Daily Archives: December 9, 2015

TIME screwed Bernie, not The Donald

Bernie Sanders Time Magazine Cover

U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders made the cover of TIME magazine’s September 28 issue, but was snubbed for TIME’s Person of the Year for 2015, despite his having been the people’s clear choice for the designation.

Donald Trump claims that he got screwed out of TIME magazine’s Person of the Year designation, but the real screwee is presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders.

TIME picked German Chancellor Angela Merkel (who gives me the heebie-jeebies) as its 2015 Person of the Year, but, as TIME.com reports:

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has won the online readers’ poll for TIME Person of the Year, topping some of the world’s best-known politicians, activists and cultural figures as the most influential person of 2015 among those who voted.

The Vermont senator won with a little more than 10% of the vote when the poll closed Sunday [December 6] at midnight. That’s well ahead of Pakistani girls’ education activist Malala Yousafzai, who was in second place at 5.2%, and Pope Francis, TIME’s 2013 Person of the Year, who finished third with 3.7%.

Sanders also placed far ahead [of] President Obama (3.5%) and ahead [of] other 2016 candidates, including Republican Donald Trump (1.8%) and Democratic rival Hillary Clinton (1.4%).

Sanders has helped define the presidential race, calling for big-ticket progressive items from single-payer healthcare to tuition-free public universities. He has mobilized the Democratic Party’s liberal base and inspired massive campaign rallies across the country. …

Trump didn’t garner even 2 percent, so if he was screwed, I suppose that Bernie, with a bit more than 10 percent of the vote, was screwed five times as much. (And it’s funny that Billary didn’t do as well as El Trumpo did.)

TIME apparently justifies its snubbing of Bernie thusly: “No presidential candidate has been named Person of the Year prior to the end of the campaign, though a slew of presidential victors from Franklin Delano Roosevelt in (1932, 1934, and 1941), Ronald Reagan (1980, 1984) and Barack Obama (2008, 2012) have earned the distinction.”

Well, even the folks over at TIME could think outside of the box if they wanted to.

Not only did Bernie beat Billary (and The Donald) in TIME’s Person of the Year commoners’ poll, but Bernie does better in match-up polls than does Billary against the three Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants who are polling the best nationally: Trump, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, in that order (according to Real Clear Politics’ polling averages as they stand as I type this sentence).*

According to Real Clear Politics’ polling averages, right now Sanders beats Trump by 8.0 percent, whereas Billary beats Trump by 3.3 percent; Sanders beats Cruz by 5.6 percent while Billary beats Cruz by 2.5 percent; and while Rubio beats Clinton by 1.6 percent, Rubio beats Sanders by just 0.7 percent.

So talk of Billary being “more electable” than Bernie and/or Bernie being “unelectable” quite demonstrably is complete and utter bullshit.

Bernie Sanders’ doing better than Billary is doing against the top-three Repugnican Tea Party presidential challengers sure qualifies him as the Person of the Year for 2015 in my book. I mean, Billary has been running for the White House at least since 2000, when she became a carpetbagging U.S. senator for New York.

If the Democrats wake the fuck up and realize before it’s too late that Bernie is a stronger presidential candidate than is Billary, perhaps we’ll have a President Bernie, and the pundits at TIME will see fit to make Bernie their Person of the Year for 2016.

That said, as I wrote recently, Marco Rubio is the Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe to take down; indeed, he beats both Billary and Bernie in the polling match-ups right now (albeit only barely for Bernie).

Marco Rubio is no less evil than is Donald Trump, but he comes across as nicer and saner, which makes him perhaps even more dangerous than is Trump, who wears his fascism on his sleeve for all to see, while Rubio keeps his fascistic tendencies hidden to the point that they are fairly invisible to the untrained eye.

*Ben Carson comes in at fourth place, but I think it’s safe to write him off as politically dead at this point.

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Happy holidays, ‘Christo’fascists!

 

Oh, does that hurt? Too bad!

Recently my mother had sent me a package with Christmas* gifts, and I wrote her an e-mail to thank her for it.

“Happy holidays!” I concluded my e-mail. I immediately added: “Or, as you say in Arizona, merry Christmas! 😉

(I am a proud Northern Californian; I believe that California probably overall is the best state in the nation, although not perhaps to the extent that Texans believe that theirs is the supreme state. [To me, the only remarkable thing about Texas is that it’s a state that we can say is even worse than is Arizona. Probably.])

I was being cheeky in my e-mail to Mom, but, because there is truth to the joke, I guess that it was at least somewhat provocative.

My mother responded: “Hope you have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS (I don’t care whose toes I step on – [it’s] our tradition and I like to say MERRY CHRISTMAS, but don’t get me started on this).”

I was joking (for the most part), but I don’t think that she was.

So Mom has inspired this blog piece; consider it her CHRISTMAS gift to you.

The use of the greeting “Happy holidays” does not mean that you don’t get to celebrate Christmas if you so wish to do so. There is no “war” on Christmas.

Many years ago, when I first encountered “Happy holidays,” I just assumed that it meant to have a merry Christmas and a happy new year, and that it just saved a lot of words. (I mean, really, in a sense, there are four holidays in there: Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.)

It seems to me that “Happy holidays” still can mean that; after all, the majority of Americans celebrate Christmas Day and then New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day a week later.

“Happy holidays” also means, or perhaps has come to mean, that you’re not sure whether or not the person to whom you’re speaking recognizes/celebrates Christmas, and so you’re trying to be sensitive to his or her religious beliefs.

What, exactly, is wrong with being sensitive to the fact that someone whom you don’t know might not share your religious beliefs, including your holidays?

Indeed, there is no “war” on Christmas, but there is a war on anyone having religious beliefs and holidays that aren’t in line with the majority of Americans’ (about 70 percent of Americans identify as “Christian”).

Indeed, so hostile have “good” “Christians” “defending” Christmas become that very often “Merry Christmas!” is said not with love in the utterer’s heart, but is said with hostile defiance, perhaps even as a warning to its target: This is Christian territory!

Needless to say, this is not the spirit of peace and goodwill toward all humankind that Jesus Christ espoused, in black in white, in the gospels.

And how strong are “Christians” in their “faith” if it’s not good enough for them that “only” about 70 percent of Americans are on their team?

Christianity is supposed to be about love, but in most American “Christians” we see only fear, including the fear that if 100 percent of the nation’s population isn’t on board, marching in lockstep, then Christianity is “threatened.”

As someone who identifies more as an atheist than as anything else — I do gravitate toward Buddhism, which is more of a philosophy than a religion, as Buddha (presuming that a historical Buddha did indeed exist), strictly speaking, was not a deity and he rejected deism) — to me, more than anything else, “Happy holidays” is a reference to the winter solstice, probably especially here in the northern hemisphere.

As Wikipedia notes of the winter solstice, “Winter solstice is an astronomical phenomenon marking the shortest day and the longest night of the year. Winter solstice occurs for the northern hemisphere in December and for the southern hemisphere in June.”

Scholars almost universally agree that if there was a historical Jesus (my best guess is that there was, but I don’t know whether there was or not, and neither do you), he very most likely was not born on December 25 or even in the few days surrounding it.

As Livescience.com puts it: “Researchers believe the Roman Catholic Church settled on December 25 for many reasons, such as that date’s ties to the winter solstice and Saturnalia, a festival dedicated to the Roman deity Saturn. By choosing this day to celebrate Jesus’ birthday, the church could co-opt the popular pagan festival, as well as the winter celebrations of other pagan religions.”

Christmas was ripped off from the pagans, and in any event, even the pagans were observing (and still today observe) the astronomical phenomenon of the shortest day and the longest night of the year. (Astronomical phenomena are objective and universal. We have different cultures, including different religions, to suit individual and tribal tastes, but we don’t have different astronomical phenomena to suit individual and tribal tastes.)

The winter solstice, to me, is the holiday, so if you say to me, “Happy holidays,” to me it means the winter solstice and probably New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, too (having picked January 1 as the start of the new year is incorrect, too – or, at the least, quite arbitrary – but that’s another blog post).

The bottom line: Feel perfectly, wondrously free to say “Merry Christmas” to those whom you know celebrate Christmas if you wish to do so; knock your jolly old soul out.

But if you don’t know whether or not the person to whom you’re speaking celebrates/recognizes Christmas, then why in the holy fuck would you want to say “Merry Christmas” to him or to her?

And to say “Merry Christmas” in order to shove your own fucking religious beliefs down others’ throats, because you’re so fucking sure that your religion is The One and Only True Religion to the extent that you believe that everyone else also should subscribe to it just makes you a fucking asshole (and therefore, I suppose, a likely Donald Trump voter [I haven’t yet asked Mom if she supports The Donald, because I don’t think that I want to know the answer…]).

To shove “Merry Christmas” and your other religious beliefs down others’ throats makes you no different, in spirit, from the assholes of ISIS who believe that they should shove their religious beliefs down others’ throats. You’re just not killing people (yet).

Happy holidays.

P.S. I recognize that “Happy holidays” might be offensive to some atheists and perhaps even to some agnostics, since “holiday” means “holy day,” but again, to me the wintertime “holiday” is the winter solstice, an annual astronomical event (and that’s scientific, not “holy,” if by “holy” we mean the involvement of a deity), and when coupled with New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, it becomes “the holidays.” Thus, “Happy holidays.”

*I accept that Christmas is a wintertime holiday celebrated by most Americans. That’s what “Christmas” means to me. (“Christmas” to me does not mean the magically virginal birth of our lord and savior Jesus Christ on December 25 or on any other date of the year.)

Even though I’m an atheist or at least atheisty, I use the term “Christmas” myself, such as in “Christmas gifts” (which I give every year) and “Christmas tree,” but I don’t say “Merry Christmas” to those who might not celebrate/recognize the holiday.

Because I try not to be an asshole.

(No, pushing back against the “Christo”fascists, as I have done here, is not to be an asshole myself. Intolerance of intolerance is a good thing, not a bad thing. Jesus fuck.)

And, while we’re talking about fascism, “Christian” or otherwise, Donald Trump is a dangerous fascist who, if he actually became president, probably would require a Second-Amendment remedy.

Again: Happy holidays!

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