Tuesday, July 19, 2016

RNC National Convention: Day Two

Our nominees for tonight's Ass Awards:

Dumb Ass (like all women who support this candidate) Sharon Day, Co-Chair of the Republican National Committee.  Sharon Day was elected Co-Chairman of the Republican National She has served the Republican Party at the local, state, and national levels for more than 20 years.

Ass clown for hire -- Dana White, President, UFC
Dana White is the president and business visionary behind the success of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). White has expressed his gratitude to presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump for helping the UFC succeed.

Ambitious Ass -- Governor Asa Hutchison, Governor of Arkansas
Asa Hutchinson is serving his first term as Governor of Arkansas. This newbie would have a hard time saying no.

Smartass Obstructionist -- Leslie Rutledge, Arkansas Attorney General -- First time woman or Republican Arkansas Attorney General. Rutledge has joined Arkansas with Texas and other states in challenging the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s executive orders on immigration and in filing to protect personal property rights.

Greedy Ass -- Andy Wist, Businessman
Andy Wist founded the Standard Waterproofing Company in 1979. Beginning in his mom’s basement in Brooklyn, Andy grew the company into one of the largest roofing, waterproofing, and landmark restoration companies in New York City.

Dangerous Ass -- Chris Cox, Executive Director of NRA Institute for Legislative Action. Chris Cox directs NRA’s nationwide legislative and political efforts. He has been at the forefront of efforts resisting Obama administration gun control initiatives as well as abuses of power including the Justice Department’s Operation Fast and Furious effort that knowingly allowed guns to “walk” to Mexican drug cartels.
Insignificant Ass -- Natalie Gulbis, Golfer, LPGA
Natalie Gulbis is a professional golfer playing on the U.S.-based LPGA tour. Gulbis wrote a much-talked about piece on golf.com entitled “The Donald Trump I Know” in which she voiced her strong support for Donald Trump to become President of the United States.

Assbrain -- U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky)
U.S. Senator Mitch McConnell has represented the state of Kentucky since 1985, making him the state’s longest-serving senator. McConnell also serves in the Senate leadership; he is currently the Senate Majority Leader, and before assuming that role, he served an eight-year term as Senate Minority Leader.

Major horse’s ass -- U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (WI-1)
U.S. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan is the permanent chairman of the 2016 Republican National Convention. Born and raised in Janesville, Wisconsin, Ryan has spent his life advocating for real solutions that help increase opportunities for all Americans. He first won election to the U.S. House in 1999, and during his tenure, he has become known for his leadership on budget and fiscal matters.

Jackass -- U.S. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA-23)
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy has represented California in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2007. A fourth-generation resident of Kern County, California, he grew up in a working-class family and ran a small business, Kevin O’s Deli. He has applied this background to his work on behalf of small businesses and positions on burdensome taxes and regulations.

Fat Ass -- Governor Chris Christie, Governor of New Jersey
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was a candidate for president in the 2016 Republican primary. First elected governor in 2010, he was re-elected to his second term in 2013. The governor’s top priorities include balancing the state’s budget, education reform, and changing the national conversation about drug addiction and treatment.

Expensive Ass -- Tiffany Trump, Daughter of Donald Trump
Tiffany Trump was born October 13, 1993 to Donald Trump and Marla Maples. Raised in California, she is the second-youngest of Donald Trump’s children. Tiffany graduated from University of Pennsylvania this spring with a double major in sociology and urban studies. She is a fashion model, singer, and influential presence on social media.

Ass for Hire -- Kerry Woolard, General Manager, Trump Winery
Kerry Woolard is the General Manager at Trump Winery, a 1,300-acre estate located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains in central Virginia. A graduate of the College of William and Mary, Kerry has 15 years of winery management experience and has contributed to wine columns for the Wine Gazette and USA Today. In her role at Trump Winery, Kerry oversees all operations and has worked with Donald Trump to make the business a huge success.

Assling in training -- Donald Trump, Jr., Son of Donald Trump and EVP, The Trump Organization
Donald J. Trump, Jr. is an innovator and leader in today’s business world. As an Executive Vice President at The Trump Organization, Donald Jr. works in tandem with his siblings Ivanka and Eric to expand the company’s real estate, retail, commercial, hotel and golf interests nationally and internationally. His extensive real estate development experience, rigorous education and inherent business sense add a level of detail and depth to the management of all current and future Trump projects.

Ass clown -- Dr. Ben Carson, Neurosurgeon
A candidate for the presidency in this year’s Republican primary, Ben Carson grew up in a poor, single-parent household in Detroit, Michigan. Initially a student earning mediocre grades, his mother encouraged him to read and cultivated his love of learning. Between his degrees, Carson worked as an X-ray technician, a bank teller, a school bus driver, a supervisor for highway cleanup crews, and a crane operator in a steel factory.

Lame Ass -- Kimberlin Brown, Actor, 
An actress best known for her roles in the television dramas The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful, Kimberlin Brown is also a California avocado farmer, host of The Design Network’s interior designer show Dramatic Design, and a small business owner.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Police 'Roid Rage and Violence: Another Factor in Brutality?

Use of anabolic steroids by police is an under-investigated factor relative to the use of force by police officers. 

In the wake of years of deaths of African-Americans at the hands of police officers, and sometimes even citizens, for minimal or imagined crimes, it is time to consider whether ‘roid rage plays a part in the abuse of force by men and women sworn to protect the peace.

Thiblin and Parklo (2002) coordinate steroid use with later criminal violence and anti-social behavior, but the same size was limited. International Business Times (2013) links police ‘roid rage to steroid abuse and gym use.

The problem is so widespread, writes Sabrina Erdeley (2005) in Men’s Health that “the DEA has published a pamphlet called Steroid Abuse by Law Enforcement Personnel, whose cover depicts two uniformed officers surrounded by floating syringes” (para. 5).  Juicers in blue also states there is no evidence about how steroids may contribute to police brutality – because there is so little research going on.

Erdeley has some examples that I can readily relate to recent instances of police brutality in the news – the feelings of physical omnipotence and super-hero strength endowing the officer with a sense of invincibility.

Charlie Gillis (2008) in Canadian McClean’s reports on widespread acceptance of anabolic steroid use among police as necessary to maintain an intimidating muscular presence that further separates police from the communities they patrol. He quotes one law enforcement official as saying that every police officer should take one cycle of steroid a year.
Fogel (2012) even introduces a term to make the use of these controlled substances more legitimate – Vocational steroid use.
Arizona law officers and University researchers (Humphrey et al, 2016) write about the difficulties of monitoring the use of Schedule III drug.  Officers often believe they need to boost their physical strength with steroids to do their jobs well.

Alcohol abuse is readily censured and penalized. But testing for steroids is expensive and not yet widely administered.


Erdely, S. R. (2005). Juicers in blue. Men’s Health, 20(8), online.

Fogel, C.A. (2012). Vocational steroid use: Reconsidering the effectiveness of a prohibiton approach [abstract in English trans.]. Journal of Social Research, 3(1), 25-26. Accessed at EBSCO.

Gillis, C. (2008). When the police are on the juice. McLean’s, 121(23), online.

Humphrey, K.R., Decker, K.P., Goldberg, L., Harrison, G.P, Gutman, J., & Green, G. (2016, July). Anabolic steroid use and abuse by police officers: Policy and prevention. The Police Chief: The Professional Voice of Law Enforcements. Accessed at http://www.policechiefmagazine.org/magazine/index.cfm?fuseaction=display_arch&article_id=1512&issue_id=62008

International Business Times. (2013, Jan. 23). Police ‘roid rage: Widespread corruption linked to steroid abuse and gym use. International Business Times, online via EBSCO.

Thiblin, I.,  & Parklo, T. (2002). Anabolic androgenic steroids and violence. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica Supplement 412, 106, 125-128. Accessed at EBSCO.

Friday, May 27, 2016

After Trump, the Deluge? New Media; New Moment of Risk to Democracy; What Comes Next?

On bad days, I don't think it matters who wins the general election. The Trump phenomenon has gone too far; it is a groundswell of vile, belligerent, violent anger stirred up not only by the right wing media, but all corporate media's pandering to Trump.
"Get him out of here. Get him out of here," Trump bellows at anyone in his audience who disagrees with him. A woman protester was pulled out by her heels, according to one radio or TV news report I heard. Trump is the person so many people want to be president.
I lived in Spain toward the end of the regime of Generalissmo Franco, the last fascist dictator. There was a Guardia Civile in the classroom of all law classes, a student told us.
If the Guardia thought a discussion had become too licentious, he took the barrel of his rifle and pounded it once on the floor. It signaled all discussion must stop. So there was this uneducated civil servant, equipped with a gun and the power of arrest, deciding what could be discussed by the law professor.
Are we headed in this direction, as a society, where the ignorant and narrow-minded dictate what others may think and say?
I have read arguments that Trump is not a fascist, because he does not have an ideology of fascism -- because he has no ideology at all. No one thought Hitler was making much sense either, yet his rambling diatribes energized people, as Trump seems to do.
Trump is a clown to me, but others seemed hypnotized. He works the media, he works people's emotions, and he does it well.
It really doesn't matter whether authoritarianism comes from the left or the right or out of an undefined political nowhere full of slogans and meaningless promises: I'll be the best president. I can promise you that."
Three political lions emerged in the immediate aftermath of the popularization of radio -- Roosevelt, Churchill, and Stalin. All were charismatic speakers. A devastating world war occurred.
Kennedy rode the crest of the relatively new medium of television with cool good looks, while people who heard his debate with Nixon thought Nixon had won. We lived through a Cold War then.
 Note: The expression, Apres moi, le deluge, is attributed to the Sun King, Louis XIV, whose spending excesses led France down a slippery slope to the revolution of 1789. The quotation also has been attributed to Mme. du Pompadour.