Monthly Archives: December 2010

This is your brain on Rush

Delaware Republican senatorial candidate ODonnell ...

Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice ...

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Woman who knows no fear could offer brain clues

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Joe Miller

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Indonesias dragons draw tourists to Jurassic ...

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Do all of these creatures have big ol’ amygdalas?

There is news out that British scientists have discovered a difference between the brains of liberals and the brains of conservatives (yes, apparently scientists actually have found brains inside of conservative skulls).

Apparently, conservatives have larger amygdalas than do liberals, and liberals have thicker anterior cingulates than do conservatives.

Huh? you say.

A Brit scientist explains that “The amygdala is a part of the brain which is very old and very ancient and thought to be very primitive and to do with the detection of emotions.”

Uh, would that be the “reptilian brain” that the scientists talk about? Wouldn’t having a larger primitive portion of the brain make the individual more primitive?

A Salon.com piece on the British brain research states that

The amygdala — typically thought of as the “primitive brain” — is responsible for reflexive impulses, like fear. The anterior cingulate is thought to be responsible for courage and optimism. This one-two punch could be responsible for many of the anecdotal claims that conservatives “think differently” from others.

Wow. I’ve always thought that wingnuts were from a different planet — or at least comprise a different species — but there seems to be emerging proof

Of course, while I’m certainly no brain researcher, I have to wonder whether people are born with a left-wing or a right-wing brain or if the brain structure itself changes over time as the result of nurture. A person brought up in a rabidly right-wing family, for instance: brought up in an environment of fear, does the fear center of his or her brain hypertrophy in response?

Is there a correlation between being type A (uptight) and being conservative and being type B (mellow) and being liberal?

How much does nature and how much does nurture contribute to one’s political orientation and to any brain differences that correlate to political orientation?

There’s so much that we don’t know, but outsized reptilian brains in the likes of tea-baggers Joe Miller and Christine O’Donnell just might (help) explain why I don’t feel any kinship whatsofucking ever to such fascists as Miller and O’Donnell, who are in the news lately — Miller because even though the re-election of U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska finally was certified today after the state’s Supreme Court and a federal court both ruled that she won the election fairly and squarely, Miller still might continue his legal battle to have obvious write-in votes for Murkowski thrown out on technicalities*, and O’Donnell (who also lost her tea-baggin’ bid for the U.S. Senate) because she is crying that a federal probe into whether or not she illegally put campaign funds to personal use is purely political, that she’s a victim, when, of course, she either did or did not break the law, which the probe should uncover.

Anyway, maybe one day the No. 1 piece of information that we’re going to want to know about a political candidate is the result of his or her brain scan…

But I can tell you, without a scan, that my anterior cingulate is fucking humongous.

*Team Miller actually wanted votes thrown out if Murkowski’s name was written in but the oval next to her name was not filled in, and wanted all misspellings thrown out, notes The Associated Press. Below is an AP photo of an actual ballot that Team Miller challenged:

FILE - In this Nov. 11, 2010 file photo, a challenged ...

Associated Press photo

The voter forgot the “w” and so apparently used a caret mark to squeeze it in between the “o” and the “s”, yet Team Miller apparently would invalidate this vote. And this one, too, because the voter wrote “Murkowski, Lisa” instead of “Lisa Murkowski”:

A challenged ballot is shown Thursday, Nov. 11, ...

Associated Press photo

And this one, too, because the voter apparently writes his or her “s’s” and “k’s” in a non-standard way:

A challenged ballot is shown Thursday, Nov. 11, ...

AP photo

Wow. That’s just fucking evil, to know that the voter fully intended to vote for Murkowski, but to throw out the vote on a technicality. On this ballot, the voter indeed misspelled “Murkowski,” but can any reasonable, truthful individual truthfully assert that the voter did not intend to vote for Lisa Murkowski?

A write-in vote is shown on a ballot Wednesday, ...

AP photo

Thankfully, the courts that Team Miller went whining to agreed that Team Miller’s complete and total disregard for the will of the Alaskan voter is moose shit.

What kind of person wants elected political office whether he or she really won the office or not?

OK, George W. Bush, you say.

Well, yeah, true, but it’s gratifying to know that although the U.S. Supreme Court kicked democracy in the teeth (and then shit and pissed all over it) and handed the presidential election to Bush in 2000, Team Miller hasn’t had similar success in subverting the democratic process.

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‘HoBos’ in HELL

In his syndicated column for which he presumedly actually is paid, wingnut Jonah Goldberg — perhaps best known for having penned this lovely little tome:

(Ha ha ha! Comparing liberals to Adolf Hitler is funny! And original!) — makes the “argument” that because liberals* finally repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it must mean that militarism is a great thing.

Wow. This “ironic progressive victory,” as Goldberg calls it, sounds like the kind of bullshit “logic” that Goldberg was roundly criticized for employing in his book with the Hitlerized smiley face on the cover.

Goldberg does in his column make some statements of fact, such as that the gay community very largely has been co-opted by the dominant, corporate-dominated American culture. (That he makes some statements of fact among all of his distortions and lies apparently is his tactic; many people, I surmise, believe that if they read one sentence that they recognize as truth, then all of the sentences that they read must be truthful.)

But Jonah Goldberg is no historian. In his column he bizarrely actually asserts:

Two decades ago, the gay left wanted to smash the bourgeois prisons of monogamy, capitalistic enterprise and patriotic values and bask in the warm sun of bohemian “free love.” And avant-garde values. In this, they were simply picking up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s, who had sought to throw off the sexual hang-ups of their parents’ generation along with their gray flannel suits.

Really?

There are leftists who are gay, but I’ve never known, in my 42 years on the planet, of a strong “gay left.”

“Two decades ago,” by my math, was the early 1990s, and I recall the 1990s being more of the same from the 1980s: unbridled materialism and consumerism among all Americans, gay or straight, male or female, white, black, brown, red or yellow. I don’t recall the 1990s as having been some sort of a repeat of the 1960s, as much as many of us might have wished that that had been the case.

The baby boomers, including gay baby boomers, of course, had some rebelliousness to them, but from the late 1960s to at least the early 1980s they largely were about partying. And — consequently… — from the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, it was combating AIDS, not combating capitalism, that the gay community was most concerned about, if my memory serves.

I just don’t remember that Big Gay Anti-Capitalism Era that Goldberg posits existed in our history (“two decades ago,” to be exact), and as far as is concerned that “bohemian ‘free love'” thing that the gay community wanted two decades ago, according to Goldberg, well, I can tell you that ever since about 1983 or 1984, when the AIDS epidemic started to decimate the gay male population, I, for one, have been quite careful not to become infected with HIV, which pretty much fucking precludes “free love.”** Two decades ago, in the early 1990s, when gay men were still kicking off from AIDS (until the protease inhibitors came along in the mid-1990s), “free love” was the last thing on this faggot’s mind.

But the wingnuts are still fighting the culture wars of the late 1960s and the 1970s, so Goldberg just reaches into his rectum and scrawls that my generation of gay men (Generation X) were copycats of the party-hardy gay baby boomers when no, we were not and we are not.

And Goldberg also stupidly asserts that the “gay left” “simply [picked] up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s” as though no gay people were a part of the sociocultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s when, in fact, the gay rights movement was a large part of those two decades, and of course many individuals in the other movements of the 1960s and the 1970s, such as the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and anti-war movement, happened to be non-heterosexual. Fucking duh.

And presumedly Goldberg’s sloppy assertion that the “gay left” “wanted to smash the bourgeois [prison] of … patriotic values” means that perpetual fucking warfare, a value of the right, is a “patriotic value,” so that if you don’t support perpetual warfare, then you are unpatriotic. (Nice try, Jonah. While you were at it, why didn’t you just write that members of the “gay left” wanted to “smash” puppies and kittens, too?)

Goldberg writes that “the sweeping embrace of bourgeois lifestyles by the gay community has been stunning” (he calls the “homosexual bourgeoisie” “HoBos,” borrowing from the book Bobos in Paradise), and this has been stunning, but this does not mean, as he asserts, “that such bourgeois values — monogamy, hard work, etc. — are the best guarantors of success and happiness.”

“Hard work” is what the filthy rich who don’t work claim to value, and those who are poor, the filthy rich lie, are poor because they “hate hard work.” It’s not exploitation of the poor by the rich, you see; it’s that if you’re poor, you’re lazy, and if you’re filthy rich, you’re industrious — even though you are filthy rich only because of the hard work of others. (The right wing loves “hard work,” all right — hard work performed by others from whom they obscenely profit.)

And we all know how well monogamy is doing among the heterosexuals in the U.S. these days.

Goldberg essentially asserts (as far as I can tell from his inartful prose) that gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals) want same-sex marriage because marriage inherently is (and monogamy, by extension, inherently is) wonderful — and that they wanted “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because militarism is so fucking great.

I, however, long have found it beyond unfortunate that instead of creating something new, so many non-heterosexuals have only wanted to mimic their heterosexual counterparts (yawn). Yes, as Goldberg points out, gay men and lesbians and other non-heterosexuals have been co-opted, but this is not testament to the greatness of capitalism or militarism or monogamy or any other of Goldberg’s wingnutty fetishes. This is testament to, among other things, the degree to which the plutocrats and corporatocrats have been able to zombify the American masses over several decades, regardless of their sexual orientation or race.

And, with virtually nothing else widely modeled for them, what else can we really expect of so many same-sex couples other than that they (desire to) mimic their heterosexual counterparts, and in a nation that doesn’t want to educate its college-age citizens and doesn’t want to provide them with decent careers or even living-wage jobs, can we blame financially and occupationally desperate non-heterosexual young people for wanting to join the U.S. military when so many heterosexual young people are in the same boat?

It also is a failure of imagination, as well as it is intellectual laziness, political apathy, materialism, self-centeredness and zombification by the corporate media (which want Americans to be obedient to the corporatocrats, not to be informed and to be free) — and it is not a testament to the inherent greatness of the wingnutty values that Goldberg and his ilk espouse (such as capitalism and militarism) — that accounts for why so many non-heterosexuals want to mimic their heterosexual counterparts.    

Further, there is much more about the ongoing push for same-sex marriage and the successful push for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” than great love for the institution of marriage or love for the institution of the military.

I, for one, have great reservations about monogamy and marriage. Scientists are coming to the conclusion that just as monogamy is not normal or natural for our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, monogamy is not normal or natural for most human beings, either — thus the high rates of infidelity and breakups and divorce. (Google it.) I’ll take science over religious/hocus-pocus moralizing any time.

However, for me the issue of same-sex marriage is not that the institution of marriage or that monogamy is so fucking great the issue is fucking fairness. You allow all consenting adults to marry each other, regardless of race or biological sex, or you allow no one to marry.

While I have reservations about marriage myself, I can’t see myself telling any other consenting adults who wish to marry each other that they can’t. The wingnuts, however, have no problem whatsoever depriving others of the freedoms that the wingnuts claim to be all about.

“So now openly gay soldiers get to fight and die in neocon-imperialist wars too?” Goldberg snarkily begins his column.

Um, yes, they do, but no, that they do doesn’t mean that those wars for the war profiteers and corporatocrats and other assorted traitors are now just wars. That so many non-heterosexuals want to be able to serve in the U.S. military is just testament to the shitty national economy, with its lack of decent-paying jobs, and to the zombification of Americans, heterosexual and non-heterosexual, who believe, stupidly, that the U.S. military actually exists primarily to defend and protect the nation when, in fact, the U.S. military exists primarily for the obscene profits of the war profiteers and the corporate expansionists.

So I did not want to see “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because I think that the U.S. military is so fucking great. I generally believe that no one with two brain cells to rub together would join the U.S. military when the U.S. military hasn’t fought a just war since World War II. (Again, I do, of course, cut at least some slack to those who join the U.S. military because, unfortunately, they see no other career option than to make themselves cannon fodder for evil rich men who cavalierly send them off to bogus wars for their war profiteering and for their corporateering.***)

But, if you’re going to allow heterosexual dumbfucks and the heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, then out of fairness, you have to allow non-heterosexual dumbfucks and the non-heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, too.

It’s about fairness and equality, something that Jonah Goldberg and his wingnutty ilk wouldn’t know about, and while I understand that Goldberg is desperate because his dinosaurian values are in their death throes, I am one faggot who’s not going to allow him to actually Orwellianly attempt to twist the cause of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals into being some sort of “proof” that his sick and twisted beliefs and values are OK.

Goldberg concludes his sick and twisted column: “And given that open homosexuality is simply a fact of life, the rise of the HoBos — the homosexual bourgeoisie — strikes me as good news.”

Yes, homosexuality is simply a fact of life (referring to it as “open homosexuality,” however, curiously sounds like Goldberg would prefer that all non-heterosexuals pose and pass as heterosexuals), but “the rise of the HoBos” is not “good news.”

The co-option of heterosexuals or non-heterosexuals (or whites or non-whites or…) by the toxic, militaristic, materialistic, consumeristic, capitalistic, jingoistic, ultimately soul-crushing system that Goldberg so slavishly supports is fucking tragic.

We’re not talking about “HoBos” in paradise — we’re talking about “HoBos” in hell.

P.S. Goldberg also writes in his column:

Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability, for good or ill (most likely both). I do not think that the arguments against gay marriage are all grounded in bigotry, and I find some of the arguments persuasive. But I also find it cruel and absurd to tell gays that living the free-love lifestyle is abominable while at the same time telling them that their committed relationships are illegitimate too.

Goldberg sounds like he’s trying to please all sides.

I don’t find him to be an ally simply because he states, correctly, that same-sex marriage in all 50 states is inevitable. (I’m sure that many supporters of slavery saw its eventual demise, too. That doesn’t mean that they were anti-slavery — just that they were realistic about the current of events.)

If he’s going to assert that same-sex marriage is an inevitability for “ill,” then Goldberg should tell us how it would be for “ill,” and in his column he curiously doesn’t fucking bother to share any of the arguments against same-sex marriage that he says aren’t “grounded in bigotry” and/or that are “persuasive.”

And the only two possibilities that Goldberg apparently offers to us non-heterosexuals are the “free-love lifestyle” (you know, with its diseases and death and sinfulness and such) or the strictly monogamous married lifestyle that so many heterosexuals find to be stifling and soul-eroding.

But he’s happy to grudgingly allow us non-hets to take part in the misery that is monogamous marriage.

Gee, thanks, Jonah.

While Goldberg asserts in his column that “there isn’t” “some grand alternative” to these two miserable choices, I wholeheartedly disagree with him. Maybe heterosexuals’ biggest concern about allowing same-sex marriage has been that once non-heterosexuals got marriage, they would be able to transform it in a way that heterosexuals never have been able to do. 

*I prefer “progressives,” not because I’m ashamed of being a leftist, but because so many so-called “liberals” actually are milquetoast Clintonistas with whom I don’t want to be associated. (After all, it was the “liberal” Bill Clinton who is responsible for “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place!)

**The AIDS epidemic first hit when I was still a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I saw the images of dying AIDS-stricken gay men (looking like concentration camp victims) before I seriously thought of having sex with another male, and to this day HIV transmission is a significant concern of mine, so this “free love” thing that Goldberg claims my generation perpetuated did not, in my experience, ever fucking exist.

***Goldberg snarkily remarks that “the folks who used ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as an excuse to keep the military from recruiting on campuses just saw their argument go up in flames.” Ha ha ha!

Well, the primary argument against allowing military recruiters to recruit fresh cannon fodder on our high school or college campuses is that so many young people have no fucking idea what the U.S. military is really all about and so they are easily duped. And so many young people notoriously believe that they are immortal, a mistaken belief that the deliberately mispresentative, “Top Gun”-like military recruitment ads, which never show maimed or killed soldiers, perpetuate.

Our young should not be fed to the meat grinder that is the military-industrial complex, regardless of their sexual orientation. I invite Jonah and his ilk to go fight the wars that they claim are all about patriotism and actual national defense and leave our children the fuck alone.

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DADT down, DOMA to go

Obama seen naming new econ adviser in Jan.-official

Reuters photo 

Barack Obama proclaims that his stance on same-sex marriage is still “evolving.” So is this guy’s:



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After eight long years of nightmarish rule by the unelected troglodyte George W. Bush, it sure would be nice to have a fully evolved president.

When asked his position on same-sex marriage, President Barack Obama recently told the Advocate (a magazine for the non-heterosexual community):

… And since I’ve been making a lot of news over the last several weeks, I’m not going to make more news [on the topic of same-sex marriage] today. The sentiment [on same-sex marriage that] I expressed then is still where I am — which is, like a lot of people, I’m wrestling with this. My attitudes are evolving on this.

I have always firmly believed in having a robust civil union that provides the rights and benefits under the law that marriage does. I’ve wrestled with the fact that marriage traditionally has had a different connotation. But I also have a lot of very close friends who are married gay or lesbian couples.

And squaring that circle is something that I have not done yet, but I’m continually asking myself this question, and I do think that — I will make this observation, that I notice there is a big generational difference. When you talk to people who are in their 20s, they don’t understand what the holdup is on this, regardless of their own sexual orientation. And obviously when you talk to older folks, then there’s greater resistance.

And so this is an issue that I’m still wrestling with, others are still wrestling with. What I know is that at minimum, a baseline is that there has to be a strong, robust civil union available to all gay and lesbian couples.

Wow.

What if I, as a white man, were to say that my views on equal human and civil rights for blacks and other non-whites were still “evolving”? What if I said that younger people don’t understand the holdup on equal human and civil rights for blacks and other non-whites, but that older people are still resistant to equal human and civil rights for non-whites, and so I’m “wrestling” with the issue?

What if I said that I maintain that blacks and other non-whites may not use white people’s public facilities, but that I believed in “robust” separate-but-“equal” public facilities for non-whites?

All of that would make me at least somewhat of a racist, wouldn’t it?*

Yet here is Barack Obama stating that he’s still “wrestling” with a basic issue of right versus wrong, that his “attitudes are evolving” on equal human and civil rights for a historically oppressed group of people.

So which is it?

Is Barack Obama truly so ignorant and so utterly lacking in compassion and empathy that he truly cannot understand that to deny one historically oppressed minority group equal human and civil rights (which are part of the American myth of freedom, liberty and justice for all, blah blah blah) is wrong? Especially given what blacks have gone through?

Or is Obama such a cold, political calculator that, as he put it himself, politically he is between two camps, those who believe in equal human and civil rights for everyone, and those who still believe that it’s OK to deny equal human and civil rights to some people, and so, in order not to piss off the latter camp, he’s going to continue to drag his feet on the subject of equal human and civil rights for all?

In either case, Obama is utterly unworthy of respect — or of re-election.

Leadership is about doing the right thing, even if a huge chunk of the population is opposed to doing the right thing.

Leadership isn’t about waffling. It’s about taking a fucking principled stand.

Vice President Joe Biden recently declared that “there is an inevitability for a national consensus on gay marriage,” yet Obama recently declared, “I recognize that, from their [non-heterosexuals’] perspective, it [separate-but-“equal” civil unions instead of marriage] is not enough. And I think this is something that we’re going to continue to debate and I personally am going to continue to wrestle with going forward.”

There is nothing to fucking continue to debate, and the issue of equal human and civil rights for all is much, much larger and much, much more important than whatever Barack Obama proclaims he still “personally” needs to “continue to wrestle with.”

*And proclaiming that I have some black friends probably wouldn’t get me off of the hook, would it, yet Obama commits the huge heterosexual no-no of proclaiming that “a lot of very close friends” of his are non-heterosexual. (Who is advising this man?)

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Don’t be fooled: Repeal of DADT is just a scrap of a scrap

So today the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 31 to repeal the woefully misguided and unconstitutional “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that then-President Billary Clinton got into law in 1993. The U.S. House of Representatives had already voted to repeal DADT by a vote of 250 to 175, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the law repealing the policy.

But we progressives and non-heterosexuals need to resist the urge to feast on this latest scrap of a scrap that has been thrown to us by the powers that be and put this in perspective: Discrimination based upon sexual orientation never should have been written into the law in the first fucking place. No one deserves a fucking medal for putting an end to what never should have been initiated.

Nor is it a “victory” for non-heterosexuals to be allowed to serve openly in a corrupt U.S. military that has been about war profiteering and enabling corporate global expansion, not about national defense, for several decades now. The last justified war that the U.S. military fought was World War II, a point that even my uncle, who is a contractor for the bloated U.S. military, freely admits.

Instead of fighting for equality within a toxic, dysfunctional, bloated institution that is destroying our nation, bleeding it to death — and certainly not making us “safer” when our military (mis)adventures in the Middle East, for instance, are making us more enemies, not fewer — non-heterosexuals should be fighting against the continued existence of that evil institution instead of fighting to be able to openly aid and abet it.

Nor is it as if the powers that be just wuv us non-heterosexuals. In a great little piece on Salon.com titled “It’s Still OK to Hate Joe Lieberman,” writer Alex Pareene notes:

While his opposition to “don’t ask, don’t tell” is one of the handful of positions Joe Lieberman hasn’t reversed himself on, his support for gays in the military is pretty much directly tied to his blood lust. Of course he wants gay people in the military — he wants everyone in the military, and he wants the military everywhere.

He supports the right of every American to serve his or her country regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation, and he also supports making those brave young heroes invade and occupy the entire Middle East, forever.

Yup. Lieberman is still one of the top Israel-firsters in Washington, if not the top Israel-firster, and putting Israel’s welfare far above that of his own nation’s is — well, the word for that would be treason. Which is why I always refer to him as Benedict Lieberman.

Nor has Barack Obama redeemed himself for finally fucking having actually fulfilled a campaign promise almost two years into his administration.

Obama still hasn’t done jack shit. Others worked hard, for years, on repealing DADT — not he. He gets to sign the repeal into law, but he’s just the rubber stamp, not the crusader.

The best that the repeal of DADT can do is to perhaps gain non-heterosexuals wider acceptance and more rights in a nation in which in most states they — well, we — don’t have the same human and civil rights as do non-heterosexuals, including the right to marry.

And John “You Damned Kids Get Off of My Damned Lawn!” McCainosaurus — wow. It was Jon Stewart, if memory serves, who compared McCainosaurus to a crazy Japanese soldier still fighting World War II on the island of Japan even after the war had ended.

Even though not a full one-third of the U.S. Senate voted against the repeal of DADT, and almost a full two-thirds of the Senate did vote for the repeal, the petulant, senile McCain ominously huffed and puffed that members of the U.S. military “will do what is asked of them — but don’t think there won’t be a great cost.”

Surely there were such dire, baseless warnings from the white supremacists when the U.S. military was desegregated.

So now McCainosaurus gets to be remembered not only as the right-wing dipshit who shamelessly used his POW experience for political gain during his whole political career (the “logic” was that the poor POW should be made president because he was a poor POW), but now he gets to be remembered as the hateful, spiteful old coot who, after he was rejected for the U.S. presidency (twice), warned of “a great cost” that would accompany the granting of more freedom and equality to historically oppressed and discriminated-against citizens.

Isn’t it about time for Ebenezer McCainosaurus to be visited by four Christmastime ghosts?

Right after they pay their visits to Barack Obama, that is.

P.S. Lest you think that McCainosaurus has the monopoly on bat-shit crazy, The Associated Press reports:

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has said he thinks lifting the ban [on openly non-heterosexual military personnel] during wartime could cost lives.

“I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction,” he told reporters this week. “I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (Naval Medical Center) with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

Um, the repeal of DADT is going to cost members of the military their legs?

Really?

Really?

How would that happen? Instead of being on watch, male soldiers are going to be distracted from all of that oral and anal sex that they’re having?

Luckily, not every U.S. military leader is that insane. The AP immediately goes on to note:

Adm. Mike Mullen and Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, respectively, have said the fear of disruption is overblown.

They note the Pentagon’s finding that 92 percent of troops who believe they have served with a gay person saw no effect on their units’ morale or effectiveness. Among Marines in combat roles who said they have served alongside a gay person, 84 percent said there was no impact.

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Julian Assange, my hero

File photo of WikiLeaks founder Assange holding ...

Reuters photo

WikiLeaks crusader Julian Assange of Australia, shown above in a photo taken last month, is closest that we have to this guy:

I’ve been following the WikiLeaks saga for some time now but until now I have yet to comment. (I actually wanted things to gel a bit before I opened my mouth, believe it or not…)

The inescapable conclusion that I have drawn is that Julian Assange‘s biggest “crime” is that he has stepped on the toes of the powers that be.

Tell a lie and no one really cares. (Look at the volume of lies that the right wing pumps out on a daily fucking basis, and look at how Liar in Chief George W. Bush and his henchpeople had complete impunity for their relentless lying.) Tell the forbidden truth, however, and look out!

Most of the dirty truths that Julian Assange and his associates have put out there pose no threat to national security or to public safety. That’s just bullshit, a red herring put out there by the right wing and the powers that be (yes, including members of the Obama administration).

If the right wing really gave a flying fuck about public safety, we wouldn’t have seen the almost 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 (even though then-“President” George W. Bush the month before had received a presidential daily briefing warning “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”) or the almost 2,000 confirmed deaths from Hurricane Katrina.* (You might argue that 9/11 couldn’t have been prevented, but the deaths from Hurricane Katrina most certainly could have been, as there had been ample warning of the impending catastrophe.)

And “national security” sure is flexible, isn’t it? It was perfectly OK when the stupid white men of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime outed Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame** for petty political revenge against her husband, then-Ambassador Joe Wilson, but we just have to put Julian Assange in prison. Some wingnuts have even called for his assassination.

Assassinating (or even imprisoning) Assange, of course, would only make him a matryr, and hundreds or thousands of us who are on the verge of bloody revolution against the power elite would take his place.

The powers that be need to be very, very careful.

Speaking of the powers that be, I love this news photo:

Prince Charles, Camilla

Associated Press photo

That’s Britain’s Prince Charles and his consort in London on Thursday showing complete and utter shock that the rabble — some of them wonderfully yelling “Off with their heads!” — were able to reach their Rolls Royce during a student protest against the tripling of university tuition.

How could this security breach have happened? everyone is asking — when the real question, in my book, is Why, in the year 20fucking10, when so many of us are in need, do we still have royalty?

That’s an issue for the Brits to resolve (although I firmly am on the side of the students whose future is being compromised by Britain’s selfish power elite), but the equivalent question here in the United States of America is why we still have our own aristocrats, the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who do such things as fight tooth and nail for tax cuts for the wealthy while they fight to push the age for eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits for members of Generation X (and those who follow Gen X) to age 70 (when most of us will be dead before then for lack of health care).

Why do we allow these thieves to steal from us, to destroy our planet, to keep us in perpetual wage slavery and in perpetual bogus warfare, and overall to destroy our future? Why, when there are so many of us than there are of them, and when in reality they need us and we don’t need them, do we allow these wolves to continue to feed on us?

What Julian Assange has done is reveal to the world the communiques of the wolves, for it is by their keeping their behind-the-scenes maneuverings as secret as possible that the wolves maintain their control over us sheep. Destroy the wolves’ secrecy, and you destroy their power. Destroy their power, and you destroy them.

Julian Assange has taken serious shots at the wolves. Therefore, in my book, he is a hero.*** And should anything happen to him, thousands of us, minimally, should rise up and take his place.

P.S. While there is much about libertarian Ron Paul that I don’t like, including his homophobia, his being anti-choice and his support of “states’ rights” (which can be used to support all kinds of oppression of minorities), there are some things about him that I do like, such as his opposition to torture and domestic surveillance, and I love his recent impassioned defense of Julian Assange against the power elite on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. You should watch it here.

P.P.S. I just now found this news photo, taken yesterday at the British embassy in Madrid:

Wikileaks supporters demonstrate in support of ...

Reuters photo

Wow. Apparently many of us have the same idea…

*And despite its ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” the Obama administration handled the catastrophic British Petroleum oil spill about as well as the Bush regime would have: in a way that put a corporation over the environment.

**I recommend the film “Fair Game,” which chronicles this treason by the Bush regime. The film screams “Give me my Oscars already!” but it’s worthwhile nonetheless.

***I certainly don’t assert that Assange is an angel. None of us is. However, I separate the information about the power elite that he has revealed to the world from the details of his personal life.

The right wing’s tactic in cases like this is to try to assassinate the rebel’s character — if not the rebel him- or herself — in order to divert attention away from the damaging information about the power elite that the rebel has revealed.

Way too many of us see this bullshit for what it is, however. If Assange is guilty of any sexual misconduct, that is a separate issue, and Assange’s work of exposing the power elite is larger than is Assange. And should anything happen to him, we must continue his work, because if he weren’t on to something, they wouldn’t be on him as they have been.

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Trotting out Mr. Billary was a big mistake

 Obama turns to leave the podium as Clinton speaks ...

Reuters photo

Match made in hell: Barack Obama doesn’t want to do the job of Democratic president of the United States of America and Billary Clinton wishes that he still were in the job of president, so Billary pontificated on behalf of Obama for a half-hour in the White House briefing room today.

Wow. As shitty a “president” that George W. Bush was, I don’t recall that he ever had any former president making his case for him — at the White House.

Yet today embattled President Barack Obama had Billary (former President Bill) Clinton make his case for him at the White House that the deal that surrender monkey Obama unilaterally made with the Repugnicans — violating his campaign promise to end the unelected Bush regime’s tax cuts for the wealthy — is a good thing.

It was, in my book, a stunning political miscalculation. Dusting off Billary and presenting him in front of the cameras does Obama little good.

The progressives who regret having supported Obama’s candidacy for the presidency and who want Obama to have a Democratic presidential primary challenger for 2012 aren’t big fans of the centrist, triangulating, give-away-the-store-to-the-Repugnicans Bill Clinton — and Billary stating, as he did at the White House today, that he would have done the same thing that Obama did where tax cuts for the wealthy are concerned doesn’t exactly disabuse progressives of their widely held belief that Obama hardly is a president who has delivered his promised “hope” and “change” but is just another Clintonesque “Democrat” who waves the white flag before the battle has even begun. 

Probably worse, having Billary cover for Obama makes Obama look like a pussy who doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing (um, because that is what he is) who, in desperation, asked his big bwubber to protect him from his playground enemies.

Having Billary speak in support of him would gain more confidence in Obama, Team Obama probably calculated; I calculate that the political stunt has had the opposite effect, and that it only further erodes Obama’s base — you know, those committed, passionate individuals who actually give their time and money to presidential candidates’ campaigns — even further.

We elected Barack Obama for a first term — not Billary Clinton for a third.

It would behoove us to knock Obama out of the 2012 Democratic presidential primary. Howard Dean, I believe, could do it.

And a primary challenger to Obama should be in it to win the White House, not just to temporarily force Obama to tack left of center.

Were Obama to win a second term, he’d only go right back to the center again after the election.

Barack Obama has shown us what he’s made of.

And he’s got to go.

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Howard Dean in 2012

Barack Obama

Associated Press photo

“[President] Obama almost seems as if he’s trying, systematically, to disappoint his once-fervent supporters, to convince the people who put him where he is that they made an embarrassing mistake,” notes New York Times columnist Paul Krugman. Um, “almost”?

The buzz within the left-leaning blogosphere and elsewhere on the ’Net  is that the left is done with Barack Obama. Obama’s latest broken campaign promise — that he would not allow the unelected Bush regime’s tax cuts for the wealthy to continue — seems to be the final nail in Obama’s political coffin.

Fuck the left, I hear the chorus of Clintonistas sing, but without the left, what support does Obama have?

The Repugnican Tea Party dipshits always hated Obama and always will hate him because he’s not a wingnutty white man. (Was Obama’s talk of “bipartisanship,” which is imfuckingpossible with the fucking incorrigibly untrustworthy Repugnicans, naivete or political bullshit?)

Now that Obama has lost the left, whom does Obama have? The notoriously fickle “swing voters”? They’re not nearly enough for a presidential candidate to win an election.

Obama is sitting in the Oval Office right now because of the “swing voters” and because he bamboozled enough of us on the left. Without the left, he’s nothing.

I know, I know, I’ve heard the mantra before: Obama never promised the left a rose garden.

Except that he did.

He promised “hope.” He promised “change.”

Clintonesque centrism is not “hope” or “change.” It is more of the same.

Barack Obama has fucked over, repeatedly, those of us on the left. And we’re done with him.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman is no rabid revolutionary, but even he this past week wrote:

Whatever is going on inside the White House, from the outside it looks like moral collapse — a complete failure of purpose and loss of direction.

So what are Democrats to do? The answer, increasingly, seems to be that they’ll have to strike out on their own. In particular, Democrats in Congress still have the ability to put their opponents on the spot…

It would be much easier, of course, for Democrats to draw a line if Mr. Obama would do his part. But all indications are that the party will have to look elsewhere for the leadership it needs.

Yikes. And yup!

Perhaps Obama’s biggest sin is that he punked millions of young voters who now, because of his betrayals, on one issue after another, might be turned off from progressive political activism for a long time — or even for a lifetime.

Or maybe, just maybe, Obama’s failure to be a Democratic president will spur a progressive backlash.

Maybe, as Krugman seems to indicate must happen, the left will flow around Obama the Obstacle in Chief. Maybe Team Obama will discover that the left is bigger than Barack, that when Team Obama says, “No, we can’t,” the left will reply with a resounding, “Yes, we fucking can! And we will! With or without you!”

In any event, I hope that Obama, who has demonstrated amply that he doesn’t know what the fuck he is doing, will make one wise presidential decision: not to run for re-election.

If obstructionist Obama does not step aside, I hope that he is challenged in the 2012 Democratic presidential primary, as Jimmy Carter was challenged in the 1980 presidential primary.

While I didn’t think (and still don’t think) that 2004 was the year for Howard Dean, I think that 2012 has Dean’s name written all over it. He would have my support in 2012.

In 2008 Barack Obama simply rode the wave that Howard Dean created in the 2004 presidential election campaign — and he has squandered it.

2012 is the year for Howard Dean to reap the benefits of what he began in 2004, and we can relegate the one-term Barack Obama to the sorry footnotes of U.S. history.

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