Saturday, December 9, 2017

Twitter Says I'm Hateful

For the last four days, I was blocked from Twitter, which is probably a good thing, because I know damn well that I spend waaaay too much time on it. The reason? I violated Twitter's rules against hateful conduct:
"You may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease."
It was a reply to a reply in a thread started by super mega author Stephen King (@stephenking) who also happens to be an outspoken liberal with 4.3 million followers. 
Here's the sequence of tweets in context.
"I'm wondering if Alabama voters will elect a man they'd horsewhip, if they caught him messing with their own daughters" @stephenking
"But Roy is anti-abortion." Yes, fetuses have a right to life, so you can rape them once they hit junior high." @HowardA_Esq
And me:
"Their attitude is 'Life is sacred' right up until the baby is born then it's "Don't expect any help from us. You made your bed now lie in it, you lazy slut. We told you this would happen in abstinence education." @Judy5cents 
I have posted this sentiment before on Facebook and Twitter, and I don't see how I'm promoting violence or threatening people. I suppose the "lazy slut" was what did it, but it's not directed at any specific person--it's a hypothetical conversation between a Right to Lifer and the teen aged mother who can't get help to raise the child they said was so precious. 
All I had to do to get back on was to verify my identity, delete the offending tweet and wait out my 12 hour suspension. Pretty much like a middle schooler being forced to say "I'm sorry for what I said" and serve a modest detention. 
I wasn't having any of it. I was mad and hell and I was determined Twitter wasn't going to push me around. I appealed the decision, saying the tweet was meant to be sarcastic, and asking what exactly was it about that tweet that promoted violence or threatened or harassed any person or group. 
This was their answer:
"We’re writing to let you know that your account features will remain locked or limited for the allotted time due to violations of the Twitter Rules, specifically our hateful conduct policy.
We do not allow people to promote violence against or directly attack or threaten other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or disease.

Please note that continued abusive behavior may lead to the suspension of your account. To avoid having your account suspended, please only post content that abides by the Twitter Rules:

You can learn more about our policy against hateful conduct here:


Basically, it was a form letter. I'm sure they send out this letter to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to Twitter users every day. I was holding out for a real person, who I contacted on my other account and that's just not going to happen.
A Facebook friend of mine referred me to an article on Media Matters about how far right trolls are using this rule to temporarily silence progressives on Twitter. They report tweets out of context (like mine) and get the accounts suspended and boast about it.  "If you're still on Twitter and aren't reporting 20-30 people a day to cause chaos, you're doing it wrong." (Andrew Torba, founder of Gab, a social media platform resembling Twitter which has been dubbed a haven for White Nationalists)
Usually the suspensions last for 12 hours, but because I was so damn stubborn, they had me offline for four days. 
And that is what convinced me to go back on. By refusing to delete that tweet and get back online, I let the trolls win.
I'm still mad as hell at Twitter but I don't see any way that I'm not going to take it any more aside from leaving all together. As I expected, Twitter didn't notice I was gone. I have to admit, its Siren's song has worn thin now that I've been dashed against the rocks. I expect I won't be on Twitter as much now that I've been burned by it. 
Meanwhile, Donald Trump continues to  tweet us toward a nuclear war and posts anti-Muslim videos.  But for four days Twitter was safe from the likes of me. 
And I was safe from Twitter.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Declare Victory And Walk Away

Well, it's been a crazy month in the White House. And it was supposed to be a bit of quiet, with the Pussy-Grabber-in-Chief on vacation at his golf resort in Bedminster, New Jersey and Congress on break.

You don't need to be Sherlock Holmes to deduce that Donald Trump hates the job he's been trying to do for the last seven months. 

In a recent Politico article, White House officials and informal advisers said that Trump's temper is triggered "if he thinks someone is lying to him, if he's caught by surprise, if someone criticizes him, or if someone stops him from trying to do something or seeks to control him."

And as Late Night host Seth Meyers noted, that is what happens every single day of being president. You're lied to, you're caught by surprise, you're criticized and people try to get you to do things you don't want to do. 

When he took office in January, I thought maybe, for the sake of his own self-interest, he'd stick to the script most of the time--that he'd be smart enough to realize he was out of his depth and he'd let other people take over. Leave everything to Mike Pence and spend his time playing golf, handing out medals and attending Trump 2020 rallies. 

What he wants is impossible. He wants everyone to love him. He wants the press to only say nice things about them. He doesn't want to hear criticism, only praise. He wants to do whatever he wants and not have to answer to anyone. Because he's the boss.

When you're running your family business, you can do that. 

Donald Trump has spent his entire life in a bubble, born into wealth and privilege. His father's money and position were always there for him. To give him his start in the real estate business, to fund his ambitious business ventures and to bail him out when he failed.

When you own the business, you can surround yourself with people who tell you what you want to hear.  For his entire adult life, Trump has been able to fail spectacularly while remaining unscathed.

Bill Curry, a former adviser to President Clinton, and a former Democratic nominee for governor of Connecticut, summed up Trump's accomplishments this way in a recent Salon article:

"Trump’s whole life is a fraud that Robert Mueller may soon expose as a criminal enterprise. His business career was a disaster till a book someone else wrote and a TV show someone else produced made him a celebrity. He then fell into the only line of work he ever prospered in: licensing that celebrity. He does it pretty well, but Zsa Zsa Gabor did it first and Kim Kardashian did it better and neither of them should be president."

I really cannot see Trump continuing in the job for the next three years and five months. He may not be a very good businessman (even though he played one on TV) but he does know enough to get out when it all goes to hell.

His style is to walk away and leave other people to clean up the mess, all the while declaring himself a huge success.  

The way things have been going, I wouldn't be surprised to see this tweet from @realdonaldtrump:

"Elitist losers have blocked me at every turn so will leave swamp of DC to in private sector. Done putting up w/ ."

He'll release statements echoing his ousted strategist Steve Bannon, saying he feels he'll be far more effective Making America Great Again outside of the confines of the Washington, DC establishment.

President Mike Pence will thank him for his service. The GOP Congress will sadly bid him farewell, but breathe a collective sigh of relief that the presidency will regain some semblance of normalcy.

And Trump will retire to Trump Tower and send out tweets congratulating himself for leaving the highest position in the land. Because for him, it wasn't good enough.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The First Six Months Are the Hardest?

Well, congratulations all, we made it through six months with Trump in the White House.
And what's happening now is exactly what I expected.
Trump colluding with Russians to get dirt on Hillary Clinton? We saw it coming. Paul Manafort and Jeff Sessions both had ties to the Russians, and Trump made his admiration for Vladimir Putin very clear. He pretty much said "Hey Vlad, this is Don. I think you're super-duper dreamy. Call me, OK?"
Trump making rude personal comments about Mika Brzezinski'on Twitter? You really thought he'd stop being a misogynistic pig once he took the oath of office?
Trump spending every weekend at one of his signature golf clubs, not to mention promoting them? First, he loves playing golf and he's not going to stop, even though he said he would if he became president. Second, he is and always has been a salesman, albeit a sleazy one. Marketing the brand is what he does.
Filling the cabinet with billionaires when he promised to "drain the swamp" of Wall Street interests? What can he say? He trusts rich people. Because they're rich. Rich = good. Poor = bad.
Trump having the lowest approval ratings of any president in the history of polls? Is anyone surprised that Trump, who had no experience in government and no desire to learn would suck at his job? And that Americans would notice?
Repeal and Replace Obamacare going from a slam-dunk with a GOP controlled House, Senate and White House to a rotting corpse of a bill that isn't going anywhere, but refuses to die? We knew McConnell and company would discover that it's a whole lot easier voicing vehement opposition to ObamaCare than it is to come up with a viable plan that's acceptable to both their constituents and the diametrically opposed factions of the party.
Stephen King once said on Twitter that the GOP has been sowing dragon seeds for decades and are now horrified that they've got a full grown dragon on their hands. They've embraced the Values Voters, who want government literally up in our vaginas, and the Libertarians, who want to drown that same government in the bathtub, to the Tea Party folks, who believe that the only good tax is a repealed tax, all the while trying to placate the traditional Republicans, who wanted less regulation and,stronger economic growth but also understand the need for a safety net.
They have a majority in the Senate and yet they can't come together to pass the one thing they've dreamed of for the past eight years.
I don't know what's going to happen in the next six months, or in the next year. All I can say is I expect more of the same until we hit a breaking point. And what that will be is anyone's guess.

Judy Nichols is an author with a number of mysteries available on Amazon.