Matthew Shepard won’t celebrate his 40th birthday on December 1, 2016. He hasn’t celebrated his birthday for 18 years.
Cause of death: Homicide
On October 6, 1998, Matthew, 21, was lured from a bar in Laramie, WY. He thought he was getting a ride home. Instead, he was driven to a rural area where he was beaten, tortured, tied to a fence, and left to die. A cyclist discovered him 18 hours later. What he thought was a scarecrow, was Matthew in a coma.
Matthew died on October 12, 1998, the way no human should. He passed away laying in a hospital bed in Fort Collins, CO.
Matthew was murdered because he was gay. Aaron McKinney, 22, and Russell Henderson, 21, are serving life terms. They deserve it.
What they didn’t deserve was growing up in a country whose government politicizes civil rights by planting deep seeds of discrimination and hate toward fellow Americans who are diverse in different ways.
Two administrations later, we spend money faster than technology evolves. Yet, our politics traveled back in time.
Both parties are guilty. The LGBT was ignored by one and attacked by the other. At least attacking acknowledges existence. Without the attacks, would we still be ignored? But, President Obama pushed a lot harder and made a little more progress.
I get it, it’s a process. A slow, slow process.
The Great American Hypocrisy: All lives will never matter.
As long as civil rights are politicized, America will remain a nation of enemies. Fear leads to discrimination. Discrimination leads to hate and so on.
Political parties don’t solve civil rights issues, they create them. Civil rights are platform poison.
To all the do nothing politicians.
Civil rights are constitutional and belong in the judicial system. Civil rights aren’t for you to repeal if you disagree with the outcome.
There are countless combinations of the civil rights menu and we have two options?
How many more sessions will you challenge Roe v. Wade? How much money do you have access to? Now you want to repeal gay marriage? Deny hospital visits to my partner…my family? You want to spend money on conversion therapy? Oh, now I can be fired?
Talk about setting a precedent – which is exactly why civil rights should not be political.
Being gay isn’t a choice! You know what is a choice? Taking bribes. Adultry. Lying. Living your life in the closet. Homophobia. Religion. Ruining your family. Ruining my family.
Go convert yourself.
Tell you what, fix our schools. Fix healthcare. Fix wages. Enable parents to be parents. Give Americans a real chance. Quit preaching fiscal responsibility while killing your citizens and flooding the world (and your basements) with taxpayer money.
I’ll tell you what we’re all.
We’re all sick of your bullshit politics.
And stop accepting bribes. Dig deep and find your merits – run on those. Actually do something for the people.
The establishments are in stalemate.
It’s simple. Either we’re all created equal or we’re not. Which is it? At least answer that. I know what you’re going to say. We all…what? Matter? Are equal? What? Spit it out.
You keep wasting our time and money playing tug o’ war with civil rights. If you want to argue civil rights, practice law. Otherwise, be the legislative, public-serving representative you signed up to be.
It wasn’t until 2009 when Congress passed The Matthew Shepard Act which President Obama signed into law. Matthew’s gruesome murder would finally be considered a hate crime. It took 11 years.
The Gone Old Parties
The 2016 GOP Platform is nothing short of horrifying. If you haven’t seen it for yourself, it’s right here.
There are no parties. The choice is conscience. Next month is not the time to leave America’s future to chance. Next time there will be more options.
Let’s land the plane, refuel, and continue the work that needs to be done.
A Note to Matthew
Matt, I was 24 when the world learned what happened to you. Your life inspired and motivated LGBT movements across the planet.
If you were born the day you died, you’d be casting your first vote in a historic election in November when the U.S. elects its next President.
Your sacrifice brought awareness of a hatred that makes anyone a vulnerable target.
We won’t let you down. Not anymore. We’ve evolved. We continue to evolve, albeit slowly.
“Did you vote today?”
“Yes, I didn’t vote.”
No, not voting isn’t a vote. It’s literally not a vote.
It’s been a tumultuous year in U.S. politics. Some Americans are so disgusted, many say their vote in November will come in the form of not voting at all.
How does that work? It doesn’t.
Most Americans don’t fully support either ticket, much less the party platforms. However, there are only two candidates who have a chance at winning.
Be part of the solution, not the problem. Swallow your pride and make a damn decision.
This one should be easier than figuring out what to do for dinner.
In the land of the free, you have the freedom to be stubborn. If you want to sit on the sidelines this year, that’s your choice. Bite that hand that feeds you and punish America by foregoing your right to vote. I can’t imagine anything more American.
Except, I don’t know, actually voting?
Take your ball and go home. Don’t be a poor sport because the game isn’t going your way. You don’t like the players. You don’t support the teams. You go home, alone, and play with your ball, pretending it’s a game. Don’t be selfish.
This election isn’t about Republicans and Democrats. Get that out of your head. The bases will disagree, but this election is about humanity. It’s about common decency. It’s really that simple. This election will define America’s collective conscience for the rest of the world.
Not voting supports your least favorite candidate. Not voting is even worse than voting for (who you consider) the lesser of two evils. It supports (who you consider) the greater evil. That greater evil is just fine with you not voting. They don’t expect your vote anyway. You’re playing right into their hands.
Three’s a crowd. My heart dropped when the supposed nominees became official. I believe the majority of Americans realize the desperate need for a third party, but now isn’t the time. Reread the previous point. Voting third party only supports the greater evil. If you do, at least you voted. Somewhere in your mind you have to know it’s a wasted effort.
If neither earned your vote, which one lost your vote? If they’re not worth voting for, they’re worth voting against. What better way to send a heartfelt ‘fuck you’ to the candidate who failed you?
Failure without consequence? Come on!
If you’re anti-Trump, you should vote for Clinton. What’s the best outcome for Trump if you’re anti-Trump? Not voting for Clinton. That’s all the support Trump needs from you. As hard as voting for Clinton might be, you’re only helping the guy you refuse to vote for.
If you’re anti-Clinton, you should vote for Trump. If Clinton annoys you so much, go ahead and vote for Trump. Do it. I dare you. You’re the one who has to live with your decision. Good luck sleeping at night. Seriously, go cast a vote for Trump if you believe Clinton is the devil’s spawn. Just one request – be proud of and stand by your decision!
Bernie Sanders supporters should vote for Clinton. That’s right from the horse’s mouth so I can’t say much more. Bernie cares about you. He endorsed Clinton. By not voting, you’re failing the candidate you so-called “supported.”
Still undecided? You’re either lying or in denial. By now neither candidate has anything new to say. Now, the claws come out to motivate people who never vote by scaring them with rhetoric. Trump’s only going to get worse. Clinton is only going to gain more surprising endorsements. It’s almost as if the decision is being made for us. But, it isn’t and the bullshit polls will remain close. The truth about the choice America will make on November 8 is being laid out.
If you won’t take a stand for yourself, take a stand for America. There’s only one side who doesn’t think everyone should vote. Gosh, I wonder why. That’s because they know they would lose. And it’s not because people are uninformed. It’s because the majority of Americans know the difference between right and wrong.
We’re all in this together.
Even the people who disagree with what they just read.
Americans Lost Control of America a Long Time Ago
Government of the people, by the lobbyists, for selfish reasons has been the U.S. mantra for decades.
The pieces never change in Government Monopoly. The banker owns Boardwalk and stomped backwards to Baltic Avenue.
For the record, I’ve identified as Republican most of my life, but I never thought I’d feel this ashamed. Not because of what Republicans were, it’s what they’ve become.
There’s a huge disconnect between the ‘Republican’ people think they are and the Republican party they support.
American Politics is Basically a Dog’s Diet
Dog food is bland, predictable, and rarely changes. Brands market flavors, but they’re basically the same. Variety comes in scraps. Whenever ignored or left unattended, dogs eat anything they want.
Make America Trust Again
Politicians have failed America and Americans are failing each other. We don’t know what we don’t know, but we’re damn good at pretending we do! We’re all sure of one thing: The other candidate is more corrupt!
Good politicians are mostly useless in this twisted bundle of knots. Americans become angrier as power trumps policy and money keeps the U.S. in a federal and state government stalemate.
Too many Americans don’t believe in our political system. Too many don’t care. Many voters will shrug their shoulders and choose whomever they consider the lesser evil. It’s pathetic.
Show me the Money!
Remember President Obama’s early first term trade deal with Panama? It seemed shady at the time. Within the past couple years, a small, important bribery case flew under the radar.
For more context, here’s a related post: The Three Ring Circus of Crime.
In April 2014, SAP fired Miami-based sales executive Vicente Eduardo Garcia. In August 2015, Garcia pleaded guilty for bribing ex-Panamanian president Ricardo Martinelli to purchase SAP software.
In December 2015, Garcia was sentenced to 22-months in federal prison. In February 2016, the SEC fined SAP $3.7 million under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
When pleading guilty, Garcia called the bribe “necessary.” Interesting. Has the global corruption nut been cracked?
Supposedly, ongoing investigations involving SAP continue. Is this related to The Panama Papers? We haven’t heard much about those recently either.
Making Sense of the Nonsensical
I never believed Donald Trump was serious. Maybe I’m wrong. I sleep better knowing I never supported him.
Trump has the GOP in a choke hold. Permanently smug, he’s exposing everything the far-right believes, unfiltered, while the ‘old guard’ silently watches the controlled demolition of their party.
When you think you’ve heard it all, he gets worse.
It’s ugly. Really, really ugly.
Trump wants to win like anyone wants antibiotic resistant gonorrhea.
Within a year, Trump evolved from barely decent to indigestible and was the only candidate standing for the last nine Republican primaries.
Voila! Republicans nominated an inexperienced, obnoxious Democrat pretending to be Republican.
Since being nominated, Trump’s earned more Republican endorsements for Hillary Clinton than her campaign ever could.
Is America having a Political Intervention?
How are Americans supposed to elect a president when they’re united by fear and deeply divided by lies? Give them an obvious choice: Trump vs. Clinton. We’re either in purgatory or political intervention and I assume we aren’t living a real life version of Lost.
An intervention makes sense. Cash-susceptible hypocrites who have no business in public service plague both parties. In a shameless quest for power, our government became lobotomized by lobbyists. It’s about money bundled in a web of conflicts of interest.
Unless the cycle is broken, the U.S. will spend its way to oblivion. Until the web of corruption is unraveled, nobody – and I mean nobody – can claim fiscal responsibility.
A Tale of Two Extremes. Most Americans don’t identify with a major party. You’re either Pro-war or a terrorist; fiscally conservative or a communist; racist or Black Lives Matter; for the 2nd Amendment or against it. Party support can be about a single issue – many of them social and unnecessarily political. Basically, you cannot support the LGBT and care about national security. Excuse me?
Stuck in the Middle. The majority of voters rest somewhere between the two major parties. One-by-one, issues take center stage highlighting problems that shouldn’t be political. These are the issues that sway the middle who ultimately decides which party holds the presidency.
To Hell with a Third Party (this time). Many Americans desire a third party – one that knows the role government should play in our private lives and prioritizes accordingly. One that’s socially liberal and fiscally conservative; one that doesn’t squander funds in an endless war against boogeymen who have the home of the brave living in constant fear.
The only candidates participating in the first presidential debate are Trump and Clinton. If that doesn’t tell you voting third party is a wasted effort, nothing will.
Distraction is the Main Attraction. When perception’s reality, the truth is irrelevant. It’s either incredibly telling or massively insulting how U.S. media ignores anything other than the election. On any given day at least half of the top headlines on most ‘news’ sources are about Trump. You won’t find world, business, technology, economic, or political news unless you dig. Significant M&A activity is occurring within major industries around the planet, but you wouldn’t know it if you live in the U.S.
Do you know anyone affected by the VW diesel emissions scandal? What about Lockheed’s $400 billion F-35 logistics system fiasco? Did congress just approve over $1 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia while Obama, on Friday, vetoed a law giving 9/11 families the right to sue Saudi Arabia?
Sacrificing the GOP. First, I thought Trump’s purpose was destroying the GOP. He accomplished that the minute Jeb Bush suspended his campaign after Super Tuesday. It wasn’t until Cruz and Kasich’s conveniently timed exit that exposed a more consorted effort to make Trump the nominee. According to RNC rules, if either Kasich or Cruz stayed in for one more primary, they could’ve had a legitimate contested convention.
However, they both dropped out right before the primary that would make that possible. Curious, isn’t it? Especially since Cruz refused to endorse Trump at the Republican convention.
Tipping the Scales. It’s as if a conscious dismantling of the establishments began with the GOP. The DNC has seen some shake-up, but nothing to the extent of the GOP…yet. The Republicans had 17 contenders a year ago and the only one to gain traction was the guy with zero political experience, acts like a 5-year-old, and lashes out on Twitter like a thin-skinned crybaby.
Herding the Cattle. One way to corral support is for one nominee to have an epic public meltdown. Let him espouse racial epithets. Add hate, fear, and discrimination to the party platform and, ultimately, you’ve made support of said nominee regretful, embarrassing, and/or unconscionable.
Even still, some supporters are stuck to him like barnacles. Barnacles are a bitch!
The Ridiculous Decision. Nobody likes voting for people they don’t trust. Most voters believe politicians and trust are mutually exclusive. That’s Clinton’s biggest problem and that’s probably why Trump is so incredibly bad. Trump demonstrates daily why he’s not trustworthy while Clinton battles years of character attacks, lies, and political spin. Clinton has to be the most corrupt politician with the shortest rap sheet.
Republicans have spent many more millions investigating Clinton than they approved for the full investigation into 9/11 and the subsequent production of the 9/11 Commission Report.
When are coincidences no longer coincidences?
Hindsight is 20/20. History is written by the victors. Question everything and you begin seeing possible explanations of why we’re in this massive political cluster.
It would take an unthinkable bipartisan effort to fix America’s political crisis. It would take an even more unthinkable global cooperation to fix worldwide economic crime. If what I believe about SAP, international governments, and U.S. dollars is true, then the fix is in. We just don’t know it yet. Could this be the October surprise?
For starters, the timing of Paul Ryan’s appointment as Speaker of the House which happens to be #3 in line for the presidency.
Endless extensions for the release of Clinton’s private server emails concerning the Special Access Program classification. (December 31, 2015 to January 31, 2016 to February 29, 2016 when the FBI finally elevated responsibility to the DOJ).
On July 5, 2016, FBI director James Comey, in his recommendation to not charge Clinton, stated he didn’t want to be the one to alter the course of political history. That doesn’t mean Clinton did anything wrong. Sounds like it’s someone else’s job to alter the course of political history.
Were the emails on a private server in order to be exposed in the first place? The same could be said for Snowden. How did her private server get exposed? The Benghazi investigation, of course.
Anyway, I digress. There’s something brewing in Washington and it’s only a matter of time before this simmering mess boils over. And it’s about time.
Americans are better than this.
If you haven’t succumbed to election fatigue, you’re a sucker for punishment. I am sick of the charade. It’s insulting.
The arguments aren’t worth having. Not at this point. Not anymore. It’s not worth losing relationships with your friends and family.
Sit back and let it all unfold. Meanwhile, live life. Focus on things that matter. Spend time with those you love. Make those around you smile. Stay true to yourself despite the political turmoil. It’s all bullshit.
Your only political responsibility is to show up for election day and vote your conscience. By now, the decision should be clear.
The moment Donald Trump went on his rant about banning Muslims, I predicted the path this storm would take. I still don’t believe he will be president. Even more, I don’t believe he wants to win.
Read the original “Has Trumpnado Jumped the Sharknado?”
The damage since has been monumental.
This scheme has every indication that Trump’s only goal in all of this was a multi-layered take down of the GOP. He won the day Jeb Bush fell off the face of the Earth.
Jeb should bottle and sell his tears on Ebay. “Saltier than the Dead Sea!”