Monthly Archives: February 2014

Arizona and California in the news

Another black eye for Arizona (yes, it’s the thought that counts)

Jo Beaudry holds up a sign as she joins nearly 250 gay rights supporters protesting SB1062 at the Arizona Capitol, Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, in Phoenix. The protesters gathered demanding Gov. Jan Brewer veto legislation that would allow business owners to refuse to serve gays by citing their religious beliefs. The governor must sign or veto Senate Bill 1062 by the end of next week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

An anti-discrimination protester holds up a sign at the Arizona Capitol yesterday. Whackadoodle Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (below) has less than a week to decide whether or not to sign into law the legislation that the state’s legislature just passed that allows business owners to discriminate against non-heterosexuals out of their “religious” beliefs.

FILE - In this Jan. 13, 2014 file photo, Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announces her plan to end the current Child Protective Services agency by executive order during her State of the State address at the Arizona Capitol in Phoenix. An independent team named by Gov. Brewer to review the state's troubled child welfare agency on Friday Jan. 31, 2014, called for a top-to-bottom overhaul of the department to focus it purely on child safety. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Associated Press photos

The Arizona legislature’s passage of a law that, under the guise of the protection of religious beliefs, allows businesses to discriminate against non-heterosexuals (mostly, to refuse to serve them, and, very apparently, this applies also to those whom the “religious” business owners simply perceive or suspect to be non-heterosexual, and very most likely also would apply, by extension, to the non-gender-conforming), is yet another example of the abject ignorance, bigotry and mean-spiritedness that exists in the backasswards state where I was born and raised and left in 1998, yet to have set foot back there since.

All eyes now are on Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Will she or won’t she sign the discriminatory legislation into law?

Arizona businesses — quite ironically, since the legislation is touted as being for the benefit of business owners — vehemently don’t want Brewer to sign the legislation into law, arguing, correctly, that like Arizona’s past refusal to recognize Martin Luther King Day and its more recent unconstitutional discrimination against the brown-skinned perceived to be “illegals,” this legislation, if enacted, would give the pathetic state yet another black eye and result in more boycotts and more lost business.

The Arizona Republic, Arizona’s largest newspaper, also has come out against the discriminatory legislation. But this is Arizona, you see, and so the Republic’s largest argument is not that even further discrimination against an already historically oppressed minority group is wrong, but is that it’s bad for bidness. (The Republic’s editorial concludes:

… High-tech companies need talented young workers, so they locate in places young people find attractive and welcoming.

Arizona should strive to be one of those places.

This bill is a do-it-yourself black eye that would tag Arizona as a champion of anachronistic views of sexual orientation.

That’s not just the wrong side of history; it’s the dumb side of economic development.

We urge the governor to veto this bill as part of her continuing message that Arizona is open for business.)

But the Bible-thumping, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, inbred haters in Arizona (and they are legion), like the wing comprised of the plutocrats and those who love them, also are a huge wing of the Repugnican Tea Party, and they vehemently want Brewer to sign the legislation into law, so what’s poor Brewer to do?

My best guess is that Brewer won’t sign it into law — citing business interests, and not, of course, moral or ethical or even legal concerns — but I’m thinking that it’s only just over 50-50 that she won’t, so I wouldn’t be shocked if she does enact the discriminatory legislation.

However, if Brewer signs the legislation, this could backfire on the haters in Arizona and in the other red states, with whom we of the blue states still are waging a civil war.

Should Brewer sign the law, I have little doubt that a lawsuit would result, and it is quite possible, if not even probable, that because of the Arizona teatards’ attempt to legalize the practice of discriminating against an already historically oppressed minority group while hiding behind the facade of their “religious” “sensibilities,” we will see federal law changed to protect non-heterosexuals among the groups that federal law already protects.

Specifically, Title II of the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964 declares that “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

This federal law, and the subsequent court rulings regarding it, prohibit most (if not even all) businesses that serve the general public from practicing discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion or national origin (we could add the more generic category of “ethnicity” to that list, I believe). Simply adding sexual orientation to this list of protected groups of individuals would invalidate any state’s law to enshrine discrimination against non-heterosexuals in its statutes or constitution.

(Civics 101 lesson for the teatards: No state’s law, even a law contained within a state’s constitution, may violate federal law, which includes: the mandates of the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes, and, of course, the rulings of the federal courts, up to the U.S. Supreme Court.)

No, I wouldn’t, of course, expect the currently-less-than-worthless U.S. House of Representatives to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in order to offer any more historically oppressed minority groups protection from discrimination, since the Repugnican Tea Party is all about discrimination against the “wrong” kinds of Americans, but the House won’t be in the teatards’ control forever.

And while the current U.S. Supreme Court is too timid and too slow to bring all Americans to the level of equality that we are promised by the U.S. Constitution (and other founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence), I wouldn’t rule out the U.S. Supreme Court, or, at least, a lower federal court, ruling Arizona’s legalized discrimination against non-heterosexuals to be unconstitutional (since it is), and thus invalid.

Anyway, I wasn’t going to write about this issue until Brewer had gone one way or the other, but you know, whether Brewer signs the law into effect or not, the majority of the Arizona legislature has passed this deeply anti-American (well, I suppose that, given our nation’s ugly history, you could argue that it’s very American…) legislation, and it’s the thought that counts.

That the state’s legislature would even pass such hate-filled legislation like this tells you volumes about the backasswards state of Arizona.

California will keep its 55 electoral votes, fuck you very much

Much has been written about some bizillionaire’s attempt to get an initiative on California’s ballot that, if the majority of the state’s voters passed, would signify their agreement with his plan to split California up into six states as shown in the graphic above.

Having lived in California for more than 15 years now, I can tell you that California will not be split any century soon.

Not only would a majority of California’s voters never approve splitting the state even into two, but the U.S. Congress, which must approve the creation of any new state, most likely would not approve a plan to create one or more new states from California (or from any other of the already existing 50 states, for that matter).

So let’s not waste time arguing about the viability of the plan, since many proposals to split the state of California have come and gone over the decades and will continue to do so, will continue to go nowhere.

What we should pay attention to, however, is what most discussions of these periodic proposals to split California up miss: the fact that the real agenda behind these proposals is to make it easier for the Repugnican (Tea) Party to win the White House.

Yes, California’s 55 electoral votes — more electoral votes than any other state, since California is the most populous state (even the second-most-populous state, Texas, has only 38 electoral votes) — are just sitting there, in a huge pile, and they are soooo tempting to the wingnuts. (Since the 1992 presidential election, all of California’s electoral votes have gone to the Democratic presidential candidate.)

Divvy up California, especially creating one or more new red states from California’s red(der) regions, and now the Repugnican Tea Party now gets a significant chunk of those 55 electoral votes, making it easier for Repugnican Tea Party traitors and more difficult for the opposition party (as much as we can call the Democratic Party “the opposition party,” anyway) to win the White House.

If it isn’t about that, then how come the very same Repugnican Tea Party traitors who want to divide California don’t advocate that we divide other, populous, red(der) states, such as Texas and Florida? (The third-most-populous state of Florida has 29 electoral votes.)

Um, yeah.

Whenever a wingnut proposes something and claims that it’s for the public good, take a good look behind the curtains and see what the real agenda is.

Nothing good comes from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.

P.S. The rich proponent of the so-called “six Californias,” a venture capitalist from Silicon Valley, claims that he is an “independent,” but my guess is that that is a smokescreen for his pro-plutocratic agenda. In any event, the majority of so-called “independents” lean to the right, and their calling themselves “independents” often (if not usually) is to (try to) sucker in those who have soured on the Repugnican Tea Party; it’s classic bait and switch.

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Repugs bash ‘subhuman,’ ‘naive’ Obama, ask, ‘George W. WHO?’

So stupid white man Ted Nugent recently (fairly redundantly) referred to President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.” Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus recently remarked of Obama, “This is the most naive president in history.”

Although the likes of Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky and Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Prick Perry were quick to call Nugent’s words inappropriate, McCainosaurus essentially expressed the same sentiment — only in a “nicer” way.

I respect Nugent more than I do McCainosaurus for Nugent’s at least honestly having expressed his thoughts and beliefs, as nauseating as his rank white supremacism/racism is.

McCainosaurus, however, is “nice” and “polite” and “above it all,” you see, so he’ll couch his probably-race-based criticisms of Obama in “statesmanlike” terms.

Obama is a flawed president — no argument there — but every time that a Repugnican (Tea) Party traitor levels any criticism of Obama, I immediately think of the last Repugnican “president” (I use quotation marks, since he never legitimately was elected), George W. Bush, and I do the mental comparison.

So McCainosaurus pronounced that Obama “is the most naive president in history,” adding that “The naivete of Barack Obama and [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry is stunning.”

No, what is stunning is that in November 2008 the American people voted for Barack Obama over John McCainosaurus by 7.2 percent of the popular vote and Obama won a whopping 192 more electoral votes than McCainosaurus won, but Sore Loserman McCainosaurus still is running for president.

Or, at the least, he’s still very bitter that he lost the 2008 presidential election, and thus he feels that he routinely must lecture us “naive” Americans that we made such a huge “mistake” in not putting his old white man ass in the big chair in the Oval Office.

On foreign policy, Obama and Kerry can’t win anyway. They’re Democrats. Obama especially is handicapped among the right wing because he’s black and the vast majority of the wingnuts are white supremacists.

Obama has no desire to revive the Cold War with Russia, as McCainosaurus does, because Obama is not stuck in the distant past like the fossilized McCainosaurus is. (And we, the majority of the American people, also have no desire to revive the Cold War, which is why we voted for Obama and not for McCainosaurus.)

And even if Obama decided to act militarily every time that there were some squirmish in the world — as though every battle around the globe were the United States’ to fight, even though because of the military overextension of the Bush regime, the American empire is rotting from within — the right wing still would find some way criticize whatever he did. Because Obama is a Democrat, and probably even worse, he’s a black man in the White House.

Were Obama actually to send troops to such troubled regions as Syria and/or Ukraine, many if not most of the wingnuts probably suddenly would find themselves to be populists and anti-interventionists and criticize Obama for squandering our resources abroad instead of helping more Americans here at home. (If it were a Repugnican [Tea] Party president launching a military action abroad, however, of course it would be, by definition, a sound presidential decision.)

Again: Obama can’t win. If he doesn’t intervene in another nation’s squirmish, he’s “naive” or “weak” or whatever, yet if he does, the wingnuts will find something about his actions to criticize. I mean, fuck: Since the teatard majority of the U.S. House of Representatives has a history of opposing Obama on everything — because it comes from Obama — do you really think that the House would OK any military action that the Constitution might require Obama to first get from the House (if it were not linked to a mass terrorist attack that already had happened on American soil)? Hell no. But they’ll criticize Obama if he doesn’t act.

As I already have noted recently, the central problem that the stupid white men of the Repugnican Tea Party (and those who support them) have with Barack Obama is that he violates their white supremacist, patriarchal notion that only right-wing white men should be president of the United States.

Ted Nugent is pretty open and fairly blunt about his white supremacism; with the likes of John McCainosaurus, you have to read between the lines, but it’s still not exactly difficult to get the message. In one of his presidential debates with Obama in 2008, McCainosaurus bizarrely referred to Obama as “that one,” as an object, not as a human being, and in his most recent quote about Obama, he again refers to Obama as though Obama were not a human being, but as though Obama were some kind of anamoly, if not even some kind of object: “This is the most naive president in history.” (At the very least, McCainosaurus refers to Obama as being very deeply other.)

The vast majority of the right wing’s criticisms of Obama start at that point (if they radiate outward or not): their deep-seated, visceral belief that Obama’s supposed illegitimacy for the presidency indeed is coded in his DNA (indeed, he is, according to teatard Nugent, a “subhuman mongrel”).

So: Whenever you hear criticisms of Obama from the wingnuts, think of that, keep all of that in mind, and also think about how wonderful a president George W. Bush was:

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he allowed terrorists to attack the U.S. on September 11, 2001, slaughtering almost 3,000 people, despite his having received, the month before, a presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, at the time, you see, and so he couldn’t be bothered with it. (Google it.)

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he pulled a colossal bait and switch, encouraging Americans to support his pre-2000-election desire to invade and occupy the oil-rich nation of Iraq in retaliation for 9/11, even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11. More than 4,000 of our troops were slaughtered in the illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and wholly bogus Vietraq War, which all along was meant only to benefit Big Oil. (Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s oil fields were nationalized; since Hussein was toppled, Big Oil has been back in Iraq. [Google it.])

George W. Bush was so fucking great on national security that he just allowed almost 2,000 Americans to die in Hurricane Katrina.

Add it up — almost 3,000 killed on 9/11, more than 4,000 of our troops killed in the bogus Vietraq War, almost 2,000 Americans killed unnecessarily by Hurricane Katrina.

That’s quite a body count, but the traitors who comprise the American right wing so conveniently ignore all of this while they focus like a laser on the deaths of four (4) people in Benghazi, Libya.

Indeed, Obama is “the most naive president in history”! He is in way over his head! He’s clueless! He has no idea what he’s doing!

Yes, let’s talk about keeping Americans safe: Far, far more Americans died unnecessarily when BushCheneyCorp was at the helm than have died while Obama has been behind the wheel.

Yes, let’s talk about foreign policy: George W. Bush made the U.S. even more hated in the Middle East — the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis because of the Vietraq War alone hasn’t made the U.S. more loved in the Middle East — making us more likely, not less likely, to be the targets of future terrorist attacks.

George W. Bush & Co. started a crusade against the Middle East that Barack Obama apparently felt he had to continue, lest he be labeled by the wingnuts and their sympathizers as “weak” or “soft” or “naive” (which was going to happen anyway, no matter what he did or did not d0).

George W. Bush also left the United States of America in far worse shape than it was when he stole office in 2000. He started with Bill Clinton’s record federal budget surplus and ended his eight years of unelected rule with a federal budget deficit — in no small part because the Vietraq War was meant to be a massive giveaway of taxpayers’ dollars to military contractors and to Big Oil. (Indeed, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which was involved with both military contracting and Big Oil, got to profiteer obscenely in Vietraq without even having to bid for the federal-government contracts.)

So it’s not like George W. Bush even left Barack Obama with the resources necessary to launch more military (mis)adventures, yet here are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pissing and moaning that Obama isn’t sending troops to every nation where there is a squirmish.

There is so much about Obama that I don’t like, but when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pretend that they have the solutions to our problems (most of which they created), you only have to think back to the last time that a member of their party was in the White House, and ask yourself if you really want a deja vu of all of that: a stolen presidential election, 9/11, the Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the crashed national economy, etc., etc.

P.S. Before anyone accuses me of unfairly linking Ted Nugent to the Repugnican Tea Party, know that Nugent has made campaign (or other public) appearances with the likes of Sarah Palin, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (the state’s current attorney general), and many others of the Repugnican Tea Party.

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An Astroturf uprising in Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez speaks to supporters before handing himself over in Caracas

Reuters photo

The U.S.-educated, right-wing, pro-plutocratic Venezuelan Leopoldo Lopez is no revolutionary — he is a traitor who actively participated in the anti-democratic, treasonous right wing’s failed treasonous attempt to unseat duly democratically elected Venezuela President Hugo Chavez in 2002. Lopez’s pro-plutocratic supporters likewise hardly are revolutionaries, unless we now are defining the overprivileged, anti-democratic 1 percent as “revolutionaries.”

I’m no expert on Venezuela, but not being an expert on a topic often has not stopped me from talking or writing about it before, and my intuition about a person and/or situation is usually spot-on.

So in the news coverage of the street fracases that are being reported in Venezuela right now, my main question has been: Is this really a populist uprising of the typical Venezuelan against socialist President Nicolas Maduro, or is this yet another show put on by right-wingers with a political agenda?

Then I spotted these tidbits of information in a Reuters news story from today:

… Tensions [in Venezuela] have escalated since opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez, a 42-year-old Harvard-educated economist, turned himself in to [government] troops this week. He is being held in Caracas’ Ramo Verde military jail on charges of fomenting the violence.

“Change depends on every one of us. Don’t give up!” Lopez’s wife, Lilian Tintori, said on Twitter.

Local TV channels are providing almost no live coverage of the unrest, so Venezuelans are turning to social media to swap information and images, though falsified photos are circulating.

Both sides rolled out competing evidence of the latest violence [today], with ruling Socialist Party governors showing photos and video of charred streets and torched vehicles, while the opposition posted footage of brutal behavior which they said was by national guard troops.

Maduro, elected last year to succeed [the late] socialist leader Hugo Chavez, says Lopez and “small fascist groups” are in league with the U.S. government and want a coup. …

Street protests were the backdrop to a short-lived coup against Chavez in 2002 before military loyalists and supporters helped bring him back. There is no evidence the military, which was the decisive factor in 2002, may turn on Maduro now. …

Detractors call Lopez a dangerous hothead. He has frequently squabbled with fellow opposition leaders and was involved in the 2002 coup, even helping arrest a minister. [Emphasis mine.]

Though the majority of demonstrators have been peaceful, an increasingly prominent radical fringe has been attacking police, blocking roads and vandalizing buildings. …

Sounds like textbook right-wing thuggery to me: start a fight, provoke a response, and then blame the leftists whom you oppose for their “oppression” of you.

Leopoldo Lopez is lucky to still be alive. Had he been a leftist who had participated in a failed coup of a right-wing leader in Latin America, the right-wingers most likely would have executed him for his treason, or at least imprisoned him for life. But despite the late Hugo Chavez’s having relentlessly been called a murderous dictator by his detractors, even after his political opponents quite treasonously tried to overthrow the duly democratically elected Chavez in 2002, he had not one of the traitors executed.

So here is anti-democratic, right-wing traitor Leopoldo Lopez, back again, trying to subvert the will of the majority of the voters of Venezuela. He and his right-wing cohorts can’t win presidential elections in Venezuela, and so they’ll try to treasonously and anti-democrtically seize power again, just like they did in 2002.

Lopez doesn’t deserve to be allowed to continue to draw breath, since he’s a fucking traitor, but here he is, trying to commit even more treason.

The world — including, of course, the Obama White House — needs to recognize this tattered and faded old page from the right-wing playbook for what it is; when the wingnuts stir up shit abroad in order to try to get sympathy from abroad by playing the “innocent” “victims,” we need to open our eyes, not be taken in by superficial appearances or rumors, and examine the facts, and see them, clearly, for what they are.

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‘Tea party’ traitors call Obama illegitimate

The wingnuts’ new meme (new to me, anyway) is that Barack Obama is an “imperial president.”

House weasel Darrell Issa, who’s always on a jihad against some big-name Democrat, reportedly in New Hampshire “urged his party [today] to unite against Obama’s ‘imperial presidency.'”

A writer for Salon.com recently quoted Ted Cruz’s use of the phrase “imperial presidency,” so very apparently all of the fucktards on the far right got the same memo.

The Salon.com article is titled “Ted Cruz’s Imperialist Fantasy: Why His Latest Anti-Obama Epithet Is So Dangerous,” but the article doesn’t deliver on its headline. The article mostly explains why literally calling Barack Obama imperial(ist) — a la an actual emperor, such as from the Roman days of yore — is inaccurate, since of course we don’t have that system of government. (Duh.)

And the writer reminds us that of course the United States, possessing the most powerful military (omni?)presence on the planet, more or less constitutes a (the…) modern (Romanesque) empire, so to bash Obama as “imperial(ist)” could appear to be bashing, also, the very idea of American empire (such as the American empire is these days) — and the Repugnican (Tea) Party historically has supported empire, as long as it’s the United States’ empire.

But when wingnutty slimebags like Cruz and Issa call Obama an “imperial(ist)” president, what they are getting at, I am confident, is that they are asserting that Obama does not have legitimacy in our so-called democracy — that Obama is no more legitimate as our (so-called) democratic nation’s leader than would be an unelected emperor, a dictator.

Of course, Obama has been many things, but one thing that Obama never has been — entirely unlike George W. Bush, whose presidency was much, much more “imperial(ist)” than Obama’s ever has been (recall that for a long, long time “Doonesbury” creator Garry Trudeau depicted then-“President” Gee Dubya only as a deteriorating Roman military helmet)  — is unelected.

You don’t have to like Obama, but you don’t get to assert that the results of presidential elections are illegitimate because you don’t like those results.

“I believe this president is dangerous to our democracy,” Darrell Issa proclaimed of the “imperial” President Obama in New Hampshire today.

Our democracy is in deep shit, I acknowledge without hesitation, but I blame the influence of Gargantuan Money on campaigns and elections far more than I blame Barack Obama, the individual himself. (On that note, Issa is the second-wealthiest member of Congress [yes, that includes the 435-member House of Representatives and the 1oo-member Senate].) 

There is plenty about Obama that I don’t like, such as his gleeful use of killer drones (despite his too-premature receipt of the Nobel Peace Prize…), his defense of pervasive government spying (I love his apparent assertion that if a corporation [instead of the federal government] stores all of this mega-data [which the feds most likely could access at will], then the collection of the mega-data itself magically no longer is unconstitutional, so problem “solved”!), and his overall sluggishness to altogether fairly nonexistent action on such issues as combatting climate change (including working seriously to get us off of Big Oil) and significantly reversing unemployment (and underemployment) and poverty. Even his “signature” “accomplishment” of “Obamacare,” I understand, is nothing that the wealth-care — er, health-care — lobbyists didn’t endorse.

Obama has been a post-Bush-disaster caretaker president, at best — not the progressive president we’d hoped we’d elected in 2008.

But we did elect him. Twice.

And so while treasonous slimebags like Darrell Issa foam at the fangs about Obama supposedly being “dangerous to our democracy,” what is much more dangerous to our (so-called) democracy than Obama is the belief of those afflicted with delusions of right-wing, white-male entitlement — like Darrell Issa and Ted Cruz are — that they can shit and piss over the will of the majority of the voters and declare the duly democratically elected president of the United States of America* to be illegitimate — which is exactly what they mean when they call him an “imperial(ist) president,” because, to them and their listeners, “imperial(ist) president” = illegitimate president.

For members of a political party to declare, directly or indirectly, that a duly elected (that is, the individual candidate who truly won the most votes) president (or other elected official) is “illegitimate” because he or she is of the/an opposing party (and/or for any other reason, such as the race of the duly elected individual) constitutes treason.

It constitutes treason because it constitutes the refusal to recognize the will of the majority of the voters and the attempt to substitute one’s own, minority political will for the political will of the majority of the voters.

And I can’t think of a worse crime against a (so-called) democracy, because when the will of the majority of voters simply can be disregarded by the sore losers of the elections, it no longer is a democracy — a government of the majority of the people — at all.

*Note than in 2008, Obama won the popular vote by between 9 million and 10 million votes over his Repugnican opponent John McCainosaurus, and that Obama was re-elected in 2012 by almost 5 million popular votes over his Repugnican opponent Mittens Romney — and note that in 2000, George W. Bush lost the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore by almost 544,000 votes.

While I voted for Ralph Nader for president in 2000, I fully recognized at that time, and I still recognize now, that Al Gore won the 2000 presidential election, fair and square. And while I voted for Obama in 2008 but could not vote for him again in 2012 (I voted for the Green Party candidate instead), I fully recognize that although Obama didn’t, in my eyes, deserve a second term, the majority of the nation’s voters disagreed with me on that point at the ballot box.

A true patriot in a true democracy accepts the outcomes of elections, even when (perhaps especially when) the outcomes do not go his or her way.

There is no other way — except for the tyranny that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors apparently wish to impose on all of us, against our wishes and against our will.

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Yes, Virginia, loving is a civil right

I am happy to have read, on Valentine’s Day, that a federal judge, in declaring the state of Virginia’s ban on same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional (because all states’ bans on same-sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution), evoked the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court case Loving v. Virginia, in which the nation’s highest court ruled that it is unconstitutional for any state to prohibit mixed-race (heterosexual, of course!) marriage.

Many if not most are hesitant to compare same-sex marriage to mixed-race marriage, since this makes the non-white homophobes go apeshit. (You don’t choose your race, but you choose to be non-heterosexual, they [for the most part incorrectly*] assert, and they believe, of course, that being non-hetrosexual is bad. [You aren’t born with your religious beliefs, but people’s religious beliefs are protected against discrimination, so that whole “choice” “argument” is actually pretty fucking moot where equal human and civil rights are concerned.])

Mildred Loving, the black woman whose marriage to a white man was the subject of Loving v. Virginia, wrote this in 2007 to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the court case bearing her name:

When my late husband, Richard, and I got married in Washington, D.C., in 1958, it wasn’t to make a political statement or start a fight. We were in love, and we wanted to be married. 

We didn’t get married in Washington because we wanted to marry there. We did it there because the government wouldn’t allow us to marry back home in Virginia where we grew up, where we met, where we fell in love, and where we wanted to be together and build our family. You see, I am a woman of color and Richard was white, and at that time people believed it was okay to keep us from marrying because of their ideas of who should marry whom.

When Richard and I came back to our home in Virginia, happily married, we had no intention of battling over the law. We made a commitment to each other in our love and lives, and now had the legal commitment, called marriage, to match. Isn’t that what marriage is?

Not long after our wedding, we were awakened in the middle of the night in our own bedroom by deputy sheriffs and actually arrested for the “crime” of marrying the wrong kind of person. Our marriage certificate was hanging on the wall above the bed.

The state prosecuted Richard and me, and after we were found guilty, the judge declared: “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” He sentenced us to a year in prison, but offered to suspend the sentence if we left our home in Virginia for 25 years exile.

 We left, and got a lawyer. Richard and I had to fight, but still were not fighting for a cause. We were fighting for our love.

Though it turned out we had to fight, happily Richard and I didn’t have to fight alone. Thanks to groups like the ACLU and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, and so many good people around the country willing to speak up, we took our case for the freedom to marry all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. And on June 12, 1967, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men,” a “basic civil right.”

My generation was bitterly divided over something that should have been so clear and right. The majority believed that what the judge said, that it was God’s plan to keep people apart, and that government should discriminate against people in love. But I have lived long enough now to see big changes. The older generation’s fears and prejudices have given way, and today’s young people realize that if someone loves someone they have a right to marry.

Surrounded as I am now by wonderful children and grandchildren, not a day goes by that I don’t think of Richard and our love, our right to marry, and how much it meant to me to have that freedom to marry the person precious to me, even if others thought he was the “wrong kind of person” for me to marry. I believe all Americans, no matter their race, no matter their sex, no matter their sexual orientation, should have that same freedom to marry. Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights.

I am still not a political person, but I am proud that Richard’s and my name is on a court case that can help reinforce the love, the commitment, the fairness, and the family that so many people, black or white, young or old, gay or straight seek in life. I support the freedom to marry for all. That’s what Loving [v. Virginia], and loving, are all about.

Kinda knocks the wind out of the sails of the black homophobes, doesn’t it, that the black woman who was involved in Loving v. Virginia herself proclaimed — seven years ago! — such things as that “Government has no business imposing some people’s religious beliefs over others. Especially if it denies people’s civil rights” and that “black or white, young or old, gay or straight,” she “support[s] the freedom to marry for all”?

I am struck by how “God” routinely was used as a defense of the prohibition of mixed-raced marriages, with the judge in Virginia having proclaimed that “Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, Malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.”

Similar “arguments” by the “Christo”fascist homophobes abound today.

I also am struck by how Mildred and Richard Loving faced what same-sex couples in the United States face today: having your marriage performed and recognized in one state but flatly and wholly rejected in another state.

This kind of bullshit cannot stand. A house divided will fall.

But I have no doubt that one day soon, the U.S. Supreme Court will rule, as it did in Loving v. Virginia the year before I was born (it was not nearly long ago enough!), that “The freedom to marry has long been recognized as one of the vital personal rights essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by free men [and women],” a “basic civil right.”**

*My observation is that some non-heterosexuals clearly are born non-heterosexual, that they had no choice in it whatsoever, but that it might more or less be a choice for some other non-heterosexuals.

However, the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents, such as the Declaration of Independence, guarantee all of us Americans such things as the right and the freedom to associate with whomever we wish, the right to privacy, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Therefore, it doesn’t fucking matter whether an individual’s non-majority sexual orientation is his or her (or “their”?) choice or not; he or she (or “they”?) still is entitled to the same civil rights as is everyone else.

(I can’t say that I’m on board with “they,” “them” and “their” — plural pronouns — being used as gender-neutral pronouns. The plural pronouns exist to indicate number, not gender status. I’m fine with gender-neutral pronouns being used, but I don’t think that we’ve found the best ones yet, and therefore we might have to invent them…)

**Slate.com has a pretty good piece today titled: “It’s Over: Gay Marriage Can’t Win in the Courts.” The piece notes:

… Insofar as there was confusion about what [United States v.] Windsor [2013] meant at the time it was decided, the lower courts across the country have now effectively settled it. A survey of publicly available opinions shows that in the eight months since Windsor, 18 court decisions have addressed an issue of equality based on sexual orientation. And in those 18 cases, equality has won every single time. In other words, not a single court has agreed with Chief Justice [John] Roberts that Windsor is merely about state versus federal power. Instead, each has used Windsor exactly as Justice [Antonin] Scalia “warned”—as a powerful precedent for equality. …

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Memo to the maenads: Misandry is not feminist

A depiction of the maenads attacking Achilles.

The Woody Allen chatter won’t end (although it has died down a bit, thankfully), and it’s not the pro-Woody camp that is perpetuating it, but the pro-Mia-Farrow camp, the members of which have an ax to grind — an ax with with to castrate, apparently.

The New York Times on Sunday published Allen’s response to Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Dylan Farrow’s write-up in the New York Times a week earlier, but one typical ax-weilding castrator for Salon.com wrote today (links are the writer’s, not mine):

… It’s been two weeks since Dylan Farrow published her open letter detailing the alleged sexual abuse she experienced at the hands of Woody Allen. Since then, she has addressed the abuse in interviews with People magazine and the Hollywood Reporter.

It’s been 20 years since Allen held a press conference on the steps of Yale University to announce the findings of the Yale-New Haven Sexual Abuse Clinic’s (incredibly fraught) investigation into Farrow’s allegations.

Since then, he hasn’t much addressed the issue, but really, he doesn’t need to. He is a critically celebrated writer and director in a culture convinced of its own righteousness, confident that it would never grant such distinctions to a sexual predator.

Despite enjoying two decades of the presumption of innocence (and a massive accumulation of wealth), Allen was given column inches on the New York Times editorial page to assert his innocence (and impugn Farrow’s mental health and character) — in the name of “balance.” …

So this is the misandrist’s apparent “argument”: That Woody Allen must be guilty as charged because he has wealth and power (and, of course, because he is a man), and that because he has wealth and power (and testicles), the New York Times should not have given him the opportunity to refute Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter’s serious allegations against him that the Times had recently published.

Because “balance,” you see, means that any female should be able to make any allegation against any male, and if the male refutes any such allegation, then it’s a misogynist attack upon all females. The male should just shut the fuck up and take his castration like a man!

If he is innocent, so what? If he is sacrificed by the gonad-slicing maenads, it’s just to make up for all of the wrongs that other men have done to other women!

This is “justice” to a misandrist, you see. It’s a lot like “justice” to the misogynist: the scales of justice are to tip in favor of the misogynist’s or the misandrist’s own sex.

Fuck objectivity, fuck fairness, fuck justice. Fuck facts, fuck truth, fuck decency. It’s all about the war between the sexes and which side of that war you are on.

I consider myself a feminist. I believe wholeheartedly in equal rights for women.

I wish that far more women were in Washington, D.C., where women are woefully underrepresented; I think that our national priorities, as they are played out in D.C., anyway, would change for the better if more women were in power in D.C.

I keep giving money to Wendy Davis, whom I hope becomes the next governor of Texas. From what I know of her I like her, and I fully support women’s right to govern their own reproductive systems. (I’ve given money to Planned Parenthood and to NARAL, too — and I’m a gay man who has no desire to reproduce myself, so this is from my looking at the bigger picture, not from my looking at only my own narrow, selfish interests.)

While I am not excited about the center-right Billary Clinton, whose actual remarkable accomplishments I don’t see, I would love to see a woman — an actually progressive woman — as president of the United States.

But I assure feminists that the path forward for feminists is not to become the flip side of misogynists, to believe and to operate out of the belief that since women historically have been kept down by men, it’s time now for payback, and women now should exact revenge against those who were born with the XY chromosomes.

Because when you exact revenge upon a whole class of human beings, you are sure to harm the innocent, and while you smugly and self-righteously believe that your revenge is justified, it most certainly is not. True justice is meted out on a case-by-case, often one-on-one, basis, never en masse.

On that note, the chatter about Woody Allen isn’t really about Woody Allen. Allen has been just the stand-in for misandrists to publicly vent their hatred and bile. (Indeed, the headline for the bad Salon.com article that I excerpted above begins with the words “A Nation Ruled by Creeps.” Clearly, many if not most if not even all males are “creeps.” It’s not OK for misogynists to paint females with such a broad brush, but it’s perfectly fine for misandrists to do so to males, you see.) And probably all of recent misandrist chatter (using Woody Allen as an excuse) is meant to strike fear in the hearts of all of those who possess testicles.

Interestingly, in the midst of the for-some-reason-still-ongoing chatter about Woody Allen, I received this e-mail today from Change.org. Its subject line is “I told a lie that put my dad in prison.”

It reads:

When I was eight years old, my mom scared me into telling a lie that would change the course of our family’s life.

One day when I was at home watching my dad work, I came out of the bathroom and my mom asked me if my dad had ever touched me. Confused, I said no. But then she asked me again. And I said no. She kept asking, and I kept saying no, until she became angry and threatened to beat me with a belt until I said yes. I was too young to know that my mom was using drugs at the time, and I was scared. So I said yes.

My dad was convicted of sexually assaulting me and has been in prison for over 15 years for a crime he didn’t commit. Now that I’m an adult and a mom, I’m working hard to right this wrong that should have never happened. I started a petition on Change.org asking for the Governor of New York to pardon my innocent father. Click here to sign my petition.

I remember sometimes during dinner my mom would make excuses to leave so she could find drugs. When my dad would try to stop her, they would fight, and I would cry. Now I know it’s because he wanted her to stay home with the family that he was working so hard to keep together.

After my dad was sent to prison, my siblings and I went to live with my grandmother. I told her the whole truth: that my dad had never touched me, and that my mom taught me all the words to say that would get him in trouble. My mom even admits now that this happened during one of her drug binges, and she doesn’t know why she did it.

I’ve been fighting to set my dad free with this evidence since I was 15 years old — but all of my appeals have been denied. I was recently interviewed about my story by national news, and I believe that this wave of public support can help my case. That’s why I started this petition to pressure Governor Cuomo into pardoning him. Will you help me by signing?

Ask Governor Cuomo of New York to pardon my dad Daryl Kelly, an innocent man, by signing my petition on Change.org.

Thank you so much for your support.

Chaneya Kelly

Gee, reading this woman’s story in her own words, what’s a misandrist to do?

My guess is that your hardcore misandrists, your dyed-in-the-wool man-haters, would respond to this case by claiming that of course Chaneya Kelly is lying, that of course her father sexually abused her, that she just wants to get him out of prison for some reason, maybe out of sympathy (which is antithetical to the misandrist, just as it is to the misogynist), or maybe she’s psychologically all caught up with her abuser and so she wants to protect him (I love that pseudo-psychiatric “diagnosis” — under that “logic,” you see, there is no fucking way in hell that a male accused of sexual abuse ever could be innocent; indeed, the accusation itself is tantamount to guilt!).

There is precedent of women instructing their daughters to lie about sexual abuse in order to exact revenge upon or to otherwise damage men. Perhaps especially when women have strategic reason to instruct their daughters to thusly lie — such as in the midst of a custody battle, as Mia Farrow and Woody Allen were when Farrow accused Allen of having sexually abused Dylan — their accusations need to be examined and investigated very carefully, because such lying happens. Just like actual sexual abuse of females at the hands of males also happens.

All of that said, I still don’t maintain that Woody Allen is guilty or innocent. I was not there. I don’t know for sure. The more that the hysterical misandrists pile upon Woody Allen as some sort of misguided apparent self-therapy for their own apparent wounds, the more, perhaps, I tend to suspect his innocence, but when it comes down to it, I still don’t know.

But I do know that I find misandry to be as unacceptable as is misogyny — because I find sex-based discrimination to be intolerable, regardless of who is engaging in it — and if feminism is to succeed, it cannot make misandry its centerpiece.

Because Woody Allen is just a stand-in for all of the males whom the misandrists despise, of course they’ll never let him off the hook, because they most likely will take their hatred of men with them to their graves.

“Since then [two decades ago], he hasn’t much addressed the issue,” the Salon.com maenad whose piece I excerpted above sniveled about Allen.

The belief there, apparently, is that although Woody Allen never even was criminally charged with sexual abuse, nonetheless, he should have continued to have the mere allegations publicly rubbed in his face constantly for the rest of his life. Indeed, his life should have been ruined by the mere allegations. That he went on to earn a lot of money! How unjust! He should have died already, penniless and alone in abject poverty because he had been absolutely ruined by the allegations! That would have been “justice”! (Just like burning “witches” and tarring and feathering always were “justice”!)

What probably incensed the Allen haters the most about his response in the New York Times on Sunday to the Farrows’ recent flare-ups is that he ended it with these words: “This piece will be my final word on this entire matter and no one will be responding on my behalf to any further comments on it by any party. Enough people have been hurt.”

Indeed, the maenads have wanted the back-and-forth in regards to Woody Allen to continue in perpetuity, but that is made much more difficult when he refuses to play their sick and twisted game.

This (probably, hopefully) will be my final word on the matter, too.

Fuck the maenads. I love feminism, but I hate misandry, and I reject it just as I reject misogyny.

P.S. Bill Cosby apparently is the maenads’ next target. The afore-quoted Salon.com maenad also wrote about him in her aforementioned misandrist post, and another maenad who writes for Slate.com asks today, “Why Doesn’t Anyone Care About the Sexual Assault Allegations Against Bill Cosby?”

Um, because we (are trying to) have lives?

Because not all of us are hysterical man-haters trying to stir up shit from the past that may or may not have any factual basis whatsofuckingever?

P.P.S. Wikipedia defines “feminism” as:

… a collection of movements and ideologies aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic and social rights for women. This includes seeking to establish equal opportunities for women in education and employment. A feminist advocates or supports the rights and equality of women.

Merriam-Webster defines “feminism” as “the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes; organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests.”

I’m on board with those definitions, in no small part because as a gay man I am familiar with being treated unequally, but I’m not on board with misandry, and I disagree vehemently with those who wish to make misandry a prerequisite for counting oneself to be a feminist.

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Moses Farrow testifies in the court of public opinion

As I already have indicated, I agree with Slate.com legal writer Dahlia Lithwick’s assertion that the Mia Farrow-Woody Allen family feud never should have been put before the court of public opinion, but Slate.com today also reports (hypocritically?) today that People magazine reports that Mia Farrow’s and Woody Allen’s other adopted child, Moses Farrow, who is now 36 years old, recently said this to the magazine:

“My mother drummed it into me to hate my father for tearing apart the family and sexually molesting my sister [Dylan Farrow, who now is 28 years old]. And I hated him for her for years. I see now that this was a vengeful way to pay him back for falling in love with Soon-Yi. … [Keep in mind that Mia Farrow and Woody Allen waged a nasty court battle for the custody of both of their co-adopted children, Dylan and Moses, and so it’s not like Mia Farrow had no reason to lie about Allen’s treatment of either child.]

“Of course Woody did not molest my sister. She loved him and looked forward to seeing him when he would visit. She never hid from him until our mother succeeded in creating the atmosphere of fear and hate towards him.

“The day in question, there were six or seven of us in the house. We were all in public rooms and no one, not my father or sister, was off in any private spaces. My mother was conveniently out shopping.

“I don’t know if my sister really believes she was molested or is trying to please her mother. Pleasing my mother was very powerful motivation because to be on her wrong side was horrible.”

Before members of the pro-Mia camp leave me a nasty comment, let me make it clear that I am not asserting that because Moses Farrow says that his sister Dylan Farrow was not molested by Woody Allen, Dylan Farrow is lying or is mistaken or confused about reality.

While I suspect that Moses is telling the truth — and his version of the facts of that fateful day are very different from the version that Mia Farrow and Dylan Farrow tell — when it comes down to it, I still just don’t know. It’s not impossible that Moses is lying or is mistaken or confused about reality. 

However, Dylan Farrow got to have her testimony in the court of public opinion, so it’s only fair that Moses Farrow also got to testify in the same court, and Moses’ testimony, whether you tend to believe it or not, sure makes the whole picture a whole lot grayer, doesn’t it? I mean, he was in the house. I was not, and neither were you.

The more information that you have, the better, and Moses Farrow’s public statement certainly adds more information, is another important piece of the puzzle, but the puzzle never was ours to (try to) put together.

As Lithwick puts it:

Welcome to the Court of Public Opinion. We have continued People v. Bieber (2014) so that we can instead relitigate Allen v. Farrow (1992). To be perfectly clear, the court must state upfront that in the Court of Public Opinion there are no rules of evidence, no burdens of proof, no cross-examinations, and no standards of admissibility. There are no questions and also no answers. Also, please be aware that in the Court of Public Opinion, choosing silence or doubt is itself a prosecutable offense.

She adds that

… the Court of Public Opinion is what we used to call villagers with flaming torches. It has no rules, no arbiter, no mechanism at all for separating truth from lies. It allows everything into evidence and has no mechanism to separate facts about the case from the experiences and political leanings of the millions of us who are all acting as witnesses, judges, and jurors. …

The Court of Public Opinion is a wonderful place to be heard, to test new ideas, and an even more gratifying place to tear apart those whose opinions offend us. It rarely brings about justice for the parties in a lawsuit, however, because the Court of Public Opinion is usually more about us than them. …

Indeed, as I have said, Farrow v. Allen (1992) has served as a national Rorschach test. (Indeed, if you read Lithwick’s full piece, she remarks about our “our woefully anti-woman, anti-victim culture,” so even she apparently has skin in this game. [I consider myself to be a feminist, too, but to point out that we have an “anti-woman, anti-victim culture” sure gives the appearance of taking a side, doesn’t it?])

And just saying, as I have said many times now, “I don’t know” whether or not Woody Allen molested his adopted daughter Dylan is enough for many if not most members of the pro-Mia camp to attack you as a misogynist pedophile-lover, if not a pedophile yourself.

This ugly national drama reminds me much of the plays (and the films) “The Crucible” and “Doubt.”

Shame on us for not having risen above this shit already.

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