Daily Archives: March 13, 2015

Land Of Cotton

We just turned our clocks forward. Tom Cotton wants to turn ’em back, and I mean way back:

Tom Cotton, a GOP candidate for Congress, says he would like to see more children working long hours out in America’s agricultural fields. The Republican from Arkansas’ fourth district apparently isn’t a big fan of child-labor laws pertaining to farms.

“We need more young people who’ve worked all day in the fields, not less,” the Army reservist and Harvard grad fumed in a recent post on his 2012 campaign website (his italics). “It’s time to tell Washington to get off our land.”

Ted Cruz, you’re on notice. Crazy has a new beau.

Asshole In A Foxhole

Todd Starnes, like most conservative pundits, loves to be on the wrong side of an issue. Yesterday on Fox News(where else), he lamented the plight of one Chaplain Wes Modder, who is in hot water for being a chaplain that no one wants to go to because he can’t stop proselytizing long enough for someone to earnestly confide in him:

Lt. Cmdr. Wes Modder has been accused of failing to show “tolerance and respect” in private counseling sessions regarding issues pertaining to faith, marriage and sexuality – specifically homosexuality.

Just a few months ago, Modder’s commander called him “the best of the best” and a “consummate professional leader” worthy of an early promotion.

But all that changed after Modder’s assistant, a married gay officer at the base who was upset about the minister’s views on same-sex relationships and homosexuality, filed a complaint against the chaplain.

Modder is also accused of:

* Telling a woman that she was “shaming herself in the eyes of God” for having premarital sex.

* Telling a student that homosexuality was wrong and that “the penis was meant for the vagina and not for the anus.”

* Berating an unmarried student for becoming pregnant.

Starnes says that he talked to Modder’s lawyer who denies all the allegations. What were you expecting his lawyer to say, Todd? Even Robert Durst’s lawyers insist on his innocence, dude.

I did the Army for nine years. I was never in need of a chaplain because I was an atheist who preferred to see a doctor rather than a pastor to help me get my shit together. When I got out of the service and landed in the bugfuck house in 2011, I requested to see a chaplain because I could. I also demanded my psychologist, which they were slow to get me. So I’m glad the guy was there. He felt I was in special need of an ear. At the time of our meeting, I was convinced I was Allah so I guess he felt obligated to hear me out, which I would wish on no one in retrospect. Anyway, the guy brought me a beautiful Bible, the kind with gilt edges and vellum-like pages. I managed to lose it during my stay at the whacko ward, along with a copy of A People’s History of The United States in graphic novel form. My point is, chaplains do one important thing; they listen. Even though the chaplain gave me a decidedly Christian solution to my crazy, he did hear me out and didn’t make any judgements on me because he knew I was in trouble. Theirs is not to judge, and certainly not to convert.

People like Modder don’t have any sense of self-awareness. They don’t know that Christian evangelism is fucking annoying at best and hurtful at worst. I am fully aware that that is their holy mission:to win souls. But that’s not a chaplain’s purview, and Starnes doesn’t get that-because he’s a virgin and is too chickenshit to join the military and understand whereof he speaks. He, like the good chaplain, thinks  his position is perfectly reasonable.

If you don’t want the counsel of a Christian chaplain – don’t go to a Christian chaplain.

Not every Christian is an asshole like you, Todd. I know of a few flavors of Christian much less arrogant, and far more forgiving than yours. They do the real Lord’s Work. Fuckstick.

Anarchy In The U.S.

I’ve been known to say a nice word or two about the concept of anarchy. If applied properly, we could organize a society into small collectives, enjoy true freedom of association, and return the worker to his place of primacy in an economic system. A loose, federalized system above it could ensure everyone has the most basic protections, as in our constitution. The United States, in theory, is a somewhat anarcho-syndical concept. Our states are like collectives, our constitution is our guarantee to fairness, and our labor is held to be sacred. We work to buy in to the American dream, if you will.

That all sounds nice, but we’ve fallen short of the bar in this republic. Our experiments in “freedom” have given rise to racism, slavery, penury, bigotry and the oppression of the worker. Freedom belongs to the landed. Freedom belongs to industry and money. Opportunity is for the few. It’s a perversion of anarchy. It guarantees no shield or safety net to the working class. The very people that anarchy is supposed to relieve the common man from are the benefactors of “freedom”.  Left to their own devices, the dominant class will always work to undermine the workers’ rights. At our best, we are furiously scribbling new laws and constitutional amendments to correct the most egregious offenses to the dignity of the many.

Anarchy is not just a progressive ideal, though. There’s a healthy type of loose control, and then there’s a pernicious type in which laws don’t matter-a frontiersman’s folly. This latter type is being exemplified by today’s right wing. It doesn’t believe in government at all, unless of course you love the wrong person or are not ready for motherhood. Don’t like gay marriage? Come on down to Texas, where we don’t give a shit what the federal courts say. Don’t like the president’s foreign policy? Congress can just make its own. Don’t like the EPA? Eh, that’s just the federal government. No need to pay attention to those regulations. Gun-crazy? Hate taxes? Become a country unto yourself!

Like it or not, government exists to stop us from acting like savages. It shields one citizen from the prejudices of another. It helps level an uneven playing field. We’d have hundreds of warring fiefdoms in place of the United States were we not a union. We should be careful what we wish for when we choose “small government”. It doesn’t have to be gargantuan, but it has to have some authority for the whole mess to work. But Republicans, libertarians and the religio-capitalist right are hell-bent on making this country someplace you really wouldn’t want to live anymore were they free to make their pipe-dreams reality. These last elections were a paleolithic step backward. I hope that the confederation of left and center understands what is at stake in 2016. Stop the anarchists. They’re coming for your rights, your air, your water, your livelihood and whatever they can get their reckless greedy little hands on.

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