If you’re going to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair . . . and don’t shake hands with anyone, especially in the Castro. Today, on the 700 Club, Christian Capitalista Pat Robertson exposed a little known local habit of the denizens of the World’s Gayest City—infecting people with AIDS via poison rings.
As Robertson explained to a caller:
You know what they do in San Francisco? Some in the gay community there, they want to get people so if they got the stuff they’ll have a ring, you shake hands, and the ring’s got a little thing where you cut your finger. Really. It’s that kind of vicious stuff, which would be the equivalent of murder.
See, as Robertson knows, his unwary flock are probably expecting gays to put aside aside their homicidal rage and enjoy triumphs like SCOTUS striking down DOMA and Prop 8, and same-sex wedding bells ringing from sea to shining sea. But nooooo, rapacious homos are still murdering straighties with gay abandon.
Some of the Christians at Christian Broadcast Network [shake that little money-maker, Uncle Pat] saw fit to edit Robertson’s homophobic paranoia out of the online version of the program but not before it aired on cable television. Right Wing Watch was there to catch and send it—in all of its unChristian hatefulness—down the intertubes to glory.
The whole episode is causing me to wonder when, exactly, Uncle Pat ran out of God-stuff to talk about on his TV ministry? or is this 21st century God-stuff? and also, do actual people really watch this moronic grifter and think of it as a religious experience? and, finally, do people still give Robertson money???
On a more anthropological note, I’d simply like to reassure Robertson and his followers that, as a gay woman, it has been simply ages since I’ve seen a poison ring in the Castro [that’s so ‘70s]. But you still might want to give gayz with iPhones a wide berth because GAY LASER DEATH RAY!!1! . . . [there’s an app for that].
Robertson issued a non-apology to The Atlantic, saying that he “regret[s] that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said.”
Of course, unlike CBN, we provided the entire exchange:
I was asked by a viewer whether she had a right to leave her church because she had been asked to transport an elderly man who had AIDS and about whose condition she had not been informed. My advice was that the risk of contagion in those circumstances was quite low and that she should continue to attend the church and not worry about the incident.
In my own experience, our organization sponsored a meeting years ago in San Francisco where trained security officers warned me about shaking hands because, in those days, certain AIDS-infected activists were deliberately trying to infect people like me by virtue of rings which would cut fingers and transfer blood.
I regret that my remarks had been misunderstood, but this often happens because people do not listen to the context of remarks which are being said. In no wise [sic] were my remarks meant as an indictment of the homosexual community or, for that fact, to those infected with this dreadful disease.
This has to be one of the funniest, most telling, FoxNews clips I’ve seen since Karl Rove’s election night freakout last year.
Reza Aslan is a scholar with a number of popular books on religion to his credit. His latest is a book about Jesus’ life and times titled Zealot. Zealot has created quite a hubbub amongst the books-about-Jesus-audience, who are upset, to say the least, about some of Aslan’s premises and conclusions. Amazon Reviews is burning up with some old-time religion hate. That’s predictable.
Down through the ages lots and lots of religion scholars and enthusiasts have weighed in on the sparse facts of Jesus’ life and come to varying conclusions. Those writers have come in every shape, color and religious background. It’s an interesting topic to some. Admittedly, I haven’t read the book, I’ve only listened to interviews, but none of what I’ve heard of Aslan’s ideas sound like revolutionary departures from what’s always been kicking around on the subject.
I’m also old enough to remember the fuss that surrounded the debut of Jesus Christ, Superstar on Broadway. For a short while, it was an apocalyptic event (which certainly didn’t hurt ticket sales) and eventually the show, deemed blasphemous by some, was permitted to make millions of dollars in performances and license fees forever and ever, amen. Because, as we all know, from the Dominionists, Jesus is a free market fan.
The thing that is astonishing about this Fox incident is that it takes over nine minutes of airtime for this veteran FoxNews correspondent to wrap her mind around the idea that a Muslim has written a book about Jesus. She projects, without overtly saying it—“how dare you?” That’s really the whole [only] point of the long-ish segment.
A lot of folks have already taken a swat at the following religio-comic-absurdist story and moved on but, as I’m a gay woman of the 21st century, I feel a certain sense of entitlement to get my own licks in when the anti-gay crusaders of the Religious Right make particular fools of themselves.
Twinkle Cavanaugh (real name) is the duly elected President of the Alabama Public Services Commission that oversees statewide public utilities. Twinkle called a hearing to discuss state utility rate structures and asked John Delwin Jordan to testify at that hearing. It’s unclear to me what qualifies Jordan, a Baptist minister and President of the Prattville (real name) TEA Party, to address utility rate structures but, then, lots of things bewilder me these days.
Nevertheless, testify Jordan did—he testified for JESUS! Here’s that, captured on tape.
I have been in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and, I am not entirely averse to admitting, reasonably certain I have broken a few of their retrograde antisex laws while I was there. Actually, I think I was probably there with the explicit intention of probably getting around to doing some of the things their legislators in times of yore believed were, ahem, “icky”.
I have to admit to complete and total mystification regarding a candidate for governor who persists in being, you know. That guy. But I have a larger point to make, other than admitting to being at least kind of sort of the exact people Cooch is interested in legally persuing for, I guess, having some kind of fun in Virginia not explicitly associated with, like, a water park or maybe Colonial Williamsburg. Did you hear about this thing regarding the current governor, Bob McDonnell, who was kind of warned against as being a total retrograde antisex theocrat who sort of kind of turned out to be also a grifter? Well, some of that grifterism allegation is looking to backwash on Cuccinelli.
Huh. Taking gifts as a government official? That blows. Probably should be, like, illegal or something, right? I guess ethics is what you make of it. Or at least, if you’re Ken Cuccinelli, you legislate bedroom morality, but in the taxpayer-funded office? Anything goes!
As more information comes to light about the Beantown Bombers, it becomes increasingly clear that Uncle Ruslan was right all along: The brothers were / are a pair of not-too-bright losers. Mother Jones offers a list of odd and stupid things the Boom-Boom Bros did that directly resulted in their death and/or capture. These items include leaving their carjacked hostage alone in the vehicle while they went into a convenience store for Red Bull and then failing to toss their escaped victim’s mobile phone, enabling the cops to track their every move.
They’re murderers, sure, but sophisticated terror kingpins? Please. And yet the very lawmakers who most frequently have to pause to wring the accumulated ball-sweat out of their much-humped personal copies of the US Constitution are now ready to torch that document because of the supposed existential threat posed by clowns like the Boom-Boom Bros.
Senator Lindsey Graham, perpetually trying to butch up sufficiently to head off a possible tea party primary challenge, took to the Senate floor yesterday to baldly declare a thought-crime and ethnic-caste standard that would eliminate due process for certain American citizens:
“Here’s what we’re suggesting, that the surviving suspect—due to the ties that these two have to radical Islamic thought and the ties to Chechnya, one of most radical countries in the world—that the president declare preliminarily that the evidence suggests that this man should be treated as an enemy combatant.”
The “we” in that first clause includes Senator John McCain, the Hanoi Hilton survivor who is apparently transformed into a squealing candy ass at the sight of a teenage jihadi-wannabe’s wispy moustache. Senator Kelly Ayotte rounds out the new neocon triumvirate in lieu of the departed Joe Lieberman. She’s an improvement over her predecessor only in that her mouth isn’t bracketed by alarming skin-pleats and she doesn’t have a mewling voice that tempts listeners to drive chopsticks through their own eardrums to escape its range. But on foreign policy, she’s pretty much Joe in a dress.
In the interest of civility, let’s assume that these three and their fellow Republicans aren’t corrupt, cynical hucksters who are attempting to transform the blood of innocent people into political gain. So they must be cowards instead, sniveling, bed-wetting chicken-shits who are ready to toss our national experiment with free speech and equality before the law into the toilet and hide under the nearest rock—and not before the very real and powerful threats arrayed against it from within and without, but before a pair of moronic clowns like the Boom-Booms. Some “Daddy Party.”
There’s so much seasonal WTF in this clip from FilmOn TV Networks (via Battlecam TV) which is going viral.
There’s a fairly graphic trailer near the beginning for their stunt at the weekend, when they plan to crucify a guy identified by a usually reliable source (Daily Mail) as Robert Garrison, “a 30-year-old sado-masochist from Florida,” so presumably as long they’ve found some card-carrying sadists to do the nailing, everybody’s cool with that.
Then there’s the increasingly tetchy mobile unit interview between Joe Fioranelli of FilmOn TV and David Phelps—which, for the by now no doubt growing increasingly nervous, I’ll excerpt below, but sounds like it’s an outtake from SNL.
As the scene begins, Phelps—who starts off the interview as grumpy as Hell, and doesn’t get any sweeter as it progresses—kicks off with the charming opener, “I’m David Phelps. And God hates fags. If you hear nothing else I say, I need that message to get out.” Then Fiorelli cites biblical reasons for some skepticism about Jesus’ heterosexuality, which doesn’t go any way toward making make him Phelps’ BFF.
Phelps: This is a mockery. It’s been a mockery from the very beginning. Is this what you plan for your mock crucifixion as well? Fioranelli: It’s not a mock crucifixion, we’re actually crucifying the guy. I mean, he is actually gay. Phelps: Do you have any idea, do you have any idea what it is to receive the payment for your sins from a wrathful, an angry God? Romans 12 says He will pile it on your head like hot coals from a fire. ... May God bring His wrath in a way that all will know it comes from Him.
Things don’t get any better from there on in for Phelps as he makes a bid to abandon the interview, and the fate that awaits him may have made him pray for a visitation from a nice cozy bushel of hot coals. Whatever, he will verily have been in no doubt that It hath come from Him, who moveth in mysterious ways.
For at this point (at 1:30 for the impatient), yea, a 500-pound stark naked ex-wrestler MC by the name of Billy the Fridge emerges from the closet (imagery!) where he’s been waiting and lurches ominously toward Phelps.
Phelps: What do you want?
Now, in the circumstances, most of us might agree that’s not the sort of leading question you want to be asking. Never mind, since Billy ignores it anyway.
Billy the Fridge: THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU! LEVIATHAN! THE LEVIATHAN! WE WILL GET YOU!
At this point Phelps makes an extremely rapid getaway through the door, with Billy in hot, hot pursuit. Over to the Mail again:
An eye-witness later claimed that he saw Phelps being pursued down the street outside the mobile studio by a naked fat man.
Rob Cutler, from Topeka, Kansas, where the church is based, said: ‘I was amazed, first I see David run out of a motor home and the next thing I know he’s been sat on by this giant naked man who is screaming “who’s your daddy now Davey?”’
The way the Phelpses have been bailing out of the hitherto lucrative family cult over the past few years, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that Davey—his cherry now well and truly popped, possibly along with some vital organs—and Billy are an item. Happy Easter.
I’ve been fascinated by some of the overwrought “revolution!” language that the usual Christian right trolls are using regarding the case against Prop 8 being considered by SCOTUS. It’s not that I’m comfortable that the pendulum has swung so far that there’s little resistance to marriage equality—it’s that I just don’t see that many people be invested enough to start a civil war over it. Regular folks just aren’t thinking about gay folks getting married all the time. It doesn’t really impact them because, well, it just doesn’t. Gay people getting married doesn’t raise anyone’s taxes or take away any right that any has previously enjoyed.
I think we’re going to win these cases. But say the worst happens and we lose in a broad way – that means that the Court somehow does a Roe, aRoe v. Wade, on marriage and says that all these state constitutional amendments are overturned, gay marriage is now a constitutional right – well, we’re going to press forward on a Federal Marriage Amendment. We’ve always supported a Federal Marriage Amendment, and there’s a lot of misconceptions about it. Some people try and argue, ‘Well, this is against federalism.’ No, our founders gave us a system where we can amend the Constitution. We shouldn’t have to do this, we shouldn’t have to worry about activist judges, you know, making up out of thin air a constitutional right that obviously none of our founders found there and no one found there until quite recently. But if we do, for us, the Federal Marriage Amendment is a way that people can stand up and say, ‘Enough is enough.’ We need a solution in this country, we cannot be, as Lincoln said, half slave, half free. We can’t have a country on key moral questions where we’re just, where we don’t have a solution. And if the Court forces a solution, the way we’ll amend that is through the Federal Marriage Amendment.
“Half slave, half free.” I can kind of understand wanting to do a Lincoln quote-pull because Lincoln, you know, was kind of a big deal. It’s just funny that Brown seems to think that people living in the states where marriage equality is recognized would be morally the people living in the “slave states”. Because those poor beset-upon long-suffering religious people would lack the freedom to…
By which I mean, questioning the foundation of several centuries worth of scientific inquiry by providing students with the option of a “Build Your Own Bullshit” Bar at the old studiatorium we used to consider a classroom.
In biology class, public school students can’t generally argue that dinosaurs and people ran around Earth at the same time, at least not without risking a big fat F. But that could soon change for kids in Oklahoma: On Tuesday, the Oklahoma Common Education committee is expected to consider a House bill that would forbid teachers from penalizing students who turn in papers attempting to debunk almost universally accepted scientific theories such as biological evolution and anthropogenic (human-driven) climate change.
Gus Blackwell, the Republican state representative who introduced the bill, insists that his legislation has nothing to do with religion; it simply encourages scientific exploration. “I proposed this bill because there are teachers and students who may be afraid of going against what they see in their textbooks,” says Blackwell, who previously spent 20 years working for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “A student has the freedom to write a paper that points out that highly complex life may not be explained by chance mutations.”
HB 1674 is the latest in an ongoing series of “academic freedom” bills aimed at watering down the teaching of science on highly charged topics. Instead of requiring that teachers and textbooks include creationism—see the bill proposed by Missouri state Rep. Rick Brattin—HB 1674’scrafters say it merely encourages teachers and students to question, as the bill puts it, the “scientific strengths and scientific weaknesses” of topics that “cause controversy,” including “biological evolution, the chemical origins of life, global warming, and human cloning.”
If someone wants their kid to be a nice little coddled egg or shit-fed mushroom, why is it so difficult to just homeschool the little larva without trying to impose one’s vast ignorance on everyone else’s brat? I mean, really! Making up stuff as you go along is to science as drinking cleaning fluids found under mother’s sink is to eating. In other words—that’s just wrong, son. The freeedom to write a paper claiming that the earth is held up by an infinite number of turtles is the freedom to step out in traffic—just because you can, doesn’t make it right. To understand science is to be able to ably defend your propostition because it has been tested and you understand what the tests meant and what the results meant. Parroting back the bullshit you were raised with is no more science than a dog shaking hands means that the canine in question is attempting to introduce itself into human society—except that a dog, at least, might expect a treat. Or petting. But a child who parrots nonsense and expects an A for failing to be educated isn’t introducing hirself to science. That child is rejecting it. And is no more educated than a child who rejects spelling or claims 2x2=a million.
Making bullshit a law doesn’t make it anything more than bullshit. They might as well call ice cream a vegetable.
Wow, this just in! Pope Benedict will be stepping down at the end of the month. It’s somewhat appropriate the Pope choose the day before Mardi Gras to step down, because he is, as I wrote two years ago, one of those insufferable “All Ash Wednesday, No Fat Tuesday” Catholics, much like professional scolds Ross Douthat and Kathryn Jean Lopez.
So, who to elect pope? Personally, I think the Roman Catholic Church should elevate one of the cardinals of Brazil to the Papacy. Brazil is the world’s most populous Roman Catholic country, and has a diverse and forward-thinking population. The past thirty years has seen the Roman Catholic Church take a hard rightward lurch as a mini “Counter Reformation” in response to the changes ushered in by the Second Vatican Council. As Thunder put it in the comments on that long-ago post, the Roman Catholic Church in Latin America has maintained a tradition of actually helping the poor. Tellingly, Benedict, while still Cardinal Ratzinger, condemned Liberation Theology. Perhaps a Brazilian pope would bring a more progressive vision to the Holy See. Mainly, I think nominating a Brazilian pope would be a great idea so we could have a pope who appears on the Vatican balcony in a Speedo. Isn’t about time we had a sexy pope again?
Over the years, I have developed a few cardinal rules, for myself, about writing. Number One is: never write when your head is spinning—that includes alcohol-induced head-spinning, sensory overload and bouts of cognitive dissonance. This rule means that I will rarely be the one to “break a big scoop” but, by the same token it, it has saved me from making a collossal ass of myself on quite a few occasions (other times, not so much).
Last Friday’s events made my head spin mightily and the public reactions of some of my “fellow Murkins” created a force-field that kept it spinning.
He was joined by 50-or-so other similarly-challenged oafs who evidently get a hard-on over saying the N-word.
And there were all of the other kinds of unhelpful American Exceptionals scoring points for their own constricted agenda:
Mike Huckabee, first out of the gate with his opinion that this tragedy resulted from not enough prayer in schools and was “amened” by Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association.
On Sunday, Pastor Sam Morris told his flock, in Tennessee, that sending kids to “government schools” is the problem.
Morris insisted that “humanism” in schools taught Lanza that he was God and “he can just go blow away anybody he wants.”
When I got in high school, man, I started learning all this kingdom, phylum stuff, all this junk about evolution. And I want to tell you what evolution teaches — here’s the bottom line — that you’re an animal. That’s what it teaches. So, you’re an animal, you can act like an animal. Amen.
So, here you are, you’re an animal and you’re a god! So, what are we going to teach you about in school? Well, we can teach you about sex, we can teach you how to rebel to you parents, we can teach you how to be a homo! But we’re definitely not going to teach you about the word of God! Amen.
Focus on the Family’s James Dobson opined that homosexuals and abortion are to blame.
Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Planet Xanax) feels that there are not enough guns in America’s classrooms.
TEA Party Nation warns that sex in the media, teacher’s unions and the federal bureaucracy are to blame and recommend home-schooling as a solution.
The only outfit that is eerily silent on the issue is the National Rifle Association, the very organization that has spent millions turning the idea of gun ownership into the holy grail of Democracy. They must know what exceedingly thin and crackly ice they skate on.
I don’t know what the answer is . . . but, as a parent and grandparent I know the heart-stopping, ice-in-the-veins feeling when my own child was in mortal danger. I know that even as a 60+ year old woman who doesn’t exercise enough, I could lift a car off my grand-daughter if need be. There are some things that are so primal that our human minds will only admit those things that make perfect sense in such situations and screen out the rest of the noise.
It is time for sane parents who want to protect their children and make those children feel safe in their homes, in their schools, in their neighborhoods to drown out the voices of the yahoos, the politicians and lobbyists who tell us all of the reasons why we can’t do that. And I mean ALL children. Not just children in affluent neighborhoods but also the children who are held back, educationally, because they are afraid to go to school.
No one can persuade me that this country is the greatest country on Earth as long as there is one child who is afraid to go to school.
We need to search out the sane voices because they are certainly out there.
Charles Pierce has written a very sane case for the Free Market Profiteers’ role in this problem. And by now, probably most of you have read the viral article entitled I am Adam Lanza’s Mother, written by a mother coping with her own 13-year-old son’s mental illness and the lack of resources, outside of incarceration, for people like her to keep her son and herself safe.
I listened to an interview on NPR, in the car, yesterday, in which an urban school counselor made the case, as diplomatically as possible, that shootings are so common in her school’s neighborhood that ten-year-olds can identify a weapon’s make by its sound.
But those shootings rarely make headlines.
Truancy is a real problem in her school, she said, because children have to walk through a “war zone” to get there.
Sanity really can prevail—here’s proof from this morning’s news:
Cerberus Capital Management, a private equity firm that owns a stake in Bushmaster, the gun manufacturer that produced the rifle used in the massacre of students and teachers at an elementary school in Connecticut, announced early Tuesday that it intends to sell that investment.
Over the past six years, Cerberus has amassed a holding company called the Freedom Group, which has purchased some of the biggest names in American gun manufacturing, including Bushmaster. The firm’s decision to sell off the interests in firearms companies and return the capital to its investors underscores how Friday’s shooting—which took the lives of 20 children—has reinvigorated the national debate on gun control, not just for activists, but also for investors.
I don’t anymore, and this sort of ignorance is exactly why:
What the hell is “taxpayer-funded abortion pills”? Taxpayer dollars don’t fund any kind of abortions under the Hyde Amendment. Now, because he is ignorant, he might have the singularly stupid idea not unpopular with fundies that birth control pills are abortifacients—they are not. They are contraceptives in the sense that they prevent conception, which in turn means they actually prevent abortions. And yes, those are provided by government dollars under Title X and without co-pay as a part of insurance plans under the ACA. But even somewhat anti-science, also strong social conservative LA Gov. Bobby Jindal just recently published an op-ed endorsing over-the-counter birth control. Now, of course Jindal’s op-ed is for the purpose of divorcing the birth control issue from government altogether so tax dollars are not even second or third hand involved—but at least he isn’t calling them “abortion pills”.
But listen again, and this is a very short clip, but packed dense with Kulturkampf dummkopf-ery, he is talking about things we “used to call disorders”, that we “now call normal”—whatever could that be? I am pretty well-persuaded by my general knowledge about Huckabee’s bullshit that he’s talking about LGBT* people. It’s sinful that gay and trans folk are treated as regular human beings, he’s saying. That’s what I think he was getting at.
I know I’ve said this before, but really, ginormously hump a bunch of Mike Huckabee. But this time, I think I mean, there ain’t no poll numbers in 2016 gonna support no kind of Mike Huckabee. He is reinforcing his FOX Mushroom Farm cred, but really at the expense of anything in the way of political viability. And if that is the way he feels, well—
Good. Happy death of political career to you. “Godspeed” you to irrelevance. Happy trails. And don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split ya, because that is probably some kind of sodomy, and stuff. And I care about Huckabee just enough to want to preserve his ass from understanding just how sinful he really is as a gluttonous grasping hypocrite so he’ll continue providing me with glurgy blogfodder. Forever and ever. Amen.
The Truth is both sad and inescapable: our sagacious forebears left us only two devices by which to reliably divine our future as a collective species—(1) a wonky paleolithic calendar so wobbly and complex it runs out of dates before the end of time, and (2) a Stone Age alarm clock that scares Anglo Saxons and only goes off on weekends.
As we feared, both the Mayan calendar and Stonehenge concur that this year’s Christmas is going to be indefinitely postponed. This year, don’t bother watching It’s A Wonderful Life, just drink buckets of plum wine and go caroling nude.
“First Lady Michelle Obama seemed excited over the abundant greenery, saying in her holiday address, ‘We have 54 trees in the White House—54. That’s a lot of trees.’ “
Prompting the usual suspects to enter melt down mode. Not only, does the White House have 54 trees, notes Winebox Annie Althouse but the first lady “decorously” refrained from CALLING THEM CHRISTMAS TREES! Double play! Dig at the big spending, lobster eating Michelle Obama and a gratuitous “war on Christmas” jab for good measure.
Yes, the Obama’s are going to let the country slide over the fiscal cliff. They’ll be riding all those Christmas trees while the rest of us just try to grab a branch or two. It’s always fauxrage day over something in Wingnut Land.