Monthly Archives: September 2011

Dinner with President Hopey-Changey? No thanks

Democrat president Barack Obama preparing for a meal out

Associated Press photo

Robert — I need to ask you one last thing before tonight’s midnight deadline:

If you know you’re going to donate to this campaign eventually, what’s stopping you from doing it right now?

You were one of the people who got this movement off the ground. In fact, you were a part of all this before I was.

If you’re going to be a part of history in 2012, it’s time to get off the sidelines.

So, before midnight, will you chip in what you can and say you’re in?

This has never been about Barack and me.

We’re just two guys. It’s folks like you out there who will decide this election.

And what you’re capable of is incredible — if you decide to do it.

https://donate.barackobama.com/Friday-Deadline

Thank you,

Joe

P.S. — That deadline also applies to the dinner Barack is having with four supporters. Donate today and you’ll be automatically entered for the chance to be there.

That’s the fundraising e-mail that I received today under the signature of Vice President Joe Biden, since I haven’t donated a penny to Barack Obama’s re-election campaign, since I haven’t jumped at the chance to have dinner with Obama, his latest apparently desperate fundraising gig.

(Obama would not want to do dinner with me, and since he has taken to assassinating American citizens as of late, in blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution [but for which the Obamabots, as always, forgive him, no doubt], for me it might be a fatal mistake to dine with the man, since if I were in his presence I couldn’t see myself mincing words.)

Speaking of Joe Biden, he has been in the news today for having said in a Florida radio interview yesterday that the Obama re-election campaign will have to suck it up even though the Obama administration inherited the economic mess from the unelected Bush regime (“unelected Bush regime” is my term, not his — the spineless Dems would never talk like that, since it’s the truth, since it’s strong language, and since they are horrified of the possibility of offending those who would never vote for a Democrat anyway).

Reuters reports that Biden stated, “Even though 50-some percent of the American people think the economy tanked because of the last administration, that’s not relevant. Right now we are the ones in charge and it’s gotten better but it hasn’t gotten good enough…” and “Understandably, totally legitimately, this is a referendum on Obama and Biden, the nature and the state of the economy.”

Biden’s remarks have been considered “controversial” by the Obamabots, but Biden was just telling the truth.

Blaming the BushCheneyCorp for the economy won’t win Obama re-election, even though the BushCheneyCorp is the No. 1 reason that the economy is in the toilet. Politics isn’t fair.

However, while we can’t blame Obama for the mess that he inherited, we can blame him for how he has handled it.

How has Obama handled Wall Street after the Wall Street weasels (redundant) tanked our economy through blatant fraud?

He has given the Wall Street weasels billions and billions in bailouts, he has appointed Wall Street weasels as his economic advisers, and his justice department hasn’t put a single Wall Street weasel behind bars.

Obama has ignored the good advice of such progressive economists as the Nobel-Prize-winning Paul Krugman and Robert Reich (Bill Clinton’s former labor secretary), who were unanimous in declaring early in Obama’s presidency that Obama wasn’t doing nearly enough for economic recovery.

Obama hasn’t been supportive of U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Warren, who, entirely unlike Obama, has had the balls to take on the Wall Street weasels.

I gave Elizabeth Warren a donation of $25 today for her bid for the U.S. Senate for Massachusetts.

I haven’t given Obama even the bargain-basement amount of $3 that he has been requesting for the chance to have din-din with him.

The Obamabots, I suppose, would say that I and other white liberals no longer support Obama because he’s black. They find this race-baiting lie to be comforting, although this lie and its repetition can only hurt Obama’s re-election chances, which right now already are looking like a snowball’s in Hades as it is.

The fact is that I give my money and my votes to those who do more than pay lip service to progressive principles, regardless of their race or gender.

Elizabeth Warren has been fighting the Wall Street weasels. Obama has been putting them in his Cabinet.

I see my money and my vote as an investment in my own future. Elizabeth Warren appears to be a good investment, and I donated hundreds of dollars to the efforts in Wisconsin to preserve its public-sector labor unions, since Obama couldn’t be bothered to lift a fucking finger to help the working people of Wisconsin in their battle against the union-busting far-right wing, and I consider that to have been an investment in my own future, too.

As an investment, Barack Obama, on the other hand, is a junk bond. He promised, promised, promised, but he hasn’t delivered. He punk’d me once. (In the 2008 cycle I gave him hundreds of dollars and my vote.) Never again.

Speaking of Wall Street, young people whose futures President Hopey-Changey has compromised by fiddling while Rome burns for the third week now occupy Wall Street in protest of its abuses that Obama hasn’t been much bothered about.

Instead of asking people to pay for the chance to dine with him, perhaps President Hopey-Changey might buy dinner for some of the young protesters who now occupy Wall Street.

It’s the least that he could do.

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Burn your race cards, Obamabots!

Gee, I guess that I’m a big fucking racist for expecting more of Melissa Harris-Perry than her race-baiting article in The Nation.

All kinds of excuses have been put out there to cover for Barack Obama’s lackluster presidency:

He inherited a huge fucking stinking, steaming mess from the unelected Bush regime. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress have been fighting him tooth and nail, have been doing everything in their power to ensure that he is a one-term president, regardless of the damage that this is causing the nation.

These excuses are legitimate enough. Obama did inherit a huge fucking stinking, steaming mess. The Repugnican Tea Party traitors have done all that they can to cripple him.

But Obama won’t win re-election on excuses. I know of no president who ever won re-election based not upon his actual accomplishments while in office, but upon his making even a strong case that others were responsible for his lack of accomplishments.

And although he’s not responsible for what he inherited, the fact of the matter is that when the iron was red hot, Obama didn’t strike. While he should have come in with guns a-blazin’, Obama instead has used a drinking straw and spitballs. Timidly.

The result is that although he had both houses of Congress in his party’s control for all of 2009 and 2010, and when he had the nation’s good will for most of that time, Obama did diddly squat. Oh, he achieved health care “reform” — “reform” that the health care weasels gave their blessing to and “reform” that isn’t scheduled to kick in until 2014, for fuck’s sake.

Obama is guilty of having squandered spectacularly what probably will turn out to have been his one and only shot at making a big difference. He had his big opportunity and he blew it. Forever.

But no. The problem actually is that white liberals are actually racist.

That is the poisonous talking point that Nation writer and MSNBC talent Melissa Harris-Perry has injected into the national conversation. The title of her Nation piece pretty much says it all: “Black President, Double Standard: Why White Liberals Are Abandoning Obama.”

My God. (And I don’t even believe in God.)

Um, for starters, we white liberals didn’t abandon Obama. Obama abandoned us. Or, perhaps more accurately, he punk’d us from the very beginning, telling us what he’d figured we wanted to hear in order to get our money and our votes.

The main idea of Harris-Perry’s piece is that white liberals have been harder on Obama than they ever were on Bill Clinton because Obama is black and whites generally are harder on blacks than they are on other whites, that whites expect more of blacks than they do their fellow whites.

Certainly that phenomenon can manifest itself in some situations. Certainly racism continues in the United States of America, not only against blacks but also “illegals” and other racial minority groups. Certainly there is no “level playing field” in the United States. Blacks, kept down for generations, never had the wealth or other privilege to hand down from generation to generation, like many whites did, so the “level playing field” argument is bullshit.

Of course the majority of the “tea party” fascists are white supremacists and racists whose gatherings look and feel like KKK rallies. I agree 200 percent with Morgan Freeman on this. I’ve written about it many times.

But to pull out the race card on your allies?

Really?

So basically, to the race-card-carrying Obamabots, Barack Obama is beyond reproach. Anyone who has any problem with him must be racist. There can be no other possible explanation.

This is convenient for Obama and his Obamabots, of course. The race card in this case would serve as a perpetual get-out-of-jail-free card for Obama. He would out-Teflon right-wing icon Ronald Reagan, whose praises Obama can’t sing loudly or frequently enough. (You never heard George W. Bush worshipping a Democratic president, did you?)

Or maybe instead of calling it the race card, we should call it the race mace — you know, you hit someone over the head with a mace.

Anyone who even thinks of being critical of Obama will keep his or her mouth shut, lest he or she be clobbered publicly with the race mace.

You know, this is, in spirit, thuggery. This is, in spirit, terrorism (which I define, broadly, as the use of intimidation on others in order to get one’s own way). Oh, and it’s slanderous or libelous, too. It’s not much different, in spirit, from the right wing’s calling someone a Communist in the 1950s in order to silence him or her. Defamation is fun!

But the race mace doesn’t work on this white liberal.

As someone who has had black boyfriends, charges by people who don’t know me that I’m a racist fall off of me like water falls off of a duck’s ass. And as someone who gave Barack Obama hundreds of dollars and my vote in 2008 — not because I’m a guilty white liberal but because I truly believed that he was the best viable candidate — I really don’t need some race-mace-carrying terrorist calling me a “racist.”

Why did I give Obama hundreds of dollars and my vote? Well, most if not all of the money that I gave him for the 2008 cycle I gave to him during the drawn-out 2008 Democratic primary contest. Why? Because I wanted him, not Billary Clinton, to be the 2008 Democratic presidential nominee.

Why?

Because I’d figured that a Billary Clinton presidency would be just like the first Clinton presidency. I didn’t want another sell-out, triangulating Democrat in name only in the White House. I wanted a progressive in the White House.

And although Obama and the Obamabots deny it now, Obama did offer himself up as the anti-Billary, as the true progressive in the race. “Hope” and “change” are about progressivismnot about maintaining the status quo or speaking softly and carrying a tiny twig.

Now, however, in Obama’s third year, many have speculated that he has governed even further to the right than Billary would have governed had she become president. Many have speculated that a President Billary would have smacked down the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, unlike the balls-less Obama, who stupidly only spoke about singing kumbaya with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors while their supporters portrayed him as a witch doctor with a bone through his nose, as a chimpanzee or a monkey, as a cultivator of watermelons on the White House lawn, etc. These aren’t people you try to play nice with. These are people you take down.

Comparing Bill Clinton’s presidency to Obama’s presidency is comparing apples to asparagus. I don’t need to go into the details of that — writers David Sirota and Joan Walsh (both “racist” white liberals, don’t you know) did a pretty good idea of deconstructing Harris-Perry’s bullshit thesis, and so I don’t need to do that here, but mostly, the economic times of the two presidencies are so different that it renders the comparison of the two fairly pointless.

Obama is not being judged by white liberals based upon the color of his skin, but based upon the content of his character. His character defects include his unwillingness to fight for those who put him where he is with our money, our time and energy, and our votes; his breaking one campaign promise after another; and his habit of throwing his former supporters under the bus when he finds it politically expedient to do so.

He threw the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Van Jones and Shirley Sherrod, all of them, under the bus. As soon as the white supremacist fascists on the right started to attack these individuals, Obama just dropped them like flaming dog shit. That alone speaks volumes about his character. (To be fair and balanced, when Bill Clinton very similarly threw former surgeon general Jocelyn Elders under the bus, that was a travesty of justice, too. And again, I’d supported Obama over Billary to prevent that kind of thing from happening again. And speaking of the Rev. Wright, you really should read his recent interview with Chris Hedges. Wowser.)

The fact of the matter is that whether they like it or not, blacks need the support of us white liberals. Blacks can’t afford to alienate us en masse. They just can’t. Politics is a blood sport — not a kumbaya marathon — and you need as many players on your side as you can get.

(We gay people, too, can’t do it on our own. We need the support of heterosexuals. It would be incredibly fucking stupid of us to alienate those liberals who support us by claiming that in actuality they are
homophobes.)

What I’m saying is: Burn your race cards, Obamabots.

The president of the United States of America, whoever that is at the time, must be open to criticism from the left and from the right. No president or other leader should be exempt from criticism because of his or her gender, race or sexual orientation.

A leader should be judged for such things as his or her accomplishments — or lack thereof — and for his or her character. On these measures, white liberals (and black liberals and other liberals) have not judged Barack Obama unfairly.

To give Obama a break because he is black is as racist as is expecting him to outperform his white cohorts, although since there can be only one U.S. president at a time, and as every presidency is different because times change, Obama doesn’t have any true cohorts, and certainly not Bill Clinton, whom he at least tacitly promised us he wouldn’t be.

To support Obama primarily because he is black is as racist as opposing him primarily because he is black.

Ironically, those who so casually try to pin the slanderous or libelous label of “racist” on white liberals who dare to criticize the nation’s first black president are racist themselves.

I still love Melissa Harris-Perry, though. I’ve seen her on MSNBC and I like her.

Her Nation article and the shit that she has stirred up, though — not so much.

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Obama’s condescending words, not AP’s rendition of his words, offensive

Barack Obama’s weekend lecture to the Congressional Black Caucus still is in the news.

There’s even chatter that some consider the way that The Associated Press quoted him to be racist.

The AP quoted Obama as saying to the members of the CBC: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin’. We are going to press on. We have work to do.”

Some believe that in journalism you always should fix others’ grammar, but I take issue with that stance. (Possessing a bachelor’s degree in journalism, I’m not talking out of my ass here.) When you put quotation marks around something, that’s supposed to be an exact rendering of what that person actually uttered. I might argue that to fix someone’s grammar in order to paint him or her in a better light actually is to show a bias.

And context is everything. As a journalist or writer you might choose not to clean up someone’s grammar in order to paint a more accurate and complete picture of that person’s personality and background. For instance, it would be, in my book, a gross distortion to write that someone uttered, “I am preparing to run for the presidency of the United States of America” when what that person actually uttered was, “I’m a-fixin’ to run for president of these here United States.”

Speaking of the president of the United States, it’s OK to quote the U.S. president verbatim, I think. There is a difference, I think, between cleaning up a rather unknown individual’s grammar for a news story and cleaning up the president’s.

What I took the AP to mean by quoting Obama that way (“Stop complainin’. Stop grumblin’. Stop cryin'”) when I read that AP news story is that Obama was trying to be all folksy with the members of the Congressional Black Caucus. If my impression is correct — and the video of Obama speaking those words to the CBC in a folksy accent that he never otherwise uses certainly seems to confirm my impression — then that is indicative that Obama has a sickening way of talking to people the way he thinks that they want him to talk to them. And because he very apparently actually thinks that that transparent bullshit actually works, that indicates to me that he’s a condescending prick.

When Billary Clinton was talking like the common folk in order to try to get their votes in the waaay-too-drawn-out 2008 Democratic Party primary race, I found it nauseating. I mean, it’s not like no one is going to notice when Billary suddenly gets a drawl or Obama suddenly starts a-talkin’ like this.

But fuck how Obama said the words or how the AP wrote that he said the words. The words themselves are sickeningly condescending: “Take off your bedroom slippers. Put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining. Stop grumbling. Stop crying.”

Obama, just like his brain-dead supporters do, always tries to find a way to try to blame his critics for his shortcomings. It’s not his fault. It’s your fault. Somehow. So stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’.  And put on your marching shoes.

Oh, except that Obama the hypocrite won’t slip out of his bedroom slippers himself.

In 2007, when he was making the plethora of campaign promises that he wouldn’t keep, Obama promised:

“If American workers are being denied their right to organize and collectively bargain when I’m in the White House, I will put on a comfortable pair of shoes myself; I’ll walk on that picket line with you as president of the United States of America. Because workers deserve to know that somebody is standing in their corner.”

Nice words, but when Wisconsinites’ right to organize and collectively bargain was under serious attack earlier this year by Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker & Co., Barack Obama didn’t show his face in the state once. Not once. I guess that he couldn’t find his marching shoes that he’d promised to don.

Yet now Obama is lecturing the members of the Congressional Black Caucus — who surely don’t need a lecture by the man who in 2008 only rode all the way to the White House on the wave that Howard Dean, not he, created– to “put on [their] marching shoes.”

Barack Obama doesn’t lead by example.

And the only thing that he does well is break his campaign promises.

He’s all talk and no action.

But it’s all our fault.

We should stop complainin’, stop grumblin’ and stop cryin’.

Yes, we do have work to do. A lot of work to do. Unfortunately, Barack Obama is working against us, not with us or for us.

Only when it’s election time is he suddenly one of us.

The rest of the time, it’s pretty fucking clear whom he’s working for.

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‘Vast majority’ of ’08 donors haven’t ponied up for Obama’s re-election bid

The New York Times ran an interesting article yesterday that reports that “a vast majority of [President Barack] Obama’s past donors, who number close to four million, have not yet given him any money at all [for his re-election bid].”

Wow.

The Times also reports that

Through June 30, the close of the most recent campaign reporting period, more than 552,000 people had contributed to Mr. Obama’s re-election effort, according to campaign officials. Half of them were new donors, and nearly all of them gave contributions of less than $250.

This doesn’t require a shitload of analysis — just a little bit of awareness. Obama burned those to whom he repeatedly had promised “hope” and “change,” and, according to the Times, about half of his current donors are newbies. (I surmise that they haven’t been paying much attention since Obama was inaugurated in January 2009, and/or the specter of a President Perry or President Romney “inspired” them to give money to Obama, even though he hasn’t delivered upon his much-hyped promises of “hope” and “change.”)

We see this in our daily lives: Those who go around burning people always have to obtain fresh victims to burn.

Only now that his re-election looks less likely over time has Obama promised to be the president that he’d promised us back in 2007 and 2008 that he’d be. He now promises, in his third year in office, to finally do something significant about unemployment and he now promises to make the rich and the super-rich pay their fair share of taxes, even though it was only in December that he allowed the Bush tax cuts for the rich and the super-rich to continue for another two years, violating yet another of his campaign promises.

Meh. I don’t believe him. I don’t believe that Obama would do much more, if anything more, in a second term than he has done thus far.

I think that he’d say anything to get re-elected, but the millions of us who haven’t given him another penny since the 2008 cycle — yes, that includes me — recognize his false promises as the false promises that they are.

Obama’s only hope for re-election that I can see is that the fear of a President Perry or a President Romney “inspires” former supporters to pony up and/or to vote for him again.

But that’s not a strong re-election slogan: “Re-elect Barack Obama: He’s Not As Bad As the Other Guy.”*

I surmise that more people voted against George W. Bush in 2004 than who voted for John Kerry — that is, their fear of a second term of the unelected Bush regime was greater than was their enthusiasm for Kerry.

The calcified (well, calcified except where it needs to be calcified: its spine) Democratic Party establishment sorely needs to go back to the drawing board and ask itself if it wants to return, ever, to the progressive policies and the willingness to fight tooth and nail for those policies, as was the case for the party’s leaders in the distant past, or whether it is safe for the party’s continued existence for its leaders to continue to believe that it’s enough to only continue to point out to the voters that the Repugnican (Tea) Party candidate is even worse than is the Democratic candidate.

I, for one, am willing to suffer through another Repugnican presidency if that would mean that the Democratic Party finally got its fucking shit together and stopped expecting us to expect nothing in return for our money and our votes.

But I don’t think that I’m alone. Apparently, thus far, anyway, at least a few million others are with me.

*If you think that I’m exaggerating, you should read this Associated Press news article from today:

Seattle — President Barack Obama charged [today] that the GOP vision of government would “fundamentally cripple America,” as he tried out his newly combative message on the liberal West Coast.

Aiming to renew the ardor of Democratic loyalists who have grown increasingly disenchanted with him, the president mixed frontal attacks on Republicans with words of encouragement intended to buck up the faithful as the 2012 campaign revs up.

“From the moment I took office what we’ve seen is a constant ideological pushback against any kind of sensible reforms that would make our economy work better and give people more opportunity,” the president said at an intimate brunch fundraiser at the Medina, Wash., home of former Microsoft executive Jon Shirley.

About 65 guests were paying $35,800 per couple to listen to Obama at the first of seven fundraisers he was holding from Seattle to Hollywood to San Diego [today and tomorrow]. The three-day West Coast swing, ending Tuesday in Denver, offered him the chance to re-engage with some of his most liberal and deep-pocketed supporters. … [Entire article is here.]

This really does appear to be Obama’s “argument” for re-election: “If you think that I’m bad…”

That’s an incredibly weak, deeply uninspiring talking point.

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Will the Orcs in the audience hurt the Repugnicans in November 2012?

The orcs attack in New Line's The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring - 2001 

Bloodthirsty Orcs in the audiences of the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debates scream out their demand for manflesh. Who, oh, who, will be their Saruman?

tried to watch all of the last Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate (which was Thursday night in Orlando, Fla.) so that I could blog on it. I really did.

But after about 10 to 15 minutes of the usual free flow of Repugnican Tea Party lies from those who would be king — we should deregulate everything, we should privatize everything, we should not raise taxes for the rich and the super-rich by a single red fucking cent, guv’mint is evil, labor unions are evil, welfare benefits are evil, etc., etc. — I couldn’t take it anymore and I had to close the live-streaming window.

I can stand to be in hell, where demonic lies reign, for only so long.

What’s interesting about the three Repugnican Tea Party debates thus far is that the biggest news that has come out of them — aside from not-ready-for-prime-time Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s lackluster performance — is the spontaneous outburts of hatred by the debates’ far-right whackjob audience members.

At the first debate, the audience burst out in raucous applaud when it was mentioned that as Texas governor, Perry holds the record as the most-executing top state executive. (Really, the cold-blooded, bloodthirsty Perry seems to take the title of “executive” waaay too literally.)

I watched that audience-reaction debacle as it happened live, but I missed the next two.

Apparently at the second debate, the audience burst into applause over the idea of letting someone without health insurance die because he or she cannot afford to pay for his or her own medical care.

Woo hoo! Survival of the fittest! It’s what Jesus would do — let the weakest among us die!

And at the third debate (after had I stopped watching it live), the audience booed Stephen Hill, a U.S. Army soldier who is stationed in Vietraq, after he asked a question (via video) regarding the U.S. military’s recently repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy — and they booed him because he is gay.

(You can watch all three shameful clips here.)

So the Repugnican Tea Party’s base — aside from the minority of treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats who don’t want to pay their fair share of taxes but who want to continue to tank our nation’s economy at our expense for their selfish benefit, and who want to see the gaping chasm between the rich and the poor widen even farther — is comprised of bloodthirsty, cold-hearted, bigoted haters who nonetheless claim to be such great fucking “Christians.”

Will these shameful audience reactions hurt the Repugnican Tea Party brand in upcoming national elections? (After all, none of the fascists who are vying for the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination rebuked the audiences’ sickening displays during the debates.)

Salon.com editor and writer Steve Kornacki tackles this question, noting that as it is, only about a third of Americans view the Repugnican Tea Party favorably. This percentage seems about right to me (and is in line with recent polls).

In hypothetical November 2012 matchups against Barack Obama, even Michele “Like Deer in Headlights” Bachmann pulls in around 40 percent, which indicates to me that the far-right-wing nutjobs have as much as 40 percent of the electorate’s support (that is, the support of the staunch right-wing nutjobs, who are about a third of the electorate, plus those “swing voters” whom they are able to dupe). That’s a minority, but it’s a sizeable minority, and, given the “swing voters'” ability to vote for fascists like George W. Bush (and potentially for George W. Bush II, a.k.a. Rick Perry), Obama’s re-election certainly is not certain.

(Against Obama, by the way, as of late Perry has been pulling in around 41 to 45 percent, which to me suggests that right now he has the support of at least some of the “swing voters.” The question would be how many of those who for some God-damned reason are undecided right now he could pull in between now and Election Day in November 2012.)

Kornacki concludes of the shameful Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate audience reactions that we’ve been seeing lately:

…[T]hese debate outbursts end up generating considerable attention and helping to establish (or to reinforce) a sense among non-Republican voters that the GOP has gone off the deep end.

[But it] could be that this won’t end up mattering in the end. If the economy is rotten enough, swing voters might end up voting straight ticket Republican next year no matter how extreme the GOP seems to them.

But when members of a Republican crowd at a nationally televised Republican event start booing [active-duty] members of the military, it’s safe to say [that] the GOP is playing with fire.

Agreed.

The Repugnican Tea Party fascists in the audience at the third debate clearly had a dilemma: Members of the U.S. military, especially those on active duty in the post-9/11 crusade in the Middle East that is bleeding the American empire to death, are considered to be heroes, and the right wing’s post-9/11 hero worship generally applies to them, but at the same time, the right-wing fascists hate non-heterosexuals like the Nazis hated the Jews (and like the Nazis also hated non-heterosexuals…), so what to do?

Clearly, for those who booed, where it came to the gay soldier, the “gay” part canceled out the “soldier” part.

But for the majority of even the dimwitted “swing voters,” it seems to me, the “soldier” part trumps the “gay” part. Nor, I surmise, are even the “swing voters” on board with just allowing those without health insurance to die.

(I surmise that most of them support the death penalty, however. The more ignorant one is, the more fearful he or she is, and the biggest fear is probaby the fear of death, and the “thinking” apparently is that executing convicted murderers will protect the rest of us from death.

That said, I surmise also that the majority of the “swing voters” aren’t on board with executing those whose guilt is questionable [as was the case with
Troy Davis, whom the state of Georgia executed this past week], which the deep-red states [like Georgia] have no problem with, especially if the executed are black or otherwise non-white [as was Davis].)

So I hope that these Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate audience outbursts continue.

In a roundabout way, they’re good for the country.

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On justice in the United States of America

This man was incarcerated and then executed in Georgia for allegedly having taken the life of one human being:

Troy Davis has always denied murdering Mark MacPhail in 1989

Georgia Department of Corrections/AFP image

This man has been responsible for the unnecessary, wholly preventable deaths of tens of thousands of people for the obscene profits of the corporation that he once headed and those of the other oily subsidiaries of the unelected BushCheneyCorp. He remains free. In fact, he got a book deal and has been promoting his book all around the country:

In this image released by ABC, former Vice President Dick Cheney, right, speaks with Barbara Walters  on the daytime talk show "The View," Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2011, in New York. Cheney appeared to promote his book, "In My Time." (AP Photo/ABC, Donna Svennevik)

ABC/Associated Press image

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‘The Lion King’ isn’t as regal the second time around

Film review

Is the effeminate, swarthy-looking, villainous Scar gay? Muslim? Or even both?

It was in late 1989 that Disney redeemed itself in the animated film department with “The Little Mermaid.” After a string of animated films in the 1970s and 1980s that were lackluster at best — that are not considered to be Disney classics — with “Mermaid” Disney finally got its mojo back, and followed it up with such other instant classics as “Beauty and the Beast,” “Aladdin” and “The Lion King.”

I probably would have gone to see any of these re-released four films (with the possible exception of “Beast,” which never was a great favorite of mine), so when Disney brought back “Lion King,” I was there. In 3-D, no less.

Alas, so much has happened since a much more innocent-feeling 1994, when “Lion King” was released, and today. Things that didn’t bother me much — if I noticed them at all — in 1994 practically scream out at me today.

The symbolism that is contained in “The Lion King” — wow.

The good king must be a fairer-haired lion, apparently. Protagonists King Mufasa and Prince/King-to-Be Simba, with their fair-haired manes, apparently are physically and morally stronger than others — because of their fair-haired manes, pretty much.

The villain, Mufasa’s brother Scar, of course, has a black mane and is swarthy-looking, as opposed to the Aryan-looking good guys.

Of course this difference is more pronounced in the post-9/11 world than it was in 1994. Today, “The Lion King,” in my book, unwittingly reinforces the oppressive, white supremacist myth that fairer-haired individuals are morally and physically superior to the darker-haired.

The villainous character of Scar is different from the fair-haired monarchs, and thus he is, pretty much by definition, evil. Hell, Disney could have made Scar a Muslim — surely Mufasa and Simba are great Christians (in one scene, the Earth-departed Mufasa appears to Simba in the night sky in a very grand, dramatic, even celestial, manner, as though he were God Himself [which, I suppose, would make Simba Jesus Christ…]) — but instead, Disney more or less made Scar into an Adolf Hitler character, replete with troops of hyenas that, in one quite memorable scene, march in lockstep just like Nazis.

Add to all of this Scar’s rather effeminate manner. The British accent of the voice of Scar, Jeremy Irons, as opposed to the deep and robust American-English accent of Mufasa (voiced by James Earl Jones, the voice of Darth Vader, for fuck’s sake), adds to the characterization of Scar as being different and effeminate.

In at least a few scenes Scar bemoans the fact that although he possesses (at least in his own estimation) an intellect that is superior to Mufasa’s, Mufasa is king primarily because of Mufasa’s physical superiority. And Scar probably is correct — he probably is Mufasa’s intellectual superior, and Mufasa probably is king primarily because of his physical strength (and his lighter-colored mane, of course).

In “The Lion King” Scar is presented as just being bad to the bone — which is how the “Christo”fascist hypocrites of today depict many if not most Arabs and Muslims (and other non-Aryans) — but was Scar born evil or did Scar become evil over time because of the unjust way that he was treated by his supposed moral superiors? 

Yeah, yeah, yeah, Scar is “just” a Disney character, I know, but the kiddies in the audience sure the fuck pick up on this kind of shit: Light hair good. Dark hair bad. Masculine good. Effeminate bad. Different bad. And, perhaps worst of all: being smart is bad. (Which pretty much is the presidential campaign platform of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and which no doubt has gained him millions of mouth-breathing fans.)

So “The Lion King,” in my book, (most likely) unwittingly reinforces Aryanism (in which I include white supremacy and “Christo”fascism, since those who subscribe to this sick belief system themselves conflate being white and being “Christian”), anti-intellectualism, heterosexism, gender conformity and homophobia, as well as posits that rulership by birth — monarchy — is an acceptable form of governance (King Mufasa and King Simba are, after all, the film’s heroes).

And don’t let me forget the feminists: The lionesses in “The Lion King” play primarily supportive roles to the male lions. I mean, the world of “The Lion King” is a patriarchal monarchy, of course.

These just aren’t cultural symbols and therefore cultural messages that I’d want any child for whom I had responsibility to consume as “entertainment.” Just sayin’.

Not to say that “The Lion King” is a total failure. Of course it isn’t. The characters of Timon (voiced by Nathan Lane) and Pumbaa still give us comic relief, the character of Simba (voiced first by Jonathan Taylor Thomas and then by Matthew Broderick) is likeable enough (although he is, let’s face it, privileged by birth, is favored by his DNA), and the hyenas (two of them voiced by Whoopi Goldberg and Cheech Marin*) are still good, and I think that I’d watch “The Lion King” for the character of the monkey mystic Rafiki (voiced by Robert Guillame) alone. (Rafiki adds some depth to a movie that needs it — otherwise, “The Lion King” would remain pretty much only a tale of genetic privilege, a tale in which the good-by-definition fair-haired defeat the evil-by-definition dark-haired.)

Unfortunately, “The Lion King’s” animation is not as great as I had remembered it to be. (Odd how we can remember things to have been better than they apparently actually were, isn’t it?) The newly added 3-D adds a little bit of spice to the old film, but there are long stretches of the film that don’t appear to be in 3-D, or the 3-D effects in these segments are so lackluster that you don’t really notice them at all.

I suppose that the kiddies would like “The Lion King’s” visuals, vocals and songs, but again, if I were a parent or guardian I’d be concerned about what toxic cultural messages my littlun almost assuredly were picking up by that curious form of cultural osmosis that children possess.

My grade: B-

*Lest you think that no one else on the planet picks up on symbolism, I seem to recall that at the time of “The Lion King’s” original release, some blacks and Latinos weren’t pleased that a black woman and a Latino man provided the voices of two of the evil hyenas.

However, one could, I suppose, counter-argue that James Earl Jones is black, and the character of Mufasa certainly strikes me as a Great White Hero.

Also, I don’t remember any widespread complaints from the gay community that the character of Scar, the intellectual, effete, effeminate “bachelor,” apparently is gay — and that he is Adolf-Hitler-level evil.

Too bad. There should have been. 

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