Tag Archives: Bill Maher

‘Confederate’: Save your ammo for the real battles ahead of us, snowflakes

I find it ironic that I recently wrote about what I called “the cultural war on white people” and that with the piece I used a graphic from “Game of Thrones” (specifically, the Night King, a blue-eyed devil who leads the “white walkers.”)

Because this past week’s tempest in a teapot was the fact that the creators of “Thrones” plan to create next an HBO television series called “Confederate,” which examines an alternate universe in which the South successfully seceded from the Union.

This would be no big fucking deal if we didn’t live in an era of smug, pearl-clutching outrage addicts, but we do, so it is.

So addicted to their self-righteous outrage are the snowflakes supposedly on the left that now they don’t hesitate to engage in attempted prior censorship — the dooming of a creation, of an expression, before it even has been substantially started by its creator or creators.

These aren’t true leftists, because true leftists value the freedom of expression.

“Confederate,” if and when completed, might suck ass. It might be corny. It might turn out to be tone-deaf, although I rather doubt that it will. I mean, “Game of Thrones” over the past several years has matured. Sex scenes apparently meant to appeal mostly to young heterosexual males have diminished with each passing year as the show has grown more serious, which includes the development of its female characters from sex objects to the show’s true leaders (heroines and villainesses and somewhere in between).

And despite criticisms apparently from those who haven’t seen the series, “Game of Thrones” is diverse. True, it’s set in a Medieval-like place and time and so you see a lot of white characters, but it has important black characters (but, if we’re keeping count, not any Asian characters that I can think of, and while the series has featured at least one Latino actor, it hasn’t had any explicitly Latino characters, since there is no Spain or Latin America in Westeros, the mythical land in which most of the series takes place).

But if “Game of Thrones” isn’t racially diverse enough for you, snowflake, well, go yell at George R.R. Martin, on whose series of books the television series is based.

But that said, no creator of a poem or a short story or a novel or a song or a television show or a film or of anything has to practice affirmative action in his or her creation.

We can and should argue for a diverse workplace and for the equality of opportunity in our society and in our daily lives, but artistic creations are something else. They exist in a special realm that needs to be protected, even from “harmless” snowflakes.

If you want to create something that features predominantly or only black people or Asian people or Latino people (or gay people or women or men or transgender people or…), knock yourself out; maybe your story or your movie or your song lyrics are focused on that group of people and you don’t want to drag a lot of other people into the mix just to make some snowflakes happy.

If you want to create something that features predominantly or even only white people — gasp! — you can do that, too, especially if the time and the place depicted in your creation warrant it.

And the “Thrones” co-creators seem to be well aware of what they’re getting into with “Confederate.” “Thrones” co-creator D.B. Weiss recently told Vulture:

… [I]t goes without saying slavery is the worst thing that ever happened in American history. It’s our original sin as a nation. And history doesn’t disappear. That sin is still with us in many ways.

“Confederate,” in all of our minds, will be an alternative-history show. It’s a science-fiction show. One of the strengths of science fiction is that it can show us how this history is still with us in a way no strictly realistic drama ever could, whether it were a historical drama or a contemporary drama.

It’s an ugly and a painful history, but we all think this is a reason to talk about it, not a reason to run from it. And this feels like a potentially valuable way to talk about it. …

Many black Americans say that they’re beyond sick and tired of the slavery theme. I can understand that; as a gay man, my entire life I’ve seen that in most movies gay male characters are acceptable only as flamboyant, easily identified, non-threatening nelly queens, as the deserved victims of violence (up to, of course, murder), and/or as the mentally ill perpetrators of violence (up to, of course, murder) and/or of other depraved crimes, and usually the only acceptable ending for them is to commit suicide, to be murdered or to die of AIDS.

You want a happy ending from time to time.

But the Civil War never ended. Look at “President” Pussygrabber, his Nazi elf of an attorney general from Alabama, his oily secretary of state from Texas and the rest of his Cabinet members who hail mostly from the South, and the map of the 2016 presidential election results:

Image result for map 2016 presidential election red blue

This is a valid, still very relevant topic, and “Confederate” would, I think, only further the discussion. And on board “Confederate” are the husband-and-wife television-writing team of Malcolm Spellman and Nichelle Tramble Spellman.

As Malcolm Spellman told Vulture:

… For me and Nichelle, it’s deeply personal because we are the offspring of this history. We deal with it directly and have for our entire lives. We deal with it in Hollywood, we deal with it in the real world when we’re dealing with friends and family members.

And I think Nichelle and I both felt a sense of urgency in trying to find a way to support a discussion that is percolating but isn’t happening enough. As people of color and minorities in general are starting to get a voice, I think there’s a duty to force this discussion. …

Nichelle Tramble Spellman said:

… I think what was interesting to all of us was that we were going to handle this show, and handle the content of the show, without using typical antebellum imagery. There is not going to be, you know, the big Gone With the Wind mansion. This is present day, or close to present day, and how the world would have evolved if the South had been successful seceding from the Union. And what was also exciting to me was the idea that in order to build this, we would have to rebuild world history …

Malcolm Spellman adds:

This is not a world in which the entire country is enslaved. Slavery is in one half of the country. And the North is the North. As Nichelle was saying, the imagery should be no whips and no plantations.

Read the entire Vulture interview with the four creators of “Confederate”; I think that it’s clear that, as “Thrones” co-creator David Benioff put it, “anyone who thinks that Malcolm and Nichelle are props have never met Malcolm and Nichelle,” and that, as the interviewer worded it, “Confederate” is not going to be “almost pornography or wish-fulfillment for white supremacists and the alt-right.”

If “Confederate” sucks for whatever reasons — if it’s artistically lame and/or it’s tone-deaf or even offensive to the reasonable members of its audience — then let it die deservedly in the marketplace of ideas, but let’s not kill it in the crib.

As Benioff said:

… [W]e haven’t written any scripts yet. We don’t have an outline yet. We don’t even have character names. So, everything is brand-new and nothing’s been written. I guess that’s what was a little bit surprising about some of the outrage. It’s just a little premature. You know, we might fuck it up. But we haven’t yet. …

Coming from the creative minds behind “Game of Thrones” and the Spellmans, I expect “Confederate” to be more like “Game of Thrones” in quality than like “The Man in the High Castle,” Amazon.com’s series that imagines that the Germans and the Japanese had won World War II and that I have tried twice to get into but just haven’t been able to, as it’s just not that good.

I hope that these what-if-history-had-turned-out-differently television series don’t proliferate too profusely, but I don’t recall Amazon.com being called anti-Semitic for having resurrected Hitler, so I think it’s incredibly bullshit for the creators of “Game of Thrones” to be called racist for planning to resurrect the South.

Pick your battles and save your ammo for the battles that matter, snowflakes. You’re only turning off far more potential allies than you are doing yourself any good by attacking popular culture that is enjoyed by millions of Americans — and that is not actually “racist” — such as Bill Maher’s show and the not-even-born-yet “Confederate.”

It’s pretty clear that you’re making it all about yourself and your supposedly easily hurt pwecious widdle feewings, and that’s not a winning strategy. Nor is prior censorship in a nation that has valued the freedom of expression since its inception.

Keep trying this bullshit; you’ll see.

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The cultural war on white people

Image result for white walker

So popular within the American culture is the war on white people that the blue-eyed devil is the biggest villain in the very popular HBO TV series “Game of Thrones.” Just sayin’.

That headline is intentionally provocative, but it’s not entirely hyperbole. Discussion of civil rights and racial equality and interracial relations has, over the past few years, increasingly become less and less about reconciliation with whites and more and more about the demonization of and revenge against whites.

And it’s ironic, because many if not most of those seeking revenge against whites are non-whites (mostly black Americans) who have not directly been touched by the worst of what white Americans perpetrated upon non-whites (mostly black Americans) throughout U.S. history. (I think that I have fairly privileged non-white college students in mind the most.) And many if not most of the demonized whites of today have not perpetrated the worst of what white Americans perpetrated upon non-whites throughout U.S. history; they were just born white.

A dream was deferred — and racial revenge has been deferred, too.

The popular message to whites today is that you’re evil because you were born white. You cannot escape your whiteness, and therefore you cannot escape your evil, you blue-eyed devil.

This message is contained in even just the title “Dear White People” — the title itself is so offensive (“Dear Black People” or “Dear Hispanic People” or “Dear Asian People” wouldn’t be OK, but “Dear White People” is perfectly OK, you see, because all white people are evil) that I haven’t been able to get into either the movie or the TV show of that name.

I did get all the way through “Get Out,” the black-paranoia suspense movie in which the central message very apparently is that every white person is an anti-black racist and that no white person can be trusted by any black person.*

I guess that the white actors who appeared in “Get Out” thought that they were being good guilty white liberals by participating in this movie whose central purpose apparently is to tell its primarily black audience that Yes, you’re right, every white person is evil and is out to get you, and, given enough time, will betray you eventually.

That’s such a healthy message.

And this message was “confirmed” in the fairly recent incident in which Bill Maher bizarrely and unfunnily referred to himself as “a house nigger” on his HBO politicocomedic talk show.

Maher was “outed” as just yet another secret white supremacist, you see — his having had many black guests on his show over the years, his $1 million donation to Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, and his black ex-girlfriends obviously all were just elaborate cover for his greatest love, which is, of course, to practice white supremacism — and so on his next show he had to undergo the obligatory flagellation (Bad white man! Baaad!). It was a fucking debacle.

As I have noted before, while white Americans were evenly split between Bernie Sanders and Billary Clinton in the Democratic Party primary elections and caucuses, what helped Billary win the nomination is that black Americans supported her over blue-eyed devil Bernie by a margin of three to one.

Ironically, the true blue-eyed devil was and remains Billary, but no matter.

And I expect Bernie to face anti-white (and anti-Semitic) sentiment from black voters again should he run for 2020. But we’re not even to talk about these facts, since they don’t fit the anti-white, only-whites-can-be-racist narrative that is so en vogue.

But could it be that treating a whole race of people like demons might actually induce some of them to act like demons, in a self-fulfilling prophecy? I mean, that has happened to some blacks due to the white demonization of them, has it not? Why wouldn’t it work in the opposite direction?

Lest you think that I’m going overboard here, there are these concluding paragraphs in Slate.com writer Jamelle Bouie’s piece on the recent KKK rally in Charlottesville, Virginia (to protest the removal of Confederate “hero” statues):

… But while the Klan is a faded image of itself, white supremacy is still a potent ideology. In August, another group of white supremacists — led by white nationalist Richard Spencer and his local allies — will descend on Charlottesville to hold another protest.

Unlike the Loyal White Knights, they won’t have hoods and costumes; they’ll wear suits and khakis. They’ll smile for the cameras and explain their positions in media-friendly language. They will look normal — they might even be confident. After all, in the last year, their movement has been on the upswing, fueled by a larger politics of white grievance that swept a demagogue into office.

The Klan, as represented by the men and women who came to Charlottesville, is easy to oppose. They are the archetype of racism, the specter that almost every American can condemn.

The real challenge is the less visible bigotry, the genteel racism that cloaks itself in respectability and speaks in code, offering itself as just another “perspective.”

Charlottesville will likely mobilize against Spencer and his group, but the racism he represents will remain, a part of this community and most others across the United States. How does one respond to that? What does one do about that?

I’ve been reading Bouie for years now, I believe it has been, and for the most part his discussions on racism and race relations have been fair, balanced and insightful, which you often don’t find in the discussion.

But the spirit of the paragraphs above is disturbing. Its message is that no white person can be trusted; we can’t go by the type of clothing anymore, so we can only go on the color of the person’s skin. Indeed, Bouie’s sentiment above mirrors the central thesis of “Get Out”: “The real challenge is the less visible bigotry, the genteel racism that cloaks itself in respectability and speaks in code, offering itself as just another ‘perspective.’ … What does one do about that?”

Indeed, if every white person probably is the enemy, what do you do?

Apparently the only hope that a white person has these days to get acceptance from non-whites, especially blacks, is to denounce his or her entire evil race in the strongest terms possible and to state strong agreement with every word stated by non-whites. But even that isn’t enough, you see, because the denunciations of one’s own evil, white race and the claims of sympathy and empathy with the non-white probably aren’t sincere. They’re probably just a cover-up for the blue-eyed devil’s true, inborn evil.

We cannot continue to “function” this way, not if we ever want interracial reconciliation. But therein lies the rub: Many (if not most) non-whites (blacks especially, very apparently) don’t want interracial reconciliation, because their entire identity is wrapped up in being a perpetual victim of the blue-eyed devil. (Often, even their income depends on it.) This victimization (real or fabricated) must continue for their identity (and, sometimes, their income) to remain intact, so they continually will find “proof” of this victimization whether it even exists or not.

I surmise that Bouie asked his concluding question (“What does one do about that?”) rhetorically, but I’ll answer it anyway:

You don’t worry about what other people think of you, as you have no control over that, for the very most part. You do, however, become concerned if anyone’s bigotry or hatred translates into words or actions that are meant to harm you.

As a gay man, I know that there are plenty of heterosexuals out there who claim to support equal human and civil rights for us non-heterosexuals but who actually are quite homophobic. Since we’re on the subject, I’ll add that more white Americans (64 percent) than black Americans (51 percent) support same-sex marriage (which to me is a pretty good litmus test for homophobia), so, it seems to me, a black stranger that I come into contact with is more likely to be homophobic than is a white stranger.

And as a white man I never know, when I approach, for the first time, a non-white person (perhaps especially a black person, given the ugly history between the two races in the U.S.) whether or not he or she hates whitey or whether he or she is willing to give me a chance (I do, after all, have blue eyes…).

But I don’t lose sleep over whether or not someone is an anti-white racist and/or a homophobe. Ignorance, bigotry and hatred would be and would remain that person’s problem — until and unless he or she committed a word (such as “faggot,” which black boxer Floyd Mayweather shouted at white boxer Conor McGregor on Friday**) or words and/or a deed or deeds that made it my problem.

I’d give that same advice to Jamelle Bouie and to every other black person with whom I can be an ally as long as he or she doesn’t have an intractable “Get Out”-style perception of me, just waiting until I finally, inevitably demonstrate my “true colors” (because I have, you know, just traded my pointy white hood for khakis).

P.S. I have been following “Game of Thrones” for years now and await tonight’s season-seven premiere, but the fact that the show’s biggest baddies are blue-eyed “white walkers” — the symbolism of that — hasn’t been lost on me…

*The movie has its fatal flaws, of course, such as the central plot contradiction that anti-black white supremacists want their brains transferred into the bodies of black people.

Of course, contained within that contradiction actually is black supremacism — the idea/belief that it’s actually better to possess a black body than a white body, because if it weren’t, then why would these racist whiteys steal black bodies to inhabit?

Of course, plot contradictions in “Get Out” are to be pushed aside, because, again, its central, apparently-very-appealing-to-some message (aside from black supremacism, ironically) is that every white person is out to get every black person.

**To be fair and balanced, Conor McGregor, very apparently no towering genius himself, has made anti-black racist comments, but, to my knowledge, McGregor isn’t gay, and so when Mayweather hurled the epithet “faggot” at him, those of us who actually are “faggots” were just collateral damage, you see, and I don’t believe that Mayweather’s homophobia is at all uncommon among black Americans, who routinely hypocritically claim that ignorance, bigotry and hatred always belong to someone else.

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Haters of free speech will get the repressive nation that they deserve

Image by Tyler Shields, YouTube

Comedienne Kathy Griffin is pictured above during a photo shoot last week in which she held up a prosthetic severed head of “President” Pussygrabber. Never mind the United States’ long history of the butchery of and the savagery against innocents that continues to this day; this act against yet another stupid white man by an uppity woman, in which no one actually was even harmed, was a bridge too far!

Living in a nation with truly free speech means that your precious sensibilities are going to be offended from time to time.

You’re going to have to get over it. (Please don’t make me have to call you a snowflake, and yes, there are snowflakes on the right as well as on the left.)

The first brouhaha this past week was when Kathy Griffin posed with a fairly realistic-looking replica of “President” Pussygrabber’s bloody severed head and posted it to the Internet on Tuesday. She held the fake head up to the camera like Perseus holding up the head of Medusa.

While the image certainly fulfilled a fantasy for millions, including me, I can’t say that it was funny. Just grisly.

And, of course, Griffin, or at least her handler(s) — assuming that she has one or more of them — should have known that depicting the violent death of the sitting “president,” especially if you are a famous or semi-famous person with an audience, would cause backlash.* It also gets you a visit from the men in black of the Secret Service.

I mean, Pussygrabber’s life is worth protecting as much as was that of our last wonderful Repugnican “president,” who also took office without actually having won the most votes and who is a complete and total baby-boomer buffoon (I know: redundant), but still, Griffin should have known.

To me, Griffin’s biggest “crime” is that she is a comedienne but that her Pussygrabber head thing wasn’t funny — just grisly. And, yes, fantasy-fulfilling. But not funny. (That said, I’ve never gravitated to Griffin, whose work I’m mostly unfamiliar with, and maybe that’s just because she overall isn’t very funny.)

But should Griffin be driven out of all paid work (if there still is a demand for her work in the so-called marketplace of ideas) for the head-of-Pussygrabber incident? No.

I’m not a fan of hers, but if we want free speech and if we want content, we’re going to have to cut our providers of content some slack when they fuck up. They’re probably not going to get it right 100 percent of the time. We expect too much of them.

On that note, on Friday night during his live politicocomedic talk show on HBO, Bill Maher remarked that he won’t work the fields of Repugnican U.S. Sen. Ben Sasse’s Nebraska because he is a “house nigger,” and that, of course, has prompted calls for his show’s cancellation, and such a call is only going to backfire on the Only Black Lives Matter** set.

Don’t get me wrong; I have problems with Maher’s show. Pretty much every fucking week he has to get in a dig against those Muslims who are violent and oppressive, as though Islam had the monopoly on violence and oppression.

(I’m a gay man in the so-called land of the free, and I didn’t get the right to marry until only two fucking years ago this month, and that’s mostly because of those loving, wonderful “Christians,” who, instead of more honestly just blowing you up with a suicide vest, kill you with their “Christian” “kindness.”)

Maher’s Islamophobic comments are way beyond old and tired, and his handler or handlers should have reined him in on this long ago. Yes, he has his own show, but using his show to constantly verbalize his own personal pet peeves and prejudices, while it very apparently makes him feel better, degrades the show.

Maher on his show also frequently blasts so-called Democratic “purists,” that is, we progressives. We commoners are supposed to just shut the fuck up, sit the fuck down, and just accept a certain amount of self-serving, double-dealing, greed and corruption from so-called Democrats, you see.

It’s funny, because “Democratic” impurity doesn’t harm Maher. He’s a millionaire baby boomer (he gave a cool million dollars to Barack Obama for his re-election), and so he has plenty of buffer in money and in power, regardless of who (or what) is in the White House.

Baby-boomer millionaire and limousine liberal Maher isn’t affected by what we commoners are affected by. He has the best health care that money can buy, I’m sure, and if he had kids he’d have no problem putting them though the best universities. I rather doubt that he lives paycheck to paycheck or worries about ever being homeless.

So instead of bashing “purists” who have a lot more skin in the game than he does, Maher should check his rich, white, baby-boomer, limousine-liberal privilege.

Very much related to that, Maher’s throwaway use of the term “house nigger” demonstrated his privilege. It is easy for a rich, white baby boomer, whose life is quite comfortable, to make a casual, unfunny joke about the brutal system of U.S. slavery in which some black slaves had less arduous forced tasks than others.

Again, Maher’s “house nigger” “joke” wasn’t even funny. It was stupid and throwaway. (I watched Maher make the remark on HBO’s streaming service, and “the ‘n’-word” was edited out by muting it; it is the first word that I recall ever having been edited from his show, which is profuse with profanity, which I’m OK with.)

Like Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher is supposed to be a comedian, and one might argue that the only real wrong a comedian or comedienne can commit is to fail to be funny.

That said, Maher has apologized for his “house nigger” comment, and coming from him, I think that his apology most likely is sincere.

Should his show be cancelled because of it? No.

Is Maher a racist? Sure, to those black supremacists and race hustlers who believe that every white person is racist (even though, ironically, the race-hustling black supremacists are incredibly racist themselves), of course Maher is a racist, but I don’t know too many white racists who gave Barack Obama a million dollars and who have dated black women, and I have been watching Maher’s show for some time now, and he regularly has black guests, very probably at a proportion that significantly exceeds blacks’ percentage of the U.S. population (which is 13 percent).

One of Maher’s many frequent black guests is Cornel West, of whom I’m a huge fan.***

Maher gives West and other black Americans a voice that they often don’t get in widely broadcast television shows that are watched by a lot of white Americans, so it’s perversely ironic that any black Americans would call for his show’s cancellation.

(Black Americans’ No. 1 pastime, it seems, is shooting themselves in the fucking foot, such as how they supported Billary Clinton over the much more popular Bernie Sanders by a margin of about three to one [which has reeked of anti-white racism (and perhaps also of anti-Semitism) to me], helping to ensure that the widely despised Repugnican-Lite Billary lost the White House to Donald Fucking Trump in November.)

All of that said, yes, Maher needs to check his privilege, not only his white privilege, but also his class and generational privilege.

But his having uttered “the ‘n’-word” in a lame and tone-deaf apparent attempt to be funny doesn’t in one fell swoop wipe out all of the overall good that Maher’s show still has. (If his show didn’t have more good than bad, I wouldn’t still be watching it regularly.)

Maher needs to be further educated and further enlightened, not utterly destroyed, and the Only Black Lives Matter set apparently still needs to learn that mercilessly calling for the complete, total and utter destruction of offending/“offending” whites (which, ironically, is just part and parcel of their own racial supremacism) — instead of calling for the education and enlightenment of whites (where such education and enlightenment is possible) — only is going to drive more whites away from their cause/“cause” than toward it. (Which, ironically, at least on a subconscious level probably is their intent, given that actual interracial reconciliation very apparently actually is the last thing that they want.)

I, for one, don’t want to live in a United States of America in which all of the Bill Mahers are driven out of the marketplace of ideas, leaving us only the white supremacists (the vast majority of whom vote Repugnican) and the black supremacists (many if not most of whom only use the Democratic Party to further their selfish, racist agenda of black supremacism, and so who aren’t at all actually progressive themselves) to churn out their hateful speech.

If those of us who are sane and progressive don’t protect First-Amendment rights — which includes protecting those whose hearts are mostly in the right place from being the victims of incredibly hypocritical political-correctness lynch mobs when and if they ever cross the political-correctness line — then that is the kind of nation that we’ll live in.

*Yes, awful, racist, inexcusable things routinely were said of Barack Obama and of his family members, but I don’t recall any celebrity, major or minor, ever having posed with a prosthetic severed head of President Obama. Just sayin’.

**Anyone who has read me regularly knows that I support the political push for greater racial equality, including stopping cops from routinely shooting (and otherwise harming and killing) unarmed black men (and other historically oppressed minorities), ending the insane incarceration rate of non-whites, and tackling our insane rate of income inequality, which harms people of all races.

Of course black lives matter, but Black Lives Matter needs to rein in the black supremacists among its ranks, and I refer only to those black supremacists as the “Only Black Lives Matter” set — because that is their mindset, their worldview: they care only about black people, and for anyone of any race to care only about people of his or her own race is some incredibly fucked-up, and racist, shit.

***Cornel West is a true progressive who doesn’t kiss the center-right Democratic Party establishment’s ass. He courageously consistently has been appropriately critical of Barack Obama and of Billary Clinton and, being an actual progressive, he supported Bernie Sanders for the Democratic Party presidential nomination.

And in a wonderful move consistent with acting according to his conscience, although West was on the committee that wrote the Democratic Party’s 2016 platform, he nonetheless ended up endorsing Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein instead of Billary, and I voted for Stein in November just as I voted for her in 2012, as I don’t vote for DINOs, but for actual progressives.

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Don’t blame me; I voted for Bernie! (redux) And: DINOs are Bernie blind

Image result for Bernie Sanders crowd

Despite the huge crowds that true populist Bernie Sanders garnered in his campaign for the Democratic Party presidential nomination (the photo above is from Bernie’s rally in Portland, Oregon, in August 2015) — and despite the fact that Bernie remains the most popular politician on the U.S. national stage today — the Billarybots and the limousine liberals just can’t think of who could or should take on “President” Pussygrabber (or “President” Pence…) in 2020. No fucking wonder the Billarybots and limo libbies, with their political acumen, cost us the election in November.

“If you look at the numbers, Bernie Sanders is the most popular politician in America – and it’s not even close,” writes The Guardian’s Trevor Timm. “Yet bizarrely, the Democratic party — out of power across the country and increasingly irrelevant — still refuses to embrace him and his message. It’s increasingly clear they do so at their own peril.”

Indeed.

Timm continues (links are Timm’s; my comments are in brackets):

A new Fox News [!] poll out this week shows Sanders has a +28 [percent] net favorability rating among the U.S. population [61 percent in the poll favor Bernie, while only 32 percent disfavor him, so actually, Sanders’ net favorability rating is 29 percentage points], dwarfing all other elected politicians on both ends of the political spectrum. And he’s even more popular among the vaunted “independents,” where he is at a mind-boggling +41 [percent].

This poll is not just an aberration. Look at this Huffington Post chart that has tracked Sanders’ favorability rating over time, ever since he gained national prominence in 2015 when he started running for the Democratic nomination. The more people got to know him, they more they liked him – the exact opposite of what his critics said would happen when he was running against Clinton.

One would think with numbers like that, Democratic politicians would be falling all over themselves to be associated with Sanders, especially considering the party as a whole is more unpopular than the Republicans and even Donald Trump right now. [Emphasis mine.]

Yet instead of embracing his message, the establishment wing of the party continues to resist him at almost every turn, and they seem insistent that they don’t have to change their ways to gain back the support of huge swaths of the country. …

Well, indeed, for most members of the Democratic Party establishment, they’ve been using the party not to benefit the highest number of other human beings that’s possible (which is the credo and the modus operandi of true progressivism), but to benefit themselves. They’re addicted to that self-serving power, and they’re not going to give it up any year soon.

The solution?

In a recent column, leftist Ted Rall posits that the Democratic Party could split into two parties — into actual Democrats, that is, those of us who actually are progressive, and the remnants of the center-right, sellout, corporate-ass-licking, Repugnican-Lite, Clinton-Obama Democratic Party.

Rall even suggests a name for us actual Democrats who split off from the current Democratic/Repugnican Lite establishment: the Progressive Party or the New Progressive Party.

Rall notes that of course in the short term, the split of the Democratic Party into two different parties probably would benefit the Repugnican Tea Party. But of course over time the (New) Progressive Party, actually representing the best interests of the majority of the American people for fucking once, probably would siphon off enough support from the Old Democratic Party that the Old Democratic Party over time would wither, dry up and blow away, as things that are irrelevant and obsolete tend to do.

Indeed, my response to the current Democratic/Repugican Lite establishment that tells us actual progressives that we have nowhere else to go is something like this: Fuuuuuck you! We can leave you and form our own party, and then if you want to win any elections, you’ll have to join us, bitches! You’ll have nowhere else to go!

The Democratic Party establishment hates Bernie Sanders because he’s the real deal. He’s not self-serving and he’s not corrupt. He means what he says and he does what he says (thus, he polls better than does any other U.S. politician on the national stage), which is something that the Democratic Party establishment stopped doing decades ago.

Bernie, because he is so beloved by the American electorate, is an existential threat to the continuation of the Democratic establishment’s continued power. Of course they shun him.

Of course it’s not just about Bernie, but it’s about what he represents: actual populism, not the bullshit Pussygrabber “populism,” which, with “President” Pussygrabber’s cabinet of billionaires and insane proposed federal budget that benefits only the war profiteers, makes the poor even poorer and the filthy rich even filthy richer. That’s not populism; that’s the status fucking quo (which, under a President Billary, wouldn’t have budged any more than it did under Barack Obama).

I still feel about “President” Pussygrabber now as I did when he “won” the election in November: It’s too bad that he “won,” but he “won” because the Democratic Party establishment (including the slimy members of the “neutral” Democratic National Committee, including then-DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who resigned in disgrace after their anti-Bernie e-mails were publicly released) fucked over the more popular and the more viable candidate — Bernie Sanders, who all along polled better against Pussygrabber than Billary Clinton did (see more on this fact here and here) — and instead backed the unlikable, corrupt Billary, who is so unlikable that in 2008, Barack Obama, who at that point in time had been in the U.S. Senate for only four years, beat her for the Democratic Party presidential nomination even though she’d been on the national political scene since the early 1990s.

Abject, intractable Democratic establishment stupidity and stubbornness were at least as much a factor in Pussygrabber’s “win” as were white racism or Russia’s interference, I am confident.

But of course I don’t expect the prideful Billarybots ever to admit that they, with their stubborn, mind-blowing stupidity in making an individual whose favorability ratings all along were in the negative* their presidential candidate, were instrumental in bringing us “President” Pussygrabber.

That’s why I’m fully on board with Ted Rall’s idea of the Democratic Party splitting into two and letting survival of the political fittest take its course.

At this point I’m thinking that that’s probably the only way to drive a stake through the cold hearts of the DINOs for once and for all.

Not that it would be easy.

To give just one example, limousine liberal Bill Maher and his limousine liberal guests on his show this past Friday night (Andrew Sullivan and the even worse Barney Frank, who is a huge DINO sellout) all claimed that they just couldn’t think of someone who could take on “President” Pussygrabber in 2020 (assuming that he’s still there, of course).

Shall we call these mindlessly obedient Billarybots Bernie blind?

In the 2016 presidential contest Bernie kicked ass, with higher favorability ratings than both Billary and Pussygrabber ever garnered during the campaign — both Billary and Pussygrabber were historically disliked presidential candidates in 2016 — and Bernie remains the most liked politician on the national stage right now, yet the limousine liberals and other Billarybots just can’t think of who could or should run for president in 2020.

All signs point to the probability that the limo libbies and the Billarybots don’t want actual progressivism in the United States of America, because it would threaten their privileged status, their status in which they pay lip service to progressivism but actually live their over-privileged lives in an entirely other way.

We true progressives face a war on two fronts: against the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and the DINO traitors who want to continue their center-right, self-serving, sellout bullshit — which no longer wins elections because we commoners are on to them — in perpetuity.

If we progressives want to win the war, me must dissociate ourselves from the DINOs, who only want to take us down with them.

P.S. In case you are wondering how Billary Clinton’s favorability rating is doing these days, well, they’re not polling much on her since she lost/“lost” the presidential election, but a recent Suffolk University poll has her still significantly under water — 35 percent approval to 55 percent disapproval, a hole of -20.

Billary apparently never got a post-election sympathy boost.

In the Suffolk University poll, Pussygrabber, Mike Pence and the Repugnican Tea Party as a whole all fare better than both Billary and the Democratic Party as a whole. (Bernie Sanders was not in the poll.)

*Billary Clinton’s net unfavorable/negative ratings began in April 2015 and persisted all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See her favorability timeline here.

As Trevor Timm eluded to, it was very different for Bernie Sanders; the more people got to know him, the more they liked him. Bernie Sanders saw nothing but growing net favorable/positive ratings from July 2015, when people were starting to get to know him, all the way through the November 2016 presidential election. See his favorability timeline here.

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Adolescent Milo Whatshisnameopoulos annoying, pathetic — not ‘dangerous’

Updated below (on Monday, February 20, 2017, and on Tuesday, February 21, 2017)

Real Time With Bill Maher Milo Yiannopoulos

The self-loathing attention whore Milo Yiannopoulos said nothing insightful or worthwhile on Bill Maher’s show on Friday night, and he follows the long tradition of being (quasi-)famous only for being (in)famous. Hate speech gets you attention, the perpetual adolescent discovered a while ago, and so he continues spewing forth hate speech.

“Alt-right” figure Milo Yiannopoulos, who is 32 going on 13, has an upcoming book ludicrously titled Dangerous.*

I’ve always instinctively avoided watching video of the vapid and insipid fool, but I do watch Bill Maher’s HBO show every week, and so finally I was exposed to The Milo Virus.

The virus isn’t deadly, or even dangerous — it’s just annoying.

Yiannopoulos giggled his way through his interview like a schoolgirl on nitrous oxide. Again: Annoying, not “dangerous.” (And if you must proclaim yourself to be “dangerous,” then you most likely are not.)

Probably the most offensive thing that Yiannopoulos said on Maher’s show (in the “overtime” portion of the show) is that transgender individuals are “confused” and, worse, that they are more likely to sexually abuse children than are others. This is, he proclaimed, a “fact” that is not in controversy.

If it’s not in controversy, that’s only because it’s not a fact; a simple Google search shows that it’s an “alternative fact.” Children are, in fact, most likely to be abused by a heterosexual, cisgender male (and girls are more likely to be sexually abused than are boys), and when children are sexually abused, it more often than not is by people the children know, not by strangers (such as transgender individuals lurking in public restrooms that match their gender identity).

The statistics on the sexual abuse of children say nothing about transgender individuals (“confused” or otherwise) being more likely to sexually abuse children than cisgender individuals who aren’t “confused” about their gender.

So here is nelly queen Yiannopoulos — really, she is quite on fire (she is out, but, of course, she couldn’t be in) — saying that transgender individuals are “confused” when the haters of course would say that he is confused, based upon his feminine mannerisms and dress and choice of sex partners. And they’d accuse him of being a child molester, too.

(And transgender individuals aren’t “confused”; they are crystal clear on the fact that although they were born with a certain set of genitalia and thus are expected by an oppressive, patriarchal, misogynist, backasswards society to act a certain way, acting that way isn’t natural to them. There is no “confusion” there. Only the troglodytic haters, who stupidly dutifully buy into all of society’s bullshit, are confused.)

What the fuck is the matter with Milo Yiannopoulos? Is he concerned (as are some other members of minority groups who are haters) that there must be some group — in this case, transgender individuals — who are loathed even more than is his own cohort of gay men?

To be clear, I’m a gay man, and while I feel like a male and have no desire to act in a feminine manner, I have no problem with feminine men and masculine women. People need to be themselves.

But no way in hell can I claim Milo Yiannopoulos as a fellow gay man. Not only is he incredibly hypocritical for attacking transgender individuals for their non-gender compliance, but on Maher’s show he wore not one, but two crosses around his neck (with his pearls…) and claimed that he is a staunch supporter of the Catholick church, which long has oppressed gay men like he. What kind of deep psychological damage must an individual have to love — and to aid and abet — his or her long-time oppressors?

Yiannopoulos is a vapid, sick piece of shit who never will accomplish anything significant for anyone. He is inflicting his mental illness, including his pathetically arrested development, upon the rest of us, and sadly, no, I don’t think that it’s all an act.

He gets attention, yes, but only as car wrecks and train wrecks get attention.

Unstable, sociopathic individuals, I suppose, can in their own way be dangerous, and hate speech certainly can be dangerous, and hate speech would include such blatant, hateful lies as that transgender individuals are more likely to sexually abuse children than are cisgender individuals.

As I’ve written before, because hate speech so easily can lead to real human beings being actually harmed, even killed, I don’t consider hate speech to be free speech. Hate speech is, in my book, a crime that often if not usually should be prosecuted.

But does freely spewing forth hate speech make Milo Yiannopoulos “dangerous”?

Not in the sense that he apparently considers himself (or at least portrays himself) to be “dangerous,” which apparently is that he’s a courageous truth-teller going against all of this insane political correctness of the left.

No, Milo Yiannopoulos is not courageous — only fucking cowards further attack already historically oppressed and relatively powerless minority groups — and he is not “dangerous” in the way that he would define the term.

He is just another fucking liar and narcissist who loves the spotlight — which is turned on him not because he helps and uplifts anyone, but because he only tries to tear others down — and who wallows in the undeserved attention that he receives like the attention piggy that he is.

Update (Monday, February 20, 2017): Wow. Karma rarely works this quickly.

Gay blogger Joe Jervis reported yesterday that Milo Yiannopoulos has a video-recorded history of excusing if not also even advocating under-aged sex — apparently proudly proclaiming that he learned how to perform fellatio well from a Catholick priest — and Jervis reports today:

Minutes ago CPAC [Conservative Political Action Conference] chairman Matt Schlapp tweeted a statement announcing that homocon flamethrower Milo Yiannopoulos has been disinvited as the keynote speaker at this year’s convention. Schlapp writes:

We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these troubling comments. We continue to believe that CPAC in a constructive forum for controversies and disagreements among conservatives; however, there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.

And now we get to watch the free speech absolutists at Breitbart have a screaming meltdown. See my original post with the videos here.

To unpack this: Yiannopoulos’ video-recorded remarks about having learned how to give good head because of a certain Father Michael appear not to be snark; he apparently truly thanks the priest for having introduced him to gay sex when he was 14 years old.

While I agree with Yiannopoulos that in general we have unnecessary and even hysterical hang-ups over sex, and I’d even go so far as to venture that not every legal minor who has consensual (emphasis on consensual) sex with a legal adult automatically is destroyed for life (although we certainly couldn’t use Yiannopoulos as proof of that…), and while I’d point out that in the United Kingdom (where Yiannopolous was born and lives) the age of consent is 16 years old, and that there is no one, universal age of consent**, I have to wonder if Yiannopoulos saw FatherMichaelFellatiogate (i.e., his video-recorded historical defense of legal adults having sex with legal minors) coming, and so he decided to pre-emptively attack transgender individuals as child molesters as a slanderous diversion from his own scandal regarding pederasty.***

As I’ve said, Yiannopolous is sick, and he’s “dangerous” only in that sick people can be dangerous.

And why CPAC would have invited Yiannopoulos as a speaker in the first place eludes me. He’s not at all a traditional conservative; his being an out gay man, and a feminine-acting gay man, and non-heterosexuality and non-gender compliance being anathema to conservatives aside, Yiannopoulos is just vapid, self-centered and mean (although almost all conservatives are mean); he is no fount of conservative “thought.”

Second update (Monday, February 20, 2017): Wow. The Associated Press now reports that Simon & Schuster has canceled its publication of Dangerous, which was slated to come out in June.

I’m torn on this news. I’d never buy the book, but this could make Whatshisnameopoulos a “martyr,” and unless he contractually may not, he’ll probably just search for another publisher, and some shameless, money-grubbing publisher would publish it, perhaps especially now

Third update (Tuesday, February 21, 2017): Three strikes; he’s out! Milo Yiannopoulos announced today that he has resigned from the “alt-right” website Breitbart.

I don’t for a nanosecond believe his face-saving claim that his resignation was voluntary and that he initiated it, but whatever; his “career” should be over.

I mean, who wants him now? He has been disowned by the conservatives/neo-Nazis and he certainly is unwanted by those of us who are left of center, and no, he probably can’t pull a David Brock, as he didn’t simply burn his bridges, but atomized them.

Fact is, Yiannopoulos did cavalierly and clearly condone pederasty in those videos that brought about his spectacular implosion. (No, to be fair even to him, he did not condone pedophilia. And, again, pedophilia is worse than is pederasty.)

Now, however, Yiannopoulos pathetically, lamely claims that his teen-aged sexual experiences with adult males — which not long ago enough he defended as anywhere from unharmful to actually beneficial and bragged he instigated himself, so that he was no victim — damaged him and that he now realizes that out of that victimhood that he first vehemently denied but now so conveniently claims, he said some inappropriate things.

Please. 

Yiannopoulos is a fucking cockroach and cockroaches tend to re-emerge after you think that they’re dead, but this should be it for him.

As Slate.com’s Michelle Goldberg snarked of Yiannopoulos:

… Yianopoulos’ act was all about baiting liberals over free speech; he’d say something repulsive, the left would react, and conservatives could play the defenders of edgy self-expression. In the end, however, the right shut him down the second he made conservatives uncomfortable. Going forward, even if any right-wingers are willing to be associated with him, it will be hard for him to continue the fiction that conservatives are uniquely open-minded. That means he’s no use to them, or to anyone, really. Poor snowflake.

Poor snowflake indeed.

I wish the cockroach luck with his “free-speech” crusade, which he promises to continue.

His “free speech” is to worthwhile discourse what neo-Nazi graffiti is to high art.

*Kinda reminds me of Michael Jackson having labeled himself as “bad.” If Jackson was bad, it wasn’t in the way that he had claimed to be “bad”…

**Wikipedia notes that “Age of consent laws vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, though most jurisdictions set the age of consent in the range 14 to 18. The laws may also vary by the type of sexual act, the gender of the participants, or other restrictions such as abuse of a position of trust; some jurisdictions may also make allowances for minors engaged in sexual acts with each other, rather than a single age.”

While I don’t have any huge problem with the UK setting its age of consent at 16, age 14 strikes me as too young to be able to consent, even if the individual considers himself or herself to be precocious.

And, of course, as Wikipedia notes, there is the issue of the abuse of a position of trust. Even if Yiannopoulos had been 16 or older, his priest shouldn’t have had sex with him. Priests, as good shepherds, are to tend to the sheep, not have sexual relations with the sheep.

***To be clear and to be fair, Yiannopoulos apparently has expressed that he is OK with consensual pederasty but not with pedophilia, and there is a difference between the two; there are degrees of things.

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Still waiting for the national backlash

As apparently at least one editorial cartoonist (see above) and political commentator Bill Maher have noted, this past week the Confederate flag has been lowered and the rainbow flag has been raised. (Which, as Maher quipped, must have made for a very weird week for U.S. senator and presidential Repugnican Party presidential aspirant Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whom pretty much everyone knows is a closet case.)

It’s a cute visual — one flag going down and another going up — but it’s not quite as simple as that.

We still have a long way to go in achieving equal human and civil rights for blacks and other racial minorities in the United States of America, and the image of the rainbow flag replacing the Confederate flag could send the message that we’re done with the racial thing, and so now we can celebrate the fact that we’re done with the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender thing. But we’re not done with that, either, as I have just noted.

I am happy that the Confederate flag is imploding. Don’t get me wrong. Earlier this month I wrote that the public display of the flag should be banned legally throughout the United States, as Germany bans the Nazi flag, and I still believe that no one should have to see the flag, which I still liken to the Nazi flag, in public. The flag deeply unsettles me, and I’m a white man (albeit a gay white man), so I can only imagine how many if not most blacks feel when they see the Confederate flag — the flag of racist, white supremacist traitors and terrorists — displayed in public as a terrorist warning/threat in the guise of “heritage” or “history” or “culture.”

No, because the First Amendment is used as justification for continued hate speech (which in my book is not protected by the First Amendment since hate speech so often ends in violence against and harm to weaker, historically oppressed individuals), I don’t expect the public display of the Confederate flag to be made illegal throughout the United States any year soon — although it should be made illegal for the federal government or any of the state governments to display the flag in public (except in museums and the like), including, of course, on state-issued license plates — but public and political pressure is bringing the flag down everywhere.

Yes, Mississippi’s flag, which incorporates the Confederate flag in it, as a state-government-sanctioned image has got to go and be redesigned, but while we wait for that — and the illegality of all state-issued license plates bearing the Confederate flag — it’s heartening that in the meantime Walmart, Amazon, Sears, eBay and countless other businesses have decided that they will not sell anything with the Confederate flag on it (with the exception, of course, of such things as history books and DVDs of “Gone with the Wind”).

I can’t remember the last time that I saw any merchandise emblazoned with the Confederate flag here in California — where the Confederate flag does not fly — but it’s nice to know that it now is harder for white supremacists to buy their freak flags online now, and I’m guessing that Walmart’s Southern-state stores have offered merchandise containing the flag of the white-supremacist traitor, if not even the flag itself.

And let’s face it, since the United States is so hyper-capitalist and consumerist, when Big Business decides to do something, such as to ban the Confederate flag, it’s almost as good as the state legislatures and the U.S. Congress actually doing their job, and certainly the elected cowards who fill our chambers of power won’t be as scared now to follow what Big Business has started to do.*

I also was delighted to learn that a black woman in South Carolina yesterday skillfully scaled the flagpole on the state’s capitol grounds and temporarily took down the Confederate flag that mind-blowingly still flies there. Of course law enforcement was waiting for her at the bottom of the flagpole and the flag quickly was raised again. But the woman had made her point; she quite understandably doesn’t want to wait for the state’s legislature to take the matter up, because the time to do the right thing is always right now.

It’s a little complicated, though, I think, as she was spouting the whole time that “God” is on her side.

I’m on her side, but I have a problem with the “God” thing, since “God” is used to justify one’s actions and desires, whether they’re righteous or whether they’re evil. “God” always very conveniently wants whatever it is that the individual who is invoking “God,” the individual who is claiming to know the will of “God” (which to me, an atheist, is like claiming to know the will of Santa Claus), wants.

The religious right, for example, of course, tells us that the U.S. Supreme Court on Friday, in declaring that bans on same-sex marriage are unconstitutional, violated the will of “God,” and that This! Will! Not! Stand!

Oh! Except that It! Will!

The right-wing haters always pitch a fit when the U.S. Supreme Court or the U.S. Congress advances equal human and civil rights, such as with Brown vs. Board of Education, the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Loving vs. Virginia, and now, the newly minted Obergefell vs. Hodges.

Of course the hatred of and the discrimination and persecution against us non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals will continue, but we continue to achieve full legal equality — equal human and civil rights.

The vast majority of us non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals don’t give a flying fuck what heterosexuals and gender-conforming individuals think of us; we only care when heterosexuals persecute us, when heterosexuals make their own ignorance, bigotry and hatred our problem, when they stand in the way of our pursuit of life, liberty and happiness.

And this persistent, pernicious, pathetic right-wing “argument” that the haters’ rights actually are violated when they don’t get to continue to oppress others — similarly, the slave owners’ “rights” were violated when the slaves were freed, you see — isn’t working outside of the wingnuts’ echo chamber. The U.S. Supreme Court certainly didn’t buy it, and neither did the many federal and state courts below it when the haters tried to demonstrate any actual harm to themselves or to society at large by same-sex marriage. That was the haters’ legal task in the courtrooms — to demonstrate actual harm, because you can’t deny a group of people a right unless you can demonstrate that the granting of that right would cause actual harm — and because same-sex marriage harms no one, they failed miserably repeatedly.

As Bill Maher quipped to the haters’ (especially the Repugnican Tea Party presidential aspirants’) response to same-sex marriage now being the law of the land: “Fellas, you do realize that this is not mandatory? You don’t have to have sex with another man — it’s just an option now. OK, I just wanted to make that clear,” he said, hilariously adding after a pause: “They’re such drama queens, aren’t they?”

Indeed, the haters have been acting as though Obergefell vs. Hodges makes same-sex marriage mandatory for everyone, which even they, as insane as they are, know is a fucking lie (because they’re telling the lie in order to scare others to try to get their way politically [which is called terrorism]).

It’s quite simple: As I have noted before, if you don’t want to marry someone of the same sex (even if you’re gay or lesbian), or if you don’t want to get an abortion, then don’t get an abortion or don’t marry someone of the same sex. You have the freedom to follow your own religious convictions, as backasswards as they are, as long as you aren’t acting like the Islamofascists who comprise ISIS, trying to force others to follow your bullshit, troglodytic religion.

Because then, you’re just a “Christo”fascist, and I am governed not by the Koran or the Old Testament or the New Testament, but by the U.S. Constitution (and by other founding documents and by the laws of land, including U.S. statutes and U.S. Supreme Court caselaw, including, of course, the delicious Obergefell vs. Hodges). And I would battle an attempted takeover of the nation by “Christo”fascists just as I would an attempted takeover by Islamofascists.

Haters, you still get to hate; Obergefell vs. Hodges did not strip you of your right to hate others based upon your non-existent “God,” who is like a Santa Claus on crack. But leave the rest of us the fuck alone to pursue our life, liberty and happiness as is guaranteed to us, as is our birthright.

There will be no big national backlash because of Obergefell vs. Hodges. The terrorists who comprised the right wing risibly tried to raise this specter to spook the U.S. Supreme Court from doing the right thing, but with around 60 percent of all Americans supporting same-sex marriage, of course the U.S. Supreme Court was perfectly safe in doing the right, long-overdue thing. (Indeed, as I noted, the court wouldn’t have done the right thing unless it had felt quite safe in doing so. As independent from public opinion as the nation’s court [or, arguably, any court] is supposed to be, at least on paper, the political reality as to how far a court safely can stray from public opinion is different.)

Oh, there might be a nutjob (or two or three) like a Dylann Storm Roof who goes off and commits domestic terrorism against actual and/or perceived non-heterosexual or non-gender-conforming victims — this can happen at any time anyway, and it does — but we won’t see a national backlash to Obergefell vs. Hodges because the nation already is significantly segregated into political blocs anyway, replete with blue states and red states and with blue areas and red regions within the red states and blue states. To a large degree, those on the left and on the right mix as little as is possible anyway.

And before Friday, 36 states had had same-sex marriage anyway; before Friday there were only 14 holdout states. So it’s not like there wasn’t same-sex marriage anywhere in the nation, but that the U.S. Supreme Court just up and in one fell swoop went from zero percent same-sex marriage to 100 percent same-sex marriage in the United States. (That said, things did go fairly quickly, I suppose; Massachusetts became the first state in the nation to start issuing marriage certificates to same-sex couples in May 2004, and just a little more than 11 years later, all states must now do so.)

So again, no, there will be no national backlash. Talk of such a backlash is just what the self-serving, treasonous, backasswards wingnuts want, since their Bible-based worldview increasingly is being rejected and relegated to the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

Life will go on much as it has before. The years will pass. The old haters will die and take most of their hatred, bigotry and ignorance with them to their graves (and they have to have graves because they love unsustainability); fewer and fewer of us will be raised to be haters, and even those who do have some hatred in their hearts and minds will, because of the stigma attached to such hatred, for the most part keep their hatred to themselves.

The right-wing haters do their best to prevent progress, do their best to keep humankind bound in the rusted chains of the past, but with each passing day, their hatred is more and more unsustainable.

We progressives must continue to fight, as gains won can be threatened or lost later (look at voting rights and reproductive rights, for example), but, while we fight, we must keep in mind that, as Taylor Swift might put it, while the haters are gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, we must persevere and just shake, shake, shake, shake, shake it off, shake it off.

(If you’ve actually read this far, you kind of deserve a reference to Taylor Swift. Just sayin’.)

*Don’t get me wrong; it’s not that Big Business suddenly wuvs us. No, Big Business has calculated that the intangible and tangible costs of continuing to sell the Confederate flag outweigh any profits that they’ve been getting from selling it.

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Assorted shit Sunday!

Lowering Arizona (if that’s even still possible)

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu speaks at a news conference, Saturday, Feb. 18, 2012 in Florence, Ariz.  Babeu, a sheriff seeking the GOP nomination for an Arizona congressional seat has been forced to confirm he is gay amid allegations of misconduct made by a man with whom he previously had a relationship. Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu on Saturday denied claims he tried to threaten the man, who is Hispanic, with deportation if their past relationship was made public. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Deirdre Hamill)  MARICOPA COUNTY OUT; MAGS OUT; NO SALES

Associated Press photo

Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu declares at a press conference in Florence, Arizona, yesterday that he indeed is gay but that he didn’t threaten his reported former male lover, “Jose,” with deportation if “Jose” didn’t keep his mouth shut about their sexual relationship.

This reads like the plot of a Coen brothers movie (except that it’s a Reuters news story):

A local sheriff resigned as a co-chair of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney’s campaign in Arizona [yesterday] after he was accused of threatening a former male lover with deportation to Mexico if he talked about their relationship.

In an embarrassing incident for Romney’s struggling campaign, Pinal County Sheriff Paul Babeu denied that he or his lawyer made the deportation threat but stepped down from helping the former Massachusetts governor in the border state.

Babeu acknowledged at a press conference [yesterday] that he is gay and that he had a personal relationship with the man making the allegations, whom he identified only as “Jose.”

“Sheriff Babeu has stepped down from his volunteer position with the campaign so he can focus on the allegations against him. We support his decision,” the Romney campaign said in a statement.

The Phoenix New Times alternative newspaper reported on Friday that Babeu’s lawyer had asked Jose to sign a legal agreement that would require him to keep quiet about his involvement with the sheriff. According to the newspaper, the lawyer also warned Jose that any talk about their relationship could imperil his immigration status.

“All of these allegations that were in one of these newspapers were absolutely false, except for the issue that referred to me as being gay, and that is the truth. I am gay,” Babeu said at the news conference. …

I don’t think that the New Times (a quality news weekly that I used to read when I was [unfortunately…] a resident of Phoenix in the 1990s) wants to be sued for libel, so I tend to believe that the New Times reported the truth.

In any event, what a head case Paul Babeu must be.

The Reuters news story further notes that

Babeu first came to statewide prominence in 2010 when he appeared in a campaign ad for U.S. Senator John McCain of Arizona, the Republican presidential nominee two years earlier, calling for tough immigration measures.

The sheriff, who is a tough law-and-order advocate, was considered a rising star in state Republican politics and a strong candidate to win the Republican nomination for a congressional seat in Arizona this year.

Babeu is a strong critic of the handling of immigration issues by the administration of President Barack Obama.

Yet Babeu reportedly took on an male Mexican immigrant as his lover? And he was assisting the homophobic Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign?

Again, what a head case, to publicly be castigating “illegals”* while one of them, reportedly, privately is your lover, and to publicly be supporting Mitt Romney — whose patriarchal, misogynist, white supremacist, homophobic, “Christo”fascist Mormon cult was instrumental in passing Proposition H8 — while privately being gay.

I’m glad that Babeu at least now is out of the closet, so that we can’t call him a closet case as well as a head case, but of course it doesn’t count as courage on his part, since the New Times outed him; he very apparently never would have come out on his own, but would have continued his hypocritical, double-standard charade indefinitely, apparently.

Babeu’s political career in Arizona should be dead — not because he’s a hypocrite and a liar and a coward, which would be good cause, but primarily because he is gay in one of the nation’s reddest, most hateful and bigoted states.

The upshot is that now that he is out of the closet and his political career within the Repugnican Tea Party just died, he should have plenty of time to have his head examined.

P.S. Via the Phoenix New Times’ website, here is a photo of Babeu with his beau “Jose”:

Paul Babeu and Jose

Maher: Racists break eighth-graders’ code of conduct

Speaking of Arizona, Bill Maher recently did a nice (if rather dated) rant on how members of the treasonous, white supremacist Repugnican Tea Party feel quite comfortable disrespecting President Barack Obama in person, publicly committing acts of deep disrespect that former “President” George W. Bush — who (in my estimation) was more reviled by more Americans than Obama ever has been — ever endured.

(The only public embarrassment that Bush ever endured, to my recollection, was toward the end of his illegitimate presidency, when an Iraqi threw his shoes at Bush during a press conference in Baghdad in protest of the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, which resulted in the unnecessary deaths of thousands and thousands of the Iraqi’s fellow countrymen. [Unfortunately, both of the shoes missed their target.])

The two most glaring examples that Maher recounts are Repugnican Tea Party Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer thrusting her talon in Obama’s face on the tarmac in Arizona and Repugnican Tea Party South Carolina U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson screaming out “You lie!” during a live, nationally televised address to Congress that Obama was giving on the topic of health-care reform.

Maher quips that “if Mitt Romney really wants to win over conservative voters, he has to one-up Jan Brewer and spit on Obama’s shoes.”

Maher notes that as much as we on the left skewered Bush during his eight unelected, disastrous years of rule, we respected the office of the presidency and never disrespected Bush publicly in person. This kind of tacit agreement, Maher declares, “has always worked for eighth-grade girls, and it’s always worked for the United States of America.”

Actually, I encourage the white supremacist Repugnican Tea Party traitors to continue their racist assaults on the president, the man who in 2008 received more popular votes than George W. Bush ever did in 2000 or in 2004, in actual numbers and in the percentage of the popular vote. (Bush garnered only 47.9 percent of the popular vote in 2000 — to Democrat Al Gore’s 48.4 percent — and only 50.7 percent in 2004, while in 2008 Obama garnered 52.9 percent of the popular votes to John McCainosaurus’ paltry 45.7 percent, and no other U.S. president ever received as many popular votes as Obama did.)

Racism doesn’t sit well with the majority of the nation’s younger voters, and as the older white supremacists continue to kick off, the Repugnican Tea Party should continue to go extinct. (Ditto for its patriarchy, misogyny and homophobia, which also are killing the Repugnican Tea Party’s future.)

Team Obama still searching for slogans

Not that I’m a huge fan of Barack Obama. But I have very different reasons for that than do the Repugnican Tea Party traitors.

I voted for Barack Obama in November 2008. Even when I walked into my polling place I wasn’t sure whether I would cast my vote for Obama or for independent progressive presidential candidate Ralph Nader, who of course had zero chance of winning but whose political views more closely match my own than do Obama’s (and whom I’d voted for here in California in 2000).

I had given Obama hundreds of dollars, mainly in order to help him defeat Billary Clinton in the 2008 presidential primary season, and because I knew that of course the next president would be from the two-party duopoly. I didn’t want a third Bill-Clinton (that is, Democratic-in-name-only) term in Billary Clinton, but with Barack Obama we got that anyway.

That Obama would be the first non-white president in U.S. history was a factor (not a huge factor, but still a factor) in my decision to, at the last minute, darken the oval next to his name on my ballot instead of Ralph Nader’s. Nader couldn’t win anyway, and it was at least a little exhilarating, for the first time in U.S. history, to have the option of voting for someone for president other than yet another white man.

And, call me naive, but I more or less believed Obama’s relentless 2008 campaign promises of “hope” and “change” (and their derivatives, such as “Change we can believe in”).

I didn’t expect Obama as president to achieve miracles, but I did expect him to use the political capital at his disposal. Yet, when he had both houses of Congress dominated by his party and when he had the American public’s good will behind him, Obama utterly squandered his political capital during 2009 and 2010, his best years to push through a progressive agenda — that “hope” and “change” that he’d promised us in return for our support of him.

Instead, in 2009 and 2010 Obama focused on not pissing off the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, but trying to sing “Kumbaya” with them — while shitting and pissing upon his base, whom he and his mouthpieces referred to (among other things) as “sanctimonious” and members of “the professional left.”

Smart: Kowtow to those who never will support you, ever, no matter fucking what, and tell those who put you where you are to go fuck themselves. 

Reuters has a cute little article on how Team Obama knows fully well that it can’t reuse its empty 2008 slogans of “hope” and “change” for 2012 without being laughed off of the planet.

Long ago, I offered this snappy little slogan to Team Obama for 2012: Really This Time!

Team Obama, you can have that. No, really. It’s all yours. No charge.

In the meantime, the only way that I could see myself voting for Obama again is if the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate (“Christo”fascist Mormon Mitt Romney or “Christo”fascist Catholick Prick Santorum, most likely, it appears) were anywhere close to Obama in the polls here in California within about two weeks to Election Day.

With Repugnican Tea Party registration sitting at only a paltry 30 percent of registered voters here in California, the nation’s most populous state — and Democratic registration here being at 44 percent — I can’t see Obama losing California, and in the winner-takes-all Electoral College system, if you vote for anyone but Obama in California in November 2012, your vote essentially won’t matter at all, since Obama’s victory here essentially is a foregone conclusion (I put his chances of winning California and all of its electoral votes at least at 99 percent**).

Therefore, my 2012 presidential vote most likely will go to Green Party candidate Jill Stein, if she makes it to the November ballot.

(The U.S. Green Party is to choose its presidential nominee in July, and it will be Stein or Roseanne Barr. I love Roseanne, but she comes to the Green Party fairly late, and I hate it when in elections celebrity trumps political ability, such as happened here in California when Hollywood testosterone flick star Arnold “Baby Daddy” Schwarzenegger became governor and when former basketball star Kevin Johnson became Sacramento’s mayor.

That said, yes, if it came to that, I would vote for Roseanne Barr over Barack Obama. Hands down.)

*To be clear, I gather from news reports that “Jose,” while not an American citizen, has been in Arizona legally, on a visa. However, let’s face it: when the white supremacists talk about “illegals,” their real problem with these undocumented Mexican (or other Latino) immigrants isn’t the immigrants’ legal status. It’s the color of their skin.

**This model puts Obama’s chances of winning California’s 55 electoral votes at just over 96 percent. It also predicts that Obama will win re-election in November, with 303 electoral votes to 235 electoral votes for his Repugnican Tea Party opponent. That sounds about right to me. I expect that in November Obama will not do as well as he did in November 2008, but that he still will win re-election. (In 2008 Obama won 365 electoral votes to John McCainosaurus’ paltry 173.)

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