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Neil, You’re Missing Something

Far be it from me to delve into the technicalities of a particular piece of jurisprudence.

But as a lay person, I feel I can demur against the judicial reasoning that one part of the first amendment runs roughshod over another.

Antonin Scalia Neil Gorsuch seems to believe that the free exercise clause is of far more import than the establishment clause.

It should be common knowledge by now that the impetus behind the establishment clause was that the State stayed out of the religion business, favoring and endorsing none. Fifteen years after the constitution was authored, President Thomas Jefferson made it clear to the Danbury Baptists that while he respected religious liberty, no special consideration was to be granted to a particular faith as far as the United States government was concerned. That brief 1802 missive heralded the idea of church and state separation. And for the most part, the secularization of our government has prevailed, notwithstanding things like the changes to the pledge of allegiance, annoying non-inclusive invocations before legislative sessions and the god bullshit on our money because of our allergies to any form of economic distribution besides capitalism.

Well, the SCOTUS is about to make a turn for the worse, with Neil Gorsuch leading the way. A case is currently being debated that could expand the definition of “religious liberty” in the law’s eyes . It may now mean that government funding for religious institutions is acceptable because the first amendment guarantees free exercise of religion. Therefore, the withholding of government funds (tax revenue that the church does not contribute to, mind you) because of adherence to the concept of refusal to establish amounts to discrimination against them. The plaintiffs further cite the fourteenth amendment, which as you all know mandates equal treatment under the law. If a public school wants to improve one of their playgrounds with government grant money, they reason, then it’s only fair that a religious institution should be able to have access to those funds as well.

This is very tricky legal jiu-jitsu, blowing off the establishment clause entirely to  accommodate believers. It pits the constitution against itself. If this decision slides rightward, you’re going to start paying for improvements to churches.

It starts with something innocuous like surfacing playgrounds. God only knows how far this can go, because the ineluctable tendency in Christian circles is to push, push and push the envelope.

Kids These Days

It has come to my attention that people’s ability to take responsibility for their actions in politics has been diminished a smidge.

Please take note that I did not lose my temper or curse. However, my capacity for civility here is low on the subject I’m about to discuss. What else is new?

I want you to think back to when you were a kid. There were certain things you were told never to do by your parents. What did your immature brain think about those things? It thought, “I should do them.” The severity with which you were told not to equalled your interest in doing the bad thing. So you played with fire, crossed the train tracks, smoked, drank, did drugs, dated someone out of your age group, you did whatever it was that angered your parents the most.

Kids are little assholes.

But it’s not their fault. As I said, an immature brain makes these simple calculations without regard to actual risk.

What I worry about is political immaturity, which is utterly unacceptable as naked fascism is creeping across the landscape.

Some people are proud fascists. They love the power they have been given to be bigoted and destructive. They cheer for war. They need iron fisted-leadership like they need a heartbeat. They wield their flag, their money and their god over everyone. They are, to borrow a phrase from a petty tyrant from another era, “useful idiots”.

There’s no hope for this person. Too far gone to fix. We liberals pledge eternal vigilance against them. But they have made a resolute, mature decision, however warped and disturbed it may be.

As a political movement, we on the left scrimmage against the fascists for the attentions of weirdos called “moderates” and “undecideds”. Some of us stop in this neutral area for a while. The fucking presidential election is decided by these blinkered souls in most cases. But the middle road is one to perdition. If you don’t know your right from your left by say, 30, you aren’t paying attention. Heck, I’ll even spot you a few extra years. If you still think “both sides have valid points”, you’ve got soup for brains. You need a little more perspective.

But there’s this new type of immature voter who is popping up with more frequency. It’s the kind who have been “driven” by others to make bad voting decisions. In other words, other people, not issues or policy, caused them to cast their lot the way they did.

This is a twat’s way out of screwing up. “I voted for X because a supporter of Y was mean“, is a common variant of immature voting. Someone made you feel bad because you were naive and so you’re just gonna do the opposite of what makes sense to show them who’s the boss of you.

This is partially due to the Internet, where you can be very nasty to whomever you like, or don’t like, without facing any consequences.

I will never forget the 2016 Democratic primary because of these butthurt people. Because Hillary people were such “assholes” to Bernie people, a not-insignificant chunk of them refused to vote in the general election after Sanders was defeated.

To make a long story short, we were being assholes because we were trying to tell you something and you had a listening problem. You didn’t seem to get that politics is not an all or nothing business. You wanted everything, and you got nothing. Enough of you sat out to make a difference, or instead stupidly voted for boutique candidates like Jill Stein and Gary Johnson, and those margins by which Trump won in swing states reflect your recalcitrance. You cut your nose off to spite your face, heedless of the fact that it was going to hurt real people if we did not present a united front to the Republicans.

You fucked up and now all of us are in the suck. You all got real silent with that “Clinton is the same as Trump” shit now that you’ve treated us to an actual loss of democracy under Twitler.

I can’t goddamned find it, but I read somewheres that there were grown adults who voted for Trump because they were unnerved by liberals who were “hostile”, or some such shit.

We are hostile about a few things. That is correct. We are hostile towards hate, bigotry, homophobia, sexism, racism, and fascism to rattle off a few of our nemeses off the top of my head. Some things are non-fucking negotiable. “Oh, you’re so intolerant, you don’t believe in free speech.” you say. Si, senor. I shall repeat myself, as I have in the past: we don’t tolerate intolerance. It’s a bedrock rule of being a good fucking liberal, hell, of being a good person. If I happen to get a little cross because you get prickly about the concept of Black Lives Matter, I’m not sorry. You’re clearly not thinking the issue through and have bought into right-wing bullshit somewhere along the line and neither my fellow travelers nor I have the patience to offer you a speed degree that includes a well-rounded liberal arts core. If you think your religion gives you carte blanche to discriminate against the LGBTQ community, then do not expect us to be nice when you share or legislate your beliefs.

An instructive example of how not to “speak freely” would be the one of Milo Yiannopoulos, late of Breitbart, who tried his damndest to recast the idea of free speech as a conservative issue by using his speech to be as offensive as he could possibly be to as many groups of people as he could think of at his college lectures. He then accused “the left” of stifling free speech when students freaked out about his presence on their campuses.

Violent speech can cause a violent reaction, friends. Once again, I must repeat myself and remind people that you aren’t protected from the reactions that your speech generates. That’s not part of the deal. If you get punched in the head like Richard Spencer, it’s your bad. Say whatever you want…but be prepared for pushback. If you are a racist prick to the point of pure unadulterated stupidity like that Georgia couple, prepare for very bad things to happen because you don’t understand the limits and consequences of “speech”.

I know what you’re all working up to anyway. You will not be allowed to say ni**er and duck behind the Constitution. It’s just not going to happen for you, conservatives. If you have to ask why, you’re gonna have a bad time. Catch up. Listen instead of speaking so damn much.

Anyway, I think I have made my point without bringing up the article that made me want to reiterate these simple truths about free speech. Europe is having its own problems with the resurgence of right-wing politics too. And like us, they have immature voters.

I came across the brain droppings of a chowderheaded sophomore philosophy major in the UK’s lesser paper of record, the Telegraph. In his little column, he tries to make the case (like Milo Y. did) that the left no longer is the wing of tolerance and free speech enthusiasts and young people are becoming more receptive to conservatism because of it. He cites some figures from a British (and seriously left-wing) study about censorship that would lead one to believe that it is legion on British campuses. Though I can’t say this for sure, I get the impression that the UK has something resembling zero tolerance towards hate speech on campuses and probably other milieu as well. Europe has learned its lesson about proliferating hate. We on this side of the pond are still trying to mainstream it, and this is borne out by the fact that we gleefully elected a mean spirited, petty tyrant who keeps a grizzled white supremacist for a pet instead of the traditional dog or cat. We’re going backward in America, and fast.

But these new, unfinished minds like Charlie’s may reopen the doors to good old fashioned right wing hate in places like Britain because he’s been told he does not have to be provided a public forum to spew garbage and that makes us lefties bad. He again goes to the left wing well to argue for the right to be politically incorrect (read:be an asshole) by quoting American icon Mario Savio, a leader of the campus free speech movement in the 60s.

The fundamental mistake Charlie is making is that there is some sort of equivalency between the the left’s fight to speak and the right’s desire for the same. That is because he doesn’t really understand conservatism yet. Those regents that didn’t want activism on campuses in the 60s?

Yeah. Conservatives.

Conservatives are authoritarians. Feudalists. Fascists. Nazis. The tillers of the soil in which extreme religion grows. Dictators. Reconstituted racists. The elite who are sucking the public dry. They despise diversity and mutual aid. They want a world where it’s every man for himself-and while you compete against your neighbor for less and less, they run away with the loot.

They’re not your friends in freedom, Charlie. You may perceive that because of the pushback against their speech, but you are misunderstanding who they really are. And as soon as you find out who they really are and start speaking out about them, you will find yourself shut down once again. It’s a trap, buddy. Don’t get me wrong-lots of left wing experiments have resulted in a clampdown of basic rights-but that is the point where they ceased to be left wing.

Don’t go to the dark side for one issue, young friend. Try to think of conservatives as the Baby-Eaters. Perhaps you have been told by “the left” that you can’t say certain things because they hurt people and incite violence. Maybe that doesn’t sound fair and equitable to you.

But the Baby-Eaters will let you say them. So now you think to yourself: “The Baby-Eaters are really the group that values freedom.”

But they eat babies, Charlie.

They still eat the babies, man.

Todd Starnes Can Hum On My Sack

Todd Starnes is the undisputed king of conservative twerps. Some of you may already know who he is. He’s wound up on my radar several times for being a smug, disingenuous Christian bigot. In other words, he’s loved by Fox consumers. This is the creature I’m referring to:

todd-starnesnra

(Todd Starnes at Halloween, in brave patriot costume.)

That doughy little gopher has always got something snarky to say when Christians don’t get their way. He can’t cut it as a reporter, so Fox is a great place for him since everyone is a commentator there.

What’s Todd being a cunt about now? This, from Pennsylvania:

The Ten Commandments monument will be removed from Valley Junior-Senior High School, after district officials reached a settlement in a lawsuit claiming the district violated the constitutionally required separation of church and state.

Before I begin whupping on Todd, let me just explain the atheist position on these damn monuments. I believe that somewhere in the penumbral intersections of the Bill Of Rights is the right to be left alone. That’s all atheists are really interested in-to live live the way we please(provided we do no harm) with a free conscience. Atheists are NOT, I repeat, not, interested in making converts. It’s a personal decision everyone must make after looking at the evidence that we have about the nature of being. We give less than a fuck what conclusion you come to.

Until.

ten

Until you decide to drop a giant stone replica of your conclusions in a public place like a school, without considering how other faiths and creeds are going to feel about it. Then we have a problem. You Christians think you own everything, and that’s why you do this-it’s a show of force, a show of your potency in the face of what you consider evil, which is the rest of us. There’s no other reason for it. It’s not good law or sage wisdom to someone who has another god besides Jehovah, so let’s dispense with that bullshit reason for its usefulness or necessity.

I would never, ever do this to you. Sure, I’ve had the occasional beef with religion and I think believers are all one fry short of a Happy Meal in some way, but I ain’t into constructing monuments to my own brilliance since I have obviously got it all figured out…like you do.

Am I being clear here? Another thing-you really don’t want the Satanists getting into this. Because they will put a monument up if you do and you will really hate it. So, cut your losses like this school did, and keep your Bible tucked under your arm and not pissing me or people who have different faiths off with oversized reproductions of it, as if to signal you will forget it if you don’t have in giant engraved form. It’s more like you don’t want the rest of of us to forget who runs this damn culture.

To this I reply: fuck you too. And I will wield the Constitution and break your middle finger if I can.

So let’s catch a whiff of Todd’s always wrong, halfwit comments about it, shall we?

A Pennsylvania school district capitulated to the demands of a militant atheist who filed a federal lawsuit demanding the district remove a Ten Commandments monument erected on a public high school campus.

She sued. What makes that militant? Todd, as a fellow writer, I recommend trying to change up your descriptive ‘smithing so you don’t use the same word twice in a sentence. We all do it in our first drafts sometimes. You should avail yourself of an editor, because you can. Unless your goal was to emphasize how hard the militant demander demanded, then carry on, I suppose.

New Kensington-Arnold School District agreed to remove the massive monument within 30 days – ending a lawsuit filed in 2012 by self-avowed atheist Marie Schaub.

Unlike other atheists who have other people avow that they don’t believe. I get the feeling that Todd is trying to belittle atheists in some faggoty little passive-aggressive way, like he’s saying our thinking doesn’t count or something. This is probably much akin to Donald Trump and his “so-called” judges remark-if he doesn’t like or respect what they’re saying, then they’re somehow not real or authentic.

Schaub claimed the 6-foot stone monument erected outside Valley High School was a religious symbol and therefore was a violating of the U.S. Constitution.

Schaub also claimed the monument was offensive to her and her daughter. I can only imagine which commandment she found to be most offensive. Maybe it was the one about graven images.

Ho, ho, ho! I’m dyin’ ova’ heah!

No, it’s probably the one that asserts that I have a god, or that there is one that invalidates all others. Would you like me to be a dick and do that to you, Todd?

He’s got something to say about the people who brought the suit:

The Freedom From Religion Foundation is a group of perpetually offended atheists, agnostics and self-professed free-thinkers based in Wisconsin. They intentionally bully and intimidate small towns and communities in their quest to eradicate Christianity from the public marketplace.

They are truly an unpleasant bunch of people, folks.

We’ve done a really good job at demonizing people who are offended by things. Our national phobia about being politically correct has caused this. White Christian Americans have gotten away with being bigoted dicks for so long that they are shocked, just shocked that someone is telling them to watch their damn tongue. Offense is taken when one is insulted. There is nothing wrong with being offended.

I don’t know why I have to explain this to Todd and his ilk. They get the vapors every time Starbucks’ holiday cup isn’t Christ-themed enough.

I’d rather be unpleasant than be these people any day of the week, by the way.

Schools Superintendent John Pallone told the local newspaper they agreed to settle the lawsuit “in order to take the high road.”

“We compromised and agreed to remove the monument,” he said.

That’s hardly a compromise. It’s more like appeasement.

Bullshit. Pallone either knew he was going to lose the case or was running out of money and goodwill to keep the monument up, so he characterized his decision to settle as a “compromise”. One immediately has to wonder what the school got in return for settling, because as far as I can tell, all they gained were two used carbon copies of checks that they had to write to plaintiff Marie Schaub and the FFRF. I agree with Starnes; it’s not a compromise. As it should be.

Requesting the respect that one deserves as a person with a free conscience is not tantamount to invading Czechoslovakia, which Todd airily alludes to. Let’s imagine it another way, Todd, using another World War II comparison, even though it is wholly inappropriate as all Nazi analogies are: I am living in 1942 Vichy France and you are an occupying army.

I’m the Free French. Vive Charles DeGaulle, motherfucker.

Then Todd finishes by castigating the school for settling.

And in doing so – the school district violated an eleventh commandment: Thou Shall Not Tucketh Tail and Run.

It’s so easy to criticize when it’s not you that has to do the fighting, innit, Todd? It’s typical Starnes, no one fights hard enough for the “right thing”. My god, what would happen to Christian morale if not for Todd’s sniggering prose? The mind reels at how things would be the same as they are.

The school was out of order. It’s fixed now. You’re out a stone memorial. Be fucking polite and no one has to go to court next time.

 

 

Burning Questions

1984: Joey Johnson, a communist rabble rouser, went to Texas to protest Reagan administration policies at the Republican National Convention. He and his comrades trashed their protest route, spray painting and vandalizing businesses. One of them pulled an American flag from its pole along the way. At the Dallas city hall, Joey lit that flag on fire.

Common sense would suggest that everyone in the group should’ve been arrested for their various antics. But that’s not how things work in America. Only Joey Johnson was arrested-because of what he did to that flag. You see, Texas had a law about destroying “venerated” symbols and representations. He was convicted, and received fines and remanded to a year in prison.

Yes, back then you could get majorly busted because you disrespected a piece of cloth. Johnson and his lawyers appealed the conviction, and after upholding and turnover by lower courts, his case went to the Supreme Court. They ruled in Johnson’s favor, citing first amendment concerns regarding his right to free speech. Even Antonin Scalia, who was never much for extending rights that offended his sense of originalism, concurred that flag burning is symbolic speech.

1989: Congress passes a new version of a flag protection statute. This did not survive a Supreme Court challenge.

1995-2006: Every session of Congress tried to pass a flag desecration amendment. Failure. It would have been the most bizarre use of the Constitution since Prohibition, the only time it was used to limit freedom and action.

So it’s settled. Now, it has been pointed out to me that just because something is settled case law doesn’t mean that good jurisprudence has been applied. We can look at things like Dred Scott or Plessy and know this to be true. But it seems like there is no judicial or political will great enough to stop someone from burning the flag. Personally, I agree with the courts-it’s just a flag and if you are not proud of it, you don’t have to respect it. That is your right in what is ostensibly the freest country in the world. A lack of patriotism is not a crime. Now of course that offends certain sensibilities because the first thing some like to cite when getting enraged about disrespect for the flag is that so many soldiers died fighting under the colors for “freedom”. I’m a veteran who wore the flag on my shoulder and I think that argument is garbage-it should be fairly clear to anyone with an acquaintance with the nearly unbroken string of wars we have participated in that we are rarely, if ever in it for freedom’s sake. Start by asking the Indians and work your way up to Iraqis to find out how we do freedom. I asked the Iraqis. They were fucking pissed, because in removing Saddam Hussein, we scorched that country with ruthless destruction and the whole country fell apart as a result. You will remember that primary targets were infrastructure in our “shock and awe” campaign, and I still don’t think they can keep the lights on all day in Baghdad. We know well now what Iraq was really all about-selling off the country’s resources to the oil companies and enriching friends of Dick Cheney.

Anyway:

November 29, 2016: President-elect Donald Trump tweets that flag burners should lose their citizenship and go to jail.

What the everloving fuck? Where did that come from? Is this occurrence an impending epidemic that requires a statement from the guy’s who’s going to run the planet? Did someone torch a flag in public lately?  Trump must’ve seen this story on Fox. I mean, I know Trump’s a born again fascist and he’s really enamored of the colored cloth as you can see here:

Donald Trump

Yeah, I can’t believe he’s gonna be president either. I’m revulsed and shocked by this bizarre hypernationalistic display, not to mention how it showcases the president elect’s  mental juvenility by hugging a fucking inanimate object. And  the bitch of all this is that it’s not the flag he cares about, it’s why the students burned it-because of his win of the presidency. And like a whiny ass titty baby, his thin skin couldn’t take the affront.

In the wake of the tweet, the media has gone in a few directions with interpreting it. One popular reaction is to stop paying attention to Trump’s online behavior because it is a red herring deployed to get us not thinking about what he’s really up to with his controversial staff and cabinet picks and his conflicts of interest that show that Trump is out for nothing but to enrich himself. I don’t think this theory holds much water-there is ample journalism available to watch Orange Caligula lose his head on social media and point out that his advisers are maniacs, lackeys, and deregulation freaks as well. Highlighting both paints a more complete picture of this fucking nutbar. Another strain of thought is that he is working on undermining the media by bypassing it, and this makes it very difficult for journalists to fight against that because you’ve got a self reinforcing rightwing news system(of which Fox is a large part of) that will report anything this idiot says. And when straight journalism tries to undo the lies and misinformation and just plain lunacy, he can say that the media is biased. Believing Trump’s tweets are a great way to have shit for brains and never have any real information, but some people, namely 1/2 the country like it. But the point is that it becomes harder for journalists to do the persuading that needs doing because Trump’s conditioning people to not listen. Ominous, eh? However, I don’t think Trump is smart enough to know that he’s declawing the press by lying and making up things that they will find false and therefore show their bias. He’s as much a victim of the phenomenon of instant communication as we all are, where any unexpurgated brain rot can be shared with hundreds of thousands of people.

As for me, I think it just makes him look like the ill-informed, oversensitive caveman he is and we should broadcast his dribblings far and wide in the hopes that the Electoral College will save us.

Hah! I’m kidding, the electors are morons appointed by the parties. Good fucking luck with that. Good fucking luck to us all, we’re gonna need it. I picked a terrible time to stop drinking.

burning-american-flag250.jpg

UPDATE: Mitch McConnell says that Donald Trump can eat his unwiped asshole if he tries to bring the flag burning issue before Congress. Mitch Fucking McConnell, who busied himself subverting the Constitution nearly all of this year by withholding advice and consent from President Obama on the Court vacancy, is on the correct side of this issue. And his disinterest in Donald Trump’s brain droppings remains even as he prepares to make McConnell’s wife part of the Cabinet. I look forward to these two weasels fighting each other in the future.

Follow Suit

What is Donald Trump?

It’s actually hard to know. Because you can listen to the man, and be befuddled by his musings. Then a whole bunch of professional apologizers and explainers burst from the woodwork to tell you what he actually said or meant.

Donald, at bottom is a fraud. He actually doesn’t know what he’s talking about-and that’s why he’s so hard to take and so hard to handle as a candidate. Really, it makes him a perfect Republican-there are some serious airheads who say amazingly stupid shit and are sitting members of Congress, for example. But he’s demonstrated absolutely no acumen indicating that he should be a president. None. Even George W. Bush knew how to give a moving speech off a teleprompter. Trump forgoes that technology, having convinced himself that authenticity is really the issue that separates voter from candidate. It may be in certain circles. But judging by the poll numbers of late, more people prefer experience, knowledge and poise over what is being passed off as “down to earth”, as if Donald Trump has ever walked even two feet in a working poor person’s shoes. Trump is a fake populist demagogue- promising privileged, uncritical, uneducated and unsophisticated people success, weapons, primacy, pride and all the blessings of God if they would but vote for him. People gravitate towards him because his rhetoric is as hopelessly fractured as the mindset of his adherents. He talks in sound bites that contradict each other. But his supporters never notice the lack of consistency contained in even a small bite of Trump truisms.

Anyway, here’s some classic Donald doublespeak that I found on Think Progress. He’s asked about freedom of the press. Now, Trump lives by the press; he’s saved absurd amounts of money by saying outrageous and unprecedented bullshit on the internet and on camera, and the major media purveyors couldn’t get enough of it. However, one of the things you must do as a conservative is have no respect for the media. This is where Donald ultimately dies by the press. The minute he began to turn on and abuse the mainstream media, they set out to destroy him, challenging his ramshackle policies, calling out his lies and distortions, and ceaselessly reporting the myriad scandals that he is embroiled in.OK. Here’s the transcript:

DEFEDE: Again you’ve brought up the press. In the past you have talked about wanting to amend laws to and rework things to make it easier to sue do you think there is too much protection allowed in the first amendment?

TRUMP: Well in England they have a system where you can actually sue if someone says something wrong. Our press is allowed to say whatever they want and get away with it. And i think we should go to a system where if they do something wrong… I’m a big believer tremendous believer of the freedom of the press. Nobody believes it stronger than me but if they make terrible, terrible mistakes and those mistakes are made on purpose to injure people. I’m not just talking about me I’m talking anybody else then yes, i think you should have the ability to sue them.

DEFEDE: So you’d like the laws to be closer to what they have in England?

TRUMP: Well, in England you have a good chance of winning. And deals are made and apologies are made. Over here they don’t have to apologize. They can say anything they want about you or me and there doesn’t have to be any apology. England has a system where if they are wrong things happen.

England? I don’t know why Trump is waxing thoughtful on the English press. I think he’s been hanging around Ben Carson too much or something. And Trump has not been stopped from bullying who he pleases for slander or libel. Generally, people go to press on things because there’s something to say. Now, supermarket tabloids corner the market on made up stories, and I guess to him the media looks like one giant Enquirer. But he misunderstands professional journalism. The majority of the media does not want to go to press with nothing substantial; credibility is the currency of coverage, despite what hayseed “ah don’ trus’ the MSM “wisdom wants you to believe. Being dishonest will ruin a media enterprise because of the public’s ability to associate freely with our outlets for information, unless you dig Fox News-in which case there’s enough suckers out there who don’t want to hear the truth. That is not the case here. Donald Trump hates the press because it tells the truth about him. But in this interview, he wants us to know that he loves freedom of the press. At any point, however, Donald would like to reserve the right to threaten it if it does not do his will. It’s a chilling interpretation of our constitutional rights. Outlets without lawyers on retainer and cash on hand will be silenced. He’s already bullied several tiny Internet sites with cease and desist threats that demand retractions and apologies.

If anything, our media isn’t tough enough. Perhaps it is because they have to deal in an industry that asks questions of the powerful that they pause and give deference. Maybe there isn’t enough thirst for rawer news, which is doubtful, since internet news is shaming old media as far as good journalism goes. But whatever the case, I don’t want Trump’s freedom of the press-no way-because that’s precisely what it isn’t. And I need a president who really means it when he says protect and defend the Constitution, not some slippery, aging crybaby playboy who’s looking for the ultimate power trip.

 

 

 

I Bet He Jerked Off More Than I Did

I believe in the right to free speech. I don’t even mind stretching it a little to gain justice or promote fairness. But this is not only a bridge too far, it’s hilarious:

The sponsor of a recently passed Utah resolution declaring that “pornography is creating a public health crisis” appeared on the Family Research Council’s “Washington Watch” program yesterday to defend the measure, which the governor signed on Tuesday, and allege that the availability of pornography is violating his “First Amendment right to not view it.”

State Sen. Todd Weiler, a Republican, urged libraries and McDonalds restaurants with WiFi to block pornography websites, claiming that he has heard anecdotally that children go to McDonalds to view pornographic websites: “I said to McDonalds, ‘You’re a family restaurant and you market to children, why would you want to be a purveyor of pornography?’”

“That’s what I think is often lost in the First Amendment discussion,” Weiler said, “because someone may have the First Amendment right, according to the U.S. Supreme Court, to view pornography, but what about my First Amendment right to not view it?” 

I have never, ever considered my right to watch pornography  a First Amendment issue. I never considered it to be a right granted by the federal government. Whacking your doodle in the confines of your home does not count as an act of speech. I hope this guy’s not a lawyer, because he really needs to brush up on what the First means and what it doesn’t. Matter of fact, there’s a rumor going around that there may be more than two amendments to the Constitution. What I am given to understand is that a man should be secure in his houses, papers and effects-and as long as I am looking at actresses(or actors if that’s your thing) who are 18 and older you can dry up and blow away. If I want to watch Julie Ashton(dating myself here) blow two dudes in clown masks, that’s my biz. Not my speech, but my privacy, dummy. You don’t get to use the First to stop anyone’s Fourth.

Nobody is opening your eyes and forcing you to watch a la A Clockwork Orange. You don’t like porn, I get it. Everyone hears that. This is your right to free speech. That’s about as far as it goes, stupid. Make your locale porn-free. Be my guest. But I warn you, fighting porn is like playing Whack-A-Mole these days. The simple thing for you to do is not watch it, instead of making a jackass out of yourself and an embarrassment to your constituents by wielding that document erroneously. Shove your anecdotes. Those screens are too small to get your wank on anyway.

 

On Inclusion

My kid’s baseball coach prays with the team after each practice and game. They all get in a huddle and hold hands while Mr.P intones the dumb kind of prayer that causes people to say “Yes, Lord” while he prays for the boys. My kid doesn’t even know to take his batting helmet off while they do their prayers. He just looks at me beyond the fence, and I know he feels ridiculous.

And, if I say something, he will be excluded. Because Mr.P isn’t going to stop his prayer-he’ll let my kid go home and every goddamned kid on that team now knows that Walter is different. I think it sucks and I barely know what to do. It’s county sanctioned ball, so I wonder if this is a freedom from religion case that I can pursue.

Well, that’s all depressing. I found some good news, that a New York planning board has cut the shit with saying the pledge of allegiance before it opens for business, and for all the right reasons:

The officials on the Planning Board in New Paltz, New York decided this week that they would no longer say the Pledge of Allegiance at meetings. It was a 4-3 vote to eliminate it.

This did not sit well with the god crowd:

We either have a country, or we don’t. It’s shocking that an elected official won’t take the 15 seconds required to put their hand over their heart and recite the Pledge of Allegiance,” [Andrew Heaney, a Republican candidate for New York’s 19th Congressional District] said.

Pray tell, how does not saying some bullshit equate to us “losing our country”?

Cooler heads prevailed:

“The reason I voted for us not to begin meetings with it is because a few members on the planning board felt strongly that they did not want to recite the pledge, and they didn’t want to be put in a position where they were sort of branded or singled out at every meeting,” said board member Michael Zierler.

If only my kid’s coach could see how freedom of conscience works.

Sorry About My State

This is not quite in my backyard, but it shows that racism is not dead. I think that should be obvious by now, given all the pushback on the rebel flag and the daily murders of black people by cops. Well, some yahoo got creative with his bigotry:

The owner of an “eclectic” art gallery in Macon, Georgia took down the Confederate Flag flying outside the business this week — and replaced it with a World War II-era Nazi flag.

According to WGXA Channel 24, the gallery SEVEN on Second will be flying the Nazi flag for a week.

Owner Anthony Harris told the TV station, “I just want people to realize that it’s a flag. Don’t get so much in an uproar about it; it’s good to have a conversation about it; it’s good to address it, but there’s no need to want to kill someone over it.”

I have a question for the flag suckers-if it’s not so important, why are you making a big deal about it? You’re allowed to fly any flag you want, you know. No one has stopped you, you are protected by the First. But to just do something egregious and antagonistic and then claim it’s no big deal is bullshit of the highest order. You are not impressing anybody, you are not making a salient point; you are not funny by any stretch of the imagination. You are a fucking mouth breathing scumbag and I hope that someone vandalizes your projection of racism and hate. Because while the government can’t prosecute you, you’ll find that some people are going to react viscerally and jack your shit up.

Once again, America, sorry about that.

 

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