Tag Archives: hypocrisy

Pussygrabber regime issues ‘biblical’ fatwa on the breaking up of families

Updated below (on Friday, June 15, 2018)

Because Jesus Christ was all about breaking up families.

It is ironic that the “Christians” among us are so fucking evil. It’s not what Jesus Christ would do; it’s what “President” Pussygrabber would do.

I can’t believe that we even have to discuss whether or not separating children from their parents is acceptable. Of course it’s not acceptable.

Yet Nazi elf Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III said today that the unelected Pussygrabber regime’s cruel policy of separating undocumented immigrant children from their undocumented immigrant parents is — wait for it — biblically sanctioned.

“I would cite you to the Apostle Paul and his clear and wise command in Romans 13, to obey the laws of the government because God has ordained them for the purpose of order,” he said today. “Orderly and lawful processes are good in themselves and protect the weak and lawful.”

Protecting the weak is the goal of the Pussygrabber regime’s constant attacks on undocumented immigrants — and even on U.S. citizens, such as the citizens of Puerto Rico who continue to be ignored because they aren’t white?

Pussygrabber regime spokesnake Sarah Huckabee Sanders backed the Nazi elf up; The Associated Press reports today that she “said [today] that she hadn’t seen Sessions’ comments but affirmed that the Bible did back up the administration’s actions.

“‘I can say that it is very biblical to enforce the law. That is actually repeated a number of times throughout the Bible,’ she said. ‘It’s a moral policy to follow and enforce the law.'”

If a government’s laws are so fucking sacrosanct, then what about the ancient Roman Empire’s laws to persecute the early Christians? Were those laws OK? Or are we going to pick and choose among the laws that we use to justify our evil against others?

If you call yourself a Christian, there is only one law above all others that you should follow. This iteration of it comes from John 13:34-35: “‘A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.’”

Another iteration of this supreme law — which, in a word, boils down to “love” — comes from Luke 6:31: “‘Do to others as you would have them do to you.’”

If you call yourself a Christian, these aren’t helpful hints or suggestions. These are commands from Jesus Christ recorded in the New Testament.

You cannot call yourself a Christian if you refuse to obey the commands of Jesus Christ.

Trying to fall back on “orderliness” and “lawfulness” to justify knowingly causing pain and suffering to others that you would not want visited upon yourself is evil. It is anti-Christian. It is satanic.

Don’t get me wrong; I get it that U.S. citizens who are incarcerated for serious crimes are separated from their children, and that there is no general outcry against this practice, which widely is considered to be a part of the price that one pays for having been convicted of having committed a serious crime.

But undocumented immigrants’ “crime” is wanting a better life. For that “crime” alone, families should not be separated.

The Associated Press notes:

… Last month, [Sessions] announced a “zero tolerance” policy that any adult who enters the country illegally is criminally prosecuted. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, more than 650 children were separated from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border during a two-week period in May. …

and

… In an unusually tense series of exchanges in the White House briefing room [today], [Sarah Huckabee] Sanders wrongly blamed Democrats for the policy separating children from parents and insisted the administration had made no changes in increasing the use.

[But] Until the policy was announced in April, such families were usually referred for civil deportation proceedings, not requiring separation.  [Emphasis mine.]

Again, only if an undocumented immigrant has been charged with having committed a serious crime — a felony — should he or she possibly be separated from his or her children. Simply being where you’re “not supposed” to be is not a serious crime.

Shame on us, the American people, if we continue to allow “our” government to continue to perpetrate pain and suffering on those who only want a better life for themselves and their families — and to claim ludicrously (and yes, satanically) that the Bible backs them up in their commission of their evil.

Update (Friday, June 15, 2018): I just wanted to add a few more points.

First, another quote — and commandment — of Jesus Christ: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” That comes from Mark 12:31. Is Mexico and the rest of Latin America our neighbor? If so, shouldn’t we love those from Mexico and the rest of Latin America?

It’s quite rare that a right-wing “Christian” (such as Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III) quotes Jesus Christ himself. Instead, these “Christians” usually opt for the authoritarian, pro-institution-over-the-individual later books of the New Testament, the cold, detached, churchy ones that talk about so-called law and order, not about love from one human being to another.

Secondly, here is a wonderful editorial cartoon that was killed by editorial cartoonist Rob Rogers’ newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, which apparently fired him because of his unflattering editorial cartoons about Der Pussygrabber:

More of his suppressed work is here, and I have to include this one, too:

OK, and this one:

I love a good editorial cartoon and I should include a lot more of them here…

Finally, today The Associated Press explains the scope of this family-separation bullshit:

Washington — Nearly 2,000 children have been separated from their families at the [southern] U.S. border over a six-week period during a crackdown on illegal entries, according to Department of Homeland Security figures obtained [today] by The Associated Press.

The figures show that 1,995 minors were separated from 1,940 adults from April 19 through May 31. The separations were not broken down by age, and included separations for illegal entry, immigration violations or possible criminal conduct by the adult.

Under a “zero tolerance” policy announced by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Department of Homeland Security officials are now referring all cases of illegal entry for criminal prosecution. U.S. protocol prohibits detaining children with their parents because the children are not charged with a crime and the parents are.

Sessions announced the effort April 6, and Homeland Security began stepping up referrals in early May, effectively putting the policy into action.

Since then, stories of weeping children torn from the arms of their frightened parents have flooded the media and the policy has been widely criticized by church groups, politicians and children’s advocates who say it is inhumane. A battle in Congress is brewing in part over the issue.

Some immigrant advocates have said women were being separated from their infants — a charge Homeland Security and Justice officials flatly denied. They also said the children were being well cared for and disputed reports of disorder and mistreatment at the border. …

The International Rescue Committee, a humanitarian aid group, released a statement [today] saying, “A policy of willing cruelty to those people, and using young sons and daughters as pawns, shatters America’s strong foundation of humanitarian sensibility and family values.”

The new figures are for people who tried to enter the U.S. between official border crossings. Asylum seekers who go directly to official crossings are not separated from their families, except in specific circumstances — such as if officials can’t confirm the relationship between the minors and adults, if the safety of the children is in question, or if the adult is being prosecuted. …

Finally finally, today the pathologically lying “President” Pussygrabber repeated the fucking lie that the Democrats are the ones who put the separation policy into place. “I hate the children being taken away,” he huffed and puffed. “The Democrats have to change their law. That’s their law.”

“This is false,” counters The Washington Post, adding: “As part of its border crackdown, the Trump administration is separating undocumented immigrant children from their parents largely due to a ‘zero tolerance’ policy implemented by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. No law requires these separations. [Link is WaPo’s.] …”

That the unelected, fascistic, xenophobic, cruel Pussygrabber regime continues to lie blatantly that the Democrats are responsible for the separation of families at the southern border at least is an indirect acknowledgment that what the Pussygrabber regime is doing is evil.

But in the meantime, people are suffering because we, the American people, have not stopped “our” government from perpetrating evil — in this case, a form of ethnic cleansing — in our name.

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James Woods is dead to me

James Woods played closet case Roy Cohn dying of AIDS in “Citizen Cohn” (above) yet today spews homophobic bile and venom via Twitter.

It is sad when a performer whose work you have enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate) in the past turns out to be another fucking wingnut. It ruins whatever work that he or she did that you enjoyed (or at least didn’t hate).

On that note, perhaps James Woods, given his now-public obsession with gay sex, wasn’t acting very much when he portrayed closeted wingnut Roy Cohn in 1992’s “Citizen Cohn.”

Woods has attended at least one AIDS benefit; played the museum director defending controversial gay photo artist Robert Mapplethorpe’s work in 2000’s “Dirty Pictures”; and did a great job as the voice of Hades in Disney’s 1997 “Hercules,” and Disney isn’t known for hiring known homophobes, so at one point in his life, anyway, Woods appeared to be fairly gay friendly (or at least not publicly homophobic).

Somewhere along the line, though — Alzheimer’s, maybe? — Woods has changed his tone dramatically and drastically.

These days, he’s scatologically homophobically tweeting about CNN’s openly gay Anderson Cooper wearing (or rather, losing) a butt plug while on air, and he recently tweeted of the upcoming film “Call Me By Your Name”: “24 year old man. 17 year old boy. Stop. As they quietly chip away at the last barriers of decency. #NAMBLA.”

Woods — who, again, I suspect, is battling dementia — mindlessly trots out the old right-wing lie equating homosexuality with pedophilia.

Of course, there are only seven years between a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old, and actress Amber Tamblyn publicly has testified that when she was 16 years old, James Woods tried to “pick [her] and [her] friend up,” and that when she told him her age, he replied, “Even better.” (I believe her.)

Let’s do the math: Tamblyn now is 34, so she was 16 about 18 years ago. Woods now is 70, so he was about 52 when he very apparently tried to fuck a 16-year-old, but he blasts the movie “Call Me By Your Name” because it’s about a romance between a 17-year-old and 24-year-old. “NAMBLA!” he cries.

Clearly, this is about homophobia and heterosexism — as well as a colossal amount of fucking hypocrisy — and not about some concern for our “children.” Equating homosexuality to pedophilia always is only a cover for one’s own homophobic bigotry.

On that note, 17 is not a “child” (or a “boy”) in my book. A 17-year-old is a young adult.

The age of consent in Canada is 16, and in the United States of America, the age of consent is between 16 and 18.

In the more-sophisticated-about-sexuality Europe, where “Call Me By My Name” takes place, the age of consent is between 14 and 18.

So comparing the romance depicted in “Call Me By Your Name” to pedophilia is bullshit, but, of course, wingnuts never care about logic, reason or facts.

I’m not sure if Woods ever got to fuck a minor, as he very apparently at least had wanted to, but he did date a 19-year-old when he was 59, and when he was 66 he started dating a 20-year-old.

So these, um, rather significant age differences are A-OK if you’re a heterosexual male, you see, but not if you’re a homosexual male. Then, it’s “pedophilia.”

I’m going to see “Call Me By Your Name” (it’s due out on November 24), and from the early buzz, I’m probably going to enjoy it.

And I’ll never be able to watch anything with James Woods in it again. (Except maybe for “Hercules,” since it’s only his voice… And maybe I’ll watch him die again in “Citizen Cohn.”)

In the meantime, the sooner that we can say “the late James Woods,” the better.

Whatever worthwhile contribution he was going to make to the culture, he already made it years ago.

P.S. For full disclosure, even if I were single and not in a decade-long relationship with another man who is six years older than I am, I can’t see myself ever attempting to have sex with someone who is young enough to be my son.

A young man might be tempting to pair with, but I don’t know how I’d keep up with him, and I don’t know how fair the age difference would be to him.

That said, I’m not troubled by a 17-year-old and a 24-year-old having a sexual relationship as long as it’s consensual and healthy, and, of course, unlike the hypocritical, homophobic and heterosexist (and unhinged) Woods, I’m not at all concerned about the configuration of the pairing (male-male, female-female, female-male or whatever other possible permutation). Their ages and what’s between their legs and what they do in the bedroom (and, within reason, in public) would be their fucking business.

And my definition of “pedophilia,” I think, would necessitate that the “child” (the “girl” or the “boy”) were younger than 16. (The United Kingdom’s age of consent is 16, which seems OK to me.)

P.P.S. Armie Hammer, who plays the 24-year-old in “Call Me By Your Name,” is 31 years old, and Timothée Chalamet, who plays the 17-year-old, is 21 years old. So no minors were “harmed” in the making of this film.

And I’m not a “pedophile” for finding both of those actors to be attractive young men. No more so than is James Woods for having dated a 19-year-old and a 20-year-old (and for apparently having tried to fuck a 16-year-old).

P.P.P.S. How could I have forgotten this one? In July, Woods attacked a family with a gender-fluid son, tweeting in response to a photo of the family, “This is sweet. Wait until this poor kid grows up, realizes what you’ve done, and stuffs both of you dismembered into a freezer in the garage.”

Classy!

(And what have the child’s parents “done”? They have allowed him to be who he is and who he wants to be, rather than to cram Woods’ backasswards, wingnutty worldview down his throat. Yes, they’re awful parents!)

Again, I question Woods’ mental state. I suspect some form of dementia.

Or maybe it’s possible that he long had planned to wait until his acting career had dried up before he finally would unleash his far-right-wing, bat-shit-crazy, incredibly hateful views on the world…

Or maybe he felt ambivalent about retiring, but knew that after he repeatedly had tweeted his cray-cray, he’d never get work again, and so he forced himself into retirement by doing so (able to tell himself that it only was the “alt-left” who had “forced” him into retiring)…

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Adolescent Milo Whatshisnameopoulos annoying, pathetic — not ‘dangerous’

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

Real Time With Bill Maher Milo Yiannopoulos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please. 

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

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

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

Poor snowflake indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Indeed, it’s the ‘Christians’ who wage war on the spirit of Christmas

“[Today’s Repugnican Tea Partiers] are most surely at odds with the spirit of Christmas,” concludes the Washington Post’s Harold Meyerson, adding, “Walls on the border, religious tests for admission, despising the poor — good thing Joseph and Mary didn’t have to encounter our modern-day defenders of the right as they scrambled from one country to another, desperate to save their son’s life.”

Of Mary and Joseph, Meyerson writes:

They were refugees, fleeing for their lives from one Middle Eastern country to the next.

As Matthew tells the tale, Joseph, fearing that the government had marked his newborn son for death, gathered up his wife and child and stole away by night across the Judean border into Egypt. And just in time: Unsure who, exactly, to kill, that government — a king named Herod, who’d heard some kid would one day become a rival king — proceeded to slaughter every remaining child in Bethlehem under the age of 2.

This isn’t a chapter of the Christmas story that has made it into the general celebration, but it’s there in the gospel, for those who give the gospels credence and for those who don’t.

For both groups, it’s clear that the authors of the New Testament intended to recount (for the believers) or compose (for the nons) a story that echoed the Old Testament’s concern for strangers, foreigners and refugees (“The stranger among you shall be as one born among you,” says Leviticus, “and you shall love him as yourself”), that foreshadowed Jesus’ teachings to care for castaways and the least among us, and that laid the foundation for institutional Christianity’s transnationalism.

Which is, perhaps, a long way of asking the question: Who’s really waging a war against Christmas in 2015? Secular multi-culturalists who, stealthily and nefariously, have somehow rendered Starbucks’ coffee cups a tad less festive? Or the self-proclaimed culture warriors on behalf of traditional values, who demand we leave refugees — even small children, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) has made pitilessly clear — at the mercy of the latter-day Herods? Who condemn entire religions? Who fear and loathe strangers? …

Indeed, while I don’t believe the “miracles” in the Bible, such as the virgin birth, Jesus’ raising of the dead and his resurrection, it’s clear that today’s “Christians” don’t follow their own supposed beliefs, as exemplified by their rank xenophobia against Mexicans and others from Latin America (and Latinos in general, except for right-wing Cuban Americans [such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio]) and Muslims and other Middle Easterners, perhaps especially refugees from harsh sociopolitical conditions in the Middle East that the United States’ greedy, military meddling helped to create, and it’s clear that we secular humanists, ironically, are far more Christian in our morals than the “Christians” are.

Merry Christmas.

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Contexte est tout

On Oct. 1, 2014, the magazine featured Muhammed again.

I’m semi-fluent in Spanish, but know only a handful of words in French. (I’m perfectly OK with that…) So I went to babelfish.com and typed in “Context is everything,” translating it into French. The result, which may or may not be accurate, is the title of this piece.

As I’ve noted, I don’t know much about France, and I’m not a huge Francophile. For every positive thing that we can say about the French, there seems to be an equally off-putting thing that we could say about them. So I have mixed feelings toward the Frenchies, frankly.

Speaking of which, already we’re seeing starkly different depictions of what life is like in France for Muslims, and to be able to comment intelligently on the Charlie Hebdo killings of the past week, we need to understand the context in which they have occurred.

Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir, who should know better, essentially white-mansplains in his latest column that Charlie Hebdo was attacked because the “terrorists” hate France for its freedoms! This is the rosy portrait that O’Hehir paints of France:

… Amid its evident difficulties, France remains a peaceful, prosperous and culturally vibrant nation with a relatively well integrated and increasingly secular Muslim minority. (As has been widely reported, one of the police officers killed on Wednesday was a Muslim.) That model of democracy — or perhaps we should say that possibility — is exactly what came under attack from the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Their aim was to pry open that model at a tender spot, expose its contradictions and undermine its stability. …

Again, this is analogous to the post-9/11 bullshit American claims of “They [those “evil” Muslims, of course] hate us because of our freedoms!”

In contrast to O’Hehir’s belle (again: babelfish.com…) portrait of France, left-wing editorial cartoonist and columnist/commentator Ted Rall, who has dual American and French citizenship because his mother is French, and who has spent a lot of time with Muslims in Afghanistan (about which he has written books), writes this of Muslims in France (I present it in whole, because I think it’s important information; emphases in bold are mine [and links are Rall’s]):

This week’s terrorist attacks at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 12 dead at the scene and four others killed during the assassins’ attempt to flee two days later has prompted a political crisis in France centered around that country’s Muslim population, and whether it has been successfully assimilated into French society.

To most American news consumers, even those who follow developments in Europe closely, the debate over Muslim assimilation in France is difficult to dissect. This is because the situation there is significantly unlike the “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West that Americans have been dealing with in the post-9/11 era.

The first thing that you need to know is that, in France even more than in the United States, assimilation is something of a national religion.

“A French government report has proposed a radical overhaul of the ‘assimilation’ model which requires immigrants to abandon their culture for that of France, including ending the ban on Muslim headscarves in schools and naming streets and squares after notables of foreign origin,” the UK Telegraph reported back in 2013.

“But it has drawn a furious reaction from the country’s conservative opposition, which said it amounted to an abandonment of French culture and secular values. ‘It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others,’ Jean-François Copé, leader of the UMP main opposition party, said.”

For now, assimilationism stands.

In France as in the U.S., ethnic and religious minorities congregate in certain cities and neighborhoods. In France, however, these ethnic enclaves are viewed less as charming places to grab a meal than as a failure of the state. This is because, when foreigners are granted French citizenship, they are expected – not just culturally, but explicitly told by government officials – to become fully French in a traditional, pre-mass immigration kind of way.

Those who speak foreign languages are pressured to refrain from speaking them in public as much as possible, and to learn French not just enough to get by, but fluently in writing as well as in speech. This attitude isn’t not quite as attenuated as it was 75 years ago, when children who spoke internal non-French French languages like Basque and Breton were beaten by their teachers, but it’s still an expectation shared by both the political left and the political right.

Even today, when the government offers an immigrant French citizenship, he or she is even encouraged to “Francify” their name to a more traditionally sounding French name. So Mohammed might become Michel.

The second thing you need to understand is that France does not offer birthright citizenship, i.e. automatic full benefits as a citizen simply for being born on French territory. Americans take birthright citizenship for granted, though there has been criticism on the right over the possibility that some foreign-born parents might travel illegally to the United States in order to have so-called “anchor babies.”

Perversely, considering how important assimilation is to the French, the country’s lack of full birthright citizenship rights for everyone born in France, or full right of jus soli, has done more to breed alienation, systemic poverty and distrust than just about any other policy. Although I was able to obtain French citizenship (while keeping my U.S. citizenship) merely because my mother is French, there are millions of second- and third-generation illegal immigrants – people who were born in [France], and who may even have French foreign parents, but who have never been naturalized because their grandparents arrived in the country as undocumented workers.

Many of these people live in impoverished suburbs outside major cities which, not coincidentally, have on occasion been the site of violent uprisings. Don’t be surprised if the perpetrators of Wednesday’s horrific mass murder at Charlie Hebdo have their roots in the banlieue (suburbs).

Finally, France has accepted between 3.5 and 5.0 million Muslim immigrants in recent years, amounting to between 5 percent and 10 percent of the population. (This liberal immigration policy recognizes France’s history as colonial rulers of countries like Algeria and Morocco.)

Obviously, the overwhelming majority of these people are like everyone else, just trying to get ahead and make better lives for themselves and their children. But their presence — different clothes, different languages, different food — is jarring for “traditional” (i.e., white, Catholic) Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who yearn for the France of wine, coffee and baguettes. This is the constituency that France’s far-right political parties, like the National Front, are capitalizing upon.

Rall, himself an editorial cartoonist, of course does not support the slaughter of fellow cartoonists, and he has used the occasion of the Charlie Hebdo massacres to point out the plight of editorial cartoonists in the American media (such as here and here).

I give kudos to Rall, not only for telling the ugly truth about France’s other-culture-crushing assimilationism and nationalism — and its resultant Muslim ghettos — but also apparently for pointing out that the “Je suis Charlie” crowd don’t actually give a fuck about editorial cartoonists* as much as they are just using the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists as a vehicle with which to bash those “evil” Muslims, the perennial “bad guys” against whom the “freedom-” and “democracy-loving” Westerners can compare themselves in order to feel much better about their own hypocrisy, their own deep sins (such as the fact that in modern history the U.S. and its Western partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including Israel, the United Kingdom and France, have slaughtered far more Muslims than vice-versa).

Even a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist (who wasn’t present during the massacre at the publication’s offices) himself has called bullshit on the public outpouring of support for Charlie Hebdo. Reports the UK’s DailyMail.com:

One of the surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonists has scoffed at the surge in support for the satirical magazine after the attack, which killed eight of his colleagues and four other victims.

Bernard Holtrop, who was not in the office during the massacre on Wednesday, admitted the publication’s new-found fame was “laughable” and comes from people who have “never seen it.”

The Dutch-born artist reportedly said the provocative weekly had unexpected “new friends” including the pope, Queen Elizabeth and Vladimir Putin.

He told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant: “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends,” and added that most of the support has come from people who have “never seen Charlie Hebdo.”

“It really makes me laugh,” he added. “A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite.” …

Bernard Holtrop is at least one Frenchman I guess I can like, even though that might be because he was born in Holland…

P.S. If I understand the Charlie Hebdo cover above correctly (French is somewhat similar to Spanish), it is positing that were Mohammed to return today, some jihadist would behead him as an infidel. Admittedly, this is in line with my position that were Jesus to return today, those who claim to be his followers would (mostly metaphorically speaking) crucify him as a heretic.

However, again, contexte est tout, and the Charlie Hebdo cover above is much more offensive to your average Muslim than would be a similar depiction of modern-day “Christians” crucifying a returning Jesus, methinks. Also, so-called “Christians” already are in the majority in the West, and so they have a lot of political power, so such a cartoon would not feel as personally threatening to them as the Charlie Hebdo cover above would feel to France’s Muslim minority (which, again, is estimated at 5 percent to 10 percent of the nation’s population).

*Frankly, I don’t know that I’m willing to call Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists “editorial cartoonists,” because the word “editorial” elevates them to a level of discourse that I just haven’t seen in most of their cartoons thus far. Similarly, just as I can’t call Charlie Hebdo a “newspaper” (I call it simply a “publication”), I can’t call what Charlie Hebdo does to be “satire” or to be “satirical,” because to me, satire requires intelligence (in the form of wit), and to me, satire’s ultimate goal is to uplift the body politic. I don’t see that Charlie Hebdo is witty or uplifting.

Charlie Hebdo still has free-speech rights, of course, but, as I’ve noted, after having seen some of its content I’m not going to align myself with Charlie Hebdo. The Ku Klux Klan and the so-called “Tea Party” have their free-speech rights, too, and I’m not on board with them either.

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Repugs bash ‘subhuman,’ ‘naive’ Obama, ask, ‘George W. WHO?’

So stupid white man Ted Nugent recently (fairly redundantly) referred to President Barack Obama as a “subhuman mongrel.” Arizona U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus recently remarked of Obama, “This is the most naive president in history.”

Although the likes of Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen Rand Paul of Kentucky and Repugnican Tea Party Texas Gov. Prick Perry were quick to call Nugent’s words inappropriate, McCainosaurus essentially expressed the same sentiment — only in a “nicer” way.

I respect Nugent more than I do McCainosaurus for Nugent’s at least honestly having expressed his thoughts and beliefs, as nauseating as his rank white supremacism/racism is.

McCainosaurus, however, is “nice” and “polite” and “above it all,” you see, so he’ll couch his probably-race-based criticisms of Obama in “statesmanlike” terms.

Obama is a flawed president — no argument there — but every time that a Repugnican (Tea) Party traitor levels any criticism of Obama, I immediately think of the last Repugnican “president” (I use quotation marks, since he never legitimately was elected), George W. Bush, and I do the mental comparison.

So McCainosaurus pronounced that Obama “is the most naive president in history,” adding that “The naivete of Barack Obama and [U.S. Secretary of State] John Kerry is stunning.”

No, what is stunning is that in November 2008 the American people voted for Barack Obama over John McCainosaurus by 7.2 percent of the popular vote and Obama won a whopping 192 more electoral votes than McCainosaurus won, but Sore Loserman McCainosaurus still is running for president.

Or, at the least, he’s still very bitter that he lost the 2008 presidential election, and thus he feels that he routinely must lecture us “naive” Americans that we made such a huge “mistake” in not putting his old white man ass in the big chair in the Oval Office.

On foreign policy, Obama and Kerry can’t win anyway. They’re Democrats. Obama especially is handicapped among the right wing because he’s black and the vast majority of the wingnuts are white supremacists.

Obama has no desire to revive the Cold War with Russia, as McCainosaurus does, because Obama is not stuck in the distant past like the fossilized McCainosaurus is. (And we, the majority of the American people, also have no desire to revive the Cold War, which is why we voted for Obama and not for McCainosaurus.)

And even if Obama decided to act militarily every time that there were some squirmish in the world — as though every battle around the globe were the United States’ to fight, even though because of the military overextension of the Bush regime, the American empire is rotting from within — the right wing still would find some way criticize whatever he did. Because Obama is a Democrat, and probably even worse, he’s a black man in the White House.

Were Obama actually to send troops to such troubled regions as Syria and/or Ukraine, many if not most of the wingnuts probably suddenly would find themselves to be populists and anti-interventionists and criticize Obama for squandering our resources abroad instead of helping more Americans here at home. (If it were a Repugnican [Tea] Party president launching a military action abroad, however, of course it would be, by definition, a sound presidential decision.)

Again: Obama can’t win. If he doesn’t intervene in another nation’s squirmish, he’s “naive” or “weak” or whatever, yet if he does, the wingnuts will find something about his actions to criticize. I mean, fuck: Since the teatard majority of the U.S. House of Representatives has a history of opposing Obama on everything — because it comes from Obama — do you really think that the House would OK any military action that the Constitution might require Obama to first get from the House (if it were not linked to a mass terrorist attack that already had happened on American soil)? Hell no. But they’ll criticize Obama if he doesn’t act.

As I already have noted recently, the central problem that the stupid white men of the Repugnican Tea Party (and those who support them) have with Barack Obama is that he violates their white supremacist, patriarchal notion that only right-wing white men should be president of the United States.

Ted Nugent is pretty open and fairly blunt about his white supremacism; with the likes of John McCainosaurus, you have to read between the lines, but it’s still not exactly difficult to get the message. In one of his presidential debates with Obama in 2008, McCainosaurus bizarrely referred to Obama as “that one,” as an object, not as a human being, and in his most recent quote about Obama, he again refers to Obama as though Obama were not a human being, but as though Obama were some kind of anamoly, if not even some kind of object: “This is the most naive president in history.” (At the very least, McCainosaurus refers to Obama as being very deeply other.)

The vast majority of the right wing’s criticisms of Obama start at that point (if they radiate outward or not): their deep-seated, visceral belief that Obama’s supposed illegitimacy for the presidency indeed is coded in his DNA (indeed, he is, according to teatard Nugent, a “subhuman mongrel”).

So: Whenever you hear criticisms of Obama from the wingnuts, think of that, keep all of that in mind, and also think about how wonderful a president George W. Bush was:

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he allowed terrorists to attack the U.S. on September 11, 2001, slaughtering almost 3,000 people, despite his having received, the month before, a presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, at the time, you see, and so he couldn’t be bothered with it. (Google it.)

George W. Bush was so fucking great on foreign policy and national defense that he pulled a colossal bait and switch, encouraging Americans to support his pre-2000-election desire to invade and occupy the oil-rich nation of Iraq in retaliation for 9/11, even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11. More than 4,000 of our troops were slaughtered in the illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and wholly bogus Vietraq War, which all along was meant only to benefit Big Oil. (Under Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s oil fields were nationalized; since Hussein was toppled, Big Oil has been back in Iraq. [Google it.])

George W. Bush was so fucking great on national security that he just allowed almost 2,000 Americans to die in Hurricane Katrina.

Add it up — almost 3,000 killed on 9/11, more than 4,000 of our troops killed in the bogus Vietraq War, almost 2,000 Americans killed unnecessarily by Hurricane Katrina.

That’s quite a body count, but the traitors who comprise the American right wing so conveniently ignore all of this while they focus like a laser on the deaths of four (4) people in Benghazi, Libya.

Indeed, Obama is “the most naive president in history”! He is in way over his head! He’s clueless! He has no idea what he’s doing!

Yes, let’s talk about keeping Americans safe: Far, far more Americans died unnecessarily when BushCheneyCorp was at the helm than have died while Obama has been behind the wheel.

Yes, let’s talk about foreign policy: George W. Bush made the U.S. even more hated in the Middle East — the deaths of more than 100,000 Iraqis because of the Vietraq War alone hasn’t made the U.S. more loved in the Middle East — making us more likely, not less likely, to be the targets of future terrorist attacks.

George W. Bush & Co. started a crusade against the Middle East that Barack Obama apparently felt he had to continue, lest he be labeled by the wingnuts and their sympathizers as “weak” or “soft” or “naive” (which was going to happen anyway, no matter what he did or did not d0).

George W. Bush also left the United States of America in far worse shape than it was when he stole office in 2000. He started with Bill Clinton’s record federal budget surplus and ended his eight years of unelected rule with a federal budget deficit — in no small part because the Vietraq War was meant to be a massive giveaway of taxpayers’ dollars to military contractors and to Big Oil. (Indeed, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which was involved with both military contracting and Big Oil, got to profiteer obscenely in Vietraq without even having to bid for the federal-government contracts.)

So it’s not like George W. Bush even left Barack Obama with the resources necessary to launch more military (mis)adventures, yet here are the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pissing and moaning that Obama isn’t sending troops to every nation where there is a squirmish.

There is so much about Obama that I don’t like, but when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors pretend that they have the solutions to our problems (most of which they created), you only have to think back to the last time that a member of their party was in the White House, and ask yourself if you really want a deja vu of all of that: a stolen presidential election, 9/11, the Vietraq War, Hurricane Katrina, the crashed national economy, etc., etc.

P.S. Before anyone accuses me of unfairly linking Ted Nugent to the Repugnican Tea Party, know that Nugent has made campaign (or other public) appearances with the likes of Sarah Palin, Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott (the state’s current attorney general), and many others of the Repugnican Tea Party.

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Repugnicans might unintentionally save Obama from his ‘red line’

For once, congressional Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ knee-jerk oppositional-defiant stance toward virtually everything that President Barack Obama wants to do might actually benefit the majority of Americans.

Apparently 98 Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representatives (and only 18 Democratic representatives) signed on to a recent letter to Obama that stated:

“While the Founders wisely gave the Office of the President the authority to act in emergencies, they foresaw the need to ensure public debate — and the active engagement of Congress — prior to committing U.S. military assets. Engaging our military in Syria when no direct threat to the United States exists and without prior congressional authorization would violate the separation of powers that is clearly delineated in the Constitution.”

And in his own letter to Obama, Repugnican Tea Party House Majority Leader John Boehner scribbled:

“I respectfully request that you, as our country’s commander in chief, personally make the case to the American people and Congress for how potential military action will secure American national security interests, preserve America’s credibility, deter the future use of chemical weapons, and, critically, be a part of our broader policy and strategy.” [Boehner’s full letter is here.]

This is, of course, a 180-degree turnaround from how a cowardly Congress rubber-stamped the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War in October 2002. (Yes, the unelected Bush regime consulted Congress, but it was just for show; Congress did not wisely deliberate on the cons and any actual pros of the impending Vietraq War, but just gave Bush & Co. what they wanted. After all: 9/11!) Of course, admittedly, the political environment then — that of immediately-post-9/11 hyper-jingoistic hysteria — was much different than it is now.

But it’s nonetheless interesting that the war-loving Repugnican Tea Party traitors would criticize Obama’s threat of attacking Syria over a fabricated “red line” when if it were a Repugnican Tea Party president doing exactly the same thing, the majority of them of course would be on board. Their main concern isn’t that a military attack upon Syria would be misguided and ill-advised (as it would be); their main problem is that it’s Obama who has proposed it.

The inverse of that, of course, is that apparently most Democrats in D.C. apparently are too pussy to openly criticize Obama’s pathetic proposal to take “a shot across the bow” of Syria even though Obama’s “plan,” apparently, consists primarily or even only of that: firing some missiles and/or dropping some bombs upon Syria, blowing some shit up, in order to spook Bashar al-Assad’s regime.

Obama promises that the U.S. would avoid getting any further involved in Syria’s civil war than that, but, of course, once you start firing missiles and/or dropping bombs, shit can spiral out of control. Quickly. You can’t promise what will and what won’t happen once you start throwing rocks at the hornets’ nest.

Of course, Repugnican Tea Party intransigence on Obama’s ordering a military attack on Syria might give Obama the political escape hatch from his “red-line” threat that he really could use right about now. Obama could claim that Make no mistake: He really meant what he said about that “red line” — but it was the Repugnican Tea Party-controlled House of Representatives that prevented him from delivering upon his vague threat!

I don’t see what Obama has to lose in being prevented from launching a military attack that the majority of Americans don’t want him to launch anyway.

In any event, I’m not sure which pisses me off more: that more congressional Democrats haven’t publicly opposed Obama’s hare-brained “plan” to shoot rubber bands at Syria because the majority of them are a bunch of fucking cowards and party hacks who refuse to publicly oppose anything that Obama puts forth or that the congressional Repugnican Tea Party traitors oppose Obama’s plan only because it’s Obama’s plan.

But, again, this might be the highest good that comes out of the pathetically paralyzed District of Columbia from January 2011, when the Repugnican Tea Party traitors regained their majority in the House, to January 2017, when we will have a new (hopefully not Repugnican Tea Party) president.

I’ll take it, even though it is only accidental.

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