CreateSpace/Amazon “We Aim to Displease”

This is a story about David and Goliath. I am David and Goliath is CreateSpace, the POD publishing branch of Amazon. Only, in this story, without the help of a major news organization taking notice or this post going viral, Goliath will win.

sm-david-10-18-14-98© ArtGiftsEtc.com

David.  Florence, Oct. 18, 2014

I have created several books with CreateSpace over the years. A couple of children’s story books, a few coloring books and my true-crime novel about my cold rape case that was solved after 20 years.  I have sold a number of copies of all of them but am by no means a best-selling author.

Just a few weeks ago I published a photo journal of a recent trip to Africa I took with my husband and three friends. I was so touched by the animals, landscapes and people of Africa I thought it would be fun to create a book of our trip. I knew going in that this was never going to sell more than a handful of copies and that was OK with me. I wanted to be able to look through some of my favorite photos, not sitting at a computer, but sitting in a comfortable chair.

BookCoverPreview

After going through the required process set up by CreateSpace, I submitted my PDF to their site and I ordered a proof.  This book shipped from Columbia, SC printed on March 21, 2018.  My husband edited the text for me and I made those corrections.  The photographs in the book looked washed out and fuzzy and several of the photos had printed way too red. I thought this was how the book would always look so with this in mind a made some color corrections to a few of the photographs and then I submitted the PDF again and ordered a second proof.

When this proof arrived I realized that CreateSpace/Amazon has a substantial quality-control problem.

The second book was printed in Lexington, KY on April 16, 2018. It looked beautiful. It was printed on bright white hight quality full color ink paper. The photographs were rich in color, crisp and clean.  It was so unlike the first proof I received that I immediately realized I had never before seen what a full-color book printed by CreateSpace should look like. I was so excited with the look, feel and quality of this proof that I OK’d my book for publishing and I ordered several copies to be shipped directly to my fellow African-adventure travelers and a few family members. I also ordered one for myself.

20180427_091556

From Top to Bottom: First proof printed in NC, the copy I ordered after approval (also printed in NC) and second proof printed in KY.  There are distinct differences between them.

I was crestfallen when I saw that that the books delivered were not the fine quality produced by KY but, instead  were again, the fuzzy and dull books from NC. It was then that I contacted CreateSpace to voice my concern for their lack of quality control.

What follows is back and forth correspondence that has taken place over the past couple of weeks.  I realize this is a lot to read and I can understand if you get tired of making your way through this. Trust me when I say, I felt like throwing in the towel myself several days ago. But, I hope you do read all of this. If you don’t have time to read each email, at least check out the captions under each of the photographs I have included. This will give you the gist of this exchange.

This story is about taking pride in the work you do and taking responsibility in producing a product that reflects an honest work ethic. Amazon’s CreateSpace does not feel it is their responsibility to see to it that their printers send out a consistent product.  Nor do they feel quality control it is something they should be doing or have any control over. Within the text that follows I offer what may seem like a simple solution to their problem. But, no changes will  happen unless they stop blaming their customers and they take responsibility for a flawed business ethic. And, none of this will happen as long as they continue to make sure nobody gets two books printed by two different printers and are allowed to compare the differences.

My original message:

Hello,

I recently published a photo journal book and I have a problem with the quality control or, rather, lack of quality control from one printer to another. The first proof I order was on a white, eggshell-type finish paper and the photos printed very red and dull. (Printed in Columbia, SC).

I made changes to my photographs and edited the text. I then ordered another copy. The next copy I received was beautiful. The paper was bright white and slightly shiny and the photos were true to color.(Printed in Lexington, KY) Based on the look of this second printing, I went ahead and approved my proof. I then ordered 4 copies to give to family and friends. They look awful. Most of the photos are too red and the dull paper was used. They were printed in Columbia, SC. I am really upset about this. 

As a photo book, the quality of the photos is important to me. I loved the way my second proof looked (Lexington, KY). When I approved it, I had no idea that this was not the quality I would be getting all the time; the quality I could expect all the time. I paid $25 for each book and I am embarrassed to have anyone see it. This is unacceptable. It isn’t even only the money lost that really makes me mad.(although a full refund is the least you can do in this situation). What really concerns me is that I have been asked by a few people if they can buy a copy.  The minimum price for this book is $49.73. With my markup, it’s $60. I cannot in good faith ask someone to pay that much for a book I cannot guarantee the quality of. I can’t guarantee it, because YOU cannot guarantee the quality or  control it from one printer to another.

As a full color book, I expect good quality paper that showcases my photos. How can I be sure I will get this every time? How can I be assured that every time a copy is ordered that it will be the fine quality I received from Lexington, KY and not the crap I got from Columbia, SC?

Book information: Two Weeks In Africa, A Photo Journal

8.5″ x 8.5″ (21.59 x 21.59 cm) 

Full Color on White paper

272 pages

ISBN-13: 978-1978210103 (CreateSpace-Assigned) 

ISBN-10: 1978210108 

BISAC: Photography / Subjects & Themes / Travel / General

Thank you for your help with this problem,

Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf

============================================================

    On Saturday, April 28, 2018, 12:14:35 PM EDT, MS: Info <info@createspace.com> wrote:

Hello Jennifer,

Thank you for contacting CreateSpace, I am here to assist.

I’m really sorry to hear that the orders you received were not to your expectation.

While we have no full control as to where manufacturing will occur based on printing demands, we may transfer the order request to one of our “sister sites” to meet printing and shipping demands.

However, we would be more that happy to perform a Quality Check on any future orders per your request.

In addition, I have issued refunds to your VISA  for Order # 219775973 for $25.47, Order #219775820 for $24.67, Order #219775709 for $24.74, Order #219775377 for $25.47 and Order #219775053 for $24.67.

These refunds should appear as a credit on your Credit Card with the next 1-2 business days and your next credit card or banking statement within the next two to three weeks.

Again, we sincerely apologize for any convenience this has caused you, and should you require personal assistance in the future please reach out to us directly at 866.356.2154.

I hope I have satisfied your inquiry and I wish you all the best going forward.

Best regards,

Glenn

CreateSpace Member Services

=============================================================

20180510_112023

Top book was printed in NC. Bottom book was printed in KY.

Hi Glenn,Thank you for the refund of my recent purchase. 

You say >>”However, we would be more that happy to perform a Quality Check on any future orders per your request.”<<

* How do I go about requesting a quality check on the replacement books I plan to purchase?

* What does this quality check entail?

*How do I quality check orders that are not placed by me?

Also, why is it MY responsibility to ask you to be sure the printers you use are doing the job I am paying for? I am paying for full color premium printing. EVERYONE who orders my book is also paying for full color premium printing. How in the world am I supposed to check these order?

I should not have to worry if people that place orders are not getting what they are paying for. CreateSpace is charging for full color printing and this costs considerably more. Because CreateSpace is charging for premium printing, EVERY ONE of your printers should be using good quality paper for the full color printing. It is the responsibility of CreateSpace to be sure the product someone pays for is in fact the product they are getting. Your response seems to indicate that you do not think this is the case. This is unacceptable. I plan to purchase 5 or 6 copies of my book to replace the ones I ordered a week or so ago. Please tell me how I can request Lexington, KY print my copies (and ALL copies ordered in the future) since they delivered what I was expecting. 

Thank you, 

Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf

=======================================================

On Tuesday, May 1, 2018, 5:08:51 PM EDT, MS: CSP Tier 2 <info2@createspace.com> wrote:

Hello Jennifer,

Thank you so much for your contact. It is my pleasure to clarify your inquiries today. I apologize for the inconvenience you’ve experienced with the print quality of your books in these orders.

What happens is that as a print on demand company with thousands of members around the world, several production facilities around the United States and thousands of copies printed daily on each facility, it is not possible to revise each and every copy and compare them with the approved files. For this reason, we have the quality check option as a manual option to be requested for specific cases since it is not normal for the books to be misprinted.

Also, being a Print On Demand company, we use different printing facilities to produce your order, the interior paper finish may vary slightly from print run to print run, due to a difference in the print technology used at each location and we are unable to select a specific production facility to process an order since this will become a glitch in the production queue, your order will have to be separated from the queue and will be delayed for a long time; we would like to avoid more inconveniences to happen to you. While we are always taking steps to ensure consistent and uniform printing, as with all titles published on-demand, a small amount of variance from unit to unit is expected.

Now, I’ll be delighted to assist you placing the Quality Check if you want. Please proceed to place the replacement order and reply to this email with the order number. Once I have it, I will contact the production facility and request for this quality check.

I will keep this case open for 48 hours and if there is no response I will resolve it concluding that you don’t want to proceed with the Quality Check. I await your response!

Best regards,

Bernard

CreateSpace Member Services

=========================================================

20180510_104807

Not “a small amount of variance” in my opinion. It’s curious that I was credited for first 5 books I ordered but the next 10 that were also poor quality was essentially, not their problem. In fact, I was told to modify my photos to compensate for their poor printing.

 

Hello Bernard,

Thank you for your response. The problems with your explanation are:

*The differences between the first proof, approved 2nd proof and what I received are do not ‘vary slightly’, there are big differences between the book that was printed on the correct paper and the ones that were not. I expect slight color variations, but not extreme variations in supplies used to print the all-color books.

*It is your responsibility to utilize printers who do the job you expect, I expect and the rest of your customers expect. Now that I know all of  the full color books I have received from CreateSpace (mostly printed in SC) have been done wrong, I know that there are a good many of my customers who have also been cheated out of getting what they paid for. I would never have known better if I had never received a copy that was printed correctly and looked beautiful. I may never have approved the copy with you and would have taken my business elsewhere.

I ran an A.B.Dick offset printing press for a few years in the 80’s. It was my responsibility to be sure that each job was printed on the paper requested with the colors a customer wanted. Sure, this was dark-ages printing compared to the technology today. However, consistency in the product, printing the run correctly and taking pride in your work should not have to be sacrificed just because the equipment is different. Just because the company you are doing the job for is so big the little guys (like me) should not be taken advantage of. I would guess there are thousands of little guys like me who make up your business. We should get what we pay for (what you charge for).

It is my belief that there are thousands of printers in this country who would love to score a printing contract with you & who would do the job consistently. From your response, I gather that my getting a proof of my book printed the way everyone should expect it to be is rare. If I were someone who would be buying and selling millions of copies and I had approved a proof that looked beautiful only to discover all subsequent printings were nothing like the approved copy, and I voiced a complaint, I suppose my displeasure would be taken much more seriously. Having to refund the cost of only a handful of books rather than hundreds seems to be the easy response to my concern. CreateSpace/Amazon performing quality checks with the people who print their jobs…well, that’s too much like hard work. One more question since I have to be in charge of the quality control-how do I go about future requests about quality control of my book(s) since a long-term solution can’t be anticipated?

  I have placed an order for 10 copies of my book. I anticipate that these books will be printed on the appropriate gloss white paper. If they are not, I will be requesting a refund for these books as well. This is the order: Your order number is #221046374. Please print out this page to serve as a receipt. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: Your credit card statement will show CREATESPACE as the merchant name for this order.

Jennifer Wheatley Wolf

===============================================================

Hello Jennifer,

I’m really sorry about the problem you had with your shipments.

I have passed your feedback to our concerned department for review. We’re aware that our choice of delivery services reflects on our business as a whole, and we appreciate your feedback.

It is always important for us to hear how our Members react to all aspects of the services and products provided by our company. Strong feedback like yours helps us continue to improve the service we provide, and we appreciate the time you took to write us.

In this case, I see that your order #221046374 has already been shipped on May 03, 2018 hence, we are unable to perform quality check on this order. If in case, the issue still persist with this shipment kindly let us know so that we can take further action accordingly.

We appreciate your patience and understanding in this regard.

Best regards,

Anshu

CreateSpace Member Services

====================================================================

Hello Anshu,

I just received the 10 copies of my book Two Weeks In Africa, A Photo Journal and, as I anticipated, they are not printed on the correct paper. The photos are dull and fuzzy because the paper isn’t suitable for color printing. I am extremely disappointed and frustrated by all of this.

It seems to me that the easiest solution to CreateSpace/Amazon’s lack of quality control between your printers isn’t to continually refund a dissatisfied customer (which I expect will be the case here). The solution is to model every one of the print shops you employ after the shop that is getting it right, Lexington, KY.

If I were in charge of this task I would have the shop in KY, that printed my book beautifully, make a list of all the equipment, inks, paper types and suppliers they use. I would then send this list to all the printing facilities employed by Amazon/CreateSpace and insist that all of them use the same. This could probably be done within a few emails and phone calls. Anyone who does not or will not use the supplies you ask should be replaced by a facility that is willing to produce a quality product all of your customers should be receiving (not just the ones lucky enough to have their books printed in KY). I bet you you will find plenty of facilities more than willing to score a big contract with you guys even if it means making a few changes.

Maybe I’m naive but this lack of quality control isn’t something that should be overlooked or left to me and other authors to insist on. Because of the volume of work you produce for writers and authors like me, It is something you should be demanding from everyone who does your printing for you.Although I am feeling defeated by this continuing problem, I do not intend to be quiet about it.  

Thank you for your help,

Jennifer

===============================================================

20180510_111333

This photograph of the lizard on Table Mountain shows very clearly the extreme differences between the quality of the two books.  In the bottom photograph you can see the gloss of the paper. The color is deep, crisp and clean.  This is the book proof I approved for publication and this is the quality I expect for every book printed.   “In the print on demand industry, there is a small amount of variance between different types of printers but the differences are usually minuscule and are rarely ever noticeable to readers who usually are not purchasing books to compare print quality.” CreateSpace May, 16, 2018

Hello Jennifer,

I trust this email finds you well.

I’m sorry to hear about your book order. In order to investigate this issue more thoroughly, I’d like to get more details regarding the condition of the books you received.

Please provide the following information to help with the investigation:

  1. Pictures of the defect

  2. The Product ID of the defective books (the Product ID can be found on the last physical page of the book under the barcode. If there are multiple defective books, please provide the

product IDs for each book.)

You can send this information to us at this link: https://www.createspace.com/support

Have a great day further.

Best regards,

Tayla

CreateSpace Member Services

=================================================================

Hello Tayla,

Below you will find the list of ID codes you asked for and the ID code for the book that was printed correctly and this entire email thread. I have also included a photo from my book for you to see that compare the books I have received from SC to the book that was printed beautifully by KY. (I would include several more, but your form will only allow for one attachment). Since this book IS a photo journal (hence the name), it is impossible for me to include every photo from every page of the 250+ page book. Rest assured that all pages of each of the 10 books I just received were printed on the same incorrect paper. 

If I worked for CreateSpace/Amazon and I was assigned this complaint, I would order a book from each of the printers and compare the two. Actually, I might just select several others in addition to the two my books have been printed by. This would give me a sampling to choose from to compare for myself. The difference is night and day. It’s like getting an engraved invitation printed on regular computer paper. While it displays all the information, it lacks the expected elegance. This lack of quality is not what I paid for or agreed to, it’s not what anyone who orders this book is paying for. You are, in effect charging for the engraved invitation and providing something quite a bit different. 

While I have done the best I can to capture with my camera the differences between the books printed on the wrong paper and those printed on paper suitable for full color photographs, the picture does not do the differences justice. That being said, there is an obvious and disappointing difference.

Here are the I codes from all 10 books I received printed on May 3rd 2018 in Columbia, SC:

94860978R00150

94860984R00150

94860980R00150

94860983R00150

94860986R00150

94860981R00150

94860982R00150

94860979R00150

94860977R00150

94860985R00150

This is the ID # for the 2nd book I ordered that is printed correctly and I approved after making a few editing corrections. It was printed in Lexington, KY on April, 16, 2018:

86782376Roo150

I really do not understand why every printer you employ cannot produce the exact same quality product. The achievement of every successful business model is constancy of their product. Every successful chain restaurant has one thing in common. That is, I can go anywhere in the world and eat in their restaurant and already know what to expect when I walk in the door. The one I walk in to that does not follow the model is the the one that suffers and closes

Thank you for your help,

Jennifer

=========================================================

On Friday, May 11, 2018, 11:00:59 PM EDT, MS: CSP Tier 2 <info2@createspace.com> wrote:

Hello Jennifer,

I hope this email finds you well.

I have compared your files with the printed copies of your book, Two Weeks In Africa.

The copies printed on May 3rd 2018 in Columbia, SC that you notified us about are within the allowable printing variances. This means that since some small spaces  may be slightly different in print than they are in electronic files, some variability is acceptable. This difference falls within the acceptable variance. Occasionally, these slight differences from copy to copy are expected.

We pride ourselves on the quality of books printed on-demand in our manufacturing facilities. We are constantly innovating and adopting new technologies in the on-demand arena. However, as with all books printed-on-demand, a small amount of variance among each book is expected.

In order to address this concern, you may consider updating your files and submitting them in CMYK vs RGB mode if you have not already. We recommend maintaining all original artwork in CMYK, which allows the most accurate color management for our digital, CMYK printers. If your files are already submitted in CMYK, we suggest that you adjust the colors as necessary until the desired color is achieved in print.

If you need additional assistance, please let us know.

Best regards,

Christian

CreateSpace Member Services

==========================================================

20180510_105015

Instead of taking responsibility for their lack of quality control, CreateSpace told me the fault was mine and suggested I adjust my photographs to compensate for the lousy printing done by their SC facilities. “We pride ourselves on the quality of books printed on-demand in our manufacturing facilities. We are constantly innovating and adopting new technologies in the on-demand arena. However, as with all books printed-on-demand, a small amount of variance among each book is expected.”  If they can print my book beautifully in one facility, they should be able to print it beautifully all the time. The exact same file is used for all printings.

Hello Christian, 

My complaint about the printing of my books is not about ‘slight variances’ in margins or even slight color differences. These are expected.  My complaint is that EVERY book I have had printed in SC has been printed on the WRONG PAPER. I’m not sure why this is so difficult for (all of) you to understand. This is not anything I have any control over. It is, however something that CreateSpace/Amazon should be able to address very easily. The lack of quality control is unbelievable.

You charge premium prices for full-color printing on high quality paper. This means the minimum I have to charge for the books is much higher.  But, I am not not receiving books printed on the paper I have approved in my proofs. I suspect no one who’s books are printed in SC are being printed on quality paper. This means, simply, that we are being ripped off. 

Your suggestion that the problem is on my end is ludicrous. The EXACT same PDF file was used to print the books in SC and KY. The difference is that Lexington, KY printed the file on the correct paper resulting in a book that is the quality I am paying for; the quality I expect. SC is not. The quality of product sent from SC is inferior because the paper they are using is NOT suitable for color photographs. This is a simple problem to fix on your end by making sure EVERYONE who prints books for you is using the same full color photo paper. 

I am attaching several photos that show how the books printed in SC (top on each photo) compare to the book printed in KY (bottom of each photo). The SC books, because they are printed on the wrong paper result in fuzzy and dull photographs. This is unacceptable. The book printed in KY, ON THE CORRECT FULL COLOR PHOTO PAPER, result in photos that are rich color, crisp and clean. If the ALL of your printers were using the same paper KY was using, ALL books would look beautiful irrespective of small variances in margins or color differences. Since you are charging me (and everyone who orders this book) higher prices for quality printing, this is what all of us expect to receive. I am very unhappy not only with the inferior quality of the books but, more importantly, the lack of concern by CreateSpace/Amazon to address this complaint seriously. The lack of quality control on your end is the cause of the problem and can be solved by you quite simply buy insisting everyone who prints orders for full color books all use the same paper and equipment. 

I would really appreciate if CreateSpace would resolve this problem.  

Jennifer 

===============================================

On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, 10:55:23 AM EDT, MS: Info <info@createspace.com> wrote:

Hello Jennifer,

Greetings from CreateSpace. I am contacting you regarding the variance in print copies.

Our technical team has confirmed that the books are printed on the same type of paper, they are just printed with different printers.  In the print on demand industry, there is a small amount of variance between different types of printers but the differences are usually minuscule and are rarely ever noticeable to readers who usually are not purchasing books to compare print quality.

They have reviewed the printer metrics and it appears the titles printed within variance, so these are not print defects.

In this case the level of quality seems to be purely subjective and based on the comparisons but, when when looking at the prints individually it is clear that there is a slight color variance but, both books are printing in full color and resolution with no print defects. It doesn’t appear that either site is printing at a lower quality and the same type of paper is used at all our manufacturing facilities. We can guarantee that the print books will have good quality but, we cannot guarantee that every printed book will look exactly the same; we leave some room for print shift and color variance as it is unavoidable with-in Print-On-Demand.

Please know that there will always be slight variations in color and this goes for all print types, not just books. Printing variance is not only common it’s almost completely unavoidable.

I understand that this might not be the response you were waiting for and apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. I strongly regret that I am not of much help in this case, I hope you will understand our limitations. 

I appreciate your time and understanding. Thank you for using CreateSpace.

Best regards,

Sachin

CreateSpace Member Services

============================================================

May 16 at 12:19 PM

Hello Sachin,

 It is really a shame that you are unable to be much help in this case even if you recognize the problem for what it really is and not the ‘small amount of variance’ as it is being labeled.
 A company as large as Amazon should take immediate action to correct a problem that is well within their ability to correct.  Your response indicates to me that Amazon is OK with shipping books that do not meet the approved proof quality of the writer because, well, who’s going to know anyway? This is disgraceful.

  When I first mentioned this problem to a friend of mine his response about the differences in the printing quality was “How will you ever know if Amazon corrects the problem since you won’t be able to see all the books?” My response was that it is unlikely that this book will sell many copies. It is very likely that I will be the only one who buys this book so I will be seeing nearly every copy sold. I am not delusional. I know CreateSpace isn’t going to have to print millions of copies of my book; it will not become a best seller. This being said, everyone who orders this book should be receiving a copy of the book that is like the proof I approved. This is not the case. 

If I had never received a book printed beautifully and had I not approved this copy of my book for printing and had I not expected it to be printed like this all the time, I would never have known that you do not consider product quality control something you should concern yourself with. This is unacceptable. 

CreateSpace and Amazon believe that as long as no one knows the problem exists, it’s OK to avoid correcting it. 

My complaint is not about a ‘slight variance in color’ but, instead, is about a dramatically different product sent from one of your facilities than another. The fact that several of the people responding to this ongoing saga have used the exact same words in answer to my complaint indicates to me that:

#1-All of the CreateSpace Member Service representatives have been given a list of scripted responses to use whenever a particular complaint seems to fall within the boundaries of these answers.  

#2-None of the CreateSpace Member Service representatives is really seeing the problem.

#3-No one has actually seen a copy of my book printed by SC & KY to compare for themselves.

#4-None of the CreateSpace Member Service representatives can really do anything that will affect change. 

If the differences I noted between the books was in fact ‘slight’ as all of the CreateSpace representatives keep referring to them, I would not have complained. Having experience in a printing facility myself I know that colors can indeed change slightly and margins can be slightly different because of trimming. This is not my complaint. My complaint is that the differences between the books printed in your different facilities are quite dramatic. Night and day. These differences should not be accepted by you and they should not be passed on to the consumer. This brings me all the way back to my original complaint of your lack of concern regarding quality control.

 CreateSpace/Amazon should to step up and take responsibility for the quality of their products insisting that all of their printers use the same supplies and equipment to ensure consistency in their products. It’s a simple solution to the problem that would genuinely reflect what are now only hollow words written on your standard responses form-“We pride ourselves on the quality of books printed on-demand in our manufacturing facilities. ” 

Jennifer

 

I thank you for making it to the end of this exchange. If you feel as frustrated by this as I do perhaps you will share this post on your social media page? No doubt this David and Goliath story will not knock the current headlines off the front pages of news outlets, but  I think it’s important to know that one of the biggest companies in this country is ripping off every one of their customers who aren’t lucky enough to get their books printed by the folks in KY.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

In addition to the obvious issues I have with this whole situation, what I find really frustrating is how quickly CreateSpace managed to clip my creative wings. I was just beginning to put together a photo book of a recent trip to the Panama Canal. I have put this on hold.  I was also really excited about putting together another photo book of an upcoming Machu Picchu and Galapagos Island trip.  I have been given the name of another POD site. I will be checking them out. Here’s the link.  http://www.ingramspark.com

Although I cannot guarantee the quality of the books you will receive and CreateSpace will not guarantee  the quality of the books you receive, here is the link to my author’s page on Amazon. Leave me a note if you order a book. Thanks!

Jennifer

My Amazon Author’s page. You can order all of my books here.

Advertisements

A Taxing Situation

When I posted the projected results of the new tax bill over a month ago on Facebook and Twitter, I was blasted for spreading fake news and I was told
“It will never pass anyway but why shouldn’t the rich get a tax cut too?”

This was the story in today’s New York Times:

A HISTORIC TAX HEIST
“With barely a vote to spare early Saturday morning, the Senate passed a tax bill confirming that the Republican leaders’
primary goal is to enrich the country’s elite at the expense of everybody else, including future generations who will end up bearing the cost.
The bill is expected to add more than $1.4 trillion to the federal deficit over the next decade,
a debt that will be paid by the poor and middle class in future tax increases and spending cuts to Medicare,
Social Security and other government programs. Its modest tax cuts for the middle class disappear after eight years.
And up to 13 million people stand to lose their health insurance because the bill makes a big change to the Affordable Care Act.”

 

let us prey-thomas nast

Let Us Prey by Thomas Nast

What the GOP in Congress did in the middle of the night last night by pushing this tax bill through was an egregious display of power.  Additions to and subtractions from the bill were hurriedly scribbled in the margins quickly rendering the bill illegible. Cross-outs and strikeouts made with the skill of a swashbuckler throughout the nearly 500 page document occurred up to the last few minutes of the vote.  All of this was to appease one GOP senator or another.

No one actually had a chance to read the final document that was voted on at nearly 2am. This is our government at work much like slippery eels slinking through the swamp at Foggy Bottom.

The Republicans denied the Democrats a thorough analysis of the bill because they know the guts of this legislation will further hurt the middle class and poor of this country and fill the pockets of the elite.

tax-bill2
This bill was, admittedly, voted for by the members of the GOP  “Because our donors expect us to pass this for them.” Humanity and decency be damned!
The needs of the American people be damned! We need to keep our donors happy or the campaign funds will dry up.  We need to keep 45 happy, do what he wants, or he will humiliate us!

 

 

tax211scribblesDP_3z3pX4AAt-ZHDP_30htW0AAnjzd

The haphazard appearance, scribbled margins and chaos of this significant piece of legislation would not be accepted by a 4th grade composition class teacher. It would be given a failing grade on presentation alone. Add to that, who really knows what is in these pages? Some news stories today are reporting that millions of people will lose their health insurance, abortions will be considered illegal and the national debt will increase by BILLIONS of dollars.  ( I can not verify all of these claims, I have not had time to read through the bill .)

To pay for the cuts so generously given to the nations financially fortunate, we the regular folks will have to pay a heavy price. I wonder if those who voted for these senators will vote differently when the 2018 elections roll around?

45 voters

 

There was no reason to rush this bill through to the vote. There was no deadline. It could have been worked on and tweaked until both Republicans and Democrats agreed with the language of the bill. It could have been written and rewritten until it worked for all of us.

They GOP voted for this bill without concern for the longterm effects of this bill and without regard to those who it will hurt.
They voted despite the public outcry against this bill.
They voted for it despite knowing the majority of people of this county oppose it.
They pushed this bill through despite reports on the horrific long-term effects it will have on us, the average Americans, and the county’s national debt.

180956177.jpg
They did it because they could. They did it because they enjoyed the power. They did it because of greed.

repub-votes for tax hike 12-2-17

Our Senate is supposed to represent the people of this country.  Last night, December 1, 2017 they demonstrated that we do not matter.  They pushed this vote through because it suited them, the GOP.  There was only 1 Republican, Bob Corker, who did not vote for this bill.  You can see for yourself how the Senate voted  by clicking the link below. It’s pretty clear that the GOP stood alone in favor of this.

 https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/12/01/us/politics/senate-tax-bill-vote.html

arctic drilling-12-2-17

To execute control over and take advantage of those who you deem inferior to you is akin to rape. Last night, in the middle of the night, like burglars, rapists and thieves, the GOP assaulted all of us. They showed all of us by their actions that this vote was their  display of power. This practically clandestine vote was all about them pleasing a few, giving them what they demanded, and laying the burden of paying for these demands onto the rest of us.

In light of recent indictments of people who worked in an official capacity for this administration, it makes this middle of the night, ‘Let’s just get something passed to keep the money coming in & keep the boss happy’ vote seem even more horrific. It’s not what we hired them to do.

2018 elections can not come fast enough.
During this past year we have witnessed the daily attempt at suppressing and admonishment of our free press, the deportation of people who 45 has deemed ‘undesirable’,  the suppression of women, the support of white supremacist, the promotion of State TV (FOX, Breitbart & 45TV) ,  the proposition to limit internet access,  ignoring USA citizens who are in need of help because of the color of their skin, the undercutting of environmental protections in order to allow oil drilling, the gutting of the State Department, and now the rewarding the wealthy people at the top by heaping taxes on the middle class, poor and underprivileged.  This administration has consistently hired people who’s only qualification for the job given is a hefty campaign donation.

We hear the press say how “Unprecedented” all of this is; how everything is different. I say it is no longer unprecedented. The unbelievable has become accepted. Have we forgotten about the frog? Do we no longer feel the water getting hot because all we can focus on is the constant barrage of stress heaped on us daily?

All of this is  being orchestrated by a senile, petulant, evil man who is under the thumbscrews of Russia…

what could go wrong?

(Don’t bother it’s a hypothetical)  We shall see soon enough won’t we?

21686262_1927234837515907_6951352046305675115_n

 

This is OUR America

I didn’t expect to be posting a new blog entry today but I felt compelled to respond to a question I saw posted on Facebook this morning. So, here goes.

“‘Why can’t you support our president? This is our America”

You are correct, this is OUR America. I will never support an admitted sexual predator who hates everyone who is not a rich white man. Blacks, Muslims, Jews and Mexicans are all targets of his hate. He has no respect for women and reminds us frequently that he believes himself to be superior to us. He is rude and arrogant in his dealings with women and if he gets his way with his legislation, he will decide what we can and can not do with our bodies.


His ignorance of our country and politics, his childish petulant behavior and his constant lies have already done so much damage to our country’s standing in the world it will take years to reverse, if that is possible . 


The repercussions of 45s admiration and his emulation of evil dictators may have catastrophic effects not just in this country but for people worldwide. 


45s mental health is in question. If you have known someone with dementia, you would recognize the behavior. 


Since he has taken office he has lied daily, attacked the free press, continued to divide the country -us against everyone who didn’t vote for him. He has benefited financially, broken the laws of nepotism, obstructed justice and he surrounds himself with unqualified people who he believes are his friends because they donated to his campaign, he has invited Russians to the Oval Office for a private meeting and today he meets with the man who poses the biggest threat to this country.


Honor, dignity, honesty and pride are not a part of this administration. The very foundations of our freedom are in question. The GOP continues to lower the bar every time 45 insults, disrupts, lies and obstructs. None of us benefit with this man in office. Yes, it is OUR America.

usa-flag

Speak Softly and Carry a Big Stick

 

I remember the first bully I encountered as a child.

I grew up in Annapolis, Md. In the 60’s and 70’s it was a small town where everybody knew you.
My neighborhod was a mix of middle class white families and middle to lower class black families.
There were a couple of thugs who would steal every bike that wasn’t chained down.
We knew who they were & we got good at remembering to lock our bikes at night.
I don’t remember any fights or tension between the neighbors. It seems like everyone got along.

But just like every neighborhood who had a petty thief, we also had thug who was a bully.
I don’t remember his face or his name but if I asked my brothers, they would know.
He probably wasn’t older than early teens, if that. I can remember him being part of my very early memories so
I must have been in grammar school when he first started to torment me.
He was good at what he did which leads me to believe I was not the only girl he was harassing.

This guy lived in a predominately black section of our neighborhood. I would ride my bike down this street to go into the neighborhood store on the corner.
I liked flying down the hill full speed ahead with the thought of bubble gum, candy or a coke treat awaiting me at Mikelsons Grocery.
I guess it was during one of these bike rides that he first spied me and decided to make me a target.

canstock26864729

Today I understand what he was doing was sexual harassment. But, as a kid, I didn’t have that label in my vocabulary yet.
Truth is, I was too young to understand most of the innuendo, suggestions, threats and gestures.
It was his tone that made what he was saying threating.

I was afraid of this guy and he knew I was afraid of him.

It seemed he would venture up to my block at lest once a week and wait for me to walk by on my way home from school.
I arrived pretty much the same time every day so it wasn’t hard for him to figure out my schedule. I wasn’t always alone; sometimes my brothers or sisters would be walking with me.
However, often I was by myself.

I hated when I saw him standing on the corner.
If I saw him before he saw me I would duck down the other street and sneak home through the neighbors back yard.
I would be shaking and nervous the whole time thinking he would catch up with me and start scaring me. I wouldn’t breathe easy until I was in my own yard.

But, usually he saw me first.

He would approach me saying things that he wanted to do to me. Sometimes he would try to grab me. I would try to keep walking but he often blocked my way.
If I ignored him, it mad him mad and he would redouble his efforts. He said words I had never heard at that age. He suggested things that I couldn’t even imagine.
I didn’t know what he was talking about, but I knew it wasn’t nice. I knew he wasn’t nice. He would make me give him my candy or gum. I was too scared to refuse.
He threatened me saying if I ever told anyone about him that he would hurt me. I believed him so I never said anything to anyone.

bully-1

I found myself changing my behavior to avoid him.
I stopped riding my bike to Mickelson’s Grocery for candy. In fact, I stopped riding my bike except for on my own
block. And, then later when I was allowed to, I rode it and to and from school. I was always on the lookout for him wondering if today ways the day when
I would not be able to get away from him. What if I didn’t have any candy or gum to give him? What then. He was always mean and pushy.
Would today be the day he would do some of the things he threatened to do to me?

I hated him. I hated that he made me afraid. I hated that he demanded I give him something just because he felt he was intitled to it.
I hated that I had to constantly be on the lookout for him.

One day his harrassement session got particularly aggressive and I began to panic because I could not get away from him. He seemed to delight in my fear.
He cornered me up against a neighbors fence.
The more terrified I got, the more aggressive he got. I was shaking and scared but trying not to show him just how firghtened of him I really was.
I always thought if I stayed strong that I would always be able to get past him and make it back home to safety.

troll...thetoymaker

It was an evil game of 3 Billy Goats Gruff where I was the goat and he was the evil troll.
I was sure this day I would not be able to keep him off of me or pay him off with gum or candy.

Just about the time I thought he would overpower me, my two brothers appeared down the street and they saw what was going on.
They told him to leave me alone or he would be in ‘Big Trouble’.
I wasn’t sure what ‘Big Trouble’ meant and I didn’t care. They had saved me from whatever harm this creep meant to inflict on me and I was greatful.

Magically, their threat seemed to work because this guy did leave me alone. In fact, after this encounter, I don’t remember ever seeing him again. Maybe I did, but he didn’t come after me.
I didn’t miss him.
I remember thinking maybe he was in jail for messing with the wrong person or stealing their candy.
I got back to riding my bike and playing in my neighborhood without fear. I did not ride to Mickelson’s Grocery anymore. I didn’t want to risk having him see me.
That might get him started up again.
Life continued on and I never really knew just how this bully was stopped. I always thought it was just the threat of my brothers that did the trick.

In 2014, Many, many years after this terrifying time in my life, I was talking with my brothers reminiscing about growing up in Eastport.
We shared memories about old friends, games, fun and the stuff we did in the neighborhood.
I mentioned this guy to them saying how surprised I was that he stopped picking on me and threatening me after that day when they played interference.

That’s when I learned what ‘Big Trouble’ in the minds of my teenage brothers meant to this thug.

Turns out, my brothers suspected that this guy wouldn’t really leave me alone unless they showed him who was boss. They wanted him to know his advances and bullyng were not
acceptable. They wanted him to realize what a punk he really was. Harrassing girls and taking their candy was not going to be tolerated.
So, one day Greg and Todd were walking home and they see this kid riding his bike toward them. They quickly devised a plan. Greg picked up
a very long and strong tree branch and waited for this kid to ride close. They knew he would be aggressive toward him since they had thwarted his plans with me.

Just as this punk came near them on his bike, Greg pokes the branch into the spokes of his front tire.

He never saw it coming.
He went flying head over the handlebars landing face down in the street. His face, body and ego had taken a beating.

bicycle

Without a word, my brothers continued on their way home as he picked himself up out of the street. I believe he was crying.

The world needs more people like my brothers who walk softly and carry big sticks.

6a019102dea107970c01b7c6e05c46970b

Cold Rape Case Solved!

Jennifer Wheatley-Wolf
Me in 1988 and 2011

On January 13, 2010 I testified against serial rapist, William Joseph Trice.

On January 21, 2010, he was pronounced ‘Guilty’ of all 5 counts -sexual assault 1 & 2 degree, Rape 1 & 2 degree and burglary.

One Voice Raised, A Triumph Over Rape           (available on Amazon)

 

This excerpt describes  the moment, 22 years after the crime, when I saw this man’s face for the first time.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Morning

It was a really cold morning. The sun was bright, but it wasn’t offering any warmth. Glaring reflections of gold sparkled off the store windows and car bumpers shone with silver light. There were frozen puddles in the brick street. “Ego Alley,” Annapolis’ harbor area, was covered in a film of ice. A flock of seagulls circled around the boats in the harbor looking for a spot to make a clear landing. There were a few young people in the cyber café staring at their laptop screens and drinking coffee. Most of the stores on Main Street were not open. The street was mostly deserted, except for the trash men who were picking up bags from in front of the shops and a few men working on some telephone wires. Chick and Ruth’s Delly was busy with people having breakfast. A line was forming at the ATM machine.

It was just like every other winter morning in Annapolis.
It was like no other day in my life.
It was a day I had never imagined dawning.
It was the day I would be seeing, for the first time, the face of the man who had raped me.

I could have heard a pin drop when I walked through the courtroom door. I was alarmed at how much bigger the room appeared to be now that it was full of people. It didn’t seem this large the other day, I thought. How could that happen? Shouldn’t it feel smaller? Closer?

In fact, the room had taken on the feel of a fun house. Judge Hackner sat at his bench straight ahead, but he looked to me to be out on the fifty yard line of a football field and sitting way up high on a mountaintop. I was feeling small. I felt I would be engulfed by the space. I quickly glanced at the benches where the jury sat. They had all turned their heads to look at me as I entered the room. I looked away and my gaze passed over the benches where my friends and family members sat, behind the State’s table where Kathleen was headed. I didn’t want to look at anyone here too closely because I thought I would get too emotional. I didn’t want to fall apart. My eyes darted to the opposite side of the room and I couldn’t help but notice there were very few people sitting on the benches behind the defendant.

The balance of the room felt all wrong. Physically there were many more people sitting on the left side than the right and yet the floor seemed to be listing toward the right; tipped as if being weighed down by an invisible force toward the defendant’s table. The area around the defense table looked dark and uninviting, but I felt myself leaning into the tilt of the floor as if being sucked toward the shadow that hung there. I tried to straighten myself.

As I passed the seats where all my supporters sat, I was aware of a charged energy that was light, warm, and safe. I walked into this light and wanted to stay there. I couldn’t. I was being instructed by someone to approach the bench where the court stenographer sat. I didn’t want to walk toward her because I would have to pass through a section of the room that was dark and oppressive.

I felt dwarfed by the judge sitting way up high. I was being swallowed by the room with its heavy mahogany wood and thick carpet. I felt overwhelmed by what was expected of me. I took a breath and walked forward, being careful not to stumble. All eyes were on me. I could feel them. It was so quiet. I heard only a sniffle or two.

There was nothing inviting about this. The air felt heavy and thick.

I saw his face in profile. He was staring straight ahead with his hands in his lap. His features were sharp; a thin face with protruding cheekbones, a goatee, a widow’s peak, and a receding hairline. His complexion was pale. Way too pale to support hair and a beard that looked to be poorly dyed with inky-black shoe polish, and slicked back with Vaseline. Unnatural. Instantly I understood completely why he’d dyed his hair. I was sure it would soon be very clear to the jury.

 

William Joseph Trice Arrest Photo-1989 (Peeping Tom charge) and WJT arrest photo 2009

 

As I walked by the corner of the defense table, I was careful not to brush the edge. Darkness hung heavily in the air around the three people sitting there. I did not want to pass through it.

The stenographer stood and started to speak. Even this was odd. Instead of looking into my eyes when she spoke, she seemed to be looking at something just above my head behind me. I resisted the temptation to twist around to look up and see what her eyes were fixed on. Is she blind? I wondered.

“Do you solemnly declare and affirm under the punishment of perjury that the testimony given will be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?

I was thirsty. I was beyond thirsty. My mouth was so dry I was afraid I was going to start to cough uncontrollably. I wanted something to drink; I wanted a mint in my mouth. Kathleen started asking me her questions

I have no idea how long I was on the stand. The collective energy I felt when I entered the courtroom, coming from the 12 women there with me, grew stronger as I got further along in retelling the events of August 21, 1988. What I recognized as a comfortable and inviting light when I entered the courtroom became an energizing wave that continued to roll toward me — like an ocean — while I was on the stand. This wave calmed me and filled me.

Trice never met my eyes while I was on the stand. It was uncanny how, no matter when I looked at him, he was always focused on something else in the room. Maybe his lawyer told him not to look at me at all. Maybe he didn’t want to look at me.
But I wondered as I looked at him, “Does the face you are born with determine your fate? Or does the life you lead imprint itself onto you? Do lines etch and features reposition until you look the part of the role you have chosen for yourself? I’m not sure but I was struck by how his face told the story of his life. If I knew nothing about this man, and had seen him walking toward me, I would cross the street. If our meeting were in a dark alley, I would run in fear.

Each invasion, every surprise attack, and every scream he elicited from a terrorized victim echoed from his eyes. His eyes were light in color and ice cold. What must have once been smile lines in childhood had become twisted and carved into a sneer. His jaw was set and closed tight, giving him an angry look. If he had been a Hollywood actor, he would have been type-cast to play every role of sexual predator that came along. His face was one that conjured nightmares. No matter who he was as a child, his choices in adulthood had made him the bogeyman. He was surrounded by dark and evil-looking shadows.

The longer I spoke the more I felt his happiness fade. What had been joyful for him at the start had become a disappointment. I have no doubt he sensed the strength I garnered from telling this story. He had to have been aware of the purifying energy that surrounded me, but never made its way to his table. I have no doubt he realized, by the time I reached the end of my testimony, that I was not the small and frightened girl he had left face down on the bed twenty-two years ago.

The longer I talked, the further along I got in my story, the darker the air around him became. In contrast, the rest of the room was alive in a bright light. This light swirled and danced around the room touching every other person. There were no windows. It wasn’t coming from outside. The light was, I believe, the collective energy, love, and strength of the women in the room. The light was freeing, empowering, and uplifting.
I felt I had grown 12 feet taller when I exited the courtroom.

 

One-Voice-Raised-Bowker-Cover-Final-300dpi

‘One Voice Raised: A Triumph Over Rape’ Winner of the 2013 ELit Bronze Medal Winner/True Crime!     (Available on Amazon in Paperback and Kindle)  To find out how my case was solved and hear from the detective who stuck with me for 20 years,  order your copy today.

Thank you to the thousands of people all over the world who have read my story. Thank you also to the survivors who have shared your story with me and continue to stand up and speak out against rape and sexual assault. We make a difference.

If you are interested in having Dave Cordle and me present my case at your conference, women group or club , please send an email to CurrentTomePublishing@yahoo.com.

All Is Vanity

all-is-vanity-optical-illlusion-gilbert-1

All Is Vanity by Charles Allan Gilbert 1892

 

Charles Allan Gilbert drew this optical illusion picture in 1892, when he was 18 years old. After he sold it to Life Magazine and they reproduced it as a print, it became famous.

I discovered this image when I was a small child and I was immediately fascinated by it. How could something so beautiful also be so horrific?

At first I saw the woman at the dressing table and remember thinking “I wish I could draw like that.” As my eyes took in the details, I began to see the frightening image of a human skull emerging .

WOW! How cool is this?’

There is no doubt in my mind that this image impacted me so much that it made me want to be an artist.

As I shared this image with friends, I realized some could only see the woman at the dressing table and could not see the skull. There were others who only saw the skull and their eyes could not find the woman anywhere. And there were a few who, like me , could see both parts of the images. Try as they might, the people who could only see one part or the other could never see the parts they were missing.

I found this discovery interesting. We can all look at the same thing: a photograph, painting, print, movie etc and take away something different.  Perhaps more interesting to me was how the people who could only see one view of this image and not the other  insisted that I was making something up; I was lying to them. They were sure that I was trying to trick them somehow. I wasn’t. There was no trickery involved. In my perspective, both images were so obvious I could not understand how anyone could not see them.

I have been thinking a lot about this image these days.

How can millions of people look at the same person, evaluate his behavior and reactions and come away with extremely different and conflicting conclusions?

I think what’s happening can be explained by this print.

What did you see first?

Did you see the beautiful, pleasant woman gazing at her reflection? Or did you see the human skull?

Can you see both parts of this story or will your eyes only focus on one part of the image or the other?

Here’s ‘The Thing’. Once you can see the combined images, you can never unsee them. I will never be able to go back and see only the beautiful woman.

Once the evil has been revealed, it can not be unknown.

Our country is about swear into office of President the human equivalent of this image.

For his supporters, the PE represents the beautiful part of this print. These people see him as a good person who promises to make this country ‘Great Again’ . They cannot and will never be able to see the frightening  and evil persona that does not even try to hide its face.

For the rest of us, we can not see anything else.

 

A Nation Divided

14991002_1971828973040519_1621568744133901903_o

Global Street Art- Statue of Liberty by NOK Crew

The majority of the people in this country did not vote for the unqualified man who will take office in January.

Think about that.

In any other election we scrawl a name on a small piece of paper indicating who we want to win. The names are counted and the one who has the most votes is the winner.

Except, this doesn’t happen for the most important election in this country.

Like the majority of people in this country, I did not vote for the malevolent circus clown who was cheered and admired through this entire election process by people who envy him, who want to be just like him.

His legion do not care that he is callous, crude, mean, vindictive, childish, selfish, prejudiced and unqualified.

They turned a blind eye to his mocking.
They turned a blind eye to his thousands of lies.
They turned a blind eye when he admitted he “Can’t stop himself” and feels compelled to kiss and grope women who he feels are worthy of him.
They turned a blind eye to him when he said he will round up all the Muslims in this country and ship them out.
They turned a blind eye to him when he said all Mexicans are rapists and murderers.
They turned a blind eye to his being endorsed by the KKK.

I could go on and on, but we are all aware of just how disgusting this man has proven himself to be.

His followers do not care.

They voted for him saying they want change for this country and that is good. Finding ways to improve the quality of life for everyone who suffers financially is good.
Coming up with ways to make sure everyone has a job that pays the bills is good.
Making sure everyone has health insurance and don’t have to worry how to pay the bills when they get sick is good.

We all want these things.

But, achieving these goals at the cost of our humanity, humility, honor, security and personal freedom is not good. It is frightening and dangerous.
This is why so many people have been demonstrating the election results.
His supporters, those who turned a blind eye to all the hate and ugliness he handed out are now telling us, those who oppose him,  to:
‘get over it’, ‘quit whining’, ‘you lost, grow up’ etc.

It is terribly sad and horrific that some of the protesters have relied on violence and destruction to make their feelings known. But, they have been few.
Most demonstrators are stunned, frightened and angry but they are not violent.

I recently read a friends Facebook feed that said all of Clinton supporters are the same.
She made her comment in response to the protesters who have, sadly, turned to violence to express their grief and concerns.
I wanted so badly to respond to this comment, but I couldn’t.
She did, however spur me to write this post.
I know that she would not understand that her comment is EXACTLY the reason Hillary supporters are so fearful.

He has brought out the worst in so many people.

Lies are OK.
Disrespect is OK.
Hypocrisy is OK.
Bullying is OK.
Bigotry is OK.
Hate for those not just like you is OK.
Distrust of those with different colored skin is OK.
Belittling women and special needs people is OK.
Threatening retaliation on all who oppose you or who are not in favor of you is OK.
Being a sexual predator is OK.

This woman’s disrespectful comment, her hatred of millions of people, comes as an off-hand comment intended to sum up the majority of the voters in this country.

This is why there are demonstrations.

Don’t think for a minute that if the tables were turned, this same woman,
and millions who have allowed hate and distrust to take hold of their hearts, would not have taken to the streets in the same fashion.

I am disappointed Clinton didn’t win. Many of us were excited at the possibility of electing the first woman president. A woman who’s experience made her the most qualified candidate in history.

While I was waiting in line to vote at the firehouse I was chatting with a woman; small talk really. We discussed how we thought coffee and donuts would have been a nice idea, how beautiful the weather was and the length of the lines.
As we got closer to the front of the line, like me, she found the anticipation of voting for a woman for the first time in US history to be overwhelming. Both of us were crying. It was empowering. There was a bond so strong that maybe only other women who supported Clinton could understand.

I was and will always be proud to say I got to vote for a woman for president.

i-voted-sticker

I voted for a woman to be president in 2016

Hillary Clinton won the popular vote. If our antiquated system of the electoral college were abolished years ago when it’s usefulness ran out, she would be our next president. But, she lost this election.

(To learn more about this system of government that was established in the days of slavery please read this article. The Troubling Reason the Electoral College Exists

I could have come around to accepting the 3rd party candidate if he had won.
It would not have been my favorite result, but I could have lived with that. I believe many others could have accepted that result in favor of the one we are presented with.

What his followers don’t understand is the demonstrations are not about who lost the electoral votes so much as it is about who won, who will be sworn in in January.

They chose to vote for him and his horrible plans do not concern them. They do not care.

They do not care how his plans to round up Muslims and deport them, abolish Roe vs wade, defund Planned Parenthood, reverse the gay marriage law, and build a wall of alienation threatens millions of people.

tattered-american-flag-drawing_384209

“A house divided against itself cannot stand. I believe this government cannot endure, permanently half slave and half free. I do not expect the Union to be dissolved — I do not expect the house to fall — but I do expect it will cease to be divided. It will become all one thing or all the other.”
―Abraham Lincoln

These millions of people, who have felt safe in their country, our country, are now facing a genuine threat.

Millions feel threatened by the legion who, by voting for him, aligned themselves with him and his ideas. Of course, not all of his supporters are hate filled, vengeful people. But a lot of them are. And, a lot of them have  lashed out, followed his lead. They now believe it is OK to be everything he is, no matter how horrific.

The greatest  threat though comes at the hands of the next leader of this free country.
Millions are terrified their rights and personal freedoms will end when he is sworn into office. This is not a vague threat they feel. It is very real. He has made it clear throughout his campaign that he will take aim at abolishing everything that does not suit him.

A lot does not suit him.

His supporters do not care or understand that victims of sexual assault and rape are traumatized by having a sexual predator in control of this country.
This is the equivalent of being trapped in an abusive relationship on a scale that is beyond our comprehension.
Many women have reached out to me devastated by this. Many are experiencing PTSD symptoms.
Symptoms they thought they had under control during their journey from victim to empowered survivor. They are feeling powerless again.
Having a sexual predator in the Oval Office is a very real and frightening backwards slide for all survivors.

As a rape survivor, I choose not to say his name now or ever if I can prevent from doing so.
I will have to listen to his voice on the news over the next 4 years and this disgusts me. Everything about this man disgusts me.
It’s a voice that makes me nauseous. His words fill me with shock. I, like the majority of people in this country truly hoped
we  would never have to hear his name or see his face again.
That will not happen any time soon.

The man who lost the election will be sworn into office.

However, I will never respect a sexual predator who tells me how he is going to make my life and America great again. Never.

He is a reminder of what is so wrong with so many of the very people who cheer and praise him.

They just do not care.

usa-election-protest

582499db69777-image

News photos of demonstrators. Sorry, I do not have the names of the photographers