Author Archives: The Head Seminarian

You’re In Suspension

It’s Thursday!

That means that there are only three more full days left in the week for Donald Trump to do or say something stupid. This is of no condolence to anyone, because he typically doesn’t rest between fuckups. Even on his golf vacations he never misses an opportunity to not make the papers with his latest embarrassing utterance. You can bet he’ll be there at 6:45am Sunday, still stoned on Halcion, fuming about his latest feud with black football players, dreamers, transgendered people, the entire island of Puerto Rico, the media, Democrats, Republicans, Congress, Gold Star families, his cabinet, the intelligence community, “activist” judges, John McCain and this list is nearly interminable so I will stop here.

Some of you out there like to think he’s a disruptor on purpose, judging from the volume of internet punditry that keeps writing the “here’s what Trump did today while you were talking about (see feud list above for examples)” story even though I am aware of no rule that says we internet sleuths can only focus on one outrage at a time.  But anyway, I still don’t know. Maybe there’s something to it, maybe he thinks he’s an effective one, but you cannot ignore the fact that he even does that really badly. In most of the fights he picks, he punches himself in the face first real hard. The rest of his obsessions, well, he kind of just leaves them in the air, arbitrarily picking the nearest hornet’s nest to hit and then he moves on suddenly, which is somehow less scary than him actually focusing on something. His lack of curiosity and distaste for detail and nuance are probably the only things stopping us from a hot war with the rest of the Axis Of Evil.

Whatever you’d like to say Trump is up to-is he any good at it?

An old friend said something approximating the truth-Trump is good at getting himself noticed. He can’t seem to stand not being the center of attention, which bespeaks of an unfortunate upbringing. Positive or negative, all press is the same, echoing that old dictum about publicity. He takes all comers no matter whether or not he has a leg to stand on- and he usually doesn’t. Truth to Trump is totally relative to whether or not it serves his interests at any particular moment-one only need observe the hilarious phenomenon of being able to zing Trump using tweets he lobbed at Barack Obama during his presidency. I don’t even know if the word hypocrite really begins to describe it-perhaps some of these synonyms are fresher and more accurate. Trump may be dimly aware of Adolf Hitler’s counsel about lying big or going home, which is a charge I am reticent to make but the man lies about everything. Today, I fully expect him to keep lashing out about what he did or didn’t say to a grieving mother who lost her son serving, even though someone’s already leaked that he’s sort of contrite about the whole thing.

Now, if we were living in normal times, this guy would have been pinched for abusing and shitting up the office long ago. But we don’t live in a normal political climate. For example, during my lifetime, I have watched or listened to the right wing make an enemy out of the free press. You see, Donald hasn’t been the only one to use big lies. The right wing movement in America been slowly but surely undermining the trust in professional storytellers for at least 30 years, first by taking over the AM dial and then by forming its own TV station. I often hear that Democrats like to divide people, but if you step out of the bubble you find out who the real dividers are. So I’m not going to give Trump too much undue credit for the mind-humping poll that says that 46% of Americans don’t believe what the media reports about Trump. This number is unnervingly aligned with the outcome of the popular vote in 2016. Clearly, our people isn’t learning.

President Poopypants has successfully sold himself as a victim, not realizing that he is dying by his own hand. But the putzes and outliers that voted for him don’t seem to notice. Trump and his henchmen will carpet bomb the truth with nonsense and disinformation at every turn, whether intentionally or not. They may still be the gang who can’t shoot straight, but I’m afraid hitting the soft-headed fish they’re aiming at doesn’t really take all that much talent anymore.

Western Town, A Dead End World

I seem to be hitting a little speedbump in titling screeds about Tucker Carlson and how much of an asshole he is. So I twisted a Pet Shop Boys lyric a little, in part because that’s what I thought they were saying all these years after MTV brought them to me.

So. Bill O’ Reilly is gone, leaving a huge vacuum in the Fox universe, one waiting to be filled by some other conservative apologist and railer against any kind of change in the world. Enter Tucker Carlson. Now, I expect Bill O’ Reilly to pine for the days of white yore. He was old. Tucker, on the other hand, is only a few years older than I am. The “things aren’t how they used to be” bitching doesn’t work coming from him, there’s just an inescapable inauthenticity in his shtick.

Basically, he’s full of shit. I am unsure that he is aware of this. Either Fox told him to imitate O’ Reilly or he’s a cranky geezer in a 48 year old body that thinks anything old must be good. Here’s Tucker, defending fucking Christopher Columbus, with the disingenuousness turned up to 11 as usual:

You can parse all that bullshit for yourself, if you like. I haven’t the time nor the inclination to stop and start this half-assed Gish Gallop of nonsense. Sorry.

So-it’s a war on “the West”, eh, Tucker? Fuck you. You and I know that’s just doublespeak for white European culture, which Carlson thinks is the only thing that has helped all of the mud people in the world walk on two legs and read a Bible.

This is all very amusing coming from the right wing, who hates an actual victim but being a pretend one is A-OK.

“Reason, tolerance, free inquiry – those are Western civilization’s central gifts to the world”, he says, after taking a dump on any type of inquiry that doesn’t genuflect to traditional thinking.

I know he thinks he’s cute and clever. I’m guessing his smarmy, smug, face-punchable act is going over well with the AARP demographic who is happy to see that some young people were brought up right. Fortunately, the trend of education and knowledge in today’s young folks is heading the opposite way, learning real tolerance and out-of-the-box thinking, and we know that because of the proliferation of simpletons like Tucker coming to the rescue the indefensible in our history. Conservatives are scared and confused because they live a lie. They have their own universe in which nothing needs to change, buttressed by an information stream replete with assholes who keep the comfortable lies fresh, fresh as if they were something new.

 

Dotard. Retard.

 

My wife had MSNBC on this morning when I woke up. That’s the default station for background noise in the house.

It has not been fun to listen to (to the degree that any news is) because every day they broadcast stuff about Donald Trump. Sometimes they play him speaking.

I know several people who cannot stand to listen to the president’s voice. And these are no snowflakes, either. I think Trump’s chief of staff is one of them.

kelly

That voice makes them uneasy, sad, and angry because it belongs to a fucking grandstanding pathetic lying irritating moronic id-driven maniacal imbecile who loves the smell of his own farts that is utterly unfit to serve a free and democratic people. I am also one of these folks. I would have never guessed that the weird day would come when the mere sound of someone could do what Trump’s voice does to me. I avoid listening whenever possible.

Yesterday, this goddamned changeling of a “leader” was out throwing chum to some of his dumbshit followers (who should all be tagged and chipped for our safety) in Alabama at one of his “rallies” (which are nothing but an extended version of the Two Minutes Hate), after a long week of embarrassing America in front of the whole world by blathering on about how great we have gotten over the last 9 months, fearmongering about the perils of the world, threatening to drop a big one on North Korea’s ‘Rocket Man’ (I can hardly type this without freaking myself out about how mindfuckingly infantile the clownshoe with the football is), criticizing the Iran nuclear deal out of the blue, making jokes about socialism that are only funny in the fever swamp of conservative American patter, and a bunch of other boilerplate that he didn’t look over until it was time to talk.

During this gathering of the Duh-ggalos, he called for the benching or outright firing of sports figures who take a knee during the national anthem in protest of the way America treats its minorities, particularly its black ones. They were, in the president’s words, “sons of bitches” who disrespect the flag.

This is highly alarming rhetoric. I have always had a problem with some people’s need to defend a piece of cloth. Implicit in our national compact is the freedom to call the American government out when it is wrong. Hating America’s policies is not the same as hating America, but some folks cannot tell the difference. But anyway, symbol worship, and to a larger degree, nation worship are slippery rungs on a slide to real, actual fascism.

The question we are still trying to answer is this: is Donald Trump reading from the fascist playbook, or can he read at all?

It has not always been easy to decide what the true character of recent Republican presidents are. Was Ronald Reagan a senile fool, or a brilliant tactician who threatened to weaponize space if the Russians refused to negotiate? Surely most of you remember when we couldn’t decide whether George W. Bush was the dipstick hayseed scion of a powerful political family or an evil piece of shit who set America on its present course of endless war.

And so it is with Trump. Even after 9 whole months of pure uncut ineptitude people are still undecided as to whether or not he has any idea what the fuck he is doing. Yet every fucking day I run into the latest thinkpiece about Trump’s brilliant use of legerdemain. There is little more tiresome to read than this type of analytical twaddle.

I implore you: be done with this. I am not saying don’t be afraid of Trump; his reign is indeed fearsome because the country is in the hands of a dolt. But the last thing I am gonna do is give him credit for anything resembling clever.

Truthfully, Donald Trump knows only one thing rather well; how to get people to pay attention to him. I still think that even though he is behaving like a deranged, militaristic, fascist power-grabbing authoritarian, it’s not something he actually thinks about consciously. I know it sounds a little crazy, but it’s highly plausible that this is just who he is, and not the product of any intelligent calculation based on study of creating a political movement. He’s a moron, simply in tune with morons like himself. Morons need to be led, and they will believe anything you tell them if you pack enough of them together or get enough of them to watch the same TV channel.

Folks, the emperor has no clothes, save for a red power tie and a stupid baseball hat. He will never be a tenth of the president that he succeeded, and that is truly what drives him-envy, not brains. We should consider ourselves fortunate that Donald Trump isn’t anywhere near as smart as he thinks he is. Moreover, we should also breathe a little easier knowing he isn’t as smart as we think he is either.

 

 

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.

Coda

If I were a fireworks show, you’d probably want your money back. My first salvos were promising, but my launches started fizzling and we had several duds in the arsenal.

There certainly was no grand finale.

Because those fucking God stickers did not come off the Grovetown cop vehicles.

They won. This happened in part because I could not stay to finish playing the game I initiated. I had a few more moves in me, but a game is a game and I had other priorities.

Sorry for the metaphor abuse. I’m simply trying to paper over the fact that I did not, could not do more to go at this issue with gusto. Because I was in the right. The mayor made an idle threat, and I’m madder than hell he got away with it. Lots of you following this saga said I should have continued to um…dialogue with the mayor right then and there because I was well within my rights to do so. It became a two-pronged issue for me when he threatened me with a warrant for my arrest simply because I was having a battle of wits with an unarmed person. This was about abuse of power and separation. And to my mind, the stickers took a back seat to the idea that some podunk Boss Hogg  could send a squad car to my house because of an argument we were having in his public email box.

I’m gonna say sorry again, because I failed to advance the larger conversation. I could have made several scenes if it was just me out there, but as I have said it is not just me out there.

I’m going to keep fighting for my rights. I simply have to pick my battles. Those of you who are rational know that we live to fight another day if we withdraw a little, and find a better position where victory can actually be had.

My deepest thanks to everyone who sent me quasi-viral, and thanks to NBC in Atlanta and WRDW in Aiken for publicizing the sticker issue. It’s a trying time in the land of Trump, where bigots feel emboldened to steamroll over the Constitution if it gets in their way of retaining their supremacy.

The people will win in the end if we keep our heads high. That may be an article of faith, for the struggle for rights is not a vector that is always pointed forward. It gets dark sometimes before things brighten again. But knowing that the brightness will inevitably follow buoys me and helps me get up every day and it should you as well.

I’ll close here as Kurt Vonnegut often did in the introductions to his books.

Peace.

Eating My Words

Well, it didn’t take long for me to realize that being humble and a bit penitent was unnecessary in my dustup with Mayor Gary Jones of Grovetown.

We made state news today. The coverage was better than what we got from Aiken.

In my last post here, I felt the need to clarify what had happened to me because I sent my story to Hemant Mehta of Patheos’ Friendly Atheist and his byline rocketed this sucker to what is shaping up to be more than regional attention. A LOT of you went to give Gary the sharp side of your tongue and fingers for fucking with atheist brethren by blowing up his phone, Facebook and email. And I told you all how much I appreciate you having my back. You didn’t have to do a thing, but you did, and I think that counts for something in a world where our community is uninvited. Yet, I felt that something had been misunderstood when Hemant wrote my story. If you didn’t read the entire email exchange between Jones and I, you might have gotten the impression that I was being threatened because I am a nonbeliever. I thought that was a mischaracterization of the situation and I have asked Hemant to post my clarifications and concerns, which he has done.

I have few issues personally with going at this head on, but I have a family. I have to be sure that I don’t expose them to danger. It is not safe here to not be a Christian. Yeah, I think we have common cause with whoever does not hold the majority faith, and you can fuck right off if you want to call me an accommodationist or what have you because I think we’re in the same hot water as minority religious sects.

Anyway, if you watch the segment, the reporter said at the end that Jones has no regrets about how he acted, after I struck a conciliatory tone because I lost my temper. He also said it WAS the persistent emailing, not the name calling (total bullshit). Oh, and that’s not all. It didn’t air, but the reporter has him on camera admitting that he was “bluffing” when he threatened me with arrest. I would very much like that footage, and I’m querying the reporter as to why it wasn’t part of the story.

The reporter also told me that Jones wants to shake my hand.

I don’t think we’re there yet.

I’m in contact with an organization who wants to create “E Pluribus Unum” decals for the cars and I think the only way I will meet with Jones is if I have those decals in my left hand.

So this chess match is in the middle game. I’m not going to seek any more publicity because once again, my hands are tied because I can’t ID myself locally and I am weary  from having to be faceless. But I will still be here documenting what is happening. I will seek an end to this controversy that is satisfactory to me and I think I can do that without selling out our cause. If that is not in the cards, if indeed the national media wants to run with this, then que sera sera and we’re on our way to challenging the motto itself instead of the mayor of my tiny, bustling city.

We Need To Take It Down A Notch

First off, I want to say thank you to everybody who saw my little story about a bullying small-town mayor and came to my defense.

However, a lot of  it was offense. Many of you have posted his phone number and his email address. I hope those routes are not personal ones.

You have every right to be enraged that one of us got shut down speaking their mind. But I want to remind everyone that I did not get in trouble because I was an atheist. I got threatened because I called the mayor some names, of which “jerk” was the harshest one.

This story is bigger than I ever expected it to be. And I know if I hadn’t gotten terse with the mayor, none of you would know about Grovetown  and the police decals. So there’s a little part of me that does not regret what I did, especially since I was well within my rights to call him a jerk in his government email.

I think there is a part of the mayor’s overreaction that has something to do with me being an atheist. But really, I just got under his skin with some name calling, which felt good. What he did after that is The Story. I implore you to read the entire email exchange here so you know that I was rude. He was derisive, dismissive, and disrespectful, so I let some insults fly. His responses after that were unbecoming of a public servant. If you can’t handle a little bit of name calling as a representative, you are in the wrong line of work.

Tonight, with any luck, there will be a story on NBC Atlanta that includes me being remorseful about what I have done. As Hemant said, he’d have handled it differently. I am not the mayor’s biggest fan right now, but I beg you, please don’t harass him unless you know why he threatened me. If you think you should tell him what for on account of free speech, let him have it. But do not jump from A to C by thinking it was merely my persistence or my irreligiosity.

Does everyone understand? This is the deep South. And I fear for my family if I get outed locally. It may happen anyway, but I’m trying to control that. As my wife said, we are a hated minority, and you all  know that is true. That goes double for the bible belt. So do my family and this story a favor, and know why this is happening before you fire away.

Once again, I am heartened by the solidarity of the online community of nonbelievers and am not telling you to let this die because these decals are bullshit and someone’s got to say no more. But you should probably do this without me, because I’m not a good example of how one should behave in a situation like this. Perhaps you have to get mad to get things happening. I don’t know. This may have been our only way into the conversation. Just make sure you all know why everyone involved lost their composure.

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and pass it around so we let people know that integrity, accuracy and truth is important to us.

 

Tucker Carlson Is An Asshole According To Other Assholes

I keep returning to the asshole well. That’s because it doesn’t run dry.

In my to do list is to finish the goddamn story about how I became a lefty, and I’ve been compiling stories that suggest to me that something big is gonna go down in America, like in a violent way. When (or if) the Republican Party is finally exposed for the criminal organization that it is, I think we’re going to pop off into a civil war-and I want to be ready, although my wife does not want me to be a soldier again.

Anyway, I’m biting at the Tucker bait because I think it’s funny and judging by the amount of people who come here to see what an asshole he is, it’s the sensible thing to write about. I need to give the people what they want.

So, how many of us remember “Ol’ Blood And Guts”?

No, not Patton.

A more current warmongerer is who I had in mind.

Hm. I don’t seem to have any stuff about Colonel Ralph Peters on this blog. That means I haven’t heard from him in over six years. He’s one of Fox News’ “analysts” and go-to guys on all things war, even though the good colonel has never been to one. Ralph’s a cantankerous fella, more old man than old soldier. You can reasonably assume that his appearances and writing will be over the top, and therefore hilarious. Here’s a few of his greatest hits. Kill, kill, kill for peace, hang the traitors by their thumbs and take the booty because it’s the white man’s burden to civilize the world.

Did I mention that Ralph is old? Ralph is so old, he’s a Republican who remembers that the Soviet Union Russia is not our friend. And don’t you forget it, sonny, or you’ll get a tongue lashing.

That’s the mistake that Tucker Carlson made, who is young and does not remember fallout shelters and desk drills and being an ass hair from mutually assured nuclear annihilation. Now look-I’m not saying that historical enemies cannot be our friends. But if you think about it, you generally have to waste them to get them to be nice, a la Germany, Japan and even Vietnam in the long run. We never broke Russia to the point where it pledged to be good after we crushed it. And we did the enemy-of-my-enemy-is-my-friend thing with them already. When our common aims were achieved, which was ridding the world of the Nazis, we went on hating them and every godless thing they stood for.

Now it could be argued that we are at that place again, this time against ISIS. But really, no one gives a jolly fuck about ISIS but us, partially because we keep picking at a scab called 9/11. That’s the story for the rubes in the United States, anyway. What we’ve actually been up to is trying to control the globe, cynically using our collective fear of terror (and make no mistake, the “terrorists” are today’s Red Menace) as a pretext to gobble up more power. We never stopped trying to hem Russia in while they spiraled into chaos in the 80s. Since then we’ve grown NATO, made buddy-buddy with breakaway soviets, and are moving antiballistic missiles closer and closer to the Russian border. I really think we are still trying to game out getting away with an unanswered nuclear first strike.

Then Vladimir Putin came along. An ex-KGB creep turned technocrat, he embraced capitalism, Christianity, and politically motivated murder while using Russia’s formidable oil wealth to mount a defense of itself. He has crushed rebellions and annexed land as he expands his power. And if you are an enemy of America, he wants to know you.

We are NOT angels, but Vladimir Putin is probably not a good person and not to be trusted whatsoever. We are at cross purposes with him in Syria. He’s pummeling the resistance to Bashar-Al Assad ruthlessly, and setting ISIS back on its heels a little in the process. We’ve had less luck in this area because we are futilely trying to arm the small resistance that has both ISIS and Assad as its nemeses. We’re trying to thread a needle here-because any further aggression against Assad is probably not going to sit well with Putin. We’re already in something approaching a proxy war with him already, and there seems to be no appetite here for a more direct one that could send this whole world to hell.

Anyway, it looks like Putin’s recent skulduggery took the form of trying to curry favor with an entire American political party, particularly one that would work with and protect one President Donald J. Trump and associates in order to advance Russian interests. After the country suffered six months of smoke inhalation, we’ve finally found some still glowing embers of the conflagration that we’re calling collusion. And it’s not going to go away. The American political system has never been tested in this way before-this is “new snow”, as I saw it put once. It’s so new, there might not be laws against it, I fear. But surely there is something odious and unethical at the very least about letting a rival nation ratfuck an American election. Our elections stink of illegal and unethical behavior as it is with caging and allegations of machine hacking. But the reachout to Russia must qualify as something in the “misdemeanor” part of the impeachment clauses, if Herr Trump is indeed red-handed. And that’s just the president-this dragnet could ensnare high ranking Republicans outside of Trump’s inner circle.

But you didn’t come here to listen to me tell you shit you already know. You want the good shit, where your suspicions that Tucker Carlson is an asshole can be confirmed. I don’t know what his producers were thinking when they put Peters, a temperamental cold warrior, on Tucker’s show to discuss how better we can work with Russia because they are achieving one of our foreign policy goals (while undermining another, because not only is Tucker an asshole, he’s a damn fool as well). Here’s the exchange:

You can read a partial transcript here, if you have no patience for how wrongly both of these people see the world before the sparks fly. But basically, Col. Peters said that Carlson was like Charles Lindbergh in 1938 who said he had no issues with Hitler because he hasn’t attacked the United States.

Boom, Ol’ Blood And Guts, boom.

So, is Putin Hitler? I don’t know really know enough about him. But the general rule is Hitler, and only Hitler, is Hitler. Peters is no stranger to hyperbolic thinking, but that doesn’t necessarily make him wrong in being worried about their expansion. The potential is certainly there. Peters is upset that the Russian military bombs indiscriminately. As if we have never done that. He props up vicious dictators like the Assad family. We do that shit all the time. So really, is Russia any more terroristic than we are? Not really. We are two sides of the same coin. But both of us are trying to divvy up the world, and Putin wants a few pieces and Tucker’s like, have at it, Russkies. And we don’t know how far they will go, and that’s why I’ll go with Peters’ assessment before I go trying to shake hands with the country who will try to run the board if we don’t. Personally, I wish we could stop playing Risk but bowing out of the imperial struggle does not guarantee that the other player wants to stop. And that’s where Carlson fucks up, failing to understand that we are two empires in competition and it’s not worth extending Russian reach across the globe in order to advance a narrow, misdirected foreign policy objective partly because we can Never Forget.

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