Monthly Archives: July 2015

Bombs All Over Baghdad

The other Republican with bad hair, Rand Paul, is in the middle of a shit sandwich. Oh sure, he’ll probably get to sit at the big kids table come August 6, but he hasn’t exactly been lighting up the crowds out there. He’s supposed to have a little gravity as the “libertarian” in the race, but he’s been hard at work disabusing people of the idea that he is one. This makes you wonder what his use in this contest is. He’s even crankier than Chris Christie, and who the fuck needs that?

I have no idea what makes people want to run for president when they have no chance at actually being a nominee. Vanity? Money? Sheer delusion? Maybe something else. Maybe all of the above. I guess it’s like the lottery, you gotta be in it to win it even though you have a better chance of being eaten by a shark in Kansas than you have of winning.

This has been bugging me for a while:

Iraqi refugees shouldn’t exist, according to Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), because the United States already “won” the Iraq War.

n an interview with Boston Herald Radio this week, Paul attempted to justify why he wanted to restrict the number of refugees the United States takes in, particularly from certain areas of the world like the Middle East.

“We accepted 60,000 people from Iraq as refugees,” the Kentucky GOPer said. “What I don’t get about it is, I thought asylum would be when you lost the war. We won the Iraq War! We put in place a democratic government. Why would there be any people seeking asylum from Iraq after the war?”

I expect this kind of complete denial of reality and miscalculation from the likes of a Donald Rumsfeld. Iraq should be a third rail right now for Republicans; no one should touch the subject unless forced to. If you aren’t admitting its failure, then even by conservative standards, you’re not going to hold anyone’s esteem for long. Gone are the days when you can get away with this kind of dumbfuckery and still have people listen to you:


Gee, Rand, I have no idea why Iraqis are fleeing. Could it be this? Maybe we should check here for reasons? Isn’t it a well known fact that half or Iraq is being occupied by a bloodthirsty religious movement?

You are not fit to be a candidate if you cannot accurately sketch a picture of the current state of our war of attrition in the Middle East. It may not be easy to extemporaneously comment on everything going on in the world, but unfortunately for Rand Paul, that’s what being President demands. Sorry, simpleton, “we won” is the the most pathetic spin I’ve seen in a good long time.

Not To Nitpick, But…

I think Bernie Sanders is a mensch. But even the “left” wing in this country is sometimes, well, right-wing. It appears that Sanders is an isolationist and a protectionist:

As Sanders has climbed in the polls… the (more) pro-capitalist and nationalist content of his politics (have) become increasingly clear. An interview with Sanders released Tuesday by former Washington Post writer Ezra Klein for the Vox web site is particularly revealing in this regard.

About halfway through the interview, Klein asks Sanders about his attitude towards immigration. “You said being a democratic socialist means a more international view,” Klein says. “I think if you take global poverty that seriously, it leads you to conclusions that in the US are considered out of political bounds. Things like sharply raising the level of immigration we permit, even up to a level of open borders.”

At this point, Sanders abruptly cuts off Klein, saying, “Open borders? No, that’s a Koch brothers proposal.” “Really?” Klein responds, apparently taken aback. “Of course,” Sanders replies. “That’s a right-wing proposal, which says essentially there is no United States… It would make everybody in America poorer.”

Sanders continues: “You’re doing away with the concept of a nation state, and I don’t think there’s any country in the world that believes in that… What right-wing people in this country would love is an open border policy. Bring in all kinds of people, work for $2 or $3 an hour. That would be great for them… You think we should open the borders and bring in a lot of low-wage workers, or do you think maybe we should try to get jobs for those [American] kids?

Here’s a great takedown of this remarkably non-socialist stance here.

We already have a de facto open border-and millions of people come to work and stay here under the harshest conditions-yet it is better to be here and toil than go back to Mexico to ply their trades. The correct answer to this problem is if you have an open border, there must be new labor laws that forbid the exploitation system as it is now. The economy will absorb all this extra spending by those people, and expand the tax base. That’s not right-wing at all. Sanders seems to think that Americans will want to do these jobs-and he’s wrong. As I have said before, you won’t see people up and doing like Tom Joad trying to find their way by moving to where these jobs are stationed. Better to work at the local Pizza Hut making $9 an hour and live in your mom’s basement than make that trek.

The important point to be made here is that we can walk and chew gum at the same time. Open border does not equal the loss of American jobs, nor does it equal a poorer nation. We are much richer because of our immigrants. Always have been.

Tyranny Of The Majority

Those who do not have a god are not often taken seriously. My own family has insinuated that I am going through “a phase”. I’m 43. I don’t have any phases left. I don’t even think I will go through an easy listening or country music phase as I get longer in the tooth. I’m about the most complete me I can be. And you can go get fucked if you don’t like it.

I have said that no one, if given the choice, would sign up to be a minority(unless you have the chutzpah that say, a Rachel Dolezal has). However, I guess that’s what I have done. And maybe I should get loud and stand up for my rights just like any other marginalized and vilified group. We’re winning our respect slowly but surely. Thanks to the penumbra of the First Amendment, I do not have to put up with religious bullshit in my government or tolerate disenfranchisement in my community. And you know what? That’s good for you and me, Christians.Your bumptious attempts to inject religion into every public space you can have earned you the ire of Satanists and the mockery of other assorted freethinkers. Whine all you like. This absurdity will continue unless you let go of the notion that this is a Christian nation .

Now I don’t have a thin skin. Perhaps I take offense at egregious bigotry and cruelty. But my main emotion when I catch wind of something like this is not one of umbrage. I’m just irritated. Annoyed. Sick to death of this bullshit. Teed off. Not offended. There’s a subtle but stark difference. I think “taking offense” is a dirtied phrase; claiming “offense” is derided by bigots. The proper response is indignation. We gotta just get mad. And we gotta get proactive. These days are ripe for social change. We’re entering a new age of Aquarius, in a manner of speaking. The walls are crumbling. I am more optimistic than ever, even as our heroes are found to be mere men.

Forward, friends. Stick together and we will change this country by hook or crook.

Enjoy While It Lasts

So far, Donald Trump is made of Teflon. It seems that he can say whatever he wants-no matter how outrageous it is and somehow maintain a commanding lead in most Republican polls. I don’t have anything to add on this subject that hasn’t already been said. But it’s worth noting how easy it is to be a egomaniacal lunatic and still score points with Republican voters. Trump is having the time of his life fucking with the system, and people hate the system so much that they’re ready to elect anyone who shits on it.

Sadly, the Donald is cooked in the long game. Republicans are very fickle; they have a flavor of the month during these contests. Trump will fuck up eventually or simply peter out because he’s in front too early. It’s the kiss of death. Observe this chart of the 2012 race; you’ll see that several “fringe” candidates found favor with voters for a time, only to ebb and virtually disappear.

It may take a while, but Bush 3 will be chugging along quietly behind buffoons like Trump, waiting for the clown car to empty out. What remains to be seen is who will be next whackadoodle to hold the mic for a few months. I can’t wait!

Educate Me Some More

Every day I learn something. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, I get answers to any question I have. You know who I learn the most from? Wingnuts. They reference a ton of bullshit that requires further analysis.

I’m about to pick on Ben Carson again. I know, I risk going to the well so often, but he’s so full of shit I can’t help examining the dumbfuckery he traffics in. Planned Parenthood is in conservative crosshairs after an undercover sting that showed a PP representative dispassionately talk about the donating and acquisition of fetal tissue. Now the liberal media is all over this story, calling it a hoax, but the fact is that rep didn’t exactly do PP any favors. The discussion, even when edited, is kinda gruesome. The only thing that can be said that is bullshit about that video is the “sale” of the tissue-the price quoted is absurdly lowball for acquiring it. Most likely these are costs to cover for processing. Otherwise, the rep fucked up, got caught being matter-of-fact about the procedures and there is no denying that.

No doubt that all the conservative candidates would like to be the man or woman to shutter Planned Parenthood and clamp down on the right to abort a pregnancy. Ben wants to be the first out of the gate by giving a history lesson about the organization(I will not link to the wingnut site I got the quote from):

Republican 2016 presidential candidate Ben Carson recently asserted on a Des Moines, Iowa conservative radio show that the purpose behind Margaret Sanger’s founding of…Planned Parenthood was to “eliminate black people.”

Carson was asked by a WHO Radio host to comment on an Obama speech from last year in which the president defended Planned Parenthood and even said “Thank you, Planned Parenthood. God bless you.” Carson replied:

“You wonder if he actually knows the history of Planned Parenthood and Margaret Sanger, who was trying to eliminate black people. That was the whole purpose of it.”

So I had to go see for myself if this crazy claim had any validity to it. It is definitely true that Sanger was something of a Darwinist in the style of Herbert Spencer. But she was not a racist. Furthermore,she didn’t even believe in abortion. Her whole cause celebre was to prevent it by providing birth control to as many people as possible. The whole racist thing comes from a letter to a  doctor:

“We do not want word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.”

Well now, that looks awful on its face, doesn’t it? But Ben Carson is in the bubble. He just isn’t interested in context or facts. What Sanger was worried about is the suspicions of blacks that whites were trying to control and destroy them. In its time, that was a real concern for black leaders. Above all, Sanger wanted to work with blacks to help its women(and its men indirectly) choose life in a liberated fashion-exactly what she was counseling to everyone she could reach with her message. Unwanted pregnancies were the societal ill that Sanger devoted her life to. Birth control was the panacea. And today birth control is still with us, helping women to enjoy sexuality and choose motherhood when they want to, if they want to at all. And there are motherfuckers like Ben Carson who want to close off this avenue of choice because they are obsessed with the contents of women’s bodies below their waistline.

He really thinks he has a truffle, a cudgel against Hillary Clinton, who extolled the work of Sanger:

“I am delighted to have her saying that on tape because if I am a nominee and we are in the race, believe me, that quotation that she just said will come back and it will be in a context that people can understand. She has done us a great favor right there… That is a ticking time bomb and of course, her whole relationship with Saul Alinsky.”

Fucking Saul Alinsky again. The god-damned media needs to do its job and ask him what the fuck he finds objectionable about him, or grill him about what he knows about the guy. I would be delighted if he could tell me who he is and what he pioneered, which is the art of mass resistance, nothing more. “Saul Alinsky” is not going to be an effective dog-whistle to a large section of the populace. It may play with other ignoramuses, and I guess that’s the game he’s gotta play because he is hurting in the polls. But fuck him for tying an outrageous false narrative to the president and the soon-to-be president.

Being The Bigger Dick

The Donald is sucking all the air out of the GOP’s space. The other 43,879 candidates need to do something to get some face time. Enter Ben Carson, who decides to pick on people doing their penance:

At an event in Arlington, Virginia, on Tuesday, Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson revealed that he, too, had visited federal prisons—and had a much different takeaway.

“I was flabbergasted by the accommodations—the exercise equipment, the libraries and the computers,” he said. He said he was told that “a lot of times when it’s about time for one of the guys to be discharged, especially when its winter, they’ll do something so they can stay in there.”

“I think that we need to sometimes ask ourselves, ‘Are we creating an environment that is conducive to comfort where a person would want to stay, versus an environment where we maybe provide them an opportunity for rehabilitation but is not a place that they would find particularly comfortable?'” he told reporters.

Now Ben Carson pulls a lot of things out of his ass, like the time he insinuated that your environment makes you gay. What the hell is this guy’s issue with prisoners, anyway? I’d like to see some numbers on how many people actually earn themselves more time for bad behavior because they don’t want to leave the hoosegow. Now I may be pulling something out of my ass, but I’d aver that few people want to be locked up. It sounds terrible. I don’t care how many amenities you might have-you are still, ultimately, unfree. And that’s an intolerable state to be in for a long fucking time. That’s life going by, with no purpose. Time you will never get back. It’s a madhouse with bars.

Maybe I’m a little soft on crime. I think the prison system is cruel and unusual, especially max facilities. And we consistently fail to find ex-cons a way to join polite society in such a way that they don’t go back to doing the things that got them locked up. Maybe that’s why they’d rather stay in-for the three hots and a cot-but that is a poor substitute for actual freedom. I don’t buy his claim, and I think he’s a soulless piece of shit for desiring to be a little crueler to the truly fucked.

Head Of States

Recently, it became illegal for federal agencies to discriminate against LGBT folk in the workplace. That’s great. But what we really need is legislation that prohibits it everywhere. I keep saying it, but we need Title II of the Civil Rights Act to protect people from discrimination in the public as a whole. It belongs along with

Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination because of race, color, religion, or national origin in certain places of public accommodation, such as hotels, restaurants, and places of entertainment.

There is no reason whatsoever to ignore this critical oversight. The time is well past to stop the animosity toward gay people.

It is manifestly obvious by now that Jeb Bush is a schlemiel. He’s as stupid as his brother, and has no chance whatsoever of being president. But who else do the Republicans have? Donald Trump? Bah. Scott Walker? Snore. It’s over as far as I’m concerned, and I think deep down every Republican knows it. Anyway, here’s Bush flailing around on the discrimination question:

Bush was asked by a gay employee at a San Francisco tech startup he visited on Thursday about his position on legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, Time reported. Bush responded by denouncing discrimination in general, but also diminishing the need for legal protections and saying they should be only enacted at the state level.

Pressed on whether he would back new legislation to address the fact that 28 states lack laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and 31 lack laws protecting against discrimination on the basis of gender identity and expression, Bush suggested that this issue should not be a federal one. “I think this should be done state-by-state, I totally agree with that,” the former governor responded.

The old state’s rights gambit. So depressing. As I have said before, this is a dick’s way out of being put in a moral quandary. What about basic rights should be left to the caprice of a state legislature? Why not just say, “y’all can be motherless fucks if you like. That’s your right. Don’t bother me none”.

That’s what I call leadership.

Twisted History

What the fuck happened in Oklahoma when the president showed up?

OKLAHOMA CITY — Confederate battle flags greeted President Barack Obama as he arrived here for an overnight stay on Wednesday.

Across the street from his hotel in downtown Oklahoma City, as many as 10 people waved the flags as his motorcade arrived. The group stood among a larger group of demonstrators, many of them there to support the president, who is in town ahead of a visit to a federal prison on Thursday as part of his weeklong push on criminal justice issues.

Wow, Oklahoma. That’s some fine citizenry you have there. I’m utterly gobsmacked.

OK. A couple of things:

#1: Oklahoma was Indian territory at the time of the Civil War.

#2: Barack Obama didn’t have a blessed thing to do with the fervor surrounding the confederate flag. Those were local decisions made at the behest of angry citizens.

It should be clear that this is some serious racist bullshit. But this story has a twist:

According to local news organizations, a man named Andrew Duncomb, who calls himself the “black rebel,” organized the Confederate flag demonstration. He also put together a similar protest on Saturday at the Oklahoma State Capitol — just a day after South Carolina removed its contested flag from the State Capitol grounds.

So one ignorant-ass oreo cookie organizes this shit and suddenly it isn’t racist. Yeah. Pull the other one. There is no reason to wave the southern rebel flag in Oklahoma other than to make a show of hate against a black figure in power, if you consider the bullet points above.

Or, perhaps you aren’t a fucking idiot and can figure out what this is for yourself.

I Win

My crystal ball is in excellent working order. Already John Boehner is trying to hold back tears while he bangs his impotent widdle hands on the table of his highchair. He’ll be heard all right, but ultimately ignored.

Meanwhile, Jeb Bush trails Donald Trump in the polls. Me and the rest of sentient humanity are having a great summer, politically speaking.

Toxic Nativism

Bitching about immigrants is the habit du jour of the right wing. Actually, it’s always time to shit on 11 million people desperately trying to survive however they can by fleeing crushing poverty. We should greet them with open arms; after all, it is that imperative that we have based our country on ever since we were born as a nation. We are the paragon of the multicultural experiment. Sure, every new wave of immigrants did their turn in the barrel, ostracized, vilified-but eventually they were assimilated into the larger culture.

So why do we have it in for Mexicans?

I’ll hazard a guess and suggest that skin color has a lot to do with it. And we now fear that our cultural purity is in jeopardy just because Mexicans retain some of the trappings of their native culture. Every ethnic group does this, but it’s not OK for Mexicans currently. That’s unfortunate, because those “illegals” do some of the shittiest work imaginable. It’s the kind of slave labor that makes our country hum each day. Our grocery trip would be a lot different if we didn’t have immigrants to butcher, process, pick and pack our food. Your shit would not be clean. Your roads would not be fixed and your buildings would not be built. These are jobs that Americans do not want to do. Often they cannot do these jobs, because of location. No one is pulling a Tom Joad to split chicken breasts or harvest tomatoes.They don’t want to accept unsustainable poverty to protect the bottom line of Cargill.

Our “illegals” add incalculable value to our civilization. Yet we project onto them the worst characteristics and images possible. We say they are lazy. They eat up social services. They do not pay tax. They simply don’t pull their weight and that is unacceptable in our capitalist society. But it’s bullshit, if not outright racism. Every single time an “illegal” uses his money to live in America, he or she contributes to the macroeconomy. Every time they make a transaction they pay a tax, just like you and me. There are bad eggs, certainly. But what “race” doesn’t have those?

Anyway, this is a long way around to criticizing the anti-immigrant rhetoric coming from our conservatives. There’s Ben Carson, who is privileged to the point that he has forgotten that he’s a black male or that he is a token for whitey. How is he the upstanding Negro and Barack Obama is not? Simply because he shares the stratified white value system. Anyway, here’s Carson’s defense of Donald Trump, the worst kind of capitalist pig going:

Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson lamented Monday that the uproar over Donald Trump’s comments about Mexican immigrants indicates some people seem more interested in calling out violations of political correctness than discussing the issue of illegal immigration.

“It’s the P.C. police out in force,” Carson, a former neurosurgeon, said in a Monday interview with The Daily Caller. “They want to make very clear that this is a topic you’re not supposed to bring up.”

There’s a right way and a wrong way to discuss our immigration issues. Saying that they are rapists and criminals and that they are “killing us” is probably what the wrong way looks like. That is what people find truly nauseating, not the topic itself.

Last week, a 32-year-old woman who was shot and killed on San Francisco’s Pier 14. The shooter is believed to be an illegal immigrant with a lengthy criminal history who had been deported several times.

“It will be interesting to see what their reaction is to the shooting in San Francisco,” Carson said of Trump’s critics.

Has Ben Carson looked at a newspaper in the last few weeks? It would be interesting to see if he has a reaction to a white guy killing nine black people.

“What we really need to be talking about is how do we take care of our illegal immigration problem,” he said. “I’ve talked about that extensively. And the key thing is we have to secure all our borders—north, south, east and west.”

“And it doesn’t have to be a fence or wall,” Carson added. “That’s stupid. We have all kinds of electronic surveillance devices, drones, not to mention people. So we can do it. And then turn off the spigot that dispenses all the things that they are coming here to get. Then there won’t be any reason for them to do it.”

Oh, shut it. You’re such a piker. Ben Carson’s take on illegal immigration is about as sophisticated as mine is, and that is sad for a national figure. You want to use drones and guns against women and children, and take away real flesh and blood people’s survival mechanisms. That’s so classy and savvy. He makes like no one else has thought this shit before.

The truth is, we don’t and won’t do anything about our illegal system because the straight up business of this country knows the reality of the situation. Yet time and time again Republicans return to the well of racism and conspiracy. It appeals to our low-slung tendency to disparage the Other. Donald Trump is leading in the polls partly because of the terrible things he says about immigrants. That should give us pause, and we need to recheck the pulse of this hodgepodge culture we have shed blood and sweat to create.

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