Monthly Archives: August 2017

Special Counsel

I have just moved…hopefully for the last time for at least the next 10-20 years. It was a nightmare, worst fucking move I’ve ever had and I have had more than a few. I’m going to smear my movers up and down the Internet if they don’t pay for all the shit they broke.

The control center is taking shape. Just have to unpack my music, hang a few things, and I will have an office and little practice studio for to make bad noises from.

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This has been a mentally and physically challenging experience, but as you can see, I’m bold as love. Just ask the Axis. He knows everything.

Now. Let’s talk a little about judging. But first, some background.

Even the most ignorant among us knows the name Joel Osteen. And if you have been on the Internet for five minutes in the last few days, you know it rained thunder and hell on Joel for locking its doors when Hurricane Harvey rained thunder and hell on Houston.

An onslaught of angry people went online to condemn Osteen for not living the Word and refusing to help people in need with his space, space that had room for 16,000 behinds. I happily passed that shit around, because I’m not a fan of religious hypocrites. Now you may ask, why did I have to specify that I don’t like religious hypocrites? Why not all hypocrites? Well, the reality is that we all have our moments of hypocrisy, owing to our human nature and monkey ancestry.

Sometimes a level of hypocrisy is necessary to excuse that which we have no excuse for. Hypocrisy is also great for deflection from your own faults. An easy example- I just had hamburgers for dinner. Animals died in horrific misery to fill my belly. Yet animal abusers make me furious. Hypocrite much, Ron?

Yes. And you’re kidding yourself if you are not part of the misery of animals too. Even vegetarians and vegans who object to slaughter often live in habitats that have been robbed from another animal. So there’s really no end to the finger pointing. It’s a matter of gradation, tolerating hypocrisy. We all have to choose what evil we can live with.

Anyway, so I answer the question thusly: because too often you religious folk try to hold yourselves and eventually everyone else around you to a standard which few can abide by. It’s bad for your mental health and annoying as shit to others. Besides, with God as your co-pilot, you should be hypocrisy-free. But you’re just like the rest of homo sapiens, if you but knew. So please, religious hypocrites, rend your own garments but stay away from me.

So Joel Osteen is a nebula-sized religious hypocrite who deserved to have his name passed around as belonging to a piece of shit, right?

We thought so, until a notorious atheist said hold up. We might be over our skis kicking Osteen around because of information he’d gathered that said the roads to his church were closed and some of his assets were halfway under water.

When one of today’s leading online atheist voices wants you to lay off the religious guy, well, you should probably listen because we usually never miss a chance to make a fool out of a fanatic. At least that was the litmus I used. But evidence kept rolling in, testimonials and pictures that suggested that Osteen was holding out from having to share his space with people who didn’t tithe. Eventually Joel, who makes a living out of appearing unimpeachable, had to throw the doors open to the needy. The last thing any pastor needs is a scandal.

The wife and I run in some online circles together, sharing mutual acquaintances, and we and our friends chewed the fat about Osteen and I brought up Hemant’s piece about cutting Joel some slack. So we digested that, and moved on until one of our mutual acquaintances said we were “Christian-bashing” (there were believers in this conversation) and that it wasn’t for us to “judge” good Pastor Osteen.

That was Jesus’ job, she relayed. The thing for good Christians to do was only to bring people to Christ.

Believer and heathen wasted no time telling her to sod off with that bullshit.

If I learned anything from my days as a Randroid, it’s that you must judge because surely you will be judged. Old Ayn, a huge hypocrite herself, was at least more of a student of the human psyche and certainly more a realist than Saint Paul. If you think about it, judging is one of the fundamental things any living creature does. It’s why we evolved senses, because misjudging what you saw or tasted might get your ass (if you had evolved one) hurt or killed. But we must pass judgment on those of our kind who are no good to anyone. Rapists, most killers, child abusers, Republicans…those are egregious examples which I think we can all agree that it’s a little OK to judge those people. And while the idea of what is ultimately Good is a bit rubbery, we have some basic roadmaps in our genes on how to get along in a functioning society. And it sticks in our craw to see that some people don’t know how to follow the basic rules. And one of those things you just shouldn’t do is take and not give back. That was Joel Osteen’s crime, and we collectively made sure he paid by damaging his reputation as a force for good in the world. This whole episode certainly came as no surprise to those of us already familiar with the prosperity scam he hawks that tells believers to ignore that pesky part in the bible about where Jesus said to build riches.

You gotta size up people.  There’s no getting around it, and no amount of Scripture-twisting is going to stop people from doing it. I’m certainly not going to wait until an unlikely afterlife to wait for unease to come to a bad person. No. You find them, you name them and you shame them, or worse. Those are the rules.

 

 

 

Shit Is Getting Crucial

Looking at my bookmarks, I see that I’ve been avoiding this post for about 3 months. But Charlottesville, Virginia failed to stop a white riot on Saturday that wound up killing a counterprotestor, so it’s the perfect time to list some of the signs and signals that would tell anyone who wanted to know that the white right wing in this country was angling for a fight.

Our fake Republican president should shoulder much of the blame, ending the notion that the buck stops at the president’s desk. He encouraged violence repeatedly early on in his campaign in 2016. After he won, he mainstreamed the hatriot movement by giving high level executive branch jobs to their promoters and supporters.

And then it took him three days to condemn the white supremacists who started the Virginia riot.

It was Trump’s Hurricane Katrina. He completely and categorically failed the first major test of his leadership skills. By farming out the job of condemning the antagonists to underlings, he confirmed that he is only interested in being the president of 1/3 of the nation.

There’s really no going back after Charlottesville. Battle lines just got fucking drawn when the white right wing mob decided to kill. They’ve been telling us repeatedly that they were getting ready for a confrontation, but no one listened because they were white and it’s OK to suggest that it’s time for things like civil war because free speech.

A small and by no means exhaustive list of evidence that shows that Heather Heyer’s death was premeditated follows (it jumps around a bit because consistency is not my strong suit.¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ). I began collecting incidents I thought notable because there was a pattern of behavior that made me rather worried that the nation was going to be plunged into violence. Hop around if you like, and it you have to tl;dr this, I understand.

September 22, 2016: Instapundit blogger Glenn Reynolds suggests running down protestors who block streets.

March 10: Arizona Trumpists call for liberal genocide and deportation of Jews.

April 4, 2017: Radio commentator calls for the killing of “globalists”
because of Muslim immigration
.

April 25:  After Berkeley violence, “Alt-Knight” fight club begins training for street confrontations in California.

April 26: Ann Coulter uses coded racial language to register her displeasure about being denied the right to speak at Berkeley.

May 14: Richard Spencer gathers white supremacist tiki torch brigade at Charlottesville after governor Terry McAuliffe readies the removal of a confederate monument.

June 11: Islamophobes march en masse around the country.

June 12: Right wing gunmen “defend” statue of Sam Houston in Texas that isn’t in danger of removal. Militia group Oath Keepers threaten civil war.

June 13: In notoriously obtuse and awful conservative clearinghouse Townhall, Pat Buchanan intimates civil war is inevitable.

June 19: Steroid enthusiast and professional wrestler imitator Alex Jones espouses a loyalty pledge to Donald Trump. Refusal, he suggests, necessitates loss of citizenship.

June 15: Christofascist pastor Rick Wiles calls for the rounding up of journalists who don’t toe the Trump line.

June 21: Memorial to slain Virginia Muslim set on fire.

June 22: Florida sheriff issues a call to arms, ostensibly to stop mass shootings by terrorists.

June 23: LGBT veterans memorial tarred.

June 29: NRA targets “the left”, specifically the media, educators and entertainers.

June 30: Portland Republican Party hires armed antigovernment militias and Second Amendment fanatics to provide security at their political events.

July 5: Daily Stormer fanatics threaten to dox and bring violence upon CNN employees because the network discovered the identity of the creator of a GIF that showed Trump “beating up” a representation of the network. Oath Keepers say we would be in a civil war already if Clinton had won the election.

July 7: KKK gathers at Charlottesville with guns over the Lee statue slated for removal.

July 8: Whackadoodle Trumpist threatens Minnesota CAIR with war against American Muslims by millions of white males.

And that’s about where I stopped collating white right wing calls and demonstrations for violence, because my Republican thick-necked mayor threatened me with arrest if I didn’t stop emailing him about his feckless decision to put religious stickers on cop cars. I got a little busy when I blew that up.

The point is, this weekend didn’t happen in a vacuum. It was the result of an increasingly emboldened white right wing itching for something ugly. I hope Heather Heyer did not die in vain and the truth about the right (and Trumpism) cannot be hidden or spun anymore. I hope there’s no shortage of moral disgust among the average American about what happened in Virginia. There are some positive signs. It’s already evident that these Nazi fucks did far more damage to their cause than good because they cannot restrain their hateful impulses.

When it comes to standing up to these creeps, a few watchwords come to mind, words that a good writer friend of mine always uses when she signs off on a piece.

Resist.

Persist.

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Dirty Rotten Scions

The world’s most childish, heedless and mentally unstable leaders who happen to have very dangerous toys are locking nuclear horns.

Listen carefully. No one wins a nuclear exchange, really. I have intimated in the past that America is still trying to game out an unanswered atomic first strike. And I fear we may now have a “leader” who is interested in trying it live.

This is in the best interests of about zero people. Everyone knows that North Korea has been invariably singing the same hoary song for decades now. The names change (not by much), but the message is the same. It is: “We’re going to attack and threaten U.S. interests until I get (reactors, food, whatever The Jong clan has been consistently unable to provide for its citizens despite all of its highfalutin talk of juche)”. Sensible secretaries of state have tried to unclench the North Korean fist, with success not lasting very long. It is a stubborn Gordian knot.

It is important to remember that we do not oppose North Korea as a peer militarily. Only Russia has that distinction. True, their conventional military is rather large-they keep at least a million under arms. South Korea has about 600,000 with 15-20,000 Americans providing support. Our razor sharp technological edge, our communications and our expertise at logistics are force multipliers that the North Korean army severely lacks. If North Korea suddenly invaded the south, it’d probably smart pretty bad at first…tens of thousands of American and South Korean soldiers and many more civilians would perish in the initial thrust. But we have a bench, shitloads of artillery and planes and bases here and afar and we’d break the clenched fist’s knuckles rather quickly. Personally, I am not even sure that the North Korean army is good at anything but marching menacingly in step.

A brief aside, if I may. I’ll let you in on a secret-we in the U.S. give officers medals with the minutest of justifications. When my unit got home from Iraq, the enlisted folks (who do all the work) all received standard commendation medals. But the officers all gave themselves Bronze Stars, as if the “leading” was of more importance than our working. My officers were fairly fucking useless, barking out orders without thinking most of the time. They had no idea how things worked, they just wanted them to work. Some professionals.

If I think about it, most bosses are like this. They just give themselves raises instead of medals.

North Korea hasn’t been up to anything near the DMZ since 1976, when we almost had an incident at the DMZ that could have but did not tick off a larger war. They’ve also lent support to various conflicts, and were on the losing side every time. But anyway, there is no fucking way of justifying the comical festooning of doddering leadership except that they’re just making shit up:

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There are other images of absurd medal wearing by North Korean officers running around the web but alas, they were fake.

Point is, the army is largely a paper tiger.

You have green troops armed with what is likely Cold War Soviet surplus against our newest and meanest shit. There is no way North Korea is prepared for our conventional response.

And I haven’t even gotten to the nukes yet. We’ve got shit that could literally erase the country from the world map in a matter of hours.

If you’re not Donald Trump, you’ve been laughing at the North Korean nuclear program for a while now. They have never exploded a bomb above ground. Their rocketry program produces one embarrassing dud after another. They claim they could nuke the United States. But it hasn’t been shown they have any idea how to weaponize rockets with atomic warheads, much less guide them to their target (however, recent reports in papers of record say that they have miniaturized a nuclear weapon-but I’m rather suspicious of the timing and sources of that report…I still haven’t totally made up with the New York Times for helping the Bush administration push the WMD lie that took us to Iraq again). They really haven’t put cart and horse together yet. In fact, they’re still trying to get the wheel down, to stretch a metaphor.

This is not to say “ignore North Korea”. But getting into a pissing contest with a tiny, insane little nation is really above us ( that is, if we put our best foot forward, which we aren’t always good at), especially because we outnumber them in number of fissile warheads by many orders of magnitude. But that’s exactly what President Loser McDipshit is doing. Trump is a bully, and he’s taken the bait hook, line, and sinker. He let himself be provoked by a boy emperor who puffs up and says outrageous things to rouse his brainwashed people.

It’s already been said several times, but to me, that sounds a lot like Chump and his followers. These two megalomaniacs are peas in a pod. We’d better be playing good cop/bad cop so oilman/not diplomat Rex Tillerson can ratchet this shit down, because it’s scaring the hell out of people. No one in Southeast Asia needs a giant irradiated crater next door to it, and no one should want to break the 60 year old cease fire because we are talking about death on a unspeakable, unacceptable level- military and civilian-if it is breached.

Empty threats are what the hermit kingdom exports. Let’s see them for what they are. The Jongs derive some of their power from telling their people that the United States wants to destroy it, so we’re playing into Un’s hand by escalating the rhetoric. So I worry a bit. We need expertise immediately to finesse this donnybrook and this administration is full of people who just don’t have it.

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