Sunshine

After a long, wet slog of a winter (and a horrific windstorm which may or may not have been a mini tornado; accounts differ), summer has arrived. 

In early summer, I wake at 5 a.m. without an alarm, roused by sunlight and birdsong. Eventually, I’ll adjust and begin sleeping in until 7 or 8 am. For now, I’m waking an hour before my alarm, to a long stretch of warm, golden hours, and the air smells of honey and fresh cut grass.

Yesterday we were coming home from a doctor’s appointment when something kind of upsetting happened. We’d stopped for some medicine, and as we were getting back into our car to leave, noticed the Kia Soul (Eco/hybrid model) parked in the spot next to us with two small dogs inside– like, very small, chihuahua-size– and the windows were barely cracked, with  vehicle parked in full sun with temperatures in the upper 70s/ lower 80s. 

Over the roof of our car, my husband told me we should call animal control. 

Well, the owner was actually nearby– apparently they’d just parked and were within hearing range, and when they heard my husband say that, the guy got very angry and confrontational. I’ll just call him Tryinta Killadog, since I never got his actual name.

Mr. Killadog stormed back, yelling, “You don’t think my dogs are safe? Look at them! Look! The windows are cracked!”

They’re barely cracked– so infinitesimally, it’s hard to see the gap of air against the rubber track cushioning the window frame. Less than a fingers width. My husband points this out.

Mr. Killadog protests they were “barely” going to be in the store, and would be out in less than 5 min. Note: He was going into Costco– tell me the last Costco trip that took less than 15 min, max. Even a 15 minute trip is either  just browsing or a lucky fluke with no lines, which you can’t count on!

For reference, temperatures inside a car can increase by 20 degrees Fahrenheit in just 10 min; 30 degrees in 20 min, and so on. So while the outside temp may be a balmy 70 degrees (or 75, as it was yesterday morning), inside the car it can quickly reach temperatures in excess of 100. Dogs also have a higher body temperature than humans and a different thermoregulation biology, both of which put them at increased risk in hot vehicles.

Mr. Killadog storms up to his car and jabs an angry finger at the Eco/Electric insignia, almost frothing at the mouth as he screams, “It’s electric, you morons! The air conditioner is on! They’re fine!”

The a/c was not on, btw. First, and most obviously, even an electric motor makes noise– it’s not the distinctive growl of a carburated motor, but anyone who’s ever used any sort of electric motor or cooling unit (think computers, gaming consoles, pool pumps, etc) knows they aren’t absolutely silent. Quieter than carbureted engines, sure. Absolutely silent, to the point you can’t tell if they’re on or not? No.

Second, if it was on, why was that Mr. Killadog’s third response/ defense? First he pointed to gapped windows, then the brief time he claimed they would shop, and then he flailed to the a/c defense.

Third, what kind of idiot runs their a/c with the windows cracked? If the a/c was on, why crack the windows at all?

Anyway, so Mr. Killadog’s companion (apparently waiting at the store entrance) appeared at this point to take the membership card from him, then left. Mr. Killadog invited us to go ahead and call the police, saying he’d wait with us, and got into his car. He rolled down the window and turned on the a/c (we heard the hum of the electric motor and the a/c compassion pump kicking on). 

Well, there’s not much to call the cops about at that point, other than the concern that as soon as we leave this asshole will lock his dogs right back up in that hot oven of a car. And since Mr. Killadog clearly thinks treating his dogs like this is harmless, and is loudly mocking us while filming us from his vehicle, we go ahead and make that call.

The police promise to send someone out, but also advise us to leave the immediate situation and not engage with the confrontational, angry man, which makes sense to me. So we drove away, with Mr. Killadog yelling, “Oh, oh, where you going? Huh? I thought we were waiting for the police? Huh? Where you running off to, huh?”

But instead of actually leaving, my husband circled around the building returned to parked a few rows behind the car. That was at 11:48 a.m. The initial confrontation began approximately 9 minutes prior.

Mr. Killadog stayed in the car, windows now up, for a few more minutes. Then he exited the vehicle and began pacing around it. He leaned against the driver’s side window, back to us, apparently scanning the parking lot. 

At 12:04, he straightened up, apparently spotting someone, and left the vehicle to meet his companion. 

In other words, as angry as Mr. Killadog was about our “invasive” and “unnecessary” intervention, it probably saved his dogs’ from heatstroke (at minimum). 

The shopping trip–even (presumably) curtailed due to our influence, still lasted 16 minutes if you’re counting by the timeline most forgiving to Mr. Killadog; the one which begins some 10 min after he initially locked the dogs in the car and walked away. 

If you start from when we first noticed the dogs, at 11:39, that’s a 26 minute shopping trip– nearly half an hour the dogs would have been in a sealed car when it was 75 degrees outside.

The only reason the dogs had a/c and fully cracked windows during that time was because we spoke up, and their owner (angrily, defensively, mockingly) complied with our objections to prove he had his dogs best interests in mind.

It was uncomfortable and upsetting. I dislike interfering in other people’s affairs, being yelled at, and being filmed/ photographed without my consent. Everything about the interaction was extremely uncomfortable and anxiety inducing for me. 

But it was also the right thing thing to do. We had no way of knowing how long the dogs had been and would be in the car, and even after the owner returned, his belligerent aspect and manner implied he did not believe there was any risk to the dogs’ health.

I don’t think anyone has any idea what to do here.

I’ve been developing a theory about why people (on both sides of the aisle) are so slow to submit articles of impeachment on Trump.

Article II of the United States Constitution states in Section 4 that “The President, Vice President, and all civil Officers of the United States shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other High Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Impeachment isn’t just reserved for the president. It can be done to nearly everyone in the administration tainted by this Russia thing, or the data-analytics/ psyops vote-tampering campaign manipulation tactics being covered by The Guardian, or who engaged in collusion and obstruction of justice, and really, I think it’s obvious that almost his entire administration is corrupt and inept. Even those Trump appointees who came on-board with no previous involvement to either the Russia thing or the Mercer data analytics psyops voting manipulation thing are now tainted by the administration-wide efforts to obsfucate, conceal, and impede the investigations.

And the thing is … we’ve never dealt with that. It’s unprecedented. There’s no blueprint. 

Nixon was impeached (resigned to avoid impeachment, whatever), near the end of his term, and replaced by Gerald Ford, who seemed to have been generally unpopular guy, and failed to win a consecutive term as the incumbent candidate.

Clinton’s whole drama wrapped up right at the end of his presidency, and we just transitioned from a Clinton administration to the Bush administration.

So what’s the replacement protocol when an incoming adminstration has failed to fill a majority of the necessary positions of government, and of the appointments they filled, nearly universally chose unqualified persons based on nepotism or other dubious connections to Trump, Russia, and/ or the Mercer family? 

I don’t think Congress or our Senators know. I don’t think anyone does. A US president has never been impeached just 6 months into office. A US presidential administration has never been impeached, ever.

Maybe that’s why our politicians are hesitating to move on submitting articles of impeachment? 

Because think about it: who’s supposed to lead the government while Trump is impeached and his adminstration cleaned up?

Are we supposed to give Pence a pass? Let Trump’s VP pick– the stalwart Trump apologist and ready spin machine, who’s colluded in the White House obstruction of information? I don’t think so. He’s just as culpable as Trump and the rest.

Thus far, presidents have only been replaced by vice presidents. The current presidential line of succession provides for 17 high office appointees after Pence, and they’re all compromised in some way. Those untainted by Mercer/ Russian/ nepotism issues prior to their appointments have spent the last 6 months colluding with the administration in their efforts to subvert the Russian investigation and obstruct justice through talking points and minimization. And one–Ellen Chao–isn’t even eligible to be president, as she’s not a natural born citizen, which shortens the list by one.

Then there’s the issue of the GOP-dominant House of Representatives. They might be convinced to agree to impeach Trump, but definitely not the rest.  

With their hands tied, knowing that submitting the articles of impeachment will go nowhere in the current House, Dems might be hoping to flip enough seats for a Congressional majority in the midterm elections, and then submit the articles of impeachment for a vote.

The GOP might surprise everyone and start the impeachment of Trump themselves. It would go a long ways to redeeming them politically with moderates, and there’s a possibility it could satiate the resistance enough to diffuse (temporarily) the loudest protests. Correctly timed, the sacrifice might even preserve their Congressional majority.

Hypothetically, if we went ahead and pushed for a full administration impeachment, who would oversee the government until a new president is elected? Would we have a midterm presidential election?

A logical compromise seems like an interim bipartisan council-led leadership, with a midterm presidential election, but is that a good idea when we don’t know if we have adequate protections against the psyops/ data analytics manipulations of voting behaviors that landed Trump in the White House? 

And who would form the leadership council? Former (living) presidents? Have Senators draw from a hat? 

I think the most obvious solution is to impeach the administration, pass an amendment which dissolves be the electoral college with a clause stating the amendment applies retroactively to it’s passage up to a specified amount of years, and install President Clinton, the winner if the popular vote.

I also think the GOP would cry foul at that and run around screaming like they’re chickens with they’re heads cut off. Weird how they’re totally chill–like, stoned levels of cool–when the GOP president spends every weekend at a golf resort, alienates allies and praises dictators, causes a crisis a week, and unnecessarily riskes the lives of intelligence agents, special ops forces, and US soldiers … but freaks out by a democratic president being polite to international allies. (Anyone remember “apology tour”? Fuckin’ GOP.)

So, yeah. I think part of the reason nothing’s happening is because the entire Trump administration is corrupt, and no one quite knows how to go about replacing e an entire government less  than 6 months after it replaced the last guy. And we can’t even bring Obama back as the gap/ interim president, both because that’s against the law and the GOP would freak.

So instead everyone just basically watches as Trump has a pressure-induced meltdown, and I honestly would not be surprised if this ends with Trump having a heart attack mid-tweet tirade, or hanging himself in despondent self loathing when he finally realizes how unpopular he actually is.

Glad game

I think I’ma do this once a week. I’m not good at remembering to post nightly. But I’ma stay with the whole person/ place/ thing format, because that’s easy.

So. This week, as I play the glad game, I find myself thinking about how glad I am for …

Person: My husband. Aww, you knew he was gonna end up on this list eventually. He always does. I’m particularly glad for him this week, because my latest venture into the (contract position) workforce started with a 3-day position that covers two of his days off. So he’s been doing sahd-stuff, manning the fort and handling chores and making dinner and dealing with the hours of non-adult interaction. It’s been nice to come home and the chores are done. I really like it.

Place: Leavenworth. I like the town. I like the architecture, the shops, the kitchsy German feel of it … I dunno. I just like it. I think it would be fun to stay there for a weekend. Or a month. I like the mountains, too, and the whole pretty landscape. The place just makes me happy.

Thing: My parent’s Matryoshka doll. I’d forgotten her, but there’s a little Russian shop in Leavenworth that reminded me–my sister and I used to spend so much time taking her apart and lining her and all her sisters (babies?) up in a row, then nesting them one inside the other. I’d always try to line up the edges of the painted flowers flawlessly.  My parents had steamer trunks of treasures from across the sea: matryoshka dolls and dirndls, bunads and lederhosen, tyroleon hats and real woollen Norwegian sweaters. There were treasures from the past, too: black and white photographs, or those 60’s color tinted ones, of a young and unrecognizably playful couple; a handful of political ribbons and a too-big button saying NIXON; a black and white photograph of a gangly young teenager, smiling at the camera from the 1950s; an armful of cured buckskins from real live deer that had been hunted and shot and skinned by that smiling boy from so long ago. It was always a treat when they opened those trunks and revealed the mysteries of such foreign lands as overseas, or the past. I loved it. I guess that’s more of a memory than a thing, since I don’t have the matryoshka doll, but that’s okay. It’s still a thing that makes me happy