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No, Pussygrabber’s use of ‘the “n”-word’ won’t actually guarantee the Dems a win

Associated Press photo

We already know that “President” Pussygrabber, among many other things, is racist, such as by saving his “low-IQ” and similar slams primarily if not only for black people, so how would proof of his ever having uttered “the ‘n’-word” actually change a fucking thing?

I find it pathetic and juvenile that after all that “President” Pussygrabber has done and said — including having savaged Mexicans in his “presidential” campaign announcement and having bragged about having “grab[bed]” women “by the pussy,” and then “won” the presidential election with almost 3 million fewer votes than his opponent, and then having issued unconstitutional executive orders, including a ban on Muslims from entering the country and the defunding of “sanctuary cities,” before January 2017 was even over — millions of Americans apparently view as the one silver bullet that would or at least should finally take Pussygrabber down is that if a recording of him having uttered the word “nigger” ever emerges.

We’re worried about a single word, which, if ever dare uttered (by a non-black person, that is), should be the end of one’s life; it should be very much like death (I mean, at least social death if, hell, not even physical death as well). I live in a nation of fucking imbeciles. This is Dark-Ages-level bullshit, replete with magic no-no words.

Don’t get me wrong; I oppose hate speech. No one in the workplace or in public should have to deal with a hateful epithet hurled his or her way. Such epithets are a level of terrorism; they are meant to frighten and to disempower their targets, which is why they should not be tolerated.

But let’s get fucking real. I have a black co-worker now who not long ago enough used the word “cracker” in anger and in hatred (not against me, but I was offended to have had to hear the racist epithet in my workplace nonetheless), and I didn’t bother to report it because I knew that with her constant pre-emptive bogus claims of racial victimhood meant to scare “management” from ever disciplining her meaningfully for anything, nothing would have been done had I reported it. (Indeed, I would have been branded as a “troublemaker,” I am confident.)

This same co-worker, when I once asserted that gay rights are civil rights too, responded, “You can’t compare race to sin.” Lovely. (This same co-worker also, when she wasn’t repeatedly equating homosexuality to pedophilia, repeatedly incredibly judgmentally and incorrectly referred to being gay as a “lifestyle choice” [that it’s the “wrong” “choice” is understood, you see]. It’s interesting to see which “nice” words “nice” people can use to express viciously hateful sentiments.)

In another job, a black co-worker used the word “faggot” (in hatred) in my presence, and that’s another case where had I reported it, nothing would have been done, and when I was on a public bus once and simply asked two young black punks who were blocking the aisle to move so that I could get past them and exit the bus, one of them felt the need to call me a “queer.”

A black client once hatefully and angrily called me “white boy” when I refused a request of hers that could have gotten me fired from my job.

A leader within the black community with whom I once corresponded years ago actually wrote in her response to me that being gay might be a “birth defect.”

I’ve never called a black person a “nigger.”

So this notion that blacks only ever are victims, that they are incapable of uttering hate speech or committing hate crimes themselves, demonstrably is bullshit, and their bogus claims of this only harms their credibility even further.

Let me point you to two recent examples of blacks blatantly committing hate crimes: the 30-year-old black woman arrested in Los Angeles for having savagely attacked a 91-year-old Mexican man with a piece of concrete block, reportedly telling him to “go back to [his] country,” and the 18-year-old black man arrested in Manteca, California, for having savagely knocked down, kicked and spat on a 71-year-old Sikh man. Both elderly victims were taken to the hospital; the 91-year-old sustained fractures.

Guess what? These actually are worse crimes than merely uttering the word “nigger”! (Who knew?)

And, as I already have indicated, there are words that individually are innocent enough, but when strung together are just as ugly as is — or even uglier than is — “nigger.” It’s just that, individually, they’re not taboo words. So in this juvenile nation of simpletons, you may express any hateful notion that you please, as long as you don’t use certain magical no-no words, first and foremost among them “the ‘n’-word,” which is so taboo that we must call it “the ‘n’-word.”

Take Faux “News” “talent” Laura Ingraham’s recent on-air rant:

In some parts of the country, it does seem like the America we know and love doesn’t exist anymore. Massive demographic changes have been foisted upon the American people. And they’re changes that none of us ever voted for and most of us don’t like. From Virginia to California, we see stark examples of how radically in some ways the country has changed. Now much of this is related to both illegal, and in some cases, legal immigration that, of course, progressives love.

I could argue that this racist, xenophobic rant is even worse than the word “nigger” because it apparently scoops up even more groups of already-long-oppressed people in its wide net of hatred.

(While I’m quoting she-Nazi Ingraham, I must note that demographic changes are not “foisted” upon anyone. For the very most part, they just naturally happen. [Well, of course, the Native Americans could argue persuasively that “massive demographic changes have been foisted” upon them...] And how, exactly, would we “vote” on demographic change? Would we vote certain groups of people off of the island? Would we kill brown-skinned babies, a la King Herod? And do we not get to vote for the federal and state lawmakers who make our laws, including immigration law? Do we not get our say that way?)

Again, to be clear, I oppose hate speech in the workplace or in public spaces. I believe that at work and in public, we have the right not to have bigoted, hateful, ignorant invective hurled at us for our real or perceived sex or gender expression, race (yes, even if we are — gasp! — white), sexual orientation, ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, etc. Such invective is meant to disempower us, and we deserve an environment in which we are not disempowered, but are free to do as well as we can do and, to borrow a cheesy line from the U.S. Army, be all that we can be, as long as we do not harm others.

What is said in private, however, is a different matter. I’m still a staunch defender of privacy rights. (See my August 2014 piece on the infamous Donald Sterling case, titled “Privacy Rights Scrapped for One Old Racist’s Scalp.”) In their own homes and in other private settings (settings in which they have a reasonable expectation of privacy), people should be able to think and say as they please.

Often people need to work shit out in private, even if that includes language that they wouldn’t use in public or at work. And there probably literally is not one American adult who would be OK with anything and everything that he or she ever said in private being revealed to the entire American public, so those who are fucking hypocrites on this point need to shut the fuck up and check themselves.

Perhaps the larger issue, however, is that there apparently is this widespread magical belief that if it’s definitively revealed that “President” Pussygrabber ever uttered the single word “nigger” (in any setting, private or public), then it’s all over for him. Everything else that he has done, including his having trashed the United States of America with a smirking Russian dictator Vladimir Putin standing right next to him, isn’t going to remove him from the Oval Office, but his ever having uttered the single word “nigger” would.

Just: Wow. I live in a nation of fucking infants.

Slate.com even ran a lengthy piece titled “If He Said It: How the Country Would React, Day by Day, if a Trump N-word Tape Came to Light.” The time-line piece, which apparently is partly serious and partly comedic, ends thusly (spoiler alert!): “November 2020: Trump wins re-election with the support of 0 percent of black voters and 60 percent of the white electorate.”

That sounds about right. I mean, that’s along the lines of what would happen if we make his ever having uttered “the ‘n’-word” the one and only true absolutely unpardonable crime that Pussygrabber ever committed.

Most Americans, I surmise, already assume that of course Pussygrabber has uttered “the ‘n’-word” at some place at some time, and that there may or may not be a recording of this.

If the Democrats think that simple-minded, playground-level identity politics can save them in 2020 like it didn’t in 2016, then 2020 indeed will be a repeat of 2016.

P.S. I recommend Ted Rall’s piece in which he compares Pussygrabber to Kaposi’s sarcoma — that is, just as Kaposi’s sarcoma is a symptom of the underlying, much worse disease of AIDS, Pussygrabber is a symptom of the underlying, much worse disease that grips the American “democracy.”

Just as removing one Kaposi’s sarcoma (or even all of them) wouldn’t save the life of someone with AIDS, removing Pussygrabber from office — while a laudable goal — would not cure the underlying disease, for which all of us, to some degree, are responsible.

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No! Not you, Syed!

Updated below (on Saturday, December 5, 2015)

Above is a selfie that 28-year-old Syed Farook had posted on Facebook sometime before he perpetrated yesterday’s gun massacre in San Bernardino, California, killing 14 people in what appears thus far to have been an act of workplace-related violence. While the right wing, which pretty much ignored the recent act of domestic terrorism committed at the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs (since the terrorist is a white, probably “Christian” man), will be all over this gun massacre, a look at the gun massacres committed in the United States since 1984 shows that the majority of the perpetrators have been white, native-born males, most of whom probably have self-identified, along with the majority of Americans, as “Christian.”

I was disheartened yesterday when I saw the name of the suspect in yesterday’s gun massacre of 14 people at a county-government holiday party in San Bernardino: Syed Farook.

Sounded awfully Muslim to me, and Muslims (along with “the illegals” from south of the border) already have been turned into scapegoats for all of the United States of America’s problems as it is.

Details will continue to roll in, but the Los Angeles Times reports today:

As authorities continued to comb through the home of the husband and wife responsible for a mass shooting at a San Bernardino holiday party, investigators and legislators from California to Washington, D.C., tried to understand what motivated the shooters.

Speaking at the White House [this] morning, President Obama said the FBI was now leading the probe into the attack at the Inland Regional Center, which left 14 people dead and 17 wounded.

Investigators have yet to rule out terrorism as a motive, but police have also said one of the shooters, 28-year-old Syed Farook, was involved in a dispute at the party shortly before gunfire broke out. Farook and his wife, 27-year-old Tashfeen Malik, were killed in a gun battle with police hours after the shooting.

“We do know that the two individuals who were killed were equipped with weapons and appeared to have access to additional weaponry at their homes,” Obama said. “But we don’t know why they did it. We don’t know at this point the extent of their plans. We do not know their motivations.”

Farook and Malik were identified as the lone suspects in Wednesday’s shooting at the party for employees of the San Bernardino County Health Department. Farook was born in Illinois, but recently traveled to Saudi Arabia and returned with a woman he met online. He had worked at the health department as an inspector for five years.

Malik was born in Pakistan, according to a federal law enforcement source who requested anonymity.

The couple left their young daughter with the child’s grandmother in Redlands shortly before the shooting, saying they had a doctor’s appointment, according to Hussam Ayloush, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Los Angeles.

They headed to the [Inland Regional Center] soon after. …

Farook and Malik used a pair of .223-caliber assault rifles and two semi-automatic handguns in the shooting, San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan said [today].

The couple was dressed in “assault-style” clothing when police closed in on their Redlands home Wednesday afternoon, roughly four hours after the shooting. The couple fled, sparking a vehicle pursuit that ended back in San Bernardino. Both were killed in a shootout that involved roughly 20 police officers.

An officer was also hurt, but is expected to survive, Burguan said.

In San Bernardino, relatives of the victims were still trying to process how an event meant to celebrate a holiday turned into a bloodletting. …

It’s safe to conclude that Syed Farook was off of his rocker. My best guess is that his wife was following his lead, that he had her under his control. This tends to be a cultural thing in Islam: the submissive, obedient wife. (Keep in mind that Tashfeen Malik reportedly was born in Pakistan and met Farook in Saudi Arabia; she apparently was not Americanized.)

How much of the shooting (if any) that Farook’s wife did I’m not sure; I mean, it initially was reported that there were three shooters, and it turns out that there apparently were only two, so I have no idea as to what extent Malik participated.

Since Farook reportedly shot up his workplace’s holiday party after a dispute at the party, this (thus far, anyway) is indicative of workplace-related violence, not of terrorism. Terrorism has a political aim.

Robert Lewis Dear, for instance, is said to have muttered something about “baby parts” after he shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and is reported to have made anti-abortion and anti-government statements to law enforcement officials since he committed the act of terrorism. No doubt he listened to right-wing rhetoric, such as Faux “News” and the rhetoric of the Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidates themselves, the most guilty one probably Carly Fiorina, who probably knowingly falsely described abortion videos during one of the neo-Nazis’ “presidential” debates.

(Yes, lies uttered by high-level individuals can result in harm. We are responsible for what we say, especially when we have a large audience. I highly recommend Ted Rall’s recent column on this topic.)

Again, my best guess is that Farook had some screws loose. That said, native-born, “normative” Americans almost always claim that they always have treated every co-worker (or fellow student or other comrade) who is odd or different perfectly well, especially after a chronically mistreated co-worker (or fellow student or other comrade) finally snaps and goes postal, as it were.

We don’t know how Farook acted in the workplace and how his co-workers treated him. Someone with mental illness can’t handle workplace mistreatment as well as can someone who is fairly mentally healthy.

Don’t get me wrong — it’s possible that Farook was a paranoid schizophrenic or something like that and that his co-workers did treat him fairly well, but I wouldn’t rule out that he chronically was mistreated for being different, such as for being Muslim, for having a foreign-sounding name, and for having married a woman from the Middle East.

If Farook did experience anti-Muslim treatment at his workplace, perhaps especially after the Paris terrorist attacks of last month, well, there you go. That could set off someone who already isn’t mentally stable.

I recall the November 2009 gun massacre at Ford Hood, Texas, in which Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan claimed that anti-Muslim harassment at the base contributed to his rampage in which he slaughtered 13 and injured 32 others.

Those who knew Hasan described him as a nice, quiet man. But we don’t know what abuse he probably endured within the right-wing atmosphere of the U.S. military (and our military pretty much is overrun with “Christo”fascists, who love guns and killing more than they love “God”), since abusers are pretty good at perpetrating their abuse when they feel safe to do so, when no one in authority who might do anything about it is around (this is for “plausible” deniability, of course).

American wingnuts, especially in Texas, were outraged when the federal government decided to treat the case of Hasan as a workplace violence incident rather than as an act of terrorism — because Hasan (who is still alive and in prison) is Muslim. This reaction of theirs (their assertion that any act of violence perperated by a Muslim automatically qualifies as “terrorism” because the perpetrator is Muslim) demonstrates, I believe, the anti-Muslim sentiment and harassment that Hasan claims he experienced (I believe him that he experienced such harassment, especially at a U.S. military base in Texas).*

Similarly, thus far in the Syed Farook case the only evidence that we have is that this was an incident of workplace-related violence. As Farook and his wife are dead, we may never know for certain his entire motives, and thus we may never be able to conclude whether or not yesterday’s massacre was even quasi-terrorism instead of an extreme act of workplace violence.

While this latest American gun massacre was committed by a Muslim, for perspective you should take a look at the Los Angeles Times’ ongoing roundup of American gun massacres since 1984.

You’ll see that most perpetrators of gun massacres in the U.S. of A. are native-born males, most of them white, and that most massacres take place at workplaces and at schools, such as the infamous Columbine High School massacre in Colorado in 1999, with the rest at public places, such as churches, such as the church in Charleston, S.C., where young white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof this past June shot nine congregants to death because they were black.

The moral of the story for workplace and school shootings, I think, is not to bully or pile on a co-worker or a fellow student (or a fellow member of the military or anyone else); it can have deadly consequences (maybe even for yourself).

Again, some people are wholly off of their rockers and can come to believe that they are being mistreated when on the whole they’re not, but often we do mistreat others, and that mistreatment can send someone who already isn’t very stable over the edge.

And let’s face it: We Americans by and large are a selfish, individualistic lot. When we see that someone is struggling, we don’t do much, if anything, to help him or her. After tragedy strikes, we plead ignorance that there had been any problem at all.

I have no desire to launch into a tiresome, trite discussion of gun control right now. While I don’t like guns and never plan to own one (but in general begrudgingly support the Second Amendment, keeping in mind that today’s incredibly lethal weaponry wasn’t around when the amendment was adopted), the underlying problem, it seems fairly clear to me, is that in this “Christian” nation we largely treat each other like shit — and we glorify violence.

(Militarism, along with capitalism and other evil -isms, has come to be considered part and parcel of American “Christianity,” even though the words of Jesus Christ contained in black and white in the Bible oppose such evils as militarism and capitalism; Jesus eschewed capitalism, having been homeless himself and having stated, among other things, that it’s easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, and Jesus was, of course, murdered by Roman militarism. Yeah.)

We can talk about gun control until we pass out from hypoxia, but until and unless we examine and then change our ways at a deep, deep level, the L.A. Times’ ongoing roundup of American gun massacres is only going to continue to grow.

We are, I surmise, perfectly OK with that, however, because these gun massacres keep happening at a rate at which they happen in no other developed nation on the planet.

Update (Sunday, December 5, 2015): 

Boy, we really, really want the San Bernardino massacre to have been an “Islamo”fascist “terrorist” attack, don’t we?

So all that we have is that Syed Farook’s wife, Tashfeen Malik, pledged her allegiance to ISIS — on her Facebook page. Wow. There is no evidence that the folks who run ISIS were even aware of the existence of Farook and Malik, so we can’t call the San Bernardino massacre a “terrorist” attack if by that we mean that we have evidence of coordination by the perpetrator(s) with a known terrorist group, such as ISIS.

I mean, fuck: I can pledge allegiance to Satan on my Facebook page if I so wish; it would mean pretty much nothing.

As Vox.com points out, “the fact that Farook used to work in the same government department as the targets suggested a more personal motive.”

Yup. This still looks more like an incident of workplace-related violence than of “terrorism,” even though, per the New York Times, Malik reportedly made her pledge-of-allegiance-to-ISIS Facebook post on the day of the massacre. She was 27; perhaps she figured if she was going to go out in her husband’s workplace revenge, she’d go out dramatically. Young adults sometimes do things like that.

Recall that I have defined “terrorism” as the use of violence or the (credible) threat of the use of violence in order to achieve a political aim or goal.

Shortly after his capture, Robert Lewis Dear, the perpetrator of the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood shooting, is reported to apparently have talked about preventing there being more “baby parts.” His aim, apparently, was to harm Planned Parenthood and its operations and/or scare women from seeking Planned Parenthood’s services.

That is a political aim and so it qualifies as terrorism.

Even Dylann Storm Roof, who slaughtered nine black people in their church in Charleston, S.C., in June, apparently had a political agenda: white supremacy and, apparently, the elimination of black people; perhaps he even wanted to start a race war, which certainly would qualify as a political agenda.

The political agenda, if any, of Farook and Malik, remains a mystery. Again, it might primarily have been Farook wanting to get back at a co-worker or co-workers, and Malik deciding to pledge her allegiance to ISIS on her Facebook page because why not? Or it might have been both of them fully considering themselves to be big, bad soldiers of ISIS, although there is no evidence that if so, they were anything other than so-called lone wolves.

And what, exactly, would be the political objective of shooting up your workplace’s holiday party? To shut down holiday parties? I don’t see a political objective, and thus it’s hard for me to see where my definition of terrorism would come in here. (Perhaps a “political objective” could be just killing any old “infidel,” but if so, that seems to be a very sloppy and unfocused, and therefore a fairly ineffective, political objective.)

We’ll probably never fully know what Farook and Malik had in mind, since both of them are dead.

But let’s not automatically call something “terrorism” just because it was perpetrated by a Muslim or Muslims. Words have meaning.

Thus far, we can call the San Bernardino massacre a massacre. We can call it murder. We can call it mass murder. But we don’t have nearly enough evidence to slap the overused “terrorism” label on it.

P.S. I just read a Reuters news article in which I found two notes interesting.

The first: “It was not clear if the [Facebook] comments were posted by Malik, or by someone with access to her page.” So even Malik’s Facebook pledge of allegiance to ISIS apparently is not settled fact.

And the second: “Farook family attorneys denied [yesterday that] there was any evidence either the husband or wife harbored extremist views.

“They described Malik as ‘very conservative,’ and said Farook also largely kept to himself, had few friends, and that co-workers sometimes made fun of his beard.”

The report that Farook’s “co-workers sometimes made fun of his beard” is not elaborated upon, but again, I have to wonder if he was subjected to anti-Muslim taunts from his co-workers, which might have been behind to shoot them up at their holiday party.

(No, I’m not saying that it’s OK to shoot someone who has taunted you; I’m saying that people usually act for a reason.)

Finally, while reportedly ISIS in its online propaganda claims that Farook and Malik acted on its behalf, there remains no evidence that there was any coordination between Farook and Malik and ISIS, and it’s entirely possible, it seems to me, that ISIS is happy to claim credit for any slaughter of any “infidel.”

P.P.S. (Sunday, December 6, 2015): This additional information from the Los Angeles Times:

… In 2014, Farook traveled to Saudi Arabia to marry a Pakistani woman he had met online, Tashfeen Malik, 29. When he returned, his co-workers teased him about the beard he’d started to grow. Before their baby girl was born this year, they threw him a baby shower at the office. But they never met Malik. …

One of Farook’s co-workers, Nicholas Thalasinos, 57, a Messianic Jew, wore a tie clip with the Star of David. He was outspoken against Islamic extremism, in person and on social media.

Two weeks earlier, he and Farook argued over whether Islam was a violent religion. Recounting the conversation to a friend, Thalasinos said that Farook insisted his God was peaceful but argued that Israel had no place in the Middle East.

Thalasinos liked discussing such topics. There was no indication that their interaction was anything out of the ordinary. …

That Farook’s co-workers threw him a baby shower, as widely has been reported, doesn’t exactly mean that they were all angels to him all the time, and I have to wonder if the reportage about Thalasinos’ religious commentary at the workplace has been understated.

I mean, reportedly “He was outspoken against Islamic extremisim, in person and on social media,” yet “There was no indication that their interaction was anything out of the ordinary.” (As I’ve noted, after tragedy strikes a group of people, everyone pretends like there was no conceivable precursor to it whatsoever. And they apparently search their memories for one nice thing that was done, such as a baby shower, to exculpate the entire group from any responsibility for the tragedy whatsoever.)

I don’t know — one worker slamming a co-worker’s religion isn’t out of the ordinary? It’s acceptable? If the target is Muslim? It isn’t harassment? It doesn’t create a hostile workplace environment? One’s religion is a federally protected class, such as one’s race, one’s sex and one’s national origin, from workplace discrimination.

Tellingly, methinks, Thalasinos was one of the 14 people killed in the massacre.

*Interestingly, there was yet another apparent case of workplace violence at Fort Hood in April 2014. In this gun massacre, four people, including the shooter, an enlisted soldier named Ivan Lopez, were killed.

Because Lopez was not (to my knowledge) a Muslim, no one, to my knowledge, has asserted that this was “terrorism.”

There has been, I suspect, a problem at Fort Hood of military personnel who aren’t white, “normative” Americans being harassed by those who are.

Continuing to blame the victims of harassment and to pretend that we were wholly innocent in our treatment of them will only ensure that these massacres continue to happen.

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Marco Rubio, the real Repugnican frontrunner, is the one to take down

Rubio releases first TV ad: ‘What happened in Paris could happen here’

Marco Rubio, Repugnican Tea Party U.S. senator for Florida, warns in his very first TV ad that “What happened in Paris could happen here.” He was excluding, of course, the slaughter perpetrated by white, right-wing “Christian” terrorists, such as the one who just shot up the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs. (After all, such terrorists are the Repugnican Tea Party’s base.) Rubio also assures American senior citizens that in return for their support, he’ll ensure that they get their entitlements (and ours) while those of us who follow them will be fucked royally out of ours.

As I’ve noted many times, never in my lifetime of more than four decades has a U.S. president not first been a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before he* ascended to the White House.

While perhaps anything could happen, especially in the American empire’s apparent waning days, I don’t see either billionaire fascist Donald Trump or “Christo”fascist nut job Ben Carson breaking that pattern.

In the polls right behind Trump and Carson, neither of whom is likely to get the Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination — electability will become crystal clear to them when voters and caucus-goers actually vote and caucus (as was said of the Democratic Party’s 2004 contest for the presidential nomination, the electorate dated [Howard] Dean but married [John] Kerry) — are Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Nationally right now, per Real Clear Politics’ polling averages, Trump leads with about 29 percent; then Carson, with about 20 percent; then Rubio, with about 13 percent; and then Cruz, with 12 percent. (At fifth place, with only about 5 percent, is Jeb! Bush.)

In RCP’s polling averages for Iowa, that order is almost the same but the percentages are different; it’s Trump, 27 percent; Carson, 20 percent; Cruz, 18 percent; Rubio, 12 percent; and Bush, not even a full 5 percent.

In New Hampshire, the order is shaken up; RCP’s polling averages for New Hampshire are Trump, 26 percent; Rubio, 12.5 percent; Carson, 10.5 percent; Cruz, 9.5 percent; and at fifth place is not Jeb!, but John Kasich, at almost 8 percent (Jeb! is in sixth place, with 7.5 percent; it became safe to write off Jeb! a way back).

Trump remains the frontrunner in the polls, but his numbers (at not even 30 percent) aren’t nearly high enough to prevent him from cratering at any time now. And the polls cited above don’t reflect his latest campaign fuckups, not only falsely claiming that thousands of American Muslims cheered on 9/11 even as the World Trade Center collapsed and burned, but also his having made fun of a New York Times reporter with a congenital physical disability (and then, as Trump always does, brazenly lying that he didn’t say and do what he’d just said and done).

As others have noted, Trump & Co. largely politically can get away with their Islamophobic rhetoric; only about 1 percent of Americans are Muslim, compared to the more than 75 percent who claim Christianity. Just as the Nazi Germans bullied the Jews because the Jews didn’t have nearly the numbers to fight back, the American right wing, the neo-Nazis, now bully Muslims in the United States because the Muslims don’t have nearly the numbers to fight back.

(If you think that my continued Nazi references are over the top, there is the fact that Donald Trump, if he didn’t outright endorse a national database/registry of Muslims in the United States — like the Nazi Germans kept their registries of Jews in Germany [and then in the other regions that they occupied] — he definitely didn’t reject the idea, either. Yeah.)

But while “good” “Christian” Americans (especially those who vote for Repugnican Tea Party candidates) are perfectly OK with persecuting Muslims, just like Jesus would do, I still maintain that when Trump mocked a physically disabled man during one of his KKK rallies, he finally sealed his fate. He’s finished, most likely. It’s that the incident is too recent to be reflected in the polls yet. I expect Trump to be polling consistently below 20 percent soon. (If he wages an independent presidential campaign, Ross Perot style, if it’s not too late for him to do so, he will ensure a Democratic presidential victory in November 2016, so I encourage him to scoop up his marbles in a huff and run as an independent.)

Carson’s polling isn’t as good as Trump’s, and Trump’s polling isn’t strong enough for him to be a shue-in, and Carson’s many lies about his biography, as well as his creepiness and his being an abject nut job (as well as a theofascist), doom him. He won’t be the 2016 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee.

This leaves us with Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

Cruz, the reincarnation of Joseph McCarthy, is too widely despised, even by those within his own party, to win the party’s presidential nomination. He’s doing well in Iowa (just behind Trump and Carson), but Iowans are even more wingnutty that is your typical Repugnican. I mean, fuck: Prick Santorum won Iowa in 2012 and Mike Fuckabee won Iowa in 2008. Iowan Repugnicans aren’t exactly mainstream. In terms of who the eventual Repugnican Tea Party presidential nominee actually will be, Iowa, for the past two cycles, has meant nothing, and I expect that trend to continue in 2016.

New Hampshire’s recent track record, however, has been spot-on. Mittens Romney won New Hampshire in 2012 and went on to win his party’s nomination. Ditto for John McCainosaurus in 2008.

Rubio polls second in New Hampshire right now, behind only Trump, giving him a shot at emerging at first place in the polls for New Hampshire in the near future.

Truth be told, I’d much rather that Ted Cruz win the party’s presidential nomination than Marco Rubio.

Why? Because Cruz is so despicable and creepy that there’s no way in hell that he’d win the White House in 2016, no matter whether he’s up against Billary Clinton or Bernie Sanders.

Marco Rubio, however, is just as mean-spirited and insane as the rest of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabes — recall that Rubio rode the “tea party” wave into office in 2010 — but he is able to come off to the unthinking/uncritical and the unperceptive (a majority of Americans) as a saner individual.

Old fucks love Marco Rubio. As Reuters recently reported (emphases in bold are mine):

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio, 44, frequently plugs his youth on the campaign trail but his promise to restore the American Dream for a new generation seems to appeal more to older age groups.

As the U.S. senator from Florida rises in opinion polls of Republicans, his gains are coming from voters over the age of 50, and most from those older than 65, according to Reuters/Ipsos polling.

Although Rubio is running third overall behind Donald Trump and Ben Carson, he is tied with Carson with 12 percent among those older than 65, up from only 7 percent in late October.

Yet his support in the online survey is flat among voters his own age and younger. He registers at just six to seven percent among Republicans younger than 49.

In interviews with two dozen of the poll respondents over 50, 14 preferred Rubio after watching Republican debates this fall because they believed he was best able to stand up to his opponents while projecting a positive tone rather than acidity.

Two-thirds of those interviewed also mentioned being attracted to the Cuban-American senator’s personal history, which he has worked into key moments in each debate as Republicans fight to win their party’s nomination for the November 2016 election.

“Rubio’s initial bump in the polls is due to older voters really liking his story,” said Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray, whose surveys also found increases for Rubio among older voters in early voting states like New Hampshire and South Carolina.

Evoking the American Dream [which long has since become the American Nightmare], Rubio [whom I have nicknamed “Bootstraps”] often talks about his parents who fled Cuba for the United States, where they worked as a bartender and maid. He talks about being raised from paycheck to paycheck and working to put himself through college. …

Sixteen of the 24 older voters Reuters spoke to this week also cited Rubio’s relative youth compared with many of the other leading candidates as a positive attribute. …

Four of those voters even compared Rubio to John F. Kennedy, a Democrat elected president in 1960 aged 43. [I just vomited in my mouth.]

“I think he would be like Kennedy,” said Rhoda Pelliccia, a 76-year-old Republican New Yorker living in Florida. “Kennedy was young and look what he did.” [I vomited again.]

Reliable older voters

Rubio’s advisers say they are not surprised or worried by the disparity and point out that older Americans are a crucial group because they reliably go to the polls.

While pollsters say he must broaden his appeal and attract younger voters to secure the nomination, Rubio’s aides say the candidate has no plans to change his message and they believe younger voters eventually will come his way.

“Our message is entirely about the future, but a part of that is creating an America where parents can pass on a better country than the one they inherited,” Rubio’s chief strategist, Todd Harris, said. “Older voters understand that because they’ve lived it and it’s what their parents did for them.” …

All the same, Rubio is taking great care to address entitlement programs and the concerns of senior citizens, who often make up the bulk of audiences at his campaign events.

“I’m from Florida. You may not know this, but there are a lot of people in Florida on Medicare and Social Security,” he says, barely pausing for his crowds to laugh, as they realize how many older voters retire in the southern state. “One of them happens to be my mother. And I can say this to you right now unequivocally: I am against anything that is bad for my mother,” he said in Bedford, New Hampshire last month. [Awww! How sweet! How charming!]

Rubio vows not to change those programs for the already retired or for those nearing retirement age. But he acknowledges that they must change for future generations.

Ah, Reuters saved the best for last. Rubio, being a U.S. senator for Florida, sure knows how to lick senior-citizen ass, and he assures these senior citizens that while they’ll get their entitlements, those of us who follow them (such as this member of Generation X) will get screwed royally, even though we’ve been paying into and will continue to pay into these entitlement systems our entire work lives. (By “entitlement” I mean the dictionary definition of term [“a right to benefits specified especially by law or contract”], not the term as it dismissively has come to be used by the right wing, which wants to take everything from us commoners, even the entitlements that we already have paid for.)

According to the Pew Research Center, “By many measures, Florida — which has long attracted snowbirds and retirees — is one of the nation’s grayest states. Overall, 19.1 percent of the Sunshine State’s population is 65 and older, the highest percentage in the nation.”

So Marco Rubio, a Gen X’er himself (I don’t claim him as one of my own), is perfectly willing to sell his own generation, and the generations that follow his/ours, down the river for his own short-term political gain. (After all, he will get cushy retirement benefits for having been a U.S. senator; he’ll be just fine, so don’t worry about him!)

What’s good for Marco Rubio’s political career is not good for the nation as a whole. The state of Florida is not representative of the entire United States of America, and this idea that it’s perfectly fine to fuck over future generations is an idea that needs to be fought against vehemently. It already largely is viewed not only as acceptable, but even as “common sensical.”

And leadership is supposed to be visionary and future-oriented. Marco Rubio is anything but these things. He’s perfectly willing to sell out his own and future generations for his own personal political gain today.

Marco Rubio also is perfectly willing to join the other bullies of the “Christo”fascist right wing in bashing American Muslims, since, again, without the numbers they can’t fight back. His very first television ad, released earlier this month, ominously warns us that “What happened in Paris could happen here.”

Why, yes, it could, but, as has been established, if you are a typical American, you are about twice as likely to be killed by a white, American, “Christo”fascist terrorist than you are by an “Islamofascist” terrorist.

But Islamophobia sells quite well among the xenophobic Repugnican Tea Party traitors who are deathly allergic to truth, reality and facts, so Marco Rubio gladly will use fear tactics, as will every Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe, for personal political gain. (Hey, it got George W. Bush “re”-elected!)

Marco Rubio is not the nice guy so many believe he is, which is why I consider him to be even more dangerous than is Ted Cruz, who can’t pull off the nice-guy facade.

Rubio’s strategy of cornering the old-fuck vote certainly isn’t a winning long-term strategy, but for the time being, old fucks do vote in much higher percentages than do younger Americans. And Rubio has made it clear, from his campaign rhetoric, that he isn’t concerned about the long term, but only wants to assure the old fucks (in return for their campaign donations and their votes) that they’ll get “theirs” (which is his own plan, too — to get “his” and then get out; I use quotation marks there because Rubio and his ilk don’t want what’s just theirs; they want what’s ours, too, of course, and they don’t care whatsofuckingever that they’ll leave us with nothing — or even less than nothing, in terms of great debt).

We’ll see how long the pandering to the over-inflated fear of “Islamofascist” “terrorists” will last for Rubio and his ilk. I have no doubt that they’d love a terrorist attack (or even more than one attack) on American soil by a Muslim or Muslims any time from right now to November 8, 2016. Paris was great for their brand of politics, but xenophobic, nationalist Americans only care so much about what happens in other nations. And here in the United States of Amnesia, things like the Paris attacks have a fairly short political shelf life.

If you think that I’m overstating how strongly Marco Rubio is positioned politically, know that Real Clear Politics’ averages of general presidential election polling match-ups have Rubio beating both Billary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.

Yup. RCP right now has Rubio beating Billary by an average of 1.4 percent and Bernie Sanders by 1 percent. He barely beats them, but it’s scary that he even should tie them.

(The only other Repugnican Tea Party candidate who also beats Billary and Sanders in the general-election match-ups is Ben Carson, who inexplicably does even better against them than does Rubio, but, again, Carson won’t be the nominee.)

Bluntly, Marco Rubio is the one to take down. The Repugnican Tea Party set ultimately will front him as their Latino Barack Obama — youth appeals in this youth-obsessed, adolescent-minded nation; Rubio assures the old fucks that he’ll cater to them, no matter the long-term damage to the nation; and the Repugnican Tea Party needs to try to regain critical ground lost to Latinos by El Trumpo — and while Rubio has Obama’s youth and smoothness, his agenda is dangerous: He’s perfectly willing to sell most of us down the river for his own political gain right now.

And he’s doing so with a youthful, perhaps even JFK-esque, smile.

*Yes, I’m more than ready for our first female president, but voting for Billary Clinton is like voting for a Repugnican. I don’t vote Repugnican.

Had U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren run instead of Bernie Sanders, I’d be supporting her right now.

 

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Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

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It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The Amazon.com series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?

Really?

How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

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I am NOT Charlie Hebdo

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon

?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Updated below

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

In his column, Greenwald notes that

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yup.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Mittens: ‘No apology’ for Terry Jones, whose Islamophobia has killed again

Dove World Outreach Center church pastor Terry Jones

Reuters photo

Presidential wannabe Mittens Romney defends the likes of Florida “Pastor” Terry Jones, who is banned from entering the United Kingdom because of his anti-Islamic hate-mongering.  Jones is pictured above promoting his “International Burn a Koran Day” in 2010, and today Jones is promoting the incredibly bad, anti-Islamic film “Innocence of Muslims,” which has cost even more lives in the Middle East — but this time, American lives.

When Florida “Christo”fascist nutjob “Pastor” Terry Jones threatened to burn copies of the Koran in 2010 on the ninth anniversary of 9/11 — on what he called “International Burn a Koran Day” — more than a dozen people died during the protests that he sparked in the Middle East and Asia.

Americans didn’t care too much then because none of the dead then was an American.

Jones backed off on his threat to burn any Korans in 2010, but then in March 2011, he did burn a Koran in his Gainesville “church” after he had “put it on trial.” In reaction, dozens more people were killed in protesting in Afghanistan, including seven United Nations workers.

Americans still didn’t care too much then because none of the dead was an American.

This time, however, angry Muslims in Libya slaughtered the U.S. ambassador to Libya, Christopher Stevens, and three American staffers in a rocket attack on the American Consulate in Benghazi.

American officials posit that the attack on the American embassy might have been planned already, but in any event, the stated reason for the attack, apparently, is a “low-quality” and “extremely amateur” anti-Islamic film called “Innocence of Muslims” that reportedly portrays “the Prophet [Mohammed] as a homosexual who endorses extramarital sex and pedophilia.”

Even flattering depictions of Mohammed are considered blasphemous in Islam, so this

There is an apparent clip from the “film” on YouTube in which the actors portraying Middle Eastern Muslims appear to be white people wearing badly done brown makeup. (Disclaimer: I could not watch more than a few minutes of the clip, it’s that bad.)

Reportedly the said director and/or producer of the incredibly bad “film,” a “Sam Bacile” of California, is in hiding as a result of the reaction to his “film,” but also reportedly, no one can find evidence that a “Sam Bacile” actually even fucking exists. (The film could credibly be credited, however, to an “I.M. Bacile.”)

What is known, however, is that “Pastor” Terry Jones has promoted “Innocence of Muslims” and that Jones screened at least a trailer for the “film” for his followers in Florida yesterday, the 11th anniversary of 9/11, which he dubbed “International Judge Mohammed Day,” and Reuters reports today that

General Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the U.S. military’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, spoke with Pastor Terry Jones by phone [today] and asked him to withdraw his support for a film whose portrayal of the Prophet [Mohammed] has sparked violent protests — including one that ended with the death of America’s envoy to Libya.

Now, would the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff have called “Pastor” Jones if he didn’t feel that Jones’ actions were putting American lives at risk?

I’m an advocate of free speech, but the problem with Terry Jones is that every time the self-promoting bigot publicly bashes Islam, people tend to die.

Knowing this, it’s harder to protect Jones’ brand of free speech.

Is a worthless piece of shit like Terry Jones worth it?

Jones reportedly proclaimed in a statement today that “The film is not intended to insult the Muslim community, but it is intended to reveal truths about [Mohammed] that are possibly not widely known,” adding that the violence in apparent reaction to the film only shows the “true nature of Islam.”

Bullshit. Of course Terry Jones, with “events” such as “International Burn a Koran Day” and “International Judge Mohammed Day,” is doing his very fucking best to offend Muslims.

Terry Jones does not get to intentionally outrageously offend Muslims, which quite predictably results in violence, and then say, “See what I told you? They’re violent!”

That’s like repeatedly poking a dog with a sharp stick and then proclaiming, when the dog finally bites you, that the dog was inherently prone to violence. (Um, I’m not comparing Muslims to dogs… I’m saying that you don’t get to provoke violence and then fault the violent reaction that you have caused.)

The best thing that can happen is that some jihadist takes out Terry Jones. Seriously. A hundred Terry Joneses aren’t worth a single human life that his inflammatory speech — his hate speech, which, I could argue easily, is not speech that is worth protecting — has snuffed out.

And Mittens Romneywhat the fuck?

The U.S. Embassy in Cairo, Egypt, reportedly fearing for possible violence there apparently related to “Innocence of Muslims,” issued this statement yesterday: “The Embassy of the United States in Cairo condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims — as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions.”

Team Mittens pounced on this statement as part of its bullshit narrative that the Obama administration is always “apologizing” for the United States abroad. Mittens proclaimed today in Terry Jones’ Florida that the Cairo embassy’s statement “appeared to be an apology for American principles.”

(See, this has to fit in nicely with Mittens’ book that is titled No Apology, which, when it was first released in 2010, was subtitled The Case for American Greatness, but which, when it was released in paperback last year, was re-subtitled Believe in America, which just coinky-dinkily is Team Mittens’ 2012 presidential campaign slogan.

It’s funny, because not only is the vulture capitalist multi-millionaire Mormon baby-boomer asshole Mittens not a part of “American greatness” in any shape or form, but who, exactly, is “apologizing” for America?

There are some things that we Americans should fucking apologize for, such as the illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion of Iraq by the unelected George W. Bush administration in 2003, and the American-perpetrated torture and other assorted crimes against humanity that followed 9/11 and the wholly-unrelated-to-9/11 Vietraq War, including the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors, and for the continued slaughter of innocent civilians in the Middle East by U.S. drones like something out of the fucking “Terminator” movies, but who the fuck, in general, “apologizes” for America?)

Now, would Mittens object to the condemnation of “continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of” Mormons?

Seriously — how would Mittens respond to an anti-Mormon film? Much more is known about the personal lives of Mormon cult’s founding fathers than is known about the personal life of Mohammed, that’s for sure, and there are plenty of unflattering things that we could say about Mormonism’s polygamous, patriarchal, misogynist founding fathers, aren’t there? How about a hate-filled film called “Innocence of Mormons”?

How would Mittens feel about that?

I see nothing wrong with the Cairo embassy’s statement. Sure, there is the First Amendment — but at the same time, you don’t have to be a mega-dick and intentionally inflame, with your hate speech, the passions of religious inherents who in the past have become violent when their religion has been quite intentionally disrespected.

Apparently, presidential wannabe Mittens Romney believes that in the likes of Terry Jones, we Americans have nothing to apologize for.

Those are some great fucking values there, Mittens!

And great attempted use of the violent deaths of four Americans for your own petty political gain!

Expect Mittens’ poll numbers to continue to slide.

The Gallup daily tracking poll for months had Obama and Mittens neck and neck, with both of them at 40-something-percent each, but now has Obama at 50 percent and Mittens at 43 percent.

And an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken from September 7 through 9 showed Obama with 50 percent to Mittens’ 44 percent, and a CNN/ORC poll taken the same dates showed Obama with 52 percent to Mittens’ 46 percent. Even a Faux “News” poll taken September 9 through 11 showed Obama five points ahead, 48 percent to 43 percent.

Maybe this is Obama’s post-convention bounce, but I expect Obama to maintain a lead of at least 4 percent or 5 percent from now until Election Day.

All that Mittens has to do to ensure Obama’s re-election, it seems to me, is to continue to open his fucking mouth.

Next month’s three presidential debates should be great fucking entertainment.

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