Tuesday 30 April 2019

Someone you love could be a sex worker by Valerie Scott

Published on Dec 7, 2015 by TEDx Talks
YouTube: Someone you love could be a sex worker | Valerie Scott | TEDxToronto (17:04)
Valerie Scott is a Sex Worker & Advocate.

Valerie Scott always wanted to be a sex worker and has extensive experience in her chosen profession. She is a founding member and legal co-ordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. She has been a passionate advocate for her colleague's human, civil, and legal rights for the past 30 years. She has testified at Canada's Senate and at several Parliamentary committees. She has spoken at numerous community meetings, colleges, universities, and conferences about the humanity of sex workers and the need for full decriminalization of adult sex work.

Final Word
I recently published a Ted Talk video What do sex workers want? by Juno Mac (Apr 26/2019). Ms. Mac argues for the decriminalization of prostitution.

I will repeat the two points I made about Ms. Mac's speech.

1. Information
We have little or no factual information. We have a lot of moral opinions and personal anecdotes, but few facts.

"We cannot properly address an issue if misinformation prevents us from properly assessing the issue."
-Irene Graham, Australian anti-censorship crusader

2. Legality
Making something illegal doesn't stop it. Drugs are illegal. Speeding in your car is illegal. Heck, murder is illegal! But all three of those things go on all the time. There's an underlying issue to every problem, and if one never addresses that issue, one will never solve the problem.


Wikipedia: Sex Professionals of Canada
Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC) is a Canadian activism group. SPOC was formed in 1983 and campaigns through public education and legal challenges to decriminalize Canadian prostitution laws.

official web site: SPOC: Sex Professionals of Canada
Mission & Principles

1. SPOC is a volunteer run activist network that engages in advocacy and education.

2. SPOC operates on the principle that all forms of consensual adult sex work are valid occupations.

3. SPOC maintains that sex workers have the capacity for choice and our experiences are diverse.

4. SPOC maintains that sex workers deserve labour rights, and occupational health and safety standards defined by sex workers themselves.

5. SPOC members and associates oppose those who seek to ‘rescue’ sex workers using force or coercive measures including court imposed re-education/exit programs, jails or camps.

We stand for the decriminalization of all forms of sex work in Canada. We oppose legalization because it is always exploitive toward sex workers.

Twitter: SPOC @SPOCsexworkers: Sex Professional of Canada
Sex Work IS Work!! We DEMAND **rights** NOT rescue !!

Vice - Jan 22/2014
Valerie Scott Says Your Great Aunt Was Probably a Sex Worker by Angela Hennessy
There has been a lot to say about sex work in Canada this past year. There are ongoing debates about the criminalization of sex work after the monumental Supreme Court decision to strike down three major prostitution laws that were ruled as dangerous. And now a new structure called the Nordic model might be introduced which would criminalize pimps and johns, instead of the sex workers, and in many ways would erase a lot of the progress that has been made on behalf of advocates for sex workers, such as the Sex Professionals of Canada (SPOC).

It seems clear there are quite a few misunderstandings about who sex workers are, what they do, and how they operate. Even the clearest of debates seems to have two different conversations happening at the same time: It’s a service! It’s a sin! It’s a right! It’s a crime! We wanted to speak to a pro who has been at it for years who could help shed some light on this mostly foggy subject.

I sat down with Valerie Scott, a former prostitute who works as the legal coordinator at SPOC, at her apartment in Downtown, Toronto. She spoke candidly about her experience in the industry and what she thinks about today’s state of affairs.

She Does The City: An imperfect life guide for women - Oct 14/2015
TEDxToronto Women: Sex Worker and Advocate Valerie Scott
In anticipation for the TEDxToronto 2015 Conference (October 22nd), each day this week Shedoesthecity will post top-notch career and life advice from some of the powerhouse women that will be speaking at the conference this year. Innovative, gutsy, groundbreaking: a lot can be learned from these phenomenal women.

For this installment, we spoke to Valerie Scott, a founding member and legal coordinator of Sex Professionals of Canada, a sex worker rights organization. For the last 30 years, Scott has been a passionate advocate for her colleagues’ human, civil and legal rights, testifying at Canada’s Senate and at several Parliamentary committees.

She was one of the three plaintiffs in Canada v. Bedford, the landmark constitutional challenge to several of Canada’s laws against sex work. In 2014, Canada’s Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the impugned laws caused catastrophic harm to sex workers and were a violation of their right to life, liberty, and security.

Wikipedia: Canada (AG) v Bedford
Canada (AG) v Bedford 2013 SCC 72, [2013] 3 SCR 1101 is a ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada relating to Canada's laws relating to sex work. The applicants, Terri-Jean Bedford, Amy Lebovitch and Valerie Scott, argued that Canada's prostitution laws were unconstitutional. The Criminal Code includes a number of provisions, such as outlawing public communication for the purposes of prostitution, operating a bawdy house or living off of the avails of prostitution, even though prostitution itself is legal.

The applicants argued that the laws deprive sex workers of their right to security by forcing them to work secretly. In 2012, the Court of Appeal for Ontario ruled that some, but not all, of these prohibitions violated the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and were unconstitutional. The Supreme Court of Canada ruled in a 9–0 decision on December 20, 2013, that all of these laws are unconstitutional; although, it delayed the striking down of the laws by one year to allow Parliament to update the laws in accordance with the ruling.

my blog: What do sex workers want? by Juno Mac - Apr 26/2019
Juno takes us through four different legal models addressing the sex industry and explains why they -- and sex workers around the world -- believe decriminalization and self-determination are the only way to keep sex workers safe.

An activist with the Sex Worker Open University, Juno campaigns for better working conditions by fighting criminalization and is involved with public education projects around issues relating to sex worker rights.

my blog: Prostitution: People, people, people, what are we doing? - Jun 7/2014
"The vast majority of those who sell sexual services do not do so by choice. We view the vast majority of those involved in selling sexual services as victims."
- Justice Minister Peter MacKay discussing Bill C-36 dubbed the protection of communities and exploited persons act; (CBC - June 5, 2014)


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Monday 29 April 2019

Ellie Holcomb: The Broken Beautiful

Published on May 15, 2014 by Ellie Holcomb
YouTube: "The Broken Beautiful" | Ellie Holcomb | OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO

I know that I don't bring a lot to the table
Just little pieces of a broken heart
There's days I wonder if You'll still be faithful
Hold me together when I fall apart?
Would You remind me now of who You are?

That Your love will never change
That there's healing in your name
That You can take broken things
And make them beautiful
You took my shame
And You walked out of the grave
So Your love can take broken things
And make them beautiful

I'm better off when I begin to remember
How You have met me in my deepest pain
So give me glimpses now of how You have covered
All of my heart ache, oh with all Your grace
Remind me now that You can make a way

You say that You'll turn my weeping into dancing
Remove my sadness & cover me with joy
You say your scars are the evidence of healing
That You can make the broken beautiful

You make us beautiful, oh oh
You make us beautiful


Wikipedia: Ellie Holcomb
Elizabeth Asher Holcomb (born Bannister; born September 12, 1982) is an American CCM-folk singer-songwriter raised in Nashville, Tennessee. Her father is noted music producer Brown Bannister, and she was a member of Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors, whose frontman is her husband Drew. They met while in school at the University of Tennessee together.

official web site: Ellie Holcomb

Twitter: Ellie Holcomb @ellieholcomb
I'm a wife, a daughter, a sister, a mother, and a lover. Trying to write & sing what's true along the way. Kicking back at the darkness with the light.


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Sunday 28 April 2019

Divorce: a curious observation

Two years ago, a fellow blogger and Facebook friend, asked me to look at something, interested in my opinion. She pointed me to a Facebook posting and this is what I read.

A woman described being a relationship for some time, a D/s, dominant/submissive arrangement. — This wasn't marriage, but I still felt the concept of divorce was applicable. — She said that a couple of months prior to this, her partner’s behaviour had changed: He had become quiet and withdrawn. Her needs were no longer being met, and she sought people’s input as she was considering leaving him. I read through the comments and found a number of people saying that he obviously no longer loved her, and she would be wise to get out now rather than prolonging the agony. Some suggested he may have found somebody else.

I mulled this other for a day or two then wrote the following response. This is a paraphrase as I can’t find the original posting.

Your man has become quiet and withdrawn. You have no idea why. You’re contemplating doing something as drastic as ending your relationship, but you don’t know what’s going on. You owe it to yourself, to your man, and to your relationship to fully inform yourself about the circumstances before making any decision. Being informed is prudent in any situation, not just about relationships.

This abrupt change in behaviour tells me something dramatic has happened in your partner’s life. Now, it could very well be that he’s fallen out of love with you and possibly found somebody else, but I would like you to consider other reasons. You may find it disconcerting that he has not spoken to you about whatever the issue is, but I would ask if this issue is so personal, it has rocked him to his core. Is he embarrassed or even humiliated to the point of being unable to talk about it?

Has your man suffered a financial loss? Money and financial stability are important to all of us, and financial matters are considered the number one problem in any relationship. I had a business acquaintance confess to me that during the 2008 financial crisis, he had six hundred thousand dollars in investments wiped out practically overnight. He said he thought about jumping out the window.

Ten years later, I’m pleased to say this gentleman has survived his catastrophe and is back thriving in his business. But let’s face it, having a downturn isn’t the same as suffering a loss of major proportions.

Has your man suffered an employment problem? Has he been threatened with termination at his job? Has he already lost his job but hasn’t told you? Discussing such a thing may seem easy or self-evident to you, but once again, this could be something which has knocked him to the ground. He may be gobsmacked into inaction.

Has your man suffered a health problem? Has his doctor just told him he’s suffering from the big C (cancer)? Is this connected to his prostate? Is he suffering from erection dysfunction, or is he under threat to be suffering from it? Once again, his silence about this could be an inability to process the magnitude of the issue.

I point you to the author Laura Munson and her book “This Is Not The Story You Think It Is: A Season of Unlikely Happiness”. In her story, her husband comes home one day and says he no longer loves her and wants a divorce. She didn’t buy it. With time and patience, it comes out: Her husband had suffered a financial crisis and thought he was going to lose everything including their family home. He found his way out and was afterward contrite. They survived, and today they thrive.

You don’t know what’s going on with your partner. You need to find out, and then make a decision.

A year later, I asked my fellow blogger if she had heard anything. She said she hadn’t, adding that she didn’t know the woman who originally posted.

It’s now been several years, and I still think about this from time to time. How many people in a relation have acted impulsively, emotionally, without taking the time to reflect in a logical manner? I discovered that critics of Laura Munson called her a doormat. Their assessment involved kicking her husband immediately to the curb. If Ms. Munson had followed their advice, she would be divorced today, not still married.

Either partner in a relationship will face personal crises in their lifetime. I say personal because it’s a crisis for the individual: employment, financial, or health. Will the relationship survive the crisis? Will one partner ride out the storm, the other person’s crisis, or will they bail?

Final Word
In reference to men and women, I promote our equality as human beings, but I admit there are differences between us, not just physically, but in the roles we play based on societal traditions, religious upbringing, and peer group pressure. We can question those roles and their validity, but we have to admit they exist and deal with such as they are. Men are under pressure to succeed, but usually defined as the lone hero who makes it all on his own, never asking for help. I’m not saying that’s the best idea; I’m merely saying that how things have been traditionally. According to my reading of the statistics, males are three to four times more likely to commit suicide than females in western culture. We are taught to succeed at all costs, to fight, and to never cry. We are sometimes faced with insurmountable obstacles and the possibility of failure can be not just embarrassing but humiliating. As I said, I’m not debating the validity of any of this, I’m just saying that’s ofttimes how things are. The old joke may be funny about how a man is too proud to ask for help, but the results of his failure are anything but funny: divorce, suicide, alcoholism, domestic violence, etc.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want anybody to claim I’m justifying any of this. An explanation is not a justification. However, if I stand back and look at this from the big picture, collectively we are our own worst enemy. Our traditional patriarchy has promoted the idea of men as the lone hero succeeding against all odds. The reality is that the success rate is higher if we work together.

I’m curious what the woman did in the end. Did she bail? Did she find out what was going on with her partner and then bail? Or did she stay? We guys are our own worst enemy. We can be tight-lipped about personal matters and invariably make things worse, not only for ourselves but for those around us, especially our partners. It’s unfortunate.

I’m sure anyone reading this will have their own take on the situation: stay or leave. Whatever the case, an “informed” decision seems like the best idea. Way, way back in the beginning of my career of socializing at parties, I was hesitant in a group of strangers to start a conversation. I slowly discovered others were as equally shy and seemed to breath a sigh of relief when I made the first overture. I’ve managed to develop some skill in coaxing people out of their shell.

While one would hope that within the context of a relationship, all parties would be open and honest, the ability of getting someone to open up may sometimes need to be used with one’s own partner. We can be embarrassed, even humiliated with our better half. I know it sounds like an odd thing to say, but even with our own partner, the person with whom we are supposedly the most intimate in the entire world, we can still be hesitant, reticent, holding back out of fear of judgment, a fear that comes not from the partner, but from a lifetime of dealing with life: religion, society, and peer group pressure. The rate of divorce is somewhere between 40% and 50%. Nuff said.

Your mileage may vary. After I finished this article but before I published it, it occurred to me, some will disagree. While I still think an informed decision is the best option, some may be faced with a partner that refuses to talk under any circumstances. One has to make a decision without all the necessary information because not making a decision is a worse option. Life doesn't always work out and at the end of the day, we have to do what's best for ourselves. Sometimes divorce is about self-preservation. Good luck.


my blog – May 24/2011
Laura Munson: Save a marriage by doing nothing
Laura Munson is a writer or was an unpublished writer. Over the years, she had suffered rejection notice after rejection notice and ended up with over a dozen unpublished books. Nevertheless, she had a happy marriage, two kids, and a farmhouse on 20 acres of land in Montana. Then out of the blue, her husband announces he no longer loves her and wants to move out. Her response? Do nothing.

Wikipedia: Gender differences in suicide
In the western world, males die by suicide three to four times more often than do females. This greater male frequency is increased in those over the age of 65.

my blog – Jan 9/2014
Boys Will Be Boys (or However We Make Them)
From the 2014 documentary “The Mask You Live In”:
* Compared to a girl the same age, a boy in late adolescence is 7 times more likely to die by his own hand.
* Boys under 17 drink more heavily than any other population group.
* Boys in the U.S. are 30% more likely than girls to flunk or drop-out of school.


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Saturday 27 April 2019

One Panel Stories

An intriguing and creative premise: Take a single panel from a comic strip and change the talk or thought balloon in a way that makes a complete scenario, a one panel story as it were, but with a romantic and/or sexual angle. Let the chuckles ensue.

One panel cartoons have been around since forever, but I found this premise to be novel. And amusing. I have no idea who came up with the idea, or who runs the Pinterest board "One Panel Stories" where I first ran across them, but I did have a good chuckle or two.


Pinterest: One Panel Stories

Wikipedia: Drabble
A drabble is a short work of fiction of precisely one hundred words in length. The purpose of the drabble is brevity, testing the author's ability to express interesting and meaningful ideas in a confined space.

my blog: Writing: Less is more: the drabble
My drabble is drivel. I only dribble so I write drabble. I dabble so I drabble. Of course that last one assumes I can use the noun drabble as a verb.


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Friday 26 April 2019

What do sex workers want? by Juno Mac

Prostitution, for the most part, is illegal today. It was illegal yesterday. It was illegal last year. It's been illegal, once again for the most part, just about forever. However, the world's oldest profession continues to flourish. And a new generation of law makers and moralists seek to combat this supposed social scourge by — Surprise! Surprise! — making it illegal.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.

Does making anything illegal stop it? Does a law make a problem go away? There's an underlying issue to every problem, and if one never addresses that issue, one will never solve the problem.

Published on Feb 26, 2016 by TEDx Talks
YouTube: What do sex workers want? | Juno Mac | TEDxEastEnd (18:01)
Everyone has an opinion about sex work, but what does sex worker Juno Mac think? Juno takes us through four different legal models addressing the sex industry and explains why they -- and sex workers around the world -- believe decriminalization and self-determination are the only way to keep sex workers safe.

An activist with the Sex Worker Open University, Juno campaigns for better working conditions by fighting criminalization and is involved with public education projects around issues relating to sex worker rights.

Final Word
In my article "Prostitution: People, people, people, what are we doing?" (Jun 7/2014), I discuss the misinformation surrounding this issue, from public perception and government reaction, to insider information from such notable as Maggie McNeil, author of The Honest Courtesan: “Frank commentary from a retired call girl”. It would seem that everybody has an opinion, but few people have the facts.

"We cannot properly address an issue if misinformation prevents us from properly assessing the issue."
-Irene Graham, Australian anti-censorship crusader

As I said in the opening: Does making anything illegal stop it? Does a law make a problem go away? There's an underlying issue to every problem, and if one never addresses that issue, one will never solve the problem.


Verso Books: Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights by Juno Mac and Molly Smith
How the law harms sex workers—and what they want instead
Do you have to endorse prostitution in order to support sex worker rights? Should clients be criminalized, and can the police deliver justice?

In Revolting Prostitutes, sex workers Juno Mac and Molly Smith bring a fresh perspective to questions that have long been contentious. Speaking from a growing global sex worker rights movement, and situating their argument firmly within wider questions of migration, work, feminism, and resistance to white supremacy, they make it clear that anyone committed to working towards justice and freedom should be in support of the sex worker rights movement.

Amazon: Revolting Prostitutes: The Fight for Sex Workers' Rights by Juno Mac and Molly Smith

Twitter: Juno Mac @fornicatrix

Tank Magazine - Spring/Summer 2019
Interview with Juno Mac and Molly Smith
Juno Mac and Molly Smith are activists, writers and sex workers based in England and Scotland. Their new book Revolting Prostitutes (Verso, 2018) is a defence of neither sex nor work. Rather, it makes a powerful case that, whether or not we like or approve of their jobs, sex workers – like all workers – have rights, and that the best way to ensure these rights is the full decriminalisation of the sex industry.

Interview by Tamar Shlaim

Quote Investigator - Mar 23/2017
Insanity Is Doing the Same Thing Over and Over Again and Expecting Different Results
In conclusion, based on current evidence the saying originated in one of the twelve-step communities. Anonymity is greatly valued in these communities, and no specific author has been identified by the many researchers who have explored the provenance of this adage.

my blog: Prostitution: People, people, people, what are we doing? - Jun 7/2014
"The vast majority of those who sell sexual services do not do so by choice. We view the vast majority of those involved in selling sexual services as victims."
- Justice Minister Peter MacKay discussing Bill C-36 dubbed the protection of communities and exploited persons act; (CBC - June 5, 2014)


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Thursday 25 April 2019

Obama, Gun Control, and the NRA

Republicans, Conservatives, and especially the NRA look at guns as a constitutional freedom. I've heard them say that Democrats and politically correct libtards want to take away guns and leave Americans defenceless.

Total freedom, with no controls, no regulations, and no oversight, is anarchy. In the following video, Obama talks about the unintended consequences of current gun legislation, or lack thereof: He can put a suspected terrorist on a No-fly list, but he can't stop said suspect from buying a gun. Think about that. If you're a gun advocate, is that what you want? So much for national security!

Published on Jun 2, 2016 by PBS NewsHour
YouTube: Obama to gun owners — I’m not looking to disarm you
Wednesday night, the NewsHour hosted President Obama for a wide-ranging interview with Gwen Ifill, followed by a town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana. After the broadcast, Obama answered a few bonus questions for the audience, including one query regarding the contentious issue of gun control and Second Amendment rights.

The current situation is good enough?

Snopes - May 22/2018
Which Has Killed More People in 2018: School Shootings or Military Service?
True: But there are other issues to consider in tallying the numbers.

Politifact - May 21/2018
Have more students been killed in schools than soldiers in combat zones?
True: But there are other issues to consider in tallying the numbers.

Who's for gun control?

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research - Mar 19/2019
Gun Laws and Public Safety
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support stricter gun laws in the United States, but many question whether tighter regulations can reduce some forms of gun violence. Few people think various public spaces are safer these days than they were 20 years ago.

Sixty-seven percent of Americans think the country's gun laws should be stricter, while 22 percent say they should remain as is, and 10 percent would like to see gun laws relaxed.

Final Word
In my 2012 article "Guns: as American as apple pie", I ask the question: Dear America: Are you f**kin' crazy?

I tell the story of a man, Todd Candy, standing in the checkout line of Wal-Mart while buying milk, accidentally discharges his gun. It turns out he's properly licensed and permitted to carry a handgun, but I ask this question which had nothing to do with his 2nd amendment rights: I'm not talking about gun rights at all!

Here's my question:

Is Wal-Mart so dangerous, I'm foolishly taking my life in my hands when I shop there unarmed, unprepared to return deadly fire in order to defend myself?

Todd Candy is licensed to carry a concealed weapon. What danger does he want to protect himself against? Does he know something I don't? Either I'm crazy, or he's crazy. Personally, I don't think I should shop at Wal-Mart anymore. Note: I'm not questioning his right to have a gun or carry a gun. I'm asking why he feels it's necessary to do so. What danger in society, in his everyday life does he perceive that I apparently do not?

The Right, unduly influenced by the NRA, has taken a stance that there should be no gun controls whatsoever, and absolutely everyone should be free to buy anything they want. And the next time somebody goes nuts and shoots up a place, they will offer their "thoughts and prayers". Guns don't kill people; people kill people. Or is it crazy people kill people? I have to note that an unarmed person can't shoot me.

In today's political climate, security seems to be the number one topic of conversation. It seems to be of paramount importance to everybody. But note what President Obama said in the above video: He can put a suspected terrorist on a No-fly list, but he can't prevent said suspect from buying a gun. Excuse me, but that completely contradicts anybody's need for security. I'd say that's absolutely crazy.

Is there a middle ground? I believe so. All of us are required to take driving lessons and pass a test in order to get a license to drive a car. Anyone is required to attend university, go to medical school, do an internship, and pass exams before being allowed to perform brain surgery. Why would buying a gun, owning it, and using it, be allowed in our society with no oversight?


my blog: Guns: as American as apple pie - Sep 12/2012
Dear America, I have to ask you. It may be a little indelicate. It may actually make you a tad miffed with me but somehow I just have to say it. I've heard tell that honesty is the best policy so with that in mind I hope you will be forgiving and take it in the amicable manner with which it is meant; just one friend to another. Here goes.

Are you f**kin' crazy?

my blog: Just because you can doesn't mean you should - Jun 16/2014
Target. Chipotle. You have enough firepower to stop a charging bull elephant at a thousand yards. What exactly are you expecting? Will an argument erupt over the last remaining pair of men's black socks in size 8-13? Will somebody jump the line-up for the next available table for four by the window overlooking the garden? Even if you have the right to carry a gun, why do you feel compelled to do so?

Members of Open Carry Texas made themselves visible in a number of public outlets - Target, Wal-Mart, Chipotle's Family Restaurants - proudly displaying their armement. This was 2nd amendment rights at their finest. One problem: How does anyone tell the difference between Open Carry Texas and a crazed maniac about to commit the next mass shooting? It may be someone's right to have a gun, but is it a good idea to walk around waving it in everybody's face?

Politico - Jan 14/2015
The Myth Behind Defensive Gun Ownership
In the early hours of Nov. 2, 2013, in Dearborn Heights, Michigan, a pounding at the door startled Theodore Wafer from his slumber. Unable to find his cell phone to call the police, he grabbed the shotgun he kept loaded in his closet. Wafer opened the door and, spotting a dark figure behind the screen, fired a single blast at the supposed intruder. The shot killed a 19-year-old girl who was knocking to ask for help after a car accident.
What do these and so many other cases have in common? They are the byproduct of a tragic myth: that millions of gun owners successfully use their firearms to defend themselves and their families from criminals. Despite having nearly no academic support in public health literature, this myth is the single largest motivation behind gun ownership. It traces its origin to a two-decade-old series of surveys that, despite being thoroughly repudiated at the time, persists in influencing personal safety decisions and public policy throughout the United States.

Time - Sep 16/2013
Ready, Fire, Aim: The Science Behind Police Shooting Bystanders
According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent.
The data show what any police officer who has ever been involved in a shooting can tell you–firing accurately in a stressful situation is extremely hard.


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Wednesday 24 April 2019

Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?

I ran across the following on social media:

"Someone asked "Why do some British people not like Donald Trump?"

Nate White, an articulate and witty writer from England, wrote this magnificent response:"

A few things spring to mind.

Trump lacks certain qualities which the British traditionally esteem.

For instance, he has no class, no charm, no coolness, no credibility, no compassion, no wit, no warmth, no wisdom, no subtlety, no sensitivity, no self-awareness, no humility, no honour and no grace - all qualities, funnily enough, with which his predecessor Mr. Obama was generously blessed.

So for us, the stark contrast does rather throw Trump’s limitations into embarrassingly sharp relief.

Plus, we like a laugh. And while Trump may be laughable, he has never once said anything wry, witty or even faintly amusing - not once, ever.

I don’t say that rhetorically, I mean it quite literally: not once, not ever. And that fact is particularly disturbing to the British sensibility - for us, to lack humour is almost inhuman.

But with Trump, it’s a fact. He doesn’t even seem to understand what a joke is - his idea of a joke is a crass comment, an illiterate insult, a casual act of cruelty.

Trump is a troll. And like all trolls, he is never funny and he never laughs; he only crows or jeers.

And scarily, he doesn’t just talk in crude, witless insults - he actually thinks in them. His mind is a simple bot-like algorithm of petty prejudices and knee-jerk nastiness.

There is never any under-layer of irony, complexity, nuance or depth. It’s all surface.

Some Americans might see this as refreshingly upfront.

Well, we don’t. We see it as having no inner world, no soul.

And in Britain we traditionally side with David, not Goliath. All our heroes are plucky underdogs: Robin Hood, Dick Whittington, Oliver Twist.

Trump is neither plucky, nor an underdog. He is the exact opposite of that.

He’s not even a spoiled rich-boy, or a greedy fat-cat.

He’s more a fat white slug. A Jabba the Hutt of privilege.

And worse, he is that most unforgivable of all things to the British: a bully.

That is, except when he is among bullies; then he suddenly transforms into a snivelling sidekick instead.

There are unspoken rules to this stuff - the Queensberry rules of basic decency - and he breaks them all. He punches downwards - which a gentleman should, would, could never do - and every blow he aims is below the belt. He particularly likes to kick the vulnerable or voiceless - and he kicks them when they are down.

So the fact that a significant minority - perhaps a third - of Americans look at what he does, listen to what he says, and then think 'Yeah, he seems like my kind of guy’ is a matter of some confusion and no little distress to British people, given that:
* Americans are supposed to be nicer than us, and mostly are.
* You don't need a particularly keen eye for detail to spot a few flaws in the man.

This last point is what especially confuses and dismays British people, and many other people too; his faults seem pretty bloody hard to miss.

After all, it’s impossible to read a single tweet, or hear him speak a sentence or two, without staring deep into the abyss. He turns being artless into an art form; he is a Picasso of pettiness; a Shakespeare of shit. His faults are fractal: even his flaws have flaws, and so on ad infinitum.

God knows there have always been stupid people in the world, and plenty of nasty people too. But rarely has stupidity been so nasty, or nastiness so stupid.

He makes Nixon look trustworthy and George W look smart.

In fact, if Frankenstein decided to make a monster assembled entirely from human flaws - he would make a Trump.

And a remorseful Doctor Frankenstein would clutch out big clumpfuls of hair and scream in anguish:

"My God… what… have… I… created?"

If being a twat was a TV show, Trump would be the boxed set.

-Nate White, Freelance Creative at Saatchi & Saatchi (2018-present), London, England


Quora profile: Nate White
Drinks coffee. Writes copy.
Don Draper in the 21st Century.
Freelance Creative at Saatchi & Saatchi

Quora original entry: Why do many British people not like Donald Trump? by Nate White - Feb 20/2019

Wikipedia: Quora
Quora is a question-and-answer website where questions are asked, answered, edited, and organized by its community of users in the form of opinions. Its publisher, Quora Inc., is based in Mountain View, California. The company was founded in June 2009, and the website was made available to the public for the first time on June 21, 2010. Users can collaborate by editing questions and suggesting edits to answers that have been submitted by other users.

Quora question: What's the worst thing, politics aside, that has happened to America under Donald Trump? by Nate White

I’m British.

When I was young, America was this.

And now it’s this.

Trump did that.


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