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.
On Thursday, Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association met with Calvin Beisner of the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation to further explore the Christian Dominionist basis for America’s energy policy; that goes something like this: Planet Earth, as we know it is full of strange and wonderful resources—like oil, coal and gas—to make human life on Earth as close to edenic as possible; all we have to do is find ‘em and use ‘em. Think of it as God’s perpetual Easter Egg Hunt. And when humans are reluctant to join in the frackalicious fun and Drill, Baby! Drill! well, it’s just rude after God went to all the trouble to kick off that Carboniferous Period just so we’d have lots of fossil fuel.
Some godless folks call this “protecting the environment.” “As if,” say the Dominionists. That’s God’s job—plus, He gave Noah his Word that he wouldn’t destroy the Earth again. That makes “Greens” pagan nature worshippers who think they know more than God; and the Environmental Protection Agency is their temple to Babylon, the ancient god of weather. ExxonMobil, the Scaife Family Foundations and the Kochs, of course, tend to agree.
This might seem like just another wacky communique from Planet Xanax but the growing symbiosis between the Republican Party, their corporate sponsors and radical Christian Dominionist theology makes the Climate Change Denial Consortium a force to be reckoned with.
I have bittersweet feelings, as an atheist, about the Thanksgiving season, because it is the gateway to Christmastown. I have things to be thankful about (Obama winning the election, the dying out of Rush Limbaugh’s audience, the tendency of major events to show science is, like, a real thing, not a hobby people in lab coats do for shits’n'grins, Y’know, like how global warming is real, or how contraception means “not conceiving”—those kinds of things.)
Anyway, I do sort of hate Christmas, and yet, I don’t begrudge believers their thing. No, seriously. If they pay homage to the Christ within their fellow humans by providing those near and dear to them with gifts, or sing songs, or make any kind of merry—I am totally down with the merry-making. I and merry-making have been one for the longest. I am a wassailing fool. I am a gift-wrapping, toe-tapping, high-spending, season-ending, bell-ringing, hotdish-bringing you-know-what of an atheist. I celebrate. I am not stealing or co-opting your joy. I have the spirit, you know?
But there’s this little thing with the all-Xmas radio channels and the in-store Xmas Musak. So many, many of my peeps are retail folks. So many, many of them are living with “Rum, tum, tum tum.” ringing in their ears, and regardless of belief, that regular aural assault on the eardrums of fala-lala-la is not healthy. It’s been used as a form of psyops by no less than Sheriff Arpaio.. As a member of student choirs since I was very young, I was exposed to a kind of SERE training against overt aural Xmas Ear Assault behaviors by the major retail establishments. But I know full well what they are and how they demoralize retail workers while trying to send Christmas telegraphs to regular folks—all about the same thing: the need for too muchnesss, and the availability of right jolly old elves who serve the Christmas spirit,
Me, I think the Christmas spirit is that thing you have when you aren’t even doing Christmas stuff, And I believe a Christmas is done best when it’s commercialized least—which is why I stand with Black Friday protestors, and support people espousing Small Business Saturday.
Your milage may vary. But I say just a little less “jingle” might better serve the better Kringles of our human nature. I am for the Matthew gospel of the season—more than the buy it now button of our culture. And I think its the outcasts and weirdos who espouse it better than some of the Christmas Warriors..
There, now. That’s over—the annual American Festival of Family Dysfunction that we like to call “Thanksgiving.” The day when American families of all sizes and backgrounds come together, whether they like it or not, to reaffirm their understanding that democracy, even at the lowest common denominator—the Family Unit—is a colorfully messy and overwrought business that leads to gorging and pathological excesses.
Our national holiday for giving thanks has necessarily turned into a four day Jamboree of Capitalism and Retail Mania signifying just how damned exceptional Americans truly are. Here’s hoping that all of you Thankful drank hearty, ate huge American over-sized portions of traditional-food-that-is-bad-for-you-unless-you’re-a-cowboy-or-farm-hand-or Michael Phelps-who-burns-12K-calories/day and are now prepared for the traditional Black Friday hangover cure of standing in long lines in the fresh air outside Big Box stores, for the opportunity to scarf up retailer-rigged bargains on junk from China (just don’t cross that Walmart picket line).
One of the less talked about benefits of Thanksgiving reunions is, of course, the chance to catch-up with that notorious experiment-in-genetics-gone-horribly-wrong that every family harbors (come on, admit it) and usually welcomes back to its bosom ONCE per year. This is the relative who shows up with a battery-operated dancing roast turkey on his/her head, an already opened litre of vodka in a brown bag and who arrives demented and/or drunk or gets there remarkably quickly. This is also the guest who is not too lily-livered to broach the subjects of politics, religion, race, queers or family history hot buttons to get the conversational ball rolling.
Trust me, this is all going somewhere relevant, because the very first thing that I read this morning, Black Friday 2012, was a bit about Crazy Uncle Pat Robertson admitting he got a few things wrong about this years predictions after his January Summit Meeting with The Lord. My first reaction to reading that item was “how long will this monstrous chucklehead receive national media attention for his racist, bigoted, xenophobic chats with God and his Magic 8 Ball?
This post isn’t really intended to be a troll of you fine Roasters—clearly, I wouldn’t seriously suggest a literal endorsement of Les Mittserables in the least, but I did want to expand on Betty’s “How Low Will they Go?” post and especially Big Bad Bald Bastard’s comment regarding David Frum’s actual endorsement of a person who, to the very best I can estimate, we have only about a 47% chance of guessing at any time how he will act on any given issue. That’s well within a practical margin of error of a coin flip, no? That makes him the Schroedinger’s Candidate for the purposes of this election—and if one of our economic problems is uncertainty, I don’t like the looks of Mitt for either our short-term or our long-term problems.
But let’s seriously examine what a Romney presidency really means in a situation where the US Congress is likewise GOP-controlled, supposing that people actually did knuckle under and vote for Count Mittula out of a kind of Stockholm Syndrome:
The Teabaggers already have progress tied up in the basement, and if we don’t vote for Romney, they’ll start beating it with wet ropes! Or dry ropes! Or copies of Atlas Shrugged! It could get ugly! Oh noes!
I’m not in the mood to negotiate with hostage-takers just yet (what do I look like, the Reagan Administration?) Now, if you were to ask me, this would actually be more of a stellar argument against having a GOP-controlled anything. I would vote for Obama to particularly spite those bastards, and vote against any Republican just on the general principle that you can’t do me like that. After all, there are some GOP Senate candidates that are actually advertising on the hopes of Obama having coat tails, and a divided government becoming the hot, bipartisan thing. Fuck all that. (Actually, as a Smark going back a handful of years, screw a bunch of Linda McMahon.) Even if you don’t love Obama—I’d say the best thing is for people to vote for Democrats because Republicans in charge of the House have seriously sucked. Their suckage is not about a failure of the White House. Their suckage is about thinking legislating ladyparts creates jobs because Jesus. Mitt Romney is not the guy who can fix that. Why? Because he at least half the time pretends to believe it—if he doesn’t actually believe it. It’s hard to say.
So what is left for the people who want to endorse Romney to rely on? His business acumen? Seriously? As if that creates jobs! It didn’t when he was governor of Massachusetts and it’s dubious that it did when he was CEO of Bain. His job was to make money as the Bainiac-in-Chief, and as the Head Manager in Charge of The People’s Republic of “Taxamachusetts” (where he earned the title Governor FeeFee) he didn’t exactly earn plenty of points for either bipartisanship or fiscal awesomeness. Actually, in his only elected position, his veteoes were overruled by the majority Democratic state legislature more often than not, (No wonder he spent the half of his term that he spent thinking about being a part of the 2008 GOP presidential primary instead of being MA Governor bad-mouthing Massachusetts altogether, amirite?) And then there’s his record on civil rights. Which is so bad compared to what he promised when he ran for MA Senate against liberal lion Ted Kennedy, you know?
See, despite the wishful thinking of the Log Cabin Republicans, Mitt would be a garbage disaster for LGBT* people, because he gave money to NOM, for one thing. and he didn’t realize that gay couples might want to raise families for another. If anyone thinks he would stand up against bullies against LGBT folks, well, he’s okay with acknowledging the LGBT folks, except for the B and the T . Or really being, you know, helpful towards them. (What can I personally say about that? Um, as a former teen who is bisexual and was bullied, I can from experience say more education and acknowledgement about and of bisexuality might be helpful.) And I don’t think you need to read “binders full” about women to know he doesn’t stand in your corner if you are a feminist. Or just a woman, in general.
So what it comes down to, for me, is that, even leaving aside all Obama’s accomplishments and the ways in which (understanding foreign policy, macroeconomics, not being a mouthbreathing tool amongst other nations’ leaders) he’s simply superior, Romney is manifestly not the guy for the job. A serial lying bigoted know-little can’t understand why the job is even important, let along behave is if it was something more than the penultimate Big Deal on his CV. So I am manifestly not endorsing Mitt Romney. Not to talk up Obama, which I could, forever! But to point out that whenever I see someone who supports Romney, I think so much less of that person. Uck. Him. Such a lying sack. After the Election—good riddance!
Yes, that is Sir Thomas More over the shoulder of randy smugstudly Dinesh D’Souza, who just didn’t know that affiancing yourself to your next before filing to divorce your ex is only cute when Henry VIII does it:
“I had no idea that it is considered wrong in Christian circles to be engaged prior to being divorced, even though in a state of separation and in divorce proceedings,” said D’Souza. “Obviously I would not have introduced Denise as my fiancé at a Christian apologetics conference if I had thought or known I was doing something wrong”.
And even Henry didn’t hit on other monarch’s wives, whether or not he’d axed the last angry queen. Henry also had the sense not to parade Anne Boleyn around the Vatican. He made up a new religion instead, which is a route we heartily recommend to Dinesh, whose talent for making things up is unquestionable.
King’s College promptly accepted the resignation they had D’Souza write, so that he could “take care of his personal and family needs,” which is darn snarky for a Christian college board, so well played, and enjoy not having to pay your do-nothing president any more millions!
New bride Denise Odie Joseph II (not a typo~~she got married in December 2011, so hey, she is a new bride!) is just as sweet as you’d expect her to be.
Mitt Romney’s quest to get in touch with his “inner human being” is starting to have comedic results. Take his recent forays back into the dark realm of “wimmins issues” . . . on Tuesday, Romney gobsmacked the realm with his new positions on abortion and contraception. In case you missed it, he’s now for them, or at least not as much against them. Ladies, don’t be distressed if you’re confused—you’re meant to be. At least until after the election . . . when all things will be revealed, issuing forth from quiet rooms filled with leather furniture, Cuban cigars and Napoleon.
It was with a heavy heart that Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of Springfield, IL gathered the faithful to him for a little pre-election instruction on the eternal damnation ramifications of voting for President Obama. In a news column in the Catholic Times and a companion video, Bishop Tom, appearing in his special-occasion red beanie, robes and bishop bling, counseled his flock that Democrats endorse “intrinsic evils,” therefore supporting Democrats puts a voter’s eternal salvation at risk. Snap!
The good bishop has studied both party platforms carefully and found that the Democratic platform is riddled with “intrinsic evil” like opposing the criminalization of abortion and endorsing equality for homosexuals; conversely, Bishop Tom found no “intrinsic evil” in the Republican platform.
The bishop repeatedly makes the point that he is not telling anyone how to vote, because . . . tax exemption! But, as a man of God, he does feel it incumbent upon him to warn the faithful that voting for a Democrat (notice he’s not naming names) will probably mean BURNING IN HELL FOREVER AND EVER AMEN!!!!1!
. . . a vote for a candidate who promotes actions or behaviors that are intrinsically evil and gravely sinful makes you morally complicit and places the eternal salvation of your own soul in serious jeopardy.
Not so fast with the “high fives”, Republicans you aren’t completely off the hook:
Certainly there are “pro-choice” Republicans who support abortion rights and “Log Cabin Republicans” who promote same-sex marriage, and they are equally as wrong as their Democratic counterparts. But these positions do not have the official support of their party.
“We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country, We will never have the elite, smart people on our side.”
You know, sometimes even my former senator gets a thing or two right. I know—deceased equine belaboring on my part again, but I will never find his knee-jerk anti-intellectualism not fascinating.
I try to tune out the Value Voters’ thingie for my mental health and because I suspect there’s a lot of code-talking and signifying going on—and I don’t always “get” the code. I’m not the intended audience, in other words. But the bits that do drift past present a fascinating view of a very different mindset from mine.
“When it comes to conservatism libertarian types can say, oh, well you know, we don’t want to talk about social issues, Without the church and the family, there is no conservative movement, there is no basic values of America.”
It’s neat the way he says “the church” and “the family” like there’s just one church or one type of family. Yet, he doesn’t value other churches or families that don’t resemble his. And I know he doesn’t trust the education that lets people see the various factors that unite people despite their differences.
He will probably be descending upon Iowa three years from now, trying just a little harder. (Yes, when the conservatives are through with Mitt Romney….they’ll recognize that he was the smart people’s choice. Is what. And see where that got them. Santorum 2016.)
Well, boys and girls, it’s that magical time of year again when those voters who have values convene in Washington, DC to plot their plots and lay the groundwork for a Rapturous America where every citizen believes in the same hocus-pocus. (Sorry, no libruls, gayz, abortionists, contraceptive-addicted sluts with vaginas, 94% of Negroes, Muslins, poors, ACLU, SPLC, Federal Reserve officers, Atheists, illegal aliens, Mormons aloud!!1!)
That’s right! Starting this Wednesday, September 12 (9/11 was already taken) it’s time for Values Voters Summit 2012 —that delicious combination of rally, revival meeting, political convention and bazaar. A place where the good Anglo-Saxon stock that appropriated built this great country can come together in a politcally-incorrect, diversity-free zone to congratulate each other on being Affluent Christian Caucasians, who choose heterosexuality, and hold the key to the “shining city on a hill.”
This year’s proud sponsors are the Heritage Foundation, Liberty University, Gary Bauer’s American Values, and bona fide Southern Poverty Law Center-certified hate groups, including the American Family Association, Liberty Counsel and the Family Research Council.
Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, Gary Bauer, Rick Santorum, Eric Cantor, Jim DeMint, Steve King, Rand Paul, Jan Brewer, William Boykin, Sean Hannity, Bishop Harry Jackson, and Edwin Meese III.
Lesser-knowns like Mat Staver (Liberty Counsel) and Tim Wildmon (the American Family Association, another SPLC-listed hate group), however, are considered just as important in the process of conservative king-making… and political hate.
All this ladyparts discussion has been bumming me out this week, because, no duh, I haz them. Somewhere between the messages “There is no War on Women” and “A person with a uterus has no rights the GOP platform need respect”, I’ve developed the distinct impression that the Republican party would like women to vote for them, please, but they won’t do anything about getting women jobs that pay them enough to live adequately or raise children on, they don’t understand our weird attraction to having health care, and they really think we’re overly possessive of our reproductive organs. I think this could futz up their hope of getting adequate women voters, but there’s always those Phyllis Schaflley/ Ann Coulter types who look at the rest of us ladypart-havers like we’re clearly strumpets if we vote in favor of, you know, our self-interest.
I can’t even bring myself to say “At least that’s an ethos.” Here’s an ethos--full-bore misogyny. Being female is so toxic that a father of females is sort of female, too.
... Romney has 18 grandchildren, and they exceed a 2:1 ratio of grandsons to granddaughters (13:5). When they go to church at their summer-vacation home, the Romney clan makes up a third of the congregation. He is basically a tribal chieftain.
Professor Obama? Two daughters. May as well give the guy a cardigan. And fallopian tubes.
I think the cardigan is a reference to Jimmy Carter, who wore sweaters instead of touching the thermostat. But I will say that I am unfamiliar with the sperm-delivery possibilities of fallopian tubes, Is he saying girl babies only come from girl-parts?
Okay—I can’t even, that is all so dumb—so let’s just get back to the tax stuff.
Did you know that tribal-chieftain Mitt Romney now says he won’t release his taxes because his tithing is between him and his god? No, really. I’m not sure how this didn’t come up as his reasoning back in January when it was part of the primary debates, or how he didn’t use it sooner if this was the real concern, but here you go:
“Our church doesn’t publish how much people have given,” Romney tells Parade magazine in an edition due out Sunday. “This is done entirely privately. One of the downsides of releasing one’s financial information is that this is now all public, but we had never intended our contributions to be known. It’s a very personal thing between ourselves and our commitment to our God and to our church.”
In the faith of my forefolks, we have this thing called “the confessional”. But just because a priest can’t tell on us, doesn’t mean we can’t tell on ourselves. I would go so far as to assume a corollary exists.
But chalking it all up to religion is a neat “out”, isn’t it? It sort of implies that now, when people want to see the tax returns, they’re invading his religious privacy. We’re trampling on his faith, dig? Our prurient interest in his Sch D, E or F, is just straight getting between him and God, m’kay?
Since the GOP platform (see that pic up there with VA Gov. McDonnell? He’s like the poster child of the GOP platform) doesn’t respect the conscience of women to keep their personal business between them and their God over the rights of their bodies, why am I respecting Romney’s religious scruples to seal his….tax returns? From our judgmental eyes?
Why, I’m not! And I’m actually pretty happy that Gawker has done an info-dump of Bain docs. I don’t understand the damn thing, but I’m one of those “information wants to be free” folks, and even a puppet-show story of how Romney got and stays so rich is instructive.