Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Oh, great. The idiot is running again.

While the spotlight has been shining on Hillary Rodham Clinton and her remarkable lack of Democratic contenders, Republicans have been quietly walking up to the Goblet of Fire and slipping their names into it.

The latest Republican to announce his candidacy for the presidency was our own Billionaire Clown, Donald Trump. He can't stand it when the news isn't about him. And he just can't stand to stay out of his own spotlight. I guess that's his right. He bought the spotlight, and paid for it, so he might as well shine it on himself. It's a pity he couldn't spend the money on a better hairpiece.

Clearly, he didn't learn his lesson from the "birther" beating he inflicted upon himself in 2011.

Anyway, in the latest installment in the comedy-cum-soap-opera that is his life, Trump invoked God Himself in promising:
I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.
I remind you that in 2011, all of the Republican candidates, except for Mitt Romney, announced that God had told them to run for President. This statement sounds like Trump is telling God what to do, and not the other way around. Ladies and gentlemen, the Clown is back, and he's about to eat his clown shoes.

Reuters reporter Alana Wise wasn't too impressed with his announcement, as she makes clear in this report of the press conference announcing his candidacy.

Everytime I read or hear about Donald Trump saying something, I get this mental image of a donkey in a pasture, braying loudly because he loves to hear the sound of his voice, while all of the other animals grazing in the field ignore him or silently wish he would be abducted by aliens.

UPDATE, JUNE 17: Most of the news media didn't take Trump's announcement very seriously. One of them even accused him of "throwing his rubber nose into the GOP ring." This jesting at his expense, and lack of respect, hasn't sat well with Trump, who fired back in a fit of petulance: "Well, I'm rich and you're not, so nyah. Jerks." Now we can really take him seriously.

Friday, June 5, 2015

A road rage incident

Preface: This isn't very readable. I dictated it into my telephone while I was driving to work, and only superficially edited it once I got to work. Recording it here is important, because I've seen this guy before. I should have reported him the first time, but I didn't. 

Colorado takes road rage very seriously. The cellular phone number *277 (or "star C S P") is a shorthand number to report an aggressive driver to a Colorado State Patrol dispatcher. After three complaints, the vehicle's owner gets a letter. After more complaints, they get a visit from the CSP, often with more drastic results.

I called *CSP at 9:13 a.m. The dispatcher spent a couple of minutes with me on the phone getting all of the relevant information. I'm glad that this state takes road rage seriously.

Again, while this may not make very interesting reading, it's important to have it in a publicly searchable area of the Internet.

Notes on the aggressive driver, June 6, 2015

These notes are related to a call I placed to *CSP at 9:13 AM on Friday, June 6, 2015, regarding an aggressive driver.

The vehicle was a white Oldsmobile Bravada SUV, license plate was a Colorado "Pioneer" design, with last three letters YBA. The first three numbers might have been 236 or 238. I no longer recall the numbers, but I reported them to the CSP dispatcher as I was reading them off the license plate. The driver appeared to be in his sixties, Caucasian, white hair, no facial hair, wearing a baseball cap and his left arm wrapped in an athletic bandage - not a cast, but a wrap, with the thumb and fingers sticking out.

During and after this incident, I was calm and mellow. I never felt any tension or anger. I never feared for my life or my safety, although now I think that maybe I should have.

I was in the passing lane on 287, just south of Hwy 56 in Berthoud, southbound and passing slower traffic. The Bravada came up behind me and rode my bumper, less than a car length away, and as soon as traffic in front of me cleared and I could pull into the right lane, he rocketed past me. He was doing at least 80. I observed him driving aggressively for a few more miles, tailgating drivers, cutting drivers off, and changing both lanes and speed suddenly and erratically.

Further down the road, I pulled into the left lane to pass slower traffic and found myself behind him. I kept a safe following distance. He was on the rear bumper of a grey Honda Civic that was going about 60 in the left lane. When the right lane was clear he passed the Civic on the right, rolled down his window, and gave the Civic driver the bird. The Civic didn't move, so I also passed him on the right, more politely. The Bravada driver was watching me and the Civic in his side view mirror the whole time, and actually slowed down to match the Civic's speed, so that I was abreast of the Civic and the Bravada was in front of me.

When there was a large enough gap between the Bravada and the Civic, I pulled into the left lane to pass him. I was about 3 car lengths ahead of him when he finally decided to speed up. he stomped on his gas pedal, accelerated quickly, passed me on the right and shot a dangerously narrow gap between me and a truck in front of him. He shot the gap aggressively enough that the Bravada rocked wildly as he yanked the wheel first left, and then right, while still accelerating. He proceeded to flip me off, both in the rear view mirror and out the driver side window. After a half mile still in the left lane, he slowed down again to 65 or possibly to 60 miles an hour. As I came up behind him, I slowed down as well, and the Civic almost caught up to us.

I was endeavoring to maintain a speed of 69 or 70 mph, using cruise control as much as possible. So once again, I pulled into the right lane, and stayed there on cruise control. The right lane was clear ahead of me and behind me. The left lane was clear in front of the Bravada. The Bravada once again accelerated rapidly in the left lane and pulled several car lengths ahead of me. Then he changed his mind and slowed down to match my speed, about a car length ahead of me but in the left lane. This is when I called *CSP to report him as an aggressive driver.

By this time we were two miles north of Highway 66, still on 287 southbound. The Bravada slowed down further, falling back to get almost abreast of me. The driver rolled down both right side windows, and started video recording me, using his phone. He had an angry look on his face. He was in the left lane, & I was in the right lane, behind a brown pickup who was slowing down as we all approached the highway 66 intersection. Since I was behind the pickup, I slowed down also, and the Bravada slowed further in order to stay abreast of me and continued video taping me, while I was on the phone with CSP. At the highway 66 intersection, the Bravada stopped at the red light in the left lane. The pickup truck stopped in the right lane. I turned right onto westbound 66. At this point I lost contact with the Bravada, but I told the CSP dispatcher that I would be willing to sign a complaint.

As I write this report, it occurs to me that I have had a previous encounter with an aggressive driver in a white Oldsmobile Bravada. This was about a year ago, on 17th Street in Longmont, between Airport Road and Hover Road. Now I'm wondering if it was the same guy.