Tag Archives: First Amendment

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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Sen. Dianne Feinstein running again

I have yet to see it reported in the mainstream media, but it’s clear that “Democratic” Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California (pictured above, I’m pretty sure) is going to run for a fifth six-year term.

I voted for the center-right, mostly irrelevant Feinstein exactly once, in 2000, when I was still pretty new to California and didn’t know much about her. Over the ensuing years I learned a lot more about her, such as how her war-profiteering husband profiteered from the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War that she voted for, and therefore I haven’t voted for her since.*

Feinstein, whose net worth exceeds $50 million (yeah, she’s just one of us!) and who at age 8fucking3 is the oldest (apparently still living) member of the Senate, could step aside and vacate the seat that she has held since 19fucking92, giving a younger, fresher, much more relevant face a chance to represent the great state of California, but why do the right thing?

I knew that Feinstein was running again when fairly recently I started receiving e-mails from her again. (I am on her e-mail list.) Seriously, I can tell you that this is her pattern: It’s radio silence from her for several years, and then, when the next primary election for her approaches (it will be in June 2018), you’ll hear from her.

The e-mail that I received from Feinstein’s campaign today contains this mediocre logo —

Dianne Feinstein for California

— and has small print at the bottom that reads “Paid for and authorized by Feinstein for Senate 2018.”

Sadly, as long as she still lives, Repugnican Lite Feinstein will win re-election. Californians are pretty fucking dumb where it comes to re-electing her.

Hell, they’d probably vote for her corpse, which they essentially have been doing for a while now anyway.

*Feinstein also supported the unelected Bush regime’s unconstitutional mass spying on Americans, and still supports unconstitutional mass spying by the federal government; called for the immediate extradition and arrest of patriot Edward Snowden for having exposed the unconstitutional mass spying by the federal government that she wholeheartedly supports; supports the death penalty, since millionaires like she never have to worry about ever facing so-called justice; and actually supported the unconstitutional attempt to make the “desecration” of the U.S. flag a criminal act, although the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment protects it (duh).

Feinstein is a real over-privileged, out-of-touch, authoritarian, plutocratic piece of shit.

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KKK/Neo-Nazi/Trump rally in Chicago shut down by true American patriots

A demonstrator is removed by Chicago police during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. Trump canceled one of his signature rallies on Friday, calling off the event in Chicago due to safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Analysis: Chicago chaos tests Trump promises of unity

Associated Press photos

In the top news photo, police remove a protester (the black guy in what appears to be a dark-green hoodie, I’m guessing) from the audience gathered yesterday for a rally for Der Fuehrer Donald Trump on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where the KKK rally was called off by the Trump campaign because of the anti-fascist protesters who had thronged to it. In the bottom news photo, an anti-fascist protester holds up a sign reading “Derail Trump!” (I quite concur) on the university campus while police officers keep the peace after the KKK rally was canceled.

The fascists who support Donald Trump, and Der Fuehrer Donald himself, claim that their First Amendment rights were violated when anti-fascist protesters shut down one of their KKK rallies in Chicago yesterday.

Oh, boo fucking hoo!

The First Amendment is indeed important — especially when it’s the stronger who are trying to oppress the weaker by suppressing their freedom of expression — but had the good people in Germany manned (and womaned!) up and shut down Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party early on, then millions of innocent people wouldn’t have been persecuted, tortured and mass-murdered as a result of the Germans’ inaction.

American fascists don’t get to hide behind the First Amendment while they try to reinstate Nazi Germany here in the United States of America.

The prevention of the quite predictable grave harm that these far-right, nationalistic, jingoistic, xenophobic, white supremacist, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic, ironically treasonous pieces of shit who support Donald Trump (and other fascists within the Repugnican Tea Party) would cause to millions of people, should they successfully grab power, is far, far more important than are the First Amendment rights of these evil pieces of shit.

The welfare of the many outweighs the welfare of the few, especially the few who are trying to jeopardize the welfare of the many.

Of course, Der Fuehrer Donald himself, never one to take any responsibility for anything himself, being a fucking sociopath and one of the most evil “human beings” walking the planet — a billionaire, perhaps, but a human-sized walking, blathering piece of shit nonetheless — has blamed yesterday’s fracas in Chicago on — wait for it — Bernie Sanders.

Reuters reports:

… Trump, who has rallies in Ohio and Missouri [today] canceled [his] Chicago event [yesterday] after it turned chaotic, with scuffles breaking out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate.

The clashes follow a slew of recent incidents of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about degrading security leading into the November 8 election.

“All of a sudden a planned attack just came out of nowhere,” Trump said at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, [this] morning, calling the protest leaders “professional people.”

He said his own fans “were taunted, they were harassed by these other people, these other people by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend.”

“Now really Bernie should tell his people … he should really get up and say to his people, ‘Stop, stop,'” he said.

A spokesman for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. …

Let’s see. How about the stupid, old, racist, fascist white man — a Trump supporter, of course — who quite offensively rather than anything like self-defensively punched a young black man (a protester) in the face at a Trump/KKK rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, this past week?

None of Trump’s Brownshirts was punched in the face in Chicago yesterday, to my knowledge; to my knowledge there weren’t even any arrests.

The stupid old pro-Trump white man who punched the young black man in the face this past week, however, has been arrested (probably only because his crime was captured on video).

When is Der Fuehrer Trump going to get up and say to his (goose-stepping) people, “Stop, stop”?

And of course the probably-too-pacifistic Bernie Sanders did not organize any sort of anti-Trump protest in Chicago yesterday (although I would be fine with it if he had). Bernie Sanders is just one of millions and millions of Americans who share his values and beliefs, and non-fascist Americans are free to act as they — we — will. We don’t have to wait and we won’t wait until we get the pretty-please permission of Bernie Sanders or anyone else to fight the real and present danger of domestic fascism, and yesterday we proved that.

Trump knows all of this, of course; it was just an opportunity for the neo-Nazi leader to blame Bernie Sanders — to blame someone, anyone else — for the fact that his fascist, neo-Nazi campaign for the White House stirs up violence, and it was an opportunity for grand propagandist (as well as Grand Wizard) Trump to brand Bernie Sanders a “communist.”

(Nothing like reaching back to the 1950s and before for some scare tactics! It’s as woefully outdated as it is wholly inaccurate, but our audience is comprised of nothing but abject, retrograde morons who are easily lied to and who are moved easily by fear and scare tactics, so no matter!)

Actually, now we Bernie Sanders supporters are, I believe, more likely than we were before yesterday to disrupt Trump’s KKK rallies, now that he has taken to attacking Bernie Sanders in trying to blame Sanders for the violence for which he is solely responsible, and now that he is employing Red-Scare-era slurs against Sanders.

For the record, I don’t see Billary Clinton’s supporters as being anything remotely resembling effective in fighting the likes of Der Fuehrer Trump and his jackbooted lemmings, since the Billarybots accept an awful lot of evil in a leader, as long as he or she just says nice things, as evidenced by their support of Billary, whose entire political career has been comprised of panderingly saying one nice thing but doing another, evil thing.

Not that we supporters of Bernie Sanders need the worthless, brainless, spineless, ineffectual followers of Billary Clinton in the fight against fascism here at home; indeed, we Berners have outnumbered Trump’s Brownshirts for a long time now.

In any event, preventing the rise of a new Nazi Germany here in the United States of America under Der Fuehrer Donald is something to be proud of. (If you are heterosexual, it would be something to proudly tell your grandchildren.)

The shame would be in just allowing yet another fascist demagogue to rise again and to, with his henchfascists, persecute and murder millions of people. Let the eternal shame of the German people in their colossal dereliction of duty to derail Adolf Hitler and his henchmen, their eternal shame for their unconscionable failure to nip that one in the bud, be our guide now.

Preventing that level of evil is worth dying for, and we, the good Americans, the real Americans, must stand up to Der Fuehrer Trump and his Brownshirts and say, loudly: Over our dead bodies!

And if we need to employ violence against the neo-Nazis, then so be it. They need to know that we, the true patriotic Americans, will not take that off of the table, that we can speak their language too, only even better than they can, and that if they want a rematch of the Civil War, we are ready to hand their own sorry asses to them again.

P.S. You’ve probably seen this already, but in case not:

P.P.S. Apparently many counter-Trump protesters were shouting “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” in the university arena in Chicago yesterday, and at least one protester had a Bernie campaign sign:

The Latest: Cruz says Trump bears some responsibility

Associated Press photo

Two things on this:

One, it’s nothing to disavow; to the contrary, it’s something to be proud of. (Unsurprisingly and tellingly, I’ve yet to see any report that any of the anti-fascist protesters were shouting, “Hillary! Hillary!” or displayed one of her campaign signs.)

Two, even if it were something to disavow, which it is not, neither Bernie Sanders nor his campaign has control over its supporters, who number in the millions.

And nor should a candidate or his or her campaign have any such control. Campaigns for elected office exist for the people; the people do not exist for campaigns for elected office. (This is, of course, the opposite philosophy of the jackbooted, goose-stepping Trumpians, who obediently give Der Fuehrer Trump their familiar one-armed pledge of allegiance.)

Finally, I just stumbled across this news photo from the fracas in Chicago yesterday and I love it. It’s one of the most iconic news photos that I’ve seen in ages:

Trump protesters cheer after GOP front-runner cancels rally

Associated Press photo

Seriously. Kudos to this young man for standing up like he did (and kudos to all of the many others, too, of course), and the photographer deserves a photojournalism award.

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Black Lives Matter activist brilliantly brings Queen Billary Clinton to heel

"I'm not a Superpredator, Hillary!": Black Lives Matter protestors confront Clinton at South Carolina fundraiser

The video grab above shows brilliant and brave activist Ashley Williams crashing Billary Clinton’s $500-a-head fundraiser at a mansion in South Carolina on Wednesday, putting Billary’s own ugly, dehumanizing, racist words right in her own face. Unfortunately, Billary very most likely still will win South Carolina by double digits today.

I find it interesting that the crashing of Billary Clinton’s exclusive, $500-a-head fundraiser at a private mansion in South Carolina this past week by a Black Lives Matter activist hasn’t received nearly the same amount of mainstream media “news” coverage that the crashing of Bernie Sander’s public appearance in Seattle in August did.

Methinks that the members of the corporately owned and controlled “news” media believe that the corporation-friendly Billary is “inevitable,” even though with 46 more states to go after today, polls have her down to only 5 percent or 6 percent ahead of Bernie Sanders among Democrats and Democratic leaners nationally — her smallest lead over Bernie ever, and dropping (see here and here) — and they don’t want to lose access to the “future” President Billary by pissing her off with any unflattering coverage now.

I note, first, that Black Lives Matter isn’t monolithic, that BLM has little to no control over who calls him- or herself a BLM activist, and that among BLM’s ranks are astute activists and, um, much less thoughtful slacktivists. The latter type crashed Bernie’s appearance in Seattle in August.

I mean, there are important differences between the two events.

In the August event, the two BLM (or self-identifying BLM) slacktivists’ main problem with Bernie apparently was (and probably still is) that he’s not black. (Yes, that is racist.) They had no coherent message or specific complaints about anything that Bernie had done or said himself. And they called the crowd of their allies gathered to hear Bernie speak “white supremacist liberals,” a wonderful touch, especially when words such as those were spoken by apparent black supremacists.

Also, of course, no one had been asked for a penny to hear Bernie Sanders speak that day at the city park in Seattle. And their constitutional (First-Amendment) right to gather peaceably was infringed upon by the BLM slacktivists, as was Bernie Sanders’ First-Amendment right to speak (and the audience’s First-Amendment right to hear him speak and perhaps ask him questions).

You don’t get to violate others’ constitutional rights like that, and the two self-identifying BLM morons who commandeered Sanders’ appearance at that city park in Seattle in August should have been asked to leave by law enforcement and then hauled away if they refused, as the constitutional rights of the many do actually outweigh the “rights”* of the few — even in “white-supremacist-liberal” Seattle.

But the slacktivists were not, to my knowledge, even asked to leave, and they certainly weren’t physically forced to leave. No one put hands on them, and ultimately Sanders left the venue in exasperation, without giving his planned speech.

By contrast, the pay-to-play Billary Clinton fundraiser that a lone BLM activist, Ashley Williams, crashed on Wednesday was at a private residence in Charleston, South Carolina. Indeed, the foyer in which Billary was blathering is reminiscent of the Southern mansion featured in the movie “Borat” in which Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat brings a woman posing as a black hooker to dinner, to the shock and horror of his white dinner hosts.

As Billary pontificated at her fundraiser on Wednesday, apparently on the topic of how much she cares about black people, Williams unfurled a sign that read, “We have to bring them to heel,” words that Billary spoke in a January 1996 speech that she gave in New Hampshire. (More fully, she said in that speech: “They are not just gangs of kids anymore. They are often the kinds of kids that are called ‘super-predators.’ No conscience, no empathy. We can talk about why they ended up that way, but first we have to bring them to heel.”)

Of course, the quotation is an excellent example of how Billary and Billy Boy always have tailored their words for their audience. Billary’s audience on that day in New Hampshire in January 1996 apparently was an all-white or mostly-white crowd, and apparently the topic was “criminal” “justice.” (Similarly, she told a crowd in Ohio just in September that she’s “moderate and center.” Today, she is a “progressive.”)

On Wednesday at that swank home in Charleston, Ashley Williams, apparently the only black person there at the fundraiser, said to Billary, “I’m not a super-predator, Hillary Clinton,” and “Can you apologize to black people for mass incarceration?”

If you want to see an actual crowd of “white supremacist liberals,” look at how the people at the swank fundraiser reacted to Williams. And unlike happened at Bernie’s event in August, hands were put upon Williams and she was physically escorted out.

Thankfully, it was captured on video and released for all of the world to see. It’s graphic evidence of the usually-secret world of the limousine liberal, the rich, usually white, person who talks about caring about the disadvantaged and the dispossessed but whose actions and luxurious lifestyle reveal something else altogether.

Oh, I’m not claiming that Ashley Williams didn’t violate anyone else’s rights at that tony Charleston house on Wednesday — I mean, I suppose that we could talk about a “right” to dutifully listen to Billary Clinton robotically drone on and on about how she cares about some group of people when all that she ever has cared about is power and money for herself and her close circle — but it was a brilliant piece of activism.

It was, entirely unlike the August debacle in Seattle, well thought-out. Williams paid the $500 to be able to be there among the almost-all-white limousine liberals and then she unfurled a banner with rather devastating words that the then-first lady had uttered herself. I mean, you talk about dogs “heeling,” not human beings. The term “super-predator” also is quite dehumanizing. 

And yes, Bill and Billary Clinton, because of her support for him, indeed are responsible for the fact that today we have and for far too many years now we have had way too many non-white men and women behind bars for “crimes” that did not involve physical violence (especially drug “crimes”).

Williams appropriately called Billary out on her hypocrisy and lies. What Williams was exposing was far more important than were the lies that Billary mechanically, second-naturedly was spewing at that fundraiser for rich people to be able to rub elbows with Queen Billary Herself (and even get selfies with Billary with which to impress their friends and family members!).

So bravo, Ashley Williams! You are one hell of an activist. You are brave, and your critique of Billary was fair, dead-on and devastating.

Unfortunately, I still expect Billary Clinton to win the South Carolina primary by double digits today.

Sadly, even if Williams had exposed Billary significantly earlier, I don’t think that it would have lost South Carolina (and the rest of the South) for her.

I mean, people who vote for and otherwise support Billary (unless they are rich) inherently are pretty fucking stupid — to vote against your own best interests, you have to be pretty fucking stupid — and so they are immune to facts and to the evidence (even evidence on video, like Ashley Williams’ gem) that Billary Clinton is, at best, just another Repugnican Lite.

*I use quotation marks because violating others’ First-Amendment rights is not a right.

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Selfish, stupid ‘Black Lives Matter’ slacktivists again infringe on others’ First-Amendment right to assemble

Updated below (on Monday, August 10, 2015)

Embedded image permalink

Photo Tweeted by Dan Merica, CNN

Incredibly selfish “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists refuse to allow Bernie Sanders speak before a crowd of thousands at a city park in Seattle, Washington, today. Fuck political correctness — now that this bullshit has happened twice (the first time was last month in Phoenix), Sanders needs to have significant security at his future events, and disruptors need to be removed immediately, because those who gather for events have the First-Amendment right not to have their gatherings shut down by selfish, stupid members of special-interest groups.

So thousands of people gathered at a city park in Seattle, Washington, today, to hear democratic socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders speak.

But what those thousands of people wanted was not at all important to the handful of “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists who, according to The Huffington Post, forced Sanders to leave the gathering before he meaningfully could speak to the crowd.

I call these ignoramuses “slacktivists” because think about it: They are not taking on the powers that be, those who are the real problem, but they are targeting the very one presidential candidate who, being a pacifist, is the least likely to give them any resistance (thus, his public appearances — thus far, anyway — are pretty easy for these slacktivists to disrupt and to commandeer), and who probably is the one who is the most on their side.

Serious political activism would necessitate attacking those who actually are the problem, but you won’t see these “Black Lives Matter” morons interrupting, say, law-enforcement or Repugnican Tea Party gatherings, will you?

No, these are fucking geniuses: Attack your strongest ally! That’s always a political winner!

What if we LGBT individuals had commandeered black-rights gatherings after 70 percent of California’s black voters hatefully voted for anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8, claiming that Gay Lives Matter? How well would that have gone over? Um, yeah.

The issue is not whether or not the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists have a point. Of course they do. They have many points. Unarmed black Americans continue to be slaughtered by mostly white cops (and it is no consolation that Sandra Bland was pulled over by a light-skinned Latino cop) at a much higher rate than are unarmed white Americans. This is a fucking problem, as is the crazy-disproportionate incarceration of non-white Americans (on top of over-incarceration in general). The so-called “criminal” “justice” system indeed needs a major overhaul.

None of those facts here are in dispute.

But the tactics of the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists are sorry-ass. Bernie Sanders — Bernie Fucking Sanders — thus far has been their main public target when he is the one candidate for U.S. president who is the most and the best positioned to help them.

Democrat in name only Billary Clinton talks a good game, but hers is a record of talking (and of holding titles), not of actually doing anything.

And on the Repugnican Tea Party side? Would a President Ben Carson help the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists? No, sorry — he calls them “silly” and “divisive.”

By all means, “Black Lives Matter” activists need to be in dialogue with all of the candidates for the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, but they wouldn’t dare to even try to disrupt a Billary Clinton speech or public appearance.

That’s because Team Billary keeps quite-tight control of her public appearances — something that, unfortunately, Team Bernie is going to have to do from now on, now that “Black Lives Matter” morons have commandeered two of his public appearances.

Again, these tactically challenged fucktards have the right to have their political cause, but they don’t have the right to shut down public gatherings — to hijack them, to try to force their own narrow political agenda down the throats of those who have taken the time, energy and expense to assemble not to hear them speak, but to hear someone else speak.

I would remind the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists — yes, terrorism, broadly defined, is using the intimidation of others, or at least trying to use the intimidation of others, to advance your own political agenda, and that’s what the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists are doing when they shut down public gatherings — that the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution reads:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

If the U.S. government may not infringe upon “the right of the people peaceably to assemble,” what right do the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists have to infringe upon that right?*

Team Bernie needs to do what Team Billary does: Have tight security at public gatherings and ensure that no fringe groups ruin the gatherings for everyone.

It’s a progressive trait to eschew policing like that, but sometimes policing is necessary, lest chaos ensue. In the case of the last two shutdowns of Bernie Sanders’ public speeches by “Black Lives Matter” fucktards, I rest my case. The “Black Lives Matter” assholes make such policing necessary.

The “Black Lives Matter” terrorists apparently calculate that we white and other non-black progressives will be too intimidated, lest we very predictably slanderously and/or libelously be labeled by them as “racist,” to call them on their shit; therefore, these terrorists are to be allowed to do as they please, lest they defamatorily brand us “racist” if we do so much as to dare to protest their reprehensible actions.

Nope. It’s not about race — it’s about the constitutionally guaranteed right to assemble peaceably, the right that the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists selfishly, stupidly have come to believe they have the right to violate (as long as it’s someone else’s right to assemble peaceably, of course).

I’ll tell you what is racist: refusing to call a black person on his or her bad behavior because of his or her race, that is, putting his or her race before his or her bad behavior. That is racist.

If the “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists want their agenda and their rights to be recognized by others, they at the same time need to recognize the agendas and the rights of others. Now.

In the meantime, Team Bernie needs to protect the constitutional right of those gathered to hear Bernie Sanders speak by employing the very apparently necessary security measures — as Repugnican or Billary Clinton a thing as that might feel like doing.

The needs and the rights of the many outweigh the needs and the rights of the few — something that the selfish, self-absorbed “Black Lives Matter” slacktivists need to realize, lest they fizzle out much sooner than any of them had realized could happen.

P.S. I see from further news reportage that, thankfully, Bernie Sanders had a second engagement in Seattle this date, that tonight he spoke to “a packed crowd” at the University of Washington campus — uninterrupted this time, apparently.

“No president will fight harder to end institutional racism and reform criminal justice system,” Sanders told the crowd, according to The Associated Press. “Too many lives have been destroyed by war on drugs, by incarceration; we need to educate people. We need to put people to work.”

The AP also added more details from today’s earlier debacle in Seattle (emphasis in bold is mine):

When the crowd asked the activists to allow Sanders to speak, one [“Black Lives Matter”] activist called the crowd “white supremacist liberals,” according to event participants.

After waiting about 20 minutes, Sanders himself was pushed away when he tried to take the microphone back. [That’s called assault and battery — of a U.S. senator, no less; someone should have been arrested.] Instead, he waved goodbye, left the stage with a raised fist salute and waded into the crowd. He shook hands and posed for photos with supporters for about 15 minutes, and then left.

The AP reports that only two “Black Lives Matters” morons had managed to ruin Sanders’ appearance today. Again, they should have been removed from the venue. I, a white man, certainly would expect to be removed — forcibly, if I refused to cooperate — were I to try to commandeer someone else’s public event. To say that a black person similarly should not be removed because of his or her race — again, that’s racist.

And “white supremacist liberals” — what a nice touch. And awfully ironic, coming from an apparent black supremacist.

That said, though, ironically, perhaps if you are a (guilty) white liberal who believes that blacks should not be held accountable to the same standards of behavior that white people would be — if, say, you believe that “Black Lives Matter” morons should just be allowed to selfishly, stupidly ruin public events — perhaps you are a “white supremacist liberal,” since one who is not racist believes in equal treatment and equal expectations of and for everyone, regardless of his or her race.

P.P.S. The Washington Post reports that Bernie Sanders’ crowd tonight in Seattle at the University of Washington was his largest crowd yet, at 15,000 people. The Post notes that thus far in this presidential election cycle, Billary Clinton hasn’t garnered a crowd of even 6,000 people.

Gee, is this why the “Black Lives Matter” fascists are targeting Bernie? Because he’s so popular, because more people want to hear him speak than they do any other presidential candidate, at least on the Democratic side?

At any rate, clearly the “Black Lives Matter” terrorists, who very apparently incredibly stupidly put the nation’s race-based problems at Bernie Sanders’ feet, are vastly outnumbered. And, methinks, because of their misguided and short-sighted tactics — and not because of their basic cause, which is just — their days as anything resembling a real political force quite potentially are numbered.

Update (Monday, August 10, 2015):

The Huffington Post now reports:

A day after being interrupted by Black Lives Matters protesters at a campaign event in Seattle, Washington, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) released a detailed platform on combating racial inequality.

Sanders’ campaign posted the platform on his website [yesterday], and he addressed the issue of racial justice [last] evening in front of more than 20,000 supporters in Portland, [Oregon,] drawing his largest crowd yet along the campaign trail. Nearly 12,000 people attended Saturday’s event in Seattle.

The platform delineates policy proposals pertaining to what Sanders calls “the four central types of violence waged against black and brown Americans: physical, political, legal and economic.” …

So Bernie’s crowds continue to grow by leaps and bounds. More than 20K is a lot of people. (Again, thus far Billary hasn’t even hit 6,000 people, to my knowledge.)

Although Team Bernie has released a fairly detailed platform on racial justice (I will study it shortly), frankly, I don’t expect the race-based harassment of him to stop. He was born while white, and so there’s nothing that he can do to gain the favor of the most hard-core black supremacists (whom I think of as an awful lot like white supremacists, just black). Just sayin’.

I have been woefully negligent in not mentioning until now that as a U.S. senator, Bernie Sanders scored 100 percent — one hundred percent — on the NAACP’s latest civil rights legislative report card. His vote on every piece of legislation that the NAACP found important was in line with the NAACP’s wishes on that legislation.

Some people like to claim that Sanders hasn’t done anything good on race-based civil rights lately, but the NAACP itself reports otherwise.

As I’ve noted, Sanders lives in and represents in Congress an overwhelmingly white state, but that doesn’t mean that his heart and mind aren’t in the right place. Those who judge his stance on civil rights primarily or solely based upon his race (and not upon his actual record) are — well, racist…

*If you’re even tempted to claim that the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech allows public gatherings to be hijacked by a handful of terrorists to exercise their free-speech rights, I’d remind you that there are limits on the First Amendment, and that one’s own right to free speech ends where others’ rights begins.

I may not legally break into your home, for instance, in order to deliver you a soliloquy, claiming “free speech” as my defense.

There are time, place and manner restrictions on the right to free speech, which never has been absolute.

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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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It’s long past time to ban the treasonous Confederate flag throughout the U.S.

Dylann Storm - flag

White supremacist, mass murderer and nutjob Dylann Storm Roof burns an American flag in an image of himself he posted on the Internet. He much has preferred the Confederate flag, you see, from another such image. (Gotta love the Gold’s Gym shirt on such a cowardly pipsqueak…)

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The nation of Germany wisely bans the public display of the Nazi flag or any other Nazi symbol. (Germany, in fact, “prohibits the distribution or public use of [Nazi] … flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting.”)

Despite its ban on communications espousing (neo-)Nazism, Germany is viewed as a democratic nation that is not oppressive to its people. Germany’s ban is wise; it apparently is meant to prevent the resurgence of a system of right-wing hatred and terrorism that forever will be a stain on that nation.

Similarly, the United States of America should ban the public display of the Confederate flag. Period. (Other such dangerous forms of treasonous, terrorist communication also should be banned, but banning the Confederate flag would be a good start.)

The Confederate flag should, of course, be allowed to remain in museums and in history books. (Its continued use in Civil War re-enactments is, in my book, gray area, since these public events can be rallying points for those whose allegiance is to the Confederate flag — these can be white-supremacist rallies under the guise of “history education” or the like.)

Fact is, most public displays of the Confederate flag are treasonous. They are meant to signify one’s allegiance to an illegal, treasonous, breakaway, illegitimate, deeply racially oppressive “government” that was crushed by the democratically elected government of the United States of America long ago — and more often than not also to signify one’s white supremacism.

The Confederate flag is not neutral. Its public display is meant to strike fear and terror in others — as are the Nazi flag and the flag of ISIS, for example. There is an apt word for this: terrorism.

This is so indisputable that the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court just this past week ruled that the state of Texas did not act unconstitutionally when it refused to allow a specialty license plate displaying the Confederate flag. (Even wingnutty idiot “Justice” Clarence Thomas was on board with the 5-4 decision.)

Reuters notes in its reportage of the fresh U.S. Supreme Court decision: “During the oral argument in the case in March, a major concern for some justices was that if the state has no say over what messages to allow, it would pave the way for other potentially offensive messages, such as images of Nazi swastikas or statements promoting the Islamist militant group al Qaeda.”

Reuters also notes:

… The [Supreme Court] found that Texas did not infringe on the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free speech guarantee when it turned away the application by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group says it aims to preserve the “history and legacy” of soldiers who fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War.

“Free speech is a fundamental right to which all Americans are entitled, and today’s ruling upholds Texas’s specialty license plate program and confirms that citizens cannot compel the government to speak, just as the government cannot compel citizens to speak,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

States can generate revenue by allowing outside groups to propose specialty license plates that people then pay a fee to put on their vehicle.

“I hate that we were turned down,” said Gary Bray, commander of the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“We deserve the rights like anyone else to honor our veterans,” added Bray, who said his group likely will submit a revised design.

The state declined in 2010 to approve the plate with the Confederate flag. The flag in question, a blue cross inlaid with white stars over a red background, was carried by Confederate troops in the Civil War. …

The “preserving history” and “honoring our veterans” “arguments” for the public display of the Confederate flag are bullshit.

The history of the Civil War isn’t going away. It’s there forever. It’s quite well chronicled and well preserved, in books (fiction as well as non-fiction), in films, in documentaries, in museums, in historical artifacts, in historical documents, in public monuments, in cemeteries, etc., etc. It’s not going to be forgotten if Jeb or Jethro or Zeke or Cooter or Skeeter can’t fly his freak Confederate flag in front of his trailer or on his monster truck.

And the “honoring our veterans” “argument” flies no better here in the United States than it does in Germany, if the neo-Nazis there were to claim that they only wish to “honor” Germany’s Nazi “veterans.”

You say Confederate “veterans”; I say traitors. Traitors don’t deserve to be honored publicly. At best, the Confederate war dead should be remembered only as actors in a dark time in U.S. history, actors who supported a treasonous, deeply racially oppressive, illegitimate “government” — which makes them far from “heroes.”

Speech is free until it becomes hate speech, which predictably can bring harm to others. Hate speech — which includes the display of hateful flags or other symbols — so often precedes unprovoked violence that is based in the hatred of what and/or how someone else is, not based upon anything wrongful and/or harmful that someone else actually has done.

Dylann Storm Roof of South Carolina is an abject nutjob, of which I have no doubt, but the environment in which he grew up — South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union after the democratic election of Abraham Lincoln as president and even before his inauguration — very apparently was instrumental in pushing him over the edge.

The environment in which Roof grew up included the widespread acceptance of the Confederate flag, which still flies on the grounds of the state’s capitol (to “honor” “veterans” of the illegal, illegitimate, treasonous and racially and otherwise oppressive Confederacy, you see). Even worse, Roof’s car sports a state-issued Confederate-flag license plate.

Even Repugnican presidential loser Mittens Romney has called upon the state of South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds. (Unfortunately, he has not, to my knowledge, called for the eradication of the Confederate flag anywhere else in the state, such as on its license plates, for fuck’s sake.)

The widespread acceptance of the Confederate flag in the backasswards state of South Carolina no doubt contributed to the deaths — the murders — of the nine black Americans whom Dylann Storm Roof hatefully and cowardly gunned down in cold blood in their own historic church in Charleston on Wednesday night — after apparently having gained his victims’ trust.

Again, this is where free speech has become hate speech, and hate speech, because it so predictably can result in injury or murder, is not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

It is long past time to ban the public display of the Confederate flag, the terrorist symbol of the traitor and the white supremacist — the homegrown terrorist — everywhere in the United States of America (including, of course, on license plates, and yes, even on clothing), just as Germany similarly bans the public display of the Nazi flag.

The traitors who still pay allegiance to the long-defeated-and-defunct Confederacy would be lucky that we’re only eradicating their symbols. After all, the only good traitor and terrorist is a dead one.

The South — as the neo-Confederates think it should be — never will rise again. Not on the watch of those of us who are the true patriots, those of us who are ready for another civil war if the treasonous terrorists make another one necessary.

P.S. It’s rare, thank Goddess, that I ever see the Confederate flag here in Northern California. I still remember that some years ago, when I was at a demolition derby at a fair at a nearby Podunky town, a truck displaying the Confederate flag actually came out into the arena. My jaw dropped. (After the stomach-turning display of the Confederate flag on the truck, I sarcastically remarked to those whom I was with, because it looked like it might rain: “Oh, no! If it rains, how will we have the cross burning?”)

Minimally, the state governments and the federal government should be banned from the public display of, the sale of, or any other promotion of the Confederate flag, be it an actual flag or an image of the flag. (California, thankfully, already has such a statutory prohibition.)

You can sign this online petition to be delivered to the legislature and the governor of South Carolina demanding that the state remove the Confederate flag from all public places. It’s a start.

I also encourage you to make (as I have) a donation to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the nine individuals were murdered in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday. You can do so by going to the church’s website and clicking on “Donate.”

I’m an atheist (who pretty much supports “Christian” churches only in that it’s churches’ First Amendment right to exist) and a gay man — and the black church historically has been pretty homophobic, with which I have a real problem — but this was some seriously fucked-up shit, and if we can restore this congregation to some of its former wholeness, we should.

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