Goodbye, Columbus, et. al. (and good riddance!)

r/Sacramento - With the statue of Christopher Columbus being removed from the state Capitol, I think it’s a good time to start a discussion about removing Junipero Serra from Capitol park. Thoughts?

This photo of a statue of Junipero Serra located at Capitol Park in Sacramento accompanies a Reddit discussion started four days ago as to whether the statue should remain. Protesters didn’t wait for a committee to decide the statue’s fate, however, and brought it down themselves last night.

I had passed that infernal statue a million times — the statue of Spanish Roman Catholic Priest Junipero Serra, who in the latter half of the 1700s was instrumental in colonizing for Spain what is now California — in Capitol Park, the grounds that surround the California Capitol in Sacramento.

The monument to Serra and the Spanish mission system had a statue of Serra lording over a map of the state of California and its Spanish missions that Serra helped establish. The statue and its accompanying map of the missions clearly was a monument to the European colonization of the “new” world.

While to European colonizers the Spanish missions were a great thing, to the Native Americans who languished under the Spanish mission system — and who died from the diseases that the Spanish and other European colonizers brought with them, decimating their populations — the Spanish missions were something else.

I found the continued existence of the Serra statue and monument in Capitol Park — which was erected in 1965 — to be offensive, and I’m a white man.

So I was delighted to read today that the statue was toppled by protesters last night. (Had I known how easy it apparently was to topple the fucking thing, I might have given it a few kicks myself…)

I guess that this local act was part of what “President” Pussygrabber on the eve of the Fourth of July called “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

That fascist rhetoric is just meant to cover up the actual dynamics at work here, which include the fact that the baby boomers, of which the “president” is one, failed miserably to bring about the fair and just society that, as flower children, they had said they would.

No, instead, the baby boomers, as a generation, have brought nothing new to the American table. Indeed, they’re just parasites. They simply adopted, with little to no question, the “patriotic,” white nationalist claptrap handed down to them by their parents, “the greatest generation” — even if that meant venerating the obviously evil colonization of other peoples by white Europeans. (This was “God’s will” or something like that, you see.)

The boomers always have been nothing but sponges; first they sponged off of the supposed greatness of the generation before them, and now they sponge off of the generations that follow them, ensuring that they wipe out the nation’s wealth (largely if not mostly simply handed down to them by their parents) on such frivolities as cruises, McMansions and plastic surgeries instead of passing the nation’s wealth down to the next generations.

Because the baby boomers didn’t correct the wrongs of the past — in no small part because, as most of the baby boomers are white, they have benefitted richly from the United States’ long and ugly history of colonization — today’s younger people have picked up the mantle and are doing that work. More power to them.

By toppling statues of colonizers and fascists, no one is trying to “wipe out our history.” You don’t see statues of Adolf Hitler in American public spaces, yet Hitler hardly has been lost to history. We don’t need statues of and monuments for evil people in public places in order to preserve history. We have a plethora of books, films, recordings, documents, museums, libraries, universities, etc. in which history is being well preserved.

When “President” Pussygrabber says that our youthful protesters are “defaming our heroes,” which “heroes” are those, exactly? Are Confederate leaders “heroes”? They were pro-slavery and they blatantly committed treason after the abolitionist President Abraham Lincoln was duly elected by seceding from the Union before Lincoln was even inaugurated. Are those who abused, exploited, enslaved, raped and murdered — and, again, decimated — Native Americans, such as Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus, “heroes”?

When our youthful protesters seek to “erase our values,” which values, exactly, are those? Do we still value the colonization of other peoples? How would we modern Americans like to be taken over by a more powerful group of people, told by our colonizers that it’s for our own benefit when clearly it is only for the benefit of our colonizers? Is Pussygrabber talking about the “value” of preserving slavery? Should that “value” be preserved by preserving statues, monuments and other public displays that venerate the Confederacy?

And let’s please talk about “indoctrinating our children.” Funny how the fascists among us — and fascists by definition are right-wing; there is no such fucking thing as “far-left fascism,” as Pussygrabber recently declared in front of Mount Rushmore, on which his fat fascist face never will be carved — act as though they have no wish to indoctrinate our children.

Oh, please. The school textbook wars alone demonstrate that the right wing very much is interested in indoctrinating our children — in their evil. Among other things, they want to shove backasswards fundamental “Christianity,” wage-slave capitalism, anti-intellectualism (which includes antipathy to science and to environmentalism), white supremacy and heterosexism down our children’s throats. These “Christo”fascists don’t want our children to even know that there is any alternative to the hellish worldview that they present to them as their only option.

True, it’s at least arguably better to remove offensive statues, monuments and other public displays in a manner that follows the so-called democratic system.

For example, a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus that inexplicably has been in the California Capitol for more than a century is going to be removed, Democratic state lawmakers — whose power was invested in them by a majority of the state’s voters — have decided.

I have seen that statue a million times, too, and always fucking wondered why a statue of Columbus, who never set foot in what is now California, is venerated in the state Capitol, unless we’re to venerate the brutal colonization of the continent that he helped start for the benefit of the monarchy of Spain. (Indeed, Junipero Serra and many others like him continued Columbus’ “work.”)

It’s nice that the statue of Columbus in the state Capitol is being removed by the system. But the system doesn’t always work. No doubt the Catholic church, for instance, would have opposed the removal of the Serra monument in Capitol Park.

After all, as Wikipedia notes, “Amid denunciations from Native American tribes who accused Serra of presiding over a brutal colonial enslavement, Pope Francis canonized Serra on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States.”

If the Catholics think that patently evil men like Junipero Serra are so fucking great, they can keep the statues of them in the fucking Vatican.

Members of the American public, meanwhile, shouldn’t be assaulted by this right-wing propaganda — and blatant evil — which is given validity when it is enshrined in statues, monuments and other public displays.

P.S. Here is what the monument to Junipero Serra in Capitol Park looks like now:

true
Sacramento Bee news photo

Yes, according to the photo’s caption, apparently that’s a deluded, brainwashed Catholic (redundant) mourning the “loss” of the monument to “Saint” Serra, apparently wholly disregarding the evil that he and those like him perpetrated upon others.

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Why this statue of Lincoln should go

Associated Press photo

The Emancipation Memorial in Lincoln Park in Washington, D.C., portrays President Abraham Lincoln, holding his Emancipation Proclamation, with a freshly freed slave at his feet. The statue was erected in 1876 — and certainly is a product of its time.

We have bigger fish to fry than to worry about our public statues, I hear you whine.

You probably maybe are right. COVID-19 continues to ravage the nation because we are a nation of adolescents and thus couldn’t remain locked down for even three full months and so we reopened way prematurely, just collectively pretending that it was all clear; unemployment due to the novel coronavirus pandemic remains a huge problem; the cops, most of them white, keep killing black Americans (men, mostly) when a non- or less-lethal response was possible; and our long-standing problems, such as climate change, insane income inequality and the over-militarization of our nation, of course remain untouched under the “leadership” of the unelected and thus illegitimate “President” Pussygrabber.

But statues are part of the American culture, and it’s not only that Americans create the national culture, but that the national culture also forms Americans.

Generally speaking, a public statue is erected because someone and/or some event is not only to be commemorated, but is to be venerated. Most statues are not, of course, neutral, but are statements of that society’s highest values.

Therefore, it’s entirely appropriate that all public commemorations of the fucking Confederacy, including statues, be removed from public view. Treason, white-supremacist racism and slavery are not to be venerated.

I don’t maintain that all of the offensive and oppressive statues have to be destroyed, but they should be removed from public view. I’m OK with them being warehoused or placed in museums if they’re part of the history that the museum is telling.

But they don’t belong in the public square. All of us have the right to be out and about in public without our senses, our psyches and our souls being assaulted by symbols of tyranny, ignorance and hatred.

True, we could go pretty far with this exercise. George Washington owned slaves. So did Thomas Jefferson. So did even Benjamin Franklin. Ditto for John Hancock and Patrick Henry. I’m not advocating that we raze the Washington Monument or the Jefferson Memorial. Indeed, these monuments were not raised in praise of slavery, but some of the background history there nonetheless is pretty fucking ugly.

Abraham Lincoln, my favorite president, of course never owned a slave, but then again, he also grew up in poverty, and I’d like to think that he’d never have been a slave holder even if he had grown up in wealth and if his formative years had been spent in a slave state instead of mostly in Indiana and Illinois. (He was born in Kentucky, but his family moved to Indiana when he was a young boy and then to Illinois when he was a young man.)

And while Lincoln opposed slavery, he did not believe that whites and blacks were social equals (almost no white person in his day and age did) — something about Lincoln that we don’t routinely teach our young children in school.

Still, looking at Lincoln’s presidency, I think that on balance, given the steep challenges that faced him and how he fared with them, he is the best president that we’ve had.

(For the most part I agree with Wikipedia’s rather glowing assessment of Lincoln that he “led the nation through its greatest moral, constitutional, and political crisis in the American Civil War. He preserved the Union, abolished slavery, strengthened the federal government, and modernized the U.S. economy.”)

But that doesn’t mean that I have to like every statue or other public depiction of Lincoln, and the statue of Lincoln at the Emancipation Memorial (pictured above) — which, unshockingly, was paid for by donations from former slaves but was designed and sculpted by one or more white people — is problematic.

First and foremost, it portrays a white man as the slaves’ savior. Apparently, the white man never can lose; even though he enslaved abducted Africans in the first fucking place, he is to get kudos, too, for finally having set them free. Just: No.

I have a black co-worker who once blithely opined that Barack Obama was a great president because, among other things, she claimed, he “gave us gay marriage.”

No, not true. Not only was it the U.S. Supreme Court, not Obama, that ruled five years ago yesterday that same-sex marriage legally cannot be prohibited anywhere on U.S. soil, but even the U.S. Supreme Court didn’t “give” us non-heterosexuals equal marriage rights.

Those equal human rights already always were there; they were just being denied to us LGBT individuals by an oppressive, heterosexist majority. Ditto for the slaves, of course: Their right to be free always had existed; it was just being denied to them by the tyrannical white majority.

In Obergefell vs. Hodges, the Supreme Court simply acknowledged where the majority of the American people already were — that it was past the time to stop shitting and pissing upon LGBT individuals — and codified it.

Before and behind that was generations of fighting for equality by non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals, who often were brutalized and murdered.

Ditto in the case of Abraham Lincoln. Many, many others, obviously blacks as well as whites (and others), fought for — and died for — the abolition of slavery. That fight culminated in the Emancipation Proclamation, but to act as though the Emancipation Proclamation came out of thin air — or even from one person — is to ignore blatantly the actual history.

(Yet another parallel: Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, but did he “give” black Americans equal human and civil rights that even the Emancipation Proclamation hadn’t gained them? No. Again, many, many people had fought for — and died for — civil-rights advancements before Johnson signed any legislation. And these rights weren’t created, as they always already had existed.)

The statue at the Emancipation Memorial keeps the white man above the black man — figuratively as well as literally. The spirit of it is that the white man freed the black man — as though an act of nature, instead of white people, had created slavery — and the shadow aspect of that is that because the white man retains the upper hand over the black man, he could reverse himself and reinstitute the slavery of the black man at any time.

Note that Frederick Douglass, who justifiably had some issues with Lincoln, disliked the statue at the Emancipation Memorial, and note that, of course, since the statue commemorated the 11th anniversary of Lincoln’s death, we have no way of knowing what he himself would have thought of such a depiction of himself. (My best guess is that Lincoln would have thought the statue to be gauche, even for 1876.)

I surmise that the statue at the Emancipation Memorial will remain there for a time to come, as the issue of its continued existence is hashed out, but I’m perfectly OK with its removal. (It’s now being protected by a barrier because activists have targeted it to be removed.)

A statue that’s in the public square should represent the better angels of our nature.

I think that’s what Lincoln would have wanted.

P.S. This is a wonderful recent Washington Post news photo of the usual suspect arguing for the Emancipation Memorial to remain intact while an activist who supports its removal has to suffer his presence:

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For pride month, U.S. Supreme Court shoots down LGBT discrimination

Getty Images news photo

People rally for federally protected LGBT rights in the workplace in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in October 2019. Today, they — we — won our case.

Politico reports this morning:

The Supreme Court ruled [today] that the key federal law prohibiting discrimination in the workplace protects gay, lesbian or transgender employees from being disciplined or fired based on their sexual orientation.

Two of the court’s Republican appointees, Neil Gorsuch and John Roberts, joined the court’s Democratic appointees to deliver the surprising, 6-3 victory to LGBT advocates.

Writing for the court’s majority, Gorsuch accepted arguments that the Civil Rights Act of 1964’s prohibition on sex discrimination in employment also effectively banned bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, even though few if any members of Congress thought they were doing that at the time.

“Those who adopted the Civil Rights Act might not have anticipated their work would lead to this particular result. Likely, they weren’t thinking about many of the Act’s consequences that have become apparent over the years, including its prohibition against discrimination on the basis of motherhood or its ban on the sexual harassment of male employees,” Gorsuch wrote.

“But the limits of the drafters’ imagination supply no reason to ignore the law’s demands,” he continued. “When the express terms of a statute give us one answer and extratextual considerations suggest another, it’s no contest. Only the written word is the law, and all persons are entitled to its benefit.”

Justices Clarence Thomas, Samuel Alito and Brett Kavanaugh dissented from the ruling. …

It’s funny how even though the spirit of the Civil Rights Act always has been crystal clear — sex discrimination is discrimination that’s rooted in the individual’s sex, and so if, say, you maintain that as a man you can fire me for being in a relationship with another man, you clearly are discriminating against me on the basis of my sex (you claim that I “should” be only with a woman — or that if I’m with a man I “should” be only a woman) — the ignorant haters have demanded the “right” to unconstitutionally discriminate against non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming individuals because such hatred and malice was not explicitly prohibited in the language of the law, which was written when LGBT individuals didn’t even exist. (They never were discussed in “polite” company, so they must not have existed, right?)

Again: It’s funny how the homophobes, most of them “Christian,” insist on hating and discriminating against unless the law explicitly prohibits it. They have no inner moral compass; they know only the ignorance and the hatred that they are taught, usually under some degree of duress (the [albeit bogus] threat of eternal hell fire, for example, would be duress).

The Supreme Court’s surprise ruling — which is going to be more difficult for the “Christo”fascists to attack, since it was decided 6-3 — means that the effort to pass the Employment Nondiscrimination Act (ENDA), which was meant to codify LGBT protections against discrimination into federal law, is now moot.

The last major Supreme Court decision regarding LGBT rights before today’s was June 2015’s Obergefell vs. Hodges, which required same-sex marriage to be legally recognized throughout the nation.

Keep in mind something: The constitutional rights to marry a member of your own sex — to not be discriminated against on the basis of your biological sex where marriage rights are concerned — and not to be discriminated against in the workplace because of who or what you are always have existed.

That is, human rights and constitutional rights inherently exist. They’re not given, they’re not granted, they don’t have to be fucking earned. No, the case is that either they are recognized as the rights that they are or they illegally and immorally are not recognized as the rights that they are.

The discrimination against LGBT individuals has been illegal as well as immoral all along. It’s only that today, we’re finally formally recognizing that fucking fact.

And, of course, just as federally recognized and protected same-sex marriage didn’t magically eliminate discrimination against LGBT individuals, this Supreme Court ruling won’t, either.

But it’s a pretty good place to start.

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Die for Der Führer!

I’m fine with using this wonderful image again. (The occasion this time is “President” Pussygrabber’s “re”-election campaign informing those who wish to attend his upcoming KKK rally that they cannot sue if they contract the novel coronavirus while they attend it.)

I get it that “our” “president” doesn’t give a flying fuck about me. I’m an atheist, a socialist (as much as you can be a socialist in a nation in end-stage capitalism, anyway) and a gay man who would rather castrate himself with a toothpick than vote for Pussygrabber in November (I never vote Repugnican, as I don’t vote for the enemy), and I’d find Pussygrabber’s death, however it might come about, cause for a huge celebration (perhaps “social distancing” be damned…).

But you’d think that Pussygrabber would care about his own fucking supporters. But no. Pussygrabber, a poster child for his baby-boom generation — just like our last unelected, sociopathic “president,” George W. Bush, was (and still is) — cares only about one human being on the planet: himself, of course.

Politico reported recently:

Supporters of President Donald Trump will soon be able to attend one of his signature, raucous campaign rallies again after a monthslong hiatus because of the coronavirus pandemic — but first, they must agree not to sue the campaign if they contract the virus after the event.

The Trump campaign on Thursday sent out registration information for the president’s first rally since March, with the campaign’s chief operating officer, Michael Glassner, proclaiming that there is “no better place” to restart rallies than Tulsa, Okla.

But the fine print on the registration page for the June 19 event underscores the continued health risks associated with reviving the “Make America Great Again” rallies, which pack thousands of supporters into arenas for hours at a time — doors for next week’s rally open four hours before Trump is set to begin, for instance.

Right above a red “register” button on the page, the site includes a short disclaimer, informing attendees that “by clicking register below, you are acknowledging that an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present.”

The disclaimer goes on to warn that by attending the rally, attendees and their guests “voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19” and agree not to hold the campaign, Tulsa’s BOK Center or a slew of other related parties “liable for any illness or injury.”

The page makes no mention of any social-distancing requirements or other safety precautions that will be in place at the rally, nor does it note the CDC’s recommendation that Americans wear face coverings while indoors in situations where social distancing might be difficult. …

Yes, there perhaps indeed is “no better place” to resume the “president’s” KKK rallies than Tulsa, Oklahoma. Wikipedia notes:

The Tulsa race massacre (also called the Tulsa race riot, the Greenwood Massacre, or the Black Wall Street Massacre) of 1921 took place on May 31 and June 1, 1921, when mobs of white residents attacked black residents and businesses of the Greenwood District in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It has been called “the single worst incident of racial violence in American history.” The attack, carried out on the ground and from private aircraft, destroyed more than 35 square blocks of the district — at that time the wealthiest black community in the United States, known as “Black Wall Street.”

More than 800 people were admitted to hospitals and as many as 6,000 black residents were interned at large facilities, many for several days. The Oklahoma Bureau of Vital Statistics officially recorded 36 dead, but the American Red Cross declined to provide an estimate. A 2001 state commission examination of events was able to confirm 36 dead, 26 black and 10 white, based on contemporary autopsy reports, death certificates and other records. The commission gave overall estimates from 75-100 to 150-300 dead. …

In another stunning “coincidence,” the KKK rally for “President” Pussygrabber’s “re”-election also originally was scheduled to be held on June 19 — Juneteenth. Wikipedia describes Juneteenth thusly:

Juneteenth (a portmanteau of June and nineteenth), also known as Freedom DayJubilee Day and Cel-Liberation Day, is an American holiday celebrated annually on June 19. It commemorates June 19, 1865, when Union general Gordon Granger read federal orders in Galveston, Texas, that all previously enslaved people in Texas were free.

Although the Emancipation Proclamation had formally freed them almost two and a half years earlier, and the American Civil War had largely ended with the defeat of the Confederate States in April, Texas was the most remote of the slave states, with a low presence of Union troops, so enforcement of the proclamation had been slow and inconsistent.

Celebrations date to 1866, at first involving church-centered community gatherings in Texas. It spread across the South and became more commercialized in the 1920s and 1930s, often centering on a food festival. During the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, it was eclipsed by the struggle for postwar civil rights, but grew in popularity again in the 1970s with a focus on African-American freedom and arts.

By the 21st century, Juneteenth was celebrated in most major cities across the United States. Activists are pushing Congress to recognize Juneteenth as a national holiday. Juneteenth is recognized as a state holiday or special day of observance in 47 of the 50 states. …

To demonstrate that he’s not a total ogre, Pussygrabber moved his KKK rally in Tulsa to one day later, on June 20. (It’s still going to be at the site of the massacre of black Americans by white Americans, however.)

We expect Racist in Chief Pussygrabber to piss and shit all over black Americans, just as he pissed and shit all over Latinos right out of the gate, before he even took office although he received almost 3 fucking million fewer votes than did Billary Clinton (which he had to lie was only because of “voting fraud,” because he is a fascist piece of shit who is wholly unconcerned with actually having been democratically elected and who pathologically lies to the American people because he’s a self-serving fucking traitor).

Again, you would expect, though, that even Pussygrabber, as incredibly craven as he amply has shown himself to be, would care at least a tiny bit about his own fucking supporters.

But no:

You are to risk your health and even your life — and the health and even the lives of your loved ones and others you will come into contact with after the KKK rally in Tulsa on June 20 — by being a mere prop in a “re”-election campaign ad for Pussygrabber.

And if you contract COVID-19 — which the Pussygrabber “re”-election campaign schizophrenically openly states, at least in its you-can’t-sue-us-for-having-put-you-in-harm’s-way language, is a real possibility even though all of us Americans are just supposed to pretend that the novel coronavirus pandemic is all over with when, in fact, cases of and deaths from COVID-19 are rising all over the nation — then too bad, so sad. (Or, as Pussygrabber would put it, “SAD!!!”)

This should be a huge problem for Pussygrabber’s supporters — that they are no more than political props to him and that he does not care whether they live or die (just as long as enough of them live to vote for his “re”-election) — but, as we are painfully aware of by now, Pussygrabber’s supporters are nowhere near normal.

Thankfully, based upon his approval ratings, it’s safe to say that no more than around 42 percent of Americans support the unelected fascist demagogue. (Right in line with his approval rating of only around 42 percent, in nationwide match-up polls, Pussygrabber right now stands around 42 percent to Hidin’ Joe Biden’s around 50 percent.)

That’s still a huge chunk of Americans who support Pussygrabber, and it’s way too many of them, but it’s not enough support to win a presidential election — if the rest of us, the majority, vote in November.

If you live in a swing state — and the consensus is that because of the workings of the obsolete Electoral College, the 2020 presidential election will be decided in just six swing states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — then I advise you to vote for Joe Biden, even if he doesn’t excite you, as he doesn’t excite me.

But I have the luxury of living in California, whose 55 electoral votes Biden is going to win in November no matter what.

At this point, I lean toward not voting for Repugnican Lite Biden, since there’s no question that, as long as he’s not dead or seriously incapacitated, he’s going to win my state and all of its electoral votes.

My vote for Biden would count in the popular vote, but, contrary to what so many Americans so erroneously believe, the popular vote isn’t what determines the presidency — it’s the anti-democratic Electoral College that does.

Don’t get me wrong. Could “President” Pussygrabber’s mounting insanity and fascism induce me to vote even for Hidin’ Joe Biden, who struggles to speak and whose “strength” and “strategy” apparently is his relative invisibility while “President” Pussygrabber continues to melt down in the face of a pandemic, serious unrest over racial injustice and a continuing economic collapse?

Yes, I suppose that Pussygrabber could induce me to vote even for Biden (Biden himself could not induce me to vote for him, let me state for the record), but I hope that it doesn’t come to that.

In the meantime, do I care if mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, MAGA-cap wearing fucktards contract COVID-19 at one of Pussygrabber’s KKK rallies? No. I could lie to be “nice,” I suppose, but I won’t.

My concern would be only for the others who shouldn’t be removed from the gene pool who so easily could be infected with the novel coronavirus by Pussygrabber’s fascist lemmings after Pussygrabber selfishly has proceeded with his KKK rallies because there is no greater cause in the universe than himself.

P.S. Some whose logic and reason are impaired might compare Pussygrabber’s upcoming KKK rallies to the recent protests in the streets, claiming that if the protests are OK, then the “president’s” KKK rallies are OK.

Yes, both political activities are “social-distancing” nightmares, but the protests have been spontaneous and organic and have not been centrally coordinated, and they have not been coordinated by a sitting U.S. president. If a shitload of people all over the U.S. really want to go out and protest (and even riot and loot and vandalize), there’s not much that could be done to prevent them from doing so.

Pussygrabber’s KKK rallies, however, obviously are not spontaneous, but are planned and organized, and, of course, they are planned and organized at the direction of “our” “president” — who is so craven that he doesn’t give a fuck about putting the well-being and even the lives of even his own supporters in jeopardy, as long as he perceives a benefit to himself.

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BLM has overplayed its hand already

Angry protesters shouted at Mayor Jacob Frey in Minneapolis on Saturday.
New York Times news photo

Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey was a great stand-in for The Man, a wonderful punching bag, but calls to abolish police departments are losing the American public at a time when they’re probably more willing than ever to take apart our police departments piece by piece and to put them back together again, only right this time.

I’m sure that those gathered who on Saturday made the modest demand to Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey that he promise on the spot to simply abolish the city’s police department felt great about themselves.

I hope that they really savored the moment (they certainly appeared to have done so), because they just wounded their movement, perhaps fatally.

The protesters apparently thought that they were some real badasses, driving Frey away to a chorus of boos like a scene from “A Game of Thrones” (which even has a villain by the surname of Frey), but they made themselves look like mega-asses — like irrational bullies — to the entire nation.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not at all a fan of the cops. I’m aware that a huge chunk of them, if not the majority of them, are white, right-wing supporters of “President” Pussygrabber who verge on fascism if they’re not already there.

And yes, of course this brand of cop is racist, unconsciously so to wholly consciously so, and yes, this racism obviously has real-world consequences, from smaller ones to fatal ones, for those civilians who are within the racist cops’ sphere of influence.

However, to claim that we need no police officers at all — that we can do this thing called life entirely on the honor system — is beyond ludicrous.

I wish that we had no need for police officers, that we could regulate ourselves to the point that we made cops superfluous. But we’re nowhere near that point yet.

Crimes like assault and battery, murder, attempted murder, manslaughter, rape and other serious sexual assualt, kidnapping, arson, robbery, burglary, drunk driving and animal cruelty cannot just be ignored.

And nor can these serious crimes, which cause or can cause serious pain and suffering or death, be handled by an Officer Friendly, a cop, such as a community services officer, who isn’t fully trained to deal with the worst of what we human beings can come up with.

We absolutely must fire (and where appropriate, prosecute) law enforcement officers who display racism, as they cannot do their jobs equitably, responsibly and safely, and we must demilitarize our law enforcement officers across the United States — cops who want to play G.I. Joe should join the military (which needs to be largely defunded, but that’s another commentary) — and I agree that the word “reform” rings awfully hollow when, “reform” after “reform,” we still see abominations like the slow, cruel, sickeningly casual murder of George Floyd by a white cop.

I am all for taking a bad police department apart, piece by piece, deciding which pieces to keep and which to eject, and then putting the whole thing back together again, with as many new, good pieces as necessary.

But I reject calls to do away with law enforcement altogether. The United States of America already is looking like a third-world nation as it is. (My own neighborhood is filled with buildings with their windows and doors covered by plywood, either because they’ve already been vandalized and/or looted or because they have been concerned that they might be.) It doesn’t need to get even worse. It could, and if we let it, it would.

Aside from whatever I think, pushing the abolition of law enforcement officers would be fatal at the ballot box, perhaps especially on the presidential level. Hidin’ Joe Biden is not at all on board with the idea, so you know that that’s true.

Black Lives Matter already has the majority of Americans on its side. Recent nationwide polls show, among other things, that: two-thirds of Americans believe (correctly) that our criminal “justice” system favors white Americans over black Americans; more than 80 percent of all Americans support those who peacefully are protesting police officers who abuse their power; 60 percent of Americans oppose the deployment of the U.S. military to deal with civilian protesters; and twice as many Americans are more concerned about the abuses of power committed by our cops than they are concerned about even protests that have become violent.

That said, a nationwide Monmouth University poll taken recently shows that 41 percent of the respondents are “very satisfied” with their local police departments, while 30 percent are “somewhat satisfied” — and only 15 percent called themselves somewhat or very dissatisfied.

Americans appear to be a bit schizophrenic where our cops are concerned, but public opinion, I believe, would be behind serious efforts to take our bad police departments apart, brick by brick, and to put them back together again in a way that is safer and more just for all civilians.

Simple “reform” won’t do the trick because nothing is actually being re-formed, that is, completely taken apart and put back together again, with the parts that don’t work being replaced with good parts. What is called “reform” more often than not is just window dressing put up with the hopes and expectations that the political storm will pass soon enough and we can get back to business as usual again.

But with a clear majority of Americans actually being satisfied with their local police departments, pushing for the abolition of the police altogether is worse than a political non-starter; it can harm efforts that otherwise would have made a big difference — because the American public was just way too turned off by calls to abolish the police altogether, and so stopped listening altogether.

P.S. Terminology is important here. To me, a demand to “defund” a police department, without explaining exactly how that would work, essentially is a call to abolish that police department — it’s only that to “defund” sounds less ludicrous than to “abolish.”

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Only one cause at at time for us, please

Remember me?

After it had become clear that the novel coronavirus pandemic had become a thing, my e-mail inboxes started to fill with COVID-19-related e-mails. Even, and maybe even especially, entities with only the slightest relationship to the pandemic sent me schmaltzy e-mails that, in my eyes, made them look only worse for having mindlessly, sheepfully jumped onto the bandwagon, not better.

And, of course, crisis capitalism quickly ensued — this is the U S of A, after all, and we won’t allow any crisis to pass without having at least tried hard to capitalize on it — with everyone selling online face masks (which you might ever receive or not, and which, if you do, might even actually be usable or not) and hand sanitizer being sold for many times its actual worth. Don’t even get me started about the run on toilet paper.

But COVID-19 actually sustained the nation’s attention for more that two whole months, which just might be record in and of itself. (Maybe during my lifetime, 9/11 still has the national-attention record.)

Now, though, we’ve already forgotten about the novel coronavirus, although it certainly hasn’t forgotten about us, and we’ve moved on to the next murder of a black man by a white cop.

And now, I’m getting e-mails from pretty much any entity that has ever sent me an e-mail before, stating that they stand up for racial justice, even if their business is only tangentially related to the topic at best.

I’m for racial justice, too, but shouldn’t that be a given? I mean, do you really get props for standing up against, say, cancer or the abuse of kittens and puppies? More pointedly: Do you really get special credit for being against that which you should be against anyfuckingway? And is merely stating that you are against something the same thing as actually having done something, anything, to help anyone or anything?

Don’t get me wrong — as I have noted, the cruel murder of George Floyd is a sickening, outrage-inducing travesty, and obviously we have plenty of work to do to prevent even more vicitims like George Floyd — but even I am a bit amazed by how quickly the national attention switched from a deadly virus that thus far has killed almost 110,000 Americans (and counting) to racism and racial justice, protests, riots, free speech, policing, vandalizing and looting.

We went right from week after week of “social distancing” to protesters pretty much overnight packing our public spaces shoulder to shoulder. Virus? What virus?

And that, I surmise, might be a huge factor behind the protests sparked by the murder by cop of George Floyd: Because of the mandatory governmental lockdown (and slowdown) orders (which I still view as fairly necessary nationwide), young people had been cooped up indoors for weeks on end, all of that energy building up.

On top of that, our young people, many if not most of them employed in the service sector, have had to contend with COVID-19-related job loss and being able to continue to pay for rent and other necessities — unlike the baby boomers, who always have had the plum jobs and have been able to be homeowners and who continue to profiteer off of our young people.

All that our already-fuming young people needed, then, was a spark.

Because the cold-blooded, racism-induced murder of George Floyd certainly isn’t all that our young people have to be enraged about.

They are inheriting a debt-ridden national economy — those of us who are younger than the baby boomers are being stuck with the debt that the baby boomers are forcing upon us so that they can continue to live their lavish lifestyles now and not have to worry at all about the national debt, since they’ll be dead.

Again, our young people are inheriting a national (and an increasingly global) economy in which most jobs are dead-end service-sector jobs that provide nothing approaching a living wage, much more decent benefits, probably especially decent health care that won’t bankrupt them from the out-of-pocket costs.

Our young people also are inheriting an incredibly dysfunctional political system in which the elected officials do not do what the majority of their constituents want them to do — for example, a clear majority of Americans want Medicare for All, which neither “President” Pussygrabber nor Repugnican-Lite Hidin’ Joe Biden supports (those are our “choices” for president this year — much like our “choices” were in 2016).

And our young people watch fairly politically helplessly as the baby boomers frivolously squander every last cent of our national wealth on themselves, such as for their McMansions, their luxury cars and their recreational vehicles, their plastic surgeries and other their pathetic, lost-cause attempts to regain their youth, and, as soon as they’re allowed to resume them, their golfing, their fine dining, their cruises and their trips around the world.

And I haven’t even mentioned the jaw-dropping devastation to the planet that the baby boomers — formerly the “flower children” who were going to save the world — have continued to wreak or to just sit back and allow to continue to happen because Hey, their lives are going just swell!

So, again, I don’t think that our young people’s righteous anger is only about George Floyd (whether all of them are even consciously aware of that or not). Floyd’s murder by cop was the spark, yes, but the fuel had been building up for quite some time.

I fully support protest for change, even when I’m not sure how effective it will be. In my fifth decade on the planet, I’ve seen a fairly clear pattern: Shit builds up, shit is released, then shit builds up again, then shit is released again, and on and on — just like in an abusive relationship — but the fundamentals of American society appear to remain the same (just like in an abusive relationship…). Indeed, our overlords (most of them baby boomers, if I haven’t mentioned the baby boomers yet…), count on each storm eventually blowing over and things more or less going right back to “normal.”

In the meantime, I’m still amazed at how quickly the nation apparently forgot all about COVID-19, and I expect to receive a lot more e-mails about how businesses and organizations so valiantly are against the murder of black Americans by our cops.

P.S. Crisis capitalism hasn’t missed the protests over the death of George Floyd. (Nothing is sacred to capitalism, and especially to crisis capitalism.) Online and via e-mail I’ve seen all kinds of ads for T-shirts, books and movies (for purchase or for rent) related to racial justice. Sure, it’s timely, but it’s also about making money from the murder of a black man.

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Something wonderful just might rise from the ashes of the United States

Antifa in USA

“President” Pussygrabber opposes the people who oppose neo-Nazism because he’s a fucking neo-Nazi himself. Our fascist overlords are paper tigers, however; because they are parasites on the rest of us, all that we have to do is rise up, refuse to allow them continue to suck our lifeblood, and they’ll fall like the house of cards that they are. They know this, and it terrifies the shit out of them that the game might, this time, finally, be up.

The looting and vandalism that has taken place in numerous Americans cities over the past several days — including my own — at first blush probably looks to many if not even most Americans as pretty senseless.

It would appear, superficially at least, that there is no logical line from the cruel, slow murder by cop of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday to the looting and vandalism of (mostly) small and larger businesses throughout the nation, but the line is there.

You just have to flush out all of the dust from your eyes that the capitalists put there with years and years and years of their profits-and-property-over- people propaganda, aided and abetted not only by the corporately owned and controlled “news” media doing the bidding of the corporations and of the corporatocrats, but also by our corporately owned and controlled elected (and “elected”) officials, from the local level all the way up to the White House.

Looting and vandalism seem like desperate acts, but the cruel, unjust, dog-eat-dog American socioeconomic system naturally, inevitably produces an awful lot of desperate people.

History suggests that a majority of Americans won’t learn a fucking thing from what’s going on now — the ongoing nationwide novel coronavirus pandemic as well as the nationwide unrest caused by a bad white cop who didn’t cause all of this, but who definitely lit the fuse — and that the American impulse will be to try to sweep all of this unpleasantness under the national rug and pretend that none of this ugliness had ever happened.

I mean, fuck, the coronavirus is still doing its killing, but after not even a full three months of a nationwide shutdown (it’s been more like a slowdown than a complete shutdown, but still), already a huge chunk, if not the majority, of Americans want to pretend that the coronavirus thing is all over already and open up the nation again — which is going to have quite predictable results.

Property destruction in the wake of another murder by cop seems appropriate to me. Maybe in the past I’d have questioned the logic of it, but it is clear to me now.

Why? Because the upper classes constantly give the message to the lower classes* that the property of the former is far more valuable than are the very lives of the latter.

No, the upper crust don’t come out and say that that is their belief, but their words and actions, repeated year after year after year, make it clear that that is their belief nonetheless.

So, if our lives are so expendable and “your” property (which our labor and our common natural resources have made possible in the first place!) is all that you care about, then we’ll go after “your” property, the message of the looting and the vandalism is, whether we are willing to acknowledge that or not.

All of this — the nationwide coronavirus pandemic, the protests that are roiling the nation right now — are identifying for us, starkly, our long-standing national problems, and the solutions are just one step behind our identification of and acknowledgment of the problems.

Ironically, actually solving even our entrenched problems probably isn’t the biggest hurdle — it’s acknowledging them in the first fucking place that is the biggest hurdle, because with such genuine, widespread acknowledgment would follow a radical reordering of the socioeconomic order that those at the top have been doing their best to stave off for generations. They even put a considerable chunk of their fortunes — I say “their” fortunes, but, again, since they stole “their” fortunes from the rest of us, they’re our fortunes — toward maintaining their unfair socioeconomic and political advantage.

(These plutocrats and oligarchs pour billions of dollars into pro-corporate propaganda that’s pumped to us masses en masse every fucking day, and they give billions of dollars to corrupt elected officials who are supposed to do the bidding of the people but who instead do the bidding of their highest corporate bidders.

And, of course, the plutocrats and the oligarchs spend quite a lot of money [again, our money, since they stole it from us by reaping the benefits of our labor while we try to survive from paycheck to paycheck] on personal security [including having the “people’s” cops and the “people’s” military in their own rich, right-wing pockets] and ensuring that in their day-to-day activities they have as absolutely little actual contact with us dalits as possible.)

You know that the recent nationwide protests are working, because “President” Pussygrabber, the Looter in Chief, now proclaims that he is deeming antifa a “terrorist organization.”**

Clearly, this would be just the first step in the unhinged, fascist “president” declaring all of his political detractors to be “terrorists” when he and his right-wing, fascist ilk, of course, are the actual terrorists, just as they are the actual looters.

And, of course, our “president” opposes an anti-fascist group only because he’s a fucking fascist himself.

Hitler and his supporters did all that they could do eliminate their domestic political opposition, too, before they expanded their reign of terror.

We’ve seen this playbook before.

It’s up to us to make sure that history doesn’t repeat itself this time. American fascism must be stopped in its tracks.

It probably will get ugly, but what emerges from the ashes just might be wonderful.

That’s why I still say: Let it burn.

P.S. I would be remiss if I did not note that the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment is guilty as sin, too, of course.

The people — you know, we dalits — had hope in actual Democrat (that is, the actually progressive) Bernie Sanders actually becoming president and helping to turn the Titanic around, but the pro-corporate Democratic Party establishment hacks, always only ever looking out for themselves like the fucking traitors that they are, made damn sure that they torpedoed Bernie (by coalescing right before Super Tuesday) — and they gave us, in Bernie’s stead, the utterly uninspiring corporate whore Joe Biden, who barely can speak a coherent sentence (but who at least by now, hopefully, finally at least has learned to keep his nasty hands to himself).

We, the people, were just supposed to sit down and shut up about the fact that the party that is supposed to stand for the people fucked us, the people, over yet once again, like Lucy with the football on crack.

This time, we, the people, are not just sitting down and shutting up like the good little sheep that we’re supposed to be.

*To be clear, by “class” here I mean strictly income level and the level of possession of wealth, not the level of one’s character.

Most wealthy Americans are of low character — it disturbs them not that their excess comes at the expense of those who don’t have the basic necessities of life — and many if not most Americans who are struggling to get by are of high character (because if nothing else, they — we — should have brought out the guillotines a long, long time ago, but we have yet to do so).

**As with most of the vile things that “our” vile “president” threatens to do, he does not have the legal authority to unilaterally designate entire swaths of American citizens as “terrorists.” Politico notes today:

President Donald Trump tweeted [today] that the U.S. government would be “designating ANTIFA as a Terrorist Organization.”

There were just two problems with that. First, he doesn’t appear to have the legal authority to do so. And second, it’s by no means clear the loosely defined group of radical activists is an organization at all.

The Trump administration’s push to crack down on antifa — short for “anti-fascist” — comes as large and small businesses in a host of American cities were looted and vandalized as people protested the death of a black man, George Floyd, at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis.

The president and his top officials, including Attorney General Bill Barr and national security adviser Robert O’Brien, have blamed antifa for violence and property damage. In an on-camera statement Saturday, Barr said the Justice Department wouldn’t hesitate to prosecute people who crossed state lines to participate in violence, citing his authorities under anti-riot legislation.

Barr did not invoke laws against terrorism, which do not let the U.S. government designate purely homegrown groups as terrorist organizations.

Under current law, the State Department can designate foreign organizations as terrorist groups. But the U.S. has no domestic terrorism statute, and the FBI uses other legal authorities to prosecute domestic terrorism here. … [Emphasis mine.]

This is why you don’t “elect” as “president” an abject fucking retard who has not held high office before, at least as the governor of a state, as a U.S. senator or as vice president.

Pussygrabber clearly has no idea of — and certainly has no respect for — what the U.S. Constitution allows and disallows him to do. Had he had any experience in high elected office before, he might fucking know something about the constitutionally instituted limitations on the power of any U.S. official, including, and probably especially, the president.

Instead, Pussygrabber has treated the presidency as just an extension of his corporate kingdom, over which he is the undisputed and absolute monarch.

The United States of America is not a fucking monarchy and we’ll never allow it to become one.

If Mad King Pussygrabber knew his very basic U.S. history, he would know that much.

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Yes, LET’S shoot the looters!

The actual looters look like this...

“President” Pussygrabber — a constitutional law scholar as well as a medical doctor — tweeted today of Minneapolis that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

The fact that it would be patently illegal to shoot a looter who was not, say, pointing a gun at you or actively shooting others, aside, it’s not like our murderous thug-cops need even more encouragement from the “president,” is it?

Pussygrabber and I would define a looter very differently, however.

Take a look at this graph regarding income inequality in the United States from Vox:

View image on Twitter

Information, including graphs, on the beyond-insane, baby-boomer-induced income inequality in the United States is quite abundant on the Internet.

I must ask: Who, exactly, is really looting whom? And who has been doing this brazen looting for decades now?

I was thinking more of us revolutionary rabble using the guillotine again, but I agree with the “president”: Let’s shoot the looters! Now!

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Minneapolis burning

Hiawatha Avenue in Minneapolis during a third night of protests.
Associated Press news photo

I can’t find it within myself to criticize what the protesters are doing in Minneapolis in reaction to yet another murder of an unarmed black man by a white cop (see example photo above).

Human life is far, far more valuable than is property (and money), and the powers that be are fucking lucky if mere property destruction is all that happens to them after what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis on Monday (and after what happens to the perpetually downtrodden people of this “Christian,” capitalist nation every fucking day*).

I mean, we’re way past guillotine time.

George Floyd, who died Monday after being pinned to the ground by an officer who pressed a knee into his neck.

The video is chilling (another video is here): George Floyd (pictured above), who was 46 years old and whose alleged crime was trying to pass counterfeit currency (which, it seems to me, you could do quite unknowingly), pleads that he cannot breathe as a white thug-cop has his knee planted firmly on Floyd’s neck, pinning Floyd to the ground.

Bystanders are loudly voicing their concern for Floyd’s medical well-being to the cops, but the cops ignore them. (You’d think that the cops had fucking learned something after the 2014 murder of 43-year-old black man Eric Garner, who also pleaded “I can’t breathe” as he was choked to death by a white thug-cop — for allegedly having illegally sold cigarettes on the street.) Before long, Floyd’s body is lifeless and then put on a gurney, and in the video footage it appears to me that perhaps his bladder apparently had emptied itself involuntarily because of the trauma.

Here is a screen grab from the video footage of Floyd’s murder:

Image: Derek Chauvin
Getty Images news image

The murderer, one 44-year-old Derek Chauvin (who certainly puts the Chauvin in chauvinist), who is white (of course), obviously is a bad cop — who was aided and abetted by his cop colleagues who could have prevented Floyd’s murder but who did not and who thus are accessories to his murder.

Look how casual and comfortable Chauvin appears to be as he snuffs the life out of Floyd, even with his hand in his pocket, and please give me some credible evidence that it’s ever OK for a cop to restrain someone like this, especially when the individual is unarmed and, as the video footage shows, already handcuffed.

Some of the images coming out of Minneapolis in reaction to Floyd’s sickening murder by bad cop are great.

Here is what happened to a police station:

Protesters took over the Third Police Precinct in Minneapolis on Thursday night.
Reuters news photo

And here, cops protect the home of Chauvin, who is the “man” who is the least worth protecting on the entire fucking planet:

Protesters near the home of Derek Chauvin, who was fired from the Minneapolis Police Department after detaining Mr. Floyd.
New York Times news photo

Look at the resources that the fascist, mostly white and mostly white-supremacist cops (all of them in the photo above appear to be white) will use to protect one of their own, even if he’s a fucking murderer.

So much for “law and order” and “to protect and to serve.” Law and order is something that only we serfs are supposed to respect — the elites and their protectors, including the cops — are exempt from the law and from order, and the cops protect and serve only each other and their plutocratic overlords.

All of the fallout from Floyd’s murder is the fault of corrupt cops who are drunk on their own power, enabled by the elite and even egged on by our fascist, white-supremacist “president” (after all, he thinks that the fascist cops will protect him if he tries to remain in the White House after it’s time for him to fucking leave).

If the cops didn’t routinely murder people, especially unarmed black men who pose no real danger to them, these protests wouldn’t happen. So shut the fuck up about property damage while you don’t give a fuck how many people, mostly people of color and poor people, the cops physically abuse and even murder.

Clearly, previous protests over murders by cops haven’t worked, so don’t claim that the people just need to protest peacefully and things then magically will improve.

No, not until the powers that be finally are rattled to their core — not until they get a big taste of the horrors that they routinely inflict upon others without a second thought — can real, lasting change ever occur.

At this point, there’s really only one thing left to say:

Burn. It. Down.

*The novel coronavirus pandemic has revealed so much about the United States of America, not just how its for-profit health-care wealth-care system is entirely unequipped to deal with a nationwide public-health crisis because it’s only been geared toward profiteering, and how working-class Americans intentionally are kept only one paycheck away from destitution in order to keep us in line, but also how casually Americans are willing to sacrifice the lives of their fellow Americans to the golden calf of capitalism by demanding that we reopen everything and go back to what we call “normal” — the consequences of a potentially lethal virus be damned.

Similarly, look at how so many Americans, most of whom claim to be “Christians,” pathologically see nothing wrong with black men being essentially summarily executed for such relatively minor alleged crimes as passing a counterfeit bill and unlawfully selling cigarettes. This is way beyond sick.

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Tyranny of the minority will not stand

I’ve been waiting to use this great meme for a while now. Now is the time. The right-wing, batshit-crazy push to prematurely open up the nation’s churches (and other public spaces) during a lethal pandemic exemplifies this meme.

And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.

Matthew 6:5-6:6

Gee, was Jesus Christ himself for social distancing and for staying at home to pray?

I say that only in half-jest. Indeed, today’s “Christians” rarely actually follow the teachings of Jesus Christ as they readily are available in black and white in the New Testament.

Indeed, today’s “Christians” — at least the “President” Pussygrabber-loving kind — are the demonic that they claim that they oppose. They certainly have a death fetish if not a death wish.

Despite a plethora of church attendees and church officials already having contracted and having become ill or having died from the novel coronavirus, the “Christians” and their “leader,” “President” Pussygrabber, are demanding that all of the nation’s places of worship be opened up immediately.

Pussygrabber is wrong about just about everything and represents only the minority, wackadoodle viewpoint on just about everything, including “treating” the novel coronavirus with a household disinfectant and with bright light somehow introduced inside the body. (Maybe just shove a very bright flashlight up in there?)

Of course, for Pussygrabber, everything these days is about his “re”-election*, such as his jihad against voting by mail, even though voting by mail is supported by almost two-thirds of Americans and will go on nonetheless at least in those states that are not paralyzed by anti-voting Repugnican “leaders,”** since Pussygrabber has zero legal authority to prohibit voting by mail anywhere in the United States.

Pussygrabber is pushing for the re-opening of churches right now — something else that he has zero legal authority to do — only because he wants the churchgoers’ votes in November. He is perfectly OK with many “Christians” dying from the coronavirus, because all that is important to him is his “re”-election. Marinate on that fact for a while.

To me, ever since January 2017 it’s been like we don’t even have a president at all. It’s like a vacancy in the White House. I mean that entirely. And, of course, in the most important sense of what a president should be, should not be, should do and should not do, we do have a vacancy, a gaping vacancy, in the Oval Office.

I believe that people who believe in God — and it’s almost always a God who hates everyone they hate and who likes everyone they like, and otherwise always agrees perfectly with them on everything, isn’t it? — range from being incredibly immature and gullible to being mentally ill, but I do believe in the First Amendment right to believe whatever cray-cray you want to believe; it’s the item in the Bill of Rights that Americans seem to exercise the most.

A right that Americans do not possess, however, is the “right” to harm others. The Second Amendment allows you the right to own a firearm for your own actual self-protection; it does not grant you the right to go around shooting people with whom you might have any issue or dispute.

Similarly, the First Amendment allows you to gather for religious purposes, but what happens if by so doing, you endanger all of those around you with a potentially lethal infectious disease? Is your “right” to infect other people with a potentially deadly pathogen absolute?

No, when it comes to the prevention of the spreading of illness and death, your constitutional rights that certainly are protected under normal circumstances may be — and should be — curtailed. You have rights, we all have rights, but it’s not actually all about you. You are a social creature, and your actions and your inaction routinely affect others.

But how great it feels to pretend that one is standing up for Jesus Christ and for God and for freedom and for liberty, blah blah blah, against that

But we don’t have modern-day martyrs. We have modern-day dipshits. A true martyr would care about not sickening or even killing others. Today’s “Christians” don’t give a fuck about that at all. They are, as I have said, in a word, demonic.

And what these demons want is total control over the United States of America. They want theocracy — their theocracy, a “Christo”fascist theocracy — as much as if not even more than do those who supposedly want to impose “Sharia law” on the United States of America.

Yes, this nationwide shutdown does suck. It affects all of us in some ways to different degrees. But thus far, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we’ve had about 1.6 million apparently confirmed cases of infection with the novel coronavirus, and we are approaching 100,000 deaths from the virus.

Many more Americans will continue to die of the novel coronavirus, whose future course is unknown, and if you want a comparison, each year for the past decade, an average of about 37,000 Americans have died from the flu.

So while no, the novel coronavirus’ body count thus far has not been like that of the plagues that decimated huge swaths of the populace in world history, the novel coronavirus is not just like the flu. The flu, with rare exceptions, such as the 1918 flu pandemic, doesn’t wipe out this many people.

There is, therefore, not just a public-health justification for trying to impede the transmission of the novel coronavirus, but there is a public-health obligation to do so.

From what I can tell, the batshit-crazy “Christians” (redundant…) in the United States are too few in number to do much more than ludicrously claim to be persecuted “Christians,” you know, just like in the days when Christians were tossed to the lions.

Their deluded fantasies of being able to use national catastrophes like 9/11 and the novel coronavirus pandemic for instituting their own brand of theocracy on the entire nation are just that: deluded fantasies.

But, should these “Christo”fascists ever actually pose a threat, we can fight the coronavirus and these nasty viruses who call themselves “Christians.”

I might say that I’d be happy for the “Christians” to give each other a lethal disease by refusing to take sensible precautions — I remember how giddy most of these “Christians” have been over us gay men having died from AIDS (just like Jesus Christ taught them to be!) — but it won’t be only the “Christo”fascists who will be infected with the coronavirus should the nation’s churches return to business as usual right now. (And it sure is a business, isn’t it?) It will be probably tens of thousands of innocent people dying, too.

We, the majority of Americans, who aren’t batshit-crazy “Christians,”*** have the right not to allow a minority to cause actual harm to the rest of us. Our constitutional, human right to stay alive and well supersedes the “right” to infect others with a potentially lethal virus.

*To me, if you didn’t win the popular vote, as Pussygrabber did not and as George W. Bush did not before him, then your entire “presidency” is illegitimate.

Democracy means that only the candidate who won the most votes should fill that office. Otherwise, it means nothing.

**To clarify, the Repugnicans just don’t want you to vote if you have a propensity to vote for Democratic candidates. They’re A-OK with you if you’re going to vote for them.

***Per Wikipedia, only 6 percent to 35 percent of Americans are evangelical “Christians,” but I’ll be generous and go with Gallup’s finding that 41 percent of Americans say they are.

That’s still a minority of 41 percent of Americans to a majority of 59 percent of Americans.

The majority must rule again in the United States of America — including having a president who is elected only by an actual majority of the American people. (Yes, the Electoral College must go.)

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