Monthly Archives: August 2010

Obama’s religion doesn’t matter

Almost one in five Americans incorrectly believe that President Barack Obama is Muslim, The Associated Press reports, noting that more than 40 percent of those polled don’t know what Obama’s religious identification is.

What the AP doesn’t ask is why the fuck this even matters.

All that we have the right to expect of a president of the United States — or of any elected official — is that he or she respects the First Amendment and the separation of church and state that is necessary in such a heterogenous nation as ours. If he or she does so, it doesn’t matter whether he or she is a Muslim, a Jew, a Christian, a Hindu, a Buddhist, a pagan, an atheist, an agnostic or even a Satanist.

That we should even care what Obama’s personal beliefs are (or aren’t) — as long as he isn’t violating the freedom of religion and the separation of church and state mandated by the First Amendment (which he isn’t) — is indicative of the fact that many if not most Americans expect the president of the U.S. to be, at least nominally, a Christian. Which is un-American.

That said, I have to confess that Repugnican Mitt Romney’s Mormonism, in my book, aside from his wingnuttery, makes him quite unpresidential.

The cabal of stupid white men in Salt Lake City should not have unfettered access to the White House via Romney, and under a President Romney (shudder), I am confident that they would.

But my concern here isn’t just that Romney is a Mormon — my concern here is that he would be unable to keep his religious beliefs and his religious institution out of the governance of the nation.

Thus far, Barack Obama has done that, and therefore, I don’t give a shit what he believes or doesn’t believe.

And neither should you.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Facts never get in the haters’ way

I have a new slogan for the Repugnican Tea Party: “The Repugnican Tea Party: We Hate Everyone YOU Hate!”

Seriously, though, that’s what I imagine wingnuts saying about wingnutty political candidates: “I’m going to vote for him/her — he/she hates everyone I hate!”

Just when everyone was learning the definition of an “anchor baby,” the Repugnican Tea Party decided that the hatees de la semaine would be Muslims again. (I read in some news article that 9/11 is still “fresh” to some. If something that happened nearly nine fucking years ago is still “fresh” to you, unless an immediate family member or very close loved one of yours died in the 9/11 attacks, you really need to get a fucking life.)

Lots of articles are now pouring in about the facts of the proposed mosque near the former site of the World Trade Center.

Such as this one stating, correctly, that it’s actually incorrect to call the proposed new building a “mosque.” It’s much more accurate to call it a Muslim center that would include a mosque. But which is more dramatic? “Mosque” or “Muslim center”?

Um, yeah.

And there’s this news story about how Muslims have been praying inside of the Pentagon, not far from where the Pentagon was hit on 9/11, for years now.

This news story, titled “Fact check,” notes that the proposed Muslim center actually is more like six blocks (not two blocks) away from the nearest of the two towers that were destroyed on Sept. 11, 2001, that law enforcement officials have found no link between the individuals behind the proposed Muslim center and any suspected terrorist-related activity, that the old building that would be replaced with the Muslim center already is used by Muslims for prayer, and that an established mosque, the Manhattan Mosque, already is only five blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center.

And then there is this Politico article, which posits that the proposed Muslim center is unlikely ever to be established anyway, not only because of the bigoted political attacks against it, but because fundraising for the $100 million Muslim center has been sluggish, to put it mildly.

So, all in all, the proposed mosque Muslim center at Ground Zero that’s two six blocks away from the site of the former World Trade Center is no big fucking deal. There already are plenty of Muslims in New York City — and even a pre-existing mosque in Manhattan. Who knew?

But when did the members of the Repugnican Tea Party ever pass up an opportunity to exploit 9/11 yet once again? And when did the facts ever stop them?

This is what the Repugnican Tea Party is reduced to: which minority group it’s hating this week.

Last week it was the “anchor babies.” This week, it’s the Muslims who want to build a mosque as a big ol’ “Fuck you!” to the victims of 9/11.

Who will it be next week?

Maybe the leaders of the Repugnican Tea Party can make it interesting and exciting and let their members vote, like they would vote for a contestant on “American Idol.”

P.S. I have to share this Tweet: “In fairness, we’ve been building ‘ground zeros’ near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.”

And this Associated Press news story notes:

Republican candidates around the country seized on President Barack Obama’s support for the right of Muslims to build a mosque [sic] near ground zero, assailing him as an elitist who is insensitive to the families of the Sept. 11 victims.

From statehouses to state fairs on Tuesday, Republican incumbents and challengers unleashed an almost unified line of criticism against the president days after he forcefully defended the construction of a $100 million Islamic center two [sic] blocks from the site of the 2001 terror attacks.

Recalling the emotion of that deadly day, Republicans said that while they respect religious freedom, the president’s position was cold and academic, lacking compassion and empathy for the victims’ families.

“He is thinking like a lawyer and not like an American, making declarations without America’s best interest in mind,” said Andrew Harris, a Republican running for Congress in Maryland against first-term Democratic Rep. Frank Kratovil.

So respecting the U.S. Constitution, and demanding that it — and not the demands of the lynch mob — be followed, is “elitist,” is “cold and academic,” is “thinking like a lawyer and not like an American.” (Because true Americans sure the fuck don’t think!)

Yes, when it comes to the U.S. Constitution and the rights it guarantees, clearly we should go by our gut. We should let passion, not intelligence, reign! (No wonder these right-wing fucktards loved George W. “Go By Your Gut” Bush so fucking much.)

Finally, the same AP news story notes:

In Ohio, where the president was headed [today] as part of a three-state political swing, Republican congressional candidate Jim Renacci took issue with Obama’s position and challenged his opponent, first-term Democrat John Boccieri, to do likewise.

“Just because we may have the right to do something, doesn’t necessarily make it right to do it,” Renacci said.

I like Jon Stewart’s comeback to that Repugnican Tea Party “argument”: “You can build a Catholic church next to a playground — but should you?”

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

No. 44 is down to 44 percent

US President Obama speaks during an event for ...

Reuters photo

How many of those who don’t approve of President Barack Obama’s job performance disapprove of it because of the way he has sold out the left, such as by having sold Shirley Sherrod down the river to the wingnuts and by not having chastised his spokesweasel for bashing the “professional left” (a.k.a. Obama’s base)?

President Barack Obama (pictured yesterday above) now has the lowest approval rating that he has had since he took office in January 2009, Politico reports. The Gallup poll that Politico cites puts Obama’s approval rating at only 44 percent.

Politico opines:

The drop can likely be attributed to the loss of independents. Obama’s approval rating among independents now stands at 39 percent, down 4 points from June. Obama began his presidency with the support 74 percent of independents.

Eighty percent of Democrats still approve of the president’s job performance, down only 2 percent from June.

OK, so where do we of the professional left fit in?

I’m a registered Green Party member. I don’t call myself a Democrat because way too many Democrats disgust me with their cowardice and corporate ass-licking.

I don’t consider myself to be an “independent,” either. I consider myself to be a progressive, a leftist — yes, a professional leftist.

I don’t approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, and had I been contacted in Gallup’s poll, I would have indicated as such.

But, it seems to me, those who disapprove of Obama’s job performance are presumed to be Repugnicans, members of the far right (mostly the “tea party” dipshits) or “independents”/“swing voters,” whose views consistently lean to the right.

How many of those who disapprove of Obama’s job performance disapprove of it because they believe, like I do, that he’s not nearly to the left enough?

We professional leftists, it seems to me, are unaccounted for in the polling.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

DINO Reid joins anti-Muslim crusade

Top US senator opposes mosque near Ground Zero

AFP photo

As a religious minority — a Mormon — you’d think that U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, the top Democrat in the U.S. Senate, would know something about religious discrimination. But hey, it’s an election year, and dog-piling upon Muslims is all the rage right now — and seems to be that long-sought “bipartisanship.”

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. [Politician X] respects that, but thinks that the mosque [that is proposed to be established near the former World Trade Center] should be built someplace else.”

You’d think that of course Politician X would be a Repugnican, but nope — in this case, Politician X is Democrat in name only U.S. Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada, whose spokesweasel today declared: “The First Amendment protects freedom of religion. Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.”

Someone please, please explain to me how in one breath one can claim to respect freedom of religion but in the very next breath proclaim that a religious group should not establish a place of worship.

I understand that Harry Reid is trying to keep his U.S. Senate seat against wingnut dingbat Sharron “Second Amendment Remedies” Angle, who as a “Christo”fascist of course opposes the establishment of the mosque in lockstep with the rest of her tea-baggin’ ilk, but he should have kept his fucking mouth shut.

To shit and piss upon a minority group is a despicable way to try to win election or re-election. It’s what the fucking Repugnicans do, for fuck’s sake.

And on the same day that Reid announces, for political gain, that he opposes the establishment of a Muslim center near the former World Trade Center, a scandal breaks in which it is revealed that a former Israeli soldier posted humiliating images of Palestinian prisoners on her Facebook page. It’s a bit of Abu Ghraib deja vu for me.

Where do these young people, like the female Israeli soldier and the American personnel of Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq learn their anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment?

From their “leaders.”

Harry Reid has just contributed to anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiment that might have real-world consequences, such as acts of discrimination and perhaps even abuse (or worse) against Arabs and/or Muslims — treatment that makes some members of this fairly universally mistreated group commit acts of revenge that we Americans call “terrorism” (because it’s never called “terrorism” when an American or an Israeli does it to an Arab or a Muslim) and then scratch our heads and ponder, “But why, why do they hate us so much?”

Words have consequences, Harry. You’re supposed to be a fucking national leader. You fucking suck ass.

Harry Reid is a fucking Mormon. I fucking hate the Mormon cult. While no Muslim to my knowledge ever has infringed upon my rights, my right to marry my boyfriend is now tied up in the federal courts because of the Mormon cult’s multi-million-dollar promotion of anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8.

But does Harry Reid want to be discriminated against because of his fucked-up religion? No, I’m sure he fucking doesn’t. I’m sure that he wants the full protection under law of the Mormon cult, which, speaking of law, should have had its tax-exempt status revoked already for its illegal, immoral and unethical political activity.

Why, then, as a member of a lunatic fringe that itself has been the victim of religious persecution in the past, does Reid feel that it’s perfectly OK for him to shit and piss upon Muslims?

Again, Reid could have and should have kept his mouth shut on the issue of the establishment of the Muslim center in Manhattan, which is quite far removed from his home state of Nevada, and which, under the First Amendment, isn’t even for the people of Manhattan to decide; religious freedom is not subject to a popular fucking vote. I agree wholeheartedly with the Huffington Post blogger who declared, “I can’t believe we are even discussing this.”

Oh, but we are. It’s election season, and therefore it’s wide open season on the relatively defenseless minority groups. Even babies. Babies.

Again, I expect this kind of evil from the Repugnican Tea Party, but Harry Reid has crossed the line.

I can’t see that it much matters who wins in Nevada in November: Reid or Angle.

They’re both haters, both members of the duopolistic parties that increasingly are looking more and more alike in their mad dash to the rock bottom.*

*The Associated Press reports:

A spokesman for Republican Sharron Angle, Reid’s opponent, said Muslims have the right to worship anywhere, but Obama’s support for construction of the mosque at ground zero “ignored the wishes of the American people, this time at the expense of victims of 9/11 and their families.”

Please tell me how Reid’s public position on the subject is substantially any different from Angle’s.

Again, freedom of religion is a constitutional guarantee not a matter to be put up for a fucking vote.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

9/11 is back — just in time for 11/2/10!

Mosque near ground zero becoming political football

AFP photo

“Intellectually the president may be right” on the freedom-of-religion issue regarding the establishment of a Muslim complex near the former site of the World Trade Center (which would replace the building on Park Place in Manhattan shown above), one Repugnican Tea Party strategist concedes, but adds: “But this is an emotional issue … and it’s going to be a big, big issue for Democrats across this country” for the upcoming mid-term elections. Because emotion always should trump the rights guaranteed to all by the U.S. Constitution.

President Barack Obama actually seems to have resisted, for once, the urge to sell out those of us of the “professional left.” On Friday he stated, correctly, that to block the opening of the planned Muslim center near the former World Trade Center would be a violation of the freedom of religion, guaranteed to all by the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America.

This is the freedom that the “Christo”fascists want for themselves, like free speech — but, also like it is with free speech, they want freedom of religion only for themselves.

As I have noted before, I believe that Islam, Judaism and Christianity — at least as they are practiced by the bloodthirsty zealots who claim to follow these patriarchal, backasswards religions — all are bullshit religions, but if we’re going to let the members of one bullshit, psychopathic religion establish a place of worship, fairness (as well as the freedom of religion) dictates that we allow all of them to do so.

But Repugnican U.S. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, that bastion of equal human and civil rights, has declared that the establishment of the Muslim center near the former WTC site is not an issue of freedom of religion. Reuters reports:

“This is not about freedom of religion because we all respect the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience … but I do think it’s unwise to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as the result of a terrorist attack,” Texas Republican John Cornyn said on the “Fox News Sunday” program.*

Cornyn’s “logic” apparently is that “freedom of religion” is “the right of anyone to worship according to the dictates of their conscience” — but that the majority religion (in this case, what passes for Christianity) may dictate to a minority religion (in this case, Islam) where it may and may not establish centers of worship.

It seems to me that the establishment of places of worship is central to freedom of religion, but Cornyn tries to weasel out of this somehow.

Cornyn, because he cannot win on the matter of the Muslims’ constitutional right to establish a place of worship, then appeals to the tyranny of the majority, to the mob mentality: “To me it demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America,” Cornyn said.

So Cornyn’s “argument” becomes that if the majority of Americans — the majority of whom call themselves “Christians” — don’t want Muslims to establish a place of worship at a certain site, then the Muslims should not be allowed to do so.**

The Muslims’ constitutional rights, therefore, in effect, are to be put up for a vote.

Just like my equal human and civil rights — my constitutional rights — were put up for a vote when the Mormon-cult-backed anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8 narrowly passed here in California in November 2008 (with 52 percent of the vote).

A federal judge earlier this month ruled that Prop H8 violates the rights guaranteed to California’s citizens by the U.S. Constitution — and he ruled that same-sex marriages must be allowed again in the state of California as of 5 p.m. this Wednesday.

The right wing’s insane response to this is to claim that the haters who voted for Prop H8 are the victims.

The Sacramento Bee actually published a guest editorial on the matter that actually began:

The true victims of prejudice in the decision of federal Judge Vaughn Walker to overturn Proposition 8 are the 7 million Californians who voted for the measure.

So I suppose that the slave owners were the true victims when the slaves were freed. Or, if that’s too far out there for you, we at least can argue that the “rights” of those who believed that mixed-race marriage is wrong were absolutely trampled upon by the tyrannical U.S. Supreme Court when the court ruled in 1967 that no state may outlaw mixed-race marriage.

The “argument” of the right wing here very apparently is that to be a hateful bigot who wishes to curtail the equal human and civil rights of others itself is an inviolable constitutional right.

Uh, I don’t see that right enumerated anywhere in the U.S. Constitution.

As insane as the members of the right wing want to be, calling themselves the victims when they are not allowed to victimize others, those of us Americans who are sane and who truly believe in freedom and liberty and in the U.S. Constitution cannot let stand this new wave of right-wing attacks against the constitutional rights of our fellows — be they brown-skinned immigrants (or brown-skinned citizens mistaken for immigrants), Muslims, or non-heterosexuals. Or even, for fuck’s sake, babies.

The checkered-at-best history of the United States of America demonstrates that during economic downturns, the majority of (or at least a huge chunk of) frustrated (mostly white) Americans, instead of going after the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who are the actual cause of their financial pain and suffering, go after relatively weak minority groups that have little to nothing to do with the nation’s economic downturn — but who, for the most part, can’t fight back.

This dysfunctional, insane dynamic will continue until enough of us real Americans stand up and stop it.

It’s time to stand up.

First they come for the non-heterosexuals who wish to marry, then for the brown-skinned immigrants who want to make a better life for themselves, then for the Muslims who want to establish a place of worship.

Then, they come for you.

*I also believe that it is unwise for the Muslim center to be established, but for a very different reason than do Cornyn, Sarah Palin-Quayle and their ilk. As I noted last month:

I agree with Palin-Quayle that the Muslim complex should not be opened, but for entirely different reasons.

Palin-Quayle wants to milk the whole 9/11 thing and appeal to her Muslim-hating, “Christo”fascist base, but I think that the Muslim complex is a bad idea because the safety of everyone who ever enters the building would be in jeopardy at all times.

I mean, think about it: a Muslim complex opens just two blocks away from where the WTC once stood, and all of the Cooters and Skeeters and Zekes of the backasswards parts of the nation are going to get ideas in their tea-baggin’ heads about gettin’ revenge on them Mooslems for 9/11. If the Muslim complex opens, I envision shootings and/or bombings and/or other violent attacks upon it.

However, as bad of an idea as I believe the Muslim center is (for safety reasons), I never would posit that the center should not be allowed to open merely because its existence would — gasp! — offend the tyrannical majority.

You believe in freedom or you don’t. I believe in freedom. The wingnuts do not — or rather, they want freedom only for themselves.

**Indeed, apparently a majority of Americans, blinded by their identification with their brand of “Christianity” and their ignorance of constitutional rights, oppose the establishment of the Muslim center. Notes Reuters:

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll showed a majority of Americans across the political spectrum opposed the project being built near the site of the attacks.

The survey, released on Wednesday, showed nearly 70 percent of Americans opposed it, including 54 percent of Democrats, 82 percent of Republicans and 70 percent of independents.

Of course, we don’t know how many of those Democrats oppose the establishment of the Muslim center also for safety reasons, but it’s a pretty sure bet that the majority of the Repugnicans and the “independents” (I use the quotation marks because the majority of the “independents” and “swing voters” always lean to the right) are just Muslim-haters.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Deep thoughts on the week that was

I post only a fraction of what I could post, because my time is limited (like it is with most bloggers, I have to earn a paycheck, and that doesn’t happen with my blogging, which is a labor of love) and because I’m a bit of a perfectionist and don’t like doing something unless I do it right.

So here is some of what I would have posted in the past week or so if I’d had the time (and if I weren’t such a perfectionist):

Movie reviews

“Countdown to Zero”: This documentary about nuclear weapons was disappointing. It taught me little that I didn’t already know or that I couldn’t have discovered on my own via Google (which now is evil, I understand, and which is too bad, because I’ve always liked Google).

“Countdown” apparently lets the United States of America off of the hook for having been the first nation on the planet to nuke another nation. It’s an obvious conclusion that if nukes are bad and the United States is the first and thus far the only nation ever to have nuked another nation — what does that say of the U.S.?

“Countdown” also doesn’t delve into the uber-hypocrisy of the United States — the only nation ever to have nuked another nation (I never tire of saying that) — dictating to the rest of the world which nations get to have nukes and which nations don’t. No, I’m not big on the idea of Iran having the Bomb, either, but it was the United States that opened that Pandora’s box, and “Countdown to Zero” doesn’t even begin to address that adequately.

My grade: C+

“Inception” is entertaining enough, but it also could have been titled “Deja Vu,” because it’s a mixture of “The Matrix” and “Shutter Island.”

“Inception” explores what is real and what is not, and features characters kicking each other’s asses in a video-game-like fantasy land while their physical bodies are unconscious and wired up, a la “The Matrix.” What’s most bizarre about “Inception” is that in both “Inception” and “Shutter Island,” Leonardo DiCaprio plays a man who is tortured by the ghosts of his dead wives. The similarity is such that my having seen “Shutter Island” first made me able to enjoy “Inception” less.

Any movie starring both Ellen Page and Joseph Gordon-Levitt, two of my favorite young actors, however, can’t be all bad. (Marion Cotillard, as DiCaprio’s character’s deceased wife, is pretty good, too, although her accent sounds a bit like Arianna Huffington’s…)

“Inception,” besides being too derivative, is too long, though…

My grade: B-

“The Kids Are All Right” is more than all right. Julianne Moore and Annette Bening do a great job playing a lesbian couple with two teenaged kids. Each of them had been inseminated by the donations of a sperm donor (played by Mark Ruffalo, who can donate sperm to me any time…) who later is contacted by the older teen (played by Mia Wasikowska, who starred as Alice in Tim Burton’s latest film) and who comes into their lives.

Probably because I’m a gay man, I have no problem seeing any two people of either sex in a relationship, and having been in a relationship for almost three years now, I see certain dynamics in all relationships, regardless of gender and sexual orientation. (While my boyfriend and I watched “The Kids Are All Right” together, I poked him in the arm several times to declare: “That’s us!”)

I understand that the lesbian community is not thrilled about the type of porn that the lesbian couple in the film enjoy, but, as Moore’s character explains, human sexuality is complicated.

My biggest problem with “The Kids Are All Right” is that Ruffalo’s character isn’t all that believable. Is he a care-free Bohemian or is he a successful businessman? And how does he have all of that time and energy (and the money) to do all that he does, including having a romance with one of the lesbians? Still, the insightful dialogue and the realistic situations in “Kids” make it worthwhile.

My grade: A

Politics

Leave Michelle alone! Had Barbara Bush or Laura Bush gone to Spain on vacation, it would have been no big fucking deal. But because Michelle Obama went on vacation to Spain, and not, I suppose, to Haiti or Darfur or Uganda, she’s taken shit for it. Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker recently huffed:

Is it really such a terrible thing that the president’s wife took a few days off to enjoy the beaches of Spain? Yes and no. Michelle Obama’s trip, though expensive in the context of our dire financial straits, isn’t putting a dent in the Treasury.

But as a political move, it could not have been more out of step with most Americans’ reality. The obvious reasons include the stagnant job market, the depleted fortunes of the middle class, millions of lost homes and, for many, the prospect of an insecure financial future….

On balance, the vacation was poorly conceived but hardly a crime befitting the condemnation. Perhaps of more lasting concern is the missed opportunity for the first lady to set an example of restraint and even generosity. I hear the Gulf Coast beaches could use a cash infusion.

When do the Richie Riches of the Repugnican Party ever “set an example of restraint and even generosity”? Why the fucking double standard that a conservative white man is expected to be a selfish asshole, and gets away with it, but if a black woman takes a trip that any well-enough-to-do white woman would take, she instead should have “set an example of restraint and even generosity”?

And talk about pettiness. Parker notes in her column that

George W. Bush largely escaped scrutiny because his preferred getaway was a place no one else, especially the media, wanted to go. Crawford, Tex., in August? Fabulous.

Whatever else one thinks of Bush, he did have a sense of propriety in matters recreational, perhaps in part attributable to his life of privilege and attendant guilt. He gave up golf after invading Iraq because he felt it would look bad to be perfecting his swing while those he had consigned to battle were losing their limbs. A token, perhaps, but a gesture nonetheless.

A token gesture “perhaps”? And oh, please. The xenophobic, parochial George W. Bush never showed interest in other nations or cultures unless they had vast oil reserves that could be stolen. He didn’t take vacations at home out of some “sense of propriety in matters recreational,” but out of his utter lack of curiosity about the rest of the world.

And Gee Dubya gave up golf? Oh, gee, what a sacrifice! That almost makes up for the damage that he did to his own nation, including leaving office with (not in any certain order) a record federal budget deficit, an overextended military, a crumbling domestic infrastructure, far more enemies around the world than there were before he stole office in late 2000, and what economists have dubbed the “Great Recession.”

Why does Kathleen Parker get paid to write and I fucking don’t?

(Well, that’s mostly a rhetorical question, but the answer is that she’s a baby boomer, and boomers never have needed any actual talent to make big bucks, and because as a writer she supports the status quo, which includes keeping Americans stupid and disempowered by discussing such non-issues as Michelle Obama’s vacation, and my intention when I write is to destroy, not to prop up, the status quo. And, we Gen X’ers historically have been shit and pissed upon by the talentless boomers.) 

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a Gen-X hero!

Steven Slater, a JetBlue flight attendant (pictured above in a MySpace photo), had had it. As a (U.K.) Guardian columnist tells it,

…as the plane was coming in to land, Slater asked a passenger who was attempting to get her luggage from the overhead compartment to remain seated. After the passenger verbally berated Slater, a piece of her luggage fell on to his head. [This website states that Slater’s mother says that Slater was hit in the head by the door of the overhead bin the foul-mouthed passenger was yanking open, not by luggage.] Slater took to the plane’s PA system and announced that he was quitting. Then, after grabbing two beers from a food cart, he opened one of the plane’s doors, slid down the emergency chute, and was gone for good.

This story is being told as a simple episode of “take this job and shove it,” but I think that there is a lot more than that beneath the surface.

Slater is in his late 30s — a Gen X’er, like me, who, I am sure, is sick and fucking tired of being squeezed in the middle between overly demanding (mostly baby-boomer) customers and rich (mostly baby-boomer) overlords who do little to no work themselves but who reap all of the profits while we Gen X (and Gen Y) wage slaves, who usually live from paycheck to paycheck, make their wealth and their comfort possible. (I felt this big squeeze especially in nursing, which I left in 1998 and to which I’ll never return.)

I don’t know how old the obnoxious passenger is, but my guess is that she’s a fucking baby boomer. (I’d bet money on it.)

The passenger’s selfish, inappropriate and illegal actions — this website reports that the Federal Aviation Administration is looking for the passenger because she is accused of “several airline infractions,” including “unbuckling her seatbelt and walking while the plane is taxiing, [constituting] two separate fines of $1,100” — ended up creating a visible wound on Slater’s forehead, but, as a Gen-X wage slave in the “service sector” (the new slavery system) he was just supposed to take it.

The boomers clearly expect us Gen X’ers to continue to take it up the ass indefinitely. We Gen X’ers are overeducated and underpaid, and we’re quite clear as to the future that the uber-selfish boomers intend to leave us, yet the boomers expect their gravy train to chug on forever at our continued expense.

If we Gen X’ers — and the “illegal aliens” — all ever were to refuse to continue being whipped wage slaves for the overprivileged boomers — if we all were to activate and slide down that emergency chute — their comfort would come to a screeching halt.

We Gen X’ers and other wage slaves have the real power, not those parasites who are dependent upon us yet act as though we need them.

Severing the hand that feeds you (and slapping your benefactor in the face with it): I’d already decided long before Obama administration spokesweasel Robert Gibbs called us progressives members of the “professional left” who should be drug tested that I’ll never give another penny nor another vote to Barack Obama. So I can’t call Gibbs’ smug comments the final nail in Obama’s coffin. That coffin was nailed shut long ago, so I guess that Gibbs’ latest statements are just concrete poured over that coffin.

You know, George W. Bush is a major fucktard, but neither even he nor any of his spokesweasels, to my recollection, ever publicly bashed the Repugnican Tea Party’s far-right-wing base.

You may not like your base all of the time, but you don’t alienate your base.

Clearly, starting with DINO (Democrat in name only) Bill Clinton, the Democratic Party decided that it’s OK to promise some things to us progressives but then to do other things — because where else are we progressives going to go?

Well, this member of the “professional left” won’t support Obama anymore. Clearly, the Obama administration has decided to sell us progressives up the river for the unstable, volatile support of the “swing voters,” who can’t tell right from wrong, good from evil, or friend from foe.

I’m more than happy to pick up my marbles (which Gibbs claims I’ve lost) and go home, even if doing so means the quicker collapse of the American empire. I’m with Ralph Nader, whom I voted for president in 2000 and whom I should have voted for president in November 2008 (instead of Obama) — and of whom one of his detractors once claimed believes that things have to get even worse before they’ll ever get better.

And this pundit had it right when he remarked:

We “professional leftists” do indeed need drug testing because apparently the … hallucinogenic of “hope and change” has worn off and the ugly mediocrity of modern Democratic leadership stares us in the face with the not-so-friendly smugness of a hookah-smoking caterpillar.

Yup. It was the Obama campaign that had sold us the drug of “hope” and “change” and now criticizes us for having imbibed it.

Well, we of the professional left are going to have to find a new drug.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Global warming, nukes — and the baby boomers

It’s pretty fucking bleak.

Even as the fucktarded global-warming deniers claim that a cooler-than-usual day somewhere means that global warming is bullshit, the largest chunk of Arctic ice since 1962 — it’s four times the size of Manhattan — just broke away from northern Greenland, and the “ice island” is floating away, expected to reach the Atlantic Ocean within two years (it’s expected to have broken up and melted some by then).

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking proclaims that humankind’s only chance for survival is to colonize other planets as overpopulation on Earth worsens and as humankind’s technological ability to wipe itself out increases.

We incredibly eco-friendly (because most of us are non-breeding) non-heterosexuals sure have a sound natural plan to reverse overpopulation, but we have to fight for equal human and civil rights not only here in the United States, but elsewhere throughout the world. Our opponents are fucktards who believe that the centuries-old dictate of God (who, by the way, lives on Fantasy Lane, right down the street from the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy) to “be fruitful and multiply” is still valid, even though the world’s population has exploded exponentially since the Old Testament was fabricated by utterly ignorant people all of those centuries ago.

But I digress a little.

While Hawking’s assertions that overpopulation and our own technological stupidity (such as the threats of global nuclear war and climate change) threaten to put Homo sapiens on the endangered species list are self-evident, I can’t say that I agree with him that the Homo sapiens virus should move on to infect other worlds.

Seriously — if humankind can’t get its shit together on this planet, what right does it have to attempt to inhabit any others? If a potential new landlord knew that you trashed your last apartment, would he or she allow you to move into his or hers?

But I digress yet again.

Solutions to overpopulation aren’t rocket science: Couples are limited to the number of children they may have, with penalties that are stiff enough to make violations of the law rare. Sterilizations (voluntary ones [for now…]) are offered for free. (Fuck you. We spay our cats and dogs!) Churches that advocate irresponsible reproduction, like the Mormon cult and the Catholick church, are sanctioned, because their irresponsibility and their recklessness harm the rest of us. (We’re all fucking connected, whether we like it or not and whether we wish to acknowledge that obvious fact or not.) Euthanasia for the hopelessly terminally ill is allowed and is not at all taboo. Homosexuality, of course, is wholly de-stigmatized so that those who gravitate toward it don’t hesitate to embrace it.

Then, here at home, there is the “Logan’s Run”-like problem of the baby boomers.

The boomers are going to be a huge fucking drain on us — if we let them be.

Already the boomers are talking about fucking us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers over even more than they already have.

Repugnican boomer House Minority Leader John Boehner again is talking about fucking us X’ers andY’ers (and those who follow them) out of our fair share of Social Security.

Boehner proclaimed on “Meet the Press” that it’s time “for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems that we face” with the solvency of Social Security, adding that “these programs are unsustainable in their current form.”

Agreed — the boomers aren’t sustainable. Social Security, however, is.

Because of the boomers’ expected wiping out of Social Security, Boehner wants the Social Security retirement age to be raised for us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers — while the baby boomers get theirs and get out.

Boehner’s sidekick Repugnican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence echoed Boehner on “Meet the Press”: “I am for reforming our public entitlements for Americans who are far away from retirement. We need to keep promises to seniors that have been made, make sure that people who are counting on Medicare, Social Security have the benefits that they have. But for younger Americans, absolutely yes, we ought to bring real reform for the sake of future generations of Americans to get spending under control.”

Translation: The boomers get theirs, and Gen X and Gen Y get fucked — “for the sake of future generations.” It’s vitally important “to keep promises to seniors [translation: today’s boomers and those who are older] that have been made,” but it’s not at all important to keep those promises that have been made to us X’ers and Y’ers. Fuck us. We’re on our own.

Don’t expect the boomers to be another “greatest generation” — they fully expect those generations that follow them to suffer the consequences of their own selfishness, greed and refusal to plan for the future.

It’s true that we Americans face grave problems, and it’s true that it’s long past time that we face them.

But the boomers’ approach appears to be that the only solution is that Gen X and Gen Y and the generations that follow them should take it up the ass because of the boomers’ selfishness and woeful lack of foresight.

But what if we who follow the boomer generation don’t want to take it up the ass with ground glass as lube, as Boehner, Pence and their ilk so generously suggest that we do?

Fact is, whether we want to talk about Soylent Green or “death panels” and/or some other nifty solutions* to the baby-boomer problem or not, we’re not fucking going to have the resources to take care of all of these bloated, helpless, obnoxious, gluttonous boomers who look like the humans in the Pixar movie “WALL-E” (already we’re seeing these blubbery boomers in their motorized scooters at Wal-Marts throughout the land; surely these scooters are the precursors of the hovering lounge chairs in “WALL-E”) and who feel fucking entitled to be treated like royalty even though they never contributed shit, but were selfish their entire fucking lives, not even taking care of their own parents or their own children.

My boomer parents put me and my brother into daycare and with baby sitters — not because they had to do so because of economic necessity but because they didn’t want to be parents to their children. Parenting requires a degree of selflessness that the boomers, as a generation, don’t possess; they never did, they don’t, and they never will. (My fellow Gen X’er leftist Ted Rall explores this subject well in his book Revenge of the Latchkey Kids.)

And neither of my boomer parents took care of any of my grandparents, one of whom was put into a nursing home. So I really, really hope that neither of my parents expects me to just drop everything and cater to him or to her when my parents never stopped being selfish long enough to be there, really be there, for their own children or their own parents.

I remember, more than a dozen years ago, when baby-boomer author Marianne Williamson gave a talk in Phoenix, and when it came to question-and-answer time, I was the only one who stumped her. We were to bring up any community concerns of ours, if memory serves. I stated that as a nurse at that time, I couldn’t see how the system was going to be able to take care of the legions of dependent senior citizens (the baby boomers) we would see in the coming decades. She had no response to that problem, other than acknowledging that yes, indeed, it was (is) a looming problem.

Instead of searching for any solutions, apparently, Williamson would go on to write a syrupy, comforting book that calls baby boomers “middle-aged”** when, in fact, at age 42 I’m middle-aged, so how can the boomers, who are in their 50s and 60s, be middle-aged? (Uh, we don’t have many people living to be 100 and beyond, and age 50 is the midpoint to age 100…)

Williamson probably couldn’t answer my question all of those years ago because she apparently is a typical boomer herself — she doesn’t want to grow up, but indeed, tells her fellow Peter-Pan-like boomers that they are “middle-aged” when, in fact, they are senior citizens.

It’s true that the longer we put the conversation off, the harsher any actual solutions to the grave problems that confront us are going to become.

I don’t see that there is any serious national conversation about the looming baby-boomer problem today any more than there was when I brought the topic up to Marianne Williamson more than a dozen years ago.

And suggesting that the boomers fuck over my generation and those that follow mine even more than we already have been fucked over for our entire lives by the boomers*** is not a valid solution.

It’s true that the boomers have been abusing their power their entire adult lives, but as they get older and feebler, they’ll be less able to continue to fuck over those of us whom they were supposed to help and care about, not treat as competitors.

What are the boomers going to do when all we have to do is knock them out of their hovering lounge chairs and, like in “WALL-E,” they can’t even get up?

What if the latchkey children indeed get their revenge?

Well, at least the boomers have a little bit of time to prevent such unpleasant-for-them eventualities if, at long last, they fucking care to do so.

And while we’re dealing with the baby-boomer problem, we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to deal with the problems that the boomers helped caused and have refused to deal with, such as climate change and nuclear proliferation.

And the boomers are going to have to be a part of the solution, whether they fucking want to be or not. While they have contributed to our problems their entire fucking lives, there can be no grandfathering of them now, the way that assbites Boehner and Pence and their baby-boomer boomer ilk want it to be.

We simply can’t fucking afford it, and we can’t afford the baby boomers, not the way that they are now.

*I am reminded of the Christopher Buckley novel Boomsday, in which baby boomers are invited by a wildly popular Gen-Y blogger to kill themselves for the greater good. I have that book and I really should read it…

**I bought her book The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife thinking that she was talking about those of us who actually are in midlife; instead, it’s a saccharine pep rally for baby boomers to tell them that they’re actually in midlife when, in fact, they’re senior citizens.

**We Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers and those who follow us have a record federal budget deficit as well as global warming to contend with once the last baby-boomer asshole (redundant) finally has keeled over, and our military adventurism for the profits of the corporatocrats has made us hated throughout the world (especially in the Middle East), creating resentments from abroad that will continue to simmer and sometimes boil over for generations. And by necessity we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to dismantle the bloated-beyond-belief war machine, something that the baby boomers, with all of their posing about being all about peace in the Sixties, never did, but only enlargened.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized