Tag Archives: Joseph McCarthy

Citizen Cruz promotes xenophobia

The Canadian birth certificate of U.S. Senator Ted Cruz is seen in this 1970 document

Reuters image

Don’t get me wrong. I don’t want Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas ever to be president of the United States of America any more than I want his physical and ideological doppelganger, the late Repugnican fascist (redundant…) U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy, to be brought back from the dead from his DNA so that he can run for the White House.

But this “birtherism” bullshit really needs to stop.

Here’s the deal: If you were born to at least one parent who at the time of your birth was a U.S. citizen, regardless of where on the planet you were born and regardless of where you grew up, you are a U.S. citizen (unless, of course, you for some reason renounced your U.S. citizenship), and therefore, you meet the Constitution’s citizenship requirement for the presidency. Period.

Ted Cruz apparently was born in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, in 1970 to a mother who had U.S. citizenship. (We know this because Cruz apparently felt the need to make public his birth certificate [photographed above] on Sunday.) Apparently Cruz’ mother was born in Delaware and his father was born in Cuba. Cruz says that his family moved to Houston, Texas, when he was four years old. He has held dual (American and Canadian) citizenship.

Until now.

Cruz stupidly announced that he stupidly has renounced his Canadian citizenship, reportedly stating that it is “only appropriate” to be “only an American.”

Cruz reportedly stated that “there’s been a lot of silliness on this issue,” yet he played into the hands of the “birthers” by not only having released his birth certificate, but much worse, by having renounced his dual citizenship, which he had no legal, moral or ethical obligation to do.

Plenty of Americans have dual citizenship. They are no less American for it — legally, at the very least — and, by essentially proclaiming that there was something wrong with having possessed dual citizenship, Cruz has only stoked the fires of xenophobia and nativism and jingoism by having renounced his Canadian citizenship.

And it’s ironic that Cruz wants to lead the fascistic, jingoistic party comprised of many knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who don’t want him because, in their rabid nativism and xenophobia, they don’t consider him to be American enough.

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Clint Eastwood’s ‘J. Edgar’ is not your father’s gangster movie

Film review

Leonardo DiCaprio and Armie Hammer J. Edgar

Clyde Tolson (played by the Adonis Armie Hammer) and J. Edgar Hoover (played by Leonardo DiCaprio) have a lovers’ quarrel in Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar.”

Woe to the heterosexists who don’t bother to research the movies that they see who stumble into Clint Eastwood’s “J. Edgar” thinking that they’re going to see an action-packed gangsta movie (he-man Clint Eastwood is directing, after all) but who instead get “Brokeback Mountain” meets “Bonnie and Clyde” — in which “Bonnie” is the late long-time FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

As others have noted, “J. Edgar” isn’t going to wholly please either side. The heterosexists don’t want the slightest flowery whiff of male homosexuality contaminating their gangster movies, as evidenced by the male homophobe behind me in the audience who twice uttered “faggot!” (and who once uttered “AIDS!”) during the movie and the female homophobe behind me who vocalized her disapproval during the scene in which a distraught J. Edgar Hoover dons his recently deceased mother’s dress.

And gay men like me are going to feel, as I do, that screenwriter Dustin Lance Black (who won an Oscar for his screenplay of “Milk”) and/or director Eastwood wussed out by having portrayed the very apparent real-life same-sex relationship between Hoover and his long-time “assistant” Clyde Tolson as essentially sexless.

No, I didn’t need a steamy sex scene, although I can’t say that I would have minded one; Armie Hammer, who plays Clyde Tolson in “J. Edgar” (and who played the “Winklevi” twins in “The Social Network”) is achingly beautiful, and much more handsome than was the real-life Tolson, just as the real-life J. Edgar never looked anything like Leonardo DiCaprio, even with all of that makeup piled atop his baby face.

But are we really to believe that although the real-life Hoover and Tolson were inseparable and never heterosexually married — and that although Tolson inherited Hoover’s estate after Hoover’s death and later was buried near Hoover — that the two of them never did more than hold hands and share just one (bloody, very conflicted) kiss?

“J. Edgar” apparently would have us believe so, and while many movies about gay characters have a closeted feel to them, this closeted feel can be artful if it is intentional and thus helps us to understand the characters and their sufferings better, but if this closeted feel is a result of the filmmakers’ own cowardice and/or discomfort with the material, then it diminishes the film, and this appears to be the case with “J. Edgar.”

“J. Edgar,” as others have noted, also tries to do too much. Hoover’s time as head of the FBI, which spanned from 1935 to 1972, can’t be captured in one film. Not that it has to be; “J. Edgar” is a fictionalized film, after all, not a documentary, but because “J. Edgar” portrays so many of the historical events during Hoover’s decades-long tenure at the FBI, it has lent itself to be criticized for what it leaves out — such as the “Lavender Scare” of the 1950s, which surely was relevant to the real-life Hoover and Tolson.

And because “J. Edgar” tries to capture so many historical events, the examination of Hoover’s psyche gets short shrift.

Judi Dench is good as Hoover’s mother, even if she is portrayed as a textbook case of the overbearing mother who lives through her son so that of course he turns out gay.

Perhaps the most memorable scene in the film is the one in which Hoover’s homophobic mother tells him the story of another young man who turned out to be gay and who killed himself, which was a good thing, in her eyes. Many of us gay men (my husband included) have been told by a homophobic parent that he or she could never accept a gay son, as Hoover is told by his mother in “J. Edgar,” so I expect that scene to resonate with millions of gay men.

Still, “J. Edgar” doesn’t go far enough with the examination of J. Edgar Hoover’s homosexuality. My guess is that that is a result of the combination of Dustin Lance Black’s upbringing as a Mormon, which, I surmise, keeps him on the “safe,” conservative side, and of the generation of Clint Eastwood (he’s 81 years old), who, while he reportedly is pro-gay, on other issues leans to the right (he reportedly can recall having voted for a Democrat only once, and that was former California Gov. Gray Davis in 1998), and who might be one of those individuals who is much more intellectually accepting of homosexuality (that is, in theory) than he is viscerally accepting of it (that is, in practice) — you know, the kind of person who says that he’s OK with gays as long as he doesn’t ever actually have to see two men kissing. (Thus, we could see Tolson and Hoover kiss in “J. Edgar” only if violence was involved. [The scene, by the way, is fairly reminiscent of a similar scene in “Brokeback Mountain” in which our two conflicted lovebirds who live in a homophobic place and time pummel each other.])

“J. Edgar” probably should have picked one path and stuck with it: the documentarian path or the psychoanalytical path. Hoover’s professional life alone was interesting enough to carry a film. It was because of Hoover’s gross abuse of power, including his notoriously illegal monitoring of prominent individuals, that directors of the FBI need the Senate’s approval to serve more than 10 years, indicates Wikipedia.

But also interesting are the psychological dynamics in which those who have something to hide — such as homosexuality in a society in which homosexuality is stigmatized — react to their inner conflict and their self-loathing by becoming anal retentive and relentless moralists who viciously attack others in order to ease their own self-hatred. We saw this not only in J. Edgar Hoover, but in Roy Cohn, the gay assistant to Sen. Joseph McCarthy, who isn’t portrayed in “J. Edgar.” (I’ve wondered about the sexual orientation of McCarthy, too, since he was an alcoholic who viciously attacked others and since he picked Cohn to be his assistant, but that’s purely conjecture on my part.)

If I had made “J. Edgar” and were focusing on Hoover’s personal life, I’d have left out all of the Lindbergh baby stuff and focused more on the relationship between Hoover and Tolson, and I especially would have focused on the “Lavender Scare,” which bizarrely gets no real mention in “J. Edgar.”

And I would have left out the scene in which Hoover tries on his dead mother’s dress. The account that the real-life Hoover was seen in a dress is dubious, and in any event, it wasn’t as it is portrayed in “J. Edgar,” and we gay men have enough problems as it is for Black and Eastwood to give homophobes the idea that all gay men like to wear women’s clothing (not that there is anything wrong with that; it’s just that it’s a tiresome stereotype, and Black’s screenplay shows keen gay sensibility except for this fairly unfortunate scene).

Still, despite its flaws — which include the fact that it tries to do too much and that Armie Hammer’s old-man makeup is bad (maybe there’s just no way to make such an Adonis look unattractive) — and despite the fact that it doesn’t belong in the pantheon that includes “Brokeback Mountain” and “Milk,” “J. Edgar” is worth seeing.

My grade: B

Update:I don’t think that I’ve been unfair here to Dustin Lance Black. In a recent interview with the Advocate, he remarked, “I grew up in a military family, which was also Mormon and conservative, so he [J. Edgar Hoover] was seen as a bit of a hero.” Again, Black’s conservative upbringing seems to have greatly colored his portrayal of Hoover in his screenplay. And of the historical Hoover and Clyde Tolson’s relationship, Black stated:

I don’t know how much sex they were having. I couldn’t anchor that in anything provable. I also didn’t need it for what I was trying to say. They may or may not have [had a sexual relationship], but frankly, I wouldn’t want to see it. What’s important to me is they were not straight. They were two gay guys, in my opinion.

What is it with this phenomenon of de-sexing gay men, of stripping them of human sexuality? We don’t do that to heterosexual people! I can’t say that I would have wanted to watch the historical J. Edgar Hoover (who, again, was not an attractive man) getting it on with anyone, either, but was the only alternative to making “J. Edgar: The Gay Porn” making a film that portrays him as a celibate, frustrated closet case?

True, we cannot “anchor” the assertion that Tolson and Hoover had a sexual relationship “in anything provable” — we have only the very strong circumstantial evidence that they had a decades-long sexual relationship — yet the scene in which Hoover puts on his deceased mother’s dress very apparently was fabricated from whole cloth. Why was that liberty OK, but we couldn’t take the liberty of having the two of them ever do anything more than occasionally hold hands and share only one frustrated kiss? 

Critic Roger Ebert also apparently has jumped on the no-sex-for-gay-men bandwagon, proclaiming in his review of the film:

Eastwood’s film is firm in its refusal to cheapen and tarnish by inventing salacious scenes. I don’t get the impression from “J. Edgar” that Eastwood particularly respected Hoover, but I do believe he respected his unyielding public facade.

So to have made the two men sexually active human beings, I suppose, would have been “cheapening,” “tarnishing” and “salacious.” Since they were gay, much better to make them celibate! And apparently “[respecting Hoover’s] unyielding public facade” means going along with Hoover’s having been in the closet, because to do otherwise would have been “disrespectful.” (Fuck the truth!)

Ebert also notes in his review:

In my reading of the film, they were both repressed homosexuals, Hoover more than Tolson, but after love at first sight and a short but heady early courtship, they veered away from sex and began their lives as Longtime Companions. The rewards for arguably not being gay were too tempting for both men, who were wined and dined by Hollywood, Broadway, Washington and Wall Street. It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard.

That reading of the film is correct, because indeed “J. Edgar” intended to keep the two lovers celibate, since gay sex is so dirty, you know, and while we can posit that Hoover was gay, we just can’t go so far as to assert that he ever actually had gay sex (ick!).

Again, the real film in the story of Hoover and Tolson’s relationship is the one indicated by Ebert’s assertion that “It was Hoover’s militant anti-gay position that served as their beard,” and I still find it rather stunning that the film glosses over the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn should be in any film about the very-most-likely-gay relationship between Hoover and Tolson, it seems to me.

And speaking of McCarthy, I’m not the only one who has wondered about his sexual orientation. David K. Johnson, author of The Lavender Scare (The University of Chicago Press, 2004), notes (on page 3) that although McCarthy in early 1950 first raised the specter of Communists and gay men having “infiltrated” the U.S. government, McCarthy went on to pursue only the Communist angle, having “mysteriously recused himself” from the witch hunt against gay men. Johnson goes on:

A knowledgeable observer at the time suggested that [McCarthy] did not pursue the “homosexual angle” more aggressively because he was afraid of a boomerang. As an unmarried, middle-aged man, he was subject to gossip and rumor about his own sexuality.

I find the parallels between Hoover and Tolson and McCarthy and Cohn to be striking. Maybe Dustin Lance Black can redeem himself somewhat for his wussy “J. Edgar” screenplay and pen a movie with balls about Joseph McCarthy and his relationship with Roy Cohn, the latter of whom we know for sure was gay. I’ll even give Dustin a highly creative working title: “McCarthy.”

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Bill would make LGBT individuals visible in California public schools

The California state Legislature has passed a bill that requires the state’s public schools to teach about the contributions that non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming Americans have made to the nation — and the wingnuts, predictably, are agog.

Funny, though, how it’s perfectly OK for the Repugnican-Tea-Party-majority members of the Texas Board of Education to dictate that state’s public school curricula — among many other things, the Texas board last year voted to replace all references to “capitalism” with “free-enterprise system” (since capitalism, in which the rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer, is growing more and more unpopular these days) and to rewrite history to reflect that the alcoholic, self-aggrandizing witch hunter Joseph McCarthy wasn’t such a bad guy after all — but it’s “socialist” “tyranny” or the like (indeed, the McCarthy-loving Ann Cunter would call it downright “demonic”) for the Democratic majority in the California Legislature to dictate California’s public school curricula.

It’s only “brainwashing” when the Democrats do it, you see.

One Repugnican Tea Party California Assemblyman said of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “As a Christian, I am deeply offended” that the “homosexual agenda” would be taught in the state’s public schools.

As a non-Christian, I am offended that the so-called “Christians” — the “Christo”fascists — believe that it’s appropriate for our public schools to be conducted like “Christian” schools. What if the Muslims or the Jews wanted Islam or Judaism pushed in our public schools? How would the so-called “Christians” like that?

And the “homosexual agenda”? First of all, we don’t call ourselves “homosexuals” — only the homo-haters call us “homosexuals” — and secondly, our agenda is that of equal human and civil rights. (The “homosexual agenda” to the right-wing fascists, I do believe, is that we “homosexuals” have the goal of “making” everyone homosexual. [Of course, the actual heterosexual agenda is to “make” everyone heterosexual, but I digress…])

Gay Democratic California Assemblyman Tom Ammiano of San Francisco stated of the pro-LGBT education legislation, “I don’t want to be invisible in a textbook,” echoing the words of a (wise) Latina Texas Board of Education member who reportedly last year stormed out of a board meeting after the white-majority board refused to include more Latinos in the curricula, even though Texas is second only to California in the number of Latinos who live there: “They can just pretend this is a white America and Hispanics don’t exist.”  

The Democratic view of public education is that public education should reflect our nation’s diversity. Our children, after all, need to be taught how their world is, not how some wingnutty ideologues believe the world should be.

On that note, the Repugnican Tea Party view of public education is that public education should perpetuate, as long as is possible, the unjust, oppressive domination of the entire nation by the minority of those who are right wing, white, (presumably) heterosexual and gender-conforming, and “Christian.”

Determining what should and what should not be taught in our public schools inherently is a politically charged process, but if I had children, I sure the hell wouldn’t cripple them, possibly for life, by sending them to schools that don’t teach how the world is, but that teach how some ignorant and bigoted, white supremacist, patriarchal and misogynist, heterosexist “Christo”fascists — who, thankfully, are a dying breed — would like the world to be.

I hope that California’s Democratic governor, Jerry Brown, signs the bill to require that the contributions of us non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming Americans are taught in our public schools. It’s the right thing to do.

P.S. For more context, this is from The Associated Press:

California law already requires [public] schools to teach about women, African Americans, Mexican Americans, entrepreneurs, Asian Americans, European Americans, American Indians and labor. The Legislature over the years also has prescribed specific lessons about the Irish potato famine and the Holocaust, among other topics.

SB48 [the LGBT education bill] would require, as soon as the 2013-2014 school year, the California Board of Education and local school districts to adopt textbooks and other teaching materials that cover the contributions and roles of sexual minorities.

The legislation leaves it to local school boards to decide how to implement the requirement. It does not specify a grade level for the instruction to begin.

So all that the LGBT education legislation does is add LGBT individuals to a curricula of diversity that already is mandated by state law.

I love living in California, where diversity is honored, not shit and pissed upon.

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Repug thugs: Give us the head of William Cronon!



Hmmm… Commie University of Wisconsin history Professor William Cronon looks pretty John the Baptist-y to me

The Repugnican Tea Party long has has been on a jihad against university professors. It’s that these professors are anything from “liberal” to “Commie,” you see.

Actually, these professors’ “crime” is that they don’t support the political agenda of the far right. These professors, being professors, don’t embrace the utter ignorance and the outright lies — and the pro-corporate, pro-militaristic, misogynistic, white supremacist/racist, homophobic, xenophobic, nationalistic/jingoistic, pro-stupid-white-male propaganda — that the right wing expects them to.

The wingnuts scream that public dollars should not be spent on university professors who (allegedly) promote some political agenda. Of course, these very same wingnutty hypocrites don’t argue that right-wing professors also should go for the very same reason.

Nor do the wingnuts who scream against the alleged politicization of our public universities make a fucking peep about the blatant, illegal politicization of our tax-exempt churches, such as the Catholick Church and the Mormon cult, which blatantly participate in politics, even telling their members whom and what to vote for and whom and what not to vote for and more or less commanding them to give campaign contributions to specific candidates and ballot propositions and to volunteer in political campaigns.

Because that political activity, you see, benefits the right wing. Therefore, it’s perfectly acceptable.

What it comes down to when the wingnuts attack left-wing or perceived left-wing university professors — and such intellectual entities as National Public Radio — more often than not is not a case of left versus right; it usually comes down right (as in correct) versus not right (as in incorrect) and right versus wrong.

(The Nazi Party also hated, persecuted and even murdered intellectuals, but perhaps that’s a separate blog piece for another day.)

So far gone is the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin that the party is attacking an individual university professor. Never mind that for a state’s party to attack an individual is a gross abuse of power and is a gross dereliction of duty — the Repugnican Tea Party in Wisconsin should be busy at work fulfilling its (bullshit) campaign promises to improve the lives of all Wisconsinites instead of engaging in vindictive political vendettas against certain individuals.

But the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin want the head of William Cronon, a University of Wisconsin history professor who has been publicly critical of Repugnican Tea Party Gov. Scott “Dead Man” Walker and his henchpeople’s attempts to destroy the state’s long-standing labor unions.

Cronon, you see, has a blog titled “Scholar as Citizen” and he wrote an op-ed piece not flattering of the Walkerites for The New York Times.

Therefore, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin have demanded to see any and all e-mails in Cronon’s university e-mail account that contain certain words indicative that Cronon used his e-mail account for any political activity. Apparently their end game is that they want Cronon fired for alleged university ethics violations — so that they can claim the scalp of a liberal/“liberal”* university professor.

They can’t just murder Cronon (they would if they could), so they’ll do the next best thing, if they can: see to it that he loses his job. That’s one of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ favorite hobbies: to try to make people unemployed, even though they claim to care about our longstanding problem of unemployment.

Professor Cronon, correctly claiming academic freedom, has resisted the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ public records request to see his e-mails. One Repugnican Tea Party traitor called Cronon’s resistance “chilling,” but what actually is quite chilling is that we have Joseph McCarthy-like thugs in public office anywhere in the nation who think that it’s perfectly acceptable to politically gang-bang a university professor whose political views diverge from theirs.

The New York Times yesterday ran an editorial on this issue titled “A Shabby Crusade in Wisconsin.” Here it is, in full:

The latest technique used by conservatives to silence liberal academics is to demand copies of e-mails and other documents. Attorney General Kenneth Cuccinelli of Virginia tried it last year with a climate-change scientist, and now the Wisconsin Republican Party is doing it to a distinguished historian who dared to criticize the state’s new union-busting law.

These demands not only abuse academic freedom, but make the instigators look like petty and medieval inquisitors.

The historian, William Cronon, is the Frederick Jackson Turner and Vilas research professor of history, geography and environmental studies at the University of Wisconsin, and was recently elected president of the American Historical Association. Earlier this month, he was asked to write an op-ed article for The Times on the historical context of Gov. Scott Walker’s effort to strip public-employee unions of bargaining rights. While researching the subject, he posted on his blog several critical observations about the powerful network of conservatives working to undermine union rights and disenfranchise Democratic voters in many states.

In particular, he pointed to the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative group backed by business interests that circulates draft legislation in every state capital, much of it similar to the Wisconsin law, and all of it unmatched by the left.

Two days later, the state Republican Party filed a freedom-of-information request with the university, demanding all of his e-mails containing the words “Republican,” “Scott Walker,” “union,” “rally,” and other such incendiary [um, “incendiary”? Really?] terms. (The op-ed article appeared five days after that.)

The party refuses to say why it wants the messages; Mr. Cronon believes it is hoping to find that he is supporting the recall of Republican state senators, which would be against university policy and which he denies. This is a clear attempt to punish a critic and make other academics think twice before using the freedom of the American university to conduct legitimate research.

Professors are not just ordinary state employees. As J. Harvie Wilkinson III, a conservative federal judge on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, noted in a similar case, state university faculty members are “employed professionally to test ideas and propose solutions, to deepen knowledge and refresh perspectives.”

A political fishing expedition through a professor’s files would make it substantially harder to conduct research and communicate openly with colleagues. And it makes the Republican Party appear both vengeful and ridiculous.

Further, the effect of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ McCarthyesque attempt to make public university professors fear for their livelihoods is to deprive the professors of their First Amendment rights as citizens of the United States of America.

University professors are not some special class of individuals who don’t get First Amendment rights. As the name of Cronon’s blog states, public university professors are also citizens; they are not stripped of their citizenship rights because their paychecks are paid for by taxpayers — and they pay taxes, too, which so many fucking morons forget or ignore.

It’s bad enough that in the private sector, employees are treated like property with no First Amendment rights — or any other rights whatsofuckingever. (Property, after all, has no rights.) To extend this right-wing abuse of human rights to the public sector is illegal, immoral and unfuckingacceptable.

And for a political party to attack an individual is such a gross abuse of power that that party deserves to be voted out of office. The recall of Repugnican Tea Party traitor politicians in Wisconsin has my full support — and I’ve donated money towards it. Hopefully, the Repugnican Tea Party scum who have hijacked the great state of Wisconsin, most notably Scott “Dead Man” Walker, will be swept to sea by a political tsunami no later than in November 2014.

The good people of Germany did not nip fascism in the bud when they had the chance to do so. If we, the good people of the United States of America, don’t nip this fascistic shit in the bud in Wisconsin and in the other states where the Repugnican Tea Party traitors fervently are trying to plant the seeds of fascism, we will find ourselves as the Germans did: in a hellish nation in which evils abound — and in which it is too late, because we did not do enough when we had the chance.

I live in California, not in Wisconsin, and I do not know Professor William Cronon.

But I am not so stupid and so blind as to believe that what happens in Wisconsin never could become my problem in California, or that whatever happens to Professor Cronon never could have any bearing on my own life.

The states indeed are laboratories, and the mad scientists on the right are seeing just how far they can take their evil experiments.

We allow them to succeed at our own peril.

*Cronon describes himself as “a centrist and a lifelong independent,” but to the far right, a centrist is a left-winger. The far right’s motto, after all, is the McCarthyesque “You’re with us or you’re against us,” and if you’re against them, you are, by their definition, a left-winger.

Hopefully, this offensive wingnutty overreach will serve to turn more centrists into actual left-wingers.

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McCarthyesque hearings only show that Islamophobia is a problem

Peter King

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman King ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

My terrorism is better than your terrorism: Because he is Irish American, the Irish Republican Army is not a terrorist group, according to Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Peter King, who has supported the IRA even while in Congress. The U.S. State Department, however, classifies the IRA as a terrorist group, which would make King a terrorist sympathizer — yet he is judging others on their alleged support of terrorism. King is pictured above in Washington, D.C., today. Below is what Reuters reports is a close-up photo of the lapel pin that King quite unfuckingbelievably is wearing today as he presides over his “fair and balanced” hearings on Islamic “terrorism” in the United States.

A lapel pin depicting the World Trade Center ...

Reuters photo

Wow.

Repugnican Tea Party U.S. Rep. Peter King, the ringleader of the McCarthyesque hearings in the U.S. House of Representatives on how much of a threat Muslim Americans pose to us (it is a foregone conclusion that they pose a threat to us, you see), has been a vocal opponent* of the so-called “Ground-Zero mosque,” yet he is presiding over “hearings” on this issue that he claims are fair and balanced — while he wears a lapel pin depicting the twin towers, the U.S. flag and the mindless post-9/11 slogan, “United we stand.”

When called to the carpet on the blatantly offensive nature of King’s prejudiced, discriminatory “hearings,” King proclaimed that “To back down would be a craven surrender to political correctness.” 

Wow.

Where it comes to Israel and the Zionists (the Israel-firsters), the vast majority of the members of the Repugnican Tea Party — and, to be fair and balanced, the majority of the members of spineless Democratic Party — can’t be politically correct enough. Even when Israel slaughters scores of innocent Muslim civilians — and when it comes to slaughtering innocent Muslim civilians, Israel is surpassed only by the United States** — to criticize Israel’s actions, no matter how heinous, is beyond taboo, and essentially is equated to Holocaust-denying anti-Semitism.

But no political correctness for the Muslims! declares King, proving his bias and his utter unfitness for the role of arbitrating on the issue of Islamic “terrorism.”

I use quotation marks there because when the same actions are committed by groups that King and his ilk approve of, it’s never called terrorism, but is called “self-defense” or the like. King supported the Irish Republican Army even while in Congress, but because he supports the members of the IRA (King is Irish American), their actions are not terrorism, you see.

(The U.S. State Department classifies the IRA as a terrorist group, perhaps rightfully or perhaps because of the U.S. government’s longstanding partnership in crime with Britain. I’m not sure. I’m just stating the facts that the U.S. government has deemed the IRA as a terrorist group, and King has supported the IRA even while in Congress.)

With these nationally embarrassing “hearings” on Islamic “terrorism,” King and his wingnutty ilk plainly are grandstanding for personal political gain in the name of national security — just as Joseph McCarthy, another wonderful Irish American, did. These Repugnican Tea Party traitors miss the “good old days” when Islamophobia gave the unelected, treasonous Bush regime a seemingly endlessly supply of political capital and political cover to shove their right-wing agenda down the throat of the shell-shocked nation.

What if some very brave, very fair and balanced members of Congress wanted to hold hearings on, say, Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and/or Israel’s fucking routine massacres in which far more Arabs are slaughtered than are Israelis?

Such hearings would never fucking happen. They’d be branded immediately as “anti-Semitic” and shot down.

Yet it’s wide open fucking season on Muslims and Arabs.

And yet we scratch our heads and ask of them, “Why do they hate us?”

Rep. Peter King’s McCarthyesque, bigoted, hateful charades are much more likely to stoke the fires of anti-American terrorism than to put those fires out.

Which, perversely, is probably exactly what he  and his treasonous ilk want:

9/11: The Sequel.

After all, the original was so great for the Repugnican Party.

– 

*Slate.com notes that “King was the first politician to speak out last year against a liberal, anti-terrorist American imam’s proposal to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero.”

**Yeah, I hear you screaming, “What about 9/11?” But 9/11 was perpetrated by a group of individuals, not by a nation. (Even then, 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from U.S. ally Saudi Arabia, as is Osama bin Laden, and not one of the hijackers was from Iraq.) The aggression against Muslims and Arabs by the United States and Israel is state-sponsored aggression, not the aggression by rogue individuals whose actions in many cases cannot be controlled.

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New House Repugnican majority set to get President Obama re-elected

An editorial cartoon conflating Repugnican U.S. Rep. Darrell Issa with the late Repugnican U.S. Sen. Joseph McCarthy is apropros to the wingnutty hell, replete with partisan witch hunts, that the Repugnicans now in the majority in the U.S. House of Representatives woefully incorrectly believe that the majority of Americans want right now.

Barack Obama has been a disappointing president, hardly delivering upon his much-hyped promises of “hope” and “change,” yet the Repugnican assbites in the U.S. House of Representatives — most of them stupid, conservative white males, of course — are on course to ensure Obama a second term by comparison to their brazen rapaciousness that is out of step with the wishes of the majority of the nation’s voters.

The House Repugnicans’ first partisan stunt is to hold a vote on the repeal of Obama’s signature health-care reform — an attempt that will only waste the House’s time and energy since it will fail, since the still-Democratically-controlled U.S. Senate most likely won’t allow such a repeal and since Obama most likely would veto any such attempt anyway.

Blue-eyed devil Repugnican Rep. John Boehner of Ohio, who today replaced outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, is widely believed to be an alcoholic (the crying kind).

This excerpt from a fundraising e-mail that I received today under Boehner’s signature and titled “Your New Majority” (I’m on the enemy’s e-mail list…) makes the House Repugnicans’ propagandistic game plan rather clear:

With Republicans taking their oath to support and defend the Constitution, the House of Representatives will become the outpost in Washington for the American people and their desire for a smaller, less costly, and more accountable government. The President’s agenda may still be the agenda of Washington, but beginning this year, the agenda of the House will be the agenda of the American people. The people’s priorities will be our priorities.

Right. The Repugnicans plan to destroy what’s left of the social safety net and deliver even more to the corporateers and the war profiteers, yet they stand for “the American people.” And, of course, they are trying to redefine the U.S. Constitution back to the days in which only rich white heterosexual “Christian” men had full rights of American citizenship. (After all, U.S. Supreme Court “justice” Antonin Scalia says that the Constitution doesn’t protect women and non-heterosexuals from unequal, discriminatory treatment.)

As if that weren’t enough, the power-drunk Repugnican Rep. Darrell Issa — who, I am ashamed, is from my great home state of California, and who was instrumental in further wrecking the state of California by financing the 2003 gubernatorial recall election that brought the state Arnold Schwarzenegger (the uber-ambitious Issa himself was going to run in the recall election but stepped aside once Schwarzenegger joined the fray) — as chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, promises to be another Joseph McCarthy, publicly prejudicially labeling his intended targets as “corrupt” before a single fucking hearing has been held.

This is not what the majority of Americans want right now, a bunch of stupid white male swine in the House of Representatives attacking not the nation’s problems, such as its joblessness and poverty, but attacking the administration of the president who received more votes than any other presidential candidate in U.S. history, and who received a higher percentage of the popular vote than George W. Bush did in 2000 or in 2004. Nor do Americans wish to see the Repugnicans in the House do even more for their corporate cronies and even less for the American people, and that’s all that we can expect from this bunch of Repugnicans.

But fine; let the stupid white men of the House of Reps have their little orgy of selfish, partisan power-mongering. The American voters expect them to be fixing the nation’s problems, not focusing on petty partisan payback.

Come November 2012, the do-nothing Repugnican Party will pay the heavy price at the ballot box.

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McCarthyism redux is a best-seller

Cover Image
Wow. The jihadists and I are colluding and I didn’t even know it!

So I thank one Andrew C. McCarthy (a descendant of Joseph McCarthy, I wonder?) for bringing this fact to my attention.

McCarthy’s book, titled The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America, is at No. 34 on amazon.com’s top 100 best-selling books list as I type this sentence.

McCathy might argue that he’s not conflating fundamentalist Islamists with us members of the American left — I’ll probably never know his arguments, because I’ll never read his wingnutty book(s) — but clearly that’s what he has done.

But there is plenty about fundamentalist Islam that I, a rabid fucking moonbat, oppose.

For starters, I don’t even fucking believe in God.

When you talk about God, I have to ask you: Where, exactly, does God live? On Fantasy Lane right next to the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus?

I don’t care if you’re Muslim, Christian or Jewish, if you believe in a God as some sort of male entity that is omniscient and omnipotent and favors your team over all of the others, I think that it’s time for you to grow the fuck up and to start thinking for yourself.

Then there’s the fact that I’m gay, and that gay men are routinely killed and otherwise persecuted by fundamentalist Islamic extremists.

One of the many things that the fundamentalist Islamist extremists and the American right wing have in common, in fact, is their shared belief that non-heterosexuals should be persecuted — because that’s what the non-existent God wants.

What else? I disagree with patriarchy and misogyny, which, along with the persecution of non-heterosexuals, puts the American right wing a lot more in league with the fundamentalist Islamic extremists than it puts the American left wing.

I also vehemently oppose theocracy, and the fundamentalist Islamic extremists are all about theocracy — as are the American wingnuts, who, to give just a partial recitation of their theocratic wish list, want prayer in our public schools, want it taught in our public schools that evolution is just a “theory” and that bullshit creationism is at least equal to the “theory” of evolution, want abortion outlawed based upon their religious beliefs, and want same-sex marriage outlawed based upon their religious beliefs. 

McCarthy cites Muslims as “sabotaging America,” yet if the American right wing had their way, we’d be living in a theocracy just like the fucking Taliban, something that I and my fellow leftists vehemently oppose. 

About the only thing that I can think of that a jihadist and I would agree upon is that the Muslims and the Arabs of the world have been getting the shitty end of the stick at the hands of the Jews and self-proclaimed “Christians” for some time now.

But even then, to me it’s solely an issue of fairness and evenhandedness, whereas to your jihadist it’s an issue of his (or her) belief that Islam is the Only One True Religion of the World, as the Jews and the “Christians” believe their religions are.

So if McCarthy has insinuated that the American left and the jihadists are in league, as it strikes me that he has, that claim is easily fucking annihilated.

Perhaps what McCarthy is really getting at is that if you aren’t a “Christian” and if you aren’t a right-wing nutjob, then you aren’t a real American, and thus you are trying to “sabotage America.”

This bullshit sells, very apparently.

We have all of these dumbfuck white people all throughout the nation, but mostly in the red states, polluting the gene pool, worried that those who have (in no certain order) different religious beliefs, different political ideologies, different nationalities, different languages, different physical appearances and/or different sexual orientations or gender identities are ruining! the! nation! when, in fact, it’s the stupid white men — the George W. Bushes and the Dick Cheneys and the British Petroleum CEOs and the Glenn Becks — who are responsible for the fact that the American Empire is teetering on collapse.

I imagine all of these self-righteous white fucktards buying books like The Grand Jihad thinking that they’re actually accomplishing something by consuming wingnutty media that only already confirm their ignorant, whacked-out beliefs, when, in fact, all that they’re accomplishing is to make McCarthy and his ilk richer and the nation dumber.

Most of the best-selling political titles on amazon.com are wingnutty titles, and this used to be more distressing to me than it is now. Now, I tend to view it as evidence of the right wing’s death throes. They’re desperate. Things are changing and they can’t handle it. They’re faced with an increasing number of people in the United States of America who don’t look, act, speak and believe like they do, and they’re so fucking insecure that this drives them batty. The Great White Arizonan Freakout is just one example of this.

I sure hope that we on the left are a danger to the continued existence of the American right wing. But Muslims?

Estimates on the number of Muslim Americans range from 1.3 million to 7 million. That’s not a lot of people in a nation of more than 300 million. The 7 million estimate comes from the Council on American-Islamic Relations, which one might argue has a reason to inflate its figure of 7 million, since it’s a Muslim advocacy group. I tend to think that the actual number lies somewhere between the Pew Research Center’s estimated 2.5 million and the U.S. News & World Report’s estimated 5 million.

American Jews are estimated to be around 6.5 million, yet, as I have noted, they are overrepresented in both houses of Congress and elsewhere in Washington, such as on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Um, there is one (1) Muslim American in Congress, Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, who in 2006 became the very first Muslim elected to Congress

So we hardly have an Islamo-Manchurian Congress or D.C., as amazon.com’s description of McCarthy’s sad and pathetic little book seems to suggest.

If we really want to be paranoid about a special interest group having a grip on Congress and D.C., we’d be better off pointing a finger at the Jews rather than at the Muslims. But the Zionist/Israel-first lobby busily slanders the Muslim and Arab communities and feigns victimhood (I guess that you can call it a perpetual Holocaust) in order to divert your attention from the fact that the Zionist/Israel-first lobby actually is quite powerful within the United States of America, even driving its foreign fucking policy, for fuck’s sake.

If Muslims drove the United State’s foreign policy, the American right wing would be up in arms, but they’re strangely quite perfectly OK with the Zionist/Israel-first lobby driving the nation’s foreign policy.

And as far as a dangerous left wing goes, Barack Obama is horribly disappointing to us on the left, and a series of news articles, such as this one, have been appearing on this subject lately.

Obama a “socialist”?

Oh, I fucking wish! He’s not even a Democrat — he’s a corporatocrat, a Repugnican Lite.

Obama’s party controls the White House and both houses of Congress and has for more than a year now, and what’s he doing right now? He’s practicing how to appear to be angry! And today he actually said, more than a month into the British Petroleum debacle, that he’s now researching “whose ass to kick.”

Oo!

Obama said he’s going to “kick” “ass”!

I’m so moistnot!

While I wish the president the best of luck with his Mr. Spock- or Data-like attempt to display human emotion, he has a long way to go to get my vote again in November 2012. If I could do it over again, I’d have voted for Ralph Nader instead of for Obama in November 2008.

Fact is, the greatest danger to the United States of America remains the American right wing, which has brought us such wonderful things as 9/11 (Osama bin Laden himself has stated that U.S. military intervention in the Middle East and U.S. support of Israel were major reasons why he masterminded the 2001 attacks [Google it]), the Vietraq War (which was sold to the nation by the unelected Bush regime as retaliation for 9/11, even though Iraq had had nothing whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11, which the Bush regime knew fully well) and the British Petroleum debacle, the latter two of which Dick Cheney’s Halliburton had a strong hand in. Oh, and Hurricane Katrina. And the largest federal budget deficit in the history of the nation (and Halliburton, with its no-bid war-profiteering contracts, had a hand in that, too — fuck, and even a hand in Hurricane Katrina, since Halliburton is a part of Big Oil, which contributes to global warming, which contributes to stronger hurricanes).

Fuck. The America-hating fundamentalist Islamic extremists only wish that they could inflict just a fraction of the damage on the United States of America that the American right wing has over the course of the past several years. The illegal, immoral, unprovoked, unjust and wholly unnecessary Vietraq War, to give just one example, not only has overextended our military and driven up our federal budget deficit, but it has resulted in the wholly unnecessary deaths of more than 4,400 of our troops since the treasonous Bush regime launched it in March 2003.

My guess is that Osama bin Laden is somewhere in a cave thinking: “Mission accomplished!”

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