. He is not my President.

On a different note, I did walk today. I had to walk indoors because of the rain we had today. I walked 2.25 miles down the halls and up and down the stairs at my building. On the third floor I saw this and thought it was good in case Trump gets crazier than he is already.

Sunday Morning Walk

I skipped walking on Saturday to take a day off but I was back at it again this morning. I walked 2.17 miles at the track at American University. It rained a lot yesterday so the track was wet but the weather was beautiful. Here’s a shot from the campus.

On another note, I was sickened yesterday by the death and violence in Charlottesville. We have visited the town many times and my father lives there now. Trump did not denounce the violence by the white supremacists. Instead blamed “many sides” for the violence. These people are a dying breed and Trump should have called them out for what they are, terrorists. This is not the America it should be in 2017. We already fought a war against the Nazis. We shouldn’t be doing it again and not on American soil. I’m disgusted with Trump and his ilk. I stand with #charlottesville

Marriage Equality Now

Today the Supreme Court decided to let stand rulings that allow marriage equality in Virginia, Utah, Oklahoma, Indiana, and Wisconsin. They will not be taking on any of the cases in these states that were appealing the lower courts decisions. That means that marriages can begin in these states right away. This also opens up six more states for marriage equality in the near future. That will mean 30 states will have marriage equality.

Marriages already began in Virginia today. Local news reports were showing couples getting married in all the major cities around the state. It’s a great day for Virginia.

This means I can now get married in my state. I’ve been with my partner for almost 10 years. He lives in DC. We might have some discussions about where we will get married. We’ve already had discussions about living together and merging our households in the future. We will be married and we will live together, it’s working out the details that will take some time. However, just the fact that we CAN get married is a victory and everything else will work out.

Should We Strike?

syriaPresident Obama today said he would seek the approval of congress before moving against Syria. Last week Syria allegedly used chemical weapons against its own people to subdue the uprising against President Assad and his regime. The outrage in the world leads one to believe that it is the United States that needs to do something. For humanitarian reasons something needs to be done to stop Assad from killing the people of Syria. But does it need to be the United States leading the charge? I know there are greater reasons for getting rid of Assad. The United States has military and economic reasons for acting against Syria besides the humanitarian focus.

I don’t know why I have been following this and thinking about this so much in the past few days. I just don’t think we should be getting into yet another conflict in the middle east. We have spent billions of dollars and lost many Americans in the effort to fix what’s wrong in the middle east. I have such mixed feelings. I know something needs to be done. But I just don’t think we need to be the country to do it. Right now it seems like we’d be going at it alone. The United Kingdom has already voted against joining the United States against Syria. There were protests today all across the globe against the United States taking any action.

I began to think about the Bush Doctrine when I heard the United States was ready to take action against Syria. I understand there are several meanings of the Bush Doctrine but the one I think about (from Wikipedia, and I know what people say about Wikipedia) is this:

“Different pundits would attribute different meanings to “the Bush Doctrine”, as it came to describe other elements, including the policy of preventive war, which held that the United States should depose foreign regimes that represented a potential threat to the security of the United States, even if that threat was not immediate; a policy of spreading democracy around the world, especially in the Middle East, as a strategy for combating terrorism; and a willingness to unilaterally pursue U.S. military interests.”

Is this what we’d be doing if we began a strike and possible war against Syria? I don’t know. There are details about this whole problem that I am probably not aware of. All I know is I don’t want the United States to enter yet another conflict in the middle east. I just think we need to concentrate our efforts at home. There is so much more that can be done in our own country. But at the same time I know something needs to be done for the innocent people of Syria. Its all very complicated. Do you have any strong feelings one way or another on the United States taking a lead on striking against Syria?

Pope Francis


So they picked a new pope today. He’s from Argentina. He’s Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. He’ll be known as Pope Francis. He’s 76 years old which means we’ll be going through all this in another 10 years or so. This is very conservative and has a terrible record for gay rights and other liberal things. He came in second when they selected Ratzinger. I don’t think his selection is going to change anything in the Catholic church. I think he is among the old guard who want to continue the church as it is now. Not that I care at all but it would have been nice to have a younger guy who is a bit more liberal and wants to have the church move into the 21st century and evolve. It won’t be happening anytime soon.

Gun Control

Every time there is a mass shooting like the one that happened early Friday morning in Colorado, the issue of gun control rises again. People start questioning whether this will be the shooting that changes people’s minds about gun control. The right will say that if the people in the theater had guns, the killing would have been lessoned. The left will say if the laws were stricter as to how many, and the kinds of guns you can own, this may have never happened.

Would more gun control laws lower the incidences of mass shootings? Japan has some of the strictest gun laws in the world. They also have one of the lowest gun crime rates in the world. Will the United States adopt similar laws? No. This comes down to the second amendment…the right to bear arms. Our constitution gives us the right to bear arms. Some interpret the amendment to mean the people have a right to bear arms for a militia. Others think it means the right to bear arms period. The debate will never be over.

I think the debate should be not whether you have the right to bear arms but the right to bear enough arms to start your own war. Is it really necessary to have assault rifles, semi-automatic weapons, etc.? I don’t think so. I think we need stricter, reasonable gun control. No matter what you say about the second amendment, you don’t need these types of guns.

The right will argue “guns don’t kill people, people kill people.” While that’s technically true, if the person didn’t have the gun in the first place, they wouldn’t have been able to kill people. Usually the person who does these kinds of shootings ends up having some kind of mental illness. If they had not had access to guns, would the killings have ever taken place? Hard to say.

The debate will go on and on. What do I think? I think the United States needs to implement much stricter gun laws. The amount and the type of guns you can “bear” need to be regulated. Period.

Slavery Update

Bob McDonnell couldn’t take the pressure from the rest of the country and has amended his proclamation to include slavery. I don’t think it’s because he actually believes that, I think it’s because he felt the pressure from others to change his public thinking. He might not even be smart enough to know the real truth. After all, he did go to Pat Robertson’s Regent University. I’m sure they are proud of his original proclamation.

Bob, you’re a douche.

Confederate History Month

Another reason to be embarrassed to be a Virginian. Today my backwards moving governor declared April to be Confederate History Month. Here’s his proclamation:

WHEREAS, April is the month in which the people of Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in a four year war between the states for independence that concluded at Appomattox Courthouse; and

WHEREAS, Virginia has long recognized her Confederate history, the numerous civil war battlefields that mark every region of the state, the leaders and individuals in the Army, Navy and at home who fought for their homes and communities and Commonwealth in a time very different than ours today; and

WHEREAS, it is important for all Virginians to reflect upon our Commonwealth’s shared history, to understand the sacrifices of the Confederate leaders, soldiers and citizens during the period of the Civil War, and to recognize how our history has led to our present; and

WHEREAS, Confederate historical sites such as the White House of the Confederacy are open for people to visit in Richmond today, and

WHEREAS, all Virginians can appreciate the fact that when ultimately overwhelmed by the insurmountable numbers and resources of the Union Army, the surviving, imprisoned and injured Confederate soldiers gave their word and allegiance to the United States of America, and returned to their homes and families to rebuild their communities in peace, following the instruction of General Robert E. Lee of Virginia, who wrote that, “…all should unite in honest efforts to obliterate the effects of war and to restore the blessings of peace.”; and

WHEREAS, this defining chapter in Virginia’s history should not be forgotten, but instead should be studied, understood and remembered by all Virginians, both in the context of the time in which it took place, but also in the context of the time in which we live, and this study and remembrance takes on particular importance as the Commonwealth prepares to welcome the nation and the world to visit Virginia for the Sesquicentennial Anniversary of the Civil War, a four-year period in which the exploration of our history can benefit all;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Robert McDonnell, do hereby recognize April 2010 as CONFEDERATE HISTORY MONTH in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.

Here’s some information from the article on

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R) has quietly declared April 2010 Confederate History Month, bringing back a designation in Virginia that his two Democratic predecessors — Mark Warner and Tim Kaine — refused to do.

Republican governors George Allen and Jim Gilmore issued similar proclamations. But in 2002, Warner broke with their action, calling such proclamations, a “lightning rod” that does not help bridge divisions between whites and blacks in Virginia.
This year’s proclamation was requested by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. A representative of the group said the group has known since it interviewed McDonnell when he was running for attorney general in 2005 that he was likely to respond differently than Warner or Kaine.

“We’ve known for quite some time we had a good opportunity should he ascend the governorship,” Brandon Dorsey said. “We basically decided to bide our time and wait until we had more favorable politicians in Richmond.”

Virginia is becoming the most embarrassing state in our country. Our leadership just keeps us going backwards.

Health Care Bill Passed

I am very pleased the health care bill passed last night. It was a historic event and I’m glad I was around to see it live on TV. However, I’m upset for a few reasons.

1. This bill is not what it should be. It did not go far enough in changing the health care industry and most of the bill won’t start for another 4 years.

2. I’m sad that the majority was so low. 219 to 212…don’t the people who voted against this bill really understand how bad our health care system is right now? Can they not see how this bill will at least help some of the people in our country right now? Those who voted against this bill are selfish and narrow-minded. John Boehner needs to get out of the tanning both, stop putting all the gel in his hair and learn what the reality is in our country.

3. I’m embarrassed for those who shouted “nigger”, “faggot”, and “baby killer” at our congressmen yesterday. You may not agree with what’s in the bill but using those words is unacceptable. Do they really want to be on the wrong side of history? They are a bunch of sycophants.

Of course in the future history will be re-written by Texas to show it was the republicans who passed this historic legislation. But that’s another story.

Might Be Time To Move

It might be time to seriously think about moving into DC. I only live about 7 miles away as it is now. It is now legal for men to marry men and women to marry women in Washington DC. I doubt we’ll see this happen in Virginia in my life time. How sad is that. I’m so close to progressive DC but yet my state is one of the most homophobic states in the country.

And while gay men and women lined up at the DC courthouse, Joe Lieberman introduced a bill in the senate to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. A bill has already been introduced in the House. Hopefully both will sail through quickly.

I love Virginia but hate that socially they are so backwards. I wish they’d catch up so I’d feel more comfortable in my own state.

Obama’s Religion

There was an article in the Washington Post today about President Obama and his faith or religion or according to some, lack thereof. The article upset me because we should not even be discussing someone’s faith/religion. Yes, I’m an atheist and don’t believe in god or religion. However, I do respect other’s right to worship whatever they want as long as they don’t push it on me.

I was reading the article and they were going on about the different ways Obama shows his religion….praying from time to time, having services at Camp David, etc. and I thought how stupid it was that people are reporting on this man’s religion.

The Obama’s haven’t selected a church in the DC area yet and that has all the religious right nutjobs in a tizzy. Obama appeared at the National Prayer Breakfast this morning. I know it’s been a tradition for Presidents to attend but I wish he hadn’t. It’s time to start cutting religion out of so much of the government. The nutjobs want Obama to use his religion to help him make decisions….instead of reason? Crazy, I know.

Anyway, after reading the article, I started reading the comments. I should really stop doing that. The majority of the people how leave comments are SO stupid!

I don’t think we should be bothered with Obama’s religion. That’s a private matter and we shouldn’t be concerned about his religion or lack thereof. We should leave the man and his family alone to use their religion the way they see fit…or not use it at all. Of course I prefer there be no religion at all…but that’s just me.

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

So they started the discussion today about throwing out don’t ask, don’t tell. Okay, here’s what I don’t understand. If they say they want to repeal don’t ask, don’t tell why are they saying they have to do a year long study to do so? Why can’t they just say, “Starting tomorrow, we will no longer prohibit gays from serving in the military.” and be done with it? What do they have to do? It’s not like they have to change anything. All the gays will still have their jobs in the military but now they can say they are gay and not be discharged for saying so. Am I missing something or is there more to it that I’m not aware of?

I’m Just Sick

Literally and figuratively.

I woke up yesterday with my voice beginning to leave me. Today it’s just about completely gone. I don’t have any cold symptoms or anything like that. My throat is a little scratchy but I don’t feel sick. I just can’t talk. It was very difficult to teach today. I actually used my computer hooked up to the sound system in my classroom to talk to my students. I used text to speech and TextEdit to have my computer speak to my students. They loved it. I got a bit tired typing. Because of this I’ve decided to take tomorrow off and not talk to anyone. Maybe that will help. I won’t be recording a podcast either.

I’m also sick of the state of our country. Just a year after inaugurating our first African-American President and winning a majority in the senate, we aren’t much better off than we were then. Of course some things have changed for the good or are on their way to change. But I just feel that we are stagnating. Things don’t seem to be moving like they should. With the male model being elected in Massachusetts health care reform and be thrown out the window. I think something will pass but it won’t be what it really needs to be. It’s been watered down as it is now. I don’t blame this on Obama at all. It’s the screwed up workings of the congress. They simply can’t get anything done. It takes way too long and costs way too much money.

I just can’t get over some of the crap going on. The Supreme Court said today that corporations could donate as much as they want to political campaigns. That means that big business will be in control more than they have been. I wouldn’t have expected anything different from the current court makeup.

While I’m glad to see that Obama is calling for regulations on big banks, I’m scared that the cost of those regulations will be passed on to consumers. It’s guaranteed. Banks will raise fees or whatever before the legislation takes effect. Look what happened on wall street today. The market dropped 200 points.

Look at what happened with credit cards. Congress tried to change how credit card companies fee us to death so they created regulation to get some control. The legislation doesn’t go into effect until next month. What has already happened? Credit card companies have changed everyone’s interest rate to variable rates so they can get more money from us now. Have you seen any fixed rate credit cards lately? None to be found.

This country is even more polarized than it was under Bush. The haves and have nots, the republicans and the democrats, the birthers, deathers, gun rights assholes, and on and on and on. I’m just so sick of all this crap. I’m so sick of stupid people. If I thought I could do it, I’d stop following all the news. But I just can’t. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t blame any of this lack of progress on Obama. I blame it completely on the congress. I still support Obama. If he is just given time and support from the congress, things could change. We might even see some progress on gay rights.