Tag Archives: Christians

NO ONE actually is shoving bacon-wrapped shrimp down your throat

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee compares the legalization of same-sex marriage to forcing Jewish delis to serve bacon-wrapped shrimp, but a more apt comparison would be a bacon-wrapped shrimp restaurant refusing to serve non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals because the owners hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals…

Weren’t the Repugnican Tea Partiers going to be kinder and gentler after Mittens Romney lost to Barack Obama in November 2012?

When it comes to non-heterosexuals and the non-gender-conforming, the Repugnican Tea Partiers are demonstrating amply that they don’t care whether they still can win presidential elections or not.

Repugnican Tea Party Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (whose surname always has struck me as a bit, um, Brokeback…) recently reinstated allowable discrimination against non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming state employees (such discrimination had been outlawed in 2007 by his Democratic predecessor). There was no reason to do this (in Brokeback – er, Brownback’s – fifth year into his governorship) except for hatred, bigotry, mean-spiritedness and spite.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mike Huckabee (former governor of the wonderful state of Arkansas [cue the banjo; the lynching is about to begin!]) recently declared that expecting “Christo”fascists to accept others’ same-sex marriages is like forcing Jews to serve “bacon-wrapped shrimp” in their delis.

Wow.

How does ordained Southern Baptist minister Mike Huckabee know about the gay sex act that we faggots call wrapping the shrimp in bacon?

Anyway, Huckabee, of course, compares apples to oranges.

Same-sex marriages aren’t literally being forced upon others. If your own backasswards religious belief is that same-sex marriage is contrary to God’s wishes, then don’t marry someone of your sex (which, of course, no one is forcing you to do). It’s pretty fucking simple.

However, you don’t get to fucking force your fucktarded, backasswards, Dark-Ages-era religious beliefs upon others, and you don’t get to claim that others exercising their constitutionally guaranteed freedoms, such as the freedom to marry whom they wish to marry, because such an exercise of such a freedom is offensive to you, somehow violates your rights.

I find “Christo”fascists to be dangerous. I see little difference between these theofascists here at home and the theofascists of ISIS. The only difference between American theofascists and the theofascists of ISIS is that the theofascists of ISIS are doing what the “Christo”fascists would do here at home if they could.

I find “Christo”fascists to be incredibly offensive, but do I get to claim that because I find their very existence to be deeply offensive to me, they lose their First-Amendment right of the freedom to be religious fucktards?

No, I don’t. And it works both ways.

As far as businesses serving the diverse members of the public goes I bring this up because of the same-sex-wedding-cake “controversy” and Huckabee’s having brought up a Jewish place of business, the deli – it long has been established (by Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964) that businesses serving the general public legally may not refuse to serve customers based upon those customers’ race, color, religion or national origin. (Yes, sexual orientation needs to be added to that list of protected classes, and so should gender and gender expression. [That said, if you refuse to treat others as you would want to be treated because they’re not on the list of protected classes, you’re not much of a Christian, are you?])

If you hate Jews or Mormons or atheists, if you find their beliefs to be offensive to your own religious beliefs, you may not legally refuse to serve them in your place of business if it’s open to the public because of their beliefs. Does this prohibition against discrimination violate your First-Amendment rights? The Civil Rights Act of 1964, which has not been struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as unconsitutional, says that it doesn’t.

As a gay man, I’d never hire a (known-to-me) homophobe to make my wedding cake (the Old Testament has no prohibition against the serving or the eating of wedding cake, I’ll add), but what does it harm a wedding-cake business to make any wedding cake for anyone? You’re not forcing the wedding-cake business owner or employee to make a cake for his or her own forced same-sex marriage, are you? The wedding-cake business gets to make wedding cakes for same-sex couples and be homophobic at the same time. The wedding-cake business’ precious homophobia is not threatened at all; it gets to remain intact.

And in Alabama (cue the banjo again), which is just a hop, a skip and a jump from Huckabee’s Arkansas, state Supreme Court Chief “Justice” Ray Moore claims that Alabama does not have to follow a federal court’s recent ruling that the U.S. Constitution mandates that the state must allow same-sex marriages.

Wow.

Every state in the Union must follow the federal judiciary’s rulings. That’s how our constitutional government is set up. For a lesser jurisdiction to refuse to follow the federal judiciary is tantamount to treason. While I doubt that we’ll end up sending in the troops to Alabama, as we’ve had to do before* when an elected official (a stupid white man, of course) defied a federal court’s civil-rights-related order, Alabama does not get to remain in the Union and defy the orders of the federal judiciary. (And if we need to send in the troops again, in Alabama or in any other treasonous state, we should.)

Roy Moore needs to be removed from his post – again. (Yes, he was removed from the bench before, in 2003, for refusing, as state Supreme Court chief “justice,” to follow a federal court’s order to remove an illegal/unconstitutional monument of the Ten Commandments – a monument that he commissioned – from the grounds of the Alabama Judicial Building, which contains the state’s Supreme Court and other courts. He never should have been allowed back on the bench.**)

And, again, because it’s worth repeating: No one is forcing anyone to serve or to eat bacon-wrapped shrimp. If you don’t want to serve or to eat bacon or shrimp or bacon-wrapped shrimp, whether because you believe that a non-existent, Zeus-like deity prohibits it, whether because you are a vegetarian or whether because you just don’t like these food items, then by all means, don’t.

But those of us who want to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp have the freedom and the right to indulge in bacon-wrapped shrimp whether our indulgence offends you or not. You don’t have to indulge – you remain perfectly free not to – but nor may you discriminate against us because we do.

That is the issue here, and until and unless the Repugnican Tea Party fucktards get a grip, they’ll continue to lose presidential elections.

P.S. As to why the “Christo”fascists remain so opposed to non-heterosexuality and non-gender-conformity, I think these are the reasons:

  • Haters always have to have at least one group of people to hate, and non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals are the last class of people who do not have widespread federal legal protections against widespread discrimination.
  • The “Christo”fascists are terrified that once you start pulling on a thread (such as the thread of homophobia) of the tattered tapestry that is their bullshit belief system, the entire tapestry will come unraveled (because it will – but then again, it already has).
  • In a patriarchy, the male is valued and the female is devalued, and for a society’s males to be (or to be considered to be) feminine thus makes them devalued, and also “weakens” the patriarchal society because the patriarchal society needs a critical mass of he-men to survive. (We no longer exactly live in tribal groups that need a critical mass of warriors, and the patriarchy has been killing this nation slowly, but that’s another blog post.)

P.P.S. Since we’re on the topic of bacon-wrapped shrimp, I will comment further that I believe former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod’s assertion, in his new book, that Obama had fully supported same-sex marriage when he was elected president in 2008 and only pretended that he had “evolved” on the issue to the point that he finally publicly came out in support of same-sex marriage in May 2012.

“Opposition to gay marriage was particularly strong in the black church,” Axelrod reportedly wrote in his book, “and as [Obama] ran for higher office, he grudgingly accepted the counsel of more pragmatic folks like me and modified his position to support civil unions rather than marriage.”

This is entirely believable. As I’ve noted here, in 1996, when Obama was running for the senate of the state of Illinois, he responded to a questionnaire, “I favor legalizing same-sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages.” And about 60 percent to 70 percent of black voters in California reportedly voted against same-sex marriage in 2008 (with Proposition Hate). And California is a blue state. So rampant homophobia within the black community has been a very real phenomenon. (Black homophobia apparently has eased up some since Obama’s May 2012 pro-same-sex-marriage announcement, but at the same time, bigotry dies hard, and it’s hard to know to what degree Obama’s pronouncement actually changed hearts and minds within the black community and to what degree his pronouncement just decreased public homophobic pronouncements from the black community.)

At least Axelrod very apparently takes responsibility for his share of the blame for the very apparent lie about Obama’s “evolution” on the issue of bacon-wrapped shrimp.

*As a writer for the Christian Science Monitor put it:

… At this point, there is no difference between what Roy Moore is advocating here and what George Wallace did when he stood before a doorway at the University of Alabama in an effort to prevent African-Americans from enrolling in the school notwithstanding a federal court order that this must happen. In both cases, we have a politician – and make no mistake about it, Roy Moore is acting far more like a politician than a jurist here [Alabama’s Supreme Court “justices” are elected, not appointed] – who is appealing to outright bigotry and openly defying a federal court order.

Ultimately, the Supremacy Clause [of the U.S. Constitution] tells us that the federal courts will win this dispute, but it’s rather obvious that Moore and others like him will exploit this matter as much as they can before it’s over. Meanwhile, though, at least some of Alabama ’s gay and lesbian citizens are able to take advantage of the equality under the law they are entitled to. Let’s hope it isn’t too long before that expands to the rest of the state.

If same-sex marriage doesn’t expand to the entire state of Alabama quite soon, I say: Bring in the troops. Just like we (probably) should bring in the troops against ISIS. Theofascists must never be allowed to prevail in their oppression of others.

** Moore should have been disbarred in the state of Alabama for life, in my estimation. Such disbarment would have prevented his re-election to the Alabama Supreme Court in 2012 after his 2003 removal from the post by the Alabama Court of the Judiciary.

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I am NOT Charlie Hebdo

This 2010 cover of the French publication Charlie Hebdo depicts a Muslim woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass. I, for one, wouldn’t publish such unnecessarily offensive material. Because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is an awful lot that we are free to do that we probably should not do.

First, the obligatory (but sincere) opening paragraph in which I proclaim that I support free speech on every square centimeter of the globe and that of course I do not condone the slaughter of human beings over the publication of things that some (or many or even most) have found to be offensive.

I’m sure that I’ve offended many people over the years, and I sure would prefer not to be shot to death because I’ve offended some fucktard’s precious sensibilities.

But missing in the discussion that I’ve heard and read regarding yesterday’s massacre of 12 people in Paris at or near the offices of the weekly French publication Charlie Hebdo is that the publication apparently has a frat-boy mentality (I dunno: is that a French thing?), the mentality in which other groups of human beings who differ from our own group exist only as fodder for our belittling attacks against them.

I don’t see that Charlie Hebdo’s many covers apparently meant to offend and provoke Muslims in France do anything to uplift the public debate. These covers seem to be meant to provoke and offend above all else, to shock, to scandalize, and to enrage Muslims, or, at the very least, to not give a shit if Muslims become enraged (because hey, they’re Muslims!).

“Charlie Hebdo insults all religions,” the ubiquitous Charlie-Hebdo-defending mantra goes.

Really?

Here in the United States, the equivalent cartoons, if they were about Jews, would be considered to be virulently anti-Semitic.

Why, in the West, is anti-Semitism widely condemned (and so much that isn’t actually anti-Semitic nonetheless is deemed to be “anti-Semitic”), but virulent Islamophobia so often in so many places is perfectly A-OK? (That was a rhetorical question, mostly, but I’ll answer it anyway: because in the West, Christianity and Judaism get preferential treatment. They always have.)

I don’t believe in God, so I have no dog in this race. Muslims, Jews, Christians, all (the fundamentalists among them, anyway) believe in things that I think are utter bullshit, such as ridiculous dietary restrictions (well, at least the Jews and the Muslims), creationism and other anti-scientific and anti-intellectual stances and hocus-pocus bullshit (“miracles,” virgin births, resurrections, being God’s specially chosen stenographer, etc.), patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and talking to a non-existent deity (a.k.a. “praying”).

Those who believe in God (as adults who should know better) more often that not are only going along to get along with the tribe that they were born into and/or want pat answers to all of the universe’s questions (and their religion gives them the veneer of having all of those answers) and/or they find the world to be a terrifying place to be and they find God to be the ultimate security blanket.

I disagree with them, and when theofascists piss and shit on my human rights, civil rights and equal rights (such as they did with Proposition H8) I will speak out, but, in general, I don’t see what good would come of my going out of my way to offend and provoke those who hold religious beliefs that I find to be ridiculous. For the most part, as long as the theists leave me (and my rights) alone, I can leave them alone.

Charlie Hebdo’s raison d’être, on the other hand, seems not to be to enlighten and to unify, but to offend and to provoke, especially Muslims, yet when the dog that it’s been stabbing with sharpened sticks for years now finally — and fairly fucking predictably — bites back in a big way, the rest of the world is supposed to feel sorry for Charlie Hebdo? Really?

I’m sorry that people were massacred over Charlie Hebdo’s low-brow, frat-boy content that, in my estimation, certainly wasn’t worth dying for. But it was preventable. The free speech that these people died for wasn’t very valuable speech, was it? A woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass? Mohammed thusly depicted:

Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon

?

I won’t say “Je sui Charlie” (French for “I am Charlie”) because if I owned a weekly publication, I wouldn’t print shit like this, shit that causes more harm than good.

As an atheist on the outside looking in, I can proclaim that in the West, Muslims get the shitty end of the stick almost every time. The same individuals who preach about how we should respect their precious religious beliefs have no problem disrespecting Islam, and the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that I’ve seen of the pope and of Jews aren’t, in my estimation, likely to be nearly as offensive to Catholics and Jews as are the publication’s cartoons depicting Mohammed or Muslims to Muslims. (And, from what I can tell, the publication’s cartoons lampooning Islam are more numerous than its cartoons lampooning Christianity or Judaism.)

Charlie Hebdo repeatedly has poked the critter of Islam with a sharpened stick. In 2011, the publication’s (yeah, I just have a hard time calling it a “newspaper”) headquarters were firebombed, for fuck’s sake (the day after it published an issue calling itself “Charia Hebdo” and portraying Mohammed as a clown with a red nose).

What happened in Paris yesterday was predictable and preventable. And what was it for? For “free speech,” so many people proclaim, but no, ultimately it was for the freedom to continue to shit and piss on Muslims, including the freedom to offend them deeply in ways that are universally known to deeply offend them.

That is not a freedom that I believe is worth dying for. Defending against the spread of theofascism, whether the theofascists be abroad (such as the wonderful folks of “ISIS” [or whatever we’re calling them this week]) or at home (such as those who bomb abortion clinics and those who violate the U.S. Constitution and human, civil and equal rights when they do their damnedest to stop same-sex marriage), is worth dying for, but making unprovoked attacks upon others for their religious beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they might be? That’s not a defensive posture, that’s an offensive posture.

And yes, intentionally offending Muslims in the West is worse than is intentionally offending Christians or Jews in the West, because — duh — in the West Christians and Jews have greater numbers and greater power than do Muslims. Picking on the majority is not — not — the same as picking on an already-highly-picked-upon minority group. It takes a special kind of asshole to kick someone who’s already down.

I am not Charlie Hebdo, no matter how fashionable being Charlie Hebdo might be in the West right now.

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Was the London murder a murder or a ‘terrorist attack’?

Updated below

Michael Adebolajo: Murderer or “terrorist”? Is he a “terrorist” because he’s Muslim? And of Nigerian descent?

First off, let me be clear: I am not at all OK with the grisly murder of 25-year-old British soldier and Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby just outside of his barracks in London yesterday. And I reject the idea of killing one person in retaliation for killings that other people committed. In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.

One of Lee Rigby’s two very apparent murderers, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo of London, “a British-born convert to radical Islam,” according to Reuters, notoriously calmly explained to someone with a video camera — while he still held a knife and a meat cleaver in his bloodied hands (see the video still above) — why he and his companion, also of Nigerian descent, according to Reuters, attacked and killed Rigby, whom they reportedly first ran down in a car and then started hacking with a meat cleaver and knives: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

In Greenwich Village this past weekend, 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson was shot to death in an apparent hate crime; reportedly, Carson’s accused murderer, Elliot Morales, 33, who was apprehended by police, had used anti-gay hate speech before he shot Carson to death.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said of the murder: “It’s clear that victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay. There’s no question about that. There were derogatory remarks. This victim did nothing to antagonize or instigate the shooter. It was only because the shooter believed him to be gay.”

Reuters reports that many posit that recent advances in same-sex marriage rights in the U.S. — including three states having gone for same-sex marriage earlier this month — might have been behind the murder of Carson.

Yet the murder of Carson is called a “murder” and the murder of Rigby is called, automatically, a “terrorist attack” or “act of terrorism.”

What’s the difference between an act of murder and an act of terrorism/“terrorism”?

The murder of Carson, I surmise, was meant to send this message to all gay men or even to all non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals: You are not safe walking the streets. You might be the next one to be shot (or stabbed or beaten up or whatever).

That’s not a form of terrorism — an act of violence (a murder, no less) apparently committed with the intent to strike fear within a whole class of people?

Michael Adebolajo very apparently was using Lee Rigby as an example — he killed him in effigy of all British soldiers, in effect — just as Elliot Morales very apparently was using Mark Carson as an example — he killed him in effigy of all gay men, in effect.

So if Adebolajo and his cohort are “terrorists,” why isn’t Morales a “terrorist”?

My answer to my own question is that when a member of a historically oppressed minority group (like gay men) is murdered, it’s not considered to be a big deal. We can call it just a “murder,” as though it didn’t extend beyond just the murdered victim at all, but was just one of those random things — an act of God, Wolf Blitzer might say.

But when even one soldier is murdered — even on a public/civilian street, and while not on duty, which very apparently is how Rigby was murdered — that’s considered an attack on the plutocrats, the elites, of whom the commoner-funded military (Britain’s as well as the United States’) is just an arm.

The plutocrats, the elites, can’t maintain their overprivileged status without whole armies at their command, and the plutocratic elites are far, far more important than any of the rest of us ever could be, so the murder of just one of their soldiers — even in a non-combat situation — automatically is branded as “terrorism,” a more serious crime than plain-old murder.

I disagree that Rigby’s murder was an act of “terrorism.” Rigby’s murder was much closer to a murder than to an act of “terrorism.”

If we’re going to call Rigby’s murderers “terrorists” instead of just plain-old “murderers,” then we’re going to need to call Elliot Morales a terrorist, too — because his crime very apparently was motivated by his religious and political beliefs, just as Adebolajo’s and his partner’s crime was motivated by theirs.

The act-of-murder-vs.-act-of-terrorism problem largely can be solved if  the usage of the “t” terms — “terrorist,” “terrorists,” “terrorism” — returns to the terms’ status before 9/11. Cases of murder committed by an individual or two people apparently acting on their own and not as part of a known terrorist/“terrorist” group — such as the apparent case with the Boston Marathon bombings (I refer to the two Tsarnaev brothers, of course) and the apparent case with the British soldier who was murdered yesterday — are probably much closer to murder cases than they are to terrorism/“terrorism” cases.

We don’t refer to the two Columbine High School killers as “terrorists,” for example, even though they slaughtered many more people than did the Tsarnaev brothers or Michael Adebolajo.

That’s at least in part, of course, because the two Columbine killers were two white “Christian” kids, and you’re much more likely to be branded as a “terrorist” if you are Muslim — and even more so if you are a non-white Muslim.

That shit needs to stop. We can’t have a two-tiered system of “justice” in which it’s only “terrorism” if the (accused) perpetrator is Muslim or non-white or both. If we must go hog wild with the “terrorism” thing, then it must apply to so-called “Christians” and to other non-Muslims and to whites and to other non-blacks as well.

Update (Sunday, May 26, 2013): Columnist Glenn Greenwald, who once wrote for Salon.com but now works for The Guardian of the United Kingdom, on Thursday also tackled the question of “Was the London Killing of a British Soldier ‘Terrorism’?”

In his column, Greenwald notes that

An act can be vile, evil, and devoid of justification without being “terrorism”: indeed, most of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, from the Holocaust to the wanton slaughter of Stalin and Pol Pot and the massive destruction of human life in Vietnam, are not typically described as “terrorism.”

Yup. Here, I think, is the money shot of Greenwald’s analysis:

The reason it’s so crucial to ask this question [of whether or not an act of violence constitutes “terrorism”] is that there are few terms — if there are any — that pack the political, cultural and emotional punch that “terrorism” provides. When it comes to the actions of western governments, it is a conversation-stopper, justifying virtually anything those governments want to do.

It’s a term that is used to start wars, engage in sustained military action, send people to prison for decades or life, to target suspects for due-process-free execution, shield government actions behind a wall of secrecy, and instantly shape public perceptions around the world.

It matters what the definition of the term is, or whether there is a consistent and coherent definition. It matters a great deal.

There is ample scholarship proving that the term has no such clear or consistently applied meaning. … It is very hard to escape the conclusion that, operationally, the term has no real definition at this point beyond “violence engaged in by Muslims in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims.” …

Actually, it seems to me, in the Western world, especially in the U.S. and the UK, “terrorism” has come pretty much to mean just “violence engaged in by Muslims.” Even the acknowledgment that such violence might be “in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims” usually never is made in Westerners’ discussions of “terrorism,” since that obviously would be to bring Westerners’ guilt into the discussion, and most Westerners, it seems to me, will have none of that.

Greenwald also notes that “earlier this month, an elderly British Muslim was stabbed to death in an apparent anti-Muslim hate crime and nobody called that ‘terrorism,'” and adds that the term “terrorism” “at this point seems to have no function other than propagandistically and legally legitimizing the violence of western states against Muslims while delegitimizing any and all violence done in return to those states.”

Yup.

There are news reports, such as this one, of actions perpetrated against Muslims in Britain by non-Muslims in “retaliation” for the slaughter of the British solider in London. This report (from Slate.com) states that “The incidents [so far have ranged] from name calling and abuse on social media, to the painting of graffiti, attacks against mosques, and pulling off women’s headscarves in the street.” (“Attacks against mosques” is so vague as to be almost meaningless. I wish that the writer had given us the details there, or if he didn’t have the details, to have stated that fact.)

Of course, such low-level, “harmless” terrorism is what the Jews in Nazi Germany experienced before the Nazis ratcheted things waaay up.

This leads to yet another question: Is an act in which someone is not injured or killed “terrorism”? Is it only “terrorism” if someone is injured or killed? These thugs pulling Muslim women’s headscarves off — that is not done with the intent of terrorizing these women?

Is such terrorizing OK if it’s considered in “retaliation” of, or just in reaction to, another incident? Would this be “counter-terrorism”? Or would this be something like just plain-old “justice,” since we non-Muslims never use the “t-” word to refer to any of our own actions?

Anyway, as I wrote in my first paragraph of this post, “In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.”

As a gay man, I’m never happy to read about the slaughter of a gay man because he’s gay. To use an example that hit close to home, in July 2007, 26-year-old Satender Singh, a Fijian of Indian descent, was killed in my area (Sacramento) because he was suspected of being gay.

Whether he was gay or not I don’t know, but the two men from Eastern Europe who were charged with his murder very apparently thought that he was, because, witnesses said, the Slavic thugs who attacked Singh expressly targeted him because he was, they said, a “faggot” and a “sodomite,” among other things.

According to the hate-group watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center, witnesses also reported that these Slavic thugs “bragged about belonging to a Russian evangelical church and told Singh that he should go to a ‘good church’ like theirs.” This was right before one of the thugs delivered a blow to Singh’s head, a blow that later caused his death. (Great “Christians,” eh? Well, even the Nazis considered themselves to be great “Christians.”)

While I truly wish that the homophobic Eastern European immigrants here in California would fucking respect and honor how things are done and are not done here in California (and not act here as it’s OK to act in their backasswards countries in Eastern Europe) — and if they don’t like our freedoms here, including our freedom from their brand of theofascism, they are free to return to Eastern Europe — never would it have occurred to me that it would have been OK to randomly attack (apparent) Eastern European immigrants on the street in “retaliation” for the murder of Satender Singh.

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Mittens on the topic of money for nothing (he’s an expert)

Ann Romney, wife of U.S. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, attends the equestrian dressage individual grand prix special at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Greenwich Park

Reuters photo

Corporate welfare queen Ann Romney enjoys watching her horse compete in the Olympics in London today (seriously), while in the United States today, her hubby Mittens extolled the value of “good, hard work” — for the rest of us.

Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney, whacking the perennial political piñata that is the “welfare queen” or “welfare cheat,” declared today that President Barack Obama has reversed the “great accomplishment” of former President Bill Clinton’s welfare “reform” and declared, “If I am president, I will put work back in welfare. We will end a culture of dependency and restore a culture of good, hard work.”

Wow.

Let’s talk about “good, hard work” and a “culture of dependency” — a plutocratic elite who blatantly steal hundreds of billions of our tax dollars via such things as bogus warfare, which benefits the likes of Big Oil and the war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton (which was granted no-bid federal contracts for the Vietraq War that Cheney pushed), and corporate welfare, such as the hundreds of billions of our tax dollars that were just handed over to the “too-big-to-fail” Wall Street weasels as their reward for having tanked our nation’s economy.

That kind of welfarecorporate welfare — is perfectly OK to the treasonous, pro-plutocratic, anti-working-class right wing.

We can give hundreds of billions of American taxpayers’ dollars to those who already are filthy rich (who, being the Benedict Arnolds that they are, pay as little in taxes themselves as they can get away with).

But we can’t give a fucking penny of our own tax dollars to those poor and working-class Americans who supposedly just don’t want to work.

Welfare can be for a person only if we define a person as a corporation.

Gee, just how hard, do you think, does the typical multi-millionaire like Mittens Romney actually work?

Do you think that Mittens ever scrubs a toilet or mops a floor? Or ever even makes his own meal? Does his own laundry? Does he even drive himself anywhere?

Yeah, Mittens has it hard. He’s a hard worker. He does good, hard work.

I tell you what: Mittens Romney has not done tens of millions of dollars’ worth of actual work.

No. He has been the beneficiary of a sick and fucking twisted socioeconomic system that allows a few — especially those who, like Mittens, were born into wealth and privilege — to steal the wealth of the many.

The only way to become a multi-millionaire is to fuck people over. You pay your employees much less than the value of their labor and you charge your customers much more than the actual value of your product or service. That’s how you get rich. Not through good, hard work.

It’s legalized thievery is what it is.

The last thing that our plutocratic overlords want is for us, the masses, to realize that it is they, the plutocrats, who are our real enemy, the real drain on our nation, so they tell us that it’s actually the weak and the powerless who are destroying this nation: immigrants who want a better life for themselves, same-sex couples who want the equality that is guaranteed to them under the U.S. Constitution, “welfare queens” or “welfare cheats,” Muslims or those who look like they might be Muslims (especially as evidenced by their use of a turban), et. al., et. al.

No, I tell you, it is the strong and the powerful who are destroying this nation. The weak and the powerless are just trying to survive. They are not the enemy.

However, in the supposedly bad-ass United States of America, it’s popular to pick on the powerless,* including and perhaps especially the poor, even though we supposedly are a “Christian” nation and Jesus Christ’s Number One teaching is to love one another as we love ourselves and to take care of the least among us, including, of course, the poor, and of the rich, Jesus remarked that it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven (Mark 10:25).

Multi-millionaire Mittens is a “Christian”?

Not if we define a “Christian” as someone who actually follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.

If Mittens were a Christian, someone who follows the teachings of Jesus Christ, he would forego the houses and the cars and the car elevator and the thoroughbred horse in the Olympics, and he’d use his millions (well, our millions that he stole from us in the system that is rigged against us) to help out some people in need — instead of kicking the poor while they already are down for his own personal political gain.

That’s not Christian. That’s quite anti-Christian.

Not that Barack Obama is any fucking angel.

Team Obama will not be accused of going easy on the “welfare queens/cheats,” you see, and so also today, Obama’s mouthpiece Jay Carney declared that Team Mittens’ claim that Obama is trying to roll back Bill Clinton’s cold-blooded, right-wing welfare “reform” is “categorically false” and “blatantly dishonest.”

With “friends” like these so-called “Democrats” in our corner, who needs the fucking Repugnican Tea Party?

Seriously — the economy is our nation’s Number One problem (outside of global warming, of course, which makes pretty much every other problem that we might have pale by comparison), and we have both the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate and the Democratic Party presidential candidate fighting over which party will stick it to the poor the most, which party will kick those Americans who already are down and out the hardest.

We’re fucked.

Unless we revolt.

And soon.

When the system fails you this fucking miserably — when both parties of the partisan duopoly are against you and for the rich — it’s time to replace the system.

Not to “reform” the system — but to scrap it and start over.

This system is irfuckingredeemable.

*We never launch one of our imperialistic military invasions on a nation that actually can defend itself, do we?

No, we bomb a comparatively defenseless nation like Iraq or Afghanistan or Pakistan and then applaud ourselves, even though our “victory” is like that of an NFL team over a junior-high-school flag-football team.

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Desperate Rick Perry takes last refuge of the scoundrel: ‘Christianity’

As is the case with Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, we probably safely can ignore Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who, like Bachmann, can’t break even 10 percent in recent presidential polls of the members of his own fucking fascistic party. Like Bachmann, Perry would be lucky even to be considered for the Repugnican Tea Party’s vice presidential spot on the 2012 ticket.

Still, Rick Perry’s “Brokeback Mountain”-like anti-gay spot (apparently primarily meant for Iowans, who will caucus early next month) has gone viral to the point that I feel compelled to chime in.

Many have pointed out (correctly) that the jacket that Perry wears in the spot is fairly identical to the jacket worn by the late Heath Ledger in “Brokeback Mountain” —

— and spoofs of the spot abound, including PhotoShop spoofs —

— and video spoofs such as this one, which is Perry’s spot “gay-dubbed”:

Perry deserves to be lampooned. Actually, he deserves worse. He apparently believes that the way to make up for his own glaring deficiencies is to attack an historically oppressed minority group, as though this were the 2004 presidential election (hey, gay-bashing worked pretty well for the last governor from Texas!). Yet the name of Perry’s Brokeback spot is “Strong.” Because yeah, it takes a big, strong, manly man to beat up on gays.

I’ve long suspected that Rick Perry in fact is a closet case, and the video of him giving an apparently drunken speech in New Hampshire in October pretty much confirms my suspicions — in the clip, it appears that Perry is drunk, and that alcohol, the great disinhibitor, brings out what’s deep inside Perry, as he displays much-less-than-macho verbalizations and gesticulations. (As I noted at the time, he acted like a giddy schoolgirl.)

Not that I want Rick Perry on my team — I do not — but if it looks like a queer duck, waddles like a queer duck, and quacks like a queer duck…

But let’s go beyond the image stuff and go ahead and tackle the “substance” of what Perry actually says in his spot. He says: “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school.”

Wow. This is wrong on so many levels. Where to begin?

OK, first, I suppose, we need to define the word “Christian.” To me, the word means “one who is familiar with and who strives to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.”

By my definition, of course, Rick Perry and his ilk are not Christians. They are ignorant, fearful, violent (at least violent at heart and violent in spirit if not also physically violent) haters who are bound together not by anything remotely like love, but by their ignorance, their fearfulness and their hatred of the same “out” groups, such as non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians,” non-whites, non-Americans, non-wingnuts, et. al.

Also fundamentally, we need to ask why Perry is conflating non-discrimination within the U.S. military and our children’s ability to “celebrate Christmas or pray in school.” Perry’s “logic” here is as clear as is the “logic” of the “Christo”fascist fucktards who protest at U.S. military funerals, claiming that God kills U.S. soldiers abroad because the United States is too permissive on homosexuality. (What? You don’t see the clear link?)

We also need to look at Rick Perry’s utterly bogus claims of victimhood. “I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian,” he whines, although anywhere from around 60 percent to 75 percent of Americans call themselves “Christians.” This is a persecuted minority? Yeah, you know, I, for one, haven’t seen a so-called “Christian” tossed to any lions recently.

Speaking of which, there is no fucking “war on Christmas.” I am so not a Christian (well, I agree with Jesus’ teachings that no one follows, but I certainly don’t identify with the fascistic hypocrites who call themselves “Christians”), but I give Christmas cards and Christmas gifts every year. Christmas is pretty deeply ingrained within the American culture, and affects you whether you identify yourself as a Christian or not.

If anyone has been destroying Christmas, it is those who have commercialized it, who have sucked every drop of spirituality from it in order to make a buck, and they enjoy the full support of the “Christo”fascist Repugnican Tea Partiers, so if anyone is destroying Christmas, it’s the wingnutty fascists who hypocritically blame others when, as usual, it is they who are to blame.

Anyone who wishes to celebrate Christmas in the United States of America may do so — but not with public funds (at least in the blue states, which for the most part honor the separation of church and state). That’s fair and that’s just. The same “Christo”facists who want to use our public funds to shove their own religious beliefs down everyone’s throats would go ballistic if those same public funds were used to promote another religion, such as Islam. And how would the “Christo”fascists feel about Muslim prayers in our public schools?

Yeah, fuck the “Christo”fascists.

Perry also remarks in his spot, “You don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday” — is this Perry’s admission that he just calls himself a “Christian” since it’s good politics in the backasswards “Christo”fascist state of Texas? Is this Perry’s admission that he knows about as much about his own claimed religion as he knows about the U.S. Supreme Court, which he believes has eight justices, and not nine?

Speaking of Christianity, anyone who actually has read and comprehended the words of Jesus Christ as contained in the four gospels would oppose the very existence of the U.S. military, since Jesus taught love and peace and turning the other cheek — not bombing and gunning down and torturing and otherwise maiming and killing and inflicting pain and suffering upon others.

Jesus also said not one fucking word on homosexuality, at least not as recorded in the four gospels.

Obviously the holiday of Christmas was invented after Jesus’ death, so we can’t say that Jesus was pro-Christmas and still claim sanity, and this is what Jesus had to say about the public prayer that Rick “The U.S. Supreme Court Has Eight Justices” Perry claims is so central to Christianity:

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” [Matthew 6:5 and Matthew 6:6]

Jesus clearly repudiated public prayer as being something that only hypocrites practice and instructed that his followers should pray in private.

We have all of these so-called “Christians” here in the United States of America, and I don’t believe that in my almost 44 years I’ve actually met any more than a handful of them, not by my reasonable definition of a Christian.

Rick Perry certainly isn’t a Christian. He’s just an apparent alcoholic closet case, a self-loather who has wanted the presidency of the United States of America to fill the endless black void that is his soul, and he has demonstrated that he is perfectly willing to persecute the already persecuted in order to get there. Just like Jesus would do, right? And just like Adolf Hitler and his henchmen did.*

*No, the Hitler comparison is not out there. The right-wing, fascistic/pro-corporate, “Christian” Nazis killed thousands of gay men, just as the American Taliban – the “Christo”fascists here at home, the majority of whom are aligned with the Repugnican Tea Party – would do if they could. Hitler’s political tactic was to whip up hatred of minorities (Jews, gays, gypsies, Communists, et. al.), and that’s what the politicians within the Repugnican Tea Party do also (with hatred of Muslims, gays, “illegals,” “socialists,” et. al.).

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

Film review

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My grade: B-

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

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

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

Too bad. There should have been. 

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Glenn’s glass house of Mormon

Funny what happens when you start claiming to be the nation’s mouthpiece of God and criticizing others’ religious beliefs; people start examining yours.

Glenn Beck, who has wrapped himself tightly in the Shroud of Turin as well as in the American flag, is a Mormon — but he won’t tell you that.

I’ve been thinking how odd it is that Beck appeals to the “Christo”fascists, most of whom don’t even count Mormons as Christians. (I recall my late grandmother, a racist Southern Baptist from Texas who stood for everything that I oppose, proclaiming that Mormons aren’t true Christians. [This wingnutty writer on Christian Newswire agrees with my deceased mean grandmother, proclaiming that “Glenn Beck promotes a false gospel” and “Mormonism is not a Christian denomination but a cult of Christianity.”])

And I had thought that pretty much everyone knows that Beck is a Mormon motherfucker, but this factoid came as a shock to my brother over lunch today, and my brother is pretty knowledgeable.

I first found out that Beck is a Mormon by conversion from the Wikipedia entry on him, but this biographical tidbit and more — such as the unsurprising fact that Beck used to be into stage magic before he joined a “morning zoo” radio show — is contained in the Beck biography Common Nonsense: Glenn Beck and the Triumph of Ignorance, by Andrew Zaitchik, which I’m reading now. (Know thy enemy…)

“Does it matter that Glenn Beck is a Mormon?” asks The Week.

Uh, yeah, it does, when Beck tries to appoint himself as the modern-day Moses who is going to lead us out of our national darkness. (“Darkness” as Beck and his ilk use it isn’t a reference to the eight, long, nightmarish years of rule by the unelected Bush regime, but is an apparent reference to non-whites, since the Repugnican Tea Party’s No. 1 problem with Barack Obama is that he’s black.)

Speaking of which, one of the Mormon cult’s many wacky beliefs is that non-whites aren’t white because God punished them; white is God’s ideal, you see.

Beck should publicly state whether or not he agrees with this wonderful teaching of the Mormon cult. (Of course he does, though.)

Beck doesn’t bring up his Mormonism much because not only do many if not most of us on the left despise the right-wing Mormon cult, especially after it theocratically pushed Proposition H8 here in California, in brazen violation of the separation of church and state, but because the non-Mormon “Christo”fascist whackjobs for the most part don’t like the Mormon cult, either.

If the Mormon motherfuckers were minding their own fucking business, my attitude toward them would be live and let live, but the Mormon motherfuckers want to expand their theocratic empire and want to tell all of us how to live, as evidenced by their championing of Prop H8 (for which they had to form front groups, like the National Organization for Marriage [which, true to right-wing form, actually opposes marriage], since way too many Americans hate the Mormon cult), and Mormon motherfucker Mitt Romney, whom the cabal of stupid old white Mormon men in Salt Lake City would love to put into the White House, will become president over my dead body. And yeah, I have a problem with the fact that the nation’s No. 1 wingnut loudmouth (Beck, I mean of course) is a fucking Mormon. I see little difference between a “Christo”fascist and an “Islamofascist.” Both are theofascists.

And especially when Glenn Beck criticizes the religion of President Barack Obama, as he has done, it then becomes open fucking season on Beck’s fucked-up, anti-Christian beliefs.

I have plenty of my own problems with Barack Obama, but they have nothing to do with such things as his race or his religious beliefs, which he for the most part keeps to himself, as a president should. But when they attack the president, Beck and his ilk don’t attack only Barack Obama; they attack those of us Americans who voted for him, which is the majority of Americans who voted in November 2008, and they attack our very democracy, which they deem a “tyranny” when their candidate doesn’t win the election.

This isn’t freedom of speech as much as this is treason.

The only founding father that Glenn Beck and his ilk can compare themselves to is Benedict Fucking Arnold.

The cocky dry drunk Glenn Beck seems comfortable that he can get away with anything, even holding a “non-political” KKK rally at the same place where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream Speech” on the anniversary of that speech.

Careful, Benedict Beck, lest those of us whose patriotism runs so deep that we don’t have to announce it with a bullhorn on Faux “News” finally decide that we’ve allowed you to do enough damage to our nation in the names of God and country.

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