Tag Archives: Arizona

We are at the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare

Updated below (on Wednesday, November 7, 2018)

As I type this sentence, Politico reports that the Democrats are projected to take back the U.S. House of Representatives.

That is the one and only thing that I really, really wanted to happen in today’s elections, if nothing else good happened.

If a Democratic U.S. House and a Repugnican U.S. Senate results in gridlock for at least the next two years, then so fucking be it. The Repugnicans stymied President Barack Obama when they took back the House in November 2010 and held it for the rest of his presidency. (Not that Obama was an ambitious progressive anyway, but still…) Payback is a bitch.

Just as the unelected, illegitimate “President” Pussygrabber ramps up his fascism, including sending troops to the southern border to “protect” us from impoverished, desperate human beings (just like Jesus would do!), talking about shooting any rock-throwing immigrants (er, “illegals”), and talking about unilaterally altering the U.S. Constitution by executive order, it’s time to rein in his sorry, orange, tinpot-dictator ass.

The American system works. It takes time, but it works.

We are on a course correction, and we are at the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare.

Update (Wednesday, November 7, 2018): Other good news from last night includes Democrat Tony Evers’ victory over piece-of-shit Repugnican (redundant) Scott Walker for the governorship of Wisconsin. Woo hoo!

Also, I’m delighted that Democrat Jacky Rosen beat incumbent Repugnican Dean Heller for the U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, the state in which I plan to retire. Also, the Democratic candidate also won the state’s governorship, so as of January, Nevada will, like California, have two Democratic U.S. senators and a Democratic governor. I hope that Nevada keeps getting bluer before I finally move there.

And in neighboring Arizona, the race between Democrat Kyrsten Sinema and Repugnican Martha McSally for the U.S. Senate seat vacated by Jeff Flake is too close to call, The Arizona Republic’s website reports right now.

Arizona is still pretty fucking red, but I hope that it, too, becomes more and more blue over the years, and I’m thinking that Democratic powerhouse California is having a blue-ing effect on its neighbors.

My biggest disappointment from yesterday’s election is that actual Democrat Kevin de León did not beat DINO Dianne “Cryptkeeper” Feinstein for the U.S. Senate seat for my great state of California, but thus far in the initial returns, De León has done better than the polls had suggested he would. Polls had Cryptkeeper ahead by double digits, but as I type this sentence, Cryptkeeper is ahead of De León by 8.8 percentage points, 54.4 percent to 45.6 percent.

A lot of Californians obviously want progressive change, but I don’t expect the crusty Cryptkeeper to be humbled by the fact that for an very-long-term incumbent she didn’t do nearly as well as she should have.

I’m also disappointed that Andrew Gillum didn’t win the governorship of Florida, but it was damned close (49.7 percent to 49 percent as of right now, per The New York Times).

I’m thinking and hoping that those progressives who did well but didn’t win yesterday, such as Gillum and De León — and such as gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams, to whom I also gave a donation (but it’s Georgia) — will run again and will win next time.

P.S. Oops. Apparently Stacey Abrams still might pull out a win, despite the fact that her Repugnican opponent, Brian Kemp, is Georgia’s chief elections official who won’t recuse himself from overseeing the election in which he’s the Repugnican candidate for governor.

The votes in Georgia have yet to be finalized, and should Kemp’s final total fall below 50.0 percent, a runoff would be required in December, as for the governorship in Georgia, the winner must garner at least a simple majority, not just a plurality.

I hope that a runoff happens.

Finally, The Arizona Republic right now reports that the race between Kyrsten Sinema and Martha McSally still is too close to call and might take days or longer to be settled. Shit, for red Arizona, it’s good news even that the race is too close to call.

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On the late, not-great John McCain

The late U.S. Sen. John McCain has been lionized over the past week — when you die, you become a saint, even though everyone dies, just as everyone shits and pisses and farts — and I’ve yet to say anything about it. I don’t want to say all that much; he has received too much postmortem attention as it is.

John McCain, who was “my” senator (when I lived in the God-awful state of Arizona) from 1987 to 1998 (when I finally left Arizona), was not a great guy. He staunchly believed in American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism. While perhaps McCain was not overtly racist, as American exceptionalism and imperialism and militarism and white-collar gangster capitalism always have vastly disproportionately benefited white Americans, there you go.

When I lived in Arizona I remember McCain’s television campaign ads. He used the Vietnam POW story endlessly. What’s the good in being a POW if you can’t exploit it for personal and political gain later? (He did ease off on the POW thing in his failed 2008 presidential run, but then again, the POW thing had gotten him that far.)

McCain left his first wife of about 15 years, Carol (she’s now 80), with whom he had a daughter (and he adopted her two existing children), to marry the younger, apparently much more attractive, and, perhaps most of all, quite rich Cindy (who now is 64), who had been a blonde cheerleaderAccording to Wikipedia, McCain’s first marriage “falter[ed] due to [McCain’s] partying away from home and extra-marital affairs.” (That link is to the reliable Arizona Republic, by the way.)

In his very first term in the U.S. Senate, McCain survived the savings and loan scandal (he was one of “the Keating Five”), which should have been the end of his political career. But: Arizona.

McCain was not a moderate. McCain was not bipartisan, even if that were a good thing. He was a Dr.-Strangelove-level fucking wingnut, replete with his chilling refrain of “Bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb, bomb Iran.”

McCain only pretended to be above it all. That made him only a sanctimonious prick, because what he actually stood for was quite dark. He knew that he himself, being an over-privileged white man whose lifelong opportunism had served him quite well, never would have to suffer the consequences of his own horrible actions and decisions. He ensured that he himself always would be quite safe and much more than comfortable.

No brand of Repugnican is good for the United States of America, be it the smug, Goldwater-style Repugnican that largely if not wholly died with McCain, or be it the openly craven, Pussygrabber-style of Repugnican that we see today. The two types differ only in style, not in substance.

I have two words for John McCain: Good riddance.

P.S. It always has struck me that McCain’s opposition to Pussygrabber was more out of sour grapes than out of anything like principle. McCain had wanted to be president for years, and lost in 2000 and in 2008, and then here comes the likes of Pussygrabber — not a Vietnam POW but a Vietnam draft dodger — to become “president.”

That drove McCain insane, methinks. He viewed it as a colossal injustice, I am confident.

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Donald Trump must never be president

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In a shamelessly grotesque display of white nationalism and fear mongering, at the end of his “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump paraded white people whose relatives had been killed by “illegals.” This ignores the fact that the vast majority of American citizens who are killed by others are killed by fellow citizens, not by non-citizens. Trump, having no qualifications whatsoever for the highest public office of the land, sociopathically happily will use racial division and scapegoating for his own political gain, no matter how much it harms real people — which makes him quite dangerous.

Yesterday I found the stomach to watch Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday.

It was one of those unpleasant things that you don’t want to do but that you should; fascist demagogue Trump’s public utterances now are as important as fascist demagogue Adolf Hitler’s early public utterances were. (Indeed, just substitute “Jew” for “illegal” in Trump’s public proclamations and you pretty much have Hitler’s political rhetoric: This nation would be great again if only it weren’t for the Jews! illegals!)

Phoenix, of course, was fertile nationalist, fascist, white supremacist ground for El Trumpo, which is why he held his little KKK rally there on Wednesday.

Let’s talk about the backasswards red state of Arizona, which surely would have been a slave state had it not been made a state decades after the Civil War.

While 6.3 percent of those in my home state of California in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants — the second-highest percentage for any state in the nation (behind No. 1 Nevada at 7.6 percent and tied with Texas also at 6.3 percent) — by comparison 4.6 percent of Arizonans in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants (the national average 2012 was deemed to be 3.5 percent). Yet to hear the backasswards, Trump-lovin’ Arizonans tell it, illegal immigration is their (and the nation’s) No. 1 problem!

This is not at all the common public sentiment here in California, where we have more “illegals” than does Arizona, both percentage-wise and in actual numbers.

No, the problem isn’t the “illegals.” The problem is right-wing hatred and white supremacism and a fear of diversity rather than an embrace of diversity and an understanding that diversity makes us stronger, not weaker — it’s homogeneity that threatens a nation, not heterogeneity, because homogeneity is just inbreeding writ large.

You see an embrace of diversity and heterogeneity here in California, which is why California is a blue state instead of a backasswards, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging red state like Arizona.

I feel as safe here in California’s capital as I would almost anywhere else in the nation, but to hear Der Fuhrer Trump tell it, to simply leave your home is to be at grave risk for being murdered by an “illegal.” If Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric were true, then why am I not a lot more terrified than I am? After all, I live in the state with more “illegals” than any other state!

At the end of his “speech” on immigration on Wednesday, Trump fittingly had a bunch of all or mostly white people come on stage and talk about their loved ones who were killed by “illegals.”

Which is, of course, statistically bullshit.

Given that there are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, yes, of course, a tiny percentage of them are going to commit serious crimes, including murder. But far more American citizens are killed by (and otherwise violently victimized by) fellow citizens than they are by non-citizens; should we deport all American citizens? If you are an American citizen residing in the United States, you are, after all, much more likely to be murdered or otherwise killed by a fellow citizen than by a non-citizen.

Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday was a hate fest; it was an orgy of white supremacism.

Donald Fucking Trump has had more than a fucking year to come up with something other than fascistically blaming all of the nation’s problems on the “illegals” (most of them from Mexico) and advocating that we build a “Game of Thrones”-like Great Wall on the southern border to keep out the brown-skinned wildlings who supposedly threaten our very (white) way of life.

Trump has had plenty of time to develop some semblance of an actual presidential campaign, but he still has nothing other than rank white supremacism.

Trump on Wednesday night in Phoenix shamelessly and disingenuously yet again brought up the unfortunate shooting death of 32-year-old American citizen Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico in early July 2015 in San Francisco, because the shooting conveniently happened so soon after he opened his presidential campaign by demonizing “illegals.”

Steinle’s death was to be retroactive “proof” that El Trumpo was right about those “dangerous” “illegals,” you see*; she didn’t die in vain! She died for the Trump campaign!

Thing is, the authorities suspect that the “illegal,” a homeless man, shot Steinle (with a loaded handgun that he had found) by accident, not on purpose (the man’s case has not been adjudicated yet), and at least one member of Steinle’s family, Steinle’s brother, has had a real problem with Trump using Steinle’s death for his own personal and political gain. (“If you’re going to use somebody’s name and you’re going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady, maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are,” Steinle’s brother said.)

Trump’s hate- and lie-filled anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, is only meant as a diversion from the fact that he is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States of America. He never has been elected to any public office yet seeks the nation’s highest elected office. No ego there! Donald Trump only ever has been a flim-flam man, a walking, talking fraud and fraudster.

Trump doesn’t want the masses to focus on him and on his stunning lack of qualifications; he wants to distract and terrify the ignorant, racist masses with the bogeymen that he has created.

And Trump wildly overstates the bogeymen’s numbers, of course.

From 2009 to 2012, the numbers of undocumented immigrants (about 11.2 million of them) in the United States didn’t grow at all — in fact, the number of them peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, before the George W. Bush-induced recession, and their numbers have fallen because of the second George Bush recession — and ironically, their numbers in the border states of California, New Mexico and yes, Arizona, dropped from 2009 to 2012. (That fact didn’t stop Arizona’s racist, hateful SB 1070 in 2010. Facts, you see, never stop the fascists. [SB 1070 was an incredibly mean-spirited anti-brown-skinned-undocumented-immigrant law that for the most part has been stricken down as unconstitutional by the federal courts.])

Blaming a certain group of people for the nation’s problems isn’t going to solve the nation’s problems any more than Nazi Germany’s blaming the Jews for its problems solved Germany’s problems.

And, of course, the fascists, the nationalists, the white supremacists are bullies, so they’re not going to pick on someone with power — someone with numbers and with political power. No, they’re going to go after a relatively much weaker minority. That’s how Nazis and neo-Nazis operate, because they’re weak, stupid fucking cowards.

Ironically, I rather doubt that Der Fuhrer Trump actually personally hates Latinos. (Of course “illegals” overwhelmingly refers to brown-skinned individuals from south of the border.) Latinos (“illegal” and “legal”) are just an awfully politically convenient punching bag (or should I say piñata?). Demonizing undocumented immigrants from Latin America (and, I believe, by extension, all immigrants from Latin America) is Trump’s way to try to get into the White House. (Hey, it’s just politics! It’s nothing personal! We’re good — right?)

The thing is, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s hate-filled, racist rhetoric harms actual human beings. Not only “illegals” are targeted, but all Latinos (and even those who aren’t even actually Latino but who might to some appear to be Latino) are to be targeted by Trump’s white-supremacist and white-nationalist flying monkeys, and that’s unfuckingacceptable.

It’s as acceptable as was Hitler’s and his henchmen’s targeting of Jews (and other relatively powerless minority groups).

History has demonstrated amply that the demonization of an entire group of people by a nation’s political leaders easily can lead not just to persecution, but even to genocide against that group of people.

Donald Trump must never be president of the United States of America.

If he does make it that far and his political rhetoric turns into the Nazi-like actual persecution of a certain group or certain groups of people (he has demonized Muslims, too, but primarily has targeted Latinos), then it would be time for something like, as the right wing likes to put it, a Second-Amendment remedy.

It’s a remedy — an extreme one, yes, of course, but an extremely necessary one — that should have been employed with Hitler; it would have saved millions of innocent lives.

We true Americans patriots must never allow the United States of America to become Nazi Germany 2.0.

We can allow that to happen only over our dead bodies.

I far prefer ballots to bullets, but as the right wing never rules out the use of bullets, neither can we on the left afford to do so.

P.S. As a white American-born U.S. citizen who has lived in California and, unfortunately, also in Arizona my entire life, I can testify that a solid majority of the Latinos whom I’ve known and with whom I have interacted have been decent, hard-working people.

I’m not at all a fan of Catholicism (or any other organized religion), that’s true, but overall Latinos have brought the United States far more benefit than harm. Their presence and their injection of their culture, which includes their strong work ethic, into the national culture of the United States of America makes the U.S.A. stronger, not weaker.

I, for one, won’t sit idly by while a President Trump fascistically persecutes Latinos because I’m not Latino.

P.P.S. I don’t feel like regurgitating all of the details of Trump’s despicable “speech” in Phoenix on Wednesday; it was bad enough to watch it all the way through once. You should watch it yourself. If you’re sane, you’ll note many incredibly pathetic moments. It’s great insight into the “man’s” “character.”

You’ll note, I think, that the vast majority of his fascist shtick very apparently isn’t even anything that he strongly believes himself, but that he knows works well with his audience of white nationalists and fascists.

I will note that among Trump’s many wonderful ideas regarding immigration is requiring an ideological test of prospective immigrants to be let into the nation, as though (1) such a test weren’t a violation of human rights (your political ideology must match that of a typical Repugnican Tea Party fascist to be able to come into the United States!) and (2) as though such a test, if actually implemented, couldn’t be defeated.

*As a writer for even the right-wing Wall Street Journal commented:

High-profile incidents, like the [July 2015] arrest of a Mexican national in the horrific shooting death of a young woman in San Francisco, can give the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes [than are natives]. But the alleged killer [of Kathryn Steinle] is no more representative of Mexican immigrants than Dylann [Storm] Roof [the winner who gunned down nine black Americans in their church in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015] is representative of white people.

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‘Fringe’ candidate Bernie Sanders takes three more states today, totaling 14

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic

Wins in Utah and Idaho on Tuesday and wins in Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii today show progressive presidential candidate Bernie Sanders strong in the western as well as the northern states. (Sanders’ wins are noted in green on the map above, while Billary Clinton’s are noted in golden yellow.) Note that the difference between Bernie and Billary in the western state of Nevada was only 5.3 percent — and that Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts and Missouri were even closer, with not even a 0.5 percent difference between the two candidates in two of those states and not even a full 2 percent difference in the other two. (And note that for all intents and purposes I consider Arizona not part of the West, but part of the South, replete with incredible voter suppression; so fucked up was Arizona’s presidential primary election on Tuesday that we’ll probably never know the actual will of the voters of that backasswards state, since we’ll never know how many of them never even were able to cast a ballot, being unable to stand in line for hours.]) The lower right-hand corner of the graphic above indicates that Bernie won the most votes cast by Democrats Abroad

PredictIt.org, a prediction market website, doesn’t have Billary Clinton winning a state until April 19, when she is predicted to win New York state (which she carpetbaggingly represented in the U.S. Senate for eight years last decade).

Until then, PredictIt.org predicts that Bernie Sanders will win Hawaii today (Hawaii has yet to be called, but I’m confident that it will be called for Bernie), after his wins today in Alaska and Washington state (which have been called for him), and then will move on to win Wisconsin on April 5 and Wyoming on April 9.

Then, admittedly, it should look tougher for Bernie after that.

Again, Billary is predicted to win New York on April 19, and then on April 26, five more states weigh in: Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Unfortunately, right now PredictIt.org has Billary winning all five of those states, but that’s a full month away from today, which can be a long time in politics, so we’ll see.

In any event, for a “fringe” candidate, Bernie Sanders thus far is kicking ass.

Note that Howard Dean, who was a political rock star 12 years ago, won only one state in the Democratic Party presidential primary race of 2004, his home state of Vermont (he also won the District of Columbia). In that race John Edwards won two states (North Carolina and South Carolina) and Wesley Clark won one (Oklahoma), while John Kerry won every other state.

Compare Vermonters Howard Dean and Bernie Sanders, and you have to admit that Bernie is doing much, much better than Dean did. (And Bernie calls himself a “democratic socialist”!)

That said, Dean did create the progressive wave upon which opportunist Barack Obama rode into the White House, co-opting Dean’s message with his (bullshit-we-know-now) message of “hope” and “change.”

Obama’s centrist/center-right, largely caretaker presidency has been an unfortunate, eight-year detour for the progressive movement, but Bernie Sanders’ remarkable progress thus far demonstrates, I believe, that if we progressives can’t retake the Democratic Party and take the White House this year, we can accomplish that within a decade or so.

As I’ve noted, Barry Goldwater’s run in 1964 paved the way for Ronald Reagan.

P.S. Real Clear Politics shows that right now Billary Clinton has only a single-digit lead over Bernie Sanders here in my home state of California, which offers more pledged delegates than does any other state (a whopping 475 of them) — and which (along with five other states) votes last in the nation, on June 7 (with the exception of the District of Columbia, which votes on June 14).

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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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On speaking ‘American’ and being inspired by Trump and Palin to brush up on my Spanish

Brainiac Sarah Palin “interviews” billionaire presidential aspirant Donald Trump on her television “news” show last month. Both fascistic jingoists (note their prominent wearing of the American flag just in case there is any doubt as to their strict allegiance to a white United States of America) believe in scoring points by making brown-skinned immigrants from south of the border into scapegoats for all of the nation’s problems.

It’s interesting how the fucktards on the right (I know: redundant) who demand that only English be spoken in the United States of America are not able to speak their one and only mother tongue correctly.

Sarah Palin, who apparently is angling to be Donald Trump’s (or perhaps another Repugnican Tea Partier’s) running mate, stated yesterday:

“It’s a benefit of [Jeb] Bush to be able to be so fluent [in Spanish], because we have a large and wonderful Hispanic population building America, and that’s a great connection he has with them. On the other hand, I think we can send a message and say, ‘You want to be in America, A, you’d better be here legally or you’re out of here. B, when you’re here, let’s speak American. …”

She apparently then corrected herself, adding, “Let’s speak English, and that’s a kind of a unifying aspect of the nation is the language that is understood by all.”

“English” is fine. “American English” is more exact for the dominant language of the U.S.A., just as you’d say “Mexican Spanish” instead of “Mexican,” as there is no language called “Mexican” or “American.”

Sarah Palin and her ilk just don’t want to have to learn another language. Again, they struggle to speak just one language correctly. That’s part of it.

But they also equate speaking “American” with being white (just as they equate being “American” with being white); in this case, as so often is the case, language and race are linked. The United States must remain white, you see, and a rising tide of people speaking the brown language of “Mexican” threatens that “God”ly whiteness!

Of course Palin’s “outreach” to Latinos is proved to be bullshit A, when she refers to Latinos as “Hispanic,” a term that many if not most Latinos don’t like, just as most of us non-heterosexuals hate being called “homosexual” and as you don’t call Asians “Oriental.” And B, it’s another sign of Palin’s disordered and passive-aggressive “thinking” when she first praises Jeb Bush for having “a great connection” with Latinos here in the U.S. but then immediately follows that up with the threat of mass deportation and the command that Latinos here in the U.S. speak only “American.” (You know, for her comfort and the comfort of her fellow jackbooted Aryan nationalistic fascists.)

Give Palin props, however, I suppose, for acknowledging that we have a large population of Latinos “building America,” something that I can’t imagine that her audience of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, chromosomally damaged fucktards (a.k.a. Donald Trump’s target audience) really wants to hear.

I mean, aren’t the brown-skinned, “Mexican”-speaking hordes from south of the border just here to suck up our tax dollars in human services and drop their anchor babies? When they’re not too busy raping our pristine, young, lily-white women?

Many years ago I took Spanish (not “Mexican”) in junior high school, high school and college, all in Arizona. If memory serves, it was the only foreign language that was available to me in junior high school, and in my smallish high school I had only two options for foreign-language study, Spanish or German. As I view German as something like the dark language of Mordor (you know, the Nazis…), and as I never saw myself ever needing to speak German, of course I took Spanish.

By the time I was in college, I was at least semi-fluent. (To me, “fluent” means the near-perfect mastery of a language, a high bar for someone like me whose first language was “American.”)

Later this month I start a Spanish class to brush up on my skills; I’m quite rusty. I have all of the basics of the Spanish language down, but it would be great to be anywhere near fluent in Spanish one day.

Not only is Spanish a beautifully sounding language (perhaps especially compared to German and probably even English), and not only is learning another language great exercise for your brain, but here in California, Latinos now outnumber us whites, so I have another compelling reason to brush up on my Spanish.

It’s awfully interesting, though, how Latinos now outnumber whites in the blue border states of California and New Mexico, but here in California and New Mexico this is not considered to be a problem by the majority of the electorate. But in the red border states of Texas and Arizona, it’s considered to be a huge fucking problem, even though in Arizona and in Texas, whites still outnumber Latinos, especially so in Arizona.

So it’s not the Latinos who are the problem; California and New Mexico demonstrate that amply. It is the white supremacists, who claim that they’re “Christian” yet who hate those who don’t look, speak, believe and act like just like they do, who are the problem.

So thank you, Donald Trump, for quite unintentionally being one of my inspirations to brush up on my Spanish-speaking skills. And thank you, Sarah Palin, for chiming in; even though you chimed in after I’d already signed up for my upcoming Spanish class, Usted es una inspiración también.

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IMPEACH OBAMA!

President Barack Obama gestures as he speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House, on Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2014, in Washington. Obama is holding an afternoon news conference Wednesday to share his take on the midterm election results after his party lost control of the Senate, and lost more turf in the GOP-controlled House while putting a series of Democratic-leaning states under control of new Republican governors. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Associated Press photo

The impeachment of Barack Obama: Bring it, bitches!

I sincerely hope that the Repugnican Tea Partiers take advantage of their new majority in the U.S. Senate and impeach President Barack Obama.

I do.

Because it will backfire.

A civics lesson is required (for many if not even most American readers) first: the U.S. House of Representatives can vote to impeach a sitting president by a simple majority vote. It’s not that hard a feat, especially in a highly poisonously partisan atmosphere, such as we have had for some time now (at least since 1998, the last time that a sitting U.S. president was impeached…).

Presidential impeachment, of course, is not the equivalent of the removal of the president. (Yes, many if not most Americans are fuzzy on the definition of the word “impeachment.”) If the House of Representatives votes to impeach, which is much like a grand jury handing down an indictment, the U.S. Senate then acts much like a courtroom (with the chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court presiding) and the senators vote on whether or not to remove the president. (They’re supposed to act like independent, non-partisan jurors, but of course there is no avoiding politics and partisanship in such a matter as the removal of the sitting U.S. president.)

However, the U.S. Senate may remove an impeached president only on a two-thirds vote. (This constitutionally required higher threshold apparently was intended to prevent petty politics and ensure that a president is removed from office only for very good cause.) Thus, while the Repugnican-traitor-controlled House of Representatives impeached President Bill Clinton in December 1998 — as Clinton was wrapping up his sixth year in the White House, just as Barack Obama is doing now — in February 1999 the Senate acquitted Clinton, as only 50 senators, all of them Repugnicans, voted that Clinton was guilty of one or two misdeeds, either one of which could have removed Clinton from office had 67 of the senators voted that Clinton was guilty of having committed it. (To be fair, not a single Democratic senator voted Clinton to be guilty of either misdeed, and five Repugnican senators [John Chafee of Rhode Island, Susan Collins of Maine, Jim Jeffords of Vermont, Olympia Snowe of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania — all moderate, mostly Northeastern, Repugnicans, of course] also voted Clinton as not guilty of either misdeed.)

A solid majority of Americans thought that the 1998-1999 Repugnican-led impeachment debacle was bad for the nation – because it was – and in apparent political blowback, the Democrats gained seats in both houses of Congress in the following election, in 2000.

So: The Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress, still bitter that a black man sits in the White House, never could get the two-thirds vote in the U.S. Senate that would be required to remove Obama from office.

An impeachment effort against Obama would be perceived by the majority of Americans as exactly what it would be: At best, the commission of a waste of time by the Repugnican-led Congress with a self-indulgent, petty political stunt instead of the addressing of the nation’s problems (an act of partisan grandstanding because Obama of course never will be removed from office) and at worst, yet another brazen attempt by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors to subvert the will of the majority of American voters, such as they did when they tried but failed to remove Bill Clinton in 1998 and when they had no problem with George W. Bush being seated in the Oval Office in early 2001 even though he’d lost the popular vote to Al Gore by more than a half-million votes (and no doubt Gore had won the pivotal state of Florida as well, but, of course, then-Florida-Gov. Jeb Bush and then-Florida-Secretary-of-State Katherine Harris made damned sure that Gee Dubya “won” Florida).

Pundits unanimously agree that the Democrats are poised to retake the U.S. Senate in 2016, when the electoral map will favor them as it favored the Repugnicans on Tuesday. (In 2016, 23 Senate seats now held by Repugnicans will be up for a vote, compared to only 10 Senate seats now held by Democrats.)

While I don’t like Billary Clinton (to put it mildly), polls have shown her around 10 points ahead of any Repugnican candidate in hypothetical 2016 presidential match-ups, and while I’m not happy about it, at this moment I don’t see an actual Democrat – that is, an actually progressive Democrat – emerging as the 2016 presidential candidate for the Democratic Party.

So 2016 looks like a bloodbath for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors already; the White House most likely will stay in Democratic hands and the Senate most likely will flip back to the Democratic Party.

If, drunk on their short-lived power, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. act like they have the “permanent [Repugnican] majority” that they talked about during the illegitimate reign of George W. Bush (we saw how “permanent” that was), they’ll only further antagonize centrist and left-of-center voters, and November 2016 will be even worse for them than it would have been had they showed some humility and vision that extends past only two years.

Luckily, they’re not capable of showing such humility or vision.

Because of that, I should thank the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in advance for most likely inspiring me to blog much more regularly over the next two years than I have over the past year or two. (Obama’s second term thus far has been quite a snoozer.) I anticipate that they’ll give me lots of inspiration. They’ll be my muses – on crack.

True, I am ensconced here in California, which is like an isle unto itself, where, on the state level, anyway, we are not much troubled by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors. This week Democrats took every statewide office here once again, as they did in 2010, and the state Legislature remains in firm Democratic control. Both of our U.S. senators are Democrats, as are the majority of our members of the U.S. House of Representatives. As California Democratic Party head John Burton wrote in an e-mail today (with the subject line of “We’ll always have California”), “California remains a deep-blue beacon.”*

But, having lived the first 30 years of my life in the God-awful red state of Arizona, I know what it is like for the millions of Americans who languish in the red (and purple) states, and not everyone can move to California or to another blue state (and nor should they have to). It’s up to all of us progressives to do what we can to assuage the damage that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have wreaked upon our nation. We have a duty to do our best to protect those who cannot protect themselves against the legions of right-wing traitors among us.

And I have the feeling that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. over the next two years are going to fire us up to fight them like President Hopey-Changey hasn’t been able to fire us up for quite some time now.

*Interestingly, though, the for-profit media widely are making an “issue” of the fact that the Democrats haven’t retained a two-thirds supermajority in both houses of California’s Legislature. Wow. The bar always is set much lower for the wingnuts than it is for those of us who are left of center, isn’t it? Just as was the case with the 2000 presidential election, an actual win is always a “loss” for the left and an actual loss is always a “win” for the wingnuts. I mean, George W. Bush not only should have been impeached and removed from office, but he (and his cohorts) should have been executed for their war crimes (Vietraq War) and their crimes against humanity (Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina), Nuremberg style, yet here the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are talking about Obama’s impeachment.

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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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No, we’re NOT all going Texan

A graphic of Texas divided into states

The lazy “journalists” at TIME have announced on the cover of the October 28 issue that “the Lone Star State [Texas, of course] is America’s future” — so much so that we’ll be “the United States of Texas.”

It’s popular these days to make such an assumption, perhaps especially after Gail Collins’ June 2012 book As Texas Goes…: How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda.

But it’s also a ridiculous argument to make that any one state is going to take over the entire nation’s sociopolitical culture any decade soon.

Of course you can take the nation’s most populous states — California, Texas, New York and Florida are the top four, in that order — and find similarities between these states and the rest of the states.

We’re talking about the top two most-populous blue states and the top two most-populous red states, yet the combined population of California and New York exceeds 57.5 million Americans, whereas the combined population of Texas and Florida, by comparison, is around 45 million.

Texas and its red-state mentality aren’t exactly taking over the entire nation.

TIME helpfully notes that from 2010 to 2011, California lost 94,000 residents while Texas gained 110,000 residents, but the graph in the magazine does not give us the context of that, which is that California has just more than 38 million residents to Texas’ just-more-than 26 million — yes, Texas is a good 12 million people behind California, putting it at a distant second place — so we’re hardly talking about an exodus.

And comparing other red states to Texas is pretty fucking stupid because duh — they’re red states.

The God-awful red state of Arizona, for instance, where I lived for the first 30 years of my life, of course is much like Texas. In Arizona, like in Texas, the business owners, the plutocrats, the fat cats, call the shots. You, the commoner, probably especially in the workplace or as a consumer, have almost no rights, because that’s how these states’ laws are written: for the benefit of the plutocratic overlords and to the detriment of the working class and the poor. It’s set up that way.

Consumer protection? Employee protection? Environmental protection? Dream on! These Commie luxuries cut into the fat cats’ profits, and that’s anti-American! And anti-Christian, too (even though Jesus said to pay your taxes without complaint and that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich person to enter the kingdom of Heaven)!

This is how Arizona was when I left it for good 15 years ago, in 1998, so to claim that Arizona is copying Texas now is bullshit.

The red-state-blue-state divide has been with us since before the Civil War, and to claim that the entire nation is going to turn all blue or all red during our lifetimes is short-sighted and ridiculous.

Despite even the McDonald’s-ization of the United States of America — I refer to the monolithically capitalistic American culture, with McDonald’s and Wal-Mart stores in all 50 states, as well as movies and television shows that Americans watch in all 50 states — the regional sociopolitical and cultural differences throughout the U.S. persist, and they will for a long time to come.

TIME’s article quotes one person who puts the Texas “miracle” into a nutshell: “The Texas model basically calls for low taxes and low services,” TIME quotes Erica Grieder, author of the April 2013 book Big, Hot, Cheap, and Right: What America Can Learn from the Strange Genius of Texas. (Clearly, Grieder sees the Texas “miracle” in a different light than does Gail Collins, and I have to wonder if Grieder’s book was a response to Collins’.)

More emphasis needs to be placed on “low services,” the part of the red-state equation that almost everyone usually misses when singing the praises of Texas’ low taxes. There are low services because these red states don’t care about the individual, unless he or she is filthy rich. For the filthy rich — those who need the least amount of help — the red states can’t bend over backwards enough.

The commoner, however, is pretty fucking fucked in a red state. Those who need the most help in a red state are the most fucked, yet, ironically, these are the very same states that claim to be the most “Christian,” even though Jesus Christ was all about people helping other people (and not about claiming that the richer the plutocrats get, the more all of us will benefit — somehow!).

As far as taxes are concerned, you get what you pay for, and I experienced the “low-services” environment of Arizona, in which everyone except for the richest was pretty fucking miserable. The richest Arizonans could afford their own health care, education, transportation, etc.; the rest of us were quite on our own in this “low-services” environment.

So if you are a commoner and you want to pay lower taxes but stupidly don’t give a shit about your quality of life, then by all means, pack up your shit and move to Texas.

Concurrent with the myth that there is an exodus of commoners from California (and other blue states) to Texas is the myth that we Californians are so distraught over seeing anyone leave the state.

No, actually, we’re not.

The lower the population is, the lower the taxes can be, the lower the competition for resources will be, and the quality of life will increase for those of us who remain.

So: Go!

And most of us Californians are fine seeing greedy, unethical business owners packing up and moving their businesses to Texas (and other red states), where, without state regulations that protect the consumer, the employee and the environment, they can rape, pillage and plunder and profiteer far more effectively than they can do here in California, where we believe in protections for the environment, the employee and the consumer.

Most of us Californians aren’t abject fucktards, and so we are quite clear that the vast majority of plutocrats don’t exist to help out anyone else, but are in it almost entirely or entirely for themselves and their fortunes, which they gain at our expense as employees whom they under-compensate and as consumers whom they overcharge (and, of course, at the expense of our environment, which they destroy in their quest for obscene personal profits).

“Trickle down” is the fat cats urinating all over the working class, what little remains of the middle class, and the poor. The plutocrats don’t ensure that all boats rise. No, they keep buying larger and larger yachts for themselves while they foreclose upon our dinghies.

“Jobs!” is the mantra of the Texas-promoting plutocrats and those who love them like chickens showing love to Colonel Sanders.

Right: Jobs with shitty wages and shitty or even no benefits — in states with “low services,” so don’t expect any help outside of your employer, who only exists to fuck you over! Lots and lots of these shit jobs in Texas, but hey, they are jobs, in the strict, dictionary-definition sense of the word, right?

Again, does quality matter at all?

I say that it does, and so I’m staying here in California, where I’m happy to pay my fair share of taxes for a better quality of life — instead of evading taxes and living among the miserable in a dog-eat-dog, “low-services,” pro-plutocratic red state.

And again, when you are talking about the nation’s two most populous states, the blue state of California and the red state of Texas (states so populous and so influential that the two of them have the most influence on the public-school textbook industry, with, basically, Texas editions and California editions), it’s easy to compare the two states to other states — or even to the nation as a whole.

But that doesn’t mean that it’s accurate to do so.

I’m not a hypocrite on this matter; it works both ways. The New York Times on Friday apparently held out California as a model that, if followed, could break the gridlock in Washington, D.C.

Indeed, although wingnuts claim that California still has a state budget deficit, California for some time now actually has had a budget surplus under Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown, who after his November 2010 election reversed years of budget deficits under former Gov. Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger, the Repugnican fraud who ruled the state from the do-over gubernatorial election of 2003 through early 2011, and under the nation’s shitty economy under George W. Bush from early 2001 through early 2009.

Because Brown has accomplished in less than three years what Baby Daddy never accomplished in more than twice that amount of time, Brown’s re-election in November 2014, should he seek it, is guaranteed. Because Brown — unlike his Texas counterpart, the blowhard Repugnican Gov. Prick Perry — just quietly does his job (which I define as doing what’s best for the majority of the residents of the state that he governs, regardless of their income) without a lot of fanfare and bluster, Brown’s accomplishments aren’t well known outside of California, but here in California, Brown is on solid footing with the majority of the state’s voters.

That is the truth of where California and Californians stand today.

“The turnaround [in California] from just 10 years ago — striking in tone, productivity and, at least on fiscal issues, moderation — is certainly a lesson in the power of one-party rule,” the New York Times notes. “Democrats hold an overwhelming majority in the [state] Assembly and [state] Senate and the governor, Jerry Brown, is a Democrat. The Republican Party, which just three years ago held the governor’s seat and a feisty minority in both houses, has diminished to the point of near irrelevance [in California].”

Gridlock doesn’t happen when the Repugnican Tea Party is as impotent as it is in California, and, the aforementioned Times article also notes, because in most elections in California a Repugnican candidate would have to be moderate (or at least campaign as a moderate) in order to win, most Repugnican candidates in California don’t have to worry much, if at all, about being “primaried” by a far-far-right-wing whackjob of the so-called “tea party.”

But, unlike those who tout the so-called Texas “miracle” — and only our treasonous plutocrats have anything to gain from the “miraculous” arrangement in Texas — I’m realistic.

Yes, as the New York Times at least insinuates, if the treasonous Repugnican (Tea) Party were as weak in D.C. as it is here in California, the nation would be much, much better off. We most likely would have no more gridlock and a return to prosperity. It would be great.

But like the Texas “miracle” is a right-wing fantasy, that the much-quieter California miracle will sweep the nation is a left-wing fantasy.

It’s not like the long-standing dynamic of the red states and the blue states is going to go away soon. The entire nation isn’t going to California-ize any year soon any more than it’s going to Texas-ize any year soon.

Indeed, the Civil War still wages. The red-state-blue-state divide is not an oversimplification. It’s a fact. (I could produce a lot of proof, but how about [once again…] a map of the slave states and territories and the free states and territories compared to a map of the 2012 presidential election results?:

Florida went to Obama in 2012, by the way.)

It’s a long, hard slog, and the change is slooooow, but, I predict, once it becomes clear to enough Americans what, exactly, the so-called Texas “miracle” actually entails, and once more Americans realize that the right-wing lies about how California is today are just that — lies — the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in D.C. will see their power diminish, as it has here in California.

It’s already happening.

After all, in all but one of the past six presidential elections (the 2004 election), the Democratic candidate indisputably received more votes than did the Repugnican; Texas Gov. Prick Perry, for all of the blather about the coming “United States of Texas,” couldn’t win even his party’s presidential nomination, much more the White House; and more and more it’s appearing that the Democrats might take back control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the November 2014 elections.

In the meantime, go to Texas and have your “miracle” there, while I enjoy the actual miracles that are happening here in California.

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We’ll have to pry away the gun nuts’ ignorance and fear

Um, yeah, this is for illustrative purposes and is not anyone whom I know

I recently was tempted to write a post, in jest, that Colorado’s recent fairly devastating flooding obviously is God’s punishment for Coloradans recently having recalled two state legislators over their support of gun control, but, alas, I let that idea go.

Wingnuts routinely claim that this or that is “God’s punishment” for this or that — as a gay man, apparently, not only do I and my kind “deserve” “God’s punishment” of AIDS, but we also are the cause of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes, terrorist attacks, etc., etc. — but whatever. I don’t believe in God, and so I don’t believe in “punishments” from “God,” and even if there were such a thing as a “punishment” from “God,” no mere human being truthfully could claim to be “God’s” spokesperson who truthfully can pronounce such “punishments.”

That said, the concept of karma makes sense to me, but again, who among us can be an arbiter of karma with any actual knowledge of its workings?

Guns, though, are, in a word, bad. For the very most part.

Those who love guns overwhelmingly are ignorant and thus fearful individuals. Therefore, as President Hopey Changey once put it (accurately), they cling to their guns. Their guns give them a false sense of safety and security, when, ironically, they cannot see that it’s their own ignorance and fear that contributes to the violent environment of which they’re terrified.

While I don’t advocate that the guvmint attempt to take everyone’s guns — a position that most of us on the left are accused of holding by the wingnuts — and while I generally support the Second Amendment, it’s incredibly bad public policy for fearful, ignorant people to have such easy access to guns.

When you are drunk and/or drugged and angry and/or frightened, or even sober but angry and/or frightened, maybe having easy access to a gun isn’t such a great idea.

Fucktards like wannabe cop George Zimmerman should not be allowed anywhere near firearms. Frankly, I suspect that he carried a gun while he played cop in that gated community in Florida because he wanted to shoot someone, and that Trayvon Martin was just the poor individual who was the victim of Zimmerman’s quest for a “reason” to shoot someone.

While I can’t see that Zimmerman, as the aggressor, was acting in actual self-defense, guns can be used for actual self-defense, but it troubles me than in the year 2013, when we have so many other technological achievements, cops and others deem a lethal firearm as the best or even the only way to practice actual self-defense in many if not most if not even all cases.

How many times do we read news stories about someone who was unarmed but who nonetheless was shot to death by cops, such as the unarmed 24-year-old black man Jonathon Ferrell, whom a young white cop shot 10 times in North Carolina this past weekend? From what I can surmise, Ferrell, who had just been in a car wreck, was in shock, and so he came in the direction of the cop, probably for help, but did the cop really have to shoot at him — 12 times (hitting him 10 times)?

How can any of us, with a straight face, claim that Trayvon Martin and Jonathon Ferrell were not the victims of racial profiling?

This isn’t all abstract to me; gun violence recently hit close to home.

My 25-year-old nephew sits in a jail cell in Phoenix after he shot and killed another man earlier this month. Details of the incident, as they have reached me through relatives and as I have been able to find them on the Internet, still are sketchy; my nephew claims that he was ambushed or about to be ambushed, that two or more other males had set him up and were about to perpetrate physical violence upon him (to “jump” him, in the parlance).

My understanding is that thus far, there is no witness who is disputing my nephew’s account, as the others who were present at the shooting have evaded the Phoenix police, who would love to question them.

From what details I’ve heard, if they are factually correct, my best guess is that my nephew at worst ultimately will be convicted of manslaughter, but conceivably could be acquitted for the reason of self-defense if he and his defense team can demonstrate that he used the gun in self-defense, which, I understand, Arizona law, like Florida law, allows.

My understanding is that my nephew owned and carried the gun entirely within Arizona law, and that before the shooting incident he had no violent criminal record.

I consider my nephew to be innocent of any crime until and unless he is found otherwise by a jury of his peers (and exhausts any and all appeals, should that happen), but would I choose to carry a gun in public like we’re still living in the wild, wild West?

No.

Do I want to even see people — those of the non-law-enforcement variety, I mean — carrying guns on their persons while I’m out and about in public?

No, absofuckinglutely not, and I’m thankful that I live in California, which is a “non-permissive open carry” state, and not in one of the “permissive open carry” (or otherwise more gun-permissive) states, such as Arizona and most of the red states.

Do you really fucking need to bring a gun into, say, a Starbucks?

It’s in the news today that Starbucks’ CEO has asked that Starbucks’ patrons don’t bring guns into Starbucks locations, but that in those states where it is not illegal to openly carry firearms, Starbucks won’t ask those who are packing pistols to leave.

Where it comes to our rights, our rights end where others’ rights begin.

We sane Americans — we non-gun nuts — have the right, when we’re out and about in public, not to have to see fucktards who shouldn’t be even allowed to own a gun openly carrying a gun as though we’re still living in the wild West. We have the right not to have to fear for our own safety because some fearful idiot is carrying a gun in the name of his or her own “safety.”

Americans have the right to protect ourselves, but, it seems to me, most shooting deaths in the United States of America are not the results of cases of actual self-defense, but are cases of murder, suicide and accidental shootings (and, I suppose I should add, cases of trigger-happy, jumpy cops, many if not most of whom are white cops who are racial profilers and who probably are too young and immature to be cops anyway).

When guns for the most part cease to be about actual self-defense, it seems to me, they have become a public menace, and no one has the right to pose a menace to the public.

At this point, I think it’s fairly safe to say, the widespread ownership of and easy access to guns in the United States causes more harm than good. (I don’t even need to mention the latest gun massacre on Monday that left 12 people dead at the Washington Navy Yard, because these gun massacres are so common in the U.S. these days.)

But gun control, as Colorado voters have just demonstrated, is an incredibly sticky political subject.

The ignorant and the fearful will cling to their guns, which, the late gun nut Charlton Heston famously declared, we’ll have to pry from their “cold, dead hands.”  That’s their way.

Trying to pry the fucktards’ guns from their still-living hands, though, perhaps is the wrong approach.

It’s the ignorance and the fear, I think, that we have to tackle first, because it’s their ignorance and their fear that makes the gun nuts cling so steadfastly to their guns.

After all, ultimately, it’s not guns that kill people. It’s ignorant and fearful people who, using guns, kill people…

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