On Popcorn And Voting Rights

There is so much laying claim to my attention these days that I think I need more than one brain to keep up with it all!  Obviously, the Russian invasion of Ukraine takes up a big part of my thoughts, but there are other things happening closer to home that we cannot turn a blind eye to.  So, setting aside the ongoing drama in Ukraine for just a few minutes …


A bag of popcorn …

It has been eight years since Curtis Reeves, a retired police officer, shot and killed Chad Oulson in a movie theater near Tampa, Florida.  Last week, a jury acquitted Reeves who claimed he “acted in self-defense”.  What, you ask, weapon did Mr. Oulson use that made Reeves feel that his life was in danger?  A bag of popcorn.  That’s right … Reeves was harassing Mr. Oulson because Mr. Oulson, while on a date with his wife, was texting their babysitter to check on their two-year-old child, when Reeves took offense.  Although the movie had not yet started, Reeves became so angry over Mr. Oulson’s texting that he began kicking the seat in front of him, a seat occupied by a former Marine, Charles Cummings.  Reeves became more aggressive and finally Mr. Oulson threw a bag of popcorn at him.  That was all it took to prompt Reeves to shoot him dead.

Remember that this happened in Florida, the same state where George Zimmerman walked free after murdering a teenager, Trayvon Martin, for the crime of being Black in what is known as the “Stand Your Ground” law.  Well, Reeves decided to play that same card and, despite the fact that a judge denied Mr. Reeves a self-defense claim under the “Stand Your Ground” law, he nonetheless was able to claim self-defense at the trial. And the jury bought it … hook, line, and sinker.  A bag of popcorn is all it takes to justify murder, at least in Florida.  This, my friends, is the very definition of a travesty of justice.


They voted … or did they?

In Texas, today is primary day, the day when voters who are registered Republicans or Democrats head to the polls to choose the candidate of their choice to run in the November mid-term elections.  However, don’t expect that the outcome will necessarily reflect the voters’ choice, for Texas is one of the states that has passed very restrictive voting measures over the past year.

Mail-in ballots are available only to those 65 and older, or those who have a ‘verified excuse’, such as having a leg amputated.  Well, guess what?  One of the new laws for absentee voting is that the person must include either his/her driver’s license number or social security number, but apparently this wasn’t well advertised, as some 30% of absentee voters forgot to include this and thus their ballots have been rejected by the state’s election officials (most of whom are likely Trumpeters).  Approximately 30% of absentee ballots have been rejected as compared to 1% in the previous election!  Gee, Texas … I wonder how many of those were Republican ballots?  My guess is very few.

Voters will be given an opportunity to correct the error of their ways, however every rejection represents a headache for a voter, who must spend time and energy to rectify it. Election officials fear (or hope?) that many will not be able to fix their ballots before the deadline. For some, including people who have disabilities, voting in person is not an option.

THIS, my friends, is exactly why the U.S. Congress should have passed the two federal voting rights bills last year!!!  The damn fools would rob We the People of our voice, while continuing to gleefully take our tax dollars!  Thank you, Senators Manchin and Sinema for stealing from the people of this nation.  As for Texas, if every person were allowed to vote and have their vote counted, in all likelihood Governor Abbot, Dan Crenshaw and Louie Gohmert would be voted out of office.  But, since the state of Texas has decided that only certain votes should count, all bets are off.

And Texas is only the beginning … the majority of states in this country have passed some form of voter restrictions and unless Congress gets off their duffs and do their constitutional duty, it’s likely that voter turnout may be the lowest in recent history!


More to come …

I had planned to address the nomination of Ketanji Brown Jackson as well as the latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but time has slipped away, so stay tuned …

32 thoughts on “On Popcorn And Voting Rights

  1. Too bizarre for words! I know the popcorn was already made, but maybe Reeves thought the popping of corn in the lobby was a gun being fired, so he drew his weapon and fired back. Yeah, sure he did. He wanted a readon to shoot someone, why else bring a gun to a movie? Im sorry, but I am with Barry. Not 9nly am I not moving to the States, I am never ctossing the border again (unless it is to see one of my thoroughbreds running in the Derby, or a Breeders’ Cup event!). Like that will ever happen…

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    • No, he didn’t hear popcorn popping and think it was a gun … he didn’t even try to get by with that sorry excuse. He is coddled old white man who’s used to having his way. But my bigger question is … WHY would anybody carry a gun into a movie theater??? No, I don’t blame you for never wanting to come to the U.S. … I wish I weren’t chained here. Sigh.

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      • For better or worse, Jill, you and I and a lot of our friends are not going to be here on this earth in this reality to see how all this turns out. I wish I believed in parallel worlds where every possibility gets played out simultanrously. If so there would be at least one world that navigates it way through all the crap that is happeming on this one. But for all my wild and wooly beliefs, that is not one of them. But, in all those beliefs I do have, life is forever. It cannot be stopped just because we fail here on this reality. Maybe not life as we know it, but life, nonetheless.

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        • Agreed … many times of late I have been thankful that I am old and will not live to see what becomes of it all, yet I do care for what will happen to the next generations. I agree … life in some form will rise from the ashes and I can only hope whatever those life forms are that they will not be possessed of the human failings we see today.

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  2. “That was all it took to prompt Reeves to shoot him dead.”
    Americans shooting each other dead over nothing. 😦 But, back to the topic at hand, pray tell, how was the movie?

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    • You’re right on this one … there are more guns in this country than there are people, and people here will fight for their guns before they will fight for their own children. The nation is gun-crazy and not likely to get any better in the foreseeable future.

      I don’t suppose the movie was shown after the shooting, but who knows? I read that the killer went and sat back down in his seat after shooting the man.

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  3. Pingback: ON POPCORN AND VOTING RIGHTS. |jilldennison.com | Ramblings of an Occupy Liberal

  4. i’M SICKENED TO BE REMINDED THAT BTH STAND YOUR GROUND LAW CAN BE A DEDFENCE IN COURT EVEN IF IT WSN’T ALLOWED IN THIS CASE.iT’S DISGUSTING THAT A SELF DEFENCE PLEA AGAINST A BAG OF POPCORN WAS ALLOWED EITHER.THE JUSTICE SYSTEM NEEDS A HUGE SHAKE UP.
    i won’t go into thE new voting laws as i BELIEVE ANY GOVERNMENT THAT PASSES THOSE EVEN AT STATE LEVEL IS ILLEGITIMATE.AND WORKING AGAINST THE BEST INTERESTS OF THE PEOPLE.
    AMERICA SHOULD ANG IT’S HEAD IN SHAME.

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    • I, too, am sickened by most cases that have used the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law to let murderers go free, and it has been used far too many times. This particular case is disturbing, for the man who was shot and killed was doing nothing more than texting to check on his child, and for that he died. This Reeves dude is a menace to society and the jury just told the people of Florida that it’s okay to kill someone who annoys you. Bah humbug!

      We need federal voting laws that supersede the state laws, but thanks to the Republicans in Congress, it’s not very likely to happen anytime soon. Yes, this country should hang it’s collective head in shame … personally, I am ashamed of the country at present.
      Cwtch

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        • Nearly one in three New Zealanders are immigrants and I for one would be happy to you both as neighbours.

          There’s just one small problem: the border is still closed, but it’s about to open up for returning Citizens and residents. There’s a long Queue of Kiwis scrambling to return. Others will have to wait. Perhaps the end of this year or early 2023. But think the wait would be worth it

          Okay, I’m biased. But being the least corrupt and most free nation on earth seems to appeal to quite a few people.

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          • I visited both islands several years ago … and loved the country! If I were at a different place in life, I would definitely give serious consideration to moving. But alas. All I can do is wishful thinking.

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          • Ahhhhh … I didn’t realize the borders are still closed. Keep us posted … but I won’t pack my bags just yet! From what I know of NZ, I share your assessment of it being the most free nation on earth. And I have tremendous respect for Jacinda Ardern, too!

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